All posts by Breanna Mounce Thaman

About Breanna Mounce Thaman

I graduated from NKU with a BA in English and a minor in journalism. My emphasis was in creative writing so I love to read! Writing is my second passion, I've participated in Camp Nanowrimo and Nanowrimo. I live with my pasty white, viking wannabe, husband (who is the author of The Goblin Wars and Shadowlith series), our Boston Terrier named Yoda, and our three cats, Bagul, Ichabod and Eleven (all named after horror themed characters). I do Camp Nanowrimo and Nanowrimo as often as I can and I'm currently working on a new novel. My first published book is coming out Fall 2017, you can find it on Amazon.

Potato Diet (on pause)

We’re taking a little pause on the potato diet. I plan on doing it again. Maybe for a cycle, three days on, three days off or something. I have some goals to achieve that I just can’t do while only eating potatoes. Plus, Father’s Day is Sunday and I really want to enjoy some nice, grilled salmon!

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One of those goals I mentioned is reaching my 100th class in Pure Barre! I’ve noticed I’m just way too weak and I get way to hungry while also trying to work out. I did lose two pounds in the four days that I did this round of the potato diet, which in my opinion is pretty good. I finally hit 150 (I weighed 161 at the beginning of the year) and got out of my weight-loss hump. I have 5-10 more pounds to lose before we leave for vacation in July.

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We got a new fridge today, so I’m going to stock it up with a ton of fruits and veggies! No more bringing crap home! Well… at the moment.

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Potato Diet Day 4

Day 4

My cravings are starting to settle down and instead of wanting sweets, I’m wanting a nice fruit smoothie. Which would be a shock to people who know me because I hate fruit. I’m thinking our fridge going out might have been a blessing to my diet (partly). Once we get the new one in, I can stock it up with healthier items. I’ve decided I’m just going to do this diet until Sunday. I have a busy schedule coming up where I’m not going to be able to be as strict with my diet and it’s also been very hard for me to work out while on this diet. I’ve been debating trying on Keto once I return from vacation next month, we’ll see!

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Breakfast: One red potato, diced into small pieces with reduced sugar ketchup. Basically the only way I’ve been eating them for breakfast. This morning I seasoned them with garlic powder and our Grill Mates spice.

Lunch: Same as breakfast. Had another Chewy bar in order to not be too hangry at work.

Dinner: Two normal potatoes, sliced like wedges with reduced sugar ketchup.

One scoop of Muscle milk protein mixed with water because I worked out a little bit and went on a walk.

It was a boring food day, but hey, I’m running out of ways to creatively prepare potatoes. Today, I was in a rush because I couldn’t meal prep last night, so I just chopped a bunch of potatoes and went with it! You do what you ‘gotta do!

Potato Diet Day 3

Day 3

I’ve noticed I have a few more followers of the blog since I started the potato diet, so I’d like to say welcome to you guys today! I hope you follow along on this journey with me. Last night I was feeling like giving up on this task, but ya’ll are making me feel more accountable for my meals (which is a good thing). Last night I was VERY hungry and ended up eating a Chewy bar, but I don’t feel bad about that, my body needed something and it was better than the donuts I was craving.

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I have noticed a headache coming along, I think that’s more so from stress. I’ve been slightly irritable but, also, probably stress caused. Last night our refrigerator and freezer broke down, causing everything to thaw out and melt onto the kitchen floor. But here’s the bright side, potatoes don’t need to be refrigerated! Though, I’m kind of skeptical of today’s meal prep. We’ll see…

I also couldn’t help myself and weighed in today. I’ve already lost 1.8 pounds! Woo! This finally gets me out of the weight-loss rut I’ve been in for over a month. That feels great!

I’ve been watching some YouTube videos from a women who has done the potato diet a few times, so if you’re looking for some inspiration, check her out! She has some good videos on how to cook them too!

 

 

Breakfast: One average sized potato chopped in chunks and seasoned by my husband with about five tablespoons of reduced sugar ketchup.

