Friday, January 23, 2015

Friends and Family Release of “Robbed of Soul” (ebook) FREE SANDSTONE MAGNET!

Even in solitary confinement Maria was never alone.
The ghosts kept her company. 
For the next two weeks, “Robbed of Soul” costs 99 cents AND if you email me your Amazon receipt after purchasing it I'll send you a free gift. Seriously. In the mail. With an envelope. The whole nine yards. (Supplies are limited to the first 75 people who respond.)


Here’s the deal. I’m doing a soft release of the book now to friends and family to help get reviews of the book before the OFFICIAL book launch in March. As part of the March book launch I'm giving away a 3-day vacation in a lovely vacation rental in southern Utah. (You can join that too. More details later.)

So what is "Robbed of Soul" about? 

Rescued but psychologically damaged from a failed mission, ex-CIA officer Maria Branson takes the job of police chief in the quiet town of Kanab, Utah. Rest and relaxation are the doctor’s orders. She gets neither. Instead, a missing mayor, the spirit of a dead Aztec warrior, and the over-confident-yet-attractive head of Search and Rescue await her in a town whose past has almost as many secrets as her own. As Maria investigates a modern-day murder, she disturbs a world of ancient legends and deadly curses. Yet most lethal of all is Maria’s fear someone will discover just how empty her soul really is. 

Follow the instructions below to get your free gift:

1. Buy “Robbed of Soul” here if you read Kindle books OR here if you prefer an epub version (compatible with most e-readers).

2. Forward your invoice to with your address.

3. Sit back and wait for your gift, which is a delightful sandstone magnet created from the unique rock in Kanab, Utah—the place where “Robbed of Soul” is set. They sell for $3 online.

Don't forget to post an honest review of your book at the e-bookstore where you purchased the book. I would really appreciate it!!!!

NOTE: If you have a blog and are interested in hosting a guest blog from me as part of my book blog tour the first part of March, please let me know. I have a fabulous giveaway (as mentioned) that both you and your readers would love to be a part of. Let's chat!

(The free sandstone magnet is only available to those living withing the continental United States.) 

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Gates of Atlantis January Deal

We are excited to announce the amazing sale of THE GATES OF ATLANTIS COMPLETE COLLECTION on eBook. You can get this fantastic middle-grade series for just $0.99 (regularly $19.99). This sale price will available December 29th through January 12th. To help celebrate such a sale the Atlantis authors are giving away a Kindle to one lucky winner. 

Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post!

Centuries ago the great city of Atlantis had to be hidden from humans. Now magically buried in the depths of the ocean, it is the source of all magic. All is well in the magical world…until the leaders of Atlantis listen to the whims of a mad man.

A group of teens set out on their own unique quests to fight for the world they love. They face dangers they didn’t know existed. As they battle their way through mysterious tunnels and secrets of the ancient world, they find themselves in a race against time. One by one, the mad man will shut down the Gates of Atlantis and destroy the magic. Can these unlikely heroes stop him before it’s too late?

Book 1: BANSHEE AT THE GATE, by Wendy Knight: Half-human, half-banshee Seven loves her life with her awesome brother Haran and her dad while delivering souls safely to death...until Death comes calling for Haran.

Book 2: GUARDIANS OF THE GATES, by Laura D. Bastian: Mermaid Talia wants to be a Guardian. Exander wants to leave Atlantis and explore the upper world. An accident at one of the gates gives them both their chance, but they also make a startling discovery—someone is destroying the gates.

Book 3: SECRETS OF THE MINE, by Juli Caldwell: Adam believes in myths and magic. Clancy doesn’t. Two normal kids’ lives change when they embark on the adventure of a lifetime on the back of a sea kelpie...if only they can get away from the strange creatures that are determined to stop them.

Book 4: MAGICIANS OF THE DEEP, by Jaclyn Weist: A trip to Ireland changes Colin’s life when a bite from a mysterious fish awakens unlimited knowledge and dormant magical powers. He knows exactly how to save a magical world, but can he get there before it’s too late?

Book 5: MADNESS BEHIND THE THRONE, by J.R. Simmons: Phoibos, bullied and taunted by other kids, believes something is wrong with Atlantis. His charm with the nobility and skill as warrior as he grows make him believe nothing will stop his quest to purge Atlantis from everything he finds impure.

Book 6: BATTLE FOR ACROPOLIS, by Mikey Brooks: Talon keeps getting in trouble. It’s not his fault things around him randomly burst into flame, but he’s not sticking around to find out what happens next. When foster sister Hattie encourages him to run, they make a break for it, only to find an unexpected destiny awaiting them in Atlantis. They just have to get there first. When they do, they find a lot of help. Characters from all the previous books appear to help fight Phoibos. These unlikely heroes risk it all to save the magic and fight for Atlantis.

