Thursday, December 31, 2015

Be the best you that you can be!! #mgtab #eNovAaw


 
 
You've probably noticed that I've been remiss in setting up many blogs lately and I'm very sorry that this has happened. I love writing these posts and connecting with you all. It gives me a feeling of being in touch with others much more than when I'm working on my books.

Writing is really an isolated - kind of a lonely endeavor. I think authors must either be introverts and like existing in their own heads or like me, a total extravert who gets so deeply involved in the lives of her characters that she feels like she's always around others through that medium.

The people in my books become my immediate social community and I can interact with them on a daily basis until the story is told. Now many of you who maybe don't write books might think that as a writer, I can dictate how each character will suffer and evolve and deal with their conflicts. So where's the enjoyment in that? But I have to tell you, that's just not the way it happens. Sometimes - yes. But many times - uh huh! Nope!!

Recently, in a new book I've just finished, the first of a whole new series (working title - Mob Tracker), my heroine, Cassidy Santino, has given me a real run for my money. Just when I think I have her figured out, she goes and pulls a stunt I never saw coming and it makes her grow as a person and there I am, mouth open, scratching my head and thinking. It's brilliant! Why didn't I plot this from the beginning? Strange thing is, I never could have.

Because fictional characters are like real people!

They can always surprise you.

That's the beauty of them… and us. We're changeable and we adapt constantly to different circumstances.

Therefore, this new coming year can be anything we want it to be - right? Just like I can push my heroes and heroines to behave and reach their goals, we can all do the same in our own worlds.

So my wish for you all is that you do motivate yourself to make this coming year of 2016 the most wonderful year ever.

 Be the best you that you can be!!

The purpose of life is to create your Self anew, in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about Who You Are. (My favorite quote by Neale Donal Walsch)

Much success to you all… and… have fun attaining it.

 Love and hugs!!

Mimi
 

 



Friday, December 25, 2015

Do we live in a bubble, blind to the beauty around us? You decide...






**I've sent this Christmas blog out for the last few years and wanted to do the same again this year since the message will never get old.**


 

This is the time of the year when we all become so busy that we sometimes forget what this season is about. Recently, I received an e-mail that clutched at me, and made me take notice. Though this happened some years ago, I doubt if the results would be different today. 

It was about a violinist playing his instrument in the Washington, DC Metro Station. During the time he played, approximately 2,000 people went through the area, most of them on their way to work. One or two stopped to listen for a short while, an older man the longest. A few people threw money, but the ones who acknowledged him the most were the little ones with busy parents who forced them along so they couldn't stay and listen. 


After 1 hour he finished playing and silence took over, no applause, no recognition and a very few dollars for his trouble. No one knew that this man called Joshua Bell was one of the greatest violinists in the world, who played some of the most intricate pieces ever written for a violin, and this day he played on an instrument worth $3.5 million dollars. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM21gPmkDpI

The Washington Post had organized this experiment to answer this question: In a commonplace environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty and stop to appreciate it? It raised the uncertainty - if we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the world’s best musicians, playing some of the finest music ever written, on one of the most beautiful instruments ever made - how many other things are we missing?

The thought scares me a little. I get so caught up in my writing, editing, promoting, and blogging - in fact - all the many time-consuming tasks most authors have, that I must admit, it’s easy to let the world float on by.

But should we? And at this time of the year especially? So my request to all you wonderful people is to stop for a while, enjoy the special moments the season of Yuletide brings us and spoil yourself with pleasures and joys…. and lots of chocolate!

Merry Christmas! Have a wonderful season full of friends, warmth and affection!



Hugs & Love  

Mimi

 

 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

There was a man who wanted to surprise his wife for #Christmas.


 
He wasn’t a rich man, worked the normal nine-to-five kind of job and he and his family survived payday to payday. Every week, this man would take twenty dollars from the house-hold budget so he would always have a few dollars in his pocket for those small emergencies.

His wife was careful with money in the same way but at Christmas they would spend a little more to give each other, and their family and friends, those extras that make this time of the year so special.

Now, his wife had a few girlfriends that would come often and visit, one who liked the good stuff in life and didn’t hesitate to blow whatever amount she wanted to get herself dolled out with fabulous clothes and especially nice jewelry. And... she liked to brag about her purchases.  

Even the other friend, though not quite as extravagant, would spend money on herself and she too loved good jewelry. But the wife knew they didn’t have a lot to spare and so other than buying a few of the nicer clothes on layaway and really good sales, she spent their money on the necessities and had no problem doing so. As far as she was concerned, they had everything they needed… and then some.

Therefore, this special Christmas Eve when they had a houseful of family visiting and the husband and his wife ended up sleeping on the couch in the living room, she had no idea why her man was so het up and seemingly nervous. Once they were alone, he cuddled up and then presented her with a beautifully wrapped gift. They always opened one gift the night before Christmas, but they’d already had this ritual so she certainly wasn’t expecting anything else. Surprised, she didn’t know what to think. By now, he vibrated with a nervous kind of excitement and she knew whatever was in the small box had to be very important.

Slowly, she unwrapped it and inside was the most beautiful diamond ring she’d ever seen. Three huge diamonds - all the same size and set in a gold band – dazzled. They sparkled their beauty and fit together perfectly with her older engagement ring to make a gorgeous set. Heart beating, tears streaming almost choking, she wrapped her arms around this man and held on.

His whispered words, “you can show your friends tomorrow” let her know that he’d overheard their female discussions and had decided that his wife wasn’t going to be left out – no way.

Finally, he admitted that every week, he’d hid half or all of his money and it took more than two years and a hidden bonus check before he could afford to pay for this gift. But he’d done it for her, so she’d have what the others seemed to want so much.

***And every time I look at my finger and see that gorgeous ring, I remember that Christmas and it reminds me why I love that man so much.
 
 

Have a very Merry Christmas and may your Santa be good to you this year too!!!
 
  

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Dark Dozen: Stories for Scarborough - Charity Book Blitz! December 19th!


The Dark Dozen: Stories for Scarborough
by Travis Luedke, C.N. Lesley, Danielle DeVor, Maer Wilson, Steven Ramirez, Jody A. Kessler, Louann Carroll, Ross G. Homer, M. Joseph Murphy, Robert P. Wills, Karenne Griffin, and Allan B. Anderson
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Release Date: December 2, 2015



***SPECIAL NOTE: SAVE A LIFE, BUY A BOOK*** 

This fund-raising anthology of Horror and Sci-Fi short stories was created to benefit Altoine Scarborough, a man in desperate need of a heart transplant. The stories, cover art, formatting, editing and compilation were all donated. Every penny of the royalties we receive will go to Al’s GOFUNDME project. (MW)

Vampires to ghosts to monsters—and futures we won’t want to see come true—fill this collection of dark stories that are sure to give you chills. This stellar, fan-favorite group, which includes award-winning and best-selling authors, brings a unique voice to some familiar and not-so-familiar creatures. Join Travis Luedke, C.N. Lesley, Danielle DeVor, Maer Wilson, Steven Ramirez, Jody A. Kessler, Louann Carroll, Ross G, Homer, M. Joseph Murphy, Robert P. Wills, Karenne Griffin, and Allan B. Anderson for a trip into the Darkness.


BROWN THE RECLUSE by Steven Ramirez – Ted Brown is a man slipping away from reality. Long estranged from his family and living in Seattle, he works at a job he no longer values and lately appears to be losing his memory. But when he discovers a spider in his apartment, that’s when things get really interesting.

THE RAID by Maer Wilson – Gamers are often loyal to their teammates. When Aelan and her friends tackle an evil dragon, that loyalty goes far beyond what anyone expects.

THE BONES by Danielle DeVor – Sometimes, things leave a residue, like the smell left behind when toast is burned. When a medical student brings a skeleton home to study, her child’s life will never be the same.

THE WHISPERING by Karenne Griffin – The small village of Gorland is horrified as their children kill themselves in what appear to be suicide pacts. But there is much more going on and only one child has the key.

THE DIARY OF A MADMAN by Robert P. Wills – Just because others don’t see the ghosts, doesn’t mean they aren’t real.

THE CALL: AN ANGEL FALLS NOVELLA by Jody A. Kessler – Professional shaman and cranky, anti-social ghost hunter, Chris Abeyta, finds spirits and helps them cross over to the afterlife. In his latest case, he and Juliana Crowson find the ghost of a girl trapped by time and a heart-wrenching tale of a camping trip gone terribly wrong.

THE FOUNDLINGS: JENNY’S TALE by Louann Carroll – Technology meets morality when Jenny loses her only friend. Terrified and alone she must choose between reentering the world or living the rest of her life in the dark.

MUMANS by Ross G. Homer – He found love in the most unlikely place. But could he keep the love he found?

A TALE OF TWO QUEENS AND A FROZEN HEART by Allan B. Anderson – Reily, an experienced troubleshooter, is hired to find two teams who have gone missing in a frozen wasteland. But even his skills may not be enough to survive what he discovers.

THE VAMPIRE AND THE VALIANT WARRIOR by M. Joseph Murphy – A noble thief in search of ancient treasure stumbles upon the den of a sadistic vampire.

HELL IS NEVER FULL by C.N. Lesley – When the seed of hate is sown it puts forth shoots of malice that bear flowers of evil. Time has no meaning for revenge.

DREAMS OF NIGHTLIFE LAS VEGAS by Travis Luedke – An author has an unexpected encounter with one of his most dangerous – and sexy – creations.

For more information about Al’s situation or to donate directly to his GoFundMe project, please check out these links below:

Any support to help save Al’s life will be deeply appreciated.
Al’s GOFUNDME Page – https://www.gofundme.com/l1911s
Al’s Facebook Page – WE HEART AL – https://www.facebook.com/We-Heart-Al-611995988938764/
Amazon – THE DARK DOZEN – http://goo.gl/H8lsPo

To read more about Al's story and how this anthology came about, visit Maer Wilson's website.







Thursday, December 17, 2015

If you do decide to write your book, always know the ending… Why? #mgtab




Sounds like good advice and easy to do, right?

Not so.

I can’t tell you how many professional authors suffer from this very situation. They know the story they want to tell.

They even have a really good idea of their characters, the hero and heroine and the dynamics that will drive them through the conflicts.
And… they’ve plotted out the chapters, the struggles that these people will suffer in order to reach their goals. Once they’ve figured out the motivation that makes them act in ways they do, everything begins to jell.

Finally, they’ve ticked off all the points that they’d planned to share with the readers and the story is over.

Except, they have no ending.

I’ve gone to many workshops and have read a lot of posts where individuals rant on about just how important the beginning is… they call it the hook. Even the first chapter, paragraph, page, hell the first sentence is freakin’ imperative because in their minds, it’s that section that gets the reader sucked in. (I mean that in a good way :-)

And… we all know that to be true.

But I say the ending is even more so. Picture this… A reader gets captivated by your work. He/she reads all the way through that book, totally enjoying your story and then you let them go with an ending that is so trite, it triggers a ho-hum feeling rather than the sensation of: Ok – that’s cool! or Aww! Or even – I never saw that coming. Even more important, to leave them with the thought of – I wonder what other books she/he has for sale?

Just so you know, I struggle really hard to make my endings resonate with the reader and I think I’ve succeeded with the last book in the Holiday Heartwarmers Trilogy. I made sure that I finished off the third book with my some of my very best work and since the ending of the story left me in happy tears, I’m hoping it will have the same effect on anyone who reads it.

In this novella, I just had to bring Sergeant Harley Carlton back and let him have his own tale. When I wrote the first book, Please Keep Me, he appeared and he got to me – in a good way. And so, it just made sense to resurrect him and let him finish the trilogy with a blockbuster.

