Sunday, July 31, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“An epilogue is like an encore at a rock concert.  If fans have had enough and don’t want one, that’s not good. If fans want more and you don’t give them one, then that’s not good either.”
                                                        Vince Mooney

Friday, July 29, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Rising tension is only one of dozens of ways to maintain a reader’s attention. Just don’t let it be the only arrow in your quiver.”
                                                Vince Mooney

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“The prologue is like the opening act for a rock concert. It better not be too long and it better not be better than the main act.”
                                                      Vince Mooney

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“I feel sorry for her. She can’t control her heroines. She’s a totally character- pecked author.”
                                                        Vince Mooney

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Since it always ends in death, I don’t consider life a game.”
                                                           Vince Mooney

Monday, July 25, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“The thing that gives me the most inspiration from attending ‘Writer’s Conferences’ is seeing how normal and everyday we all are.”
                              Vince Mooney

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Self-promotion only sucks if your book sucks. If your book is good, be an evangelist. Share the good news with the people who like what you write.”
                                                            Vince Mooney

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Zany, Serious, Witty, Spiritual, Heartwarming, Emotional, Inspiring!

I’ve never read a book quite like this one!

Enter Camy Tang’s Amazing World with “Weddings and Wasabi” – a Novella with the Power of a Novel!

File Size: 274 KB
Publisher: WinePress Publishing (June 28, 2011)
Print book also available 

I knew that Camy Tang wrote Christian novels about Asian-American families living in northern California. I even bought two of her print books but I couldn’t read them because the type was too small for me to read. So when “Weddings and Wasabi” came out for the Kindle, I just had to buy it.   

A Story About Many Things!

What a surprise! The story is about many things. In a way, it is a coming of age story about the heroine, Jenn, who at 30-something, comes into her own as an independent family member and self-actualizing individual. It’s an intriguing story of an extended Asian American family. Jenn has over fifty cousins living close by that she can call by name. It’s a culinary story with lots of cooking. Jenn has just earned her cullinary degree. It’s a wacky story with motorcycles and a central character who is a goat named Pookie. (Seriously).

Inspiring, Intriguing, Good Times & Sad

It is also an inspiring and intriguing story that weavs prayer and Christian values into complex family relationships where Buddhism is still practiced. It's also a sad story because life can be sad at the same time the good times are happening.

It's One Big Novella!

“Weddings and Wasabi” may be a novella but more happens in the story than you’d expect to find in a 300 page novel. (In fact, the author has indicated that“Weddings and Wasabi” would have been a novel if she had had the time to write it. She’s now writing mysteries under contract for Love Inspired but still wanted to finish out this series for her Sushi fans.)  

What Kind of Book Is This?

I did ask the author, who was doing a blog appearance at the time, what kind of book “Weddings and Wasabi” really was. She called it a “humorous contemporary romance”. I differ a little with this description. I think “Weddings and Wasabi” is somewhere between a genre romance, where the central focus is on the relationship between the hero and heroine and women’s fiction, where the central focus is on issues important to women. 

There Is a Romance

There is a budding romance going on with Edward but it is not the central focus of the novel. Jenn and Edward seem ideal for each other and given more time they should find love and happiness. Edward looks the part of a bad boy with his new Harley motorcycle and leathers but he really works with his hands in the family vineyards.

Gateway Book -- Well Edited!

“Weddings and Wasabi” is a fun and easy way to sample Camy Tang’s Sushi Series. It is an easy read. The editing is excellent. I did not find one typo or have to read any sentence twice to derive its meaning.  I hope the author has time to give us Mimi’s story!

Five Stars & Highest Recommendation!

Wasabi is Japanese horseradish. It is most famous in form of a green paste used as condiment for sashimi (raw seafood) and sushi. However, wasabi is also used for many other Japanese dishes.

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“It’s not about smelling roses or having fun. It’s about doing what you will judge to have been worth doing when your days for doing are done.”
                 Vince Mooney

Friday, July 22, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Character therapy? Actually to the degree that authors come to believe that their characters are real people, they need therapy.”
                                                      Vince Mooney

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Being self-published is like being self-ordained. You may be great but it’s still not the same.”
                                                                 Vince Mooney

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Only writers would take something a natural as storytelling and divide it into hundreds of different parts – each with its own book and workshop.”
                                                                   Vince Mooney

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

"Writers who write for other writers will always be short of readers."
                                                              Vince Mooney 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Writing Retreats? They’re great. I take one every time I need a break from writing. I always come back raring to write.”
                                                              Vince Mooney 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

"People are often like words. They change their meaning depending on those around them."
                                                      Vince Mooney

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“When characters drive the novel, the author becomes a backseat driver.”
                                      Vince Mooney

Friday, July 15, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Faith is like courage. You can believe you have it only to find out later, when tested, that you don’t.”
                                                                   Vince Mooney

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“The best humor in a novel is not intended to make people laugh. It just does. It’s a surprise even to the author.”
                     Vince Mooney

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sensational French Cover: Is it Too Powerful for North America?

