Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winner Announced...

Well, it took me a few days, but I did a draw from the names that got entries in my blog tour contest (this is separate then the contest being run by Walnut Springs for the same tour) and the autographed copy of Finding Rose goes to.....


Congratulations, and I will contact you to get the prize to you!

Thanks for following the tour!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finding Rose Blog Tour

It's blog tour time for Whitney Nominee
Finding Rose by Stephanie Humphreys

We're excited because we've got some fabulous reviewers on board,
not to mention that we'll be giving away THREE copies!
The tour runs from November 22-December 3.

Want to win a copy of
Finding Rose? It's easy. Check out
the fabulous reviews and leave a comment letting us know why you're excited
to read Finding Rose. Remember to
include your email address. If you tweet about the blog tour, or post about
it on your blog or facebook, leave the link in the comments section and
you'll receive an additional entry.

I am so excited to be a part of this blog tour. I've been waiting all month for this day. With the old blog that I used to run, I had the opportunity a few times to review books by authors in various genres. But this review is different. I'm not just going to tell you about this novel, I'm going to share with you my journey with it and it's author, the talented Stephanie Humphreys.

I met Stephanie eight years ago when I began dating my husband. As an individual she impressed me with her deep spiritual convictions, her loving concern for her immediate and extended family, and her good natured, welcoming personality. I enjoyed spending time with her, and was excited to become her Sister-in-law. However, it wasn't until almost a year later that I discovered we had something in common - a love of writing.

It's been exciting to watch Stephanie go from rough draft to published novel. I'm sure that has a lot to do with the fact that I haven't shared in any of the stress of the process, but just a viewer on the sidelines.

I have watched her grow and struggle, experience success and setbacks through the publication process. Her initiative and intensive love for the craft of writing have fueled my own growth in this fulfilling hobby. She has a constant desire to grow and learn. She is always reading and studying, and pushing herself to become a better writer. She supports other worthy authors by buying and promoting their work. When the Whitney awards were pioneered, she tirelessly advocated the importance of the program to friends, family and associates. She has faithfully attended the LDStorymakers conference every year since 2007 when we first walked through the doors of the Provo library and realized that we had found a true treasure of an experience.

Though she is a busy wife and mother, Stephanie also runs two local writing groups - one which I have the privilege of attending, and one for the youth of the community. Her love for the written word has been passed on to her children, who reflect high standards of writing. It is fun to hear them debate the sections of a book or film based on plot and character development.
The point is, this is not just about a book, it's about an author. This is Stephanie's first novel, and if the calibre of professionalism and talent that is present within it is any indication, then this emerging writer can only grow and achieve with a promising future. I can't wait to see her next books on store shelves, and own an autographed copy of each!

How does that famous saying go? Oh yes, there's plenty more where this came from! And I look forward to it.
As for the novel itself, I have discovered that the process of writing is much like the process of life. One does not just sit down, type out 60,000 words and then send it off to the presses. Books grow and change like we do. Through several edits, lots of cutting of excess and addition of deeper plot and character, this book has truly been through the polisher. What is unique about Finding Rose is that although an LDS romance, it is set in a time and place, though not totally historically accurate, are a part of our pioneer heritage. Stephanie has ancestors that came from Utah at the request of the Church Presidency to settle and develop the Southern Alberta area. Rose and the characters of this story are loosely based on these people and events. Romantic fiction is not new, but this story is.
One thing that Stephanie truly excels at in her writing is characterization, and this book is no exception. Her characters are passionate and intriguing and pull you into the story. We can easily identify with them, and wish for them the best possible outcome.
I suppose you may think I say these things because Stephanie is my Sister-in-law. I am generally not a fan of romantic fiction, but in this case, despite my relationship to its author, Finding Rose is truly an exceptional piece of writing. I guess you'll just have to read it and find out for yourself...

Will Rose honor her father's last wish?

Rose stood and dropped her father's hand. "You're tired, Papa." She pulled
the quilt over his thin shoulders and kissed him on the cheek. . . .

"Think about what I said." He gently squeezed her hand. "I wish you would
consider giving Miles a chance."

"Miles! I wish Sean had never brought him here. He's so serious. In all the
time he's been here, he's hardly ever smiled. . . . He annoys me and I wish
he would go home." Still, Rose couldn't help but think of his gentleness
when he cared for her father.

On his deathbed, Rose Sterling's father asks her to consider Miles Crandall
as a suitor. Then Rose is sent to live with an uncle in Spring Creek,
Montana, far from her carefree life with her family in Utah. Miles is
returning to his hometown of Spring Creek to set up a medical practice, so
Rose is certain her being sent there is a setup. Yet Miles doesn't seem
interested in her, and after Rose falls ill in Montana, he seems content to
act as her physician and friend. When Rose captures the attention of Miles's
younger, flamboyant brother as well as the town sheriff, Miles retreats even
further from any attempt at courtship.

How can Rose honor her father's last wish if Miles doesn't even try to court
her? Will she have the courage to put her heart on the line and fight for
the one she really loves?

November 22
Tristi Pinkston--Tristi Pinkston

November 23
Alison Palmer--Tangled Words and

November 24
Taffy Lovell--Taffy's Writing

November 29
Jenn Wilks--Jenn Wilks
Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen--The
Write Blocks

November 30
Amanda Thomson--Maybe Mandi

December 1
Sheila Staley--Why Not?
Because I Said So

December 2
Valerie Ipson--Valerie Ipson

December 3
Christine Bryant--Day

Thanks for checking out my review! If you've read Finding Rose, or can't wait to get your hands on your own copy, I'm going to give you a 4th chance to win. I have an autographed copy to give away, in addition to the three prizes being offered at the beginning of this post for leaving a comment on the blog tour. But you have to do something different to earn mine. Here's how you win:

Stephanie has been an advocate and tireless supporter of the Whitney awards since their inception in Spring of 2008, and of the LDStorymakers organization. In fact, we were blessed to attend the first Gala event in Sandy, Utah. To help raise awareness of this group and its efforts to improve the calibre of LDS writing, I'm going to make you do some research. Click on the two links below, do a little searching, and then come back to comment on this post. Tell me:

1. The name of a book that has been nominated for a Whitney in the past three years that you have either read or want to read, and

2. The month and year that LDStorymakers was formed (hint: it's right on the home page).

This will earn you two entries into the contest. I will draw for a winner December 4th. And don't forget to follow the instructions at the beginning of this post to earn entries for the other prizes. Good luck!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Blog Tour For Local Author

Well, it has been quite an absence since I last posted. A lot has changed in the past four months. In September, my oldest child started kindergarten, my second started potty training, and we were thrilled to introduce a beautiful baby boy to our growing family. Two months have passed, and as I am feeling very well, and life seems to be back in the normal phase again, I decided it was time to update my blog.

I couldn't think of a better way to do this than with this exciting announcement: On Tuesday, November 30, 2010, I get to participate in a blog tour for the first novel published by Stephanie Humphreys, who just happens to be my sister-in-law.

I am excited to host her on my site, so be sure to check back next week! There will be a prize involved....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Who Am I?

Although, by my blog archive, you may assume I am new to the blogosphere, I have actually been an avid blogger for about three years now. However, this past Christmas, I decided to take my blog private as it contained the first names and pictures of my children, and this lack of privacy in an increasingly dangerous Internet world was beginning to worry me.

However, the downside to privatizing a blog is it kills your networking and friendshiping abilities. After months of deliberation, I have finally made the decision to start fresh.

And now I find myself staring at a screen and wondering, what do I write?

So I think I will start with the basics and introduce myself. I am a Southern Alberta raised girl. I've been married for over seven years and we are currently expecting our third child this fall. I have a combined degree in Science and Early Childhood Education, and have previously taught Early Elementary for two years.

I've been writing stories since I could hold a pencil (and I seem to remember having my parents scribe my creative writing even before I could do that) and continue to love the pursuit of this hobby. One of the highlights of my year is attending the LDStorymakers Conference each spring, something I've done three times now, and found an invaluable experience. Someday, someday, I will actually finish one of my myriad of stories and then get it published.

I also have a voracious appetite for reading. I can't imagine life without books, though sometimes I think my husband tries to imagine our house without dozens of overcrowded bookshelves - I can never seem to have enough space. One of my favorite places to frequent is a bookstore. I can't walk by and not go in...
And another one of my loves is gardening. I love being around plants. I visit my local greenhouse (about a block away) on a regular basis, sometimes for no other reason than to see all the pretty plants growing together. It's so peaceful there. Okay, I know, I'm a nerd. Due to a cold wet spring and a growing baby belly, I was unable to get my vegetable garden in this year, but I did manage to plant some flowers to keep my green thumb happy.
Well, that's a start. At least I've published one post, and the task of starting fresh won't seem quite so daunting.
One thing I can say, it feels good to be back!

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