Sunday, March 24, 2013

#snippetsunday Who's the mystery date? OnceUponASecondChance the #Muslim #1NS from #Mauritius

Hey beautiful people!

Cannot believe we're already in the last third of March already. This always signals the start of fall around here in the southern hemisphere, and just last week, the weather got a little bit nippy; we thought the change of seasons was coming in. But turns out we were wrong. It's back to being blazing hot this weekend and doesn't look like the temps will give us a break anytime soon (and yes, I'll prolly be complaining about the opposite in July/August, in the thick of winter!).

But anyway, it gets chilly and rainy and wet where I live - inland, at the highest residential altitude on the island. On the coasts, it's another story. This week's snippet should give you an idea - that's pretty much what the beach looks like year round.

And yes, we left Khalid who had stopped in his tracks on the veranda of the villa. Remember, he was going to meet his 'date' and worm his way out of the encounter. Until he saw her.

Who is she? I think you have a fair idea by now, but I dispell the suspense today.

'...
She stood barefoot on the luxuriant green lawn, hands atop the back of a chaise as she gazed at the scenery. Her long, turquoise silk dress clung to her lithe body and shimmered like the waters of the lagoon beyond the spit of the land, making her resemble a nymph who’d stepped out of the aquamarine depths. Her shiny, golden hair danced down her back in soft curls the mellow wind lifted from her pale, creamy shoulders, and from where he stood, he had a clear view of her delicate, sculpted profile. Eyes closed, she basked in the dying light, and when she opened them, he’d see their translucent jade.
A year ago, across a busy street in Abu Dhabi, the unique sparkle of her gaze had captivated him. She’d worn a black abaya, the long cloak hiding every one of her curves, and a purple shayla scarf that had bared nothing but the oval of her face from her eyebrows down to her chin. Dressed the same as every other woman in the country, she should’ve melted into the crowd, but those irises pierced him when she’d looked in his direction just before she ducked into her chauffeur-driven car.
Lost in thought, he jerked when she turned, and stared at him.
His gut experienced the punch of a hard fist when her eyes locked with his, and his chest squeezed at the same time a dagger ripped at his lungs.
A date with his wife—how, ever, would he walk away now?

...'


Want to read the whole of Chapter 1? Then head here.
Interested enough in the book? Then here's where you can grab your copy!
Amazon, Amazon UK, Decadent website, AllRomance Ebooks, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Smashwords
Don't forget that you can check a boatload of snippets from some fab authors. A few of them are Frank C. Etier, Sarah W, Brenda Ashworth Barry, Sherry Gloag, Joanne Stewart, Veronica Scott, Jess Schira, Siobhan Muir, & Sue Ann Bowling. Find them all at this link!

Hope ye're all enjoying a fabulous weekend, and that the weather is turning blissful for you. :)

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

#RitesofSpring Leila's First Kiss (from #1NS OnceUponASecondChance) + win from @ZeeMonodee's backlist!

Hey beautiful people!

It's been a while since I've done a blog hop, and thus delighted today to get back into the fray with the Rites of Spring blog hop set up by the amazing Jessica E. Subject & Heather Long.

70+ authors have joined hands on this hop to tell you about a 'first' for them or their characters, and each will be giving away a prize.

And not only that, but there's also a Grand Prize to be won!

GRAND PRIZE DRAW!

1st Place: Kindle Fire

2nd Place: $50 Amazon gift certificate


To enter, it's as simple as this! Leave a comment on the post (with your email addy so we can get in touch for the individual prizes) and then sign in with Rafflecopter here (log in with Facebook or email then press the Green button). Easy-peasy!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
I'll be sharing a first kiss from my latest release, the Muslim 1NightStand from Decadent Publishing, Once Upon A Second Chance. Set on my native island, Mauritius, the story takes you into the troubled and tempestuous relationship between an estranged couple, Leila and Khalid. Khalid abandoned Leila the morning after their wedding night. He has his reasons, but now that Leila's gotten hold of him again, she's not about to let him go without an explanation... and one more night together.

Here's Leila for you, peeps!

*****

May peace be upon you...

My name is Leila Hassan Al-Nadir. I was born and raised in England, and when I turned 17, my father sold me off (and my virginity) to a man 3 times my age in the United Arab Emirates.
10 years of daily abuse at his hands did not kill my spirit, nor make me wish for death. I did pray for deliverance... which came in the form of a knight in shining armour. His name was Khalid Al-Nadir.
After my first husband divorced me, Khalid stepped in and married me.

