Monday, February 16, 2015

App Manager

It has been many long days since I have written a blog post, as I think blogs are going the way of the dinosaur. I mean, who has time to read them? (...you?) I certainly don't. We're all too busy playing Candy Crush Saga and computer solitaire, and that's okay. I'm not here to judge. And you have to admit, there is something beautiful about playing Candy Crush Saga. Not that I would necessarily know what it is since I've never played it, but I DO have a pretty serious addiction to playing Sudoku on my phone, and I'm scared to think about what will happen after I play the last game on level 5. I can't be held responsible for any of my actions after that. Probably I'll just start over again at level 1, but I'm getting off topic.

A few days ago, I noticed that Kam's tablet was running slow, so I went into the App Manager and started removing apps she didn't need (all of them?  heh heh). And as I was doing this, I was thinking about all the stuff in my own life I wished I could remove, all the extra stuff that is slowing me down. I could list a bunch of stuff, but it would be completely different from your list, and I guess that's the point: we all have a unique list of stuff we have to remove from our lives so the important stuff can run properly.

For the past few years, one of the apps that would absolutely stay in my life is my writing, specifically the Stripling Warrior series I've been working on. But for the past few months, it's been one of those apps I've got my finger hovering over, just about three seconds from tapping remove. There are so many other things in my head that need the storage space and processor speed. Not the least of which is my Sudoku habit, which is really just the manifestation of how I deal with my stress levels. Am I saying I'm completely stressed out? Yeah, I guess that's what I'm saying, but it's not really the point, because who isn't?

So. I bit off this huge bite of project for Book 6 in the Stripling Warrior series, which will essentially make the work for publishing one book into the work for publishing three books. Why did I think this was a good idea? Okay, I know why. I wanted to. That's right, I write for fun. Because I like it. Because it fulfills me. Because through writing I can connect with other human beings in a way I can't in real life. Real life is a scary place for me, and I'm not sure that after my thirty some odd years, the scary is ever going to go away. And that's okay. There's something beautiful about being scared and going on anyway. It's called courage, and it's what I love so much about the story of the stripling warriors in the Book of Mormon and what I love so much about the characters and storylines I have created around it.

So. Book 6, Brothers In Arms, is coming to you in three installments over the next few months. The original story switches narrators every other chapter. I've pulled each narrator's story out and written her her own story, but as you can imagine, it left some pretty big plot holes in both stories, plot holes I have to fill in. Which is what I wanted to do. But which is also the app that is about three seconds away from being removed. Consequently, I don't feel like this first release is my best work. I'm still not in love with Lamech, not even a little bit, and for me, that's what makes the experience of reading a romance, I don't know, worth it. You get to fall a little in love every time you read one, and I'm probably more addicted to falling in love than I am to playing Sudoku.

So. Here's the cover. Click it. Like it. Thanks for taking time to stop by my blog tonight. XOXO

http://www.amazon.com/Like-Tendrils-Vine-Brothers-Stripling-ebook/dp/B00TLHD3MU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424142572&sr=8-1&keywords=like+the+tendrils+of+a+vine
 All Sarai wants to do is be there when her brothers rescue Gideon from the Lamanite prison. She thought talking Zeke into letting her go would be the hardest part, but no one expects the dangerous lie they will have to tell to keep her safe.

Lamech is used to protecting himself in enemy lands, but protecting his captain's pretty sister from a suspicious Lamanite spy is a complication he has no training for.

Brothers In Arms: A Stripling Warrior Novel, is now two stand-alone eBooks. In Part 1: Like the Tendrils of a Vine, Sarai embarks on a journey to save her friend. As she and Lamech travel deeper into the ancient land of their fathers, a land where the right path is not always clear, she will find that Gideon was not the only man she was sent to save.

Look for Salome's story in March 2015.




*This post is dedicated to Karlene, for giving me the nudge I needed. Thank you, friend.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Captain's Guard (Daughter of Helaman #5)

How do I let these release dates get away from me? The Captain's Guard has been out for a week now and has been doing great. You have all given it a fantastic welcome to the literary world and for that I thank you.

