Get 72 Free Books Today!

Firsts Free for All promo

This is an exciting promotion and I get to be a part of it! There are 72 (!) book series in this list, and the first book in every series is FREE this weekend! When you sign up, you see all 72 free books and you can download them directly from Amazon.com. (They may or may not be available on Amazon’s sites in other countries.)

Then on Monday, you’ll get an email telling you about the other books in each series. Many of those will also be on sale Monday. Yay!

For instance, in my superhero urban fantasy series, Adventures of Lewis and Clarke, the first story in the chronology is the short story where they meet, “Superhero in Disguise.” It’s permanently free everywhere. The second book is the story of how they got married, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding. It’s normally $2.99, but Monday through Wednesday it will be just 99c.

Then Unexpected Superhero, the official book one in the series (I wrote the two prequels because readers asked for them 🙂 ), which is normally $3.99, will be on a Kindle Countdown Deal for a week. That means that Monday and Tuesday, it will be 99c, then it will be $1.99 for two days, then $2.99 through the following Monday, April 25, 2016.

So if you picked up all three books in the series on Monday or Tuesday, it would only cost you $1.98. Sweet deal, eh? 😀

And mine is just one of the 72 series where you’ll find great deals! I hope you find heaps of wonderful books to read. Remember, some of these books will only be free through Sunday so act now!

Oh! I nearly forgot to tell you – since the superhero series is on sale, I decided to put my romantic comedy, Little Miss Lovesick, on special, too. It’s FREE Monday and Tuesday, April 18 and 19, 2016. I hope you check it out!

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 14

RESULTS: Gained 1 pound for a total loss of 14 pounds

OuchSigh. Okay, I’ve hit one of those places where I’m semi-consciously thinking, This is going great so I’ll just do what I want and it will still be great!

Uh…no.

Weekends are always hardest. It’s when John and I have more time to cook, when we are more likely to want a margarita, when we’re more likely to sleep in instead of exercising or be off too early in the day to exercise first.

I overate by 400 calories both Friday and Saturday nights, and was “just a little” over on most of the other days this week. Sigh. I was going to go really low calorie today and wait to weigh myself again tomorrow so I could maybe say I was at the same weight. But then I thought, heck, losing weight is hard for most people, not just me, so be honest.

Honestly, I haven’t been trying as hard the last couple weeks as I did at the beginning of the year. I was ahead of my 50-pounds-in-50-weeks schedule for quite a bit of the last few months, and I think it made me complacent. But now I’ve used up my advantage. It’s time to really work hard again.

So, yes, I’m cutting back on calories a lot today, eating healthy (protein shakes, half of a chicken and veggie sandwich), but drinking a lot more water. And tomorrow I’m going to exercise again, no matter how busy I am.

But the biggest thing I’m changing as of today is this “coasting” attitude I’ve developed as the first fifteen pounds have come off.

I’m super excited to fly up to Salt Lake City Thursday and go on a 7-day writing retreat in Park City, Utah, with my friend Kathleen. When she’s at a writer’s retreat, she’s really focused on writing (and I’d like to finish my current book up there!), and she’s gotten pretty health-conscious so we’ll be eating a lot of veggies and protein shakes. I’m going to go for a walk every day (I’ll be in the mountains and it might SNOW so it’ll be impossible for me not to want to go outside every day!) and I’m going to come back lighter than when I left. 😉

You guys are my accountability partners. That’s why I’m posting this blog every week. So feel free to hold me accountable. Be kind, but hold my feet to the fire. 🙂

Together, we can be healthier by the end of this year! Woohoo!!!

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 13

RESULTS: Lost 1 pound for a total loss of 15 pounds!

j0227558I’m so amazed! I’m 30% of the way to my goal two weeks ahead of schedule! Woohoo!!!

