Oct 262016
 

It’s a new school year for my kids–the time of year where many people, including me, are compelled to make fresh starts. And that is what I am doing. This past year I smacked into a mid-life “awakening” (we won’t call it a crisis – even though it has felt like that sometimes).

Do you know what I mean? That feeling that something with life isn’t quite right, but you’re not exactly sure what the problem is. That you need to change, but you don’t know how or even what to change.

I’ve read books and perused websites, even worked with a life coach. One thing that became very clear while I was doing research is that I’m not the only person who feels this way. A lot of people get the urge to move around the puzzle pieces of their life into a different configuration when they reach the middle of their life. The image above is the centerpiece of a vision board I did with my life coach, and it says a lot about how I feel right now.

I’ve been quiet on my website and social media over the summer as I’ve decided what, exactly, I want to do. Okay, I admit, that the plan is more fluid than exact, but you know what? That’s wonderful! When things are moving…they aren’t stuck. And who wants to feel like their life is stuck in a rut?

For quite a few years I have focused my social media and author platform toward my career as a culinary mystery writer. But there’s a lot more in my life than cooking and writing mysteries. So I’m going to start sharing more of my interests in the hope that maybe someone else will enjoy them too. A lot of things will be changing from the look of this website to the style of my newsletters. (Do you subscribe to my newsletter? I hope you do because the new format will be launching soon, and I can’t wait to share it with you!) I’m writing new books, but at a slower pace since I’m also focusing on my family, and uncovering tools to navigate through this mid-life reinvention.

Some of the things that I plan to share are on the new age-y side, or as I say…woo-woo. If that’s not your thing and you no longer want to follow my blog or get my newsletter, no big deal. Feel free to unsubscribe, because life is too short to spend time reading things that you don’t enjoy. If you stick around I hope you find something useful…or that makes you smile…or that gives you an aha moment. I’m taking the scenic route, instead of the freeway, through this part of my life. I can’t wait to share some of the stops with you!

 

 

 

Oct 112016
 

meditateyourweightMeditate Your Weight
By Tiffany Cruikshank
Published by Harmony Books

This book brings together two things that I, and probably many other people, would like to accomplish: a meditation practice and weight loss. The book begins with the benefits of meditating. That alone convinced me to try my hand at meditation. Not only does meditating, for as little as five to ten minutes a day, help relieve stress and other psychological issues, it can also physically affect your body by resetting an imbalanced endocrine system, reducing systemic inflation, and many other benefits.

Since weight loss is both mental and physical, this book has a 21-day “retreat” program to reboot your metabolism and attitude toward food. How? Through targeted meditations. Every day there is a new topic to meditate about, such as nourishment or vitality. There is an explanation on why the daily subject is important, followed by directions on how to do the specific meditation. Then you are asked to answer some questions in a journal to further explore the topic. Each day also has a different mantra, such as “I am healthy”, and some tips on building awareness–things to keep in mind on the subject as you go about your day.

The program is set up so that anybody can do it, even people who have never meditated before. Meditation times start out at a very doable three minutes and end after the three weeks at seventeen minutes. Then after the retreat program ends there is advice on how to continue with the meditation and weight loss journey.

I found it to be a wonderful book with a very friendly tone and lots of interesting information. It truly has made me look at meditation and struggles with weight loss differently. In fact, I began a regular meditation practice because of it.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

 

 October 11, 2016  Posted by  Review Tags:  2 Responses »
Jun 142016
 

Banana Muffins & Mayhem Treasure Hunt Blog Tour

Welcome to the Banana Muffins & Mayhem Treasure Hunt Blog Tour!

Banana Muffins & Mayhem was just released, so I’m having a blog tour and grand prize giveaway to celebrate. Stop by the blogs listed below to learn more about my new book…and me. :) Each blog has a letter that helps spell a secret phrase which can earn you bonus points in the Grand Prize Giveaway – A Muffin Baker’s Prize Pack.

You can enter the giveaway any time you want (like right now!) without the secret phrase. After the blog tour is over and you know the phrase, just come back and fill in the Rafflecopter at the end of this post to earn the extra points. Want an easy way to keep track? Click here for a Google Doc to print out and record the letters.

6/14 – My Cozy Book Nook has Letter #3

6/15 – Book Babble has Letter #5

6/16 – Life’s A Stage has Letter #8

6/17 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews has Letter #1

6/18 – Joy’s Book Blog has Letter #4

6/20 – Knyttwytch’s Crafts and Stuff has Letter #7

6/22 – Savvy Verse & Wit has Letter #2

6/24 – Romancing The Books has Letter #6

What could the extra points from the secret phrase help you win?

MuffinPrizePack

A Muffin Baker’s Prize Pack containing: a square muffin tin with silicone liners, a cake & pancake pen, measuring spoons, a dry measuring cup set, a liquid measuring cup, a silicone spatula, and a banana nut muffin baking mix.

Contest open to US residents only. I will email the winner when the contest is over on June 30, 2016. Winner has 1 week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Entries will only be accepted by the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Jun 142016
 

What time is it??? It’s time to release a new book!

Banana Muffins & Mayhem is the 5th book in my Culinary Competition Mystery Series

On Sale Now for Only $.99 – For A Limited Time

Just click on the links below and get your copy today!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00001]

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo     Smashwords

 

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 June 14, 2016  Posted by  The Culinary Competition Series, Writing Update Tags: , ,  Comments Off on Banana Muffins & Mayhem’s Release Day!
May 032016
 

My next book, Banana Muffins & Mayhem, will be released on June 14. To celebrate I’ll be doing a blog tour from June 14 to June 30, 2016. I would love to have a lot of blogging friends join me!

It will be a treasure hunt, of sorts. After I close signups, I’ll come up with a phrase connected to the book. Each tour stop will be assigned a letter in the phrase. People will then be able to enter a grand prize drawing, hosted on my website, by visiting all of the blogs and spelling out the phrase on an entry form.

If you have a blog and would like to host a tour stop, please fill out the form below (Can’t see the form? Here’s a direct linkhttp://goo.gl/forms/3kA74FW44P) You can sign up now through May 14. Please note that days are not exclusive and there may be more than one tour stop per day. After the signup period ends, I’ll contact each blog owner and assign the post a letter.

I’m really looking forward to doing this tour. I hope everybody will have fun! If you have any questions you can ask them at the bottom of the form or email me directly at janelg.author (at) gmail (dot) com.

Apr 142016
 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00001]Here it is – the cover for my next book! I can’t believe the release is only a few months away, sometime in June. My publisher and I are busy working on edits, cover blurbs, and nailing down a release date. So stay tuned – lots more information to come!

Apr 072016
 

Pies & Peril

No, I’m not doing some kind of riff on an old Madonna song. This is much more exciting! The first book in my bestselling Culinary Competition Mystery Series, Pies & Peril, is free for the very first time since it was published – now through April 24, 2016. If you haven’t read the book yet, or think someone you know would like to read it, this is a chance to give it a try for free.

 

 

Feb 232016
 

I’m guest posting at the Fresh Fiction blog today, talking about how one of my recent foodie finds was a bit more exotic than usual. If you’re in the path of the same storm that is heading toward Michigan right now, maybe you’d like to make a big pot of bean soup from the recipe in the post. There’s also a giveaway! Click here to go to the post.

Don’t forget, there is an Anniversary Sale for “Chicken Soup & Homicide” right now. The second book in my Culinary Competition Series is one-year old and on sale for only $.99 until February 25.

 February 23, 2016  Posted by  Uncategorized Comments Off on Guest Post at Fresh Fiction
Feb 142016
 

BetterThanBeforeBetter Than Before
By Gretchen Rubin

It’s that time of year. When resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Many of us have the best intentions to start the year fresh with a bounty of new, life-improving habits. But many times what we intend to do and what we end up doing are very different. It isn’t easy to establish new habits or break destructive ones.

“Better Than Before” isn’t a one-size fits all solution to forming habits. Instead of giving general advice which could work for some people, Ms. Rubin realizes that every person has a different habit-forming personality. First she helps readers decide on what disposition they have: Upholder, Obliger, Rebel or Questioner. Building on that basis she goes on to help people decide their habit-forming styles: lark or owl, sprinter or marathoner, simplicity or abundance lover, etc. These sections were a real eye-opener for me. I loved that it provided a way to zero in on habit establishing methods that work the best. Plus I had never really thought about how beneficial habits are. Of course, if you eat good foods and exercise you will be healthier. But habits also free up mental space. When you do something by habit, you don’t need to think about whether you want or don’t want to do something.

The rest of the book goes through different ways to establish habits like scheduling, abstaining or using rewards. Ms. Rubin gives examples from her own life as well as from her friends and people who have commented on her blog. And the many examples really drive home the point that people form habits differently. So many times I read how Ms. Rubin established a habit, and I would just shake my head. There is no way I would try the methods myself. Most of them sounded like torture since I have a different style than she does. And that is the beauty of this book. Once you decide what style works best for you, there is an abundance of advice to help you establish habits. Personally I found the advice Ms. Rubin dispensed to her sister and brother in-law, both television series writers, to be very helpful. My copy of the book is full of highlights and notes which I plan to use to start my own set of healthy, productive and efficient habits.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

 February 14, 2016  Posted by  General, Review Tags:  2 Responses »
Dec 172015
 

Fudge Brownies & Murder by Janel Gradowski

It’s release day for the fourth book in my Culinary Competition Mystery Series – Fudge Brownies & Murder! The ebook will be on sale for $2.99 (that’s less than the price of a peppermint mocha) for today and tomorrow only – December 17 & 18. If you would like to possibly indulge in some brownies while you’re reading it, check out my Skillet Brownie Giveaway.

I have to say, 2015 has been a pretty awesome writing year for me. I started and ended the year by releasing new books (with another novel and short story in between). Plus, I’m almost done writing Book #5 in the series. Phew! I think I’m going to put my feet up, grab a mug of hot cocoa, and enjoy the holidays with my family. :)