Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rachelle's Book Club Review: Love Your Body by Brooke Parker

I received a free copy of this book from Walnut Springs Press and I'm happy to share my review.
This book is a quick read, set up so that you can read a few pages, digest, and come back for more. I liked Brooke's approach--easy-going as if she were talking right to me. As a dietitian, She has a wealth of knowledge and so much experience for pretty much every scenario you can think up.

I connected with her book because she talks about finding a new relationship with food and I truly believe that is the secret to success.

After I had my 2nd baby and had lost most of my baby weight, I had to have an MRI because of my back problems. I went to the doctor to talk about my MRI and what we could do to improve my health. He told me that I needed to lose 20-25 pounds. I was one month post-partum and was feeling good that I'd lost almost all of my baby weight. So when he told me that I just wanted to cry, but guess what? I did it. I changed the way I thought about food and went on to lose not 20, but 30 pounds!

Since then, I've had another baby and have had to work to get my body back again, but the most important thing I've learned is that I have to think about food differently. Just like Brooke teaches--you must find a new relationship with food. It isn't about deprivation. It's about how you interact with food.

To read more about this book and learn how you can win your very own copy, click here to visit my previous post. I recommend that you pick this book up and learn how to overcome the myths about food, dieting, and your relationship to eating.

Buy the book here

Thursday Thought

We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.
---Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sneak Peek of Writing Tip #3 Attend Writers Conferences

Okay, I'm skipping ahead just a tad on my writing tips series for this important announcement.
If you would like to take part in one of the best writers conferences I've ever been to, please join me April 23-24 at the Provo Marriott for the LDStorymakers Conference. This conference jump-started my writing career. I love it because I've met so many wonderful friends, formed critique groups, and won writing awards from this conference.

If you're serious about writing, check out the details on this writers conference. You don't have to be LDS to attend. There will be national agents, editors, publishers, and authors galore at this incredible event!

I'm also telling you about this now, because I wanted to enter this fun contest. The prize is pretty dang cool!Show Your Love for the Storymakers Contest.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

6 Tips For Writing Success--Tip #1

© Rachelle J. Christensen


This blog is the first in a series to share tips that I think will help you to be a better writer. To read the introductory post, click here.
I"m not an expert, but I'm willing to share some of the things that have helped me on my road to becoming a published author. With all the tips that keep coming to mind, I'll probably do another series on this, but here are 6 tips that topped my list.

1. Find your voice
2. Make writing a priority/write every day
3. Attend Writers Conferences
4. Enter Writing Contests
5. Join a Critique group
6. Set Specific Goals

Today we're going to focus on--Find your voice

Last January, I went to a one-day writing seminar in Provo. I took my 4 month old baby boy with me because it was a small class and I had a moment of *insanity/mommy wants to break her parole from being housebound with a baby and pursue her writing career*
My baby was supposed to be good. Instead my husband ended up having to come and get him halfway through. This was after he'd pooped through his diaper and down my leg and I'd tried to wash out my pants and use the blow dryer in the bathroom. I told you it was insanity!

Anyway, what does all this have to do with voice? I'm a gettin' there!

We did several writing exercises and one of them was on voice. I don't remember a lot of fine details about that class, but I do remember the impression made that it was important to find your own unique writing voice.

You can't imitate someone's writing style or voice because it will come off sounding phony. Think of your favorite books of all time. What was it about those books that sang to you?
I'm guessing it was the incredibly potent voice of a character--the way the character seemed to be sitting right beside you as you read about their travails. The strength of the voice in a novel can make or break it. In literary novels, voice is usually the number one factor that creates the story.

So how do you find your own voice?
By writing.
Write in first person, third person, present-tense, past-tense. Find your style and find how you can best identify with your character.

When do you find the most joy in your writing?
Have you analyzed your writing? Do all of your characters sound the same? Do any of your characters haunt you while you're telling their story?
Your voice should be so real that your story leaps from the page and connects with readers.
*Try some free-writing exercises. Write about a girl chasing butterflies. Write a page about a boy climbing onto the roof of a school.
Examine your writing. What do you see? What do you hear? Does your writing speak to you, and if not, why?

