Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fantastic News

by Rebecca Talley

Usually, "fantastic news" means I'm pregnant. When I gathered my children around the dinner table and had my two oldest children on speaker phone, that's what they all expected to hear. I'd love to have a newborn baby to cuddle and snuggle, but my "fantastic news" is about a different kind of baby. The one you all understand. A book. I'm happy to announce that CFI has accepted my next manuscript and I'm hoping for a publication date in late summer or early fall.

We're all very excited, even though a book doesn't have that intoxicating newborn smell :).

Friday, October 24, 2008

Author Seminar

I'm speaking at a fairly good-sized Author event next Wednesday. I put a few things together then I thought you might give me some significant input. What do authors really want to know from a publisher? What do you really wish you had known long ago? What piece of the puzzle is (or was) the hardest for you to find? If you could change one thing in the publishing world, what would it be? Any other suggestions?

Thanks for your comments. I really do enjoy coming here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


By Lee Ann Setzer

This post is about Christmas already, but it’s not my fault.

So, I’m walking through a department store. It’s not Halloween yet, but they have lighted-up Christmas trees and walls of decorations. Appalling, yes. Unusual so far, no.

Here’s what got me: prominently displayed on the endcap were dozens of boxed-up “Charlie Brown Christmas trees.” You know, the one from the movie with a couple little tufts of needles and one big, red, ball? The tree that wasn’t made of tinsel. The “sincere” tree. With a little love and attention, it bloomed into a lovely little tree just right for the Christmas pageant.

The “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” in a box is, of course, artificial, featuring little tufts of plastic needles and a genuine big, red ball. There’s one other difference between this tree and the one in the movie. If you give this product the attention it deserves, slivers of it will reach orbit upon application of appropriate amounts of explosives.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Talent: Destroyed by a Vacuum

by Rebecca Talley

I have very few talents. I don't sing, dance, act, or sew. I'm not very crafty and I don't score high on the compassionate scale. I don't draw, paint, or write music. I don't play an instrument and while I played sports in high school, I wasn't amazing (I was good at basketball because I was tall, not because I could jump). But, I do pride myself on knowing how to change a poopy diaper, wipe boogers off my children (and the wall), and clean my house. Apparently, the cleaning house part isn't a talent after all, or so I was told.

Let me see if you can answer this question. What is more annoying than a vacuum salesman?

Any guesses?

Answer: Nothing.

Let me start at the beginning. A company called a few weeks ago and asked me to take a short consumer survey. I agreed and answered several simple questions. The next week, a representative from the same company called to say that because I'd answered the survey, my name was entered into a drawing and I'd won a $500 gift certificate to an online store (with Christmas around the corner, I thought this sounded like a good thing). The rep then told me that in order to redeem said certificate I had to participate in a presentation about an air purifier and share my opinion about the product. I was assured that it involved no sales whatsoever, and all I needed to do was answer some questions about the product after a short 30 minute presentation.

Since we have allergies, I'd considered buying an air purifier and was interested to see what this company produced so I agreed.

The salesman arrived with two large boxes. I asked him to do the presentation in the library but he insisted on going into the living room. Strike one.

He pulled out the "air purifier" that freakishly resembled a vacuum cleaner. Oh, because it was a vacuum cleaner. Now, I don't know about you, but when a company lies to me about the product they're selling, it's a big "no go" for me. Strike two.

He continued on with his presentation telling me multiple times that my house was filthy and nasty and I obviously didn't know how dirty it was. (So, you see, my cleaning talent flew right out the window). He told us how I was putting my family's health in danger and destroying our carpet (well, he did have to change his tactic to include hardwood because we have no carpet on the middle level). After 2 HOURS (sorry, didn't mean to yell, but really, 2 hours, during bedtime, come on) he gave us the high pressure sales technique designed to guilt us into buying a $3000 vacuum cleaner. Seriously. Strike three.

We finally convinced him that though we have several thousands, possibly even millions of dollars lying (or is it laying) around the house, we would prefer to sink that extra money into the Rolls Royce we're planning to purchase. He was visibly unhappy with our choice to pass on this exceptional deal.

He did give us our certificate and, surprise, when we went to redeem it, we found out that, indeed, we must pay a "shipping and handling fee" for each product. Now maybe I was born at night, but it wasn't last night and when the shipping and handling fees far exceed the value of the item, I become ever so slightly suspicious and greatly annoyed.

