Bloom where you are planted–don’t hide your talents!

2014-08-31 18.24.22God gave us our talents for a reason–to serve others. We also learn and progress through our talents–I believe that talents are another way that God touches our lives. Artists, inventors, engineers, teachers, designers–just name the occupation or activity and it takes passion and talent to persevere and progress in it. Because of what we and others do; our lives our full of light, color, and hope. Now imagine what kind of world we would live in if haters succeeded in tearing these talents away from us? What if these people managed to shut everyone up? I’m not talking differences of opinion and honest feedback; I’m talking road-raging/ Simon Cowel bullying that rips dreams from those who are doing their best to share their talents with the world.

Recently, a writer friend of mine got attacked with a round of damaging book reviews. Already in pain because of health issues, plagued by nightmares; she woke up to see someone had read her book and hated it…not just hated it, but the reviews (one after another) made things very personal–basically, the reviewers forgot that there was a real person behind this book–my friend seriously considered giving up. For a morning she forgot all the good that she had done with her talent and she felt worthless. This is a tragedy–not just for my friend, but also as a reflection of our society.

And no, this isn’t the first time this kind of thing happens. I’m sure ALL of you have experienced something like this–anyone who has put themselves out there has. I’m a writer, and I’ve had my share of bad reviews and bad reactions to them–I HAVE to let these harsh words slide over me; I have to learn from them; I have to turn to God for comfort; I have to reevaluate why I do what I do. The years have taught me–they still will teach me. My weaknesses become strengths. But…what if I didn’t keep going? Life would be a little less…well, less happy, less bright–for me and for those my life touches. Sooo, If I could reach out to anyone who feels like giving up, I’d like to encourage you to keep trying; ignore the voices telling you that you’re not good enough. Share your talents with the rest of us–keep progressing. Spread the light, the color, the hope! And then on the flip side; to those faced with the choice of either encouraging or tearing others down–choose to encourage! Let’s lift and strengthen those who are working on their talents. Help them to grow. Let’s learn to be more civil. I’ll work on it too.

Now for the whole reason I ended up writing the above: another writer friend of mine got fed up after what happened to our mutual friend. and so she decided to write about this new trend of bullying artists online on her blog, and so I’m sharing the link of this below (but I’ve realized as I wrote this “rather long” post that it isn’t JUST about not being a bully; this is about NOT letting the bullies get to you. My writer friend gathered her courage and she’s not going to give up…and neither should any of you).

Here’s Tristi’s blog link: http://nblo.gs/11vKXW

Thank you for listening!

Bookmarked Bargains is here!!!

Huge online Ebook Sale.

FOUR DAYS ONLY Great prices from great authors–AND even two books from me!

This is the perfect opportunity to stock on some good reading for those cold winter months. This event only happens twice a year, so stock up on your favorite books while you can.  Click here to go to the Bookmarked Bargains site.

 (Be sure to check out all the genres to find all those reading gems)

Then AFTER you shop to your heart’s content, scroll
to the bottom of ANY Bookmarked Bargains Page and fill out the Rafflecopter to sign up for our monthly Bookmarked Reader’s Newsletter containing new releases and bargain prices from our beloved authors at Indie Author Hub. Your information will always remain confidential. All names collected will be entered to win a Reader’s Party Pack shipped right to your door.

Reader’s Party Pack: $160 value. Designed for readers. Everything a reader needs to enjoy a

good book–blankets, hot cocoa, and more!

Of course, you don’t need to purchase
any of the listed books in order to be eligible to win, but you might as
well because they’re awesome.
 
There’s something on this list for
everyone to enjoy, so let’s get right to it! *Be sure to check the
price of the book before you download so you know you’re getting the
sale price.*
 Who’s Who and What’s What in Each Category:
(Use links below or
use the tabs above to find your favorite books and authors)

Below are all the genres and participating authors.

