Tuesday, April 27, 2010


"THE THORN: Book One of the Chronicles of Gan"
by Daron Fraley

Daron Fraley’s “The Thorn, Book One of the Chronicles of Gan,” is a unique YA Speculative Fiction novel wrapped around a fascinating premise. Gan is a distant planet with three moons and two suns, whose people await heavenly signs that will announce the earthly birth of Christ, who they know only as “The One Who Would Suffer." The religious symbolism of Gan as one of the many “worlds without number” adds a refreshing perspective on this tale of good versus evil, and the quest to unite a divided people through hope in the promise of The Holy One.

“The Thorn” opens powerfully with an attack on the Danielite city of Hasor by Gideonite warriors who murder Samuel, the king, establishing the struggle between the three powerful, warring tribes, the offspring of three brothers—Daniel, Uzzah and Gideon.

The root of the conflict is centuries old, dating back to the first man on Gan--Noah, father of the three brothers. Before his death, Noah told his sons the prophecy regarding the coming of “The One Who Would Suffer,” before giving them each a blessing, charging them with a sacred responsibility to protect a legendary scepter that holds “the Thorn,” symbol of the Holy One’s foretold coming.

Noah also assigned duties to each tribe to insure that future generations would grow in peace and faith. Gideon and his people were to watch out for the welfare of the other tribes. Uzzah and his people were to serve in and around the temples, while Daniel received the birthright, making his tribe the ruling clan. But the tribe of Gideon rose up against their brethren, thrusting Gan into war.

In book one, Samuel is murdered for refusing to relinquish “the Thorn” and the whereabouts of his son and heir to the throne, Jonathan. Torn between his love for his father and his duty, Jonathan takes refuge in the woods where he watches Gideonite patrols march his kinsmen and Uzzahites away in captivity. Eventually, he sees his friend Eli, an Uzzahite, being led away. Jonathan wields his wondrous glowing sword, freeing Eli, and taking a young, reluctant Gideonite soldier captive. This soldier, named Pekah, becomes another of Jonathan’s allies, and a providential figure in Jonathan’s quest.

Fraley has created a primitive, albeit wondrous world which he describes with vivid detail. His efforts to draw the reader into this world sometimes results in long, descriptive passages that occasionally slow the read. Several chapters are laden with backstory that is essential, but presenting it in large blocks caused a few middle chapters to lag a bit. Don't let that deter you. I found the second half a solid page-turner and the ending compelling.

Pekah becomes the most charismatic character in this volume. Jonathan never quite rises to the heroic stature expected from a potential king and hero, but watching this character continue to grow and develop in future volumes will be a delight.

Though the cover gives the book a young YA feel, the story appeals equally to adults. The storyline could easily launch thoughtful, non-preachy family discussion on topics such as faith, loyalty, repentance, mercy and forgiveness. I hope parents will read this one with their children. Used in this manner, "The Thorn" exceeds being a satisfying read.

I expect this series to really take off. "The Thorn" proves Daron Fraley's ability to successfully crest the biggest hurdle—creating a marvelous world that challenges the imagination while presenting suppositions that touch us spiritually as well.

Monday, April 26, 2010

"AWAKENING AVERY" BOOK LAUNCH GIVEAWAYS, week 5, "Meet the Thompson Siblings"

I'm still feeling the energizing effects of the Storymakers' Conference and the Whitney Awards banquet. There are so many great ideas in my head--words I'm dying to get down on my new WIP, (work in progress), but let's take a moment to get this week's contest posted.

We're meeting Avery's adult children--the Thompson siblings--who are reeling following the death of their father. Not only are they struggling to make sense of their loss individually, they've begun to hover protectively over their mother, Avery, as if they are now HER parents.

All their relationships have been altered by grief and fear, and Avery is forced to admit that their personal trauma is taking a much greater toll than she wanted to believe.

