Monthly Archives: January 2008

Sex Myths II

Barbara Vey -- January 31st, 2008


Back by popular demand, another sex myths quiz, purely for scientific reasons.  To help the authors get it right and the readers…well, the readers can enjoy what the authors write.

Answer Truth or Myth:

1.  The average penis length is five inches when limp–and six when erect. 

2.  Female orgasm frequency plummets as a result of hormonal swings–most women lose interest in sex after menopause. 

3.    Midlife men want more foreplay.

4.  Most midlife couples engage in oral sex.

5.  Both male and female orgasms grow weaker with age.

6.  There is no such erotic hot button as the "G spot." 

7.  The only erotic hot button a man has is his penis.

8.  Midlife men experience slower sexual response and performance as a symptom of faltering sex organs. 

9.  When a man performs oral sex on a woman, he cannot tell when she fakes an orgasm. 

10.  The indicators of female orgasm are chest flush, erect nipples, dilated pupils, swollen genitals, genital contractions, and heavy breathing.

Scoring: 

1.  Myth:  The results indicated that what men frequently consider small is actually the norm. Lue found the average limp penis measured 3.5 inches., while the average erect length reached 5.1 inches. Limp circumference averaged 3.9 inches and average erect circumference came to 4.9 inches. 

2.  Myth: While the female libido is subject to mood swings, the fact is, studies have found that menopause does not seriously alter female orgasmic activity. In fact, the overwhelming majority of women over 50 stay interested in sex. What’s more, they have little or no reduction in orgasms and can continue to be multi-orgasmic. Enjoy!

3. Truth:  Various sex surveys indicate most midlife men both desire and need more foreplay! This may be because some midlife men are slower to get an erection than others. Women, you can use this situation to your advantage by caressing more with your hands and mouths. Pleasuring your partner by alternating between stroking and oral sex should help firm things up for mutual enjoyment.

4.  Truth:  According to a recent survey, oral-genital stimulation is enjoyed by more American couples than not. In her book I’m Too Young To Get Old, (Random House, 1998) gynecologist Judith Reichmann, M.D. writes: "A recent study of Americans age 50 or older found that 56 percent of men gave oral stimulation and 49 percent of women said they received it." Furthermore, 95 percent of the men and 82 percent of women who practiced this behavior commented they enjoyed it.

5.  Myth:  Good news: Your orgasms do NOT weaken with age. When you focus your lovemaking on pleasure rather than orgasm, you’re on the road to stronger orgasms. Although it takes a little practice, you’ll find it intensely satisfying. Here’s how to get started: practice containing sexual arousal at a lower pitch by using subtle touching and movements for as long as you both can stand it. While you’re enjoying your slow, simmering boil, stare into each other’s eyes to heighten the intimacy. Slowly increase the intensity of your touching and pelvic movements; this can help intensify pleasure and lead to longer and stronger orgasms.

6.  Myth:  The G Spot lives! It’s a small cluster of tissue about a third of the way up the front wall of the vagina. It feels like a slightly rough patch of skin. Women, here’s how to find yours: Insert two fingers inside the vagina and bend them slowly in a beckoning, "come hither" movement. Feel for the rough patch of skin and press softly, experimenting with pressure. That thicker patch of skin is the G spot.

7.  Truth:  Women, take note: In addition to the penis, there are three male hot spots, (or four, if you count his imagination). Try to find one or more of the following the next time you make love.

The P Spot: The perineum is an inch-long area between the anus and the scrotum that is also home to lots of nerve endings. Stimulating the P Spot in the heat of passion can trigger orgasm in some men.

The F Spot: This is the loose (and very sensitive) section of skin on the underside of the penis where the head meets the shaft. Gently stroke the F and you’re bound to enjoy a very loving response.

The R Spot: This is the visible (and highly sensitive) line along the center of the scrotum. Stroke it softly and feel what happens.

8.  Myth:  As a younger man, you may have zoomed to a rock-hard erection in mere seconds and reached climax quickly. Now, in your midlife, slower sexual functioning does NOT mean your sex organs are malfunctioning: it’s simply a common fact of midlife sex and nothing more.

