365 Challenge: Day 322 – Compassion (Author Alert: Mary Deal)

Compassion: (a) sympathy and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others, or (b) 365 Daily Challenge word for today’s author alert — Mary Deal


If you are new to the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog, the 365 Daily Challenge, or the Author Alert segment, check out the About Site section from the main menu. Below are some key things to know about this author, but at the end of this post, you’ll see the permanent page I’ve added to my blog. You can return to check out more on who she is, what she’s writing and how to buy her future work.

I am pleased to present the very talented Mary Deal. Mary and I met about 3 months through our publisher. I had wanted to read a few of her books, but couldn’t decide where to start. Down to the Needle, a mystery and thriller novel, seemed like the best intro to her work, so I took it on last week. You can check out my review here and read all about her in this week’s spotlight.


Hello everyone! I’m Mary Deal, dropping an Author Alert here on Jay’s blog, This is My Truth Now, and am grateful for the opportunity. This is a lot coming from a person whose nickname used to be Greta because I can easily be a writing recluse. Yet, I must get out and experience things in order to write my stories, and I do love to clandestinely people watch!

How many times have you seen an event or an occurrence that touched your heart and left you wanting to help, but you couldn’t? That feeling you had is called compassion. We don’t always have ways to express those feelings, can’t always help others in certain situations. Mostly, we just recognize our feelings and then go on with our lives. In those instances, when we can help another person or do something to set a situation right, we have acted out of compassion. Admittedly, most of the time we feel this emotion, we can do nothing but silently wish the other person or persons well, or that the situation right itself.

Writers in particular have the ability to address nearly every situation of unexpressed compassion simply by attributing their feelings and emotions to their characters in different stories.

In a mystery, the hero or heroine will do something to right a wrong. They do this out of compassion for a situation or to help others.

In a romance novel, what brings two would-be lovers together is compassion, albeit it with a serving of compromise, but even that is compassion.

In a SciFi or fantasy story, there is always someone to save the planet and its people or save the day.

One exception is that in a thriller or crime story, the killer or perpetrator may kill believing that they are saving their victim for one reason or another. It is a form of compassion through a perverted mentality.

All good things are done out of compassion. It doesn’t matter in which genre we create our stories. Compassion is what will endear readers to our characters and bring the readers to our next book.

In my suspense novel, Down to the Needle, compassion is shown throughout the story. There was no other way the characters could carry on. Compassion was the motivating factor. This is the logline that tells what the story is about:

Abi’s heart condition could claim her life before she finds her abducted daughter who just may be the innocent young woman facing lethal injection.

Now tell me, did you feel an emotion for Abi’s plight? For the innocent inmate’s plight? Did you wish to see that everything would come out right? What you felt was compassion.

The seed for this story came about when I read a newspaper article about a man who was put to death by lethal injection though he was not proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt, as normally required by law. I read about Sister Prejean, a nun who counseled inmates on Death Row, and who saw a few of them to their end. I experienced a whole load of feelings for these people. Specifically, I wondered how the family of the not-totally-proven-guilty man was affected? I felt their heartache. What I felt was compassion.

From this information, I was able to create my story about a woman who has searched for more than two decades for her abducted child. She finds a young woman who would be her grown daughter’s age, languishing on death row mere months from lethal injection. Vague connections between Abi and the young woman cause Abi to investigate. Abi’s compassion for her daughter forces her to investigate even the skimpiest of clues.

Abi also feels great compassion for the young woman who just may be innocent of the crime she’s accused of committing. The inmate might be her daughter. Even if not, Abi believes she is innocent and feels the need to help get her cleared. Abi’s character is full of compassion. Her love interest, Joe, feels great compassion for Abi’s plight and sticks by her side, through he happens upon a former love interest, gets side tracked in his own feelings of compassion, needing to help her get off the street.

Do you see where I’m going with this? The feelings writers give their characters comes mostly out of compassion. It’s an emotion readers must feel from the story, differently from each character, but it must be there in each character, depending on their importance in the story. Goodness abounds, and we writers have a way of sharing it with the world. We do not have to keep it inside ourselves. We cannot help everyone, but our stories will shed light into others’ lives.

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Buy Down to the Needle




This is a 100 word flash fiction story I wrote that is a perfect example of compassion.

Homeless, Not Heartless

A homeless man, acting like a wounded lion expelled from the pride, foraged in a dumpster behind a restaurant. He looked like he hadn’t eaten in a year.

“Gotta eat, gotta eat,” he kept muttering.

He piled up remnants of discarded burgers on a piece of cardboard. He sampled one patty then laid it down.

“Good, that’s fresh,” he said.

He found some chicken bones and other leavings.

The man seemed excited and sat down and neatly arranged all the food, as if preparing to feast. Instead, he whistled, short and shrill, and his dog came running for its meal.



Mary Deal is an Amazon best-selling and award-winning author of suspense/thrillers, a short story collection, a writers’ reference manual, and psychological self-help. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, Artist and Photographer, and former newspaper columnist and magazine editor. She is currently writing the third story in her Sara Mason Mystery Series, as well as a long romance novel, which is a new genre for her. Other books coming soon will include her first poetry book and a second collection of more of her short stories.

She has traveled a great deal and has a lifetime of diverse experiences, all of which remain in memory as fodder for her fiction. A native of California’s Sacramento River Delta, where some of her stories are set, she has also lived in England, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and now resides in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is also an oil painter and photographer. Her art is used to create gorgeous personal and household products from her online galleries.

Find Her Online

Her Website

Amazon Author Page

Barnes & Noble



Linked In



Cold Coffee Cafe



{Author Alert: Not only is she an author, but she’s an artist; visit all the links!}

Mary Deal Fine Art

Island Image Gallery

Mary Deal Fine Art & Photography (Facebook)

Local Me



My short stories show people dealing with emotion and compassion in diverse situations. Humor, nonsense, fright, disgust, disappointment, silliness, wonderment, reality, heartache. It’s all here in 30 stories that may leave you a little Off Center in the Attic from a mind that may be a little Off Center in the Attic.

{Author Alert: You must take a chance on this FREE offer below!}

Off Center in the Attic will be free on Amazon from February 3, 2018 through February 7, 2018. http://mybook.to/OffCenter

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To see more about Mary Deal on ThisIsMyTruthNow, check out her dedicated author page where future content and books will added as she publishes them and I review them. Thanks for stopping by this edition of the Author Alert.

To see more about Mary Deal on ThisIsMyTruthNow, check out her dedicated author page where future content and books will added as she publishes them and I review them. Thanks for stopping by this edition of the Author Alert.


About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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  1. I like the short flash fiction you wrote! I’ve been watching documentaries on homeless people recently and it seems that at least in homeless communities they try to help each other as much as they can. I think the hardest part about homelessness is property. Homeless people try to build shelter just so they can live and the government ends up taking their shelter away because it was on community property. Aren’t homeless people part of the community too?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary, I have enjoyed reading your guest post about Compassion and yur book. Down to a needle.
    I love your positive take on mankind and agree that we are to a great extent driven by compassion. Sadly there are also darker reasons that drives actions. E.g. Anger, greed etc. That said, I agree that my first reaction to your charachter Abi is compassion as it is to so many down and out one sees in the cities.
    Your book sounds fascinating but you have to promise me that Abi survives…:)

    Liked by 1 person

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