Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Is humor an important element in a book you choose?



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As a reader, do you chose books written by humorous authors? Is it an aspect of a story that you search for? When you have a choice of what to read, and it's obvious by the back blurb that a book has a lighter spirit rather than a gloomy downer tendency, would that be a deciding factor?


Many of these questions have been on my mind since I first started to write. I can't imagine my main characters having to experience all the conflicts of a well-plotted story without a sense of humor. Obviously, not everything is funny and shouldn't be, but it's important to me that I care about the main people in my stories, what happens to them, and how they succeed. And producing a chuckle or two by the time I reach the end, well that just makes it more satisfying.


As an avid reader, I'll admit that humor is the difference between whether I go looking for other work by the same author or move on to someone new. Many times I've struggled through heavy pathos and conflicts that break my heart for the hero or heroine, and right till end there's no relief. Many times the books were brilliant and so well written they deserved 5 stars, but somehow they still don't give me the satisfaction as a story that can make me experience a few smiles as well as the tears.


And finally, let's be realistic.  Most people I know like to laugh and enjoy life. Not everything is serious, and many people who suffer tragedies bravely smile through their fears. Even when the worst moments are happening, it's human nature to try and lighten the load. Therefore, shouldn't our characters be based on reality?


So, back to my original question, is humor an element you look for in the books you choose?




Available at Amazon


Available at Barnes and Noble

  My Cheeky Angel is a humorous story about a mixed-up female who's so unhappy she needs the help of a cheeky angel to set her on the right path. To give her the strength to make the changes she thinks are so important. But are they?




She loves a man who only treats her as a pal. By exchanging her sloppy jeans and t-shirts to classy suits and fancy clothes, will he see her differently?





Once in the clutches of the power-hungry world of big business, Annie fights to retain her true identity. But first, she needs to decide who she wants to be and what's really important.










Excerpt:    
    

Every time he closed his eyes, a strange image of Annie in trouble took on such realistic tendencies it seemed surreal. Sick of his own company, Tyler decided a walk would do him a world of good, clear his head, and help to get his mind off his tomboy gone rogue.
Once the idea appeared, it became a fixation. No choice, no dragging his feet, he had to get out of his apartment. Either he needed hallucination treatments or a curt, gravelly female had taken up residence in his brain and urged him to hurry and get his butt moving.
The elevator, not ever on his floor, awaited him with the door open and no one else inside. He shivered. Strange and stranger! The ride down lasted only seconds. When it slowly opened, a nightmare unfolded. One look at his Annie clinging to her evenings escort and his rage superseded common sense. Without thought, he ripped her from the scumbags groping fingers and shoved the conceited-looking, puffed-up character against the wall. All Tylers six feet two inches of anger intimidated. He watched the coward evaluate, then shrink back.
Within seconds the smooth prick spoke. Anna had a bit too much to drink. I was seeing her safely home.
Not a problem. Ill take her up, he growled. By this time, Tyler had a supportive arm around the wobbly woman. He looked down at her. Say bye-bye to your date...Anna. His spitting out her newly chosen name would have set worry bells ringing, if shed been in her normal state of mind. Blitzed out of her head, she just jiggled her fingers and said, Bye-bye, date.
With everything happening so fast, Tyler knew Annie hadnt had a chance to fully appreciate the change in her situation. One minute she was leaning drunkenly against the slimy character whose hands were all over her body, while her unfocused eyes gazed at him adoringly. The next minute, Tyler had taken over.
As the elevator doors closed, leaving Sergio shrugging off his disappointment, a fuming Tyler lifted Annie into his arms.
At ease, Annie wrapped her arms around him, snuggled her face into his neck, and then sighed. His familiar expensive cologne, one of her gifts that he regularly used, seemed to soothe her. I love how you smell.
His anger fled the moment he became aware that she sniffed at him like a small kitten. His legs almost buckled when he felt the tip of her tongue lick him, and then press a tiny kiss over the wet spot.
The groan started deep, frustration forcing it out, chasing away his righteous snit. At her door, he lowered her to her unsteady feet, but she refused to unwind her arms from around his neck. They clung, her body glued to his.
He reached up for the hidden key she kept stashed above her door, while balancing her with one arm. The lock took forever to get opened. Not that she noticed. Busy familiarizing his ear with her lips kept her amused. Swinging her back up and into his arms, he kicked the door closed behind them and carried her carefully into her bedroom, a room which seemed to have undergone huge changes since the day hed helped her paint the ivory walls.
Pillows of all shapes, in all shades of turquoise, some beaded, some embroidered, were strewn helter-skelter over a new satiny brown duvet. He swiped at them one-handed, clearing a space as he lowered her body to the side of the bed, letting her flip backwards. Trouble was, she had his neck imprisoned by her strong, clinging arms, and she wasnt about to let go. He fell over her, half covering her body.
Please, she whispered. Kiss me. I have to be kissed at least once tonight, I justhave to. She pushed upwards, thrusting her breasts against his chest.
Her desire sparked his, and her admission that she hadnt yet been kissed assuaged most of the gut-wrenching rage hed felt at seeing her in the arms of another man. Besides, he couldnt resist her pushy invitation. Drunk or not, his name on her lips would go a long way to restoring his humor.
Honey, do you know whos with you? I need to hear you say my name.
Of course I know, silly. She giggled inanely. Its Dick.
He stiffened and tried to pull away, but she held fast. Her grip couldnt be broken without hurting her, and that was out of the question.
Tyler, Im kidding. She stared up into his eyes, dewy softness mixed with sultry invitation. Her needs were clear; she wanted him. But his needs were just as clear. Not this way.
God knew how long it had been since hed had a woman, and here she was offering him every mans dream. But taking advantage of her drunken state didnt sit well with him. It wouldnt sit well with her, either, in the morning. He knew it, even if right now she didnt.
He slowly began to rise, halted again by her gripping arms. Tired of waiting for him to take the initiative, Annie shocked him by lifting herself, twining her arms tighter around his back, and fusing her lips onto his.
She was sweet. So sweet! Her inexperienced mouth caressed like a little girl. Small puckered kisses zeroed in on his hunger. She struck at his nose, cheeks, lips, wherever she could reach. And her wiggling body reached zones hed forgotten were so quickly aroused. He closed his eyes, savoring her attempts at seduction.
Obviously frustrated by his lack of co-operation, Annie became more inventive. He guessed shed sensed him stalling, and so she doubled her efforts to get him involved in her love play.
Arching her body fully, she pressed herself into him, and sinuously rubbed her breasts against his chest. Without breaking this rhythm, she secured her one leg over his and thrust her heat up to rub his hardness.
Like a Venus flytrap, shed engulfed him. Good intentions flew out the window. His hoarse voice whispered her name over and over as his restraint dwindled, then disappeared completely.
When his lips captured her wandering mouth, he drained her passion, then felt it refill and overflow. She panted. She groaned. And she whimpered his name in tune to his litany of hers.
She grabbed his hand, placed it over her breast, then with her guiding his fingers she forced him to surround the swollen mound. His lips soon followed his hands, and he breathed deeply through the flimsy material over the exact spot that stood hard at attention. Her inexperience, overcome by the alcohol, disappeared. With both hands, she held his head to her and whispered in his ear. Oh, God! Tyler, that feels so good. Touch me.
Her throaty voice ramped up his ardor, but he had to slow down or explode. He backed away and looked down at her beautiful, perky nipples pushing against the silk of her dress, and then he searched her face. Sensing his eyes on her, her eyelashes swept upwards a fraction at a time, and he combusted from the fervent expression her smoky blues reflected.
Tyler, pleeasse! Dont stop. Kiss me again. I love your kisses. Caught in the throes of passion, her body undulated with each word. He watched as her mouth opened a fraction in order to suck in her bottom lip so her teeth could bite down on the plump pinkish mound. Small hands rubbed his upper body but were not quite adventurous enough to slide lower. Still, instincts buried deep propelled her to again mash her hips against his.
Theyd fit together in the same way a well-oiled gun fits into its holster. No doubt whatsoever. When the moment came for him to slip inside her, into her wetness, it would be like coming home at last.
Fast losing control of the situation, and of his convictions, he tried to think. Heaven and hells advocates sounded in his head.
I need her. From his bad side!
I cant. Good side just had to get his two cents in there.
I bloody want her more than my next breath. Come on, bad side!
Its not right. Gravelly-voiced idiot side? Where did she come from?

Devil and angel warred with each other while he awaited the outcometotally in support of his hell-bent buddy.
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4 comments:

  1. I tend to lean toward the more dramatic, action-adventure, even tragic novels. However, I find that most authors of these types of novels do find a way to insert enough humor to make the characters human and believable. I don't know that I would seek out a second read by someone who didn't do that.

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  2. I tend to blend humor into my stories to demonstrate normal human behavior. There is always someone who is trying to "cheer up" a situation. By demonstrating a character's humanity, it allows the reader to connect emotionally.

    My epic fantasy trilogy, "The Chosen One of Allivar" deals with the war, death and love. Very tragic in many cases with a huge twist at the end. As I learned from my focus group, the humor was necessary to developing that emotional tie.

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  3. I write what I read - light mysteries and romantic suspense. I've learned the darker variety will haunt me for months, if not years, and because I've reached a certain age I no longer care what others think. I do what works for me!

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  4. I appreciate all your comments and it's nice to know there are other authors who see that to have even a little humor adds a human element to a character and many situations. Sometimes it can be a dark humor, that's realistic and sometimes just a giggle but it certainly breaks the monotomy from the really gruelling, depressing tales.

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