Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Review: Summer in Paris by Michele Ashman Bell

Before I say anything about Michele or this book, I need to toss my disclaimer in here. Michele and I are both being published by Valor Publishing Group and I received a copy of her book to do this review. That in no way affects my opinion of this book. I've been in enough critique groups over the years, that I know how to be honest, even when it's for people I know.

Now that we have that out of the way, let me tell you something else. I love Michele. She is one of the kindest, most friendly and encouraging authors I know, and in fact, was the FIRST author I ever met, so I've loved her AND her stories for a very long time.

The first time we met was at a Covenant Murder Mystery Dinner about seven or eight years ago and I had yet to finish a book. She pulled me out of my shell, and by the end of the evening I was giving free massages to the authors (I was a licensed massage therapist). No, I didn't have my massage table with me! Sheesh, what are you thinking, people?! It was just a shoulder rub . . . until I got to a certain author *cough*robisonwells*cough* at which point his wife asked me what I was doing and the back rubs stopped. It was innocent, really, but suddenly I realized how it looked, and I was about as embarrassed as I've ever been.

At that same meeting, sweet, kind, Michele, without having ever seen any of my writing, told me I could finish and be a great writer. I needed to hear that. I'd had some experiences that had shot all my confidence and I needed somebody to believe in me and the person who built me up again was this lovely woman.

Now, again, just because I admire the heck out of Michele, does not mean I am going to be partial in my comments on her book. Nor is the fact that she witnessed one of my most embarrassing moments going to force me into saying things I don't mean just to prevent her from telling the world about the Robison Wells non-event. Though, since I just shared it with all of you, I guess it's out there for the world now, isn't it. lol

So, in all fairness, here is what I thought of the book.

First: I love the cover. It has absolutely nothing to do with her writing, but there's just something about it that resonates with me, so way to go Cash Case, artist extraordinaire!

Second: I didn't expect to like this book. I'm not a big romance or teen angst kind of fan, and this book struck me as both. I prejudged it. Shame on me.

Third: This book freakin' ROCKED!!! I loved Kenzie's character and plight. I love the situations she gets herself into. And I love the genuine heartache she feels at her loss of everything that was important to her. Most of all, I LOVED the ending. It resolved beautifully and completely for me.

I've had other favorites of Michele's. Modest Proposal. Without a Flaw. But, Summer in Paris has become my favorite of all her books. Way to go, Michele!

Book Blurb:
Kenzie Williams feels like she has it all; wealth, friends, popularity and talent. But when her father tells her that he has declared bankruptcy, her whole world in New York City turns upside down. Her parents' solution while they sort through their financial and marital problems is to send Kenzie to live with her relatives in Paris . . . Idaho!

Feeling like she's been sentenced to three months in Hickville Prison, Kenzie arrives in Idaho feeling like a square peg, with name brand clothes, in a round, horribly podunk, hole.

Leaving everything she loves behind, Kenzie is forced to get up at the crack of dawn, do chores, and hang out with her cousin's loser friends. She feels like she's about to die until she meets Adam White, the town outcast, whose been accused of killing his best friend and is being blamed for some trouble that's been happening around town.

Not only is Adam the best-looking guy she's ever seen, but he's also the most fascinating guy she's ever met and Kenzie is determined to get to know him and find out his secret. But, the longer she stays in Paris, the more she realizes, Adam isn't the only one keeping secrets.

Purchasing Info:

Price: $14.95 $13.46
Publisher: Valor Publishing Group, LLC (March 16, 2010)
Genre: YA Coming of Age/Romance
Binding: Trade Paperback
Pages: 210
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-935546-17-7
Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Watermark Duet

My friend Paulette Kindly agreed to play her harp with me for my two book launches and she did a BEAUTIFUL job. She's a very talented harpist and it was a joy to play with her, even if I was a nervous wreck. lol I can't get my recordings to load onto my computer at the moment, so I'm going to direct you to her website if you want to hear the two of us playing Enya's Watermark together. Check it out HERE.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Blog Tour Continued Without Me!

It just dawned on me that I am 15 reviews behind on my comments, so I thought I'd take a few minutes today and give you my favorite lines from each review to give you a taste, and if you want to read (or watch) the whole thing, you can follow the link provided. :)

Alexis Covington: "I loved the descriptions in the book. I remember a certain description that caused my mouth to start salivating. Kayla was at a dinner feast and they were eating spicy steak. My mouth started to water. Karen's ability to have her readers experience what the characters are feeling is incredible."

