Saturday, October 29, 2011


I am a proud member of “The McGyver Sisterhood,” women who find . . . shall we say . . . unconventional ways to accomplish needed tasks. Why reach for a hammer or a screw driver when a shoe heel and a table knife are handier and equally suited for most household tasks? I applied that same level of ingenuity to my holiday decorating regimen.

My household decorations were elaborate—not classy or elegant--but displaying the appropriate level of Dollar Store gaudiness requisite for the season. We were not a family capable of transforming field squash into masterpieces, but one year I had a particularly vivid vision for our Jack-o-Lantern. It would be more than a token triangle-eyed pumpkin. I would create a vignette!

I envisioned a scarecrow sitting in a lawn chair, holding our precious Jack-O-Lantern in his lap while a bowl of candy sat at his feet. I built a head and a pair of hands from stuffed nylons and quilted them into perfect form. Then I selected clothing items appropriate for a dapper scarecrow.

To my dismay, I didn’t have enough stuffing material to fill our friend, but I remembered the full basket of ironing in the hall closet. Most of the pieces were my husband’s—dress shirts and slacks he probably wouldn’t need for days. The items perfectly plumped our scarecrow, and with a few minutes of staging, our “man” was seated by the driveway in a nylon-webbed lawn chair.

A few rudimentary cuts produced another slack-jawed, triangle-eyed pumpkin face, and a four-wick pillar candle illuminated our Jack-O-Lantern which sat merrily in our scarecrow’s lap.

With the stage set, we packed the troops into the car and headed off to Trick-or-Treat. Up and down the road we heard complimentary reports about our festive scene, and when we returned home the effect was so darling we decided to let it remain lit until the candle burned down.

The next morning I received a call from a neighbor. “Did you guys have a bonfire last night?”

Odd question, I thought. “No. . . . we put the kids to bed as soon as we got home from Trick-or-Treating.”

“Oh. Then I wonder who had the fire blazing last night. It looked like it was coming from your place.”

Tom enters. “Honey, do I have an ironed shirt ready? I have a meeting today.”

“Uh. . . no . . . but I’ll. . .” Little wheels began to turn. . . Get the scarecrow!

I opened the door and looked outside, expecting to find the scarecrow still sitting in the morning fog, but there was nothing. Where is the scarecrow stuffed with Tom’s clothes? I gasped. Had I put it all away for the night?” I was almost certain I had not.

A few steps later, my fears were realized as I came upon a burned circle six feet in diameter and mere inches from my car, in the exact spot where the nylon lawn chair had been placed the night before. All that now remained was the charred chair frame, a few dozen blackened buttons, and the gargoyle-like face of a roasted pumpkin. I gasped as I saw evidence of felony arson. And the perp? My Jack-O-Lantern.

The fat, four-wick pillar candle had burned down to a sea of wax that filled the base and flowed from the Jack-O-Lantern’s mouth. Embedded within the wax, like a fossil stuck in prehistoric amber, was one of the four wicks. The other three, I deduced, had been released as the candle burned down. They floated out of the pumpkin’s slack-angled mouth and into the scarecrow’s lap, turning “Jack” into a flaming torch.

The miracle, of course, was that the car had not exploded from the heat of the fire. Perhaps that was also the treat. But the trick? Well, that was played on me.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Thank you to Kathy at "I Am A Reader Not A Writer," host of this month's Spooktacular Giveaway Blog Hop, and to co-host Rhianna at "TheDiaryofaBookworm."

This Spooktacular Giveaway Hop runs from Oct 24th to midnight on the 31st.

Each entry absolutely MUST be posted separately in the comments section below to be counted. I use RANDOM.ORG to calculate the winner and it can only consider separately posted entries.


I'm about to release the final volume of my FREE MEN and DREAMERS historical fiction series, "In God Is Our Trust." Author Braden Bell had this to day about it:

"In the final installment of this epic series, Lewis deftly blends the many strands she began earlier. This final book is a well-executed and engrossing tale. But it is also a powerful meditation on freedom and bondage, and the many ways in which we can lose freedom and become enslaved. Through the eyes of her characters, the reader comes to appreciate the blessings of liberty and more fully grasp the responsibilities that come to those who are free. Elegantly connecting the dots between our three great responsibilities, God, Family, and Country, Lewis leaves the reader with a visceral appreciation of those who have gone on before and a commitment to stand more firmly in the moment that is now ours. A week after staying up all night to finish it, the characters and themes of this masterpiece haunt my mind and heart."

To celebrate the launch I'm giving away a 3-book prize package including:

1. An autographed copy of any of my books, (The winner can choose one from any of my seven titles at,

2. One other new novel of my choice, and

3. One gently-read novel I've enjoyed this year.

This prize is open to entrants from the U.S. and Canada. Here's how you enter:

You must be a follower or become a follower of this blog through GFC or by email. (Click on the box on the side).

For a second entry, please visit my new website and watch the banner change. Leave a comment below and tell me what you think about the new look! And be honest. I've got a great web guy who will tweak it to please.

For a third entry, please copy and post the following link/announcement on Facebook, Twitter, or on your blog. Report back and tell me where you posted it.

"Preview FREE MEN and DREAMERS, volume 5, "In God Is Our Trust!"

Friend me on Facebook at

Friend me on Twitter at!/laurielclewis

Now enjoy all the other stops on the hop!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

PROGRESS? 1957 vs. 2011

A friend sent this the other day. Yeah, yeah, it's a different time. People pull stunts we never could have dreamed of fifty years ago. . . But have we possibly shifted a little too far from reasonability? Read on:

HIGH SCHOOL -- 1957 vs. 2010

Scenario 1:
Jack goes duck hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck's gun rack.
1957 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2010 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2:
Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.
1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2010 - Police called and SWAT team arrives -- they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it .

Scenario 3:
Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students.
1957 - Jeffrey sent to the Principal's office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2010 - Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The family gets extra money (SSI) from the government because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4:
Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
2010 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse , Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario 5:
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1957 - Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock .
2010 - The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6:
Pedro fails high school English.
1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.
2010 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario 7:
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.
1957 - Ants die.
2010- ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents - and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny's dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 8:
Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee . He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1957 In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2010 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

What do you think?

Thursday, October 20, 2011


After eight years, we come to the conclusion of this generation's story. I love the cover because it says everything I wanted the book to convey--that though America experienced trial, tumult, and testing, this as-yet untamed land had divine eyes upon her.

I'm pleased to say this volume is everything I hoped it would be. It's the story I wanted to tell, and when voices began pulling me one way, I felt the Spirit pull me back to this place. This is where we were supposed to be at the end. I know that, and I feel great about In God Is Our Trust.

The super-women of Walnut Springs delivered this baby! Amy Orton, designer extraordinaire, created this cover from a few ideas I tossed at her. Linda Mullineaux went to bat for me and squeezed a few extra pages I needed from the publisher to more fully flesh out a few scenes, and together we plowed through the edit. She took a rough manuscript and smoothed the bumps out.

I have a good friend, Michelle Mebius, who has a real gift. She's a visual reader--creating pictures from words in a way that helps her "see" a book like few can. She also reads word-for-word and finds tiny errors my mind leaps over. Michelle read this manuscript three times, picking up things I kept missing, challenging timelines and holding my feet to the fire on the details while I was trying to get the prose just right.

Other friends also read the manuscript, adding details, correcting details, making comments that led to many changes. (I listen to all my beta-readers, because they are smart!)

Keeping details straight from five volumes over a twenty-year span, with a cast of a hundred or so characters is a challenge. I couldn't have done it without all these great people.

In God Is Our Trust is already making a big splash. Many readers have been waiting for the series to end to dive in, not wanting to wait between volumes. Jump in! It's done!

To long, faithful readers who have endured the lapse between volumes and who still want more, there may be two more volumes in the future, probably in ebook format, but for now, I hope you enjoy this story.

To my audio fans, we found another possible option for audio books and we're pursuing that now. I hope, hope, hope this pans out. We'll know soon.

Please visit my web site at www.laurielclewis for news, contests, signing schedules, reviews, and who knows what else.

Thanks so much for all the great support!


Monday, October 10, 2011


We'll soon reveal the cover for "In God Is Our Trust." I've seen the mock-ups and the finished product will capture the mood and theme I hoped for--of a still untamed America under the divine influence of God. I think this is my favorite volume. It's tender and real, and it includes some stirring scenes from America's history. I see so many similarities between this time period and ours--between this generation and ours. I think you will too.

This volume follows our characters as they witness the changes and challenges experienced by post-war America. Here's a brief overview:

A battered but determined America exits the War of 1812 under the leadership of the last men tutored by the Founding Fathers. She is welcomed onto the world stage and begins an American Renaissance, but her citizens cry out for a new voice in Washington as a wave of new leaders prepare to thrust a progressive platform on the nation.

Her trials have prepared a choice American generation—the Pearsons’ generation—but as Jed labors to calm America’s political storms fierce trials cause a strain in the Pearson home, ensnaring Jed and Hannah in a crisis of faith.

The struggles plaguing the Pearsons affect Frannie and the Snowdens, as well as the six families with whom the Pearsons have become entangled during the war. As a new religious reformation dawns in America, the Pearsons become reacquainted with a young man from Hannah’s past—Joseph Smith—whose accounts of visions and dealings with angels test tender relationships, and the Constitution’s guarantees of religious liberty.

