Tuesday, September 12, 2017

WIP: Break and You Are Worth It

Here's the latest news on my new releases this year.

You Are Worth It: Eternal Perspectives for a Young Woman received its first review! Check it out on Christy Monson's blog: Connections with Christy.

Break has also been getting some reviews. (Check out this blog review if you are interested: A Creative Addiction)

Also super exciting is that Seagull Book is now carrying Break! My sister-in-law saw it in store and then I did some searching and found it online. This is the first time Seagull Book as picked up one of my books. So I am pretty happy.

We should be getting ebooks up soon and even though Amazon says Break is out of stock, it's usually a pretty fast turn around if you order it.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Create: Cookies and Kids

My son has recently discovered an interest in cooking. He's been doing simple meals for a while (think mac and cheese from a box and Ramen noodles.) But since attending his first webelos meeting where they were working on earning an award for cooking, he's been asking me a ton of questions about what I'm cooking and how. He especially wanted to know how to cook a fried egg and just the other day made one all on his own.

My daughter has always been my little shadow in the kitchen, but it's fun to have my son joining us more often now. I'm discovering I'm more of a social cooker. I enjoy it all much more if I have company. The same goes for chores. I blame it on being born eleven months after my sister. I always had someone around to hangout with and do my chores with. (I'm sure my natural tendency toward clutter also plays into my avoidance of cooking and cleaning, not just the lack of social company, but hey, it's a good excuse.)

My mother recently broke her wrist and was craving some chocolate peanut butter no-bake cookies. One morning, we whipped some up as a surprise for her. The kids loved it. (And so did my mom.) Though my son did mention that the cookies look a little bit like . . . something gross.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Women I Admire: Still Going Strong

Sisters in my Stake, in front of quilts they will be donating soon.

One of my first posts on this blog was about a group of women in my hometown who got together every Tuesday morning to do humanitarian work. (Check out the original post here.) After several years and two other towns, I moved back into my childhood home this summer. Crazy life kept me from the going over to the stake center on Tuesdays, but now that school has started, I went back. This time I had a daughter in tow, pedaling the same bike with the same bike trailer I'd used to haul my son over in. But everything is older. The bike, the trailer, me. I don't remember it being so hard to bike all that way! And that same day, my little boy started fifth grade.


Despite the years that have passed, I found a scene straight from my memory. A handful of women, many of them the same ones I met that first time, still faithfully working away, one tie, one quilt and one project at a time. I had to take a moment to think about the sheer numbers involved in what they've done. Using mostly donated materials from the stake, they have tied at least one quilt each week for the last five years! And that's just the basic stuff. They also make school kits, shopping bags, Days for Girls kits, newborn blankets, newborn kits, and a bunch more stuff I can't even begin to tally up. The stuff in the photo below are the supplies they have to move out of the room so they can get to the stuff inside. Most of the boxes are full of things to make the Days for Girls kits. They were getting ready to take them to a humanitarian meeting the next day.
The foyer outside the Humanitarian room in our stake center

The amazing thing is the reach these women have. They provide countless opportunities for the stake and community to serve and get involved, from asking for donations, to taking supplies to families or groups willing to assemble kits, to sending home sewing projects with people who can't make it to the Tuesday meetings.

I love that they are still working away like this, making a difference one Tuesday at a time. Big miracles truly come with small steps and even a small town humanitarian effort can do incredible things.

A few of the women who come to tie quilts.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

New Release BREAK

Break is now available online at Deseret Book and Amazon. You can also start looking for it in your local Deseret Book stores.

Preston Bensen struggles with the same social anxiety that led his father to walk away years ago. With a younger brother who has Down syndrome, Preston has made it his job to hold together what remains of their family. 

A few weeks after he loses a friend in an accident, Preston's mother announces her decision to remarry. Now Preston must deal with a prying stepdad and three emotional stepsisters. After growing up with six neighbor boys, Preston doesn't know what to do with glitter, pet mice, drama, and nonstop chatter.

The only thing untouched by change seems to be Preston's relationship with Morgan, a girl he met during the summer. But he fears that sharing more of his past will scare her away. Juggling everything at once, he reaches his breaking point. Is Preston going to end up like his father after all?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Reading Corner: The Kavanagh House (A Ghost Story!)

