Monday, July 21, 2014

Attitude and Gratitude

Have you ever noticed how your attitude effects your level of gratitude?

You may not know this, but I'm one of those people who - put in the right situation - easily gets frustrated. It quickly escalates into mega-frustration and anger. Then it's a serious YIKES! situation. When in this mode, my bad attitude rolls right over into my interactions with my family - who generally isn't even part of the situation. Times when I'm normally super patient (reminding kids three times to brush their teeth) suddenly becomes a major shouting fest - all of the shouting coming from me while my kids scramble away. 

Do I want to be this mom? This wife? This friend?

No, I don't.

About eight years ago, after being in a long, frustrating situation, something finally clicked. I realized just how much my attitude effects my ability to be grateful for my family and the many, many blessings in my life.

Then the purge began. If it was optional, stressful, frustrating - it was eliminated. I resigned from committees that were more about who had a better idea, was right, and competition than it was about helping the organization we were supposed to be supporting. I let some relationships go because I realized the only joy the other person received in our friendship was pointing out all the things I didn't do well enough.

It was super difficult at first. Mostly because I felt guilty, like I was letting everyone else down. But it didn't take long before I realized the most important relationships (my family and with Heavenly Father) were growing stronger. The best bonus - I was so much happier! All those knots in my shoulders, the gut-wrenching twists and worrying that kept me up at night - all gone!

For the first time in a long time, I stopped, looked at my life, and was grateful for every little thing.

I've changed a lot since then. I'm definitely more "go with the flow" and a lot more patient. I'm certainly not perfect, but I'm not trying to be perfect. I just want more gratitude, happiness, and lots of laughter in my home.

Sometimes those frustrating situations pop up - ones that are specially designed traps for me to fall into. And occasionally I do. The difference is that after a day or two, I make myself stop, evaluate my feelings and how I'm treating my family - then force myself to let whatever is causing the frustration go. There are times when that's not an easy thing to do, but when I accomplish the 'letting go', life is better.

My life is infinitely better my attitude is one that allows me to be happy and grateful each day.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Celebrate National Anniversaries with the Star Spangled Summer Adventure!



This summer marks the anniversaries of some profound American history. The sesquicentennial of the Civil War continues this summer, and August and September mark the 200th of anniversary of significant historical events from the War of 1812.

August 14th will mark the 200th anniversary of the British burning of America's capital, Washington D.C., including the torching of the White House, known then as The President's House, and the Capitol, which then housed the original Library of Congress. Along with these American architectural treasures, thousands

September 12-13 will mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore, the birth of The Star-Spangled Banner, and the moment America began its love affair with the red, white, and blue.

Sadly, economic issues and budget cuts have forced the cancellation of many public celebrations planned to mark these poignant events.

So families, it’s time to hit the road and create your own Star-Spangled Summer Adventure!

Laurie L.C. Lewis, author of the “Freemen and Dreamers” series, which covers this period of history, and some of her author friends are hosting this Star-Spangled Summer Celebration to encourage families to rediscover America and her history. You visit local, state, or federal landmarks with your family, and we’ll provide some added incentive.

Here’s how you enter:

    1.       Visit five American historical landmarks, (even your local landmarks count), between Flag Day, June 14th, and Defender’s Day, September 12th.

    2.       Email photos of your family standing in front of a sign or building indicating where you went. Use this email address: starspangledsummeradventure@gmail.com

That’s it!

Additional entries will be awarded for those who promote the SSSA by posting the official badge and link on their blog, and link to it via their Facebook page, or on Twitter.  Just send an email with the corresponding link to starspangledsummeradventure@gmail.com

Additional entries can also be earned by submitting a brief, (250 words or less), testimonial recounting your experience on a leg of your “Star-Spangled Adventure.” These will be posted on my blog over the summer.

One family will be selected to win the prize package on September 13th. Visit the official Star-Spangled Summer Adventure page.
of irreplaceable volumes were lost from our nation's library.

