Posts tagged blog
The Healthy Writer: A Renewed Commitment to Wholistic Health

Happy New Year!! I’m not a resolution maker, but I do set goals and plan for my year as a writer and just as a human. This year, I’m renewing my commitment to wholistic health and continuing my journey of being a healthier, happier person.

Since May 2017 I have lost 40 pounds and managed to keep it off through the holidays. Whew. You can read about my Journey Back to Health here. I’m thrilled to be in much better shape thanks to a lifestyle change and exercise program that works for me. I love the Naturally Slim program for lifelong health, physically and emotionally. I’m also enjoying working out with my HomeFit trainer, Joselyn Kirstein. These workouts hold me accountable and keep me on track, which is especially important during the dreaded, dark winter months.

Winter is my achilles heel. I don’t like cold, wet winter weather. I’d much rather park my tush in a chair to write, read or snuggle with Tonks. But I can’t give into that desire or I will regain my weight and lose my fitness. I need to get out!

I’ve also made great strides to connect with friends on a more regular basis. Scheduling time for lunches, dinners, and ladies’ nights. I need the interactions more than ever while I transition from living in Northern Alabama to make the move to Austin, Texas. Supportive, fun and loving friends will help me get through the harder days.

And, finally, I am fully invested in following my Chunk Scheduling solution while I continue building my awesome new series, release more books, market them, blog about life, and more. I’ve learned a lot about how to create a better rhythm for my world that liberates me from the twin monsters of guilt and pressure.

A new year and a new journey toward fulfillment and happiness while striving to make a difference in other people’s lives too!

A new year and a new journey toward fulfillment and happiness while striving to make a difference in other people’s lives too!

2018 was a great year, but I’m positive 2019 will be even better. I’m super excited about all the challenges and new adventures that await me in the months ahead.

Best of all, I am going into this year feeling like I am on the right path for my complete wellness. Health isn’t just about diets and exercise. Our souls need nurturing too. I am definitely taking care of mine. And I’ll share my journey with you in this blog. Together we can make this year fulfilling and fun!

XX

Christine

Digging Out of Distraction: The Chunk Schedule Solution

I’m a hybrid author who is transitioning to a full independent published career. I like the control I have over my time as well as ascertaining if my marketing efforts are generating results. However, the more I move into indie publishing, the more I have to do to get my books into people e-readers.

And there is a lot of competition for those readers. Reaching them takes time, money, and creative skills. So, in addition to writing, revising, and publishing my novels, I also have to create ads, connect with readers on social media, maintain a newsletter for my followers, and keep track of all the expenses, results, non-results… the list is endless. Plus, I am also a freelance content editor which means generating contracts, editing my clients’ work, coordinating payments to my co-editor and keep track of all the information and finances. Layer in two critique partners who need my eagle eye in exchange for their input and I’ve got a lot on my to-do list.

Too much. I’ve been attempting to find a way to schedule it all in all the time. End result? Didn’t work for me and my focus scattered. If I am marketing, concentrating on my writing goes to hell. Period. And if I’m editing someone’s work, my own work takes a hit. Some of this stuff has to happen when it occurs: client contacts us and we have to respond with a yes/no, here’s the contract, etc.

During the summer, I discovered something about my work style: I do better if I can focus on the task at hand 100%. Around the same time, New York Times Bestselling author, Skye Warren, shared her four hour day workday method. Four hours of dedicated time in the chair writing or marketing or whatever task you need to do for your business until you complete the task. You can read more about her methods by subscribing to her newsletter. I do and it’s a great resource.

Rather than work four hours in a row, I sometimes tell myself 4 hours in the chair and you’re done. I workout in the mornings, then I come home and put my time in for whatever I am focusing on. I also put the bulk of all my efforts into the project while devoting less time after I’ve completed my task to other activities such as checking emails, popping into my social media sites, or checking sales figures.

The writing does come first. Repeat after me: books sell more books. That’s the number one marketing tool I have in my arsenal. Everything else is next. So how does my Chunk Schedule work?

