Monday, August 24, 2015

The IF ONLY Trap

It's so easy for writers to compare themselves and their progress/careers/successes—or lack thereof—to others' and always be found wanting. While someone else seems to have everything peachy and perfect, and you don't, the reality is often quite different.

Case in point:

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be part of a planning lunch for a friend's launch party. A photo of those in attendance was posted online.

The next day, I met with two writer friends, and we discussed and planned some business things. We posted about some funny moments of the meeting.

Shortly after that, a fellow writer posted about how "everyone" is having so much fun with other writers and having success that they aren't having. I can only assume this person saw the posts, including some from me, about both the lunch and the meeting. From the outside, I'm sure both days looked like I was living the life.

Yeah, um, no. I could go on a long tangent about the many, many (MANY!) disappointments and road blocks I've run into in the 21 years I've been writing and submitting, but for now, a little perspective that's current:

Not 10 minutes after the lunch, I received some pretty devastating career news. The lunch, of course, was mentioned on social media. But I didn't mention the bad news publicly, or the fact that it overshadowed the fun of the lunch.

Then, during the planning meeting, sure, we had our moments of laughter, but they came largely after serious and frustrating discussions about what's NOT going right, how so much is out of our control, how many disappointments and failures we've run into and are still fighting to get through. The giggles were almost an effect of the stress and made up a small percentage of the whole.


Why don't I (and others) put all of the heartbreaks and disappointments out for the world to see? For many reasons (among them privacy), but in part because professionals know when to keep their mouth shut about those things. (Note how I'm not going into detail about those disappointments and hard times.)

Just because you aren't seeing the heartbreak and stress online doesn't mean it doesn't exist. In the same way you tidy your house before your friend comes to visit, professionals don't air their dirty laundry publicly. Sure, that means that what you see tends to be one sided, just like your friend probably thinks you maintain a tidier house than you really do.

I assure you, the hard stuff is still out there, it still happens, and it's brutal no matter where you are on the ladder. I don't know a single writer who has floated along unscathed—and I know a ton of writers, many far more successful than I am (New York Times bestsellers, USA Today bestsellers, and more). They all still have hard times in their careers, and I can assure you that career success doesn't mean that a fairy godmother has waved her magic wand to eliminate all challenges from a writer's personal life either.

We really need to stop envying others. Easier said than done—I've been guilty of it too, and far more often than I'd like to admit, because I know better.

Even so, I challenge writers, myself included, to deliberately go out of your way to find the joy in the PROCESS. Joy from writing doesn't—and can't—come from outside sources, even when we think it does.

How many of us have thought that we'd finally be happy if only X or Y were to happen? Wallow in those thoughts long enough, and you stop writing altogether, stop finding any kind of joy in the one thing that made you a writer to begin with.

You will have bought into the lie.

The truth: "IF ONLY" is a trap.

The real joy of writing comes from the time you spend brainstorming and researching and drafting and revising.

The joy comes when it's just you and the story—and sometimes when a beta reader can't put your work down.

Sometimes the joy comes when a beta reader finds a glaring problem, but you know exactly how to fix it.

Other times, it's when you've been over a piece so many times that you're sure it stinks, but when all is said and done, and you can step back objectively, you realize that hey, it's not so bad, and that you've grown as a writer.

If writing itself can't bring you some happiness, no accolades or bestseller status ever will. 

Don't get caught in the trap.

Get back to work.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


What's a cover reveal without a story, right?

Friends and long-time readers know that I have a love of Scandinavia, and in particular, Finland. A big part of that is the fact that my mother was born and raised there. Another is that my father did church service there for 2 1/2 years as a young man.

And no, they didn't meet then. Five years after his mission, he returned to Finland on a Fulbright scholarship to do research for his dissertation. That is when they met and courted, and the following autumn, they married.

Dad is a retired linguist (again, something long-time readers will already know). In addition to speaking Finnish, he taught Finnish literature at the university where he served as a linguistics professor. Throughout my childhood, we regularly had Finnish visitors, heard stories about the country, and so on. Christmas in particular became a time for family traditions centered around Finland.

When I was 6, my family visited Finland for three months, each in a different city for the summer. While I have some wonderful memories of that time, my true passion for the country came to life a few years later, when we returned to live in Helsinki for 3 years. I attended public school and eventually learned the language. I still have several dear friends there (and some who have immigrated to the States). And my love for all things Finnish has only continued to grow.

It was only a matter of time before that love informed my writing.

The fall of 2008, I finally had the chance to return to Finland for the first time since 1987. WOW. I felt like I'd returned home! Leaving was harder than I anticipated; I cried at the airport. But as I flew back to the States with my husband, I already had a story idea percolating in the back of my mind. I didn't know the details yet, but I knew I wanted to write a retelling of one of the stories in the Finnish mythology, known as the Kalevala.

So I did. I read large sections of the Kalevala and spent a long time working on expanding the story of Aino into a full-length novel.

And I'm thrilled to say that after many delays (a lot of them professional obligations that pushed this project to the back burner, many others family things because, well, family trumps, as well it should), my retelling of the story, now titled Song Breaker, will be released this fall!

I don't have a final date yet, as a few variables still need to be worked out, but I hope to have it available for readers no later than the first week of October (hopefully sooner!).

In the meantime, here's the amazing cover, designed by the immensely talented Sarah Beard:

Isn't it gorgeous?!

If you want to be kept up to date on the release of Song Breaker, be sure to sign up for my newsletter (do that in the white box in the sidebar).

And in the meantime, take a peek at the reviews coming in for the Annette Lyon Collection from Timeless Romance Anthologies, featuring five stories that are fan favorites plus one all-new novella.

The collection is available HERE.

A blog tour for the collection is going on right now. Here are some of the stops so far.
Katie’s Clean Book Collection
Bookworm Lisa
I Love to Read and Review Books
Literary Time Out

(Find the full list of blog tour stops HERE.)

I love gazing at the cover. 
It's just so awesome in so many ways!

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Where I Get My Inspiration

Note: My Timeless Romance Anthology is now available! Get it HERE for Amazon or HERE for iTunes. Other purchase links below.

Inspiration is like a pile of Lego blocks.
Recently on Facebook, someone (Im forgetting who, unfortunately) tagged me and several other writers to ask where we find our inspiration.

I wasnt sure how to answer because the term inspiration can be defined in so many ways. Did she mean how do I find ideas? How do I find the inspired rush that drives me to the keyboard? Something else?

I never did get around to answering the question when it was posted, but it’s been tumbling around in my head for some time, so I thought I’d tackle it here from the perspective my 20+ years of writing seriously (plus another 15 of dabbling in it).

Finding things to write about is one type of inspiration. Finding ideas isn’t the hard part; they’re everywhere. Finding good ideas with a fresh angle that are interesting and worth pursuing is a big trickier. In my experience, the good ideas are the ones where at least two very different things suddenly come together in your head in a new way.

The trick is making yourself open to absorbing all kinds of input and then letting your brain play with the resulting stack of Lego idea bricks to see what kind of thing you can make with the new blocks you found.

The magic of a shiny new idea, at least for me, often happens when my brain takes two pieces of information that seem utterly unconnected, clicks them together like Lego pieces, and I suddenly have a shiny new “what if” scenario that gets me so excited I can’t stop thinking about it. 

And you can’t plan for the kind of sudden click (or collision, however you look at it) of ideas. It happens unexpectedly, unpredictably. That’s part of the magic of the creative process. 

So if you can’t pencil in that youll have a flash of brilliance at 1:34 PM on Tuesday when you need an idea, how exactly do you make sure you’ll have great ideas when you need them and that you won’t run out of them?

(1) Constantly Fill Your Well
Be aware of what’s around you. Soak it all in. Keep up with current events where you live and abroad. Read up on weird trivia. Read a lot: novels in your genre and outside it, nonfiction, magazines, and more. I’m not a fast reader, but I do read regularly and a wide variety of .

People watch then think of ways to describe that mannerism the man over there made. Or come up with a good (non-cliché) metaphor to describe the way the lake looks right now. This mental kind of game is especially big when I travel to a new place. I go out of my way to notice colors, smells, and sounds. I pay attention to how people behave. What the food is like. And so on. My creative inner child have fun with the building blocks. I have no way of knowing which details will eventually show up in a story, so I drink it all in. The more that’s in the well, the more variety of Lego blocks my mind has to play with and land on an unexpected combination.

When I’m in a new place, I take pictures to trigger my memory. I take notes that day but often after the fact rather than in the moment so I don’t miss noticing anything, and so I can immerse myself in an experience.

By filling your well up with outside stimuli, you’re giving your creative subconscious the Lego blocks it needs if it’s going to build something cool. Be sure to give it plenty of supplies for the job. 

Other ideas: Read and watch the news and imagine scenarios from the victims’ perspective and from the perpetrator’s. Law enforcement’s, too. Watch news magazine shows and imagine what really went on in those people’s lives. Sometimes I get ideas from songs, but that’s usually on road trips when I’m listening to the same album over and over because a child insists on it, and because the long hours of open road let my mind wander.

Mental wandering, Ive found, is key to landing on great ideas. Mundane chores and activities are fabulous for letting the creative mind meander through the creative well so it will come back with ideas. That kind of wandering rarely yields fruit if you’re stressed out and trying to force it. 

I’ve had ideas (and even solutions to big plot problems) pop into my head while mowing the lawn, doing dishes, vacuuming, sorting laundry, drying my hair, taking a shower, and (as mentioned already) driving long distances. Note that in all of those activities, chances are, I am in a relaxed state, and in many of them I am physically moving. For me, those elements are often key for the best brainstorming.

In contrast, the more I try to force an idea to show up RIGHT NOW, the more likely my creative brain will panic and retreat. 

(2) Make Yourself a Small Box and Get Inside It.
A completely different way of being inspired with new ideas came about for me after I joined forces with Heather B. Moore and Sarah M. Eden with the Timeless Romance Anthology series. Each story I write for the series has a specific theme on top of being either historical or contemporary (very different animals themselves). We’ve consistently put out 3 to 4 collections a year for some time now, so I always have another novella deadline around the corner.

That sounds pretty terrifying, but as it turns out, the thematic requirements haven’t been restrictive; they’ve been utterly freeing

It reminds me of a board game that some family members were chosen to be beta testers for. They brought it to a family dinner, and we all played. The game had cards with abstract shapes and lines all over them, and depending on how things went, sometimes you could get points for finding any object on a card, or you had to find objects belonging to a specific category (fruits, vehicles, school supplies). At first, we assumed that the free-for-all turns would be easier because no object was off limits. But without exception, the free-for-all turns were when we all choked, unable to see much of anything. 

But give us a specific category, and we could spot pictures everywhere (Look! Grapes! Thats a pineapple. I found an apple, orange, and strawberry. Ooh, a pear!) And on it went. The more specific the requirement, the easier it was for our minds to see patterns.

My experience with the anthologies has been similar: If someone were to tell me to write a short story or novella about anything at all, in any genre, right now, that could be tricky. But give me clear parameters (e.g. a paranormal historical romance set during Halloween, like our next Timeless collection will be), and suddenly, ideas start popping up all over the place. 

Case in point: A few months ago, knowing I needed to write my All Hallows’ Eve story, I drove past a cool old church at night. I noticed a light on above a door, coming through the window above it. Immediately, I thought of how cool it would be if there were a ghost in the building, and I was seeing its light through the window. 

As I drove on (likely to pick up a child from some activity), I knew Id landed on the seed of the story that will be in that collection. The story itself didn’t show up until later, after I toured the church and another local historic site, but I knew the story would involve a ghost and that church window. (See the news below about when to expect that collection!)

Quite often, the smaller the box you must work inside, the easier the ideas come to fill it. If you don’t have a box given to you from an outside source, create one. Look online for writing prompts to create a box. You may find a new book idea, or you may have fun with a writing exercise. Either way, its worth your time. 

This is another way of defining inspiration, and it’s a different ball of wax entirely. I’d go so far as to say that for the most part, it’s a myth.

Sure, writers all have moments of feeling drawn to the keyboard, and those moments are probably what first lit the excitement inside us about writing in the first place. But those moments are usually fleeting and spaced far apart. 

Life gets in the way (so does the internet and so many other things), and then the writing doesn’t happen. If you write only when inspiration strikes, it’ll take you fifteen years (or more) to finish the first draft a project. Along the way, you’ll probably take several detours by starting ten other shiny new projects . . . without finishing any of them, either.

A truth: Often getting a writing session started is the hardest part. The muse, the inspiration, simply isn’t there. Even after writing for as long as I have, getting down to work can be a battle. I know that if I force myself to start pounding out words, and especially if I give myself permission to have those words be garbage instead of feeling the pressure to make them all perfect, then within fifteen minutes, I will almost certainly slip into the magic of flow. The inspiration will show up, and the writing session will become productive and even fun.

The order of those events is key: Before inspiration to write strikes, you have to start writing without it.

I have to work without out any inspiration or excitement, at least at first. I have to force myself to write, knowing that the only way out is through. Sometimes I’ve put in the work, and every word was dragged out of my fingers kicking and screaming. That can happens for days or weeks or months at a time, so I start thinking that I really do suck at this thing, and I’ll never feel the creative rush again.

But if I keep showing up and producing words, the inspiration eventually does show up, and suddenly, I never I remember why I do this crazy thing, and I never want to leave the keyboard.

That feeling is pretty darn amazing. But it’s not something I can sit around waiting for. It won’t come that way. You show up first. The muse will eventually see that you really do take your writing seriously. As a result, it will start to show up at a certain time because she knows she can count on you to already be there.

For more on inspiration and writing, I highly recommend Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk on the subject. I’ve watched it several times over the years, and I get something new from it every time.


FIRST: On August 3, watch for the release of the All Hallows Eve collection from Timeless Romance Anthologies, featuring guest contributors Elana Johnson, Jordan McCollum, and Lisa Mangum, in addition the three of us who appear in each volume (Heather B. Moore, Sarah M. Eden, and yours truly). Find its beautiful and creepy cover HERE. This is where my ghost story will published!

SECOND: The next volume after that celebrates the Christmas season: Under the Mistletoe will be released mid-October, in time for readers to enjoy it in the weeks leading up to the holiday season. Here's the link to the cover reveal. We have some great guest authors on board for it!

The Annette Lyon Collection from Timeless Romance Anthologies is LIVE, and the reviews are starting to come in. Snag it now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or iTunes, and watch for the blog tour later this month.

Monday, July 06, 2015

$50 Giveaway & the Awesome Rachelle

A little over 5 years ago, I hosted Rachelle J. Christensen in an author interview right here on my blog. In the time since, I've come to know her a bit better, and I've been impressed with her savvy-ness as a writer and business woman on top of being one of the most genuinely  nice and sincere people you'll ever meet.

On top of all that, she's writing a ridiculously fun mystery series centered around wedding planner Adrielle Pyper, who ends up entangled in the mystery and sleuthing.

The second book comes out Tuesday July 7. It stands alone, so you don't have to read the first one, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things first (but get it at that link if you want to!).

You can pre-order the Kindle version (only $2.99!) or the paperback already. Check out the details of her book below and then enter the $50 giveaway!


Veils and Vengeance, book #2 in the Wedding Planner Mystery Series from award-winning & bestselling author Rachelle J. Christensen.
Available July 7th with an ebook sale price of only $2.99!

Veils and Vengeance (Wedding Planner Mysteries Book 2)
“Author Rachelle J. Christensen has created likable and realistic characters. She blends the drama of a mystery with the allure of weddings mixing in a good dose of humor, suspense, and of course, a touch of romance.” –Mason Canyon, reviewer

Veils and Vengeance
Here's a blurb about the book. Be sure to enter the giveaway and the goodreads giveaway below!

Veils and Vengeance by Rachelle J. Christensen When wedding planner Adrielle Pyper goes to Hawaii to orchestrate a destination wedding, she isn't prepared for what she finds. After the trauma of her previous event, the beautiful isle of Kauai is the perfect place for Adri to unwind and do what she does best – plan. She even lets herself indulge in the attention of the groom’s handsome brother. But just when everything seems to be perfect, an afternoon snorkeling trip turns to murder when Adri discovers the body of a young woman. Shaken, but unable to let it go, Adri’s sleuthing leads her into more danger than she could imagine. When a number of “accidents” threaten her own life, it soon becomes apparent that someone will do anything to keep Adri from interfering with their vengeance.   add to goodreads Enter the Goodreads Giveaway here:     

What's that? You haven't read book #1 yet? Never fear, check it out here Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things: A Wedding Planner Mystery (Wedding Planner Mysteries) !

Praise for Rachelle J. Christensen

“A fun walk-down-the-aisle cozy mystery!” – Shauna Wheelwright, reviewer

Fans of award-winning author Rachelle Christensen will be standing in line for her latest release. With tension, action, danger, and definite hints of romance, this book represents everything we love to read.”  Tristi Pinkston, author of the Secret Sisters Mysteries

Author Rachelle J. Christensen has created likable and realistic characters. She blends the drama of a mystery with the allure of weddings mixing in a good dose of humor, suspense, and of course, a touch of romance.” –Mason Canyon, reviewer

Heres the exact way to turn an improbable plot into a rollicking suspense novel, full of surprises and twists, and wonderful characterizations. Jeff Needle prominent book reviewer from the AML

Don’t expect to get a lot of sleep . . . . If the thrills of the chase don’t get you, the thrills of the heart will.
–Jeffrey S Savage, author of the Shandra Covington mystery series and the Mysteries of Cove series

Photo by Erin Summerill

Author Rachelle J. Christensen Rachelle J. Christensen is a mother of five who writes mystery/suspense and solves the case of the missing shoe on a daily basis. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a minor in music. She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and, of course, reading. Rachelle is the award-winning author of six books, including Wrong Number, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things, and What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know. Her novella, Silver Cascade Secrets, was included in the Rone Award-winning Timeless Romance Anthology: Fall Collection.

$50 Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 7/21/15. Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized and sponsored by Rachelle Christensen. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Story in Texts and Pictures, Or: I Have Hilarious and Awesome Friends

Long-time readers of my blog know that every year I attend the LDStorymakers writers conference and that it's a bit of a highlight for me. That's for many reasons, one of which is that I have been able to be part of something that had humble beginnings and has since morphed into something massive and awesome. That first conference had somewhere around 42 attendees. This last one had around 700 attendees. Growth, much?

But another reason I love the conference is the opportunity to rub shoulders with my people—with my tribe, as the theme and logo from the conference said.

Dan Wells with an ARC of his new book.
Read on for the story behind his awesome deviousness.

This year, I had a particularly fun moment in the faculty green room between workshops I was teaching.

Important back story: Child #2 is fascinated by all things psychological (she took AP Psychology and will be minoring in psychology come fall), and that interest began after I handed her Dan Wells' I Am Not a Serial Killer. She devoured it and went on to inhale the rest of the trilogy, followed by The Hollow City, Dan's sci-fi thriller with a hero who has schizophrenia.

It's safe to say she's a huge Dan Wells fan, and she's been eagerly awaiting the release of his next John Cleaver book, The Devil's Only Friend, which is for sale now but hadn't yet been released.

Dan and Rob Wells (both writers and both friends of mine) have a podcast where, a few years ago, they had an ongoing joke about this daughter; they mentioned her by name in every podcast for several weeks. They eventually took the joke all the way by having her on the show as a guest.

While in the green room, I saw Dan. I mentioned that it was too bad he wouldn't be at this year's Whitney Awards gala, because I'd be mentioning him in reference to my daughter in my introductory remarks.

"Is this the same daughter we talked about in the podcast?" Dan asked.

"Sure is," I said. "And she's a huge fan of yours."

Dan made a generous offer: "I have a few ARCs of The Devil's Only Friend in my car. I could sign one for her."

Yes, please!

He promptly retrieved one. But in typical Dan fashion, he wanted to have some fun with the moment. Here is the text message conversation that followed. Never let it be said that I don't have hilarious, if somewhat cruel, friends.

First, I sent her this picture of Dan holding the book, with the following text:

Her reply:

Note the profuse use of question marks and exclamation points indicating intense emotion.

Dan and I cracked up.

"What should I tell her next?" I asked.

Dan suggested a second picture. Fellow writer friend James Dashner, who was also in the green room, happily played along.

At this point, my child was bordering on freaking out. WHAT was her mother doing to her? She desperately tried to make sense of it all.

Her frustration was clearly bordering on tears. I confess that those of us in the green room were laughing our heads off.

But eventually we took pity on my poor child and told her the truth with a new photo.

Her reply warmed my heart. What parent doesn't feel a sweetness like nothing else when a child expresses true love and appreciation?

But then she sent one more text, a caveat:

Uh . . .

Universal law: Teens can't raise you up without putting you right back in your place a moment later.

Eh. I'll take it anyway. "Best mommy" under any circumstances counts for something.

Besides, Dan, James, and I had a ball creating the emotional firestorm that happened on the other end.

(Who says writers have to grow up to be mature? Pshaw.)

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Flash Sale on Great E-books!

I'm part of a FANTASTIC sale on different genres!! If you have friends who love to read, please let them know about this sale!


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? 

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?

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...