Book Baby News Alert!

Creed of the Guardian, Book Three in the Heart of The Warrior Series,

is now available for PRE-ORDER on Amazon.

Dark Fantasy Books

Book Three – COMING October 18th, 2019

Protect the Innocent. Punish the Guilty.

Seth the Ice Lion, now an Apprentice in the Jalora Legion, reluctantly travels aboard ship with his new battalion. Western Beta’s mission seems a dull assignment. Guarding miles of bogs and old ruins should be a simple task, but Seth soon learns nothing is easy for the Bearer of the Lion Ring. The Jalora is the embodiment of Good and the source of Seth’s power. It commands he search North Marsh for a relic capable of saving his homeland from the ravenous appetite of the Jackal invaders. Surrounded by deadly bogs and savage beasts, he must find the relic before the Lion Spirit inside of him takes control of their shared body.

Invaders from across the sea hold a firm grip on Valdeon, but their thirst for blood remains unsated. They lust for the riches of Andara. Using fear and greed as weapons, the Jackal enlist aid from the continent’s unscrupulous mercenaries to prepare for a larger invasion. They build a stronghold – Stone Fang Fortress – in the Bloodtooth Mountains of the north. It is here they prepare to conquer the free world.

Will Seth find this powerful relic before the Jackal swarm invades Andara? Or will his people be enslaved under the iron fist of the Jackal Lord? Seth’s answers hide in the deadly bogs of North Marsh…

Haven’t read the series yet? Check out Books One and Two.

Dark Fantasy Books

Book One of The Heart of The Warrior Series

Dark Fantasy Books

Book Two – Heart of the Warrior series

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

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Keeping Your Cool While Your Hair is on Fire

Is your hair on fire? Relax

Is your hair on fire? Relax! © SFIO CRACHO – stock.adobe.com

Have you started a new job, project or training program? It’s tough being the newbie isn’t it? The first week is the worst. You stumble around trying to complete tasks to impress your new boss, but you end up feeling awkward and ignorant.

Here are some things to remember while you’re running around with your hair on fire.

Five Things to Remember Your First Week:

  • Everybody was the New Guy Once
  • You are your harshest critic
  • Seek Out the Gurus Who Are Willing to Help You
  • Be Kind to Yourself
  • Take a deep breath. It gets better with each passing day.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Dark Summertime Books from My Reading List

Summer is the perfect time for sprawling on a lounge chair at the beach, by the pool or even on your own patio. And what would leisure time be without a good book? Dull. Dull. Dull.

Vacation reads don’t have to be light and playful like your summer plans. My taste in literature runs toward the dark side. Here are some of the summertime books I’ve read or am planning to read over the sunny season:

Dark Fantasy Books Reading List

Dark Fantasy Books – © Dina Stock.adobe.com

Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Fire Season by Steven Blackmore

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

Cabin at The End of The World by Paul Tremblay (This is on my Reading List for August)

Grab a cool beverage, tuck your favorite Dark novel under your arm, and find a comfy spot. Happy reading!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

How Work Management Software Can Help Creatives Finish Their Projects

work management for creative projects

Work Management for Creative Projects – © Tartila Stock.Adobe.Com

Creative brains are restless processors of imaginative ideas. Our itchy fingers yearn to start creating the next fun project we dream up. Unfortunately, our next big idea rarely waits until after we’ve finished our current endeavor. Progress on our manuscripts, paintings, or screenplays falter. We lose momentum and begin missing deadlines.

Work management software can assist in planning our creative projects and help us stick with a firm schedule.

What is Work Management Software?

Work Management Software (aka task management or collaboration software) is a category of digital tools designed to plan projects and non-project tasks. Their applications can range from single users or small teams to large project management offices. Easy to use and readily available online, these tools are perfect for creative projects.

In other words, work management software is a project management tool for everyone.

Which Tool Should I Use?

I’ve been a project manager for over fifteen years and have used many complex project management tools to track my large enterprise level schedules. Mastering the platforms required extensive training and some technical knowledge. Many times, the tools were cumbersome and made managing the project unnecessarily complicated. It also limited project management tool access to companies who could afford the expense and resources to maintain them.

The new wave of work management digital tools has opened the door for individuals and small business owners who can’t afford the expense and don’t have time for extensive training. Larger businesses are adopting these easy to use tools as well, effectively reducing their setup and training times.

In researching for this post, I’ve discovered a smorgasbord of new tools. Most of them are unfamiliar, so I’m suggesting a few I know are free and reliable. Asana and Trello are both easy to use and have free basic plans.

A Sneak Peek at Trello

I use the free version of Trello. Why? One of my project teams used it in the past. It’s familiar. It’s free. And it’s fun.

Trill

Trello for Creative Projects

Simple Steps to Set Up Your Creative Project

Trello and YouTube have great “how to” videos to get you started setting up your new account and boards. In this post, I want to give you a few tips to help you plan effectively. You have some things to think through before jumping into the tool. What will it take to complete your project? How long will each task take? If I connect these tasks and their due dates correctly, then will I have my project completion date? Finally, who do I want to access my boards? Are there team members I’ve assigned to tasks and do they need to see those tasks?