Part of what has me amazed is that I’m losing weight even now that I’ve reintroduced sugar back into my diet. (We gave up sweets for Lent.) I’ve had Easter egg colored peanut butter M&M’S, Reese’s peanut butter eggs, dark chocolate almond bark, and more. Of course, what that means is that I haven’t been eating as healthy since all that candy takes up a good chunk of my daily calories.

The good news is that my stomach is protesting bringing the sugar back. So starting today, I’m going to try to figure out how to only have some once or twice a week instead of every day. Plus, I bought some more salad and veggies this weekend and that has tasted remarkably delicious. 🙂

My friend Kathleen reminded me this weekend that bicycling can burn up almost twice the amount of calories as walking or jogging, so John and I went for a bike ride at dawn yesterday. It was super nice but I was surprised at how tired I was most of the rest of the day. That’s not good for my productivity, so I’ll have to figure out how to balance the exercise and my work.

Meanwhile, I’m super excited!! I’m doing it! I’m actually achieving my goal of losing 50 pounds in 50 weeks! I have only gained weight the last few years, so it’s shocking to find myself with the willpower to make this happen. The weight I’m at today used to be my record high weight for ten or so years. (The last really successful weight loss I achieved was 18 pounds in 11 weeks, and I kept that weight off for 8-10 years.) So it’s weird to have gained and now finally lost fifteen pounds to be back to that former “highest weight” and be happy. But that’s how I feel – happy to watch this number go by on my way down.  🙂

Book Marks: Keeper of the Stars – Book Review by Carrie Kurtz

Keeper of the StarsKeeper of the Stars by Robin Lee Hatcher

Goodreads Summary

She blames him for her brother’s death.  Can she let go of resentment and open her heart to love?

Penny Cartwright found it difficult to understand why her younger brother would choose to join a country singer’s band rather than return to Kings Meadow after college…and the separation strained their relationship.  Then a car accident made certain her brother could never return.

Trevor Reynolds has chased stardom in Nashville for more than a dozen years, but it remains out of his reach.  After an accident kills his young drummer, Trevor goes to Kings Meadow to keep a promise – and perhaps to discover what truly matters in this life.

Thrown together by circumstances, Penny and Trevor must learn to give and receive forgiveness.  And if they do, perhaps something beautiful can rise from the ashes of heartbreak.

My Thoughts

I wasn’t opposed to reading this book but I honestly wasn’t really excited to read it either.  I have been in the mood to read exciting, suspenseful books and this clearly wasn’t going to be that kind of book.  I was actually kind of dreading it a little bit.

However…

I really enjoyed it!  Keeper of the Stars has just the right amount of enjoyability, heart, love, faith, and a touch of sadness (not too much) to make it a really good and cozy read.  I give it two thumbs up!  I started it yesterday, late afternoon, and had to make myself put it down so that I could go to bed since I had to work this morning.  I finished it an hour or so after I got home from work.

I am happy to say that I have found a new author that I will be on the lookout for. Keeper of the Stars by Robin Lee Hatcher was well written and enjoyable.  Definitely one I will recommend to fellow readers.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Carrie KurtzCarrie Kurtz is a full-time mom and wife who can’t help but make time to explore new worlds in between carpooling and laundry loads. She’s trying to encourage a similar obsession with reading in her two children, and she’s grateful her husband supports her habit. She can be found at Carrie K’s Book Reviews.

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 12

RESULTS: Lost 2 pounds for a total loss of 14 pounds

Bathroom scaleIt’s been a crazy busy week! Sorry I haven’t posted till now. So the amazing news is that even with my birthday and Easter, by the time I weighed myself on Tuesday of this week, I’d lost last week’s pound that I’d gained and lost one more pound. Whew! Haha!

