Thursday, September 26, 2013

Banned books--go read one!

 Did you know it's banned books week? For the life of me, I can't imagine why anyone would want to censor ideas and words. Books are there to expand our views, show us a life beyond our own, and even show us what life is and shouldn't be. Maybe that's why people ban books--they think they're protecting us from things that can hurt us, or damaging ideas.

Here's the deal, though--life isn't all rainbows and unicorns. It's not meant to be. Life can be painful, or to quote the Dread Pirate Roberts, "Life is pain." (Because if you can quote The Princess Bride, you really should...) Sugar coating what we read won't protect us from that. Reading about it helps us learn, to process how that feels, and deal with it. 

Read a banned book! Some of my favorites:

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hoseini
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
1984 by George Orwell
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I see a common thread in all of these books: authority is challenged, and the status quo is seen as corrupt. The overarching theme is the need to change or destroy that status quo. No wonder the powers that be don't like these books! So this week, go out and tick off the thought police. Think for yourself and share a banned book with a friend.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Makeup Fail #203

So yesterday I had an author event about an hour from where I live. Post and pics coming on that soon! Anyway, in an effort to look less troll-ish and more awesome famous author-ish, I put on some eye shadow. This is where is all went horribly wrong.

A few months ago, a friend invited me to an essential oil party at her house. She gave me a sample of oregano oil to say thanks for coming, and she promised it would help with acne scarring and age spots. After my self-esteem recovered from the brutal truth, I tried it once or twice, decided *not* smelling like an over-spiced pizza every day was worth living with a few age spots, and tossed the teeny little bottle of oregano oil to the bottom of my makeup bag, where I forgot about it...

...until yesterday.

I had just completed the rest of my makeup ritual. So far, so good. I grabbed my eye shadow brush, put on my eyeshadow, and just as I reached for my mascara, it felt like FIREBALLS WERE SHOOTING FROM MY EYEBALLS THROUGH MY EYELIDS. It burned with the fiery intensity of a thousand ten gazillion suns. I picked up my eyeshadow brush and just as I was about to toss it in the garbage can and possibly swear at it for such treasonous behavior, I caught a whiff, and then I noticed the teeny, tiny little bottle of oregano oil lying right where the makeup brush had been. The lid gradually unscrewed and took its revenge on me after months of neglect by leaking on my makeup brush.

This is how I felt:

I now know that oregano oil has a side effect when used on the skin. I also know a new torture method, if anyone at the CIA would like more information.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Want a Free Novella?

I got an email this week from best-selling romance writer Camelia Miron Skiba, one that made me happy dance. She is participating in a blog hop this week where she gives away her favorite book she's read this year...and she picked Arms Wide Open. I can't even being to say how amazing this feels as a writer, to know someone liked my book enough to call it a favorite.

Thanks, Cami. Drop by her blog and enter to win! She's giving away 3 e-copies, so the odds are good you might score.

Monday, September 16, 2013

First Review for Arms Wide Open

The verdict: 4 stars! 

"Lauren is a complex character. I wanted to figure her out and see her find happiness. The story picks up on a pivotal day in her life, yet her past is so much a part of who she has chosen to become. She has really been through a lot and has conquered so much. She still struggles, but she is finally ready to move on. Love the way fate takes this day to tie up some of her past so unexpectedly."

Thanks to anyone who leaves an author a review on what you read. It really helps us out--we learn from them. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Feudlings in Flames

You know who's hot right now? Wendy Knight, author of the Fate on Fire series. She just released the second novel in the series after putting out a novella (Feudlings in Sight) this summer, and I have to say, Feudlings really is on fire. It took the book about 30 seconds to shoot to the top of some Amazon YA bestseller lists, and with good reason. It's a great read!

My daughter Snarky is reading all the books in the series, and she LOVES Ari, the main character. The dialog is taut and witty, the love story is there, the characters are well-developed, and the action rocks. Add in that we are tall people around here, and Ari is 5'11" (the same height as Snarky, my 13 year old), and we have a main character I can totally get behind my girl looking up to!

