Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I Cry the Day I Take the Tree Down (I hate endings)

         I hate cleaning up after Christmas. Even more than the disposing of mass quantities of wadded Christmas wrapping paper and cardboard boxes, is the taking down of the Christmas decorations. It's not that I'm afraid rolling up my sleeves, greasing my elbows, and doing a little work. I just hate endings. The anticipation, the festivities, and warm-fuzzy feelings with family members are over. For now. It brings a lump to my throat.
           A week before Christmas we picked up my son from the airport after serving an LDS mission in Alaska. The experience was bitter sweet--just like taking down the Christmas decorations. While I was thrilled to see him again, and I love having him home, it was an ending of a great experience for both he and I. And I hate endings.
          I guess I don't hate all endings. I don't get choked up when I've come to the end of a dentist appointment, or after completing year end financial crap from my business.
          As I have contemplated "endings" it has brought me to think about another kind of ending: the ending of a novel. Some endings are anxiously awaited. Some endings leave a lump in my throat similar to the one I get when I take my tree down. These are the stories I have enjoyed with a similar relish as the basking in warm-fuzzy feelings of holiday festivities. Thus I hate to see it end. I even mull it over and over in my mind for several days after I turn that last page.
          As a writer, I pose this question to all of you other writers out there: how do we write a novel/story with a powerful ending that will have our readers feel that lump in their throat? I think the key is to have the previous two-hundred-or-so pages be full of meaning. Good meaning, (a trip to the dentist office or doing one's taxes have meaning).
          We must speak to our readers' hearts and stir their souls with truth and good story. Follow that up with a satisfying ending that makes sense and doesn't disappoint, we will have our readers thinking about our book long after they finish it. Readers will then hate endings as much as I do--not because it was a bad experience, but because they are sad that it is finished.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Spotlight: Texting Through Time series by Christy Monson



A second Texting Through Time book is here, John Taylor And The Mystery Puzzle. It’s a fast-paced quick read—fun for kids and the entire family.
As Micah and Alicia get to know John Taylor, they find he is faithful, courageous, prayerful and loving. They must solve a mystery puzzle about his life before they can return home. While hunting for the puzzle pieces, they land in France with a dead phone battery—and Micah is in a dress! What else can go wrong?

Christy said this was such a fun book to write. She enjoy doing the research. It was a blessing for her to learn about our modern-day prophets.
She felt honored that Mary Jane Woodger, BYU Faculty and editor of Champion of Liberty, John Taylor, had written a forward for her book. Maureen Smith, International President of the Daughter’s of the Utah Pioneers has endorsed the book. And Mathew Buckley, author of Chickens in the Headlights, and Bullies in the Headlights has given it a thumbs-up.
If you'd like to purchase or learn more about her Texting Through Time series, check out  the following links:
Her book was launched at the Ogden Temple Deseret Book Store on Friday, November 23rd 
Check the websites for other scheduled signings.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I've completed my first picture book!


I just finished uploading my first picture book onto the web for sale and ordered me a few copies to give as presents. It feels great. Now I can begin my Christmas shopping and housecleaning.

I have written several manuscripts for picture books, but they have remained untouched on my computer collecting cyber dust for a number of years. It seems the publishing world doesn't have a big demand for picture book authors, especially ones who don't illustrate their own work. Because I really wanted to get my picture book stories out there, a few months ago I began learning how to use Adobe Illustrator to help my marginal sketches come to life.

After I created the first few pages of one of my favorite stories, Crook and Nanny, I decided it might be best to test the POD waters by creating a personalized picture book for my grandson for Christmas first. This way I could work out the kinks before I got serious about picture book publishing. I really had fun making it and I learned a lot. I plan on having Crook and Nanny out by next Christmas.

I hope my grandson, Hunter will enjoy it.












If by chance you'd like to buy a copy, it is available on Lulu  (I found Amazon/Createspace was not as conducive to printing picture books as Lulu).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Too Preachy? Opinions please.

I just finished my NaNoWriMo novel this past Monday--a 50,000 word book in nineteen days.  One of the beauties of writing a novel so fast, is that it tends to take on a life of its own, often taking you to places you hadn't contemplated when you started.

That's exactly what happened with my NaNo nove, the second in my Tree Boy series.

As Sprout, a boy who was sprouted from a seed (book one), discovers his super powers, his adoptive brother and sister try to convince him to become a super hero (book two). They form the Super Hero and Detective Organization, or SHADO, and they try to dig up acts of service that might require a superhero, or solve crime mysteries so Sprout can step in and "save the day." But he longs to know who he is and why he is here on this earth.

From the onset, I knew this was the protagonist's struggle within the book. But what I didn't really know was his true purpose in being here. By the end of the book, almost like magic, his purpose emerged: He was planted on the earth by the Creators in case mankind grew heartless over time. He would be a catalyst to restore the earth to a point where it was ruled by love of nature and of neighbor, rather than by deviousness.

I liked this purpose as it emerged. but I'm worried that it might be too preachy for a kid's book. I would love some opinions.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blog Tour Stop/Review of Cindy Hogan's new book: Created

I am honored to be an official stop in the book blog tour for Created, by Cindy Hogan
.

A spy school.
A choice.
A destiny discovered.

Created is the third book in this fun, teen suspense series by Cindy Hogan. I had read and enjoyed her previous two books, Watched, and Protected. But in this third novel, it seemed as if Cindy bumped her writing up another notch and gave me a story with even more exciting twists and turns that made it hard to put down. In Created, the main character, Christy is sent to Belgium to hide in a spy school because The Witness Protection Program is failing to keep her safe. While there, test scores reveal her true abilities and the director wants her to become a spy. Once the terrorists back home are all caught, and the danger gone, she is forced to make the decision to either go home and live a normal teen life or use her gifts and become a spy. Of course there is some romance in there. And lets not forget a traitor or two to keep you on your toes.

I would easily recommend this book to anyone who likes a good suspense novel, whether your are sixteen, or sixty. One thing I really like about Cindy Hogan's books, is that they are good, clean entertainment, proving once again that you don't need sex and dark stories to draw and audience.

