Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Dream Makers by Mikey Brooks

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, I've been pulled into the adventure and I can't wait to travel with Parker and Kaelyn as they save the world of Awake from the nightmare king.


This is the exciting conclusion to The Dream Keeper Chronicles.

When the nightmare king escapes into the world of Awake, it is left to Gladamyr and his teen bonds, Parker and Kaelyn, to stop him. They must return Mares back to Dreams before the barrier between the two worlds crumbles and darkness reigns forever. But to do so, Parker and Kaelyn must heal broken friendships and unite an army of children who are brave enough to conquer their fears.


The world was ending. Parker knew it. The ground shook. The sky blazed with fire. A strange mixture of laughter and screaming filled his ears. He held Kaelyn tight against his bare chest. Her warm tears dropped onto his skin.

They had failed.

It had been their task to stop Mares from escaping. Now, all hope was lost. Allyon had been killed and the prison had been undone. The barrier separating the world of Dreams from the world of Awake would soon crumble.

The ground split open with a tremendous crack. Kaelyn dug her shaking fingers into Parker’s skin. He suppressed the urge to cry out. The ground shifted and Parker opened his eyes. Purple lava bubbled out of the once-hollow graves. Worms and zombies wriggled in the liquid as it dissolved their bodies. An acrid smell stung Parker’s nose as a black mist surrounded them.

Someone screamed.

“Zelda!” Kaelyn cried, reaching for her aunt who was now sliding with Dr. Gates toward the edge of a vast ravine.

Parker called upon his stone magic. A shelf of granite collided with the couple, halting their fall. Zelda and Dr. Gates held onto each other as Parker tried to steady the stone slab.

“Gladamyr,” Parker called. “I can’t hold it much longer.”

With a nod, Gladamyr stretched out his arms. They shifted longer and longer until they wrapped around Kaelyn’s aunt and Parker’s psychiatrist. The Dream Keeper then pulled his bonds to safety. Parker let go his hold on the stone slab, and it toppled over the side of the ravine.

A deep laugh boomed.

Parker felt his bones shake with each guttural roar. The form of Mares was almost complete. The nightmare’s skeletal body was now being covered in the charred remains of worms and zombies. They leached to Mares like a writhing black skin. It churned Parker’s stomach to look at this monster.

The purple lava snaked its way from the graves and deep ravines. It hissed as Mares slurped the liquid into his body, adding bulk to his thin frame. Bones cracked as Mares overextended, and two dragon-like wings unfurled from his back. He stretched them wide and Parker was reminded of Chernabog in Disney’s Fantasia. The cute Disney demon was nothing compared to Mares, who was raw and poisonous. To look at him was to recall every childhood nightmare.

“AHHH!” Gladamyr cried out. He was jerking back and forth as if being dangled from a string. “He wants me to join with him. He needs me.”

“No!” Cerulean shouted. “Fight him! Don’t give in!”

Gladamyr shook uncontrollably. “He’s too strong.”

“You’re stronger! Now, fight it!” Cerulean wrapped her arms around Gladamyr and unfurled her wings. Gladamyr let out another cry, but she held on tight. A blast of light swirled about her and then formed a protective cocoon around her and Gladamyr. Parker watched Gladamyr slump to the ground, the invisible string cut.

Mares let out a deafening roar. He brought down his giant wings and Parker found himself falling back. His elbow smashed into the rocky ground, and Kaelyn fell on top of him. The pain in his arm was nothing compared to the pressure in his head. Mares shrieked as he lifted his black body from the earth. He flew upward and pounded against the fiery sky as if it were a shell. It cracked with blue electricity.

The sound of shattering glass tore through the fire’s rumble.

The nightmare king let out a triumphant howl.

The sky began to fall.

It was beautiful and frightening all at the same time.

Millions of tiny stars shot toward the ground. They slammed into headstones and naked trees, dissolving them like acid. The fire in the sky disappeared, replaced with an electric wonder. Purple swirls of light and blue lightning boomed above. Mares reached out a hand and an opening appeared.

The nightmare spread his large dragon wings and flew through the gap.