ROMANTIC COMEDY
Marie Higgins, Jo Noelle
INSPIRATIONAL FICTION (LDS/ CHRISTIAN)
Stacy Lynn Carroll, Alivia Anderson, Vicki Hunt Budge, Maria Hoagland, Daniel Coleman
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Donna K Weaver, Rachael Anderson, Rachel Ann Nunes, Rebecca Talley, Stephanie Fowers, Cami Checketts, LuAnn Staheli, Taylor Hart, Heather Justesen, Heather Tullis, Shannon Guymon, Lisa Swinton, Heather Moore
NONFICTION
Christy Dorrity, Valerie Steimle,
FANTASY/ SCI FI
Andrea Pearson, Katie Lee O’Guinn, Stephanie Fowers, Susan Tietjen, Theresa Sneed
GENERAL FICTION
Tara C. Allred
YOUNG ADULT/ YA ROMANCE
J. Loyd Morgan, Cindy M. Hogan, Jo Noelle, Tamara Hart Heiner, Janette Rallison
HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Nichole Van, Joyce DiPastena, Marsha Ward, Marie Higgins, Tina Scott
MIDDLE GRADE
Monique Bucheger
YA FANTASY
J. Lloyd Morgan
Christy Dorrity
Daniel Coleman
ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Donna K. Weaver, Cami Checketts, Rachel Ann Nunes, Theresa Sneed, Kathleen Marks, Christy Barritt, Julie Coulter Bellon, Tanya Parker Mills
CHILDREN
R. K. Hinrichsen


**Be sure to check the
price of the book before you download so you know you’re getting the sale
price.*

HUGE eBook Author Promotion. Come join us!

Hello, all!

It’s time for another Clean eBooks Author Promotion! Yay!

This promotion runs from Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 10:00pm MST until Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 11:59pm MST. Enjoy these fantastic, clean eBooks, which include my latest release! :-)

Discern, Katon University Book One

Andrea Pearson

$0.99

Kindle, Nook, Smashwords

Nicole Williams is an Arete—a fourth child with magical abilities—yet no matter how hard she tries, she can’t Channel her power. In fact, she seems to be the only student at Katon University who fails at magic.

That doesn’t stop magic from finding her. It starts with magical currents and possessed books before moving quickly to cursed spiders and freaky shadows. Nicole turns to her best friend for help, along with fellow student Austin Young, who is considered by all a magical rarity. He also happens to be the hottest guy on campus and just might be interested in her.

Nicole soon finds herself competing to be included on a university-led expedition to Arches National Park. She is determined to show everyone, but mostly herself, that she does belong. Yet, to qualify for the trip, she must produce at least a speck of Wind magic, and that appears to be impossible.

As the competition progresses, Nicole wonders if she’s making the right choice—especially when she learns that the strange fossils they’ll be studying in Arches might not be as dead as everyone thinks.

Prejudice Meets Pride

Rachael Anderson

$0.99

Kindle, Nook

After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off with the offer of a dream job. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, and no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help of Kevin Grantham, her handsome neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own.

Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn’t afraid to show him that he doesn’t. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.
Your Eyes Don’t Lie

Rachel Branton

$0.99

Kindle, Nook

Sometimes Surviving Isn’t Enough . . .

Years of living on the street and fending for herself have made Makay Greyson tough and resourceful, if a bit disillusioned. She’s come a long way from sleeping in parks and scavenging for food. Her entire focus is on providing a better life for her young brother, one without fear of loss and

neglect.

That certainly doesn’t leave time for Harrison Matthews, who from their first meeting sends fire through her veins and upsets all her carefully laid plans.

Makay has done things she isn’t proud of to survive, and those choices now threaten the small amount of security she’s created-and any chance of a future with Harrison. They’ve been raised in two very different worlds, and the secrets they both hide can only lead to disaster.  There is only one chance to make it right, and one misstep could be fatal.

Your Eyes Don’t Lie is a story about facing fears, sacrificing for those you love, and about a girl who thinks she isn’t worth loving and a guy who knows she is.

A Fantasy Christmas

Cindy C Bennett, Stephanie Fowers, and Sherry Gammon

$0.99

Kindle, Nook, Smashwords

A Fantasy Christmas is an exciting collection of romantic stories by best
selling authors Cindy C Bennett, Stephanie Fowers, and Sherry Gammon.
You’ll find Elves, Greek gods and witches!

Halfling by Cindy C Bennett
Banished from the South Pole, Kara tries to carve out a new life among the
elves of the North. It’s not easy with a secret to protect—a secret she’s
cursed with by the unusual circumstances of her heritage: half-elf,
half-fairy. In the North, she’s assigned to work with Seb on a special
project. He’s the most gorgeous elf she’s ever seen – and the orneriest.
As if being banished wasn’t punishment enough.

Aphrodite by Stephanie Fowers
Nothing is simple for Aphrodite’s daughter, especially love.
Scorned by society in regency England, Affry longs for romance. Upon
encountering a dashing nobleman at her aunty’s Christmas’ ball, Affry gets
caught in a lovely intrigue with disastrous results. Worse, she wins the
interest of the gods. Now the furies of the underworld and Hades himself
are after her.

Loving Marigold by Sherry Gammon
Young Marigold Yarrow has a secret. She’s also in love with Jack Mahoney.
In the middle of her ninth grade year, Jack’s family up and moves to Port
Fare, New York, leaving the small town of Sugar Maple, West Virginia – and
Marigold – far behind.
Nine years later Jack and Marigold meet again but this time it could be
magic that tears Jack and Marigold apart.
Ride to Raton


Marsha Ward

$0.99

Kindle, Nook, Smashwords

Thinking he’s been treated unjustly by his father, James Owen leaves the family homestead to make a new life for himself.

The turbulent world of post-Civil War Colorado Territory is fraught with danger and prejudice that increase his bitter loneliness as personal setbacks threaten to break him. Then James’s journey brings him into contact with another wayfarer, beautiful young Amparo Garcés, who has come from Santa Fe to Colorado to marry a stranger. Through a twist of fate, their futures are changed forever when their lives are merged in a marriage of convenience. James and Amparo undertake a hazardous horseback trek over Raton Pass to Santa Fe, battling their personal demons, a challenging language barrier, and winter’s raging storms.

“Ride to Raton is a pure western, complete with bad guys and broken hearts and even a dog. The sequel to The Man from Shenandoah features James Owen, the younger brother. Marsha Ward writes a fantastic romance against a vivid southwestern backdrop. James begins this book as a hurt young man, but by the end of the book, I really could see him grow up and become a man. Made tougher by circumstances he has no control over, James realizes that the love he thought he had lost was nothing compared to what Amparo shows him. Amparo is a young Hispanic lady, forced to leave her home in Santa Fe to marry a stranger in Colorado. She bravely faces her uncertain future, relying on her faith to get her through. She is sweet, loving and she provides a great contrast to James’s rough exterior. With an ending that surprised even me, Ride to Raton is not your usual romance. However, I do recommend it for western lovers—even the cover is wonderful! Marsha Ward once again shows us her gift for old fashioned storytelling!” ~Jen Hill, Roundtable Reviews
The Husband Maker

Karey White

$0.99

Kindle, Nook

Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she’s dated since high school has gone on to marry the next girl they date. Not two or three girls down the road. The very next one.

Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed?

When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she’s not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle’s wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?
Life, Love, and The Pursuit of  Free Throws

Janette Rallison

Free!

Kindle

Josie loves hottie Ethan Lancaster, the captain of the basketball team, but she never can do or say the right thing in front of him. So how can it be fair that Ethan is only interested in her best friend, Cami, when Cami isn’t even trying for his affection? Or is she?

Cami dreams of winning her basketball team’s coveted MVP award, and earning the chance to take the court during a special halftime demonstration with WNBA star Rebecca Lobo, but her best friend, Josie, is a better player. So how can it be fair that Josie is a shoo-in for the honor if she is barely interested in basketball in the first place and isn’t even trying to be the best? Or is she?

Told from two points of view, this novel of freshman life, love, and the pursuit of free throws displays the same delightful humor as Janette Rallison’s other comedies.
My Forever: A Triple Treat Romance Box Set

Annette Lyon, Karey White, Cami Checketts

$0.99

Kindle, Nook

A Portrait for Toni  by Amazon bestselling author Annette Lyon 

Toni has no idea what she’d do without her best friend, Carter. Who else would she be able to vent to about her parents, her job at the dance studio, or her latest relationship woes? That is, until he starts questioning Toni, saying he thinks she has an eating disorder. Then she starts dating Clint, and somehow that puts a deeper wedge between her and Carter. When she’s hospitalized after an on-stage collapse, and Carter stupidly starts in with advice about food and weight, she sends him away. One night after a performance, Toni tries to mend the hurt between them. Instead of finding Carter, she stumbles onto proof that he has feelings for her that go way beyond those of a friend. Toni is left with the very real prospect of losing Carter forever, unless somehow she can return his feelings—but that’s impossible. Isn’t it?