After that crazy day, when I returned home from the class and took care of my family and rocked my baby and got ready for bed, something happened.
I was tired. I got in bed and closed my eyes and began to relax and a sentence came into my mind.

Sometimes the wind sings through the trees like it has a soul of its own.

My eyes opened. I jumped out of bed, grabbed my DANA and wrote down the first line. I savored that first line. Where had it come from? Then I wrote the first page.
And I felt it!
I felt like I had found my voice. The words were singing to me and I continued to work on that novel for the rest of the year. The first few chapters won a first place and second place award and I continued to write.

I loved writing my newest novel, a literary inspirational romance called, "Wind Song." I loved it because I found my voice and my voice flowed onto the pages until the words sang a story that touched my heart.
I hope that you can find your voice. Practice. Listen. Write. Cultivate your voice. Dig for it. And let it sing.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Blog Tour & Contest Details for Love Your Body by Brooke Parker


Are you tired of dieting and feeling unsatisfied with your appearance? In
this book, registered dietitian Brooke Parker shares secrets for developing
a positive body image and creating your own customized eating plan. You'll
also learn how to replace negative thoughts about yourself with positive,
motivating thoughts.

With the tools you master in Love Your Body, the scale, the media, and your
"skinny jeans" will no longer have the power to determine your mood or your
life!

Topics include:
  • Finding a New Relationship with Food
  • Honoring Your Hunger and Fullness
  • Finding Your Own Healthy Balance
  • Creating Healthy Expectations
  • The Inner Dialogue
  • Put an End to Worry
  • Your Body Is a Gift
  • Eliminating the Physical Triggers
  • Destructive Thinking Styles
  • Pampering Activities
. . . and many more.



Join the fun on this blog tour! My stop is February 25th. Enter to win your very own copy and stay tuned for my upcoming review.

February 22 Valerie Ipson
Of Writerly Things


February 23 Nichole Giles
Random-ish by Nichole

February 24 Danyelle Ferguson
Queen of the Clan

February 25 Rachelle Christensen
Rachelle Writes

March 1
The Write Blocks Ronda
Gibb Hinrichsen


March 2
Tangled Words and Dreams
Alison Palmer

March 3
*Tristi Pinkston, LDS
Author
Tristi Pinkston

March 4
Why Not? Because I Said
So!
Sheila Stayley
LDS Women's Book Review

March 5
Cami's Book Cami
Checketts


Walnut Springs Press will be giving away 5 copies of
Love Your Body: A
Diet-Free Approach to Balanced Eating
as part of the online book book
tour. The contest starts February 17th and will close on March 5th at
midnight, MST.

Entering the contest is easy--all you have to do is blog, tweet, follow, or
comment and then fill out this little form here.

So exactly how do you blog, tweet, follow, etc. Here's how.

1. Become a follower of our reviewers
blogs.
You can follow one of our reviewers or you can follow all of
them. Remember that each blog you follow gives you another chance to win, so
why wouldn't you choose to follow them all? But what if we are already
following a them ask? Well, lucky you because you get an entry for that too.

Walnut Springs Press
Brooke Parker RD
Of Writerly Things
Random-ish by Nichole
Queen of the Clan
Rachelle Writes
The Write Blocks
Tangled Words and Dreams
*Tristi Pinkston, LDS
Author

Why Not? Because I Said
So!

LDS Women's Book Review

Cami's Book


2. Post a comment on the reviews. .

3. Blog about the contest or one of the
reviews.
Spread the word. Just remember that the blog post either
needs to link to the contest or to one of the reviews.

4. Follow us on twitter. Maybe you
use twitter, maybe you don't. But if you do, you should follow us.

http://twitter.com/walnutspringspr

http://twitter.com/brookeparkerrd
http://twitter.com/camichecketts
http://twitter.com/valerieipson
http://twitter.com/Rachellewrites
http://twitter.com/LDSWBR
http://twitter.com/nicholegiles

5. Tweet about the contest or one
(or all) of the reviews.
Yep, 144 characters or less is all it takes
to enter.

6. Become a fan of Love Your Body
on facebook. Brooke is constantly
updating her fanpage with articles, recipes, and helpful hints.

