Friday, October 31, 2014

Cover Wars!: Please vote for Hunger Moon

Hunger Moon is entered in the October cover wars on The Masquerade Crew blog. Please drop by to vote! You'll have my eternal gratitude and many virtual cookies! 
(And you can vote daily!)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

My Kind of Heroine Schedule

October 2014
She's sophisticated,
She's daring, 
She's...
My Kind of Heroine

Your favorite authors visit the Snarkology to discuss their most admired kinds of heroines or a particular heroine from their story.

Please take a moment to check out our fabulous guest schedule.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Kind of Heroine: Spunky, Clever, Brave by Beth Barany #Giveaway #yafantasy #amreading



Beth is sponsoring an ebook giveaway so be sure to comment for a chance to win one of her published titles!

I like heroines who are spunky, kind, and know how to have fun. I like the clever ones too. I just finished reading fantasy novel The Fall of Ventaris, book two in the series, by Neil McGarry and Daniel Ravipinto, featuring Duchess of the Shallows, also the name of book one in the series. Duchess is clever, determined, and creative, and not afraid to take risks.

The heroines I admire come in several flavors. I like ordinary women who are gutsy and know what they want in their lives and go for it. Then during their ordinary life, they get surprised by love. They think they are so strong and tough, and can handle life by themselves. And they can, to an extent. But really, life is better together. Life is better with love. Yep, these are the kind of love stories I like to write. I have four of these romances in the form of sweet paranormal novellas in stand-alone books, yet are also a connected series. If you want to read them in order, here's the list:
  1. Touchstone of Love (July 2013)
  2. A Christmas Fling (December 2013)
  3. Parisian Amour (May 2014)
  4. A Labyrinth of Love and Roses (Sept 2014)
The list is here too: http://author.bethbarany.com/romance/.

Snark Defined

Original article titled "A 'Snark' Hunt on Lexicon Valley" 

October 20, 2014 

By Ben Zimmer


The snark wars continued over the years, propelled in part by David Denby's 2009 book Snark: It's Mean, It's Personal, and It's Ruining Our Conversation. Snark was once again defended late last year by Gawker's Tom Scocca, who devoted 9,000 words to argue that the real enemy is not snark but smarm. As I note on the podcast, snark and smarm make an interesting pair on etymological grounds, since they were formed so similarly. Smarm starts off as a verb meaning "smear" or "make oily," which leads to the adjective smarmy meaning "excessively ingratiating." Then, by the process of back-formation, the -y was removed from smarmy to form smarm meaning "unctuous or ingratiating behavior."

Snark, snork, snort, snore... throw in sneer, snarl, snigger, snicker, snivel, and snooze, and you start to see a pattern of sn- words that have to do with unpleasant noises and behaviors, especially those produced nasally (i.e., through the snout). This leads into the realm of sound symbolism, wherein so-called "phonesthemes" like sn- seem to carry with them a kernel of meaning across a family of words. For another example, see my piece on skedaddle, a word that joined many others starting with the sk- sound (scoot, scamper, scurry, skitter, etc.) to suggest brisk movement.
Read the original here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Chat with Jax Daniels || THE DEAD MAN'S DEAL #Mystery #Fantasy

Today's guest is author Jax Daniels. Welcome to the Snarkology! First, gotta say, I love your name! Thank you for joining me today. :-)


Jax Daniels with her dogs, Savannah and Bert.


Jax, please tell us, how long have you been writing?

I started writing in 1992, when I got frustrated with all these little "adventures" I had in my head. I decided I needed to put them down on paper so I don't forget them. It wasn't until years later when I joined a writer's group (Leasspell) that it became a craft and a passion.

What inspired your current book?

A number of inspirations confluenced to make the Witherspoon Mansion Adventures; my fear of bugs, and my love of urban fantasies to name a couple. A big one was moving to New Orleans. The city itself has a magic vibration all its own. As I walked the streets in the Garden District and gaze at the wonderful homes I found myself wondering about the people and the history within them. Then my imagination takes over...

Please tell us about your current work in progress.

I'm currently working on The Cook's Curse, the follow up to The Dead Man's Deal. I'm hoping it will be released in May of next year.

An Anthology to make you SHIVER #Halloween #Scary #Stories #Charity

Genre: Humor & Horror

100% of the proceeds go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital!

The sassy ladies of sexy Romantic Comedy serve up some spooky and spicy Halloween fun.


Bewitched by Daisy Prescott

A crush. A love spell. What could go wrong?

Better The Devil You Know by Belle Aurora

When you know, you know.

