Summer Reading: Books About Health and Wellbeing

The summer is a great time to catch up on reading. There are many types of books you can get lost in on a summer day, including romance novels, detective novels, biographies … and the list goes on.

You also might want to read books on how you can improve your health and wellbeing. These books will give you guidance for boosting your quality of life. If this is the type of reading you would like to be doing this summer, here are a few books that are recommended.

5 Books About Health and Wellbeing

The Silent Path by Avinash Ramakrishna

Many people are able to improve their mental health through meditation and spirituality. In this book, the author helps readers explore their inner selves to find out who they truly are. He explains mediation, enlightenment, and provides readers with the tools they need to help them better understand life.

Solid Ground by T.W. Lewis

Finding ways to improve your professional and personal relationships can provide a healthier mindset overall. In this book, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and author T.W. Lewis provides advice that will help you find your passion and purpose. He believes that these building blocks will allow his readers to lead more fulfilled and productive lives.

Inside Poop by Scott W. Webb

This title might not sound appealing to everyone, but those with digestive disorders should consider adding this one to their summer reading list. Webb is a colon therapist who provides readers with medical wisdom about their health and wellbeing. He includes advice on how to cleanse your colon to reduce the risk of disease, improve digestive issues, maintain a healthy weight, and even boost your mental state.

Diabetes Head to Toe by Rita Kalyani

Diabetes is a serious disease that requires proper care and management. This book features information compiled from the world’s leading doctors including the best methods for care and prevention. It also includes breaking news and the latest updates in the diabetes medical industry.

Eat Drink and Be Healthy by Walter C. Willett, M.D.

In this book, Willett gives recommendations on healthy eating while debunking popular diet myths. He exposes the problems with popular diet plans and provides valuable information on how to choose the foods that are right for you based on nutrients, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, food groups, and other relevant factors.

While reading books can provide insight on healthier living, the information is useless unless you carry the recommended practices out in real life. Natural Healthy Concepts is an online retailer that provides a wide variety of health and wellness products that can relieve stress, improve your diet, minimize pain, and get you looking and feeling your best. The items they sell will help you reach the health and wellness goals these authors are hoping you achieve.  

This summer, why not take advantage of the long, lazy afternoons to get some much-needed reading done? Which of these books will you be adding to your library? 

Barx Buddy Review: What Makes Barx Buddy Special?

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Choosing to bring home a new dog can bring a lot of joy into your home. But there’s a lot of decisions to be made, from who will lead the caregiving, to what kind of food they’ll eat. Another big decision to make is how you want to train your dog. A new ultrasonic device called BarxBuddy caught my eye after I read this 2020 review of the product. Then, I found this TechonLoop.com feature about the dog trainer, so I thought I would review Barx Buddy myself. What makes Barx Buddy special from other dog training devices and techniques?

Barx Buddy keeps the training in your home

Whether you’re looking to train a young puppy, an older adoption, or retrain a dog who is already a part of your family, I think it’s best to train your dogs on your own. If you bring your dog to outside classes, your dog will think that someone else is the boss and will be trained to listen to them. They may also get confused with who is really in charge or get distracted if the classes are in a group setting. With an at-home training device like Barx Buddy, you’re able to train your dog 24/7, whenever you see a prime opportunity, and you can be sure the training is being reinforced in the home.

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Barx Buddy is a simple device

Barx Buddy is a simple yet high-tech device. It emits an ultrasonic noise that only dogs can hear, and don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt them one bit. But it does get their attention. So next time your dog is barking incessantly, chewing at the pillows, or exhibiting other unruly behavior, you can reach for your Barx Buddy and emit the ultrasonic sound. The device also comes equipped with an LED-light, to also help get your dog’s attention. Once they’ve calmed down, and have stopped acting out, you can have them sit still for a few minutes. Once they’re fully calm and under control, you can give them some positive reinforcement, such as their favorite treat. Because this device is so simple, it’s easy to integrate into your everyday life.

Barx Buddy is small and portable

When you turn to outside training classes, your best training opportunities may happen in the “classroom.” With the Barx Buddy, you have a prime training tool at your disposal, to use whenever you see fit. The dog training device is handy and is small and portable. This means you can take it with you on walks, leave several in different spots around the house, and even take it in the car on road trips. Barx Buddy is also multipurpose: it can be used to ward off unruly dogs you run into on your walks and protect both you and your dog from unwanted encounters.

Try Barx Buddy dog training device worry-free

It’s easy to decide to try the Barx Buddy, to see if it’s a good fit for your family, and your beloved dog. The device comes with a 30-day worry-free return policy, as well as free shipping. Plus, customers get 50% off their first order. For more information, you can head over to BarxBuddy’s website, and keep up with the latest on their Facebook and Twitter.

Death By Proxy – Free Short Story

This is a short story I wrote for a Halloween contest. Thought I’d post it here for anyone’s viewing pleasure and to help gear you up for Halloween!

It was pitch black. Cory couldn’t see a thing. But she could smell the dirt,  feel the biting chill. She didn’t know where she was, only that it was cold.
Her clothes were gone. She wished that she could move, but ropes around her wrists and ankles kept her prostrate on the hard ground. A cloth was stuck in her mouth with duct tape over her lips. The last thing she remembered was a hooded shadow jumping out and jabbing a syringe in her neck. She had no idea how long she’d been out.
There were no sounds to indicate her abductor in the vicinity.
As if to contradict her thoughts, there came a sliding movement near her leg. Cory held still, not wanting to alert the other presence that she was awake. Suddenly, another movement came from the other side, this time brushing up against her hip.
She recoiled at the sensation of cool, reptilian skin brushing against hers. Cory hoped it wasn’t what she thought. A small hiss by her head confirmed the fear. Snakes were with her. Breathing rapidly through her nose, she closed her eyes and tried to stop trembling.
The snakes would be attracted to her body heat, but she hadn’t done anything to antagonize them, so they shouldn’t bite her. As long as she held perfectly still, they would simply absorb her body heat and leave her be… right?
A heavy, leathery sensation slithered over her bare stomach and Cory couldn’t keep herself from jerking. Snakes seemed to slide over her from every direction. She wasn’t sure how many were on her, but she felt their considerable weight on top of her chest and both arms. There had to be at least three gliding over her legs.
Tears leaked down the sides of her face and soft whimpers escaped her throat.
A sudden, sharp pain exploded in her right thigh. Acidic burning bloomed through her upper leg. She grunted through her gag. Another bite in the soft flesh of her upper arm made her scream, though it was muffled.
Then the biting was everywhere. Needle points of pain hit her on her toes, her chest, even her neck. Cory could feel her body start to swell as the venom worked its way into her system.

“Trish.” It was Detective Holdman’s voice.
Large, warm hands were on her shoulders, gently shaking her. Trish blinked, but everything looked blurry. The light was blinding after the vision she’d just experienced. Swaying her head from side to side, her eyes were able to focus on the blond man leaning over her, his brows drawn together with concern.
“Sna-“ Trish coughed before she could get her words out. Detective Holdman had a glass of water ready for her.
With trembling hands, she accepted the drink and sipped at it while glancing around the conference table. Valerie Clemmings, an FBI profiler, was studying her with interest while Holdman and Crandle sat on either side of Trish with silent support. They were used to Trish’s visions, as she’d been working for the local police department for five years now.
Taking a fortifying breath, Trish cleared her throat. “The latest victim was in some kind of pit with a bunch of snakes.”
Holdman grimaced and his blue eyes looked at her with sympathy. “Is she still alive?”
Licking her lips, Trish shook her head and rolled her office chair closer to the table. “I didn’t get much from the vision, except that she was tied up and stuck with those snakes. They had venom that caused a burning sensation as soon as their fangs made contact.” She took another sip as an excuse so she could keep her tone composed. “And the victim couldn’t see anything. No stars, no shadows, nothing.”
Everyone at the table seemed to mull over her words and were taking down notes.
Trish’s heart rate calmed as she waited. The visions were always so intense, so vivid. It was the only time she experienced such strong emotions. Sometimes it was hard to believe that she had been sitting in the fluorescently lit room at the police station that whole time.
Valerie broke the silence. “So, if Miss Pyper is correct with her vision-“
“She is,” both detectives said in unison.
Trish pulled some of her dark hair over her shoulder to hide a smile. The FBI agent could check the records for all the cases she’d helped close. The only one they hadn’t caught so far was the Ghost.
“Anyway,” Valerie waved a hand. “Her vision would prove that Cory Miller is another fatality of this serial killer.” The profiler picked up the missing person report on Cory Miller. “That would make ten victims that we know of.”
Detective Holdman glanced at Valerie. “And we’ve got nothing on our UNSUB.”
Frowning, Valerie shrugged. “I’m still working on it. All I can say now is the typical – we’re looking for a white male, age could be anywhere between twenty to forty. Obviously, this guy has some issues with brunettes with a similar build. My guess is that his mother has similar features.” Her eyes narrowed in thought. “I’m thinking this guy isn’t the average serial killer, though. There’s something I can’t seem to pinpoint.”
“I still say the UNSUB is a sexual predator,” said Crandle. He was sitting to the right of Trish, picking at his yellowed teeth, like he always did when craving a cigarette. “We can probably find him through those kinky chat rooms.”
Shaking her head, Valerie said, “I disagree. I don’t get any sexual vibes from these crime scenes.”
Frowning, Crandle flipped through some files until he found the one he was looking for. “What about this one? The victim was stabbed five times in her vagina.”
Closing her legs, Trish was glad no one could see her movement. The memory of that vision was still fresh. She continued to have nightmares about it even though the vision was months ago.
“No, I don’t think that was sexual.” When Crandle scoffed, the profiler explained. “My bet is that it has something to do with power. All of these murders are different. It seems to me that the UNSUB is… exploring different ways to kill a woman.”
Nodding, Holdman looked at the other man. “She’s right. If the victims didn’t all look similar, we probably wouldn’t even be able to link these killings.”
“Let’s move on.” Valerie pulled another folder from her briefcase. “This is the last missing persons case we’re going to have you look at tonight, Trish.” She pulled out a clear baggie holding a small wallet. “This was found in Debora Helstrome’s car. She was reported missing a week ago.”
Trish stared at the bag that Valerie pushed in front of her. The last vision had been more than unsettling. She wasn’t mentally prepared for another.
“We can push this off till tomorrow,” Holdman said, watching her.
Blowing out softly, Trish shook her head and pulled out the wallet. She felt the soft texture of leather between her fingers…

Debbie’s eyelids felt heavy. She didn’t want to open them, but knew there was something wrong. She needed to wake up. Forcing herself to open her eyes, she saw a single light bulb hanging from a string on the ceiling. It didn’t produce much illumination.
Debbie was lying on a bare mattress on the floor. Only wearing underwear, her skin felt a little sticky and it gave off a strange, sweet smell.
Through growing hysteria, her memory clicked into place. Kidnapped. Scanning the bare, windowless walls, she spotted a door with a removed doorknob. Getting up slowly, she walked over to inspect it. The place where the knob should have been was filled with cement.
Debbie tried to push it open, but it wouldn’t budge. The hinges were on the other side, and getting out looked impossible.
A sob escaped from her and the brunette stepped back. A sickly crunch echoed throughout the empty room as she felt something squish under her foot.
Debbie squealed and hopped onto her other foot. Glancing down, she saw the large brown spider that she’d killed. Realizing that the poor lighting didn’t allow her to see into the corners of the small space, she swallowed and moved closer to the light.
Rubbing her arms, her eyes watered with desperation.
Wiping away some tears to clear her vision, Debbie saw four large spiders crawling by her feet. Giving a small screech, she ran over to the mattress that was against the wall. When she felt little butterfly caresses on both her shoulders, she screamed and brushed the spiders off.
Turning to look at the wall she’d backed up against, she saw that it was covered with all different kinds of arachnids. The smallest was the size of a nickel and they varied in colors. They were pouring out of a vent from the ceiling.
Panic seized her. Small feet pattered over her ears and neck. Debbie frantically smacked at her face and ran over to the door, stepping on several spiders in the process.
She kicked and clawed at the door. “Please let me out! Please! I’ll do anything!”
Spiders were crawling up her legs now. Through her terror, she could feel some of them biting her. One spot on her neck particularly burned.
Never had Debbie thought she would die in such a terrible manner.

