Friday, December 29, 2017

Here Be Dragons

Do something you believe in.

You need to be the founder of some great creation. You owe that to yourself and to the lives around you. You deserve to hunker down over that Project for hours upon hours, days upon days, possibly years upon years, and make something amazing. Only you can make it. It may be buried deep down, under layers of clothing and wrapped in duct tape, but oh my, please unearth it.

Your children may be your project. Your house and homemaking skills may be your project. Sewing, skating, running marathons, playing an instrument, singing, dancing, painting, scrapbooking, graphic design, putting together robots or refrigerators, folding paper, shucking corn, editing essays, and all of those things that have not yet been created, may be It. Making a guitar from a block of ice and the hair from a llama may be your project. I don’t know. People do weird stuff, man. Just look at most of YouTube.

But the point is, you will realize so much more of the unique, crucial character you are when you create. Intentional creation offers life. Intentional creation spurs light, life, waves of hope, and that deep stirring within the heart. Not only will it draw out these elements in yourself, but others as well. Only you can create and share that project, unlike anyone else.
Feeling stressed out? Create. Feeling bored? Create. Stuck? Create.

Maybe you used to think you were supposed to Be Something In Particular and it hasn’t worked out. Maybe you need to explore other options, maybe you need to keep learning more about that interest, or maybe you need to adapt and look at other aspects of that Something. For example, what if when you were eight you wanted to be the first professional female baseball player? Well, maybe you can coach. You may be one of the best coaches who ever played first base. What if you wanted to be a writer, but you just can’t find a good story? Maybe you’d be great at editing and finding writers, and reading their good works, and helping to revise that project to greatness. Maybe you wanted to finish high school but you are fifty eight. Online school, baby! Maybe you want to be an actress but had a knack for knowing just the right sound would go with an action. Be a foley artist. Not all memorable people were famous. Every part of the puzzle is crucial, even that patch of blue sky.

Try. Act. Practice. Start. Move.

Plan your success.

Be willing to adapt, and you’ll be amazed at what colors the journey will become.
Along the way, you will face challenge and failure, as all projects (especially the worthy ones) do. This is where focus comes into play. Improve upon every attempt. Do this project for yourself. Enjoy it immensely yourself. Who cares if nobody else likes it! But, I am willing to bet some money, or pancakes or something, on this, that others will like it too.
So if you feel as shredded as a block of cheddar cheese inside, if you feel lost and weighted down and hurt, write it down, and make a plan to fight it. Pick up the sword and let it fly. Swing away.

Don’t be a quesadilla. Quesadillas get eaten. You are the chef.

We have loved and lost. We have buried dreams, goals, and stepped on chewed gum in the dirt. We have seen nights so hazy that the morning shines even brighter because of it. Take that magnificent story line that you are on, and shine it up, build it out, and add on a room. Think about those times when you felt successful, pleased with yourself, excited, and others recognized, confirming it. What were you doing? Why were you doing it? Did it add joy to others? Bring forth that moment and work on it!

Own your talents. Own your joy. Set a schedule for yourself and create.

You are called here, down below, for this time, in this place. Make your space shine. If you can hardly breathe from the crushing silence, create a new song to sing. Create the world in which you want to exist.
Alliance Military Guard sent the order. Sergeant Tucker Thompson acquiesced. Hopping a plane to his long-lost Australian birthplace, he's been charged with his toughest mission yet. Thompson must rally his company of soldiers to prevent a new generation of weaponry from breaching the world's borders.

Pound the war drums. Rattle the cages. Here be Dragons.

Fierce yet sparkly, I help seekers find brave new worlds. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I'm not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.

The INSURRECTION trilogy, HERE BE DRAGONS, and non-fiction inspirational IGNITE roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure, and follow along at
Here Be Dragons is a standalone novel, but it does follow my Insurrection trilogy. We see a few characters we met on those luxurious Caribbean beaches. Tucker was the romantic interest from the trilogy. After writing the trilogy, I felt like readers needed to know Tucker more, and he had to complete this assignment. Might as well follow along! No need to have read the trilogy; this book records its own wild adventure!
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Purchase here be dragons on kindle unlimited for only $4.99:
(here be dragons releases January 2, 2018)

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I’m giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to my email list at Titled IGNITE, the 60-page book offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace to help you get kickin’ on those challenging tasks you’ve got to do!

Here be dragons excerpts

Excerpt 1:
“Be careful, Thompson. ‘Nough of us stayin’ down here forever.”

“No one is staying down here. That’s not the mission.”

“Aye, sir. Once I drop these off, I’ll be back to help.”

