Thursday, February 25, 2010

January Contest

I've finally wrapped up all the giveaways for January's Beat the Blah's contest.
Thank you very much to all the authors who generously donated their books and to all of you who entered and made it such a fun contest. It helped me through the worst morning sickness I've ever had!
Please let me know if you won a book and haven't received it yet.
Monday, February 22, 2010

Love Your Body Book Tour

Are you tired of dieting and feeling unsatisfied with your appearance? In this book, registered dietitian Brooke Parker shares secrets for developing a positive body image and creating your own customized eating plan. You'll also learn how to replace negative thoughts about yourself with positive, motivating thoughts.
With the tools you master in Love Your Body, the scale, the media, and your skinny jeans will no longer have the power to determine your mood or your life!
Topics include:
€ Finding a New Relationship with Food
€ Honoring Your Hunger and Fullness
€ Finding Your Own Healthy Balance
€ Creating Healthy Expectations
€ The Inner Dialogue
€ Put an End to Worry
€ Your Body Is a Gift
€ Eliminating the Physical Triggers
€ Destructive Thinking Styles
€ Pampering Activities
. . . and many more.
Join the blog tour:
February 22 Valerie Ipson
February 23 Nichole Giles
February 24 Danyelle Ferguson
February 25 Rachelle Christensen
March 1 Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen
March 2 Alison Palmer
March 3 Tristi Pinkston
March 4 Sheila Stayley
March 5 Cami Checketts
We will be giving away 5 copies of Love Your Body: A Diet-Free Approach to Balanced Eating as part of the online book book tour. The contest will close on March 5th at midnight, MST.
Entering the contest is easy--all you have to do is blog, tweet, follow, or comment about the book or blog review then fill out the form here.
1. Become a follower of our reviewers blogs. You can follow one of our reviewers or you can follow all of them. Remember that each blog you follow gives you another chance to win, so why wouldn't you choose to follow them all? But what if you are already following them you ask? Well lucky you because you get an entry for that too.
2. Post a comment on the reviews.
3. Blog about the contest or one of the reviews. Spread the word. Just remember that the blog post either needs to link to the contest or to one of the reviews.
4. Tweet about the contest or one (or all) of the reviews. Yep, 144 characters or less is all it takes to enter.
5. Follow us on twitter. Maybe you use twitter, maybe you don't. But if you do, you should follow us.
6. Post about the contest on Facebook.
7. Become a fan of Love Your Body on facebook.Brooke is constantly updating her fanpage with articles, recipes, and helpful hints.
8. Anything else you can think of that will spread the word. If you mention it on goodreads, shelfari, google buzz, or any other social media site, or make it your status on gmail chat, MSN or yahoo messenger let us know. We want to reward your creativity with an entry.
Here's that nifty little form again that you need to fill out to be entered, here.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Enjoying Reading

When was the last time you enjoyed reading a novel? Authors are taught to analyze each book they read. While this is a great exercise for improving writing, it really puts a damper on the enjoyment factor. I know a book is amazing if I forget to pick it apart. That makes me a little sad.
An aspiring writer said to me today, "I love reading all kinds of books and instead of looking for what is wrong, appreciating the different way each author tells a story." I love that. From now on I'm going to try to not be so critical of what I read. I'm going to enjoy reading and appreciate all the different flavors of stories.
Monday, February 15, 2010

Book Spotlight - Embracing Your Freedom

While our culture places great emphasis on comfort, security, control, and success, there are deeper rewards for those who take hold of God’s promises and reach out in the Name of Christ. Adventure, faith, miracles, and a deep knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is what Susie calls her readers to realize.
Many women feel stuck in their faith. They are bored living in a Christian bubble and long for the greater adventure of significance God designed for them! But just how do we move past our fears and the lies that keep us bound to our past? And are we really called to change the world? Embracing Your Freedom will give you a deeper understanding of your freedom in Christ and a bigger view of God's heart for the world.
“As you become more aware of God's heart for freedom, your heart will burn for it as well. If you will dare to put your foot down on the promises of God and refuse to relent until freedom becomes your reality, your appetite for the freedoms of others will increase as well. Take seriously what God has offered you here, because as a Believer living in this day, you are in a powerful position of influence." --Embracing Your Freedom
Ask Susie about her conviction for women, and she'll tell you, "The two pillars in my ministry, the two things I care most about are for women to be drawn into a 'deeper life in Christ' that they might live more 'powerful lives on earth.' When we pursue a thriving, personal, intimate walk of faith, we can't help but be compelled to make a difference in our world." With enthusiasm, humor, and conviction, author/speaker Susie Larson has spoken to thousands of women locally, nationally, and internationally. She is a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Women in Christian Media, and has served on the board of directors for the Christian Authors Network. Susie also regularly fills in as guest host for Along the Way - a two-hour talk radio show (AM Faith 900). Susie worked as a freelance writer for Focus on the Family, and published over fifty articles with them. She has been featured on radio and TV programs across the country, including Moody Midday Connection, Family Life Today, Chris Fabry Live!, The Harvest Show, and the LIFE Today Show with James and Betty Robison.
While in Washington D.C., Susie and her husband Kevin, along with Troy and Sara Groves, represented International Justice Mission's*concerns in meetings with Congress as part of their efforts to abolish and prevent human trafficking and slavery. The four of them serve as co-chairs for the IJM benefit banquet in Minnesota. Susie and her husband Kevin have been married since 1985 and have three wonderful, grown sons. Susie comes with a passion to share the love of a Savior who will never let us go. Susie's messages will help you to:
Cultivate a more personal and thriving relationship with Jesus
Understand God's promises and be more bold in your faith
Understand your value and the important call on your life
Comprehend God's heart for the least-of-these.
*IJM, among other things, rescues young girls from the horrific life of human trafficking. (visit )

Winner - A Tapestry of Spells

Darcee Yates is the winner of A Tapestry of Spells by Lynn Kurland. Congrats Darcee!
Just wanted to remind you all of the contests that are still open:
Torn Apart by Diony George - closes tomorrow, so hurry and enter.
The Pigpen by Kevin Krogh
All the Stars in Heaven by Michele Paige Holmes
Love Your Body by Brooke Parker-I'm reading this for a review right now. I must tell you that Brooke is already changing my relationship with food. This will be a book I will read over and over again (because food and I really don't have a great relationship).
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Book Review - First Family by David Baldacci

It began with what seemed like an ordinary children’s birthday party. Friends and family gathered to celebrate. There were balloons and cake, games and gifts.
This party, however, was far from ordinary. It was held at Camp David, the presidential retreat. And it ended with a daring kidnapping... which immediately turned into a national security nightmare.
Sean King and Michelle Maxwell were not looking to become involved. As former Secret Service agents turned private investigators, they had no reason to be. The FBI doesn’t want them interfering. But years ago, Sean King saved the First Lady’s husband, then a senator, from political disaster. Now, Sean is the one person the First Lady trusts, and she presses Sean and Michelle into the desperate search to rescue the kidnapped child.
With Michelle still battling her own demons, and forces aligned on all sides against them, the two are pushed to the absolute limit. In the race to save an innocent victim, the line between friend and foe will become impossible to define... or defend.
David Baldacci does an amazing job of weaving intriguing and disturbing characters with an unreal plot. (And I mean unreal in the most complimentary way.) I wish I could discuss the book fully with you, but I would hate to give any of it away. Let's just say that I had a hard time putting it down. My three-year old actually yelled at me, "I don't like that book. Put it down and play with me."
I would highly recommend any of Baldacci's books. He's an amazing storyteller.
Rating: PG-13 for violence and mild language.


Yesterday was a miserable day. A woman told me I looked "awful." She was grateful I was pregnant so I had a reason for how terrible I looked. Then I got a nasty review on one of my books. Add that to pregnancy sickness and winter blahs and I was truly depressed.
Then I realized that no one can keep me from being happy if I choose to be. Marjorie Hinckley once said, "I can choose to be miserable or happy. I choose happy."
I also choose happy. I choose to put a smile on my face and realize that I have many, many blessings and no matter what anyone says or does - Cami Checketts is going to be happy.
You may wonder what this has to do with books or writing. I've known writers who've let depression or a bad review crash their writing and ruin their creative spirit. No matter what your goals or dreams - Don't let anyone or anything hold you down.
As the cute boy at the grocery store tells me every week, "Make it a great day."
Monday, February 8, 2010

Book Review - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I recently read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
My first impression - A bit annoyed with the style of the book. The entire story is letters written between the characters. I felt like it was the ultimate in telling instead of showing.
Why I kept reading - Many people had recommended the book and I really enjoyed the spunk of Juliet, the main character.
When did I fall in love with the book - About halfway through. The characters were delightful. And even though I didn't love the letter-style, the authors did an amazing job of making it a great story even though you weren't "living in the moment."
I never felt like I couldn't set the story down and walk away, but I did adore the characters and learning about Guernsey and I cheered at the end.
I believe everyone should read this book. It is touching and taught me many things.
Thursday, February 4, 2010

Title Help?

I'm in need of some serious help, my friends. I hate titling my books and my latest is giving me grief. Any of you willing to provide an opinion?
Book Blurb:
Intent on freeing the children, Nathan Christensen fights against the billion-dollar human trafficking industry. He won’t give up until they kill him, again.
Cassidy Christensen is oblivious to the evil surrounding her, she’s more concerned about winning the lousiest prize imaginable−an entry into the St. George Marathon. Two thugs searching for her dead father, ridiculing family members, and her nemesis, Hot Redhead, are intent on keeping her from more than the finish line.
Title Options:
Dead Last
Racing Shadows
Dead Running
Girl on the Run
Run, Girl, Run
Don't Stop Running
Running Without Hope
Running Without A Chance
Any other ideas would be very much appreciated. Thanks,

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