Saturday, May 24, 2014

Stripling Warrior #4

I have some happy news for this week. Arrow to His Heart came out! The book dropped nearly a week ago, and I've barely even mentioned it to my legions of loyal followers. *waves to twenty people in the crowd*

You probably know that over at the Moncur house, we are in middle of a drawn out and kind of unwanted move to a new state. Over the past six months, I've watched each of the members of my little family fall apart, build themselves back up, and become someone who can go out into a strange, alternate reality and carry on. They are all much braver than me. We are a ragged little crew, walking daily on a precarious line between okay and not-okay. I'm not someone who likes to show the weaker side of myself, and certainly not online, but I hope you can understand why this book is later than anticipated and how tweaking the final proof copies did not seem like a number one priority to me for many months.

Completing a book is worth celebrating. Releasing a book is doubly so, and yet I don't feel much like celebrating. But dear readers, book bloggers, and yes, book buyers, you have made my heart grow two sizes this week.

Sob story over.

So now that the new book is finally here, I can take a breath. Okay, total lie. There are still three more Stripling Warrior books slated to release THIS YEAR. I might never breathe again.

You may have known this book under its former title, The Spy of Cumeni. After I finished writing the third book in the Daughter of Helaman trilogy, I planned to write Zeke's story next, but Kenai's story wouldn't leave me alone. I didn't know the stories would develop into seven companion novels which are now the Stripling Warrior series, but that's what happened and, as it turned out, Zeke needed a couple years to stew and think things over, to build himself back up and become someone who could go out into a strange, alternate reality and carry on. His story is scheduled to release the first week of July, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy the story about Kenai and Isabel.

In a delightful new book from Misty Moncur, a broken nose and two black eyes are all it takes for her vibrant young heroine to heal the heart of a scarred and lonely ex-soldier.

Silent and invisible, Kenai was the best spy in the stripling army, but all he wants to do is forget what happened during the war. Nothing feels right at home anymore. What good is being a spy among people who have no secrets? He should just slip away into the woods and go back to being invisible, but that’s hard to do when a pretty little village girl is constantly on his tail.

Isabel can’t help but notice her brother’s friend is acting strange. They say he was a brave soldier, Helaman’s most trusted spy, but men like that don’t sleep all day, refuse to eat, and avoid their friends. So Isabel does a little spy work of her own, and what she finds in the warrior’s wounded heart might just help her find what’s hidden deep inside her own. 


"What's wrong with his face?" Micah asked squinting a little to see into the distance.

"I hit him. I didn't tell you that part."

"Maybe this is a little more complicated than you let on." For some reason, I loved the admonishing in his voice.

"No, it's exactly as humiliating as I represented it."

"Izz," he said with affection. "Take a deep breath. Give everyone a chance to explain. Especially the guy with the broken nose."

My eyes shot to Kenai as he walked toward us. "Do you think it's broken? Can you tell from here? He told Eliam it wasn't."

"He lied. That nose is broken."

And finally, if you are still reading, you must love me very much. If you would like to spread the word about Arrow to His Heart and the rest of the series, see the details at the link below and consider signing up. 

(I think you have to make an account there to sign up. If that is not appealing to you, just email me. My email address is on the sidebar.)

Monday, May 5, 2014

It's nice to eMeet you.

Since I published my first book in 2011, I've had the chance to meet a lot of new and wonderful people, most of them through online networking. Oh, did you think I meant actually met people met people? I didn't. That would just be ridiculous. Obviously, I meant eMet people. I've eMet a lot of new and wonderful people.

eMeeting is the new meeting. Everybody does it. It's totally normal. It's totally acceptable. It caters to the passive aggressive introvert (which I totally am, which is why I applaud this technology). It doesn't automatically label you a nerd, as it used to in days of yore, to have eMet someone, just a slave to technology.

And what is so wrong with that? I have to pause for a second and say how much I hate people who say or post things, online, about how bad technology is, especially for our kids. Talk about a pet peave a'brewin'. If kids don't have an in depth understanding of computers and their workings and their capacities before they graduate Jr. High school, they will be crippled, absolutely crippled in the world we will be turning them loose in. The new world is not for the physically strong. That is so old fashioned, out of date, obsolete. Being strong and fit and in shape is recreation now, recreation, and don't even try to refute it. And people who recreate too much are lazy. Just saying. I ask you, does this not look like the ultimate in leisure activities? Running to nowhere? Please. You know I'm right.

Now, back to eMeeting you. Sometimes I have heard it put this way, "It's nice to connect with you." I think that works as well, but it also carries a kind of connotation about re-connecting, like we have already met IRL (in real life) and we are just now connecting online. I've also heard it this way, "It's nice to meet you." Ludicrous. We haven't met. We have only eMet. But is it only eMeeting? I really can't say which world will emerge as the more important one.

I'm still deciding whether to coin it eMeeting or e-meeting. Emeeting just doesn't seem right, does it? You were emeeting? Wait, what?

But it's so useful. As people IRL are totally scary, people online are totally approachable, especially when you consider they are at least 47% different than their IRL versions of themselves, and you can put at least 47% less of yourself out there online and still achieve the same or better result. It's so cost effective in terms of personal risk.

eMeeting puts us in touch with others who have similar interests as we have, so we don't have to content ourselves with the uninteresting jokers who so randomly surround us in the physical world.

And now it seems I have become facetious, which incidentally also happens about 47% more easily online. So I will just say to all those who come here to my blog, who Follow me (yes, I will lead you somewhere glorious) or Like me in this strange virtual reality we have created, it is nice to eMeet you. And I mean that in a very real life kind of way.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

To make me strong

Lately, as I've been editing my stripling warrior series, I'm finding these bits of useful information and wondering where on earth they came from. I'm way too stupid to have put them in deliberately. I came across this one tonight as I was editing In All Places.

Keturah is thinking about reasons why Gideon has not come for her. She knows he loves her, and yet, he stays away. She goes through this year of doubting herself and her ability to hear the Holy Ghost. This is what she says.

"I reminded myself how Gideon had not intervened when my unit teased and persecuted me. He had stood back and let me fight my own battles. To make me strong. To make me sure of myself. And I thought with tentative hope that maybe there could be something left for me. Maybe I could win this battle in my heart."

The phrase that keeps rolling through my mind is "to make me strong." That is why God gives us trials. That is why he lets us suffer for a time. That is why he allows temptations. That is the whole reason we are here--to become strong, and smart, and sure by faith, and I wish I could keep this all in perspective more than I do. When you realize what trials are doing to you--making you strong--and that they are all temporary, they become so much easier to bear. So often, I pray for perspective, and as always, God teaches me through one of the things I understand best--revision.

Battles of the heart don't always refer to falling in love, and even Ket has a couple different battles going on inside. There is her relationship with both Zeke and Gideon, but more importantly, there is her relationship with God. She's having trust issues and faith issues with Him, and I think that's something we all have in our relationship with God from time to time, especially in times of hardship. 

I was reading the part where the striplings are nearly starving and Ket prays and how her burdens lift when she realizes they are not hers to bear, of the word of God and the love of God and dealing with problems that are bigger than her faith. And I think, how on earth did I write this? When did I learn these things?  And if I know them, why do I have such a hard time applying them? 
 I've always disliked that part of the book. I've rewritten it plenty of times, but never felt good about taking it out. It turns out that I was the one who needed for it to stay in the book.

I got this sweet message from a reader yesterday. The girl said she hadn't been able to find many clean books lately, and thank you thank you thank you for writing my books. Is that the saddest thing you've ever heard? That girls who are looking for books that are clean, who don't want to be embarrassed about what they find in a book or completely surprised by it, can't find them?

I guess the point, if I have one, is that even though I sometimes feel like a big fat phony, writing LDS books, and failing to be able to follow my own bits of counsel, it's still totally worth every second I spend on it, which is a lot.

As always, thanks for stopping by the blog, and I hope you have a lovely Sunday.

Monday, November 25, 2013

In All Places - A Stripling Warrior Novel

Only two weeks until the release of the third book in my Stripling Warrior series!

I'm so excited to be able to share the conclusion to Keturah's story with you all. In this book, Keturah comes home from the war and has to figure out how to return to life in her tiny village. She doesn't fit in anymore. She misses her army friends and the warrior she fell in love with. But when Lamanites show up in her village again, Keturah learns there are still battles left to fight.

Thanks so much to all of you for your awesome support of this series. I have definitely felt the Spirit while writing these books, and I hope that as you read, you will feel it too. Please enjoy the first chapters of In All Places by clicking above as my try-it-before-you-can-buy-it gift to you. This book releases in eBook and paperback on Dec. 10.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Something that I really loved reading

LDS Updated
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The LDS author hop has rolled around again. I'd love to share with you a book called Fight For You, but I'm pretty sure I already did that, like, last week. So, I wanted to call to your attention to a couple other LDS authors I've enjoyed reading.

The first author I'd like to introduce to you is Kristin Bryant. I met Kristin via the writer's world here on the internet, but it wasn't until I went to her blog that I was like, "Man! We should be BFFs or something!" I just felt this immediate sameness and kinship with her. I think I scared her a little when I told her I was going to stalk her 'til the end of time.

The book I'm featuring is The Others.  The story is based on the scripture in John 10:16 where Christ says, "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold." It is about a society on another world that has teachings of The Light. They travel to Earth in an effort to find a connection between The Light of their world and Jesus Christ, to find evidence that Christ existed and made the Atonement. I just love the whole idea of this book, a subject that is very intriguing to me. Also, there's a romance, so you know I love it. I recommend this book to older teens and anyone who finds the idea of other worlds as intriguing as I do. You can enter to win a paperback copy (eBook if you prefer) of either of the books I'm featuring. Just click on the form below. 

From the cover:
Ryen is on a mission to Earth to find the answers to his distant world’s most critical questions. From the beginning, prophets have foretold of  a mythic figure- a Savior- who would live a perfect life and ultimately die to save their souls. There was just one catch. He would be born on a different planet, far away. He would perform miracles Ryen’s people would never see. But the Savior’s sacrifice, even from an incomprehensible distance, would redeem them all. But without tangible proof, the rift between the believers and nonbelievers is tearing this once peaceful planet apart.

While searching the Yucatan Peninsula, Ryen meets Savannah, a beautiful woman hiding a painful past. On their dangerous adventures  together through the untamed jungles of Mexico, he can’t help falling in love with her. As his  time runs out, Ryen must decide if he is willing to give up everything he has ever known and  loved to stay on Earth with Savannah.

But his decision could have very unexpected and tragic consequences. The Masters, a  powerful  clan of corrupt leaders, are plotting to take back Earth, the sacred planet, from the  humans.  Ryen and Savannah are thrust into the middle of The Masters plot to not only take  over Earth,  but their own crumbling world as well.

Ryen didn’t ask to be a hero. But to prevent the destruction of his and Earth's civilizations, he  must sacrifice everything, even the woman he loves, to save two worlds on the edge of  annihilation. 

The other author I'd like to introduce to you is Keary Taylor. She is the author of THE EDEN TRILOGY, the FALL OF ANGELS trilogy, and What I Didn't Say. The book I want to feature today is What I Didn't Say.

While Keary Taylor is LDS, What I Didn't Say is not an LDS novel. The characters are not LDS. The characters do have their own standards, understand right from wrong, and are not the annoying, entitled cretins you see so much in popular YA novels. Jake has great parents who are a support system to him, which is also not something you see a lot in YA. What I Didn't Say is a clean read. While having both sweet and romantic elements, it also deals with deeper issues. I think this is one of the reasons it stood out so much for me when I read it. Characters who have realistic problems to overcome hit home with me so much more than characters who don't.

What I Didn't Say is the only one of Taylor's novels I have read, and thus, the only one I can personally recommend, but if you're up to trying something new, Branded from her Fall of Angels series is currently FREE on Amazon Kindle.

From the cover:
Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat.

His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again.

When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it.
I'm so glad you stopped by the LDS Authors hop. What a great way to learn about the amazing things LDS authors are doing! As an author, I have to say thank you for your support of clean and uplifting literature.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One last thing I want to draw your attention to is the Whitney Awards. Each spring the LDS Storymakers puts on the Whitney Awards ceremony to honor the best of LDS writing. If you've read and loved a book by an LDS author, published in 2013, please take a moment to nominate it for this award. It's easy and won't take much of your time. Just go here and answer a few questions about the book.