Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

My kids are so excited for Halloween this year.
My 8 year-old wanted to be a vampire and she definitely got into the scary part. She wanted blood dripping down her chin, etc. I had to improvise a little and throw in some sparkly over her white face-paint because everyone knows (since Twilight) that vampires are sparkly. I even put some red food coloring in a little water bottle for her to take to school so she could drink some blood--her idea!



 My 6 year-old wanted to be a princess, but she's very particular about clothes. It worked out well for me this time because it was easy. We put on a cute 'twirly' dress and a crown with some make-up, and cute princess is ready!

The 3 year-old didn't want to be anything...here's my hubby's idea for a costume for him

So he didn't want to be anything until he started listening to The Lion King on Disney audiotapes and he decided that the lion costume Grandma picked up for him last year would be great!
ROAR!
Baby who is now one is pretty easy to please. We went for something warm and the cozy hand-me-down pumpkin sleeper with hat and booties was perfect. Even if it was a bit on the small side!
All of these pictures are from our annual Grandma Halloween party! So much fun!
The kids bobbed for apples and ate donuts hanging from strings, sugar cookies, and of course delicious homemade soups.

I love it because it's kind of a practice session for Mom to make sure we have all the goods for the costumes we need and that every kid is happy.
What am I for Halloween? Depends who you ask, LOL!

I guess I'll just be Mom today, though I am hoping to find time to put on my writer hat too!
Happy Halloween!
What fun costumes have you created this year? What's your favorite part about Halloween?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Teaching Children Proper Phone Etiquette


I hurried up the stairs with a laundry basket to answer the ringing phone.
“Hello?”
“Who’s this?” a child’s voice asks.
This is just one of the most annoying examples of how kids talk on the phone and I can forgive it because they haven’t yet perfected their phone etiquette. I wish I could say that this had only happened when a child called, unfortunately it’s happened many times with grownups.
So when do we teach phone etiquette? As soon as your children are making phone calls. For my kids that is around age five. Before then, they talk on the phone, but I don’t let them answer or make calls until they are able to do so respectfully.
Why is it important to teach our children? Think of how many jobs utilize the phone and how important it is for business people to be professional on the phone. If your children learn correctly at a young age, they won’t have to re-learn or break bad habits when they enter the workforce.

Teaching Children Phone Etiquette:
If you are calling, identify yourself. This is Gracie, is Kelli there? Or “May I talk to Kelli?” Never give a lesson to a child or an adult in grammar by being rude. If someone asks, “Can I talk to Kelli?” You don’t say, “I don’t know, can you?” Just as you shouldn’t be superior when someone asks “Is Kelli there?” and you respond, “Yes.” And then make them ask if they can talk to them. We definitely know they aren’t calling to check if the person is there.

May I ask who’s calling?
If your child answers the phone and someone, especially an adult says, “Who’s this?” The child needs to respond, “May I ask who’s calling?” I’ve told my kids if it’s one of their friends, I don’t mind if they say, “This is Sophie.” But an adult should never ask who they are before identifying themselves. Likewise, my children don’t need to give out information about whether I’m busy or gone to an adult if they don’t know who it is.

Take a message
Don’t give out personal information. My mom is in the shower, my dad isn’t here. You can say, “She isn’t available right now.” Or “She’s busy right now, can I take a message?”

Speak in a clear voice, don’t mumble.
Teach your kids how to hold the phone correctly so that they are speaking into the mouthpiece and also holding it by their ear so they can hear properly. Teach them to speak clearly and not mumble as it is difficult to hear. Also give them pointers about what they can do if it gets too loud while they are trying to talk. Go to another room and shut the door, etc. I’ve noticed that my kids have a really difficult time concentrating on their phone conversation if there is any background noise. I think this is because they haven’t learned to tune it out yet, but it will help to ease frustration if you teach them this concept.

Don’t speak too loud
Don’t yell for someone when they’re wanted on the phone (unless you cover the receiver or mute the phone.) This sound is amplified and hurts the person’s ears. Teach your children that it’s better to go and hand the person the phone. In cases where Mom or Dad are too far away, take a message. Also, don’t speak too loud or yell into the phone during a conversation. If they can’t hear, they can ask politely, “Can you please speak louder. I can’t hear you.”

