Free Proofreading for English errors!

I am a (former, unfortunately!) UK teacher with LOTS of time to read, but not a lot of money, so I decided to offer free proof reading in exchange for free reading material! I have met a marvellous group of friends that way, and so now I sometimes review and promote their books here, too! email me and I will get in touch privately. Or check out my Reviews

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Cover Reveal: Pulp Friction 2014 'In From The Cold' series

My first ever guest blogger is here today: welcome, Lee Brazil, and tell us more about Pulp Friction and In From The Cold. I am a massive Pulp Friction fan, based on last year's '4 series series', which was intricate, yet every book could equally be read on its own.  I'm looking forward immensely to reviewing 2014's series, and meeting up again with an old friend from last year ... over to you!

Good morning Margaret and readers! Margaret assures me this is a quality blog, and I can see at a glance that she is spot on in that assessment. Thanks for allowing me to share on your blog today. Pulp Friction 2014 is kicking off and I've got a gorgeous new cover to share and an advance copy to give away. *sips coffee* For those in the audience who don't know me, I'm Lee Brazil, author of m/m romance, and proud member of the Pulp Friction organization.
That's what brings me here today.
What's Pulp Friction? Well you might ask! It is about the most complicated undertaking I've attempted recently. 4 Authors, 4 series, 20 books, one fiery finale.
See, Laura Harner, Havan Fellows, Tom Webb and I create an interlocking web of mm romance serial fiction that culminates in a single story. Last year we took on Atlanta, and this year we're moving into Flagstaff.
I followed a character I created, who kind of got nudged out of what was supposed to be his primary role last year.
Cannon Malloy, neurosurgeon, was supposed to be Chance DuMont's partner. Things just didn't work out that way. He was, as they say, too late to get the worm. *blinks* Er…early bird gets the worm, right? So being late, by about five years, means Cannon gets no worm. Not that I'm saying Chance was a worm, though I hear some people *coughs* called him a variety of names during his interactions with Rory Gaines, who turned out to be the genuine love of his life.
Well, since I allowed Rory to steal Cannon's love, I figured I had to give him a second chance *hehe. See what I did there?*
So Cannon picks up and moves to Flagstaff to get away from a memory of a love he really can't have (among other things)…and that's when the snow starts falling. Which makes this gorgeous cover absolutely perfect.
Look for
In From the Cold: Cold Snap
at eBook vendors on January 31, 2014!
About Pulp Friction 2014
Laura Harner ~ Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ T.A. Webb
The Pulp Friction 2014 Collection. Four authors. Four Series. Twenty books. One fiery finale. Spend a year with an eclectic group of strangers brought together through circumstances, as they are tested by life, and emerge as more than friends.
The strongest bonds are forged by fire, cooled in air, smoothed by water, grounded in earth.
Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.
Now, I did promise to give away an advance copy- which will be available on January 30th. Leave me a comment here telling whether you'd ever eat pickled herring and you'll be entered to win.
3 copies will be given away- all comments on each blog will count as an entry. So, feel free to visit each stop and leave a comment! (Note – each blog asks a different question, so read carefully!)

THE FINE PRINT: Please read: All prizes are ebooks, in pdf format. Prizes must be claimed by February 7th. In order to win, you must provide an email address. If you do not provide an email, then you are ineligible. Although you may enter up to 7 times, you may win only one copy. Winner will be announced at . Tour Hosts MAY choose to post winners but will not be obligated to do so.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Laving and lathing (BIG ouch!)

As many of you know, I haven't been well, so my apologies for not blogging (and profuse apologies to those of you I have let down, even if I did warn you I might).

However, I just had to put the following plea out there:

Dear authors,

Please do not talk about 'lathing' nipples ... A lathe is a seriously dangerous piece of equipment and the mere thought of one applied to protuberances on anyone's chest is enough to take your book straight into the torture porn category!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

A Manuscript a Day for three days in a row!

Talk about taking off!

A second story for the wonderful Kade, yesterday. A change of pace from the recently released Don't Trust the Cut, or rereleased Wide Awake (with two extra chapters at the end!) this one is shorter and lighter ... Titled It's Complicated, I certainly hope Kade decides to release it, so that you all can enjoy some more of his endless store of different, feisty and often idiosyncratic, but always loving, Southern characters!

Then today, another author sent me a quick shorty, to be checked by the end of the day! (I'll tell you all more, once we know what's happening to it next!)

And just this evening, another author has sent me a book to beta read ... I may yet beat my Kindle one-click addiction, with the help of all these kind people!

Certainly, I will have plenty to do for the next few days, as this latest one is a full-length book (my first, properly, since Wide Awake is supposedly still more of a novella length, really. But don't worry, Tyler Marcus. Whatever other characters I may fall in love with along the way ... none will ever take your special place in my heart!)

Thursday, 25 July 2013

The difference between a Grin, a Smirk and a Smile (UK vs US)

I've only just noticed this difference but it seems to be pretty universal:

Here in the UK, a smile is a mild, pallid creature, a bit like a 'nice' person. It can be deeply felt, but is often either restrained or polite or even forced. A grin, on the other hand, although performed with closed lips, is genuine and expresses a deep sense of gleeful mirth! A smirk, at least to my generation, is a rather sly half-grin, which has connotations of derision with hidden or less well-concealed, spite towards another. It is usually employed by those with poor self-esteem who wish to see themselves as superior to the person they are thinking about. We would use the word 'grin' to describe a wry smile that was prompted by fondness.