This company lied to get a salesman in my house. They misrepresented the product. The product seemed to be decent enough, but $3000? With the cost of living so high at the moment? Come on. Then the whole gift certificate was a total sham.

So beware of phone callers who claim to just want to conduct a short consumer survey. Before you know it, you may be subjected to losing your very last talent!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Good Authoring Series – Using Gravitational Pull to Master Your Promotional Role

Here's on more nice article I found. Lyle

By Michael Drew - Oct 15 , 2008

Your ability to out-market competing authors depends on your ability to bond with potential readers. Similar to a new parent, you want to build familiarity and establish trust early on. By responding to your target audience’s collective cry for content, you can establish trust while drawing them deeper down the gravity well to book sales.

That’s where you want people. Way down deep at the bottom of your gravity well, where the pull is strongest. Get them there, and they can’t help but buy your book. It’s the rational next step. But you can’t just expect them to take a leap of faith into the waiting arms of some unknown author they’ve never heard of. You have to create a path that feels safe to descend by providing them with a trail of enticing content along the way.

Using a syndication service to distribute audio recordings, video presentations, or blogposts to popular social media sites is a good start. There’s no dangerous commitment there, just the small investment of time it takes to view your content. If they find you interesting, perhaps they’ll click the link back to your website, where there are more goodies to entice them.

Can you feel the pull getting stronger? Now people are browsing around your ‘online store’ to see what you have to offer. Do you think maybe some of them would be willing to sign up for your free e-newsletter or attend your free webinar? If so, you most likely have converted a future book buyer or even a word-of-mouth evangelist.

Hopefully, I’ve given you the big-picture perspective on how to create a subtle, yet inescapable, gravity well to book sales. The idea is to pull your target audience one step at a time into that well by responding to their collective cry for content in a variety of ways, with gradually deepening levels of commitment. Each step they take is an indication of the growing familiarity and trust they have in you as their primary content caregiver.

Now grab a shovel and start digging that well. It’s time to bury the competition.

PS—You might be interested to know that I have just started one of those syndication services I talked about here. It’s called Promote a Book Media, and it uses a proprietary methodology to broadcast your promotional content to a HUGE audience—faster and more consistently—than any other online syndicator. Check it out. It just might turn out to be the smartest thing you’ve done all day.

Questions about creating a gravity well for book sales may be directed to Michael R. Drew at the Austin, Texas, headquarters of Promote A Book: 512-858-0040. You can also contact Michael via email at

Give the media what it needs.

Here's a tip that came across my desk this morning. Simple, but necessary!

Book promotion tip: Give the media what it needs. Usually, what the producer of a radio show (presuming the producer of the radio show has scheduled a phone interview with an author) needs is: the author's phone number (and, perhaps, a backup number), a media kit, and a copy of the book.

My Smiley Band Got Camera Shy

by Shirley Bahlmann
My smiley wristband is gone. It didn't die a natural death, either. It slipped away when Channel 14 KJAZZ came to film me in my native element for an October 24 TV spot. It was the segment where the camera guy suggested a close-up shot of me reaching my hand into the Manti Library History cabinet to pull out an old book. The smiley band stared up at me in horror, it's plastic-y yellow smiley faces wrinkled with age and fear. "Let me gooooo!" it wailed.
So I did. Out of the kindness of my heart, I ripped that little fellow free.
If you watch the TV segment this Friday, October 24 at 8:00 a.m., you'll see him on my wrist when I'm telling stories to the children. But by the time we get to the research phase... the little fellow's gone to a better place.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Down Syndrome Awareness

By Rebecca Talley

In celebration of the National Down Syndrome Awareness Month I have created this video, Extra C. Please help me spread the message that every child is a gift, even if the wrapping is a little different.

The music was composed and played by C.S. Bezas, an incredibly talented and creative musician. Please visit her website to hear more of her beautiful music.

As a thank you to all who spread this message and share this video, I will sponsor a contest and give away a copy of my book, Heaven Scent, to the winner.

In order to qualify for the contest you can post this video on your website and/or blog and/or make a comment on this video at YouTube and/or pass this link to people on your email lists. Just leave a comment on this post, or email me, and let me know what you did to help spread this message and I'll enter you into the drawing. The contest will run until midnight October 24th.
On October 25th one of my kids will draw a name from those that qualify and you'll receive a signed copy of my book.

