Saturday, December 13, 2014

I am so blown away by your response to the big, final giveaway. I wasn't sure if it was totally lame or not, so your enthusiasm was so great. We had very nearly 300 entries!

And now... we have winners! Two of them. *cues drum roll*

Jen Cummings, who would like to have her name appear in Charlie Jonquil's book so she could "meet" the ever-expanding Jonquil family

AND

Minna Nielson, who would like to have her name appear in one of the future Jonquil books.

Ladies, shoot me off a message either here or via my FB page and I'll make sure I have your requested book correct, etc. Thanks!

Thank you, everyone, for the continued support and love. Thank you for your enthusiasm and encouragement.
Have a wonderful holiday season and a lovely new year!
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Friday, December 12, 2014

This has been a great week. It's been so, so fun. So, fun, in fact, that I am going to double today's prize & give away two instead of just one.

The prize....

Wishing you could rub elbows with Adam and Persephone and crew? Or perhaps the Jonquils? Or the folks in Hope Springs? Anxious to meet a whole slew of new characters?

Here's your chance to be part of their world.

The winner of today's prize will get to have his or her name used in one of my upcoming works. Here's a chance to "meet" the Duke of Kielder or the foppish Earl of Lampton or that blue-eyed Irishman, Tavish O'Connor.
If yours isn't a name that fits into the place and time where the book is set, we'll get creative. We'll find a way to get you a shout out!

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post and/or the corresponding post on my FB page up until 6pm MST on Dec 13th 2014, one entry will be given to each commenter on each site, TWO (2!!) winners will be selected at random from amongst all entries, open internationally, answering the following question...

[EDIT: I reworded the question so it's clearer what I'm asking, since I can't put anyone into a book that is already published :)]
Which upcoming book would you choose to be part of? (Or maybe a book full of new characters you haven't met yet?)

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I don't know if I'll ever reach the point where I'm not genuinely surprised that people enjoy my books and the characters in them. My mom does, but she's almost obligated to. So, your love for the heroines touched me--it really did.
And, I reached 2,000 likes on my FB page during yesterday's giveaway. 2,000. How in the world are there 2,000 people who are at all interested in what I do? :) These are questions I spend way too much time pondering.
But, thank you. Thank you all so much for continuing to support and encourage me. It means so much.

The winner of the book and headband is...

Emma Bullock, who cast her vote for Catherine, the heroine of The Kiss of a Stranger. (Emma, contact me either via my FB page or website, and I'll get these to you right away!)

I have one more giveaway to cap off this week of giveaways. It's a prize I've never given away before, and I think it's something you guys are really going to like. So, stay tuned.

And (almost done, I promise!) don't forget about tomorrow's book signings:
11-12:30 Deseret Bookstore in Bountiful, UT
2:00-3:30 Deseret Bookstore at Ft. Union in Midvale, UT
I'll have door prizes and swag and would love to see you there!
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Another day, another prize! (This has been fun. I am definitely doing it again down the road!)

Today's prize is one I think you guys are going to love.

A fabulous Regency era romance from Whitney Award winning author Michele Paige Holmes. Seriously, you'll love it.
AND
another gorgeous head band from Sarah Forrester at "Once Upon a Time Boutique" (can you tell I just adore her work?!)

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post and/or the corresponding post on my FB page (https://www.facebook.com/SarahMEden/photos/a.188753883900.127435.71625568900/10152907719133901/)  up until Noon MST on Dec 12th, one entry will be given to each commenter on each site, a winner will be selected at random from amongst all entries, US & Canada only, please (Tomorrow's prize will be International again [[and it's gonna be a good one--something I've never given away before!]]), answering the following question...

Which heroine from my various books is your favorite?
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Guys! Your list of great books you've read this year was amazing! I discovered some new authors by reading your comments, and I think my to-read pile just about doubled.