Remember that I was sold off at 17, an Arab-origin girl who cowered around her tyrannical father. I knew next to nothing about life as a normal girl - the dates, boyfriends, harmless flirts, sweet kisses... And I found none of that in my first marriage, either.

But Khalid, he was different. He saw me for who I was; made me exist as a woman in my own right. Want to know how the first time he kissed me felt like? Then read on as to how I remembered that first time, on that fateful night when God, and Madame Eve, worked to bring us together again.

'....

I’m falling into you.
Leila’s heart soared. He was hers for the taking—he had capitulated. And now she would have him. One more time—one last time—she would share her husband’s bed. The man who made her lust boil, who had awakened desire inside her body, made her skin crave a lover’s touch. Before being sold off, she’d barely been kissed and there’d been nothing affectionate in her first husband’s abuse.
With Khalid, she had learned what love and passion could mean. In a way, he’d been her first real kiss, at twenty-seven, that night while she sat at the edge of their marriage bed. He’d settled next to her, touched her chin with startling gentleness, and made her look at him.
Ya gameel,” he’d said.
Hey, beautiful. The teasing note in the words had melted some of her anxiety, and she had risked a shy smile his way. He had returned the smile before he dipped his head and touched his lips to hers.
Like right now. With his hot mouth upon hers, she let go of everything—the past, the future. Nothing existed but this suspended moment of being with him.
He coaxed her lips to part. She needed no further encouragement to answer the plea. She craved a complete merging, and sighed when he teased her tongue with his. His hands snaked into her hair, his fingers tangling in the tresses while he held onto fistfuls of the long locks.
Then he stopped teasing and took control, and she let go of any other sensation that could’ve coursed through her. She plastered herself to his strong, hard body. His arousal pulsed hot and rigid against her belly, and she reveled in the power she possessed to stimulate such a magnificent man in such a blaze of want.
A man who left me.
Shut up! She refused to think of anything but her man and his lovemaking right then. She needed him, full stop. ....'


Yes, he'd abandoned me.... A part of me clung to the belief that he must've had his reasons. I won't berate him for that, because he did save me from that hell I got locked into for a decade.

But for one night - for one last time - I vowed to have my husband again, and make him mine as much as he made me his, in the only way both of us knew how: a blaze of fire and want.

Do you want to know more about our story, and how it all ends? Then head to the following places, where you can grab a copy of Once Upon A Second Chance, the tale of us getting a chance at a new beginning, hopefully.


*****

Thanks everyone for dropping by! It's always a pleasure to meet new people and get together with others who've become friends over time.

Tell me: do you believe in second chances?

Give me your take in the comments, and enter the giveaway to win a copy, your choice, of my first published books: Walking The Edge, Before The Morning, Calling Home (don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you!)

And don't forget to check the other participants on this hop! You can find them all here.

Big huge thanks & hugs!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, March 17, 2013

#snippetsunday Khalid's on the threshold OnceUponASecondChance the #Muslim #1NS from #Mauritius

Hey beautiful people!

It's a calm, breezy, and sunny Sunday morning here in Mauritius today. Absolutely love the weather when it's like that; there's something totally comforting and lulling-you-into-peace when the sun shines just enough to not sting.

Anyway, here's me getting high on sunshine and going all weird-o on you. Apologies... Back on track - ye're all here for the Sunday snippet.

Once more, we're with the hero from my Muslim-themed 1NightStand, Once Upon A Second Chance. Remember, Khalid and his wife, Leila, are estranged. Well, in truth, he 'dumped' her off with his stepmother the morning after their wedding and hasn't been in contact ever since.

But Khalid has his reasons, which we went into, briefly, last week.

Today, his stepmother has signed him up for a one night stand date with Madame Eve's agency, and she will not take no for an answer. So poor Khalid finds himself attending this date if only to worm his way out of a night with a woman he knows nothing about.

He's about to go in... Why don't you read on to see what he finds?

'...
His step heavy on the polished teak floor, he trudged toward the back of the house. Pausing in the open panel of the sliding glass doors to the terrace, he caught a glimpse of the view, of  blue waters sparkling even in the late afternoon, with the jutting tip of Coin de Mire island emerging from the sea in a giant chunk of basalt rock.
A postcard image of the north coast— an idyllic setting for a date, and he chuckled at the irony. Why couldn’t he be like other guys? He lingered in a dream location, about to meet a woman who would be his for the night, and who would leave in the morning with no questions asked or hopes of anything beyond a few stolen nocturnal hours. He should jump on the opportunity.
And speaking of this woman, where was she?
Clutching the bouquet, he stepped onto the terrace, and froze. No, it cannot be....

