This Site Is In Permanent Hiatus

Unless I change my mind in the future, this site has retired for good.

However, I’m keeping it up because of the many resources and information found in the posts. I may index the site at some future date to make it easier for readers to find what they’re interested in, but I have no definite plans to do that soon.

Please visit where I will continue to spotlight new releases by LDS authors.

And the Winner Is…

The winner of the $25 Amazon Gift Card is

Cathy J


Congratulations! It will be on its way to you in just a few minutes.

Thanks to everyone who played and who have supported this site over the years. I really appreciate you.

Yes, It’s Me

My name is Karlene Browning.

I was the owner, operator and chief bottle washer of Rosehaven Publishing & Distribution, Inc. from 2000 through 2006.

I am still in the industry, doing freelance editing, typesetting, cover design, web design and e-book creation for self-publishers and small presses. My company is LibrisPro. (Go check out my newly designed website.)

And yes, I am the LDS Book Geek over at

I also am Miles Ahead Learning Resources, which sells educational curriculum products and games. And I’m where I sell some of the e-books I’ve coded.

So I’m curious. Were you right?

Or did you really think I was Angela Eschler? Or maybe you thought I was Stacy Whitman? Or Lisa Mangum? (Those were the three women I was most often mis-guessed as over the years.)

No matter who you thought I was, I hope you’ll still be my friend over on

And for those of you who don’t really care who I am but wanted to win the $25 Amazon Gift Card, I’ll be announcing that first thing in the morning. Today is the last day to enter to win!

Also, remember that all the New Release posts, monthly prizes, and reading challenges will now be at

Do You Know Me?

Quite possibly.

I’d estimate I know more than half of the regular commenters on this site in real life or via Facebook friendship under my real name.

And sometimes it’s really hard not to slip and mention something you’ve only told LDS Publisher when I’m talking to you in real life.

It’s even harder when some of you frequent commenters only know me as LDS Publisher, and then I see you in person—and I want to come up and give you a big hug like we’re old friends. Which is how I feel about you. But you would have no clue who that strange woman was who was suddenly hugging you. And I really, really don’t want to be arrested for stalking you.

Today’s hint: Go look at your list of Facebook friends. Compare what you know about them with the info on my About Page.

I’ll bet most of you will figure it out from this one clue, but if you do, keep it quiet for just a bit longer.

Now I want to know about you.

If YOU had a secret identity, what would it be?


Remember, you can earn more points for the $25 Amazon Gift Card by spreading the word every day!

Storymakers Conference Hints

Today’s Hint:

If you’ve ever been to a LDStorymakers Conference, you’ve probably passed me in the hall.

Or attended a class I was in.

Or sat next to me for a meal.

The very first time I went to Storymaker’s, I wore my work uniform—the one from my day job, way back when I worked at a publishing company.

I’ve been to every Storymaker’s Conference since then, except for one year when I was indisposed.

And I’ve attended every single Whitney Awards Banquet. Yes, every one. So if you attended any of them, I was there.

Are you suspicious? Do you think you’ve figured it out?

Here are a few more hints:

There are photos of me in the 2012 Conference Album here.

And at the most recent conference, I attended classes taught by John Brown, Sheralynn Pratt, and Jaime Theler (among others).

Now I want to know about you.

Were you at Storymakers this year? What were your favorite classes?

Oh, and before you forget, go enter to win the  $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Geek, Nerd, Worm—Whatever You Want to Call It…

…that’s me.

As long as the word “Book” goes in front of it, I’m okay with it.

And that is today’s hint.

I read. A lot.

As a child, my goal was to read every book in the library before I graduated from elementary school. I didn’t achieve that goal, but it was sure fun trying.

As a young teen, I’d sometimes read a book a day. No, I did not have much of a social life until high school. Once the teenage hormones struck, I dropped to 3 books a week.

As an adult, it depends on what else is going on in my life. Sometimes I go weeks without cracking a book, and sometimes I read like a crazy lady!

My favorite genres are YA, Speculative and Mystery (not necessarily in that order).

I do not have one favorite book. I have 100. Way to many to list here.

My all-time favorites from childhood are: Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle, The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron, and The Silver Crown by Robert C. O’Brien.

I have purposely not listed any of my favorite LDS authors, nor any of the books I’ve loved as an adult. Don’t want to give away everything with this very first hint!

Before you forget, go enter to win the  $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Now I want to know about you.

What were some of your favorite books from childhood?

An Announcement and a Party

LDSP1_300Earlier in the month I hinted that there were some changes coming and that I’d make a big announcement. Well, here it is.

I’m ending this blog.


Don’t panic! I’m leaving it up as a resource and I’ll be indexing it so that it will be easier to find information. But basically, things have changed and I’ve run out of things to say.

