Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Against the Odds Ebook

I hope everyone one had an amazing Christmas. Our house was full and it was pretty awesome. May we all have a great New Year's day!

I'm kicking off the new year by introducing Against the Odds, my emotion-driven, heart-tugging contemporary romance on ebook. At $4.95, you can't beat the price.

The Book

What happens when a black fashion model from the city meets a cowboy from the country?

Tired if dealing with an unfaithful husband after seven years of marriage, Raine Edmunds finally gets a divorce. Wanting to start over, she leaves her successful modeling career behind and goes to a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico to stay with her best friend. The ranch is the perfect place for her to take stock of her life and all she's accomplished.

Then Raine meets Hayden, her friend's brother-in-law, and the opposite of all the other men she has ever known. As their friendship blossoms, so does her love of ranch life. She discovers that what she wants most-what her heart truly desires-is right in front of her.

Everything about Raine and Hayden's love is against the odds. Now they must prove to each other and to themselves that no matter what trials assail them, their love will be strong enough to overcome any obstacle.

Stop by today and order your copy of this uplifting multi-cultural romance!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We have a family Christmas tradition in my home. We have our annual Adams Family Christmas program on Christmas Eve and everyone participates, whether it be reading or telling a story, singing a song, or anything else fun we can come up with. I write a new Christmas story for my family every year and I usually read it during our program. We finish with my husband reading the nativity story from the Bible. Afterward, we chow down on hoagies and all kinds of Christmas goodies. It's always a fun evening.

This year I would like to share the new story I wrote with my blog readers. It's called Simeon'sHands and is the story of a woodcarver who finally comes to understand his worth.

If you would like me to send you an ecopy, email me your request at and I will send one right out to ya! I only asked that you do not distribute copies of this story, as it is copywritten.

I'm so grateful for you guys and your continued support. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Talk With L. C. Lewis

Last week I had the privilege of reading Dawn's Early Light, book 3 of the Free Men and Dreamers historical series by L. C. Lewis. Even though this novel is part of a series, it was also written as a stand-alone book, and having not read the first two, the story great from the very beginning and I was able to get right into it. I love reading novels about historical events, especially when the author has thoroughly researched the events, and L. C. Lewis has really done well.

The Book
This third volume of LC Lewis’s War of 1812 historical fiction epic, Free Men and Dreamers, covers the British offensive against Washington D.C. Once Napoleon is subdued, and despite the commencement of peace negotiations, Britain unleashes her triumphant European conquerors on America. And their primary target? Washington. While attentions turn to the defense of the Capital, mercenaries threaten the Winding Willows and White Oak plantations, forcing enemies to become allies, fighting side-by-side with freed slaves to defend their homes and families. Mere miles away, the Capital’s defense now rests predominantly upon citizen soldiers and a most unlikely naval force—a rag-tag fleet called the Chesapeake flotilla—and the men who built it. But Britain’s house is also divided over the war, as the cost mounts in blood and money. Experience the pain and passion of five families—American, slave and British—as they endure the three darkest days of American history—the week when Washington burned.

L. C. Lewis (Laurie) was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself and her writing.

Me: Laurie, thanks so much for taking the time to visit.

Laurie: Thanks for this opportunity, Jewel! I’m delighted to meet your readers.

Me: Tell us a little about yourself.

Laurie: I like to say that I’m a 50-something, craft-challenged, LDS wife, mother and grandmother from Maryland. My husband and I have been married for 33 years now, and we have four kids and four grandkids. Though I always loved to write, my original vocation plan was to be a singer. For about ten years I performed quite a bit, but now I only sing in the car, the choir, or to my grandchildren.

Me: Sounds fun. You're just full of talent. What got you into writing?

Laurie: When I was about ten I began writing TV episodes. They were just for my entertainment, but I would dream about starring in them with my favorite male leads—Donnie Osmond, Bobby Sherman or Davy Jones, (wow . . . I’m really dating myself here!) I entered a few writing contests and won, but it was a Creative Writing teacher who made me feel I had promise. For years I wrote short stories and poems as gifts, and I authored some plays for Church use. When my children started leaving home, I began my first novel, “Unspoken,” a story about a husband and wife who are unable to forgive one another. I submitted it to Covenant in 2003 and it was accepted and published in 2004.

Me: Tell us how you came about writing this series.

Laurie: I visited Williamsburg, Virginia and I just felt such a strong spirit there. I was fascinated and awed by the industry and ingenuity of the people, and I decided to write a book set in a historic period. I was afraid to set it in the early 1800’s because I didn’t feel qualified to handle the Restoration, so I set the book in the 1850’s, but my editor advised me to rework the manuscript and expand the story. I set it aside for quite a while, and then I was asked to teach a year of Church History in Early Morning Seminary. I read whatever I could find on Joseph Smith’s life during that year, and I realized that the generation that would receive the Restoration was the first generation of American-born citizens. Their peers were the children of the Founding Fathers. I also became drawn by the many correlations between America’s history and the events affecting Joseph Smith’s family. When you lay American history over the Joseph Smith story, the hand of the Lord in this nation’s creation is so evident. After making these discoveries, I felt I was ready to move the book back a generation picking up the wonderful War of 1812 history in my own backyard, and the early Smith history.

Me: Well, after reading Dawn's Early Light, I loved the characters so much, I'm going to have to read the first two books;-) Are you currently working on any other projects?

Laurie: I hope to have book four, “The Morning Breaks” on the shelves by next Christmas, and I have a literary novel I’m shopping around. I also have a suspense/romance I’m really excited about. It’s in the early stages, but the plot-line is fascinating. I hope I can get that manuscript finished next year.

Me: I hope so, too. I look forward to reading your future books. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to get to know you:-)

To learn more about Laurie and her books, visit her blog at

Leave a comment and you will be automatically entered in a drawing to receive a copy of Dawn's Early Light!

Be sure and download your free copy of The Journey and Place In This World by clicking on the links to the right. And visit my blog to learn about my other books!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tender Mercies: One of Life's Great Lessons

Have you ever had times when you've needed a friend and one was sent right when you needed it most?
Have you ever been down and someone calls or stops by or sends a card just to let you know you are in their thoughts and brighten your day?
Have you ever needed something and found that need filled through another person?
Have you ever been desperately in need of comfort, and received that comfort from your spouse or one of your children?
Have you ever prayed to make it through a trial to find years later that you not only made it through, but you were stronger because of it?

I'm sure we all have had these moments, but do we recognize those tender mercies when they come? If you are like me, you don't truly recognize them until they have passed.