After I finished writing Keturah's story in In All Places, I really wanted to write Zeke a happy ending. I wanted to write a girl who was perfect for him, because he deserved it and I owed it to him. Instead, I wrote this tiny part between Kenai and Isabel that sparked the idea for a whole novel about them, Arrow to His Heart, which I ended up loving and is one of my favorites, but it had to be written first. So after THAT, I had to do right by Zeke. I laughed my head off in the first chapter when Eliza did everything and anything just to get Zeke to LOOK at her. She was so lonely and had such a huge crush on him. She was delightful, more mature than my other characters, and I loved writing about her.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to pull together a photo shoot for the cover art for the rest of the series. I generally leave my character descriptions somewhat vague so that the reader can imagine them as they like, but I really had something specific in mind for Eliza. I put out a simple notice on Facebook to see if anyone would be interested in modeling. I wasn't sure what kind of response I would get, but I ended up with a fantastic group of beautiful girls, and each new girl I talked to fit a different character. It was totally MTB (meant to be). But as I was saying, my perfect Eliza graciously agreed to model, came out to meet a stranger, and did an amazing job. She may not have known it, but we watched her "become" Eliza right before our eyes. I can't even describe seeing a character I made up come to life, so I won't even try. The feeling is just beyond description. And of course, having the talented Aya Photography on board with the project didn't hurt either.
http://ayaphotography.com/

So, if you haven't had the chance to read The Captain's Guard, here's a little more information about it. If you'd like to give it a try, you can read the first few chapters Here.

http://www.amazon.com/Captains-Guard-Stripling-Warrior-Novel-ebook/dp/B00MJMH91K/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=034PXT7G3R4EW1XJYMCC


“That’s so sad,” I said to Zeke. “To be so in love with a married woman.”
Zeke didn’t say anything.
“I’d say it was pathetic, but I feel so bad for him. Look, he can’t even watch them together.”
Silence.
I turned to look at Zeke, and all of a sudden, I knew. I knew who she was. I was watching her kiss her husband. I knew her name, and I knew why no one had wanted to tell me what it was.


She had never been loved before. He thought he would never love again.

Zeke never imagined he wouldn’t marry the pretty girl from his village. It was as good as done—until she fell in love with someone else during the war. Captain Helaman’s estate in the city is the perfect refuge, far from pitying eyes and nosy village women. But though time has healed his battle wounds, it hasn’t bound up his broken heart. 

Abandoned and alone in the world, Eliza asked Uncle Helaman to take her in. She has everything she could want at her new home on the grand estate—everything but the attention of Helaman’s handsome guard. When Helaman sends her on a journey with the brooding Ezekiel, she’s determined to find out what makes him so sad, but in her search for the girl who broke Zeke’s heart, Eliza has to find a way to guard her own.


The Captain's Guard (eBook) is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com, Google Play, and other online retailers at its introductory price of $2.99. Paperback will be available soon.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Review: Sense and Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale by Rebecca Jamison

Which is the key to love -- passion or sensibility? Sensible Elly and romantic Maren are sisters trying to hold their family together in the wake of their father's bankruptcy and death. As both unexpectedly encounter the madness and misadventures of love, they find out what true happiness means. This modern reimagination of the Jane Austen favorite will capture your heart all over again.


Misty's Review:

It's true. This book really will capture your heart. Well-written and well-thought out, Sense and Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale is a sweet romance that explores different approaches to new love in the wake of heartbreak and disappointments. Jamison does a fantastic job adapting this classic into a modern style, always a risky business when so many people love the original. While much of the point of the story is dependent on Elly and Maren having perhaps exaggerated and potentially one-dimensional personality traits, Jamison's characters are crafted with depth and complexity. I loved the LDS spin on the story and did not find it overwhelming or detracting in any way. Readers of clean and sweet contemporary romance will adore this story. I highly recommend it, as well as Jamison's other novels, Persuasion and Emma.

Rebecca Jamison loves a good romance, especially anything by Jane Austen. Rebecca grew up in Vienna, Virginia. She attended Brigham Young University, earning a BA and MA in English. In between college and grad school, she served a mission to Portugal and the Cape Verde islands. Rebecca and her husband have six children. She enjoys running, making jewelry, reading, and watching chick flicks.You can learn more about Rebecca at rebeccahjamison.com.

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. 



Snippet:
 

"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.)