And, in a lovely bit of perfect timing, a few of the titles mentioned in the comments are on sale at Deseret Bookstore, both online and in stores, today ONLY (Julianne Donaldson's Blackmoore, Jennifer Moore's Lady Emma's Campaign, Traci Hunter Abramson's Drop Zone as well as For Elise and Longing for Home by somebody or other). http://deseretbook.com/12_Days_Day_9/t/348#q=&page=1&sort=popularity&facets=tagpage:348

Now, on to our Giveaway #3 Winner, chosen at random from amongst all commenters...

Corinne McClelland, who commented here on the website that Pride and Prejudice & Edenbrooke were two of her favorite reads this year. Excellent choices!
Corinne, send me a message either via this website or via my FB page and I'll get you your prize right away!

Giveaway #4 coming within the hour!! (This is so much fun!)
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ready for another prize contest? I am!

Today's prize...

Any one item of the winner's choice from EdenSchmeden.spreadshirt.com

(I've recently added a new t-shirt & bag with a great Persephone quote from Courting Miss Lancaster: "Love may very well creep up on you. You will find yourself thinking about some gentleman who makes you smile just by smiling at you, who lightens your burdens simply with his presence, a gentleman whom you miss when you are apart and about whom you think during a separation, a gentleman you could not imagine never seeing again. And quite suddenly your stubborn mind will realize that while it was logically and systematically searching for love, your heart had already found it.")

How to Enter: Leave a comment either here or on the corresponding post on my FB page (https://www.facebook.com/SarahMEden/posts/10152905494288901) up until Noon MST on Dec 11, one entry will be given per commenter per site, winner will be selected at random from amongst all entries, contest open to International entries, answering the following question...

What is one of your favorite books other than any of mine (just to take the pressure off--hahaha!) you read this year?
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We have a winner of the Day #2 Giveaway...

Stacey Waters McCafferty, who said she would like to visit Falstone Castle (a lot of people chose Adam's ancestral home, something I think he would not be very happy about. :) Persephone, on the other hand, would be graciously welcoming.)
Stacey, message me either via my FB page or this website & I'll get you your prize ASAP

Giveaway #3 will go live within the hour!!
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Yesterday was so much fun! Let's do it again, shall we?

Today's prize:

A copy of Lady Emma's Campaign, a wonderful Regency era romance by the fabulous Jennifer Moore
AND
another gorgeous headband created by Sarah Forester at "Once Upon a Time Boutique"

How to enter: Leave a comment here and/or on the corresponding post on my Facebook page up until Noon MST on Dec 10, one entry will be given to each commenter on each site, a winner will be selected at random from amongst all entries, US & Canada only, please (Tomorrow's prize will be International, I promise, as will at least one other before the week's end!)

answering the question:

If you could be invited to visit any of the locations in any of my books (Ty Mynydd (from An Unlikely Match), Falston Castle (Seeking Persephone), Farland Meadows (Drops of Gold),  Hope Springs (Longing for Home series), London (pretty much every single Regency), (etc., etc., etc.), where would you visit? (And it's okay if you can't remember the name of the place--comment anyway!)
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I absolutely loved reading your suggestions. I had intended this to simply be something fun to chat about and think about and, in the end, have found my mind spinning with possibilities. These proposed house parties could be pretty fun to write!!

Okay, down to business. Our winner for Giveaway #1, selected randomly from among all the commenters here and on my website, is...

Heidi Grange, who, like a lot of you, suggested Phillip & Sorrel tossed together with Adam & Persephone would be a match made in entertainment heaven.

Heidi, message me either via my FB page or this website and I'll get you your prize ASAP.

Everyone, stay tuned. I'll be posting the next giveaway in about an hour!
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Monday, December 8, 2014

It's been a mixed-bag kind of year. Some great things, some really tough things. Ups, downs. Triumphs, struggles. Through all of that, so many of you have been so very supportive, offering word of encouragement, laughing and smiling with me, supporting my efforts and cheering me on.


