Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jumping the TMI Shark...

Humorous Pictures
more cat pictures


Anyone who has spent any time at all visiting this blog knows what a Laurell K. Hamilton fangirl I am. Hell, take a peek at my index and you'll see that, even if I'm not always enamored of every thing she writes in her books, I still can't wait for each new release so I can revisit the characters that have nearly become living, breathing people to me.

In addition to her books, I've found Laurell and her husband, Jon, to be interesting, intelligent people. I also feel strongly that opinions about an author's books may be spoken freely (good, bad, and everything in between), but that speculation about an author's personal life should be off-limits.

But sometimes, the infamous LKH Blogs have my jaw dropping and my head shaking while thinking, "Oh, Laurell... what have you done NOW?!"

The past couple of weeks, Laurell has been sharing details about her sex life. Now, granted most of it is probably no more than I would joke around about right here on my own blog. I've mentioned playdates with my husband too. But it is the cumulative effect of her sharing over this condensed time period that had my TMI alarms going off, culminating in today's full-out 4 alarm TMI alert. Thus the title of this post.

LKH Blog- Sunday April 27, 2008
Irony

More irony; two of my male friends that are straight and one of female friends that is gay all have absolutely no gag reflex. Now how unfair is that? The rest of us that could use this talent must struggle on, and learn to work around our deficiencies.
...
Now, if I could just figure out a polite way to ask my three friends with no gag reflex what little misery they've got instead, I'd really know if the universe was fair. But some questions are not meant to be asked even between close friends. Not unless liquor is involved, and alas, I do not drink.
[uh... if you already know that much detail, I'd say you might as well go for it. And... uh... do we really need to know that you're working on your gag reflex deficiencies? ]

LKH Blog- Friday, May 2, 2008
Solo Drive [deals with driving her car, a Foose Mustang, by herself... FINALLY.]

...It was very cool that I did it on Beltane, which is sort of the Wiccan version of Valentine's Day, but not. It's more about fertility than romance, but the two aren't mutual exclusive, as all those babies prove. Beltane is a major holiday for us, and a time for celebrating the return of the sun, the warmth, and life. It's been a long winter, and now we celebrate.

Well, Jon and I celebrated more traditionally later that night. (It was a kid free evening.)

LKH Blog- Sunday, May 4, 2008
A Weekend Off

Saturday night was serious date night and grown-up time. I'd tell you what we did, but then I'd have to kill you. Your clearance is not high enough, yet.

[As you will soon see, we evidently were promoted because we now have DefCon 4 clearance.]

LKH Blog- Monday, May 5, 2008
Domestically Challenged

But it is one of those days when I think longingly of having one extra more practical person in the house, but let’s face it, even if Jon and I could find a third adult that we wanted to cohabitate with, we’d never be attracted to someone organized and practical. When we were both dating, our choices ran high to artist, techies, writers, and scientiests. None of these jobs, or degrees are likely to net you an organized mate.
[Not the first time she's brought up their little quest for a third (she even detailed it in a newsletter), and frankly, her growing obsession/affection/devotion/awe for her skanky bodyguard, Charles, is coming off like she's got a crush on him and she wouldn't mind if he accepted the position (hee). I'd quote pertinent blog entries but really, nary a day goes by that she doesn't mention him and his god-like expertice in all things macho *gag*]


Humorous Pictures
more cat pictures


And now we don our water skis and prepare to become airborne. Yes, it is now time for the ski boat to leave the dock and head out towards our destiny-- jumping the shark.

LKH Blog- Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Mother's day Part 2

I think we'll make a movie and dinner out a Mother's Day tradition for the kid part. Uncle Richard went home, and once the kid was in bed, then Jon and I had more grown-up plans. I'm sorry, it's my holiday, I may not have known what I wanted him to buy me from a store, but I knew exactly what I wanted to do with him afterwards. I may not be easy to buy for, but I'm easy to please, okay, scratch that. I'm not, but I do try to make it worth the effort. I'm all about rewarding for good behavior.


LKH Blog- Sunday, May 18, 2008
Weekend So Far

But on the plus side for a grown-up weekend, we did manage to have some fun. Let’s just say that if you want a whole bunch of unscented candles I recommend Target. Yes, Target. Everyone else has scented candles galore, but if you’re trying to fill the bedroom with light, and you know you’ll be using other scented products, you don’t want the candle scents fighting with the oil fragrances.

What fragrant oils? Well, actually, technically they were candles, too. Ember Massage Candles from JimmyJane, are nicely scented, not too strong a scent which is my complaint for a lot of things, just enough fragrance. But unlike regular candles (okay regular candles do not work for pouring on your lover, because most of the wax gets too damn hot. Pour only from eight to nine inches, or more from the body, and even then, it can be too hot. I recommend you get candles designed with this activity in mind, for safety and sanity.) So, unlike regular candles these turn to massage oil when they’ve burned for awhile. There’s a set of instructions with them that you actually should read before use. Because, these do get hot, too. They have this little wand thing with the candles so you can paint on the wax/oil. I didn’t think the wand would be that tantalizing, but it was a big hit. Jon loved it. Oh, and like any good dominant, I tried the wax on my body before trying it on Jon’s. Especially important if it’s going anywhere delicate. Safety first. Nothing ruins a great romantic scene like your lover going, "AAARGH! Get it off! It burns!" Not to mention that the emergency room trip is very embarrassing when trying to explain to the staff how it happened. Of course, they’ve seen and heard it all, but still you don’t want to add to their amusing stories.

But last night worked out just right, everything was just hot enough, and who doesn’t like an erotic hot oil massage from their sweetie? So, in among all the hair-pulling work yesterday, I managed to drive the Foose, and drive the man in my life to warm, satisfied distraction. A very good day.


Brain ScrubGAK!! Good Gravy, woman! WHAT were you THINKIN?! Someone pass the Brain Brillo!

I dunno, maybe it's just my delicate sensibilities, but that is the very definition of Jumping the TMI Shark! Look, it probably sounds odd that, for a woman who reads so many erotic romances, I happen to think that what happens in the real life marriage bed is sacred and not to be shared with others except in the most general terms... particularly by such a public figure in such a public place!

I just don't understand what is up with her lately. In addition to these sex life TMI nuggets, it seems to me that many of LKH's blog entries have became filled with more and more advice, pronouncements, and lectures from on high. I don't know if she even realizes how pompous she's been sounding lately, which she alternates with dark moods. It's like she's losing any connection with reality or common sense, and her spelling is deteriorating.

