Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Tuesday News and Deals: DABWAHA Updates, Asian Sexuality and Deals.


Second Chance Bracket:

Bracket busted? You get a Second Chance! Starting with the Sweet 16, pick your winners – and there’s prizes for this tourney, too!

Deadline:  3/21/2012 at 11:59:00 PM ET

This is a separate contest – your picks in this tourney don’t override your picks in the main tourney, in other words. The winner of the 2nd Chance Bracket will receive a Kindle Fire, a $100 Amazon giftcard, and an ARC of Echoes at Dawn, book 5 in the KGI series from author Maya Banks.

2nd place in the 2nd chance will receive a $50 gift card to either Amazon or B&N from Sarah Frantz and Eric Selinger, who are celebrating the publication of their academic collection of essays titled New Approaches in Popular Romance Fiction.

Have a look at the prizes page for more information on what’s going to be awarded with each round. And, yes, there is absolutely a “Wooden Spoon” prize for the worst bracket overall, so if your bracket is hopelessly broken, aim low and vote against yourself to try to score that prize.

The second chance tourney brackets are open through Wednesday, March 21. Then voting on the Sweet Sixteen begins Thursday, March 22!

I hope you’re having fun as much fun as we are as we play through. Next up: Sweet 16!

Scholastic made Hunger Games a bestseller before it even hit the shelves.  Salon does an in depth piece about how the pieces fell into place for The Hunger Games and guaranteed it would be a success even before the first book was published.  Of course, a lot had to do with the book itself but the Scholastic editing, sales, and marketing team made this book get noticed.

That spring, a full six months before “The Hunger Games” was set to publish, the official advance reader’s copies were among some of the most sought-after items at the conferences and conventions where publishers present their titles to booksellers and librarians. In early summer, Publishers Weekly, the industry’s trade publication, ran a story on how Scholastic had twice doubled the book’s print run in response to “early raves, particularly online, where commentary has lit up blogs and listservs.” The book was well on its way to bestseller status even before the cover art — a major conundrum for Scholastic — had been finalized.

I loved this piece by Jeannie Lin on the issue of whether the sexualization of the Asian male is objectification or equality.  I think what Lin is saying but doesn’t state outright is that we need some Asian male man titty on the cover.

These references are old ones, but I don’t believe they are outdated. You still don’t often see Asian men in leading roles and when they are, they are allowed to be kung-fu masters, technical wizards or comic relief, but rarely are they sexy, romantic heroes.

In the interest of furthering racial equality, I bring you Lee Byung Hun.



  • A Charmed Place by Antoinette Stockenberg * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Keepsake by Antoinette Stockenberg * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Hollywood Headlines Mysteries by Gemma Halliday * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • She Woke Up Married by Suzane Macpherson * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Highland Master by Amanda Scott * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Circle of Desire by Carla Swafford * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S *preorder*
  • Leave No Trace by Cindy Gerard * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S *preorder, I believe this is a novella*
  • Desert Rain with Bonus Material by Elizabeth Lowell * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Forget Me Not with Bonus Material by Elizabeth Lowell * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Lover in the Rough with Bonus Material by Elizabeth Lowell * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Remember Summer with Bonus Material by Elizabeth Lowell * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Unstoppable by Laura Griffin * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S *novella*
  • The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton by Miranda Neville * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S *recommended and part of the DABWAHA tournament *
  • Out of Time by Samantha Graves * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Darkness on Fire by ALexis Morgan * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Lady’s Choice by Amanda Scott * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • The Darkest Seduction by Gena Showalter * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S *recommended and part of the DABWAHA tournament *
  • See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S *Hockey series*
  • The Trouble with Valentine’s Day by Rachel Gibson * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S   *Hockey series*
  • Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S   *Hockey series*
  • Truly Madly Yours by Rachel Gibson * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • It Must Be Love by Rachel Gibson * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel Gibson * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Enslave by Cathy Yardley * $4.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Perilous Pleasures by Jenny Brown * $4.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Wanted: Undead or Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks * $4.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Nightfire by Lisa Marie Rice * $4.99 * A | BN | K | S *recommended for readers who like the single minded alpha male *
  • Hotter than Wildfire by Lisa Marie Rice * $4.99 * A | BN | K | S  *recommended for readers who like the single minded alpha male *
  • Into the Crossfire by Lisa Marie Rice * $4.99 * A | BN | K | S  *recommended for readers who like the single minded alpha male *
  • Cowboy Takes a Bride by Lori Wilde * $4.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Confessions from an Arranged Marriage by Miranda Neville * $4.99 * A | BN | K | S  *April recommended read *
  • Are of Duke Hunting by Sophia Nash * $4.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare * $4.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Live to Tell by Wendi Corsi Staub * $9.99 * A | BN | K | S

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Sarah Frantz
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 08:05:34

    I’m all for that equality. Guh.

