Happy Friday! Today I’m hosting a stop on Nancy Gideon’s Betrayed by Shadows Bookend Tour. Nancy is sharing a few of her reading pet peeves, her newest book in the Moonlight Series and has a fabulous giveaway you won’t want to miss!
The Reading Experience by Nancy Gideon
I love a book that pulls me in on the first page and doesn’t let me go until the last. I love a book that has me so engaged, I forget the time, the place, the fact that I was supposed to be in bed asleep two hours ago. I love a book that can make me laugh out loud, that has me smiling or crying or holding my breath as I turn the pages.
A good book entertains. A GREAT book transports. It’s the 3D IMAX experience that springs from the page and surrounds you with the sights and sounds and emotions of the characters and worlds it creates. It makes you reluctant to leave and eager to return.
One of the most frustrating things for me as a reader is to get pulled out of that immersive enjoyment. Who else hates it when the projector gets fuzzy in the middle of an action scene . . . or worse yet, the love scene when you’re invested in a movie? It breaks the mood and sometimes it’s next to impossible to get back to that intimate participation.
We all have our pet peeves, things that annoy or interrupt our reading pleasure. Here are a few of mine:
1. Information dumps. Being forced to wade through a swamp of backstory before you’re involved with the characters makes reading too much work. And then you have to flip back to try to find that nugget of fact when it becomes relevant. Pull me in and feed me tidbits. If I get a huge meal right up front, I’ll be nodding off in no time.
2. Jargon. If I have to stop every paragraph and look something up for the scene to make sense, it’s too much like homework. Medical, scientific, or made up words can enrich but a heavy dose can distract.
3. Unnatural dialogue. If real people don’t talk like that, neither should a character. A rough-edged, thuggish hero who suddenly starts waxing poetic when horizontal always makes me snort.
4. Characters that suddenly pop up without introduction. Like when you bump into someone at a party, they act like you should know them but you don’t have a clue. This is something I have to be very careful of in my series. Authors should never assume a reader is familiar with someone from earlier books. Just a hint, please.
5. Format errors. I’ve had published books come out with glaringly awful typos (shirt without the r) or mistakes. It happens. But with e-books particularly, nothing is worse than someone who doesn’t check to make sure paragraphs are indented on all their platforms or that a scanning glitch hasn’t turned all the quotation marks into exclamation points.
6. Too much detail. All right, all ready. I get it. You did the research. You want to share every single interesting fact whether it’s relative or not. I don’t need a lecture on the history of the effects of blunt force trauma to appreciate a whack on the head.
7. Not ENOUGH detail. Characters who were chatting in the living room are suddenly involved in a high speed chase. What? In the space of a paragraph, the heroine seems to have lost all her clothes. How did that happen? Don’t disorient me to time, place or situation. I need to have a clue.
8. Inappropriate actions/reactions. Acting or speaking out of character is always unsettling. The timid heroine sudden becomes an F-bomb tossing GI Jane. The always unflappable hero jumps to some emotionally overblown conclusion. An easily explained misunderstanding provokes an irrational response or huge Black Moment. Quirks in behavior are wonderful for defining characters but not when they are unexplained or unmotivated by either backstory or circumstance and are just used as a plot devise.
9. And then a miracle occurred . . . Nothing worse than being cheated out of a satisfying payoff. An escalating tension or inexcusable bad behavior is resolved with a flippant, “I did it because I love you,” and all is forgiven. Pffft. The taut, plot-driving mystery is concluded by a far-fetched red herring that suddenly appears out of nowhere. The hero/villain face off that’s been building for 400 pages is ended with a sucker punch . . . from the mailman. I feel cheated! Don’t string me along on pins and needles and then have Bobby Ewing wake up in the shower to find out it was all a dream! I want a reward befitting my expectations.
Embrace me on page one and don’t let me go until page end. Make each word, each scene, each twist or turn deepen that relationship. Give me an experience I’ll cling to even after its over.
That’s not too much to ask, is it?
What pulls you out of a book you’re reading? Let me know if I’ve done my job as an author with BETRAYED BY SHADOWS.
ABOUT THE BOOK…
Balancing a criminal empire and a preternatural clan war, reluctant front man Giles St. Clair doesn’t need a problem like Brigit MacCreedy . . . How much trouble can the head-strong and manipulative Shifter beauty get into in two weeks? Plenty when her schemes range from kidnapping to fleeing the retribution of her dead lover’s clan.
With her family’s lives on the line, Brigit is willing to do whatever it takes to save them. The only thing standing in her way is an immovable stone wall of a man she can’t bully or beguile . . . a human, no less, who has promised to protect her from the secrets and dangers she conceals.
Risking her own safety gets complicated when an honorable and annoyingly desirable man puts himself between her and her powerful enemies in a battle he can’t win in this Taming of the Shrew meets Shifter Goodfellas on the Bayou tale of consequences, redemption and finding love in all the wrong places.
BUY THE BOOK:
An author of over fifty novels since 1987, Nancy Gideon thrives on variety. Under her own name and several pseudonyms, she’s written award-winning series suspense, historical and paranormal bestsellers, earned a “Career Achievement for Historical Adventure”, and has had two original horror screenplays optioned for film. A Michigan native, she works full time as a legal administrative assistant and feeds a NetFlix addiction.
Giveaway provided by author via Buy the Book Tours
A $15 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of Betrayed by Shadows will be awarded to one lucky participant from the Rafflecopter form below at the end of the 8 week book tour. Follow and Friend Nancy and BTB for extra chances to win!
What a great post, I really agree with all your points. I have one personal one to add: when the hero or heroine has a name most often used by someone of the opposite gender. That really keeps throwing me out of the story.
The list you have made above is pretty complete, and are all boo-boos that pull me out of a story. Also, bad grammar or inappropriate word usage brings me to a screeching halt. To/too, they’re/their/there, your/you’re are words that are often interchanged without regard to meaning. And if I see another “taunt” nipple, I’m going to scream. What does that nipple do? Say, “Neener, neener!”, when you touch it? Taut means tightened, authors! I recently read a novel by an independent author that had the heroine withering in the hero’s arms. Poor man! Wonder what he did when she dried up and died right there in his bed. Not a just singular mistake, either. She did it again later in the book. The sad thing is that her plot points were good, her story was exciting, and her characters were well developed. Those mistakes and other grammar and word usage mistakes dropped her rating at least two points in my eyes. Arghhh! Get your ms edited by a competent line/copy editor, Indies! It is so worth it!