Struggling with your weight by Mona Risk

If you are struggling with your weight welcome to the club. Did you know that 55% of adult Americans are overweight? It’s a growing problem. Apparently weight-loss products and services average $34 billion a year.

Part of the problem is that weight management is hard, complicated by genes, environment and emotional issues. Chances are that unless we make long-term lifestyle changes to alter our eating habits and become more physically active, the pounds lost with a strenuous diet come back on, with a few extra.

The only way I managed to lose weight was to keep a journal and record everything that went into my mouth. Keeping records made me aware of the quantities I ate.

Exercising is essential. But I have never been an athletic person, and I suck at sports. Regardless, I make it a point to move as much as I can around the house, walk every morning, do my own type of swimming in the pool.

By the way I highly recommend getting a Fitbit watch that counts your steps and makes you feel guilty if you don’t walk enough.

I will never be as slim as my heroines, but I am trying to be healthy and make up for the hours I spend sitting at my computer, writing and editing!

Unfortunately, writing and publishing don’t fall under exercising. Yet it requires so much effort!

I have two new books published almost back to back:


Prince Philip’s Cinderella: Modern Princes Series, book 4
A charming jogger saves her from danger. But he’s a prince… and she comes from nothing. Should she run or risk her heart?

Not Ready Yet: The SEnator’s Family, book 4
High school sweethearts separated by life…They meet years later, successful but different, each with a heavy baggage.

Frustrated Beyond Words

Have you ever had a day or event planned and it all fell apart for no apparent reason? I think we all have.

I was super stoked about releasing the 12th box set in the Sweet and Sassy series: SWEET AND SASSY HEROES. Pre-orders had been live for two weeks, promotions purchased, newsletters written (by all the authors in the set and a few others who weren’t), interviews given, videos produced: you name it.

And then the email from the big guys (who shall remain nameless): Your pre-order has been cancelled.

No reason was given, so as the publisher of the set, I made phone calls. After I spoke with three different representatives — including one at the senior level — I found out that they were as confused as I was. They still can’t figure it out, so asked for 72 hours to find an answer.

Corporations aren’t human, but they do make the same kind of mistakes. You know what I mean: dumb and unexplainable, costly and embarrassing, but mostly frustrating.

What can we do?  I guess we  – authors, readers, promoters – all have to be patient and wait for the Big Guy to find out why they thumped us off their list. Keep watching, though. SWEET AND SASSY HEROES will arise again: meaner, sassier, sexier. You can’t keep the great ones down, and this set is stainless!

Story Elements: The First Meet by Nancy Radke #mgtab

Elements of a Story

What elements make up a good story, especially a good romance? Consider the First Meet.

To start our story, we usually have a First Meet somewhere in the opening chapter. Here is an example of a unique First Meet, from Tennessee Touch. (This meet actually happened in real life.)
Chapter One
It was the first time Alison had ever talked to anyone on the freeway, at least talked to them in this way. She had to admit, there were some advantages in knowing American Sign Language.
The red Jetta had appeared from nowhere, coming up behind her at a fast clip. Rules of the road demanded that she move out of the far left lane and let it pass.
Knowing she shouldn’t take her bad mood out on other drivers, Alison switched on her turn signal, indicating a lane change. Seattle drivers were usually courteous and a car quickly slowed down, allowing her to move over. She did, and the red Jetta accelerated, moving up beside her.
The young man inside glanced over and thrust his hand through his open sunroof. His fingers flashed, and Alison blinked. What gesture was that? Was he being rude?
No. He was fingerspelling. “Thank you.”
Laughing to herself, Alison responded, lifting her left hand above her half-opened window to sign, “You’re welcome.”
The Jetta swerved, was straightened, then slowed abruptly to hold to her speed. He hadn’t been expecting an answer. She could bet on it.
“Hello. Hello.” He rolled down his passenger-side window, so she could see him better, as his hands formed the words.
Well, hello to you too, Alison thought. This was fun, and she felt her spirits lift. She rolled down her window the rest of the way, so the slightly tinted glass would not interfere with vision.
“Hello,” she signed back to him.
“Nice to meet you.” He flashed a friendly smile, a broad grin that reached from ear to ear.
“Nice to meet you,” she returned.
“Are you from around here?” he signed.
“Yes. You?”
“No. Just visiting.”
Alison glanced back at the road to make sure she wasn’t saying an unwelcome hello to a motorist in another lane, then looked back at the stranger. Intrigued by the conversation, she continued to sign to him.
“I’m A-l-i-s-o-n.” She spelled the letters out.
“-o-g-a-n.” He had started to spell the word before he had his hand high enough for her to see.
“Say again?”
He fingerspelled the letters more carefully this time. “Logan.”
“Got it.” What do you say next, to a person in a car alongside yours? “Are you going far?”
“To the airport. My plane leaves at nine.”
Alison glanced at her car clock. It was only five P.M. “Why so early?”
“Nothing else to do. I don’t know anyone in Seattle…except you.”
“You could go sightseeing.”
“I have. I went to Kirkland and wandered through their art galleries.”
The words actually came out, “Go Kirkland, art house, look look,” but as an interpreter for the deaf, Alison had no trouble with American Sign Language. Using ASL, she had spoken to people across a room, carrying on a conversation uninterrupted by the crowd—but never on the freeway, with their cars traveling side by side down the inner lanes. It was a unique experience.
The freeway. She glanced around, suddenly realizing something was wrong. She had passed her exit.
Also, the cars on her right were zooming by, but the cars behind them were following at the sedate, forty-mile pace they had slowed to. No cars in front of them.
They were holding up two lanes of traffic.

