Friday, April 30, 2021

Friday Freebie!

If you need a cute Victorian historical to read this weekend, A Proper Scandal, by Esther Hatch is free today and tomorrow!

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

Grace Sinclair has been callously cast out of her home. And though taken in as an orphaned child by the vicar and his wife, her unsurpassed beauty makes it impossible for her to remain in the vicar’s household—with two daughters of their own about to enter Society, the vicar and his wife see Grace as nothing but competition. Thankfully, Grace’s estranged Aunt Bell has agreed to take her in to her home in London. But Grace soon learns her situation has just gotten much worse.

It takes only a moment’s acquaintance for Grace to ascertain that her aunt has married a detestable rake. And Aunt Bell, recognizing the danger of having her lovely niece too near her husband, gives Grace an ultimatum: the young woman has two weeks to find a man to marry, after which she will be turned out. With no experience in the art of attracting a husband, Grace quickly realizes that a worthy suitor might not be so easy to ensnare.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Free Small Town Romance!

Do you love small town romances? Love's Journey Home is free today! 

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

Olivia is a D.A. with a job to do. Mick is a man with a hidden past. When their lives collide, choices must be made--and nothing will ever be the same.

Olivia Dalton has a reputation in the DA's office---tough, thorough, and fierce when she's closing a case. Those skills are essential in the courtroom, but not in the relationship department---until Mick Donovan crosses her path. Everyone thinks he's a player, but when an unexpected situation arises, she glimpses an honorable man instead. Olivia is drawn to him, but he pushes her away, unable to shake the past that still haunts him.

Mick Donovan learned at a young age never to let anyone close because those you love never stay. Keeping people at arms-length has never been hard for him---until he meets Olivia Dalton. Mick is caught up in a case she's prosecuting, and he can't deny his attraction to her, but when she uncovers the past he's kept carefully hidden, he's sure she'll turn away. Yet, even with all his secrets in the open, Olivia reaches out. Can he let his guard down long enough to let her in and take a chance on love?

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

In the Non-Fiction Corner: When the Atonement Becomes Personal

In the Non-Fiction Corner With Lauren

Toni Sorenson’s new book When the Atonement Becomes Personal is a powerful and personal book that really brings the atonement to new life. Because of her unique life experience, Sorenson is able to offer a perspective on the Atonement that most other books can’t capture. While many authors quote prophets and apostles when speaking of the Savior, Sorenson quotes inmates and gang members. While other important religious sources are not ignored, the author is able to tie in with the scripture lessons that we can learn from every day people who have experienced the Atonement first hand. They have come to know Christ in a deeply personal and meaningful way, and the author is on a mission to share these truths with others.

I was very interested to learn why there is a whale on the cover of this book and what that could possibly have to do with the Atonement. Throughout the book, Sorenson talks about scars and how whale watching guides are able to tell which whale is which by the scars that they have. We are the same way, she says. We are identifiable by what we have been through, what we have overcome, and what we have conquered with the Savior. We identify Him by His scars, too. We are engraven on the palms of His hands and He invites each of us to come and see. This book has brought me closer to the Savior by teaching me to love myself and that every person matters to Him.

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is our hope that life can get better . . . that we can get better. To find strength in our struggles, it is vital to look to the One who understands our pains and afflictions, the One who never forsakes us. Christ atoned for our sins, but what does that really mean, and how can we harness the relief He provides? The answer to this question and many others is made simple in When the Atonement Becomes Personal.

As one who works with the downtrodden and marginalized, author and therapist Toni Sorenson offers unique insight into the individual nature of the Atonement. Her signature warmth and engaging tone become a powerful catalyst for understanding as she intersperses scripture with personal narrative, not shying away from real problems and solutions. She outlines ways we can reconnect when we feel distanced from our Creator. She sheds light on paths we can take to restore self-worth when life has grown impossibly hard and dark. In this unique and hopeful approach to the gospel’s most complex topic, embark on a journey of self-discovery into why the Atonement does not become truly powerful until it becomes truly personal.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

A New Podcast and a Giveaway!

In honor of our latest podcast featuring everything spring AND our guest host, Heather B. Moore, (who was talking about her new book, Until Vienna and it was so fun!) we are doing a giveaway over in our Authors Off the Page Facebook group! I hope you'll join us there so you can enter to win!

Click HERE to join the group!  

And here's a sneak peek of the podcast. Heather was telling us who she would cast if Until Vienna was ever made into a movie. I could totally picture those actors and actresses! 

