Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Awakening Avery by LC Lewis

Laurie C Lewis has written yet another intriguing novel. Awakening Avery is the story of a woman who had recently lost her husband. Realizing his death had taken a greater toll on her emotional well-being than she could have anticipated, she--at the urging of her children, takes a beach house in one of her favorite vacation spots, Anna Maria Island, Florida.

I very much enjoyed this character-driven novel. Not only Avery, but each supporting character takes his/her own journey of growth. I personally love staying on the beach, so reading this novel was also a beach holiday for me. I could feel the ocean breezes, heard the waves rolling in and the winging of the seagulls.
Join me again on June 10 when I post an interview with Laurie.

Here is the blurb from the back of Awakening Avery:

"You're depressed," the doctor declared.

"Ya think?" is author Avery Elkins Thompson's sarcastic response to the astute diagnosis for the malaise that set in following her husband's untimely death. Avery's carefully controlled world is imploding, and her adult children fear they are losing her too.

"You're just a shadow of the person you used to be...We'd gladly give you up for a while if it meant getting you back."

Avery can't write, and questions about their father's death leave the family mired in pain. "We need a healing place," her oldest son tells her, suggesting she find it on Anna Maria Island, Florida, a former family vacation spot.

When Avery returns to Baltimore to sell the family's waterfront condo, she meets rodeo-ers-turned-real-estate-brokers Teddie and Rider Davis, and Avery's quiet life will never be the same again.

The Davises help arrange a short-term house swap with widower Gabriel Carson from Anna Maria, whose overprotective parenting has resulted in two self-centered, twenty-something daughters. Avery and Gabriel are in for the summer of their lives as they step into one another's messy, complicated worlds.

Still, venturing out on her own again is challenging for Avery, whose experiences at the Ringling's magnificent Ca d'Zan mansion, and with the quirky characters she meets there, eventually awaken her to truths she has long forgotten - that as crazy as life can be, it is possible to laugh and love again.

To find out how you can win a copy of Awakening Avery on Laurie's blog, click here. The winner will be drawn on May 31st. Good luck!
Awakening Avery can be bought at any LDS bookstore and Amazon.

Read chapter one of Awakening Avery.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chocolate Roses is featured on LDS Bookcorner this week!

Chocolate Roses, my 2nd published novel, is featured on LDS Bookcorner's Fiction Daily Chapter this week. This is a service that breaks down the first chapter of a novel and sends it in short segments throughout the week.

To check out LDSBookcorner, or to sign up for future daily chapters click here.

To read the first chapter of Chocolate Roses, click on the Chocolate Roses book cover at the right (on this site) in the sidebar.

I personally love the story of Chocolate Roses. People ask me which of my novels I like the best, and I really can't choose. I like them both. I love the ghost aspect, characters, and the solution in Haunts Haven, but I'm partial to the love story in Chocolate Roses. The first-person aspect of it allowed me to write in my own thoughts and dumb humor--the freedom to "write off the top of my head." In both stories, I enjoyed writing the subplots and weaving everyone's story together.
So here is the back cover blurb:

A modern LDS parody of
Jane Eyre set in a chocolate shop, Chocolate Roses is rich read. You'll find yourself wanting to curl up in your favorite chair with the book in one hand and a supply of chocolate in the other.
She’s in love . . .
He’s out of reach . . .
Is there any hope?
Janie Rose Whitaker’s world revolved around her chocolate shop until Roger Wentworth and his young daughter moved into the apartment across from Janie’s. Anyone would think Roger fit the mold of the “perfect” guy, but soon Janie discovers secrets that could keep them apart forever. Though she resists getting involved in Roger’s complicated life, they are drawn further into a bittersweet relationship.
You will laugh, cry, and crave chocolate as you read this LDS parody of the classic novel Jane Eyre.
(My daughter Kristy penned that line and never got credit. :-) Thank you, Kristy!)

“I’m a big fan of Joan Sowards, so I picked up Chocolate Roses with great expectations. It’s every bit as scrumptious as the title implies. Once again, this creative, funny writer will leave you wanting more, more, more!”
—Kerry Blair, best-selling LDS author
Chocolate Roses is a fresh and modern retelling of the classic novel, Jane Eyre. Peppered with loveable characters and countless moments of humor, you’ll find yourself drawn into Janie’s life and her plight with the unattainable Roger Wentworth. Grab a box of chocolates and settle down for one delectable story.
—Amesbury Reads
Chocolate Roses can be purchased from Amazon, Deseret Book, and your local LDS bookstore.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Route by Gale Sears

We can't begin to understand the challenges of aging and the aches of growing old until we have an elderly person in our life. Gale Sears' The Route gives insight, touches our heart, makes us ponder on the these years of retirement that might not be as joyous as we'd hope. She also makes the point that our attitude determines a lot of how we deal with it, and how it deals with us.

The Route is a different kind of story--no mystery, only love stories in retrospect--no car chases. The story's true promise is that the reader, when finished, will have a bit more understanding of humankind.

Carol, a middle-aged wife and mother who has taken on a Thursday route to deliver meals says: "The fellowship I've shared over the months with these scrappy older folks has elevated my perspective on what I once considered to be the dastardly process of getting old."

In the beginning of the story, Carol is pondering the meaning of life. On a trip to the grocery store to find some energizing dark chocolate, she sees a sign asking for volunteers to deliver meals to the elderly--and that is where her adventure begins.

Buy The Route on Amazon.

Visit Gale's website here.

Leave a comment and be entered into a drawing to win a copy of The Route. Deadline 1s my birthday May 13.

Congratulations to Connie Hall for winning a copy of The Route!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Haunts Haven reviewed by Jennie Hansen

Jennie Hansen reviewed Haunts Haven at Meridian Magazine today!

"Soward's characters are wonderful, even the more minor ones. They're colorful, distinctive, and memorable. Each time I expected the cliché, I was surprised... Teens and adults both will enjoy this one." -Jennie Hansen

BYU Women's Conference

These are pictures of my book signing at BYU Women's Conference. It was a lot of fun. I sold several copies of each of my novels, Haunts Haven and Chocolate Roses.

I shared the table with Mormon Times columnist Jerry Johnston. His booklet A Woman's Worth, reflections on women who have influenced his life, was recently released--just in time for Mother's Day. I have enjoyed the touching vignettes that I have read so far.

BYU Women's Conference was wonderful as always. I chose all the right classes (for me) and the spirit of joy and testimony I walked away with makes me want to return again next year--for at least the tenth time. I hope it will be a tradition I'll repeat until I'm 93.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Shadow of the Crown by Jeri Gillchrist

Shadow of the Crown by Jeri Gilchrist is a romantic suspense adventure set in Denmark. Teira Palmer, an American, comes to work in her ancestor's homeland. As soon as she arrives, she begins researching about her grandfather who had been part of the Danish Resistance, but after his tragic death, he was accused of treason. Strange things begin to happen, including attempts on her life. It is obvious that someone doesn't want her there or want her to unearth the truth about her grandfather.

Shadow of the Crown is like taking a tour of Copenhagen. Teira's quest takes her to locations such as the Krongborg Castle, Tivoli Gardens, the Little Mermaid statue, and many more. I have been to Denmark, so this novel brought back many wonderful memories and I enjoyed researching on the Internet about the places she mentions. Somehow I had missed that the Oresund Bridge had been built between Denmark and Sweden since I had visited. What an awesome endeavor!

Shadow of the Crown was well written, well researched and is a great read.

To purchase Shadow of the Crown, click here.
Visit Jeri Gilchrist's website here.
Read about Jeri's other novels here.