Friday, December 30, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“In an age of political correctness, media bias, and the prostitution of science, the truth is most likely to be found in the tabloids.”  
 Vince Mooney

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Authors who offer only style must be in want of patrons and academic sinecures.”  
 Vince Mooney

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

One day in the future ten million Savonarolas will be dragged from their pulpits in academia and the fires that consume them will bring an end to the current dark age ushering in the second enlightenment.”  Vince Mooney

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“It makes more sense to argue about the number of angels who can fit on the head of a pin than to go gaga over a four hundred word sentence.” Vince Mooney

Monday, December 26, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“When style is everything, content is nothing.” Vince Mooney

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“The post-modernists, with their love of four hundred word sentences and their three dozen individually named sentence structures have replaced substance with form and art with artifice. Literary writing today is a rococo art awaiting a return to substance.” 
Vince Mooney

Friday, December 23, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“A synopsis is like Don Quixote’s mirror: it forces the writer to face the reality of the story’s merit.” 
Vince Mooney

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“It is fantasy that gives reality its meaning.”
Vince Mooney

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Is ‘Flirting with Italian’ the Most Sensuous Liz Fielding Romance Ever?

US and NA Cover

Earthy, Vibrant, Sizzling: a Romance You Can Feel, Smell, Taste, Hear and Savor!  

Harlequin Romance
Dec 2011
Classic Romance
Paperback & Kindle

“Flirting with Italian”  is one of my three all time favorite Liz Fielding romances. The others are: Wedding at Leopard Tree Lodge” and “City Girl in Training”. 

"Flirting with Italian" offers wit, charm and passion!

I must say I’ve been a Liz Fielding fan for a long time – even before I thought she wrote, “Bridget’s Jones’s Diary”.  (It took me a long time to learn how to field* my Fieldings. There’s Joy, there’s Helen, there’s Liz and there’s Henry. I like them all!)  

In “Flirting with Italian” all five senses seem to vibrate right off the page. At times I felt like I was reading Henry Fielding’s “Tom Jones” -- especially the sensuous eating scene so well depicted in the movie!

Indeed, if you are allergic to the outdoors or spicy foods, “Flirting in Italian”  might make you sneeze!  So by 'sensuous' I mean that the story appeals to the senses. 

Here's a sample of the author's sensuous writing:

 A grape?’
   She laughed. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d laughed as much.
   ‘No,’ she declared. ‘Not even a grape.’ But, refusing to take no for an answer, Matteo reached up and plucked a huge drak grape from a bunch growing above his head. Held it close enough to her lips for her to smell the sweetness.
   ‘Resistance is futile’, he said and she felt herself sliging into temptation.
   Everying today had been about the senses.
   Vivid colour, the scent of herbs and the sun-baked earth. The touch of a man’s lips for the first time in months.
    Languorous in the still heat of the early afternoon, lulled by the faint hum of drowsy insects, mesmerized by Matteo’s dark eyes gleaming softly in the shade, urging her to this one last pleasure, she leaned forward the inch required to take the grape, closing her lips around it. Around the tips of his fingers.
    The grape exploded on her tongue, the juice dribbling over her lips, over his fingers. And it seemed the most natural thing in the world to lick it up…”

Writing like this is just unfair to other writers! Readers might come to expect great writing like this and not every author can do it! I object but I’m going to go ‘to school’ on this passage anyway!

The Story:

The heroine, Sarah Gratton, is an English high school history teacher who was dropped like a hot potato when her lover, Tom,  sees a sumptuous new hire. For him it was love at first sight. The problem for Sarah is that Tom is a much beloved winning coach of the school athletic program and he feels he must leave the school after his betrayal of Sarah.

To complicate the situation, their place of employment, Maybridge High School, is one of the best teaching positions in the country. Sarah could not expect to get a better job if she left. But leave she feels she must. 

Sarah applies for a job in Rome teaching at the school for foreign students which is taught in English. Her school was so happy to have her leave (and keep their coach) that she got an excellent report and was hired. 

Sarah goes to Rome.  She is advised by her great-grandfather, Lex, to have a meaningless affair with a handsome Italian as soon as possible to get Tom out of her system.

There is a back story here. Lex was saved during WWII by an Italian woman who risked her life to nurse him back to health and hide him from the Germans. This story echoes a real story reported by the English flyer, Eric Newby in his book Love and War in theApennines”. The irony here is that in the real life story the hero returns to Italy after the war and marries the Italian girl and the story has a very happy ending. In the romance the hero loses tack of the heroine in the fog of war and they do not get married! (Tell that to the critics who don’t like the HEA in romances!) 

Sarah knows about her great-grandfather’s lost love and decides to see if the woman is still alive. She even goes to the location where a photo was taken of her grandfather and the Italian heroine. It is here where Sarah is confronted by the hero, Matteo, who is the current owner of the estate! He is a rich Count!  He's also drop-dead handsome and he speaks English.

From here the story really gets interesting! 

“Flirting with Italian” is a wonderful 5-Star romance that I am sure will win some very important romance awards in the next year!

Australian Edition
UK edition

Note: Only the US and NA edition 'says' Italy in the cover art. It is by far the best cover.

 * 'Field'  is an American baseball term which means catching the baseball without making an error. 

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“When a story is ready, the writer will appear.”
Vince Mooney

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Writing allows the soul to bare the writer.”
Vince Mooney

Monday, December 19, 2011

“Secret Wedding” -- a Compelling Romance About A Romance Writer!

“Secret Wedding” – How to Write A Novella About a Romance Writer, Complete with Romance Writing Tips, All Without Alienating the Reader!

A novella by
Amazon Kindle

Liz Fielding likes to experiment in her writing. She never wants to write the same book twice. In “Secret Wedding” she writes a romance about a romance writer who is giving a romance writing workshop. 

This is very hard to do because when the author writes about a romance writer it reminds the reader that she is reading a romance. This has a tendency to pull the reader out of the story ruining the vicarious enjoyment of the reading experience. Almost no writers will attempt do this. (Liz has written over 60 books so she gets a little more leeway.)

“Secret Wedding” works well without alienating the reader because it is well grounded in fact. All the story events have an ample foundation and each character's actions necessarily flow from the initial state of the story. This is because there are romance writers in the real world who do give romance writing workshops. All the author has to do is make the story seem real enough to the reader so that the reader can still vicariously identify with the heroine. Liz Fielding did this to perfection. 

This triumph over alienation is a great reason for other writers to read “Secret Wedding”; however, the romance fan will want to read this story because it is a first rate enjoyable  romance! 

Please note: “Secret Wedding”  is a genuine novella. That it, it is a ‘little novel’ and not just a long ‘short-story’. It has eight chapters, tells a complete love story and could have easily been expanded into a full novel if the author wanted to make it a novel. 

Each chapter starts with a romance writing tip. The first chapter starts like this:

Chapter One
“Begin your story at the moment of crisis, a point in time when you character’s life is about to change forever.”
Mollie Blake’s Writing Workshop Notes

I’ve heard Donna Alward say this many times on her blog and I also follow this advice in my own writing. If you do this as an author you have automatically set the stage for conflict and for providing a basis for character growth.

The Story:

I can’t give too much of the plot away because the unfolding plot provides much of the reading enjoyment. Let me just say that the heroine, Mollie Blake, is a reclusive romance writer who is forced by her publisher into giving a writing workshop. She does not want to do it.

The hero, Tom Garrick, is a best selling author of adventure books favored by men. His publisher forces him to go to the romance writing workshop so that he can get in touch with his 'feminine side'. Hopefully this will help  his books also appeal to women. The publisher wants to increase the sales of Tom’s books. Of course, Tom thinks the whole idea is nonsense.

Here’s the fun part: when hero and heroine first meet, they find out something that should amaze the reader as much as it did the characters!  That’s all I’m going to say. This book is only 99 cents on Amazon and I can’t think of a value that offers more enjoyment per ounce than this deal!  Read it and enjoy. If you are a writer, it’s worth many times the price!

Secret Wedding – A 5 ‘Starlet’ Romance – About a Romance Writer!

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Great stories say far more than they actually say and they say it without preaching and without being stilted.” Vince Mooney

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“If you can’t do it, write about it.”
Vince Mooney

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Stories written in sand  often end before they they are over.” Vince Mooney

Friday, December 16, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

Here is the 'black-moment'.

“Even the best of writing is only an X-ray.” Vince Mooney

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“There’s ‘character-driven’ and there’s ‘plot-drive’ but, for myself, I prefer my novels to be ‘inspiration-driven’.” Vince Mooney

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Just as the written word killed the oral tradition, the written word will be killed by speech recognition.” Vince Mooney

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Stories written in stone are unlikely to find a home.”
                     Vince Mooney

Monday, December 12, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Writing by itself will not teach us very much about writing… only writing to a purpose will do that.” Vince Mooney

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Great writing is about finding the universal in the singular, the significant in the insignificant and the meaningful in the meaningless.” Vince Mooney

Saturday, December 10, 2011

`Ripped from the Headlines' - "Yuletide Hearts" is another "Men of Allegany County" Winner!,

Love Inspired
On sale date: Nov 1, 2011
Publication date: Dec 1, 2011
Miniseries: Men of Allegany County
Category: Inspirational Romance
Also available on Kindle for $3.82

"Yuletide Hearts" is a heartwarming story of rejection and acceptance. I'd be tempted to say it's also about redemption but these people didn't fall. They were dumped. The heroine, Callie Burdick, was dumped by her ex-husband for not being feminine enough. They were both in the Army together which should have given him some indication that she was not a girly-girl. Callie is a first class roofer!

The hero, Matt Cavanaugh, was dumped by his stepfather while the heroine's son, Jake, was dumped by his father.

How these three wounded but worthy people find their way to happiness as a family provides the heartwarming path to their Christmas renewal.

The backdrop to the story is the national housing crisis. The heroine's father had a successful home construction business for decades but lost everything to the bank when the housing market fell apart. The hero returns home from the Marines to re-establish himself in the construction business. He buys the half-built housing development from the bank and hires the hero's family to help finish the project. The heroine's family needs the money and her father despartely wants to see his dream fulfilled even if it belongs to someone else. There are some very noble Christian characters in this story which enhances the enjoyment and inspirational impact.

"Yuletide Hearts"  is especially enjoyable if you have read the other books in the series. Ruth Logan Herne has a very eclectic style which makes each book a new discovery. "Yuletide Hearts" is the most `normal' of the lot. Maybe the author is mellowing with age. We shall see in the next books. The author is what I call a significant romance writer.

Please Note: I purchased my copy of "Yuletide Hearts" on eHarlequin so that I could get it a month earlier. However, reading on a Kindle is ten times better than my Sony.

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Even the best writing shows us only the shadows projected on the wall of Plato’s cave.” Vince Mooney

Friday, December 9, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Like moon to sun: even the most brilliant writing derives its illumination from the power the reader brings to the page.” Vince Mooney

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Writing transforms the spoken word back into thought.” Vince Mooney

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Writing hasn’t been about writing since Shakespeare wrote Hamlet.” Vince Mooney

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“In fiction, cause and effect work both ways.”
Vince Mooney

Monday, December 5, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“My editor is the most experienced in the business. She edited the writing on the wall.”
Vince Mooney

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Famous Quote of the Day

“Stories written in the stars are destined to be read in heaven.”
Vince Mooney

Friday, December 2, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Many writers write in black and white without even knowing it.” Vince Mooney

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“The simplest story can address the most complex issues with a clarity unknown to reason.”
Vince Mooney

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Character growth is good. Reader growth is better.”
Vince Mooney

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Writing gives our mind a chance to look in a mirror.”
Vince Mooney

Monday, November 28, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Every story has an emotional soundtrack which provides the real reason why readers read the book.” Vince Mooney

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“The writer’s voice is but a siren call capable of capturing the affections of the innocent reader but, if truth be told, it is the writer’s taste and after-taste, wherein the writer’s heart is exposed.”   Vince Mooney

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Beautiful writing is only skin deep.”
Vince Mooney

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Writing a story starts like a block of granite. The story is already inside us. All we have to do is chip away the nonessentials.”
Vince Mooney

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

Anais Nin 1903 - 1977

"There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person."-Anais Nin 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

"You have my character
all wrong!"

“I don’t psychoanalyze my characters. I just give them the proper motivation and they necessarily do what the story calls for.” Vince Mooney

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

Doing Makes It So

“I almost never feel like writing until after I start writing. The spirit doesn’t move me. I move the spirit.”  Vince Mooney

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

This is the POV center

“An example of great fiction is the idea that there is such a thing as the ‘writing life’.”
Vince Mooney

Monday, November 14, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“I just wish ‘method’ writers, (those who have to be depressed in order to write about a depressed person), would learn how to write and make life easier for themselves and everyone else around them.”
Vince Mooney

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Rules for writing are like rules for thinking freely.” Vince Mooney

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“The working title of all my books, which appears at the top of every page, is always: “Why Would Anyone Pay Money To Read This?” Vince Mooney

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran’s Day Blog Appearance at “Seasons of Humility”

I’ll Be Blogging Today at “Seasons of Humility” on the Topic of “What I Wish Romance Writers Knew About the Military”.

If You Can Drop By, Please Say Hello. “Seasons of Humility” is a Very Military-Friendly Site.

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Even in little stories, writers should write about something bigger than themselves.”
Vince Mooney

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This Year’s #1 Feel Good Christmas Book! Next Year it Should be on TV!

What if The Gift of the Magi”  Could have had a gloriously happy ending?  

What if the roots of the story ran so deep that it read like a 19th century midwestern farm family diary? 

That would make it, The Sweetest Gift!”

Where O. Henry was after irony, O! Connealy delivers “The Sweetest Gift” – a feel good Christmas tale that will make you smile clear through the Holidays. 

Frankly, I’m Christmas-green with envy!  First, I would not have dared to challenge this classic theme and second, if I did, I wouldn’t have figured out how to do it and still produce such a happy ending! 

I think Mary Connealy is an author too creative for her genre.  She writes Americana and would be right at home working besides Mark Twain.  This novella does a hundred things extremely well. The motivation is amazing.

In just a few pages I found it totally believable that Graham and Addie would have agreed to their sight-unseen marriage of convenience. The motiation comes from all sides and every direction. All the rustic details are so vivid the reader can only conclude that the author is a Nebraska farm wife herself. (Which she is). Indeed, many of the incidents in the story are part of her family heritage. 

All this only explains the 19th Century realism, however; it doesn’t explain the creativity! That’s just something that happens. Can one explain Mark Twain, James Thurber, or Will Rogers? I can’t. But I can sure enjoy their work. 

"The Sweetest Gift" is a novella. It’s really a short novel with ten fully developed chapters and a very pleasing Epilogue. The story takes place in 1899, mostly on a Nebraska farm. The heroine is a somewhat spoiled, college educated, world traveler, who is an accomplished pianist with a Master’s degree and a job as a librarian.  She is also a shade away from spinsterhood!  The arranged husband is a Nebraskan farmer with an eight grade education – (back when an eight grade education meant something.) 

The plot is so well motivated and researched that the story seems to be inevitably true rather than being fanciful fiction. You 'll just have to read it.  I'd say this is the best Christmas book of the year for other writers to read! Learning has never been so entertaining.

“The Sweetest Gift” is part of a dual Novella eBook. The second story, “A Christmas Angel”, is by Robin Lee Hatcher. I have read it too is a 5-star Christmas feel good joy.  The cost for both is only .99!  That's Amazing!
This Year’s #1 Feel Good Christmas Book!  Next Year it Should be on TV!
I can rope, too!