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Friday, September 28, 2018
Thursday, September 13, 2018
As Wide as the Sky
by Jessica Pack
Jessica's masterful way of immersing the reader in As Wide as the Sky kept me engaged with the turn of every page.
As the story unfolded, each of the characters came to life. I felt Amanda's pain and anguish as her son Robbie faced the consequences of his choices. I cried when I read of the gratitude he had for her unconditional love.
I felt the numbness and despair of losing a child. I felt the regret a father had for leaving a young family and the resolution of making changes for the better as he asked his family for forgiveness.
I felt the joy of a brighter future despite great sadness. I empathized with a mother's feelings of failure and I felt the hope of new beginnings and possibilities "as wide as the sky".
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
by Sharee Wanner
Karen masterfully brings a whole new world to light in this fantasy adventure. I was drawn in from the very beginning with her strong characters and plot.
Sianna doesn’t have it easy and chooses to live on her own in unpleasant circumstances until her aunt finds her and takes her in. But just as things are turning around for her, everything in her life and the town of Newtimber changes. Even the people change into mythological creatures from every culture.
Siana is tasked with healing her town, her new friends and her family and defeating the evil unleashed from another dimension.
Karen brings a whole new world to life and really showcases her female protagonist in this fantasy adventure!
You’ll want to add this one to your collection for sure.
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Miss Wilton's Waltz
by Josi S. Kilpack
Josi's ability to bring stories to life is magic! I was drawn into Miss Wilton's Waltz right from the beginning. Her characters are well-rounded and relatable. This delightful read takes you back to a simpler time.
Propriety and social grace are an important part of life. Lenora is shy but gifted in music. She moves to a new city to live with her aunt and teach music hoping to leave her past behind. This may be just what she needs to move on with her life and finding love amidst opposition is something she least expects.
Friday, February 23, 2018
1. When did you decide you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always loved telling stories. I tried to write my first novel when I was twelve years old, but it wasn’t until after a mission, marriage, two moves, four children, and finally earning my degree that I decided I wanted to be an author. My younger sister encouraged me to participate in National Novel Writing Month in 2013, and the rest is history.
2. Who has influenced your writing the most?
I don’t know that any one writer has influenced me “the most.” Everything I’ve read has influenced me in some way. Growing up, I read a lot of classics—heavy on the Jane Austen. But I also dabbled in science fiction. I loved Isaac Asimov. Later, I got into thrillers. Dan Brown is one of my favorites. If you swirl all of that together, you get a techno-thriller with romantic elements. Poof.
3. What is your favorite part of the writing process and why?
This is going to sound crazy, but I love the re-writing phase. I’m a pantser, so I usually have a lot of weeding to do in my garden. I love taking the mess I’ve created and turning it into something beautiful.
4. What is your favorite book?
I love Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. For me, it’s perfectly paced and an amazing blend of mystery and romance. Brontë’s characters are relatable, and she understand how to build tension.
5. What attributes do you most give your characters and why?
I tend to give my characters “flaws” that I wish I had. The main character in Eruption and Reclamation is a little bit OCD. Her obsessions stem from something that happened in the past that she can’t remember. Sometimes I wish that the skeletons in my closet would motivate me to clean instead of eat obsessively.
In my current work in progress, the main character passes quick judgement on others. This isn’t an attribute I admire. It’s something I’m trying to overcome along with my main character.
6. What helps you be a better writer?
Critical feedback is key to becoming a better writer. Whether I’m giving it or receiving it, feedback forces my creative brain to be more analytical. You have to be able to think as both a writer and a reader.
7. What are your ten most favorite things?
In no particular order:
Vacations with my family
The smell of rain
Black and white movies
Creamed spinach (no, seriously it’s delicious)
Snuggling my kids and my dog
Date night with my husband
8. You have two techno-thrillers published, tell us about your most interesting character in each book?
I love Jace’s dad in Eruption. He’s a presence looming in the background from the beginning, but we don’t understand his full role in the mystery until near the end. He’s a very three-dimensional character to me and his relationship with Jace is based on my relationship with my own father.
