Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Open Fire J. Golden Kimball Takes on the South is a debut novel by Scott M. Hurst. In this fast paced story filled with holy high jinks and missionary mayhem, J. Golden Kimball squares off with his characteristic cowboy sense of humor against everything from spiteful preachers to the threat of death at the hands of the terrible Ku Klux Klan. Join Golden as he takes on the South in these unbelievable but true stories.

The author has captured the spirit, humor, and voice of this colorful character in Mormon history. This fast-paced missionary tale is full of suspense, wit and wisdom that will keep the whole family laughing. Everyone will identify with J. Golden’s humility and lack of pride. At times he surprises himself with his ability to solve a problem that he thinks is unsolvable. As a reader, that’s something we all wish for ourselves.
Hats off to the author! This is a great read!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sudden Darkness

I have a dear friend that has just published her first novel. It is a great read, and I think her wonderful persona comes through in her writing. I did an interview with her this week, and here's the result. Enjoy the book!

Margot Hovley’s debut novel, Sudden Darkness, is a gripping story of a young girl, Amélie, caught in a world of terror and uncertainty. Since radiation is leaking from a nearby nuclear plant, Amélie, her immediate family, and her church family must walk to Utah from their home in Zillah, Washington. Not only is there physical danger lurking at every turn in the road, but personal struggle awaits— Amélie may lose her heart.
Margot says she had two ideas come together for her to create this book. She has always been fascinated with the idea of a trek. What would that be like? How would characters react to such an arduous task? Then one day, as she walked down the street, listening to Ryan Shupe, she knew the character in this book had to be drawn to people with talent. As these ideas formulated themselves in her mind, she wrote a short story about real versus fake.
The story grew into a novel-length chronicle when a friend, who did safety inspections for military installations, came to visit. He knew all about E M P, and as he told of his experiences, Margot began to write.
She finished the novel in about a year. The process from submission to publication took another two and a half years. She says she never guess the process from idea to publication would take so long.
This novel is not biographical, but she used a lot of situations from her early life in Washington to create a touch of reality in the book. There are even a few inside family jokes hidden in the plot that most of us will never find.
This well crafted, fast-paced novel will delight young and old alike, as they follow this tender story of personal determination to overcome physical challenges, heart-felt dilemmas, and societal trauma. The reader will relish the conflict and savor victory in the midst of defeat for a young girl and her stake in their modern day pioneer trek. Five stars, Margot! Great read!
Follow Margaret’s writing on her blog.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Throwing a Fit

My grandson can do 7 chin ups.  Is that right? Did he say chin ups or pull ups?  They’re probably not the same thing.  Either way, I am impressed because I cannot do even one chin up or pull up.  I tried once.  It was embarassing.
I exercise.  I walk.  I ride my bike.  I jump on the trampoline.  Sometimes I do yoga.  Still I’m not as fit as I’d like to be.  My muscles are a little flabby.
I’ve decided to work harder at the exercises I 'm really good at.  I’ve made a list.
1.        Jumping to conclusions
2.       Beating around the bush
3.       Stretching the truth
4.       Running around in circles
5.    Throwing a Fit.
6.       Pushing myself away from the table ( Still working on this one.)
7.       Pulling your leg
With a little effort, maybe I'll get those muscles in shape.  Or not.  What's your favorite exercise?
Linda Garner

Monday, October 22, 2012

I spent this week getting a blog tour organized and learning what a Book Blast or Book Bomb is. I had never even heard of a Blast or a Bomb before. Okay, here's what is it. I'm saying this for me, not for you because you probably already know what it is. You have a special day you ask everyone to buy your book on Amazon.com and then you sell enough books to make your rating go up.

Now, don't ask me about ratings on Amazon, because I don't know about them. But the publisher said I should do the Blowing up-thing so I will. Sometimes I feel like a complete noncom because I don't know these things. I'm trying to learn.

Sometimes I wish we didn't have to have ratings and be competetive. I like to enjoy everyone's work and read everyone's book. Everyone is different and I wish we could apprecaite each other for the gook in all of us, rather than have to find the best or be the best.

Anyway, that's my soap box for today. It's nice just knowing all of you are there, and I can say I don't know about something and you and I can laugh about it together.

I send beautiful autumn greetings to all of you. The earth is so beautiful right now. I do love it. Have a great week!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Autumn Haiku

Years ago, I wrote an autumn haiku.

     In early autumn,
     Color creeps ‘cross the mountain
     Crimson, orange, gold

Three lines, seventeen syllables. Line one, five syllables; line two, seven; line three, five. There may be other forms for Haiku. I'm not an expert.

Every autumn, that Haiku comes to mind. It whispers to me. It wants to say more.  I tinker with it every year, but it’s never satisfied.  Out of it have grown other poems, but the Haiku is still thirsty.

     In Early Autumn
     Color stains my mountain
     Blazing without fire

Today I watered it.  It grew two new stanzas.  In the end I changed the beginning too.  First one line and then another.  Autumn brings change, even for my Haiku.

     Just before winter,
     Nature changes mountain’s face;
     Multi colored stain.

     Discarding her brush,
     Nature tips her paint bucket;
     Impatiently spills.

     Brave new dress for earth,
     Rich, sassy, bold, outspoken.
     Don’t whisper, Earth.  Sing.

Linda Garner

Monday, October 15, 2012

Is Blogging Still A Viable Social Media?

Here's my two cents, for what it's worth.

This past week I've had two encounters with publishing companies who wanted to know the number of followers I had on my blogs. The face of blogging may be changing somewhat, but it is still an important part of social media.

I received a contract two weeks ago for a self-help book. (I'm a retired Marriage and Family Therapist.) When I signed the contract, the publisher ask what my social media numbers were. He also strongly suggested I work to increase my list of followers. His ideas are good, and I will be implementing them on my Connections Blog.

My new Texting Through Time book will be out on November 13th, and I have been keeping a fast and furious pace, emailing with that publisher. Before they will book the larger stores for a launch or signing date, they need to know my social media numbers. So it all matters.

I enjoy Facebook. I like connecting with friends and family and taking a few minutes each day to see what's going on in the world with everybody.

Twitter is kind of overwhelming to me. I don't use it much. But some of the people in my critique group love  it. They talk with many of their friends daily because it can be done in a such short time. I call them "abbreviated friendships."

Blogging is still a lot of fun for me because I can say what's on my mind.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Where are you with each of the social medias. Are there changes in blogging?

Since I need to increase my numbers, I'm open to any wonderful suggestions any of you have.

Thanks for sharing. Christy Monson

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Do You Want to be an Artist?

As a picture book author, I’ve often wished I was an artist too.

If I could create the art for my own stories, would more doors be open to me?  I wonder.  The publishing world is changing.  E-books have given us a new medium.  For this I don’t need a publisher, but I do need artists.  Finding an artist can be challenging. 

I am sixty years old.  Is it too late for me to learn art?  Is it even possible?  I know what I like, but I don’t know how to create it.  I’m not even good with stick figures.  Even with no obvious talent, I wonder.  Is it ever too late?

My awesome internet friend Will Terry, the amazing illustrator, has a bunch of cool tutorials and there are even some about learning to draw.  By blogging about Folio Academy, I can win a free tutorial, like Digital Painting in Photoshop, How to Use Color, Acrylic Painting, Painting on the I-Pad.  There’s also Beginning Drawing.  That’s the one I want.  Maybe it’s not too late for me.

 Even though I’m not an artist, I learned a lot from How to Illustrate Picture Books. I purchased it over a year again, and found it really helpful.   I’ve watched it over and over again.

Oops.   I could have received one of these cool video series for free, if I had made the deadline.  I just realized that I missed the deadline by two days.  Darn.  Still that beginning drawing tutorial is a steal at $12.95.

Want to be an artist?  Click here to see what Folio Academy has to offer.

Linda Garner 

Monday, October 8, 2012

I heard Dave Farland say once that after you are published, you spend more time marketing than you do writing. I disregarded that statement, and thought ‘that won’t happen for me. I’ll never spend more time marketing than writing.’
That thought has stayed with me as I’ve journeyed through the publication of my first book, and now my second. Little by little—like the story of the frog getting cooked a little at a time when the heat was turned up slowly by degrees—I am spending more time marketing.
I do enjoy the social media and book signings, but I love writing. Sometimes I just ignore the marketing and spend the day writing. I am so happy when I do that, but part of me feels guilty because I didn’t follow up on a blog post or a signing.
I look at those who are very good at social media and marketing and wish to be a little more like them. Sometimes I feel inadequate—nobody really wants to read what I have to say.
Do you every feel that way?
And then you have kids come up to you and say, “I loved reading your book.” I was signing at the DUP International Convention last week and a young girl was there with her mother. She bought “Texting Through Time, A Trek with Brigham Young.” She went to a corner and sat down to read it. In a little while she came back and said, “I love your book. It is great!”
That makes all the difference. That’s what it’s all about.
Thanks for listening to my rambles this morning. It’s nice to know someone is listening.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Am I a Loser?

I don’t like to think of myself as a loser, but the truth is I do lose things.  Car keys being at the top of the list.  I have lost my purse.  I have lost important papers.  I have even been known to lose the car, especially in large parking lots.

I haven’t lost any of the children, at least not for an extended period of time, and I haven’t lost anything that is nailed down or too heavy to move.   At least my Grand Piano is safe, and fortunately also my bed.  I’d hate to be without either of those things.

For my birthday the kids gave me a Kindle Fire.  This was a delightful and cherished gift.  I couldn’t think of anything I wanted more, yet I was unwilling to pay the price. 

Unfortunately I had only had the Fire for a few weeks when it disappeared.  I had taken it on a trip, and it didn’t come home with me.  I was heartsick.  Where could I have left it?  I tried everything.  I called my traveling companions, and the places we had stayed.

Eventually, I found my kindle in the bottom of my tote bag.  I had been using the bag—had unpacked and repacked it a number of times.  The kindle is small and lightweight and very black.  The inside of my tote bag is black—very black.  It was the perfect hiding place.

The next time I went on a trip, I packed my kindle in my suitcase.  I wasn’t about to make that mistake again.  When I unpacked after the trip, I was pleased to find my kindle there.  I decided to find a good place to keep it, so I would never lose it again.

That was the last time I saw my Kindle.  I was busy with a writer’s conference for about a week, so I didn’t miss it right away.  After the conference, though, I realized I hadn’t a clue where I had put my kindle.  Did I find a good spot for it?  I wasn’t sure.

This time I didn't panic, because I knew it was somewhere in my house—probably in my bedroom since that was where I had last seen it.  I cleaned out all of my drawers, several times.  I organized and reorganized my book shelves.  I dumped every book on the floor and reshelved them.

It has been over two months since then, and I have started saving for a new Fire.  Today, I started unpacking a suitcase that my granddaughter has been using.  She has been using it for a little over two months.  It has a black interior.  In the bottom of that very black suitcase was a very black kindle fire.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. 

It’s going to be a great day.  First item on my “to do” list: Buy a cover for my Fire.  Something colorful.  Something bright. Anything but black.

It’s entirely possible that I’m a loser, but today I’m okay with it. 

Linda Garner



Monday, October 1, 2012

Saving Savannah by Sara Fitzgerald is a tender Christmas story that will bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your heart as you read. Devan Smith clings to the bitterness he feels at his wife’s death. The innocent sweetness of his daughter Savanna wedges itself into every fiber of his being. His family tries to love and support him. But neither can chip away at the hate he feels for the drunk driver that killed his beloved—until something surprising and unnerving happens at the Nativity program on Christmas Eve.
This book will make a wonderful Christmas gift, and the memory of the story will keep on giving throughout the year.