Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Amazing Summer Book Sale June 3 - June 7

We're having another FANTASTIC sale on different genres!! If you have friends who love to read, please let them know about this sale!

Thanks!

Imperfect Love
SALE Price $.99
Regular Price $3.99


Lauren Wilson is well on her way to her happily-ever-after. She’s passionate about her career as a middle school English teacher, she adores her handsome, hard-working husband, and with a baby finally on the way, her perfect life is within her grasp. 

But then a devastating test result changes everything. 


Forced to choose between her baby and her husband, Lauren makes the only decision she can live with, and she returns to her small hometown in hopes of rebuilding her shattered life. 


Ethan Campbell is a gifted photographer who travels the world and has no desire to settle down. When his mother dies, he must go home to settle her estate. Then it’s back to exciting adventures across the globe. 


When Lauren crosses paths with Ethan, her teenage crush, old feelings resurface—feelings she’s not prepared to face. Will Lauren have the courage to trust again or will she spend her life alone? 


Imperfect Love is a story about sacrifice, healing, second chances, and discovering that although love isn’t always perfect, sometimes it’s the imperfect love that’s the sweetest of all. 



Spinster's Folly
Marsha Ward
SALE Price $0.99
Regular Price $3.99

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.
2013 Winner of the USA Best Book Award for Western Fiction.




A Portrait for Toni
Annette Lyon
SALE Price $0.99
Regular Price $2.99



Toni has no idea what she’d do without her best friend, Carter. Who else would she be able to vent to about her parents, her job at the dance studio, or her latest relationship woes? When Toni’s father lands in the hospital, Carter, as always, is there for her.

That is, until he starts questioning Toni, saying he thinks she has an eating disorder. Then she starts dating Clint, the hot new guy at the studio, and somehow that puts a deeper wedge between her and Carter. When she’s hospitalized after an on-stage collapse, and Carter stupidly starts in with advice about food and weight, she sends him away—then instantly regrets it.

Toni tries to mend the hurt between them, but instead of finding Carter, she stumbles onto proof that he has feelings for her that go way beyond those of a friend. Toni is left with the very real prospect of losing Carter forever, unless somehow she can return his feelings—but that’s impossible.

Isn’t it?

Purchase A Portrait for Toni on Amazon



Grounded for Love: A Reunion Romance Novella
Rebecca Talley
Price $.99


After being burned by her college boyfriend, Graham, book editor Serena Johnson believes the only dependable men are the ones found between the pages of a book. Her life in San Francisco is thrown into chaos when her father suffers a heart attack, and she books a flight to her small hometown in Colorado.

Graham McAllister, now a civil engineer in Phoenix, is dating a woman who has it all—except his heart. As the best man for his brother’s wedding, Graham must fly back to Grand Junction in time for all the festivities.

When a massive snowstorm grounds all the planes in Denver, both Serena and Graham are stranded overnight. Will this storm lead to love or will it simply prove that there are no second chances?
 

Purchase Grounded for Love on Amazon.

Once Upon Two Kingdoms (A Royal Romance)
Anna del C. Dye
Price $2.99

Freedom to Choose is Paramount for any human.

An arrangement made when Elizabeth was just a babe ties her to someone she has never met, never spoken to, never loved. 

Now she desires freedom—a way to choose her own path—her own husband. The moment Elizabeth meets Patrick she knows he is her soul mate. 

But when you are bound to a crown how is any choice your own?






Ring on Her Finger
Lisa Swinton
SALE price $.99
Regular price $3.99

What happened in Vegas should stay there, not follow Amanda home, newly wedded to the man who broke her heart.


After celebrating college graduation with her friends in Las Vegas, Amanda St. Claire wakes up with a terrible hangover and a ring on her finger. Her day gets worse when she finds out she's married to rich playboy Blake Worthington—the guy she has loathed the past four years. Amanda convinces Blake to legally terminate the marriage and they both return home like nothing ever happened. That is, until Blake shows up on her doorstep and Amanda has to come clean with her family. 

Together for better or worse while the legalities are cleared, Amanda reluctantly plays along, but then the unthinkable happens---she finds herself falling in love with Blake. 

Can they overcome the past? Or will it end their future before it even starts? 

Those who enjoy What Happens in Vegas and The Prince and Me will find a kindred spirit in Ring on Her Finger.



Nourish & Strengthen
Maria Hoagland
SALE Price $.99
Regular Price $2.99

Chloe Taylor has the perfect life: a model’s figure, a husband who adores her, three healthy children. So why does she feel so much less than perfect?

After losing forty pounds, Chloe Taylor is finally happy with her body. What she doesn’t realize is that she’s not the one in control. When Chloe is called as the Primary president, she discovers that managing the highs and lows of a chronic illness may be easier than the ups and downs associated with family, friends, and church callings. Consumed by her own challenges, Chloe fails to recognize the issues her friends are facing and is in danger of losing their friendship.

As Chloe strives to develop Christ-like love for herself and those around her, she learns that outer appearances are far less important than inner peace and spiritual strength. But is she strong enough to face her most difficult trial yet?



Family Size
Maria Hoagland
SALE Price $.99
Regular Price $2.99

Is it one-size-fits-all, or all sizes fit? A novel about friendships, faith, and fertility by LDS women's fiction author Maria Hoagland. 

Jessica loves being the mom of an ever-expanding family, but when an ultrasound throws her a curve, can she adapt with grace? 

Dragged away from home, Maya feels deserted by her workaholic husband in a land of confusing accents and church cliques. What will it take to acclimate and save her marriage--or does she even want to? 

Sloane is an algebra teacher and runner who would give up both to be a mom, but no matter what she does, pregnancy remains elusive. Can she adjust her thinking and find purpose in her life? 

As their lives intertwine, can friendship and faith help these women hurdle expectations of an ideal family size? 






Intercession
Vicki Hunt Budge
SALE Price $.99
Regular Price $3.99

In The Darkest Hours of Addiction, A Light Shines 

When Jessica Mobley's husband abandons her and flies off to Mexico to meet another woman, it's the tip of the iceberg. She soon unravels his porn addiction and her financial ruin. 

Jessica tries to keep up an appearance that all is well, but ultimately she resorts to drastic measures to support her three children. She guts part of her home to start a preschool and rents out another two rooms. 

Her life is soon filled with new friends and activities, but the new friends bring problems of their own. Is hope and healing possible as they strengthen one another and rely on the Lord? And will romance find its way into Jessica's heart again? 

Intercession is a story of love and friendship loaded with drama, inspiration, loss and the tenacity of one woman who finds her strength in the Lord





Begin Again
Brittney Mulliner
SALE Price $.99

Escaping her past, Aubrey Tate moves to Southern California for a fresh start with her older brother, Brandon. Starting over at a new school seems easy with her cousin, Mckayla, and her two best friends at her side, but handling the new guys is another matter. Aubrey ends up in the middle of three rivals that each wants her to themselves. 

Mike claims her first and declares himself her friend and protector. Luke is the school heartthrob that stops Aubrey in her tracks, speechless. Gage is the mysterious, dark outsider that Aubrey can be herself around. 

How will she navigate her new life while she's still haunted by her past?



IDEAL HIGH
Valerie Ipson
Price $2.99

There’s no way I’m taking Blake’s place as president of the student body. As soon as the memorial for him and six of our friends is over, I’m resigning as VP. Really.
Except people say the fire was no accident.
(I say it’s way too easy to blame someone who’s dead.)
When I read the writing on the wall, literally, the bathroom wall, I know what it means. To get to the truth I have to come out from under my paisley comforter.
But, seriously, what stage of grief says I have to be the one to fix what’s wrong at Ideal High? Maybe I’m the one who’s broken.





What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know: 10 Secrets to Connect Moms & Daughters
Rachelle J. Christensen
Connie E. Sokol
Price $1.99

Is your daughter asking questions about friends, peer pressure, school, and even her weight?

As a mom, are you wondering how to answer them?

Welcome to the club.

But you can relax. Because we’ve asked real sixth-grade girls to dish on their top secret questions. And, we’ve provided time-tested real-life answers that work.

Add to that an enjoyable format. The “Just for Girls” section speaks right to your daughter in words and ways she understands. The “Just for Moms” section talks straight to moms, giving you information, resources, and easy-to-share answers. We include tips for how to start, handle, and enjoy the conversations no matter the situation.

Create connected conversations with your daughter as you explore these life questions together. Get plain facts and jumpstart questions. Discuss the provided scenarios so she can practice responses to use in real-time. Download decorative cards with positive statements and fun fill-in sentences.

Use What Every Girl Needs to Know About 6th Grade to make it happen. Together, answer questions and create connection.

You got this.




Interlude at Cottonwood Springs
Liz Adair
Price $2.99
Audiobook: $21.83 (or free with Audible trial)

Ruth Reynolds moves in wealthy New York circles. Heck Benham rides the range in the high plateau of New Mexico. 