  2. Ruthie
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 08:10:27

    Sorry, did you say something? I was…distracted.

  3. Sherry Thomas
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 08:12:34

    How about some Takeshi Kaneshiro mantitty? Or Hrithik Roshan? Heck, even Shah Rukh Khan six-packed up for one of his movies.

  4. Jan
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 08:29:37

    I’m totally seconding Takeshi Kaneshiro. Mmmm. And I’ve got a thing for Harry Shum Jr. It’s the dance moves I think. And maybe the cardigans :)

    Fictionwise I really like Lex from the Downside Ghost books. He’s this strange combo of sexy and sleazy, and while I don’t like him for Chess, I do like him as a character very much.
    I do think that there’s the additional problem that if an Asian hero/heroine is featured, it’s almost always someone from the classical Asian countries, like Japan, China and Korea. Where are all the Indian people? The Fillipino’s? Malaysian people? I want more really.

  5. sula
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 08:35:53

    nom! And I second the Takeshi Kaneshiro mantitty request. I grew up in SE Asia and have always found Asian guys sexy. I wish that pop culture ie. TV and movies would include them as romantic leads because I am all in favor of diversity in my heros.

  6. Meri
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 09:25:18

    Equality is definitely our friend.

  7. Maili
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 09:26:33

    Ooh, that Lee Bunyn-hun is Bam’s fave eye candy. It doesn’t hurt that he’s actually a consistently good actor, too (favourite LBH film: A Bittersweet Life).

    I love Jeannie Lin’s post. I’m thoroughly tired of seeing East Asian heroes’ heads chopped off on romance covers. They rarely appear so why the head chop? I’m still surprised that there aren’t many in stock photography. When they do show up, they tend to be in silly ninja or martial arts poses, with or without that damn sword. Drives me nuts. I think romance author Carolyn Jewel once sent out a S.O.S. on her blog for any stock photos of a good-looking Asian (Tibean) male model that she could buy for her (I think) self-published novella. It’s ridiculous that she had to be reduced to do that.

    It still doesn’t explain why publishers don’t make an effort to sex up and sell male models of Asian ethnicity. I mean, I still can’t get over the cover art of Christine Feehan’s Mind Game (the hero is “part American Indian and part Japanese” – a double whammer! – yet the male model seems to be 100% blue-eyed Caucasian). And there’s that stupid head chop.

  8. joanne
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 09:31:14

    I sure would like the chance to discuss (or at least look at) – (okay, mainkly look at) – the sexualization of some men over 30.

    Hollywood Headlines Mysteries by Gemma Halliday is a Boxed Set of THREE BOOKS for 99cents. I’ve never read that author but what a great way to be introduced! Thanks for the links.

  9. Isobel Carr
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 09:35:37

    Takeshi Kaneshiro. *sigh* I fell in love with Toshir? Mifune when I was five and never looked back. I’ll add Ken Wantanabe, Arjun Rampal, and Daniel Dae Kim to the list.

  10. Mireya
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 09:36:04

    I am not surprised about “Hunger Games”. As I have seen many times over, the pre-release marketing effort and creating “buzz” are what makes or breaks the success of a given product, be it records, games or books. The quality of what is provided is often secondary. If the product is actually something that appeals to the consumer, then word-of-mouth will keep the product selling well for quite a while.

    As to Asian man-titty HELL YES! Now excuse me while I wipe my drool …

  11. Isobel Carr
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 09:37:33

    Apparently the system doesn’t like accent marks and thus biffed the “o” in Toshiro.

  12. Mina Khan
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 09:46:11

    I’m all about equality and abs :D, but seriously I’m Asian and I hunt out Asian stories in books, movies, plays etc. because much of the story and background resonate with me. It’s nice to see when the characters are real rather than boxed stereotypes.

    My 1st hero, Rukh, was inspired by Shah Rukh :), and my 2nd by Akshay Kumar…Bollywood is sooo inspiring!

  13. leela
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 09:51:40

    Please, may I have some more equality?

  14. Darlynne
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 10:08:29

    @joanne: Thanks for mentioning the three-book set. I mean, even I can’t pass up that deal.

    Takeshi Kaneshiro? *sigh* Can I tell you how many times I’ve watched House of Flying Daggers? Well, no, actually, I can’t actually.

    And I’ve applied highly scientific methods to my selection process for the second chance tourney. We shall see what happens.