In this book three called Find Me a Home, we have the cranky puppy, Grumps, deciding that the only person he wanted to be with was Amelia, the mistress who thought he was perfect and who he was snatched away from. And so he trudged all the way home only to find her in terrible trouble.

If you like stories that will get your emotions involved, where you laugh and cry and find you really care about the ending, then this is the collection for you.






Released on



Please Keep Me
A puppy, a brave little girl and a single mom, who can't refuse her munchkin the chance to get to know her secret father, turns this story into a real heart warmer.

Snow Pup
A small town’s lovely deputy and a father, who lost his son years ago to a vindictive wife, team up to save the kid from a foster home he hates and an overzealous social worker who thinks she knows best.

Find Me A Home
An accident changes the lives of: a little girl who loses her parents, a crabby puppy who hates all men, a soft-hearted beauty who fears for her brother and... also the cop who can’t escape his destiny. 


 

Monday, December 14, 2015

So, have you decided? Are you going to write that book?



In the last post, we talked about you writing the book you’ve always imagined existed inside you. And I was helping you by telling you my process. How I start to think about a story and plot it out.
Here’s more about the process to help you get started.
In the Holiday Heartwarmers trilogy, I had planned three novellas. I wrote them all as separate books because I didn’t want the readers to feel trapped into having to read anything in order. Each story needed to be a standalone.

That’s all well and good but… as I mentioned before, that meant three different sets of characters and three distinct plot lines. The only setting point I had to stick with was the place. Three puppies from one litter had to be abandoned together, right? Otherwise, it wouldn’t have made sense. So I created a fictional town in the state of Washington and called it Carlton Grove.

Once the name came to me, it just made sense to have the first hero be a Carlton. Dammed if he didn’t have an older brother show up who kinda got to me and so I resurrected him for the third story. See, even though I started out not wanting to tie in any set of family members - rather use the puppies as the thread through each story - somehow it ended up happening anyway. All good plans…blah, blah, blah!

But this second story called Snow Pup wasn’t about a member of the Carlton family. Instead, I imagined a young boy living with foster parents from hell and had him running away to escape his misery. To bring in the second puppy, it just seemed logical to have the animal stumble on to the boy and refuse to leave him. Could be the dog sensed the same fear of being unloved in the human that he’d experienced at the hands of his miserable master. Anyway, I played on that idea and though the boy refused to have anything to do with the mutt at the beginning, it all came together by the end.

Once I’d imagined this setup, the story began to write itself and all I did was make sure the words were effective in describing the scenario.

Many authors will tell you that all you need is that germ of an idea, plant it in fertile soil and let it grow. And if you don’t absorb anything else from this blog, know this.
If you don’t try and force your ideas or you characters, into illogical situations so that you end up so far out there that you have no hope of getting back, many times a story will take shape almost by itself and you’ll sit back and wonder where the hell it came from.

That’s the fun part of being a writer.

On my next blog… how to find the end.


Released on
 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Have you ever written a book? Think you can?


Have you ever wanted to write a book?

Since I first started my career as an author, I must admit that a lot of people have shared with me their plans or desires to pen the novel that's just waiting inside their imagination to be released. The thing is - it’s just not all that easy to do. Even if a person does start with the best of intentions, doesn't mean they'll ever finish it.

So - let's see how someone who's already published over 30 books comes up with an idea, works it into a story and eventually has a finished product.


I'll share my latest endeavors and it may even help you decide if you're really ready to follow your dream.

A while ago, for reasons I won't go into now, I had thought to do a trilogy of Christmas novellas.

As soon as the idea took hold, I'd made up my mind not to follow the usual path of other writers by linking people (like families, etc.) together in order to come up with separate yet attached books. Instead, I let my thoughts wander through different scenarios until the idea of a litter of puppies began to take hold. It dawned on me that I could use each pup as the link for the stories.

