Thursday, November 19, 2015

Banished by Christy Monson

Banished Author Interview 
by Christy Monson

I was born in Medford, Oregon, but I now live in Ogden, Utah.

I love writing. It's my way to relax, escape from the stresses of daily life, and put the things I'm passionate about down on paper.

While I was working as a Marriage and Family Therapist, I had two Native American boys come for counseling. I suggested that they write a story about their culture. They began their narratives and told me that if they had to write a story, I should write one also. Long after the boys finished their counseling and their anecdotes, I was still working on mine. Dre (the main character) and I have been companions ever since.

I finished this manuscript about seven years ago and couldn't decide what to do with it. After it won 2nd Place in the Utah Arts Council Writing Contest, Children's Division I put it on the shelf because I was asked to complete several self help books on women's issues, children who have difficult life events, and family communication.

At the League of Utah Writer's Conference one September a couple of years ago, someone handed out applications for the Marilyn Brown Writing Contest at Utah Valley University. On a whim, I sent Banished in. It won first place, so I decided I had left it on the shelf long enough. It is available now on Amazon.

Back Cover:

Dre has waited twelve summers to become a man, but the chief banishes his uncle, his mother, and even Dre himself. Thrust into the desert, he struggles to protect himself and his mother from his drug-addicted uncle—and certain death in the barren land.

With only a golden eagle to guide him, Dre battles to find a source of food and water. Abuse from his uncle and trouble with a neighboring clan could destroy his chance for survival and keep him from finding his place in the world.  Dre must learn what real manhood is if he hopes to survive in the harsh environment.

Praise for Banished:

"Monson well deserves the title of storyteller, for she has truly captured the music echoing from Hopi tradition and culture." Marilyn Brown Award
Utah Valley University Marilyn Brown Award, 1st Place Winner
Utah Arts Council, 2nd Place Winner

About the Author: 

Christy Monson loves a good story—especially historical fiction. She established a successful counseling practice in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her books, Love, Hugs, and Hope: When Scary Things Happen and Becoming Free: A Woman's Guide To Internal Strength are published by Familius. Texting Through Time, A Trek with Brigham Young, and Texting Through Time, John Taylor and the Mystery Puzzle are published by Cedar Fort.

Links to buy Banished:

Click here to buy  Banished.  Available on Kindle or in paperback.

Free download November 20-22.

Congrats to Christy, my writing buddy.

Linda Garner

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Celebrating Connections

 “You know what music is?”  “Gods little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe, a harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere, even the stars.”

That quote came from the movie August Rush.  I love the thought of harmonic connections. 

I love the thought of connecting to the universe in musical ways.  I find delight in the rhythm of the planets and the seasons, the harmony of nature, the melody of sun and stars and moons. I enjoy connecting with wind rain, and sky.

I embrace the thought that there is a harmonic connection between all living beings everywhere.

I love connections.  I celebrate them.

We are connected you and I.  We are connected by the rhythm and motion of the universe.   We are connected by our humanness.  We are connected by our sameness as well as our differences. 

We are connected by our desire to make the world a better place, to reach out and touch hearts.  We are connected by our sorrows and our joys.

We speak the language of the heart.  We celebrate the chance to make a difference. We share our thoughts, our hopes, and our humanness.  We reach out.  We share our triumphs and our disappointments.  We share quietly. We share boldly.

Join the Celebration.  It’s a celebration of life, of love, of joy, and of…connections.  Take a risk.  Connect.  Become part of something bigger than yourself.

Take your place.  You belong.  Join in.  Join the Song.  We’ve been expecting you.

Welcome to a place Where Love is Deep.

Linda Garner

Friday, September 18, 2015

Join the Celebration!

I've been a little out of touch for the past six months due to my love of music and my love of children. I work with an amazing group of young musicians, my own students and the students of other teachers.  These teachers are incredible and together we're doing something extraordinary.  

The whole bunch of us have very busy preparing for an amazing set of concerts.  The harp concert was last week.  Sorry if you missed it. tonight (Sept 18) there will be a Five Piano Concert in the Conference Center Theater at 7:00.  

Tickets can be purchased through the Conference Center Ticket Office to print at home.  If you print the tickets are only $8.  At the door, tickets are $15.

We have students of all ages in our five piano concert.  The youngest are 4 years old and the oldest are 18, with all ages in between.  The music ranges from folk songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to Bach, Bartok and Chopin.
Tomorrow (Sept 19) will be a most unsual concert with over 1300 participants on 9 different instruments.  This concert begins at 7:00 in the Conference Center auditorium and will be a night to remember.

Your $8 ticket gets you into both events.  You don't want to miss this beautiful once-every-five-years Celebration.  This one is Celebration IX and the theme is Where Love is Deep.

To buy tickets click here.  To listen to an interview with Nkoyo Iyamba, about the concerts click here.  

I'd love to see you tonight!  Come join the Celebration.  You'll never forget it.  

Linda Garner

Monday, April 27, 2015

Crooked House Blog Tour

 Someone is trying to kill Liz Johnson and it’s up to quirky private investigator, Erica Coleman, to find out who. Erica is no stranger to murder and mystery, which is why her best friend’s daughter, Megan, turns to her when unaccountable and potentially fatal “accidents” threaten her roommate’s life.

Once Erica arrives at the ramshackle old mansion known as Crooked House, matters go from disturbing to deadly as it becomes clear someone is trying to kill Liz.  As Erica begins to unearth secrets, she discovers a twisted web of love, money, greed, and deception. Although the police and friends sometimes find 

Erica’s OCD annoying, its those very traits that help her sift through evidence and see clues that others miss. Erica must draw upon her all her investigative prowess to keep Liz safe and unmask the killer before he can accomplish his deadly objective.

 With a dash of romance and surprising twists, this thrilling mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. As with all Erica Coleman mysteries, ten delicious recipes are included. 

Excerpt from Crooked House
“I’m scared.”

Erica’s heart turned over when she heard the quaver in her young friend’s voice on the phone.
Then Megan asked, “Can you come?”

 “Of course.” Erica’s reply was automatic. She would do anything she could to help. Although she often received emotionally-laden phone calls in her job as a private investigator, there was a difference when the call came from the teen-aged daughter of her best friend. The very fact that Megan—who was usually so calm and composed—sounded frightened out of her wits, put Erica on high alert.
“I think someone’s trying to kill my roommate, Liz,” Megan said.
“What makes you think that?”  Erica asked. “Has someone threatened her?”
“No, but Liz has had a couple of serious accidents lately—at least she says they’re accidents, but either one of them could have killed her.”
Erica made an effort to reel in her skepticism. “Tell me about them.”
“First, someone tampered with her car. The brakes went out and Liz ended up driving across someone’s yard and hitting a tree. Fortunately, she was okay. The second one happened downtown. Liz was on the sidewalk waiting for the bus when someone shoved her. She fell into the road. A truck was coming and if a guy hadn’t pulled her back, Liz could have been killed.”
Still, they could have been accidents, Erica thought, at least until the third one occurred—this time at Crooked House.

About the Author
Marlene Bateman was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan.  Her hobbies include gardening, camping, reading, and enjoying her four cats and three dogs. 

Marlene’s first novel was the best-selling Light on Fire Island. Her next novel was Motive for Murder—the first in a mystery series that features Erica Coleman, a quirky private eye with OCD.  The next book in that line, (they do not have to be read in order) is A Death in the Family.

Marlene has also written a number of LDS non-fiction books under the name Marlene Bateman Sullivan. Those books include:  Gaze Into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, which is a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences from the lives of early latter-day Saints, Heroes of Faith, and Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines.  Marlene also wrote three books about documented accounts in early LDS church history when a person either saw or heard an angel; Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, And There Were Angels Among Them, and By the Ministering of Angels.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I'm Not Like You

I could see the hurt behind her eyes the minute the words were out of my mouth, but I could not recall them.  I wanted to, but I could not find the words.  They were stuck in my throat.

“I’m not like you,” I had said.

Even if I could have taken them back, I don’t think she would have believed me.  The damage was already done.

I had meant the words.  I suppose that’s why I couldn’t unsay them.

“I don’t think I’ll be the same kind of parent that you were,” I had also said.

We were having a discussion on parenting.  I was home from college for the weekend.  I was studying Child Development and Family Relations as part of my Early Childhood Education major.   I loved what I was learning. 

“It’s not that you did anything wrong…”  I tried to soften the blow.  “It’s just that we’re two different people.”

She gave me that look.  The look that said “You think you know everything.”
I suppose I did think that.  My Mom wasn’t perfect and I knew it.  I saw her flaws and I wanted to be different.   I didn’t want to repeat her mistakes.

“You’ll be surprised,” she said.   “You’ll be surprised to find out how much you are like me.”  It’s all the ammunition she had.

She was right about that, though I didn’t see it at first.

After the parenting classes, the real parenting began, and I was surprised at how often I opened my mouth and heard my mother’s voice come out.   I found myself repeating  her words, her methods.  I tweaked her methods some, but less than I had planned.
As I get older, I often see her in my mirror and I notice that I mirror her in other ways.   She passed her love of writing on to me and her love for music.  Like her, I love to make a difference, hate injustice, and often bite off more than I can chew.

I no longer question her parenting methods because I know that she did the best she could and loved me more than anyone else ever could.  Those are the first two laws of parenting.
Today is her birthday, and though I can no longer visit her, I can remember her with gratitude and hope that she is happy with the woman I have become. 

I hope she smiles when she sees that I am like her after all.

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Mom.

Linda Garner

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Is Work a Dirty Word in you House?

Are you fun to do chores with? 

Are you too stern? 

Too Critical? 

Is work a dirty word in your house?

Your attitude about chores will influence your child.

If you can enjoy the process and appreciate your child’s efforts, your child will absorb your positive attitude.  If you are impatient and critical your child will absorb your negativity.  If you resent the time spent teaching your child how to do chores, your child may become resistant.

Being positive about work may not solve all your problems, but it will go a long way to creating an atmosphere where working together feels good.

Children don’t learn from criticism.  No one enjoys being criticized.  Criticism makes people feel bad.  Encouragement feels so much better.

Of course you will need to make corrections, but choose your words carefully. Careless words are hard to recall and can damage tender feelings.

Sincere praise can go a long way to making work more enjoyable.  Can praise be overdone?  Maybe, but I doubt it.  Not if it’s meaningful. When I notice that a child is not really doing their part, I swallow my criticism and look for something to praise.

I’m not perfect at this, but when I do it right, it makes all the difference.

It sounds like this:  I noticed that you worked really hard on the sink.  I noticed that you swept the floor without being reminded.  I noticed that you cleaned up after yourself. “I noticed” is a powerful way to start this game, which is really a form of validation.

We need our children to help around the house.  They need to feel validated.  They need to feel needed.  You can validate by noticing and appreciating their efforts, even when their efforts are less than perfect.

Don’t underestimate the value of teaching children to work.  Begin early and be persistent.  Kids who know how to work have an advantage over kids who don’t.

Linda Garner