Dear Microsoft: absolutely not.

As those of you who’ve read Doctor January will know, I agree with most of this. Science is often a confrontational sexist place.
I now work in academic support, which gives me the double whammy of being female and not being an academic. I once had a physicist try to mansplain genetics to me. I had to correct his knowledge at one point. Bless (rolls eyes).

monica byrne

And it has nothing to do with your software. It has to do with your new ad campaign, which I happened to see while I was at the gym last week. Here’s the gist: brilliant young girls express their ambitions to cure cancer and explore outer space and play with the latest in virtual reality tech. Then—gotcha!—they’re shown a statistic that only 6.7% of women graduate with STEM degrees. They look crushed. The tagline? “Change the world. Stay in STEM.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

Microsoft, where’s your ad campaign telling adult male scientists not to rape their colleagues in the field? Where’s the campaign telling them not to steal or take credit for women’s work? Or not to seriallysexuallyharasstheirstudents? Not to discriminate against them? Not to ignoredismiss, or fail to promote them at the same rate as men? Not to publish their work at a statistically…

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In conversation with Rhoda Baxter, romantic comedy writer

Today I’ve visiting Annmarie McQueen’s blog. Pop over and read the interview.

Annmarie McQueen

Today I’ll be shining the author spotlight on romantic comedy writer, Rhoda Baxter! 

Hi, please can you give a brief introduction of yourself?
Hi. I’m Rhoda. I write romantic comedies which are published by Choc Lit Publishing. I also write short fiction. In real life, I trained as a microbiologist but now work in university technology transfer (which is the most fun way to keep in touch with the science without having to do lab work). I drink far too much tea and am partial to a bit of cake.

When did you first start writing?
I’m not sure. Apparently I wrote a story about parrot when I was about seven. When I was in my early teens, the Sweet Dreams romance novels were incredibly popular. I wasn’t allowed to read them, in case they gave me ‘ideas’ and distracted me from my studies. So I started to write my…

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Goodreads Book Review: The Santa Next Door by Stephanie Cage

The Santa Next DoorThe Santa Next Door by Stephanie Cage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the run up to Christmas, I tend to read a lot of Christmas novellas. The Santa Next Door has been sitting on my TBR pile for a while and I finally got to it.

Sue is bringing up her daughter Trudi on her own. Bryn is the reclusive conductor who lives next door. A chance meeting with Sue and Trudi helps Bryn find the inspiration he’s been searching for to complete his latest composition.

All three main characters are well rounded and believable. It’s a lovely, warming Christmas tale. All the warm and fuzzy feelz you could want at this time of year!

View all my reviews

Want to write romance? Come to our workshop!

In all the excitement of Girl Having A Ball coming out, I’ve been a bit slack letting you know about the exciting pair of workshops that Jane Lovering and I are doing for Beverley Literature Festival (part of Lit/Up) this year. When I say ‘this year’, I meant NEXT WEEKEND!

Here’s the key information:

When: Saturday 8th Oct 10am – 1pm  and 2pm -5pm
Where: Beverley Library (Treasure House)
How much: £18 each or £30 for both workshops
How to book: Via the Beverley Literature festival website (or at the
library or tourist info centre) http://www.litup.org.uk/workshops-beverley/

But what are we going to be talking about?

Ah, well now… the idea of the first workshop is to demystify the writing side of things. We’ll talk to you about romantic conflict and characters and a little bit about comedy (which is very much connected to conflict and character, if you think about it). The second workshop is about plot. We’ll cover similar content in both sessions, but will concentrate of different aspects. If you come to both workshops, you should create a hero, a heroine and a central conflict in the first workshop and learn more about how to work that core into a proper book in the second.

That’s the plan anyway. In reality we always end up adapting the workshops a bit to suit the needs of the participants, so if you have something you really, really want to know more about, just tell us at the start.

See you there!

 

 

 

News! Please Release Me is shortlisted for an award

I’m a little over excited (and hyped up on cake) because Please Release Me has been shortlisted for a Love Stories 2015 award.

‘What the heck is that?’ I hear you cry. The Love Stories award is the new name for the Romance Reader Awards which happen at the Festival of Romantic fiction. They are chosen by real romance readers and, of late, have been fiercely competitive (in a ‘lots of great books entered’ way I mean, not a ‘watch out for people trying to break your legs’ way).

I’m thrilled to be on the shortlist, especially as there are several people whom I consider to be ‘proper grown up writers’ on the list. You can see the full list here (I recommend wearing sunglasses – the pink starts to strobe after a while). Here are the contenders in the best romantic ebook category:

Please Release Me by Rhoda Baxter (Choc Lit)
The Rest of My Life by Sheryl Browne (Choc Lit)
Catch Me If You Cannes by Lisa Dickenson (Sphere)
Do You Take This Man? by Sophie King (Corazon)
I Don’t Want To Talk About It by Jane Lovering (Choc Lit)
Game of Scones by Samantha Tonge (Carina)

There’s going to be a swanky ceremony on the 18th of November in London when the winners are announced. So, if you’re in town, go get your sparkle on.

Wheeee. I’m off to eat more cake and sugary things. If you want sensible conversation, you might want to wait a day or two until I come off the sugar high.

Five Random Things about Me by Rhoda Baxter

Taking Please Release Me on tour – today I’m telling Kirsty from Love of a Good Book some random facts about me.

Today I would like to welcome Choclit author Rhoda Baxter to The Love of a Good Book!

Five Random Things about Me by Rhoda BaxterHi Kirsty, thank you for having me on your blog. I was dithering about what to write about and thought I’d cheat and tell you five random things about me. I’ve brought biscuits as compensation. They’re still a bit warm from the oven, so you might want to blow on them first.

1> Rhoda Baxter is my pen name. I chose it because I used to work on a bacterium called Rhodobacter sphaeroides and I get all nostalgic about them sometimes. I looked up ‘Rhoda’ to check it was a real name before I started using it, because it sounded quite unusual. Turns out it’s a good old fashioned name – which, I found out yesterday, means ‘Rose’. There are a couple of other Rhoda Baxters…

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Rhoda Baxter

Today I’m chatting to the Chick Lit Goddess about writing and who would play my characters if the books were made into a movie. The experience was truly devine.

RhodaBaxterPic

About author, Rhoda Baxter:  Rhoda Baxter started off in the South of England and pinged around the world a bit until she ended up in the North of England, where the cakes are better. Along the way she collected one husband, two kids, a few (ahem) extra pounds in weight and a PhD in molecular biology (not necessarily in that order). She had childhood ambitions to be an astronaut or at least 5 feet tall. Having failed at both of these, she now writes humourous novels instead.

Her first novel, Patently in Love was a contender for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award and was a top ten finalist in the 2012 Preditors and Editors poll for romance reads. Her second novel Having a Ball will be published in March 2013.

She can be found wittering on about science, comedy and cake on her website www.rhodabaxter.com or on Twitter (@rhodabaxter).

INTERVIEW

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I’m over at Nikki Goodman’s blog today, talking about writing, work and wine… and hot chocolate.

Writing, Work and Wine

Rhoda BaxterThis week I am pleased to welcome Rhoda to my blog. I met Rhoda at the Romantic Novelists’ Association conference in Greenwich in July 2010 and I was really impressed that she’d made it – given that she was heavily pregnant! 

Q. Hi Rhoda, lovely to have you here. So, can you start off by telling us about your writing? Are you published? What’s your most memorable success or rejection?

A. Hi Nikki, thanks for having me on your blog. I write contemporary romantic comedy. I started off being in the RNA’s New Writer’s Scheme. I think joining the RNA was one of the best things I ever did. I submitted my writing to many, many agents. I didn’t find an agent in the end, although I’d still like one. My most memorable rejection came from Dorothy Lumley of the Dorian Literary Agency who told me the book wasn’t for her, but…

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I’m over at Nikki Goodman’s blog today, talking about writing, work and wine… and hot chocolate.

Writing, Work and Wine

Rhoda BaxterThis week I am pleased to welcome Rhoda to my blog. I met Rhoda at the Romantic Novelists’ Association conference in Greenwich in July 2010 and I was really impressed that she’d made it – given that she was heavily pregnant! 

Q. Hi Rhoda, lovely to have you here. So, can you start off by telling us about your writing? Are you published? What’s your most memorable success or rejection?

A. Hi Nikki, thanks for having me on your blog. I write contemporary romantic comedy. I started off being in the RNA’s New Writer’s Scheme. I think joining the RNA was one of the best things I ever did. I submitted my writing to many, many agents. I didn’t find an agent in the end, although I’d still like one. My most memorable rejection came from Dorothy Lumley of the Dorian Literary Agency who told me the book wasn’t for her, but…

View original post 842 more words