Let’s take a look at my recent month of writing and work. I had a first draft to wrap up and send to my critique partners, Carmen Falcone and Pam Mantovani. My four hour day was devoted to completing that task. Period. Once I sent the manuscript to my CPs, I used my four hour day to develop AMS ads and experiment with them to see if I could reach readers. I spent about two or three days handling that only, then I devoted all my four hour days to revising another story which I sent off last week.

Now my four hour day is dedicated to catching up on all my marketing, social media, and composing my blogs. Once those tasks are completed, I will begin pre-planning the second novel in my brand new series. This includes character development, story/plot points mapped out, writing back cover copy and setting up my beat sheet. All of these tasks are very portable as I have the resources online and ebook versions of my print craft books on my reading apps. This will begin while I’m traveling to see my daughter.

By telling myself it’s okay to put all my energy into blogging now, I am liberating myself from twin monsters: guilt and pressure. That’s a win-win for me!

I’ve liberated myself from the twin monsters guilt and pressure by scheduling my work and writing life in manageable chunks.

I’ve liberated myself from the twin monsters guilt and pressure by scheduling my work and writing life in manageable chunks.

I keep a calendar at home along with an Erin Condren vertical planner that doesn’t have stickers, but is filled with my project deadlines and more. This is my traveling schedule. I use it for everything. Seeing on paper is more immediate and keeps me on task. This doesn’t mean things don’t slide to the following week, but I tend to accomplish most of what I intend to do.

I really like this way of working and writing. You can adjust this type of schedule easily based on whether you have a dreaded day job or little ones to take care of or BOTH.

Plus, in all of this is a thing called having a life. All work and writing and stressing about marketing makes for an extremely dull life. I have a full one with friends, family, travel, dining out, reading, going to movies, binge watching Hallmark Channel movies and more. I don’t want to live in a box. How can I write about people who are real and 3 dimensional if I don’t get out and play? I need social interactions, quality ones, and time to regenerate my creative soul.

I finally feel like I have a handle on how to organize my schedule in a manageable and realistic way. If you’re feeling stressed out by trying to do it all, maybe my chunk schedule solution is something that’ll liberate you too.

Happy Writing and keep Digging Out of Distraction!

Between the Covers: Wrong Prince, Right Lover

WRONG PRINCE, RIGHT LOVER is a story I developed to be part of a boxset featuring Royal & Reckless heroes and heroines. I’d toyed with creating a fictional kingdom before, but I never went through with it due to other publishing demands. Now I had a chance to revisit the idea and I’m so glad I did!

First, I dusted off a star gazing and astronomy guide to come up with unique names for my hero and heroine’s countries: Menkara and Valdoria. Menkara is Ilsa van Winnsen’s home and once possessed the now free country that Santiago de la Fuente must rule now that his older brother has suddenly died in a freak accident. I set these former warring nations’ countries in a Mediterranean Sea climate and voila. I had two kingdoms and a my characters must come together prevent another war from breaking out.

Ilsa has been engaged to Santiago’s older brother, Javier, her entire life as part of a peace negotiation. She’s eager to go through with the marriage, but Javier’s sudden death puts everything in peril. Enter the sexy younger brother Santiago who wants her to go through with the bargain. She agrees, but after overhearing Javier tell Santiago he isn’t attracted to her and is merely doing his duty, she’s deeply hurt. She’d hoped for more. And no way will she let another de la Fuente man break her heart again.

Ilsa might be able to protect her heart from Santiago, but she’s not going to be able to resist this sexy prince who is now Valdoria’s King.

Ilsa might be able to protect her heart from Santiago, but she’s not going to be able to resist this sexy prince who is now Valdoria’s King.

But Santiago has a secret. He’s always wanted Ilsa. Now he’s got her and he’s going to find a way to make her fall in love with him. Unfortunately, the reasons for his brother’s death are mired in a conspiracy. One that could cost him his kingdom and the woman he loves.