Wes, her oldest son, is a returned missionary making no obvious effort to date or build a family of his own. Jaime, Avery's only daughter, is married, but her loss is manifesting itself in her inability or unwillingness to depend on anyone, including her husband. Luke, Avery's youngest, is nineteen and directionless. Anger and insecurity has replaced his once-playful personality.

Awakening to this new reality compels Avery to find a way to help her family heal, but how? She wants to hunker down at home in Logan, Utah and ride out the grief, but anger over their father's disregard of doctors' orders threatens their once-happy memories of home.

Avery is reluctant at first to accept Wes's invitation to return to Anna Maria Island, a favorite family vacation spot, to reclaim their peace, but her children's coddling and the unnerving shift in parent/child roles proves to be an unbearable alternative. Even though her own faith is running thin, Avery steps up, claims her post at the top of the family tree, and takes the gamble of her life to save her family.

One of the changes in behavior Avery notices in her children is the shift from "Mom" to "Mother," and the annoying way their voices rise at the end when they address her, as if they're speaking to a child. I write this because this is my pet peeve with my own kids. . . Ahem. . .

So here is this week's post topic:

What do your kids do or say that really gets your goat?

This week's prize is a box of "Wanderama" static electricity toys or an autographed copy of "AWAKENING AVERY." You must be a follower of this blog to enter, so newcomers are invited to sign up.

Also, we're about to launch the promo campaign, and I'll add entries for you if you help spread the word about AWAKENING AVERY." You can get multiple entries by doing the following:

1. Post the "Awakening Avery" cover image on your Facebook page and/or blog and send me a link. You'll get one entry for each.

2. Add "Awakening Avery" to your "books-to-read" shelf on Goodreads. Amazon or Shelfari. Tell me where you added it and get an entry for each one.

3. Add this link for the preview of Chapter One of "Awakening Avery" to your blog sidebar or Facebook page. Send me the link to your site and get one entry for each.http://bit.ly/cbMyQd

Thanks for playing! I have absolutely loved all the previous weeks' submissions.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


A few weeks ago I wrote a post titled, "In the Thick of Thin Things" about prioritizing the things we invest our time and resources on. Well, this week I had several opportunities to put my own advice into practice.

Each year the LDStorymakers group, of which I'm a part, holds a wonderful writer's conference in Provo, Utah. Fun trip. The classes are taught by some of the most recognizeable LDS authors--writers on the front lines of the decency war in literature. There are excellent classes, pitch sessions with agents and editors, opportunities for networking, book buying and autograph collecting. What I love most about it is the chance to be among my peers--other nutty, obsessive LDS writers who crank out novels at what works out to about 15 cents an hour because they have a passion for writing clean, uplifting books. Attending the conference also provides an excellent opportunity to extend the trip and vist my Utah children and grandchildren. Not a bad plan, right?

Well, it's that priority thing. My newest daughter-in-law is graduating from BYU's School of Nursing on Friday, the same day the conference begins. When we realized there was a conflict, there was no question where I wanted to be on Friday. Family trumps writing every time.

And then things became more complicated when my pregnant daughter, who lives here in Maryland near me, became ill. I was packing my briefcase when I felt it . . . the undeniable whispering of the Spirit telling me, "Call Amanda and offer to delay your flight." I made the call and Amanda's response was, "They want me to go to the hospital, Mom!"

Again, priorities became clear. Her husband was torn between being with his wife and caring for their son, and I knew my wonderful daughter-in-law would understand, so I changed my itinerary to remain in Maryland and help out.

It was the right choice, and the choice I wanted to make, but guilt does still come when circumstances force us to choose between two good and needful things. My daughter learned that herself this week. Staying in the hospital was good and needful to protect the baby she's carrying, but even so, leaving her 15-month-old behind nearly broke her heart. Life has taught me that these situations arise frequently, and choosing correctly isn't hard, but avoiding self-flogging can be. We can't be two places at once, but we often punish ourselves as if we could. Why is that? I wonder if men are as likely as women to torture themselves over such things.