7. Post about the contest on
Facebook.


8. Anything else you can think of that will
spread the word.
If you mention it on goodreads, shelfari, google
buzz, or any other social media site, or make it your status on gmail chat,
MSN or yahoo messenger let us know. We want to reward your creativity with
an entry.

Remember that you MUST fill out the nifty little
form
HERE to be entered.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

I love inspirational thoughts. I have thought books, a section in my Franklin planner for thoughts, a thought folder in my filing cabinet--I guess I like to be inspired. I love when a particular sentence or phrase lifts my spirits and reminds me of the greater purpose of life or helps me understand a human trait in a new way.

I've shared a few of those here and there on my blog.
I thought it might be fun to start doing so on a regular basis.
And so Thursday Thoughts is my new weekly feature.

Each Thursday, I'll feature a new thought. I'd love your help!
If you'd like me to share one of your favorite thoughts, please email me: RachellethewriterAT gmail.com and if it's appropriate for the focus I'm going for, I'll post it along with a link to your blog or website.
Here's today's thought. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, I'd love to know. Please leave me a comment.

Every man is his own ancestor, and every man his own heir. He devises his own future and he inherits his own past.
--H.F. Hedge

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Books Are Here

On Friday I called my publisher to see if they knew when my books might be back from press. The receptionist said, "Oh, they just came in today."
Breath stills.
Gulp.
REALLY! Oh my goodness! I'm so excited!

That afternoon, I loaded up my kids and we drove over and I bought my first box of books to use as review copies for my blog tour and to have ready for the fundraisers I'm doing in March as well as hopeful extras for the book signings I have scheduled!

When I held my book and saw my name--my name--Rachelle J. Christensen--on the cover, I smiled so big! I held out my book to my kids and said, "Look, this is my book!"
They grinned. They already know their mother wears her heart on her sleeve.


My 4 yr. old said, "Yes, Mom. It's your Wrong Phone Number book."
6 yr. old rolls eyes. "It's Wrong Number."
17 month old tries to get inside the box of books and ends up hitting his head on the receptionist desk.
I love my kids! I'm so glad they could be there to share the excitement. Then when we got home we celebrated with Steve.
I stopped by on the way home and showed my in-laws. It was so fun to be excited with them.
Then I showed my parents via the webcam and showed them the dedication page--which is in part to them. They loved it!

I can't believe the day has finally come. The day I've been dreaming about for years and years. My book is published! It is for sale and I have signings scheduled. I'm an author! I love how my book turned out. The cover is fantastic. The typesetting is wonderful. The editing was superb and it went through so many rounds of revisions. I really feel great about sending my baby out to the world. Thanks to everyone at Bonneville Books and especially to my editor, Katie Carter!

I can't wait to hear what people think about Wrong Number.
Stay tuned for more details and insider information on how Wrong Number came to be!

Do you have questions? Leave a comment or email me: RachellethewriterAT gmail. com

Monday, February 15, 2010

Do You Want to Write A Book?

With the upcoming release of my first book, Wrong Number, I've been talking a lot about writing lately. It's fun because it's one of my favorite topics!

Did you know that when asked an estimated 75% of people will say that they want to write a book? *I don't have actual data, I'm going by what I've heard, but I've also noticed that you can very easily track your own data as an author because it does seem like 3 out of 4 people like the idea of writing a book.

But 75% of people aren't writing books, are they? Probably not. There are probably a good number of people who are closet writers that we don't know about, those who say they want to write, but aren't able to produce a measurable word count, and those who are actively pursuing their dream.

And I think it's wonderful that there are so many different types of writers!
It's wonderful to want to write a book, but this sequence of posts are for those people who REALLY want to write a book. It's for those people who aren't content to just think about writing, they are willing to get down in the depths of that bottomless pit of writing knowledge--that black hole of possibilities in which you can change one word, turn around a sentence, and find the heart of your writing.

So, if so many people want to write a book....
What stops people from writing?

I could just answer that with---Life in general. But to be more specific, I'll mention a few roadblocks that have tried to deter me on my path to becoming a published author, as well as some popular roadblocks that have planted themselves in front of others.