If you want to listen to the entire podcast, you can find us on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, ask your Alexa to play it or click HERE

Monday, April 26, 2021

The Thriller and Crime Writers Conference

I got to go to an online writers conference last week for Thriller and Crime Writers. It was SO interesting! They had lawyers and detectives giving all the behind-the-scenes for crime scenes and criminal cases, not to mention how detectives can work with other agencies for terrorism threats. I was fascinated! There were some gruesome cases discussed, a few discussions of what happens to unclaimed bodies, and many stories of strange cases they'd had. 

There was one detective who told a couple of stories about how he'd relied on his intuition and was able to bring closure to families by following it. Of course there are all sorts of evidentiary procedures to follow, but I thought it was interesting that he went "off-book" if you will, to follow a hunch that paid off. I really think that happens more often than we think in solving cases. But this particular detective had been on the force for many years and I'm sure his experience in the field made a big difference as well. 

I loved all the strange and gritty stories and I wished some speakers could have gone longer with their presentation, they were so captivating. This was definitely an enlightening conference for me! Not to mention that it is always motivating when I'm with other writers and learning from field experts. It makes me want to get back to writing and bringing characters and stories to life.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Freebie Friday for Young Adult Romantic Comedy Fans!

If you love young adult romantic comedy, Janette Rallison has THREE books that are FREE today! My Fair Godmother, My Unfair Godmother, and My Fairly Dangerous Godmother. I haven't read any of these, but they look super cute! 

Get My Fair Godmother HERE 
Get My Unfair Godmother HERE
Get My Fairly Dangerous Godmother HERE

Here's the back copy:

My Fair Godmother

An incompetent fairy godmother. What could go wrong?

Some girls steal their sister’s clothes. Savannah’s sister steals her boyfriend. Yea, that was a really bad day.

After such a dramatic breakup, Savannah needs a true prince–and fast, because the prom is only weeks away.

But looking for love can be a Grimm experience.

Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah's gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing why she's only Fair―because she's not a very good fairy student―Chrissy sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White.

Being a fairy-tale princess is so not what it's cracked up to be.

Finally, Chrissy sends Tristan, a cute guy in Savannah's class, to the Middle Ages to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. 

He and Savannah must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight.

My Unfair Godmother

Be careful what you wish forat least when your fairy godmother is in training.

Tansy Miller has always felt that her divorced father has never had enough time for her. But mistakenly getting caught on the wrong side of the law wasn't exactly how she wanted to get his attention.

That trip down to the prison was really not her best moment.

Enter Chrysanthemum "Chrissy" Everstar, Tansy's all-too-teenage fairy godmother. Chrissy is still training, so Tansy's three wishes don't exactly go according to plan.

And if mistakenly bringing Robin Hood to the twenty-first century isn't bad enough for Tansy, being transported back to the Middle Ages to deal with Rumpelstiltskin certainly is.

That fairy tale is so much creepier when it’s happening to you.

My Fairly Dangerous Godmother

A fairy godmother can be a dangerous thing.

Some people bomb singing auditions. Sadie throws up on live TV during hers. So yeah, there’s no way she’ll ever be able to face strangers again, let alone the people at her high school.

Her performance on America’s Top Talent is so bad it earns her a fairy godmother through the Magical Alliance's Pitiful Damsel Outreach Program. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Sadie’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing fairy godmother to save the day—or perhaps make it even more horrible.

Wishes are, after all, unpredictable things.

Sadie finds herself thrown back in time to be first the Little Mermaid and then one of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. Wishes are permanent, and if Sadie wants to get back to her home, she'll have to strike a magical bargain—one that involves stealing a goblet from a powerful fairy queen.

Worse yet, Sadie has competition from a handsome thief with an invisibility cloak. He may not only steal the goblet, he may make off with her heart too.

Tansy will need the help of her blended family, her wits, and especially the cute police chief's son to stop the gold-spinning story from spinning wildly out of control.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Doing a School Visit and I'm Bringing Gifts!

I was asked to go and speak to a third grade class about being an author and I'm really excited about it! I thought it would be fun to give each student an "author's survival kit" and included a tote, a notebook and pen, chocolate, and a story starter page. I hope they like it! Can you think of anything else I could include?

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

We Have A New Group---Come Join Us!