Parents Set the Example
As parents, we can set the example of how to talk on the phone. Children learn by watching and they only have to see something once to mimic it.
I have a high-pitched voice so many times when people call, they ask, “Is your mom there?” Politely, I say, “This is the mom,” or I’ll say “This is Rachelle.” It’s an honest mistake and one that will sometimes happen to kids in reverse, even little boys. What I mean is that sometimes kids will answer the phone and the person might say, “Hi, Rachelle.” Instruct your child that if this happens, don’t be upset. Sometimes there is background noise that makes it hard for the person to hear properly and they can’t recognize the voice. Have your child respond, “No, this is Daniel, but I can get my mom if you’d like.”
Recently I was helping my six-year-old call to invite a friend over and I made this mistake. My baby was crying and when the person answered I couldn’t hear very well, so I just asked, “Is your mom or dad there?”
The person responded. “Uh, no they’re not.” And by that time I realized that it was the husband who had answered the phone. He was totally serious about saying that his parents weren’t there and didn’t say anything else even when there was an uncomfortable pause. I was unsure of how to continue, so I said, “Well, I was calling to see if Emily could come and play with Sally.”
“Oh, all right. Let me check,” he responded.
I was embarrassed that I had made the mistake, but what he did was extremely rude and juvenile. So I made sure to let him know that this same type of thing happens to me at least once a week and I am never rude to the caller. He apologized and I hope learned an important lesson especially since his behavior was being modeled in front of his family.
So back to the initial call I took where the child asked me, “Who’s this?”
How do I respond? I usually say, “This is Rachelle. Who is this?” But if a child calls repeatedly and says that, I will say, “Who is this?” in a kind voice. I’m not going to try to teach them proper phone etiquette, but by example will be polite and draw attention to the fact that they haven’t identified themselves.
If you haven’t taken the time to teach your children proper phone etiquette or if you hear them being disrespectful, it may be a good idea to make a rule: You may not answer the phone until you have learned to do so correctly.
I hope these tips help encourage your children to speak on the phone politely through adolescence and into adulthood.

*This article was featured on YourLDSneighborhood newsletter.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Thought Guest Post from Liz Adair


I'm happy to welcome Liz Adair to the Thursday Thought Spot today.

Liz's Thought:
In the mid-1970s I taught school in a remote hamlet in Pacific Northwest timber country. Many of my students were grandchildren of people who had immigrated to Washington from the woods of North Carolina in the early decades of the twentieth century.  They had no TV reception and little other outside influence to dilute the customs and speech patterns they had brought with them. 
I went in feeling sorry for these children, sure that they were disadvantaged. I was appalled when I discovered that few of my students knew what Camelot was, and I embarked upon a broadening campaign, trying to stuff them full of all I felt they had missed.  And then one day, I asked if anyone knew where to find morel mushrooms.  Hands went up all around, and one boy, who up to that time had been reticent in class, opened up and told me not only about morel mushrooms, but about several other kinds. I still remember the look on his face as he let me into his world.

I realized at that moment that these kids weren’t deprived. They were just enriched in different areas. I was comfortable with books; they were at home in the woods. I’ve tried to remember that as I’ve met people with different backgrounds.  We’re all rich, just in different ways.

I used that experience in my latest book, Cold River. Set in contemporary times, it’s about someone who takes over leadership of a school system in remote timber country in the Pacific Northwest. She has to learn the same lesson I did.

*Thanks Liz, that is fantastic and I love that you were able to use your experiences in your upcoming book!

Award-winning author Liz Adair lives in northwest Washington.  She’s on LDStorymakers’  board of directors and chairs the annual Northwest Writers Retreat.


Blog:



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Random Learning Moments

Here's a few things I've learned today.

You know when water is not cold, but kind of warm as in lukewarm? I learned lukewarm is one word. I pride myself on my spelling, but somehow that one got past me, ha, ha.

Electronics from the stone-age are still fun. My three-year-old son has been listening to the old Disney audiotapes I listened to as a child. Yes, my mom took very good care of things, we even have the books to go with the tapes. The only problem is every time it plays the little chime to turn a page, he says, "Mom, turn the page, turn the page!" His favorite is The Fox and the Hound with the big grizzly bear attack scene.

I need more than 4 1/2 hours of sleep. Okay, I already knew that one, but for some reason my baby thinks it is his duty to keep reminding me of that lesson.

When I'm feeling a tad overwhelmed by the demands of my kids and life in general, a hug from a little one-year-old who pats my back softly is just what the doctor ordered.

Have you learned anything new today?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

NaNo...what? If you haven't heard about NaNoWriMo, I'm excited to tell you about it.
National Novel Writing Month takes place each year in November. Writers from all over the planet set a goal to write like crazy. In order to "win" Nano, you need to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

To give you an idea of what that means, a typical novel is around 80,000-100,000 words. My first novel, WRONG NUMBER is 72,000 words and my upcoming novel, CALLER ID is about 83,000 words.
Last year I participated in Nano for the first time and I won--something that completely amazed me because my baby was only two weeks old when NaNo started on the first of November.

This year I'll be participating again, you can too, just follow this link to sign up.
I just signed up again, but my hope is that I won't have 50K words left on my new novel. I've been challenging myself to a personal NaNoWriMo during the month of October and I just hit 33,000 words on my latest mystery/suspense novel. It's pretty exciting to see those words pile up. I'm kind of competitive--even with myself--so I have an Excel document in which I track the amount of words I write each day.

Some nights I'm so tired and I really want to veg, but then I'll look at my word count which I've worked at in snatches all day between changing diapers, helping with homework, helping my girls practice piano, making dinner--you get the idea. Often I'll think, I'm only 800 words away from hitting 2,000, which is my daily goal. Sometimes I make it and other times I don't. I don't write on Sundays, so that means I have to up my daily word count goal to reach the monthly goal.  But every day I'm more motivated to write because I'm pushing toward that goal.

If you're a writer, I encourage you to sign up for NaNo and make a goal.
If you're not a writer, focus on what you do want to accomplish in another area of your life, make a goal, and make it happen.
What do you want to achieve?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday Thought Guest Post from Angela Morrison

A warm welcome to Angela Morrison today. She is the incredible author of several books and I highly recommend her Taken by Storm series.

Angela's Thought to share:

I heard Wendy Lamb, Ann Cannon's editor for Charlotte's Rose, speak at a conference where she said, “I keep finding books that deal with teenagers and faith” and would like to see more. This was the first time I thought it was possible for me to “write what I know” and have an audience outside my religious community. 

When I was trying to do this with TAKEN BY STORM and making an awful mess of it, I turned to Katherine Paterson’s work--artistic and critical--for advice. Katherine has always been public about her faith and is not shy about discussing how it impacts her work. I learned so much from her, and now that she’s the U.S. Ambassador of Children’s Literature, I’m excited to share a taste of her wisdom with you.

In an article for U.S. Catholic, April 2001, entitled, “The Spiritual Reading Life of Children,” Katherine Paterson said, 

"If we set out to teach a moral or a spiritual truth, we are writing propaganda, not a story.  There is nothing wrong with good propaganda . . . but we shouldn’t confuse this effort with fiction, even if we try to cloak it in story form.  We know ahead of time what the answers are, and we  write to persuade the reader."

This advice was key for me. I learned to eradicate statements like, "I'm writing this book for . . . " or "The theme of my book is . . . " and replace them with story questions, "What if . . . ," "What would happen next . . . ," and "Then, what would she do?"

Paterson also writes the most beautiful, inspiring, encouragement. Here's a taste. You can find more of the wisdom I gleaned from her on my liv2writ blog at www.angela-morrison.com. This quote is from, "The Journey Inward," The Writer, August 1995. 

"Are you afraid that deep down inside you are really shallow? That when you take that dark voyage deep within yourself, you will find no treasure to share? Trust me. There is. Don’t let your fear stop you. . . .  Like a child, pour out what is inside you, not listening to anything but the stream of life within you."
Paterson's book, The Invisible Child: on Reading and Writing Books for Children is also an incredible resource for any writer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: The Alias by Mandi Slack

Okay suspense fans, I have a book for you to read!

The Alias by Mandi Tucker Slack

I'm on board Mandi's virtual book tour today and am currently still reading my copy of The Alias. I'm intrigued and Mandi starts the story off with fully fleshed characters who pull at your heart-strings. I'm rooting for Jacey and worried about how this story will turn out.

Here's a blurb from the book:
After a long and difficult divorce, Jacey thinks the worst is over. Little does she know she'll soon be forced to go undercover to protect her family, and in the process, she'll risk losing her identity, her future, and her heart. With a lightning pace, a good dose of humor, and a plot that's full of suspense, this thrilling novel is an edge-of-your-seat read.

Guess what? The Kindle edition of The Alias is only $3.99!