This week, I want to offer an insufficient but heartfelt Thank You in the form of some online contests and prizes that I hope you will enjoy.

Today's Prize....

A tote bag proclaiming "I am the Duke of Kielder. I am the law." and this absolutely gorgeous headband created by the lovely and talented Sarah Forester at "Once Upon a Time Boutique" (seriously, go check her stuff out--it's fabulous!)

When: Now until Tuesday, Dec 9th at Noon MST
How to enter: Leave a comment here and/or on the corresponding post on my Facebook page (Facebook.com/SarahMEden) up until the deadline, one entry per commenter per site (you can leave more than one comment in either location, but your name will only be entered once per site), a winner will be selected at random from among all entries, US & Canada only (I will have international giveaways later this week), answering this question:

If you could choose any two couples from amongst those in my books to be tossed together for a week-long house party and could then read all about it, which couples would you pick?


Best of luck! Have fun! I'll continue to have giveaways ALL week long!

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Saturday, November 15, 2014


Getting ready to do your holiday shopping? Have some books you want signed? Hoping to win free stuff to make the season a little brighter?
You're in luck!

Starting the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I have a whole slew of signings across Utah's Wasatch Front, where I will be signing any books you'd like to pick up or bring by (even if they aren't mine--I'm super cooperative that way!) and giving away door prizes to lucky winners.
Don't live nearby? You're still in luck! The week of December 8th I'll be doing a series of online giveaways, much like I did when For Elise was released. Contest info will be posted here as well as on my Facebook page.

November 29th, 11am-12:30pm, Deseret Book at University Mall in Orem, UT
December 6th, 11:30am-1pm, Orem Public Library in Orem, UT
December 13th, 11am-12:30pm, Deseret Book in Bountiful, UT
Dec 13th, 2-3:30pm, Deseret Book - Ft. Union, in Midvale, UT
Dec 8-12th, Online Giveaways, Facebook and SarahMEden.com

(addresses and more information on the Facebook event page found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/363226703845654/363226707178987/ )
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Saturday, September 6, 2014

This week has been so much fun, everyone! I usually celebrate the release of a new book by saying, "Oh. I have a book out. Yay!" all by myself and that's about it. This has been so much better! So thank you to everyone who participated, everyone who was able to attend the signings this weekend, and to all of you for your continued support and encouragement.

Our winner of the 5th and final prize is...

Stacie, who commented here on the blog saying she would choose to have dinner with the Duke of Kielder, Catherine, and Marion. (contact me either via the contact links here on the blog or message me on FB and I'll get you your prize)

A huge thank you, once again, to everyone who made this week so special!
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Friday, September 5, 2014

We've reached the final giveaway of the For Elise Release Week Online Launch Party.


The "Almost as Good as Being There" Prize Pack

With so many people not living near enough or having conflicts that don't allow them to attend the Launch Party this weekend, I thought I'd put together a little piece of the party for one lucky winner.
  • A canvas "Duke of Kielder" tote bag
  • A signed copy of For Elise
  • Swag from the launch party (not pictured)
To enter...

If you could have dinner with any three of the characters from my books and short stories, which three would you choose?

Give your answer as a comment on this post and/or the corresponding post on my facebook page (facebook.com/SarahMEden).
Contest will close on Saturday, Sept 6 at 7pm MDT.
One entry per commenter per post.
International entries permitted.


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I loved reading your suggestions for future stories. Many of those characters I have already considered writing books about, but there were a couple I hadn't really thought of and now my brain is running a million miles a minute with new ideas!

And, our winner of the $25 Amazon gift card is...

Magdelyn Gamble, who commented on FB.
(contact me either on FB or via the contact icon on this website & I'll get you your gift card ASAP)

One more giveaway to go, everyone. I'll be posting it shortly!
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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Next up on our "For Elise Was Released This Week and I'm Super Excited About It, So I'm Giving Away Stuff" event...

a $25 Amazon Gift card!

to enter...

What supporting character from my books would you love to see get his or her own story?

Leave your answer in the comments on this post and/or on the corresponding post on my Facebook page (facebook.com/SarahMEden). One entry will be given per commenter on each post.
A winner will be randomly selected from amongst all commenters.
Contest closes Friday, Sept 5 at 12pm MDT.
International entries permitted.



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Looks like Adam truly deserves the title Harry gave him, "His Royal Grumpiness." I would feel bad for the poor duke for winning such an unenviable contest, but I really don't think he would care what the rest of the world thinks of him. :) Gotta love Adam.

*cue drum roll*

Chosen at random from amongst all commenters on both FB & the website, our winner is...

RaeAnn Johansson Anderson, who commented on FB
(send me a message either via the FB page or through the contact icon here on the website & I'll get you all the details!)

Later today I'll start Giveaway #4, which I think you'll all be excited about! See you then!
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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Giveaway #3 in the "For Elise Launch Week Online Extravaganza"

You asked. I delivered.

A t-shirt featuring reader-favorite quotes from Adam, Duke of Kielder. Lines like:
  • "Where's the weasel?"
  • "Quit shaking. I'm not going to shoot you this time."
  • "I could make it look like an accident."
  • "Shut up, Harry."
  • "Ridiculous."
  • and many, many more
This shirt is not yet available for purchase, but Giveaway #3's prize is...

an Infamous Duke t-shirt!

To enter...

Who do you think would win in an Anti-social Grumpy Rich Guy contest: Adam or Mr. Darcy?

Leave your answer in the comments on this blog post and/or on the corresponding post on my Facebook author page (facebook.com/SarahMEden). The winner will be randomly selected from amongst all commenters in both locations

Contest will close Thursday, Sept 4 at 9:00am MDT.
Each commenter will receive 1 entry per post.
International entries permitted.
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We have a winner of the Double Anthology Giveaway (randomly selected from amongst all the comments here and on the Facebook post)...

Lydia Nelson, whose comment was on Facebook, suggesting a Mystery-themed anthology [Lydia, if you would please contact me either through the contact icon on the website or via a direct message on FB, that would be great!]

I have LOVED reading through the suggestions. Such great ideas (I already have story ideas running through my head!)

I will be doing another giveaway later this morning, one I think you will all be excited about!
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

It's Giveaway #2 Time...

As many of you know, I am a regular contributor to the Timeless Romance Anthologies (a set of 6 romantic short stories by 6 different authors, each set having its own theme). A few of those anthologies are available in print. This For Elise Launch Week prize is...


A set of TWO Timeless Romance Anthologies, Summer Wedding and Spring Vacation print editions.


How to enter...

TRA has done wedding, vacation, Autumn mystery, Christmas, winter, Old West, NYC, European, and Love Letter editions and will be doing Regency, Historical Christmas, California, Halloween, and Contemporary Christmas editions. What theme would you like to see the Timeless Romance Anthologies tackle in the future?

Comment on this post and/or the corresponding post on my Facebook Author Page (facebook.com/SarahMEden) with your answer.
One entry per person per post (1 on the blog, 1 on the FB post). Contest will close Wed, Sept 3rd, at 8am MDT.
US and Canada only, please.
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We have a winner of the Four Book Giveaway...

"Alyssa and Eddy" who commented on the blog post.

("Alyssa and Eddy," if you'll send me an email via the Contact Me icon to the left or the Mail icon to the right, I'll arrange to get you your prize!)

Thanks so much to everyone who entered, there over 500 entries! I'll be doing another giveaway later this afternoon, so watch the blog & the Facebook page for that!
2

Monday, September 1, 2014

This week is the official release of For Elise, and, along with the fancy traveling launch party this Friday and Saturday (more info under the events icon on the left), I will be throwing a little online party leading up to this weekend's festivities.

No dress code.
No invite needed.
No socializing (because this is not something writers generally excel at).

Just some fun prizes and giveaways and a very subdued bit of Wahooing.

