My precious!

Ever since I started my writing career I have been hearing things like “E-books are not real books”, or “I prefer having a paperback in my bookshelf than a Kindle full of E-books”. On the other hand, electronic materials are much more accessible, being easy to read even on a phone. This dilemma of electronic versus paper is more a matter of taste in my opinion, but also a matter of necessity.

For instance, I am an avid reader and not a day passes without my having a book as companion. But since I’m always in a rush, I prefer audio books. I’m never without my old, battered Mp3 Player, and even when I can’t afford to buy audio books, I make my own using a magic program called Text Aloud. This is not only for the convenience of those who are permanently multitasking, but also a miracle for blind people or those who have eyesight problems and can’t read print books.

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However, despite all these obvious advantages of electronic reading, I confess I will always adore the feel of a book in my hands. Thumbing through the pages, smelling the fresh or old ink, these are exquisite sensations to a veteran reader. And because I am a fanatical reader since I was four, I’ve always wanted to see my own books in print one day.

Well, I am delighted to say that day has finally come. Except for Be My Valentine, my only short story, all of my novels are now available as paperbacks, and I can tell you it was worth the waiting. I don’t know if you’ll think me silly or sentimental, but the truth is I cried when I held my paperbacks in my arms for the first time. It’s like holding a new born, seeing your work has finally become something tangible. Now I can say I am a truly accomplished author. ❤

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Here’s when you can take a closer look at my new babies, and I hope you’ll be as happy for me as I am! 🙂

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00E6V9O1K

 

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My Top 10 Favorite Quotes – Part II

Not very long ago I posted ten of my favorite quotes of all times. But since I read (make that listen to) at least one book every two days, I came across some more interesting things I’d like to share with you guys. So, here are another ten quotes, gathered from here and there, quotes I find very useful and inspiring.

#10: “Life, a good life, a great life is about ‘Why not?’ May we never forget it.” – Danielle Steel

I’m not exactly a big risk taker – quite the opposite – but sometimes we all need advice like this, when we struggle with life-altering decisions.

#9: “Don’t let yourself feel worthless: often through life you will really be at your worst when you seem to think best of yourself; and don’t worry about losing your “personality,” as you persist in calling it: at fifteen you had the radiance of early morning, at twenty you will begin to have the melancholy brilliance of the moon, and when you are my age you will give out, as I do, the genial golden warmth of 4 p.m.” – Scott Fitzgerald

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When I read this quote, all I could think was “God, please give me the brilliance to write one day a literary gem as precious and colossal as The Great Gatsby“. I guess I still have some way to go until I’ll reach my 4 a.m. genial golden warmth. 🙂

#8: “As I began to love myself, I stopped craving for a different life and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY”. – Charles Chaplin

I’m glad to have discovered that maturity doesn’t mean only wrinkles on our faces, but also wisdom and strength.

#7: “You sort of starting anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” – J.K. Rowling

I am not a Harry Potter fan, but since this lady is the first author to have become a billionaire thanks to her will and imagination, I take her words to heart. She, as a person, is a great inspiration to me.

#6: “No good deed goes unpunished.”

Though this observation has been attributed to several people, including Oscar Wilde, I first learned of it from my father. One day in my not-so-far-away childhood, we met a beggar on the street who asked for money, and my dad refused to give him any. I asked why, and he said to me: ‘What if I give him money, he goes and buys a bottle, gets drunk and then is hit by a car? Is that a good deed?’. He had a point. Now, as a cynical adult, I hope I can spot a con man from afar, and a person who is really in need of help. Unfortunately, beggary has become a business more profitable than working, thanks to the stupidity (aka kindness) of people who perpetuate this vicious circle. Next time when a big, strong guy asks you for change, tell him to go to work. I did so just today, and the guy was not only revolted, but asked why I was cussing him. :-/

#5: “Being rich is fun, but being poor is more exciting” – Sandra Brown

I confess I still fail to see the exciting part of not being rich, but I guess we all have to start somewhere. I was if Sandra had already made her first million when she wrote this.

#4: “Easy is boring. Who would want to spend their life with easy?” – Nora Roberts

Though I always love a good challenge, sometimes I get tired of them. Don’t you?