Author website: 
http://cindymhogan.blogspot.com/

Places to purchase:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Check out some recent stops and the next few stops on the tour:

8 Donna McNicol http://donnamcnicol.blogspot.com/
Karly Kirkpatrick http://www.karlykirkpatrick.com/
Tristi Pinkston http://tristipinkston.blogspot.com

9 Shantal Hiatt Sessions http://shantalhiatt.blogspot.com/
Stacey Benefiel http://staceywallacebenefiel.com/

10 Jennifer Jensen http://jenniferjensen.com
Christine Bryant http://www.ckbryant.com/

11 Gaynell Parker
Elle Strauss http://www.ellestraussbooks.com/

12 Renae Mackley http://renaeswritespot.blogspot.com/
Deanna Henderson http://deannahenderson.blogspot.com/


13 Tamara Heiner http://tamarahartheiner.blogspot.com/
Carolyn Frank http://franklycreative.blogspot.com/

15 C.Michelle Jefferies http://cmichellejefferies.blogspot.com/16 Deborah Davis
RaShelle Workman http://www.rashelleworkman.com/

17 Arla Cook http://leavemommyalone.blogspot.com
18 Melanie McCullough http://melaniemccullough.blogspot.com/
19 Monique Bucheger http://moniquebucheger.blogspot.com
20 Canda Mortensen http://candamortensen.blogspot.com/

21 Rachelle Christensen http://rachellewrites.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Do You Consider Yourself Creative?

A friend pointed me to this video. I loved every minute of it, totally relating to her message. If you are the creative type, you'll want to watch this. It inspired me.

That's why I'm sharing it.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Freedom to Follow Your Dreams

Okay, it's election day. You might think I would post something about the importance of voting. Though I feel this is a very precious right that we should all value, I feel moved to discuss a different blessing we have as citizens of this great country. That being the freedom to follow our dreams and earn a living at what we choose to do.

I am a writer. A newly self-published author. I have only begun to taste that freedom. Very little has made its way into my pocketbook in the form of money. But my drive to write is able to move forward unencumbered by the fear that it will it will do no good, or get me nowhere.

Two days ago I returned from a writers' retreat; four days and three nights of answering only to the call of my muse. I came close to composing half of my next novel. True, it was a very rough, NaNoWriMo draft, but it opened my eyes to my potential. It showed me that I truly have the ability to become successful and my chosen new profession if I am willing to put in the time.

And as I prepared to go and vote, I reveled in the greatness of this country, thanking God for my freedoms. It was then my mind wandered with gratitude to the above revelation. I am free to publish my books, use my talents to make the world a better place and possibly be the means of inspiring a child through uplifting literature.

Now I want to finish this post and go write.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Today is the first day of a new novel

Yes, I'm participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. That means I will be working hard to complete a novel in the month of November. I completed NaNo last year, and I am determined to do so again this year. For my NaNo novel I will be writing a sequel to a novel I just finished a week ago. Hopefully, the characters and setting will be fresh in my mind and thus make the process easier.

In a nut shell, the series is about a boy who is sprouted from a seed. One by one, he discovers his super plant powers and uses them to make the world a better place to live.

With a degree in botany, this book has been mulling around in my head for some time. I'm excited to write it, and hopefully as children read this fun story they will also gain an appreciation for nature at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed working on the first book in the series. I hope I can do the second book the same justice. Watch for detail on my progress.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blog Tour/Book Review: Nightingale, by David Farland





      As a self-published author, I jumped at the chance to participate in a book blog tour for David Farland's new self-published YA novel, Nightingale. He is an inspiration to all in the self-publishing world, having found immense success in traditional publishing and then by choice switching over to self-publishing.  Though I've never read any of his adult science fiction books, I have read and enjoyed a number of his books for children. The premise of this new book sounded fascinating,  and combined with his track record, I figured I couldn't loose by agreeing to read and then review his book as part of this blog tour.
      I must admit, at the beginning of the book I felt his writing was not as stellar as I had expected from an author of his experience. I was disappointed in the "rough edges" as he fleshed out the high school setting for his main character, Bron Jones. Perhaps this roughness I sensed was because Farland's expertise is in fantastical world building, not the chic-lit setting of a present-day high school. But my focus on these minor weak points quickly faded and moved to the story line as the action and intrigue of Bron's past and powers, (which were unknown to him), pulled me in.
      Though the story is set in present day Saint George, Utah, Farland did a superb job of world building. Bron, we learn, is a member of race of people that have co-existed alongside humans since the dawn of time. Farland weaves in the details of this sister race in a natural, believable way, almost to the point of having me look at other people's hands to see if they had the signs of  suction cups on their fingers. I could feel the tension Bron was experiencing as he battled with his heredity and propensity for evil while trying to maintain the compassion he'd learned from living as a human for the first sixteen years of his life
      As the book drew to a close, Farland had me on the edge of my seat. And when I closed my Nook, after reading the last page, I couldn't help but mull over and over what had just happened and the impossible, yet liberating feeling I had for Bron's situation.
      Anytime a book makes me think about it after I close the cover,  I consider it a good read.



The multi-award winning novel, Nightingale by best-selling author, David Farland is available in hardback, ebook, and now in a special iPad enhanced version. This young-adult fantasy novel has already been turning heads.
Grand Prize Winner of the Hollywood Book Festival, placed first in all genres, all categories.

Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Best Young Adult Novel of the Year!

Finalist in the Global Ebook Awards.


"Superb worldbuilding, strong characters, and Dave's characteristic excellent prose. --Brandon Sanderson, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author


"A wonderful tale of a young man trying to find his humanity, even though he's not quite human. One of Farland's very best!"--#1 International Bestseller Kevin J. Anderson

The enhanced version creates an amazing reading experience complete with illustrations from several talented artists and a sample of a soundtrack that coincides with the story. Published byEast India Press a publishing company that takes e-books in a whole new direction with enhanced multimedia--soundtracks, movie clips, author interviews and more. From the site: "East India embraces emerging technologies and new distribution methods, producing every novel in three forms: as an enhanced multimedia experience, as a standard e-book, and as a limited edition hardcover."
Farland has plans for three more books in the series: Dream Assassin, Draghoul, and Shadow Lord.

About the author:

David Farland has written and edited fifty published books. These include novels for adults, young adults, anthologies, middle-grade readers, and picture books. He often teaches writing workshops, and has trained a number of people who went on to become international bestselling authors—people like Brandon Sanderson in fantasy, Brandon Mull in middle-grade fiction, and Stephenie Meyer in young adult fiction.


As part of his dedication to helping other writers, David writes the David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants, an email bulletin for writers or those who would be writers. Many authors rave about how it has helped them. Out of devotion, he provides the Daily Kick free. You can register to receive it at http://www.davidfarland.com/.



