We’ve all got ’em, guys! Check out Natalie J. Damschroder’s pet peeves and get the scoop on A KISS OF REVENGE, her new romantic suspense from Entangled Ignite. And did I mention a giveaway? Yes, you want this. Please welcome Natalie to the blog!
Natalie J. Damschroder: Pet Peeves
Authors tend to insert a little bit of themselves into their stories, and sometimes those little bits are pet peeves. Because I’ve been writing romantic adventure for a while, the focus is more on extraordinary events rather than the day-to-day, so my biggest pet peeves (I think!) haven’t made it onto the page. But I thought I’d share them with you and see if anyone else gets annoyed by the same things.
1. Soda poured all over the side of the cup.
When I go to a fast food restaurant or the movie theater and order a Coke, I absolutely HATE it when they hand me a cup with soda all over the side of it.
I get it. Your job is to move fast, to get people out of there so you can help the next customer. Coke is fizzy. There’s no time to wait for the foam to dissipate, and god forbid you should hand over a cup that’s not full. So you dump about a quarter of the foam AND soda, fill, dump, fill, and you do it fast and sloppily so then *I* have sticky fingers and stains underneath my cupholder. Or the counter is all sticky and gross from all the drippy cups.
Well, no more. It’s stupid to complain about something without doing anything about it, right? So now I refuse take the cup unless they clean it off. I LOVE the people who do it with a cheerful apology.
2. Earbuds yanked out of my ears.
I get bored easily, so when I’m cooking or cleaning or doing dishes or walking through the grocery store, I listen to podcasts on my iPod. Inevitably, the earbud cord gets caught on a drawer handle or the shopping cart or the broom or something, and the buds get yanked out of my ears.
So I have to pull the earbuds up from the floor, hit the pause button, put them back in, pull out the iPod and rewind a little. Inevitably, my hands are full or wet or dirty.
And this is all on me! I can’t put the blame on anyone or anything else. But I haven’t found a satisfactory solution yet. Any ideas?
3. Overwhelmed E-Mail Loops
Yahoogroups and Googlegroups were great inventions, allowing large groups of people to talk to each other simply and quickly. I’m on a LOT of them. And I love them. But there’s one thing that drives me a little crazy.
Let’s say someone posts a request or an announcement. Then 50 people say “Done!” or “Congrats!” and the original person says “Thanks!” 50 times. It’s not a big deal to speed through those e-mails, and if I’m reading on my iPod I get a preview of the message so I can delete them without having to open them. And honestly, it’s all positive! People being helpful and supportive. But it’s really unnecessary, and can suppress other activity on the loop because people just don’t have time for stuff that’s not important.
A lot of loops have rules about this stuff, and some have found other solutions to avoid it, which is great.
4. Minor-Task Inefficiency
I hate having to go back and forth on a task. For example, I make everyone in my house separate their dishes in the sink. Stuff for the bottom rack on the left, stuff for the top rack on the right, silverware in the basket. This way I can load all of the top, then all of the bottom, instead of sliding the top rack in and out and in and out and going back and forth. (Our dishwasher tips forward, so we can’t pull out both racks at the same time.)
In my day job, I have to check names off a list after they’re processed. The list is alphabetical, and usually three pages long. I HATE having to go from page 1 to 3 to 2 to 1 and so on. I organize my source material alphabetically instead. I don’t know how much time it really saves. It’s all psychological.
One of my favorite inventions is the widescreen computer monitor, so I can have, say, an invoice and a spreadsheet side by side so I don’t have to flip between them.
5. Slowness, Obliviousness, or Both
I have always disliked getting stuck behind people who are slower than I am, either walking (like in the mall or on the street) or driving (10 miles an hour below the speed limit). I also dislike when someone meanders so that they zigzag across the hall, or stop in a big group without caring that they’re blocking the doorway.
And people who walk slow AND meander so you can’t get around them? ARRRGH!!! LOL
Okay, your turn! What are your pet peeves, and what are your coping mechanisms?
