After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.
When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.
Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
What is Basic Eighth (or is it 8th?) Grade Grammar? By Lauren Carr
Any successful writer will tell you that you need to leave your ego at the door when dealing with editors. View your editor as your fairy godmother, who can make your upcoming date with readers either a success or a bomb—depending on how well they do their jobs.
Therefore, it is important not only to listen to your editor, but also to get a good one—one who knows their job and one who knows basic grammar and punctuation.
This is where things get difficult in the writer/editor relationship: that whole basic grammar and punctuation thing. What is that?
Many writers (and readers and reviewers) don’t realize different editors use different style manuals as their reference. I use the Chicago Style Manual. What may seem blatantly wrong to you as a writer may be grammatically correct according to that editor’s style manual, and vice versa.
For example, years ago, I edited a middle school book, which was a sports story. Therefore, it was loaded with numbers: weights, scores, etc. While editing this book, I was constantly referring to my style manual on writing out the numbers or using digits. When I finished and sent the book back to the writer, he sent it back wanting all of those spelled out numbers put back into digit, no matter what the manual said.
Since the author has the last word, I did so.
Once, I was editing a book in which there was a character whose name ended in an “s”. Well, throughout the book, there were many instances in which his name was used in possessive.
Now, every editor has a thing or two or three or dozen, in which they will not trust their knowledge, but will look it up in their style manual every single time. For me, the question of a proper name ending in “s” and used in possessive is one of those things. The Chicago Style Manual called for this possessive to be “s’”, not “s’s”.
Well, the author said I was wrong and that it is supposed to be “s’s”.
So, I looked it up again, not just in the Chicago Style Manual, but several sites on the Internet. Not only did I discover that the answer varies in the Chicago Style Manual depending on which edition you use, but I also found a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States had gotten involved in this very argument while writing a decision on a case! Even the justices disagreed! Clarence Thomas (who should know since his name ends in an “s”) declared that it is “s’”.
I let the author have the last word and changed all of the possessive references for this character to “s’s”.
Then, upon proofing the book, the author brought in his daughter, a technical writer, who declared that it should be “s’”, without the extra “s”.
So I had to change it back.
Many people who are not in the business of writing, editing, or publishing fiction fail to realize that many of the grammar and punctuation rules that we were taught as being carved in stone really are not—especially when it comes to fiction.
As an editor and publisher working with new writers on their first books, often I have been amazed by how many have friends who are grammar teachers, or professional technical writers, who suddenly come out of the woodwork when it comes to proofing (not editing) their buddy’s first book. These friends are more than ready to criticize how the book has been edited. Unfortunately, these friends, who are well meaning and probably have the apostrophe rules down pat, are not experienced editors of fiction, which is as specialized, and different, as technical editing.
If you needed a heart transplant, would you ask your neighbor, who happens to be a brain surgeon, to perform the operation or to stand by in the operating room to second guess your heart surgeon?
The fact is that “basic grammar and punctuation” is not really so basic when it comes to fiction.
Example: Can you imagine Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn written in the Queen’s English? Well, it isn’t. If a high school language arts teacher had gotten her hands on that novel …
Editors of fiction have to take the author’s voice, the character’s point of view, the reading audience, and how the general population reads novels into consideration when it comes to editing a novel. YA audiences read present day erotica differently than readers with a more educated palate will read a sweeping historical epic. As a result, the editing needs to be adjusted accordingly.
Sometimes, due to the character’s point of view and the circumstance—like a climactic scene—the passage will call for fragmented sentences that would make your eighth grade language arts teacher’s hair curl. Or maybe another passage will call for long run-on sentences.
Now, this is not to say that when it comes to writing that we should toss out our high school grammar books and let anything go. No, that is not my point.
When reading fiction, I have found that I have grown to become more forgiving of what I would have viewed previously as blatant grammatical errors, because maybe in some style manual somewhere this error is not incorrect. Unless it is a glaring misuse of the words there, they’re, and their. That I cannot forgive—or is the Supreme Court of the United States arguing about that, too?
One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card (Open internationally)
Endsa Rafflecopter giveaway