Saturday, 26 April 2014

Running Like a Girl: My First "Run"

Yesterday I read the first chapter of Running Like a Girl. It was about Alexandra's first run and it was honest but not demoralizing, told like a friend would tell a story over a cup of tea. It really made me think about what I'm getting into. I'm old. And fat. And really, really not used to moving. Yes, I used to run, but I was younger, in better shape and the only time I sat down was in class (after running around campus for one thing or another, toting a stack of library books so high I could rest my chin on it) or at work (in between running between the offices of colleagues, popping in to the building across the street for meetings or equipment pick-ups, heading to various locations for presentations and workshops...).

When I ran then, it was easy. I used to do it for fun, to de-stress, to chase away my little demons (that job I talked about? It turned out to be the kind of emotional roller coaster that has more deep, deep downs that ups. I used to get home after work and go right to the treadmill, trying to outrun the sadness and the loneliness and the fear that clients heaped on me every day, and trying to forget the disinterest, pettiness and lack of compassion that my colleagues often displayed. I just kept running until I felt better). I knew going in that this time would be different, so I decided my first goal would be to get back on my treadmill and see what I could do.

That happened this morning. And it turns out, I can't do much. Jogging even the length of one song is impossible. My lungs burn, something in my side aches, and my throat goes from feelin' fine to painfully parched in less time than it takes a teenager to make a bad decision. I ended up doing a walk-slow jog combination for as long as I could without being sick then decided I need a plan and some new goals.

So my goal now is to just walk at least 30 minutes a day for now. If I can fit in a minute or two of jogging, great. If not, I'm not going to beat myself up. I'm also going to start drinking more water. I think I do a pretty good job of it now (usually 3 glasses a day and I choose water over other drinks because I like the taste of all that straight-from-the-tap chlorine-y goodness), but I need more and I know it. Over the next few days, I'm also going to rethink my dependence on convenience foods and start paying attention to myself - I often forget to have a meal until I'm really, really hungry and that turns my eating process into "what can I put in my mouth right now." I want to be more thoughtful about the foods I eat and put time into preparing meals instead of just consuming whatever is handy.

What are some of your favourite healthful meals that are easy to cook (I can bake, but I can't cook - not even scrambled eggs)?

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Running Like a Girl Challenge: Prologue

Some pretty smart people over at Simon and Schuster Canada have come up with one of the best book promo ideas I've seen probably ever. Instead of a regular book tour for Alexandra Heminsley's Running Like a Girl, the publisher challenged Canadian bloggers to read the book, start walking or jogging, then sign up for a race in June.

When I heard about it my first thought was, 'a couple years ago I could have done that.' You see, a couple years ago I used to take much better care of myself. I walked everywhere, jogged twice a week. Then, like a lot of people, things changed for me. I graduated from school and started looking for a job. But I couldn't find one. The more I looked and the more I was rejected (can you call it rejection when your resume isn't even acknowledged by an organization?), the harder it was to convince myself that sticking to a routine was necessary. I started spending more and more time inside, by myself, sitting. Some days I didn't even bother to change out of my pajamas. And I gained 21 pounds.

My confidence has suffered, from not finding work, from spending so much time isolated from the world outside my house, and of course from the extra weight. My health has suffered, too. 21 extra pounds is a lot. Sitting around all day damages your body. I can feel it when I climb from the basement to the top floor of the house. I can feel it when I walk to the end of the street to mail a letter.

So a day after I heard about the Running Like a Girl challenge, I contacted Simon and Schuster and signed up. Then today, this package arrived with a copy of the book and a runner's starter kit with socks, a notebook, really cute nail polish and hair ties, a water bottle and an energy bar.

Today, I will start the book. Today, I will find my motivation. Today, I will get back on my feet.

Follow my journey here and on twitter at @paperbackpastry

Friday, 4 April 2014

Cover Reveal: One Lucky Night

I'm so happy today to share the cover and official blurb of One Lucky Night with you!

One night can change everything…

The crew at Boston’s Brazen Head Pub hasn’t been very lucky in love. Can a mysterious visitor inspire them to look past old hurts and misconceptions and give romance a chance? One Lucky Night is a collection of five sexy interwoven novelettes by Aria Kane, Grace Teague, Ana Blaze, Constance Phillips, and Melinda Dozier.

Lucky Break by Aria Kane
Four years ago, chef Derek Chase walked out of Andrea Rivera’s life after a tragedy neither of them were prepared to deal with. When she’s called to the Brazen Head to repair a dishwasher, old sparks ignite buried feelings.

Lucky Star by Grace Teague
When her life is threatened by a mugger, Charlotte Price realizes she's in love with her best friend, Tommy Leung. The Brazen Head seems like the perfect neutral place to confess her feelings, but nothing goes according to plan.

A New Tune by Ana Blaze
When it comes to dating, Holly Hall has one unbreakable rule: no musicians. Not even gorgeous ones. Especially not gorgeous ones. Dating them only leads to heartbreak. So why did she let singer-songwriter Cian O’Neill kiss her? And why is she thinking about doing it again?

Lexi’s Chance by Constance Phillips
As a bartender, Sean Whalen meets all kinds of women every night, but none turn his head the way that Lexi has. She’s been playing cat and mouse with him for weeks. Tonight, Sean’s determined to get Lexi to quit teasing and take a real chance on him.

Drink or Dare by Melinda Dozier
A bachelorette party Drink or Dare game pairs paramedic students, Rachel Robertson and Killian Whelan, in a flirting match. Soon, the dares threaten to turn their academic rivalry into something much more.

One Lucky Night will be available in print and at all major ebook retailers on May 7th. For now, you can add it to Goodreads!

About the Authors

Aria Kane is a recovering mechanical engineer and romance writer. As a military brat, she grew up all over the country, but now lives in sunny Florida with a 60 lb mutt who thinks he's a chihuahua.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

Grace Teague lives in Pittsburgh with her spouse, children and a cat named Mr. Sushi.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Ana Blaze lives near Washington DC with her charming husband and three cats who firmly believe they are royalty. Ana is a member of Romance Writers of America.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Tumblr

Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, two ready-to-leave-the-nest children, and four canine kids. Her perfect fantasy vacation would involve hunting Dracula across Europe with her daughter, who also digs that kind of stuff.

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Melinda Dozier teaches English to middle schoolers by day and writes at night. She lives in Guatemala, Central America with her college sweetheart and three sons.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads


The authors are giving away four print copies of One Lucky Night before you can buy it!

Enter here.