FINDING A KEEPER

Speaking of love…

Whether it’s yourself or a person you know – there is always someone on the lookout for love. We all yearn that euphoric driving force which makes our heart beat a little faster, and can make the sun rise or fall in our lives. But in this massive world crammed with people, how do you go about finding your ‘one‘ – that single person you’re meant to spend the rest of your days with? Sadly, there is no secret recipe, no tested method, and absolutely no money-back guarantee to make it happen. Simply put, it’s the luck of the draw.

In this game of Happily-ever-after, we should bear in mind that Lust is an avid challenger, quite capable of effortlessly luring future champions from the arena. And even if you stay to fight, and win, it also does not necessarily make you triumphant. How so, you might ask? Well, because Love might very well be grand and glorious, and can soar you to unknown heights, but Love is, perhaps, also the most notorious drug of all. One taste can see you lost in addiction, especially if it catches you unawares. So, in speaking of love -, today’s blog is dedicated to my book, Finding a keeper.

Brenna Palmer almost has everything she’s ever wanted – a dream job and amazing friends. All that’s still missing is Mr. Right, who she’s actively on the lookout for. So much so that her friends have deemed her to become boring and they playfully threaten her with an escort so she can let loose. ‘Dare to break free’, her bestie, Beth, challenges. On her birthday, she mistakes gorgeous Gabriel Burke, thinking him the arranged escort her crazy friends had followed through with. Lost in his mesmerizing hazel eyes and not about to prove her friends right – that she’s no fun -, she gives in. It’s just going to be one night of wild abandon, right?

When the mistaken identity comes to light the next day, she finds that he’s actually a millionaire, a ladies’ man, and worst of all – a determinedly dedicated bachelor. Despite the sexual magnetism they share, Brenna has no intention of wasting her time in trying to have him change his ways and does her utmost to resist his relentless advances. Until Gabe makes a proposal: She continues searching for Mr. Right, but as long as her heart remains unclaimed, she’s his to ravish. It’s an offer she simply can’t refuse.

It’s a seemingly perfect arrangement, until Mr. Right does come along – much sooner than either of them anticipated. There is no moral dilemma. She knows what the right thing is to do. It’s just … why does it feel so very wrong?

When all is said and done, Brenna will be sure of one thing: When you make a deal with the devil, always know that the price is much more than just your soul. After all, she dearly pays when she’s dragged through hell and back… more than once.

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I am unaware of any couples who simply met, fell in love and has never experienced ups and downs. It’s a part of life. And so the story of Gabe and Brenna flows to the same river, with two people who face and have to overcome tremendous challenges to find their way to each other. Because, just sometimes, our heart calls to the person who isn’t good for us. Our soul yearns for the one who isn’t quite on the same wavelength in terms of a relationship. Do you cut your losses and move on? Do you wait it out in the hopes that they might come around? At the end of the day, Love is nothing more than a crapshoot. A risky game played by no rules, other than sentiments of the heart.

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¸.•´ ¸.•*´¨♡ Excerpt of 
(¸.•´♡     Finding a keeper:

As Gabe moves off me, he draws me into his arms and I lean in with my head on his chest, drawing a pattern across his washboard abdomen as I listen to his racing heart steadily slow down.
“That was a stellar performance, Ms. Palmer,” he says. “Definitely one of the best I’ve had.”
“Thank you, I think?” I chortle.
“If you keep this up, I’m going to have a hard time letting you leave my bed.”
My slowing heart jolts to an upbeat tempo again.
“But you will… let me go?” I ask, not sure whether deep down, I want to hear him confirm or deny my question. I feel him run a palm over my hair.
“Yes, baby. When the time comes, I’ll let you go. I’ve never had a problem with sticking to my promises.”
Wrong answer, Burke! Some part of me cries out. That’s not necessarily what I wanted to hear.
Gabe gently slides out from beneath me and busies himself in the bathroom. I turn over in the bed, onto my stomach, contemplating our peculiar agreement. In itself, the idea seemed nonsensical. By day I intend to prowl, looking for the man I want to spend the rest of my life and have children with, and by night I slink off to the bed of a Greek god to have him ravish me.
Every time Gabe is around me, I seem to end up giving more and more rope on my morals. Our arrangement being the most recent case in point. I feel the bed indent and Gabe’s warm and hard naked body slides up against mine. He turns me and draws me back into his arms and I rest my head on his shoulder, draping my arm around his waist. Lying here next to him feels like the most natural thing on earth and my gut unexpectedly, but viciously, twists with trepidation.
Why, all of a sudden, do I just have this feeling that the ability to greatly hurt me lies within this man? A heartbreak of such profound measure; that it would exceed anything that I could possibly ever fathom?
Sleep closes in on me, driving the irrational fear from my mind. For that to come to pass, means that I’m first going to have to fall in love with him, and that’s not going to happen! I refuse to mix my heart with pleasure.
I can thank my lucky stars that I’ve drawn such a clear line between love and lust…