So, out of one nugget: a fantasy kingdom added to a marriage of convenience trope, I have a story that becomes more interesting with twists and turns and intrigue. Plus, these characters have a real chance at love and happiness because unlike his older brother, Santiago is thrilled to be her husband. Even better, he’s willing to abide by this virginal bride’s wish to take it slow with sexy lessons in the bedroom until she’s ready to consummate their marriage.

Trust me. The lessons are super sexy and Ilsa’s no prude, much to Santiago’s surprise. When these lessons culminate in a passionate, sexy honeymoon on the beach, they’re more than physically drawn together, real love blooms.

A gorgeous, fictional kingdom set in a Mediterranean paradise. Welcome to Valdoria!

A gorgeous, fictional kingdom set in a Mediterranean paradise. Welcome to Valdoria!

Why? Because Santiago is a man of honor who knows the best way to gain Ilsa’s heart is to earn her respect and trust. Ilsa’s drawn to the man who is taking his country into the modern age with her by his side as an equal partner. Together, they’ll change the course of their future and their children’s futures by changing the archaic agreements forged in the past. By joining forces, they’re stronger and that is what leads to their connection on all levels—physical, mental and emotional.

Romances can be sweet or spicy, but no amount of sugar or hot sauce will make the love between the two characters realistic and believable if they don’t earn it on a deep, emotional level.

These are the kinds of stories I love to read and these are the kinds of stories I like to write regardless of where they fit in the romance sub genres.

Here’s a peek inside right after their first sexy lessons:

She stood, walked over to him and placed her hand on his shoulder. “But in the meantime, we’re fighting an uphill battle against the traditional holdouts. I doubt they’ll budge on the progressive direction you want to take Valdoria if we don’t answer the questions surrounding Javier’s death.” 

And would he ever be rid of his brother’s ghost? Still, her voice was soft, steady. Reassuring him. His muscles relaxed and the knot in his belly loosened, but Santiago had no doubt he’d have to fight, to claw his way out from under his brother’s shadow. “There’s nothing I can do to accelerate the investigation,” he said. “But we can’t wait for the coroner’s results to close the deal. I won’t lose this opportunity—I’m going to the council now. Convince them to vote for this change even if it takes me all day.” He might drag the entire council and country into this century without their full respect, but he didn’t need their approval. Hell. He’d lived without it so long, he’d learned to move on with only his own approval. 

Until Ilsa.

She’d been a stunning partner in the bedroom. And she’d become a welcome support in an otherwise hostile environment. Time would take care of making her a true lover, partner and wife in the future.

Wrong Prince, Right Lover is on preorder for only .99 until it goes live on January 22, 2019. If you love reading emotionally compelling, sexy and intriguing stories, now is a good time to grab your copy of this one with all the romance, passion and page turning suspense bundled into a short, fast read!

Available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Apple

Between the Covers: The Maverick's Red Hot Reunion

The Maverick’s Red Hot Reunion is the first book I sold. Entangled Publishing bought the story in 2013 and the story debuted June 2014. That was a wonderful day! More importantly, I was able to bring awareness out about a serious illness ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after the Yankees baseball player who died of it in 1941. 

You see, my stories all have happily ever after endings, but they are about real people with real problems who have to face those challenges, meet them and then, for the romance leads, they end up with the best victory of all—love and a future together.

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Zach Tanner and Kennedy Gibson first became a couple years earlier. They were young. Impulsive. Made mistakes. And even had planned to marry until a terrible loss occurred. One that Kennedy couldn’t bear or ask Zach to go through again. So she keeps the reasons why she pushed him away a secret until many years later, she and their mutual best friend, Michael Sullivan, decide to renovate the resort where she first met Zach.

Michael introduced these two lovebirds. And he’s the reason they reunite and fake another engagement. Why? Michael, a former Olympic swimming Gold Medalist, is diagnosed with ALS. He’s got to get treatment and find a way to deal with this devastating diagnosis. But instead of wallowing in self-pity, Michael uses this disease to bring his best friends back together.

If something good can come out of something this terrible, then he’s going to make it happen. Zach and Kennedy have a lot to work through before they can truly move on as a couple, but they’ll do anything for their friend because they love Michael.

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Michael is a secondary character, but he’s an important part of THE MAVERICK’S RED HOT REUNION because he represents how I coped with a dear woman’s ALS diagnosis—a woman who was like a mother to me—and with my grief over another friend’s diagnosis with a glioblastoma.

Writing this story was cathartic for me. I poured my emotions onto the pages. But not just sad emotions… not just grief… No. I also added humor and happiness and hope.

Because we all need a little hope in our world.

Here’s an excerpt from THE MAVERICK’S RED HOT REUNION. Not something between the couple that sexy (though there are plenty of sexy times in the story), but something that showcases Michael Sullivan.

Excerpt

Kennedy’s vision blurred when Michael rolled toward the podium in his motorized, custom-built wheelchair. They all turned their attention to the stage. The spotlight focused on her friend. Zach reached for her hand and laced his fingers through hers. Blinking back the threat of waterworks, she held onto him and listened to her dear friend’s slow, careful enunciation.

After he thanked the audience for attending his fundraiser, Michael said, “When I was first diagnosed with ALS I felt completely alone. But in the days that have followed, I’ve realized how deeply supported I am by my family, my friends, and my community. Yes, it sucks to know that one day I will completely lose my ability to walk and talk. And I won’t lie. I miss doing simple things like tying my shoes or going for a long swim in Sweetbriar Lake. But know this: ALS will never define me. Who I am and what I make of the time I have left will define me.”

Her friend, once so strong and capable, may have been stricken by a horrible illness, but nothing could rob him of his spirit.

I still get teary when I read this passage. And I still get choked up when I think about the two special women in my life who gave me so much love and encouragement. They were taken from me far too soon. But I know in my heart that their spirits live on. Here. In the pages of my books and in the small whispers I still hear today.



Digging Out of Distraction: Perseverence Pays Off

I haven’t had a lot of time to blog lately—despite the best of intentions. Life sort of happened in a big way. I’ll share what happened to me in a Healthy Writer Blog post. But today isn’t about when bad stuff happens… it’s about when GOOD STUFF HAPPENS!! And boy did something really good happen to me in Romancelandia!

Wait for it… wait for it… drum roll please… the ROYAL & RECKLESS boxset that I was a part of as an author with 22 other authors HIT the USA Today Bestseller list THIS WEEK!!! I’m over the moon. I am officially…

A USA TODAY Bestselling author!

Yes! It’s official. But I honestly didn’t believe it until I saw this in today’s USA Today website:

This is the screenshot of where the ROYAL AND RECKLESS Boxset landed on the list yesterday! I’m still in shock… it’s surreal… and it’s AWESOME!

This is the screenshot of where the ROYAL AND RECKLESS Boxset landed on the list yesterday! I’m still in shock… it’s surreal… and it’s AWESOME!

Yes. I hit a list with 22 other authors in an anthology. I’m very proud of all of us because we worked really hard to make this happen. We wrote kick butt stories, had a Royal & Reckless Party room with guest author takeovers, ran ads, did newsletter swaps, ran more ads, grew our followings on BookBub and Amazon, ran more ads, hosted more takeovers, supported each other and kept plugging along for over four months to get to this point. At times the work was overwhelming and took precedence over all other writing projects.

BUT ALL THE HARD WORK PAID OFF AND IT WAS WORTH IT!!

Does this mean I’m any different today than I was yesterday? In some ways, yes. Writing is a lonely art and the romance industry has seen many ups and downs. Sometimes it’s enough to make this romance author want to run to the hills with a jug of wine and stay there indefinitely. This isn’t an easy industry, but I keep slogging away at this thing called “crafting a romance” because I love writing the stories. But there are days… days when I feel like maybe it isn’t worth all the time and energy I’m putting into this gig.

But then something magical happens when I need it the most. Something like becoming a USA Today Bestselling Author and then I am motivated to try again even if I don’t know when the next magical thing will happen.