French edition of "When One Night Isn't Enough".
Is this Cover Too Powerful to Run in North America?

The French cover for Wendy S. Marcus’s debut Medical, “When One Night Isn’t Enough” would absolutely dominate any bookstore display in America. The photography is a beautiful work of art. However, I do not think America or even Australia is ready for such boldness.  Just look at the North American and Australian covers for the same book below.
Australian Cover 

North American Cover
UK Cover
It is almost impossible to believe that these three covers are for the same book. I think these covers show how the marketing people ‘see’ their reading public in each region. It will be interesting to read the book, which is not out yet, and then decide which cover most accurately represent the story’s content.

In the meantime the author, Wendy S. Marcus, will be a guest blogger on the Seekerville website this Friday, 15 July. Be sure to drop by and see what Wendy has to say.

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“When I'm writing I like to listen to the kind of music that does its magic without drawing attention to itself which is the same objective I have for my writing.”              Vince Mooney

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Just Announced! “Winter’s End” is a Finalist for the ACFW Carol Award!

Holt Medallion Award of Merit

The Carol Award is like the Oscar for Christian Fiction.

"The Five Star Winter’s End is like no other romance I have ever read."

"Winter’s End is the best written, most honest book I’ve read in a long time. It’s a book I will never forget!"

Read the full review here.  

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“You say my cluttered desktop is a sign of a cluttered mind. Then what is your empty desktop a sign of?”
                      Vince Mooney

Monday, July 11, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“I don’t create worlds. I edit reality.”
                                                     Vince Mooney

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Premiums at book signing? I give my fans fortune cookies with fortunes that say good things will happen to them if they read my books.”
                                                      Vince Mooney

Saturday, July 9, 2011

High Energy Action Drives Debut Romance to the Stars!

Pam Hillman’s ‘New Voice’ Shimmers with Electricity!  

Expect the Unexpected in this 1874 Historical Romance!

Pam Hillman 
Tyndale House Publishers
June 2011 

 My favorite books to review are those by debut authors from major publishers. It is so hard to get published today by these big houses that debut authors must have something very special going for them to break through the crowd of aspiring writers. I always enjoy discovering the unique features that sold the editor on the debut author.

Pam Hillman is exceptional in her own way. She has a unique voice. Her story line, Chicago street children sold into slavery to work in sweat shops, is a theme I have not yet encountered. Her characters, from new born to those at death’s door, are especially sympathetic. You’ll instantly care about and feel for her large cast of characters. (And if you vicariously identify with the hero, as I did, you’ll feel a whole lot.) The characters are three dimensional in various shades of gray. There seems to be a battle between good and evil in all the characters. The plot is so zigzagy that I gave up trying to predict what would happen next in the story. I just went along with the flow and enjoyed all the twists and turns.  

The bottom line here for me was that “Stealing Jake” is a totally enjoyable reading experience. It’s the kind of one-off experience you can only have with a debut author writing in a way that is new to the romance scene.

The Story:

The hero, Jake Russell, is a deputy sheriff in Chestnut, Illinois, whose father was killed in a coal mine accident in which Jake was a survivor. While Jake owns part of a coal mine he won’t open it again for fear of other men dying. He also fears going back into a mine.

The heroine, Livy O'Brien, is a former street kid from Chicago who, at a young age, became notorious as a lock picker and pick pocket. She was saved from her life of crime by an older Christian woman, Mrs. Brooks. Livy saw her sister die in childbirth and fears falling under the influence of a man and having children. Livy and Mrs. Brooks are trying to run a small orpahage in the older woman's house. They are not paid and get no public support so life is very hard for the orphans.

In the backdrop to all this, there are child-slaves working in a sweatshop 12 to 15 hours a day and the town does not even know about it. There are many major objectives in the story and it takes a lot of action to bring the story to a conclusion.  All this action will keep the pages turning!

“Stealing Jake” is a very ambitious first book and it does experience a few growing pains. I’d like to see more physical description in the next book to better frame the action and a little more attention to tying up loose ends.

“Stealing Jake” is fast moving, the characters are endearing and the reading enjoyment is romantic fiction at its best.

Highest Recommendation for a Debut Novel!

A Writer's Affirmation Revisited

A Writer’s Affirmation 
         Vince Mooney

I am a writer.

I am strong, healthy, confident and whole in spirit. I let go and let God direct my creative powers. I write what is honest and inspiring. I faithfully follow God’s plan for me by creating captivating plots, memorable characters, and by always expressing the overflowing love of God within me.

I live in God’s peaceful presence. My mind is clear and focused. Deadlines are a divine force pulling me towards the completion of my goals. Today’s challenges prepare me for greater achievements tomorrow. With God as my guide, I enjoy success and peace.

The above is a Unity inspired version of Debby Giusti’s “A Writer’s Prayer”.

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Insomnia gives me the extra time I need to write my books which in turn keeps my readers up at night turning pages.”
                                                               Vince Mooney

Friday, July 8, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

"Every time my characters give me problems, I think of God. Then I pray for God".
                                                                 Vince Mooney

Thursday, July 7, 2011

More Venom from the Anti-Romance Critics

The Romance Genre is Not the Target!

Romance writer Donna Alward has pointed out an anti-romance article in The Telegraph in her blog today. This is about that story.

The romance genre is not the target in these recurring criticisms. The critics are not interested in literature. If they were there would also be similar criticisms of science fiction, horror, mystery, western, and mainstream genres. The romance genre is objectively among the most healthy of genres. It would he hard to find an overall more life and love affirming genre than romance. Also, when you consider inspirational romances, I think it would be impossible to find a more healthy genre on the market today.

The objective in these romance genre attacks is always to advance the liberal, secular, feminist agenda. If attacking  SF would also do this, then SF would be similarly attacked. But attacking SF does not do this and it is thus not attacked.

Romances show that it is possible to find happiness in a loving relationship with a man. This is an anathema to these romance critics. Romances also show that babies are a 'good-in-themselves' to be prized, loved and welcomed. This is a very dangerous attitude to these critics who believe that babies can be aborted at will and some who even believe babies can be aborted at anytime prior to birth. How is it possible that a baby would have no value and be subject to abortion one week but have all the rights and value of a human being the very next week. To these critics it is better to devalue the very humanity  of babies.

Inspirational romances, which allow God as a possible answer to conflicts, are at the top of these romance critics hit list. This is because many such critics are agnostics or atheists.

Defending the romance genre on literary grounds misses the point with these critics. They don’t care what defenses romance supporters provide. Their objective is to simply attack romance values (not its faults) and when possible attack romances again and again. Such attracks are not going to stop.

I just wonder:  were are all the articles showing that lesbian romances are bad for lesbian women and that happiness cannot be found in a loving relationship with another woman? You won’t see these articles because the critics would say that lesbian romances actually are good for women. Lesbian romances are PC and as such they will not be criticized in the mainstream media. By the way, I have no objections to lesbian romances. 

The way to answer the romance critics is to shine the light on what they are really doing. They don’t like being exposed.

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Of course I’m familiar with “Writer’s Block” – it’s a location in Manhattan.”
                                                                 Vince Mooney

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

Back-story, like back-talk, should be undertaken with trepanation.

                                       Vince Mooney

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

"Writing is a performance art with the reader doing the performance."

                                                Vince Mooney

Monday, July 4, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

Happy 4th of July!

“It's not my characters who 'come alive' as I write my books. Indeed, my characters start out alive. It’s me who comes alive and gets out of control.”     Vince Mooney

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ebook Pricing and the ‘Cost-of-Production’ Myth

'Cost-of-Production' May or May Not Have Very Much to Do with the Price of an Item

I just read an article in a computer magazine about the pricing of eBooks. The author assumed that the pricing of eBooks should be based on the cost of production. He was upset that the price of some eBooks are not only too high but sometimes are actually priced higher than the printed book!

The article missed the point. Pricing is based on supply and demand. Cost of production may or may not have very much to do with the price of an item. The cost of producing a barrel of oil is many times less than the price oil commands. The cost of producing an eBook may only be a few cents on a print book that is already in print. Does that mean it should be sold for just a few pennies?

The price will depend on what buyers are willing to pay for the book. Ebooks are not equivalent to print books. Ebooks can be delivered instantly. They do not have a delivery charge. They take up less room. Hundreds of eBooks can be taken on a trip in the space of a single print book. The type can be made larger with an eBook and there is also a useful search feature. For some buyers eBooks provide a far great package of benefits than a print book. These buyers are willing to pay more for the eBook version! 

