Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Invictus by William Ernest Henley

William Ernest Henley
One of my favorite poems ever, is Invictus by William Ernest Henley. It is a poem that can inspire courage in someone who, like Nelson Mandela, is faced with great difficulty.

Nelson Mandela was born in South Africa during apartheid, the unjust separation of white people and black people, and he was imprisoned for standing up for what he believed. Despite that, he did not give up, and in fact went on to become the President of South Africa. The first black president in fact. And the poem Invictus was one of the things that inspired him never to give up.
Nelson Mandela

It is a lovely poem, and if you have not heard Invictus read by Morgan Freeman, I highly recommend it.

Invictus
by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
for my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
my head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
looms but the horror of the shade.
And yet the menace of the years finds
and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how straight the gate,
how charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Searching for Irene by Marlene Bateman


What happened to Irene?

When Anna Coughlin, a modern 1920’s woman, travels to the secluded hills of Virginia to work for wealthy Lawrence Richardson, she discovers that the previous secretary, Irene, mysteriously disappeared a few weeks before.  Upon arriving at the castle-like mansion to begin working, Anna finds that Lawrence’s handsome, but antagonistic son, Tyler, wants nothing more than to have her gone. And he isn’t the only one—

After Anna sets out to find the truth behind Irene’s disappearance, a series of frightening incidents ensnare her in a maze of intrigue. Anna is helped—and often hindered—by the temperamental Tyler Richardson, who—despite her best intentions—begins to steal her heart.


But even as Anna begins to uncover dark secrets in a troubled household, she must continue to hide a significant one of her own. When her life is threatened, Anna is left to wonder if she’ll be able to unravel the mystery before she disappears as mysteriously as the unfortunate Irene—
You can find Searching for Irene on Goodreads as well as Amazon and other online bookstores.


 MarleneBateman Sullivan grew up in Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other cozy mysteries; Motive for MurderA Death in the Family, and Crooked House, as well as the romance, For Sale by Owner.

Marlene has also written a number of non-fiction, LDS books:  Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s from Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of AngelsBrigham’s Boys, Heroes of FaithGaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits; Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die. 

Exerpt: Searching for Irene


The tallest parts of the mansion—fanciful turrets and a circular tower—were visible only in glimpses Anna caught between lofty oaks and towering pines as her cab wound through the knolls and hills of eastern Virginia.

When the cab turned up the long driveway lined with dogwood trees in full bloom, Anna Coughlin reached for her handbag, gripping it with a tension that had knotted her muscles ever since getting on the train.

The vast estate stood on a hilltop, like a castle—and she craned her neck to better view the starkly impressive gray-stone mansion of Ashton Hall—where she hoped to be hired. With its arched, leaded windows and slate roof with numerous chimneys, the house rivaled pictures she’d seen of castles in Europe.

Instructing the driver to wait, she climbed out, patted her hat in case it was askew, then smoothed her gray suit with gloved hands in hopes of presenting a professional appearance. Anna had no confidence she was clever enough or bold enough to pull this off, but she had to try.

Her eye was drawn by a tall man—more than six feet—who came from the side of the house. Since the man was striding toward her so purposefully, Anna stopped and waited. As he drew near, Anna noted his deep-set eyes were as black as his hair. His skin was tanned, his thin, long-fingered hands brown and strong.

“Miss Coughlin?” He stretched out a hand and shook hers, but there was no warmth for her in his eyes. “I’m Tyler Richardson. Unfortunately, your services are not needed after all.” A touch of arrogance marked his manner, as though he was long accustomed to command those around him.

“Your father called only last week to have someone come out,” Anna blurted in dismay. “May I ask what caused him to change his mind?”

A fleeting glimpse of discomfiture crossed Mr. Richardson’s face. “I wasn’t consulted about his hiring another secretary to replace the one who left so suddenly. My father isn’t in good health, and the last thing we need is someone coming in and upsetting him by making a muddle of things.”

His words kindled a fire that glinted in Anna’s eyes. How dare he make such an assumption? It was difficult to hang on to her temper, but there was too much at stake to let his boorishness sidetrack her. “Since I’m here, I’m sure you won’t mind if I keep my appointment. After all, your father is the one who requested my services. I’m sure he’s expecting me.”

