A Better Me: #2

So I am not posting as regularly as I had hoped to. I’ll get better. Maybe. However, I am still on track despite some “obstacles”.
Of course holidays are tough, there was no skipping on cherry pie. Come on. And unfortunately I was the primary eater of said pie. But it was good.

Holidays often, at my house anyway, include alcohol. I’m really cutting back on my mid week and even weekend drinking. It’s almost non-existent. But for the fourth, drinks were had. I made better choices. No beer. Stuck with wine spritzers made with club soda and fresh limes. So could have been worse.

My knee. Things are generally improving. I did buy a good knee brace and I feel like it is really helping support the knee. I am still only doing floor based exercises but I’ve graduated up to pilaties. Yay!

All in all I am physically chugging away, and I am down to 206 as of this morning. So self-high-five for progress! 

Mentally I’ve been lazy. I’ll get to it, I promise. But in due time. For now it just feels good to feel a little better. Healthier. 

A Better Me: #1


Ugh. So hungry. But not for healthy stuff. Craving the cookies in the vending machine. The one that takes credit cards.

I’m down a little already, but of course with my knee I can’t workout very well. I’m hoping that by dropping a few lbs upfront my body can take exercise.

So, instead of walking to the machine I’m blogging about my desire to walk to the machine. Not sure it’s helping. 🙁

Perhaps my Multigrain toaster waffle will help? Or will it just become more calories?

Welcome To A Better Me

Copyright: samotrebizan / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: samotrebizan / 123RF Stock Photo

I am starting this post series as a way of staying accountable and to share my journey. Maybe down the road it will inspire someone to find their better self. And that is the point of all this. I am done feeling bad about how I look in the clothes I own. I’m done dealing with the health impacts of being overweight and out of shape.

I am tired of quitting.

Finding a better me is about putting better things in so that I get better things out. And I fully intend to make this about more than just diet and excercise. This is going to be a spiritual journey of sorts.

I work with a guy who took two months off to travel India and Tibet, and now he’s taking a leave of absence to go live in the woods and work on a friends cabin. He has inspired me to look within as well. So while I can’t pack up and go chill in the woods because really, my husband would freak the hell out. I can take some time and look within. Who am I? Am I the me I want to be? What do I really believe about life, God, my purpose?

So, as of today I am heading on this journey, and you are invited to come along.

My first step is to asses my physical well being. The stats aren’t great, but they aren’t terrible either.

Weight: 212lbs
Arms: (L) 14.75″ (R) 14.25″
Legs: (L) 29.5″ (R) 29.25″
Calves: (L) 17.5″ (R) 17.25″
Waist: 43″
Hips: 49.25″
Bust: 42.5″

Health Issues:

  • Left leg is swollen above the knee…pretty sure I tried too advanced of a workout and over did it. But note I am monitoring this closely.
  • Right knee is shot. very little cartilidge left from years of injury.
  • Acid reflux is manageable, but treading into persistent territory.
  • I’m tired. Constantly. No energy to speak of.


Yeah. I have a serious sweet-tooth and 0 will power to go with it. Isn’t that how it always goes? Anyway, last year I tried the 21-Day Fix, and I have to say it works. I love it. But remember that too advanced workout I mentioned? Yeah, well I think Ineed to jumpstart the weight-loss with diet before I give the videos another whirl.

Mental Health:

Other than the occasional bout of mild depression…so mild most people would think I was being silly. But I am generally a pretty upbeat person. So even a little down is unsettling for me.

I have a lot on my mind. I’ve got a lot going on at work. I’m the sole breadwinner in my household. I lost my dad this past year. I have no relationship with my sister. And, I–despite being a very outgoing person–do not have many close friends. These are all topics I will explore and consider on my journey, because I intend to be honest and open as I explore things. And maybe, by examining some of these things I can be a better me.

The Plan:

So, my plan is to use The 21-Day Fix eating plan…I like it. It worked for me. I wasn’t hungy on the fix. Then I’m going to start out with some low-impact floor based exercises until I can assess where I am with my knee/leg. Once I feel like things are on track I’m going to try some low impact cardio and walking. I’m also going to blog here periodically as I consider my spiritual topics. Of course some things are too personal to share, but I think a lot of the journey will be fair game.

The Goals:

I don’t want to set crazy goals. I don’t want to insta-fail. So my first incremental goal is to loose 15lbs. Breaking the 200lb barrier is a solid first goal or me as far as health and exrecise. My spiritual/mental goal is simply going to be to post once a week on any topic that takes my fancy.

Welcome to my journey to A Better Me!


The Smexy Blog Hop & Giveaway

Smexy Romance Giveaway Button

Liam rose up and switched to Nate’s other side. There he pulled the darker-toned man into a fierce kiss that damn near set the room on fire.

Mother of God, they were too damn sexy. Lips locked, and hands roamed. Each had a cock in one hand and the other latched onto his partner’s neck. Hips jerked as lust ignited between them. They probed and licked at each other until Nate pushed the leonine god back into the cushions and sank between his legs. A groan slipped free from Liam when Nate swallowed his shaft.

