Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Book Review: "Santa Maybe" by Aubrey Mace

I really liked Aubrey's first book Spare Change (which won a Whitney Award last spring) and was tickled by her second, My Fairy Grandmother, so I was totally excited when she offered to send me a review copy of Santa Maybe. First, the blurb:

Dear Santa, I've been a good girl this year. (Well . . . pretty good.) I have a nice life and there's only one thing that I really want one thing that's missing. If you happen to have an extra one lying around your workshop, I would really like a husband. I promise to take good care of him. Love, Abbie

With a successful bakery to run, super cute nieces and nephews to spoil, and plenty of good friends to keep her company, Abbie s not about to start crying over the fact that she s doesn't have a boyfriend to spend Christmas with. But when her sister convinces her to write a note to Santa, Abbie has no idea that a little Christmas magic is about to land her the man of her dreams. Or rather, that man is about to land smack dab on the floor in front of her Christmas tree with no memory of how he got there.


Now Abbie and Ben have to figure out where he came from, who he really is, and if he's actually available.

Aubrey Mace, the award-winning author of Spare Change, has done it again! This light-hearted holiday romance is sure to please even the most cynical scrooge. Told with humor, sweetness, and Aubrey's signature wit, this is one Christmas story that will keep you smiling all year round.


This book was light and fun. I really loved Abbie, and her meddling older sister--well, semi-meddling. I admit to reading the whole book in an evening (not a huge feat since it's only 184 pages, but it still took a few hours). I love that Abbie makes cupcakes whenever she's feeling blue (it made me want to whip up a batch myself. With scrumptious buttercream. Maybe strawberry flavored. Oh, sorry, off topic.)

Anyway, Santa Maybe is the perfect book to read while you curl up with a mug of hot cocoa and a plate of Christmas cookies. Or cupcakes.

You can learn more about what Aubrey's doing on her blog.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My book trailer is out!

Just had to share. This has been several months in the planning and creating stages so I'm totally excited to see it. A big thanks to Stephanie Fowers for filming and compiling the video, and the Kevin Mathie who wrote the music (isn't it gorgeous?).



In other news I've had an interview and a couple of book reviews this week.

Cindy Williams interviewed me for her blog Writer's Mirror on Wednesday.

Danyelle Ferguson at Queen of the Clan blog reviewed my book. Danyelle has a non-fiction book coming out next summer which I'm totally excited about.

Tristi Pinkston, author and reviewer of many fine books, reviewed my book on her blog.

A big thanks to all of these ladies! My big local launch party is happening at the Fillmore, Utah library tomorrow from 10 AM to 1 PM if you or anyone you know lives in the area, invite them over.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Book Review: "Prayers the Bring Miracles" by Stephen M. Bird

First, the blurb:

In the summer of 1983, a young Marine knocked on the door of Chaplain Bird. His face was ashen and his eyes wide with fear. He had just come up positive for the second time on a drug test and now faced certain demotion to the lowest rank, two months in the brig, and a dishonorable discharge.

The Marine explained that he was innocent and that there must have been some mistake. He went on to say that he had recently married a woman with five children. The family was living in military housing and his wife was currently receiving treatment at the base hospital for bone cancer. If he were kicked out of the Corps, his family would have no home or income.

As he listened to the young man’s story, Chaplain Bird began to pray. After the Marine finished, the chaplain heard Heavenly Father say, “I’m the only one who can help him now.”

This began a spiritual adventure for both the Marine and Chaplain Bird. As they talked, prayed, and read form the scriptures Brother Bird felt impressed to teach this young man how to pray. A few days later the Marine returned to Brother Bird’s office saying, “Chaplain, you’ll never believe what happened.”

The result of their prayer together was so remarkable that Brother Bird began to share the story with other Marines. Virtually all those who learned and used the same principles of prayer as this young Marine came back to report their own personal miracles.

There are lots of books about prayer on the market today, but even if you already have another one, this book is well worth reading. In the first chapter the author tells the story mentioned above, and lists the scriptures that he felt guided to read with the Marine. In following chapters he discusses each scripture and tells more stories to illustrate them. The book is engaging and definitely inspired. I can open this book to any page and feel the spirit of truth in them. I know I'll read it again and again.

