Jul 192012

Adam Sidwell, author of the fun new middle-grade book, EVERTASTER, is in Utah this weekend for two book signing events. The first is July 20, this Friday night at The Chocolate Dessert Cafe in West Jordan from 5 to 8 PM. Desserts are 10% off with the purchase of a book.

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The second signing will be Saturday morning at the Provo Farmers Market from 9 AM to 2 PM at the Waffle Love Truck, which sounds like a delicious way to start the day. Purchase a copy of EVERTASTER and get a free waffle topping.

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Book signings and yummy food – don’t miss it!


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Oct 102011

Starting LDS Women’s Book Review is the best thing I have ever done.

Okay, ONE of the best things. (Sorry, honey. :))

I’ll tell you why.

This is THE BEST writing community anywhere.

When LDSWBR first came to be almost 6 years ago, we were unaware of the amazing talent we would find, the awesome writers that would become good friends, and the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that would be ours.

An early LDSWBR logo. Ugh, I know.

Our star-struck awe upon first meeting authors a few years ago has matured into warm friendships and admiration for people who have worked hard and pursued their dreams of being published. Camaraderie is instantly formed with other book bloggers at socials and signings based on our common love of the written word. Nowhere else in my life have I encountered such easy acceptance and friendly encouragement as I have in this writing/reading community. Okay, almost nowhere. (Again, sorry, honey.)

The two writing conferences I have attended each year, as well as the book launches and signings sprinkled in between, recharge my soul in ways not much else can. I look forward to LDS Storymakers Conference and the Book Academy almost as much as I do Christmas. Book launches and author signings are like mini reunions that get me through until the next conference.

Last Thursday, October 6, was packed full of bookish goodness. Not only was it my 2nd Book Academy, but I was also able to attend the book launch for Robison WellsVariant at The King’s English.

The Book Academy

The Keynote was given by Dan Wells, author of the I Am Not a Serial Killer series, who was as brilliant and clever as ever. The Wells’ brothers have always amazed and entertained me with their quick-witted senses of humor, so a double dose of the Wells’ brothers guarantees a good day. Dan guided the audience through a brainstorming session before issuing the challenge to come up with five new story ideas every day until it becomes second nature to find inspiration everywhere.

SIDENOTE: If you want to hear a sample of the Wells’ brothers brainstorming in action, listen to their presentation from the Teen Writers’ Conference here.

The first session I attended was Gregg Luke’s class on “Character and Dialogue Development.” Gregg gave great advice on point-of-view, moving the story forward, knowing your antagonist as well as your protagonist, and how to include backstory without info dumping. He even gave examples of what he taught from each of his recent novels. I really needed this class.

Sarah M. Eden’s “Unfunny Class on Being Funny” was the second session I attended, mainly for the clips and funny stories about the hilarious comments her kids make. Okay, mainly because I need all the help I can get when it comes to funny, though the clips and comments from her kids were a definite bonus.

I was glad to see that for lunch they were serving the same chicken and salad from last year because it was really good. Also, what kind of cake was that? Yum.

The best part of lunch, though, was sitting at the cool table: Krista Jensen, Sarah Eden, Angela Eschler, Julie Coulter Bellon, a girl named Cammie that I didn’t know but looked pretty cool, and ME. Yep, I was sitting with all of those oh-so-cool people. It was awesome.

My third class was Angela Eschler’s “Self-Editing to Woo an Agent or Editor.” I’m not anywhere near wooing an agent or editor, but as a book reviewer and aspiring author I found the information in Angela’s class invaluable. This woman is brilliant. Others have heard me say this before but I’ll say it again: I want to be Angela when I grow up.

My last session of the day was “Chemistry 101: Turning up the Heat in Romance without Crossing into the Fire Zone” by Michele Paige Holmes. I was delighted to discover at least four men attending this class. I’ve read a lot of good romances and I’ve read almost as many bad ones. Romance is hard to write. If you don’t believe that, do what romance authors say and go ahead and write one. I dare you.

I am always a little sad when a writing conference is over, but that is tempered by the excitement and inspiration I feel about starting back in on my work-in-progress. All seven pages of it. So far. All in all, it was a great conference.

Variant Book Launch

After the Book Academy I drove back to Salt Lake to The King’s English for the launch party for Robison Wells’ Variant.

Rob was the first author I approached about LDSWBR. He was also the first author we ever had on the podcast. I had read and loved his book Wake Me When It’s Over and found out he was signing books at a nearby book store. I decided to go introduce myself and let him know we had reviewed his book on the podcast.

Oh, man, was I nervous.

July 7, 2006

I didn’t need to be. Both Rob and his wife were friendly and gracious. He signed my book and the rest is history. Thanks to our association with Rob, we have been able to podcast at each Whitney Award Gala, and when he asked us to present an award for the first time you’d have thought we just won a million dollars. Though, after all his hard work with the Whitney Awards and everything else, it’s Rob who deserves a million dollars.

We couldn’t be happier for Rob and his family with the release of Variant and the news of his three book deal with HarperCollins.

Congratulations, Rob! October 6, 2011: Variant launch party.

Here are more pictures from the Variant launch party, including one I stole from Krista Jensen’s blog:

Ally Condie, Nichole Giles, Elana Johnson, Brodi Ashton, and me with our copies of Variant.

Annette Lyon, me, and Michele Paige Holmes. Love these ladies.

Sarah Eden, Margot Hovley, Krista Jensen, and... me. Love these ladies, too!

Heather (H.B.) Moore, me again, and Crystal Liechty. Great to see both of them again!

Jessica Day George, Mindy, Mindy's oldest daughter, and you-know-who. Seeing Jessica always makes me happy. (Seeing Mindy makes me happy, too, of course!)

The pilfered photo of Jeff (J. Scott) Savage, me, and Krista Jensen, taken by Jeff's sweet wife.

There were so many people there to support Rob and his new book.

Support, friendship, fun, acceptance and a whole lot of book love.

This really is the best writing community anywhere.

Wouldn’t you agree?


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Sep 182011


In honor of the Sept. 27 release of SLAYERS by CJ Hill, Janette Rallison is giving away a book a day until it’s released. Visit http://cjhillbooks.blogspot.com/ for your chance to win!

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Apr 142010

While at the Valor Publishing Book Launch in March, we ran into authors Aubrey Mace and Jessica Day George, who had come to show their support. We took the opportunity in Episode 42 Part 3 to talk to them about what they’ve been working on and they were more than willing accommodate us. Aubrey and Jessica are sweet and funny ladies. You won’t want to miss this one!

Listen to Episode 42 Part 3 here, or find us in iTunes and subscribe to the podcast.

We have pictures, of course, including one with author Dan Willis :). Thanks Aubrey and Jessica!

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Apr 142010
In Part 2 of Episode 42, we take some time to speak with Candace E. Salima, President of the Valor Publishing Group. Candace shared with us the how and why behind Valor Publishing, as well as some big things that will be happening for Valor Publishing in the near future. Candace had great things to say about the new authors at the March Book Launch, as well as those who have helped make Valor a success. Visit Valor Publishing at www.valorpublishinggroup.com for more information.

You can listen to Episode 42 Part 2 on the LDS Women’s Book Review Podcast website as well as in iTunes.

Here are some more photos taken at the Valor Publishing Book Launch on March 16, 2010:

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Apr 142010
In Episode 42 Part 1, LDSWBR was able to interview each of the five authors whose books were released at the Valor Publishing Book Launch in March. Listen to what Michele Ashman Bell (Summer in Paris), Daron Fraley (The Thorn), Kimberly Job (I’ll Know You by Heart), Tristi Pinkston (Secret Sisters) and Karen Hoover (The Sapphire Flute) have to say about their new books published by Valor Publishing. As a bonus, you’ll also hear Karen Hoover playing her own sapphire flute in a beautiful performance.
Visit Valor Publishing’s website: www.valorpublishinggroup.com for more information.

Visit the LDS Women’s Book Review Podcast website to listen to Episode 42 Part 1, or find us in iTunes to subscribe to the podcast.
Here are some photos from the Valor Publishing Book Launch on March 16, 2010. It was a little bit crazy and a whole lot of fun. Congratulations to each of these authors, and we wish you continued success. We’ll definitely be at the next Valor Book Launch- we wouldn’t miss it!

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