Get outside, now!

When I was little, I was outside as much as humanly possible in the spring, summer and fall. Though it might not always have been my idea (I recall my slightly exasperated mother commanding my hyperactive brother and me to “take it outside” on a frequent basis), I’m so grateful for the experience.

A tree on Railway Ave. in my little hometown Smithers, BC was my first introduction to the extreme joy of playing outdoors. Close investigation revealed it was a series of trunks that grew up close together in a tight circle. A barely discernible gap let me slip into the cozy, hollowed out centre.

From inside my tree, I could see everything going on around me, and no one knew I was even there! A perfect climbing tree with nicely spaced, sturdy branches, it was playhouse, fort, jail, ranch, and office.

On office days, I climbed to a special spot where I had fashioned loose wire loops around a branch. I could work for hours, sitting on the lower “bench” branch and sliding the loops back and forth on the “typewriter” branch. The wire made a great sound too, kind of jingly and clackety all at once. It broke my heart (no, seriously) when we moved to Vancouver and deserted my tree.

But there were consolations. Taxi summer, for example. One year my dad towed the chassis of some old car into our backyard. The fact that it had no body was irrelevant. It had a steering column and steering wheel—the critical parts! I conjured images of a bright yellow taxi for my friends and siblings, and we took turns being the taxi driver stopping for a customer.

We all enjoyed being the cabbie (screeching around corners, slamming on brakes, honking)—but we adored making up people who were waiting for the taxi. Pregnant woman (played most hilariously by my brother). Snobby person. Dangerous criminal. Mean teacher. Person who thinks he’s really a dog. You name it. We were imaginative.

I also visited my grandparents’ massive farm in Hazelton often. If there was anyone who enjoyed playing outside as much as I did, it was my aunt/best friend.

She and I would filch paper lunch bags from the pantry and fill one with smoked Oolichans (Mmmm, so smoky and salty and chewy!), and one with crunchy pink and yellow crab apples.

Barefooted, we’d disappear for hours. Life was complex as Elven princesses. There were ongoing epic battles to be fought, evil rulers to flee, magic to be mastered. My little leather pouch of elf stones proved helpful, and we carried jackknives, of course, for when we needed to make spears or arrows or walking sticks.

When our stomachs sounded a dinner alarm, we headed for the castle or tavern to feast with assorted trolls and miscreants—then moved out again as soon as we could.

When the sky turned purple (and in the North, that’s delightfully late!), we knew it was time to retreat to the inn, filthy-footed and exhausted.

To this day, I don’t know if there’s anything better than having your bedtime snack when you can hardly keep your eyes open, then crawling into bed smelling like tree sap and fresh air and dirt, your limbs so tired they almost ache—and the soft, all is right in the world feeling of clean sheets and blankets wrapping you in a sleepy cloud. . . .

A lot of people hit adulthood and yard time suddenly becomes chore time. As I explained to one of my young nieces, however, though it’s kind of weird, some stuff you call work as a kid becomes fun, almost like playing, once you’re an adult (except for dishes. Dishes are always horrible).

So yes, you’ll find me weeding and watering. But you’ll also find me meandering about, staring into the sky daydreaming, and playing in the lake. My feet still need to be scrubbed before bed in the summer.

I hope you have your own fond memories of playing outside—and that you keep making them. Let me send you off with words from my mother that I could never hear enough: “Get outside and play. Now!”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

This essay was originally published April 2012 in the Terrace Standard newspaper as part of my regular column “Just a Thought,” but since some things never change—like my love of playing hooky outdoors and my immense delight and relief when spring finally arrives after a long winter—I wanted to share it with you. I hope you’re yelling, hear, hear!

P.S. If you, like me, adore listening to audio books when you’re driving or gardening, I’m ecstatic to share that my novel WEDDING BANDS is coming out across all vendors in just two weeks! Yay! I hope you’ll give it a listen, and until then, I have a sample for your listening pleasure! Enjoy. 🙂 WEDDING BANDS by Ev Bishop, read by Sarah Grant. 

Danger & Romance, the Beachcomber Investigations Way

 Beachcomber Danger, the 8th book in the Beachcomber Investigations romantic detective series is now out!  I’m just as proud of this baby as I was of the first. So far reviewers agree.

