9.16.2010

Blasian Lit Thread: Shiree McCarver


This is not a book review per se but is rather an author review. Shiree McCarver has written quite a few Blasian romance novels so I figured she should have her own separate thread. McCarver's most popular Blasian book seems to be J-pop Love Song and though I haven't read that particular book, I've read Dirty Little Secrets and Eternally I Do.

While most of McCarver's works are interesting with great plots and characters, a major problem with the books I've read is editing and it is difficult to get into a book that has a lot of grammatical errors. Still McCarver is one of my favourite romance authors out there.

I came across McCarver though one of her books that was not Blasian but an interracial historical romance set in Elizabethan England with an African woman and an English man. I am a fan of history and romance so I just had to read that book. It was so well written that I became a fan of McCarver after reading it. And as I tend to buy books by the author as opposed to the genre, I subsequently became a fan of McCarver's work. That book, The Lord and the Scorpion is the first of a series comprising of four books (only two have been released so far). The series is the 'African Warrior Women' series and its heroines are women who were captured from different parts of Africa and sold as slaves to this Japanese woman who trains them as assassins from youth and eventually these women end up in different parts of the world.

From reading her books that featured BW/WM pairings and reading her Blasian books, I have come to the conclusion that more attention is paid to the former. I mean, while reading The Lord and the Scorpion and The Prince and the Panther it was really easy for me to tell that the work had been properly edited and that a lot of effort had been put into it. These are just my observations as I have not read every single book written by McCarver.

For the great news; I emailed McCarver a while back and she informed me that one of the books in her 'African Warrior Women' series, The Warlord and the Dragon, the fourth and last book precisely will be a Blasian historical love story. Now that one I cannot wait for. As she has only written two books in the series, we have to wait for the third book The Pirate and the Cobra (which will also feature a BW/WM pairing). If you are wondering why all the titles have animal names, it is because all the women were giving code names and tattoos as part of their assassin training.

Another book she has coming out hopefully soon that sounds interesting is Visual Kei Rock Star, here's a blurb from McCarver's website;

Bishounen is a boy with a pretty face. Visual-kei  is the desire to appear as androgynous and bishounen-beautiful as possible while expressing yourself in the most profound music you have ever heard...

African American Sadie Bank loses her mother and father in a house fire as a child leaving her with one desire- to become the best professional dancer and choreographer in her field- just like her parents were. She has no idea that her life would forever change again after she saves the life of a disquieted child.

Japanese protege Subaru Chouda is as beautiful as he is talented. He's a troubled child gifted in music, overwhelmed by life's demands, and obsessed with yearnings of death until he meets an angel that gives him a reason to grab hold of his destiny with both fists.


Visual-Kei Rock Star is a tale about two very different people whose lives become irrevocably intertwined creating the most unlikely couple. Once the boy becomes a man their innocent May/December friendship grows into an illicit affair that others want to destroy and out of this love denied a Visual-Kei Rock Star emerges amidst a storm of controversy!

Will he survive?

I admit I am curious but will have to read the available sample chapters before reaching any conclusion. I still consider myself a fan of the visual-kei genre even though I technically haven't listened to any visual-kei in a while, I've moved on to metal these days. Still, I'll take this opportunity to up this video for those who don't know visual-kei. The band is Onmyo-za just in case anyone is interested.



And in conclusion, here is a list of all Blasian books written by Shiree McCarver;

And here is the much shorter list of Blasian books by Shiree McCarver that have not yet been released;

  • Visual-Kei Rock Star
  • The Warlord and the Dragon
 You can find and buy all these books either on Amazon or on the author's Lulu page.

29 comments:

  1. This is my first intro to visual kei. It seems interesting, though not my taste musically. I'm intrigued by the idea you have about the BW/WM books (Afrain Warrior Women)being better edited based upon what you've read. What will happen in the last book of the series as far as editing is concerned?

    I might get over my irritation with the poor grammar I experienced in "J-Pop" and check out her other books. Ms. McCarver needs to address this issue because her name and reputation are attached to her work.

    If I have to consistently read crappy writing, I stop supporting the author, no matter how good the storyline or characters. It's simply unacceptable.

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  2. I'm really enjoying the story and characters in J-Pop Love Song, but the bad editing and grammatical errors are killing me. Every time I have to stop to mentally play Grammar Cop, I get pulled out of the story. If the plot and characters weren't so engaging, I would have put down the book a long time ago.

    I'll still give the other books a try though. And what you said about the BW/WM books being better edited than the BW/AM books is intriguing. I mean, I hate to put on the tinfoil hat, but it wouldn't surprise me if TPTB put in a little more care toward the BW/WM pairings than they do the Blasian pairings. Wouldn't surprise me one little bit.

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  3. Are all of Ms. Carver's books self-published through LuLu? Because I have purchased BW/AM books that are published by reputable e-publishers and they were just as rigorously edited as the BW/WM books from those publishers.

    For example Gold Mountain by Sharon Cullars and The Good, the Bad, and the Naughty by Lena Matthews were both published by Loose-Id and both were as professionally edited as the BW/WM books that I'd read from them.

    Adrienne, a book that I read due to finding out about it here, was published by Samhain, another reputable e-publisher and also had the same editorial standards that one expects when you buy a book.

    I would love to buy and read J-pop Love Story as it sounds like I would really enjoy it. But I am not interested in buying a work which hasn't been properly edited. Stumbling over grammatical errors is not my idea of a great reading experience. That is a great way to pull me right out of a narrative.

    What I am trying to say is that maybe Ms. Carver needs an editor. In my opinion, I think all authors, regardless of talent, need that critical eye on their work.

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  4. I would love to buy and read J-pop Love Story as it sounds like I would really enjoy it. But I am not interested in buying a work which hasn't been properly edited. Stumbling over grammatical errors is not my idea of a great reading experience. That is a great way to pull me right out of a narrative.

    A to the Men.

    What I am trying to say is that maybe Ms. Carver needs an editor. In my opinion, I think all authors, regardless of talent, need that critical eye on their work.

    Self-publishing companies are too cheap to do provide that, and when they do provide it, they charge writers out the ass. You'd think they'd care enough to do just do it since they're getting a cut and all but...alas.

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  5. @Lenoxave

    i've given it a lot of thought and finally reached a conclusion. the books that make up the African Warrior Women series are historical. writing historical fiction naturally takes a lot of time due to the research. so i'm guessing since it takes a long time to write historicals then she has more time to read and re-read her work and basically go through it several times. the evidence can be seen in how long it takes before one book from the AWW series is released (like a few years) while her Blasian books are great in quantity but not quality.

    @cinnamon

    i buy her works to show support and all that but playing Grammar Cop means that i only read some of her books halfway through before dumping them :(

    @Alicia

    all of her works are self-published on Lulu so yeah, what Akhensen said (self-publishing companies are cheap). thanks for bringing Lena Matthews to my attention! The Good, the Bad and the Naughty has just been added to my shopping cart.

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  6. I probably won't mind the errors as I'm accustomed to auto-correcting both in speaking and writing. Not that my grammar and structure are stellar either.

    It would be unjust if I didn't support a fellow Alabamian. I'll get those at Amazon. Unfortunately, because of the security measures I put on my shopping CC orders won't go through if I order from her site.

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  7. We also need to see better book covers. I get the desire to show black women and Asian men on the cover, but if the quality and overall design ain't working, it's best to go with classy and simple.

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  8. @ Ankh. I agree most covers in the genre are cringe worthy. It's one of the reasons why I adore the "Again" cover from Sharon Cullars so much.

    Aesthetic is important and a part of the package that is being sold. The importance of visual presentation can not be ignored.

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  9. It's one of the reasons why I adore the "Again" cover from Sharon Cullars so much.

    Aesthetic is important and a part of the package that is being sold. The importance of visual presentation can not be ignored.


    WORD.

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  10. @Ankh, i think most publishers use stock images for their covers which just usually makes them look weird or odd.

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  11. Hello,

    I have tried twice to reply to this thread and my reply had been error because it was too long. LOL So I will make it short and to the point this time. Long windedness, a writer’s lot in life. My first version was friendlier reading then this one I have to do getting strait to the point. LOL any woo.

    Hello, I'm Shiree McCarver and I want to thank you for giving me my own thread. I want to thank all of you who posted your comments to this thread. It helps me out a lot that's why I Google myself.

    Grammar. I profusely suck at it. I always have, but I have a gift of telling a story and I try to do that well. However, I'm not stupid enough to think it's enough to build the legacy as a writer I would like to leave behind.