Ariella Stewart: "I could easily imagine the characters and the places that they went. Between the love-struck Kayla and the slightly crazy C’Tan, the emotions were strong and you could almost feel them as you read. Karen Hoover has started a great series and I can’t wait for the rest of them to come out. The first book has landed itself on my favorite’s list and I’m sure the other six books will too."

Nancy C. Allen: "[I liked] The quick nature of the plot, once the story and characters are established, especially in the last third of the book. I was nearing the end of the story and picking my kids up from school. I waited for my daughter to come out of the building, and when she got in the car, I told her she had to keep reading to me while I drove to the next school. That's the mark of a good story, to me. If I don't want to put it down, that means I like it. :-) "

Jenn Wilks:
"There was so much fun magic throughout this entire book. Between the mages and the spells and the shapeshifting and the werewolves and the dragons, there was always something exciting happening."

Kimberly Job:
"Karen has created characters that youth will identify with. Kayla and Ember are each on an individual journey of self-discovery that is full of action and unexpected twists and turns. Although the main characters are girls, Hoover includes enough action that boys will enjoy her book as well."

Shanna Blythe: "Just so you know . . . Karen is a good friend of mine. However, that is NOT why I am blogging about her book or posting a review about it. The reason I'm doing it, is because this book ROCKS! I first read the book around three years ago . . . as soon as I finished it I emailed Karen and said, "Loved the book, hate you. Call me." Any book that makes me hate the author (mainly because I wish I WOULD have written it) is a book well worth reading and her book has only gotten better as it has gone through revisions and then the publishing process."

Tonya Christensen: "Something I love... the mystery I'm left with at the end. I'm not sure who to trust completely - I'm not sure of the motives behind some of what's going on... it's frustrating and thrilling all at once!
Another thing I love... the display of parental love. It transcends all else. Enough said - at least "enough said that won't mess up some of the book for you"

(FIVE STAR REVIEW) Melissa Owens: "This is one of those books I can picture myself reading when I was much younger--I think it would be among my most-loved books of my pre-teen and teen years, along with A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, The Oval Amulet by Lucy Cullyford Babbitt, and Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles. Perhaps it may be presumptuous of me to rate The Sapphire Flute so highly (although I imagine The Oval Amulet is not so well known by many), I do so because this story resonated with me the same way those did. I can see my self re-reading this book many times down the road, as I have the titles I mentioned above."

Danyelle Ferguson: "The prologue was incredible. I immediately connected with the father, rushing to save his daughter from an evil person who wanted to destroy her. I felt his confusion and conflicted feelings that this evil threat was someone he loved and trusted - his own sister. And even cried when he died in a fire after battling his sister, giving his wife and daughter the opportunity to escape. What a powerful prologue!"

Jennifer Debenham:
"Some of Hoover's ideas were quite creative. I loved the concept of being able to see different types of magic as different colors. I also really liked the special gift Ember's father gave her by way of his friend, though we don't understand much about its significance in this book. Hoover does a great job of bringing the reader along in the thought process Ember goes through as she learns of her powers and how to use them."

Sabine Berlin: "When I first got this book in the mail I have to admit, I wasn't that taken with the cover. And as a result I didn't open it immediately. My mistake. This is a fun well written book that kept me intrigued the entire time I read it. I loved the characters, both good and bad. I found myself hoping for them, wondering what was going to happen next, and hating to have to put it down (when you're a mother of three that is sometimes inevitable). This book is sure to please young audiences, fantasy lovers or not. I am excited to pass it on to my nieces, although seeing as I am lucky enough to have a signed copy I may have to get them one of their own!"

(A FIVE SMILEY FACE REVIEW) Cheryl Malandrinos: "While the plot is excellent, this book’s strength definitely resides in its characters. The reader comes to care for Ember and Kayla. She’ll be able to understand the tense relationship between Ember and her mother. She’ll admire Kayla’s courage and determination. She’ll appreciate the people in Ember’s life who encourage her to fulfill her destiny, just as she will empathize with the difficult decisions Kayla is forced to make after taking on guardianship of the Sapphire Flute.

This book also ends on a powerful note, setting up the events that will take place in Book Two, which I hope is soon on the way. Young adult fantasy doesn’t get any better than The Sapphire Flute by Karen Hoover!"

