Christmas in July

What do you do when you're about to melt from the soaring temperatures of summer? You dream of cold weather and pick up a good book.

Accomplishing both, my friend and fellow writer, Bonnie Harris, is doing a Christmas in July give-away. Head over to her blog to check it out.

My book, The Archer's Hollow, is featured. If you don't already own it, sign up to win a free e-copy and enjoy a fantasy adventure with romance, of course.

Proper Inflation

The other day my son's bike tires were a little low. After filling his with air, I attached the pump to my own bike tires and inflated them to proper levels. Big deal, right? Right you are!

What I found was that it took a lot less effort to get places with my tires inflated than it had when they were below optimal psi. Which got me thinking. I had heard how proper inflation is important not only to bikes, but to cars. But I had sort of dismissed it. Oh, everyone knows that, my tires look fine, what difference can it really make?, my tires still get me down the road, etc.

I think you know where I am going with this. Even though we hear things or know things as we progress on our writing journey, it's important to pay attention to the little details. Everyone knows you have to have a hook, right? But how seriously do I take having a great hook at the beginning of my story? That's just a tiny example (unfortunately there are more). What things do you overlook? What area of your writing can you improve today. Focus on it--like a laser! This is all about self-discovery and getting better as we go. Having the right things in place makes the journey--writing or biking--much easier.

Write on my friends, write on.

Finding Sheba by H.B. Moore



Finding Sheba
by H.B. Moore

Back of the Book: 

An ancient legend is reborn . . . One that might prove the Bible false. 

For centuries, historians have theorized the Queen of Sheba as only a seductive legend, and scholars have debated over the legitimacy of King David or King Solomon. When undercover Israeli agent, Omar Zagouri, stumbles onto a tomb in Northern Jerusalem he unknowingly finds the final clue that threatens to overthrow government claim to the Holy Land, pits wealthy collectors against one another, and sends ruthless archaeologists scrambling to find the queen’s secret burial place. An assassination attempt on the Coptic Pope, His Holiness, Patriarch Stephanus II, is only the first in the chain of lethal crimes. Omar must find a way to prevent the greatest discovery of the century from becoming the most deadly. 

My take: 

I love when history and fiction come together to weave an interesting tale. This was a fascinating book. My only regret is reading it sporadically over the holidays. There were a lot of characters and I had some difficulty keeping track of  who was who. Other than that, I liked the characters, was sometimes frustrated by what they chose, but ultimately I really enjoyed this novel that brought the Middle East, the Bible, and its characters to life. Finding Sheba is a clean and interesting read that I recommend.

I received a free copy of this book. No other compensation was given. The opinions expressed are 100% my own.

The Tenth Circle by Jon Land



The Tenth Circle

Back of the Book:

Blaine McCracken races to stop terrorists from unleashing an ancient weapon of unimaginable power at the president’s State of the Union speech

Blaine McCracken pulled off the impossible on a mission in Iran, but his work has just begun. Returning to the US, he faces another terrible threat in the form of Reverend Jeremiah Rule, whose hateful rhetoric has inflamed half the world, resulting in a series of devastating terrorist attacks. But Rule isn’t acting alone. A shadowy cabal is pulling his strings, unaware that they are creating a monster who will soon spin free of their control.

Finding himself a wanted man, McCracken must draw on skills and allies both old and new to get to the heart of a plot aimed at unleashing no less than the tenth circle of hell. A desperate chase takes him into the past, where the answers he needs are hidden amid two of history’s greatest puzzles: the lost colony of Roanoke and the Mary Celeste. As the clock ticks down to an unthinkable maelstrom, McCracken and his trusty sidekick, Johnny Wareagle, must save the United States from a war the country didn’t know it was fighting, and that it may well lose.

I love when history and fiction come together brilliantly and that's what Jon Land accomplishes in The Tenth Circle. I really enjoyed this book's twists and turns and the way the author intertwined everything. A difficult read during the busy holidays because I read sporadically, but when I wasn't reading I was thinking about what was happening. There were an abundance of characters, and for me, keeping track of who was whom was sometimes a bit of a challenge. There is a bit of language, some graphic violence and a vague sex scene. If those don't put you off, I highly recommend this one.

Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and many fine bookstores.

De-Stress Your Holidays

I realize that hate is a strong word but it really is how I feel about December. I love Halloween and Thanksgiving (candy and comfort food--who knew?) but I dread what follows. Connie E. Sokol's new book, Simplify and Savor the Season gives me hope. Hope for a more Christ-centered holiday, hope for peace during the holidays, hope for organization of the typical chaos that rules the month for me. Her new book contains formulae for creating the holiday YOU and your family want and a take-along workbook that completely simplifies the whole process is also available. 

Make this holiday season one to remember and Savor. (I know I'm going to!)


EXTRAS:

Leave a comment here and be entered in a hat-drawing for a free copy of the e-book Simplify and Savor the Season


You can also enter to win the Back to Basics Holiday Gift Set. This festive collection includes three e-books, each with a specific tool to create a meaningful season:Simplify & Savor the Season to organize; 40 Days with the Savior to spiritually focus; and the Life Is Too Short collection to lighten up if you need to. 
Visit www.conniesokol.com and either 1) email a way you’ve simplified the holidays, or 2) sign up for our weekly e-letter. Winners chosen weekly!

