Pet Peeves rethought

18 Jan

I’m Crystal Kauffman, and I’m eating Crow Pie.

First off, I’m going to make a confession. I admit I have…once or twice… criticized a certain type of book cover. I laughed. I snorted. I said “How dumb.” And no, I’m not talking about Christina Dodd’s three armed heroine. It was much simpler than that.

I’ll insert this little disclaimer here: as an author, I tend to look at writing, and covers, slightly differently than the average reader who has no understanding of what goes on behind the binding.

But I digress. Back to the point. I’ve been known to pick up a book or two and say “Really. A bare-chested man against a snowy landscape. Are you serious?”

Okay, so maybe it was a particular peeve to me. And I’m not talking erotic romance here, where bare flesh is practically a requirement. I’m talking straight romance in mass market, on-the-shelf at a brick-and-mortar store. A certain NY Times bestselling author, no less.

I did not buy the book.

However, neither did I read the back cover. I have no idea if this story took place in the snowy wilds of Montana, if he was a paranormal creature of otherworldly body temperature, or if the premise of the book put him in a situation where his clothes came off in the snow.

Because I have since learned…that matters. Time for crow pie. I’m serving myself a big slice today. If anyone deserves that bare-chested hero against a snowy landscape, it’s me. And I finished my book before I even realized it. Yes readers, my hero gets naked in the snow.

Aidan Chase is a werewolf tracker hired to find a runaway heiress who has stolen a great deal of money. The story takes place in Washington State in the dead of winter. In short, my heroine makes a break for it one night, sinks her car in the snow, and has to be rescued by the hero (whom she doesn’t know is a werewolf.)  Thinking she might have stashed a suitcase of money in her trunk, he waits until midnight, (after a whole lot of headboard banging fun) shifts to his wolf form and runs to the snow-trapped car to do some investigating. Once there, he shifts back to human for the required use of his opposable thumbs. He’s stark naked. No shoes, no gloves, no hat, no coat.

Lets just say naked chests against snowy landscapes are no longer a pet peeve of mine 🙂 But I’d like to hear readers’ takes on that, or any other peeves you may have. What steams your green beans, inside the book or on its cover? Crystal wants to know!

4 Responses to “Pet Peeves rethought”

  1. Mary Preston January 18, 2011 at 6:16 am #

    The bare chests are a hoot – in all weather & terrains. My pet peeve is covers that are deceptive. Sometimes the cover picture has NOTHING to do with the story within. Just window dressing – or undressing.

  2. Jen B. January 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    For covers, I get totally irked when then publisher clearly didn’t read the book. I mean the heroine is described on the back cover as a 6+foot tall Amazon woman with dark short hair. The front cover shows a petit delicate thing with brown hair hanging past her shoulders. Ugh! Yes, real example. I also hate, HATE when I start reading the book and realize the cover has nothing to do with the content of the story. Like, he lives in a manor house but a Medieval castle is on the cover. WHY!? I’m done now. Thanks for the topic.

  3. Kaily Hart January 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    Crystal, like you and as an author, I look at covers differently than I used to when I was solely a reader. I now understand authors have little to no input into a cover, but I at least think a cover should be a true representation of the story and the characters. There shouldn’t be glaring inconsistencies. A cover might attract my attention, but a bad cover wouldn’t stop me reading a book if the blurb and/or excerpt was good.

    • Crystal Kauffman January 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

      I’m with you: ultimately it’s the blurb that makes me buy or pass by.

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