If you like a little danger with your romance, this is the series for you. Set on Martha’s Vineyard, ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise wrestles (literally!) with his attraction to bombshell ex-Scotland Yard detective, Shana George. Along the way, their assignments involve kicking some badasses while they manage to keep each other from harm–or at least they manage to stay alive.

Each book can be read as a stand-alone, but I always love reading a series in order. (You could start with the box set of the first four books HERE.)

But today I’m celebrating the Newest Baby: Beachcomber Danger

Here’s the tab:

The trouble with being stupid-in-love is that it makes you stupid. And you have your whole world to lose…

Dane Blaise was once a special ops legend, so he’d been in danger before.
But not like this. This time it counted for all the marbles.

Shana was not going to let Dane take on this assignment without her, though she knew he wanted to. The stakes were off-the-charts high. This was about saving the President. And there was no way she would let him shield her from the dangerous consequences.

The only problem was, when someone was out to assassinate the President of the United States, things got complicated. They had a way of spiraling out of a man’s control until legendary status meant shit.

And in the end, there was nothing left but you fighting for the life of the one you loved most…

Excerpt from Beachcomber Danger:

Chapter 1

They were blessedly alone at this ungodly hour of the morning. Dane ran behind Shana along State Beach, mostly for the view of her backside. He could catch her and pass her if he’d wanted to. Sweat trickled down his temples and he bent his head to wipe the sweat off on his sleeve. When he did, he caught a glimpse of a moving car out of the corner of his eye.

He turned his head only slightly to see two men in a gray sedan creeping along the road about fifty yards behind, tracking them.

Picking up his pace, he caught up to Shana.  Ever the competitor, she speeded up to try and stay ahead of him. Before she got too far, he managed to snag her t-shirt, almost tearing it from her shoulder. She slowed and swung around, pulling the shirt back on while she scowled at him.

She was about to protest but he quieted her with a look and hauled her in close. He didn’t want it to be obvious to the men in the car that he’d made them. He had no idea who they were or what they were up to, but it was scalded into his DNA by now to be cagey. Never play it straight.

He put an arm around Shana’s sweaty body, enjoyed the effects of running with the heat and humidity of the day rising, and nuzzled her ear while he whispered.

“Two men in dark glasses and suits are following us in a non-descript sedan. What does that tell you?”

“Are you in trouble with the feds?” It was both good and bad that she stopped squirming in his arms.

“No.”

He thought for a moment, running his mind in reverse back to the last time he’d had a run-in with a federal law enforcement agency. The ATF. One of their agents had been bad and they hadn’t been thrilled that Dane had been the one to discover this fact. But the man had killed their client’s husband and Dane and Shana had nailed him with a recorded confession and a gun aimed squarely at him with intent to kill. No one was happy about that mess. As a reward for uncovering the ATF agent’s drug ring, Dane had been threatened with imprisonment for his so-called interference that they’d insisted labeling as obstruction of justice. But that fiasco ended a while back with a truce.

“Then what’s it about?” Her scowl changed over to something more loving, not worry, not yet.

“I’m hoping it has nothing to do with the President’s upcoming vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, but I’m not that optimistic.”

She stood stock still now and looked at him.

“Do you think they want us to—“

“No. I think they think we’re suspicious characters and they’re keeping an eye on us.”

She slapped his arm and took off at a sprint before he could stop her. Damn.

Now he’d have to catch up with her. And he’d have to acknowledge that she was probably right. The feds, likely secret service, wanted something from him—from them. He needed to remember he wasn’t in this alone. And never would be again.

Order Now at Amazon for $.99 or FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Iguazu Falls

Are you going to use that in a book? I don’t know, but I can say that seeing Iguazu Falls, located between Brazil and Argentina, was a peak life experience

It’s easy to understand why these falls are one of the natural wonders of the modern world. If you’ve visited Niagara Falls and thought they were awesome, the only way to compare Iguazu is to say it’s “unbelievably awesome.” They are so wide that you can’t possibly see the whole expanse at once.