If you are on facebook, follow along with the fun at my FB author page beginning Monday, Sept 1st: https://www.facebook.com/SarahMEden and watch for contests & prizes to pop up throughout the week. (Don't worry about catching them the moment they appear; every contest will run for a day or two & winners will be selected randomly and not based on who answered first.)
  • Not on Facebook? That's okay. I'll post the contests here as well and include any comments from the various contest posts in the drawings.
So *cue drum roll* the first giveaway of the week...

Four Regency Romances

  • For Elise, by you-know-who
  • Becoming Lady Lockwood, by my sweet friend Jennifer Moore
  • The Stranger She Married, by another lovely friend Donna Hatch
  • Frederica, by a lady I like to pretend is my very dear friend despite the fact that she died before I was even born, the mother of the modern Regency romance, Georgette Heyer

To enter...

If you could travel to any place and time, where & when would you go?

Leave your answer in the comments (here and/or on FB https://www.facebook.com/SarahMEden ). A winner will be randomly chosen from amongst all those who comment.
Contest closes Tuesday, Sept 2, 12:00pm MDT.
US & Canada only, please.

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer's been crazy, and I haven't posted much. But, here's a heads up on a fun event coming up in September: a traveling launch party for my next release, For Elise. 



Friday, Sept 5 – Deseret Book Fort Union Midvale, UT 6:00-7:30pm
Saturday, Sept 6 – Deseret Book - Layton Layton, UT 12-1:30pm
Saturday, Sept 6 – Deseret Book-University Village Orem, UT 3-4:30pm

All locations will feature fantastic door prizes, amazing giveaways, fun swag, yummy food, and good times for all.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I realized that I made this announcement on my Facebook page & Twitter account, but neglected to mention it here (other than on the "events" tab). So, tomorrow--March 27th--I have two events in Logan, UT that I'd love to see you at...

I'll be signing books at the Deseret Bookstore at 1309 N Main Street, from 4:30pm-6pm. Directly after that I'll be making a presentation at the Logan Library from 6:30-8pm. In addition to a fun (I hope!) presentation and Q&A, I have made the offer via Facebook to read an excerpt from Jason Jonquil's not-yet-available book "A Fine Gentleman" if 12 people or more come for the presentation.

So... if you're in the area, please come say hi, enjoy the presentation, and get an exclusive sneak peek at the next Jonquil brother's story!


March 27, 2014
4:30-6:00pm, signing, Deseret Bookstore on Main Street in Logan, UT
6:30-8:00pm, Presentation, Q&A, sneak-peek reading, Logan Library, Logan, UT 

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Monday, March 17, 2014

☘ ☘ ☘ ☘ Happy St. Patrick's Day! ☘ ☘ ☘ 
The Irish Countryside
It's that time of year again! St. Patrick's Day, aka "The Holiday of Coolness!" At the Eden home, we spend the day singing Irish songs, speaking in horrifically bad Irish accents, decorate the place in 40 shades of green, and... celebrating my birthday!

In keeping with Holiday of Coolness tradition, here are some fantastic Irish Things I Love...

Music
love The Pogues. Traditional Irish music with a modern flare. And if you've ever doubted that the music of the "Old West" here in America was heavily influenced by the enormous influx of Irish immigrants at the time in American history, have a listen to this little number straight from the Emerald Isle...




It's no secret I'm a big fan of Irish drinking songs, despite not being a drinker. I have passed that love on to my children with sometimes disastrous consequences. Imagine my horror when my then 6-year-old daughter, when asked at church what her favorite song was, launched in to this little ditty...




Anyone who has read Longing for Home and Hope Springs knows that I love Irish fiddle music. Every tune mentioned in those books is authentic and real and absolutely adored by me. Here is the amazing Donegal fiddler John Doherty giving you just a taste of this amazing style of music. This is "Bonnie Kate," a particular favorite of mine...