Menopause? Bipolar disorder? Wrong meds? Too isolated? Part of me wants to throw my hands up and say that I'm evidently FINALLY comprehending what all the blog floggers have been nattering about for years. But part of me recognizes that it's escalating and I wish Laurell could step back and see it too.

Or maybe I'm the only one uncomfortable with the sharing of real life intimate details. *shrugs*

38 comments:

Madame Butterfly said...

I wasn't squeeked by all the stuff up until the candle episode. I mean that's really TMI. Ok the third party stuff is TMI too, but it didn't seem as graffic as the candle stuff.

General reference to the fact that one is having sex doesn't bother me because it's a given if you're married or with someone. But the graffic details are too much.

I don't think authors should do this. It's too distracting to me as a reader.

Anonymous said...

If you'd gone back farther, you would have found the Valentine's Day blog entry in which she posted about all the various sex manuals she and her husband have personally vetted. There were lots of titles and comments about which ones were good and which ones weren't.

The May 13 blog was deepy ironic in that it started with LKH -- an author who writes only series -- proclaiming that she hates sequels because they're never as fresh or enjoyable as the original. Then she goes on to post about how she had prescreened Iron Man and therefore it was okay for her daughter to watch. "Whatever goes in their minds, sometimes makes a home, so be careful what you allow inside" she writes, then asserts she doesn't write for children. And yet there are many, many teenage readers of her books and many teenagers who post on her own message board.

I think LKH shoots herself in the foot with how much she reveals in her blogs. People accuse Anita of being a Mary Sue and just the avatar for LKH herself, and yet the proof is there in her blogs, written by herself, when she talks about how Anita never does anything LKH hasn't done herself. It's hard to buy the Anita Blake stories as now being anything other than a "Dear Diary" for the author herself. Squicky.

Bev(QB) said...

I think I remember the blog entry about the sex manuals. That was a couple of years ago wasn't it? And she brought it up because she needed to research different positions, including those that could be done in cars. That research was for the limo scene in Danse Macabre. I can't believe I even remember that!

But yeah, we probably didn't really need to know which books were her and Jon's favorites... at least she didn't recommend any particular favorite positions they used- EEK! LOL. So she really didn't cross completely over any line that I would feel comfortable sharing about myself.

Yes, she has definitely come close to jumping the TMI shark before, but lately she is just plain sharing too much about EVERYTHING in her personal life, IMO, including her sex life and crush on the skank bodyguard. And as I said before, saying she had a playdate with Jon is one thing, but sharing the details of her playdate-- that they played at D/s and bondage games and she was the Dom? nonononono.

And, OY, don't get me started about all the gothity-goth teenagers that have over run her board since those little social groups were created! GAK! It's often months between my visits over there because I really have nothing in common with the infants and no one is really talking intelligently or even entertainingly (is that a word?) about the books anymore.

I miss the old days when we heard from ADULTS and had ADULT book discussions over there. I don't miss the ones who launched personal attacks on each other and anyone who liked the books, but I miss the ones that wanted to have open discussions about the books' storylines, characters, etc.

BTW, Anonymous, feel free to use your name--- I don't bite and I love to discuss books!

Anonymous said...

Bev, I'm not posting as anonymous to be anonymous. Ha! It's just that I don't have one of those Blogger/Google accounts. I'm Nifty.

Bev(QB) said...

NIFTY!!! Long time no talk to!

You're welcome back anytime-- my door is always open.

LissaNY said...

I know, off the main subject, but that hippo! I have seen it in action, and OMG - it is NOT a pretty thing. The shit zone is huge, and does it FLY! They actually block off the little paths near the hippo at certain times of day when he is most likely to let loose, but sometimes he pulls a surprise one and visitors get nailed. What a vacation memory!

It is at a game park down in Florida north of Weeki Watchi. We took the kids there a few years ago when visiting the inlaws.

Bev(QB) said...

LMFAO! You recognized that hippo?! BWAHAHAHAHA

Hee.

Okay, let me also just say "EEEEEEWWWWWW"

Someone hang a roll of Charmin on the tree so the shit doesn't have to fly from the fanny.

Kris said...

Too funny pic!!

I have not read LKH's blog in a couple of months. I can very much picture her over-sharing though. I love her books but stopped reading her blog. The candle thing and the third party thing were definitely TMI. I was okay except those. If she was sharing fav postitions that is WAY over the top.

ladyniko said...

I just wish she would quit complaining about how "hard" she has it when she's got all this help w/ Jon & Darla there to keep her "sheltered" from the crazy fans, a housekeeper who does the grocery shopping and Jon who seems to spend more time with her daughter than she does.

I love another author in the vamp/paranormal genre - Sherrilyn Kenyon - and she's got 3 boys, one of whom is autistic, doesn't have all the "help" at home that LKH has, yet does not complain and whine about how "awful" her life is. Nor, does she share every damn detail of her bedroom life like LKH feels the need to share.

Ms. Kenyon came from dirt poor roots and is much more interactive with her fans, doesn't feel the need to overshare like LKH. I doubt we will see her boys writing tell all stories about their insane mother like others have said that LKH's (seemingly unwanted) daughter might well do.

If LKH persists in the oversharing about her sex life, she should put up a warning on her blog that it's adult content. Like you said, her boards are overrun now w/ teeny boppers and how many parents would want their 13-17 year old reading about threesomes, edible oils for massage/bedroom games? (If a parent is smart, they'd be paying a heck of a lot of attention to what their kids are doing on-line, but that's another tale of woe not particularly related to this.... :-p)

I quit buying her books when they became more about the sex than they did about AB the vamp hunter, necromancer and a person w/ morals. The last book showed promise that Anita was getting back on track, but with all the reviews coming in on BN, she's gone back to focusing on the sex aspect instead oh gee, plot. I wish Darla & Jon would quit "helping" her and she would let a professional editor back at her books again, because then, I might just return to them.

Until then, I will just continue to read the blog & book flogs at the LKH_lashouts com on LJ.

I used to like the ABVH books and thought that LKH was not a bad person until she pulled an attitude and treated a con like crap because she forgot her obligations (signed the contract, cashed the check & totally didn't remember to put the weekend down on her calendar, but couldn't pay the con back because she'd already spent all the $$.) & took it out on the fans & con com.

