Happy first day of March! I’m not sure about y’all, but February seemed to drag for me this year and I’m not sure why. It normally is a tough month for me, for various reasons, and this year’s snowstorm didn’t help. Still, this year it seemed extra long. Hopefully with March starting it means that we can all look forward to a warmer spring, even if some of us are still trying to recover from last March.
Most of the last week was spent trying to do as much work as I could to make up for the week of snow as well as finishing books for the Black Author read-a-thon. While there were issues surrounding a few of the co-hosts, as mentioned in the last edition, I still wanted to finish what I could from my planned TBR. This was because I wanted to try to finish the goal that I had made for myself and still work towards uplifting and boosting these authors. In hindsight, I realize that I was overly ambitious since present me knows that future me didn’t finish them all.
Of course, you can and should always read books outside your own specific identifiers since it broadens horizons on so many levels. It’s certainly true that there is most of a boost during the associated month, such as February for Black voices, May for Asian/Pacific American voices, and November for Native American voices. But, you don’t have to wait for those months to roll around the calendar to read books from those voices.
On that note, if you’re interested in trying your hand at another read-a-thon, check out the Indigenous Romance Read-a-thon. This is going to be a six-month long event with one designated book per month. The hosts are Michelle from Thor Wants Another Letter and Bethany from Beautifully Bookish Bethany. You can check out more through Michelle’s video here and Bethany’s there. First up is Heartbeat Braves by Pamela Sanderson, which is currently on sale for $0.99. I read this last year and highly recommend it.
In more enraging news, Meryl Wilsner announced on their Twitter that they had been uninvited to speak at a library event because their book was queer and was a F/F romance. While they wouldn’t say which library it was, it was clear from their thread that this was, understandably, quite a blow. I respect and admire their class for not naming and, by extension, dragging the library since, from what I see, this was a call that was made by county commissioners and not the library or librarians.
Regardless though, even if it is a small, conservative town, this is ridiculous for 2021. Something to Talk About was one of the most buzzed about romances from last year and that alone should have been cause for Meryl to be allowed to speak there. They had been invited and then the opportunity was taken away because some small-minded ‘official’ abused power to impose narrow-minded beliefs to quiet their voice. This not only does a disservice to the author and the library, but the patrons as well. Who knows how many were going to the event purely for this author and may now decide not to attend?
They were right in their thread that change isn’t immediate. It is a slow, long, and painful process. But blows like this still hurt because we’re all human and have feelings. This shouldn’t have happened but unfortunately it did. While there’s nothing that can be done about it now, and there is still no word on which library did it, we can work towards trying to prevent it in the future by remembering to vote in all local elections. Because I don’t know about y’all but I sure as hell don’t want someone who likely has never even cracked open a romance book tell me which authors I can and cannot hear speak.
And least you think this is just an adult romance problem, remember that a similar act of censorship also happened to Barbara Dee with her middle grade novel Star-Crossed.
Moving on to lighter topics to try to stop the rage…
Apologies for not linking to the latest When in Romance podcast last time. No worries though! You can still listen to it in all its glory, and, as luck would have it, there was a bit of discussion on being Black in romance.
One happy thing I’ll be doing this weekend is meeting up with my bookclub. While it’s been tricky to meet up during the pandemic, I’m happy to report that we’ve managed to make it work via Zoom. If your own book club is looking to try their hand at romance, check out this list of options compiled by some of our contributors.
Check out this list of some of the best romances that take place at a convention. I love a good nerdy romance, even if idea of cons and crowds make me nervous. To be fair, though, I was this way pre-Covid
Kiran wrote this delightful read about the many merits of fictional beaus.
Did you ever find yourself wondering what romance books Dani Brown’s Zaf would give for reading recommendations? Well, wonder no more!
There are a lot of exciting new releases for this first week of March and here are a few that may peak your interest. As per usual not a full list, and just some of the notable highlights.
Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron
Float Plan by Trish Doller
Love Like Her by Claudia Burgoa
Dotted Lines by Devney Perry
Here are some of the deals I was able to find. Again, these were the prices at the time of writing of the newsletter:
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole is currently $3.99
Dukes I’d Like to F… is available for $0.99
Courtney Milan’s The Suffragette Scandal can be snagged for $0.99
Just a Little Wickedness by Merry Farmer is available for $0.99.
And that’s all she wrote for now. If you’re so inclined you can follow me @Pscribe801 over on Twitter. Until next time!