Wednesday, July 19, 2017

FREE and ON SALE only in JULY: Adrienne Monson's Vampire Trilogy!

Did you know that July is Adrienne Monson’s birthday month? And she’s celebrating by putting her vampire trilogy on sale on Amazon! DISSENSION is FREE to download now until July 22! DEFIANCE is ON SALE for only .99 from now until July 25th. And DELIVERANCE is ALSO ON SALE for only 1.99 now until the 25th. Happy birthday to Adrienne! :D

Read the blurbs below and take advantage of this celebratory sale!

DISSENSION ~ Reluctant vampire Leisha is caught in the middle of an ongoing bloody war between her people and immortals, an undying race sworn to destroy all vampires. It's a different life from the one she had 2,000 years ago when she led a quiet life as a devoted mother. Leisha soon finds herself captured by the government, only to be saved by a mysterious human girl. Leisha and her newfound friend run for their lives while searching for the one thing that can bring an end to this escalating conflict -- the prophecy child.

DEFIANCE ~ Leisha and Samantha barely survived the vampires and immortals six months ago. Now, an explosive battle seems imminent. It's more important than ever that the prophecy child is found, but there's a problem—Leisha has lost her powers. She seems like nothing more than a human. Her newfound humanity is further complicated when Tafari, her old lover, appears with a desire for reconciliation. Can Leisha lock up the past to save those she loves? Or will fate tear everything from her once again?

DELIVERANCE ~ For three years Leisha has kept Liam, the prophecy child, safe from the Immortals. But when Leisha is taken, twenty-year-old Samantha can't keep Liam safe on her own. On the cusp of the ultimate battle between vampires and Immortals, Samantha turns to her ex-boyfriend Nik for help, determined to keep her heart closed this time. Desolation looms as Liam seeks to fulfill his unknown destiny. Will he bring vampires and Immortals together or is there a much darker prophecy at work? Deliverance is the epic conclusion to the Blood Inheritance Trilogy.

Friday, July 7, 2017


(click on picture to enlarge and read it easier)

This recipe for TEXAS SHEET CAKE COOKIES came in our local North Ogden City mailer. The girls and I tried them out and they were SO DANG GOOD! If you make them, follow the recipe directions and don't over bake. Oh, my personal note: reduce the amount of salt added if using salted butter. Ours still turned out yummy, but with a hint of saltiness that could have been avoided by reducing or omitting the salt because we used salted butter. Also, they come off the pan easier if using parchment paper like the recipe suggests, but they'll still turn out fine if you don't have parchment paper. We tried both ways. The frosting is what really makes the cookie oh, so tasty. The recipe makes enough frosting for a double batch of cookies, so double the cookies, but only make a single portion of the frosting (unless, of course, you WANT the leftover frosting for other reasons - graham crackers anyone?). We can't make these cookies too often because we ate WAY too many of them. Anyway, just had to share! Enjoy!

Monday, July 3, 2017

My Weight Loss Inspired by Perils of Wrath

145 pounds (current weight on August 16, 2017)

I’ve struggled with weight most of my life, especially after having four kids. It’s always been a brutal war between eating unhealthy or healthy, overeating or showing portion control, sitting on my rear end or exercising, feeling unhappy or feeling content with my life. I’ve had my seasons of a healthier lifestyle or a not-so-healthy existence. I’ve had times when I’ve been so completely sick of my unhealthy habits that I’ve gone to the extreme and restricted my eating to the point of unhealthy or exercised way too much. These practices always backfired with negative results and eventually sent me back to weight gain and depression over my body again.

So what finally got me to change my relationship with food? Writing my second book for one (the other being good friends who inspired me). PERILS OF WRATH, sequel to my first PG-rated medieval action-romance SHADOWS OF VALOR, is slated for release spring 2018. In PERILS OF WRATH my heroine is forced into squireship to a stern knight who sends her through rigorous drills of knight training and who changes her unhealthy view of food intake. Needless to say, she ends up gaining muscle and losing some weight in the process. How much and to what avail? You'll have to wait for the book to come out spring 2018 *wink*. Now this isn’t the only theme in the my story, but I won’t touch on the others in this post.

While writing PERILS OF WRATH I got thinking that as the author of such a tale, I should be an example of what I write. I can do the same thing my characters do. After all, I write stories not only to entertain, but to uplift and inspire readers to make a change in their own lives if need be, and to feel the confidence to accomplish it. So after I finished PERILS OF WRATH, I set a personal goal to, once and for all, gain control over my mind and body to create a healthy relationship with food and exercise. I wanted to “eat to live, not live to eat.”

