Wednesday, October 16, 2013

LDS Author Blog Hop Winner

Congratulations to Kristi Quist 
for submitting the winning comment!

Kristi, Be sure to let me know if you prefer a copy of my new book or the $10 Amazon gift card.

Thanks to all who participated :-)!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

LDS Authors Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the LDS Authors Giveaway Hop! 
  for co-hosting this hop!

There are over 50 blogs each signed up to host a giveaway.  This hop runs from October 8th to 15th.

The winner of the giveaway on my site will receive their choice of a copy of my Family Home Evening lesson book Follow the Prophets (Covenant 2013) or a $10 gift card to Amazon!

To enter:

1. Follow this blog
2. Like my author page on Facebook (here)
3. And leave me a comment about one of the topics in one of my books that interests you most (click on linked titles below to read more about my books - see under book description for some topics listed):


Thanks for participating! Good luck!

Monday, October 7, 2013

ANWA Writer's Conference

I am gearing up for next February's writer's conference in Mesa put on by the American Night Writer's Association (ANWA). I have attended two of these previously and have so benefited from them. From the first one I had a manuscript accepted, which was eventually published (Follow the Prophets). I have so much to learn about a writer and the classes offered are incredibly helpful. In particular, I am looking forward to hearing from the keynote speaker, Sarah M. Eden. I am a big fan of hers.

I could use a friend or two to hang out with at the conference. Let me know if you will be there too!

Lear more about the conference here:

Monday, July 15, 2013

Temple Coloring Pages

I saw these coloring pages, originally published in the Children's Friend in 1923, on Keepapitchinin and fell in love with them. Aren't they darling. I think I will print them out for my youngest to color during church. Back in 1923 there were only six temples in operation; the Mesa one was included here even though it was still under construction.

Ardis Parshall, notes on the post I stole these from that "these pictures were intended to be colored and mounted by Primary teachers and used as visual aids during their lesson that month."
The Arizona Temple (Foundation)
The children are all glad to help
To build the temples new,
They save and give their pennies and
They cheer the workers, too.
The St. George Temple
Oft times the little children
Are to the temples led,
And there, in water, are baptized,
The living for the dead.
The Manti Temple
Here ordinances can be performed
That last beyond this life.
The child is to its parents sealed,
The husband to the wife.
The Logan Temple
Young couples go up to this house
That they might married be,
Not only for this life alone,
But for eternity.
The Temple in Canada
A keeper is inside the gate,
You’ll ever find it so,
For only those who serve the Lord
Can to the temples go.
The Temple in Hawaii
Not only here at home, but on
The island’s distant shore
The work in temples is performed
As in days of yore.
The Salt Lake Temple
Great throngs of people young and old
Arrive by night and day,
To do the work for kindred dead
In God’s appointed way.

Monday, July 1, 2013

What I Have Been Reading Lately

I have been madly writing this summer. I have to admit I feel driven to finish my MTC @ HOME manuscript (formerly called FHE MTC). I think I will have good news to share on that next week, but now I am getting ahead of myself.

In addition to writing I have been trying to keep up on my to-read list. Here are some I have enjoyed recently:

By: Heidi Ashworth

I read this on my way home from vacation last week and enjoyed it immensely. It is a regency era romance about an English spy and his childhood pal/sweetheart. Ashworth has written about some these characters in earlier books, so it is fun to see this as sort of a third in a series. But really it stands on its own individually.

By: S. Michael Wilcox

I was given this book by a good friend for Christmas and then chose it for my turn to host my book club. The premise of the book--of finding as much good and truth in the world while keeping one foot firmly planted in the gospel of Jesus Christ--was thought provoking. This book was excellent for book club and I have learned a lot from the individuals Wilcox profiles. If you like biographies, this would be a particularly good choice.

By: Stephanie Sorensen

Stephanie is one of my favorite bloggers (have you read Diapers & Divinity?) and I am looking forward to meeting her IRL when I am in Utah in a few weeks. Anyway, Covenant Motherhood is her first book. In it she discusses how many of the mundane, day-to-day tasks moms perform are actually symbolic of the Savior and the atonement. It is a fascinating read, but quick. It made me feel better about some of the household chores I hate the most. I highly recommend it for all moms out there.

By: Sarah M. Eden

I read Glimmer of Hope right after the semester ended; it was a reward to myself. Sarah Eden books are always a reward to read. This one is a regency romance about an estranged married couple. The plot is unique and some of the marriage advice in the book is very reliable (at least according to my communications textbooks). I think every married couple has their ups and downs, so it is great to get a clean romance novel that addresses these types of issues. I wish there were more like it.

By: Melanie Jacobson

I actually read this one as soon as it came out a few months ago. Melanie Jacobson is one of my favorite LDS authors right now. (I am hoping to be like a character in one of her books in the hereafter.) This book is funny and has a good message about learning to understand out perceptions can be wrong, forgiveness, and hard work. I even bought a second copy of this book to give as a gift to my SIL for her birthday last week. An excellent summer read.