I think the most helpful thing I’ve done this past week is I’ve accidentally had my big meal in the middle of the day – like Easter brunch – and then had only a protein shake for dinner. The last few days I’ve been eating that way, too – a big lunch (mostly because I was hungry from having so little the night before, I think), and then very little for dinner, partially because I had very few calories left!  🙂

I haven’t exercised as much because I’ve been out a lot. But I’m getting back into that again, too. If I lose one more pound next week, I’ll have lost the fifteen pounds I gained over the last two years and be back at what was my previous high weight from 1998 or so. I can’t think about having to lose weight to get back to my old high weight as negative – it’s done and I can’t change it. So I’m looking at it as a positive – yes, I gained a lot of weight, but I’ve lost it in just three months! Yay!

I’m looking forward to the next three months! 🙂

P.S. Aussie friends – 2.2 pounds = 1 kilo. So you can round it off to cutting my numbers in half if you want to know how many kg it is. I’ve lost about two stone.  😉

Join Me at the OC Book Fair in Costa Mesa This Saturday

OCWriterbookfair_Poster_LogoOnlly

This upcoming Saturday, March 26, 2016, I’ll be one of 30 authors participating in the Orange County Writers Book Fair. Fun! 🙂 Click to find out more about who will be there. We’ll have fiction and nonfiction authors, and books for children and adults.

We’ll be at The Lab Anti-Mall in Costa Mesa, CA, from 11am to 4pm. I’ve never been there, but it looks really cool. Kind of artsy and eclectic. And it’s outdoors so it should be perfect at this time of year. (Right now, the weather is supposed to be a gorgeous 73 and sunny!)

If you live in the Orange County area, I’d love to see you on Saturday!

Spring Fling Romance Readers Club Giveaway TODAY

Happy woman with tablet in the park

Guess what I’ve got for you today? Romance Readers Club is doing a Spring Fling Massive Ebook Giveaway today only!

Click the link and scroll through the list of over 100 free romance books. Download any or all of them today! 🙂 My romantic comedy, Little Miss Lovesick, is one of the free books, and free through tomorrow.

There are a variety of subgenres, heat levels, and book lengths. Most are novels, some are novellas, some may even be short stories (I don’t know for sure.) Some of them are free every day, but most of them are free today (and maybe tomorrow) only.

And if dozens of free books aren’t enough to start your spring off right (or your autumn if you’re Down Under), scroll to the bottom of the list of books to see how to have multiple chances to win a Kindle Fire HD6.

Hurry! The giveaway ends in a few hours at midnight Pacific. 🙂

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 11

RESULTS: Gained 1 pound for a total loss of 12 pounds

Walking at sunrise

Walking at sunrise

I spent the past week in Vegas on a writing retreat with my friend Elena. It was awesome! I wrote the most number of words I’ve ever written in a week! By far!

The other awesome part was that Elena is a great cook, and I ate really well at every meal. That is not how I’m used to eating on a writing retreat! I usually eat yogurt and PB&J sandwiches, whatever it takes to have the most time for writing. 😉  Elena made a ziti casserole and chicken picatta and all kinds of delicious foods. Yum!

When I came home on Sunday, it was to the family March birthday party (including mine! 🙂 ) and a lot of planned overeating. LOL!

So…yup, I gained a pound over the last week. But considering what would’ve happened if I hadn’t been trying, I’m perfectly fine with it. Haha! And I did do quite a bit of my usual exercise – I’ve got the aching abs to prove it – so I didn’t fall off the wagon completely.

With my birthday and Easter coming up, I may or may not lose any weight this week either. But I’m still going to count calories, exercise, and work to not overeat much.

I hope you all have a fabulous week! Happy Easter to you!

My Public Display of Dieting – Week 10

RESULTS: Lost 2 pounds for a total loss of 13 pounds!

Writing SmileyI’m so excited! I was super busy last week getting ready for a writing retreat that I’m on this week, and I managed to lose 2 pounds by Thursday! Hurray!

I’m particularly happy because this week my good friend – who happens to be Italian – is cooking all week, so I’ll need that extra cushion of weight loss. Haha!! The last couple days have already been delicious!

Meanwhile, lots of writing and a little bit of exercising this week so I don’t become a brain on top of a blob of flesh. Haha! See you next week!