Step One – Create your board

  • Give your board a meaningful and descriptive name, so you can quickly identify which project it represents
  • Set it to “Private” (setting located at the top of the board by the name) if you don’t want anyone to see your board
  • Invite your team (if applicable)

Step Two – Plan and create your cards

  • Think about the task categories your creative project must navigate:
    • Create – What steps must you take to create your book, video, etc.?
    • Edit – Do you or a team member need to review the work and quality check?
    • Publish – Are you sending this to a client? Or will you be producing/ publishing the work yourself?
    • Market – Do you need to create marketing tools and advertising?
  • Set Due Dates to hold yourself accountable
  • Plan carefully to calculate a reasonable and accurate project completion date

Step Three – Track your progress

  • Mark your finished items ‘complete’ to gauge where you are in the project
  • Review your splendid progress in ‘real time’ for a boost of self-confidence
  • Watch potential time slips and mitigate them before they happen

Work Management Tools can help you stay on track. Keep your designs easy and straight forward. You’ll soon see the value of organizing your work.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Cosplayers Assemble!

Denver Pop Culture Con – © Viacheslav stock.adobe.com

Denver Pop Culture Con is coming this weekend at the Colorado Convention Center! I’ll be there doing panels with awesome authors: Terry Brooks (Shannara Series), Cinda, Williams Chima (The Heir Chronicles) and many more!

Stop by the Author’s Booth during my signings for a chance to win free ebook copies of The Heart of the Warrior series books one and two!

Find my complete Denver Pop Culture Con Schedule at this link.

Book Baby Announcement

I finally have a firm release date!

Look for the latest book in the Heart of the Warrior series

October 18th, 2019!

Dark Fantasy Books

Book Three – COMING October 18th, 2019

Protect the Innocent. Punish the Guilty.

Seth the Ice Lion, now an Apprentice in the Jalora Legion, reluctantly travels aboard ship with his new battalion. Western Beta’s mission seems a dull assignment. Guarding miles of bogs and old ruins should be a simple task, but Seth soon learns nothing is easy for the Bearer of the Lion Ring. The Jalora is the embodiment of Good and the source of Seth’s power. It commands he search North Marsh for a relic capable of saving his homeland from the ravenous appetite of the Jackal invaders. Surrounded by deadly bogs and savage beasts, he must find the relic before the Lion Spirit inside of him takes control of their shared body.

Invaders from across the sea hold a firm grip on Valdeon, but their thirst for blood remains unsated. They lust for the riches of Andara. Using fear and greed as weapons, the Jackal enlist aid from the continent’s unscrupulous mercenaries to prepare for a larger invasion. They build a stronghold – Stone Fang Fortress – in the Blood Mountains of the north. It is here they prepare to conquer the free world.

Will Seth find this powerful relic before the Jackal swarm invades Andara? Or will his people be enslaved under the iron fist of the Jackal Lord? Seth’s answers hide in the deadly bogs of North Marsh…

Read the Dark Fantasy Epic from the beginning

Dark Fantasy Books

Book One of The Heart of The Warrior Series

Dark Fantasy Books

Book Two – Heart of the Warrior series

Can What You Eat Reduce Your Stress?

Culinary Medicine, Nutrition

Culinary Medicine © norikko – stock.adobe.com

One of our local news stations holds an annual health fair this time of year. During their morning broadcast, they dropped the term “Culinary Medicine.” I’ll confess, I hadn’t heard the phrase. As a Celiac on a strict gluten-free diet, I was intrigued. There is no cure for Celiac Sprue or gluten intolerance. My diet is used to counteract the symptoms of the disease as well as reduce my risk of developing certain types of cancer.

So, is western medicine moving away from a “pop this pill” philosophy and embracing a holistic approach? Answer: It depends on the doctor.

What is Culinary Medicine?

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and I am no expert in Culinary Medicine either. However, I am living proof of how a healthy diet can improve your energy, reduce illness and help with depression.

The healthcare industry, to combat rising obesity rates, is increasing its efforts to counsel patients on nutrition. Nutritious cooking to reduce illness is at the forefront.

Food as medicine? It makes sense if we remember the saying, “you are what you eat.”

How Choosing the Right Food Can Help in Stress Management

Blueberry, Nutrition

The perfect berry! © pilipphoto – stock.adobe.com

  • Green Leafy Vegetables – Eat your spinach, because Popeye was right. Green leafy veggies produce dopamine – the feel-good chemical. They help to encourage calm and good moods
  • Oatmeal – This hearty breakfast food is good for you on several levels. It will help to manage your stress by keeping your blood sugar level stable
  • Yogurt – Take it from someone with food allergies. When your gut is sick, then your brain doesn’t work well either. We’ve seen the commercials about probiotics. Yogurt is a great way to increase these chemicals and calm brain functions which handle our emotions
  • Salmon – Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatories which assist in reducing harmful stress hormones. Salmon isn’t as “fishy” as other fish. It doesn’t have to be in fancy dishes. Try it in tacos for a yummy new take on an old favorite
  • Blueberries – “Calling Dr. Blueberry!” I eat these perfect little berries every day. They boost my mood and make me smile.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.