Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tristi Pinkston announcement

Author Tristi Pinkston is excited to announce the release of the third novel in her Secret Sisters Mysteries series.

Titled Hang ‘em High, this novel takes place on a dude ranch in Montana. When Ida Mae’s son invites her to come for a visit, of course she brings Arlette and Tansy along with her. They are expecting to spend the week looking at horses, avoiding the cows, and making amends in Ida Mae’s relationship with her son. What they don’t expect is to be stuck on the ranch in the middle of a blizzard and to be thrust headlong into the middle of a mystery.

Help Tristi celebrate her new novel in two ways. First, come participate in the two-week-long blog contest, where you can win a book nearly every single day! All the details are up on Tristi’s blog.

Second, come to the book launch!

You are invited to an

August Authorama!

Saturday, August 13th

Pioneer Book, 858 S. State, Orem

12 – 4 pm

Games, prizes, balloons, face painting,

and Dutch oven cobbler

prepared by world champion cook

Keith Fisher.

Authors Tristi Pinkston, J. Lloyd Morgan, Cindy Hogan,

Nichole Giles, and Heather Justesen

will all be there to sign books.

This is one book launch event

you will not want to miss!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

We're a go for launch

I can officially announce that The Hidden Sun, second edition, will be released the second week in August by Walnut Springs Press.

Though the new cover is super top secret for now, I can share a few things.

First of all, I'll be out in Utah to promote the book. The official big launch of it will be at a big event on Saturday, August 13th. In fact, here is a cool flyer with all the information:

I'm currently working on a few other signings in the area, and will announce them once they are nailed down.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I have my little corner of the world. It's my man cave. It's where I do my writing, go to relax, and also to escape from the world. I'm a fairly organized person, though you may not think so by looking at my desk. It's got "a place for everything and everything all over the place" vibe to it. I know exactly where the bills are that need to be paid. The remote to my stereo system is within reach. My CDs (yes, I'm still fighting the good fight by buying CDs!) are on shelves to my right. In fact, everyone in my family knows that you don't mess with Daddy's man cave space.

Now, for full disclosure, my man cave is really just one corner of a room my wife and I sectioned off from the rest of our house to be our office. (Our main floor had an open plan, so we walled off one section and put a door in the other entry to make the office). The rest of this room I share with my wife. And when I say "share" I mean, she has shelves of crafting supplies and all sorts of other things that mom's need to keep a house running.

Just as my man cave is my "do not touch" area, the same can be largely said about the kitchen. Let me state up front, my wife is an excellent cook. She really enjoys cooking, which is one reason our marriage is so successful because I enjoy eating. My cooking skills, on the other hand, have much, if not everything, to be desired. In fact, while going to college, my motto was, "If it's not from a can, it's not for this man."

My wife isn't nearly as territorial of the kitchen as I am with my man cave space. She has a place where things are kept and such. I get that. She also has a certain way she wants the dishes done. I'm cool with that too. But once in a while, I'll need to pinch hit if she's not feeling well or busy with meetings and so on.

There was one day when she was under the weather. She was laying (or is it lying? I always get those confused) on the couch. I volunteered to make dinner and she said ok--which is a sign she wasn't in her right mind.

I went  to the pantry to see what I could make. There were a couple of cans of spaghettios--the kids liked eating those. But in the back of my mind, I heard my wife's voice about needing to have a balanced meal. OK, so I needed some sort of meat. No problem--there was a can of Spam.

So. . .I cut up the Spam and fried up little chunks of it while I was letting the spaghettios warm up. In the mean time, I cut up an apple into about eight uneven slices and put them on a paper plate. Once the Spam was cooked, I put it into the spaghettios. Tada! Spamettios was born!

The kids actually really liked it and ate it all up. Once my wife was awake and feeling better, I told her what I had made. I still remember the look of horror on her face. To date, I've not been allowed to make dinner since.      

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


In the "Logical Song" by Supertramp, a lyrics says, "There are times when all the world's asleep, the questions run too deep for such a simple man."  I'll admit, many a night I've been in bed pondering the answers to various questions. I recently came across a list of some of the deeper questions, and I thought I'd share them in this blog. 

If you know any of the answers, I'd love to know what they are! 

"If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?"

"If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to see it, do the other trees make fun of it?"

"Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?"

"Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?"

"If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?"

"If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry?" 

"If the black box is never hurt in a plane crash, why don't they make the whole plane out of the same material?"

"When I erase a word with a pencil, where does it go?"

"What do little birdies see when they get knocked unconscious?"

"Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?"

Saturday, July 16, 2011

You're afraid of. . .what?

We all have fears of different things. Sometimes we can understand why, and other times, it may be something of a mystery. These fears can be so strong sometimes that they can be classified as phobias--defined as an irrational fear. Granted, I think there are fears that are completely rational, but that is besides the point.  I looked up some different types of phobias, and it is amazing what has been defined.

Probably one of the most common, or well known, is Arachnophobia, or fear of spiders as made famous by a 1990 movie of the same name.

Here's the trailer for it:

The preview is almost misleading. This is actually a pretty creepy movie. At one point while I was watching it, I thought I felt something crawling on my leg and it freaked me out.

But what other type of phobias are out there?

Well, these are true phobias, in the sense that that have a name.
Ideophobia- Fear of ideas
Octophobia - Fear of the figure 8
Linonophobia- Fear of string
Nephophobia- Fear of clouds
Pupaphobia - Fear of puppets

Genuphobia- Fear of knees

Mottephobia- Fear of moths
I would say I have Mottephobia or fear of moths. And I can remember the exact moment when I developed this fear. 
It was a summer night and I was driving home from work. My windows were down in my car, and I had the radio blasting some rockin' 80's music. While turning left through a busy intersection (one of those where two lanes are turning left) a moth flew into my car. And not only that, it flew at my face. To make things worse, it got stuck between my glasses and my left eye. I remember it fluttering like mad to escape while I'm trying not to run into my fellow drivers. I was finally able to pull off to the side of the road and jump out of my car, removing my glasses and freeing the moth at the same time. Believe me, that really freaked me out. To this day, when I see a moth, that experience comes back to me.

Finally, there is Phobophobia. What  is that? Why, it is a fear of phobias.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A "I can't believe what just happened" moment, part 2

In a previous blog, I discussed a certain situation where if I hadn't experienced it personally, I'm not sure I would have believed it.

Today, I had another one of those moments.

At my place of employment, we were wrapping up for the day. I was talking with one of my co-workers about religion. She's Catholic and I'm a Mormon. It was a very nice conversation. She was curious about what I believed in and what made it different from other religions. I explained some of the basic beliefs as we walked around the building, closing things up for the night.

We got to an area that requires two people to close, but we couldn’t do so until a certain time. I pulled my smart phone out of my pocket (I don't wear a watch) to see if it was time. We had to wait a couple of minutes. As we stood there, I explained to her that in the end, my faith doesn't come from what I know as much as what I feel. I can deny things I read or what people tell me, but I can't deny what I feel. And sometimes that feeling tells me what I'm reading is true, or what I'm hearing is God's word.

As I was basically bearing my testimony to her, we started to hear angelic music. At first I thought it was muzak piped through the building, but the sound was much closer and it wasn't the type of music that we normally heard.

She asked me, "Do you hear that music?" I said I did, and asked her if it was her cell phone, because mine didn't have a ringtone like that, plus, mine vibrates when it rings and I would have felt it. She said her phone was at her desk.

We looked at each other for a moment, not sure what was going on.

As my ears tried to pinpoint where the sound was coming from, I thought to check my phone which I had put back into my pocket. On the display was the internet radio app Pandora, and the song it was playing was a Christmas song from Amy Grant I'd not heard before. (Pandora has different "stations" you create by picking certain types of music or artist, and it was playing the Christmas station I had created.)

"You did that on purpose!" she accused, laughing slightly. I told her I hadn't. Sometimes if I don't turn off my phone just right, it will randomly activate an app. Before then, it had never started the Pandora app. Even stranger is that is started my Christmas station.

She said how it was a big coincidence that here we were talking about God, and all of a sudden my phone decides to play angelic music. I told her I didn't believe it was a coincidence--I told her that when I heard the music, I felt peace and comfort.

And those feelings were things I could not deny.    

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review of Storm Surge by Tamara Ward

I had the chance to meet Tamara Ward at the Apex Writer's Guild meeting a few months ago. She had recently released Storm Surge--A Jonie Waters Mystery through Peak City Publishing. A few days later I went to All Booked Up, in Apex, NC to buy said book. They actually had to sell me the display copy because they had sold out of the rest--and I can see why.

The story centers around Jonie Waters, a reporter who is returning to her hometown of Wilmington, NC in seek of new employment. She had left the area some time ago due to issues with her family--most noticeably her step-sister, Kimmie. There is quite the history between Jonie and Kimmie, which makes for a very interesting addition to the book. Without giving away too much of the book, Jonie finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation of an old friend and Kimmie is a detective working on the case. But Kimmie doesn't work alone. Her partner, Daniel, is someone that Jonie finds fascinating, despite the fact he's Kimmie's partner and he often is at odds with Jonie's investigation methods.

While the book is a murder mystery, the heart and soul of the book are the characters. They add a dimension to the book I've not found in many other books of this genre. What makes it more interesting to me is that this is the first book of a series. While the story of the mystery is engaging, it is really Jonie that drives the book. I can't wait to see what happens to her next.

Tamara does an excellent job with the mystery aspect of the book. I honestly had no idea who the killer was until it was revealed at the end. The writing flows well and the book has excellent pacing.

As far as who would like this book? I'd give it a PG-13 rating for some violence and some slightly suggestive themes--and even then, it's still something I'd let my teenagers read.

To sum up how good this book is, my wife stayed up until 3:00 am one night to finish it because she "had to see how it ended." 

For more about Tamara Ward, click here. 

To order the book, click here. 

**Disclaimer: I purchased this book on my own. I was not given any compensation for this review, so the contents herein are my honest opinion. **

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

(Almost) famous quotes

I recently had to travel to Wilmington, North Carolina for a business meeting. Wilmington is on the beach and so my wife decided to come with me, along with my 4 daughters. They got to go to the beach, I got to go to a meeting. Ah, the joys of being a dad.

The trip was roughly 2 1/2 hours each way. On the way back, my wife and I got a little goofy and started coming up with some variations of famous quotes. Most of these are really fun when you are tired and what we call "sleepy silly".

"Revenge is a dish best served with a side of hash browns."
"Rome wasn't built on a weekday."
"I regret that I only have $1.87 to give for my country."
"A bird in the hand is frankly kinda creepy."

"Give me Liberty, or really, not so much."

 "Yippie Kai Yay, Mother Teresa!"

To finish, here is an (almost) famous quote from a previous US President.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Review of The Last Archangel by Michael Young

It seems like a book about a fallen angel sentenced to be the bringer of doom wouldn't be inspirational. Yet somehow, it is. What about a cute little cherub as a sidekick who shoots a pretty mean bow and arrow? Again, it seems a bit of a stretch, and yet, it works. In fact, everything in The Last Archangel works on several different levels.

In addition to the exceptionally imaginative storyline, Young presents some fairly incredible concepts that are not only believable in the framework of the story, but also take it to the next level of originality.

Xandir is an angel punished for his wrongful deeds. What could an angel do to be punished? How about revealing the secrets of Heaven to man. And then there was the matter of entering into illicit relationships with humankind, which created the race of Giants--an abominable race that would have proved the end of humans if left unchecked.

Yeah, I can see why he would be punished. His sentence? To be the Destroying Angel until the End of Time. I'd say that's a pretty stiff penalty. However, he's given two weapons to use. One of Justice and one of Mercy. The trick is that Justice has to be served, yet Mercy cannot be ignored. It's a conundrum to be sure.

To reveal more of the plot would be unfair to the reader. It's really something that is best enjoyed along the way. I will say this: I give it an A+ for pacing. Never once did I say to the book, "I get it, move on already!"

Young isn't afraid to tackle some subjects other authors may shy away from--Heaven, Hell, Angels, Demons and various other religious topics. Does it come across as preachy? No. Does it make you stop and ponder? It should.

When you get this book, you'll want to clear your schedule for the next couple of days. At the very least, leave a note for your loved ones explaining that you're fine, just lost in an excellent story.

To read more about Michael Young, click here.

To order The Last Archangel, click here.

**Disclaimer: I was given a pre-release version of this book to review for free. However, in no way, shape or form did this influence my opinion of this book.