Stress
Lack of clear, defined goals
Lack of knowledge/understanding of the mechanics of writing
Television
Lack of motivation
Yardwork
Laundry
Empty bellies that need filled
Dishes
Wiping noses and changing diapers

Okay, okay, serious again... here's the biggie

Time Management

Now I know there may be another realm of the universe where inhabitants have more than 24 hours in a day, but here on earth, where I reside we all have 24 hours each and every day.
So how come I hear this phrase from so many people? "I'd love to write a book, but I just don't have the time."

*cough* cough* I don't live in a time warp--I only get 24 hours each day.

Let me emphasize that I think it's wonderful to have a desire to write, I'm not looking down on anyone for having that desire and facing difficulties in making the desire an action.
But if you're serious about writing and you actually are going to do more than just want to write a book--namely you're going to do whatever it takes to make your dream a reality--here's my first tip:

Ditch the "I don't have time" excuse and stay tuned because in an upcoming post I'll be sharing 6 Tips for Writing Success.

What do you think?
Do you want to write a book?
What questions do you have about writing and making writing a part of your life?

Feel free to leave a comment or email me at RachellethewriterATgmail.com with your questions and I'll address them in an upcoming post.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rachelle's Book Club Review: Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom

I've read almost all of Mitch Albom's books and he is an incredibly talented writer. Each of his books contain so many priceless nuggets of wisdom and truth which we can apply to our lives. His latest book, Have A Little Faith, is my favorite so far.
Have a Little Faith: A True Story

Have a Little Faith: A True Story

I love reading for many reasons: to escape, relax, ponder, feel creative, be inspired...the list could go on and on. While reading Have a Little Faith, I felt inspired and was moved to ponder so many different things about life and what is most important.

I thought it was neat how Albom talked about his own upbringing in the Jewish religion, the dedication he had as a youth that diminished in adulthood. It was wonderful to see him embracing his faith again, recognizing how important faith is--how vital to our lives. It was also very interesting to read about his interaction with both the Christian and Jewish faiths and I loved learning about the things that pull all of us together.

As an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, faith is extremely important to me. I can't imagine going through life without the guidepost of my faith and religion. It would be so hard to understand the purpose of life, why things happen, and how to find happiness without the lessons I've learned through my faith.
Some people may be worried about reading a book about a Jewish Rabbi and a Christian Pastor because they might be afraid of what it contains. This book is a must-read. I am a Christian and I appreciated every aspect of the book.

My favorite line from this book:

"It's amazing how folks can't see you, 'cause they want to keep you in that past."

Isn't that beautiful? If you've read this book, I'd love to know what you thought. If you haven't, I encourage you to go pick up a copy and get reading.

Here's a blurb from Amazon about this wonderful piece of literature:

What if our beliefs were not what divided us, but what pulled us together?

In Have a Little Faith, Mitch Albom offers a beautifully written story of a remarkable eight-year journey between two worlds--two men, two faiths, two communities--that will inspire readers everywhere.

Albom's first nonfiction book since Tuesdays with Morrie, Have a Little Faith begins with an unusual request: an eighty-two-year-old rabbi from Albom's old hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy.

Feeling unworthy, Albom insists on understanding the man better, which throws him back into a world of faith he'd left years ago. Meanwhile, closer to his current home, Albom becomes involved with a Detroit pastor--a reformed drug dealer and convict--who preaches to the poor and homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof.

Moving between their worlds, Christian and Jewish, African-American and white, impoverished and well-to-do, Albom observes how these very different men employ faith similarly in fighting for survival: the older, suburban rabbi embracing it as death approaches; the younger, inner-city pastor relying on it to keep himself and his church afloat.

As America struggles with hard times and people turn more to their beliefs, Albom and the two men of God explore issues that perplex modern man: how to endure when difficult things happen; what heaven is; intermarriage; forgiveness; doubting God; and the importance of faith in trying times. Although the texts, prayers, and histories are different, Albom begins to recognize a striking unity between the two worlds--and indeed, between beliefs everywhere.

In the end, as the rabbi nears death and a harsh winter threatens the pastor's wobbly church, Albom sadly fulfills the rabbi's last request and writes the eulogy. And he finally understands what both men had been teaching all along: the profound comfort of believing in something bigger than yourself.

