Wednesday, December 28, 2011



1. Click "Get Widget"--found under the countdown widget.

2. "widgetbox" appears, click on "Copy," then X out of the box.

3. Go to "Design" in Blogger.

4. Click on "Add a Gadget."

5. Select "HTML/Java Script" and click on the +.

6. Paste the copied code in the box, add a title if you'd like and "Save."

7. Drag the widget to wherever you want on the sidebar before saving changes.

Don't forget to leave a comment, so you will be entered in the contest when you are through posting the widget!!!

$20 worth of Vinyl Lettering could be yours!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Will You Widget?


Help us share the ANWA Writers Conference Love by posting this countdown widget on your blog sidebar!

Just click on "Get Widget" to get the code, then leave a comment giving your blog name and you'll be entered to win $20 worth of Vinyl Expressions Vinyl Lettering!

Vinyl Lettering makes a wonderful Christmas gift! (Visit my other blog for sample ideas:

The contest will be open till midnight December 31st!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


The manuscript was sent off to the editor TODAY.

There will be much celebrating.

Twinkies may be involved.

And Monk reruns. Lots and lots of Monk reruns.

But this will come after the dancing in the streets.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Confession #1. I got a little too emotionally-invested in my daughter's 5th grade report of Famous Person Beverly Cleary. I didn't realize how much she means to me. I didn't even have a dysfunctional childhood to retreat from, she just made life more enjoyable. Love love Henry, Ribsy, Beezus, Ramona...*BIG SIGH*

Confession #2. My senior-aged son was wearing his 6th grade T-shirt the other day. Is this a problem? I promise I'm feeding him. Maybe the shirt was just ginormous on him all those years ago and now he's growing into it?

Confession #3. To the guy in the white truck at the light on Ellsworth and Broadway: It was nothing personal when I yelled "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave." Just having a little Hotel California moment on the radio.

Confession #4. I thought writing the first line of a novel was hard, but try the last. I do not know how to make it NOT sound like the cheesiest of cheese. I want to evoke that "ahhh" factor, not make the reader gag like someone's sprayed a can of Cheez Whiz down their throat. Advice welcome.

Confession #5. After I finish editing that last line to death (see #4) then I'm going to send it off to a professional editor. I'm so close I can taste it (is it the cheese maybe?).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The War of Art

I've just barely begun reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, but this quote knocked my socks off.

"If tomorrow morning by some stroke of magic every dazed and benighted soul woke up with the power to take the first step toward pursuing his or her dreams, every shrink in the directory would be out of business. Prisons would stand empty. The alcohol and tobacco industries would collapse, along with the junk food, cosmetic surgery, and infotainment businesses, not to mention pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and the medical profession from top to bottom. Domestic abuse would become extinct, as would addiction, obesity, migraine headaches, road rage, and dandruff."

Never deny the power your dream has to make this world a better place.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Need. Chocolate.

No chocolate to be found in the entire house!

Nary a Raisinet which is what I resorted to snacking on yesterday.

Who can work in these conditions?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book Bomb--Variant by Robison Wells

Find out what a Book Bomb is and then join in by buying Variant from Amazon on November 10th for the reader in your life. Maybe that's YOU.

You get a great book and you help someone out at the same time. (It's time to start Christmas shopping anyway.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

So true for writers...

Thanks to writer friends (and my husband)

that help me find my motivation when it gets lost!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Hidden Sun by J. Lloyd Morgan

A faraway kingdom.

A beautiful princess.

A courageous hero.

A ruthless villain.

An impossible choice.

You can see Author J. Lloyd has all the elements for your typical epic novel of true love and political intrigue, but you must read it for all its hooks, twists, turns, and surprises. All I can say is my 17 year old son has been staying up late into the night reading it. Here's more to whet your appetite...

Eliana and Rinan are in love. However, she is destined to become queen of Bariwon, obligated to marry the victor of a competition called the Shoginoc, while Rinan, her royal guardian, is forbidden to marry. Normally they could renounce their titles to be together, but these are not normal times. Abrecan, the malevolent governor of Erd, is determined to win the Shoginoc, thereby placing his easily manipulated son Daimh on Bariwon’s throne. Can Eliana and Rinan find a way to be together without jeopardizing the peace they are so desperately trying to protect?

About the author:
J. Lloyd Morgan is an award-winning television director.He graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in communications and a minor in English. Morgan resides in North Carolina with his wife and four daughters.

The Hidden Sun is Morgan’s first published novel. For a glimpse at the upcoming sequel, The Waxing Moon, please visit Once there, be sure to read the “secrets” behind The Hidden Sun. The third book in the Bariwon series is still rattling around Morgan’s brain, waiting to escape.

Mine is just one quick stop on the October Blog Hop. Check out HIS BLOG to find more reviews.

Buy it at Amazon or B&N.

Thursday, September 29, 2011



Till then check out the conference page at



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Fall" by Jennifer Hurst and a chance to win, win, win

Julia, aka JD--to lend herself credibility as a construction manager--leaves the city to head to small-town Torrey, Utah. She's determined to prove to her grandfather, and everyone else, that she can handle the renovation of an old school house into a bed and breakfast. When mysterious occurrences threaten the project, Julia turns to the closest good looking, strong man around, the demolition contractor on the project. Matthew seems to be an answer to her prayers, till the nightmare begins.