This is the start of their romance, as they take the next exit and get to know each other.
See Tennessee Touch on Amazon. Click here.

Another First Meet was in my book, Spirit of a Champion. Here the hero gets on the airplane headed to Las Vegas, spots the heroine and swaps tickets with the passenger ready to sit down beside her. A 50 dollar bill makes the other passenger more than willing, and my hero gets a chance to talk to the heroine. He angles for a date, but strikes out when she won’t give him much information. Our hero is not one to give up easily, and he does better the next time they meet.

Click here for Spirit of a Champion on Amazon.

Both these books are on the August monthly billboard at https://authorsbillboard.com/ While there, enter our great contest we always run.

Series or Standalones #amwriting #Romance #mgtab @jacqbiggar

Series or Standalones

That was the question posed by a member of The Story Empire earlier this week. You can read his full thoughts here– well worth your time.

I’ve read many great standalone books, (Cinderella anyone?) but have to admit I enjoy stories set in a series much more. There’s a deeper connection to a) the characters, and b) location- though either of those can, and often do, change throughout the course of a series.

From NY Book Editors:

Writing a book series can be incredibly challenging (that’s the bad news), but it’s also one of the best ways to develop a loyal fan base (that’s the good news).

NY Book Editors-2016

The books can follow one or two main characters through a variety of adventures- such as J.D. Robb’s In Death series or the Harry Potter franchise.

They can also be set around a location and the citizens within- Susan Mallery’s Fools Gold series or J.R Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Some follow a progression of events and are best read in order, while others are self-contained stories within the series and can easily be read out of order.

Whichever style you prefer, series seem to be growing in popularity, some are even twenty books long and counting!, and readers can’t get enough.

I’m currently working on the third story in my Gambling Hearts series, My Girl. The series follows the lives, and loves, of three siblings born and raised on a Texas hill country ranch.

This is Aaron’s story:

Sometimes, the right decision isn’t the easiest one to make

Trish Sylvester knows her family and when they accept a week long stay at a rustic dude ranch, she is concerned- especially since it’s at her ex’s home.

Aaron is overjoyed at the opening of his family’s guest ranch, until he learns their first guest is his ex-girlfriend, her parents–and a fiancé.

And that isn’t the only surprise.

Excerpt

“I met your fiancé,” he said, his voice ripe with challenge. The outdoors clung to her skin, sun and flowers combining to intoxicate him more than the whiskey.

She lifted her chin, eyes narrowing. “What did you say to him, Aaron? I’d hoped we could all act like adults while we’re here.”

Aaron laughed, his hands doing the job his heart urged him to do, forcing her to come up against his chest with a soft oomph. “Darlin’, I’m definitely a man, make no mistake.” He leaned down and brushed her lips, setting up a warning through his chest. He was playing with fire, and if he wasn’t careful, there was little doubt who was going to get burned. Again.

“Aaron, stop this,” she murmured, though her lips parted on a sigh. “We can’t…”

He lifted his head and stared at her upturned face. “Can’t what, Trish? You invited yourself onto my territory and brought reinforcements. I want to know why.”

She moved out of his arms. He pretended not to feel the loss.

“We needed a break from the city,” she said. “Surely, you can understand that? Your sister sent an email to me highlighting the new business venture—congrats, by the way—and I thought it would be fun to come and check it out. End of story.”

He eyed her nervously tucking her hair behind her ear and knew she was bluffing. The question remained; why?


Box Set News

We have a new box set releasing August 30th!

Sweet and Sassy Baby Love 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KHEMW5

Add to your TBR list: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47873355-sweet-and-sassy-baby-love

Recommend us on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/sweet-and-sassy-baby-love-by-suzanne-jenkins-and-jen-talty

Nine NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors offer stories of men and women who go to great lengths for the children they love.

A scent of innocence, that touch of softness, an angelic nap, and deep belly laughs. Babies and toddlers bring great joy, love, humor, and even conflict into our lives. But first, we need a passionate encounter, a romance that transcends time.

How do you feel about series or standalone stories? Let’s talk about it.

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