In current US romantic fiction, at least, these conventions seem to be reversed. People start off with a grin, and then it expands into a heartfelt smile.  A smirk does not seem to have the same level of negativity associated with it, either: the first time I read a heroine saying how much she loved that the guy always smirked at her silly ways, I thought, 'How low is her self-image, to enjoy being looked down on and almost bullied like that?' It turns out that the problem was one of translation between English and American(!!)


First Full Proofreading Finished!

I am SO (what is a mature superlative for *squeeee!*?)!

I finished my first proofreading job, for Kade Boehme, who was doing a reissue of Wide Awake (link is to old version - wait for the new one, with the new *soppy hugs and drools* cover - see Kade's blog) and look at the feedback I got:

You were a tremendous help and I couldn't have pulled this off without you :) Your comments were  ... [very] helpful. I really appreciated you keeping up with everything as you went. I ended up deferring to you on most all of them so kudos. Your work was on par with the editor I work with at the publishing house (only you ... have a more personal relationship with the book [as a fan])

Anyways... so ... [w]here it says "Copyright Kade Boehme. Cover by LC Chase" i threw in a "Proofed by AnonymousBlogger" with a link to your blog ;) Again, anything I can do to get you some recognition/credit for your fab work. You're a lifesaver. I've got something I may be tossing your way in the next couple wks ... It's a smaller project ... and much more in the way of a quick rom-com(ish) novella. 

<3 kade

Yippee! *all that jumping and bouncing I should be too old to do anymore!*

Of course, Kade made it easy by writing a story I really enjoyed in a style that was well-written and complemented mine (I am 100% NOT journalistic in my own prose, so Kade's natural immediate, rather breathless first-person style was a brilliant match!)

So, what did I learn from this?

1) I CAN do a good job of this ... all that marking of Statistics A level papers got me in good training for noticing the 'Quality of Written Communication' criteria (UK Exam Politics Speak *sigh*)
2) I can pick up the tone of an author's work and work within it, in a way that enhances the reader's experience without upsetting the author. (Based on a not completely random sample size of 1, this may not be a fully convincing generalisation, of course!)
3) It takes a LOT longer to proof read carefully for everything, like inconsistent tenses, 'Dragon Oopsie's' like 'flew the coup coop' (UK Dragon would not make that mistake, cos over here we use a more Francophonic pronunciation for 'coup'!), and to make sure I am not accidentally correcting something into UK instead of US English (eg 'give in to' in the US - and apparently in OZ, too - is 'give into' - the research into comparative etymologies is great fun!)
4) I would still spot the really glaring errors if I were working faster, but working in depth requires shorter bursts, or A LOT of reading over and over again, to make sure I don't miss something (I only spotted 'took a loud load off his mind' on a final runthrough, because it came at the end of a section that I should have left and come back to fresh the first time!)
5) The editors and proofreaders I temped with once upon a (long) time ago were every bit as smart as I took them for at the time ... this is a job I would have REALLY ENJOYED back when I was well enough to do it for pay!
6) Format worries were a non-issue ... whatever format a writer sends me, I have appropriate software to make changes and attach comments to explain my thinking clearly, left over from making Maths resources and doing web design!

So ... come on, then, Nate, Sage and C R: bring it on ... I am on a roll and ready for you to do your worst best(!)  Just, don't expect FAST, cos I'm still the same stickler for accuracy over speed that I was as a teacher.  This means, however, that YOU guys can concentrate on speed and leave the nit picking to me - for free!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Multiple Point of View Narratives

The first time I came across this was in a short, self-published ebook that was free on Amazon, where the author started by warning the reader that it was written in a Multiple Points of View style ... unfortunately, the author should rather have warned that it was written in a  clumsy, info dumps style ... which was much more of a problem for the reader.  Fortunately, I can no longer remember the name of the story or the author.  Unfortunately again, though, it was not the best introduction I could have had to the wider spread of useage that this format of mixed first person and third person narration is now receiving.

I am now reading more of the MPOV style where female Points Of View (mainly the principle heroine) are narrated in the first person and all others are in the third person. Kristen Ashley does it well and so I am getting used to it. It is a good device for solving the problem of immediacy vs the wider picture, but personally, I am still trying to work out alternative methods of achieving the same ends. I love Kristen's stories, but still feel slightly awkward flipping POV on occasion.

I like what Kayci Morgan did in Four of a Kind, where each character had a few chapters of first person narration of their part in the history (minimal or no overlaps and not necessarily consecutive or in time order).  Changeovers were bridged by short third person segments in the present tense, but I feel this can only work for occasional books, rather than as a regular device.

Has anyone seen any other such structures used successfully?

Monday, 24 June 2013

First Author has agreed!

An author has agreed to let me be a beta reader for them! I am looking forward to this SO much!

Now to work out logistics like reading and editing formats ... and here's hoping my hardware keeps supporting me as faithfully as it has been ... I use a mobile for most of my posts, fb, G+ and LinkedIn interactions, but the screen is far too small to read PDFs on!

Please keep your fingers crossed for my laptop, all! ;)

About Me

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Teaching is a stressful business, with people scrutinising your every word and action. This is my chance to unwind / rant anonymously without recriminations!