Mar 31, 2010

Blog Buddy - April Showers!

I'm going to start introducing you to some of the amazing friends I've made through blogging starting out with April from April Showers.  Today's introduction is a bit selfish, for two reasons--first, I won her awesome giveaway for a free blog design, second, by posting about April's giveaway month, I get a free entry to every giveaway.  I don't know about you, but sometimes all the giveaways on blogs and all the requirements for entry drive me crazy, so the chance to enter just by blogging--LOVE IT!! And in case you were wondering, YES, you can do it too.  Click here for details.

April is one talented girl!  She is an amazing blog designer.  Her prices are totally reasonable, and her designs are so creative.  Check these out:

Click here to see more of her portfolio.

April is also one of eight contestants in the Flab to Fab Blogger Fitness Challenge. As part of the challenge, the participants blog and vlog their way through eight weeks of weight loss.  You can watch one of April's vlogs here. I’m also participating in the blogtourage part of the challenge, so check back later this week for my first post.

Check out April’s blog for more information about the fitness challenge and her month of giveaways. Become her follower while you’re there. I promise you won’t be disappointed. She’s lots of fun and always keeps me laughing.

Mar 29, 2010

Summer in Paris by Michele Ashman Bell

As an author, it is amazing to me that I can associate with, and learn from, established authors such as Michele Ashman Bell.  She has long been one of my favorite authors, so to think that we now have the same publisher, is almost surreal.  I jumped at the chance to review her new nationally published YA novel, Summer in Paris, and my daughters were even more excited.

About the author:

In Michele's own words:

"As a young girl I was a devoted journal keeper. I would express my most personal thoughts and feelings in my journal in a way I could never express them verbally. Coupled with my great love for reading it only seemed natural to become a writer.

During the course of having and raising my children, as a beginning writer, I spent any free time I had writing and learning the craft. I attended workshops and conferences, joined critique groups (I have the scars to prove it) and sent many of my stories and novels off to magazines and publisher, only to receive rejection after rejection. I came close a few times, but something wasn't quite right.

Still to this day I wonder why I didn't give up. You'd think after ten years of rejections I'd finally get the message. Actually I know why I kept writing, I couldn't not write. It's in my blood. When I get cut, ink comes out. There's something so wonderful and fulfilling about the creative process of developing characters and storylines and pouring your heart out on paper that can't be matched by anything else. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to write. And I want to encourage anyone who has the desire to write to never give up on their dream. If you want it bad enough and are willing to work hard enough, you will become published. I believe that with all my heart because that's exactly how it worked for me.

I grew up in St. George, Utah, where a lot of my family still lives, but now reside with my husband and family in the Salt Lake City area. My favorite thing to do is support my kids in their many interests. Between basketball, ballet and piano lessons we squeeze a lot into a week, but I wouldn't have it any other way."

About the book:
Kenzie Williams feels like she has it all; wealth, friends, popularity and talent. But when her father tells her that he has declared bankruptcy, her whole world in New York City turns upside down. Her parents' solution while they sort through their financial and marital problems is to send Kenzie to live with her relatives in Paris . . . Idaho!

Feeling like she's been sentenced to three months in Hickville Prison, Kenzie arrives in Idaho feeling like a square peg, with name brand clothes, in a round, horribly podunk, hole.

Leaving everything she loves behind, Kenzie is forced to get up at the crack of dawn, do chores, and hang out with her cousin's loser friends. She feels like she's about to die until she meets Adam White, the town outcast, whose been accused of killing his best friend and is being blamed for some trouble that's been happening around town.

Not only is Adam the best-looking guy she's ever seen, but he's also the most fascinating guy she's ever met and Kenzie is determined to get to know him and find out his secret. But, the longer she stays in Paris, the more she realizes, Adam isn't the only one keeping secrets.
My opinion:

I really enjoyed Summer in Paris.  It's a fun story for young girls to read.  They will identify with the angst that Kenzie feels when life as she knew it is pulled out from under her and she's forced to spend the summer on a farm in Idaho. 

Michele is a master at characterization.  As a reader, I experienced Kenzie's emotions throughout the story, and felt like I was growing and learning right alongside her.  The pacing is perfect.  Although the storyline was somewhat predictable, Kenzie's change of heart did not happen overnight.

The issues Kenzie faces are typical of those in the lives of our children today.  I highly recommend Summer in Paris.  It includes a little of everything--comedy, drama, and romance.  It is a refreshing change from the dark YA literature that seems to be increasingly popular. Now that I've finished reading it, my daughters can't wait to get their hands on it.  And as a mother, it's nice to know there are clean uplifting reads to offer my children.

Mar 25, 2010

Interview with Nichole Giles

I had the opportunity to interview Nichole Giles, author of The Sharp Edge of a Knife, and Mormon Mishaps & Mischief.  Nichole is a member of my critique group, so I get to learn from her wisdom every week.  Not only is she one of the most talented writers I know, she is cute as can be, and tons of fun to be around.  I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

NG: Thinking back, I've always liked to write. I've had a thing for buying notebooks and pens for as long as I remember. The thing is, I didn't actually recognize the drive until about the time I turned thirty. I was reading a book in which the main character's love interest was an author and so many of the things he did were things I recognized in myself. I remember thinking, hey, maybe I should try writing. I registered for an online class and it kind of snowballed from there.

Is your book based on a personal experience?

NG: This particular one is based on experiences from my grandpa. The Sharp Edge of a Knife is based on the true story of his experience of being kidnapped by convicts on the run.

What type of research was involved?

NG: Actually there was a lot. I started with about two pages of his personal history, which had very few actual details, and dug around for newspaper articles. I happened to come across a court subpoena which gave me a case number. That particular detail was huge, because I was then able to get a hold of someone in the national archives offices in Denver and have him help me find court documents and evidence. It was tricky, since they didn't have computers in the fifties. Besides those things, a detective I know helped me track down one of the kidnappers--the only person involved in the kidnapping incident who is still living--and I talked to him on the phone.

Besides those two things, I had to research the area and specifically, details about Highway 66, which was the main road at the time, and the route by which the kidnappers took my grandpa from Arizona to New Mexico.

How long did it take you to write the book?

NG: With all the research and everything, a little over three years. Granted, I worked on numerous other things during this time as well, so it wasn't my sole focus. But I think that amount of time helped me find certain details that were very much needed to tell the story the way my grandpa wanted it told.

What books or authors have most influenced your writing?

NG: Wow. I read a lot, so that could be a really long list. Actually, I think that everything I read has some kind of impact, some take-away tidbit of influence on my work. At the time when I started writing, I'd read a lot of Nora Roberts (yes, I am a huge romance fan) and the Harry Potter series, along with other young adult books that my kids were getting into.

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

NG: I have a few things in the works. Typically, I write in the YA paranormal/fantasy genre, so The Sharp Edge of a Knife was a bit of a change for me. I have three YA books in various stages of work, including one that is currently under submission in several places. I'm hoping you'll see that one on the market here before too long. The current title is Gifted.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

NG: Finishing. Rough drafts are so hard for me. After a book is drafted, I find I'm able to edit it for weeks or months, but actually getting it written is sometimes a certain kind of pleasure and torture at the same time. I could probably spend years perfecting a manuscript if I'm not careful, so the whole process is like balancing on a teeter-totter.

Do you have any advice for other authors?

NG: Never give up. It's always at the times you feel the most discouraged when good things start to happen for you. But you have to recognize the small successes along with the big ones, and know that you're headed in the right direction. These are the things that make you better, help you grow into the most brilliant, prolific author you can be. It's all about remembering your own potential.

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

NG: I love spending time with my family, reading, shopping, traveling, and driving around in the sunshine (or even the rain) with my convertible top down and the stereo blasting.

Any last words you want the reader to know?

NG: Passion is what drives you, persistence is what makes you, and patience is what gives you the courage to endure to the end. ~Nichole Giles

And also, never give up.

See!  I told you she was awesome.  Check out my review of her latest book.  Since I'm part of her critique group, I've also read Gifted, and it is amazing!  Nichole has a well developed voice unlike any other writer I know.  Someday she is going to make it big, and I can say, I knew her when.

Nichole is having a book launch party for The Sharp Edge of the Knife.  Details below.  Come and bring a friend.  It's sure to be a blast!

March 27

1-3:00 pm
Eborn Books
Provo Towne Center Mall
Provo, UT

Nichole is also holding a huge contest in connection with her blog tour.  Check out her blog for details!

Mar 24, 2010

A Message from "The Universe"

I've been sick since Sunday. Not just a little--like 104 degree temp, can't get out of bed sick. My sweet husband has been taking great care of me, but I'm tired of feeling yucky. Today, I finally got up and showered and I'm almost feeling human again.

I got online, and checked my email.  I receive an email every day from "The Universe." Sounds strange, I know. But they are always really inspiring.

Here is the message that was in my inbox this morning:
What if I told you, Kimberly, that you couldn't have anymore of anything... No more friends, no more money, no more anything, until you first got happy with what you have?
Well, guess what I did with it?  I threw it in the trash folder--immediately, thinking, that doesn't apply to me--I'm happy with what I have.   But then I saw this video on Facebook.  It's been going around a while, so you've probably seen it, but watch it again.  It's worth it!

This man is so inspiring.  There are many things he says that strike a chord in my heart, but today, this is the one that stood out:
"If you keep on concentrating on the things you wish you had, or the things that you wish you didn't have, you sort of forget what you do have."
So, that's my message for you today.  Focus on what is good in your life, be thankful for those things, and then the bad, yucky, no-good things, won't seem so daunting after all.

Love ya!!

Mar 23, 2010

The Sharp Edge of a Knife by D.N. Giles

I'm thrilled to be able to review The Sharp Edge of a Knife by D.N.(Nichole) Giles.  I'm part of Nichole's critique group, so I've read this book from its early beginnings.  It's a story that has deep personal meaning to Nichole, and I'm glad she was able to get it published.

About the author:

D.N. Giles was born in Nevada, and moved with her parents to a number of cities in and around the Midwest, mostly staying in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and snatches of time in Texas. Her future aspirations include adding a tropical island to her growing list of locations. For now, she plans to travel to as many tropical locations as possible, scouting for her future home in paradise.

Her early career plans included becoming a megastar actress or a rock star, but she decided instead to have a family and then become a writer, in that order. Writing is her passion, but she also loves to spend time with her family, travel, drive in the rain with the convertible top down, and play music at full volume so she can sing along.

About the book:
Most people would have panicked, sitting bound and gagged on a boulder in the middle of the desert as I was, but for some reason, I didn't. A strange kind of reassurance washed over me from somewhere deep within. Whether it was peace that I'd go quickly, or comfort that I was being protected, I wasn't sure.

When Mel Petersen leaves for work on the morning of February 7, he has no idea what awaits him. A few miles from his house, Mel picks up a pair of young men who appear to be college students, hoping to prevent them from having to walk in the cold. What Mel doesn't know is that the men are actually convicts on the run from the law who are desperate to get away by any means necessary.

When one of his passengers holds a knife to Mel's throat, he has no choice but to submit to the demands of the criminals. Mel hopes he has what it takes to talk his captors into letting him live so he can return to his wife and children, but fears they will kill him before he has the chance.

Based on a true story, The Sharp Edge of a Knife follows Mel and his captors on an unforgettable ride that will have you questioning the depth of your faith and sitting on the edge of your seat as it grabs your attention from the first sentence and keeps you riveted until the very end.
My opinion:

The Sharp Edge of a Knife is an amazing story based on actual events that happened to Nichole's grandfather.  It's fast-paced action keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat, and unable to put the book down.  Nichole does an amazing job at portraying the distinct personalities of Mel's captors.  My favorite character is Jeneal.  I like that we see what is happening to her throughout the story.  It makes the reader feel like they know Mel's family personally which gives them an even greater interest in his safe return.

This book is a treasure for Nichole and her family, but is also inspiring to everyone who reads it. Mel's great faith in the face of hardship will inspire and uplift even the most hardened of souls--but don't take my word for it--read the book to find out.

You can purchase The Sharp Edge of a Knife on Amazon.  To read more about this book and the author, visit her website and blog.                      

Mar 22, 2010

Women of the Book of Mormon by Heather B. Moore

A couple years ago when I worked in the Young Women's organization in my church, we held an activity where each of the girls picked a woman from the scriptures and found ways that they were similar.  They looked at their life, their experiences, and their characteristics.  I learned so many astounding things at that time about the amazing women throughout the scriptures.  Ever since then, I've been fascinated by these women's stories, and their faith filled lives.

Because of my great interest in this subject, I jumped at the chance to read and review Heather Moore's newest release, Women of the Book of Mormon.

About the author:

Heather was born in Providence, Rhode Island, but spent most of her childhood in Orem, Utah. During these years, her family traveled back and forth between the Middle East and Utah. At the age of eight, while living in Egypt, she was baptized in the Red Sea. Heather attended the Anglican School of Jerusalem from 1987-88, and returned again to Jerusalem with her husband in 1994.

Heather graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in Fashion Merchandising and minor in Business Management. This has nothing to do with writing books, but at least she can color-coordinate her kids school clothes and balance a mean checkbook.

Heather is a member of the League of Utah Writers and LDStorymakers. She also manages the editing company, Precision Editing Group, LLC.

About the book:

Explore the lives, circumstances, and choices of women in the Book of Mormon in this uplifting and inspiring volume that illustrates the parallel between the lives of the women of the Book of Mormon and LDS women today. With new insights on practically every page, author Heather B. Moore explores the written and unwritten stories of the prominent women in the Book of Mormon—taking familiar material and providing vivid details about family dynamics, domestic practices, and other aspects of daily life. By applying historical and cultural contexts to the situations of women like Sariah, Abish, Eve, Mary and the faithful mothers of the stripling warriors, you will peek beneath the surface of the scriptural accounts to better understand both the righteous women of the Book of Mormon—and the women who didn’t use their agency wisely.
My opinion:

I loved this book.  Heather's writing style is clear and concise.  The ideas she presents about women such as Eve, Sariah, Mary, Abish, and the Queen of King Lamoni, made me feel as though I know them personally.  She reveals details of their everyday lives that we don't often hear.  I realized they were women just like you and I.  Their profound faith is inspiring and motivates me to want to do what is right.  Thank you, Heather, for this insightful look into the lives of these outstanding women.  Learning about them reminded me of my own divine nature. 

I highly recommend this book.  It is a quick, yet inspiring, read, and would make a great Mother's Day gift. 

To learn more about Heather's other books, check out her website and blog.

Mar 21, 2010

Another Awesome Giveaway!

The Sharp Edge of a Knife Blog Tour and Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of The Sharp Edge of a Knife, D.N. Giles has put together an exciting giveaway, with several opportunities to win. Since the book deals a lot with making choices, the prizes all have something to do with choice.

Among prizes Nichole has been collecting, Lisa at Watches by Lisa has agreed to sponsor the giveaway by donating a custom made beaded watch and face. Head on over to her blog and take a look at the incredible selection.

So, choice number one: the winner gets to choose a watch band and face so that their watch is personalized to their tastes and fashion needs.

Nichole realizes that a beaded watch is not exactly a prize to be coveted by a bunch of masculine men (though it makes a great gift for the woman or girl in your life), which is why she’s also giving away more great stuff. Check out the following really cool prizes:

1. Choice between: An autographed copy of the New York Times number one bestselling novel, Wings by Aprilynne Pike—or—a non-autographed copy of The Darwin Awards, Intelligent Design by Wendy Northcutt—or—a numbered, autographed copy of Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright. Click here to learn more about Wings, here to read about The Darwin Awards, and here to find out about Recovering Charles.

2. Choice between: A $25 gift certificate to the Restaurant Morelia in Murray, UT (Sorry out-of-state peeps, this is local to Utah) or $25 worth of vinyl lettering by Whaddayawannasay Vinyl Lettering—you choose your quote or phrase.

Bonus prize for author types:

3. You may substitute any of the above selections with the following incredible opportunity: The chance to sit in on a critique session with my wonderful, amazing, incredible critique group. While there, you will be treated to not one, but six critiques on the first chapter of your work in progress. This is no ordinary group. We have in our midst some fabulous authors including Tristi Pinkston, acquisitions editor for Valor Publishing and author of the Secret Sisters series, Danyelle Ferguson, freelance editor for Ferguson Authors Editing & Review Services and author of (dis)Abilities and the Gospel—who will edit via internet, since she actually lives in Kansas—Heather Justesen, author of The Ball’s In Her Court and the upcoming release, Rebound, Kimberly Job, author of I’ll Know You By Heart, and Keith Fisher, up and coming author of women’s fiction and plotting genius, and Nichole Giles, also known as D.N. Giles.

**If enough people enter this contest, Nichole reserves the right to choose extra winners and give away some, or all, of the prizes left after the first three winners have made their choices.

Dates to enter: Entries will be accepted between March 15th and April 3rd. On April 5th Nichole will announce the contest winners on her blog.

Entry requirements:

1. You must be a follower of my blog.
2. You must leave a comment telling me which prize you want to win and why.
3. For those wishing to win the watch, you must go to Watches by Lisa and become a follower, then come back and tell me which watch combination is your favorite.

Extra entries:

1. Blog about this contest, then come back and leave either a url address or a link in a comment.
2. Tweet this contest, tell me where to see your tweet in a comment.
3. Follow me on Twitter.
4. Follow Nichole on Twitter.
5. 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 and/or Nichole.
6. Become a fan of The Sharp Edge of a Knife on Facebook.
7. Become a fan of Kimberly Job, Author on facebook.
8. Sign up for my newsletter.
You may enter this contest on any of the tour posts at the following blogs:

March 15th Cindy Beck, Review
March 16th David J. West, review, interview
March 17th Cindy Beck, Interview
March 18th Tristi Pinkston, review
March 19th Rachelle Christensen, review
March 22nd Shanda, LDS Women’s Book Review
March 23rd Kimberly Job, review
March 23rd, Keith Fisher, Interview
March 24th Heather Justesen, review
March 25th Christine Bryant, Review
March 26th Kimberly Job, interview
March 26th Heather Justesen, interview
March 27th Keith Fisher, review
March 28th Ali Cross, Review
March 29th Rachelle Christensen, Interview
March 30th Heather Gardener, Fire and Ice Book Reviews
March 31st Danyelle Ferguson review, interview

Mar 20, 2010

My First Review!

I signed up for google alerts, and I'm loving it!  Anytime my name or book title is mentioned anywhere online, I get an email and a link.  I received an email today that had a link to a review of my new book, I'll Know You by Heart.  It's the first unsolicited written review I've received, so it made me smile.  You can read the entire blog post here, but below are a few of the highlights!

". . . After BYU’s dramatic double overtime win, I casually picked up the book and thought that I’d read just the first chapter. Romance novels aren’t really my thing, but I’m a firm believer that a person should try to read outside of the genre they write in. I think that doing so makes one a better writer in whatever genre they’re focused on.

Long story short, after the first chapter I had to read the next. I didn’t finish reading it in just one day like Wendy did. The book was competing with the single greatest sporting event ever created for my attention. However, when I woke up this morning at 4:30 a.m., I knew I wasn’t going to get back to sleep until I finished reading it. Yeah, the book is that good . . .

. . . Despite feeling my testosterone slip away like a boat leaving a safe harbor, I have to admit that if other romance novels are this good, I just might read another.  Before my maleness completely fades into obscurity I think that I’ll go turn March Madness on again. "
Thanks for the review, Dan!  I'm so glad to know someone enjoyed my book!  As a first-time author, you have no idea how sweet those words sound!


Book Launch Photos!

Whew!! What a week.  I'm just now able to sit down and post some pictures from the book launch on Tuesday.  The event was amazing.  Valor Publishing Group launched five books that evening.  There was awesome entertainment, yummy food, and over 200 guests in attendance.

Me and some of my family that attended.

Me, Tristi Pinkston, and Andrea Pearson

Me, Scott, and Britt

More of my family, and my good friend, Keith Fisher.

Me, Karlene Browning, and Tristi Pinkston

Me and Ash

Look at the amazing posters Valor provided for all the authors!


Wrong Number by Rachelle J. Christensen

It’s been so much fun participating in Rachelle Christensen’s book launch. Congrats to all those who won prizes in the fun giveaway she sponsored in connection with her new release, Wrong Number. As a participating blog, I also get the chance to review the book.

About Rachelle:

Rachelle was born and raised in a small farming town in Idaho and is a dirt between the toes, irrigation boot-wearing, ponytail flipping in the wind 4-wheeler FARM girl all the way! She currently lives in Utah County, and she and her husband, Steve, have three kids–two girls and one boy.

She graduated cum laude from Utah State University in ‘99 with a bachelor’s in Psychology and a minor in music. She loves running, making cards with rubber stamps, crocheting, knitting (on a loom), playing volleyball, singing, playing the piano, telling felt stories and giving puppet shows to my kids and their friends, and cooking. She has enjoyed writing for as long as she can remember.

About the Book:
When Aubree Stewart receives a mysterious phone call on her way to work, she doesn't know what to think. At first she assumes it's some kind of prank. But the call isn't a practical joke and Aubree soon finds herself swept up in a world of danger, intrigue, and murder. With help from the FBI, Aubree races to protect herself and what's left of her family. The only thing she forgets to protect is her own heart.

My opinion:

Rachelle is a very talented new author. Wrong Number grabbed my attention from the very first page. This gripping story of a pregnant mother who finds herself in an unimaginable situation is fast-paced and hard to put down. The mystery keeps you guessing, and the romance is believable and perfect for the story. I highly recommend it, and look forward to reading more from this author.

Rachelle's second book, Lost Children: Coping with Miscarriage, will be out in May. You can learn more about Rachelle on her website, or check out her blog. You can also read the first chapter here. You can watch her book trailer here.

Wrong Number is available wherever books are sold, including Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Amazon.


Mar 16, 2010

Contest WINNERS!!

It's hard to believe that today is the day of my book launch.  It still seems so surreal.  I haven't even seen the book yet, so maybe when I hold it in my hands, I'll really believe it's happening.  My launch party is tonight.  Here are the details:

Barnes & Noble Booksellers
The Gateway
6 N Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City

It is going to be tons of fun, and many authors will be in attendance.  If you come, please say hi!  I'd love to meet some of you in person.

Now, on to the announcement of all the contest winners!

Thanks to all of my faithful blog followers and those who entered the Office Box giveaway, and My Favorite Things giveaways. 

First of all, the winner of my book, I'll Know You by Heart, and one of 25 entries in the grand prize drawing for the Office Box Giveaway . . .


Favorite Things Winners:

Socks - Buttons and Bows
Mary Kay Moisturizer - Brittany
Pajamas - Kim
Jewelry - Karlene
Chocolate - Josie
Stickers - xxsquigglesxx
Critique Group - Kate
My book - Elizabeth Morgan

Congratulations to all the winners.  If I can access your profile and email address, I'll email you.  If not, please send me your name and mailing address to kim at kimberlyjob dot com. 

Thanks for entering and for reading my blog!!


Mar 15, 2010

"World of Difference" Book Launch Party

Valor Publishing Group is thrilled to announce its World of Difference book launch Tuesday evening, March 16th at the Salt Lake City Gateway Barnes & Noble. The book launch will feature the release of five books by authors Michele Ashman Bell, Tristi Pinkston, Karen E. Hoover, Kimberly Job, and Daron D. Fraley. Valor Publishing Group president, Candace E. Salima, believes "these authors contribute greatly to the world of books and the furthering of literacy."

Michele Ashman Bell's Summer in Paris (YA) takes readers on a journey of self-discovery and romance in a small western town, Paris . . . Idaho.

Tristi Pinkston's Secret Sisters (Comedy/Mystery) immerses readers in the zany world of a Relief Society presidency trying to shoulder a little more of the load and taking on the mob in the process.

Karen E. Hoover's The Sapphire Flute (YA Fantasy) introduces readers to a new world filled with magic, shape shifting, and two young women on a journey to save their world from absolute destruction.

Kimberly Job's I'll Know You By Heart (Romantic Suspense) takes readers through the horror of abuse, the soul-destroying fear of escaping only to find there is no escape, and finding love when all was believed lost.

Daron D. Fraley's The Thorn (Speculative Fiction) invites readers to a world torn apart by war, ancient prophecies referring to a Savior born on another world far away, and the three who form a friendship against all odds.

Also featured will be entertainer Shaun "Hammer Hands" Barrowes, LDS Womens Book Review podcasting live, Karen E. Hoover playing her "Sapphire Flute," prizes, and the launching of five fantastic new books on the market. The evening of March 16th is one you will want to mark on your calendar and remain for the entire time, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Join Valor Publishing Group authors at their "World of Difference" national book launch for a fun, entertaining evening.

Barnes & Noble at The Gateway
6 Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, UT
6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
I hope to see you all there!  Be sure to come and introduce yourself to me. 


The Sapphire Flute by Karen E. Hoover

It's an honor for me to be able to review Karen Hoover's debut novel, The Sapphire Flute: Book One of The Wolfchild Saga.  Karen is one of the most talented authors I know.  I admire her writing gift, but even more than that, I admire her as a person.  She is one of the most genuinely loving people I know.  She reaches out to aspiring writers, and is always willing to offer her knowledge and expertise.  More than once, she has offered me a listening ear and kind words.  She once told me that one of the greatest things she learned from her mother is to follow her heart.  I'm so happy for her, and can't wait to celebrate the release of her book.

About the book:
It has been 3,000 years since a white mage has been seen upon Rasann.

In the midst of a volcanic eruption miles outside of her village, Ember discovers she can see magic and change the appearance of things at will. Against her mother's wishes, she leaves for the mage trials only to be kidnapped before arriving. In trying to escape, she discovers she has inherited her father's secret--a secret that places her in direct conflict with her father's greatest enemy.

At the same time, Kayla is given guardianship of the sapphire flute and told not to play it. The evil mage C'Tan has been searching for it for decades and the sound alone is enough to call her. For the flute to be truly safe, Kayla must find its birthplace in the mountains high above Javak. The girls' paths are set on a collision course...a course that C'Tan is determined to prevent at all costs.
My opinion:

First, I'm going to admit that fantasy is not my favorite genre, but I really enjoyed Karen's novel.  I am constantly amazed by people who can write fantasy.  I think Karen has an extraordinary talent as a writer, but she also is remarkably creative.  The world of Rasann, the mage trials, magic jewelry, and shape shifting characters are only a few of the things that make The Sapphire Flute a page turner you won't want to put down.

Karen has created characters that youth will identify with.  Kayla and Ember are each on an individual journey of self-discovery that is full of action and unexpected twists and turns.  Although the main characters are girls, Hoover includes enough action that boys will enjoy her book as well.

In the spirit of offering a candid review, I did find that some of the modern language throughout the book was a little jarring and pulled me out of the setting, but it's highly possible that will make young readers love the book even more, because they can identify with it.  I also would like to see a little more distinction between Kayla and Ember.  Their characters were very similar, so I had to pay close attention to remember which one I was reading about.  Luckily, because there are more books to come in the series, I'll have plenty of time to get to know the characters better.

Overall, The Sapphire Flute is a very entertaining read, and I highly recommend it.  I can't wait to see what happens in the next book when Ember and Kayla finally cross paths. 

The Sapphire flute is available on Amazon and will be sold at national and regional bookstores.

You can read more about the book and Karen at her blog.

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