Five Frivolous Facts About The Souls Trilogy

I’m happy to welcome back Soul Mate author Anne B. Cole. Today, Anne shares five frivolous facts about the Souls Trilogy and her new release, Souls Endure. BTW…I thoroughly enjoyed reading and highly recommend this trilogy.

Here’s Anne!

annebcolenotebooks1. Souls Entwined Book One of The Souls Trilogy was first titled Maledicta, the Latin word for Cursed. It was initially written in notebooks while I watched my three kids swim at practices and meets. Here are the original notebooks I took to the pool and penned the story in.

2. Souls Estranged Book Two of The Souls Trilogy contains family favorite foods sprinkled throughout the suspenseful novel. Blueberry Buckle, Loaded Potato Chips, and Crock Pot Pulled Pork, are just a few of the yummy foods I included within the pages of the second book. You can find the recipes on my blog for the first two by clicking on the names of the foods above. Here’s the recipe for the Pulled Pork which is teen tested and approved.

Super Easy Pulled Pork

3-5 pound boneless pork roast or pork tenderloin
Root beer soda—enough to cover the roast in the crock pot.
Seasonings to taste—I use 2 teaspoons of mesquite seasoning
Barbeque Sauce—your favorite brand

Add the pork roast and root beer to a crock pot. Cook on Low for 8 hours. Pull the pork apart with forks and drain off the liquid. Add barbeque sauce. Stir. Serve on buns with optional pickle chips and shredded cheddar.

annebcolemanticore3. Souls Endure combines time travel from the first book, suspenseful action from the second book, and concludes the trilogy with a taste of Greek Mythology. Gods, goddesses, and monsters were carefully researched and crafted into the story. Sam faces many Greek monsters during trials to prove himself worthy. My favorite monster he encounters is Manticore. I studied this image when I wrote the Manticore scenes.

4. The mountain setting of Souls Estranged was inspired from a trek up a mountain in rural Virginia with my family and father. Point Look Out Mountain is located in Virginia and we made the climb to the top on two occasions. The view is absolutely beautiful and you can see for miles on a clear day.


I took this picture from the mountain top at a lookout point. I use it as the header picture on my website
Here is a view overlooking the grassy field we hiked through on our way up.


My father’s house is located at the foot of this mountain. The grassy field is about half way up the mountain. The picture below was taken on the way back down in the rock studded grassy field you can see in the picture above.


In Souls Estranged, Gretta goes for a run down the mountain roads and loses track of time. She meets Mr. Francis who shows her a short cut back up the mountain through a grassy, boulder studded field. Fun fact 4.5…my father’s middle name is Francis.

annebcolering5. The inspiration behind the Trilogy is a red garnet ring my grandmother gave me.

She gave it to me when I was in my teens and told me the almost 200 year old heirloom had been passed to her from her grandmother. Legend had it that the original owner (Roxana—my grandmother’s great, great grandmother) received it from her brother who was a sailor in the 1820s. Years later my grandmother gave me the location of the family cemetery where Roxana was buried and I visited it. Roxana’s father and uncle participated in the war of 1812 so the American Legion places flags at their graves every year, making the task of finding the unmarked cemetery possible.

When I returned to show my grandmother the pictures I took at the cemetery she asked me if I saw any ghosts or witches since it had been passed down through the family that the cemetery was haunted by Roxana’s spirit. No, I didn’t see any ghosts, but the experience and stories gave me many ideas to build a novel around.

And there you have it…Five Frivolous Facts behind The Souls Trilogy.

You can find all three books on Amazon by clicking on the titles below.

Souls Entwined | Souls Estranged | Souls Endure

Blurb for Souls Endure

soulsendure‘Without faith, love may not exist. Without love, evil takes control.’

Protected against the ring’s curse by their bond in marriage, Sam and Gretta begin a new life together. Gifted with a free honeymoon from strangers, they encounter visits from spirits of dead loved ones as they travel to the origins of the curse on Gretta’s ring. The beautiful Greek Islands become not only their honeymoon get-a-way, but their fated destiny where they will be forced to either break the curse or succumb to its evil.

With help from ancestral spirits Roxana and Katarina, Sam and Gretta time travel to the nineteenth century in search of answers to the mysteries behind the ring’s final curse. Faced with challenges of faith, trust, and forgiveness, Sam and Gretta prepare to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Excerpt from Prologue of Souls Endure

Thunder rumbled in the distance. Raindrops speckled the sidewalk, disappearing within seconds in the heat of late August. The homeless man adjusted his grip on the dagger which remained concealed in the folds of his new jacket.

He knew what he had been commanded to do.

The man who gave him the jacket had relayed instructions without words. Despite the pain he would inflict, his actions were necessary for the protection of the young couple.

He would complete the task without question.

His gaze left the courthouse doors and landed on the gaping hole in his tattered sneakers. He tightened his fingers on the jeweled handle of the dagger. With his free hand, he patted the wad of bills in his pocket.

“A bottle of gin, the good stuff. Plenty left over for new shoes and a pair of socks.” He contemplated which he’d buy first.

The click of a door opening snapped his attention to his task. He watched the young couple exit the building, hand in hand. Their happiness depended on his success.

Cut them.
The two crossed into the grassy lawn, heading to a bench.

“Young and in love.

Oblivious. Your destiny has been placed in my hands.” He stood, determined to follow through.

He watched them sit on the bench and embrace, completely absorbed in each other. When the young man took her hand in his, she leaned in for a kiss.

He eased off the sidewalk, into the spongy grass with silent footsteps.

Cut them.

The words echoed through his head.

He adjusted the dagger in his hand, curling his fingers around the handle. Just a few more yards to go. His need to complete the task grew so powerful, the lines between right and wrong blurred. With eyes fixed on the couple, he quickened his pace.

The girl startled at another clap of thunder. He paused his approach and watched as the young man encircled her within strong arms. She wriggled and nestled her back against his chest.

“Tomorrow, you’ll be safe, Sam.” She sighed.

“Tomorrow, Gretta, we’ll be married and I will never, ever let you out of my sight again,” the young man promised.

She leaned into his embrace and he planted a kiss on the top of her head.

Just a few more feet.

The man adapted his advance so he would come up from behind the young man and cut them from the side. This way he could get both with one flick of the wrist and be gone before onlookers would notice.

He scanned the area.

No pedestrians. Few passing cars. Nothing stood in his way. He lurched forward with the dagger low. His foot twisted over something in the grass and he fell to the ground.

Before he could get to his knees, a russet colored squirrel sank its teeth into his hand. He cried out and shook the vicious varmint off. Both the squirrel and the dagger were flung to the grass.

Failure is not acceptable.


annebcolepixAnne loves to read all kinds of books so she decided to write a time traveling adventure with supernatural spirits, pirates, and a touch of sweet romance. All this and more are combined in her novels to attract teens through octogenarians. Anne lives in Indiana with her husband and three teenage children and teaches two classes of preschoolers. Her hobbies include running so she can indulge in constant cravings for ice cream, donuts, and chocolate chip cookie dough.

Where to find Anne…

Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

Happy Release Day!

Happy National Food Day!

The main objective of National Food Day is to help people “Eat Real” by “cutting back on sugar drinks, packaged foods, and factory-farmed meats in favor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and sustainably raised protein.”


Here are 10 quotes to inspire positive changes in eating habits…

To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. Buddha

You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces—just good food from fresh ingredients. Julia Child

Fill your plate with the colors of the rainbow. What pleases the eye pleases the body as a whole. Deepak Chopra

Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have. Winston Churchill

The first wealth is health. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. Hippocrates

Ignore the food police. Be a laughing Buddha with happiness in your belly. And indulge your appetite for the pleasures of food shared with good company or eaten alone, in peaceful contemplation of the fruits of the earth. Christiane Northrup

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Michael Pollan

Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners. William Shakespeare

Get people back into the kitchen and combat the trend toward processed food and fast food. Dr. Andrew Weil

How to Select the Right Title

booktitle1Once I have the initial spark of an idea, I let it percolate for several days, sometimes longer, until the right words come to mind. Those two to six words often come with no warning and provide the starting signal for a marathon of sixty to eighty thousand words. Even though it may undergo several incarnations, that working title motivates me to complete the manuscript.

