Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hacked from the SOILS e-mail database

To: Harlequin Mills & Boon Ltd.
cc: Author Jessica Notaprude

From: The Sisters of the Immaculate Love Scene (SOILS)
          RWA Awards Integrity Preservation Task Force

Subject: Violation of the RITA Awards
              Potential Change in Publisher Status

Dear Publisher:

Sadly, it has come to our attention that your corporation, which claims to be "the largest publisher of romantic fiction in the world", no longer publishes romance novels as defined and deemed appropriate by the Sisters of the Immaculate Love Scene.

Case in point: the novel As Steamy As It Can Be by Jessica Notaprude was found to contain the following:

1. Grossly Inappropriate Title (why not cut to the chase and call it As FILTHY As It Gets)

2. Lewd and lacivious cover art (the hero as depicted is definitely LOOKING at the heroine's partially exposed bosum)

3. Extremely offensive content (descriptions of premarital relations, extensive use of words for actual naked body parts, and the complete absence of proper, fade-to-black love scenes)

Normally SOILS would never sully our pristine ranks with such trash as Ms. Notaprude has written. Unhappily, we learned that her book had been entered into the RITA awards contest. We don't know why; it is so obviously not a romance, but we managed to get some of our members to volunteer as judges. Our long-suffering sisters then read ten or twenty words of it before -- in hysterics -- they called upon certain romance writers who have not yet fully embraced our cerebral chastity charter to ask them for a synopsis of the actual dirt involved.

After getting the disgusting scoop on Ms. Notaprude's many, many violations of true romance, we graded this book as the lowest-scoring entry in the contest. Actually, it was in the negative numbers. Ms. Notaprude has filed a useless protest with RWA over our scores, but for her benefit, and so that you do not lose your coveted publisher status with our beloved and powerful organization, we are pleased to remind you as to what constitutes a real romance:

1. A nice boy (the hero) and a virginal girl (the heroine) meet, chastely, in an appropriate setting: a historical time period predating the American Civil War, or one to which they have time-traveled, or a cowboy ranch in Texas. They must be fully-clothed and must stay dressed for the remainder of the story. They may change clothing, bathe and use the bathroom off-stage, or after the novel is over.

2. Sparks -- not ripped-off clothing -- fly between the lovers. Sparks may only consist of heated gazes, tension-filled silences, and fiery tosses of the heroine's head. Please note, we do not mean lovers in the Biblical sense of the term, but in the romantic, gazing-at-each-other-from-afar manner of real romantic lovers. Have the author imagine a wide, wildflower-speckled meadow between the hero and the heroine, and tell her to keep it there for the rest of the book.

3. The hero and the heroine fall in love. Again, chastely. They should talk about it a great deal, too. Preferably in church.

4. There is a black moment. Black as in emotionally speaking, not black as in the involvement of any African-American characters (please reference our bylaws section on how to portray any "colored" characters in romance novels) or black as in the absence of light in any room where certain premarital monkey business may happen. Also, no one should be naked or touching before, during or after this time. Remember, vows have not yet been exchanged.

5. The hero and the heroine bravely navigate through the (emotional) black moment, resolve their conflict, and reaffirm the power of love. They may share one soulful kiss at this point in the book, as long as there are no tongues or lower extremities touching.

6. The hero marries the heroine (in church), and takes her on an expensive and wildly romantic honeymoon on a completely deserted island somewhere in the South Pacific where no one will know that they're Doing It. The book should end before the wedding night begins, but a very brief fade-to-black scene that shows the hero only manfully but gently carrying the heroine into the beautiful chamber of consecrated marital bliss is acceptable here. Just assure that your author goes no further with it than the door to said chamber.

As a publisher of alleged romantic fiction, it is your responsibility to provide quality romances for today's readers. The Sisters of the Immaculate Love Scene are happy to assist you in that goal.

You will naturally have to first weed out the authors whom we have already deemed as unworthy smut mongers and prevented from being awarded any RWA honors. Repeat offenders, such as that shameless hussy Alison Kent, must be fired immediately.

As for specific books, your entire BLAZE line has to go. We're very sorry that you will lose the entire imprint, but good riddance to bad rubbish. Just throw all the books in the corporate incinerator now; you'll feel so much better. Once you have removed this filth from the shelves, please discontinue printing any other novels until we have finished reviewing your other lines and can advise you on what else to burn.