So on days when you’re feeling like tossing in the proverbial towel and running to the hills with a jug of wine for an indefinite period of time, don’t… hang on and keep writing… magic is waiting just around the corner!

XX

The Healthy Writer: Muzzle Your Inner Critic

Before I went on my life transformation journey, I was on another path. I had always considered myself a motivating and encouraging force, even for myself. However, during the course of about two year span, I found myself fighting to remain positive. Many factors played into the inner critic taking over my spirit and soul. My body was hurting and I didn't know why. My only child and daughter moved fourteen and half hours away to begin her new career after she graduated from university. Professionally, I'd been grappling with low sales and an ongoing pervasive attitude amongst many of my peers which promoted self-serving attitudes and an "information is power" mantra. Some withheld ideas and ways to help others reach readers. To be honest, all I seemed to hear was we need money money money... not we need to write a kick butt book that readers will fall in love with and want to read over and over again. 

Negative speak entered my brain... the inner critic started to call me fat and lazy. The inner critic punched my usually happy self hard in the gut and told me I wasn't trying hard enough in every area of my life. The inner critic got fed more negative speak by other people in my world, by the loneliness that comes with being a writer in a room by herself day in and day out. 

The inner critic shriveled my spirit while my body continued to bloat with unnecessary calories eaten out of frustration and anger and a sense of constantly fighting for what I had worked so hard for as a writer and as a woman.

Women eat their mad emotions. And I ate a lot. That's why I weighed over 200 pounds a little over a year ago. 

Then someone who loved me, who'd been my best friend since I was eleven years old, got a hold of my inner critic and said STOP TALKING LIKE THIS TO MY BEST FRIEND. YOU ARE HURTING MY HEART. 

My inner critic retreated to be replaced by an outside voice who reached for my shriveled spirit to remind her that I do matter. That what I have accomplished matters. That what I have given others throughout the years matters. That I MATTER. 

Slowly, I regained my equilibrium. It didn't happen overnight. And you can read all about that journey to health and fitness here. AS I regained my health and fitness physically, my spirit renewed and demanded I refuel her too. I started reading books and articles that encouraged me. I began to weed out the negative speakers in my life bit by bit. I only allowed myself to say nice things to myself about everything I am doing. And I learned that it's okay to fail on occasion or have a setback as long as the people who are in my world support and encourage me too. 

Now I am making a real commitment to focus on positive, generous, optimistic attitudes. I'm embracing those who exude those same qualities. 

Quality over Quantity is my motto now. 

I'm only allowing quality experiences be part of my life. I'm choosing to deliver quality in how I interact with others and how I approach my writing and editing careers. Quality in equals quality out. 

If I can impart any wisdom at all today it is to surround yourself with people who build you up and please be kind to yourself no matter where you are in your journey toward health, fitness and spiritual well-being. 

 

The Healthy Writer: Catching ZZZZs

The Physicist and I are on a life makeover journey together. First, I lost 30 pounds and he needed to find something that would work for him too. He started a program called Naturally Slim. Every week for 30 weeks, he receives a set of videos covering wellness from a holistic viewpoint. This isn't a diet. There's no counting carbs, points or calories. 

This video series is about transforming the way people live, eat and more. Week by week, we are transforming not only our bodies, but our minds and spirits and overall health. We've been watching the videos for 12 weeks now. The Physicist has lost 10 pounds without trying! And I've lost another 5 which brings me down a total of 35 pounds gone! Woot!

One of the videos discussed vital needs. We all have them. Things that make us feel happy and fulfilled and good about ourselves. Some of our vital needs matched like spending quality one on one time with quality people. And others were very different. I like order and closure and completing projects. 

I also need SLEEP. I suffer from insomnia and if I get up at 3-4AM, I have learned to roll with that wake up time. I get a lot done between 5 and 10 or 11AM. But it's hard to stay awake for everything else. I used to try to push through the day.

