Tag Archives: Michelle Hazen

Lines of Distinction: Playing the Pauses by Michelle Hazen

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WOOT! New Michelle Hazen!

How do you not love her writing? I am such a fan of her lyrical prose, I can’t tell you.

If you haven’t checked out her books yet, what’s keeping you?

 

 

Here’s the latest:

Hot. Hawt. And more than a little yummy.

Pick up a copy!

Amazon: https://goo.gl/zisbeL
Barnes and Noble: https://goo.gl/JToFvr
Kobo: https://goo.gl/qdo3vs
ITunes: https://goo.gl/BSvTLpGoodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37309060

 

 

Connect with Michelle, too!

Website: http://michellehazenbooks.com/
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Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/michelle-hazen
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Says The Editor: Dialogue Tags

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Take a good hard look at your dialogue tags. They’ve been a raging inferno of opinions for many, many years now. Probably as long as kids were taught in third grade that it’s better to tell us that Johnny exclaimed, rather than show it. Or, let me put it this way: Probably as long as kids were taught in third grade to both show Johnny’s exclamation AND show it via word choice and exclamation point.

I’m thinking about this because I read a book a bit ago that made me cringe almost the entire way through it. Almost every single attribution — a fancy word for dialogue tag — was something fancy, some word that told us what was going on, even if it had been clearly shown via dialogue and punctuation. And context. In that book, I even came across my all-time favorite, “Shit!” he swore.

People.

Dialogue tags exist for many reasons. Only ONE of those reasons is to let you know how the speaker delivers his or her words.

Sometimes, tags call attention to themselves, and that’s bad. Words shouldn’t call attention to themselves. Not words on their own. It’s the pictures the words create, the mental images, the impressions, the emotions. Words are supposed to cooperate and paint pictures. They’re not supposed to be all grabby, demanding of the reader’s attention and praise. “You’re such a pretty word — who says that? Seriously?

But when you get Jennifer clutched her clenched fists to her chest and jumped up and down, her eyes sparkling and her cheeks flushed. Her cheerleader’s skirt wiggled with her excitement. “Jason, that is so super-duper!” she emoted, well, yeah. That’s overkill. All that imagery… it vanishes, swallowed whole by that one word, emoted.

And that book I was reading? Full of words like that. Weird words, like the author had raided a thesaurus in order to sound fancy and smart.

Truly, using said is sometimes, often, your best choice. It’s unobtrusive. It can remind us who is speaking. It can slow the pace of two people talking, buy the reader time to digest or catch his or her breath. It can let us focus on the other words around it, thereby contributing to that painting that the best writing plants squarely in the reader’s imagination.

And yes, more often than not, we say things. We don’t emote, yell, scream, bellow, holler, grate.

I get that the authors are striving to be great writers. But the thing about great writing is that it doesn’t call attention to itself. Like this, from my buddy Michelle Hazen:

My eyes are as round as greedy gold coins. I have no idea why he just told me that, and I don’t care. I want that collection, want to shoot it into my veins and roll naked in it and drown in the gorgeous, classic sound of song after song brought to life by the needle of my beloved antique turntable.” (A Cruel Kind of Beautiful, Chapter 6)

Yeah, there’s no dialogue in there. But that’s not the point, believe it or not. The point is that this beautiful writing. It evokes.

Your dialogue tags need to work with beautiful prose like this, not against it. Your dialogue tags need to complete a multitude (okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration) of tasks. Don’t burden them with the sort of action that ultimately undermines your book.

If you need help with this, holler. Sometimes, dialogue tags toe a fine line. But most of the time, remember: simpler is better.

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Lines of Distinction: Fill Me by Michelle Hazen

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Ooh, how can you resist? Can you? I don’t think I can!

Grab your copy now! (And, as always, don’t forget to leave a review once you’ve read it. Need a place to post a review? Drop me a note. I’ll help.)

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Yay! It’s not exclusive to only one retailer!

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Lines of Distinction: A Cruel Kind of Beautiful by Michelle Hazen

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I LOVE this line!!!

 

Pick up your copy of Michelle Hazen’s Rock Fiction novel, A Cruel Kind of Beautiful.
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And of course, once you’ve read it, leave a review! Reviews help books find new readers… but they do more than that. Much, much more. If you need help, drop me a line.

And connect with Michelle! (She’s a lot of fun to chat with on Twitter.)
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Featured New Book: A Cruel Kind of Beautiful by Michelle Hazen

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Featured New Book SpotlightLet’s welcome Michelle Hazen to West of Mars!

Those of you who hung out at The Rock of Pages will recognize Michelle from some great reviews and book coveting spots she wrote for me and Jett over there. But if you don’t know her?

Well, sit down, grab your coffee, and let’s go. Because Michelle is super. AND today is the release day for her new book! How can you beat that?

Michelle, what song makes you think of your book, A Cruel Kind of Beautiful?

“Seeing is Believing” by Blind Pilot.

It’s a song all about the strange ways life brings you exactly what you need. In the book, Jera has a really rough time, but in the end, all those obstacles work together and end up bringing her just where she needs to be. I love how life does that, and it makes perfect, divinely-inspired looking sense in hindsight, but as you’re living it it feels messy and horrible and annoying. I wanted to write a book that did exactly that.

There’s a line in the song: “This life is going to make you believe…” Yes. For Jera, it really did.

Be sure to check this song out; it’s a different one for us avid followers of the Featured New Book Spotlight, and it’s pretty cool! Shades of the Fifties, of Rockabilly, of country music… I’m digging it.

Ready for the book’s description? I sure am.

If you can’t get to the Big O, can you get to the happily ever after?

Jera McKnight loves music, swoons for hot guys, but sucks at sex. Jacob Tate is her perfect storm: a pun-loving nude model with a heart as big as his record collection.

When a newspaper-delivery accident lands him in her living room, he’s almost tempting enough to make her forget she’s never been able to please a man—in bed or out of it. Sure, he laughs at her obscure jokes, and he’ll even accept a PG-rating if it means he gets time with her, but he’s also hiding something. And it has everything to do with the off-limits room in his apartment.

Jera pours all her confusion and longing into her drum kit, which pays off when her band lands the record deal of their dreams. Except just like Jacob, it might be too good to come without a catch.

She doesn’t know if her music is good enough to attract a better contract, or if she’s enough to tempt a man like Jacob to give up his secrets—even if they could fix her problems between the sheets. But if this rocker girl is too afraid to bet on herself, she might just end up playing to an empty house.

Fans of Alice Clayton’s Wallbanger or Kylie Scott will love this addictive new series because of its quick sense of humor and adorable found family.

Do you NEED this? I know all my Rock Fiction fans and friends do! (I sure do, and thanks to Michelle for approving me for a copy over at NetGalley.)
It’s Amazon only, though — so if that’s an issue, I HIGHLY encourage you to get in touch with Michelle and see what sort of magic she can make happen for you. Because you need it!

Connect with Michelle. She’s very cool, very involved in the literary community, and very diverse in her jobs, too. I’ll let you figure out what that means, because it’s too cool to spoil!

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