As for Ms. Notaprude, we are petitioning to have her membership in RWA revoked. She does not write romances, therefore, she should not be a member of our beloved organization. We will pray for her. Maybe.

Good luck, and crank up that incinerator,
The Sisters of the Immaculate Love Scene


  1. Anonymous12:05 AM

    Oooh, snap! This was great. I wish you could cross-post this over at Romancing the Blog. (Maybe Kate has some pull over there . . . ?)

    -- Too bad it's TRUE. And they wonder why the number of entrants for the RITAs are Dropping?

    -- Morgan Hawke
    Enthusiastic Smut Monger

  3. Blaze? What about Spice? SOILS ain't gonna be real pleased with them!

  4. O. Henry.
    When smut's to be smitten,
    Smoot will smite...

  5. We laugh and snicker, but there is a cyclic character to the way genres evolve. Just because a few romance editors are seeking erotica now, doesn’t mean they won’t buy more, ah, “wholesome” stuff in a few years. And you think the “cleaner” romance doesn’t sell? Think again. Look at Lori Handeland’s Luchetti series. Or, for that matter, look at Danielle Steele.

    The bottom line is the bottom line. Editors will buy what they think they can sell.

  6. Anonymous9:22 AM

    As a member of the Brothers Of the Immaculate Nocturnal Kinetics -BOINK- I couldn’t agree more with SOILS.

    “Smite the Smut” is our motto.

    Another of our popular mantras, after encountering inappropriate pre-nuptial harlot nocturnal-noogie-olympics is “why, you dirty little Kent!”

    Out vile KY-jellies!

  7. I wondered what my ex was doing these days. As soon as I read, "the romantic, gazing-at-each-other-from-afar manner of real romantic lovers." I knew she had to be behind this somehow.

    I'm so sorry she's shifted her focus from trying to get PTA moms to wear knee length shorts to the to romance novels, but anyone with that much pent up sexual energy must need more than one outlet.

    It seems to me that she, and all the members of SOILS really need to get laid.

  8. "You dirty little Kent."
    That's it.
    No more fooling around.
    I've "kentrifying" my story.

  9. PBW wrote: They may change clothing, bathe and use the bathroom off-stage, or after the novel is over.

    That was the laughing-so-hard-water-came-out-my-nose moment for me. I immediately had an opening chapter in a novel in my mind where the woman is on the toilet and the main characters are having a real serious conversation about toilet usage. ;)

    And to think I was thinking about joining RITA at one point. They'd hate my novels I think. Not to mention nearly all the ones I read.

  10. Anonymous12:51 PM

    Can someone nominate Threads of Malice for a RITA?

    There's a romance... and a bit of innocent pubescent yearning. The book is all perfectly innocent, I assure you.

    (You know, I'd love to be a mouse in the corner when the members of SOILS read about Bray being force-fed his own nipple, let alone all the other, um, stuff)

  11. Oh. My. God. That's freaking hilarious. I wanna change my pen name to Jessica Notaprude. Can I do that?

  12. If you were any funnier, you'd be illegal babe...

  13. LMAO! I knew you'd take that ball and run with it. *g*

  14. Anonymous2:35 AM

    WHoo Hooo . Love it!

    Run with it, run with it.. We're behind ya. With No clothes on and a posterboard sandwich that says, REAL peopel want REAL stories.

  15. Anonymous7:22 AM


    I'm a Christian and therefore one who does not read smut, but anybody who thinks that I'm on the winning side of this sort of debate (aka SOILS) needs their heads checked. >.< That said, while I don't approve of sex scenes, my characters represent real people, and guess what, they have sex (unless they're religious... depends on the character)! I won't pretend they don't, just don't expect to read the details. Y'know? I could wax extemporaneously now, but noone wants to read that. In conclusion: I don't write sex scenes. Other people do. I just don't read them. There ya go.


  16. i'm so glad i swallowed my coffee BEFORE I read this... I hate cleaning it off the screen, out of the keyboard...

  17. Sigh. Is it that time of year again?

    You need a disclaimer so while reading electronics won't be ruined. There's coffee splatters everywhere now.


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