Everything is working out now. Amanda is home and feeling better every day. My daughter-in-law's parents arrived a few days ago to celebrate this great milestone in their daughter's life. I'll miss the actual graduation, arriving a few hours late, but I'll be there to hug the graduate on her graduation day and participate in the revelry. Life will go on and the world will not end.

More of these good/good choices will arise in the future. If only I could master the skill of being in two places at one time before then.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I'll be in Utah for two weeks beginning tomorrow. It will be a great trip. Our daughter-in-law is graduating from BYU's School of Nursing on Friday. She'll be the third nurse in our family. We're really proud of her!

The LDStorymakers' annual writers' conference is the same weekend. so after celebrating Brittany's accomplishments I'll shoot over to the Provo Marriott to join my fellow LDS authors for great workshops, booksignings and the Whitney gala. I'll be signing copies of all my books, so if you're in the neighborhood, stop by and visit. It would make my day!

After all this excitement I get to settle in with family for the remainder of the trip and play with grandchildren and struggle to dominate my competitive children in Settlers of Catan. (I usually lose because I'm nice and I trade with everyone.)

So it will be a wonderful two weeks. However, a two-week absence raises special hubby-concerns.

Let me preface my following remarks with a few adoring comments about Tom. He's a great man--extraordinarily mellow, kind, and supportive to the nth degree. (See the shirt he's wearing for the "Awakening Avery" book launch? He's simply not domestic. It's a mixed bag of blessings and curses. He's not likely to notice that the rugs need vacuuming or that the dishes need to be done. He'll by-pass the moldy cheese but he probably won't think to toss it out.

It was a great blessing when the kids were little. If I had had a bad day and the house looked sorry, he never mentioned a thing, and in fact was just as likely to tell me how great it looked. I was dubious about these undeserved comments until I finally realized that he really just doesn't see or process household things.

And so, for his safety, I have to rummage through the fridge and toss out anything perishable, likely to expire and cause toxic death, or things that will unnerve me in their likely-to-decompose state. That's today's chore. I have to make sure his favorite slacks aren't rumply, because he just might wear them anyway, and I also need to make sure a few of his favorite snacks are tucked into the pantry.

So I'm hubby-proofing the house today, and then I jet west. Maybe I'll see you in Provo!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Donna Hatch and "The Guise Of a Gentleman"

March and April have been big months for debuting books and I've been posting reviews and/or interviews with the authors of many of the newest releases. Several of the newer releases have been in the area of Regency Romances, a genre I discussed in a post last month.

Donna Hatch is debuting A real swashbuckler of a book, The Guise of a Gentleman," this month. I haven't had the opportunity to read this novel yet, but this synopsis hints at some great intrigue:

The widowed Elise is a perfect English lady living within the confines of society for the sake of her impressionable young son. Her quiet world is shattered when she meets the impulsive and scandalous Jared Amesbury. His roguish charm awakens her yearning for freedom and adventure. But his irrepressible grin and sea-green eyes hide a secret.

A gentleman by day, a pirate by night, Jared accepts one last assignment before he can be truly free. Elise gives him hope that he, too, can find love and belonging. His hopes are crushed when his best laid plans go awry and Elise is dragged into his world of violence and deceit. She may not survive the revelation of Jared’s past…or still love him when the truth is revealed.

Donna Hatch is a very busy mother of six who also holds down a job outside the home. She finds the time to write because, as she jokingly puts it, writing is an obsession for her.

Q: The cover is lovely.

A:Thank you. Most publishers don't let the authors have any input, but I was lucky -- mine does. I filled out a questionnaire with character descriptions and a concept of what I'd pictured. The finished result was very close to what I'd imagined, although the clothing isn’t exactly Regency, but I like it very much.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I'm finalizing the edits on book 3 of the Rogue Heart's Series which isn't titled yet. (Gulp.) Each book is a stand-alone book, about a different brother of the Amesbury family, and the family members wander in and out of each other's books. I’m also starting a new Teen/Young Adult paranormal.

Q: How do you find time to write? How do you balance family with writing?

