7 Mind Blowing Reasons to Exercise

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

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.  For a start!

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 better yet 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

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While you’re on that elliptical or treadmill, check out one of my books guaranteed to raise your heart rate.

Sergeant Viviana Moreau is no stranger to physical exertion.  From cliff diving in Belize to infiltrating a dangerous drug cartel against the specific instructions of her harried captain, Viviana is a piece of work.  Her harried captain’s anger is nothing compared to Agent Jax Hughes’s fury when he discovers the sassy woman he thinks is a drug moll is a renegade cop about to torpedo his high-level undercover operation to take down the violent cartel. To say the sparks fly between the beautiful cop and the tough agent is an understatement.  Prepare to be wowed!

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Do you believe in the magic of Christmas?

They say Christmas is the most magical time of the year, that miracles can happen on the day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I don’t particularly believe in miracles, but there’s still some magic of the winter holidays left in my heart.

I loved Christmas when I was a child, even though my parents were not wealthy and we never had a pile of gifts under the tree. But we were better off than a lot of other people, and I’m grateful for that now.

As I became an adult, the practicalities and problems that come with being a grown-up took away a little of my holiday enthusiasm each year. Stretching the budget, organizing things, breaking my back in the kitchen… The real tree turned into a plastic one to avoid the hassle and the mess, buying gifts turned into a stressful process, even going shopping is less fun every year because of the growing lines and interminable city traffic.

However, this year I believe in the magic of Christmas more than I ever had. Why? Because my friends in the Authors’ Billboard practically put the most amazing present under my tree: a USA Today bestseller badge!

A little over a year ago, the seed of what seemed like a crazy dream took root in my mind: to become a USA Today bestselling author. Not only that, but I realized that if I made it, I would be the first Romanian in history to achieve this prestigious title. Since that moment, I worked relentlessly toward this goal, and I’m still amazed by how many incredible people I met on the way, people who joined me in my journey and fought hard to help me achieve my dream.

Together, we did it with the anthology Love, Christmas 2!

My story in this box set is a romantic comedy called Boyfriend Wanted for Christmas.

THE DESPERATE YET HUMOROUS QUEST OF AN AMERICAN BRIDGET JONES TO FIND A BOYFRIEND IN THE SEVEN DAYS SHE HAS LEFT UNTIL CHRISTMAS

Thirty-three-year-old librarian Andrea Sachse doesn’t have the time or skills to date. No man can ever live up to her dreamy book boyfriends, so why bother? But with her parents looking more desperate each time she shows up solo for their annual Christmas party, this year she’s determined to find herself a boyfriend by any means—fair or foul.

There are so many people I owe this accomplishment to, and who deserve a special THANK YOU:  Carmen, Mimi, my editor Sue, Jackie, all my wonderful co-authors of Love, Christmas 2 and of course, all of you, our dear readers and friends, who bought this box set.

The most meaningful THANK YOU goes to my husband, for being there for me, for believing in me, for offering moral and financial support, emergency hugs, pep talks, for playing housekeeper, tear-wiper, even chef when I was too exhausted, and never complaining when I worked twelve hours a day until 2 or 3 am, for keeping my spirits up with his endless supply of optimism, and for putting up with me – which is no easy job.

Each and every one of you who read this post, this victory is yours, as much – or even more – than it’s mine.  ♥ ♥ ♥

Now do you believe in the magic of Christmas? Here’s something that will make your holidays even more fun:  We’re looking for Santas and Reindeer! Visit our December Contest and YOU could win gift cards, paperback books, and book bundles. Click here to play! 

Wishing you the best holidays ever!

Love, Christmas…How Gavin Stole Christmas #mgtab @NatalieAnn121

I’m thrilled to say I’ve got the honor of the first post for our Love, Christmas- Movies You Love boxed set coming out on October 16, 2018. It’s made up of 26 brand new Christmas stories of our choice. For the next several months there will be two posts a week by the fabulous authors of this set. Stay tuned for more personal tidbits.

Also, if you enter here, you can have a chance to get one of our stories dedicated to YOU! And the best part of all of this is the book is only 99 cents!!!

