Unearthly by Cynthia Hand- A Review and Wow! another Contest

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand-review underneath the two announcements

If you haven't entered all the awesome contests from Monday's blog hop. You have until Midnight tonight. Go win!  Prizes

So, my cute friend Christine Bryant told me about a Cover Contest. Hop on over and vote for your favorites. You get to vote three times. I love to see the amazing creativity!

Or you can come to the Bountiful Costco this Thursday 11-5
or Saturday 12-5 and I'll sign a copy for you

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Clara's perfect life turns upside down when she starts seeing visions. She recently found out that she is a quarter angel and will need to fulfill her "purpose". The visions are meant to guide her to that "purpose."  The visions are full of terror as a wildfire burns bright, but also full of hope for the incredibly good looking boy she feels she is to save.

As she slowly learns about her angelic nature and how to harness her newfound powers, she also discovers there are dark angels that she must avoid at all costs. She also must live her teenage life and finds one distraction after another that seems to keep her from her destiny. She must decide to fulfill her purpose or deny it.

I LOVED this book. I listened to it and was riveted by the characters and the storyline. It is a cleverly written paranormal romance, gentle and unassuming. Go get this book.

Lemon Bars and Prizes. Lots of Prizes

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 Double Deceit by Stephanie Humphreys

To enter:

1. Become a follower of my blog.

2. Like my Fan page for Watched

3. Leave me a comment and tell me that you've done both things. If your e-mail 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
23. Christine Bryant @ Day Dreamer
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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Story Engineering by Larry Brooks-The First Plot Point

Writing-the craft by Cindy

I can't believe it's already Friday. School starts Monday. I so don't want to see my two cute daughters go out that door Monday morning.... As you can see, I was supposed to post this last Friday. Duh!

Larry says the first plot point is the most important moment in your story.

Some guidelines
  • It can't come too early or it becomes an inciting incident
  • It must define the hero's need and quest going forward
  • It is the bridge between parts 1 and 2
  • It shifts the story from setup mode to response mode
  • It is dependant on location and context shift
He emphasizes the power of the first plot point
  • The story begins with it
  • It is the call for the hero to do something he wasn't doing before
  • It defines the hero's journey and goal for the remainder of the story
  • It makes things more real and meaningful, thus forcing the hero to go after it.
But, something stands in the hero's way-inner or outer demons-that keep him from his goal

He describes the nature of the first plot point
  • It can be huge or simple, but it must change everything
  • It gives the hero a new quest or need
  • The reader must empathize with hero
A summary of the first plot point
  • What the hero thought was true may not be
  • The stakes for the hero are on the table now
  • It begins the hero's new quest in pursuit of this need.
  • It hooks the reader
Some questions for you:

What is your first plot point?

Is it in the right place?

Does it define and shift the need and quest of the hero?

Does it create and clarify the stakes?

Does it imply consequences?

Is there sudden risk and opposition that wasn't there moments before?

Happy first plot point analyzing!

One First-Class Gala

Tidbits From My Travels by William

Several years ago, my wife and I attended the most amazing party in Anaheim, California.  It was a gala, a huge costume party. 

Held in the Anaheim Convention Center, it provided plenty of room for 4 different bands.  Each band played different types of music—everyone could find their type of music.

Huge tables lined with awesome food were scattered all throughout the convention center.  The open bars made it easy for many to have too much to drink.

I gorged myself on some choice eats, mingled with some new friends and sweated at least a liter of fluids from dancing the night away.

It was a night I’ll never forget.  Those people really knew how to throw a party.

My only regret is I didn't bring a camera.

Double Deceit by Stephanie Humphreys - a Review

What I'm reading by Cindy   Double Deceit

Double Deceit
After being away many years, Elaina Bryant returns home, hoping to claim a new, happy, and uneventful life. Little does she know her job at a bookstore comes with a handsome boss and the connection between them is undeniable.

Unfortunately, someone is watching and doesn't want her to find happiness. Her tormentor's skilled attacks make her question her own sanity, playing on the guilt and grief of a past she'd hoped to leave behind.

With her new life looking bleaker and bleaker each day, will she be able to overcome her past and protect her friends and family while searching for answers?

Hold onto your seat and get ready for a wild, unpredictable ride with Double Deceit. Stephanie was able to weave a tale that keeps you guessing right up to the end.  It was fun to see the suspense build, leaving me guessing.
Her characters are lovable and you will root for them. Ryan, the boss, is one great love interest.
I liked watching Elaina overcome her fears and find strength to act. I felt for her and wanted to help her.

This is a clean romantic mystery.
Learn more about Stephanie here.

Caramel Oatmeal Bars

Caramel oatmeal bars
What you’ll need
·        Stand mixer with large bowl
·        One small bowl
·        Spatula
·        Bar pan
·        Parchment paper
·        Cooking spray
·        Oven preheated to 350
·        Ingredients
o   2 cups flour
o   2 cups oats
o   1 ½ c. brown sugar
o   1 tsp. baking soda
o   1 c. butter-soft
o   1 ¼ c. caramel topping
o   1 c. chopped pecans if desired
1.   Combine flour, oats, brown sugar and baking soda in large bowl
2.   Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender until you get coarse crumbs
3.   Take 2 cups out and put in small bowl and set aside
4.   Spray bar pan with spray and then line with parchment
5.   Press the rest of the mixture into the bottom of bar pan
6.   Bake 10 minutes
7.   Spoon caramel topping over crust.  Spread to edges
8.   Add pecans to set aside crumb mixture
9.   Sprinkle over caramel topping
10.        Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown and bubbly

Cool on wire rack and then cut and enjoy

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua -A Review

What I'm reading now-
The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Ever wondered what it was like to be a Chinese mother? Have you ever wondered just what makes them tick and how they could "treat their children that way"? Read this book and you will know.
This book made me laugh out loud and also made me shudder.
Not only did this book help me jump into the mind of a Chinese mother, it made me look at my own parenting, customs and ideals with new eyes.

So, jump into Amy's mind and discover why her daughters were never allowed to:

• have a play date
• be in a school play
• complain about not being in a school play
• not be the #1 student in every subject except gym and drama
• play any instrument other than the piano or violin
• not play the piano or violin
You just might start to agree with some of her crazy, overboard tactics to produce amazing children.

Love, love, love it! Entertaining and insightful

I had ended this post here, but thanks to my good friend at Small Town Shelly Brown's comment, I thought I'd better give a bit of a summary. I was afraid to do so, simply because I can't do it justice. Reading my summary is not going to make you want to read it, but what I wrote above will. So, read this little summary and then make sure you pick it up. It only took me a couple hours to read and I'm a more tolerant person for doing it.

The Battle Hymn of the the Tiger Mother is a memoir of Amy Chua and her two daughters. After raising her first daughter, Sophia, as only a Chinese mother could ,without so much as a hiccup in protest, Amy is thrown for a loop when her second daughter, Lulu, refuses to be molded in the same way.

Headstrong and determined to be who she wants to be and not who her mother wants her to be, Lulu gives her mom fits and makes her re-evaluate her Chinese parenting style.

Really, all Amy wanted was to do what was best for both her children and couldn't understand how Lulu could be so resistant. Lulu wanted to be an individual and do what she loved, not what her mom expected of her. Of course, what her mom expected of her is what her mother felt would give Lulu the best future possible.
Amy has produced a commentary on Western vs. Eastern styles of parenting in a riveting, I simply can't put it down style.
I feel my eyes have been opened into a culture I've never quite been able to understand. It will make you crazy and it will give you validation...hopefully, it will make you think.

So, there you have it, my horrible attempt at summarizing a book that is hard to summarize.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Hearty Lasagne

The Eats by Cindy

Thanks to everyone who came to Tristi's launch in Orem on Saturday. We had a blast! Keith's cobbler was to die for. The face painting was amazing and we all got sick on taffy. Great day!

½ lb ground beef-Meat lover? Add 1 lb.
¾ c. chopped onions
2 cloves garlic minced
16 oz of tomatoes (Italian style ok)
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste or 1 (15 oz.) can of tomato sauce
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
½ tsp pepper
1 bay leaf or 2 shakes
¼ tsp red flaked pepper
1 Tbs. sugar
12 lasagne noodles
½ c. parmesan cheese
1 small carton of cottage cheese
½ lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
½ lb. cheddar cheese, grated
3 eggs beaten

  1. Start water boiling for noodles in large pot. 
  2. In large sauté pan, cook ground beef until almost no pink can be seen.  Add onions and garlic.  Saute until all pink is gone from meat. 
  3. Add tomatoes and tomato paste/sauce, salt, pepper and other herbs.  Stir in sugar. 
  4. Simmer on med. for 30 min. 
  5. Add noodles to boiling water, following directions on package. 
  6. In a small bowl combine eggs, parmesan cheese and cottage cheese. 
  7. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.  Line with aluminum foil and spray again.(this makes clean up a breeze)
  8. Turn your oven on to 350 degrees
  9. Spoon a small amount of sauce on bottom of pan. 
  10. Next, layer noodles, cottage cheese mixture, and grated cheeses.  Cover with sauce and repeat layers ending with grated cheeses on top. 
  11. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. 
  12. Let stand 10-15 minutes before cutting. Serve with garlic toast or bread and your favorite veggies

It's a Party in Orem Today!

Everyone kept asking and today's the day!

I'll be in Utah County today from 12-4 for a huge signing event and party...actually, it's a huge hoe-down to help Tristi Pinkston launch her new book!

Games, prizes, free dutch oven cooking, candy, and even face-painting.

And don't forget the main attraction!  5 awesome authors to tickle your reading itch.

Come on down to 858 S. State, Orem and have a good 'ole time.

I can't wait to see you all.

Story Engineering by Larry Brooks-Foreshadowing

Writing-the craft by Cindy

I love it when a story foreshadows well. What does Larry Brooks say about Foreshadowing?

Definition:  anything that links to, or reveals a glimpse or hint of a forthcoming story point or issue of characterization, but that is not yet recognized by the reader as a salient story point itself at the moment of its revelation.


There are two types
  1. Obvious-attach emotion to it and it will be noticed.
Example: a woman is described as hot and later seduces the main character
  1. Subtle-allow it to pass without much notice-
Example: a not so hot woman talks to the main character's good friend. The main character does not think about her other than knowing she's a friend of his friend. Later, the main character discovers she was really casing him out.

Foreshadowing is hinting. It is a promise that may or may not be kept.

Foreshadowing can be the dropping of a clue, but it doesn't have to be.

Where and when to foreshadow?
  1. He argues that part one could be almost all foreshadowing
  2. Never in part 4
Larry suggests you start looking for and identifying foreshadowing in the books you read. He says this is the best way to be proficient at foreshadowing.

Check part one of your story...is it full of foreshadowing? Do you use both subtle and obvious foreshadowing?

Happy foreshadowing!

So Good Y'ull Slap Yo' Mama

Tidbits from My Travels by William

Memphis is known for its barbeque.  There are tons of places around town to get good barbeque.  Some people have their favorite places.  I have mine.

One of my favorites is The Commissary in Germantown, TN (just outside Memphis).  I recently went there with some friends who had never been there before.  Unfortunately for us, we chose an extremely busy night of the week.  However, we were able to get in without too long of a wait.

Like other popular eating establishments I’ve been to, there are framed, autographed pictures of many celebrities hanging on the wall…from Tim McGraw to Brett Favre to Kathy Bates.

Their motto is “So Good Y’ull Slap Yo’ Mama.”  And if you ever forget it, they gladly let you keep your cup with the motto on it…to remind you how good it was.

The food is always good at The Commissary.  Unfortunately, this time, the food was much better than the service…probably because we were packed in like sardines and the poor waitresses were overloaded.  This won’t discourage me from going again and being tempted to slap my mama.

If you have any suggestions of fabulous eating places that I should visit, please leave me a comment and tell me.

Key of Kilenya by Andrea A Review

What I'm Reading by Cindy

Cover for 'The Key of Kilenya'

The Key of Kilenya by Andrea Pearson

Jacob Clark is minding his own business when several wolves chase him to a door that leads to a new world . Not only does he discover he has stumbled upon a different and amazing world, he finds out he is an important part of this world. He must help them find the lost key of Kilenya. Some interesting creatures help him on his way, while others make every attempt to stop him. They don't want him to succeed-they want his power. (Power even he doesn't know he has.) Will he be able to help this new world overcome the evil that threatens to destroy it?

The Key of Kilenya is packed full of interesting and unique characters. It is an adventure filled ride that is perfect for middle-graders who love action and science fiction. Come enjoy the new, mysterious world Andrea has created and you may never want to leave it.

Pick it up if you dare...
Ebook- wow!! only .99 cents? No way!

Find out more about Andrea. Go to her blog. You'll just love her.  There is even a fun video clip about her. Andrea's blog

Want more reviews? Just click below.
Aug. 12th Review-oh my...you have to wait for this one...but only until Fri.
Aug. 8th Review -go here now.

Happy Reading!

Beautiful Blondie Bars and a Book Bash

The Eats by Cindy

Hey ya'll! Just a huge reminder of the fun August Authorama in Orem this Saturday 1-4 pm. 5 amazing authors will be there to sign books and you can grab yourself some amazing FREE dutch oven lunch, ballons, face painting, candy and giveaways....YOU'LL WANT TO GET THERE EARLY-it's only free until it's gone. Bring the whole family for a fun time. See ya'll there!

August Authorama!
Saturday, August 13th
Pioneer Book, 858 S. State, Orem
12 – 4 pm
Games, prizes, balloons, face painting,
and Dutch oven cobbler
prepared by world champion cook
will all be there to sign books.

Blondie Bars
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream 1/2c. soft butter, 3/4 C. sugar, and 3/4 brown sugar until light and fluffy in a large mixing bowl
  3. Add 2 eggs one at a time.
  4. Add 1 tsp vanilla. Mix well
  5. Combine 1 1/2 c. flour, 1 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt together
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined
  7. Stir in 1 1/2 c. vanilla or white chips
  8. Stir in 3/4 c. of your favorite chopped nuts if desired.
  9. Grease a 13 X 9 inch pan with spray and then line with parchment paper so that the paper comes up the sides on two sides at least.
  10. Spoon dough into pan and spread evenly
  11. Bake for 25-30 min or until top cracks and is golden brown
  12. Cool on wire rack
  13. Use parchment paper to remove from pan and cut into rectangles.

Do I know You?

Tidbits From My Travels by William

I'm sure it has happened to all of us at some point in our lives (at least I hope I'm not alone in this).

I'm standing, sitting somewhere, or maybe I'm in my car, and I see a person I don't know.  They act like they know me and they begin smiling and waving.  Quickly, my own brand of face recognition software kicks into gear and I come up blank.  The face is not in my memory bank.  But, somehow it seems like I know this person because they seem to know me.  All of this takes place in an instant.

I can't help at this point but to just play along.  First, a smile appears on my face.  Then comes the cautious wave.  Every now and then, I might actually start to say hi.  Then like an alarm going off, I get the feeling to look behind me.  Please no!  Tell me there isn't someone behind me they know.  But, there is!  The wave was meant for that someone, not me.  I was just the poor dude in the way.  Why do these people not move so I'm not in their path!?

For a moment, I'm overcome with embarrassment.  I usually try to get the heck out of there.  I seem to recover quicker if the two reunited friends don't have me there to look at and steal a laugh, that comes at my expense.

Tell me, please, hasn't this happened to you?

Story Engineering by Larry Brooks-Missions 1-5

Writing-the Craft
The Story Engineering Lesson is under this blog hop announcement.

The Blog Hop Continues! It's been fun getting to know some new friends the last several days. Come along to get yourself some freebies and some new friends hopping from blog to blog.

Oh shoot! I don't know how to get you all the links for the other blogs in this post. So, to go to the other blogs just click here and scan to the end for all the fun blogs and hop away.

I'll be with the hop the whole week, but all my posts will be below the hop info. Today's Post is about the 5 missions that must be fulfilled before your first plot point.

Easy Entry
1. Just follow this blog and you're in the money...or should I say books?
2. like my facebook page
3. Extra entry for following my Watched blog
You need to comment and let me know you did these things to enter. Good Luck

What's the prize?    Double Deceit by Stephanie Humphreys

Double Deceitand an ebook of Watched by.....Me

Writing the Craft!
Is it Friday already? Man, this week has sailed by. School in two weeks? Yuck! Can't I just keep my kids at home? They are so fun....

Anyway, let's talk about the 5 missions you need to fulfill before the first plot point to make your book a success according to Larry Brooks.

  1. Setting a killer hook. The hook is something that grabs the reader very early in the read and makes them want to stick around--not to be confused with the 1st plot point.   It asks a question the reader must yearn to answer, like an itch that must be scratched. It should be in the 1st to 4th scene.
  2. Introduction of the hero.  This must happen long before the first plot point in the first two scenes. The reader should see and hear what this character is doing so they will see what is at stake when his world shifts at the first plot point. The reader needs to empathize and also see something about themselves in that character. Give a sense of the inner demons of the hero here.
  3. Establishing the stakes. What does the hero have at stake? The more stakes=more tension
  4. Foreshadowing events to come.  The reader should sense impending change. The first plot point identifies some opposition to the attainment of a goal and the reader needs to feel it coming.
  5. Preparing for the launch.  This is where the sense of foreboding accelerates to a point where everything changes
All five missions drive the reader to the conclusion of part 1 of your story....The 1st plot point.
Thanks Larry for keeping us on track!

Check out your WIP. Have you fulfilled these 5 missions? I think he's onto something here.

Happy engineering!

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater-A Review

  My Review of Forever is under this blog hop announcement.

The Blog Hop Continues! It's been fun getting to know some new friends the last two days. Come along to get yourself some freebies and some new friends hopping from blog to blog.

Oh shoot! I don't know how to get you all the links for the other blogs in this post. So, to go to the other blogs just click here and scan to the end for all the fun blogs and hop away.

I'll be with the hop the whole week, but all my posts will be below the hop info. Today's Book Review is Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Easy Entry
1. Just follow this blog and you're in the money...or should I say books?
2. like my facebook page
3. Extra entry for following my Watched blog
You need to comment and let me know you did these things to enter. Good Luck

What's the prize?    Double Deceit by Stephanie Humphreys

Double Deceitand an ebook of Watched by.....Me

ForeverWhat I'm Reading Now by Cindy 

Okay, as you know, I had a rocky start with Maggie's first book, Shiver and wasn't sure if I'd read the next two in the trilogy. Thanks to my good friend Erin, who owned, Linger, I read it and was pleasantly surprised.
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

So, I purchased Forever as an audio book on Audible.com. While I love reading books, there are times that it simply isn't practical...like when you're weeding the garden, baking or driving.

I really liked the voices in this reading and felt they fit the characters.

Forever is first and foremost a love story that poses as a suspense/adventure story. Sam is human and Grace is now a wolf. They long for each other but are unable to be together because Grace's instincts as a wolf are too strong. It is Spring and change is in the air. Soon, Sam will have Grace back because warm weather makes her change back into a human.

Just when things seem like they will be better, a man who lost his son to the wolves threatens to destroy them. Sam, Grace and Cole set out on a race to find a cure or at least a solution before his plans come together.

Frought with twists and turns and heartache, Forever is sure to please those of us who love a quick, fun, interesting and witty read.

One caution, there are references to teen sex and some violent, graphic scenes.

Happy reading

Never Fail Pork Chops and blog hop fun

HA!! A Blog Hop.

How Fun. Go get yourself some freebies and some new friends hopping from blog to blog.

I'll be with the hop the whole week, but all my posts will be below the hop info. Today's recipe is
             perfect, never-fail pork chops

Easy Entry
1. Just follow me and you're in the money...or should I say books?
2. like my facebook page
3. Extra entry for following my Watched blog
You need to comment and let me know you did these things to enter. Good Luck

What's the prize?    Double Deceit by Stephanie Humphreys

Double Deceitand an ebook of Watched by.....Me

Awesome, never fail porkchop recipe
  1. Turn Broiler on to high
  2. Sprinkle bone-in pork chops with Adolphs and jab with a fork over and over
  3. Sprinkle with garlic salt
  4. Sprinkle with pepper
  5. Line broiler pan with aluminum foil or just use the foil and bend up the edges to catch any juices
  6. Place pork chops on pan or on foil in the oven on the top rack.
  7. Set the timer for 4 mins. (You may need to wedge a wooden spoon in you door to keep it open just a touch. If the oven gets too hot it shuts off)
  8. Turn the pork chops over when the timer dings and re-set it for 3 minutes.
  9. Pull the pork chops out and let them sit 10 mins. before you serve them.
Make mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans to complete the meal.