#3: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” – The Bible, Matthew 7:7

All of these I discovered to be true, and I have a small addenda: as long as it doesn’t cost anything, try. You can only discover one or more ways to fail, but in the end you’ll find yourself on the right track.

#2: “Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life.” – Paulo Coelho

I could say this is the story of my life. Though I’m an impulsive person by nature, I learned to think and overthink things to death. Yet somehow, there’s always something I haven’t taken into consideration, and taking bad decisions is, willy-nilly, part of my life. But of course, this is what made me come to the same conclusion as Marilyn did, which is my #1 quote and my mantra:

#1: “There’s no such thing as chance. It’s all preordained. Like kismet.”

– Marilyn Monroe –

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My Top 10 Favorite Quotes – Part I

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We all have our little motto-s that guide us in life, bits and pieces of other people’s wisdom, or even our own. I’ve been thinking of this post for some time now, and I’ve decided to make a top of my favorite ten quotes of all times. Choosing the quotes was piece of cake, but the real hard part was assigning numbers to them. I am still not sure if this order is quite exactly right, but I believe the message each of these quotes transmits is more important.

So here is my Top 10 of favorite quotes:

#10: “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” ~ William Shakespeare

This quote (slightly adapted for the general public) from Hamlet is the motto of part two of my Suspense Romance called “A French Kiss in London”, the first book of The Coriola Saga. It’s amazing how much these few words can encompass, and how much truth they hide, for we will never know more than an infinitesimal part of the vast Universe surrounding us.

#9: “But already my desire and my will

Were being turned like a wheel, all at one speed,

By the Love which moves the sun and the other stars.” ~ Dante Alighieri

I also used this quote as a motto, for part one of “Falling for Italy”, the second book in The Coriola Saga. It is well known all over the world, and though its translations vary, its meaning is unmistakable. I believe Love truly is the center of the Universe.

#8: “The greatest thing about writing is that it’s just you and the page. The most horrifying thing about writing is that it’s just you and the page. Contemplation of that dichotomy is enough to stop most people dead in their tracks.” ~ Diana Gabaldon

Now this is some great piece of philosophy from one of my favorite authors, but if you look at it, you will realize it’s not only about writing. It can be applicable in anything you do. The point is you are the only one who can do it, or who can keep finding excuses not to do it. it’s up to you to at least try. Reading this always strengthens my motivation when I feel down, or dealing with author’s block.

#7: “The harder you work for something, the better you learn to enjoy and appreciate it.”

This might be considered a bit of a clishe and it’s been said by many people. This particular wording happens to belong to me, and I’ve actually discovered it on my own until I reached the ripe age of twenty-nine, before I ever read anything similar. I can only vouch it’s true.

#6: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why they call it a present.” ~ Kung Fu Panda

I don’t know who said animations are for kids only, but I would recommend Kung Fu Panda to any adult I know. It’s a ballet of fun and wisdom, sprinkled with wise quotes like the one I mentioned above. Master Oogway rules!

#5: “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”  ~ Marilyn Monroe

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I have two quotes of Marilyn Monroe in my list. Of course, with all the ghost writers  hidden behind every celebrity, you can never tell if she was truly the one who said these wise things. But there is one thing that’s indisputable. Even though too many people think she was just a flimsy bimbo who became a sex symbol overnight, the fact that her legend is still alive after so many decades tells us something. That she was one of those people who had a special aura and a unique charm. She wasn’t an exceptional actress, or singer, or anything else, professionally speaking. But I think she was an exceptional person.

#4: “The real lover is the man who can thrill you by kissing your forehead or smiling into your eyes or just staring into space.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

And now, we reached the big top three quotes, all of which are my mantras in life, especially when I face difficult moments. I owe a lot to these following three little sentences.

#3: “Life is made out of temporary solutions.” ~ Elizabeth Adler

#2: You gotta dream big if you want big things to happen.” ~ Sandra Brown

#1: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

I haven’t done anything but compile some valuable pieces of advice in this post, but I hope you have enjoyed it and found it useful. Happy Friday! ❤

This Halloween, the hunted has become the hunter… THE PLOT has begun!

Happy Saturday everyone!

You’re probably wondering what I’ve been up to this whole year, because apart from re-releasing some of my novels in two languages – English and Romanian – I haven’t actually released anything new. Until now.

I’ve been working hard on this story, because it has a very powerful emotional charge. It’s the story of a human trafficking victim who falls in the hands of a Chinese triad, and later makes it her life’s mission to get revenge. I know it will be very controversial and the reactions of my readers will vary. I’ve touched an extremely sensitive subject, and I can only hope I’ve done it justice.

That said, with the loud drum rolls in my years and the even louder hammering of my heart, I present you THE PLOT.

The Plot Cover

AN UNCONVENTIONAL ROMANCE
At eighteen, Yoko Hirano falls prey to a human trafficking organization and is forced into a lifestyle nightmares are made of. When the young Japanese girl escapes, her only focus is exacting revenge and saving other girls from the same fate by bringing down Michael Chen, the powerful mobster who destroyed her innocence. 
BETWEEN TWO MISFITS
Four years later she meets antiques dealer Mark Chandler, the only man who ever treated her with respect. Though she is torn by her unfamiliar feelings for him, Yoko’s grand scheme doesn’t involve falling in love, and a man like Mark would never want her if he discovered her past. What she doesn’t know is that he has his own dark secrets… 
BROUGHT TOGETHER BY LOVE AND REVENGE
Mark never thought he could lose his head over a woman, but the haunted eyes of his beautiful new employee fill his soul with desire and tenderness. When he learns about what had happened to her, his vengeance knows no limits. Nor does his resolve to help her heal and discover love.

THE PLOT will be officially released on October 31st, but it’s now available for

preorder. I look forward to your impressions and reviews.

Preorder from Amazon.

Why bother?

We’ve all read books we liked at one time or another. And books we disliked. But how many of you bother to leave a review? I confess I’ve read thousands of books so far, but before I became an author myself, I didn’t even know much about reviews, how important they are to a writer and why.

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I don’t know about other authors, but I learn very much from each review I receive. I learn what the readers like and dislike about my writing, I realize mistakes I wasn’t aware of making and learn to value the good points of my writing style. Simply put, reviews continuously help me grow as an author. Even the critic ones (I never call them bad) have helped me judge my writing and see it through someone else’s eyes.

I always try to make criticism constructive, but it’s important for an author to know which reviewers make a valid point. Some writers get depressed and discouraged when they get a negative review. I rarely do. Instead, I try to pick the bits and pieces that make sense, and separate them from the reviewer’s personal opinions. For instance, a reader who is a BDSM fan will never like my anti-BDSM comments. I can’t help that, nor can I let it change my own opinions. But when several readers have complained about some of my sentences being too long, I did try to rectify that, without changing my distinctive author voice.

And that’s why I began writing reviews myself for the books that have made an impression on me, whether it was good or bad. It’s not only to voice my opinion about the story, but also to help those authors improve and grow, just like I am doing all the time.

If my readers are happy, that makes me happy. So if you’ve already read my books or want to give them a chance, I would truly appreciate if you stopped by and let me know your thoughts. Each and every one of them matter. ❤ ❤ ❤

Melinda De Ross’s Amazon page: http://goo.gl/2nH9cC

Seduce her, even if she’s already yours

Why do so many marriages fail in our days? I believe cheating and lack of communication are the most commonly invoked reasons. But does anybody wonder why it comes to this so often?

I think a marriage is one of the hardest things to maintain. It’s a relationship that needs to be cultivated with patience and nourished with love. It requires care and attention, so it can develop like a well-tended plant.

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Too many couples lack the patience and understanding it takes to form such a bond. Marriage isn’t something that two people make perfect from the moment you say ‘I do’. It can take years for the partners to find their balance and dynamics, to accept one another, to help each other correct their flaws and enhance their virtues.

But what most marriages lack is romance. We are so busy with our lives, with our careers, with keeping up the pace in this fast-moving society that we forget to cherish the person at our side. No man should let a month pass without bringing his wife a small present, even if it’s just a rose, a box of chocolates or a bottle of cheap wine. No woman should let a month pass without surprising her husband with a new negligee, a candlelight dinner or a movie and popcorn date that ends on the floor, naked.