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Lunch: Today’s lunch was more of a snack that I munched on all day. I baked two potatoes and made them into wedges with garlic salt only. I also used my trusty reduced sugar ketchup.

Add a 70 calorie snack bag of Pirate’s Booty popcorn as a snack.

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Dinner: Dinner was one red potato mashed along with a Chewy granola bar because I had to run an errand right after work.

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Daily potato count: 4

 

Potato Diet Day 2

Day 2

So, it’s Monday… and after waking up I wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of only eating potatoes today, especially after having so many temptations come up yesterday after dinner. I’m addicted to sweets. I was binge-watching The Good Place with my husband and the characters are constantly eating froyo. I wanted anything but potatoes this morning. I also had to remove my Facebook app from my phone because of all those random dessert ads you occasionally get. I’ve gotten so desperate to get rid of the ads that I’ve been yelling ‘potato’ into my phone so ‘big brother’ will take the hint that I’m on a diet (you know your phone is always listening.)

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There is a good thing about eating only potatoes, I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to eat, because I can only eat potatoes. The only decision I have to make is if I want them mashed, baked, ect.

 

So here’s how day 2 went…

 

After yesterday’s double workout of barre and some weightlifting, I decided to take it easy and not workout today. My bum was killing me from barre!

I’ve come to realize that this is going to be more of a mind over matter type of diet. I keep letting my head get the best of me, thinking about tomorrow’s meals and the next day instead of just eating every potato as it comes at me.

 

Breakfast: Two servings of the breakfast potatoes that we pre-made on day one. I ended up eating half of them before work and had the rest as a mid-morning snack with a little bit of the reduced sugar ketchup.

 

Lunch: Two medium sized red potatoes with two tablespoons of butter. I added the butter because I went a little too crazy with the spices.

I also was still hungry while at work, so I had a Fiber One brownie which was 90 calories.

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Dinner: Two average sized red potatoes and one small red potato mashed. Had another Danimals smoothie that’s 80 calories because I don’t want them going bad before this diet is over.

 

Daily Potato Count: 6.5

The Potato Diet Intro + Day 1

Taking a little break from the book blogging to focus on my health. I’ve gained some weight, but have also lost some but now I’ve plateaued a bit so I’m going to try something new, my husband will be joining me on this new diet as well and I’m kind of excited because it includes my favorite food: potatoes.

Yes, the potato diet and no, potatoes are not bad for you. I’m not going to go into the nutritional facts because I’m not a dietitian, but from the research we’ve done, potatoes only get a bad rep because they’re usually fried or loaded up with bad things.

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We got the idea to go on a potato diet from Kevin Smith, who recently had a heart attack and went on this diet and lost a decent bit of weight.

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I get it, it sounds crazy eating only potatoes but it’s worth a shot! Worse case scenario, I gain weight and get sick of potatoes. So, I’m going to go on a potato only diet for 21 days, the rest of June (or at least until I leave for a book convention at the end of June, it’s tough to eat a special diet while at a con.) If this doesn’t work, I’m going to jump on the Keto diet.

So, here are the guidelines for our new diet:

  • You can only eat potatoes, they can’t be fried or slathered in bacon, butter, and/or sour cream.
  • You can have a protein shake after a workout in order to get more protein in.
  • Since we can’t have sour cream, butter or oil, we can add whatever spices we want.
  • No drinking your calories! Water is your bff.
  • I’m allowing myself 5-10 potatoes a day.

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I’ll be journaling/blogging everyday and posting pictures. I’m going to share a before and after picture on the final post.

My day one starting health stats are the following:

Weight: 152.6

Waist (at my muffin top): 42.5 inches

Actual Waist: 37 inches

Arms/biceps not flexed: 12.5 inches

Chest: 41 inches




 

Day 1

 

Breakfast: Two small Idaho potatoes chopped and baked in the oven, tossed with garlic salt, Grill Mates and Big Axe Spice. About a table spoon of reduced ketchup over top of them.