I hope your summer reading has been as enjoyable as mine has thus far. I have to limit what I am reading so I can make sure I am not too distracted from actually writing. But still, there are a few things slated to come out soon I am really looking forward to sinking my teeth into. Happy summer!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

What I Did for Spring Break

I can hardly believe spring break is almost over. In a way I am glad (I need another spring break now without the kids home!) because I am a person who loves her schedules, lists, and predictability. Still, overall it was a good week. Hard, but good.

Here is the run down:

We started peeling the living room wallpaper for the redo project I have in mind for this summer. I had the kids help some, but I have much more to do on this. The good news is it looks like Steve will not have to add texture to the wall before painting. The bad news there is still much more to peel. Now I remember why I procrastinated this project for so long.

I tried to do something fun with the kids each day. We hit Bahama Bucks one day, attended a neighborhood potluck picnic for dinner the next. I wanted to take the kids to see the new Oz movie, but they did not want to go; instead we stayed home and did instant watch of the latest Psych episode online (and got pizza for lunch). Then Thursday the girls and I got pedicures.

Camping seems to be a bit of the theme for this week, too. Most of you know I am a four-star camper (in other words, I only camp at four-star hotels). But Patrick had a teachers quorum Mountain Man camp out and yesterday Steve took Katie camping with some buddies. That left Emily and me home to hang out together. She had a friend over for a movie night and Just Dance 4 fun, while I worked on a manuscript and succumbed to a head cold. Yes--I am sick. I guess that is the way it goes sometimes.

As for writing, I had ambitious goals for this week: finish up enough of my latest manuscript to get it off to my editor. She has been waiting for it for several months. Luckily, she is patient. Unfortunately I did not get along as far as I would have liked, but I am pleased with the progress I made considering the kids were home and I still had to work at my second job several hours each day. I will push myself hard over the next week or two and get it sent off when it is clean and ready. {Anyone want to beta test a FHE lesson for me?}

Well, I guess that is about the long and the short of it. I hope your spring break was a success and that your St. Patrick's Day tomorrow is full of good luck!

P.S. Happy birthday to Steve tomorrow!! Love you!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Book! Follow the Prophets

It has been a while since posting, but I promise I have been busy in the interim. About a year ago I submitted a manuscript of 52 lessons based on life stories of latter-day prophets to Covenant. The manuscript, due to the economy, had been previously declined by my former publisher--so I was very uncertain how this manuscript would be received. During the week of spring break Covenant contacted me to see if I would be willing to supplement the manuscript with additional activity pages, and if so would I submit a few more samples.

Just after receiving this request, our family took a little trip up to Show Low to stay in a cabin for a few days. I took my laptop and art supplies with me and spent time putting together eight more activity pages in my spare time. And before heading home I e-mailed off a pdf of the pages. My hopes rose a little after this, but I still wondered.

And waited. And wondered.

And waited some more.

In May or June (I forget which, but probably June), I contacted Covenant to see where things stood. For those unfamiliar with working with publishers, they tend to be very busy and a little less communicative than authors would prefer. My contact was out of the office on her honeymoon, so I had to wait a little longer.

Finally, the last week of June I got the word: my manuscript was accepted (contingent on finishing the remaining 30 or so activity pages needed). And they wanted it all done and submitted by the first week of October because they were expediting the project for a January release as the book works well with this year's Church history Sunday school curriculum. At first I was thrilled!! So excited!!

Then I looked at the calendar and realized the amount of work I had in front of me. You see, an activity page generally takes about 3 to 4 hours to conceive and put together and edit. And if there is any art work needed for it, then I would need to add an additional hour or two. This realization sobered me from my excitement very quickly.

To make sure I could finish the project I put myself on a schedule. Each week I had a mini deadline, for which I would e-mail off files to Covenant. I had to force myself to stay on top of this because I work two, sometimes three jobs. And I have kids that like to be fed and wear clothes and sleep in clean beds. Week by week, for three months, I worked through this schedule until the first week of October arrived and the last of the activity pages were sent of {HUGE sigh of relief}.

After completing that huge project I kind of needed a little break from writing. And over the holidays I ended up being slammed with research projects. The second week of December I had another call from Covenant. They needed my jpeg files for the art work I had drawn for some of the activity pages. It took three hours to send all of the files. But in the process the editor sent me the cover art for my book, which I loved (it is my favorite cover of the three of my books).

January arrived before I could even believe it. The second week of January I came home from work and grabbed the mail on the way in to the house. In the mail was a Deseret Book flier - and inside was my book! I had not seen the hard copies yet, so this was a surprise. But just a few minutes later I noticed a big package on my doorstep, and inside were my books. It was almost like my new baby had finally arrived!

So, that kind of brings you up to date on what has happened with my writing this past year. Although I doubt anyone is still reading this blog after my neglect, know that I am still alive, kicking, and writing.