Sunday, December 30, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


“The biggest problem with clichés is that they weren’t invented by the author using them.”   
 Vince Mooney

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Philosophical Quote


“Patience is only a virtue for those who have time.”
Vince Mooney

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


“Motivation is a measure of our actual desire to get something done. Just as a thermometer doesn’t cause the fever it measures, motivation doesn’t cause desire. Face it: if you are not motivated to do something, then you just don’t desire to really do it.”  Vince Mooney

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Are You Racing Your Kindle Novels? Here’s How…


How Competitive at Winning Your Interest Are The Books You’re Now Reading?  
And What Can This Teach You?

I didn’t realize it but I have a real horse race taking place on my Kindle. I didn’t plan it this way but I noticed that my 1, 2, 3, and 4 titles kept changing place. I usually read five to ten books at a time. This is not hard to do as long as the books are different in kind. Right now I have four books that are neck and neck in claiming my attention.
Win, Place, & Show

This morning first place is held by a 1890’s historical romance. In second place is an Amish romance. Third is claimed by a book of short stories by Alice Munro. And at a close fourth place is a romance that takes place on a Mississippi paddle boat. None of these stories are confusable with the others. Each is being read for enjoyment. (I must say, Alice Munro, is being read because, like a vitamin, ‘it’s said to be good for me’ – fortunately, she is just as enjoyable as the others.)

Go to the Races

When I open my Kindle I have a choice. I can continue reading the last book I was reading or I can go to the list of books and select another book I am reading or even start a new book. It all gets down to which book, of the books I'm reading, has most captured my interest. Has the book I was last reading flagged? Are we at a sagging middle in that book? Or do I just feel like reading a different book? I noticed that the Amish book has been wining very often since it entered the race. I think the Amish book offers more rewards for reading per page. But this is also a matter taste: like when you want to eat something salty and not have a sweet.

It’s Just a Measure of ‘Come Back’ Interest

Since books will be finished and new books added while the race is still going on, (the race never stops), it’s not a race to see who wins at a given length (like the mile and a quarter). It’s a race to see how different books stack up against each other in commanding a reader's interest at any given moment.

What you can learn if you are a writer.

If you’re a writer, it is instructive to observe how given books compete for your interest at various stages of their plots. It is also interesting to note what is happening in a narrative when you switch to one of the other books.  (Why did you switch?)

Some Books You Never Go Back To

I’ve noticed that some books drop behind as new books are added and old books are finished. Some of these books never get finished. I think much can be learned from the books you did not finish.  The world of reading is changing. The eBook reader has turned the old stack of books into cable TV. On cable TV you can change stations and thus progams with the click of a button. While cable TV has offered up to 500 stations, my Kindle now has over 1,200 books on it. That dwarfs cable TV.


So Much to Read & So Little Time

With so many books waiting to read and so little time to read, the competition is fierce. Writing today must compete with hundreds of books that are just a click away. There is also no physical book in the room to remind a reader of his need to finish that book. Indeed, writers today must write in a way that can compete with several other books being read at the same time.

In order to do this well, writers should ‘go to the races’ and observe which ‘horses’ are winning and which are losing. Writers may not know it, but they are going to be in that race and it is a race for survival.



Saturday, December 22, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


 “Goals reveal the dreamer in each of us while habits determine who we actually become.” Vince Mooney

Friday, December 21, 2012

Visit Tracy Sands and Learn About the Christian Alphabet…


The other day, while Tracy Sands was a guest on Seekerville discussing her “Christian Alphabet”, I mentioned that I envisioned a portrait of Jesus that was made up of only letters of her alphabet and that a few of those tiny letters spelled the words, “Jesus Saves”.  (The little letters served the same function as black dots do in creating a newspaper photo).

Tracy said she would make a graphic of “Jesus Saves” for me. I have it posted here to show how pretty this artwork is when seen in full color.
Tracy's website, “Christian Alphabet” has many more learning aids to help children to read including a very good “Christian Alphabet Song”. 

This site is well worth a look if you are thinking about gifts for children in the upcoming year.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


“If you let your words define reality rather than allow reality to define your words, you will soon find that reality is a much more dangerous place.”

Vince Mooney

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

“Dare to Believe” Fulfills the Promise of Indie Publishing Freedom!


"Dare to Believe"  Unpredictable! Fascinating!
 A Fresh Voice! 
It's a Reading Experience that Makes the Most of the Indie Publishing Promise!

Amazon Kindle
A Romantic Suspense
“Dare to Believe” is a daring adventure into a new world of fictional freedom. L.A. Sartor uses her creative freedom to write a very unpredictable and fascinating nail-biting novel.  The story starts out as a potential romantic crime/mystery as the heroine’s daughter goes missing. It then becomes a suspense/thriller when the evidence strongly supports a kidnapping. Soon the narrative moves to beautiful Hawaii where most of the story takes place.
Once in the islands the action intensifies and some traces of being a police procedural appear. Eventually, the story becomes a legal/thriller. With all these twists and turns one thing remains constant: the romance developing between the hero and heroine. This relationship, once thought to be hopeless, moves towards becoming a reality -- if only the mystery can be solved and justice found.
A story like “Dare to Believe” is one of the best justifications for an Indie Press and the freedom to create the kind of interesting reading experiences that are almost impossible to find in the traditional press. A Traditional publisher would ask, “Where does this book get displayed on bookstore shelves? We can’t market books with this much freedom.”  An Indie publisher can publish books like this. And readers benefit. If you are going to read an Indie Press novel, then I believe this is the type of book to read.
Rest assured, “Dare to Believe” is edited as well as any big publisher I have read. I found no mistakes in the book. Of course, what I believe makes the book so much fun to read is that it is fresh and unpredictable. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I look forward to see what this very talented author comes up with next.
If you are interested in Hawaii, as I am, you’ll be glad to know that the author has lived in Hawaii, loves it, and spends a major part of the book in this beautiful land.
For a great read and to experience one of the best of the new books coming from the Indie Presses, “Dare to Believe” is a great place to start.
Because Life Doesn’t Unfold According to Traditional Publishing Guidelines, Indie Press Books Can Be More Lifelike and Realistically Enjoyable!


Famous Writing Quote of the Day


“Quotes move individuals while books drive movements.”  Vince Mooney

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

“Season of Joy” May Be The Best Debut Romance of the Year! RT 4 ½ Stars!

"Season of Joy" Offers All the Good Feelings of a Romance with the Power of a Realistic Mainstream Best Seller!

Love Inspired
Publication Date: Nov 1, 2012
Years ago I would have said that “Season of Joy” was too good to be an author’s first published novel. I don’t say that any more. It is so hard to break into print at the biggest publishing houses (like Love Inspired –whose books can be found in nearly every Wal-Mart) that often an author’s best book is her first book.  “Season of Joy” is such a book. I expect it to win many distinguished awards during the next year. It has already been nominated for RT’s  2012 Best First Series Romance. That's a great start.
 Future Award Winner!
“Season of Joy” is a strong contender for any writing award because it has the impact of mainstream realism. That is, it deliberately transcends the customary romance genre conventions.
“Season of Joy” is the type of romance that highly literate romance fans (often English professors) select to show their friends who read only 'so-called' literary quality works.  Many critics love books like “Season of Joy” because such books are so demonstrably excellent. It is not hard to spot such a romance. “Winter’s End” by Ruth Logan Herne and “Autumn Rains” by Myra Johnson were immediately identifiable as very realistic works that would go on to garner their share of laurels.
“Season of Joy” is an inspirational romance. It is about changing one’s life for the spiritually better. It is also about taking chances. The heroine, Calista, takes the biggest chance. She volunteers to work at a homeless mission. No job is too lowly for her to do. This is a big deal because she is a success-driven CEO of a growing company she pioneered. Her single-minded pursuit of success has left her without any real friends and a cat who hates her.
The hero, Grant, has his life in a holding pattern. He needs to change his life but he just carries on letting his devotion to his job, as director of the homeless mission, keep him from thinking about having a real life with a wife and family. He has a strong hostility towards his father. He did not choose to change his life as Calista did. Grant has change thrust upon him.
The character of the hero and heroine plus the quality of the writing can best be shown by the following quotes.  ('He' is the hero, Grant and 'she' is the heroine, Calista. )
“She wasn’t the CEO here, {at the mission} she was just a woman who had lost her place in the world.”
“A huge smile creased his face and Calista’s mouth fell open at the transformation. He was a good looking man, but add in a dash of pure joy and he was breathtaking. She tore her gaze away and met Lana’s laughing eyes behind the desk. Of course, the secretary would think it was hilarious how women fell all over themselves in his presence.”
“He seems really good with the kids. Does he have any of his own? She suddenly wished she could snatch the words back out of the air, especially since it was followed by a snort from Lissa.”
“Calista felt her hear sink. Then again, she wasn’t here to get a boyfriend or find true love. She was here because her life had become a self-centered whirlpool of ambition, with her swirling around at the bottom like a piece of driftwood.”
“Is there a kid version of catnip? If there is, you must be stuffing your pockets with it.”
          “Nope, I just listen to them. It’s funny how many people forget that kids need someone to hear them,” he said, his words serious, but a grin spread over his features.”
“But there was only so far you could run from yourself. Then it was all about facing your fears and being bigger than your past.”
“Every time a friend tells me that I’d be great with someone, I know it’s doomed.”
“Now, if she could just get everyone else to give her a second chance at being a decent human being, then she’d be all set.”
“You’re not a terrible human being. You’re just not very approachable. Or sympathetic. Or caring about anybody’s personal life. Or..”
          “All right! I got it.”
“And she is not one to believe a lie. But when the heart first loves, it only sees perfection. With time, the love remains but the heart knows the truth – no one is perfect. Only God. That is what I mean.”
“A strange sensation had crept over him while she spoke. It was a mix of yearning and dread, of excitement and fear. He felt as if he were standing on the edge of a cliff.”
“She was done investing time and effort into projects that didn’t make her happy. The mission made her feel useful, and she’d made friend there.”
“But nothing would be able to get past the fact that she believed in the power of the almighty buck and he didn’t.”
 ***   ***
There are so many good quotes in “Season of Joy” that it is a joy simply to see what the author is going to write next. None of these quotes give away the plot. Much of the writing is rewarding in itself. There are psychological insights as well as playful descriptions of falling in love which so thrill fans of romance.
“Season of Joy” is a wonderful book that is sure to go on to win much praise and success. Its strongest point, its mainstream realism, (the author endlessly researched homeless shelters all over the country) also provides its only weakness -- and that only as an inspirational romance. As in real life, the ending comes with many unresolved issues. The major inspirational challenge may actually be in a worse situation than when the story began. (At least in regards to one of the main characters.)
Yes, readers will enjoy their HEA (happy ending) but it does come with an asterisk. Yet, I can’t imagine any genuine inspirational romance fan not loving this book, “Season of Joy”.
I hope there are many more seasons of joy to come from this very talented debut author.