Probably the best way to see them is to start with the Brazilian side, where you walk along a 3/4-mile paved path across the river from the cascading water, coming to one jaw-dropping view after another, until you end up very close to a major deluge. If you want, you can take steps down closer to this cataract where you can indulge in an outdoor shower. We skipped the shower and took the elevator up to the top where we watched the water cascading down. Along the path we encountered vast numbers of interesting butterflies and some coatis (related to raccoons) who are hoping for food from visitors. After taking in this view from across the river, we crossed to the Argentinean side where we spent another day much closer to lots of the individual falls.

The Argentinean national park is a popular destination. If you go, stay nearby and try to get there early in the morning to beat the crowds. We took the first train to Devil’s Gorge, where you walk out on metal walkways over the river to get close to the rushing water. By the time we finished, the area was crowding up. We saw several people with umbrellas, and that looked like a good idea. We had rain jackets but kept just far enough away from the water to avoid getting drenched. Next we went on to the trails of the lower falls, then had lunch at the small plaza where there’s a choice of several different restaurants and an ice cream parlor. (With more coatis running around outside hoping to get tourists’ food.) Then on to the upper falls and back to the train. To see the whole thing, prepare for a long walk—like five miles including the walk to the train—but you get so many gorgeous views, and you can take it at your own pace.

If you get down to Brazil and Argentina, don’t skip this expedition. This is truly a look at the power of nature.

Rebecca York’s latest Decorah Security novella is Hollow Moon.

A Vote for Podcasts

PodcastsLet’s talk podcasts. As you probably already know, I walk every morning for about two hours. Because all that walking can easily become thought-numbing, I knew I had to come up with a way to compensate. What’s the answer? Well, I offer a vote for podcasts. Listening to podcasts is one of my favorite ways to occupy my mind while I’m racking up those steps. I’m always searching for interesting podcasts to add to my list.

It’s not necessary to be a fitness nerd to enjoy podcasts. You can listen to them while doing chores or while running errands, while sitting and enjoying a sunny day or while lounging in bed on a rainy night. I’m sure you get the idea. Podcasts are perfect anytime.

Here are some of my favorites:

This American Life – Ira Glass created this popular weekly podcast that bills itself as “journalism built around plot.” I enjoy the compelling human interest stories and I’m often surprised by the interesting subjects and surprising plot twists. This podcast has 2.2 million weekly listeners. This amazing show is probably the biggest reason I give a vote for podcasts.

Strangers – Produced and hosted by Peabody award-winner Lea Thau, Strangers is a storytelling podcast featuring true stories that never fails to make me think. I enjoy the interesting themes and I think it’s well worth the time to listen.

Serial – An investigative journalism podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig. Season 1 features the story of Adnan Syed who was convicted of the murder of Hae Min Lee in February 2000. The case on-going case is fascinating. (Note: On March 29, 2018, The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has ordered a new trial for Syed.)

S-Town – Hosted by Brian Reed, S-Town is the story of John McLemore, a man from a wealthy family who despises his Alabama home town. This is an absolutely fascinating story and, most noteworthy, it ended at a place I never imagined it would.

These are just a few of the podcasts I’ve listened to. Give them a try and you’ll soon be offering a vote for podcasts, too. Are you a fan of podcasts? If so, what are your favorite podcasts? Leave a comment with the title of your favorites and I promise to give them a listen.

~  ~  ~

I’ve recently bundled together 3 books from my Ocean City Boardwalk Series. Books 4-6 are now available in a boxed set. This bundle offers you 3 beach reads at a lower price than if you bought the books individually. Enjoy! The Ocean City Boardwalk, Books 4-6 is a Kindle exclusive.

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I Can’t Believe It’s Already May! #mgtab

Hi Everyone!

Currently I am writing two new wedding stories which will be published in Authors’ Billboard boxed sets, so rather than expanding on that, I thought I’d share my review for my friend Mimi Barbour’s latest series (which of course would be a great gift for MOM!!)

Happy Reading and for those of you who are moms, Happy Mother’s Day!! 

Sweet Retaliation is Book #1 in the fabulous

Mob Tracker Series.

My Review Of Sweet Retaliation: 

A Gripping Series About A Sister’s Quest For Justice

When Cassidy’s twin brother is shot and killed by a gang member, she’s devastated, and becomes obsessed to identify the murderer and seek justice.

But to do this, she needs to be stronger, transforming from the good girl next door into a fearless fighter who puts herself in danger time and time again. Trace McGuire is the detective who’s assigned to solve her brother’s murder. Although the last thing he wants are complications in his life, he finds himself drawn to Cassie, but deeply concerned when she continuously risks her life to seek the truth.

Sparks fly when they decide to work together, and Trace finds himself wanting to protect Cass while falling for her hard. But they each have trust issues, and there are times when they withhold information from each other.

If you crave action, thrills, mystery, amazing characters—and of course captivating, sizzling romance—you’re going to love this series!

From The Author:

This book has been a revelation to me. In fact, the whole series has worked its spell.  It’s been bursts of magic mixed in with a hell of a lot of hard work.

Every once in a while, an author begins a new story, and as soon as it starts, the character takes over. This happened to me. I could picture this girl in my mind, a librarian whose personality had to be that of a shy, scared, insecure miss who did nothing when she watches some mob members kill her twin.

After that incident, she needs to change into a person who feels such revulsion for her behavior that nothing matters except that she seeks revenge for the death of her brother. How can she live with herself if she doesn’t?

Right?

But how can she – a weak woman who’s never stood up for herself – make it happen?

That’s when the magic starts…

From $3.99 to $0.99:

AMAZON

Sweet Retaliation

Book #1

The Mob Tracker Series

By NYT Bestselling Author

Mimi Barbour

Chapter One

What the hell was she doing following her brother, especially at night? Cassidy Santino didn’t do darkness. Not in the slums of a city like Las Vegas when, molasses thick, it threatened and terrified.

Gagging, sweating, she’d reached the end of her backbone. Thoughts of giving up and retreating gobbled up the small amount of bravery still hanging on by a thread, making her hesitate. Then worry for her twin, Raoul, kicked in.

Biting her lip, she eased forward so she could see around the rickety fence into the semi-lit alley behind a big warehouse. A group of men milled about in a circle. Two of them were head-to-head in a heated discussion. Adrenalin kicked in when she saw her brother step out of the circle.

Raoul’s shoulders were hunched in the same way he’d hold himself when their father had intimidated him as a boy. She watched him flinch and start to turn away. Then the man he’d been arguing with let out a bellow, backhanded him across the face and shoved hard. Before she could get her bewildered brain to accept the incident, Raoul went down and the other men crowded in and began kicking him.

No! Stop!

Her mind screamed the words, but her voice didn’t connect. It froze. When she opened her mouth fear struck her mute. Though she tried to release her rage, to force sound past the blockage in her throat, not even a peep escaped. She’d never felt so useless in all her sad, ineffectual years. Forcing her limbs to move, she fell forward onto her knees but couldn’t get her leg muscles to function.

Infuriating seconds ticked by as she watched the men work her brother over like he was a soccer ball, rather than a human being.

God! Please…

Movement, shuffling, a voice called out from another direction. “Police. Stop what you’re doing and back away. Get your hands up. Do it now!”

Thank you, Lord! Confidence arrived with the authorities, and Cassi felt a flood of energy. Springing to her feet, she started forward. Before she went two steps, one of the assailants stepped over to Raoul, extended his arm and a gunshot changed the rest of her life. She heard her twin grunt and saw his body jerk.

“No!”

Fear vanished under her instinctive urgency to get to Raoul. She ran. To help him, save him, give up her life for him. He was all she had in the world, the only one who mattered.

Blinded by grief, unaware of the loud gunplay going on around her, she fell to her knees next to his lifeless form. Before she had a chance to understand the danger, a man dashed out, swept her to the side and covered her with his own body.

“Keep down.” Rough, his hands hurting, he pushed her head under his chest while she wiggled to get back to Raoul. “Stop it. You’ll get us both killed.” His voice, hard and angry drew her attention. She shook away from his hand and looked at him, trying to explain that the injured man was her brother and he needed help. When their eyes met, the bit of light from the building’s illumination revealed his face.

Deep blue eyes, encircled with a dark outer ring of pure determination, penetrated for an instant, an order clear and visible that only a man in command could produce. Compelled to obey, but overridden by her need to get to Raoul, she kept pushing at him, until she felt him jerk and heard his grunt of pain.