The tear shrank. The brilliance dimmed. The sky turned black.

About The Author:

Mikey Brooks is a small child masquerading as an adult. On occasion you’ll catch him dancing the funky chicken, singing like a banshee, and pretending to have never grown up. He is an award winning author of the middle-grade fantasy adventure series The Dream Keeper Chronicles. His other middle-grade books include: The Gates of Atlantis: Battle for Acropolis and The Stone of Valhalla. His picture books include the best-selling ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures, Trouble with Bernie, and Bean’s Dragons. Mikey has a BS degree in English from Utah State University and works full-time as a freelance illustrator, cover designer, and author. His art can be seen in many forms from picture books to full room murals. He loves to daydream with his three daughters and explore the worlds that only the imagination of children can create. As a member of the Emblazoners, he is one of many authors devoted to ‘writing stories on the hearts of children’ ( You can find more about him and his books at:

Mikey's Top 10 Favorite things:
  1. Buying books. Mostly Children’s books. Most of which I will probably never read but want to.
  2. Buying school supplies. I don’t know why but I love markers, crayons, pencils, paper and notebooks. I have hordes of them stashed away in my office. I don’t know why but I am drawn to back to school supply sales.
  3. Spending time with my girlies. I have three daughters that never seem to get enough time with daddy. I wish I could play with them nonstop.
  4. Watching chick flicks with my wife. There is nothing better than snuggling up on the couch and watching something that helps you remember your own love story.
  5. Pizza. Extra cheese and all the toppings. Need I say more?
  6. Chips and Salsa. Mostly any Mexican food. My wife hates it so I have to get it in when I can.
  7. Drawing…or mostly doodling. I like to just create something without having to worry about whether it is good or not. Some of my best work comes from just letting go.
  8. I love to sing. Most of the time I am singing up noxiously to the point my girls think it’s okay to slap daddy until he stops. They really hate the “sad song” I sing but I can’t help it.
  9. One of my favorite things is to annoy my wife. I don’t know why. Maybe it is something left over from my childhood. You like a girl you annoy the crap out of them. I like to push her buttons which then makes her mad, but good golly, she looks beautiful when she’s mad.
  10. Sleeping in is my final favorite thing. I really enjoy just being in bed surrounded by cool pillows and warm blankets. My favorite times are when all the girls wake up at the same time (preferably after letting me sleep in) and they all come snuggle us in bed. Those are the best moments!






Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Family Talk by Christy Monson

In her latest book, Family Talk, Christy shares some basic principles to help you and your family develop communication skills that will bring a new level of peace and happiness on the home front.
She helps you realize the importance of holding regular family councils. Some of the things you'll learn by utilizing the tools she gives are: problem solving skills that include finding viable solutions, building self esteem, encouraging one another to do and be their best, and understanding difficult issues that families today are faced with. You'll learn to play together, work together, grow together and create family unity.
Family Talk is a must read for every family and a great addition to your family library. The skills learned will have a positive effect on generations.

"Praise for Family Talk - The Family Council Guidebook is a vital and necessary addition to every home. In this day and age when emails, chat rooms, and staring at computer screens are rapidly replacing real-time human interaction, what better corrective could there be than a guidebook to how to talk with one another in meaningful, productive and healing ways. Christy Monson knows what she is talking about. It is a great blessing that she is sharing it with all of us."

~ Ben Bernstein, PhD, Author of Test Success! and A Teen's Guide to Success

Links to buy Family Talk
Buy on Amazon
Buy at Familius
Buy the book on my website

About the Author: Christy Monson established a successful counseling practice in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her books, Love, Hugs, and Hope: When Scary Things Happen and Becoming Free: A Woman's Guide To Internal Strength are published by Familius.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Journey to Nauvoo

