Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Yet suddenly birds are singing, the sun is shining... the world is a happier place in general. I've turned into one of those people who drive everyone crazy with their need to endlessly gush about the new love in their life. And as irritating as it is, it's out of my control. I am powerless in the wake of these overwhelming emotions.
I find myself thinking about the object of my affection when we're apart and counting the minutes until we can be together again. I never knew that I could love anything this much. In fact, just talking about it makes me a little teary.
I can't imagine how I ever lived without...
(That's right, folks-- don't underestimate the bond between a girl and her e-reader.)
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Besides suffering from an almost crippling fear that we might never see the sun again, I've also been diagnosed with a severe case of blog amnesia. I can't even claim laziness. It's like I completely forgot that I ever had a blog. I was having a chat with a friend of mine the other day that went a little something like this:
(friend) "So, you were doing so great keeping up with your blog for a while and now it's like you've fallen off the face of the earth. What's your excuse this time?"
(me) "I don't know what you're talking about."
(friend) "You know-- your blog? The one you're constantly neglecting?"
(me) "Hmmm. Doesn't ring a bell."
(friend) "Remember, you made a New Year's Resolution to update it on a regular basis?"
(me) "Now I know you're making this up because I don't make New Year's Resolutions. You must be thinking of someone else."
(friend) "Why would I make something like this up?"
(me) "I don't know. But I'm sure that if I had a blog, I would know about it."
(friend) "You're starting to freak me out! Just admit that you didn't feel like blogging!"
(me) "I admit nothing."
(friend) "I think there might be something seriously wrong with you."
(me) "Remind me why we're friends again?"
So today I succumbed to the temptation of Googling myself and, long story short, I stumbled onto this blog. You can imagine my embarassment.
What is the protocol when apologizing to a friend for denying the existence of your blog? Should I send a card? A cake? A kidney?
Monday, May 17, 2010
So I started thinking about everything that I'm looking forward to this summer. Here are a few of my favorites (in no particular order):
1) Otter Pops
2) New gloves for weeding (Hey, I like to weed. I know-- I'm weird.)
3) Tomato sandwiches with tomatoes from the garden
4) Mowing the lawn (Again, weird.)
5) Pina Colada Slurpees
6) Watching my nieces play in the sprinklers
7) Corn on the cob
8) Reading Dandelion Wine outside on a blanket... in the shade
9) Kool Aid
10) Going to Wheeler Farm to feed the ducks
11) Capri pants
14) Homemade ice cream
15) Pedicures and flip flops
17) Not losing the daylight until 8:30 or 9:00
I just realized that roughly half of the things on my list are food-related. Oh dear.
I'd love to hear some of the things you look forward to most about summer. :)
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Rachel Ann Nunes is blazing a trail.
With her new book, Imprints, she is filling a hole in the LDS market-- paranormal romance.
Here's the blurb:
Sometimes what you can't see means everything.
A young woman is missing. In desperation, her parents turn to Autumn Rain for help. Autumn reads imprints- emotions mysteriously left behind on certain treasured objects. But will this ability enrich her life or destroy it?
Autumn isn't sure- her life has become far from normal- but for people whose loved ones are missing, her talent might mean the difference between life and death. Even the infuriating Detective Martin has asked for Autumn's help, though at times she feels more like a suspect than a consultant. Too often Autumn finds herself retreating to her antiques shop and the company of her best friend, Jake Ryan, to avoid notice.
But soon more than one woman is missing, and Autumn teams up with private eye Ethan McConnell to investigate their disappearance. Ethan's attraction to her is a pleasant change from Jake's frustrating offers of friendship, but once Autumn takes that first step, she sets in motion a series of events that risk not only her own life but the lives of those she cares most about.I love this genre, and there's a reason Imprints is currently the #3 Fiction Bestseller for Deseret Book. It has an intriging plot, a main character with some unique quirks, a love triangle, suspense, danger, and just enough romance to make things interesting. I don't want to give too much of the story away, but I had a definite favorite in the contest for Autumn's affections, and the ending didn't disappoint. (But it DID end just as things were starting to get good. Sequel, please!)
I'm sure that Deseret Book took a chance on publishing in this genre, even with an author as well respected as Rachel Ann Nunes. But I'm thrilled to have this option in the LDS market, and I'm hoping that it is a success so that she (and others who are interested) can continue to have a safe outlet for paranormal romance.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Fenwick Family :)
Congratulations-- email me with your address and I'll get your copy in the mail!
In other news, this dreary weather we've been having must be stopped.
It's MAY now. I'm putting my foot down.
(Okay, I realize that today is an exception, but I'm stuck inside at work and the weather forecast this morning said more rain Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so I think I'm justified in complaining.) If I don't start seeing the sun on a semi-regular basis, I'm afraid I might just stop getting out of bed entirely.
Check in later this week for a review on Imprints by Rachel Ann Nunes.*
*Unless the weather refuses to cooperate and I take to my bed indefinitely. I have no Internet access on my laptop, so if the blog suddenly fades away, you'll know why. ;)
Monday, April 26, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Sarah and I had a tiny miscommunication, thus proving how sarcasm doesn't always transfer well through email. She was kidding when she said that #3 was the right answer, and when I told her how jealous I was that she was going to potentially have her name on the side of a building, she thought that I was just being my usual sarcastic self, which proves one of two things: 1) You can't always tell someone's tone from an email, or 2) I'm really overusing the sarcasm on a daily basis. So she was waiting me to email her for the real answer, and I was perfectly content with the answer I already had because Sarah is one of the most awesome people I know. Sarah M. Eden High School seemed like it was definitely within the realms of possibility. Add to that the fact that I am notoriously guillible and, well, you get the picture. Chaos ensued.
Anyway, I will still be giving away a copy to Taffy, since I already announced that she was the winner. And since we got our wires crossed, Sarah has generously agreed to donate a copy for another winner who picked the correct answer. Thanks to the virtual folks at random.org for providing the name of our other winner, Sweet Victorya! If you'll email me your address, I'll get your copy in the mail as well.
Sorry for all the confusion-- I will double check my stories in the future. It really does have an amusing side to it...
Are you laughing yet?
We're great friends, Sarah and I, but apparently we need to work on our communication skills. Also, I was thinking that maybe if we all signed a petition and sent it to her high school, they might consider renaming the school after her! How cool would that be? :)
Monday, April 19, 2010
Congratulations, Taffy! You chose #3, which focused on Sarah's popularity and the possibility of her having her high school renamed in her honor...because she's cool like that. :) Email me with your address and I'll get your copy in the mail! firstname.lastname@example.org
If you didn't win, come back next week for the chance to win a copy of The Mark, a YA novel by a great new author, M. R. Bunderson. I was lucky enough to preview it before it was released, and it's awesome!
In other news, I'm very excited that LDStorymakers is finally almost here, and I'm hoping to see lots of you folks there. My goal this year is to be less shy and self-conscious, which is pretty much my goal in any social situation/event I attend. One of these days I'll figure out how to be more charming and less wallflowerish. Any advice you guys might have on how to accomplish that would be much appreciated!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
When I was five, I invented a new game: Roller-skate golf. In our backyard we had a big ol' concrete slab that doubled as a basketball court and a tether ball court. In the middle of this bit of suburban heaven was a hold into which the tether ball pole was inserted. Being the wise girl I was, I put two and two together. Before long I had my roller skates on, a stick from one of our citrus trees and all the ping pong balls from the ping pong table. I am still a crack shot on a putting green.
Apparently having a kid in the front of the class whose legs swing incessantly because they don't reach the ground is excessively annoying. I was that kid.
My sixth grade teacher was a riot--just about the funniest guy ever. He liked to give me a hard time about being small and I liked to give him a hard time about being old. He officially won the ongoing battle, however, the day I arrived at school and my chair had been replaced by one he'd taken from the kindergarten classroom. I sat in it all day, without a hint of annoyance. I think that really took the wind out of his sails. By the next day, I had my real chair back.
I was EXTREMELY popular in High School. I had so many friends, I often had to hold a raffle to determine who would have the pleasure of sitting by me at lunch. Freshman, blinded by the glow of my amazingness, regularly followed me to calculus and physics just for the opportunity to be near me. There has been talk in recent years, in fact there was talk while I was a student, of renaming the school in my honor.
Friday, April 2, 2010
So, the Whitney votes are due tomorrow at midnight, and despite my best efforts there is no way I'm going to buzz through five more books before tomorrow. I'm a fast reader, but I'm not THAT fast. The good news is that I'll be able to finish #25 so I can vote in every category except one... and Best Book of the Year. It's been so much fun getting a chance to read the nominees, and I read some awesome stuff that I might not have picked up otherwise. I wanted to give a shout out to the nominated authors-- the quality of the novels that LDS authors are putting out just gets better every year, and I am awed by your work and honored to be numbered among you.
Stop by my blog for some fun stuff in the coming weeks, including giveaways of new novels from authors like Sarah Eden and M.R. Bunderson. Trust me-- you do not want to miss these books!
Also, Rachael Renee Anderson (author of Divinely Designed) is doing a giveaway on her blog in April for some great books, one of which happens to be My Fairy Grandmother. So hop on over there and start counting jellybeans! http://www.rachaelreneeanderson.blogspot.com/
Happy Easter, all!
Friday, March 26, 2010
I decided this morning to start a campaign-- no more snow after the first day of spring. I'd like to know how many of you I could count on for signatures if I sent around a petition. Which got me thinking...
