Author Archives: Jennifer Swanson

Take Time to Stop and Smell the Roses


Happy Holidays everyone!  The big day is over– for some of us– (Happy Kwanzaa!) and while it may have been awesome, it also may mean a big sigh of relief. The time leading up to the holidays is typically filled with excitement and anticipation, but also stress. Finding the right gift, not forgetting anyone on our list, filling out holiday cards, getting them into the mail in time, and braving the long lines at stores and post offices. Whew! I’m tired just thinking about it.

And now that’s it over, our thoughts turn to the new year. We may be making preparations for big New Year’s Eve celebrations  on the town, or perhaps just a quiet night at home.

Whatever you chose to do, think about this.  In a few short days, people will be asking you what your resolutions are for the New Year. You will want to have a list handy with grand plans and goals that you will accomplish in 2016.


That’s a lot of pressure, too.

Before you get caught up in what you want to do for the next year, I invite you to take a moment to sit back and relax.

In our fast-paced world it seems like everyone is always on the go , furiously trying to get through one day, go to sleep, and then face the new one. It’s a never-ending cycle of movement. Come on, admit it. You do this a lot, don’t you? I know that I do. It happens to me when I’m juggling mulitple books, deadlines, edits, or simply taking care of my kids and my dogs. Life can be hair-on-fire crazy on occasion. Sometimes the best thing to do is to slow down and relax.

It is amazing how invigorating doing nothing can be!

My family and I just got back from the most amazing trip. We went to Hawaii for a week. I, of course, took with me stacks of things to keep me occupied– notes from future books, ideas that needed to be fleshed out, books from my to-be-read list. Basically, I planned to work. ( You know in case I became bored in Hawaii. As if?!?)


What did I do?


I sat on the beach in my chair and people-watched. I stared at the awesome beach before me and just let my brain wander.

Oh, we went snorkeling, sight-seeing, shopping, and I even got to meet a dolphin face-to-face. But the best part about my vacation was simply sitting in the beach chair staring at this:


I think we all need to do more of that. I defnitely plan to do so.

So my advice to you is, as you think about what you want to put on that resolution list for 2016, add in “Time to relax”!

My goals for this year include:

— Re-starting my  Tai chi routine at least 3 times a week

— Taking at least 20 minutes a day to step outside and enjoy the sun

— Read more books for fun!

— Unplug from the phone/internet at night

— Spend more time at the beach!

— Take time to stop and smell the roses!


It’s easy to get so caught up in the hectic pace of life that you can forget to take time off.   But relaxing SO important to your own well-being and it costs nothing, but it will make you supremely happy and will invigorate you to keep going!

What are your favorite ways of unplugging and finding time to relax? How do you plan to do this in 2016?

Share your ways below. You may give those of us some great new ideas to add to our own list.

Happy 2016!!


December New Releases!

happyholidays-300x263Happy Holidays Everyone!  We hope that this season finds you filled with cheer, enthusiasm and excitement for the new year that will be shortly upon us. What a better time than to give the gift of reading?


Buy BOOKS for your loved ones, teachers, and friends it is the one gift that can take you to far-off places, introduce you to strange and wondeful characters, and let you explore something you’ve never seen before, all from the comfort of your very own home.


Here’s a few brand new titles to add to your shoppping list:

I Funny TV: A Middle School Story  by James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein

51Nm0BSlnHL._SX350_BO1,204,203,200_Jamie Grimm has hit the big time in book four of the #1 bestselling I Funny series!

Jamie Grimm has finally accomplished his dream of proving himself the Planet’s Funniest Kid Comic, and the sky’s the limit from there. Enter a couple of TV executives with a huge plan for Jamie: a new show about Jamie and his oddball friends! But when Jamie struggles to learn the acting ropes, will it be an early curtain call for the biggest show of the decade?



Broken Ground (Spirit Animals: Fall of the Beasts, Book 2) by Victoria Schwab

Something ancient and evil has awoken from beneath the world of Erdas. Shrouded in shadow and older than memory, just a sliver of its power can destroy with a touch. Even the spirit animal bond, the sacred link between humans and animals that keeps Erdas in balance, is under threat.

Four young heroes, Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan, are determined to stop it. Together with their spirit animals, they embark on a desperate journey that takes them deep underground and to the far corners of the world. As friends and allies fall around them, the four have no choice but to push forward and confront this darkness. If they stop to look back, they’ll see the truth: Evil already has them surrounded.



Rise of the Titans (Pegasus) by Kate O’Hearn

In order to save Olympus, Emily and her winged horse, Pegasus, venture to Hawaii—and a Hawaiian volcano—in this fifth book of an exciting series that puts a modern thrill into ancient mythology.

The ancient rivalry between the Olympians and the Titans has been rekindled. However, this time the Titans have a secret weapon—a weapon that rivals the Flame of Olympus. The balance of power is tipped in Saturn’s favor now that he has found his own Flame of Titus. Olympus is almost in his grasp! And just when the Olympians need Emily most, she finds her own grip on the flame weakening.

Who Was Michael Jackson? by Megan Stine

Born in Gary, Indiana, on August 29, 1958, Michael Jackson was definitely not a regular kid. A superstar with The Jackson 5 before he was eight years old, he became the King of Pop as a solo artist. Michael was a creative–yet deeply troubled–genius who always remained devoted to his art right up until his death is 2009 before a much anticipated tour. He had a pitch-perfect voice and footwork that his idol Fred Astaire admired. Who will ever forget the Moonwalk? Kids today who only know Jackson through video performances are nevertheless fascinated by him. Megan Stine provides a sensitive, fair-minded depiction of this unique music legend.


Long Road to Freedom (Ranger in Time #3) by Kate Messner

Ranger is a time-traveling golden retriever with search-and-rescue training. In this adventure, he goes to a Maryland plantation during the days of American slavery, where he meets a young girl named Sarah. When she learns that the owner has plans to sell her little brother, Jesse, to a plantation in the Deep South, it means they could be separated forever. Sarah takes their future into her own hands and decides there’s only one way to run — north.



The Stone Warriors (TombQuest, Book 4) by Michael Northrop

The adventure continues in book 4!

Alex and Ren’s hunt for the Lost Spells takes them on a twisty and magial path, through false doors, and deep into underground tombs where they discover that The Order is planning something bigger than they’d ever anticipated . . .

In the tradition of The 39 Clues and Spirit Animals, the TombQuest adventure continues online, with an epic game! Build an Egyptian tomb of your own, hide treasure and protect it with traps, then challenge your friends to play through!

Story Thieves by James Riley

Life is boring when you live in the real world, instead of starring in your own book series. Owen knows that better than anyone, what with the real world’s homework and chores.

But everything changes the day Owen sees the impossible happen—his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library. It turns out Bethany’s half-fictional and has been searching every book she can find for her missing father, a fictional character.

Bethany can’t let anyone else learn her secret, so Owen makes her a deal: All she has to do is take him into a book in Owen’s favorite Kiel Gnomenfoot series, and he’ll never say a word. Besides, visiting the book might help Bethany find her father……Or it might just destroy the Kiel Gnomenfoot series, reveal Bethany’s secret to the entire world, and force Owen to live out Kiel Gnomenfoot’s final (very final) adventure.

Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin

The action begins in October of 1875, as Secret Service agents raid the Fulton, Illinois, workshop of master counterfeiter Ben Boyd. Soon after Boyd is hauled off to prison, members of his counterfeiting ring gather in the back room of a smoky Chicago saloon to discuss how to spring their ringleader. Their plan: grab Lincoln’s body from its Springfield tomb, stash it in the sand dunes near Lake Michigan, and demand, as a ransom, the release of Ben Boyd –and $200,000 in cash. From here, the action alternates between the conspirators, the Secret Service agents on their trail, and the undercover agent moving back and forth between the two groups. Along the way readers get glimpses into the inner workings of counterfeiting, grave robbing, detective work, and the early days of the Secret Service. The plot moves toward a wild climax as robbers and lawmen converge at Lincoln’s tomb on election night: November 7, 1876.



Women Who Changed the World: 50 Amazing Americans by Laurie Calkhoven

In Women Who Changed the World, you’ll meet fifty of the most influential and inspirational American women who had a lasting impact on our nation and the world. Starting with some of America’s “Founding Mothers” like Pocahontas and Abigail Adams, and continuing up to the present day with game changers like Hillary Clinton, Oprah, and Misty Copeland, the book features a unique and diverse cast from all walks of life. With a mix of photographs and quirky illustrations, Women Who Changed the World is a fun and exciting read that will inspire future generations of leaders for years to come!

Enjoy the holidays everyone! Be sure to  take some time to relax and lose yourself in a book!



BRAIN GAMES winner!!

Congratulations to

Rosi Hollenbeck

for winning an autographed copy of

                        Brain Games_Cvr_FINAL (1)-small

     by Jennifer Swanson

Check  your email. You will be hearing from the author soon!  :)