My Own Mr. Darcy by USA Today bestselling author Karey White 

After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. During the six intervening years, she finds all of her suitors lacking—they just aren’t Mr. Darcy enough. Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. She starts dating Chad, but she believes her dream comes true in the form of wealthy bookstore owner Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

The Broken Path by Amazon bestselling author Cami Checketts 

Injured in a debilitating accident at age six, Ethan Searle believes women eye him with a mixture of pity and disdain. He’s tried love before. He won’t again. He meets his match in a precocious two-year old who loves him despite his disability, even while her mother seems bothered by everything about Ethan. Autumn Reader escaped her abusive marriage with her beautiful daughter and a stack of fear. She can’t make the mistake of trusting a man again. Autumn’s daughter becomes enraptured by Ethan. Despite Autumn’s best intentions, she finds herself following her daughter’s example. When her ex-husband reappears, threatening everyone she loves if she won’t submit to his demands, Autumn has to learn to trust or lose her chance at real love.
Still Time

Maria Hoagland

$0.99

Kindle, Nook, Smashwords

Thrust into the chaos of her mother-in-law’s hoarding and forgetfulness, LDS church member Alyssa Johnston wishes she could retreat to a simpler time when her kids were small and almost anything could be fixed with a hug. But reassurance and a quick distraction no longer erase the pain of a missionary son who is struggling, a young teen who is bullied, or a daughter who is distant. As Aly’s own life and relationship with her husband plunge out of control, she wonders if her faith will be enough to keep her family—or herself—from falling apart.

Still Time is a deeply moving story about a woman’s faithful journey into the next phase of her life. You will laugh with Aly, feel her sorrow, and see yourself in Maria Hoagland’s realistic, heartfelt portrayal of a woman’s struggle to keep her family safe and hold back time as long as she can.

$200 amazon Gift Card giveaway

We have a HUGE author giveaway Here: http://ilovetoreadandreviewbooks.blogspot.com/2014/08/book-lovers-delight-200-amazon-gift.html

To celebrate, we are hosting each participating author and their TOP TEN LIST inspired from their own books.
Give a big hand to our first author Maria Hoagland. Here is what she had to say:

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In my latest book, Still Time, the main character, Alyssa Johnston and her husband Mike take turns hiding a unique object in different places, always trying to surprise or even outwit each other, but it’s also their way of saying “I love you.”

Trying to come up with the various places for them to hide the object got me thinking–what are some creative places to leave a love note? I came up with my top ten list, beyond the typical “under the pillow” and “lipstick on the mirror.”

Top Ten Places to Hide a Love Note
by Author Maria Hoagland

1. In the lunchbox. Now this isn’t too different, I know. You’ve probably all done it for your kids at one

point or another, I hope (if not, you better get on that!), but when was the last time you did that for your sweetie?

2. Slipped into the book they are reading. Replace their bookmark with a little note with a short romantic couplet you’ve composed and see if that doesn’t become their most treasured literary work.

3. As a screen saver on their computer. That requires some sneakiness and preparation, but think about how worth it it would be. Seeing their face when they boot up their computer would be priceless. Let’s just hope you have their password. :)

4. A sticky note on the steering wheel or dry erase message on the rearview mirror. What a fun way to be reminded throughout the day that someone loves them! Even better if you sneak in while they’re at work and do it. Make sure to grab that extra key!

5. Paper towel roll (or to eliminate the chance that one of the kids gets it–yeah, right, when does a child actually clean up after themselves?–the toilet paper roll in the master bath). Just unroll it a bit and then etch out your note before rolling it back up. Surprise!

6. On the milk carton–or since most of us use gallon jugs, maybe an orange juice carton? Tape a picture of the two of you on the back of the milk carton with a note that says something cheesy like, “Missing your love.”

7. Tucked in their wallet. This means there might be a little delay in your sweetheart finding your note, but you’ll be able to keep track of how often they’re pulling the wallet out and rifling through it!

8. Wrapped around their curling iron or under their electric razor. Now, guys, you might want to be careful with this one! You want to surprise her, but don’t hide it so well that it catches on fire before she notices it. Oh, and make sure it says something sweet about how nice you think your spouse always looks!

9. In the Notes app on their smartphone or tablet. My husband did this for me and I didn’t find it for probably two months! But what a surprise–and a treasure. Besides the beautiful words, I was impressed he could keep a secret that long.

10. In their blood pressure medication/ wrapped around their bicycle handle/ tucked in their running shoes. With a note that says something like, “You get my heart thumping!”

Still Time is available in eBook and Paperback
Amazon
Barnes & Noble • iTunesKoboDon’t forget to add Still Time to your Goodreads bookshelf.

ENTER TO WIN THE 

$200 AMAZON GIFT CARD

GIVEAWAY ends 9/30/14

No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older and legally able to receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. This giveaway is not associated with Rafflecopter, Facebook, Twitter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are some of the best places you’ve either

hidden or discovered a love note?

ALS HORROR!!!

Well, we did it! We made an ALS horror movie — the most chilling challenge yet…

And we challenged: Justin, Stephanie C., Carissa, the Okere family, the Lah family, and Bepa and her whole school in Haiti (I’m on PINS AND NEEDLES waiting for that one) — it’s going to be AWESOME!!!

