It’s Spring.

It’s officially spring, but it already feels like summer in Florida. We’ve touched 90-degrees many times already. The heat and humidity are darn near unbearable in the afternoon. It has me hibernating more than usual, devouring more iced coffee than usual, and longing for the “winter” days behind me. Admittedly, I’m not dreading summer quite as much as I usually do this year. That’s because I have a multitude of swimsuits and plan to rock them all in the pool in our backyard – it’s only a slight upgrade from a kiddie pool, but does the job – and the beach. I plan to cool off every chance I get. I plan to soak up as much vitamin D as possible, work on my tan, and really try to make summer a positive experience rather than something that sends me into a full-on vampire panic. Plus, there is nothing more relaxing than writing a fun beach romance while lounging in the sun.

I’ve been reminded on more than one occasion lately to enjoy every single minute I’m blessed with.

March 18th was my children’s grandmother’s birthday…or it would have been. They say the first one is the hardest. Every year we did something for her birthday. I took her out, created a good memory with her, memories I now cherish dearly. It doesn’t erase the hollow pit of sadness in my chest from not being able to create any more new ones. Some days are harder than others; some days are easier than others. It’s hard to forget someone that was such an integral part of your life.

But life does go on. Time continues to pass, whether we’re making the most of it or not.

They say that on your death bed, you don’t regret the things you did; you regret the things you didn’t do. I don’t want to have a laundry list of regrets come that fateful day. I want to look back and smile, to feel a sense of peace, to embrace nothing but pride when I look back.

Which means living each day to the best of my ability. Accomplishing as much as I can without sacrificing too many moments with my family.

It’s a hard balancing act that, quite frankly, I often feel like I’m failing at. The beauty of working from home is no commute. The curse of working from home is there is no distinct separation from career and personal time. Everything blurs together and I’m constantly carrying around a bag of guilt. If I’m playing with my kids, I feel guilty because I have a mountain of titles that could use my attention, a slew of characters itching for me to write their stories. If I’m working, I feel guilty that I’m not spending time with my kids, making as many good, happy memories as possible for them.

The hard truth is, though, you don’t look back and regret not working more; you regret not spending more time with your family. There’s knowing that truth, and then there’s living that truth. It’s all about your priorities, and how you arrange them.

This is a lesson one set of characters has down pat, and another must learn the hard way in my newest releases. They’re definitely a reflection of my thoughts lately, my dreams, my wishes, my ambitions, my constant struggle for this beautiful, ever-elusive thing called balance.

I hope you enjoy them! – Christin

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HER MARINE
Military Quickies #2

One extra curvy author.
One extra ripped Marine.
Four years of marriage.
One day of passion.

Logan Wilde is a moderately successful mystery thriller author, a military wife, and a well-loved curvy girl.

Sergeant Russell Wilde, aka Rage, doesn’t do soft or sensual. He’s a hard man, a hard soldier, and a hard lover. He doesn’t share and he doesn’t believe in mercy, but he does believe a real man puts his woman first. Always.

BUY OR BORROW IT NOW:
Amazon

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HER RANGER
Military Quickies #3

One extra curvy blogger.
One extra feisty Army Ranger.
One chance at redemption.

Catherine Celli is a military wife, an Army-spouse-lifestyle blogger, and a full-figured woman whose world comes crashing down when it’s announced that her husband is MIA. She’s forced to do the only thing she can: cling to hope.

Master Sergeant Ronaldo Celli is one hell of a soldier, one hell of a fighter. He never gives up on making it home to his wife. But when he finally returns, neither of them is the same.

For weeks, all they had was hope. Now that they have each other again, they find that hope is still required, because all wounds need time to heal.

BUY OR BORROW IT:
Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Unbreakable

It’s release day! And, surprise! All 4 parts of Unbreakable are available TODAY. That’s a total of 6 titles from me for the month of February with more coming in March. I’ve been a busy bee.

I am still in North Carolina. I have a ton of titles due to my publisher this month, with four more due next month. I’ve been running on a lot of coffee and very little sleep. The weather is wonderful here, though. I’m in love! We even got a bit of snow yesterday morning. I wish I could get this in Florida. (Have I mentioned how much I loathe the heat, the humidity, and the lack of any other season but hot in Florida?) I’m dreading going back already. (I will be heading back down on Sunday, March 1st, going from a high of 52-degrees to a high of 82-degrees.)

For those of you asking specifically about these things:
1. One Cajun Night Part 2 should be releasing in March.
2. I’ve updated the Vamp Chronicles page to further answer/explain about the series, specifically the final book. (I have no control. The publisher has the titles.)
3. Cade’s story (Two Times the Charm) will be coming likely in summer of this year. I’ll nail down a specific date as I finish up his title.
4. Karley’s Surrender will be re-released for certain this spring. I’m aiming for the end of March or the first week of April.