Seduction should be part of the couples’ dynamics, just as housework is. Sex isn’t everything that counts in a marriage, but it’s certainly one of the most important aspects. Without a fulfilling relationship in bed, inevitably the partners will grow apart sooner or later, their interest will shift to other people. And to think that only a little attention could save your marriage from falling into routine and boredom…

A romantic, thoughtful gesture now and again is the best way to show your spouse that you care. Hold hands, take walks in the park, dance together, make love passionately, and your entire life will change. Soon you’ll realize you’re happier, you’ll smile more often and, chemistry aside, joy and good sex are the key-factors to a great health. Remember this mantra, and just love each other! ❤ ❤ ❤

To be or not be an Indie author

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Today’s publishing industry has become a paradoxical contradiction. The resources that are made available by a multitude of publishing platforms make it easy for just anybody to publish a book. That is a veritable miracle for writers all around the world, but at the same time, it may be a huge inconvenience. Why? Simply because everybody can publish a book, no matter how bad, and by doing so they increase the competition and reduce the visibility of good books.

But what other choice do writers have? The big publishers seem as unreachable as the moon. They all discourage writers to submit to them, unless it is by a reputable agent. Reputable agents are, in turn, difficult to approach. It seems the elite of the publishing industry has forgotten its mission and is, in fact, a closed circle. I personally know dozens of extremely talented authors who get rejection letter after rejection letter, with no concrete explanation. What do big publishers look for, I wonder?

The immediate answer that comes to mind is great books. But unfortunately, great books means commercial books, in today’s publishing jargon. The actual value of the writing is overshadowed by its marketing potential. Writers have to be more salesmen than creators of art. Editors are obsessed with the mechanical correctness of the text and fail to see the story behind it.

I have read thousands of books, and not once did I stop to analyze the benefits of “show versus tell”, or check the word count of a chapter. I’m sure the dozens of editors and publishers who rejected writers as J.K. Rowling or Stephen King bitterly regret it until this day. And why did they do it? Because they didn’t see great stories, but books with a low selling potential. They were afraid to take a chance.

So in the end, after analyzing the problem from all angles, there seems to be no choice for a talented author other than to be an Indie. If there is a way to get inside the fortress of the big publishers, I haven’t found it. This question will remain forever a mystery for millions of talented writers all over the world. And even when some of them will become famous posthumously, it will be too late, and no consolation to them. Not to mention the thousands of exceptional stories that will never see the light.

It’s sad when beautiful art dies in anonymity, to make room for bad scribbling that appeals to a twisted, perverted society.

The weekend humor pill

Happy Saturday everyone! Thanks to my dear friend and fellow author Susan Tarr, who sent me this literary gem, I started my day rolling on the floor with laughter, and this is something I want to share with you all.

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY – A husband’s point of view by Pam Ayres

devil girl
The missus bought a Paperback,

Down Shepton Mallet way,
I had a look inside her bag;
T’was “Fifty Shades of Grey”.
Well I just left her to it,
And at ten I went to bed.
An hour later she appeared;
The sight filled me with dread…
In her left she held a rope;
And in her right a whip!
She threw them down upon the floor,
And then began to strip.
Well fifty years or so ago;
I might have had a peek;
But Mabel hasn’t weathered well;
She’s eighty four next week!!
Watching Mabel bump and grind;
Could not have been much grimmer.
And things then went from bad to worse;
She toppled off her Zimmer!
She struggled back upon her feet;
A couple minutes later;
She put her teeth back in and said
I am a dominater !!
Now if you knew our Mabel,
You’d see just why I spluttered,
I’d spent two months in traction
For the last complaint I’d uttered.
She stood there nude and naked
Bent forward just a bit
I went to hold her, sensual like                                   
And stood on her left tit!
Mabel screamed, her teeth shot out;                          
My god what had I done!?

