We’re Mad as Hell!

anigif_enhanced-buzz-6671-1374245679-42_previewIt always seems that I’m blogging when I’m pissed off about something.  And usually, it’s something that might seem pretty trivial in retrospect, but tonight I saw something that not only angered me, but disturbed me as well.  The truth is, we all tend to think that we live in a modern world where everyone is given basic human rights regardless of gender, religion, sexual orientation– whatever.  We hear stories about minorities being extremely oppressed, but it always seems that these happenings are in backward countries with medieval sensibilities.  Not in modern, advanced societies where everyone has televisions, computers and the internet.  Right?  WRONG.

I read a story on Buzzfeed tonight.  It was brought to my attention by my writer friend, Selah Janel, whom I met a long time ago when we were just kids writing Moulin Rouge fan fiction.  Well, she was a kid, I was already married.  Yeah, I’m old. But I did marry young!  Anyway, I digress.  The two of us have been sisters in fan fiction for a whole and so this story floored us both.  Apparently, the Chinese government is on a witch hunt to prosecute WOMEN who write erotic fiction.  Worse, they seem to really be targeting slash fiction writers (if you don’t know, slash fiction is m/m erotic romance written primarily by female writers for female readers).  This tells me two things, kittens:  the Chinese government is discriminating against women and the Chinese government is discriminating against homosexuality.  Now, those are broad generalizations, so do let me elaborate.

Erotic fiction online is very popular in China, apparently.  So popular, in fact, that readers are willing to pay subscriptions for serial novels.  Some are fan fiction based, others are original.  For the most part, these sites do not have any explicit images or video, its merely the written word.  The Chinese government has shut down many sites already and arrested their staff.  They’ve also managed to track down authors and arrest them in their homes.  They claim that what these girls are writing is indecent and corrupting the minds of Chinese youth (paging Mr. Socrates!).  That the stories advocate violence and promiscuity and give youth a distorted image of what healthy sexuality is.  Lemme give you an image of the average female arrested for these stories.  Young, between 18-25.  Socially awkward (some, not all).  Many of them isolated and living at home with their parents. Shy.  Sexually inexperienced.  Clearly we’re not talking about Larry Flint or Bob Guccione (editors of Hustler and Penthouse, respectively) or Pauline Reage (author of The Story of O).  These are young girls who are desperately trying to express themselves and for, most likely, the FIRST time feeling that they have talent and worth.  That they can do something that no one else can do.  That they have a voice that others might be interested in.  And ultimately, that’s what the Chinese government is afraid of.  Once women learn to read, write and discover their vaginas, they become dangerous.  And Heaven forbid if they express the thought that homosexuality is OK.

This scares me, kids.  I’m afraid for these girls.  I’m afraid for the youth of China.  I’m afraid for what this could mean for the rest of the world.  I’m afraid of the sins of our past being revisited over and over.  Freedom of speech and expression is the cornerstone of our society.  We may not like what people say all the time, but most of us would fight to defend their right to say it.  It bothers me that the citizens of other countries don’t enjoy these basic human rights.  That’s not geocentrism, its truth.  So the next time we decide to get our panties in wad because we’re being FORCED to have medical insurance or FORCED to register our guns or FORCED to go to school, just remember, kiddos– it could always be worse.

The Buzzfeed Article, if you’re interested:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/kevintang/inside-chinas-insane-witch-hunt-for-slash-fiction-writers

 

NEW RELEASE: Olde School by Selah Janel

olde school picDo you like fairy tales?  I’m a huge fan and therefore SO excited for my next featured release to go live.  Olde School is the new book by my very good friend, Selah Janel.  It’s an incredible fantasy that mixes fairy tales, humor and a diner from Hell.  Not to mention a kickass heroine.  I’ve already started reading and I can tell you– you will NOT be disappointed!  Check it out…

BLURB TIME!!

Olde School introduces you to Kingdom City, which has moved into the modern era. Run by a lord mayor and city council (though still under the influence of the High King of The Land), it proudly embraces a blend of progress and tradition. Trolls, ogres, and other Folk walk the streets with humans, but are more likely to be entrepreneurs than cause trouble. Princesses still want to be rescued, but they now frequent online dating services to encourage lords, royals, and politicians to win their favor. The old stories are around, but everyone knows they’re just fodder for the next movie franchise. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as magic. It’s all old superstition and harmless tradition.

