Don’t Always Believe What You Read Online

I reblogged this from Luanne Castle’s site with her permission. It deals with an aspect of writing that is important to me both as a writer and a reader. Thank you for writing this post, Luanne!

 

Luanne Castle's Writer Site

When I started writing creative nonfiction/memoir, the issue of dialogue tags rose its nasty little head early on. I’d never given them much thought in fiction writing, and they don’t exist in poetry. For some reason, nonfiction made me think and rethink what works best. Maybe it’s that more expressive word choices conveyed more information than plain old “said,” but in nonfiction it seemed like overkill to write “stammered” or “giggled” about oneself.

These “more expressive” tags look something like this:

Eventually I took courses online and learned that all the creative and imaginative tags I’d debated were worthless. I think these teachers were right, so I’m sharing what I learned from them.

The idea is to stay as far from “tagging” as possible.

That means that if you can write dialogue where it’s clear who is speaking each line, you don’t need any tags at all. Sometimes you can start…

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Holiday Reading – Caroline James

Author Caroline James Image visits us today to share three of her favourite books for your holiday reading list.

Here’s Caroline:

CJ holiday reads

The Tea Planters Wife by  Dinah Jefferies
A delightful read set in an exotic location that easily transports the reader to life in Ceylon in the 1920s. I loved this book, not only for its rich history but the gripping tale too. 
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
A 1950s period piece – think Mad Men and settle down. A brilliant portrait of American surburbia set in Connecticut with layers and layers. I devoured this book enjoying the story of conformity and society’s expectations.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carolos Ruiz Zafron
A page-turning mystery that I couldn’t put down. I wanted to savour each page. It’s got everything from an intricate plot to star-crossed lovers, mayhem, and mystery.
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Universal link to: So You Think You’re  A Celebrity…Chef?  viewBook.at/carolinejameschefs
 “There’s something very British about this book and you engage with the characters and root for them from the opening chapter, think – ‘AbFab meets MasterChef in a Soap!'”
To find out more about Caroline James:

Web:      www.carolinejamesauthor.co.uk
Twitter:  @CarolineJames12

Holiday Reading – Jenny Harper

Today’s guest is author Jenny Harper. She will share her favourites to add to your holiday reading list.

Here’s Jenny:

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My three books:

Sarah Mallery, Sewing Can Be Dangerous, and other Small Threads.  A great collection of short stories woven around key historical events – and all with a link to sewing.

Mary Smith, Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni. A non-fiction account of life as a health worker in Afghanistan – vivid, insightful, hilarious, moving.

C L Taylor, The Missing. Fast-moving psychological thriller that really grips you.

My latest novel:

People We Love.

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“An engaging and delightful read. Jenny Harper is a most gifted storyteller.” Alexander McCall Smith

‘Thoroughly entertaining’ Katie Fforde

Her life is on hold – until an unlikely visitor climbs in through the kitchen window.

A year after her brother’s fatal accident, Lexie’s life seems to have reached a dead end. She is back home in small-town Hailesbank with her shell-shocked parents, treading softly around their fragile emotions.

As the family business drifts into decline, Lexie’s passion for painting and for her one-time mentor Patrick have been buried as deep as her unexpressed grief, until the day her lunch is interrupted by a strange visitor in a bobble hat, dressing gown and bedroom slippers, who climbs through the window.

Elderly Edith’s batty appearance conceals a secret and starts Lexie on a journey that gives her an inspirational artistic idea and rekindles her appetite for life. With friends in support and ex-lover Cameron seemingly ready to settle down, do love and laughter beckon after all?

amazon.co.uk

amazon.com

Jenny’s author page

Holiday Reading – Melanie Robertson-King

Author Melanie Robertson-King joins us today to share her favourite books to add to our holiday reading list. Here she is:

melanie with book babies

 

The Missing and the Dead by Stuart MacBride:  Another page turner by this Scottish crime writer. I picked this book up on a recent trip to Scotland and read it on the plane coming home. One of the things I love about Stuart’s books and especially this one, is they’re set in places I’ve visited. Dark, heinous crimes, and in this latest book, Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae is removed from his comfort zone (Aberdeen) to rural Aberdeenshire. This novel is different from the earlier books starring this detective, but well worth reading.

The Highland Lass by Rosemary Gemmell:  Set in present-day Scotland, this novel ties in the love story between Robbie Burns and his beloved Highland Mary when Eilidh Campbell returns to Scotland to discover the identity of her biological father.

The Farran Mackenzie Mystery Series by Maggie Wheeler: There are four books in this series and I’ve read and re-read them. All  have been recently re-released in e-book format. Maggie spins a series of cozy mysteries (A Violent End, Brother of Sleep, All Mortal Things and On a Darkling Plain) set in Eastern Ontario and tying in to the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project of the late 1950s with Farran Mackenzie (a modern day Miss Marple) in the middle of it all, trying to solve the crimes without getting herself killed.

Melanie’s latest release: Tim’s Magic Christmas

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Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Melanie’s website http://www.melanierobertson-king.com/

Holiday Reading – Sheryl Browne

Continuing our list of books for good holiday reading, we have Sheryl Browne to enlighten us.

Sheryl and Dogs Photo

I’ve enjoyed quite a few books this year. The most outstanding for me though was Police, Crime & 999 – The True Story of a Front Line Officer by John Donoghue. I badly needed something to cheer me up after my partner’s cancer diagnosis and his undergoing various surgeries (he’s doing fabulously now, btw!). You can probably guess then that this author had his work cut out making me smile. He succeeded, admirably. I laughed until I cried, literally. The book is totally hilarious. In fact the title of my review, which you can find here, is ‘Excellent Therapy’. His other books, Police, Lies & Alibis and Shakespeare My Butt are similarly side-splittingly hilarious and I’ve just purchased his latest, Police, Arrests & Suspects. If you find me crying, it will be in the best possible way.