On July 7, 2014 at 12:01 am my daughter, myself and over 100 other young single adults, ward single adult representatives,  their bishop, his counselors, a member of the stake presidency and high council and their wives departed northern Utah on two tour buses from the church parking lot headed for Nauvoo, IL.
You might ask, "What is so special about this destination?" Back in the late 1830's and early 1840's a group of saints, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints migrated to a mosquito infested swampland on the banks of the Mississippi River in western Illinois. They worked hard to dig ditches to drain out the excess water. Everything they put their hand to blossomed. As the city grew the saints prospered. However, they still faced many trials of their faith as husbands and fathers were called to serve missions across the sea. Leaving their wives and children behind as they spread the gospel message. They bore witness that Jesus Christ's church was on the earth once more; that God had spoken to a living prophet in this dispensation and they carried with them the Book of Mormon; written by ancient prophets about people who lived on the American Continent around 600 B. C. and translated by Joseph Smith by the gift and power of God.

                                                      Emily Stevens
                                                      Emily Stevens Halliday

There were many who believed in the message these missionaries brought. They were baptized and joined hundreds of saints as they came to to join those already in Zion. They suffered tremendous hardship and loss as well as great joy. They were persecuted by the people of Missouri and forced to leave their homes. But even then they were threatened by mobs and eventually they left Nauvoo and traveled many miles to Salt Lake City, UT. The Mormon Trail was 1,300 miles.
Among them were some of my ancestors: Abel Halliday and his wife Emily Stevens, Andrew Hamilton, Moroni Olney, and James Cantwell and their families. From Nauvoo, they would travel to the Salt Lake Valley. (Emily made this trip 3 times!) They would endure many difficulties, face grave and dire circumstances to cross the many miles to go to a place where they could worship as they chose and be free from persecution.
Please join me over the next few weeks as I blog about my experiences on "My Journey to Nauvoo".

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Noble fatherhood gives us a glimpse of the divine. ~James E. Faust

Being a father is a very important calling given to men. I am so blessed to be surrounded by great examples of fatherhood. My husband, my dad and my brother to be specific. They all have a fierce desire to follow the Savior, to be of service to others, to love their wives and children with all of their hearts, to set an example of what righteous priesthood holders should be, to work hard to provide for their families, to play with their children and grandchildren every chance they get and support them in the things they enjoy doing, to be in their business by asking who are you going with? where are you going? how are you really? and giving them a curfew, grounding them when they need it, telling them things that they don't want to hear and then showing forth an increase of love, willing to work side by side with them, to teach and to train them in righteous ways. I hope that my boys and grandsons grow up to be just like them and that my girls marry men who have these same qualities. I know that when children watch and do what their father's do. My husband and brother are great examples of this principle.

I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for putting these wonderful men, husbands, fathers, brothers and spiritual giants in my world.
Happy Father's Day!

Of all the titles or respect and honor and admiration that are given to deity, he has asked us to address him as father. ~Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

In Loving Memory of my Dad--Marvin LeRoy Halliday

Marvin LeRoy Halliday

Marvin & his beloved sweet heart, Elsie
Monday , June 09, 2014 - 6:00 PM
September 2, 1939 ~ June 8, 2014
Our most wonderful Marvin LeRoy Halliday (74) passed away in his home, Sunday, June 8, 2014 surrounded by his loved ones and other caregiver angels. Marv was born September 2, 1939 in Glendale, CA to Edwin Marvin Halliday and Norene Marie Gibby.
Marv married his eternal companion of 51 years, Elsie Margaret Cole, daughter of Edwin Melvin Cole and Evelyn Anna Kmetzsch, August 10, 1962, in the Logan Utah temple for time and all eternity. Together they have six children, 17 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
He joined his earthly family; sister, Marion (John) Chesley, Gerald (Sharon) Halliday, Patricia (Michael) Burton, and Sherri (John) Phipps. His good wife's siblings are Edwin Cole, Jr (Jean), Albert (Susan) Cole, and Evelina (Sterling) Day. His was a life of loving service: love for God, serving a full-time mission to England and two service missions, and constant service in the kingdom with many callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served God's children with his gift of unconditional love and laughter, love of learning, and love for country serving in the army reserves.
His living, loving legacy includes, Sharee (Kelly) Wanner, Heather (Tom) Robbins, Adam (Christy) Halliday, Hawley (Ross) Rogers, Marnie Halliday, Brooke (Josh) Johnsen, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Marv was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Marion, his mother and father-in-law; and brother-in-law Albert.
The viewing will be held Tuesday, June 10, 2014 from 6 to 8 at Russon Brothers Mortuary (1941 N Main Farmington, UT). Funeral services will be Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 11 am at the LDS Church (331 S 50 W Kaysville, UT) where a viewing will also be held from 9:30 to 10:30 prior to the funeral. Interment at the Kaysville City Cemetery. Please share your memories of Marv with our family by email:
Online guest book at

