Random Thoughts – You’ve Got This

Be the lightI was coming home from the grocery store with my son when the song “Jesus Take the Wheel” came on. It’s one of those that I like to hear now and again, as much because of my interest in all mythology and religion than for any other reason. I also like the idea of a higher power that will, occasionally, lend a helping hand. Well, my son, being a teenager, made the comment that maybe Jesus didn’t want to take the wheel because it wasn’t needed. He was being a smartass at the time, but his comment made me think.

There are times when we want nothing more than to turn over whatever is going on to someone else, anyone else, just for a little bit. We want God or the angels or the Universe to just make the bad times go away and let us have some peace. We don’t have the strength to keep going, to deal with more drama, to make it through another day at work, to pay another bill. We’re just ready to be done, to rest. We may pray or meditate or light a candle to ask for assistance, and, sometimes, we don’t see any result, nothing that we can point to and say ‘this is the Universe helping out.’

Now, I’m a firm believer in the higher powers, and I’ve had more than my fair share of divine intervention, times when I could point to a particular event and know beyond any possible doubt that some other power intervened on my behalf. But there are other times that I feel like I’m screaming in a vacuum and no one hears me on any plane. I want to give up, to lay down and rest, to stay in bed and let the world do what it will. I think these are the times when the Universe is saying, “You’ve got this. I don’t need to help.” And, while I feel abandoned and alone at these times, I’ve come to realize that the Universe is right. I do have it. I can handle it.

So, for those who feel like no one is listening, who feel like you can’t go another step without someone, or something, to lend a hand, just remember that this is the time when you’ve got this. You can do it. And you’ll be all the stronger for having done it.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

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Author Spotlight – Jesper Schmidt

wUfyOMQj_400x400About the Author

I have always loved creating and I suppose that if I was only allowed to choose two words to describe myself they would be, “Focused ambition.” Yet, the art of writing was something that lived a quiet life, in the back of my mind, for many years. It was a dormant desire and, like so many of our dreams, it was placed on a list of things to do later; you know, when time would allow it. And there I left it. Half-forgotten. For a long time.

I have a Finnish sauna to thank for eventually picking it up from that dusted corner and beginning to pour my focused ambition over it. Every summer my wife, two boys and I go to Finland and spend a couple of weeks trying to do as little as possible. In that cottage it is all about slowing down and recharging our batteries. The atmosphere is perfect for it. What it was exactly that sparked my authorship I cannot say for sure – maybe it was just slowing down that gave another perspective? Maybe I was just ready for it? Whatever it was, I am ever thankful that it happened when it did back in 2015. Why wait when you can act today?

Follow me on social media.
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Learn more about me and my work at www.jesperschmidt.com.

Desolation

2016-580-3d-render-book-transparent-background-181x300“Desolation” is the first book in the fantasy trilogy, “The Keystone Bone”. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but if you like fast-paced fantasy, with dragons, demons, and magic, then you will love “Desolation”.

About This Book

Just as Aea had finally found happiness in her troubled life, everything starts to fall apart. When she discovers that her sister, Isota, is still alive, Aea ventures to save her, well aware that every Duian who leaves the forest realm of Thaduin will inevitably catch a deadly disease, the Field Blight. Aea finds herself in a race against time.

Arkum’Sul really wants nothing but to be left alone. Being the sole survivor of his race, and the son of a dragon god, makes such desires difficult to fulfill.

Meanwhile, Ayida, another Duian, resides in the Bronze Tower, far north of Thaduin, where she has grown to become a powerful spellcaster. However, it requires all of her skills to heal herself of the Field Blight daily. This place is the heart of the Magio Order, a dominant organization of female magic-wielders, where Ayida has tried for decades to ascend from Apprentice to the rank of Sienna… and failed every time. As she makes another attempt, all goes horribly wrong.

Will the world of Erisdün survive as ancient myths and reality become one?

Get it today and experience a struggle like no other.

Fantasy Map Making

3d-render-book-transparent_altHave you ever struggled with map making? To make it compliant with the laws of nature? Or spent countless hours trying to understand geography?

About This Book

In this book we will cover:

Whether maps are important or not and tackle some of the common excuses for not developing one.

What you need to think about before you start your map in order not to make mistakes in later steps.

Discuss your different options for creating the map: from hand drawn over software to hiring a professional.

Sketching your map and making sure that we get the size of the world just right.

Adding continents by understanding how tectonic plates work.
Terraforming your world with the knowledge of how winds and the equator affect the climate.

After having added mountains and deserts, we will include islands and lakes.

And then we make sure that rivers are not breaking the laws of nature.

We add trees, before moving into understanding how the lands will affect the people who live on them and vice versa.
It is then time for countries, borders, and roads.

We then finish up with optional fantasy elements and include the last touches.

Get it today, and design your own world.

 

The Super Secret Science Club – S.C. Davis

51dIJnE0YpL__SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Book One: I’ll never forget my science teacher’s words the day he recruited us as spies: “I’m a member of a secret organization called the Rosalind Group, whose original mission was to find and prevent cases of stolen scientific research. But one day, everything changed, and I didn’t understand why. Eventually, I figured it out…we weren’t the good guys anymore… …the Rosalind Group is no longer protecting scientists from having their research stolen. We’re now the ones who are stealing it.” Apparently research wasn’t all they were stealing; they were stealing the scientists themselves! I suppose “kidnapping” is the proper word. And that’s where we came in. Six science-savvy seventh graders. One missing scientist. And the need for some serious out-smarting. But there’s just one more mystery involved: how was I supposed to do this without lying to everyone I know? I was sworn to secrecy…but I ended up breaking my promise. “Case of the Disappearing Glass” is the first book in the Super-Secret Science Club series. Follow Jenna and her classmates as they unravel mysteries and tackle critical missions, all while trying to survive middle school!

 

51NUViuVCOL__SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Book Two: What’s worse than being in seventh grade, and trying to solve a kidnapping? Being in seventh grade, and trying to solve TWO kidnappings. Especially when one of those is your own teacher. The very same one who got you into this spy business in the first place. Lucky for me and the other five members of the Super-Secret Science Club (we call it the S3C for short), help arrived right when we needed it: the day we realized Mr. Gregory wasn’t just on vacation. Her name is Claire, and what she told us that day is what set everything in motion for the biggest stunt we’d ever pulled in our twelve years on this planet. There’s just one tiny problem: I sort of got myself kicked out of the S3C. Sure, I deserved it. But when the night of the Gala arrived—the night we were going to take down the Rosalind Group and rescue Dr. Wyatt and Mr. Gregory—I found something. I know they told me to stay away. But I couldn’t let my friends walk head first into danger. Not when the discovery I had just made was the only way to protect them. “The Secrets of Rosalind” is the second book in the Super-Secret Science Club series. Follow Jenna and her classmates as they unravel mysteries and tackle critical missions, all while trying to survive middle school!

 

Random Thoughts – Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Do One Thing That Scares You 2I was looking at a website the other day and thinking about comfort zones, and it dawned on me just how outside my comfort zone publishing books and writing a blog really is. It also made me realize that good things do exist outside of what we’re comfortable with.

I’ve always been one of those ‘stay at home and let the world do as it will’ kind of people. I’m not big on interaction, even online. Never have been. I’ve always been far more comfortable curled up in a corner with a book.

I remember the first day I put up the blog. I shook for hours afterwards simply because I had hit ‘publish’. It was worse with my books. Putting them out for the public was one of the hardest things I ever did, but I think it was worth it, even though there’s still a sense of relief sometimes that no one notices they’re there.

I think that’s something a lot of people deal with, not just authors. We’re taught, or come to believe, that our comfort zones keep us safe. The reality is that they hold us back, keep us from achieving all we can achieve. A friend of mine put it simply the other day when she said she was afraid of success. I think she’s right. A lot of us are.

But why are we afraid? What is so horrible about actually achieving our dreams? When did we come to believe, to know, that the only real success is a job that makes us miserable? Why do we believe that?

I don’t want to believe that anymore. I want to believe that being successful at something I love is okay, even laudable. I want to shake off the programming that tells me that the only real success is a daily grind that kills my spirit and leaves me exhausted.

So, who’s with me? Who’s ready to step outside the comfort zone and take the steps to achieve their dreams?

It’ll be worth it in the end.

For all of us.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

Author Spotlight – L.J. Clarkson

received_10158017008460431LJ Clarkson has done many things in her time. Making mud pies as an Environmental Engineer. Bossing people around as a project manager. Reducing flood risk to residents affected by floods. But her all time favorite job is telling stories and making others laugh.

 

She counts the following as very special talents: singing out of tune, laughing at her own jokes, reciting useless, but very fascinating facts, and a magical habit of magnetizing food to her clothes. If she were a Mastermind, she’d uninvent early mornings, grammar, broccoli, cleaning and her dog’s fussy eating habits.

 

 LJ is the author of the Mastermind Academy and Heaven and Hound series, and the brains behind Author Resources Database, a promotional site for authors. You can find out more at www.mastermindacademy.net or www.authorresourcesdatabase.com.

 

The Silver Skull by L. J. Clarkson

received_10158014987180431Just when Isabelle thinks things are settling down at Mastermind Academy, they blow up again. The headmaster’s hot on her tail with an investigation that might see her expelled from school. She’s trying to please one friend by staying away from another. Then Lemuria kidnaps her family, and he will kill them, unless she hands over the crystal skull within five days. Getting the skull will not be easy when the one she entrusted it to will not return it. Time is a ticking so she must team up with her new friend to help track it down.

 

Poor Boldrick has had the day from hell. Ridiculed, disrespected, and attacked with a broom, he decides it is time to find a cure to become human again. Nothing he tries works for him, and somehow he’s inherited a spirit from a shaman he visited. In exchange for delivering the spirit’s messages, Boldrick receives a gibberish clue for his quest. But unraveling each clue leads him and his friends deeper into danger. The kind of danger he’s not sure they can get out of.

 THE SILVER SKULL, a young adult fantasy adventure, is book 3 in the Mastermind Academy series.

 Here is the Amazon link https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Skull-Mastermind-Academy-adventure-ebook/dp/B01N0XRVWW/

 

 

 

 

Book Release – Daisy Chain by Mark Montgomery

41c2rldy7BLAlexandra ‘Alex’ Holman-Hunt and Dr. Oliver Kane live in worlds, poles apart. Alex lives and breathes the new—fashion. She hopes to influence a modern generation of women. Help them shape the way they dress—a new look to take them away from the austerity of the Fifties and the excesses of the Sixties. A new look to better place them in a man’s world. Oliver Kane is very much buried in the past—the study of human history. He lives for what lies under the ground, sharing his passion with best friends; Linnet ‘Lunar’ Moon, a ‘hippy digger’, and a small black and white dog called Hector. He lives and works in academia, teaching his discipline, but also works with new enlightened Law and Order— new techniques to uncover bones and bodies—a new science; forensic archaeology.

Their story, set in Britain, France and West Germany, is played out to the rich sounds and sights of the Seventies; in a world shaped by a terrible world war, and a new world order dictated by new freedoms and new constraints, as communism and democracy fight a new cold war. The world holds its breath. London holds it breath too—a killer stalks, and Oliver is drawn into the intrigue surrounding a serial murderer. Alex is stalked too, by a shadow intent on harm. She fears for her life—who will help her?

Five lives collide. Secrets are uncovered—death and discovery—murder and mutilation. A string of events unfold—a daisy chain.

Daisy Chain is a powerful, complex erotic thriller from the masterly pen of Mark Montgomery, author of the popular Borderer Chronicles. A tale full of rich characters, gripping story telling, profound thought and an affectionate nod to a different time—when innocence still existed in a pre-internet world.

Daisy Chain – an erotic thriller from the masterly pen of Mark Montgomery.
Check out Daisy Chain here.
 https://www.amazon.com/DAISY-CHAIN-Mark-Montgomery-ebook/dp/B01N2B4470/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1491318355&sr=1-1&keywords=daisy+chain+mark+montgomery

Author Spotlight – Olivia Savage

Olivia Savage - HeadshotOlivia’s stories follow their own path and are filled with real characters, extremely hot men (of course), addicting storylines, and vivid sex scenes. Olivia has been an avid reader since she was knee-high to a grasshopper and writes the kind of books she likes to read.  She has a degree in Fine Art and spent her early years with a paintbrush in her hand more often than a pen. After graduating college and getting a “real job,” Olivia spent ten years in the business world before realizing that she wasn’t happy. She and her husband fired their jobs, sold their house, and bought a travel trailer to wander around the USA in search of a life they wanted to live. On a dusty back road, in the middle of nowhere, she started writing her first story… and hasn’t stopped.  She loves backpacking, SCUBA diving, hanging out in backyards with friends (preferably with a glass of red wine) and dancing like a maniac in the privacy of her bedroom. Most days she runs on caffeine and inappropriate thoughts. She does not like: underwire, people who tear you down, bad coffee (blah!), or raisins in her cookies.
To grab a copy of her FREE Adult-only coloring book made for the saucy romance reader, go to http://oliviasavage.com/free/

The Art of Hanky Panky by Olivia Savage

What would you do if a hot, rich, famous artist asked you to pose for one of his painting? 

… And, by the way, did I mention you’d have to be naked?   Completely, 100%, nothing to hide those love handles, nude.

Honestly, it’s mortifying enough to stand naked in front of my own mirror, but to do it in the same room with my mind-blowingly hot, totally off-limits art instructor?  This is so not something that I, June Cooper, had planned for this college semester. What I should be focusing on is working my butt off to pull in awesome grades and get into my choice of law schools.

No distractions allowed.

Especially if they come with male parts attached. Not when things are finally starting to come together. Aside from just being dumped, a waistline that inexplicably keeps growing (damn you, chocolate cake!), and a highly developed caffeine addiction, my life is pretty much on track. Just how I like it.  Then, he showed up.

Ryan Carter.

Famous painter. Artist. And one giant, smoldering, red-hot distraction.

Available on Kindle and in Paperback on Amazon.com

 

 

 

The Art of Seduction by Olivia Savage

In your wildest dreams, have you ever imagined you’d end up flying to Paris to break into an expensive, swanky, uber-exclusive sex club because, inside those doors, you might have a second chance with the lost love of your life?

Me either.  If you told me last semester that I would be standing here, trying to convince my shaky foot to take that step across the threshold, I would have thought you were a few fries short of a happy meal.  But a lot can change in six months. And in that time, my life has been tipped haphazardly on-end. Despite all that, there is one thing I’m almost positive about… Love isn’t supposed to go this way.

Available on Kindle and in Paperback on Amazon.com

 

Book Review – The End of the Game

IMG_20170404_093346Book Reviews contain spoilers!

The End of the Game is actually a trilogy by Sherri S. Tepper. It tells the story of Jinian from the time she is nine until she is in her late teens or early twenties.
The land of the True Game is a place of loose government and changing alliances where people have Talents.  Some can fly, some can move objects, some can see the future. Many of the people use these talents for Games, which are nothing more than battles of some kind perpetuated for the sake of gaining power and prestige.
We begin with Jinian as an unloved child of Stoneflight Demesne. She is tortured by her older brother until she decides she’s no longer going to allow herself to be afraid. It is then that one of the Pawns realizes Jinian is a Wize-ard, someone who can learn magic. Thus begins Jinian’s initiation into the world of the True Game.
Jinian’s adventures don’t end there. Her brother betroths her to a man she’s never met, one who has a living wife, to form an alliance. However, Jinian uses her age to bargain for schooling in the distant town of Xammer. On the way, she is kidnapped and held as part of Game, but she escapes and makes her way to Chimmerdong Forest. She befriends the forest, and it asks for her help. It is while helping the forest that Jinian learns her first real lesson – there are tasks for each of us, and no one is going to do them for us. We can’t sit around whining and crying and waiting for someone to come along and rescue us from life. We have to live it.
Jinian’s adventures continue through three short books. She is the only one who understands the significance of the yellow death crystals, and she’s the first to convince others to help her save their world. She is taught by Ganver, one of the old ones, and learns the meaning of the Star-Eye, a lesson that most never learn.
My Thoughts
I first read Dervish Daughter, the middle book of the trilogy, as a teenager. I loved the story, but it was several years before I was able to get the complete set. I wasn’t disappointed.
Even as a young adult, the lessons of Ganver spoke to me, particularly his repetition of ‘watch and learn’. I won’t go into detail here because I think knowing what the lessons are in advance would take away any meaning a new reader would draw from them. I will say, however, that what Ganver taught Jinian makes a lot of sense.
Overall, I love the trilogy. Some of the names are a bit weird, and this has thrown off some I’ve recommended the books to, but they fit the world, one of magic with odd bits of technology thrown in here and there. The characters are loveable, and the story moves along at a decent pace.
 
My Rating
SMXLL