Crazy Reindeer Specials from My Book Therapy!

Santa’s Reindeer have taken over My Book Therapy!
It finally happened.
The Reindeer have had it with Santa getting all the glory. We all knew the inevitability of the revolt after Dasher demanded his own Sugar Cookie break over Finland. And then Vixen said she absolutely, “wouldn’t fly over Prague without a mint-hot cocoa.”

The source of their discontent?  Santa’s sack of goodies.

“We’re the ones pulling the sleigh.  Why does he get to distribute all the gifts?”  Prancer said on the eve of the takeover.

The Reindeer assumed control of the MBT Warehouse during Thanksgiving, sneaking in under cover of night, cloaked as Moose.  (“After all, people confuse us all the time,” Comet said in an cell-phone conversation from inside the MBT HQ)

And now, they’re offering MBT Bundles of Reindeer Specials at CRAZY prices.


And giving away FREE STUFF! 

With these kinds of deals, it’s clear the Reindeer have lost their minds!

But, until MBT re-assumes control of inventory, it’s your chance to take advantage of these Crazy Reindeer Specials for Writers.

The culprits and their bundle offers are listed below…

(and Visit the MBT Marketplace to catch all their latest craziness!)

 The Beginning Novelist’s Starter Kit!

  • Inside-Out: Discover, Create and Publish the Novel in You
  • Book Buddy: Your Manuscript Companion
  • The BIG 10: The essential elements to your First Chapter*

Regularly: $52.00
Starting at: 27.99* (PDF price)

Get your Story Prancing with this Basics and Beyond Kit for Novelists!

  • Inside-Out: Discover, Create and Publish the Novel in you.
  • Deep and Wide: Advanced Fiction Techniques
  • The Book Buddy:  Your Manuscript Companion
  • FREE BONUS! 7 Secrets to Deepening your Character!

Get everything you need to go from idea to finished book, and beyond!


Regularly $76.99

Starting at $44.99* (PDF price)

 Do you want to write a romance?  This is where you start! Learn how to write a powerful Romance (or Romance THREAD)

  • Kiss and Tell: How to write a Romance (worktext)
  • 2 Part BONUS VIDEOs:  Cry Me a River – How to Create Character Emotions
  • FREE BONUS VIDEO:  7 Secrets to Deepening your Characters


Regularly $54.96
Starting at $31.99* (pdf. version)

The Sell your Novel Toolkit!
  • The Novel Proposal: How to create an outstanding Proposal
  • Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for writers
  • FREE BONUS Video/Audio Class:  Make your Story Matter using Story Stakes!*
Light a fire under your novel and sell it!
Regularly $94.99
Starting at $69.99* (pdf. version)

Can’t decide…and want it all?  Then it’s time to think about really investing in your writing journey with this amazing “Get the entire Sleigh-full” bundle!

  • Get Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you
  • Deep and Wide: Advanced Fiction Techniques
  • The Book Buddy
  • The Novel Proposal

and EVERY SINGLE audio/video class…as well as more amazing lessons and webinars all year long by the award-willing, multi-published, best-selling novelists of My Book Therapy with your MBT Premium Membership.  Regularly $200/year, get it for $180 year….LIFETIME rate.  (Offer on yearly memberships only.)


Regularly $396.99
Starting at $289.99* (pdf versions)

Pitching Tip #3! Understand your STAKES!

Hey friends! I hope you had a great weekend.  This week, we’re coming at you with Pitching Tip #3 – I hope you find it helpful!



If you’re attending the ACFW Conference (or any other writing conference) and want some help in learning how to pitch a novel, then check out the Pitch and Promotion Seminar!  With coaches that help you hone and practice you pitch, as well as teach you how to promote yourself at conference, and afterwards, this seminar will teach you how to wake an editor or agent up to your brilliant story!

Check it out here:

Have a great week and go write something brilliant!

Susie May

Want to enter the Frasier and wondering how to write a 500 word synopsis?

I have talked to a number of people want to enter the Frasier contest, but are daunted by the “500 word synopsis.” 

So…I thought I’d try and help. 

First, you’re among friends at My Book Therapy.  We understand how difficult it is to condense your epic down to 500 words.  Remember, the synopsis in the Frasier contest, like the synopsis for your agent or editor is entirely to tell your editor/agent/judge that you have put together a solid story.  Yes, you want to woo them with words (and a well written synopsis can be a thing of joy and beauty.  Not long ago, I actually teared up reading the amazing synopsis of one of my clients!)  However, first you want to prove to them that you have all the pieces of the story in place. 

But what are those pieces? 

Before you start writing your synopsis you need to know some basic questions, (hopefully ones you’ve already thought through). 

1.       Hero and Heroine Identity:  Who is your hero/heroine? What do they do?  The A/E/J  (Agent/Editor/Judge because I just can’t keep writing that out), needs to understand who the story is about – and so do you.


2.      Goals:  What do the H/H WANT from their life – what are they after?  If you’ve been hanging around MBT for any length of time, or were with us last year when we created a proposal for our Blog-A-Book, you’ll know that I usually ask a question to determine this answer:  What is your hero/heroine’s Greatest Dream.  If you’re starting to panic, ask your character this: What was the happiest moment in your life?  (usually something in their childhood) and Why?  Usually your character will be trying to recreate the essence of that happy moment.  Taking a good look at that will help you understand how to construct their tangible, specific and measurable goals.


3.      Motivations:  Why does the hero/heroine have the goal they do?  Asking the above question helps you nail down the WHY of the synopsis.  What propels them through the story after their goal? 


4.      What is your Character good at? (Also known as their competence)  Your characters need to be GOOD at something – meaning, what are they going to do to accomplish their goals?  You’ll also use this competence to try and hurt them…but that’s another class.  J  For now, we just need to know how they plan to go about accomplishing their goals.


5.      What is the Trouble they’ll see?  Or what disappointments and disasters will you work into the story to pull them away from their goals?  You know the old adage – help us fall in love with your character, and then get him into the most trouble possible.  So…what trouble is in the way of your hero/heroine and their goal?


6.      What is their Black Moment?  Every character will have a moment in the story when everything goes bad – worse than they can possibly imagine.   At this moment, they usually have what is called an Epiphany (which we’ll get to next).  But a Black Moment is built on asking your character what his Greatest Fear is – some event in the past that shaped them and that they would do anything to avoid.  Anything.  What is that great fear…and how will you use it to create the black moment?


7.      The Lie and the Truth:  Your character needs to have a spiritual or truth journey of some kind. This is embodied in asking:  What is the lie your character believes, and what is the truth that sets him free? The lie is often embedded during that Greatest Fear event in their past….and it is where you find your character at the opening of the novel.  The truth of course is some revelation they have that sets them free from the lie and allows them then to win the day. 


8.      What is the spiritual takeaway for the novel, and how does the title tie in with the takeaway? 


Gather up those building blocks….And then it’s a matter of laying it out, weaving in all the story layers.  Think of the synopsis like a braid…you’re starting at the source, then weaving the hero and heroine’s pov together until you get to the climatic ending and spiritual takeaway that ties it all up. 

Or…for the Type A’s out there:   

  • Introduction of hero/heroine
  • Statement of their goals/motivations
  • What stands in their way
  • Elements of the story (the disappointments) (this should comprise the bulk of your synopsis)
  • The black moment
  • The epiphany
  • The resolution/happily ever after ending
  • The spiritual takeaway/title tie-in.
  • Do this for both of your character (omitting the subplots for now), and you’ll have laid down the backbone of your story. 
  • (Then you just need to add the color words — words that add texture and life to your synopsis and you’ll have a synopsis that woos you’re A/E/J into your book!) 
  • For more information about writing a synopsis, go to the MBT Archives [Look under Proposals}, and if you have further questions, post them at Club Book Therapy: Frasier Questions!
  • And don’t forget – the deadline for entering the Frasier is March 31st!  Find out more here!

Hope that helps!  Happy…um….synopsis-ing? 

Susie May 



Pitch + Premise = Spine

Maybe you first heard of the “story spine” from Stanley Williams’ book, The Moral Premise.

But I actually thought of the concept all by my lonesome the winter of 2011 at the first Deep Thinkers Retreat. Because it became clear to me we HAVE to know what the story is about in order to develop the character and the plot. The pitch is that one or two lines, the concept, of the story that you tell editors or agents. Or you friends when they ask, “What’s your story about.”  You must be able to tell it in one or two succinct sentences. If you ramble or start telling too much, then you’re not nailing the core of your story.

For example, my pitch for Dining with Joy was “It’s about a cooking show host who can’t cook.” For The Wedding Dress I’d say, “It’s about a hundred year old dress four women wear over a hundred years.” And Beth Vogt’s pitch for Wish You Were Here was “What if kissing the wrong man leads to finding Mr. Right?”

Right away, the hearer gets the concept of the story. So work on your pitch. What is your story about?

After you nail the pitch, work on the premise. The premise is the pitch expanded. It’s a short blurb.

When Joy Ballard takes over her father’s cooking show after his sudden death, she is completely out of her element. But her prowess in front of the camera makes her a huge success even though she can’t so much as fry an egg. When restaurateur Luke Redmond joins her show, Joy believes she has a way out. But love has other things in mind and carries Joy through the toughest challenge of her life.

The Wedding Dress

Wedding boutique owner Charlotte Malone was fine when fiance Tim calls things off. But when she discovers a hundred year old wedding gown in a battered trunk, she embarks on a journey to find the right bride for the gown and discovers her own rich heritage and the courage to face her future.

Once you fine tune your pitch and premise, you have the spine – the answer to WHAT IS YOUR STORY ABOUT?

It’s high level. There are certainly layers to your premise and spine, but it gives you a plum line on how to develop your story.

While you may work on your character and plotting first, let me recommend you really fine tune your pitch and premise before you finish and polish the book and make sure your story functions off the spine!


Rachel Hauck, Write a book proposal

Best-selling, award-winning author Rachel Hauck loves a great story. She excels in seeing the deeper layers of a story. With a love for teaching and mentoring, Rachel comes alongside writers to help them craft their novel. A worship leader, board member of ACFW and popular writing teacher, Rachel is the author of over 15 novels. She lives in Florida with her husband and her dog, Lola. Contact her at: