Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Arizona American Mothers literary contest

It's that time of year again! I am heading up the annual literary contest for the Arizona chapter of American Mothers. We've had some great winners in past years

So, if you are a mother and live in Arizona, sharpen your pencil, plug in your computer, and get your creative juices flowing. 

The Patricia Arnett Literary Contest 2013 is now open. Details:

A cash prize of $25 will be awarded to the winner in each category.
Eligibility rule: Applicant must be a mother and an Arizona resident.
Entrants may submit one entry in each category. All entries should reflect aspects of family life and motherhood.
 Deadline is January 25, 2013.  Submit to:

Joan Sowards
American Mothers Inc. Literature Contest
1437 N. Coleman Circle
Mesa, AZ 85201

Entries must not bear the author’s name. Please submit the following form with each.

Categories are:
Essay          (under 1000 words)
Short Story (under 2000 words)
Poetry         (under 50 lines)

Check Category:    Essay ___ Poetry __ Short Story _______

Entrant’s Name _______________________________________

Address _____________________________________________

Email _______________________________________________

Phone # _____________________________________________

Name of Entry _______________________________________

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chocolate Roses is now an audiobook!

Narrated by Amanda Freeman, Chocolate Rose is now available on Amazon as an audiobook!

Click HERE 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Once Upon A Baby by Shari Guess, Interview and Giveaway

Welcome to Shari Guess, author of Once Upon a Baby! After learning about this great book, be sure to read to the bottom of this interview and enter to win a $25 gift certificate or your own a copy of Once Upon a Baby.

Once Upon a Baby: A Tale of Adoption by Shari Guess

A heartwarming tale of LDS Adoption. Follow a child's journey from the Pre-existence to his family's home on Earth. The divine guidance of the Savior, along with the love and prayers of both birth and adoptive parents are gently and lovingly portrayed in this tender story of the ultimate "Happily ever after".


"Shari Guess has written a "must read" for every LDS family. She made a relevant issue for our time seem simple, yet to the heart."
~Brenton G. Yorgason, PhD

"I cried grateful tears to finally find a book for our children that explains their unique place within our family in a spiritual way."
~Nancy Reynolds, CA

Author Shari Guess

SHARI GUESS is a proud, first-time children’s book author and lives in rural North Texas where she is “Mom” to her beloved 9-year-old adopted son, Garrett. Happily married to her husband Walter for going on 13 years they share their cabin-in-the-woods with a small herd of Great Danes and farm animals. Shari is currently a part-time real estate agent and property manager and prior to marriage worked for over a decade in the music business, spanning from Los Angeles to Nashville. She wore many hats as a journalist and publicist representing multiple recording artists, magazines and music publishing companies, along with being a part-time performing artist and songwriter. Her hobbies include choral, Americana and rock music, martial arts, photography, travel and anything in the mountains.

Thank you for agreeing to do an interview today! I'm sure readers will want to know what prompted you to write Once Upon a Baby.

Shari: This was the story that I always wanted to read to my adopted son, but was unable to find. It focuses on adoption from an LDS (Mormon) standpoint as it chronicles the adopted child’s journey.

Joan: Did you have a mentor in getting it finished?  

Shari: I had a few of them! This project started seven years ago. Probably my biggest cheerleaders were a couple of close friends-Deanna Jones and Debbie Haskins. I did much of it on my own. My biggest inspiration was my little man. 

Joan: Please tell a little about your background—where you grew up, etc. 

Shari: My story reads like a strange novel! I was born in Dallas, grew up in the mountains of Colorado and Utah and worked multiple years in the Hollywood and Nashville music business. I even lived in Jerusalem for several years when I was younger. I currently reside in North Texas with my small family. I love everything arts and outdoors. I am active in church, sing in a large philanthropic choir and take karate with my son. We live on a small farm and I am lucky to be able to count my blessings every day! When I’m not writing I enjoy work as a small town Realtor. 

Joan: What was the hardest/easiest part of writing this book? 

Shari: Getting it finished! Wow! You can’t even believe how difficult that was! Getting an illustrator to finish it, (Two started but didn’t finish) and then all the technical details prior to its release was very difficult for me!

Joan: Technical details can being challenging. 

It is great to find an illustrator who believes in your project and will carry through to the end. So, who did you find? 

Shari: Kate Featherstone, a brilliant artist that lives here locally in Texas. She was really able to capture what I saw for this book in my mind’s eye. Every day I am grateful for her!

Joan: Do you have other books published, in the works? 

Shari: I’m working on a few “secret” projects at this time. They are non-fiction and are being written to serve a certain need. Thanks so much for asking! =)


Tour Giveaway:
$25 Amazon Gift Card + copy of Once Upon a Baby
Copy of Once Upon a Baby
(Paperback open to US only, Kindle ebook for International)
Ends 11/30/12

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Spinster's Folly by Marsha Ward

Marsha Ward
It's party time! Spinster's Folly, the long-awaited fourth novel of the Owen Family Saga written by western author, Marsha Ward, is scheduled for release November 10th. Join the Facebook event to win great prizes.

Congratulations, Marsha!

Here is a synopsis of Spinster's Folly:

Marie Owen yearns for a loving husband, but Colorado Territory is long on rough characters and short on fitting suitors, so a future of spinsterhood seems more likely than wedded bliss. Her best friend says cowboy Bill Henry is a likely candidate, but Marie knows her class-conscious father would not allow such a pairing. When she challenges her father to find her a suitable husband before she becomes a spinster, he arranges a match with a neighbor's son. Then Marie discovers Tom Morgan would be an unloving, abusive mate and his mother holds a grudge against the Owen family. Marie's mounting despair at the prospect of being trapped in such a dismal marriage drives her into the arms of a sweet-talking predator, landing her in unimaginable dangers. This fourth book in the Owen Family Saga is infused with potent heart and intense grit.

Marsha has agreed to answer two off the wall questions here. The first is:

Which of all the love interests in your novels could you, in real life, fall in love with or want your daughter to marry?

Marsha: This is an interesting question, especially in regards to my daughter. Before I finished Spinster's Folly, I would have said "James Owen." Now, however, I have a new favorite male character with whom I could fall in love. I know for sure I would want my daughter to marry someone like Bill Henry. He's an interesting guy, but he's steadfast and loyal, and I would want that for her, or for me!

What is different about Spinster’s Folly than the other books in the Owens series/saga?   

Marsha: This question is harder to answer. The difference is in that I used a real-life experience as a basis for a character and a part of the plot. I deal with a hard issue, abuse in several variations, but I've conquered hard issues before, so writing about that subject doesn't set the book apart. I've never written light, fluffy novels, but perhaps this one goes a bit deeper into intensity. Maybe giving more dimension to the interactions of the mother and father, Rod and Julia Owen, helps distinguish this novel. Overall, it's probably written with more facets and depth because of my growth as a writer.

Thank you, Marsha, and best wishes with your newest novel. I am looking forward to reading Spinster's Folly, as I have read the first three in the series and recommend them to anyone looking for a fantastic read and a great series. 

Visit Marsha Ward at her Facebook Event where she is giving away super prizes in honor of her new novel. One of the prizes is Chocolate Roses by Joan Sowards!

The first three books in the Owens Family Saga:

Spinster Folly's Blog Tour Schedule 

November 4
Joan Sowards 

November 5
Words and Works

November 6
Ryan Hunter 
Tina Scott, Author and Artist 

November 7
Mama Pike Says
Murphy's Law 

November 8
Teatime Romance 
Donna K. Weaver, Author: Weaving a Tale or Two 

November 9
Shaunna Gonzales

November 10
Spinster's Folly Online Book Release Party
wordpaintings Unlimited 
Shaunna Gonzales

November 11
Stardust in My Pocket

November 14
Creative Hodgepodge 
Of Writerly Things 
Tanya Parker Mills 

November 15
Alethea Williams: actuallyalethea 

November 16
Writing Wranglers and Warriors 
Debra's Window into Writing  

November 17
Anna del C. Dye 

Readers: Which of all the love interests in the novels you have read, could you in real life, fall in love with, or want your daughter to marry?

Join the Spinster's Folly Facebook Event,  for ways to win great prizes.
 The event runs from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm MST November 10.