A Kiss of Revenge
Marriage is completely over-rated, especially after Reese Templeton’s quadratic failure. She’d rather settle down to a solitary life of owning a bakery—after she tracks down the man responsible for her husband’s death and making her a human Taser full of enough electricity to short out a city block or send a man into cardiac arrest with just one kiss.
But alluring P.I. Griffin Chase is stirring up those feelings of need again. Only this time, her desire to be in his arms has nothing to do with her fear of loneliness and everything to do with the current charging through her body every time he looks at her…touches her.
Griffin hasn’t remained at Reese’s side just because of the spark that has nothing to do with her super-human talents. He’s willing to compromise his rock-solid principles so she can find closure. But before they can move on, he must help her catch her late husband’s killer, staying on track before she has a chance to exact her revenge. Because leading Reese to jail in handcuffs may just break his heart for the final time.
Griff smiled, and Reese’s stomach did a whole flippin’ somersault.
“I had meetings at the office in Boston and was headed back to DC. I thought I’d stop in and see how you’re doing.”
She grabbed a towel to wipe off her ice-cream-sticky hands. “Crestview is not on the way to DC from Boston.”
He shrugged and pointed at the butter croissants in the bakery display case. “Close enough.”
With a pair of tongs, she selected the biggest croissant and put it on a plate. “Coffee?”
“Of course.” He leaned against the counter and folded his arms. “You have anything for me to check out?”
She shook her head. “Not at the moment.”
“What about him?” He jerked his head toward the sidewalk outside, where Andrew Laine stood talking to the couple who owned the hardware store. “He giving you any trouble?”
“Not anymore. I told him I was married.”
She cursed herself as soon as the words were out of her mouth. Griff’s gray-blue eyes darkened, his rock-solid chin tightening. He’d obviously meant “trouble” because of Reese breaking the law, not because the chief of police had asked her out.
“You’re not thinking—”
“No!” She grabbed the towel again and swept it over the few crumbs and coffee drips on the counter, scrubbing vigorously at one dried spot. “I didn’t want to shove him too far away, that’s all. As long as he had an interest, I could keep track of what he knew.” Even if it kept her on edge and fried her equipment. “Anyway, he knows now. It’s fine. You don’t have to worry.”
“You pay me to worry.”
That wasn’t strictly true. Griff was co-owner of a multi-city private detective firm. He ran Chase Investigations in Washington, DC, where Reese had lived before the plane crash. Reese had hired him to help her track down clues about whoever had tried to kill her. But they’d become friends. He’d helped her through physical therapy, been a sounding board while she dealt with her new reality, and was the only person on earth who knew what that lightning strike had done to her body.
“I’m paying you to do research,” she reminded him. “You choose to worry.”
He grinned and shook back his shaggy dark-blond hair. “You make it hard not to.”
Another group came in, and he retreated to a table with his breakfast. Reese saw Kimmie eyeing him, and the young woman flushed at his greeting. Reese couldn’t blame her. He had the classic “hunk” build, with a broad chest, narrow waist, and shoulders shown off by a tight gray T-shirt. His gray-blue eyes were nothing special at first glance, but they sparkled at everyone and made his charming smile even brighter. No doubt that smile was what pinned Kimmie in place now, wearing a slightly stunned expression.
Reese wasn’t immune, but her friendship with Griff had become one of the most important things in her life. It was something she’d never had before, and she was going to treasure it as long as it lasted.
About the Author
Natalie J. Damschroder is an award-winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance—Love with a Shot of Adrenaline. She sold her first book in 1999, and 2014 will see the publication of her 15th novel. She grew up in Massachusetts and loves the New England Patriots more than anything. (Except her family. And writing and reading. And popcorn.) When she’s not writing, revising, proofreading, or promoting her work, she does freelance editing and works part time as a chiropractic assistant. She and her husband have two daughters she’s dubbed “the anti-teenagers,” one of whom is also a novelist. (The other one prefers math. Smart kid. Practical.) You can learn more about her and her books atwww.nataliedamschroder.com.
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