5 Ways to Lose Weight in Paris Without Trying

by Nora James

Summer’s just around the corner and we all know what that means: strapless dresses, bikinis the size of a handkerchief, and thigh-revealing shorts. Beauty comes in all sizes, but if the thought of exposing a little flesh gives you nightmares and you’d love to drop a few kilos before strutting your stuff on the beach, then why not have the time of your life in the process?

Forget about filling up on steamed vegetables and salads, exercising ten times a week, and drinking twenty litres of water. Have you noticed how slim French women are? Heard of the French paradox? Here are the tried and true techniques women in Paris have relied on for centuries:

  1. Paris is the favourite haunt of dark, delicious men in stylish clothing. Follow them up and down the Champs Elysées and all around the Louvre, and walk off those calories. Before you know it you’ll be slipping into that dress you bought one size too small.
  2. Give yourself permission to develop a crush on the most handsome man you meet, whether it’s the pâtissier whose cakes are a work of art, the tour guide whose accent sends shivers down your spine, or the mysterious stranger who points you in the direction of the Eiffel Tower. While you’re salivating over him, you won’t be tempted to raid the fridge. In fact, you won’t even remember what food is.
  3. Should you come across an enticing Frenchman who is available when you are too, why not take it to the next level? There’s nothing like an affair to keep you looking fabulous. Kissing can burn off 100 calories an hour or more, so imagine what twenty-four hours of non-stop love-making could do for your thighs!
  4. If your lover asks you to stay over, let him do the cooking. While you watch his shapely buttocks as he leans forward to finely chop potatoes and leeks, you’ll find that your mind will focus on delights other than culinary. Use your feminine charm and offer him a cuddle while the dish is simmering – he won’t take much persuading to take it one step further and you’ll burn off dinner even before you eat it.
  5. If you must break up, do it in Paris. Nothing will put you off your food quite like ending your affair in the most romantic city in the world. You won’t just shed tears, you’ll effortlessly lose all those unwanted kilos in no time and be the envy of your less fortunate friends.

But if you can’t make it to France just yet, don’t despair. Grab a copy of Paris By Heart by Nora James. It’s guaranteed to entertain with a delicious French chef, a personal tour of Paris and zero calories to boot. Now that’s a guilt-free pleasure.

Bon appétit!

22835She came to Paris to forget about men, but the city of love has different plans for her…

Elise Reid wasted years on a bad relationship, dreaming when she could have been doing. Now she’s making up for lost time — taking all of her savings and heading straight for Paris and the Cordon d’Or cooking school, the first step in her café dreams.

No dream is without its roadblocks, and Elise’s come in the form of a dark, delicious, decidedly rude Frenchman who works in the café below her studio apartment. Forced to tutor Paul in exchange for reduced rent, Elise finds herself laughing, teasing and sharing her dreams.

But there’s more to this story than mixing together two people and adding a dash of spice. Elise has been hurt before, and Paul has problems of his own. There are 14 000 kilometres between Australia and Paris, but that may be nothing compared to the emotional distance two people have to cross…losing their baggage along the way.

Get Your Freak On – Top 10 Phobias

by Sandra Antonelli

You may know, on a deep cognitive level, that you are 5 billion times bigger than that itsy, bitsy spider on the garden spout, that thunder is just God bowling with the angels, and that the elevator you are trapped in with your new boss is not going to run out of oxygen, which is what Olivia tries to explain to wigging out claustrophobic Emerson in my new smart-ass romantic comedy Driving in Neutral.

Everyone’s afraid of something. So what scares you? Odds are it’s one of these Top Ten Phobias.

  1. Arachnophobia: The Fear of Spiders, Research shows arachnophobia affects more women than men. No surprises there.

    Your mileage may vary

    Your mileage may vary

  2. Acrophobia: The Fear of Heights.


  3. Cynophobia: the fear of dogs.


  4. Agoraphobia: The fear of crowded places or any place where a quick exit is not possible.
  5. Claustrophobia: The fear of confined spaces (like elevators)


  6. Coulrophobia: The fear of clowns. Seriously, WHO thinks clowns are fun?



  7. Ophidiophobia (or Herpetophobia) The fear of snakes, which, if you live in the Land Down Under, where 9 of the 10 most venomous snakes in the world are found, makes good sense.


  8. Aichmophobia (or Trypanophobia) The fear of needles or sharp pointy things that can stick a person.


  9. Aviatophobia or Pteromerhanophobia: The fear of flying. Oddly, when you ask people what’s scary they often say they are afraid of the plane crashing, rather than the actual flying part.


  10. Mysophobia: The fear of germs. It’s flu season, kids, cough and blow responsibly. And wash your hands.


What scares me? War, loud noises, large crowds that can squish me, and xenophobia (yes, I have a phobia about people who fear people from other cultures and places), but I am not afraid of elevators.


A new, quick-witted, quip-heavy romance for grown-ups from Sandra Antonelli about facing your fears — because love is the greatest risk of all.

Levelheaded Olivia Regen walks away from her car-racing career and the wreckage of a bad marriage to take on new work that’s far removed from the twists of racetrack. Her new life is about control, calm and the good friends that she adores.

But her first task on her very first day involves getting up close and too personal with her claustrophobic boss, alone in a broken elevator. Her unconventional solution for restoring his equilibrium shocks them both and leaves Olivia shaken.

Determined to stick to her plan, Olivia drives headlong into work and planning her best friend’s wedding, leaving no room for kissing, elevators, or workplace relationships. But Emerson is not one to be out-manoeuvred. Can he convince Olivia that her fear of falling in love again is just another kind of claustrophobia – one that is destined to leave them both lonely?

Inspiration Behind the Story – Georgie Tyler

Our Common Humanity

by Georgie Tyler

I watched a short film many moons ago and it got me thinking. Now when I say short, I mean very short. I think it was attached to a popular movie, Love Actually and rolled after the final credits.

Picture this. Two African women sauntering across a dry, cracked earth, each carrying a stack of sticks strapped securely to their backs. You get the idea that this isn’t the first or last time they’ll be taking this journey. In fact it’s a daily routine for them. They’re chatting in their own language and it’s subtitled for the English speakers of this world. While listening to their banter, I was captured and a little stunned, I’m embarrassed to say, because their discussion surprised me, and at the same time connected me to them. Why? Because they were commenting on their life, husbands, children, neighbours, community not much differently to what I do when enjoying a coffee or meal with friends.

Sometimes we forget the common humanity we all share, whether you live in a war torn, famine ravaged country or safely nestled away in a suburb of Sydney. It was one of the many factors that led me to write my debut romance Doctors Beyond Borders released in January, 2014. Ariadne Tate, a doctor with Medecins Sans Frontieres is eager to escape the world of work based gossip having been a prime target in Sydney and discovers that the same observations, elucidations and interpretations are made amongst the Sudanese medical staff about certain employees in Sudan as they are in temperate, laid back and flourishing Sydney.

Ariadne and Ford, the heroine and hero of my story and both doctors represent the many people in the world that dedicate months or years of their lives using their skills to help the afflicted and less fortunate. My ex-pat characters chose this path for many different reasons but the common thread is the desire to offer up their skills in active charity. I admire them. I applaud them. I wish in my younger years I had been more proactive like them. I’m so glad I penned a story around them that’s now available for others to read.

Kids and family are my priority at the moment, but maybe in my twilight years when my brood have flown the coup my passive assistance may transform into something more active. I’d like to think so as these people have the same hopes and dreams as the rest of us; the eradication of poverty, improvement in health and a better world for themselves and their children.


19910She’s about to find out that nothing is fair when it comes to war, except, the healing power of love.

When Ariadne Tate takes a deployment to Sudan with a medical aid organisation, romance is the last thing on her mind…but Dr Ford Gosden puts a glitch in her plans. Too damn attractive for his own good and a thoroughly nice guy, Ford slowly seeps under Ariadne’s skin.

But Sudan is not a stable place to form a relationship, and as political tension escalates in the region, Ariadne has no choice but to focus on her job and her safety. Under the protection of a UN convoy, she heads out into the war-torn countryside — and the unthinkable happens. Captured and held hostage by a renegade with no chance of escape, Ariadne’s hope for a new life with the man she loves begins to fade and the fight for her life begins.

Inspiration Behind the Story: Louise Forster

Inspiration for Finding Elizabeth.

8879A friend took us to a ballet performance, and while sitting in the middle somewhere up in dress circle, I wondered how many guys to my left, right and below in the stalls, were enjoying Giselle, or how many would rather be watching footy.

Then I wondered, was I guilty of holding a prejudiced view against men? Not good and not fair. But I kept going: were some here to please a girlfriend? Was there a hot guy watching one of the dancers – let’s say the starring ballerina – and did he want to meet her?

This led to other questions. Was the hot guy visiting from out of state, another country, was he just out of prison, or did he finally surface from a coma to be dazzled by a dancer wearing a red frou-frou thing?

Pretty soon my ideas were spinning out of control. The concert-hall, the people, posters, sights, and sounds inspired me to write about a ballet dancer.

tumblr_lk79669Tya1qgxwpyWhile researching, I discovered the kinds of injuries they would have to deal with. I made life harder on my ballerina and gave her hyperextension, which can be an asset, because their legs can flex more and give the dancer, in some positions, extraordinary beautiful lines. But if a dancer had to deal with hyperextension, would it shorten her career?

To give my romance even more atmosphere, I set my story in Canada during their snowy, freezing Christmas and put the Australian hero there, straight out of a hot Australian summer. Instead of Giselle I chose The Fire Bird where my heroine has to perform a very lively dance.

There’s nothing better than torturing your characters to get the best out of them!

21188Louise’s next book is set much closer to home. Check out Home Truths, available this month!

London-based chef Jennifer Dove loves her exciting, fast-paced life and she has every intention of returning to it ASAP. This trip to Tumble Creek — middle-of-nowhere Australia — is just a blip, a trip out of time, to visit her sister and niece and farewell her beloved Uncle.

But much as she tries not to, Jennifer is sucked in to the small town and the mystery surrounding her uncle. Who is his girlfriend Veronica, and why is she not here? What are the locals hiding? And why can she not get sexy local Calum McGregor out of her mind?

All is not what it seems in this sleepy, small town, and as Jennifer unravels its mysteries, she might just be tying herself to Tumble Creek forever.