Monday, March 30, 2015

Guest Post: Alex J. Cavanaugh, Dragon of the Stars

I'm honored to be a part of the blog tour for a true blogging superstar. If you don't know him, Alex J. Cavanagh is a legend around here. Today, he's here to celebrate the release of his latest novel:




If you read Alex's blog for a while, you realize one thing--he's very supportive of other writers (plus he's hilarious!). His generosity means when he needs us, we're all here for him. Today he's blogging about the importance of giving...and how when we give, we actually receive so much more in return. Here's Alex's guest post:

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GIVE AND YE SHALL RECEIVE

by Alex J. Cavanaugh

We’ve all heard the expression, but what does it mean? What exactly do we have to give and what will we receive?

First, let’s tackle the giving part. You can give your time, attention, money, heart and maybe even your pants.  But don’t give expecting anything in return. (Except a cold breeze from giving away your pants).

That’s right, if you are keeping track of anyone that owes you for your generosity, then you’ve missed the boat. (They probably wouldn’t have let you onboard anyway because you’re not wearing pants – weirdo).  If you’re not giving from the heart then you’re doing it for selfish reasons.

See, when you give of yourself freely, there is no pressure and no expectations.  It’s all about the joy of giving.

It's not about serving our own selfish needs, it's about enriching the lives of those around us.  

"The greatest among you will be your servant" Matthew 23:11

And as long as we're here, we should be good servants. (By the way, can I get you anything? A drink, something to eat, or how about a nice pair of pants?) It's pretty much a slam dunk that your life will be more fulfilling if you put the spotlight on those around you.

I try to give from the heart without any expectations. I'm not doing this for money (unless it's a lot of money), or free books (unless it's enough free books that I can fashion them into pants.) So don't worry about paying me back....I'm good.

Here's the upside–I've made a ton of friends with this outlook. Because I had no expectations about what I would receive, I've been floored by everyone’s help and kindness.  It's been a humbling experience.

So ask yourself, are you giving with the right heart and attitude?

And for Pete's sake, put on some pants!



By Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure/Military
Print ISBN 9781939844064 EBook ISBN 9781939844057
What Are the Kargrandes? http://whatarethekargrandes.com/

The ship of legends…

The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, son of a Hyrathian Duke. Poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter, he’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

But when the Alliance denies Hyrath’s claim on the planet of Kavil and declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray. Entrenched in battle and told he won’t make captain, Aden’s world begins to collapse. How will he salvage his career and future during Hyrath’s darkest hour?

One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?

Pre-order:



Author Bio:


Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.




Blog / IWSG / TwitterBuy Link

123 comments:

  1. Thanks, Stephanie! You rock. And you are just as generous.

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    1. Thanks for the inspiring blog post!

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  2. I'm not into Science Fiction although my husband loves it but I totally enjoyed reading about Alex J. Cavanaugh's GIVE AND YE SHALL RECEIVE article.... He right into reality with this statement and I agree 100%. I have found that it's more blessed to give than to receive and I love his humour too.

    Good luck Alex with the release of your new book.
    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. It all comes around. I've noticed the authors who ask everyone to promote their work when they have something new but never promote anyone else never quite have the same support as those like Alex who are always promoting others. Those people probably would be better off just paying a publicist to do all the work and sitting by the pool with a drink during release week!

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    2. Thanks, Julia! And maybe your husband would enjoy Dragon.

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  3. You can't hear me, but I'm cheering for this post! Very well put, Alex. I am of the same mind. Congratulations and good luck!

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  4. Replies
    1. It is--I learned when our house flooded just how many truly giving people there are out there.

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  5. Alex, you're a hoot. Hi, Stephanie. And this is so true. To give with an expectation to receive is totally upside down. Alex's generosity of spirit is one of the gifts of this blogging community.

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    1. As I told Alex, I made a list of people who supported me during my last blog tour--but only because I want to make sure to always support them in everything they do. I just want to make sure I don't forget someone's generosity!

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  6. Stephanie, thanks for hosting Alex.

    Alex, if your post doesn't inspire people to give from the heart then they will never, ever truly understand life's simplest pleasures. Giving freely from the heart is so rewarding. You give so much back to the blogging community, not just for authors but us bloggers too. Thank you and wishing you tremendous success with your latest release.