“Sounds good. Bring Parsnip. I’ll hold Exit off ‘til then.”

Nodding, Burkman shuffled out, Berserk sound asleep over his shoulder. A beam from above groaned.


Exit had vanished.

The door to the Vault clicked shut. As the door closed, the rumbling wall shuddered again, and after a sizzling pop, the beam overhead released itself from its bolts.
Shooting away from the wreckage, I coughed in all the dust as ceiling particles and chunks tumbled around the beam.

In the plunging darkness, amid the fog, my VISTAS declared with precision: the door was blocked. The easiest entrance had been barred. Panic, seething, whirling and awry, pitched through my chest. Couldn’t be marooned in that dungeon. My gut told me I’d have to find an exit, and it might be painful. In fact, it would. All mortals dwell inside armor containing their mettle. But in treasure hunting, in creating a life crammed with rollicking fires and austere winds, the armor gets dented. To leave behind that armor is possibly the greatest adventure of all.

Pivoting on my heel, I faced the door to the Vault. Here be life. Here be adventure, to whatever exit it may unearth.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


This is the first book in the “Oric Trilogy.”  This is a young adult series set during the Middle Ages.  I am a huge fan of historical fiction, and I like it even more if it is geared towards young adults.  This book has strong morals and lots of actions.  By morals, I don’t mean that it beats you over the head with religion.  Rather, it shows the main character being a good person.

The historical detail is excellent.  The story is vibrant and well described.  I’m excited to see where this story leads.

Look for this for your teen boys.  Even a reluctant reader should enjoy this adventure.

Note: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

NOT QUITE EDEN by Dominique Kyle

I am an avid and eclectic reader.  I will give anything a try.  This genre wasn’t my usual choice, so I found it refreshing and fun.  I liked the description of her being a “kick-a** heroine.”  That is the perfect description.  I found myself instantly rooting for Eve.  She had me on the edge of my seat throughout. 

I liked that this is a YA romance with a little something extra.  The other YA romances I’ve read have been just super-predictable and involve high school insta-love.  This is so much more.  Definitely give this book a chance. 

Note: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, December 17, 2017


This is the first book in the series “Riley Collins.”

I found this book funny and delightful.  The voice is entertaining, sucking you in, and I didn’t find any parts too dry or dragging.

I loved the plot.  It went from wild to wild, with non-stop action.  I found it incredible that she suddenly became a bodyguard.  This is definitely the type of book I would have loved as a teenager.  Now as an adult, I still loved it. 

If you’re looking for a fun young adult book, check out this start to what is sure to be a lively series.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

HIGH SUMMONS by Eli Celata

This is the first book in the series “Warlock of Rochester.” 

This reminded me of all the fantasy books I read back in high school.  The world-building is phenomenal.  I found myself totally sucked in and when I suddenly looked away from the computer, it was to blink in puzzlement at my surroundings.  What a great story to get sucked into!

The other aspect of the story that really stood out to me was the voice.  Jon is an awesome main character.  He made me laugh and wince, and I was rooting for him from the start.

The fantasy aspects reminded me of a classic fantasy novel.  If you’re looking for something with a strong voice and magic, check out this novel.

Also, I thought it was cool that this book takes place in Rochester, which is just a few hours from my home.   A character was named Jordan (my name) too, so it was sort of like this book was written for me, haha.

Friday, December 15, 2017


This book is beautiful.  I cried through most of it.  There were tender, heartwarming moments.  There were joys and tears, and it was all centered around Alzheimer’s.  My grandmother had dementia before she passed away, and while reading this book, I saw many similarities.  Reading this brought back so much of my grandmother to me, and in a way that didn’t hurt, but rather made me remember the good times too.

I liked how she kept the subject serious, real, and raw, but she mixed in love and laughter.  It made this book feel more than just real.  I commend her on taking such a horrible topic and making it into a spiritual growth journey. 

I recommend this to anyone who has dealt with a loved one in a similar situation.  Rarely do books read so real.

Note: This was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


I received a copy of PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOUR ADULT CHILDREN: TRUSTING GOD WITH THE ONES YOU LOVE by Jodie Berndt, foreword by Jim Daly, from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review. 

Right now, my son is 1, so I know he has many years ahead of him before he will be an adult, but I also know those years are going to fly by.  I have to be ready to let him go, both mentally and physically, not to mention spiritually.  This book shows you how to continue praying for your children once they become adults.  Each chapter explores a different prayer, and Jodie Berndt writes with understanding, sympathy, and love.  Her writing voice is beautiful and captivating.  You will find this book to be a pleasure to read.

With the holidays coming up, this is an excellent gift to give a parent who is about to bid a child farewell as he or she makes their way into the world.  

Monday, December 11, 2017


This was my first story by M. L. Sparrow, and wow.  It really blew me away.  The book contains some beautiful sentences.  Amazing imagery.  It was a pleasure to read.

I love true stories, and while this one is only based on a true story, I found it captivating,  I haven’t read any other stories about the tsunami so this made it even more unique to me.  I’m glad she wrote about such a heartbreaking event. 

You know how some stories you really have to plod through?  This one isn’t like that at all.  I flew through it.  The book is short, by the way.  It is a novella.  It doesn’t seem like it though.  It is definitely a complete story, while still leaving you wanting more.  I will be looking for more of her books just to experience more of her poetic voice. 

Be warned that while reading this, you will definitely feel emotional.

Note: I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

CHILD OF NOD by C. W. Snyder

I thought the description sounded cool, but I didn’t expect to love the book as much as I did!  I started reading it rather late at night, thinking I would just read a chapter or two, and suddenly I was halfway through and couldn’t wait to finish it the following day. 

This has the beauty of a fairy tale mixed with the action and adventure of a modern fantasy.   It really isn’t for kids, by the way.  It tends be very dark and gritty, which is something I adore.  Easily five stars from me.

Note: This is book one in “The Balance” series.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

VAMPIRE HUNTERS by Trudie Collins

It has been a while since I’ve read vampire lit.  Sure, I’ve read novels about vampires, but they have been second stage to another plot point.  This book screams “vampire” in your face, grips your heart, and refuses to let you go.  I LOVED IT!  It is one thing after another…after another…after another.  It doesn’t let you go until the end, and then you are left breathless.  My favorite part about this book is the action.  It never lets you down.  This is excellent escapism. 

Note: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, December 8, 2017


This is the first book in the Solaris Saga.  I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review.

SOLARIS SEETHES was described as being a mix of Star Wars and Star Trek, with some Battlestar Galactica.  I have to admit to not being familiar with ANY of them.  Yes, I am probably very unique in that regard.  I do, however, love books about space, so I was eager to read this one. 

I found this book delightful.  The world building is breathtaking.  I was blown away by how detailed it was.  You can tell the author spent a lot of time exploring her imagination and creating a complex structure in outer space.

Rynan is strong and independent, but she also shows her vulnerable side.  There is a lot of action to counteract the emotion. 

Overall, a great read.  I can see it appealing to teens and adults.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


This is the first book in the series “Kings.”  I found it chillingly good and this is an excellent first book.  It sets the stage well.  I look forward to seeing what comes next. 

Belle is a character who had me cheering, cringing, and laughing.  She was my favorite of the batch of characters.  By the way, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill werewolf story.  For a while, I was sick of werewolf stories because they all felt the same.  This one is surprisingly unique.

My favorite part was the dual point of view.  I love books that do that.  It really helps to get you into the different heads and really suck you in.

Note: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

PIGSTY PRINCESS by Nancy S. Brandt

This is the first book in the “Misfits Monarchs” series.  I am definitely hooked!  This reminded me of an older version of the pictures books I was obsessed with as a kid.  There’s fantasy.  A princess who is strong and emotional.  This is a beautiful fairy tale.

My favorite part is the world.  It is detailed and you can tell that the author loves her creation.  

Saturday, December 2, 2017


This book is weirdly fun.  At first, I was confused by the set up.  The first part is written in second person and the second part is written in third person.  I started the first part and then switched to the second to see which I preferred.  I ended up reading the first section, and then I loved the author’s writing style so much I read the second part too.  I am in awe of how smoothly he was able to write the two sections.  They flow so well and are yet so distinctive.  It turns into a his and hers.  Really, you have to read it to see what I’m talking about.

The story itself is great.  I couldn’t stop reading once I started.  It sucks you in and the action keeps coming, but he also wrote with enough emotion to keep the characters engaging.   I’m going to look for more by this author.

Note: I received a free pdf in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, December 1, 2017

THE STONE OF KINGS by Shea McIntosh Ford

Most young adult fantasy novels that I read involve a girl who dresses like a boy or about a girl who goes on a journey.  This one is about a young boy, which I found refreshing, and it was about Ireland.  The history of Ireland.  Oh, I was so in love. 

There was so much about this book to enjoy.  I think my favorite part was the combinations of fantasy and history, two of my favorite genres.   If you’re looking for a gift to give a reluctant reader, I highly recommend this one.  It is fast paced, so even a teen struggling to read will want to keep going.  I can see it appealing to boys and girls.

This book deserves a standing ovation.