A collection of musings, articles and news about romance fiction.

Archive for April, 2012

Writers and the Healing Properties of Coffee and Chocolate!

Not a day goes by that you don’t hear a writer talk about coffee or chocolate. Or both. I mean, seriously.. every writer I know loves and dare I say – craves them both so I decided to do a little research to find out why. Take chocolate for instance.

Apparently chocolate really IS better than sex!

Who knew? (Okay, I did suspect, but that’s only Lindor Balls… and possibly Guylian Shells). The explanation goes like this: Chocolate increases production of the hormone oxytocin which is released whenever you feel attracted to some one. It gives you a feeling of safety, and when associated with someone or something else, creates a feeling of trust and ownership. It is also the hormone that creates the muscles spasms of an orgasm!

Alright you say…is this just chocolate company hype to get you to buy the stuff? Heck, I don’t care if it’s all in the mind or not – placebo effect is good enough for me! I mean, orgasms. Yes. But wait – there’s more! It seems chocolate stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the “runner’s high. Chocolate also contains a neurotransmitter, serotonin, that acts as an anti-depressant – and to top it off chocolate is an anti-oxidant. Research published in the Medical Journal “The Lancet”, shows that eating chocolate could prevent cancer and heart disease and contrary to popular belief also fights tooth decay.

In another research study Holland’s National Institute of Public Health and Environment show that chocolates contain antioxidants called Catechins and Phenols. These antioxidants could prevent heart diseases and cancer. Good stuff!

By acting as a deoxidizing agent , the phenols prevent clogging of arteries, thus averting heart attacks. The researchers also believe that the cacao plant, where chocolate and cocoa is derived, boosts the immune system and restricts the formation of bad cholesterol.

The body is an amazing thing and it seems that occasionally it can do the right thing by us and crave something that is actually good for you. The phenomenon is called “Wisdom of the Body.”

So someone says.

Somewhere.

That’s good enough for me :-)

And then there’s coffee….ah coffee…how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

As a writer I have to admit I might be a bit of a procrastinator. Shocked? What a surprise!

So drinking a cup of coffee helps me with my inspiration. It helps bring back my focus. It wakes me up every morning. It gives me a lift in the afternoon when the slump hits.

Plus it also has health benefits!

Imagine a drink that helps prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It’s also an antioxidant like chocolate. Sure, it might not give you that orgasm, but my God you can stay awake long enough to have one!

And it tastes awesome! Plus coffee shops have the best ambience. And the cutest Italian baristas :-)

So tell me what your favourite chocolate or coffee indulgence is? One lucky person will be randomly selected to win a free ebook of your choice from my backlist. So get posting!

About Maggie

I’m Maggie Nash and I write romance novels. Some of them are suspenseful, some are pretty hot, and some of them are a little bit kinky, but what they all have in common is a fun, romantic ending. I started writing more by accident than design when one day I ran out of books to read so I started writing one myself. And, boy, am I glad I did, because writing has become a huge part of my life. I live with my family on the beautiful south coast of New South Wales in Australia. You can find me most days having a cappuccino at the beach!

Maggie Nash www.maggienash.com TwitterFacebookBlog


Daydreams and Hard Work

Most writers are asked at some stage: “Where do your ideas come from”?

Who knows? Fantasies, fragments of conversations, images, news stories; the list is endless. Daydreams are a favourite of mine. When I was much, much younger, like everyone else I had daydreams about how I wanted my life to be. Mostly these dreams consisted of me being beautiful, witty, rich and with a gorgeous husband.

Then as I got older the dreams morphed into a Cinderella theme. Me being the unrecognized champion of the underprivileged, who eventually became a world leader (incipient megalomania tendencies I guess). But still, I was beautiful with a gorgeous lover (note the husband was dropped). Then there was a further development where the love wasn’t always a man.

As I started to write some of these daydreams down, I realised how boring they were. Who wants to read about a beautiful, rich, successful woman with numerous lovers? Well, quite a few people as it turns out. But only if she deserves all her bounty and only if she goes through quite a struggle to get what she wants/deserves.

And sometimes she realises she doesn’t want what she thought she wanted. Maybe riches and world domination aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. She still wants the lover/husband (I am a romance writer after all), but maybe her partner is not cookie-cutter gorgeous but a lot more complex and interesting.

So ideas are not enough. A good story well written is the stuff of successful fiction. That’s where the hard work comes in.

All of this is on my mind because I dodge hard work wherever I can. In my non-writing life, I’m a sloth. If I could take a pill that would make me fit and healthy I would. But alas, like writing, there are no short cuts to good health.

So with writing I have to put one word after the other and with exercise, one foot after the other. With gritted teeth. And of course, the magical thing happens and I start to enjoy it. My gorgeous, beautiful but humanly flawed heroine comes to life.

And as I walk, in the words of Ron Sexsmith I notice:

The leaves have lost hold of the branches as always
And leaves us with gold and wine colored pathways

In the same way I’ve
The same way I’ve fallen for you

(It’s autumn here, my favourite time of year).

So, ideas + hard work = pleasure.

Who knew?

About Keziah Hill

After many years working for other people, most notably in the criminal justice system, Keziah Hill now writes almost full-time. Living in the blissful Blue Mountains west of Sydney, she’s surrounded by bushland, native birds and the odd marauding possum. She divides her time between a thriving garden, writing erotica, romantic suspense and procrastinating.

Her latest novella, Chains of Revenge can be found at Amazon and Smashwords.  Visit her at www.keziahhill.com


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