Monday, August 25, 2008

Latter-Day Truths In Narnia

I have always admired C.S. Lewis, not only for his brilliant writing, but also for his deep spiritual awareness. He was a great man who accomplished much in his life, and he inspired and brought joy to so many others with his marvelous insight. He will always be a great hero to me.

Marianna Richardson and Christine Thackeray have penned a wonderful novel entitled C.S.Lewis: Latter-Day Truths In Narnia, and it is one of the most informative and inspiring books I have ever read. Whether you are a true Narnia fan or a fan of Lewis's spiritual novels, Latter-Day Truths In Narnia has something for all.

The Book
C. S. Lewis was an accomplished scholar, writer, and Christian apologist. His incredible insights and wonderful stories have long been a favorite of the LDS community, and he has been referenced thousands of times throughout LDS writings. Even Shakespeare pales in comparison to the number of times C. S. Lewis has been quoted by Mormon authors, scholars, and General Authorities to illustrate doctrinal truths.

Lewis had a knack of speaking for "every man" and gave us modern parables for Christian living. All can relate to his testimony of Christ and his practical understanding of how to put gospel teachings into practice today.

C. S. Lewis: Latter-day Truths in Narnia explores Lewis's life, his writings, and his influence on LDS writers, scholars, and authorities. Lewis realized that life is more than what we see and deeper than what we feel. Whether or not you are familiar with Lewis's nonfiction works or his fictional characters, you will enjoy reading about his powerful testimony of Jesus Christ.

C.S. Lewis: Latter-Day Truths In Narnia can be purchased on and

More Suggested Reading

Book: Finding Faith
Author: Terri Ferran

Publisher: Cedar Fort

If you are looking for a good conversion story that will help to strengthen your own faith, you'll love Finding Faith.

Kit Matthews tries to avoid thinking about God - and her unknown birth mother - altogether. She loves her family and is content with her life in California. That is, until her parents decide to move to Utah, the land of Mormons.

New surroundings and culture shock do nothing to help Kit's social life. It is only with the help of Janet, a new friend, that Kit begins to adjust to life in Utah, as well as to the Mormon culture. Janet's older brother, Adam, is more than happy to befriend Kit, but when their feelings begin to go beyond friendship, Kit is torn. Does she really want to devote her heart to a boy who is going to leave her for two years to serve a mission for his faith? Can she support him when she doesn't even believe in his religion?

As Kit looks deeper, she realizes that it isn't Adam's faith she needs to come to terms with - it's her own.
Finding Faith is published by Cedar Fort and can be purchased on and

Also, get your copy of The Journey from and

Monday, August 18, 2008

Man's Search For Happiness

True happiness is the goal that is constantly reached for and in some cases never achieved. For those who are still searching, I've found the perfect thought.

"Happiness should not be a means or an end or a goal of any kind. If you can not be happy, perhaps you haven't struggled enough. Who said lasting happiness was easy. And who said you can buy much happiness, you really can't find it in material things. "There has to be something about you that brings happiness out of yourself and out of the world. A man that is blind may be just as blind as someone with eyes." You may ask ourselves, where can we learn to see? I answer, "Don't take anything for granted; life is sacred and matters; our actions all have consequences. Give life everything you've got and even when people spit on your ambitions, keep moving, never give up and most of all, make your life have meaning, and give yourself reason to feel good about yourself by your integrity and good will.""

Happiness will begin to trickle into you life in little drops, till your eyes are just beaming with it, and goodness will follow you where ever you go.

Morgan Green ©

Enough said:o)

Suggested Reading

Book: Meet Your Match
Author: Stephanie Fowers
Published By: Covenant

Jacqueline Childs and Britton Sergeant disagree on almost everything, and definitely on what kind of man catches a girl's eye. Jacqueline writes a love-advice column, and intends to write an article settling the matter once and for all. So, in defense of their genders, they make a wager involving unsuspecting players: Mr. Nice Guy and Mr. Jerk. Both will go after the biggest squirrelly girl in the singles ward-whoever catches the girl, wins.

All's fair in love and wagers.
... however, when Jacqueline's plan starts to work too well, she's afraid the worst will happen: she'll win the wager, but lose her chance for her own Mr. Nice Guy.

This was a really fun read. I've never experienced a singles ward, but reading this light-hearted story, it looks like it could be a lot of fun. If you want a book that will make you laugh and tug at your heart, you'll love Meet Your Match. Get your copy at your local bookstore or by logging on to or

Also, order your copy of my new YA novel The Journey by logging on to

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Controlling Our Thoughts

We've all had those moments where negative thoughts enter our brain unbidden. And the harder you try to fight them and push them away the more they persist and grow in your mind. Well I have found a perfect solution for helping to control thoughts. It is something I have done for a while, but in this quote, it is worded perfectly, and in following this advice you can't go wrong.