BACK of the BOOK:
Ready for the holidays? Would you like to be?
This year, organize and re-energize with Simplify & Savor the Season, a three-part holiday planner to help you savor the celebrations!  
First, get ready by brainstorming what’s needed for each of the Big Four—Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Then detail the to-dos, including menu and gift planning, with quick tips on how to lose the unnecessary and focus on the essential. Keep all your notes in this book or its workbook companion, Simplify & Savor Take-along.
After organizing, sit back and enjoy the season with “5 Holiday Juicers”—tips that teach how to keep life joyful, not stressful. Then curl up and relax with “Savory Suggestions, Snippets, and Stories,” a collection of laugh-out-loud anecdotes including “How the Real Halloween Fright Happened the Next Day,” “Thankful for Warbling,” and “Let Go of the Cookie-Cutter Christmas.”
Make your holiday celebrations meaningful and memorable as you Simplify & Savor the Season!
What people are saying:

“Connie's inspiring stories and practical tips will help you do exactly that. She has a wonderful way of speaking to women's souls, and de-cluttering our minds and hearts.”

–Trina Boice, author of How to Stay UP in a DOWN Economy

“Reading Simplify & Savor the Season is like getting an early holiday gift: permission to let go of meaningless frills and pageantry and instead, focus on family and love. And it helps the most diehard procrastinators get organized in time to enjoy the holidays.”
Elyssa Andrusauthor of Happy Homemaking: An LDS Girl’s Guide
“Love it!  I don’t have to hold my breath anymore. Connie is the master at bringing clarity to the chaotic. This book brings to light the little things that make all the difference. I want to tell all women that serenity during the holidays really can happen. What a gift!
–Kalli Wilson, International Wellness Coach


Upcoming Release (May 7)

 

W.A.R.P. Book 1
The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer
 
Riley, a teenage orphan in London, is apprentice to illusionist Albert Garrick. Garrick uses unique skills to enter victims' dwellings. On one such outing, Garrick brings the reluctant Riley. Finding their intended vicitm, Garrick pushes Riley to commit the murder. Riley hesitates and they discover that the victim is a scientist from the future. Riley is transported through a wormhole to modern day London followed closely by the angry and vengeful Garrick. 

Upon arriving in the modern day, Riley is helped by nineteen-year-old Chevron Savano, a pseudo-FBI agent who ended up in London as punishment for an undercover operation that went wrong. Working together they must evade Garrick, who has been become more powerful--absorbing the knowledge of the scientist--and evil through some genetic altering that happened as a result of his travel through the wormhole. Garrick will stop at nothing to find Riley and get the timekey Chevie possesses in order to get back to Victorian London where he can literally change the events of history.

YA Paranormal/Time Travel

A lot of tense moments in this book, some were a little graphic and violent for me. I thought the characters had good development and worked well together to create the tension and conflict that kept me turning the pages and thinking about this story after reading the last page. I'm looking forward to more stories from the Witness Anonymous Relocation Program (aka W.A.R.P.).

Available May 7 at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

The Buttersmith's Gold


Doesn't this look fun? Read on, but be warned, you're going to want to dive in to this tale.


BATTLES. BLUEBERRIES. BOVINES.
TORBJORN AND STORFJELL’S HISTORY UNFOLDS IN AN EPIC EVERTASTER NOVELLA.

Everyone knows the most coveted treasure of the Viking Age was blueberry muffins. Blueberry muffins so succulent that if you sniffed just a whiff, you'd want a whole bite. If you bit a bite, you'd want a batch; if you snatched a batch, you'd stop at nothing short of going to war just to claim them all. 
Young Torbjorn Trofastsonn comes from the clan that makes them. He's a Viking through and
through – he's thirteen winters old, larger than most respectable rocks, and most of all, a Buttersmith. That's what he thinks anyway, until a charismatic merchant makes Torbjorn question his place among the muffin-makers. When Torbjorn lets the secret of his clan's muffin recipe slip, he calls doom and destruction down upon his peaceful village and forces his brother Storfjell and his clansmen to do the one thing they are ill-prepared to do: battle for their lives.

The Buttersmiths' Gold is a spin off novella in the Evertaster series that tells the story of two Viking brothers and their adventurous past. The Evertaster series (Book #1 released June 14, 2012) is about Guster Johnsonville, who goes searching for a legendary taste rumored to be the most delicious in all of history. Along the way he meets a slew of mysterious characters, including two Viking brothers Torbjorn and Storfjell. The Buttersmiths' Gold is their story. 124 pages. By Adam Glendon Sidwell. Published by Future House Publishing. 



Evertaster, Book #1:
A legendary taste. Sought after for centuries. Shrouded in secrecy.
When eleven-year-old Guster Johnsonville rejects his mother’s casserole for the umpteenth time, she takes him into the city of New Orleans to find him something to eat. There, in a dark, abandoned corner of the city they meet a dying pastry maker. In his last breath he entrusts them with a secret: an ancient recipe that makes the most delicious taste the world will ever know — a taste that will change the fate of humanity forever.

Forced to flee by a cult of murderous chefs, the Johnsonvilles embark on a perilous journey to ancient ruins, faraway jungles and forgotten caves. Along the way they discover the truth: Guster is an Evertaster — a kid so picky that nothing but the legendary taste itself will save him from starvation. With the sinister chefs hot on Guster’s heels and the chefs’ reign of terror spreading, Guster and his family must find the legendary taste before it’s too late.








 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fun stuff, right? Have fun with this and be sure to enter the giveaway!