Saturday, January 31, 2009

Always Check Your Child's Homework

(This is what was turned in. )

(Here's the reply the teacher received the following day)

Dear Mrs. Jones,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer.

I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.

From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.


Mrs. Smith

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Mooney Marketing Tip - Coffee Mugs

I love my coffee. As a result, I get a LOT of mugs for Christmas, birthday, Valentine's Day... you name the occasion, and I'll get at least one new mug out of it. That's all fine and good, but I have a limited amount of cabinet space for all my mugs. And although I do appreciate the gift, sometimes I have to let some go.

So here's what I do:

Take a coffee mug and fill it with all sorts of items. Pencils, pens (especially ones with your logo), colorful paper clips, notepads, etc. make a good display. Or fill one with a beanie baby, balloons, a few pieces of candy, and voila! Your local dollar store or Hobby Lobby/Michaels has that cellophane wrap that you can wrap it in, attach a bow, and there ya go!

So the next time you have a book signing, give away a few (if my signing is for 2 hours, I give away a mug every half-hour or hour, depending on how many mugs I have.) Must be present to win. :)

Calvin and the Snowmen - Take Fourteen and Fifteen!

And now for the last two of this series!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ooops. Later.

Castle's Keep was supposed to be released today, but for some reason it wasn't. I will let everyone know when it does get the okay.

Thank you for your patience! :D

Edited to add that I received word from my publisher. Seems there was a slight goof-up on the release schedule. But I'm on the Coming Soon list! :D

NEW! CASTLE'S KEEP, an erotic fantasy romance novella

Castle's Keep
an erotic fantasy romance novella
Now Available from Red Rose Publishing!

He was a man angry at an accident which left him forever incapacitated.
She was a woman disfigured and empty.
Add one immense painting imbued with a magical ability,

and the resulting enchantment changed more than just their lives.
It changed their world.

Read an excerpt here.

From My Kindergarten Dictionary


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

HeartCrystal is Now Available in Print!

HeartCrystal, the sequel to HeartFast, is now out in print!

You can get your copy at the Whiskey Creek Press Torrid website, or you can get a personally autographed copy from me! Just go to my website and use the secured site order form.

Calvin and the Snowmen - Take Twelve and Thirteen!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dear Linda: Regarding What Makes a Best Seller

Dear Linda,

I noticed the new sign on your My Space. I was wondering how your books become best sellers, and how do they get the number one ranking? Please don't get me wrong. I think you deserve it. Does your publisher make the decision, or did you?

Dear Reader,

Designating a book to be a Number One Best Seller is done differently at every publisher. Some publishers have a Top Ten list on the main page of their website, and many authors who see their books sitting on that list will put the Best Seller status in their signature lines. Or if they see their book sitting on that Top Ten list on Fictionwise, they will give themselves the designation.

At Whiskey Creek Press, both mainstream and torrid line, there is a Top Ten list on the main page. That's not the one to watch. :) Look for their Best Seller list at the top, right underneath the header.

Every month, every book sold is tabulated, including sales from the main website, Fictionwise, ARe, and all other third party sellers including Amazon. The book that sold the most copies for that month is designated the Number One Best Seller. A congratulatory letter is sent to the author by the publisher, in this case by the Womacks, who own WCP. There are ten books counted altogether in the Top Ten List for the month.

As of today, my first five books I released with WCPT all were given the Number One Best Seller designation by the publisher. And according to the Womacks, I am the first WCPT author to have Five Consecutive Number One Best Sellers.

Thank you for your query!

Calvin and the Snowmen - Take Nine!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fictionwise is having a 60% Off Rebate Sale!

Now's your chance! If you've been reluctant to buy that book you've been eyeing, it won't get any cheaper than this! Use your credit card, and you'll be issued 60% of your purchase in rebates - so you can save up and buy more books at a later date!

But you better hurry! This rebate sale could end at any time!

Great Truths About Being a Parent

1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep.

2. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3. A 3-year old boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room.

5. You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

6. The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words 'uh oh', it's already too late.

8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9. A six-year old boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36- year old Man says they can only do it in the movies.

10. Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old boy.

11. Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12. Super glue is forever.

13. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

14. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

15. VCRs do not eject 'PB & J' sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

18. You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.

19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.

20. The fire department in Austin, TX has a 5-minute response time.

21. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22. It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

24. 80% of Women will pass this on to almost all of their friends, with or without kids.

25. 80% of Men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

From My Kindergarten Dictionary


"Dat teacher dat comes in and yells at you when Mrs. Mooney can't come to school."

Monday, January 19, 2009

How to Stop Piddling, Part Two

Yesterday I spoke about piddling, which is wasting valuable writing time doing absolutely nothing worthwhile. I gave a few examples of things I do while AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD. Today I want to mention a few things I do ON THE KEYBOARD that 1. can't be considered time wasters because they need to be done, and 2. give me enough of a break so I can go back and work on my book again with a refreshed perspective.

* work on your webpage (If you don't do your own site, peruse your own to see if there are any mistakes or improvements/additions you could make.)
* check ARe and Fictionwise to see what's hot - it might spark an idea for a new book!
* pull out another WIP, PRINT IT OUT, and begin editing it (I don't know why, but for some reason having the printed sheet in my hand gives me a whole new slant on the book, and I can see problem areas/mistakes that I never caught while editing directly off the monitor.)
* sites like MySpace and RomanceWiki are worth the time and effort to open and keep current (I've gotten many hits on my website from those places. Did they result in sales? I can't say for certain, but the hits alone are reason enough to keep them open. And they're FREE!)

Calvin and the Snowmen - Take Seven!

(Click on picture for larger version.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How to Stop Piddling

Every so often I get an email from a reader who's just discovered I teach full time, which means my writing is relegated to evenings and holidays. Seeing what I have out, what's soon to come out, and what's in the works, at some point I get asked, "How are you able to write so much?"

Well, my momma had a word for it. Piddling. It's that time you waste sitting at the desk, staring at the computer monitor, and wondering where to take your story. Many author friends I know tend to go to their email loops. Some blog. Others get on the phone and call up their author friends or family. But most stay online and on the internet looking for something to catch their eye.

Bottom line, it's wasted time.

When I get to those moments where I need to write myself out of corner, or find a bridge from one plot dilemma to the next, I do one of the following. In short, I GET AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD. Take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, and I can come back refreshed, or with a new idea in mind.
These are a few of my solutions, remember. They might not work for you, but you never know. And it's amazing what gets accomplished in the meantime!

* bag up 5 things from my closet or drawers I no longer can wear, and pop in the trunk to take to Goodwill
* check the calendar - is there someone you need to send a card to?
* empty or reload the dishwasher (add wash the dishes, too)
* put a load in the washer/dryer (add fold a load)
* take out the trash
* start to straighten/clean a room (done in stages, it works!)
* pay a bill
* make a grocery list/to do list
* let the dog out (or give it a bath)
* read the newspaper

Later I'll give a list of things I do WHILE ON THE COMPUTER that doesn't waste my time.

Why I Love Kids...Still Yet Again!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Six Things That Make Me Happy

Celia Yeary, fellow Texas ARF author, has tagged me to list 6 things that make me happy.

Okay. In no particular order:

1. my husband - we've been through hell and back, and I love him all the more for it.

2. getting good news from my publisher about my books

3. my grandson Branson (see pic above)

4. WRITING - I am SO looking forward to retiring from teaching so I can do this Full Time! Yay!

5. doing odd little things for people, and watching their reaction

6. finally getting a new bathroom with a soaker tub!

Rules: Link to the person who tagged you (I was tagged by Celia Yeary at Authors and Books -
Write down six things that make you happy.
Post these rules.
Tag six others (optional).
Notify me when you've posted, and link back to each other.

For All the Mothers Who Can Relate

An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him, "How do you expect to get into Heaven?"

The boy thought it over and said, "Well, I'll run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, 'For Heaven's sake, Dylan, come in or stay out!"

Friday, January 16, 2009

First Review for HEARTCRYSTAL!

After a near death experience with the Ombitra, married Guardians StarLight and Master Hunter set out on their honeymoon. Where do they go but Hunter’s home planet of Abernath. Why? Because Star needs the energy from Abernath’s sun to complete her healing and with Hunter’s family visiting Guardian Command, the newlyweds get some bonding time.

Of course things don’t go quite the way Hunter planned and outside life does its best to interfere. Hunter’s family eventually returns home putting an end to the "honeymoon."

While on a shopping expedition with Hunter’s mother, Star learns about the HeartCrystal. What she learns sends Star and Hunter on a quest to find their own HeartCrystal.