In Reclamation, Mirlande is an interesting character. Because of the time travel, we have to wonder about her existence before and after her interaction with Jace. In a lot of ways, I think she is what Jace wants to be: a fearless, bold fighter.
9. Can you tell us why the first page of any story is so important?
Every page of a story is important, but the first page is paramount. It should tell the reader exactly what to expect. It makes promises that then must be delivered on. Many writers stress about creating something that is new or different when really the reader is just looking for something that is exciting and delivers as expected.
10. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep reading and keep writing. There’s really no other way to get to where you want to go.
Adrienne Quintana is the author of Eruption as well as several children’s books. When she isn't writing, Adrienne enjoys running, hiking, and matchmaking (Are you single? She probably knows someone perfect for you.) She lives in Arizona with her husband and four children, who give her love, support, and plenty of good material for Instagram.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
A phenomenon of nature, change is constantly upon us. It happens for most of us a little at a time; just as the leaves turn from green to yellow-green, to gold and then to red; changing a little bit each day. One tree can have leaves with several different colors all on the same branch!
Early autumn in Brigham City, UT
As the trees make their final change the leaves begin to fall to the ground. This change prepares the trees for winter, a rest of sorts, and then comes an awakening in the spring.
It doesn’t happen all at once. During the seemingly dormant winter, the trees are still getting moisture from the earth. Gradually tiny buds of leaves form on the trees and beautiful blossoms appear as each tree awakens.
There are trees, however, that don’t seem to have such visible and outward changes—the Evergreen tree. No matter the season, its needles are forever green; a constant through all the seasons of change.
Colors of autumn in the canyon North-East of Inspiration Point near Willard, UT
Our lives often reflect the changes we see in nature. There are times when dramatic things and events occur in us, our families, our work, our beliefs and our education that are beautiful and colorful. New babies are born into your family several weeks early—priesthood blessings are given; you graduate with a Bachelor’s degree—you’ve accomplished your goal; your child’s team takes the state trophy home—their perseverance was rewarded; the missionaries come to your door and share the gospel of Jesus Christ—prayers are answered; you are offered a promotion at work—your wife to stay at home to nurture your young children.
Some of us are confident in our knowledge of who we are and we stand out at the edge of life leading those who follow. Others are timid and shy and blend in with the landscape. We don’t discover their full beauty until we travel deeper into the forest.
Sunrise on the eastern slope of Inspiration Point near Willard, UT
No matter the season of life we may be in, there are times when we feel deep despair—like all of our beautiful leaves have fallen and we are left bare to be whipped around by the cold winds of winter. Sometimes we are like the tree with the very last leaf clinging with all its might to the branch; not wanting to let go because we are afraid of what change may bring.
In 2 Nephi we read, “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”1
The last leaf falling—Brigham City, UT
We must remember that our lives can be renewed and blossom again after those disparaging times.
Like the Evergreen is in nature, the Savior is our constant in this world of change. We gain this knowledge as we read the scriptures. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Helaman said,
“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”2
We must focus on the Savior’s enduring guidance; each day finding nourishment and strength in His well of living water. As we focus on His guidance and draw upon the strength that it gives us, we can participate in all the changes of life without fear—with the reassurance that life will be renewed.
The Idaho Falls Temple dressed in autumn beauty—Idaho Falls, ID
1—2 Nephi 31:20
Photos taken by Sharee Wanner
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
by Marie Higgins
Marie really knows how to capture the reader's emotions as she envelops them into the mystery and romance of Madison's Gift. This story is a perfect blend of fully developed characters and plot. I couldn't wait to turn each page to see what happened next!
My site is live, check it out! Please join me on a new adventure as I capture the beauty found in nature and my imagination on can...
Fractured Review by Sharee Wanner Karen masterfully brings a whole new world to light in this fantasy adventure. I was drawn in from ...
A phenomenon of nature, change is constantly upon us. It happens for most of us a little at a time; just as the leaves turn from green to y...
I'm so excited to post an excerpt from the final book in the Dream Keeper Chronicles ~ The Dream Makers! With the turn of every page, ...