Bookish, timid, and more likely to carry a laptop than a weapon, Paddlelump Stonemonger is quickly coming to wish he’d never put a toll bridge over Crescent Ravine. While his success has brought him lots of gold, it’s also brought him unwanted attention from the Lord Mayor. Adding to his frustration, Padd’s oldest friends give him a hard time when his new maid seems inept at best and conniving at worst. When a shepherd warns Paddlelump of strange noises coming from Thadd Forest, he doesn’t think much of it. Unfortunately for him, the history of his land goes back further than anyone can imagine. Before long he’ll realize that he should have paid attention to the old tales and carried a club.

Darkness threatens to overwhelm not only Paddlelump, but the entire realm. With a little luck, a strange bird, a feisty waitress, and some sturdy friends, maybe, just maybe, Padd will survive to eat another meal at Trip Trap’s diner. It’s enough to make the troll want to crawl under his bridge, if he can manage to keep it out of the clutches of greedy politicians.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Olde-School-Kingdom-City-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00J4UGVIM

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/olde-school-selah-janel/1118944108?ean=2940149568864

Holly and Ivy Blog Tour: An Excerpt

HollyAndIvy72dpi (1)Hi everyone!  Selah Janel has a new book, Holly and Ivy, which has just been released with Mocha Memoirs Press. So today, I have an excerpt of this awesome Christmasy tale for your reading pleasure…

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“What do I do with it?” I asked. I told myself I was just playing along, suspending reality to make Ivy feel better. Although if that was the case then perhaps I should have really examined the fact that Ivy was real and not me suspending reality to make myself feel better.

“You hold it now until it gets to know you. You keep it safe in your possession and it shall bring you ease and grace,” the tree sprite giggled.

“And that really works?” No matter how I tried I couldn’t hide my skepticism.

She turned up her pointed nose. “How else would I have survived so well with murderers on the loose? It’s worked for a good long while.” I raised an eyebrow as a sly grin spread just a little too far across her face to make the smile look human. “Do you remember when I snuck to school with that sapling you took for show and tell?”

The next smile didn’t hurt quite as much as I traced the delicate edge of the tiny plant with the pad of a finger. The petaled head shivered and softly brushed against my calluses.  “I thought everyone was going to have a heart attack when you burst out of the thing and started singing to everyone! Mrs. Robinson finally played it off as the whole class playing a trick on her. We had to go without milk time for a week.” I’d gotten in so much trouble with my parents for lying in school and saying that I had a magic plant. Given that I was adamant that I’d been telling the truth, it was a hell of an ordeal for a six-year-old.

“’Twas so much fun!” Ivy paused mid-pirouette. It was downright disgusting that she could hold the arabesque for so long and not even wobble or suffer a leg cramp. “Though I would not want to live in such cold halls all the time.” She paused and took a long breath, much longer than I or any other human could possibly inhale. Before my eyes her skin became greener, infused by the crisp clean air. “You need to be in the trees, Holly. Mortals refuse to understand that they must live where things grow. Now that you’re home, let’s play!” She leapt over my head and landed effortlessly beside her home tree, staring at me expectantly.

Maybe it was being back home or maybe it was just being back in the good fresh air, but her suggestion made me giddy. It suddenly sounded like the exact prescription I needed, the one thing I’d been missing through all those frustrating years. My fragile mind and heart demanded an escape. They couldn’t take any more disappointment, any more expectations or responsibility, and they especially couldn’t take any more reality. I nodded and tucked the strange clover deep in my pocket. The breeze had dried my tears and the heavenly scent of grass and pine put the sudden urge to run in my feet. Suddenly the heavy air and the blazing sun didn’t matter so much and my anxieties were willing to take a momentary backseat to the chance to goof off for an afternoon.  “Are you sure you’ll be okay?” I hesitated, hand still at my pocket.

Ivy flashed a bold grin and stretched up on her toes; her fingers wiggled over her head, making her resemble an odd, scrawny plant. “With you here? Of course! Just remember to come look after my tree when the murderers come around the winter harvest time. You can even help me choose which tree will be my final home so you’ll know where I’ll be.” The words were no sooner out of her mouth when she tore off, dodging branches and bark as quick and swift as a deer. I groaned as I pulled myself to my feet and tumbled after her, muscles screaming at the sudden exercise. Still, I found myself laughing the entire time.

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Author Bio

Selah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination since she was little and convinced that 0908_Selah_Hedshots_60Cfairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town. Her appreciation for a good story was enhanced by a love of reading, the many talented storytellers that surrounded her, and a healthy curiosity for everything. A talent for warping everything she learned didn’t hurt, either. She gravitates to writing fantasy and horror, but can be convinced to pursue any genre if the idea is good enough. Often her stories feature the unknown creeping into the “real” world and she loves to find the magical in the mundane.

