A Fresh Start

Hiatus is coming to an end—and it’s time for a fresh start.

Starting September 1st, I’ll be back with regular—although not daily—posts. I’ll post on Tuesdays and Thursdays for sure, and maybe more often as time permits. So start sending your questions now! (Remember to use the gmail address.)

I’ll be starting the monthly sponsor/contests up again. Sorry about dropping the ball over the summer. I’ll be contacting all of you who have previously signed up to see if you’re still interested. (Sorry, again.)

I’ve finally joined the world of Facebook. Don’t expect a lot of comments from me, but I’ve hooked it up to add my blog feed so if you’re a friend, you’ll see my posts that way. (Come Friend me!) Right now, I have the LDS Fiction site in the Notes feed. Anyone know how to add a second blog feed to FB?

I will be making a few other changes as well throughout next month. More about that later.

See you next week!

**P.S. Oh. My. Gosh! I just set up the FB account yesterday and sent friend requests to a few people who’d commented on the blog lately and I have 63 other friend requests! How did all you 63 people even find out I was on there??? I need to find me a book to explain how this FB stuff works!

Sidelines at the LDSBA

A sideline is anything but books. Here are just a few that stood out for me.

I loved these! If they were selling from the tables, I would have bought some right on the spot. One side of the frame is completely removable, held in place by a very strong magnet. It’s very easy to pop it off to change images. It also stores multiple photos inside the frame. And it’s wired to EASILY hang from three directions. Well made, durable, easy to use. The link above is to their new website which is under construction but you can see them at their old site HERE. (More sizes and styles to be posted at the new site soon.)

Liken the Scriptures
I love the Liken movies. I have all of them. They have free computer wallpaper downloads here.

Latterday Banners
Need a Title of Liberty? Get your flags, magnets, t-shirts, stickers and more here.

GIF Products
Leather scripture totes. These are like the ones sold at the Distribution Center. Their newest product. . .

Scripture Totes featuring the art of Greg Olson. So new they aren’t even on the website yet. This picture doesn’t do them justice. They’re gorgeous. The image is actually sealed into the leather and will not peel off like a sticker.

If you have LDSBA photos to share, e-mail them to me and I’ll post them.

Hotmail Stinks!

For anyone who has e-mailed me since about mid-June…sorry.

I kept checking my hotmail account, even though I haven’t been posting much lately. I’d get a bit of junk mail now and then but nothing important.

Then today, I logged in and suddenly there are over 100 messages, some dating as far back as June 15th!

Dontcha’ just love technology?

If you have me in your address book, please change the address to the gmail address in the image below:

Extended Hiatus

Hi. Yes. I’m still alive. Both my personal and professional lives have had major upheaval lately. The red line went all the way to the end on this stress test (and they didn’t even ask about some of the biggest stresses in my life).

I’ve spent the past month thinking I could get to a post “tomorrow”. . . and you can see how well that’s working out for me.

So, after much thought, I’m going to discontinue this blog for awhile. I’m leaving it up for browsing. And you never know, I may suddenly become inspired and decide to do the daily blog thing again. Who knows?

To wrap up a few things:

  1. Yes. I will still publish the Book of Mormon stories anthology. I’m just way behind schedule. I can’t give you a date but I’ll make announcememts here. (Put me on your Google Reader and you’ll be notified.)
  2. I will still keep the LDS Fiction blog going. I’m a little behind on new releases right now, but will get it caught up soon. And yes, I will still be coordinating sponsors for prizes on that site.
  3. LDS FICTION SPONSORS: Since June is half over, I’m shifting everyone back one month. June sponsors will be in July; July sponsors in August, etc.
  4. LDSP SPONSORS: If you’ve signed up to sponsor the LDS Publisher site, you may transfer that sponsorship over to the LDS Fiction site; I will do as many as four books a month. You must email me at ldspublisher at gmail dot com if you want to do that. It will not be automatic. If I don’t hear from you, I will assume you no longer want to sponsor.
  5. CONTEST & EVENTS: I’ll continue to post these as you send the information to me, but give me a full week’s notice. I’ll only be updating those sites once a week.
  6. AUTHOR NETWORK: I’ll continue to work on this one, as I have time. Don’t expect a lot of action.


Title of my WIP: Is This What Death Feels Like?

Ugh. Going back to bed.

BUT—wanted to let all of you know that I am being interviewed tomorrow, Friday, for Sarah M. Eden’s I Need Friends Friday.

It was lotsa fun. Back when I was alive.

May 2010 LDSF Prize Sponsors

Last month’s prize winners announced HERE.

Please take a moment to learn more about our wonderfully generous sponsors.

The Thorn by Daron D. Fraley

Three tribes are at war on the planet Gan, unaware that the sign of Christ’s birth on an unknown world – Earth – is about to appear in the heavens.

During a bloody skirmish with Gideonite troops, Jonathan of Daniel spares Pekah, a young enemy soldier, gaining his trust forever. These two distant brothers from estranged tribes covenant with each other to end the war being waged by a self-proclaimed emperor, and soon discover the intentions of a far more dangerous foe named Rezon – a sinister general bent on ruling those he can bring into subjection and destroying all others.

In the end, Pekah’s selfless bravery is the means by which all the tribes are united. But there are dissenters, and Rezon escapes a well-deserved fate. When the promised heavenly signs appear, will there be peace at last, or will the malefactors once again threaten the safety of them all?

Daron D. Fraley was born in Powell, Wyoming, but doesn’t consider himself a cowboy. Living in France for a couple of years provided him the opportunity to hone his cooking skills and to become addicted to good food and chocolate. Apart from his loving family, teaching and writing are his two most favorite things in the world. A classic computer geek, he still likes to fish and camp, makes a mean apple or pumpkin pie from scratch, and once fixed a gas clothes dryer using photocopier parts. With all of his interests in music, art, the sciences, and religion (especially religion), he would have been quite comfortable living during the Renaissance. Having toured chilly castles while in France, he is glad he didn’t live during that time. The Thorn is his first novel.

After ten total years in the wonderful state of Indiana, Daron, his wife Jennifer, and their six children once again live in the beautiful Rockies, close to friends and family in Wyoming and Utah.

Altared Plans by Rebecca Talley

The perfect day. The perfect marriage. The perfect groom. What could go wrong?

Caitlyn has been preparing for her perfect wedding all her life. But when her fiancé abandons her at the altar, Caitlyn vows she ll never love again.

Going to BYU doesn’t make that easy, however, and avoiding all social contact can only last so long. When her bishop calls her to be the mom of her family home evening group, Caitlyn is suddenly thrust into surprising circumstances that leave her flustered the attention of two unwanted suitors.

Travis, the FHE dad, has plans to woo Caitlyn by using his cowboy charms while Chase has his own ideas for dating her. Will Travis or Chase change her mind about love? Or will it be deja vu?

Rebecca Talley grew up in Santa Barbara, California and now lives on a ranch in Colorado with her amazing husband, 8 of her 10 creative children, horses, goats, and a llama named Tina. She is the author of a children’s picture book, Grasshopper Pie. Her stories have been published in Story Friends, Our Little Friend, The Friend, and Stories for Children. Cedar Fort released her YA novel, Heaven Scent, in spring 2008.

Besides writing, Rebecca enjoys eating chocolate by the pound, dancing to disco music while she cleans all the messes that seem to multiply and replenish her house, and contemplating all the craft projects that still need to be completed. You can find Rebecca at www.rebeccatalley.com.

CLICK HERE for details on how to win these books.

CLICK HERE for details on sponsoring the contest.

Diabetes Auction Starts Today!

Brenda Novak’s auction starts today. We ended up gathering over 100 items for the auction.

“What?” you say? There are only 93 listed in the LDS Publisher category? That is because some of the authors/publishers felt their books would be a better fit in some of the other categories.

Also, the PTBs moved the Fablehaven set HERE. (Yes! The full set, signed by Brandon Mull!) It’s a one day auction that begins and ends on May 13th. Guess they think that will be a hot one. (And of course, it will. I was thinking of bidding on it myself.)

We have both fiction and non-fiction books listed, as well as editing, dinner with a publisher, and a “Bypass the Slush Pile” from Valor Publishing. Go take a look and BID! (Bidding instructions are HERE.)

While you’re there, browse around the other categories. There are some awesome items up for grabs!

Getting Ready for the Whitneys

I would totally be writing a post for today except that I’m off to find a new dress for the Whitney Awards Banquet.

Which one do you think I should go with:

I thought it went without saying, but apparently not. ALL of these gowns will be altered to fit LDS standards—longer sleeves, higher neck, a little looser in certain areas…

April 2010 LDSF Prize Sponsors

Last month’s prize winners announced HERE.

Please take a moment to learn more about our wonderfully generous sponsors.

Courting Miss Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden

Harry Windover adores blonde, green-eyed Athena Lancaster, but alas, a penniless man like himself has no hope of winning a young noblewoman’s hand. To add insult to injury, Athena’s brother-in-law and guardian, the Duke of Kielder, has asked Harry to assist Athena in finding the gentleman of her dreams. But the lovesick Harry is cunning as well: as the weeks pass, he introduces Athena to suitors who are horrifically boring, alarmingly attached to their mothers, downright rude, astoundingly self-absorbed, and utterly ridiculous.

Athena can’t comprehend why she is having so little success meeting eligible and acceptable gentlemen. Indeed, her circle of admirers couldn’t be less admirable–nothing like the loyal, gentle friend she’s found in Harry. But how long can Harry’s scheme be hidden before it is discovered? And what will Athena do when she uncovers Harry’s deception?

Sarah M. Eden says of herself, “I’m not normal. I’m an author. I spend enormous amounts of time avoiding responsible things like cooking dinner and doing laundry and making vital phone calls. Instead, I fill my days with making up stories, talking to voices in my head, and laughing hysterically at my own wit. Like I said, I’m not normal.”

Sarah self-published several regency romances, which are now out-of-print and awaiting republication by a publishing company. Her book, Seeking Persephone, was a 2008 Whitney Award Finalist. Her story is also the lead in LDS Publisher’s Stolen Christmas and Other Stories of the Season.

The Sharp Edge of a Knife by D.N. Giles

Most people would have panicked, sitting bound and gagged on a boulder in the middle of the desert as I was, but for some reason, I didn’t. A strange kind of reassurance washed over me from somewhere deep within. Whether it was peace that I’d go quickly, or comfort that I was being protected, I wasn’t sure.

When Mel Petersen leaves for work on the morning of February 7, he has no idea what awaits him. A few miles from his house, Mel picks up a pair of young men who appear to be college students, hoping to prevent them from having to walk in the cold. What Mel doesn’t know is that the men are actually convicts on the run from the law who are desperate to get away by any means necessary.

When one of his passengers holds a knife to Mel’s throat, he has no choice but to submit to the demands of the criminals. Mel hopes he has what it takes to talk his captors into letting him live so he can return to his wife and children, but fears they will kill him before he has the chance.

D.N. Giles was born in Nevada, and moved with her parents to a number of cities in and around the Midwest, mostly staying in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and snatches of time in Texas. Her future aspirations include adding a tropical island to her growing list of locations. For now, she plans to travel to as many tropical locations as possible, scouting for her future home in paradise.

Her early career plans included becoming a megastar actress or a rock star, but she decided instead to have a family and then become a writer, in that order. Writing is her passion, but she also loves to spend time with her family, travel, drive in the rain with the convertible top down, and play music at full volume so she can sing along.

Her first book Mormon Mishaps and Mischief, an anthology of humorous anecdotes, was released in December 2009 by Cedar Fort Inc. and can be found online and wherever LDS books are sold. Some of her other work has been published in Highlights for Children, The Friend, and Boys’ Quest, and she blogs regularly at www.nicholegiles.blogspot.com. For more information about Nichole or her work, contact her at writenichole at gmail dot com.

CLICK HERE for details on how to win these books.

CLICK HERE for details on sponsoring the contest.

Better Than an Oscar!

So I, in my alter-identity, was catching up on a back-log in my Google Reader when I came across this:

Finding GOOD LDS Fiction…Enter, LDS Publisher

And, no. I didn’t have to pay her for that. I didn’t even know she was going to post about me.

(Thanks, Josi. You and all of your commenters are my new BFFs.)

New Feature: Recommended Reads

Announcing, LDS Publisher’s Recommended Reads!

(See sidebar, second item from top.)

dit…dot…dit…We interrupt this announcement with an important message…

After much consideration, I’ve decided to discontinue the LDS Fiction Review site.

I had the best of intentions when I started the review site but… I just don’t have time to review books and apparently my volunteer reviewers don’t either. It probably has something to do with the fact that I expect them to work for free—and I am a harsh and demanding task-master.

For those of you still anxiously awaiting a promised review, I have made arrangements for other reviewers at other sites to do those reviews—by the end of this month. (They’ve promised.)

I will notify you when the reviews are posted and add review post links to the LDS Fiction post for your book.

(Authors not waiting for my review may send me a link to ONE review and I will add that to your post.)

And now back to our announcement…dit…dot…dit…

Missing the LDS Fiction Reviews?

Never fear.

LDS Publisher’s Recommended Reads was developed just for you!

Every week, I’ll post images of books that IMNSHO are guaranteed to please.

Click HERE for more details.

Happy Reading!

P.S. Yes, you can still put ads in the sidebar, but they need to be 125 x 125.

AML Award Winners Announced

The Association for Mormon Letters (AML) just posted their awards for 2009.

Their fiction winners are:

Todd Robert Petersen for Rift

Novel Honorable Mention
Jamie Ford for Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Young Adult Literature
Carol Lynch Williams for The Chosen One

Click HERE for the full list.

FYI: The AML takes a more literary approach, while the Whitney awards (the winners will be announced in April) are more consumer driven.

If you’re wondering why your comment isn’t showing up…

Now that comments here have to be accepted before they display, I’m reading them before approving them.

Some of the comments coming in on the stories are just mean. Shame on you!

Critque is fine and you don’t have to like everything. It’s okay to point out weaknesses and things that didn’t work for you but I’m not going to put through comments that are cruel, calling stories “tripe” or writers “the most untalented hack I’ve ever read.”

Ain’t happenin’ here.

Ebooks: How LDS Publishers Are Doing it Wrong


Whether you’re a dyed-in-the-wool printed book person or a cutting-edge digital connoisseur, there is one truth that must be faced.

Ebooks are here to stay.

No, they’re not a fad.

Yes, they’ll change and morph. Various e-readers will go in and out of style. But they’re here.

Deal with it.


(I say that in the most respectful way possible, while yelling at my computer.)

In my opinion, here are a few mistakes that LDS publishers are making:

  • They don’t have their books available in any ebook format.
    I did a spot check from the 2009 LDS Fiction list and only about 1/4th of the titles I checked are available on Amazon as Kindle files. (None of my spot check books were available for Sony, the second largest ebook reader.) (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.)

    This is just—erm—dumb. It isn’t that hard to convert your press files to ebooks. Really. It’s an extra income stream with very little investment—and that income stream is only going to grow. It’s also a great way to keep your backlist titles available without reprinting.

  • They have (some) ebooks, but they’re exclusive to ONE reader.
    Why? I just don’t get that. The Nook is doing great sales, but it hasn’t surpassed the other two main readers yet. By giving them exclusivity to your titles, you’re limiting your readership. A lot. Maybe you were offered a sweeter deal for exclusivity, but IMHO, I just don’t think it will be worth it in the long run.
  • They have ebooks but they’re the same price as the print books.
    What?!? My jaw hit the floor when I saw this last week. No, no, no. You just can’t do that. Well, I guess you can if you want to, but I won’t be buying any of them.

    Ebooks should be $9.99 or less. (My vote is less because really, once you’ve created the file you have NO PRINT or STORAGE COSTS, NO RISK of having thousands of copies sitting in the warehouse that don’t sell.) (I wish I could link to an example but when I went back to Amazon, I couldn’t find it. If you know of an example, put the link in the comments section.)

Now that most of the readers make their software available FOR FREE for PCs, iPhones and other smart phones, even more readers will be purchasing ebooks.

Publishers need to join the 21st century and make their titles available to all readers.

Okay. Go ahead. Argue with me.

February 2010 LDSF Prize Sponsors

Last month’s prize winners announced HERE.

Please take a moment to learn more about our wonderfully generous sponsors.

Servant of a Dark God by John Brown

Young Talen lives in a world where the days of a person’s life can be harvested, bought, and stolen. Only the great Divines, who rule every land, and the human soul-eaters, dark ones who steal from man and beast and become twisted by their polluted draws, know the secrets of this power. This land’s Divine has gone missing and soul-eaters are found among Talen’s people.

The Clans muster a massive hunt, and Talen finds himself a target. Thinking his struggle is against both soul-eaters and their hunters, Talen actually has far larger problems. A being of awesome power has arisen, one whose diet consists of the days of man. Her Mothers once ranched human subjects like cattle. She has emerged to take back what is rightfully hers. Trapped in a web of lies and ancient secrets, Talen must struggle to identify his true enemy before the Mother finds the one whom she will transform into the lord of the human harvest.

John Brown is a novelist and prize-winning short story writer. This first book in his epic fantasy series was published October 2009 by Tor Books. It’s set in a world where beings of immense power ranch humans for their souls and is called Servant of a Dark God. Other forthcoming novels in the series include Curse of a Dark God, and Dark God’s Glory. He currently lives with his wife and four daughters in the hinterlands of Utah where one encounters much fresh air, many good-hearted ranchers, and an occasional wolf. Brown’s agent is Caitlin Blasdell of Liza Dawson Associates.

The Canticle Kingdom by Michael Young

It seemed like ages since Kate’s father went off to war, and she is eager to thank him for the beautiful German music box he sent for her birthday. But when it starts playing a strange, new melody and Kate vanishes into thin air, Captain Edison is willing to do anything to rescue his little girl.

When the Canticle Kingdom is attacked and the queen falls deathly ill, Joann, a young blacksmith’s apprentice, learns a terrible secret – the kingdom is contained entirely within a music box in another world.. With the help pf his friends, Johann races to bring aid from that other world in an effort to stop the dark power that threatens to destroy them all.

Enter a beautiful world full of magic, danger, loyalty, and bravery in The Canticle Kingdom, and discover that even the most ordinary objects and people might be hiding something truly wonderful inside.

Michael Young is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a degree in German Teaching and a minor in Music. He lives in Utah with his wife, Jen, and his son Jarem. Michael enjoys writing fiction, acting in community theater, and spend­ing time with his family. He played for several years with the handbell choir Bells on Temple Square and is now a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. You can reach Michael at thecanticlekingdom@gmail.com

CLICK HERE for details on how to win these books.

CLICK HERE for details on sponsoring the contest.

Revisiting Swearing

This question was in the comments for this post:

I do have a question, though, about swearing in LDS fiction. Maybe it’s because I now live in Australia where many members use the “milder” swear words, or maybe it’s that I’ve seen some of those words in a few books I bought from or seen sold in Deseret. But I’m curious as what words (if any) would pass the LDS censor?

I’m about 85% finished with my first novel and am hoping to market it to the LDS market as well, so I’d love to figure this one out.

I can’t really answer that because there is no “LDS censor”—at least, no single individual or committee or even guidelines. It will vary from publisher to publisher, and some publishers have different standards depending on the type or genre of book, or the imprint the book is published under.

I can live with the words used in the Bible (d—, h—) used judiciously and sparingly. If you have a few of those in your novel, and the publisher doesn’t approve, they’ll strike them out. (As I did with one of the stories in Stolen Christmas—it wasn’t really a swear word, but use of the name of deity in a way I felt would offend our target reader.)

My advice is do your research and read through what your publisher of choice is currently putting out. Are there any swear words in their latest releases? If so, feel free to use those words in your book. If not, clean it up. Or follow the adage, “when in doubt, leave it out.”

Personally and professionally, I like the suggestion of having your character “curse under his breath” or even something like, “she threw a string of curse words at me that would have made a sailor blush” or whatever. You get the idea.

(And to whichever Anon out there who wants me to be perfect. . . I know my example of the blushing sailor is cliché and I should come up with something really clever and unique but, y’know, I’m in a hurry and I do this for free and I’m behind on a deadline. Sorry.)

Help a Sista Out

Before we get too far into the year, I want to request some help for the LDS Fiction site.

I try really hard to track down new fiction releases by LDS authors but at the end of each year I find I’ve missed quite a few. So. . . help, please.

If you are an LDS author and you have a novel scheduled for release in 2010—let me know.


I’ll get you on the calendar on or near your release date.

Thanks so much!

Why I Like LDS Fiction

I already tweeted this, but I think it bears repeating and elaborating. Over the weekend, I read a book that was chosen as the January read for a book club I’m in. (No, I’m not telling you the book club and no, you can’t join. Start your own and maybe I’ll join that one too. Or maybe I’ll start the LDSP book club. . .)

Anyway, this was a national suspense. The author sells well. I was wary going in because I knew there’d be language and probably loose morals. I was right. Lots of language and a couple of pages I had to skip due to explicitness. I usually only give these books one chapter but it was chosen by a very close friend and I knew she’d ask me about it, so I read—or rather skimmed—the whole thing.

What a waste of my precious time!

First, it was completely predictable and LAME. There were none of the twists and turns that Stephanie Black is so good at.

The characterization was flat; no sassy and unique heroines like Josi Kilpack creates.

The plot was pretty straight forward—no loops and subplots like Betsy Brannon Green gives us.

We knew right up front who the good guys were, who the bad guys were, and pretty much how it was going to end. No red herrings like Gregg Luke throws in our path.

And unlike Traci Abramson, Lynn Gardner, Ronda Hinrichsen, Jennie Hansen, Tristi Pinkston, and most of the other LDS mystery/suspense writers, this woman kept me on edge—not in a good way—never knowing when I was going to have to skip a swear word or jump past a detailed sex scene. (Picture me shuddering over that.)

But the biggest outrage was when the hero says that he likes the heroine because she has morals—as proven by the fact that AFTER they were intimate (mere hours after they meet up), she is worried over the idea that he might be married or have a girlfriend.



So, a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to you LDS authors out there who write intriguing suspense without all the crud in it.

January 2010 LDSF Prize Sponsors

Last month’s prize winners announced HERE.

Please take a moment to learn more about our wonderfully generous sponsors.

The Pirate Slayers: Ghost Waves by W. Everett Prusso

In the winter of 1846, 238 pioneers leave New York City for a voyage that would take them twenty-six thousand miles around South America to Honolulu, and to their final destination, San Francisco.

On a warm, sultry, moonless night, off the coast of Brazil, four teenage passengers inadvertently fall overboard. Thomas, Elizabeth, Nicole and their Australian sailor friend, Matthew, find themselves stranded in dangerous waters.

The Caribbean Sea and South Pacific are the backdrops for this adventure that pits the foursome in desperate contests with pirates, profiteers and scoundrels as they swash-buckle their way to California.

W. Everett Prusso describes himself as an author, an adventurer, and an altruist. In addition to writing, he has explored the Yuba River, the Pacific Crest Trail, the islands of Hawaii, and traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Guam, Saipan, Hawaii more times than I can count, Belize, Mexico, St. John’s, St. Thomas, England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Russia and Italy. He’s flown over the North Pole, hovered over an active volcano and soared high above the north shore of Oahu. He is also starting a non-profit organization called Waipuna, to help provide clean drinking water to people all over the world.

Heroes of the Fallen by David J. West

Heroes of the Fallen is set after a golden age of peace, that lasted almost three hundred years. War is now coming to Zarahemla. Men beat their plowshares into swords or call vainly to pagan gods for answers, all the while forgetting that which could deliver them.

Stand alongside daring heroes with swords bared against sinister villains, never knowing which will fall—Captain Amaron and his Ten Scouts, Zelph the White Lamanite, or Anathoth the Ishmaelite General, agonizingly loyal to the despised King of Tullan—all must face the chillingly evil Gadianton Master Akish-Antum and his numerous followers.

Witness the plans of mighty kings and lowly thieves. See the dreams of Bethia, a prophet’s daughter, as she runs away from home seeking independence, only to find confusion and wickedness in a land of war.

Heroes of the Fallen is filled with tragedy and triumph. It echoes universal themes of mankind: fear and courage, faith versus doubt, hunger for power and love, and sacrifice for the greater good. Intensely researched for reality and fantastically dreamt up for imagination, Heroes of the Fallen is a literary work of art, presenting revolutionary viewpoints in a cross-genre’s ancient American landscape.

David J. West was born in Salt Lake City, Utah but has lived throughout the United States and briefly in Mexico. He has been writing stories since he learned to read and is an avid collector of books and swords.

He enjoys traveling, and visiting the many places he writes about. He lives in Utah with his wife and three children, each with more unusual names than his own.

CLICK HERE for details on how to win these books.

CLICK HERE for details on sponsoring the contest.

Vote for Your Favorite 2009 Book Covers

The covers are posted!

Click HERE to vote.

Thought you might like to know…

Update: Had last minute scheduling changes. Won’t be at my computer tomorrow. The book cover finalists are already posted in the sidebar but voting doesn’t go live until 7:00 a.m. tomorrow. Also set to go live at that time are posts with the images of the covers and voting instructions.

Wasn’t planning to post today but I got an email from Amazon.com and I wanted to try it out. This is so totally cool!!

If you blog using Blogger AND you have an Amazon Associates account (both of which are free), you can now do the Amazon links from within Blogger.

First you have to activate it HERE. It puts a little widget thingee next to your Post box.

Then you simply type in the title or whatever and highlight it.

For example, let’s say I’m talking about Stolen Christmas…easy peasy linky love.

or I can make it post an image for Stolen Christmas too.

The only downside that I can see is you have to use Blogger’s new stupid updated editor—which doesn’t give you as much control over things (like image manipulation) as the old editor did.

But still, you can easily switch back and forth between the two editors in your Settings panel faster than you can go to Amazon, find the product, create the link, etc.

Final verdict: It’s cool.

Where Are You? and other questions of the season…

Why haven’t you posted this week? Did you go on vacation without telling us?

What are you talking about? Huh? Wait a minute….

I believe you are hallucinating because I see two posts clearly labeled Monday and Tuesday.

My Christmas vaca officially starts this coming Friday. I’ll officially be back on January 3rd. However, I’ll be popping in occasionally to announce winners of the cover contest and other stuff. As time permits.

When are you doing that cover contest?

Well, uhm. Narrowing it down is harder than I thought it would be. But I’ll have them up and ready for voting on Friday, as promised.

How is Stolen Christmas doing?

Wonderfully! As of this morning, we’ve sold 224 paper copies and about a dozen electronic copies.

I just hopped over to Amazon, and Stolen Christmas is “frequently bought together” with The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck and A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity by Bill O’Reilly. Interesting.

Are you doing another Christmas book next year?

Definitely! We’ll be holding the contest in mid-summer, but start working on your stories now.

Any plans for another non-Christmas short story collection?

Absolutely. I’ll be officially announcing it at the beginning of the year, but if you want to get a head start, it will be a collection of stories written for teens but based on Book of Mormon characters, scenarios, etc.

Will you be posting tomorrow?

Probably not. That’s my only day to go finish my Christmas shopping. Sorry. But come back on Friday for the cover contest.

Amazon’s Best Book Covers of 2009

Amazon is doing “Vote for the Best Book Covers of 2009” contest HERE.

They’ve narrowed it down to ten covers and you vote for the one you like best. You get a chance to win a copy of the winning book.

Cool. What a great idea!

In fact, I think it’s such a cool idea, that I’m going to do it here.

I’m going to pick the Top 10 Covers of 2009 (IMHO) from this site.

Then you get to vote on your favorite—and get a chance to win the winner!

I’ll post the T0p 10 next Friday, so if you know of a fiction title by an LDS author that’s come out this year, and it’s not on LDS Fiction, send me an e-mail ASAP so I can consider it for the contest.

Follow Your Bliss

This may or may not be a question you can use — maybe I just need to talk to somebody who might understand. But I think I’m stuck.

I want to write a book, an LDS book, but I can’t seem to come up with a plot that I like. In fact, except for the boringly standard “girl meets boy,” I can’t seem to come up with any plot at all. It’s like my brain has shut down. I only have some ideas for a background and maybe a character or two, but whenever I try to think of a plot, nothing comes out, and I mean, nothing. I’ve tried to brainstorm a few times, but I usually only come up with a load of questions that I can’t answer, or it’s all background and no action, and above all, no resolution. I’ve tried letting everything percolate in the back of my brain, hoping for a spark that will set it all off, but so far, nothing.

Am I trying too hard, putting too much pressure on myself, or maybe not trying hard enough?

Am I limiting myself unnecessarily by saying, “I really don’t want to write a romance?” I mean, I wouldn’t mind if a touch of romance was a by-product of the main plot, but that main plot just isn’t making itself known.

[A friend] once told me I should take the characters and situation from [my story] and make a book out of it. I’ve been trying, but I just can’t seem to get ideas to expand the story into a full-length novel.

Do you have any suggestions as to what I could do to help myself come up with an idea that I really want to work with?

Thanks for listening to me whine, anyway. I know you must be horrendously busy, so I’ll understand if you can’t reply right away.

I am horrendously busy, but that’s not why it’s taken me so long to answer this question. It got lost. I found it just now as I was tidying up my email account. Soooo sorry.

Yes, you’re trying to hard. Give yourself a break for a bit. Do writing exercises and prompts until an idea strikes, then go for it!

If you don’t want to write a romance, don’t write a romance. Just because they sell well in the LDS market doesn’t mean they’re the only thing that’s selling. Fantasy is selling well. So are mysteries and historicals.

Sometimes a short story is just a short story. Maybe there’s nothing more to it. Or maybe it needs to percolate a bit longer.

Find a story line that excites you, that you’re enthused about. That’s what you should be writing—not what you think the market expects. If you aren’t excited about your story, no one else will be excited about it either. You have to follow your bliss.