Her words hit home.It took a few bitter seconds, but he finally acquiesced. “Come in, then,” he muttered ungraciously before leading the way up the steps and opening the door.

Following his rigid back down the narrow hall, Anna’s brows furrowed as doubts crept in. How wise had she been to come to this remote place? Especially when the previous secretary had disappeared so mysteriously? Even her employer thought it odd that no one in this mansion seemed to know where Irene had gone or where she was now. It was as if Irene had vanished into thin air.

Here is a little bit about Marlene's book, For Sale by Owner:
For Sale by Owner;  Stressed by a difficult year, McKenzie Forsberg quits her high-powered job to move back to her hometown. Desperate and determined to rebuild her life, Kenzie seeks to buy the home she grew up in. The only problem is that a handsome widower, Jared Rawlins, also wants the house. As a battle of wits ensue, sparks of attraction grow into something more. Then, Kenzie makes a stunning discovery about her past that changes everything. Will the power of love be enough to allow Jared and Kenzie to find their happily ever after?



Sunday, July 2, 2017

Case File 13 Series by J. Scott Savage

The Case File 13 series by J. Scott Savage is a four book middle grade series about a group of three friends, Nick, Angelo, and Carter who find themselves battling an evil Zombie King, a Dr. Frankenstein wannabe, evil twins, and ancient MesoAmerican curses in the four books, Zombie KidMaking the TeamEvil Twins, and Curse of the Mummy's Uncle. My favorite of the series was the first one, Zombie Kid, where Nick turns into... well, from the title you can probably guess, but I won't tell you anyway! There were a few slight errors, typos, etc. but not enough to hurt my enjoyment of the stories. I thoroughly enjoyed them, and heartily recommend them! J. Scott Savage is one of my favorite authors of all time, and the Case File 13 books made me like his writing even more!
Zombie Kid (c) 2013, Making The Team (c) 2015, Evil Twins, (c) 2016, and Curse of the Mummy's Uncle (2016)


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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Kiss Me In The Moonlight by Lindzee Armstrong

Author Lindzee Armstrong
Kissing her way through Europe wasn’t in the job description... When Paige’s secret agent boyfriend dumps her in an email, chaperoning hormonal teenagers through Europe seems like the perfect way to cope. She doesn't bargain on working with her ex, who’s investigating his partner’s suspicious death. As sparks fly and the investigation heats up, one kiss in the moonlight changes everything.


Escape to thrillingly romantic locations with our Destined for Love series! These clean romances by award-winning and best-selling authors are sure to make your heart pound and toes tingle.

Explore a new destination with every wildly sweet tale!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Author H.B. Moore

Author Heather B. Moore
One of my favorite authors of historical fiction is author Heather B. Moore; she also writes as H. B. Moore. She is the author of the Omar Zagouri thrillers, the Out of Jerusalem series, and Condemn Me Not. I love her writing, and always look forward to a new book!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Author Marsha Ward

Author Marsha Ward
Marsha Ward is a wonderful author, having written such works as Spinster's Folly, Gone for a Soldier, and The Zion Trail as well as several others!  She is the founder of ANWA, and has supported her fellow authors, including me, in multiple ways. Overall, she is a fantastic author, and a great friend.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Author Tamara Hart Heiner

Author Tamara Hart Heiner
Tamara Hart Heiner is both a talented author, and a great person! She's the author of Lay Me Down, and Reaching Kylee, as well at The Goddess of Fate series, Inevitable and Entranced. I've enjoyed reading her works, because she's got such a way with words that she can put you right there in the middle of everything, and she creates characters that are real to me; they're flawed, yet they give an honest effort, so that I care about them, and want to see them succeed.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Author Jewel Adams

Author Jewel Adams
A lovely friend of mine, Jewel Adams, wrote a wonderful endorsement for The Shores of Bountiful back in 2013 when it was first published. She has supported me personally and professionally for as long as I've known her. She is a great author as well, and has written many novels including Mercedes' Mountain and Gladiator's Day of Grace.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Shores of Bountiful




I am very excited to announce that The Shores of Bountiful has been republished! Right now, for a limited time, it is only 99¢ on Amazon kindle. (Regular price is $2.99.)

