Thursday, December 15, 2011

Family Christmas Activity

If you're looking for a great Christmas activity for your family at an affordable price, check out the Academy of Ballet Arts production of the Nutcracker. I think it's one of the best Nutcracker productions in the valley. But then I'm biased since my daughter is dancing in it. Plus, many of my books will be for sale at a special Christmas discount in the boutique at the performances. The full sales price of the books will go to supporting the dance studio. And of course, I'll be around during the intermission to sign copies.

Performance Schedule:
Saturday Dec. 17, 2:00 pm
Monday Dec. 19, 7:00 pm
Tuesday Dec. 20, 7:00 pm
Wednesday Dec. 21, 7:00 pm

Elk Ridge Middle School
3649 west 9800 South
Salt Lake City (South Jordan) Utah

Ticket Price:
$6 Adults
$3 Seniors
$3 Students ($2 with student ID)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Great Books by LDS authors for Christmas

Great news for anyone looking for good books by LDS authors to purchase for Christmas. A bunch of us authors have gotten together and put up a book catalogue. Now you can see all the great new books by LDS authors in one place. Check out the Eclectic Books catalogue.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas for Free

Merry Christmas. As a special gift, the 6th book in the Smartboys Club is now free until the end of the holidays.


Oh No! Principal Green says Santa can't come to the school Christmas party.

Monkey needs a plan to get Santa to come. Too bad Monkey's ideas get him on Santa's Naughty List. It looks like all he'll get for Christmas is a bucket of coal.

But when a blizzard knocks out the power lines and buries the roads, it's up to Monkey and the Smartboys to save Christmas for everyone.

Free on Amazon

Free on Barnes & Noble

Free on iTunes

Free in All formats

Merry Christmas

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Terrific New Fantasy Series

The Sapphire Flute (The Wolfchild Saga)Rasann is a world in dire need. The net of magic that has held her together for eons is eroding and the magi can’t patch it fast enough to prevent disaster. Volcanoes spew, waters rise, famine and flood and desolation threaten the world as they desperately await the coming of the Wolfchild to heal their home.

Three women begin quests for identity and freedom from the ties that have held them: Ember, from her overbearing and prejudice mother; Kayla, from the rigidity of the caste that has oppressed her family; C’Tan, from her dark and evil master, the Guardian S’Kotos. One will discover she is the first white mage born in three millennia, another will become guardian to the a keystone, the sapphire flute, and throughout it all the third will try to destroy them both.

The Armor of Light (The Wolfchild Saga)

Ember has been accepted into the mage academy, but not without cost. She has gained a new enemy, ancient and dark, whose entire purpose is to destroy all white magic and her along with it. After nearly losing her life in a brutal attack, DeMunth is assigned her guardian, and the keystone he wears, The Armor of Light, begins the transition that will make it a true power. Kayla has lost most everything of importance to her—the people, the prestige, and all she fought for the past ten years. With nothing left to lose, she continues her search for the birthplace of The Sapphire Flute and the Wolfchild she believes to be its player. Her journey will take her to strange, foreign, and often dangerous places, and everything she had thought to be true will be proven wrong. In a showdown full of betrayal and heroic loss, Ember and Kayla finally meet on the battlefield, fighting a war on two fronts—against C'Tan and her people, and the mysterious enemy bent on destroying all magic—the shadow weavers. The story is full of power, betrayal, hope, and love. The elements of the universe are coming together, and none can know who will stand in the end.

I just finished reading Armor of Light by Karen E. Hoover. I really enjoyed it. It's a terrific fantasy with a perfect mix of action and romance, magic and danger. The main characters stole my heart, and I very much wanted them to succeed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Hidden Kingdom

The dark enemy never rests. But neither do the Heroes of the Highest Order. So when a magical playground whisks Dan and Page into the Hidden Kingdom, a skinny giant quickly registers them for hero training camp. There, they must gain skills, earn powerful treasures, and walk in the footsteps of a real pioneer hero.
I just read this great book by Ronda Hinrechsen. It's a sweet story for young readers. The first in a series. I can't wait to read more.

Monday, October 10, 2011

All I Got For Christmas

All I Got for Christmas is now out.

Oh No! Principal Green says Santa can't come to the school Christmas party.