Thank you for helping me to change attitudes about Down syndrome. Enjoy the video.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reviews, Reviewers and Being Reviewed

As always, please let me know if this information is helpful. Keep writing. It's more important now than ever. Lyle

Five reviews out of thirty copies really is probably about average. It's sad, but with over 200,000 (Lyle: Actually, the number in 2007 was 417,000) new titles hitting the streets last year alone, it's hard for reviewers to take everything that's sent their way. And, though we may not want to think about it, sometimes the reviewer just doesn't like the book (personal taste and all that) and that reviewer may have an aversion to writing negative reviews. So, it doesn't get reviewed at all. As to the risk of sending out books that will not be reviewed, here are my thoughts:

1. Do your research. Whatever the topic/genre, look for venues that review your kind of book, in addition to the generic places. You increase your chances that way.

2. Query first. Send an email or postal mail with a press pack (i.e., cover shot, blurbs you have gotten, brief synopsis that does not give away the ending, etc.) and ask if they would be interested in reviewing the book.

3. Send out press releases, but don't rely on them. It's foolish to ignore the possibility, however slim, that someone will read a press release. However, don't waste a lot of time or money on this. Most unsolicited press releases go into the circular file (this from my newspaper friends.)

4. Write thank you notes to the reviewers who DO review your book, whether it's a great review or a so-so review. That makes them at least somewhat more receptive to your next book.

5. If you can make it work, offer to write a feature piece for your local paper or community paper, that somehow ties to your new book. That may, in turn, interest the reviewer onstaff in reading and reviewing your book. When I say a feature piece, I mean a short article that exploits some tie-in to a local place, person, legend, upcoming event, etc. If you wrote a book about Ireland, for example, maybe you'd want to write a feature piece about St. Patrick's Day and get in a mention or two of your book in the body of the piece. - Tony Burton

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Haunted Dog

By Shirley Bahlmann
Bibs was just four days old, a little black weiner with a small white dot between her shoulder blades, like she'd been touched by a ghost. (Just look at her spooky eyes!) I didn't really want a Border Collie, I was more interested in a cute little whisker dog like my cousins, Guy and Janette Rallison, have. But Bob and the boys would have none of that. We weren't sure Bibs was our puppy until we did "doggy tests" at five weeks old. All three boys chose her from the litter, and that was good enough for me.
When Bibs came to our house, she was too scared to sleep alone, so the boys hunkered down in their sleeping bags in her dog run. When the weather turned cold enough, they came inside and she stayed out.
When she first met our cats, they were all about the same size, but they wouldn't play nice. Sometimes our white-as-a-ghost cat, Dusty, would trot away to find a sunny spot and Bibs would happily give chase. Our black cat, Slick, never turned tail to Bibs. Even though Bibs grew to ten times his size, Dusty's the one who makes Bibs run.
The ghost touch has done other damage to Bibs' bravado. She's afraid to go in our living room, is afraid of the bathtub, blinking lights, and being behind closed doors. But worst of all, she's afraid of her dog feeder.
It's a terrific feeder that holds a whole bag of dog food with a lid to keep it clean and dry. We knew she wasn't fond of pushing open the little hinged door with her nose to get at her food, so we propped it open with a rock and thought we would live happily ever after.
Last month, Bibs was in our house when Bob asked, "Does she have any food?"
"I saw some in her feeding tray," I said. "Why?"
"She acts likes she's starving," he said.
It was true. She was doing more than vacuuming the kitchen floor, she was trying to root in the garbage can and stand up to the counter when she thought we weren't looking and attempting to open cupboards with her nose. So when I took her back outside, I inspected the feeder more closely. I found spider webs woven across the feeding tray. Was she scared of spiders, or had they set up shop there because she never her nose in to eat her food? When I opened the lid, it was chock full of dog food, clear to the top.
"Bibs!" I said. "I can't believe you're scared of your feeder!" She lowered her head between her white-spotted shoulders and wagged her tail in apology.
I took pity on the ghost-touched dog and scooped some food out for her.
I think we're going to dress her up as a werewolf for Halloween.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Power of Words

It's now what we write but HOW we write it that makes our words connect with readers.

The state of publishing. What is selling.

Here's some information from Wall Street Journal today on the state of publishing and its outlook for fall.

Sales: American Association of Publishers (AAP) Sales Flat in August; September General Slump

In August, net sales rose 0.6%  to $1.5 billion for 79 publishers that reported to the Association of American Publishers. Net sales through August have fallen 1.4% to $6.651 billion.