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    1. Alex brings everything together. I came to this community through seeing his name on so many different challenges. I was a late joiner to the IWSG but I didn't know about it until last year around this time.

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    2. Mason, thanks, I really appreciate that.

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  7. Very thoughtful post, Alex. Wishing you every success with your new book!

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  8. You forgot to mention his unusual obsession with pants. :O) But Alex is one of the most supportive people I know. Congrats on the release of Dragon of the Stars!

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    1. If you really dissect his post, you can see the way he cleverly sprinkled the humor throughout.

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  9. This is so true in all aspects of life. It's a great attitude to have and leads to a much more rewarding life. And it always comes back to you in ways you never expect.

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    1. Quannie, you are so right!

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    2. And Quanie's a very giving blogger/author, as well. I love her tips for authors.

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  10. I think of that line in Spaceballs when Lone Starr tells Barf, . "We're not doing it for the money. We're doing it for a $h!+load of money."

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    1. Perfect comment, since Alex is such a huge movie fan!

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  11. Loved the review and Alex sound like an author I want to read. Will definitely check his book out. Great Post Stephanie!

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    1. Yes, Alex did a great job with the post. Thanks, Anna Maria!

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  12. Thanks, Stephanie and Alex! What a great post - and I agree with your outlook on generosity. It becomes a habit that feeds the giver more than the recipient. Love this!

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    1. It does! It's a natural high.

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    2. We should have that attitude in everything we do in life.

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  13. The right attitude to have indeed. But some may let you aboard if you have no pants, you may just want to avoid those people lol

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    1. Pat, I didn't think about that...

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    2. That is true...or just make sure you always have pants on.

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  14. You said it perfectly. Doing a good deed without expecting anything in return is exactly what it's all about, but its strange how we don't always get it right. Thank you for reminding us.

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    1. And I always try to reciprocate when someone does something nice for me. It's only polite!

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  15. Nice post :) Thanks Stephanie for sharing this.
    Giving without expecting anything in return shows how great that person is !
    Wishing Alex great success with his new book.

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    1. That is true. You actually receive much more than the recipient when you give with a pure heart.

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  16. No! I'm not going to put on any pants!

    You should write comedy, bro.

    I love volunteering in my community. I can't give money, but I can give my time. We all just need to do our part.

    With or without pants!

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    1. He definitely is a natural at comedy.

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    2. Heather, if you're at home, pants are optional.

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  17. I wish Alex much success with his new book... I like his attitude about giving and receiving.... and basically not expecting anything... that way you don't get disappointed.. :-)

    Hopefully he has an extra pair of pants if gives one pair away though :-P

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    1. Thanks, Launna, and I always have my Ninja pants.

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    2. Gotta have the Ninja pants. I seem to still be in PJs at 1:36 PM...does that make me a Ninja somehow?

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  18. Wishing Alex much success on his new book! I couldn't agree more with what he said in his Give and Ye Shall Receive; such truthful words he shared.

    betty

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  19. Very true. If you're keeping track or expecting tic for tac then you're not in it for selfless reasons. I was brought up with the idea that you help someone because you can and because it's the honorable thing to do. Sometimes the giving also comes with some sacrifices--it's all part of giving from the heart. So I don't expect anything back but I do intend to be a bit resentful when others will give me their time or support only if I've first given it to them. Doesn't stop me from reaching out but I've learned to be a bit wary. :-)

    I think Alex does a great job of with the idea of giving without thought of return and with sacrifice with his latest character, Aden Pendar.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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    1. Thanks, Sia! You said it better than I did.

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    2. I agree--although I have to add that I've never had anyone contact me saying they'll help me if I agree to help them. Sometimes, though, you receive more by helping than you realize. I always give 5-star reviews and tweet about the great books I read...and often the authors will retweet my blog post to their own followers. From what I've learned working with marketing firms, if you really want to "social network," what you really need to do is give as much as possible. Follow people, support their work, retweet their posts, give, give, give. I see some authors who just live in their little worlds, never really interacting with other writers (online anyway). They're missing so much by doing that...so many great friendships and experiences.