Yes, with 6 children, making time to write is very challenging. I do much of my writing at night after they are in bed, or during nap time, but when I'm on a roll, I write instead of unimportant things like fix dinner. I haven't dusted since last Christmas and I gave up scrap booking. All my children are in school now, so now I can write after they all leave for school, until I have to go to work every afternoon, so that really cuts into my writing. However, I'm very focused, (or obsessed) so I keep at it at odd times of the day. And night. Sometimes insomnia is a good thing.

Donna is running a contest to promote "The Guise of a Gentleman." Donna passed along the details so you can try to win your free copy (and you have four chances if you do all four.) Says Donna:

1. Leave a comment in this blog, then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com and put “free book” in the subject line

2. Follow my blog, then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me you're now following me and put "free book" in the subject line

3. Friend me on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/people/Donna-Hatch/1053967713#!/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1053967713 then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me you're now my friend on Face book and put "free book" in the subject line

4. go to my website and then find out what is the name of the hero, then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me the answer to the question and put "free book" in the subject line
Remember, for each thing you do, you have another chance to win. Good Luck!!!

Thanks, Donna. Good luck with the debut!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

"AWAKENING AVERY" BOOK LAUNCH GIVEAWAYS, week 4, "Life Lessons From Teddie and Rider Davis"

Each week we're visiting the characters from my newest release, "Awakening Avery," and designing a give-away around that character.

This week, meet lovable "rodeo-ers turned real estate moguls" Teddie and Rider Davis. On first glance, this bigger-then-life, nouveau-riche Texas duo intimidates floundering author Avery Elkins Thompson. But after a few minutes in Teddie's tender company, Avery discovers that the Davis's shoveled, struggled and rode their way to success, scratching to keep their little family together and fed along the way.

Their pockets seem lined with gold, but their real wealth is their character and experience. Despite hardship, they've maintained a childlike hope about life. They have a few lessons to teach Avery about not just surviving, but thriving through the angst of life, and in return, Avery discovers that she can add something of even greater value to their already good lives.

One of my favorite chapters in the entire book centers around an awkward breakfast scene where Teddie and Rider serve carryout quesadillas from the Cheesecake Factory. In honor of that scene, this week's prize is winner's choice--a personalized copy of "Awakening Avery" or a $25 gift certificate to the Cheesecake Factory. You must be a follower of this blog or register to be a follower to enter.

So here's this week's contest nugget:

Share a life lesson you've learned from experience.

Post your answer in the comment box below to be entered in this week's drawing.

You can get multiple entries by doing the following:

1. Post the "Awakening Avery" cover image on your Facebook page and/or blog and send me a link. You'll get one entry for each.

2. Add "Awakening Avery" to your "books-to-read" shelf on Goodreads. Amazon or Shelfari. Tell me where you added it and get an entry for each one.

3. Add this link for the preview of Chapter One of "Awakening Avery" to your blog sidebar or Facebook page. Send me the link to your site and get one entry for each.

Thanks for playing. The last few weeks' idea-sharing has been phenomenal, and I'm looking forward to all the great lessons we'll share this week.

Friday, April 16, 2010


My fifth-grade Home Economics teacher was a lady in the true sense of the word, and she was bound and determined to make ladies from the gangly class of muffin-baking, apron-sewing, boy-crazy mid-pubescent girls assigned to her tutelage. I discovered how determined she was when her yardstick came crashing down upon my head for violating sacred rule number six of her classroom commandments--LADIES DO NOT CHEW GUM! I pondered the possibility of utilizing the useful info gleaned during the morning's Social Studies lesson on the American Civil Liberties Union as I nursed my wounded ego and rubbed my knotted head.

Yes, she whacked me--hard. Times were different back then. I was humiliated, but while I would have loved to have seen the snippy old wombat face a tribunal of my peers, I think I got the last laugh from that experience. She is now a series of entries in my little book of characters. I don't remember her name, or even what she looked like, but I remember her attitude, and I especially remember how she made me feel. Now, when I want to create a spare-the-rod-spoil-the-child-natured, overbearing matron, I think back on the day I was pummeled while sitting at my Singer, sewing a yellow, flowered apron, and I can not only recreate such a woman, I can see and feel the emotional tsunami she unleashed on her class with a wave of her mighty yardstick.

It's all good now. In fact, perhaps such strong characters are why I love character-driven stories and why I love studying people--their physical characteristics, their accents, their gaits and body movements. I love the myriad ways people will respond to the the same dilemma or situation. I marvel that some peoples' faces are like motion picture screens where every emotion plays out candidly and others are like locked boxes displaying nothing to the public.

I enjoy the different ways people laugh, sit, smile and flirt. And I enjoy studying the way they manage stress. Some people pace, some eat, some chew their nails, holler, seclude themselves or become manic and crazy. People watching is amazing.

Good moments and bad moments are all learning moments for a writer. Here's a good exercise for a budding author. Pick a person and study them from afar for a few minutes, then write phrases describing everything you've observed--their dress, their actions, their physical characteristics, the way they move. . . Then imagine how they'd respond in different situations. What might have caused those situations? See? Now you're writing a story.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Each week we're visiting the characters from my newest release, "Awakening Avery," and designing a give-away around that character.

This week, meet widower Gabriel Carson, Anna Maria Island's most sought after bachelor and father of two narcissistic twenty-something daughters, Emilia and Gia.

Gabriel is a private and contradictory man who loves his home, his family, and Key Lime Pie. A gifted landscaper and florist, he can, by brawn and force, tame acres of wild land, and yet his gentle fingers can also prune and coax a fragile bonsai or a tender sprig of ivy along.

A similar paradox is evident in his relationships. This man who deftly guided a young, floundering boy to manhood, is now ripping himself from his home and family to compel his overly-dependent daughters to grow.

Ironically, the real estate coup that provides his excuse for escape places him in a summer house swap with widow Avery Elkins Thompson, a widow and mother seeking a healing place so she can save her own floundering family.

Avery isn’t sure if she believes in karma, but she does believe that places, like people, evoke a certain spirit or feeling. Gabriel's house has a good spirit about it; Gabriel’s spirit is here, in every nook and cranny.

Avery is now immersed in Gabriel's complicated world, and Gabriel is knee-deep in Avery's. With different views on religion and life, they still have much in common, much they can teach one another, if they can awaken to the opportunity life has thrown them.

And now things begin to get complicated.

Avery and Gabriel make hard choices out of love for their families. What hard choices have you ever made for your family?

Write your answer in the comment box. You must be a follower of this blog to enter, so click and join to play! This week's prize is a Key Lime Pie scented candle or a copy of "Awakening Avery."

Monday, April 12, 2010


Tristi Pinkston

Fill your thermos with hot cocoa, stuff some chocolate chip cookies into a Baggie and grab a copy of The Bishop’s Handbook of Instructions. You’ll want easy access to all three as you begin your raucous romp with the dysfunctional Relief Society presidency in Valor Publishing’s new release, Secret Sisters, by five-time author Tristi Pinkston.

Pinkston’s heroine, Ida Mae Babbitt, a well-intentioned bulldozer of a Relief Society president, is a “git-er-done” kind of woman, and when ward and family stresses spike the Omni Ward bishop’s blood pressure, Ida Mae knows just what to do. The how-to-do-it is another issue, however, and with a directionless techno-prodigy of a nephew and her wacky presidency in tow, it’s “Lucy and Ethel meets a McGyver-dude” as Ida Mae and company make a literal Federal case out of a Visiting Teaching report!

Pinkston has created a vivid assortment of over-the-top, multi-dimensional characters, while carefully adding enough depth to endear them to the reader. The plot is pure whimsy with an unexpected twist at the end that will keep you scratching your head until the final page-turn. Pinkston has done a fine job of hitting the comedy and drama buttons while tugging on the heartstrings as well.

You may not want these ladies running your Relief Society, but you’ll enjoy the mayhem they stir up as they “protect and serve” their ward. For a delightful escape with some good chuckles thrown in, “Secret Sisters” by Valor Publishing, fills the bill.

“Secret Sisters” is available at Amazon and in Barnes and Nobles.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


There are always more things to be done than there is time to do them, and so proper prioritizing may be the single most important skill of life. I know that, but I often need a reminder.

I have a book launch this weekend so I'm eyeball deep in Key Lime Jelly Bellies, bookmarks, favor tags and promo stuff.

I was driving yesterday and I had a CD in the player from last October's LDS Church Conference. I heard President Monson's comment about how too many of us are "in the thick of thin things." It struck a chord. It really struck hard, and I wondered if the hours it will take to make Jelly Belly favors for the launch will matter in a week, in a month, or even on Saturday.

It's an obsession. We're over-scheduled, over-committed to "thin things." We all want to do our best at whatever we're doing--that Relief Society lesson or that dinner for the missionaries--so we kill ourselves to hit perfection when prayerful preparation will suffice. We want to invite the new family over for supper, but we wait until we get can get the rugs scrubbed and then the opportunity and the inclination slip away.

We should at least be finding joy in the "thin things" we choose, but how often do we postpone enjoying our life while we endure it, saying, "As soon as I get past this event or that I'll. . ." What a sad thought. I don't want to "get past" my life in order to enjoy it. I want to enjoy whatever I'm doing, whatever my circumstances . . . right now.

So many seemingly essential things that seem urgent today do evaporate in an instant when an emergency arises--a call from a worried child, a notice of an overdraft in your bank account, a health alert, or a few inches of standing water in the basement. What absolutely had to be handled today suddenly seems less important, and a fully-packed schedule suddenly opens wide. What if the call were to meet at the park? What if the emergency was that the sunset was spectacular? Would we push the calendar back for those?

That dreadful winter of a hundred inches of snow gave way to this magnificent spring. What a shame it would be to miss this momentary glimpse of heaven, one which I dreamed about all winter, because I was over-progammed or too engaged in "thin things."

I'm still going to make those favors, because right now I have the time-luxury to be invested in a in fun thin thing while I sit with my daughter, basking in this beauty, and watching my grandson try to steal jelly beans.

It's all about priorities.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Regency Romances are romance novels set in the early nineteenth century with themes and hurdles that remind the reader of Jane Austin's work. RR author, Donna Hatch, and I cyber-met through ANWA, an LDS women’s writing group we each belong to. This busy lady is launching two new books within a few months of one another. “The Guise of a Gentleman” falls into the Regency Romance genre, but “Queen in Exile,” her most recent release, is actually a fantasy.

Q: Aside from being crazy busy, tell us something else about yourself.

Donna: I guess I should say right off the bat that I’m a certified loon. Not only am I an author, which means I hear voices in my head and my characters are more real to me than most “real” people, but I am also the mother of six children. And yes, I did that on purpose!

Q: A big family provides lots of great writing material. Good planning. Tell us a little bit about your fantasy, Queen in Exile.

Donna: The last surviving member of her family, a princess must place her life, and the fate of her kingdom, into the hands of a trained killer. But accepting her destiny and her own dark powers will mean losing the man she loves.

Q: Some writers say that they have a story that has to be told, others say that the characters come to them and demand that their story be told… how does it work for you?

Donna: Both ways, I suppose. A character usually comes to me and tells me the main idea of their story, and then I go to work fleshing out both the plot and the characters. Once or twice, I’ve started with a concept, or a problem, and then found characters to deal with it. Really, my characters drive the story; the plot, or the problem, is just a hardship for them to overcome so that they can really grow and shine and ultimately triumph.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Donna: Be persistent. Most people have dreams of writing a novel, but never finish one. Most people who finish a novel never submit it, and most who submit, give up after a few rejections. Those who submit over and over (and maybe go through some revisions) will eventually get published.

Q: What is your favorite thing about writing romance?