Instead of panicking and rushing to the doctor for a Viagra prescription, consider using this slowed response and performance factor to your advantage. For example, pleasure your partner while your erection builds. Make love longer than you used to and drive her wild. Believe us: Your partner will be very pleased and you’ll get your satisfaction.

9.  Myth:  Orgasmic contractions can be faked so easily that any man can be fooled. A woman can fake an orgasmic contraction by flexing her pubococcygeus muscle. (This muscle is part of the pelvic floor in both sexes.)

10.  Myth:  Guess what: These physical responses are merely the signs of strong arousal! Some women reach orgasm without ever breathing hard, getting a flushed chest, or showing erect nipples.

Scoring and what it means:

Between 70 and 100:
You’re a sexual realist–good for you! Put your knowledge into sensual practice whenever dating or mating. 

Between 40 and 69:
Everyone can continue learning more useful and enlightening facts about sex.

Between 0 and 39:

One of the keys to a satisfying sex life is realizing that it’s never too late to learn something new about sex. Keep an open mind to gain knowledge for more pleasure!

Whatever you scored, there’s always room for improvement.

When posting comments, some words may cause the filter to reject, so be sure to copy your comment before posting.  Any problems, send me an email and I’ll get it in for you.

Bottom Line:  Ok, maybe I did score a 90, but I’m not telling which one I missed.
                                                             

Wednesday Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- January 30th, 2008

So, how crazy is this weather?  We went from 47 degrees to 3 degrees in a matter of hours.  From rain to snow (right after everything had just melted.  And don’t even get me started on the wind chill).  The good news?  Perfect weather to stay at home and cuddle up with a good book.  Here’s the WW ladies and friends blurbs of the week.

The Saucy Lucy Murders by Cindy Keen Reynders

Read by Loretta

 

Lexie together with her young daughter, returns to her hometown after an unhappy divorce.  Lucy, her older sister, wants to find her another mate.  Unfortunately, everyone Lexie dates ends up DEAD, as in murdered!  Since the local gendarmes move all too slowly to suit Lexie, she convinces Lucy that they can be just the help that the police need to find the killer.

 

What ensues is a hilarious and scary scenario.  You will enjoy the ride!

                     

                                                        

SheWolf  by Teresa D’Amario (E-Book)

Read  by Joyce 

Veterinarian Anna Calloway is assaulted one night by two men, and is horrified to see one of them shapeshift.  Rescued by a powerful and compelling stranger, she learns the significance of her own uncanny skills and sensitivities when he explains about Wolven.  The stranger insists she is one and that she also is his.

As Anna is introduced to a new life, she begins to understand her past and appreciate the possibilities of the future.  Teresa D’Amario creates an intriguing tale for werewolf fans. 
                                                                                   
The idea of the E-Book format is something that has appealed to me for a couple of years now, and I have purchased a title or two when I’ve seen something that’s intrigued me.  But as yet I have not discovered the technology I would need to make reading e-books easy and economical.  In this case I printed the file because sitting at my computer desk to read is neither comfortable nor convenient.  What I need is a hand-sized gadget that simplifies my life by being my cell phone, my PDA, and a visually pleasing e-reader/audio book player combined that I can actually afford.  When I find that gizmo, I could become quite a strong proponent of e-books.

To Catch a Cheat by Kelley St. John

Read by Lisa 

The book was easy and fun to read.  The characters were enjoyable and I fell in love with them immediately.  Marissa or Rissi is what they called her has issues with cheating men.  She decides to vent her frustration on a website designed by her and her friends, called theguycheats.com.  Rissi thought to start with the very first guy who cheated on her from back in middle school,  Trent Jackson.  Trent and Rissi get offered a bet by a local radio station to live together for one week.  If they still hate each other at the end, they win an awesome prize.  

Funny and sexy.  I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I have.

           


All Through the Night – A Troubleshooter Christmas by Suzanne Brockmann
            

Read by Joyce 
           

What significant high profile event of the holiday season in Boston would require the services and attendance of the whole staff of the security experts of Troubleshooters Inc, all of Navy Seal’s Team Sixteen, the FBI’s most elite counterterrorism unit, and possibly the Secret Service accompanying the President of the United States? 
         

