Guest Post & Giveaway with Author Carolyn Crane

Today, I have author Carolyn Crane here with us sharing 5 pleasure-killing beasts she’s constantly evicting from manuscripts.

Welcome to The Book Vixen Carolyn!

Author Guest Post

Hey, Vixens! Thanks so much for having me here! I’m talking today about pleasure-killing manuscript beasts. Oh, you sneaky things, creeping into my works in progress, hiding, lurking trying to steal into final drafts. Nooo! Here are a few of my most unfavorite ones:

The ultra-boring connective scene

This is the connective scene where nothing really happens, but the characters must get from A to B, or some info must be delivered. It’s easy to gloss over these scenes on the way to the fireworks, telling myself they must be there. The truth is, scenes like this are bor-ing. It’s a form of writer’s denial, I guess, glossing over these. At least for me. Eventually I face the facts: something must be done. Sometimes I find a way to condense the ultra-boring connective scene or folding it in with something else. But a lot of times, if I put enough pressure on such a scene, I can get something good. Character depth. New surprises. One of my favorite scenes in Double Cross, the Marty interrogation, was a boring connective scene that I focused on really intensely and now it one of my faves ever.

The seemingly important sentence that mysteriously doesn’t work

This is the sentence that just doesn’t work no matter how much I switch it around and revise it. It fools me, because it seems like it belongs. But then, after fruitlessly slaving away to make it work, eventually I get the bright idea to delete it, and wow! The whole passage is better. It didn’t work because it should be there. *forehead slap* You would think I’d be able to recognize these now, but no. Apparently I have to go through the process every time.

The way-too-obvious planted information

I love planting stuff to pop later, but readers, you are so smart about sniffing it out! Really, I think it’s more fun when the reader doesn’t recognize planted info. But it’s a constant battle. I have this trick to defeat this one where I make the plant seem like it’s vital for something in the immediate scene. In Mr. Real, I wanted my heroine to have a condom in her pocket for a sex scene later, because who wants their characters to chase all over for condoms when they want to have sex? But, how obvious to have the heroine be like, oh, look, a condom is in the pocket of these pants I just put on. So, I made this big deal of it that she finds it, and it becomes this symbol in her mind of how slutty she’d been, always having a condom in case she wanted to sleep with strangers, and how much she wants to change and has been changing. So, the reader thinks that’s why it’s there. Hah!

The writerly flourish

This is the most embarrassing one to find. It’s the ooooh-me-and-my-golden-pen, we-will-weave-magic sentence. A lot of times, for me, it will be a description. Omg, I hate finding these. It’s easy in a first draft, at least for me, to play and mess around, and put in something outrageously writerly, kind of trying it out, thinking it’s a fresh way of bringing something to life. But later, I have to really think, is this really best for the reader? Or is it best for the writer? And then I evict that sucker!

Favorite word...again

This one is hard. I always have fave words of the moment. Lately I’ve been loving whispers and wild looks. I think you can have multiple whispers in a manuscript, but not multiple wild looks. Or the word generous in conjunction with descriptions, e.g. generous lips. I may be too in love with ragged breath, too. Must….evict.

Hey, thanks so much for having me!

Look, a contest! I’m giving away a Mr. Real ebook. Leave a comment naming your most favorite or least favorite word to read or use in a book.

About the Author

Author Carolyn CraneCarolyn Crane is the author of the Disillusionists trilogy and assorted novellas. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two cats, and works a day job as a freelance writer. During rare moments when she’s not at her computer, she can be found reading in bed, running, or helping animals.

Find the author online: website | twitter | facebook

About the Book

Mr. Real by Carolyn CraneTitle: Mr. Real
Series: Code of Shadows, Book 1
Author: Carolyn Crane
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Published: October 2012

The woman of his dreams…with the secret agent of his nightmares

Alix Gordon is a woman who doesn’t take life too seriously. What’s the fun in that? So when she stumbles across occult software that can bring any computer image to life, she conjures up lots of awesome outfits and accessories. And then, on one drunken, horny night, she conjures up Sir Kendall, the sexy TV ad spy . . . who looks exactly like Paul Reinhardt, the hot martial arts teacher who kicked her out of class a few years ago.

Fighter Paul Reinhardt has good reason to hate Sir Kendall, the character he brought to life to land a part in a TV ad; he’d do anything to forget him. A cross country road trip seems just the thing . . . until Paul finds himself inexplicably drawn to Minnesota and is shocked to discover Sir Kendall – in the flesh – with the girl he’d once loved from afar. He barges into Alix and Sir Kendall’s love nest, determined to stop the madness – somehow.

But is super spy Sir Kendall transforming into something more dangerous anyone can imagine? And what will Sir Kendall do when Paul and Alix finally give into their mad lust for each other?

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Thanks to Carolyn Crane, one lucky winner will receive an ebook copy of Mr. Real. Good luck to all who enter!

  • No purchase necessary.
  • Must be 18 years old or older to enter.
  • Giveaway open Internationally. Void where prohibited.
  • Comments are appreciated, however, you must fill out the Rafflecopter form in order to enter this giveaway.
  • Please read TBV's Giveaway Policy before entering.
  • Giveaway ends 9:01 pm (Pacific Time) on 11/22/2012.
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About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. Interesting book!! Love the excerpt!! Wanna read it :D..

  2. "Everything is gonna be alright if you believe and trust yourselves"

  3. There is nothing I can think of off hand that bothers me word wise in books. Thx for the giveaway.

    blinkysthebest at aol dot com

  4. This looks like a wonderful book...thanks for the blurb!
    One word I don't like to see too much is the word 'thing'.

  5. I can't think of a word in a book that bothers me, unless it is a really bad C word that they sometimes will use to refer to a girly part. Anyway, thanks for the chance.

    sheryll1974 AT netscape DOT net

  6. Hmm I think there are only two that realy bother me and its not that they use them its that they repeatedly use them thats what I dont care for and those are the C word as well as the P word that refer to a female part .Ive read a couple of books that seem to use them almost every page and thats just too much in my opinion.Thank you for the chance to win .Have a fantastic week.

  7. I dont like the F word being used alot. Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. I don't like hearing the swear word a lot. I hate it when it dominate the whole book.


  9. I don't care for words that just don't fit in the story, say a euphemism for penis that just pulls me right out of the scene. I think some authors have a hard time with sex scenes and try to get creative and it doesn't usually work. It's difficult to describe, but I can really tell the difference when I read a good scene versus a bad one.

  10. Its more a phrase than a word: "f*** your brains out"
    I just don't like it.

  11. I see the "C" word in a book & I just cringe.

  12. Thanks for this fun post. The phrase I hate most is Fuck me, or I will fuck you ...

  13. I have to say "throbbing member" makes me snicker!

  14. Creative Synonyms for private parts…most which have already been mentioned here.

  15. Love the cover. I am trying to think of the lease favorite word and nothing comes to mind, but I do have a pet peeve about reading names I can't pronounce. I recently finished a book where the character's name was Emmaline. She (the character) made sure to inform us how to pronounce her name correctly. :) If I don't know, I stumble over that person's name every single time.

  16. I have no idea 0_0 I like big fancy words, any fancy words, bad words, well...the name for a certain female body part