Too Busy To Take a Vacation? Think Again by Taylor Lee

Can you buy a ticket to a better mood? Hop a flight to a healthier heart? The travel industry would say yes—and increasingly, so does science. And so do I. My guy and I just returned from four weeks in Grand Junction, Colorado. If you haven’t been there, add it to your must-visit list. Breathtaking mountain cliffs, red rock canyons, the hub of  Colorado’s wine country, beautiful golf courses nestled in canyons (check out my photo below)… and peaches!  I promise you once you eat a Palisade peach, you’ll never be satisfied with grocery store peaches again.

Vacation

Back to the benefits of vacations. For decades, researchers have been probing the benefits of vacations. Almost across the board, they’ve found evidence that vacations can positively impact everything from blood pressure to energy levels. But you do need to take those days off, a challenge for many Americans. “We’re one of the only advanced economies that does not guarantee paid leave,” says Brigid Schulte, author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time, and director of the Better Life Lab at the think tank New America. One in four Americans has no access to paid vacation, and those who do often don’t use it, she says. See her reasons below confirming why and how vacations positively affect our health.

Seven health benefits of taking a vacation

Studies have shown that taking time away from the job can have physical and mental health benefits. People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals. If you still need a little convincing, here is a list of some of the additional benefits of taking time away from work.

  1. Improved physical health Stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. For both men and women, the New York Times reported, taking a vacation every two years compared to every six will lessen the risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks.
  2. Improved mental health Neuroscientists have found that chronic exposure to stress can alter your brain structure and bring on anxiety and depression. When you take a vacation, feelings of calm arise and relieve stress, which allows the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn’t if it were still under pressure.
  3. Greater well-being According to a Gallup study, people who “always make time for regular trips” had a 68.4 score on the Gallup-Heathway’s Well-Being Index, in comparison to a 51.4 Well-Being score for less frequent travelers. One study found that three days after vacation, subjects’ physical complaints, quality of sleep, and mood had improved compared to before vacation. These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their vacation.
  4. Increased mental motivation Many who return from vacation are more focused and productive. Studies have found that chronic stress can make it difficult to achieve certain tasks and cause memory problems. Taking time off can be like getting a tune-up for the brain, improving your mental health and cognition.
  5. Improved family relationships Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong. A study by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages.
  6. Decreased burnout Employees who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts. Another way to manage burnout is through the Oxygen Mask Rule: “Secure your masks before assisting others.” In other words, address your mental, physical and spiritual needs before committing to responsibilities benefitting others outside of your immediate family.
  7. Boosted happiness Research shows planning a vacation can boost your happiness. Some people experience an elevated mood up to eight weeks before the trip. The bottom line is, take a vacation if you can. When you take time away from the stresses of work and daily life, it can improve our physical and mental health, motivation, relationships, job performance and perspective. A vacation can help you feel refreshed and more prepared to handle whatever comes when you return.

As you plan your next vacation, be sure and add these great books to your “must take-along”.

EXPOSED

Exposed

FREE September 26-27

  • A renegade police officer infiltrates a dangerous cartel intending to take down its leader.•Little does she know that the handsome Drug Lord is a special operative hotshot heading up a mission two years in the making.

    •Learning who the outrageous woman is, the undercover commander does the only thing he can to protect the mission, and her. He claims her for his own.

And add to your must-read list our Author’s Billboard sensation:
Unforgettable Loyalty: Craving and Devotion

Unforgettable Loyalty

Is there anything more important in a relationship than loyalty from the one you love…

My book in the set is:

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Knockin On Heaven's Door

She’s a go-it-alone detective. He’s a psychiatrist and FBI profiler. A serial killer brings them together. In more ways than one.

Deacon Walsh has more degrees than any one man should. A former Special Ops physician, psychiatrist, and now FBI profiler, the stunning black agent has spent a year tracking the serial killer of four Colorado girls. When the trail goes cold, a brutal murder of an Albuquerque girl with all the marks of his victims convinces Deacon his killer is responsible.

Unfortunately, in addition to being brilliant, Deacon is also charming. And to Tyra’s dismay, as accomplished a lover as he is an agent.

The Secret To Happier, Stronger Relationships by Taylor Lee

I’m personally and professionally a relationship freak. Personally, I’m lucky to have a lot of relationships, most of which are incredibly satisfying and bring me joy. Professionally, I’m a romance writer which means that my “work life” revolves around writing about relationships. In all my books, the relationship challenges between my heroine and hero are an important part of the story. Some books feature the guy as the troublemaker and the woman tends to be the problem solver. In other stories, the woman comes close to being a pain in the ass, while the guy is the peacemaker. Or, more often, they mix it up. Given that I’m a stickler for Happily Ever After endings, my books always end with peace, at least for the moment, between my main characters.

Relationships

In addition to analyzing and creating fictional relationships, I also like to study them. I came across some interesting research that identified the factors that mark a successful relationship. The most intriguing element of the research, which was done at the University of Georgia and published in the journal Personal Relationships concluded that two words were the determinants of happy successful relationships.

What are the two magic words that make couples happy with their relationships?

Drum roll, please.  The two words are: Thank You.

The University of Georgia research confirms that individuals who take the time to say thank you to their partners, their lovers, their family members, and friends tend to have the happiest, most fulfilling relationships.

Given that, I want to say thank you to all of you, my readers, my newsletter followers, my treasured team, and my fellow Authors’ Billboard authors, who make my life so fulfilling.  Thank you, guys.  I appreciate the heck out of you!

Taylor

And a tangible confirmation of my appreciation, check out:

 

Betrayed

 

BETRAYEDBook 3: The Criminal Affairs Collection

By Taylor Lee

FREE! FREE! FREE TODAY July 26

BETRAYED: Book 3 in USA Today best-selling author Taylor Lee’s Sizzling Hot Detective Series, The Criminal Affairs Collection.

A rising-star political hotshot wants Viviana’s expertise and to bask in her media aura. And not incidentally, he wants her!

Viviana is hard enough to control. Now Jax has to fend off an interloper who is almost as sexy and arrogant as he is. And that’s saying something.

In the ultimate betrayal, Viviana is forced to acknowledge that her infamous go-it-alone MO has not served her well. In fact, she almost loses everything important to her, including the man she loves above all else.

Finally, Viviana has spent her life denying her ugly past. But her nightmares have caught up with her. Disregarding her fierce refusal, sexy police chief Jax insists that together they will find and punish the evil men who abused her.

 

And while you are at it, check out this terrific box set from me and my Authors’ Billboard hotshots:

Brazen Protectors

Brazen Protectors(Protect and Desire Book 4) – is just 99 cents!

Engaging tales of heroes and heroines taking command in unlikely situations, these champions just as provocative as they are brave.

My book in the set is:

Line of Fire

Line of Fire: Passion Meets Politics

Facing political opponents is a piece of cake for Gia. Facing her insecurities about her superstar lover is another matter.

Gia’s unconquerable political skills make winning the election a sure thing. If only she was as confident of her ability to capture and keep her inimitable lover. The arrival of one of his former paramours doesn’t help. Particularly, when the sexy blonde agent isn’t above sowing seeds of doubt in the insecure Gia—just for the heck of it.

Corrupt doesn’t begin to describe Gia’s political opponents. Try hooking up with international terrorists. Oh yes, and silencing a pregnant mistress when necessary. They might have been able to get away with it, if not for Logan and his super- secret agent team.

Unfortunately, the villains conclude if they can’t take Gia down at the polls they’ll have to take her down… permanently.

Grab Line of Fire today. Discover how challenging elections can be when sex and violence are in the mix.

 

Happy Birthday to Me! by Taylor Lee

What do Nancy Pelosi, Donna Shalala and Maxine Waters have in common? Clearly, they are all women. If you guessed that they are older women, you’re right. But how old? In their fifties, sixties? Try in their 70’s and 80’s and you’d be right. We all know Nancy Pelosi is 81. Not to be outdone, Representative Donna Shalala, the former US Secretary of Health, became the oldest freshman in the new House class when she was elected in 2019. (She was 79 at the time.) But Representative Maxine Waters can top that. She became the first woman and African-American to lead the Financial Services Committee at age 80. She is still serving at age 84.

Women

According to a fascinating article by Jessica Bennett in the Jan. 8, 2019 New York Times, older women are doing a heck of a lot more than “roaring”. They’re rewriting the roles they are playing in the US today. Is it just political women who are rewriting the “you’re too old” rules? Hardly! Glen Close, at age 71, broke those rules in an arena that, to say the least, does not value age in their women stars. Close beat out four younger women to win the Golden Globe for Best Actress.

Let’s Face It…

The movie industry is not known for their deference to age. Except when it comes to men. Female movie stars rarely crack the “age ceiling”. According to Time magazine, “male actors hit their professional peak at 46, while female actors top out at 30.” Responding to that report, Helen Mirren recalled that, at 37, Maggie Gyllenhaal had been told she was “too old” for a role opposite a 55-year-old man. Apparently she adds “As James Bond got more and more geriatric, his girlfriend’s got younger and younger. It’s so annoying.”

