Short and sweet this morning, grammatical pet peeves that drive me crazy. I’m sure you have yours. We authors have a hard time turning off our editor brains when we read for enjoyment. I’ve learned to live with it, but there are a few things that jerk me out of story so fast and here they are.
Number one–the word till. Till is a verb. It means to plow, turnover the ground, etc.. It does not mean, up to a time or event, but not afterward. That is, until, a preposition, or if you want to shorten it use, ’til.
Number two, the word, that. It is a filler word. Yes, sometimes we need it, but there are many times when it is excess baggage, like cellulose in graded cheese. Cellulose is supposedly added to make the cheese flow. The word, that, doesn’t seem to work in the same way. The same with the words, just and very. If the word isn’t needed, then don’t include it.
Number three, excess exclamation marks. If your sentence or dialogue shows action, you don’t need to end it with an exclamation mark. Trust your reader to get it.
Number four, why is it necessary to add a question mark to dialogue if you already say, she asked? To me it’s overkill. Why not. “Hey, is everybody awake out there,” she asked. or “Hey, is everybody awake out there?” Susan shouted out the window.
Okay that’s my rant for this morning. What about you? Do yo have some grammatical pet peeves. List them here in the comments and tell me why they drive you crazy.
One of the many good things I’ve found with hosting my monthly Blog Talk Radio show, No Limits, is meeting new authors. I love discovering someone new to read. I always ask for a copy of the book they want to talk about ahead of time, and the majority of them have been a joy. Like any individual, there have been those I’ve enjoyed more than others, but I’ve yet to come across one that I’ve hated. An even bigger thrill is when they have more than one book that I can delight myself with.
My April show is no different. My two guests are Kait Carson and Richard Paolinelli. Both authors are new to me. I’ll learn more about each of them on No Limits. That’s what my show is about, discovering how an author creates, what works for them, if there is anything they have to have before they can write, or what they did to celebrate when they signed that book contract.
For my blog today I am giving you quick reviews of their latest books.
Kait Carson’s latest book, Death by Sunken Treasure, is a Hayden Kent mystery. I like Hayden Kent. When something doesn’t set well with her, she has to find out why. Hayden is a paralegal and an avid scuba diver. When Mike, the son of a woman she considers a second mother, is found dead in full scuba gear Hayden is devastated. When his death is judged a suicide, she is full of disbelief. The way the man died just isn’t logical for a diver.
Mike had been in her office only days before signing his will. He had left everything to his infant son. Nothing to raise an alarm, until another will surfaces, this one very different.
The more Hayden digs, the more questions surface. There is sunken treasure involved, gold doubloons among it that seem to bring out the worst in people.
Hayden’s suspicions rise even more when she receives notes and emails telling her to back off and accept the suicide verdict. Of course she doesn’t, or we wouldn’t have story. She sees it through to the end, a course of action that will alter her life in a very big way.
I’m not a scuba diver. I don’t even like to be in water above my head, but Kait Carson’s descriptive style, made me feel as if I was there. There is another book in the Hayden Kent series, Death by Blue Water. It has joined my list of books that I just have to read. Pick up a copy of Death by Sunken Treasure and lose yourself in deep sea mystery. You won’t be disappointed.
Richard Paolinelli’s latest book, Reservations, couldn’t be more different. Richard takes us to the desert of New Mexico, into the world of Navajo, Hopi and Zuni. Reservations starts off with a murder. The victim knows his killer, and is sad he will die before he can identify the person. Even more devastating to him is knowing more people will die and he can do nothing to prevent it.
I’m a big fan of the late Tony Hillerman, and a new fan of his daughter, Ann. I’m also an avid read of Craig Johnson’s Longmire series. Reservations has the same feel.
One of the main characters, Ben Yazzie, who is the President of the Navajo Nation, knows more than he wants to share about the murders and calls for help from an old friend, Baker Collins, the Deputy Director of the FBI.
Baker sends his best agent, Jack Del Rio, to Gallup, New Mexico to catch the brazen murderer. Jack is met with hostility, they don’t need a fed to catch their killer, they can do so themselves.
I loved the twist and turns of this mystery and the interaction between the characters, most with their own agendas that hinder Del Rio’s objective.
I am happy to know that Richard Paolinelli has another novel due out this year. I’m looking forward to reading it.
So, there’s some hints about two great mysteries. If you’d like to learn more about the authors, the join me for No Limits. Here is the link to the show:
A perfect murder, is there such a thing? I’ve killed people in many different ways, after all I write books. It’s not only my thrillers, I’ve killed many folks and out of this wo…
Source: A Perfect Murder.
A perfect murder, is there such a thing? I’ve killed people in many different ways, after all I write books. It’s not only my thrillers, I’ve killed many folks and out of this world creatures, in my fantasy and science fiction stories. I’ve used a knife, poison, guns, dark magic and even quantum physics.
Some years back there was a television show, I can’t remember the title now, but a man was found dead and police were investigating. Of course the wife was their number one suspect. I remember the woman inviting the detectives for dinner and serving them lamb from a gorgeous roast. I don’t remember how the audience finds out, but the leg of lamb was the murder weapon and she got away with murder.
I wonder if that would work in this modern day?
So all of you readers, what’s your favorite murder? For all of my crime fiction author friends, how have you killed people in your books?
Me? I think an airplane crash would have to be my favorite, although that is a pretty knife.
I’ve got a book inside me. It has been there for years. Nobody has written it.
I have attempted to contact movie producers: the Weinstein brothers, Spielberg, well-known actors DiCaprio, Brad and Angie, starting at the top and working my way down, to name a few. None of them were interested in my story. Those pursuits have gotten me nowhere. So, I am writing it myself.
It is through the help of the local writers group, the Word Wizards, that my book is coming together. It has been nearly five years since I joined the group and since then the book has seen many revisions. I am beginning to see a professionally written copy of Letters to Tami.
Like mystical knights from a time long since past,
These three surviving warriors are back at last.
A golden god wailing tunes that echo through our minds,
With emotion to his audience, a performer so fine.
From a magical guitarist born back in time,
Plays a bow on the strings like a wizard casts a spell.
On his Organ he plays sounds like they were made up in heaven,
Also a guitar would be another weapon.
Together a power none dreamed of before,
A masterpiece of song never seen on a stage floor.
Missing from them, one fallen warrior whose hammering
On his drums shook the ground like thunder,
They called him Bonzo, now a spirit in a new world of wonder.
From England they were born some time ago,
Their music lives on forever you know.
Robert Plant, Jimmy…
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I thought this was beautiful.
I thought i’d call to you and talk awhile,
I’m sitting here alone, I’ve been thinking.
What can i do to make this world a better place,
Let go of anger and sometimes terrible thoughts.
Do not waste this time that I’ve been given,
Smile and say hello to a passerby.
Lend a hand to a less fortunate soul,
Put a little trust in man, this I’ve been told.
Do not take a life, be there for a friend,
Teach a child right from wrong.
Love as much as you can, hate is not a gift in hand,
Do not steal or act in violence,
I’ve been thinking god, I just needed you to listen.
The Word Wizards and Me
We introduced ourselves at the pool. “Maggie here, morning.
“Good morning to you, I’m Barbara Hodges.”
After the workout we chatted. “I’m a writer,” she said.