Becky Saldivar: "This was such a good book! My 12 year old son and I both read it and enjoyed it! I can’t wait for the next book to come out and this book wasn't released yet when I read it! I received an advanced reader’s edition from Valor Publishing Group and was asked to just tell what I thought about the book on my blog. I am not getting paid to do this but I kind of feel like I should pay them for giving me this sneak peak because it was just so much fun to read this book ahead of everyone!"

(MY FIRST EVER VLOG REVIEW!!!) Ali Cross: (Take the time to watch the video, if you get the chance. Ali is hilarious and gives a rather thorough synopsis of the story. Okay, back to quotes.) "The Sapphire Flute reminded me of the wonderful fantasies I enjoyed as a child, like The Prydain Chronicles and the Dragon Singer books by Anne McCaffrey.I'm so pleased there's another wonderful book like The Sapphire Flute for my children to enjoy."

Nichole Giles: "Right away after receiving this manuscript, I felt myself pulled into the story to the point where I didn’t want to put it down—and it was on my computer. I ended up downloading a text to voice converter and loading it onto my iPhone so I could listen to it while I ran my kids around town and did yard work. Here’s the problem. This story has everything. Magic, action, suspense, mystery, plot twists that have you dying to know what happens next and…one of my favorite elements, romance. Oh, and shape-shifters. Hence the reason I had to read and/or listen straight through."

And there you have the recap! It's been fun seeing what people have to say about the story and opinions have run the gamut, though it seems to lean toward the positive. That is a very happy making thing. :D This has been an amazing journey, one I am extremely humbled by and grateful for. Today I walked into The Purple Cow, my local bookstore, and saw my book on the shelf next to BRANDON MULL'S Fablehaven #5. It was a surreal moment.

My dream has finally come true. No matter what comes from here on out, I'm not just a writer anymore.

I'm an author. A real freakin' author. It blows my mind and fills me with tears of gratitude.

Quote of the Day: "Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own."
Carol Burnett

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Valor Makes World of Difference at Barnes and Noble

Our March 16th launch party was a huge success! We had a steady stream of people, the entertainment was top notch, and the authors were thrilled to hold their books in their hands and show them off a bit, too.

Here are some of the highlights of the evening:
Musician Shaun Barrowes performed for half an hour, bringing his bluesy sound to Barnes and Noble.

Karen E. Hoover, author of The Sapphire Flute, brought her own sapphire flute and performed a duet, with Paulette Inman at the harp.

We were blessed with the support of good friends all evening long. L-R: Melanie Adams, Karen E. Hoover, Michele Ashman Bell, and Heather Justesen.

New Valor author Andrea Pearson came to cheer us on.

Daron D. Fraley, author of The Thorn, was on hand to sign copies with his cool fountain pen.

Michele Ashman Bell with her newest release, Summer in Paris.

Kimberly Job and Tristi Pinkston's table displays and stand-up posters.

Kimberly Job, author of I'll Know You by Heart.

Tristi Pinkston, author of Secret Sisters.

We're so proud of our authors, and we appreciate the support of friends, family, and the public in making our book launch such a success!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's Here!!!

I can hardly believe it! After 293 days, approximately 9 and 3/4 months of waiting and dreaming, The Sapphire Flute is out! Today is the day!

We're having a big launch party tonight at Barnes and Noble at The Gateway in Salt Lake City for any and all that want to come. It goes from 6:00 until 8:30 pm and there's going to be food, music, signings, and just lots of fun. Please come and join in celebrating the release of five new books from Valor Publishing Group. And if you do, please be sure to come and introduce yourself. I'll be the girl in blue. I even have blue fingernails to celebrate the night (and believe me, they are NOT easy to type with!)

Because this week is so crazy busy, I'm not going to change the way to get entries. I'll save that for next week and the grand prize, but if you still want to enter the drawings for the awesome prizes I've got, go check out this blog HERE and it will tell you exactly what you need to do, and if you've entered already and want another entry, you can now leave reviews at AMAZON.COM. Not just a rating, a REVIEW, please. Thanks you guys, for all the support and friendship.


Quote of the day: "I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world."
Mother Teresa

Sunday, March 14, 2010

And the Winner Is . . .

TAFFY!!! You just won this week's drawing! Please send me your address so I can pop your prize in the mail. :) Or if you are coming to the Book Launch party on Tuesday, I'd be happy to give it to you in person. :)

I apologize for being a day late in announcing this. My friend Jill took me shopping yesterday for a new wardrobe for all of my upcoming signings, interviews, and the tour, and I didn't get home until really late. Who knew shopping could be so exhausting??? We got some really nice stuff though, and spent way more than I wanted to (why can't everything be free???) but I'm very happy with the results. Hopefully I can post some pictures soon, or even better, come to one of my signings in the near future and you can see my new clothes in person! lol

I'm going to add to the ways you can earn entries for this next week, so stay tuned tomorrow for some announcements there.

And please, if you live anywhere near the Salt Lake area, or even if you are far away, come to the Book Launch at the Gateway Barnes and Noble on Tuesday night. It is going to be so much fun, and I'd LOVE to celebrate the birth of my book with all of my friends, both online and off.

It's Tuesday night, again, at the Gateway Barnes and Noble, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. It's a great chance to meet some wonderful authors, hear some amazing music, and even see and hear me play The Sapphire Flute. :) Please come! I'd love to meet and see you all!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Last Chance for This Week's Drawing!

It was pointed out to me that some people aren't sure how to enter, so let me redirect you to the initial contest post HERE. That should tell you what you need to do to get entries. I'll be drawing tomorrow night, so you have until then to get 'er done!

Can't wait to see who gets drawn this time around. And remember--the entries continue from week to week, so if you don't get your name drawn tomorrow, it will stay in the basket for the next go round, though once you win, you're out for the rest of them. Hey, it's only fair. :D

Until tomorrow then!

Contest Drawing Coming Soon!

Hi guys! I just wanted to remind you I'll be drawing the first name tomorrow, so get your entries in now! Believe me, you won't want to miss this. Tomorrow I'll tell you what the grand prize drawing is I'll be doing on the 31st, but even the weekly drawings are going to be great. Just ask Graham Chops or Michelle. They've gotten my prizes before. :)

I'll catch up on the blog reviews over the next couple of days, but let me just say the ones I've seen so far have been awesome! Thanks to all my reviewers for putting in the effort and time to do this. Until tomorrow, then . . . adieu!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Blog Tour: Part 3

Photo courtesy of metalwarrior8 at Photobucket)

I know the picture really has nothing to do with my blog tour, except that it's a wolf and my book has wolves in it. I just thought it was really cool and wanted an excuse to share it. :)

The countdown is nearly over! Can you believe it? Only six more days and I'll be signing books and seeing this life-long dream come to fruition. It blows my mind and alternately thrills and terrifies me. Either way, it's nearly upon me and life will never be the same.

Just a reminder, if you want to enter my contests, I'll be doing drawings every Saturday this month (well, for the remaining three Saturdays), and a BIG drawing on the 31st, so if you want to get in on the action and get a chance at some really great prizes, follow the instructions HERE, and if you've done some of these things, but not all, remember, you get extra entries for each thing you do, and if you come up with other ways to spread the word about The Sapphire Flute, let me know in the comment trails and I'll give you even more entries.

I've had some really great reviews over the last few days and wanted to share those links with you. The first was Craig Everett. I found his view to be very well thought out and fascinating in comparing high fantasy written with male protagonists verses female. The next day was Josi Kilpack, who said some very nice things about me personally, and then for a unique twist interviewed her daughter about my book. On the 9th I had a delightful interview with Sheila where I shared a few things I don't normally talk about in regards to my book, not to mention I just enjoyed visiting with her. She's a delightful woman. Today's review comes via Cindy Bezas, and I must admit, when I read it last night it made me cry. My greatest dream in writing has been to reach peeople. Even in fantasy, I wanted these stories to be loved so much that the characters are like family members you come to care about and want to be with all the time. Cindy showed that dream being fulfilled and it made me feel so humbled and grateful to be able to live this dream of writing.

Now, back to the contest. If you have read The Sapphire Flute in any of its drafts and want to review it, I'll give you another entry into my drawings. Just because you're not officially on the blog tour doesn't mean you can't participate. And if you read the book AFTER it comes out, you can still do a review as well. Remember, you have until March 31st, which gives you over two weeks after the book launches to still be a part of the drawings.

If you're interested in comming to one of the book launches, the dates and times are as follows:

Tuesday, March 16 from 6:00 pm-8:30 pm
Barnes and Noble at The Gateway
6 N Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1184

Saturday, March 20th from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
The Purple Cow Book Store
992 N Main Street
Tooele, UT 84074-1616

There will be music (Shaun "Hammer Hands" Barrowes.), food, signings, visiting with the authors, and in the case of the Saturday launch for sure, a reading from The Sapphire Flute, and a flute/harp duet with my friend Paulette on my Sapphire Flute.

