Happy Thanksgiving

Thank you all my friends and family for being a part of my life. God places each person in everyone’s life for a purpose, so it’s no accident our paths have crossed. I am so thankful for the blessings I’ve enjoyed, I could go on forever in listing them.
 
But I’ll only state the top five : )
 
Thank you, Lord for the blessing of my husband. Gary is a Godly man who makes this journey through life fun and exciting.
 
Thank you, Lord for my children. You have instilled in Kara a strong sense of right and wrong – and as always, it is up to her to determine which path to chose. She is a unique blend of ornery, sweet and mischievious, and life is never boring with her around. In Bud, you’ve infused a deep understanding of watch and wait. His desire to learn and then put that knowledge into action is a wonder to behold.
 
Thank you, Lord for the loving home you’ve carved out for us in the heart of Colorado. The memories created and those still to come are and will be cherished forever.
 
Thank you, Lord for the freedom our country has fought to attain and continues to protect with brave men and women in our armed forces. Bless their labors and protect them as you provide constant comfort and peace for the families who love and miss them.
 
And most of all, thank you, Lord for Your love for us. May we always strive to spread your holy Word throughout the world.
 
Bless all the authors and their stories – may our words spread Your Word.
 
Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Make Cover Art Work For You

Vince Mooney shares his years of marketing expertise in an insightful and provoking way. His examples shine light on issues authors face not only in cover art, but promoting their work.
 “Why Cover Art and Advertising Headlines Have The Same Missions” 
 
*The Three Missions of Headlines and Book Cover Art
* Finding Out Who Your Best Prospects Are
* Important Advertising Misconceptions Indie Publishers Need to Know
*The Importance of ‘Promise’ & ‘Benefits” in Cover Art
*Examples of Cover Art: the Hows and Whys of Doing it Right
Have questions on Cover Art? Get answers from the expert.
 
My Story, My Way
 
 
Join Vince at My Story, My Way today and find out how to make your book cover one of your most useful promotions.
 
Indie authors, take advantage of this opportunity to make your books stand out in a crowded market!
 
Vince Mooney has taught Philosophy, Advertising, Property Management, and many real estate subjects at the University, Community College, and Technical School level. Trained as a philosopher and history teacher, he has worked mostly in advertising, marketing, and real estate, and is currently writing a non-fiction book on the Romance genre.
Posted in Cover Art, My Story My Way, Vince Mooney | 1 Comment

Just a little romance

Join me in Seekerville today where my special guest, Melanie Dickerson, helps us understand the romance behind the romance. She’ll be giving away 3 copies of winners’ choice of her books.

Sophie has long wished to get away from her stepmother’s jealous anger, and begins planning her escape. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother. This could be her chance at freedom and happiness—but can she trust him?

Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: he is having feelings for the orphan girl, his brother’s betrothed. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother’s future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he vows he will keep her safe, no matter what.

The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson
Available December 2012 from Zondervan
 

Melanie Dickerson is a two-time Christy Award finalist, and her second YA novel, The Merchant’s Daughter, recently won the ACFW Carol Award. She is a graduate of The University Alabama and has taught special education at nearly every grade level, elementary to high school, and taught conversational English to college professors in Ukraine. She now lives near Huntsville, Alabama, with her husband and two daughters. Please visit her on her website, www.MelanieDickerson.comand friend her on facebook, https://www.facebook.com/melanie.dickerson.authorand “Like” her facebook author page, https://www.facebook.com/MelanieDickersonBooks. Follow her on Twitter as melanieauthor and she promises to follow you back!

Posted in melanie dickerson, Seekerville, The Fairest Beauty, YA | Comments Off on Just a little romance

A Victorian Halloween

“Vintage Images courtesy of FreeVintageImages.com“.

The Halloween tradition dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) 2,000 years ago. The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1, a day that marked the harvest and the beginning of the cold, dark winter months. They believed that on the night before the new year, the worlds of the living and the dead came together, and on the night of October 31, the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

The celebration of Halloween has withstood the test of time, conforming to the traditions and rituals of many eras, each adding their own unique touch to the spooky, scary,celebration. The Victorian age, teetering on the precept of ancient rituals and modern innovations, added a rich, imaginative flavor to the already frightful night.  