To be honest, I’ve been struggling with keeping up with my indie works and my publisher titles. I don’t think I’ve ever worked this much. I eat, sleep and breath words, books, story after story. I refuse to sacrifice quality, though, so I’ve been slow to release (my indie stuff) until I get a chance to proof read after the titles pass through my editor. It’s so easy to miss things when all of the words are blurring together.

As a heads up, February 28th will be the FINAL day you can borrow/purchase any title in the One Soldier Series. One Letter, One E-mail, One Christmas, and One Note (not yet released) are being passed over to the publisher this month. The publisher will be doing new artwork, a fresh edit and bundling the stories for a print release hopefully during the holiday season this year. I know they will be (re)releasing the e-books sooner, but I’m not certain about dates yet. I have confirmed that pricing will be about the same as it is now, however the titles won’t be available in Kindle Unlimited for borrow. So borrow them while you can!

Thanks for all of your patience and support as I work through the first part of this year. I knew it was going to be crazy and hectic, but it’s equally exciting. I’m amazed at all I have to look forward to this year, and hope you’ll stick by me until you can see the fruits of the labors I’m doing now. There is so much coming your way!

For now, here’s a recap of what’s released in February and the buy/borrow links for them.

Slide1One Cajun Night, Part 1
A BBW Navy SEAL Cougar Romance

One extra curvy woman.
One extra sexy Navy SEAL Officer.
One night of fun, on the best night to be in New Orleans: Fat Tuesday.

At forty, plus size Samantha Baker was still trying to figure her life out, and then, along came Hardy Johnson – Navy SEAL, big flirt, and the best kisser she’d had the pleasure of kissing. He broke her out of her corporate shell and rocked her world.

The problem? His ship is only docked for thirty-six hours, which isn’t long enough to fall in love…or is it?

This Mardi Gras, there’s more than parades, music and beads; there’s magic, love and possibility…and those are the things that turn strangers into friends, friends into lovers, and lovers into so much more.

*Please note that One Cajun Night is a two-part serial.*

Buy or Borrow it Now: AMAZON

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Slide1Her Soldiers
A Military BBW Contemporary Menage

One extra curvy woman.
Two extra sexy soldiers.
Seven months of waiting.

Savannah Sullivan kissed her men good-bye seven long months ago. They’d missed the holidays and her birthday, which meant they had a lot of making up to do.

Ben and Brody Sullivan returned from deployment ready to make up for lost time. But a lot can happen in seven months, and one of them comes home with scars and a secret.

Every military wife knows what she’s signing up for, but signing on the dotted line and facing the reality of it are two totally different things.

Buy or Borrow it Now: AMAZON

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Slide1Unbreakable, Parts 1-4
A BBW Contemporary Romance Serial

Plus size Dayna’s world fell apart when her husband was killed. Three years later, she’s still struggling to put the past behind her. She’s lived her entire life trying to meet other people’s standards, but, with a son to raise, her career in jeopardy, and her happiness still missing, she’s cracking beneath the pressure.

Except when one man is around: Wes.

Wes has tried to be what Dayna and Duncan needed, but a demanding job that takes him away for unknown periods makes it impossible for him to be a stable support for them. With each day that passes, though, his desire for Dayna increases, forcing him to make decisions he’d been avoiding, decisions about his career, his life, and her.

But all is not as it seems. Secrets will be revealed, challenges will be faced, and triumphs must be made.

Someone once said that, “Love conquers all,” but how much can love truly conquer?

*Unbreakable is a 4-part serial, and together it makes book 1 of the Precaution Series.*

PART 1
Buy or Borrow it Now: AMAZON

PART 2
Buy or Borrow it Now: AMAZON

PART 3
Buy or Borrow it Now: AMAZON

PART 4
Buy or Borrow it Now: AMAZON

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Have a great Wednesday! – Christin

February Releases

Here is what you can look forward to the rest of February. All titles are complete. All release dates are set in stone.
*Please note that ALL titles are 18 & older only.*

Slide1ONE CAJUN NIGHT, Part 1
Available Now!

One extra curvy woman.
One extra sexy Navy SEAL Officer.
One night of fun, on the best night to be in New Orleans: Fat Tuesday.

At forty, plus size Samantha Baker was still trying to figure her life out, and then, along came Hardy Johnson – Navy SEAL, big flirt, and the best kisser she’d had the pleasure of kissing. He broke her out of her corporate shell and rocked her world.

The problem? His ship is only docked for thirty-six hours, which isn’t long enough to fall in love…or is it?

This Mardi Gras, there’s more than parades, music and beads; there’s magic, love and possibility…and those are the things that turn strangers into friends, friends into lovers, and lovers into so much more.

*Please note that One Cajun Night is a two-part serial.*

Buy or Borrow it Now: Amazon

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HER SOLDIERS
February 19th, 2015

One extra curvy woman.
Two extra sexy soldiers.
Seven months of waiting.

Savannah Sullivan kissed her men good-bye seven long months ago. They’d missed the holidays and her birthday, which meant they had a lot of making up to do.

Ben and Brody Sullivan returned from deployment ready to make up for lost time. But a lot can happen in seven months, and one of them comes home with scars and a secret.

Every military wife knows what she’s signing up for, but signing on the dotted line and facing the reality of it are two totally different things.

Buy or Borrow it February 19th!

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Slide1UNBREAKABLE, Part 1
February 25th, 2015

Plus size Dayna’s world fell apart when her husband was killed. Three years later, she’s still struggling to put the past behind her. She’s lived her entire life trying to meet other people’s standards, but, with a son to raise, her career in jeopardy, and her happiness still missing, she’s cracking beneath the pressure.

Except when one man is around: Wes.

Wes has tried to be what Dayna and Duncan needed, but a demanding job that takes him away for unknown periods makes it impossible for him to be a stable support for them. With each day that passes, though, his desire for Dayna increases, forcing him to make decisions he’d been avoiding, decisions about his career, his life, and her.

But all is not as it seems. Secrets will be revealed, challenges will be faced, and triumphs must be made.

Someone once said that, “Love conquers all,” but how much can love truly conquer?

*Please note that Unbreakable is a three-part serial.*

Buy or Borrow it February 25th!

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UNBREAKABLE, Part 2
February 26th, 2015

Plus size Dayna’s world fell apart when her husband was killed. Three years later, she’s still struggling to put the past behind her. She’s lived her entire life trying to meet other people’s standards, but, with a son to raise, her career in jeopardy, and her happiness still missing, she’s cracking beneath the pressure.

Except when one man is around: Wes.

Wes has tried to be what Dayna and Duncan needed, but a demanding job that takes him away for unknown periods makes it impossible for him to be a stable support for them. With each day that passes, though, his desire for Dayna increases, forcing him to make decisions he’d been avoiding, decisions about his career, his life, and her.

But all is not as it seems. Secrets will be revealed, challenges will be faced, and triumphs must be made.

Someone once said that, “Love conquers all,” but how much can love truly conquer?

*Please note that Unbreakable is a three-part serial.*

Buy or Borrow it February 26th!

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UNBREAKABLE, Part 3
February 27th, 2015

Plus size Dayna’s world fell apart when her husband was killed. Three years later, she’s still struggling to put the past behind her. She’s lived her entire life trying to meet other people’s standards, but, with a son to raise, her career in jeopardy, and her happiness still missing, she’s cracking beneath the pressure.

Except when one man is around: Wes.

Wes has tried to be what Dayna and Duncan needed, but a demanding job that takes him away for unknown periods makes it impossible for him to be a stable support for them. With each day that passes, though, his desire for Dayna increases, forcing him to make decisions he’d been avoiding, decisions about his career, his life, and her.

But all is not as it seems. Secrets will be revealed, challenges will be faced, and triumphs must be made.

Someone once said that, “Love conquers all,” but how much can love truly conquer?

*Please note that Unbreakable is a three-part serial.*

Buy or Borrow it February 27th!

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I hope y’all enjoy each of these! – Christin

Dear Anonymous

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I’ve openly discussed body image many times in the past, specifically speaking to confidence. (A couple recent ones can be read HERE and HERE.) Major corporations have run campaigns as of late regarding body image, entire conferences are dedicated to body positivity, movements have been made in size acceptance, and, the bottom line is, our bodies are being talked about, discussed and dissected more than ever before.

But not always the way they should be.

It’s no secret that I’m fat. I’m not just pleasingly plump. I’m extra curvy with a side of extra curvy. I shop strictly in the plus size section, although I absolutely avoid the granny plus size section. And, I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not ashamed of my body. Every imperfection is a story, a tale of strength and triumph. How could I hate a body that has carried me through 29 years, 25 of which I hated it, I abused it, I even cut it on purpose? Very few people know this, but I used to cut myself because I hated my body that much, because I was that angry, that upset, that depressed. Because I felt trapped. I didn’t look at my body as a beautiful vessel that had gotten me through surgery after surgery as a child; I looked at my body as the enemy, the reason why I wasn’t popular, the reason why everyone hated me and spewed horrible words at me. I victimized myself in the worst way, and, instead of healing, I only caused more harm, more damage.

Often, we make the mistake of assuming that thin equals healthy. Likewise, we make the assumption that fat equals unhealthy. For instance, did you know that Halle Berry and Nick Jonas – thin, fit, “healthy” people – have diabetes? Further “proving” the point, Penn & Teller’s show, Bullshit!, did an episode on obesity. (You can watch it HERE. – Warning: they curse… a lot.) In it, they did something they referred to as the “Fat Olympics.” They put men who were all over the obese side of the BMI chart against someone at the top of the normal range. Guess what? The “fit” guy lost every single time.

Judging a body is like judging a book by its cover. Just because the cover is pretty doesn’t mean the story is, the pages inside are. Reversing, just because the cover is awful, (and, sweet cherry pie, have I seen some horrifying covers), doesn’t mean the story isn’t worthwhile, isn’t engaging, captivating, and awe-inspiring.

Your cover may not be what the world deems as ideal, as perfect, but that doesn’t mean your story isn’t worth reading, that you’re not worthy enough, undeserving, of popularity, of acceptance, of love. You shouldn’t be condemned to the dark, cobweb filled corners of society simply because you don’t meet the standards of others.

The funny part? They are so self-absorbed, so vain, that they don’t even stop to consider that they may not meet our standards. Because, yes, I am fat, I’m not what society believes to be healthy, beautiful or acceptable, but you’re darned right that I have standards, standards that not everyone will meet.

The difference? I don’t condemn them for it. I don’t alienate them for it. I accept that their standards are not my own, that their moral compass points to a different North. It doesn’t mean they aren’t worth knowing, aren’t worth a conversation. It just means that, while I could love them, I would never want to be them.

That’s the other shocking part of it all. I don’t want to be anyone but me.

For twenty-five years, I was angry. I was upset and hurt that my family hurled fat curses at me on the regular, that the ones that were supposed to love me the most, didn’t. I wasn’t good enough. My size cancelled all merit. My thinner sister was a troublemaker, but she wasn’t the one they punished. Because she wasn’t what they feared the most; I was. It took me twenty-five years to realize that they didn’t hate me, they hated what I represented. Everyone in my family is body conscious. They chronically sought, and still seek, the perfect size two illusion, and because I didn’t join them in the quest, because I didn’t strive to follow their manic example, I wasn’t worthy of their adoration, because being a successful fat student still made me a failure because of a single adjective. Still to this day, I’m loved, my accomplishments are acknowledged, but I’m not loved unconditionally, because I don’t fit their mold, because I don’t walk through the store admiring the thin women more than the products around us, because I dare to love myself as I am rather than to withhold love until I’m a size two. Because I’m the one who stands out in the family photos, twice the size of any other woman around me, and yet I hold my head the highest.

It wasn’t easy to get here. The journey is hard. It’s difficult to rewire your brain, to change what you were taught to think, to feel, and to believe. It’s hard to stop believing a lie you’ve held as truth your entire life.

Where do you start? How do you start? How do you turn your back on all you’ve known? How do you defy the people who raised you? Where do you gain the courage to give them the middle finger, to ignore every single back-handed compliment, every single negative slur, every single dirty look?

It starts in the mirror.

I grew up in church. We bounced around, never staying long enough for me to get too comfortable in a single congregation, but I learned enough at each one to build the solid faith-based foundation I hold tight to today. Every church preached the same scriptures, but they spoke of different truths in the same words, forcing me to decipher them for myself. Beauty is the same way. It’s perceptive; everyone interprets it differently. My family will always attach a ‘but‘ to my beauty: she would be so much prettier if she lost weight, if she did this, if she did that. My ex-husband said I looked nice, but then asked if I would ever lipo my thighs. What they all forget, what I had forgotten even after spending hundreds of Sundays in a pew, is that the Bible says that our body is a temple, and we are to treat it as such. What isn’t explained in verse, or gone into extensive detail about, though, is the definition of the ideal temple.

Look around you. No church looks the same; they all vary in size and structure. No temple is draped the same; they all vary in opulence and decor. No religious gathering place is treated with an equal level of respect. Synagogues have been burned to the ground, not because they weren’t pretty enough, but because they represented, they promoted, difference. Meaning, those that worshipped within those walls went against what others deemed ideal, sensible, believable, praiseworthy.

Being fat, having stretch marks, having a body full of flaws does not mean that I don’t treat it like a temple. Likewise, it doesn’t mean that it should be burned alive either.

Because beauty is perceptive. Jessica Simpson’s show The Price of Beauty took her and her friends to a remote village in Uganda where they deemed fat beautiful. The fatter you were, the prettier you were in their eyes. (You can watch that episode HERE.) In China, if you are over 30% body fat, not only are you a disgrace, you are not eligible to adopt a child in need and have other restrictions. (What polar opposites!)

So, which one is right and which one is wrong? Which continent’s beliefs, perceptions of beauty, are justifiable, are acceptable?

Both.

We are all entitled to our own opinions. We’re all entitled to our own perceptions.

But that doesn’t mean they always need to be voiced, need to said aloud. There is a time and a place for everything. Additionally, I grew up hearing the phrase, “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.” Even though my family doesn’t always practice what they preach, I take their wisdom with a grain of salt and then dissect it for truth, for beauty. These days, I try to find the positive in everything, even in the negative.

It’s rare that I don’t find the beauty in people. I seek out the beauty the same way I sought out the beauty in myself: one by one, piece by piece. My journey began in front of the mirror. Bit by bit, day by day, I chose something new to love about myself. It could be as small as a freckle or as big as the span of my hips. Study something long enough and you’ll find something to like about it. Study something long enough and you’ll see things you didn’t at first glance, you’ll see details that were dismissed, details that change everything.

When a child begins to lose their baby teeth, they are left with gaps in their mouths, gaping spaces that show caverns of darkness and tarnish what is deemed as perfect. We don’t yell at the child, curse them, admonish them for a temporarily imperfect smile. No, we often find it cute. Their temporary imperfection adds to their endearment.

Slowly, I realized that uniformity strips away individual identity. How could I find my child’s imperfections worthy of adoration, deem my imperfect children worthy of love, of praise and of acceptance, how could I find my children beautiful while still acknowledging their flaws, yet I couldn’t do the same for myself? For twenty-five years, I held tight to a prejudice against my own body. I hated the very things that made me unique, that made me who I was. I didn’t find my identity in my fat, nor is my identity tied to my fat, but, my beauty is. I’m not saying that if I lost hundred pounds tomorrow I wouldn’t be beautiful, that I wouldn’t love myself the way I do today. I’m saying that I would be a different kind of beautiful, and my perception would have to change with it.

You can love someone and not accept them as they are. My family does. What I’ve done is I’ve learned to love myself, as I am. I’ve learned to accept myself, as I am. Does it mean I am perfect? Does is mean that I have met my own standards? No. I’m ambitious and want to achieve so much more than I have, do so much more than I have. It simply means that I refuse to punish myself for not being more than what I am capable of being today.

I’m not going to lose a hundred pounds by next month. In fact, I don’t plan to lose weight at all (and my doctor says that’s alright for now; my prescriptions say that’s not possible right now.) My worth, my beauty, is not tied to a number, though. It’s tied to what I see in the mirror each day. And today, I saw an extra curvy woman who pays all of the bills, supports three children, two of which are special needs, three adults, and a handful of pets. I saw an extra plush woman who has stretch marks, who has fat everywhere, and not-so-perky boobs anymore; I saw a woman who has a thousand flaws, but doesn’t let them stop her from accomplishing what she sets her mind to, a woman who doesn’t allow what others think to stop her, stop her from loving herself, stop her from doing more, stop her from being more, stop her from rising above. I saw a woman who doesn’t allow anyone else’s flaws, anyone else’s hatred, to stop her from loving them, from accepting them; a woman who doesn’t allow others to change who she is or how she is, who she loves or how she loves.

Because my standards are not everyone’s standards, but I don’t allow my standards to be the reason they cut themselves. I don’t allow my standards to be the reason they cry at night. I don’t allow my standards to be the reason. I allow my standards to simply be my standards.

The same way the Bible doesn’t define the perfect size of a temple, I don’t define the perfect size of any human being, including myself. The Bible doesn’t tell me to go to Him, doesn’t tell me that I will finally be worthy of His love, His mercy, when I’m a size two. The Bible tells me to come as I am, and He will love me as I am. The Bible was the first to tell me that I am worthy; my God was the first to tell me that I was worthy as I was. My religious doctrine states that I am to liken myself to Him, that I am supposed to be as Jesus was and do as He did, that I am to follow His example. He didn’t loathe his physical form. He didn’t despise the scars on his palms or on his feet either. He didn’t cast Himself down, nor did He deject others. You can read every word He said in red. Not once will you find him calling a woman fat, deeming her undeserving of common courtesy and shutting her out of His home. Not once will you find him shunning the poor, shouting slurs at those with disabilities, challenging the meek with his strength. Instead, you will find Him taking a stand against the sinners casting stones, the imperfect people casting stones at imperfect people. You will find Him loving everyone, including those that betrayed Him.

On my Instagram, I post pictures of myself all the time. (HERE is a link to my profile.) I don’t hide my flaws. I don’t hold the phone high and angle the camera from above to slim myself. I show myself as I am. I come, as I am, and encourage others to do the same. You may hate what you see, but what you see is an empty battlefield full of stories, full of victories, full of reasons to be in awe of yourself. If you simply look long enough, look hard enough, I guarantee you’ll see what you didn’t at first.

I don’t hate those that bash my body. I don’t roll my eyes at those who voice “concern.” Is someone judging a book by its cover offensive? Yes. But I don’t punish them for it.

The truth is, most of the time, they are already punishing themselves. We project ourselves in everything we say and do. Their words are no reflection on me. Their words are a reflection on them. And to them I say, look in the mirror. Don’t glance. Stop and look. Look hard. Look long. Look and look again until you can let go of that fear, until you can let go of that hatred, of that bitterness in your soul. I am not you and you are not me. Don’t allow my presence to send you spiraling; likewise, don’t treat my presence as a reason to spiral.

No one is perfect, and the sooner we begin accepting that truth, the happier we’ll all be. My imperfection shouldn’t anger you. Your imperfections shouldn’t anger you. My imperfections shouldn’t anger me, shouldn’t make me want to create more imperfections on my body. Your imperfections shouldn’t anger me, shouldn’t make me want to rebuke you. Beauty is perceptive, and the sooner we start to perceive everyone as beautiful in some way, perceive ourselves as beautiful in some way, even an unconventional way, the sooner we can let go of the social pressures tied to size, tied to something only photoshop can offer. And the sooner we can move on to the more important things, like what I’m going to eat for dinner. I say that, because not everyone will have a meal to eat tonight. We’re over here complaining, arguing, admonishing each other over frivolous things, things that have no bearing on our capabilities, our accomplishments, or our worth, while children are dying of starvation, while IEDs are going off right and left in the Middle East, and while others are facing challenges that are affecting them in more prominent ways than the offensiveness of a stranger’s waistline.

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to the body that has fought day in and day out to get you where you are. Even if it didn’t come through perfectly, it came through. Likewise, be kind to others. Be kind to them and their bodies, because, likewise, they’ve fought to be where they are today, even if where they are isn’t where you think they should be. We all have to move at our own pace, and we all will have to face mortality eventually. But casting stones, judging and dejecting never prolonged anyone’s life, nor did it change what was.

If you haven’t been told today, allow me to be the first to tell you. You are beautiful. You are worthy. You are wonderful, just the way you are. Whether you meet society’s standards or not, whether you meet my standards or not, has no bearing on the way I feel, on what I think of you. We are all here for a reason, and that reason is never to be the villain, the failure or the trash of the world. It is to be the light in a dark room. It is to be beautiful, to be loving, to be kind, even when you don’t always feel like you are, like you want to be. It is to be more than we are deemed, more than we believe, and to do more than we fathom. And, newsflash, you can do it all in whatever body you have, even if that body may need a few tweaks to do some of those things, because you only get one body, and pounds gained or lost won’t change the body.

And, just know, even if you need to lose a few pounds before you can go skydiving, or whatever else you want to do, it doesn’t mean you are any less worthy of love today. It doesn’t mean your body is any less deserving of praise for getting you through the past x-number of days of your life. Celebrate it. Celebrate your imperfections for all the reasons you ought to celebrate your successes. Love your imperfections for all the reasons you love your child’s, your niece’s, your sibling’s imperfections: because they make you who you are, and who you are is worthy of love. My Creator told me so. My Creator said that I am worthy, as I am. And if I’m worthy as I am, then so are you.

xoxo – Christin

Cajun Blog Hop Winner

The winner of the Cajun Blog Hop is:::

CHERYL – “Can’t wait to read your new stories. Love that they are about women who are above size 18. Real love for real women.

*Cheryl, please e-mail me at: christinlovell@gmail.com.*

Sorry to be so absent lately. I knew the beginning of this year was going to be hard, tight, and well, full of all work and little play. I have a ton of stuff going on behind the scenes! I’m writing what feels like ten books at the same time. I have a solid 4 titles that are waiting to be proofed and edited. (Editors need a vacation too, I guess. hehe) Tomorrow, I am traveling to North Carolina to hopefully get even more accomplished. I have 3 titles that will be going off to the publisher soon, and plenty more to write. The timing is a goal as of right now, but my publisher is aiming to have the One Soldier series, including one title that has yet to be released, available in bookstores (in print) this holiday season, with a tentative release month of November. The stressful part is that means everything has to be done from start to finish by the end of this month. (Insider Note: Bookstores buy their holiday titles in Spring. They buy a title 6-9 months before they sell it, hence the delay from when print books are written to when they are available for purchase.)

In other news, I will be attending Indie Book Fest  on August 7th & 8th, 2015. I will be participating in the book signing and many of the sessions. You can get more information about it: HERE.