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And those, my dear friends, are the rose-tinted glasses some stare themselves blind with. Confusing lust with love. Because if we listen to just our minds and our bodies, chances are pretty good that we’re going to end up with the wrong person, time and again. If you want to find ‘The One’, you’re going to have to dig much deeper than the obvious. *Perhaps a good time to remind yourself that forever is a really long time to be bound to one person, and looks fade, you know. I once heard someone say that in a loud room, the most impactful words will come from the softest voice. Hmm, deep. If at all you’d bother to take heed of that advice, you’d have to be silent to hear what your heart is telling you. If it’s urging you to hold on, then by God, you cling until your fingers snap with the effort of it. And if it’s saying let go, that’s what you need to do, no matter how much it hurts.

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To those who have found their ‘keepers’, consider yourself lucky. Finding your soulmate happened at odds stacked much higher than the largest lottery in the world. To those who haven’t yet … keep the faith. Many lives have unexpectedly changed in the blink of an eye – be it through an accidental bump-in around a corner, a stayed elevator door or a pair of dropped keys. The cosmos is hard at play, and you just have to place your bet on the right spot and wait for the ball to drop. Absolutely, he who said that love is a gamble surely wasn’t kidding. Thing is… are you going all in?

Book hugs, Michelle

US:  http://a.co/3PFJSt1

UK:  http://amzn.eu/9qLpdDi

CA:  http://a.co/2aBsXpQhttp://a.co/2aBsXpQ

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38944702-finding-a-keeper

 

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Reaching out

I briefly touched on it with my previous post, but after the week I’ve had, I would honestly not be able to live with myself if I didn’t do the right thing by giving it the deserved attention it needs.

I’m an indie author. Going into writing and wanting to have a book published, I was relatively aware of the mountain of work which awaited me. I knew that it was going to demand long hours and the majority of my attention. And being in a completely different country and time zone, I knew I had my challenges cut out for me. As release-day approached and came, I somewhat expected the tsunami and I must admit that I wasn’t all that surprised when it took me.

What I hadn’t expected, were the lifesavers who reached out to me and somewhat pulled me aboard their already-overcrowded boat. These women tucked me under their wing and steered me in the right direction, despite having very full schedules of their own. I am just amazed. And beyond grateful. Had we received a predetermined amount of ‘thank you’s’ to gift in life, I would easily have depleted my quota in this week alone.

They send me notes or messages, or check whether I’d seen a post. They’ve put me in contact with groups or people I could benefit from. I’d tentatively approached the business of being published, thinking that it was ruthless and cutthroat, and that it was a case of every author for him-or-herself. Not so. At least, not the overwhelming majority of ones I’ve come across. And not just authors, but groups admins and bloggers as well.

I can report that I am pleasantly surprised by the outcome. I’ve only been published for a few days now and the road ahead still lies dark in the distance, but my faith in basic human kindness has been restored. Especially considering that I’m receiving ongoing help from persons who do not expect anything in return for it, or is not even benefitting from it in any way, shape or form. (Yeah, close your mouth. I still can’t believe it either!) It’s almost too good to be true, right? And yet it is.

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Yes, I closed my eyes and I took that leap of faith. And when I was falling, angelic hands reached out and caught me. Like I said to one: Has a word been thought up yet which transcends a mere ‘thank you’? Now, the two little words seem so deficient to me – so utterly lacking in the immense gratitude I’d like to express.

So this week’s blog is dedicated to them. To my guardian angels who didn’t know me from a bar of soap and yet still deemed me worthy of their time. Ladies, thank you doesn’t cut it, it never will. All that’s left for me to do, is to now put my faith in Karma and trust that the universe will come full circle to bless you with all that you so richly deserve.

To guard their privacy, I won’t name names, but you know who you are. You have my respect, my loyalty, my love and my friendship. May it be a drop in the ocean of my debt to you.

Book-hugs, Michelle

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#NEW RELEASE! 💚💚💚💚💚💚
✨✨ ❤️ Finding A Keeper❤️ ✨✨
by Michelle Geel

Dare to break free?

I did exactly that, proving to my best friends that I’m still a hell of a lot of fun. Anyone could have made the same screw-up I did, mistaking gorgeous Gabriel Burke for the world’s most talented escort. Aren’t I the proven idiot to later find that he’s actually a legendary womanizer, the sole heir to billions and worst of all, a dedicated bachelor.

So I’ll have to get over it, because I’m looking for Mr. Right and Gabe isn’t it. But there’s something that keeps bringing him back and God help me, I just can’t say no. Every time he looks at me with those incredible hazel eyes, I’m lost. Every time he seduces me with one of his deep fuck-me kisses, I surrender. Still, he’s all kinds of wrong. But then he offers me a compromise I simply can’t refuse: I continue my search for The One and as long as my heart remains unclaimed, he gets to ravish me in his bed every night.

You know what they say about making a deal with the devil? I’d tell you that the price is much more than just your soul. I should know, because I dearly pay when he drags me through hell and back… more than once.

US: http://a.co/3PFJSt1
UK: http://amzn.eu/9qLpdDi
CA: http://a.co/2aBsXpQhttp://a.co/2aBsXpQ

Goodreads Book link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/38944702-finding-a-keeper

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Live the Dream

In a few short days, my debut novel will be available. And what do I do? I mostly shake my head in wonder. Tuesday, 20 March 2018 will probably forever be imprinted on my heart.

But for now I want to touch on a few things. Every single day I scroll through Facebook pages, reading posts of writers who all have one main thing in common… wanting to be heard. I’d say that my journey of almost 4 years (actively writing for the purpose of being published) is still a relatively short one compared to others. It’s been 4 hard, long, tough, exhausting, frustrating, anxious and tear-filled years, but damn, so exciting, inspiring, wonderful, amazing and rewarding too. Oh, and don’t forget them also being an immense learning-curve as well!

I hate to generalize, but from what I’ve personally experienced, it’s often the wanna-be writers who think that they’re all that, who are particularly ruthless. They can be cruel and unforgiving, and impatient to the point of airing their frustrations by asking why people are so clueless – instead of being supportive and remembering that there had been a time when they too were once there.

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I’d say the past year has accounted for most of what I’d learned. Not just in terms of my craft/passion, but being amazed by people. I’ve been welcomed with open arms to groups and received assistance from people who went out of their way to help me, to receive only a typed ‘thank you’ in return, followed by a kissy-and huggy emoji. I’ve been blessed to communicate with well-established authors, who so willingly and freely offer their knowledge that it still leaves me at a loss for words.

And then the readers – irrespective whether they write themselves or don’t – who are the most important in this whole process. Because if not for them, why would we even bother doing this? They give up hours and days of their time, reading our words and then giving feedback. Any author would probably tell you that their most valued commodity is time, and for any reader to reward us with theirs… just wow. Authors have such a deep seated gratitude which I’m sure few readers are aware of.

Dear Reader, if you come across the dedication page and the author thanks you – please, trust me, you have no idea how deep that river of thanks flows. Although the story might touch you and emotionally take you to places you’ve never been… I think few authors are truly eloquent enough to adequately convey their gratitude beyond expressing it in mere words, such as ‘thank you’. Writer’s curse, I suppose.

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So this post is a dedication to all those who so freely give, without expecting a reward in return, and is truly accepting of just a simple ‘thanks’. Everyone is deserving of a little push in the right direction and although I feel that my path to enlightenment is still a mighty long road, I find myself wanting to pay it forward. What little knowledge I have, I’m so willing to share with others. And that, perhaps, is one of the most fascinating things in this business. It’s hard and cutthroat, but probably more accepting and supportive than most other professions out there.

Someone recently said to me that being published is a marathon, not a race. And so I’ve also come to realize that there’s a very good reason why marathon banners are printed with both Start and Finish. Because you run the course, depending on your passion and pure determination to get you through the exhaustion, and then the relief of seeing ‘Finish’ in the distance! Your heart palpitates with excitement and you quickly forget everything you’ve suffered to get to this point. And for good reason it’s intended to be so, because for the last few steps – just before you complete the race – a new idea pops up into your head. So you cross the Finish line and keep running, effectively leaving one marathon behind to Start the next.

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Like I’ve noted in my Dedications in my book – being published is most certainly not a one-man or one-woman show. The fact that my book, Finding a keeper, will soon be open to the world, has more to do with those who have assisted me, than me having written it. On Tuesday, I’ll officially be a published author and this pre-release angst and euphoria is a potion I wish I could gift everyone.

Please note that for the foreseeable future, everyone will be seeing a LOT of ‘thank you’s’ from me, and I’ll be meaning every single one of them! Thank you for being a part of this with me and allowing me to Live my Dream. I love you all!

Book hugs, Michelle

Kindle Banner.jpg
Amazon links: US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B7762ZW/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_PFJNAbRSWJFP8
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B07B7762ZW/ref=dbs_a_w_dp_b07b7762zw
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07B7762ZW/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_hIJNAbAV53HQ3

Goodreads Book link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/38944702-finding-a-keeper

What dreams may come

I’d say that no author worth their salt has not ever uttered something along the lines of: ‘I’ve always written‘.

The ability of using words to paint believable worlds and characters – to vividly relay them to others – lies buried deep within our DNA. Simply put, the pleasure we derive from having others enjoy our work, is incomparable. Reading or hearing someone say that they lost themselves in your created canvas – it’s as enticing and addictive drug as any.

So here I am, just over a fortnight away from my debut novel being released and I feel as though all my dreams are about to come true. Just the thought of my book being available on such a large platform with the potential of being enjoyed by a wide scope of audience, is as exciting as it is scary.

What I offer the reader between the pages of the book is a piece of my heart and soul. It’s not something I flung together over a weekend. It’s a labor of love. A story over which I had agonised, and spent countless hours and sleepless nights creating. It’s an offering from the depths of my heart and I hope that it’ll be received in the same way.

Herewith is a short teaser synopsis of Finding a keeper:

Dare to break free?

I did exactly that, proving to my best friends that I’m still a hell of a lot of fun. Anyone could have made the same screw-up I did, mistaking gorgeous Gabriel Burke for the world’s most talented escort. Aren’t I the proven idiot to later find that he’s actually a legendary womanizer, the sole heir to billions and worst of all, a dedicated bachelor.

So I’ll have to get over it, because I’m looking for Mr. Right and Gabe isn’t it. But there’s something that keeps bringing him back and God help me, I just can’t say no. Every time he looks at me with those incredible hazel eyes, I’m lost. Every time he seduces me with one of his deep fuck-me kisses, I surrender. Still, he’s all kinds of wrong. But then he offers me a compromise I simply can’t refuse: I continue my search for The One and as long as my heart remains unclaimed, he gets to ravish me in his bed every night.

You know what they say about making a deal with the devil? I’d tell you that the price is much more than just your soul. I should know, because I dearly pay when he drags me through hell and back… more than once.

Finding-a-Keeper-Michelle-Geel-600.jpg

Finding a keeper will be releasing on 20 March 2018!

Dare to break free and prepare to lose your heart to delectable and infuriating Gabriel Burke.

Amazon links below:

US:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B7762ZW/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_PFJNAbRSWJFP8

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B07B7762ZW/ref=dbs_a_w_dp_b07b7762zw

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07B7762ZW/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_hIJNAbAV53HQ3

Love, Michelle

One small step …

I simply could not think of a better topic for my very first blog.

One small step.

That is truly all you need. I suppose that it’s only human nature, that when we initially make the decision to embark on something new that we either expect or hope that the whole world will shift and change to accommodate our expectations. Sadly, this is most often not the case. It’s very seldom that we’ll immediately taste success in a new endeavor.

And if we put aside our disappointment that it’s not happening fast enough, we’ll find that there’s a very good reason for the delay. Because putting everything you have into something and having to wait and fight for what you want … it makes the final success – when you reach it – taste so much sweeter. Would we ever learn to appreciate the climb to success if it came too easily? Definitely not.

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Some people feel daunted by the magnitude of their aim and then lie their dreams to rest long before even reaching out a hand to grab it. Which brings me to the point of this post. One small step is where you begin. No matter how long it takes or how difficult it might be, make the concerted effort to at least move. The will to drive forward is a much better place than the one you chose to stand still in.

Writing is in my blood. Always has been. And for far too long I made excuses to not even try to move. I had work. No time. I had children. I needed to complete my studies. I felt that there was always something holding me back, and I was right. But it wasn’t something, it was someone … me!

As women, we bury ourselves under the weighted responsibility of being caretakers, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Until it affects who we are and we start to lose our identity. Yes, you may be a wife and mother and daughter and sister and aunt … but you are also you, and it’s someone so tremendously important that you should never lose sight of. You deserve the same amount of consideration and caring as you give others.

My journey to fulfilling my passion for writing started when someone looked me in the eye and asked, ‘What are you doing for you?’ I rambled my responsibilities and he shook his head and asked me again. I could not reply because I didn’t have an answer for him. My life revolved around work and my family and my dreams were locked away for ‘some day’. And I’ll forever be grateful for the message he left me with:

It is okay to sometimes be a little selfish.

Let’s face it, our loved ones will accept all the time we’re willing to part with. And in the end, we give so much that there’s nothing left for us. It took me about six months, but eventually I did take that first small step and selfishly demanded some time for myself. And it took me that long because I’d felt that the world would crumble and fall if I weren’t there to keep an eye and hold it all together.

And lo and behold, the world is still perfectly fine and turning. My family hasn’t suffered at all and my life has changed so much for the better over the past three years. I’m writing the stories I love and getting to live my passion every day. Now my only regret is that I didn’t start much sooner. And I’m far from being successful, but damn what an awesome ride! Perhaps Miley Cyrus explains it best:

“Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb”

That is my message to you today. If you’re afraid that no-one understands. I do. And if you think that no-one will realize the importance of your little step forward – I most certainly will. Go for it. You’re worth every step!

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The Art of Endurance

If anything, the Winter Olympics has brought this into a new light for me.

I’m of the opinion that many new writers start off thinking that writing a book is fun or sounds like a grand idea and getting it published (traditionally) will be easy. I certainly did when I started off. I put a tremendous amount of hours into my first book, read and re-read it umpteen times and I thought I was ready to submit (I wasn’t). I read up a little on how to write a query letter and a synopsis, but didn’t pay it too much attention (I should have). I figured that my writing/idea was so great, that the publishers/agents would look beyond all that to see the diamond in the rough (they didn’t). I soon learned that they are inundated with ‘great ideas’ and tend to go for the more polished offerings. And sad as it may be for many newcomers, that is a trait of the business. After all, you choose the best team mates to accompany you to the Olympics, right? Especially if your aim is to win.

Olympic team

Some newbies give up and go the self-publishing route, and it works out for some and don’t for others. But no matter what has prompted you to start writing or what your driving force might be, longevity is what sets true authors apart from the rest. The desire to keep going no matter what. You use the time to learn and hone your craft despite receiving rejection after rejection. The fire you feel inside is like that Olympic torch that has to keep burning once set alight.

I certainly share in the joy of those who find representation and proudly post announcements. However, my heart lies with those who continue to dig in the trenches, waiting for their turn. I might happen. It might not. Still, they keep going. And I’ve faced much disagreement over my opinion, but I already see them (and myself) as authors. It really makes no difference to me whether one is published or not – if you’re responsible for a piece of writing, you’re the author of that work. (I have as yet found no dictionary which stipulates ‘published’ to promote one from writer to author.)

To those with heart, who continue to write and submit and support others, I wish I could give you a medal for your efforts. You absolutely deserve one. You don’t allow external forces to make you so despondent that you’d give up on your passion. And I applaud you for that. Non-writers would probably never understand the experience of pouring your heart and soul into something, only to have it rejected… time and again.

Endurance

My author-friends, there is indeed an art to endurance. To those who set such high standards for themselves and their work – opting for the choice to either be traditionally published or not at all – is an admirable trait in itself. Never let anyone ever guilt you into settling or make you feel bad for having a dream worth chasing. We should view ourselves in the same light as our Olympic counterparts. We know that the road ahead is going to be trying and long, but that anything worth having is something we’re willing to fight tooth and nail for. And once you realize just that much, you’re already a winner.

Gold medal

Keep on keeping on. You have to be in it to win it.

Love, Michelle