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  20. I've noticed you're just as generous and supportive of other authors too. You really are.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Aww, thank you, Sandee. I think once you have a book release, you realize just how much it means when the blogosphere and "twitterverse" (<-is that what it's called?) join together to support your latest release. I join in with people cheering on author releases but sometimes I'll see someone who doesn't really interact online and want to give her a little cheering section, too.

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  21. No one can doubt that the Ninja Captain is generous and giving. We should all be the same.

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    1. I'm inspired by people like Alex, Medeia, and the many other bloggers who support so many others. They should be an example we all live by!

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  22. It took me a while to get here today. I had to find my pants. But so glad I showed up to say hi and read about selfless giving. You're so right. And what you give selflessly always comes back ten fold. May that continue to happen for you.

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    1. Thanks, Lee - and pants optional!

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    2. Oh yikes--I spent half the day in my pajamas and now I'm in my robe. I should really dress like a normal human in case someone comes to the door!

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  23. Stephanie, thanks for hosting Alex! I agree, he is a wonder. Alex, loved the post. I think you are spot on. It's a wonderful philosophy. In light of eternity, so much has been done for us, how can we not help others?

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  24. Hooray for a blog post which combines two of my favourite heart-filled bloggers.
    I volunteer and I get sooooo much more from it than I can contribute.
    Mind you, here the sweaty season is still with us, so I am enjoying the breeze on my nether regions. I will pants on again later. Really I will.

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  25. That cover is awesome (I love the colors!) and I like sci fi, so I'll have to check it out! I find it fun to help others out, even if there isn't anything to receive in return. It's just good to pitch in and make friends along the way. Wish you lots of success, Alex!

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    1. Thanks, Shelley, and hope you enjoy it.

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    2. It's easy to take good covers for granted but a lot of work goes into creating a really good cover.

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  26. I love it!! That's how I try to live my life and it is so rewarding. I think the most important gift a person can give to another is 'time' - even if it is just a few seconds to thank the server at the café or to ask a mother if she needs help to manage those stairs with a pushchair. Quite often we are guilty of saying we don't have the time, but on reflection we can all make the time if we try. Wishing you lots of sales and joy with your new book, Alex.
    Thanks Stephanie for making the time to invite Alex over. All the best.

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    1. So true. And in the blogosphere, that time is spent reading other people's blogs, promoting other people's work, and participating in the community. Even reading and commenting on blogs is giving...it's just FUN giving!

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    2. Nicola, exactly! Well said.

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  27. Alex has such a caring heart. And he is the heart of the blogging world.

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    1. I agree! He's the center of all of this.

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  28. Alex is such a delightful man.

    Thanks, Stephanie for hosting!!

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  29. When you read about platforms as an author, every person advises you to be generous. You're supposed to comment, retweet, have giveaways, etc. But it isn't so you are a more well-rounded person. It's so other people will follow, like, host you, etc.

    Honestly, I always feel more than slightly dirty I think about it. I thought we were supposed to support each other, without a scorecard or spreadsheet.

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    1. That is true! But you don't keep a spreadsheet. (Although I keep a spreadsheet of those who help me so I always remember to support the people who were nice enough to support me--it only includes those who helped, though! It's not as some form of punishment to those who don't!) But the thing about what marketing experts recommend is that they always add to it "HAVE FUN." You should go out there and read blogs that capture your interest and follow people on social media who interest you. Then you'll have fun while also networking. It's like going to a networking event. You're attending workshops and supporting the speakers, but you get SO much more out of it just by being able to learn and grow and meet great people.

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    2. Exactly, Stephanie. I don't keep track or worry about it though, because I found so much more joy in helping others. I never even wanted to be an author, so if others buy and enjoy my books, that's just bonus to me.

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  30. What a great post, Alex. I agree that it is best to do things from the heart. Treat those around you the way you want to be treated and do what you can for others. Alex is an excellent model with his generous heart. :) Wishing him all the best!
    ~Jess

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    1. He is. It always amazes me how he manages to visit all the blogs he does. He gets hundreds of comments every time he posts a blog...and he visits all of them. He's usually the first comment when my posts go live at the crack of dawn! I don't think he's human. Maybe he's a super alien sent here to study how the blogosphere works.

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  31. Ah, so true. When you give you do receive. It feels so good to give.

    And you don't really need pants around here these days, although you should probably put on some shorts.

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    1. Shorts, yoga pants, capris, workout capris, pajamas... Writers can work in anything and get away with it!