I asked Mandi to tell us about herself:

I’m a mom of three great kids. I have two boys, ages 6 and 5 and a little girl, who is 2. I’ve been married for 11 years and we love living in Utah. I grew up in Emery County and I feel very blessed for the memories I have. I love the desert and mountains, and I’ve been interested in everything from archeology to paleontology…and I could go on and on. Really, I just love the outdoors. One of my favorite hobbies is collecting and searching for fossils in the desert and surrounding areas. I also grew up frequenting museums and accompanying my parents on archeological digs in the San Rafael, and I love to incorporate my hobbies and interests into my writing. I love spending time with my husband and children and we spend most weekends rock hounding or exploring new places as a family.

Who are some of your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?

 I have several favorites, but the two authors who have influenced my writing the most, are Dorothy Keddington and Jennie Hansen. I discovered their novels when I was a young woman. While wandering aimlessly through my local library one afternoon, I happened to stumble across Return to Red Castle and Run Away Home. I checked both books out and I read into the night and throughout the next day. I couldn’t put either book down. It was at that point I knew what I wanted to write. I loved suspense.

What is your favorite part of being an author?

My favorite thing about writing is being able to create my own adventure. I was a tom-boy and as a child I craved adventure. I explored exotic countries and conquered high mountain peaks all from the comfort of my own back yard. I had a very vivid imagination and that love of creativity followed me into adulthood. I have so much fun when I am able to sit down and pound out the ideas floating around in my head, and I enjoy writing the type of stories that I love to read.

Do you have another book in the works?  Can you tell us a little about it? 

I have three manuscripts that are nearly complete. I am currently in the process of editing a crime thriller that takes place in Seattle, Washington. Tarrin Grace has just come through a very difficult divorce, and just when things are beginning to look up, her young daughter, Lexie, is witness to a heinous murder. Suffering from a form of post-traumatic stress disorder, Lexie is unable to recall details of the crime or the murderer. However, the killer remembers her, and Tarrin must risk all she has to protect her family.  


Want to find out more about Mandi and her writing?
Here is Mandi's blog address:  http://heyyouslackers.blogspot.com/

Would you like to read more reviews of The Alias?
 Join the virtual book tour and visit any of these participating sites.
October 1st –   Debbie Davis


October 3rd –   Kimberly Job
               http://scribbledscraps.blogspot.com/




October 4th –   Julie Bellon
                        http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com


October 5th –   Cindy Hogan
                        cindymhogan.blogspot.com



October 6th –   Cami Checketts
                        http://camicheckettsbooks.blogspot.com

           

October 8th –   Laura Bingham
                        http://alvor-daretodream.blogspot.com/


October 11th – Aimee Brown
                        http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/


October 12th – Steve Westover
                        http://www.westoversleftovers.blogspot.com


October 13th – Mindy Holt
                        www.ldswbr.com

October 14th – Holly Barnes


October 14th – Danyelle Ferguson
                        http://www.queenoftheclan.blogspot.com/


October 15th – Lynn Parsons



October 17th – Janice Johnson
                        http://www.toothsomefamily.blogspot.com/


October 18th – Kaylynn England


October 18th – Maria Hoagland
                        mariahoagland.blogspot.com


October 19th – Rachelle Christensen
                        http://www.rachellewrites.blogspot.com/

October 21st – Alice Gold
                        http://imsofunny.blogspot.com/

October 25th – Tristi Pinkston
                          http://www.tristipinkston.blogspot.com


October 28th – Heather Justesen
                                 http://www.heatherjustesen.blogspot.com/


October 29th – Trina Boice http://boicebox.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One Minute Chocolate Frosting Recipe

I found this recipe on CDKitchen.com and it was so incredibly easy to make and delicious too! I needed a quick chocolate icing to frost my one-year-old's football cake and this worked great. 

 

I think I'll use it to ice brownies next. Yum!

1 Minute Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Makes 1 1/2 Cups

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


PREPARATION:

Mix together. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Add vanilla. Cool partially, then beat with a mixer for 3 minutes or until spreadable consistency.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Baby Turns One

We had so much fun celebrating Austin's first birthday. I can't believe how fast the year has gone by. It's been pretty tough with number four so close to number three. He's a good-natured baby but we've had a terrible time getting him to sleep through the night. We've been working on it for months and he's finally figured it out in time for his birthday. And he's walking!!
It's so neat watching him toddle around.