Every year I post a song by The Script, one of my favorite groups of all time. These Dublin boys are pretty fantastic. They can regularly be found busking on the streets of Dublin and my daughter hopes to run into them next time we're there so she can sing this song with them, which also happens to be one I love as well...



Looking for more great Irish music? Tune in to the live internet radio feed at liveireland.com and thank me later!

The History
I visited Ireland in 2012, a lifelong dream of mine. As we walked through the Irish countryside and cities, I was struck by how filled with history it really is. For a history buff like me, it was heaven! We visited centuries-old monasteries and grave yards...

Glendalough, County Wicklow (founded in the 6th Century AD)

cathedrals...
St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork (built in 1863)
castles...
Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny (built in 1195)
...and so much else. I absolutely loved it!


The Food
Every year I post a recipe for a traditional Irish dish. This year it's colcannon, an Irish staple!

Colcannon
1 lb cabbage, washed and shredded
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
2 green onions, trimmed and chopped
1/4 pint creamy milk or single cream (I use half and half)
salt and black pepper
pinch of mace (or nutmeg)
4 oz melted butter

Boil the cabbage and potatoes in separate saucepans until cooked. Meanwhile, chop leeks, add to the milk and simmer together in a pan for 5-10 minutes.

Drain the cabbage and potatoes very well. Mash the potatoes, stir in the leeks and milk and then add the shredded cabbage, salt and pepper, and mace. Combine very well, turn out into a deep serving dish and heath through thoroughly in the oven, covering with foil to prevent browning, if necessary.

Make a well in the centre of the mixture before serving and pour in the melted butter. Serves 4-6.

Irish Blessings
I always close out my annual Holiday of Coolness post with this gem...


May those who love us, love us.
And for those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He can not turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we may know them by their limping.



Happy Holiday of Coolness, everyone!
(And, in case you're curious, here are links to the HofC posts from 201320122011 & 2010)
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Monday, March 10, 2014

I received word over the weekend that Longing for Home has reached the semi-final round of the 2014 RONE awards, an award of growing significance in the Indie/Small Press publishing arena. I am excited, humbled, nervous, hopeful, etc., etc., etc. I am crossing my fingers that Longing for Home can make it to the next round, but I need your help.

Longing for Home is up against 23 other titles in its category, of which only 6 will move on to the finals. The finalists are selected entirely by reader votes, and the voting period is only open this week, March 10-16th!

If you've read Longing for Home and feel it worthy of this recognition, please help me out by going to the RONE awards voting page here: http://indtale.com/polls/american-historical-2013. You have register and/or log in to cast a vote. However, if you would rather not, you can also submit your vote via email to the following email address: anasmith@indtale.com -- be sure to include genre (American Historical), book (Longing for Home), and author (Sarah M Eden) in your email [email votes will only be accepted during the voting period, Mar 10-16].

Please, please, please take a moment to cast your vote for Longing for Home! I really, truly appreciate it.
1

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In long and short form, I have published ten stories in the past thirteen months. Ten bits and pieces of myself. Ten works I crafted and reshaped. Ten fragments of life I agonized over and worried about and rejoiced in. Ten creations of my heart I sent out into the world to be alternately enjoyed and dismissed, praised and flogged, embraced and rejected.

Stories are odd like that. They begin as an idea in an author's mind. A passing thought. A brief moment of intrigue. That fleeting bit of contemplation, when acted upon and taken up, becomes an invitation to a writer to open themselves up and pour themselves out onto a page. So often our own vulnerabilities and crushing insecurities flavor the words we use, making the tales inherently personal, a potent weapon we hand over to the public, knowing at times it will be turned back on us.

Writers are often told we need a thicker skin or the ability to not feel the pain of a stinging criticism. But feeling is part of what we do. Because our skins aren't thick, no matter how desperately we pretend otherwise, we have that all-important reservoir of emotions, experiences, empathy, and insights into what it means to be a person walking around in an often cruel world. We create stories from places of vulnerability, then invite others to pick them apart, and from the discomfort and misery of that criticism, craft new ones.

Someone once told me that when she picks up a book, she assumes the author wouldn't have published it if he didn't believe it was the best book ever written. I have thought so many times since then how much I wish she could understand that most authors publish despite a sense of inadequacy, despite seeing all the flaws in their work magnified one-hundred times over, despite anticipating criticism, despite so much. And we do it because there is a power in stories, a power we feel driven to share. 
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Nearly a year has passed since I was officially diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. There have been ups and many, many downs. Living with this disease has been harder than I thought it would be in a lot of ways, but I've discovered I'm tougher than I ever imagined. While this is not a curable disease, it doesn't have to be the default winner in the ongoing tug of war it initiates.

The cycle of life this past year has very much been
  1. try something to see if it's still possible
  2. fail
  3. try it in a different way
  4. repeat steps 2 & 3 until I'm either sure I can't do what I set out to do or I've found a way to do it within the limits I now have
Sometimes the experiment is exhilirating. I discover ways to overcome and beat this thing. Sometimes it's simply discouraging. There are inevitably things that cannot be done at all. There are other things that require such an enormous change of approach that the difference is stark and impossible not to notice. RA has taught me a lot of things, not the least of which is the importance of patience.

This past week I reached a milestone in learning to live with this disease. Although I had three books released last year and two already on shelves this year, I haven't written a full-length novel since RA entered my life. All of these releases are works I had already finished. The work I did on them last year was editing--while not an insignificant effort, it wasn't as all-encompassing as crafting a story anew.

I can do some typing, a small amount for a small amount of time before my hands simply can't manage it any longer. I use dictation software to speak the words my computer types for me. It isn't always accurate, is far slower than I used to be able to type, and stands as a glaring reminder of how much has changed. The physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion of chronic illness has sapped me of the energy I used to tap into when drafting a new book, and I found over the past year that I simply didn't have it in me. I wondered, honestly, fearfully wondered, if I would ever be able to write another full length novel again. And if I managed it, how long would it take? At one time I could knock out three novels in a year. On my best year I completed 4 1/2. Here was yet another adjustment, another change I would have to learn to be okay with.

I spent the early fall outlining and researching a new story idea, hoping against hope that I would be able to see it through to the end. I dabbled in the beginnings of the story, moving slowly & feeling pulled down by so many weights. After a break to finish up a short story, and on the heels of a firm talking to by author and good friend J. Scott Savage, I told myself I'd never know if I could still do this if I never even tried. So in December I buckled down and got to work.

Last week I finished the first draft of a novel, the first I'd written beginning to end since Rheumatoid Arthritis changed so many things in my life. A first draft is far from done or ready or even good, but it is a start. It is something I wasn't sure I'd be able to do again. Having a better understanding of my new pace, I realize I won't be releasing books as often or as quickly as I once did. I'll not be as prolific as I once imagined I'd be. But I know now that I'm not finished telling stories. Even with a stiff, pained, uncooperative body, I can keep doing this. And that is a wonderful, wonderful gift.

I began each writing session with this song from one of my favorites bands (a great group of lads from Dublin) as a reminder that I can do hard things. So, hip hip hoorah, and here's to doing hard things!

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hope Springs, the sequel to Longing for Home is slated for release on February 18th (February 14th in digital). While that is just around the corner, I have great news for those of you who simply can't wait that long.

I will be doing a book signing at the re-opening event at the Deseret Bookstore on University Parkway in Orem, Utah on Thursday, January 23rd at 6:30pm. I have confirmed with my publisher that they will bring down a limited number of copies of Hope Springs for this signing only! That's right, you'll be able to buy the book before it hits shelves anywhere else. (And, of course, I'll also be signing my other books, including my most recent, As You Are.) Spread the word!



January 23rd, 6:30pm
Deseret Bookstore
230 E University Parkway, Orem, UT


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