My second choice is Untouchable by Ava Marsh. The central character is a high class call girl and if you want a read that is riveting, powerful, and different, this is the book for you. I have to say, well done Ava Marsh on tackling a subject that some would shy away from.

Thirdly, NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews by Gisela Hausmann. This easy-to-read book simply outlines the dos and don’ts when approaching reviewers. Unlike many ‘how to’ books, which tend to be great tomes, this one is concise enough to make you want to read it. It works for me.

Happy reading all!

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http://sherylbrowne.com/

The Rest of My Life: http://lrd.to/rest-of-my-life

Holiday Reading – Julie Ryan

Ready to add to your holiday reading list? Here’s author Julie Ryan to share three of her favourites with us, and two of her own novels as well.
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Why not add these to your list?
Three books I enjoyed –
The Little Bookshop on the Seine – Rebecca Raisin
One Wish in Manhattan – Mandy Baggot
My Big Fat Christmas Wedding – Samantha Tonge
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Link to Pandora’s Prophecy on amazon.com
And watch for “Callie’s Christmas Countdown” coming out on amazon in early December:
Christmas countdown

Holiday Reading List – Mandy Baggot

My guest today is UK author Mandy Baggot. Let’s hear what Mandy suggests for our Christmas reading list.
Here she is:
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Looking for great gifts for Christmas? These are three of the best books I’ve read recently:-
Lost Girls – Angela Marsons
A brilliant crime thriller and #3 in the DI Kim Stone series. This is a gripping page turner with protagonist detective, Kim Stone in a race against time to find two kidnapped girls. I love this series, it was another five-star read for me and I can’t wait for more.
A Cottage in the Country – Linn B Halton
This really was a festive treat and will make you want to cosy up with a hot chocolate and be glad you’re not living Maddie Brooks’ life! Stuck in raging floods at Christmas time in a cold, partially renovated house with a grumpy (yet attractive!) man-who-can, I loved this feel-good story of reinvention.
Life or Something Like It – Annie Lyons 
I adore Annie’s books and this was another triumph. Cat is an opportunity-hungry career woman until she loses her job and has to look after her brother’s children. Will anyone survive? And what will Cat do without Twitter for a week? A perfect, fun, feel-good read with a dash of romance.
Check out Mandy Baggot’s latest release, One Wish in Manhattan or visit her website!
One Wish in Manhattan

Holiday Reading List

When winter weather arrives, I like to be someplace cozy and warm, maybe curled up in a big armchair or a recliner, with a good book or my Kindle in my hands.

I’ve asked my friends to help me out with a reading list to fill my Kindle (or bookshelf)  for the coming Christmas season.

Books make great gifts. Did you know you can send an e-book as a gift to another person? All they need is an e-reader. If it isn’t a Kindle, you can order books through smashwords.com. You can load up your e-reader and never be bored while you’re waiting for that Christmas turkey to be done, or in those doldrum days that follow Christmas. And what a long-lasting gift a book is! Hours and hours of enjoyment.

To help me start my list, my guest is British author Miriam Wakerly. She has written books of her own, but of course, all  authors like to read. So let’s look at her list of favourite books and then see what she has to offer as her own latest book.

Here’s Miriam:

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I have an eclectic list of ‘books read and enjoyed’, some of them quite serious with deep themes, like Hilary Mantel’s “Bring Up the Bodies,” and fiction about Alzheimer’s, women in Afghanistan, and so on. Well, here we go, Christmas is coming and we all need to smile and even laugh out loud during the festive season! So I am choosing three funny books you might like to check out:
Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres
No! I Don’t Need Reading Glasses by Virginia Ironside
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
My new novel will particularly appeal to those who can remember the freezing Christmas of 1962. Maybe your parents were of that era and you’re curious to know about those ‘olden times’!
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Secrets in Appley Green – a 1960s village novel  For UK customers, click here North American customers, click here.
All my books take place in the fictitious Surrey-Hampshire village of Appley Green. You can find them via my Author Page on amazon.co.uk or on amazon.com

Books Matter

When I was little and we had just come to Canada from Germany, my mother read to me often from “The Golden Book of Fairytales,” one of the important items she packed to bring with us. Books were important to her, and she made sure that her children also learned to appreciate them.

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My two younger sisters were already Canadianized by the time they were old enough to be told fairytales, so maybe they didn’t have quite the same attachment as I did to this particular book. One day when they felt creative and there was no other paper handy, they drew their pictures in the fairytale book.

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I remember being upset about it and judging by her reaction, so was my mother (although I’m sure now that she was putting on the horrified face mostly to show my sisters that defacing books was a No-no). My sisters might have been somewhere between three and five years old.

After that, when my mother read us stories from the big book, she sometimes clucked at the scribblings and shook her head, and I’m sure my sisters felt guilty while I put on my most self-righteous “older sister” look.

One day at storytime, when my sisters were about eight or nine and they commented on the scribbling in the book, my mother decided that it might be a good time to talk about how important it was to take care of your books. My sisters were genuinely sorry and to make it better, my mother suggested that they write an apology in the book.

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Now, 51 years later, we chuckle about it. The book is one of my special treasures, but more special is the memory of my mother’s reverence for books and how she taught it to her children. I will always love her for that.