Not anymore. I work from home as a freelance author/editor. Instead of pushing through the tiredness in my brain and body, I've discovered the absolute awesomeness of taking a nap. Yep. I stop what I'm doing around 1-2PM, head for my bedroom with my nice snuggly blanket and set u a napping nest. Sometimes I don't sleep, but I just lay there and breathe with my eyes closed and if the sleep happens, great, but even if all I do is daydream I get up about 45 minutes to an hour later and feel refreshed, ready to start back to work and spend time with the Physicist when he gets home. 

It revitalizes me. Gives me more energy to do my writing and all the other stuff I have to do too. And best of all, every time I go in for a lie down, I get up with new ideas and thoughts about my current works in progress and new stories I'm developing. 

So if you are able and you're tired around midday and you can take one, I highly recommend napping. It's good for the body, good for the soul, and good for generating more energy to do the things you love!

Digging Out of Distraction: Rediscovering the Fun in Writing

Long ago, in The Land Before Publication, I blogged regularly about my writing life. The ups, downs, in-betweens... conquering the demons of Doubt & Despair despite ongoing rejections and a host of other roadblocks to selling my first novel. I wrote about craft, developing stories, my daily life. I also celebrated the writers who sold their first books in a regular feature. DIGGING OUT OF DISTRACTION kept me going, brought me friends from all over the world, and eventually, after I sold my first novel THE MAVERICK'S RED HOT REUNION to Entangled Publishing, I compiled many of those posts and self-published them in a book by the same title along with developing an interactive workshop that I've presented to local writing chapters, at regional conferences and at the Romance Writers of America's annual conference. You could say... "you've come a long way, Christine." BUT... I haven't. I still struggle with the same distractions, the same doubts and fears, and battle the ongoing noise in my post-publication world. 

Photo by  Nick Morrison  on  Unsplash

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Fast forward from what we in writerly world like to say THE CALL. Or in my case, THE EMAIL from my future editor at Entangled Publishing. I sold! Woohoo! I freaked out about delivering my first ever novella after that but I did it! I wrote more words, but I wasn't gaining traction. THERE WAS SO MUCH TO LEARN about publishing after I published. Before I published was a lot like before I had the Career Girl. Exciting. A time to plan. Decorating a baby's room. Baby showers. Reading How To Books. Then along came my girl... and it was a whole new world and a lot of what I thought I knew about raising a child had to be revamped. Personally, I think she raised me... forced me to grow and change in so many ways. And I'm so glad! 

That's what selling and publishing a book is like to me. It hasn't been a Jackpot score at the casino experience. It's more like pulling the slot lever at a penny arcade and not getting too many lucky sevens in a row. The first two years out were tough. But I learned. I grew. I discovered marketing and how much I totally stink at it LOL. But I keep trying to learn how to do it. I self-published a few books, then decided to go all Indie to gain control over my time two years ago. 

I busted my tush. But you know... I started feeling like it wasn't fun. The constant chasing of the trends, the evaporating money (that's a blog for another day), and the loss of real connections with people I trusted in real time began to take a toll on my happy writer heart.

I wanted to have fun again! Writing was a chore, not a passion I pursued. Yes. I know... this is my career... really, it's a business without a real business model because who knows why some people have breakout hits while most of us keep plodding along? At first, I thought I'd missed the friends I'd made along the way. We're all busy, most of us are published which means we're working even harder now than before, and the opportunities to gather and meet have dwindled. But it wasn't just that... I missed the fun of crafting stories because I was too busy figuring out where they'd fit and who might actually spend money to read them.

Then I got invited into a cool Kindle World featuring bodyguards and suspense and everything changed thanks to Elle James and THE BROTHERHOOD PROTECTORS. I stepped out of my comfort zone. My critique partners, Pam Mantovani and Carmen Falcone, helped me get through the struggle of finessing a suspense plot into a romance.

I'd never done that kind of writing before. The challenge was daunting, scary... could I pull out a bodyguard story with a suspense hook all in under 30,000 words? And you know what happened as I finagled this story and wrestled with the problems I had crafting it? I rediscovered the fun in writing! 

I released my first romantic suspense FALLING FOR HER BODYGUARD January 11, 2018. It's my 10th book and a milestone for me. But more than that, it's a book that saved my writing soul. Truly saved it. What's my takeaway? Well, if you want to have fun writing in this crazy business, try something new and don't worry about marketing and all the other competitive, ugly noises out there. I'm definitely going to write more bodyguard stories. 

I'm also revamping DIGGING OUT OF DISTRACTION. This will primarily be for my writer peeps, but I know there are readers out there who might be curious about what goes on in a writer's head... well at least this writer's head.

XX 

Christine

The Healthy Writer: My Frenemies the Scale & the Measuring Tape

On March 3rd, I shared a blog about my journey back to health. You can read all about it here. One of the things I had to start doing in order to regain my health was to get back on my scale and weigh myself every day. 

I hate that damn scale, but I am not like some people who cut back on donuts and pizza if their favorite skinny jeans don’t fit. I am the kind of person who says, “Spanx makes leggings & let’s buy some nice muumuu tops if my skinny jeans don’t fit.”

Let's be honest. My definition of skinny jeans has changed over time. LOL But they're mine and I am cool with wearing them.

So I started weighing every day. Not fun. I have one of those body mass digital scales that tells me my weight and my BMI. Blech. But I have to face it every day. That works for me. Unfortunately, the weight wasn't coming off fast and I was getting disillusioned. So my doctor suggested I measure myself too.

Ah, the measuring tape. Another frenemy of mine, but it does show different changes as you undergo lifestyle transformations. I'd used it once during the pre-oh-shit-I've-got-a-lot-lose moment in May 2017 because I needed to order some plus size dresses for the RWA National Conference. So I had those measurements written down for future purchases. Then I measured again in July after my doctor suggested I do so.

Drum Roll Please... I'm going to share the numbers with you... because I want anyone out there to see that even a former model, skinny kid from the North side of the 55th parallel has to face these demons too. And together we can conquer them!

Photo by  Jennifer Burk  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jennifer Burk on Unsplash

Measurements don't include my freakishly long torso which is the same length as my inseam. 

March/April 2017 Measurements (Weight Unknown)

Hips: 49 inches Waist: 40 inches  Bust: 45 inches 

July 13, 2017 Measurements (Weight 197 lbs)

Hips: 47 inches Waist: 38 inches Bust: 42 inches

I had lost a total of 5 inches!! That encouraged me to go on and keep fighting to regain my health and fitness. 

March 13, 2018 (about one year later-weight 175 lbs)

Hips: 42.5 inches Waist: 33 inches Bust: 39 inches

Y'all, I am pleased with those numbers. Sure the scale (my frenemy for life) is nowhere near the numbers I want it to show me (mean old scale), but the measuring tape is slowly becoming my best friend. I have lost 6.5 inches off my hips, 7 inches off my waist and 6 inches off my bust. This is a grand total of 19.5 inches off my body. Gone! I am thrilled with these results.

But I'm not stopping here. I decided I needed to add another layer of effort to my fitness and health regime so I hired a personal trainer at the local YMCA to teach me how to work out all over again. She's helping me regain my torso strength along with rebuilding my muscular strength in my legs and arms. I have had two half-hour sessions with her and she's fantastic.

I'm still on this journey. It's not easy to remain fit and healthy when you sit in a chair by yourself writing stories all day long. It's not easy for anyone who has a demanding career or busy family life or all of the above. Toss in pets and aging parents and general life happenings and things get really out of control.

So be mindful. Be aware that this is a journey with pitfalls, but you can make it! I'm committed to maintaining what I've already achieved and slowly taking it to the next level.

What are your fitness goals? What are your obstacles? Do you weigh every day or avoid the scale like the plague? Talk to me. Let's take this journey together! 

★•**•★FALLING FOR HER TEMPORARY BODYGUARD is LIVE!!★•**•★ #giveaways #romance #brotherhoodprotectors #kindleworld

FALLING FOR HER TEMPORARY BODYGUARD: A Brotherhood Protectors' Novella is LIVE!!!

