Monday, June 30, 2008


It's late and I'm tired, but I just had to tell someone. I finished the edit on Ruby. Of course there's still some back-and-forth stuff between my editor and me before it's a book, but when he completes the main edit, then I finish going through it in detail, we've passed a major mile stone. This is where we both get really nit-picky about what goes, what stays, and what's added. This is where I learn that things that make perfect sense to me, sound kind of goofy to him. This is where I have to back up my research if it sounds a little out of whack to him. It's also where we laugh over our different perspectives because he's a man and I'm a woman and we're of different generations. All in all, it leaves me feeling like we've got the bases covered.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A picture I like

I've finally found a picture of me I like. My husband took it this morning of me with my three-year-old grandson. It's his big sister's birthday and he wanted in on the picture taking. Here's one of the birthday girl too showing off her new shirt.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Book Reviews

Once a month I write a review column for Meridian magazine and my June column is posted today. I only review new LDS fiction . I have a lot of fun with this, but it's more than fun. I think it's important for the reading public to know something about the new books published each month in the LDS market. Most readers have a limited amount of money to spend on books and a limited amount of time to read them, so if they know a favorite author has a new book out or have a chance to catch a glimpse of the contents of a story, there's a better chance they'll spend their time and money profitably.

I asked column readers last year what specific things they'd like to see in reviews and many said they wanted a warning of poor copy editing, so I try to mention the error rate in books where the errors missed by the copy editor distract from the story. Most also said they wanted to know who the target audience is for books so I mention that too.

Often readers who have already read a book I review agree with my views, but sometimes they don't. Either way many people would like to comment on a book or on my review of it. There's a place on Meridian to submit a letter to the editor, but anyone who would like to discuss a book or my review is welcome to do so here. I'm always open to suggestions for improving my column as well.

You've heard the saying "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." That's generally good advice, but isn't too helpful in writing a review. First of all it doesn't generate any interest in reading reviews and a critic who only raves about the good things in a novel isn't taken seriously. Criticism accomplishes several positive goals. It causes the reader to think about, evaluate and discuss the book, it helps the writer to improve his/her craft, it gives fair warning to buyers that the book may not suit their tastes, and it gives greater credibility to the positive points of the book.

You can read today's reviews at or you can read both current and back reviews on my web page

Monday, June 16, 2008


July is going to be a crazy, busy month for me so I requested having Ruby be unabridged. Besides it's a really long book. But my editor just informed me that the audio department said no. So along with my niece moving in until she can find a place of her own, and Mary Jo and her family doing the same, flying back to D.C. to pick up our grandson, and becoming a new temple worker, I'll have to find time to condense a 122,000 word manuscript.

I finally got my hair cut this afternoon and my husband tried to take a picture of me to show you my short, short hair, but none of the pictures turned out very well. Here's a couple anyway. At least they're good of my garden.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Today is Flag Day and tomorrow is Father's Day and the day after that is our son's birthday so we're planning a barbecue. Actually we'll be celebrating five June birthdays. Our family birthdays seem to be congregated in June, March, and December. Instead of writing I've been cleaning house and puttering in my garden to get ready. Here's a picture of me in front of one of my flowerbeds taking a break.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thoughts for today

I'm feeling a little sad today. I just learned that a dear friend's son is headed back to Iraq for his third deployment. I couldn't be more proud of him and of other young men and women like him and my son-in-law who stand up for freedom and represent our country so well. It's his mother my heart goes out to. I truly believe that those who must sit and wait serve as honorably as those who wear the uniform. My son-in-law won't be facing a third deployment; he was severely wounded two years ago and has been at Walter Reed, most of that time as an out patient, since then. He'll soon receive a medical discharge. The Army has provided him with excellent care, but he'll never be quite the same. What remains the same is his love for this country and his family.

I learned today that my novel, The Ruby, finally has a definite publication date. Look for it the first of October. This will be the final volume in my Bracelet series and will focus primarily on the ruby, but will tell the diamond's story too. And I didn't forget the sapphire. Readers will discover its journey too.

We finally have a beautiful day, so I'm heading back out to my garden. My love of gardening is something I think I got from my mother as both of my sisters and all of my daughters thrive on growing flowers and a few vegies.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Kid on the Block

After much persuasion, I've decided to give blogging a try. It seems to be in the "in" thing to do and a great way to keep in touch with friends and readers. I've been getting a lot of questions from readers about my next book. It will be titled Ruby and will be released in September if all goes well. I'm expecting the edits back any day. This will be the final book in my Bracelet series, which has been a fun series to write and has provided me with a wonderful education through researching various cultures in the early days of the Church.

In October I'll have another book out. This one isn't mine alone but is shared by Michele Ashman Bell and Betsy Brannon Green. Two years ago the three of us did a book signing tour together in Southern California and came up with the idea of writing a Christmas book and donating our royalties to the Perpetual Education Fund, a cause we're all three firmly committed to supporting. The title of the book will be Spirit of Christmas: Stories of the Season, a compilation of three stories, one by each of us.

I have two other stand alone books under contract that will be released during the first half of 2009. So far they only have working titles, High Country and Until Forever. I'll tell you more about them when we get closer to publication.