Books should be on store shelves by November 1, and in December I hit the road for signings in Maryland, Utah, and California. The exact dates and places will be posted on my web site at

Now, for the fun stuff...

I'll be hosting weekly drawings for an assortment of books and prizes pertaining to "IN GOD IS OUR TRUST" as we prep for the launch.

To kick things off, I'm giving away an autographed copy of the winner's choice of FREE MEN and DREAMERS volumes. Here's how you enter. Each entry must be posted separately. I'll handle the third for those who do item three.

1) You must either be a follower of this blog, or better yet--sign up to follow my email. Like Santa, I check these lists twice! Place a comment below letting me know how you follow and you're entered.

2) Visit my website. What do you think of the new look? You'll notice we're still under reconstruction, and since we haven't revealed the final cover "IN GOD IS OUR TRUST" is still missing, but do you like the layout? Hit the "Contact me" link, and email me with your comment, and you're entered again.

3) Now go to the "NEWS" page and tell me how many years I've been working on this series. Head to the "Contact Me" page and shoot me an email with that number in it, and I'll enter you for a third time. That's it!

Good luck! This promotion ends Friday the 21st, at midnight. I hope the preview glimpses make you excited to read IN GOD IS OUR TRUST!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


One lesson I've taken away from my historical research is this: we should judge people within the context of their own time. Columbus, the Founding Fathers, and other great innovators of the past are victims of the same curse--having a magnifying glass held up to their errors, their flaws, while blinders obscure their vast, world-defining accomplishments.

Columbus is in the cross-hairs of public opinion--a man even kindergartners are being taught to dislike and revile.
Take, for example, a recent headline for an article about Christopher Columbus: "Kids Study the Dark Side of Columbus. " Wow. It's a far cry from my grade school days when each classroom had a portrait of Washington, Lincoln and Columbus hanging right up front.

Few regard the vision behind these giants without measuring them against today's social sensitivities, in which case they fall short and are damned. Columbus's noble personal motivations for his voyage are all but lost these days. It's sadly true that like so many European explorers, Columbus's party unknowingly carried germs for which the indigenous peoples had no resistance, tragically spreading diseases that killed many. But in the court of current opinion on the Great Columbus, the explorer is treated as if he had come with full knowledge of what that first contact would bring, reducing his accomplishments to mere footnotes in our day.

They same is true of most innovators throughout history. If we hold these historical figures to today's morays, and judge their actions against today's wisdom and understanding, we will reduce most, if not all, of our historical giants to erred mortals at best, and in some cases, miscreants. And that's exactly what's happening today in classrooms and newsrooms across America.

Most bold actions have negative repercussions. Today we have the means to predict, study, and measure those outcomes before we make a move, and bad things can and do still occur. In 1492, Columbus's day, just pulling up anchor was a life-or-death proposition, and leaving your safe harbor was barely more than a coin toss as to whether or not you'd reach your destination. There was no NIH group to forewarn about the medical risks of mingling with indigenous peoples; no UN to set protocols for that first meeting of nations; yet today's textbooks paint Columbus as if he were a premeditated agent of medical and social genocide.

At this pace, there may be no future generations that will study this great explorer in a positive light--as a brave visionary who sided with scientists against the narrow-minded thinking of the general populace who argued the flat-earth belief; or as the explorer who connected east and west, setting the pace for the colonization of the Americas. Can we not mourn the casualties cut down by the ignorance of the times while still honoring those who pushed the envelope of knowledge that would eventually alleviate such suffering?

It appears not in today's finger-pointing. Today, the enlightened thing . . . the politically-correct thing to do is to tear away at our heroes, our founders, our giants. Instead of embracing the good, we scrutinize for flaws. Instead of celebrating the triumphs of the past, we attempt to incriminate them for the woes of today. And when they are all gone, what will we offer in their place?

Allow me to run counter to current culture and celebrate some fascinating information about Christopher Columbus--to again see him the way we once did when we were young, when names like the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria rolled off our tongues like magic words.

*Christopher Columbus was an anglicized version of his Genoan name, Christoffa Corumbo. In Spanish, his name as Cristobal Columbo.

* He was a missionary and a visionary man, literally, who believed he had received a call from God through the Holy Spirit to bring witness of the Christ to those who had not yet heard of Him. This was the underlying motivation for his exploration--to spread the Gospel of Christ.

* His 'Libro de las profecias', was a book of apocalyptic prophecies he experienced and recorded. Many of them detailed some of the circumstances that would need to occur on the earth before the Second Coming of Christ. They included: 1) The doctrines of Christ would need to be spread throughout the world 2. A final, great battle would reclaim the Holy Land from the Muslims. 3) Christ will return to Jerusalem, 4) A great leader will rise and come to the forefront. And many others.

