Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Contests

Anne Bradshaw is giving away a music CD from Lyle Hadlock at Not Entirely British

Win $15 in vinyl expressions at Queen of the Clan

Nephi is away on an adventure and will return next week at Lovell's blog so stay tuned!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Writing

I am taking a month off (or until kids are settled in school) from writing. I need to find a critque group in northern Utah County if anyone knows of one that isn't full OR if anyone wants to start one.
THANKS

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Best Plan


"I have a plan. It will save every man."

Every plan does not work out for every person. I am sure my stake leaders are finding this out again the hard way. Every person is different. Every person acts or reacts to the same situation differently.
Our stake is going to Martin's Cove, Rocky Ridge and Rock Hollow on Trek not too long from now. It's been interesting to watch this process unfold as the youth have not only planned the trip out but are also the Ma's and Pa's.
I'm anxious to watch how each deals with heat, dirt, dust, blisters, sunburns and plain tiredness. (I have included myself in my anxious watching!)
I can't help each person in my Trek family overcome their obstacles nor should I, but I hope I am ready to give help in the form of encouragement and even more, spiritual strength.

"I have a plan. It is better for man. Each will have to decide what to be. In choosing I know, you'll learn and you'll grow."

There are plans for medical, food, pioneer and spiritual knowledge. But no plan except one is fool proof.

Book Review- "Santa's Secret"

Santa's Secret by Christy Hardman with Phil Porter
I know! Christmas reading in July! There are Christmas sales in July so why can't I read a Christmas book?
I met Christy at a writer's conference, bought her book and was anxious to read it. I decided not to wait until November/December to read it. And I am glad I did!

Phil Porter LOVES to play Santa. When he does, something magical happens. There are a couple of problems with this scenario; he spends less time with his family from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve and his 9-year-old son is wondering why. But how does Phil explain he is Santa without taking any of the magic of Christmas away from his son?

Christy's book was enjoyable, heartwarming and a good quick read for families everywhere. I enjoyed Phil's Santa experiences and the children and parents he helped. This story will bring the joy of Christmas and the true meaning of Christmas magic to your home.

Book Review "Recovering Charles"

Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright

"Every life has a second verse" and Luke Millward's dad wanted him to see his as well as write a new one.
Hurricane Katrina brings changes to Luke's life he can't imagine. The images from the devastating hurricane alone make an impact on Luke. But to hear that his father is missing brings emotions he is not sure he can or wants to face. He loves his father because he is his father. But he doesn't respect him because he turns to alcohol and gambling to ease pain/guilt from his wife's death.
Luke goes to New Orleans to find his father and instead, is introduced to another verse of his father's life and the people who knew him.
Mr. Wright's writing brought the images of a tired but brave New Orleans to my mind. I was involved with the characters to the point of not being able to skip ahead to see if Luke's father was dead or alive. Each interaction with the characters brought life to the story.
I felt more compassion for the plight of New Orleans and its people after reading this story. But it wasn't shoved down my throat via political rhetoric.
I passed this book along to my SIL who I think will also enjoy it. I told her to pass it around.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Here is my list from the Summer Reading:


The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
Loyalty's Web by Joyce DiPastena
Forest Born by Shannon Hale
A Modest Proposal by Michele Ashman Bell
Molly Mormon? by Tamra Norton
The Princess and the Bear by Mette Ivie Harrison
Flying Home by Rachel Ann Nunes
Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind by Heidi Ashworth
Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright
Seeking Persephone by Sarah Eden
Out of Jerusalem by H.B. Moore
Fablehaven Book Four by Brandon Mull
The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull
Heaven Scent by Rebecca Talley
Santa's Secret by Christy Hardman
My Not-So Fairy-Tale Life by Julie Wright
Nothing to Regret by Tristi Pinkston
Agent in Old Lace by Trist Pinkston
Bitten by Robert Smith
Papa Married A Mormon by John D.Fitzgerald
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
Rescued by Mao by William Taylor
Miracles by C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Contest time!

Over at Book Giveaways: a bookshelf lamp!

Anne Bradshaw at Not Entirely British is giving away Land of Inheritance by Heather Moore.

Win a cornucopia of books from Joyce DiPastena.

At Rachelle's Writing Spot she is giving away Pickup Games.

And don't forget Nephis Adventures at Lovells blog!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Not-So-Fairy Tale Life by Julie Wright


I enjoy talking with Julie but I always feel like the shy girl talking to the popular girl! I get tongue tied and flustered only because she is so fun, funny and wickedly cool!
I rarely cry; not in movies and not while reading a book (well, sometimes those Hallmark commercials get me).
This book got me.
Probably because I am adopted.

I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book. I didn't want to read a YA sob story about sin and sinning and poor girl what ever will she do? Wringing of the hands...

But the story took me places I haven't been and wasn't sure I could go. Thank you, Julie!

Suzanna Quincy, or Cue as she likes to be called, is raised in a home where her mother lets her know she isn't wanted and father who bows to the mother. Her brother is the only person who understands her.
To get away from her harsh life she abuses drugs and alcohol and surprise! Ends up pregnant. Now she must come to grips with living as an adult and with the consequences of her choices.
After being kicked out of the house by her mother, she finds herself running to Utah in the hopes her brother and his wife will take her in; both are converted members to the LDS faith. On the bus ride to Utah (paid for by a kind stranger) a LDS boy named Rion sits by her and doesn't give up on her.
Cue has attitude but it is a front for hurt that goes deeply. And the big question for her; what to do with the baby?

Julie's book made me laugh out loud and quietly cry. I would recommend it to mothers who have daughters. Not only does the story show the consequences of choices, good and bad, it teaches how we should treat others. We don't know what everyone is going through. We should love each other unconditionally.
And we should know, any person of any faith, that our Heavenly Father is real and loves us.


Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary


The Fablehaven series just keeps getting better!

I bought #4 hoping it would be a keeper like the other three and I wasn't disappointed.




In the magical world that Kendra and Seth, brother and sister, have been thrown into, there is an evil plot. A plot to open the great demon prison and destroy the earth! Wah hahaha (evil laughter)
Kendra, Seth, their grandparents (who are caretakers of Fablehaven) and others will try and stop the evil mastermind. But who is it? And how can they stop him/her?
Two hidden artifacts have been found. Three more remain uncovered. If all artifacts end up in the hands of the bad guys, the demon prison can be opened. Kendra learns of the location of the key to one of the artifacts and it is decided to move it to another location. But there are many obstacles in the way...and betrayal!

Every character we have come to know throughout the series has grown and matured, even Seth! :) Mr. Mull has given each character their own quirks, strengths and voice. The story flowed well and the descriptions of the magical places were just right.
The magical creatures Mr. Mull introduced were all believable (I love that one has a crush on Kendra), scary and unique.

There is plenty of laughs, tension, twists to keep this story moving right up to the end and the betrayal. (Personal prideful note: I guessed the person in book 3 but was thrown off by the personality in book 4 so didn't suspect!)
And once again, I LOVE the lessons taught throughout the book! Thank you, Brandon Mull, for teaching good life lessons!
And thank you for writing a clean book that I can recommend to any parent or YA without any trepidation!


Buehner Books Review

I am going to review a few of Caralyn and Mark Buehner books:




A Job for Wittilda
Wittilda has 47 cats and is down to her last canned rat. What can she do? Get a job of course! Her first job as a hairdresser didn't go so well. Can she make it as a pizza deliverer? Fun story and great pictures.




Superdog: The Heart of a Hero
Dexter wants to be a superhero. How does one become a hero? Dexter is determined and works hard to better himself if every way. Dexter is my hero.





Goldilocks and the Three Bears
This story and the pictures breath a new life into this story. I thought Goldilocks was cute! This story is 'just right'!






Queen of Style
The Queen is bored. The jester can't make her laugh anymore. What can a bored Queen do? Take up hairstyling, of course! The Queen orders everyone in the village to come to the castle so she can practice on them. No one is safe from the Queen's scissors or rollers...even the sheep aren't safe!
Don't forget to look at each picture carefully...



It's a Spoon, Not a Shovel
This book is a great and fun way to teach manners. Once again, great pictures! I didn't pass the quiz so I guess I have monstrous manners! :)

Wings by Aprilynne Pike BOOK REVIEW


For her first book, Aprilynne has woven an intriguing tale of humans and fairies.


Laurel seems like your average teenager, except she's not. She has been homeschooled all her life until her family moves. Her mother insists she go to public school where she enters as a sophomore. Oh. And Laurel is beautiful and the cutest guy at school likes her.
Her fathers dream of owing and running a bookstore comes true and the family move about an hour away from the cabin Laurel grew up in. The cabin is surrounded by woods, which Laurel loves.
Laurel has little quirks like: eating only fruit or drinking Sprite. She likes to be outdoors, especially in the sun. She isn't bothered by cold weather. And she can hold her breath for like, 15 minutes.
Then she gets a bump on her back which she is sure is cancer.
Then the bump blossoms.
And now Laurel has a huge flower growing out of her back which almost looks like wings.
Who can she confide in? She doesn't want to become a science experiment. She turns to one person she wants to trust: the cute guy, David.
David is stunned but trusts Laurel and has to believe her when she shows him her back. He is amazingly supportive.
Laurel goes back to her cabin to find answers and mets Tamani who is like Laurel: a fairy. The area is protected by fairies because of the secret they know. You'll have to read the book to find out the secret...
At the same time her mother is trying to sell the cabin that has been in her family for years and her father is hospitalized for some unknown toxin.
Come to find out, there are also trolls living in the neighborhood. Bad guys.

This story was easy to read and the flowed right along. The characters were believable. The story was believable.
And I once again believe in fairies.





Friday, July 3, 2009

Raise the Flag



Raise the Flag

The Beckoning Flag
Over a many people diverse
Who from their countries they have transversed
Looking to our shining shores of sand
Full of hope and a plan

Raise the flag
The Freedom Flag
Over foreign lands
Given aid by comforting hands
In the hopes of reaching across the sea
And giving help that will let them be free

Raise the flag
The Welcoming flag
For the troops who have fought
Some with lives, our freedom bought
Whose willingness their time they share
To bring others out of despair

Place the flag
The Grief-Stricken Flag
Over a closed casket of a hero fallen
A life cut short, a life stolen
Taken in the prime
To ensure your freedom and mine

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Writing


I have been writing this summer.
I really have.
It's just easier to write book reviews, or internet articles or vacation reviews.
I have written a few poems, updated a couple of my stories and started new ones.
Nothing like giving myself distractions! :)

I am going to try and polish the first 50 pages of my LDS Youth story and send it to a friend to review.
I want to edit the next 20 pages on my WWI story.
I need to fill in a huge plot hole in my African story.
And I really want to finish my short Christmas story...before Christmas....

Those are the goals.
I should jump over to Tristi's blog and and them to the July challenge.