Interview with Marina Hill

I’m happy to welcome author Marina Hill. Today, Marina shares details about her creative journey and new release, Little Writer.

Interview

What was your inspiration for this book?

Comfort. I really wanted to write something cozy, something I could come back to when I want to feel seen, loved, and heard. Little Women is already such a warm book for me, but I wanted to expand it to something even more relatable.

Which authors have inspired you?

I’ve recently been admiring Tracy Deonn! She’s so graceful, smart, and talented. She’s certainly who I aspire to be like. Since the beginning of my writing career, I’ve been a fangirl of Alex Bracken. I love her aesthetic, and I was so enamored by her writing in the Passenger duology that I bought a second copy so I could study her prose.

What is your favorite quote?

Non-writing related:
“I only debate my equals. All others, I teach.” —John Henrik Clarke, an astounding scholar.

Writing related:
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” —Richard Bach. This quote entirely changed my perspective.

Besides writing and reading, what are some of your hobbies?

I love to paint. Any form of creativity calms me. I also picked up knitting recently and I really love it!

Any advice for aspiring writers?

There is no such thing as an aspiring writer. If you write, you are a writer. But for new writers, I encourage persistence. Always remain a student. Improving your writing craft is not an uphill journey, it’s an expanding circle. You widen your circle of knowledge and skill instead of building a mountain of them.

Blurb

A retelling of the classic coming-of-age story Little Women through the intimate lens of Jo March.

It’s 1862 and fifteen-year-old Jo March would rather be fighting in the war, like her papa, than improving her knitting skills on the home front. But societal conventions for the “gentle” woman-and her steadfast adoration for her three sisters-force Jo to stay behind and support the family, all the while rolling her eyes at Aunt March and daydreaming of becoming a famous author.

At home, love abounds in the March girls’ lives in the form of family, friendship, patriotism, religion, and-to Jo’s chagrin-romance. As each sister navigates their ascent into adulthood, Jo unwittingly ventures down a path of self-realization, using her gift of written prose to craft her voice, and thus, her truth. Perhaps, just maybe, she can strike balance between the freedom of independence and the warmth of partnership…

In this visionary adaptation, Little Writer tells the March sisters’ timeless journey to womanhood with a multiracial cast of characters, reimagining history to include diverse communities without elaboration.

Excerpt

As Marmee reads, I close my eyes and hear the words in Papa’s voice and imagine myself beside him.

I look up and I’m sitting on a cot inside a tent. I’m still wearing my shift and thin mantle. Papa walks inside and grins, his bright teeth splitting his bushy beard in two.

“Papa!” I exclaim, jumping up and throwing my arms around him. “Oh, I miss you.”

“I miss you, too, my little writer. Come, let me show you the camp.”

He takes my hand and guides me outside. The sun blinds me and horses stomp by and men chitter. The damp ground seeps through my socks and soaks my feet. None of that matters. His arm wraps around me and I savor the warmth of his embrace. He points at a group of men standing around a table inside an open tent. “They’re deciding where the soldiers will march.” Then he gestures toward men crowding around a fire. “They’re having lunch.” Papa leads me through the crowd and a couple of them nod at me in acknowledgment. My toes turn numb at the cold and wiggling them does no good. He opens a creaky door to a wooden shack. There are four beds and some candles that barely light the entire place. “And this is where I sleep.”

At the sight of the threadbare blankets and the shiver running over my body, I look at him with bewildered eyes. “Aren’t you cold at night?”

Papa smiles a gentle smile that I miss dearly. His silver hair, his thick beard, his soft hands. I miss my papa and I can’t wait until he comes home.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | KOBO | Apple Books

Having read Little Women many times and watched two film versions, I had a good grasp of the plot and characters. Four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—face the challenges of growing up in a financially-strapped home in the aftermath of the Civil War.

I wondered if Ms. Hill’s decision to reimagine this classic coming-of-age story using Jo’s POV and a multiracial cast of characters was a bit too ambitious.

I needn’t have worried.

Retelling the story from Jo’s perspective was an inspired choice. The second eldest of the March siblings has always been my favorite character. While reading Little Writer, I could feel Jo’s emotions more intensely. I also gained insight into her creative and romantic struggles as she navigated the rocky terrain between childhood and adulthood.

Creating new identities for the characters—March family is black, Laurie is of Asian descent, and John Brookes is of Native American descent—did not affect the storyline. As Ms. Hill points out in the Author’s Note: “You could say they live in a raceless world—or in alternate history, as some like to say.”

Set aside large blocks of uninterrupted reading time. You won’t be able to put this book down.

Author Bio and Links

Marina Hill is a writer with a keen interest in all things undiscovered. She grew up in the New Jersey side of Philadelphia, watching Eagles games and roughhousing with her plethora of older brothers. She attended Baruch College in NYC and has over a dozen publications of her other works. If she isn’t daydreaming about her next story, she’s studying history or yearning to dash into the forest, build a farm, and never look back. Marina never lives in one spot for too long and loves to travel with her dog.

Website | Goodreads | Instagram

Giveaway

Marina Hill will be awarding a $15 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Marina on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.

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Three Things to Remember When Life Does Not Go as Planned

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

A long-time fan of bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff, I look forward to reading their emails and blog posts. Here’s an excerpt from a recent email:

1. Do not let what is out of your control interfere with what you can control. Use your frustrations today to motivate you rather than annoy you. You are in control of the way you look at things. Truth be told, there is an opportunity in almost every difficult situation to understand yourself more deeply, and also to improve your life.

2. When life’s struggles knock you into a pit so deep you can’t see anything but darkness, don’t waste valuable energy trying to dig your way out. Because if you hastily dig in the dark, you’re likely to head in the wrong direction and only dig the pit deeper. Instead, use what energy you have to reach out and pull something good in with you. For goodness is bright; its radiance will show you which way is up, and illuminate the correct path that will take you there.

3. When you can no longer think of a reason to continue, you must think of a reason to start over. There’s a big difference between giving up and starting over in the right direction. And there are three little words that can release you from your past regrets and guide you forward to a positive new beginning.

These words are: From now on…

Again, you are NOT in control of everything, but you ARE in control of the way you respond to life. And in your present response is your power.

Note: I highly recommend subscribing to Marc & Angel’s website.

Interview with Shirley Goldberg

I’m happy to welcome back Wild Rose Press author Shirley Goldberg. Today, Shirley shares details about her creative journey and her upcoming release,
A Little Bit of Lust. [Release Date: December 7]

Here’s Shirley!

What was your inspiration for this book?

Before Covid, I went dancing most Sunday afternoons at a restaurant on the CT shoreline in Madison, CT, called Donahue’s. Over the years, I met other dancers and we became regulars. The idea of three friends who hang out, go dancing, and work together grew as a possible storyline for a book.

Courtship, dating, and relationships have always fascinated me, with their ebb and flow. A rich source of material. Courtship is an old-fashioned word for a very real process that has stages and markers and has been poked and prodded by scientists and sociologists for hundreds of years. What better inspiration for The Eight-Minute Ice Cream Social, an event in the book? Characters throw themselves into uncomfortable first meets, sticky conversations, and awkward misunderstandings. Competition raises its jealous head.

What’s the best part of being an author? The worst?

Throwing kinks into the plot is the fun part. Angst, family complications, and heartache running wild. Anything goes. Throw in a cranky sibling, a dating grandmother, and a sidekick who’s an advice-giver or nosy or a meddler, and well, that’s adrenalin-sparking storytelling.

But readers are the best part of writing. Hearing from a stranger about how she laughed or recognized her own problems in my book is mind-blowing. That anyone takes the time to recount even a minor tidbit she relates to is satisfying.

On the not-so-fun side, you have to write when you don’t feel like it. You have to kill your darlings if the lovely words on the page don’t work or they have nothing to do with the story. You have to torture your characters, embarrass them, show their bad side. Above all, you have to rewrite and rewrite. And rewrite. You lose track of how many drafts you’ve worked through because the number of drafts…no one cares. “Does it work?” is the point.