I made him a little football cake with chocolate frosting. (I'll post the recipe next--it's one minute frosting!)
Both of my boys devoured their first cakes. Check out this play by play.
 He looked at the cake for about two minutes and then....

 Touchdown!

 Boy that was good and big brother kept trying to help him eat it!
Happy Birthday Austin! We love you!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guest Post for Thursday Thought: Michael Young

Today our guest is Michael Young, an author of Fantasy and Science Fiction, including "The Canticle Kingdom" and "The Last Archangel".

Michael's Thought to Share:


"We all make mistakes. It's what we do next that matters." 

Michael says: "This could apply to many things, but I like to think about this with my writing. As an author, I know that I'm going to make mistakes. They can range from a typo, to an entire manuscript that's not up to snuff.  Sometimes I'll make mistakes by leaving things out, not doing enough when there is so much to do. I feel already that I've made many mistakes as a writer, both in writing my books and in promoting them. What I think really counts, however, is what I choose to do after I've realized my mistake. It is easy to beat myself up about a mistake or to let it discourage me to the point of quitting. I try instead, however, to learn from what I've done and remain vigilant so that the pain of that mistake translates into a higher degree of excellence in my next project." 

I agree and I like your good attitude, Michael. Thanks for sharing with us today!
Here's the link to Michael's blog if you'd like to see more about him: http://www.writermike.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review of Pumpkin Roll & Contest for Free iPad2

 Would you like to win a free iPad2? Read on and leave a comment on this post.


Josi bakes up another scrumptious mystery in Pumpkin Roll that will ignite your taste buds with delicious recipes and your curiosity with every cryptic bit of circumstance. Sadie's sleuthing is downright scary in this book and it was fun to read during the Halloween season. I enjoyed the details she added as Sadie and Pete travel to the Boston area to babysit and end up in the middle of another mystery. 

Here's a blurb about the book:


Sadie Hoffmiller is looking forward to spending her favorite baking season of the year making delicious New England recipes in Boston, Massachusetts, with her favorite leading man, Pete Cunningham, as they babysit his three young grandsons. But when the boys insist that Mrs. Wapple, the woman who lives across the street, is a witch, Sadie and Pete are anxious to distract the boys from such Halloween-induced ideas. However, it gets harder and harder to explain the strange things that keep happening, particularly after Sadie learns the eccentric Mrs. Wapple has been attacked in her home.

As the unexplained occurrences escalate, Sadie finds herself embroiled in yet another mystery with life-or-death consequences. Can Sadie discover whoever—or whatever—is behind the mystery before anyone else gets hurt? Or will this be Sadie’s last case?


Josi's culinary mysteries are a treat and if you haven't met the delightful Sadie Hoffmiller, I urge you to start at the beginning with Lemon Tart and get to know her. Josi's writing is spot-on for this kitchen-aficionado turned amateur sleuth and you'll find yourself eagerly turning pages to figure out whodunit along with the great characters in each book.

Now about that iPad2 contest...
In conjunction with the release of Pumpkin Roll the author, Josi S. Kilpack, and the publisher, Shadow Mountain, are sponsoring a contest for a new iPad. To enter, leave a comment in the comment section of this blog before November 1, 2011. Winners will be announced and notified November 3rd 2011.
For additional ways to enter, go to www.josiskilpack.com

I received a review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own and I will always give an honest review.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mining Your Memories

I'd like to start featuring something a little more on my blog. It's a little exercise called Mining Your Memories. I took a class on this topic when I attended the Highlights Conference in Chautauqua, New York last year. Kim Griswell taught the class and I loved it because she highlighted how we can take some of our most poignant memories and weave them into our writing.
It's almost like keeping a journal, but you do so descriptively, powerfully so that you can experience the emotion again. Smell that aroma, see the color of your favorite jacket, hear the crunch of dried pumpkin vines underfoot during the yearly stroll of the pumpkin patch.

It's amazing how our memories are tied to small triggers. I'll give you an example.

I was sitting in church next to my eight-year-old daughter and we were singing a hymn. The hymnbook was open on my lap and my finger was running along the bottom of each word so that my daughter could sing along. Suddenly I could see myself sitting in church next to my own mother. I remembered her small fingers with her rounded nails pointing to the words of the hymn so that I could learn to sing along.
I thought about the many times I sang with my mother at home, at church, and how much we loved to sing. I think it's amazing that through the trigger I could pull up a memory twenty-five years ago of my mom's index finger pointing at the words of hymns that I now have memorized.
The emotion connected to it was powerful and made me wish my mom was closer so I could just give her a big hug. The memory gave me a reminder of how much I love my mom and enjoyed sitting next to her in church singing along to the deep tones of the organ and learning the words of hymns that I now have memorized.