You can learn more about Dave and his books/writing seminars here:
FB:


http://www.facebook.com/david.farland1
Twitter handle @DavidFarland
Websites:
www.nightingalenovel.com
http://www.davidfarland.com/
Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/83308.David_Farland



 Blog Tour Schedule for Nightingale by David Farland 2012

Sept 28- http://www.christydorrity.com/2012/09/nightingale-book-tour.html
Sept 28- http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com/2012/09/book-giveaway-nightingale-by-david.html
Oct 1- http://www.stinalindenblatt.com/2012/10/bringing-scenes-to-life-guest-post.html
Oct 3- Donna Weaver- http://weavingataleortwo.blogspot.com/
Oct 4- http://www.rashelleworkman.com/
  Oct 9 -  http://www.ilikethesebooks.com/ 
Oct 12-http://www.debbiesinkspectations.blogspot.com/
 Oct 16- http://moniquebucheger.blogspot.com/
Oct 17- http://peggyeddleman.blogspot.com/ 
Oct 18- http://www.dorinewhite.blogspot.com/
Oct 19- http://thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com/


Oct 23- http://www.karen-hoover.blogspot.com/
Oct 24-http://www.tanyaparkermills.com/
Oct 25- http://davidpowersking.blogspot.com/  
 Oct 26- http://rachellewrites.blogspot.com/
Oct 29- http://writersally.blogspot.com/

Oct 30-  www.franklycreative.blogspot.com
Nov 2- http://1000wrongs.blogspot.com/
Nov 5- http://www.ja-bennett.com/
Nov 5- http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/
Nov 6- http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/
Nov 7- http://starcrossedbookreviews.blogspot.com/
Nov 14- http://elanajohnson.blogspot.com/

Nov 16-  http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/
Nov 16- http://www.ldswomensbookreview.com/wordpress/
Nov 19- http://christinebryant.blogspot.com/
Nov 20- http://cindybennett.blogspot.com/ 
Nov 21- http://writersally.blogspot.com/

Nov 26- http://cindymhogan.blogspot.com/ 
Nov 27-http://www.alicross.com/
Nov 28-http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/
Nov 29- http://fireandicephoto.blogspot.com/
Nov 30- www.blogginboutbooks.com
Dec 3- http://rebeccablevinswrites.blogspot.com/ 
Dec 7- http://kbrebes.blogspot.com/  
Dec 14 - author@jlloydmorgan.com

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book give away: Promises

It's about time for another contest on my blog. This time I'm going to give away a copy of my own book, Promises. This is my first novel, but certainly not my last. It's receive very positive reviews and it's a fun read for kids and adults alike.

A quick blurb about the book:

Hattie is barely twelve when her pa’s “business adventures” disrupt her family and move them to the new town of Tropic, nestled in the shadows of old Ebenezer Bryce’s Canyon. Her pa views the town as opportunity. Hattie is hopelessly shy and views it with apprehension; she dreads the task of making new friends. More than anything else, Hattie wants to be like her father—not afraid of meeting new people, talking to strangers, and standing up for herself. So it is with trepidation that she accepts her pa’s challenge and promises to make new friends.
Hattie forms more promises as she struggles to make friends, finding companionship in places she wouldn’t have expected and learning that there is a difference between complaining and standing up for oneself.
           
            Promises is a heartwarming story of friendship with a touch of mystery and adventure set in the days before Bryce Canyon became a national park. Drawn from the memoirs of early Utah settlers, it is a realistic glimpse into the past and a delightful story for readers ages eight to eighty.

Best places to purchase the book:

Easy Easy contest instructions:
1. Become a follower of my blog.
2. Leave a comment to this post

The contest runs through November 10. I will then randomly select one winner for every five comments entered. So you have a one in five chance to win. Make sure you leave me an e-mail address so that I can contact you if you are the winner.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What do Dead Pheasants have to do with NaNoWriMo?

My husband killed Ralph last Thursday. Backed right over him with the truck. Didn't even see him. Both of us felt terrible, even if Ralph was just our resident male pheasant of the adjacent field. As my husband scooped him off the driveway with a shovel, I consoled myself by thinking at least it wasn't my grandson.

One good thing did come from that traumatic moment: I vowed to always slow down and check things out before I take off in my car.

The following evening I realized I should have used that advice with my tongue. I attended my missionary reunion. (It's been over 30 years since the last one). We each had two minutes to fill everyone in on what had happened in our lives in the past 30 years. If we went over the allotted two minutes, the moderator would ring a cow bell. When it came to my turn, I jumped up, excited to tell about my post-missionary puppet endeavors. (I thought everyone would be interested in hearing about my puppet business since I had started making puppets and using them on my mission.). I put my mouth into gear without forethought. It rambled aimlessly about my puppets, never getting to other aspects of my life that would have made my  story more complete, and satisfying. The cowbell rang. As I sat down, someone yelled out, "Hey, do you have a family?" Not only did I feel a bit foolish, I felt let down that I had told an incomplete story.

Over the weekend, as I mulled over this embarrassing experience, my thoughts drifted to my upcoming participation in NaNoWriMo. (For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is a challenge to write a complete novel, 50K words, in the month of November). Like most people, I was ready to take off on November first, without much forethought, and ramble-off 50K words onto my computer screen. But what would that get me? The glory of completing NaNoWriMo, and a dead, incomplete story. Of course, you always have major editing to do with a NaNo manuscript, but I thought why not minimize the re-writing pain? If I were to slow down now, and put some forethought into my novel, highlighting all the important points I want to make, when I take off, my ramblings on the keyboards will have more direction.

Thanks, Ralph, for giving your life that I might prepare myself better to write my next novel.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Book Review: Protected, by Cindy Hogan

Over the weekend I had some spare time and treated my self to a book. I chose Protected, by Cindy Hogan. She released this book last March on the same day as I released my first book, Promises. (We had our launch party together and she was so helpful, as I was a bumbling newbie). What I can't believe is that I had waited this long to get around to reading her book. I had enjoyed her first book, Watched, and I was rewarded equally, if not more, as I read Protected.

In Cindy's first book, Watched, the MC, Christy witnesses the murder of a government official by terrorists while on a school field trip in Washington DC. In Protected, Christy enters the Witness Protection Program and undergoes the transformation from her unpopular nerdy-bookworm image into Michele, a character that is the complete antithesis. Cindy did a brilliant job of showing Christy make this transition, not just on the outside, but on the inside. I loved how she still kept Christy human, botching up her new cover and having to receive another image, Ari, this time as opposite as possible from Michele, and her original nerdy self. Having Christy slip into a second disguise was fun and kept me reading.

