Tuesday, December 31, 2013

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.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

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!)


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

Thursday, April 25, 2013

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.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

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.


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.


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

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Have a Confession

I have a confession. I really am a terrible housekeeper. My husband, on one occasion asked, "Do we even own a vacuum?" It's true. "Yes, dear. It's in the closet." The closet is a great place for a vacuum, I think. That being said, I have attempted since last fall to turn over a new leaf. Shortly into the venture, Fate--never one to miss a chance to throw a wrench into things--handed me a broken vacuum.

Did I cheer and do a victory dance over the dead vacuum? No. I got my screwdriver and extra vacuum belt and attempted to fix it. Turns out, it wasn't a broken belt, but a broken part. Not one to be deterred once I set my mind to something, I got online and looked for a part. I found it, but cheapskate that I am, I hesitated buying one. Instead, I borrowed the vacuum from my husband's office. (Not to worry, he owns the office and I was not hauled away for stealing).

December and a house-party came around. I ditched the office vac for my steam cleaner. It was like I was 8 1/2 months pregnant and suddenly nesting. I was cleaning everything. I steam-cleaned all the carpets, dusted, organized, decorated. Exhausting, but invigorating at the same time.

A few weeks later,  early on Christmas morning, we opened our gifts. Guess what Santa left me? A new VACUUM. It was like the year I got a ten-speed bike. COOL! Minutes after opening gifts, I was waving my arms and shouting for everyone to get their stuff off the floor so I could vacuum. I instantly fell in love with my Dyson.

Here's my next confession: I'm still a lousy housekeeper, but I have vacuumed more in the last month than I did the entire previous year (maybe even eighteen months). What is it that has made the difference? I think there have been three key things: Goal, Determination, and Tools. I left tools for last, because I think it has made the biggest difference.

When we have the right tools, it's easier and a lot more FUN getting the job done.

Writing is no different. When we have good tools, our writing journey will be easier and more fun. Some of my essential writing tools are: my laptop, my dictionary/thesaurus, my ANWA chapter, writing conferences (ANWA and StoryMakers are a couple of favorites), and online newsletters from writing oriented places like Writer's Digest and Copyblogger.

What are some of your essential writing tools? Or, the essential tools of your craft?

I hope you will leave a comment. Write On!