Bev(QB) said...

Kris, for the most part, I've enjoyed reading her blog. I find descriptions of the writing process fascinating. She has always mixed SOME personal stuff in, but as I said above, it seems to be escalating to the point where the blog has begun to sound like a personal diary.

Her choice, but she claims to want to protect her privacy on one hand, but then reveals all these intimate details about her life on the other hand. That's what has me questioning the increase in the personal details-- it's not consistent.

Bev(QB) said...

Welcome LadyNiko.

Wow, I don't remember ever hearing about that Con.

I DO still love LKH's book and think she has unparalleled world building skills and the ability to create living breathing characters that I'm almost certain I could go to St. Louis and meet up with.

Do I think that the sexual aspects have overwhelmed the later books... well... yes, of course! I view the ardeur as some type of metaphysical illness that had to be dealt with just like a chronic illness in real life would have to be. Anita hated it. It overwhelmed her. She fought it and finally had to accept that it was part of her life now. But yes, of course I thought it went on too long.

And I thought that after enjoying The Harlequin so much, we would now begin seeing even more stories where the ardeur, and sex, were still part of Anita's life but not the focus of her life and the stories. LKH would find a balance between the relationship aspects and the urban fantasy aspects. I know she's capable of it. I KNOW it.

Normally, I wouldn't pay much attention to most of the early reviews for Blood Noir because taking potshots at LKH's books has become the "cool kids" thing to do and and to give her any praise would be so very "uncool". But even RT Magazine only gave it a 2 star, and they usually support her. This does not bode well, but I will read it for myself, and if it turns out to not be as good as TH, then I will still have visited some characters that feel like old friends and I will STILL have faith that Laurell and her infamous muse, will rebound with the next book.

As for Kenyon, I didn't know all that about her life. Strong lady, isn't she. But, we will have to disagree on her books, too. I think they've deteriorated into a muddied mess where she's relying on mythology to tell her stories, and she's already dropped off my auto buy list. I'm only holding out for Archeron. But that is a discussion we can save for another day if you'd like.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

**Normally, I wouldn't pay much attention to most of the early reviews for Blood Noir because taking potshots at LKH's books has become the "cool kids" thing to do and and to give her any praise would be so very "uncool". But even RT Magazine only gave it a 2 star, and they usually support her. This does not bode well, but I will read it for myself, and if it turns out to not be as good as TH, then I will still have visited some characters that feel like old friends and I will STILL have faith that Laurell and her infamous muse, will rebound with the next book.**

I kept that faith for a while, but eventually I just gave up. The last Anita book I read was Danse Macabre, which I borrowed from the library. But it was a real struggle for me to get through -- took me about 3 weeks. (Although I will say that I generally liked the last 1/3.)

Mostly I just don't read the AB books anymore, or feel a desire to read, because I think Anita herself is a joke. And since she's the center of attention and everything in the series revolves around her, what's the appeal? If the books were told in 3rd person POV and we got some UNFILTERED/UNBIASED views into Richard's life, or JC's, or Asher's, then perhaps I'd have stuck around longer. Maybe I'd still be reading. But I hate that everything we know of the characters (and the events) is squeezed through the warped filter of Anita's perceptions. There's no honesty. The truth of any matter lies somewhere in the middle between one person's point of view and the other's, but since everything is told from ANITA'S perspective, we only get to know one truth...her version of the truth. That one-sidedness is a huge weakness of the series and the characters, in my opinion.

I have to say that I am STUNNED that RT gave Blood Noir only 2 stars. I don't put much stock in RT's reviews in general because I have always found them to be sooooo generous. As a rule, they're not very critical, and the vast majority of their reviews are 4.5 or 4 stars. So a 2-star rating is really quite astonishing...and perhaps telling?

Nifty

red sea said...

If the ardeur were really presented as an illness, that would make for an interesting story, but it isn't. It's a wish-fulfilment device which allows Anita to play both sides of the rape fantasy at the same time.

It allows her to have massive amounts of sex with men who are exactly her type, while taking no responsibility for her decisions. She is supposedly saying "no, no, no!" while her body says "yes,yes,yes!", as is typical of a "heroine" in a bodice-ripper. The way she tries to get around it is by pretending she lurves all these men. And how does she prove she loves them? By demanding one-way monogamy from them, while giving nothing but her so-called "protection" in return. Anyone who refuses to play her sick game is either tormented (Richard), or condemned to near-certain death along with his family (the Lion King).

The ardeur also gives Anita the magical, metaphorical penis she's always wanted, by giving her the power to metaphysically rape, as she raped Richard in NiC, and London in DM. It also gave her the excuse to start molesting her severely psychologically damaged, sexually abused, childlike ward.

If the ardeur were treated as a curse, she wouldn't castigate those who refused to feed it, and she wouldn't continue to take advantage of an addict or a mental incompetent.

Bev(QB) said...

Nifty and Red Sea, I have to get some work done, but I'll be back later to finish our discussions.

Anonymous said...

I left the boards many moons ago.. I was wytherin and the sweetness(the toesucker, ok it was my lighthearted attempt to poke fun at the absolute seriousness that both sides, anti and pro LKH were bringing to the table)...

I still read the Merry books(I can't bring myself to buy them), but Anitas have completely lost me.... I did read some of the synopisis of the last book because I do miss the characters. When I read the part about Joseph asking not to have to participate in the ardeur and Anita being ok with him being auffed for not wanting to have sex outside his marriage I went WTF! and frankly, I don't even care what this one is about. Anita used to be someone I could root for, now I would just root for someone to take her out...

I do feel for those who still consider themselves fans of hers, because LKH is making it very hard to defend her these days...

Bev(QB) said...

Nifty, I agree what you say about RT being generous, but when I read a review, I don’t usually assume that I would give the same grade to that book. Rather I look at the grade as where that story places relative to other books that reviewer has read. Does that make sense? And I also look to see how their other reviews compare to my own opinions of books I’ve already read. For instance, it’s very rare for a book with any m/m interaction to get above a 3 star from RT, so for those books, I consider a 3 star to be high praise indeed and count on the reviewer synopsis to tell me more.

So what’s all that got to do with LKH? LOL, well other than it was a shiney I launched onto, RT’s 2 star of BN could mean part of that low rating is reviewer based.

Jill M. Smith gave Narcissus in Chains 4.5 star rating but Danse Macabre only a 3 star. This tells me much about this reviewer. In this case I DO agree with the higher rating of NiC, but my point is that Ms. Smith personal rating scale may be different than the reviewer for BN and last year’s TH, because, let’s face it, a whole helluva lot of people hated NiC while I thought it was one of the best. But, I agree that DM was no where as good as NiC so even if that’s not the exact grade I would I have given it, those grades in relation to each other make sense.

However last year, Natalie A. Luhrs (who also rates BN this year), gave The Harlequin only 3-stars while also praising it “Hamilton's latest Anita Blake installment is enjoyable, fast-paced and engaging. Anita's adventures are moving out of the bedroom and back into the wider world. There are a few problems with the pacing -- the sheer amount of action seems to exceed the time that passes, but it's so compelling enough that it shouldn't matter to her fans.” So her rating vs. her words combined with how much I liked TH, gives me an idea about her own personal rating scale—in this case, LIKING a book isn’t enough to get above an “average” grade from her, she’s looking for a little sumpin’ sumpin’ extra (a VERY subjective concept) in order to raise a book above average. BTW, by “average” I mean an RT 2.5 to 3.5 grade, thus, I am interpreting her grades as TH= average, Blood Noir= below average.

Keep in mind we also don’t know Ms. Luhrs opinion of the rest of the series. Obviously, someone who is heavily invested in or attached to a series is going to give a completely different review than someone who is simply a casual reader of the series. And that is true whether it is LKH, or Kenyon, or Singh, or whomever.

I hope that is making sense--- the key is that no matter how hard a reviewer tries to be objective, reviewing is still that one person’s subjective opinion. The only way that review/opinion can be useful to us as readers is if, as I said above, we realize and consider that the rating is relative to other reviews by that reviewer.

So, my point in all that is not to defend Blood Noir without having read it, nor is it to bash it without having read it. My point is that, while the RT rating gives me some concern, I am looking at it RELATIVE to The Harlequin, Ms. Luhrs previous LKH review. Based on that, I am guessing that I probably will NOT like it as well as TH, but I will probably not DISLIKE or HATE it either.

Bev(QB) said...

Red Sea said: If the ardeur were really presented as an illness, that would make for an interesting story, but it isn't. It's a wish-fulfilment device which allows Anita to play both sides of the rape fantasy at the same time.

First of all, you’re right—the ardeur has never been presented as an illness, which is merely my interpretation of it; as is your interpretation of it as wish-fulfillment. Since, as far as I know, LKH has never given us HER reasoning we only have our own interpretation to work off of.

In my case, I think the ardeur worked well with NiC. Yes, I know many, MANY readers think of this as the book that began the fall, but NiC, along with Blue Moon and The Harlequin, remains my favorite of the series. I happened to welcome the switch from action oriented to relationship oriented stories and using the ardeur as the catalyst for this pivotal change was an excellent idea. (shhh... let me finish. LOL)

Having said that, however, let me also say that I assumed that NiC was a “one time shot” and the ardeur would play a much lesser “role” in subsequent books. So when it remained the focus of the stories, I believe I began to question it and develop my interpretation of it... thus my chronic illness analogy. WE hated the ardeur because ANITA hated the ardeur. WE were uncomfortable with many of the things Anita did because SHE was uncomfortable with it. And finally, we’ve become witness to just how far the ardeur has allowed Anita to debase herself. But, going back to the illness analogy again, I viewed it as Anita going through a hellish time and coming out the other end as a changed person—who that will be remains to be seen.

But, as I said above, letting the ardeur be the focus of the series HAS gone on far longer than I ever imagined it would. After The Harlequin, I had hopes we’d be seeing more balanced stories from here on out, but now I’m thinking that there has to be some cataclysmic event brewing because I don’t see LKH suddenly making the ardeur go away all on its own.

So long as I still care about the characters (and honestly, I don’t always have a lovefest happening for Anita either), as long as I still want to know what’s going on in their lives, as long as I still feel like I’m visiting old friends, then this series will remain important to me. And yes, I am also very... VERY... aware that not everyone agrees with me. And I DO see WHY so many feel that way, because even I cringe sometimes when I'm reading, but I also just consider it part of Anita's "fall from grace".

But, let’s face it, we all get different things out of books; just look at my feelings about Kenyon stories being no longer auto buys for me, while other readers still devour every word she writes. Am I right and others are wrong? Nope, it’s just my opinion and my interpretation of what *I* am getting (or not getting) out of the books.

Bev(QB) said...

Hi, Wytherin! I believe I DO remember you from the board, although I don’t think we had much interaction... I was daCube (I guess I still am).

I am still enamored by the Merry Gentry series. Okay, Mistral’s Kiss was weak, but I still think the series is absolutely brilliant. It truly showcases LKH’s unparalleled world building.

I do feel for those who still consider themselves fans of hers, because LKH is making it very hard to defend her these days...

I don’t really feel a need to defend her books, that’s based on subjective opinion as I’ve said above, so I can only offer my interpretation. On RARE occasions, I will correct someone’s error out here in the blogosphere if they are presenting conjecture as fact, but I don’t think that, as an LKH fan, I need to be jumping in with yapping defenses of her every time someone expresses a negative thought about her or her work. Good gawd, she’s such a lightning rod that that isn’t humanly possible anyhow!

And really, I’m gobsmacked by the interest in my little post about her blog. I realize Karen picked up on it, so more hits over in my quiet little corner of Romancelandia could be expected, but I do not understand why ANYONE would think my posting of snippets from the LKH blog or my little comments about it, is such big news that my statcounter is turning completely over every day! HOLY SHIT!! Really, all I did was express some concern about her blog content and using her blog as a personal diary--- probably far, FAR less than other people have said.

Cuz really this blog has always been for my amusement and if anyone else found it interesting or fun, that was icing on the cake. So I am beyond confused why this particular post is rippling out like a stone dropped into a pond.

I’d appreciate it if one of you would tell me why this post has, in essence, gone viral. No, seriously... PLEASE?

Madame Butterfly said...

"I’d appreciate it if one of you would tell me why this post has, in essence, gone viral. No, seriously... PLEASE?"

From my standpoint, I think the bottom line is that you've pointed out, very clearly, that someone is going over some acceptable line and maybe loosing it. And on the level of general gossip interest, that rates high and brings up a lot of stuff for people.

Even me, a person who hasn't read LKH, but who has read snippets all over the place that LKH has been loosing it, I find this very interesting just on the level of watching a train wreck.

I have no idea if this is why you've gotten so much interest, but it could be one reason.

Bev(QB) said...

MB, I think you are only partially right. Because I cannot possibly be the only one who is saying these things nor am I the FIRST to say these things.

I dunno, maybe it's because I'm the only one who proclaims she's a complete LKH fangirl AND says these things anyhow. :shrugs:

But I REALLY am curious!

Anonymous said...

I watched with interest as The Harlequin was given fairly decent reviews at Amazon, but so many of them specified that TH was better than the previous books. And I'm just not sure that's much of a recommendation. If the previous books are crap, and TH was better, does that make it a good book...or only better than crap? And since when was "better than crap" a ringing endorsement?

A little while ago, someone posted over on the LKH forum that they'd just gotten and read BN and that it was a good book...although they thought that more detail could have been given to the main plot and subplot, and that sometimes it seemed that those elements were rushed. But overall the reader thought it was "a very good book." And I just don't get that. To me, that just doesn't make sense. If the plot and subplot are lacking development, how can the BOOK be good?

I think that LKH has established so low a standard with respect to her books, especially her recent books, that anything slightly above that low standard is considered "good" by people who either 1) wouldn't know a good book if it bopped them on the nose or 2) are just so attached to the characters and the gratuitous sex that they feel they must defend LKH at all costs. Maybe they have "series-itis" and they can't break away because they can't stand not knowing what happens next...even as they admit here and there that the sex scenes are getting old or that they get annoyed with the characters or that the plot wasn't as developed as it should have been.

It's like with her grammar and spelling issues. I'm sorry, but it is simply INEXCUSABLE that a professionally published book should be as riddled with errors as LKH's are. There's no defense for it. People try to blow it off and say it doesn't matter, or shouldn't matter, because they don't notice the mistakes anyway, but that's bunk. The reason they don't notice is simply because they don't know better. But that's still no excuse. LKH -- as a purported English major and published author -- SHOULD know better. Her editor should know better. The copyeditors should know better. That fact that her books keep coming out as badly edited as they are just speaks of laziness, arrogance, and those low, low standards.

Nifty

Bev(QB) said...

Oh Nifty, I have to take umbrage with quite a few of your points.

As I said above, what we each get out of a particular book, and not just an LKH book, is completely subjective.

First of all, I have yet to read a PERFECT book. Period. There hasn’t been one written. But every single reader has “hot buttons” that will keep them from enjoying a book in spite of its flaws. And let me emphasize that every single book ever written has flaws

For you, spelling errors are apparently one of those hot buttons. Me? Not a big deal at all. You ever take one of those tests online where all the words are scrambled except for the first and last letters of each word? Well, I can read those as fast and easy as a paragraph written correctly. I think it’s because I don’t read individual words, I read phrases and sentences and my mind automatically corrects words as I read. So, it is absolutely TRUE that spelling errors don’t matter as much to those of us whose brains are permanently set to “autocorrect”. Hell, I seldom even notice them unless someone points them out! So while I absolutely agree with you in principle that LKH's and her editor's credentials should have them striving toward that mythical flawless book, the fact is that I just don't notice the problems enough to care.

YOUR brain may not work that way, but saying “People try to blow it off and say it doesn't matter, or shouldn't matter, because they don't notice the mistakes anyway, but that's bunk. The reason they don't notice is simply because they don't know better” is a flat out erroneous assumption and, frankly, insulting. That would be like me saying that you are a slow minded reader because you still look at each individual word as you read.

I think that LKH has established so low a standard with respect to her books, especially her recent books, that anything slightly above that low standard is considered "good" by people who either 1) wouldn't know a good book if it bopped them on the nose or 2) are just so attached to the characters and the gratuitous sex that they feel they must defend LKH at all costs.

WOW, where do I start with that one?! Saying people wouldn’t know a good book if it bopped them on the nose? Who decides what a good book is? I’m not just referring to LKH books here, but let’s turn this particular one around. What if I made the same statement--- I LOVED The Harlequin and you didn’t, so I think YOU wouldn’t know a good book if it bopped you on the nose. I think you’d be raising your eyebrows too. Hell, you’d probably say “spoken like a true fangirl!” But, here’s the difference—I WOULDN’T say that because I don’t expect everyone, or even ANYONE, to like exactly what I do. And it would NEVER occur to me that you not liking what I do is a sign of YOUR ignorance. Honestly, I feel that is a VERY inflammatory and close minded statement.

As for the rest of that paragraph, as I stated above, I AM still attached to the characters, but I do NOT think LKH writes perfect books, nor do I feel compelled to defend her by saying she does. I do, however, feel compelled to say that my opinion about and interpretations of her books-- indeed ANY author’s books-- carry as much weight and validity as yours or anyone else’s.

“A little while ago, someone posted over on the LKH forum that they'd just gotten and read BN and that it was a good book...although they thought that more detail could have been given to the main plot and subplot, and that sometimes it seemed that those elements were rushed. But overall the reader thought it was "a very good book." And I just don't get that. To me, that just doesn't make sense. If the plot and subplot are lacking development, how can the BOOK be good?

Again, this is an apparent hot button for you. Do I PREFER a book that has 3-dimensional characters AND a well written story? Well... yes, of course. But if one of those is weaker than the other, and provided the remaining element still engages me, I can still find quite a bit of enjoyment from a book. Apparently I am a much more forgiving reader than you, probably because, before I even open the front cover, I know and accept that the book WILL be flawed. And this applies to ANY book I read.

Do I have my own hot buttons? Sure. Choreography of erotic scenes is one of them— if I have to stop and figure out how the hell they could be doing THAT while in THIS position, it tells me that either the characters weren’t real enough to the author or she closed her eyes when they entered the bedroom. However, providing the rest of the story outside of the bedroom works for me, the book is not going to be thrown against the wall.

Another one of my hot buttons is conversation tags. Every author will occasionally omit one when needed, or even worse, include a confusing one that has me backtracking to figure out who is saying what. Most of the time it is a momentary distraction, but I’ve come across books that have so many conversation tag problems that the story becomes frustrating to read. However, if the rest of the story has engaged me, I take the time to figure them out.

