Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cool Stuff I Want to Share

Only a couple more days left for Kindles for Kids. Visit Danyelle's website to see all the great prizes she is offering. You could also pick up a signed, limited edition hardcover copy of Catspell. This would make a wonderful gift or donation to a library or a great addition to your library. She won't be offering hardcovers after this, so don't miss out!

I am so looking forward to Elana Johnson's next book, Surrender. If you preorder it now, you could win one of 50 booklets with never-to-be released character content and fabulous character illustrations. That would be so incredibly cool to have! Check it out.

Maybe you noticed over on the sidebar already--my publisher is giving away three copies of Defenders of the Covenant on Goodreads. Pop over there and enter to win! And while you're there, mark it "to-read." That'd be great.

Tomorrow is the big day! My launch party. I am crazy excited and nervous, too--like stomachache inducing nerves. I really need to settle down and just enjoy myself. Anyway, if you're in the neighborhood, I'd love to see you there!

Right now on Amazon, Defenders is only $14.81! Great price. You can also order it from Deseret Book, or pick it up at your local Deseret Book store.

Also, Defenders of the Covenant has it's own Facebook page now. The characters have taken over, so go "like" it, if you want. I'd sure appreciate it!

Side Note: I feel like this blog is dying an ignominious death, and I'm not sure what to do to revive it. Tell me, what sort of stuff do you most like to see on the blog? Posts about writing, my book, life in general? Giveaways, blog fests, guest posts, interviews? I know I haven't had much time for blog reading myself lately, and maybe that has something to do with it. What do you think? What do you like most about my blog? (If anything.) Your input is appreciated!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Ebb and Flow

What with all the excitement and hubbub of Defenders of the Covenant being released, writing on my next novel went down the drain for a few weeks. Sure, I was doing lots of other important writing related tasks, but I still wanted to meet my weekly and monthly writing goals, and it just wasn't happening. Every time I thought I had gotten myself unstuck, I'd write two pages and come to a dead halt again. At that point, it was a lot more fun to go do some "marketing" or something rather than try to work on this book. I felt bad about it. I seriously wondered if maybe I were destined to be a one-hit wonder.

But, I have been through this kind of stuck-ness before, so I knew I could get out of it, if I just kept plugging along. I did. I made myself take time for writing every day even if I got nothing done.

I am happy to report that the writing is flowing now, and it is a great feeling! I just reached page 375, and hope do be to 400 by the end of next week. (I had hoped to get to 400 by the end of the month, but one week back isn't so bad.)

How do you get through periods of writer's block?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lucky 7 Tag!

I got tagged twice for this little game, first by T.M. Hunter of  The West(ern) Chronicles, and then by J. Lloyd Morgan on Facebook. So, here goes!

To play along, here are THE RULES:
1. Go to page 77 of your current ms.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy and post the next 7 sentences as they’re written. No cheating.
4. Tag 7 other victims, er, authors.

This is from my WIP, Shattered Skies, and ironically enough the first part of  Chapter 7.

I know that's what Eleni believes." He stood up and paced in front of the sofa. "No wonder. Look what happened." Oh, Dori. Oh, Eleni. He had the urge to put his fist through a wall.

"Sit down," Mariane said.

Wesley stopped mid-stride and looked at his mother. She nodded her head toward the recliner across from her. Wesley sat.

"Tell me why you came here," she said.

So, there you have it. Be sure and check out T. M. Hunter's newest release Death Brings Victory (I got to beta read this for him, not to brag or anything), and J. Lloyd Morgan's book The Hidden Sun (which I have reviewed here). Thanks for tagging me, guys. That was kinda fun!

I don't feel up to tagging seven people, so if you'd like to play along, consider yourself tagged. =)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Check This Out!

Author Tristi Pinkston announces the publication of her tenth book, Women of Strength, a nonfiction inspirational novel geared for the LDS market that is perfect for Mother’s Day gift-giving … or as a very thoughtful present for yourself on any occasion. She’s holding an online book launch on her blog all day on Saturday, March 24th, and you are invited!  Every two hours from 10 a.m. to midnight, Tristi will be holding mini-contests, answering trivia questions, and giving away great prizes.  Head on over to to enter and to have a great time!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Best Moment

My books arrived on my doorstep yesterday. It was perhaps one of the sweetest moments of my life!

