Reading up a Sweat: the #ebook #workout

Rumor has it that a lot of people have downloaded a huge collection of e-books they haven’t read yet.

Rumor also has it that quite few people struggle to find time or motivation to work out.  So here’s the way to get caught up on your reading and your exercise. At the same time.


Equipment: Dumbbells and e-reader. Your living room floor and a coffee table.

If you have an e-reader on your laptop, it will stand up by itself and be easier to look at during standing exercises, but a small e-reader or tablet will be more comfortable to handle for the side-lying leg work. For best results, plan to do this workout on alternate days three times a week. If you’re not sure how to do something correctly, err on the side of safety and caution. It’s hard to read if you’re on painkillers.

A reminder on good form: One rep of an exercise should take four to six seconds. The slower you go the harder you’ll work, and you’ll also read more since the workout will take longer. Rather than count reps—since you are focusing on a book— work to what’s called “voluntary fatigue.” If you feel as though you could go on forever, either it’s a really good book or the weight is too light.

Put the e-reader on the coffee table and enlarge the fonts. Read while you warm up with a set of squats and a set of back and front lunges, moving your arms through a reach-and-pull range of motion. You’ll have micro-pauses to turn pages, but you’ll get used to this and it won’t break your rhythm. It will simply add an isometric hold to the exercise.

Using a dumbbell, do two sets of bent-over rows, one long lever and one short lever (Arm straighter or at a sharper angle, changing which muscle group in your back is emphasized.) It’s especially easy to read during this exercise, since you have to look down anyway—and you have one hand free for page turning if you have good core strength and don’t need to lean on that arm.

Next, put the e-reader on the floor for a couple of sets of pushups. Don’t drip sweat on it, though.

Put the e-reader back on the table for shoulder work, either overhead presses or lateral raises, or one set of each. It can stay on the table for your biceps curls, triceps “skull crushers” or kickbacks, and forearm curls. You might add some wrist curls to keep up your strength for the occasional hardcover.

For some challenging leg and gluteal work that makes it easy to read, try “superman squats.” Stand on one leg in a position like superman flying, or like the yoga Warrior Three pose. With your weight in the heel of your standing leg, your lifted leg straight out behind you and your arms out in front, do shallow squats that keep your knee back over your midfoot. You may need to put a hand on the table for balance. That’s better than falling over. For a second set, try crossover squats with one foot crossed behind you. Bend to a ninety-degree angle in the front leg. The superman squats will emphasize glutes, while the crossover squats will make your quads work harder.

Next: Lie on your side with your e-reader propped up with one hand, and cross your top leg over, foot in front of the bottom leg’s knee. Use that top leg to press your hip off the floor. Your inner thigh will be lifting your hips and the bottom leg. Then straighten the top leg and bend the bottom one, and press the side of that bottom leg into the floor to make your hip lift up. Your hip and outer thigh muscles will be lifting the lower body’s weight now. Roll over, taking the e-reader with you, for one set of each on the other side. (If these versions of side-lying leg work are confusing, just do the more traditional inner and outer thigh leg lifts.)

Put the e-reader on the floor for planks and one-legged hip-twist planks with the free knee tucked in front, then lie face down to work your back. Lift your head and shoulders, arms in front or to the side. Hold while you read at least half a page, and take a short rest, and repeat to voluntary fatigue.

Hold the e-reader while you do sets of calf raises and heel-walks to work the back and front of the lower leg.

It will be harder to keep reading while you stretch every muscle you worked, but don’t skip your stretches. They will help you relax so you can unwind later and read that book in bed.


 Amber Foxx is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, a professor of Health and Exercise Science, and the author of one of those free stories lurking in the treasure chest of your e-reader. She has been doing variations on the e-book workout for several years. The protagonist of her mystery series is a fitness professional.

If you’re not sure how to do an exercise or need some new ideas:

Explore if you start to run out workout reading. Browse by genre for authors whose work is available on Nook, Kobo etc.


Everywhere #Bargains #99cents and #free #e-books


HalmREPROBATE 2LauffeyTimeShiftersFUNDAMENTALERROR 2CrawfordCoProphecyoutlaw1+copy


Everything listed on this site is a bargain, of course, indie prices being what they are, but these are a few of the super-bargains.

 99 cents:

Chains of Prophecy by Jason Crawford

Sales links:

Reprobate by Martyn v. Halm

Sales links:

Time Shifters by Shanna Lauffey

sales links:


The Outlaw Women by Amber Foxx

Fundamental Error by Martyn v. Halm

both can be found on:

and one of the books I just reviewed, Lost Cause by J.L. Simpson

download links:

Two Reviews: The Daisy Dunlop Mysteries




Lost Cause (Daisy Dunlop Mystery #1)

This is the kind of book you could read nonstop. Witty, naughty, fast-paced, well-plotted. Think of an R-rated British I Love Lucy with a whole tangle of mysteries—a missing heir, insurance fraud, a man with a secret, and murder—and you’ll get a sense of what you’re in for. Daisy is a colorful character. She’s smart, attractive, accident prone, inquisitive, and happily married to a man who wants to keep her out of trouble, though the job he finds for her does nothing of the sort. It was refreshing to read a book where the passionate romance is between husband and wife, parents of a teenager. The twists and turns of this story surprised me constantly. The contrast, conflict and repartee between Daisy and her employer Solomon kept me entertained. This is the only book I’ve ever read where a shot was fired that made me laugh out loud. It was a perfect punch line for the whole plot. When you get to it, you’ll know what I mean. I think this is the shortest review I’ve ever written, but with a plot like this, it’s hard to say more without spoilers. I’m hooked on Daisy Dunlop and look forward to keeping up with the series.

Lost and Found (Daisy Dunlop Mystery #2)

Would the sexual prowess of a poodle really incite someone to murder …?

This line from the blurb made me laugh. Many events in the book made me laugh, too—especially the method by which Daisy enacts a heroic rescue near the end. I still laugh thinking about it.

The humor is natural and authentic, coming from characters, relationships and situations, and is funnier for being so genuine. While this is essentially a comic mystery, the murders are handled with realistic seriousness and there are moments of human connection and caring that are true to life rather than risible. When there’s sex, though, it can be hilarious. Daisy and Paul’s marital romance continues to be one of the delights of the series, along with Daisy’s conflicted working relationship with her husband’s best friend Solomon.

The author is incredibly creative. The plot is full of unexpected events and original, colorful characters from beginning to end. And as for the poodles? Read the book to find out.

Buy links (and other great books)

Lost Cause is currently FREE and Lost and Found only $2.99.

Too Many Good Ones




Before I chose to go indie, I put a lot of thought into the decision, researching the pros and cons. Since my books exceeded the standard word count for popular fiction and blended genres rather than conforming to one, my research told me it could be hard to get an agent. So, after getting positive feedback in some contests, and spending years in the critique and revision process, I had my first book professionally edited and proofread, and I self-published. I figured other people self-published for similar reasons: writing off the beaten track, or coloring outside the genre lines–or wanting the 70% royalty and full creative control. It never occurred to me that some writers might self-publish because they didn’t want to go to the trouble of producing a professional product.

Then I joined Goodreads. On my first day as a participant, I read a forum post in which an author said she thought of bad reviews as free editing. What? Did she really sell books and expect readers to find the typos and plot holes? Free editing for her—but it cost the readers. Finding out that a number of writers published without the services of a qualified editor scared me off reading my fellow indies. Then I got involved in a short-lived but fascinating group, The Source, a project for screening and reviewing indie books. Through it, I discovered some great authors—and got hooked on good indie fiction. There are reviewers who seem to get a kick out reading a book they dislike and trashing it, but I’m not that kind. The “prematurely published” are easy to avoid with a quick perusal of the online preview. The more I buy and explore independent authors’ work, the more I realize, the problem isn’t that there are too many bad books out there; it’s that there are too many good ones, and I may never find time to read them all.

You can find some of the books I’m working my way through, and the ones I wrote, at