Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Giveaway: I'll jingle your bells ...

Disclaimer:  Today's post is going to be about adult books.  Yep, that's right, it's going to include a giveaway of naughty, saucy, completely inappropriate novels for those under the age of 18 or those of a modest nature ... okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating a tad, but I just thought I'd err on the side of caution.  Proceed at your own peril.  Here be dragons ... or at least erotic literature.  Just don't say I didn't warn you!

I'm just going to come out and say it.  We're all friends here, we can support each other in these trying times.  So, here goes ... I didn't like Fifty Shades Of Grey.

Yeah, I know. 

It's incredibly frustrating, because I really, really wanted to like it!  I remember back when I still used to work with the books at the library, we'd play a game during shelving.  If one of us were lucky enough to come across a Black Lace novel on our trolley, we had to open it randomly at three different pages and read something out.  It was almost guaranteed that at least two of the three would be something salacious.

Trust me, nothing makes shelving time go faster than talk of heaving breasts and throbbing manhoods.

But no matter how hard I tried to like Fifty Shades, I just couldn't overlook the first person present tense, the blatant irresponsibility shown by the characters, or the overuse of certain exclamations.

So disappointing!  It's no Story of O, that's for sure.

I much preferred Xanthe Walter's "Ricochet" which I just finished the other day.  

I actually feel kind of bad comparing it to Fifty Shades at all, they really are like chalk and cheese.  Xanthe's book gives the reader a healthy, much more realistic picture of a power exchange relationship, something which is definitely lacking in even some of the well written novels of the genre.

I love the way she writes her characters.  They have more than two dimensions, and they aren't defined by their sexual "dynamic".  And perhaps even more importantly, the story is a damned good one!  She doesn't rely on the titillation factor to keep her audience interested.

Here Xanthe sums up her book in her own words, to give you guys an idea of what it's about.

Ricochet is my first original character novel set in the BDSM universe I created in my fanfiction writing. This is a universe where everyone is bisexual, everyone identifies as dom, sub or switch, and BDSM relationships are the norm. 
Matt is an actor on a hit TV show, who struggles when he hears about an upcoming plot line for his character involving the kind of sexual experimentation that he is scared of trying for himself.  Matt has never experienced his own subspace, and longs to be able to let go of his anxiety and OCD behaviour for long enough to enjoy his sexuality. 
Rick is his co-star, a larger-than-life character who is scared of his dom side – for good reason – and skates the surface of his sexual identity, mistaking quantity of sexual experience for quality, and never allowing a sub to get too close, in case he hurts them.  This is a dom who doesn't trust himself – so how can he ask a sub to trust him? 
They are a traditional 'odd couple', who bicker, tease and play-fight without realizing they are crazy in love with each other – something that is obvious to all around them! 
During the course of the novel they go on a journey, and they both have to confront parts of themselves that make them uncomfortable, and overcome various personal challenges.   
There is a colourful cast of supporting characters too – plus a couple of bad guys who make sure that the course of true love doesn't run too smoothly! 
You can find out more about Ricochet (and read the first fourteen chapters!) on my website at www.xanthewalter.com.
So, in honour of the Silly Season, I've decided to give away two electronic copies of Ricochet.  The lucky winners will get a code that they can enter over at Smashwords to claim their copy.  It's available in just about every format you can imagine, including ePub, PDF and word documents, so no matter how you want to read it you'll be able to.

If you'd like to go into the Hat of Fate for the chance to win one of these copies, just leave a comment on this post!  I'll be drawing the winners on Saturday 22nd December at 10AM AEST, which I believe is Friday 21st December 7pm in New York.  This one is only for those over 18 though, I'm afraid, so no no entering if you're under that age.

Good lucky, guys!  Happy Kinkmas ... I mean Christmas!

38 comments:

  1. I haven't read Fifty Shades. I kept being told that I must read it, so I did read the opening pages on the Amazon preview, and could tell that I wouldn't like it. People I know who have read it, tell me it is fairly lame. Still the author is laughing all the way to the bank!

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    1. That's true, she's made a fortune. I guess it shows there's a market for it though, even for the crappy ones.

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  2. I didn't like 50 Shades either. I thought that all of the smut just repeated itself. Over and over! And the whole "inner goddess" bit? Cringeworthy. Glad I'm not alone!

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    1. There's really no excuse for it being so badly written. That's what I couldn't get over.

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  3. Haha! Yes, Happy Kinkmas to you as well :D I find I don't read any kind of erotic literature - not because I'm a prude - it just bores me. I can barely tolerate a 'love story' element added to any otherwise good tale. I can appreciate the fact that Xanthe Walter's characters are a bit more developed than your typical novel in this genre - that's certainly a step in the right direction.

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    1. I think that's the thing with a novel, if you don't have a good storyline, you'd better bloody well have likeable characters. If you can do both, you're on a winner.

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  4. I would love to win an electronic copy.

    I couldn't read Fifty Shades. Her writing is so bad.

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    1. I've got friends who rave about it, and I just give them other options. But they won't read them, they're so sure that Fifty Shades is the be all and the end all.

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  5. I didn't get a kick out of 50 shades either! I was super disgruntled by how their sex-lives dribbled out into their personalities to form such an unhealthy and controlling relationship (buying her company so she had to work for him? ick. how flushed anna constantly was? come on.)

    Always happy for an interesting recommendation- thanks!

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    1. The whole story made me very uncomfortable with the level of irresponsibility. The motto is safe, sane and consentual for a reason.

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  6. Interesting. I've never broken into the smut literature myself. I'm always surprised when something I buy for my kindle that is promoted as chick lit ends up with a rather slutacious "heroine". (I have to put that word in quotes because I don't think simply letting a handy man into your house or sleeping with your married boss while breathing heavily is really heroic behavior).

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    1. LOL! I remember when I first realised that the Mills and Boons books were venturing into that area. It certainly put a new spin on Grandma's dedication to buying them every month!

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  7. Great post! I read the 50 Shades. Now in keeping an open mind about it going in knowing first that this is an over 40 ladies fantasy. So when I see some of the craziness out about it, for instance the many websites of fans, the haters, the 50 Shade babies etc... Many of the fans act like they have discovered a new color in the rainbow, or a new star in the sky which makes me want to leave a comment to them, Hello- this has been around for awhile EL James did not discover BDSM. To those on the 50 Shades Baby Boom I want to see their polls for instance the # of "true" 50 Shades babies vs how many babies have been the result of Kay Jewelers who say, "every kiss begins with Kay" :) Definitely enjoyed your post! Sorry my comment is long!

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    1. LOL! Very good points! Just because it hasn't been covered in mainstream novels before doesn't mean it's brand new.

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  8. I would be interested to read something well-written in the genre after cringing through snippets of 50 Shades...

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    1. It's definitely worth a look. Xanthe has put up the first 14 chapters on her website for people to read for free.

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  9. I'm in a very small book club and we often spend most of the time chatting. Someone had said something about Fifty Shades and how everyone kept talking about it but had heard it had some adult scenes in it. We decided on something else as one of the other ladies had read (and also not liked it) and said it was a smut book and not much else.

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    1. I don't have a problem with smut books as such, I just don't like badly or irresponsibly written smut books. Fifty Shades was both of those things.

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  10. Ok I have to come back and visit for no other reason than your tag line is hilarious. But now I'm interested in a new book which is a win for me too. Have a great weekend.

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  11. Going through a back catalogue of BDSM novels, It's clear that E.L.James lifted heavily from some of them. How 50 shades became a phenomenon when there are so many good reads out there, is mind-blowing.
    Ricochet is a great book. Congrats to those who win a copy. ;)

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    1. Have you read Xanthe's other stories in the 'Verse? I loved Coming Home, in fact I did the audio recordings for it as well as General & Doctor Sheppard and Hiding In Plain Sight.

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  12. I found Fifty to be... "meh". It got my husband laid a bit more often while I read the trilogy, but the writing ans story were lackluster. I MUCH prefer anything by Cherise Sinclair!

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    1. I just want to know what made her think that first person present was the way to write it! It's so distracting!

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  13. Every time I read the main character exclaiming "oh my" i would think of George Takei. It kinda killed the mood.

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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    1. ROFL! I hadn't thought of that! Now I'm going to see him too every time I think about that bloody story!

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  14. Oooh ooh oooh I would LOOOOVE to win this! I am always looking for awesome audiobooks and podcasts since I spend so much time sitting in my car. And even if I don't win, thank you for the recommendation.

    Sarah xxx

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    1. You're welcome! Xanthe's writing is amazing, although this is her first original novel. Her previous stuff is all fandom based.

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  15. What kills me about 50 shades is that it is essentially the biggest and worst Mary Sue Twilight fanfic around. It is, like Twilight, poorly written with wooden, unbelievable characters. A 70s pizza delivery porn movie is done better!

    Sorry - my English degree just reared it's head!

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    1. It's kind of scary when it makes Twilight look like a work of literature. There's something I never though I'd hear myself say.

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  16. I read 50 Shades and, I'll be honest, I enjoyed it. I like trashy romances sometimes :) But I think the largest part of why I liked it was learning about a world I know nothing about. I have no desire to be in that type of relationship, but I am very nosey and want to know all about it, anyway :) So, having said that, I am quite sure I would like this other book, especially if it has better writing! So count me in!

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    1. If you liked it for that reason, you'd probably love Xanthe's stuff. She really goes into the psychology of it, but in a world where everyone thinks that way so it's easier to show why people want what they want.

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  17. Hi! It's Vickilicious from The Greek Housewife. Thanks for following! I followed you back! Looking forward to reading your blog!

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  18. Oh this is fun! I haven't read fifty shades of grey but I am going to though haha. xo

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  19. Ditto....I got halfway through 50 Shades of Grey and then decided to abort!!! Honestly, my list of book reads is so large that I just didn't want to waste my time on this one book.

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    1. Can't say as I blame you. I had to skim a lot of it just to keep going.

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