Today I am so pleased to welcome Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock to Joyfully Jay. Lisa & J.A. have come to talk to us about their latest release, Brandon Mills versus the V-Card. They have also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving them a big welcome!

Amazon, Stop Taking Our Virginity!

You might have heard us gripe before about Amazon and the title of BRANDON MILLS VERSUS THE V-CARD. We’re good gripers. But if you don’t know the whole sordid tale, it goes something like this:

Amazon wouldn’t let us call the book BRANDON MILLS VERSUS VIRGINITY. Because apparently it’s no longer okay to have the word “virgin” in a book title. And since Amazon owns our minds and souls and credit card information and sells incredibly effective steam-release microwave plate covers for unbeatable prices–we changed the title.

This happened around the same time an unconfirmed story surfaced about Amazon’s rules for cover art, which apparently include, among other things, no women kneeling in front of men, no sideboob on female models, and no “lower hair patch” on male or female models. We’re not saying there shouldn’t be any rules governing sexual content on book covers (we’re as scandalized as anyone by the thought of a visible lower hair patch, that notorious tempter of souls). But virgins? Come on. The word “virgin” is a romance title staple.

Cue Oscar tribute montage to romance novels about virgins.

Trapped in an Elevator with a Virgin

Who could forget this steamy classic? She was on her way up in the world, but he just wanted to go down. Amazon, are you going to take this away from us?

Virgin Mistress, Scandalous Love Child
The title says it all. Literally.

The Virgin Who Cried Wolf

This one narrowly misses being a double offender due to the cover image, but it’s bottomboob and not sideboob, so it’s fine. But “virgin”–uh-uh. Let’s try something a little less racy, like The Reasonably Sexually Experienced but by No Means Promiscuous Woman Who Had Nonprovocative Conventional Physical Relations…and Who Cried Wolf.

Virgin No More
Flimsy, strategically draped cloth, a voyeur in the study, and a daring flirtation with sideboob…what wasn’t to love about this 1949 opus from the author of BEDTIME BLONDE? It will be missed.

Okay, so we ended up with the title BRANDON MILLS VERSUS THE V-CARD (thanks to a suggestion by Jay, our lovely host!), and we’re happy with it. But we do think there’s something troubling about censorship that targets concepts rather than specific content. Every industry has content guidelines; we’re not faulting Amazon for having rules. But if you’re going to cull based on keywords instead of on what’s actually in the book and how it’s presented, you’re going to throw a whole bunch of babies out with the bathwater.

There’s got to be a better way.


Brandon Mills versus the V-CardSmart, shy Prescott sophomore Brandon Mills is working hard to overcome his troubled past and be normal. With the help of his friends Mark and Deacon, and his brothers at Phi Sigma Kappa, he’s slowly coming out of his shell. But when he accidentally drenches a freshman in orange soda, he faces something he’s not ready for: a boy crushing on him.

Alex Kekoa pledges Phi Sig because it has everything he wants: a house full of nerds who won’t tease him for being smart, a dog, and Brandon Mills. Brandon is just the type of guy Alex needs to help fulfill his college ambition: losing his virginity. Except Alex doesn’t know that Brandon can’t stand to touch or be touched.

When Alex and Brandon are drafted onto the Phi Sig Academic Challenge team, their mutual attraction grows. If there’s anyone who can help Brandon discover it feels good to touch and kiss, maybe it’s klutzy Alex with his cute glasses and his dinosaur obsession. But as the competition–and their relationship–heats up, Alex’s determination not to die a virgin clashes with Brandon’s vow of lifelong celibacy, forcing them to examine what’s truly important to each of them about love.


Lisa Henry likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied history and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.


J.A. Rock has worked as a dog groomer, knife seller, haunted house zombie, standardized patient, census taker, state fair quilt hanger, and, for one less-than-magical evening, a server—and would much rather be writing about those jobs than doing them. J.A. lives in Chicago but still sees West Virginia behind Illinois’s back.


Lisa and J.A. have brought a give away for one lucky reader. Choose either one of their backlist titles or a copy of Brandon Mills Versus the V-Card.  Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Thursday, November 6th at 11:59 pm EST.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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