...'

Want to read the whole of Chapter 1? Then head here.
Interested enough in the book? Then here's where you can grab your copy!
Amazon, Amazon UK, Decadent website, AllRomance Ebooks, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Smashwords

This is somewhat a glimpse of what the north coast of Mauritius, from a villa located in Cap Malheureux, would look like. The rock island in the back is the Coin de Mire island, also known as Gunner's Point, as it used to be a strategic defense post for the British maritime forces during the time of their reign on the country.



And don't forget there are many, many more peeps taking part in Snippet Sunday. You can find them here. The amazing peeps I'll definitely be visiting this week are Carrie Crain, Sherry Gloag, Karen Michelle Nutt, Gem Sivad, Brenda Ashworth Barry, Joyce Scarbrough, Veronica Scott, & Siobhan Muir.

Hope ye're all having an awesome weekend!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, March 15, 2013

7 Things You Might Not Know About Zee Monodee (via The Very Inspiring Blogger Award)

Hey beautiful people!

Once again I find myself up to my neck in edits and barely able to pop my head over the water level for long enough to take another life-sustaining breath. But with the weekend approaching, I'm starting to let myself bob up and down on those choppy waters, and the best thing to do in that state is... chill!

I don't have a progress report for you today (though if you check the WIP counters, you'll see the jump in work), but since I've been tagged for a blog award, I thought, why not chill with that?

The lovely and talented Rae Rivers tagged me on this round of The Very Inspiring Blogger Award (thank you, darling!! I'm honoured!). For those of you who don't recall, Rae was here a little while ago with her guest post "Has the cat got your tongue?" Take a peek at the quirky world of art and art theft she features in her latest book.


But anyhow, the award... This is how this works. I'm supposed to link back to the person who tagged me (done!), write up 7 things about me, and then tag a few very inspiring people. I'm not too sure about the tagging part, because everyone I find inspiring seem to have already been tagged, so I won't burden anyone with a tag. I will, however, tell you who I find inspiring lately. *grin*

So, 7 things you might not know about me.... I'm pretty much an open book, but the blog's been getting lots of new visitors lately who might not have been following my rambles from all the while back. I also have lots of new Twitter followers, so this might be interesting for them.

Let's get started...

1. I was a surprise baby, born when my dad was 48 and my mum 41, a few months before their 20th wedding anniversary. After having my brother 16 years earlier, my mum had been told she'd never have kids again. Then, *poof*, here I was.
I'll admit it was kinda strange growing up with my cousins' kids the same age or slightly older than me... Today, at 30, I'm already a "grandma" to a 16-yr-old girl... *gasp*

2. I'm a cancer survivor. 8 years ago, a week after my 22nd birthday, I was diagnosed with malignant ductal carcinoma in situ - in short, breast cancer. Thank goodness it wasn't the invasive kind, but given how it struck with me being so young, my oncologist took no chances and pumped me up with meds and therapy. I've thus been through horrid rounds of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
But as they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and cancer changed my life, taught me to enjoy every moment I have been blessed with on this Earth, and to not take for granted all the blessings God has showered on me.

3. I always 'dreamed' of being a writer someday. I thought a 'good' life meant a career in a sophisticated office environment and me as a power maven in that culture. Then I tried corporate working, and it kinda left a bitter taste in my mouth when it wasn't making me sick outright. Still, that's what was deemed as our society as 'making it', so I stuck to my guns.
But when I was diagnosed, by husband told me that "one day is right now; you make it happen!" I took his words to heart and put pen to paper, literally, and what emerged was my first novel, The Other Side, which is being re-published in July this year.

4. I'm a bully magnet. I don't know if it's because I'm naive, or trust too easily, or people take me for an airhead whom they think they can boss around easily... I've been bullied throughout my life. There was the out-and-out mean girl in secondary school, who thought she was the hottest stuff to walk the earth and thus anyone slumming it in a way unlike hers deserved her contempt and riling. Sometimes, I wonder how I survived her taunts... I think God gave me the strength to cope. When I think of what she put me through, today I ask myself how I didn't think of ending my life, the way some bullied kids do nowadays.
Then at work, my boss' PA offloaded all her work on me, and in a sweet way that no one would pinpoint at first, would bully me around to do her bidding instead of what the department required (hence the bitter aftertaste and nausea induced by the corporate world).
I was not at the end of my tether, though, because even online, someone I considered a dear friend abused that friendship and turned on me in an outright war of slinging mud when I dared say, enough is enough!
I'm pretty sure I'm not done with bullies. With my track record, I consider that a given. But hopefully, I am older and wiser now and can stand my ground.

5. The sight and smell of fresh fruit makes me sick. I know - weird. I cannot even run past the produce section at the grocery store without gagging once. Consequently, I don't eat fruit, either. And in case you're wondering, I get my Vit C from veggies or boxed juice or even multivitamin tablets. It's worked so far.
But my biggest nightmare is bananas. Just the sight of them even in a picture can make me want to throw up. And no, I have no clue where that phobia of bananas comes from.

6. Other thing that can give me nightmares - reptiles! As much as I adore shoes and handbags, I cannot even tolerate the idea of a shoe or bag in reptile skin *shiver, shudder, horror!* I cannot stand the look of those animals, and they totally, totally creep me out! I can kill a cockroach (while screming the whole time to keep the adrenalin bursting!) and I'll shoo spiders when I see them. But if my gaze lands on a lizard, I freeze, and only my vocal chords will work as I yell for whoever is at home to come get that beast away from me!

7. The first time I got married, I was 17. Today I know that what I had deemed a lifelong love (without which I'd die!) back then was nothing more than a burst of infatuation with a man who seemed to have everything (including a tendency to want to provide to more than one lady love at a time, if you get my drift...).
At 18, while all my peers were writing their A-levels, I was getting a divorce in a very messy courtroom battle because my ex refused to shoulder the blame of his infidelity as the reason for our breakup. Yes, today I know I was partly to blame in there because at the time I was a spoilt little princess who thought she was owed everything. I wasn't easy to live with, but what hurt was that he never had the courage to say to my face that I was driving him nuts; instead preferring to go find his solace in other women's arms before crawling back into my bed afterwards.
So at the wise age of 19, I remarried, and so far so good, this man and I have been going strong for 11 years, through thick and thin (cancer, remember? We also had our lean times when the money was only enough to buy potatoes to take us to the next paycheck, and we didn't have a car for many years, among other things...)

So here's a bit about me. I must've bored you stiff by now, and I apologize. It's just that even to myself, I am a complex puzzle made of facets and sides that somehow all come together to make 'me' who I am. And the quirkiest is... I'm not at the end of my tether. Every day, I discover something about myself, and uncover some wisdom about life... They say we never stop learning, and life's doing its fair share to show me that all the time...

Anyhow, back on track. As this is The Very Inspiring Blog award, I am not tagging people but will tell you who I do find inspiring in this big bad world out there. Some of them are:
author Natalie G Owens. My bestie, a wonderful author, and even more beautiful person with a heart of gold and the most helpful, guileless nature out there. Proud to know she is on my team!
author Karen Rock. A fabulous writer, but an even more fantabulous person! I recently met her but the friendship bond she has extended my way is the kind that reinforces in your heart that Good does still exist out there!
Decadent Publishing owners Lisa Omstead and Heather Bennet. Two insanely awesome ladies who go to bat for their authors, their friends, and their pub house. It's an honour to be part of their team, and an even bigger honour to consider them dear friends.
authors Lynn Spangler, Graylin Fox, and Rebecca Royce - for being amazing women, fantastic authors, and always being there for me despite whatever drama could be going on in their lives. They are my rocks!

That's it for my (very rambling) Friday peeps. No, I'm not drunk (I don't drink, what with being a Muslim and all that, lol) and I'm not also high on anything (recently cut off caffeine from my life. I know, crazy, but I had to for health reasons...).
Still, I hope this post gave you a glimpse into my existence. Thanks for sharing these parts of me now.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

From My Playlist: British Chicks that run the show!

Hey beautiful people!

Popping in for a quick one to share a few things with ye all. I was listening to the MP3 player on my phone yesterday while cooking (music and lol, singing along, help me relax while *shocker!* being in the kitchen I now find soothing). So on comes a totally random playlist, but the thing is - these songs were all by amazing British female artists!

I must've mentioned quite a few times how my tastes veer more toward British pop and chart music. My favourite chart to follow and grab tunes from is still the UK Top 40 compiled through best singles sales by the BBC.

And since I realized that I haven't posted any music playlists on here this year *gasp!*(the last one was when I pitted boy bands and girl bands in a Battle of the Sexes playlist in December) I thought, why not share with you some of those rocken' tunes I was listening to yesterday?

