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Fight for Absolution - My Red Headed Step Child

Click here to see this book in the Amazon store
I have decided to put Fight for Absolution free today. In the midst of Fire Escape, the third took in my Troubled Heroes Series going live, it seems that my books not included in this series have been somewhat neglected... I guess you could say that they have become the red headed step children in my library. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled at the fact that the launch of the third book in my Mikey series has done so well, but I need to give some TLC to my other babies as well.

For those who are not too familiar with the book, here is the description:

Ryan Shay wants to forget his past.  Memories of an abusive childhood, betrayal from his family, and failure to trust anyone have held him captive his whole life. Afraid to confront his demons, it's a miracle he hasn't wound up a statistic in the war on drugs. Having no real purpose or reason to get better, he has failed several rehab stints and has always gone back to the one thing he finds comfort in - drugs and alcohol.  After being accused of stealing from a local dealer, suffering from an overdose, and learning he might have a son, Ryan finds a strong reason to break the chains of his addictive past and end the cycle of his shameful ways.  He is determined to become clean, despite the constant negativity sent his way from his friends and society.  His success is not only for himself, but for someone who desperately needs him.  What could be viewed as a careless mistake to many is possibly the one thing that might save Ryan Shay's life.

I also have included a note from the author, and if you're interested, here is what I had to say about the process of writing this particular book and why I chose to do something so dark:

A note from J.R. -
-Reader discretion advised -- this book contains some graphic content.
Forgiveness won't change the past - but can do a lot for a future. This book was an idea I have thought about for several years.  I am fascinated with the human mind, from addictions, to deep rooted psychology - it is a topic I'm always thinking about.  This story poured out and I wrote it faster than any book I've ever mused about. I was a bit worried about the subject matter at first, which is why it took me so long to actually give the idea a second thought, but now that it is published, I am thankful I did it. It became a journey far more exciting, emotional, and thrilling than I ever imagined it could be. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I hope that it doesn't scare readers away. In general, the book is quite dark at times, but sadly, is realistic to what many people go through in life. It isn't fantasy, it isn't something so far out there that it's unbelievable - people live with addictions and demons everyday, and I wanted to share Ryan Shay's story to those who were interested to give hope, faith, and a reason for others to try and take that huge step out to save their own lives.
Please help spread the word.... My Troubled Heroes Series is doing well and I would love for Fight for Absolution and Ryan's story to come out of the shadows and stand right along side Mikey and his story. I love both of these characters.
Happy reading! Spring is almost here!!!

Fitness Followup - One Month in to 2014!

As I sat down to write this blog today, I came to terms with myself that there are probably thousands of blogs geared toward weight loss, working out, and keeping inspiration going. It is now February 1st - a whole month has passed since about 90% of the population makes resolutions to eat right, work out, and stay on track. My question to you is, are you still sticking to your resolution? As stated, a month has progressed.... 4 weeks.... Take a second to think about what you told yourself at the turn of the new year.

That brings me to my next point -

"Dedication is doing what you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has passed."

This means that you have to stick with working out like you told yourself on December 31st. The "I'm too tired" excuses need to be kicked out of the window. Some people choose to workout early before they go to work, others do it in the evenings and on weekends. I personally do it after work and hit it hard on the weekends.... Am I tired after I get home from work? YOU BET.

Personally, I don't ever set a New Year's Resolution. May 10, 2014 will be my year anniversary of working out regularly, and by regularly I mean 4-5 days a week for 30+ minutes. Of course I had a few off weeks in the mix, but I didn't let those set me back for my over all work out plan. Why do you need January 1st to make a lifestyle change? Hell, if we're going to get down to it, why even wait for a Monday? I hear so many people say "My diet starts Monday..." Why? Why not today? Why not now? There's no rule saying you have to start on a certain day.

There is an office competition going on at work that started after the new year. It is a "Biggest Loser" contest where participants weigh in every Thursday and the nutritionist in our office takes a percentage of total body weight loss. She tallies it up by that, and the top three will win a cash prize. I'm not taking part in the contest. Many have asked me why, seeing as I've developed an excellent workout routine I've been on since May. My answer is simply this - I do NOT believe in stepping on the scale. Before I get too far into why, let me just clarify a myth that I hear so many people saying.... Muscle does NOT weight more than fat - a pound is a pound whether it's feathers or bricks.... It is just a lot more dense and does not take up near as much space.... Which in turn means if you're working out, you're toning muscle and replacing fat cells. Some people's weight does not change, and in some cases, even goes up, yet it is quite obvious that they are not as "big" as they used to be. Don't even get me started on how much I disagree with the BMI chart.... that's a blog for another day! Long story short, it makes athletes look obese when it is quite obvious they're not even close to it!

Here is a good picture of the comparison, so I'll let you come to your own conclusions. Anyway, going back to the contest at work... I hear so many grumblings and disappointment on Thursday mornings after people weigh in. Some are discouraged by the fact that their weight hasn't changed or gone up. I ask them if they've been working out - most say yes. Hmm... call me crazy, but I think my hatred of the scale is justified - these people who haven't changed in weight (but have obviously lost some inches) claim they just want to give up. Why? We are 4 weeks into the contest.... It didn't take 4 weeks (in most cases) to gain the weight... why the heck would it only take 4 weeks to start losing inches?? If it were that easy, I wouldn't be sitting here today typing about people bailing on their weight loss and workout resolutions.... everyone would do it without breaking a sweat!

If you want a great way to track your progress, measure yourself. Do NOT get on the scale. Another good judge is how your clothes are fitting. Go by that. The scale does NOT define you or your progress.

Why go on this rant of the horrible scale you might have tucked somewhere in your bathroom? It stems back to new years resolutions and how people are so quick to give up. A lot of it can be blamed on people getting on that scale and not liking the number that pops up. Throw the damn thing away! I dread Thursday mornings when so many people get down on themselves. We are only 4 weeks in. I think maybe they should go by inches lost and not even worry about the scale.

I've made great progress on my workout journey. I'd state how many pounds are gone, but like I said, I won't step on the scale. It'll totally make the sky fall on me and I'm not going to do that to myself. All I know is this - when I first started, I couldn't run a complete mile. I would tell myself 30 minutes or 2 miles (with walking added in), whichever comes first.... Now I look down at my watch and am well over 2 miles when I hit the thirty minute mark.... and I don't stop there. I consider 2 miles a very short distance and most days, use it as a warm up before I pick the intensity up. If I could do it.... you can too!

One last thing before I go... and keep this in mind on days where you feel like a busted tube of biscuits -

Give it more than 12 weeks. A year from now you'll wish you started today! Back to the first sentence of this blog - I'm totally aware of how many blogs are out there pertaining to this - Do I care? Not that there's already a ton - I'll care more if this could reach at least one person and give them that boost.