  15. Jia
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 10:36:18

    We definitely need more equality, yes. I would also like to add Daniel Henney to the list.

    @Isobel Carr: Ah, Toshiro Mifune! He was one of my favs too.

  16. MaryK
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 10:36:29

    I was going to say something about the 2nd chance tourney but it seems so irrelevant now. 

    Since we’re talking about guys – I really liked the geeky sidekick in Green Lantern. I was pleased that he lived, of course, but would prefer him as a main character.

  17. KT Grant
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 10:45:29

    I’m all for equal opportunity man abs.

  18. CK
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 11:32:50

    Raises hand! Equal opportunity luster here. Hot is hot. I second Daniel Henney and throw in Rick Yune and Ian Anthony Dale. I’ve found epubs to be more friendly to hot Asian hero covers. I know I’ve picked up a couple from Liquid Silver and Ellora or maybe Samhain over the years, but there a definite shortage.

  19. April Books & Wine
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 11:47:24

    The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness is currently $0.99 for Kindle. It’s YA and quite excellent.

  20. anon
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 11:58:47

    Interesting piece about Hunger Games. I often wonder about “bestsellers” on romance e-publisher web sites, and whether or not they are manipulated for marketing purposes when they are first released. In other words, are these books actually bestsellers or are they put there to look like bestsellers to manipulate readers? Do e-publishers push certain pet authors and manipulate in order to get readers to buy the books? Does it make sense when a first novel with an unknown pen name is released and automatically becomes a bestseller on the publisher web site? I know, first hand, actual book sales don’t always reflect what should be a so-called bestseller…or these publishers aren’t selling very much on the web sites. I could be wrong. But it makes me wonder.

  21. DS
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 12:14:39


    Since we’re talking about guys – I really liked the geeky sidekick in Green Lantern. I was pleased that he lived, of course, but would prefer him as a main character.

    The 1967-68 Green Hornet side kick Kato (Bruce Lee!) was far more interesting to one group of 12 year old girls than the supposed main character. We were so mad when the show was cancelled.

  22. JoanneF
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 12:24:00

    John Cho anyone?

  23. Angela James
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 12:52:58

    @anon: I can’t speak for every publisher or digital publisher, but I know the Carina (and Samhain) bestseller lists are organic, not manipulated or forced. And in the case of Carina, ours is actually not a bestseller list but a most popular list. There’s some algorithm the site uses to calculate incoming links, searches, buys, etc and figure the list.

  24. Heidi Belleau
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 12:54:37

    @Angela James:

    Oh! I didn’t realize it took more into account than just sales, that’s awesome! Kind of calculates the “buzz” of the book. Neat!

  25. Nikki
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 12:59:24

    What is wrong with objectification of men? Cause I had to stop for a minute with that picture. :) Anyway, I think something to consider is that seeing something as sexually desirable for some people can be the first step towards being more open. I am not saying that it is the best way, but I think it can create a pathway. I am always annoyed when african-american characters are only looked at in a single facet such as the sassy friend, the fat chick, the baby mama, religious type, etc. Why can’t she be hot and intelligent and well-spoken? So if an asian male can be seen as attractive and not just the nerd or martial artist I think it really helps to change perceptions. I think the benefit of globalization and the internet is that it is bringing us together in ways we never imagined before. I also think that as time passes and the old school ways of thought are pushed away, we will also see better characters and depictions. If nothing else, the thought of making money off a particular sector of the market should lead them to consider things differently. I still can’t help but think that if the last airbender had a more diverse cast, it would have done better. Or at the very least, I might have wanted to watch it.

    And I want to also vote for Daniel Henney and the male cast of Coffee Prince, so many hot guys. Why wasn’t there a second season again?

  26. MaryK
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 13:01:17

    @DS: I was all set to see the Green Hornet movie because of the sidekick. Apparently, it was really bad though so I never watched it.

  27. Kim in Hawaii
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 13:02:35

    A quick trip to Hawaii will solve that problem for Asian male man titty as well as Polynesian and even Portuguese!

  28. Lada
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 14:10:53

    @Sherry Thomas: Totally second Hrithik Roshan!! And he can dance!!

    Really enjoyed the Salon article. Great insight into children’s book publishing and the making of a phenomenon.

  29. MarieC
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 15:25:21

    wow…didn’t that picture want to make you ‘meow’?

    @ Nikki: I totally second Daniel Henney!!!

  30. Joanna K.
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 15:31:08

    DROOLS! Huge and long-time LBH fan here! (ever since I caught him in “Beautiful Days” with Choi Ji woo. Has it really been 11 years??) Boy, was I surprised when I saw his pic here! Now let me go and re-watch his shirtless scenes in “IRIS”.

