LDStorymakers Midwest Conference Survey

Following Directions & Giveaway Winners

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the Spring Cleaning Giveaway hop! I love new visitors to my blog. This morning, I pulled three names for winners (thanks!), but when I went out to check if they followed my blog - only one of them had! So two more winners were chosen. Again, only one was a follower. Another winner was chosen and finally - 3 winners!

Tip: Just because blog hops are large organized events doesn't mean that the bloggers don't double check to see if you followed the directions to enter the giveaway. Next time, be sure to go over and click the "Like" button if asked.  =)

Now, on to our awesome winners! Congrats to:

Holly - gfc holly wright
who won Bitten!

Hygge Man 
who won Shattered Silence!

who won Fall! 

I will email each of you to get your snail mail addresses. I hope each of you has a wonderful happy day!

Kindles for Kids

My awesome author friend, Danyelle Leafty, is donating all of her royalties for sales through March 31st toward purchasing Kindles for Kids to donate to the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center pediatric unit.

I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!

A few years ago, our son (who was in 5th grade at the time) had a mass on his lungs. When it was discovered, we were terrified and overwhelmed. We spent a lot of time at the hospital - a couple weeks as inpatients, then lots of out of patient visits pre & post-op. We had a happy outcome (no cancer!) and our children's hospital was amazing. But still - it was a hospital, not the most fun place to be.

Danyelle plans to purchase as many Kindle Fires as possible and load them up with donated ebooks from authors & publishers.

How Can You Help?

  1. Purchase Danyelle's books.
  2. If you're an author, ask your publisher to donate a pdf or kindle version of your book to be loaded onto the Kindle Fires
  3. If you're a writer, write a short story to go with Danyelle's Fairy Tale Anthology she's creating for the pediatric unit.

You can read more about Danyelle & Kindles for Kids here.  And for convenience, here are some Amazon links to Danyelle's books.

Book Blast for Caller ID by Rachelle J. Christensen

My awesome friend, Rachelle Christensen, has a new book out. Caller ID is a suspense novel that will have you gripping the novel in both hands until you reach the thrilling conclusion. I love Rachelle's books!

When twenty-three-year-old Courtney Beckham is abducted near her home, the search turns up more than just a kidnapping crime. FBI agent Jason Edwards investigates the ten-million-dollar ransom and stumbles upon something he wasn't meant to find. And when Courtney catches a glimpse of the caller ID in her kidnapper's home, what she sees turns her world upside down.
 Intrigued? Read the first few chapters here. 

Book Launch Celebration!

To celebrate the release of CALLER ID, Rachelle is hosting a contest for a new Ultra Flip Video Camcorder (4GB memory, Records 120 minutes Value $149.99) and other great prizes. You can enter to win between now and April 14, 2012. Winners will be announced and notified April 16, 2012.
For how to enter, click here.

Join the Book Bomb on Thursday, March 22nd.  

FYI to my QOTC readers - a book bomb is when a large group of people order a certain book on a specific day on Amazon. This pushes the book's popularity up the Amazon ranks, which in turn gives the book more visibility to Amazon shoppers. To join the book bomb, you can simply click on this link to Amazon and order.


Spring Cleaning Book Giveaway Blog Hop

I lighten by bookshelves several times a year. And lucky for you, I Am a Reader, Not a Writer hosts some fabulous blog hops for me to give away these great books! 

3 Books, 3 Winners

To enter, simply follow my blog and leave a happy comment on this post. I will choose three winners to receive one of the following books. All entries must be received by midnight on March 25th. I will announce the winners by March 28th.

Bitten: A Romantic Comedy by Robert Smith

*The book I'm giving away is a paper bound book, not a Kindle book. This was the only image I could find.  =)

“I remembered the disappointment I had felt about Tennessee and the fear I had experienced worrying about being stung by bugs. I looked at Grace. Who knew I would be bitten so hard?”

Serving as a missionary in Thelma's Way, Tennessee, is an unforgettable, colorful, and bewildering experience for Trust Williams. (The bugs are the least of his problems.) But as Trust settles in, he begins to love this ratty bunch of misfits. In particular, he's smitten by a mysterious redhead named Grace. His mission mishaps and later courtship will leave readers in stitches. In the end, Trust discovers that despite religion, location, or upbringing, love bites whom it pleases.

Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer's Daughter by Melissa G. Moore with M. Bridget Cook

Throughout her life, Melissa Jesperson Moore had to hide her true identity. She had pretended that life was perfect after her parents divorced and she was suddenly uprooted from everything familiar and loving. She had to be silent, and to pretend not to be disturbed or upset by her father's actions. Those experiences prepared Melissa to hide the deepest, darkest secret of all. As she began making different choices, building a successful and loving life on her own, her heart began to fill with rays of hope, though she could never quite rid herself of the dark shadow of secrecy and shame. Then one day, her beautiful, innocent daughter looked into her eyes and said, "Mommy, everybody's got a daddy. Where's your daddy?" Shattered Silence is an astonishing, true narrative of personal and spiritual transformation. From her secret life as "the daughter of The Happy Face Serial Murderer" to a woman that bared her soul and inspired millions, Melissa leads the reader on the vulnerable, compelling, and sometimes very raw journey of what it took to shatter the silence, and claim her own life.

Fall by Jennifer Hurst

Women and construction shouldn't mix. At least, that is what the client, Mr. Blackwell, thinks when twenty-one year old Julia D. Halstead is promoted to project manager to convert a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse into a bed and breakfast. However, the schoolhouse contains a dark secret that has been hidden for nearly a hundred years. A secret that will unleash the Furies of Hell and cause the Angels in Heaven to weep as ethereal brothers, Matthew and Nathan, battle over Julia's very soul.

Good luck & enjoy the blog hop!

Gallagher Girls Academy Invasion!

YES! The next Gallagher Girls Academy book is out! Not only that, but Ally Carter is on tour. Here are the tour cities & dates. I'm most definitely going to her signing in Wichita with my daughter. So excited!

March 13, 2012
Washington DC/Bethesda MD

Time: 5:00 pm
Bethesda Public Library
7400 Arlington Rd
Bethesda, MD 20814
**Appearing with Rachel Hawkins
March 14, 2012
Philadelphia, PA

Time: 7:00 pm
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
210 Commerce Blvd
Fairless Hills, PA 19030
**Appearing with Rachel Hawkins
March 16, 2012
Philadelphia, PA

Time: 7:00 pm
Children’s Book World
17 Haverford Station
Haverford, PA 19041
March 17, 2012
Raleigh, NC

Time: 3:00 pm
Quail Ridge Books & Music
3522 Wade Ave
Raleigh, NC 26707
**Appearing with Rachel Hawkins
March 19, 2012
Seattle, WA

Time: 7:00 pm
Third Place Books
17171 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155
March 21, 2012
Menlo Park, CA

Time: 7:00 pm
Kepler’s Books and Magazines
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025

March 22, 2012
San Jose, CA

Time: 3:00 pm
1378 Lincoln Ave
San Jose, CA 95125
(Event may be held off-site.
Contact the store for details.)

March 24, 2012
Wichita, KS

Time: 2:00 pm
Watermark Books and Café
4701 E. Douglas
Wichita, KS 67218

Tour the Kansas City LDS Temple

You are cordially invited 
to attend an open house of the Kansas City Missouri Temple 
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 
from Saturday, April 7, through Saturday, April 21, 2012 (excluding Sundays).

The temple is a beautiful, inspiring, and peaceful place.  

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I love going to the temple. It's a place I can go to find peace in this crazy mixed up world we live in. Heck, even in my chaotic house full of fabulous, rambunctious kids! The temple helps me find my balance, to remind me of who I am: A Daughter of God. And that these angels-in-training who destroy the house faster than I can clean it are children of God, too. 

There have been many, many times in my life that I've been reminded that God knows exactly who I am. But most of them have occurred since becoming a mother. It amazes me how often I receive promptings or answers to prayer about one of my munchkins. If I follow those promptings or answers, then I discover they were spot on for what that child needed. Over the years, it's become more clear to me that motherhood is not a single woman job. It takes a team - and mine begins with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Without those three in my life, I wouldn't be the partially sane woman I am today.  =)

Seriously, the temple is beautiful. If you are not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and you live within a 2 day drive of a temple open house (the current temple opening is in Kansas City, MO), then I encourage you to go. 

What happens on a tour? Well, first you should reserve a ticket. When you arrive, you'll wait to be assigned to a small group. During the wait there may be videos playing, music from the fabulous Mormon Tabernacle Choir, or volunteers to chat with. I'll personally be volunteering a few days during the Kansas City Temple open house. When your group is called, you'll be led through the temple. This is a reverent tour. You're welcome to ask questions, but please talk in soft tones to allow the spirit in the building to be felt. You'll visit our baptismal fonts, ordinance rooms, and marriage rooms. Gorgeous paintings, woodwork, and chandeliers. This is an opportunity for you to learn about your Mormon neighbors and their faith. At the end of the tour, if you'd like to learn more, you're welcome to fill out a missionary card. But I promise, there won't be anyone following you, hounding, heckling, or annoying you. The open house is a two-week window of time for members of my church to share their love for Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ and how we worship them in the temple with our neighbors before it is dedicated in May. After the dedication, the temple is only visited by members of the LDS church. 

I hope that you live close enough to attend the Kansas City Temple open house. If not, I hope one day you'll be near another temple open house and take the opportunity to go. Click here for a list of temples being constructed around the world.

Book Review: A Woman's Power by Fay Klingler & a Giveaway!

A Woman's Power: Threads that Bind Us to God by Fay Klingler

In today's chaotic world, most women feel like they're hanging on by a single, ever-fraying thread. But the gospel teaches us differently. As daughters of God, we're blessed with lifelines from above. All we have to do is reach up and grab hold of them. The author simply and beautifully illustrates which threads have the strength and power to carry women of virtue to safety, peace, and lasting happiness.This inspiring work will help you hold fast to the divinity within you, as you learn just how powerful a faithful woman can be.  

My Review
A Woman's Power is a beautiful witness of a woman's divinity as a daughter of God. Within these chapters, you'll find guidance to strengthen your relationship with Heavenly Father and uplifting stories that, combined, make you want to strive to be the person God knows is inside of you. To just shine and be the best you. I loved this endorsement:

“This book encourages all women to thoughtfully ponder the
opportunity to build a powerful and more trusting relationship
with our Father in Heaven, and to follow specific steps to confirm
our identity as Daughters of God, with inherent rights to personal
safety and the ability to embrace life with confidence and joy.”
—Merilyn H. Wright, MS,
Licensed Professional Counselor

This is a book that should be in the hand of every female teen, college student, and women every where.

You can find out more about Fay on her website or on her Facebook page. A Woman's Power can be purchased at any bookstore or online.

Enter to Win an eBook copy of A Woman's Power!

One lucky person will win an advance issue of the A Woman's Power e-book. Entering is simple:

  1. Follow my blog.
  2. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how God has blessed your life. Please include your email address so we can contact you with the good news.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday, March 14th. Good luck, everyone!

Introducing CNN Blues Clues

Dinner is a family affair at the Ferguson home. And it's not just an eat quick and go meal either. Everyone stays at the table while we each take turns talking about what interesting things happened that day. Last night, my 12 year old was telling us about his day at school and my 5 year old asked for another helping of dinner. During that brief distraction I could have sworn I heard my son say he watched Blues Clues during Social Studies.

"You watched Blues Clues?" I asked incredulously.

This cracked my son up. He was laughing so hard, he literally fell out of his chair. He wasn't the only one laughing at me either. I think Anna and I were the only ones confused cause we missed the original comment.

"No, Mom! We watched CNN Student News!" Isaac corrected me.

Student News, Blues Clues - hey they almost, kinda rhyme, right?

Of course, my family doesn't leave it at that little mishap and move on. Oh no. My hubby started coming up with one liners for the CNN Blues Clues show. They were so funny, I wrote them down to share. Imagine my hubby as the anchor and he's directing you to different news segments.

"Today, there was an earthquake in the kitchen. Salt and Pepper are live on the scene. How does it look over there?"

"Now we'll head out to the back yard where the Sandbox is having export issues."

"Riots broke out at Magenta's house. Sadly, Joe is on strike, demanding better working conditions and less animals."

"CNN Blues Clues will be right back . . . after we get Thinking Chair repaired."

"And now, on the weather front. A low pressure system is moving through the Midwest. Let's Skeedoo into the picture."

"And the big question on everyone's mind: What is Blue really saying?"

Thank you for joining us for another interesting evening at CNN Blues Clues!

Is your family as wacky as mine?

Book Review: We Lived in Heaven by Sarah Hinze

I have a special book to share with you today: We Lived in Heaven by Sarah Hinze . . .

This book is a remarkable collection of accounts of families who have had the opportunity to meet the souls of their sons and daughters before they were born. Read about the vivid memories of life in heaven by young children, and dramatic stories of prayers answered by guardian angels who watch over us. Discover:

* A letter from a mother to her son, whom she gave up for adoption, telling him of the dream that guided her through that painful decision.
* A kidnapped child who survived her ordeal by the guiding hand of the baby sister who would be born years later.
* A little boy's memory of being brought to earth by his grandfather--a man he never knew.
* A woman's vision of a child in a garden, and the powerful certainty that he was her son, waiting his turn to come into this world.

Sarah Hinze's own personal pre-birth experiences complete this inspiring collection, which radiates a universal sense of peace, joy, and hope that touches us all.

My Review

 We Lived in Heaven is a heart-warming book that shares stories of pre-birth experiences. At first, I didn't quite understand what that meant - Were they talking about near death experiences when the person remembered that they had lived in Heaven before coming to earth as a baby?

But actually, it's from the point of view of parents or future-parents. Some are near-death experiences, several are from mothers who are pregnant, and others are from teens who had answers to prayers that showed them what their future could be and the children they could one day parent, if they changed and made better life choices. A variety of faiths are represented in this book. I love that each story shares an intimate personal story about our divinity and that we did live with Heavenly Father before we came to Earth as little babies.

If you love happy true stories that give you tingles and make your day brighter, then you would love We Lived in Heaven.

You can find out more about Sarah Hinze and her research on pre-birth experiences on her website. We Lived in Heaven is available in bookstores and online.