The Kavanagh House (The Aeturnus Machine Book 1) by [Dayley, Susan]

Built at the threshold of the steam-driven, Gilded Age, The Kavanagh House is filled with mechanical wonders, mechanized puzzles, hidden places, and seven death traps. A century later, Parker discovers the journal of Eleanor Kavanagh inside a metal, puzzle box and wrapped in a cryptic note: My father’s house is haunted and it’s my fault.

Vincent Ferrari, the ruthless, ambitious man who built the house, is destined to remain with it, long after his death. Vincent mistakes Parker for Eleanor, who finally lured him into one of his own deadly traps. Now he wants revenge.
Parker enlists the help of the mysterious Mason to find Vincent’s body. Together, while avoiding the vindictive spirit, they search for Eleanor’s hidden journal pages, which contain the information they need.

My Thoughts:

I've always enjoyed a ghost story with a decent scare, but not too much. This book had the right amount. While it's clean and isn't overly dark, author Susan Dayley doesn't tip-toe around the scary stuff either. It reads realistically and believably and the mysteries keep you going until you aren't sure what's going to happen next. I was actually a little worried about Parker's safety at times. This ghost isn't a friendly type.

My other favorite part of this story, aside from enjoying a good scare, was the environment. The details in the house are amazing. There are puzzles around literally every corner and the author has clearly done her research and created a character of the house itself. I also liked the quirky real characters, like Parker and Mason and with their unusual talents. 

Fans of the TV series, The Ghost Whisperer, would probably enjoy this book as well. So if you like a clean ghost story, give this one a try!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

New Release: You Are Worth It: Eternal Perspectives for a Young Woman

My newest non-fiction is available in Deseret Book Stores!

Each of us comes to this world with a divine worth and strength. Yet every person will experience times of doubt and darkness when we need comfort and encouragement. You Are Worth It features thoughtful lessons that will inspire a young woman to honor, love, and nurture herself and others. In a down-to-earth way, author JoLyn Brown teaches of faith and obedience, hopes and dreams, family and friends, and Christlike service, with lessons such as:

• Faith to Act
• Prepared by God
• Voice of the Spirit
• He First Loved Us
• All Things Bear Record
• You Are Not Alone
• Beauty that Lasts
• The Power of a Friend
• Your Divine Nature
• Catch a Dream
• Miracles and Blessings
• Courage to Share
• Hands of Service
• Standing Up
• Forgiveness
• Praying for Help
• Precious in His Sight
• Angels Round About You

You Are Worth It is the perfect gift for any Latter-day Saint young woman.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Inspired by My LDS Life: A Newsletter

You might have noticed my posts on social media about joining my mailing list for my author newsletter, Inspired by My LDS Life. Wondering why you might want to do that? Here's a few details about what to expect if you sign up for my newsletter.

1. Are you looking for FHE lessons, girls camp crafts, young women activities, or cub scout ideas? My newsletter will include ideas, suggestions, and tips.
2. Do you enjoy inspiring stories? The newsletter will include true short stories to re-motivate you and help you see the positive side of life.
3. You can be the first to get updates on my books and writing. This is one of the best ways to be sure not to miss important news like new releases, special promotions, book signing events, and other public appearances.
4. Free downloads. I'll be including free downloads occasionally, including FHE lessons, helpful print-outs, and extra scenes featuring characters in my LDS teen fiction.
5. Win free stuff. I'll be doing some giveaways that will be exclusive to my newsletter readers.
6. Want a good book recommendation? My newsletter will have some recommended reads.
7. You will also find links to my blog posts in case you missed them, along with previous blog posts that might be of interest.
8. I won't spam you or give out any of your personal information.You will receive an average of one newsletter a month.
9. Signing up for the newsletter is a double opt in process. That means you have to verify you really want to be a part of the mailing list by clicking a link in an email that is sent to your inbox. If you can't find the email after signing up, check your spam folder and then be sure to add me to your contacts. If you still have problems, please contact me and I'll help you out.
10. If you sign up before February 5th, you will receive a free download for my goal setting family night lesson, called 1 for 30. It's a simple goal setting plan with tracking sheets and a full family night plan. It can be adapted to any family size!

That's the basic idea of the newsletter. You can sign up using the link below or the one in the left side bar of the blog.

Sign up for Inspired by My LDS Life