Enjoy Romantic Happiness with a Realistic Flair!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

Three authors and two fans.

“The whole idea of a book cover is to help you judge the book before you buy it.”
Vince Mooney

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


“A cliché is like a promising young actor who is so unique that he eventually becomes a   caricature of himself.”    Vince Mooney


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Now More Than Ever: A Great Book on "How to Help a Grieving Friend"


I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from reading this book or who wouldn’t enjoy reading it.

Stephanie Grace Whitson
Format: Kindle Edition & Print
Publisher: Greenbrier Book Company (April 9, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, $3.99
Paperback $8.99

Wisdom inside a great love story…

I loved this book. I don’t know anyone who needs this book more than I do. In one way, I am fearless; I have no problem giving a speech to thousands of people. Yet, the prospect of talking to one grieving widow or widower can render me speechless and keep me awake at night. I don’t know what to say but I do know, all too well, what I don't want anyone to tell me:

Don't tell me that my loved one is in a better place. (Her best place is here besides me.)

Don't tell me that this is all according to God’s plan. (I'm not exactly happy with God at the moment.)

Don’t tell me that you know how I feel. (You'd have to be me to know how I feel and you're not me.)

While I know what I would not want to hear, I don’t know what to say or what to do to help a greiving person. Death is kept hidden in our society. It’s all so sanitary. Death is so behind the scenes. We are not practiced in death and dealing with the grieving. Some may think they know what they are doing but their lack of genuine knowledge often makes them capable of causing great pain with their well meaning clichés. If only they knew. If only they had read "How to Help a Greiving Friend".

What should we do and what should we say to the grieving?

Why hasn't someone, who is wise and knows what they are talking about, written a book to tell the rest of us?

Someone has. The book is here now. The book is, “How to Help a Grieving Friend”.

While this book is about grieving, it is also a great love story. Read about the author:

“In 1996, Stephanie lost her best friend to cancer three days after her own husband was diagnosed with an incurable form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (he subsequently died in 2001). Later that same year, her mother and father died within six weeks of each other. Thus, 1996 marked the beginnings of the grief journey that has resulted in “How to Help a Grieving Friend.”
Everyone Grieves differently.
How can one book tell us what to do?

I can say that in reading “How to Help a Grieving Friend” I found nothing that I disagreed with and many things I wish I had known before now. I can think of only two other non-fiction books which impacted me with such emotional power: “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “Man's Search for Meaning”.

“How to Help a Grieving Friend” didn’t trickle down from selected holy book passages. It’s not derived from anyone’s favorite pop psychologist. No, “How to Help a Grieving Friend,” sprang from the soil of suffering. Its price was high but its rewards are many and they run deep.