Guess what? We've started an Authors Off the Page Facebook group! If you want to chat about books, audio, life in general, get behind-the-scenes pics from the podcast or little "extras" from the authors, you're definitely going to want to join this group!
Click HERE to join! 

Never listened to us before? Here's a little clip from our March podcast. Come laugh with us!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Which Project Should I Work On?

I was going through some old files the other day and found a book that I'd started, but never finished. I read the first three chapters and it's not bad! I kind of want to finish it now . . . but Second Guess is still calling to me. Elliot was in big trouble when I left him last.

Sometimes being a writer and having to make decisions is hard! LOL I wonder if I can write both of them at the same time? I'm just not sure! But I do love the premise of the story I found and I'll definitely finish it someday if not now. 

One of the questions I get asked a lot is where I find the ideas for my stories. Honestly, I have so many book ideas I will never live long enough to write them all. Story ideas come to me all the time. Usually when I don't have paper or a computer handy, haha! I've even written story and scene ideas on napkins just so I could get it down before I forgot. I've found it's always a good idea for me to have paper of some sort nearby. And I'm super grateful for YOU, my readers that always read the stories I finish. 

So tell me, what are you reading these days?

Monday, April 19, 2021

Here's a $200 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Do you want to win a $200 Amazon gift card? Or win one of these fabulous books? Then you should enter the Spring Fling giveaway! Who couldn't use some more book money, am I right? And it's so easy! I'd love to see one of my readers win! (U.S. residents only.)

Click HERE to enter  

Friday, April 16, 2021

Freebie Friday for Romantic Comedy Fans!

Susan Hatler's Driven to Date is free today! It looks like a cute romantic comedy, perfect for snuggling up with this weekend.

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

Career-driven attorney, Jill Parnell, has worked long and hard to become a partner at Corbett, Gray, & Shaw. When the coveted position is given to the boss’s nephew, she does what any intelligent employee would do—attends a colleague’s wedding and schmoozes a high-powered partner at another law firm.

Her potential new boss has only one condition for her, that she demonstrate a personal life that will support a thriving career. Pretending to have a boyfriend is outside Jill’s comfort zone, but she invites the best man to act the part and Ryan is all-too eager to play her significant other. Sparks fly between them, but she reminds herself she’s only driven to date to get back on the partner track.

When Jill discovers Ryan is the lawyer who stole her promotion, her charade threatens to implode. But breaking off their pretend relationship could cost her the job of her dreams. And the more she gets to know Ryan, the more she’s tempted to tame the bad boy, and make him her own.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Book Review: The Healing Summer

In the Fiction Review Corner with Lauren

The Healing Summer by Heather Moore is a romantic story of two neighbors who go on an adventure to get closure and find ways to move forward in their lives. They set out to find the man who saved Maggie’s life in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 so that she can try to repay him. Jo, her recently divorced neighbor, agrees and they set out on their journey. Maggie, although she is 94 and spent much of her life married to another man, seems to have her heart set on finding her hero. At her age, though, she knows this may be an impossible task. Almost immediately upon their arrival and after a few phone calls, they are able to track down some of his relatives and they find out what happened in the many years since Maggie had last seen her first love. An unexpected love story unfolds that help both women heal from lost love and broken hearts.
This book is a short, sweet read that made me feel like I was reading a Hallmark movie. I found the storyline of the book extremely interesting and enjoyed reading about the character’s back stories. However, everything in the story came so easily to the characters that I kept expecting drama to unfold or something bad to happen, but nothing like that came along. It was just a happy story of a woman who finds everything she was looking for. If you are looking for a cute read with a happy ending, this was a fun one to pick up.

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

At the age of ninety-four, Maggie Howard’s final wish is to return to San Francisco and find out what happened to the young man who saved her life in 1906 after the disastrous earthquake and fires that devastated the city. They’d been trapped beneath a collapsed roof for hours, injured and unable to call for help.

The morning of their rescue, Orlando Gallo promised he would find her again. But Maggie hasn’t seen or heard from him in over seventy years, and now, widowed and childless, Maggie hopes to leave her estate to Orlando’s descendants. She invites her neighbor, forty-year-old Jo Sampson, to travel with her, and as the two women return to San Francisco to track down Orlando, they form a strong bond of friendship and healing that transcends time and place.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Sneak Peek of Second Guess!

