What color is a polar bear? Redefining ‘adult’ in ‘adult fiction’



[editor's note: the following blog post is published in full on AssociationMormonLetters.org]

Today’s guest post is by Penny Freeman, editor-in-chief at Xchyler Publishing.

Although Andrew asked me to write a blog post for his site some time ago, the date of publication came and went with me still staring at the monitor, unable to formulate my thoughts—or, at the very least, unable to figure out how to adequately express my thoughts in a way that would communicate my intent. Then, I read an op-ed in the New York Times about university students who are so intent on protecting [insert special interest group of choice here] from any sort of offense or emotional turmoil, they are campaigning to restrict freedom of speech and the actual texts used in courses.

Huckleberry Finn had to go because of the N-word. Guest lecturers must be un-invited from speaking because they used the N-word in discussing the evolution of the N-word and its social acceptability. Euclid could not be taught in humanities classes because it might trigger emotional responses in victims of violent crime. Such persons may not feel safe or sheltered in such discussions, so those discussions must not occur. Anywhere. Ever.

I believe this is where we, as Mormon writers, too often find ourselves, and why the term “Mormon literature” causes some readers to roll their eyes in frustration. We are so intent on sheltering the reader from offensive material, we wrap them up in cotton and set them in a cozy egg carton, safely deposited on a high shelf. The problem: when readers happen upon stories that refuse to admit life rarely comes equipped with bubble wrap and packing peanuts, they find the writing shallow and dissatisfying, with little dimension and no color. . . .(cont)

Read the complete blog post here.

Book Review: Wild Secret, Wild Longing (Front Range series)

Book:  WILD SECRET, WILD LONGING (A Front Range Series novella)
Author: Charlene Whitman
Pages: 155
Format:  Kindle
Publisher:  Ubiquitous Press
Book Source:  author
Category:  Historical Romance
Style: Sweet romance in historical Western setting reflecting the social mores of the mid to late 19th century; rich prose with well-defined action sequences and plot tension.

Synopsis: 

LeRoy Banks has no time for love or romance—he's busy breaking in horses at Whitcomb's ranch. But on the afternoon of his brother's wedding, a grizzly attacks the herd of horses, and though Whitcomb's ranch hands shoot him, the bear lumbers off, injured and enraged. LeRoy, the only competent tracker around, heads out into the Rockies after the bear before it kills again. But not before his ma, a Cheyenne medicine woman, gives him a warning. The mountain holds secrets, she tells him, and LeRoy must not be afraid of what he'll find. Unsettled by her puzzling words, he sets out, unaware of the dangers he is about to face—not just to his life but to his heart.
Geneviève Champlain has spent long, lonely years in isolation in the mountains, her life a trail of broken dreams, loss, and heartache. Her supplies running out, she is teetering on the edge of despair and madness as a snowstorm blows in, signaling an early winter. Her hope is failing—she knows she cannot face another winter alone. Yet she sees no way out. She can never leave her cabin and live a normal life like other women. There is no place for a tainted woman like her in frontier society. Before the storm blows in, she learns the killer grizzly is close by. She has no choice but to head out and try to kill it before it reaches her cabin. Yet when she tracks the bear, she finds something she never expected—something even more threatening than a grizzly.
In this novella, the fourth in a series of Western historical romances, Charlene Whitman proves once again her exceptional skill at combining a believable plot, realistic characters, and delightful prose to draw her readers into her worlds rich with color and texture, light and sound, for a deeply satisfying experience.

My Take: 

LeRoy Banks is a young horse wrangler who also happens to be of mixed race. Dealing with the prejudices of the day proves more difficult for him than his brother who more resembles their white father, rather than their Cheyenne mother, as does LeRoy. However, as Whitman introduces the character, the reader first gets to know the man. His physical features are almost an after-thought. The strengths of his mother and her particular skills figure prominently as the plot unfolds but are skillfully nuanced. While she is an adept healer and somewhat prescient, Whitman chooses to emphasize her love, support, and faith in her son, and his respect for her and dependence upon her wise counsel. There are no caricatures in this story, of any race.

Book Review: Hohenstein by Didi

Make sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post!

Book:  HOHENSTEIN
Author: Didi Lawson
Pages: 342
Format:  Paperback, Kindle, Kindle Unlimited
Publisher:  Xchyler Publishing
Book Source:  publisher team member
Category:  Historical Romance
Style: Sweet romance in historical setting reflecting the social mores of the early 20th century.

Synopsis:  

Anything but a typical aristocrat, young Baroness Marie-Louise is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get to work, especially when it comes to saving her ancestral estate. Determined to shake loose the shackles of propriety and gain the warm family life her upbringing denied her, she has vowed to marry a man of lower rank. Blue-bloods need not apply.

But when she is forced to turn to a childhood friend for assistance, the handsome, debonair count may prove a temptation impossible to resist. Marie-Louise soon finds herself caught between the comfort of a middle-class doctor and the passion of a nobleman, with the future of her childhood home at stake.

Vanguard Legacy Taking Over the Internet

Beyond Books Takeover Treasure Trail


Greetings and salutations, fair readers. Today, Joanne Kershaw, author of the Vanguard Legacy series, including Foretold, Reflected, and Fated, is participating in Beyond Books Internet Event. You can find all those details here.

If you've made it all the way here, you've persevered through ten clues and links. Yay you! Here's your last clue:

What blog post recently became the most popular to knock out the longstanding champ of more than 2.5 years?

Hint: the answer is on the column on the right under Rave Ravings.

Tough, right? Now that you've got that answer, you’re done! EMAILyour list of answers to vanguardlegacyfans@gmail.com. Winners will be chosen at random. (You won’t receive ANY marketing from Joanne, at all, but if you win a prize you will be notified by email!) You can also TWEET her at @Kershaw_Joanne (Yes, Google + wants to hijack the tweet. Here's that link: +Joanne Kershaw)

Finally, it's time to read Vanguard Legacy! If you're a fan of paranormal fiction, particularly YA paranormal romance, you're going to love this series.

Happy reading!




Book Tour: the Vanguard Legacy series by Joanne Kershaw

More than four years in the making, the Vanguard Legacy series by Joanne Kershaw is finally complete! Today only, get all three ebooks for the price of one on Kindle. Here's all the YA paranormal goodness:

Vanguard Legacy: Foretold by Joanne Kershaw
FORETOLD
Vanguard Recruit Elora Walker doesn’t know who demands more of her: her mother, or herself. But more than she wants to make Nina proud of her, she wants to know the truths buried deep in their mutual past.

 Haunted by the memory of her long-dead father, tormented by a psychic link to a faceless stranger, Elora learns to rely upon her friends and her newfound warrior skills to protect not only the Ignari from Dark Seekers, but the world from an ancient family secret that can destroy it.

BUY FORETOLD HERE

What readers are saying about Foretold:

“A stellar read for fantasy fans!”

“Move over Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and The Mortal Instruments; I've found my next YA paranormal series to obsess over.”

“A 5-star must read for YA enthusiasts but also for readers who enjoy a well-written story full of creativity and imagination!”


REFLECTED
An ugly family secret laid bare, a mortal wound inflicted by her twin sister, betrayed by the love of her life—her supposed “soul mate”. In the wake of the battle with her evil father and his Dark Seekers, Elora Walker fights to recover from them all.

Together with her Vanguard, Magicae, and Vampire friends, Elora races to gather ingredients for the spell of spells, bury the curse, and defeat the prophecy which has tainted her life since birth. To save the world, can she deny the yearnings of her heart? Or, will she succumb to the temptation of love, and plunge them all into Eternal Darkness.

Blondes, Books & Bourbon Blog Hop

Author:  R. M. Ridley
Pages:   192
Format:  Paperback, Kindle, Nook
Publisher:  Xchyler Publishing
Book Source:  company project
Genre:  Paranormal
Style:  Intelligent, fast-paced prose with dark hero of an ironic and satirical bent, strong plot, vivid world-building, infinite possibilities for additions to the series

Synopsis: 

In this collection of short stories, Jonathan Alvey continues to battle the unraveling world of the White Dragon Black.

Interview: A rare sit-down with paranormal private investigator Jonathan Alvey.

The Play’s the Thing: When a blonde woman shows up in Alvey’s office, seeking protection, he uncovers more than a murder attempt.

The Cost of Custody: Alvey helps estranged parents rescue their daughter from a terrible fate.

Sins of the Father: A pawn shop owner risks it all by asking Alvey to recover property that is more than meets the eye.

Legerdelivre: There’s nowhere Richard Tomlin can hide when it comes to the controlling powers of a dusty grimoire, but can Alvey truly help him?

What a Nightmare: Little old ladies do deceive, and secretaries come dear, in Jonathan Alvey’s office.

Do As I Say, Not As I Did: Alvey must air a CEO’s dirty laundry before a company ghost destroys too much.

The Ties That Bind: Can Alvey control a poltergeist and maintain his promise to not fall victim to the Dragon Black?

Bindings and Spines: A first chapter sneak peek of the second White Dragon Black novel.

Book Review: Siren Tamer by Sofia St. Angelas

Book:  SIREN TAMER (Book 1 of the Siren Tamer series)
Author: Sofia St. Angelas
Pages: 324
Format:  Paperback, Kindle, Kindle Unlimited
Publisher:  Sofia St. Angelas
Book Source:  Amazon.com
Category:  Young Adult Fantasy/Romance
Style: Easy, contemporary voice that speaks directly to target audience.

Synopsis:

I’m a Siren Tamer, and she’s my Siren. Apart we’re nothing much. Sure, she has the ability to level entire armies with one song, but it’s a one-time deal. One song and she’s dead.

I’m a myth and a legend. Tamers like me only come around every thousand years, so no one’s sure what I can do. But legend has it, when my Siren and I are together, we become a lethal weapon. One with infinite destructive capabilities.

What’s the real problem here? Neither of us knows it.

A YA Paranormal Romance set in an alternate Maya universe, SIREN TAMER does to Sirens what TWILIGHT did to Vampires. With a stalwart warrior you'll love to love and a bewitching Siren you'll hate to hate, it promises an adventure beyond compare.