Breath staggered to a halt in her lungs at the sight of Nate swirling his tongue around the crown of a spectacular cock. He pulled back and lapped at it like an ice-cream cone from before The Wave, BTW. Would he taste as sweet? Oh shit. She was in so much trouble. Her nipples pebbled, and her pussy soaked through her undies again. Watching turned out to be much hotter than she could have prepared for.

Liam’s golden hands cupped Nate’s dark head and pushed him down over the swollen length to meet his hips surging upward. Lost in abandon, he roughly fucked Nate’s mouth as though he wanted nothing more than to finish right there. Nate shoved away his partner, drawing a growled protest. “Damn it, Nate.”

“No, I need you inside me.” Nate grabbed the other man and hauled him into a demanding kiss. Bel swore more was left unspoken. Because of me? Neither of them offered up much until she asked questions. Liam proved to be a man of few words, and Nate said a lot and yet nothing much of substance.

“Ottoman. On your back.”

Compliance came immediately while Liam crossed the room to retrieve something from a drawer. A pot of viscous, homemade lube seemed the obvious answer. Using two fingers, he scooped up some of the substance and reached between Nate’s thighs. “Spread your cheeks.”

Again, immediate compliance. Shit, she had to resist the urge to follow his every command. What the hell? She’d never met such an intense and dominant man. Liam embodied everything her father wanted to be—and failed.

He shoved two fingers into Nate and pumped in and out with long, strong strokes.

“More, Liam. I need more.”

“I know. Hang on.” The tenderness in his tone sliced through her lust and made her aware of the unspoken conversation. Clearly, much went unsaid between the two, and yet their connection felt strong, so palpable, physical touch seemed unnecessary. Though wholly enjoyed. He added a third finger, stretched, and worked the dark Beast open.

“Look at me, Nate.”

Submission, respect, and love shone in storm-gray eyes. The powerful emotions were too much. She needed to leave. She didn’t belong there, a witness to such an intimate moment between the men. It felt special, intense. Interloper, screamed through the chaotic whirl of her thoughts. Worse than an interloper, she was an intruder.

Sorcha’s Blog Hop Giveaway



One Night With A Cowboy (Books 1-4)

Taking Her Chance
Elizabeth Torrence decided to finally do something about the sad state of her personal life, but she never expected the one she walked away from to be her blind date. Former rodeo cowboy Chance Rogers makes her pulse pound, but is she too determined not to repeat past mistakes? Or will she take her second chance?

Claiming His Cowgirl
Cassie Truhart is too busy with life and the Golden Mustang Dude Ranch to worry about love. Trent Jones agreed to a blind date with no expectation of finding a woman that would rouse every dominant instinct he possessed, much less love. Now he must discover if one night with a cowboy is long enough for him to claim his cowgirl.

A Cowboy’s Christmas Wish
When rancher Ford Grayson saunters out of Melissa Adams’ past and into her bar, she’s determined to take him for a ride and kick him to the curb. Payback’s a bitch. But, the cowboy is determined to make his very own Christmas wish come true

Roping His Cowboy
John Brigham and Shane Goodson have been long time roping partners and best friends. But, after a drunken kiss everything changes. The question is, can Shane snag the cowboy of his heart or will he get away?

Grand Prize Entry



Now that you’ve entered to win here, be sure to stop by all the other blogs along the hop!

Wanna Learn Something New?

Screenshot_2016-02-13-22-54-40Have you heard of or seen various note taking apps on your phone or tablet? Ever wondered how you might use those for writing? Maybe you considered using one to jot ideas down on the run? How about plotting a book? What about writing a book?

I use them for all those things and now I’m going to show you how I do it!

If you’d like to learn more, hop over to my events section for more details. http://wp.me/P3bQDA-Jk

Happy Halloween & Site Updates!

Hope everyone is having a fabulously spooky Halloween! I managed to carve (heh!) a little time out to do some site updates. So be sure to check out all the new book listings, and updated printable book list, and don’t forget my shop with t-shirts and other cool swag.

Thank you for your continued support and have an awesome day…and night!

New Release: Love & Punishment (Tales From Epsilon, Book 1)

Love and Punishment-highresLove & Punishment
(Tales From Epsilon, Book 1)
Decadent Publishing, Beyond Fairytales

Once upon a time…

Bel was a happy girl with loving parents. Now she lives for revenge. At her father’s urging a plan is set in motion which quickly spins out of control. Expecting to be used and abused by The Beasts MC, who are known for their orgiastic ways, she is prepared to accept her fate in order to execute her mission.

The time has come to even the score with the men responsible for her mother’s death.

Nate and Liam, leaders of The Beasts, have their hands full ensuring the survival of their people as they sell Beast Brew to survive in a city crumbling around them. When a Rose MC member is plucked from their care the laws of Epsilon demand the perpetrator forfeit his life. But then the leader of The Devil’s Disciples’ daughter offers herself in exchange for his life, and they can’t refuse the beauty’s plea.