Monkey needs a plan to get Santa to come. Too bad Monkey's ideas get him on Santa's Naughty List. It looks like all he'll get for Christmas is a bucket of coal.

But when a blizzard knocks out the power lines and buries the roads, it's up to Monkey and the Smartboys to save Christmas for everyone.

But Wait!

In a couple of weeks the publisher will be making this book available for FREE between now and Christmas. What a great Christmas present. Thanks Wonder Realms Books. I'll post links here when it goes free.

Halloween Discount!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In honor of Halloween, I'm putting I Lost My Head on sale for just $ .99.

In the Smartboys Club Book 4, the Smartboys get a strict substitute teacher who gives the class a haunted puzzle. The fate of Monkey’s head depends on the Smartboys solving the puzzle before the school Halloween party.

Buy for Kindle
Buy for Nook
Buy for iPad, Sony, Kobo and other formats.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Top of King's Peak

I know Matthew already posted this on Facebook for me, but I figured I'd better report in here on the blog as well.

On my author profile it talks about me loving to go adventuring in my youth. Despite growing a tad bit older, I still love to get out in the wilderness whenever I can. This past summer I spent nearly every week backpacking in preparation to climb King’s Peak, the tallest mountain in Utah at 13,528 feet. It’s a three day excursion totaling 34 miles.

I’m glad to say I made it. I’m not a fast hiker anymore, so it took me a long time to get to the summit and a long time to get back down. I didn’t arrive back to the base camp until well after dark. But I made it, despite my age.

While we were gone hiking up the peak, some crazy ninja squirrels raided our food. We had the food in food bags suspended high up between two trees where “supposedly” the squirrels couldn’t get to it. But somehow they did. The funny thing is all they ate was the Starbursts and Salt Water Taffy. I guess they have a sweet tooth.

Those who are paying attention might note that the picture on the main page of this blog is also of me at the top of King’s Peak. I like that one better because I don’t have any gray hair in it, and I’m a lot skinnier. Not to mention it has better resolution. LOL.

Just thought I’d post these new pictures to prove real adventure is for everyone no matter the age!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Stomach Explodes

Great news. The 5th Smarboys Club book will be available sometime the beginning of next week. Here's a sneak peek.

In the Smartboys Club Book 5, the Smartboys visit a Plymouth Reenactment Park where they get to dress, work and play like Pilgrim children.

Too bad Monkey's worst enemy, Eric Dripp, also comes to the park.

As if doing tons of chores isn't bad enough, Eric and Monkey end up lost in the woods where William Bradford's warning that they must work together or die takes a turn for the real.
Chapter 5
A Big Pile of Poo Goes Splat

I watched while Art drew back his arm and chucked the first pebble at the round green target on the road. The pebble landed at the edge with a little plop.

"Here, Monkey, you try." Art handed me the next rock.

I looked at that target, gauged the distance, the necessary speed, and the trajectory. Then I hucked that rock as hard as I could in the opposite direction.

Art glared at me. "Oh, Monkey, you coward."

"Ever read The Charge of the Light Brigade?" I said. "I bet those guys were afraid of being called cowards, and most of them ended up dead."

Art let out an evil laugh and pelted the target with a third pebble. This one smacked into the cow pie right in the center. It splashed a bit but didn't come anywhere near us. Taking courage, Bean picked up some rocks and threw them at the target.

Not even close.

Just then Eric and Bartholomew came walking up the street. Eric watched Bean try to hit the target a couple of more times and laughed. "You losers. Let me show you how it's done." Eric picked up a great big stone and hauled it across the street to stand right overtop of the cow pie.

Bartholomew's eyes got really wide. He tried to choke out a warning, but I spoke up first.

"Bad idea, Eric," I said.

Eric glared at me. "If you want to make a big splash, you have to use real ammo." He dropped the stone square into the center of the cow pie.

The poo exploded in a shower of green splatters, covering Eric from head to foot.

"Lovebird!" Eric screamed. My real name is Johnny Lovebird, in case you didn't already know.

"I'm going to kill you." Eric rushed toward me.

Now Eric would maybe or maybe not have killed me, but even if he just tackled me, I'd be slimed with stinky cow excrement. I did what any sane boy would do.

I ran.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How I Plan to Get in Shape

Some of you may have noticed my picture on this blog and on my website shows me sitting on the top of a mountain. That mountain is in fact King's Peak, the highest mountain in Utah, 13,528 feet high.