And lastly, I come to plead, on behalf of my daughter, to please help her raise funds for the American Heart Association. Her donation page is: HERE. If you don’t feel comfortable giving out your information, you may send your donation to me via PayPal at christinlovell@gmail.com. I will then submit a paper payment on your behalf. She’s really taken this cause to heart, so any amount would be greatly appreciated. –insert adorable heart-shaped emoji

I know this is short. It feels short. To be honest, I’m a bit scatterbrained lately, trying to juggle everything. I haven’t even packed the first article of clothing for my trip tomorrow! Sweet cherry pie, I need three of me.

I hope y’all have a wonderful week.  –Christin

Red Hot Cajun Nights Blog Hop

Red Hot Authors Present:

Red Hot Cajun Nights Blog Hop

February 1 – 7

This Mardi Gras Season, Let the Sinful Good Times Roll!

Let your imagination take you all the way to New Orleans for Carnival season as eight sexy romance authors bring you eight fabulous $.99 books to warm your winter.

~ Our website: http://redhotauthors.com/red-hot-cajun-nights/

~ Our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RedHotAuthors

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One Cajun Night
Releasing February 17th, 2015.

One extra curvy woman.
One extra sexy Navy SEAL Officer.
One night of fun, on the best night to be in New Orleans: Fat Tuesday.

At forty, plus size Samantha Baker was still trying to figure her life out, and then, along came Hardy Johnson – Navy SEAL, big flirt, and the best kisser she’d had the pleasure of kissing. He broke her out of her corporate shell and rocked her world.

The problem? His ship is only docked for thirty-six hours, which isn’t long enough to fall in love…or is it?

This Mardi Gras, there’s more than parades, music and beads; there’s magic, love and possibility…and those are the things that turn strangers into friends, friends into lovers, and lovers into so much more.

Prizes you can win on this blog:
1 Free e-book copy of One Cajun Night.
1 Free e-book copy of choice.
1 autographed bookmark.

To enter to win these prizes, just leave a comment on this blog post below. Thank you, and good luck!

Want to win even more prizes? We’re having a huge Mardi Gras Facebook Party on Tuesday, February 17. Click on the link then Join the party to hang out with us on Mardi Gras Day. You know we’re going to have some sinfully awesome giveaways! https://www.facebook.com/events/1401340946828665/

Come and read about our brand new Mardi Gras books as well as every book from each of our Red Hot holiday collections at our website: http://redhotauthors.com/red-hot-cajun-nights/

Now be sure to hop to each of these other Red Hot Authors’ blogs to leave a comment for your chance to win that author’s prizes:

Desiree Holt at www.desiremeonly.com

Magen McMinimy at http://www.magenmcminimy.blogspot.com/

Jodi Redford at http://jodiredford.blogspot.com

Randi Alexander at www.randialexander.com

Rene Folsom at www.renefolsom.com

Sable Hunter at http://sablehunter.com/

Shyla Colt at www.shylacoltsstraightshot.wordpress.com

 –

Giveaway begins at midnight EST February 2, and ends at midnight EST February 7. Winner of the prize will be chosen and notified by February 10.

You. Are. More.

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We have a crisis in the world. We have many actually, so many that facing them can be daunting, overwhelming, even to the most seasoned volunteer or advocate.

To be honest, most of them we can only have a minute impact on, at best, but there is one that we can have a profound impact on immediately: ourselves.

Oftentimes we forget that we are a statistic, because, well, who wants to be reduced to a number? The hard truth, though, is we are all numbers on many pages, but not all of them are bad.

Body image. Body positivity. Body love. Self-love. Self-acceptance. Fat acceptance. Size acceptance. Confidence. = Equality.

How you treat yourself, how others treat you, is directly tied to equality.

If you wouldn’t ridicule your best friend, call him or her fat, ugly, worthless, lazy, and every other negative adjective available, then why would you say those things to yourself?

Unknowingly, we have all contributed to this dynamic of inequality throughout the world. We label and segregate based on every factual part of us from gender, race, sexual preference, age, and, more often than most these days, size. We allow the number in our jeans, the number on the scale, to define our worth, to define who we are and what we deserve. We oppress ourselves based on numbers, but numbers have never defined who we were.

The size of my jeans don’t make me a good person or a bad person. The number on the scale doesn’t tell you what I have or haven’t accomplished in life.

But we treat ourselves as though they do.

Another hard truth? We set the precedence. We may not have been the first to put ourselves down, but we’ve allowed the trend to continue.

Before you face the world each day, you must first face yourself.

What you say to yourself each morning defines who you are, the same way that what others say to us defines who they are.

As a mother, of course I wish I could give my children the world. I’d do anything for them. And it took me years to realize that loving myself was doing something for them.

They watch us. They see more than we think and know more than we want them to.

I didn’t want my children looking in the mirror and seeing only what was wrong with them, finding only what made them less than to society. I didn’t want my children growing up lacking in anything, but had forgotten that confidence is the key to everything: health, happiness, success. Equality is treating yourself and others with equal respect, equal acceptance, and equal love. Equality is treating yourself and others the same. Equality means facing yourself and others with equal confidence.

Anyone who follows me on instagram (@christinlovell) knows that I am all about loving who you are, as you are, and I’m the first to do it. I’m far from perfect. I have flaws. I have fat, chub rolls, stretch marks, numerous scars – some sizable, dimples, blemishes, freckles, moles, grey hairs and so much more.

But I love myself anyways.

It wasn’t easy at first. I literally had to start by finding one new thing to love about myself each day when I looked in the mirror. Slowly, but surely, the list grew…until, one day, I loved more than I hated. I accepted more than I rebuked. I came to a place where peace overruled turmoil, where happiness overruled upset, and where equality overruled inequality.

Was it as earth shattering as I expected it to be? No. I didn’t suddenly wake up one day feeling like I could strut around the beach in a two piece.

Would I be willing to do that today? Yes.

Why? Because I believe everyone deserves to be happy, and who the heck can be happy with every imperfection covered and smothered on the beach, beneath the blazing hot sun…or in the water, where your soaking wet layers will cling to every pore on your body, preventing them from breathing? Covering what others deemed as ugly didn’t make them any happier, and it didn’t make me any happier. In fact, it made me miserable.

If you wouldn’t force your best friend to cover up their “imperfections,” then why would you force yourself?

If they don’t like what they see, whether your “flaws” are buried beneath ten layers or naked and bared to the world, they’ll still think the same; they may even speak the same. In fact, they do speak the same. I’ve received similar comments on both fully clothed pictures and less layered photos (on instagram.)

Another truth? What they say has zero impact on who I am as a person. What they say has no reflection on what I deserve, what I’m worth, what I’ve accomplished, what I’m capable of accomplishing, and so much more. Their words have never defined me, and will never define me. Their words have never defined you, and will never define you. Their words have only defined who they are, what they are afraid of, what they fear most, what they are insecure about within themselves.

And that is what the words we speak and think to ourselves each morning say about us.

What you say to yourself defines who you are, the same way what they say to us defines who they are.

I can disregard numbers. I can disregard facts. But I refuse to disregard myself, the same way I refuse to disregard you.

You are more than a profile, more than numbers, statistics and data. You are unique. You are beautiful. You are imperfectly perfect, just as you are. And, whether you are a size 2 or a size 32, you deserve to be happy. You deserve what you believe your best friend deserves. And, slowly, I hope you come to realize that the world will only believe you deserve better if you believe you deserve better.

You will only be happy if you choose to be happy.

And, sometimes, that means choosing to bare more flesh than normal when it’s hot, humid and horrible out.
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My numbers:
Age: 29
Height: 5’1″
Blood Pressure: 115/72
Blood Sugar: 72
Total Cholesterol: 172
Surgeries: 12
clothing size: Tops: US 22, 1x-3x, depending on cut, fabric & brand
clothing size: Bottoms: US 22-26, 2x-3x, depending on cut, fabric & brand
Shoes: 8-8.5, depending on shape, material & brand
Marriages: 1
Divorces: 1
Children: 3
Diplomas: 1
Degrees: 0

I am not ashamed of my numbers, for, the numbers are just the numbers. They don’t tell anyone if I’m a good person, if I’m a good mother, sister, friend. They don’t tell you if I’m smart, funny, witty or bright. If my numbers change what some of you think of me, then they change what some of you think of me.

But sharing your numbers won’t change what I think of you; they won’t change how I see you. Your numbers won’t tell me who you are; they will merely tell me what you are…according to more numbers, according to charts, to reports and to statistics.

And you are more than that. I am more than that. We are all more than numbers. We are more than what other people think of us. And the sooner you realize that, the sooner you accept that, the happier you’ll be.

If you are for equality, then you can’t be against yourself. If you are for equality, then you should be for confidence, for acceptance, and for happiness, for one and for all, no matter their numbers. People try to spin it, but, the truth is, my numbers have no bearing on your quality of life, the same way your numbers have no impact on mine. Discriminatory factors are just facts. They don’t reveal character, morals, values or worth.

If you are judging others based on facts, then it’s time you realized: They. Are. More.
If you are judging me now based off my numbers, then it’s time you realized: I. Am. More.
If you are judging yourself based on anything other than heart, then it’s time you realized: You. Are. More.

You. Are. More. – Christin

Looking for some inspiration on your journey? Here are links to some fabulous body positive people::
Meagan Kerr, New Zealand
Sarah Rae Vargas, a.k.a. Ravings by Rae
Lauren, a.k.a. Loey Lane
Amanda Allison
Jess Baker
Eff Your Beauty Standards, worldwide