Saturday, August 20, 2011

Comedy with slapstick; does it work in books?

I've often heard that slapstick comedy doesn't work in novels. Well, I've read a book or two where they're right--it doesn't. I think it all depends on the way it's told (or shown.)

Here's a scene from my latest release with a touch of slapstick. I think it translates. I'm going to risk it. See what you think.

As she and Sly rushed toward the train station, Morgaine hoped Chad was right, and the smell of moonshine would disguise their scents. She’d poured some in an atomizer and spritzed it on like perfume, hitting all her pulse points. Sly didn’t have much of a pulse, but he sprayed plenty on his black slacks and coat. Now they smelled like a couple of drunks—lovely.

They had slipped out the back, and only the lights of the city and an occasional security spotlight broke the darkness. Their connected hands kept her grounded, but Goddess forbid he release her—even for a second. This test couldn’t be more challenging. Here she was, out in the open in the dark of night!

I’m safe. I’m with Sly. I’m safe.

Sly carried a small duffel bag and Morgaine’s suitcase, insisting the train station was too far for her to carry it herself. She knew he wanted nothing to slow them down. They purposely avoided Vorigan’s block. The logical route to the Back Bay station would have brought them close—too close, so for obvious reasons they took the longer way around.

“Almost there, babe.” Sly squeezed her hand. She liked the nickname he’d begun using for her. They hadn’t taken three more steps when he froze.

“What’s wrong?”

“Shit,” he muttered.

She glanced around until she saw him. It was her first glimpse of the evil V. Malvant, and although she could only see him from the back, she recognized his warped energy right away. His black, stringy hair lay over thin shoulders like the dark, jagged aura that hung over the rest of him.

“Quick, down here.” Sly yanked her arm toward the subway entrance. Before they disappeared down the steps, she saw the other vampire turn and smile cruelly. Yellow light from the streetlamps glinted off his fangs.

“Hurry!” she cried.

They took the steps two at a time all the way to the bottom. A train waited at the platform, but Morgaine doubted they could make it before the doors closed.

Sly scooped her up in his arms, vaulted over the turnstile, and had them safely ensconced inside when the doors shut. Vorigan, seconds behind them, slammed into the windows. Morgaine gasped. Vorigan’s face distorted as he slid down the glass.

As the train pulled away from the station, she heard Sly chuckle. She joined him as he laughed harder. By the time they were well on their way to the next station, they guffawed in cathartic relief.

At last, wiping the tears from her eyes, Morgaine asked, “Now what?”

“Now we take the subway to the next station and change lines. We can board the train at South Station.”

She blew out a deep breath. “So, you think we’ve lost him?”

“Unless he anticipates our next move.”

Suddenly a horrible thought occurred to her. “You don’t think he’s following us, do you?”
She tried to see out the back window, but all was black except for the occasional signal light flashing by.

“No, even he’s not that stupid. The one thing no supernatural creature wants is to be found out.”

“Why is that?”

“I imagine we’d be tazed, drugged, and dissected.”

She shivered.

“Are you cold, love?” He placed an arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer.

“N-no.” Did he just call me ‘love’ instead of ‘babe’?

The rest of the book can be found on, Barnes and Noble, etc. I hope you'll give it a try. It received 5 blue ribbons from Romance Junkies, 4 1/2 starts from RT book reviews, and 4 1/2 and a top pick from Night Owl Romance. Not bad for a light paranormal romance with a touch of slapstick.

There's a $25.00 B&N gc for a lucky commenter!


Judith said...

Of course it works!!! It was great in the book. I love the comedy side of books, and slapstick fits right in!!!

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks, Judith!

I really appreciate all your support and encouragement. You're a true gem.

Stephanie said...

Great scene, Cindy! Slap-stick and all!
Stephanie Queen

AltarielS said...

I can honestly say it's hard to get a book to make me laugh and cry, and your Strange neighbors have done both. Slapstick can be done in books, and you my dear Ash, have the talent to do so.

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks, Stephanie!


Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks so much, Jeaux!

