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

Wednesday News: Beauty blogger’s work used without permission; Google Classroom debuts;...

I’m A Blogger. Respect My Work. – London Beauty Queen, a blogger with more than 22,000 followers on Twitter, has had her images used without permission. We often talk about how bloggers need to be careful about using photos from sources that are not public domain, but now, with the rise of blogs to media prominence, we have the opposite problem. LBQ made a comment on Twitter regarding London Beauty Box’s use of an image from LBQ’s site without permission. London Beauty Box responded with a claim they didn’t know what she was talking about, and you can see the whole exchange, including LBQ’s purloined image. Even when bloggers don’t monetize their sites, they still have rights to the work they produce. In the US, anyone who produces a piece of work has copyright over that work automatically, whether or not they register it. Registration confers additional benefits, but it’s not required for copyright to attach.

I’ve had images taken from my site without permission and used by brands on their social media channels. I’ve had blog posts copied and pasted to other sites without consent. I’ve had brands and agencies demand I place their links, information or offer on my site – just because they want it there. I’ve had rude responses when I’ve asked for compensation for my time, such is the little value placed upon bloggers and blogging by some. I’ve battled with brands for payment when they changed the goalposts at the last minute. I’ve been asked to act unlawfully and illegally. You name it, I’ve experienced it… And it just isn’t right. –London Beauty Queen

Google Debuts Classroom, a Free Apps for Education Tool – Although Google has shut down Google+, they’ve now expanded into educational apps, including Google Classroom, an app that allows teachers to track students and assignments. The app can be used to create, distribute, and collect assignments; create folders and organize class materials, and make announcements to students, among other things. According to Nate Hoffelder,

I know that this tool might not sound like much, but this is the kind of tool that other ed tech companies are selling to schools for annual fees. Google, on the other hand, is simply going to give it away. It won’t even be supported by ads, and Google has also promised that they will never uses a school’s content or student data for advertising purposes. –The Digital Reader

The Edgar® Winners and Nominees – This year’s Edgar Awards for Mystery have been announced, and I have to say, it’s a male dominated winner’s field. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger won for best novel, and The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood snagged best paperback original. Erik Dussere won in the category of best critical/biographical for America is Elsewhere: The Noir Tradition in the Age of Consumer Culture. The complete list of nominees and winners can be found at the Edgar website. –The Edgars

Dear Author Announces the May Book Club – In honor of the digital re-issuing of so much of Laura London/Tom and Sharon Curtis’s Romance, and the 30-year anniversary of their epic novel, The Windflower, Dear Author will be featuring that novel for our May 27th Book Club. Sunita and I will be providing a joint review of the book, and we are fortunate enough to have a Q&A with Tom and Sharon Curtis that, I must admit, serves as true fan girl moment for me. I have mad respect for the writing skills of the Curtises, and as you will se below, those of us who have enjoyed their previous books now have something else to look forward to:

1. Okay, let’s get the most important question out of the way first: what have you been doing in the years since you wrote your Romances, and are you planning to write any new books? What kinds of characters and stories interest you now?

In the years since we wrote romances, Tom has been working, driving his 18-wheeler. Sharon worked in bookstore management. Sharon cared for her mother while her mother was ill with lymphoma. We read lots, Tom went on long hikes with the dogs, we watched our children complete their education, start their professional lives, marry and begin families. We played with our grandchildren. Tom and the kids continue to perform Irish music in the family band. We were politically active. Sharon watched baseball. Tom went on three day bike trips with friends, which Sharon calls the tavern tours of northern Wisconsin due to the frequent enjoyment of libations along the way.

We are currently working on an urban fantasy. We like characters with vulnerabilities, psychological baggage, big hearts, a healthy sense of humor and a pronounced appetite for life. We like stories with adventure, humor, surprises and good outcomes. –Dear Author

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!


  1. Barbara
    May 07, 2014 @ 06:55:23

    Robin, the link for the London Beauty Queen/London Beauty Box conversation leads to one of Twitter’s “Oops” pages. I don’t know if the conversation’s been deleted or not, the only mention of the thing on LBB’s Twitter feed is a comment that she doesn’t know what LBQ is talking about and that’s included in this conversation: (which has a link to the image in question, some profanity and a guy who’s a jerk, but no letter)

    I was so excited to see The Windflower released for Kindle, I one-clicked it as soon as it came out. I’m looking forward to digging into it.

  2. Kati
    May 07, 2014 @ 06:59:45

    I am BEYOND excited to read your joint review of The Windflower and the interview with The Curtises. It remains, after 30+ years of reading romance, my very favorite romance of all time. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I loves it so, so, so much.

  3. Lada
    May 07, 2014 @ 11:52:22

    Google seems to be all over the place and like they don’t know where best to focus their energies but a free education app to help teachers/students seems like a good thing. Hope they keep their promises.

    May 27th marked on calendar! Look forward to book club and the interview with the Curtises. Nice teaser!

  4. Robin/Janet
    May 07, 2014 @ 12:09:22

    @Barbara: Thank you for your link; I have no idea what happened with the one I posted, but I replaced it with yours and it seems to work fine now.

    As for the letter reference, that was just me writing up the news too late at night for my remaining brain function; I meant to reference the image. The jerky guy, by the way, apparently works for LBB, at least according to what LBQ says on Twitter.

  5. Anonymous
    May 07, 2014 @ 14:23:14

    I like that the Edgars have a category called critical/biographical. I wish romance had that. I feel like the romance genre begs for critical feedback from inside the genre. There is a lot of things that need examining. Like why such a supposedly feminist genre glorifies rape all the time and in genre has lousy gender dynamics? I am still angry that the statistic about rape fantasies was just thrown at readers during the trigger discussion and more at women ourselves that we are that screwed up (if it’s true.)

  6. Anonymous
    May 07, 2014 @ 14:24:04

    *Sorry, it should say There are

  7. Robin/Janet
    May 07, 2014 @ 14:34:18

    @Anonymous: Can you say a little more about what made you angry in the citation of that statistic? Was it the use of any statistic or that one in particular?

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