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Ambercaast Chapter 12: A Night with requet is Live!

Happy Friday! Sit back and read Ambercaast Chapter 12: A Night of Requet.

Rin is upset over Jerin, and Lapis wants to speak with him about it. Unfortunately, following him into the night market proves problematic; she is waylaid by Black Hats in the employ of Leadcommander Requet. He wants to speak with her–NOW. As with everything else, his concerns appear to lead back to a missing Hoyt.

And Lapis of Nicodem turns 1 on October 2! I can’t believe I’ve been releasing a chapter every 2 weeks for a year 🙂 !

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Shiobe Rising: The Wellspring Dragons Book 1 and Trouble in TindrelThe Wellspring Dragons Book 2 are available in Kindle format. Lapis of Nicodem, a serialized dark fantasy, is available for free at World Anvil. Follow me, Kwyn Marie, on Facebook and Instagram. Check out my author website, and the Wellspring Dragons book site as well as the Lapis of Nicodem book site. And if you like what you see, buy me a KoFi!

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“Clean”, “Wholesome” Romance: Please Use Another Term

I’m a dark fantasy writer, and fantasy is my preferred reading genre. But I noticed that several Instagram authors, as well as people who are members of a Facebook group for writers I belong to, use the term “clean romance”. I had a inkling what it meant, and looked it up.

Yep. “Clean”, or “Wholesome” in some circles, is exactly what I guessed: romance without the sex. And yes, that annoyed me. Well, annoyed is a light term for the emotion I felt.

The explanations I’ve read about this subgenre claim that “clean” and “wholesome” just means no sex, that kissing and hugging’s OK (maybe), and this allows the romance to shine through.

Huh. OK. But why not use the term light romance or something along those lines? Because “clean”, when it comes to love, has a specific meaning, and the opposite of that is “dirty”. When you claim “clean romance” is one that has no sex, you’re automatically saying “dirty” is a romance that does.

And that, dear reader, is what western societies have been telling girls, teens and women for eons–you have sex, you’re filthy. You have sex, you’re disgusting. You have sex, you’re a licked lollipop with flies on it. No one will ever want to marry you because no one could possibly want you.

Yes, this term is used on purpose. Yes, it plays on the stereotype of women as either “good” or “bad”, and promotes the unhealthy attitude that sex is dirty. If you don’t want to write sex scenes, fine. But don’t pretend you’re not making a judgmental statement using the terms “clean” and “wholesome”. You are, and it’s a misogynistic one that shows how little you respect women and girls.

The more often girls, teens and women are exposed to the idea that “clean” means “wholesome” means “good”, if something terrible does happen to them (rape, for instance), they’re more likely to see themselves as “dirty“, a slut, and unsalvageable. Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped at fourteen and raped, and I remember how so many people wondered why she didn’t try to escape her captors. She said it was because she realized she fell into the “dirty” category after what happened. Who wants a used piece of bubblegum?

No one. Smart assumed, as she had been taught by her family and her church, that she was damaged beyond redemption. And that is what “clean” romance is implicitly referring to; good girls don’t do icky things like sex outside of marriage, and if they do, they’re no longer clean, so no longer good or worthy.

There are booklists titled, “Clean Romances that won’t make you feel dirty”. So yeah, the term is on purpose. It’s meant to highlight that sex is dirty–at least for women (and if you say that’s not true, peek in on the Duggar saga).

Women have been talking about the harmful effects of such language for years, because words do mean something. But, as usual, since it’s women’s voices, they’ve been ignored.

I have seen the harmful effects of “clean” vs “dirty”. I’ve watched the self-destruction and pain play out because molestation victims struggled to see themselves as still viable human beings instead of nasty, worthless sluts. Some of the families even used “dirty” to describe the victims, girls who were considered despicable liars and outcast because they were now spoiled. So sure, continue to use the word “clean” in relation to romance–and remember, there’s a little girl, a teen, a woman out there who internalizes the reminder they are a hopeless, dirty monster.