The only way to really show this is to provide a few quotes expressing the authors sentiments. If you agree with these quotes, this book is for you. I can’t imagine there being a better book on this topic.

I am making my way in a world where my primary connection to reality is gone. Don’t tell me I should ‘get over it” and ‘move on.’ As soon as I’m ready, I will. But your timetable is irrelevant to my reality.

Don’t speculate about the unknowable.
If your faith teaches that the dead don’t see us and don’t care about life on earth “in light of eternity,” keep it to yourself. Saying that is the same thing as saying he or she doesn’t love me anymore.

Leave the self-help books at home. Unless you can say, “This helped me when my ____ died,” just don’t say it.

Delete comfort clichés. I know every cloud has a sliver lining. Remind me another time. Hurt with me now.

Tell Me I’m Okay
Grief makes people a little crazy. Remind me that I shouldn’t be expected to behave ‘like my old’ self.’ It’s good to know I’m not going crazy – at least not permanently.

Accept My New Quirks.
If I’m reluctant, don’t push it. Grief changes people – permanently. I may never be ‘my old self’ again. But I just might be a better self if you’ll give me some time.

Don’t say, “You need to make new memories”
Right now, I need to remember the old ones.

Accept No for an answer.
It’s exhausting pretending to be happy in a group so I don’t depress everyone around me. If I say no, it doesn’t mean I don’t want your friendship. It just means I’m too tired to hang out right now.

Accept My Tears
Don’t’ be embarrassed when I cry. Tears are healing. They must be shed. Crying alone hurts worse.
What I’ve quoted above is only a tiny part of the wisdom in this book. Each chapter is divided into two parts: How it Feels and How to Help. There are twenty-five short chapters.

“How to Help a Grieving Friend” is the real thing. It’s a book that has been long needed. I can’t imagine an author better positioned to write this book. The author tells us it was painful to write. It took a very long time to complete. It is the product of much suffering tempered by a wisdom that transcends all the clichés that many of us never believed anyway. “How to Help a Grieving Friend” gives us a compass we can believe in.

I truly believe that when word gets out, “How to Help a Grieving Friend” will sell a million copies. Read it for yourself, then help spread the word. Rarely have I read a book that was more needed than this one.

I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from reading this book or who wouldn’t enjoy reading it.

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

 “Clichés are like the fields of clover that revitalize the very tired earth from which they grew. Clichés bring the common words back to life stronger than ever.”  

Vince Mooney

Friday, December 14, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


"A cliché is like a beautiful woman who always wears the exact same clothes."

Vince Mooney

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


“Passion is the amperage of love.”

Vince Mooney

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Clichés begin life as sparkling ‘turns of phrase’ and end life as Swiss Army knives.”

Vince Mooney

Philosophy Quote

“Philosophy can teach you how to endure anything – even philosophy itself.”    Vince Mooney

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


Cliché words offend the ears while cliché actions offend the soul.
(Someone please have the heroine bite the finger of the next hero who tries to place a strand of her hair back behind her ear!)

Vince Mooney

Monday, December 10, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


“Great literature asks questions the answer to even the author doesn’t know. It is a voyage of discover as much for the author as it is for the characters and the reader.”
Vince Mooney

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“There are as many ways of reading as there are writing. This makes mismatches quite common.”
Vince Mooney

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


“In much of the world’s great literature the narrator plays an essential part. Trying to hide the narrator is like removing one dimension from reality. It flattens everything out. It’s like filming a movie in black and white today.”
Vince Mooney

Friday, December 7, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


“Lot’s of advice about making characters come alive is really about making characters unique. There is a difference. There are a lot of dead unique people.’
Vince Mooney

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


“I don’t like the idea of layering. That makes it seem like one layer is on top of another and that it covers it up. I like interspersing where new ideas are inserted side by side with the narrative that is already there.”

Vince Mooney

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


“If you can’t judge a given book by its cover, then that cover stands in need of judgment.”

Vince Mooney

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


“First start with living characters. Then have them act in a fully human, fully alive, fashion. Your problem won’t be having your characters come alive; it will be keeping them on the page.

Vince Mooney

Monday, December 3, 2012

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“If you judge a book by its cover, you’ll usually be right.” 
Vince Mooney

Friday, November 30, 2012

Enjoy a 5-Star ‘Joy of Christmas’ Story with the Most Heartwarming Characters You’ll Meet this Season!


Author’s Unique Treatment of Conflict Makes His Mistletoe Family” a Nail Biting Joy to Read!

