Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Have you ever had a dream for yourself? How long have you had this dream? I know people that dream all of their lives about something and never fulfill their dream. I know my Grandma worked hard all of her life, saving her money, so she could travel in her later years. For my Grandma, this dream did not come true. Instead of traveling like she wanted to, the money was spent to keep her in a nursing home after a stroke. Looking back at this, I grieve for my Grandma's lost dream.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I have wonderful news to share! The plan I made for myself and my writing goals has been successful. The funny part is, I have started another book. I have heard many of you accomplished writers talk about the many books you have started and are still unfinished.
Monday, April 26, 2010
I had a total blast at the LDS Storymakers Writer's Conference this past weekend. I had a great time visiting with all of my friends I met last year. I loved making many new friends this year. I don't think I have hugged that many people in a long time. In my opinion, this conference is better than Disneyland. I am sure that my children would think so otherwise.
I really loved the Friday night party that Authors Incognito hosted. This is a group that I belong to. It is an online group of writer friends that help each other, give writing and publishing advice and have huge shoulders to cry on when things don't go well. At the party there were drawings for prizes. I actually won something!! I won a t-shirt that I really love. It was great to hang out with many people I have only "talked" to on-line. There was great food and fun.
The most valuable thing I gained at this conference was a new resolve to make time to write. I promised my friend, author Melissa Cunningham,(She was my roomie at the conference and we had a great time together!!) that I would write at least one page before I read my books.
So that is what I intend to do, so I can truly have something to work on with all of the information I learned this weekend. I truly want to deserve the title of "Writer Chick"
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Every morning in my 2nd grade classroom we have SSR when they first get there. (Sustained silent reading (SSR) is a form of school-based recreational reading, or free voluntary reading, where students read silently in a designated time period every day in school. An underlying assumption of SSR is that students learn to read by reading constantly. Successful models of SSR typically allow students to select their own books and require neither testing for comprehension nor book reports. Schools have implemented SSR under a variety of catchy names, such as Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) or Free Uninterrupted Reading (FUR).
These are the books I noticed my students reading this morning:
-Diary of A Wimpy Kid (1-4) About 8 out of 21 kids are reading one of them right now.
-Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief
-Books about rocks and volcanoes (Can you tell what unit I am teaching right now?)
-Books about kitties and puppies. The little girls sit there oohing and awing as they look at the pictures.
-Books about Dragons (This is because of the movie, "How to Train Your Dragon")
I always find it interesting what they choose to read during SSR. These are the books they really like and want to read. Now, as a teacher and parents, we need to pay more attention to what our kids like and are reading. This is where we should take advantage to read with them and read the books that they are interested in. I enjoy reading with my own children. I love chatting with them about the latest chapter they just read. When they come running down the stairs to hurry and tell what happened in chapter 9 of Fablehaven, it thrills me to the core.
I challenge you to take the time to read with your children/grandchildren. Notice what they are reading and discuss with them what they like about the books. Take them to the bookstore and see what section they run to. Go to the library every week and hang out for an hour; we love to do this. You will be amazed how this will draw you and your children together.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Every once in awhile a book comes along that you sit down to read and finish in a few hours. When I read the book "Secret Sisters" by Tristi Pinkston , that is exactly what I did. Here are a few reason's why:
1.The book is only 276 pages long.
2.This book is printed in the cutest format, similar to the "Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events" books. That is the only comparison between the two books.
3.The book is funny. You get enjoying yourself so much, that you lose track of time.
4. Tristi has written such colorful and engaging characters, you want to know more about them.
Here is a little look about "Secret Sisters" found on the back cover...
With the help of her counselors Arlette and Tansy, Ida Mae soon learns that there's more to the situation than meets the eye. It's all in a day's work for the Relief Society.
Ida Mae is like no other Relief Society President that you have ever met. She cares a little too much and forgets to delegate. She tries to be the one to solve all of the problems in the ward. Even though there is a lot of humor in this book, Tristi also throws in serious and valid points about the gospel and our jobs as sisters in the gospel.
"Her calling was so much more than a to-do list. Behind every task she performed were real people, real trials and feelings. Some days, she tried to depersonalize so she could move forward without getting overwhelmed, but those days never went as well as the days when she threw herself into her calling heart and soul. Yes, she got overwhelmed, but she always found the strength she needed to keep moving. The errand of angels was given to women, but the angels didn't just turn the job over and leave. They stuck around and did whatever the could to help"
From that excerpt you can see how Tristi weaves serious with humor all in the same paragraph. The thing that made me laugh the most in the book was this...
"As they took their turn at the Dunn's that evening, he plinked away on the keyboard while Ida Mae immersed herself in the latest Whitney Award-winning novel"
This is what it says on her page about her:
"I love reading, cooking, and helping others. I love watching movies and getting involved in highjinks that no woman my age really should. I'm also the main fictional character in Tristi Pinkston's new series, "The Secret Sisters Mysteries."
After reading the book, you can go there and ask Ida Mae any question that you want. How often do you get to "interact" with a character out of a novel?
Overall, you will love reading "Secret Sisters". This is the first book in a series of books that will be written about the Secret Sisters.
I would like to thank Valor Publishing Group for my copy of "Secret Sisters". I receive
no compensation for giving this review.
Tristi is a regularly featured presenter at the annual LDS Storymakers Writers Conference and enjoys helping others learn how to fine-tune their writing skills. She also gives presentations on literacy, the Hole in the Rock pioneers, and the importance of honoring the talents you've been given.
Tristi is the author of three historical fiction novels and one contemporary mystery. "Secret Sisters" is her first novel with Valor Publishing Group.
If you would like to contact Tristi Pinkston there are several ways:
Monday, April 19, 2010
I have seen a great trend in romance books lately. More authors are writing what they are calling, "Clean Romances". This basically means that you can read a Romance without having to read graphic sex scenes, that usually are not needed. I recently read a feel-good romance, with a great mystery that needed to be solved by the heroine. Here is what it says on the back cover:
After discovering she was born in a Naples orphanage and subsequently given up for adoption, Tiziana sets out for the small town of Gaeta in an attempt to find her birth parents. Meanwhile, her best friend Christopher is sending her mixed messages, causing her to wonder if there is more to their relationship than just companionship. As she becomes intertwined with a handful of interesting characters who help her uncover her past, Tiziana needs to decide whether her feelings for Christopher are deeper than she realizes. She discovers herself and others all while her family’s resilience and love for one another is tested when confronted with a shocking truth.
The answers lie in a box found in a closet in Italy, and Tiziana must determine if she wants to embrace the heartache and the pain from her past in order to learn forgiveness and find peace in the future"
Laura Fabiani has a degree in Special Care Counselling and a diploma in Writing for Children and Teenagers. She also translates documents from the French language to English for the medical community since 2000. She is founder of NouveauWriter.com, an online resource for new and aspiring writers. She blogs about books at Library of Clean Reads, where she reviews books and offers promotional services to authors. Fabiani currently teaches creative writing workshops in English and French.
Interests and Inspiration
Laura Fabiani has been writing as far back as she can remember, making use of poetry and short compositions throughout her youth to express her ideas and feelings. One of her early goals in life was to write a novel. She began several of them, but never brought them to completion… until one day her sister asked, “Laura, when are you going to finish that book you once talked about writing?”
That's when Fabiani finally sat down and began to write where she had left off more than eight years ago, when the idea for Daughter of Mine was sparked listening to her mother-in-law’s stories of her youth in her native Naples.
Italy has always held a special place for Laura Fabiani because her parents are Italian immigrants. Her father is from the beautiful mountainous region of Pescara in Abruzzo and her mother from the romantic city of Rome. In addition, Fabiani’s maternal grandmother came from a noble family in Gaeta, Naples. Fabiani has traveled several times to Italy and stayed in her ancestral home in Rome with her relatives.
When not writing or immersed in study, she divides her time between taking care of her family and sharing in a volunteer worldwide Bible education program. Of all the literature Fabiani has read, the Holy Scriptures have shaped her life the most. She has deep respect for this book that has influenced some of the world’s greatest art, literature, music and has had a significant impact on law. “It teaches us how to live the best life now and in the future,” she believes.
She is currently working on her second novel. She lives with her husband and two children in Montreal, Quebec.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
From the back cover we read:
Explore the lives, circumstances, and choices of women in the Book of Mormon in this uplifting and inspiring volume that illustrates the parallel between the lives of the women of the Book of Mormon and LDS women today. With new insights on practically every page, author Heather B. Moore explores the written and unwritten stories of the prominent women in the Book of Mormon—taking familiar material and providing vivid details about family dynamics, domestic practices, and other aspects of daily life. By applying historical and cultural contexts to the situations of women like Sariah, Abish, Eve, Mary and the faithful mothers of the stripling warriors, you will peek beneath the surface of the scriptural accounts to better understand both the righteous women of the Book of Mormon—and the women who didn’t use their agency wisely.
Even before reading the contents of the book, you are drawn in by the beautiful cover. There stands a lovely woman, all dressed in white, who you find out is Mary, the Mother of Jesus. This book covers the lives of the women that lived in Book of Mormon times, such as Abish, the Twenty-four Lamanite Daughters, Queen of King Lamoni, Daughters of Jared and Wife of Mormon and others. You learn more about the women from the bible who were mentioned in the Book of Mormon. These women are Eve, Sarah and Mary, Mother of Jesus.
I love what Heather says in the preface of her book,
“The women of the Book of Mormon are our sisters, and their stories lie within those sacred pages. Not only can we learn from the messages of their husbands and sons, we can discover how much the Savior loves us through the experiences and enduring faith of these women. “
As you read this book, you will learn many things from these faithful women of the Book of Mormon. Sariah, Lehi's wife, showed us how to be humble, resourceful and faithful. Eve, demonstrated how the pursuit of faith should continue all of our lives.
Heather quotes in her book:
"Faith was a lifelong pursuit for Eve, and her need mirrors our need to continually " call upon" the Lord. Just as our first mother did, and as the women of the Book of Mormon did, we have the privilege of turning to the Lord in our times of need. "
The chapter that touched my heart the most was "Mothers of the Two Thousand Stripling Warriors". These women were new converts to the gospel of Jesus Christ. They taught their sons about their past and how their lives, living the gospel, had changed them and their hearts. I love how Heather points out here that the women taught their sons about faith and what it meant to possess it, to embrace it. Isn't that something that we would all like to do for our children? I know that is what I am striving to do. I must share with you, one more quote from Heather that I would like to print out and hang on my wall.
"As our own children grow and mature, we might ponder their innocent natures and wonder what we have taught them. How, like the mothers of the stripling warriors, can we prepare our own children to face the battles they'll certainly encounter? We make every effort to raise our children in the gospel, but once they're away from the protective arms of family, will they stray from the narrow path? Will their faith sustain them?"
Not only does "Women of the Book of Mormon" have beautiful art in it, but the words are also written so eloquently. This book is easily read and is 93 pages long. Heather is such an intelligent woman and it truly shows in her research and writing. I also admire Heather for her great love of the Book of Mormon and it's people. She has written many novels about the Book of Mormon people such as the "Out of Jerusalem" series, "Abinadi," " Alma" and the soon to be released "Alma the Younger" that is also coming out this year. Heather in 2008, won a Whitney Award and the 2009 Best of State in Literary Arts, for "Abinadi".
You can learn more about Heather at her website here.
Go visit her blog here
Better yet, go meet her in person, at a Book Signing, where you can pick up a copy of this wonderful book for you or for a gift for Mother's Day.
Friday: April 16, 2010 - Lunch hour at Spanish Fork Seagull Book 12:00-1:30 p.m. Join me at Seagull Book where I’ll be signing copies of Women of the Book of Mormon. 1052 N. Main, Spanish Fork, Utah.
Saturday: April 17, 2010 - Signing at Clinton Seagull Book 2:00-4:00 p.m. Join me at Seagull Book where I’ll be signing copies of Women of the Book of Mormon. 1803 West 1800 North, Clinton, UT.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
On April 3rd, 2010, Apple came out with their newest gadget called an iPad. This new device has really intrigued me because it has multiple function capability. You can literally surf the web and view whole web pages. I also like the fact the iPad has what they call "ibooks". I was impressed by what "ibooks" offers. On Apple's website this is what it says about the product,
Unlike a paper book — or ebooks on other devices — you can change iBooks on iPad to suit the way you read. Turn iPad to portrait to view a single page. Or view two pages at once by rotating to landscape. Change the text size. Even change the font. Touch and hold any word to look it up in the built-in dictionary or Wikipedia, or to search for it throughout the book and on the web. Use the Bookmarking feature to highlight text and refer to it later. iBooks works with VoiceOver, the screen reader in iPad, so it can read you the contents of any page. Even with all these extras, reading is so natural on iPad, the technology seems to disappear.
I think the best endorsement for the iPad comes from my older brother, Phil Windley, who has his PHD in computer science. He is a computer wiz who knows a lot about computers and all electronic gadgets. He is also the author of this book called, "Digital Identity" that has very high (4 and 5 star) customer reviews on Amazon.com.
The page I understood the most in this book was the page where he dedicated the book to our parents.
"To my parents, Rolla and Ranae Windley for giving me the freedom to explore"
This is a highly technical book, but for all of you computer geeks out there, you will probably really like it.
I went to Phil's on the day the iPad came out. I was not surprised to see that there was one at his house already. I was only able to look over my nephew's and niece's shoulders as they played with it. At Phil's website, "Windley'sTechnometria:Organizations Get the IT they Deserve," he blogged about his initial thoughts on the iPad.
"First, as many have already said, the screen is gorgeous and the form factor incredible. The first thing many comment on when they first hold it is: this is beautiful. The device was a little smaller than I expected (maybe an inch each direction), but after holding it and using it, I think it’s a good size. I expect larger one’s will be available in later versions—like anything else."
Do you remember how I said I only got to look at it and not hold it? Well here is the reason why.
"My kids loved playing with it. They were on it for hours. I bought the Scrabble game and my daughter and I played that Saturday night. It was an enjoyable time since we sat next to each other on the couch and passed the iPad back and forth—I actually liked it better than sitting across a board from her. I see the iPad as a gaming device that’s completely different from what we normally expect from computer gaming because of it’s form factor. The iPad makes the game go quicker than normal because it takes the accounting work out of it."
One other thing Phil said that stood out about the iPad is this...
"Speaking of being on it for hours, the battery life is phenomenal. We used it all day and spent only 50% of the battery. I expect I can get several days out of it in typical use. That’s good because having yet another device to dock and charge is a pain. "
You really should go read the whole article he wrote about the iPad. He gave the pros and cons about the iPad. I have always trusted Phil's judgment and that is why I am sharing his thoughts with you. You can go to his website here.
One last thing, the iPad runs for around $499.00. I think you will get a whole lot of use out of one device: Safari, e-mail, photos, videos, YouTube, iPod, iTunes, App Store, iBooks, maps, notes, calendar, listing of contacts and Spotlight Search. I have a birthday coming up soon, so if anyone would like to buy one for me you go ahead and do it!
If you would like to learn more about the iPad directly from Apple please go here. So tell me, what do you think about the new iPad? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Monday, April 12, 2010
During a bloody skirmish with Gideonite troops, Jonathan of Daniel spares Pekah, a young enemy soldier, gaining his trust forever. These two distant brothers from estranged tribes covenant with each other to end the war being waged by a self-proclaimed emperor, and soon discover the intentions of a far more dangerous foe named Rezon – a sinister general bent on ruling those he can bring into subjection and destroying all others.
In the end, Pekah’s selfless bravery is the means by which all the tribes are united. But there are dissenters, and Rezon escapes a well-deserved fate. When the promised heavenly signs appear, will there be peace at last, or will the malefactors once again threaten the safety of them all?
