I’ve been Snarked

Okay, not really. For all that people have quivered over the prospect of submitting to Miss Snark’s Happy Hooker Crap-o-meter, she really hasn’t been that snarky, outside of the hooks that seriously deserved it. (A good majority of the commenters, though, are another story entirely.)

What Miss Snark said about mine: “This is unfocused and a recitation of events. Use the XYZ to get the important factors on the page, then start over.”

I appreciate the time and effort Miss Snark has taken to run the Crap-o-meter and comment on everything, but I’m not sure how useful this has been for me. I haven’t read all of the hooks, but there have been others she’s said were unfocused and unsuitable that bear a striking similarity in structure to “winning” queries posted by other authors and agents–ones specialising in romance, fantasy, or other genre fiction.

The “hooks” that she’s liked (that I’ve seen) … I was not at all impressed by, and probably would not have given a second look. But, then, I don’t like the vast majority of literary mainstream fiction. I find it boring.

I’m not sure what to take away from this. I’ve had the query critted by several different people, who have liked it. It seems to be in line with what I’ve seen on SF/F blogs and such. I think I’m going to chalk this one up more to taste… and that’s not a bad thing.

But I think it’s something important to keep in mind. One person’s trash is another’s treasure and all that. πŸ˜‰

You know what I was saying about Nocturne?

After the utter mindfuck that was Eternally and Haunted, I haven’t gotten around to reading the other two Nocturnes (Death Calls and Dangerous Temptation) I’ve had around. When reading a book results in irritation-induced insomnia… yeah. πŸ˜•

Morgan and I were at Walmart the other day, and they had the January releases out. I thought about getting them, but ultimately decided against it. I’ve had enough trouble sleeping lately without having to deal with another wallbanger.

I know two books isn’t much to judge a line by, but … meh. I liked the two books I read, but not enough to want to risk reading something as craptacular as that.

Am I being irrational here, or is anyone else feeling the same way? πŸ˜•

Whee!

So, I officially have a release date for A Passion Draconic:

January 22nd, 2007.

Yay! πŸ˜€

Yeah, yeah… long time no post…

I hate winter. I truly hate it. Okay, that’s not totally accurate. I hate fall leading into winter. Once December is over with, I’m usually good. (Read: Once the whole light situation starts sorting its sorry ass out. Gotta love hate seasonal affective disorder.)

At least this year, I haven’t been depressed (more than my usual mood swings). The SAM-e I’ve been taking has worked very well for that, and it’s nice not to be fatalistic about, oh, everything all the time. πŸ˜› I’ve just been exhausted and drained, in part due to dreading holiday obligations with the in-laws.

I think most everyone who reads this blog has probably already seen at Romance Divas or my LiveJournal, but just in case… Alan Morgan and I were married on December 20th. We kept it a small affair, in the office of our local town clerk (who is also a Justice of the Peace). Paul, who might as well be his brother, and his girlfriend came along and took pictures. If you’re interested in seeing the pics, click here. (Be warned of the impending cleavage. Ironically, my mother sent me the dress. ^_^)

… which means I now get to update everywhere I’ve had a bio mentioning him as “fiancé.” Dear gods. 😯

I was going to write a rant…

… about Holly Lisle’s recent Chain Bookstores Are Evil post, but the Ja(y)nes at Dear Author said what I was going to far better than I could. *applauds*

And before Ms. Lisle sees the trackback ping and comes to bitch me out like she’s done to the folks over at Dear Author, when you say the following:

To understand why chain bookstores are the Villians of Bookselling, first you have to understand how books are sold right. So weÒ€ℒll look at the Heroes of Bookselling, independent (or indie) bookstore owners and booksellers.

You are insinuating that the chain bookstores are “evil.”

… hell, I still might write that rant.

Haunted by Lisa Childs

haunted.gifI think I need a new rule. I should not be allowed to read before going to sleep… or at least I shouldn’t be allowed to read Nocturne novels before then, ’cause they seem to have a 50% track record of pissing me the fuck off.

Lisa Childs’s Haunted has an interesting (albeit overdone) premise. There are three sisters, separated as children, who have different psychic gifts. The heroine of this book, Ariel, can see–and sometimes communicate with–ghosts. It’s both a gift and a curse (and is repeated ad nauseaum throughout the book.)

Oh yeah… and someone wants her and her sisters dead.

Ariel is involved with David, your average romance novel rich guy. Near the beginning of the book, he proposes to her, but she isn’t sure about it. See, she thinks that nobody can love her because of her “curse.” Or is it a gift? And she doesn’t trust David enough to confide in him. (Later on, she believes he might be the killer.)

Honestly, for a “romance” novel, there was little to no “romance” in this. Ariel is at least a two-dimensional character. David doesn’t even make it to that. There’s nothing more than hints about his past until the last fifty or so pages of the book, and he doesn’t show that he loves Ariel. Sure, he says it all the fucking time… like that’s supposed to mean something.

The characterisation in this book feels very wooden. For a book that’s supposed to be based around emotions, that’s not a good thing. I could sympathise with Ariel and her search to find her sisters, but it felt like David was more of an afterthought than anything else. This book would’ve been a heck of a lot better had David been left out entirely and it published as a paranormal “chick lit” (or women’s fiction, or whatever they’re calling it nowadays) novel. Yes, one of the major issues in the novel is Ariel learning to trust someone besides herself… but really, that does not equal romance, and that’s about all David and Ariel getting married boiled down to.

That and the constantly-shifting POV drove me bonkers. You know how people say that if you avoid head-hopping and stick to one POV per scene, you’re good? This book proves that ain’t true. It starts out with a brief scene several hundred years earlier, then pops forward to when Ariel was a kid, then hops to Ariel present, then to another person, and another, and…..

You get my point.

Except, David doesn’t have any POV scenes. But, of course, if you want the reader to suspect him of being the killer, then we can’t show inside his head, right!? Uhh, no. Skipping POV altogether is taking the easy way out.

This is one of those books that tries to be too many things. It tries to be a paranormal. It tries to be a suspense. It tries to be a romance. For me, it succeeded at none.

At this point, I’m debating whether or not to keep buying the Nocturne line. Might for awhile longer, but two wall-bangers in the first few months … doesn’t bode well.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars