Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer Fun in Idaho




I can't believe we're looking at the end of July already! I had a super visit to Idaho this month and we took lots of fun pictures. My parents have a firepit at the edge of their backyard and on a day where it was 100 degrees we decided to roast marshmallows. Of course, we had to wait until about 8:30pm, but the chocolate melted in the sun while we were roasting the marshmallows--perfect for s'mores!

My parent's dog, Sadie, loved the kids and the s'mores a little too much.



Dawson sampled some fresh produce from the garden.


Dawson also got to visit with Great Grandma!


And we all loved playing in the playhouse!





Dawson looks so big in this picture! He's 10 months old now.

Maggie especially loved going up in her little house and having someone knock on the door. She would invite us in for some "hot cocoa" even though it was ninety-five degrees outside.



Gracie taught "school" in the playhouse and me and Grandma and Dawson came for a visit.



Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for the awesome visit! We can't wait to see you again!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Another Giveaway on Queen of the Clan

Summer Time Give Away: An Autographed Copy of Loyalty's Web by Joyce DiPastena
Each Monday, a new give-away will be announced at the Queen of The Clan. You have until Friday at noon (CT) to enter the contest. The winner will be chosen by using the generator at Random.org and announced Friday afternoon. The winner has one week to claim the prize by emailing me his/her address at queenoftheclan@gmail.com. If the prize isn't claimed within that time, a new winner will be drawn. Prizes will only be shipped within the United States.

I've been wanting to read this book and just read the teaser chapter of Joyce's new book on her website. It's really good!

If you'd like to enter this contest, jump over to The Queen of the Clan.

Friday, July 17, 2009

And The Winner Is...

Thanks to everyone who entered my contest for a free copy of Marcia Mickelson's new book, Pickup Games.

I used the generator at Random.org and the winner is lucky #13--entrant-- Elaine!

Congratulations Elaine! Please email: superfelt AT gmail.com with your mailing address and I'll get that sent off next week.

Stay tuned for more great book reviews, upcoming contests, and all kinds of fun things.
Enjoy your summer!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Raspberry Pickin'

I'm having a blast and just wanted to tell you that this post is coming from the great state of Idaho where I was born and raised.

Every year, I take my kids to visit my parents and we try to go during the time my mom's raspberries are ripe. This year, both my girls are old enough to pick and *eat* lots of raspberries. Dawson is old enough to eat anything within reach, including the canna leaves he could reach from his stroller today! He likes raspberries too.

I'm so glad I have the chance to come back to my hometown for a bit and make memories with my kids. They love their grandparents and it's so fun for me to run with them through the same irrigation ditch I did when I was a kid. Yesterday, I taught them how to make the perfect mud pie. We played in the same playhouse from my childhood--of course the playhouse has been remodeled and redecorated a bit, too!

We visited the burial ground of our family dog of fifteen years who passed away just over a month ago. This was sad, but the memories I have aren't sad and I get to witness my kids playing with the crazy dog that's only one year old who will make memories too.

We're going to visit the park of the elementary school that I attended which had its final year this year. We drove by the new school a couple days ago. It's amazing how life changes.

I hope you have a chance to revisit some good memories and make some new ones this summer too.
Have a happy, memorable day!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rachelle's Review & Giveaway of Pickup Games by Marcia Mickelson

I was lucky enough to be selected to read Marcia Mickelsen’s new book Pickup Games and now you’re lucky enough to read what I thought about it and enter to win your own copy.

Here’s the blurb about the book:

When Mick Webber gets a new job hosting a college basketball show, he is less than thrilled to learn he will be co-hosting with Cara Jones, a pretty brunette trying to get over her failed engagement. From the start it is clear the two will not be playing nice, and work soon turns into a battlefield. But as the season progresses and the two are forced to work together more closely, they begin to see that first impressions can often be deceiving. In this riveting story about the game of love, you ll find yourself holding your breath to see what the scoreboard says when the clock runs out.

About the Author: Marcia Argueta Mickelson was born in Guatemala but grew up mostly in New Jersey. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University and lives in Texas with her husband and three sons Omar, Diego, and Ruben. When she s not writing, Marcia enjoys playing at the beach, reading, blogging, watching movies, and making train layouts for her boys. She is the author of Star Shining Brightly and Reasonable Doubt.

My thoughts:
I enjoyed this book. It was light, funny, and entertaining. The banter between the main characters, Mick and Cara, kept things lively and I read with a smile and a giggle at some of the things they did and said.

I love college basketball and so this was a treat to read about some favorite and not-so-favorite Utah teams. I’m a TRUE BLUE AGGIE so of course I would’ve loved to see a little more on USU, (especially for the NCAA Big Dance) but I’m biased. Really anyone who enjoys basketball would get a kick out of this book. It scores extra points for the deep emotions Mick deals with as he changes as a person.

My nitpicks: There were parts of the inner dialogue which were hammered home a little too heavy. I think several of these could have been edited out, specifically the nature of Mick's battle of emotions between Cara and Avery was repeated several times. This is a common nitpick for me, finding the balance which gives your reader credit without becoming vague on the important issues.

Marcia did a great job and I look forward to reading more from her. She was kind enough to answer some questions for this review.

What gave you the idea for this book?

Marcia: I stopped following basketball a few years before I began writing. I wanted to write a book that would incorporate my prior love and knowledge of basketball. I've enjoyed following March Madness each year and thought it would be fun to write a book centered around it.

I wrote this book alongside my previous one, Reasonable Doubt. In Reasonable Doubt, we meet Mick Webber as a man on trial for the murder of his fiancee. As I was writing about the investigation into the murder, I was also writing about his life 5 years later.

Do you like to play or watch basketball or both?

Marcia: I used to watch a lot of basketball years ago before I had kids. I would watch NBA games and BYU basketball games. I even played fantasy basketball way back before there was such a thing online. A group of friends, my husband, and I kept a league going for a few years. Then, we all got busy with having kids and stopped playing. I never played basketball on a team, but I do enjoy it even though I'm really bad.

Any hints as to what you're working on next?

Marcia: I'm finishing up a book about a woman helping to raise her autistic brother.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Marcia: After you finish your first novel, read as many books as you can about the writing and publishing process. Then, go through your book to spot all the things that are wrong. Then, set it aside and start your next one. Use your first book as a learning process to help you in writing the next one. At least for me, my first book was so bad I won't let anyone read it, and it is nowhere near being publishable, but I learned so much from it.

Fun Tidbits:
Marcia: In the book, Mick and Cara have an ongoing game of Overtime or No Overtime. This game originated with my husband and I. Early in our marriage (before kids) we watched a lot of basketball games. When a game had a close score toward the end, we would turn to each other and ask: "Overtime or No Overtime." Whoever lost had to do the dishes or some other chore. It was a fun way of dividing up housework and other undesirable tasks.

Thanks again Marcia!

Would you like to win a free copy of Pickup Games? This giveaway is open to residents of the contiguous United States and will end July 17, 2009 at 11:59pm.
The winner will be chosen by using the generator at Random.org and announced Friday afternoon. The winner has one week to claim the prize by emailing me his/her address at superfelt AT gmail.com. If the prize isn't claimed within that time, a new winner will be drawn.

How to enter:Contest Closed
For one entry:
Leave a comment on this post

Leave a relevant comment on another post on my blog.

Become a follower of this blog.

For two entries:

Announce this contest on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter and let me know that you've done so in a comment.

Contest ends July 17, 2009 at 11:59pm. Be sure to check back and see if you won!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Give-Away from Queen of the Clan

My friend, Danyelle, does awesome give-aways each week on her blog.

This week's Give-Away is a Summer Care Package for Kids, Teens, and Mom donated by Tristi Pinkston and Queen of the Clan.The Summer Care Package includes a copy of-Agent in Old Lace by Tristi Pinkston- Kindermusik "Get Up & Move!" CD, includes 17 fun songs such as Gonna Shake Out My Hands, Elephant Stomp, Please and Thank You Dance, and more!- Summer Fever '07 CD, featuring songs from Due West, Hillary Weeks, Jenny Phillips, and more!

Click here to find out how to enter.

GIVE-AWAY - Heather B. Moore's Land of Inheritance

Anne Bradshaw sponsors awesome giveaways each week at Not Entirely British. Visit the blog to find out how you can enter.

GIVE-AWAY - Heather B. Moore's Land of Inheritance
This week, award-winning author Heather B. Moore (another contributor to forthcoming book, Famous Family Nights) is giving away a copy of her Whitney Award-winning novel in the Out of Jerusalem series, Volume Four – Land of Inheritance.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Awesome Authors in the News

Today I wanted to pass on some links to some awesome authors. Two of my favorites, Brandon Mull and James Dashner, have been interviewed and I thought both of the stories were inspiring and interesting.

They both write young adult fantasy that is incredible! Dashner's 13th Reality is super-cool and Mull's Fablehaven rocks!

Here's the link to James Dashner's interview

and here's the link to Brandon Mull's interview

Hope you enjoy this little tidbit. I'm hoping one day you'll read a similar article about my road to authordom--except I'll never be able to quit my day job like these guys did--I'm a stay-at-home mom. But that's okay, even though the pay sucks I really like the people I work for. :)

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