Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Readers' Workouts -- Goals

Joy at Joy's Book Blog has built up a community of people who love to read and work out.
This week she's blogging about goals.

I'm not great about setting goals for the new year. I have decided I'd like to easily be able to run 10 miles on the weekend, like I used to with my friends. But I haven't actually done anything to make that happen.
This morning I ran four miles in the rain with
the temperature around 50 degrees. Warmer
than it should be for January.  This pic is
from another winter run in the rain. 

I've had some long runs in the new year, including a 7-mile run last week, but my body is still adjusting to a new way of eating.
I haven't eaten meat since Christmas Eve. I didn't give it up for any noble cause, only because I felt so sick for days after.
It started a few weeks before Christmas. I did a 6-day juice cleanse, drinking only fruit and vegetable juice. Then when I started eating again, I noticed that meat upset my stomach. I tried to avoid meat, but as I visited family or went out, it seemed like meat was always served. On Christmas Eve, I made mozzarella-stuffed meatballs. I only ate one, but my intestines felt swollen and inflamed. So I haven't eaten any meat since. Even the smell of it cooking can make me feel sick.
I never would have predicted I could give up meat. I have loved it forever -- a nice juicy cheeseburger, marinated chicken on the grill, pulled pork sandwiches. But the memory of how sick I felt for several days prevents me from being tempted.
I've eaten some fish, but notice that I feel very full after that too, so I'm sticking with mostly fruits and vegetables. Still, I find myself eating too much bread so that I'll feel full.
Anyway, as I'm figuring out how to eat without feeling sick, there are some days when I have walked rather than run, and I just need to be satisfied with that.
On the positive side, I have successfully reached my step goal on my Fitbit every day this year, even with some days of bad weather.

I wonder if I can reach 10,000 steps every day of the year. That might be a good goal.
Hope everyone else is enjoying an active January.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dreaming of France -- The Other South of France

Thank you for joining this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
There's something exhilarating about the purchase of the airline tickets to France and the confirmation of hotel reservations.
It puts a zip in my step as I imagine that day in May when I'll be learning abut the southwestern region of France, the area where I hope to move during 2017.
The area we are thinking about stretches along the Mediterranean, from Marseille over to the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain. It has been called Languedoc- Roussillon, but the new name of the region is l'Occitanie.

Sete is a town along the Mediterranean that really is just a spit of land between the Mediterranean and another large body of water. Love these colorful boats.

 Here's a photo of the fortifications at Beziers, another city near the Mediterranean. It looks so similar to Avignon with the pale stone fortress.

The Canal du Midi also runs through region, passing near Carcassone. I couldn't find a good photo of Carcasson, so I'll just have to take one myself when we're over there.

And who knows, we might end up buying a house that has a view of the Pyrenees. It may be hard to choose between the sea and the mountains.
Hopefully, we'll love this region as much as we enjoy Provence, because the prices for houses in this area are much less expensive than in Provence.
The photos included here come from Pixabay, which shares pictures free.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Selected Feature Review -- Paris Runaway

Yesterday, Kirkus Reviews Magazine notified me that a review for Paris Runaway had been "selected as a feature review."

That  means that way back on page 132, they include their thoughts about Paris Runaway -- which were good overall.
But in addition to the entire review, they included a quote from the review at the top of the page.

I love that they experienced Paris with Sadie and that my use of concrete language stood out.

The placement of the review might be only for the dedicated who thumb through the pages to the end, but I'm grateful to be included.
Here's the link for anyone who wants to visit. It's at the bottom of page 132, but here's how the review looks.
 It starts at the bottom of the page then jumps to the top of the next column

Thanks to Kirkus Review and to everyone who supports my writing. I'm grateful and hope you'll visit the page, as well as consider reading Paris Runaway.
Here's the link on Amazon for paperback or Kindle version. And if you have Amazon Prime with the books, you can probably read it free.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

FranceBookTours -- The Paris Effect

Today, I'm happy to share with you an action and emotion-filled book that's set in Paris. It's The Paris Effect by K.S.R. Burns.
Amy, the main character of The Paris Effect, has so much going on, it's no wonder that she dreams of escaping to Paris. Her best friend has just died; she has lost her job; she obsesses about losing weight; her marriage is mostly numb.
As her best friend went through rounds of chemotherapy, they came up with a plan, that they would take a trip to Paris. Over the years, they bought everything they needed, tucking them into specially purchased carry-on bags. When her friend died and her husband scheduled a 10-day business trip, Amy was suddenly presented with the possibility of that long-yearned-for trip. So she went.
I loved seeing Paris through Amy's eyes. Because she was sick with a bad cold, she slowly comes aware in Paris, discovering the joys and the difficulties too.
I come to a complete stop in front of the large display window, my jaw dropping.
Tarts. Ruby raspberry, golden lemon, amber apricot, emerald kiwi, garnet plum -- as tempting as unguarded platters of jewels.
And cakes. Tall triple-layered white vanilla cakes and brown chocolate cakes, showcased like favorite children on fluted white porcelain pedestals.
Also light-as-air cream puffs. Flakey layered napoleons. Perfectly piped meringues. Precisely molded madeleines. Plain puff pastries in the shapes of pinwheels and hearts, glistening with sugar. 
I think you get the idea. Lots of details about the scrumptiousness of Paris.
I guarantee that Amy had a trip to Paris like no one else's. As people offer to help her, from those she meets on the plane to those she connects with in cafes, everyone seems to have a slightly sinister agenda. The reader is never sure if Amy is too trusting.
The novel definitely had high-tension and kept me reading quickly through to the end in just a day or so. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next.
Make sure you scroll down to enter the giveaway for your copy of The Paris Effect.

France Book Tours features The Paris Effect

on Tour January 9-13 with


The Paris Effect

(women’s fiction) Release date: June 1st, 2016 at Velvet Morning Press ISBN: 978-0692710852 246 pages


Friendship, loss and a tantalizing trip to Paris in this highly praised #1 Amazon Best Seller! Amy and Kat had planned a secret trip to Paris. Even Amy’s husband wouldn’t know about it. But when Amy loses Kat to cancer, she knows the plan is gone forever. Or is it?
Guided by memories of her friend and dissatisfaction with her own calorie-counting life in Phoenix, Amy sneaks off to Paris while her husband is away on a business trip. Once there, she’s robbed, stalked, arrested and almost kidnapped. Worse, she finds that all her problems have come right along with her. Through her adventures, laced with luscious descriptions of food and Paris, Amy learns that often in life, love and friendship, nothing is exactly as it seems. Grab a croissant and settle in for a decidedly non-touristy trip to the City of Light.


k-s-r-burns-the-paris-effect Unlike her character Amy in THE PARIS EFFECT, K. S. R. Burns has never ventured down into the scary and forbidden catacombs. Nor has she run away from home, but she has lived and worked in 22 cities, one of them Paris (because she does definitely share Amy’s passion for Paris). Burns is also the author of THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF WORKING GIRL: REAL-LIFE CAREER ADVICE YOU CAN ACTUALLY USE (Running Press 2009), because while living in 22 cities she racked up a total of 59 jobs, thereby learning a lot about the world of work. She currently writes a weekly career advice column for The Seattle Times. No longer a wanderer, Burns currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and cat. Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter Subscribe to her newsletter Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


You can enter the global giveaway here or on any other book blogs participating in this tour. Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook, they are listed in the entry form below.

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form] Global giveaway open to all: 5 winners will receive a digital copy of the book