Nov 27, 2009

Giving Thanks

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone. Last Thanksgiving was my first as a single parent and my children spent the holiday with their dad--I spent it crying. Although I still had much to be thankful for, I felt as though my life was over.

For years, I'd poured my heart into a marriage that was doomed from the start. Making the decision to leave was the hardest thing I've ever done and at this point last year, I still wasn't sure I'd made the right choice. I felt like I'd traded one set of problems for another, and being without my family on Thanksgiving brought all those feelings flooding to the surface.

2009 was fraught with many difficulties, some of my own choosing and others imposed upon me by others, but through it all, I saw many evidences of my Heavenly Father's love for me.

Now, only a year later, I'm happier than I ever thought possible. So, what changed? Many, many things, but the most eventful is that I met the love and my life and got remarried. Scott is absolutely amazing. I've been a fan of romance novels for as long as I can remember, but I've always had the opinion that the male heros in those novels were nothing more than the ideal, but highly unrealistic, man created from a woman's imagination. But, now I know there really are men like that in the world, and I found one.

Scott treats my children as though they were his own, and I've never felt more loved and cherished. Scott accepts and loves me exactly as I am. He is much more than a husband and partner in this life. He's my best friend and I wouldn't want to experience eternity without him.

So this year, I'm thankful for my Heavenly Father who loves and blesses me in spite of my mistakes. Getting Scott and I together was not an easy feat, but I know that He had a hand in it, and I will be forever grateful. So thank you, Heavenly Father, and thank you, Scott. With these two amazing men by my side, I know I can handle anything life throws my way.

Nov 24, 2009

Blog Tour: An Angel on Main Street by Kathi Oram Peterson

I was excited when I was asked to read and review Kathi Oram Peterson's newest book, An Angel on Main Street. I've always loved short, simple Christmas stories that are an easy read, but which help me get into the true spirit of the season. An Angel on Main Street did not disappoint.

From back of book:

Micah Connors promised his mother he would be good in their new town. But with Christmas only three days away, being escorted home by the sheriff does not bode well. Can the towering officer be trusted not to tell what happened? Perhaps the ramshackle stable that has appeared on Main Street will sidetrack him from spilling the day’s events — or maybe his interest in Micah’s widowed mother will do the trick.

The last thing Dawn Connors needs is to hear her son is in trouble. She has enough to worry about with her husband gone and her daughter, Annie, ill. Even though Micah has told his sister the rustic structure in the middle of town is simply part of the town’s holiday decorations, Annie is sure that unseen angels are building the crude stable — which means baby Jesus is coming, and he can make her better.

Terrified that his little sister might die, Micah vows to find the baby Jesus for Annie, even if it is only a plastic doll. But as Micah gets nearer to his goal he finds angels are closer than he ever would have believed.

Here is the book trailer:

I really enjoyed reading An Angel on Main Street. Peterson is very good at characterization. I loved Micah. He was a typical young boy, getting into mischief, but trying so hard to be good. I enjoyed his antics as well as his internal struggles, and most of all, his desire to help his sick little sister and not disappoint his mother. However, I would have liked to see more of Micah's mother's feelings. She was facing a very difficult situation as a single mother, an approaching holiday, and the very real possibility of losing a child. I didn't see enough of her emotion and thought it would have added some depth to the story.

An Angel on Main Street is a typical Christmas story including, a young boy, his sick little sister, a small town, angels, and even a manger, yet Peterson puts these elements together in a refreshing new way. It's a heartwarming story that is perfect for the whole family, and I highly recommend it.

Kathi is holding a contest called, "An Angel in Your Life." The contest runs from now until December 15th. Anyone can enter by simply emailing Kathi at and writing about an experience you have had with someone who became an angel in your life. The winner will be announced on Kathi's blog. A gift certificate from either Seagull Book or Deseret Book will be given to the winner and an "Angel" in his/her life. This contest celebrates the selfless, kind acts performed daily, many times unnoticed.

Kathi says, "If you are like me, many people have helped you through times of trouble. Let's face it, life is tough and the small acts of kindness shown to us by others needs to be remembered and celebrated especially during the holidays. Christmas brings out the best in people and I wanted to give others the opportunity to thank those who have touched their lives in a profound way. Hopefully this contest will remind us of the angels in our lives."

Product Details
Paperback: 99 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc; 1st edition (October 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1598117211
ISBN-13: 978-1598117219
Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches

My Book Launch Party is Scheduled!

Join Valor Publishing as we throw an Author Lollapalooza that you won't want to miss.

March 16th, marks the day that Valor will launch six of its new books and authors Michele Ashman Bell, Tristi Pinkston, Alison Palmer, Karen Hoover, Daron Fraley and Kimberly Job will all be in attendance.

We'll start with a mini-concert from Shaun "Hammer Hands" Barrowes. And then we'll move on to the main event!

Michele's "Summer in Paris" is sure to delight YA readers with romance and laughter. (Young Adult)

Tristi's "Secret Sisters" will leave you in stitches as you dive into seniors taking on the mob, and believe me, hilarity ensues! (Comedic Mystery)

Alison's "The Prodigal Son" takes on the more serious subject of a teenager involved in drugs and cutting himself. He is returned to his birth mother and the challenges are only beginning. (General Fiction)

Karen's "The Sapphire Flute" takes us into the world of magic and shapeshifting. The first book in the Wolfchild Saga we watch as two teenagers take on enemies beyond imagination in an effort to save their world. (YA Fantasy)

Daron's "The Thorn" takes us to another world at war as the believers keep an eye on the prophecies of a savior being born on a different world far away. (Speculative Fiction)

Kimberly's "I'll Know You By Heart" is romance at its finest. Kimberly introduces us to a battered woman who frees herself from her abusive husband only to find love with the father of the little girl she babysits. Suspenseful and equally heart-wrenching and heart-warming at the exact same time.

(Read more about the books at

So join us and meet the authors, listen to Shaun Barrowes, mingle with other authors, munch on refreshments and just enjoy yourselves! It's all about making reading fun, fun, fun!

Date: Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Time: 6:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: Barnes & Noble Booksellers
Street: 6 North Rio Grande Street
City/Town: Salt Lake City, UT

Nov 10, 2009

Heather Justesen Blog Tour

My amazing friend, and fellow critique group member, Heather Justesen's first book, The Ball's in Her Court has been released. I'll be participating in her blog tour later this month. Until then, here's a little about the book:

She's got a great job, a loving group of family and friends and basketball skills like you wouldn't believe, but Denise DeWalt's life is far from perfect, and she's about to come face-to-face with a past she hoped to leave behind forever.

Twenty-six-year-old Denise thinks she's come to terms with her childhood in the foster care system, but when her old nightmares return, Denise realizes that she must deal with her past once and for all if she ever wants to move on to a brighter future with Rich, the only man who can see past her former life. As Denise's search leads her closer and closer to the one person she hoped she'd never have to face again, she begins to realize that her future depends on just one person--herself.

This emotional and inspirational love story proves that life is full of unexpected twists and turns--especially when it comes to facing your demons, fighting for love, and finding happiness for the future.

Heather will be holding lots of fun contests and giveaways throughout the month. To find out more, please visit her blog. You can also learn more about her book by following her blog tour. The dates and locations are listed below:

November 6: Michelle Ashman Bell
November 9: Nichole Giles
November 10: Cami Checkets will post on both her fitness blog and her book blog
November 11: Danyelle Ferguson reviewed the book here, but will also do an interview
November 12: Keith Fisher
November 14: Janet K. Jensen
November 16: Aubrey Mace
November 17: Interview with Anne Bradshaw
November 18: Jewel Adams
November 20: Joyce DiPastena
November 21: Teri Rodeman
November 23: Valerie Ipson
November 24: Rachel Rager
November 25: Laura Bingham
November 27: Rachelle Christensen
November 28: Sheila Staley
November 30: Lisa Bennett
December 1: Kimberly Job
December 2: Alison Palmer
December 3: Molly Edwards
December 4: Connie Hall
December 18: Kathi Oram Peterson
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