Here’s our video:

Let’s do it everybody. Donate to a good cause today!

Disappointed Ghosts and Other Despondent Scary Things…

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2014-08-04 20.15.55-1So, I’m lying down in my attic room in a house built in 1890. And the lights are flickering and there’s a secret room to my right where a section of the house has been sealed off (with a mysterious window that leads to nowhere might I add). The wind is howling. The rain is pounding against the windows. And I’m feeling all warm and cozy and cheery. I snuggle deeper into my blankets and revel in the mysteriousness of it all.

photoKeeping my jolly outlook in mind, you have to imagine my surprise when I woke up bright and early the next morning to find out that my sister and cousin stayed up until three in the morning shivering under blankets in the living room downstairs. They tried to watch happy movies to keep away the boogie man, but nothing could erase the fear from the night before. It was all because we had brainstormed a psychological thriller (that we’re going to film) and while I demonstrated the jerky way that this ghost-hag thingie was going to crawl through the backyard in a dark silhouette of AWESOMENESS, the lights flickered. Yup. They flickered. And of course, the house is over a hundred years old and we were in the middle of a storm, and it was just too much. Oh, and apparently I have no imagination, which is disturbing because I’m a writer. Ghosts could be knocking me over the head and still leave dejected when I don’t give them a good enough reaction.

I’m sorry! I just can’t help it. My scared switch is broken but my mouth isn’t. It’s the story of my life:

  • I’m walking with a sister in the forest and I see an abandoned jacket on the side of the road and I say in my creepiest voice, “I wonder where the body is?” And then I have to catch up to my sister because she is running.
  • Or I say “I think our dolls are alive.”
  • Or “I wonder if there’s a dead body in that sealed off portion in my room and that’s why they walled that window up.”
  • Or when I was in the Philippines and we came home to our dark apartment that night and realized we didn’t have a key, and I said with a smile: “We’re being watched!”

Well, guess who had to run again? And it’s hard when you don’t have adrenaline. I’d much rather be scared because it would give me that extra oomph. And then I wouldn’t have to wander the halls alone at an abandoned jail because everybody else has to have a buddy because it’s too dark and shadowy in the basement to NOT have one. Sure, maybe it was my idea to film in this dark and spooky place, but that’s because IT WAS PERFECT! And as we walked past the maze of rusty showers looking for just the right setting, of course someone else just needs to hear a noise and then there’s running again!!!

But no worries, people. My older brother gave me a taste of my own medicine last time we sat in a tower at the top of the Rocket Re-Entry ride at Lagoon. We dangled there about 200 feet off the ground, and I felt as calm as anything until he turned to me and said, “What if our seat belts weren’t clicked in? We’d be dead. Dead. I don’t think our seat belts are…”
And then we dropped.

Jerk. Continue reading

Jane and Austen

 

Hopeless Romantics brand you madeI’ve been so busy writing on my Hopeless Romantics line of sweet and clean romances that I haven’t been writing on my blog, but I have an exciting announcement to make. My ebook Jane and Austen has been released on Amazon and the print version will be available tomorrow. It’s doing great on Amazon, too! Check it out HERE.

Thanks for all of your support!Jane and Austen crunched cover

IF you’re taking my class on html this Saturday :-)

For those who are going to the Indie Author Hub conference on Saturday and would like to learn how to turn that Microsoft Word Document into an epub and mobi, it’s not too late.

Just make sure you come prepared (or you won’t learn a thing).

Please read the following instructions to know what to bring for class. In the following link, you will find 4 free programs and 4 documents that you will need to download for class.

You will find them on my blog here:
http://stephaniefowers.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/how-to-make-your-book-into-a-mobi-for-amazon/
Once again, this is a hand’s on class, so here’s a checklist of the items that you will need to bring to class on Saturday for maximum learning:
1–
*laptop (your own)
*microsoft Word (program on your laptop)
*notepad (program on your laptop)

internet explorer (program on your laptop)
2–
AND then please download the following 4 free programs (the links are found on the blog that I’ve provided above):
*Calibre
*kindle Previewer
*Adobe Digital Editions 2.0
*Notepad ++
3–
Finally, download the following 4 documents (these will also be found on my blog and the link is found above)
*Rapunzel, html to practice on
*Rapunzel, html to practice on (what it will look like in notepad)
*INSTRUCTIONS on how to make this into an HTML
*Kindle html commands FOR STEPHANIE

And that’s it. No need to study the material beforehand, we will go over it all in class.

See you there!
Steph

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