Friday, November 30, 2012

LDStorymakers Conference

Conference registration opens tomorrow! I really enjoyed the LDStorymakers conference last year and hope to attend again in 2013. Here's a few things to look forward to:

May 9-11 at the Provo Marriott

  • The First Chapter Contest
  • Classes/Workshops
  • Bootcamp
  • Book signing
  • Agent and Editor pitch sessions
  • Master classes
  • Publication Primer
  • Whitney Awards Dinner

AND, this year's keynote speaker is Anne Perry--Anne Perry!--an author who has written several novels I have read and loved.

For more about the LDStorymakers conference, visit

Have you attended a writing conference? Several? Which have been your favorite and why?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blog Hop! Some fun things about Rewind to You.

Thank you, Kelly Nelson, for the tag! You can learn more about Kelly and her books The Keeper’s Calling and The Keeper’s Quest from her website, facebookpage  or through twitter (@kellynelsonauth). The Keeper’s Calling is available for purchase via Deseret Book, Amazon, and as well as on Kindle & NOOK.

Also, a big thanks to Cami Checketts for tagging me as well. Cami is the author of Dead Running. You can find out more about Cami on her blog, website and facebook page.

(A picture I took on River Street in Savannah, on)

This is so much fun. I could talk about my book all day, but I'll keep it brief. Here are my answers to the blog hop questions regarding my completed manuscript:

1: What is the working title of your book?

Rewind to You

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was sitting on a Georgia beach with my husband. Picture a sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean and you'll understand why I wished I could pause time. You know, save the moment so I could "rewind" to it someday and never forget it.

Well that got me thinking. What if we could rewind to pivotal moments in life, moments we're powerless to change? At first thought, it seemed like an awesome idea. The longer I mulled it over, however, the more potential conflicts and pain I saw arising from such a scenario. If you could rewind to a point in your past, would you want to do something to change the future you've already lived? Do you have regrets? My character does.

3: What genre does your book fall under?

YA contemporary

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh man, this is super hard! Since my female protagonist, Sienna, is a teen and a dancer, let's go with:

                Alyson Stone

And for Austin, my male hunk protag with baby blue eyes? Perhaps someone like:


                   Zac Efron or Liam Hemsworth

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? (Okay, I can't help it. Here's three...)

One year after her father's tragic death, seventeen-year-old Sienna Owens begins having trauma-induced flashbacks to a pivotal moment she is powerless to change. Retreating to coastal Georgia with her mom and little brother, Sienna meets the irresistible college wide receiver Austin Dobbs and learns that while love can mend the heart, it can also slip through your fingers forever. And any moment in time can only truly be lived once.

6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I'm on the hunt for representation.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

My 40,000 word "detailed outline" took 2 months. It took another five months (and a baby born during this time) to complete what I consider my first draft. (The fact that my novel is set in Savannah, GA has nothing to do with the reason why my baby girl is named Savannah. ha ha).

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Anything Sarah Dessen, Deb Calletti, Nicholas Sparks or Jenny Han.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The two men who have have played the most influential roles in my life: my husband and my dad. My dad passed away when I was a teenager so this novel hit home for me. My husband is a hunk with baby blue eyes, and he's the one who encouraged me to pursue my passion for writing.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Austin and Sienna meet on River Street in Savannah, Georgia. Ever been there? If not, go! You'll love the almond praline ice cream at the River Street Sweets Candy Store (Austin and Sienna did!). I love incorporating food with fiction Read my The Power of Food in Fiction post here to see why.

Thank you for reading! And thank you, Kris Cherrington, for the fun comment idea. Her vote goes to Zac Efron as the actor she would pick to play Austin. What's your vote? Leave a comment below!

Here is a list of authors who will be joining the hop for week 24 on December 5th. I hope you’ll visit their blogs and learn more about their books. Maybe one of them will become your new favorite author!

  1. Donna Hatch. Donna is the author of several incredible romance titles including The Stranger She Married and Queen in Exile. Visit her blog here!
  2. Alison has a great writing blog--The Life and Writings of Sleepy Joe--with insightful thoughts and tips. Visit her blog here.
  3. Debra Erfert. Visit Debra's blog, Debra's Windows into Writing on the fifth to find out a little bit more about her writing!
  4. Betsy Love. Betsy is great author. Check out her novels Identity and Soulfire on Amazon, and be sure to check out her blog (click HERE) on the fifth for her blog hop answers.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Readership Award Nomination

Thanks, Alison at The Life and Writings of Sleepy Joe, for the nomination! Alison had some fun questions for me, so read on...

Why do you blog?

I love to meet fellow authors and readers, and my blog has helped me meet so many!

If you were trapped on a desert island, what book, DVD, food, cartoon character, and childhood game would you bring?

Book? Let's start with anything by Bear Grylls because I'd need the survival help. Although I imagine a good escape book like one of the Harry Potters or even a good cry like one of Kristin Hannah's would be comforting on a desert island.

DVD: Cast Away (Tom Hanks could empathize!)

Food? Easy. Yogurt. I can't live without it.

Cartoon character is a bit of a challenge for me. Let's go with Elmer Fudd because I imagine his gun would come in handy.

And I'd bring the old-fashioned Guess Who game to keep me and Elmer busy.

What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I'm optimistic

What one word best describes you?


If you could have a lifetime supply of any candy/candy bar, what would it be?

Peanut M&Ms because they are my husband's absolute favorite, and I'd love to watch the look on his face when he sees that lifetime supply!

What fictional character do you relate to most?

Okay, I'll go with the first one that popped into my mind. Although I haven't read the Little House on the Prairie books for year--years!--I do remember as a little girl imagining myself as the courageous Laura Ingalls Wilder (perhaps it was the name), growing up in those wide-open spaces. (Oh wait, she isn't fictional!) Woops.

If you were to write the story of your life, what would you call it?

"She Tried" lol

Friday, November 2, 2012

Author Interview with ELANA JOHNSON

Welcome, Elana Johnson, author of the popular dystopian trilogy Possession, Surrender, and Abandon! I recently read Possession and fell in love with Elana's characters, voice and vivid imagination. And I'm delighted to have her on my blog today!

Click on the following to find Elana's website, blog, Goodreads page and Facebook page.

Okay, Elana. Embarrassing moment. Go.

OH MY HECK – this just happened last week. I’d gone to California with my sisters, and we were walking along the pier. One of them ran into the railing, and we all laughed, and I told her that I tell my students that walking is an active activity. Blah blah blah, I’m telling them about it, and guess what?

I TRIP over my own feet.

The whole rest of the trip—and I’m sure my life—they were like, “Walking is an active activity.”

lol! That's hilarious. Sounds like something I would do!

Describe Possession in just three words.
Mind-control vs. free-choice (those are hyphenated, and only count as one!)

Awesome. I love the hyphenation! How did you come up with the premise for Possession?
I had just read UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld (back in 2007!) and I wanted to write a dystopian novel. I just needed the basis for my society. And I figured brainwashing would be a pretty good “Big Brother” to fight against.

So Elana, I, like many, fell in love with Jag, a bad boy with surprising depth (oh, he's swoon-worthy). How did you come up with Jag's character? Is he modeled after someone you know?
Jag’s not really modeled after someone I know, but he’s bits and pieces of a lot of people. I sort of like guys with dark hair and eyes, so I have a hard time envisioning my heroes any other way.

What I really wanted to do was created a “bad boy” who’s actually good. One without that dark past that the girl has to look beyond to find the jewels beneath. One that has many layers, sure, but not necessarily sordid.

He’s super-cocky in some situations, but I think that just adds to who he is. I hope!

What hidden talent do you possess besides writing? Come now, don’t be shy!
Paper crafting! I am killer with cards, scrapbook pages, cute boxes, etc. Fold it, stamp it, love it.

Psh, okay, it’s settled. You are coming to my house and helping me make something out of all that craft paper upstairs! Send some of your paper-crafting skills my way for the holidays (I need it). Character, setting or plot: which one is most important to you and why?
Character, for sure. I don’t care where something takes place, or even what happens. I want to connect with and care about a character. If an author can do that, I’ll go anywhere and do anything with them.

Ooo, I want to add that last line to my “quote of the day” widget! Well said. What are you reading now?
TEN by Gretchen McNeil. LOVE IT.

What project are you currently working on?
I am dabbling in YA contemporary. I haven’t been writing for a while because my story is still percolating. But I’m hoping to have it bubbling enough to write for NaNo. It’ll be about a boy who has to hide the fact that he’s homeless from the new girl at school who he’s fallen for—the same girl who lives in his old house.

The new girl at school who lives in his old house…and now he’s homeless and falling for her. I love it!

Last of all, do you have any advice to give aspiring authors?
Write a lot. Write what you love. Take critique. Write some more. Write what you love. Never give up.

Thank you so much, Elana! I look forward to reading more of your work in the future, starting with Surrender (click here) and then Abandon (coming out in 2013)!

What do you think? Would there be benefits to a society that had total control over our thoughts and actions? Consequences (I think yes!)? Read Possession to find out!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Heart Remembers by Irene Hannon

Once upon a time, sensible Maggie Fitzgerald was a starry-eyed romantic. She'd loved Jake West from their first trembling teenage kiss, when he'd vowed to make her his wife. And she'd built her future on Jake's broad shoulders, never imagining another ending….

But Jake had left town, and Maggie had made a life for herself and two orphaned nieces without him. Until Jake miraculously happened upon her remote inn, ardent to make amends…and finally claim Maggie as his. Forgiveness came easy, for she'd never forgotten Jake. But did Maggie dare to believe, at long last, in happily-ever-after?

I found this book through Amazon after reading about Harlequin Heartwarming, a new imprint Harlequin is launching that focuses on wholesome contemporary romances, void of vulgar language and other explicit material (how cool is that!). The Heart Remembers is a sweet story of a second chance at love. To be honest, I wasn’t sure Jake West could ever redeem himself after leaving Maggie so selfishly. But he did. The setting was charming, the characters engaging. I enjoyed the message of forgiveness, and I appreciated a clean read.