Lasting benefits from running

By Denise Turney
Runners reap rewards other athletes don’t. A clear mind, lower stress levels and a healthy, slender physique are byproducts of running long distances. Run at a 10-mile per hour pace and you can burn more than 310 calories. Depending on your body weight, you might burn considerably more calories.

Exercise isn’t the only running benefit

Your endorphins rise while you’re cortisol levels lower. Raise your endorphins and you’ll feel better, happier. Endorphins are brain neurotransmitters that send electrical signals throughout your nervous system. As these chemicals (endorphins) are released your immune system improves, your libido may be stimulated and your mood may rise. Endorphins also help you deal with stress and pain.

Those are good things, all which you can get from running.

Raising your cortisol levels isn’t so good. In fact, heightened cortisol levels can cause you to feel tired, even after you’ve gotten 8 or more hours of restful sleep. You might also have difficulty thinking clearly, feel jittery, gain weight and/or raise your blood pressure if your cortisol levels remain high for too long. Staying in these prolonged states is dangerous. Blood tests are generally performed to determine your cortisol levels.

These benefits might explain why long distance runners experience what some refer to as “runners high”. Sporting a thinner frame offers another benefits — an improved self-image. Add in championship competitions, similar to those Raymond Clarke (star character in “Love Pour Over Me”) races in, and your self-esteem and self-image can be strengthened even more.

Even more, running is fun. Cover 10 or more miles and you can see parts of your community you might not otherwise have learned about. Start and end routes in different locations, and you could learn enough about these areas to pad your bank account by writing and selling real life and/or travel articles.

Because your head clears while you’re running, answers to problems you’ve been dealing with may bubble to the surface. It’s these benefits that make running more than an exercise regimen, that make running a gift, a blessing.

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How to know if a book’s written for money or quality entertainment

By Denise Turney

Globally, more than two million books were published in 2005 alone. That’s a single year. Of that number, 328,259 of those books where published in the United States. It’s nothing new that writing and publishing books is one way you could become a multi-millionaire. What has changed over the years, especially with the Internet’s rising popularity, is the number of people who are penning novels.

Book Publishing’s Attraction

The sheer number of authors alone has taken a bit of luster off what it means to be an author. In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear a friend, colleague or relative proudly exclaim, “I can write a better book than . . .” (Fill in the blank with a New York Times bestseller author’s name.

But, can anyone, regardless of their writing experience or storytelling skills, sit down and write a bestseller at the drop of a hat? Or better yet, should anyone write a novel just so they can become rich?

The quality of novels hitting the market may reveal that writing books for money is becoming increasingly attractive. For example, years ago it was hard, very hard, to buy a novel that had numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes in it. It was also very hard to come across a novel that switched point of view so many times that readers got confused about who was saying or experiencing what.

Read enough of these books and you could start to think that authors don’t respect readers. You could also start to think that authors are arrogant, of the belief that stories they create are so automatically awesome that only a dumb person wouldn’t see the greatness in the writing.

Signs a Book Was Written Mainly for Money
Besides being filled with grammatical and spelling errors, books that are written mainly for money may also be developed using a formula or pattern, are built upon cliff hanging scenes that the greatest sci-fi fan would have a very hard time believing, rely on shock to hold reader interest, have so many rancid sex scenes a gigolo would blush (which swings back to the shock factor), shy away from facts (some writers really do hate to conduct research) and more.

Yet, authors who aim for riches rather than to develop quality entertainment, stories that stir the human spirit and provoke deep thought, haven’t created this issue in a vacuum. They haven’t turned down the respect authors once enjoyed all by themselves. The push from book publishers, literary agents and editors to sell-sell-sell is no less responsible.

To reduce the risk of taking on an author who has the talent but not the marketing mindset or skill to sell thousands of books a month, publishers are starting to watch the self-publisher ranks. Once a self-published author sells 10,000 or more copies of a single title, it’s not uncommon for publishers to contact that author, asking them if he wants to work out a deal.

This is a near complete about face over how publishers acquired manuscripts decades ago, back when modern novels became classics. Back then, publishers, editors and agents hunted for talent, scouring through stacks of manuscripts in the hopes of finding a rare gem, a quality novel that introduced readers to complex characters, people whose experiences mimicked their own without, at first glance, appearing to.

Waiting for Great Quality Art
It remains to be seen what impact sales over quality will have on the book industry. Perhaps the impact will mirror the impact that less conscious songs have had on the music industry. After all, one thing is certain. Readers, like music lovers, aren’t dumb. They know quality entertainment when they read it.

While listening to an interview given by the music mogul, Clive Davis, I was inspired to hear Clive share that he was waiting for a conscious singer/songwriter, someone like Bob Dylan (and dare I say, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Diane Warren, Carole King and Nina Simone) to appear on the music scene. He’s not alone.

One great artist, an artist whose primary goal is to create quality entertainment, can set an industry on its end. In this regard, creating novels that aim to provide quality entertainment may help generate more profits for the book industry long term than books that are written solely for money.

Yes. There are risks. Books you pour months, perhaps years, of work into — writing and editing and writing and editing — may not gain many a large number of sells, costing you money. Yet, the risks may be worth it, especially if you genuinely love to write, respect reader intelligence and appreciate how great books you’ve read changed your life in remarkable, yet, generally unnoticeable, ways.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&,, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Penn Relays Sports Brillance

penn relays track and field
It’s hard to live in the Philadelphia area and not hear about the historic Penn Relays, an event that generally takes place mid-spring. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Mary Slaney, Carmelita Jeter, Michael Johnson and Vicki Huber are just a few of the track and field standouts who have competed at the world famous event.

Watching Bolt, Blake and the other Jamaican relay team members sprint ahead of all other relay runners is memorable. Their performance brings to mind Carl Lewis and the United States’ teams 4 x 200 run at the 1992 Penn Relays. Clearly, the sports tradition that originally kicked off in April 1895, doesn’t stop at spotlighting collegiate track and field stars. In fact, top high school and professional track runners regularly attend the Penn Relays over three to five days. Watching them in the stands, on a single day, can be more than 30,000 fans, adults and children filling the stands at the University of Pennsylvania stadium.

penn relays women run

This year’s schedule starts with Tuesday and Wednesday qualifying races. Thursday’s races being with women’s hurdles championships, followed by women’s high school hurdles. There are also Special Olympics and Master’s  track competitions. Field events include the shot put, pole vault, long jump, high jump, hammer throw and discus throw.

Although you can catch the Penn Relays on NBC and Universal Sports, there’s nothing like  attending the Relays in person.  Attend in person and you could see some of the world’s top track stars up close. If you’re passionate about running yourself, you could also note some warm-up, relay hand-off, block start and finish techniques used by the fastest runners in the world.

If you do attend the historic races, make sure you bring a digital camera as there will likely be dozens of experiences you’ll want to capture and remember. Who knows, you might even get the chance to chat with a competitor after the event has ended.

penn relays race

Another tip you’ll want to remember is to arrive at the Penn Relays early. If you’ve never been to the Penn Relays before, head for Franklin Field at 235 South 33rd Street. Traffic in and out of Philadelphia can get thick. The good thing is that there won’t be a Philadelphia 76ers or Eagles game to add even more congestion to area roadways. Check weather reports before you leave, making bringing an umbrella or raincoat just in case the weather changes.

Above all, have loads of fun. You might even leave the Penn Relays determined to begin a personal fitness regimen. If you’re a mature adult, you might even consider entering the Master’s competitions at future Franklin Field track and field competitions. Track and field . . . it has always been Raymond Clarke’s favorite sport. Learn about his sports exploits in Love Pour Over Me, a story that unveils the inner workings of a fictional world class track star, simply unforgettable.

To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&,, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today.

Keeping Peace with Family Members at Holiday Events

By Denise Turney

holiday parties

People from different cultures and religions celebrate holidays at different times of year, strengthening local and family history. In the United States and abroad, the winter season is a time when millions of people travel long distances to visit with family and friends, eager to celebrate major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. If people have wonderful and joyous memories of times they spent gathered at a relative’s home during major holidays, thoughts about getting together with family can create welcomed emotions.