I've received many mercies in my life, far too many to count. Some of them I didn't recognize until years later when I've taken a moment to truly think about them.
I remember many things about my childhood. Some I have chosen to lock away, and others remain at the forefront of my mind, and each and every one of these memories was accompanied by a tender mercy I could not recognize at the time.
There is one memory in particular that will forever stay with me because it testifies with absolute certainty of God's love for me, of His love and mindfulness of all of us.

I was nine years old. I had gotten off the school bus and slowly walked home. Because of the things I witnessed in my home on a daily basis, it was never a place where one could find comfort. I walked through the door and immediately heard the very familiar screams and cries of my mother. Walking down the hallway, I stopped at her open bedroom door. My stepfather was administering one of his daily beatings, only this one looked far worse. He yelled at me to go to my room, which I immediately did.
I closed my door, stood looking out my window for a few moments, then got on my bed and pulled a pillow over my head. I cried and tried to muffle out the cries of my mother but couldn't. I began to rock back and forth, talking to my invisible friend, and prayed for it to be over. I don't know how long I did this. I just remember continually rocking with the pillow over my head and praying for comfort.

And comfort did come. Because the next thing I knew, I was waking up to go and eat dinner and it was over.

After the birth of my youngest son, I was again dealing with bouts of major depression. There were times that I would lie on my side in bed and rock back and forth, praying for it to be over.
And once again, comfort did come.

Do I wish I had not had to deal with these things?

Absolutely not!

Because look at the lessons learned! They were priceless!

God has given me so many tender mercies in my life and I promised myself I would always strive to recognize each and every one.
Of course, I'm still a work in progress:-)
I pray we can all recognize the tender mercies that come to us, as well as the lessons learned from each trial.

Suggested Reading

Book: Grace

Author: Richard Paul Evans

The Book
She was my first kiss. My first love. She was a little match girl who could see the future in the flame of a candle. She was a runaway who taught me more about life than anyone has before or since. And when she was gone my innocence left with her.

As I begin to write, a part of me feels as if I am awakening something best left dead and buried, or at least buried. We can bury the past, but it never really dies. The experience of that winter has grown on my soul like ivy climbing the outside of a home, growing until it begins to tear and tug at the brick and mortar.

I pray I can still get the story right. My memory, like my eyesight, has waned with age. Still, there are things that become clearer to me as I grow older. This much I know: too many things were kept secret in those days. Things that never should have been hidden. And things that should have.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Yes, We All Make A Difference, No Matter What

Yesterday was a very down day for me. I felt more down than I have in a very long time. It was a day where I very prone to tears and wondered if I have really made a difference in the world. I know, I know, I'm always talking of being positive and recognizing your worth, but even I have moments when I feel down and wonder if I'm contributing anything of value, if I'm being a good enough wife, a good enough mother, and a good enough daughter of God.

It's so easy to feel overwhelmed these days. Mix that with worry and an emotional hormone surge and it's not pretty.

But at the end of the day I began again to remember what's important, why I'm here. And I felt better. I reminded myself that we all have days, and moments. When those times do come, if we could just remember we aren't alone, and the sorrow won't last forever, we will begin to be all right.

Suggested Reading

Book: Leven Thumps and the Ruins of Alder
Author: Obert Skye

The Book
In the fifth and final volume of the epic saga of Leven Thumps, all of Foo is rushing madly to exit the realm of dreams while Leven is headed in the opposite direction. Fate snatches him to the island of Alder, where he is poised to pass or fail the final test.
Meanwhile, in Reality, Ezra and Dennis are welcoming those flowing out of Foo— but only so they can selfishly conquer them and gain control of both realms. Phoebe is loose, and it takes Geth getting ahold of her to begin to balance the emotions and passions of all that is crumbling. And Winter? Well, Winter just might hold the answer to everything. Ride with Leven and Clover as they travel through the ruins of Alder hoping he has what it takes to save all mankind and restore the power of dreams.

As much as I hated to see this series end, it was indeed a great ending and an exciting and enjoyable read. What's even better is the promise of a spin-off series at the end of the book:-)

Download your free copy of The Journey and Place In This World by clicking on the links to the right!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Book Spotlight: The Ball's In her Court

This past month I had the privilege of reading The Ball's In Her Court by Heather Justesen. When I started reading and discovered what the story was about, I wasn't sure I wanted to finish it because some of what the character goes through in the book, I know a lot about from my own childhood, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

The Book
Growing up in the foster care system was no picnic, but after being adopted into a loving LDS family, playing college basketball, and launching her career in the software industry, Denise Dewalt finally feels as though she s left her former life behind her. What she doesn t realize is that she must confront her past if she ever wants to move on to a brighter future. While her search for her biological family isn t an easy one, Denise s biggest fear is that even when she finds her family, she ll have nothing to give Rich, the only man who can see past the tragedies of her childhood. This emotional and inspirational story proves that life is full of unexpected twists and turns especially when it comes to facing your demons, fighting for love, and finding happiness for the future. The Ball s in Her Court will keep you hooked to the very last page.

Heather really tugs at your heart with this story. It left me uplifted and helped renew my knowledge that with the Lord, there is nothing we can't overcome, and we are all special and loved.
To learn more about Heather and her book, log on to

Download your free copy of The Journey and Place In This World by clicking on the links to the right!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Memories

With the great Turkey Day approaching, I've found myself trying to remember the Thanksgivings of my youth. Sadly, there wasn't a whole lot to remember, at least nothing that really sticks out in my mind.
Sure, there was the traditional turkey dinner at my grandparents' house when family would crawl out of the woodwork and eat their fill, then go back to their respective homes. There was no talk of gratitude or remembrance of sacrifices of family members who had passed on. No memories were made . . .

Until I grew up and had a family of my own.

I truly understand what Thanksgiving is all about now, because I have so much to be thankful for, and I strive to recognize the blessings of each new day. I'm making memories and traditions with my own family. So now when I think of holidays as a kid, I no longer feel like I missed out on anything. I have everything and more, and hopefully my children will have good memories of our family holidays to treasure when they are older. I hope they will look back and feel grateful.
Because that's what Thanksgiving is all about:-)

Suggested Reading

Book: Roots
Author: Alex Haley

The Book
Tracing his ancestry through six generations - slaves and freedmen, farmers and blacksmiths, lawyers and architects - back to Africa, Alex Haley discovered a sixteen-year-old youth, Kunta Kinte. It was this young man, who had been torn from his homeland and in torment and anguish brought to the slave markets of the new world, who held the key to Haley's deep and distant past.

This author's story (both the book and the movie) never gets old. And since I've now been bitten by the genealogy bug, I can't help feeling grateful again to Alex Haley for writing this story and sharing his journey, and instilling the desire in blacks to understand where we came from and trace our roots. Because of my own desire to know my ancestors, I feel a renewed appreciation for them and the trials they faced.
You can find Roots at your local bookstore or

Be sure and download your free copy of The Journey and Place In This World by clicking on the links to the right!

Monday, November 2, 2009

To Thine Own Self Be True

I watch young people a lot and it's sad when I see some of them making poor choices and going against everything they have been taught. It's even sadder when we adults do. That's why it's so important to be true to ourselves-more important than we could ever know.

Here is a neat thought I found on staying true to yourself.

"When you are true to yourself, your mind gets all steeled up. Most importantly, it has nothing to fear, no one to bow to. This is because when you are true to yourself, you always do things that are just and right. And when you do everything fair and square, you have nothing to fear. Thus, being true to your own self makes you fearless.

Being true to yourself gives you a good feel. You look at people and things without prejudice, and do unto them what you feel is right and not what they do unto you. These deeds fill you up with contentment, self-confidence and esteem, which in turn make you hold your head high. You are not just the first amongst equals - you are way too far ahead than being just number one.

When you are true to yourself, you automatically start speaking the truth - all the time. That kind of wins you respect from others - they start looking up to you and cling on to every word you say.

Jim Davis once said, "The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable." And he is right. The path to truth is strewn with thorns - but after the initial few steps, these thorns cease to matter - in fact, they are gone with the wind. So, go right ahead and be true to yourself, because truth will not hurt you; it will awaken your soul. Just try it."
Kevin Sinclair

Suggested Reading

Book: Santa Maybe
Author: Aubrey Mace

If you're looking for a fun holiday read, this one is for you. Aubrey was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.

Me: Aubrey, tell us a little about yourself.

Aubrey: I like sunshine, gardening, travel, reading, writing, baking, naps, chocolate, fortune cookies, and spending time with my family. I'm a Leo, but I'm kinda shy and introverted, so I'm the worst Leo ever.
Me: What got you into writing?

Aubrey: Reading is probably what got me into writing, I think. For as long as I can remember, I've been a voracious reader. I remember writing a few little stories in elementary school, but I really started writing short stories in college. It's still such a thrill for me to go into a store and see a book one the shelf with my name on it.
Me: I loved Santa Maybe, and so did my 12 year old daughter. I also think there are a lot of single women out there who can relate to Abbie and would love to have Santa leave them a husband under the tree:-) How did you come up with the story?
Aubrey: There's a lot of me in Santa Maybe. I'm single and I started thinking, wouldn't it be so easy if a man just showed up on my doorstep and saved me the trouble of seeking him out? And then I thought, as great as it sounds, I think it would really throw you for a loop. This is exactly what happens to Abbie, the main character. Her younger sister Grace is always pestering her about why she doesn't date more, so when she comes up with this crazy scheme of Abbie asking Santa for a husband for Christmas, Abbie goes along with it more to humor Grace than anything else. Imagine her shock when she finds a handsome stranger with amnesia under her tree! A tiny part of her is intrigued, but mostly she's in a turmoil because now that she has this seemingly great guy, she's not sure what to do with him. Of course, much hilarity ensues-- it's a really fun story. On a side note, I actually asked Santa for a man one year, but I wasn't as lucky as Abbie. Looking back, I think maybe I should have been less specific-- I asked for Daniel Craig. :)

Me: Ha! You and millions of other women:-) Do you have any other projects in the works?

Aubrey: I am working on a novel about heaven, but unfortunately I'm in the midst of a six-month + stretch of writer's block. I've got about half the novel written, I think, and I even know the ending-- I just can't seem to write it. Hopefully, I'll get back on track soon! This is the longest I've gone without writing something every day for years.

To purchase Santa Maybe, log on to or Cedar

Get your free copy of The Journey and Place In This World by clicking on the links to the right!
Also, check out the book trailer for Janette Rallison's YA novel My Fair Godmother!

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's Not Just About Us

Yesterday I came away from church with a few great thoughts to ponder.
In the world today we are taught that everything is about us, about what we want, how we feel, and what we desire. Forget about everyone else. They can fin for themselves, our happiness is all that matters.

This thinking is so wrong. Life is not all about us. It's about our families, about God, about what we can contribute to this world to help others. And I don't mean in the 'it takes a village' sort of way. I've never been into that saying because I don't believe in collectivism. What I do mean is that we need to think of others besides ourselves. We need to pray for others, take care of our spouses and children and be the best we can be for them. It's about being a good sister or brother, being a good friend or neighbor, being a good grandma or grandpa, and most importantly, being the best child of God we can be.

We should definitely go after our dreams and never stop reaching. We should definitely seek after the good things in life, because God does want us to have all this and more. But in seeking after those things we need to remember the things that matter most. We need to remember it isn't all about us. It's about loving and caring for one another and living your best life. It's all about being the best you you can possibly be.

In the eyes of God we are all pretty awesome. Now let's go and prove Him right:-)

Suggested Reading

Book: The Maze Runner
Author James Dashner

The Book
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Boy, talk about a wild ride! James definitely takes you on one with this book. I had to put it down every now and then to calm my pounding heart. My 14 year old son devoured this book in a day, and we're both anxiously awaiting the next volume.
You can find The Maze Runner at your local book store or on

Also, click on the video link to the right and check the trailer for My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison.

And be sure to get your free copy of The Journey and Place In This World ebooks by clicking on the links to the right!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Blog: Am I Not A Man?-The Dred Scott Story

I love reading about historical figures that I can really look up to. Mark L. Shurtleff's novel Am I Not A Man?: The Dred Scott Story is about such a person.

An illiterate slave, Dred Scott trusted in an all-white, slave-owning jury to declare him free. But after briefly experiencing the glory of freedom and manhood, a new state Supreme Court ordered the cold steel of the shackles to be closed again around his wrists and ankles. Falling to his knees, Dred cried, "Ain't I a man?" Dred answered his own question by rising and taking his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Dred ultimately lost his epic battle when the Chief Justice declared that a black man was so inferior that he had "no rights a white man was bound to respect."

Dred died not knowing that his undying courage led directly to the election of President Abraham Lincoln and the emancipation proclamation.
Dred Scott's inspiring and compelling true story of adventure, courage, love, hatred, and friendship parallels the history of this nation from the long night of slavery to the narrow crack in the door that would ultimately lead to freedom and equality for all men.

By the end of this book I was teary and felt both the pain and the triumph of Dred's story. This brave man renewed my gratitude for my ancestors and the trials they underwent to insure the freedom of their posterity. And I'm grateful to Mark Shurtleff for researching Dred's life and gifting us all with his story.

To preorder copies of Am I Not A Man: The Dred Scott Story or to learn more about this book and the author, log onto

Be sure to download your free copy of The Journey and Place In This World by clicking on the links to the right!

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Am Wonder Woman!

When I was a kid I thought the greatest person in the world was Wonder Woman. In fact, I wanted to be Wonder Woman. Well, be her and a nun:-)
I used to think it would be so great to jump high, run like an amazon, compel people to tell the truth with my magic lasso, and be the best bullets and bracelets female on Paradise Island. My imagination went wild with this!
Of course, as I got older I realized I would never be a size 2, blue-eyed amazon running around in a red, white, and blue bathing suit, ridding the world of evil (and I never became a nun, either.) But I have discovered that all women can be Wonder Women in their own way.

We marry, have children, and care for our families. We're housekeepers, cooks, caregivers, teachers, nurses, taxi drivers, supporters, and sympathizers. We're forever fixing rips and tears and sewing on buttons, and we sorrow for the heartbreaks of others and rejoice in their triumphs, plus many other things. We do it all!

So, the next time you're feeling a little down on yourself or overwhelmed, take a moment to stop in front of a mirror, picture yourself donning a golden crown and belt with lasso, and bullet-proof bracelets. Then give yourself a big smile and say, "I Am a Wonder Woman!" I promise you will feel better:-)

Suggested Viewing

I don't care how cheesy it is, you gotta love the Wonder Woman television series from the 70s. I been watching the first two seasons this past few weeks with my twelve-year-old daughter and it's been a blast.

A beautiful Amazon princess (Lynda Carter) travels to America disguised as Diana Prince, assistant to handsome but trouble-prone Major Steve Trevor (Lyle Waggoner). Using her golden belt, which imbues her with astonishing strength, her bullet-deflecting bracelets, a golden lasso that dispels dishonesty and an invisible supersonic plane, Wonder Woman combats evil.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Heather Moore's New Book: Alma

I love reading both fiction and non-fiction. I like reading a novel that is both even more. If you do too, then Heather Moore's new book Alma is just the ticket:-)

The Book
King Noah is thundering with rage. The former high priest Alma has vanished from the city of Nephi, and every night more of his believers manage to escape. The king blames Amulon and threatens certain punishment unless Amulon recaptures Alma—a seemingly impossible task. But Amulon has a plan. An equally valuable prisoner is at his fingertips: Noah’s wife, Maia, whose newfound faith means bitter humiliation for the king and an opportunity for Amulon to seize power.

Amulon’s disavowed daughter Raquel has plans of her own. Despite her grief, she is determined to begin a new life in the colony Alma and his followers are building. When Lamanites plunder and burn her settlement, Raquel and her young son are forced to flee to the waters of Mormon.

Drama and danger escalate as Alma the Elder organizes the Lord’s Church and baptizes its members, bringing an outpouring of divine grace and power. But even as they rejoice, the believers have profound and perilous trials to face, from the outward threat of Amulon’s treachery to the inward threat of pride and disobedience. With poignant emotion, gripping suspense, and rich inspiration, this new epic story from H.B. Moore vividly brings the Book of Mormon to life.

This Whitney Award winning author has a way with Church historical fiction novels that completely pulls you into the story and doesn't let go until you're finished. When it comes to facts, her research and study of the Book of Mormon prophets is excellent and her books never fail to please. Reading her books increases my love for these great men.
Plus, Heather is a pretty awesome lady:-)
Find out more about Heather and her books by visiting her website at

And if you haven't downloaded your free copy of The Journey and Place In This World, what are you waiting for?
Click on the links to the right!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

When Storms Come

In the movie The Count of Monte Cristo, the Count is attending the birthday dinner of Mercedes' son, Albert Mondego. He gives the birthday toast and during that toast he says something that has always stuck with me. When talking about the storms of life, he repeats something Albert said weeks earlier when he was accosted in an alleyway, and adds some extra words of wisdom to it. He said, "When those storms come, say to them, 'Do your worst, for I will do mine.'"

Everyone has times in their life when storms rage and you wonder if one of these times you will be washed away with the tide. I know I do. Yet somehow we stand strong. We are somehow gifted with the strength to withstand the raging waters and go on.

We will be told at different times in our lives that God will not give us more than we can handle. He lets it rain and He lets the winds blow, because He knows it is for our good. He knows we must learn and grow and become stronger.
How grateful I am for that.

So when we faces those storms in life, let's quote the Count of Monte Cristo and say "Come on! Do your worst, for I will do mine!" Then learn and grow from the experiences:-)

Suggested Reading

Book: The Peacegiver
Author: James L. Ferrell

The Book
How is Christ the answer to a strained relationship with child, parent or sibling? What if I am being mistreated — what does the atonement say about that? How can I discover the desire to repent when I don't feel the need to repent? These are the challenging questions of daily life, the questions to which the gospel must provide an answer if it is to have living, cleansing, redeeming power.

The Peacegiver is a book about the answers to these questions. In both content and form it is unlike other books about the atonement, for it unfolds as compelling story in which the characters learn about the Atonement as they struggle over the problems in their lives — problems we each share. The book therefore allows us not only to "learn about" the Atonement but also to have an experience with it.

"My peace I give unto you," the Savior declared. The Peacegiver explores in a deeply personal way what we must do to receive the peace he stands willing to give.

No matter how many times I read this book, I always come away learning something new, and even though I still have so much more to learn, this book has helped me to understand the atonement more than I ever had before.
Get your copy of The Peacegiver from your local bookstore or

Monday, September 21, 2009

Our World Is But Our Looking Glass

I have the privilege of associating with a lot of great women. Some are very outgoing and live life with gusto. Some are continually active, striving to do what they can to make our country and our world a better place, while others are shy and a little withdrawn and wonder if anything they do makes a difference.
A few weeks ago I was visiting with one of these amazing women. She is in her sixties, all of her kids are married with kids of their own, and she and her husband raise sheep, goats, and cows.
While we visited, she apologized to me for not reaching out more and said she had a hard time getting to know people. She also said she didn't think there was much about herself that was interesting, and she didn't think she had anything to say that people would want to hear.

I told her she couldn't be more wrong.

Everyone has something special about them because everyone is special and has something to contribute. We just tend to forget from time to time. Some of us forget and never can remember.
We are all of worth and worthy of being loved, if we let ourselves be.
So even if you are shy, introverted, or withdrawn, you're still pretty amazing. If no one ever tells you that, then I will. You're amazing!

Here is a beautiful little poem to help us remodel our outlook on life and ourselves.