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Getting your child ready for college

Great news! My article "Getting your child ready for college" was published on yesterday. I'm so excited to add this to my writing portfolio. Feel free to share the link with family and friends!
Getting your child ready for college

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Today I found myself asking, "Where does the time go?" I think that most of the time it has wings because it just flies by especially as I get older. Just yesterday we were celebrating the arrival of 2014! Today one third of the year is officially gone and in the past. We cannot get that time back. Have we been productive? Have we spent quality time with our spouse, our children, and our extended families? Have we made wise choices with our finances? Have we learned something new each day? Have we been of service to others? Have we taken care of ourselves - physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally? Are we preparing for the future? Are we spending too much time worrying about things we can't always change? Are we looking forward with faith? Are we accomplishing the goals that we set at the beginning of the year? Are we developing our talents? Can we look in the mirror each night and honestly say, "I've done my best today"?
All of these questions can be pondered individually and in some cases, we can assist those close to us as they gain time management skills for themselves. If there is room for improvement in what you do with your time each day, you are the only one who can decide what those areas are; only you can make the choice to improve or change. We don't always see where we can improve until the time is past. I know that I am progressing and moving forward, but there are days when I go to bed exhausted because I've worked harder than smarter. There are days when I could have done better. Every once in a while I feel that for every step forward I take two steps back. I believe that if will we take the time to evaluate where our time is going and how we could better spend it each day we will be blessed with the ability to do so. We need to use wisdom in our decisions and choose the best over the good and the better.

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of."
~ Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac

“When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past.”
                                                                                 ~ Thomas S. Monson

“Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with family and friends.”
                                                                                 ~ Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Welcome to The Stone of Valhalla Blog Tour!

The Stone of Valhalla is a fun read and I really enjoyed going on the adventures with Aaron, Bran and Rosella. Finding good friends can be a difficult thing at Aaron's age. When he decides to break into Mrs. Timble's house and steal something just so that he can be in Jesse's gang, he gets much more than he bargained for. To avoid being caught he tries to hide and instead is transported to another world where magic, danger, imps and friendship await. He faces his fears, has his heart broken, is betrayed by those he trusted and with his new-found best friends, Bran and Rosella must find a way to defeat the evil goblin king.
                                                            —Sharee Wanner, blogger and author  

Welcome to The Stone of Valhalla Blog Tour!
A middle-grade fantasy-adventure by Mikey Brooks.

Don’t forget to check out the GIVEAWAY at the bottom this post
for a chance to WIN a $25 Amazon Gift card and other great prizes!


Aaron was chosen to save their world, but it might come at the cost of losing his own.

Breaking into an old lady’s basement was supposed to reward 13-year-old Aaron with new friends. Instead he finds an enchanted amulet that transports him to another world—one at war with magic. Before he knows it, he is accused of witchcraft and invited to a bonfire—where he’s the main attraction. If that’s not bad enough, a goblin army shows up and toasts the town...literally. The good news: Aaron escapes being charbroiled. The bad news: the goblins are after him. They want his amulet and will stop at nothing to get it. Battling to find his way home, Aaron teams up with a not-so-magical-wizard and learns it’s his fate to destroy the amulet and save this new world. But is he willing to sacrifice his own?
Check out what these talented authors are saying about it:

The Stone of Valhalla is one of those books that only comes along once in a great while. Brooks doesn't just create a world, he puts you inside of it, allowing you to experience the wonder in a way that only he can. His characters are likable and fun. His twists leave you asking ‘Why?’ Treat yourself to an exciting adventure through a beautiful new land. Make new friends and be a part of the magic. This is a book that you will not be able to put down!”
—J.R. Simmons, author of Ragesong: Awakening.