I've climbed it twice in the past, back when I was a bit younger than I am now. Now I'm in my forties, and it seems I gain an extra 10 lbs with each decade. LOL. Two years of consistent diet and exercise have not changed that fact. What's a woman with now 75% gray hair to do. Give in an accept my age, or . . .

Anyone who knows me well, knows I'm not exactly the giving in type. So here's my plan.

I've put my scale away in the closet. How much I weigh is no longer the goal. My goal is to get into shape. I figure if I can climb King's Peak again, I'll be in the same shape I was thirteen years ago when I last went. I'm working hard now to build the muscle, endurance, and lung capacity to climb that mountain.

Somewhere around here I have more pictures from the last trip. As soon as I can find them, I'll post them along with updates on how I'm doing with getting in shape.

At the moment my exercise regime includes relandscaping my yard. Pulling out 2200 square feet of sod and putting in natural forest xeriscape. We've been pulling out sod for almost a week now, and it's still not all gone. Yesterday the kids and I spread 9 tons of 1" gravel for an extra parking pad. Needless to say, every muscle in my entire body hurts. A great start to a terrific fitness program!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bees in My Butt Illustrations

I'm so excited about getting Bees in My Butt ready to print. We've got a terrific illustrator, Abby Goldsmith, to do the illustrations. Check out her website at

Here's a few of my favorite illustrations from the book.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Lost My Head


Whohoooo!!!! Final the fourth Smartboys Club book is out in ebook. I Lost My Head.

The Smartboys get a strict substitute teacher who gives the class a haunted puzzle. The fate of Monkey's head depends on the Smartboys solving the puzzle before the school Halloween party. 
I had a fun time drawing some pictures for the secret notebook for this book.
This is the library ghost Art draws in the story.

This is a picture of Ichabod Crane

 This is Art's picture of Bill Russell

It feels strange to be doing a Halloween book in March, but in the chronology of the series that's what comes next. LOL.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Blog Fest

Hi all,

romance blogfest badge

In honor of Valentine's day I've joined a group of writers in a blog fest. We're all going to post a scene we've written where love interests first meet. If you click on the picture above, it will take you to a blog that lists all the other writers' blogs and their scenes.

Here is my scene. It's from my YA paranormal, Divided.

    The enclosed back porch creaked as Carla stepped into it in front of her mother. The washer and dryer rattled with laundry. Because of the rain, the house smelled more like mildew than usual. Carla's mother waved to the policemen, closed the door and locked it.
    Water dripped from Carla's clothes onto the floor as she watched them out the window. They swept flashlights around the yard one more time and then headed around to their car.
    Carla leaned on the windowsill and stared out into the pouring rain toward the root cellar. The person in the cellar couldn't be dead. He had to have gone in during the short break when her mom went inside to call for help sorting out the chickens. She barely had time to make that call before the policemen arrived. That poor chicken must have gotten its foot caught in the door as it shut behind whoever it was.
    Carla wiped the wet hair out of her face. There had been so much blood. If that person was still alive, he wouldn't be for long without help.
    "Come away from the window." He mother grabbed a towel out of the dryer and rubbed her dripping hair. "It's not safe. We should go to the center of the house, away from windows that someone could shoot through."
    "Good idea," Carla said. "There aren't any windows in the bathroom. Why don't you get a shower and dry off, and then I'll go next. I trust the policemen will catch this guy before he ever gets to our house."
    Her mom nodded. She had dark circles under her eyes and looked more scared than Carla felt. Mom grabbed a robe from her room and stumbled through the kitchen into the bathroom.
    As soon as she closed the door, Carla raced to the stack of unpacked boxes. Three down from the top, she found one marked medical supplies. The tape rasped as she tore it off the box. Digging inside she found sterile gauze pads, scissors, medical tape, antibiotic ointment, and bottles of distilled water. She pulled them out then opened a box labeled bedding and went for the thick army blanket they always took with them camping.
    She wrapped the medical supplies in the blanket, tucked them under her arm, grabbed a flashlight, and bolted out the back door. Her mother always took at least half-an-hour in the shower, lingering under the hot water, sometimes singing. Carla hoped that would be long enough.
    The rain pounded her as she dashed across the yard, through the back gate, past the barn and the pump, and halted in front of the root cellar. Balancing her bundle with one hand, she reached to the ground, and grabbed the door handle. Again the shock of power went through her, but she ignored it and pulled open the door.
    The body had moved. Only bare earth showed now in the square of half-light from above.
    Carla dropped the blanket into the hole, found the steps, and followed them down, letting the door close above her, cutting off the light. In the darkness, cobwebs brushed against her face and arms. She heard ragged breathing--probably her own frightened lungs, desperate for air, gasping in the earthy scent of blood and open grave.
    Her hands shook against the plastic flashlight, and she fumbled to turn it on.
    The beam pierced the darkness, illuminating a narrow room twenty feet long and ten feet wide. Roots dangled from the ceiling, crawling with centipedes and spiders. Lumpy bags of old potatoes and onions sat against the walls.
    The body of a young man lay face-down in the center of the floor. A crisscross of long slashes covered his back as if he'd been whipped. Carla gasped. Blood trickled from the whip wounds and oozed from a hole in his lower back, dripping onto the muddy ground. The boy's body expanded and contracted with ragged, pain-filled breaths.
    Grabbing the blanket, Carla rushed forward and shook the boy. He was bigger than her, older.
    "Hey," Carla said, shaking him. He didn't respond.
    She spread the blanket on the ground next to him, and rolled him onto his side. In the glow of the flashlight, she saw that it was the boy from the mall, the one with hair shaved on the sides and back, and long platinum bangs that covered half his face. The one who had smiled at her. The boy who had protected Sira with his own body. Both of his hands were pressed against his gut, and his eyes were closed.
    "Wake up," Carla said, shaking him again.
    He groaned, but didn't open his eyes.
    "I don't have very long." She got out the scissors and cut his torn shirt away from his back. "I'm not a doctor or anything, but I'll do what I can. We should call 911 and get you to a hospital, but then I guess the police would find you."
    She threw the blood-soaked shirt to the side and used the distilled water to wash the mud off his back. It was bleeding and wouldn't stop. Afraid he'd bleed to death, she squirted the antibiotic ointment onto the pads and pressed them against the whip marks and oozing hole. It took almost the complete box to cover his back. Her hands shook as she tried to tape them in place. In her mind she counted the minutes until her mother stepped out of the shower.
    The boy moved, reaching out a blood-covered hand to grab hers. "It's no use." His voice came out in a gruff whisper, and his face twisted with pain. "My back's not the problem."
    A hot tingle went through her at his touch like it had at the mall, only wilder this time, intoxicating. It flashed through her and vanished as the boy's hand dropped from hers back to his gut. Blood seeped from between his fingers.
    "What is it?" Carla pried his hand away for a look at this other wound--an ugly bullet-sized hole. "What happened?" Carla cried. The thought of a bullet tearing through his gut, made her dizzy and her stomach churn.
    "Those trigger-happy twins," the boy said through gritted teeth. He opened his eyes to look at Carla. They were deep ocean blue, awash in pain. "Wouldn't listen to me. I just wanted to talk to DeWheat. But they won’t believe me. Thought I'd come to assassinate him."
    "Assassinate?" Carla grabbed the last of the gauze pads and pressed them against the hole in his gut. "I can't treat a bullet wound. You've got to go to the hospital. You'll die."
    "I'm already dying. It's too late."
    "No it's not." Carla pulled her cell phone from her pocket, but the boy snatched it from her hand.
    "Don't." His eyes flashed a dangerous look, and he tossed the phone against the wall. "It's better this way. Believe me, far better."
    "No." Carla tried to go after the phone, but he grabbed her ankle and dragged her back.
    She rolled onto her knees to face him, and he released her. His hair had fallen back over his eyes. She reached out, brushing it behind his ears. A wild tingling filled her at the touch of his skin.
    "What are you?" she whispered. "What am I feeling?"
    The boy grimaced and closed his eyes. "My name is Shadowheart, but friends call me Shade." It seemed to take more effort for him to speak this time. "I am Aos Si, but how can you sense that? Most humans can't." He shuddered.
    "Aos Si? What?" Carla asked.
"The Fair Folk in your language." Shade sucked in a gurgling breath and coughed.
"I don't understand," Carla said, but Shade couldn't answer through his deep racking coughs. Blood flecked his lips. His hand that held the gauze pad against the bullet wound fell away.
    Carla reached out to replace it. She held the pad against his hot gut and pressed her other hand against his chest. "Breathe," she whispered. "Please breathe. You can't die."
    He let out a gurgling laugh and went back to coughing. Blood stained his lips. The tingling continued to build in Carla where her hand pressed against his chest.
    "Live," she cried. "Please, please live." She'd done the same when she’d found the cat, chest blackened from the car tire. And again when Meg had said she only had a few months to live. “No. You can’t die.”
    The passion of her desire built inside her, filling her with a rush of molten gold, spinning her mind in a heady sensation of power.
    She let the golden flow explode from her hands into him. It penetrated the bullet hole and wrapped his body in its dazzling glow, bright as the sun, hot as its fire. The power shook her, sweeping her away with it. Her soul tore apart in agony. It hadn’t been like this before.
    "NO!" Shade yelled. He jerked up, grabbed her and pressed her against his cold chest. He caught her soul before it slipped away. A cool blue mist enveloped her, shielding her from the flow of power. “Too much,” he cried. “You should never pull that much power.”

Monday, January 31, 2011

Black Dragon is Now in Ebook

I am super excited to announce that my middle-grade book, Black Dragon is now out in ebook format.

Twelve-year-old Weldon is a gifted artist, but when his drawings of fairies and dragons come to life, he finds himself caught between some deadly criminals and the jewels they want. Only his dedication and imagination can save him and his friends.

This is a book that is really dear to my heart. For years now I've had in my bio on my website the mention that I love dragons and fairies. This is the first book where I was able to combine both of my loves and really bring the fairies to life.

In a few months I'll have a second fairy book out, Fairy Tome, which is a YA fairy story with a lot more powerful and intense fairies. In contrast, Black Dragon is middle grade and has pixie type fairies who still manage to get into their share of trouble.

Black Dragon is targeted for the 9- to 12-year-old children whose reading has advanced beyond chapter books, those children who are ready for a little bit longer and more compelling stories. It's still not too long though, shorter in fact than my Dragon Codex books. So it should be a quick and fun read.

Black Dragon's main protagonist, Weldon, is African-American, so it took me months and months of research to attempt to produce a book that would reflect the culture and language in a hopefully correct and positive light.

One of the things I try to do with all my books is learn about cultures other than my own and help convey the beauty and diversity that they add to the world. In Heroin Guns I got to learn about the Afghan culture and religion. In Crystal Coffin I learned about Korean and Chinese cultures. In the Smartboys Club series, the main characters come from an array of different backgrounds. Even one of the main themes in Red Dragon Codex is racial diversity and how all races have something good to offer to the world.

I think, of all the books, Black Dragon was the most intimidating to write, because of the pervading feeling that a white person can not fully know what it is to be African-American. I can't argue with that. That is why the purpose of Black Dragon is not to explore what it means to be African-American, though I enjoyed all the research I did for the book. The main purpose of Black Dragon is to tell a fun and entertaining story that children will want to read. I hope the book will be taken in that light, and that I will be forgiven for any cultural or linguistic mistakes I might have made.

I love this story, and I love the characters--humans, fairies, and dragons. Hope you all enjoy it too.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Okay, was number #2. Now it's dropped to #3. but hey, what a great moment. :D

Monday, January 17, 2011

Smartboys Club Sales Ranking

Terrific news. Bees in My Butt, my first Smartboys Club book  has hit the number 2 spot on the Barnes & Noble nookbooks for kids

I knew I'd been selling a lot of copies, but this is just fantastic! Who'd have thought such a silly book would sell so well.


The Third Smartboys Club Book

Whohoooo, my newest ebook is out!

In book 3 of the Smartboys Club, the Smartboys get a mysterious new class member. She has a secret, and Monkey is bent on finding out the truth about her. But the Smartboys are in for a surprise when their class takes a suit-and-tie field trip to Symphony Hall, no burping allowed.
Heroin Guns is now available in Print on Amazon.

A personal nightmare.

A ruthless drug lord.

A country torn by war.

President’s Special Forces agents Vince and Cat go undercover into Afghanistan to do the impossible—shut down the flow of heroin from Kabul. But the mission turns deadly right from the start, launching Vince and Cat into the most harrowing adventure of their lives.