Mind is the master power that molds and makes,
And we are Mind, and evermore we take
The tool of thought, and shaping what we will,
Bring forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills,
We think in secret, and it comes to pass -
Our world is but our looking glass.
-- James Allen

Suggested Reading

Book: Stardust of Yesterday
Author: Lynn Kurland

The Book
Inheriting a castle--and a ghost to go with it--Genevieve Buchanan finds herself falling in love with the spectre of Kendrick de Piaget, an arrogant thirteenth-century knight.

Genevieve Buchanan inherited a castle-and a ghost to go along with it. But Kendrick de Piaget was no typical ghost. He was a handsome and infuriatingly arrogant thirteenth-century knight.
At first he wanted to frighten Genevieve, though she was more charmed than scared by his ghostly tricks. But when his thoughts turned to wooing her instead, Genevieve had to face her greatest fear: falling in love.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dano the Mano!

Today I have been having a major blog-writing block today, so a little while ago, my 14 year old son happened to be in the room and I asked him what I should write about. He said, and these are his words, "Write about me, because I'm cool and people want to hear about me." And this coming from a kid who always gives one-word answers, has a very sneaky smile, and has at least two spastic moments a day. (Wait, actually all my kids have spastic moments!)
So I dedicate today's blog to my son, Daniel, the coolest 6'2, lanky 14 year old I know:-)

Suggested Reading

Book: The Birthright
Author: Loralee Evans
The Book
As a young girl, Miriam must flee her home in a Lamanite village to escape her birthright—to be offered as a sacrifice to the Lamanite gods. During her flight in the deep jungles, Miriam crosses paths with Jacob, a young Nephite soldier who saves her life and leads her to safety among the Nephites. Years later, now a young woman, Miriam meets Jacob again. She is surprised to find that the sisterly affection she felt for him so long ago has developed into something deeper. But before she or Jacob can discover their true feelings for one another, war comes to the lands of the Nephites, and both Miriam and Jacob find themselves thrown into a whirlwind of struggles. As they fight to keep their faith alive, they are drawn even closer together.

I've read this book several times and I enjoy the story more each time I read it:-)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Route by Gale Sears

I had the opportunity to read The Route by Gale Sears and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. Since I'm only 45, and nowhere near retirement age (except according to my kids) I don't normally read books where the story is centered around the older generation, but I came away with a lot of lessons from this book, things I have always known but need to be reminded of every now and then. I also reminded myself that 45 is only five years away from 50!:-)

The Book
Zipping along life's highway . . .
Fifty makes you think. Thirty makes you morose, and forty makes you
panic, but fifty makes you think. Half a century, and what is my life?
Does it resemble anything I dreamed at sixteen, or expected at twenty,
or hoped at twenty-five? What am I doing here? . . . I thought of
climbing to the top of a high mountain in Tibet to consult a wise man,
but I like vacations where there is indoor plumbing and vegetation.
Since I already attended church, I thought perhaps I could pay closer
attention. Maybe I'd been missing a great fundamental truth. Well,
come to find out, I had been missing something. . . . (excerpt from The

Carol, a middle-aged wife and mother, is pondering the meaning
of life. On a trip to the grocery store to find some energizing dark
chocolate, she sees a sign asking for volunteers to deliver meals to
the elderly. When Carol decides to take a chance and help out, she's
in for a life-changing, and route-altering experience.

I loved all the characters in this story because they were all diverse and I know women that are exactly like each one. I've always been one to appreciate what the elderly give to the world and The Route just reiterated to me how special they are, whether they be sweet, cranky, or quirky:-)
To learn more about Gale and her books, visit her website at www.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Knowledge Is Power

One of the goals I have set for myself for five years from now is to take a literature class and an Italian class. This is something I have wanted to do for years, but I knew it would have to wait until all my children were older. Now that 4 are out on their own and the rest are indeed getting older, that goal is a lot closer. Knowledge is something that has always been important to me, and since I have always home schooled my kids, I have tried to drill that into them. They see me with my nose stuck in a book frequently and I joke with them and tell them that since I lost brain cells with each pregnancy, I have to do what I can to replenish them, and that's why I inhale as many books as I can:-)

Here are some neat thoughts I found on knowledge and teaching.

"Like the muscles in our bodies, the brain gets strong in the places
where we train it."
Eileen McDargh

"Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening,
whatever. Never let the brain be idle."
George Carlin

"Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, teachers."
-- Richard Bach

"One exclusive sign of a thorough knowledge is the power of teaching."
-- Aristotle

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and unbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
-- James 1:5

Suggested Reading

Book: All the Stars In Heaven
Author: Michele Paige Holms

The Book
Ever since the woman he once adored told Jay Kendrich he was a chivalrous her, he has tried to live up to the praise. But when things don't work out with Jane, moving on and dating other girls proves to be a chore. That is until he meets fellow Harvard student Sarah Morgan. Although Sarah is a freshman studying music and Jay is in his third year of law school, he discovers they have much in common. He has also discovered that getting to know the shy pianist is painful. The last thing Jay expected from his friendly advances was to be assaulted by a brawny stranger. It is abundantly clear that someone wants him to stay away from Sarah. If only he could.

As long as she can remember, Sarah has lived under a watchful eye. While her father insists it's for her own protections, Sarah feels imprisoned. As she begins to believe that those she has trusted most don't have her best interest at heart, she is driven further from her respected father and closer to Jay. But their love will come at a high price as the pair edges closer toward to a truth that is darker than either of them could have imagined.

This is a great story that you can get into even if you haven't read Counting Stars. I fell in love with the characters and the story kept me completely hooked.
Get your copy of All the Stars In Heaven today!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Saving Madeline

I had the privilege of reading Rachel Ann Nunes' new novel Saving Madeline and it was another great book that I couldn't put down. The story definitely tugged at my heart and even made me teary:-)

The Book
As a public defender, Caitlin McLoughlin dreams of someday locking the bad guys in prison instead of defending them. But prosecuting jobs are scarce, and Caitlin’s future seems bleak. When her current client is about to walk away from a brutal crime, she risks her career to make sure he doesn’t hurt anyone else. But how far is she is willing to go— especially when she needs her job so she can continue caring for her mentally disabled sister? Then Caitlin meets Parker Hathaway, charged with kidnapping a four- year- old child. Just another criminal, just another job, Caitlin thinks. But when she learns the real story, she realizes that she must put everything on the line to defend her client and save the little girl before it’s too late. Saving Madeline is the story of a man determined to protect a child he loves, and the woman who dared to trust him.

Rachel has a way with a romance novel and she always come through with stories that stay with you long after you close the book. I've been a fan of hers since the Ariana series and her books have never disappointed because she knows how to keep things fresh and new.
Saving Madeline is a must read!
Post a comment and you will be automatically entered in a drawing for a free copy of Saving Madeline!

Also, be sure to get your free copies of The Journey and Place In This World ebooks by clicking on the link to the right!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Illuminations of the Heart

Searching for a great historical fictional romance? I've got just the book for you.
Joyce DiPastena's book Illuminations of the Heart is the perfect blend of mystery, action, and above all, romance. I totally loved this book. The cover is absolutely beautiful and portrayed the heroine perfectly.

The Book
"Clothilde." He spoke the name on a breath like a prayer. Then he lowered his head and kissed her.

Her heart is lost in that first embrace, her world is shaken to its foundations. There is just one problem; her name is not Clothilde. It is Siriol de Calendri. Trained in the art of illumination in the far-off city of Venice, Siri is directed by her late brother's will to the county of Poitou in France, where she enters the guardianship of her brother's friend Sir Triston de Brielle. Once in Poitou, Siri hopes to find employment in an illuminator's shop - until Triston unexpectedly snatches her heart away with a kiss.

Triston is a man of quiet honor and courage, but the guild he carries for the death of his late wife, Clothilde, has left him numb and hesitant to love again. Worse yet, Siri bears an uncanny resemblance to his lost love. Or does she? Her merry laughter and twinkling eyes are very different from his late wife's shy smiles and quiet ways. Yet when he gazes into Siri's face, all he sees is Clothilde.

Then Triston's past returns to threaten them both. Will his tragic life with Clothilde be repeated with Siri? Trapped between the rivalry of the king's sons on the one hand and a neighbor out for vengeance on the other, Triston realizes it would be safer to send Siri away. But how can he bear to lose her again?

Siri is determined not to be cast off and not to live in another woman's shadow. She has illuminated many a priceless book with pen and paint. But can her own vibrant spirit illuminate the darkness in Triston's soul and make his heart beat for her alone?

This story definitely left me with a sigh:-)
Joyce was kind enough to answer some questions for me.

Me: Tell us about yourself.

Joyce: I live in Arizona, where I've taught piano lessons to students of all ages for over 20 years. My two cats, Clio and Glinka, keep me company. I also keep busy volunteering for a music program at the school and serving in my church. Along with writing and history, I love reading, singing (but only for my own voice isn't that great!), spending time with my family, and eating chocolate chip cookies.

Me: When did you start writing?

Joyce: I started dabbling at it in Junior High School, when I wrote a sort of hybrid fan fiction novel combining characters from the TV shows Star Trek and Dark Shadows. A very long way from where I ended up, smack dab in the Middle Ages. LOL! I fiddled around with more writing in high school, starting tons of stories in various historical time periods that I never finished, but it wasn't until college that I began my first medieval setting, which also turned out to be my first "true" completed novel. (Never published, by the way, which is likely just as well.)
Me: I loved Illuminations of the Heart. How did you come up with the story?

Joyce: Thank you, Jewel! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Triston, the hero of Illuminations of the Heart, was a character from my earlier medieval romance, Loyalty's Web. I left him with a rather sad ending at the end of that book, but I'd grown to love him so much, that I couldn't resist writing him his own story to see if I could discover a way to give him a happy ending after all. It wasn't easy. He was a character that required a lot of healing. Siri, in Illuminations of the Heart, becomes the agent of that healing process. When I began the story, I made her a medieval illuminator simply because I thought it would be interesting to explore that area of history along with my story. Only as the story progressed did it occur to me that she was actually illuminating more than just manuscripts...she was illuminating the darkness of Triston's life. Hence, the title of my novel.

Me: Your historical details are great. How much time do you put into researching the time period?

Joyce: To be honest, I don't put in a lot of preliminary research time before I begin a book. I mean, I at this point, I have a lot of the basics down, between my degree in history and having been "dabbling" with medieval settings for my stories since college. Most of my research now takes place parallel to the writing of my story. I have a large personal library of medieval history books on many specialized subjects, so when I come to a point in my story where I need a bit of specialized information, I stop and research it, then work it into my novel. I think that helps me resist the temptation to do large "history dumps" of information in my books. I just stop, look up the specific details I need, then weave those into where they're needed in my story. I don't enjoy reading books with "history dumps", so I don't really want to inflict that upon my readers if I can avoid it.

Me: Tell us your other book(s).

Joyce: Loyalty's Web was my first published novel, and was a 2007 Whitney Award Finalist. Like Illuminations of the Heart, it's a sweet medieval romance. It had more of a political edge (medieval politics, not 21st Century politics) than Illuminations of the Heart, so in that sense it was a bit different in tone, but still definitely a romance at its heart.

Me: Do you have any projects in the works now?

Joyce: Yes, I'm currently working on a novel based on a character from Illuminations of theHeart. I won't say who just yet, because I'd like to keep the readers guessing about what this character may or may not be up to as they read Illuminations. :-) I will say that while I don't have a title for it yet, I'm calling it "my troubadour book". Those who read Illuminations of the Heart should be able to guess who my new hero is going to be from that little hint. ;-)

Me: Cool, I'm excited already! Thank you, Joyce for giving us the opportunity to know you better.

To learn more about Joyce and her books, visit or visit her blog at
Post your comment and be automatically entered in a drawing for a copy of Illuminations of the Heart!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Love Is . . .

This week is my wedding anniversary, and as I sit and think back over the years and the triumphs and trials that my husband and I have faced, at times it seems like only yesterday that it was our wedding day, but then at other times it feels like we have been together forever.

When I look at my husband I see love. When I look at my children I see the love we have shared all these years.
What is love to me?

Love is:

humility (Being able to say you're sorry and mean it.)

Simply put, real love is unconditional, and it is forever.
Those are all the things I see when I look at my husband.

Thanks, Sean, for the best and happiest 20 years of my life.
I love you!

Suggested Reading
Book: By Love or By Sea
Author: Rachel Rager

The Book
When a mysterious and ragged sailor appears in the seaside town where Alice Lind Frank lives with her grandparents, Alice is shocked to learn that the sailor is her childhood love, Caleb, who she thought was lost at sea. She yearns to trust him again, but what about her plans to marry Clarence Hielott, the wealthy shipyard owner? When Clarence exposes the secrets of Caleb s past, Alice realizes that the boy she once knew is now a man with a dark history. Can she trust Caleb with her heart once again? And what will she do about Clarence? Find out in this thrilling and adventurous love story.

If you like a good old fashioned love story with a little mystery, this is a book you'll love. It is easy reading with characters that tug at the heart. I read this book in a day and it's on my list of books to read again soon:-)
Get your copy of By Love or By Sea from or

Monday, August 3, 2009

Why See Color?

Most people who know me know I have very, very, very strong opinions when it comes to certain subjects. Race differential is one of them. Why am I bringing this subject up now? Because more and more, the world is again beginning to place too much importance on it in one way or another.

My mother was raised in a very prejudice home, yet she came out totally the opposite. She raised us not to see color. This is one of the things I will always be grateful to her for. My husband and I have tried to do the same with our own children. Of course, since I'm black and he's white, that has been pretty easy for us to do, and it has been easy for our children to do. They know to expect nothing, nor accept anything, because of the color of their skin. They know how wrong that is.

People have asked me in the past if I have any problems with racial discrimination. I told them only if I choose to look for it, and since I don't choose to, I don't have problems. Life is definitely what you make it.

I think today's youth are being taught well and have an innocence as far as race is concerned.
A couple of years ago my mother-in-law came to stay with us. One of our neighbor's kids was at our house and innocently asked my mother-in-law, "Are you Jewel's mom or Sean's mom?" We all got such a kick out of that. You see, her pure little mind did not let her see color. It didn't even occur to her. If only we could all be that way.

I pray we can remember that we are all children of God. Period. Nothing else matters.
Have an awesome day!

Suggested Viewing

One Night With the King

About the Movie
One Night with the King is a sweeping epic about Hadassah, the young Jewish girl who becomes the Biblical Esther, Queen of Persia.
Despite her position, Hadassah's life is in danger, as the state has decreed that all Jews will be put to death. Defying warnings to remain silent, however, Hadassah struggles to save her people, evens as she seeks to win the heart of the king, in this exciting and inspiring story about destiny.

Also, get your copy of The Journey and Place In This World in ebook format today by clicking on the links to the right!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Scout Day For Mom

Well, I'm off to scout day camp with my ten-year-old this morning, to share a fun-filled day of little boys roaming here and there, splashing through water, doing scout activities, and getting dirty. What better way to spend the day, right? I'm sure I'm envied:-)

Have a great day!
Suggested Reading
Book: Love Comes Softly Author: Janette Oke
Faith in God and the determination of youth sustain nineteen-year-old Marty after her husband is killed on their journey westward and she is forced to face the uncertainties of the frontier alone.

This was the first pioneer story I ever read. I have read it over and over and it never gets old:-)

Also, download your free copy of The Journey and Place In This World today!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Gift and Power of Choice

One of the things my husband and I try to teach our children each day is how important and powerful the gift of choice is. We try to help them understand how vital each choice we make in life is and that consequences follow each one. Choice is a fickle thing. From this freedom we learn many lessons and gain important experiences than can shape who we are. But if we don't use that gift wisely, it can rob us of many blessings.

I found some neat little thoughts on the importance of choice.

"In every single thing you do, you are choosing a direction.
Your life is a product of choices."
Dr. Kathleen Hall, from Alter Your Life

"Life is a choice - as is how you handle the pitfalls along its bumpy road."
Julie Donner Andersen, from What My Widowed Husband Has Taught Me

"I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it's only a choice of attitude."
Judith M. Knowlton

"And in life, it is all about choices we make.
And how the direction of our lives comes down to the choices we choose."
Catherine Pulsifer, from HONESTY. . . A Core Value?

All the blessings yet to come depend upon the choices we make now. How grateful I am for this precious gift!

Suggested Reading

Book: The Hourglass Door
Author: Lisa Mangum

The Book
His past. Her future. Can love bring them together in time? Abby's senior year of high school is going according to plan: good friends, cute boyfriend, and college applications in the mail. But when Dante Alexander, foreign-exchange student from Italy, steps into her life, he turns it upside down. He's mysterious, and interesting, and unlike anyone she's ever met before. Abby can't deny the growing attraction she feels for him. Nor can she deny the unusual things that seem to happen when Dante is around. Soon Abby finds herself drawn into a mystery whose roots reach into sixteenth-century Florence, and she uncovers a dangerous truth that threatens not only her future but the lives of those she loves.

All I can say is move over Edward Cullen because Dante Alexander is in town!
I totally loved this book and I'm already anticipating the next one. This young-adult novel was a page-turner and I finished it in a day because I couldn't put it down. It is definitely one of my favorites:-)
Get your copy of The Hourglass Door today.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Place In This World Is Now Available!

My new book Place In This World, the sequel to The Journey is now available! To download your free copy, click on the link to the right.

The Book
Beautiful, strong Elina is forced to flee for her life and wonders if she will live to see another day.
Nilan, an Inchant warrior, is leaving a kingdom, convinced there is no hope for the citizens there.
Then Nilan discovers the battered human woman lying in the snow and is given a reason to hope once more.
In a kingdom where good has been driven away by evil, and right is made to look wrong and wrong is accepted as good, these two souls find their destiny in each other-and are chosen for a calling only they can fulfill.

Here is an excerpt from this new young-adult fantasy!

Did you see it, Master?” the short, bald, wrinkled man asked as he approached the figure sitting on a throne in the darkened hall. The only light that existed was the candle the small man held in his leathery hands. The flame illuminated the eyes of the large meenabird perched on a golden stand by the throne. The master's hand repeatedly caressed the bird's feathered back.

Of course I saw it, you imbecile,” he replied with a calm voice.

The man should have known better than to ask such a foolish question. Of course his master saw it. He saw everything, and until the young woman's escape, he'd never missed anything. Though the man had nothing to do with that particular event himself, he had still been one of the many recipients of the master's wrath. His shoulder still carried the bruise of a wooden club, the result of being unfortunate enough to cross the master's path at the wrong time.

He knew better than to speak again unless the master spoke to him, so he stood between the two large stone pillars on either side of the red carpet that stretched to the throne and waited in silence, glancing briefly at the fearsome shadowed figure before lowering his eyes. If he were to lose his eyesight tomorrow, he would never forget that haggard, hideous face. It was imprinted in his mind every waking moment. It haunted his dreams at night. Every deep line. Every huge pockmark. Every oozing open sore on his forehead. Even the ones that oozed beneath the scraggly strands of hair on his dome-shaped head. No, each and ever feature of the master was branded in his mind. The creature that in no way resembled a human anymore had seen to it.

Are you not going to ask me what I intend to do?” the master asked, pressing his gnarled hands together, his index fingers straightening to make a steeple beneath his chin. “Are you not curious about what action I intend to take?”

Knowing he needed to choose his words carefully, the man hesitated only for a moment. Daring to raise his eyes, he answered, “I need not ask, Master Thenoch, for I know you are wise and have no need to satisfy the curiosity of one so lowly as myself.”

A gravelly rumble resonated from Thenoch's chest. “How true. However, I will answer the question that you are too spineless to ask.” He paused and smiled.

The little man knew that smile. He had seen it hundreds of times, and it definitely wasn't the kind of smile that warmed the cockles of one's heart. No, it was quite the opposite. It wrought fear in those who were unfortunate enough to be recipients of it.

What will you do?” he finally asked, figuring he had nothing to lose at this point.

Thenoch laughed. “Located a little backbone, have you? Well, if you really must know, I intend to do . . . absolutely nothing.” He smiled at the startled expression on his pitiful excuse for a servant's face. “There is no need for me to do anything right now. The time will come soon enough for me to show everyone that Inchants are not as immortal as we have been led to believe.” His eyes narrowed. “No one takes what is mine. And before the blood-red sun has risen seven more times, I will not only have my property back, but Nilan's heart on a platter as well.”

Kill an Inchant? Impossible! The man silently reasoned.

You think it impossible?” Thenoch asked, apparently reading his thoughts. “Well, Lucius, my unbelieving servant, I tell you it is not. And soon I will prove it.” He stood and stared down at the frightened man who immediately bowed his head. “The life of that winged man will soon be prematurely terminated.”

Download your copy of book two of the Enchanted Legends series today!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blog Review: Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi

I hope everyone had a great Independence Day. The freedoms I have always enjoyed in this country are very precious to me. Sadly, we are quickly losing those freedoms, and hopefully the holiday has renewed the fighting spark in all of us and ignited a burning flame to do what we can to get back the freedoms we've lost and hold on to the ones we still have. It is, after all, a God-given gift, and we must show God our appreciation for that gift by fighting for it.

Book Spotlight

This past week I had the privilege of reading A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi. For those of you who like a good psychological murder mystery with a touch of the paranormal, this is the book for you. The story kept me glued to my seat and biting my nails. I couldn't put it down, except for a couple of times to calm my thumping heart down:-) The characters were exceptionally real and believable, and you could definitely see the knowledge and psychological background of the author through the entire story. It was also interesting to learn a little of Hindu beliefs, but I can't say anymore about that. You'll just have to read the book:-)
The novel has even garnered a ringing endorsement from Judge Judy Sheindlin!
"The seminal work of this fine author kept me glued to my chair until the adventure was over and the mystery solved. A great read!"
See, great minds think alike:-)

The Book
The sleepy town of Newbury, Connecticut, is shocked when a little girl is found brutally murdered. With the murderer on the loose, the police desperately look for any clues to lead to his identity. Meanwhile, a psychiatrist in a nearby hospital is also in a desperate search to find the cause of seven-year-old Naya Hastings' devastating nightmares. Afraid that she might hurt herself in the midst of a torturous episode, Naya's parents have turned to the bright young doctor as their only hope. When these two situations converge, they set off an alarming chain of events. In this stunning psychological thriller, innocence gives way to evil, and trust lies forgotten in a web of deceit, fear, and murder.

Preetham was kind enough to answer a few questions for me and I'm excited to share his answers with you!

Jewel: Tell us a little about yourself.

Preetham: I was born and raised in the southern city of Bangalore India. I then
immigrated to the United States from Bangalore, India to pursue a
career in child and adolescent psychiatry. After my graduation from
Yale I have been the chief of service for House 5 at Bronx Children’s
Psychiatric Center here in the Bronx NY city. I am devoted to helping
young children gain insight into their emotional and behavioral needs
and empower them to maximize their inner potential. I also have a
private practice and reside in Westchester County, New York, with my

Jewel: When did you begin writing and why? How did you come up with
this amazing story? Was any of it from personal experience?

Preetham: It was a few months post 9/11, and I was looking at the biographies of
the people who had lost their lives. I began to wonder if there was a
larger meaning to their lives. All of a sudden, a story flashed into
my mind, and I quickly wrote it on a piece of paper. I knew then that
I needed to write a story that was larger than life. It needed to
communicate the essence that there is a bigger purpose and meaning to
our passage on earth.

I knew that in order to capture and convey such a message, the book
needed to be captivating, interesting, and thrilling. I realized that
a story based on the work I do would be the right place to begin. I am
a child psychiatrist and had just started a new job. During my
fellowship, I worked with children with numerous psychosocial issues
and had many life stories to tell. It was at that moment that I
decided I could write a book that would capture all these thoughts.
That was how A Circle of Souls was born.

This book is what you can call "fictional realism." A lot of the book
is from real life experience. But of course, only I know which is fact and
which is fiction. This book will keep you on the edge until the very
end and will leave you thinking about the larger sense of individual
purpose and destiny.

Jewel: Are you working on any other writing projects now?

Preetham: I have many more ideas and will begin working on my next book soon and
once A Circle of Souls is off the ground.

I really appreciate Preetham taking the time to allow us to get to know him better. A Circle of Souls can be purchased from,, or your local bookstore. To contact Preetham or learn more about him, visit his website at

Only 7 more days until the release of the Place In This World ebook, the sequel to TheJourney!
If you haven't requested a free copy of The Journey ebook, click on the link to the right and get your copy today!

Monday, June 29, 2009

I Don't Judge You, So Don't Judge Me!

Do you ever have times when someone judges you for something when they have no clue what you are dealing with? Do you ever have times when you judge others because of what you think you 'see' or what you think you 'know,' only to find out you don't really know anything, and what you 'see' isn't really what you think you see?
How often we judge others without even knowing that person, and how often we judge even when we do!

Due to some major personal experiences over the past several years, I have learned some very important lessons on judging. My motto is "Until I have walked a mile in someone's shoes other than my own, I will never understand what is going on inside that person, and why try on their shoes when I have more than enough of my own to wear?"

I found some neat little quotes on judging that we would all do well to try and live by. I know I'm going to:-)

"We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows their own pain and renunciation. It is one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it is another to think that yours is the only path."
Paulo Coelho
"No accurate thinker will judge another person by that which the other person's enemies say about him."
Napoleon Hill
"When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself."
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
"Good judgment is learned by experience. Experience is learned by bad judgment."

Have a great day!

Suggested Reading

Book: Belle: A Retelling of "Beauty and the Beast"
Author: Cameron Dokey

The Book
Belle is convinced she has the wrong name, as she lacks her sisters' awe-inspiring beauty. So she withdraws from society, devoting her time to wood carving. Secretly, Belle longs to find the fabled Heartwood Tree. If carved by the right hands, the Heartwood will reveal the face of one's true love.During a fierce storm, Belle's father stumbles upon the mysterious Heartwood -- and encounters a terrifying and lonely Beast. Now Belle must carve the Heartwood to save her father, and learn to see not with the eyes of her mind, but with the eyes of her heart.
Belle can be found at your local bookstore or on