So this might be the most depressing book news post I’ve ever put together. I do have a couple of book announcements and cover reveals, but the bulk of this post is about some pretty upsetting things that have been going on in the romance community.
As many of you might already know, I’m a huge fan of Santino Hassell. I’ve been pushing his books pretty much since I started my blog since I discovered them around the same time, and he even made my favorite books of 2017 list.
In the past week or so, a number of allegations have emerged against Hassell. It’s actually a bit difficult to sort through it all, but my understanding is that people are claiming Hassell is actually a woman named Alicia whose husband is posing as Hassell at public events; that the person writing as Hassell has claimed to have cancer in a bid to solicit Patreon donations when in fact the person does not exist and neither of the people behind Hassell has had cancer; that the person writing as Hassell has made inappropriate sexual advances and engaged in bullying others; and that the person writing as Hassell has used real events from other people’s lives as the foundation for their books without the subject’s permission. One of the best summaries of the situation I’ve found can be read here. I would suggest searching Hassell’s name on Twitter and wading through it if you want even more details, though be prepared that there’s a lot going on.
In the wake of all of these allegations, Riptide Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, and Penguin/Berkley imprint Intermix have all severed ties with Hassell. Riptide and Dreamspinner have also pulled Hassell’s work from retailers. Hassell has so far issued two apologies (it appears one has been taken down), but neither has fully addressed the allegations.
The scope of these allegations and the number of people coming forward against Hassell are alarming to say the least, and as such I no longer stand by my recommendations of Hassell’s work. I will be updating all of the references to Hassell on my blog noting as such and directing people to this post as an explanation.
While Riptide was quick to sever ties with Hassell, the publisher found itself in the midst of more turmoil not long later. An author came forward on Monday with this post accusing Riptide’s editorial director of sharing inappropriate sexual information that made the author feel unsafe, of stringing the author along for an editorial position and using the power imbalance to solicit work, and of making racist comments and stating that Riptide would publish books about people of color but wouldn’t put them on the cover.
The editor has since resigned, and Riptide issued this statement. When numerous people pointed out how many things were wrong with this apology and how this is far from the first time Riptide has had to issue such an apology (I would direct you to Courtney Milan’s Twitter threads here and here), the publisher followed up with this statement. Since then, a number of authors have announced that they severed their relationships with Riptide.
But wait, there’s more! Crimson Romance has announced that it’s shutting down. As The Ripped Bodice pointed out, Crimson was the only publisher in the bookstore’s 2017 Diversity Report that had authors of color write at least 25 percent of the books it published. The next closest publisher only came in at 12.6 percent.
So yeah. A pretty depressing week all around in the romance genre.
Alas, I have one last piece of disappointing news, though this is related to the YA genre and doesn’t have to do with people being horrible. Angie Thomas’ highly anticipated next book, On the Come Up, was originally scheduled for a June 2018 release date. However, Thomas has announced on Twitter that the book has been pushed back to February 2019. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision and that this will make for a better book in the end, but it doesn’t make the wait any easier!
Fortunately, there are a few exciting things to talk about this week! For one thing, Markus Zusak has announced he has a new book coming out on October 9! I didn’t realize he hadn’t published anything since The Book Thief, so it’s extra exciting that he’s publishing a new book.
Courtney Milan has also announced that the next book in the Worth Saga, After the Wedding, will be published on April 24! I just read the first book in this series last month and really enjoyed it, so I’m really excited for the sequel. Apparently this book has been a while in the making, so I really lucked out by reading Once Upon a Marquess when I did.
We have a title and cover for the sequel to The Cruel Prince (which I still need to read)! Check it out through the link below.
Alright, that’s it for this week’s book news post. Like I said, it’s pretty depressing overall. Here’s hoping the next installment is full of much better news.
20 thoughts on “Book News: March 16, 2018”
Ahhh, I missed that On the Come Up had been pushed back. 😩
Super excited for After the Wedding to finally be officially coming to me so soon! Haha
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It’s so sad, but it’ll be worth the wait!! We’ll just have to console ourselves with After the Wedding and Hurts to Love You and all the romance in the meantime!
Wow Dani….even though I knew most of the things you mentioned to see it all laid out in one blog post is like a punch in the gut. ***Le sigh***
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Right? There wasn’t even that many exciting cover reveals or book announcements to include to make it less depressing…
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A new Markus Zusak book?! Hey, at least that’s one thing to smile about.
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So true! Although maybe not if he rips my heart out like he did in The Book Thief…
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