So see, Nifty, IMO, we all have our reading quirks, but that doesn't make us ignorant or wrong, it just means we have different expectations. Nothing more. And btw, FWIW, I'm not sure that what you wrote was intentionally insulting, but rather the result of the inherent deficiencies of this type of communication.

Anonymous said...

And really, I’m gobsmacked by the interest in my little post about her blog. I realize Karen picked up on it, so more hits over in my quiet little corner of Romancelandia could be expected, but I do not understand why ANYONE would think my posting of snippets from the LKH blog or my little comments about it, is


For myself, I have read your blog before (not consistently, but I am hardly consistent anywhere) and I have read your reviews from the Good Dead and Unread... I even remember you from the LKH board as what the "haterz" would have called a troo fan (I don't really think in those terms)... So when you, who still give glowing reviews to her books (I am still hanging with Merry, but I am finding them harder and harder to bear, and Anita is a complete loss for me) are open enough to say that LKH has gone a little "off" in her blogs, thats practically like Tom Cruise coming out and saying Scientology might just be a little whacked.....

I think thats why it went viral... also, karen doesn't usually chat about LKH, so a lot of the people who only yack about her on various anti lkh boards, but read Karen, came out of the woodwork...

Wytherin

Anonymous said...

I think its pretty clear that something has changed (from OB on) in LKH's books... They became for the want of a better word a bit bloated. Almost like she is so in love with all her characters, scenes and interactions that she lost her editing button...

Now is she the only author who has fallen into that trap....OH no... Some very famous authors and some prize winning books have fallen into that category for me before, so LKH isn't different...

I think LKH completely jumped the shark with Anita, and I weep, because I too miss the characters that I once was so fond of. I try anymore to just pretend that NIC on didn't happen and think of my own scenarios for what the crew is doing...

Merry is getting slower and slower and I keep hanging on, because while the books were always a bit bloated in cast and language there was that promise of a payoff at the end, and I wanted to see how it all turns out...

I don't call people who still think LKH writing is still worth paying for are stupid or "wouldn't know a good book if it bopped them on the nose" but I do think they are eternal optimists and they are hoping that LKH will pull it all together... I am kind of losing my hope.. Wytherin

Bev(QB) said...

Wytherin, I am truly flattered that from time to time you’ve found some interest in what I have to say. Thank you.

Me being called one of the “troos”? Yeah, I guess that’s fair. I am honest enough to admit that at one point I was caught up in the us vs. them mob mentality. But one day I realized that I did NOT hate “those people”. That’s not me, and I was disappointed in myself for acting that way. So I made a point to interact with “them”, although there were still some that did not think I was entitled to an opinion that differed from theirs. Those people I just avoided because there was always going to be a rift.

But for most people, I decided to just interact naturally-- goofing around or whatever—because I joined the board to discuss books and how the hell could I do that if I was busy hating people just because they disagreed with me. And God knows we all seemed to have lost any sense of humor. Life has enough stress. Why add to it when we could joke about our differences instead.

Nope, I’m not proud of getting caught up in that mob mentality. And as I said in an earlier response, when those discussions ended; when those with opposing opinions left, the board got boring real fast. Of course, as I also said earlier, once those social groups were created and the board was overrun with teens (even more reason for less LKH TMI), there really wasn’t much interest there for me. In fact, the few times I’ve been back to the board, I’ve pretty much posted in the Other Authors section and said Hello to a few of the older members that are still around.

“So when you, who still give glowing reviews to her books... are open enough to say that LKH has gone a little "off" in her blogs, thats practically like Tom Cruise coming out and saying Scientology might just be a little whacked.....”

BWHAHAHAHAHAHA. Now if that statement was about a couple of other people from the board, I’d have to agree. But I think my perception of myself as a fangirl is a wee less rabid than that! In fact, there’s a post from last year on this blog somewhere- if you go to the LKH section of my index I think it is sub-titled “In which QB has her say”- that pretty much lays out the extent of my fangirl involvement. But yeah, I can see how someone who was and is a big LKH fan expressing concern about her blog comments might raise a few eyebrows. So thanks for explaining it to me.

Bev(QB) said...

Merry is getting slower and slower and I keep hanging on, because while the books were always a bit bloated in cast and language there was that promise of a payoff at the end, and I wanted to see how it all turns out...

Oops, I was going to ask you about that. Did you read A Lick of Frost? Because I completely agree with you when it comes to Mistral's Kiss. That was most definitely a weak book compared to the others-- almost no major advancement in the series or characters, except for a couple of things (Cel for instance). I didn't HATE MK, but I was a bit disappointed in it.

However, I thought ALoF really sent the series moving along again. In fact, I was gobsmacked that LKH included so many unexpected twists, including the BIG ONE that I wasn't expecting until near the end of the series.

So for me, ALoF really kept me excited about the series and I still have booklust while waiting for Swallowing Darkness (but can we lose that damn title? LOL)

jade_kristen said...

Well Bev I have to agree with you. I loved NiC because that was the book where we met Micah. And I thought the storyline was fabulous, it was fast paced and remained interesting to me throughout. I absolutely loved it! As you can see I'm clearly attached to some of the characters as well. lol. And it's not just Micah although I have to say he's my favorite. There are many characters in the series that feel like old friends to me. I look forward to seeing what is going on in their lives. If I have to slog my way through a slow book, or a storyline that doesn't entirely appeal to me every once in a while, I'm okay with that because I still get to come away from the book feeling like I've just had a visit with an old friend. Maybe that sounds crazy but thats absolutely the way I feel.

I've noticed that LKH is getting rather detailed on her personal life lately and for the most part it makes me curious as to how she's doing. I don't know her personally, but I believe I do remember her posting at one time that she was striving to keep her personal life somewhat personal. So it is a surprise, and it does seem out of character. It's starting to feel a little more Anita-like than Laurel-like.
However it doesn't affect how I feel about her books. I love them, the Anita series and the Merry series. I loved LoF, I think it actually made me cry. It was definately and improvement from Mistral's Kiss in my opinion. I'm just not so much interested in reading her blog anymore. I honestly hope all is well with her. I can't comprehend the pressure she must feel putting out two series that have that kind of fan base. I can't say how I would deal with everyday life or react because I have absolutely no basis for comparison.