* The impact of his contact with the native peoples of Hispaniola was so significant that periods of historical time bear his name--the Columbian period, the pre-Columbian period. . .

* A major world capital was named after him to celebrate the 300th anniversary of his voyage to the Americas--The District of Columbia.

So happy Columbus Day! And may we pass the legacy on. . .

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I love discovering what motivated an author's decision to pick up that pen or strike that first keystroke to begin their first book. For Anna Del C. Dye, writing children's fantasies restores part of her own lost childhood, and hopefully enhances those of a growing generation. I'll let her explain in her own words.

Anna Del C. Dye:
My life started on a September spring morning in South America. I was born exactly fifteen minutes after my non-identical twin sister. Life was happy enough for my siblings and I until one day, right before my sixth birthday, my mother left in an ambulance and never came back home. I grew up with my four siblings and my father who never re-married. He has been a hard man to please and love, for as long as I can remember.

I graduated from high school and became a professional seamstress. I love to sew and it was obvious that I had a knack for needles and patterns. I had learned how to create and alter patterns, how to do beadwork and tailoring. This has given me the opportunity to help with the cast of four theater productions and I love every second of it.

Though reading was not very tolerated in my home, my father would bring home some books and we devoured them. In them, we were introduced to imaginary places that no one could take away from us.

At nineteen I met my husband a native from Idaho. He brought me to the States and introduced me to his large family. Every one of them accepted me, and soon his mother took me under her wing. I did not speak any English then and life was interesting at times, especially trying to plan a wedding in a tradition that was unknown to me. Still everything was perfect. Well… as perfect as it could be with two weeks to have it all done.

About a year later our first son was born. Right before he turned one, we returned to my country where our second son and our only daughter were born. We returned to the U.S. when it was time for our oldest son to start pre-kinder. It was at this time that I fully learned English and how to drive, because the kids needed to get to school. My husband went back to the University full-time and graduated two and a half years later, in accounting.

It was about this time that Hardy boys and Nancy Drew become my favorite books and I built my own collection. It helped me greatly with my English and the love for books. I had always had a good imagination and my husband has asked many times to write books for children, but I did not felt secure enough and put it off.

We soon bought our home and started to do foster care. We wanted to adopt more children. One day, a little boy came to our lives and we loved him so.

I write fantasy because life is too real and serious already. Our imagination is the limit and living the life of one of the characters in a book, is a great therapy. It usually motivates us to try things that we may not do other wise. To have the guts to stand up to what is right and to make wise choices in our own real lives. Most of all… that this is a great way to teach a mass of young adults in a fun way that we do have choices in our lives, no matter where we start. We can be born in the humblest of circumstances and rise above all. No one can take away from us our minds, our imagination, our integrity, nor our resilience. Is when we give up, that we tell other that they can live our lives for us. For as long as it is a book to be read and something to be learn, no one can stop us from doing so. The moon is the limit and all we have to do is to learn how to touch it. It will not come to us, so we must learn how to go to it.

Years ago my second son had introduced me to the world of Tolkien. It took me a while to get the hang of it because it was a different English than what I was accustomed to. But, soon, I was hooked and loved it. Then, “The Lord of the Rings” movies came out and I was taken to the world I had envisioned in my mind. They left me hungry for more. What happen to Legolas, to Gimly? when they went home. What of their families? Their kingdoms? I was so taken with their world that I wanted answers Tolkien could not given to me, so… I started to created lives for them and found very real people. That is how The Elf and the princess was born, to answer my question and to have them live new adventures through the pages of my books.

How is Emerine’s Nightmare different from your other published books?

It has a boy protagonist and the theme is darker than I am accustomed to.
Since all know me as the sweet young adult author who writes Elf series and Princess Romances, this Halloween-y tale really breaks the mold.

It is about an 11-year-old boy who is a genius and his parents don’t know it. He is so bored with the pretence of his normal life that he decides to have an alternate life. His genius helps him create an almost human robot and the two of them travel the galaxies investigating crime.

But what about your Elf series?

No. My elf series is too close to my heart and, like I have said before, there are 7 books in that series. The next stand-alone book, the fifth in that series, is called “The Royal Elf of Abalon.”

When will we see it on the market?

It is in the editing process right now and will come out about April of next year. It is so fun to write that I can’t help it. And I do appreciate your time and that of your readers.

My pleasure, Anna. Where can readers find Emerine’s Nightmare?

You can find Emerine’s Nightmare in the following electronic formats:

Barnes and Nobles
The Kindle and Nook are only $3.99
and the e-book $2.00.
The first two are available at the normal sites, the e-book from my website. Enjoy.
…And to you, Happiness forever!!!