She moaned and groaned then shouted out:
“Step on the other one”!!
Well readers, I can’t tell no more;
About what occurred that day.
Suffice to say my jet black hair,
Turned fifty shades of grey.

lol

Now that hopefully you’ve all laughed as hard as I did, I want to make my own contribution to this hilarious post and add an excerpt from my Romantic Comedy called Unabridged. Angelina Jameson, editor at a magazine named Unabridged, receives a letter from someone named Zorro Kalashnikov. And when she reads the letter…

Unabridged’s headquarters were in high gear. I opened the door to Blade’s office to blow him a kiss and found him almost buried in paperwork. I waved hastily and withdrew, but not before hearing him shout, “Chicken!”

I hurried to put distance between myself and his office No doubt those monstrous stacks of mail would keep him busy for hours. I had my own work to cope with.

A much smaller pile of mail waited on my desk. I plopped down into my chair, prepared to do battle with whatever the unpredictable Pandora’s Box had for me this morning. I’d often found love letters, marriage proposals, indecent suggestions, and on one unfortunate occasion I would never be able to wipe from my mind, a high resolution picture of a penis on full-alert.

Not ready to do battle with such a creature again, I pushed the envelopes away and checked my emails instead. One of them caught my attention. It was from someone named Zorro Kalashnikov.

Curious, I leaned forward, clicked on it, and began to read.

Dear Miss Jameson,

Allow me to congratulate you on your article called ‘Billionaires, BDSM and Blah-blah-blah’. I read every edition of your magazine online, and I enjoy it tremendously. Along with the new look of ‘Unabridged’, this week’s edition was like a breath of fresh air. I have been following your column for the past two years and I was actually wondering if you would ever approach the subject of the pseudo-literary phenomena involving BDSM and kinky billionaires. Personally, I only tried one of the thousands of books featuring this subject and managed to digest less than twenty pages, because after that I felt I was reading and rereading insignificant variations of the same flavorless text. However, the little reading proved to be enough for me to form a pretty clear idea regarding the rest.

Even though it might seem paradoxical, the way-too-explicit insistency of the sex scenes led me to believe that in fact, with all that lusty abundance, the author proved an acute lack of imagination. Therefore, I figured the author in question must have had a real person as a model to create her fictional hero. This possibility got me much more excited than the book, and urged me to start an ample research to identify the mysterious specimen who ignited the author’s inspiration.

I won’t bore you with the detailed recounting of my turn amateur sleuth investigation, but will only lay out the interesting elements I discovered. Unlike the fascinating and charismatic protagonist of the bestselling novel, the original model was neither too young, nor well-schooled, not even good looking, and by no means a billionaire. He was an illiterate porter, rendered stupid with drink, without a specific address, who frequented a sordid honky-tonk where he earned some extra money by exposing his cock—a truly impressive monument, which reached fifteen inches in length and five inches in diameter, when it was adequately tickled and stimulated.

I burst out laughing, quickly muffling the sound and continued reading.

Since the result of those measurements was confirmed by several independent sources from the subject’s entourage, it wasn’t necessary for me to check their accuracy in person. The same sources also informed me that, a good while back, our porter was visited several times in that honky-tonk by an enigmatic lady armed with a voice recorder. Seeing as the meetings took place in a private corner, I couldn’t obtain any pertinent information regarding the discussions between the two. Also, the visitor’s identity remained unknown. But a faithful client of the joint provided me with the lady’s description, after I bought him several glasses of some foul-looking moonshine. I quote: ‘Twas a fancy-looking broad, mate. She came here with a limo and a driver, and she was kinda like pudgy-looking, and only by her gear you could tell she ain’t a man.’

I abstain from making any speculations regarding the lady’s identity. I am more than pleased to have cleared up the mystery.

Zorro Kalashnikov

P.S: I leave to your judgment the differentiation between truthful and credible.

By this time, I was hooting with laughter and tears of mirth trickled from my eyes. I was still in this state when Blade entered my office a few moments later.

“What’s so funny?”

“Take a look at this email,” I said, laughing so hard, I could barely speak. I turned the laptop toward him. “We should offer this guy a job.”

~Excerpt from Unabridged~

Have a great weekend everyone, and if you’ve enjoyed this post, please share and reblog. ❤