"When you try to stop negative thoughts, you are focusing on what you don't want - negative thoughts - and you will attract an abundance of them. They can never disappear if you are focused on them. The "stop" part is irrelevant - the negative thoughts are your focus. It doesn't matter if you are trying to stop negative thoughts or control them or push them away, the result is the same. Your focus is on negative thoughts, and by the law of attraction you are inviting more of them to you.

The truth is always simple and it is always easy. To stop negative thoughts, just plant good thoughts! Deliberately plant good thoughts! You plant good thoughts by making it a daily practice to appreciate all the things in your day. Appreciate your health, your car, your home, your family, your job, your friends, your surroundings, your meals, your pets, and the magnificent beauty of the day. Compliment, praise, and give thanks to all things. Every time you say "Thank you" it is a good thought! As you plant more and more good thoughts, the negative thoughts will be wiped out. Why? Because your focus is on good thoughts, and what you focus on you attract.

So don't give any attention to negative thoughts. Don't worry about them. If any come, make light of them, shrug them off, and let them be your reminder to deliberately think more good thoughts now.

The more good thoughts you can plant in a day, the faster your life will be utterly transformed into all good. If you spend only one day speaking of good things and saying "Thank you" at every single opportunity, you will not believe your tomorrow. Deliberately thinking good thoughts is exactly like planting seeds. As you think good thoughts you are planting good seeds inside you, and the Universe will transform those seeds into a garden of paradise. How will the garden of paradise appear? As your life!"

Rhonda Byrne

Suggested Reading

Book: Don't You Marry The Mormon Boys
Author: Janet Kay Jensen
Publisher: Cedar Fort

When Andy McBride met Louisa Martin, he knew he had found the girl for him. There was only one problem: polygamy - a lifestyle that Louisa could not escape and Andy would not embrace.

As medical students at the University of Utah, Andy and Louisa fall in love - but can a mainstream Mormon and a Fundamental polygamist overcome the cultural barriers between them? Both realize that their choices will not only affect their own lives, but will also have an impact on their family, friends, and even their communities. Fearing that the sacrifices required of them would be too great, they go their separate ways.

Yet for Andy in Kentucky and Louisa in Utah, life does not go as they'd planned. While Andy is serving as a country doctor and trying to bury his pain, Louisa is coming to terms with the fact that all is not as perfect in her tight-knit community as she'd believed. As doctors, each will have to choose between keeping the peace in their communities or doing what they know is right. And someday, both will have to face their past and decide if they can make the sacrifice to be together.

Set in the red hills of southern Utah, the cosmopolitan center of Salt Lake City, the Smoky Mountains of Kentucky, and the lake-studded country of Finland, Don't You Marry the Mormon Boys is the heartfelt and engaging story about the power of love and acceptance in an ever-changing and often surprising world.

This was a very enjoyable read and it really opened my eyes to the lifestyle of the Fundamental polygamist sects. Don't You Marry The Mormon Boys can be purchased at your local bookstore or by logging on to or

Book: Servant To A King
Author: Sariah S. Wilson
Publisher: Covenant

When Isabel's father offers her hand to a Nephite, she's shocked and angry-and when the offer is refused, she's utterly furious. How dare this Ammon refuse to marry the beautiful eldest daughter of King Lamoni! There could only be one explanation for this unforgivable dishonor: Ammon must be a spy.

Isabel closely watches her enemy, expecting to find evidence of treachery, but instead she finds evidence of loyalty, bravery, and kindness. Afraid to admit her growing affection for Ammon, Isabel hides her true feelings behind a headstrong fa├žade. Yet when the vile Lamanite prince Mahlon threatens to take her as a bride and wrest the kingdom from Lamoni, Isabel must choose between her pride and her life. Meanwhile, the risks of love test Ammon's faith and courage as never before.

Will Ammon thwart the marriage of Isabel and Mahlon before it's too late? And could a Lamanite princess and a Nephite prince really live happily ever after?

I love novels based on The Book of Mormon stories and this was another great one from Sariah.
Servant To A King can be purchased at your local bookstore or by logging on to or

Also, purchase your copy of the new YA fantasy The Journey by logging on to or

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Review: Room for Two

Everyone has trials and I'm sure we all have one or two that really push up to the limit and make us wonder if we will make it through them. But some people face trials unlike anything we could imagine and less you are in that person's shoes, you can't begin to understand how they feel. Abel Keogh's book Room for Two is the is the perfect example of walking through the fire of an agonizing trial and overcoming, holding to your faith and coming through stronger than ever.

The Book
"Sweetie, I'm home." I tried to put as much kindness into my voice as possible. I didn't want to have another argument - at least not right away.
Silence. "Sweetheart?" A gunshot echoed from our bedroom, followed by the sound of a bullet casing skipping along a wall. Everything slowed down.

When a life is destroyed, when guilt says you played a role in its destruction, how do you face the days ahead?
Twenty-six-year-old Abel Keogh chooses to ignore the promptings he receives concerning his wife's mental illness, and now he feels he is to blame for her choices. If only he had listened . . .

At some point in our lives, each of us face devastating afflictions and must eventually cope with loss. Regardless of how it happens, the outcome is still the same - we are left isolated, alone, wondering what we could have done differently, and where we can turn for peace. This is Abel's story in his own words. His search for peace and the miracle that follows is proof that love and hope can endure, despite the struggles and tragedies that shape each of our lives.

This book affected so much emotionally that the story stayed with me long after I finished it. I was saddened by what Abel went through losing his wife so tragically, yet I felt the joy of his triumph of making it through it. His story is sure to inspire the reader because it proves that none of us are alone, and when we are at our lowest, as long as we lean on Heavenly Father and His son, we can make it through this life, no matter what trials we are faced with.
Room for Two is published by Cedar Fort and can be purchased at a bookstore near you or by logging on to or
To find out more about Abel Keogh, log on to his website at

Order your copy of my new YA fantasy The Journey by logging on to

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Caught in the Headlights

I love books that help to bring about inner change, ones that help us to realize what is truly important in this life. Caught in the Headlights: Ten Lessons Learned The Hard Way by Barry K. Phillips is one of those books.

The Book
Have you ever gotten what you wished for, only to discover that it's not really what you wanted after all?

We've all had those "deer in the headlights" moments when we realize we've been chasing after the wrong things. Caught in the Headlights is a frank, insightful look at 10 key goals most of us think we want - only to discover our eyes are on the wrong prize. Barry Phillips not only entertains but also examines common values and enlightens us to the goals we should seek, and what to do differently now that we know better.

From goals such as happiness, self-esteem, protecting our pride, or the perfect physique, Phillips takes a closer look at those aims prized by society and explores how we can pursue higher goals. A thoughtful, funny, and at times profound look into the real reasons we all have for the things we do, this book will entertain, enlighten, and inspire.

This is one of those books that you will want to read again and again just to refresh yourself. It's filled with so many truths and I found Barry's insight spot on. The book helped me to take a look at some of my imperfections, (and yes, I do have some:o)) yet be able to laugh at my quirkiness, change things, and move on. It's an uplifting book that recharges the desire to seek what is really important in life.
Barry doesn't sugarcoat anything and I really love that. He has a no-nonsense way of getting the point across and making sure that you don't forget it.
I really loved the section on self-esteem, and the one about having the perfect physical physique made me both think and laugh out loud. Caught in the Headlights is a book that should definitely grace every bookshelf.
Caught in the Headlights is published by Cedar Fort and can be purchased off their website, as well as and Barry's website.
To learn more about Barry Phillips, visit his website at or his blog at

Order your copy of my new YA fantasy The Journey by logging on to

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Surprise packages

Today I have the privilege of visiting with three amazing ladies. Nancy Anderson, Lael J. Littke, and Carroll H. Morris are the authors of Surprise Packages, the third volume of their series The Company of Good Women. What's so amazing is these women live in three different states, yet they have been able to come together to write a great series that is both inspiring and uplifting. Every woman will come away from this series touched in some way, and Surprise Packages is a great conclusion to a series about three women living completely different lives, yet they remain the best of friends, seeing each other through both good and bad times.

The Book
Fifteen years after meeting at Education Week at Brigham Young University, the friends face new challenges. Deenie, now living in Gainesville, Florida, begins to question everything she has believed about herself as she sees her actions through others' eyes. Juneau's feelings of guilt come to a head when a secret from her childhood and the mystery of her great-grandmother, Letitia, combine to force her to confront her past. And Erin, whose painful divorce has made her cynical about love and marriage, must decide if she can take a risk when she has a second chance for love.

Staying in touch through phone calls, e-mails, and periodic vacations together, the friends offer one another support, sometimes in the form of blunt feedback. But as they anticipate reaching their goal to become Crusty Old Broads, life takes a turn that puts their twenty-five-year pact in doubt.

I really loved this series because each of these three women is someone we can all relate to and the story proves that there is no trial we can't overcome, and true friendship lasts forever.

Ladies, thanks so much for visiting with me today. and by the way, you beautiful women are an inspiration to me.
Now Surprise Packages is the last in your trilogy, The Company of Good Women. Tell me what makes your trilogy unique.

Lael: Well, it’s the story of three women in three different parts of the country and their quest to become Crusty Old Broads—written by three women from three different parts of the country who are self-professed Crusty Old Broads! Through the story, we try to offer a realistic—but hopeful—view of the issues faced by LDS families.

