Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Book Blast: The Love Map by Jeannie Daly-Gunter

Jeannie Daly-Gunter, MA
* Self-Help *

If you aren’t growing together in your relationship, you are likely growing apart. The Love Map: Reignite, Reconnect and Repair Your Relationship, gives couples a blueprint to help navigate the inevitable ups and downs of love. This book is a practical guide, an engaging story, and a workbook. Unlike many of the psychological relationship books on the market today, The Love Map is a compelling ‘teaching story’.  This story follows the marriage of the main characters, Taylor and Jaymie, as they work through an ongoing conflict that has been weighing them down for a year. Sophia, Taylor and Jaymie’s marriage counselor, guides the couple through ten sessions of relationship lessons, that ultimately supports the couple in working through their conflict. Along the way, the reader is encouraged to do the relationship exercises at the end of each chapter as “home play” along with Taylor and Jaymie. This comprehensive ‘self-help story’ is endearing, motivating and practical all at once.  In addition, there are links to workbook pages and videos to support couples in integrating the lessons in the book. The Love Map has been recommended by therapists and those in the personal growth industry as a powerful resource for couples wanting to deepen their connection and create a more conscious and meaningful relationship.





Can You Please Just Listen?!

Sophia waited until they were settled on the couch before she continued. “During our first session, I like to take some time for us to get to know each other. I know this is a big deal for you to reach out for support, and I’m honored that you have chosen to work with me. Did you watch the intro videos, and do you have any questions for me before we dive in?” 

Taylor squirmed a bit. “Well, I’m wondering how long this is going to take and if it’s really going to work.” 

Jaymie shot him a did-you-have-to-say-that look?

Sophia smiled. “That’s a fair question. Based on my experience, I recommend starting with ten sessions. That gives us a chance to create a really strong foundation of understanding and essentials for helping you communicate better, learn how to deal with conflicts over time, and experience what it’s like to work through some issues. Some couples need more sessions than that to start with, and it’s something we can check in around along the way. You can also stop at any time if you feel like this isn’t for you. Some couples prefer to meet in a long-weekend intensive and some couples like to pace this out over time.”

“That makes sense,” said Jaymie, wanting to get off to a smoother start. “I like having homework between sessions, so doing this over time makes sense to me. You know, I would love just a bit more clarity on the differences between coaching and therapy, just so we know what to expect.” 

“Sure,” said Sophia. “I know we talked a bit about this on the phone, but basically I combine a lot of approaches based on what you need. In a nutshell, coaching looks more toward what you want to create in the future, while counseling or therapy excavates some of the underlying emotional undercurrents of your present conflicts. Although a lot of couples get stuck in conflict, I think it’s equally important to keep putting proactive energy into our relationships. There is a saying I heard once that, ‘If you’re not growing, you’re dying.’ I believe that is really true in love. I’d say that most couples let their relationship flat-line at some point. They’re too busy or too stressed out dealing with work and family to tend to their love. I like to think of my work as a ‘jump-start’ to help couples reinvigorate their love again.” 

“I like that,” said Jaymie. “I think you’re right, sometimes we do get too busy with other things we think are more important than our relationship. That’s weird isn’t it?”
“Unfortunately,” said Sophia, “I see it all the time. There are three main reasons couples come to see me. They need to repair a conflict or betrayal, they feel emotionally disconnected and they are growing apart, or they want to breathe love back into their relationships. Successful couples are always doing ongoing work to repair, reconnect, and reignite their love. 

After this introduction, Taylor and Jaymie took turns explaining their perspectives on their main conflict and how they had been arguing about the same thing for a year. Taylor began to warm up to Sophia and feel more engaged in the process. 

“We love each other and want to work through this; we just aren’t sure how,” concluded Taylor

Jaymie sighed, “Yeah, we just aren’t getting anywhere with resolving this and it’s turned into a yelling match at times.”



Jeannie Daly-Gunter, MA is an author, speaker, relationship coach, seminar leader and Co-Founder of The Transformative Loving® Institute. She has facilitated personal and professional development programs for over 25 years. Jeannie and her husband Mark have committed to walking the path of their relationship as a personal and spiritual growth path. Their passion is to support other couples on that path, and help them to create the extraordinary relationship they really want. They combine various modalities in the healing arts, rites of passage, and psychology, to create a powerful container for couples to do their healing work together. Jeannie and Mark make their home near the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Boulder, Colorado.





Saturday, September 14, 2019

Interview with Rosemary and Larry Mild, coauthors of 'Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawai‘i'

ROSEMARY AND LARRY MILD, cheerful partners in crime, coauthor mystery, suspense, and fantasy fiction. Their popular Hawaii novels, Cry Ohana and its sequel Honolulu Heat, vibrate with island color, local customs, and exquisite scenery. Also by the Milds: The Paco and Molly Murder Mysteries: Locks and Cream Cheese, Hot Grudge Sunday, and Boston Scream Pie. And the Dan and Rivka Sherman Mysteries: Death Goes Postal, Death Takes A Mistress, and Death Steals A Holy Book. Plus Unto the Third Generation, A Novella of the Future; and three collections of wickedly entertaining mystery short stories—Murder, Fantasy, and Weird tales; The Misadventures of Slim O. Wittz, Soft-Boiled Detective; and Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawai‘i.

ROSEMARY, a graduate of Smith College and former assistant editor of Harper’s, also delves into her own nonfiction life. She published two memoirs: Love! Laugh! Panic! Life With My Mother and the acclaimed Miriam’s World—and Mine, for the beloved daughter they lost in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. On her lighter side, Rosemary also writes award-winning humorous essays, such as failing the test to get on Jeopardy; and as a writer for a giant free-spending corporation on a sudden budget: “No new pencil unless you turn in the old stub.”  

LARRY, who was only called Lawrence when he’d done something wrong, graduated from American University in Information Systems Management. In 2019 he published his autobiography, No Place To be But Here: My Life and Times, which traces his thirty-eight-year professional engineering career from its beginning as an electronics technician in the U.S. Navy, to a field engineer riding Navy ships, to a digital systems and instrument designer for major Government contractors in the signal analysis field, to where he rose to the most senior level of principal engineer when he retired in 1993.

Making use of his past creativity and problem-solving abilities, Larry naturally drifted into the realm of mystery writing, where he also claims to be more devious than his partner in crime and best love, Rosemary. So he conjures up their plots and writes the first drafts, leaving Rosemary to breathe life into their characters and sizzle into their scenes. A perfect marriage of their talents.

THE MILDS are active members of Sisters in Crime where Larry is a Mister in Crime; Mystery Writers of America; and Hawaii Fiction Writers. In 2013 they waved goodbye to Severna Park, Maryland and moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where they cherish quality time with their daughters and grandchildren. When Honolulu hosted Left Coast Crime in 2017, Rosemary and Larry were the program co-chairs for “Honolulu Havoc.”

Over a dozen worldwide trips to Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Great Britain, France, Italy, Israel, Egypt, and more have wormed their way into their amazing stories. In their limited spare time, they are active on the annual Honolulu Jewish Film Festival committee, where members screen 100 films a year; Larry is the statistician and recordkeeper for their film ratings.   

Find out more on Amazon / website: http://www.magicile.com 

Mayra Calvani: Please tell us about Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawai‘i, and what compelled you to write it?

LARRY: Copper and Goldie is about Sam Nahoe, a native Hawaiian whose career as a Honolulu police detective is interrupted when he take a bullet in his spine. His sudden medical termination disrupts his marriage. Divorced and lonely, Sam takes up a new career as the independent driver of a Checker Cab. He takes on a canine partner, a rescue golden retriever named Goldie, and together they cruise the island of Oahu for fares. Each of the thirteen short stories features a crime they encounter and solve. They encounter kidnappers, vengeful wives, bank robbers, and murderers, compelling Sam to get his PI license. Many of the stories include help from his young daughter, Peggy, during their Sunday visitations. Sam, Kia, and Peggy still have high hopes to reunite the family. 

We wrote the original Copper and Goldie stories for an online e-zine. Each story appeared only once. And poof! They were relegated to the archives and gone from view. We wanted to give them permanence in a collection.
MC: What is your book about?

LARRY: Our move to Hawaii not only gave us an exciting setting, but the need for a local name, which became Sam Nahoe. Resolving why Sam became an ex-cop, we gave him my own spinal infirmities—his from a gunshot wound and mine from calcification and deterioration. Together we ski-walk around on two canes called Cane and Able—no, not the biblical spellings. One of our characters calls them giant chopsticks. Goldie, a rescue golden retriever, rides around town with him harnessed in the shotgun seat of his Checker Cab. We chose a golden because they figured prominently in Rosemary’s family and in our first mystery, Locks and Cream Cheese.

MC: What themes do you explore in Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawai‘i?

LARRY: What happens when a major catastrophe suddenly alters your life? How do you learn to cope? How does it affect those around you? Can you find a new and satisfactory life afterward?

MC: Why do you write?

LARRY: I’ve always had ideas running through my head. Since I retired as an electrical and digital design engineer, it’s mainly stories wriggling around up there. I have a strong need to get them on paper where they belong so I can share them with others. I’m also handicapped, which affects my mobility, so writing gives me purpose, something to look forward to every day.

MC: When do you feel the most creative?

LARRY:  The morning hours, right after a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast. I write five to six hours a day, five to six days a week. A late afternoon nap works well after a productive day’s writing. I look forward to my writing each day, unless I have a serious plotting problem. You can’t run away from it. Some part of it is always in your head.

MC: How picky are you with language?