Daron Fraley has written a novel that sounds very much like a science fiction or fantasy book. I can tell you that would be a very wrong comparison. Though this story takes place on another planet, other than Earth, this story is about real people. There is no magic, or monsters or supernatural villains running around causing problems. There are villains, but of the ordinary "I am stronger and will take over the world" variety.
The one thing that really stood out for me with Daron's writing is that he writes with rich detail. You can see, hear, smell, touch and taste this world. His descriptions are so vivid you could actually be watching a movie. Let me give you an example:
"The mid-morning heat would soon make travel far less enjoyable. Behind him and above the rocky cliffs, the small twin solar disks of Azure and Aqua had climbed from the western horizon and into the dark blue expanse above him. The sun's distance made them visually small, and Jonathan could block them both with his little finger by lifting his finger skyward."
Now you can see what I mean. You can actually picture in you mind exactly what Jonathan is looking at. He has a wonderful descriptive writing style, but this doesn't mean he lacks on character development. In this speculative fiction novel, he develops some very strong players that captivate you and makes you care. The main character, Jonathan, is a strong man of God. Yes, you heard me right, this book has a very strong religious theme that spear heads the plot. You see Gan, is another world that God has made and the people await his coming some day. Even though this is written by an LDS author, you will not see LDS doctrine. The main theme is following a God, praying for help, feeling his spirit, and miracles taking place. This applies to any religion that follows God.
This book also will make you think of Book Of Mormon people; they dress and live the same way. There is much action in this book and there is a war taking place. There is a slight love story involving Jonathan and his intended, Rachel. If you are looking for a Romance character driven novel, you might not like this book. If you like a well written, highly detailed book, with action and a great storyline, "The Thorn" is for you.
I met Daron at the Valor Publishing Group book launch for five of their authors. He has some great ideas for this series. I was impressed with his enthusiasm. There is so much more to come in the next book.
He was born in Powell, Wyoming, but doesn’t consider himself a cowboy. Living in France for a couple of years provided him the opportunity to hone his cooking skills and to become addicted to good food and chocolate. Apart from his loving family, teaching and writing are his two most favorite things in the world. A classic computer geek, he still likes to fish and camp, makes a mean apple or pumpkin pie from scratch, and once fixed a gas clothes dryer using photocopier parts. With all of his interests in music, art, the sciences, and religion (especially religion), he would have been quite comfortable living during the Renaissance. Having toured chilly castles while in France, he is glad he didn’t live during that time. The Thorn is his first novel.
After ten total years in the wonderful state of Indiana, Daron, his wife Jennifer, and their six children once again live in the beautiful Rockies, close to friends and family in Wyoming and Utah.
You can visit Daron's blog here
E-mail Daron here
Here is the information about the book
Publisher: Valor Publishing Group, LLC (March 16, 2010)
Genre: Speculative Fiction
Binding: Trade Paperback
Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches
You can order the book here at Amazon.com.
Friday, April 9, 2010
The book, "Rebound" by Heather Justesen will be released on May 8th.
With a successful husband, a gorgeous home, and a growing family, Lily Drake has it all. But when the shows up, she realizes her husband is not the man she thought he was.
Meanwhile, Lily's friend Curtis is about to be drafted by the NBA, but he suddenly feels pulled to find his birth family, and no one is prepared for what he'll discover. With so many obstacles in their way, Lily and Curtis must learn to rely on each other if they're ever going to find peace and learn to love again.
In this heartwarming family drama, Heather Justesen, author of The Ball's in Her Court, weaves a stirring story of hope. Reunite with your favorite characters and discover how determination, love, and faith can overcome even the toughest trials.
Some news about the book I found on Heather's blog.
This was posted on April 5th and she said,
"I was looking at the calendar, and Rebound should be in the warehouse, and maybe even in my hot little hands in 5 weeks--which is totally exciting! We got the bookmarks ordered last week, and I'm looking forward to seeing them, and handing them out to people....Some fun writing news last week: Costco is going to give Rebound a whirl--if it sells enough copies, in it's trial basis, they'll let me come do signings and things, which I'm totally excited about. I also set up a school visit in Emery County at Canyon View Junior High in Huntington on April 12th, which will be a lot of fun. they're busing the boys all to the other junior high in Feron, and the girls from Feron to Canyon view, so I'm totally excited to speak to the girls and get to meet a bunch of them."
How exciting for Heather and so much to look forward to. You can go to Heather's website to read the first chapter for free. You can also pre-order the book while you are there. I am excited that I will be reading "Rebound" in a few weeks and I will post my review of the book here.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
The day Stephanie Roberts met Jared Wakefield, she didn't realize they'd met before. Running from an abusive marriage and trying to safeguard her children, she turns to Jared for support, but he needs more from her than she might be capable of giving. With her abusive husband looming in her past, the difficulties they must overcome to be together seem insurmountable.Is it possible for love to conquer all? I'll Know You By Heart is a timeless romance that explores the possibility that relationships span the entire realm of eternity. A story about abuse, hardship, and betrayal, it is ultimately a story about the healing power of everlasting true love..
To say that this story touched me would be an understatement. I was asked to read the manuscript for this book a few months ago. The story has stayed with me in many ways. The feelings of the main character, Stephanie and what she went through is still very vivid in my mind. One excellent thing that Kimberly does as a writer is her use of deep and detailed characterization. You grow close to the characters from the very first chapter because they are so believable.
I was asked to give an endorsement for the back cover of the book, along with one of my favorite authors and people, Michelle Ashman Bell. Here are two different viewpoints, though very similar in nature, that capture what this story is about.
Endorsements for I'll Know You by Heart:
"A story of pain, survival, and love, 'I'll Know You by Heart' is a deeply emotional journey of one woman's determination to save herself and her family from a life of abuse and fear. Kimberly Job writes with power and honesty, allowing us to care deeply about the characters but still giving us hope for a happy ending."
- Michele Ashman Bell
"As a divorced, single mom, reading "I'll Know You By Heart" brought many feelings to the surface for me. Kimberly Job delicately weaves into her pages, the trials of divorce, single parenting and finding love again. My spirits were lifted up as I read of the courage and faith displayed by the main character. I can assure you, your heart will never be the same after reading this stirring romance." -Sheila Windley Staley
What I said in my endorsement is how I truly felt after reading this book. "I'll Know You By Heart" is a story of a women who shows incredible strength and courage and of course faith. This is something that all people can admire, even in a fictional character.
I also truly loved it because of the sweet love story found within it's pages. This is not your typical love story of a single girl meets a single guy and and they dance around through the whole book and fall in love at the end. This is a love story of two divorced people that have had their hearts broken. This man and women meet and are still trying to heal. Through their support and growing love for one another you will read of a tender romance. You will be moved to tears often through this book. There are moments in this novel, where you will be struck with horror, at how cruel people can be to others, especially to someone they "love".
I was impressed with Kimberly and this being her first published novel. If you like a good romance which plenty of angst thrown in, read "I'll Know You By Heart".
You can order "I'll Know You By Heart" at Amazon.com
I want you to know I met Kimberly and she is a very kind and sweet person. We also talked about how we have lived through some of the same things such as divorce and being a single Mom. I am happy to say that Kimberly has now remarried and is very happy. I told her how much hope she has given me seeing how they have blended their two families so well. After we talked I felt like I had known her for a long time.
Just to show how amazing her story is, I found this quote on her website (which you need to go and read)
"I attended Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University (back then it was still Utah Valley State College) where I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. By the time I finished my degree I had four small children, which made obtaining that diploma feel like a minor miracle. I later had two more children, making six total—three girls and three boys. Being a mother is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my life.
After a difficult 18 year marriage and divorce, I met the love of my life, Scott Job. I now know what it means when people say, “You’ll just know when you find the right one.” We were married in August of 2009 and combined our families, now totaling 10 children! We have seven boys and three girls. They keep us busy running between ballroom, soccer, basketball, and football."
You can also find Kimberly on facebook and twitter and can e-mail her here.
I want to thank Valor Publishing Group for the copy of "I'll Know You By Heart". I was not paid to do this review or give the endorsement. I did it only for the pure love of reading a wonderful story.