There’s nothing wrong with writing and reading a romance without sex, but is it really too much to ask to use another term that isn’t seeped in hate and misogyny?

*Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

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Shiobe Rising: The Wellspring Dragons Book 1 and Trouble in TindrelThe Wellspring Dragons Book 2 are available in Kindle format. Lapis of Nicodem, a serialized dark fantasy, is available for free at World Anvil. Follow me, Kwyn Marie, on Facebook and Instagram. Check out my author website, and the Wellspring Dragons book site as well as the Lapis of Nicodem book site. And if you like what you see, buy me a KoFi!

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Ambercaast Chapter 11: Invitations is Live

Read Ambercaast Chapter 11: Invitations here.

Lapis is shocked when the Black Hats declare they want to speak to her partner, Aethon. Aethon is Patch’s pre-rebel name, and no one outside a select few knows that–including the enemy, who don’t put two-and-two together concerning him. Instead, the skyshroud’s leadcommander wants a personal meeting with her to discuss matters. She would rather wade through testy teenage rat moodiness and rebel intrigue than suffer through a Dentherion interrogation. Lucky for her, Patch has a better idea on how to spend an evening.

Lapis of Nicodem turns 1 on October 2! Has it been that long? Wow.

Within the next six months or so, I plan to have the audio version of Lapis of Nicodem available. We’ll see how fast I get at editing audio clips. Why not check out my article on The Night Market, which is playing a more pivotable role in the series than I originally intended.

Take care, y’all.

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Shiobe Rising: The Wellspring Dragons Book 1 and Trouble in Tindrel: The Wellspring Dragons Book 2 are available in Kindle format. Lapis of Nicodem, a serialized dark fantasy, is available for free at World Anvil. Follow me, Kwyn Marie, on Facebook and Instagram. Check out my author website, and the Wellspring Dragons book site as well as the Lapis of Nicodem book site. And if you like what you see, buy me a KoFi!

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Ambercaast Chapter 10: Black Hats with a Dash of Tech is Live

Check out Ambercaast Chapter 10.

What makes for trying times? Black Hats, tech fire fights, and a new street rat who has no idea he’s being hunted by a criminal syndicate. Lapis and Patch must avoid enemies, new and old, to keep him safe from the people who are targeting him for his deceased mother’s underground dealings that, oddly, all relate back to Hoyt.

In Other News: Editing is proceeding slowly on The Glass Volcano: The Wellspring Dragons Book 3. I’m illustrating every other chapter heading, since I’ve decided to break the book into more chapters for ease of reading. I’m still doing eighteen of them, though! We’re hoping for an October release.

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Shiobe Rising: The Wellspring Dragons Book 1 and Trouble in Tindrel: The Wellspring Dragons Book 2 are available in Kindle format. Lapis of Nicodem, a serialized dark fantasy, is available for free at World Anvil. Follow me, Kwyn Marie, on Facebook and Instagram. Check out my author website, and the Wellspring Dragons book site as well as the Lapis of Nicodem book site. And if you like what you see, buy me a KoFi!

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Ambercaast Chapter 9: The Past Catches the Present

Ambercaast Chapter 9: The Past Catches the Present is Live!

Read here at World Anvil: https://tinyurl.com/fduvf5eu

Lapis is not excited about meeting Baldur at the Lells. When Whitley tells her why the headman wants to see her, she realizes the rebellion is in danger. And that’s the least of her worries..

I’ve also added 11 new articles to the Wellspring Dragons world. Check them out here, at the Summer Camp 2021 entries.

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Shiobe Rising: The Wellspring Dragons Book 1 and Trouble in Tindrel: The Wellspring Dragons Book 2 are available in Kindle format. Lapis of Nicodem, a serialized dark fantasy, is available for free at World Anvil. Follow me, Kwyn Marie, on Facebook and Instagram. Check out my author website, and the Wellspring Dragons book site as well as the Lapis of Nicodem book site. And if you like what you see, buy me a KoFi!