“His Mistletoe Family”
Love Inspired
Print or Kindle
Romance fans and other writers will love it! This is the kind of story that was made for Christmas. The major characters in the book are the most sympathetic and deserving of happiness as any you’re likely to find outside of the Christmas Carol.
A good indication of why, “HisMistletoe Family,” has such endearing characters can be found in the author’s “Dear Reader” letter at the very back of the book. I think it helps if the reader reads this message first:
Dear Reader:
On Memorial Day in 2010 I stood alongside a tall, strong forty-something soldier. I didn’t know him. He didn’t know me. He watched that small home-town parade with grave intent. On the back side of his military cap were tiny yellow ribbons, marking two memories in a quiet, private way.
“I knew I had to write a story about him. Whoever he was. That stoic soldier became the basis for Colonel Brett Stanton, retired, U.S. Army. And those two ribbons became symbols for Ben and Josiah. Most of us are honored when others emulate us, but when that example leads loved ones to an early grave, the resulting guilt weighs heavy, especially at holiday time.”
With this kind of genesis one can understand how the feelings in this book are so genuine and heartfelt. The characters are rich enough for the author to employ a unique approach to the novel’s conflict. Normally in a romance the conflict stands between the hero and heroine. The reader wonders how these two could ever overcome the obstacles that are keeping them apart. Often even more obstacles are thrown into the mix as the story progresses. This makes the resolution of the conflict itself the central focus of the story. This is not the case in “His Mistletoe Family”.
 The Hero
The hero, Colonel Brett Stanton, has become almost a recluse since he retired from the Army. Few people even see him in town. His son and younger brother both entered the Army to emulate his example. They died because of it. He may have a case of survivor’s guilt. He was not a good father. He was always gone. He’s a good and noble man. He served his country well and he paid a very high price for his service. When the heroine comes to town with two young nephews she just inherited, he immediately comes to her rescue time and time. He would like nothing better than to have a second chance to be the husband and father he should have been the first time around.
 The Heroine
The heroine, Haley Jennings, is almost thirty. She’s single and has had a horrible childhood with a father who abandoned the family to start another family.  She is also over-worked trying to start a new business. Against her selfish mother’s advice, Haley accepts the guardianship of her half-brother’s two sons who are three and five years old.  She has no idea how to be a mother or what a happy family would look like. When the hero offers to help her in many ways she reluctantly agrees because she needs that help.
 Apparent Conflicts
The apparent conflict here is that the hero may be seen as too old for the heroine and the heroine may seem to have too much baggage with two children she must raise. But this isn’t a real conflict because the heroine would love to have a strong, older, father figure as a husband and father for her nephews. The hero views the two children as God’s way of giving him a second chance to be a good father.
Soulmates? Perhaps. 
The hero and heroine start the story as ideal solutions to each other's problems. Brett is the key to Haley’s lock. They are a perfect match. While they just met as the story opens, there is no doubt that given a decent interval of time they will fall in love and marry. But there is always doubt in life.
Wait Until Next Year!
It’s like being a Yankee fan and the Yanks are in the seventh game of the World Series and they score eight runs in the first inning. This is not a tie game that could go either way. No, this game is now a Yankee ‘win’. It’s their game to lose -- if they blow it. If you love the Yankees, this kind of game can be the most nerve wracking kind. As a fan you know that every hit by the other side could spell disaster…could mean the floodgates are about to open. The Yankees could lose the game and the World Series. As a fan watching such a game you are afraid of losing what you already consider yours: a victory. This can cause more stress than watching a tie game which neither side ever considered won.
The Importance of Sympathetic Characters
To successfully employ this unique type of conflict the author must create absolutely sympathetic characters the reader will love and root for. Since the central focus is not on overcoming existing conflicts, the author has the time to create the most genuine and endearing characters. This is what Ruth Logan Herne managers.
 When It's Not A Close Game
Consider why this is so important. If you loved the Yankees in the above example, the game would be a real nail biter. You’d worry about every hit and wish the game would end soon before things could go wrong. But what if you did not favor either team? Let's say you liked another team not in the World Series. You might very well find a lopsided game not worth watching while a tie game going into the last inning could hold your attention. This is the same with the novel. If you didn’t really care a lot about the characters you would miss the traditional conflict which captures the typical romance fan’s interest.
A Greater Risk. A Greater Reward.
What I am saying is that the author has taken a huge risk using this type of conflict. It worked! It’s great. It’s highly emotional. It’s exceptionally satisfying. The last time I felt this good after reading a Christmas story was when I first read the “Christmas Carol”.
“A Mistletoe Family” Is The One Christmas Romance You Don’t Want to Miss Reading this Season.