See, I have this lovely large wall of windows in the office where I work that overlook the mountains/industrial Murray. When I arrived this morning it was dark and gloomy, and the minute I made it through the door it started snowing like crazy. I guess I should have been grateful that I made it inside before the blizzard started, but it was hard to find the bright side when it looked like I might need snowshoes to make it to my car tonight.
But twenty minutes later the snow had stopped, and the sun was trying to shine through the clouds. (Which are, granted, still a bit gloomy.) But it wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined. It wasn't one of the signs of the Apocalypse. It wasn't the three feet of slush I was dreading.
If I was a Disney character, I'd probably be Eeyore. At least 75% of the things I stress about never even happen. But when I was little, I wanted to be Pollyanna. Every time I watched that movie, I'd decide I was going to play the Glad Game. For a while, I'd be really successful. "What? A rock in my shoe? Well, I could be glad because I have FEET!" But it didn't take long before I'd slack off-- something relatively minor would knock me off my perch of gratitude and I was back where I started.
I think sometimes I need a reminder that life isn't nearly as dire as I'm expecting it to be, and I'd save myself a lot of unnecessary anguish if I'd brighten my outlook just a tad. I'm working on planning for the sun and moaning about the three feet of slush IF AND ONLY IF it is currently soaking into my shoes. I'm going to focus on worrying about the things I have some control over and letting the rest go.
Aaaannnd it's starting to snow again. Sigh. But maybe I'll be good at snowshoeing!
P.S. Current books read: 22 :) But... only one week to go. :(
Friday, March 19, 2010
I know-- I'm such a geek. But I make no apologies.
Oh, and if you haven't seen the trailer for Eclipse yet, go here. www.stepheniemeyer.com
And if you're a geek like me, I hope to see you at Walmart tonight!
P.S. Whitney update! Current books read: 19
(Um, it's been a busy week. I guess I should be at home reading instead of out gallavanting at Walmart at midnight with a million screaming teens at least a decade younger than I am. Maybe if I pretend I went out for something responsible like vitamins and just happened to be there for the release...?)
Friday, March 12, 2010
Three of my FAVORITE authors will be signing books tonight at the Deseret Book in Orem from 6-8 pm. If you're in the area, you should definitely check it out! Sarah Eden, Annette Lyon and Julie Coulter Bellon all have new books coming out this month and I'm so excited! Julie also has a very cool charity called Water for Warriors-- she's collecting beverage items to be distributed to the military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. Go here for more information. http://juliebellon.com/
And without further adieu... the Whitney update. (I know you've been biting your fingernails with anticipation.)
Current books read: 17
So, I may have been just a tad bit optimistic when I said I was confident that I was going to be able to get through all the nominees. *ducks head in shame* It seems that I failed to factor in things like unexpected projects and vacation and... sleep. But I'm still forging ahead and I'm going to give it my best shot!
Friday, February 26, 2010
Current books read: 12
I'm pretty sure that if I can keep up this pace, I'm going to finish. YAY! But I don't want to be counting my chickens before they're hatched... or pages before they're read. Anyway, I'm SO excited with the stuff that I've read so far. It's going to be pretty hard to choose when it's time to vote.
Here's an interesting article about some excellent books that WEREN'T nominated.
http://segullah.org/book-review/whitney-2010-nominees/ I can think of a few books that I loved that I really wanted to make it that weren't there either.
Also, here's an awesome giveaway on my pal Sue's blog that you won't want to miss!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I just read a book that was incredibly well-written.
Compelling characters, check.
Gripping plot, check.
Believable dialogue, check.
I really, really liked it-- couldn't put it down. But I have to say that 75% of the time I was reading it, I was horrified. Because it was that disturbing; not in a gory way, because that's not my thing, but disturbing in a way that twists things that you thought you understood and forces you to look at them differently. I seriously considered putting it in the freezer for a bit, but I kept reading because I was mesmerized. It stayed with me even when I was finished, haunting me. But in a good way... I think.
I love books like this-- books that you have to stretch a little to wrap your brain around. Books that make such a powerful impression on you that you find yourself recommending them to everyone you know. Of course, this can occasionally backfire. I told one of my work friends that she simply MUST read Hunger Games. I walked by her desk one day to find her with her nose buried in it, and she was CRYING. I felt like a terrible person. She said that she really liked the story but that parts of it were just too much. So I have to be sensitive to the fact that we all have different levels of what we can cope with.
So, I'm curious. What books do you love because they made a lasting (and sometimes disturbing) impression on you? Which books do you have to put in the freezer?
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Greetings! I am coming to you live from where I work, a.k.a the only other place I'll be going until I finish my self-imposed Whitney reading. It sounds like torture, doesn't it?
Can I just say how nice it is to actually have a reason to look forward to February now? It's always been my least favorite month, but as of recently, there's been a silver lining. Now it comes complete with permission to gorge myself on books I've been meaning to read but haven't managed to fit into my schedule yet. It's like a shiny present; infinitely better than a box of Valentine's Day chocolates.
Ideally, I'd like to be able to vote in all the categories, but there might be one teeny, tiny snag.
I'm significantly behind. Last year I had a much bigger head start when the list of nominees came out. Still, I'm going to make a SERIOUS effort. I'd love to vote for Best Book of the Year, but that means I'd have to finish all thirty books before April 3rd. It's a worthy goal, but perhaps not a very realistic one.
So, I thought I'd give you the occasional report on how it's going... as long as you promise not to laugh too hard if I fall short. Plus, it's an excuse to blog!
Current tally: eight books read. (And yes, that includes mine.)
Comments? Encouragement? Raucous laughter?
Monday, February 15, 2010
I'm afraid it might be ice cream poisoning. Does anyone know of a good cure for a Ben and Jerry's hangover?
Friday, February 12, 2010
I know what you're thinking. Anyone can report the past, right? But it's still quite a challenge for some of us because I guess I forgot to mention something rather important this week. With all that whining I was doing about having nothing interesting to blog about, I missed the perfect opportunity.
Santa Maybe was nominated for a Whitney Award in the romance category!
See, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops last Friday, but I made myself wait so that I could perform this most important task of making sure that everyone was firmly grounded in the past. For a full list of the Whitney nominees for 2009, go here. http://www.whitneyawards.com/2009finalists.html There are some incredibly awesome books just waiting to be discovered!
Oh, and by the way, if you drive a Toyota, you might want to be careful because apparently there's some sort of problem with the brakes. Updates will be provided when they are no longer useful.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
By the way, I got to meet Marilyn at Authorpalooza yesterday, and she was so down-to-earth and nice. I'm really excited for her and I hope she has as much fun with her first book release as I did with mine!
Which brings us to the second part of the blog-- the contest. Marilyn Bunderson is having a series of giveaways to celebrate the release of The Mark that you don't want to miss. Right now, she's giving away a copy of My Fairy Grandmother. So if you want a chance to win, go here. www.mrbunderson.blogspot.com And make sure to check her blog for some other really cool books she's giving away.
That's all for now. Congratulations, Marilyn! :)
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Oh, and a surprising blog from an agent about what's hot right now in the publishing world...
Amish fiction. Really?
Monday, February 1, 2010
Can anyone guess what it is?
Hmmm, that might be kind of fun, actually. I think I'll give a mystery prize to the person who guesses what my belated resolution is. If no one guesses it right, I'll start giving hints. In fact, I'll give you a little hint right now: given my past history, this resolution probably won't last very long, despite my good intentions.
Guess away-- I promise I won't be offended. :)
Friday, January 8, 2010
He slowly sat down in the porch swing. Even though it was not raining, he thought he could hear the rain falling softly from a darkened sky. He imagined Barbara sitting beside him, a sweet smile on her beautiful face and her silky brown hair blowing in the breeze.Suddenly, the front door opened, and a small, elderly woman stepped out onto the porch.
"Can I help you?" she asked abruptly. Embarrassed, Larry jumped out of the swing. "I . . . I used to live in this house . . . I was . . . reminiscing . . ." he tried to explain. He quickly came to his senses. "I'm sorry to have bothered you. I'll be going now."
Still grieving over the loss of his wife, forty-one-year-old Larry Porter is facing challenges that no father should ever have to face. Almost overnight he becomes both father and mother to his three children, and they aren't having anything to do with him. A former workaholic, he now regrets being an absentee parent, but doesn't know how to make amends. Soon, Larry comes to understand that his children are more important to him than anything else. He must change the path they are on or lose them forever.
This tender and thought-provoking story will bring you face-to-face with the realities of losing a loved one. It will touch your heart, lift your spirit, and inspire you to tackle your own challenges with determination and hope.
Linda does a great job with characterization. It was easy for me to picture Larry and his children, and to sympathize fully with the different sense of loss that each feels for their newly deceased wife and mother. I found it very interesting to see how each character dealt with that loss in different ways. Although Barbara had already passed on when the book begins, she is an important character with a solid presence throughout the story, if only in the memories of her family. I thought that it was fascinating to see how Larry develops from a workaholic father who knew very little about his children to the glue that holds the family together. He struggles with a crisis of faith and kids who have a difficult time putting their trust in him and manages to persevere through hard times. Things definitely get worse before they get better, so be prepared for a rough ride-- the second half of the novel deals primarily with Chris, the son who suffers a brutal attack and becomes inadvertantly addicted to prescription pain medication.
I don't want to give away too much of the story, but by the end of the book, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel as the family begin to rediscover their faith and love for each other. I read an interview that Linda gave where she said that her next novel is a humorous romance, and I'm excited to see how she deals with the lighter side of life.