Creating Good Memories with Family at Holiday Events

However, not everyone enjoys peaceful, happy conversations and family history experiences while in the company of relatives. Comedians tell jokes about it, jokes that elicit rip roaring laughter from audiences. Movies and books retell, often exaggerating experiences, arguments and battles that take place when three or more relatives who purposely avoid each other all year long get together during the holidays. For onlookers, it can be hilarious. It can also be painful.

Funny thing is there’s usually only a few, sometimes just one, relatives disagreeing family members would rather not be around during the holidays (or any other time of year, for that matter). To be with these family members, people travel home by airplane, train or automobile, risking the chance that they might get into a heated argument with a relative. To keep the peace during holidays as families come together, people can:

  • Journal to express emotions they might have been keeping pent up for months or years
  • Write down at least three qualities they appreciate or love about each of their family members
  • Telephone family members throughout the year, taking the dynamite out of once a year get-togethers
  • Pray for peace between all family members throughout the year
  • Commit to spending time with family members absent arguments and fights; after all, they are helping to create family history

Gotta say this. Older relatives might also find it helpful to put a little butter on their tongue, softening the way they say things. For instance, I’ve heard some people complain about how, during holiday events, older relatives repeatedly call them fat, skinny or tell them how much they’ve changed (in unflattering ways) since they last saw them. Not sure if some folks think physical age gives them license to say whatever they wish to younger family members. However, just as older family members might feel disrespected if younger folks speak too-direct with them, young folks feel likewise.

People can also remind themselves that they are helping to create lasting memories and family history for children and other adults in their families each time they attend holiday family get togethers. If arguments during the holidays center around major events being held at the same person’s home, families can also start rotating whose home holiday events are held at.

It’s possible to have peace in the home during the holidays. It might take a little creativity and innovation, but it can be done. It’s also better than building memories of fights and ensuring arguments in the minds of children around the holidays. . . . Enjoy being with your loved ones during this and other holiday seasons.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Booksellers Surviving Book Industry Changes

By Denise Turney

booksellers pubishing companies

Publishing companies and booksellers are experiencing industry changes at a pace unlike that seen in recent decades. The only other industry that has experienced changes at as rapid a pace might be the music industry.

Over the last two decades, technology changed the music industry, permanently, so that there’s no chance of going back to the way things were before file sharing and music downloading took off. Now technology is changing the book industry, forcing book publishing companies and booksellers to hang on . . . wait out the final shifting result. For example, today mobile devices and e-book readers make it possible for  readers to download, preview, purchase and start reading books without having to visit a bookstore or library.

Responding to Changes Impacting the Book Industry

This welcomed convenience may be causing book lovers to visit bookstores in smaller numbers. When I asked one bookseller about the challenges this trend causes, he told me that booksellers who stock rare books may be able to withstand the growing changes technology is bringing to the book industry. This might be true for booksellers as well as for publishing companies. Perhaps booksellers and publishing companies that market, shelve and sell tough-to-find offline books can set themselves apart, continuing to thrive in changing markets.

In addition to selling rare books, to stay relevant, attracting the attention of large numbers of book readers, booksellers could host book club events and host weekly radio programs that focus on current and upcoming events at their brick and mortar stores. They could also schedule interviews with popular local authors, organize literary events at schools and develop and distribute print and digital book reviews.

Publishing companies could hire writers to research and write e-books, how-to books and educational nonfiction books that cover common topics from uncommon angles. They can also hire writers to develop content in unique styles, ones that are rarely found on the market.

Booksellers Win by Making Readers Comfortable

Whatever steps booksellers and publishing companies take to engage book readers, they might have to do something they aren’t comfortable doing. For example, they might have to charge book clubs a fee to use their services. They also might have to ask authors to commit to marketing their book signings, helping to bring in dozens of readers rather than showing up to book signings with nothing except a pen and a box of books.

In regards to booksellers, bearing that they have the space, booksellers can also rent out meeting rooms to business and community leaders. By placing computers and WiFi in their bookstores and offering healthy food and beverages at their stores, booksellers might be able to attract a broader audience.

It’s going to take creativity and innovation, the same type of innovation that’s moving technology forward at warped speeds, for bookstores, and some publishing companies, to survive. Years from now, booksellers and publishing companies that are up for the challenge might be the lone rangers that not only survived, but also thrived, changes currently impacting the book industry.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, Ebookit.comand get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Famous Athletes Setting Good Examples

By Denise Turney

Last night I watched ESPN’s “30 for 30” sports documentary about professional athletes who go broke, many because they mismanaged their money. To say it was painful to watch the show is an understatement. It was absolutely hard to watch people who once had millions, some hundreds of millions of dollars, be deep in debt within 10 or fewer years after they retired from their sport. Watching the television documentary reminded me of the importance of being a good steward (manager) of what has been given to me. Watching the ESPN sports television documentary also reminded me of how quickly the high times can end.

Famous Athletes Learning from Their Mistakes

The ESPN sports television documentary made me think about examples of excess some famous athletes set. Professional athletes who appeared on the sports documentary where forthcoming. They didn’t appear to pull any punches. I appreciate that. It’s not easy to expose clay-feet-thinking in such a public way, especially considering the fact that we all have made mistakes. It was refreshing to see professional athletes who learned from their mistakes or who always managed their finances sensibly. Considering the fact that several of the professional athletes who went broke or filed bankruptcy gave others legal access to their finances and directed others to manage their money, I couldn’t help wondering if it should be a requirement for professional athletes to take accredited money management courses before signing sports contracts. This way, they might have the confidence to manage their own finances.

After the sports documentary, I thought about famous athletes who regularly set good examples, men and women who manage their money and their personal lives well, in ways that can yield years of reward. I thought about track runner, Jesse Owens, and how he handled himself both in and outside his sport. Memories of a former colleague sharing the story of her cousin, a man who played in major league baseball (MLB), who decided to step away from the sport after his wife and he added to their family. He wanted to spend more time with his wife and children. That’s a choice few famous athletes would likely make, but one this former professional baseball player never did regret.

Professional Athletes Who Are Real Champions

Then there’s Kai Greene, a professional bodybuilder, and a man who doesn’t promote excess, but who instead promotes inner vision, focus and using the strength of our minds. It was inspiring to see him commit to achieving his goal, winning Mr. Olympia, just two days after he took second place in the 2012 event. It’s refreshing to see professional athletes be secure in themselves and not need to make an appearance everywhere they go. It’s refreshing to see professional athletes truly (and I mean truly) put their children in front of the sport they compete in (not just in word or during interviews but in every day behind the scenes life from the time their children are born).

These professional athletes show that making it to the big leagues doesn’t mean you’ve become the wizard in the Wizard of Oz, someone with illusions of power. They show kids that, anyone with a dream, focus, commitment, drive, passion and talent can do what they have done. They encourage rather than discourage others to outperform them after they retire, not fearing that another athlete will eclipse their records. They root for the entire human race, not just themselves. They’re winners, real champions.

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Great Quotes from Love Pour Over Me

By Denise Turney

love pour over me book quotes

Love Pour Over Me is a book that is created to endure the test of time. Through multi-faceted characters, major and minor, the book explores and examines the human condition. It celebrates love, the joy that it brings and resistance to experiencing love, helping readers to see that anytime they thought they tried love and love failed it wasn’t love they tried but instead an illusion of love.

Scenes from Love Pour Over Me serve as wake up calls, motivation and inspiration for readers from various parts of the world and all walks of life. I share a very small portion of some Love Pour Over Me writings with you below:

