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
Click to return to the Link Up
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.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Editing. A way to make things right.

Looking for mistakes.

I've always felt editing equaled looking for mistakes.
Like this:




And loving, nay, adoring the act of editing, I kind of thought maybe something was wrong with me.
Like this:



And I kind of thought, "Well, Misty, you're just a downer. Get used to being the un-life of every party you ever go to." And I did. I got used to it. I accepted it.

Until last evening when I was discussing editing with Kamrynn. Kammi loves to write stories. She writes lots of them. She writes song lyrics and poetry, and she illustrates them all and dedicates and memorizes them. Kammi is this amazing, creative creature I cannot figure out. For example, Kammi has mastered the art of the spelling test. Perfect scores. But in her creative pieces, her spelling, even on simple words, is simply atrocious. Atrocious like I would be seriously concerned about her if I didn't know she was a whiz kid at spelling.

When I went into her room to tuck her in last night, she was reading a book she had written. As we put her book away, she told me a little about the part she was on (quoted it to me, actually), and said, "But I had to change it a little." She laughed and specified. "It said BFF, and I had to make it BFFs."

Well, obviously.

I said, "That's what editing is all about. It's kind of fun, isn't it?"

She agreed, and we talked some more about it. Then she said, "You write fast," and we talked about how I do my work on the computer, and how yes, it did enable me to work very quickly. She didn't care for my way of working. She got this gleam in her eyes - true, true delight - and said, "Because on the computer, you can't cross things out."

I know where she's coming from. When I write poetry, I write with pen and paper, and as I revise and work words into something pretty and meaningful, I just cross out things that aren't going into the final poem. But it doesn't mean they don't have value to me. They were part of my journey, part of what taught me, led me to where I ended up. I keep them. I have quite a collection now.

That's not the point I wanted to make. The point is that maybe editing does not have to equal pessimism. Maybe I am not always looking for the bad and the ugly and the wrong in things, but instead, I am looking for a way to make them right.

Since I quit working, I have tried to take more opportunities to tuck my kids in at night. They are both getting older, but they both still like it, particularly the lullabies. Tonight as a sang a couple songs to Zach, I had an impression to talk to him, too. So I knelt by his bed and talked to him about the things that came into my mind, and I listened to the things he wanted to tell me, which were all Minecraft related and so innocent that what I felt I needed to say seemed so heavy and unnecessary. Well, that is the long way of saying this:

I told him that when we make mistakes, God doesn't get angry at us and flip his lid. He loves us and tries to help us fix the mess we made of things. I told him that was the kind of parent I wanted to be to him and Kammi. He took it in and then told me about how he could draw a fur trapper's hat onto a picture of his creeper. Or whatever.

I always think it is fascinating how God teaches each of us in the way we will best understand. For Zach, a simple, heartfelt talk with Mom. For Kammi, a love of crossing things out. For me, something as pessimistic (and as lovely) as editing.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fight For You Blog Tour

The blog tour for my new book release,  Fight For You is winding down. Today is the last day, with a stop at Literary Time Out. It's also the last day you can enter to win prizes! Just click on the form below for a chance to win free books or a beautiful Armor of God pendant (featured below). We also have an Amazon giftcard up for grabs and a writing swag pack donated by the awesome Rebecca Lamoreaux.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sept. 9
Author Juli Caldwell
Mother/Daughter book review

Sept. 10
Book Blogger Elizabeth at Elizabeth's Book Reviews
Book Review

Sept. 11
Book Blogger Tamera Westoff
Book Review

Sept. 11
Author Shirley Bahlman
Jungle Interview

Sept. 12
Author Rebecca Lamoureaux
Book Review

Sept. 13
Book Blogger Christine at Six Mixed Reviews
Book Review

Sept 13
Book Blogger Kathy at I Am A Reader Not A Writer
Author's Top 10 lists

Sept. 15
Author Roseanne Wilkins
Book Review

Sept. 16
Kristin at the Vocal Sokol
Motivational feature

Sept. 16
Author Cindy Bennett

Sept. 17
Author Diann Read
Guest Post on Divine Nature

Sept. 17
Author Becky H. Jamison
Book Review

Sept. 18
Author Stephanie Worlton
Book Review

Sept. 19
Book Blogger Heather Gardner at Fire and Ice
Book Review

Sept. 20
Author Shannen Camp
Book Review

Sept. 21
Author Anna Del C. Dye

Sept. 24
Book Blogger Andrea at Literary Time Out