Thursday, August 28, 2014

Utah Book Month: An Interview with Sara Larson

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in Utah with my husband and three children—two boys and a girl. We keep busy with the kids’ activities, plus we love traveling, good food, hiking, boating, reading (of course!), movies, and fitness so we can eat all that good food (especially dessert) without feeling TOO guilty. 
2. How long have you been writing? When were you first published?
I’ve been writing my whole life and I’ve always dreamt of being published. That dream came true when Scholastic published DEFY in January of 2014.
3. What inspired you to write your first book?
The first book I ever wrote? I’m not really sure, since it was in second grade. But if you’re referring to my first published book, DEFY came from a very difficult period in my life, when I lost someone I loved. I was so upset by his death that I couldn’t write anything, but a friend of mine told me to stop trying to write a book and just write what I was feeling. So that’s exactly what I did. I sat down and wrote a death scene, not intending for it to go anywhere…but then I got curious about the characters. This whole fascinating world unraveled itself and I realized Alexa had a very intriguing, difficult, but ultimately amazing story that needed to be told. I threw myself into that writing and from there the story took on its own life. It became a story of survival and moving forward, a story of what true courage and strength is, and a story about the many different kinds of love, and hope (even in the most desperate of situations) and risking everything for the chance of a better future.
4. Who is your hero, and why?
My hero is my mom. I know that sounds corny, but she always has been and probably always will be. She had a rough life growing up, but she overcame all of it to be the most amazing person. She raised five daughters while my dad traveled all the time for work, and made it look easy. All of my sisters and I still consider her one of our best friends, which I think is proof of how incredible she is. She is the person we all turn to for advice, for help, for pretty much everything. She taught us to pursue our dreams, and believes in us 100%. Though she is not just a “cheerleader”—she is honest with her feedback and tries to help us be better, to reach our full potential. But that only makes her praise mean that much more when she gives it. She’s just an incredible woman and mother and wife and I hope to be like her when I grow up. J
5. What's next for Sara in books/writing?

The next book I have coming out is IGNITE, the sequel for DEFY! It comes out on January 6, 2015. I can’t wait for everyone to read the next part of Alexa’s story! 

Find Sara here:
Twitter: @SaraBLarson
IG: @SaraBLarson

Sara B. Larson can't remember a time when she didn't write books--although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband and their three children. She writes during naptime and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in "the art of multitasking." When she's not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting of her sugar addiction.

Check out Sara's books:


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Willow Springs by Carolyn Steele

Inline image 1             

              Crissa stared at them with vacant, horrified eyes before shooting out of bed to stand, shaking, in the middle of the room. "Molly!  Something has happened to Molly!  I must leave here. I must get to Molly!"
            "Cristalina, √§lsking, your friend is fine. It was only a bad dream."
            "No, Signe, it was more than that. It was a warning. A tecken. I must get back to Willow Springs immediately."

Crissa Engleson, an immigrant from Sweden, fled Boston hoping to start a new life, unknown and unencumbered, in the West. The quiet Pony Express town of Willow Springs in the Utah desert seemed the perfect spot until the intrigue of her past and rivalries of the town’s leading families envelope her. She falls in love with an Express rider, Drake Adams, but their courtship is thwarted by blackmail and treachery. Crissa must decide which is stronger: her desire for Drake, her own safety, or her love for the two young children left in her charge.

Willow Springs is written for anyone who enjoys Westerns, History, Romance or Intrigue. Men and women alike have expressed great interest in this story.