Jules Cassidy is getting married. 
                       

With the point of view jumping from one favorite character from past adventures to another, the story unfolds in heartwarming vignettes spiced with intrigue, suspense, humor, passion, and romance.  I loved Suzanne’s novella, and I applaud its important message.

Bottom Line:  "Don’t knock the weather.  If it didn’t change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn’t start a conversation."  ~  Kin Hubbard

                             

 

The Liar’s Diary

Barbara Vey -- January 29th, 2008


January 29th is a very special day.  You see, today is the release day for Patry Francis’, debut novel The Liar’s Diary and over 300  bloggers (including bestselling authors, Emmy winners, publishers and people in the movie business) have gotten together to help spread the word while Patry heals from cancer.   All over the internet, people will be talking about The Liar’s Diary.

From Susan Henderson’s LitPark:

What began as a personal gesture of caring for a friend became an astonishing show of community – writers helping writers; strangers helping strangers; and most surprising of all, editors, agents and publishers, who have no stake in this book, crossing "party lines" to blog, to make phone calls, and to send out press releases.

This effort has made visible a community that is, and has been, alive and kicking – a community that understands the struggle artists go through and rejoices in each other’s successes. It’s a community made up of many small voices, but – guess what? – those many small voices can create some noise. So while today is for Patry, it’s also a symbolic gesture for all of you who work so very hard for little or no recognition, for all of you who keep going despite the rejections, and for all of you who have had illness or other outside factors force your art or your dreams aside. We are in this together.


Our own Loretta read The Liar’s Diary and she says:

When the mousy school secretary, Jeanne Cross, becomes friends with Ali Mather, the newly hired, talented and sexy music teacher at her school, a tantalizing story unfolds.  A tangle of lies involves all the lovable (and hate-able) characters and draws the reader into their web of deceit. 

A most unexpected end to this novel, makes you want to re-read it looking for clues to help you forsee the shocking ending.


And from Patry Francis’ blog on The Liar’s Diary:

"Though my novel deals with murder, betrayal, and the even more lethal crimes of the heart, the real subjects of The Liar’s Diary are music, love, friendship, self-sacrifice and courage. The darkness is only there for contrast; it’s only there to make us realize how bright the light can be. I’m sure that most writers whose work does not flinch from the exploration of evil feel the same."
                                                                                                                      
                         

You can also read about Patry’s story, see the book trailer or sample the audiobook on Susan Henderson’s site.  In addition, she lists all the bloggers who have joined this cause today, so check it out if you’d like to take a gander at what some of the others are saying. 

Bottom Line:  A friend in need, is a friend indeed. 

This, that and the other thing again

Barbara Vey -- January 28th, 2008


From author Gemma Halliday a Virtual Valentine for charity:

In conjunction with the release of the Dreams & Desires Vol. 2 anthology (available February 1st!!), I’m bringing you some of the hottest hunks around. And, if you bid well, one of them could be your virtual Valentine!
All proceeds from the auction will go directly to benefit victims of domestic violence, so please help support an amazing cause while winning yourself a handsome hunk!
The Prize:
Each bachelor has put together a prize pack of personalized items to send to the winner, plus, if you win the auction, you will be invited to an exclusive online Valentine’s chat party, February 16th (Sat) at 1pm PST/3pm EST, where your bachelor will accompany you as your virtual date!

From Leah Hutenschmidit at Dorchester Publishing:

Mr. Romance 2008 Cover Model Competition
Sponsored by Dorchester Publishing
Saturday, April 19, 2008  (Romantic Times Booklovers Convention)
5 – 7pm

A dozen gorgeous men will compete in Pittsburgh for the 2008 Mr. Romance title. They will be judged on personality, romance IQ and charm. Readers will meet the handsome contestants at parties, costume balls and in Club RT  throughout the convention.