Sales of selected categories:

E-books leapt 82.9%, to $4.3 million.
Children's/YA paperback jumped 18.4% to $69.4 million.
Adult hardcover rose 9.2% to $100.9 million.
Professional and scholarly rose 3% to $99.8 million.
Adult paperback edged up 1.8% to $147.4 million.

Adult mass market fell 4.5% to $70.1 million.
Audiobooks wound back 6.9% to $11.9 million.
Children's/YA hardcover fell 9.3% to $96.4 million.
Religious books dropped 10.8% to $61.1 million.
University press paperback slid 13.9% to $9.8 million.
University press hardcover fell 17.8% to $6.4 million.


In September, sales at general retail stores sagged at most types of stores, even luxury retailers, as the financial crisis deepened. Warehouse clubs were the only segment that had solid gains in sales at stores open at least a year: BJ's sales rose 10.4%, Sam's Club was up 4.6%. Wal-Mart sales rose 2.4%.
By contrast, sales at Saks dropped 10.9%, and Nordstrom's was down 9.6%. Even some value stores with a less utilitarian feel had lower sales: Target dropped 3%. Kohl's was down 5.5% and Penney was off 12.4%

(Lyle's Comment) This gives you a general feel for the economy. As you notice, publishing is better off than the rest of the economy as a whole. CFI's sales through August are up 7% in spite of very heavy returns from Deseret Book.

Publishers generally do a little better than the economy in a slump. People are looking for entertainment, guidance and information. YOU'RE NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER. Keep writing. I'm looking for that best-selling book Monday.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Santa's Secret" Stole My Heart

by Shirley Bahlmann
After reading this book, I no longer feel the need to make excuses for signing “Shirley Claus” on Christmas cards because “Santa’s Secret” tastefully binds the kindness of Santa Claus with the teachings of the Savior to align the two caring men on the same side of goodness and love.
I was crying by page 16. They were happy tears.
This book is so full of delightful passages that pop up like toffee in a candy bar that the whole thing is a delight to read. Well, okay, if you want to get picky, there are a half a dozen grammar challenged sentences, such as “I knew right away I’d forgot my glasses.” (It should be …forgotten my glasses…) but Christy told me this is to keep it true to the voice of the man who inspired this book.
Yes, this book is an even greater Christmas treasure because it’s based on true experiences of long-time Santa’s helper Phil Porter. It covers the reasons we shouldn’t judge another’s circumstance by what we see, and it aptly demonstrates how giving of yourself without asking for anything in return can be magical. I dare you to read it without needing a tissue. This book comes alive with instances of faith where tough, next-to-impossible situations work themselves out in realistic ways that still come across as blessings from heaven. It’s positively heart-warming to see how the spirit and love of Christmas flowed through so many hands, showing how we can all be part of the magic, even by small means. It’s amazing how little things can end up counting for so very much.
This book is a gift you can hold in your hands as well as your heart. My copy is bristling with notes for passages I wanted to share with you, but on second thought, you’ll like them better when you read this enchanting book yourself.

Shirley: Hey, Christy, it’s a little hard to tell by starlight, but those look like nice sandals you’re wearing.
Christy: Sh! Somebody might hear you.
Shirley: (looking around, then whispers) Who?
Christy: A highway robber.
Shirley: I don't see anyone. All I see is a wall.
Christy: Ancient Bethlehem’s city wall, to be exact.
Shirley: What are we doing outside? How do we get in?
Christy: Through the eye of a needle.
Shirley: Come again?
Christy: It’s a little opening by the city gate. Camels have to crawl through, but I can make it standing up. (Looks me up and down) You, oh freakishly tall one, might have to duck.
Shirley: So, we couldn’t have met here during daylight?
Christy: No. Tonight’s a special night. (Christy grins, her teeth shining white in the subdued light.)
Shirley: Okay, lead the way. Ooo, low ceiling, you weren’t kidding. Hey, I notice your book, “Santa’s Secret,” was written with Phil Porter. Who is he?
Christy: Phil is just a bus driver from Salem, Utah. But he has a special connection to this place.
Shirley: How did you meet him?
Christy: I work for a newspaper, the Spanish Fork News, and a few years ago I was assigned to interview him for a story in the Christmas Special Section. You see, Phil has been Santa Claus for 27 years now, and he has a unique perspective on the Christmas holiday.
Shirley: Ah, we’ve reached the city. Argh! A spotlight!
Christy: No, Shirley, that’s an exceedingly bright star.
Shirley: Oh. Now what do we do?
Christy: Come this way.
Shirley: Okay, I’ll follow along. What made you think of writing this book?
Christy: When I interviewed Phil, I was so touched and overwhelmed by the spirit of his stories, I approached him about coming together to write a novel. He said he'd been approached several times before--his stories are that good--but this time, the pieces just fell right. He is not a writer, but he is a story-teller, so he came to my house several times and I recorded his stories as he told them. I took those, and wove them together with a fictional "season" of Christmastime, to create a setting where his stories can take place. Some of what happens between him and his family in the book is fictional, and though he wanted to keep the names of his immediate family the same, all of the other names are changed. Almost everything else in the book is based on actual events. You really feel that when you read it, too. The stories ring with truth, and go right to the heart because they really happened.
Phil believes in Santa Claus in a different way than I've ever seen before. When he dresses in his Santa suit, he really "becomes" Santa. And because he takes his role so seriously, he has had many opportunities to offer help, comfort and love to people who are struggling during the holiday season. He's a true giver of real gifts.