Not everyone starts with a title. Some authors spend years writing and polishing a manuscript and then tack on a title, often as an afterthought. Others may brainstorm pages full of ideas and then ask friends and relatives for advice. Regardless of the method used, one fact is clear: The right title (and cover) will catch the reader’s eye in an overcrowded marketplace.

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.

My Top 10 Books

I’m thrilled to welcome author Christina Hoag to the Power of 10 series. Today, Christina shares her favorite books to read and two of her own releases, Skin of Tattoos and Girl on the Brink.

Here’s Christina!

christinahoagauthorheadshot-2These are some of my favorite books, some classics, some contemporary. They’re in no particular order.

1. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
If there’s a Great American Novel, then surely this must be it. One of the most powerful books I’ve ever read, especially the ending. The story details the hard journey westward by the Okies escaping the dust bowl, and is ultimately a reflection of the indomitable American spirit.

2. Beloved by Toni Morrison
Another powerful American classic by another American Nobel winner, Beloved is the name of a baby killed by her mother, an escaped slave, when she is captured because she considered death better than growing up in slavery. This story stayed with me for a long time after I finished the book.

3. The Goat’s Party by Mario Vargas Llosa
My favorite book by this Peruvian Nobel winner. It’s a fictionalization of the last days of the brutal Dominican dictator Trujillo and tells the story of his assassins and their plot. It’s a brilliant piece of historical reconstruction and a fascinating read.

4. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This is my all time favorite romance. How could a book that details one man’s undying love for a woman over half a century not be? It takes place in 19th century Cartagena, Colombia, and the Nobel winner Garcia masterfully evokes both the romance of the era, setting and the story.

5. Queen of the South by Arturo Perez Reverte
The current hit TV show on USA Network is very loosely based on this thriller. The book is far better. I sped right through this tale of a Mexican woman who not only survives but thrives in the male-dominated dangerous world of international drug trafficking. Gripping and compelling.

6. Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle by Ingrid Betancourt
I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, but Latin American politics and crime are big interests of mine. This memoir, which details the former Colombian presidential candidate’s abduction by guerrillas and life as a hostage, details an incredible story about human nature and the triumph of the human spirit — and it’s extremely well written.

7. Robbery Under Arms by Rolf Boldrewood
This is an Australian classic first published in 1881. I was spellbound by this frontier tale of Captain Starlight and the Marston boys: bushrangers, cattle rustlers but generally sympathetic scallywags as they evade the law through goldfields and bush country.

8. A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd
This was a hilarious book, a total send up of the stodgy British foreign service. The protagonist is a rather hapless junior embassy official in a fictional African country, and he finds himself constantly wading into trouble. I had to run out to the parking lot to listen to this book on my lunch hour, I was addicted to it!

9. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
My favorite Hemingway. What can I say? It’s got all my top elements: heroes involved in a political conflict, a foreign setting, adventure and romance.

10. Vanity Fair by WillliamThackeray
A whopper at 800 pages, but totally worth it. I loved this surprisingly readable story of Becky Sharp, who uses her wiles and wit to climb the social ladder in the early 19th century London. A satirical comedy that pokes fun at social mores and snobs.

Christina’s Books

skinoftattooscover-2Los Angeles homeboy Magdaleno is paroled from prison after serving time on a gun possession frameup by a rival, Rico, who takes over as gang shotcaller in Mags’s absence. Mags promises himself and his Salvadoran immigrant family a fresh start, but he can’t find either the decent job or the respect he craves from his parents and his firefighter brother, who look at him as a disappointment. Moreover, Rico, under pressure to earn money to free the Cyco Lokos’ jailed top leader and eager to exert his authority over his rival-turned-underling, isn’t about to let Mags get out of his reach. Ultimately, Mags’s desire for revenge and respect pushes him to make a decision that ensnares him in a world seeded with deceit and betrayal, where the only escape from rules that carry a heavy price for transgression is sacrifice of everything – and everyone – he loves.


girlonthebrinkcover-2The summer before senior year, Chloe starts an internship as a reporter at a local newspaper. While on assignment, she meets Kieran, a quirky aspiring actor. Chloe becomes smitten with Kieran’s charisma and his ability to soothe her soul, torn over her parents’ impending divorce. But as their bond deepens, Kieran becomes smothering and flies into terrifying rages. He confides in Chloe that he suffered a traumatic childhood, and Chloe is moved to help him. If only he could be healed, she thinks, their relationship would be perfect. But her efforts backfire, and Kieran turns violent. Chloe breaks up with him, but Kieran pursues her relentlessly to make up. Chloe must make the heartrending choice between saving herself or saving Kieran, until Kieran’s mission of remorse turns into a quest for revenge.

Amazon US | Smashwords | Kobo


Christina Hoag is the author of Skin of Tattoos, a literary thriller set in L.A.’s gang underworld (Martin Brown Publishers, August 2016) and Girl on the Brink, a romantic thriller for young adults (Fire and Ice YA/Melange Books, August 2016). She is a former reporter for the Associated Press and Miami Herald and worked as a correspondent in Latin America writing for major media outlets including Time, Business Week, Financial Times, the Houston Chronicle and The New York Times. She is the co-author of Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence, a groundbreaking book on gang intervention (Turner Publishing, 2014). She lives in Los Angeles.

Where to find Christina…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

All About Information Overload Awareness Day

informationoverload2When a group of companies decided to establish Information Overload Awareness Day, their primary objective was to remind employees (and the general public) that there is simply too much information out there. Unchecked, this “infobesity” can have a negative impact on overall productivity and happiness.

Eight years ago, I had email and other correspondence under control. I was teaching full-time and would check emails and messages at most three times a day. Dealing with back-to-back classes, meetings, and extra-help sessions left with me with only small pockets of free time during the day. In the evenings, I disciplined myself to check email only after my marking and lesson preparation was complete.

Everything changed when I retired and started a full-time writing career. Suddenly, my in-box overflowed with messages from editors, publishers, and writers in different time zones. When I joined several national and international groups, I also had access to their Yahoo groups. Participating in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media added to the constant flow of information.

My personal numbers:

• 8 Yahoo Groups
• Over 5K Twitter followers
• 500+ connections on each of the following: LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
• 70+ emails each day
• Following 30+ blogs
• Active participant in Twitter chats

Here are some tips that help me stay on track:

email-control-11. Schedule blocks of time for email, doing research, completing work-related tasks, and simply browsing. Do not simply jump on anytime you feel like it. If necessary, disconnect from the internet if you need to focus on a particular task. In his book, The Power of Less, Leo Babuta introduces the idea of an “offline hour,” which could be extended to an “offline day.”

2. Turn off email notifications. Most programs have alerts like a sound, pop-up message, or blinking icon that let you know when you have received a new email. This interruption can be disruptive and gives power to anyone who wants to email you.

3. Work your way from top to bottom, one email at a time. Open each email and deal with it immediately. Reply, delete, or archive for future reference. Whenever possible, limit your response to five or fewer sentences. This forces you to be concise and limits the time spent in the email box. Before deleting any email, ensure there will be no negative consequences.

4. Take your breaks away from the Internet. Instead of checking social media during lunch and breaks, get away from your desk: take a walk, meditate, practice yoga, meet with friends.

5. Eat the frog. This famous dictum comes from Mark Twain, who strongly recommended completing difficult—and sometimes unpleasant—tasks early in the day. e.g. Writing a synopsis, outlining a novel, completing a round of edits.


How do you deal with Information Overload?

10 Interesting Behind-the-Scenes Facts About Jockeying for You

I’m thrilled to welcome Soul Mate author Stacy Hoff to the Power of 10 series. Today, Stacy shares a behind-the-scenes look at her latest release, Jockeying for You.

Here’s Stacy!

1. I knew nothing—absolutely nothing—about the sport of horse racing before I started researching for this book.

2. In order to learn more about the sport, I packed my bags and took several road trips. I headed off to Belmont Park (Queen, NY) and the Saratoga Race Course (Saratoga Springs, NY).


3. I also visited the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma Training Track, both in Saratoga Springs, NY.


4. While in Saratoga Springs, I visited the Roosevelt Bath House & Spa, and took a guided water tour of Saratoga Spa State Park. The information I learned about the Park & Bathhouse’s legendary healing waters plays an important part of my story.

5. This is my first sports romance book. I’ve jumped around genres quite a bit (from action/adventure to women’s fiction) although I always stay within “contemporary.”

6. I took my kids to the Saratoga Race Course. Good thing they’re too young to bet. The horse they chose for the race we saw came in dead last.

jockeygoggles-27. My youngest son was given a pair of jockey goggles at the Saratoga Race Course by notable jockey Samuel Camacho, Jr., who was kind enough to autograph them. My son treasures this gift.

8. In downtown Saratoga Springs I visited a derby hat store, and learned all about these hats. It was surprising to learn that derby hats are mandatory for a track’s VIP women. If they do not wear one, they are barred from the VIP areas for not meeting the dress code requirements.

9. I also learned from the hat store that fascinations are smaller-sized head coverings. Wearing one of these will make a VIP woman at the track sufficiently dressed to access some of the VIP areas, although not all. Fascinations are not viewed as being as “appropriate” as derby hats.

10. I was challenged to write this book at a writers’ conference I attended, where participants were asked to come up with a plot line with external action showing the protagonist’s internal (i.e. emotional) character arc.



Jake Carter is on a mission—to prove his family wrong. He may have bought a troubled horse, but he’s hired Ryder Hannon, a “horse whisperer,” to get his horse back on track. She’s more than just a trainer to him, she’s the woman he’s been looking for.

Ryder Hannon, a thoroughbred horse trainer, has a big problem—fighting her fear of racing again. Her emotional scars run deeper than her physical ones. But her romantic feelings toward handsome, uber-rich, stable owner Jake Carter is a bigger problem. Is Jake truly in love with her or is he using her to get back at his smug family?

When Jake’s jockey gets injured, he wants Ryder to race. He knows deep down she wants to live up to her family’s legacy. So why does she keep fighting him—and her destiny?


stacyhoff2Where to find Stacy…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon

At the Book Bash Festival

book-bash-001Yesterday, I joined over thirty local authors, poets, publishers, and literary organizations for this year’s Book Bash Festival at the Red Papaya Restaurant in downtown Guelph. Presented by the Friends of Vocamus Press in partnership with Action Read, The Bookshelf, and the Guelph Public Library, this celebration is a much anticipated fall event.

Throughout the afternoon, poets and authors of all genres–fantasy, mystery, historical fiction, Young Adult, memoir, short story and essay collections, children’s books, adult coloring books, visual art, inspirational literature–gave short introductions, sold copies, and mingled with the audience.

Special thanks to…

book-bash-008Host Anna Bowen and singer/musician Madison Gallway for an entertaining afternoon.

Volunteers who helped with the planning and organization throughout the past year.

Our sponsors: CareWell, JanusBooks, Living Yoga & Health, Modern Castles, Moisan & Associates, University of Guelph Library.

Servers at Red Papaya for their cheerful and efficient service. BTW…Great spring rolls!

And, last but definitely not least, Luke Hill of Vocamus Press for spearheading this annual event. We appreciate your commitment to showcasing the written word in Guelph and Wellington County.