The books!

The culmination of years of writing, waiting, hoping, dreaming, persevering finally arrived, and, yeah, I totally cried. No one was home but my darling four year old, who just didn't get it, so I called my best friend, Suzette, to whom the book is dedicated and told her to come over and get one!

Suzette and Me with the first signed copy!

My first signed book! It's only appropriate that it should go to her, since she is a huge part of the reason this actually came to pass. Thanks, Suzy! I love you.

Then I called my husband and cried on the phone to him for a few minutes. =)

It was really a sweet day!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book Bomb! Caller ID by Rachelle J. Christensen

Today, Thursday, March 22, 2012, we're holding a book bomb for my friend Rachelle Christensen and her new suspense/thriller novel, CALLER ID. This is one great deal! Purchase CALLER ID from using this link. Then email with your order confirmation/receipt. Once Rachelle receives your order details, she will email you an amazing selection of over 20 free gifts.

Click here to see all the free gifts, which includes tons of ebooks and other great stuff, including my novella, The Bearer's Oath!

Why a book bomb? A book bomb is when a large group of people order a certain book on a specific day on Amazon. This pushes the book's popularity up the Amazon ranks, which in turn gives the book more visibility to Amazon shoppers. That’s the goal today for CALLER ID.

So feel free to pass this on to your friends and shout it out on FB, Twitter, etc. We’d like as many people as possible to benefit from these bonus gifts.

Remember this offer is only good for purchases made on Thursday, March 22, 2012! *Even if Amazon runs out of stock--you can still order because more books are on the way from the publisher.*

Email with your order confirmation/receipt when you purchase CALLER ID.

Watch the book trailer:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Giveaway Winners and Other Fun Stuff!

Thanks so much to all of you who joined in my blog celebration! The winners have been chosen and notified, but before I tell you who they are, I want to share a couple of links.

First the Amazon page! It's available now to order now!

And the Goodreads page! I'd sure appreciate it if you added it to your "To Read" list. Thanks a million to all of you for all your support.

Also, the book has it's own Facebook page and the characters have taken over! Go check it out and give it a like if you feel so inclined.

Now on to the winners!

Winner of the Hannah prize package:


Winner of the Derek prize package

Larry and Cindy!

Winner of the McKenzie prize package


Winner of the Kwetoo'unuv prize package

P Woodland!

Winner of the Joey prize package

Michelle Jenson!

Winner of the final prize package


Thanks so much to everyone who entered. I had fun. Hope you did too!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lindsay Duncan Discusses Short Fiction

 Today, I am pleased to present author Lindsey Duncan, a fantastic writer that we have published in Mindflights. She's celebrating the release of her contemporary fantasy novel, Flow. She's here to talk about short fiction, a topic near and dear to my heart. Take it away, Lindsey!

Angie asked me to talk about how short stories have helped my writing and career.  I thought this was a great topic, especially as I started as one of those authors who was a novelist and nothing else.  For years, I actively resisted the idea of writing short fiction.  I thought it took attention away from what I wanted to do; I thought there was no way that I, personally, could fit a satisfying story into the short form.  My encounters with magazines and anthology at the times hadn’t been encouraging, either:  at one point, reading a shared-world anthology that shall not be named, I saw a description of a building as “a four-sided square,” and that about killed me for reading short stories to the tune of years.  Straws, camel’s backs.

I finally turned my thoughts to writing short fiction again as a purely pragmatic endeavor.  I had heard that short fiction credits attracted the attention of agents and publishers.  That was all – I hadn’t considered the financial or creative side.  It was just a stepping stone.  I started brainstorming ideas for short stories, mostly scenarios inspired by mythology or sayings or back-stories for characters.  Many of these weren’t, speaking from objective hindsight, really suited for stories – more like vignettes.

One of the first short stories I wrote was inspired by a Serbian legend of an unusual werewolf origin:  drinking out of the footprints of another werewolf.  An intriguing concept, but the story I produced had nothing else unusual to recommend it.  It ended up on the retirement shelf quickly, as did the next few.  One “stuck,” but still opened like a novel (that is, too slowly for the form).  I rewrote it years later, and it’s now making the submission rounds.

I also started reading short fiction again, and found the enjoyment of it at last, in particular from two sources:  the often-light but stylish Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and anthologies.  Anthologies have become an obsession of mine ...or at least, themed anthologies.  I’m still neutral on best-of and other such unthemed compilations, because a good portion of the enjoyment is the common thread and how diverse the interpretations are.

I blundered around with other short stories and finally made my first sale – ever.  To cap off the enjoyment – or the irony? – it was a story I had rewritten from scratch in a few days in response to a themed anthology call.  I screamed, I freaked my parents out (was still at home then), and I … bled.  Yes.  I gave myself a paper Shcut on my first acceptance letter.

Chicken or the egg?  I cannot honestly say that finding true enjoyment in short fiction didn’t have something to do with the thrill of publication – but it’s not why that enjoyment endured.  Because I found aspects about short fiction that I adored:  the ability to take those countless small ideas that wouldn’t sustain a novel and build a great story around them; creating new characters who I could love and leave; the sometime fiendish puzzle of trying to work out how to suggest setting, character and backstory in an opening while kicking the plot into motion; the art of implying a setting with only brushstrokes and hints. 

I’ve also done a few whacky things, like a story with two versions of the ending (framing the story in a completely different fashion), a story that occurs entirely as “dialogue” between two chars trapped in a single body, and a story in first person plural, present tense.  I didn’t set out to do anything strange, but I had ideas that needed the unusual vehicle, and the short form allowed me to attempt experiments that would be (for me!) untenably bizarre in long form.

Most of my short fiction still has that novel feel the sense that I rarely have tidy endings – I describe my most common ending as answering the plot problem with, “Yes, but …”  I like the sensation that the character’s lives continue on far longer than the tale can tell.  In some ways, this is another advantage to short stories:  the glimpse is much more brief than in a novel, so the possibilities are much wider.  When your character has trekked the length and breadth of the land, found true love and fought dark hordes, their next moves  are somewhat more defined than if the sum of their “on-camera” action is escaping an over-enthusiastic suitor.

How has short fiction helped my writing?  I have learned a lot about pacing, economy of words, and allowing descriptions to serve double and triple duty.  I have flexed my mental muscles in generating and executing more ideas, worlds and characters than I could sanely have produced at novel length.  And I have been able to take a break and “rescue” myself from the slog of novel writing to finish something shorter and experience that satisfaction.

How has short fiction helped my career?  I can’t say for sure it has had any direct impact on how editors or agents view me.  What I can say is that it has provided me with the opportunity to do my first book-signing and two live readings.  It has also given me experience with the give-and-take of making an editor’s requested changes.

And being paid doesn’t hurt, either.  But more than that, I have learned from short fiction that people are willing to pay me for my words, that I have some knack worth purchasing – and that helps me know my writing is on track.

Thanks so much, Lindsey!

LINDSEY DUNCAN is the author of contemporary fantasy Flow, just released by Double Dragon Publishing.  Flow follows the water-witch Chailyn, on dry land for her first mission, and Kit, a contemporary teen with mysterious powers, as they seek the man who killed Kit's mother ... a goal which catches the interest of the darkest of fairies.  They must also deal with the Borderwatch, a zealous organization that hunts fairies and has been in a cold war with the water-witches for decades.

Flow can be found here:

To tie back to this post, three of her short stories are also available for individual sale:

Taming the Weald:
The Naming Braid: 

Friday, March 16, 2012

DOTC Blog Celebration: Meet the Rest

Welcome to the Defenders of the Covenant blog celebration!

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Everyone else!

Okay, I'm not really going to interview everyone else in the book, but I am going to tell you about a few of them.

Jeremey Elliot: McKenzie's boyfriend. He's handsome and charming, but also rebellious, selfish, and arrogant. Gets everyone into a lot more trouble than they bargained for.

Lem, Sam, and Tim Martin: Triplet brothers who love to laugh and have fun. They're fighter jet experts and Derek thinks they exist solely to drive him insane.

Aunt Elzie: Alien scientist and social reformer bent on convincing her society that humans are intelligent beings worthy of freedom.

Brother Ancient: He's been around for a good long while and has a way of making little (or even big) miracles happen.

President Schroeder: The prophet. Need I say more?

The watcher: Ruler of the slaves in the black city. His capture of Hannah and her friends leads to consequences he could never have imagined!

The Final Prize Package:
Signed copy of Defenders of the Covenant (approx. value $19)
Avenging Angels T-shirt (approx. value $10)

Back of the T-shirt
 (The Avenging Angels shirt was designed by the uber-talented Paul Browning of Business Logos.) BTW, the Avenging Angels are the fighter jets. You can see one of them on the cover above!

To enter: Please leave a comment on this post letting me know you want to be entered and an email address for contact.* By entering you agree to abide by the Official Rules (please read them!)  

I am extending the deadline to enter on this or any of the other posts until Tuesday, March 20 at midnight! Winners will be announced on March 21.

*If your blogger email is open (I can respond to your comments via email), you do not need to leave your email in the comment.*

Previously: Meet Hannah Emerson 
                   Meet Derek Halstead  
                   Meet McKenzie Larson 
                   Meet Kwetoo'unuv Walker
                   Meet Joey Carrier

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

DOTC Blog Celebration: Meet Joey Carrier

Welcome to the Defenders of the Covenant blog celebration!

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Bishop Joey Carrier.

Joey, or Bishop Carrier, as most people call him, is sixty-eight years old, and the leader, spiritual and otherwise, of the refuge where Hannah, Derek and McKenzie live. I asked him to answer a few questions.

Favorite thing about being a bishop? When members of my little flock come to me for counsel and advice. I love them all so much. I'm glad they trust me to help them through hard times. I am grateful for the Lord's grace to give me the strength I need to be the bishop.

Favorite food? Fresh, homemade bread with lots of butter. Two things that used to be favorites that we don't have down here in the refuge are fresh fish and chocolate cake. Our small cocoa supply ran out a long time ago.

Favorite book? The Book of Mormon.

Hobbies? Fly fishing was my hobby before the invasion. Oh, how I miss it. Now, I enjoy reading and watching old movies.

Best piece of advice? "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3: 5-6)

Thanks, Joey! (Or should I call you Bishop?)

The Joey Prize Package:
Fishing plaque and purple tie (approx. value $15)

To enter: Please leave a comment on this post letting me know you want to be entered and an email address for contact.* By entering you agree to abide by the Official Rules (please read them!)

*If your blogger email is open (I can respond to your comments via email), you do not need to leave your email in the comment.*

On Friday:  Meet the rest
Previously: Meet Kwetoo'unuv Walker
                   Meet Hannah Emerson 
                   Meet Derek Halstead  
                   Meet McKenzie Larson

Monday, March 12, 2012

Defenders of the Covenant Cover!

Defenders of the Covenant just went to press! Here's the cover:

I love it! See the Avenging Angel on the front? Oh my goodness. This is the fulfillment of a long-time dream. Thank you Walnut Springs, Suzette Saxton, and everyone else who has helped me along this journey! I am speechless with gratitude.

(Check out the party! It's still going on.)

Friday, March 9, 2012

DOTC Blog Celebration: Meet Kwetoo'unuv Walker

Welcome to the Defenders of the Covenant blog celebration!

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Kwetoo'unuv Walker.

Kwetoo'unuv (pronounced Que-TOO-un-of)  is thirty-five years old and a Paiute Indian. He is the leader of the Nengwoonts'eng (meaning, the people) living in hiding from the invaders in the bowels of a coal mine. Today, I asked him to answer a few questions:

Most memorable event? I have two. The first is when Toovuts, the great wolf, appeared to me in the sacred cave when I was twenty. He taught me how to live like my ancestors and hide from the invaders and their watchers. The second is the day I married my wife, Beth. That was also in the sacred cave and Toovuts was present then as well.

Most anticipated event? I will soon become a father for the first time. After so many years, this is truly a miraculous and welcome event. 

Favorite book? Books? That's one thing we lack down here in the mine. In place of books, we Nengwoonts'eng tell each other stories. We sing together a lot too. My favorite stories are the ones that my parents used to tell me about Coyote (Soonungwuv).

Hobbies? Hunting, fishing, (these are more survival skills than hobbies), singing, playing my drum, telling stories.

Biggest fear? Losing the Nengwoonts'eng to the watchers. I would do anything to keep my people safe.

Thanks, Kwetoo'unuv!

The Kwetoo'unuv Prize Package:

Spirit Flutes CD and stuffed wolf (approx. value $23)

To enter: Please leave a comment on this post letting me know you want to be entered and an email address for contact.* By entering you agree to abide by the Official Rules (please read them!)

*If your blogger email is open (I can respond to your comments via email), you do not need to leave your email in the comment.*

On Tuesday: Meet Joey Carrier
Previously: Meet Hannah Emerson 
                   Meet Derek Halstead  
                   Meet McKenzie Larson

Thursday, March 8, 2012

We Interupt This Party...

To announce another party!

The Defenders of the Covenant Launch Party
Friday, March 30
6-8 PM
Salem City Library
59 S. Main St.
Salem , UT
There will be signed books, crafts, cookies, paper airplane races, author readings, and fun

Featuring a special performance by Two Shields productions, professional Native American flute player and hoop dancer at 7:00

If you can make it, I would love to see you there!

Also, my dear friend Danyelle Leafty is raising money to purchase Kindle Fires for the pediatric unit of our local hospital. Find out all the details here. This is a great opportunity to pick up a great book and help kids in need!

 We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog party...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

DOTC Blog Celebration: Meet McKenzie Larson

Welcome to the Defenders of the Covenant blog celebration!

Today, I'd like to introduce you to McKenzie Larson.

McKenzie is seventeen years old, and Hannah Emerson's closest friend. Today, I asked her to answer a few questions: 

Favorite food? I like popcorn and fresh cream. But not together. I like strawberries too. And goat cheese is delicious!

Funniest memory? Okay, this one time Hannah and I and a couple of other girls went swimming in the waste reclamation tanks. It was so gross. They are full of algae! But we couldn't stop laughing the whole time. The leaders got plenty mad at us for that. Hahaha. Thanks for reminding me of it. I needed the laugh.

Hobbies? Sewing, I guess. Hanging out with my friends. I'm not really talented like Hannah is.

Favorite book? Little House on the Prairie.

Secret dream? Oh, I don't know. I don't think I have one. Maybe it's to be a mother someday. I never met my mother. I wonder what she was like. I wonder if she'd be proud of me. Does that count as a dream?

Sure it counts. Thanks, McKenzie!

The McKenzie Prize Package:

Matching pair of BFF charm necklaces and an inspirational journal (approx. value $25)

To enter: Please leave a comment on this post letting me know you want to be entered and an email address for contact.* By entering you agree to abide by the Official Rules (please read them!)

*If your blogger email is open (I can respond to your comments via email), you do not need to leave your email in the comment.*

On Friday: Meet Kwetoo'unuv Walker 
Previously: Meet Hannah Emerson
                   Meet Derek Halstead

Friday, March 2, 2012

DOTC Blog Celebration: Meet Derek Halstead

Welcome to the Defenders of the Covenant blog celebration!

Today, I'd like to introduce you to Derek Halstead.

Derek is eighteen years old, and, like Hannah, lives in the refuge. I've already introduced Derek a bit in this post.  Today, I asked him to answer a few questions:

Favorite subject? Do I have to choose just one? I find science fascinating. And history, too. And computers, electronics, refuge systems... It's too hard to choose! 

Secret crush? *blushes* Do I have to answer that? Well, I think Hannah is pretty special. She doesn't really notice me, though.

Hobbies? Learning new stuff, reading. I play the piano a little. Nothing like Hannah can, though. She's amazing.

Favorite book? I've read so many! I'll say The Lord of the Rings.

Secret dream? Well, this is really weird, considering I live underground, but I've always dreamed of flying. Maybe even being a fighter pilot. Don't think it's going to happen, though. I'd also love to fly in outer space. I'd love to see the world and be able to study it all in person.

Thanks, Derek!

The Derek Prize Package:

Two fighter jet toys and  a framed picture of the Salt Lake Temple. (approx. value $20)

To enter: Please leave a comment on this post letting me know you want to be entered and an email address for contact.* By entering you agree to abide by the Official Rules (please read them!)

*If your blogger email is open (I can respond to your comments via email), you do not need to leave your email in the comment.*

Nice things to do that aren't required and will in no way impact the outcome of the giveaway:

Like my Facebook Page
Follow me on Twitter
Become a fan on Goodreads
Post the Blog Celebration image
Share this post with your friends

On Tuesday: Meet McKenzie Larson
Previously: Meet Hannah Emerson