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Passion – The Motivator and Energizer for Our Lives: a guest post by author Bonnie McCune

Passion: The Motivator and Energizer for Our Lives

The spine-tingling kiss. The intense desire. The longing to be with a special person.

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We’re all familiar with romantic passion. But passion can do so much more for us in everyday life. We’re fortunate if we find lasting and positive romantic passion. We’re even luckier if we find passion in our lives FOR our lives. I’ve finally come to realize my driving passion is writing.

Aaron Burden, Unsplash

Recently, I was sitting around feeling sorry for myself, which happens to me when I don’t have pending deadlines or if I think about various problems. To pass the time instead of doing productive work, I turned to Facebook. Lo and behold, there was a new entry by Nancy, my former boss. Rather than bemoaning the state of the world or herself, Nancy’s too busy traveling, running several businesses (travel, consulting), and volunteering. She doesn’t wait for someone or something to entertain her. She throws herself into every minute.

Mimi Thian, Unsplash

I decided next time I was depressed, frustrated or hopeless, I’ll just visit Nancy’s FB page and sample her adventures. She has passion and it’s contagious. An excellent example for me.

After 65 years pursuing my dream, (not kidding; I made up my mind at age 10 to be a writer), I’m still not ready to throw in the towel. Somewhere inside any person who chases a dream, there’s a little voice saying, “Keep going; don’t give up yet.” That voice might be an angel’s or a demon’s, but it has a definite impact on life.

I’ve come to believe this trait is also present in people who believe in a cause, philosophy, or mission. Politics, religion, art, music. Gardening, quilting, recycling. Call it a passion or an obsession, it can give your existence meaning, link you with others, and provide a structure many people find helpful.

My saga started at age ten, when I submitted a poem (it was immediately rejected). I got experience on the job, doing public and community relations and marketing for non-profit organizations. I’ve been a freelance writer for news and features. Several years ago, I decided to focus on fiction writing. Now I have 3 sweet or traditional romances published, and 2 novellas.

My passion for writing has existed since age ten with a poem sent to the Saturday Evening Post. Another example of ‘passionate’ is young Greta Thunberg, the political activist on climate change, who’s inspired millions.

Having a passion allows me to transcend where I am, to be conscious of my existence and place in the universe. I’m able to raise and answer questions about myself and life. As author Flannery O’Connor said, “I write to discover what I know.”

Bruce Mars, Unsplash

But surely a writer needs more than passion in order to produce? What? There’s no magic process. Novelist W. Somerset Maugham said, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

As a writer, I’ve learned to navigate a shaky path between my desire to write, inherent laziness, and advice from everyone and anyone. The outside world always has opinions. I’ve learned to thicken my hide, take advice with a bit of salt, then apply as I feel best. For example, one inspirational line editor wanted me to make clear that the heroine wasn’t in a sexual relationship with a male friend.

When you read my books, you can anticipate women’s fiction, ordinary people living their extraordinary lives. My characters aren’t flamboyant, rich, aggressive, shrieking foul language, or even simply annoying, to be interesting. That’s because everyday life challenges people to do and be their best, and their voyage to learning this is fascinating.

https://books2read.com/u/4EkR6M

My most recent novel, Never Retreatis set primarily in the wild Colorado mountains. The story pits a feisty single mom with an ex-military, macho corporate star at a business retreat. Add a threat to their survival, and the stage is set for adventure, attraction and growth. From initial antagonism to mutual understanding and support, they take the reader on the voyage.

Writing isn’t easy for me. I pull from personal experience, research, and imagination to create the book. But I’m energized by dreaming up these situations and characters. I draw some out of my life, like the setting of a staff room, along with character traits — like crying for a loved one. Then I ask myself “what if”. . . what if these characters met? Would they rub each other the wrong way?

I get much more back from writing than I give. Mentally, emotionally, writing is a positive, revitalizing activity. Creativity and passion in every field are not limited to certain people. We’re in an age in which we have unlimited opportunities to try creative activities. Affordable electronic equipment takes photos, makes music and art, records movies and memories. You can use the internet to do research and get resources.

Rene Bernal, Unsplash

If your passion is a cause, helping children, experimenting with gardens, or quilting, there’s nothing to stop you, no matter what your age.

You’ll find this kind of reasoning in many passionate people. Poet Mary Oliver talks about instructions for living a life: Pay attention, Be astonished, Tell about it.

Genius Albert Einstein said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Make your passion work for you. If you’re not sure what your passion is, sample and explore anything vaguely interesting. You’ll find yourself growing.

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Wow! Thank you, Bonnie, for giving us a peek into your writing journey and offering us a reason to have hope for the future. You are so right. There is more to passion than the romantic kind…it can also provide people with a sense of purpose in life! ♥ 😉

Well, readers, shall we take a peek at Bonnie’s clean contemporary multicultural romance with a touch of suspense and comedy? Sounds like a plan! 

