Thursday, July 21, 2016

Success Jack Canfield Style

Summertime has wrecked my blogging schedule, but I have been thinking about a few things and wanted to share them with you.

There are few Cinderella stories, but we seem to be enamored by most of them. What escapes most of us is what happens behind the scenes. Hard work. Long hours. Sacrifice.

Most of us want the drive-thru version. Pull up, order, drive to the window, get our goods, done.

So I'm going to share a couple of things that inspire me through that other side:

A quote I saw recently, reminding me to not give up:

Jack Canfield: always comes across upbeat and positive, loves to share what he's learned about success, wisdom in relying on a higher power.

Here's a little excerpt about achieving your goals and dreams.

What are YOUR tricks and tips? Please share in the comments!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Loving Roxie by G.G. Vandagriff

Roxie Castro comes to Florence, Italy to help her friend Georgia heal after the death of her husband. While there she decides to chase her dream of being an author, collaborating with the gorgeous Professor Stefano Nae in researching the murder of Princess Isabela di Medici. However, when they begin to delve into her history, strange things start happening to Roxie: panic attacks, the resurfacing of buried memories, and a fear that something from her past has come forward to haunt her future. 

The professor's help triggers her powerful attraction to him, and this in turn worsens the attacks.The closer they get to solving the mystery surrounding her past, the more tangled her emotions become. Will discovering Roxie’s secret finally free them to explore their newfound feelings or will it snatch away the one chance they have for a lasting love?

My take: I loved reading this book. It kept me engaged and wanting to know more. I liked the natural development of Stefano and Roxie's relationship and I love Italy, including Lucca, so to read a story in that setting was a bonus for me. I wasn't keen on the PTSD part of the story and it's likely because I don't know enough about it. I like previous things I have read by this author, and this one didn't disappoint. I'm looking forward to more.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
G.G. Vandagriff is the author of twenty-four books and is an Amazon #1 Bestselling Author. The Last Waltz, the first novel in her 20th Century Historical Romance Series won the Whitney Award for Best Historical Novel in 2009. There are now two more books in that series—Exile and Defiance. 

Nine of her novels are Regency romances, compared by critics to the witty novels of Georgette Heyer. She has also written a lively genealogical mystery series featuring Briggie and Alex, two whacky widows, as sleuths. Other genres she writes in include Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction, and Suspense. 

GG graduated from Stanford and received her master’s degree from George Washington University. She worked as an associate editor at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, an assistant treasurer in the Harvard Treasurer’s office, a bond analyst at Fidelity Investments, and an international banker for Continental Illinois National Bank (later acquired by Bank of America).

She and her husband David are the parents of three children and six grandchildren, her greatest joys in life. Her favorite novel? Jane Eyre. She also loves Florence, Sundance Resort, The Voice, hot chocolate, lilacs, and dachshunds.

Find out more about her books, download a free novella, and sign up for her newsletter at Also, be the first to know when Vandagriff’s next book is available by following her at to receive new releases and discount alerts.

Keep up with GG here:

Monday, May 23, 2016

$2000 Giveaway!

~~~~~~ HUGE $2000 Giveaway! ~~~~~~~

Welcome, fans of the Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy genres! This one is just for you! 

And really, it is! 21 best selling authors have come together to provide this EPIC giveaway, and they have devised the perfect plan for vetting winners and making sure these awesome prizes go to true fans of the genre–so if that’s you, don’t worry, we won’t let giveaway bots or cheaters steal your prize!

Our only rules for winning: 1 Entry Per Person (plus the additional entries you get for referring friends) and You Must LOVE Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy!
By entering this giveaway, you will be subscribed to the newsletters of sponsoring authors for opportunities to snag more great deals, giveaways, and freebies, though you can unsubscribe at any time. Find the link to the giveaway at the bottom of the page.

Join the Facebook event here:

Not only will one grand prize winner snag a $2000 Gift Card, there are also a TON of fabulous runner up prizes (6 print books and 9 ebooks)!!
  • The Beast by J.R. Ward (any format)
  • Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning (any format)
  • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (ebook or paperback)
  • Charlaine Harris, Dead until Dark (ebook or paperback)
  • Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh (ebook)
  • Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep (ebook or paperback)
  • Signed Copy of The Blackburne Legacy by Apryl Baker
  • Magick After Midnight Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Wolf Rampant Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Mythean Arcana Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Cursed by Lucy Leroux (ebook)
  • Flower of Hell by Noree Cosper (ebook)
  • Darkness Rising by Lisa Carlisle (ebook)
  • Blood Warrior by H.D. Gordon (ebook)
  • Winner’s Choice on any top 10 PR/UF book on Amazon at the time of the drawing
Good luck, and don’t forget to share this giveaway with your Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy loving friends for extra entries to win!

If you missed it above, click here for the Official Facebook Event page or the epic Rafflecopter Giveaway. Good luck!

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Fire that Heals By D Vansen

"A Lost Faith Is Never Too Far Gone"

Serena is devastated when her lifelong friend, Aminadab, is banned from Zarahemla for abandoning his faith and persecuting the saints. To add to her despair, she loses the rare ruby her father entrusted to her and she feels all is lost.

Unbeknownst to her, Aminadab finds the ruby, and takes it as his only reminder of Serena. As an outcast, Aminadab and his company of dissenters seek refuge among the Lamanites, who happen to be the very people who killed his parents. Not only is his anxiety high for being surrounded by these bloodthirsty people, but he quickly discovers he’s in the middle of a Gadianton plot to start a war between the Nephites and Lamanites.

Selling the ruby soon becomes the only option Aminadab has at escaping the volatile life he finds himself in. However, this act might forever banish him from ever being in Serena’s graces again. 

In D Vansen’s Book of Mormon adventure, Aminadab must choose which side he’s on in a reflective journey of self-discovery, while Serena must stay faithful and hold onto the hope that a lost faith is never too far gone.

So excited for this Author Interview with D Vansen and don't forget to enter the Giveaway at the end!

1. What is the most important thing in your life and why?
a. My family and my faith is the most important aspect in my life. Having a family of my own has also deepened my love and understanding for the struggles we all go through. It’s all about finding the joy in life and who wants to do that alone? Learning to laugh is also important.

2. If you could go out to lunch with any literary character, which would it be?
a. Humm. This one is a thinker. In the mood I’m in right now I would say, Hermione Granger. I love her intellect and her ability to get out of problems intelligently. And to have magic––how would that be? My house would be clean and we’d have the best meals that’s for sure. She is a bit more on the serious side, but she’s a strong character.

3. Which of your personality traits did you write into your characters? (Deliberately or accidentally)
a. I tend to write characters that can be pushed around. They take the abuse because they don’t want the contention and conflict. I accidentally do this, it’s my own personal struggle that comes out into my writing. I guess you write what you know and what you are at times. However, I have written in a few of the annoying quirks that mimic a few people in my life, and that’s deliberate. As an author we have that right. I guess it makes up for the mistake we make in writing our own weaknesses.

4. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
a. Thomas S. Monson’s quote could sum it up, “The future is as bright as your faith.” We determine what we get out of life, but we are to remember that we are not left alone here in this life. God is there and He has provided others in our lives to walk the path with us. For that I’m grateful.

5. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
a. Well, I hate to admit it, but I was mad at a family member and I wanted to write a story about an ungrateful boy. Harsh, I know, but it has some intense backstory. I voiced my interest in writing to my husband and he came across a flyer in the mail for the Children’s Literature Institute where courses are done through the mail. He sent it in for me, and I haven’t stopped writing since then.

6. Give us an insight into how your writing day/time is structured?
a. It all depends on where I’m at in the writing process. Because I’m so task oriented, I can spend hours on the computer writing, researching or editing. The biggest trap that I have to watch out for is not getting started with writing without completing whatever is needed done first. The moment I sit to the computer everything else fades into the background. (Hence sparse meals, and no cleaning. My husband’s favorite line is, “We haven’t had a home cooked meal in months.”) When I ask my family to listen to my work they grumble and basically say, “Maybe later.” Thank heavens for my writer friends!

7. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
a. God can’t and doesn’t take away all of our trials and pains. Rather, He’s there to help ease the burden of life. If God did everything for us we wouldn’t grow, and we wouldn’t improve or be empowered. I try to remember that as a parent. I don’t want to cripple my own children by doing everything for them. I want them to be strong and be capable of doing hard things.

8. Do you have any advice for other writers?
a. Learning the craft takes time and practice. Be patient. I could read how to write books all day, but it’s doing the writing that grants the talent. This applies to everything in life, it’s the doing that gives you the experience and the expertise.

D Vansen lives in Northern Utah with her family. After serving a LDS mission, she developed a love for the Book of Mormon and its eternal truths. She claims that if you ever want the scriptures and its characters to come to life, plot a novel from them. She loves all things artistic, unless it involves combining food ingredients. Thank heavens she has children that will help with that specific talent.

Connect with the Author here: 

Check out this YouTube book trailer!

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Motherhood and a Collection

About the book: Motherhood is a divine calling but it may not always feel that way. Now you can show the women in your life how much they matter to you, with this delightful little volume full of wit and wisdom about the divinity, reality, and rewards of motherhood. Fresher than flowers and sweeter than chocolate, it's a perfect gift for the women who give so much.

My take: Isn't this cover absolutely lovely? I loved the frank look at motherhood and was inspired by the stories and insights. Motherhood is divine, even though it sometimes feels like just the opposite. Our calling as a mother is the most important thing we will ever do. I'm grateful to have resources that encourage and inspire me to be a better mom and to recognize that what I do as a mom has value over anything else I could achieve. One of the best things is that the sections are short, so even if you're not a reader, you can enjoy this book. Highly recommend.

About the book: Are you looking for a fabulous life boost today?

The Life is Too Short series is just what you need. Written by Connie Sokol—mother of seven, author, speaker, and amazing matching sock finder—these humorous self-development columns give you just the right amount of fun and functional.

Originally written for a major newspaper and magazines, you can now enjoy the entire collection in one book. 

Put your feet up and laugh as you relate to time-tested tips on being a woman, wife, and mother. You'll learn the cozy stuff of how to adjust expectations, have faith in your dreams, and lighten up in motherhood. And, you'll learn a few life skills such as easy spring cleaning, simplifying the holidays, and creating successful goals.
It's the perfect gift for any woman!

Short, funny, insightful, these quick power columns are ideal anytime, anywhere, to rejuvenate your mind and soul.

Life is Too Short Trilogy combines three individual books, updated and revised:

Life is Too Short for One Hair Color

Life is Too Short for Sensible Shoes

Life is Too Short for Linoleum

My take: Well, the 'About the book' section pretty much covers it. I love Connie's sense of humor and her openness to learning and being real. Your friends will love you when you get this fun gift for them. And even better? The paperbacks are two for $20 and the ebooks are $2.99 FOR A LIMITED TIME.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

disclaimer: This is my honest review. I bought these books and volunteered for the blog tour. No compensation was given in exchange.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Do You Like to be Right?

Who out there would answer 'Yes'? I don't think I'm an anomaly when I say I like to be right. A while back, I posted about misusing a particular word. (Go here to read about that experience.)

So, this morning I came across what I believe to be misinformation on an Instagram account. I don't want to get into a battle there, so I'm going to post here.

What is a Christian?

Random House Webster's College Dictionary defines it thus: adj 1. of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings. 2. of, pertaining to, or adhering to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. 3. of or pertaining to Christians. 4. exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ, as in having a loving regard for others. 5. humane, decent, generous. --n. 6. a person who believes in Jesus Christ; an adherent of Christianity. 7. a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ.

The Christus at the SLC Visitor's Center

That seems pretty clear to me. Based on that definition, I am a Christian--and YES, I claim that, with all of my heart. I love Jesus Christ. I believe He is the son of God and my Savior and Redeemer. But based on mis-information, many people say I am NOT a Christian. In the end, it only really matters that God knows my heart, He knows I love Christ and want to do all I can to follow His teachings. I read the Holy Bible, but suddenly because I read the King James version, I'm not a Christian? Because I believe and read the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, I'm not a Christian? No, people, I AM a Christian. I am a follower of Christ. The church I belong to is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--which is also known by nicknames like the Mormons or LDS.

But don't take my word for it. Check the Mormon Channel (@mormonchannel) on Twitter or click my What I Believe tab, or go to You can read about the humanitarian efforts here. I promise, the messages will uplift you and bring you closer to Jesus Christ, who is not only my Savior, but everyone's.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Lesson from Downton Abbey

I will confess, I don't watch Downton Abbey. It isn't that I don't like that sort of thing, because I suspect I would really love it. After all, my friends watch it and love it. I'm just too scattered to keep track of when it's on and the one TV we have is usually taken over by someone else--and I don't care enough to take charge of it. That said, I came across a quote from Downton Abbey's Violet Crawley that I think we can all take a lesson from.

"Vulgarity is no substitute for wit."

I'm going to take it one step further. "Profanity is no substitute for good writing."

I recently read five romantic suspense novels, sadly, none of which I would recommend based solely on the amount of profanity. Every single one contained the F word--and one novel several times per chapter. It was appalling, and completely unnecessary.

My teen years saw all the Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and romantic suspense novels I could find at the library. Sometimes I would raid my grandmother's Reader's Digest Condensed novels hunting for similar authors. They were brilliant. They had intrigue, murder, twists and turns, that spark between hero and heroine.

What didn't they have? Sexually explicit content. Profanity. Did that take away from the story? Not one bit. Does it add to the story? Rarely, and even then, it is no justification for randomly throwing it in there.

As a reader, I want writing to take me away, uplift me, even inspire me. I want to be able to find some 'keepers', books I can recommend to my friends and the world at large.

So, my writer friends, I challenge you: up your game. I will say it again, "Profanity is no substitute for good writing."

Write well my friends, write well.