Prizes are still coming in, but the package now includes a Vivitar Digital Video Recorder; a $50 gift card to Bed, Bath, and Beyond; a commemorative set of the Charters of Freedom, suitable for framing; and a family-worthy collection of autographed books from authors in a variety of genres.

So hit the road, and let us see what great American history you find!

Warmly,
Laurie L. C. Lewis & Danyelle Ferguson

Friday, May 23, 2014

Feed Your eReader for Summer!


This sale is amazing. Dozens of books from $1.99 to FREE and the chance to win all these fun prizes. Go to Bookmarked Bargains to click on the books you'd like to purchase and to enter to win. 

Here are the other participating authors. Happy reading!

Imperfect Love, Rebecca Talley
Wild Hearts, Heather Tullis
Fallen Angel, Lisa Swinton
The Daisy Chain, Heather Moore
Sweet Confections, Danyelle Ferguson 
A Portrait for Toni, Annette Lyon
      
My Own Mr. Darcy, Karey White
Home Matters, Julie N. Ford
Silver Linings, Kaylee Baldwin
Third Times the Charm, Heather Moore

Discovering Sophie, Cindy Roland Anderson
The Making of a Queen (Ariana Book 1), Rachel Ann Nunes
Prank Wars, Stephanie Fowers
Mr. Wrong, Alivia Anderson
Intercession, Vicki Budge

Amazon, Sunset, Marie Higgins
Loyalty’s Web, Joyce DiPastena
The Man from Shenandoah, Marsha Ward
Intertwine, Nichole Van
Illuminations of the Heart, Joyce DiPastena
Spinster’s Folly, Marsha Ward
               
Tell me No Lies, Rachel Branton
Spy Noon (Spy Another Day prequel), Jordan McCollum
A Change of Plans, Donna K. Weaver
Fourth of July, Cami Checketts
Homecoming Identity, Heather Justesen
I, Spy (Spy Another Day #1), Jordan McCollum
To Sleep No More, Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen
The Colony, Cami Checketts

There, Their, They're: A no-tears guide to grammar from the word nerd, 2nd edition, Annette Lyon   
Homeschool Lifestyles from Homeschool Moms, Valerie Steimle
The 2012 Book Bloggers' Cookbook, Christy Dorrity
Of One Heart: Being Single in the LDS World, Valerie Steimle

Nourish and Strength, Maria Hoagland
Wall of Faith, J Loyd Morgan
Intercession, Vicki Budge
Family Size, Maria Hoagland

Just Like Elizabeth Taylor, Lu Ann Staheli          
Worth It (an LDS love story), Taryn Taylor
The Princess Sisters, Stacy Lynn Carroll
Frogs and Toads, Stacy Lynn Carroll
Confessions of 16-year-old Virgin-Lips, Cindy Hogan
Samara: A Kilenya Romance, Andrea Pearson
Tides across the Sea, Lu Ann Staheli
Gravediggers, Cindy Hogan

Heroes of the Highest Order (1-3), Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen
The Secret Sisters Club (A Ginnie West Adventure), Monique Bucheger
The Stone of Valhalla, Mikey Brooks
The Key of Kilenya, Andrea Pearson
Simply West of Heaven: A Ginnie West Adventure, Monique bucheger
The Dream Keeper, Mikey Brooks

The Waxing Moon, author J Loyd Morgan
Blue Dragon (Dragonbound Series book one), Rebecca Shelley
Nexus Point, the Fall of the Altairan Empire Book 1, Jaleta Clegg
Soul Windows, Jaleta Clegg
DragonBound IV: Red Dragon, Rebecca Shelley


Inevitable, Tamara Heiner
Twisted Tales Trilogy, Stephanie Fowers
The Roilden Stones of Elf Mountain,  Anna del C.
Awakening: Book One of the Geis, Christy Dorrity
Fateful, Cheri Schmidt
The Silent Warrior Trilogy, Anna del C.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What is Hidden by Lauren Skidmore

In a land of masquerades and mystery, Evie is a mask maker in Venesia, where masks represent rank and identity. When a cryptic bandit strips away Evie’s mask and destroys her home, she goes into hiding at the palace to find both a new identity—and revenge. Fantasy lovers will be caught up by the mystique, romance, and magic of "What Is Hidden."




Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and traveling. She hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but it’s on the list and has been to 30 states in the U.S. so far. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.


Our Review

My daughter and I LOVE What is Hidden. First of all, look at that gorgeous cover! The story inside is just as enticing. Evie's story is a twist on the Cinderella tale. I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of a masked society and Evie's role as a mask maker. It reminded me of Crewel by Gennifer Albin, and how she used knitting and weaving through society. The masked society in What is Hidden is unique and the characters within are fascinating. It's not often I find a debut author with such a fresh voice and strong writing. Lauren Skidmore is definitely on my list of authors to watch!

Click on the link below to purchase her book. Or drive to your local bookstore for a copy. You'll thank me later.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Winners, Writers and More - Oh My!

Winners . . . 

The past few weeks have been chuck full of amazing and fun stuff. My blog tour response was beyond incredible. Thank you to everyone who purchased my book, left reviews and entered the blog tour giveaway. The giveaway ended with over 4,000 entries! So, let's kick this blog post off with the winners. Congrats to . . .

$25 iTunes GC - Ali F.

$20 Sports Authority GC - Hai K.

Awakening Avery by Laurie Lewis - Rachael S.

Fallen Angel by Lisa Swinton - Jessica H.

Choice of 1 DiCarlo Brides book by Heather Tullis - Laurie G.

Fortune Cookie by Josi S. Kilpack - Victoria A.

Chocolate Roses by Joan Sowards - Lyza Jo

Rebound by Heather Justesen - Loretta B.

Gated by Amy Christine Parker (audiobook) - Diana D.

Winners - watch for an email. You will have 48 hours to accept your prize or another will be drawn.  =)


Writers . . . 

I spent last weekend surrounded by 700 writers at the Utah Storymakers Writers Conference. There was so much excitement, brainstorming, new friendships being forged - the list could go on. It was inspiring. As part of the conference organization committee, I was a tad busy running registration and other stuff, but I did get to attend a 2 hour intensive workshop taught by Elana Johnson and Ali Cross on story structure based off the Save the Cat series. It was awesomesauce! (an Elana term).  I loved their combined teaching style and how they used both a movie and a book to show the different beats a novel should have. I plan to pull out my Save the Cat book and add in all the notes I took during the class.

Here are some of my fave conference pictures (thank you to those who took pics and posted them on FB for me!):

 2014 Storymakers Conference Book Signing
with authors (L to R) - Jordan McCollum, Rachelle Christensen,
Danyelle Ferguson, Connie Sokol, Stephanie Black, and Lisa Mangum.

Author J. Scott Savage won the 2013 Whitney Award
for Best Speculative Fiction - then totally made me
tear up when he took his wife on stage with him and talked about
how he couldn't have accomplished all he did with out the support
and encouragement his wife gave. Jeff & Jennifer are such a great example
of a couple taking care of each other and reaching for their dreams together.


My hubby (John Waverly) and I were honored to present
the 2013 Whitney Award for Best Middle Grade Fiction
to Jennifer A. Nielsen for her novel, The Runaway King.

A totally fun moment after the Whitney Gala when
Stephanie Black grabbed me for a photo and we were joined
by some incredible awesome chicks. (L to R)
Donna Hatch, Stephanie Black, Danyelle Ferguson, 
Janette Rallison (aka CJ Hill), Heather Justsen (aka Heather Tullis),
Traci Hunter Abramson, and Julie Wright. 
I adore these ladies!


And More - Oh My!

The next two weeks are going to be busy ones for my family. It's the end of the school year and we're moving as well. I'm going to do my best to continue posting on my blog, but just in case you see a week go by with no posts - you'll know why.  =)

Also, today is the last day to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for Sweet Confections. Enjoy!




Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sweet Confections by Danyelle Ferguson

Sweet Confections

by Danyelle Ferguson

Giveaway ends May 01, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cover Reveal - Rewind to You by Laura Johnston & a Giveaway

Today's Sweet Confections blog tour stops are: 

April 9th    Lisa Swinton - Book Review
April 9th    Cause Everyone Needs Romance - Book Spotlight & Interview

And don't forget to enter to win an iTunes gift card, Sports Authority gift card, or some fabulous books!

I'm super excited to share Laura Johnston's cover reveal with you. It's YA, it's romance - and it looks absolutely addictive!


Cover Reveal, About the Author, a Sneak Peek of REWIND TO YOU and Rafflecopter Giveaway


Genre: Clean Contemporary YA Romance
Release Date: September 15, 2014; Available for PREORDER now

One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…

About the Author:

Laura Johnston lives in sunny Arizona with her husband and two children. Growing up in Orem, Utah with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, dancing (deduced to dancing around the kitchen while cooking dinner these days), traveling, writing, writing and more writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids. REWIND TO YOU, her debut novel, was inspired by the loss of her father as a teenager.

A Sneak Peek of REWIND TO YOU:





Giveaway: Signed Copy of REWIND TO YOU and $25 Amazon Gift Card


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. The winner, chosen by Rafflecopter, will be announced here on April 29th as well as emailed. The winner will have 5 days to respond at which point a new winner will be chosen. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It's Book Release Day - and So Much Awesomeness!

The big day is finally here! Sweet Confections is celebrating it's official book birthday with lots of giveaways and great reviews.

But first, I want to wish a happy book birthday to Synchrony by Cindy Ray Hale! Find out more about her fabulous book series on her website. (PS - she has a fabulous giveaway going on, too!)


To kick off the Sweet Confections blog tour, I hit the amazing Down Under. Thank you to the Australian Romance Readers Association for spotlighting my book! It's an absolutely delicious feeling as an author to know you have readers all around the globe.

Today, there are also two reviewers. Laurie Lewis was my first stop this morning. She's known for being brutally honest about everything from characterization to plot holes to grammar issues. As I chewed on my fingernails (my hair is too short to twist around my fingers!), I clicked on her website and quickly read her review. Then reread it . . . and smiled.  =)  Here's a short blurb from Laurie:

Ferguson's characters were thoughtful and real, making it easy for readers to invest fully in the challenges and hiccups in their budding relationship. I especially enjoyed the heroine. Rachel Marconi is not a Barbie doll. Nearing thirty, and a few pounds above svelte from all that delicious baking, she proves that real women eat, laugh, love, work, and drive men crazy--even perfect 10's like Graydon Green. - Read Laurie Lewis' full review here.


The second review for today was over on Heather Justesen's blog. Heather is my partner-in-crime for my book series. My series is Indulgence Row and her book series is In the Garden - but we are sharing a town (Crystal Creek) and we use each other's characters in our books. It's been so much fun to brain storm and create Crystal Creek together.  So, what did Heather have to say about Sweet Confections?

Great characters that made me laugh out loud and fall in love--as any good romance should. -  Read Heather Justesen's full review on her blog.

And, of course, with everything I do, there's an awesome giveaway! Simply click here to enter to win an iTunes gift card, Sports Authority gift card, or a fabulous book.

Looking for purchase links? Check out the sidebar!
Review Disclaimer: Sometimes a book I review has been sent to me for free by a publisher or an author. This in no way effects my review, which is my own opinion about whether the book was a good read for me, fit my tastes, and if I would recommend it to others. Other than possibly a free book, I am not compensated in any way for posting a review.