Great new cover!  🙂

This is the blurb for Never Retreat:

FROM POPULAR ROMANCE AUTHOR BONNIE MCCUNE

A newly edited version!

A feisty single mom clashes with an ex-military corporate star at a retreat in the wild Colorado mountains. But when a raging flood threatens their survival, they learn the true meaning of partnership.

Years ago, Ramona ‘Raye’ Soto faced harsh reality when a roving con man knocked her up. Now, at thirty-something, she’s concentrating on her career in a major telecommunications firm and funding college for her teenaged son. Enter Desmond Emmett—a fast talker and smooth operator. New to the office, the ex-serviceman possesses every negative quality that Raye should avoid in a guy.

Thrown together at a corporate retreat in the wilderness, the reluctant duo struggles to complete management’s extreme mental and physical tests for a huge reward. But only one can win the prize, and Des needs the money to underwrite medical treatments for his adored younger sister.

See-sawing between attraction and antagonism, the mismatched couple face their biggest challenge—learning the meaning of true partnership. When a massive flash flood sweeps down the rocky canyon and threatens their very survival, they must put aside their differences to rescue their colleagues—and their future as a couple.

 

So, what are people saying about this book?

Beautiful story! Single mom Raye, and ex military Des, find themselves partners at a corporate mountain retreat. This is a well written story which is fast paced, and with unique and relatable characters, which all had me totally enthralled throughout this addictive page turner, and hats off to this talented author for her attention to detail and beautifully descriptive wording. I highly recommend for all. — Wendy Livingstone, Amazon

Awesome read! This wonderful novel harkens back to African Queen, where a life and death adventure brings two disparate, desperate people together romantically, and that kind of story never gets old! A must for lovers of middle-aged romance, snarky office politics, and Tracy-Hepburn battle of the sexes banter. — Ashlee, Amazon

Exciting story with unexpected romance. I really liked this book. It weaves multiple issues into one integrated story. Characters Raye and Desmond, both hurt from past relationships, are suspicious of, and in Raye’s case hostile to, the opposite sex. Raye’s Hispanic best friend Julia, an executive assistant, is the target of racist comments and her considerable leadership talents ignored. All of this comes to a head at a corporate retreat where managers compete for a financial reward both Raye and Desmond desperately need and Julie is not even eligible to compete. And if this isn’t enough, while teams are hiking in the Rocky Mountains, a flash flood puts all participants at risk of their lives. Bonnie pulls all of these threads together into one coherent and compelling story. It’s fast paced, realistic in the relationships, and describes the flood in exciting and scary chapters. I liked the characters and the way they interacted in a natural way. I particularly liked the friendship between Raye and Julia. I hope Bonnie will explore Julia’s own story in a follow-up book. — R. Hofmann, Amazon

Nature and other challenges…This is a fast-paced novel with multifaceted aspects. The role of women in the work force, the view of others who are of a different ethnicity, the bullies, the whiners, and the woman who uses physical features – all of them striving to win the prize. A romance develops between the main characters and they each have to decide if their personal obligations to family can survive a new relationship. Ms. McCune captured the beautiful mountain scenery with her poetic words and dealt with some very real situations. My only complaint about the book is that I couldn’t read fast enough when the team found themselves in danger. — Victoria Pitts Caine, Amazon

Intriguing and heartwarming story about real people. Once again, Bonnie McCune has written a romance about real people leading real lives. Engaging characters and true-to-life description of surviving a flash flood will keep you turning pages. Highly recommended for any lover of romantic and suspenseful fiction. — Suzanne Young, Amazon

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/4EkR6M

Add it to Goodreads or BookBub:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48997367-never-retreat

https://www.bookbub.com/books/never-retreat-by-bonnie-mccune

Here is an excerpt to entice you with…

“I won!” Raye’s handful of lottery scratch tickets, fanned out on the staff room table in front of her, glowed in a multitude of bright colors. She plucked the one nearest to her. “Forty dollars!”

Julia failed to respond. “He’s gorgeous. Just gorgeous.” Her unfocused eyes and neglect of the bear claw pastry in one limp hand showed how absorbed she was in telling Raye Soto about the new man striding around corporate headquarters in Denver.

“Didn’t you hear me? My winning ticket must be an omen I’ll get a big prize. You know how much I need it to cover Andy’s college. No student loans! Whoo-ee!”

“Not necessarily. You’ll have better odds at happiness if you notice a male hunk in front of your face. You haven’t even had a date in years.”

“Wouldn’t start with a good-looking guy. He’d be the most dangerous type. Anyway, you’ve never won awards for your taste in men,” Raye teased back. Her quick survey of the modest dining area showed no other people on break, so she geared up her joking. “Wasn’t your last crush the barista over at Java Hut? The one who drew your initial with cream on the top of your cappuccino, then pocketed the change you were due? And the one before rode a motorcycle and crashed at least once a month?”

