Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Sapphire Flute - by Karen E. Hoover

It has been a pleasure to receive a copy of "The Sapphire Flute" and peruse its pages. Amazon Purchase Link HERE.

I met Karen years ago when I was looking for a writers group in my old town. She immediately befriended me and another writer as if she'd known us her whole life and just hadn't seen us for a while.

Her friendship has been something I treasure. She is amazing and her open smile and unconditional love for everyone draws everyone in. When she read to us the early drafts of Sapphire Flute I knew she was going to go far. Her ability to draw you in and weave a story around her readers is inborn.

I was able to co-teach a teen writers class with Karen years ago and just like the teenage girls, I sat there in awe of her knowledge and absorbed everything I could from her. The best part of that class was the afternoon we spent listening to Karen read the first pages of her story from first draft to the then finished draft. As we listened to those pages evolve, and why she changed them, my brain got a few more wrinkles. I learned so much from that afternoon. I knew I was sitting at the feet of a soon to be published author.

Karen, thanks for the friendship and love, the lunches, gifts, and hours of talking and laughing. Most of all, thanks for your undying belief in me. It means more than you will ever know.

The Sapphire Flute, Book 1 of The Wolfchild Saga

by Karen E. Hoover

It has been 3,000 years since a white mage has been seen upon Rasann.

In the midst of a volcanic eruption miles outside of her village, Ember discovers she can see magic and change the appearance of things at will. Against her mother's wishes, she leaves for the mage trials only to be kidnapped before arriving. In trying to escape, she discovers she has inherited her father's secret--a secret that places her in direct conflict with her father's greatest enemy.

At the same time, Kayla is given guardianship of the sapphire flute and told not to play it. The evil mage C'Tan has been searching for it for decades and the sound alone is enough to call her. For the flute to be truly safe, Kayla must find its birthplace in the mountains high above Javak. The girls' paths are set on a collision course...a course that C'Tan is determined to prevent at all costs.

The story is rich in detail and plot. The characters are wonderfully deep and well rounded. The most amazing thing, is that almost every chapter is written as a story in itself. With a beginning middle and end all in a few pages. This reader found herself pleasantly surprised at the end of every chapter as she either turned the page or closed the book. I'm not going to tell you anything more about the book, the story is one you must experience for yourself, and thoroughly enjoy.

Valor Publishing Group touts Karen as their own J. K. Rowling. I believe it. I see a grand future for my dear friend.

Price: $19.95 $17.96
Publisher: Valor Publishing Group, LLC (March 16, 2010)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Binding: Hardbound
Pages: 370
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-935546-07-8
Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches

Friday, March 26, 2010

Try your hand . . . Author Platforms

Have you heard of them?

When an author feels strongly about something they use either a message in thier books or thier status as an author to let the world know about thier passion.

For example Michele Ashman Bell has started the Butterfly Box Series. The first book focused heavily on modest dressing. I don't know whether the other books will focus on the same platform, but I was pleased with the book and "theme" of the book. Being the mom of a teenage daughter this issue of modesty is something we deal with everyday.

Tristi Pinkston's new series Secret Sisters has started a sock drive for the homeless because a character knits in the book. Annette Lyon and Julie Coulter Bellon both have platforms dealing with US soldiers stationed away from home.

That said: my question for you is, do you have a platform? Is there something you feel passionately about, something you would etiher write about or speak about even if your book is completely diferent? Have you ever even heard about a platform? Or thought about it?

I don't think there is anything in Emergence that is platform worthy. However, there are things I am passionate about. I am a breastfeeding mommy and tend to be natural in lots of ways. I have asthma so asthma research is something I am concerned about. I also support the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Humanitarian Relief work. Like I said before, modest dressing is also an issue I believe in strongly.

Who knows, I have thought about it but never long enouth to actually decide on or choose an actual platform. I hope by the time I have a contract in hand I have something in mind.

What is your platform or passion? I'd like to hear it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Introdoucing Pandragons Book Binding

Picture at right is the book I just ordered from them. Isn't it georgeous?

I couldn't be more pleased to introdouce you to my dear friends new business. PENDRAGONS BOOK BINDING. The husband and wife team hand sews blank journals as well as manuscripts and other projects. (Think family histories, old journals, blogs.) the books are amazingly beautiful, and lovingly prepared, for a fraction of the price you will see anywhere else.

For thier grand opening they are hosting a contesd to win a georgeous hand bound journal. The coolest thing is you the winner grets to choose the cover and the bling! See contest rules below.

Grand Opening Contest

It's about time we got this thing rolling! The site is officially registered, licensed and running. To celebrate, we're hosting a Contest Giveaway!

The prize? A book similar to this one:

But since it's a family business, we'll each make a book, making it TWO books to give away! Two chances to win! Both are 8.5" x 5.5" Hand Sewn with Leather Spine Journal The winners get their choice of Standard paper covers (a select "Limited Edition" covers also included) with the Old Style Binding. Also, their choice of any additional Bling items ta'boot! See Website for details.

This is Pendragon's FAVORITE style of binding.

Here's how to enter:

+2 entry: Fan or leave a comment on our Facebook Page to enter. If you don't have access to Facebook, then send us an email to: to enter :)

+2 entries: Become a follower of our blog. Click Here.

+2 entry each (unlimited): For every friend you refer to our Facebook page and They follow us too! (make sure they note who referred them!)

let's see, what else...

+10 entries if you Blog about our contest. A link back to our home page and a link to our Facebook page is required! Please provide a link to your blog in the Facebook comment (or email) to verify

+1-5 entry: Post about the contest on Facebook or Tweet about us--a link back to the website and/or Facebook page required. One per day. Make sure to let us know when you do.

+2 entry: Follow my writing blog :) Never hurts, eh?

Now for some more BIG boys:

+10 Entry: if you buy a book through our site. :)
and +10 entry each if anyone you refer buys a book!

+10 Entry: Be a Host to our Contest on your blog! You can require them to follow your blog too as a entry (wink). a good following on your blog required. Contact us to enter this.

P. S. + 5 points: If you follow my (Michelle's) blog: My Life In A Laptop.

Make sure to leave a comment on Facebook OR Email us to let us know what you've done to enter. We want to make sure you get every chance to win!

One Random Winner will be drawn April Fools Day! AND the SECOND book will be given away to whoever refers the most Fan-Friends to our Facebook page! So, start sending invites! Check back here and our Facebook page for the announcement on April 1st. winning entries must have a USA mail address :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"The Cleansing of America" by W. Cleon Skousen

Valor Autographed copy here.

Amazon link here.

To be honest, I offered to read "The Cleansing of America" because I am a fast reader and they needed to fill their review list quickly. I learned a lesson though, this book is not one that can be read quickly. Not only is it filled with many scripture references and study questions, but the material covered in the book is so amazing you want to take your sweet time reading it and understanding what Mr. Skousen offers. Written as one of four unpublished manuscripts before his death three years ago, “The Cleansing of America” deals with what has caused our dear country to come to the state of moral degradation it is in now. Then goes on to discuss what both modern and ancient prophecy tells us will happen in the last days.

While I tend to avoid thinking about the end days and prophecy because it scares the bejeebies out of me, this book was a source of comfort and helped me understand what is going to happen and why. I would recommend this book to everyone. It should be required reading for those who love this beautiful country.

I believe Valor has, with the acquisition of these last four manuscripts of Mr. Skousen, placed themselves in line to compete with the “Big Guns” of LDS publishing. I commend Valor for this move and look forward to seeing Valor succeed.

Price: $19.95 $17.96
Publisher: Valor Publishing Group, LLC (April 1, 2010)
Genre: Nonfiction
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 185
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-935546-21-4
Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches

W. Cleon Skousen (1913-2006), an ardent supporter of God, country, and the unlimited potential for greatness in all people, passed away at his Salt Lake City home on January 9, 2006, of natural causes incident to age, just eleven days shy of his ninety-third birthday. He was lovingly surrounded by many family members, and Jewel, his wife of sixty-nine years.

Dr. Skousen was the author of The Making of America, and was known by millions for his devoted understanding and support of the U.S. Constitution, his love of the gospel of Jesus Christ, his insights into politics, religion, good government, and human nature. He leaves behind an exhaustive work of scholarship created over three-quarters of a century and covering dozens of specialties. Among his 46 books he wrote are the bestsellers, The Naked Communist, The Naked Capitalist, So You Want to Raise a Boy, The Five Thousand Year Leap, and Fantastic Victory about the Israel-Arab war of 1967.

His books on religion, such as The First 2,000 Years, Prophecy and Modern Times, Isaiah Speaks to Modern Times, Treasures from the Book of Mormon, and Days of the Living Christ, reached millions of readers in the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic communities.

His speech entitled "A Personal Search for the Meaning of the Atonement" is perhaps the most widely distributed CD among members and missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-a fact that made him smile in astonishment. "I've had missionaries tell me that speech has been translated into Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French, and has been passed around on every continent where missionaries serve."

Skousen served sixteen years in J. Edgar Hoover's FBI as an agent and the communications director during the waning years of the gangster era and WWII. He also was the editor of the nation's leading police magazine, "Law and Order."

He was a popular teacher of several thousand students at Brigham Young University for sixteen years, and a highly respected speaker across the country where he sometimes gave as many as 300 speeches a year. His devotion to America's Founding Fathers and the Constitution led to the creation of "The Freeman Institute," later known as the "National Center for Constitutional Studies," an organization through which his speeches and writings educated and united large segments of voters to elect senators, congressmen, governors and presidents who loved the Constitution.

Known for his untiring devotion to principle and integrity, he served as Salt Lake City's chief of police and created what Time Magazine called "A model police force." After four years of service, the city mayor created a firestorm of protest when he fired Skousen on trumped-up charges, an event the mayor later called the worst political mistake of his life.

Skousen and his wife maintained a modest home in Salt Lake City that became a stopover for any person with political aspirations in Utah and beyond. Friends and visitors included ecclesiastical leaders of all faiths, politicians from each major parties, students of all ages, and of course, the local missionaries, every Sunday night.

Skousen was born in Raymond, Alberta, Canada on Jan. 20, 1913, and was educated in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. He served a two-year mission for the LDS Church at age seventeen. He earned his PhD at George Washington University. He and Jewel are the parents of eight children, 50 grandchildren, and 100+ great-grand children.

Just before Dr. Skousen died, he completed the manuscript of Cleansing of America. He asked his sons to hold on to this manuscript until certain conditions were met. His sons feel the current climate of America meets their father's conditions and are thrilled to release this previously unpublished work of the man who was affectionately known as "a living national treasure."

Release Date: 1 April 2010

Reserve your copy of Dr. Skousen's Cleansing of America now. Each pre-ordered copy of Cleansing of America will be signed by three of the sons of Dr. Skousen and shipped to you one week prior to the release date.

Blog: W. Cleon Skousen Blog
Website: Official Website of W. Cleon Skousen
Facebook: W. Cleon Skousen Facebook Fan Page
Twitter: Follow W. Cleon Skousen on Twitter

As a point of reference, a portion of Dr. Skousen's 46, now 47, book catalog are:

Days of the Living Christ, Volumes 1 & 2
Fantastic Victory
Majesty of God's Law
Making of America
Prophecy and Modern Times
So You Want to Raise a Boy
The 5,000 Year Leap
The Naked Communist
The Naked Capitalist
The First 2,000 Years
The Third Thousand Years
The Fourth Thousand Years
Treasures of the Book of Mormon, Volumes 1-4

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Editor Moment . . . Flesh out your scenes

I am in an online critique group and absolutely love the members of this group. In our crit group lately we have been talking about fleshing out scenes. It's something we all need to do from time to time with few exceptions.

I was pondering a little about fantasy writers and how different fantasy is from things like sci-fi. We were talking about how fantasy by nature is longer than other genres. And how sometimes because of pressure to stay under that "expected word count" the fantasy author strips the scene they are writing to the bare bones in order to "fit" that count. Or that the world/story is worthy of nine books and for fear of not selling the entire series they try to cram 3 books into one by again striping the scenes of the details and richness fantasy especially deserves.

Think about it, fantasy is the one genre where you have the pleasure of building worlds and magics and governments etc, etc, etc, with abandon. What's the point of doing all that world building if you can't use it in your book? Whats the point in introdoucing your reader to this world you've worked so hard on, if you fly past it on your way through the story.

My advise to any writer whatever genre is to write the best story you can. Granted there are rules you must follow. But if you write a wonderful rich book with scenes with a little meat on them you have a much better story and a better chance of getting published EVEN if the story has many more sequels. Don't short-change yourself, your characters, or your readers by writing less of what needs to be told.

Write the book that needs to be written. If it's too long, split it in half. If you have a lifetime of stories to tell, decide what parts of the story need to be told and expound on those and let the rest go. I promise the reader wont miss what you MC had for breakfast every morning or what kind of underwear he wears or if he wears any at all.

While publishing guidelines are there for a reason, there should be no stopping the writer from creating something rich, fleshy, and wonderful. I guess what I am trying to say is, write the story you want to write, the story your reader deserves from you.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bear with me. . .

As I posted on my Facebook Status.

"Growing a baby takes alot of physical, emotional and mental energy. Especially when you're 40."

I am finding it hard to concentrate and have enough energy to take care of everything I am expected to do, and take care of myself and the growing babe inside.

Not to use this as an excuse, but my posts might be a little less than the expected three times a week, and less intelectual. At least until my energy and brain come back. LOL

I'm not going to promise anything, but know that this blog and my readers/followers are a priority. I will work as hard as I can to keep it from going stagnant. I just thought you guys should know why my posting behavior has been erratic and odd.

I am doing well just the normal pregnancy complaints and am looking forward to two dates. March 29, I will get a level 2 ultrasound and hopefully see what gender the babe is, and August 20 when the baby is due.

Thanks for being loyal readers and followers. :)