Mystery, Mazto Balls, and Moxie by Z.B. Heller

A mystery weekend gets steamy and stuffed... with food.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

#Snarkyreads: A Twitter Review of A HIGHLANDER'S OBSESSION chapters 17-22

My Twitter commentary on Chapters 1-9 of A HIGHLANDER'S OBSESSION can be found here.


Chapters 10-13 are here.

Chapters 14-16 are here


Disclaimer: Vonnie Davis didn't request a Twitter review and I didn't ask. (It's always easier to apologize than ask permission.)

Friday, October 17, 2014

My Kind of Heroine: Does Your Heroine Pass the Bechdel Test? @MelissaSnark #amwriting #Giveaway


  Comment below for a chance to win an ebook copy of A Cat's Tale!

Last month at Convolution 2014 I attended an interesting panel on The Bechdel Test. The discussion covered the roles and perceptions of women in movies, TV, and books. It wasn't the first time I've heard of Bechdel, but it was the first really good debate I've attended on the subject. It struck me as a great fit for the My Kind of Heroine blog series.

TV Tropes defines The Bechdel Test as:


The Bechdel Test, Bechdel-Wallace Test, or the Mo Movie Measure, is a litmus test for female presence in fictional media. The test is named for Alison Bechdel, creator of the comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For,...

To summarize, your story must meet the following criteria in order to pass Bechdel:
  1. Include two named women
  2. who have a minimum of one conversation
  3. about something other than a man or men
Seems simple enough, right? The conditions are easy to understand and apply to any story. What's really interesting though is how easily the results of the Bechdel Test can become distorted. The three criteria don't take context into consideration. Movies that pass may be misogynist at their core, and movies that fail may embody the essence of female empowerment.

Let's look at a few examples from popular culture.

Kill Bill. At a glance, Kill Bill passes Bechdel with flying colors. There are multiple powerful named female characters, and numerous scenes involving women interacting with other women. With a team of highly trained woman assassins, female empowerment appears to be front and center. Yet, at it's core, each of these women is ultimately under the thumb of the manipulative and unscrupulous Bill.(For the record, I enjoyed Kill Bill.)

Hosted on Wikipedia.com
 


The Smurfs TV series.  I haven't seen the movie, so I'm going entirely based on childhood memories of the TV series. Smurfette is the only girl in a world of boys. She's vain, flirty, and dingy. A blue Barbie doll who never speaks to another woman, because there no other women in the entire world. Fail.



Star Wars Trilogy. Episodes 4-6.  Bet you wouldn't have guessed Star Wars would fail, would you? In an entire Lucas universe, there are only three named female characters with speaking roles: Princess Leia, Aunt Beru, and Mon Mothma. Yet, none of them ever have share a conversation with each other.*

Naturally, I couldn't write about Bechdel and fail to apply the test to my own books. I'd love to say that my own books passed with flying colors. Except, one didn't. A Cat's Tale, my first published paranormal romance novels, fails in a big way. I do have scenes where named female characters (my heroine and the vampiress villain) speak to each other, but it is always about a man (the hero).

Facepalm.

Thankfully, since then, each of my books contains scenes with women talking to women about things other than men. Bearing in mind that Bechdel has limited utility, I also make a concentrated effort to honor the spirit of female empowerment in my fiction.

How about you? How do your stories measure up under Bechdel?

Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win an ebook copy of A Cat's Tale. One lucky winner will be selected via random.org




Attribution:  *Film School Rejects.com


#Snarkyreads: A Twitter Review of A HIGHLANDER'S OBSESSION chapters 14-16

My Twitter commentary on Chapters 1-9 of A HIGHLANDER'S OBSESSION can be found here.


Chapters. 10-13 are here.






Disclaimer: Vonnie Davis didn't request a Twitter review and I didn't ask. (It's always easier to apologize than ask permission.)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Kind of Heroine: Is Someone Who Isn’t Afraid To Help by Gemma Brocato #Romance #Giveaway




Before I began this post. I had to look up the meaning of the word hero, just to make sure I had it right. Because it is clear from this series that everyone’s definition is different. And they are all correct. According to Merriam-Webster, a hero is:
: a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities
: a person who is greatly admired
Reading that, what I wanted to tell you today crystalized in my mind like sugar on top of crème brulee when held to a torch.

I know sixteen women who collectively represent my heroines. See, I co-admin a Facebook page, Sizzle and Sass, with these ladies and have for over a year now. We came together as a group to help promote our author brands, and have a little fun. And we’ve accomplished this, without a doubt.