One of those monsters had shot her rescuer. Disbelief overwhelmed and in seconds the relentless fear returned. Imprisoned and helpless, the horror of the moment clawed at her sanity. Surrendering to its magnetic lure, darkness claimed her and she knew no more.

READ THE REVIEWS

For the outstanding Mob Tracker series!

Cassidy is bereft when her twin brother is shot and killed by a gang member. She vows to find the murderer and wreak justice. So she remakes herself from the quiet librarian she is into a hip gangsta chick. She’s something else as well — an elite boxer and this gets her out of tough spots time and time again. Detective Trace McGuire is assigned to solve her brother’s murder and, in short order, he’s completely smitten by Cass. But he’s terribly protective and, while he is in awe of her fighting ability, he can’t help but be beside himself with worry as she throws herself into the line of fire time after time.

Ms. Barbour has written a gripping story about one woman’s quest for justice. She has deftly created marvelous characters that pull you into their story. This is a suspense-filled, full-bore non-stop action ride that you will absolutely love.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I just finished Sweet Retaliation by Mimi Barbour (Book 1 in The Mob Tracker Series).
Sweet retaliation is a book that you do not want to miss!
Cassidy witnesses something that no one should ever have to witness.
Her brother’s murder.
I loved Cassidy from the very beginning. She has it all – sweetness, kindness, sass and class.
Her character is written beautifully, she has such depth in her character.
We see her whole range of emotions and how she deals with them and we also see her transform from what you think is a sheltered, naive woman to a woman that is a force of nature!
Trace McGuire is a man who has seen it all and you feel fairly certain that nothing could ever surprise him as a cop. But he hadn’t met anyone like Cass.
He is completely unprepared for the woman that is as stubborn as he is.
I loved their chemistry and how their characters fit together.
I also giggled multiple times at their banter and especially at his reactions to Cass’s witty comebacks or remarks.
I am in love with this book and I’ll be following the series for more!
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Absolutely brilliant read!
From the very first page I was hooked in to this story. The action begins straight away for Cass and doesn’t really stop throughout. This is the first book that I have read by this author and I was really impressed with her writing style. She created characters that I connected with straight away and a plot that flowed seamlessly. This book really was a joy to read! I love mob/crime/mystery stories so I knew this one would be right up my street and it was! There were some fabulous twists and turns and my attention never wavered once! A brilliant introduction to a new author.
Cass was a fantastic character! After the first chapter I wasn’t suite sure whether she would do what she intended to do but as the story went on she showed her strength and was determined to bring her brothers killer to justice. I loved the connection between her and Trace! There was just something about them that I loved. She is probably one of the best female leads that I have read about in a while.
Trace – oh Trace how I love you! As soon as he appeared in the story I knew I would fall in love with him and I did! He was a really great character, independent, focused and not afraid to push the limits when needed. Together he and Cass were amazing!
I really cannot wait to read more from this author in the future and highly recommend this story! You will have a hard time putting it down once you have started!
Mimi Barbour did an awesome job!

Heroes Don’t Discriminate #FirstResponders #WorldEvents #mgtab

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The past few days I have been stunned and saddened by the catastrophic events that have taken place here in Canada and in the United States.

Instead of belabouring the senselessness of these acts of violence I want to focus on the first responders who stepped up to help when it would’ve be easier to look the other way.

Humboldt, Saskatchewan was the scene of a horrific vehicle accident three weeks ago. Sixteen people died and many more were injured. The hockey community, the country, the world mourned the senseless loss. But, the heroics of first responders on the scene and at the hospital filled my heart with gratitude. I can’t imagine the trauma they endured, and I hope and pray they can find peace in those they were able to help.

 

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A man, half-naked, opened fire on a Waffle House in the Nashville area and if not for the bravery of a customer who threw himself in danger by tackling the man to the ground, many more lives may have been lost.

And then there’s the individual who drove his van onto a busy Toronto sidewalk and mowed people over like bowling pins, all because he couldn’t get a date. Thanks to the extreme bravery and training of a Toronto police officer the suspect was apprehended without any shots being fired, though he pretended to have a weapon and clearly wished to become a martyr by getting shot.

 

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Heroes step up to the plate without thought to their own safety- or actually maybe it’s more to do with their deep love of life. Without people like the first responders, doctors, police, or the average guy just out for a breakfast and instead ends up risking his life, we would be a much sadder world.