With evil terrorists always on Christy's heels, the tension was high, and kept me turning the pages and mad at myself for having to turn off my Nook and go to sleep when I couldn't focus on the page anymore.
Protected is a fun, clean, entertaining read for teens (and old ladies like me). I would highly recommend it. I'm just glad that I don't have to wait a long time for the sequel. It is scheduled for release later this month. Keep visiting this blog and watch for a review of the next book in the series. I will be part of a book blog tour of her new book, Created. I will also be giving away a copy of her first book in the series, Watched. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"The Land of the Free," what does that mean.

The other day I heard someone's paradigm on this question, and it about blew me away. I was talking to the receptionist at my OBGYN's office, mentioning how I had to hurry and get in my annual mama-gram before I lost my insurance. She gave me her condolences and was interested in my story. I told her my husband had lost his job because of Obama-care. Without going into the details I told her, ('that's another story for another day), she proceeded to vent her frustration about how those who have government assisted healthcare still cry about having to pay their co-pay. Then she told me an instance that made us both shake our heads in disbelief. When this particular woman was asked to pay her portion of her government-subsidized health care, she proceeded to complain. "I thought this was the land of the free?" she said. "Why should I have to pay anything?"

Land of the free lunch, you mean? If that what some of my fellow countryman think of as the definition of "free," then this country is in serious trouble. To me, the freedom my forefathers fought for, was freedom from oppressive governments, freedom to worship God according to the dictates of my own heart, and the freedom to work hard and become whatever I want to be. If the above mentioned person is to have her way, and gets her perpetual free lunch, it will ultimately be the demise of all those freedoms that I hold dear. Is that fair?

Everyone needs to contribute. Even if it's small. To offer even a token effort, or a show of gratitude for the gifts that are given to those in need, would go far in restoring the health of our ailing economy. But for those on the government dole, who complain about paying their $5 copay for complete healthcare coverage, that I am now completely without, I should have the freedom to tell them to read a history book and learn what our fathers meant when they referred to this country as the "land of the free."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Salsa in September



It's September.  I would like to share with  you my my homemade salsa recipe. It's really easy to make  and so tasty (at least my family tells me this) that you can sit down and eat an entire batch in one sitting (if you're hungry). As with everything, this recipe is definitely best when made with fresh tomatoes, peppers and onions from your garden--hence the reason for sharing it at this time of year.

CAROLYN'S HOMEMADE SALSA

5 medium to large tomatoes, chopped
1 medium to large onion, finely chopped
1 medium to large sweet green pepper, finely chopped
1/4 to a whole Anaheim pepper, finely chopped or grated
1 teaspoon garlic, minced or pressed (about 3 to 4 cloves)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What kind of dreams do you have?

Do you ever draw upon dreams for your writing inspiration? I know that's where Matt Kirby got his original idea for his novel, Ice Fall (Scholastic, Oct. 2011). I know I've had several dreams that feel like I'm in the middle of an awesome movie. When I wake up, I know I should jot down the story line for a future novel. But I don't. The desire for more sleep, or rushed morning schedules get in my way.

I've heard that some authors keep a notebook on their bed stands for the sole purpose of capturing inspiration from their dreams. A dream I had last night has motivated me to do just that. The odd thing is, the actual dream I had would never be woven into one of my books. (I should never say never). But the dream I had before it--or maybe I was awake and thought this, I can't differentiate--was the motivating factor to obtain the bedside notebook. I remember feeling a push to write down some of my dreams and share them on my blog. (I've been grasping at straws trying to come up with new stuff for my blog as of late). In that semi-comatose state, I committed to my self to document my dreams and perhaps share the best ones on my blog.

Then I fell back asleep and dreamed that I had a Mr. Potato Head-like arm growing out of my head. It started out as a mole, but quickly grew. It felt like plastic but was the color of flesh. I told my husband that I wanted to go to the doctor and have it cut off because it was embarrassing, and I didn't think it would be appropriate for me to wear a hat to church. He said we couldn't afford the medical costs, because he was unemployed and we didn't have insurance. The dream felt horribly real. I was more than relieved when I woke up.

I definitely don't think that dream will lead to a best seller. But I do know that my imagination is at its height during my dreams, coming up with fantastic stories that my wakeful self could never hope to conjure up in a million years. I would be crazy if I didn't take advantage of that bountiful resource.

How many readers and writers out there think their dreams could be woven into a good story?


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Review: The Hollow City, by Dan Well



I read this book because I've really enjoyed the voice Wells seems to capture with his characters. In this book, Micheal, his main character is even more mentally disturbed than John Cleaver (from his serial killer series). The book is told through the eyes of a schizophrenic, which made for different kind of read for me. I never knew what was real. But then, neither did Micheal. I thought Wells did a good job in capturing what the mind of a schizophrenic could be like.
Unfortunately, the book seemed to drag a bit in the middle as Micheal tries to escape from the mental hospital. But the lure of the faceless men, and what the giant maggots mean, kept me reading. The last quarter of the book picked up immensely, and I was pulled into the thrill-ride I'm accustomed to with Dan Wells' writing.
I can say exactly whether I liked the book or not. Not because Wells' writing was lacking, because that was not the case, but whether the story was one that I cared to linger upon. (That's when I can tell I truly liked a book). This book was a bit disturbing, so I didn't care to linger with the characters. But then, I think that was the intent of the author.

It was for this reason I only gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, I only "liked" the book, not "really liked" it. It was not a book that appealed to my personal taste. I'm sure others out there, who like the bizarre, will really love it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book Blitz for Tamara Heiner's new novel, Altercation

JUMP IN and join me for a Book Trailer Blitz for Tamara Heiner's new Book, Altercation.
What is a Book Trailer Blitz? First of all, I think it's quite clever. I'll probably use it for my next book. It was the brain child of the author herself. Simply put, on a particular date a deluge of blogs will post Tamara Heiner's Altercation  book trailer on their blog. It's similar to a book bomb, where friends and fellow writers are encouraged to purchase a certain writer's book. But instead of buying a particular author's book, the participants of a blitz post the author's book trailer on their blogs, hopefully reaching an exponential amount of viewers, and thus making a PR splash!

To whet your appetite before you watch the trailer, here is a blurb about the book:


The FBI promises Jacinta Rivera and her friends that they are safe. Jaci wants desperately to believe them but weeks of hiding from their kidnapper, alias "The Hand", have left her wary. Hidden from the public eye in an FBI safe house, Jaci must reconcile both her father's mysterious disappearance and the murder of her best friend.

