Monthly Archives: January 2015

Tom Brady’s Balls

I may get some flack for this, but I can’t keep quiet.

The recent controversy surrounding the Patriots’ deflated footballs is the topic du jour as we look forward to Super Bowl Sunday. I’ll be honest—I’ve never been a fan of that team. This isn’t the first whiff of a cheating scandal, and probably won’t be the last. I may not have hard evidence of wrongdoing, but 11 out of 12 underinflated footballs does not sound like a coincidence.

What galls me most is that neither the coach nor Tom Brady will admit any culpability. For better or worse, Brady is a sports hero to many, and he knows it. What kind of message does it send to kids and young adults when he (and his team) deny any fault during the investigation?

And doesn’t he realize that, in his effort to maintain his innocence, he’s made himself look incompetent and cowardly to anyone with half a brain? Even if he didn’t direct the equipment manager to deflate the balls once weighed, I’d respect him more if he’d at least acknowledge that he noticed the difference during the game.

I mean, come on!  Does he expect us to believe that a man who has made his living throwing footballs, and who is on record a couple of years ago as having a preference for deflated footballs, couldn’t tell the difference that day? How is that possible when the other players (ones who don’t touch the ball nearly as often as a quarterback) could tell? Common sense tells us that any quarterback would have been especially particular about his footballs during such a critical game.  According to this ESPN link, other NFL players don’t buy Tom Brady’s denial, and neither do I.

And while we can never know whether the mental advantage and confidence Brady derived from playing with those deflated balls made a significant difference in the outcome against the Colts, one thing is clear: some of the biggest losers in this scandal are the Patriots fans.

Not only is the team’s recent championship win corrupted, but now its fans can’t even enjoy the anticipation of Sunday’s game because the news coverage is all about the scandal. Worse, even if the Patriots beat the Seahawks on Sunday, that win will be tainted with the question: did they even deserve to play?

Needless to say, I’ll be rooting for the Seahawks on February 1st…how about you?


Mental Strength

Lots of people make fitness resolutions in January, but 99% of the time they’re talking strictly about physical fitness.  Perhaps most of us fail to think about mental fitness because we believe we’re doing okay, or, if we’re not, we assume we can’t help the way we think.  Either way, when we ignore our mental health, we’re setting ourselves up trouble.

I read this interesting article in Psychology Today, by licensed social worker Amy Morin, about mental strength.  She discusses thirteen things mentally strong people don’t do.  Nothing on the list is particularly novel advice, but it serves as a good reminder for us all.

The article is worth reading in its entirety, but here’s a list of the 13 things to avoid doing in 2015:

  1. Wasting time feeling sorry for yourself
  2. Giving away your power
  3. Shying away from change
  4. Wasting energy on things you can’t control
  5. Worrying about pleasing others
  6. Fearing taking calculated risks
  7. Dwelling on the past
  8. Repeating the same mistakes
  9. Resenting other people’s success
  10. Giving up after failure
  11. Fearing alone time
  12. Expecting the world to owe you something
  13. Expecting immediate results

When I read through this list, I can identify at least one area where I could improve (point number 4).  I’m also prone to succumb to numbers 3 and 13, too.  Self-awareness is the first step toward improvement, so I’ll embrace the introspection and think about ways to break bad habits this year.

How about you?  Do any of these items make you say “doh!”?  Care to share, or offer tips on how to overcome these weaknesses?


Newsletters and Giveaways!



I received the advanced reader copies of Worth the Wait this week, which thrilled me.  I love this story and can’t wait for readers to meet Vivi and David and the rest of the gang.  In order to make that happen before the March 17th release date, I’m going to give an ARC away, together with a free copy of In the Cards, and some other goodies, too.FullSizeRender(3) copy

To be eligible for the giveaway, you need to sign up for my Newsletter.  The newsletter will probably be published no more than two to three times per year, and will include sneak peeks at  new books, unreleased excerpts, chances to win prizes, and other fun stuff.

You can sign up easily here on the blog (see the sign-up button in the right-hand sidebar) or on the landing page of my website.  On Monday, January 12th, I’ll choose someone from the mailing list to whom I’ll send both books and a few other surprises.  I’ll announce the winner here and on my Facebook page.

Thanks for “playing” and following along!


Winter Romance

When the temperatures drop into the single digits, people can get a little cranky.  Wind chills keep us indoors more often than is healthy, and heavy comfort foods tempt us to forget about those New Year’s resolutions about diet and exercise.  Shoveling sidewalks and driveways can wear us down, too.  None of these conditions typically inspire romance, do they?

But we can turn it around, because a lot of romance can be found in a snowstorm!

Get bundled up and go for a walk (or snowshoe hike).  Few things are more beautiful than the sunlight glinting off fresh snow, or the quiet crunch of snow beneath your feet.  And it’s a good way to get your blood pumping, which will lift your spirits.  Then, when you return home, start a fire or fill up the tub and light some candles.  Either way, you’ve set up a very romantic tableau for your and your special someone.

Wintery foods can also be romantic.  How about cheese and chocolate fondue?  Decadent, yummy, and easy to feed each other (all that lip-licking is sure to give you some ideas, too).

Add warm beverages to enhance the mood you’ve incited.  I’ve got a preference for cocoa with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, but mulled cider is also a fine choice.

Top off the evening with a classic romance movie or some good music, and I think you will chase away the mid-winter blahs pretty easily.

What’s one of your favorite ways to create a romantic winter date?