Writer Wednesday – Jeffrey Cook

1. Who are you? Jeffrey Cook. I’m an author living in Maple Valley, WA – about 30 miles from Seattle.

2. What type of stuff do you write?
I’m the author of the Dawn of Steam series. Dawn of Steam will soon be a trilogy (third book coming in March) of epistolary format (letters and journals), Regency-voice alt-history/steampunk novels, set from 1815-1819.
I’ve recently added my first YA title as well, the YA SciFi story Mina Cortez: From Bouquets to Bullets, released through Fire & Ice YA Press.
I’ve been published in the anthologies Steampunk Trails (volume 2), Avast Ye Airships (released in March), and Free Flowing Stories.
Finally, I’m currently working on a YA Fantasy series, The Fair Folk Chronicles, while finishing editing on the third Dawn of Steam novel.

3. What do you want to pimp right now?
The Dawn of Steam series has been my passion for the past two years, researching, getting voices right, getting the language and historical references right – and the tale is nearly finished. Rising Suns will end the story of the crew of the airship Dame Fortuna (for now. Books 4-6 are in planning, but won’t be written for some time.) – as they explore the world, and delve into conspiracies of the post Napoleonic War-era world.

4. What is your favorite book?
My single favorite book is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Lots of competition after that, including Shogun, The Lord of the Rings and The Lonesome Gods. But Frankenstein remains my favorite.

5. What other hats do you wear besides the writer hat?
I am also a gamer (table top and live action rpgs), a sports fan (go Seahawks!), an animal lover/dog owner (The anthology I’m heading up, being released in March is a charity book, benefitting Washington State’s PAWS animal rescue.), and an advocate and organizer for other local small press and independent authors.

6. What link can we find you at?
http://www.authorjeffreycook.com/  and  http://www.amazon.com/Jeffrey-Cook/e/B00IRMC3H6/ (for reviews, book info, etc.)

Guest Post:

This is a little bit of a combination of “Advice I’d give new authors” and “Best advice I’ve gotten.” I’ve learned a lot from a lot of people who have been writing much longer than I have, quite a few of whom are much more successful. Some of that advice is useful, some of it is not. Some is consistent, some contradictory. Here’s the three pieces of advice I’ve found that’s very consistent, and that I’ve adopted, and do my best to pass along:
As a new writer, write. It seems simple, but there’s more to it than that. A lot of people have great ideas, but never get that book out. A lot of people write until they hit writers block. Or until they get another job, or whatever, and then stop. Write every day, for 15 minutes. Do not make exceptions. If you’re serious about your craft, you can find 15 minutes. If you can do it for 3 weeks, no exceptions, you’ll likely find it becoming habit, and find ways to rearrange your schedule to get the time in. The writing doesn’t necessarily have to be on your book, or on anything serious. If you’re blocked up, spend it editing, or writing an outline for that other idea – but make the time every day to put words down on the page, or fix the words you already put down.

Second, when you’re getting ready to publish: There’s a lot of really, really good stuff out there in self-and-small-press published material. There’s also a lot of rushed-to-print garbage. And the latter gives all of us a bad reputation that’s hard to shake. The more good, professional looking material there is out there, the easier it gets for people to consider buying other small press and self-published books. If you spend money on only two things, make it an editor and a cover artist. Regardless, unless you are really, really good at either self-editing (a rare skill. Some can do it, most can’t.) or visual art, have someone you know and trust do both. Do everything you can to put out a clean, edited, professional looking product. Plenty of people say “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But people do. And in some ways, should. A quality cover tells people the author cared enough about their book to put time and thought into it.
Doing this will both help you, and a lot of other authors out there. Speaking of which…

Third and final thing: other authors are your best resource. Talk to them, learn from them, network with them, leave reviews for them, buy their books if you can, and otherwise make use of this resource. Plenty of authors see others as competition, and try to sabotage them in hopes it will somehow help their own career, or out of jealousy. Don’t do this. There is a lot of material out there – in the long run, your best bet for getting noticed comes from networking, having people who want to read and review your work, and shared fanbases.

Author Interview – Calinda B.

The Beckoning of Broken Things Button 300 x 225 (2)

Let’s start with the basics.  Who are you?

Calinda B, author of paranormal romance. I reside in the Pacific Northwest with my long time sweetie, and two fine cats. Two fine (grown) kids. We scuba dive weekly.

Tell us (briefly) about you…

I am an endless Work In Progress. A constant work of art. Creative. Adventurous. I’ve been a galleried artist. A rock climber. A firewalking instructor. A hip hop dance performer and teacher. Taught aerobics. Taught kids to improve their bodies through movement. Crazy life. I study the inside of me as well as the outside. Introspective. Self-aware. A little bit crazy (said with a smile). A little bit wicked (said with an even larger smile). Love to write. Love to shape worlds and characters. It’s like playing with dolls.

…and a bit about what you’ve written…

I’ve got 5 erotically charged paranormal romance novels out. 1 short story. 4 of my novels have been nominated for Best Erotic Paranormal, Best Urban Fantasy or Best Erotica. The Beckoning of Broken Things was short listed by a book group in the UK for Best Erotica. I’ll find out soon if it wins. My stories are often called “unique” and “refreshing.” I like to make up the character’s skills and abilities. Hence, I guarantee you’ve never heard of some of them – the ka’kriyaga? What? A Stealth Numen? What’s that? A Night Numen, the most badass of them all? (grins) Sorry, but you’ll have to read the books to find out more.

…and what you’re working on right now.

Right at this moment, I’m working in a standalone novel called Headspace. It’s set about 40 years in the future in Seattle. The heroine, Vienna Venetta, is a hip, cool, savvy gal with a unique ability to get inside another’s head and make them think they are having an actual experience. She came up with the idea of combining her techno-wizard friend Kaama’s skills with her abilities to create a virtual sex world. Her clients “pulse-com” her, they enter her Headspace world and the fun begins. Her clients pay well and no one will ever know who she is. Out in the real world, though, she’s got a little problem – she’s never had an orgasm. Can her good friend Jonas help her out? He is committed to someone else.

What are your earliest book-related memories?

One of my fondest memories was reading the Godfather – the scene in the bathroom with Sonny and Lucy: “Her hand closed around an enormous, blood-gorged pole of muscle. It pulsated in her hand like an animal and almost weeping with grateful ecstasy she pointed it into her own wet, turgid flesh. The thrust of its entering, the unbelievable pleasure made her gasp, brought her legs up almost around his neck, and then like a quiver, her body received the savage arrows of his lighting-like thrusts.” I was a 16 year old virgin. It made me blush. It made me feel ashamed. It made me want to keep reading it, over and over and over. (laughs) I guess it greatly influenced me as I am writing erotic scenes with nary a glance over my shoulder.

What are your three favorite books?

Hmmm. It’s hard to pick. A book has to really, really make me feel/think/consider to get in the favorite list. Currently, Hot Head by Damon Suede (loved the M/M tenderness, well-written and hot, hot, hot); Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning (super sex with a plot!) and Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (just brilliant). Also anything by Karen Marie Moning or JR Ward. Basically, anything that’s over the top sexy and well-written.

How many books to do you read at any given time?  What are you reading now?

Right now I’ve got Backstage Pass on my Droid, and Coping with Trauma (advanced studies in the effects of personal and interpersonal trauma and psychological insights) and The Joy of Writing Hot Sex (well, duh!) next to me. Overcoming Underearning(TM): A Simple Guide to a Richer Life (great book recommended by our business guides, especially useful for women) and Let’s Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books (Let’s Get Publishing) are on my Kindle. I used to only read one at a time. I finally stopped torturing myself for having numerous reads going on at the same time.

Finish this sentence; when I curl up with a book, I ___

When I curl up with a book, I love to be deeply engaged…stirred…moved…provoked. I like to learn something, or be inspired to look at something a different way.

To re-read or not to re-read that is the question.

Gasp! Not even a question! Expanding the mind through both experience and reading of the experience or narrative of others is a treasured gift.

How likely are you to read a book that’s been recommended to you?

Depends on who is doing the recommending. I have a good friend whom I listen to. I’ve also picked my last two books based on enthusiastic endorsement from Bloggers/Reviewers queries of their readers on Facebook. That’s how I found out about Hot Head and Backstage Pass

How likely are you to recommend a book (that isn’t yours)?

I do it all the time (but my books are my favorites) (kidding!). Actually, I am an enthusiastic endorser kind of person. If I like it, whatever it is, I’ll endorse it.

What do you look for in a good book?

First – emotional depth, intelligence and complexity. Second, great interplay between the characters mixed with generous amounts of really great sex. I like books where the characters are challenged to grow in some way. One core issue. Its ultimate resolution. Books that take a stereotype and shoot it to bits. And my mood for books varies. Right now I’m into sexy erotica. Sometimes I like suspense. Sometimes sci-fi and urban fantasy.

Why do you write?

I find the act of writing to be one of the most soothing, relaxing and inspiring things to do. When I write, I relax. When I write, I create. I solve problems. I build worlds. I describe, define and then solve issues. I am God(dess). (laughs) It allows me to sort out issues in my own life. Purge frustrations. Laugh. Cry. Feel. I sit in my own world of mysteries. It’s very fulfilling.

If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be?

I can’t really answer this. I stay pretty focused in the present. And, believe it or not, I’ve done and continue to do everything I’ve ever wanted to do.

(later) Okay, that was the serious answer. The answer that bubbled up in me as I was driving around thinking about this question was “Okay, if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing right now I’d be Brian Sinclair in the book Backstage Pass, I’d live a rock and roll lifestyle (wait a minute – been there, done that), I’d have loads of freaky sex (been there, too), I’d meet someone who really matched me, heart for heart (wait – got that, too).” I have not, however, been a 28 y/o guy with a million adoring fans. And I do not play guitar. Is that what I secretly crave? Let’s hope not! (laughs) Honestly, I love my life and I am happy being a woman. If I were not writing and doing scuba and did not own a business I’m sure I’d find something interesting to do.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Everywhere! I have a very active life. I love to travel. I love to explore. Virtually anything I do could be the seed of my next novel. I generally try to write about topics that push my own edges of comfort, like I’m doing in Headspace by writing about a woman who has never had an orgasm. Or topics that make me laugh. Or things I stumble upon out in the real world…things that make me go Hmmm. For instance, when I was in Hawaii a couple years ago I met a handsome young man who photographs whales. “I sex whales,” he said, smiling. “You what?” I replied, eyebrows arched. Apparently the only way you can determine the sex of humpback whales is to photograph their undersides. I told him he must be a whale whisperer. A character was born, right then and there – Wicked Whispering’s very own Kai Williams, the whale whisperer.

What has writing taught you about yourself?

1) Writing has increased my self-confidence. 2) Self-acceptance – definitely! 3) I’ve learned and continue to learn that I am an amazing person. I used to not think that about myself. I used to criticize myself to no end. 4) I’ve learned and continue to learn that I have flaws and that’s okay, too. 5) I’ve actually integrated my wild and crazy life into one cohesive hum. 6) I have taken courses in writing and learned to be succinct. Get to the point. Use words and imagery. I could go on and on. Writing definitely changed my life. It’s a very personal process.

How do the people in your life seem to view your writing career?

Interesting question! Honey-pie thinks it’s fine, wants me to succeed. Isn’t really interested in the subject matter – he’s more of a technical guy. Kids support me but do not, do not, do NOT want to read their mom’s sexy writing. I understand and support that. Friends like it, think I’m fantastic, crazy, and wild for doing what I do.

Are there any stereotypes about writers that you don’t think are true?

That we’re all rich from our writing. Ha! Big myth there. I believe the statistics are that 3 – 5% of published authors are abundantly rich from their writing. And then there’s a myth that once you are a best-seller, then the money rolls in. I’ve read horror stories of authors who have sold millions around the world yet because of their publishing contracts, they only made about $30,000.00 over the course of a few years. That’s sad. And, I think there’s a stereotype that writers are nerdy, bookish and have nothing to do with the physical world. They live inside their minds. We come from all walks of life, I assure you. We just have the capacity to write.

What do you see as the biggest challenge today for writers starting out?

I don’t think there is a single challenge. There are multiple issues when starting out that seem fairly common. For instance, anyone who thinks he or she will be an “overnight success” is in for a surprise. It takes time to build a fan base, build a following. You’ve got to “work it”, as in get out there constantly to promote your work. You do have to develop a thick skin. You’ll get a snarky review or two. Sometimes those are just downright mean. You’ve got to find a way to not focus on them. And, you’ll be assaulted with offers to be featured on this or that site and pay so and so and such and such to promote your work and gain exposure, blah, blah, blah. Do your research – just because it’s an attractive offer, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Above all, link up with various author groups. The support you can get is tremendous.

Have you made any writing mistakes that seem obvious in retrospect but weren’t at the time?

Oh, sure – when I started out I hadn’t mastered the Show vs Tell premise. Too much backstory. I went back after I learned that and re-wrote my first three books.

Is there a particular project you would love to be involved with?

Interesting question. I’m actually leaning towards team collaborations these days (me, the lifelong lone wolf). I did an event with a couple of bluegrass musicians that was fun. I read erotic writing, they played between excerpts. They’re more than eager to do that again.

How do you deal with your fan base?

I post stuff to FB daily. My street team is awesome (and there’s always room for more). They’re like my super fans. We do monthly giveaways for those who complete their tasks. They’re a super supportive bunch. And I give them gobs of thanks and appreciation.

Finish this sentence; my fans would be surprised to know ___ about me.

My fans would be surprised to know that I belonged to a bona-fide cult for a year and a half. I married someone who was part of the group. It was a definite, warp your mind, tell you what to think feel and believe cult. The guru dude had sex with women (not me) for “their enlightenment.” (shudders) He had seven wives. I didn’t know this until recently but at the time that I got the hell out of there, he was in lawsuits up to his eyeballs.

Anything else we should know?

When I was in junior high, my art instructor gave us an assignment to paint a poster with a quote that had meaning to us. My quote was one attributed to Jack London: “I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” Enough said.

Book Review – Boneshaker by Cherie Priest


Cherie Priest


Trade Paperback


Oh.  So *that’s* what all the hype was about. 

I’ve heard about Boneshaker for quite a while now, and it’s always been somewhere over there on my reading list.  From what I heard, I knew it as one of the better known books in the Steampunk movement, but I didn’t really understand what that meant. And now that the trend is to slap a few gears on something and decide that it counts, I decided that I’d wait until I was in the mood for that, or just gave in and read the darn thing already.  What I ended up doing was a little bit of both.

Anyway, I picked the book up from the library, and didn’t really know anything about it other than it was Steampunk.   When I started reading, I realized that merely calling it that doesn’t do it justice, because there’s just so much involved with the story, and Priest does an incredible job of putting us right in the middle of it.

The story switches back and forth between two main characters – Briar and Zeke.  Briar is the daughter of the infamous Maynard Wilkes and the widow of the criminal Levi Blue.  Blue was responsible for the blight that tore Seattle apart.  Briar spent her life trying to get away from the stigma of the men in her past while saving the last person in her life that mattered worth a damn, her son.

Except for one problem.  While the Blight has been running off unchecked for sixteen years, merely walled off and ignored by the untouched parts of the city, Ezekiel – Zeke – has been growing up without a history and has now run off unchecked right under the wall and into the mess.  Totally unschooled and thus unprepared for whatever he would find on the other side.

You can’t fault the boy, really.  His father single-handedly destroyed half the city, and his grandfather was the legend of a jailbreak.  All he wanted to do was clear his father’s name and understand his past.  He thought he’d be gone for ten hours – that’s how long his gas mask would last.  He was wrong.

Actually, he was gone for so long that his momma had to come save him.  There are some interesting characters they meet along the way, too.  Minnericht (is he or isn’t he Levi Blue?), Lucy, the half-armed (and I’m not talking weaponry) barkeep, Chinamen, airboat captains and crew, the rotters…

But in the end, this is a story about love and perseverance.

For those of you who are shaking your heads, saying you won’t read Steampunk, no matter what I say, really, you need to.  Because this is the type of story where you can strip away a few details and your story works in any world.  You could easily change the airships and some of the visuals and set this story in a modern world.  This is why I like it – the essence of any good genre piece is that it stands away from the genre as well.

No wonder this is one of the go-to Steampunk pieces.  No wonder it’s said to be the best book Priest has ever written.  No wonder I’m giving it the full five page rating.

Book Review – 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James

I’ve been agonizing over when to put this review out there.  Since today’s April Fool’s Day and this book is a bigger joke than Twilight… Here ya go.  I’m warning you, though.  This review is about 2x longer than any other I’ve ever written (or anyone on this blog has ever written) and is absolutely not safe for work.

Title: Fifty Shades of Grey

Author: Writer:  Chick who managed to put words on paper: E.L. James

Format: Paperback

Published: 2012

Also known as: Twilight, the fan fic.  (You did know that, right?  Because, you know, if you didn’t, you’ve been living under a rock.  This shit is fan fiction based on Twilight.)

So, at the beginning of this blog, Catherine made a comment about how we’d never review this book.  But, you know, I read it for the purpose of reviewing it, and hey, I’m reviewing it.

Someone, please hold my lunch.

If you haven’t heard anything about this book, please, crawl back into your cave and stay there.  You’re safe in your cave.  I promise.

I can’t save you if you keep reading.

Run away.



Why are you still here?

Haven’t you heard me yet?


Really?  You’re sticking this out?

Okay, then.

I am no longer responsible for you if you stay.

So, I read the book.  And I took notes.  FOUR PAGES OF NOTES.  Then I decided that if I ranted and raved in this review even half as much as I do in person when somebody asks me what I thought… well, you’d be here longer than it took to write that drivel.

Here’s the story in a nutshell:

Ana, college chick, works at a hardware store in Portland/Seattle (the author doesn’t know the difference, why should I?), studies English, only reads old literature… oh, and doesn’t know how to check email and has never masturbated, let alone had sex.

Her roommate gets sick and sends Ana to do an interview in her place despite the fact that Ana isn’t a journalist and not smart enough to prepare for the interview – like, you know, read up on the guy on the internet or any- oh, wait.  She doesn’t know how to use the computer.  Wikipedia is clearly too difficult.  So she goes totally unprepared to her interview with Christian Grey, busy hating herself and thinking she’s a big fat loser, what with her blonde hair, blue eyes and all.  Oh, and as for that fat thing, she hates how skinny and hot her roommate is, but they share clothes so, uh…

Christian Grey on the other hand, is young, rich, and successful, so the list of responsible journalistic questions asked of him include insulting him at every question – is your success all luck?  Are you gay?  You know, that type of responsible journalism thing.   And then he falls for this useless fat ugly whatever thing that interviewed him.

Cause, you know, that totally happens in real life.    Jeez, I wonder who I could interview for this blog and end up in a bondage room with.

Oh, did I skip ahead?  Yeah, well.  That’s because there’s no substance to this book.

And more issues than Time Magazine.

So what do I have problems with?