It was first published back in 2013, but last year, it was accepted by Trifecta Books for publication. Near the end of editing, Trifecta Books ceased doing business, but the inestimable Tristi Pinkston was wonderful enough to finish editing it for me, anyway. Just because she's awesome that way. I decided that a new cover would be nice too, so I got to work on that.

The Shores of Bountiful is a historical romance that is based on a period of time in the Book of Mormon that takes place during Helaman cpts. 1 and 2, a particularly volatile time.

Elizabeth and Joshua, friends since childhood, are the main participants. 

When the story begins, Elizabeth is engaged to Pacumeni, the young chief judge of Zarahemla. Joshua, who became Pacumeni's best friend when they were training in the military together, is a guard in the palace and is charged with looking after Elizabeth's safety in the time leading up to her wedding to Pacumeni. His feelings for Elizabeth, which he has never admitted, are deeper than Elizabeth knows. But out of respect for her and for Pacumeni, Joshua is determined that she never know how he feels about her.
Front and Back Covers of The Shores of Bountiful
But tragic circumstances are about to unfold that Joshua never foresaw, and which change everything.

Check out The Shores of Bountiful on Amazon HERE to read more about it!


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Spring Into Books! at The Viridian

I participated in Spring Into Books yesterday, an event that The Viridian library in West Jordan hosts every year. It was really fun! I got to sit not to far away from Mikey Brooks, one of my favorite authors of fiction for young people. And I got to meet some great readers, too! I hope the folks who bought my books enjoy reading them!

I thought the event was great, and I look forward to Local Authors and You, which they host in the fall. I really like The Viridian Library and the author events they host!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Summerlost by Ally Condie

Summerlost by Ally Condie (c)2016
Summerlost by Ally Condie is the winner for Best Middle Grade, and best Youth Novel in the 2016 Whitney Awards. I was lucky enough to read it in order to vote in the categories, and I really enjoyed it. It takes place in Cedar City, during the Shakespeare Festival, but those names are never given. If you've ever lived in Cedar City (as I have) and gone to the Festival (as I have) you would know.

The main character, Cedar, and her mom and brother have just moved here, and have recently suffered the lost of their dad and special needs brother. Cedar makes a new friend, and has all sorts of adventures thoughout the story, learning as she goes, making mistakes, fixing them, and strengthening relationships.

This is a great novel for young people, and for adults, too, teaching us how to build what we have, holding onto memories while gently letting go of what we can't keep.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

LDStorymakers Writers' Conference and Whitney Awards Gala


I joined LDStorymakers in 2005 not long after my first book was published. I met Tamra Norton at a booksigning where she was just leaving, and I was just arriving. We bought each others' books, and she told me about a great group of supportive writers called LDStorymakers and asked if I was interested in joining. Of course I was, and the story went from there. I've been to every Storymakers' conference since then, and to every Whitney Awards Gala ever since that was begun in 2007.

The Conference was awesome this year. I got to volunteer a little bit which was crazy fun (although I did make a few mistakes, [I am so sorry, Renee' and Crystal) I got to get reacquainted with old friends, and I met a new friend, Emily Bleeker a Whitney Award Finalist (more than once) who is awesome! The Whitney Awards for books published in 2016 was a fantastic event. I've enjoyed it every year it's been in existence, and this year marks the 10th anniversary. I have gone to every single one, and each year they manage to make it even more fantastic than before!

The categories and the finalists in them this year, were:

Middle Grade:

*Ghostsitter, by Shelly Brown
Mysteries of Cove: Gears of Revolution by J. Scott Savage
Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff
Summerlost by Ally Condie
The Wrong Side of Magic by Janette Rallison

---

General Young Adult Fiction:

*Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
P.S. I like You by Kasie West
The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
*The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
The Truth About Fragile Things by Regina Siroir

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Speculative Young Adult Fiction:

Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard
Bluescreen by Dan Wells
Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
Death Thieves by Julie Wright
The Girl Who Heard Demons by Janette Rallison

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General Fiction:

The Dragons of Alsace Farm by Laurie Lewis
The Orphan Keeper by Camron Wright
The {Re}Model Marriage by Maria Hoagland
The Soldier's Bride by Rachelle J. Christensen
When I'm Gone by Emily Bleeker

---

Historical Fiction:

