Monday, April 26, 2010

The Mark review/giveaway

You may remember me mentioning The Mark, a very fun book that I got to write an endorsement for a couple of months ago. It is the first book of author M.R. Bunderson, and when she asked me to participate on her blog tour, I was thrilled to help her get the word out.

Here's the blurb:
It's a secret that's been hiding in plain sight. Tori's just your average teenager, or so she's always thought. But one day she discovers that what seemed like an ordinary birthmark on her wrist is really a set of tiny strange-looking symbols. And when Tori meets others with the same mark, they soon realize they'll need to work together to save their real homeland, an ancient culture that's been hidden for centuries. Now Tori and her friends must find their way home, master their new found powers, and save the land they are destined to rule. Filled with fantasy, suspense, and romance, The Mark is a spellbinding thrill ride you won't want to put down.
I liked the mystery part of The Mark, where Tori and her new friends try to figure out where their similar birthmarks came from and what they might mean. Science was never my best subject, but the explanation behind it seemed reasonable enough to me. And I also thought the pacing of the suspense was great, keeping me wondering about the outcome almost until the last page.
But the best part for me was the romance. I don't want to give too much away, but Eric and Tori have a very interesting and different kind of relationship. It was nice to see them work through some of the obstacles to their being a couple, and I was definitely rooting for them to end up together. By the end, many of the loose ends were tied up, but there was still plenty of material for a satisfying sequel. (Hint, hint. Please, Marilyn!)
I have a copy of The Mark to give away, and I was going to set up something spectacular. But then I had a flashback to the contest with Sarah last week... and I thought that I'd really better keep it simple. So here it is-- leave a comment if you're interested in winning the copy. Every person gets one entry. Contest closes at midnight on Saturday, May 1st, and the winner will be posted on the following Monday. Even I can't screw that up. Probably.
For more information on The Mark or to follow Marilyn on Twitter, go here:
Good luck, y'all, and happy commenting!
P.S. The only bad thing about the LDStorymakers Conference is that it comes but once a year. It was such fun seeing old friends and making new ones, and I even cut down the time I spent cowering in the bathroom. In fact, next year I may be REALLY courageous and vacate the stall entirely! Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this event a success. If you're interesting in writing at all, you really should start saving now for next year. And the Whitney Awards were unbelievable. I can't say enough good things about the enormously talented people I got to rub shoulders with for the evening. Congratulations to all the winners!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Due to technical difficulties beyond our control...

You're all going to laugh about this. Really hard.

I hope.

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 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

Thanks so much everyone for coming to play at my blog last week. You guys made it easy for me to choose the winner because only ONE of you picked the right answer...

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!

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

My friend Sarah, who is ever so much more interesting than I am

My friend Sarah Eden has recently released a new book, Courting Miss Lancaster.

This was a BIG event for me.
After I read Seeking Persephone, I started buying Sarah's other books on Amazon as fast as I could afford to... until they were suddenly unavailable. Hopefully (fingers crossed) they will eventually be re-released so I can snatch up the ones I'm missing. Needless to say, I was thrilled to have something new to read from her.
I waited as patiently as I could for her big launch party, which I almost didn't make it to because I have a disease called TLS, or Terminally Lost Syndrome. (For those of you unfamiliar with the symptoms, TLS is characterized by sudden feelings of confusion and hopelessness coinciding with travel outside your 10-15 mile comfort bubble. It is also marked by periods of fervent prayer alternating with bouts of mild cursing.)

Anyway, I digress. The point that I was trying to get to was that because of my self-imposed Whitney reading and various other situations that popped up, I had to set it aside for almost a whole month before I actually got to read it. For a naturally impatient person, I think that this showed a remarkable amount of restraint on my part.

When I finally had the chance to dive in, let me assure you that it was worth the wait. Sarah is the modern-day master of Regency romance. (Those of you who had the chance to read Seeking Persephone know what I'm talking about. In fact, as a side item, Sarah is giving away a mystery item on her blog this month-- unless I am mistaken, I think it's a copy of Seeking Persephone. You definitely don't want to miss this opportunity, since this is the ONLY place you can currently find a copy. Go here and enter! )
I love this genre, but it's getting harder and harder to find a Regency romance that isn't, how shall we say, rather smutty. I know that I never have to worry about this with her books; I can count on her for the heart-pounding romance without having to frantically flip through something I'd rather not see.

So... I picked up an extra copy of Courting Miss Lancaster, and if you're willing to play my little game, it could be yours! Sarah has been kind enough to provide us with three rather interesting and little-known facts about herself, only one of which is true. And since she has a very vivid imagination, it might be slightly tricky to pick the right one. Everyone gets one guess, and the winner gets the signed copy of Courting Miss Lancaster. If more than one person picks the correct answer, our lovely friends at will make the final decision. The contest will close on Saturday, April 17th at midnight, and the winner will be announced on the following Monday.

Here are your choices:

Extra-special glimpse into Sarah's life #1:
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.

Extra-special glimpse into Sarah's life #2:
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.

Extra-special glimpse into Sarah's life #3:
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.

Okay, time to put on your thinking caps and start guessing! (Hmmm. Maybe they should be guessing caps instead.) Good luck to everyone!

*Also, Rachel Ann Nunes has a new paranormal novel out called Imprints that I am really excited to read. She's having a contest on her blog starting April 15th to spread the word about it, and she's giving away a $50 gift certificate to the bookstore of your choice. Make sure you stop by and enter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Agony of Defeat

*Disclaimer* I'm not feeling quite as jolly as I was the first time I composed this post-- before the Blogger malfunctioned and ATE IT. Any snark contained in this post is a result of the aforementioned glitch and is purely unintentional. Thank you for your patience.

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!

Happy Easter, all!