I started the blog in 2006, when I worked at a publishing company. Blogging was an attempt to help new writers who were completely stymied by the publishing process. By providing information and explanations, I hoped to prevent them from shooting themselves in the foot, so to speak.

I also hoped to make my life a little easier by reducing the number of completely inappropriate submissions I received from authors on a daily basis.

And it worked! It worked really well. And I’ve enjoyed watching the newbies who asked questions in the early days become successful published authors.

Over the past 7 years, the blog has changed a lot. It morphed from a free Blogger blog to this self-hosted site. The content changed from a simple question and answer format in the beginning, to include spotlights of new releases by LDS authors, guest posts by authors and other publishers, monthly book giveaways, story contests, and reading challenges.

My life has changed over the years, as well. I’ve left the day-to-day ranks of publishing. While I’m still actively involved in the  industry, I am no longer an acquisitions editor and therefore, no longer receive daily inspiration for blog posts. I’m also really busy in my new job and it’s been harder to find time to make the posts.

So after thinking about this for over a year, I’ve decided it’s time to archive this site and move on to other things—like the New LDS Fiction site.

A part of me is really sad about this. I’ll miss it. And so, to make me feel better about it, I need to celebrate with a party—the culmination of which will be a reveal of my true identity!

[Ha! You clicked the link, didn’t you? You thought I was going to tell you today? Nope. Not until Friday.]

Not that my true identity is a huge secret anymore. A lot of you sneaky readers have tricked me into revealing my identity. And I’ve really made no effort to hide my writing voice, so astute “listeners” who also know me in real life may have already made the connection. And then some of  you whom I confided in during the early years have blabbed. (Shame on you!)

But for the handful of readers who still don’t know who I am—or who only suspect my identity—I will reveal myself on Friday.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll reveal a hint every day.

And I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card
to one lucky person who helps me spread the word
about the New LDS Fiction site!


To enter to win the gift card, use the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You’ve Changed by Tristi Pinkston

Back when I was first published (yes, check out the picture of me … little baby author Tristi) I had one main goal.

You see, when I got my contract, a friend of my mother’s said to me, “I hope you don’t change now that you’re going to be published. An author lives in our ward, and as soon as she got published, she became totally different. She won’t give us the time of day anymore.”

Other people said pretty much the same thing. “I hope that when you’re rich and famous, you’ll still have time for us.” “Well, it was nice knowing you.” “You’ll be different now, I guess.”

These comments all really bothered me. Why would getting a publishing contract mean that I would change? Why couldn’t I be a published author and still be myself—wasn’t there a way to be both? And so I set a goal, the main goal I mentioned in the first paragraph: I was not going to change. I would always be me.

My plan seemed to work. No matter how many book signings I did or classes I presented or book clubs I did, I was careful that I was always myself. I never put on any airs or acted stuck up or pretended to know stuff I didn’t know. I didn’t name-drop … even though I actually know some really amazing, highly famous people … and I tried to stay pretty low-key about some of the awesome experiences I had. I didn’t want people to look at me and say, “She’s changed. She got published and now she’s a totally different person.” I was going to fight that tooth and nail.

But then I realized something. I had changed.

I was more confident.

I was more educated.

I was more outgoing.

I was finding new talents to share.

I was becoming an expert in my field.

I was funnier.

I was more popular.

I was learning how to respect myself more.

I was making money. (Not a lot, but some. Still working on that.)

I was sought after.

I was viewed as a mentor.

I was stronger mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Oh, no. I broke my promise … I had promised not to change, and then I went and did it.

Tristi2When I look at who I was back then and who I am today, I can’t say that I regret breaking that promise. The fundamentals of who I am have not changed. I’m still friendly and approachable and helpful and as cute as a button, but I’m also wiser and stronger and more able to hold my own. I have learned so much, and everything I’ve learned has shaped me. I’m a far, far better person than I was ten years ago.

And have I lost friends along the way? I’m sorry to say that I have. Some didn’t realize that I wasn’t going to dump them and they dumped me first, thinking they’d take it upon themselves. And some, even though I rarely even mentioned my writing, felt that I talked about it too much and thought I was bragging. What I’ve come to realize is this—the people who said “Don’t change” were really saying “Don’t leave us behind. Um, no, we aren’t going to pursue our own dreams—that’s too hard—so you stay back here with us so we can be more comfortable.”

I don’t like to think about the relationships that were left behind—it makes me sad. But a real friendship, a real relationship, doesn’t punish you for growing as a person, and I learned that the hard way.

Being an author does change you, whether you want it to or not. Every experience you have in life should change you—that’s what life is for. If your life isn’t changing you, you aren’t living it right. We should not leave this planet the same people we were as when we stepped on it. We should be stronger. We should be smarter. We should be more compassionate, more aware, more giving.

I like who I am now. I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea—a little Tristi goes a long way—but I’m proud of the progress I’ve made. I still have a lot to do—weaknesses I want to turn into strengths, character flaws I’m not too crazy about—and, unfortunately, I know that growth will hurt. That’s just part of it. But what it all boils down to is this—I’ve changed. I’ve changed for the better, for the smarter, for the wiser, and no one should ask you to stay the same either.

Experiences that don’t change you aren’t worth having.


Tristi Pinkston is the author of seventeen (and counting!) published books, including the Secret Sisters mystery series. In addition to being a prolific author, Tristi also provides a variety of author services, including editing and online writing instruction. You can visit her at or her website at

The Case of the Disappearing Posts!

Dear LDS Publisher,

Did you know that some of your posts are disappearing? Most specifically, the post about MY book? And also other book spotlight posts? What’s up with that?

Why, yes, I did know that. Thank you for noticing.

They’ve all moved over to the New LDS Fiction site at

Most of them moved over smoothly, with comments and star ratings intact. I’m in the process of making sure they all made it over and that even the earliest posts have the newer post format with the ability to click a star rating for them. Currently, I’m in 2011 and working backwards in time.

Go check and see if your post is there. If it’s not or if it needs updating, send an email.

A New Renaissance in Literature by Karen Jones Gowen, WiDo Publishing

One of the hallmarks of the Renaissance of the 15th century was that new voices were heard in the areas of art, literature, religion and basically all aspects of cultural life, touching and influencing thought from the highest levels of power down to the lowest, allowing the common man to finally realize his potential.  William Tyndale, who translated the Bible to English, was key in this transformation. He captures its essence in these few powerful words to a noted clergyman:  “If God spares my life, ere many years, I will cause the boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than thou dost!”

For the past five decades, the publishing industry, represented by what is commonly known as “the Big Six,” have been the ones controlling what books were available in bookstores and libraries. When the offerings were the best literary voices of our time, nobody complained; but when it veered to commercial garbage that sold in huge numbers (think Harold Robbins, Jacqueline Susann and their copycats), then people wondered where all the good books had gone.

Small niche publishers emerged to offer books not available through the large publishers. The self-publishing movement is often seen as a backlash, not only to the power held for so long by the big publishers, but also to these small independents  with their choosy submission guidelines. By self-publishing, you can write what you want, how you want, publish it immediately, and avoid the gatekeepers altogether. This movement is quite accurately referred to as the “self-publishing revolution” because its proponents are revolting against all the old rules of publishing.

Although William Tyndale revolted against the rules of the Pope in his day, and subsequently gave his life for his principles, I believe his role was more Renaissance than Revolution. The word renaissance means “rebirth,” the word revolution according to Wikipedia is “from the Latin revolutio, a ‘turn around’, a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.” The Renaissance took centuries, a revolution happens quickly.

There’s no doubt that a publishing revolution has occurred, and it has been a very exciting time indeed.  However, I believe it is time for writers and publishers to use these opportunities to create a literary renaissance, not just a publishing revolution. How to do that?

Think of men like Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, and Michelangelo Buonarroti. Were they simply revolting against the status quo, or were they contributing knowledge and truth through the medium of their art? Scientists like Copernicus and Galileo Galilei were first and foremost seekers of truth in scientific knowledge and methods.  Religious leaders such as Tyndale, along with Thomas More, Martin Luther, and John Calvin fit into the same category—not simply part of a revolution but because of their devotion to truth and the good of mankind, were part of something much more than a tirade against the Pope or the Church of England.

Millions of books are now available that could never have made it through the gatekeepers of old. To name just a few types: poorly written, barely edited “novels” written fast and published even faster;  10 or 20 page ebook summaries using widely searched keywords, like how to simplify one’s life or write a Kindle bestseller; erotica, basically pornography masquerading as romance for women.

In other words, if you can write it you can publish it; whether it’s any good or contributes to the literary culture is beside the point. The focus is on the selling rather than on the writing. Really, how is this any different than the era of The Valley of the Dolls? The publishers may have changed names from the Big 6 to one million ebook writers, but if the focus remains on churning out stuff for the mass market, where is the revolution? It’s just a whole lot of people now trying to get in on the action.  What the self-publishing revolution has done for writers is what the state lotteries have done for gambling. Remember when people had to go to Vegas to gamble? Talk about the old days! Now you can go to your corner convenience store, buy a lotto ticket and hope to win big.

As writers, why not turn this revolution into a renaissance? Let’s contribute to the literary culture, not just churn out stuff as quick as we can. Let’s write stories that are true, with characters who are “real,” using language that transcends common everyday speech. Let’s write books that, using the very best of our skills, polished and practiced, will carry our readers to a greater plane of understanding as we enlighten and entertain.

It’s time for writers who care about books to contribute to a re-birth of literary excellence. Opportunities abound. Let us take advantage of the many ways to make our voices heard as we do our best work, write meaningfully and well, and become part of a new renaissance in literature.


About Karen Jones Gowen: Born and raised in central Illinois, the daughter of a Methodist minister from Indiana and a school teacher from Nebraska, Karen Jones Gowen has down-to-earth Midwestern roots. Karen and her husband Bruce have lived in Utah, Illinois, California and Washington, currently residing near Salt Lake City. They are the parents of ten children. Not surprisingly, family relationships are a recurring theme in Gowen’s writing. She is the managing editor for WiDo Publishing and the author of four books, all of which fit loosely into the category of LDS Fiction. Karen’s website: WiDo Publishing website:

A Few Publishing Facts by Lyle Mortimer/Cedar Fort

There are a lot of things about the publishing industry of which most authors are not aware. By learning about what goes on behind the scenes with your publisher, and in the industry as a whole, you will be better equipped to understand the environment in which you are trying to sell your book.

Here are a few facts.

Average book sales are shockingly small, and falling fast

Combine the explosion of books published with the declining total sales and you get shrinking sales of each new title. According to BookScan—which tracks most bookstore, online, and other retail sales of books (including—only 263 million books were sold in 2011 in the U.S. in all adult nonfiction categories combined (Publishers Weekly, January 2, 2012). The average U.S. nonfiction book is now selling less than 250 copies per year and less than 3,000 copies over its lifetime. And very few titles are big sellers. Only 62 of 1,000 business books released in 2009 sold more than 5,000 copies, according to an analysis by the Codex Group (New York Times, March 31, 2010).

A book has less than a 1% chance of being stocked in an average bookstore

For every available bookstore shelf space, there are 100 to 1,000 or more titles competing for that shelf space. For example, the number of business titles stocked ranges from less than 100 (smaller bookstores) to approximately 1,500 (superstores). Yet there are 250,000-plus business books in print that are fighting for that limited shelf space.

It is getting harder and harder every year to sell books

Many book categories have become entirely saturated, with a surplus of books on every topic. It is increasingly difficult to make any book stand out. Each book is competing with more than ten million other books available for sale, while other media are claiming more and more of people’s time. Result: investing the same amount today to market a book as was invested a few years ago will yield a far smaller sales return today.

There’s little agreement among publishers about what advertising does, other than make the author and the author’s agent feel better, and demonstrate that the house is capable of spending money on ads.

If you’re lucky enough to publish with a house that has a publicity and marketing staff so much the better. You’re one of the lucky ones. Advertising and marketing are some of the gambles that make trade publishing so risky.

Most books today are selling only to the authors’ and publishers’ communities

Everyone in the potential audiences for a book already knows of hundreds of interesting and useful books to read but has little time to read any. Therefore people are reading only books that their communities make important or even mandatory to read. There is no general audience for most nonfiction books, and chasing after such a mirage is usually far less effective than connecting with one’s communities.

Most book marketing today is done by authors, not by publishers

Publishers have managed to stay afloat in this worsening marketplace only by shifting more and more marketing responsibility to authors, to cut costs and prop up sales. In recognition of this reality, most book proposals from experienced authors now have an extensive (usually many pages) section on the authors’ marketing platform and what the authors will do to publicize and market the books. Publishers still fulfill important roles in helping craft books to succeed and making books available in sales channels, but whether the books move in those channels depends primarily on the authors.

No other industry has so many new product introductions

Every new book is a new product, needing to be acquired, developed, reworked, designed, produced, named, manufactured, packaged, priced, introduced, marketed, warehoused, and sold. Yet the average new book generates only $10,000 to $20,000 in sales, which needs to cover all of these expenses, leaving only small amounts available for each area of expense. This more than anything limits how much publishers can invest in any one new book and in its marketing campaign.

You may have noticed that the numbers of bookstores have decreased significantly over the past decade. Most notably was the demise of Borders, which had a large market share. You have probably also seen that the ranks of publishers are thinning.

As you understand the risks and responsibilities of publishers you will be much better able to interface with them, your expectations will be significantly refined, and your project is much more likely to succeed.


Lyle Mortimer and Lee Nelson started Cedar Fort in 1986. Lyle has been an active participant in the company for over 25 years. Cedar Fort’s vision is to publish uplifting and edifying books. You can connect with Cedar Fort at the website,

Congratulations 2012 Whitney Award Winners!

I know this has been posted elsewhere today—I’ve seen it all over Facebook. But I wanted to congratulate the winners on a job well done! And also to offer my personal thank you to all those behind-the-scenes people who make the Whitney Awards and Gala possible.

Also, my candy dress was a hit with my table mates! (But it’s a good thing I wore a  jumpsuit under it. They were hungry!)


By Brodi Ashton
Best Young Adult Speculative Novel



By Lisa Mangum
Best Young Adult General Novel



By Jennifer A. Nielsen
Best Middle Grade Novel



By Camron Wright
Best General Novel



By Carla Kelly
Best Historical Novel



By Julianne Donaldson
Best Romance Novel



By Traci Hunter Abramson
Best Mystery/Suspense Novel



By Dan Wells
Best Speculative Novel



By Jennifer A. Nielsen
Best Youth Novel of the Year



By Julianne Donaldson
Best Novel by a New Author



By Camron Wright
Best Novel of the Year



Lael Littke



Carol Lynch Williams


What Do You Think of These Generally Historic Titles?

Okay, that was lame. I know. Sorry.

These are the last two Whitney Award finalists categories for this year.


Dancing on Broken Glass Paige The 13th Day of Christmas A Night on Moon Hill The Rent Collector
Ka Hancock* Annette Lyon Jason F. Wright Tanya Parker Mills Camron Wright


Espionage My Loving Vigil Keeping Spinster’s Folly The Five Books of Jesus Within the Dark Hills
A. L. Sowards* Carla Kelly Marsha Ward James Goldberg* Sian Ann Bessey

In the comments, tell us:

• How many of these 10 finalists have you read?

• Which ones did you really, really love?

• And if you had to pick just one from each category—like, if you were at the bookstore and you only had enough money to buy ONE book—which is your winner and WHY?

Remember, these comments enter you to win one of the books featured in sidebar!

Help Me Pick a Dress!

The Whitney Awards Banquet is this weekend! And after working with hundreds of top-notch, internationally renowned, elite fashion designers, I’ve narrowed it down to three.

1. The Blue Fairy


I like this one because blue definitely sets off my hair, which is my best feature. And I already have glasses frames to match. I would wear this outfit exactly as is, but with my hair flowing down below the absolutely striking hat.

2. The Green Dream


I like this one because my eyes are green. And also it has a fashion-forward feel to it. Plus, if anyone annoys me, I can turn my head quickly and smack them with my hat—then pretend it was an accident.


3. The Blood Sugar Booster


This is the one I’m sort of leaning toward because I lurve the colors. Plus I have trouble with my blood sugar so if I get hungry, I can have a snack.

But I’d wear these shoes.


So what do you think??? Please give feedback and tell me which one to pick in the comments below. I NEED your help because the last thing I want is to look like a fashion fool at the banquet!


Romantic Suspense?

Romance and Mystery/Suspense make a nice couple, don’t they? I mean, romance has always been a mystery to me. And a good suspense thriller is always better with a smidge of romance thrown in, right?

Okay, two more categories to chat about.


Lady Outlaw Of Grace and Chocolate Smart Move Twitterpated Edenbrooke
Stacy Henrie* Krista Lynne Jensen* Melanie Jacobson Melanie Jacobson Julianne Donaldson*


Banana Split Code Word Deadly Undertakings Line of Fire Tres Leches Cupcakes
Josi S. Kilpack Traci Hunter Abramson Gregg Luke Rachel Ann Nunes Josi S. Kilpack


In the comments, tell us:

• How many of these 10 finalists have you read?

• Which ones did you really, really love?

• And if you had to pick just one from each category—like, if you were at the bookstore and you only had enough money to buy ONE book—which is your winner and WHY?

Remember, these comments enter you to win one of the books featured in sidebar!

Whitney Finalists—I’m Speculating…

Did you think I was going to guess the winners? Nope. This is a review of the finalists for a  Whitney Award in the Speculative categories.


City of the Saints Flight From Blithmore Earthbound The Hollow City The Penitent
D. J. Butler Jacob Gowans Theresa Sneed Dan Wells C. David Belt

Youth Adult—Speculative

Demons Destined Endlessly Everneath Feedback
Heather Frost Aprilynne Pike Kiersten White Brodi Ashton* Robison Wells

Like yesterday, I want your comments!

In the comments, tell us:

• How many of these 10 finalists have you read?

• Which ones did you really, really love?

• And if you had to pick just one from each category—like, if you were at the bookstore and you only had enough money to buy ONE book—which is your winner and WHY?

Remember, these comments enter you to win one of the books featured in sidebar!

Storymakers and Whitney Awards—Oh My!

This weekend is probably my favorite weekend of the entire year! It’s the LDStoryMakers Conference and the Whitney Awards banquet!!!!!!!!

Yes, they deserve all those exclamation points—and more!

Seriously. I’ve been going to Storymakers for years in my alter ego persona. I’ve missed a few—and that always makes me sad—but I’ve really loved watching it grow and change to become what it is today. I love the supportive atmosphere and the great fun. I always come home inspired to write more.

Click here to see a few photos of me at the conference in previous years.

And then there are the Whitney Awards! I simply can’t imagine the Oscars being more fun. (Unless, of course, I got a seat next to Robert Downey Jr.)

Click here for photos of me at the 2011 Whitney Awards Banquet.

I’ll be posting some pictures of this year’s outfit later this week.

But today, let’s talk about the finalists. Here are the finalists for two of the Whitney categories.

Young Adult—General

After Hello Finding June The Space Between Us The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back V is for Virgin
Lisa Mangum Shannen Crane Camp Jessica Martinez Sariah Wilson Kelly Oram

Middle Grade

Case File 13: Zombie Kid Epic Tales of a Misfit Hero Freakling Palace of Stone The False Prince
J. Scott Savage Matt Peterson* Lana Krumwiede* Shannon Hale Jennifer A. Nielsen


In the comments, tell us:

• How many of these 10 finalists have you read?

• Which ones did you really, really love?

• And if you had to pick just one from each category—like, if you were at the bookstore and you only had enough money to buy ONE book—which is your winner and WHY?

Remember, these comments enter you to win one of the books featured in sidebar!

About the Fiction Posts…

First up today is a bit of business.

On Friday, I referenced some big changes coming to the blog. I’m planning to leak the changes out a little bit each week through the end of this month. There’s one pretty BIG change I hadn’t planned to leak until mid-May.


Over the weekend, I got no fewer than a dozen e-mails asking what was up with the new release spotlight posts. Most of them lost the book cover images in one fell swoop about a week ago. Oops!

Well, that was my fault. I was working on a new change and clicked the wrong button or something and—POOF! There is no easy fix. I know this because I tried a few and the results were zip.

The only option remaining is to repost every image individually. And I’m not going to do that because it would take hours and hours and hours to put them back up. I know this for sure because I spent 30 hours last week adding those same images HERE.

Yes, that’s one of the new changes. All the fiction spotlight posts are being moved over to their own sweet site: New LDS Fiction.

I had hoped to be a little further along on this new site before announcing it, but since so many of you have asked about those fiction posts, I decided to unveil today. TA-DA!

So far, I’ve got the 2013 and 2012 posts fixed with the new format with covers. (Yay!) (All the past years will be spiffed up by the end of May.) Most of the info pages are done.

(And yes, comments on the new site enter you to win one of the sponsoring books. In fact, for this month only, you can get double points for making the same comment on the same book on both sites.)

I also made a Facebook page—which is depressingly naked right now, but go ahead and click on over there and “Like” it. Do it now while you’re thinking about it. I’ll wait.

Done? Okay.  You’ll be glad you did when I announce…uh…something else later this month.

I still need to get my sidebar links corrected, the RSS feed up, subscribe by e-mail, and the other social media things going. I also need to work out some details on a few of the new features—like the Book Club. And the little images that show other posts you might like are going skewampy, so I have to figure that out too. But pretty much, the site is live and good to go.

All future new release spotlight posts will be there
at New LDS Fiction, not here.

And in just a few minutes, we’ll start the regularly scheduled, pre-Whitney Award posting party.

We Need a Little Christmas…

…right this very minute! *

Okay, maybe not THIS exact minute but very soon.

There are going to be some MAJOR changes here on LDS Publisher over the next month. (Lots of changes that may even change the course of history.) I’ll be making announcements every couple of days but the first one is:

Christmas Anthology #3

So, remember that Christmas story contest I held last year that I’ve never gotten around to posting comments on or sending out promised evaluations? Yeh, that one.

Well, it was the last one. We won’t be doing those here anymore. Sorry. And I can’t even say I’ll eventually get those evals to you. It just takes a lot of time and my day job is keeping me pretty busy. So if any of you want to go back and offer your own evals and comments on those stories, go right ahead. (The authors will appreciate it—and so will I.)

Okay, so even though I’m admitting to being a major slacker, I do want to create a THIRD AND FINAL Christmas story anthology for release this fall. The winners of the contest are automatically in this new anthology. But I need about 10 more stories. A few I’ll pull from the contest but I’m open to looking at new stories for inclusion. They won’t be posted here on the website and they won’t be voted on, but I will read them and get back to you by the end of the summer.

If you’re interested, here are the details:

  • Christmas themed short story, any genre, appropriate for LDS readers, written by LDS authors. Previously unpublished.
  • Maximum word count = 3,000.
  • Copy and paste the story into an email. Do NOT send attachments.
  • Submission Deadline: June 30, 2013

Please follow these guidelines to the letter! For best practices, you can read through this post and follow those very detailed guidelines. Just remember, no posting, no winners announced, no evals.

*To help get you in the mood: We Need a Little Christmas

May 2013 Prize Sponsors!

A big thank you to our Prize Sponsors! Please take a moment to learn more about this month’s wonderfully generous sponsors.

Above Rubies by Jaclyn M. Hawkes

AboveRubiesHis chivalry was strangling her. He thought he was helping her, and in truth he was. She was in desperate straits. But as honorable as he was, he was also breaking her heart.

Her attraction was drowning him. When World Champion rodeo cowboy Rossen Rockland and his friends rescue a young runaway who has been abused by her foster father and take her home to his parents ranch, he expects her to turn out to be a pain in the neck. And sometimes she is.

It doesn t take him long to figure out that she has way more than her allotment of trouble and far more than her share of gifts. Lovely, talented, and ravingly brilliant, Kit Star is too young, unbelievable humble, and oh so loveable. Knowing that she needs his protection and time to grow into her potential, Rossen also figures out that what she really is, is a pain in the heart.

Hawkes_JaclynJaclyn M. Hawkes grew up in Utah with 6 sisters, 4 brothers and any number of pets. (It was never boring!) She got a bachelor’s degree, had a career and traveled extensively before settling down to her life’s work of being the mother of four magnificent and sometimes challenging children. She loves shellfish, the out of doors, the youth and hearing her children laugh. She and her fine husband, their family, and their sometimes very large pets, now live in a mountain valley in northern Utah, where it smells like heaven and kids still move sprinkler pipe.


Hidden in the Heart by Roseanne E. Wilkins

HiddenInHeart_NewCathee is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has suffered from severe post traumatic stress disorder for several years.

During a vacation with her four year old daughter to Topeka, Kansas, she meets Garrett, a therapist. He hopes Cathee will let him help her work through her issues, but her past has come back to haunt her.


Roseanne Evans Wilkins: was the second oldest of 9 children, so I grew up in a house full of noisy kids. Craig grew up in a house with just 2 quiet kids. Opposites attract lol. Since I’m the one home, we filled the house with kids. I’d go crazy with silence. Craig manages the noise level by traveling all over the U.S. teaching other adults how to audit.

With 5 kids in sports, I keep busy running them to their practices and games. After hectic days running kids everywhere and taking care of three pre-schoolers, I find quiet time after everyone is in bed to write. I hope you enjoy the results :) .

You can visit Roseanne at her blog, Roseanne’s Spot.

Josette by Danielle Thorne

Josette Josette Price sees her future in Beddingfield Park. While her brother, George, needlessly pursues a naval career, Josette promises to watch over their beloved parents and the Beddingfield Park estate. Nothing would make Josette happier than to see her sister and her self settled within the palings of Beddingfield. But dark, brooding Captain Carter rides into their lives with news that ruins everything: George has been lost at sea.

Josette must decide between marrying her fickle relation or helping her besotted sister trap him in her stead. Before a decision can be made, will Captain Carter and his delightfully spinsterish relatives stop the Price girls from making a choice that would be the greatest tragedy of all?

Thorne_DaniellecDanielle Thorne freelanced for online and print magazines from 1998 through 2001, adding reviewing and editing to her resume. She has published poetry, short fiction and novels. Danielle is the author of sweet romantic adventure books, both historical and contemporary. She won an Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest’s 2006 annual writing competition and won the 2008 Awe-Struck Short Novel Contest. In 2009, Danielle won Classic Romance Revival’s Work in Progress Contest, which resulted in another contract for her fiction.

Danielle currently writes from south of Atlanta, Georgia. Besides contract editing and writing full time, Danielle has four sons with her husband, Rob. Together they enjoy travel and the outdoors.

Replacing Gentry by Julie N. Ford

ReplacingGentryWhen Marlie attends a cadaver ball at Vanderbilt Medical School, she did not expect to actually see any cadavers. Or, that a strange apparition would issue her such a chilling message. Despite the cadaver’s warning, a year later Marlie is married to Tennessee State Senator, Daniel Cannon, and living in a plantation-style mansion with two step sons. Add to the mix her growing suspicion that something is amiss with the death of Daniel’s first wife, Gentry, and newlywed Marlie is definitely in over her pretty Yankee head.

What begins as an innocent inquiry into her new husband’s clouded past, ends with Marlie facing a dangerous conspiracy. A modern twist on the classic Gothic romance novels like Rebecca and Jane Eyre, Replacing Gentry follows Marlie’s precarious journey as she seeks to learn the truth about the man she married.

Ford_JulieNJulie N. Ford has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in English Literature from San Diego State University. In addition, she earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama. She has worked in teaching, childbirth education and family therapy and hopes to re-enter the Social Work field someday.

