In the rush of holiday madness, some years I forget to make my yearly roundup of favorites, inspired by Luisa's annual list. (Go read hers if nothing else than for the too-cute picture of her daughter ringing in new year.)
Top Books by Genre
Science Fiction: The Lost Gate, by Orson Scott Card
Paranormal: Dispirited, by Luisa Perkins
Acceptable Loss, by Anne Perry. (Wow. Just, wow.)
(Also: Didn't read much in this genre in 2012, but Anne Perry deserves a mention no matter what. Can't wait to hear her speak at the LDStorymakers conference in May!)
Feedback, by Robison Wells (Even though I really read in in 2011, pre-publication)
After Hello, by Lisa Mangum
With a Name Like Love, by Tess Hilmo
Handle with Care, by Jodi Piccoult (Didn't like the last chapter.)
Home Again, by Kristen Hannah
He's Gone, by Deb Caletti (An ARC. The book won't come out until May 2013. Look for it!)
Night on Moon Hill, by Tanya Parker Mills
My Lucky Stars, by Michele Paige Holmes
Lady Outlaw, by Stacy Henrie
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
(Read this for the second set of Newport Ladies books. Fascinating.)
Dark Knight Rises
I downed a giant Diet Coke at the beginning and really had to go, but the movie wouldn't let me. That's saying something.
I've seen my share of Bond movies, although I'm not a die-hard fan. This movie, to me, was everything a Bond movie should be, with the addition of stellar writing and character arcs.
Totally lived up to the hype. I never expected Anne Hathaway to pull out such a gut-wrenching, real performance. I would have liked "Stars" to be about 5X more powerful, though, especially coming from an actor who has been nominated for 3 Oscars and owns a statue. That said, great movie. Can't remember the last time I cried this much in a theater.
Men in Black 3
Didn't expect this to be nearly as good as it was, following on the heels of a crappy MIB2. Delighted by the surprise of an awesome movie. They returned to their roots from the first one. So funny, and this one has heart, too.
Top Family Moments
Son getting his license, freeing up the mom taxi a bit.
Daughter (child #2) getting her permit, marking the beginning of training another driver.
Summer school to get ahead on credits for 2 kids.
Husband undergoing gastric bypass surgery. (Just a slight change in family life!)
Son embarking on his senior year, including final ACT testing, college applications, the school play, and more.
Daughter (Kid 2) becoming section leader in high-school band.
Daughter (Kid 3) testing (and passing!) to be on pointe in ballet and taking her dancing skills crazy high.
Daughter (Kid 2) opening her own piano studio and teaching students.
Youngest (Kid 4) Becoming a gymnast, entering team-level, and developing more muscles than is right for a 10-year-old. (She can beat any boy in her class at an arm wrestle, easy. I have to try to beat her.)
Watching Kid 3 work her tail off to overcome some major challenges as well as compete her heart out with her dance team.
Kid 4 counting down the days (literally, on a paper chain) until her best bud cousin Scott gets home from his mission (tonight!).
Top Career Moments
After a bit of publishing drought, having 2 novels come out within months of each other. (Okay, one hit shelves after the new year, but they're still only 5 months apart!)
Becoming part of Timeless Romance Anthologies, beginning with the Winter Collection. (The Spring Vacation Collection will be up for sale in about a month.)
Editing for some great clients and writers, including crit group friend, J. Scott Savage, with his next Farworld book.
Speaking at several conferences, including the League of Utah Writers Round-up, a goal of mine for about
Watching Paige climb the bestseller list on Deseret Book's website, and then stay in the top 20 for months. (Also: writing Ilana, my next volume in The Newport Ladies Book Club.)
Top Personal Moments
After having a bunch of hair fall out, deciding to chop off my long (then stringy) hair. It hasn't been this short since infancy. A fun and long-overdue change. (And my hair is no longer falling out.)
Lost more weight from the freaky weight gain.
Made some minor progress in headache relief. Hoping for more improvement in 2013.
Had a great time teaching the 12-year-old Beehives at church and going to girls camp with my 2 older girls.
Got back into knitting more, my personal de-stresser.
Attended my 20-year high-school reunion. Time warp!
Exercised more than I had in years, and even ran a lot, something I never thought I'd do. However, I still say I hate running. But I love having run.
As I discover new book deals for the holiday season, I'll continue posting them to social media, but I'll also add them to his post ...
I came across two different pieces of fun online this week. (The first I stumbled on via Maya Reynold's blog , and the other one, Melan...
To celebrate the release of The Girl in Gray , I'm giving away a camera! Yes, you read that right. And more prizes, too! ...
Don't miss out on the latest! OUT NOW: Kissing a Billionaire Collection Featuring romantic stories by Taylor Hart, Heather B....