Unfortunately, as an author, how you read changes dramatically after you’ve written a few books. Now when I read I find myself stopping sometimes and asking why the author did that. And this doesn’t mean I don’t care for what they’ve done, just that I’m curious about how it will play out. Every once in awhile an author will do something that will make me stop and say, crud, I didn’t see that coming, but boy was it brilliant. I really like when that happens because it means I still have something new to learn. As far as pet peeves, I do have a few, I thought I might have ten, but after five they started to get washed out and run into the first five so I stopped there. So here they are, drum roll please. . .
#1. A weak heroine. A heroine has to be strong, none of this wishy-washy damsel-in-distress fluff. She might not be sure of herself, let’s face it, we all have doubts about who we are and what we are meant to do, but there’s a difference between unsure because you haven’t tried and an out-and-out wimp. When a heroine is challenged and she rises to the occasion, even if she fails, and to be honest a little failure is okay, she becomes real to us. A heroine has a right to want to be something other than what they author plans for her, or even what ‘destiny’ says she should be, but when she constantly whines about it, and doesn’t seek any resolutions to her problems, she makes me want to walk into the book and shake her up, but I try not to abuse characters that don’t belong to me.
#2. Too much foreshadowing. I read a YA novel, not too long ago, and everything that happened was foreshadowed. I couldn’t understand why the author wouldn’t show us what happened and let us decide for ourselves. It was as if she wanted to give us a commentary about the event before the event even took place. It was exhausting and to be quite honest, boring. Like all the other tools in an author’s tool kit, an author has to learn how to use the right device at the right time and not fall back on them as a crutch.
#3. Unrealized motivations. If I ask myself, over and over again why a character does something and I never get a reason why it really bugs me. I want to know the characters so well that when they do something uncharacteristic it not only shocks me, but makes me reconsider what I know about them. Usually, I can look back at their cookie-crumb-trail of traits and figure out what clue the author left me that pointed the character in this direction, but when I can’t find it, either the character is playing hard to get, or the author didn’t realize his characters true potential.
#4. Busy work plot. Do you ever find yourself reading something and feeling exhausted while you’re reading it? I call this busy work plot: the characters are running here, and there, and everywhere, with no real goal. I will gladly follow a character from Mt. Olympus to Kingdom Come as long as he has a goal, lofty or otherwise, that he’s working to attain. If he isn’t in pursuit of something tangible, even if it’s an idea, like knowledge, I ask myself why are we in this parade that runs in a circle going no where? Characters goals are directly related to plot and their motivations for attaining a goal are what push the story foreword.
#5. Cookie cutter villain. We’ve all seen them, bad guys, you know the one’s dressed in black, with furrowed brows, and dastardly plans, the criminal masterminds that everything seems to fall into place for so easily , the guy with the snarling lip and dead eyes who I have no idea what he’s thinking and why he’s thinking it. I just realized this could be the villain in All’s Fair in Vanities War, but this is just Book I and I don’t want you to know much about him, he’s a shadowy figure who wants something that holds incredible power. You believe, like me, that that’s all he’s after, but at the end of Book I, he realizes that there might be something in the Ordinary world that he can’t control. And when you’ve been plotting and planning every detail of your permanent release from the OtherWorld for a millennium, and you realize you might need to reevaluate your stance, let’s just say Balor the Evil Eye has a lot on his mind these days. And by the way, he didn’t get what he came for, so he’s royally pissed.
Salem’s always held sinister secrets. No one understands this better than a sixteen-year-old girl who dies on Halloween night and is reborn a Seer. The Seer can’t imagine anything worse than being an invisible teenager with enormous black wings. Until she finds out she’s been sacrificed to watch over Locke’s new flame. Locke Cavanaugh is a Druid, and part of the Order, a clandestine organization entrusted with keeping its members cloaked in the Ordinary world. Physically scarred from the accident that took his girlfriends life, Locke is searching for the OtherWorldly magic that damaged him, because only those without blemish can rule the Order. And once at the helm of the Order he has every intention of finding those responsible for her death. On the West Coast, Keleigh Flaherty witnesses her parents’ murder by beasts that should only exist in nightmares. She is whisked off to the safety of Salem, where she learns how potent and dangerous her concealed Vate talents are. Keleigh wants to be Ordinary, but when her mother reaches out from the OtherWorld, and implores her to find a forgotten relic she’ll have to use all her ExtraOrdinary powers to locate it. As Locke and Keleigh join forces, they unravel the Order’s involvement in the witch hysteria and murmurs of a Celtic prophecy. While Locke’s affection for Keleigh blooms, The Seer is torn between her duty to protect Keleigh, and her desire to stop Locke from making the ultimate sacrifice in order to earn Keleigh’s love . . . But if they don’t find the witches bottle before the ShiningOnes do, someone stalking Keleigh from the shadows will take her instead and plunge all worlds into chaos.
Today I have 2 ecopies of All’s Fair in Vanities War to giveaway. And then I also have some signed bookmarks to send to another winner, so that means there will be 3 winners! The ebooks are international and the swag is US only.
There is also a $50 grand prize for the tour! To enter the grand prize you just have to :”like” the facebook page here- http://www.facebook.com/TheSeers7DeadlyFairyTales and then post what your favorite line from the book was on the facebook wall! Good Luck!