Posts Categorized: deseret book

A Death in the Family by Marlene Bateman Blog Tour & Giveaway

13 Mar, 2014 by in blog tour, deseret book 4 comments

Published by Deseret Book unnamed

unnamed (1)Fire and Ice is today’s stop on the official blog tour for A Death in the Family by Marlene Bateman


In her debut mystery, Motive for Murder, gutsy private investigator Erica Coleman proved that when it comes to sleuthing, she takes the cake. Now, the fast-talking, food-loving heroine is back, and she s sure her next assignment will be as easy as pie. . . .Erica and her family happily anticipate Grandma Blanche’s eighty-first birthday celebration in the picturesque town of Florence, Oregon. But when the feisty matriarch, a savvy businesswoman, enlists Erica’s help in an investigation of her company, things quickly get sticky. Before the investigation can begin, Blanche’s unexpected death leaves Erica with more questions than answers and it soon becomes clear that Grandma’s passing was anything but natural: she was murdered. When Aunt Martha, Blanche s reclusive sister, becomes the next victim of someone with a taste for homicide, Erica uses her flair for cooking to butter up local law enforcement and gather clues. As she narrowly escapes becoming the third victim, Erica is more determined than ever to solve the case before she bites off more than she can chew.

Amazon* Seagull Book *Deseret Book


Author Interview

Why we need books and libraries.

I like this quote from Laura Bush; “I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card.” I still remember the first time I walked into the Church History Library in downtown Salt Lake City—I was awed. I felt such a welling up of joy that was indescribable. I wished I had my sleeping bag and a cooler of food because I wanted to stay there at least a week, breathing in that peculiar air that comes from aged books. Libraries are an essential part of civilization. People use words to navigate through our world and it is with communication that we link ourselves with others. People who cannot use words to speak and communicate and understand cannot exchange ideas and cannot communicate. Books can teach us these things. A library is a place that is a repository of information and the wonderful thing is that every person has equal access to it. It’s a community space. A haven from the world! Yay!

Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email. We need to read andwrite and comprehend what we are reading. I think it’s so important to raise literate children and the easiest way to do this is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. Read to them when they are young and as they grow, take them to the library and help them find books that they enjoy. I loved doing this when my seven children were little. Libraries give them access to life-changing and life-shaping books. I say hurray for libraries and God bless them, everyone!

What conferences classes or books do you recommended for aspiring authors?

Each year there is an amazing writer’s conference held in either April or May; The LDStorymakers conference! It is so great. They have a tremendous variety of classes and you can pick classes from how to build a website, to getting that first chapter right, to characters, to plotting, and everything you want to know about writing. You can also meet with publishers, established authors and learn so much! I love it. Each year, the conference gets better and better and this year will be held in Farmington, Utah, and has Brandon Sanderson as a speaker. You’ll find a lot of great classes that will help you on your writing path. Everyone is so helpful and encouraging.

Favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Oh dear, can I admit I don’t buy Girl Scout cookies? Nobody ever comes to my house, but sometimes my husband brings them home from work. It’s been a few years and now I can’t remember what they’re called, but I like the ones with coconut and chocolate. I love Pecan Sandies from the store, too.

Ebooks or print and why?

In reading eBooks I miss gazing at a book cover. I love seeing the covers. When you slap the book shut at the end of a spell of reading, there’s that cover again, reminding you to come back soon! I also miss touching the pages to how far I’ve got to go. Yes, I know. I can look at the numbers at the bottom of the Kindle and all that. But with a book, you just know. If I’m reading a mystery, it helps me set my mind: The author is going to wrap this up SOON (or not). If it’s a novel, I know I’m going to have to tear myself away from beloved characters soon enough.

Printed books and eBooks both have their place, and it’s certainly handy taking my e-reader when I travel, but I doubt I’ll ever stop buying and reading printed books.I’d still rather read a book in print. It’s simply a more pleasurable experience. Shutting off a kindle doesn’t have quite the same satisfying feeling as closing a book.

Any events or signings coming up?

I will be signing at Seagull book in Salt Lake City two weeks before LDS general conference. It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but I think I’ll be at the store on Redwood Road and 5700 South. Also, I’ll be at a couple of Deseret Book on Ladies Night (and day!) and again the locations haven’t been announced.

What makes your mysteries standout from the crowd?

First, my books are ‘clean’ books, which means no swearing and no gratuitous sex or violence. Second, I like to keep the reader guessing. My novels are ‘whodunit’ mysteries that keep readers trying to figure out who the killer is. Many current TV shows focus on high tech prowess to solve the crime. I focus more on the psychological aspects—why this person did that, why that person didn’t do this. I try to delve into the killer’s psyche and show the psychological aspects that drive their behavior. I like to have a lot of fun and interesting characters. Third, I like to incorporate humor, because everyone likes to laugh now and then. Fourth, and last, I include plenty of intriguing plot twists and turns to keep readers turning the page. Each ending of every book has a surprising, final twist.

Any other books in the works?

I have two books that are awaiting publication. The first is Crooked House but my publisher always changes the titles so I don’t know what they will call it! Here is a short summary:

Someone is trying to kill Liz Johnson, and it is up to quirky private investigator, Erica Coleman, to find out who it is. With an authentic setting in Dover, Delaware and against a background of NASCAR racing, Erica works to stop the killer who has already survived two murder attempts. It’s up to Erica to pinpoint the killer before he can succeed. As always, ten delicious recipes are included.

My second book that is awaiting publication is called, A Home for Christmas. Here is a short summary; Kenzie has big plans—the only problem is she hasn’t told anyone about them. One of them is to buy the house she grew up in—the home her brother, Tom, recently put up for sale. When she arrives in Lake Forest for Christmas vacation, Kenzie is shocked to find that her brother has accepted an offer on the house she desperately wants to buy. Unwilling to give up her plans, Kenzie tries to wrest the house from the man who made the offer, a handsome widower named Jared Phillips. Although they find themselves attracted to each other, it’s impossible for Kenzie to even think about a relationship with the man who is taking away the house she desperately wants. Then, a surprising revelation works a Christmas miracle. As a special bonus, seven delicious cookie recipes are included.

I’m also working on another Erica Coleman mystery, called, Murder in the Black Hills. I’d also like to do a sequel to Gaze Into Heaven—Near Death Experiences in Early Church History, which came out last year.


Excerpt from A Death in the Family

“It’s hard to believe she’s gone,” Kristen said dolefully. “When I moved here, I thought I’d have years with Grandma. She was always so active—I thought she’d keep going for years.”

“And all the time, her heart was getting weaker,” Trent said glumly.

Walter commented, “The last time I saw her, Blanche said the doctor told her she had the constitution of a mule.”

There were a few smiles at this, but Martha’s brow furrowed in confusion. “But Mom’s death didn’t have anything to do with how healthy she was.”

“What are you talking about?” Trent’s impatient voice billowed out and filled the small room.

Martha squirmed but fluttered on, “Well, after what Mom said when she came to visit me, you know—about how something wrong was going on in the company—I worried
that something might happen.”

Her response reverberated around the room. Everyone went very still—as if they were holding their breath.

Martha’s eyes went from one to another. “I didn’t mean—oh, I shouldn’t have said anything,” she stammered. Her voice was pure distress. “It’s just that . . . well, we’re all family here, so it’s okay, isn’t it? I mean, no one else knows.”

“No one else knows what?” Trent said brusquely.

Visibly flustered, Martha’s hands twisted in her lap. “And . . . and Mother was very old and—and the police haven’t even come, have they?”

Erica wondered what Martha could be getting at. Everyone darted quizzical looks at each other, trying to make sense out of Martha’s confused chirruping.

After meeting blank looks all around, Martha blurted, “I mean, that’s good . . . isn’t it? For the family?”

The room remained deadly silent as Martha’s cheeks flamed red.

There was a rumble as Walter cleared his throat. “Why would the police come?”

“Why, to arrest someone.” Martha sounded surprised—as if he had asked something that was completely and absolutely self-evident. She stared at Walter, as if he and he alone could straighten everything out. “Isn’t that why they’re doing an autopsy? I mean, don’t they always do an autopsy when someone has been murdered?”

About the AuthorMarlene Bateman

Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they are the parents of seven children.

Her hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and has written a number of non-fiction books, including: Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, and Heroes of Faith. Her latest book is Gaze Into Heaven; Near Death Experiences in Early Church History, a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences from the lives of early latter-day Saints.

Marlene’s first novel was the best-selling Light on Fire Island. Her next novel was Motive for Murder, which is the first in a mystery series that features the quirky private eye with OCD, Erica Coleman.

Author website

The Giveaway

One physical copy of A Death in the Family. US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Power to Become by David A. Bednar~ Blog Tour and Review

11 Mar, 2014 by in adult, blog tour, deseret book 2 comments

I received this book for free from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Power to Become by David A. Bednar~ Blog Tour and Review

Power To Become

by David A. Bednar
Published by Deseret Book on March 3, 2014
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 208
Format: Hardcover
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
In Power to Become, Elder David A. Bednar explores how the Savior makes possible His divine commission, "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect" (3 Nephi 12:48).

Chapters in this thought-provoking book highlight the importance of the Atonement, the spiritual gift of personal peace, the importance of priesthood ordinances, and the responsibility we have to obey willingly and endure valiantly.

"As we increase in learning about the Savior and His gospel," Elder Bednar writes, "as we strive with ever greater consistency to act in His doctrine, ordinances, and covenants, then we are blessed with power through His Atonement to increasingly become like Him." Power to Become introduces vital tools we all can use to invite these eternally significant blessings into our lives.

David A. Bednar was on his elliptical, working out one day, looking at the gift his wife had given him on the wall (a framed copy of his first book cover) when the thought came into his mind that ” there were three books.”

He was not done writing with Increase in Learning–as originally planned– but was to create a trilogy of interactive, related gospel titles. And so began the journey of writing two more books.

Bednar chose a platform never before used at Deseret Book– interactive videos embedded within the ebook that allow readers to watch and learn as well as to read. Each print copy of the book comes with a DVD, and has scannable QR codes printed at the end of each chapter, so that the owner can view corresponding videos.

For me, personally, this experience of seeing Q& A sessions with the author and his wife really brought home what I was reading. I internalized things more concretely and felt I had a chance to learn lessons at an apostle’s knee. Both a short and long version of the video clips with couples, youth, women–and an interview with CEO Sheri Dew are available online at Seek by Deseret Book.

I’ve never before taken as much time as I did with Power to Become to absorb the words I was reading. The pages are printed with a wide margin around the edge for readers to take notes as they are reading. Writing exercises at the end of each chapter gave me a chance to record and apply.

I had many impressions come into my mind while being tutored by Elder Bednar. He is a man of action. He wants us to take the step of faith first, as Nephi “not knowing beforehand what we should do”, then wait for the path to become clear. Power to Become was a life- changing book for me. I learned through the stories and scriptures shared how I can one day stand before my Heavenly Father and be as He is. But I cannot do it alone. I need the help of the atonement.

With personal insights, commentary from multiple perspectives, and a wealth of available teaching materials, this series by Elder David A Bednar is amazing.

Dive in with your whole heart and use all three of his books as steps towards becoming who you are meant to be.


Favorite Quote

One of the greatest indicators of righteous character is the capacity to recognize and appropriately respond to other people who are experiencing the very challenge or adversity that is most immediately and forcefully pressing upon us. Character is revealed, for example, in the power to discern the suffering of other people when we ourselves are suffering; and the ability to detect the hunger of others when we are hungry; and in the power to reach out and extend compassion for the spiritual agony of others when we are in the midst of our own spiritual distress. Thus,character is demonstrated by looking,  turning, and reaching outward when the instinctive response of the “natural man” (Mosiah 3:19) is to turn inward and to be selfish and self absorbed.

Discussion Video

About the Authordavid-a-bednar-large

ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2004. Prior to his call, he had served as an Area Seventy, regional representative, stake president, and bishop. He served a mission to southern Germany and then attended Brigham Young University, where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He received a PhD in organizational behavior from Purdue University and was a professor of business management at Texas Tech University and the University of Arkansas. Elder Bednar served as the president of BYU-Idaho from 1997 to 2004. His previously published books include the bestsellers Increase in Learning and Act in Doctrine. He and his wife, Susan, are the parents of three sons.

Learn more at Deseret Book


Why I Don’t Hide My Freckles Anymore Blog Tour and Review

07 Mar, 2014 by in adult, body image, deseret book, lds Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Why I Don’t Hide My Freckles Anymore Blog Tour and Review

Why I Don't Hide My Freckles Anymore

by LaNae Valentine, Lisa Tensmeyer Hansen
Published by Deseret Book on December 1, 2013
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 160
Format: Paperback
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
The concept of beauty, and the definition of it, seem to always be caught between endless battles of opinion. If you were asked to define beauty, how would you describe it?

In this book, “Why I Don’t Hide My Freckles Anymore,” readers experience an understanding of beauty and their relationship with it in a clear, elevating way.

The essays in this uplifting compilation come in every shape and size, but each one reaches toward a similar conclusion: beauty is truth. And the truth is that everything God created is beautiful, your body included – freckles and all!

Women and girls lift their voices declaring that we are beautiful daughters of God, not defined by the world’s standards in this compilation of short essays. Each one infuses and empowers as it explores where true beauty comes from–within.

I love books like this that offer so many points of view from women and writers in all different stages of their lives. We would be wise to read a chapter a day, or to share this book with our daughters and friends. Especially good thoughts with summer approaching, swimsuit season and the many women who hide in shame. There is no shame. Your body is a temple. It is a gift!


Reflection and writing allow us to see ourselves and others more truthfully, more compassionately. Our personal experiences challenge the illusion of culture. We begin to see how unfulfilling and shallow the messages are. We sense a newfound strength and power to stand up to false standards of self-worth ad refuse to allow ourselves to be merchandise in the marketing of beauty. Real beauty isn’t merely decorative; its primary function is to connect–to our innermost beings to one another and to the world around us. Real beauty does not divide or diminish us–it opens and inspires us. It is not only possible but natural to live peacefully in our body, to be comfortable in our own skin, for each of us to love our bodies and find ourselves beautiful.” – LeNae Valentine, editor.


Book Review: Habits of Happiness by Wendy Ulrich

27 Feb, 2014 by in adult, deseret book Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Habits of Happiness by Wendy Ulrich

Habits of Happiness

by Wendy Ulrich
Published by Deseret Book on February 27, 2014
Genres: Adult, Non- Fiction
Pages: 64
Format: Hardcover
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
What makes us happy? Psychologists have identified three key elements that contribute to an ongoing sense of well-being: pleasure, engagement, and meaning. so is it possible to live in a way that is likely to increase the level of happiness we experience on a daily basis? Popular author and Time Out for Women presenter Wendy Ulrich offers seven habits to enhance our lives and boost our happiness quotient. With practical ideas for implementing each habit of happiness, she challenges readers to pick one to work into your life and discover new ways to be happy every day.

This book completely changed my way of looking at things! It pretty much takes everything we’ve ever thought about finding happiness and flips it around so that a new perspective is possible. For many of us, we can find point zero (where we are surviving, but not thriving), but pushing past point zero to happiness is difficult. Wendy is a PHD Psychologist suggests “if you want to get happier, don’t try to get help with your problems. Don’t turn to therapy for answers..”

Wait, what?!! Here’s her answer “while turning to others to help us be happier is not a very successful approach, offering help to others is.” You just have to read to understand. Everything you’ve been clinging to will shift.

While short in pages, this little book is packed with new ideas and simple suggestions to challenge and lift. I will be re-reading it often and using the exercises in each chapter on my journey to creating habits of happiness. Want to know more about her quirky suggestions? Read on…

1. Stop worrying about your weaknesses.
2. Don’t even try to get motivated to exercise.
3. Stop hoping to find friends.
4. Don’t try to feel happier.
5. Celebrate failure.
6. Don’t try to get help with your problems.
7. Don’t endure to the end.

And now, go pick up the book 🙂


About the Author

Wendy Ulrich, Ph.D., M.B.A., was a psychologist in private practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan for almost fifteen years before moving with her husband to Montreal (where he presided over the Canada Montreal Mission), then Alpine, Utah. She founded Sixteen Stones Center for Growth, which offers seminar-retreats for LDS women ( She is a mother and grandmother, a columnist for Deseret News, a former president of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapist, and a business consultant with The RBL Group. Her books include Forgiving Ourselves, Weakness Is Not Sin, and national best seller The Why of Work, co-authored with her husband, Dave Ulrich.


Longing for Home: Hope Springs By Sarah M. Eden Blog Tour

25 Feb, 2014 by in book tour, deseret book, proper romance, sarah eden Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Longing for Home: Hope Springs By Sarah M. Eden Blog Tour

Hope Springs

by Sarah M. Eden
Series: Longing for Home #2
Published by Deseret Book on March 4th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Clean Romance, Historical Fiction
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
All is not well in Wyoming. Katie Macauley gave up her life-long dream of returning to Ireland in order to make a home for herself in Hope Springs, but her future has never been so uncertain. The town is more divided than ever, with both the Irish and the Reds stealing property, burning buildings, and endangering lives.

Katie’s heart remains sharply divided between her love for playful Tavish and steady Joseph, a decision she feels ill-prepared to make. In the midst of the growing unrest, temperatures drop quickly, too quickly, and Irish nightmares of famine and cold resurface as the little Wyoming town struggles to beat the harsh winter.

Katie makes one sacrifice after another to keep the peace and help see her loved ones through the difficult days ahead, but will it be enough? Can the town make amends before their hatred consumes them all? And will Katie find the love she has been searching for as well as a home to call her own?

unnamed (2)
Fire and Ice is thrilled to be a part of the offiicial Deseret Book Blog Tour for Longing For Home volume 2~ Hope Springs by Sarah M Eden.

I’ve read all of Sarah’s books and I think this one is by far her best yet! It was born of sacrifice and hard work on her part and those characteristics become so much more real in her main character. Katie MacCauley has made a decision to join her fellow Irishmen on the Irish Road in her small town of Hope Springs, Wyoming. The town is divided by prejudice and hatred, the Irish “Paddys” targeted as foreigners in a  harsh land. The Red Road will do anything to get Katie out of their sight, out of their stores and our of her employment as a housekeeper for Joseph Archer. Tensions are heating up and there are those convinced that blood will be spilled before the division can be settled.

As a descendant of Irish who came to America, I learned a great deal about the hardships they faced, the desires they had to maintain their heritage and the work ethic the Irish modeled in putting down roots. I especially enjoyed reading about colcannon, one of my favorite Irish dishes, and hearing some of the Gaelic words written into conversation. Sarah demonstrates through tradition, family relationships, loyalty and love, just how tightly woven the Irish settlements were. She shows the character’s weaknesses of short tempers, raw emotions and pride, as well as their ability to laugh and press forward with tenacity and courage in the midst of adversity.

I cried several times. I felt the feelings of these people and grew to love them as my own. Hope Springs is a tale of one woman’s vow to turn her tragic past into triumph and to make a difference in her community. It is also a beautiful story of how love can heal all wounds and a heart has the power to choose its path. I highly recommend this series as a prime pick for well researched, beautifully written historical fiction and clean romance. Sarah M. Eden’s writing pulled at my heart!



About the Authorsarah_m_eden

Sarah M. Eden is the author of multiple historical romances, including Whitney Award finalists Seeking Persephone (2008, Covenant Communications) and Courting Miss Lancaster (2010, Covenant Communications). Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah has twice served as the Master of Ceremonies for the LDStorymakers Writers Conference, acted as the Writer in Residence at the Northwest Writers Retreat and is one-third of the team at the Sarah is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg at Foreword Literary Agency.

website* twitter *facebook* goodreads


Living in the Eleventh Hour by Robert L. Millet Blog Tour

18 Feb, 2014 by in blog tour, deseret book, robert l millet Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Living in the Eleventh Hour by Robert L. Millet Blog Tour

Living in the Eleventh Hour

by Robert L Millet
Published by Deseret Book on January 1st 2014
Genres: Adult, LDS
Pages: 146
Format: Hardcover
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
Just as the scriptures teach us that the Second Coming of the Lord will be "at midnight" (Matthew 25:6), so the signs of the times teach us that "midnight" is close at hand. In Living in the Eleventh Hour, author Robert L. Millet points our minds and hearts toward the future-to the glorious day that lies ahead. This encouraging work not only assists us a Latter-day Saints to recognize and better understand the signs of the times but also reminds us of our individual responsibilities as we prepare ourselves and the world for the much-anticipated return of Jesus Christ. Filled with uplifting quotations from Church leaders, insightful scriptural texts, and engaging personal experiences, this timely book inspires us to live today as if He were coming tomorrow. Brother Millet's faith-building message is clear: Steadfastly doing the small things that allow us to live each day with faith, rather than fear, builds our trust that the Savior's return to earth to rule and reign will be a glorious and welcome event.

I love Robert L Millet’s teachings and writing. Living in the Eleventh Hour takes very small chunks of doctrine in each chapter which makes for a quick, light read. It’s certainly not a deep doctrinal look at the signs and time of the second coming of Christ, not does it reveal “big new truths.” However, I enjoyed it for exactly what it was. His counsel is straight forward and simple. I found that for me, this book was the perfect fit. It offers a hopeful perspective without the doom and gloom or long lists of signs of the second coming. Brother Millet re- emphasizes what we can do on a daily basis to have the Spirit with us and to keep our lamps filled with oil before the bridegroom cometh. I especially liked his story of how many of us, in fear of judging others fall into the “tolerance trap” and begin to tolerate the behaviors of others that are sinful without speaking up. The formula for preparation is built on the basic primary answers we all know and I am glad he kept it that way.


Favorite Quote

We cannot, at least not for very long, operate simply by sheer grit and willpower; to do so proves to be both spiritually exhausting and emotionally discouraging. We need help. That help comes from God and is mediated through his Holy Spirit.


About the Author

Robert L. Millet, an Abraham O. Smoot Professor and former dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University, is a professor of ancient scripture and a lifelong scholar of the last days. After receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees from BYU in psychology, he earned a PhD from Florida State University in religious studies. He has served in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a seminary teacher, bishop, stake president, and member of the Materials Evaluation Committee. He and his wife, Shauna, are the parents of six children.


Author Guest Post- Looking Up by Michelle Wilson

23 Jan, 2014 by in Author Guest Post, blog tour, deseret book 3 comments

Fire and Ice is so excited to participate in this Deseret Book blog Tour and have author Michelle Wilson here today with an exclusive blog post!

About the Authormichelle_wilson

Michelle Wilson is a native of California. Through serving a full-time mission, teaching seminary, Sunday School classes, and speaking at various firesides and conferences, Michelle has developed a love of the power and simplicity of the gospel. She believes in the healing power of laughter and chocolate. She and her husband, Jerey, are the parents of three children and live in Washington State.

Guest Post

Looking up

Thanks for having my on your blog, Heather!

I have really enjoyed the response I have gotten so far to ‘Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat?’  The dual ideas of ‘learning to see’ who we are and ‘choosing to be’ are hitting home with so many.

In our hectic lives, it is easy for us as women to look beyond the mark of who we are and who we can be. We can, at times, get caught in the traps of comparing our perceived worst to other’s best, putting unrealistic expectations upon ourselves, or basing our worth on what we think others opinions are of us.  These things keep us from seeing ourselves as we really are.

That’s where the ‘learning to see’ comes us—as we learn to recognize the things that block us from seeing ourselves as we truly are and come to understand how God see us, we can begin to understand who we really are. And not only that, but what we are capable of! So many of us live underneath our privileges!  Perspective and confidence open the doors of understanding and opportunity, and allow us to walk through to find new experiences, growth and joy.

I didn’t understand that for a long time. Though my outward circumstances in life were good, I carried a weight of insecurity, fear, and sadness. I managed to hide it from most people (as we are so good at doing) but it affected my actions, choices, and priorities. I allowed myself to feel worthless and began looking around to my peers and others to make me feel differently. That worked sometimes, like when my friends told me they loved me, or when a boy said I was cute. But then, the times I didn’t get a phone call, or my friends went out without me, or my brothers were cruel to me, any feeling of confidence and worth I may have had went out the door.

My parents told me often I was wonderful, but somehow I let their role as parents turn their view of my into an obligatory compliment I didn’t allow myself to believe.

Lest you think I was a walking sad sack my teenage years, I wasn’t. In fact, I hid these feelings well. I became so adept at acting as though I had confidence and a feeling of self-worth that most didn’t know that to me that’s all it was, an act. Yes, there were times of joy, fun, and happiness. I loved my family and had some good friends. I even had a testimony of God and Jesus Christ. But, underneath the laughter and smiles, I didn’t have testimony of myself or my worth. I just didn’t feel I was good enough.

Thankfully, it wasn’t too soon after my teenage years that I began to recognize what my problem had been. It wasn’t a matter of who I was or wasn’t; it was the simple matter of which way I had been looking.

I spent years looking side to side, all around me, for the definition and summation of my worth. How did I compare with others? How did I fit in? How did they see me?  It was only when I changed the direction of where I looked that I began to see—when I stopped looking side to side, but began looking up to God for my place and my purpose did I truly begin to understand myself.

As I mentioned before, I had always had believed in God. I never doubted He was real. I even understood, in theory, that He loved me. He had always been in my life, in the background. But when I put Him in the forefront of my thoughts and efforts, I began to not only believe in Him, but realize that He believed in me.  He allowed me to see myself the way He sees me—with hope, admiration, tenderness, and love, such perfect love. Through my growing relationship with Him, I was able to see myself as He does, and, because He doesn’t lie, I had to believe Him.

His knowledge and vision are perfect. So is His love.

His love for me isn’t based on what I have or haven’t done, what kind of clothes I wear, whether I have a muffin-top or not, or what my peers think of me. Neither should mine.

His love for me isn’t dependent on how clean my house is, how cute my kid’s clothes are, are if I have an awesome Pinterest board. And neither should mine.

His love for me doesn’t diminish when I make mistakes, or fall short of my sometimes unrealistic goals for myself. And neither should mine.

His love for me doesn’t change because someone around me doesn’t like me.

He loves me with a perfect love because He can see beyond all of that into who I am and what He knows I can do. He made me. That means something. And though I still have a ways to go to become like Him, He loves me now. He sees me for who I am, and He thinks I’m pretty awesome.

I can’t tell you how that realization has freed and empowered me throughout my life. When the times of fear and doubt creep in, or I begin to worry what other’s might think, or maybe feel out of place, all I have to do is refocus and look up to Him, and I feel better. The worries and stress are put into their proper place, and I again at peace.

The beauty of this story is that it doesn’t apply to only me. It applies to you. God knows you better than you know yourself. His perspective is clear. His love is perfect. I believe He is there to help you see yourself through His eyes—the only way to see yourself as you really are. And as you look up for your worth and realize how He amazing He knows you are, you can believe Him. He is God. He cannot lie.

I used to just believe in God, and now I know that He believes in me. And nothing I can see from side to side can ever change that.

About the Book


Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat?
by Michelle Wilson
Paperback, 176 pages
Published 2013 by Deseret Book
ISBN13 9781609078072
Goodreads* Amazon* Deseret Book

Product Description

• Why do clothing stores hang fun-house mirrors in their dressing rooms?

• The laundry doesn’t cry when it’s not folded, so why should I?

• Can I be confident even if an elevator calls me fat?

Michelle Wilson’s humorous yet poignant insights help women examine the limitations we place on ourselves out of insecurity and self-doubt. We have faith in God, but do we know that He has faith in us?

When we see ourselves with God’s eternal perspective, we can feel confident and whole—even in our imperfection. Just think what we might accomplish if we truly believe that we are more important than we know, stronger than we realize, and extraordinary in every way.

Find out more on the author’s website


Book Review and Blog Tour: The Guardian 2 by Gerald N. Lund

10 Jan, 2014 by in deseret book, gerald n lund, ya, YA fiction Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review and Blog Tour: The Guardian 2 by Gerald N. Lund

The Guardian, Book 2: To Run With The Swift

by Gerald N. Lund
Series: The Guardian
Published by Deseret Book on November 7, 2013
Genres: Fiction, LDS, Young Adult
Pages: 587
Format: Hardcover
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
After Danni McAllister and her family escaped from El Cobra and his kidnapping ring, they thought life would basically return to normal. Little did they know that their peril had just begun.

As secrets from the past begin to unfold, it becomes evident that the motives driving the attacks on the McAllister family go much deeper than money—and they're not going to stop anytime soon. Now, as Danni faces evils even more sinister than before, she has to wonder if even the Guardian will be equal to the dangers ahead.

The whole family will love this page-turning conclusion to the story of Le Gardien, the enchanted pouch that guides, protects, and teaches those who have it in their keeping.

Amazon Book Summary

From the bombed-out ruins of Munich, Germany, in the last days of World War II to a lavish present-day castle in Switzerland, this sequel to The Guardian (published in Fall 2013), weaves a vivid, heart-stopping tale of resilience, resolve, and revenge as Danni McAllister and her family discover the real reason they have been targeted by international terrorists. The astonishing secrets and unexpected powers of the pouch, dating back nearly two hundred years, take center stage in a plot filled with surprising twists and turns as Danni finds herself locked in an extraordinary battle of courage and fortitude that will determine the fate of her family and her role as the Keeper of the Pouch—or risk losing both forever.

From master storyteller Gerald N. Lund, this action-packed novel for the entire family originated as a series of bedtime stories told to his children when they were growing up. In the spirit of The Alliance, Freedom Factor, and Leverage Point, the author blends gripping, fast-paced adventure and suspense with a timeless message for readers of all ages.


This is the first book I have ever read by Gerald N. Lund…I know, right?!! I jumped into book two of the series after a Deseret Book Blog Tour invitation, without reading book one, which I would not recommend. I think readers will miss a lot of the back story if they try to read out this series of order. But once I started to piece together names and the plot, and the circumstance surrounding the heirloom pouch called Le Guardian,  I loved the writing. There is a ton of suspense, plenty of action and good family principles. The villains are villainous indeed, and the mysterious plot twists make it unpredictable. The main character’s first name is Carruthers which is one of my husband’s family names, so the story is that much more personal for us! The setting vacillates between small town Utah and Lake Powell, which makes it fun . If you like books with espionage, history and a bit of magic then pick up The Guardian series.



We stopped a few feet inside the mine to let our eyes adjust to the darkened tunnel.Cody started to push his way past Dad, but Dad’s arm shot out and held him back. 

“Jean-Henri,” he cried. “Look!” He was pointing forward, directing his light at the floor. 

I moved up to see better. Suddenly the chills were back, only this time they were hitting every cell in my body. The dirt floor was covered with footprints. No, not footprints. Boot prints. And none of us had worn that kind of boots when we were in here before.

About the AuthorGerald_Lund

Gerald N. Lund received his B.A. and M.S. degrees in sociology from BYU. He also did extensive graduate work in New Testament studies at Pepperdine University, and studied Hebrew at the University of Judaism. He is a prolific author and speaker. His novels include The Work and the Glory SeriesThe Kingdom and the Crown Trilogy, Fire of the CovenantThe Undauntedand his newest series,The Guardian. He has also written several books on gospel topics, including a doctrinal trilogy exploring our relationship with Heavenly Father and how He expresses His love to His children.

During his thirty-five years in the Church Educational System, Gerald N. Lund served as seminary teacher, institute teacher and director, curriculum writer, director of college curriculum, and zone administrator. His church callings have included servings as stake president and bishop. He also served as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy from 2002 to 2008. He and his wife, Lynn, are the parents of seven children.


“I write because I love to teach.”
– Gerald N. Lund


The Christmas Train by Thomas S. Monson ~Spotlight Tour

18 Dec, 2013 by in deseret book, spotlight tour, Thomas S. Monson 1 comment


The Christmas Train

Tour Schedule

Christmas-trainIn this children’s picture book, President Thomas S. Monson recounts a Christmas memory from his childhood. As a boy, he yearned for an electric train. To his delight, on Christmas morning he got exactly that a train that operated through the miracle of electricity. Then he noticed a second train that his mother had purchased for the boy down the street whose family was struggling. Although it was only a wind-up train, it had an beautiful oil tanker car, which little Tommy wanted for his own. Soon after, Tommy s mother invited him to accompany her to the neighbor s home to deliver the gift. Young Mark was thrilled with his new train and, of course, didn t notice the missing train car. However, a remorseful Tommy did. What happened next will bring the spirit of Christmas into every heart and home. Illustrated by renowned artist Dan Burr, The Christmas Train is sure to be a classic Christmas story and a beautiful addition to every Christmas library.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Deseret Book

Includes a QR code for a FREE download of President Monson’s narration of the story!

Winner of the 2012 Gold Medal Mom’s Choice Award!

Download the new interactive Christmas Train app for your iPad!

Click Here to Learn More

The pages come alive with animations, sound effects, and narration by the author, Thomas S. Monson. Kids will love listening to a true Christmas story, read by a familiar voice, while navigating trains, turning Christmas lights on and off, and experiencing the importance of giving during the Christmas season.


About the Author

President Thomas S. Monson was set apart as the sixteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February 2008. He had previously served for twenty-two years in the First Presidency of the Church, after having been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since October1963. Five years after his call to the Twelve, he was given a special assignment for the work of the Church in Europe, requiring many visits with members behind the Iron Curtain. He was instrumental in the construction of the Freiberg Germany Temple and in advancing the Lord’s work in other eastern European countries that were part of the communist bloc. He also served as chairman of the Scriptures Publication Committee and supervised the process that resulted in the new editions of the scriptures. His ministry has been characterized by his compassion for the needs of individuals and his gift for one-on-one service. President Monson and his wife, Frances, are the parents of three children, grandparents of eight, and great-grandparents of eight.

About the Illustrator

Dan Burr earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from Utah State University and a master’s degree in illustration from Syracuse University. He and his wife, Patti, are raising their two children in the Teton Valley of southeast Idaho, a setting that provides great artistic inspiration and fantastic fly fishing. Dan is a well-known illustrator, having been in the business for many years, most recently working as a children’s picture book illustrator. A few of the books Dan has illustrated are The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes; God Bless Your Way; A Christmas Journey; and I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.


Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring ~ Book Tour and Review

29 Nov, 2013 by in book review, book tour, deseret book, henry b eyring Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring ~ Book Tour and Review

I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring

by Robert Eaton & Henry J. Eyring
Published by Deseret Book on 2013
Genres: Biography, Non- Fiction
Pages: 560
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy the BookGoodreads
Henry Bennion Eyring was born on May 31, 1933, in Princeton, New Jersey, bearing the first name of his father, who was fast building a reputation as a brilliant scientist, and the family name of his mother, who didn't care for the name "Henry" and insisted that he be called Hal.

In 1970, Hal received an impression to make a daily record of his activities. Years of journals form the backbone of this personal biography, a candid look at his walk through life with his beloved companion, Kathy. "The journal shows how a good-but-imperfect man works each day to win divine approval," write the authors, and this window into his past provides unforgettable insights about the man the Lord has shaped him to become.

Readers will love these richly designed pages, filled with photographs, sketches from the pen of President Eyring himself, and scores of entries straight from his journals woven into an engaging depiction of his life's journey.

President Henry B. Eyring's professional, academic, and personal experiences have all combined to make him uniquely qualified for his responsibilities as a member of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His life story vividly demonstrates the power of the Lord and the example set by one who strives to follow His commands.

This is the first biography I have ever read, and thanks to the amazing read it was, likely not the last. This 560 page inspirational  memoir outlines the life of Henry B. Eyring, who is called simply ” Hal” throughout the book. It’s full of sketches form his personal journal, family photographs, quotes from those who know him and typewritten excerpts in Hal’s own words. The multi- media approach to outlining Elder Eyring’s life was not the only draw however. It’s the stories of a man who is ever striving to seek the answers to his prayers, to serve, and to be an amazing father to his children.  Hal and his father were both brilliant scientists who left a huge mark on the world around them. I learned so many interesting things about Hal that I didn’t know before.

  • As a boy Hal was befriended and protected by a member of the African American Hawks gang, teenager Tommy Homes, who protected Hal and became a guardian against bullying.
  • Elder Eyring served his mission after receiving his Bachelor’s degree as a District missionary in the Air Force
  • Spencer W. Kimball was Hal’s uncle and often gave him inspirational advice.
  • He owned a red VW beetle from his father as an MBA graduation present.  He drove it at Stanford, but it was sold without Hal’s knowledge, by his father-in-law while he was out of town. The replacement car was a late-model Ford Thunderbird with rear “suicide doors” hinged at the back rather than the front.

As I carried I Will Lead You Along with me,  it drew a lot of attention wherever I went. People often asked to look through it. I highly recommend it because of the example Hal’s life set and the deep lessons that are embedded about seeking the Lord’s guidance in all things and going where he want you to go.  An absolutely beautiful and enlightening read.

5heatherAbout the Authors

Robert I. Eaton began serving as president of the Washington Federal Way Mission in summer 2013. Prior to that, he was a professor of religious education at Brigham Young University-Idaho. He is a graduate of BYU and of Stanford Law School. He and his wife, Diane, are the parents of four children.

Henry J. Eyring graduated from Brigham Young University, earning a bachelor’s degree in geology and graduate degrees in business administration and law. He is the advancement vice president of BYU-Idaho and has served as director of the BYU MBA program. He also served as president of the Japan Tokyo North Mission. He and his wife, Kelly, are the parents of five children.

Learn more at Deseret Book