My Review
Set in the old west in Utah, Crissa, an immigrant from Sweden is hiding from her past. However, her unusual beauty attracts attention from too many of the males in town—including the handsome Drake and the drunken Garth.
A series of events causes Crissa to end up married to a man she would never have picked on her own, and though he promises to be a good husband, he can’t seem to control his temper. Nor can Crissa forget her love for Drake.
A grand, sweeping adventure that brings the old west to life, with characters whose share of problems continue to get in the way of their happiness. Steele manages to make her characters—even those who are secondary—feel alive and current. Crissa’s growth and maturity from her childhood in Sweden, to her tragic time in Boston, her hearbreaking crossing with a group of Mormon pioneers, and finally her life that she builds in Utah will have you crossing your fingers for her deserved happiness.
Meet the Author:

Born and raised in Utah, Carolyn Steele was introduced to western novels at a very young age by her grandfather, the son of a gold miner. She has been writing technical and marketing communications for most of her adult life. Her nonfiction articles have appeared in numerous national magazines. She earned her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Utah. Married and living in Salt Lake City, Utah, Carolyn loves researching obscure history then weaving it into stories. She also enjoys family dinners with her children and grandchildren, photography, travel, golf, reading, and all forms of needlework.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Utah Book Month: Interview with Kami of Kami's Library Thoughts

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a geeky girl! I love comics, video games, reading, and other geeky things. I live in Orem, and I like it. It is a good town to live in. I'm married and we have a daughter. She is 4, and I like to call her gnome. We have a dog. He is a poodle/yorkie, and his name is Chewy. I like to spoil my gnome and dog. I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I play the clarinet for the Wasatch Winds. I think that covers it!

2. How long have you been blogging about books? Is this your first blog?

This is my 3rd blog. I had a blog on MSN or something, but it is gone. I also have a personal blog that is private. I've been blogging since The Hunger Games movie came out, so 3 years. 

3. What made you want to start blogging about books in particular?

I've always been an avid reader. I devour books (over 100 a year). My friend invited me to go The Hunger Games movie with a bunch of other bloggers, and I decided to jump on the band wagon. 

4. Do you review indie books as well as traditionally published books? Why or why not?

I usually read traditionally published books. I try to avoid indie anything. I've had some bad experiences with indie games and books. However, if I am familiar with the author, then I'll read their indie book. 

5. A few quick facts about your reading habits:
a. What's your favorite book you've read this year?

This is hard! Let me check Goodreads!

Probably Red Rising and Belle Epoque.

b. Favorite book of all time? 

What? You can't ask me this! I don't know! If you had a gun to my head and forced me to choose, I'd probably pick The Hobbit. It is the book that started it all! My dad and brother read it to me when I was little. Bilbo is my hero! 

c. Favorite genre?

Fantasy, I'm definitely a fantasy girl!
I'll read whatever though.

d. Any genre you won't read?

Erotic crap

e. Have you ever started a book you just can't finish?

Yes, I have a whole unfinished list on Goodreads! I plan on picking some of them up again, but others will NEVER get another chance. Books can't appeal to everyone! 

Find Kami's blog here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Warning: Change Ahead

As most of you know, my life completely changed about a year ago. My then-husband left me, I had to sell my dream house (which I'm not complaining about - too much. After all, I got to live in my dream house for 10 years, and how many people ever get that opportunity?), and I moved into my own place. All of these things tossed me head-over-heels out of my comfort zone, and if I love anything, it's my comfort zone. I'm not someone who easily ventures into the unknown (which explains why I waited so long to publish a book).

And so I made the decision, after stagnating for several months, that since my life changed, I may as well change with it. I chopped off my long, blonde hair (which I've had my whole life) and dyed it dark, and even more frightening, I decided to go back to school.

Blonde vs. Brunette

I married young and only attended a tech school after graduating high school, and didn't ever attend college. But now, the opportunity has presented itself for me to return to college and I'm terrified. Not only because it's been . . . well, let's just say a long time since I've sat in a classroom, but also because it's far, far outside my comfort zone. I'm going to be the "old" lady in a class full of fresh-out-of-school kids. I'm going to be applying myself in classes, learning graphic design which, though I do know a little about it, is still foreign to me. 

Why graphic design? Why not writing? Because I think if I take writing classes, it will change the way I write, and I don't want that to happen. I like the way I write, and while many might think it can use some improvement, I don't want it to change that drastically. I'm learning better technique all the time, so hopefully my writing is improving, but I don't want to suddenly sound like someone else.

Graphic design will help me improve my cover design, as well as all of the other things I design for my writing and for my company that I co-own with Sherry Gammon, Creative Prose Publishing: my website, banners, bookmarks, headers, CPP author's covers, etc. And, if I can work independently on the side and earn enough to keep writing as much as I'd like, then yay me! 

I'll post occasionally and keep you apprised of my Adventures in a College Education. Stay tuned, and wish me luck!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Vote Now!

The End of Feeling has been nominated for "Best First Line" in the contest for Indie Recon Live. Vote by clicking here, then scroll down to my title (The End of Feeling) and vote!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Utah Book Month: West Jordan Public Library

I lived most of my life in West Jordan, Utah, until recently. As a kid one of my favorite things to do was go to the library. The idea that you could take a stack of books home without having to pay for them, and have a full month to read them, was sort of like Utopia to me. I couldn't get enough of books. When I got my first library card, with my name on it, it was like someone had handed me an unlimited credit card that I never had to pay back.

In my hometown of West Jordan the library was located in a small area of a strip mall. Then, in 1986 when I was just getting married, they opened a new library that I thought was large at 12,500 square feet. It was shaped like a wide V which made it feel larger than it actually was. It had rows and rows of books. It had computers, something that no one had in their houses. It had a copy machine, which I found endlessly fascinating, especially when those fresh sheets of printed paper came off, warm and worthy of being pressed against your nose for a good whiff. They even had a laminating machine! To me that was a wonder.

The "new" West Jordan library, built in 1986

In 2012 West Jordan City opened a new library, a state-of-the-art building built with world class energy saving features, minimal environmental impact, and made for conservation of resources. It's a "green" building - and I'm not talking about the color. If I thought the original library was huge, it had nothing on this 71,665 square foot library. 20,000 of that is pure library space, with the rest taken up by conference rooms and administrative offices for the Salt Lake County Library System.

Viridian West Jordan library, opened in 2012

It has 26 computers, plus 4 more in the childrens area, over 150,000 items, free Wi-fi and plenty of "hanging out" space.

The cost of this amazing place was somewhere in the neighborhood of $17.9M but it meets LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) standards.

If you ever are in the area, even if you don't have a library card, I highly suggest stopping by this amazing building, stepping inside the doors, and though copied papers no longer smell like they used to, you can still smell the books. So take a good whiff.

The Viridian West Jordan library is located at 8030 South 1825 West and is open M-Th 10-9 F-S 10-6.

 All the specs, library history info, floor plans, as well as plenty more pics of the new library, can be found at the following links:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Release: Shadow of a Life by Tifani Clark

NOW AVAILABLE: Shadow of a Life by Tifani Clark

Jamie Peters plans to spend the summer before her junior year with her nose stuck in a book—not saving lost souls. Usually the girl that blends into the crowd, Jamie’s world is turned upside down when a mysterious ghost begins to follow her.
But Sophia isn’t just any ghost.
A hundred years earlier, Sophia’s disappearance sparked a national mystery that remained unsolved. Jamie knows the legends surrounding Sophia’s disappearance, but she never dreamed she would find out what really happened . . . or that her family might have had something to do with Sophia’s disappearance.

Determined to set Sophia free, Jamie blows the dust off her family’s past and unearths clues to discover what she must do to save Sophia’s soul. She enlists the help of childhood friend—and secret crush—Peter Ashby as she sets off on a dangerous quest to find a missing map. Spending the night in a graveyard, crawling through a dilapidated barn, and staring down the barrel of a gun aren’t enough to deter Jamie from helping Sophia. But can she find the answers she needs before another ghost gets revenge on her and Sophia?

Click here and check out this wonderful review!

Get your copy today at any of these online retailers:

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Thank you for stopping by,

Creative Prose Publishing

Monday, August 11, 2014

Saints and Soldiers: The Void

Saints and Soldiers: The Void (2014) Poster
Germany, May 1945, the twilight of WWII. On a final mission deep in the Harz mountains a U.S. tank crew discovers a platoon of Germans, including three infamous Panzer tanks, preparing to ambush allied supply trucks.
Before the war, Sergeant Jesse Owens, was a product of segregation and racial discrimination. Forced by law to ride in the back of the bus and disenfranchised from the political process. As the Germans bear down on the Americans, Owens fights the Axis powers for a freedom he and his fellow African American soldiers have never felt.
With a deadly game of cat and mouse quickly unfolding, Owens and his predominantly white tank crew find themselves out-gunned and out-manned by the German Panzer tanks. Several in Owens’ crew are reluctant to put their faith in a black tank driver despite their dire circumstances. With tension and fear beginning to manifest Owens knows they must put aside their differences to stop the enemy from their deadly plan. Knowing that a victory over the Nazis means a victory for racial justice, Owens and his men find a way to work together to save hundreds of lives in a desperate battle against the greatest odds they have ever faced.

I was invited to the premier of Saints and Soldiers: The Void a few weeks ago. I have to say, it was a fantastic movie, even better than I expected. The time is set toward the end of WWII and deals with issues of race and prejudice among the soldiers. Early in the film, one of the black soldiers makes a comment about the irony of being in a war, fighting the worlds biggest bigot (HItler) while still being segregated both there and at home. He has a point. Black people may not have been shuffled into concentration camps, but they also couldn't drink out of just any water fountain or sit at the front of the bus.

It's fairly obvious what the end game of the movie is going to be, but the journey there is pretty incredible. Like any movie about war, it has intense drama and lots of shooting and dead people, but it also has it's lighthearted moments, particularly from Michael Todd Behrens character, Ramrod.

Really good movie with a great message. And it was nice to sit in a war movie with my parents next to me and not have to cringe at excessive f-bombs (this is rated PG13, I'm guessing mainly for the violence and some racial slurs). So take your family and go see this worthwhile movie that releases this weekend.

Just for fun, I'm giving away a DVD of both the first and second Saints and Soldiers movies, Saints and Soldiers, and Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed. Watch the movie trailer, then scroll down to enter. Unfortunately, due to prohibitive shipping costs, I have to keep this contest domestic.


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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Christina Dymock's One Dirty Bowl

Today, Christina Dymock is stopping by to share with us her newest cookbook, One Dirty Bowl. 

Baking doesn't have to take all day or make a mess in the kitchen. With One Dirty Bowl: Fast Desserts, Faster Cleanup, you'll have the recipes and easy-to-follow instructions to help you make show-stopping from-scratch desserts in no time. All you need is a little time and one bowl! And, since you'll only have one bowl to clean, you'll use these recipes over and over again.

Here’s what others are saying about the book:

“As a busy mother of five and cookbook author, I dirty a load of dishes daily. With recipes from One Dirty Bowl, I now can whip up a delicious dessert in minutes while only dirtying one bowl. That is a win-win for everyone. Spending less time in the kitchen means more time with my family. Bravo for One Dirty Bowl.”

                   -Shauna Evans, author of Sweet and Savory, Skinny-licious, and 30-Minute Meals for Families.

“From cookies to mini cakes and cheesecakes, One Dirty Bowl is full of sweet little bites that are perfect for the busy dessert-lover! It’s a delicious go-to!”

                    -Courtney Whitmore, author of Frostings, Push-up Pops, andCandy Making for Kids.

My thoughts: This is a great cookbook for people like me who don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and definitely don't want a lot of cleanup when they do. Easy recipes for desserts that make it seem like you spent a lot of time on them? But really didn't? I'll take it! And these dessert sound mouth-wateringly delicious. I read through them all and didn't see anything that looked too complicated, even for me.

You can find info about Christina, as well as places to purchase the book at:

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