Shirley: Oh, I must agree, I sensed that when I read it. Hey, what’s that up ahead?
Christy: A stable. I told you tonight was special. I wanted to meet you here on this night to see the real reason for Christmas.
Shirley: You don’t mean…
Christy: Yes. In that stable is born the Savior of the world.
Shirley: Wow. (Looking up) What’s that? I hear bells.
Christy: (Smiling) It’s Santa Claus.
Shirley: Here? Now? (Christy and Shirley watch as Santa lands his sleigh, takes off his hat, then walks into the stable and kneels beside the manger.) That is so awesome. Hey, doesn’t Santa Claus look a little like…?
Christy: Phil.
Shirley: Yeah. I love how they’re both on the same team. Thanks so much for bringing me here. You and Phil… and the Savior.
Christy: You’re welcome.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Political Ads

by Rebecca Talley

I'm always a little grouchy during election time because I get so tired of all of the political ads. It makes me think of the joke, "How do you know a politician is lying?" The answer, "His/Her lips are moving."

I'm sure there are honest politicians that do their best to serve, but it seems like we're inundated with so many negative political ads it's hard to figure out who is telling the truth.

We keep hearing about change, but what does that really mean? Change what? How?

Wouldn't it be nice if the candidates would create advertisements that indicated their plans for change and accurately portrayed their stands on the issues, instead of attacking the opponent? I've grown so weary of all the mud-slinging and name-calling, it makes me not want to vote at all.

I don't want to hear bad things about the other candidate, what I want to know is where each candidate stands on the issues that are important to me so I can cast an informed vote. I'd love to see ads that stick to the issues and aren't created simply to sully the names of the opponents.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Get up and do it!

Hey Guys, I did it! I finished the St. George Marathon. I didn't get the time I wanted, but I came so close I'm trying to figure out how to do it better next time. I discovered I could run 25 miles and be okay, but the last 1.2 nearly killed me (I still wonder if that is literally.) But coming within 96% of my goal on my first try, just made me a little more determined. My goal is not that far away.

I started wondering about us (you) as a group of writers. I can't get up each morning and run if I don't have an event that I'm looking forward to. It can be a 5k or 10k or 1/2. Aren't all of our goals about the same? We can't write day after day if we aren't looking forward to publishing and especially to reaching readers.

I can't beat 2:22 minutes (Saturday's winning time). But I like knowing someone did and I enjoy looking at the large area that I have for improvement. Even though I'm getting older, I know I can do better than I did Saturday.

I thought it would be fun to look at the earnings of the world's top writers. What do you think?

This year's Forbes list includes:

J.K. Rowling ($300 million)
James Patterson ($50 million)
Stephen King ($45 million)
Tom Clancy ($35 million)
Danielle Steel ($30 million)
John Grisham (tied at $25 million)
Dean Koontz (tied at $25 million)
Ken Follett ($20 million)
Janet Evanovich ($17 million)
Nicholas Sparks ($16 million)

It's not that I think we should be motivated by dollars. But those dollars represent readers and the influence each of those authors has.

What can each of us do to come closer to those amounts? I'd be thrilled if one of my authors earned 3.1% of what Nicholas Sparks did. What can we do to get more readers? To produce better product? To make it more effective?

Every Monday morning when Lee and I talk, we just imagine that today is the day, or this week is the week, that one of our authors is going to submit the book that is going to be just that much better—the book that hundreds of thousands of people are going to be talking about.

