Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Thought for Today
"Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go". - Brooks Atkinson
"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day". - Edith Lovejoy Pierce
Suggested Reading

Book: A Winter Dream
 Author: Richard Paul Evans
This is a beautiful story that I read in a day.
About the bookJoseph Jacobson is the twelfth of thirteen siblings, all of whom are employed by their father’s successful Colorado advertising company. But underneath the success runs a poisonous undercurrent of jealousy; Joseph is his father’s favorite and the focus of his brothers’ envy and hatred. When the father seems ready to anoint Joseph as his heir, the brothers make their move, forcing Joseph from the company and his Denver home, severing his ties to his parents and ending his relationship with his soon-to-be fianceĆ©. Alone and lonely, Joseph must start a new life.
Joseph joins a Chicago advertising agency where his creativity helps him advance high up in the company. He also finds hope for a lasting love with April, a kind woman with a secret. However, all secrets hold consequences, and when Joseph learns the truth about April’s past, his world is again turned upside down. Finally, Joseph must confront his own difficult past in order to make his dreams for the future come true.
A Winter Dream is an ingenious modern retelling of the Old Testament story of Joseph and the coat of many colors by the master of the holiday novel.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Most Excellent Read

Thought for Today
Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your tasks.
Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle . . . but you should be the miracle.
Phillip Brooks

Suggested Reading

Book: Running Barefoot
Author: Amy Harmon

This is a brilliant and beautifully-written novel that I am sure I will be reading again, as well as Amy Harmon's other works.

About the book
When Josie Jensen, an awkward 13-year-old musical prodigy crashes headlong into new-comer Samuel Yazzie, an 18-year-old Navajo boy full of anger and confusion, an unlikely friendship blooms. Josie teaches Samuel about words, music and friendship, and along the way finds a kindred spirit. Upon graduation, Samuel abandons the sleepy, small town in search of a future and a life, leaving his young mentor behind. Many years go by and Samuel returns, finding his old friend in need of the very things she offered him years before. Their roles reversed, Samuel teaches Josie about life, love, and letting go. Deeply romantic and poignant, Running Barefoot is the story of a small town girl and a Native American boy, the ties that bind them to their homes and families, and the love that gives them wings.

About the Author
Amy Harmon knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Amy Harmon has been a motivational speaker, a grade school teacher, a junior high teacher, a home school mom, and a member of the Grammy Award winning Saints Unified Voices Choir, directed by Gladys Knight. She released a Christian Blues CD in 2007 called "What I Know" - also available on Amazon and wherever digital music is sold. She has written three novels, "Running Barefoot," "Slow Dance in Purgatory," and the brand new sequel, "Prom Night in Purgatory." For updates on upcoming book releases, author posts and more, visit Amy's fan page at

Friday, November 9, 2012

Something Special Brewing!!!

This past while I have been crazy busy working on multiple projects, including a non-fictional novel based on the tragic and miraculous life of a dear friend, which is pretty much taking precedence over the others. But for fans of Against the Odds and the sequel novelette Still His Woman, the final chapter of the Against the Odds saga is coming in January. Forever will wrap up the story of the McKade family. I know, I know, it is both a happy and sad occasion. I'm sad to say goodbye to the McKades, but I am excited to be able to share  this final book with my fans. Next week I will be posting an excerpt, but until then, here is the cover! This is definitely one of my favorites:-)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Owning Your Voice

Thought for Today

"Believe in yourself and in your own voice, because there will be
times in this business when you will be the only one who does. Take
heart from the knowledge that an author with a strong voice will
often have trouble at the start of his or her career because strong,
distinctive voices sometimes make editors nervous. But in the end,
only the strong survive." - Jayne Ann Krentz
In other words (from The Book According to Jewel) find your voice, develop it, believe in it, and never forsake it no matter what anyone else thinks or says. Because it's your voice, not theirs!

Suggested Reading

Book: Saving Savanna
Author: Sara Fitzgerald

Devan can’t help but blame God for his wife’s death, so the last thing he wants to do this holiday season is celebrate.  But when his daughter, Savanna, makes a special Christmas wish, their little family will never be the same.  Filled with faith and tenderness, this heartwarming story is sure to remind you of the real power behind the magic of Christmas.
The wind whistled down the avenues
that cold December night as Devan Smith
trudged across the murky, slush-filled street
with his little girl, Savanna, by his side. The street’s curbs
were covered with dirty piles of snow from yesterday’s
storm. The blackened snow reminded him of how dark
his soul felt without Vivian.
“Look, Daddy,” Savanna said, tugging on his sleeve.
“Look at all those shining lights. Mommy would love to
see them. Do you think she can?”
Devan glanced down at her tiny face dominated by
big, innocent eyes that were the same shade of blue as
her mother’s. He paused for a moment, deciding what to
tell her. She looked at him with such divine trust, a trust
unlike any he had ever experienced, except the trust his
wife had in him. He had failed Vivian.
“Daddy? Can Mommy see the lights?”
He bit his lower lip and stooped by her. He fought
back the lump forming in his throat. He wished that she
would stop talking about Mommy. Each time, no matter
how much he thought he was prepared for the subject, the
pain threatened to destroy his soul.
S a r a F i t z g e r a l d
He inhaled deeply and then slowly exhaled. Fog circled
around Savanna’s head; for a split second she looked
like an angel as the cold from his breath danced around
her brown curls.
She was waiting for him to tell her everything was
going to be all right, that Mommy was in heaven looking
down at them, but how could he? He no longer believed
in heaven and hell. No loving God would have allowed
what had happened to Vivian to take place. Devan
couldn’t let Savanna become disillusioned.
Savanna placed her arms around his neck. “Grandpa
says she’s in heaven watching out for us.”
He swallowed and then changed the subject. “We’d
better go shopping, or else we won’t be done before
Christmas. We only have three days left until Santa comes
down our chimney. What do you want him to bring
“There’s only one thing I want from him,” she whispered,
leaning toward him.
He forced a smile. “And what’s that?”
“I want Mommy back.”
Tears blurred his vision. He wanted her mommy back
too, more than anything in the world, but not even Santa
Claus could do that. Vivian was dead, buried in a cold
cemetery with only the snowfall as her blanket against the
storms of winter.

“A story of shattered faith touchingly restored by a little child and a reminder that, through the Atonement, love surpasses even the grave.  Sara Fitzgerald’s Saving Savanna will bring tender tears to your eyes.”  Joyce DiPastena, author of Dangerous Favor

Sara Fitzgerald was named the 2006 Writer
of the Year for the League of Utah Writers. She
lives with her husband and daughter in Salt Lake
City. She loves the Christmas season.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Oodles of Short Stories!!!

I love good short stories. I love reading them and writing them. A Timeless Romance: Winter Anthology is a book of short stories by some of my favorite sweet romance authors, and it is easily one of my favorite books every story made me smile. If you like short, well-rounded romance stories, this is the book for you, and there is something for everyone:-)

About the Book
Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed brand new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Winter Collection. A collection unlike any other, readers will love this compilation of six sweet historical romance novellas, set in varying eras, yet all with one thing in common: Romance.

The Road to Cavan Town by Sarah M. Eden, set in 1864 Ireland, combines Eden’s sense of humor with her signature sweet romance. Alice Wheatley walks each weekend into town, accompanied by Isaac Dancy. And while Alice finds herself falling in love with the gentleman, unfortunately he has his eyes set on the belle of the town, Miss Sophia Kilchrest. Alice must find a way to turn Isaac’s eyes toward her.

Regency author Heidi Ashworth’s delightful story, It Happened Twelfth Night, set in England 1812, follows Luisa Darlington who discovers the man of her dreams, Percy Brooksby, isn’t in love with her as much as she thought he was. When Percy’s friend, the mysterious foreigner, Mr. Flynn, visits for the twelfth night holiday, he promptly sweeps Luisa off her feet, quite literally. Luisa is left catching her breath in more ways than one.

An Unexpected Proposal by Annette Lyon is a captivating romantic novella, set in remote Wood Camp, the snowy canyon of Logan, Utah, 1880. When Caroline Simpson is forced to thwart the aggressive advances of Mr. Butch Larson, she discovers that her long-time friend, James, has genuine affection for her. But as stubborn as Caroline is, she minimizes the feelings he’s awakened in her, and it takes almost losing James to admit her true feelings for him.

In Joyce DiPastena’s charming medieval story, Caroles on the Green, we enter England of 1151, in which Lady Isabel has a dilemma. She promises herself that she’ll marry the man who sent a ring hidden in her pastry since the man she truly loves, Sir Lucian de Warrene, has proved to be impossible and exasperating. To forget him, Isabel sets her eyes on other eligible men, only to face another confrontation with Lucian—who isn’t about to back off and leave her to her newest plot.

Donna Hatch’s enchanting novella, A Winter’s Knight, begins when Clarissa Fairchild’s coach just happens to break down in front of the most forbidding estate in the county, that of Wyckburg Castle, a place where young brides have been murdered for generations by their husbands. Clarissa is horrified yet curious all in the same breath. When she meets widower Christopher de Champs, Earl of Wyckburg, she must decide if she should flee or uncover the greatest secret in the county about her handsome rescuer.

In Heather B. Moore’s exciting turn-of-the-century story, A Fortunate Exile, Lila Townsend finds herself the victim of a broken heart—broken by the most notorious bachelor in 1901 New York City. If that isn’t bad enough, her father sends her to Aunt Eugenia’s remote farm where Lila must wait for her father’s anger to subside and the gossip columns to find new fodder. When Lila meets her aunt’s boarder, Peter Weathers, she discovers a man who isn’t afraid to stand up to her formidable family and take a chance on a woman with a sullied reputation.
Order your copy of A Timeless Romance Anthology from

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Everyone Can Use Some Faith, Hope and Gravity

If you are looking for an uplifting teen adventure that teaches memorable lessons in overcoming adversity and recognizing gifts when they come, Faith, Hope and Gravity by Shirley Bahlmann and Merrill Osmond is a good one.

About the book
Faith, Hope and Gravity” is the spiritual, magical adventure of teenage Liam Kane as he discovers some of the same lessons Merrill Osmond learned as the world-traveling lead singer of the Osmond Brothers. Like Merrill, Liam is often misunderstood as he helps those seeking for purpose in their extraordinary talents. Liam’s visionary abilities gain him international notoriety as “The Prophecy Boy” who swims with dolphins, dreams of a mysterious red door, and champions those who are often misjudged for their uncommon gifts. Surviving kidnapping, near-drowning, and imprisonment leads to the discovery that despite differences, when people respect each other and their wide variety of abilities, the thread of commonality that runs through mankind grows ever stronger. Turn the pages to join in this unforgettable journey.
Get your copy from

About the Authors

Shirley Bahlmann has written a wide variety of genres, including historical fiction, novels, biographies, how-to, and how-not-to books. One of her favorites is a children’s book titled “When the Chicken Crossed the Road” which comes with instructions and a chicken-colored washcloth so you can roll your own chicken! Shirley finds the most annoying thing about being a prolific writer is sleep, because she’d rather be writing. 

Merrill Osmond is a world-class entertainer, producer, author, motivational speaker and renowned lead singer of the Osmonds. Merrill and his siblings have produced 47 platinum & gold records and Merrill has written the lyrics for five #1 hit records. Merrill is a co-founder of the Osmond Foundation, which originally produced “The Children’s Miracle Network” Telethon. He has produced presidential inaugural events for both Reagan & Bush. Merrill is excited to release his first novel, Faith, Hope & Gravity.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Romantic Thoughts From the Mind of Nicholas Sparks

Ahhhh, lamor! Here are some romantic quotes from a brilliant writer:-)

"Romance is thinking about your significant other, when you are supposed to be thinking about something else."

“My life? It isn't easy to explain. It has not been the rip-roaring spectacular I fancied it would be, but neither have I burrowed with the gophers. I suppose it has most resembled the blue chip stock; fairly stable, more ups than downs, and gradually trending upward over time. A good buy, a lucky buy and I've learned that not everyone can say this about their lives. But do not be misled. I am nothing special; of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me, and my name will soon be forgotten, but I have loved someone with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.”


“Loving once and only once is possible-anything is possible.”


"I think that men know how to romance a woman and most do it well, at least for a time, otherwise women wouldn't marry them. The problem is that most of them begin to rest on their laurels."


 "The first thing I did when I sold my book was buy a new wedding ring for my wife and asked her to marry me all over again."

Suggested Reading

Book: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth

About the book
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Legacy Gains a Whole New Legion of Fans!!!

When I wrote The Legacy, I had no idea how many lives the story would touch, and I get teary with each email and fan letter I receive as readers share their thoughts and feelings of how it has affected them, both spiritually and emotionally.

About the book
North Carolina native, Cisely Matthews has seen and suffered much in her twenty-two years of life, and she has the scars to prove it. When amazing blessings come to her, she wonders if she will ever feel worthy enough to deserve them. Australian-born Ingo Kelly is thrown for an emotional loop when he visits his aunt in Utah and meets Cisely for the first time. He falls for her hard and fast. But getting her to accept his love is a challenge he is more than willing to take on. Adagio St. John is Ingo's best friend and the two are as close as brothers. When Adagio travels to Utah from his home in Italy to attend Ingo and Cisely's wedding, he is overjoyed that his friend has found happiness with such an amazing woman. He hopes he can find the same happiness one day and end the loneliness he struggles with on a daily basis. There are prospects aplenty, but none of the shallow beauties can capture his heart. When love does finally come to Adagio, will he allow himself to embrace it or continue to go it alone?

From the age of six to twelve years old, when other children were laughing and playing and sharing secrets with their friends, I was a woman-child, barely surviving and telling my secrets to no one. In the afternoons after school when I should have been busy at the business of being a child, I was subjected to the screams of my mother as my father beat her. And at night while other children were safely tucked in their beds and sleeping, I was forced to endure the sickening presence of my father in my room as he abused and defiled me.

One day my mother finally found the courage to leave her husband. She packed our things while he was at work and we moved from Charlotte back to her hometown of Asheville. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late, for my life had been permanently scarred. And it didn’t help that every man who came into our home and lived with my mother seemed to think I should be part of the deal. Throughout my whole life I felt dirty and cheap, but more than anything, I felt alone. There was no one I could turn to and share my painful burdens. Later in life, that loneliness guided me to make decisions that only added to my misery and brought even more shame upon me.

A single tear slips down my cheek as I painfully remember the days and nights of endless partying, each one filled with drugs, alcohol, and sometimes immoral conduct. When I was younger, my father made it his solemn duty to tell me repeatedly that I was worthless and only good for one thing in life. It seemed his comments found a permanent place in both my mind and my heart. My father had foreseen my future and had helped as much as he could to make that future happen. But I know in the end, the choices had been my own, just as the choice to finally change my life had been.

I smile, melancholy coming over me as I remember the day I made the decision to abandon the self-destructive lifestyle. It was a little over a year ago. I had just gotten home from work. I was tired, my feet were sore after working all day waiting on table after table, and I was looking forward to a tall can of beer and some rest. I had just sat down when there was a knock at the door. When I opened the door to the braid-wearing teenage girl donning heavy makeup, a dirty mini skirt, and scuffed up high heels–one of them broken, my first words were, “Sorry, no customers at this house.”
She gave me a teary smile and replied, “I'm not looking for a customer . . . I'm looking for a way out.”
Tears slip down my cheeks as I remember how my heart had instantly gone out to her. I knew the life she'd lived and what she'd suffered before reaching this point in her life. I didn't know her, had never seen her before, but I knew, because I had been there, myself. I invited her in and listened as she talked, my suspicions about her abusive childhood confirmed. I fed her and gave her some clothes to change into. Taking the tips I'd made that day from my purse, I called a cab, took her to the bus station, and put her on a bus to Raleigh to go and live with her aunt. Arriving back home, I sat on the sofa, closed my eyes and cried. Nothing I'd ever done in my life left me feeling as much peace as that one act had.

I immediately threw away every bit of alcohol in the apartment, vowing to never take another drink, pop another pill, or smoke another joint for the rest of my life. I stopped partying and made a commitment to change my life. I was determined to do this, despite family members and friends telling me I would never change. Sadly, I had no support from anyone except the counselor assigned to me when I enrolled in a free substance abuse program. No one in my family, nor the people I associated with, would let go of the past. So how was I supposed to? I couldn’t escape it because it surrounded me and was constantly being thrown back in my face.
Even now, I still struggle with doubts. I've listened to several motivational talks on learning to forgive oneself, letting go of past mistakes and moving on, but the messages never seem to stick, and in my heart I continue to feel unworthy, too unworthy to deserve more in life. We reap what we sow, as they say. I haven't sown enough good.

If you haven't read The Legacy yet, log onto and get your copy on Kindle for .99. Once you purchase The Legacy, leave a comment on Amazon, then email me at and I will send you the ebook, That Kind of Love - A Legacy Novelette free! Now that's too sweet a deal to pass up:-)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Getting to Know Jodee Steffensen

Thought for Today
Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
~E.L. Doctorow

Today I would like to feature a beautiful friend and fellow URWA President (I'm up next year) Jodee Steffensen and her new novelette, Wordtrapped (Metamyths).

About the story
Everyone loves Echo, but she talks too much.
Everyone loves Narcissus, especially Narcissus.
When Hera discovers the nymph's deceit, she curses Echo to repeat only the words she hears. The curse devastates Echo when she falls in love with Narcissus. He never says the words Echo needs to express her feelings, until he sees his reflection in the sacred pond.
Can Echo save Narcissus from himself

I really enjoyed reading Wordtrapped. It was an original and fun take on the Greek gods. I asked Jodee if she would answer a few questions and help us get to know her better.

Tell a little about yourself. When did you start writing? 
I started writing in the 7th grade when I wrote a script for my favorite TV show, "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea." I wrote it longhand on one of my school spiral notebooks and sent it in (didn't think to save a copy). I was sure they'd love it and ask me to come onto the set to help them shoot! But they never answered and the show was canceled the next season. I don't think I had anything to do with the cancellation, but it still haunts me:-) After that, I couldn't seem to stop writing and I won a couple of contests, which was encouraging. After college, I started working in theater and I began to write scripts. Some friends and I even started a small production company and filmed a couple of shorts, which were shown on the local community television channel. But it was an expensive hobby. When I joined URWA, I found direction and it's helped tremendously. I've learned from everyone. I try to write every day now.
How did you come up with Wordtrapped? 
I'm a teacher and needed to write some short scripts my students could practice reading with. Unfortunately, when I approached publishers with the idea, they weren't thrilled. But I got a chance to try using them in the classroom and got some very candid advice from my students. I chose myths because it's important for students to know the stories, which are referenced so much in literature. When self-publishing became an option, I read that some authors started out with short stories. With the new Common Core, it just seemed practical to produce three versions of the each myth: a short story, a poem, and one of the scripts I had already written. That would give a teacher enough material to develop a unit for mythology. "Wordtrapped" is based on Echo and Narcissus and was the most popular script among my students. Now I'm hoping young adults will love the stories as well.
Are you working on any current projects? 
Absolutely! I want to complete a series of five myths and then put out a compilation. I'm having a great time finding a relevant theme in each myth that secondary students would find interesting. I'm nearly done with a story based on Icarus and Daedalus.After I get the myths done, I'm pulling out my novels. I hope I can get those ready for publishing by the end of next year (2013). 
Where can readers purchase your novelette? 
Anywhere they want to in e-book form. You can find "Wordtrapped" on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and other e-readers. It's a huge thrill to see my books come up when people search for "Jodee Steffensen!" I hope to take the next step (offering them in print) soon.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Misunderstood Phantom of the Opera

Last week we celebrated out wedding anniversary, and my amazing husband to me to see The Phantom of the Opera at the Venitian in Las Vegas. It was an awesome show and it renewed my love for the Phantom. I mean, it's the PHANTOM! What's not to love? Sure, half his face is disfigured, but he is hunky enough that you only notice his good side, right?

So, I am officially declaring this Phantom of the Opera Week. Women everywhere, if you have a copy of the DVD (Gerrard Butler one is the best, but any version will do) pop that baby in the player this week and relive those magical moments and surrender to the music of the night with me!

Suggested Viewing

The Phantom of the Opera

Musical Drama based on Andrew Lloyd Webber's celebrated musical phenomenon. The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a disfigured musical genius (Gerard Butler) who haunts the catacombs beneath the Paris Opera, waging a reign of terror over its occupants. When he falls fatally in love with the lovely Christine (Emmy Rossum), the Phantom devotes himself to creating a new star for the Opera, exerting a strange sense of control over the young soprano as he nurtures her extraordinary talents.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Daughters of Jared

Thought for Today
"Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."
Louisa May Alcott

I love all of Heather B. Moore's Book of Mormon novels, but Daughters of Jared is one of my favorites!