I've been working on the next Griffin Force book, Second Guess, today. It's Elliot's story and I'm really loving it so far. Here's a little sneak peek from the first page: 

**SPOILER ALERT if you haven't read the end of SECOND CHANCE do not read this or you will be spoiled.**

The wings of the planes dipped as they turned and headed away from the airfield where Griffin Force had been waiting to board. What a mess. He should have seen Fahad boarding or felt some sense of danger when he’d wheeled Atwah into the plane, but he’d felt safe. They were so close to finishing the mission, he’d let his guard down. Elliot pressed the compress tighter to the side of his head, trying to stop the bleeding and wincing at the pain. He wouldn’t make the mistake of letting his guard down again.

He lifted his gaze to Fahad. Fahad had seemed jittery and angry until the plane had finally leveled off. Ever since then, he’d been a bit more relaxed. Somehow that probably didn’t bode well for Elliot.

Fahad finished speaking to the man guarding the cockpit and started back toward Elliot. His mouth was once again pulled into an angry line and Elliot’s stomach tightened. What now?

“Get up,” Fahad commanded, when he got close.

I can't wait to share this story with you!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Book Review: Until Vienna

I was excited to read the next installment in the Orient Express series. Heather Moore's Until Vienna was a tender romance with lots of detail and depth. (Isn't that a great cover?)

Gigi is asked to travel with her Aunt Rowena on an art tour across Europe. Their tour director is handsome Clyde Haskins, but when it becomes clear Aunt Rowena is trying to play matchmaker for Gigi and Clyde, Clyde informs them he is a confirmed bachelor after having his heart broken. But as the tour continues, Clyde and Gigi find an unexpected friendship. Could it ever be more?

I really enjoyed the backdrop of the Orient Express for this sweet romance. The details and descriptions made it so easy to feel like you were right there with the characters! Gigi has hopes and dreams, some of which have been dashed. When the secret comes out about why her beau abruptly left her, Gigi has to examine her thoughts and feelings and decide if she's ready to move on. The friendship and blossoming romance between her and Clyde was paced well and had some really great moments---and swoon-worthy kisses! Clyde was a solid hero, and his kind attentions to Aunt Rowena and her friends would make the hardest heart melt. And of course, Gigi slips behind his wall of defenses and burrows her way into his affections in a way that takes him by surprise. It's really sweet, actually. Readers will root for this couple to find their happily-ever-after, and enjoy the exotic setting locations.

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Georgina Ballard has been disappointed in love more than a few times, a fact that she is uncomfortably aware of amid her sister’s wedding preparations. When her elderly aunt Rowena bids Gigi to accompany her on an art tour across Europe, Gigi hesitates but eventually resigns herself to the train journey alongside a group of aged art connoisseurs, if only to mollify her aunt.

Once aboard the Orient Express, Gigi is pleased to discover that not everyone on the tour is in their twilight years: Clyde Haskins, an energetic young art professor from the University of London, will serve as the group’s tour guide. Clyde is equally intrigued that a young lady has joined the tour, and Aunt Rowena and her friends immediately set out to play matchmaker. Clyde and Gigi both find humor in Aunt Rowena’s antics despite knowing that each is determined to keep their heart carefully guarded. Yet, the enchantment of their European exploration weaves an undeniable spell between them. When their journey ends, can their holiday love story endure the obstacles of real life?

Monday, April 12, 2021

A Big Surprise!

Our family had a big surprise this past week when my little grandson was born eight weeks early. He was tiny at only 4 lbs. 2 oz., but he's a fighter! We're so happy he's here.

Have you ever had an experience with someone born prematurely?

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Mission Stories and a Giveaway!

There was a big announcement today from Excel Entertainment! They have created a new media franchise called, MISSION STORIES, which will focus entirely on telling stories of missionaries for The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints. The franchise launched with the theatrical release of MISSION STORIES, a moving retelling of three true stories of missionary work. The feature film opens exclusively in theaters on Friday, May 7 and is distributed jointly with Purdie Distribution.

Assembled as an anthology of three stories told over four chapters, the project was created by the filmmaking team of Bryce Clark (writer, producer, director), Jason Allred (producer), Crystal Myler (writer) and Arthur Van Wagenen (executive producer) after meeting with a full room of former mission presidents and their companions. 

“We heard so many incredible stories -- story after story of events that cannot be simply coincidences,” explained Bryce Clark. “Every story shows that God has his hand in the work and people’s lives are being transformed and saved through this work.”