We may not be the first ones to the finish line, but nothing happens unless we just get up and do it. I like one of Lee's favorite quotes: "Endless patience brings immediate results." Keep at it! Maybe this is the magic Monday.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Mo or No-Mo?

by Brittany Mangus

Can you spot a Famous Mormon when you see one? Test out your sweet skills by playing "Mo or No-Mo?" on my blog! All you have to do is look at 5 photos and:

1) Tell me the name of the person
2) If they are a Mo or a No-Mo.

You can play for a chance to win either a Salt Lake Temple recommend holder or a handmade LDS oil vial, made from olive wood from Bethlehem.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Future for Book Promotion

by Rebecca Talley

It’s amazing how technology has advanced in the last 25 years. When I was in high school, no one had a cell phone or a personal computer. We all had to use landlines to speak with our friends and we used typewriters for our research papers. Yes, gasp, we had to actually know how to type (or at least know how to use the correction tape properly).

I remember my grandpa’s old typewriter and how the “e” always looked like an “o.” When I received a sleek new manual typewriter as a gift, I was thrilled. I was even happier when I was able to purchase a snazzy electric typewriter with the correction tape already loaded—talk about up-to-the-date technology.

I can still remember the papery thin feel of the onionskin paper and the ding when I needed to return the carriage on my manual machine. I remember the clicking of the keys and the pinging as the metal letters hit against the page. I can still hear the soft clicking as I moved the roller to load the paper. Of course, I also remember the frustration of finding a typo or misspelling and trying desperately to correct it.

When I was finishing my senior year at BYU, my husband tried to convince me to use a computer. I refused. I wasn’t comfortable with a computer and couldn’t see how it was any easier than using a typewriter—silly me. After several months, he finally persuaded me to try a computer and when I saw the ease of the “delete” key, I was sold.

Technology has come a long way. True, it can be used irresponsibly, but it can also provide us with a wealth of information at our fingertips as well as connect us to people all over the world. When I first started writing, I had no groups, no connection to other writers. I had no one to ask questions. I knew nothing about publishing. I didn’t even know how to really find the needed information so I kind of bumbled around in the dark hoping to figure it all out.

Then, the internet hit and, boom, I could access information from my computer in my own home. It didn’t even matter that I lived in the middle of a hay field. I found groups. I was suddenly connected to the world.

Because of the new technology and the internet, authors can do what time, distance, and money prevented them from doing pre-internet. Authors can now take advantage of blogging to create a web presence, create websites, participate in blog book tours, join online groups, ask questions in forums, and promote books by simply attaching a link on all outgoing email. We can promote our work while sitting in our pajamas. How cool is that?

The newest tool to promote our work is now on a site called YouTube. A friend of mine, author Marsha Ward, has created her own book trailer for The Man from Shenandoah. This is the future for authors to promote their books online. See what you think.

And to show you a little different approach, here is a YouTube by LDS author Jewel Adams promoting her fantasy novel, The Journey.

Even if technology seems difficult or foreign, it’s definitely in our best interest to embrace the new ways of communicating with our friends and with those who may want to read our books.

I’ll let you know if I ever fully embrace it and have a YouTube on Heaven Scent.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Book Review, "Three Angels for Christmas

Today, I want to do a Review on a pamplet, only 9 pages long, but filled with some of the most heartwarming wisdom and advice. It's title; "Three Angels for Christmas," by Lori Nawyn, introduces the reader to a simple, yet beautiful story filled with heartwarming wisdom and timely advice. It only takes a few minutes to read, but its message that brings tears to your eyes, will stay with you, maybe forever.

Hope for Tomorrow

By Rebecca Talley

I know that Abel Keogh can relate to this post since he is the author of "Room for Two."

Last week a friend of mine lost her 17 year old son to suicide. He was such a good kid with a good heart. He lit up the room when he was around. He loved his family. He was a good student. He cared about his friends. He was so full of life. He was happy.

Suicide leaves so many questions that have no answers. We all attempt to understand the "why" but the truth is, there is no explanation. Perhaps, that's the hardest part, living without knowing, trying to understand why someone would make such a permanent decision to a temporary problem.

Sometimes, a day seems particularly dark, but just as that day will end, another will begin and every tomorrow is filled with hope. Unfortunately, too many don't realize this and they choose to focus on today instead of having hope for tomorrow.

My heart aches for my friend and her family. I've struggled to know what I can say to her since words are so hollow and so insignifcant at a time like this. She doesn't understand why her son made this choice, she just wants him back. I pray that she will be able to see a tomorrow filled with hope and that I will know how to comfort her.