If you're looking for a little paranormal romance action, Fall is for you.

Here's the back cover blurb...
Women and construction shouldn’t mix. At least, that is what the client, Mr. Blackwell, thinks when twenty-one year old Julia D. Halstead is promoted to project manager and tasked with remodeling a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse into a bed and breakfast in the tourist town of Torrey, Utah. However, the schoolhouse contains a dark secret that has been hidden for over a hundred years. A secret that will unleash the furies of Hell and cause the Angels in Heaven to weep as ethereal brothers, Matthew and Nathan battle over Julia’s very soul.

Purchase the book here:
Visit Author Jeniffer Hurst’s Blog at

In conjunction with this blog tour, Jennifer is holding a contest. It will involve any of the blogs that Jennifer visits or where her book is featured and will close on December 31st, 2011. The entrants have to answer three questions about the book they’ve read (bought, borrowed, or stolen - shame on you) and post a link to Jennifer's website on their Twitter, Facebook, or blog (need link for verification).

Then the names will be entered in a random name picker generator ( and announced on Jennifer's website ( on January 31st, 2012. The winner will receive a gift certificate for a night’s stay at the actual bed and breakfast where the story takes place.

Other prizes include an autographed copy of FALL, and she will randomly select 3 contestants’ names to use in the sequel to FALL. Plus, they will receive a free copy of that book when it is published.

Each blog that Jennifer Hurst visits will have a different set of questions people can answer, and they may enter as many times as they want - but they can enter once per blog site that they visit. So the more sites you visit, the more you can enter your name, thus increasing your chances of winning the gift certificate, a copy of the book FALL, and your name in the sequel.

Get the book, read the book, and then read over the questions below. Once you have your answers, e-mail them to Jennifer at

Your privacy is respected and your email address will NOT be used for anything but the contest. Once the contest is over your email address will be deleted from the database.

Here are the questions for you to answer:
1) What is Nathan's weapon of choice?
2) What did Gramps think JD's biggest weakness was?
3) In which city does Liu's nieces attend school?

If you would like to visit the other sites, go here for the master list of all participating sites:

Best of luck, and thanks for participating!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

All That Was Promised by Vickie Hall

In 1847 Wales, Methodist minister Richard Kenyon converts to Mormonism. Richard’s newfound faith is put to the test when he faces the anger of his former congregation, his wife’s indecisiveness, his brother’s betrayal, and the murderous intentions of misinformed villagers.

[First off, love the cover, love the title. I've come to really admire those two things about books since beginning my own writing pursuits, but that's all beside the point :D]

The story of Richard Kenyon, and his family, centers on the challenges and triumphs of the early LDS Saints in Wales. At the beginning of the story Richard is converted to the true gospel of Jesus Christ and must resign from his ministry. His wife is unsure of his newfound religion, while others seem to readily embrace it. The book gives you a sense of what it must have been like back then when the church was so new and misunderstood. Actually, kind of sounds like today...we're not new, but we're often misunderstood!

There's a profound line that's highlighted on the back cover: "People from all walks of life recognize the truth of the gospel." That kind of sums up the book, as the story shows a wide range of characters joining the church and finding the peace and happiness they've been missing.

I understand this is a debut novel for Vickie Hall and a sequel is in the works. If you enjoy reading historical fiction, particularly of the LDS-variety, you'll enjoy this novel.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Breaking a sweat today?

"I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again" --Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist, novelist, & poet (1854 - 1900)

The difficult life of a writer. *BIG SIGH*

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Help

The truly unusual has happened.

A movie is as good as the book.

Maybe even better...but don't quote me on that. ;)

Laughed and cried while watching the The Help today, and really, really enjoyed it.

Then I came across this article by author Kathryn Stockett describing her 60 rejections.

Here's how she starts out... "If you ask my husband my best trait, he’ll smile and say, 'She never gives up.' But if you ask him my worst trait, he’ll get a funny tic in his cheek, narrow his eyes and hiss, 'She. Never. Gives. Up.'"

You have to read it. Find it here. And thank me later.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"First Page Friday" Critique

No, it's not Friday, but two Fridays back my first page was featured on Julie Bellon's weekly fun-filled blog event. It's called, yes, you figured it out--First Page Friday.

There brazen writers with absolutely no pride, or too much of it, can submit to the mercy of the anonymous Shreditor who will critique that first page for you.

If you've got a few moments to fill (kill), like you're waiting for your toast to pop up or you're on hold with the cable company (well, in that case, more than a few moments) or you're waiting for your child to obey and finally take out the garbage (okay, forget that, it's not going to happen) then check out the link and read my first page. Then read the critique and the comments and find out all the things I need to change about said first page.

Believe me, it will be more fun than you can shake a computer keyboard at.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I'm here busily writing at my writer's retreat (in an actual cabin where there's pine trees and cool weather and writer friends and chocolate), but stopped to enter these two pitch contests. The first one ends tonight.