This book can be purchased at Amazon.com.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Book trailer for "My Fair Godmother"

I loved this book, Janette Rallison just had the book trailer made for it!



Friday, October 16, 2009

Great video honoring our troops

One of my friends sent me this link. It's a beautiful song, and great video, just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Book review Mark Shurtleff's "Am I Not a Man?"

When I first heard that Utah State Attorney General Mark L Shurtleff had written a book and that Valor was publishing it I admit I wondered if it was only being published because he was well known rather than for content. However, I was very pleasantly surprised when I opened the book and began reading. Shurtleff has a lyrical way of story telling that adds to the story, rather than making me feel bogged down with description. The prose was true to the time period and felt very authentic.

A few details about the story. Am I Not a Man: The Dred Scott Story is the true tale of Dred Scott, a man who was a slave back in the 1840s and 1850s (earlier than that, actually since he has a nearly-grown daughter when the story begins.). He and his wife had been taken from a slave state and lived in a free state for some months or years. During this time the laws were such that if a slave was taken to a free state by their masters they were automatically considered free. While they were there, his wife gave birth to a daughter. They later returned to a slave state and Dred Scott sued for his freedom. The courts granted it, but his previous owner's family decided to pursue the matter and got the ruling overturned a couple of years later.

Dred Scott wouldn't give up however, and eventually the case went before the Supreme Court, where the justice issued his opinion that the blacks were not real men after all and deserved no consideration. This declaration so infuriated many of the citizens in the free states that it catapulted Abraham Lincoln--a relatively unknown candidate--into the presidency and pushed the country into the Civil War.

This story is used as a case history for law students all over this country, which is how Shurtleff learned about it years ago. He's dedicated considerable time over the years studying the history, visiting the sights and speaking with Dred Scott's descendants.

The story reads like a novel, pulling the reader into the story and heartaches of Dred and his family. The book can be purchased at Amazon.com and will soon be in stores everywhere. If you live along the Wasatch Front and would like to meet the author, he is having a big book launch party at Barnes and Noble at the Gateway in SLC on November 3.

Disclaimer: just because the FTC seems to think I need one. The publisher provided me with a free soft-bound, unedited advanced reader edition for this review. However, we had already ordered a limited-edition hard copy, and I would have done the review regardless. But I'm keeping the ARC anyway.

Monday, October 12, 2009

My books have arrived!

Today was a serious red-letter day for me. I still marvel to think that a little plot idea I had eight or so years ago has finally morphed into a book of my own. There were lots of little milestones, from actually finishing the manuscript, to sending it on each successive round of critiques (two by groups of friends, plus a professional edit by Josi Kilpack and various edits between each of them). Then there was the nail-biting process of submission. Finally I got my contract--which was a huge day. I remember I was totally alone at home, late in the evening when found my contract in my email--it was more than a day old already because I hadn't expected it to come yet so I hadn't been anxiously waiting (laying in wait from six week after submission until something comes through can totally drive one insane).

I remember jumping around my house--alone because my husband had dropped me off after our trip north and then gone to run an errand. My cell phone was acting up (my cell phone is always having trouble when I get a contract, or my friend Danyelle calls me to discuss the latest excitement on her own book--seriously, it's happened three, or is it four times now!) so I ended up chatting online with my friend to tell her, and jumping around alone, celebrating for twenty minutes or so until my husband came home.

I took one final look at the manuscript (because no matter how many edits we've already done, a writer could keep tinkering for years. There's always something left to tweak). Then I waited, and waited and waited for my turn to do edits. Just as I was about to go full swing into promotions I got the word that my book was being postponed from the original publication date in June to October.

Though that was a let down to have to wait even longer, it turned out to be a good move as National Adoption Awareness Month is in November, when my book (which deals with adoption issues) will be available in most bookstores. Also, It's been relatively easy to get into bookstores because they are having promotions for the holidays, so I may get more exposure this way than I would have in the summer.

In the meantime, I got the contract for my second book, which was also totally awesome. =) We went through edits (Heidi is a saint if even half of her writers are as featherbrained as I am). And the book cover arrived. That was totally cool.

But nothing was as great as hearing the door to my parents' store (where I work twice a week) open and hearing the tread of the UPS man's footsteps. I leaped from the desk where I was working on the weekend deposit and ran around the displays so I could see him while I asked--"is it my book?"

I saw my mom lean over the stack of boxes and confirm that yes, one of them did have my books in it. Now, the UPS guy has never been especially chatty. Friendly and polite, yes, but I've never seen him hang around for a second longer than necessary. However, when he realized it was copies of MY BOOK he waited to watch me feverishly trying to cut through the plastic invoice holder that crossed the opening between the flaps (and loaned me his box opener because I was having trouble). I pulled away the packaging and beamed as this beautiful sight greeted me!

Oh, yes, they're mine, all mine! Except for the one I sold less than five minutes later. Or the one half an hour after that. Or the third one a couple of hours after that. But somehow that's even cooler. Not only do I now have copies of the book I wrote, but three other people already have copies on their own nightstands, bookshelves, or dinner tables (or with any luck, propped open being read while they ought to be doing something else!).

Once more I have to say a big thanks to my editor Heidi Doxey for being so fabulous to work with, and to Angela Olsen for the gorgeous cover.


Do I look happy?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Just a quick note

I just posted a list of all the fun stuff I'm up to right now over at the Cedar Fort Authors blog, so you might want to go over and read more details about the events now listed in my sidebar.

My author copies are supposed to arrive to my excited little hands on Monday, and I didn't mention this on the other blog, but my book trailer is very nearly finished and I'm so excited to show the world. Hopefully I'll have that ready to show everyone by mid week.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

By Love or By Sea book trailer

All right, I got the link from Rachel Rager this morning, but my day has just been busy, so here's her book trailer. Hope you like it.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rachel Rager's book "By Love or By Sea"


Alice Lind Frank never forgot the boy she loved when she was just six years old, even after he was lost at sea. Now a young woman, Alice has found happiness in living and working with her grandparents, and in the affections of Clarence Hielott, the wealthy shipyard owner who intends to make Alice his bride.

When a ragged sailor appears in town, Alice is reminded of the young boy who once held her heart. Upon learning that the sailor is in fact her childhood love, Caleb, she finds herself falling for him again.

But Clarence refuses to let this ghost from the past destroy his plans for the future. He exposes the secrets of Caleb’s past, and Alice realizes that the boy she once knew is now a man with a dark history. Soon Caleb and Clarence are locked in a fierce competition for Alice’s heart.

Rachel Rager is a new writer who states she was a hopeless romantic from the start. And she states: "When I sit down to read a book and relax, I want to be swept away; I want to be entertained; I want to forget about the trouble in my own life and enjoy a little romance. That is what you will find here. Romance. Good, clean wholesome ROMANCE!"

You can read an excerpt of her book at her website, or check out her blog. If I can find her book trailer again (what happened to that link?) I'll post that as well.

If you post a comment on my blog (please, you'll have to come to the actual blog for this one, Facebook posts won't count) Rachel will enter you to win a copy of her book. So post away!

By Love or By Sea is available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and many other place LDS books are sold (even though there's no LDS content, it's just clean fiction.)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Book review of Linda Chadwick's "Second Chances"

I first met Linda at a conference our publisher held in June, then managed to connect with her again through Facebook and some other groups. Not having read the back cover blurb before starting to read her book, I had no idea what it was even about before I started reading. This book is YA, though I think adults would enjoy it equally as well.

After Larry Porter's wife dies, he is left as sole caregiver to two teens and a daughter in elementary school. This would be tough enough under the circumstances, but over the preceding years, Larry has focused on his career, wanting to become more successful, make more money, rather than take the time to make memories or grow strong bonds with his children. His teenage son and daughter hold more than a little resentment when Larry re-prioritizes to put them first and doubt that he's sincere.

When his older daughter starts to act out and his son Chris is badly beaten up things go from bad to worse until Larry wonders if he will ever be able to pull it all together again, or if his family is fractured forever.

This was well-crafted and smartly plotted with good characterization and a compelling story that pulled me along to the end. I look forward to seeing what Linda has to offer us in the future.

This book can be purchased on Amazon, from the publisher, Desert Book, or most anywhere else LDS books are sold.