But you just won’t quit till you’ve killed my groove

So…I have an extremely trivial subject to talk about, which is that I was watching an old (2013) interview my favorite wrestler was conducting and he said something sexist about women wrestlers and it really upset me. I know it’s tiny! But that’s why they’re called microaggressions, because they’re MICRO, and the thing is, I felt sad about it all evening yesterday and most of this morning.

So here’s what Kevin Owens said:

INTERVIEWEE [in response to a fan request for his rendition of “Beauty and the Beast”]: [Girl’s name I couldn’t hear] wanted to do a duet on your show!
KEVIN: I don’t want her. I don’t want her. I don’t want girls on my show.
INTERVIEWEE: No? Why?
KEVIN: […]I just don’t think it’s interesting.
INTERVIEWEE: She could have been in her underwear.
KEVIN: That’s not interesting to me at all[…]There’s so much of that on the internet.

Because a woman in her underwear = porn. Which, DUDE. Hilariously hypocritical. You have lots of close friends who wrestle in their underwear. Your best friend wrestles shirtless in leggings. But I guess a guy in his underwear is still a human being, while a girl in her underwear exists solely to jerk off to.

My point is NOT Kevin Owens and whether or not he’s a jerk. 95% of the time he seems like a sweetheart and a mensch, but that’s really not the point. I’m not interested in talking about whether he’s changed his mind or what he meant or why he might have had negative views of women’s wrestling or whether of course an athlete in a male-dominated field BLAH BLAH BLAH. Today, I don’t want to center Kevin Owens in this conversation.

I want to center me.

I want to talk about how fucking sad I felt when he said “I don’t want girls on my show.”

It just hurt my feelings. And I feel so stupid that it did. That this shit hurts every fucking time. It’s not like the existence of misogyny comes as a surprise. It’s not like I didn’t know Kevin Owens was a dude. It’s not even that bad a comment in the grand scheme of things. But it hurts to hear someone I have a lot of affection and respect for say that he barely sees me as human.

I’m sure he didn’t mean to say that. I’m sure he didn’t mean for anyone to take it personally. It’s personal to me, though.

And look, I KNOW I don’t have a personal relationship with Kevin Owens, and yes, the way one-sided fannish relationships function is also a very interesting topic, but that’s not the point either right now to me. Guys I DO know, guys who love me back, guys who I have real-life personal relationships with, say fucked-up shit all the time too. My desire to preserve those relationships—and in some cases my loyalty to them—just prevent me from calling them out on my blog.

Although if I’m being TOTALLY honest, shit like this is part of why the majority of my close relationships with men ARE fictional these days.

But it doesn’t just hurt coming from someone I care about. Microaggressions from strangers hurt too. It hurts when someone I don’t know tweets me like “I saw a movie yesterday with a Jewish person in it and I thought of you because you are also Jewish!” Yeah, it’s more likely to manifest as churning rage and not this bleak betrayed sadness, but.

And to add insult to injury, I feel humiliated, because here I am caring about the opinion of someone who doesn’t even see me as really human.

Somehow I never get to the point where that just rolls off me like water off a duck’s back, even though I know I’d be happier if I did. That there’s no point to getting hurt and angry.

I seriously considered tweeting Kevin Owens this morning to tell him how much he hurt my feelings. I didn’t do it, but I really wanted to. And when I asked myself why…I wasn’t even hoping for an apology. I wasn’t hoping to hear that he’d changed his mind and he was embarrassed by his past self. I just wanted him to know. I wanted him to have to face for however brief a second that I’m human and I have feelings. I wanted to assert my existence and its value.

But why the fuck do I need Kevin Owens to see me in order to feel visible? I want to be able to validate my own existence.

There’s this bit in Courtney Milan’s Suffragette Scandal that, look, probably you’ve read it, but if not, here it is (with some of the best bits chopped out for length so if you haven’t read it, you should really go do that):


“Your cause may be just. But you’re delusional if you think you can accomplish anything…Rage all you want, Miss Marshall, but you’ll have more success emptying the Thames with a thimble.”