Trish came to and realized that she’d been screaming. She was lying on the floor with both Holdman and Crandle holding her down. Glancing between them, she saw their determined faces shiny with sweat. How long had they been holding her down? How much had she fought?
Holdman helped her sit up. “Crandle, get her water.” The other detective complied and had a glass for her in a few seconds.
Trish tried to take it, but her hand was trembling too hard. Finally Holdman grabbed the glass and held it to her lips. After a few sips, she was able to get her shaking under control.
The detectives helped her into her seat and Trish tried to appear professional as she relayed the details to her team, but was certain her face was too pale to pull it off. Two visions in one night was unusual. She felt overstimulated from such intense emotions that had flowed through to her from the victims.
“It was probably a basement,” Crandle said. “I’ll see if we can find any homes with basements in the vicinity.”
Valerie nodded. “As far as I’m aware, there aren’t too many in this part of California. Report back to me if you find anything. I don’t care how late it is.”
They all stood and Holdman turned to Trish. “I’ll walk you to your car.”
Nodding, she followed him out into the hall after Trish said goodbye to Crandle and Valerie.
Once they were in the parking lot behind the station, Holdman asked, “Are you going to be alright? That last one looked like it really got to you.”
Forcing a smile, Trish pulled her keys out of her purse and spotted her car in the darkness. “’It was probably just because I had two visions so close together. I was pushing myself.”
They reached her Mazda, but the detective looked like he had something to say. “Have you thought about my offer?”
Sighing, Trish looked up at Holdman. “You’re very sweet, but I don’t think it would be a good idea to stay with you.”
Color rose to his cheeks. “It doesn’t have to be me. But I think it’s a bad idea for you to live alone right now.”
“I’ll be fine.” She opened her door.
The detective held it open as she got in. “But you’re a perfect match for the victim profile. Dark hair, medium build, light eyes.” He placed a hand on her shoulder. “I’m worried.”
Biting her lip and looking into his blue eyes, Trish felt a tingle of emotion. She quickly pushed it away and looked down. “If it’ll make you feel better, I’ll see if I can stay with my dad for a while.”
Squeezing her shoulder before letting go, Holdman nodded and closed the door.
Driving out of the parking lot, Trish berated herself for being so soft toward the detective. Whenever she had strong emotions, it sparked too many visions that would eventually make her lose her mind. She’d almost lost sight of reality when her mom died. Since then, she hadn’t allowed herself to get close to anyone, or feel anything, if she could help it.
The only time she felt anything at all these days were when the visions came upon her.
Pulling into a grocery store, Trish got out and entered to grab some dinner for the night. As she walked down the frozen food section, she passed a woman who looked similar to her. As well as all the other victims of the Ghost. Could she be looking at the next victim?
Shaking her head, Trish went back to picking out frozen dinners and hurried to the register to pay for them.
In the deserted parking lot, Trish saw the brunette again. The woman was just about to finish loading her groceries. Trish’s heart rate went up a notch when she noticed that her hair was almost the exact same length as Trish’s.
Clenching her jaw, Trish went to her car and put her bag in the back seat. Glancing over, she saw that the woman was closing her trunk and heading to the driver’s side. A compulsion forced Trish’s steps in the stranger’s direction.
“Excuse me,” Trish said as she approached. “I think you dropped your credit card.”
The woman looked down at her feet where Trish pointed.
Trish took that moment to pull a syringe out of her purse. Moving quickly, she plunged the needle into the woman’s neck. The brunette instantly sagged and Trish picked her up with a practiced strength.
Trish moved mechanically as she deposited the body into her trunk and drove to the next place she’d scoped out last week. This time, she wanted to see what it would be like to die from hundreds of shallow cuts made by a drill bit. She’d seen it in a movie and was curious what it would feel like. What kind of emotions someone would feel during such a torturous death.
There was no one around as Trish moved the girl into the abandoned warehouse. This area was deserted with no bystanders to hear what they’d be doing.
Trish was in her full gear, complete with a head visor, coveralls, and gloves, when her victim began to stir.
“Don’t worry,” Trish cooed. “It will be over soon.” She went over to the table and picked up the drill. “Actually, I don’t really know that, but we’ll soon find out.”
Walking over to her victim, Trish saw that the woman was not quite awake yet. It was the perfect time that Trish liked to converse with her victims.
“If you’re thinking, why me, I’m sorry to tell you that it really has nothing to do with you.” The sound of the drill whirred loudly when she pushed the trigger. “I’m not really killing you, you see.” She pushed the tip into the tender flesh of the woman’s right foot. “I’m killing myself.”
The woman’s screams were the loudest that Trish had heard yet.

Fractured Sea is Available for Preorder!

It has been a privilege to be a part of the Fairy Tale Ink. Readers have absolutely loved Fractured Beauty and Fractured Slipper. I’m thrilled to be part of their next boxed set, Fractured Sea!

This boxed set of four different retold versions of The Little Mermaid is now available for preorder at an exclusive sale for only .99! When it releases on August 31st, the price will jump up to $4.99, so preorder your copy now and save.

The blurb:

The Fairy Tale Ink is proud to present these four retold stories of the classic, The Little Mermaid. A story for every reader from best-selling and award-winning authors!

The Academy, by Jo Schneider: Ariel thought going to The Academy would rid her of the shadow of five older sisters, but school isn’t all Ri dreamed it would be. Between a grouchy mage of a roommate and sisters who won’t mind their own business, Ri finds solace in a chance encounter with the human prince. He too lives in a shadow, and they become quick friends. But when he starts asking probing questions about Ri’s kingdom, she must find out what the prince is really after.

Sand and Sea, by Adrienne Monson: Prince Elex is in danger and the only one who knows of his intended assassination is Aria. But how can a mermaid save an innocent human from certain death? Luckily she knows a sea witch who just might have the answer to her dilemma. But will Aria be able to reach the prince in time?

Under the Moonlit Sea, by Teri Harman: As queen of the Moon Mermaids, Quila is responsible for keeping the tides flowing. Anson is a professional deep-sea diver, a dangerous sport few men survive. When Anson is trapped in a shipwreck, Quila defies the rules of her people to save his life. The rescue sparks a fevered attraction, but bridging the gap between land and sea comes at great cost.

Pua’s Kiss, by Lehua Parker: Kanaloa, the great Hawaiian ocean god, has only one kapu law for his daughter Pua: bear no Niuhi-human sons or die. Easy to obey in her Niuhi shark form, but Pua has an irresistible itch that’s relieved only by napping on the beach in the afternoon sun. When she meets Californian Justin Halpert, he’s perfect. Alone on his prepaid Hawaiian honeymoon, he wants nothing more permanent than a temporary tattoo. For the first time in centuries, Pua’s looking forward to a romantic interlude that doesn’t end in a bloody shark attack. But modern times bring modern complications. Too bad Justin has secrets of his own.

Fractured Fairy Tales

Fractured Beauty has gotten wonderful reviews!
“while this is a repackaging of Beauty and the Beast by four different authors, these are not novellas with shortcuts and rushed endings. These are full length, satisfying stories.”
“First off, I LOVED Adrienne Monson’s Arabella’s Story. It was a very cool way to re-tell Beauty and the Beast”

Fractured Slipper is also doing well!
“FANTASTIC read! I read it straight through getting to experience ALL the warm fuzzy feels of a Cinderella Romance”
” I was really impressed with the quality of writing and the variation in the stories. One retelling was modern-day and on a ranch, another was in a world of magic users, another was set in Hawaii. My favorite was The Wrong Foot by Adrienne Monson.”