My story is How Gavin Stole Christmas. As you can probably guess, my Christmas movie was How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Why did I choose this as my Christmas movie? The Grinch was me for a long time. My mother Natalie (the real Natalie Ann) was born in December and unfortunately passed away in December, one week before her birthday at the tender age of 47.

When I was a kid, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She’d had five reoccurrences or new diagnoses of cancer over 17 years. Every time it was around the holidays. As you can imagine, it made celebrating difficult for us as a family.

Nineteen years ago I was lucky enough to welcome my son into this world, Nathan. Yes, we named him after my mother, who coincidentally was born on her father’s birthday, the first Nate. And though my mother would never get to meet her namesake, it was one of the best honors I could do for the woman who taught me to never give up and always go after my dream.

My world changed after Nate was born. I was so excited, and my husband and I wanted to celebrate those holidays with him. Little by little, the joy of being a parent myself helped me overcome my “Grinch” status.

If you’ve followed my Fierce Five Series, then you know all about Gavin and Jolene Fierce along with Jolene’s matchmaking ways with her five kids, Brody, Aiden, Mason, Cade, and Ella. Many people have asked about Gavin and Jolene’s story and I thought, why not?!

In How Gavin Stole Christmas, he too was affected with the loss of a parent at Christmas and it turned him sour on all things holiday. But then Jolene came into his life and she made him see that we can’t always be locked up in the past.

Check out How Gavin Stole Christmas, along with 26 other great holiday stories now!

You can buy Love, Christmas—Movies You Love at Amazon and other retailers.

A Cruise around the British Isles by Mona Risk

In the summer of 2016, my husband and I took a fifteen-day cruise around the British Isles. Our first stop was in St. Peter Port, the capital of Guernsey Island, the largest of the Channels islands, located west of Normandy, France.

 

 

In the south, Guernsey rises in a plateau with ragged coastal cliffs. It descends in steps and is drained mainly by streams flowing northward in deeply incised valleys. Northern Guernsey is low-lying, with the soil on lower ground made of blown sand, raised beach deposits, and the fills of old lagoons.

The guide explained that the residents of Guernsey speak English and French, don’t pay taxes (or pay very low taxes) and enjoy free medical care for children under seven and seniors over seventy. The island originally belonged to the Duke of Normandy and then alternatively to England and France. Now it is part of the British Commonwealth. The ruler is a governor and the constitution states that in case of problems the island would revert to England.

St. Andrew Chapel built with ceramic pieces donnated by Wedgewood.

I loved the setting.

My muse immediately replaced the governor with a prince, just like the rulers of Monaco or Luxemburg, both in Europe, and my imagination changed their constitution–the heir to the throne must be married.

Gernsey Island became the Rensy Island of my new story.

 

 

The ruling prince is old and dying, and he worries about the future of his country. His fondest wish is to see his grandson married. But… 

The young prince, a handsome businessman and playboy, enjoys his freedom too much to be trapped into an arranged marriage.

 

All of this played in my head while I was in the bus touring the island and visiting the landmarks.

Imagine if Kate Middleton (Dr. Amy in my story) were an American doctor, dedicated to her career and her patients.

What if Prince William (Prince Paul in my story) wanted to make sure his future wife will love him for himself and not for his crown?

What if he decided to act as her driver and guide in Paris to get to know her better?

What if their attraction turns into passionate love?

What about her medical career and her patients?

And now what if Meghan Markle decides to work after marrying her prince?

What if the paparazzi haunt them at every turn? What if the tabloid magazines spoil everything? What if…what if…what if…

I wrote the first draft of A BRIDE FOR PRINCE PAUL during my cruise.

A Bride for Prince Paul (Modern Princes Series Book 1)

She can’t abandon her patients for his crown!   To please his dying grandfather and protect his country’s autonomy, Prince Paul of Rensy Island must marry an American doctor, descendant of a Rensian princess. Paul, a confirmed bachelor, agrees to meet Amy incognito during her vacation in Paris. Although her career and ex-boyfriend are major interferences, attraction sizzles between Amy and her ‘driver’, but the rumor of her engagement to ‘Prince’ Paul outrages her. Can he convince her that he loves her, in spite of his lies by omission?

Have you been inspired to write a book during a particular vacation?