A betrayal lands Jaci back in the grasp of The Hand, shattering her ability to trust and leaving her to wonder if she will ever piece together her broken life.
 



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday's Word: Drive


I need a simple post today, so I'm reverting back to my old Wednesday's Word simplicity. Today's word is: Drive. I'm not referring to that leisure jaunt in an automobile on a Sunday afternoon, I'm talking about what motivates a person to do something. In this post I want to delve into what drives someone to write. Being an author is a lonely job. There are no office parties, chats around the water cooler or over the cubicle wall. A writer sits alone all day (when they are lucky and don't have family take all their writing time), at their computer, their only interaction with other people comes through online social media. And then there is the pay, or lack thereof, and the rejections, and the possible tossing of a year's worth of work in the cybertrash. So what could possibly motivate a sane person to devote their life to wanting to be an author?

To my author friends out there, what powers the DRIVE that keeps you going when everything around you tells you it's not worth it?

This is what drives me:

Society says
today's youth want to read
books filled with suicide, sex, smut, and greed.

But I don't agree
with the message this sends:
"If you like to read, you must bend to the trends."

That is why I write,
to make books that inspire
to live life on a plain a step higher.

And . . .
to give kids a choice
in the books that they read.
If I lift but one soul, I succeed.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Calling Evil Good and Good Evil

Isaiah warned people of the last days, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa. 5:20). Why would he give this a warning if he did not know that such would be the case? On an almost daily basis I see where this is, indeed, the way of our world.

The following is an entry I wrote for my blog last year, and somehow I missed publishing it. So I'm going to share it with you now:

The other day I chatted with a neighbor who had recently moved to Kaysville from California. Somehow we got on the topic of the American history class her thirteen year old son attended in California. Her son, Eric, brought home a copy of the Declaration of Independence to study. My neighbor noticed how the word God and Creator had been replaced in the document with an ellipsis . . .  She went on to mention a painting that caught her attention hanging in the hall of Kaysville Jr. High when she went to register her son for school. It was the Arnold Freiberg painting of George Washington kneeling in prayer at Valley Forge. (It’s one of my favorite paintings). “You would never find such a painting in any of the schools in California,” she said. “They would consider that mixing church with state.”

We’re talking about history here, not trying to convert some teenage boy to Mormonism or Catholicism, as part of the curriculum. These things happened. They are part of our country’s history. The signers of the Declaration of Independence believed in God. Their belief and faith is what moved them to seek independence. And yes, George Washington prayed to God for help as he undertook the impossible—leading a rag-tag army of farmers against the greatest military power known to that date . To deny that these events happened as they did, or to alter a historical document because it offends someone, is no different that denying the Holocaust ever happened. History is history, whether we like it or not.

I dare say that the educator that censored the Declaration of Independence for those California students was probably in favor of same sex marriage or something equally as pernicous; a perfect example of those who would call evil good and good evil.

I’ve seen this paradigm in the world of YA writers. Last year I attended the SCBWI national conference in L.A. for my first time. Up to that point I had been naive, assuming if a book was written for children it would automatically be rated G or PG. Wrong! The buzz seemed to be that YA fiction needed to be realistic, and the real world of the adolescent right now was filled with sex, violence and filthy language. By being open and realistic with every intimate detail on such matters, we as writers were supposedly helping kids deal with life—it was a good thing. During that conference I wondered if I even had a chance at being a successful YA author if I didn’t have an absolutely horrible high school experience and I didn’t lace my manuscript with filthy language and sex.

Fortunately, an agent from the Andrea Brown Agency reassured me that, even though sex was selling, there still was a market for good, clean YA. She, for one, did not care for the smut. I didn’t end up hooking up with that agent, but I did come away from the conference with an increased desire to write and publish well-written, entertaining, uplifting literature for kids.

I know that’s what the Lord wants me to do, and I know He has helped me thus far with my writing. If any of you other YA/middle grade writers have felt a similar passion, urge, calling—whatever you want to name it—to write uplifting literature, I think it is your duty to follow it. We need to make sure that there are just as many wholesome books out there for kids to read as there is unwholesome ones. And if the world wants to make fun of our books, saying they are not what kids need or want, but their smut is, we’ll just remember Isaiah 5:20, keep writing, and give kids a choice.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Does life throw you curve balls?

Life is precarious. You never know when it will throw you a curve ball.
My husband and I got one thrown at us this past Monday morning. He called and spoke with his boss in Cincinnati on the phone, like he does every Monday morning. Out of the blue his boss told my husband that they were laying him off. The rest of the day felt surreal for us. From what we can gather, it sounds like my husband's position is being taken over by someone off-shore, in India.

I grew up seeing my dad stay at the same job until he retired. The older and wiser the employee was, the more valued he was--this was the paradigm of the 60's and 70's. Employees weren't laid off merely because they could be replaced by someone cheaper. But things are changing in this country. It's all about the almighty dollar. But, of course, employers still want you to be dedicated to them--even if they don't return the favor. What kind of work environment is this going to morph into? Employees will be hesitant to give their all because they can no longer feel secure. Productivity will go down, prices will go up, more and more jobs will go overseas, less and less money will stay in the US, so buying power will be reduced, and companies will flounder, etc., etc.,

Jobs in this country are precarious. What can we do about it?

My husband is nearly 55 years old and a computer programmer--a profession that is known for its age discrimination. His chances of finding work will be difficult. If he can't find a suitable job soon, he's thinking of pursuing the same avenue as more and more people in his position--become his own boss.

I'm my own boss, having run my own small company for years. I am also a self published author--a choice many have had to make with the changing dynamics of the publishing world. It's a lot of work, but it is comforting to know that a midst this ever-changing percarious world, there are options. We can weather the storms of change. Though the country we live in has its problems, it is still great; it is conducive and welcoming to the little guy with big dreams.

What kind of curve balls has life thrown you? How have your dealt with them?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Winner of a copy of Everneath

The winner of my book giveaway is Mandi. Thanks for entering. Keep an eye on my blog at the end of this month. I'll be giving something away then as well.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Everneath book giveaway

Opps, you're probably wondering how long my easy-peasy-win-a-copy-of-Brodi Ashton's book, Everneath contest lasts? I kind of forgot that little detail. Just a week. I'll announce the winner next Wednesday, August 1. So hurry, leave a comment. That's all it takes and you are entered. There you go!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Book Giveaway: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

This week my creative juices are dried-up, crushed, depressed--or something. I've got nothing in my brain to blog about. Since I've got nothing for you to read, how about a book to read? I've got a copy of Brodi Ashton's Everneath just waiting for a new home.

To enter to win, all you have to do is leave a comment, (make sure you leave an e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win). It's that easy. Tell your friends about it too. That won't give you any more chances to win, sorry, but I would appreciate it.

I have to admit, I bought Everneath last February with a B&N gift card my husband gave me for Valentine's Day. I chose that book based on advertising hyp and the cover--I loved the cover. But I didn't do my research. Everneath is not the kind of book I generally read. I'm guessing it's because of the genre that I wasn't pulled in. Frankly, I don't have the time to read a book that doesn't captivate me--unless I'm doing a review (which I haven't done many lately). The book is practically brand new and I'm sure there is a reader out there that will enjoy a retelling of the Persephone myth and would like a free copy.

So enter to win--leave a comment. I'd love to hear whether it's just me, or do others of you out there start a book and not finish it, not because it's not a good book, just not a good book for you?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer is half gone--where did it go?

It's the middle of July, that means summer is basically half over. Where has the time gone? It feels like Memorial Day was just yesterday. I swear that time moves faster than it did fifty years ago. As a child, summer felt endless. I never hear kids say that now. I really do think that time is moving by at increased speed. Perhaps the angels in heaven are spinning the earth around and around, picking up speed like one of those old playground merry-go-rounds, (another blast from the past that has changed--a whole other topic for another day). They see the mess the world is in and they are just trying to help things out by bringing closer the day that Christ returns. That's my slant on this whole, "there's never enough time anymore" syndrome. There has to be some explanation.
What's your explanation--or at least thoughts?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Are Apps Apt to Abate Adolescent Advancement? Or, is good ole fashion reading the best?

"Is there an app for that?" a question commonly heard these days. But not just among adults. Hand held devices are being found in the possession of more and more children--younger and younger ones. I don't know about you, but this raises a red flag of concern for me. At first I thought my apprehension stemmed from my despair over a picture book I wanted to self-publish and knew I didn't have the means to make it interactive. But the more I have read and contemplated this issue, the more this concern has escalated.
     Tim Myers hit the nail on the head for me in his article in the recent SCBWI Bulletin:
Apple techs told him, “If you’re
going to make a picture book app,
go big or stay home.” In other words,
add more—games, animation, choose
your own adventure, etc. That’s not
wrong in itself. But in our rush to
embrace this technology, we may be
underappreciating a traditional form:
unbroken text.
I think a significant amount of
children’s literature should remain as
unbroken text—words on a page with
nothing else. As parents, teachers,
writers, publishers, and booksellers,
even as citizens, we need this.
Why? Why not make it all
interactive?

My wife, a literacy expert, PhD,
and director of the master’s reading
program at Santa Clara University, says
that children need to learn many things
in order to read, but primarily “how to
sit quietly and lose yourself in a story”
and other kinds of books. They need to
know firsthand, she says, “how time can
fly when you’re lost in” a world created
purely out of print. A preliminary study
by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, in
fact, found that children showed poorer
comprehension when given more
interactive books.

No matter how interactivity stimulates 
our imaginations, the 
deepest imaginative 
response will still come 
out of our own heads, 
in response to language 
charged with nothing 
but its own power.


I feel that children who don't learn this, and learn to love it, will remain impoverished in ways both practical and otherwise. Tim Myers' article motivated me to not only continue my quest to publish my children's picture book, but purposely keep it in the old fashioned text-and-pictures-only format. Sure, I will make it available as an e-book, but my readers will have to use their imaginations to bring the story to life, not an app.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Little Guys






This is for all those who struggle to get viewers to or comments on their blogs, wonder what to write, or need follower love. For many of us, we just haven't devoted the time it takes to build our blogs up.


Liebster is a German word which means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome. The Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers and fit the definition.


Renae Mackley awarded me this honor. Renae is a Liebster herself!




The rules:
1. Each person must post 10 facts about themselves
2. Answer 10 questions the tagger has given you and give 10 questions for the people you’ve tagged.
3. Choose 10 people and link them in your post.
4. Tell them you’ve tagged them.
5. Remember, no tag backs.

10 Facts about me (Carolyn):
1. I am the mother of five and grandmother to one adorable grandson.
2. I’ve been eating healthier lately and exercising more. =)
3. Born and raised in Payson, Utah.
4. Served a mission to the Canada Calgary Mission, where I was first introduced to puppetry.
5. Created and grew a puppet manufacturing business, which I sold in 2009 to give me more time to write.
6. My BS degree from BYU is in horticulture, my M.S. is in Botany.
7. When I decide to snack, salty wins. My favorite is plain potato chips and dried mangoes (oops that's sweet).
8. I don't like milk chocolate
9. I was on the David Letterman show once, playing celebrity ex-ray challenge in Rupert's deli.
10. My favorite of God's creations, (besides my fellowman), has got to be trees.

Blogs I've tagged: (I am on vacation and can't take time to find more than these wonderful blogs. I encourage you to visit and follow them.) Grab the button award above.http://lesliepugh.blogspot.com/ Leslie Pugh

http://creativelyspiltink.blogspot.com/ MJ Mickelson

http://grumpybulldog.blogspot.com/ PT Dilloway

http://lilytequila.blogspot.com/ Lily Tequila

http://maybemandi.blogspot.com/ Mandi
To everyone else: Feel free to add your blog info in a comment and I will follow you, hoping you will do the same.

