Kicking the M&M’s to the Curb

yellow_m&mIt was way back last September when I sat down with a one-egg, portobello omelet and proclaimed I was going on a diet.

Yeah right.

I was motivated, but it didn’t last long. I blame NaNo and M&M’s. Things didn’t get any better over the winter, and even though I never weighed myself, I knew I gained more weight.

When I posted my expectation to lose weight last September, I wrote this as a reason for my motivation: “I know I’m going to need headshots next spring when my books are flying off the eReader New_Sunshine_Hunter_386shelf and into eReaders, so I better start now so I can put out the best possible picture. How’s that for motivation?”

Who knew part of that statement would end up being true? I was just being silly when I wrote it, but over 51,000 copies of Sunshine Hunter have been downloaded to date.

However, I had an epiphany recently. I realized I didn’t feel good. My health was starting to suffer, and I was pretty sure I could attribute it to weight. The feeling was overwhelming, and I knew if didn’t do something now, there might be no turning back. Ahh, the things that come to you in the middle of a sleepless night.

So … I had to come up with something that would work for me. I didn’t want to follow a specific diet as I have in the past – even if it worked. I wanted to eat in a way that wouldn’t make me feel as if I was depriving myself.

strawberry_smoothie

The smoothies at this site are only three ingredients each and sooo good!

I’m delighted to say, I’ve come up with something that makes me happy, and it’s working for me. Here’s the simple version: I have a fresh fruit smoothie for breakfast, the dreaded egg omelet for lunch, and then a protein and vegetable for dinner. That’s it. I don’t eat after 7:00 at night. I drink a ton of water all day long, and I’m not hungry. Because of the protein dinner, I have no cravings in the evening. I don’t add salt to anything, I avoid sugar (other than natural in fruit), and I’ve had no caffeine other than what’s in cocoa powder for a particular smoothie every now and then.

I’m eating healthier than I have in ages, and none of it is processed food. I weighed myself Tuesday morning. In eight days, I lost 15 pounds. I’m happy with that. I’m on a mission. I’ll feel better, and I’ll have an author headshot soon.

By the way, when I came up with the idea of writing a new series about a couple of weight-challenged sisters, it was because it would be easy to write – I know how they feel!

Wish me luck. I can do this, even though the M&M guys are sad to see me go.

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It’s All Good News!

The cover for Sunshine Hunter has been updated. Hurray for no more gym clothes! Image

We’ve come a long way from the first cover:

ImageMy niece has done a wonderful job for me. I was delighted with my first Susan Hunter cover, and I’ve been delighted with every cover in between. I think we’re both getting better at what we do. 🙂

My next big news is that I’ve decided to make Sunshine Hunter a FREE book – permanently.  Now that there are five books, with a sixth on the way, I think having the first book in the series for free is a good move. I’m finding that many people who have read the first book have gone on to read more (if not all) of the books in the series.

ImageI’ve already made the cover change and the price change at Smashwords. You can go there and download the book for any eReader (to be sideloaded) – or to read on your PC. When the book is approved for their premium catalog in a few days, it will be distributed with the new cover and pricing to all of their outlets – Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Apple, and Diesel Books.

Amazon doesn’t allow me to list the price as free, but they will match the price when the other outlets have updated to free. When the changes have been made everywhere, I hope to do some fun marketing.

I’m looking forward to a good year!

Edited to add: A few minutes before 6:00 p.m. today (15th), the changes to Sunshine Hunter were approved for the premium catalog at Smashwords. Less than 24 hours! That was so fast! It will be going out to major outlets soon.

No More Cranky Interviewer

ImageZen at Zen Scribbles has reviewed my first book, Sunshine Hunter, and graciously interviewed me as well. It’s my first interview by a genuinely nice person.

Hop on over and take a look. There’s chocolate cake, and we’re giving away free books!

http://zenscribbles.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/a-review-a-giveaway-and-a-chat-with-maddie-cochere-on-everything-from-writing-to-cake/

A Male Perspective

More than ever, I’m convinced I have a genre problem. My books aren’t sophisticated with enough romance to satisfy chick-lit lovers, and the mystery element isn’t a murder to be solved from chapter one throughout, so hardcore mystery lovers may also not be satisfied, but those are the two genres available for my type of book.

Truly, I have to start a campaign for a fluffy, pink-with-a-hint-of-silliness genre. I market under Breezy Books. I promote my books as fun, easy, breezy reading with nothing to make you blush. I think there are still women who appreciate a book that is pretty squeaky clean. Tell your mothers and grandmothers about my books. They are suitable for young adults, but there is no fantasy or vampires, and I haven’t tested the YA market.

But … it was especially fun when fellow WordPress blogger, Mike Akin of sumthissumthat, decided to read my first book. Mike is working on his first novel, and I’ve recently had the pleasure of reading some of the beginning of his work, and it’s shaping up into a great story.

He is my first male reader (that I’m aware of) other than my husband. I have been tickled pink about this, and I want to share some of his email messages with you. The messages are sent to me from his phone, so there is no expectation of perfect punctuation or grammar.  We just go with it and laugh.

These are all separate emails – some days with more than one. Many of the smiley faces have been removed. We smile at each other a lot. His words are in bold, and we start with this note:

9/26I just saw your books on my iBooks app!! That is so freaking cool!! I’m corresponding with a famous person. I’ll be buying the first one later today!! This is so exciting lol

After I assured him my books were no great works of art, but they were fun, he replied:
I’m just tickled to death  lol  have a great day my friend … I love that he gets “tickled,” too.

I’ll kick your butt in racquetball   … Oops, not a comment about the book. We were one-upping each other in sports.


10/01
Bought your first book 🙂 how can I get it autographed? Lol

I’m reading it and like it!!


10/02
I love the description of play on the racquetball court in the scene where she first met mick

I replied to him:  Squee!!  Thank you.

He immediately wrote back: What was that sound? Image

I replied: That was me being excited and happy.  Kind of like a pig squeal.

In reference to one of the scenes in the book: Two aces to finish a match! I did that once or twice 🙂

Love it! That meeting in the pub, the harmless flirting lol I hope I’m reading the first one, sunshine hunter is the first right? Or does it matter? I’m sure it does. Again, I guess I’m hooked 🙂


10/3 –
(paraphrase from a line in the book) “He held my arms it’s a good thing cause I might have fallen down” … That’s good lol

wow I’m breezing right thru it. I think Susan needs to hook up with Darby

A side note about Susan and Darby after I showed him my two opening paragraphs for my fifth book I just started writing:
Wow Bonnie and Clyde lol GREAT

wow Darby is still around in next book I’m so looking forward to reading more


10/4 –
(paraphrase) “Susan you know I love you, and would love to date you, but (removed spoiler text).”  Great great

After I told him that the guy across the hall from Susan’s apartment opened his door, and the character was created just like that with no planning:
That’s cool about Darby. So he just appeared as a character and you went with it? I think I did that with Nancy’s sister Grace. Lol She will be in the story line thru out, but I don’t know how much 🙂


10/5 –
Food channel is referenced a lot in your book
I promptly responded: I like to cook. And eat.

Loved reading about the matches Susan had at that club in Florida. It brings back memories

Lol that is funny! Loudermilk for a last name 🙂


10/09 –
I loved the way (chapter) 9 ended! Shocker


10/11 –
I really like how your story took that twist with Susan and the (spoiler text removed) character 🙂 kudos to you

He’s so deep into the book, there would be too many spoilers now, so that’s all I’m sharing, but this has been a real hoot for me that a grown manly man is reading my book and enjoying it. It’s a real morale booster, and the rest of you men out there should take note and give my book a try. Sunshine Hunter – only 99 cents at fine ebook sellers online.

And below the fold is this bit of news I promised I’d share. My 50-book sale to ONE person at Smashwords has finally been reversed. The announcement was posted on their site that there were fraudulent credit card sales and all have been reversed this month. The secret admirer angle was a little too good to be true. ImageI have no questions to draw you in today, so we lapse into an awkward pause.

Ooh – or you can tell me what question(s) I should have asked. Or you can go over to Mike’s blog and have a look around. He has some of his wife’s art there, and he even has some manly recipes.