  • The author can’t figure out the difference between Portland and Seattle and is there a mention of Vancouver for this American born/bred?  My best guess is Seattle, but I, as the reader, shouldn’t be guessing.  The author herself should know.
  • How the hell do you make it to 22-years-old, about to graduate from college, and can barely figure out how to hit the “ON” button on a laptop.  Email, are you kidding?!  What the hell?!
  • The writing is awful.  Aside from the first person present point of view (“I go and I see and I wait and… I vomit”) which I hate, it’s not even well written.  The thing about this POV is you either have to be good or you end up with a shitload of crappy, choppy sentences.  Yeah.  We’ve got those.  We’ve also got a ton of long, repetitive, run-on sentences.  Sentences that repeat words and colors and phrases and oh, dear God, kill me.  Please.  Because I can’t stand this!
  • Which brings me to my second argument about the writing, which is word choice.  Ana says things like “jeez” all the time.  Also, every combination of “good God” “good golly” etc.  I kept expecting a jeez god or a god jeez or something along those lines.  We get it already, James.  Your character is a clueless, stupid, innocent twit.  Wait, what?  That’s not what you want us to think?  You’ll get over it.  Cause that’s what you wrote and that’s what your editor pushed through.
  • Ana harps on everything – from her roommate and herself to every description every thought every whatever. Also, every guy she meets is cute, even though there’s no chance of a relationship with them.
  • Certain characters have names – like Roy, her father-like ex-step-father – but others, like her mother, don’t.  Not exactly a family therapist here, but if you love your ex-step-father like a father, you probably call him Dad.  And if what’s-her-name down in Georgia isn’t Mommy Dearest, you probably don’t call her that.  Just sayin’.
  • Oh, and she FUCKING MURMURS EVERY FUCKING TIME SHE TALKS.  (No, that didn’t bother me at all. </snerk>)  She doesn’t say, she doesn’t speak, she doesn’t yell (unless they’re in the bedroom) she fucking murmurs.
  • Million dollar words.  This here’s another pet peeve of mine.  When your character is a simple minded twit that uses words like “jeez” every time she opens her mouth, you don’t use fancy vocabulary for the rest of what you say.  Jeez.  I’m sorry, EL, but your character is a moron.  And honestly, people that use huge words when cute little tiny ones will do, end up sounding stupid.  I mean, I know our MC is a college-educated woman who can’t use a computer, but still.  [as a side note, several of the words that she throws around like popcorn in this book are so infrequently used that I needed a dictionary… I actually kept a list at one point of the bizarre choices of words she used]
  • She drinks every scene.  – no, I’m not anti-booze (I’m a card carrying member of the Tennessee Squire Association, thankyouverymuch), but I don’t see the point in drinking every time you go anywhere just because you can, and really, she drinks so much she should be sloshed.  What’s wrong with a glass of water once in a while?  Lemonade?  Iced tea?  Coffee?

So fast forward all this stuff.  After a few choice encounters where she happens to randomly run into Christian Grey (like at the hardware store where he buys zip ties and drop cloths), several meetings where her knees go weak, including a photo shoot of Christian Grey, etc., they end up doing a few things like dinner… and each other.

And the sex scenes are awful.  Because, here, ladies and gentlemen, is how every damn one of them works.

  1. Declare that you (the gent) will not do anything that shows any sort of actually caring about the woman you’re with.
  2. Demand she put her arms over her head.
  3. Do her like you’re her rapist.

Seriously, how bad is the sex life of a normal middle aged wife that they find that sexy?  Is it hot because it’s not missionary-style on Saturday night?  Grey’s not the husband and he’s not grunting till he’s done and rolls away?  What the hell?


And as the book progresses and she does more and more of this even though she hates it, I seriously have to question Ana.  How bad is her self-esteem (and how clueless is she about sex) that she thinks she has to give in to the total control and domination from her man to get any?  How warped and twisted and – fucked up – are you to think that you don’t deserve any better?

As the story goes along, we learn a few more things about Mr. Grey.  He’s “fifty shades of fucked-up” (which is why I said that in the previous line – in Ana’s case, Mr. Fifty Shades becomes her new nickname for her boyfriend), and this includes his first time being with his babysitter, several (it felt like several million) discussions about the bondage contract she won’t sign, and the most agonizingly annoying scene in which she can’t believe she’s so naughty because she goes to dinner with his parents… without underwear.  (Poll women between the age of 18 and 30, and I bet within a dozen of them, someone will admit to having not worn underwear at some point in the past two weeks.)


You know, I’m gonna stop because, really, I just want to vomit.

Here’s the thing that pisses me off so much about this book.  Ana is a naïve, clueless, moronic twit (have I said that yet?).  And she somehow got into this relationship with a controlling freak.  Now, maybe, just maybe, if she had had several relationships, been a bit older, had a fucking clue, I wouldn’t be so upset.  But to have a main character that doesn’t even touch herself, who can’t refer to her girl parts – the word is not “down there” the word is “vagina” – thinks of her inner goddess or whatever other bullshit words she uses on herself… she is not equipped enough to be with this man.

And really, the author most certainly shows us this herself.

As the relationship progresses, and we see such uber-creepy behavior as Grey finding out where Ana lives because he has her cell phone tracked, demanding she get a new car because he doesn’t like the one she has, etc., and they discuss the contract to death, we learn a couple safe words (and they’re incredibly stupid safe words), get to watch her dream of sex toys and get them (I can never look at riding crops the same way), and eventually get to “the” scene.  I’d call it the climax, but really, slapping her twice gets this girl off, so using the word climax no longer has any meaning at this point.

Pardon the interruption, but… being stalked, tracked, or otherwise controlled is not ever the sign of a healthy relationship.  If you or somebody you know is in a relationship like this, please leave and find somewhere safe to go.  If you don’t feel that you can leave safely, call the police and they will help you.  Abuse is never okay, and you don’t need to be a victim to be in a healthy relationship. There are resources out there, and it’s NOT something glamorous.  

Ana/Bella (because let’s remember, this was based on fan fic, and she’s really just the tortured soul Bella in a new name) has at this point decided that she wants to know what the extent of Grey’s abuse, er, I mean spanking, is.  So she tells him to go  all the way.

And while she’s crying about how awful it is, she has her only moment of light where she decides that it scares the shit out of her and she should leave.  So after it’s done, she breaks it off with him.  End book.

And even this, I need to bitch about.  Because if you already forgot, about a paragraph and a half ago, I pointed out that they had safe words.  Which she doesn’t use.  At all.  And then she’s all “I can’t believe you hurt me like that” and pouts for a while.  Wait a damn minute.  She’s entered into an agreement (even though the contract never got signed) that she would do this sort of stuff, but she has a safe word so that it can’t get out of hand, and then because she’s too stupid to use it, she gets to play the victim?  I don’t think so.

Another side note.  Consensual BDSM happens all over the world.  It does not look like this.  And it is not about being hurt or abused, it’s about control and trust.  There is absolutely no trust anywhere in this book.  The author should be ashamed at writing this shit.

If I tell you to stop, I damn well expect you to stop.  But if I don’t say anything, then it’s safe to assume for whatever reason I want you to keep going.  It’s sorta like… going to a bar and seeing someone drinking across the room and assuming they’re at least 21 (or whatever the legal drinking age is where you are).  So really, all we learned through this book is that Ana needs therapy – not only to see why she thinks so lowly of herself but also to figure out why she has the sexual development of a thirteen-year-old.

Really, I think it’s irresponsible on the writer’s end.  We’re in an age where women (no matter how young or old) are increasingly having body issues.  (Just today, a friend of mine posted a link to Hardee’s new commercial paired with a conversation about how he can’t convince his 16-yr-old daughter that there’s nothing wrong with the way she looks.  For the record, she’s adorable and fairly skinny.)  Date rape cases are rising.  So what did this asshat author do?  She wrote a book where the main character thinks that nothing about herself is okay, is too emotionally stunted to deal with herself in any way, and then made her think that she had to be abused to be cared for.  Note that I’m not saying ‘loved’ because, you know, that doesn’t actually happen at any point in this book.

I thought the worst part was that there were two more books in this series, but no.

Somebody is writing fan-fic.  About this.  A fan-fic.  About Twilight.  And the longer this book is in print, and the more copies that sell, the more people who are going to take this crap and write their own.  And really, one was bad, it being a trilogy should have been the end of it.  But I picture a library full of this shit, and well… *shudders*  Also, even better, when the fan-fic about this was announced, EL James demanded her lawyers issue a statement to the next author saying “You just don’t steal other people’s ideas”  – um…

Can I give a negative pages rating?  Please?

%d bloggers like this: