Featured Books

Get Happy, Get Healthy

When I saw today was National Health & Fitness Day, it took me back in time. Like many people, I wasn’t a big fitness fan. It’s rough making a commitment to the gym. Who wants to sweat , intentionally get out of breath and feel sore the next day? Not me. But those years of being able to eat a bag of Doritos for breakfast with a chocolate shake without consequence were long gone. These days just looking at a cheesecake added weight to my waist and thighs. I’d never been a big salad person, I like meat and carbohydrates! Don’t get me started on cheese, delicious dips and fried food either. Getting older sucks.

I refused to buy bigger clothes, so instead I bought a gym membership and was excited to start. The first day I walked on the treadmill for twenty minutes and rewarded myself with a burger and fries for lunch. I’d earned it, right? After two weeks of doing that, nothing had changed. I’d actually gained a pound and I was still sluggish and tired. When I joined the gym, they offered me 3 free personal training sessions but I ignored them. After zero success doing it on my own, I decided to give the training a try. The day I trained with Daniel was one I’ll never forget. He had me doing jumping jacks between arm bars, squats and lunges between sprints on the exercise bike…the brutality went on for an hour and it was torture. The following three days I could barely move. I decided the gym wasn’t for me and threw in the towel.

About a month later, I was at a bridal shower where I met my now good friend Meagan. Somehow the topic of working out came up and I divulged my story about Daniel the boot camp master. Meagan admitted that my experience was a sour one, but told me working out didn’t have to be hell. Within twenty minutes, she convinced me to work out with her. That following Sunday we met up and she showed me a few things. Meagan, who used to be a Pilates instructor, explained a few simple stretches and put me on the elliptical for 20 minutes. My heart rate went up, but I didn’t feel like dying. After that, she showed me some low resistance arm exercises and a few machines that worked my legs and abs, all with minimal or no weight added. We were done in under an hour and to my surprise, I actually felt pretty good. The next morning, I woke up feeling great. I slept solid the whole night through, which is rare for me. Meagan also sent me some links to healthy cooking sites. Who knew heavy cream and pesto had so many calories? *shakes fist*

It’s been 18 months since my first workout with Meagan. It was a little difficult getting into a routine and making time for the gym. But she told me it takes 21 days to form a habit and after that it would become second nature. Once again, she was right. This also applied to healthy eating. I still splurge every now and then on pizza or a delicious bacon burger, but I don’t feel guilty. Most likely because I cook almost every night and have incorporated well balanced meals into my diet. Small changes in portions and ingredients make a huge change. I may not look like Jillian Michaels, but I can wear a swimsuit in public now and feel confident. I couldn’t have said that two years ago! I also have more energy, my skin is clear, and I’m not hiding behind baggy clothes. It’s truly an awesome feeling!

If you’re looking to make some healthy lifestyle changes, don’t do what I did and go overboard on your first attempt. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Set realistic goals and push through it. If you’re looking for a little motivation, you should look into No More Aerobics by Paula Williams. She’s been a personal fitness coach for over 30 years and offers great advice about getting in shape and getting your life on track.

Promoting Tolerance: Play Your Part

We’ve taken so many steps forward as a civilization to put an end to discrimination, yet it still exists.  The concept of equality is a simple one: People should be treated and viewed as equal in status, rights and opportunities. It seems easy enough to follow, so why do some choose to ignore it? Beat’s me. I’ve attended enough lectures and read enough psychology books to understand that character traits (some, not all) are learned behaviors. Whether it came from mom or dad, teachers, friends, or even a bully – people often repeat what they have learned, heard, or experienced. The nice thing about this theory is that if it works on negative connotations, then it would also work on positive ones. Meaning, if someone develops a negative frame of mind over a specific viewpoint or aspect in life, then it has potential for change by incorporating positivity. Sound complicated? It’s not. Be positive and spread tolerance and it will rub off.

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.” – John F. Kennedy

At BookRix, we embrace the differences among our members and encourage differences of opinion. We don’t discriminate against book topics or themes and we encourage our members to keep an open mind. On our BookRix Germany site, one of our best selling books is on the topic of gay erotica. They’ve successfully developed a large fan base and are achieving their goals as an independent writer. We couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments! But as you know, there is always someone with an opposing view who is unable to keep the peace. We’re not going to put anyone on notice here, that’s not the point of today’s blog. But we recognize intolerance when we see it, and we need you to recognize it as well. Those discriminated against need our support the most. We’re not asking you to fight their battle, embrace their opinion, or try to shame anyone. That defeats the purpose entirely. What we’re asking is that you support the person on the receiving end of the injustice and do your part to promote peace and tolerance. Remember, being supportive doesn’t mean you share the same views. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Offering support simply means that you accept their equal rights. A little goes a long way.

On that note, we’d like to recognize one of our BookRix authors who has written about various topics and themes that push the boundaries of social norms. Xicano Sol’s book tags include: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Bicurious, Questioning, LGBT, etc., and we know from experience that book topics such as these can easily become targets for opposing beliefs and hate. This is exactly why we support them and their effort to make their voice heard. And we sincerely hope that you do the same.

“The responsibility of tolerance lies with those who have the wider vision.” – George Elliot

Once Upon A Time, It Was Fairy Tale Day

Having fairy tales read to you as a kid is somewhat of a childhood staple. Whether your parents made them up as they went along (my dad’s favorite thing to do) or they pulled from the classics, almost all fairy tales had a moral. I think morals were introduced to encourage good behavior in kids. Be good or else! And it worked relatively well in my case. Not to toot my morality horn or anything, but I picked up on what to do and what not to do (within reason) very fast. I learned not to be greedy (The Goose that laid the Golden Egg), to take proper precaution and not to cut corners on projects (The Three Little Pigs), to dream big and believe in myself (Jack and the Beanstalk), and not to be a prissy little brat (Goldilocks). All in all, I think I turned out alright.

Today, in case you haven’t figured it out, is Fairy Tale Day. Sure it might sound a little silly if you’re an adult, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re bored at work or are working on writing project that has you brain dead, take a break and write a fairy tale. It can be geared towards kids, written for adults only, or just something you do to pass the time. Whatever you decide, just start off with ‘Once upon a time….’ and see where your imagination wanders. Don’t worry too much about setting a plot or establishing a moral to your story. Just let go and write. I’ve got a million ideas buzzing around my head and can’t wait to get started. C’mon and join me. It’ll be fuuuuuuuuun!

If you’re looking for some fairy tale inspiration, check out Joined By Love by Tatyana Black on BookRix. Her tags “romance, love, fantasy, healer’ should be enough to peak your interest. But in case you want to know more, you can read her book blurb below.

ANGELIQUE: Angèle and her grandparents will always be grateful for Angelique’s kind heart. If it hadn’t been for her, Angèle’s grandfather would have been dead years ago. Angelique had been a great woman. She had cured lots of people during the french revolution and in the end, gave her life for those who had loved her.COLETTE: A prince is searching for a princess, Rapunzel to be exact. He travels far and at last finds the tower he was looking for. But a surprise awaits him as he calls out to her and her braid cascades down the tower.

“Evol”: A Review and A Giveaway

Book for Review: Evol by Jess Wygle

Genre: Thriller

Blurb: What doesn’t kill you…

“I will do whatever it takes to keep us together. Nothing can keep us apart. You’re mine now.” She’d love him just as he loved her. She had to. She didn’t have a choice.

In love and happily living the life she always dreamed of, Venna Caldwell doesn’t know she is the object of a secret obsession. Until one night when she’s home alone and her stalker finally acts on his fantasies, dragging her into a sadistic nightmare that she barely escapes. Running for her life, from a man who will never stop hunting her, Venna reaches out to her estranged half-brother, grasping desperately at what little hope she has left. How far will she go to keep out of the clutches of the unrelenting monster that’s hungry for her?

My Review:

Normally, I’m the kind of reader who picks up popular fiction and reads new books by old favourites. However, over the past year or so, I’ve found myself frequently stepping outside my good ol’ comfort zone to find something new. Indie authors are my newest craze and I can’t see this fad ending anytime soon. Evol was one of my first ever Thrillers (aside from some John Grisham that I tried for a lark back in high school, and the time I read Crime and Punishment, which is totally a Thriller in my mind…), and if reading a book from start to finish in the course of an afternoon, afraid to stop for fear of physical harm to the characters and looking under the bed before going to sleep is what reading a Thriller is like, well, then, let’s just say I’m HOOKED.

The story opens in England with a lovely introduction to Venna, the heroine and main character of Evol. Venna is beautiful and talented and in love with her fiance, Luke. She has the lead role in the upcoming production of The Phantom of the Opera and she couldn’t be happier. The perfect set-up for a major disaster, am I right?

After being kidnapped by her long-term (but completely unknown) stalker, Merrick, she wakes up in the hospital, only to realize that her nightmares about the last 17 days really are true. The reader is offered brief glimpses (via flashback) to her ordeals with Merrick, small hints to the torture that she endured. Covered in scars and bruising, her family tries to help her move past, what they can only imagine to be, the worst thing that will ever happen to her. At this point, the reader is thinking, “No way could it get any worse”… but that’s just wishful thinking, isn’t it?

The third part of the story has Venna alone and running for her life. Merrick has promised that they will be together and she will be HIS, and now she knows he won’t stop until he has fulfilled his promise. She flees to the United States in hopes that her long-lost half brother, Dorian (don’t you love these names?), will be willing to help her. Lucky for Venna, Dorian is a stand-up guy who opens his door and his life to help his broken shell of a sister. And now the hiding begins. My anxiety at this point, was so high that I had to make myself some hot cocoa to calm my nerves.

Now we’re hiding with Venna, Dorian, and Dorian’s hunk-of-a-friend Lane. Venna’s increasing paranoia makes it hard for them to even pretend they’re living a normal life. As a girl, I completely sided with Venna on everything. Sure, she’s overly worried every second of the day, and she hides knives under the couch and beside the toilet and in her bedside table, but to be honest, after what she went through, I’d probably do the same. And now we’re waiting, wondering when Merrick is going to find her and when we’re finally going to be able to breath again.

I don’t want to say anymore about the story, for fear of spoiling it for everyone else, but I will say this – the ending is completely worth it. All the fear and anxiety that the reader goes through is completely made worth your while in the nerve-wracking excitement of the final battle between good and evil… or should I say “Evol”. Even if Thrillers aren’t your thing, there’s really nothing NOT to like about this book. If I were a giver of stars, I would be giving this 5 out of 5.

If you want to learn more about the author, Jess Wygle, and her books, you can visit her BookRix profile page HERE, or check out her personal blog HERE.

AND now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for – THE GIVEAWAY!
At the end of the tour, BookRix will be giving away a $100 Amazon gift card, a BookRix Sampler Pack (several great eBooks published by BookRix members), 2 eBooks by Jess Wygle and also an Evol t-shirt (as pictured below). You know you want it, so sign-up for the giveaway for your chance to win!


Evol t-shirt
A Rafflecopter Giveaway

BookRix Blog Tour – Stop by for great GIVEAWAYS!

BookRix is hosting its first book blog tour, thanks to the help of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and BookRix author, Jess Wygle. If you don’t already know about book blog tours, I’m here to get you in the know. Basically, it’s just like a real book tour, but instead of sending the author and the book to a series of cities in the span of a month, we are sending Jess Wygle and her book, Evol, to 20+ book blogs between today, February 22nd and March 24th. Each stop on the tour will feature one or more of the following:
1. A book review – to get readers interested in the book, and to give everyone a better understanding of what happens in the story.
2. An author interview – to learn more about Jess and her writing.
3. A guest post - with something fun written by Jess on an assortment of topics.
4. A PROMO – to, well, promote.

There will also be giveaways (at almost every single stop!) offering prizes like $10-$25 Amazon gift cards, free eBooks, t-shirts and the final big giveaway from the BookRix blog will be a $100 Amazon gift card and an assortment of eBooks. Basically, you’re going to want to follow Jess around on her tour and you’re going to want to buy her book.

This is the best way to show your support for indie authors (like yourselves) who are trying to promote their self-published books (like yours) and live the dream (which is the same as yours)… I think you know where I’m going with this. Tell your friends and help us make our first blog tour a successful one. Who knows, you might be the next one chosen to go on tour?

Visit the tour schedule by clicking HERE. The BookRix stop is on Monday, February 25th. You’ll also find that some of your fellow community members are hosting at their blogs.

Books by Jess Wygle:

Love Your Pet Day!

Pets of BookRix! Top left: Abby, Top Right: Misfit, Middle left: Sparkles the fish, Middle Right: Remus, Bottom Left: Gaius, Bottom Right: Raven

BookRix Pets. From Top left to right: Abby, Misfit, Sparkles the fish, Remus, Gaius, and Raven.

There are two types of people in this world: Those who love animals and those who don’t. I like to believe the latter don’t actually exist, despite the existence of the Humane Society and the ASPCA. Take my money, but please don’t subject me to your heartbreaking commercials or television specials. Ever.

As an animal lover, I was undoubtedly thrilled when I learned today is Love Your Pet day! On all accounts, my pets are doused with love and affection daily. But adding a little extra something doesn’t hurt, right? After all, we’ve got Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas to spoil our loved ones, so why not dote on your pooch, kitty, feathered or reptilian friends once a year?

At BookRix, we LOVE our pets. One could argue that we love them a teeny bit too much at times. But today we’ve all committed to spoiling our critters rotten. I, for one, am a cooking fanatic. I don’t claim to be the next Julia Child, but I know my way around a cookbook (and my kitchen) so when I found this recipe for chewy cat treats, well… you can guess. Hey, we all enjoy a home cooked meal, so why should pets be any different? And if you’re looking for a fun way to pamper your pup, maybe take him out to the clip and curl so he can show off his shiny coat to the neighborhood hounds. There’s nothing cuter than a freshly bathed pooch, looking and feeling their best. It’s as if they glow! If you’re not a four legged friend fan, and prefer the company of feathers, check out these relatively inexpensive toys at Petsmart. If you’re crafty, I’ll be you could make little Tweedy a nifty new toy with the help of Pinterest. Check out this one I found here! Easy peasy.

And while we’re on the topic of pets, you should really scope out our BookRix library because we have a plethora of amazing titles to tickle your reading fancy. Not sure where to start? Check out three of our favorite animal themed ebooks below. Each are unique and enjoyable reads. Add them to your favorites to read later or download now and get your read on!


Grab the BookRix Button

BookRix Between the Lines


BookRix Between the Lines

BookRix Blog Buddies

Reading Addiction Blog Tours Me, My Shelf and I Parajunkee Design When A Southern Woman Rambles