You ladies aren't crusty, just seasoned, and you're not old, just mature:o) Where are you ladies from?

Lael: I'm from Pasadena, CA, Nancy is from Sandy, UT, and Carroll lives in Green Valley, AZ.

How did you come up with the idea of writing together?

Lael: We were vacationing together in Moab, Utah, when Nancy said, “Why don’t we write a book together?” We sat down right then and brainstormed about what we wanted the themes of our novel to be. We still have the notes that Carroll wrote in aqua ink!

What experiences did you ladies have that made a novel a feasible project?

Carroll: I am the author of several fiction and non-fiction books published by Deseret Book. Lael has over forty YA books (Deseret Book and national publishers) to her credit. Nancy, though at the time unpublished, had been working on some book ideas.

Wow, you ladies have been busy. How long did it take until the first book came out?

Nancy: We got the idea in 1998 while on vacation in Moab. We wrote “at it” for several years—we finally got serious when Deseret Book expressed interest in what we were doing. The first book in the series, Almost Sisters, was released in July of 2006, about eight years after we first got the idea.

Well, the wait was definitely worth it. So, what were the biggest challenges you faced as co-authors?

Nancy: 1. Merging files and making corrections. On the first book, Lael was the manuscript master. For the last two, Carroll took on that job.

2. Literary liposuction. The story of each character—told completely—would have filled its own book. So cutting the text without gutting the story was a challenge.

Lael: 3. Writing the third book of the series. We knew where we were going in the first two books, but none of us had written ahead in book three. We had only general ideas about where it would go.

Carroll: 4. Making the series add up to something. We wanted our readers to finish the series feeling that they’d been changed by the time spent with Deenie, Juneau and Erin. We hope they will periodically read the series over, like visiting old friends.

I know I will. What is your personal favorite part of Surprise Packages?

Lael: Gradually bringing Juneau and her husband, Greg, closer so that eventually they “speak the same language.”

Carroll: The romance between Erin and Vince Gerlach. Much of the Erin material is quite serious and dramatic, but the romance was fun to write.

Nancy: Deenie discovering that being a Mormon woman raised in Utah doesn’t make her better than other people. She learns a lot about herself and other as she sees life with this new self-awareness.

How did you come up with the title Surprise Packages?

Lael: That comes from a talk the three of us heard when we were vacationing in Sedona. The speaker said that when we make a decision, we’re wrapping up a package that we open in our future. In book three of the series, the three women open the packages created by the decisions they—and others—made in books one and two.

Are the characters and events in the novel based on someone you know or events in your own life?

Lael: Many incidents are loosely based on my own or a friend's experiences, but I changed them to suit my purposes.

Carroll: As authors, we throw everything we’ve experienced, heard about, read about, wondered about, and imagined, into the great stew pot in the back of our minds. As it bubbles away, all those elements emerge in a new form—fiction that’s as real as life itself.

Nancy: It’s true that we start with what we know or know about, but then the characters take over. Some plot lines are the result of our characters refusing to go where we want them to!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Carroll: That no matter what situation a person is in any moment, the story isn’t over yet. Never, never, never give up—on others or on yourself!

Are there any similarities between you three and the three characters in the novel?

Nancy: There are some superficial similarities. For instance, Carroll and I (actual sisters) met Lael at a Women’s Conference. Deenie, Juneau, and Erin meet at Education Week. We have vacationed together every year since then and we drew on our experiences to describe the vacations the characters go on together.

Carroll: Nancy actually appliqued denim jackets for Lael and I. We wore the jackets when we were on vacation in Moab—and we did stop traffic, just like the characters in the book!

It sounds like you three have vacationed together a lot. What’s your favorite vacation spot?

Lael: Our favorite place is Carlsbad, CA, but Moab, Utah, and Sedona, Arizona, are right behind.

Do you three have a new project in the works?

We have an idea for a book that will have the same format as the series—we’ll each write from the viewpoint of a character. It’s a stand-alone novel set in Powell, Wyoming, during World War II. But it is on the back burner while we’re working individual projects.

I'm definitely looking forward to your future books. Thanks so much for visiting with me today. it's been fun.

Surprise Packages, as well as the first two novels in The Company of Good Women series can be purchased at your local bookstore or on You can also visit the authors by logging on to their website at

(After the interview) - These remarks are strictly off the record.

Nancy: Jewel, we're so glad to be here. You're so awesome, we had to make sure we were interviewed by you!

Carroll: Yeah, we told our PR guy he had to stay on the phone until he got through to you. I mean, you're the best!

Lael: Yeah, we are your biggest fans!

Oh, you ladies are so nice. Here's an autographed photo of me for each of you.

Nancy, Carroll, Lael: Wow, thank you so much!

You're very welcome.

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