    In my frustration after dealing with 3 publishers, as you see in the errors of JPOP LOVE SONG. It's much harder to get changes done through a publisher that is why I am a self-published author.

    If anyone had been reading my books since All I Want Is You. You're noticing a marked difference in the errors and grammar that is because of reader of mine that swooped down on me like the angel she is to help me because I was going to walk away from writing altogether when my attempt to go back to grammar book English left me as frustrated as it did when I was in school
    I would have tried harder at it if I knew I was going to be a writer instead of a vocalist like I had been dreaming to be all my life. Never considered that I be so scared on stage I would forget my words. AS much as I love singing it still happens today, but I digress, see this is why my other posts were too long and this is unfortunately how my brain works when I write. LMAO I will be the bag lady talking to myself on the side of the road one day with madness, I already know this. LOL

    My proofer/editing angel is Gail Flowers. She doesn't try to change my voice as a writer because she says she doesn't know nothing about the writing process but she do know the English language better than I do and I not arguing, I'm just grateful she reached out to help me because I was retiring as a writer if she hadn't. I suck at it. This is why you have seen a the difference in reading The re-release version The Lord and The Scorpion which is the Lulu version, The Prince and the Panther, All I Want is You, Dirty Little Secrets, and as of yesterday's release Visual Kei Rock Star.

    She is going through my old books one by one starting with Eternally I Do editing them and it will take some time.

    To be sure I suggest you go to www.shireemccarver.com and read my sample characters before purchasing the books.

    I love writing about Asian heroes and it seems to be coming my trademark even though it wasn't intentional. I love Asian men and I felt I would be wrong not to put my love for them and the cultures in general in my own books.

    Jpop Love Song I can't do anything about the grammar I've tried, I've cried and fought over it until I had to let it go because it was creatively blocking me. I trusted someone and they obviously didn't have the clout with the publisher as I had thought and I rather let it go for the next 4 years left on my contract with Parker's than ruin our friendship over it.

    I hope this clarify some of your questions. The thing I won't be changing is my love for purple prose and for my characters being very talkative. It's part of my writing process. My books are Movies in my head and I write them like they play out. Movies are a lot of Dialog, it moves the stories.

    Thank you again!

    Ree

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  12. Sorry for the posting. It kept giving me HTML errors but obviously was posting them. Sigh. Gail I need help blogging too. WAH!!!

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  13. @ Ree - Nice to see you on the thread. It is good of you to comment on the feedback posted here.

    It seems that you've had a difficult time with your editors. I'm glad to hear that things will be improving for you on that front.

    You are a good story teller and I would hate to see your work constantly diminished by these matters. All the best to you and I look for to seeing further improvement in your writing.

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  14. @Ree

    I'm so sorry to hear of the trauma you've had to endure to get your babies published. I can't imagine how it must have felt to have gone through such an experience.

    They say you're from Alabama. If that is true, I'll be buying your books (those already in e-book format) although I am not particularly fond of romance novels. My brain is also wired differently. Even so, it's rare to meet another Southerner in a forum like this and its even rarer to meet someone from my home state. I wear my bias openly and if you were born screaming "Roll Tide Roll" rather than "War Eagle," I'm sure I'll spend more.

    Thank you for putting your heart, soul and babies on the line and making good things happen. Thank goodness people like you exist. Otherwise, other people would be defining us.

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  15. @Ree

    thanks so much for stopping by! i really appreciate your insight!

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  16. You're Welcome. I'm glad I found the thread. Yes, I am an Alabama girl born and raised in the Huntsville area. Any alabama team you choose is fine with me. I'm probably one of the few alabama women that don't watch football. So that is a argument I never get in because I know it can get crazy and I'm like I don't get it, they are both Alabama teams. lol
    Thank you again everyone for all your advice. I hope to continue to improve.

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  17. @Ree

    I was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, the heartland of the Crimson Tide; therefore, I was born a football fan. This ingrained trait worked out for the best because my Hokkaido-born and raised husband is a Bama fanatic through and through. When I told him I once dated a guy that attended Auburn, I thought he'd divorce me. I was saved only after I made it clear I never visited the campus. ;) Next summer, if you see a Japanese guy walking around consistently wearing Bama paraphernalia, that's my man. Mom and Dad both compete to dress him like he's a little boy. Dad lived in Florence for several years and now he lives in Sheffield. When we visit him, we usually drop into Huntsville.

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  18. @Hateya,

    That is so adorable. I promise to say hello if I see him. I tell you I rarely run into any Asian men around here unless I go into a Chinese Buffett or Korean hair shop and If Huntsville has a large Asian population they must hang out in places I don't go to. I was learning to speak Japanese and let it fall to the way side because I had no one to converse with and pratice. I'm thinking of learning Korean that way I can at least go into the hair shop and talk to the ladies there to get comfortable speaking the language.
    So your hubby should be easy to spot if you guys are in Huntsville. LOL
    I guess it's a goodthing I'm not a football fan. I would have to kill my step dad if I was for an opposing team. He's a fanatic for LSU.
    My mom household is LSU, Lakers, Redskins and any other team colors come up in there he will tell you you have to go. LOL It's all so crazy to me. *giggle*

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  19. @Ree

    When you spot him, just yell Crimson Tide and he'll answer to it. I don't think T-town has an extraordinarily large Asian community; however, the university has several sister city relations, including one with Chiba University in Tokyo (outskirt). My guy ended up in Tuscaloosa through a different channel and lived there for five years before we officially met. He has his own friends and contacts. It's easy to go "home" because he doesn't feel like an outsider. His birthday is in October and my parents are already competing to send the best gift. They are so hilarious. I half suspect they love him so much because he took me off their hands.

    I commend you for attempting to learn both Japanese and Korean. Both are great. My Chinese has fallen by the wayside, too. There are people to talk to, but navigating all three languages gives me migraines.

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  20. I half suspect they love him so much because he took me off their hands.

    Speaking of which - will we be getting more back story on you and the hubby?

    And where's Life Behind the Wall? Jo Bai, girl, if you're reading this: scribble please!!!

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  21. @Ankhesen

    That is a good question. I'll reflect on what I can and cannot tell. My "vacation" ends tonight. Bummer.

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  22. There are people to talk to, but navigating all three languages gives me migraines.

    Tell me about it, sometimes I try speaking Korean and halfway through the conversation turns Japanese. I've always wanted to learn Mandarin but I seriously doubt I'll be able to learn all three languages.

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  23. Mandarin is glorious. When I watched films in Mandarin I found it easy to pick up.

    Hateya, weren't you the one who said Mandarin is closest in structure to English?

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  24. Ree, girl...I'm trying to track down your email so I can offer you an interview. Interested? If so:

    http://www.ankhesen-mie.net/2010/01/press.html

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  25. @EccentricYoruba

    The same thing happens to me with different languages. I try to speak Chinese with my colleagues and they try to speak English, but at some point it becomes too taxing and we all revert to Japanese. In many ways, it's easier because it has fewer vocabulary although that same vocabulary can be interpreted in many different ways. I was so relieved that I could mostly use Japanese in Korea. Basically, the relationship between Korean and spoken Japanese is the same as the one between English and German. It should be easier for Koreans to learn Japanese and the influx of K-Pop idols, male and female, presenting their wares in Japanese gives credibility to this theory.

    My biggest angst with Mandarin and Japanese is the written language. Why on earth did the JapaneseBORG choose to use Chinese characters/kanji for their written language? On the other hand, knowing the kanji helped me to travel around this country alone before I learned to speak.

    @Ankhesen
    Hateya, weren't you the one who said Mandarin is closest in structure to English?

    I did indeed. Chinese and English are structurally in the same language class. Tones, not grammar and structure, should present English speakers with the greatest angst. Naturally, there are some structures unique to Mandarin that need to be learned.

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  26. My biggest angst with Mandarin and Japanese is the written language. Why on earth did the JapaneseBORG choose to use Chinese characters/kanji for their written language?

    Tell me about it! Kanji is also a problem for me, I mean I can read it in Japanese but I'm resisting learning Mandarin because I just know how messed up my head will be due to my knowing Chinese characters only in Japanese. I always thought I was gifted with languages but I'm beginning to rethink that.

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  27. @Ankhesen Mié

    Sorry Hun, I thought I had a link up somewhere. LOL Anyway, I would love to do an interview with you. You can send it to shireemccarver@yahoo.com.

    Thank you for the offer.

    Ree

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