The price of an eBook will be a factor of supply and demand. Price impacts supply and competition impacts price. With eBooks the supply is essentially infinite. But eBooks are unique to an extent. You cannot easily substitute a Harry Potter book with one by Mark Twain. As such, eBook prices will be subject to supply and demand while the  ‘cost-of-production’ will remain a minor consideration.

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

"Authors who have nothing to say are usually better at saying it than the authors who do have something to say."
                                                              Vince Mooney

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Totally Hooked by “The Farmer Next Door” by Patricia Davids

The Farmer Next Door

The Farmer Next DoorPatricia Davids
Love Inspired
Jul 2011 Miniseries:
Brides of Amish Country
Inspirational Romance
Paperback & Kindle

I’m just 24% into “The Farmer Next Door” and I’m totally hooked! This is not a review of the book. It’s a review of the book so far. I just had to get the word out because so far this is a 5-Star pleasure.
The hero and heroine are instantly attractive – very sympathetic. Consider this scene from the beginning of the book:


The hero sees the heroine on her porch with her ancient spinning wheel making yarn from her Alpaca fleece. She does not see him. He stops and just looks at her. This is early in the story.

“It wasn’t so much the art of her work that caught his attention. It was the look on her face. The worry and pain he’d seen before were gone, replaced by an expression of serenity. A sweet, soft smile curved her lips. He caught snatches of a song she was humming. So this was how Faith Martin looked when she was happy.”
This is an Amish romance story and it features Alpacas. Very different and very interesting. I am going to go back to reading it right now!

Debut Novel Makes Powerful Use of First Person Present Point of View

Her Best Catch
Lindi PetersonPaperback: 204 pages
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (March 2011)

Also Available as Kindle Book

One of the best ways to get readers involved in an author’s story is to write it in the first person present. Everything is happening now and it is happening in the head of the POV character. The reader is ‘in’ that POV character’s head for the entire book. This is as ‘up close and personal’ as writing gets.

In “Her Best Catch” the heroine, Allison Doll, is a witty, interesting, and dynamic character. She makes lots of observations about what is going on around her. This is essential in first person POV if the author hopes to keep the reader entertained.

For example:
Allison is in a bible class at church and the teacher asks this question:

“ ‘Okay,' Jax says. ‘Give me thoughts. What’s going on in your heads?’
A sniffle here, a cough there, feel the silence everywhere.
This silence is so typical. Nobody wants to be the first to speak, but once someone does, watch out. Then no one will be able to finish a sentence because they’re being interrupted.”
The heroine has the type of personality that is always interesting. She is always making witty observations.

The hero, Ashton Boyd, is a major league baseball pitcher who is disabled by an arm injury. He is hoping to make a comeback. All his life all he ever wanted to be was a baseball player. Now as a successful adult, his dreams are shattered. What does he do now? It’s not surprising that Ashton has turned to God for help, guidance, and meaning. He is at a major life turning point. Both Ashton and Allison are in the same bible class. Both are planning to go on a week long mission trip. All the other women in the single adult class also seem to have their eyes on Ashton as well.

“Her Best Catch” is 100% Christian fiction. You better like Christian fiction. I do and I enjoyed the Christian values emphasized in the story.

I think it is almost impossible to write a good romance in first person present POV and almost no romance writers do it. The first person POV is ideal for mystery, western, and suspense stories where you don’t have to know the motives of the other parties. If you are tracking a very dangerous killer outlaw, it’s not that important to know why he became an outlaw. However, in romance, it is important to know what the hero sees in the heroine and why he acts as he does towards her. That’s half the fun.

In this respect the greatest strength of “Her Best Catch” is also its greatest weakness. You don’t get into the hero’s mind. You don’t know why he would be interested in the heroine in the first place. His reactions seem inexplicable to me. I can see some readers loving this book and giving it 5 stars and other readers not liking it at all and giving it far less stars. That being said, the author deserve a lot of credit for trying something as difficult as this POV in her debut novel.

For at least 95% of the book, “Her Best Catch” is a 5-star reading experience. I loved it. I was entertained. I thought the heroine was a fascinating person. I enjoyed her company. However, without a foundation, the ending just seems to happen because the book needed an ending.

Being a man, I may be too sensitive about the hero’s behavior. I wanted to know why the hero did what he did. Female readers, on the ohter hand, may not care why a hero falls in love with the heroine as long as she gets her man. If that’s the case, they are going to love, I repeat love, "Her Best Catch".

Powerful Use of First Person Present!


Famous Writing Quote of the Day

"I write comedy because I like being entertained when I work".
                                                                   Vince Mooney

Friday, July 1, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

"Ideas are like stars: they are all pretty much the same until the writer joins them into constellations".
                                                                 Vince Mooney