(Is that a pic of you, darlin'?)

Jeaux said...

yes it is

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the others. You have a talent for writing comedy and romance mixed throughout your work. It is hard to do so normally.

Thank God for writers like you.

Candy Stone

Victoria said...

I love it! This series has had me laughing like crazy. Thank you :).

Christine H said...

It worked when I read it too. So your right, when done right, it's funny. Made me laugh and smile.
Perfect imagery too.


Anonymous said...

this works so well, I love good comedy in books but so few achieve it... You have nailed it. Can't wait to read more going on my tbr pile


practimom said...

I love comedy in books. I love to laugh and humor in books is always a huge plus. You do an excellent job with that, BTW!


booklover0226 said...

SQUEE!!! He called her babe and love! ATTA boy, Sly.

I can't wait to read this, Ashlyn.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Ashlyn Chase said...

You're beautiful Jeaux! Of course, I should have guessed. The French make some darn pretty women.

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks so much Candy, Victoria and Christine, Christy and Tracey!

I'm so happy you're putting my books in your tbr pile, Crystal!
(I know how large those get!)


Jacki C. said...

If a book makes me cry, I tell 5 people about it. BUT, if a book makes me LAUGH, I tell 20!
(And I've told a LOT of people about this series).

Ashlyn Chase said...

Bless you, Jacki!

That's the best advertisment there is.

shadow_kohler said...

I love books that make me laugh and your series nails it! The slapstick does fit in. Your a wonderful writer with awesome talent. Never doubt how much us readers enjoy your work. You are fabulous! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

It works for me! I like to laugh while reading a book.

Mai said...

Heck yeah it works! Especially well for talented Authors like yourself Ash, I love humor with my sex LMAO :)

Love this series!!!


Harlie Reader said...

Great excerpt and I think slapstick can work and you did that scene wonderfully. I love humor/comedy in reading. Not everything has to be so darn serious!

Plus, come on if you can't laugh then there is something seriously wrong with you.

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thank you Mai and Harlie!
Patsy, if you like to laugh, you might try reading one of my books. I have loads. Check 'em all out here:

Shadow--I think I just grew out of another hat! LOL


Amber Skyze said...

Of course it works, especially when you're writing it, Ash. Great excerpt. :)

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks, Amber! Nice to "see you."

Ashlyn Chase said...

Well, I've got to go to the annual neighborhood block party in a few.

I'll let the contest run overnight and will pick a winner in the a.m.

Have a good night, everyone!

Chrisbails said...

Read the first book of this series and loved it. Won this book from a blog and am just waiting to read the 3rd. Hope you produce more books for this series. would love to see some additional characters get romance and find love.
thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.

Jennifer Mathis said...

i love to laugh so it really works for me

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie said...

I'd say those reviews are totally deserved cause you pull off not only comedy but slapstick everytime!!


Ashlyn Chase said...

Thank you, Chris, Jennifer and Stephanie!

Glad you contributed.

Ashlyn Chase said...

And the winner of the B&N gift card is...

Candy Stone


And thank you to everyone who dropped by and read my excerpt.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE humor in romance books and am sad to see that more author don't add it! Keep it up...the book sounds great and can't wait to read it!

books4me67 at

susan said...

You had me at the first word..I have read other books with slapstick comedy and liked them. It gives the book an extra touch. I was sure ready to read of this excerpt. ha susan Leech

Naomi Bellina said...

Slapstick and comedy are great most any time, especially with romance. They heighten the emotions and make us aware of our human (or not so human) nature.

catslady said...

I've always liked some humor in my reading. Laughing and crying in the same books is my favorite lol. I especially like it when I can laugh out loud. I enjoyed your excerpt and thought it was just the right amount of humor.


Carol M said...

It works when it's done right and you did it right! I enjoyed the excerpt!

mittens0831 at aol dot com

SiNn said...

I have to say Ash's books have been the only one where its worked so far that ive read I really loved the excerpt I think this is going to be the best of the series

mortalsinn (AT)yahoo(DOT)com