That's it for now! I'm off to get some words written on book 2 before my editor starts kicking down my door. ;)

Quote of the Day: "There are so many different kinds of writing and so many ways to work that the only rule is this: do what works. Almost everything has been tried and found to succeed for somebody. The methods, even the ideas of successful writers contradict each other in a most heartening way, and the only element I find common to all successful writers is persistence-an overwhelming determination to succeed."

Sophy Burnham

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Book Review: The Cleansing of America by W. Cleon Skousen

From the back of the book:

"Dr. W. Cleon Skousen spent the majority of his life researching the gospel, the U.S. Constitution, the founding of America and writing numerous books and articles on the topic, and he is one of the most well-known, respected defenders of America and the gospel the world has ever known. At the time of his passing in 2006, his work was not yet finished. His book The Cleansing of America
, written in 1994 and given into the care and keeping of his sons, is now being brought forth for the first time ever.

Included in these pages are the events and stages the Lord has predicted, through his servants, the winding-up scenes of this world. It helps the reader understand: the nature of prophecy, the known chronology of prophetic events, and the importance of staying close to the Lord and his prophets during the difficult and challenging years prior to the Second Coming. We are fast approaching those prophetic events. Some are upon us even now.

If we are prepared and obedient, we need not fear these events, but rather embrace them for the blessings they portend."

Cleon Skousen is a name I've grown up frequently hearing. My mother was a huge fan of his writings and marked his books up much as she would her scriptures, memorizing passages and relishing each word. She had all of his books--books which have now been passed on to me, and I treasure them for the insight she gained and marked on those pages. I loved the man because my mother loved him, but had never realized why she was so passionate about his words.

Until now.

The Cleansing of America has got to be the hardest book I've ever had to review. How can I label something that has had such a profound impact on me, that has changed my view of the world and the future, and finally let me glimpse what my mother had seen all those years? How can I impart even a small measure of the importance of these words?

The short answer is, I can't. All I can do is tell you to read it for yourself and see what the fuss is about. It is not a book you will lightly put down--nor likely forget. My life has always been changed because of this man, and now years after his death his words are back to further change my perspective of what could be.

All I can say, truly, is thank you, Brother Skousen, for leaving behind such a legacy, and for having the courage and testimony to share with the world all of the amazing things you've learned in your studies and travels. Thank you for your words.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Twitter and Facebook

Cindy pointed out to me in my last blog that she would follow me on Twitter and Facebook but I left no links. DOH! I knew I forgot something. The only problem here is that I am Twitter illiterate. I've got the account and have some followers and followees and have no idea what to do with it. I think I need to have a sit down with Daron Fraley for some serious tutoring into Twitteropian. In the meantime, if you want to find me on Twitter I go by karenehoover. All one word, and don't forget the 'e' in the middle.

Facebook, now, that I can do. I am pretty good at Facebook, so here's the link to my fan page and that you should just be able to click a button up at the top that says "Become a Fan." Simple enough.And that link would be HERE. If I've forgotten anything else, just let me know and I'll fix it.

On another note, my website is nearly completed. I got a peek at it last night and it is looking really nice. It has a lot of celtic elements, which I love, so now it's just a matter of tweaking it before we release it to the world. I'll have a big announcement and maybe a drawing when it's set up for good. It's been mostly quiet around here today. Had to miss church AGAIN because son number two decided to spend three hours throwing up last night. Of course by the time this morning rolls around he was fine, but it was too late by then. *sigh* What is it with all the adversity with going to church lately? It is super frustrating. Hopefully that will ease up soon. I hope and PRAY it will ease up soon.

I'm jumping on board the Money Monday train in the hopes that my tax return comes tomorrow. :) Thanks Candace for the lovely tag that has Manic Monday stuck in my head. Well, that's it for today. Down to a little over a week before the book comes out. It's so hard to believe! It's just around the corner. Hope to see as many of you as I can at one of the book launch parties. I am blessed to get not one, but TWO of them. The first is for all five of us Valor authors who will launch that day and it will be at the Gateway Barnes and Noble in Salt Lake on March 16th from 6:00 to 8:30. The second will be at The Purple Cow in Tooele on March 20th from 1:00 to 4:00. They are both going to be a blast, with food, reading, music, and book signing, so come join me for one of them and be sure to tell me hi and that you follow my blog. I'd love to meet you!