Linda Mooney has done a top notch job of world building. She has created this wonderful world of superheroes who are not cut from the usual cookie cutter mold. In spite of their careers, the Guardians come across just like regular people. They have the same trials and tribulations that we do. They just have special powers and abilities that help them triumph, usually. In some instances that can make the situation worse though.

Starting just after HeartFast ends, HeartCrystal gives us a couple who has made the ultimate sacrifice and now has to rebuild not just their personal life but their work relationships too. We are given a more intimate look into Hunter’s family and the inner workings of the Guardians. Throw in the start of a possible secondary romance, a little time travel and a history lesson on what may have led up to the HandFast coming into existence and you get a story that will make you laugh a little but mostly it will twist your heartstrings to pieces. You may want to keep a box of Kleenex nearby while reading this one.

Reviewed by Diane Mason
The Romance Studio

Calvin and the Snowmen - Take Six!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Petition for Changes for RWA

In light of the recent disqualifications by RWA (Romance Writers of America) regarding books not being "mass-produced" yet eligible in every other way to be entered into the Golden Heart and Rita respectively, a petition has been created to bring the member, non-member, and previous membership opinion to the front.

Read the petition as a couple of different points are being confronted. If you agree, whether you are a member or not, please sign and forward this to your author friends.

Change only comes when we speak up for it, even if it doesn't affect you, your voice counts.

From My Kindergarten Dictionary

chicken pops

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Romance Studio Loved HEARTFAST

Guardians. A group of men and women with special powers and abilities. Their job is to protect the people of their world.

Because of a disastrous event in the past that resulted in sterilizing much of the past and present population, the governing body created the HandFast lottery. They have certain specifications they use to pick the couples and the ultimate result is for each woman to produce a child.

Because of the danger involved in their daily missions, the Guardians have been exempted from the HandFast. Not this year. Word is out that at least one of the Guardians is going to be named.

Surprise! Two of them are to be HandFasted to each other. Imagine the shock when StarLight aka Terrin DiLyric and Master Hunter aka Udo Vosstien find out they are one of the couples to be HandFasted.

Linda Mooney has created this fantastic world where superheroes are more than someone hiding their identity so they can go out and save the world. The Guardians are portrayed as being like regular people except they have special powers and abilities.

Star and Hunter are one of the best couples I've met this year. Star is a young woman from another planet who has not had the best of lives. Made to feel like a misfit because of her powers, she leaves her home world and eventually joins up with the Guardians. Still, she finds it hard to let any of her new teammates see her 'real' self.

Hunter grew up in a different world. He has two parents and one brother. He basically had as normal a childhood as a person possibly could have.

I loved watching these two come together and try to build a life together while still doing their jobs as Guardians. Hunter is so gentle yet firm with Star that it brought tears to my eyes.

Still, the main question is who entered Star & Hunter in the lottery in the first place and why? The answer may surprise you.

Reviewer: Diane Mason
January 12, 2009

Why I Love Kids...Yet Again

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Small Beef

Nothing can put me in a sour mood as quickly as coupons. More specifically, coupons that are attached to an item, giving you an additional $.50 to $1.00 or more off automatically at the register.

These would all be fine and good if the cashier actually took them off!

Okay, some of you may say, "Well, Linda, it's your responsibility to peel off the coupon, and then hand it over to the cashier when she's ringing you up."

- or -

"You need to point out the coupon to the cashier so she can take it off and deduct it."

I'm sorry, but I'm old. I forget sometimes to give the cashier the coupons. There have been days I get home and find the coupons still in my pants pocket where I'd stuffed them so they wouldn't get lost. More often than not, I find the coupon still attached to the item when I'm putting away the groceries.

Yes, I know that compared to world peace and global warming, this is an insignificant matter. But to me, it's just... irritating.

Calvin and the Snowmen - Take Five!

(Click on image for larger version.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hooked On Phonics

My five-year old students are learning to read. Friday one of them pointed at a picture in a zoo book and said, "Look at this! It's a frickin' elephant!"

I took a deep breath, then asked..."What did you call it?"

"It's a frickin' elephant! It says so on the picture!"

And so it does... " A f r i c a n Elephant "

Hooked on phonics! Ain't it wonderful?

Friday, January 9, 2009

My New Bathroom - BEFORE

Santa is bringing me a new bathroom, and the work began today.

What you're looking at is the MASTER BATHROOM. Yep. That's it. All of it. That's what I've been putting up with ever since Jim and I bought this house in '89. Notice that the SINGLE sink is IN THE BEDROOM. Just the tub/shower and toilet are in the "bathroom". Also note that the toilet is such that, if you're sitting on it, YOU CANNOT SHUT THE DOOR. There's no room. Your knees are in the way. (You should have heard the contractor's remark when he saw it!) In addition, if you are lying in the tub, trying to get a good soak, you can rest your elbows on the toilet lid.

On the other side of the mirror is the second bathroom, which is twice the size of the master bath. It currently has two sinks, a tub/shower, and enough room to house two small dogs when company is over. :)

The contractor is going to remove both sinks, and make it a single vanity. The toilet is being moved "over", and the tub/shower becoming a single four-foot walk-in shower. In the Master Bath, the tub/shower will be replaced with a six-foot depth tub (no, no whirlpool or jacuzzi 'cause you can't use bath salts or bubblies in them), and the toilet moved far back so that the door no longer interferes. ;)

This project is expected to take 3 weeks.

Stay tuned! :D

Why I Love Kids...Again

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Duplicate Covers - Not Wise IMHO

There has been a lot of talk about the same basic photo being used, reused, and over-used on book covers. Considering the fact that there are a LOT of romance novels coming out now in e-books, it’s bound to happen. I can especially understand if I’m thinking I’m seeing a book I’ve already bought (being a visual learner, this sort of thing catches my eye), only to find out it’s a different story from a different author and a different publisher.

What I don’t quite gander are these "theme" books where every author basically gets the same photo and cover. Even the font is duplicated. The only difference is the title and author. For me, when I’m flipping through Fictionwise, the covers are the first thing I notice. If I see a photo that jogs my memory, my senior-aged brain says, "Got it. Read it.", and I go on. But when I see two, three, four, or more covers that look exactly the same, then I’m in a quandary.

As an author, I pride myself on having covers that look a bit different from other covers. I like my covers to be as unique (different, strange, odd, unusual - pick your adjective :) as my stories. It takes a skilled cover artist to take a shot already rendered countless times and fuse it into a fresh idea. But I understand publishers have a bottom line, and those iStock photos, or wherever they’re gotten from, cost money. So duplication is to be expected.

But, shoot fire, couldn’t there be something done to make each cover a little different from the one before and after it?

Calvin and the Snowmen - Take Three!

As always, if you click on the picture,
you'll get a bigger version that's easier to read. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sand Castle is Now at Fictionwise, and 15% Off!

Sand Castle

A sweet contemporary romance
by Linda Mooney

Is Now Available at Fictionwise and 15% Off!


Second chances, are they possible? Terrie Myers never believed life would give her a second chance at anything. Little did she understand the draw of a little girl with dreams of a knight in shining armor. Or the magic of hope that would turn those dreams into reality. Can the magic of Christmas make dreams come true?

Excerpt: (Rated G)

