Friday, September 28, 2012

A change in direction

Have you ever had those times when life sends you on a tailspin? When the direction you think you were heading toward has changed and you’ve had to reprioritize things? Life hit the fan for us in August—a change in employment topped off with a new school year for the kids and more homework. All my plans to write more intensely were tossed out the window in a rush to find employment. God blessed me with two great jobs at BYU and UVU. Now I’m restructuring my life.
It’s funny how changes initially upset the balance of our life. I fought for nearly a month to wonder why I couldn’t tap into my creative juices and write. Obviously my available time decreased, but I’m a master at stuffing things into a limited time. I questioned my ability…had I run out of gas or hit a wall? Ironically, the answer hit me once I’d accepted the change. I was sleeping at night.
Sounds odd, but those minutes, sometimes an hour as I struggled to go to sleep each night was my muse time. I imagined the next chapter and couldn’t wait to see it blossom on the page. That technique helped me to sleep and brought to life multiple novels. Changing my schedule to accommodate my early course I teach at UVU meant less sleep. Rushing about wore me out. The two combined made for one exhausted gal and no reason to plot my next scene.
It’s sad, but a stage in life. I’ve acknowledged and accepted it. Besides, I’m young! I can write years down the road when the kids are gone and I need less sleep. You won’t find me complaining about old age…it’s the perfect time to write. So the moral...I'll post when I can...when inspriation flattens me and I ache to share it. In the meantime, love life and let love grow. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Choosing Charity Blog Tour Giveaway&Review

One thing that stands out in Terri Ferran's trilogy is the growth in Kit’s character. When first we meet Kit in Finding Faith, she is struggling with being transplanted from California by her father’s job to Utah. Fortunately she is introduced to the Bridger family, establishing a good friend in Janet and the love of her life, Adam. Yet this strange Mormon culture presents challenges that will test her. Adopted after abandonment at birth, Kit depends little on God, but her love for Adam requires her to rely on faith. It was delightful to watch her growth in exploring a relationship with God and religion. Terri did an amazing job of portraying the conflicts and questions most face when considering conversion. Kit’s growth as she relies on faith is precious, especially considering the trials that accompany the challenge.

In Having Hope, Terri takes the reader away from a happy ending with Adam’s return from his mission and hands the lovers a separation that will test their outlook on their future. Kit travels to Romania to assist in a hospital/orphanage. Although spurred on by a prompting, Kit is tested at every corner—from her faith to her confidence in her relationship with Adam. The key is grasping hope in the future, not falling to present attacks.

The conclusion of this trilogy, Choosing Charity ends with a bang. Grounded in her beliefs, Kit is challenged as she looks outside of herself. Married and muddling through work and Adam’s schooling, Kit is unprepared for her birth mother to come forward. With this kink in her plans, comes an additional challenge as she deals with the ramifications of her parents’ divorce. Of all the struggles we’ve experience with Kit, I enjoyed this growth in her character the most. She is able to use her strengths and knowledge to assist others, allowing her to become an admirable character.

Giveaway Info:
As part of the tour, Terri is generously offering a grand prize giveaway of the Faith, Hope, and Charity trilogy, including hard copies of Finding Faith, Having Hope, and Choosing Charity. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post or any of the other stops on the tour. (Visit the tour page for the full tour schedule.) The more stops you comment on, the more entries you have into the contest!
Launch Party Info:
The official launch party for Choosing Charity will be held on August 11th from 3-7 PM at Seagull Book in The District in South Jordan. Terri will be joined by three other authors: Diony George, Carla Kelly, and Wendy Paul. Prizes and refreshments will be offered so come join the fun!

Relationship Time Outs

A night out a solution to bumps in your marriage? Hear me out...

Men and women are so different-we think differently, act differently and share few emotions.  Once you take out the sparks and romance you get strong contrasts. Now remove personality quirks that both genders share. What you are left with is a need for someone who understands you.

Out with your girlfriends or hanging in the man's cave, life becomes less complicated. You can talk (women) or not (men). You get all our gossip and grunts in, relate on such complicated levels (sports or fashion). Do the activities that suit you rather than compromising. Whine about your spouse...his laziness, her complaints...and then feel renewed.

The best part is coming home. You've vented and related and now you are back where you are cherished. You can dress you own style and keep your size without judging yourself.  Your physical prowess isn't tested. Away from comparisons, your love blossoms...until the next needed reminder. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Elusive Sleep

What makes sleep elusive for some and instantly achievable for others?
More particularly, why is my spouse the opposite? I toss and turn much to the chagrin of my husband, while his head hits the pillow and he is sound asleep.  It's my opinion that having both sexes the same would be great.  Can't sleep...let's watch a movie.  

My problem comes down to an active mind and body.  Between planning out my next day or the next chapter in my novel sleep hides from me. In fact, if I don't imagine the next scene I'm listing my chores the next day. Sometimes I irritate my husband by talking. be overwhelmed
with sleep.

I've tried different mattresses, allergy medicine, I never take naps in the afternoon.  What's missing in the equation? Any secrets out there (on a budget)?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cold Justice Review/ Blog Tour

There are two things that make a book stand out—characters and plot. Can the characters wrap you into their struggles? Can you envision yourself beside them on their route to a triumphant conclusion? Kathi has done a wonderful job of with each of her characters. You easily cheer beside them as they unravel the mystery. Too often the story dips in the middle, lulling you to sleep, or ends far before the last page. Kathi wraps you into the story from beginning to last word. Not once do you want to put the book down or lose interest.

I was fortunate to meet Kathi Oram Peterson at an Author/Blogger Lunch and found her delightful. She has answered a few questions for us.

Lydia:  Where did the idea for this book come from?

Kathi: My editor actually asked if I could do a second book using the characters from River Whispers. So I thought about the characters in that book and decided part of Samuel's Alaskan past would become central to this second novel.  I was also able to tell more of Wakanda's story. Even though she is a secondary character, the life she'd led and her history was fun to use in this adventure. Plus, I loved really testing Regi, one of the main characters. I worked hard to make Cold Justice a stand alone book so people didn't feel they had to buy River Whispers to understand what was going on in story line.

Lydia: What research did you do to keep the events factual?

Kathi: Oh my stars. I did a ton of research. You should see my file. I had to research traveling to Alaska by boat and by plane, what would happen when crossing the border between Canada and the US. I also did extensive research into the different Native Alaskan tribes. I borrowed some customs from many and made a fictional clan. I had to research law enforcement in Alaska, what US Marshals would do, the FBI, and tribal counsels. As recent as 2011 there was a new law passed by Congress allowing the tribes to do a lot more self governing. And, of course, I had to study the weather. Alaska during February and March can be extremely cold, but it all depends on where you live in Alaska. There were other things I researched, but to tell it all I'd have to write another book.

Lydia:  What is your favorite part about writing a novel?

Kathi: My favorite part is once the rough draft is written going back and filling the book with color: adding more visuals, developing more characterization for each character that makes them ring true, and smoothing out the writing with intense editing. I know for some writers the fun part is creating the story. That's fun too, but for me it's going over the story and breathing life into it.

Lydia:  What is something unique your readers do not know about you?

Kathi: Hmm, I love going to good movies. I'm becoming more selective, but there's nothing like seeing story come to life on the big screen. I've written a screenplay of An Angel on Main Street. I don't know if it will ever be made, but I was lucky enough to see the book published, so it's possible.

For those who love to read mysteries and soak up knowledge about culture and geography at the same time, Cold Justice is the book for you. It’s captivating and cleverly written. Check out the following for ways to win and learn more.
·  Leave a comment below for a chance to win an adorable bear from Build-a-Bear-Workshop.  Must be posted before July 1st, winner announced July 3rd.
·  Return to Kathi’s blog each day this week and check out other review of Cold Justice, and a wonderful book trailer.
·  Check out Goodreads where Kathi is having a drawing to give away two copies of Cold Justice.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Queen of Evasion

I’m often amazed at the level of subterfuge Mothers go through to endure.  Since summer break began survival mode kicked in. It’s enough that I have to give up my peace for the constant pattering of feet, but now I’m pestered with requests. We’ve worked past “I’m bored” with threats to clean despicable places and progressed to “When can I?”

In preparation for the long summer days, I booked our daughters into summer movies, play dates in the park and each has a summer class. Between that and meal time, I insist that they find something to do. The problem is their idea versus mine.

I think the pile of toys and neighbor kids as adequate entertainment, but they have come up with requests, usually “take me somewhere”. When they ask when the next time they can go ______, I’ve turned into a recorder and say “Some time.” Noncommittal is my defense. Unfortunately I only get away with it half of the time. They shrug and walk away or torment me for a specific time. Then I pull out the guns—“I’m not sure when.”

It’s only been a week. Can I survive? How do mothers endure? Must we resort to lying and dodging? I’m determined to be strong. There must be a line between caring for our children and being their source of entertainment. I once read “If a mother’s place is in the home, why am I always in the car.” I will fight that scenario. Oh, to have lived ages past when kids were self entertained…

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I had an epiphany this morning as I lay in bed cringing at each clink and bang in the kitchen as my husband got ready for the day. Two actually—I have Superman hearing and my irritation over the noises my husband created is really my own fault. It would be unfair to criticize or place the blame on his shoulders. My annoyance is merely a reflection of my own quirks--a skewed perspective.

How many times do we find faults in our spouse that result from our finicky natures? Do we find issues with things another person would shrug off? I thought about writing down all my complaints about my husband’s nuances and then I pictured him doing the same and tossed the idea out. The word petty came to mind and I’m feeling guilty.

Perhaps a mental list would work. I’ve already started on mine—the exhuming of fumes in front of me…just my super scenter in overdrive, the clothes strewn on the floor…just a reaction to my voiced impatience to have him by my side. No, it’s not all my fault, nor should he be excused from details, but could I be more tolerant. YES. And maybe if I tossed out the annoyance at his quirks I might find some missing sparks. PerhapsJ