Finally, you have to put the word out about your book. That’s called marketing and promotion. It’s a learned skill and it costs money and it’s difficult. Hmph.

What is your favorite quote?

“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.” Roald Dahl

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Oh, this is a fun question. My superpower would be to write faster and better so I’d only have to write a first draft and it would be…perfect. Perfect means a riveting story with characters you’ll never forget, love scenes you wish you starred in, and memorable dialog everyone highlights on their Kindle. A page turner. Bahahahah. Now, that’s a superpower, and is why we writers keep honing our craft, taking courses, watching Margaret Atwood and Elizabeth Berg and Neil Gaiman and Brandon Sanderson on YouTube.

Any advice for aspiring writer?

I would advise aspiring writers to read good literature across genres. Read as a writer, analyzing as you go. Choose to read writers you don’t know, research a writer whose books are different from your own, read a classic, dip into your fellow authors’ books and write reviews. Supporting other writers should be a part of your plan for world domination.

What are you working on next?

My next book is Revamped, a humorous paranormal romance. Dante, the hero, is an energy vampire who gives up the life. He hates draining people. Dante meets Sophie, a “Foodish,” my special word for regular folks. Guess what?

The book is part of a series with six other authors. A mortar and pestle with special powers travels through time, beginning in the middle-ages and continuing on up to contemporary times.

Tagline: How many second chances will she give him?

Blurb

Love-cynical Lucy Bernard delights in her independence. Baking, all things Instagram, the occasional special guy, and most of all hanging out with best friends Deon Goldbloom and Phoebe Karis. But when Deon kisses Lucy at the beach on a chilly afternoon, the two friends jump into a lust-filled romantic weekend. So what’s with slotting her into “ignore” status afterward?

Deon Goldbloom is a widower who can’t move on after his wife’s death. Is he a little crazy spending a sexy few days with Lucy and calling it the best time he’s had in four years? Yeah. Except blue Monday comes calling, and Deon isn’t ready for the guilt.

Lucy wonders how a smoochy weekend turns into a friends-with-benefits disaster. And Deon wonders if he’s made the biggest mistake of his life putting Lucy on “ignore.” Using all his nerdy charms, he launches a campaign to bring Lucy around. Maybe they can chart a course back to one another if Lucy will only forgive him.

Excerpt

Lucy, Deon, and Phoebe go to their favorite CT shoreline hangout on a Sunday afternoon.

“You know,” said Steve, the interloper. “You and your friends are like The Three Musketeers. Always together.”

Together indeed. Lucy loved their routine. Arrive early while the band set up, grab seats, and make the rounds among their dancing friends. The band quit at eight, and they went home and got up early Monday morning to wrestle middle school kids, metaphorically speaking.

Steve leaned an elbow on the bar. “I’ve been here half a dozen times––”

He jerked back as Lucy’s best friend, Phoebe, trotted up and plonked her bag on the bar, startling them both. “Deon’s late. I don’t see him,” she barked.

Lucy sniffed and cleared her throat in a loud ah hem. “Mrs. Interruptus why don’t you?” she growled. “And hello to you, too. This is Steve.”

“Sorry, darling.” Phoebe bobbed her head in Steve’s direction, said a quick “hi,” and wrapped both arms around Lucy. “By the way, interruptus sounds sexual.”

“I was trying to be snotty.” Lucy turned up her nose.

Steve stood and gave Phoebe his seat. “Thank you, very thoughtful.” She shot Steve a quick smile and reached for her bag. “I’m stealing this dating idea from an ad for eight-minute dating. Some restaurant in Stamford.” She opened her bag and peered into its depths. “Can’t remember where I put that ad.”

“Dibs on Deon for ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo.’” Lucy raised a hand to signal the bartender. “I think Travis is impressed by my vast knowledge of Glenn Miller tunes.”

“I’m certain he is.” Phoebe, riffling through her handbag, gave Lucy a doubtful look. “You’d better alert Deon. He just came in. There’ll be a ton of good dancers here today with this band. Competition.”