Once she’s pressed between them they know they’re keeping her for their own, but first they must figure out why she’s there.

AReAmazon | iBooks | NookKobo




But, wait. How did Liam and Nate get together first? For the short hot tale of how the boys became lovers, check out the prequel to Love & Punishment. Love & Survival is free.

LoveSurvivalCover_3Love & Survival 
(Tales From Epsilon, Book 0.5)
Independently Published

Warning: This sizzling story contains two hot men riding bikes and trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

Best friends since they were kids Liam Whelan and Nate Lords struggle to survive in a post-apocalypse civilization where the government is crumbling. Dramatic changes in their lives will either drive them apart or bring them closer together than they ever imagined.

ARe | Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Dying to learn more about Epsilon and the world these books are set in? Be sure to visit: http://talesfromepsilon.sorchamowbray.com/


Her Real-Life Hero #BeyondFairytales

BeyondFairytales_VB_HerRealLifeHero_300x450Her Real-Life Hero
By Vicki Ballante
Decadent Publishing Beyond Fairytales
Adaptation of “The Frog King” and “Iron Henry”

Joanie wants to get her romances published but can’t seem to succeed with her writing. She buys an antique bureau which the shopkeeper says is magic. While using her new bureau, she begins to talk to the hero in her book, asking his advice on writing, all the while thinking it’s her own imagination. She promises he can live in her home, eat at her table and sleep in her bed, if he helps her with her writing. She doesn’t expect him to knock on her door and insist she keep her promise.

Theo has also bought a magic chest of drawers that brings him into Joanie’s life. He wants to settle down with one woman, tired of shallow relationships, and Joanie seems like the perfect candidate if it weren’t for her insistence on getting rid of him.

The magic keeps on forcing them to live together and Joanie’s not happy. This is her first year alone and she’s been craving time to herself after looking after her younger siblings and an ailing aunt. Theo’s presence in her home, although unwanted, stirs up needs she’s suppressed for years. When they start to discover things about the magic and why it’s bringing them together, will Joanie recognize another type of magic at work? Will she succumb to the charm of Theo or will her need for breathing space pull them apart?



Once upon a time….

“It’s magic, you know,” the shopkeeper whispered in a covert tone.

Joanie sniggered. Was the woman teasing her? With that rainbow scarf wrapped around her head and all those beaded necklaces blinking from her wrinkled neck, she could pass for a gypsy.

“I’m serious.” The woman gave her a knowing smile, which caused her irritation to rise.

“I’d like to take the writing desk right away, please.”

“Don’t be in such a hurry. The piece is not your everyday antique. It has magical powers.”

What type of antique store had she chosen? She’d planned on stepping into the little shop on Essenwood Road in Durban, South Africa, for years but never had the finances to bother with expensive historical objects. Today, she’d come in to browse but had fallen in love with the Victorian walnut bureau which boasted a curved roll top revealing nooks and crannies, which could store her stationery as well as her bird-ornament collection. The desk surface could be propped at a slant for ease of writing by hand—perfect for someone who preferred paper and pen to a computer. Underneath were lots of tiny drawers accentuated with sweet, round knobs. She would have plenty of space to store all her equipment. All in all, a good space for her writing.

“You will discover the magic soon. I’m warning you though…it might shock you.”

Joanie rolled her eyes. “Do you honestly think I believe you?”

The “gypsy” laughed. “I thought as much. Don’t come crying to me when things start happening.”

“Whoa.” She pulled away from the woman’s front counter. “Is there a curse on the desk, or is it haunted?”

“The magic is connected to your deepest desires. It will only surface if those desires are unfulfilled.”

“You’ve got to be kidding. This is like some crazy fantasy story on TV.”

“Beware. Not many people can handle the effects of the magic.”

She studied the antique. “Should I not buy it?”

“Your decision should be based on how in tune you are with yourself.”

In tune with myself? Oh, what a stupid question. Getting a book published, that was her deepest desire. Something the bureau would help with. The dark-stained walnut would calm her, the ancient feel would transport her to other worlds, plus the lack of modern clutter, like files and electrical cables, would keep her from being distracted.

“I’ll take it, magic or no magic.” She handed over her bank card. For a minute, she’d let herself get swept away with the gypsy lady’s crazy talk.


Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet Vicki:
Vicki writes erotic and fantasy romance. She loves taking her characters into an alternate world where strange and sexy things happen. She lives with her patient husband and three noisy kids in South Africa. In between being a busy stay-at-home mom who hates housework and spends half her life cooking everything from scratch, she runs several blogs, writes under another name, and buries herself in the delightful world of her characters.

Online Links for Vicki:
Blog: http://www.vballante.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicki.ballante
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VickiBallante
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/vballante/
Tsu: https://www.tsu.co/VickiSugar
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/-x7RX
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8509044.Vicki_Ballante
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Vicki-Ballante/e/B00NAYEKT0
Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/VickiBallante


%d bloggers like this: