Archives for October 2013

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims

book_LimbaughI’m not jealous that the first book produced by Rush Limbaugh since 1993, called Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans, immediately took the top spot on the Amazon hard cover bestseller list.

His new book has already reached #152 overall in the Kindle store, #1 in its category for Teen/Young Adult historical fiction — on first day it was officially available for sale.

Nor am I jealous that Rush Revere has received twice as many reviews on the first day of release as all five of my books put together — mostly because I’m glad that I don’t have to contend with his vicious critics, who seem to resent him for breathing.

Twelve of the initial forty-one reviewers of Rush Revere only gave the book a one-star rating. Those uber-negative reviews were obviously written by snarky and intolerant liberals. At least one of them was honest enough to begin his review by saying: “Did I read the book? No…”

Then how can you review it?

None of the most negative reviews were of the “Amazon Verified Purchase” variety. About half of the five-star reviews were verified — but in fairness, I don’t know how the pro-Limbaugh fans have had enough time to read the book and write a review, either.

Remember, it was only released today.

There is absolutely no reason for me to envy Rush Limbaugh’s success selling books on Amazon. In our capitalist society, demand is the only constraint on the total size of the economic pie.

My problem isn’t that Rush’s radio listeners prefer his book to mine. My biggest problem is that his listeners don’t even know who I am.

We haven’t exactly targeted the same audience.

He’s catering to younger readers of historical fiction. I’m primarily trying to attract the interest of adult readers to my “Rocky Leonard” thriller novels.

The only thing I’ve written that might overlap in appeal to the same group of readers might be  my collection of short stories about animal rescue titled Always a Next One.

What does make me jealous of Rush is that he narrates the audio version of his book himself. Just think about the ramifications of that fact for a couple of seconds, and do the math.

Twenty million people listen to his radio show on a regular basis. How many of them do you think will want to listen to him read his book to them?

I’m guessing millions. But you know what? Good for him. Achieving success through hard work is, in fact, the American way.

More power to him. I only wish I could get him to narrate the audio book of my novel, and then promote it on his radio show.

The 2013 Readers’ Favorite international book awards

gold-flat-webAward-winning author John L. Leonard sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

The 2013 Readers’ Favorite international book awards ceremony will be held next month in Miami. My wife and I have made plans to attend.

She’s my editor and publisher, deserving the trip just as much as me.

And why are we going? Three of my five books, edited and published last year, were entered in the 2013 contest.

My collection of short stories about animal rescue called Always a Next One: true stories of dog fostering, was awarded the highest honor, the gold medal for Nonfiction/Animal books. southernprose_cover_AANO

Reviewers offered some very kind words. One said:

The author wrote in a conversational manner, as if he were sitting with me and personally telling me his tales.

Another critic wrote:

This is a book that belongs on animal lovers’ reading lists everywhere.

southernprose_cover_CAFGMy book Counterargument for God won the gold medal for Nonfiction in the category for Religion/Philosophy.

One reader wrote,

This is a must for anyone struggling with their own faith or trying to get a loved one to see that God does exist. Mr Leonard’s style of writing keeps one interested while presenting very scientific material.

Another review said:

As I review this book, I find myself wanting to quote the author. His presentation is tactful, eloquent and stated in a logical manner. John Leonard has extensively researched the scientific arguments he discusses in this book. He also deftly asks questions that should have atheists questioning their beliefs.

southernprose_cover_SHSEven my alter-ego for fiction, Rocky Leonard, got into the act. My novel Secondhand Sight won the gold medal for Fiction/Horror.

One reviewer said:

Author John ‘Rocky’ Leonard, is a proficient storyteller with a vivid imagination and knows how to maintain an air of suspense throughout his story. Secondhand Sight will keep the reader riveted to the book.

Another reader said:

I am struggling mightily to resist staying up all night to see how the rest of the story unfolds. It’s that good.

High praise, indeed.

I would like to express my gratitude to all my readers, and especially I’d like to express a heartfelt thanks to those who wrote a review on Amazon, or told a friend about one of my books.

Thank you, one and all.

We are very blessed, and Miami-bound!


Selling government health care

southernprose_cover_AANOI write books to earn my living.

What gets published reflects on me, and my skills as a writer.

Therefore, proper use of the English language is very important to me for everything I have written, especially any material to be offered for sale.

Poor grammar and misspelled words absolutely drive me crazy no matter where I find the errors, even in the work of another writer.

My primary editor, as well as small army of proof readers, repeatedly goes over any material intended for widespread distribution with a fine-toothed comb.

Even when I have written a shorter opinion piece like this one for my blog, or an article for American Thinker, every last word was carefully scrutinized by me personally before I eventually clicked the “Publish” button or sent it off for review.

That’s why I don’t publish more frequently. Good writing takes time.

I care passionately about the crafting of any message I have decided is worth trying to convey to the reader, no matter how relatively insignificant the point, or how large or small the audience interested in that particular topic may be.

Because I truly care so much about proper use of the English language, it really troubles me about the way universal health care is being marketed in Colorado.

Earlier this morning I stumbled across the healthcare exchange website for the state of Colorado, a poorly named abomination called “”

At first I thought the whole thing was intended to be a joke, sort of like the Onion.

But it’s real.

Do you got insurance? Seriously?

Every English teacher in the Rocky Mountain state must be mortified. Of course, the proper question to ask would be: do you have insurance?

Making matters even worse, one of the pages on the website described a plan it called “Brosurance.” The page pictured two “friends” holding the legs of a third man over his head, while he performed something called a “keg stand”, complete with beer tap hanging from his mouth.

The caption read:

Keg Stands are crazy. Not having health insurance is crazier. Don’t tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills. We got it covered.

The ad copy should have promised that we’ve got it covered, not “we got it covered.”

At least we can probably all agree on this one thought: keg stands are crazy.

But so is forcing responsible taxpayers to subsidize the healthcare of drunken bums.