Friday, September 28, 2012

The Star Prophecy Book Trailer

I have made a book trailer for The Star Prophecy. It was a lot of fun making, and took several days gathering the pictures (thank you, and the music (thank you, Then I had to learn the movie program. 

So, it's true you can teach old dogs new tricks!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Author Valerie Steimle

Today my guest is non-fiction author Valerie Steimle. We have been members of the same writers group for years, and she has been an inspiration to me.

Hi, Valerie! Please tell us the titles of your published books. 

I have four books--all non-fiction from the columns I have written, and information I want to share.

Home is Where the Learning Is--Homeschool Lifestyles from Homeschool Moms, Home is Where the Heart Is, and Of One Heart--Being Single in the LDS World. 

The most recent is Dogs, Blogs, and Hobbits: Writings from a Widow's Perspective


Are you one of the lucky writers who get to write every day? 

At the same time each day? No. I write on average five days a week, or try to.  Life has its ups and downs sometimes.

What is a favorite book from your childhood? 

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. Love that book.

I love that story too. The book is 70 years old this year and it is still good. 
What is one of your favorite quotes?

 I love so many different quotes that I hear, but recently one surfaces a lot in my head:

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.  We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
--the French Monk Philosopher, Teilhard de Chardin.  
I love what he said. We get so wrapped up in the day to day work of life that we forget that we are spiritual beings after all!

I love that quote, too. Next question: If you could travel through time, what time period would you visit? 

That’s a tough one.  I want to visit medieval Europe and the Book of Mormon times back in the days of Alma the Younger.
I'd go with you to both eras, but since time travel hasn't been invented, what do you do with your time when you aren’t writing? 

I cart boys to soccer, Young Men’s meetings, work and classes for school. We are also remodeling an old hotel into a museum and bed and breakfast. Do you think I have too much on my plate? LOL

The old hotel sounds exciting. I'd love to come visit. Sounds like a launchpad for a novel!
Okay, back to the questions. When did you start writing? 

A Young Women leader gave me a journal when I was 12 years old.  I've never stopped writing after that.
Do you have more books in the works?

Two. And I go back and forth on. I like it that way. The first, Thoughts from the Heart: Writings from the Gulf Coast of Alabama is a collection from my newspaper column.  The other, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Synagogue: A Conversion Story from Judaism to Mormonism.   

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received? 

Never give up—always keep trying.

Thank you, Valerie, for the interview!

Thank you, Joan, for the opportunity to talk about writing. Really appreciate it!

Visit Valerie at her website, and her blog.

Readers: Please leave a comment. What is the best writing advice you have received? What tidbit can you give other authors?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dark Days of Promise and Interview with author Shaunna Gonzales

Dark Days of Promise is author Shaunna Gonzales' debut novel and is chock full of promise.

Thirty-four year old Vicki Laramie must learn to trust before she can love, but she might die trying.
While Vicki’s children grapple with the death of their father -- a man whom she’s successfully fabricated as loving, a lie her rebellious teenager recognizes -- she must find a way to support her family and find a role model for her boys. She never intends to fall for Staff Sergeant Chase, her best friend’s son, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She’d much rather choose a safer man to love, but her children have a voice in the decision she makes. With two deaths to deal with, a suitor after her money, a rebellious son, and Sergeant Chase’s repeated attacks, she can only hope to survive the danger she faces. If she doesn’t, her children will be left without either parent.

Oooh! Sounds suspenseful!

Shaunna, it is so good to have you on my blog today! First question: 

Where did you get the idea for Dark Days of Promise

Would you believe me if I said the Lord? I had this love story so smooth that it bored me, the writer to tears, literally. I knew I had to "speed" it up, give it something to make it fly but didn't know what. I prayed and pulled my chair up to the computer. My fingers flew with very few mistakes, something that is unusual for me. That scene is in the book with very few changes -- only a few grammatical corrections. I'll give you a hint: Victoria goes flying!

How did you choose the title? 

Dark Days of Promise, was initially inspired by an untitled Christmas tale for the young women I was working with at the time. I thought the story was good and targeted their needs but the comments I got were along the lines of, "Wow, that's a real dark story." I responded with, "But it is so full of promise!" After the final veto and the passing of the season the title came to life every time someone asked me what I was working on.
What surprises you the most about being a published author? 
The work that goes into promoting a single title. I'm hoping that with more titles the work doesn't increase. How would I get the third title written?
Hey, I agree with you on that. So--what advice to you give to aspiring authors? 

Write what you know and love. Write for yourself, not your imagined perfectly matched editor or publisher. Should you one day find them, they will, if they know their stuff and we all hope they do, bruise you and your precious fledgling novel. (Smile - those bruises heal and make you both better.)

What are your goals in writing, your next project? 
To write several novels before my health fails. Right now I'm working on finishing Talisman: Crisscross in Time. I'm hoping to have it ready to go when the editor asks for it. That means pressure on me.
Why should we read Dark Days of Promise?

I hope readers will become more aware of PTSD. It effects more than the veterans and their families, but all who love them. It isn't unusual for me to be talking with someone and get this "Oh, they are dealing with Post Traumatic Stress" this way or that way. The "Disorder" part, as far as I have learned, comes from intense stress, such as battle and other potentially fatal situations. Some deal with PTSD with faith and prayers on the one hand while others use counseling and sometimes drugs to manage the disorder. But for me, my PTSD is rather low key and manageable.

What is something that most people don’t know about you that you wouldn’t mind sharing?

Wow! I've really pulled back recently. I'm scared to death of being stalked.

What? Well, that issue we will address in the interview for your next novel. :-) Thank you, Shaunna, for the interview!

Reader can buy Dark Days of Promise here.
Visit Shaunna Gonzales on her blog.

Please leave a comment for Shaunna!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

And the Winner is . . .

 lmroczek is the winner of the Merrill Osmond Broadway Music CD! Congratulations!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Faith, Hope, and Gravity by Merrill Osmond and Shirley Bahlmann

On this post announcing the release of Merrill Osmond and Shirley Bahlmann's latest novel Faith, Hope, and Gravity, I am giving away a BROADWAY SONGS compilation by Merrill Osmond.  All you need to do is become a follower of my blog and leave a howdy in the comment section and your name will be in a drawing for the CD. My deadline is Sept 15.  US entries only.

I personally grew up with Osmond music, owned a few LPs, listened to them on the radio. On a tour with BYU a cappella choir in 1974 to Denmark, I met a group of girls who had investigated the Mormon Church all because the Osmond family were members and not afraid to say so. I was amazed at the far reaching influence of this family. 

Faith, Hope, and Gravity is Merrill Osmond's first novel. Along with the amazing talents of Shirley Bahlmann, this story will continue the great Osmond tradition of influencing the world. Read on.

Faith, Hope and Gravity is the spiritual, magical adventure of teenage Liam Kane as he discovers some of the same lessons Merrill Osmond learned as the world-traveling lead singer of the Osmond Brothers. Merrill, like Liam, was often misunderstood for his visionary quests to understand those who looked for answers to life's questions.

Liam's talents gain him international notoriety as 
"The Prophecy Boy" who swims with dolphins, dreams of a mysterious red door, and champions those who are misunderstood.

Surviving kidnapping, near-drowning, and imprisonment ultimately leads to the discovery that despite inherent differences, when people respect one another's unique abilities, the thread of commonality that runs through mankind grows ever stronger.

Turn the pages and join the unforgettable journey.

Merrill Osmond is a world-class entertainer, producer, author, motivational speaker and renowned lead singer of the Osmonds. Merrill and his siblings have produced 47 platinum & gold records and Merrill has written the lyrics for five #1 hit records. Merrill is a co-founder of the Osmond Foundation, which originally produced “The Children’s Miracle Network” Telethon. He has produced presidential inaugural events for both Reagan & Bush. Merrill is excited to release his first novel, Faith, Hope & Gravity. Visit his website at:

Shirley Bahlmann has written a wide variety of genres, including historical fiction, novels, biographies, how-to, and how-not-to books. One of her favorites is a children’s book titled “When the Chicken Crossed the Road” which comes with instructions and a chicken-colored washcloth so you can roll your own chicken! Shirley finds the most annoying thing about being a prolific writer is sleep, because she’d rather be writing.
You are welcome to visit her website:
And be her friend on Facebook (because everyone needs friends!)

Here is the schedule for the book tour for Faith, Hope, Charity. Visit as many as you can and enter to win other Merrill Osmond CDs!

August 24th-
 Aug 27-
Aug 28- 
Aug 30-
Aug 31

Sept 4-
Sept 5-
Sept 7-
Sept 10 -
Sept 12-
Sept 13-
Sept 14-
Sept 17-
Sept 18-
 Sept 20-
Sept 24-
Sept 27-
Sept 28-
October 1-

Leave a howdy and enter to win a Broadway Music CD. USA entries only.