Do you see how one small moment can evoke so many bits of information recall in our brain?

These memory exercises enrich our lives because it helps us to remember and relive the good moments of the past.

Is there something that reminds you of a good memory? I'd encourage you to blog about it, journal about it, etc. and then if you want to share, leave me a link.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Guest Post for Thursday Thought: Ronda Hinrichson

I'm happy to introduce you to Ronda Hinrichson today. Here is the thought she wanted to share:
Some time ago, I read a statement like this from a fellow blogger: “My life is so boring. I don’t have anything to write about. No one wants to hear about me.”
I disagree. In fact, I believe “you” are infinitely more intriguing to others than you think you are. Not only intriguing, but also powerful. Who else sees things exactly as you do? Who else has your particular combination of talents and experiences? Who else has the power to calm, comfort, or influence those special someones in your life?

Only you.

While I was in college, I had an amazing writing teacher named Dorla Jenkins. She taught me: “Your power is in your individuality.” It’s a truth I hope everyone, including the aforementioned blogger, will come to believe.


Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen is the author of two suspense novels, Trapped and Missing.  She also writes a chapter book series under the name R.K. Hinrichsen, titled "Heroes of the Highest Order." Book #1, "The Hidden Kingdom," will be released in October 2011. 



Come Visit Me and Read My New Column

Howdy! Today I'm featured as an author in my new blog column "Mysterious Doings" over on the AML Blog. Award-winning author, Josi Kilpack previously wrote this section so I'm following in some talented footsteps. You can find me on the AML blog the first Thursday of each month under the "Mysterious Doings" header on the right column.
I'd love to hear what you think about my article today.
Thanks!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Review: Minor Adjustments by Rachael Renee Anderson

Today I'm reviewing a novel by the talented Rachael Renee Anderson. In Minor Adjustments she takes us Down Under for a family drama/love story that will have you engrossed in her great storytelling style and maybe wishing for a trip to Australia.



Here's a blurb about the book:

Chicago businessman and bachelor Devon Pierce doesn't want to be appointed guardian of Australian four-year-old Ryan Caldwell - but Ryan's solicitor, Stella Walker, won't take no for an answer. Little does Devon know that this "minor" adjustment will grant him a future he never expected to have. Told in a fast-paced, poignant, and witty style, Minor Adjustments will take you on a journey filled with humor, growth, romance, and love. 

I'll admit that a straight romance is usually not on the top of my to-read pile because I like a little meat with my story. This is exactly the reason I enjoyed Minor Adjustments. Rachael develops her characters well with physical and emotional details that have them walking off the page. Her interactions with the cute, four-year-old Ryan were realistic and fun. I could tell she had definitely done her homework when it came to setting part of the story in Australia. I loved reading and learning little tidbits and nuances about the country and character of the people there. And the plot line was well-developed with some surprises that kept me thinking about this book and how things would turn out for Devon, Ryan, and Stella.
Minor Adjustments
is sure to please with its clever dialogue and intriguing characters.
You can learn more about Rachael and her other books at http://www.rachaelreneeanderson.com

What book are you cozying up to during this fall weather?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Gearing up for the Utah RWA Conference

The leaves are changing in the mountains of Utah and I'm getting excited about attending the Utah Romance Writers of America Heart of the West Conference this Friday and Saturday. It will be held in Park City and I'm looking forward to the beautiful drive through Provo Canyon.

There will be editors, agents, and special guest authors in attendance to teach classes on several different topics. I'll be teaching a class on "Creating Page Turners with the Elements of Suspense" on Saturday afternoon.
Click here to see a complete schedule of the Writers Conference. I'll also be signing copies of my novel on Friday night. Click here to see a list of all the authors participating in this book signing.
My suspense novel WRONG NUMBER, has received multiple awards. Here's a picture of the awards seal my book is flaunting lately. I think my publisher did a great job on the design, how about you?


I'm also thrilled to be one of the finalists in the Heart of the West Writers Contest under the 'Published Author' category.
So, there are plenty of reasons why I'm excited for this weekend to come.

Do you have something you're looking forward to this week?

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