She has four e-books with No Boundaries Press, including the historical vampire story ‘Mooner’ and the contemporary short ‘The Other Man’. Her work has also been included in ‘The MacGuffin’, ‘The Realm Beyond’, ‘Stories for Children Magazine’, and the upcoming Wicked East Press anthology ‘Bedtime Stories for Girls’. She likes her music to rock, her vampires lethal, her fairies to play mind games, and her princesses to hold their own.

Author Links

 Bloghttp://www.selahjanel.wordpress.com

Fandom Scene Columnhttp://www.fandomfestblog.com/blogs/selah-janel

Facebook Author Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/authorSJ

Facebook Book Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/intherednovel

Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5622096.Selah_Janel

Amazon Author Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/Selah-Janel/e/B0074DKC9K/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1346815995&sr=1-2-ent

Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/SelahJanel

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BTW… Selah is going to be giving away copies of the book, so don’t forget to follow the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b8d20639/

Cover Reveal: Holly and Ivy by Selah Janel

HollyAndIvy72dpi (1)You guys are going to start thinking that my blog is just a front for Selah Janel…LOL.  But the gal is on fire these days.  And she has a new book, “Holly and Ivy” releasing from Mocha Memoirs Press on December 5th.  In case you didn’t guess, its a Christmas story just in time for a little Yuletide reading by the fire.  Here’s a little bit about the story:

After losing her job and her boyfriend, Holly returns to her parents’ farm. Embarrassed and hopeless, she doesn’t expect to bump into a forgotten childhood friend that wasn’t supposed to exist. Ivy is not only a dryad, but she lives in the pine trees Holly’s family grows to sell at Christmas. As the old friends reconnect, Ivy not only shares her strong opinions, but gives Holly a charm that will change both their lives. As days melt into weeks and the seasons change, Holly’s life magically turns around. Christmas not only brings surprises, but a choice for the human woman. What’s more important: stability, success, and love, or keeping a promise to an old friend?

Well don’t just sit there, go pick up a copy when it drops on December 5th.  YULE love it!  **shameless Christmas pun**

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Author Bio:

Selah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination since she was little and convinced that fairies lived 0908_Selah_Hedshots_60Cin the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town. Her appreciation for a good story was enhanced by a love of reading, the many talented storytellers that surrounded her, and a healthy curiosity for everything. A talent for warping everything she learned didn’t hurt, either. She gravitates to writing fantasy and horror, but can be convinced to pursue any genre if the idea is good enough. Often her stories feature the unknown creeping into the “real” world and she loves to find the magical in the mundane.

 She has four e-books with No Boundaries Press, including the historical vampire story ‘Mooner’ and the contemporary short ‘The Other Man’. Her work has also been included in ‘The MacGuffin’, ‘The Realm Beyond’, ‘Stories for Children Magazine’, and the upcoming Wicked East Press anthology ‘Bedtime Stories for Girls’. She likes her music to rock, her vampires lethal, her fairies to play mind games, and her princesses to hold their own.

Selah Janel links:

Bloghttp://www.selahjanel.wordpress.com

Fandom Scene Columnhttp://www.fandomfestblog.com/blogs/selah-janel

Facebook Author Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/authorSJ

Facebook  Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/intherednovel

Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5622096.Selah_Janel

Amazon Author Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/Selah-Janel/e/B0074DKC9K/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1346815995&sr=1-2-ent

Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/SelahJanel

Ho Ho Ho-liday Giveaway!

IHolidayGiveawayt’s that time of year where good things abound and Holiday giveaways are around. Welcome everyone to our little give away for the Holiday Season. Gifts included in this giveaway are from five wonderful authors, Lucy Blue, Alexandra Christian, Crymsyn Hart, Selah Janel, & Siobhan Kinkade.

We have banded together to bring you a wonderful holiday celebration to bring you cheer and a little bit of hotness to warm you on the cold days.

Prizes include:

Grand Prize:

Holiday Gift Box:

USB Flash Drive containing copies of the following books:

“Under the Mistletoe” by Siobhan Kinkade

“Marked” by Siobhan Kinkade

“Jingle Balls” by Crymsyn Hart

“Hairy and Hung” by Crymsyn Hart

“Masquerade” by Alexandra Christian

“Second Skin” by Alexandra Christian

“Tender Bites” by Lucy Blue

“In the Red: by Selah Janel

And other surprises!

 

Second Prize:

$10 Digital Amazon Gift Certificate

 

Third Prize:

$5 Digital Amazon Gift Certificate

 To view the rules and enter the contest, you can find the link to our RAFFLECOPTER widget on my sidebar, or click our delectable Santa Claus button to be whisked away to Crymsyn Hart’s blog for entry.  Contest runs from Dec. 2nd – Dec.21st.

 

A Review: In the Red by Selah Janel

I’m back again this week to tell you a little bit about Selah Janel’s new book, In the Red.  It’s a story we’ve heard a million times: boy makes a deal with the devil and ends up regretting it.  BUT WAIT… the last person that wrote that story wasn’t Selah Janel.

I’ve known Selah a while now. I’ve been a fan of her writing back when she was still just doing it for fun.  She’s always had a quirky perspective on the world and a way of putting words together that is both disturbing and hilarious.  In the Red does not disappoint.  It is the story of a miserably unsuccessful musician, Jeremiah Kensington, who is willing to do anything to get out of the countrified rut he’s gotten himself into. Enter Jack Scratch.  Jack offers to make him a star with a new life, new band and new image.  With the new image comes a new pair of boots that seem to hold a mysterious power.  But the longer he wears the boots the more he realizes that the price he’s paid is high.

It is obvious to anyone who reads In the Red that Miss Janel did a lot of research.  She’s spoken to musicians and other performers to try and delve into their psyche.  It’s very evident in the first couple of chapters that Janel has a handle on the struggle that Jeremiah is going through.  Then later, the unwilling transformation that he goes through and realizing how selfish his pursuits have been– it really keeps the reader glued to the pages.  At least it did for me.

Another thing that I loved about In the Red was Janel’s narrative voice.  Her snarky personality, clever wit and intelligence comes shining through.  She assumes that the reader is intelligent and doesn’t dumb down situations and descriptives.  Her prose is refined, yet accessible.  The story will appeal to young, frustrated adults as well as an older audience that remember the decadence and opulence of the glam rock era.

If you’re looking for an exciting read that keeps you guessing right up until the end– and oh my sweet heavens what an ending– I recommend In the Red with absolutely no reservations.  It’s just so different from anything else out there.  Skirting the line between urban fantasy and horror, each chapter keeps the reader guessing and engaged.  Run out and pick up your copy TODAY!

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About In The Red by Selah Janel

Live like a rock star. Dance ‘til you die. Are you in?

What kind of a rock star lives in a small town in the middle of nowhere and plays at weddings and funerals? That’s what Jeremiah Kensington is thinking after an unsuccessful bar gig one night. Then Jack Scratch comes into his life, ready to represent him and launch him to stardom. Jack can give him everything: a new band, a new name, a new life, a new look, and new boots…although they aren’t exactly new. They once belonged to The One, a rocker so legendary and so mysterious that it’s urban legend that he used black magic to gain success. But what does Jeremiah care about urban legend? And it’s probably just coincidence that the shoes make him dance better than anyone, even if it doesn’t always feel like he’s controlling his movements. It’s no big deal that he plunges into a world of excess and decadence as soon as he puts the shoes on his feet, right?

But what happens when they refuse to come off?

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About Selah Janel…

Selah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination since she was little and convinced that fairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town. Her appreciation for a good story was enhanced by a love of reading, the many talented storytellers that surrounded her, and a healthy curiosity for everything. A talent for warping everything she learned didn’t hurt, either. She gravitates to writing fantasy and horror, but can be convinced to pursue any genre if the idea is good enough. Often her stories feature the unknown creeping into the “real” world and she loves to find the magical in the mundane.

 She has four e-books with No Boundaries Press, including the historical vampire story ‘Mooner’ and the contemporary short ‘The Other Man’. Her work has also been included in ‘The MacGuffin’, ‘The Realm Beyond’, ‘Stories for Children Magazine’, and the upcoming Wicked East Press anthology ‘Bedtime Stories for Girls’. She likes her music to rock, her vampires lethal, her fairies to play mind games, and her princesses to hold their own.

Peep through Selah’s window…

Bloghttp://www.selahjanel.wordpress.com

Fandom Scene Columnhttp://www.fandomfestblog.com/blogs/selah-janel

Facebook Author Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/authorSJ

Facebook Book Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/intherednovel

Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5622096.Selah_Janel

Amazon Author Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/Selah-Janel/e/B0074DKC9K/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1346815995&sr=1-2-ent

Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/SelahJanel

A Trailer for In The Red

Betcha didn’t know that your old pal Lexxx dabbled in filmaking.  Guess what– I do!  I made a happy little trailer for my friend Selah Janel’s new book, In the Red.  Yep, it’s up on YouTube on the Alexandra Christian channel.  Just follow the link below and be sure to share with your friends.  Also, if you’d like a chance at winning the free pdf copy of In the Red, be sure to leave a comment here on the blog with your email addy please!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL4yXTUguMI&feature=share

Enjoy the trailer, and check back later this week for my review of In the Red.