Born to Treason by E.B. Wheeler
Deliverance by H.B. Moore
Exodus by H.B. Moore
From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon
A Place for Miss Snow by Jennifer Moore

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Mystery/Suspense:

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt
Revenge in a Cold River by Anne Perry
Slave Queen by H.B. Moore
Walk of Infamy by Sheralyn Pratt

---

Contemporary Romance:

A Date with Danger by Kari Iroz
How I Met Your Brother by Janette Rallison
Love at First Note by Jenny Proctor
Love's Shadows by Nichole Van
Southern Charmed by Melanie Jacobson

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Historical Romance:

The Fall of Lord Drayson by Rachael Anderson
Lady Helen Finds Her Song by Jennifer Moore
My Fair Gentleman by Nancy Campbell Allen
The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden
Willowkeep by Julie Daines

---

Speculative:

The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon
Extreme Makeover by Dan Wells
The Longest Con by Michaelbrent Collings
Over Your Dead Body by Dan Wells

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*Indicates a Debut Novel

-----------------------------------------------------------

Winners of each of the categories were:

Middle Grade: Summerlost by Ally Condie

General Young Adult Fiction: The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

Speculative Young Adult Fiction: Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

General Fiction: The Orphan Keeper by Camron Wright

Historical Fiction: From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

Mystery/Suspense: Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt

Contemporary Romance: Love at First Note by Jenny Proctor

Historical Romance: My Fair Gentleman by Nancy Campbell Allen

Speculative: The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

-----------------------------------------------------------
The Best Debut Novel was: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The Best Novel for Youth was Summerlost by Ally Condie

The Best Novel for Adults was From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Ishkabiddle!

I am a fan of J. Scott Savage's books, including his Farworld books. In Farworld, there is a creature called an Ishkabiddle. It is a small, furry, rolly-polly creature about the size of a cantelope, but not quite so round. They have little feelers on their heads, but otherwise seem to be more or less mammals. They are absolutely adorable little creatures, and so when I met an ishkabiddle today at my daughter's soccer game (It looked somewhat like a small dog) I was absolutely delighted. The Ishkabiddle's person friend was kind enough to let me take a picture of said ishkabiddle as proof that I'd actually met one. So here it is! Isn't it cute?
Ishkabiddle with person friend!

Friday, April 21, 2017

North Star Academy

I had another great school visit today, when I went to North Star Academy for a school visit. North Star Academy does this awesome thing when they have professionals come and talk to their older kids about different careers, and I thought it was a really good idea. Before I gave my presentation to the younger grades, I got to meet a couple of very smart, very polite, and very curious young ladies from the older grades during lunch and talk to them about what it takes to become an author. It was fun and casual, and we ate lunch together in the library while I told them about some of my experiences in becoming an author. It was so fun!
After my visit with them, I got the chance to give my presentation to the younger grades. It was great, and their participation was fantastic! 
I absolutely enjoyed my visit to North Star Academy, and I hope they learned something about writing their own stories!


My Father's Kingdom by James W. George

I read an extremely well-written and well-researched book recently about life in the Massachusetts Bay colony some years after the historical dinner that drew both natives and European immigrants together. At least for a little while. My Father's Kingdom: A Novel of Puritan New England by James W. George looks from the perspective of several different people involved in the difficulties of the time, from the perspective of natives, to the perspective of white settlers. I personally thought the author did a good job looking at what motivated different people to act the way they did.
My Father's Kingdom (c)2017 James W. George



Here is my review which I put on Amazon, Amazon UK, and Goodreads: 
This story was a brilliantly written historical novel. The story of Massachusetts Bay and the conflicts between the European immigrants and the Wampanoag people and others has always been a sad part of American history. I think the author did a fantastic job bringing historical figures and fictional characters to life, interacting with each other, giving personality and humanity to what would otherwise be just a dry history lesson. These were real people, and their conflicts were real and often devastating. I hope that I will have the chance to read further books in this series. This book was very well written and researched, and I highly recommend it! 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Cleveland Elementary School

Cleveland Elementary School
Today, I went down to Cleveland Elementary in Emery County, and had a great visit with the students and faculty. I enjoyed it a lot, and I hope they did, too! The students had some great things to say about both reading and writing.  And many have even written stories already, with others who have some great ideas for future stories! I hope the assembly helped them think of even more ideas, and that they'll write lots of fantastic stories.