…“You’re right,” Free said…“If history is any guide, it will take years—decades, perhaps—before women get the vote…Do you think I don’t know that the only tool I have is my thimble? I’m the one wielding it. I know. There are days I stare out at the Thames and wish I could stop bailing.” Her voice dropped. “My arms are tired, and there’s so much water that I’m afraid it’ll pull me under. But do you know why I keep going?”…She lifted her face to his. “Because I’m not trying to empty the Thames.”

Silence met this.

“Look at the tasks you listed, the ones you think are impossible. You want men to give women the right to vote. You want men to think of women as equals, rather than as lesser animals who go around spewing illogic between our menstrual cycles.”

He still wasn’t saying anything.

“All your tasks are about men,” she told him. “And if you haven’t noticed, this is a newspaper for women…You see a river rushing by without end. You see a sad collection of women with thimbles, all dipping out an inconsequential amount…But we’re not trying to empty the Thames,” she told him. “Look at what we’re doing with the water we remove. It doesn’t go to waste. We’re using it to water our gardens, sprout by sprout. We’re growing bluebells and clovers where once there was a desert. All you see is the river, but I care about the roses.”


I try and focus on the roses.

Even so: fuck you, Kevin Owens. You hurt my feelings.

Riskies post: Regency shop windows

I’m at Risky Regencies today talking about Regency shop windows, shoplifting techniques, etc!

Windows with lots of small panes were popular in Regency storefronts for at least two reasons:

1. Glass was still taxed by weight. A larger pane requires a thicker weight of glass. (This applied to greenhouses as well, by the way. You see them with lots of little panes.)

2. Shoplifting and property crime was endemic, and a small pane of glass was easier and cheaper to replace if someone broke it to steal your goods.

Read the whole post!

GAMBLED AWAY blog tour: Regency hipsters

Today I’m at Angieville talking Regency hipsters and giving away two copies of Gambled Away!

When I looked for recognizable elements of hipsterism in the Regency, I started to spot them here and there. A certain angry “counter-cultural” world-weariness, love of irony, and cynical fascination with excess seems to pop up with regularity in history—from the Restoration rakes, to the French decadent poets who liked to épater la bourgeoisie (shock the middle class) by writing poems about anarchy and sex workers or walking turtles on leashes at the mall (yes this was a thing), to the Bright Young Things of the 1920s and 30s.

Is it a coincidence that those examples all follow on the heels of traumatizing periods of economic depression, social upheaval, or war? Probably not.

Read the whole thing.

GAMBLED AWAY blog tour

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I’m at Jaunty Quills today giving away books and talking about my rather intense fear of change, decluttering, and how Jeannie Lin made me cry in her novella with this story about a paper lantern:

When I was a child, I’d received a lantern once for the Spring Festival. It was pink and painted with flowers. I’d loved that lantern for an hour. A breeze had caught it while it hung from a tree in our courtyard, tipping the candle inside over and igniting the paper.

I’d wept after the servants put the fire out as I stared at the ruined shell. I would never have that bit of happiness, the glow of that moment in the same way ever again.

I wanted the moment with Gao back with the same empty sorrow now.

Stop on by and enter to win a book!

And follow along with the rest of the blog tour here. There’ve been some great posts (including one by Isabel about how writing is like combining snow cone flavors)!

Gambled Away release party is today on Facebook!

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Who: 10 amazing historical romance authors–Joanna Bourne, Alyssa Cole, Isabel Cooper, Elizabeth Hoyt, Susanna Kearsley, Eva Leigh, Jeannie Lin, Molly O’Keefe, Deanna Raybourn, and yours truly!

What: A sweet party full of prizes! (Including a $50 Amazon gift card for one lucky guest!)

When: TODAY 6/8, 6-11PM Eastern time

Where: Facebook!

Why: To celebrate our new releases, especially the Gambled Away anthology!

How: I don’t know, sometimes things just work out!!!

Come on by!

New contest: Gambled Away gift basket!

ETA: This giveaway is now closed. LSUReader won the gift basket, and Sherry, Meghan, Angela, Carolsue and Christina won the ebooks. Congratulations!

My new anthology Gambled Away is out today! To celebrate, I’m giving away 5 e-books and a lovely gift basket of items (basket not included)!

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Pictured: Spokemodel T-Rex (not included) with select gift basket items.

Gambled Away is an anthology themed around one protagonist winning the other in a game of chance (my favorite trope!), with stories from Jeannie Lin, Molly O’Keefe, Isabel Cooper, Joanna Bourne, and of course, yours truly.

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Release day!!!!!

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My new anthology with Jeannie Lin, Joanna Bourne, Molly O’Keefe, and Isabel Cooper is out today!!!

Buy it

Okay so! I’m gonna talk about all the stories in this for a second. Because they are all SO SO GOOD OMG. It is honestly surreal to me to be doing an anthology with these authors. Wow. I have arrived. I am living the dream.

(The theme of the anthology, btw, is that one protagonist has to win the other at cards. My favorite trope!)

1. Mine. “All or Nothing.” This is my first self-published story and honestly I think I got a little drunk on it? This is a very personal, weird, nerdy little story about learning to be a grown-up with money, and setting boundaries in obsessive friendships, and kink, and how sometimes people won’t fucking shut up about kosher stuff when you’re Jewish and eating with them, and insecurity, and falling in love, and I hope you love it as much as I do. Also all the characters look like Nikita actors in my head (in particular the leads look like dreamboat couple Lyndsy Fonseca and Noah Bean), and every minor character in the first scene has a fannishly significant name. See how many you recognize!

Simon Radcliffe-Gould needs someone to run interference for him at his ex-boyfriend’s house party so he can actually design the garden folly he’s being paid to design, so he asks flashy gambling den hostess Maggie da Silva to pose as his mistress. I just love fake dating, what can I say?

2. “Liar’s Dice” by Jeannie Lin. OMG I could go on and on. Has Jeannie ever written anything ever that wasn’t note perfect? Be honest. The answer is no. This story is no exception and guess what, I have it on good authority that there will be MORE! more more more now plz. Okay. So Wei-wei is, in Jeannie’s words, “the straight A student who can do no wrong in her parents’ eyes, yet sneaks out of the house at night to meet up with her friends.“ Did I mention this story is linked to the Lotus Palace books? So Wei-wei sneaks out of the house dressed in one of Bai Huang’s discarded flamboyant Scarlet-Pimpernel robes to visit Ming-yu’s and Wu Kaifeng’s tea house, and while she’s out she runs into her brother’s disreputable associate Gao, who kind of reminds me of Han Solo except he doesn’t talk as much, and together they witness a murder! And then they have to investigate together and it is SO SO GOOD and Wei-wei is such a nerd and Gao is SO FUCKING INTO HER, there is this scene where she’s trying to explain to him about her favorite story where the hero and heroine turn into butterflies at the end, and he’s really trying to understand but he just can’t and OH MY GOD THEY ARE SO CUTE, GO READ IT NOW. GO. I’LL WAIT.

3. “Raising the Stakes” by Isabel Cooper. You may remember Isabel Cooper of Scottish Victorian dragon and also post-apocalyptic/Victorian time-travel My Fair Lady fame??? Yeah. So this story is set in 1930s California, and this tough-talking wisecracking two-bit con woman who’s sending money to the folks back home in Oklahoma wins a magic flute at poker, and now this magic elf has to do her bidding, so they decide to take down a crooked radio evangelist, and it is so so good. Sam is SO ADORABLE and she likes Cary Grant and her first instinct when faced with an immortal elf warrior is to buy him pancakes and I could just listen to her talk all day.

4. Molly O’Keefe’s “Redeemed.” If you like angsty stories about fucked-up, traumatized people who thought they could never love again BUT OH WAIT I GUESS THEY CAN, this is for you. Dr. James Madison (OH MY GOD STOP ASKING HIM, NO HE IS NOT NAMED AFTER THE PRESIDENT, JESUS, WHY DOES EVERYONE ASK THAT) is recovering from a chloroform addiction he developed because of his Civil War surgeon PTSD (he fought for the North, just FYI), and he’s living in a brothel, and then this creepy Confederate dude brings his weird creepy act through town where he makes this former Union spy girl sing in a big birdcage, and she’s weird and funny and desperate to escape and it turns out her handler is her abusive stepfather (sort of) who also has her addicted to morphine and laudanum, and Dr. Madison is like I’m no hero but THIS WILL NOT STAND, and they both claw their way towards being happy again, and it’s very beautiful. Also I hear that the hero is inspired by Val Kilmer’s Doc Holliday. IJS.

