Are you fit for your age? by Taylor Lee

Okay.  I admit I’m a fitness freak. So, it’s a given that I get hooked on all the health articles bombarding us on how to know if we are fit (whatever that means….) or if we’re hopelessly out of shape. This year, everywhere I looked were articles upon articles encouraging us to focus on fitness. Or maybe just to make us feel inferior.

As I previously noted, I’m a fitness aficionado. So, of course, I was intrigued by this article in the Washington Post. Rather than just telling us what we need to do to get fit it actually tested us. And best of all it made clear that the definition of “fitness” changes as we age. (Phew!)

Here’s a link to the full article and I encourage you to read it. Because I go to the gym every day and do a minimum of 8-10 miles a day on the recumbent bike, I knew I could ace the endurance tests. But, dear God, I discovered I could not stand on one leg and balance for thirty seconds. Humbling….and I quickly learned that my grip strength is woefully inadequate.

I encourage you to take this test. It is beautifully organized.  It tests where you are and then shows you how to improve. And everything is judged according to your age.  Go for it!  I wish you well. Onward and upward!

And then if you want to check out some snazzy women and equally snazzy guys, have a look at one of my favorite series. In addition to taking on the on the baddest of the bad, these women (…and men) are hard core😊

Ladies of the Night OMNIBUS Collection: Sizzling Romantic Suspense Kindle Edition

Fitness

 

Test Your Fitness by Taylor Lee

Are you curious to know if you are as fit as others your age?

Take this interactive fitness test posted over on the Washington Post’s website.

Washington Post Fitness Test.

 

 

 

Waldorf Salad with Persimmon and Pear by Taylor Lee

I hope you had as wonderful a Thanksgiving as I did. All four of my grandsons, my middle glorious daughter and my Special Guy were there! The food was fabulous. And a lot of it. Calories in the thousands. But my salad brought a glorious splash of color. One of the boys asked, “What are those orange things?” They were persimmons! Enjoy this fabulous salad. P.S Rather than the dressing they suggested, I drizzled a splash of Balsamic Glaze. Perfect! Recipe courtesy of The Washington Post.

Waldorf Salad

Modern Waldorf Salad with Persimmon and Asian Pear

Bright, textural, satisfying and beautiful, here’s a colorful, composed salad for your next cold-weather gathering. Let the persimmons ripen until soft but not squishy. Use crisp apples with a bright red peel. If Asian pears are unavailable, substitute a ripe but still firm Bosc pear. Mache, also known as “lamb’s lettuce,” is a winter salad green, vegetal and tender. If you can’t find it, use tender young spinach leaves instead. Compose this salad on a pretty platter or toss with dressing and serve in a wide bowl. If mayonnaise is a no-go in your household, swap in full-fat yogurt for a similar dressing.

The dressing can be shaken together 1 day ahead. The nuts can be toasted up to 2 days ahead. Otherwise, the ingredients should be cut up and served within a couple of hours, or the fruit will brown.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or full-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups (2 ounces) mache or torn baby spinach leaves
  • 2 Pink Lady or Fuji apples, cored, halved and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 2 Asian pears, cored, halved and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 4 Fuyu persimmons, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 ruby red grapefruit, peeled, seeded and sectioned
  • 6 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) toasted walnuts, roughly chopped (Instead I used Pistachios and Sweet and Spicey Pecans)
Directions:
  1. In a small jar with a lid, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and black pepper. Cover and shake until combined.
  2. Place the mache or spinach on a large, wide platter. Arrange the apple, pear, persimmon, grapefruit, radishes and celery on top of the mache. Crumble the feta over the salad and scatter with the pomegranate arils.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad (or serve it on the side) and top with the toasted walnuts. Serve right away.

Now that Thanksgiving is a done deal, it’s time to turn our attention to Christmas! And what better way to dive into the Christmas season than to grab the collection my ABB friends and I wrote to bring in the season. Irresistible Scrooges acknowledges what a challenge Christmas can be–until it isn’t!

Irresistible Scrooges

 

Irresistible Scrooges

My book in the collection is:

Nothing Good Happens After Midnight

Nothing  Good Happens After Midnight 

Prequel: Bah Humbug 

By Taylor Lee

  • The brazen detective crashes the emergency room determined to her question her dying agent.
  • The new head of the ER stops her at the door.
  • Their antagonism aside, the arrogant physician and the brash detective agree.
  • Christmas is the worst holiday of the year.

 

 

The Case for BODICE-RIPPER SEX-ED by Taylor Lee

NEWS FLASH!  We romance writers have been vindicated. According to none other than the Gray Lady herself, the New York Times: “Romance Novels Are The Best Sex-Ed.”

Bodice-Ripper

Seriously, this is a “don’t miss” article. The Sunday New York Times published a sensational article by contributing opinion writer Jennifer Weiner titled: “We Need Bodice-Ripping Sex Ed.” *

The Insightful Jennifer Weiner

In a clever, insightful article Weiner claims that she got a smidgen of information about sex from her well-meaning parents. Another sliver came from junior high sex ed classes that named body parts and detailed all the bad things that can happen to you if you have sex.  (Think hideous diseases and of course, the ultimate curse, pregnancy.) Fortunately for Weiner, like a lot of us, she was a reader.  And what did she read? Yep, you guessed it:  Romance novels.

Weiner throws a bone to the likely readers of the NYT when she concedes:  “The literary establishment doesn’t have much love for women’s fiction, whether it’s romance, erotica or popular novels about love and marriage.”  She adds, “Romance novels come in for an extra helping of scorn. Critics sneer that they’re all heaving bosoms and throbbing manhoods, unrealistic, poorly written and politically incorrect.”

Not so, says Weiner.

In the central theme of the article she insists as an information-hungry teenager, the romance novels she read, “for all their soft core covers and happily-ever-after’s, were quietly and not so quietly subversive. They taught readers that sexual pleasure was something women could not just hope for but insist upon.  Also, they shaped my interactions with boys and men. They helped make me a feminist.”

WOW! True vindication for those of us as teenagers who hid in the closet gobbling up everything from Gone With the Wind (You know the scene on the stairs when Rhett apparently has his way with a blushing Scarlet…) to  Judith Krantz, to Erica Jong etc., etc. Without understanding that we were being “brainwashed”, we romance readers came to believe that female pleasure was a must, something that we should insist upon.

Weiner explains, “Because these books were written for and consumed by women, female pleasure was an essential part of every story. Villains were easy to spot: they were the ones who left a woman “burning and unsatisfied.” She cites “Shirley Conran’s “LACE” that features a heroine telling her feckless husband that she used an egg-timer to determine how long it took her to achieve orgasm on her own and that she’d be happy to teach him what to do.” Weiner adds with what I’m sure was a grin, ”At 14, I never looked at hard- boiled eggs the same way again.”

The author gets political

Weiner takes her argument in favor of romance novels into the political issue of the day, the #me Too Movement.  She quotes Bea Koch, the co-owner of the Ripped Bodice bookstore who says, “Romance novels teach readers that all partners are equal participants in a sexual relationship….In some instances it can be a literal roadmap for how to bring up difficult topics with a partner. They give a roadmap to people wanting to experiment with their sexuality, or even get on touch with what they want and need in a sexual relationship.”

Are romance novels “just porn” as so many reviewers sniff?  Given the rampant availability of porn, that is a worthwhile question to ask.  One recent study found that “79 percent of men and 76 percent of women look at a pornographic website at least every month, another that three out of 10 men in that age group were daily viewers.” In contrast, those of us who read and write about a range of intimacy know that while “sex might be easy, relationships are hard.” Comparing romance novels to porn, Weiner says, “The book has the ability to paint a deeper picture. A 400 page novel can teach you more about relationships that any X-rated clip.”

Equal Empowerment

In the current climate where so many people, men and women, are wrestling with crossed wires and mixed signals, Weiner concludes, “If we want men and women equally empowered to form real connection, to talk honestly and openly about who they are and what they want, there are worse places to start than curling up with a good book.”

Amen.

*This is a repeat of a previous blog. I think it is one of my best. And frankly given the “sneers” we get from the mainstream press, Jennifer Weiner’s insightful and laugh aloud message published on January 21 2018 is worthy of reading again … and again!

P.S. If you like your Bodice Ripper books with no holds barred, check out:

FORBIDDEN: Book 1: Sizzling HOT Detective Series (The Criminal Affairs Collection)

Trust me. These guys and gals don’t need egg-timers.

Forbidden Taylor Lee

•She’d almost erased the memory of the outrageous undercover agent who’d captured her heart while betraying her soul.

•To her horror, the devious man she’d relegated to the ash bin of her tortured pride reappeared. As her commanding officer, no less.

•Certain that he could control his reaction to the renegade detective he’d betrayed, the arrogant agent accepted the command of her elite unit.

•It only took a fusillade of challenging skirmishes to prove that far from being over, their fierce affair was stronger than ever with the power to take them both down.

WARNING: Romance so HOT it singes the pages. HOT, tough, explicit. Not for the faint at heart. Definitely bring a fan!

And while you are at it, gobble up my Author Billboard buddies latest box set:

Irresistible Scrooges … Not Any More

Irresistible Scrooges

 

My book in the series is:

“Nothing Good Happens After Midnight”

Prequel: Bah Humbug

  • The brazen detective crashes the emergency room determined to her question her dying agent
  • The new head of the ER stops her at the door
  • Their antagonism aside, the arrogant physician and the brash detective agree
  • Christmas is the worst holiday of the year