Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Nominee for a Whitney Award!

I was very excited the other day, to get an email from the Whitney Committee, letting me know that Felicity and the Fire Stoppers had been nominated for a Whitney Award! The finalists will be announced early next year with the winners being announced at The Whitney Awards Gala in the spring. 

Felicity and the Fire Stoppers (c) 2016
The Whitney Awards have been around since 2007, first started by Robison Wells to recognize high quality writing in the LDS community. There are multiple categories for books that are entered. Mine is in the category of Middle Grade, but there are many others, including Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, Speculative (which includes fantasy etc.) and several others. Follow this link to The Whitney Awards to learn more about them! 

Friday, November 25, 2016

The History of Thanksgiving

I recently watched a great documentary by The History Channel about Thanksgiving, where it came from, and how it became the holiday it is today. I thought that I knew a lot about it before, but not nearly as much as I probably should have. I am glad that the documentary gave so much information I didn't know about before, including the way many Native Americans today look at Thanksgiving. I knew about that famous day in 1621 when the Mayflower pilgrims invited Massasoit and his people to dinner after a successful harvest.  But I didn't know about the European festival of Harvest Home, and I didn't know about Sarah Josepha Hale or how much she did, to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. I recommend watching the documentary, created by the History Channel. You can find the documentary here.
Smith, Harry. "Home for the Holidays: The History of Thanksgiving". The History Channel. History.com. 2016. Film. 25 November 2016

"Sarah Josepha Hale Biography". Biography.com. A & E Television Networks LLC. 2016. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.

"Harvest Home". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc. 2002. Web. 25 Nov. 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Weeds in Nana's Garden by Kathryn Harrison

Weeds in Nana's Garden (c) 2016 by Kathryn Harrison
Not long ago, I read a very well written and illustrated children's story that gently explores the relationship between a young girl and her grandmother who is slowly succumbing to Alzheimer's; Weeds in Nana's Garden. I thought it was a very sweet book that helps children and their adult caregivers know how to continue loving and caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer's. It compares Nana's once beautiful garden to Nana's mind. Her garden begins to fill with weeds as Nana suffers more and more from difficulties caused by Alzheimer's, and she forgets more and more. But the young protagonist, along with the reader, is reminded that her grandma is still in there somewhere, and still loves her just as much as she always did. Just like her garden is still there, even beneath the weeds.

The story helps children remember that their grandparent still loves them, even though they may get confused at times, and forgetful. I think it's a good story for anyone to read, and especially for people who have a loved one with Alzheimer's.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Addams Family Musical

I am very excited to watch a play tonight about The Addams Family, with Gomez,  Morticia, and all their clan, with and without pulses! The play is based upon the original cartoon created by Charles Addams. His cartoons inspired many movies and TV shows, including a tv series that aired from 1964 to 1966 and was created by David Levy.

As many already know, the Addams family is an American family that is very loving,but has an affinity with death and other things macabre. They consider themselves perfectly normal, and despite appearances, they're harmless. But strangers and neighbors who don't know them well tend to be frightened off by the quirky, yet innocent habits of the Addamses.

The play, which I will be watching tonight, will, as I understand it, take a look into the lives of the Addams, and the personality clashes they will have with another family.  I'm sure it will be hilarious, and I look forward to watching the play!

 "The Addams Family (Musical)" Wikipedia. Wikimedia Inc. 2016. Web. 18 Nov. 2016

"The Addams Family" IMDb. IMBd.com, Inc. 2016. Web. 18 Nov. 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Midwest Book Review

I recently got an email from Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer at Midwest Book Review. She said that her review of Felicity and the Fire Stoppers would be coming out in December on her review site, Donovan Review Services. She sent me the review, and also had this to say: "I was pleased to read your fine book and to recommend it to others: I hope your efforts generate many sales for you!"

I was very pleased to get her review, and that it was such a favorable one. I appreciated that she took the time to read and review it.

Here is her full review: 

Felicity and the Fire Stoppers (c)2016
"Felicity the sparrow loves reading books about bird heroes, courage, and communications between bird and man, but one particular book about a thrush's courage has her so enthralled that she's re-read it many, many times.

When a lightning storm brings a bolt down onto the mountain, Felicity finds herself involved in a strange force of nature that moves her into a world of wizards, new words, and encounters well beyond the sparrow-sized books she digests which sends life lessons from reality; all stemming from venturing out and getting to know Mister Yellow Horse, among other influences.

As Felicity hones her skills beyond the book and begins to realize her own special talent, she encounters snakes and sorcerers, opportunities for bravery or foolhardiness, and the threat of a fire that could change everything she knows and loves.

Advanced elementary-grade readers will relish Felicity's pluck and determination as she moves beyond the adventures of her books to confront those challenges.

Her bird's-eye view of the world is fun, charming, and traverses the magic of human and nature alike, while the evolution of her courage and her longing for adventure is very well done. Can a little bird stop a big threat? A plucky saga evolves, perfect for chapter book readers who relish animal protagonists." -- D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review.

It's Not About Luck Part III

Kimberly Loth
Kimberly Loth has posted her third installment of It's Not About Luck. She talks about having both faith and passion, and using the two together to achieve your goals. Check it out here. How true it is, that having faith in your goals, and working for them passionately will help anyone achieve success! John Bytheway once said, "Some people dream about success. Others wake up, and work hard at it!"

My Son in the Philippines

A Google Map of the city of Manila in the Philippines.
My son left the Provo MTC (Missionary Training Center) on Wednesday to serve an LDS mission in the Philippines. He called late that night from the airport in LA to let me know he was okay so far. And this morning, I got an email from him. He's arrived safe in the Philippines, so I am extremely glad about that. From what I understand, he and his traveling companions had a few stops. The went from Salt Lake to La, to Hong Kong, and then down to Manila.  I'm so glad all is well so far. I'm very proud of him making this choice to serve a mission, but I am also extremely nervous, too. I guess that's pretty normal! The map I've included is taken from the LDS Church's page about the Philippines Manila mission. You can follow this link to read more about it.

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Philippines Manila Mission. 2016. Prepare to Serve. 11 Nov. 2016

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Gladiator's Day of Grace

Author Jewel Adams
I have recently read, and enjoyed tremendously, a book by a talented author Jewel Adams, who is also a very good friend of mine, and has been for many years. Her novella, The Gladiator's Day of Grace, happens during the time of Christ, and shortly after, during the earliest years of Christianity. Maximus is a freed Gladiator, and Andromeda is a young woman who has been a slave. Both have struggled to find their way in the world. It hasn't been easy, but they've both done the best they can. They've cared about each other for a long time, and Maximus would do anything for Andromeda. Still, when Andromeda starts to learn the teachings of Jesus, Maximus isn't sure what to think of them. He isn't sure he can learn how to forgive. But as he learns more, his heart begins to soften.
The Gladiator's Day of Grace (c) 2016

I enjoyed reading this book, and I think it's something that Christian readers who like sweet romance, would also enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Felicity and the Fire Stoppers

Felicity and the Fire Stoppers (c) 2016
My sixth book, Felicity and the Fire Stoppers, has just been published. I'm pretty excited about it. 
In this third and (probably) final book in Felicity's series, Felicity sees a forest fire in the hills, and flies away to warn Mister Yellow Horse. At his house, she meets Mister Yellow Horse's son, daughter-in-law, and grandson, Vincent, who has a unique talent that impresses and surprises Felicity. What follows is another adventure full of tension (but not too much) and surprises. Felicity makes unexpected friendships and alliances, and finds herself teaching valuable ideas as well as learning new things.

Check it out on Amazon and read more about it, here!