Chance to pitch to Bree Ogden from Martin Literary Management

Opportunity to pitch to Vickie Motter of Andrea Hurst & Associates Literary Management

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I've been neglecting my blog.

I blame it on the know...the usual Girl's Camp-fixing up of a rental property-getting settled into the new house-going on vacation--choosing a venue for next year's ANWA writing conference-life in general excuse.

I'm not here to promise more blogging, but I will promise more writing. In fact next week I'm off to a writer's retreat in an actual cabin in actual woods on an actual mountain.

Only good can come of that.

Note: Sorry I didn't even follow through on posting about the Treasure Hunt Contest I was a part of. Kristen Tucker of Arizona won the vinyl lettering gift certificate! Congratulations! (Email me.)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's how you say it...

Go to Peggy's blog here for a sweet message about WORDS.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Playing Catch-up

I've been camping with 200 teenage girls and their leaders, but I'm back now and with my sanity intact...or at least as much as it ever was.

Here's the status of the treasure hunt so far:

June 1 WINNER: Melissa Brockett of Utah
ANSWER: "With You" by Chris Brown

June 2 WINNER: Crystal Dotson of West Virginia
ANSWER: peanut brittle bar, a box of Good 'n Plenty, some Hot Tamales, a handful of mini-Mr. Goodbars, a few Hershey's Kisses, Starlight Mints, some Dr. Pepper (accidentally), and a bunch of mint flavored Three Musketeers

June 3 WINNER: Judy Cox of Louisiana

June 4 WINNER: Rachel Rossano of Connecticut
ANSWER: The Sea Turtle Conservancy

June 5 WINNER: Taffy Lovell of Utah
Encoded Secrets and Black Orchids

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Treasure Hunt Blog Contest!!!

Welcome to the 3rd Annual “Summer Treasure Hunt: Dig for Clues and Win Contest!

This is the third time my awesome writerly friend Joyce Dipastena (author of Loyalty's Web and Illuminations of the Heart) has corralled 29 of her writer friends to present a month-long contest where we give away a prize a day in June.

That’s right! 30 awesome prizes, running the gamut from books books books (romances, fantasies, mystery/thrillers, inspirationals, children’s books, and various non-fiction), as well as Amazon gift cards, a Mary Kay gift set, a vinyl lettering gift certificate (Yes, that's me!), a hand-sewn weekly planner with ribbon bookmark, a crocheted book tote with matching cell phone case, and again for you aspiring authors, TWO free edit/critiques of a partial manuscript. Many of the giveaways are open to International entries, though always check to be sure before you enter for a particular prize.

This is my second time to participate. Unfortunately, I still have no published book to offer, so my prize again is $15-worth of vinyl lettering.

And how exactly do you enter for these amazing prizes? By following these rules:

You can send in one entry for each day’s prize, or only for those prizes that strike your fancy. The rules are simple:
(1) Go to the website or blog indicated for each day, find the answer to the question for that day, then email the answer with your name and AND MAILING ADDRESS to <> . I promise you will not wind up on any mailing lists. This is only to facilitate the receipt of your prize. All entries will be deleted at the end of the contest.
(2) Please send a separate entry for each day and type the day you are entering in the subject line. (Such as: Summer Treasure Hunt, June 1; Summer Treasure Hunt, June 2, etc).
(3) Deadline for each day: Midnight PST
(4) The winner will be contacted and announced on the day following the deadline.
All winners will be drawn by <> .

You do not have to wait until the designated day to enter. You can start sending in your entries right now, or begin entering at any point along the way. And check back here each day between June 2nd – July 1st to read the names of the winners.
If you have any questions, please email Joyce DiPastena at <> .

And now…let the treasure hunt begin!

June 1
SPONSOR: Canda Mortensen

PRIZE: A $25 Amazon gift certificate

QUESTION: What is the title and artist of the Princess song on Newbie's playlist? (HINT: Scroll to the bottom of the blog and read “Newbie Teaser.” Match the number of “Princess” with the same number on the Playlist box (you may have to scroll down the playlist to find this, too). It will give you the title and artist.)


June 2
SPONSOR: Jennifer Griffith

PRIZE: Delicious Conversation (LDS romance, an adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion, set in a chocolate shop in Salt Lake City), by Jennifer Griffith

QUESTION: Name at least 5 kinds of candy I ate at the last writers conference I attended AND share YOUR favorite candy. (HINT: Read the April 20, 2011 post. Click on April under the Blog Archive in the right hand sidebar.)


June 3
SPONSOR: Peggy Urry

PRIZE: Choice of book: Villette by Charlotte Bronte (romance, paperback); Airframe by Michael Crichton (thriller, paperback); The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell (contemporary crime, paperback); OR The Mist of Quarry Harbor by Liz Adair (LDS romantic fiction, paperback); AND choice of Jelly Belly Gel Case for iPhone 3G/3GS or Jelly Belly Strawberry Cheesecake Gel Case for iPod Touch.

QUESTION: What is the name of my Work In Progress (WIP)? (Hint: It's the title of my March 12, 2011 post. Click on “March” under Blog Archive in the right hand sidebar.)


June 4
SPONSOR: Danielle Thorne

PRIZE: Josette (sweet Regency romance, E-book) AND Southern Girl, Yankee Roots (poetry), both by Danielle Thorne

QUESTION: Danielle supports what wildlife conservancy organization? (HINT: See right hand column of website)


June 5
SPONSOR: Bonnie Harris

PRIZE: Mary Kay Microdermabrasion Set

QUESTION: What are the names of my two WIPs? (HINT: Scroll to the bottom of the blog and click on “Work in Progress” under Labels)

WEBSITE/BLOG: http:// <>


June 6
SPONSOR: Susan Kaye Quinn

PRIZE: Autographed copy of Life, Liberty, and Pursuit (YA love story), by Susan Kaye Quinn

QUESTION: How many days do David and Eliza have on the cruise together, before they’re forced to go their separate ways? (HINT: Click on the “About Me and My Books” tab and read the blurb for Life, Liberty, and Pursuit)


June 7:
SPONSOR: Anne Bradshaw

PRIZE: True Miracles with Genealogy: Help from Beyond the Veil (non-fiction), by Anne Bradshaw – 1 print and 1 eBook – Print copy can be autographed. (Yes, there will be TWO winners drawn for this prize)

QUESTION: Which TV station interviewed Anne? (HINT: Answer is a short way down the middle column.)


June 8
SPONSOR: Cheri Schmidit

PRIZE: Autographed copy of Fateful (YA paranormal romance), by Cheri Schmidt

QUESTION: Who is the prince of darkness? (HINT: Click on “April” under Blog Archive in the left hand sidebar and read the April 12, 2011 post)


June 9
SPONSOR: Mary Fremont Schoenecker

PRIZE: Moonglade (a sweet cozy mystery, Book Two in the Maine Shore Chronicles series), by Mary Fremont Schoenecker The prize is an autographed First Edition hard cover print book.

QUESTION: What special skill does character Tante Margaret use that puts her in danger during Remi's murder investigation? (HINT: Click on the “About Her Books” tab and read the Publisher’s Weekly Review.


June 10
SPONSOR: Shaunna Gonzales

PRIZE: FREE edit and/or critique of first 50 pages

QUESTION: What do his lips taste like? (Hint: click on “Sizzling Kiss” under Post Subjects in the left hand sidebar)


June 11
SPONSOR: Donna Hatch

PRIZE: The Stranger She Married (Regency romance), by Donna Hatch

QUESTION: What poses the greatest danger to Alicia’s heart? (HINT: Scroll down underneath the book cover of The Stranger She Married, and read the paragraph directly below.

<>Open to international entries for E-book version; US/Canada for print book or paperback

June 12
SPONSOR: Cindy R. Williams & Planet Play Productions, LLC.

PRIZE: Award winning glossy cover children’s snuggle, giggle picture book, Chase McKay Didn’t Get Up Today, signed by the author and the real Chase McKay.

QUESTION: What is the name of the dragon in the upcoming fantasy, Thundertail’s Tale: The Legend? (HINT: click on the Blog tab)


June 13
SPONSOR: Larry Hammersley

PRIZE: Motorcycle Woman (sweet contemporary romance, E-book), by Larry Hammersley

QUESTION: What kind of motorcycle does Tess, the motorcycle woman, ride? (HINT: Read the blog post “Motorcycle Woman from Red Rose Publishing”, May 5, 2011)


June 14
SPONSOR: Cheryl Cory

PRIZE: Autographed copy of Must've Done Something Good (romantic comedy), by Cheryl Cory

QUESTION: What is Sylvie's all-time favorite movie? (HINT: Click on the "Info" link in the left-hand column)


June 15
SPONSOR: Valerie Ipson

PRIZE: $15 Gift Certificate for Vinyl Lettering (

QUESTION: What is Valerie's writing goal for 2011? (HINT: Look in the right hand sidebar)


June 16
SPONSOR: Rachel Rager

PRIZE: Wednesday Romances - romance (obviously), ebook, by Rachel Rager. This is a compaliation of three different love stories, A Season for Love, The Tiger Unleashed, and The Feather Kiss. (All sweet romances)

QUESTION: Every week I have post a new chapter of a book on my blog. What are these posts called? (Hint: These posts are featured every Wednesday.)


June 17
SPONSOR: Danyelle Ferguson

PRIZE: Autograhed copy of (dis)Abilities and the Gospel: How to Bring People with Special Needs Closer to Christ (non-fiction/self-help) by Danyelle Ferguson & Lynn Parsons, M.S.)
non-fiction/self-help, autographed book

QUESTION: What is the name of the non-profit Danyelle co-founded? (HINT: Check out Danyelle's author bio)


June 18
SPONSOR: Teresa Thomas Bohannon

PRIZE: A Very Merry Chase (Regency Romance novel), by Teresa Thomas Bohannon. AND a $5 Amazon gift certificate. Winner's Choice: PDF with personalized dedication, or Ebook format for Kindle or Epub format for Nook.

QUESTION: What did Lady Bethany do and why?
(HINT: Read “A Very Merry Chase Excerpt” under “A Very Merry Chase” in the right hand sidebar)


June 19
SPONSOR: Diane Daniels

PRIZE: Autographed copy of Over the Moon (YA fantasy romance, print copy), by Diane Daniels

QUESTION: Who is Andrew's evil x-girlfriend, Sonya, named after? (HINT: Read the May 14, 2011 blog entry)


June 20
SPONSOR: Margaret Larsen Turley

PRIZE: critique for up to 5000 words

QUESTION: Margaret Larsen Turley is administrator for ______________________________ group. They hold fund-raising events for Cancer Research. (HINT: You’ll find the answer in one of her website tabs)


June 21
SPONSOR: Anna Arnett

PRIZE: Autographed copy of Lolly's Yarn: a memoir (older YA to adult), by Anna Arnett, with a hand-crocheted bookmark

QUESTION: What was the verdict regarding Anna's radar photo speeding ticket? (HINT: Click on the Blogs tab and read “I Fought the Law and Guess Who Won?”


June 22
SPONSOR: Joyce DiPastena

PRIZE: Autographed copy of Loyalty’s Web (sweet medieval romance), by Joyce DiPastena

QUESTION: How do people win Joyce’s “Light Bulb Award”? (HINT: Answer is found in the right hand column of the blog)


June 23
SPONSOR: C. Michelle Jefferies

PRIZE: 52 page hand-sewn weekly planner, with ribbon bookmark.

QUESTION: What rank is Michelle in martial arts? (HINT: Look in right hand sidebar under “MY TANG SOO DO PROGRESS”)


June 24
SPONSOR: Valerie J. Steimle

PRIZE: Choice of two books: Home Is Where The Learning Is (homeschool how-to book, non-fiction; autographed print copy) OR Dogs, Blogs and Hobbits: Writings from a Widows Perspective ---(non-fiction articles about everything from being single and single moms to inspirational stories; autographed print copy), both by Valerie J. Steimle

QUESTION: How many children does Valerie have? (HINT: Look in the right hand column in "About Me")


June 25

SPONSOR: Karen Adair

PRIZE: Crocheted Book Tote with matching cell phone case.

QUESTION: What commenter recently called me (Karen) "The Queen of Sugar Land?" (HINT: Select “January 2011” under Archives and read the COMMENTS on Karen’s January 6, 2011 post on “The 20 Minute Sprint”)


June 26

SPONSOR: Jaimey Grant ( <> ) and/or TreasureLine Books & Publishing ( <> )

PRIZE: Winner's choice of 1 of 5 Regency romance eBooks by Jaimey Grant (Honor, Betrayal, Deception, Spellbound, or Redemption. Please note: Honor contains some marital "heat".)
QUESTION: Which of Jaimey's previously self-published titles has recently been picked up by a publisher? (HINT: Click the "Purchasing Options" tab)

WEBSITE/BLOG: http:// <>

June 27
SPONSOR: Heidi Murphy

PRIZE: Autographed copy of Small Deceptions (sweet Regency/Georgian romance), by H. Linn Murphy

QUESTION: In what country is the bridge found over which 'we' were fighting? (HINT: Find “Blog Archive” in the right hand sidebar, click on April and read the post titled: “The Far Bridge”)


June 28
SPONSOR: Kenneth Rosenberg

PRIZE: One e-book copy of my new romantic comedy, Sweet Ophelia and the Tinseltown Blues, any format

QUESTION: What instrument does the character Warren August play? (HINT: Click on the cover image for Sweet Ophelia and the Tinseltown Blues. Read the first few paragraphs of the excerpt.)

WEBSITE/BLOG: http:// <>

June 29

SPONSOR: Michael Young

PRIZE: Autographed copy of The Last Archangel (YA Urban Fantasy, print copy - Release date July 14th)

QUESTION: What is the name of the fallen angel who is the main character in "The Last Archangel"? (HINT: Click on the Reviews tab. Frank Cole thinks this character “rocks!”



June 30

SPONSOR: Joan Sowards

PRIZE: The Star Prophecy: a Book of Mormon Adventure (LDS novel), by Joan Sowards

QUESTION: Why do Enoch and his friends sail to Jerusalem? (HINT: Read the blurb under The Star Prophecy book cover in the right hand column of the blog)


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

THE BIG 2-0-0

I woke up to 200 FOLLOWERS this morning!

Fortunately they were on my blog and not in my bedroom.

But if they had been, I would have invited them to the kitchen and made them all pancakes to CELEBRATE!!!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

River Whispers by Kathi Oram Peterson

There are cool prizes to be won at the end of this post!!!

Regi Bernard's small hometown on the Snake River is good for some things (like fishing) but bad for others (like avoiding old flames). On one unlucky day, Regi runs into the two men she least wants to see.... But the next day, Regi's luck is even worse... She discovers a dead body in the willows. And when Regi reports the murder, she becomes the prime suspect.

Unraveling a murder case in a small town where everyone and everything are interconnected is a tangled task at best...

This is part of the back cover blurb for River Whispers. I think that's all you need to know to be hooked by this Romantic Suspense novel...or is it Suspenseful Romance? Either way you have all the elements of a very "tangled" mess (like the blurb says). Small town. Old flames. Murder.

Of course, all leads point to Regi and she must take matters into her own hands, no matter where the evidence takes her. Even if it might lead to her own sister.

The moral of the story is be careful of dead bodies when you head out to go fishing or to commune with nature and ponder the loss of a loved one...but then again, maybe ultimately you'll find love again.

I just loved the title of this book right off. It hints of secrets and intrique, but also truth and first loves. You'll find all of that between the covers of this book!

Here's the prize pack for today's stop on the River Whispers tour...

Head over to Kathi Oram Peterson's blog HERE to read more about the blog tour and prizes. To win this daily prize you must comment on my blog and Kathi's blog, plus follow her blog. At the end of the week (if you comment on each blog of the tour) you can be entered to win a $50 gift card to Amazon!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


We finally have internet at our new house, so I no longer have an excuse for not posting on my blog...unless you want to count the myriad of things still left undone here at the new house as well as over at the old. I figure over time everything will eventually get done, right? A little here, a little there.

Alas, the little here, the little there theory does not a finished novel make. I'm finding that out. Moving to a new house or not, I have to get all my novel's sharp edges smoothed because I've committed to sending it to an agent ASAP.

But wait, I was going to talk about Storymakers...

There was much to love about the conference this time around. Outstanding classes taught by agents Sara Megibow and Sara Crowe to start with. They know their stuff and gave actual, use-worthy information.

Sheralyn Pratt's class on marketing was the same way--actual things normal people could do.

I enjoyed Annette Lyon's class on show, don't tell. Believe me, after all the years of classes, conferences, and book-reading I've done on the subject of writing, it's so refreshing to hear something new. She talked about micro showing and macro showing, and it was an eye opener. Feel free to email me and I'll share my notes.

The highlight, of course, was connecting with writer-friend-people. I tried hard to meet everyone "on my list," so thanks to everyone for being so nice. Hanging with my roomie, Tamara, till the wee hours was icing on the cake. We ran into fellow-attendee (and my former boot camp partner from last year) Susan at the airport and shared the flight home to Sunny AZ. Just more time to talk about conference and writing!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

I woke on Mother's Day preferring Ibuprofen-in-Bed instead of the traditional breakfast offerings. I think it's the consequence of no sleep for the last several days and two full days of conference-attending. We just moved into a new house, sleeping there for the first time the night I returned from Utah, so it was appropriate, I guess, that I "christen" the toilet. Sorry to be graphic, but I felt better after throwing up and my husband observed that it was a fitting tribute to my motherhood as I spent many a morning doing the same while pregnant with my various eight.

It was a lovely day with calls from children and time spent with the others. And I did eventually eat the omelet my husband made for me.

Of course, I think of my own mother who has been gone a long 16 years now. I think of how she might have loved doing what I am a writers group, attending retreats and conferences, learning new things, meeting new people, submitting her work, pitching to agents.

I have no pictures of my mom on this computer, so I took this one from the family blog. This goes way back...I'm like 14, 2nd from the right.

My sister posted a poem of our mother's on the family blog, so I thought I'd repost it here. It's a good reminder...

Reflections on Praise
by Eileen Giberson

A word of goodly praise
Is a shot of sunshine,
Like a lizard on a rock
I bask in the warm rays,
Turning, toasting; thinking
This spot uniquely mine.

I know you are not displeased
with kind words from a friend,
But let me not linger too long
In this pleasant sunbeam,
Lest it become a beam of another sort.
Only you, as Hopkins fitly penned,
Know what to avow, what to amend.
So let me seek your approbation,
Let me shape my self-esteem
In the light of revelation.

How was your day?

Monday, May 2, 2011


Okay, so I kind of snooZZZZZZed through the end of the A to Z Blog Challenge. I never really got the momentum back after Q.

Now I'm in the middle of a few huge things...we are moving to our new house...I am off to the LDStorymakers Conference in SLC Wednesday...I'm in the middle of completing the rewrite of my novel's ending...Tuesday we're having a Personal Progress Scavenger Hunt for the girls at son is going to prom Saturday and needs a little help preparing for that...and finally I need to sit down with this same son to make sure his Eagle Project is planned (he wants to do it in May).

It's a whirlwind, but there are things to be grateful for.

Thankfully my engaged son is not getting married till August. Girl's Camp is in June, but I have an amazing camp director and assistant who have camp prep under control. The ANWA presidency can plan the summer writers retreat just fine without me. (Missing the meeting cause I'll be in Utah.)

Hope you are successful with all that you are in the middle of!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"X" Marks the Egg

I must admit Easter Egg Hunts are not my favorite thing. While I do enjoy devouring the occasional (READ often) Reeses Peanut Butter Egg I can't get eggs-cited about 100 kids trampling each other over plastic eggs filled with those sickly sweet multi-colored jelly beans.

I blame it on my childhood.

Okay, one bad experience with an egg marked with a golden X in my childhood.

At this particular egg hunt, if you found the egg with the golden X you won a ginormous hollow chocolate bunny. A dad was helping his toddler-sized daughter who was way too young to appreciate the significance of winning a ginormous hollow chocolate bunny JUST SAYING find Easter eggs. And they were RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME when said dad found the egg with the gold X.

The injustice of it all soured me on further egg hunts.

It should have been mine

Okay, so I'm (slightly) kidding. Egg Hunts aren't that bad. But when my 10 year old declared herself too old to attend the neighborhood hunt this year I secretly cheered.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


RSTUV...what does it mean?

It means I'm taking a "restive" break from the alphabet blogfest.

I hope to catch back up with W for the big finish...X-Y-Z!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for QUERY

Ask a writer what word comes to mind when you say the letter Q and I'll bet the word is QUERY.

It's something you've never even heard of when you first set out on that path of ridiculous dreams otherwise known as WRITING A NOVEL. When you are finally let in on the scary little secret, it's a word that strikes fear in the writer's heart. Fear that though you think by some crazy stretch of insane imagination you can write a full-length novel, how will you ever write a simple, one-page letter convincing someone of that novel's merits?

It's a letter that must contain personality and your novel's voice. It must be engaging, but not too wordy or plot-revealing. It must be confident, but never gushy or include over the top assertions. Above all, it must hook the agent/reader and literally compel them to ask for more.

Can it be done?

I'm out to prove that. I have two (measly) queries out right now. More will follow. I wonder what will become of them, even knowing that some writers submit hundreds of queries before finally being published.

Deirdra blogged about queries, too, over at A Storybook World, and with actual helpful information and everything! Go HERE to find it. Shallee blogged about it, too, HERE. So nice of them to share their knowledge about queries. All I did was ramble.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for NEVER... in never miss out on a great opportunity.

YAtopia has a pitch contest going on right now where you can win the chance to have your pitch read by agent Natalie Fischer of Bradford Literary Agency!

I entered last time and while I didn't win top two for my pitch, the agent (a different one) did email me and say she was "intrigued" by my "outstanding" entry. Yes, those two words are exact quotes!! And she asked me to send her a query letter and my first five pages!!!

Now here's another chance at the YAtopia blog for an agent to get a look at your very own pitch.

GO HERE. (BTW, it must be YA.)

I tweaked mine a little and now it looks like this...
Ideal High is anything but. After the tragic deaths of the student body president and most of the A-listers, Taryn, the one left behind, sets aside her own pain to lift an entire school out of theirs.

Try to condense a 75,000 word novel down to 2 sentences and see what you come up with. 'Taint easy.

Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for Moon Over Manifest

I returned a book to the library half-read. The writing was good, I was so impressed with it, really, but I found I didn't care enough about the main character. It was YA and heavily about boys and while I can totally relate because my YA-hood was much to do about boys as well...this one didn't work for me.

I picked up a new one that came highly recommended--Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. I am already enjoying the writing style immensely and the MC is twelve so there shouldn't be too much teen craziness at this point in her life. Plus it's set during the Depression, so I'm sensing the focus might be elsewhere than on who is going out with whom.

I have such high hopes for the book that I already listed it in my CURRENTLY READING list on the sidebar. I only do that when I know I am going to finish a book (so you won't find the one that I returned to the library listed and I won't tell you what it is unless you ask me directly).

Do you always finish a book you start or are you inclined to stop halfway if the story doesn't suit you?

I discovered a bunch of new M's today, so thought I'd mention... for those of the LDS persuasion that are looking for a laugh... try out

Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for long overdue

Today I dropped a glass bowl shattering it on the kitchen floor.

Then at the other end of the kitchen I pulled an open box of angel hair pasta from the pantry upside down spilling the entire contents.

I think it's the universe's way of telling me the floor needs to be swept.

Now I almost feel obligated to mop, too.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I missed another day of Alphabet Soup.

My apologies to J. It's a very fine letter.

I have three amazing sons whose names begin with the letter J.

But even though right on my list of things to do it said, "Blog J," I guess it was not meant to be.

K is lovely, too. I have three amazing daughters with K names.

And K is for KINDNESS.

Ponder this quote by Mother Theresa while I write the letter J one hundred times to make up for missing yesterday..

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

Christine's Daydreamer blog inspired my K today. Read her post here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

G, H, I better get caught up

I got behind and missed my grand opportunity to blog about G and H. I won't lose sleep over it, but forge ahead.

Today won't be all about I (me) though. I want to blog about a writer friend with a new book out.

Anna del C. Dye
writes romantic fantasy novels for the young adult market. Her newest novel is Curse of the Elfs.
Book Blurb:

When an Immortal race ceases to be immortal, woe to the land.

Ancient legend tells of elfs crossing paths with a dying wizard named Zoltan. The Old Sorcerer’s unrepentant deeds had caused the wizarding school to chastise him severely. On his deathbed Zoltan asked the elfs for help. Losing patience in his delirium, he cursed them. Now, the immortal elfin race is slowly, but surely dying.
Their only hope lies in a servant of kings who must learn to love the elfs before he will attempt to save them. But no one, elf or mankind, has ever heard of this man. Can the healer be found before their race is gone forever?

Author Anna was born in Valparaiso, Chile. Later she moved to the United States where she learned English through reading the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series. She was introduced to The Lord of the Rings, and loved it. In fact it inspired her own stories.

In her latest novel, she used the word "elfs," but it is on purpose and not a misspelling of the usual English plural, "elves."