 The Stone of Valhalla drew me in from the get-go. Aaron’s journey is reminiscent of Dorothy’s trek in The Wizard of Oz. Magic, sword fights, danger, and more danger, sprinkled with humor and unexpected twists. This is one of the ‘best’ fantasy adventures I’ve ever experienced!”
—BBH McChiller, author of The Monster Moon Series.

The Stone of Valhalla is a riveting mystery revealing true friendship, loyalty and sacrifice. Brooks engages the curiosity of middle graders and older sleuths alike, until the very end. Fantastic!”
—L.R.W. Lee, author of The Andy Smithson series.

Excerpt From: Chapter Two: The Penalty of Witchcraft

Aaron thought he’d been transported to some kind of renaissance fair. People milled about in the street, all dressed like they belonged on the set of some medieval movie. Most of their faces were stained with dirt, and they wore soiled clothing. Large, wooden buildings, held together by plaster, loomed overhead and all around him. Some had signs announcing specific trades and goods. The sweet smell of bread came from one shop, clearly a bakery. A rotund man stood out front, arguing with an old man who had a silvery- white beard and a long, purple cloak. He was telling the baker that the rolls he had purchased tasted ‘day-old’ and he required a reimbursement.
Several passersby gave Aaron odd glances. One little girl with a group of women dressed like nuns pointed at him and giggled. He thought he heard her call him a buffoon, but she was quickly shushed by one of the women and pulled into a shop.
This is so unreal.
Aaron couldn’t figure out what had happened.
How did I get here? Who are these people?
Aaron waited for someone to jump out and yell, “Surprise, you’re on camera!”
It never happened.
The seconds drew on like hours, and Aaron stood unmoving like a statue in the middle of the dirt road. The sweet smell from the bakery was drowned by the stench of a sweaty mule pulling a cart packed full with what had to be manure. The wind blew and the wafting smell of poo filled Aaron’s nose. He coughed and tried to cover the reek with his shirt.
“Witchcraft! Witchcraft, I say!”
Aaron turned around to see a middle-aged woman with only three teeth shouting hysterically. She pointed directly at him. He looked over his shoulder to ensure no green-skinned, broom-commandeering, warty-faced lady in black stood beside him. There wasn’t anyone there. The noise on the street stopped dead except for the woman. She grabbed a small wooden crate from a cart filled with fresh flowers and stood on it. “Fetch the constable! Don’t let him get away, or he’ll set a curse on our town.”
Five large men formed a group behind the woman and advanced toward Aaron. He didn’t know what to do.

Where to Find The Stone of Valhalla:
Exclusive price for the eBook release is just $2.99! (List Price: $4.99)
And only $9.99 for the paperback! (List Price: $12.99)
On April 12th 2014 the price will return to the List Price

Another special offer:
During The Stone of Valhalla Blog Tour
Mikey’s other great middle-grade eBooks will also be set to the low price of just $0.99!
The Dream Keeper:
Kindle | Nook | Kobo
The Dreamstone:
Kindle | Nook | Kobo

You’re Invited to PARTY!!
The online launch party will take place on Thursday, April 10th at 4pm (MST). The party will run for 2 hours and you’re invited to drop by anytime. The longer you stay the more chances you have of winning prizes! We have slew of eBooks to giveaway, as well as a Stone of Valhalla necklace AND a $25 Amazon gift card! It is hosted by LovingtheBookLaunchParty on Facebook. Just follow this link to join the event:

What’s that? Another Party!
That’s right! If you’re local to Utah you don’t want to miss this kickin’ party. We are having a launch party to celebrate the release of this awesome new book. Of course there will be plenty of giveaways there too, but what’s even better are the guest authors! Just check out these fabulous names: J. Scott Savage, Chad Morris, Lisa Mangum, Jenni James, Ali Cross, and many more. The Launch Party is: Friday, April 11th from 6-9pm at The Viridian Center in West Jordan, Utah. Follow this link for a map:

