“Florida’s book-ban frenzy targeted Nora Roberts, and she’s not happy.” (And none of us should be either!!!) When a Florida school district banned eight of her books, Nora Roberts wasn’t happy. Neither was Judy Blume when her book “Are You There, God, It’s me Margaret” was banned for featuring middle schoolers talking about the menstrual cycle. Roberts called the ban of her novels “shocking,” telling the Washington Post, “If you don’t want your teenager reading this book, that’s your right as a mom—and good luck with that. But you don’t have the right to say nobody’s kid can read this book.”
A Washington Post analysis found that a small number of people were responsible for most of the book challenges. Indeed, they found that individuals who filed 10 or more complaints were responsible for two-thirds of all challenges. When asked on “CBS Sunday Morning” what sort of book she wants to see remain in schools, the co-founder of the book-purging organization Moms for Liberty, offered a righteous-sounding answer. “Books that don’t have pornography in them”.
This signals a new trend.
Book-banners are increasingly going after a wide variety of titles, including romance novels, under the guise of targeting “pornography.” I think we can agree that the term pornography is a very flexible one — deliberately so, it appears. The word is sweeping ever more broadly to include books that can’t be described as such in any reasonable sense.” says Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression at PEN. He added, “A new PEN study found nearly 1,500 instances of schools banning books during the first half of the 2022-2023 year, increasingly based on them supposedly containing ‘pornography.’” Friedman said, “Activists and politicians are inflating the notion of what constitutes ‘pornography’ beyond all recognition. They are going after romance books, books about puberty or sex education, and books that just have LGBTQ characters.”
As for her books, Roberts agreed that the books contain “sex” but noted that it is “monogamous” and “consensual.” Speaking of the censors, Roberts said, “I’m surprised that they wouldn’t want teenagers to read about healthy relationships that are monogamous, consensual, healthy and end up in marriage.”
Judy Blume mused, “When I began to write, thirty years ago, I didn’t know if anyone would publish my books, but I wasn’t afraid to write them. I was lucky. I found an editor and publisher who were willing to take a chance. They encouraged me. I was never told what I couldn’t write. I felt only that I had to write the most honest books I could. It never occurred to me, at the time, that what I was writing was controversial. Much of it grew out of my own feelings and concerns when I was young.” She added, “Censors don’t want children exposed to ideas different from their own. If every individual with an agenda had his/her way, the shelves in the school library would be close to empty. I wish the censors could read the letters kids write.”
I don’t know where I stand in the world. I don’t know who I am.
That’s why I read, to find myself.
Elizabeth, age 13
Some wise words from some special authors:
“It’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.” – Judy Blume
“Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.” – Voltaire
“All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let’s get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States – and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death!” ― Kurt Vonnegut
For her part, speaking about the activist who got her books pulled, Nora Roberts joked, “I’m writing another book that this woman can ban.”
AGAINST THE ODDS
Given the issues we are facing, check out Book 1 in my “Candidate” series. Full disclosure: This book contains consensual sex by an adult man and woman who are madly in love with each other. And they aren’t married. Gasp. Oh and one of the major characters is a gay man. Finally the leading man and woman have a baby and then get married…..Yikes! Read if you dare. (And no. I do not think this book is appropriate for young readers. Nor should it be in middle school libraries. But that is my opinion.)
IRRISISTABLE ACCIDENTAL HEROES
This is the latest of the terrific box sets my ABB authors and I produce. My book in the set is:
Compromised: Book 1
The Unstoppable Detective Brooks:
She’s as gorgeous as she is outrageous.
He’s a political superstar.
What quickly becomes a face—off is complicated by their passionate love affair.
Known as the Blonde Bombshell, Piper Brooks, the sexy lead detective, more than earned her title as Unstoppable.
Ethan Mathews, the former Army Ranger took the political world by storm when he tossed aside a multi-million dollar legal career to run for District Attorney.
His surprise victory not only puts him in the path of his political enemies, it puts him in charge of the daunting Detective Brooks.
Fortunately, the dueling two-some come together to takedown a literal Cersei Lannister, the most evil woman either of them will face.
Warning: This book features an adult man and woman who are madly in love, and yep…have consensual sex!
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USA Today Best Selling author Taylor Lee writes Suspenseful Mystery Thrillers – with a heavy dose of Sexy to Sizzling HOT Romance.
In the five years that she has been writing, Taylor has written more than forty books. Her eight, series track her Special Operatives, Covert Agents, Cops, Firefighters and other iconic heroes and heroines, through the harrowing situations that make up their lives. From human trafficking rings to corrupt politicians, Taylor investigates the underbelly of society and the criminals who flourish there.
Taylor says: “From the residue in my personal blender of mixed races, cultures and world views, my characters emerge. It comforts me to know that while evil slinks in the shadows, the “good guys and gals” of the world sniff it out – and snuff it out.
My characters are arrogant alpha males and the feisty women who bring them to their knees – and vice versa… They fight hard, love hard and don’t mince words. They are dangerous men and women in dangerous times. Love, passion and ridding the world of evil? What’s not to like?