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, 
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.

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

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).


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

Attribution:  *Film School

#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.

Howling good #romance: AFTER THE MOON RISES by Karilyn Bentley

Werewolves in London: Werewolf Vonda Diaz has sworn off men, until she meets sexy rancher, Tom McGowan. Try as she might there is something about him she can't ignore. Determined to keep their relationship professional she finds herself unable to keep her distance. Since his wife died, Tom has no interest in dating, but one look at Vonda and passion ignites. There is something different about her that draws him in. What he can't understand is why his dog finds her so fascinating. When Tom's daughter is kidnapped, the two join forces to save her, not realizing the quest will unlock hidden mysteries. Will their budding love survive the secrets they discover or will those secrets tear them apart?

Wolf Mates: Margie McLean loves her life just the way it is. As the single Alpha of the London, Montana pack, she leads her wolves and makes her own decisions. When she stumbles upon an injured wolf she has no idea that her quiet life is about to take a dramatic turn. Zane Moskos never imagined that the mission his tryranical alpha sent him on would lead him to his mate. Now he is faced with the choice of defying the man who holds his sister hostage or losing the woman that fate has decreed is his. In order to save his sister and gain his freedom, Zane must convince Margie he can be trusted. Can they work together or will the passion they feel overwhelm them both?

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“Your dog doesn’t respect you.” Vonda reached down to scratch behind Sam’s ear. “I can help you with that problem, but I can’t help train him to herd. Do we have a deal?”
Tom took off his hat, scratched his head and slammed it back on as if to hold in steam. Judging from the color of his face, he should have let his hair wave free in the breeze. It might cool things off. One long finger pointed at Sam. One nicely shaped, work hardened finger. The list of things that finger could do to her body rushed through Vonda’s brain on fast forward. It didn’t help that the man whose finger provoked such lascivious thoughts was the best-looking thing in this little Podunk town.

Miss Bear's Prime Rule

Now that she's four, Miss Bear is expected to dine with the family and eat what everyone else eats. Quite often, this doesn't sit so well with Miss Bear's sense of entitlement. In her mind, Miss Bear is owed certain privileges. 

The other night we were having lasagna and she refused to eat.

Mr. Snark was well aware of the situation. To reinforce the point, I delivered the standard lecture about parental solidarity in the face of offspring opposition.  Once they divide you, you're dead.

So a couple hours later, Miss Bear she went to father and said, "I'm hungry."

"Why don't you ask mommy to make you something to eat?"

"Mommy's mean."

"I'm mean too."

Miss Bear took his cheeks in her little paws and stared deep into his eyes. "I have one rule in this house. You can be nice, but you can't be mean."

Over my protests, Mr. Snark made Miss Bear dinner.