Monday, October 14, 2013

Thanksgiving, Two Book Reviews & Some News

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving (Happy Thanksgiving!)  and I am so happy to be able to tell you about two books that have been great reminders of some things I am grateful for.

But first, I have some wonderful news.  My new novel, Pocket Full of Posies, is now available on Kindle and will soon be available in print.  You can see it here

The first book is a compilation of stories that Thomas S. Monson has told during his fifty years in service to the LDS church.  They are short stories with a message and honestly, some were funny, some were touching, but they were all heartfelt.  My family sat around in the living room while I read some of them out loud and we all enjoyed it.  There was one story in particular that touched me because I knew the family involved. Their fifteen year old son Jason passed away while he had an older brother and sister on a mission and another brother that had received his call.  Their father's letter had a picture inside with Jason and his brother holding his mission call, with a caption that said, called to serve on both sides of the veil.  It still makes me weepy to think of it, but this family's faith really is noteworthy.  This book is one that I will use often, I think, for Family Home Evening lessons, for talks, or just when I need a pick me up.  Wonderful book from a wonderful man.

Here's the back copy:

If you ask people what they love most about President Thomas S. Monson’s teaching style, chances are they’ll say something about the personal experiences he relates. The accounts President Monson shares are always true, taken from his own life or the real lives of other people. Those warm, memorable accounts have truly become a hallmark of his messages.

Who can forget the woman who saved one of the two sticks of gum Elder Monson passed out to youth in postwar Germany? Or the neighbor who returned a box of baseballs to young Tommy as a thank-you for his kindness to her? Or the father who declined to attend a “Mormon” meeting with his family but had his heart softened by a message he heard on a radio that was actually broken?

In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of his call as an Apostle, Consider the Blessings presents fifty of the true accounts President Thomas S. Monson has shared over the years. With beautiful photographs and heart-touching content, this is a book to treasure with the whole family.

The second book is a collection of themes and ideas that are discussed from the Old Testament.  The author, Emily Freeman puts her personal stamp on the things that are brought up, and frankly, I really enjoyed it.  I've always been intimidated by the Old Testament and wished I understood it better.  This book really helped with that and I feel like maybe I can actually tackle it.  It's down-to-earth and funny, yet at the same time pertinent and serious.  It's also broken up into smaller bites and stories so it's easy to read one a day and just ponder it.  Very well done and the illustrations are particularly good.

Here's the back copy:

If you have ever found the Old Testament intimidating, you're not alone. The less-familiar history, themes, and language, coupled with the length of the book, make it a difficult read for many. But author Emily Freeman loves the Old Testament, and as she shares some of the wonderful things she has learned in her study of this book of scripture, you will find yourself coming to love it too.

Written on Our Hearts is not a commentary or an intensive doctrinal study. Instead, Emily writes about the stories of the Old Testament, stories of trusting and overcoming and enduring and believing. Within these stories are all kinds of applications for the challenges we face today.

"There will come a moment in your life," the author says, "when you or someone you love will struggle with a challenge so great you will wonder how you will make it through. In that moment you will long to better understand the Savior's role as the Deliverer, and to do that you must go to the book of scripture that describes that role the best—the Old Testament."

Discover the delivering power of the Lord yourself in the pages of this book—and experience the scriptures in a new, more personal way!

About the Author

Emily Freeman took her first creative writing class in high school and has loved writing ever since. She finds great joy in studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Her deep love of the scriptures comes from a desire to find their application in everyday life. She is the author of several books, including The Ten Virgins; 21 Days Closer to Christ; and The Promise of Enough. There is nothing Emily enjoys more for breakfast than a bowl of vanilla ice cream, raspberries, and chocolate chips. Other favorites include parades, vacations, firework displays, and going for a long walk with a good friend. Emily and her husband, Greg, live in Lehi, Utah, with their four children, whom she adores.

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