A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

Dialogue Tags, she listed

Author Ros Clarke and I are duking it out over dialogue tags: she claims Lynne Graham is the reigning champion and provides some compelling evidence. I say it’s at best a draw. From just the first chapter of Gold Ring of Betrayal by Michelle Reid, we have:

‘You know what happened, you evil monster!’ she seared at him.
‘Sara,’ he prompted quietly.
It was quietly spoken, almost conversationally so
‘Drink,’ he commanded.
Drink,’ he repeated. ‘You look like death,’ he added bluntly.
‘That’s better,’ he murmured,
‘Is this your doing?’ she demanded,
I hate you,’ she said
If anything happens to my baby then watch your back, Nicolas,’ she warned him.
‘Tell me what happened,’ he instructed quietly
‘Lia has been kidnapped!’ she had screamed
‘I did not take your child,’ he stated.
‘Yes, you did.’ She said it without a hint of uncertainty
‘Work on it,’ he suggested
‘God, you make me sick,’ she breathed
‘Putting on a show for the punters,’ she derided.
They are there to keep the media at bay,’ he then flatly explained.
Why, Nicolas?’ she cried in wretched despair
‘I won’t repeat this again,’ he clipped.
‘S-someone did,’ she choked
‘Come and sit down again before you drop,’ he suggested.
‘I don’t want to sit down!’ she angrily refused.
‘A-about an hour after they t-took her,’ she whispered,
You want to know if they were Sicilian,’ she choked.
‘Male or female?’ he persisted.
‘M-male,’ she breathed.
Exactly, Sara,’ he insisted
‘We h-have your ch-hild,” ’she quoted
‘What time is it?’ she asked jerkily.
‘Shush. Not yet six,’ he murmured calmingly.
‘Oh, God,’ she groaned
‘Afraid someone may recognise the voice?’ she seared at him
‘Leave it all to you, you mean,’ she surmised from that.
‘Concorde,’ he drawled—then added tauntingly,
‘Take care, wife,’ be gritted,
‘And you take care,’ she threw shakily back,
Or so help me, Nicolas,’ she vowed
My home,’ he listed
And for whose sake?’ she derided him scathingly
‘I know that,’ he answered stiltedly.
‘The child was taken because she bears my name,’ he stated coldly.
‘Oh, God,’ she choked

How things are “said” throughout the book:

“without a hint of uncertainty,” “quietly,” (4x) “accusingly,” “flatly,” “wearily,” “with a quiet confidence,” “jerkily,” “anxiously,” “tensely,” “cooly,” “grimly,” (7x) “shortly,” “in scathing disbelief,” “drily,” “gruffly,” (4x) “so affectionately,” “thickly,” (3x) “derisively,” “scathingly,” “curtly,” (2x) “with a small, bitter, wry smile,” “silkily,” “in flat-voiced refusal,” “tersely,” “determinedly,” “very softly,” “defensively,” (2x) “heavily,” “tightly,” “slyly,” “lightly,” “huskily,” (2x) “warily,” “a trifle curiously,” “softly,” (2x) “doubtfully,” “roughly,” “quite cooly,” “awkwardly,” “urgently,” “hoarsely,” “painfully,” “wryly,” “bitterly,” “tightly,” “in surprise,” “dully,” “gently,”

Random dialogue tags I found while looking up “saids” — I undoubtedly missed many:

“she flared,” “she challenged,” “he denied,” “he ordained,” “he snapped,” “she flashed,” “she spat at him,” “she hissed,” “Sara maintained,” “he sighed,” “he protested,” “he observed,” “she concluded,” “she challenged,” “he explained,” “Lia murmured,” “she prompted,” “he qualified,” “Sara suggested,” “she choked,” “he soothed quietly,” “he rasped,” “he added bleakly,” “he vowed,” “he told her somberly,” “he gritted,” “Sara put in soothingly,” “he rasped,” “she pleaded,” “he exploded,” “he bit the word out bitterly,” “she mocked,” and of course the classics, “he grated” and “he snarled.”

Perhaps the only conclusion to draw here is that Michelle Reid and Lynne Graham were both terribly fond of each other’s work. Or maybe twins.


Did I Say the Kobo Reading Life Awards Were Silly?

There are 30 pages of discussion about them and how to get them at the Mobile Reads forums.

And I’m taking notes.


Banned Books Weakling

I thought it would be cool to read something for Banned Books week, but romance doesn’t seem to get banned very often.  I guess everyone already knows it’s chock full o’ filth. I checked the most recent list of challenged books and the closest thing on it was 50 Shades of Sorry I’m Just Not Trying That One Again.  There were some interesting YA and children’s books, all of which I’ve already read. Some classics, ditto.  I don’t feel like downloading the pdfs year by year, so any suggestions?

My own suggestion would be the lovely Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. A beautiful book about two teenagers helping each other through life’s ugliness was challenged as “crude and sexually charged material” — because goodness knows, we have to protect kids from reading about stuff they’re actually living through. (Eleanor is pretty much a conglomerate of my best friend in high school and me.) I’m not going to link to the “action alert” that urges people to challenge it, but the review by Common Sense Media lives up to their name.  And check out this informative interview with the author about the challenge.

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