Here are my questions to them, along with my own answers.
1. How long have you been blogging?
My first post was in April 2009, so just over three years.
2. Why did you start up a blog?
I was told that I had to have a blog to promote my books once I got published, so I thought I'd better start early so I could get the hang of it before I needed it.
3. What has been your weirdest experience with blogging?
I don't have a weird experience to share, but my most valued was when, in response to a year old post, a nurse from Africa contacted me after viewing my blog post about when I made feminine hygiene kits to send with an associate to suppressed women in that country who didn't have access to feminine hygiene products. She wanted a copy of my instructions that I mentioned I could send to anyone who was interested.
4. What is your favorite book? 5. Who is your favorite author?
My favorite that I've read (actually reread) this years has been To Kill a Mockingbird. My favorite all time author has got to be Charles Dickens. My favorite modern/local author is Dan Wells.
6. What do you want to be when you grow up/what is your profession?
An Author.
7. How many books do you think you might have?
Not a clue.
8. Do you prefer reading a proper book or a ebook?
I really don't care. I just like to read.
9. If you could choose to live one character's life in a book, who would it be?
Most I read are too fraught with conflict--after all, isn't that what makes for a good story. So I don't think I'd choose any of them.
10. If you were stranded on a desert island what 10 items would you want to have with you?
It would go something like this: 1. Water. 2. My family. 3. Healthy food. 4. Computer to write on. 5. Trees. 6. My sleep number bed. 7. Lots of good books to read. 8. Materials and tools to build/create things with. 9. Toilet paper. 10. Good people to associate with.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week and happy writing or reading.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wonderment and Warm Summer Winds--Why I Write for Children

Wonderment in warm summer winds--no wonder I write for children. They find joy in the simplest things.
my grandson on another day (I didn't have a camera today)

This morning I had the dubious honor of tending, and thus waking up my two-year-old grandson. (He likes to sleep in, and if allowed to do so he won't take naps). He didn't want anything to do with me at first and moped in his crib whimpering for "mama" and "daddy." Finally, I managed to convince him to come with me outside to pick raspberries. That required not only carrying him, but his elephant pillow, his teddy bear, and his singing stuffed dog. Like a clumsy clown juggling four unmatched items, I plowed out into the windy hot morning with my arms full. Being a menopausal woman, I anticipated tackling my necessary chores in the garden slightly more than stepping into a convection oven. As I laid my grandson upon the blanket I had spread beneath the far-reaching shade of the sycamore tree, I realized he was no longer fighting me. In fact, the normally fiasco-filled task of changing his diaper came off without a single wiggle. His face caught my gaze. I watched the wind whip through his white-blond hair and brush across his face, causing his eyes to blink. But those blinks were not merely a defense against the wind. From the wonderment in his eyes, his eyelids appeared to be reacting positively to a new experience. His face radiated the fascination and joy of an older child plowing through the air in his first roller coaster ride.

I went on to tackle my task of picking raspberries a little less dis-gruntled. I looked through the eyes of my grandson and felt a renewed appreciation for Mother Nature; Her variety and beauty in all that She does. I felt a confirmation to my soul of why I enjoy writing for children. Their desires are simple and are easily appeased. Joy comes to them through experiencing what we adults might find mundane. Yet when it comes down to it, the things that bring the most smiles to their faces are some of the most beautiful things of all. Like a warm summer wind kissing your face for the very first time.

Those of you who write for children, why is it that you have chosen to do so.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hard Work, Perseverance, and Patience Will Pay Off.

Hard work, perseverance, and patience are most always rewarded. Not just in the writing world, but in all aspects of life.

A great example of this is my son, Elder Jordan Frank, who is currently serving an LDS mission in Alaska. It has been tough for him. Either his companions have come loaded with problems, (laziness, anger issues, or in need of being baby sat), the areas he is assigned to wanes horribly in terms of interest in God and or/ apathy from the church members, or he is stuck in a place like Barrow for the winter months where even if the town was something to look at (which it isn't), he couldn't see much of it because it was dark 24/7. With six months left to serve, he has been sent to Juneau. He has only been there a little over two weeks and he has two baptisms lined up, with more in the wings. His companion is easy going, but a hard worker. He drives a Subaru Forester, and  he lives in a cabin on the beach; Auke Bay is in his back yard and Mendenhall Glacier is in his front. The post-card-like picture above is taken from his deck. "Life is sweet," as he puts it.

I'm taking encouragement from my son's current setting. I have hope that my hard work, perseverance, and patience in terms of my writing will soon be rewarded in a similar way. I have been writing seriously for six and a half years. I've often been told that it takes about six to ten years to acquire the status of successful published author. It's almost like obtaining a PhD. There are no short cuts to becoming a doctor, so why should it be any different for the professionals who tend to another aspect of mankind's health--that of the mind. To keep our minds healthy, they need stimulation, relaxation, and to be fed. Reading is the best medicine for this.

Just like attending med-school, I feel confident that I, or any writer, can and will find success if I just implement the aforementioned three qualities: HARD WORK, PERSEVERANCE, AND PATIENCE.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Solar eclipses and good reads

Last week my critique group took a break from crtiquing, donned some funky glasses, and looked at the sun.
This was Tuesday, June 5, when Venus passed in front of the sun. Okay, so this "monumental" event won't take place again for at least another 100+ years, and astronomers all had their telescopes ready and waiting for the big event, the hype (for me) didn't match the event. All I saw was a small pin-prick of black in the upper right hand corner of the sun. Anticlimactic to say the least. Perhaps if I were to have a big, fancy telescope like my neighbor, it might have been cooler. But chances are, it still wouldn't have lived up to the hype for me
.
This made me think of books. (Of course, everything makes me think of books). I have purchased numerous books, influenced to shell out the buck by the hype of extensive marketing ploys. I, like the whole planet seemed to know about these books and looked forward to their release dates. But did that necessarily make the book an awesome read for me? No. Good PR does not necessary equate a good read. I need a well written story that leaves me feeling uplifted when  I'm done. No amount of advertising will provide those elements, only the author can do that.
What makes for a good read for you? Has lots of hype and PR lead you to good reads, or have you found them elsewhere? Have you ever been disappointed with a book you were influenced to purchase?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A contract that reads like a novel?


Who ever created legal-ease should be shot.
In my world--if I were ever to create one--publishing contracts would read like a novel. The first paragraph would hook you, taunting you to read on. Immediately, you would become interested in what the publisher had to offer, or perhaps not and then you'd put it down. More than anything else, the publisher would want to hold your interest, because he values those who pick up and read their contracts. Everything printed on the pages would have relevance and move the publisher's offer forward. If something was verbose, confusing, or didactic, it would have been struck by a red line in the draft stage, accompanied by a gentle note in the margins that such writing only serves to distance the reader. In the end authors would come away with a good feeling, understanding perfectly what the publisher was trying to convey. The publisher wins because its authors would be happy and they'd want to read another one of their contracts. Not to mention the time and money the publisher (and authors) would save in attorney fees. Also loads of paper and ink--a twenty page contract condenses easily down to two.

I just received my contract from Covenant. As I read through it, I kept thinking I may as well be reading Greek, for all the understanding that came from my efforts. At least if it were in Greek, and not legal ease, I could use an internet language translation app and discover each line's meaning a whole heck of a lot cheaper than hiring an attorney to translate for me.

