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text 2018-05-07 23:44
I guess I'm doing it all wrong.
Firefly - Linda Hilton
Firefly - Stef Ann Holm

My historical romance Firefly was published by Pageant Books in 1988.  For a variety of reasons, it had lousy distribution and only sold about 50,000 copies.  I didn't get rich off it by any means.


However, unbeknownst to me, it seemed to catch readers' attention.  Affaire de Coeur magazine awarded it their Best Historical Romance of the Year, and I assure you I didn't buy that award!


In 1990, Leisure Books published another historical romance titled Firefly, by Stef Ann Holm.


No big deal.  Titles can't be copyrighted, and so it's no big deal.  (For example, there was a Harlequin Romance titled The Roots of Heaven, even though this is a very, very famous novel by Romain Gary.)


In the summer of 1994, I attended the  Romance Writers of America conference in New York City, held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel.  The first evening of the conference, I had been invited to share dinner with my new editor at Pocket Books, Caroline Tolley. (See also this post about my feelings re Tolley).  Tolley told me in advance that we would be joined by another author she had recently signed, Stef Ann Holm.


I knew of Holm's Firefly, and in fact I had a copy.  So I brought it with me to the conference and to dinner that night.


Upon the three of us getting together in the hotel lobby before going to dinner, Stef Ann confessed she was nervous about meeting me because she was afraid I'd be angry over the title of her book.  After all, mine had been published two years before hers.  She feared I would accuse her of copying my title


What was my reaction?


I laughed.


I assured her I was absolutely not angry in the least, since titles can't be copyrighted anyway, and it's no big deal.  Then I handed her my copy of her book for an autograph, and I may even have given her a copy of mine.




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review 2017-12-01 00:00
Back Home at Firefly Lake
Back Home at Firefly Lake - Jen Gilroy Jen Gilroy takes readers home again. Back to the painful moments, the heartbreaking disappointments and a chance at finding out where a person really belongs. Firefly Lake is the place in the review mirror, that continues to call your name. A place that allows healing, redemption and new beginnings. Cat was the girl who never fit in. Luc was the boy with the world at his feet. Until life got in the way and brought the big hockey star and the single mother, back to their roots. Back Home at Firefly Lake is about being strong enough to move forward, when the world tries to hold you back.
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text 2017-08-07 19:20
Light Space Opera Marred by Sexual Violence
Star Nomad - Lindsay Buroker

Lots of shitty sff tropes hitched to the specific kind of ugly sexual politics one finds in romance novels overwhelm what should (and occassionally is) a quipping romp through the universe. Rape threats and straight up sexual assault continue regularly from the first scenes to,the end of the novel. Before I get the "but that's realistic" chorus, I would like us to all take a minute and consider that this is clearly supposed to be a comic space fantasy with romantic elements, and the introduction of "rape as realism" is unnecessary, thematically jarring, and fucking stupid. And that's not even getting into a 45 minute diatribe about the very equation of rape with realism. 


Which is disappointing because there are some nice comic moments and a gift for the absurd in Star Nomad, hidden in under bad world building and rape threats. Sure, a lot of it was derivative -- Firefly has its fingerprints everywhere, from setup to character types -- but I'm not looking to some romp through a pirate-infested asteroid belt to blow my mind or anything. (Unless it's Yoon Ha Lee's Ninefox Gambit, and that shit was amazing.) The Paradox series by Rachel Bach, starting with Fortune's Pawn, contains many of the same elements found here, but is much more expertly done. Start there for your lighter space opera. 

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review 2017-03-08 03:33
Good Night, Firefly
Good Night, Firefly - Gabriel Alborozo,Gabriel Alborozo

Good Night, Firefly is a sweet story about a young girl who is afraid of the dark, and the firefly she catches as a nightlight. It is a story about understanding and doing what is best for others.

This book scored a 2.4 on the Automated Readability Index, making it ideal for 2nd grade and above. This book can be used to teach empathy to students. Classes can discuss how the characters might have felt throughout the story, and whether or not the main character did the right thing in the end. 

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review 2017-02-11 19:55
Crow and Firefly (Crow and Firefly #1) by Sam C. Leonhard
Crow and Firefly - Sam C. Leonhard

Tho entertaining (to a degree), this book can stand some serious editing. The characters are unhinged, the writing is ...well, just let me warn you, the author is not a native speaker and it shows. There are plenty of people out there willing to proof-read, if only asked. That authors and publishers let it slide baffles me every single time.

I liked the idea of sifters-mating-humans being - literally - a deadly affair, however, it was not the real focus of this book. This is a cinderfella story, in which the future king of the land lures a poor young starving shifter, Ari, into his castle to marry him, the shifter/human conundrum a purrr-fect excuse for the jolly event. The pair, no surprise there, turns out to be a purrr-fect match.

Ari disappointed me great greatly at the end of the book, bragging about sleeping around with pretty much every available male since he was 14. That revelation comes out of his mouth on his wedding night, while talking to his brand-new husband. What a turn on ...um, not! :/ Oh, and then there was that episode where Ari seduced his husband by turning into a cat. What the heck? O.o

The author left no incentive to read the second installment. Everything smoothed out perfectly towards the end, with a perfect neon HEA flashing gaily all over the last pages.

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