NOTE: I realize that some people have legitimate sensitivities to certain foods and must adjust their diets accordingly, but for most others, make sure your food choices aren’t just following the latest dietary fad or craze and have nothing to do with your personal needs. That being said, I won't talk about individual circumstances, nor do I have the authority to do so, but I'll simply tell you what I do personally.

What I currently do is quite manageable and successful for me, and it doesn’t discourage or make me feel that I’m “missing out” on anything. I calculate my calorie intake for my height and current weight so I know what will help me maintain or lose, and then I simply REGULATE what I put in my mouth while adding in some light exercise. Yes, it’s that simple, but I know that even simple principles still take effort to follow. 

EXERCISE: I try to do some pushups, sit ups, squats and yard work at least three times a week. If I have the time and feel like going out on a three-mile walk or jog, or doing some aerobics inside, I do, but I don’t stress over it if I can’t. And I don’t kid myself anymore that because I’ve exercised I can eat a ton of junk food. It takes a lot more exercise than one might guess to work off even 500 extra calories, and many candy bars have that many calories in just one. 

EATING: Generally, I keep my calories to about 1,500 a day, but allow for more or less if I feel I need or don’t need them. I listen to my body. I drink water most of the time, but permit occasional juice or soda. I allow for splurging on holidays and other special occasions, but I regulate those times so I don’t go overboard. I don’t restrict ANY foods. I don’t cut out sugar, carbs, grains, fat, meat, dairy, etc., but again, I do regulate them, making sure to eat more of the healthy foods (we all know what they are: healthy fats, lean meats, veggies, fiber, fruits, whole grains, dairy) and less of the unhealthy ones (we know what those are too). I keep a loose record of calories eaten to keep me on track. If I eat way more than I intend to, I don’t beat myself up anymore, but simply start fresh the next day.

I find activities to keep myself out of the kitchen. Drinking water throughout the day and keeping a bottle of it near me all the time helps stave off the munchies. Going outside and working in the yard or playing with my kids, spouse or friends helps to keep my mind off of food. If it’s too hot or cold outside, I stay in and do chores, find a good book to read, play games, or work on a project needing to be done. I try to eat when I'm hungry, not simply because I'm bored. 

Is my weight loss slow? Yes, I suppose it is, but the pounds still come down, and that's what matters. Depending on how “good” I’ve been during the week, I can lose a half to two pounds a week, but my average is about one pound a week. I didn’t used to be satisfied with this slower rate of weight loss and, in fact, have lost up to five pounds per week in the past. But it came off at the price of fatigue, muscle loss, hunger, irritability and gaining it back after I’d burned myself out and quit.  

I’ve latched onto the adage that slow and steady (and may I add wise) wins the race. And this isn't a race against anyone else but myself. If I'm the only one racing, I will certainly come out the victor in the end, no matter how long it takes to get to the finish line.

But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that other people contributed to my recent weight loss success. I must recognize that there are numerous people in my life who have also been successful in getting healthier and losing weight. Along my own journey, these people have supported, inspired and encouraged me to keep going, and I love them all for it. Thank you!

Keeping our bodies healthy gives us a greater chance of living a longer, active life with our loved ones and friends. And that is the ultimate blessing of a healthier lifestyle.

145 pounds (August 16, 2017)

: I lost the weight at different intervals stretched out through a one and a half year period that was dotted with times of weight maintenance and even some weight gain depending on my personal circumstances. It was a roller coaster ride, but such is life. 


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Deseret News review
Youtube: Shadows of Valor trailer 1
Youtube: Shadows of Valor trailer 2

Like weaving Robin Hood, the Scarlet Pimpernel and Batman into one medieval action-romance, Shadows of Valor follows Sir Calan Beaumont, a knight-spy in 1300 A.D. England heading secret missions for King Edward I. As The Shadow, he hunts down smugglers, resisting a vengeful desire to execute lethal justice. And although his dual identity aids him in catching thieves, it causes mistrust from those closest to him. He feels himself slowly sinking into the depths of cynicism as he deals with the worst of society. A beautiful, but scarred woman from his past holds the key to his humanity, however, she harbors a secret that not only places her in danger, but may cause their separation as well.

In 1314 A.D., Sir Roland, a gallant English knight, searches for the truth behind a pair of suspicious deaths, leading him to Guildon Castle, a foreboding structure near the war-torn Scottish border. Posing as a disinherited knight to keep himself on the down-low, Guildon’s tyrannical earl gives Sir Roland the unusual assignment to taming his obstinate stepdaughter, Audrina Gibbons, by making her Roland’s squire. A female apprentice? Unheard of! But Audri has an agenda of her own, accompanied by a stubborn attitude and secrets kept from her knight mentor. What emerges is a tale of mystery, dishonorable knights, medieval torture, and hardcore training that stacks up to any modern workout. But most of all, this is a story of love and overcoming personal weaknesses.