Friday, September 30, 2011

Feel Good Friday--The Lift Conference

Watching some of the following video clips will make you feel good. Plus, they might wet your appetite for an amazing event that is happening October 29th in Orem, Utah. It's called The Lift Conference for Women. Here's the promo. 

Liz Edmunds is the Food Nannie. Here's a fun clip that tells you a little about her.

One of the speakers at the conference will be Meg Johnson. She's an amazing person and an awesome speaker. Here's a fun musical clip with her. 

And here she is giving a talk.

This is just a sprinkling of the wonderful speakers who will be at the Lift Conference for Women. Sounds like a good time. I'll bet they have chocolate, which will make it perfect. :)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Review - The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund

As I read this book, I thought many times of the theme song and movie to How the West Was Won. During the 1800s in the United States, the West was the great hope of a better life for many people.

My ancestors came west during that time so I've read a lot about pioneers who crossed the plains and climbed the Rocky Mountains. I could hardly wait to read Jody's new novel to see how she portrayed that era. 

The Doctor’s Lady is a wonderful read full of everything you expect and more. It's about a young missionary couple determined to set up a mission in the Oregon Country to help the Nez Perce natives. It’s the story about travelers on the Oregon Trail and the hardships they endured, but mostly it’s the story of a couple destined to be together and find love

Doctor Eli Earnest is a rugged explorer of the West. The Nez Perce Indians want him to buy some of their land and set up a medical clinic and mission. He returns east with two young Nez Perce men in an effort to raise money to do so. However, once he raised the needed funds the Board of Missions won’t let him journey west until he marries. 

FYI: The Mission Board during this time really did require those going into the mission field to be married.

Enter Priscilla White, a beautiful woman, who has refused to marry because she is unable to have children, has her heart set on traveling to India to do God’s work. She’s hoping the Board will make an exception in her case and not require her to marry. She is devastated when they reject her petition. But when she’s approached with the idea to marry Dr. Earnest and go with him, she readjusts her thinking and realizes that this may be an answer to her prayers. 

FYI: At this time a white woman had never been west of the Continental Divide. Many believed that the West was no place for a lady. The women who had tried to live there were sent home in coffins. 

Against Eli’s better judgment, he agrees to marry Priscilla, but promises her that once they arrive in Oregon Country, if she feels she can’t handle the hard life, he will give her an annulment and send her home. Their marriage becomes a business arrangement that will give them both what they want. 

However, on their journey they are met with one hardship after another that tests their dedication not only to missionary work, but also to their “business” arrangement. After all this is historical romance. 

FYI: This novel was based on the true story of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. She was lauded as the first white woman (along with Eliza Spalding) to cross the Continental Divide and travel to the far West. Jody Hedlund says about Narcissa in her author’s notes, “Because of her willingness to brave the unknown, she [Narcissa] led the way for many women who would follow in her footsteps on what would later become known as the Oregon Trail.” 

Hedlund has done her homework on this novel and it shows in the wonderful imagery and moving story about two people beating the odds and finding love. Here's the beautiful trailer for the book.

Okay, if you have stopped by my blog lately you know that I've been giving away a book once a week. A while back Jody mentioned that I could have a book to giveaway on my blog, but I wasn't sure and I didn't want to press, so I selected another book for this week's giveaway.

HOWEVER, I have learned that Jody is going to donate a signed copy of her book!!!

So because I've already announced the book (The Hidden Branch) for this week, I'm going to have The Doctor's Lady as the book for next week's drawing. 

Please drop by next week, become a follower of my blog and leave a comment some time between October 3rd and the 9th and your name will go in the drawing for The Doctor's Lady. 

(This novel was published by Bethany House. I received a free copy to review, but I reviewed the book because I liked it.)


Monday, September 26, 2011

Blogger is giving me fits today, so I'll make this quick before it totally wigs out.

The winner of Laura Bingham's book Alvor
is Laura Marcella!!!

I'll be in touch.

The book I'm giving away this week is The Hidden Branch by G.G. Vandagriff.

Here's part of the back cover blurb:

The genealogical sleuthing skills of Alexandra Campbell and her business associate, Brighamina Poulson, are put to spine-tingling use when the murder of Armenian-American billionaire inventor Paul Mardian takes them to Huntington Beach, California--Surf City, USA--in search of the dead man's heirs. Briggie, however, is immediately smitten with ideas of wet suits and boogie boards.
Alex believes the killer is a relative of the victim, but her pursuit of the truth nearly cost another life--her own.

So you know the drill, leave a comment and become a follower of my blog and your name will go into the drawing.

Wednesday I'm part of Jody Hedlund's blog tour for her new book The Doctor's Lady so stop by and find out about this historical based on the life of the first white woman to cross the Continental Divide.


Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Feel Good Friday! 

Here's just a reminder that I'll be signing at Seagull Book in South Jordan tomorrow between 10:00 and 12:00. I'd love to see you!

In celebration of the General Relief Society Conference that takes place tomorrow night, I thought you might enjoy this clip about The Women in Our Lives. 


Have a great weekend!!!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Writer's Blindness

As writers, we work very hard on our writing. We make sure our sentences dovetail together, check that the meaning is as clear as possible, and, of course, proof for punctuation, misspellings, or grammar goofs. We read our copy over and over, and then it happens. 

Writers blindness. 

Your mind sees what is supposed to be on the copy, but it's not really there.

This happens to most writers. It becomes better with years of writing experience, but still it can happen. However, you can take precautions to guard against it.

Let your work rest . . .
If at all possible, let your freshly written manuscript rest for several days, weeks, or even months, so you're coming to the work cold. This helps your mind reboot and you catch many of your own errors. You'll be amazed what you'll find.

Read out loud . . .
Reading your pages out loud helps give you distance. You may feel silly reading to yourself, but actually it is good because you can more easily feel the rhythm of your words and if the words aren't right you'll notice. Also try reading your work to others. You'll see your work as others do and this awakens your mind to what is really on your copy.

Edit your manuscript backwards while listening to something else . . .
Try line-editing your work while listening to the radio or TV. This gives some writers the distance they need. I have heard of other authors who read from the bottom of the page up and swear this helps them find errors. It drives me nuts, but whatever works is great.
Proof-readers . . .
This is the best way, in my humble opinion, to fight writers blindness. If I'm up against a deadline and can't wait to let my pages rest and after I've read my manuscript many times and even out loud, I will turn it over to trusted proof readers. Proof-readers are cold to your work and can easily catch mistakes. The more eyes reading your pages the better because what one person doesn't see another one will. Just make sure that they know what they're doing and that you trust them.

Honestly, I really don't know if there is a scientific term for this malady that befalls most writers, but whatever it's called, a type of writer's blindness sure hits me. 

What about you? Do you struggle catching your errors? What do you do to guard against it?



Monday, September 19, 2011

Last Week's Winner This Week's Giveaway

The winner of Kimberly Job's novel, I'll Know You by Heart 

is Juliana L. Brandt!!!

Congratulations, Juliana. 
I'll be in touch.

The book I'm giving away this week is a YA fantasy by Laura Bingham titled Alvor.

 Here is part of the back cover blurb:

Adarae jolted as the feeling surged through her. She looked carefully at not one, but two little faces, and felt the warm power within them. No one suspected it could be two, but the strength pulsing from them was undeniable. They stared back into her eyes.

I think you'll fall in love with the magic of this book.

You know the drill, leave a comment some time this week and become a follower of my blog so your name will go into the drawing.

On Wednesday's blog I'm going to discuss writer's blindness. Do you know what it is? Have you or a friend ever experienced this debilitating malady? Stop by Wednesday, and we'll discuss it. 



Friday, September 16, 2011

Doggie Video and Signing Info

I found out this week that I'll be signing copies of my book . . . 

at the Seagull Book in South Jordan (The District) on Saturday September 24th from 10:00 until noon. If you're in the area, I'd love to see you.

For this Friday's Feel Good moment here's an oldie but a goodie. I've watched this clip several times and each time I 


 So, are you a dog lover? Does you dog love bacon? My little Lizzie goes crazy for bacon. Has every since she was a little puppy. 

Have a great weekend. :) 


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tips for Writing

I think every writer aspires to write good books that people will long remember. Do you remember reading the first book that got you hooked? 

I do. It was Lassie Come Home. 
I loved it because I experienced many emotions. I laughed, I worried, and I cried. If a book does that, it's a winner.

How does an author cause their readers to experience such emotions?

They work at it! They read most everything they get their hands on. They study the style of other writers. And they go where other writers are to learn their craft.

Read most everything . . .
Most of the writers I know carry a book with them, have books in most every room in the house (yes, the bathroom), and read new releases. Writers read and read and then read some more. They read other authors. They read about writing. They read magazines, newspapers, and blogs. Reading is what brought them to writing. Most every writer was an avid reader first. And then one day they decided they wanted to try writing themselves. 

Study style of other writers . . .
Every writer has their own style. Some may think what'shisname writes just like Mr. Perfectwriter, but they don't. How can they? A writer brings a part of themselves to their work. However, you can study style and see how an author dovetails one sentence with another in order to form continuity. You can see that for a tense scene shorter sentences are used. And you can see that some writers are very spare with description while others lay it on. Learn tricks of the trade and then make them work for your style.

Go where other writers are . . .
This is very important. Most writers would gladly become hermits locked away in their writing dens with their computers and books (and chocolate and pizza :)). However, you need to come out and mingle, meet like-minded people and network. This is very valuable. A writer needs friends. We do! We need to interact with others who are struggling just like we are. We need to learn from each other about successes and failures. Writers are odd people. We love to teach others how to write, which is very self-defeating because we're training those who will replace us. BUT it also keeps us on our toes and learning.

Every writer aspires to write a classic book that will long be on their readers' minds. As the years have gone by I have read classics, but that first book will always hold special memories for me.

How about you? What was the first book that stayed with you for days?

And by the way . . . I started thinking about great books because of a message I received about the Whitney Awards.

Nominate a Whitney

The Whitney celebrates great books and great writers. Nominations are only open for four more months. If you have a book written by an LDS author in 2011 that you'd like to nominate, click on the above button and it will take you right to the site.  


Monday, September 12, 2011

Last Week's Winner, This Week's Book Give Away

The winner of Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen's book

is Laura Barnes!!! 

Congratulations, Laura. 
I'll be in touch. 

Now the book I'm giving away this week is I'll Know You By Heart by Kimberly Job. 

Here's part of the back cover blurb: 

The day Stephanie Roberts met Jared Wakefield, she didn't realize they had met before. Running from an abusive marriage and trying to safeguard her children, Stephanie turns to Jared for support--but he needs more from her than she might be capable of giving. 

This is a very touching story I think you'll enjoy. 

Sooo, leave a comment on my blog some time this week, become a follower, and your name will go into the drawing. 

Wednesday I'll post a writing tip. 


Friday, September 9, 2011

What's Important

I'm excited! I just learned that River Whispers received another review. This one is from the best-selling author, Laurie Lewis, who wrote the Free Men and Dreamers series. I'm so honored that she read and reviewed my book. Please go to her site and check it out.

Today's Feel-good Friday message is about what is most important in our lives. It's a little over a minute long, but so worth your time. I hope you enjoy it. (I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Blogger doesn't drop it. I've had to embed it several times.)

Have a great weekend!

Monday I'll announce the winner of Trapped and show you the next book I'm giving away. :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hopefully--Used Right

I'm overwhelmed with revisions this week. So forgive me for the short posting.

Last week I posted a clip about prepositions. Today I'm going to post another Merriam Webster tip. This time it's about a word I used a lot until someone told me I was using it incorrectly. I'd used "hopefully" all the time at the beginning of a sentence and had no idea that was a major pet peeve for some writers.

I was so ashamed until I found this clip. It made my day. 

Hopefully, you'll enjoy it as much as I did. ;)


Monday, September 5, 2011

This Week's Winner and Next Week's Giveaway Book

The winner of The Thorn

is a new follower

Jocelyn Rish!!!

Congratulations, Jocelyn!
Please email me so I can get your book in the mail to you.

Now this week's book to give away is . . .

This is a romantic suspense I just loved. 

Here's part of the back cover blurb:

When Emi Warrin wakes one night to find a thief in her mother's house, she has no idea the intruder has planted a trap--a mysterious letter that will change her life forever.

This is a great read. 

You know the drill, become a follower and leave a comment sometime this week. 

See you Wednesday.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Feel-good Friday--Vindication!

This Feel-good Friday post is about writing and it's a little personal, too. When my book, The Stone Traveler, was released I had a reviewer criticize my writing because I ended a few sentences with a preposition. I was crushed, but instead of arguing that her thinking was outdated, I merely thanked her for the review. Quibbling with reviewers is bad form.

But I felt vindicated in my usage of prepositions when I came across this video clip from Merriam-Webster.

So, of course, I wanted to share it with you.

I didn't remember that Shakespeare ended some of his sentences with prepositions. Not bad company to be associated with. ;)

How do you feel about ending sentences with prepositions?

Has there been a time when you have felt vindicated?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Scary Yet Happy Day!!!

I don't usually post a blog on Thursdays, well except for last Thursday, but that was because of the blog campaign I joined, or except when I have a blog tour, or . . . Okay, I occasionally blog on Thursdays for special events. Better?

Today something very special happened.

My book, River Whispers,

was reviewed in The Deseret News.

It's always a little scary to read a review. My palms become sweaty, I have to blink several times to focus, and all the while I'm praying under my breath "please like it, please like it."

Happy day, the reviewer liked my book. You can read the review in Thursday's Mormon Times section or click here for the online version.

Reviews like this make all the blood, sweat, and tears of writing a novel worth it. 8o)

Tell me, how do you feel when you read a review about your novel or manuscript?



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