How audiobooks changed my life #mgtab @melinda_de_ross

Now a very popular format, ten years ago audiobooks were still making a shy debut – just when I needed them most. Reading has always been my biggest passion, but as I worked in an office all day with my eyes fixed on a computer screen, traditional reading became an increasingly difficult hobby. My eyes got tired easier, my neck became stiff from bending over a book. Not to mention that one can’t multi-task while reading a printed book. That was when my husband suggested I tried audiobooks.

At first I was reluctant. It seemed completely weird listening to someone read a book out loud. It didn’t sound the same when I read it in my head. However, my love of books was stronger than my stubbornness, so one day I took a chance and bought an audiobook. I remember it was Sandra Brown’s “Smoke Screen”, which was lucky because the narrator, Victor Slezak, is simply magic. From the first moments I was drawn in by his voice, fascinated by the way he interpreted each character, thrilled to hear the story brought to life. A love affair had begun!

Fast forward thousands of audiobooks listened and a career change later, and here I am today – a writer myself, who’s just producing her second audiobook. It’s funny how in the short run we never truly realize how much we’ve achieved, but sometimes in the rare moments when we take a good look back, we can be stunned by how far we’ve come from a certain period of our lives. Sandra Brown’s thrillers are still among my favorites, and although I like to think I’ve developed my own storytelling technique, her style will always be an influence on me. I know it shows in THE PLOT, my first suspense romance that was released as an audiobook. I had the privilege of working with an incredibly talented narrator, Austin Walp, who brought my characters to life in a way that still makes me grin in wonder whenever I listen to it.

An unconventional romance…

At 18, 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.

You can listen to a sample of THE PLOT on YouTube, watch the book trailer, and if you want to hear more, you can find THE PLOT on Amazon as well as on all major audiobook distribution channels. Enjoy!

Fondly,

Melinda

Losing Weight by Mona Risk

In our culture it’s easy to pack up pounds and indulge into eating calorie-dense food. Our body wasn’t designed to overeat high-fat, processed food. While we sit in front of the computer or TV, our body simply converts all this high calorie food into billion of fat cells.

Over the years, I tried every diet on earth. They all worked. Every time, I wanted to lose weight, I became very determined, very disciplined. And I lost the weight. It was the maintenance period that turned into a disaster. I lost focus and fell back in my old routine. And after a few months, the pounds returned.

A friend of my mother, a beautiful old lady told me once when she saw me desperate with my useless efforts. “Do you know that your face is the first place to lose weight? And then the lines form and the wrinkles deepen. Do you want to be a bit overweight and good-looking, or skinny and…”

Okay, I got the message and I bought the Mayo Clinic book on Healthy Weight.

The Mayo Clinic Weight Pyramid is my guide to health now. It shows me the healthy food to eat and the daily quantity in five steps.

1- Calories: Identify a daily calorie level suitable for me. [1000-1200 for women]

2- Servings: Identify the number of serving I should eat from each food group.

3-Serving size: Become familiar with serving sizes for a wide variety of food.

4- Record keeping: It’s important to record the amount of food –calorie–eaten every day.

This is the only non-diet ‘diet’ that’s working for me and allows me to maintain a stable weight and health. While you lose weight in a healthy way, reward yourself with two heartwarming romance novels, newly released at Amazon.

Prince Philip’s Cinderella: A charming jogger saves her from danger. But he’s a prince… and she comes from nothing. Should she run or risk her heart?

High school sweethearts separated by life…They meet years later, successful but different, each with a heavy baggage.

Not Ready Yet: High school sweethearts separated by life…They meet years later, successful but different, each with a heavy baggage.

Simply Unforgettable

Our recent boxes of romantic suspense novels:

UNFORGETTABLE SUSPENSE 

UNFORGETTABLE DANGER

UNFORGETTABLE TROUBLE

My contribution to Unforgettable Danger is a special story that came to me while  catching a glimpse of a TV ad showing skinny dirty kids with haggard eyes and tattered clothes. I suddenly froze, upset by the pictures and the use of children to collect money.

On second thought, these hungry kids really exist. Somewhere. In too many places. And I kept thinking about them.

As we are getting ready to celebrate Mother’s Day, I am grateful that our children are lucky to be raised by loving parents. But what happens to babies, toddlers and small children who lose their parents too early in life and have no one to raise and love them?

FOR SARAH’S SAKE is the story of a three-year-old precious little girl. Her father, an American gold star hero gave his life for his country in the Middle East. Her mother, a Syrian refugee, comes to the US to give birth and find the American grandparents of her baby. Too soon, she dies of cancer and leaves her daughter to the kind doctor who took care of her when she was fighting a losing battle with her illness.

Dr. David Dutton is on the brink of divorce. Helping Sarah may help him save his marriage. Unfortunately, the search for her relatives endangers both Sarah and his soon-to-be ex-wife. In the midst of danger and legal battle, the feisty little girl works miracles with her babbling and laughter.

This is story that will make you laugh and cry, scream and gasp, and bite your nails, until the unexpected happy ending.