The winners will be selected by a panel of judges consisting of Dorchester staff and readers.  The grand prize is trip to New York to do a photo shoot and to appear on the cover of a Dorchester romance. (Pictured is last year’s winner, Jason Santiago)

The scary part of this announcement is that Dorchester has asked moi to be a judge.  I’m sure I’ll be hearing from my sons soon ("Mom and male models should not be in the same sentence…ever." ~ Andrew).

From author Rowena Cherry:

Nine Love Spell authors–including  Rowena Cherry, Nina Bangs, Susan Grant, Colby Hodge, Jade Lee, Deborah Macgillivray, Joy Nash, Robin T. Popp, and Catherine Spangler, have put together a sampler of first chapters you can download for FREE.

Remember, if you have any news, info, kudos to offer, please email me with the details.

And starting this Friday, I will be blogging all weekend from the Love Is Murder conference in Chicago.  

As promised, every Monday I’ll team up with author and WW leader Gerri Russell with tips for a healthier new year.  All those commenting will be entered in a monthly drawing for a Subway gift certificate.  Here Gerri’s advice on exercise:

-Park out farther when at the mall or grocery store.
-Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
-Do some kind of activity during the commericals of your favorite TV show.
-Think of ways to make activity fun like sledding, skating, skiing, biking or just walking around a park.
-Use a pedometer to make walking more interesting by trying to add more steps daily.

My tip is to check out the Hungry Girl website.  Her slogan is:  I’m not a nutritionist, I’m just hungry.  Aren’t we all?

Bottom line:  I will be judging the Mr. Romance contest for purely research purposes only….really.

Ugly Betty

Barbara Vey -- January 25th, 2008


I love Ugly Betty.  For those not in the loop, Betty Suarez is a young woman trying to  make it as a journalist.  She lands a job as an assistant to Daniel Meade (son of the owner) at fashion magazine Mode.  The twist is that Betty is a size 14 (I’m guessing) in a size 4 world, wears braces, dresses for comfort and her own style and is very nice.  All things, it appears on the show, missing from the fashion industry.

Last night’s show had Betty finally getting her big break.  She was given the opportunity to write an interview about an author to appear in the magazine.  While Daniel told her she would be interviewing Phil Roth, she assumes he means Philip Roth of Goodbye, Columbus fame.  Turns out that Phil wrote a book called Tapping Out with tips for men on how to get women in bed.  Betty is horrified at the man and the book cover which shows a woman served up on a plate.  When Phil explains his philosophy of picking up women and Betty doesn’t believe women will fall for it, Phil shows her by using his techniques on a woman in the office and it works.

Betty refuses to write the interview and turns in an article on her sister instead saying she didn’t like the man or his book.  Daniel then says she is literally juding a book by it’s cover and tells her he will find someone else to do it since she wasn’t up to it.  Of course, this spurs Betty into action.

This show is so timely, coming as it is on the heels of yesterday’s hot topic about reviews.  The blog brought out strong emotions.  I guess I’m still new enough at this to be amazed at how fast people jump on these topics.  It turns out several other blogs picked up the subject matter, so I read them.  It was very interesting, for me, because it was like being reviewed.  So I kind of got to know what you authors go through.

The most fascinating part was reading what I said taken out of context.  It was obvious that some didn’t even read the whole blog because while I said I didn’t read reviews before I read a book or saw a movie, I admitted to reading them after the fact.  And while I personally won’t write a bad review, I can understand talking about good plotting and characterization.  What I can’t understand is personally attacking an author.

So back to Betty.  Are you like Betty?  Do you judge a book by it’s cover and decide you don’t like the book because of it?  Would you be inclined to be negative because the subject matter repulsed you like it did Betty?  Would that stop you from reading or writing about it? 

And because it’s Friday, as usual I invite you to post on what you’ve been reading.  Unfortunately, real life got in the way this week and I didn’t finish a book even though I’ve got three going.  But I will be writing about them next week….after I finish reading them.

Any problems posting, email your comments to me and I’ll post for you.

Bottom Line:   The book cover of the woman on the plate was tacky, but for real tackiness, on The Surreal Life, they had a naked woman lying on the dining room table covered with food and people actually ate off of her.  Ewww.

Reading the Book: A Novel Approach to Reviewing

Barbara Vey -- January 24th, 2008

I’ve never been one for reviews of books, movies, or plays.  I don’t mind a synopsis, but I prefer to make up my own mind.  When I used to have a subscription to Entertainment Weekly, I read the movie reviews after I saw the movie.  I didn’t want my experience to be tainted.  

I feel the same way about books.  While I have my "must read" authors, I’m always on the lookout for new ones.  I have no problem walking up to someone who’s reading a book and asking them about it.  Or going to the library to see what books people are checking out.  I used to even watch the bestseller list and check off the books as I read them, erroneously thinking that if they were on that list, they had to be good (I’ve read my share of dogs).  That’s not to say I don’t think there’s a place for reviews.  Plenty of people swear by them.

But, ultimately, I’m the decider of if I like or don’t like a book.  That’s why we don’t write actual reviews here, we just blurb about the book (my blog, my rules).  The WW ladies and friends just do it for the love of the written word.

Which brings me to the crux of this blog…the reviews on Amazon.  I admit that after I read a book, I like to head over there to see what is being said and sometime I wonder if the "reviewer" has even read the book.  Some sound so vindictive, they come across as personal attacks (and this part also applies to other people/places/blogs who do reviews).  What is that all about?


Garth Risk Hallberg recently wrote about his experience with the Amazon reviewer of his debut book, A Field Guide to the North American Family.  The review: " ‘Superb,’ wrote Grady Harp of Los Angeles. ‘Fascinating … addictive.’  Not to mention ‘profound.’ "  It didn’t even bother Garth when the reviewer spelled his name wrong, since Grady also called him "a sensitive observer of human foibles."  After Garth contacted his publicist, she admitted to soliciting the review.

According to Garth’s blog, Amazon’s top reviewer, "Harriet Klausner, No. 1 since the inception of the ranking system in 2000, has averaged 45 book reviews per week over the last five years—a pace that seems hard to credit, even from a professed speed-reader."

I’m sure there are credible people out there sincerely writing some of the reviews seen on Amazon and the like, but how do you feel about it?  Do you read them/write them/love them/hate them/ignore them/quote them?  Is it a service to readers or a possible disservice to authors?  Is there a line being crossed?  And what about the Harriet Klausners who write 45 reviews a week?  Is it even possible to read that many books and comprehend them?  

Bottom Line:   I used to be able to read a book a day, but no longer (blame it on the addictiveness of the internet and MySpace…oh, and um, maybe Bejeweled).

Living in a Blurbing World

Barbara Vey -- January 23rd, 2008

I think we broke the record today for the number of book blurbs, which is great news for all you writers out there looking to have your book covers on the Beyond Her Book blog <g>.  The WW ladies and friends have gone all out and are really enjoying reading so many new (for some of them) authors and marvelous stories.

The Vampire’s Seduction by Raven Hart

Read by Joyce

Savannah, Georgia became the home of William Thorne when it was a colony, and he’s come to think of it as his after all these centuries.  Cultured and aristocratic, he moves among the social elite, but cares about those for whom he is personally responsible, such as his household staff, his paramour, and the only descendent he ever “made”, Jack McShane.  When a powerful old world vampire arrives in Savannah and threatens his people and the population itself, William and Jack begin to wonder just how much they know and trust one another. 

I  almost missed this one and what a shame that would have been.  This book is one I had judged by its cover, and if I hadn’t considered it required reading for various reasons, I would have put it into the “maybe someday I’ll get around it” pile.  I still haven’t figured out what the cover has to do with the story.  It looked to me like a stereo-typical romance novel made with roses and bath oil, and those don’t generally appeal to me.  

So what a surprise I got when The Vampire’s Seduction sucked me right in (so to speak) and I found out it wasn’t a romance novel at all.  The first few pages were a bit confusing, but then the story took off and it was riveting.  I enjoyed the mix of darkness and light in the action and suspense.  The next book is definitely on my TBR list.  Good news Joyce, I’ve just mailed the second book to you.

No Holding Back by Liz Allison & Wendy Etherington

Read by Lisa

Isabel Turner is a Public Relations bigwig who represents the top names in NASCAR.  She’s in line to take over her uncle’s job at the firm, but bad boy racer Cade Garrison could be her downfall. 
  You don’t have to be a racing fan to enjoy this book.  You don’t even have to know much of anything about NASCAR.  However, it is a romance/race book.  Isabel and Cade are both stubborn about getting together even though they want each other.  They each have good reasons for not wanting to get together, but are they strong enough to stay apart? The book had me laughing out loud at parts.  A charming and humorous book that has me wanting to actually watch a NASCAR race (something I never thought possible).


Learning to Breathe by Karen White

Read by Jennifer

Brenna O’Brien is surrounded by four loving sisters and at 33 finds “her voice.”  Pierce McGovern, her former love, disappeared years ago, but when he comes back to town is fate at work?

Karen White does an amazing job telling a story about long lost loves with old, unopened letters providing a poignant piece of the puzzle. The story will make you laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time.  Truly a wonderful, inspiring story, it was almost impossible to put down.

                                     

Sojourn –Time Rovers Book 1 By Jana G Oliver 

Read by Joyce

1888 London — Into the period when all  London is in an uproar about the heinous murders of prostitutes, Jacynda Lassiter, a Rover for TIC (Time Insertion Corporation) is sent to retrieve an AWOL tourist and return him to 2057.   There are secrets and mysteries aplenty for her to unravel, not the least involving the intense compassionate young doctor who shares her boarding house, a man whose description is uncannily similar to that of the killer.  She must keep her secret while facing the dangers and squalor of Victorian Whitechapel, and face the very real possibility of an encounter with Jack the Ripper himself.

Dr. Alistair Montrose does indeed have secrets, and being a shapeshifter is all the more likely to incriminate him and expose a society that must remain hidden.

This time-travel tale has twists and turns and mysteries enough to keep a reader intrigued to the end and ready for more.  Happily for me, there will be more, and I look forward to Book 2, Virtual Evil.

Deal With This by Lucy Monroe

Read by Loretta

Alan Hyatt’s job has him working undercover as a reporter trying to get the info on espionage in the Vancouver movie industry.  Jillian Carlyle is an actress and his landlady who doesn’t date her renters. 

An interesting beginning – and an even better ending, but the in-between pages left me asking too many questions.  Keeping up with the baggage which the two main characters brought to this relationship was a full time job!  The plot was excellent, but the sex manual included was a shock – to me, anyway (although others I told about it couldn’t wait to read this book.  Obviously, personal preference).  So, begin reading and you will no choice but to finish.  A gratifying and provocative read – I did it!

Bottom Line:  Today is National Handwriting Day.  So, stop typing for 2 minutes, search for a pen and paper and send someone a personal note…in your own handwriting (if you still remember how).

 

This is Dedicated…To the One I Love

Barbara Vey -- January 22nd, 2008

As I was perusing the internet last week, I came across this blog that Sabrina Jefferies wrote for the Goddess Blogs: 

You see, I’m a Dedication Whore. I like to spread the love around. I’ve dedicated books to my parents, siblings, writer friends in different assortments, son’s teachers, a group of Celtic musicians, my agent, my editor, coffeehouses I wrote at, and yes, hubby. It took a really big village to create THIS writer, and by golly I’m going to thank every one of them if I have to write 50 more books to do it.

But my way isn’t the only way. Some authors are One Dedication Ponies, who mention the same person every book–”To my mentor, Carrot Top, as always.” Then there are the Mysterious Dedicators, who’ll dedicate to “the blossoms of my life” or some other cryptic entity, making me wonder if they’ve taken a few too many hits of monitor cleaner. Some don’t dedicate at all–for reasons only they can explain (I will admit to having been in a bind once or twice myself and forgetting to put it in).

I do sometimes wonder if anybody reads them other than the dedicatee. 

The blog caught my eye because I was just thinking about this very topic…book dedications.  I always read them (subconsciously I think maybe someday I’ll see my name there <sigh>).  But I also enjoy that little peek inside the author.  Does the author write the dedication

This is Dedicated to the One I Love…

before the book?  Or is it an after thought?  Do writers worry about hurting someone’s feelings by not putting them in?  Is it an obligation?  And what happens later in life if you don’t like that person any more (like the picture of you and that creep you took to your sister’s wedding who’s in all the pictures now and forever)?

Having not written a book myself, I get confused with the acknowledgements.  These are people who have helped you with the book, but just not enough to get a dedication?  Or you have to put their names in because it’s expected?  And what’s with all the dedications to editors?  Is that just a way to suck up for the next book?  (Just playing devil’s advocate here)  Inquiring minds you know.

Any thoughts on the subject?  Any really great/weird/stupid/strange/heartfelt dedications you’ve read lately?   Who would your dedication be to?  Would you dedicate a book to someone if they paid you money?   :)                                   

Bottom Line:  I’d like to dedicate this blog today to everyone who’s ever left a comment, because without you I don’t think I’d ever know if anyone reads this stuff.
                                                 

This, that and the other thing Monday

Barbara Vey -- January 21st, 2008


Monday’s I like to give kudo’s, high fives and note newsworthy items from the world of publishing (e-mail stuff to me), but knowing my readers as I do, we usually need a visual.  So, my pic of the week is Bob Harper, trainer in The Biggest Loser show (and my choice if I could afford a trainer).  I’ve used his workout dvd (which always makes me sweat, though I’m not sure it’s the way in which it was intended).  

New Year’s Day I was invited to do an internet/radio talkshow with Rowena Cherry called Cherry Pickings.  If you missed it, you can still listen to it here.  It is in an MP3 format so you can download it to a portable device and listen while you walk, exercise or lounge in the tub.  It was great fun to do and another thing I can cross off my to do list.

And since I haven’t received any other news in the past week, I’m going to tell you all about the book I read last week.  In Friday’s blog I mentioned that I read a book the weekend before, but I left the book at my mom’s and couldn’t remember the name of it.  Now, I can be forgiven because I usually have at least 3 books going at the same time (both paper books and audio).   So now I can tell you the mystery book is Distracting the Duchess by Emily Bryan.

Lady Artemisia, Duchess of Southwycke was a wealthy widow who was able to spend her time painting nude (don’t call them naked) males.  When Trevelyn Deveridge, working undercover, needed information from the Duchess, he was willing to bare all in service to his country…as her model.  

This book had me hooked from the first sentence, "I’m going to  have to shorten his willie."  I dare anyone to try to not read on after seeing those words.  Often people say, "I couldn’t put it down," but once I started I was entranced.  When I finally closed it, hours later, my brother said, "Did you just finish that whole book?"  (This from the man who has to take a break from reading a magazine article).  

As historical romances go, this is a cut above.  The political intrigue, mysterious characters and a former spy struggling with dementia make this arresting tale thrilling, inspiring and sensual all at the same time.  I won’t forget this author’s name again. 

Now, as I promised, here’s our Monday edition for healthier living for 2008.  Remember, just posting a comment enters you in the monthly drawing for a Subway gift card.  Here’s Gerri Russell’s take on dieting:

Why are we either “on” a diet, or “off” a diet? I want to challenge your thinking about this phenomenon this week. What’s wrong with the “I messed up. I’ll start again next week” attitude? Is there any rule that says you must be perfect on a diet? I know I wasn’t perfect while losing my weight. Barbara probably wasn’t either, yet both of us were successful. 

 

Perhaps it’s the way our brains want to rationalize things. Why? This is what we are saying to ourselves: Let’s say you accidentally run a red light on your way to work one morning. Does that mean you now have to run red lights for the rest of the day? No. That would be a little crazy, but that’s exactly the way we look at lapses in our diet.

 

So try something different this week. Instead of tossing out your dreams because of one mistake, ask yourself what you can do next to get yourself back to that healthy lifestyle. Sometimes drinking a glass of water can be all it takes to turn things back around.

 

Keep living the dream!

Well, Gerri, I may have made one or two mistakes along the way <grin> but as I see it, I’m in this for life, so I just keep plugging along, doing what I can.  And I never use the word diet, I prefer life changes.  

Here’s a quick recipe (the only kind I use) for a light, easy dessert that’s always a big hit when I take it to get-togethers.  Pineapple Angel Food cake.  1 box of Angel food cake mix and 1 large can of crushed pineapple.  Mix together and bake in a 9×13 pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  That’s it…nothing else.  Just the 2 ingredients.  Try it with fat-free whipped topping and you can have a big, old honking piece for hardly any calories.

If you’d like to comment on how you’re doing with your weight loss or tips or interesting things you may have learned, now’s your chance.

Remember that Mondays I like to pass on news from the publishing world, so email me with your kudos, awards, noteworthy items and I’ll put in as much as I can.

BTW, my MySpace site now has 548 friends.  If you’d like to join the insanity, come on over and befriend me.

Bottom Line:  Never eat more than you can lift. — Miss Piggy

Your Turn Friday is Back

Barbara Vey -- January 18th, 2008

Boy, I miss one Friday and did I hear about it.  :)   So, here’s my reads of the week and back into the groove again, I invite you to let everyone know what you’ve been reading lately.

The Accidental Werewolf by Dakota Cassidy is out to tickle your funny bone.  Marty Andrews’ dream is to conquer the world of Bobbie-Sue Cosmetics (think Mary-Kay on steroids).  She’s into her color wheel and  is on her way to becoming a top sales rep. One night while walking her little pooch, Marty is accidently bitten by a stray dog.  Enter super hot Keegan Flaherty, who tries to explain to Marty that he’s the werewolf who bit her.  While she refuses to believe him, she can’t help but notice her body hair growing like crazy (actually, crazy is having to shave your legs more than once a millenium) and her darkening blonde hair.

I could totally identify with Marty’s job situation since, in my long employment history, I once sold beauty cosmetics and did color analysis (no, it wasn’t with Mary-Kay).  This was really a joke job since I never wore a lot of make-up and I don’t have an eye for color.  But I was exceptional at reading people, so sales came easy for me and I actually won several awards.  Even though I bonded with Marty and I have been bitten by a dog (he bit me in my mouth, yuck!), I haven’t managed to get bitten by a werewolf…yet.  Of course, if there’s one like Keegan Flaherty, I wouldn’t think it was yucky.  

The only thing that could make this sexy, fun read any better would maybe be lipstick samples…in my color, of course.


Next up was Heart of  Fire by Kat Martin.  Coralee Whitmore writes a column for a ladies gazette about London society, but when her sister commits suicide, Cora feels the need to find the truth.  Guessing that the Earl of Tremaine might have been involved with her sister, she takes a new identity to gain entrance to his house.  But someone there doesn’t want her finding any answers.

Kat never fails to deliver.  Her enchanting historicals draw you into the story while her characters charm and delight.   Even though this is the second book in her trilogy that started with Heart of Honor, it is easily a stand alone.  But I, for one, will be going back to read the first.


Ok, now something embarrassing to admit.  Saturday I went over to my mom’s to watch the Green Bay Packers win (Go Pack!!) and stayed overnight.  I just finished Heart of Fire and didn’t have another book with me, but luckily I’d just come from the post office, so I had a brand, spanking new galley that someone sent me.  Well, I read it all that day.  It was a terrific read and I’d never read this author before so I was excited to discover yet another to add to my growing list. The problem is that I left the book for Mom to read.  As I’m writing this late into the night, I find that I’m completely blank as to the author and title.  Too late to call her.  Yes, dear friends, I’m having a "senior moment."

I know I’m not alone in this, but dang, it’s frustrating.  So my apologies, but "the book" will be featured next week.  So, not only can you tell me what you’ve been reading lately, you can also share a senior moment.  Please don’t let me think I’m alone in this. ::sob::

Any problems posting, please email me and I’ll be glad to put your comments in.

Bottom Line:  “ In the practical use of our intellect, forgetting is as important as remembering." ~ William James  Thank goodness…I was doing something important by forgetting and using my intellect at the same time.  Whew!