Once I'd decided to go with that idea, I needed to come up with a prologue which would hook them together and where I could eventually get my three separate yet linked novellas started.

While I let my imagination roam, it hit me that the little canines needed to be abandoned so each one have would to venture out and find their family and, of course, their romance.

It was about that time that I asked my friends and beta readers what they thought would be good titles.  After I shared the small bit of info I just explained to you, the ideas started pouring in.

Already, the first book had started to take shape, so when I saw the phrase - Please Keep Me – it seemed to be an omen.  

You see, I’d imagined a female puppy who'd found a little girl - or maybe it was the other way around - but once they met, it had to be love at first sight. Knowing I wanted something out of the ordinary, rather than just the old boy meets girl beginning, I had the puppy skid down a steep incline and fall into the lake.

Thoughts rolling now, I could picture it happening and suddenly I saw the child trying to rescue the mutt only getting herself into trouble. Now both needed to be saved. Of course, it was the perfect time to introduce our hero.

The plot worked smoothly, but was a little too easy so I added another twist just to make the story flow. I’d decided to have the single mother, with good reason, hate all Carltons - a family our handsome do-gooder just happens to be a member of.

Once I'd set these schemes into motion, the story wrote itself. Of course there had to be more conflicts to keep it interesting, but the joy in writing the book was exploring the characters, watching them grow while putting them through hell.

Still think you want to try writing that book?

If so, check out my next post. You’ll learn more…


Released on Amazon Select and now on a
3-day promotion!!
99 cents...
Grab your copy now and follow along with the blogs.
 
 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A peek into how an artist designs a cover!! #amazon #asmsg


Uvi Poznansky is our co-ordinator for this new box collection and she explains how she came up with the beautiful cover. It’s an interesting look into an artist’s creative thoughts.

 

A Touch of Passion is a new boxed set, containing twelve full-length Romance novels by wonderfully talented, bestselling authors. Joining me are Mimi Barbour, Elizabeth Marx, Tamara Ferguson, Regina Puckett, B. J. Robinson, Laura Taylor, Suzanne Jenkins, Cynthia Woolf, Lisa Gillis, Traci Hall.

For the word 'Passion' I found a lovely font called Precious, because I felt that it expresses the meaning of this word by making the capital letter so flowery and romantic. For the image I selected a young woman in a silky dress, made her close her eyes as she dreams about her beloved, and on her hand I placed a pink rose. I positioned it so it nearly falls off from her fingers, as she is so enraptured in her memories.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-n0s7hWKl3FM/VjWzH2vGjxI/AAAAAAAAJgo/srovrxJTg3s/s640/frontcover.jpg


Here is the spine. My intention was to create a sense of a substantial collection, presented like volumes in an encyclopedia. Therefore, I used golden lettering on dark purple, velvet background. I added the lit and shadowed edges for each spine, to achieve depth. Most importantly, at the bottom of it I added a signature icon from the cover of its standalone novel.


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nFBLI4eWwZw/VjPhd4aLH7I/AAAAAAAAJeI/RsTWBJwVnks/s400/spines%2B10%2Bauthors.jpg


Finally, I built it all up so suggest a perspective, and created a reflection underneath, which adheres to the same rules of perspective. And here is the finished cover:

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-e-o1_P_dw4Q/VjWzQ04ym1I/AAAAAAAAJgw/68_3-Z0Wd5M/s400/cover%2Bof%2Bboxed%2Bset.jpg

 

Lose yourself in a touch of passion

Whether it’s the beauty in a song or the magic of a kiss, the agony of heartbreak or the hunger of yearning, explore ecstasy and desire in these captivating full-length novels. Written by twelve bestselling, multiple award-winning, USA Today and NY Times authors, this boxed set has it all: Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance, Romantic Suspense, Victorian Romance, Western and Literary Fiction. These sensual tales of love will leave you with a smile on your lips and music in your heart. 

Love Romance? Get this amazing collection

Kindle  Nook  Apple  Kobo  Smashwords