Friday, March 10, 2017

Celebrating Apes, Running, & Two Great New Releases

Hello and Happy Friday! Of course, Friday means it's time to Celebrate the Small Things. Since I missed the hop last week, I'm celebrating the past two weeks today.

First up, I'm celebrating the Great Apes of the Congo Basin. Why? Because last week I attended a totally awesome lecture by David Morgan of the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project and learned tons about the gorillas and chimpanzees who call the Congo Basin home. Mr. Morgan's group works to save the apes' habitat, which is currently under threat from logging, poaching, and the bush meat trade, through research and collaboration with the Congolese government, local scientists, and other wildlife organizations.

Mr. Morgan's tales of living side by side with the apes were both fun and fascinating, and it was great to hear about some of the project's conservation success stories. If you'd like to read more about the experience, you can find my recap of the evening on my All in For Animals site here.

Next up, running!

I've been totally sluggish and lazy for quite a while now and wanted to get back to some kind of fitness routine. I was inspired by my friend Madeline at The Shellshank Redemption to take up running, as she has been kicking butt with it for a while now.

I have a running training program that I downloaded years ago but I've never actually made it past week one of the program. But this week I started again and I'm determined to stick with it this time. My goal is to run (or at least run/walk) a 5k in the fall so we'll see how that goes!

Last up, two new releases from two fantastic authors - Medeia Sharif and Cathrina Constantine. Congratulations to both ladies!!

 I was supposed to participate in Medeia's cover reveal last week and like a moron I forgot. So I'm sharing the scoop on Medeia's latest today. The cover is amazing and I know the book will be a great read!

Evernight Teen, March 3, 2017

Destiny awakes with amnesia. She had been driving on a wet road, about to leave flowers at a memorial marker of a deceased classmate, when she almost met that same fate.

Her mother, Mildred, is restrictive. She doesn’t want Destiny to have her cellphone, which a nurse sneaks into her room. It’s useless since Destiny doesn’t have the passcode. After her hospital stay, she enters her mother’s overbearing household. Mildred becomes physically abusive, and Destiny fights back.

When Mildred is away, Destiny leaves with her neighbor, Gabriel, whom she’s developing feelings for, and they drive around to jog her memory. She’s positive she crashed near a memorial marker. When they find the marker in question, and when she remembers her phone’s passcode, her identity is questionable and Mildred is even crazier than she at first thought. Destiny is eager to escape Mildred’s household and find out who she really is.

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

Website   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

And now for Cathrina's latest!

Incense and Peppermints
Cathrina Constantine
Publication date: March 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Peace demonstrations, sit-ins, and burning the U.S. flag following the escalation of the Vietnam War are leading to a catalyst known to the world as the Sixties, and a musical revolution, flower power, hippies, marijuana, and drugs are carrying the generations—young and old—into a new decade. All the while sixteen-year-old Mary Monroe is caught between being an innocent good girl and an autumn of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.
When her brother offers a solution to her dilemma in the form of a little pill, Mary ignores the rumba in her brain and takes a walk on the wild side. Plunged into popularity and a life she’s only imagined, she meets Michael Covington, the hot newcomer, and she’s instantly drawn in by his less than flawless exterior and bad boy sex appeal. Caught up in the danger and excitement as they drift from party to party, into underground fight clubs, and through a series of drug and alcohol fueled adventures, Mary follows her new crush into a world where young girls are never truly safe from the predators lurking in the shadows and young men are hiding from the harsh reality of war.
Feeling buzzed and as if her life is spinning out of control, Mary is assaulted by an unknown man at a party, and she’s left questioning if the enigmatic Michael is truly her hero or if he is the face behind the terrible attack. With every piece of information Mary learns about Michael, her doubts grow deeper, but with every minute she spends in his presence, so does her love.
With the war and her fear threatening to separate Mary and Michael forever, only the death of a friend, a crushing confession, and her own sensibilities can carry her over the threshold between adolescence and adulthood.
September 1969
The corners of my bedroom had dulled to a muddy gray by the time my brother leaned on, or rather wobbled against, my door. His glassy eyes floated in their sockets. Stoned, again.
“Whatcha doing, Sis?” Stevie, my older brother slurred.
My gaze slipped over his pasty chest, sprinkled with wiry hair, and past his jockeys to his stick-like legs. Did he realize he was only wearing saggy underwear? Normally, I’d say gross and mock him, but only because he normally treated me like a speck of toe scum.
“Nothing much.” I slipped my diary into my sock drawer, away from prying eyes. Our parents weren’t home, and our little sister was asleep in her crib on the other side of my room.
“You need to grow up,” he said. “Here, it’s party time.” Pinched between his thumb and finger, he revealed an ordinary aspirin as if he’d procured the magic solution.
“Uh… I don’t have a headache.”
“Hey, turd. It’s not an aspirin. Stop the nerd act and get with the program. Grow up.”
Our sibling behavior toppled into the belittling and ridiculing stage. Though I figured it was his way of helping me. Yet, staring at the pill, I was interested, but a hootenanny of cymbals clashed inside my head and my sensible side screamed.
You’ll puke! I hate puking. Wasn’t it only last week Stevie was tripping and heaving guts like a water hose?
Shaking my head, I declined his kind and strange offer and tried using simple logic to get rid of him. “Not tonight. Mom and Dad will be home any minute. Go to bed. It’s late.”
“They’ll be so-o plastered. I can’t stand them like that.” Dejected, his shoulders slouched, and his body seemed to deflate. Until he tossed the pill, saying, “Catch.”

Author Bio:
Cathrina Constantine is the Best Selling author of Don’t Forget To Breathe. Her book won Readers’ Favorite International Book Award for 2015 and The Literary Classics Seal of Approval and Literary Classics Gold Award. Her Paranormal Fantasy, Wickedly They Come has been awarded the 5 Star Seal from Reader’s Favorite. Tallas from her dystopian series received Literary Classics Silver Award and Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
Cathrina resides in Western New York with her husband, five children, two Labrador Retrievers and her cat, Bones. Author @chbbpublishing. Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly. When not attached to her computer, she likes to take long walks in the woods with her dogs, drink way too much coffee, and is an avid movie watcher. She loves music and doesn’t need a dance floor to shake a leg.


The Celebrate the Small Things hop is hosted by Lexa Cain and co-hosted by L.G Keltner at Writing Off the Edge and Tonja Drecker at Kidbits. Visit Lexa's blog here to find out how join in the hop yourself and to see the list of participants.


  1. Would someone chasing you help?
    Congratulations to both Medeia and Cathrina!

    1. It might be the only thing that gets me to stick with it LOL.

  2. That gif totally cracked me up! If only I could run that fast. :)

    I'm learning that even if the running doesn't work out sometimes, a fast walk is really good, too - less jarring on the joints and still gets the heart pumping.

    1. I picture you zooming along like this Muppet. :D

  3. Good luck with the running challenge. Congrats to Medeia and Cathrina! :)

  4. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Julie!!!!

    I'm more of a walker than a runner, but my daughter runs marathon's I don't know how she does it. Good Luck to You!!!

    1. My pleasure!! It's always great to see a new book from you!

      I love walking too but feel like I need to up my game a bit. I don't think I'll ever make it to the marathon stage, I can't imagine!

  5. Hi Julie - the talk sounds a very interesting one ... while good for you for committing to running - good luck and long may it last ... and yes Medeia's book looks really frighteningly interesting! Congratulations too to Cathrina ... cheers Hilary

    1. It really was, I hated for the talk to be over. Thanks, Hilary!

  6. If I ever started running, I'd probably end up looking like your gif. Luv'd it. Congrats on getting moving.

    Marilyn @

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  8. More good news about the apes. Scientists have discovered an oral vaccine to protect them from Ebola. Evidently, over 60, 000 primates have succumbed to that disease. Horrible.

    Congrats to both Medeia and Cathrina!

  9. Woohoo for Apes and Running!
    Best wishes for all that you do, Julie.

    And, Congrats to Medeia and Cathrina!

  10. Sounds like an interesting talk, glad they are trying to help the apes. Good luck with your running challenge, I really want to get myself back into a good fitness routine. Also congrats to Madeia and Cathrina.

    1. Thanks, good luck with getting back into a good routine for you as well!

  11. The story about the apes is hopeful since one always hears nothing but the bad. I commend you for starting to run. I never could run but should walk since my butt has now fused with the couch. Congrats to Medeia and Cathrina

    1. LOL my butt was fused too, that's why I knew I had to do something. ;)
      That's exactly why I loved this presentation about the apes, it was great to hear about something positive and hopeful!

  12. There is a commercial showing a big dog pulling a person in a recliner. Would that count toward your 5k?

    1. Hahaha. I think it would but I would have to borrow someone else's dog. Mine would never go along with it. :D

  13. The lecture about the apes must have really been interesting. It's a shame how many animals are being squeezed out of their natural habitats because of the human desire to build and develop. It's good to know there are still good people in the world who are committed to preservation.

    Good for you with the running! (I think I have some running shoes... does that count?)

    Both of those books sound really good. (sigh) Guess I'll have to buy 'em! (Even if I'm NOT a teenager...)

    Have a super weekend!

    1. I don't even have running shoes yet LOL. I don't want to commit that much given my history. ;)
      Thanks and I hope you have a great weekend too!

  14. Terrible about the apes. I was horrified by the rhino slaying in France this week. Unreal, right? I hope your running goes well. Yay for Medeia and for Cathrina!

  15. Thank you so much. I mistakenly left my old handle sharifwrites for Twitter and Instagram when I now go by medeiasharif. Doh, social media fail. I'm sure people will find me. :)

  16. Congrats on the new releases ladies. Good luck with your run routine. Enjoyed the post.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  17. I would have enjoyed the lecture on apes. Sad what is happening. Congrats to the two authors, Cathrina and Madeia! Love the book titles.

  18. Congrats, Cathrina and Medeia! Those are two awesome books and I can't wait to read both of them :)
    The ape lecture does sound interesting. .(another book idea???) Good for you for running and may the writing flow.

  19. Good luck with your running goal! I think I'd be too much of a wimp to ever attempt a 5K run, LOL.

    And many congrats to Medeia and Cathrina! Their books sound amazing...

  20. I've been thinking about exercise as well. Spring fever I suppose. Youtube has some interesting workouts for yoga, etc. So far I've only watch a few and boy am I exhausted. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  21. Yay for Apes! And for Medeia and Cathrina! Happy times.

    Exercise is the struggle right now. Whew! Around kids and life, I just don't know where to fit it in. Running too... Yeah, that's not happening with my asthma. I've got an elliptical and am giving myself permission to use it while reading. (Rewards, eh?) Still, the routine... Wishing you EPIC success with the running.

  22. Good for you for picking up running. My brother is an avid runner and he's almost sixty. He is passionate about it and runs in marathons. Puts me to shame. ;)

  23. I started running for the first time in my early 50s and got hooked. Ran every morning before breakfast, worked my way up to 5K for my regular runs and did a mini marathon with my son. Unfortunately, I only got in about a decade before arthritic knees caught up with me and my ortho doc said no more. Wish I had started sooner.

  24. I love running. It's definitely something that takes time to get used to.

  25. Congrats to Medeia on her book cover. She's amazing in how much she writes and gets published each year.

    Good luck with your exercise goal. I love walking and walking every day is really important to my mental health. Hope you get into a good routine.

  26. Yay for Medeia and Cathrina!

    The lecture sounds fascinating. I would enjoy it.

    Kudos on the running. I have to quit being a slug.

  27. Congrats to both authors. I do love Medeia's writing. Thanks for the heads up. So pleased you enjoyed your seminar, Julie. Have a great week.

  28. Congrats to both authors!

    You are awesome for taking up running. I admire all who do. I've never been able to really run. I love learning more about apes. They are so beautiful and super smart.

  29. Congratulations to both writers. I (once) had aspirations to take up running. However, it just never worked out. I'm slowly increasing my level of exercise by working in my yard.


Thank you for your comments!