This is a must read, friends. Check out Feudlings in Flames!

Ari thought being in love with her prophesied nemesis sucked. But being responsible for her best friend's kidnapping? It sucks worse.

Ari and Shane thought they’d beaten Fate and ended the three-hundred year war plaguing their people. They thought love had won. But they were so, so wrong.

Instead of graduating high school like the normals, they’re in a battle to save Charity – Shane’s cousin, Ari's best friend, and the seer who might hold the key to ending the war for good. To do that, they’re forced to accept help from a boy they aren’t even sure they can trust. He’s powerful and knows spells even Ari’s never heard of, but he’s also secretive and has a past he’s determined to keep hidden . Add to that the fact that he has his sights set on Ari, and Shane would rather do without his help.

Ari has bigger problems than mysterious boys and their strange powers. The powerful Edren Family is hunting her brother, and she can't very well save him or Charity while they’re constantly being attacked by her own people. To stop the raids, she has to take the fight to them. But if she starts hunting the family that raised her, what kind of monster will she be?

Fate still waits for the death of one by the hand of the other.

Author Bio
Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etc.). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.
You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing.

Twitter: @wjk8099

Available Now from:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

This Makes Me Happy

Okay, so I admit to checking my stats and reviews on Amazon a little compulsively. Obsessively...possibly borderline psychotically. In my defense, however, if I didn't I wouldn't see things like this when they pop up: a new five star review for Psyched that says

I totally loved this book. This author made this book very exciting and easy to read. I had a hard time putting my kindle down!!!!

Day: MADE. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Get in the Spirit Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Psyched by Juli Caldwell


by Juli Caldwell

Giveaway ends September 13, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Because Everyone Loves a Raffle

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to enter to win something from Misty Moncur to celebrate the release of Fight for You! She's awesome sauce. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fight for You: mother-daughter reviews

"Of all the things you fight for—your family, their freedom
and religion—of all those things, Keturah, don't forget to
fight for you. Fight for what you believe, fight for what you

My Review: Fight for You has everything that makes a book work. Action. Suspense. Family and friends. Moonflowers. Forbidden kisses. A love triangle with one girl and two guys equally worthy of her.

I love how Moncur wrote Keturah's character. She is strong and smart, loyal and fearless. She is the lone girl in an army of 2000 boys whose parents vowed never to fight again, and these unseasoned warriors meet fierce foes on the field of battle. My favorite scene is at the end, the final battle, when Keturah is going all ninja girl on the enemy. She sees one man who has seen her before, not realizing she was in the opposing army. They were very capable of killing each other, but in that moment I knew neither of them wanted to. It was beautifully done. I know the story this was based on, and I think Moncur did a fantastic job of making the story fresh, and real, and giving it a modern spin.

My daughter Andi agreed to hijack the blog long enough to give us her thoughts on Fight for You, too. We read it together, and it was fun discussing the book, the characters, and the action. 

Andi's first book review! Isn't she the cutest thing ever?

Andi's Review: I really like this book. Keturah is so cool! Sometimes the battles got a little scary for me but that makes the book exciting. I'm glad I got to read it. My favorite character is Keturah. She's smart and nice. This book is great for girls like me because it's a good story. Keturah is a soldier but she is friends with everyone even when they act like they hate her and do mean things to her. She's always a good example and helps people too.

As a mom, I appreciate, above all, knowing that this book is clean and something I don't have to worry about my kids reading. Fight for You is now available, so check it out!

Keturah fought her way into the army, but now she's in Judea building fortifications, and the only thing she's fought so far is boredom. The work is hard, and the other soldiers don't think she can pull her weight. Her brothers are becoming strangers, and Zeke's jealousy is getting worse - because Keturah is falling in love with the wrong warrior.

But she's not about to let cruel pranks and hurt feelings keep her from doing what she knows to be right. She completes every order with faithfulness - a hasty retreat from the Lamanite army, a spy mission into the enemy stronghold, a midnight assassination. From burying the dead to whiling away hours on guard duty, Keturah will do whatever it takes to protect her religion, her freedom, her peace, and her family.

