The Power Of Love – Maggie Mundy

Welcome author Maggie Mundy to The Power of Love blog series!

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Maggie is sharing ten great love quotes. What a great idea! The one by Dr. Seuss is my favorite and anything to do with Paris (as with the quote from the movie Casablanca) gets me every time.

Which quote resonates with you the most?

Ten Great Love Quotes

“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” — When Harry Met Sally.

“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” — Aristotle

“You complete me.” — Jerry Maguire (Also: the infamous “You had me at hello.”)

Love thy neighbor — and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier.” — Mae West

Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love.” — Hamlet

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” — Dr. Seuss

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” — Charles M. Schulz

“If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets me.” — Haruki Murakami

“We’ll always have Paris.” — Casablanca

“You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.” — Sam Keen


Maggie is the author of the Midworlder Trilogy.

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Available November 18th 2015 from Soul Mate Publishing.

Scarred Protector

Angels and demons are not what you think. They are aliens, and the Midworlders are their representatives on Earth. An Angelic Midworlder called Heath goes to the aid of Evie who is about to be attacked by Demonics. He soon discovers she can see the angels and demons around her and is in grave danger. He is captivated by Evie who has physical and mental scars like him. They are tortured souls who are deeply connected by his past. There is an evil lurking inside Evie that could kill them both.

UNKNOWN PROTECTOR_805x1275

Unknown Protector

Two things have helped Nicole cope since the murder of her husband. One is running her detective agency, and the other is her guardian angel Mira. When Mira is killed by a demon, Nicole accepts the help of a Ridge, a long haired, cigar smoking diamond in the rough with wings. Things go from bad to worse when a replacement guardian cannot be found. She has to trust Ridge, which is tricky when she realizes there are no demons or angels, just parasitic aliens that humans have built the myths of these celestial beings around. Ridge isn’t an angel or a devil, but an alien half breed known as a Midworlder. He is also way too sexy for his own good, or is it her own good.

To get in touch with Maggie Mundy, or buy her books go here:

http://tinyurl.com/pkch5es

Amazon buy link for Scarred Protector

Amazon buy link for Unknown Protector

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http://maggiemundy.blogspot.com.au

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My Funny Valentine Story

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Valentine’s Day! Hooray! I made a quick trip to my local bookstore—Chapter’s. Wandering about the store, a salesperson approached me, handing me an in-store coupon. The salesperson politely explained that if I purchased a greeting card in the store, today, I could have my coupon scratched at the cash counter for a discount ranging from 5% to 100% off my purchase. I considered this for a moment. Most likely I’d get 5% off which might not even balance out the cost of a greeting card (let’s be honest, cards are expensive these days).

I asked the salesperson, “What if I get a 5% coupon, can I then change my mind and put the greeting card aside?”

The salesperson smiled in surprise. “Well, I’m not sure, no one’s ever asked that before.”

Of course not.

Fast forward. I finished shopping and lined up for my turn at the cash counter. The cashier waved me over and as I presented my coupon, I went through my spiel.

Her response? “I’m not sure if you can do that, no one’s ever asked that before.”

Of course not.

Suddenly, the cashier smiled. Bigger and wider than before. Her eyebrows shot up in delight.

“Guess what?”

“What?”

“You get 50% off your purchase today!”

I smiled, bigger and wider than before.

“That’s fantastic!”

On my way out of the store, I tracked down the salesperson who kindly gave me the coupon, informing her I’d been duly caught off guard and actually received 50% off my purchase.

Her response? “I know!”

“How do you know?” I asked.

She laughed. “The whole store knows! You’re the only person today who received 50% off!”

Meaningful Valentine’s Day Gifts

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

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Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate your significant other. What better way to show your love than by giving a unique gift, one filled with meaning? There’s nothing wrong with a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates, but gifts with a bit more meaning attached may be remembered and enjoyed far longer.

Here’s my list of Top Ten Valentine’s Day gifts:

  1. Handmade card

valentine's cards

Cards today are ridiculously expensive and often get tossed away shortly afterward. Have you ever received a handmade card? Perhaps it’s the labor that went into making it, or the thought, but either way, a handmade card is always treasured and personal.

