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.

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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.

 

Live and Let Read

Spy Novels Books Read

© Malchev – Stock.Adobe.Com

I’m wrapping up the “February Is for Book Lovers” blog series with a sub-genre of Mystery Thrillers. So, order your martini – shaken not stirred– and join me in a good Spy Novel discussion.

Wait. This Was a Book Before It Was a Movie?

Goldfinger and many others by Ian Fleming

The Guns of Navarone by Alastair MacLean

Eye of The Needle by Ken Follett

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

Super Badass Spies

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (Matt Damon aka Jason Bourne)

Killing Floor and series by Lee Child (Jack Reacher)

James Bond series by Ian Fleming (Because you can’t have a Super Badass Spy section without him)

Classic Spies

Yes. James Bond again. Seriously, I could do an entire post just about this character and his author

The Ministry of Fear and Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene

The Day of the Jackal by Fredrick Forsyth

Other Impressive Super Spies

Hunt for Red October and series by Tom Clancy (Jack Ryan)

Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva

I hadn’t really explored this Book Genre until a few years ago. Please let me know if you have suggestions for Spy novels. I’d love to read more!

Covert Ops Links

Goodreads Spy Thriller List

15 Classic Spy Novels by Penguin Books

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Chillers, Thrillers and Beasties

Horror Stories, Horror Books

© Romolo Tavani @ Stock.Adobe.Com

Darkness shrouds the night about me. I clutch at the blankets and burrow deeper into their fleeting comfort. Then a scratch at the door pierces the stillness. Thrusting a hand out, I grasp desperately for my sleeping protector. What is prowling just outside the door? Is it a fanged monster perhaps or some troubled poltergeist?

Setting my Horror novel aside, I discover kitty playing with a discarded rubber band. The heart stopping tension stays with me, however, as I crawl back in bed. Why do I read scary stories before bed time or at all? Heart pounding, shiver inducing tales of horror have been told around campfires of centuries. We humans love the thrill of being scared. Here are a few of my favorites:

Classic Horror Tales

  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Modern Horror Favorites

  • The Stand by Stephen King (So many others!)
  • Relic,The Cabinet of Curiosities and other Agent Pendergast novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  • Just about any story by Dean Koontz
  • True Blood series by Charlene Harris
  • The Narrows by Ronald Malfi
  • Bird Box (the book not the movie) by Josh Malerman
  • The Woman by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee

Have I missed one of your favorites? Please share in the comments. I’d love to add a good book to my reading list.

Chilling Links

Goodreads Horror Book Lists

Horror Writers Association(Proud to be a member)

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

The Many Faces of Fantasy

Fantasy Books, Dark Fantasy Books

© akarb – Stock.Adobe.Com

I moderated a panel last year on “The Many Faces of Fantasy”at Denver Comic Con. Getting the crowd involved, I asked them to shout out the many sub-genres contained within the Fantasylabel. I quickly ran out of fingers and toes.

My point: Fantasy has a little something for every reader. Into the Victorian era and steam powered contraptions? Try Steampunk. Do you lean toward tales of Horror? Dark Fantasyis for you. Maybe you have a fuzzy spot in your heart for Romance. Yep. Fantasy Romanceis a thing.

This genre could be a month-long blog series on its own, so I’ve decided to share my favorite sub-genres with you:

Urban Fantasy aka Grumpy Magical Character in a Modern City

  • The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
  • Something from The Nightside by Simon R. Green
  • Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore
  • Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka
  • The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne (Great Author and Awesome Person)
  • Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
  • A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin
  • Pariah by C.R. Richards (Shameless Plug)

High and/ or Epic Fantasy Adventures

  • The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J.R. R. Tolkien
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • The Dragonbone Chair and its series by Tad Williams
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  • The Sword of Shannara series by Terry Brooks
  • Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan (YA)

Dark Fantasy

  • The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
  • The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney (YA)
  • Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman (Sub-genre is my opinion)
  • Heart of the Warrior series by C.R. Richards (Shameless plug!)
  • Phantom Harvest by C.R. Richards (2014 Best Fantasy Award Winner)

Have I missed one of your favorite books? Please share in the comments. I’m always looking for good books to read.

Fantastical Links

Goodreads Fantasy Books Lists

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Classic Novels Are More Than Book Report Assignments

Books, Reading

© Anna Kucherova – Stock.Adobe.Com

Unless you’ve developed your “reader chops” growing up with the Classics, the very mention of this far ranging genre may cause your eyes to glaze over. We’ve all been tortured with the obligatory book report on Moby Dickor Lord of the Flies. Sigh. I sometimes wonder if this academic approach discourages rather than encourages a love of reading.

I was one of the lucky kids who grew up with an appreciation of the awesomeness to be found in great works of literature. Raised in a knowledge desert on the outskirts of a military base in nowhere America, I took every opportunity to visit my little local library. Devouring everything I could get my anxious hands on, I developed a love for classic tales of adventure, sacrifice and unrequited love.

No movie, Netflix short or TV series can compare to a story written about a certain time and place in history by someone who actually experienced it.

Beloved Books I Discovered in My Youth

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

No Time for Sergeants by Mac Hyman (The movie is hilarious too.)

Books That Make You Think

The Sun Also Rises, The Old Man and The Sea or pretty much anything by Ernest Hemingway

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (I know what you’re thinking! The Woman in White is covered in a future post.)

Books for The Adventurous

Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

Books That Rip Your Heart Out

Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

The Four Feathers by A.E.W. Mason

I’ve just scratched the surface of this amazing genre. Many other novels and short stories hold a special place among these favorites, but I had to end the list somewhere. Did I miss your favorite? Let me know in the comments section. I’m always looking for book suggestions.

Here is the Goodreads.com list of popular classics. How many have you read?

Happy Reading!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.