Curse of the Elfs
can be purchased in the following places:
Amazon paperback Kindle edition Barnes & Noble paperback Nookbook edition

Anna's other fantasy novels, in the "The Silent Warrior Trilogy," are

Book 1 - The Elf and the Princess

Book 2 - Trouble in the Elf City

Book 3 - Elfs in a Conquered Realm

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"F" is for 50th

I got so excited today buying the 50th Anniversary edition of To Kill a Mockingbird thinking how me and it were birthed the same year. In actuality it was published in 1960, so now it's the 51st Anniversay. I'm still way excited to own a copy of my *favorite book.

I almost spent my gift card on a Nancy Drew boxed set. Spent a lot of good times sleuthing with Nancy in my early years.

*I call it that, though truthfully, can you really have a favorite.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"E" is for E-reader

Okay, not really. I don't have anything to say about E-readers.

How about eggs?

We are buying a new house that sits on an acre, but is surprisingly close to where we live right now. My husband has wanted an acre ever since we moved from ours in Utah, but knew I didn't want to make any random, major moves, so he found a place with a completely-redone-inside house and all the dirt surrounding it that he could ever want.

What does this have to do with eggs?

Of course, he wants to have animals, chickens among them.

Chickens lay eggs.

So possibly sometime in the future I will be known as the Egg Lady and you can come buy fresh eggs from me.

I prefer being the Egg Lady to the Crazy Chicken Lady.

I guess it could go either way.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"D" is for DH

Look what showed up at my door yesterday. Yep, my Dear Husband bought me my dream fridge.

Freezer on the bottom and all that lovely fridge space on top. Everytime I open it I will think of him.

That's not all he did yesterday...he took me to dinner, took the entire family bowling, ordered a cake, assigned the kids to decorate the house, invited people over, and put together a virtual birthday party at where I got to talk to family from Alaska (Miss you Landi & Ralph), Utah (Miss you Megan), and Texas all at the same time.

Monday, April 4, 2011

"C" is for wellness CHALLENGE

For 12 weeks beginning last January I have participated in a Wellness Challenge. A week has gone by since it ended--a week of eating chocolate and not exercising, a week of eating after 8 PM if I darn well wanted to, and no writing in my journal. (Rebel that I am!) Nearly everything that I've been denying myself or forcing myself to do I have participated in this past week.

Now I'm here to evaluate. Of the 10 things on the list to do or not to do, what do I really want to make a part of my life. I should rephrase that..what am I willing to make a part of my life? Willing enough to actually do or not do?

Sure the challenge was, on its surface, about keeping points to see who would win the prize for the highest score, but at its core it was about developing healthy habits. Here's the 10 listed in their shortened-checklist version. Which ones do you find most worthwhile in your own life? I already am in the habit of "inspirational" reading and I don't generally drink soda, and never alcohol. Fast food is consumed sparingly. It's the others that could go either way for me.

1. 48 ounces of water
2. 45 minutes of exercise
3. 2 servings of fruits & 2 servings of vegetables
4. No soda or alcohol
5. No sugar (as in sweets, not hidden sugar that's in everything)
6. No fast food or unhealthy snacks
7. No eating after 8:00 pm
8. Read 15 minutes (inspirational reading, like scriptures)
9. Write in your journal/blog
10. Personal goal of choice

While I did lose 6 pounds (though not my intention), I don't know if I feel more "well." It's probably one of those things where you will find the most benefit down the road in life. Like when I'm 80 I'll wish that I had exercised more.

Speaking of ages that end in "0," today I am celebrating one, so it's a good time to ponder. While I'm deciding what to do about the wellness habits, I'm also thinking about what to be. If you heard Lynn G. Robbin's message yesterday, you will know what I'm talking about.

I am a big list-maker. Everyday is about what TO DO. I wanted to do something for this year when I turn an age that ends with a "0" so I am thinking maybe instead of a list of 50 things TO DO, I will work on a list of 50 things TO BE.

Instead of exercising (a TO DO) maybe I should BE someone who exercises. Hmmm...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I blog about books

"B" is for BOOKS. (And apparently for lame blog posts, because I didn't get this done earlier and I don't have anything to offer now).

Love a book today.

Friday, April 1, 2011

"A" Blog Post

Okay, despite the fact that I have about 28 other things going on in my life right now, I have jumped on a bandwagon...actually it's an A to Z bandwagon wherein I join more than a thousand other bloggers in a "'fest" to blog for 26 days in April using a different letter of the alphabet each day as some sort of theme letter.

As in, this is crazy, EH? (A)

No, it's not an April Fool's sort of thing, though that does start with an A. Check back tomorrow to see what I say B-related and you'll find out I'm serious about doing this, though I may get bogged down around about LMNOP. We'll see.

The whole point of it, they tell me, is to inspire the habit of blogging on a regular basis and to increase followers. Click on the A to Z button on my sidebar and it will take you to a list of other bloggers on the blogfest bandwagon.

Also, I don't know if this cheese guy is participating, but his posts are hilarious. Scroll down to the one where he lists his recent Facebook statuses. (Is that the plural of status?) I promise you'll laugh out loud.


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