Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sun Tunnels and Secrets Blog Tour

It's blog tour time for
Sun Tunnels and Secrets
by Carole Thayne Warburton
.


Filled with zanny and loveable characters, family secrets, and of course mystery, Sun Tunnels and Secrets will appeal to every reader.
We'll be giving away THREE copies as well as one lucky GRAND PRIZE WINNER who will win a beautiful pot by Carole (who's also a talented potter)!
Blog tour runs from December 1st--December 9th.



Want to win a copy of Sun Tunnels and Secrets? It's easy.
1. Visit the fabulous reviews and leave a comment letting us know why you're excited to read Sun Tunnels. Remember to include your email address.
2. If you tweet about the blog tour, or post about it on your blog or facebook, leave the link in the comments section and you'll receive an additional entry.


****
On a trip to the Sun Tunnels in the Utah desert, Norma and her sisters find a body on the side of the road. But this awful discovery turns out to be the least of their problems. Norma's husband just passed on, and she learns he kept a secret from her for sixty years. LaRue is keeping a secret from Norma. The sisters' young friend Tony is keeping a secret about his famous father, and Tony's mother is keeping a secret of her own. Tony is secretly in love with his friend Kelli, who recently escaped from a polygamist cult. And who is the mysterious young car thief with whom Norma feels a special connection? Everything converges in Grouse Creek at the Fourth of July celebration. Will secrets prove everyone's undoing?

November 30
Alison Palmer--Tangled Words and Dreams

December 1
Braden Bell--Braden's Blog

December 2
Danyelle Ferguson--Queen of the Clan

December 3
Jewel Adams--Jewel's Best Gems

December 6
Tristi Pinkston--*Trisit Pinkston
December 7
Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen--The Write Blocks

December 8
Diony George--Diony George

December 9
Marsha Ward--Writer in the Pines

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Contest and Happenings

It's Thanksgiving and we're in the giving spirit
by offering multiple opportunities to win free books.

Want to win one of the 12 novels we've published this year? You know you do. As many of our authors are also giving away a copy of their book, be sure to check out the complete list of the Gratitude Giveaway bog hop for additional ways to win. Giveaway closes November 28th at midnight.

Have you heard about The Star Prophecy by Joan Sowards? Filled with adventure and elements of the Christmas story, The Star Prophecy will become a favorite Christmas read. You can win a copy just in time for the holidays of it as part of our Free Book Friday feature. Contest closes November 25th at midnight

Would you like to make the holidays a little less stressful? Fabulous Freezer Meals by Jenny Stanger is the perfect book for cooking less, but still allowing feed your family healthy and delicious meals. Head on over to Ucreate foods for a chance to win one of two copies before November 26th.

As you're out and about with holiday shopping add the Reflections of Utah bookstore (47 South Main Street, Brigham City, UT (435) 723-8030) to your list.
Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen and Marie Higgins will be signing copies of their novels on November 26th from 10 am to noon. If you join Ronda's mailing list (rondagibbhinrichsen@gmail.com, subject line "subscribe to mailing list"), she'll send you a coupon good for 10% off your entire order during that time. What a great deal. Now you can spend more on books. :)



View Larger Map

Monday, November 22, 2010

Finding Rose Blog Tour


It's blog tour time for Whitney Nominee
Finding Rose by Stephanie Humphreys
.

We're excited because we've got some fabulous reviewers on board,
not to mention that we'll be giving away THREE copies!
The tour runs from November 22-December 3.



Want to win a copy of Finding Rose? It's easy. Check out the fabulous reviews and leave a comment letting us know why you're excited to read Finding Rose. Remember to include your email address. If you tweet about the blog tour, or post about it on your blog or facebook, leave the link in the comments section and you'll receive an additional entry.

****
Will Rose honor her father’s last wish?

Rose stood and dropped her father’s hand. “You’re tired, Papa.” She pulled the quilt over his thin shoulders and kissed him on the cheek. . . .

“Think about what I said.” He gently squeezed her hand. “I wish you would consider giving Miles a chance.”

“Miles! I wish Sean had never brought him here. He’s so serious. In all the time he’s been here, he’s hardly ever smiled. . . . He annoys me and I wish he would go home.” Still, Rose couldn’t help but think of his gentleness when he cared for her father.

On his deathbed, Rose Sterling’s father asks her to consider Miles Crandall as a suitor. Then Rose is sent to live with an uncle in Spring Creek, Montana, far from her carefree life with her family in Utah. Miles is returning to his hometown of Spring Creek to set up a medical practice, so Rose is certain her being sent there is a setup. Yet Miles doesn’t seem interested in her, and after Rose falls ill in Montana, he seems content to act as her physician and friend. When Rose captures the attention of Miles’s younger, flamboyant brother as well as the town sheriff, Miles retreats even further from any attempt at courtship.

How can Rose honor her father’s last wish if Miles doesn’t even try to court her? Will she have the courage to put her heart on the line and fight for the one she really loves?

November 22
Tristi Pinkston--Tristi Pinkston

November 23
Alison Palmer--Tangled Words and Dreams

November 24
Taffy Lovell--Taffy's Writing

November 29
Jenn Wilks--Jenn Wilks
Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen--The Write Blocks

November 30
Amanda Thomson--Maybe Mandi

December 1
Sheila Staley--Why Not? Because I Said So

December 2
Valerie Ipson--Valerie Ipson

December 3
Christine Bryant--Day Dreamer

Friday, November 19, 2010

Free Book Friday Giveaway--The Star Prophecy

Congratulations to Linda who won a copy of Oh, Say Can You See? by Laurie (L.C.) Lewis.

Today's free book is



Entering is easy, but you must be done by MIDNIGHT MST THURSDAY, November 25th. Winner will be announced November 26th.

To enter, leave us a comment with the answer to the weekly question.
Make sure to include your email address if it isn't found on your blog profile.

The weekly question is
"If you were giving a gift to the Savior, what would you give him and why?"

"You are crazy. No Nephite has ever returned."

Most people laugh when they hear of Enoch's dream of returning to Jerusalem to find the infant Messiah. Even Enoch's future father-in-law mocks him when he asks for a postponement of his long-awaited wedding to his beloved Rebekah. A few take Enoch seriously - the shipbuilder Omnihah, Enoch's teacher David, and the prophet Nephi.

Five years before, a Lamanite named Samuel had stood on the wall of Zarahemla and prophesied that "five years more cometh" and the Christ would be born in Jerusalem. Time is running out! Enoch knows he must set sail across the great waters in search of his dream - to see the face of the Messiah.

The Star Prophacy is a surprising story of courage and love, faith and foritude. Sail with Enoch and his friends across the sea through hardship and adventure in search of the Christ child.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

First Chapter Wednesday--The Star Prophecy

In July we were introduced to Joan Sowards.
If you didn't read her interview then, now's a great time to do so.
Joan recently released her newest novel, The Star Prophecy.



"You are crazy. No Nephite has ever returned.
"

Most people laugh when they hear of Enoch's dream of returning to Jerusalem to find the infant Messiah. Even Enoch's future father-in-law mocks him when he asks for a postponement of his long-awaited wedding to his beloved Rebekah. A few take Enoch seriously - the shipbuilder Omnihah, Enoch's teacher David, and the prophet Nephi.

Five years before, a Lamanite named Samuel had stood on the wall of Zarahemla and prophesied that "five years more cometh" and the Christ would be born in Jerusalem. Time is running out! Enoch knows he must set sail across the great waters in search of his dream - to see the face of the Messiah.

The Star Prophacy is a surprising story of courage and love, faith and foritude. Sail with Enoch and his friends across the sea through hardship and adventure in search of the Christ child.

FIRST CHAPTER

“You have walked all the way from Zarahemla to ask me to build a boat for you?”

“Yes.” The word caught in Enoch’s throat and he coughed. “That is right.”

Omnihah kept his head down as he worked at smoothing the long, rough plank, and he hardly lifted his eyes toward the teenager. Enoch waited nervously, thankful that the shipbuilder was too busy to notice his face flushing hot in spite of the cool breeze blowing in from the ocean only yards away.