Donna: I love the happily ever after. If a book doesn’t have a good ending, I feel like I’ve wasted my time because I read to escape my problems. I want to know good always triumphs over evil and love conquers all – not be bummed because all was lost. I also love watching the romance unfold and, of course, the euphoria of falling in love.

Q: Nice . . . Okay, now for the power round:
Favorite food? Pasta
Favorite dessert? Cheesecake
Jeans and T-shirt, or designer clothes? Um, how about designer jeans and T-shirts?
Guilty pleasure? Chocolate! Okay, anything sweet and decadent. I have an equal opportunity sweet tooth.One word that describes you? Cheerful
Favorite flower? Pink rose
Favorite sport? Does snorkeling count as a sport?

Q: Tell us about your contest:

Donna: You can win a free copy (and you have four chances if you do all four):
1. Go to my website http://www.donnahatch.com and then find out what is the name of the hero of Queen in Exile (hint, read the backcover blurb underneath the book cover), then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me the answer to the question and put "Queen in Exile for Free" in the subject line.

2. Follow my blog, then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me you're now following me and put "Queen in Exile for Free" in the subject line.

3. Leave a comment in my blog, www.donnahatch.blogspot.com. Then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com and put "Queen in Exile for Free" in the subject line.

4. Friend me on Facebook, (http://www.facebook.com/people/Donna-Hatch/1053967713#!/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1053967713) then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me you're now my friend on Face book and put "Queen in Exile for Free" in the subject line.
That’s it!

Remember, for each thing you do, you have another chance to win. Good Luck!!!

Thank you, Donna for the interview. You can read the first chapter of Donna’s book, here. "Queen in Exile" can be found at Amazon, Costcos across the country, any Deseret Bookstore, all Barnes & Noble, and Borders. If you don’t see it on the shelf, be sure to ask them to order it for you and they’ll ship it to you with free shipping.

Friday, April 2, 2010


The stage is set for the national launch of

"Readers will love the journey that
Avery takes them on and will find

themselves transformed in the
—Martha Adams

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

from 10 a.m until 5 p.m. at


In Kensington, Maryland

(Click the logo for store locations and map)

Meet Laurie Lewis and have your copy personalized.
You should see what we're giving away!!!
A drawing every hour for wonderful prizes, including recently-released novels, including copies of "AWAKENING AVERY."
Free favors and bookmarks, and enter to win a beautifully-designed, hand-crafted silver necklace from Sterling Obsession, designed especially for the launch of "AWAKENING AVERY."
AND. . .

Click and pre-order an autographed copy at the launch discount price!
Copies of "Awakening Avery" are being shipped this week to LDS store shelves in your area.
Very shortly, we'll have the first chapter posted here, but mark your calendars if you live in the DC area, and come to the launch.


“You’re depressed,” the doctor declared.

“Ya think?” is author Avery Elkins Thompson’s sarcastic response to the astute diagnosis for the malaise that set in following her husband’s untimely death. Avery’s carefully controlled world is imploding, and her adult children fear they are losing her too.

“You’re just a shadow of the person you used to be . . . We’d gladly give you up for a while if it meant getting you back.”

Avery can’t write, and questions about their father’s death leave the family mired in pain. “We need a healing place,” her oldest son tells her, suggesting she find it on Anna Maria Island, Florida, a former family vacation spot.

When Avery returns to Baltimore to sell the family’s waterfront condo, she meets rodeo-ers-turned-real-estate-brokers Teddie and Rider Davis, and Avery’s quiet life will never be the same again.

The Davises help arrange a short-term house swap with widower Gabriel Carson from Anna Maria, whose overprotective parenting has resulted in two self-centered, twenty-something daughters. Avery and Gabriel are in for the summer of their lives as they step into one another’s messy, complicated worlds.

Still, venturing out on her own again is challenging for Avery, whose experiences at the Ringling’s magnificent Cá d’Zan mansion, and with the quirky characters she meets there, eventually awaken her to truths she has long forgotten—that as crazy as life can be, it is possible to laugh and love again.