Super excited to bring you the second book in my Lawson family Brotherhood Protectors' Kindle World series as part of Elle James' sexy new world. You can get your copy from Amazon Kindle TODAY!! It's only 1.99 or FREE from Kindle Unlimited. 

FALLING FOR HER TEMPORARY BODYGUARD

My sexy ginger bodyguard... Jacob Lawson meets his match in Eagle Rock, Montana in this action-filled, sexy story.

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Blurb: 

Navy SEAL Jacob Lawson returns to Montana to receive physical therapy for a bum shoulder that might permanently put him out of commission. When his sexy physical therapist is threatened by a dangerous criminal, he volunteers to guard her as a favor to the Brotherhood Protectors’ leader. Jacob’s attracted to her, but he won’t take advantage of the situation. He won’t touch her… though he wants to do that and so much more.

Claire Murray once put a madman away with her testimony against him. Now he’s free and she’s terrified he’ll follow through on his threats against her. The Brotherhood Protectors are a man short, so her muscular, powerful patient offers to fill in. She accepts his help only if he’ll let her treat him for free. Soon spending her days and nights with this hot protector ignites tantalizing fantasies she craves for him to fulfill. 

Unfortunately, Jacob’s keeping his hands to himself… that is until she realizes the attraction is mutual during a sizzling after-hours physical therapy session. And though she usually doesn’t make the first move, Claire dares her gorgeous temporary bodyguard to act on their desire. 

When he does, they unleash their sexual chemistry, but when the danger escalates, Claire insists on luring her stalker out of hiding so she can stop him. Now Jacob must put the woman he’s grown to love in the line of fire to save her life…

Available from AMAZON

BROTHERHOOD PROTECTORS' FACEBOOK LAUNCH PARTY!!
Today: 1:30-10PM CST
Join the fun and enter for chances to win prizes from 17 Brotherhood Protector Authors as we celebrate our releases!

Become a member of the Reader Group here. We're partying all afternoon!
BROTHERHOOD PROTECTORS' READER GROUP

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!

I'm so stoked about the launch of these 17 books that I'm giving away 4 Brotherhood Protectors' e-books by any author of your choice in this month's launch. Here's the lineup authors and links to their books too! Enter for a chance to win a free book by commenting on this blog with the title you want to read! Easy!!

Paige Yancey, Hot Colorado Nights - https://amzn.to/2Ekt9hE
Delilah Devlin, Reaper’s Ride - https://amzn.to/2HbIPqu
Regan Black, Lost Signal - https://amzn.to/2Elciem
Heather Long, Wrangling Wanda - https://amzn.to/2GxdqBP
Ilsa J Ilsa J. Bick, Soldier’s Heart Part 3 - https://amzn.to/2uQaSt0
Jen Talty, Rough Justice - https://amzn.to/2GCSK7z
Jesse Jacobson - Author, Rainhorse - https://amzn.to/2GUPjfu
Silver James, Montana Moon - https://amzn.to/2JmpJym
Kris Norris, Carved In Ice - https://amzn.to/2uSnakI
Margaret Madigan, Broken SEAL - https://amzn.to/2GyZ8Rf
Beth Colleen Beth Williamson, Sawyer - https://amzn.to/2uSngc4
Desiree Holt, Hidden Danger - https://amzn.to/2GzdRLI
Kat Mizera, Catching Lana - https://amzn.to/2JiYzbM
Aliyah Burke, Spring Rain - https://amzn.to/2H9V9rc
Mary Caelsto-Lenker/Mary Winter, Roped and Rescued - https://amzn.to/2H9epoD
Layla Chase, Ranger Loyalty - https://amzn.to/2H9Kgpt

Notes from the Writer's Chair

So much excitement this week!! I love new releases. Once this busy day is over, I'll be working on my fun new modern fairy tale romance set in a lush fantasy kingdom located in the Mediterranean Sea. This Marriage of Convenience love story is sexy, edgy and has a hint of suspense! But today? I'm partying!!! Join us and say hello!

XX

Christine