She had finished washing the few dishes she’d used for supper when there was a knock on the door. Terrie’s eyes immediately went to the clock radio sitting on the table. It was a little past seven. Who on earth could be—
Madge. Maybe it was Madge.
Point Maddin had very little if any crime. Mostly petty thefts, graffiti spray painted on fences, and a few slashed tires. But after living in Tulsa as long as she had, Terrie had qualms about leaving her home unlocked, or opening her door without knowing first who was on the other side.
"Who is it?"
"Uhh, Paul Leeds. Are you the lady who played with Molly on the beach today?"
Well, what do you know! The girl did name the knight after her daddy!
"Hold on!" she quickly unlocked the door. She opened it, and literally gasped to see the man standing on the other side.
In the porch light she could see he was tall and broad-shouldered. Dark reddish-brown hair, maybe chestnut. And the most gorgeous blue eyes she’d ever seen on a human being. Vaguely, she wondered if he wore colored contacts.
"Uhh. Yeah. What’s wrong? Is something the matter?"
"Oh, no! Nothing’s wrong. In fact, Connie told me about you taking the time to play with her. No, uhh..." He held out the net beach bag Terrie had left behind. "Molly said this was yours."
"Thank you." It was difficult to breathe. It was like his presence was sucking all the oxygen out of the place. She reached out to take the bag, and her whole body trembled.
Good Lord, what’s wrong with me?
"I also wanted to thank you...Terrie, right?" He smiled, and Terrie swore she could feel herself beginning to puddle all over the plank flooring.
Why don’t you ask him inside? a little voice whispered inside her head.
Are you nuts? He’s a married man!
"Yes. I’m sorry. Terrie Myers." She held out her hand. The moment she did, she knew she was done for.
Sure enough, when his warm fingers closed over hers, Terrie had to clutch the door just to keep herself on her feet. She was amazed she still was able to speak coherently.
"Terrie. Well, thank you for being such a good neighbor."
"Yeah. Connie told me you were from Tempe." A little giggle escaped her. "Quite a contrast between here and there."
He laughed softly. So softly she wished she could press her cheek to his chest and listen to it echo. "I don’t think you could get much more of a contrast than between those two places. Are you a permanent resident here, Miss Myers?"
For a moment there Terrie got the distinct impression that the man wanted to be asked in. But that wouldn’t be kosher.
"Umm, pretty much so. Now. My family’s owned this place for several decades. I’ve just recently moved back myself...on a permanent basis." She managed a smile and hoped he wouldn’t notice how nervous she was.
Or maybe he did. At least he realized she wasn’t going to invite him inside.
"Well, I need to be getting back to the house. Thank you again, Miss Myers. Next time you come by, you’re welcome to join us for hot chocolate. Or some spiced cider, being the season and all."
"Thank you. That sounds nice."
He made a half-hearted gesture, like a wave, and left the porch. Terrie stepped outside where she saw him get into a small sports car before driving away. Going back inside her bungalow, she wondered how the Leeds managed to find their way to Point Maddin, population two hundred and fifty-eight, when most of the out-of-towners were down during the summer months.
More than that, Terrie wondered how she was going to keep from dreaming tonight about the good-looking Mr. Paul Leeds without feeling any sort of guilt.

Great Truths That Little Children Have Learned


1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.

2) When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair.

3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.

4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.

5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food.

6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.

7) Never hold a dust-buster and a cat at the same time.

8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.

9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.

10) The best place to be when you're sad is Grandpa's lap.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Calvin and the Snowmen - Take Two!

Runner's Moon MEGABOOK is Now Available!

If you have been putting off reading my RUNNER'S MOON series, now is your chance to get the first three books -- Jebaral, Tiron, and Simolif -- in one complete e-book edition!

Click here for details!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Why I Love Kids

My New Year's Resolution

Yes, I know I'm a bit late, but KEEPING this resolution won't begin until Monday when I go back to school.

I don't make a whole list of things I need to do. For one thing, I'm getting to the age where, if I don't write it down, I forget it. And even if I DO write it down, I forget where I put the list. *sigh*

Anyway, here's my New Year's Resolution:

Less Stress

Now, now. I can hear you laughing all the way down here in Podunk, Texas. Go ahead, but here's the thing. I have high blood pressure, and I've already survived one small stroke (in 2000). I'm on blood pressure med, but that doesn't mean my job isn't going to be less easy to deal with.

I love my babies that I teach (as of today, that's 19, with no assistant). But sometimes Administration and all the lah-dee-dah that comes down from the Crystal Palace gets to be a bit too much. And that's not mentioning some "other factors" which are best not singled out here.

I am 1 1/2 years away from Retirement. I'm also at the point where I am going to pick and choose my battles. If someone is having a tirade, let 'em. I'm walking away. If some diva administrator who has never taught, or has never taught Kindergarten, tries to tell me how to teach, I'll bobblehead them, then go do it the way that works best for my kids. (By the way, my two principals are WONDERFUL to work with!)

I refuse to "let them get to me". I will not be someone's doormat. And I will not let someone denegrade me any longer. Just because I teach Kinder does NOT mean I'm the low man on the totem pole. (Just as teaching high school does NOT mean you're a better teacher.) Teachers choose which grade level best suits them and their style of teaching, just like doctors choose which field of medicine they would like to study. One is not "demoted" to elementary school, or "promoted" to secondary.

Whew. Got a bit windy there for a moment. Sorry. But there you have it, take it or leave it. :)

Oh, and by the way, there hasn't been "3 months off for the summer" since the 1970s (I began teaching in '76, in case you're wondering.) Education has changed in ways you can not imagine.

Now...let's see how long I can keep this resolution. :D