Monday Musings: Pet Peeves

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I’ve been judging a lot of contests lately and while I love doing it, I’ve noticed that lately a lot of entries are hitting my pet peeves pretty hard. Specifically one.

Character development/motivation.

I think on my latest grouping of entries, I marked every entry down for character development.  Even the entries I loved.  And it’s not just contest entries I’ve seen it in, it’s in published books, too!

It’s not that the characters aren’t developed enough (although sometimes it is), it’s that the motivation isn’t there or doesn’t match what we’ve seen of the character.

For instance, when a character states that he can’t go through a portal to a different world because it’s forbidden and he’s afraid of the person who would enforce it, but then walks straight through that portal without a second thought and considers bringing someone back with him because they asked him, too, without a thought to the consequences. There lacks a certain motivation.

Now, if he had a thought that EXPLAINED why he did all that, despite the consequences, I’d believe it more.  But without that thought, or an explanation of some sort, it makes the characters unreliable and lacks that development I was talking about.  And it really drives me to distraction.

 So QFU: What’s your pet peeve?

Also, the winner of my Birthday Bash giveaway is:

Erin PreFontaine
Congrats, Erin!  You should have received an email from me this morning with instructions.
Thanks again, everyone, for entering. Stay tuned for more contests soon!

Fish Friday

>Since my book takes place under the ocean, I thought a neat feature to add to my blog would be to find cool, fishy or ocean-y things and highlight them.

So, yesterday I found this funny little guy on i09.

Image via i09

What? You say you don’t find him very funny?  Then check out this video.  My favorite part is at about 1:43 where the winner is all, “Hmm, this looks like a good new home for me.”  Moves in. “Hmm, this isn’t right.” Comes back out, fixes some things. “That ought to do it.” Goes back in. “Nope, still not right.” Comes back out. Fixes things. “Now that should be right.” Goes back in.  “Damn it. NO! This isn’t right. I’m just gonna go back to my home.”


Then there’s this one.  The poor octupus is just taking a stroll along the bottom. “I’m just taken a walk. Might be lookin’ for food. Might not. That’s what taking a leisurely stroll is.” Runs into Mr. Crabby sarcastic fish. “Oop. Pardon me, Fish.”

Mr. Crabby fish:  “Oh no you don’t. You don’t enter my territory without permission.” Attacks octopus.

Octopus: “Chill out, dude! I said I was sorry.” Waves legs around.

Mr. Crabby fish: “My water. My water!”  Attacks octopus again.

Octopus: “Oh no you didn’t.” Starts whacking legs at Mr. Crabby Fish.

Mr. Crabby fish: “My water. My water!”  Continues attacking.

Octopus: “You know what? Screw you, dude. You crazy!”  Swims away the way he came.

And here’s one last one that I think really show how really pretty they are.  I mean they’re ugly, but they’re also really pretty when they open their mouths really wide.  What’s funny is that these guys are living in the same rock. Don’t even know it, but when they see each other they’re all like. “This is my rock.” “No! It’s my rock.”

And now for some educational stuff in case you’re interested.  A sarcastic fringehead (Neoclinus blanchardi) is a fish that can be found in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of North America, from San Franciso to Baja, California. They generally live at a depth range of 9.8 to 240 ft.

They are mostly scaleless and can grow up to 12 inches wide.  Something unique of these fish is that after the women spawn they lay their eggs then leave, while the male protects them.

As you saw in a few of these videos, they are a very aggressive fish, but they can’t see well, so they’ll attack almost anything that passes w/in their field of view, even if the other fish is much larger.

However, when two sarcastic fish fight for territory, they press their open mouths together, like some bizarre french kiss in order to determine who the larger fish is.  I guess, in this circumstance, size really does matter.  😛

German Cover Reveal for RENEGADE!

>I’ve been waiting forEVER to be able to show you all this. And to say I’m not a very patient person and this was killing me is an understatement. And you’ll see why in a minute. 

I’ve now gotten two covers for RENEGADE (US and German) and I’ve been incredibly lucky that I can say that I love them both.   Even though they’re so different from each other, they’re perfect for the story in their own ways.

I could blab on and on about the fantasticness (Yes, it’s a word. Even if I did make it up. :P) of the cover, but they say a picture says a 1,000 words, so I’ll just let it speak for itself.

Isn’t it lovely?!  I’m told that the German title, Tiefenrausch, means “rapture of the deep,” which is pretty neat! At least to me.
And some more great news is I have a German release date of August 20, 2012 and it’s available for pre-order at Amazon.
That’s the only link I can find right now, but I’m sure it’ll be available at other places soon, but feel free to check out the IVI site for more up-to-date information than I have.  
So, what do you think of my new cover?!

Waiting On Wednesday: The Downside of Being Charlie


“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

My selection for this week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

THE DOWNSIDE OF BEING CHARLIE by Jenny Torres Sanchez (Running Press)

 Charlie is handed a crappy senior year. Despite losing thirty pounds over the summer, he still gets called “Chunks” Grisner. What’s worse, he has to share a locker with the biggest Lord of the Rings freak his school has ever seen. He also can’t figure out whether Charlotte VanderKleaton, the beautiful strawberry lip-glossed new girl, likes him the way he likes her. Oh, and then there’s his mom. She’s disappeared—again—and his dad won’t talk about it.

Somewhere between the madness, Charlie can at least find comfort in his one and only talent that just might get him out of this life-sucking place. But will he be able to hold his head above water in the meantime?


Happy Book Birthday: Gilt

A happy book birthday to the following Apocalypsie and her fab book:

GILT by Katy Longshore (Viking) 

In case you didn’t see my WoW last week, here’s the book cover and back cover copy.

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free–
and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men–the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million
Amazon | Barnes & Noble