Monday, October 31, 2011

Darkspell Spookfesta

Darkspell by Elizabeth Mueller is released today! As part of that celebration I'm participating in the Darkspell Spookfesta.

"If I had all the magic in the world, I'd . . ."
Make it so I never had to eat or sleep again so I can do everything on my to do list. :) So I'd be a little bit on the selfish side, but hey . . . a girl can dream! :)
Now, here's a bit of a Teaser for Darkspell and reviews that have come in. Let me know what you think!

Mary Kay Monday--Hand Lotion

This week is 20% any of the hand creams (Vanilla Mint-Limited Edition, Vanilla Berry-Limited Edition, Fragrance-Free, and Peach Scented). Normally $10, it will be 20% off. As always, if you're a follower, you get an extra 5% off. Become a follower and get the 5% off. This is a great Christmas idea! Order at my website or leave me a comment. Happy Shopping. Here's a link to the Holiday Catalog and the eCatalog.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Awesome Giveway

Once Upon a Twilight
Check out this awesome giveaway on Once Upon a Twilight's Blog. Running through Nov. 20 with five different prizes. Check it out!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Book Review--No Angel


No Angel by Theresa Sneed. I remember seeing something about this book on my writing groups critique line awhile back. It snatched my interest then and I couldn't wait to read the entire story. Sometimes when I anticipate a book like that, I find I'm let down. You know, you hype it up so much that nothing can come close to what you imaged? Well, this book held up to what I imagined from the first page to the last. Jonathan was so Grinch-like that you have to love him. His journey through a world he did not want anything to do with had me laughing, crying, and gave me chills. This is definitely a book I will not only read again, but convince everyone around me they have to read it too. It receives a :):):):):) Here's a blurb and an interview with Theresa. Take a look and let me know what you think!
An angel with an attitude

Jonathan Stewart is not at all happy about having to return to earth
as a guardian angel, but it's required of all post-mortal spirits to
fulfill at least one angel guardianship. Fortunately, on the Guardians
Unlimited application, he had the good sense to request a client
with early-marked-death status, so he believes that while his stay
on earth will be most unpleasant, at least it will be short.
What he doesn t know is that a spirit with EMD status can choose his or
her time of death! Jonathan's client, Celeste Knight, has a mind of
her own and refuses death at every turn, leaving him stuck as her
guardian angel in a place he only wanted to forget.




  • What made you decide to become a writer?

That’s easy—I’ve always loved the connection between words and life. I remember as a young teen spending hours in my hometown library in Dover-Foxcroft Maine, just leafing through whatever book caught my fancy. I’d seek for passages that gave my life meaning and then copy them down by hand and tack them on my bedroom wall. And I loved getting lost in a good book that made me feel like a heroine or like I could overcome every obstacle in my path.

  • Who inspires you?

Good people inspire me of all walks of life and faiths. As far as writers go—of course, any scriptural writings, but beyond that, I love any fictional books that make me ponder and reflect. Believe it or not, for me, the writings of Tolkien, most C.S. Lewis, and the Bronte sisters, are among my favorites. As far as modern day writers go, I’m a huge fan of Steven King. Even though I shy away from his writings, I recognize his genius.

  • What would you like your readers to get out of your writing?

More than anything, I’d like my readers to consider the possibilities of there actually being a heaven that we came from and will return to, and that our choices determine our eternity.

  • Where did this idea come from?

The idea for No Angel came from several personal experiences and a strong belief in God and life before life and after life.

  • Who was your favorite character to develop?

I’d say Jonathan was my favorite character to develop. Right off the bat, my writing group fell in love with him, even though he was hardly loveable. He was a fun character to create.

  • Any advice for aspiring authors?

Yes! If you desire to be a writer, then you CAN do it! But you must be willing to put in the work – learn the craft through study and practice, and believe in yourself! I highly recommend joining a writing group that has your best interest in mind, and preferably, your same standards.

  • What can we expect next from you?

I’ve already written two additional angel books, the second of which is in its final stages of beta-editing. It’s called Occasionally Yours and its set entirely in the premortal existence. It’s my favorite, by-the-way. I LOVE the story! I love No Angel, love, love, love it! But Occasionally Yours, in my opinion is twice as good!

  • Where can we purchase your book?

You can purchase No Angel at Deseret Book, Pioneer Book, or any LDS bookstore. You can also purchase it at Barnes & Noble, order it through any bookstore, or online at Amazon.com, among several online stores. I have those purchase links listed on my author blog at http://theresasmallsneed.blogspot.com. I love to meet my readers and I have several book signings coming up. I always post the most current on my author site. I also would LOVE to be invited as a guest speaker at any book reading clubs that choose No Angel! If I can’t physically be there because of distance, I would still LOVE to visit with them through skypes!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Buzzin'--Emerine's Nightmare

Emerine's Nightmare by Anna del C. Dye. A perfect book for this month. Here's my review. Let me know what you think!

What would you do if one night, life as you know it changes and you are left alone in despair? That is how Emerine’s nightmare starts and now all he does is run.
His family lived at the edge of the forest until dark shadows killed them all. Now they want him, and so does a magic tree. He has never seen dark shadows or enchanted trees before. Emerine has to get to the heart of Red Forest, to the fairy people. Only then he will be safe. Safe? He has never heard of fairies before and once he gets there what?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mary Kay Monday--Gift Set

On sale this week is the Limited Edition LipBalm Set, Vanilla, Vanilla Mint, and Vanilla Berry scented. Normally $15, it will be 20% off. As always, if you're a follower, you get an extra 5% off. Become a follower and get the 5% off. This is a great Christmas idea! Order at my website or leave me a comment. Happy Shopping. Here's a link to the Holiday Catalog and the eCatalog.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Do I need to loose some words?

By Bonnie Harris

I finally got a chunk of time to work on my writing. My wonderful sisters watched my baby and I got to stare at my computer screen, revising one of my manuscripts. Needless to say I was thrilled and got some really good revising done.

Now I knew that I needed to cut some words, so I was diligently working on strengthening sentences, taking out the unnecessary articles, and things like that. I had several moments that brought a smile to my face and the thought of, "This is really good," crossed my mind. It felt great to be so productive.

Well, I'm sure you can see where I'm headed with this. The last fifteen minutes I realized that what I had just spent the last hour and a half honing to perfection, didn't really need to be there. The scenes were wonderful, fun to write, showed character, everything you could want, but . . . it wasn't essential to the story. So, laughing at the irony (at least what I thought was an irony), I highlighted, copied and pasted into a new document (because you should never really delete anything), and deleted what I had just worked on. Bam! 5500 words gone. With the click of a button.

I laughed for the rest of the day, trying to figure out if there had been a way to avoid what I had just done. My conclusion, there really isn't. I remember in a class, Melanie Jacobson talking about how cutting scenes can be like cutting off arms and legs or ripping your heart out. I can see that now, but the benefit of deleting scenes? I learned a lot about my characters. They learned a lot about themselves and now I have more to build a strong story with the words I have left.

So I guess I'm saying, don't be afraid to delete. It can truly turn out to be for the better. I know for a long time I felt married to my words and couldn't let them go. If anything, I could have avoided this situation by not getting so attached that I couldn't let go until now. Gotta love lessons learned! Happy Writing and Deleting! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Review--Methods of Madness


Methods of Madness by Stephanie Black. I had the privilege to be in Stephanie's critic group and the LDStorymakers conference this past May. She gave me wonderful insight on my writing and I just had to pick up one of her books. I loved this story. I thought I had solved it, but in the end I wasn't even close. Books that prove me wrong and so much fun. The characters kept me involved and I felt for them, although I will admit the ending was odd. It worked really well, I just remember thinking, "Huh, that's weird." I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good mystery. It receives a :):):):):)

Here's a blurb about the book, a link to read the first chapter, and an interview with Stephanie. Let me know what you think!

It’s been three years since the terrible night Emily Ramsey suffered a double tragedy—the death of her sister and the disappearance of her fiancĂ©. She deserves another chance at happiness, and gentle, adorable Zach Sullivan is just the man to mend her shattered heart. But from the moment Emily opens the hand-carved box holding a glittering diamond solitaire, she’s seized by an unshakeable fear: she’s going to lose Zach.


That’s exactly what Monica, Zach’s ex-girlfriend, is banking on. Bitter with envy, Monica will stop at nothing to sabotage Zach and Emily’s romance. A troubling note shows up in Emily’s mailbox, fanning the flames of suspicion. A bloody photograph sends her reeling. But when someone is brutally murdered, will Emily be able to escape suspicion and the possibility that she might be next?



What made you decide to become a writer?

I've always loved books, even when I was a very young child. Besides loving to read, I loved playing Barbies as a child--which may sound like it has nothing to do with writing, but I think it has lots to do with writing! Making up stories about make-believe characters--that sounds like writing fiction to me! For me, I think writing is a grown-up way of playing Barbies :)

When I was a senior in high school, I took a creative writing class, and on the last story I wrote for the class (my other stories were all very boring) the teacher wrote something like, "Interesting--don't stop!" I didn't stop. I played with that idea for years. Eventually--after many years of writing, rewriting, and reading lots of fiction technique books--that story evolved into my first novel, a futuristic thriller called The Believer.

Who inspires you?

In my personal life, my husband is a great inspiration--he's always encouraged and supported me in my desire to write. My family and my husband's family have also been a great support to me. And I receive so much support and encouragement from fellow authors--the support network among authors is really fantastic!

A literary inspiration for me is Mary Higgins Clark--I've enjoyed so many of her suspense novels. I also admire Connie Willis--I'd like to write some more science fiction (my first novel was sci fi).

What would you like your readers to get out of your writing?

With my mystery/suspense novels, I'm hoping readers will get a good, fun, exciting, nail-biting, clean read!

Where did this idea come from?

Brainstorming. The two novels I wrote before Methods of Madness both came from ideas that had been percolating for a long time, so when I finished my second book and it was time to start a new one, I had no idea what it was going to be about. I only knew that I wanted a contemporary suspense novel with a young female protagonist. It was a bit daunting to start from scratch! I wrote down ideas--I brainstorm best by typing into a brainstorming file on my computer--and played with them until a story finally started to take shape. Then I ended up taking the story in a different direction than my original ideas, and eventually, it developed into Methods of Madness.

Who was your favorite character to develop?

Hmm. That's a tough question. It's been a while since I wrote it, so who knows what I was thinking at the time? But if I have to pick a fun character, I think I'll vote for Brent.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Study technique. There are tons of fiction technique books available. A couple of my favorites are Jack Bickham's The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them) and Jack Bickham's Scene and Structure. Be willing to learn and improve your craft. Don't expect instant success--be ready for rejection. The ability to get back on your feet and dust yourself off after a disappointment is vital to success as an author.

What can we expect next from you?

My next suspense novel, Rearview Mirror, will be released in October.

Where can we purchase your book?

Any LDS bookstore, online or brick-and-mortar, Amazon.com.

THANKS STEPHANIE!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday

It's amazing what happens when you cut scenes from your work. Blood, sweat, and tears go into it and then with the click of a button it's gone. It may be better for the story, but it doesn't make it any easier. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Book Buzzin'--The Up Side of Down

In conjunction with Autism Awareness Month, I'm buzzin' Rebecca Cornish Talley's The Up Side of Down. She's also hosting a giveaway on her blog that runs through October 31st. Let me know what you think!

“Hmmm,” the doctor muttered.

Natalie wrinkled her forehead, almost afraid to ask, and said, “What does that mean?”

“You do know you’re pregnant, right?”