Lucy glanced over at the stage where Deon stood talking to Travis, in Buddy Holly glasses and a porkpie hat.

“Got it.” Phoebe brandished her phone and scrolled. “I forgot it was in my photos. Look.” She thrust her phone at Lucy.

“Can’t read it; the print’s too tiny.” Lucy flung her arm in the air and waved in Deon’s direction, eventually catching his eye. He wandered over wearing his customary smirk, and Lucy handed him Phoebe’s phone. “Read this, would you?”

Deon cleared his throat and launched into his favorite accent. Elvis. “Welcome, ladies and gentlemen––”

“Hah, it doesn’t say that,” Phoebe protested.

“Meet your dream gal or guy. Only eight minutes to your SoulMate IRL! Here’s your chance. Ages forty to sixty-five. Follow the link for more information.’”

“That sounds like torture,” Deon said, dropping the Elvis. “IRL? What’s IRL?” He cocked his head. “Code for I’m really likable?”

Buy Links

Universal Link | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple

Author Bio and Links

Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website offers a humorous look at dating in mid-life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true. A Little Bit of Lust is her third book in the series Starting Over, although all her books are standalone. Shirley’s characters all believe you should never leave home without your sense of humor and she agrees.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub

**Eat Your Heart Out and MiddleAgeish are on sale for $0.99**

Buy Links

Middle Ageish | Eat Your Heart Out

Blurb Blitz: Under the Cloud

I’m happy to welcome B. R. Erlank. Today, Boris shares his new release,
Under the Cloud.

Blurb

They call themselves The Settlement Bureau. A faceless, soulless organization coercing individuals with threats to expose their improprieties and vulnerabilities. Inhumanely persistent, they’ve secretly driven hundreds of victims into bankruptcy, despair – and several even to suicide.

But when this organization tries to blackmail IT expert Terry Reynolds, they make a serious mistake. Terry is down on his luck. He is penniless, divorced and in a dead-end job. Yet, the abuse of his personal information stirs Terry out of his lethargy and he fights back. He embarks on a digital game of cat-and-mouse with the cold, calculating minds behind The Settlement Bureau – and in doing so, uncovers a sprawling criminal conspiracy.

Under the Cloud is a chillingly plausible new thriller by B.R. Erlank. With a plot ripped straight from the headlines, advance readers warn, “this book delivers a roller coaster ride right up to the final pages.”

Excerpt

Charlie’s canine senses were on high alert. He growled and stared across the street. There was a commotion in the shadows of a tree. Then Terry heard a frail, plaintive voice, “No, no, leave me. That’s mine. Let go!”

Terry knew that voice; it was Joe. What sort of low-life attacks an old homeless man? There was a thud and a howl of pain. Charlie was the first to react; the dog raced across the street with Terry behind him. Under the streetlamp, Terry could make out the old man’s face, bleeding and distorted with fear, as he shouted, “You imbecile, you don’t know…”

The attacker was dressed in black and was at least six inches taller than Joe. The assailant pushed Joe hard, then his fist smashed into the old man’s face. Joe slumped against the tree, and the thug pulled back his fist for another punch.

Terry shouted, “Hey! Leave him!”

The man briefly turned and hesitated. Then, before he could plant the fist again, Charlie lunged and sank his teeth into the man’s wrist. The attacker cursed, and a knife appeared in his other hand. The blade glinted in the streetlight, and Charlie’s bark turned into a surprised yelp, then a whimper. The attacker ran.

For a split second, Terry’s rage commanded him to follow, but the sight of Joe and Charlie, both crumpled and bleeding, stopped him in his tracks. He knelt by the old man, whose face was smeared with blood, one eye beginning to swell. His breath was coming in desperate rasps.

Author Bio and Links

Boris Erlank grew up in Southern Africa. He has lived and worked in places as diverse as Luanda, Cape Town, Singapore and San Francisco. Boris recently gave up his job as Global Privacy Manager with a Fortune 100 company to focus on writing full-time.
He has an extensive background in IT, data privacy and cybersecurity, and has drawn on that experience to craft his latest novel, Under the Cloud. His previous novel, Catch You Later, is a murder mystery set in Cape Town.

Boris lives with his family and two dogs in the foothills of Mount Diablo, east of San Francisco. He likes to cycle and hike. “Those solitary pursuits give me time to dream up the characters and plots for my novels,” he says. Boris also enjoys choir singing, travel, and listening to audiobooks.

Website | Facebook | LinkedIn | Amazon Buy Link

***The book will be $0.99 from November 15 to November 22***

Giveway

B.R. Erlank will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Boris on the rest of his Goddess Fish tour here.

On Becoming an Artist

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Award-winning author Terri Trespicio shares this inspiring and entertaining story in her recent release, Unfollow Your Passion:

There’s a scene in Irving Stone’s The Agony and the Ecstasy, the famous historical novel about Michelangelo’s life, that I love.

The great sculptor is fourteen years old. He has been released from his painting apprenticeship and admitted to work in Lorenzo the Magnificent’s sculpture garden, which is where he’s been dying to be.

One of Michelangelo’s peers, a kid named Soggi, suggests they ditch this gig.

“Michelangelo, let’s you and I get out of here,” he says. “All this stuff is so…so impractical. Let’s save ourselves while there is still time…They’re never going to give us any commissions or money. Who really needs sculpture in order to live?”

“I do,” Michelangelo responds.

Soggi then lays out an argument that is as real today as it was in the 1400s. He says (I’m paraphrasing), Oh yeah? Where will we find work? What if Lorenzo dies? What if the garden closes? Who the heck needs a marble cutter? We can’t feed ourselves with that! It’d be much better to trade in pork or wine or pasta, things people need.

Michelangelo declines, of course. He says sculpture is not only at the top of his list; there is no list. That’s it.

Soggi quits. Their teacher, Bertoldo, says he knows people like Soggi, people who aren’t driven by love or affinity for the work, but by “the exuberance of youth,” he says. “As soon as this first flush begins to fade, they say to themselves, ‘Stop dreaming. Look for a reliable way of life.’”

Those people should leave—because the very fact that they see the work as optional means they’re not really there to do it.

“One should not become an artist because he can,” says Bertoldo, “but because he must.”

Source: Unfollow Your Passion, pp. 136-137

Free…and One By Me!

Help yourself to one (or more) of our favorite recipes: Appetizers, Beverages, Breads and Rolls, Desserts, Meat and Main Dishes, Salads and Soups, Side Dishes and Vegetables. All from the kitchens of The Wild Rose Press authors.

I’m happy to share my recipe for “Cranberry Muffins” on page 62.

Happy Holidays!

Interview with Rachel Brimble

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Rachel Brimble. Today, Rachel shares details about her creative journey and her new release, Victoria & Violet.

Interview

What’s the best part of being an author? The worst?

Best part – For me, it’s the first draft where I can take my imagination where it leads me…or at least where the characters lead me. Once I have a story plotted, I am off and writing and (for the most part) enjoy writing the first draft because I see it through from beginning to end without looking back. The hard part comes in the following drafts!

Worst part – The plotting! I usually start out with a nugget of an idea and then have to find a way to stretch that idea to 90,000 words. People assume, because I have written 28 books, it must get easier. But it doesn’t! At least, it doesn’t for me – maybe for other writers they have cracked the elusive code and I’m missing the boat each time, haha!

Which authors have inspired you?

So many! My long-time favourite historical fiction authors are Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir and my favorite historical romance authors are Julia London and Julia Quinn. I also have a huge love of crime writers such as S J Sansom and Alex Grecian as well as women’s fiction author Jodi Picoult. Shall I stop now?

What is your favorite quote?

“Set it up the way you want it to be.” Iyanla Vanzant

I love this quote because of its simplicity. In other words, don’t moan or look at other people’s lives and wish they were yours. Go out and get what you want, work toward it, only allow people into your life who love and/or respect you. Set it up the way you want it to be…

Besides writing and reading, what are some of your hobbies?

I am an avid knitter – I just love it! I knit so much and so often that I can’t sit and watch a TV show without my knitting anymore. It amazes me that for years watched TV with my hands doing absolutely nothing. Those days are long gone! Knitting and watching TV is one of my favourite things to do.

What are you working on next?

I have almost finished the final draft of the sequel to Victoria & Violet, which is set in the court of the Prince and Princess of Wales who go on to become King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Once I have submitted that book to my editor, I will either dive straight into book 3 of the Royal Maids series or I might start work on a new Edwardian series I have in mind. Watch this space…

Blurb

When Violet Parker is told she will be Queen Victoria’s personal housemaid, she cannot believe her good fortune. She finally has the chance to escape her overbearing mother, a servant to the Duchess of Kent. Violet hopes to explore who she is and what the world has to offer without her mother’s schemes overshadowing her every thought and action.

Then she meets James Greene, assistant to the queen’s chief political adviser, Lord Melbourne. From entirely different backgrounds and social class, Violet and James should have neither need nor desire to speak to one another, yet through their service, their paths cross and their lives merge—as do their feelings.

Only Victoria’s court is not always the place for romance, but rather secrets, scandals, and conspiracies…

Excerpt

“What awaits me is marriage,” he said. “But I am not a man any woman should want for a husband so it’s something I will avoid for as long as possible.”

The curiosity in her eyes made his confidence falter, and James lifted his fingers from her arm. No doubt she thought him pathetic for fearing something that so many longed for. But Violet did not know him or what he might be capable of. Of the nasty, volatile temperament passed down through the men in his family for generations.

“Better marriage than imprisonment with a mother who has controlled and belittled you your entire life.” She smiled wryly, her gaze sad. “Better a son who will one day marry than a daughter shackled to a mother who wishes her to scheme and spy upon the only person who has made her feel human, liked, and worthy of a modicum of respect for the first time in months.”

He stilled. “Do you speak of the queen?”

Mistress Parker swallowed before looking at Victoria where she stood a few feet away. “What would you like to do if not marry?” she asked quietly.

James stared at her profile, unsure of her thoughts or disposition. “Stay at court where I am happy. Work hard. Rise within the hierarchy as a single man.”

“I want to paint.”

Had he heard her correctly? “Paint?”

She softly smiled as she faced him. “Yes. I dream of my landscapes hanging in every gallery and every grand house in the country. If you think yourself an oddity in this mercenary world, whatever must you think of me? Good evening, Mr. Greene.”

James stared after her as Violet disappeared amongst the mass of finery, his heart heavy for the sadness that emanated from her, yet his inquisitiveness about her had only deepened. He looked at Victoria as she laughed with Melbourne and others in her circle. Could it be that the queen saw the same spark of something special in Violet Parker that he did?

Author Bio and Links

Rachel lives in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of 29 novels including the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy, the Shop Girl series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin). Her latest novel, Victoria & Violet is the first book in her new Royal Maids series with the Wild Rose Press and releases 17th October 2022.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association as well as the Historical Novel Society and has thousands of social media followers all over the world.

To sign up for her newsletter (a guaranteed giveaway every month!), click here: https://bit.ly/3zyH7dt

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon Buy Link

Giveaway

Rachel Brimble will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Rachel on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.

Know Your Own Worth

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

A long-time fan of bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff, I look forward to reading their emails and blog posts. Here’s an inspiring story from a recent email:

Once upon a time, a father guided his daughter into their home’s garage and said, “You just graduated and I want to give you something special. This is a car I bought a long time ago, and it’s very special to me. But before I give it to you, I want you to take it to a car dealer in the city and see how much money they’d offer you for it as a trade-in.”

The daughter came back to her father a few hours later and said, “They offered $1,000 because the car looks really old and can’t easily be sold in their showroom.”

The father replied, “Hold on to it until tomorrow and take it to the used car dealer near your apartment when you get a chance.”

The daughter returned to her father the next afternoon and said: “They only offered $500 because it’s a really old car, and it needs a new paint job and some other mechanical work the sales guy said.”

The father smiled and then asked his daughter to take a short drive with him in the car, to show the car to a passionate automobile club he used to belong to when he was younger.

When they arrived at the automobile club’s weekly meet-up, two people in the club immediately offered the daughter competing bids of $75,000 and then $80,000 in cash. Because, as one of the club members told her, “It’s an extremely rare car that is in good condition for it’s age, and super difficult to find in working order.”

Then the father turned to his daughter and said, “I just wanted to let you know that you are not worth anything if you do not know your own worth, and if you are not in the right place. So, whenever you are feeling unappreciated for a prolonged time, do not be angry; that simply means you are in the wrong place. Don’t stay in a place or situation where no one sees your value. And most importantly, don’t stay in a place or situation that prevents you from seeing your own value.”

Let this story sink in, and keep reminding yourself…

1. Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak, sometimes it means you are strong enough and smart enough to let go and move on to a better place.

2. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.

3. When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.

4. Crying doesn’t indicate that you’re weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you are alive and full of present potential.

5. No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.

6. When other people treat you poorly, keep being you. Don’t ever let someone else’s bitterness or ignorance change the person you are.

7. Spend more time with those who see your worth, and less time with those who you feel pressured to impress…

And whatever you do, don’t wait around too long for things to change. New paths are made by walking, not waiting. And no, you shouldn’t feel any more confident before you take the next step. Taking the next step is what gradually builds your confidence.

Note: I highly recommend subscribing to Marc & Angel’s website.

Book Blast: Body Snatched

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Ana Diamond. Today, Ana shares her new release, Body Snatched.

Blurb

What’s worse than losing a body from a funeral home? Losing two. But mortician and amatuer sleuth, Lily Reynolds has a hunch. The new visitor in town, Rick Drakon, may have charmed his way into her life but she’s not fooled by his smooth talking ways. Problem is, Rick is a long-time friend of Lily’s new husband, Detective James Rivers. While James is busy convincing her to look elsewhere, Lily embarks on a dangerous path toward uncovering the truth. Will this case come between the couple or will Lily find herself closer to evil than ever before?

Excerpt

She sprinted toward the ambulance with James inside. Her heart leaped into her throat. She didn’t want to alarm the others, but she didn’t really know if he was going to make it. Antonio had not. And what would she do if he didn’t? Images of her life with James flashed before her eyes.

From the moment when she’d first laid eyes on his silky black hair and tattooed biceps in the basement of her funeral home to their wedding day when he told her they would be together forever, this could not be the end. She would not want to go on. Tears flooded her eyes, clouding her vision as she ran toward the ambulance James had been loaded into. Yanking the back door open wide, she propelled herself inside.

His eyes were closed but his body had been hooked up to monitors that beeped incessantly. Intravenous fluids ran down the tubing and into James’s arms. And there was blood—lots of blood on the floor of the truck and on the linens of the stretcher. She willed herself into tunnel vision to avoid seeing nothing but red. The paramedics sat on opposite sides of the ambulance monitoring the machines hooked up to him.

She stood at the foot of the stretcher watching for any movement. Was he unconscious? Had he slipped into a coma? Was he only minutes from death? She’d stopped breathing altogether until she touched his leg and his eyes popped open.

“You know, this is the first time I’ve ever been shot.” His eyes sparkled with mischief.

She released the air from her lungs and chuckled at him. Her heart could beat again. “Congratulations. I’ll tell you what you’ve won later. Now work on not dying.”

He smiled and laid his head back on the pillow. “Yes, ma’am.”

Author Bio and Links

When Ana Diamond isn’t writing about tough gals finding love in unexpected places, she’s at work by day in the medical field. She writes romantic cozy mystery novels with feisty strong women and alluring men who can’t resist them. Her books are fast paced, entertaining and heartfelt all at once.

Ana is a 2020 Tara Contest Finalist for Body Conscious and 2015 Melody of Love contest finalist. She lives in New York with her husband, two children and two needy but wildly entertaining kitty cats.

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Giveaway

Ana Diamond will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Ana on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.