But in a camp of two thousand boys, the most important thing she has to protect is her heart.

Fight For You is the second novel in Misty Moncur's Stripling Warrior series. Fall in love with these romantic novels set against a vivid Book of Mormon backdrop.

Misty Moncur wanted to be Indiana Jones when she grew up. Instead, she became an author and has her adventures at home. In her jammies. With her imagination. And pens that she keeps running dry.

Misty lives in a marsh near a very salty lake in Utah with her husband and children, where they cuddle up in the evenings and read their Kindles. Well, she does anyway.

Connect with Misty at the links below.

Visit Misty's blog
Like The Stripling Warrior Series
Connect with Misty on Goodreads
Follow Misty on Twitter
Follow Misty on Wattpad

Excerpt from Arms Wide Open? Yes, Please!

Here's a quick snippet from my newly released novella, available now on Amazon

I walk back to the bathroom as quickly as I can. I pray for a long line to delay me, but there’s just one girl who looks as frazzled as I feel standing in front of one the sinks. She’s average height with curly brown hair and pretty brown eyes, and wears a great pair of skinny jeans, a blazer with rolled up sleeves, and some seriously wicked high-heeled boots. She’s slowly and very thoroughly working bubbles over her hands, bangle bracelets jangling with every move she makes. The soap makes a sickening, squishing noise as it runs through her fingers. She stands there, like she’s mesmerized, staring blankly as I squirt some foam soap into my own hands and mirror her gestures.
After a moment she looks over. She takes a deep breath and starts to rinse off her hands. “So...what brings you in here?”
“A hipster guy with a pre-pubescent beard, lisp, a man purse, and attitude glasses thinking he’s the next Don Juan DeMarco. He tried to hold my hand, and my scone got squashed, taking one for the team. I’m just washing off the mess. You?”
She laughs. “A guy with the nastiest looking eyeball I have ever seen spilled some coffee on the table. I didn’t get any on me but I didn’t tell him that. I just wanted an excuse to hide for a bit.”
“Oh, yes. Kevin.” I laugh. “He was my first date tonight. He’s harmless, I think...just completely whackadoodle. Are you a his new friend, too? Has he hinted that you just might be the one yet?”
She rolled her eyes. “Uh, yeah. My sister dragged me here and is finding seriously fab guys while I keep getting the weirdos.”
“Amen, girl. Good luck.” I grab a few paper towels to dry my hands. Crumpling them into a ball, I toss the wad into the trash can and back up toward the door. “You going out there again?”
She shakes her head with pursed lips. “No. My hands are way too dirty for that. Good luck with your...uh...”
“My little Casanova wannabe,” I finish as I bump the bathroom door open with my booty and gird my loins for the rest of the round. I don’t actually know what that means, but it sounds like suffering is involved in what happens next, and that sounds right to me.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Gah! Best Seller!!!

 Can you believe it? Thank you!!!

One Book, Two Books, Free Book, New Book

Happy Friday!

Normally when I see all the optimists of the world post happy day greetings, just because they're happy, I roll my eyes. I should stop being so jaded, shouldn't I? But then I have a day like today where I release a novella that starts selling before I even get the email from Kindle saying it's approved and available, and my other book is free and it's getting downloaded like crazy.  This feels awesome! Suddenly I'm a little jealous that these people feel this way all the time.

My 2013 releases:

One book...

Two books...

 Free book, new book!

Happy reading, friends! It's a great weekend to sit outside, enjoy the shade, and read.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Own Cover Reveal

Five minutes can change your life. Or not.

In an effort to rejoin humanity, Lauren Brooks is guilted into a five-on-five speed dating event at a local coffee shop. Through luck or fate, she's paired with a range of pathetically bizarre and creepy men. The odd characters are what she expects until she’s paired with a man from her past, forcing her into a difficult decision. Will she hide in the ladies room all night, or open her arms and allow herself to give love another chance?