LARRY:  On a scale of one to ten; I’m about a five. When I can’t find the word I’m really after, I insert several words approximating its meaning. When the precise word eventually surfaces, I replace the substitutes. I try to avoid sophisticated words and use straight-forward language wherever possible. That doesn’t mean that I won’t use figurative language; a simile here or a metaphor there if it truly befits a mood or an image I want. The double entendre is a favorite. I also try to use first dictionary meanings whenever I can. Occasionally, I’ll turn a noun into a verb; shame on me.

MC: When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were manipulated from afar?

LARRY: The forces are not from afar, but from within. Our characters have been endowed with a certain power of their own, a power to move story direction. The same is true with plotting events. They seem to affect other events down the road. These forces have silent voices that say, “Go here, go there, do this, do that, or maybe don’t.” Such forces are dissolved in the creative juices.

MC: What is your worst time as a writer?

LARRY: When I’m deeply mired in the proofreading process, reading forward and backward, reading with a ruler, reading to each other with my partner in crime, Rosemary. It’s gotta be done. If doctors bury their mistakes and engineers build monuments to theirs, then writers are doomed to advertise them for all to see.

MC: What is your best time as a writer?

LARRY: When that first order of books finally arrives and you can hold a tangible product that you believe you did your best on. When someone you don’t know from Adam appears and tells you that they enjoyed your book. When someone trusts you enough to ask your advice on writing.

MC: Is there anything that would stop you from writing?

LARRY: It would have to be illness, loss of sight, care-giving, or death, because there are no signs of the well going dry. I enjoy writing, and it gives meaning and structure to my life. God forbid, my computer could crash, but even that would only be temporary.

MC: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?

LARRY: It is hard to identify any one moment. We’ve won some awards, we’ve received some great kudos, we’ve enjoyed writers’ conferences and conventions. Rosemary and I spend wonderful times together coauthoring our books. I think we make all the right choices. I wouldn’t change any of it.

MC: Is writing an obsession with you?

LARRY: Almost.

ROSEMARY: We do have another life. Actually, we’re funny. We’re on a “busman’s holiday” every day doing big crossword puzzles together at the kitchen table—the Sunday New York Times and Midweek’s Los Angeles Times. Of course we love to read. Larry has a much longer attention span than I do. I’m a high-energy person. We live in the heart of Honolulu, so I walk everywhere for all our daily stuff. The huge ethnic market around the corner; Ala Moana Center, the biggest mall in Hawaii; the bank; Sam’s Club for our prescriptions and their meat (Larry’s a carnivore). We have six delightful, loving family members here and have dinner together once a week. We’re also super-active in our synagogue, enjoy lunches with friends, and watch lots of TV at night, like Masterpiece Theatre, Blue Bloods, and Netflix. When we’re watching a movie together I always feel like I’m on a date with Larry. I insist on Wheel of Fortune during dinner because it’s not a crime show where I might lose my appetite. We’re also obsessive NFL fans. Go Redskins!

MC: Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?

LARRY: Of course, but only in bits and pieces. We write about what we know, where we’ve been, and the people we’ve met. We’re constant students of human nature and we reflect these diverse emotions in the characters we draw and the scenes we create. Our dealings with family, friends, and colleagues all are key to our writing. It’s fun when one of them doesn’t recognize him- or herself.

ROSEMARY: A few examples: Locks and Cream Cheese is a portrait of my psychoanalyst father and his goofy but shrewd housekeeper/cook, whom we call Molly. Hot Grudge Sunday is based on our own tour of the national parks out West; we added a hair-raising scene at every site, including the Grand Canyon. Our Dan and Rivka Sherman characters have temperaments like ours. They’re a Jewish couple in their fifties who buy a bookstore with shocking consequences. Dan is a soft-spoken problem-solver, Rivka is feisty; she came out of the womb arguing. Death Steals A Holy Book is based on a rare volume Larry actually inherited: a nineteenth-century Yiddish translation of the Menorat ha maor (“Candlestick of Light”), a guide to Jewish living in the Middle Ages.

MC: Ray Bradbury once said you must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.

LARRY: When your writing takes you to a fantasized, sci-fi otherworld, you have to stay with it, live in it, and breathe it or you will lose your credibility. Whether it’s drunkenness or dreaminess or wistfulness, “drunk” is merely an appropriate choice of words.

ROSEMARY: In The Martian Chronicles, Bradbury follows his own advice. His fantasy story “The Crystal City” is a brilliant omen. The inhabitants take tender care of their fragile city. Then humans from planet Earth come—and destroy it. Just as we are destroying our own planet today by ignorance and greed.

MC: Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you?

LARRY:  https://www.magicile.com can take you to all our books in a dynamic display. Currently, fifteen of them include two three-book mystery series; a two-book adventure/thriller set; a sci-fi novella; three books of short stories; two memoirs by Rosemary; and my autobiography. But there’s more—book descriptions, partial chapters, some excellent reviews, Rosemary’s blog, and, of course, more about the two of us.