About the Book
Naiva, daughter of the dethroned King Jared II, lives in the shadow of her privileged elder sister, Asherah. But when Asherah develops a secret plot to return their father to the throne, Naiva's resentment turns to fear. Thwarting the scheme becomes more complicated when Naiva discovers that Akish, the first man who has shown interest in her, is an integral part of the plan. Asherah traps Akish in a ploy to make him marry her, breaking Naiva's heart and leaving her feeling more alone than ever. Somehow Naiva must find the strength to stand against the encroaching evil in the kingdom and a sister who will stop at nothing to become queen. When Akish's wickedness escalates and threatens to destroy the bonds of sisterhood, Naiva must decide between protecting her sister and honoring her new belief in the true God,a forbidden belief that could cost her life.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Suggested Summer Reads

Thought for Today

You can close the windows and darken your room, and you can open the windows and let light in. It is a matter of choice. Your mind is your room. Do you darken it or do you fill it with light? Remez Sasson

Suggested Reads
I love, love, love these books! Maybe you will, too:-)

Book: Once: Once Upon a Time Collection
Author: Cameron Dokey

About the book
In this value-priced bind-up of three beloved retellings, readers will journey to faraway fairy tale lands. Before Midnight revisits Cinderella’s story in France, Golden puts a new spin on Rapunzel’s romance, and Wild Orchid reimagines the Chinese tale of Mulan. With so much real-life drama in today’s busy world, Once allows readers to escape into whimsical realms where every story has a happily ever after.

Book: Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
Author: Richard Paul Evans

About the book
 To everyone at Meridian High School, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, Michael is extremely special—he has electric powers. Michael thinks he is unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor has the same mysterious powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up with their abilities, and their investigation soon brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric teens—and through them, the world.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans introduces a character whose risk-filled exploration marks the beginning of a riveting new series. With only his powers, his wits, and his friends to protect him, Michael will need all his strength to survive….

Book:The Shepherd's Voice
Author: Robin Lee Hatcher

About the book
 A Man with a Past...
For ten years, Gabe Talmadge languished in prison, convicted of a horrible crime. Now, he is free once again but unable to find work in the midst of the Great Depression. In desperation, Gabe returns to Ransom, Idaho, hoping that his uncaring father will give him food and shelter, if not love. But the prodigal son is not welcomed home. Hudson Talmadge, who virtually owns the town of Ransom, despises his youngest son as much as ever-and Gabe is as powerless to win his father's approval as when he was a child.

A Man with a Future...
Hungry and hopeless, Gabe is rescued by the owner of a sheep ranch south of Ransom. Incredibly, Akira Macauley gives him a place to live and work to do. More than that, she gives him hope that he can receive forgiveness for his past-and perhaps even love.

A Man with a Choice...
But just as Gabe comes to believe that happiness may be within his grasp, tragedy strikes Ransom once more. As his life begins to unravel, Gabe must either sink again into an abyss of hopelessness or cling to a hope, faith, and love stronger than any he has ever known.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Crater Lake - Battle for Wizard Island

Thought for Today

“The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.” – Benjamin Franklin

Suggested Reading

Book: Crater Lake - Battle for Wizard Island
Author: Steve Westover

About the book
While visiting his crazy Uncle Bart at Crater Lake National Park, thirteen-year-old Ethan's world collapses when all the adults at Crater Lake disappear, including his parents. Now Ethan must rally his new friends and decipher the legends of Crater Lake to find the key to rescuing his parents from their earthen prison before he s captured too and their captivity becomes permanent.
Crater Lake is available on

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blood for Ink ( A Full-Length Regency Romance)

I don't read a lot of regency romance, but I've read a few, and Blood for Ink is now one of my favorites. And everything inside me just has to cry out, North and Livvy for President!!! It would take them both to do the job because they are completely hilarious and perfect together:-)

About the book
She won’t admit it, but she needs a hero.
He’s no hero, but he knows a guy...

As the mysterious writer who exposes the male aristocracy’s secrets, it is not the first time
The Scarlet Plumiere has been hunted. But this time it’s different. This time, she interferes with one of the Four Kings, and the brotherhood will not rest until they marry her off and place her securely under a man’s thumb. Of course they have to catch her first.

The Earl of Northwick is indebted to his heroic friends for saving his life, so the least he can do is go after this female Robin Hood in their stead. Since the woman’s clever pen and sharp wit have sparked his interest more than anything else in recent years, he’s more than happy to sacrifice himself—for the sake of the Four Kings, of course.

While she’s protecting the ladies of London, and he’s protecting the men, the two are stranded on opposite sides in this war of the sexes. But when one of her wicked victims, intent on revenge, returns for the unmasking of The Scarlet Plumiere, Livvy and North might realize they should have been protecting their hearts.

This book was the first Regency I have ever read that made me giggle so much. And North and his cohorts totally cracked me up. If you are a lover of Regency romance, you will love this story.
Blood for Ink is the first book in the Scarlet Plumiere Series and is available on And if you are like me, you will be anxiously waiting for the next one. Until then, check out L.L. Muir's other books:-)

Lord Fool to the Rescue—A Regency novella
Going Back for Romeo—A Highlander time travel romance
Somewhere Over the Freaking Rainbow—a young adult paranormal romance

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

More Thoughts For Women

I love finding little thoughts that confirm how valued women are and how priceless our worth is. Here are a few I came across. I hope they brighten your day!

"Be very careful if you make a woman
cry, because God counts her tears. The woman
came out of a man's rib. Not from his feet to be
walked on. Not from his head to be superior, but
from the side to be equal. Under the arm to be
protected, and next to the heart to be loved."
From the Hebrew Talmud

"If a woman can only succeed by emulating men, I think it is a great loss and not a success. The aim is not only for a woman to succeed, but to keep her womanhood and let her womanhood influence society." - Suzanne Brogger

“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” - Diane Mariechild

“The best protection any woman can have… is courage.” - Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“Women are the real architects of society.” - Harriet Beecher Stowe

“I am convinced that the influence of an army of godly women will be incalculable in our homes, our churches, and our culture. Will you be one of those women?” - Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Our spirits long for us to remember the truth about who we are, because the way we see ourselves, our sense of identity, affects everything we do. It affects the way we behave, the way we respond to uncertainty, the way we see others, the way we feel about ourselves, and the way we make choices. It affects the very way we live our lives. So, today, I invite you to ponder in a new way not just who you are but who you have always been.  - Sheri Dew

Suggested Reading

Book: Forget Me Not
Author: Dieter F. Uchtdorf

About the book
Inspired by the five petals of the tiny forget-me-not flower, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf reminds us of five things we will be wise to never forget: To be patient with ourselves To distinguish between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice To be happy now To focus on the "why" of the gospel To know that the Lord loves each of us infinitely. A wonderful gift for any woman in your life!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Our Infinite Ability to Change

Thought for Today
"Man has two creators, his God and himself. The first creator furnishes him the raw materials of his life - the laws and conformity with which he can make that life what he will. The second creator - himself, has powers he rarely realizes. And it is what a man makes of himself that counts."
William George Jordan

Every now and then, my thoughts get pretty deep. During those times, I try to come up with poetic ways of sharing those thoughts. Below is an inspired piece from one of my books, and it kind of goes with the thought above. I hope it touches you the way it did me when the words came to me.

The day we can look within ourselves and see our mortality,
yet feel the worth of our souls,
the day we can look on others and see the goodness in them
despite their weaknesses,

the day we can say no to evil,
despite the evil-doings of those around us,
when we can cry with those who suffer,
mourn with those who bear loss,
and comfort those who cast your comfort aside,

when we can see the good in each new day
and recognize the gifts that come with that day,
when we can love with a pure heart,
expecting nothing in return,
and magnify our valiance to the fullest,

the day we set aside the cares of the world
and embrace every good thing with a singleness
of mind, heart, body, and soul,
ever faithful, ever vigilant, doing all within
our power to remain unchanged in all respects,

on that day, we become more than mere men–
we become gods
and we live forever."

Suggested Reading

Book: House of Mystery
Author: M. L. Walling

About the book
Adrilla dreams has dreamed of a house for 14 years and then one day driving through the country stumbles upon the house in her dreams. She has to have the house and get the house she does. The house of that has been abandoned for years. The house of a possible murder or was it a suicide? Adrilla finds out as she begins her search into the history of the house.

I really enjoyed this story, as well as House of Misery, the second story in the series. Not only is Mary an awesome lady, she is a talented writer and I know you will enjoy this romantic mystery series as much as I have.
Order your copy of House of Mystery from 

Only three more days until the release of New!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Most Important Catch

Thought for Today

“Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.


Suggested Reading

Book: The Most Important Catch

Author: Jacklyn M. Hawkes

About the Book

Run or die!
She knew too much, and she’d seen too much.
And the police refused to help.
Knowing that she was to be the next scheduled death, Kelly Campbell hid under head to toe black leather and a tinted motorcycle helmet and ran for her life.
When the weather turned cold, she turned south.
She ended up in North Carolina, home to one of the most famed and eligible NFL football stars in the whole league; only she didn’t know that. She thought he was a businessman. Not being a huge fan, all she knew was that he was incredibly attractive, kind, generous, and that she was safe with him.
Or was she?
His brand of fame proved to be all but deadly, but his fame wasn’t nearly as lethal as his attraction. He kept her safe and protected. All except for her heart.


If you are LDS, you will love this LDS romantic suspense. Being from North Carolina myself, I thought it was cool to read a story that was set there. It was a clean romance that I enjoyed reading.

Order your copy of The Most Important Catch from

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A New Novelette!

In the next couple of weeks New, a new romance novelette will be available in Kindle and Nook formats, and soon after, in paperback.


Cosset is a lost soul with nothing left to live for.
Chance Hunter is a man on a mission. Desperately in love, he is willing to do anything, be anything, and give everything that he is to show Cosset that life is still worth living. He is bound and determined to heal her battle-weary heart and claim it as his own.

Open the pages of New and watch love happen.

Orlando, Florida
Today is going to be a great day to die.
I am a complete mess, and I know it. I also know what you see when you look at me. As sure as I'm standing here, I know.
You see a broken down human being, who, at the moment, is more being than human. Worn, torn, and bedraggled. Lame, not of body, but of heat and spirit. Frozen in time and place, longing to pick up the pieces of my life but not knowing how.
Someone nudges me and I move forward, taking the offered bowl from a smiling volunteer in the soup kitchen line. Finding an empty chair at a corner table, I sit down, avoiding eye contact with the three others at the table. I am acquainted with them, but I find no need to speak, and neither do they. We've shared the same address–the city park lawn–for the past year. Our stories have been shared countless times, and the lines etched into our weary faces tell those stories.
Richard, the guy to the right of me, owned an accounting firm that plunged along with the economy. He went bankrupt and lost everything, including his girlfriend and his so-called friends. Amy, to the left, is a seventeen year old runaway who had been kicked out by her drug addict parents. And sitting directly in front of me is Mark. His gambling addiction stole his once comfortable lifestyle.
Demons. We all face them every day that we are on the streets, and we strive to make sure our stories are not forgotten. Like we are.
My story, however, is the most painful.
A year ago I was a writer for a national magazine. I was a wife, a mother, a friend. My lifestyle was a comfortable one and I had everything I needed and more.
One afternoon changed everything.
* * *
Coming home to an empty house is surprising, but that feeling immediately turns to shock as I enter my two-month-old baby girl's room to find her crib gone and the dresser drawers empty. Running to my room, a painful wail escapes me as I pull out empty drawers that had just this morning held my husband's clothes. Shaking my head in momentary denial, I try to make sense of it all. Then my frozen feet move. Just as I pick up the phone to call the police, the doorbell rings, making the call unnecessary.
I am told by the solemn officer that my husband has been in an accident. Jack, my little Heather, and the woman with them, all died. I have suspected Jack of cheating for a while now, but to take my baby . . .
Five long and emotional days later I am informed by the bank that because of missed payments (a complete shock and a mystery to me) my home is no longer mine and I need to vacate. Moving through a haze, I fill a backpack. Taking the five thousand dollars I have been secretly saving from its hiding place at the bottom of the cedar chest at the foot of our bed, I stuff it into my pocket and walk away.
After a three-month binge of drugs and alcohol, the money dwindles to nothing and the streets become my home.
* * *
Though no longer a drug and alcohol user, my life choices up to this point are clearly written all over my countenance and I am no longer able to see the real me. I have forgotten who I am. I am sick of heart, tired in spirit, and I have no desire to remain among the living, if you can call barely existing living.
I am insignificant, making no difference in the world, having no purpose, and no sense of worth.
“I'm done,” I whisper as I step from the curb into the path of an oncoming black SUV. I am so done.

Check back for release dates.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Million Dollar Diva

My wonderful friend Tristi Pinkston teamed up with authors Brett Kitchen and Ethan Kap and wrote this neat little financial book for women.

About the book
Finally - the woman's answer to growing rich safely! Women today face more money challenges than ever before, from managing careers and families to finances - the demands on their time and resources are increasing. Bad financial advice abounds, and it can be hard to know what to do. Award-winning author Tristi Pinkston teams up with bestselling authors Brett Kitchen and Ethan Kap to bring you Million Dollar Diva. Experience Tristi's real-life transformation from stuggling in debt to million-dollar retirement!

In this book, you'll discover:

The 5-step, simple, safe, and predictable process to change living paycheck-to-paycheck to enjoying wealth and security.

How to give yourself a $400 per month raise without asking the boss or working a minute of overtime.

"Spend Like a Diva." How to have anything you want - nice vacations, eating out, trips to the mall. It's all part of the plan!

The secret formula of how to completely eliminate your debt in 1/3 the time and save tens of thousands on interest costs in the process. You'll see why all the TV gurus are wrong!

5 Million-Dollar-Diva investing strategies that will grow your money safely and predictably every year, without the guesswork.

Plus! Discover the key to stop fighting and quarreling with your spouse about money forever!

Imagine yourself living debt-free and building a million-dollar retirement safely and securely, so you can have total confidence in yourself and your future.

I think this book is perfect for women and is a fun way to learn about getting out of debt:-)
 Get your copy of Million Dollar Diva from 
To get a free copy (minus postage) log onto

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Royal Elf of Abalon

Thought for Today
"Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own."
Robert A Heinleim

Suggested Reading

Book: A Royal Elf of Abalon
Author: Anna del C. Dye

About the book
The deep relationship between Amaria, the princess of Abalon and Marken, the chancellor’s son, comes to a halting stop after their kingdom is almost annihilated. However, death isn’t the only thing this battle brings. Elfs come to their rescue and, as a souvenir, take the princess home with them. Blinded by fury, the overprotecting queen orders the extermination of the mighty elfs. Her captains know they can never win, so they are pleased when Amaria intervenes so desperately that she loses her mother. The unprepared princess is left to care for a kingdom that will demand her true love. A Royal Elf of Abalon is the stand-alone continuation of Anna’s Elf series. Once again she has crafted an exciting new tale full of jealousy, betrayals, and death. A Royal Elf of Abalon is a masterpiece created in the genre of Tolkien that you’ll love to the end.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Romance Novel by Marie Higgins

Thought for Today
"The difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make sense."
Tom Clancy

Suggested Reading

Book: The Sweetest Touch
Author: Marie Higgins

The Book
Louisa wakes from a deep heavy fog, surrounded by strangers and horrified to discover she's been the sole victim of a terrible buggy accident. Worse... she remembers nothing.

Trevor Worthington, Duke of Kenbridge, can’t trust women. Yet after nearly killing the amnesiac Louisa, he has little choice but to open his home to her. His heart softens to the straggly woman in beggar's garb as he strives to help her regain her memory. As proof of Louisa's scars, both physical and those lurking beneath the surface, come to light, Trevor finds himself more and more drawn to the mysterious woman. However he is hesitant to enter another nightmarish entanglement like his first marriage.

Louisa is all too happy to accept employment in the Duke's household though it quickly becomes apparent she doesn't fit in at all! For starters she speaks French and has no skills to speak of. Bits and pieces of conflicting memories flash through her mind, lending more confusion to the puzzle of her life. Fortunately the duke proves ever patient with her myriad of mistakes and Louisa finds herself falling in love with the kind, brooding man. As their budding relationship progresses from improper to scandalous Louisa's memory begins to return. Dare she tell Trevor the horrible truths of her past? That she belongs to an evil man known only as Macgregor.

As the heartbreaking facts of Louisa's past are exposed and decade old questions come to light, will the truth keep these lovers from happiness? Will Trevor be able to give love another chance? Or will Louisa's sweet touch prove yet another forgotten memory...

If you love Marie's other books, you will love this one as well. She has a way with a love story and every novel is guaranteed good read:-)
Get your copy of The Sweetest Touch from

Sunday, April 22, 2012

For You Austen Fans

Thought for Today

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.

—Eleanor Roosevelt

And in the words of my favorite little green guy, Yoda when he was training Luke, who was convinced his ship was too big to raise from the swamp. Yoda showed him it could be done:

Luke: "I can't believe it."

Yoda: "This is why you fail."

Moral: What we think about we bring about. We can't let our thoughts defeat us.

Suggested Reading

Book: Small Deceptions: A Novel After the Style of Jane Austen

Author: H. Linn Murphy

About the Book

Francesca Kennington merely wants to be left to her studies, despite her mother's best efforts to saddle her with a rich husband. Then she meets a mysterious gentleman, who leads her on a romp through the ballrooms and countryside of Georgian England. How can their romance blossom when they have chosen to keep it a secret from their friends and family? All too soon the small deceptions become too large and Francesca's house of cards tumbles. Can she put things back together and still marry for love instead of money?

If you love Jane Austen, you definitely love this book.. Though I have never been much of an Austen reader (I love Charlotte Bronte) this was a fun story filled with quirky characters you will grow to love. Like other reviewers have said, the author really does stay true to Austen's style, and though you never know what Francesca will do next, you can't help but cheer her on when she makes her choice. This is a book I know I will read again:-)

Order your copy of Small Deceptions from

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Truthfulness of "We Are Never Alone"

Thought for Today
"Whenever someone sorrows, I do not say, "forget it," or "it will pass," or "it could be worse" -- all of which deny the integrity of the painful experience. But I say, to the contrary, "It is worse than you may allow yourself to think. Delve into the depth. Stay with the feeling. Think of it as a precious source of knowledge and guidance. Then and only then will you be ready to face it and be transformed in the process."
--Peter Koestenbaum

With all of the many trials and tribulations we face in the world today, it's good to know we never have to face them alone, even though it sometimes seems like we are single-handedly shouldering the weight of the world. As we experience these refining moments, it is sometimes hard to see the bigger picture and too painful to even try, but that picture is constant and never changes, only our view of it.
When eyes are blurred with tears of pain and the heart is heavy with some nameless sorrow that rears its head at the most inconvenient times, it's difficult to see the light at the end of that emotional tunnel, and that tunnel even seems to grow the harder you try to reach the end.
All we can do during these times is hold fast and press onward with the knowledge that as we endure, we will become stronger, and as we face trials of the heart that dampen and hammer away at our spirit, we are not facing it alone. Nor will we ever. If we can hold on to nothing else, we must hold on to that.

Suggested Viewing

Movie: Courageous

Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, they are confident and focused, standing up to the worst the streets can offer. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge they’re ill prepared to tackle: fatherhood. When tragedy strikes home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Sherwood Pictures, creators of Fireproof, returns with this heartfelt, action-packed story. Protecting the streets is second nature to these law enforcement officers. Raising their children in a God-honoring way? That takes courage.

Movie: Fireproof

Lt. Caleb Holt lives by the old firefighter's adage: Never leave your partner behind. Inside burning buildings, it's his natural instinct. In the cooling embers of his marriage, it's another story. After a decade of marriage, Caleb and Catherine Holt have drifted so far apart that they are ready to move on without each other. Yet as they prepare to enter divorce proceedings, Caleb's dad asks his son to try an experiment: The Love Dare. While hoping The Love Dare has nothing to do with his parents' newfound faith, Caleb commits to the challenge. But can he attempt to love his wife while avoiding God's love for him? Will he be able to demonstrate love over and over again to a person that's no longer receptive to his love? Or is this just another marriage destined to go up in smoke?

Movie: Forever Strong

Rick (Sean Faris) is a star player on his dad's rugby team until a DUI lands him in a reformatory. While he's serving his sentence, tough rival coach Larry Gelwix (Gary Cole) allows him to play for his team, which helps Rick straighten up his act. Upon his release, however, Rick becomes a pariah to his former teammates and even his father when he refuses to divulge Gelwix's strategies. Sean Astin co-stars in this inspiring true story.