Monday, March 28, 2016

Free on Amazon: Felicity~ A Sparrow's Tale

I am so excited to announce that Amazon is offering the first book of Felicity's adventures, Free!

In Felicity~ A Sparrow's Tale, Felicity loves to read and imagines going on adventures like the heroes and heroines in the sparrow sized books that her friend Augustus, an ivory-billed woodpecker, gave her.  But adventures are in short supply, especially for a plain, ordinary sparrow.

Until the day that an unexpected visitor shows up at her tree with an unusual request...

Click here to get a free ebook of this fun children's fantasy for your kindle!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Upcoming book by Author, Maria Hoagland!

Title: The {Re}Model Marriage
Series: Romance Renovations
Author: Maria Hoagland
Publisher: Red Leaves Press
Genre(s): Sweet Romance, Family Life, Women's Fiction, Clean Gentle Read
Vendors: Will be available in paperback and all ebook platforms.
Release Date: March 29, 2016

Book Description:
From the outside, Kirk and Jamie appear to have a beautiful home and the perfect marriage. Inside, the aging Craftsman is falling apart, their marriage is crumbling from neglect, and Jamie Royce wants out! Kirk, on the other hand, isn’t ready to give up on either the house or their relationship.

With their divorce scheduled for the day after their daughter’s high school graduation, Jamie and Kirk have to fix the home’s problems to lift their selling price out of the basement. Working to renovate the home together, they discover secrets—in the home, in their marriage, and in the fertility clinic that helped give them their daughter—and find themselves questioning what true love really is.

About Maria Hoagland:
When Maria Hoagland is not working at her computer, she can be found combing used furniture stores, remodeling houses with her husband, or sitting on the sideline of a son's soccer game. She loves crunching leaves in the fall, stealing cookie dough from the mixing bowl, and listening to musicals on her iPod. While she appreciates the home office she shares with her husband, Maria's favorite writing places are outdoors where there is sunlight and no internet. She and her husband and their children have lived in Idaho, Missouri, Ohio, Utah, and in six Texas cities.

Maria Hoagland has several published works including The {Re}Model Marriage, Home for the Holidays, Nourish & Strengthen, Family Size, and Whitney Award finalist, Still Time. Her prize-winning poems and short stories have been published in small magazines. Maria Hoagland earned a degree in English at Brigham Young University.

Order Your Copy Now!

Connect with Maria Hoagland:
To learn more about The {Re}Model Marriage and author Maria Hoagland, find her at the following places:

Mailing List (with free ebook):
Twitter: Maria Hoagland

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Marsha Ward, A Great Author!

Author Marsha Ward

One of the best authors I know, Marsha Ward, excels in writing historical fiction, including the novel, Gone for a Soldier, which was a finalist in the 2014 Whitney Awards.  Marsha has written several fantastic books, including The Man from Shenandoah, which was published in 2011, Spinster's Folly, which was also a finalist in the Whitney Awards for 2012, and a book that I loved to read, The Zion Trail, recently published in February 2016, a book about a young man, Elijah Marshall, and his trials as he joins the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and is a part of the Mormon trek westward.

It is no surprise that Marsha Ward has been so successful, having seen multiple books become finalists in the prestigious Whitney Awards.  When you read her writing, it's easy to see why.  The words flow very smoothly, the plot fast paced right when it needs to be, relaxed when it needs to be, and always crisp and focused.  Here is an example, the first paragraph in The Zion Trail:

"After I made a half circle at the end of the row of corn, I pulled Tom, our plow horse, to a halt, swept off my old hat,  and wiped the trickles of sweat from my eyes with the back of my wrist.  Then I ran my fingers through my dripping hair to train it back from my eyes, from whatever good that would do.  August had been plenty hot this year of Our Lord, eighteen forty-three.  The cool breezes of autumn couldn't come fast enough to suit me."

Can't you just see a picture of that, clear as if it were a movie?  And it stays that good, all the way through to the book's fantastic end!  Marsha Ward is an author I highly recommend and if you like historical fiction, I think you'll love her writing.  Plus, she's not only a great author, she's a wonderful person as well.  Check out her website,   blog, or Author Page on Amazon, to read more about her and her wonderful books!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

House Without Lies by Rachel Branton

Shortly after reading Julie Coulter Bellon's book, The Captive, I read another fantastic book entitled House Without Lies by Rachel Branton.  Rachel Branton, (the pen name for Rachel Ann Nunes, a singularly awesome individual) has created another stunningly well-written masterpiece which hit me particularly hard, since I can relate to so much in the book.

Here is what I wrote about House Without Lies in the reviews:

As usual, Rachel Branton has delivered a marvelous story. Lily is a fantastic character, not without flaws, but a wonderful, altruistic person I quickly found myself rooting for. And Jameson was just as awesome. In his own personal way. The story sucked me in, and I found myself very concerned about all the girls Lily was trying to help, especially Elsie and Halla. Elsie's dad was absolutely despicable, and her story angered me, terrified me, and made me sad, all at once. There were also aspects of this story that appealed to me, personally, and I felt like I really understood Elsie, and her helplessness. I also found myself feeling empathy for Elsie's mom, surprisingly. She had a lot about her that I didn't like, but a lot that helped me feel compassion for her. The ending to the story was very satisfying, and helped cement, even more, my trust in Rachel Branton to write fantastically awesome stories.
I recommend this story for anyone who enjoys clean romance with a plenty of danger, and truly despicable, yet believable bad guys, and also truly awesome yet believable good guys. 

The Captive by Julie Coulter Bellon

I read a very excellent book the other day by a fantastic author, Julie Coulter Bellon.  I really enjoyed her book.  It's titled The Captive, and it's about a Navy SEAL and a young woman named Mya who are trying to rescue some hostages from terrorists.   Here's what I wrote about it in reviews:

  This was a great book! I don't usually read modern thrillers about terrorists and Navy SEALs, but I make an exception for Julie Coulter Bellon's writing, because I know from experience, that it is fantastic! Jake is a great three dimensional character, completely believable, and I really like him. I'm also embarrassed to admit that I am jealous of Mya. But golly, I am. Jake is a great guy, brave, ethical, and really, really good looking. Mya is also a character I admire a lot. She's courageous, and willing to do what she needs to do, to do what's right. They are a great match. The tension in the story was exciting, and nail biting, especially toward the end. Ms. Bellon sure knows how to get readers to keep turning pages! I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

As I said, I really enjoyed this book.  I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a high-paced modern day adventure.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Square Planets?

In doing research for writerly things the other day, (something involving the plausibility of Luna-sized binary moons in a stable orbit around each other and around an Earth-sized planet) I stumbled across something that I thought was extremely cool, but actually had nothing to do with what I was researching. Still, I thought it was extremely cool. I found what a planet would actually look like, if it was cube shaped. Not that it would ever happen, and if it did, it wouldn't last long, geologically speaking, but still... 

Because everything would naturally pool to where gravity pulls it, the gasses and liquids the most quickly, the atmosphere and water wouldn't conform to the shape of the cube, but naturally flow to the lowest point. Since gravity pulls everything toward the center of the mass, the liquid and atmosphere would still form a sphere, leaving the impossibly high mountains, or points of the cube, and much of the corners between them, exposed directly to space. This would leave the six faces, unless there was enough erosion on the ridges between them to connect them, isolated from one another, and if the planet can support life, there would be six very separate biodomes that would evolve independently from one another. 

What would happen if after gravity naturally did its work, and the ridge between two or more of these separate biodomes finally wore down enough for there to be enough atmosphere for travelers to go from one face of the cube to another? (As it appears it already did on the left side of the picture.) Mind you, while it looks flat from space, to someone on the surface of the planet, because of the way gravity works, the further a person would get away from the middle of the face, the more it would feel as if he or she were climbing an increasingly steep hill. Even with serious erosion, going from one face to another would be a tough job. But it would make a pretty cool story! Here's an interesting article that explains the idea of square planets better than I can: