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.

Freaky Fun Facts by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Add these to your trivia treasury!

First I’ll apologize if this post looks crazy. I logged in to post for today and discovered WordPress changed everything since last month. Oh, well, here goes my blog attempt. Wish me luck.

History is full of quirky little facts. Sometimes, I like to work one or two of these interesting tidbits into the books I write—as long as I can do it organically.

For example, in Heat Lightning, a romantic suspense, I had the nervous heroine entertain the hero with some trivia she’d read about the invention of the vacuum cleaner. Sounds silly, I know, but it broke the ice between them. Trust me, there was plenty of ice between those two.

Of course, I collect far more facts than I can ever use. For your entertainment, in no particular order, here are a few to entertain you. Warning, I read these in a couple of those trivia collection books but cannot verify the truthfulness of them.

Hard To Believe, But…

In 1439, kissing was officially banned in England in an effort stop disease from spreading. (Bet the whole nation became a bunch of lawbreakers.)

In 1912, a Paris orphanage held a raffle to raise money and gave away live babies as prizes!

John F. Kennedy, Anthony Burgess, Aldous Huxley, and C.S. Lewis all died on the same day.

Karl Marx was once a correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune.

Ronald Reagan was a lifeguard during high school and saved 77 people’s lives. (Seriously?)

Everyone knows the Aztecs made human sacrifices, but did you know in 1487, 20,000 people were sacrificed at the dedication of the temple in Tenochtitlan.

The Romans used human urine as mouthwash. (OMG!!!)

On the subject of urine, in the Regency period when men retired to a room for whisky, it was common for them to urinate into the fireplace.

In the 19th century a popular medicine for kids was Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup which had morphine as the active ingredient.

In early Rome a father could legally kill anyone in his family.

A couple of centuries ago, pregnant women were not given anything to relieve the pain of childbirth because pain was considered God’s punishment for Eve’s eating the forbidden fruit.

Attila the Hun bled to death from a nosebleed on his wedding night.

People have been wearing glasses for about 700 years.

February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

There is no known civilization that did not tax. Even the very first known civilization, the Sumerians, recorded their tax history on clay cones.

For Your Consideration: Heat Lightning

Secrets, lies, passion. What Tessa doesn’t remember may just be the death of her.

Her husband found her, claimed her, rescued her. David’s touch makes Tessa throb. Desire flashes between them like heat lightning on a summer night. Her body knows David, but when she looks at him, he is a stranger to her. Not a flicker of memory is left of him or their life together since she awakened from a coma.

Amnesia has left her with nothing but questions. Who is she? Why does David seem to hate her even as he pulls her into his arms? What is he hiding? How can she trust him when her gut says, Trust no one?

As her love for David grows, so does her feeling of foreboding—as if something awful is watching and waiting.

Add Heat Lightning to your Library. It’s a free read on Amazon Kindle Unlimited, or buy it and keep it forever.

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Post Script

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Time Flies, Be Happy Now by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Time flies. Be Happy. As you begin to read this post you may think I’m just writing down whatever thoughts are spinning around in my brain, but I promise you I do have a point.

I woke up this morning from a dream in which my older son was holding a book. He asked me, “Why do you have this old book? You should get rid of it.”

I went on to tell him it was a book from my mother’s library and that the title came from an incident when Alabama was struck by a huge  meteor storm in 1833.

My mother had told me that her grandmother recounted the incident to her children, telling them it was so bright outside that the roosters crowed as if it were dawn, and the chickens exited the hen house. Everyone awoke thinking it was time to get up and start their day.

Mom had quite a collection of southern literature, and I remember seeing the book in her bookcase. Often, I’d think I should read it, but time flies. Life is too short to do all we want. When my mother passed, I, as the book lover in the family took her books home with me.

While my coffee brewed this morning, I went upstairs to my library and pulled the book from the shelf. Why had I dreamed of this book?

The inside title page shows it was published in 1934 by The Literary Guild in New York. It’s a first edition.

With thoughts of my mother on my mind, I thumbed through the book, thinking that the older I get, the more I miss her and my dad even though they were not the easiest people to get along with—not with each other and not with their children.

My mother and I had our love of reading and of books in common. Unfortunately, she was a perfectionist. It’s not easy having a perfectionist for a mom. She had a difficult time being happy because life is so imperfect. Maybe that’s why I write romance, creating characters who, by the end of the book, have found their way to happiness. In many instances, they learned how to be happy. Learned? Yes. Happiness is a learned skill. Sometimes, it’s a choice we make.

For my mom, everything had to be perfect for her to be happy. That’s rather odd, because when I was a kid, I remember my grandfather—her father—often saying, “Folks are about as happy as they decide to be.”

Many times through the years, I’ve remembered my grandfather saying it. Maybe he was saying it for my mother’s benefit too?

So, my point in today’s post is that it’s never too late to learn to be happy. Even though I don’t read all the books in my mom’s collection, just having them in my bookshelf makes me happy and makes me think about the things that joined us together rather than the things that kept us apart.

As a writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about human nature and motivation. One thing that’s true for fiction and real life is that most of us seem to make the same mistakes as we bumble our way along the road of life.

If you have a hard time being happy, here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

1. Never take advice from anyone who’s more screwed up than you.
Everyone likes to give advice, but always ask yourself if the person dishing out the advice is living life more effectively with less hiccups than you.

2. Learn from others because you’ll never live long enough to make all the mistakes yourself. Model their positive behavior and adapt what they did to your efforts.

3. Be patient with those you love, especially when they interrupt you as you’re trying to accomplish something you feel is important, but in the grand scheme of things, it may not be.

4. Spend your time working effectively rather than hard.  Assess what your doing and how you’re doing it so you can keep what works and toss what doesn’t.

5. Enjoy yourself and your life. Have a good balance between work and play.

6. Change how you think about work. If you can think of it in more positive terms, then you may enjoy it more rather than dreading it. This is important since you probably spend more time each day at work than at leisure.

7. Always make room in your life for the people you love. If you tell them, “Not now,” often enough, they’ll go away.

8. Be patient and slow to anger and bite back words that may poison your relationship. Too many people vent their frustration and irritation on those around them. Words really can hurt. Words can kill relationships. If you need to vent, hang a body bag in the garage and get a pair of boxing gloves and go at it.

Post Script

Embrace your life and everyone in it.

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A Year Later

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine Day.

While we celebrated Valentine Day in our special way with loved ones, family or friends, the teenagers of Parkland held a day of remembrance to pray for their lost friends and promise they will never forget them. My grandchildren live in Parkland and were a mile away in their own school when the shooting took place.

One of the survivors, a lovely young woman only 17 last year, was interviewed in the Parkland Lifestyle magazine and explained how she overcame the trauma and her fears. She needed to show the world that this drama could not be repeated again. I was so impressed by the article I’d like to share some of its thoughts with you.

The day after, this MSD senior talked to her congresswoman and organized a march. “This happened at my high school. I had to do something. I’d wake up at 6 a.m. and slept at 2 a.m. I made so many phone calls. I contacted the bus companies, the parents, chaperones, reached out to the Civic Center in Tallahassee, organized cots from the Red Cross… “

Many more marches followed in the “Road to Change”. Those young people, not even 18 yet, explained they didn’t want to take guns away. They had conversations about extreme risk protection orders or universal background check or disarming domestic abusers. People would say, “Oh I can get behind that.”

People were receptive and the students felt America was behind them to protect the children in school. It’s amazing how fear can create courage.

This is not a political post, but a salute to my grandchildren, their classmates, friends and team members from various sports and activities.

You are still very young but you can make our world a better place.

Here are two new boxes of romance and a free one to enjoy:

UNFORGETTABLE PASSION: Unforgettable Charmers Available at Amazon

 

SWEET AND SASSY IN THE SNOW Available at Amazon

 

 

Unforgettable Valentine

UNFORGETTABLE VALENTINE — FREE this week Available at Amazon