“You’re one to talk!” Julia returned to consciousness, leaning back in her chair and tapping her index finger, this week manicured in turquoise blue with tiny spangles, on the veneer-topped table. “Your ex-, who hardly qualifies as an ex since he was only around for a few months, partied so hard and so often, he forgot to come home at night.”

“Let’s not get into odious comparisons. I got Andy from the experience, and that’s enough for me.” Raye pushed back her chrome-wire chair, stood, and began wrapping the remains of her meal.

“This guy, his name’s Des Emmett, would be perfect for you. If you’d drop the attitude.”

“How old do you figure he is?” I can’t possibly be considering Julia’s suggestion, can I? Raye thought.

“I’d say thirty-six, thirty-eight. He mentioned eight years in the service, and I know from his resume, which passed through my grubby paws when he transferred here, that he has a solid ten years in the corporate world. Most recently, at the highest levels.”

“And he’s not married?” With her free hand, Raye stuffed the winning lottery ticket in her pocket, then grabbed the remainder in a fistful jumble.

“No.”

“Why not? What’s wrong with him? Is he gay? Abusive?”

“Wait a minute,” Julia said. “You’re thirty-four and not married.”

“But I have been.” She considered the super-sized fruit yogurt she now balanced. The treat wasn’t finished yet, so she covered the container to tote to the staff refrigerator. “I admit he’s good-looking. Those ice-blue eyes, the casual dark curls.” In fact, he’s too good-looking. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him, she thought.

“Those molded lips, the bottom one a little fuller than the upper. The brooding brow.” Julia gathered her snack leavings, then walked to the refrigerator and leaned against the open door next to Raye to continue. “I think you’re ticked off because he treats you like an employee, not a woman. He shouldn’t be snubbed for that.”

“Absolutely wrong! I learned long ago not to trust charm and good looks. Anyway, why are you pushing him on me? Don’t you want to try your luck?”

Julia looked up at the ceiling tiles. “I haven’t told you, but things are getting serious between me and Eric. We’ve been talking about marriage.”

“Eeek!” Raye’s shriek echoed from inside the refrigerator. She pulled her head out. “That’s wonderful.”

“Nothing’s definite yet, so don’t mention it. I’m entertaining the idea because I hate to see a guy as nice as Eric go to waste. Or get picked off by a sneaky man-eater, like Krystle.”

“I remember two years ago when Krystle got tipsy at the holiday party. She kept rubbing her hands all over Eric, then tried to pull him into the hall for a necking session,”

Julia sniggered. “Fortunately he refused to surrender. That’s when I first guessed I could trust him.”

“Yeah, and he’s been hanging around you ever since,” said Raye. “That’s going somewhere permanent?”

“I sure hope so. The huuuge barrier right now to any kind of development is that car loan my folks took out and now can’t pay. Can’t get married, can’t even move in together because I have to help the family out. Anyway, a more cheerful subject, I first saw the new director of security this morning before he even got in the office. I was walking down the sidewalk past the entrance to the parking garage when he buzzed by on a motorcycle, tall and solid as a soldier. . .”

“A motorcycle!” Raye slammed the refrigerator door closed. “You know how much I hate those. You’re not building a case for my becoming besties with Mr. Desmond Emmett with that bit of information. Smelly, noisy, dangerous machines.”

A stricken look passed over Julia’s face. “I’m so sorry. I totally spaced on what happened to your brother.” Wrapping both arms around her friend, Julia hugged hard, and Raye let her. “You still miss him, don’t you?” Julia whispered.

“Like the devil. Every day. Even though it’s been years. Damn his infatuation with motorcycles! I hear about the Broncos winning, and I think, ‘boy, that’ll make Carlos happy,’ then I remember he’s not here. Or the first snow, I want to run in and wake him up so we can walk in the park, until I remember there’ll be no more times like that. He’ll never know his nephew graduated at the top of the class, or that Dad and Mom both have new romances going.” Raye stepped back after a final squeeze. “Thanks for not hesitating to mention him. That helps. Many people act like he never existed.”

♥♥♥ Nice! This looks like quite a read! 

https://books2read.com/u/4EkR6M

Author Bio

Bonnie McCune lives in Colorado and is the author of novels, novellas and short stories. Her entire family is book-mad. Her interest in writing facilitated her career in nonprofits doing public and community relations. Simultaneously, she’s been a freelance feature writer. Her secret love is live theater. Had she been nine inches taller and thirty pounds lighter, she might have been an actress.

Now her true passion is fiction. Her credits include five women’s novels, short stories, and a number of writing awards. She describes her writing as a new type of women’s fiction. Unafraid to debate contemporary concerns, it pulls no punches to provide a fresh look at age-old issues. She says, “This is your kind of writing if you think people are smarter than every phone, you’ll take a human any day over the most advanced app, and you can laugh at yourself as well as others.”

Her blog addresses “ordinary people, extraordinary lives.” To connect with her, discover her links…

 

Thanks again, Bonnie! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone! And have a wonderful weekend!🙂

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