The big question I have is WHY MUST PUBLISHER MAKE THESE CONTRACTS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND? Why can't they just say what they mean in plain English? If the manuscripts that authors gave to them were a fraction as hard to read as their contracts, they'd toss them in the trash faster than you can count to ten in Greek.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Cabin in the Trees Like David McCullough, Where I Can Write

Do you ever want to just pack up your computer and get away to a relaxing spot surrounded by Mother Nature, instead of a dirty house full of people plagued with problems that only Mom seems to be able to solve? Even if it's just for a day or two?
I know I sure do.

This has long been a dream of mine, to have a quaint cabin in the trees like David McCullough, where I can leave the stress of everyday life behind me and open my mind and fingers to the task of writing. Of course I would not go so far as Mr. McCullough and peck out my novels on a manual typewriter. But I can envision the peacefulness of being alone with the pines and aspen outside my cabin windows, and it working wonders for my creativity, my nerves, and my productivity.

I am a member of several writing support/chat groups on FB and Yahoo, etc. So many, it seems, that I'm spending as much time keeping up with social media as working on my novels. I receive frequent invitations from these groups to do writing sprints together. At first I tried to participate in numerous sprints, as I wanted to be supportive of the groups I had joined. But as time passes, I realize that these writing sprint activities are put in place because a good number of writers need either the moral support, or the competitive motivation to write.

This IS NOT what I need to help me write. I need time alone. That's how I work best. So why have I been bashing my head against the wall trying to keep up with all these groups and their invitations to sprint, chat, and whatever? I guess because I'm trying to follow the lead of other writers, hoping if I walk exactly in their footsteps I'll be a successful publish author too. I'm writing this post as a big piece of advice as much for me as for anyone else out there: Do what works best for you. Play to your strengths, not someone else's. Just because something works for one author, doesn't mean it's the solution for you.

For the past year and a half, my husband and I have been working at fixing up cabin we purchased as a bank-owned property in Star Valley, Wyoming. I've spent a lot of hours up there, working hard on cabin construction when perhaps I should have been constructing my novels. But my goal of creating a get-away like David McCullough's, (and a legacy for my children), doesn't seem so frivolous anymore. The time spent procuring my "ideal place to write" will eventually do more for my writing than something like group writers sprints could ever accomplish. Even if my "ideal place to write" were just a private, pretty spot in my house, it would work the same. I'm a solitary person and thus I should play to my strengths.

Winners of Caller ID giveaway

Okay, okay, so I know it's May 29, not May 24 like I had said, but I'm announcing the winners of my Caller ID giveaway. The following two people have just won copies of Rachelle Christensen's new novel, Caller ID
Renae Mackley
Leslie Pugh

Thanks for entering. Those of you who didn't win, I would encourage you to go out and purchase a copy for yourselves.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Be Prepared When Life Throws Curveballs of Unexpected Writing Time

Author Kevin Anderson writes a dozen books a year. How does he do it? In the workshop he taught at the recent Storymakers conference he talked about using one's time wisely. Even if he is just standing in line at the supermarket, he works on his writing by brainstorming or plotting. He inspired me to do better. But last Sunday I failed enormously.

Saturday night at midnight, my husband and I took my teenage daughter to the emergency room with stomach pains that had escalatuted, having bothered her for two days previously. They gave her an antinausea medicine and some pain meds in her IV, told her the tests didn't show anything and sent her home. We all got about 4 hours of sleep until she came into my bedroom at 6 in the morning saying her pains were back, she couldn't sleep and she felt terrible. We took her back to a different ER at a bigger hospital, with more waiting, hours and hours of waiting, while we still didn't come away with any better answers.

 But through all of this I came away with a better answer in terms of my writing: be prepared. I had managed to grab my lap top as we rushed out the door to the hospital. Unfortunately, I had non of the updated files I needed to work on, so my computer did me little good. I had hours of precious time, dying for something to do while I waited during and inbetween tests, but nothing to work on. Lesson here: in order to use every minute I have more efficiently, I have to always have something available to work on. I do most of my writing on my desktop and just use my laptop when I travel, so I just update files as I prepare to travel. No more. Now I will back up my thumbdrive everynight and place it in a location I can always find.

You never know when life is going to throw you some extra time to sit down an write, so always be prepared to take advantage of it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Book Review of Caller ID and Book Giveaway

I'm slow at posting this week. It's been a crazy busy one. So to repent I'm going to give away TWO copies of Rachelle Christensen's newly release novel, Caller ID. I just finished reading it a few weeks ago, and  quite enjoyed it.
REVIEW:
When twenty-three-year-old Courtney Beckham is abducted near her home, the search turns up more than just a kidnapping crime. FBI agent Jason Edwards investigates the ten-million-dollar ransom and stumbles upon something he wasn't meant to find. When Courtney catches a glimpse of the caller ID in her kidnapper's home, what she sees turns her world upside down.
The book started out a little slow, but the farther I read the more it sucked me in. I just had to know what happened to Courtney and how she planned on getting out of the mess she quite literally stumbled on. There is a lot of action and a tiny bit of romance between our main character and Jason, a FBI agent. This was the second in a series, but a reader wouldn't miss anything by not reading the first book, Wrong Number. This is a good book for anyone wanting a good suspenseful book that can be read fairly quick.
GIVEAWAY:
Just leave a comment and you will be entered into a drawing to win your own copy of this fun book. That's all there is to it. SUPER EASY isn't it. So there's no reason not to enter. And as I will be giving away two copies, you'll have double the chance to win. I will be accepting comment for the next week. I will announce the winner next Thursday, May 24.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday's Tellings: I Cheer for Australia's Prime Minister

Today is Tuesday and I'd love to tell you about Australia's Prime Minister and the awesome stand she is taking in behalf of her country. It made me want to give her a hug and cheer her on when I read this story. So of course I want to share it with my readers:


W O W ! She Did It Again!!!

Australia says NO -- Second Time she has done this!

She sure isn't backing down on her hard line stance and one has to appreciate her belief in the rights of her native countrymen.

A breath of fresh air to see someone lead. Australian Prime Minister does it again!!

The whole world needs a leader like this!

Prime Minister Julia Gillard - Australia

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

Separately, Gillard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying she supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques.

Quote: 'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT... Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.'

'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.'

'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!'

'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'

'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'

'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'

'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'
NOTE: IF we circulate this amongst ourselves in Canada & USA ,WE will find the courage to start speaking and voicing the same truths.

If you agree please SEND THIS ON and ON, to as many people as you know...