Monday, August 29, 2011


Welcome to the Awesome August Blog Hop, where bloggers from all over the Internet have come together to throw a summertime party!

Every blog on this hop is offering a fun prize, and entering is quick and easy. Simply follow the instructions on each blog, leave a comment, and bop right along to the next blog. You can win multiple times, so be sure to check out all the participating blogs!

On my blog, you can win an autographed copy of any of my books. Please visit my web site and make your selection if you are my winner!

To enter:

1. Become a follower of my blog. If you're already a follower, please enter your email address in the "follow by email" block to the right and submit.

2. Please also visit
this link to a recent article I have running in the Deseret News. Just click, and then report that you did. That's it!

3. Leave me a comment and tell me that you've done both things. If your e-mail address isn't available through your profile, I'll need you to leave that, too - I can't tell you if you've won if I can't contact you!

This blog hop runs through Wednesday night at midnight, so be sure to enter before then! The winner will be notified by e-mail.

Now that you've entered my contest, come meet all my other blog friends and see what fun things they are offering!

Awesome August Blog Hop Participants

1. Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author
2. Karen Hoover
3. Michael Young
4. Kristy Tate
5. cindy Hogan
6. Julie Bellon
7. Margot Hovley
8. Laurie Lewis
9. Mandi Slack
10. Melanie Jacobson
11. Joyce DiPastena
12. Renae Mackley
13. Debbi Weitzell
14. Donna Hatch
15. Carolyn Frank
16. Marsha Ward
17. Stacy Coles
18. Bonnie Harris
19. Danyelle Ferguson aka Queen of the Clan
20. Diony George
21. Lisa Asanuma
22. Susan Dayley
24. Stephanie Humphreys
25. Ranee` Clark
26. Tamera Westhoff
27. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
28. Heather Justesen
29. Rebecca Talley
30. Jennifer Hurst
31. Aimee Brown
32. Cheryl Christensen
33. Rachelle Christensen
34. Imaginary Reads
35. Andrea Pearson

Learn more about Awesome August Blog Hop here.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011


I live in central Maryland, about an hour and a half from the ocean as the crow flies, and in the general strike zone of most Atlantic coastal storms. Fortunately, prayers are being heard and Irene has been downgraded to a level one hurricane, meaning we are now outside the "danger zone." We are only in the nuisance zone--power outages, wind and rain.

We've picked up everything that could become projectiles, and we've tied down everything we feared would tip and break. We've got the generator fueled up and the fridge stocked, so now we relax.

It brings to mind a story recently shared by President Tingey, the president of the Washington D.C. Temple, and a former Member of the Seventy, titled, "I Can Sleep When the Wind Blows." In short, a young farm hand doesn't awaken from his sleep to answer the call of his employer when a coming storm threatens the farm. When the angry farmer checks the stock, the granary, and the equipment, he finds that all is in order, and he understands what the hand was trying to say--that when you've done your work to prepare, you can rest in confidence and ride it out in peace.

It's a theme that really resonated with me during my research for Free Men and Dreamers. I am awed by the diaries from Rose Hill Plantation when I read what that generation of people did to prepare, not for a weekend storm, or for a week without power, but for nine months until the next harvest came in.

I felt it in the accounts of the elections of 1824 and 1828, when political newcomer, Andrew Jackson, a man of the people, began challenging the last presidential candidate tutored under the Founders' influence--John Quincy Adams. Was the nation ready for such a leap of faith, from the wisdom of the Founders inspiration to a common man? Were her people committed to the Republic? Would they defend the Constitution, and was her Constitution strong enough to bear an untrained leader at her helm?

They wouldn't know if their preparations were sufficient until the storms came, and come they did.

These are the themes that drive volume five, the last volume of Free Men and Dreamers. You'll be reading a lot about it in the coming weeks as we prepare to launch. I hope you'll ask lots of questions. I love to talk about this book.

For not though, it's time to rest. Be safe.


Laurie LC Lewis

Thursday, August 25, 2011


The LA Singles Ward hosts an annual film festival. My son Josh was involved in this one. It's a sweet reply to the "Mormon Musical." He's the cute cupcake and lemon bar-loving rapper at the end. Gotta love nerdy Mormon humor.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


It’s been quite day, (actually, quite a week), so I’ll keep this brief. A magnitude 5.9 earthquake rocked the east coast around 2 p.m. today. I was sitting at my computer and chatting with a friend in a neighboring town when it hit. She asked me if I felt that and I told her the house was shaking. She said, “We’re having an earthquake!” I wondered if we were feeling the shock of an explosion. We are nearing the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

I was babysitting two little children for some friends. I jumped up to grab the children who were napping, and tried to figure out where to go and what to do. Would the ground split? Would the walls start cracking? Where is the safest place to stand in an earthquake? Was it in the bathtub, or was that the place of refuge in a tornado? I thought about going outside to be away from anything that could collapse or fall. I finally huddled with the children in a bathroom doorway close to the front door. Here in Maryland, we prepare for hurricanes and blizzards, but not for earthquakes, until now. You can believe I will from this day on.

The rolling ended in about thirty seconds, but that’s enough time for a flood of things to cross your mind—like how fragile a home and “stuff” really are. One moment you could have a lovely world, and the next you could be a refugee.

I quickly turned the TV on to the news to find out what had really happened. This quake was a relatively unique occurrence for the east coast. Washington offices were quickly evacuated and there was some concern for the Washington Monument. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to have been inside that when this happened. The shock traveled from the source in Mineral Wells, Virginia all the way north to Toronto, and west to Ohio. Friends at the ocean were unaffected, which was a relief since our little grandson was there with his other grandma.

I thought about the Japanese survivors of their devastating triple disasters. We almost hear nothing about them now, as if life was magically back to normal again. We are so quick to forget.

Some items fell to the floor and broke. I’m keeping them as a reminder. The poor three-year-old kept asking why the house had been shaking. She cried when it was time to go to bed. This may take a while for her to forget, but I hope it makes me remember, and prepare.

Now we’re on target for some effects from Hurricane Irene this week. Busy week. I’m so glad I have the manuscript for “In God Is Our Trust” finished so there was no additional stress over that. We go to edits in September and should see a cover soon. Books hit the stores in late September, early October. it's exciting to be nearly finished with this project, but for now we're battoning down the hatches in preparation for Irene.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Confessions of the Exercise-Impaired

(Deseret News just pulled this article from my stack of submissions. Just click the link and you'll be sling-shotted across the cyber-universe where it's posted.

It's a funny one. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Julie Bellon

Clean, action-intense mysteries are hard to come by in today’s market, but veteran suspense author Julie Bellon’s recent release, “Ribbon of Darkness,” puts your attention on notice in the first paragraph and holds it to the end.

When Al Qaeda terrorists overrun an Afghan refugee camp, International reporter, Kennedy Campbell, becomes embroiled in the story she’s covering. Shots ring out as Kennedy and her three friends attempt a final escape plan. All four are separated, each facing their own danger. But Kennedy has a secret—a secret that makes her a valuable hostage and an imposing opponent. This lady will not be waiting idly for someone to rescue her.

British covert operative, Ethan Barak, believes he is cursed—everyone he gets close to dies. Revenge is on his mind as he goes rogue from MI-6 to infiltrate a swarm of arms dealers who’ve ordered a hit on his father. Confused, angry, riddled with guilt, his life has hit a turning point, and he doesn’t much care what happens to himself anymore.

Like a spider web, paths cross and purposes get entangled in this every-man-for-himself community of ne’er-do-wells. Ethan lays eyes on Kennedy at a moment when her captor’s patience has been exhausted, and her fate is about to be decided. Faced with the choice to avenge his father’s murder, or blow his cover and attempt to rescue the girl, Ethan makes his choice, affecting Kennedy’s fate, and launching an internal struggle that haunts every oncoming decision he makes.

Bellon tantalizes her readers by allowing her characters to momentarily cross paths, and then denies them a full convergence of Kennedy’s and Ethan’s separate plot lines until half way through the book. And when that longed for meeting between between Kennedy and Ethan finally occurs, the full richness of these battered good guys emerges.

Julie Bellon develops her characters slowly and subtly. Case in point was a beautifully-crafted moment where Ethan secretly cuts the cuff from his sleeve to provide a cloth to clean Kennedy’s wounds. It was understated, but it spoke volumes about Ethan’s character. Character-driven readers will embrace Ethan and Kennedy, and action-driven readers will delight in how the plot moves from threat to threat, from challenge to challenge, keeping pages turning.

And just when you think things are finally resolved, Ethan and Kennedy discover the depth of the international threat they’re caught up in. Iran, secret arms deals, nuclear armament, and threat they pose to the fragile strait from which the world’s oil ships—it’s all in here.

Bellon has done her research, drawing on current events and timely topics while introducing the reader to many details of the region and culture, particularly the Malacca Strait, otherwise known as the Ribbon of Darkness, from which the title comes. That she has succeeded to pace a suspenseful thriller around these topics and keep it clean and moral is laudable, though these efforts occasionally become didactic.

Nevertheless, with topics pulled straight from today’s headlines, “Ribbon of Darkness” is a satisfying read for adults, and a safe read to hand off to their teens, and better yet, it would make a perfect family read. It's available at LDS book stores, and on Amazon.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I'm editing "In God Is Our Trust," this week, reviewing 2 great books, and writing a blurb for a friend's upcoming release, so suffice it to say I'm swamped and unable to write another cohesive thought. So I dug into the archives to pull out this great piece I love, love, love. I hope you do too! Thanks! Laurie

For a history lover, this is nerd heaven as far as humor goes! I'm told this is a true story. If it is, I need to find this attorney because he is now my idol. If it's not, three cheers for the creative genius who came up with this!

A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the lawyer three months to track down. After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply.

(Actual reply from FHA):
"Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin."

Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows:
(Actual response):
"Your letter regarding title in Case No.189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 206 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased by the United States from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application.

For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France , which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the Spanish monarch, Queen Isabella. The good Queen Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus 's expedition.

Now the Pope, as I'm sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world called Louisiana. God, therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it, and the FHA. I hope you find God's original claim to be satisfactory.

Now, may we have our loan?"

The loan was immediately approved.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Good friend and veteran suspense author, Julie Bellon, has a new edge-of-your-seat novel hitting store shelves this week, "Ribbon of Darkness," and to kick off the launch she is hosting a blog contest today, 8/8 with a special offer.

This novel is packed with romantic suspense and international intrigue that Meridian reviewer Jennie Hansen called, "gripping."

In order to help spread the word about its availability in stores and on Kindle, Ribbon of Darkness Kindle Edition is being offered at a special launch price of . . . you guessed it . . . $8.88!

Click here for the link:

But that’s not all! As a special bonus to her Ribbon of Darkness launch, Time Will Tell Kindle edition will also be on sale for $4.88.

Click here for that link.

So what’s the contest? All you have to do is help Julie get the word out about Ribbon of Darkness and the special launch price by doing one or more of these things. Each one gets you an entry into the contest.

1. Become a follower of her blog and like me on Facebook. (Links are on Julie's blog's sidebar)

2. You could tweet about Ribbon of Darkness and the Kindle special launch price and link back to my blog.

3. You could mention Ribbon of Darkness and the Kindle special launch price on Facebook and link back to my blog.

4. You could mention Ribbon of Darkness and the Kindle special launch price on your blog and link back to my blog.

5. You could mention Ribbon of Darkness and the Kindle special launch price on your Google + and link back to my blog.

If you do any one of the five things posted above, leave a comment and tell Julie what you did and she will enter you in the first drawing.

(Don't know what to say? You could say something like this if you want or change it to suit your needs: "New novel Ribbon of Darkness is a gripping romantic suspense that will keep you turning pages all night long. Kindle edition on sale this week for $8.88 Read more at

The prize for the first drawing is the choice of any one of my book titles listed below.

Through Love’s Trials
On the Edge
Dangerous Connections

If you do three or more of the things listed above, you can leave a comment and tell me what three things you did and I will enter you in the drawing for the grand prize---a full chapter edit from Ms. Shreditor herself! (Limit ten double-spaced pages) OR you can choose to have a secondary character named after you in my next book. (It's your chance to be immortalized!)

That's right. YOU can have a full chapter edit from a national editor for free or see your name in print. Your choice.

So, help Julie spread the word and truly make this her lucky day (and yours)!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


The film, "Joseph Smith: Volume one, Plates of Gold," was screened in Frederick, Maryland, Wednesday, August 3, at 7:00 p.m. at

It was a lovely, unique film about the Momon Prophet curently on it's debut preview tour. It's scheduled to arrive in Utah in September.

Follow the link to view the trailer and then read the comments below.

And if you miss this screening, click the photo above and follow the links to other upcoming locations.

"The best film I have seen about Joseph Smith. Thank you!"

"I love this film. Even though I am a member of the Church and familiar with the story, I was overwhelmed and grateful that the director handled the subject matter so beautifully. I felt as if the film was made for me and the strengthening of my testimony. Thank you!"

"An impressive piece, that gives an almost intimate look into Joseph's life, his challenges and his great work."

"I am newly 'converted,' and I now have a stronger testimony. Thank you. Great missionary work!"

"I felt as if I was there. It was just as I imagined it, when reading the scriptures. I didn't notice the time pass."

"No film has touched my life as much as Plates of Gold."

"I learned a lot of new things about Joseph Smith and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. My gratitude for Joseph Smith has grown."

"It's hard to take the Book of Mormon for granted after watching this film."

"Wonderful- my husband is not a member and he was very impressed. The film was very well acted, touching and full of suspense. Everything I expect of a good film!"

"I was so touched that I went home and emailed all my friends about this film."

"Joseph Smith was very well portrayed and had the right balance of earnestness and humor."

"The film was perfect. I have nothing more to say."

"Very well made! To experience this chapter of Joseph's life from a different perspective was inspiring and gives me strength not to give up. Thank you for this uplifting experience."

"I really enjoyed watching such an inspiring film in a movie theatre. I loved getting to know the young Joseph and his life better."

"It was very touching to watch how Joseph Smith became a prophet. When I read the Doctrine & Covenants and the Book of Mormon, it now has a whole new meaning."

"My children (15 and 11) loved the film and that says a lot!"

"One of the best films I have ever seen."