  1. Travel book

travel books

If you and your partner love exploring and traveling, why not gift him/her with a beautiful photography travel book? You can choose a book focusing on a specific country, or one that encompasses the world. A book is always a great gift and in this case you can sit down together and plot your next destination!

  1. Personalized treat bag

valentine's treat bags

Fill a bag with candy your loved one prefers. If they’re into white chocolate, caramel, marshmallows, licorice, etc. fill it with sweets of their liking. Attach a note with your own message.

  1. Mail delivery gift

macarons

How about a gift that keeps on giving? You can arrange a monthly gift for your loved one, whether it’s monthly delivered chocolates, cookies, flowers, or a magazine subscription. Your other half will have something to look forward to each month and your thoughtfulness will keep on giving for months.

  1. Write a love letter

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Sound corny? Your loved one won’t think so. No one writes letters in cursive script anymore. But imagine writing down your thoughts about the person you love. List the reasons you fell in love or recall past memories. A love letter will only take a few minutes of your time but will be entirely unexpected—which is a feat unto itself these days.

  1. Art work

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Does your loved one have a passion for something? Have you visited museums? Why not gift your spouse with a piece of artwork they’ve always coveted. It doesn’t have to be Van Gogh! Maybe it’s a colorful piece that reminds you of your tropical honeymoon. Or a team photo of your spouse’s favorite team.

  1. Unique flower arrangement

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Flowers are popular gifts for Valentine’s Day. No wonder. They’re beautiful and often expensive. But how about a unique floral arrangement? Maybe a wreath of flowers or an unexpected arrangement. Does your spouse love desert climates? Your florist can arrange cactuses in a pottery bowl or box. Visit your florist, they have great ideas.

  1. Camper couch

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Whether you like to camp or not, a camper couch is a nifty idea and a great excuse to lounge close together. Put it in your yard, or on your deck and it will be a great conversation starter.

  1. Personalized gift

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This is easy to do nowadays with online printing services. You could create your own wine bottle label and attach it to a favored bottle. This gesture is no longer reserved for wedding gifts only. Or how about a personalized pillow, with a mug of your loved one’s favorite pet? The possibilities are endless.

  1. Event tickets

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Sometimes your spouse may need a kick of motivation to take a night off from work. What do they enjoy? Movie night, concerts, opera? Splurge on some tickets and take them out on the town. If mainstream venues are too pricey, consider buying tickets for a community theater production or orchestra event.

Valentine’s Day Celebration!

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Soul Mate Publishing has a celebration happening February 13 – 15th! Several authors have joined together to share deals with readers! Many great romances are on sale for a short time. Check out these great novels!

Soulie Valentine Run 2016

 

The Power of Love with Mandi Benet

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Welcome author Mandi Benet to The Power of Love blog series!

Mandi is sharing ten things she’d tell her younger self about love and relationships.

I love this list! I’m partial to #1 and #10. What do you think?

Mandi also happens to have a new release about love, titled To Rome With Love!

Ten things I’d tell my younger self about love and relationships

  1. Time changes everything. And everyone.
  2. Treat your romantic partners and the men who would like to be your romantic partners the same: kindly.
  3. If he’s interested in you, he’ll call.  If he doesn’t, it’s not because he’s saving the orphans in Africa or lost in Sudoku.
  4. The right guy won’t make you feel dumb and won’t let his friends do it, either.
  5. You can’t trade sex for love.
  6. NEVER settle for a guy. NEVER.
  7. Do your best to communicate. If he can’t, leave. It’ll never work.
  8. Every guy who hurts you leads you to the one who won’t.
  9. Practice saying, “No.” Then say it.
  10. Don’t date a married man. If you do, remember the words of the late Sir James Goldsmith: “When a man married his mistress, he creates a vacancy.”

Mandy Behbehani w/a Mandi Benet

Author | To Rome With Love | Release, February, 2016

to rome with love

 

Buy Now

When Gaby Conte’s Italian husband, Danieli, abandons her for a young Peruvian waitress at a restaurant they co-own in San Francisco, Gaby seeks refuge in Rome with her best friend Maria. There, she swears off romance for a long while and Italian men forever. That’s until she meets Silvio, who belongs to an old, aristocratic Roman family and lives in a palace alongside the best private art collection in Rome. Silvio, who is the cousin of Maria’s husband, is going through his own divorce. He’s gorgeous, of course, which Gaby doesn’t tell him. And arrogant and condescending, which she does. The last thing Gaby needs is more Italian trouble, but the attraction is instant and powerful, and against the backdrop of one of the world’s most romantic cities, both try—and fail—to resist the chemistry between them. But both Gaby and Silvio have made a rule never to make the mistake of trusting in love again. Will they realize some rules are made just to be broken?

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Author | The Blasphemy Box |

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0615736831

 

The Power of Love- Yolanda Ashton

Welcome author Yolanda Ashton to The Power of Love blog series! Yolanda is sharing her 10 favorite romantic movies.

February is one of my favorite months. Love is in the air and it’s a perfect time to watch chick flicks and romantic movies. I’m a romantic at heart (what romance author isn’t….lol) and in celebration of the Month of Love I’m sharing my Top Ten Romantic Movies.

  1. Love and Basketball
  2. She’s All That
  3. Maid in Manhattan
  4. Fools Rush In
  5. Clueless
  6. Twilight
  7. Hitch
  8. High School Musical
  9. Sex and the City
  10.  A Walk to Remember

So throughout the month of February watch one, two or all of these love conquers all movies. Leave a comment below and let me know what’s your favorite romantic movie or movies? I’m always looking to add to my collection.

a will for love

Lanya gave her love and trust to a man, only to find out their relationship was a lie. Shattered, she decides she’s never give her heart to anyone again. But when her ex, Mikael LockRidge, offers her a proposition she can’t refuse, Layna finds being with him makes it impossible to resist the sensual pull between them.  Blackmailed to commit an act that still haunts him, Mikael accepts his current loveless relationship as karma. But when he receives unexpected help from the grave, Mikael realizes he wants back what he lost. He just has to convince the ex he hurt to let him back in her life and her heart.

Buy Link:

A Will For Love

Follow me on www.twitter.com/YolandaAshton

Check out my site at www.yolandaashton.wordpress.com

 

Are My Characters Based On You?

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Readers expect stories to include heroes and heroines. Naturally, in order to make things exciting, antagonists are also required. I’m often asked about the characters I create, and whom they may be based on. They want to know, for example, if a heroine is based on a friend, or perhaps a relative. They ask if my antagonists are actually colleagues, employers, or neighbors, in disguise. Chuckles and sardonic laughter aside, that is an intriguing question!

Let me first state that, as a rule, I do not create any character from one individual.  I draw certain behaviors and characteristics from a myriad of people I’ve known in my life —and somehow mash them all together like a pot of potatoes—and the end result winds up as a character with real, multidimensional aspects.

My characters are motivated by their goals but they must be well-developed, with likes and dislikes and quirks. In other words, I strive to portray my characters as believable as possible. This is sometimes challenging when conceiving dangerous antagonists, as I’ve (fortunately) not had the experience of spending lengths of time with hard-core criminals. With the exception of a tour to a maximum security prison while I studied Criminology in college, I’ve avoided gaining insight into the mind of a psychopath or sociopath.

But I’ve witnessed plenty of unruly (and sometimes violent) antics of people in the past: maniacs on the road who resemble Hannibal, fingering randomly as they weave in and out of lanes; shoppers engaging in hair-pulling and fist-fighting over a parking spot; rowdy drunkenness and drugged ranting at a bar or festival; and long-ago neighbors who demonstrated manic tendencies with alarming regularity (how many times a day does the lawn need to be cut?). I’ve known people who’ve shown narcissistic behaviors— wanting attention and making choices that never benefited anyone other than themselves, and so on. I think we’ve all had similar encounters. I’ll admit, I prefer writing about my heroes and heroines, but the bad guys/gals can be fun to dream up and cultivate.

If my antagonist must be made more frightening than annoying, then my imagination must be stretched. I’ll watch a particular movie, read a certain book, research criminal histories online, etc. I don’t have to pull from direct experience if it involves a person I have no familiarity with.

I glean specific traits for antagonists from behaviours I’ve witnessed somewhere. Such as the baffling and frightening antics of a parent who screeches continuously at their wayward child in a store (maybe the kid has finally tuned out the yelling parent or he/she is hungry or tired). I’ve also observed rude behavior of people in line-ups at airports or restaurants. On the (mostly rare) occasions I’ve seen these disappointing displays, I make a mental note, filing it away in my memory bank. I should point out, however, that while I may forget the specific location or name of the person in question, what registers is the emotion I’m feeling while bearing witness to these interactions.  As a writer, I’m aiming to capture the mindset behind the misbehaviour and the impact it leaves on people. To enrich an antagonist’s believability, I’ll strive to keep his/her behavior consistent (speech tone and pattern); drinking or eating habits; routines, etc.

Either way, dreaming up malevolent, murky characters is an engaging part of the job. I like to wink at those who invariably ask, “So, you’re not writing about me, are you?” and remind them to buy my book to find out.

So You Think You Want To Write?

10 Things Writers Should Know

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People have a misconception that writing, in general, is easier than it is. Pardon me while I burst the proverbial bubble here. I’m going to set the record straight (buckle up your pants or your seatbelt and get ready). I’ve included some helpful links as well.

Following is a list I’ve drafted of ‘things to keep in mind’ if you decide to jump headfirst (or continue) into the game of writing. Trust me, it’s an axe-grinding, balloon deflating, uphill job. Until it isn’t. More on that later.

HARD WORK IS REALLY PERSISTENT LOVE

1. Do you like mowing the lawn? Washing the dishes? Cleaning out the garage? Didn’t think so. Remember this: writing is not a hobby if you’re serious about it. It’s a JOB! And jobs require time and work. If you don’t LOVE writing, now might be the time to reassess your commitment.

THERE’S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS

2. First off, writing is a business. Sure, it involves creativity and a well-developed imagination. But if you’re going to succeed you’ll need to understand the difference between creation and remuneration. Very different sides of the brain operating here. Obviously, you should avoid vanity publishers like the plague. Check Predators & Editors and Absolute Write. Don’t go in blind and foolish. Legit publishers should pay you for your work, not the other way round, unless you’re big into charity. Or working for free. You’ll need to pay for a domain name, business cards, spend money on giveaways and print books. It adds up! Keep your day job if you have one.

OWN UP TO YOUR WEAKNESSES AND LEARN

3. Your manuscript is perfect, I know you think that (we all do). It’s a shining jewel. A masterpiece. You may wonder why the world hasn’t discovered this fact yet. Ding dong. Anyone home? You probably think you’re the best driver and housecleaner too (if you are, lead the way). There are very good writers in existence. A few excellent writers. But there are more mediocre writers and certainly crappy writers abound. You may have a knack. You may not. How to know? Have you taken any writing courses? Did you flunk English in high school? How long have you been working on your novel? Has anyone read your WIP? All great things to keep in mind.

Kind of like other aspiring greats. Remember Gustave Eiffel? His creation was abhorred by the citizens of Paris in the beginning. But he knew he was on to something. So, if you really believe you’ve got the goods, make sure you do a damn good job of it before you send it out to the masses. Start by reading oodles of books. Take writing classes. Google writing tips. Learn all you can up front about writing and publishing. Spend time editing your WIP. Not a grammar scholar? This site is a lifesaver for grammar rules and tips: https://www.grammarbook.com/.

MINGLING IS REALLY IMPORTANT

4. There seems to be a prevailing belief that writers are solitary, weird people. Well, I’m sure some are. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone but the truth is that’s a myth. You need to put on your smiley face and work at networking. There we go, that word work again.

Socialize, socialize, socialize! That means attending book signings, conferences, plugging in to various social media platforms, blogging, etc. Don’t be shy. Comb your hair and come into the light. A good mantra: time to sparkle, time to shine, time for another glass of wine!

PUT ON YOUR PROFESSIONAL HAT

5. Maintain a professional image. Get rid of your ‘lucyloveslarrydotcom’ domain name. Unless that’s the title of your book. Establish a brand and keep it consistent. If you happen to write erotica on the side, maybe use a pen name and a separate site. Consider getting a professional head shot and make sure your social media sites are similar and recognizable.

During emails and communications with publishers, editors and other authors, be mindful of your tone. Slinging accusations or bad-mouthing people is a bad idea in general. People talk, emails can be shared. Be yourself; just not your sloppy self when you’re lying in bed in pyjamas drinking beer and eating popcorn.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

6. Just as when you learned to drive, or cook or change a tire, your parents, spouse, and teachers lined up to tell you how wonderful a job you did. Or how you screwed up and ‘need to do it all over’. When you finally get that query letter sent off, or finally get a contract or land an agent, be prepared for a whole bunch of feedback. Consider yourself lucky if you do. Unless you’ve been writing for decades with dozens of well-paying books under your belt, you’ll need feedback. Probably lots of it. This is where it’s a good idea to remember those tips I mentioned on professionalism.

You may discover your writing needs a lot of improvement. Embrace the criticism. It means someone has spent time looking over your work. You’re ahead of the game already. Then move on to the task of improving your skill based on that feedback you just gained.

BALANCE IS A FENG-SHUI, YIN-YANG SORT OF THING

7. So now you’re in the groove. You’ve got a website, a WIP, a blog, an offer on a finished manuscript. Celebration time! No rest for the wicked. This is when it’s time to get your game on and roll up your sleeves. Writing is full-time, all year long. Morning, noon and night. In fact, things can speed up quickly at this point. You’ll be so busy working on edits, building your social media and responding to emails you’ll barely keep your head above water. Don’t fall apart and decide now’s a good time for an extended break. You’ll need to keep focused for a long time. That cover reveal needs to be announced, those blogs need to be written, edits must be done by . . . you get the picture.

Avoid crash and burn-out! Early on, you’ll need to balance writing with the mountainous task of maintaining social media. Pick the ones you like the most, don’t fret over the rest. You’ll be most effective if you enjoy what you’re doing. This is when family and friends will wonder if you’re ever going to stumble out of your cave. Please do, once in a while. Writers become absorbed and enmeshed in their literary worlds but real life needs to continue. Don’t neglect your closest relatives and friends. Parcel in time for non-writing endeavors. Breathe in. Breathe out. Then get right back in the saddle.

SAVE YOUR PENNIES FOR A RAINY DAY

8. What’s life without dreams? Not so great, I’d say. We all have ’em. Dreams are important but they don’t always come true. Still, it doesn’t hurt to try. If you expect to hit the jackpot like JK Rowling or EL James, you’re going to have a hard landing. I don’t know the exact percentage, but let’s roll the dice and say . . . maybe 1% of writers become rich and famous. Not great odds.

Most likely, you’ll need to have money in your pocket and view writing as something that takes hard work that just might pay off big in the long run. It’s a strange concept to absorb. I emphasized earlier that writing is serious and it should pay you. That’s true. But I didn’t say all jobs pay well.

MIND YOUR MONEY

9. On the topic of money, once you earn some through writing, you’ll become part of a select group. However, plenty of people are waiting in the wings to make money from your slave labour. You may suddenly find your inbox filled with requests from all sorts of business people. Some will want you to buy their (numerous) self-help books about writing. Be wary of publishers seeking submissions from you directly—in exchange for subscribing to their newsletter. People will offer to review your books for free, so long as you pay first to be on their ‘list’. Reviews should not be bought and while it is difficult to get them, keep searching before you hand over money for a review. Contests abound. Some are prestigious and legitimate. Others aren’t. Research online contests before you pop a check in the mail. Here is a great link offering tips to avoid contest scams http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Writing-Contest-Scams.

Finally, companies who offer workshops will be calling. Check  your local writers’ groups first, they may offer free courses on the same subject. All in all, it’s your decision where your money goes. Just be aware that the doorbell will ring constantly with those seeking to take some of it.

SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE

10. Remember that chocolate you found in your lunchbox at school? Your friends peering over your shoulder wearing bright, expectant smiles? Don’t be the kid who doesn’t share a piece of chocolate.

Writing and publishing may appear as a cavernous, world-wide-web of authors with no end. Yet in some ways it’s a small nation like other industries. And similar to other careers, it’s a good idea to help out other writers when the opportunity arises. Inviting fellow authors to guest blog on your site is a great start, as is offering to provide a critique for someone’s WIP. Tweet their new releases, vote for their books, provide helpful answers to questions they have. Helping another person will not be forgotten and their appreciation, knowing the time you took out of your day to help, will rebound when it’s your turn.