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


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


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



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


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



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


*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


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!