Even in the business world, it was breaking news when it was announced that Susan Zirinsky will take over CBS News in March, 2019. Ms. Zirinsky was the first woman to hold the job. She was also the oldest person to assume the role, at 66. Amazing! Bennet quotes Ms. Zirinsky when asked about the effect of age on her new job, “Age — don’t worry about it. It’s a state of mind. I have so much energy that my staff did an intervention when I tried a Red Bull.”

Representative Donna Shalala agrees. “Age is just a number. What the women’s movement did was develop generations of strong women. We had professional careers, we were achievers in our fields, and you’re seeing the result of that now. And we’re comfortable in our own skin, and we don’t put up with nonsense, and we have a sisterhood.”

Gayle King, who was 64 at the time, a co-anchor of CBS This Morning, said in an email, “I’ve embraced every birthday … what’s the alternative, bitch and moan? I believe if your body and brain are healthy and you love what you do and the people in your life, what’s the downside of THAT?! So I’ll say it loud, I’m 64 and (oh so) proud.”

Happy Birthday to ME!

Personally, I couldn’t agree more. Point of information. Today is my birthday and I am 78 years old today!  Whoee. I have three extraordinary daughters, four gorgeous grandsons and an 83 year old best friend/lover who’s added even more sparkle to my life these last five years. I work out in some way seven days a week. (Usually 8 miles on the elliptical). I do pull-ups on the chin-up bar. I can now hold my weight for ten seconds with my legs extended at a ninety degree angle. My goal is 30 seconds…

Was my life always this great? Heck no. In fact, in the not-too-distant past, in my late 60’s, it was downright crummy. I needed to do something different. So, I decided it was time to turn my strategic consulting firm over to my daughter. I also left a marriage that was making my then husband and me most unhappy.

Then something miraculous happened. On one of my multi-mile runs, I started hearing voices and envisioning almost movie-like scenes. Rather than checking myself into the loony bin, with the encouragement of my daughters, I did something I had never considered. At the ripe old age of 68, I began writing romance novels. Make that steamy romance novels and sexy mystery thrillers. It wasn’t as if I had a choice. My characters insisted that they come alive on the page. Ten years later, I’m writing my 50th novel. Frankly, I’m amazed and a little more than awed at my gift of creativity.  It’s magic!

So happy birthday to me and all of us older women who are not only “surviving” our age, but “thriving in it”. As we should. We are older women. Hear us roar!

My Birthday Gift to You!

5 DAYS ONLY

FREE – July 1-5

RAMPAGE; Book 1: Mayhem on the Mountain

Rampage by Taylor Lee

*She’s an investigative superstar.

*He’s a formidable county sheriff.

*She’s as determined to reveal the insurrectionist leaders as he is to stop her dangerous exposé.

Calian Begay’s an archetypal rugged county sheriff. Arrogance rolls  off of him in sheets. But then having been elected by seventy-plus percent of the voters justified his cockiness. No small feat for the grandson of a famous Ute Indian chief.

Determined to capture the treacherous domestic terrorists threatening to take over his county, Cal admitted the only thing standing in his way was the media bombshell intent on riding  the simmering inferno to national fame.

From her inauspicious role as a beat reporter, Scarlet Comstock clawed her way to the top of the heap, becoming a local, then regional, and soon, if she had anything to say about it, national investigative media phenom.

She knew all her blockbuster exposé needed was for her to capture the leader of the American Patriotic Front addressing the “White is Might” conspiracy crazies.

Remembering Cal’s fierce warning what would happen if she disobeyed him, Scarlett admitted the formidable sheriff had done what no man had. Made her think twice before she blew him off. Which she concluded only confirmed he was to be ignored.

Face it, which was more compelling? Winning a coveted national award or obeying the arrogant sheriff who, after warning her for the third time, had the temerity to threaten her physically if she “didn’t behave.”

If you like brazen media stars, tough-as-nails lawmen, and scorching passion, you’ll love Taylor Lee’s sizzling new thrill-ride. Discover how challenging exposés can be when sex and violence are in the mix. Grab Rampage: Book 1; Mayhem on the Mountain and prepare to be wowed!

And while you are at it, check out our latest ABB Box Set

Unforgettable Blessings

Unforgettable Blessings: Unforgettable Miracles is just 99 cents.

My Book In The Set is:

Don't Stop Believin

Don’t Stop Believin’

*She’s an accomplished attorney.  He’s an arrogant District Attorney.

*When the sparks start to fly, her past rears its ugly head threatening to take them both down.

Kiera Burke was an enigma.  The super-star District Attorney was thoroughly taken by the beautiful, Mensa-smart woman but couldn’t figure her out. What he’d assumed was aloof superiority, he quickly realized was painful shyness. Which he could have handled.  It was when he saw worrisome signs of a much deeper trauma, that he admitted he was facing his biggest challenge yet.

Grab Don’t Stop Believin’ and restore your belief in the power of love to heal the most devastating wounds.

 

And Then There Is Cellulite by @TaylorLeeWrites

Leslie Morgan Steiner the author of four books, including “The Naked Truth,” which explores femininity, aging, cellulite, and sexuality after 50 writes:

Women in Summer

“Summer is coming, friends. You know what this means. Bikinis. I’m 56. Like most American women, I’ve grappled with body positivity my whole life. My mother, a college athlete who never dieted, preached that natural thinness was a God-given A+ and muffin-tops a failing grade. My first published article was about surviving anorexia as a college freshman. Working in the New York fashion magazine industry, I got negative reinforcement about the size of my boobs and butt from every Vogue cover and Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

Our culture seems to insist that women abhor our own skin. Research shows that a whopping 45 percent of teens have pondered cosmetic surgery; 40 to 60 percent of elementary school girls worry they are becoming “too fat”; and more than 80 percent of women are “sometimes” or “very often” on a diet to skinny up.”

Jiggly Thighs A.K.A Cellulite

On that note, I remember a great article about women’s focus on jiggly thighs. It posited a marketing genius’s conclusion that if you wanted to be a financial wizard assured of rolling in the dough—find an ‘ailment’, a ’condition’ (such as cellulite) that after a certain age 100% of women have. Develop a “surefire” product that supposedly addresses that dreaded issue (but doesn’t), then sit back and roll in the dough.

Okay, point taken. I’m a reasonably intelligent woman and I do know better. I’ll be 78 years old next month, I work out, run six miles a day on the elliptical, weigh tops 110 lbs.  But…last week, I ordered cellulite crème from Amazon. Sigh. What is it about jiggly thighs and a non-existent bootie (guess my exercise regime does something…) that has been drilled into our heads that our bodies no matter what shape we are in are unsightly and something to be ashamed of.

Note that cellulite crème isn’t marketed to men. Let’s go there for a moment.  I’m surrounded by males of all ages. And while they are certainly conscious of their appearances–my grandsons are exercise fanatics, my 82 year old guy primps with the best of them.  But at least as far as the beach goes, I don’t see them or a lot of guys in coverups.

A moment of truth…

I write sexy (make that very sexy) romantic suspense thrillers. I admit my leading women are gorgeous and I have never called attention to a quiver or a jiggle on any of them.  However in defense of my author-me, all of my leading men are also Shemar Moore or Jake Gyllenhaal lookalikes. Ahh…fantasy.

Back  to Leslie Morgan Steiner. She writes: When Deborah Copaken, a friend and author of the memoir “Ladyparts,” was in her 20s, she wore a bikini, albeit reluctantly. She always felt self-conscious running into the water, she told me, her thighs jiggling behind her, her butt cheeks exposed. Why couldn’t she dress for the beach like a man? They never worried about such things. Then she changed her mind. “I decided f— it,” Copaken says now. “If my soft arms, jiggly ass and stomach scars bother you, that’s your problem, not mine.” She switched back to bikinis. “I don’t want to spend a single minute of the life I have left worrying about my body.”

Regarding swimsuits and the like, after considering various ways we women can claim our gorgeous selves, Steiner writes: My most beautiful friend, a grandmother in her late 70s, hates bathing suits so passionately that she only swims naked. Mostly late at night in private pools. Occasionally in a deserted lake. She says she’s too old to endure the torture devices designed to deprive older women of the simple joys of swimming, frolicking and enjoying our birthrights — the bodies that nature gave us.

Now that’s a thought…and a practice I highly recommend. Having done a significant amount of skinny dipping over the years, with sisters, daughters, and yes lucky men–who insisted I was beautiful etc. etc. I definitely agree. Not only for my jiggle-free fictional gals, but for the rest of us gorgeous women, cellulite and all. Hooray!

And while you are considering what makes a gorgeous woman check out:

 

Playing With Fire FREE May 27-31

 

Playing With Fire

  • A rookie firefighter accused of setting the fire that kills her husband and his mistress
  • “A bad-assed cop falls for the beautiful firefighter only to discover she is his #1 suspect in a double murder.
  • An edgy mystery thriller with pulse pounding action and steamy romance. Unforgettable characters that will capture your heart.

Available for PRE-ORDER for just 99¢ ~ This bundle launches on Friday.

Unforgettable Blessings