Where to get the series on eBook:

One lucky winner will be selected to win a Kindle, 6" Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi (Retail price of $79.99). A winner will be selected from those living within the continental United States. The winner will be announced January 13th and they will be notified via email to provide a valid mailing address. Good luck to all the entries and thank you for helping us share the news about this awesome series.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thursday, December 4, 2014

My Stint on History Channel 2

A while back I posted some pictures about the fun experience I had spending the day with the film crew for American Unearthed, a cable show that airs on History Channel 2. However, I had jumped the gun a bit on the post--I needed to wait until the show actually aired before giving details. But now I can re-post the pictures because last week the episode "Montezuma's Gold" aired. If you want to check it out, here are the times the episode will run and links to where you can get it online.

Since the interview, I decided to write a novel that is a modern-day mystery set in Kanab, Utah, which incorporates elements of the legends and stories about Montezuma's treasure in Southern Utah. The book has an official name as of yesterday: Robbed of Soul.

It is the funnest book I have written to date, and I pumped it out in less than two months. Of course, that doesn't include the editing, beta reading, and proofreading. Robbed of Soul will be released as an ebook in the next few weeks. Until then, enjoy these pictures taken as we filmed a segment of me and Scott Wolter near the "infamous" Freddie Crystal cave in Johnson Canyon outside of Kanab, Utah.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Win 50+ books on a free Kindle. Sound good?

Attention teachers, librarians, tweens, and parents of tweens! Announcing a contest just for you... The Emblazon authors are giving away a brand new touch screen Kindle loaded with over 50 of their books. That’s a $300 value and hours of reading entertainment! Emblazon is a collection of authors who seek to create lifelong readers by creating top-notch literature for kids. They have a particular focus on ages 11 to 14. They’re hosting this fabulous giveaway to celebrate their first year and to treat you, the readers. The Rafflecopter contest runs November 3 through November 17 and is open to anyone who loves tween literature. a Rafflecopter giveaway Note: Signing up for the catalog is required for entry. Current subscribers are also eligible for entry. Winners must reside in the United States or Canada. 

List of Stops on the Blog Tour:

November 3rd:

November 11th:

November 12th:

November 15th:

You can help even more by sharing this post with your friends and family. If you know teachers or librarians let them know about how awesome the Emblazoners are by sharing the link to their website:
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Keeping it Real

There’s more to writing “tween” books than making characters come to life, crafting unique plots, and weaving suspense and humor throughout.
You also have to keep up with the times—what’s cool nowadays? What do nine to thirteen year olds think about? Are you using phrases or similes that relate to them?
This concept became obvious to me a few weeks ago when my husband and I decided to take my kids on a hike in Southern Utah.
photo 4
We were in an area with lots of natural red-rock formations. Some of them were high up on mountain tops, like the “elephant rock.” Other face-like formations were on the sides of dangerous cliffs. There was one outcropping of rocks on the top of a plateau, however, that was within our reach. By the locals it’s called the “milk bottles.”
“Huh? Milk bottles?” my kids asked. “What are those?”
It’s true. My children have never seen a milk bottle before. To them, milk comes in one gallon plastic jugs at the local grocery store.
We pointed to where the milk bottles were. They couldn’t see them. We then explained the precise location. Still nothing. Then we did one simple thing that changed their entire perspective.
“Think of them as water bottles,” I said.
“Oh,” my children said, “we can see them now!”
So, in the morning hours of that late summer day, I hiked, with my husband and children, to the “water bottles.”
Fifty years ago kids would have been stumped if you’d called them water bottles. Who drank their water out of bottles? But in 2014, that’s what our kids know.
One word can make all the difference.
photo 5 (2) photo 2 (2)photo 1 (2)
Sunday, September 7, 2014

Nerd Eye Candy

Salt Lake City had its 2nd annual Comic Con this last weekend. From the reports I read, it is now the 3rd largest Comic Con in the U.S., only behind New York and San Diego.

Members of Writers Cubed (creators of the Teen Author Boot Camp) were there raising awareness for teen literacy and lending support to budding teen authors. (Or flowering in some cases.) On Friday, I talked with at least fifty teens who are writing books all on their own. They have so much ambition and creativity. Kudos to each one of them!

Here are a few photos I snapped when I wasn't at the booth. I have to say, I caught the professional wrestlers at a good time, especially considering how bad the camera on my phone is.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Why does summer always feel like this?


During that first week of June, just when we're all trying to re-adjust to everyone being home all of the time, sometimes I think the next two and half months are going to be a long time. Then things begin to pick up: family reunions, scout camp, girls camp, youth conferences, overnighters, art classes, drama classes, camping, parades, late movie nights, and the list goes on.

All of a sudden it's nearly the first of August, school will start in two and half weeks, and I ask myself, "Where did time go?"

Here's to summer and all the fun we've had!

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I'm a mom and author, among other things. I enjoy writing middle grade and young adult books.