So I hope all is well in Laurel's world and I hope (feeling selfish and guilty even as I write this) that her writing doesn't suffer. I understand that their are many who believe that her writing already suffers, but I'm not one of them.

Guess you could put me down as a fangirl too Bev.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I was going to ask you about that. Did you read A Lick of Frost? Because I completely agree with you when it comes to Mistral's Kiss. That was most definitely a weak book compared to the others-- almost no major advancement in the series or characters, except for a couple of things (Cel for instance). I didn't HATE MK, but I was a bit disappointed in it.


I thought LOF was much better than MK (which sucked imo, sorry), I think on of my still niggling doubts with the series is that it seems like LKH has set herself up to make some hard choices and then pretty much wienies out of them... for example, whos the daddy, and even the dieing thing wasn't really dieing(that big twist)....

I still find them interesting, but I get the feeling that LKH has lost her heart for telling a tight truly exciting story... I hate to draw comparisons, but she is starting to remind me of Ann Rice and her overblown to the point of ridiculous books...

This is all just my personal opinion. I would say with the Anitas, if you loved her first books, of course you arent that happy with where they went. But if you came in around NIC and loved the erotica aspects of it, your probably still happy with her books.. viva la difference..

Wytherin

Bev(QB) said...

”Well Bev I have to agree with you. I loved NiC because that was the book where we met Micah. And I thought the storyline was fabulous, it was fast paced and remained interesting to me throughout. I absolutely loved it! As you can see I'm clearly attached to some of the characters as well. lol. And it's not just Micah although I have to say he's my favorite. There are many characters in the series that feel like old friends to me. I look forward to seeing what is going on in their lives. If I have to slog my way through a slow book, or a storyline that doesn't entirely appeal to me every once in a while, I'm okay with that because I still get to come away from the book feeling like I've just had a visit with an old friend. Maybe that sounds crazy but thats absolutely the way I feel.”

Hey Jade!! Sorry, I wasn’t around yesterday to answer you.

But, that’s EXACTLY how I feel. And Micah happens to be one of my favorite characters too. I’m married to a Micah—there are millions of Micahs in this world... they do what needs to be done to take care of their families and responsibilities. They are supportive and loving. They are “Maintenance and Repair” and leave “Planning and Execution” to their wives or SO’s, LOL. And even though they seldom have a spotlight shining on them, they are heroes to those that love them. Sappy? Sure. But that’s what I see in Micah.

Besides, my absolute favorite parts of the last few books have been the snark sessions between Micah and Richard, particularly in TH when Anita got into it too and Jean-Claude shut them all up. Cracked me the hell up!

“I've noticed that LKH is getting rather detailed on her personal life lately and for the most part it makes me curious as to how she's doing. I don't know her personally, but I believe I do remember her posting at one time that she was striving to keep her personal life somewhat personal. So it is a surprise, and it does seem out of character. It's starting to feel a little more Anita-like than Laurel-like.

See, that’s what I don’t understand about the blog content. The books are not PG-13, the boards are, and with the social groups there now, teens are attracted to the boards and her books. Forget whether I approve of it or not (I don’t), it has become a fact- she has a large teen presence in her fandom that she, through her board, encourages.

So on the one hand, she’s saying she is teen-friendly and it even seems like she’s trying to be some kind of Life Guru(!) through her blogs (thus my mention of pronouncements and lectures from on high), but then turns around and crushes on the skank, and either tells us in general terms (i.e. “Adult Time”) that her and Jon did a little sumpin’ sumpin’, or, now she has started to include instructional details!!

Okay, a mention every now and then of “Adult time” isn’t a big deal, but really... I think she needs to think about what she’s writing for public consumption and who her fandom is. She SAYS her books are not for teens, but then turns around and creates a teen-friendly environment, then turns around again and presents an adult blog to them-- WITH INSTRUCTIONS!

And that doesn’t even take into account her expressed desire to keep her personal life private versus turning her public blog into a personal diary. That extreme inconsistency is truly cause for concern, IMO, because I don’t understand how she could not realize that herself.

”However it doesn't affect how I feel about her books. I love them, the Anita series and the Merry series.
Guess you could put me down as a fangirl too Bev.”


And that IS what it boils down to, doesn’t it. The blogs lately give me concerns, we may not love every single word she writes in the stories, but we still consider ourselves fans of her books overall. I'll be truly disappointed if the day comes when I can no longer say that.

Bev(QB) said...

Wytherin said: “I thought LOF was much better than MK (which sucked imo, sorry), I think on of my still niggling doubts with the series is that it seems like LKH has set herself up to make some hard choices and then pretty much wienies out of them... for example, whos the daddy, and even the dieing thing wasn't really dieing(that big twist)....”

I can see that. Although to be fair, the multiple father scenarios do appear within accepted mythology. But whether she kills them off, mates them off, or transforms them, Merry IS going to have to give some up because there’s not going to be any men left in the court for any other women pretty soon! HAH! But I STILL have to give LKH kudos for doing the unexpected by writing the pregnancy in now instead of the end of the series as we all expected.

”I still find them interesting, but I get the feeling that LKH has lost her heart for telling a tight truly exciting story... I hate to draw comparisons, but she is starting to remind me of Ann Rice and her overblown to the point of ridiculous books...

I’ve heard that statement before, but I don’t really have an opinion because I was never an Ann Rice fan. Personally, I’ve always thought of Ann Rice as Horror (that’s where she’s shelved, too) and LKH as SF/F that has now spilt off and become the sub-genre known as Urban Fantasy.

“This is all just my personal opinion. I would say with the Anitas, if you loved her first books, of course you arent that happy with where they went. But if you came in around NIC and loved the erotica aspects of it, your probably still happy with her books.. viva la difference..

Yeah, I agree with you that’s part of it (I started with OB), that’s makes a lot of sense. But in addition, I think that the reader’s usual genre effects their current satisfaction now too. Speaking in general terms, SF/F fans seem to be the harshest critics of the later books, whereas those of us that found LKH through Romance, particularly Paranormal Romances, consider sex an accepted part of the storyline—not the QUANTITY of sex necessarily, but just the presence of graphic sex. In fact, I always thought it was missing from the earlier books-- as if it SHOULD have been there. And I hold the same view with other early pre-Urban Fantasy authors such as Tanya Huff.

