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:

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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 – Darlene Jones

Here’s the lady on the camel, Darlene Jones, with her recommendations for your holiday reading list.

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Tis the season to curl up with an afghan, a cup of hot chocolate (or a rum toddy) and indulge in a feel-good read. Here are three books I love. The stories are not all sunshine and laughter, but they will leave you with a sense of having met new friends, learned new things, and, most importantly, with the satisfaction that comes from having spent your reading time wisely.

Domingo’s Angel by Jenny Twist. A survey showed that the most important aspect of a fiction novel to readers is that they learn. Domingo’s Angel fills the bill perfectly. The reader learns about conditions in Spain during Franco’s rule through the lives of villagers in the mountains and the young foreign girl who arrives on their doorstep. The story is beautiful, heartbreaking, and haunting. The characters, depicted so vividly, stay with the reader long after the book is done. This is one I will reread. Do pick up a copy. You won’t be disappointed. Note: The events in this story are based on the real experiences of the people of the White Villages in Southern Spain and their struggle to keep their communities alive through the years of war and the oppression of Franco’s rule.

The Palaver Tree by Wendy Unsworth. Subtle, direct, gentle, and jarring, The Palaver Tree takes the reader on an incredible journey from the safety of small town England to the dangers of Africa. But, for Ellie, Diane, and Tiffany, England isn’t safe either as the wily and unscrupulous Gabriel cons them all. And the Africa Ellie comes to know and love—the friends she makes and the children she teaches—cannot protect her from the dangers of either Gabriel or rioting as rebels attempt a coup to overturn the government. I’ve lived and traveled in Africa and found this book taking me down memory lane. Thankfully, I never had to face the dangers Ellie faced. If you’re looking for a good read, that takes “ordinary” people into extraordinary circumstances, this is it. Note: Watch for Wendy’s new book, Beneathwood, coming out in November.

And my favorite book of all: Mixed Marriage by Elizabeth Cadell. Written in 1969, it’s a timeless rendition of family (you’ll be thinking of your own as you read) and clash of cultures as a young British girl plans her marriage to a young Portuguese man. Moving to Portugal, meeting his family, learning the language—all of it told in diary entry format—makes for one of the rare books that has me laughing out loud every time I read it. If you can get your hands on a copy, all I can say is, lucky you.

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading to all.

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Find all books by Darlene Jones on her author page on amazon.com or on amazon.co.uk

Visit her website at www.emandyves.com

Holiday Reading – Rachel Brimble

And now for something a bit different. Today’s guest writes romance of a different kind. Author Rachel Brimble is going to share her thoughts on what makes the cut on her reading list. (Looks like she’s already having fun celebrating the holidays).

Me & Mr B - xmas 2012

My reading taste is immensely varied and I love many genres from romantic suspense to crime to biographies. I usually have two or three books on the go at any one time. Usually a hardback for bed, a paperback for in the bath (naughty, but nice!) and something on my Kindle, which I keep in my bag for emergencies.

When I say emergencies, these are those pesky times waiting at the doctors/dentists, waiting for one of my two teenage daughters to come out of one class or another…or those times when I’m waiting unexpectedly!

I have read many great books this year but two of my favourites have been:

  • The Yard by Alex Grecan  –  A Victorian set crime novel
  • Consuelo & Alva Vanderbilt by  Amanda Mackenzie Stuart – A biography of a famous mother and daughter

My latest novel is book 5 in my ongoing Templeton Cove series with Harlequin Superromance (all the books can be read stand-alone).

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She’s back to right her wrongs

When Tanya Todd returns to Templeton Cove, she knows better than to expect a warm welcome. She burned a few bridges on her way out of town, and making amends won’t be easy. First on her list is the man whose heart she carelessly shattered, Liam Browne.

Seeing the successful criminal lawyer after all these years, Tanya is interested in more than just Liam’s forgiveness. As they work together to bring the man who hurt her sister to justice, the attraction between them sizzles. Suddenly Tanya’s second chance could include a future with Liam…if she can prove she’s changed.

amazon.co.uk/

amazon.com/

Barnes and Noble

Rachel’s Website and Blog

Holiday Reading – Patricia Sands

Author Patricia Sands has been busy reading and will share her three recent good reads to add to your holiday reading list.
Here’s Patricia:
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3 books recently read (click on the book titles for more information):
The Red Notebook ~ The owner of a bookshop in Paris finds a woman’s handbag on the street and becomes obsessed with finding the owner although there is no identifying information apart from a dry cleaning tag. It’s a quirky, creative read that becomes addictive. Who is that woman?
~ My Wish List ~ Also set in France. A woman leading a simple life in a small village wins a BIG lottery and can’t decide whether to upset her life by cashing it. This is a quick, light read and gives pause to the question of what you might do. My Wish List on Kindle
All The Light We Cannot See ~ On a completely different literary level (and, yes, also set in France … but then you know that country is my addiction), from the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr. This is the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
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And here are Patricia’s own books for your reading pleasure.
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