Tuesday, November 22, 2011

WINNER of our "Save a Turkey - Gobble a Book" Blog Tour Contest

We're delighted to announce that the winner of our "Save a Turkey - Gobble a Book" blog tour contest is ...


Congratulations! We hope you enjoy your free eBook copy of I.O.U. SEX.

This blog tour was so much fun for us, especially reading the names of all the favorite dishes listed in your comments. Tofurkey and turkey. Corn pudding, corn bread, cheese potatoes. Pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pie, pistachio salad. Pecan pie too. Our winner Marilyn said she goes straight for the desserts. Just reading the list of favorites was enough to add five pounds to anybody's hips!

Thank you to everyone who participated. We're glad you enjoyed our tongue-in-cheek look at raising turkeys in your own backyard. Have a glorious Thanksgiving (or autumn season, depending on where you live) and we hope to hear from you again real soon.

FYI: For info on ordering I.O.U. SEX as an eBook or in paperback, click on the "Buy I.O.U. SEX" tab under the header above.

Illustration source: http://thanksgiving-greetings.blogspot.com/2010/08/corporate-thanksgiving-greetings.html

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sweet Saturday Samples - Nov 19

Those of you who have been Sweet Saturday Sample fans for the past few weeks have followed the weight-loss efforts of Peggy, one of our characters from I.O.U. Sex. As our excerpt below shows, sticking to her healthy weight loss plan not only means exercise, it also involves making good food choices as she goes about her daily life. Here’s a report on her progress.

Peggy now walked at a faster clip. As the days of eating healthy foods and exercising progressed, the pounds seemed to melt off her body like a dripping ice cream cone on a hot summer day. She remained diligent about writing in her food journal and counting all those pesky calories—keeping score, just like June had suggested. Sure, there were days when the scales seemed stuck on a number—days when she awoke with a taste for chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes on her tongue—days when she gave in to her cravings with a yummy taste or two. But thank goodness those days were few and far between.
With the nutrition labels on foods, it became an easy task to quantify each serving, and she found the calorie counts for fresh produce in her food counter paperback. There was even a website where she could look up all kinds of information for any type of fast food, although she didn't often eat at such places. When she did, she always chose healthy items, and even then, she tried to follow her throw-away-half rule—eating half and pitching the rest in the trash.
The ease of sticking to this food and exercise plan amazed her, making her want to kick herself for not doing it sooner. She now thought of this as her permanent way of life. It was healthy living, period. After all, Peg knew that if she returned to her former junk food days, those blubbery pounds would come right back, and they'd probably bring all their friends with them. She certainly didn't want that.

Our friend Peg is hanging in there! She’s learning to be aware of what she’s eating, even if she finds herself in a fast food restaurant. Ideally, she’ll choose a salad or other healthy item, but sometimes nothing but a burger will do. With Peg’s “eat half rule” she can cut 500 calories from her meal by simply choosing a Whopper Junior (340 calories) instead of a regular Whopper (670 calories)—and eating only half the Junior (170 calories). Yes, she hates to throw food away, but it’s much better for the food to go to waste rather than going to her waist, right?

If you’d like to know the calorie and nutrition content of your favorite foods or restaurant items, try the handy-dandy calorie counter at Calorie King. It also offers inspirational stories and advice.

To connect to all the other Sweet Saturday Samples participants, click here: Sweet List

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Blog Hop Tour - November 14-21

Can suburbanites raise turkeys in their 
own back yards?

Recent news articles about home-grown chickens, as well as a discussion of our plans for Thanksgiving, led us to the following questions:

How about turkeys? Would it be possible to create a personal back yard flock? (Homeowner association rules permitting, of course.)

Curiosity led us to our computers. The Internet holds a surprising number of articles on this subject.  Here are some turkey facts:

  • It takes a broad-breasted Bronze turkey about 24 weeks to reach a weight of 16 to 25 pounds. (So you need to start planning your home-grown Thanksgiving meal way in advance.)

  • Baby turkeys are called “poults.” (Why? Shouldn’t they be called “turks”?)

  • Turkeys love to be around people. (So you should visit them once or twice a day.)

  • You’ll need a yard or fenced pen measuring at least 75 ft. by 75 ft. - about 1/8 acre - to raise a dozen turkeys. (You could put them in your front yard but that might create a traffic pile-up, so behind your back yard fence might be best.)

  • How to tell a tom from a hen? The toms will fluff out their feathers and start strutting at an early age. (Must be those pesky male hormones.)

  • Detailed instructions are given for slaughtering and plucking. (Not for the faint of heart.)

We don’t know about the rest of suburbia, but after feeding, watering, and spending quality time with our turkeys, we’re not sure we’d be able to actually eat them. Six months of care, from birth to maturity, would make it awfully hard to swing that axe, especially if our toms looked as handsome as the one pictured below. Instead of gracing our serving platters, our turkeys would probably rule the roost, sit at our expanded Thanksgiving tables, and say, “Pass the chicken, please!”

So, rather than murder your hand-raised Meleagris gallopavo, we suggest a trip to your local supermarket for an anonymous bird. Or better still, as the theme of this blog tour says, SAVE A TURKEY and GOBBLE A BOOK!

GIVEAWAY: To encourage you, we're giving away a free eBook download of our novel, I.O.U. Sex. We'll also send you a collection of our favorite recipes for Turkey Day, from our kitchens to yours. To enter, simply comment on this post and include the name of your favorite Thanksgiving (or wintertime) dish. Be sure to also include your email address so we can contact you if you're our winner.

To connect to other blog tour participants, click here for the master list:  Save a Turkey - Gobble a Book 

I.O.U. Sex is available in paperback and eBook formats from AmazonBarnes and Noble,  CreateSpace and Smashwords.

1.  Have fun!!
2.  Invite all of your friends. Spread the word!
3.  This tour starts: Monday, November 14, at midnight (Arizona Time)
     This tour ends: Monday, November 21, at midnight (Arizona Time)
     Winners will be drawn and their names posted by November 25 ***
4.  Meet and mingle with all the authors on their book pages. Experience
     a new destination at every stop. Participate in every blog contest, and
     be entered for chances to win multiple prizes. Every blog visited is
     another opportunity to win.
5.  Participation at all blogs is recommended but not required. 
     Remember,the more blogs you hop, the better your chances of 
     winning prizes.
     Every author and book page is waiting to meet and interact with you,
     so please be sure to show them some love.
6.  Did I mention to have fun? Whoo! Hoo! Here we goooooo!

*** Authors and book pages have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this blog tour is subject to these rules.

Sources for turkey facts:

Photo source:  Wikipedia

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sweet Saturday Samples - Nov 12

Happy weekend! Welcome back to our little corner of the world where we are following one of the characters from  I.O.U. SEX on her journey to get healthier. Peggy has vowed to make better food choices and begin an exercise program, and she’s just set off on her first early morning walk around her Dallas neighborhood.

I'm taking my first steps toward a healthy life, she thought, smiling as she stepped onto the front driveway.
Barely half a mile later, sweat coated Peggy's body and her breath came in gasps.
"Whew. Walking's harder than it looks." She stopped and held her side.
Remembering what she'd read about starting gradually, and determined to complete her route, she slowed her pace but still forged ahead. Right away she realized why so many walkers and joggers wore headphones. Listening to music would be a welcome distraction, make the time pass faster, and probably lift her spirits too.
She thought back to her days as a Rayette and an Apache Belle.
Dancing and performing to music was so much fun. Of course, I was also a hundred pounds lighter back then.
She made a mental note to buy a portable CD player and some country western music. Ken always hated anything with a country twang, but she could listen to whatever she wanted.
Peggy stopped in her tracks.
That's the first time I've thought about Ken all morning.
That thought gave her a stab of guilt. Then she remembered something else she'd read about physical exercise—it was good for body, mind, and spirit—and she could think for herself now.
Peggy completed her first walk with an ache in her back, a twinge in her knees, and a smile on her face. When she returned home, she went straight to the refrigerator for another bottle of cold water, lifting it high in a toast to herself and her accomplishment. She finished the water and then climbed the stairs to her bedroom, eager to record her feat in her food journal. If what the weight-loss books and articles said was true, limiting her calories to 1,200-1,500 per day, drinking plenty of water, and exercising should result in a one to two pound weight loss each week. She just knew she could do it. In fact, she wrote that on the bottom of the page.
I can do it!
She underlined the sentence with three bold strokes.
Losing all this flab might not be as quick as a hiccup, but by golly, I'll stick with it no matter how long it takes.

Short term, all these things—eating healthy, limiting calories, exercising, keeping a journal—may seem like simple solutions. But the pathway to health is a crooked one with many turns in the road. Most people need an inspirational goal to keep them on the straight and narrow. What will Peggy’s shining light at the end of the road be?

Check out “Walk Off Extra Weight” and other inspirational articles on the Real Age website.  This site is the creation of Doctors Mehmet Oz (Oprah’s diet guru) and Michael Roizen, co-authors of YOU: The Owner’s Manual. Here’s the link: Walk Off Extra Weight 

To connect to all the other Sweet Saturday Samples participants, click here: Sweet List

Photo source: East Kessler Park (Dallas) Neighborhood Association

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sweet Saturday Samples - Nov 5

“Exercise 101” is a class that should be offered for those of us who haven’t seen the inside of a gym since our school days. Our character Peggy falls into that category. With a plan to limit her calorie intake and get moving, she’s starting a new exercise program. In today’s excerpt, Peg laces up her walking shoes in preparation for hitting the pavement. She’s ready to go!

Peg got up early the next morning and dressed in her new sweats, eager to tackle her first day of exercise. Following an eating plan she'd outlined the night before, she measured out ¾ cup of Total cereal, sliced a banana on top, and added a cup of 2% milk. She read the nutrition information from the cereal box and milk container, then looked up the calories for a banana in her new book while she ate.
Only 320 total calories so far. Not too shabby.
After her healthy breakfast, she grabbed a bottle of water, locked the door behind her, and set her pedometer to zero. She'd already decided early morning would be the best time to walk, before anyone else in the neighborhood was out and about. She'd driven her intended route, measuring the distance to the corner and back with her car's odometer, just to get an idea of how far she wanted to go. She didn't want to bite off more than she could chew, but surely even a two-ton heifer could walk the mile-and-a-half round trip. If—no, when—she mastered that, she planned to gradually increase the distance. Her new pedometer would record how far she was able to go on her first day. Another way to keep score, as June had suggested.
Standing on the porch, she felt like an explorer starting out on a great adventure, full of hope and maybe a little fear. I'm taking my first steps toward a healthy life, she thought, smiling as she stepped onto the front driveway.

As we all know, every journey begins with a first step. If you’d like to learn more about Peggy’s foray into the world of healthy eating and exercising, join us here again next Saturday for another peek. Or you can purchase our book, I.O.U. SEX, from AmazonBarnes and Noble, or Smashwords and read more about Peg’s determination to win this battle once and for all.

Note: For more information on starting a walking program of your own, check out the advice on WebMD’s “Make Your Walk a Workout.” It includes advice for beginners as well as ideas for kicking up the intensity of the exercise. Safety tips are listed too. Here’s the link: Walking

You'll find more Sweet Saturday Samples here: Sweets