Category Archives: Reviews and Critiques

Goodreads, Give-Aways and Groveling

GTG bookA few weeks ago, Zion BookWorks released my new novel for middle readers Get that Gold!, book one in the Adventures of the Restoration series. I’m very excited to make LDS families aware that this book is out and the series, underway. My books (both Get that Gold! and Island of the Stone Boy) are up on Goodreads and I’m running a give-away of Get that Gold! through December 11th, 2013.   Continue reading


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Filed under Getting Published, Me and Mine, MoLit Community, Mormon Literature, Name Dropping, Reviews and Critiques

Series v. Serial and Why I’m Weary

HP boxed setOver the last few days I consumed David Farland’s engaging Nightingale, a YA tale of the SFF persuasion. When it comes to leisure reading, I’m much more likely to pick up SFF if it’s a YA novel because I like to read what my kids like to read. To be completely forthcoming, Continue reading


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Review: The Roots of the Olive Tree

The Roots of the Olive Tree, by Courtney Miller Santo, introduces readers to five generations of remarkable, complex women, each with secrets and desires which cause them to alternately rub one other the wrong way, hold one another’s hand, and have one another’s back. The matriarch of the family, Anna, is a 112 year old supercentarian who oversees the family olive farm. Over the decades, her wisdom has sharpened rather than weathered, and she remains as spry in body as in mind. Continue reading

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Part Review of Angel Falling Softly, Part Discussion of Sentimentality

The best part of last week’s vacation to Beaver’s Bend State Park in Oklahoma was the reading. While my husband and 10 year old spent the blistering days trout fishing, my daughter, home briefly from college, and I hung out in our very well air-conditioned cabin and read. I finished my every-so-often reread of Shirley Jackson‘s Haunting of Hill House and read all of Eugene Woodbury’s Angels Falling Softly, published by Zarahemla Books. Continue reading


Filed under Discussions for Writers, MoLit, Name Dropping, Reviews and Critiques

Facing the Mirror: Review of The Year My Son and I Were Born

This review of Mormon writer Kathryn Lynard Soper’s memoir, The Year My Son and I Were Born: A Story of Down Syndrome, Motherhood, and Self-Discovery, was originally published in the March 2010 issue of Sunstone under the title “Not Your Mother’s Book on Mothering.”  The editor decided to run two of my reviews under one title and opted for one that, I felt, did not suit the review of this memoir as well as it did the other review. No complaints. Only an explanation. I revive my original title here because I prefer it. The book is available as a hardcover, paperback or Kindle edition on

I INHALED KATHRYN LYNARD SOPER’S MEMOIR, The Year My Son and I Were Born. Continue reading

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Discussion for Writers: Show v. Tell on the Molecular Level

Today I boost the ego of wannabe writers everywhere by demonstrating that nobody, not even David Farland, is perfect. Let the Nit Pick begin!

David Farland is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author who has penned nearly fifty science fiction and fantasy novels for both adults and children. Along the way, he has also worked as the head judge for one of the world’s largest writing contests, as a creative writing instructor, as a videogame designer, as a screenwriter, and as a movie producer.

I knew David Farland as Dave Wolverton back when we took writing classes together Continue reading


Filed under Discussions for Writers, Getting Published, Name Dropping, Reviews and Critiques

Review: David Farland’s _In the Company of Angels_

This review was originally written for and published on the AML-list (Association for Mormon Letters), dated July 14, 2001. Subsequent list discussion follows review.

In the Company of Angels by David Farland is a
moving story, told through the eyes of three historical characters: James Willie, the handcart company’s captain, Eliza Gadd, the agnostic wife of a faithful British convert and a mother with several children, and Baline Mortensen, a Danish child, sent ahead to America by parents who feared persecutors in Denmark might target her. The storyline is familiar: Continue reading

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