On the baking sheet we have about four diced potatoes. This was for me and my husband and we made another sheet for tomorrow’s breakfast also.

 

About an hour after breakfast, I went to Pure Barre for their classic workout. I was very hungry when leaving barre, so I came home for another potato and then did a little lifting with my husband. He’s trying to help me on my upper strength with some barbell exercises. He kicked my butt!

Lunch: One smashed red potato with Tony’s seasoning. One scoop of chocolate Muscle Milk mixed with water.

I also had a snack that was not a potato because cravings started to kick in. I had a 80 calorie Danimals smoothie drink. Yes, it’s day 1, but I had been eating potatoes for two days prior to this in order to get my body prepared.

Dinner: Two small Idaho potatoes, no skin, with a table spoon of light sour cream on each. I had one around 3 to hold me over until later that night. I hate going to bed hungry.

 

Today’s potato count: 5

 

 

 

 

 

Katie Cotugno Signing/ Cotugno Book Ratings

 

On Saturday, May 12th, Katie Cotugno and the Epic Reads Tour made their final stop in Cincinnati Ohio. Of course, I had to go! She attended, along with two other authors (author of Simon Versus and Dumpin’) but I’ve never read anything from them.

 

 

I managed to get all five of my Katie Cotugno books signed! Which, if you’ve ever been to a book signing like this, they usually limit the number of books you can have signed.

 

I was super nervous but very excited to meet Katie. She’s been a huge inspiration for my writing. My husband convinced me to bring a copy of my novel, The Last July, as a gift for her. I was terrified she wouldn’t accept it or that it would be weird to hand her a book while others were standing behind me. You see, I’m terrified of rejection, so all I could imagine was her saying she wasn’t allowed to accept books written by fans. To my surprise, she was thrilled. Our conversation basically went as follows:

Me: Do you accept gifts?

Her: *smiles* What?

Me: Can I give you a gift?

Her: Of course!

Me handing over my novel: So I’m a huge fan of your writing and you’ve been a huge inspiration of mine and I’d like you to have a copy of my novel if that’s okay.

She then asked if she could hug me and it was up there with the top five best moments of my life (along with meeting Joey and Chris from NSYNC and my wedding day). We then took a picture of her holding her recent release and me holding mine (her idea!) and I walked off giddy as can be. Best. Day. Ever.

Photos courtesy of my husband:

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Thank you, Joseph Beth Booksellers Cincinnati and Epic Reads for putting together this tour and allowing me to meet my role model!

 

Since Cotugno’s recent novel came out earlier this month, I thought it would be fun to rate her novels and give a review for each one!

 

 

5. Top Ten

3/5 Stars

This one fell short for me. Possibly because at the time, all I wanted from Katie was the sequel for 99 Days.

4. Fireworks

4/5 Stars

Fireworks wasn’t my favorite book of Cotugno’s, it fell a little short but I didn’t hate it.
The characters were slightly hard to relate to, but Alex was one of the best fictional boyfriends I’ve ever encountered in a YA novel.

As someone who grew up in the 90’s (I was born in 1990), I wish there had been more 90’s nostalgia worked into the plot. Some 90’s lingo and what not. Aside from the rise of boy and girl bands during this time, you wouldn’t really know this book was set in the 90’s.

What I find funny is I’ve never liked the main characters best friend in any of the books Cotugno has written. Is this something everyone notices? How the characters friends are down right mean and not right for them? Olivia was by far my least favorite friend.

3. 9 Day and 9 Nights

5/5 Stars

I’m obsessed with Katie’s writing style. 99 Days was the first book I ever read of hers and I loved it so much but I felt like something was missing, so when I heard she was finally writing the sequel, I was beyond happy. 9 Days and 9 Nights met my expectations and then some! I spent the entire book with so many questions, but by the end, everything is answered. There are no crumby cliffhangers and I am so thankful for that but also a little bummed because of the possibility of not getting to hear anymore of Molly and Gabe’s story.

2. How to Love

5/5 Stars

I can’t get enough of Katie Cotugno’s novels. It took me awhile to pick this one up (99 Days was the first book I read of hers), and I’m so glad I picked it up. I loved Sawyer (expect when he was being a ‘dickhead’) and Reena so much! I finished this book in three days, it was a page turner!

1. 99 Days

5/5 Stars

If I died tomorrow, I would die happy with this book being the final one that I read. The dust jacket is adorable and I’m not going to lie, I might have only bought it because of the cat picture inside.

Now, let’s be real. I feel like this book was written for me. There’s not many books that have made me feel that way, but this was one of them. Cotugno, created so many 4-diminsional characters, me relating and understanding all of them. I had this huge hatred for Julia though. I’d describe this book as the ‘what happens after a love triangle goes to shit’ book. I’ve read so many young adult love triangles that end with a ‘happily ever after’, but this book… this tells you the messy truth. I wanted to defend Molly Barlow’s actions so much because I’ve been in her shoes. IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO! It wasn’t the ending I was hoping for, but I think it’s the ending the book needed.

Southern Rebirth Cover Reveal

Guys! Great news! I have a cover reveal for my new novel!

Tada!

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I’m so excited for this one! It will be the first in the series, I’m currently writing the second one, they will be focused on different characters in the novel.

The ebook is currently up for pre-order on Amazon here for 3.99 currently. Its release date is May 24th, just in time for Memorial weekend at the lake! I’m really excited about this and I hope you enjoy!

About Southern Rebirth:

A little fooling around in the backseat of a car has landed Lexi Fernbrook in a summer of solitude, exiled to a quiet house, a job on Norris Lake, and no contact with her friends.

Then Duncan comes along.

Lexi’s decided to ban dating as she gets her life back on track, but Duncan might just be the perfect guy to get her through the summer. When Duncan’s band, Southern Rebirth, hires her for some show photography, how could she resist?

The Fortunate Ones by RS Grey Book Review

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Author: RS Grey

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Rating: 5/5 Stars




 

At Twin Oaks Country Club, there are the fortunate ones, and then there are the rest of us: the waiters, the caddies, the valets, and in my case, the cabana girls. Most days, I’m poolside in a pleated skirt, dishing out margaritas to tycoons and titans. It’s not exactly my dream job, but it does come with one perk…

James Ashwood.

He’s my silver lining in a custom black suit.

Besides being a legacy member at the club, he’s a tech mogul and Austin’s most eligible bachelor. Oh, and those dimples? Yeah, they make my stomach dip too.

On good days, I catch his sleek Porsche winding down the tree-lined drive. On better days, I steal a glimpse of his handsome profile as we pass in the hall. And on the absolute best day, I find him alone at the bar, looking for company.

“Come have a seat.”

Those four little words set me down a path I never could have imagined. Private planes, penthouse suites, and temptations around every corner make it impossible to keep my distance. His world feels decadent and wild—but overindulgence comes with a cost. Every kiss comes with strings. Every erotic encounter is a promise I’m not ready to keep.

When I pump the brakes, he hits the gas. James doesn’t want to go slow—he wants a commitment.

And the thing about the fortunate ones?

They’re used to getting what they want.




 

Book Review

R.S. Grey has written her way onto my favorite authors list, I’m loving these romantic comedies from her. This one had me on my toes throughout the entire book. It was a little slow to get into, but once I met Mr. James Ashwood, I couldn’t put the book down.

I loved the chemistry between Brooke and James, it wasn’t as good as the chemistry between Beau and Lauren in The Beau and the Belle but it was still fantastic. I got some Edward Cullen (Twilight) vibes from James Ashwood (stay away from me, I’m not good for you, blah blah blah) and that drove me nuts. It was a constant up and down roller coaster with these two. When I thought the plot line was getting predictable, RS Grey through me a curveball. So many plot twists!

Wonderful summer romance!

To Reread or not to reread…

I’ve never reread a book. Ever. *LE GASP* Yes, I buy the physical book and keep it

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shelved in my library with no intention of ever opening it up again but I just love looking at my collection.

But why won’t you reread a book? If it’s your favorite, wouldn’t you want to reread it?

I think the main reason I don’t choose to reread books is because there are so many other books out there that I have yet to read and want to read! I have an ever growing TBR list on my Goodreads page (add me on Goodreads!), books I want to get to but something always comes ahead of them. Literally, I have books on that list that have been there for three or more years, but one of my favorite authors is always putting out another one or I get a recommendation from a friend.

But guess what… I’m currently rereading one of my favorite books…

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This is the very first time! But thinking about it, I’m nervous. Here’s the thing, my favorite book is 99 Days by Katie Cotugno and it got mixed reviews from what I remember. When it first came out, I think I might have been one of the only people who actually enjoyed it (apparently people don’t like teen love triangles anymore).

I’m terrified that rereading it is going to make me not like the book as much as I did two years ago when I first read it. I’ve grown up a little since then, and my style of reading has matured. I’ve gotten more into adult romance. I’m terrified that if I don’t like it as much as I liked it the first time, that I’m not going to want to read the sequel that comes out next month. Which would put me in a bad spot since I bought tickets to Cotugno’s Epic Reads book signing next month as well!

I’ll continue with the reread of 99 Days because I need a refresher before I read the sequel and there will no doubt be a book review up for the sequel.

What about you? Do you reread books? What’s your opinion on the subject? Leave a comment and let me know!

The Beau & the Belle Book Review

Title: The Beau & the Belle

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Author: R.S. Grey

Genre: YA/NA/Romantic Comedy

Rating: 5/5 stars




 

Beau Fortier starred in most of my cringe-worthy teenage fantasies.

I met him when I was a junior in high school, a time that revolved exclusively around bad hair, failed forays into flirting, and scientific inquiries into which brand of toilet paper worked best for stuffing bras.

That is, until Beau moved into the small guest house just beyond my bedroom window.

A 24-year-old law student at Tulane, Beau was as mysterious to me as second base (both in baseball and in the bedroom). He was older. Intimidating. Hot. Boys my age had chicken legs and chubby cheeks. Beau had calloused hands and a jaw cut from steel. Our interactions were scarce—mostly involving slight stalking on my end—and yet deep down, I desperately hoped he saw me as more of a potential lover than a lovesick loser.

Turns out, I was fooling myself. My fragile ego learned that lesson the hard way.

Now, ten years later, we’re both back in New Orleans, and guess who suddenly can’t take his eyes off little ol’ me.

My old friend, Mr. Fortier.

But things have changed. I’m older now—poised and confident. My ego wears a bulletproof vest. The butterflies that once filled my stomach have all perished.

When I was a teenager, Beau warned me to guard my heart.

Let’s hope he knows how to guard his.

 




 

This was probably the cutest book I’ve read in a very long time. I fell in love with the characters from chapter one and loved watching the change in them after the 10 year time gap. This novel starts out as a YA, Lauren a 16 year old who is very unfamiliar with dating and ends up developing a crush on Beau, the tenant who is renting out her parents apartment.

This love continues to fester for 10 years of ‘what if’s’ until they finally reconnect when Lauren is in her late 20’s and Beau in his 30’s. Once we do the time jump, things get spicier! This is one of those books that it’s been a few days since I’ve read it and I’m still thinking about/ missing the characters. Lauren’s internal monologue had me laughing out loud through the entire book.

With most romantic novels, you expect them to have sex, her move in with him and then get engaged. This novel is realistic and I was so happy to see that! There are a lot of things left open to your imagination but I didn’t feel like there were any cliffhangers whatsoever. This romantic comedy was very enjoyable and I plan on reading more from R.S. Grey.