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  32. I enjoyed this post and anyone who has been blogging probably has come across Alex on the path. He is always supportive. You should always give without expectations for then it is a "true" gift.

    Stephanie nice of you to feature Alex and I wish him the very best.

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    1. So true! I kept seeing his name out here while I was reading blogs and thought, "Who is this Alex guy?" Finally I had to figure out what was going on!

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  33. I couldn't agree more with you, Alex. I always tell friends and loved ones, "If you never expect anything in return for your good deeds, you will never be disappointed!"

    People need to stop expecting anything in return. Why else would you give in order to feel good about yourself as a person?

    The thing that gives me the most pleasure in life is how I deal with things that come my way or don't. I always get what I want, because if I don't, I stop wanting it! :)

    Life's too short to keep score. Do what you can and everything else will fall into place.

    Great post!!!!

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    1. Yeah, who can keep up with all that?! My memory's too short--but I did keep a spreadsheet of everyone who helped me on my last blog tour just so I'd be sure to help them out!!! The best thing you can do to thank someone for helping you is to buy their book, post reviews, and help them out when they need it. That's worth more than any "thank you!"

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  34. Awesome post and every word of it true! Even the weirdo/pants parts. ;) And nobody is more qualified to write it, or host it- Alex and Stephanie are both wonderful peeps that make blogging that much more enjoyable. Happy newest release, Alex!

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    1. Aww, thank you Leandra. You're a pretty wonderful peep yourself!

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    2. Yes, Leandra - you're also an awesome peep, pants or not!

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  35. Great interview and makes one think (except the pants part:)). We all hope to achieve to give and not expect anything in return and it actually does make one feels great.

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    1. I think so. Honestly, after being published, you really see how much every positive review means...I just want to be that person making the world a better place for writers in general!

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  36. The blogging community is awesome. And, yes, Alex is on top of the food chain :-)

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    1. Without him, many of us would have never found each other.

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  37. Pants are important. ;) I give, but most of the time I like to do it anonymously or behind the scenes. There is one cause close to my heart that I donate time to...and that gives to others I'll never know, but it also fulfills a spot in me that makes me happy (giving back to an area where that gal was once me).

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    1. That is true giving--when you do so without even getting credit for it.

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  38. What a wonderful attitude. If everyone felt this way think what a great world this would be. Thanks, Alex, for an inspiring post.

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  39. I love how Alex's success is purely based on him being a good guy. I'm pretty sure he always wears pants, too, but then again, there are never any photos...

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    1. You'll just have to wonder about those pants...

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  40. Congrats on your release alex!!! Wonderful post, and so true :)

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  41. A great reminder, Alex! Doing the right thing with a heart full of resentment might get the same exterior result but it feels totally different on the inside. Pants or no pants. :)

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    1. That's right - it will feel hollow.

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  42. You're right, Alex. You get what you give and it's important to always be kind. Life it too short!

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  43. Alex, you have an awesome sense of humor. Honestly, its something I had guessed , but this post proved it. A wonderful post from a warm-hearted, wonderful writer. You are the epitome of generousness in blogosphere. Good luck for the release of Dragon of the Stars.

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  44. I agree, Alex. Giving should come from the heart. It's not about what you get back.

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  45. I agree, Alex. Giving should come from the heart. It's not about what you get back.

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  46. I'm a big fan of Alex's and his books! Great post:)

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  47. What a great message! And it saves you a lot of grief if you give and expect nothing in return. Although if someone wants my pants, then they'll have to keep looking. ;)

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    1. Cherie, that's probably a good answer.

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  48. You said it well, Alex. Giving is about giving. Period. I wish you much success with "Dragon of the Stars" (and everything else too, of course).

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  49. It's one of those many paradoxes of life: Give expecting nothing in return and that's when people will want to return the favour ;)

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  50. What an inspiring post! And if his book is anything like the post I'm betting it is very entertaining!

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  51. Thanks, everyone! And thanks again Stephanie.

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  52. How did I miss this? I enjoy Alex's guest posts even more than I enjoy his very eclectic blog posts. What a great message-- we don't give expecting pay back. Because that only leads to disappointment. But serve for the joy of it and there's instant gratification! Good luck on your new release, Alex. It sounds really good!

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