“A boat like that?” Omnihah nodded toward a twenty-foot craft gleaming in the sunlight. “I am just now finishing it for your cousin Gid.”

Enoch glanced toward the fishing boat. “N–no. I want a bigger one,” he said, trying to sound older than his fifteen years, but his voice cracked. “It must be a ship that can sail far across the great sea. Something that will withstand the wildest storm.”

Omnihah glanced up briefly. A hint of amusement played in his eyes as he used his sleeve to catch a trickle of sweat that had escaped his gray brow. He leaned over the plank again. “Where are you going that you will need such a mighty boat?”

Though the old man’s voice was calm and low, Enoch’s courage waned. What hope did he have of convincing this stranger to aid him? Everyone else he had trusted had dismissed him as crazy. He briefly prayed for understanding from this man who, as a boy, had been an apprentice to a shipbuilder named Hagoth.

Enoch opened a small pouch and dumped its contents into his own shaking hand. “Look.” He stepped forward and pushed the coins toward Omnihah. “I have these gold pieces to pay you now, and when you are finished, I will pay more, along with a few gems.”

The builder straightened and looked at the coins but did not take them. “It will take years to build a boat sturdy enough to withstand these storms you speak of.” A corner of his mouth raised in a grin. “Now, why won’t you tell me where it is you want to sail such a great ship? Are you keeping secrets?”

“No secrets.” Enoch’s eyes lowered and his shoulders sagged. “You see, everyone laughs when I tell them. But” —he stood straighter and dared to look squarely into the older man’s eyes— “I will not give up, even if I have to build the ship myself.”

Omnihah chuckled, put down his tool, and looked long and deep into the boy’s determined face while rubbing his own perspiring neck. “All right. Tell me your plans and you shall have your sturdy craft. I will need to know every detail so that I can build it to your expectations.”

Enoch’s face burst into a smile and his heart pounded faster. “I want to sail to . . . well, I am going—”

The shipbuilder patiently waited.

“You see—” Enoch mustered all his courage to finally spit out the words “—I am sailing to Jerusalem, the homeland of our Father Lehi!”

*****

“Out of the way!” ordered the soldier pushing his way through Zarahemla’s crowded marketplace. Enoch stepped behind his vendor table in time to see an odd-looking Lamanite stumble. The soldier jerked the unfortunate man to his feet and continued to push him along.
Enoch felt compelled to follow. “Mind the shop, Zenos.” He handed a miniature sailing vessel of his own handiwork to his seven-year-old brother. Zenos nodded eagerly, and Enoch could tell he was proud to be left in charge of the many woodcarvings on display.

Enoch fell into step with the excited crowd. What had this man done to deserve such rough handling? Just being a Lamanite wouldn’t merit such treatment.

“And good riddance!”

Enoch spun toward the familiar voice and saw his friend Kumeni standing at the wayside. “What is the Lamanite’s crime?” Enoch asked, leaving the procession.

Kumeni, himself part Lamanite, dropped his heavy load of sheep pelts. Dark curls fell over his shoulders as he stretched his muscles. “While you went to the seashore, you missed all the excitement. This Messiah preacher claims that within a few years the Christ will be born in Jerusalem.” He huffed in disgust. “When will they ever leave us a—” Kumeni’s words trailed off when he saw Enoch’s troubled expression. “Sorry. I forgot you’re one of them.”

“And so were you once. You used to brag that your grandfather was a boy warrior who fought with Captain Helaman.”

Kumeni shrugged. “I got over it.”

Anxious over the fate of the preacher, Enoch stood taller to see the disappearing guards. “Where are they taking him?”

“Most likely to honor him with a noose.” Kumeni lifted the bundle onto his shoulder again.
Enoch took off in a run, hoping his rotting sandals would hold. How he wished he had returned sooner from the western seashore to hear the man’s preaching. But now the Lamanite was gone. Would the guards kill him? Enoch ran faster. Snap! A sandal broke and whipped violently at his ankle with each step of his sprint. He reached the city gate just as a soldier slammed it shut.