Her breath caught in her throat. “Excuse me?”

“You’re pregnant.”

Her heartbeat thundered in her ears. “I’m what?”

Natalie Drake certainly has her hands full raising a large family, dealing with her difficult mother, and maintaining a relationship with her rebellious teenager. Just when things seem to be going smoothly, she finds out another unexpected surprise—she’s going to have a baby. Faced with so many challenges, Natalie must learn to trust in a plan that isn’t what she imagined and discover that every situation has an upside.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Great giveaway

Here's the link for a fantastic giveaway by Shannon Messengar! Take a look!

I've read the Pendragon Series that she's giving away and Love It!

Brandon Mull is a wonderful author as well. Check out my book reviews for them on my books read page.

Mary Kay Monday--Nail Color

New Limited Edition Nail Colors are the featured item this week. Normally $8, they are 20% off with an additional 5% just for being a follower. Get a friend to follow and you both get another 5% off. Holiday's are coming fast and these would make great stocking stuffers! Order from my website or leave a comment. You also might be interested in the eCatelog, Holiday Gift Guide, or the Virtual Makeover. Have Fun!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

And the winner is . . .

Random.org has spoken. And the winner is Lynnea! Thank you for all the new (and old) followers and the fun comments! I wish I had a book to give to everyone who entered. :) Stay tuned for the November Blog Hop Giveaway!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October Blog Hop


Welcome to the October Blog Hop, where you can visit new blogs, enter to win prizes, and have a great time!



At the bottom of this post, you'll see a list of participating blogs. Just click on each link, check out the prize, and follow the easy instructions to enter. You can enter on each blog, so it's possible to win multiple times. It's frighteningly easy.



On this blog, you can win . . .
A copy of THE LITTLE OLD LADY WHO WAS NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING, a perfect Halloween story. :) US only please.




To enter, all you need to do is:



1. Become a follower of my blog.



2. Leave a comment on this post and tell me what book I just reviewed. (Scroll down to the next post.) If your e-mail address isn't visible through your Blogger profile, please also leave it with the comment so I can notify you if you win. You can enter until midnight MST on Saturday night, October 15th.



That's it! You are now entered. Now please go visit all my friends on the list below. It's almost like trick or treating!

October Blog Hop Participants
1. Tristi Pinkston
2. I Am a Reader, Not a Writer
3. Bonnie Harris
4. Michael D. Young
5. Misty Moncur
6. Debbie Davis
7. Mandi Tucker Slack
8. Mary Ann Dennis
9. Deanna Henderson
10. Laura Bastian
11. Kristy Tate
12. Kristy Wilson
13. Jennifer Debenham
14. Jenny Moore
15. Elizabeth Hughes
16. J. Lloyd Morgan
17. Close Encounters with the Night Kind
18. Billy Boulden
19. Scott Bryan
20. Maria Hoagland
21. Shirley Bahlmann
22. Shelly Brown
23. Marcy Howes
24. Lynnea Mortensen
25. Jaclyn M. Hawkes
26. Diane Stringam Tolley
27. Gail Zuniga
28. Betsy Love
29. iWriteNetwork
30. Canda's InkBlast
31. Stacy Coles

Learn more about October Blog Hop here.

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Book Review--All That Was Promised


All That Was Promised by Vickie Hall was set during the 1800's in Wales. I love being able to see new places in novels like that. Vickie did a wonderful job setting up the area and creating characters that I felt connected to and wanted to know more about. The first page had me hooked. Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I enjoyed seeing what potential went on during the early days of the church in a different part of the world. The conflict Vickie created helped propel the story forward and kept me turning the pages. I have to admit that the ending didn't feel like the story completely wound itself up. The characters had me vested enough that I felt cheated and let me down until I found out that Part 2 will be coming out soon. This book receives a :):):):) Here's ablurb about the book, links to purchase the book, and a link to Vickie's blog. Let me know what you think!

In 1847 Wales young Methodist Minister Richard Kenyon converts to Mormonism.

Richard's newfound faith is put to the test as he faces down the anger of his former congregation, his wife's

indecisiveness, the betrayal of his brother, and the murderous intentions of misinformed villagers.

Purchase links


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday

Okay people, what do you think? Be honest. Did I get your attention or just confuse you?

Chapter 1


A metallic thump, thump came from the front door. I shot it an evil look, licked the bitter tang of pickle juice off my fingers, and switched the phone to my other ear. “Yeah sure Jake. More later. Gotta run.”

“But—”

I hit the end button, cutting off Jake’s protest and set the phone in its cradle as I slide the pickle jar in the fridge. I’d never understand Dad’s logic of hanging onto a landline rather than graduating to a cell phone like the rest of the universe. Too easy to track your location, he’d say. “As if a landline can’t be traced,” I mumbled.

The thump, thump, thump sounded a bit louder the second time. “I’m coming. I’m coming,” I muttered and quickly reset the tripwire on the fridge door. “No wonder I never have anyone over,” I told it and shut the door. “No one would survive.”

Three steps later, I peered out the hidden peep hole Dad installed just to the left of the door frame. The porch light illuminated a uniformed officer rocking on his heels. I squinted but couldn’t make out a partner. That’s strange, I mused. They usually come in twos. Then again it’s happened before.

The virtually silent door swung open and the officer froze with his hand extended. I opened the security door and waited for him to speak. “Georgina Blackinsworth?”

“That’s me.” I folded my arms, waiting for whatever news he had to tell me. A list of previous incidents similar to this ran through my head. I half wondered what Dad had set in motion again, hoping it might be something other than the usual and perturbed he would actually make me go through it the night before my birthday.

He scratched his head and shifted his weight a few times. “Uh, we just got word that your father . . .” He glanced at the ground and back up again, like he was trying to remember. “Kent Blackinsworth has been killed in a car accident.”

My heart sunk. Come on Dad! I thought. How about something different for a change. I’ve heard this one a million times already. I focused past the officer, into the too warm, dark night. No police car. No partner. Not the standard procedure for informing someone a family member had just been killed. It had to be another drill. I shifted mental gears to play along and shrugged, leaning against the door frame.

The police officer cocked his head. Apparently he didn’t expect me to react that way. I briefly contemplated breaking down in tears and wailing hysterically, but Dad would kill me if I responded that way. That’s not according to protocol, he’d remind me, and then I’d have to do it over again tomorrow night. Not something I wanted to deal with.

The officer cleared his throat, rubbing the back of his neck. “I’m sorry to say we haven’t found his body yet. The fire was pretty hot and all, but we did manage to salvage his wallet.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Buzzin' Tuesday--No Angel

Sounds like a great one! Here's a blurb, author's blog, and more!

An angel with an attitude

Jonathan Stewart is not at all happy about having to return to earth
as a guardian angel, but it's required of all post-mortal spirits to
fulfill at least one angel guardianship. Fortunately, on the Guardians
Unlimited application, he had the good sense to request a client
with early-marked-death status, so he believes that while his stay
on earth will be most unpleasant, at least it will be short.
What he doesn t know is that a spirit with EMD status can choose his or
her time of death! Jonathan's client, Celeste Knight, has a mind of
her own and refuses death at every turn, leaving him stuck as her
guardian angel in a place he only wanted to forget.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mary Kay Monday--Mini Fragrance Set

This week, the mini Fragrance Set is one sale, 20% off. Become a follower (or an existing follower) for an additional 5% off. Get a friend to follow for 5% off. You can order at my website or leave a comment.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Benefits of Social Networking

By Bonnie Harris

First of all I have to admit that I copied the cute picture from Maria Hoagland's blog. Thanks!

I have an adult cello student that is also an artist. In our last lesson we deviated from the world of cello technique to that of online social networking. She has published a couple of art type books and was wondering how else to market them and whether or not to go directly to a publisher, etc. We talked about Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, and such. It turned out to be a very enlightening conversation for her and in turn, she's set up a blog to go with her website.

We both agreed though that any one individual can spends hours upon hours on the internet, trying to keep up with everything. She said she spends several hours a week updating her website. I think about all the time that can be spent and I get overwhelmed. So here's what I've come up with.

We all know the benefits of having an online presence. In fact many agents/publishers "stalk" you online before they offer a contract, just to see how well you are known. It's good to have that "fan base" so to speak and make sure that people know your name, but how to do you it without spending umpteenth hours? Personally I'm still struggling a bit with the whole balancing thing. I have a FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Goodreads account, along with my blog, but I've picked one to keep really updated. My blog.

Here's a little social networking success. Authors Theresa Sneed and Betsy Love just had a book launch in AZ. They plastered their social networks with the information and I found myself surprised to have to wait in line to get their books signed. I know Janette Rallison does the same when she has a book released, along with a giveaway. It's fun to see the results and gives me hope that when my day comes, I'll have people waiting in line to see me. :)

I've tried to update everything at the same time and found the little time I have to write disappeared. So as I receive invitations from various accounts, I spend a couple of minutes updating them, but for the most part everything is in one place. If anyone knows how to link all of them together to do in one post, I'm all ears, fingers, eyes, whatever. :)

So, I just found the conversation with my cello student very interesting and it reminded me why I'm doing what I'm doing. It may not be what everyone else is managing to do, but I have to be happy with it for now. In other words, your doing wonderful with whatever you manage to get done! Happy Social Networking!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Review--The Key of Kilenya


The Key of Kilenya by Andrea Pearson is the first in a series. I enjoyed this book but it was rough getting through it. The story has so much potential. I liked Jacob although I felt like he took too much in stride. I wanted more answers and I figured Jacob would too. The world created was very similar to Earth and with all the new creatures—which were very inventive and I loved—I half expected there to be more differences. The language between the two worlds to me was the same as teenagers speaking here. I wanted there to be more of a difference, however, toward the end I really got into the story. There were some moments throughout that kept me reading and like I said, it has great potential. I am curious to see what happens next.
(The Ember Gods book 2 in the series has been released in ebook form.) I would recommend this book to anyone who loves an adventure in a different world with fascinating creatures. It receives a :):):) Here's a blurb about the book, video about book, and where to purchase it. Amazon

When two vicious wolves chase fourteen-year-old Jacob Clark down a path from our world into another, his life is forever changed. He has no idea they have been sent by the Lorkon—evil, immortal beings who are jealous of powers he doesn’t know he possesses—powers they desire to control.

The inhabitants of the new world desperately need Jacob's help in recovering a magical key that was stolen by the Lorkon and is somehow linked to him. If he helps them, his life will be at risk. But if he chooses not to help them, both our world and theirs will be in danger. The Lorkon will stop at nothing to unleash the power of the key—and Jacob's special abilities.

Check out what other people thought of The Key of Kilenya on it's blog tour . . . here!




Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Buzzn' Tuesday--Silence

I fell in love with this series from the beginning and am so excited for it's release today! Here's a blurb, book trailer, and author's blog!

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Introducing . . .


Introducing Mary Kay Monday's! With the holidays around the corner, I wanted to make it easy for everyone to pick out something for anyone on their list. So, every Monday (well most Monday's) I'll have a featured item that will be 20% off for the rest of the week. (And if I miss a Monday, the sale will continue till the following week.)

This week everything it 20% off. Just have your order in by midnight Sunday to get the discount. And . . . to get an additional 5% off, simply become a follower. And . . . to get another 5% off get a friend to become a follower. Don't worry, once you've done that you'll always get 5% off. So you can easily get 30% off your entire order this week.

Take a look at the eCatalog, virtual makeover, and anything else that suits you on my website. It's easy and everything makes wonderful gifts, with lots under $10. Take a look and let me know what you think!