Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Snippets By Connie Vines #Sunday Snipppets 06/27

Happy Sunday everyone!
This post is being sent via my iPad from the "Happiest Place on Earth"--Disneyland, Anaheim California.

Thank you for stopping by to this week's blog hop.

Today's snippets is taken from my Native American novel, "Whisper upon the Water".

Annual Report of the Department of Interior

Gathered from the cabin, wickiup and tipi, partly by threats, partly by bribery, partly by force, they are induced to leave their families, to enter these schools and take upon themselves the outward appearance of civilized life.

CLIMBING OUT of the wagon, I was herded, along with ten other girls, to stand in a line outside the White man's lodge. One of the first girls in the line was very young, and clutched the hand of her older sister. Judging from the long deerskin dresses with flared skirts and wide, long sleeves trimmed with fringe that they wore, I knew the two were Comanche. I eyed the bits of metal and beads sewn on the front of the older girl's dress and glanced down at her buckskin moccasins and wondered whose camp they had raided to gain these adornments.

Comanche. The hatred between our two tribes ran as deep as the gullies that cut through my people's lands.

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Thank you for stopping by for this week's blog hop.

FYI "Lynx" is on sale on Amazon beginning July 1st!  Check my website for additional info.

This week's participants, please stop by and see what is happening in their novels, too.

Connie (Vijaya Schartz)
(Ginger and Jamie will return next week)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Every Person has Good and Bad Traits By Connie Vines #RoundRobinBlog

Topic: Every person has good and bad traits; everyone does both good and bad things. And we certainly have plenty of examples emerging from our various media. There is a precipice each character stands on–one side is too good to be true, the other side to evil to exist. What makes a character too good to believe? How evil can a main character become before they are irredeemable?

I think we all have a picture in our mind of someone who was too good to be true. The person is a little too smooth, a little too charming, a little too perfect and that little voice in your head is telling you the person isn’t for real.  In real life, you just know that your instincts are more in tune to the situation than what is being presented to you. In real life, you listen to your gut.  Now in the land of story telling, the rules are different.

When I think of main the character(s) being too good to be true, one movie comes to mind: Enchanted.

We have the heroine, Giselle, banished by an evil queen from a fairy-tale world, and her hero, Prince Edward. (You will see the character arch for both as the movie progresses.)  If you amp the: Integrity and character; confident, courageous, detail-orientated, committed and faithful, fights injustice. . .well, you get the mental picture.  Taken to the extreme, the characters are, well, too good to be true. 

I believe it would be difficult to create fictional characters that were too good to be true unless the particular trait is a deemed “fatal flaw”.  Thus creating a plot devise for pivotal points in the novel.  I would think it would be more likely that a character who makes unbelievably ‘stupid’ decisions might appear in the storyline.  (A topic best saved for a future blog.)

The second part of this month’s Round Robin Topic: When is a character too evil to exist?
Psychology Today states that there is a chemistry of morality. Rodents that genetically lack receptors for oxytocin behave like sociopaths – they do whatever they want without regard for their safety or welfare. They are loners and live in permanent survival mode. The oxytocin circuit in brain needs nurturing to develop properly. Also, the victims of abuse in the study were also I in survival mode and had impaired social behaviors.  This tells me that the line of being beyond redemption is when a person is a classic sociopath. 

I however, unless I have selected a nonfiction article or case study featuring sociopaths, I have no desire to jump into the pit of vile evil that is in that person’s mind. 

I find the “Dark Triad”. The Personality of Evil of particular interest when setting a boundary in the level of ‘evil’ in my story line. A main (though in my case, a secondary) character/villain will exhibit these traits.  First introduced by psychologists Delroy L. Paulhus and Kevin Williams, the dark triad set of overlapping personality traits, which host group of undesirable behaviors. These three personality traits are narcissism, machiavellism, and psychopathy. Some may say these traits can bring out the worst in human behavior. People who score high on dark triad personality scale can be manipulative, have a high sense of worth, superficial charm while lacking a considerable sense of empathy for others. These are the three personality traits and their respective descriptions that make up the dark triad.


High sense of entitlement

·         Seek status and prestige
·         An aura of cockiness
·         Can be highly self-centered
·         Engage in a lot of short-term  hook ups
·         Easily aggressive in the face of criticism
·         Loves praise


·         Superficial charm
·         Have an inflated view of his/her own abilities
·         Lack of empathy for others emotions
·         High levels of deception, manipulativeness, and craftiness
·         Lack of a guilt or remorse
·         Highly impulsive
·         Generally has a bad temper


·         Manipulates others to get his/her way
·         Very cunning and calculation
·         Very intelligent
·         Highly observant
·         Very aware of situations and surroundings

People who possess the dark triad personality traits are manipulative in nature and are well aware of what they can and cannot get away with, this may be because they are either highly intelligent, or they have a lot of experience in social  interactions.  Therefore, they know how and what buttons to push without bringing too much attention to themselves and their social mindfulness means they are usually well aware of how they come across to people and have a good handle on their appearance.   Because of their narcissist tendencies, it would be hard to form close relationships with them. The reason, is he/she are more concerned with maintaining and promoting an image rather than keeping a close friendship

So where does this “Dark Triad” fit in the personality of your character?  The traits can come in different forms: someone who is an emotional bully, talking down to others while seeking status and prestige. A corporate boss or an ambition corporate employee whose line of work involved using people as a vehicle to reach their aims; their general mentality is the end justifies the means regardless of who gets hurt. A person with Dark Triad personality can also be one was calculating, he/she also doesn't think about, or care about, the consequences of their actions, or who gets hurt.

We all have life experience, and probably can name people who have/had/are ‘living the life-style’ in the above paragraph.  Does this mean these people are pure evil?  If taken to the extreme, I’d say yes.

However, at some point in time, everyone under stress can fall victim to ‘regrettable personality traits’.  The key is the said person feels remorse and corrects/ apologizes.  And, at least makes an effort, to change those behaviors.

What is your personal take on the subject?

Please follow the listed Blog Hop links to see what this month’s participants have to say.
Thank you Rhobin for including me this month’s Blog Hop!

Happy Reading,


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Snippets By Connie Vines #SundaySnippets #0621

Today is Father’s Day. 

According to Wikipedia, Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. 

Even though my own father passed away over a decade ago, his paternal bond and code of honor still influences my life and my life choices.

Do paternal ties influence your ‘heroes’ as you write?  I believe so.  My father was a third generation Texan.  He competed in local rodeos while attending high school (thus the ‘cowboy code’) and later, he enlisted in the military (duty, honor).  I believe that the heroes of my novels reflect this same code. 

Who was the ‘paternal’ figure who had a positive influence in your life? Father, brother, uncle, teacher, spiritual adviser?

Perhaps a super hero had a positive influence on your life.  Or, maybe, it was a slow-talking, upstanding man.  A man who reminded you of a Texas cowboy.

Here is a snippet from “Lynx” Rodeo Romance Book 1, published by BWL (Books We Love).  “Lynx” is available in paperback and eBook.

Did he love her?

Rachel glanced across the table at Lynx. His earnest smile and green eyes were working their magic.  She could feel her uncertainty and shyness slipping away. Ina another few moments, she’d be begging Lynx to kiss her.

The truth was, being involved with Lynx scared her. Realizing that she loved Lynx made her nervous enough. But ‘commitment,’ even a hint of long-term relationship, made her clutch the table for a reality check.

His brand of charm and passion was well-nigh irresistible. He was a rodeo man.  He was  from Texas. And she love him, deeply, passionately. Desperately.

He made her yearn for things she’d only dreamed about having—things she desperately wanted but never hoped to touch.

When he looked at her, Rachel felt the pull. He wanted something from her, something she wasn’t certain she had to give. Lynx looked beyond who she was and saw who she could become. . .

I hope you enjoyed my snip from "Lynx".

Please stop by and visit the authors who are participating in this week's Blog Hop!
(We hope to see the list grow!)  Sharing is encouraged--see social media buttons below. (Ginger Simpson) (Tricia McGil) (Vijaya Schartz) (Jamie Hill)

Purchase links:

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday Snippets By Connie Vines #Sunday snippets

I spent a delightful morning at my local Romance Writers of America/ Orange County Chapter.  My life, like everyone who reads my blog post, is filled to the brim with a series (seemingly never ending) of must-do items.  This morning I pushed this list aside and drove to the twenty five miles to the Brea Civic Center.  
It was wonderful to visit with these dear friends, so very much like a large extended family.  For my Sunday Snippet I'd like to share a excerpt of "Brede".  The second in my Rodeo Romance Series, published by Books We Love.  This novel reminds us all of the importance of family.  This family may be comprised of blood-relations, dear friends, or those who are brought into our life. 
Her hair wasn't the dark, muddy brown he'd imagined, but a rich, shimmering shade of auburn.  He ran a hand through the strands removing clumps of twigs and dirt.  He probed the area near her hairline where he found a gash. Once he was certain the gash was closed, he cleaned the caked blood away with a washcloth and focused his attention on the swelling above her brow line.
Brede swallowed, trying to ignore the thick, tight feeling wedged in his throat. He didn't welcome the onslaught of emotion that filled his chest and caused him to stroke her jaw with an unsteady finger tip.  He reminded himself that he didn't need to be involved in her problems; he had enough of his own.  As soon as the roads were passable, he'd get her to a doctor and the police could take care of the rest.
Still, no matter how hard he tried to remove himself from the situation, he kept remembering how fragile she'd seemed when he held her in his arms.  He felt felt as if he'd carried a sparrow, all feathers and tiny bones, out of that gully.
He cradled on of her hands in his as he watched her desperate attempt to cling to life. He prayed he know what he was doing. He was a rancher, not a doctor.
Her long slender fingers brushed across his callused hands. Was she strong enough to fight off the cold and shock?
Closing his hand around hers in a gentle grip, he willed some of his strength into her. He'd had enough of death and dying.  Too many people in his world had died from harshness and neglect.
For more Sunday Snippets, visit my friends at these urls: (Ginger Simpson)

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Inspiration for Writing By Connie Vines Sunday Snippets #6


It hardly ever fails. Just when you sit down to write, no matter how long you’ve been waiting for the chance, you suddenly feel like doing anything else.

Check Facebook. Bake cookies. Scrub the stovetop.

Part of it is being tired. I know. Most of us are writing in the lean moments between the full-time job, school, cooking, cleaning, child-rearing and, life.

 If you wait to feel like writing, you never will. If you wait for inspiration to find you, it never will. 

You must make it happen.

Some writers swear that publicly committing to a deadline is the way to start.  I find this approach creates instant writer's block.

1. Blogging 

Commit to posting on a weekly on one blog, monthly on another.  I love to beig a guest blogger on a friend's blog and being interviewed on others.

2. Meet regularly with other Authors

Meeting regularly with a writer’s group or a critique partner.  I also judge writing contests, including the Rita's, Golden Heart, and local contest. You may wish to sign up for NaNoWriMo or the 3-Day Novel contest

3. Keep a favorite book close 

Is there a particular book that always gives you the urge to put pen to paper? A how to write reference book that gets you fored up to write? Keep it close to your writing space and read a few pages when you sit down to write. 

3. Develop a routine

 Choose the same time to write every day. Listen to the same type of music, drink the same type of tea/coffee/wine. In time, the sensory repetition will help to trigger that writing urge in you.

4.  Get your sleep, exercise, and drink a cup of coffee

I’ve heard some people need 8 hours of sleep per night, but personally, I function on 6 hours of sleep, 7 if I am fighting a cold. And when you’ve had a full night’s rest, caffeine doesn’t just resuscitate your zombie self – it makes you want to write and create and be generally brilliant. I decrease my coffee consumption throughout the week (e.g. four cups (during the day) Monday, down to a one cup on Friday.  I go to the gym two days during the week and both days (before I sit down to write) on the weekends.

6. Visualize the finished piece

Or visualize the book cover.  Visualizing the finished product is very powerful. Do you want to be  working on this book for the next decade? Or do you want to hold the hardcover/paperback or eBook edition in your hands? 

Personal vows

Fall in love with your heroes and create heroines you'd like as best friend. Create a sense of time and place, and, make your readers jump feet first into your story!  Most importantly, have a great time. If you love your story, so will your readers.

Happy reading,


Please visit all the members of our Sunday Snippets Blog hop.