Sep 5, 2010

Book Review: The Stone Traveler by Kathi Oram Peterson

Author: Kathi Oram Peterson
Genre: LDS Fiction
Publication Date: August 2010

First Sentence: I watched as Kei tried to outrun my men.

About the book:
Sixteen year old Tag can't believe he's in this much trouble. He's not actually a member of the gang known as the Primes, all he did was spray paint some graffiti that caught their attention. In all honesty, ever since his dad and brother left, Tag just wants to be alone. And it's certainly not his fault that the Primes nearly beat up his goofy cousin, Ethan. But his mom is furious about these gang-related activities and insists that Tag send the whole summer at his grandpa's lakeside cabin, which is not Tag's idea of a good time. So he does what any self-respecting teenager would do: run away. But he doesn't get far before he encounters three strange men carrying an even stranger object, a stone that glows with radiant light as bright as a thousand sparklers.

Tag doesn't steal the stone, not exactly. He feels like he is supposed to take it. But he doesn't expect the stone to transport him through space and time to a place he's never seen before, a place that looks an awful lot like the ancient lands described in the Book of Mormon. And he definitey doesn't expect to join Sabirah, the entrancing daughter of Samuel the Lamanite, on a quest to rescue her father and brother from the evil King Jacob. And he absolutely doesn't expect to be captured by Jacob's minions and prepared as a sacrifice to the evil idol of the city. But just as Tag faces his death, a terrible storm begins to break, and the ground cracks into jagged pieces. And he's not sure which event will impact his life more: his captor's knife coming at his body, the violent tempest sweeping the land... or the men who later appear, glowing even more brightly than the traveler's stone.
My opinion:

I was excited to get the opportunity to read and review Kathi Oram Peterson's new novel, The Stone Traveler.  I have read and enjoyed Kathi's previous books, and this one was the best yet. I was endeared to the characters, but especially Tag (love that name) from the very beginning.  I identified with him right away from Kathi's vivid description:  "She eyed me up and down, taking in my freckled face, formerly red hair now dyed jet black, black eyeliner, black nail polish, black T-shirt, and black baggy jeans with chains dangling from the pockets."  Then we see another side of Tag from his mother's perspective.  "Tag, you might dye your hair and paint your face, but you can't change your blue eyes."  Both of these snippets describe the complex character Peterson has created.  In the book you follow Tag's journey into another time and place, and watch as he discovers who he really is and realizes his own worth.  

Throughout the book, the story is told from two different points of view.  The author switches between the two and has done a fantastic job of giving each character their own voice.  I also enjoyed the Book of Mormon elements of the story.  It brought the ancient characters to life without feeling like it was just another scripture story.  While the intended audience is young adult, I think The Stone Traveler will appeal to adult readers as well.  I know I was enthralled in the story and didn't want to put it down. 

To learn more about Kathi's other books, and to follow her blog tour, please visit her website.  She is holding an AMAZING contest with many fun prizes including a Kindle!!  To read details about the contest, click here.

Aug 20, 2010

Book Review: Trapped by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen

Author:  Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen
Genre:  Paranormal Suspense
Publication Date:  April 2010

First Sentence:  Secrets thrive in my family.

About the Book:
Her expression remained somber, but excitement crept into her voice. You are the Firstborn She...You must go to them. You want me to act as bait? Not bait, Emi. A spy. Our Trojanhorse. When Emi Warrin wakes one night to find a thief in her mother's house, she has no idea the intruder has planted a trap - a mysterious letter that will change her life forever.Lured to the Austrian Alps with Daniel, the man she loves, Emi is thrown into a perilous, mafia-like world of feuding families and a devastating curse that spans generations. As the Firstborn She - the only firstborn female in hundreds of years - only Emi can free her family from the cursethat will soon afflict her as well. But for Emi to break the curse, she must delve into evil designs. As Emi struggles to understand her destiny as the Firstborn She, she learns that everything isn't as it seems and that all choices have consequences.Can Emi break the curse before it's too late?

I have been intrigued with the books written by Ronda Hinrichsen ever since I saw the cover of her first novel, Missing, so I was excited to get the opportunity to review Trapped.  Suspense starts on the first page and continues throughout the story.  There were a few places where I had a hard time following what was happening, but the pacing and intrigue held my attention and made it hard to put the book down. 

I also enjoyed the paranormal aspects of the story which took me by surprise.  The romantic element was present, but was not overpowering.  Overall, Trapped was a very engaging read, and I highly recommend it.  I look forward to reading more from this author.

The publisher will be giving away THREE autographed copies!

All you have to do is leave a comment (along with your email address if it isn'ton your blog profile) and answer the following question. Which Austrian city would you most like to visit?

The more blogs you comment on, the more entries you'll receive.  All comments must be left by midnight MST on August 27th to be eligible.

August 9 Heather Gardner
August 10 Jewel Adams
August 11 Mary Greathouse
August 12 Lynn Fowlstone
August 13 Valerie Ipson
August 17 Connie Hall
August 18 Kimberly Job
August 19 Karen Hoover
August 20 Alison Palmer
August 23 Joyce DiPastena

Jul 19, 2010

Book Review: Leaning Into the Curves

Authors:  Nancy Anderson & Carroll Hofeling Morris
Genre:  General Fiction
Publication Date:  April 2010
Authors' Website:

First Sentence:  Saturday breakfast on Monday was Molly's first clue that life after her husband's retirement really was going to be different.

About the Book:
Molly is happy with her life the way it is, taking the classes she loves and performing with the Fiddling Finleys. But everything changes when her husband, Hank, retires. She's still trying to adjust to this new phase of her life when he brings home a Honda Gold Wing--even though he knows she hates motorcycles! Things go from bad to worse when he joins the Temple Riders Association, a "Mormon motorcycle gang" that combines road trips with temple work.

Faced with the prospect of being left hebind when Hank rides with his rew friends, Molly starts making some changes of her own.

Leaning into the Curves offers a delightful view of a little-known group of faithful Latter-day Saints. Full of appealing characters and unexpected turns, it gives a new twist to what life can be like after "a certain age"!