“People assume they know what a “mission story” depicted on the big screen will be like,” said Arthur Van Wagenen. “Our goal in this film and the entire MISSION STORIES franchise is to tell stories from not just the perspective of missionaries, but from the perspective of people who make the radical choice to become disciples of Jesus Christ.”

The film tells three true stories, including “Hermanos” that focuses on a father overcoming a crisis of faith so that he can baptize his family. “Chuck” tells the story of a man questioning whether God truly loves him and learning to see himself as God does. Finally, “Full Circle” is told in the opening and closing chapters of the film, and shows that the power of faith applied over years or even decades can ultimately bear fruit in overcoming spiritual issues as serious as depression and addiction. 

“Full Circle’ is an especially personal story for me because a character is based on me and the culmination of this story played out as we were developing this project,” explained Clark. “When people watch the film they’ll see when people struggle the Lord never gives up on them, and how the faith of others can help rescue them. I hope sharing this story may inspire others who are facing similar challenges.”

“The MISSION STORIES film is only the first step in creating a full Mission Stories brand and media franchise,” said Van Wagenen. “We are creating an avenue where people can submit their own mission stories which can be shared with the world to help increase people’s faith and sense of worth.”

Going forward, Mission Stories will become an incubator for up-and-coming writers and directors who will continue to tell these important stories for years to come.”

Don't forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway!

Here is the theatrical trailer: 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Freebie for Historical Romance Fans!

If you love historical romance fans, I've got a deal for you! The Timeless Romance Anthology: Mercer's Belles is free today! All of the stories in the collection are based on real-life events, so that makes it even more fun to read.

Get your free copy here

Here is the back copy:

When Mr. Mercer sends out a call for single women to travel to Seattle for teaching positions and the potential of forming marriages, 45 answer his call, becoming Mercer's Belles.

The following collection is based on based on true events during the 1860s:

ONE DANCE by Heather B. Moore:
When Harriet Silverman arrives in Seattle for a fresh start and a new teaching position, the last person she expects is to meet is a fisherman who seems to be every place she turns. As she gets to know Caleb Munns, Harriet discovers they are a perfect match--for friendship. They both have solid reasons for not pursuing marriage. But as their paths continue to cross, Harriet begins to see a completely different future than she imagined.

A JOURNEY TO LOVE by Teri Harman:
Cora, a nurse and surgeon's assistant who learned her skills during the war, joins Mercer's expedition in hopes of finding a job in the West. She's a widow and does not want to marry again. When she meets Albert, a surgeon who is traveling on board the Continental, she finds herself intrigued. Yet, Albert's determined to open his own practice in Seattle, make it a success, and has no plans to look for a wife. But the more time Cora and Albert spend together on the voyage, the more they are drawn to each other.

A FARAWAY LIFE by Linda Carroll-Bradd:
Teacher Sorcha Geraghty yearns for a fresh start after the death of her beau and a factory accident maimed her hand. Asa Mercer’s call for teachers for Washington Territory provides a new opportunity, and she joins his ocean-going expedition. Upon arrival, she learns of the expectation for the women to become wives to the many bachelors. Sorcha needs a new plan and fast. Logging manager Lang Ingemar wants a teacher to provide basic English instruction to his Swedish-speaking crew and keep them out of trouble when they go to Seattle. When he convinces Miss Geraghty to relocate to the logging camp, he has no idea the ways his life will be changed.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Easter Weekend is Here!

I am so excited for Easter weekend! I love all the family traditions and being able to relax and reflect.

We always do a ham and potatoes dinner, have an Easter egg hunt for my little kids, and I do a money hunt for my oldest kids. (I put dollar bills in eggs and hide them.) We also color eggs. 

And then on Easter Sunday we talk about our Savior and his resurrection and the events that happened. It is just a sweet time for our family.

Do you have any traditions?

I thought it would be fun to have a little celebration with you, too, I'm doing a fun little giveaway on my Author Facebook page. So head on over there and enter to win a little Amazon gift card!

Just click here

Thursday, April 1, 2021

April Fool's Day!

Happy April Fool's Day! Do you love it or hate it? Have you ever had any good pranks played on you?

One year my husband, who works in the computer tech industry, went to work early and put a piece of clear tape over the bottom of everyone's computer mouse. It took some people a really long time to figure out why their mouse wasn't working! Haha. 

Today, my daughter is trying so hard to prank my son, but he hasn't fallen for anything so far. It's sort of funny to watch, though.

What about you? Have you been pranked?