“No passage!” barked the muscular man, lifting his sword.

“I only want to speak to the Lamanite.” Enoch didn’t dare take another step, but there was no time to waste. The Lamanite soon would be gone.

The soldier’s eyes narrowed. “Are you one of them?”

Enoch hesitated and stepped back. “Just let me speak to him.”

The man waved his hand in Enoch’s face. “Be on your way!” Enoch took a step back toward the city, but waited as the soldier lowered a heavy iron bar across the gate. Then the man stomped away, his sword clanging against his breastplate.

Enoch crept closer to the gate. Through the crack between the doors he saw the Lamanite struggle painfully to his feet.

“Brother!” Enoch called. “Believer! Please come back. Tell me what you said about Jerusalem.”
He watched as the Lamanite managed to straighten himself and toss his black hair from over his eyes. When the man raised his face to see from where the voice had come, the pain in his dark eyes pierced Enoch’s heart.

Before the preacher could reply, another guard outside the gate hollered, “Be on your way! And don’t come back to Zarahemla!” Enoch watched the outcast gather his scattered belongings and limp down the road. Soon he disappeared into the jungle growth.

*****

It was late afternoon and people filled the marketplace. Vendors offered food of all varieties, and rows of tables displayed pottery, rugs, clothing, and an assortment of jewelry and other wares. Each vendor was anxious to make a few more transactions before closing time.

Despite the bustle all around, a lone figure on the city wall caught Enoch’s eye. He watched the form and realized almost at once that it was the exiled Lamanite. His heart beat in alarm.

“Zenos, you are in charge again. Can you handle it?”

“Yes!” Zenos stood. “But tell me where are you going.”

Enoch didn’t answer as he headed toward the wall. He saw the stranger stretch forth his hand and start shouting something about God’s sword of justice.

“He is back!”

The call had come from within the crowd. A hush came over the crowd as shoppers and vendors turned to see what was happening. The man on the wall continued preaching in a loud voice.
Enoch strained to hear the Lamanite, but a man near him started yelling, “Get that man—that lunatic! He is possessed by a devil!”

The man atop the wall shouted louder. “If you do not repent, the Lord will suffer you no longer! Repent and return unto the Lord your God and He will turn away His anger!”

“Kill him! Kill him!” called angry voices from the crowd. Several men shot arrows and stones, aiming at the Lamanite, but none hit him. A man close to Enoch readied his bow. As he shot, Enoch grabbed his arm, causing the arrow to go askew.

Enoch felt an acute pain in his shoulder as he hit the ground. “What are you doing?” the man standing over him sneered before turning and disappearing into the crowd.

Enoch lifted himself onto one elbow. “Run!” Enoch shouted to the Lamanite, but the warning was lost in the crowd’s chanting. He struggled to his feet and yelled again. “Save yourself!”

“Listen to me!” the Lamanite shouted above the din. “The Son of God will come within five years to redeem those who believe in Him. And these are the signs of His coming. There will be such lights in heaven that there will be no darkness the night before He cometh, causing two days to be as one. There will be a new star, and many signs and wonders in the heavens.” Suddenly, the Lamanite dropped behind the wall, and the soldiers ran through the city gate after him.

Enoch struggled to his feet as he heard a man scoff, “Who does that Lamanite think he is, telling us to repent? What do we have to repent of? Anyway, there will be no Messiah.”

Enoch spun to reply, but he lacked the courage to speak. Images of being run out of the city rushed through his mind. He sank back into the shadows under the trees, and the men passed without noticing him.

A cloud of shame overcame Enoch. Oh, how he wished he had courage to speak. How he wanted to see the Messiah face to face! How he longed to sail across the great waters to Jerusalem to find Him. Five years seemed like forever.

But he would have to wait.

Sunlight beckoned Enoch from the shadows. As he felt the warmth of the sun on his face, his shame left and a new resolve filled him. He would make his journey, he would find the Christ, and then never again would he shrink from testifying of the Messiah.







Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gratitude Giveaway Blog Hop

I'm thankful for
family, wonderful friends, chocolate, lilacs, summer rain storms,
fresh baked bread, warm slippers, the gospel, new experiences, positive people,
unconditional love, a great photograph, beautiful sunsets.

What are you thankful for? Let us know and you could be one of Twelve lucky winners who will win one of the following books:

Awakening Avery by Laurie Lewis

Chocolate Roses by Joan Sowards

Finding Rose by Stephanie Humphreys

Heart of a Hero by Marie Higgins

Oh, Say Can You See? by L.C. Lewis

Queen in Exile by Donna Hatch

Redemption by Susan Dayley

Sun Tunnels and Secrets by Carole Thayne Warburton

The Star Prophecy by Joan Sowards

Trapped by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen

Wild Irish Rose by Deborah Weikel

Winning Mr. Wrong by Marie Higgins


Giveaway Details:
1. To enter, leave something you're thankful for in the comments section. You must include your email address.
2. You must be a blog follower to enter.
3. For additional entries, post a link to this post on facebook or twitter. Leave a comment with a link to your post.
4. Giveaway ends 11/28/10.
5. Open to international entries.
6. Books and winners will be drawn at random.

To find the complete list of all 180 blogs participating in the Gratitude Blog Hop Giveaway visit, Iamareadernotawriter.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We love our followers giveaway!


We are so grateful for our wonderful blog readers.

We want to say THANK YOU to all of you and what better way than with free books?!!! Check back tomorrow for details on how you can win free books from us as part of the Gratitude Giveaway Blog Hop.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Free Book Friday Giveaway-Oh, Say Can You See?

Congratulations to Drakshah (please contact me with your address) who was the winner of Bro Jo's Guide to Casual Group Dating for LDS Youth by Dave Johnston. The best dating advice she received was to be herself.

Today's free book is

Oh, Say Can You See?


by Laurie (L.C.) Lewis
book four in the FREE MEN AND DREAMERS series

Entering is easy, but you must be done by MIDNIGHT MST THURSDAY, November 18th. Winner will be announced November 19th.

To enter, leave us a comment with the answer to the weekly question.
Make sure to include your email address if it isn't found on your blog profile.

The weekly question is
"What does The Star-Spangled Banner mean to you?"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

First Chapter Wednesday--Oh, Say Can You See?

Today's first chapter is

Oh, Say Can You See?

by Laurie (L.C.) Lewis
book four in the FREE MEN AND DREAMERS series



Chapter One

Thursday, August 25, 1814, 11:00 pm

One day after the Burning of Washington

Dear God, please, don’t let it be true. It was the silent prayer of Judge Joseph Hopper Nicholson as he hurried home to Baltimore, the smoke growing thicker with each passing mile. His horse was restless over the scent, straining at the bit and wanting to turn off the road. As debilitated as he felt, Hopper feared to give the animal his head and allow him to lead as he normally would.


Several times, Nicholson nearly slipped from his mount. Fatigue and the heat only added to his previous distress, brought on by a feverish malady during his stay in New York, when the fearsome news arrived of the British landing near Washington. Concerns for his wife and family, and for his volunteer artillerists, the Baltimore Fencibles—who would surely have rushed to the defense of Fort McHenry—drew the forty-four-year-old militia commander from his sickbed to begin an anxious return home to Baltimore.


As he headed south, increasingly grim details of the invasion assaulted him at each stop along the way—the American army had fled at Bladensburg, the president and his cabinet had been evacuated, and the city of Washington had been captured and set ablaze. Baltimore was eerily quiet when Nicholson entered. Slowing his horse to a trot, he followed Belle Air Avenue southwest, gazing down the side streets to assess the city’s mood. A smoky haze hung in the air as he urged his mount up onto Hampstead Hill, the highest rise near the city. A cry caught in the back of Nicholson’s throat as he gasped at the scene. Far off to the southwest, in the direction of Washington, seethed the source of the smoldering air.


“It’s true . . .” he groaned as he absorbed the cruel reality of it all.


He had been warned. As much as he had tried to discount the wild tales, how could he have doubted their general veracity after so many similar reports? A few facts had differed—British troop figures, how quickly they defeated the Americans at Bladensburg, the number and names of the magnificent Washington buildings torched, the amount of time required to mindlessly destroy a republic’s capital. In the deepest corner of Nicholson’s heart, he had hoped it had been a grotesque exaggeration. But it wasn’t. Glowing surreally, like a distant campfire emitting a forty-mile-long trail of soot and ash, the capital city still burned.


He leaned forward on his horse and scanned the harbor area to be sure Baltimore was still sovereign and safe, but it too was eerily illuminated, and his stomach tightened. He studied the light until he could identify the reason for the unnerving glow—dozens of small campfires. But whose? Peering more intently, Nicholson studied the star-shaped Fort McHenry, scanning the outline for the flag pole and then . . .


A loud release of breath escaped him as he saw the defiant outline of the American flag, fluttering boldly above the fort. He eyed it thankfully for several long seconds. Never before had he become emotional at seeing the red, white, and blue banner that designated American territory, but today his gratitude was full. His head instinctively turned toward the Pickersgill home, number 60 Albemarle Street, on the corner of East Pratt. He wondered if the widowed Mrs. Pickersgill and the other women of the family, whose hands had created the glorious ensign, had determined to remain in the city at such a perilous time as this.


Despite the presence of the American flag, Nicholson couldn’t shake his worry over the state of Baltimore. Delaying the arrival to his home, he set off straight to Fort McHenry. Innumerable militia soldiers were bivouacked around the fort’s five-sided perimeter. A private saluted him at the sally port as he hurried through, past his own quarters in the junior officers’ barracks to the dimly lit barracks where Major Armistead and his family lived.


He rapped on the door and the major answered quickly. “You look dreadful, Joseph.”


“A touch of the grip, but you look none better, Major. I hurried home as soon as I heard.”


The grim-faced officer opened the door wide, encouraging Judge Nicholson to enter. “Washington is a devastating loss. We’re bracing for the worst here, but we’ve made our preparations. Still, I’ve moved Louisa to Gettysburg to keep her and the baby out of harm’s way. Did I tell you I dreamed the child she carries is a son? I pray I get to meet him.”


“Of course you will, George. What is the mood in the city? All seems calm.”


“Panic, initially, particularly as news of Alexandria’s plan to capitulate reached here. Some of the citizens are fleeing, and some are calling for us to surrender as well. I’d like to shoot such cowards, but sadly, they still retain the privilege to exercise their freedom to speak, even if it is in a manner that would deprive them of that very right!”


“Not a single sentry met me on my ride in, as if there has been a deliberate plan to surrender Baltimore without a struggle.”


Armistead sighed in exasperation. “It did appear that way a few days ago, but things are improving somewhat. We’ve over a thousand militia camped around our perimeter, and Major General Smith is amassing new volunteers every day to defend the city against an attack by land. He strengthened the militia and Fort McHenry prior to my arrival, and he continues to work for the defense of this city. We owe him such gratitude for all this! There are also citizens’ groups springing up amongst those determined to remain and defend Baltimore.”


“What do your instincts tell you, Major? Do you think those volunteers will hold their lines, or will this be a repeat of Bladensburg and Washington?”


The major’s hand reached up and pressed against his tense mouth. Tiny shakes of his head gave the reply he dared not utter. Then he looked Nicholson in the eye. “I don’t know, Joseph. Only time will tell. Only time will tell.”

Monday, November 8, 2010

Get to know you Monday--Laurie Lewis

It's been a few weeks, but we're excited to introduce you to

Laurie (L.C.) Lewis

Author of Oh, Say Can You See?
book four in the FREE MEN AND DREAMERS series


and Awakening Avery

1. What is your favorite food? I consider myself a passionate connoisseur of fried chicken, but I recently saw Popeye’s nutrition info on their fried chicken and I’ve been in mourning ever since.
2. Do you prefer Chocolate or Vanilla Ice Cream? Vanilla, so I can better appreciate the strawberry toppings I’ll dump on top!

3. What is one food you despise? Sushi . . . not a fan.

4. Where did you grow up? Maryland, primarily, though I spent a few years in Barstow, California.

5. What was your favorite childhood picture book? Sadly, I can’t remember books in my family’s home. I suppose that’s why I loved school and the library so very much.

6. Is there a book that changed your life? I fell in love with Walter Farley’s “Black Stallion” books. I read every one of them. They opened my heart to reading and dreaming of faraway adventures.

7. What is your favorite sport? Basketball is my favorite spectator sport. Swimming is my favorite sport for participation, but if you see my family play board games, the full-body-contact action there should qualify as an extreme sport. I would love to learn to ballroom dance!

8. What is your favorite kind of music? I love everything depending on my mood, although I confess that I am practically musically illiterate on anything current. My passion for opera is growing with the rise of Il Divo, Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli, but I still like to boogie down with Crosby, Stills Nash and Young, or Three Dog Night. I love the Tabernacle Choir, and
the soundtrack from the Last of the Mohicans.

9. What is your favorite song? “Oh Thou Fount.” It brings me to tears every time.

10. What one place would you like to visit that you haven’t yet? I’d adore a trip to Greece or the Holy Land. That’s more than one . . . sorry. . .

11. What is your favorite thing about yourself? I’m pretty good at getting a rousing belly laugh out of little children.

12. Do you like to sing? Adore it! I once planned to make that my vocation. Then my sons began playing sports, and I cheered until I went hoarse. Now I’m only good for a few hymns and lullabies.

13. Do you like to dance? I have little natural talent, but I still have some moves!

14. Do you play a musical instrument? A little guitar left from my “Blowin’ in the Wind” college days. . .

15. What are three adjectives best describe you? Eclectic, overscheduled, loving

16. When you have an hour of free time, what do you like to do? The problem with being an author is that you never really have an hour of “free” time because you race to the computer and fill it with writing. So assuming someone has padlocked my computer, I’d spend my hour vegging with a movie or a good book, or hanging out with someone I love.

17. What is the strangest thing you ever did? Pleading the fifth. . . .

18. What is the strangest food you ever ate? Hmmm…….escargot, but what I put on
my pancakes can be considered pretty weird… peanut butter, American cheese and syrup.

19. Tell me about a favorite event of your childhood. I still smile when I remember the winter about twenty people became unexpectedly snowed in at our little farm house. We didn’t have enough winter clothes for all the children so we wore tons of socks wrapped up in bread bags so we could play outside together. The men walked to a little store dragging the groceries home on a sled. The women all worked together in the kitchen cooking and laughing. I’m
sure it was less fun for them than for us, but from my perspective it was a real pioneer party!

20. Are you a beach, country or city person? While I love spending time in each, I’m drawn to the sea.

21. What cartoon character best describes you? Mrs. Incredible. I relate to her hops and the inner-super-hero within all moms.

22. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be? Probably New England, near the sea and all that wonderful history.

23. If you knew could you try anything and not fail, what dream would you attempt? I have rheumatoid arthritis, so I’d love to be able to dance fluidly and beautifully. Now that would be a great dream come true!

24. What super-power would you most like to have, and why? Teleportation! I would love to be able to blink and be anywhere of my choosing!

25. If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be? To have a home near each of my faraway children, or unlimited plane tickets to visit often, and to complete my genealogy.

26. If you could only see black and white except for one color, what color would you choose to see? Green, so I could enjoy the landscape.

Third grade class photo. Laurie is on the second row, fourth from the left.



Wedding day

Lewis family, 1984
Funny faces

Why I Write
I've always been a storyteller. In fact, when I was young, my imagination was so clear and detailed that I even believed some of my own stories, which occasionally got me into trouble.

I never finished college, and that weighed heavier upon me as the years passed. I intended to return, but time, opportunity, and money never aligned. Still, I wanted to set an example for my children about pursuing dreams and developing talents, and writing allowed me to pursue a career I love in a field that almost seemed like a dream come true.

Writing Free Men and Dreamers has almost become more of a calling than a career opportunity. I've felt drive to write this series and shine light upon some of our spectacular, though neglected, American history.