My Opinion:

Having read their Company of Good Women series, I was excited to read and review Leaning into the Curves by Nancy Anderson and Carroll Hofeling Morris.   My first impression based on the cover (love it!) was positive and the story inside did not disappoint. 

I love stories about relationships.  It's what I write and my favorite thing to read.  In Leaning into the Curves we follow Molly's and Hank's relationship through a transtionary stage of their lives as Hank retires and upsets Molly's normal busy routine. 

The story presented a very real view of how couples work through issues on which they might not see eye-to-eye.  I think in marriage it is important to support and learn about the things that interest your spouse.  Although difficult for her, Molly overcomes her fear of motorcycles and grows closer to her husband in the process.  I learned much from this story and it gave me a desire to nurture the important relationships in my own life.

I think this book will probably appeal more to people who are in the same stage of life as the characters, but it has life lessons that will benefit anyone who reads it.

To learn more about the authors and read about their recent adventures at the Temple Riders Association motorcylce rally, visit their blog.

Leaning into the curves can be purchased at Deseret Book,, and select bookstores throughout the country. 

Jun 14, 2010

Book Review: Rebound by Heather Justesen

Genre:  LDS Fiction
Publication Date:  June 2010

First Sentence(s):  John tuned out the babbling of the other  realtors from outside his office door and focused on the computer screen.  If things went well that evening, he'd have to buy himself a celebratory present.

About the book:

Lily's life is perfect--a perfect lie.

With a successful husband, a gorgeous home, and a growing family, Lily Drake has it all. But when the FBI shows up, she realizes her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Meanwhile, Lily's friend Curtis is about to be drafted by the NBA, but he suddenly feels pulled to find his birth family, and no one is prepared for what he'll discover. With so many obstacles in their way, Lily and Curtis must learn to rely on each other if they're ever going to find peace and learn to love again.

In this heartwarming family drama, Heather Justesen, author of The Ball's in Her Court, weaves a stirring story of hope. Reunite with your favorite characters and discover how determination, love, and faith can overcome even the toughest trials.

My opinion:

Rebound is Heather Justesen's second novel, and it's even better than her first.  Although it's not a sequel to The Ball's in Her Court, it does include some of the same characters. I was riveted from the first page as I traveled along the emotional roller coaster with Lily, the main character.  It's the story of a woman who learns a disturbing secret her husband has been keeping from her.  As the lies continue to add up, she finds herself pregnant and alone.

Through the support of loving family and friends, and sheer determination, Lily is able to find her way to happiness.  Also woven throughout Rebound is the story of  Lily's friend, Curtis.  He feels pulled to find his birth family, and no one is prepared for what he discovers.  Despite all the obstacles in their way, Lily and Curtis learn to rely on each other, and eventually learn to love again.

Heather has a unique voice and always includes clean but touching love scenes and humor throughout her books.  You will go from laughing to crying and back again.  I loved this story, and highly recommend it.

To learn more about the author and her upcoming projects, visit her blog and website.  She is also holding a fun giveaway on her blog with lots of great prizes from June 21-25.  Be sure to check it out!

Rebound can be purchased on Amazon, at Costco, and local bookstores.

Jun 2, 2010

Kisses for Amy

Blogging has changed my life.  I have met so many amazing men and women who share their lives through their blog.  Today my heart was touched by Amy Jackson.

This is Amy, a 36 year old mother of six.

On April 15th, 2010, she was diagnosed with a rare and terminal cancer: Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma.  Without treatment, she was given 1-3 weeks to live. 

Visit this amazing woman's blog, Kisses for Amy, to read about her journey as she makes preparations to leave this earth and her family for a season.  Surrounded by her family and friends, she is determined to face her future with faith, hope, courage and love.

She has shared some inspiring words of wisdom that are even more poignant coming from someone with her perspective.
"As I sit here in the early morning hours, I think of all the little things that I may have always taken for granted. These are things you never recognize until you come to the realization that the day may come soon that those little things may no longer be available to you to be a part of. This morning I spent almost an hour brushing and styling Lindsey's hair. I am sure that she probably hated almost every minute of it and the poor things hair really wasn't that fancy of a do, for having spent an hour being tortured. What she may never realize is how important that hour was to me and how much I appreciated being able to do that. It is incredible to me how important such a little task seems to me now as I am faced with the thoughts that I will not be here to do such simple tasks for my children in the future."  ~Amy

You can learn more about this amazing family at Kisses for Amy.  They were also featured on KSL television this week.

When I learn about trials like these, I'm so grateful for an eternal perspective.  It is such a blessing.

Jun 1, 2010

Book Review: Awakening Avery by Laurie Lewis

Genre:  Women's Fiction
Publication Date:  April 2010
Author's Website:
First Sentence:  Everyone knew it was inevitable--everyone but Avery Elkins Thompson herself.

After reading the Free Men and Dreamers historical fiction series by Laurie (L.C.) Lewis, I was excited to read Awakening Avery, her latest novel. I was engaged in the story from the opening scene where Avery, the main character, takes out her anger over her husband’s death on anything she can find, including a television and VCR.  I immediately wanted to know more about the kind of relationship that would make her feel so passionate and out of control.

About the book:
"You're depressed," the doctor declared.

"Ya think?" is author Avery Elkins Thompson's sarcastic response to the astute diagnosis for the malaise that set in following her husband's untimely death. Avery's carefully controlled world is imploding, and her adult children fear they are losing her too.

"You're just a shadow of the person you used to be...We'd gladly give you up for a while if it meant getting you back."

Avery can't write, and questions about their father's death leave the family mired in pain. "We need a healing place," her oldest son tells her, suggesting she find it on Anna Maria Island, Florida, a former family vacation spot.

When Avery returns to Baltimore to sell the family's waterfront condo, she meets rodeo-ers-turned-real-estate-brokers Teddie and Rider Davis, and Avery's quiet life will never be the same again.

