Reading Pet Peeves

So I’m reading away the other night, totally engrossed in a really good book, turning the pages as fast as I can. When suddenly everything comes to a screeching halt and I’m ripped out of the story.

Why?

Because the author didn’t know her stuff. Didn’t do her research. And I caught it. I had to put the book down. Oh, I’ll finish it because I love this author and I love this book. But for right now I need to take a break from it because the mistake was something that shouldn’t have happened if the author had done the research needed. And it’s a simple thing to do. A quick Google search would have netted the correct usage of a word.

Note to contemporary authors: There’s a HUGE difference between jail and prison. The character, who happens to be a cop, would definitely know that difference, yet he used the wrong term and it pulled me completely out of the story.

So what is your reading pet peeve? What will make you throw the book against the wall and walk away from it?

Watcha Readin’?

So what’s everyone reading?

I’m currently reading Linda Howard and Linda Jones romance, Running Wild. I love Howard’s romances and couldn’t wait to get my hand on this one. So far it’s everything I’d hoped it would be.

In book 1 of this steamy new contemporary Western romance series by two blockbuster authors, a cowboy and a woman on the run take a stand and fight for love.
 
Carlin Reed lives in fear, off the grid, moving from place to place. So Battle Ridge, Wyoming, a small town in the middle of nowhere, seems like a good place to lie low for a while. But after becoming cook and housekeeper to cattle rancher Zeke Decker, Carlin suspects that she’s made her first mistake. Rugged, sexy, and too distracting for his own good, Zeke is pure temptation mixed with something deep and primal that makes Carlin feel almost safe. Soon things are getting way too hot in the kitchen.

Zeke doesn’t challenge Carlin’s terms: cash, dead bolts, and no questions. It is easy to see that she’s a woman in trouble. Problem is, he’s so blindsided by his attraction to her he can’t think straight. Zeke tries to stay all business, no complications—but that game plan is sabotaged the second Carlin gets under his skin. And when her terrifying past follows her to the ranch, Carlin faces a heartbreaking choice: run away from the man she loves, or put him in the crosshairs of a madman.

I need to grow my TBR pile. Not. But I do like to hear about great books. Tell me what you’re reading.

 

Asking for help for a friend

If you’ve been following my blog, you know what happened to my husband in May, 2011 and the difficult road my family has had to walk for the past eighteen months. If you haven’t heard, you can read the full story here.

Along this journey, we’ve met some wonderful people and one such family is the O’Keefe’s. In May of 2011, a man broke into Kelly O’Keefe’s house and started beating her. Her brother, Danny, heard her cries and rushed to help her. He was beaten as well. Then stabbed nineteen times in the head .

Danny and Kelly were in the ICU with my husband. They are both still struggling to heal. Danny needs extensive physical, occupational and speech therapy. His insurance will only cover 50 sessions. Believe me, that’s nothing, especially when you’re going to therapy nine times a week.

The O’Keefe’s are asking for help to send Danny to University of Michigan UMAP program which costs $27,000 for a 4-5 week session. And that is just for speech therapy. That doesn’t include the cost of travel or room and board nor the other therapies he needs.

I know this family personally. I can vouch for them. They’re kind and caring and are living through hell right now watching two of their four children struggle every day. I would never, ever ask my faithful followers for anything like this if I didn’t know everything about this family.

If you can give anything, anything at all, it would be beyond appreciated.

The O’Keefe’s are a proud family and when I last talked to Kathy O’Keefe she said, “It’s hard to ask for money but when it’s your kids, you’ll do anything for them.”

In her blog, she writes, “Danny is our hero. He saved our daughter’s life, but at a great cost. Danny loves sports. He played baseball, football, and soccer. He loved to read, and play the drums. He’s lost it all.”

If you’d like to read their story, you can find it here.

I understand that money is tight these days. If you can’t give monetarily, please send up a few prayers for Danny. The power of prayer is enormous. My family is testament to that.

Thank you!

 

Summer Randomness

Today I had my author pictures taken. I’ve been putting them off all summer because 1) I didn’t like my haircut. I mean, I liked my haircut, I just didn’t think it looked author-ish. (I don’t want my hair stylist to read this and think I hated my hair style. I didn’t, Kelly! Swear!). 2) I didn’t know what to wear. 3) I really don’t like being on that side of the camera and 4) As with most women, I wanted to lose some weight.

When my editor called last week and said she needed my author pic by the 15th I had a mild moment of panic. Luckily the photographer was able to get me in, my hair had grown out a bit and I’d lost a few pounds since the beginning of summer. The only worry I had left was what to wear. I quickly solved that problem by going with black. You can never go wrong with black. It matches everything and its slimming.

So, I can now check author pics off my to-do list and I’m extremely excited to see the finished products.

My next point of business is a new website. More choices, more decisions to make.

Last week I started writing two new stories. I’ve never written two stories at once and it’s a bit mind-boggling. Not to mention that I have a deadline in November.

I’ve been watching the Olympics every single night. For someone who doesn’t watch much TV, that’s pretty amazing. The swimming had me riveted to the television. In 2008 I cheered for Michael Phelps but this year I found myself rooting for Lochte. And who can not like Missy Franklin. So sweet and fresh. And that smile is contagious!

So that’s been my summer so far. What have you been doing this summer?

 

First Lines

First lines are so important to a story. It’s the reader’s introduction to you, your characters and your story. It has to be just right. Authors struggle over their first lines, sweat over them, lose sleep over them, change them, rework them, rip them apart, rewrite them and, yes, sometimes cry over them.

Below are the first lines from my books. As a reader do you have any favorite first lines? If you’re an author, what’s the first line of your current release or work in progress?

“No good ever came from opening a door without looking through the peephole. Or so Kate’s mom always said.” – From DECEPTION

“I hafta go potty.

Aiden’s alarmed gaze swung down to the China doll standing in front of him. He’d been sitting in the shadows of his porch, so engrossed in studying the fine legs of the woman in the driveway next door that he hadn’t seen the munchkin arrive on his step.” – From NIGHT SONG

“The guy at the convenience store told her to take the old logger’s road. Said it wasn’t marked, but she couldn’t miss it. That had been twenty minutes ago. She hadn’t counted on the steep, winding hill, the sheer drop to nothing or the snow the weathermen were saying was a blizzard in the making.” – From REDEMPTION

“Alex Juran’s breath condensed on the cold night air. He adjusted the brim of his John Deere cap and tucked his chin into his thin coat, straining to hear past the sounds of traffic a few blocks away and the mournful horn of a barge chugging down the river.” – From OBSESSION

“Sizzling heat reached out to her. Retreated, teased, scorched. A horrible shrieking sound filled her head. She tried to cover her ears but her arms wouldn’t move.” – From WHEREVER YOU ARE

“The fever was catching up to him. Slowing him down. Killing him.” – From HER DARK KNIGHT

“The babe was dying.” – From A FOREVER KIND OF THING