Thursday, July 28, 2016


Can I just say I love Photoshop . . . and I hate it!!!

What an absolutely amazing tool, especially for designers and fantasy map makers (like me). But oh my how many options, settings, tools, frustrations, ahhhhhhhhs you can get from using Photoshop.

I've been designing some covers for my books and it has been quite the experience. The more I work, the better I get and the more I learn, but sometimes I wonder if I will ever get the cover right. There are so many teeny tiny little things I can change or alter, that will change or alter the entire appearance of the cover.

Every option makes me sigh. Every change makes me question if it is better than the last. So many options, so little time. I get tired just thinking about it.

Perhaps I will put it away and actually work on editing something, after I make this one little tweak.

. . . Three hours later

There it's perfect. Now I can set it aside. I'm just going to fix that one little thing in the corner . . .

Friday, July 8, 2016

Cover Reveal

Hi all,

I posted this all over Facebook, but then I realized I needed to post it here as well.

So here is the cover for my next book coming this fall.

It will be available in September on Amazon and wherever Deseret Books are sold!!!

Crossing Lines is a historical novel set in the backdrop of German-occupied Austria and Italy during World War II.
Captain Charlie Banks, an American B-17 bomber pilot, never thought he’d get stuck behind enemy lines. He never thought the war would tear his life apart. And he never thought he’d fall in love with the enemy.
After his plane crashes in Austria, he makes for the Italian border with his navigator and friend, Sam, the only other surviving crew member. They stop for the night in an abandoned barn only to be discovered the next morning by Marianne Leichtner. To the Americans’ relief, Marianne doesn’t turn them in. In fact, she and her mother hide Charlie and Sam.
Marianne’s courage and character soon win Charlie’s heart. When the Nazis come looking for survivors of the plane crash, Charlie realizes he and Sam can no longer put Marianne and her mother in danger. 
The two Americans must cross through enemy territory and find a way back to England. If they get caught it could mean their lives, but if they succeed, Charlie may never see Marianne again.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Kindness Begins With Me

Take a look at these pictures.

What do you see when you look at these pictures?
Good? Bad? Wrinkles? Bags under the eyes? 

It certainly isn't the whole picture.

Kindness is the essence of greatness and the fundamental characteristic of the noblest men and women I have known. Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends. It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last lifetimes.
-The Virtue of Kindness, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, April 2005

Kindness is the essence of a celestial life. Kindness is how a Christlike person treats others. Kindness should permeate all of our words and actions at work, at school, at church, and especially in our homes.
-The Virtue of Kindness, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, April 2005

Question: How has an act of kindness from you or to you affected your life?

The things you say, the tone of your voice, the anger or calm of your words—these things are noticed by your children and by others. They see and learn both the kind and the unkind things we say or do. Nothing exposes our true selves more than how we treat one another in the home.

I often wonder why some feel they must be critical of others. It gets in their blood, I suppose, and it becomes so natural they often don’t even think about it. They seem to criticize everyone—the way Sister Jones leads the music, the way Brother Smith teaches a lesson or plants his garden.

The Church is not a place where perfect people gather to say perfect things, or have perfect thoughts, or have perfect feelings. The Church is a place where imperfect people gather to provide encouragement, support, and service to each other as we press on in our journey to return to our Heavenly Father.
-The Virtue of Kindness, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, April 2005

Question: What is your idea of perfection?

When we are filled with kindness, we are not judgmental. The Savior taught, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” He also taught that “with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
-The Virtue of Kindness, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, April 2005

Each one of us will travel a different road during this life. Each progresses at a different rate. Temptations that trouble your brother may not challenge you at all. Strengths that you possess may seem impossible to another.

Never look down on those who are less perfect than you. Don’t be upset because someone can’t sew as well as you, can’t throw as well as you, can’t row or hoe as well as you.

We are all children of our Heavenly Father. And we are here with the same purpose: to learn to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
-The Virtue of Kindness, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, April 2005

Question: How often to we judge others’ imperfections? How often do we judge our own imperfections against others’ perfections?

Of course, there are times when a woman’s ability to endure is taxed to the limit. A teacher may have had enough of childish pranks, or a mother might be heard to say she’s “ready to resign.” She could become discouraged, especially if comparing herself unrealistically to others or focusing on what she is to do instead of on what she is to be.

Her self-esteem cannot be based on physical features, possession or lack of a particular talent, or comparative quantities of anything. Her self-esteem is earned by individual righteousness and a close relationship with God. Her outward glow is generated by goodness within. And her patience is much more apparent than any imperfection. (See D&C 67:13.) 
Woman-Of Infinite Worth by Elder Russell M. Nelson, October 1989

In the end, loving yourself is not about tooting your own horn or conforming to the world’s view of self-esteem. It’s about being who you are—a unique child of God—and knowing that who you are is a good thing. When you understand your eternal worth and you live in a way consistent with your divine heritage, you will gain a lasting self-esteem that is better than anything the world can offer. 
- Truth, Lies, and Your Self-Worth by MINDY RAYE FRIEDMAN

Look at the pictures again.

When we focus on the imperfections, or build our frame too small, we miss the beauty of the whole picture, the picture that our Savior sees, the person you are and will become.

Now let's look at the whole picture.

My dear brothers and sisters, it may be true that man is nothing in comparison to the greatness of the universe. At times we may even feel insignificant, invisible, alone, or forgotten. But always remember—you matter to Him!
. . . He knows you. He loves you with a perfect love.
. . . God sees you not only as a mortal being on a small planet who lives for a brief season—He sees you as His child. He sees you as the being you are capable and designed to become.
-You Matter to Him, Elder Uchtdorf, October 2011

She by Cherie Call

She is not the picture on the magazine
She's the woman just behind you at the checkout stand
She may appear to be common but she mystifies
In all the ways the wisest men and children understand
'Cause she has eyes that sparkle with her love
And she has a smile that's as gentle as a dove
And no woman from a movie or an ad could ever hope to be
As beautiful as she

She is not a highly honored diplomat
Held responsible to lead the world to peace
But what she does is every bit as serious
Amidst the turmoil everywhere that will never cease
'Cause she has hands that wipe the tears away
And she has a voice that makes everything O.K.
And no woman from the papers or T.V. could ever hope to be
As indispensable as she

And it breaks my heart every time I see her wonder
If she means anything in this world that pulls her under
And she doesn't always see the way that Heaven smiles above her
That's the reason I try to always tell her that I love her

'Cause she may not be known for giving millions
To the charities and auctions on the news
But I believe she's given more than anyone
In all the times she's ever had to choose
To give up sleep to rock her children every night
And give her heart to always hold their dreams so tight
And the best that you or I could ever hope to be
Is as wonderful as she
And the best that you or I could ever hope to be

Is as wonderful as she