The Davises help arrange a short-term house swap with widower Gabriel Carson from Anna Maria, whose overprotective parenting has resulted in two self-centered, twenty-something daughters. Avery and Gabriel are in for the summer of their lives as they step into one another's messy, complicated worlds.

Still, venturing out on her own again is challenging for Avery, whose experiences at the Ringling's magnificent Ca d'Zan mansion, and with the quirky characters she meets there, eventually awaken her to truths she has long forgotten - that as crazy as life can be, it is possible to laugh and love again.
My opinion:
Lewis has created authentic characters with distinct personalities. I identified with the emotions of each of her children as they struggled with their own feelings about their father’s untimely death, as well as how to support and love their mother through something so difficult.

The pacing of the story was well done. Avery’s journey to rediscover herself was present, but never felt rushed or as though something magical was sweeping her very real problems away. I’m not sure if the author has experienced the death of a closed loved one, but she portrayed the feelings of such a heartbreaking event perfectly.

Awakening Avery is a thought provoking book that will tug at your heartstrings. It is a novel unlike any other I’ve read, and I highly recommend it.

May 31, 2010

2nd Annual "Summer Treasure Hunt"

Welcome to the second annual “Summer Treasure Hunt: Dig for Clues and Win” Contest! Last year, some of my author friends put together a month long contest where they gave away a prize a day for the entire month of June. The contest was so successful that they've decided to do it again, and this year I get to participate…only this time we’ve gathered together enough prizes to last through the first week of July!

We have something for everyone: romance, fantasy, mystery, suspense, historicals, contemporaries, young adult and middle grade fiction; children’s picture books; and a variety of non-fiction titles. We also have some exciting non-book prizes: a hand crocheted book tote and cell phone case; a book/jewelry combo; a Mary Kay cosmetic assortment; a The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe DVD; and (you aspiring writers won’t want to miss this one!) a free edit/critique for the first 50 pages of an unpublished novel by a three-time published author!

How can you enter to win one of these awesome prizes? Just follow the rules below!


You can send in an 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 ADDRES 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 WWW.RANDOM.ORG.

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 9th to read the names of the winners.

If you have any questions, feel free to email Joyce DiPastena at

And now…let the treasure hunt begin!

June 1
SPONSOR: Donna Hatch
PRIZE: Queen in Exile, (fantasy romance), autographed by author
QUESTION: The princess must rely upon her magic to save whom? (Hint: Look under “Bookshelf” tab)

June 2
SPONSOR: Laurie Lewis
PRIZE: Awakening Avery (women's fiction), autographed copy
QUESTION: Avery's signal that she isn't handling her husband's death very well comes to her when she tosses what into what? (Hint: Look under “books &reviews, then click on the cover to Awakening Avery and read the first chapter)

June 3
PRIZE: Riley's Mission (PDF: romantic suspense)
QUESTION: Where does Jade sit after she sees Aziz Khadoul? (Hint: Click on “Books” tab, then on “excerpt” link for Riley’s Mission)

June 4
SPONSOR: Jenna Dawlish
PRIZE: Sprig of Thyme (Victorian romance), autographed copy
QUESTION: What is the name of the hero in Jenna's first novel Love Engineered? (Check out “The Library” tab)

June 5
SPONSOR: Rachael Renee Anderson
PRIZE: Divinely Designed (contemporary LDS romantic comedy), autographed copy
QUESTION: What is the title of Rachael's second book, being released in August? (Hint: scroll down to Rachael’s “Goodreads” titles on the right hand sidebar)

June 6
SPONSOR: Linda Kay Garner
PRIZE: Some Secrets Hurt (picturebook), autographed copy. This picture book is for all ages. It is simple enough to be understood by a very young child, meaningful enough to appeal to teenagers, informative enough to be helpful to parents, and powerful enough to reach out to a wounded adult.
QUESTION: The only thing worse than finding out that your child is being sexually abused is ____ ____ ____? (Hint: Listen to 5 minute KSL TV interview on the right side of the website or dowload the free Parents’ Guide)

June 7
SPONSOR: Danielle Thorne
PRIZE: (New/Sealed) The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (Widescreen DVD)
QUESTION: In Danielle Thorne's novel, Turtle Soup, what is the name of the marine biologist who inspires Sara Hart to name her deli Turtle Soup? (Hint: read the blurb for Turtle Soup on Danielle’s website homepage)

June 8
SPONSOR: Larry Hammersley
PRIZE: Lab Partners (sweet 1950’s romance), ebook
QUESTION: What are the first names of the hero and heroine in the short story Lab Partners? (Hint: Check out “WIP Report” post for April 4, 2010)

June 9
SPONSOR: Linda Weaver Clarke
PRIZE: Melinda and the Wild West: (historical romance, YA and adult), autographed copy
QUESTION: What was Melinda doing when she first met Gilbert and why did he act flustered and then abruptly turn and briskly stride away? (Hint:. Click on “Sample Chapters” tab, then on the book title for Melinda and the Wild West to read a sample chapter.)

June 10
SPONSOR: Angela Morrison
PRIZE: Taken by Storm (Penguin/Razorbill 2009), YA romance, autographed hard cover
QUESTION: A legendary LDS author of over 30 books for teens called Taken by Storm, "An amazing story written with a clear, refreshing and creative voice." Who was it? (Hint: check “Taken By Storm” tab)

June 11
SPONSOR: Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen
PRIZE: Trapped (romantic suspense with a hint of paranormal fantasy), autographed copy
QUESTION: The first trap Emi Warrin encounters is a mysterious letter. To where does it lure her? (Hint: Read the book summary under the Trapped tab)

June 12
SPONSOR: Anne Patrick
PRIZE: Journey to Redemption (inspirational romantic suspense), free download
QUESTION: What did Royce use to do for a living in my upcoming release, Out of the Darkness? (Hint: Look under the “My Books” link for Anne’s new release, Out of the Darkness)

June 13
SPONSOR: Rebecca Talley
PRIZE: Altared Plans (contemporary LDS romance), autographed by author
QUESTION: What is unique about my youngest son? (Hint: Watch the YouTube video Extra C posted on the right side of Rebecca’s blog)

June 14
SPONSOR: David J. West
PRIZE: Heroes of the Fallen (historical fiction), autographed hardcopy)
QUESTION: What is the name of my favorite author? (Hint: Scroll through David’s June blogs. He promises you’ll find the answer!)

June 15
SPONSOR: Jennifer Stewart Griffith, author of Choosing Mr. Right and Delicious Conversation
PRIZE: FREE edit and/or critique of first 50 pages of a novel
QUESTION: What is the Japanese word for the hairstyle worn by sumo wrestlers? (Hint: Check out Jennifer’s favorite sumo blog, Sumo Beautiful. Look for Hama Bijin’s April 13th post)
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES as long as the manuscript can be emailed to Jennifer and is in English

June 16
SPONSOR: Rebecca Irvine
PRIZE: Family Home Evening Adventures (non-fiction book of FHE lessons), free e-book on CD
QUESTION: What is the title of the first book written by Rebecca Irvine? (Hint: Read “about me” on Rebecca’s blog)

June 17
SPONSOR: Marilyn Bunderson
PRIZE: The Mark (YA Fiction), autographed copy with a bookmark
QUESTION: In a deleted scene from my book, The Mark, Jon loses a bet to Shae. What does he have to do to pay up? (Hint: Found in post titled "Deleted Scenes From The Mark" dated April 15, 2010)

June 18
SPONSOR: Heather Justesen
PRIZE: Winner’s Choice: The Ball’s In Her Court (contemporary inspirational) or Rebound (contemporary romance), autographed by author
QUESTION: How much did the FBI agent expect John's bail to be set at? (Hint: Click on "My Books" tab, then "read more" about Rebound.)

June 19
SPONSOR: Nichole Giles
PRIZE: The Sharp Edge of a Knife (inspirational historical, based on a true story), autographed copy
QUESTION: What is the correct title of the humorous anthology I coauthored? (Hint: Look in the right hand sidebar)

June 20
SPONSOR: Karen Adair
PRIZE: Trendy blue/brown crocheted book tote with matching cell phone case (Check out Karen’s “Diva Strings” website for examples:
QUESTION: Where did Karen learn how to type and what speed did she finally top out at? (Hint: Check Karen’s “Bio” tab)

June 21
SPONSOR: Lynn Parsons, co-author of the soon-to-be-released non-fiction book: (dis)Abilities and the Gospel
PRIZE: A pair of hand-knit socks
QUESTION: What are three of the topics I list on the parent page of my website? (Look on “Parent Page” tab)

June 22
SPONSOR: Kinzie Monroe
PRIZE: Reservations for Two (inspirational romance), autographed CD
QUESTION: What was Maggie doing when she and Carson first met in Reservations for Two? (Hint: click on the “Excerpts” link on Kinzie’s blog)

June 23
SPONSOR: Michele Ashman Bell
PRIZE: Summer in Paris (YA romance), autographed copy and Eiffel Tower bookmark
QUESTION: What is Michele "dreaming of"? (Hint: found on sidebar above picture of Eiffel Tower

June 24
SPONSOR: Jaimey Grant and JaysDesign Jewelry
PRIZE: A signed copy of Redemption, a Regency romance by Jaimey Grant, and a 19" hand-knotted strand of freshwater pearls ($45 value) handmade by Jay T Lyons of JaysDesign Jewelry.
QUESTION: Artist Jay T Lyons did a sketch for the cover of an upcoming Regency romance of mine. What is the sketch of and what is the title of the upcoming book?

June 25
SPONSOR: Christine Thackeray
PRIZE: Lipstick Wars (LDS Women’s Fiction), autographed copy
QUESTION: What is the name of the angel who needs a vacation in my recent pamphlet, “Could You Be an Angel Today? (Hint: Play the book trailer for “Could You Be an Angel Today” on Christine’s home page)

June 26
SPONSOR: Bonnie Harris
PRIZE: Mary Kay Satin Lips Set, Travel Size Satin Hands Set and a set of mineral eye colors
QUESTION: What is the name of my African Gray and African Desert Tortosie? (Hint: Read “About Me” in the left hand sidebar)

June 27
SPONSOR: Teralee Deighton
PRIZE: Cup of Comfort for New Mothers (personal essay anthology)
QUESTION: Name the editor of Cup of Comfort for New Mothers

June 28
SPONSOR: C. LaRene Hall
PRIZE: Martha’s Freedom Train (middle grade historical), autographed by both author and illustrator
QUESTION: How many short stories has C. LaRene Hall published in the humorous anthology, Mormon Mishaps and Mischief? (Hint: Look in the left hand sidebar)

June 29
SPONSOR: Sarah M. Eden
PRIZE: Courting Miss Lancaster (Regency romance), autographed copy
QUESTION: In his "I Need Friends Friday" interview, what reason does Edward Cullen give for not sleeping at night?

June 30
SPONSOR: Marcia Mickelson
PRIZE: Reasonable Doubt (LDS Suspense), autographed copy
QUESTION: In what country was author, Marcia Mickelson born? (Hint: Click on “About Marcia” tab)

July 1
SPONSOR: Kimberly Job
PRIZE: I'll Know You by Heart (romantic suspense), autographed copy
QUESTION: What is the title of my current work in progress? (Hint: Look under “My Books” tab)

July 2
SPONSOR: Joan Sowards
PRIZE: Haunts Haven (an LDS ghost story), autographed copy
QUESTION: What is the name of the town in which the story of Haunts Haven takes place? (Hint: Found on sidebar synopsis of story)

July 3
SPONSOR: Margaret L. Turley RN
PRIZE: Save the Child (Reality Fiction), autographed copy
QUESTION: Where can you listen to an audio interview with Margaret L. Turley about her book, Save the Child? (Hint: Click on link at the bottom of Margaret’s bio on her “About the Author” page)

July 4
SPONSOR: Joyce DiPastena
PRIZE: Illuminations of the Heart (sweet medieval romance, a 2009 Whitney Award Finalist), autographed by author
QUESTION: Who were gifts usually given to on Epiphany during the Middle Ages? (Hint: Click on “Stolen Christmas” tab and read excerpt from “An Epiphany Gift for Robin”)

July 5
SPONSOR: Cindy R. Williams
PRIZE: Chase McKay Didn’t Get Up Today (Arizona Glyph Award Finalist and Southwest Book Awards Finalist), a snuggle, giggle children’s picture book
QUESTION: There is a picture of Cindy holding two dragons on her website, The names of the dragons are in the caption below the picture. What are their names? (Hint: Look on the “Book” page)

July 6
SPONSOR: Gail Pallotta
PRIZE: Love Turns the Tide (inspirational romance with suspense), free e-book on CD
QUESTION: Who comes to Cammie O'Shea's rescue after she has a break-in at her unit in Destin, Florida? (Hint: Scroll down to: MORE ABOUT THE BOOK)

July 7
SPONSOR: Danyelle Ferguson, co-author of the soon-to-be released non-fiction book: (dis)Abilities and the Gospel
PRIZE: A 30 page manuscript edit
QUESTION: Name three of the "special needs" addressed in (dis)Abilities and the Gospel. (Hint: Click on the "Books" tab for (dis)Abilities and the Gospel)

July 8
SPONSOR: Karen E. Hoover
PRIZE: Sapphire Flute (YA Fantasy), autographed copy
QUESTION: How many bloggers have posted their reviews of The Sapphire Flute? (Hint: Check out the list under “Sapphire Flute Blog Tour” in the right hand side bar and count ‘em up)

May 29, 2010

Awakening Avery Blog Tour

Summer's here and what better way to kick it off than with a blog tour for Awakening Avery by Laurie Lewis.  It is the perfect poolside read. Avery can't cope with the death of her husband and is finally convinced by her son to return to the family's Anna Maria Island vacation spot. With help from some new-found friends, Avery swaps her house with a widower named Gabriel. As Avery and Gabriel step into each others lives, they begin a correspondence that leads to spiritual and emotional awakening for each of them.

We're giving away 3 fabulous prizes. Two readers will win their own copy of Awakening Avery! There will be one lucky grand prize winner who will the beautiful necklace below. The contest opens June 2 and will close June 13 at midnight MST.

Stop by the following blogs to read reviews of Awakening Avery and for some fun interviews with the author:

June 1 Sheila Staley Why Not? Because I Said So! LDS Women's Book Review
June 2 Alison Palmer Tangled Words and Dreams
June 3 Kimberly Job Scribbled Scraps
June 4 Nichole Giles Starcrossed Book Reviews
June 7 Deanne Blackhurst The Book of Deanne
June 8 Tristi Pinkston *Tristi Pinkston, LDSAuthor
June 9 C.S. Bezas For the Love of the Written Word
June 10 Joan Sowards Joan Sowards
June 11 Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen The Write Blocks

Entering the contest is easy--all you have to do is blog, tweet, follow, or comment and then fill out the entry form.

1. Follow our reviewers blogs. (1 entry for each blog you follow.)
2. Leave a comment on a review. (1 entry for each review you comment on.)
2. Blog about Awakening Avery, the contest, or a review. (3 entries for each blog post.)
3. Follow us on twitter. (1 entry for each person you follow.)
Walnut Springs Press
Nichole Giles
LDS Women's Book Review
Sheila Staley
Kimberly Job
Joan Sowards
4. Tweet about the contest. (2 entries for each tweet.)
5. Post about the contest on your Facebook. (2 entries for each facebook post or status update about the contest.)
6. Become a fan of Walnut Springs Press on Facebook. (1 entry for becoming a fan.)
7. Anything else you can think of that will spread the word. (3 entries for every social media site you post on.) If you mention it on goodreads, shelfari, google buzz, make it your status on gmail chat, MSN or yahoo messenger let us know. We'll reward your creativity with entries.

May 28, 2010

May 24, 2010

Join me for the BlogFest!

I am joining A Journey of Books and the Book Blog Network along with hundreds of other bloggers for BlogFest 2010. From September 10-12, 2010, over 100 blogs will get together to offer one amazing giveaway carnival. Make sure to mark it on your calendar because these giveaways will only remain open for that weekend. Want to participate? Sign up here.

Between now and then all the participating blogs will be featured on A Journey of Books.  Scribbled Scraps was featured this week.

Click the links to see a list of all participating blogs (it keeps growing) and prizes being offered.

Prizes include:
Books (Yay!)
Gift Cards
Gift Baskets
Blog Design
And lots more!!

I know September is a few months away, but don't worry, I'll remind you.  I just wanted to give you a heads-up in case any of you are interested in participating.  It's a great way to advertise your blog!

May 21, 2010

Coming Up Short? -- Break the Habit!

If you are anything like me, you often compare yourself to others. Unfortunately, I frequently seem to come up short. My house isn’t as clean, my children as well-behaved, my blog as cute, my hair as stylish, my body as thin—sound familiar?

The biggest problem with comparing is that we usually compare one of our weaknesses to another’s strengths. We may see a neighbor in church with eight perfectly groomed children all sitting reverently waiting for the meeting to start and invariably compare our own children who look like their hair hasn’t even seen a brush that morning. What you don’t know is that the woman left a messy kitchen at home with cereal and milk spilled on the floor, or that she feels inferior inside so she strives to look polished on the outside to hide those insecurities, or that she constantly fights with her husband and is secretly watching you and your spouse wishing she had the kind of relationship that you do.

So how do you break this negative habit of comparing yourself with others? Here are some useful tips:

• Become aware. Often we make these social comparisons without realizing we’re doing it. You need to become consciously aware of when you do this. Try this. You’ll be surprised how often you notice it.

• Stop and change focus. Once you realize you’re comparing yourself, pause, but don’t criticize yourself or feel bad—just acknowledge the thought, and gently change focus.

• Count your blessings. A better focus is on what you are already blessed with. Think about how lucky you are to have what you have, the unique talents you’ve been blessed with, and the people in your life who care about you.

• Focus on your strengths. Instead of looking at your weaknesses, ask yourself what your strengths are and be proud of them. Don’t brag, but feel good about your talents and work on using them to your best advantage.

• Be okay with imperfection. No one is perfect. We all know that, but still seem to strive for it anyway. You aren’t perfect and you never will be. I certainly am not, and I’m still working on being okay with that. If you look at it in a different way, that imperfection is what makes you who you are. Perfection would be boring!

• Don’t knock others down. Sometimes we try to criticize others just to make ourselves look or feel better. This is a destructive habit that, in the end, hurts you as well. Instead, try to be happy for them and learn from their successes.

Don’t focus on how you rank in comparison to others—life is not a competition. It’s a journey. We are all on a journey, to find something, to become something, to learn, to create something of our own. That journey has nothing to do with how well other people are doing, or what they have. It has everything to do with what you want to do, and where you want to go. That’s all you need to worry about. The only one you should compare yourself with is you.

No matter how many clothes you buy, or how skinny you get, or how many people follow your blog, or how many books you publish, or if your children are reverent at church . . . if you always want what others have, you will never have enough. That is an endless cycle that never leads to happiness.

Instead, learn to realize that what you have is already enough. If you have shelter over your head, food on the table, clothes on your back, and people who love you, you are blessed. You have enough. You are enough. Be good with that, and you’ll find contentment.

May 17, 2010

Family Pics!

I recently won a photo shoot with Susan Monson Photography on the Cranberry Fries blog. I was way excited, because since I got married we haven't had any pictures with all ten of our children.

Getting family pictures taken has never been my favorite thing to do, especially with ten children. Just the prospect is overwhelming. What will we wear? Where will we take them? Can I really clear my kids schedules all at once, and keep seven boys clean for an hour?

Susan Monson made it easy. She provided suggestions for location and wardrobe, and rearranged her schedule more than once to fit ours. During the photo shoot she was professional but had an outgoing, fun personality that made every member of my family comfortable and willing to cooperate.

She came prepared with a list of ideas, but was completely open to anything we wanted to try. I loved her creative photography style. We had some traditional poses, along with many fun shots. She is awesome at capturing candid moments that show real emotion. We are already talking about scheduling my daughter's senior photos, and I won't hesitate to recommend her to family and friends.

May 12, 2010

Author Interview: D.N. Giles and C.L. Beck

Author's Websites: and
Publication Date:  December 2009

I'm pleased to introduce you to two amazing women and authors, D.N. (Nichole) Giles, and C.L. (Cindy) Beck.  These women have both influenced my own writing career and I feel privileged to call them my friends.  They have written a fun book called Mormon Mishaps and Mischief

About the Book:

This collection of humorous anecdotes from celebrated LDS authors shows off Church members at their finest. From Primary pranks to cheeky comments made by Zion’s youth to high priest hijinks, no age group is immune to the potential for humor. Though it might not be in the official Word of Wisdom, laughter really is the best medicine. Whether you’re a senior missionary or an eight-year-old graduating to senior Primary, you’re bound to get a kick out of these silly stories.
Our Interview:

 What prompted you to write Mormon Mishaps and Mischief?

Cindy: The moon was full, Aquarius was on the cusp, and the chickens were molting, all of which combined to make this the right time for a book of humorous anecdotes. Well, that and the pantry was empty, so a book that might actually sell a few copies seemed like a good idea.

Nichole: What Cindy says might be true. Or it could be that one sunny spring morning, one of us woke up and said, “I think I’ll write a book of humorous anecdotes today.” Then there was email involved. Lots of email. And brainstorming and collecting and chocolate eating. And maybe some Twinkies. Thus, the proposal for a book of humorous anecdotes was born.

What’s your favorite story in the book?

Cindy: There’s this fantastic story about a crotchety old man who gets visited by three ghosts at Christmas, and by the end of the story, he vows to keep Christmas … oh wait, that’s Charles Dickens’ stuff. All right then, my next favorite is “A Good Impression” contributed by Cathy Witbeck. It’s about a little girl who gets all decked out for Easter and puts something interesting into her purse to take to church. (But I’m not going to tell you what, because it would ruin the fun.) On the other hand, I do have to tell you that because they’re all so funny, my favorite story changes about every five minutes.

Nichole: I’m with Cindy. Choosing just one favorite would be like playing favorites between my children. Which I’ve never done. Ever. I’m a good mother. I promise. Oh, but speaking of motherhood, there are several stories about children doing funny things, like licking worms and bringing a head of lettuce to pray. Love all of those.

Where do the stories come from?

Cindy: From the demented … er … I mean, the creative genius of our minds. And from the funny events that we, and our contributors, saw happening at church, home and everywhere in between. Rest assured, however, that all contributors to the book signed a statement that the stories were true, and so even though real names were seldom used in the anecdotes, the situations actually happened. Which means if you think you recognize your bishop in there, well … we’ll never tell.

Nichole: None of them came from my current ward. They all came from other people’s wards, which I visited while wearing my invisibility cloak. So if you happen to be in my ward and recognize a story or five or twenty, well I didn’t see those things or write them down in my handy-dandy notebook. Er. Um. I mean…I plea the fifth?

Thank you for letting me interview you. Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Cindy and Nichole: It was our pleasure! Readers can visit us at our website,, or laugh with us at our humor blog at In addition, there are our personal blogs—follow Nichole at or Cindy at

We really like having followers. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Plus, we like to post funny stuff and make you laugh.

Don't forget the contest associated with the Mormon Mishaps and Mischief blog tour.  You can read more about it here.  The prize is a $150 advertising package.

May 10, 2010

Blog Tour and Giveaway!

The Mormon Mishaps and Mischief  Giveaway and Blog Tour!

In celebration of Mothers, and all they do for us, Mormon Mishaps authors C.L. Beck and D.N. Giles have put together a giveaway in conjunction with a week-long blog tour. If you aren’t interested in winning a fantastic advertising package valued at $150, you can stop reading now.

Wait, you’re still reading. That must mean you want to hear about our prize package, correct? Well. Okay then.

Let me first tell you a little about our sponsors, and is an online shopping mall which features innovative products and LDS-based services, and great ideas for your home, all without the worries of questionable content. Shopping categories include Clothing, Music, Preparedness, Family Entertainment, Scrapbooking, Books and Art, Health and Food, Travel and Recreation, Weddings and more! Visit today.

Your LDS Neighborhood Newsletter is a free online newsletter that comes three times a week right to your email inbox. It provides topical stories and insights that set the tone for your day. The newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources, and interviews from around the world, all with an LDS focus. Sign up today by clicking here! commits to bringing you the best in LDS Music – all day, every day and it is totally FREE to listen! Make them your web-surfing companion. It's free and easy to use and makes for the perfect online companion. Listen for yourself at!

Okay, and now for the prize!

Your LDS Neighborhood has offered a YEAR LONG advertising package which includes space on the Neighborhood website as well as tiles in the newsletter. Were you to purchase advertising with them, this package would cost $150.

Here’s the best part. You don’t have to be LDS to advertise with the Neighborhood. As long as the business, blog, or product you’re promoting is family friendly, this advertising package will benefit you. Neighborhood ads are viewed daily around the globe, and by thousands of people.

So how do you win?

Entries will be accepted between May 4th and midnight, MST, May 16th. On May 17th, (or as close there about as possible) the winners will be chosen and announced on the LDS Humor blog. Although it's not required for entry, please take a minute to read the Mormon Mishaps and Mischief review/interview I've posted. Then, you must do the following four things to enter (but don't worry, they aren't hard):

1. Follow my blog, here.
2. Leave a comment here, at this blog.
3. Follow the LDS Humor blog.
4. Follow the Your LDS Neighborhood Newsletter blog.

Extra entries:

1. Blog about this contest, then come back and leave either a url address or a link in a comment.
2. Follow me on Twitter kimberlyjob.  And then tweet the contest. (Make sure to mention this in a comment.)
3. Facebook the contest. If your Facebook page is private, and I’m not your friend, I can’t see that you’ve done this, so you’ll need to friend me. Be sure to leave the link to where you've FB'd the contest in a comment.

All of these options can be mentioned in a single comment, and you can enter at all the participating blogs, as long as you follow and leave a comment for those bloggers so they know you love them.

You may enter this contest here, as well as on any of the tour posts at the following blogs:

May 4th Rachelle Christensen
May 4th Shirley Bahlmann
May 5th Karlene Browning
May 5th Heather Gardener, Fire and Ice Book Reviews
May 6th Kellie Buckner
May 6th Rachel Rager
May 7th Shauna Chambers
May 7th Heather Justesen
May 10th LDS Humor Blog
May 10th Keith Fisher
May 11th Tristi Pinkston
May 11th Rebecca Talley
May 12th Taffy Lovell
May 12th Kimberly Job
May 13th Connie Hall
May 13th Ali Cross

To purchase Mormon Mishaps and Mischief click here.   Be sure to check back tomorrow when I'll be posting an interview with the authors!

May 8, 2010

Do You Feel Invisible?

Motherhood often feels like a thankless calling.  We love, nurture, work, worry, and perform a never-ending list of household tasks, only to get up tomorrow and start it all over again.  Tiring?  For sure.  I think many of you probably feel like I do and wonder if anyone even notices all that you do.

I recently ran across a video clip that describes this feeling.  It also explores the fact that even when it feels like you are invisible and nobody sees or appreciates your efforts, God sees. No sacrifice is too small for him to notice. He sees every little nose you wipe, every cookie you bake, every skinned knee you kiss better, every pair of socks you lovingly fold. He sees every tear of disappointment you shed when things don't go the way you'd hoped, and hears every heartfelt prayer you offer. Remember that you are doing a great work. I hope all of my followers and friends have a great Mother's Day. Don't forget to reassure the women in your life that they are not invisible, and that their efforts are appreciated.

Life's Alphabet Soup by Terri Ferran

Genre:  Non-fiction
Publication Date:  February 2010
Author's Website:

First line:  "There are some questions in life that just can't be answered properly until you experience them for yourself."

I recently met Terri Ferran at the LDStorymakers writing conference.  She is a CPA, mother of six, grandmother of two, and lover of chocolate--not necessarily in that order.  Basically, she's just downright amazing.  I attended the class she taught at Storymakers and learned oodles about keeping track of my writing expenses, what I can deduct on my taxes, and much more. 

I was excited to get a copy of her new book Life's Alphabet Soup:  When Your Children Make You Eat Your Words.  It is a delightful look at the blessings and trials of motherhood.

About the book: 
A parent's life is never dull and often downright droll but in the middle of the tantrums, squabbles, and boo-boos, it's sometimes hard to see the hilarity. Life's Alphabet Soup is the perfect antidote for any tired, stressed-out parent. With six kids of her own, Terri Ferran knows what raising a family is really like: incredibly hard, completely thankless, and so worth it. There are plenty of books that'll tell you what you're doing wrong as a parent, but how about one that knows what it's really like to spend a sleepless night with a sick child? (Even though the sickness was mostly brought on by letting her eat too many cookies.) Full of stories all parents can relate to, this book is sure to keep you laughing from A to Zoomph.
My opinion:

I really enjoyed this book.  It's a quick but fun and inspiring read.  I really liked how each chapter dealt with a different topic.  It made it a great book to keep in my purse to read when I only had snatches of time.  It explores parenthood from A-Z with topics such as allowance, chores, garbage, meals, overreacting, pets, x-rays, and much more--one topic for each letter of the alphabet. 

Terri has a light-hearted perspective about motherhood and its many challenges and blessings.  She doesn't leave out the hard stuff, but she celebrates in the victories as well.  Reading her words motivated me to take a look at my own mothering style.  I've made a few changes, and they seem to be working.

This book would make a great Mother's Day gift.  To learn more about the author, visit her website or blog.  You can read a sample chapter of this fun book here.

Life's Alphabet Soup can be purchased at Amazon, as well as other local and regional bookstores.

May 7, 2010

Author Interview: Erin Klingler

I recently had the opportunity to interview Erin Klingler.  She is the author of Between the Lines, an LDS romantic suspense novel which was just released this week.  She is one amazingly talented lady.  I enjoyed getting to know her, and I think you will too!

About her book:

Sydney Hallam, hard-line journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, is poised for action after receiving a tip from a mysterious source that criminally implicates several influential power brokers-but her source is gunned down before he can disclose any details. Days later, Salt Lake Tribune reporter Justin Mickelsen receives a letter from a childhood friend-the murder victim-written just prior to his death, leading the two reporters to team up in San Francisco to expose the scandal. In the intensity of the investigation, the pair's attraction quickly grows, along with proof of money laundering, drug trafficking, and grand theft. But as the evidence builds, so do the tempers of certain billionaires and heavy-hitting politicians-soon it seems the dangerous career path chosen by the two ace reporters can only lead to a very dead end.

Our Interview:

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I was about eight years old, actually. I wrote a silly little story (though I probably thought it was groundbreaking when I wrote it) about a dog who wanted a dog house for Christmas. I still have it saved in a scrapbook somewhere. My love of reading prior to that and ever since only strengthened my desire to become a writer. I soaked up everything I was taught in my English and creative writing classes in junior high and high school. Then after I got married and was busy raising children, I started writing a couple of different things when my kids were napping or playing. Between the Lines is my second novel.

Is your book based on a personal experience?

Not in the least. :) But I do love watching television shows that mix character relationships with criminal investigation--Alias, Castle, Bones, etc. My passion for those kinds of stories made me try my hand at romantic suspense. To my surprise, I actually love writing bad guys almost as much as I love writing romance! Who would have thought?

How long did it take you to write the book?

Um...forever. :) In its various incarnations, it was probably a three-year project. It doesn't normally take me that long, but it started out as mostly romance until Covenant's evaluators decided they thought I should stick in more "bad guy stuff." So I rewrote. Then resubmitted. Then had it accepted and rewrote various aspects of it many times. It's been a long road, but I'm happy with how it turned out.

What books or authors have most influenced your writing?

Definitely Kerry Blair, first and foremost. Her "The Heart Has It's Reasons" and subsequent books in that series were the first LDS books I fell in love with. They really were a turning point in my life. Shortly after I read them, we started exchanging emails, and she became a dear friend. She had an enormous impact on my decision to keep trying to get publish. Also, Traci Abramson's books really turned my thoughts to writing LDS suspense. She's such a master at it! I greatly admire her and her writing ability so much. Just getting to know her has inspired me to become a better writer.

What can we look for next? What current projects are you working on?

Between the Lines is out the first week of May, and I'm very excited about that! I hope all the years of hard work put into this book helps it to be something people enjoy. So much of my writing time has been focused on getting this book ready that I haven't fully jumped back into writing my next project. Now I can do that! Its working title is "Deceit," and the book is high-energy action (the helicopter chase scene as the bad guys try to chase my main characters through the mountains of Colorado continues to be my favorite!) with a tale of rekindled love--if my characters make it out alive, of course!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Finding time, mostly! Being a YW president, raising five kids, and working part time as a medical transcriptionist rarely leaves me spare time. But writing seems to be vital to my mental health, so I squeak out whatever time I can.

Do you have any advice for other authors?

Yes! Don't give up! I talk to so many aspiring authors, and most of them think the path is easy: write a book, send it off to a few agents, and then it's published. When they find out there's a lot of hard work and heartbreak along the way, they get a little freaked out. But anything worthwhile takes work! So be prepared to work, and don't give up! Most of the joy in the experience, I have found, comes in the friendship and learning experiences you discover along the way.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

In my 2 seconds of spare time? :) I love to play tennis, and I love to read. It seems to be easier to find time to read (while waiting for kids to come out of school, or in bed at night during the news broadcasts) than to play tennis, so I find myself reading more often than pounding tennis balls across the net.

Any last words you want the reader to know?

I'm just excited to be sharing my passion for reading by writing something I hope people will enjoy. If I've been able to give somebody a few hours of escape or enjoyment through the pages of my book, I'll feel like my time writing has been well spent. Every time I hear somebody say, "I haven't done a lick of housework in 2 days because I was too absorbed in your book!" I feel like I could die happy. :)

To learn more about Erin, visit her website. 

May 3, 2010

Publish Your Blog to Amazon's Kindle

Technology amazes me.  It's sometimes overwhelming trying to keep up with it all.  For example, did you know you can publish your blog so people can read it on their Amazon Kindle?  Is that cool, or what?  Kindle readers can subscribe to your blog posts and read them anywhere.  I read about this at Moomette's Magnificents.  For complete details, check out her blog. 

Basically, here's how it works:

* Sign up for an Amazon Kindle vendor account.

* Kindle blog subscriptions are between $0.99 and $2.00, and Amazon shares a portion of the revenue with you.

* You'll need your blog's RSS feed.  Click here, if you don't already know how to find it. 

* Also, a screenshot of your blog homepage.  Get this by clicking Ctrl+PrtSc on your keyboard.  Then open the image in any paint program to crop and edit.

* A screenshot or image of your blog's header.

* Upload the images on the Kindle sign-up page.  You can see a preview before you actually publish your blog.

* Tell the world you are now on Kindle.  It would be a great idea to create a blog button that links to your Amazon Kindle page and put in your sidebar.

You can also check out the Kindle Publishing Forum for more information, and click here for a complete list of blogs currently available.

May 2, 2010

Mother's Day Room Service

I ran across a cute idea for Mother's Day by Kim over at Seven-Thirty-Three.  She has created this darling door hanger for Mom to order breakfast in bed.  Even better, you can download it for free!

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