Here goes! In my humble opinion, some of the best British tracks out there for 2012 and 2013.

First up - heard this one when I was at the hairdresser last week. With foils all over my head (coz I was getting highlights... Yay not, in order to cover the grey), the sounds resonated home even better. I didn't know the track, but the voice was the unmistakable one of Florence Welch. I captured some lyrics, Googled them once at home, and this was the track! Spectrum, by Florence and the Machine.




My go-to gal for an upbeat mood lift, Jessie J is this amazingly talented artist who rocks her own quirky style and always, always manages to put everyone in a good, jiving mood with her tracks. The vids are often psychedelic, but this just adds to her eccentric charm! Domino by Jessie J




These girls came together for X-Factor. Some say they're  the new Spice Girls. I disagree - there will only ever be one Spice Girls! Still, Little Mix have the kind of uplifting tunes with girl-empowering lyrics that made the success of former girl bands out there. This one is their latest single. Change Your Life by Little Mix




And finally, would a British playlist be complete without the British artist of the moment? Adele, of course, can channel heartbreak into a kick-arse anthem that makes women the world over go "Girl Power Rocks!"
I much prefer the rhythmic remix of this one, but the original itself has a great beat on an awesome tune. Set Fire To The Rain by Adele



Hope you had a good time listening to my tracks' selection, peep!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, March 10, 2013

#snippetsunday OnceUponASecondChance the #Muslim #1NS: What happened to Khalid when he married Leila?

Hey beautiful people!

I took a hiatus last week as I had promised myself I wouldn't do anything except act like a primadonna girl on my birthday weekend. Lol - yup, I think I was entitled, what with me turning 30 and all that (yes, I do owe up to my real age!)

But back on board today. Felt awkward to miss a Sunday posting when I've been uploading snippets for like 2 years now every single week....

Anyhow, I'm here and ready to stay. Join me in this week's hopping to check snippets?

I'm still with the Muslim 1NightStand release. Remember, last time, Khalid was on his way to the date location, and he contemplated a rather sad picture of his life.

What happened to make him think this way, to throw on the blues so much? Well, this week's sentences might shed a light. Read on! (FYI, Bashir Al-Arif is Leila's ex-husband, the man who bought her virginity in the UAE)


'...
He drew in a deep breath. He’d gotten what he sought—revenge on Bashir Al-Arif—and in the process, he had freed her. Nothing else should matter. He’d never thought he would fall in love with her, had gone to her bed only to consummate their union and make their marriage valid. But the sweet, innocent way she had opened to him on their wedding night had tilted his world on its axis. He’d more than wanted her then. He’d craved her.
Yet, he couldn’t have her, because he didn’t deserve her trust or her fragile beauty.
As he passed the red and white wooden church erected on the edge of the rocky beach—a landmark of Cap Malheureuxhe slowed the car in anticipation of finding the entrance to the villa. A uniformed security guard threw the gate open at his approach.
Khalid accelerated up the winding drive flanked by lush gardens, watching the wood and wrought-iron panel slide closed in the rearview mirror. He should’ve spared the guard the effort. He would be out of here as soon as he apologized to his “date,” handed her the flowers, and hit the road again.

...'

Want to read the whole of Chapter 1? Then head here.
Interested enough in the book? Then here's where you can grab your copy!
Amazon, Amazon UK, Decadent website, AllRomance Ebooks, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Smashwords

And here's a peek at what the Cap Malheureux church looks like, the view you see from the main road as you drive by.


From www.trekearth.com

Peeps I wanna visit this week are: Karen Michelle Nutt, JoAnne Kenrick, Frank C. Etier, Anastasia Vitsky, Claire Gillian, Sue Ann Bowling, Jess Schira, Joyce Scarbrough, Sarah W, Veronica Scott, Kate Warren, Sarah Ballance, Sherry Gloag, Brenda Ashworth Barry, and Siobhan Muir... among the many others posting this week. Find them on the official SnippetSunday group on FB.

Hope ye're all having a lovely weekend! I missed you folks last week...

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Monday, March 04, 2013

What readers really want from you!

(or my interpretation of it...)

Latest acquisition!
Hey beautiful people!

Back on board with a random thoughts' post today. A few things have happened over the weekend, leading me to a realization that I believe applies to everyone of us.

What do readers want? I know most of you are writers, so this is the question that never leaves your mind, but this conclusion can be applied to any area where something is being offered to an audience (goods, services, experience, whatever.)

Let me first explain how I came to this conclusion. Yesterday was my birthday (and yeah, I turned 30. Dunno if I should cry or rejoice, because I've finally reached this big number. Anyhow...)

I've actually walked 1 mile in this at a mall
& not gotten any blister!
So my husband knows something about me - I'm a shoeholic and a book junkie. Whether for my b-day, Eid celebration, Mother's Day, or when he needs to be forgiven for something, he knows he better take me directly to the closest ALDO shop. And it's ALDO and nowhere else (fyi - ALDO is a Canadian brand of shoes, handbags, accessories. Mainly known for their shoes, though. Nothing close to Blahniks or Choos, but good stuff, still.)

Now, I love shoes. Most of the shops here sell imported goods from China and India. At around 300-600 rupees a pair (that's roughly $10-20 in US currency), these are not exactly cheap. Compare to ALDO, where shoes start at the Rs2,300 benchmark (about $80). For one pair of ALDO shoes, you can get like 4-7 pairs of 'other' shoes.
ALDO also does handbags. Leather, fabric, suede - you name it, they have it. A regular handbag in a local shop here would cost you around Rs900($30). At ALDO, bags start at Rs1,600 (roughly $55, let's say).

My gift yesterday!
Over the past decade, I must've gone through an average of 13 handbags. I lug mine everywhere all the time - it's got all my stuff from wallet to hand sanitizer to makeup pouch to cell phone to tissues, moist wipes, a small bottle of lotion, lip balm, keys, a notepad, pens, and whatever else I need to carry with me. My bag sees a whole lot of action... and needless to say, one rarely lasts beyond 9 months. That's the most one of them has gone (the 'cheap' kind).

Kinda blurry but you get the
drift
September of 2011, hubby bought me a handbag from ALDO. Fabric, in a custom-made weave that had ALDO written all over the textile. Leather handles, and finished with leather piping all around. Price - Rs1,900. Yep, twice the price of a regular, 'good' bag out there.
Did it last more than 9 months?

Actually, I'm still using that ALDO bag. That's 18 months later... 18 months of daily wear and tear and being put through the worst wringer of Mummy-rush and me needing to cram everything in. Absolutely no sign of abuse on the bag!

And let's talk about shoes. All my shoes come from, you guessed it, ALDO. There's one pair I bought 3 months ago at another shop, for Rs800 (I loved the style). But that shoe, though I do wear it everyday to drive, is already having the trim on the espadrille wedge heel unraveling!

Yep, the sole is unraveling! Already!


My go-to shoes,
be it summer or winter
Contrast with the ballet flats I got from ALDO back in May 2011 - shoes that I must've walked miles in (grocery aisles and shopping malls), that I drove with all the time, that have been plunged into rainwater puddles more times than I can count during our rainy summers. State of those Kelli flats? Except for some scuff marks on the tip (that go away with some shoe polish), the shoes are almost like new.

My point being - ALDO has proved itself to me by now. I might get great stuff at other places (like, Longchamp for bags and Bella Donna for designer shoes), but I'll always, always go back to ALDO for what I need.

Reason? Because ALDO gives me value!

The perfect beach/summer
sandals!
 
And that, my dear writer friends, is what readers are looking for from you - VALUE!

My bestie knows I'm a book junkie so she sent me my birthday gift in the form of an Amazon gift card. I went on a total rampage, and got tons of books.

But what made me choose one book over another?

Simple - based on the Value of what the author/read would bring me.

I look for light-hearted comedy usually when I shop for books, and some names are a given for me. Example, Jill Mansell, Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes.
Each one of these authors is sure to bring me what I'm looking for - a good time with lots of twists and turns in an engaging read where I can lose myself. All 3 of them have proven to me that they deliver consistent value every single time, and it is now with eyes closed that I snatch up their books when a new one comes out.

Ask yourself this question - what value do you bring to a reader when you put a story out?

More than saving money, people look for Value out there in whatever they are consuming.

Why else do you think organic foodstuff is so hot right now? Because consumers know what they are getting from these goods - no chemicals, a return to traditional rearing, like it always should have been. This in turn will not affect their health adversely. Yes, organic costs more, but do you see people blinking twice before buying organic stuff? No. Because they know the value they'll get from these goods, and value is what they're after!

Here ends my ramblings, peeps! I believe I've found the key to unlock the secrets of what I should be offering to my audience. It just might happen that this same key unlocks the secret to what will work for you, too.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee
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