October TBR challenge sign-ups!

Holy Moses! I looked at the calendar and realized today was September 30th. That means we need to do sign-ups for October’s TBR challenge. This month, in honor of Halloween, the challenge is to read a paranormal romance or a fantasy (can be non-romance). I seem to be glomming my books in the wrong months, because I just read a whole stack of fantasies this month, oops! I’ve updated the September TBR page with links to everyone who left me a comment or sent an email that they’d completed the challenge. Lots of you are going on the wall of shame if you don’t get those links in to me…

“Rules” of the challenge after the jump

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New York and Company

I’m talking about the store. If you don’t have one in your area, I’m so sorry 😉 I think I probably buy more clothes there than anywhere else (except maybe Target). Their clothes are classy and trendy, but not horribly priced if you shop the sales and use the coupons they send out.

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Why I’m sticking with Netflix (or why Blockbuster online sucks)

I’m a member of Netflix, have been for about six months. I like it, there’s a distribution center near me, so I get my DVDs uber-fast. And I’ve never had any significant problem with them but last week when we started to watch Battlestar Galactica, we discovered that they had sent me The Miniseries as disc one, but as disc two, they sent disc two of the series. Which means a disc was missing in between (the first four episodes of the actual season one). They had JUST shipped me new movies, so I knew it would be five or six days, at least, before I could get the disc I needed (including shipping time to me and me returning to them and then shipping time of new discs back to me), and trying to figure out just which disc that was didn’t seem worth the hassle, so I decided to give Blockbuster Online a whirl, figuring I could get the first three discs in the series a day or two quicker and not “waste” my queue spaces with Netflix.

Ha! I should have stuck with Netflix because Blockbuster? Total bust. (play on words intentional).

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Yay or Nay: Epilogues and Prologues

I was recently doing edits on a book with an author and she had a prologue that was quite suitable to the book, something that had happened 20 years or so prior to the actual story, but was necessary info to the development of the characters and told in a way that started the book with great action. I was reading along in the book and when I came to the end, she’d titled what I felt was the last chapter (it had the resolution of the H/h’s romance in it and occured just several hours after the previous chapter) labeled as an Epilogue. It jarred me. I asked her about this and she told me she was taught and felt that prologues and epilogues were like bookends. If you have one, you must have the other. So she’d decided that what I read as the last chapter (on all my read-throughs) was an epilogue. That was a new one to me, both as an editor and a reader. She quoted an RWR interview as the place where the analogy was made by several authors/editors.

Truly, it never occurred to me that you’d have to have both. And to be frank, it doesn’t make a lick of sense to me, lolol. Sometimes a prologue is needed to introduce action that occurred long before the body of the story, or to set up the story in some way (perhaps in a unique POV not used during the book). But an epilogue is often used to show the characters months or years down the road. Kind of a peek into how they’ve moved along. Some readers say they love epilogues, some say they despise them and skip reading them. I can’t specifically recall a lot of people expressing such strong emotions about prologues, though I’m sure they’re out there.

Essentially, to me, the idea is that you use a prologue and/or epilogue because the story demands them, not because someone told you that you always have to have both. I don’t *get* that becuase that smacks to me of forcing something, conforming your story to a rule *grin*

So here’s the question for the day. As a reader, do you like prologues and/or epilogues and do you notice if there’s one but not another? And if you’re an author (editor/publisher/or other industry professional) can you explain the bookends theory to me in a way that I might buy into? Or would you care to disagree with it?

Oh, and just so no one thinks I’m blogging out of turn, I told the author I was going to use this as a blog topic. And the epilogue? It’s the last chapter in the final copy because in this particular book, I felt that strongly about this instance of it.

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