  • “He wanted Malcolm to walk through the convention center doors sober and real proud like. He wanted Malcolm to be glad to call him his son.”
  • “A ghost haunted him; it pulled at him with so much force it felt stronger than he was. It was the shadow of a boy who didn’t want to leave, who wanted to stay and beg for his father to love him.”
  • “He wanted the thing he hated but had grown so used to he missed it.”
  • “Mirth hung between them like a thread. It bonded them closer one to the other — the good, the bad — the dark secrets.”
  • “He smiled as if images and sounds from the long ago experience were seeping through the memory so strongly that he looked like he’d just walked away from the concert, Lionel Hampton’s white dress shirt wet with sweat much like his t-shirt now was, his fingers entwined with his mother’s, his small head turned, looking back at the maestro as if he was more magic than man.”
  • “With his free hand, he brushed her forearm. ‘The only thing about trying to be too independent is that it gets you out of balance.’”
  • “Uncertainty hung in the air, and because it did, Brenda wanted to hold onto what was familiar to her. She couldn’t explain it. With each forward step she took, she had no evidence for it, but she felt certain that when she saw her sister again she would be deeply changed – forever.”
  • “He was jealous of Raymond. He envied the way Brenda doted upon him. She was unlike Leann, his tall, wiry wife of thirty-eight years, an emotionally steely woman with a frozen heart. Leann and he were tucked inside the walls of a dead union that not even all his preaching could revive. Yet somehow they found the energy to play the role of a happy, spiritual couple. Even their families thought love, not communal concern, kept them together.”
  • “The writing appeared smooth yet hard to read, the mark of a man who wrote often, who wrote fast. The letters were broadly curved at the ends. Space between each letter was wide, as if to leave room for the reader to pause or contemplate what was on the page. There was a pitch of deep sincerity in the note which read: ‘Even with an ailing loved one, I know you can do it. You’ve got what it takes to get over the top.’”
  • “Forfeit had long stood as a symbol of love to her. The more she sacrificed, the better she felt about herself. It was almost as if she believed that to sacrifice, to do what she least wanted to do, to go where she especially did not want to be, was to earn her place in the universe, akin to a tenant paying rent. Elders taught her that to relinquish her wants for another was the greatest act of love. It’s what made mothers good women, they told her.”
  • “If we didn’t have so much fear attached to things we want, I think we’d understand all of our dreams. Fear that we won’t get what we want makes us force dreams in a certain direction, to mean something deep down inside we know isn’t true. You know,” she added while she looked across the café. “I hadn’t thought of this before but I wonder if that’s the reason so many of us don’t remember our dreams. We don’t want to know the truth.”
  • “Twelve unaltered years, routine and habit forcing each new day to turn out like the one before, passed long and slowly for Raymond, like the train moving from station to station down the uneven tracks.”
  • “She took you down a new path with the way she loved you. She was the person you had courage to love in return. Do you know how freeing love is, Man? Do you know the gift this woman gave you? She opened you up to receive love, the greatest gift.”

Open to love, my friend. It’s inside of you, welling up even now. It lights your path. It knows the way.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!

Loving the Smooth Sounds of Jazz Music

By Denise Turney

Jazz is a music form that stirs the soul and invigorates the mind without the need of words. Listen to one smooth jazz cut and you’ll see why jazz stays in style. The music has a language all its own.

For the Love of Traditional and Smooth Jazz

It doesn’t matter if you’re listening to Miles Davis getting low and funky on his trumpet or to Gerald Albright making a saxophone do what only he can, jazz will shake and soothe you both at the same time. Andy Snitzer ripping notes with his saxophone on “Taking Off” or add in Ella Fitzgerald dipping and riffing so effortlessly it seems as if she’s merely walking through the park signing along with birds that – it’s all glorious jazz.

No wonder Raymond Clarke, the main character in Love Pour Over Me, seeks out jazz the morning after he arrives to campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He’s seeking solace in the music. He also longs to feel some connection with his father back home. They both love jazz . . . Raymond and his father, Malcolm . . . one of their favorite musicians being the one and only Miles Davis.

If you’re a jazz lover like Raymond and Malcolm (or me) and you want to enjoy live jazz, check out some of the local, regional and international jazz festivals. For example, there’s the annual Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, California (the festival celebrated its 55th year in 2012), the Newport Jazz Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada or the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival. These are just a few of the many jazz festivals that take place in the United States and around the world.

You can also enjoy live jazz at local parks, sometimes the admission is free. I’m willing to guess that if you love jazz as much as Love Pour Over Me’s Raymond Clarke does, you go out of your way to listen to jazz whenever you can. The music probably inspires and motivates you, sending good vibes all through you. Oh . . . the sweet sounds of jazz!

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!


Love Pour Over Me