Have a Little Faith is a book about a life's purpose; about losing belief and finding it again; about the divine spark inside us all. It is one man's journey, but it is everyone's story.

Ten percent of the profits from this book will go to charity, including The Hole In The Roof Foundation, which helps refurbish places of worship that aid the homeless.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Mormon Mishaps & Mischief Stops by Rachelle's Book Club

Today, I'm excited to be a part of the blog tour for the hilarious new collection of stories, Mormon Mishaps & Mischief by D.N. Giles and C.L. Beck.
*Keep reading to find out how to win a $20 Gift Card to Barnes & Noble!
This book is so much fun! We love to laugh around our house and the whole family has been enjoying the anecdotes. My daughter keeps asking me to read more and she especially asks me to "Read the one about me, Mom." As a contributor to this volume of giggles, I received an autographed copy by the incredibly talented D.N. Giles and C.L. Beck.

I also purchased a few to give as gifts. I'd recommend this for a fun Valentine's gift. Someone that makes you laugh topped my list of qualities in a mate. I'd also recommend it for a great birthday gift or for any occasion.
Here's a link to purchase: http://deseretbook.com/item/5040772/Mormon_Mishaps_and_Mischief_Hilarious_Stories_for_Saints

Check out the list of book signings where this great book will be featured:

Feb 6, Sat., 1-4p.
At Barnes and Noble

10180 S. State Street
(South Towne Marketplace)

Sandy, UT

Feb 11, Thurs., 11:45a-1:00p.
BYU BOOKSTORE
Wilkinson Center
BYU, Provo, UT

Mar 9, Tues., 3:00-7:00p.
Santaquin Library Fundraiser
A portion of all sales will go to help the library!
20 W 100 S
Santaquin, UT

Enter to win a $20 Gift card to Barnes & Noble from Mormon Mishaps
From now until February 19th, you can enter to win. C.L. Beck and D.N. Giles will draw a random winner from all of the stops on the blog tour, so if you'd like more chances to win, visit the LDS Humor Blog to see the other blogs participating or scroll down to see the list. The winner will be announced on Monday, February 22nd.

Here's how to enter: Please leave a separate comment for each entry

1. Post a positive review of Mormon Mishaps & Mischief on Amazon, Deseret Book, Goodreads, Shelfari, or other review sites. Then leave a separate comment for each and a link to your review so I can check.
2. Blog about this contest and Mormon Mishaps and link back to
the LDS Humor Blog and the Mishaps Website
3. Tweet or FB this review
4. Subscribe to my newsletter: email RachellethewriterATgmail.com with Subscribe in the subject line (if you're already subscribed, mention it.)
5.
Become a fan of Rachelle J. Christensen--facebook page
6. Follow Rachelle's Writing Spot, Follow Rachellewrites on Twitter, subscribe to my feed (or tell me if you already do these things).

Lots of ways to enter, so have fun and remember to pick up a copy of Mormon Mishaps & Mischief, and stop at the other blogs on this tour:

Feb 6th Ronda Hinrichsen
Feb 9th Connie Hall: C.LaRene Hall
Feb 10th Cathy Witbeck
Feb 11th Dan Olsen
Feb 12th Danyelle Ferguson

I'm A Guest!

Today I'm guest blogging over on Christine Bryant's Day Dreamer, Friendly Friday Feature.

Come and say hello and see what ramblings I have to add to her awesome blog.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Thought for the Day

I have used a Franklin Covey planner for years--about 15 to be more accurate. It's like my brain--you know the one before I had kids and could remember things without writing them down? Yeah, these days if the planner doesn't see it, it might be lost in the black abyss that used to be my functioning memory.

But let's get back on topic. I wanted to share a thought that is printed on today's page, February 1, 2010 of my planner. I love inspirational thoughts and quotes and this one nails one of my belief systems about success perfectly.

Your success depends mainly upon what you think of yourself and whether you believe in yourself.
-- William Boetcker


Do you believe in yourself? If you don't, I have two questions for you:
Why not?
And
If you don't believe in yourself, why should someone else?

This week see the potential that is you and believe in yourself--for you, your children, your family.

Photo courtesy of Andrea Jolley

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