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text 2018-04-02 19:58
I don't know if I'm doing this correctly

Courtney Milan's thread on Twitter regarding RWA, RITA awards, Harlequin, and Authors of Color.




I really do have to get myself to work, but I thought I'd post this here because we're mostly readers here, but we are also involved, intelligent, critical readers, and I'd love to read your thoughts.


Or you can post to Courtney Milan, I suppose.


My only contributions would be:


Harlequin has been screwing authors since forever.  That part of it is nothing new.  I think I've written about it before, so I won't bore you again. 


RWA has also been screwing authors.  The fact that the organization remains majority unpublished is probably the main reason.  No one was ever willing to stand up to the publishers, with their puny royalties and shitty treatment, because heaven forbid that some unpublished idiot -- not that all unpublished writers are idiots, but the idiot ones are the people who held the most power in RWA in the past, and I'm assuming they still do -- would lose a chance to publish her masterpiece.


I've never been a heavy reader of Harlequin books, but the first contemporary romance

about POC and written by an AOC that I ever read was for the RITA judging in the mid-1990s, in the preliminary round.  The book was good and I gave it an appropriately high score, but it didn't go on to the next round.  This was before there were separate lines for African American authors/characters.  (Side note: Am I the only one who thinks it's odd that Harlequin, known for its global/exotic settings, is somehow leaving out of this category POC from other "Anglo" countries?  Hello, but there are Black people in England, Canada, Australia, etc.  Okay, enough of that tangent.)


I left RWA with few regrets in 1998.  I felt it was an unprofessional organization then, and I still do.  Courtney Milan's long Twitter thread didn't change my mind.



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text 2017-10-28 19:46
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 592 pages.
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America - Ibram X. Kendi

Out here in super red central Arizona, my public library has this on digital. 


Thank you, Chris' Fish Place, for posting your review of this.

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review 2017-10-23 09:38
One Blood
One Blood - Qwantu Amaru

by Qwantu Amaru


Randy Lafitte blamed his father for his mother's death in a car crash and as a young man, went to a voodoo priestess to exact his revenge. He then grew up to be governor of Louisiana, but when his spoiled daughter gets kidnapped, some of the lessons of his early life in New Orleans come back to haunt him.


Politics and voodoo make for an interesting backdrop to this story about family, betrayal and a voodoo curse. My only issue is that there are a lot of flashbacks, which make it hard to stay connected to the story. I felt that some plot threads didn't get followed up and there was a loss of linearity through jumping around too much in time.


It was interesting to see certain aspects of a subculture written by someone of the race depicted. I don't know the author's history or whether he might have any real experience with Voodoo, politics or gang culture, but apart from the kidnapped girl's reactions to some things, it seemed to lend some credibility.


It was an interesting read despite all the jumping around in time and gave me some mental exercise trying to work out who was on what side at various points. There was plenty of action, guns, explosions, all the things that make for good action films. Believability of the more esoteric plot points waned considerably by the end, but that's always a risk with any story involving magic.


One technical note for the Kindle version, the contents show 54 chapters, but there are actually 83! It's all there, but all the later chapters show as part of chapter 54.

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review 2017-10-14 15:01
Now that's more complicated
World After - Susan Ee

Penryn is still dealing with the fact that her mother is unstable, that her sister Paige is messed up by the angels and that Raffe has left her to hunt for his wings and that everything is complicated.  The world is messed up, the angels and demons have plans that are going to make things way to messed up for everyone and many of the humans have not realised that this isn't something that they can ignore and hope goes away.


Penryn is strong but doesn't really realise it and there is hope for her and her family, she makes mistakes but owns up to them and the sword is subtly changing her.  I'm very curious as to what happens next.


Could be supernatural, demons, monsters (these angels are quite monstrous); diverse voices, terrifying women but I'm using it for Chilling Children for what's happening to Paige

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review 2017-10-03 01:11
Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older
Half-Resurrection Blues - Daniel José Older

I read this one for Diverse Voices. It would also work for Supernatural, Ghost & The Dead Will Walk (there's a necromancer reanimating corpses).


I went back and forth on this book, but ultimately settled on 3 stars. I enjoyed the urban feel to this piece of urban fantasy and the Brooklyn setting was well-done. The narration is told from the (first person) perspective of Carlos Delacruz, whose internal dialogue switches between profanity-laced grit and self-deprecating humor. 


One of the weaknesses of the book was the weird, almost stalkerish, relationship between Carlos and the love interest Sasha. Carlos sees a picture of Sasha and is immediately "drawn" to her. There are major issues with this entire aspect of the plot, at least for me, starting with this attraction based on Sasha's terminal hotness, and ending with the resolution to their "relationship" at the end of the book. The whole thing made me uncomfortable. It was a huge part of the book, as well, so I can't just ignore it.


And, I'm not going to lie, nearly the entire ending of this book is confusing. I'm still trying to sort it out in my mind.  In addition, when I think about the UF series that I've really enjoyed, it's clear to me that I prefer my UF to revolve around women, such as Kate Daniels, Mercy Thompson, and Verity Price. So, I haven't decided if I will go on with this series or not, and now I've talked myself into knocking off another 1/2 star.

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