It was really fun to eat lunch with several of the kids and talk with them. The Cleveland Elementary Mustangs are some pretty great young people!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Bean's Dragons by Mikey Brooks

Bean's Dragons (2014) by Mikey Brooks
Children's stories always help to cheer me up when I'm feeling down. And this sweet book, Bean's Dragons by Mikey Brooks is no exception! It's a quick little read, meant to be read by a child, or a parent and child together. Bean is a little girl with a houseful of dragons that are completely invisible to her parents, and the dragons create messes for which poor Bean gets blamed! She has big and small dragons her parents can't see, (but she and the baby can) and they have all sorts of personalities, likes, and dislikes, but the one thing they have in common, is they like to create messes. How is Bean going to get out of this fix? If you'd like to find out, you should read the book yourself and see! 

Candace E. Salima's Life Celebration




Yesterday, I had the great privilege of going to Candace E. Salima's funeral today. Or more appropriately, her Life CelebrationThe speakers gave wonderful tributes, each focusing on an aspect of her life, Nathan Osmond, Sean Reyes, and Linda Scanlan all gave beautiful tributes to her, and to her husband. As Attorney General Reyes mentioned, it's hard to speak of Candace and Alvin separately. Because they were always involved in things together. 
The musical numbers were wonderful and uplifting. The whole room was just filled with a wonderful feeling that words can't describe. 

Her sister, Heather Sluyter Hunt and Niece Stormy Hunt gave a beautiful life sketch. I am so glad I went. I am sad that Candace is gone, but knowing that she is back with Alvin gives me a bittersweet feeling of comfort. She is where she wants to be, and she is happy. So I'm okay.



Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Great and the Grand

The Great and the Grand (c)2015, Benjamin Fox
Today, while at my local library, I read a short, delightful book called The Great and the Grand by Benjamin Fox, illustrated by Elizabeth Robbins. It is copyrighted 2015, and is published by Familius.

In this short, beautifully illustrated children's book, a little baby is getting ready to meet Great Grandpa for the first time. It compares and contrasts great grandchild with great grandpa in wonderful ways as they go through the day, the baby and mom getting closer to Great Grandpa on a train, until finally they meet.

The book uses simple language and wonderful pictures to tell the story, and the effect is very moving. I strongly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys children's books, especially ones that celebrate the relationships between grandparents (in this case, great grandparents) and little children.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Candace E. Salima

Alvin and Candace E. Salima
A wonderful lady, Candace Salima passed away this morning at 10:48. She had been suffering for a long time, and finally succumbed to Progressive Bulbar Palsy. I'm so glad I was able to visit her on Thursday for a short time, and am grateful to my school's principal, Mr. Ben Pugh who let me take part of the day off to hurry to Orem to see her. I'm so grateful for the little note she was still able to write to me. She is with her husband Alvin again, whom she lost back in 2014, and missed so much. They are back together again. I am so grateful for my understanding that this life is just one part of our eternal journey.
Please consider donating to help funeral expenses HERE.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Kanab Elementary School

Kanab Elementary
Today, I got to go down to Kanab Elementary for a school visit, and drive through some gorgeous country doing it. I left early in the morning, and got to watch the almost-new moon rise, and then the sun rise as I was driving. Very pretty!
I had a great time visiting with the Buckaroos of Kanab Elementary School. Their school song is so great, and I enjoyed listening to it. I got to give two presentations, one to the younger grades, and one to the older, and both times it was really fun! The kids who volunteered to help with the little play we put on were great sports, and did fantastic jobs! I'm so glad I was able to visit their school. The students, faculty, and staff were all friendly and fun to talk to. I loved the visit! I hope the kids learned some good ideas about writing their own stories!

Monday, March 20, 2017

(Almost!) A Best Seller! (For Like 5 Whole Minutes!)

The other day, Lindzee Armstrong did a St. Patrick's Day book giveaway for quite a lot of books, including one of mine (Felicity~ A Sparrow's Tale). At the same time, this same book was on a subscriber magnet sale with Mybookcave, and additionally, Ebookdaily decided to featured Felicity~ A Sparrow's Tale, something which I had not expected. (But which I liked, a lot!) As a result, downloads for that particular book shot quite high. Which was great. But I also like the fact that the sales of my other books also went up. Felicity and the Fire Stoppers got up to #4 in its category, which I was pretty excited about. I did some giveaways hoping that would get it up to #1 at least for a short time, but it didn't get there. Still, it was, for a very brief time, at #4 in its category of Children's Bird Books, and I thought it was pretty sweet!



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Feature on Ebookdaily.com

ebookdaily.com is featuring my book, Felicity~ A Sparrow's Tale today!
It came as a pleasant and very welcome surprise!

ebookdaily.com is a website that features free books each day in several different genres including Children's.
The other books featured in Children's are Stolen Luck by Jaclyn Weist, a friend of mine, and Jenny's Amazing Wig by Betty Smith.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

From Julia's Kitchen by Marsha Ward

From Julia's Kitchen Owen Family Cookery
(c) 2017 by Marsha Ward
This isn't a book review, because I haven't read the book yet, but I'm excited, because one of my favorite authors, Marsha Ward, has just released a new book.

From Julia's Kitchen is both a recipe book and a story, and if it's anything like Marsha's other books, it's a great one!

Author Marsha Ward
Marsha is the author of several books, including Spinster's Folly, a finalist in the 2012 Whitney Awards, and The Man From Shenandoah.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Whitney Awards-Middle Grade Finalists

Middle Grade is a genre that is very close to my heart. My last few books have been middle grade, and as a result, I have had the great privilege, several times, of going to elementary schools and talking to kids about literacy, and the importance of telling their own stories. I love middle grade books, and so I wanted to highlight the books and authors of Middle Grade who were nominated for the Whitney Awards this year.

Summerlost (c)2016 Ally Condie
Ally Condie wrote Summerlost, a book that sounds absolutely amazing, and one that will emotionally connect with its readers. I love getting absorbed completely by books like this!

On Amazon, the product description says "A tender and compelling contemporary novel for young readers about facing loss and finding friendship..."



Wrong Side of Magic, The
(c) 2016 Janette Rallison








Janette Rallison, a lady whom I know is a great writer because I've read many other her other books, branched into Middle Grade, to my delight, and wrote The Wrong Side of Magic. James Dashner had this to say about her book: "Whimsical, exciting, funny, adventurous--all the things I loved about books growing up."



Mysteries of Cove: Gears of Revolution
(c) 2016 J. Scott Savage
J. Scott Savage, one of my favorite authors of all time, has added book #2 to his fantastic steampunk series, Mysteries of Cove, with Mysteries of Cove: Gears of Revolution. Trenton and Kallista continue their adventure, searching for Kallista's father, Leo Babbage but they get more than they bargained for when they run into the Whipjacks on one side of a civil war and The Order of the Beast on the other side! But the Whipjacks and the Order of the Beast may be the least of their worries as dragons start to gather.
Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood
(c) 2016 Leisl Shurtleff




Leisl Shurtleff's book Red, The True Story of Red Riding Hood is a New York Times Bestseller, and sounds like a book Middle Grade readers would eat up as greedily as Red's pal Goldie eats up porridge!





Ghostsitter (c) 2016 Shelly Brown
Brand new author, Shelly Brown, author of Ghostsitter, has produced a novel that sounds exciting, thrilling, and scary! Protagonists Tiffany Hart and Justin Henderson team up to fight against ghoulish demons to save their lives, and the afterlives of a few ghostly friends!










I'm really looking forward to reading these five books as a member of the Whitney Academy to vote on the winner. I'm not looking forward to deciding a winner though, because I already know that picking my favorite is going to be pretty tough!








Friday, February 17, 2017

Whitney Award Finalists!

Yesterday, the finalists for the Whitney Awards were announced. Admittedly, I was a little disappointed that my book, Felicity and the Fire Stoppers, though it was a nominee, was not one of the five finalists in its category. But I am happy for my friends and other authors who are! Check out the categories for the Whitney Awards here! I also would like to mention a few friends by name.







Heather B. Moore
Heather Moore has three books that are finalists, Slave Queen, Deliverance, and Exodus.












Janette Rallison

Janette Rallison also has three books that are finalists, How I Met Your BrotherThe Wrong Side of Magic, and The Girl Who Heard Demons.











Jennifer Moore

Jennifer Moore has two books that are finalists, A Place for Miss Snow, and Lady Helen Finds Her Song.











Julie Daines



Julie Daines' book Willowkeep is a finalist in Historical Romance .









J. Scott Savage
J Scott Savage's book Mysteries of Cove: Gears of Revolution is a finalist in Middle Grade.











Julie Wright



Julie Wright's book Death Thieves is a finalist in Speculative Young Adult.











All the above mentioned authors, and so many others, are great writers, and I am very happy that their works are finalists in the Whitney Awards!


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Condemn Me Not by Heather B. Moore

Condemn Me Not by Heather B. Moore is coming out March 14, and like all of Ms. Moore's books that I have read, I really enjoyed this one. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy, and have left a review on Goodreads.  Here is the review again:
Condemn Me Not (c) 2017 Heather B. Moore
This was a sobering and personalized look into the life of one of the people executed during the Salem Witch Trials. That the woman was an ancestor of Heather Moore made the story especially meaningful to me. Ms. Moore's writing, as always, was fantastic. She is one of my favorite authors because of her skill at crafting words. I liked that the story went back and forth between her time in jail to her younger years, meeting her husband, having conflict in the community, giving birth to children. I like that it was told in first person. All I know of the Salem Witch Trials I have learned at a distance. But for a little while, in this book, I became one of the innocent accused. I have often tettered back and forth between despising the wretched girls who started it all, and feeling sorry for them, wondering what led them to start their fits of hysteria, of lashing out at innocent people in the first place; innocent people who ended up dead because of them. I don't know everything, and all I can say is that the fate of these girls, who are murderers though they didn't pull the trap door open under these innocent people, is in the hands of God, not me.
That this book could evoke such an emotional response from me, again shows what a fantastic writer Heather Moore is. This was a beautiful, painful, wonderfully-written book!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Michael Young's Paladin: Pawn

I recently finished reading Michael D. Young's MG book, Paladin: Pawn. This was a fun book that I enjoyed reading! 

Rich is the main character, a young kid with regular kid dreams and problems. All he wants is to get his package on time, thinking that's all he's got to worry about, then... BAM! All sorts of problems happening at once, and he alone can fix them! He finds himself a white knight in training, up against a black knight. Who will win? It's a good thing that there are more books in this series! 

This beginning book sets things up nicely. More of the story is coming, but still, I would have preferred to see some sort of resolution instead of things left basically unresolved. Evenso, I still think the book is very well written, and exciting. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

J. Scott Savage's Far World Series

I have enjoyed reading J. Scott Savage's books for years, especially his Far World Series.
In Far World, Kyja, a young girl, has grown up without the ability to do magic, thinking of herself "cripple" despite the encouragement of her friends, including Master Therapass, a wise, elderly wizard, and Riph Raph, a skyte. (Skytes are like tiny flying dragons, about the size of a chihuahua.)
Meanwhile on Earth, Marcus, the same age as Kyja has grown up needing a wheelchair to get around, but at the same time having the strange ability to turn himself slightly invisible, which has always puzzled him. Once they meet, via Kyja seeing him through an "Aptura Discerna" and pulling him to Far World in time to save his life, things start falling into place. They come to realize they need the help of the Elementals of (Water, Land, Air, and Fire) in order to save both their worlds, and the adventure begins!

I've enjoyed this series, and recommend it to readers young and old, who love fast moving, clean fantasy!


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My Book Cave Group Promotion: Warm Up Your Winter

The website, My Book Cave is doing a group promotion for several of my friends' books, and I was lucky enough to get my book, Felicity~ A Sparrow's Tale,included in the group! All the ebooks are free for a limited time, so hurry and check them out, and get a free copy! I haven't read them all, but I have read Loyalty's Web by Joyce DiPastena, Lay Me Down by Tamara Hart Heiner, and House Without Lies by Rachel Branton, and those three books are extremely good! Loyalty's Web takes place in medieval times, Lay Me Down is a sad/happy YA, and House Without Lies is a contemporary story about a young woman trying to help teen girls escape abuse.  Here is a link to these books, and others: https://mybookcave.com/g/c40b3f90/  Happy Reading!