About Mikey Brooks:

Mikey is a small child masquerading as an adult. On occasion you’ll catch him dancing the funky chicken, singing like a banshee, and pretending to have never grown up. He is the author/illustrator of several books including the best-selling ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures and Bean’s Dragons as well as the middle-grade fantasy-adventure series The Dream Keeper Chronicles. His art can be seen in many forms from picture books to full room murals. He loves to daydream with his three daughters and explore the worlds that only the imagination of children can create. Mikey has a BS degree in English from Utah State University and works fulltime as a freelance illustrator, cover designer, and author. As a member of the Emblazoners, he is one of many authors devoted to ‘writing stories on the hearts of children’. He is also one of the hosts of the Authors’ Think Tank Podcast. You can find more about him and his books at:

The Giveaways!

Enter the giveaway below to be entered to win one of the following prizes:

$25 Amazon Gift Card
The Stone of Valhalla Necklace
Autographed Paperback of The Stone of Valhalla
Autographed 11x17 Poster
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 2, 2014



Springtime brings with it a newness of life. We shed our outer protective layer that clothed us in Winter and replace it with the bright, vibrant colors of Spring. I don't know about you, but when the crocus' peek out of the ground for the first time, it makes me smile. It's a spontaneous, subconscious smile of hope and promise for more to come. Then tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and pansies are among the many flowers that add beauty to my surroundings. The fragrant bouquets, turning over the earth in my flower bed, the smell right after a rain storm, rainbows in a cloudy sky, blossoms in the orchards around my home, windy days for flying kites, riding bikes, the sound of motorcycles rumbling down the road, sun-kissed faces, and hope of brighter days are the best parts of Spring.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


HolyTabbs is a great resource to streamline your scripture study. The system cross references the gospel principles in Preach My Gospel with the standard works. It can also be a useful tool for discussions with family and friends, when looking up hymns and other gospel library topics. Whether you have a Quadruple Combination of the standard works or a Bible and Triple Combination, this is a great addition for every individual study experience. The installation is simple. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. Once you have everything in place and the scriptures color-coded to match the topics in Preach My Gospel you can turn right to a specific lesson or scripture quickly and efficiently. I highly recommend HolyTabbs. It definitely gets my 5 star rating for both quality and affordability.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

LDStorymakers 2014 Contest

So what's the LDStorymakers 2014 Contest? Here's a brief summary, but you can find out more details on their website. The 2014 LDStormaker writers conference will be in Layton, UT, on April 25-26, with Bootcamp and the Publication Primer on April 24. This is the writing conference you can't afford to miss.

Keynote: Orson Scott Card

Melissa Frain, editor at Tor
Eddie Schneider, VP of JABberwocky Literary Agency
Daniel Lazar, senior agent at Writer's House
Josh Adams of Adams Literary
Laurie McLean, Foreword Literary

Other noteable guests: Brandon Sanderson, Brodi Ashton, Carla Kelly, Janette Rallison, Matthew J. Kirby, Elana Johnson, J. Scott Savage, Sara B. Larson, Kristen Chandler, Renee Collins, Tess Hilmo, Peggy Eddleman, Kimberly Griffiths Little, Natalie Whipple, Julieanne Donaldson, Sarah Eden, Chad Morris, Robison Wells and more!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What Would A Holy Woman Do? by Wendy Watson Nelson

Reading this book really helped me stop and think how I am interacting with my family and those I come in contact with every day. Am I acting like a Holy Woman or do I just haphazardly react or snap at someone I love in a negative way? I am by no means perfect, but now that I've added this concept to my knowledge base, I want to be better and do better more consistently. I am excited that there are pages at the end of the book for you to record your feelings as you strive to do what a holy woman would do. You can have a record of where you began and how much you grew during your experience. It is more than a one time 3 day journey, however. I think it is something that can be improved upon throughout a lifetime.

Miss Wilton's Waltz By Josi S. Kilpack ~ Book Review

Miss Wilton's Waltz by Josi S. Kilpack Josi's ability to bring stories to life is magic! I was drawn into Miss Wilton...