Heart of Red, Blood of Blue

My newest novel is now available! I’m so excited for this one.

This project started years ago with a girl who popped into my mind and didn’t want to leave. Even as I worked on other stories, Gisela was never far away. She was looking for love, acceptance, some humor, and peace for her country—things most of us hope for in one form or another.

Heart of Red 400

Princess Gisela of Steinland was born without color. Albino. To add to this curse, her betrothal to Prince Jerrik of Kronga ends in his death and starts a ten-year-war her father is determined to win, even if it means bringing her out of hiding to do it. Now the savage Krongon war commander, Bloodless Kristoff, seeks the hearts of the entire royal family, especially Gisela’s.

Desperate, her father agrees to another alliance that involves her marrying an old brute of a king. Unwilling to be the sacrificial lamb, Gisela goes on the run. Thrown into the center of a battle between three kingdoms, she finds herself fighting for her life and the right to be truly loved.

Can the girl who started the war find a way to end it?







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As part of this project, I’ve combined my two great passions, music and books. The idea to compose a “soundtrack” for my novel came a while ago, but I credit my daughter with being the one to help me see that not only could I do it, but I should. It’s been a blast. So I’ve written 11 original piano solos to go along with the story. Songs include: “The Betrothal,” “Ryder,” “The Battlefield,” “Vengeance,” “The Village,” “Tranquility,” and more.




I also need to give a quick shout out to five students at BYU. Four of them helped edit this book as part of their English language editing capstone course: Emily, Rachel, Erica, and Ashley. They have been awesome!

Along with them, Alyse Myers, provided the artwork at the beginning of the book. She did such a lovely job of envisioning Gisela!

Gisela the Red


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So check out the book and music and let me know what you think! And if you want to give a signed copy to your favorite readers for Christmas, order it here by Friday (US only).

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Happy Holidays!



New LDS FICTION: Augustina, by Rebecca Belliston

I woke up earlier than I wanted today to get my girl off to camp, but instead of going back to bed, I had to check. I had to see if maybe, just maybe, it had cleared. And guess what. It had.

Augustina is now available!

It’s available in these formats:Capture

I’m thrilled beyond reason. I can’t believe Augustina is out in the world. I started it nearly five years ago. Wow. Talk about a long process. :)

I went ziplining two weeks ago in Southern Utah. If you’ve ever been, you know the feeling you get when you’re strapped in ready to go, and you want to do it. It’s going to be a blast! But you have to jump–literally–off the ledge 100 feet above the ground and zip across a river. You have to trust in the harness, in the strong cords, and your guide to show you how not to die.

The whole time, a little corner of your mind is screaming, “WHAT AM I DOING?”









That’s kinda how it feels to launch a book.

I’m super excited. It’s going to be a blast! But I’m kinda scared, too. What will you all think?

Oh well. I just jumped.

Needless to say, I couldn’t go back to sleep once I found out. 


Even better, though, is the two giveaways of Augustina ended at midnight last night, which means, we have TWO WINNERS of autographed copies! They are:

  • Christine Sidaway (rafflecopter)
  • JoLynne Lyon (goodreads)

And even even better (love my grammar?) is both winners are my friends! 600 people entered to win, and the two chosen by whatever random computer programs were friends. How cool is that?

I wish I could give free books to all my friends–to all of you–but my hubby won’t let me. :) But giving them to Christine and JoLynne topped off my already great morning.

So it’s a good day. A great, awesomely wonderful day!


If you read Augustina, please let me know what you think. I love hearing from my readers! And if you have time, I’d love it if you posted a review on Amazon or Goodreads for me. Or if you have a blog and want to do a review, or interview me, or whatever, I can get you a review copy.

It really helps to have reviews on books!


You guys are the best!!!

(Have you ever sat on a proverbial ledge wondering if you should take the plunge? Did you do it? What about launching a book? Any ideas for me on how to not go crazy today?)

Origin–by Jessica Khoury

(reading–at last)


I read a book. I…read…a…BOOK!

You see, I haven’t read in, oh, four months. Not a book. Not for fun. As much as I love to read–and I do love it!–it fell behind the list of to-dos.

Sad. I know. 

But I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, especially last night. That means I was curled up in my jammies in bed with a book. A good book. A great book! Although I’m feeling better now, I was hooked and had to finish it this morning.

And I loved it! For many reasons.

Here are the official details:


by Jessica Khoury

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home–and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.
Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin–a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever. 
Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.

Origin is part of Penguin Teen’s Fall 2012 Breathless Reads.

I’ve wanted to read this book since March, back when Jessica Khoury did a guest post here on my blog for March Madness. I loved her post on editing (read it here). She gave authors a ton of great tips, including one to listen to your gut as you edit. I’d never heard it put quite that way, but it’s so true!

Seriously, if you’re a writer, go read her tips here. They’re great. 

Plus, she’s a super nice, super sweet person. Seriously sweet. I love people like that. I love writers like that. It was extremely nice of her to guest blog for me.

Like I said, I anxiously awaited her book. I’ve visited her website (here) and watched her book trailer (here). Both are awesome!

Can you tell I’m a big fan? :)

But really, I would have loved her book without all that other stuff.

It’s set in the Amazon jungle, and Jessica did a beautiful job of making me feel like I was there, listening to the cicadas and feeling the hot, humid air on my face. Her writing is awesome.

The story was also very different and unique, which in the world of YA fiction right now, was very refreshing.

I loved Eio, he was a good strong character and love interest for Pia, which for me can make or break a book. Seriously, I go searching every story for the romance, and if that flops, so does the rest of the book.

Case in point: I didn’t like The Help. I blame it on the failed romance between Skeeter and Stuart. Pretty sure that makes me immature and pathetic.

Oh well. You guys already knew that. :)

Origin was also unpredictable.

I thought I had the elixir figured out, and then was surprised. And the ending was action packed and awesome. The whole book was great with a strong lesson on morality and right vs. wrong. Though she had me worried for a minute, Jessica ended the book well. Very well.

Pia was a true heroine.

It’s definitely a safe book for your daughters to read. There’s a little language, but nothing else. That’s important to me. I know that’s important to a lot of you, too.

Really, truly, Origin is a fun, fast, great read. Go check out Jessica Khoury’s website, and read her book. She’s only 22. If she can write like this at 22, I’m sure we’re going to be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

Have a great one!

Comment here. Have any of you read Origin yet? If so, let me know your thoughts.