Friday, May 31, 2013

Awesome Book Covers in 2013

I'm guilty. I judge a book by it's cover. Do you? At least I'm guilty of my gaze being drawn to a particular cover. And I want to read! I have always been very visual and loved art (although I have spent years at a time away from doing any kind of art work).

I couldn't help from posting about some of the book covers from 2013 that have caught my eye. My interests tend to run YA and I'm often drawn to contemporary novels, so you'll find a lot of those here. Some of the books below are from author friends and others are not. But all of them have one thing in common: they're AMAZING. (You can find a link to each book on Amazon below the book cover).

Who hasn't stared at Cassandra Clare's CLOCKWORK PRINCESS? It may be my favorite. But it's so hard to decide...

FLY AWAY                              A CHANGE OF PLANS
I love the vibrant colors in FLY AWAY. Makes me want to crawl right into that cover. And I had to add Donna K. Weaver's A CHANGE OF PLANS. Beautiful!
Help me out. Which is YOUR favorite?
SCARLET                                 (Not on Amazon yet)

 Here's another few covers that make me want to rush to Amazon and order/pre-order:
BELONGING                                FRIDAY NIGHT ALIBI

   ASHES & ICE                                 THE KEEPER'S QUEST
                                                          (Author Interview with Kelly Nelson)
Wow, ASHES AND ICE looks intense. And the scene on THE KEEPER'S QUEST makes me want to walk right through that gate. I love the simplicity of Elana Johnson's ABANDON. IMPOSTOR is super intriguing especially after reading the blurb.

ABANDON                                   IMPOSTOR
                       (Author Interview with Elana Johnson)
A LITTLE BIT CUPID                              REBEL SPRING

A LONGTIME CRUSH? I married mine. And yes, I will be reading this one by Janette Rallison for sure.

POISON ME                         MIND GAMES               
 Am I missing any? I'd love to know which is YOUR favorite. Visit my Amazing Book Covers in 2013 Goodreads list to find out more about these books. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

THE LUXE Book Review

THE LUXE by Anna Godbersen (and, wow, only $1.99 right now on Kindle!)

I’ll admit, I read a few pages of the prologue and put this book down. For months. I finally picked it back up and decided to give it another try. And I couldn’t put it down! Intriguing characters, mystery, plot, the historical setting and the romantic element are all to blame. I also didn't notice much swearing which I appreciate. While third person isn’t typically my favorite POV, I was absorbed in each of the POV’s depicted and super impressed by the variation in characters. They felt real, with unique weaknesses, strengths and issues. I only wish I could have seen Will’s POV! I was rooting for Elizabeth and her forbidden love with her gorgeous coachman (that’s Will) the entire way. I sure hope we see more of them in the sequels. I really enjoyed this novel! 

More of THE LUXE (which are on my to-read):

Monday, May 20, 2013

4th Annual LDS Writer Blogfest

LDS Writer Blogfest

This is my second year participating in the LDS Writer Blogfest, and I happy to be! I look forward to this opportunity to share some of my beliefs as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and read what other writers thought about the amazing April 2013 General Conference.

Elder Holland's talk, Lord, I Believe, stood out to me. Wham! His words had such power! And he had such a unique way of looking at the stories and topics he shared.

In the New Testament, the father of an afflicted child approached Jesus and asked for him to have compassion on them. "Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief," the father said.  (Mark 9) I guess I never realized what a humble man this was. He humbly acknowledged his weaknesses with the desire of increased faith. I underestimated the strength of this man!

Elder Holland says, "the father asserts his strength first and only then acknowledges his limitation. His initial declaration is affirmative and without hesitation: 'Lord, I believe.' I would say to all who wish for more faith, remember this man! In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won..."

Elder Holland goes on to say, "I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not!"

When I heard him say that, I thought, "yes!" He said it so well, and it needed to be said. Elder Holland bore an incredible and touching testimony at the end of his talk that has stayed with me. Very powerful.

And one last quote from his talk that I loved: "Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe."

So I'm going to hold fast to faith and the hope that I will soon be published by a great publisher!

Thank you, Kayeleen, for inviting me to participate in the 4th Annual LDS Writer Blogfest!

Other blogfest participants:

Friday, May 17, 2013

Interview with Betsy Love, author of SOULFIRE

I am lucky today to have Betsy Love, author of IDENTITY and SOULFIRE, on my blog for an interview. Betsy is fun, energetic and talented. I recently finished her novel SOULFIRE and asked her if she would be willing to answer a few questions. Thank you, Betsy, for obliging!

1. Betsy, have you ever done anything crazy or embarrassing to research for one of your novels/writing projects?
I was writing Identity, we had a young lady visiting our home who had a seizure so we called the paramedics. Once they assessed her situation (and she turned out to be fine), I started asking questions about education, procedures, etc for my current work in progress.

2. What are you reading now?

I am multi-task reading. Every week I go to an elderly couple's home and read to them. We are in the middle of HERE THERE BE DRAGONS by James Owen. I'm in the middle of two other books A NIGHT ON MOON HILL by Tanya Parker Mills and THE WEDNESDAY WARS by Gary D. Schmidt. You can see that I enjoy all different genres.

3. What are you most passionate about, other than writing?

I LOVE directing plays. I am the theater director at Clearview Cultural Center. I didn't have enough people audition for a show I wanted to do, so I wrote one. My son and daughter and a couple of the cast members helped me write the music. It was a huge success. I plan to publish it.

Wow! That is awesome! I'd love to see this play you wrote.

4. I am fascinated with the Book of Mormon setting in SOULFIRE. I loved all of the details you weaved in to make it feel authentic. Can you tell us a little bit about the research you did in preparation for writing this novel?

I did years of research, both secular and anything religious I could get my hands on. At the time that I wrote SOULFIRE most people believed the events to have taken place in central America so that's where I did the bulk of my research. I wanted to get the flavor of the jungles around Guatamala. I also modeled King Noah and Abinadi after the famous painting by A. Friberg

5. Is there a message in SOULFIRE you want readers to grasp? 

No matter what...stand for truth and righteousness at all time and in all things and in all places.

That is a powerful message, and one I certainly gleaned from the story!

6. What made you decide to write about this specific time period in the Book of Mormon— the reign of King Noah? Are there other Book of Mormon stories you’ve considered basing a novel around?

I've always loved the stories of the Book of Mormon. Several elements always intrigued me the most about this particular story. First of all I am amazed at Abinadi's willingness to die for truth, for Alma's conversion, and I've many times wondered about the women behind the men in the Book of Mormon. How might the Lord prepare the wife of a prophet. 

Yes, wouldn't it be something to meet some of those female heroines from the Book of Mormon? Zephenia is a strong character, and I loved reading her story.

7. I have to admit, Betsy, I couldn’t help but root for Gideon a little (he’s one of my favorite Book of Mormon characters!). Would you ever consider writing Gideon’s story or a sequel to SOuLFIRE in general?

I am actually working on a sequel to SOULFIRE. It follows the stories of Sari (Zephenia's sister) and Talani (the Lamanite princess). Gideon, of course plays a huge part in the story.

A sequel! I am so happy to hear that.

8. What is your favorite chapter or scene in SOULFIRE and why?

I cried when I wrote the scene where Zephenia witnesses Abinadi's death. I love it when Alma tells Zephenia of his conversion.

Ditto! That scene when Alma tells Zephenia of his conversion is wonderful.

9. What project are you working on now?

At the moment I'm developing the ideas for two stories that came to me during the writer's conference. Mostly just in the thinking process.

Thank you, Betsy, for being on my blog today! I so enjoyed your answers and look forward to your future books! 

You can find out more about Betsy and her books on her Facebook page (click here for link) and her website.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

On Mother's Day

Motherhood means…

Spending every day with my best friends. Enjoying the
simple things. Drying tears and kissing ouchies better. Motherhood means
learning what life is all about. Realizing just how much
my mom did for me! It means having renewed excitement for the little holidays
as well as the big.
Hearing the cutest things each day (oh, what funny things they say!).
Getting songs like the My Little Pony and Elmo’s World theme songs stuck
in my head (when I find myself inadvertently singing them in the shower though...
I draw the line).

Motherhood means seeing the wind pick up outside, jumping up, grabbing the kite
and calling for the kids to hurry.
Knowing where every carousel within a 15-mile radius is. Have the Primary songs memorized
once again.
Twenty extra little toe nails to paint.
Motherhood means remembering what it was like to be a kid
and getting to be a kid (in a way) all over again. Playing games like Memory and
Candy Land. Sliding down slides. Reading picture books. Running through sprinklers. Taking detours
just to get a better glimpse of a hot air balloon in the sky. 

Motherhood means having
buddies to decorate for each holiday with. And being so loved, I get an occasional
2 am wake-up call from my two-year-old just to cuddle.
Being loved. Needed.
Learning even more.
Seeing the bigger picture.
Motherhood means so many things.

Motherhood means
the world to me.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Thoughts on Priorities

School your passions and then do what you're passionate about.

I love that motto! I like the idea of living life purposefully, contemplating worthwhile things to be passionate about and then spending time accordingly. Making it happen in life. And my friend Britney Gulbrandsen's recent Time Management Series blog post on daily tasks inspired me to think about my priorities today and share.
  • God
    • Prayers
    • Scripture Study
  • Family
    • Playing with, reading to, and teaching my kids
    • Hang out with Hot Husband (never can get enough!)
    • Family prayers, scriptures, F.H.E.
  • Church Calling
  • Other Things I Love:
    • Writing
    • Running (and Tennis and dancing and pretty much anything active and fun)
    • Reading
    • Staying connected with friends/family
    • Horseback Riding (that I really don't get enough of!)
    • Sleeping (sometimes I don't get enough of this either)
    • Learning new things
    • Feeling like I've really helped someone
    • Cleaning (okay, love might be a stretch here, but I do love having clean floors!)
I gave myself only five to ten minutes to punch all of this out because I wanted to see what came to my mind first. What comes to your mind first? Give yourself five minutes to jot down your priorities, the things you love most. Then evaluate. Thinking about my priorities adds purpose to and makes me grateful for life.

Check out Britney's blog:

Image courtesy of Naypong /