And in the meantime, don't forget to read my previous post and enter the contest! Believe me, you'll love the prizes. :)

Quote of the Day: Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow . . .
Lawrence Clark Powell

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Blog Tour Continues and the Contests Start!

This blog tour thing has been an interesting experience for me. I was talking to my friend Stacy about it one day and she said the feeling was like a cross between Christmas morning and finding out you've just been called to the principle's office.

You know what? She's right! I have thrilled over the kind things my reviewers and commenters on the reviews have said, and other times wondered why I even bother to put words on a page. I've had wonderful fun with some of the interviews and struggled for the words on others. It has been an eye opening journey, to say the least.

The last few days have brought me reviews from Elizabeth Mueller on both her personal blog and the MMW blog she writes for. It's the same review on both, but it's fun to read the different comments. Then there was Donna over at Inking Cap and a very fun interview with my good friend L.T. (I call her Ell for short) over at Dreams of Quills and Ink. And last night a nice review from Daron Fraley, who's book, The Thorn, will be published the same day as mine with Valor Publishing Group. I have the privilege of reviewing his book on April 2, so will have the chance to return the favor. Mua ha ha ha. ;)

Starting today I'm going to do some weekly drawings and will have a grand prize drawing at the end of the month, so if you'd like to enter and get some free stuff (and believe me, I give away GOOD free stuff!), you can enter in one of several ways and will get one entry for each thing you do.

1) FOLLOW ME! There's a button to the right. See it? Right over there? Yeah, that one. Click it and become one of my followers. That will get you one entry.

2) Follow me on Twitter at That's another entry.

3) Become a fan of Karen E. Hoover on Facebook. A third entry.

4) Once you've read my book, review it on Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari, Barnes and Noble, or any of those places. I'm not just talking pick your stars to rate it. I'm talking leave me a review, even if it's only a sentence or two, on what you thought of the book. What parts you liked best. whatever. Hopefully they will be positive, but I do appreciate honesty. You'll get one entry for EACH review you do.

5) Post my press release on your blog or web site. You can find it HERE.

6) I will give you TWO entries if you read the book and post a review on your blog.

7) Bribery. That will always get you entries. Oh wait, that's not ethical, is it. Scratch that one. (I love peanut m&m's)

8) When you've done all that, leave a comment (or leave multiple comments if you must if you have to break them up) and tell me what you've done so I can see how much you all love me (or how much you want my cool prizes) and I'll enter your name in the drawings. I'll draw every Saturday until the end of the month, and then draw once more on the 31st out of ALL the entries for the big grand prize.

Good luck to you all!

Quote of the Day: Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

*picture comes from Melinda via Flickr*

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And It Begins!

I've been promising a catch-up blog for what seems like ages, and now here I am two days into a blog tour and I haven't said a word! I figured it was time to fix that and get started catching everybody up.

Thus far this year I've done three school visits, gone to two writing conferences, sat on two panels, done a book reading, and met with my publisher innumerable times.

This is in addition to my normal duties of wife and mom, which have been sorely lacking, I'm afraid. I've been interviewed for the newspaper and had my pictures taken, and seen the weeks race by until I am down to a mere fourteen days before my book comes out. So, rather than just fill you in all the details today, which would make for a VERY long blog, I thought I'd start with this month's big news, and work my way backwards through the coming days.

So, the big news? My blog tour started yesterday! Most every day through the month of March a different blog will be reviewing my book, The Sapphire Flute, and talking a bit about it. Some of them have asked me some rather in depth questions, and others have read the book and are expressing their opinion on it. Either way, it's a nerve wracking and exciting experience for me. My friend Stacy said it was like the thrill of Christmas morning combined with the dread you feel when called to the Principal's office. I think she nailed that one. Thus far the reviews have been pretty darn friendly and I have no complaints and a lot of warm fuzzies. I'll let you know where I'm being spotlighted each day so you can check it out if you so desire. Yesterday I was at my friend Jewel's blog, and today it was Chantele, both of whom did a fantastic job.

I'm starting to get really excited and nervous about the big book launch and book tour. My life has already turned up-side-down and now it's about to explode! But truly, I wouldn't have it any other way. It is such a humbling experience finally seeing this lifelong dream come to fruition. I feel blessed. So very, very blessed.

And if you still want to pre-order The Sapphire Flute, you have until this Friday to get it for 10% off if you order it through my publisher HERE. I'll even send it out personalized however you want it! So, in essence, life is crazier than ever, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

*Special thanks to N3074Echo at Flickr for the use of their beautiful photo!*