Harvest Festivals and Halloween were celebrated, especially in farming communities, giving families and friends a chance to celebrate their hard work and successes over the past months. Having survived a harsh and difficult growing season, communities gathered together to feast and share a bit of excitment in the telling of ghost stories.

Gothic tendencies ran deep during the Victorian era. The great novels such as Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” remain alive and well and open to recreation and interpretation even this many years later. Imagine the ambiance of sitting around a fire and telling ghost stories, the rustle of autumn leaves and twigs mixed with the occasional gust of chilling wind. Scary stuff compared to movies we watch on our televisions within the warmth and safety of our homes.

It is thought that trick or treating is an American tradition, but really, its roots tap into English tradition associated with All Souls’ Day and the parades that were held. The poor would beg for food and pastries during the parades. Folks would give them cakes referred to as “soul cakes” because in return for food, the people would ask the poor and needy to pray for the souls of relatives who had died. This practice became known as “going a-souling.” Eventually, it became a children’s tradition to go a-souling in the community for money, food or anything else the giver handed out to the poor.

Posted in All Souls' Day, Halloween, harvest, trick or treat | 2 Comments

Journey of Dreams

I’ve now announced to the world that I plan to launch my British Victorian Romance series, Lost Causes, as an Indie author. An Indie author. Wow, it feels spooky just saying those words. But, it’s the path I’ve chosen after consulting with my Almighty Advisor. Just knowing the peace that flowed over me when I nodded yes to the concept is worth all the uncertainty I know I’ll experience along the way.

Let me give you a little background on why writing this series of Inspirational Romance is so important to me.

As a lot of you know, my parents immigrated to the United States from Lithuania during WWII. Very disturbing time; very culturally impacting. My parents did not know each other as their families fled the Russian occupation by different routes that eventually led them to a Lithuanian community on the South side of Chicago. It isn’t so much the end of the journey that I concentrate on, it’s the adventure along the way.

Over the course of many, many years, my mother shared slips of stories of her escape from Lithuania. These were rugged and fearful times, and for months on end, she and her older sister had only their faith and the kindness of strangers along the way to lead them to new lives in America.

My mother, though timid and reticent in her older years, embraced a fierce will of survival that only desperation can bring. Can you imagine a pair of teenage girls literally running through the battle weary countries of Prussia, Poland, Germany, Belgium to make it to their goal destination of England?

They made it : )

Though much of their perilous journey was never shared with me, their joy of reaching England and subsequent months of adventures about the countryside before being shipped to America made for hours of reminiscent storytelling and filled me with a nostalgic spirit inspired by their courage.

My series, Lost Causes, is the product of those snippets of stories taking root in my fertile imagination. For decades, they’ve been mulched with curiosity and watered with dreams. My mother was labeled a “displaced person.” She hated the stigma. She thought no one cared for her. She had no home, no country, nowhere to belong, until the grace of God led her across the ocean to a community determined to rebuild their legacy in the land of possibility.

And so, I too, begin my journey, tucking away the courage and triumph of my ancestors deep in my heart as I explore the tumultuous lives of 3 gypsy cousins – Dominic, Tonja and Bela – fighting their way through Victorian England, overcoming their journey of torment, lies and degradation to reach their ultimate destination – peace and love found only within the arms of our Lord.

Funny thing about this book writing business, I’ve found most of the time you haven’t a clue where you’re going until the right plot, the right genre, the right moment all collide. I began writing Precious Possessions 15 years ago with the goal of selling great historical romance to a secular publisher. I’ve won awards from RWA (Romance Writers of America) contests along with ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) contest acclaim. After going through many generations of ideas and revisions spanning half a dozen computers, I’ve finally come to the conclusion the only course for Lost Causes includes a deep spiritual thread of everlasting salvation in Jesus Christ and a depth of emotion I only now recognize.

I hope this bit of insight entices you to join me on my journey. I’m revising and reinventing my fictional haven of Athay tucked within the Yorkshire countryside. I’m praying I understand and recognize every detail within the romantic novel to make it a fulfilling read for you and all who pick up my book. Check back soon and often. I cherish your friendship and welcome your prayers as I create a story worthy of it’s origins.

Posted in dreams, gypsy, historical romance, Inspirational Romance, Lithuania, Lost Causes, Precious Possessions, Victorian England, WWII | 4 Comments

Seekerville Winners!!

