Countdown: Augustina’s Book Trailer

Well, it’s done.

Augustina’s book trailer is done. I could say a whole lot here, but I won’t. Shocking, right?

Here it is.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Also, if you’ve missed any of the countdown, check out the links below, especially the one where you can WIN an autographed copy of Augustina.

Thanks!!!

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Countdown to Augustina: Southern Music

.countdown1

Over the next few weeks, I plan to give little glimpses into my newest novel, AUGUSTINA.

Starting today.

I’ve never been a huge country music fan, but I’ve been listening to get in the mood for AUGUSTINA. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s really grown on me.

As I was writing, I came across this song by Brad Paisley, Southern Comfort Zone. I LOVE THIS SONG! It talks about loving Tennessee, which (here’s the first little secret) plays a big role in AUGUSTINA. :)

Here’s the song:

I’ll try to post everyday as we countdown to AUGUSTINA.

I’m still working on a release date. I’ll get it to you soon, but I’m thinking AUGUSTINA in August has a nice ring. What do you think?

Have a great one!

I Geek Being an Author

(promoting)

The White Lake Library in Michigan hosted a local author event last weekend, and they were nice enough to let me join the other 17 authors from Southeast Michigan.

Like other events, I met some amazing people, both authors and readers.  I have to say, this is a perk of being an author I didn’t anticipate. I’ve have thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people and talking about books, books, and more books.

It’s awesome!

During the event, the library filmed each author talking about their book(s).

Here’s my video:

Let me just say, there’s a reason I’m an author, not an actress. Okay, there are several reasons, some more obvious than others. But one of the main reasons is I am a million times more comfortable behind a computer screen than a camera. Heck, it took me nine months to get comfortable explaining my books to complete strangers. Doing it on camera was like…well…like taking a final exam with people you respect, adore, and want to speak to you again watching you the whole time.

You think you can talk about your own book? Prove it. Under duress. 

I’m being a little silly. I wasn’t under duress. It’s the nerves talking.

A…n…y…w…a…y…

As part of the GEEK THE LIBRARY campaign, the library gave me two cool pictures to thank me for coming. They now hang on my fridge because I truly geek being an author. 

Love it!

Btw, THANKS!!!! friends and readers who came out to support me at the library. You guys are the best!

Side note: After hearing my stunning description of SADIE, I’m sure you want to give it to everyone you know for Christmas, right?  Well, you’re in luck!

SADIE is 50% off at Deseret Book right now!

While I might be the tiniest bit biased, it’s a great read for Christmas. It’s set over Christmas break and has fun stuff like skiing, roasting marshmallows, and cozy fires.  Get it 50% off here.

If you live anywhere near me, email me and I’d be happy to sign it for you or your friends. If you don’t live near me and don’t mind shipping it to me, the same thing applies. Just drop me a note. My email is on my bio page.

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Have a good one!

Comment here

It’s Not About You–It Probably Shouldn’t Be Anyway

(watching)

 

People amaze me.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. It’s unbelievable what talent, creativity, a sense of humor, and a whole lot of hard work can combine to become.

Watch this video from the OSU marching band. It’s a little long, but well worth it. The horse is my personal fav although the kids liked Mario best.

Isn’t that amazing?

There’s no way the people on that field appreciated the show when they were stuck in the middle of it all. Only those in the stands could see the greater picture. 

Literally.

What a cool lesson on being part of something bigger than yourself. In putting yourself in the background.

Despite what the world yells at us, it doesn’t always have to be about US! About me. About you. It doesn’t. And it’s not.

We’re all part of something, right? A family. A company. A neighborhood. A church. Maybe a group of writers or a group of teachers.

It’s easy to get caught up in the ME part of that group. What is the group doing for me? They expect too much of ME. They aren’t doing what I want. I’m tired. I’m bored. I, I, I. Me, me, me. But it’s not always about us. In fact, it should rarely be about us. 

There are times when standing out is a bad thing.

When being unique is a bad thing. There are times when we need to tell our inner, whiny, narcissistic self to shut up! There are times–and should be more times–when we need to put our chin down, work hard, and simply do our part. 

 Think Beijing Olympic’s Opening Ceremony.

So take a step back today and be part of something that doesn’t revolve around YOU.

Instead of “What can my family do for me?”, “What can I do to make my family better, my company better, my neighborhood better?” Work for the betterment of the group.

In short, take a look at your circle of influence and improve it.

(Didn’t plan to wax philosophical this morning. Sorry. :) I still can’t figure out how I got from a college football half-time show about video games, to being a positive contributor in society, but you probably already know I’m strange.)

Oh, and have a great Monday.

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Comment here.

FF: Hunger Games, Host, and Hope

(hodgepodging)

My 10yo son loves facts. All day long he’s reciting these random facts–usually scientific. I’ve learned not to question him because he seriously knows his useless information. One “fact” he told me recently is  “An apple wakes you up more than a cup of coffee.” I have no idea if this one happens to be true, and quite frankly, I’m too tired to google it. Really, there’s no way for me to prove it either because I don’t drink coffee. However, in my own scientific (not) opinion, it can’t be true. I just downed my third apple and let me tell you, I’m still dragging. Why am I so tired, you ask? If you haven’t guessed it, I’ll tell you with a picture.

I’ve mentioned before that I love the Hunger Games. I devoured the books (pun intended) and anxiously awaited the movie. But we all know and distrust Hollywood, right? I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would they stray from the book? Mis-cast the characters? Let me say, it was AWESOME! I took eight 14yo girls with me and we all loved the movie. Even those who hadn’t read the books thought it was great. So if you love the books, here’s my hearty endorsement. Go see the movie! You’ll love it.

The even cooler part (if cooler isn’t a word, too bad. I’m tired) is that while I was waiting two hours in the theater for the movie to start, I finally wrote the synopsis for my new book, which I have struggled to synopsize (I’m definitely making up words now) for three years. So that was fun.

After taking home my daughter’s friends, I didn’t crawl into bed until 3:30am. My husband and son wake up at 4:45 for early morning seminary, and while I didn’t wake up with them today, I still heard them rustling around. I tossed and turned after that, finally rolling out of bed to be a parent at 7:45. So yeah. Popping apples like crazy.

It’s going to be a fun day. I have a love/hate relationship with sleep.

Since I’m at it, I might as well throw in a plug for my dad’s newest book. It’s a non-fiction LDS book, part of a three-book doctrinal series. It’s about how to find hope during challenging times. It’s really amazing. (There’s even a story about my husband and I in there.) Since my dad was just interviewed about his book, I thought I’d show the trailer. I know, nothing Friday Funny-ish about Hunger Games or my dad, but my brain is a little sluggish. The apples haven’t kicked in yet.

It’s called Look Up My Soul: The Divine Promise of Hope, by Gerald N. Lund. He’s an award-winning author and inspirational speaker. (Do I sound like a proud daughter yet?) Check it out on Deseret Book’s website here. It’s amazing and will lift you up. (How about now? Love my dad.)

Okay. Time for a nap. If I’m not careful, I’ll break into unprovoked giggles soon. But I made it all the way to 9:15am. I’m so proud! And sorry about being a loser on the whole Friday Funnies thing. I had pictures of my dirty purple van to show y’all (sort of a real word) but I guess I’ll save those for another day when I have my brain back. Here’s a few older Friday Funnies if you’re interested:

It’s Official: I’m a Fish Murderer
Why I Hate Sleep
Signs That I Have Five Children
No More Talking
Need a New Career?
My Son’s Pink and Yellow Toenails

Have a good weekend!

Have you seen the Hunger Games yet? What did you think? Great adaptation or a let down? Or if you haven’t gone, will you?


Oh man! I have to add a PS here. Look what teaser trailer just came out. YES!!! Any other HOST fans out there?

MARCH MADNESS: Book and Ball

Yesterday, the brackets were announced for March Madness. 
If you’ve never heard of March Madness–like I hadn’t 17 years ago–let me explain. There’s this game called basketball. It’s played with a round, orange ball (as if balls are anything but round) that is shot into a painfully high net. At the college level, students and fans alike go nuts over this sport, which turns into a blast come March when the championship round begin. The teams are whittled down to the best 64, and then 32, then 16, 8, 4, and finally 2 which play to determine the national champs. 

I have to pat myself on the back for a minute. I can’t believe I can explain–even in small detail–March Madness. My hubby will be so proud! You see, I was painfully oblivious to this whole cultural phenomenon until I married him and gave birth to three sports-obsessed sons. But I’ve grown as a person, a wife, a mother, and now I actually look forward to the day final teams are announced. It’s become a little family tradition of ours to fill out the bracket and each of us gets our own. Who will win this year? Will our teams make it (which when you live in Michigan/Michigan St. country it’s a pretty safe bet)? It’s not that we even watch many games, we just love the bracket. It’s all about the bracket. Our entire Family Night tonight will revolve around all seven of us filling out this cute (uh-oh, just lost hubby points) bracket. The person who predicts the most wins will then choose where we go out to ice cream at the end of the season. 

I must say, for a non-sports person like myself, I love March Madness. It might have something to do with the fact that I’ve won more bracket challenges than anyone in the fam, including the four sports nuts. Oh yeah, baby! Even better is the years I haven’t won, my 13yo daughter has. It drives them crazy. So awesome! Apparently hours spent watching ESPN (or games) lessens one’s ability to predict the outcome. This is the one case where ignorance pays off.

Disclaimer:  I may not win this year because I feel obligated to choose Michigan State. It goes against my instinct, but GO GREEN!

Anyway, the whole point was to explain a little about this whole MARCH BOOK MADNESS thing I’m hosting here on the blog, since I’m equally excited for it. In reality, MBM is nothing like the real March Madness. There’s no bracket. No teams. No competition of any kind because asking you to vote on the different posts for just one winner seems cruel to my guests. What MBM is about is having authors share their thoughts on anything book-ish. Reading. Writing. Editing. These posts will be (and have been) on Tuesdays and Thursdays in March. Or if you’re a visual learner, here’s a picture.




Here is the schedule thus far:

              Lynn Wiese Sneyd: Thurs, March 8, Querying 
          Tobi Summers: Tues, March 13, Plotting vs. Plodding
          JoLynne Lyon: Thurs, March 15, Marketing
          Cassie Mae: Tues, March 20, Editing
          Jessica Khoury: Thurs, March 22, Editing
          Tricia Pease: Tues, March 27th, Reading
          Sharon Belknap: Thurs, March 29  
          (if it’s blue, you can click on it to go to that post) 

That’s about it. Tune in tomorrow to get Tobi Summers thoughts on plotting versus plodding. It’s going to be great!


PS–Anyone reading this do the March Madness bracket thing? Who are you predicting to win it all? Do you want help with your bracket? I’m pretty good. :)

 

Clean Romance: Old-fashioned Idea or New Trend?

(Warning: I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to get on a fairly large soap box.)

Why does everything have to be sexualized? I’m sick of it!

Last night, our family went to the Detroit Pistons game (basketball game for the non-sports people). It was such a riot and a blast, and I was having such a great time. Until . . . the dancers came out. Their moves, their outfits, their fake bodies. Everything reeked of sex and I was cringing with my five kids next to me, including my teenage boy and girl. (I would have been cringing without kids.) My husband’s company offered us great seats and as such, there wasn’t much to miss. I kept saying, “Hey, you guys want some popcorn?” “Hey, look at the mascot over there? He’s funny, right?” “Wow, look at all the pretty lights!” just waiting for the songs to be done.

FYI, I will be writing a letter to the Pistons staff because I write letters when I’m offended. Part of me believes it makes a difference, because I once sent a nasty letter to Google about an offensive ad and next thing I knew, I was emailing back and forth with one of their Senior Board Members. I haven’t seen the ad since. But even if my letters fall on deaf ears, I have no business complaining unless I speak up and try to do something about it (like I mentioned in a recent post). Watch out Pistons management, Mother Bear around the corner.

But I digress.

I’m sick of our sexualized culture. I’m sick of feeling like a Mother Bear all the time. Movies. Books. Video Games. Radio. Even harmless websites have harmful advertising in the sidebar. I mean, come on people!

Enough already!

Interestingly enough, I’m seeing a trend in the book world. There is a large group of people that are running to the Young Adult (teen) market. Readers and writers. Why? I think that many, like me, are sick to death of the of this over-sexualization in our culture and are hoping to find less prevalence in the teenage world. I say “less” because the YA genre is not free from sex. WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH THIS WORLD? Hmmmm, deep breath might be warranted at this point.

*Deep breath*

Okay. Back in control.

This new ‘clean’ trend in the YA is awesome, but…what if I don’t always want to read about teenagers? No offense to that group of people, but I already live with two teens. Do I really have to read and write about them too? I have friends who turn to the Christian market to find clean romances to read, but really, do I have to read cheesey religious books now too? No offense to religion or religious books, especially because I consider myself very religious, and SADIE has religion in it (although my next book doesn’t). Hopefully you are understanding my point, though.

There has to be a place somewhere that I can read about engaging, quirky, fascinating adult characters without muddling through the smut.

So here’s my plea to everyone out there.

I write romances. I write clean romances. But I can’t read my own stuff all the time. As much as I might like my stories, that’s lame and dumb. So please writers, PLEASE give me some reading with grown-up characters that’s safe for my 13-year-old girl to read. PLEASE! And it’s not just for me. I’m telling you, there’s a whole market out there that few are tapping into. Readers are running in droves to the YA market because they feel like it can’t be done in the adult world. It CAN! It has to for my sanity!

*Another deep breath*

My last point.

  1. Why is Jane Austen considered the greatest romance writer of all time? Her books are super squeaky clean. You might get a kiss out of the main characters. Maybe. But we totally and completely adore them–at least I do.

2. Why were 9 out of the top 10 grossing films of 2011 PG-13 or less, when over half (at least) of movies in theaters are rated R?

3. Why are people running to the YA market?

4. Why don’t authors and Hollywood understand this?

DARE TO BE DIFFERENT.

Enough ranting.

And if you haven’t heard about it, commonsensemedia.org is a great website for parents or non-parents who want to find out what content/smut is in movies and books. It isn’t all-inclusive, but it has the major ones. You can check out some of their book reviews here. Big thank you to them!!!

I’m still waiting for goodreads to come out with a rating feature so people not only rate how much they like a book, but where it would fit on the PG-XXX scale. Maybe someday.

(UPDATE: there is a new book website called literrater.com which rates books on content. Check it out!)

Okay, I’m done. Stepping off the soap box now. But I’m really hoping you’ll weigh in on this.

Do you agree with me? Disagree? Am I old-fashioned or could this be the new trend? What are your thoughts as a reader, writer, movie goer, music listener? As a parent? As a non-parent? As a consumer? 

Okay Campers, Rise and Shine!

(laughing)


“Okay campers, rise and shine. And don’t forget your booties ‘cause it’s COOOOLD out there!” 

“It’s cold out there every day.”

“The big question on everyone’s lips—“

“—On their chapped lips.”

“Their chapped lips, right, is: Do you think Phil is gonna come out and see his shadow?’ Punxsutawney Phil. That’s right woodchuck chuckers, it’s GROUNDHOG’S DAY!”
Don’t drive angry!

“Am I right or am I right or am I right? Right? Right? Right?”




Oh, the power of a great story to forever change an obscure holiday. :)

Have a great Groundhog’s Day!