5. Joanna Bourne’s “Gideon in the Den of Thieves,” which is set entirely in Lazarus’s court which I know some of you are into (the heroine is a fence), and 13-year-old Hawker is there being Hawker but younger and slightly less good at his job (but already very good at his job), and honestly I feel like anything else I could say is just keeping you from your reading.

This way to 13-year-old Hawker

In for a Penny is 99 cents!

Historical Romance Sale 2

I’m taking part in a giant sale along with 40+ other historical romance authors this week: from May 22-28, you can get our books for $0.99!

Check out the site at http://historicalromancesale.wordpress.com and select your retail platform to see all the books. I’m discounting In for a Penny, my debut Regency about a charming wastrel who marries a Cit heiress and leaves his disreputable life (and friends!) behind to try and learn to manage his father’s ruined estate.

New contest: Rose’s formative romances

ETA: This contest is now closed.

So! In for a Penny, my debut book, is on sale for 99 cents this week along with over FORTY other historical romances.

Historical Romance Sale 2

Penny was heavily influenced by the Regency romances I was reading at the time (it’s kind of a retelling of Georgette Heyer’s A Civil Contract, and my very favorite Goodreads review EVER describes it as “a Georgette Heyer style historical romance but with sex & explicit fellatio”), so to celebrate, I’m giving away 7 formative romance from my personal library to 7 commenters!

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You can now preorder Gambled Away!

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HEYO!! My anthology with Molly O’Keefe, Jeannie Lin, Joanna Bourne and Isabel Cooper (on the theme of characters who are won (or lost) in games of chance) is available for preorder TODAY!


GambledAway-200x300Get revenge. Pay a debt. Save a soul. Lose your heart.

Spanning centuries and continents, five brand-new novellas from beloved historical romance authors tell the stories of men and women who find themselves wagered in a game of chance and are forced to play for the highest stakes of all: love.

“Gideon and the Den of Thieves” by Joanna Bourne

London, 1793 – Soldier of fortune Gideon Gage has come home from halfway around the world, fully prepared to face down a ruthless gang to save his sister. But there’s one member of the gang he could never have been prepared for: fascinating Aimée, driven from her own home by the French Revolution and desperately in need of his help.

“Raising The Stakes” by Isabel Cooper

California, 1938 — When the flute she won in last night’s poker game unexpectedly summons an elven warrior bound to her service, two-bit con artist Sam takes quick advantage. With Talathan’s fairy powers at her command, her shakedown of a crooked preacher is a sure thing…but would she rather take a gamble on love?

“All or Nothing” by Rose Lerner

England, 1819 – Architect Simon Radcliffe-Gould needs someone to pose as his mistress so he can actually get some work done at a scandalous house party. Irrepressible gambling den hostess Maggie da Silva would rather be his mistress, but she’ll take what she can get…

“The Liar’s Dice” by Jeannie Lin

Tang Dynasty China, 849 A.D. — Lady Bai’s first taste of freedom brings her face to face with murder. A dangerous and enigmatic stranger becomes her closest ally as she investigates the crime, but can she trust her heart or her instincts when everyone is playing a game of liar’s dice?

“Redeemed” by Molly O’Keefe

Denver, 1868 — After agonizing years in the Civil War’s surgical tents, Union doctor James Madison has nothing left to lose. But when beautiful, tortured Helen Winters is the prize in a high-stakes game of poker, he goes all in to save her—and maybe his own soul.


Preorder it!

Learn more: GambledAway.com

Read the first chapter of my story.

\o/\o/\o/ I am so proud of this story and this project! I can’t wait for you all to read it!!!