Down to Earth Romance

Archive for the ‘Exercise and Wellness’ Category

The Inspiration for CATCH ME-Love Is Like A Box of Chocolates #SweetRomance #Anthology @CamdenParkPress #WritersLife #WritersCommunity

Photo copyright Adele Downs 2020

This is the bicycle that inspired my short story “Catch Me” in the sweet romance anthology LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES. It’s not a particularly sexy bike; it’s sturdy with thick tires and a foot brake instead of the hand brake installed on racing bikes. It’s a Schwinn, and almost exactly like the bicycle I rode as a child, which is probably why I picked it out and brought it home from the local big box store.

Riding the bike, however, has been a challenge. I’m scared of my Schwinn. My fear of falling has taken some of the shine off my exercise good intentions and visits to neighbors. Understanding that practice might ally that fear hasn’t helped much. Riding my bike has become more about gritting my teeth and getting from point A to point B than the elated air-and-sunshine freedom at the beach I anticipated. However…I’m not giving up. This year, I intend to make my bicycle my friend… I hope.

My fear of falling off my Schwinn sparked the idea for my LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES short story “Catch Me.” My creative spirit invented the heroine, Lilly, and the handsome construction worker, Theo, who meet after Lilly hits the asphalt when she loses control while riding beside Rehoboth Bay (pictured). Their happily-ever-after is a much better ending than the one I fear for myself. But, who knows, maybe with determination and practice I will regain the bike riding confidence of my childhood, soar beside the water, and make exciting new friends in my community along the way.

Buy the Book!


Books To Read:

Little Library At The Beach

Greetings from the beach! I moved from my family home in Pennsylvania to my vacation home in Delaware full-time and dove straight into summer. As part of my new routine, I’m taking early morning walks on the boardwalk along the ocean. The air at dawn is cool and refreshing, and I’m learning to appreciate rising early to work out. By 8 AM, the sun starts to get hot, and my enthusiasm for exercise declines with every uptick of the thermometer.

Near the end of my route, a sign for a Book Box takes me a few yards off the boardwalk to an adorable little free library. Book Boxes are popping up all over the country, and book lovers and authors like me are thrilled by the trend. The process is easy–take a book, give a book. No library card or membership of any kind is needed and you can borrow or donate at any time.

There might be a little Book Box or two in your community. If not, maybe you and an organization close to your heart can start one in your neighborhood. Reading is fun!

Happy summer!

How could I resist taking a look?

Following Ms. Bunny to the Book Box.

Built by the Village Improvement Association.

Take a book. Donate a book. Easy.

I’ll be glad to donate signed copies of my books.


Photos copyright Adele Downs 2018.

Boardwalk Rest by Adele Downs #Foto_Friday


Photo copyright Adele Downs 2016

Mornings By The Bay: Beachcombing

The unofficial end of summer has come and gone with Labor Day and the Delaware beaches’ narrow escape from the wrath of Hurricane Hermine. Now that the kids have gone back to school, and the tourist season has ended, lazy days and warm sun on the September sand offers beach living at its best.

The ideal time to beachcomb is during the first low tide after a storm. When Hurricane Hermine churned the ocean off the Delaware shore and littered the coastline with pebbles and shells, I put my writing aside and went on the hunt. Beachcombing is a great way to exercise and enjoy the sunshine, and for shell collectors like me, a fun way to spend a few hours. I haven’t found gold from a pirate’s chest or the remains of a sunken ship yet, but I have gathered beautiful natural treasures for my home.

Here are some of the shells I collected after Hurricane Hermine. When wet, the black and red scalloped shells look especially vibrant. Once dry, they tend to look gray or brown. The prize of the bunch is the tiny slice of very hard to find purple beach glass.

Since the ocean is still churning from the storm system, I plan to go back to the beach at low tide to hunt more treasures. Maybe I’ll find something rare or exotic. Wish me luck!



Photos copyright Adele Downs 2016

Mornings By The Bay: Living To 100

The woman who sold her beach house to Steve and me is 100 years old. Although her age is remarkable, even more impressive is that she lived alone until the day we made settlement, took daily walks around our bay community, and grew all her own vegetables in her backyard garden. She painted the kitchen and powder room at age 99, did all her own laundry and cooking, mowed her own lawn, and raked her own leaves. At 100, she finally decided to retire to an assisted living community, and my husband and I were lucky enough to cross her path when that decision was made.

We asked to what she attributed her long life and astonishing good health, and her answer was not surprising. She exercised every day, ate only organic foods, and cooked and consumed the vegetables she grew herself. “You can’t trust what’s in the food these days,” she said simply, and we believed her. Little did she know she’d sold her house to other organics foodies. It must be kismet.

Spring is greening the grass and the daffodils have bloomed around our modest beach home. The vegetable garden behind our little house is almost ready for planting. We can hardly wait to see what grows there. Like the home’s previous owner, we intend to grow organic vegetables, take long walks around the bay, and enjoy our days in the sun. If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll live to be 100 too.

LGdaffodils1 copy

Photo copyright Adele Downs 2016

Beach House Dream Come True

My husband and I finally did it. After years of dreaming, hoping, saving, and keeping our fingers crossed for just the right deal in the beach community we wanted, we found our piece of heaven. We made settlement on a vacation home at a Delaware beach, my favorite place in the world.

I’m still pinching myself.

What a Beautiful Scene

We thought we’d need the Property Brothers to help us find a fixer-upper vacation spot, but found a cream puff in our price range, instead. Fresh paint and new siding will make our dream home look like new. We’ve been picking out colors and moving furniture. By summer, we’ll be ready.

I just pinched myself again.

beachumbrella copy

My plans for the upcoming months include working on my next novel in my Florida room. I’ll read books on the beach or by the pool, or surf fish with my husband. My camera will go with me everywhere, and I’ll get the regular exercise I need. I can almost smell the ocean breezes as I write this, and imagine early morning walks on the boardwalk with the other walkers and joggers.

Wish me well, and please be happy for me, because a lifetime of saving and planning has finally come to fruition.


Never give up your dreams, dear readers. Keep working toward your goals, whatever they might be. I finally found the right opportunity, and a place to enjoy the rest of my life.

Best~ Adele

Hunk of Love John Antorino-Featured Cover Model and GIVEAWAY! #RomanceWeek

To celebrate Valentine’s Day during Goodreads #RomanceWeek, I invited actor and cover model John Antorino to visit my blog and show us some love with his newest, better-than-chocolate photographs. John graciously agreed, and told me, “I am big on passion, love, and romance. Not just on this day of love we call Valentine’s Day, but all year long.”


Please be sure to say hello and make John feel welcome in the comments section. When you do, you’ll be automatically entered to win your choice of contemporary romance novella NATURALLY YOURS by Adele Downs or contemporary cowboy short story KISSING HER COWBOY by Adele Downs. Prizes sent via Amazon Kindle directly to your email address. Extra credit given for tweets, Facebook, and Tsu shares! Bonus credits if you follow this blog, too!

Three winners announced here Saturday, February 14, 2015.


Lana Moon, Brandi Leigh, and Candy Chapman. I will contact you directly to claim your prize.

Many thanks to all who stopped by to visit John and I and to those who entered my contest. I hope you enjoyed John’s feature and will enjoy reading my books.

Naturally Yours    Kissing Her Cowboy

Ready for more?


John Antorino is a fitness model, romance novel cover model, and actor whose upcoming documentary film with Eric Roberts, There Is Many Like Us, will release in 2015. John and Eric play bad guys, but I can assure you that John is one of the nicest, most down to earth guys you’ll meet in real life. He has appeared in Sex and The City, Sex and The City 2, Lipstick Jungle, The Forensic Files, and The Republic, among others. New film projects are in the works for the foreseeable future.

When he’s not working on his career, John volunteers his time in hospitals in his home state of New Jersey and around the country, visiting children with cancer. He calls his volunteer work his “true passion.”


I asked John to describe his ideal Valentine’s Day date:

“My ideal romantic Valentine’s Day date wouldn’t be the typical out to dinner and roses sent to work. Although I’m sure I’ve done that in the past. But that’s too common for me and every couple typically does that to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I’d much rather take the time and effort to make a nice homemade dinner. Candles lit. Greet her at the door with a rose and a big kiss. After dinner some good homemade dessert. A good movie. Hugging and kissing and fall asleep in my arms all night.

“I have to say though, for me, and being the man I am, I am this way all the time. Year round. It’s not just for one day on Valentine’s Day. Hugs, kisses, love, affection, romance and beautiful words should be shared daily!”


I’ve interviewed John for articles published on other romance blogs, but met him for the first time in October 2014 at the New Jersey Romance Writers Put Your Heart in a Book conference, where he represented a publisher for whom he does cover modeling.

Lucky me, John greeted me with a kiss! Book Obsessed Chicks book club president and blogger Kimberly Radicy-Rocha caught the moment on camera. John is gorgeous and likable. No wonder I’m smiling!



John Antorino is the spokesperson for Muscle Wiz and has appeared in several fitness magazines.


Wow!  ‘Nuff said about this smokin’ hot pic.


“I’m a selfless, passionate lover. I love kissing and taking care of my lady in every way. When she’s with me she knows what passion, romance, and love is. Happy Valentine’s Day, ladies!” ~ John Antorino


For more information about John Antorino, visit his social media pages.

Friend John Antorino on Facebook:  
Like John Antorino’s Fan Page:
John Antorino IMDb page:

Thank you for joining us! I wish you a week filled with romance.

~Best, Adele

(Please remember that all photos on this blog post are copyrighted and the property of John Antorino. They may not be copied, shared, or used for any personal or professional purpose without express permission.)

Photos of Beautiful Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA was the perfect place to spend a day to celebrate. After turning in my latest manuscript HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY for November 2014 release, my husband and I took a drive to enjoy a relaxing day of beauty and sunshine. We strolled through miles of gardens, ate lunch in the conservatory, and took hundreds of photographs. Here are some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them.


LongwoodGardensLillies LongwoodGardensPath







Photographs by author Adele Downs and may not be copied or otherwise used without permission.

Pennsylvania Walking Trails–Photos

Pennsylvania is known for its mountains, rivers, forests and rich Colonial history. I was born and raised here, and am constantly amazed by all there is to see and do. I’ve posted many pictures of places and events in my home state and neighboring Delaware on this blog, which, in addition to my published books, seem to be emerging as its themes.

The harsh Pennsylvania winter weather and significant snowstorms of 2013-2014 have sometimes been followed by 50 degree days. During the most recent warm up, my husband and I took advantage of the sunshine and decided to take our routine walk along the Brandywine River trails. To our surprise, the most beautiful paths we’ve ever found were only 1.5 miles from our house! It must be true that sometimes the best things in life can be found in our own backyard.

Here are some of the pictures I shot along the way. I hope you enjoy them.

trailahead2 copy

trail1 copy

trailfrozenwater copy

trailrock1 copy

trailtrees copy

Beach Farewell

If you love the beach, the unofficial end of summer after Labor Day is bittersweet. Enjoy this last look at 2013 east coast sand and surf.







(All photographs are the property of author Adele Downs and may not be copied or reposted without written permission.)

Cheap, Simple Treadmill Desk!

I’ve been searching for just the right treadmill desk for a long time, and finally found one that’s simple, portable, and affordable. The Tread-Top® desk is made of heavy duty construction with a blue coating, folds in half using a hinge, and straps to the treadmill arms with Velcro. Easy. It took me less than ten seconds to attach. Cost of the Tread-Top® is $60 plus about $18 shipping.

Writers tend to get wide in the beam due to hours of sitting. Walking at a speed of 1.0 mph while working will keep me active and productive at the same time. I can use my portable netbook or my laptop on the desk. When I’m finished working, and want to run or walk at a more aerobic pace on my treadmill, I remove my laptop, detach the desk, and go.

Author Adele Downs has no personal or business connection to the North Carolina company that offers Tread-Top®. I’m simply a customer who is happy with her purchase. If you’re interested in reading more about the product,  here’s the link.

Happy walking while you work!



Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: