Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kitchen table talk

First thing's first - the winner of a copy of Cynthia Eden's latest, Everlasting Bad Boys (I still love that title) is saturnmoonie. Congratulations! Send us your email and we'll send you a book. Don't you love how that works?

And speaking of books, I read the neatest regency the other day. Whenever I'm heavy into writing paranormal, my brain starts to crave historicals and mysteries to read for pleasure - kind of like craving something sweet after having salty. Anyhow, I read this regency the other night that blew me away.

It's called When A Lady Misbehaves and it's about this scullery maid who works in a bordello. She's not interested in anything but cleaning pots, but she's basically given an ultimatum: either take part in a virgin auction or get thrown out on the streets to die. Now most regency books would then have this heroine in the auction. Not this book. In this one, the scullery maid steals the bordello madame's diary and basically goes around impersonating an illegitimate child, bilking overstuffed, immoral rich men out of their money. I loved it. It was so fresh and unique. And then of course the scullery maid gets into trouble because of her scheming. But the whole book is just so unpredictable.

To make a long story short (too late). I went onto Amazon to leave this book a great review. And I was shocked at a few of the negative reviews it had. One reviewer didn't like the duplicity of the main character. And, okay, I'll give you that. The author explains it well, but I could see someone not liking that. But other reviewers were upset because a horse was a wrong color for the breed, or the author somehow misused a legal term. In short, nothing to do with the actual plot of the book.

Now I'll be the first to admit, I don't know the regency rules and I could never write one because of that, but it was interesting to see just what pulled readers out of the story. And it got me thinking. My pet peeves have more to do with an unoriginal story line or if I buy a book and learn it's basically a "filler" until we get to the next book when something big happens. But what about you? What does it take to pull you out of a story? It is something as simple as a regency fact gone wrong? A highland werewolf who forgets his brogue? Or something else entirely?


SaturnMoonie said...

YAY thank you guys! My email is SaturnMoonie@hotmail.com :)

Now to answer your question: The thing that usually pulls me out of a book is a combination of too much information with nothing happening at the same time. I hate sitting down and reading, and reading, and reading, and waiting for something, ANYTHING of interest to happen and I find myself STILL reading. That's what pulls me out of a book, I need some kind of action to go on, whether it's a steamy sex scene, or a random funny accident between the main character/s, just something to keep me satisfied till the important stuff happens.

A perfect example is (for me) a book called The Little Friend, which I heard good things about and I bought, and I started to read it and somewhere around page 200 realized that NOTHING had happened, except for me reading like 2 pages worth of information about some random cat that some little girl had once upon a time, and the story was mentioned because someone didn't like cats or was allergic or some random thing that had nothing to do w/ the story, and I had to sit and read about it for 2 pages.

Now I've been told it's a really good book, but I've got to tell you, I bought that book over 4 years ago and I still haven't gotten passed page 200. I can't, it's too frustrating for me. That's my reading pet peeve.

Natalie Hatch said...

Those Regency readers can be viscious! lol
I'm like you Angie, I like a book for the plot and the ability to take me away from my world, not because they dropped the 'dots and tittles'. But that's okay each to their own. There are some great historicals out there, I guess it's just what you're in the mood for at the time.
I had a thought this morning (yeah some times that happens when I get more than four hours sleep) you can put on your covers now "New York Times bestseller".... a debut book fantastic.

Angie Fox said...

Ah yes, I picked up one of those books this weekend. It was actually a book on tape that I listened to on the way to an out-of-town signing. Nothing happened. It was a murder mystery with no murder - at least not for the first 12 chapters it took before I popped in my Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack instead.

Later, I mentioned it to a friend and she said, "Oh yeah, well that's the 16th book in the series. The author is writing more about the characters and the neighborhood at that point. Whoops. Not a good idea to start with that one.

Angie Fox said...

Congrats on your more than four hours of sleep, Natalie. I'll bet you're feeling like super woman today. :)

And, yes, we can put NY Times bestseller on the next book. How fun is that? I can't wait to see the cover art. It should come in the next month or so.

Natalie Hatch said...

that was twinling1 attacking my computer, thought I would include it.
So Angie what's the title of the next book?

MarnieColette said...

Congrats saturnmoonie!

My biggest pet peeve is being lied to on the back cover. I also hate when a book is classified as one thing and is another - i.e. paranormal romance - and its urban fantasy. I also find it very annoying to pay for a hardcover book that reads like a simple day in the life of the characters without having anything happening - give me actions and give me a story.

Kimberly B. said...

I rarely put down a book because of those kinds of factual errors---but then again, I avoid books in which I am likely to spot those kinds of errors. I am getting my PhD. in history, and I find that, in books set in my area of expertise, I spend too much time either looking for errors or finding them to enjoy myself. So when I read historical fiction, it's usually about an era I'm less familiar with.
One of the things that can really take me out of a book is outright moralizing at the expense of the story. I don't mind if an author wants to use his/her book to make a particular point, or teach a certain lesson, but the story telling has to come first. I also hate it when the characters' behavior feels driven by the plot, rather than by their own personalities.

Angie Fox said...

I'll bet twinling1 was just trying to say hello. ffgffgffgfgfg back at ya.

The book after The Accidental Demon Slayer will be called The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers, due out in April '09.

Angie Fox said...

Ah yes, marnie. Or when the title has this huge, great element in it and then the book isn't about that.

And kimberlyb, I'm the same way about advertising. When something is set in an agency and they have writers whipping up some art in a half hour for the huge campaign, or something else that would never happen, it pulls me right out of the story.

What is your PhD area of expertise? A good friend of mine just defended her dissertation. It amazed me to see the process. She basically had to write her own book, only with footnotes and research, where as I get to make everything up.

Just another SAHM said...

I'm so glad you told me about the Misbehaving Lady book - I've added it to my (ever growing) TBR list!

Things that make me crazy are the really, really obvious editing misses. Like when a character's name is "Lisa" in the first few chapters and then suddenly she is "Lissa" or "Liza" for the rest of the book. There was no alien abduction/personality change/evil twin thing, just a major typo that passed through & for about a chapter you are scratching your head going "who the heck is this & there did such & such go...oooohh, its the same person". lol

I don't care for teeny tiny books being called novels (ahem, LKH's Micah...come on, it was a novella at best & yet still priced like a novel???).

I also have a big thing against authors who (& don't anyone here take this personally if you've done it - this is a pet peeve of mine) takea few chapters from a book of theirs, edit out a little subplot & then pop it into an anthology as a stand alone story. It is very disappointing to buy the anthology (just for that story!) and then buy the next book in the series to find the first few chapters are pratically word-for-word the short story you just read. Huh, now that I think of it, that was also LKH. Angie, you bring her down a notch in Oct. okay?
hahahaha just kidding

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