  31. Joanna K.
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 15:41:15

    Have we lost our option to edit our comments? LOL, I wanted to add a video which shows how Lee Byung Hun just gets better with age. :)

  32. Mina Khan
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 16:04:52

    @Lada & @Sherry Thomas: I totally third Hrithik Roshan! He’s very inspiring as well :) LOL

  33. Jane
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 18:54:17

    Yes, unfortunately the editing comment feature was causing us problems.

  34. Kay
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 20:20:16

    Copyright 2000, WORDS OF THE PITCHER by Kei Swanson, Genesis Press. Japanese baseball pitcher hero, heroine a linguist. Available on Amazon, but what a price!

    I’ve got a signed copy.

  35. Kaetrin
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 20:20:20

    @Jane re Lee Byung Hun – feel free to bring me more. Anytime. Really. :D

  36. Jane
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 20:24:48

    @Kay: Do you recommend the story? Is it any good?

  37. Christine M.
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 20:33:40

    I don’t have a clue who the guy is but… the lovely gentleman having comtemp-dance-crossed-over-martial-arts sex on the bed with Shakira in Did it Again … I can’t dance to save my life and I have no knowledge whatsoever of martial arts, but I’d still give it a go make a fool of myself anyway. He’s that good. so please, give me moar.

    ps. I can’t stop coming back to this post to stare at the gorgeous man (and his abs, too). So thank you. Totally made my day.

  38. Jia
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 21:17:41

    @Christine M.: That’s Daniel Cloud Campos.

  39. Kinsey
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 21:18:57

    The South Korean pop star/movie star Rain (Jung Ji-Hoon) is very very yummy but he looks so young I feel skeevy noting his yumminess.

    But that doesn’t bother men, so I’m not going to let it bother me.

    Also – anyone remember the Vietnamese guy from 21 Jump Street? Don’t know if he did anything after but, DAMN.

  40. ShellBell
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 21:29:22

    One of my favourite covers is for Yakuza Pride by HJ Brues

    @Kinsey – I remember the gorgeous Dustin Nguyen from 21 Jump Street. He was also in Seaquest and VIP but not too sure what he has been in lately.

  41. Nonny
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 21:57:42

    Rawr. I’m not usually one for men, but damn, that guy is fine.

  42. Kay
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 22:08:35

    @Jane: I remember enjoying Words of the Pitcher and everyone I’ve ever loaned it to has also, but truth to tell, it’s been a few years since I read it.

  43. nitnot
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 01:50:08

    I just about pulled a muscle cracking up over that Asian sexuality piece. To be honest, as Asian as I am (upbringing, family, tradition, the whole galore) I do not look for Asians in my books, especially romance. Usually they are stereotyped as hell, or just isn’t right. However, I do not object to more Asian man titties on book covers. I mean, bring it on.

    Maybe off topic, but Ilona Andrews has an Asian (Indonesian as well! Gooooo Indo!) heroine, Dali. They did amazing research for sure, but there were a few mistakes and I was annoyed. Not the least because I don’t know any Indonesians named Dali. Aside from that, the book was great and I enjoy Dali to the fullest. I’d love to read an Asian hero from them, they have a way of making anything or anyone sound hot.

    Suzanne Brockmann, as much as I love her and I have been reading her 10 years plus now, really annoy me with her Indonesian names and/or settings.

    Sorry. Rant.

  44. cyclops8
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 03:54:45

    Oh, VIP was that Pamela Anderson show. I haven’t seen Dustin in anything after that show.

  45. Roslyn Holcomb
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 07:01:57

    Jan, I asked the same question on my blog. I keep getting requests for Asian heroes and asked my readers to define Asian. It seems they’re thinking Japanese/Chinese/Korean, while my libido is stuck on Troy Polamalu. Oh well, maybe after I get my unrequited lust out of my system, I’ll give them what they want.

  46. sasha
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 08:55:51

    Russell Wong. Oh Russell Wong.

  47. Susan
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 13:56:22

    YES to both more purty pictures of Asian men, as well as thoughtful, well-drawn Asian characters.

    Now that I can concentrate, I’ll go back and read the Hunger Games article.

  48. Jinni
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 15:03:42

    I am a Korean drama addict for just this reason. Couldn’t get them in book form, and KDrama works! I so wish there were more in books and that half-Asian, quarter-Asian is such a cop out . . . . And the stereotypes are just too much!

  49. Melissa Blue
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 23:17:49

    All hail the mantitty. In every race.

  50. shel
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 23:42:19

    Yes. Would love to revisit Vanishing Son, but I don’t think it’s on dvd.

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