It’s no wonder romance authors love to write larger-than-life heroes, they give us hope.

 

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Working with a friend

As a writer, you spend a lot of time in your head, and you know where and how you want your story to go, but what happens when you co-write with someone?

Everything Changes – that’s what happens.

Recently, a good friend of mine, Amy Manemann (she’s actually like a little sister to me), decided to write a book series together. We threw some ideas back and forth about two female detectives working together who were complete opposites. The ideas started to take form and we really started to think on them.

It’s wasn’t long before we had our characters decided. She is writing, Detective Evie Harper, a rookie detective who is by the book, thinks before she speaks and lives by her integrity. Me? I’m writing Detective Kali Man, she’s been in major crimes for several years and she lives by never getting attached to anything. She’s a love them and leave them girl who doesn’t hold back her thoughts.

So how does it work when you write with another author? There are many ways, but this is how we do it!

Amy wrote the first book, a novella called Love Lorn, that introduces her character. It released in March. I wrote the second book, Love Torn, to introduce my character and it releases in May. In August, our first Co-Authored Book, Love Inked, will be released where these two come together as partners.

Love Inked starts out with Kali coming into work. I wrote the first chapter and then I sent it to Amy. She read it – laughed her butt off – made notes and then sent it back. Then she wrote Chapter 2 from Evie’s point-of-view and sent it to me and I did the same back to her. Generally, we know where the chapter will go, but we don’t know how the other person is going to get it there.

There is a theme to our series, Twisted Love, and that’s why we named it that. We keep a document with plot ideas and scenes for certain books so we can keep them flowing. Right now, the series will consiste of two novellas that introduce the series, and then four full-length novels that carry through one major crime and several smaller ones. Ironically, we are still writing book 3 of the series, Love Inked, but we already know how book 6 will end – and we even discussed what could happen after! 

It’s exciting and challenging to write with someone else because you never know what they might throw at you, and how you are going to need to deal with it. It’s kind of like real life in that way and makes the story even more exciting.

We even have a group on Facebook where come May 1st, you can get to know both Amy & I along with our characters. We’ll be doing live readings of our chapters, character interviews and giving your a few sneak peaks about what’s coming in the future!

You’re Welcome to join the fun! The Twisted Love Series Addicts

In the meantime, Check out Love Lorn and meet Evie Harper and get ready for Kali to hit the bookshelves with Love Torn on May 19th!

 

7 Mindblowing Reasons to Exercise

“IF I’D KNOWN I WAS GOING TO LIVE THIS LONG, I’D HAVE TAKEN BETTER CARE OF MYSELF.” EUBIE BLAKE

7 Mind Blowing Reasons to Exercise

I’ll admit it. I’m a health nut. I don’t know how anyone could sit on their butt all day the way we writers do and not be concerned about their health much less the size of their ‘butt.’
I’m a seven day a week exerciser and am seriously out of sorts if I miss a day at the gym where I do a minimum of seven miles on the elliptical and fifteen minutes on the rowing machine.
I’ll admit, vanity is probably a bigger impetus for me than paying attention to my health but both spur me on. I like my toned abs, my buff arms and keeping my weight well under control. BUT even I know that the benefits of daily exercise are more than looking good or even feeling good.
I like the fact that I’m warding off the big killers like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. I also like the fact that I’m improving my mind—and my spirit! And I hope, my ability to do what I love to do—write books!
“Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning,” says Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John Ratey, author of the book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. “Even 10 minutes of activity changes your brain.”
Here’s a list of 7 Mind Blowing benefits of exercise I found in an article in US News &World Report.
1. Reverses Detrimental Effects of Stress
2. Lifts Depression
3. Improves learning
4. Enhances Self Esteem/ Improves Body Image
5. Leaves you Feeling Euphoric
6. Keeps the Brain Fit
7. May Keep Alzheimer’s at bay
If these 7 Reasons don’t get you up and moving then maybe you’re of the Joan Rivers school of physical fitness.

“I don’t exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor.” Joan Rivers

I have to believe that Luke Lang, the challenged war-hero of the Man in the Arena Series is a hard core exerciser! Enjoy this touching novel for a one-week sale price of $0.99. It’s a steal!