Last Saturday, I joined the fun in Seekerville where I asked the thought provoking question What Makes A Villain Tick? It was great seeing everyone and we had a terrific time comparing villainous traits. Seekerville is celebrating its 5th birthday and the entire month is devoted to our friends and followers who love and encourage us along the writing way. Kindles, Nooks, books, chocolates and more have already been gifted to commentors. There are still lots of prizes left including the month long prize of a laptop computer!
 
Don’t miss out. Join the celebration!
 
Congratulations to the winners of my preseaon Holiday Chocolate Bark:
 
Connie Queen and Helen Gray!
 
Nothing better than chocolate to make your day go great : )
 
See you in Seekerville!!
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Seekerville Birthday Bash!

I’m talking about Villains in Seekerville today. Come join the fun as we celebrate our 5th Birthday with fun prizes!!
 
 
 
 
Happy Birthday, Seekerville!
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Love Inspired Contest!!

If you or anyone you know is targeting Love Inspired, Seekerville has a Read Me
Contest going on right now. This one page entry contest is hosted by Associate
Editor Elizabeth Mazer.

No entry fee. No hassles. Just a straight shot at bypassing the slush pile.

The contest ends tonight at midnight.

You can read Elizabeth’s post here,

http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/2012/10/seekerville-welcomes-love-inspired.h\
tml

and enter the contest

http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/p/contest-rules.html

Seekerville has had many of our Villagers, sell and/or obtain agents thanks to
our contests. You could be next!

Posted in LIS Contest | Comments Off on Love Inspired Contest!!

Bad Habits

I’d like to start a series of posts that showcase habits I must break as I work through my rough draft and tighten my writing. I’ll keep these habits confined to those hindering my writing…I know the rest of my bad habits would only bore you to tears, LOL!

Bad Habit for today:

Announcing emotion.

I’m going through a scene and deleting a lot of words this evening. Words that make my word count look good, but do nothing but steal the glory of a really good line. I guess that’s why they call this a rough draft.

“Don’t kill me.” Tears brightened her eyes as she shrank away from him. “I don’t want to die.”

Dominic recoiled at her plea. Kill her? He’d never so much as threatened her. The notion she saw such violence in him turned him cold.

Obviously, this is the time to think through action/reaction, cause/effect, good/bad. It’s probably a good thing to get all my thoughts down on paper (or on the screen), but telling the emotion the character is experiencing is a big no-no.

Oh I know, it’s so easy to do. Most bad habits are. I have to make an effort to get under my character’s skin and show what they’re feeling, make the reader relate.

My reader must identify with my characters to feel their pain and joy, and everything in between.

“Don’t kill me.” Tears brightened her eyes as she shrank away from him. “I don’t want to die.”

Kill her? He’d never so much as threatened her. The notion she saw such violence in him turned him cold.

It’s a small fix…just a little thing. But the impact of any story is built on the little things, right?

What do you think of this bad habit? Is it yours??

Please share so we can all learn : )

Posted in Bad habits | 4 Comments

Rewards Per Page!

Oh my goodness! You don’t want to miss this!

In Seekerville today, Vince Mooney is talking about why it’s so important to reward your reader on every page of your novel. Vince does a great job of explaining his philosophy – which by the way is the name of his blog, Philosophy of Romance – and then follows up with awesome examples of Rewards Per Page in action.

Just to give you an idea of the substance of this post, Vince says:

I have over 1,200 eBooks on my Kindle. At least 95% of these books were free downloads. Many were selected only because I knew that they might be offered as free for just a day or two. Since I knew that at some point in the future I might want to read any of these books, I downloaded them when I had the opportunity. While I own these books, I have no investment in them. I probably will never read 90% or more of my Kindle books unless I encounter a good reason to read them beyond simply owning them. Such a good reason might come about if an author or a review makes the book seem like something I would really want to read. 

Isn’t that what we want? To invest the reader in our books? I mean really invest in our books…in us. I’m like Vince, I have tons of free downloads on my Kindle, but how many of those have I read, much less been so enthralled I’ve gone searching for more books by the author?

When I publish my series, I want to share the best of who I am with my readers. I want to say thank you to my reader on every page of my book — at least once on every page, if not multiple times.

Vince Mooney knows his stuff. Take a moment and drop in on his party in Seekerville. Read the post and leave a comment. You’ll be glad you did!!

Posted in Rewards Per Page, Seekerville, Vince Mooney | 2 Comments