When she comes west during the Great Depression chance throws them together, and they fall in love. But she's a married lady, and he's an honorable man.







The Extraordinarily Ordinary Life of Cassandra Jones (MG)
Tamara Hart Heiner
SALE Price $.99

What's special about Cassandra? Absolutely nothing. She's as ordinary as any other fifth grader. And yet her ordinary life is riddled with hilarious and sometimes heart-breaking mishaps as she guides herself through the world of pre-teens on the brink of adulthood. 

Cassandra Jones is the new girl at school. She's been uprooted from her beloved state of Texas and relocated to the hillbilly Ozarks of Springdale, Arkansas. She wonders if she will like her teacher or if she will have any friends. She can only hope school won't be harder than it was back home. 

She doesn't expect to have two close friends, and even worse, two friends that don't like each other. As she tries to make a spot for herself, will she keep her friendships intact? 



Best Kind of Love: A Reunion Romance Novella
Rebecca Talley
Price $.99

Brynn Sawyer is a successful project manager in Houston. When her best friend from high school convinces Brynn to attend their ten-year reunion, Brynn hopes she’ll have the chance to reconnect with Troy Richards, the guy who stole her heart back in middle school. 

Craig Dawson, an attorney in San Diego, is in a relationship that’s going nowhere and wonders why he can’t seem to commit. When he sees Brynn at their reunion, he thinks he might finally understand why. The only problem—she’s still infatuated with Troy what’s-his-name. 

Will Brynn find the love she seeks with Troy, or will she realize the best kind of love has always been right in front of her? 




Silver Linings
Kaylee Baldwin
Price $.99

Drew Westfall wants nothing more than to forget what he had to do in the name of "smart" business. Cutting off all ties with his parents—including handing over the entire contents of his trust fund to a charity—he takes off for Bridger, Colorado where his best friend has an extra room for him. It doesn't take long for him to realize that his business degree won’t do him much good in a town as small as Bridger, but he's broke and has nowhere else to go. 

Eden Torresi has every reason to wallow. Not only did she have to sell her house to pay for her mother’s medical expenses, but she had to drop out of school and is in a relationship with a guy unwilling to commit. But Eden isn't the wallowing type. Instead, she spends most of her time taking care of the seniors at Silver Linings Assisted Living. When she learns that her boyfriend's new roommate is down on his luck, she reaches out to offer what help she can. But the more time they spend together, the more complicated things get, especially when the seniors of Silver Linings decide to play matchmaker.





Six Days of Christmas
Kaylee Baldwin
Price $.99

When Natalie goes home with her best friend for Christmas, she expects plenty of quiet time to work on a winning ad so she can turn her dream internship into her dream job. 

Instead, she gets time-consuming Christmas festivities, a house full of children who seem to be multiplying, and Jimmy, her best friend’s brother—someone who makes her question everything she’s always thought she wanted. 






Life Soup
Pamela Lynn France

Price $6.99 (ebook)


This is a true story told using the memories of a child - my inner child. It is a story of survival - a love story without romance, but hope. It tells of the age old struggle between good and evil, light and dark forces around us.

Jesus Christ has been saving souls throughout human history. Thankfully He is a part of my story...




Monday, June 1, 2015

Books I Read in May

I love seeing what people are reading. One of my very favorite things to talk about is books, and when I'm meeting someone new or there's a lull in the conversation, I can almost always bring around a book I've been reading--or ask them what they've been reading--and it picks right up.

Even the people who think "I don't read very much" usually have at least one good book they've read that they loved and want to share with people.

Another thing about me: I have a difficult time reading just for enjoyment anymore. With being a writer, I am constantly analyzing what people did well (or did poorly on)in their books, I so I can try to emulate (or avoid) those things.

Also. I read a lot. I'm a fast reader, I don't watch much television, and whenever I have even a minute of downtime, I'm pulling out a book.


Undeniably Yours (Porter Family #1)

I read Undeniably Yours on my Kindle. I was in the mood for a fun, contemporary romance, the sample for this one sucked me in, and I ended up buying it. I love how the author sets up the conflict right in the first couple of chapters. I don't usually buy my books when they're full price, but because of how well-written those first few chapters were, I had to keep reading.

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A Heart Revealed is another other one that I ended up buying on my Kindle. I've been craving smartly-written, unique romances and this one fit the bill for me. We all know that in a romance, the hero and heroine are going to get together in the end, and reading the book is all about the journey to the HEA (happily ever after). A lot of the romances I've been reading have been SO, SO predictable. I absolutely loved that I haven't really read a storyline like this before. She took a less common trope  to start with (wealthy, gorgeous girl/poor man) and twisted it up even more so that I loved every single page.

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I read some of Sherman Alexie's poetry and short stories in college, but I was really excited to get into this novel. I bought it at the used bookstore a few months ago. Something that Alexie does so well is go beyond the stereotype. I read something on FB this week--a quote I'm going to butcher and not attribute because I don't remember who said it--but it was something like: the problem with stereotypes aren't that they're untrue. It's that they take a three dimensional person and boil them down to one dimension and one concept. Alexie makes Junior three dimensional and somehow tells a totally heartbreaking story in a hilarious and inspiring way.

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Breathe Annie Breathe is very much character-driven, but it's still a story that's hard to walk away from. I love how she makes me connect with her characters, feel their pain, and root for them to reach their goals. The only thing I wish she'd do differently (and this is a personal thing--we all have our "things" and this is mine) is to leave out some of the sexual content. It's mild in this book, but still keeps me from recommending it to the teens I know, who would otherwise love this book. I picked this one up when it was a Kindle daily deal, and I'll probably buy the next one the minute it comes out.


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I love Jolene. She's one of my critique partners, so I've read almost all of her books, but this one came up in my Goodreads feed--and another cp Tiffany had read it and loved it, so I bought it. I needed something to read while I printed out hundreds of papers for the Slush pile Panel for the Storymaker Conference. This book was PERFECT. So light, so heartfelt, and everything that I love about Jolene's writing. She makes me want to write another novella, just because they're so fun and perfect for that late-night read.

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And then I realized I never read this book! I own the paperback version of it (Thank you, Grandma) so I pulled it out and started reading it right away. Again, Jolene has a talent with romance and making you feel "all the feels." I feel like her stories have flow, which is so important. They're not over-worked, but organically go from one part of the story to the next, which is something I'd love to emulate in my own writing.

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I've owned this one for at least a year (probably longer) and just haven't gotten around to reading it. I got sick with a flu bug this month and just needed something light to help me forget how much I wanted to vomit. This fit the bill. I've been toying with doing a retelling (Ranee Clark and I have been throwing around an idea of co-writing a retelling for a few years now. It will happen someday!) so I love reading how other people do it. My favorite ones are when they stray far enough from the original telling that it feels like a somewhat new story--I can't predict every single twist and turn--but they're close enough, or at least have enough nods to the original story--that it gets my book-geek heart all aflutter. The only thing I would have liked more in this were more scenes with the hero and heroine together, falling in love.


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My friend, Melanie Jacobson, was talking about this book at the Storymaker conference, so I decided to download the sample when I got home. After reading it, I was hooked and bought the book. (I buy a lot of books.) I ate this book up. Devoured it. I have said to someone before (Melanie, actually), "I don't have the personality to lead." After reading this book, I change my mind.* I want every woman to read this book. For real. More than telling women to give everything to your career (which it doesn't do), it's about having confidence in yourself, using your strengths, and "leaning in" wherever you are. Don't give up because you think you can't do something. Do it, and you'll learn as you go. I will probably reread it--at least the parts I highlighted.

*This is the power of a good book. It changed me.


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Cindy is another one of those authors that when I need an escape for a few hours, I go download one of her books. I love her contemporaries (I haven't read her paranormals) when I need something that's going to wrench my heart in the best of ways. I love all the complications she gives her characters and how her book is about accepting the things you can't change and overcoming the things you can. I bought this book on my Kindle as well. :)

What have you been reading this month?
What should I add to my reading list for June?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Another side to the LDStorymaker Conference

There have been some amazing blog posts about the LDStorymaker conference that will give you a feel for what a unique, amazing conference it is. Here are a couple of my favorites:

http://seriouslygina.com/2015/05/20/the-social-butterfly-at-storymakers/

http://raneesclark.blogspot.com/2015/05/storymakers15.html

I was on the conference committee this year, helping to plan and pull this conference off, so I got to see things from the administration side.

Guys, there is so much work that goes into a conference of this magnitude, it's unbelievable. And we do it because we love it. Period.

I was the agent and editor co-chair, along with the amazing Jaime Theler, and it was our job to find the very best agents and editors to come to the conference that would fit as many people as possible's needs. We were asked to do this job in the spring of 2014, right after the last conference ended. We started by opening up a google doc and making a huge list of all of our dream agents for the conference and what they represented.

I was the newbie, so Jaime got to hold my hand through most of my figuring out what we do for this job. She is a fantastic leader and has the kind of integrity that we should all aspire to have, and I'm so excited she's taking on the role of Whitney President this year (though I'll miss working with her and having our long Skype calls!)

By July of 2014, we began extending invitations. In a few instances we had agents who had requested to come to our conference because of our reputation for having an abundance of talented authors. How great is that? For other agents, we approached them in person at other conferences to feel out if they were interested in coming. And then there were the ones that we sent out cold emails to. By the end of September, we had the powerhouse cast of Suzie Townsend, Victoria Marini, Mark Gottlieb, Jen Rofe, and Lizzie Poteet lined up to be special guests at the 2015 conference.

And we were excited. Through our many emails back and forth with these agents and editors, we realized that they were perfect for the conference: Hungry for new, fantastic manuscripts, enthusiastic about teaching, and knowledgeable in so many areas that would be of value to our attendees.

And they had great clients and sales as a track record all ready, which of course, was great. All that was left was opening up registration and filling up all their pitch slots.

Which happened in minutes. Like 2 minutes, I believe. In fact, you all crashed the registration system on the first day with your enthusiastic registering, so we had to do a Take 2! And it filled just as quickly.

Then Jaime and I spent a lot (A LOT) of time drawing the manuscript consult lottery, sending emails, making schedules, setting up time keepers, doing the Slushpile panel drawing, and a ton of other little tasks that added up to hundreds of hours of work between the two of us.

In the meantime, Jaime and I signed with agents of our own and had manuscripts that we needed to revise and write in our "down" time. Plus we have families, jobs, and church callings as well. It has been a busy year. But, again, we did it because we love it.

And then came a moment when Mark Gottlieb took one of our attendees on as a client after reading pages from a ms consult, and it was SO exciting. We were thrilled that before the conference even started, one person had benefited from all the time we'd donated to this conference... and we hope there will be many more.

Then it was time for the conference. We cannot thank you enough, everyone who volunteered to be time keepers. I know it was a huge sacrifice for you--we had them take 2 hour shifts of standing outside the agent's pitch rooms and keeping the timing on track--but because of you, Jaime and I were able to take care of other things we needed to do.

I even got to go to TWO FULL classes. And they were both amazing and life-changing for my writing, so your help is much appreciated. Martine Leavitt's class (which deserves a blog post of it's own) and Melanie Jacobson's on making the most of your writing time--which let's be honest, I think most of us could benefit from. I got to pop in and out of a few more classes here and there and catch a few minutes--usually just long enough to whet my appetite, but then I was off running again. But it was more than I could have possibly gone to without all of your help.

I have to throw in a shout-out here to co-chairs Melanie Jacobson and Jenny Proctor spent on this conference. OODLES of time. And they both still put out a book this year. They are my heros. I'm so in awe of all they can accomplish and how well they pulled this off, that I try to soak it all up while I 'm working with them. Maybe some of their efficiency and uber-talent will rub off on me by proximity.

Being on the committee, I got to see how many people gave of their time for us, quietly and without fanfare, just because they love it too. So this is my THANK YOU to the conference attendees this year.

YOU are what makes this conference so amazing. It's your overwhelming gratitude. The friendliness. The willingness to learn. The quickness to jump in and help where needed. The spirit of helping and giving and being so dang smiley when we really need your smiles.

And the agents noticed how happy and kind you all were. The committee noticed it as well. And I noticed it, and was greatly touched by it.

Here are just a few, and I hesitate to even name names, because inevitably I'm going to forget about 10,000 others who helped.

Brittany Larsen, who kept trying to feed me, which I appreciated because I have a tendency of skipping meals.
Emily King, my agent sister, who saved me a seat at dinner and arranged for me and Tricia to meet and gush about our agent, Rachel Brooks.
Gina Larsen, who gave me a little gift bag, and it was so kind to be thought of.
Evelyn Hornbarger, who took one of my favorite pictures of me ever, and sat with me at lunch so I wouldn't have to be by myself in the front. And was just as awesome in person as I hoped she'd be.
Tiffany Oderkirk, my roommate, who was always quick with a kind word when I needed one.
Mark Gottlieb, who's shortbread cookies were a godsend on a night when I had to skip dinner and was lightheaded.
Ranee Clark for being my writer BFF and go-to gal, no matter what. And for taking on time-keeping when she flew all the way in from ALASKA to go to this conference. She missed classes just to ease some of mine and Jaime's burden.
Melanie Jacobson for sharing her berry, ice cream waffle with me, which was amazing and so good-enough to justify not sharing.
(And how many of these are going to be food related?? My husband will tell you that I tend to not eat when I go to functions like this, so anyone who forces food down my throat and keeps me from getting hangry/fainty is my friend for life.)
Emily Clawson for finding me when I was lost--I somehow wound up inside the NuSkin building and wandered around one morning, trying to find the conference while holding my hot chocolate, my back pack, my conference bag, and a huge box of agent gifts--and leading me to where I needed to be.
Elana Johnson for sitting on the ground with me and Jaime to stuff name tags with agent pitch times.

And so, so many more. I wish I had pictures of every single one of these people, but I hardly pulled out my camera. Next year, I'm taking a million pictures.

You all are the best, and it is a privilege to be a part of this conference committee and maybe make a difference in some of your lives, like you've made a difference in mine.

Here's to 2016!
Let the planning begin....

Friday, February 13, 2015

Real Love

See this man beside me:



Today is the 11th anniversary of when we first met. At a church Valentine's dance. We both laugh when we tell the story because it feels so cliche. I saw him across the room, introduced myself, we connected like I'd never connected with anyone before, and now we've been married for ten years.

In the eleven years since we've met, we have been through a lot. Four children, 20+ surgeries, so many ER visits I've lost count (for real), sleepless nights, anxiety, stress, medications to names I still can't pronounce, fainting, home health nurses, bills, and a plenty of difficult experiences I hope I never have to relive.

We've also had amazing, fun times together. Beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. But though our day-to-day actions and decisions are what make us who we are, I believe that we can truly see what we're made of in the difficult times.

And my husband is made of courage, strength, and love.

Here's a snapshot of real love:

It's sitting beside me in the doctor's office and hearing that our plans weren't going to be what we'd thought. That our son had Down syndrome with major medical issues. It's him comforting me, researching every little thing he could about the procedures our son would have to go through, and being there with me every single step of the way even though it was scary and difficult.

It's him staying overnight at the hospital with our son when it's my turn, because he knows how exhausted I am. That I can't face one more night with IVs beeping, bad news, and doctors coming in every hour, and even though it'll mean two nights of almost no sleep, he does it for me.

It's him working all day, then coming home and making dinner, taking care of the kids, taking care of me while I lie on the couch with an IV pumping vitamins and fluids into my arm for over six weeks. And being willing to go through something like that four times so we could bring our children into this world.

It's watching him hold each of our babies, then wrestling and tickling them when they get older, then helping them with their endless school projects and dreaming up new projects (like rockets or dance parties) to do on the weekends.

It's seeing him reach out to someone who is grieving, knowing that he grieves with them.

It's listening to me, really listening, when we need to talk.

It's always seeing the best in me, even when I know I'm not always at my best. He has never put me down, not once. He is a builder, not a destroyer.

It is knowing that I can trust him completely--emotionally and physically. He is my safe place.

It is in all the little, selfless decisions he makes every day that add up until they equal the kind of love that makes me thank God every single night that I went to that Valentine's Dance 11 years ago.

Don't settle for anything less than real love. There's a lot of counterfeit ideas out there trying to parade themselves as love, but love is patient and kind, trusting and hopeful. And it is a gift. One that if we have, we should cherish and treat well because love is worth it.


Monday, December 1, 2014

The Whitney Awards



                                                   

The Whitneys is an awards program for novels written by LDS authors. 

I love this program. I love it so much, that I'm on the committee this year, and I get to send out the emails saying: Congratulations! Your book has been nominated for a Whitney.

Can I tell you how much I love sending out these emails? People are so excited to get them, and I get to share just a tiny bit of their excitement. Who doesn't love being the bearer of great news!

Another great thing about the Whitneys is that readers get to do the nominations.
Any reader. LDS or not. Teenager or adult. Avid reader or reader of one book a year. Anyone. 

So if you haven't nominated a book for a Whitney, then go do it. Here's the link. It's super easy and will take you about one minute, and it might mean the difference between a book becoming an official nominee or not.

Even if you think: "Surely, XYZ author is an official nominee. They are amazing in every way!"

You'd be surprised at who doesn't get nominated because people assume that someone else has done it. 

Here's a helpful Goodreads list for Whitney Award Eligible books.
And here's a complete list of books by LDS authors from 2014. 

Go forth and nominate! (You only have until December 31.)