Yeah, yeah... I know... BLASPHEMY!! But really, my personal opinion is that, when you consider that book sales are driven by women and, in particular Romance books for women, the lack of sexual relationships in the story is what keeps SF/F from enjoying the sales that the Romance genre does. When a book or series DOES include sex, such as the Kushiel series or the Black Jewels, women DO buy them.

Well, that's MY theory and experience anyhow.

jade_kristen said...

I agree Bev I started the series with Incubus Dreams, then went back and read the earlier books.
I really missed the sex in the earlier books, didn't like the take she had on sex back then. And I agree that it did seem unnatural to not have it in certain places in the earlier books. And the way it was portrayed in some of the earlier books was unnatural as well. I don't like it when sex is always portrayed as something bad or evil, to be avoided at all costs. It seems like the few times it was actually included in the first books, it was in a rape scenario, or portrayed in some horrible light.

I was glad when she loosened up and let it be natural and loving. Now I will admit that things have gotten very loose in the sex department lately, but I really, really enjoy her sex scenes. Although I sometimes get lost in all the arms, legs, mouths and penis's lately. What body part belongs to whom is sometimes beyond me. But I would dearly miss the erotic side of this series if it were gone.

It makes me happy that you have a Micah, I hope to find one of my own someday.

Sorry I know I should have let this thread die it's natural death so you could move on. But their always seems to be something more to say doesn't there? lol.
People are so passionate about this series, myself included.
Can't wait for Blood Noir!

Anonymous said...

See, that’s what I don’t understand about the blog content. The books are not PG-13, the boards are, and with the social groups there now, teens are attracted to the boards and her books. Forget whether I approve of it or not (I don’t), it has become a fact- she has a large teen presence in her fandom that she, through her board, encourages.

that wasnt addressed to me, but its one of the main reasons I left the board (ok, Danse Macabre was my personal capper, I realized that ID was NOT a fluke)... The books are hard R or even a soft X rating, and yet the encouragement of teen fan girly squeeing and losing any rational discussions(I was still a merry fan at the time) just bored the heck and frankly squicked me out... I started out doing the toesucker (who had quite a following for awhile) but really became uncomfortable knowing that there were too many 13year olds hanging on that board (sweetness was not a pg13 perv)...


as far as genres, I am pretty ecletic and even collect Victorian erotica. Yet I think the Anitas fail on almost every genre count...

I like romances (but Anitas aren't romance anymore,in any way that I can see), they used to be snappy hardboiled mysteries ( they aren't that anymore). The world building was good at first, with a basic alternative universe feel to it, but LKH keeps pulling new super powers out of Anitas Hoohaw (sorry) and that completely frustrates the SF/fantasy fan in me (Kenyon also lost me on her world building, like you I only plan to read the Archeron book).

As erotica, the books fail for me there also. She tends to pull the sexy right out of the scenes with the angsting and the navel gazing.Then add on the technical discriptions and whammo, instant mood killer for me..

So thats why Anita fails for me now, truly I am not even interested in reading the spoilers for Blood Noir...

Merry still has the Fantasy elements that I enjoyed in the first books, so I still hang on and find things to enjoy there, but LKH changed too many of the rules for Anita(and her character) for me to follow anymore...

Nice to chat with someone who still loves the books though, because I have very fond memories of the early ones and still enjoy visiting Merry.

Wytherin

Bev(QB) said...

Jade said: ”I was glad when she loosened up and let it be natural and loving. Now I will admit that things have gotten very loose in the sex department lately, but I really, really enjoy her sex scenes. Although I sometimes get lost in all the arms, legs, mouths and penis's lately. What body part belongs to whom is sometimes beyond me. But I would dearly miss the erotic side of this series if it were gone.”

Wytherin said: “ As erotica, the books fail for me there also. She tends to pull the sexy right out of the scenes with the angsting and the navel gazing.Then add on the technical discriptions and whammo, instant mood killer for me.”

I’m trying to figure out how to describe my views on LKH’s handling of sex scenes without heading into TMI territory myself!

Most of LKH’s sex scenes are NOT turn-ONs OR turn-OFFs for me. Frankly, many lack the sensuality, the out of control heat, and build-up of sexual tension that one finds in romance novels. I view most of her sex scenes in much the same way I view the action scenes. Hmmmm... I guess technically, they ARE action scenes, right? I read them to find out what will happen during and after them, not to be titillated by them. Although there HAVE been a few with some definite heat in them.

Having said that, I DO agree that we have reached a point where it’s becoming a bit... exhausting... that every sex scenes amps up the power and becomes a METAPHYSICAL/ MAGICAL POWER SEX EVENT. That particular technique would be far more effective if used more sparingly and interspersed with sex that doesn’t have a greater purpose other than people simply want each other, have the hots for each other, love each other, etc. Whatever the motivation, even if it’s while feeding the ardeur, I think the METAPHYSICAL/ MAGICAL POWER EVENT SEX loses its effectiveness when it happens every single time uglees bump together. Mind you, I don’t want ALL of it gone, I would just like to see something different too. Greedy Reader that I am.

Wytherin said: ” I started out doing the toesucker (who had quite a following for awhile) but really became uncomfortable knowing that there were too many 13year olds hanging on that board (sweetness was not a pg13 perv)...”

BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! You just jogged my memory and I DO remember Sweetness now!! That was back when I was just an occasional lurker on the board, but I remember you and you cracked me the hell up! That was before the Great Banning of ’05, IIRC, or was it The Great Banning of ’04...

Bev(QB) said...

Oh, and Blood Noir-- this Tuesday, May 27th. I think it's safe to say that I'll have something to say about it. hee.

Anonymous said...

Although there HAVE been a few with some definite heat in them.


I think one of the hottest scenes that LKH ever wrote was in Bloody Bones, the hotel scene with JC.. no sex, but tons of tension... LKH was very good with sexual tension, which made people root for her and JC (or RAZ) to finally get somewhere... Now it isn't IF she is gonna do the wild thing, its how many, which I have to admit takes the tension right out of it..

the toesucker thing...blushes... yeah, he was born out my amusement how people took the books and LKH all too seriously...
wytherin

Anonymous said...

Let me know what you think of Blood Noir, I doubt I will read even the spoilers, but I like to here what people are thinking

wytherin

Anonymous said...

Let me know what you think of Blood Noir, I doubt I will read even the spoilers, but I like to here what people are thinking

wytherin