She is the author of four women’s fiction novels, The Woman He Married (March 2011) and No Holly for Christmas (November 2011), published by Whiskey Creek Press. Whitney Award Finalist, Count Down to Love (July 2011), published by Bonneville Books. And Replacing Gentry to be released April 2013.

Currently, she lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, two daughters and baby hedgehog, Wallace.


The Return of Cassandra Todd by Darrell Nelson

CassandraToddWhen the popular girl whose friends bullied him in high school suddenly re-enters his life, little son in tow, Turner Caldwell must put the past behind him if they are to survive.

Turner Caldwell works at a local motel as a handyman while attending college full-time. On his way to class one day, he is shocked to see Cassandra Todd and her young son in town. The sight of her brings back powerful memories of being bullied in high school—she was the popular head cheerleader and he the target of her friends’ mean-spirited pranks.

When Cassandra and her son check into the motel where he works and she asks for his help in eluding her abusive husband, he finds himself entangled in a dangerous drama that will require him to forgive and draw on every skill he has if they are to survive.

Nelson_Darrel200Darrel Nelson: I am a schoolteacher by profession and taught school for thirty-seven years. I retired in June 2012 so that I could write full time. I have always loved to write. I started writing stories before I was old enough to realize I was writing stories. It seemed a natural thing to pick up a pencil and paper and create a world simply by using words—worlds of adventure in steaming jungles (Tarzan was an early influence on me) or realms of adventure in outer space (Buck Rogers). But as I have grown older, I have discovered that the real inspiration for me is exploring the theme of love and how it can make such a difference in the world.

Published works include The Anniversary Waltz and The Return of Cassandra Todd. I am currently working on my third novel, FOLLOWING RAIN, which deals with the saving power of truth and love.


Timeless Conflict by Ute Perkins

TimelessConflictSome 5,000 years ago an ancient race of immortal beings brought humanity into existence by pulling them from their grass huts and caves and into a modernistic society along the Nile river valleys. For centuries, mankind flourished under the tutelage of these immortals until a group of men became conscious of the power their living gods possessed and plotted to eliminate them… the group, the Masons, nearly succeeded.

Since the decimation of his people Warren Alexander has roamed throughout the world feeding on humans in order to conceal his true identity. As one of the few survivors of their ancient immortal race he now walks undetected amongst the humans while he hunts the members of the group of men that killed his family and virtually eliminated his people. When Warren meets the step-daughter of a direct descendant and participating member of these Masons he draws the girl close, in an effort to reach her step-father and access to the Mason organization. Not expecting to, Warren begins to fall in love with the girl as they race to avoid the FBI and the secret Masonic guard that has been trained to capture and eliminate the immortal threat.

Now, Warren must not only fight to save his own life, but the life of the girl he has grown to love.


Ute Perkins: I grew up in a small southern Nevada town on the outskirts of Las Vegas. Just after graduation from high school I served in the U.S. Army for 5 years during which I participated in Operation Desert Storm. Upon completion of my military obligation, I earned my bachelors degree from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tn. Later, after a move to south central Pennsylvania, I completed my MBA from Eastern University in Harrisburg, Pa. I have traveled a great deal for my job and enjoy traveling and spending time with my wife and family.


To enter to win one of these books, simply leave a “thoughtful” comment on any post on this site.

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April 2013 Prize Winners!

Here are the randomly selected winners of last month’s  “Win These Books!” Contest.

Thanks again to our sponsors. Please take a moment to read their info here.



Winner: Randy

Commenting on:  “Need an LDS Writers Forum?



Winner: Ranee

Commenting on: “April 2013 Prize Sponsors!



Winner: Prudence Bice

Commenting on: “Descendant by Nichole Giles



Winner: Lee Ann

Commenting on: “Their” As a Singular Pronoun by Annette Lyon”


Congratulations! I will contact each of you via the email address you used to enter for the contest. You have until Wednesday, May 8, 2013 to respond with your mailing address.

Click here to learn how you can win a copy of one of our sponsoring books.

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Fairy Godmothers, Inc. by Jenniffer Wardell

It’s never about the glass slipper. It’s all about the love potion.

In a world where fairy tale situations are as much a fact of life as death and taxes, everyone knows hiring Fairy Godmothers, Inc. is the best way to assure that your beautiful daughter or enchanted frog of a grandson will get the happily-ever-after he or she deserves. Sure, sometimes a little love potion is required to make sure those quotas stay up, but what Prince Charming doesn’t know won’t hurt him.

Kate, an experienced Fairy Godmother, who’s enough of a romantic to frustrate her rigidly rule-bound boss, has just received a specialty assignment from one of the company’s board of directors. Cinderella-Rellie for short-was placed with an appropriately wicked stepfamily years before, and now needs the dress, ball, and handsome prince to complete her happily-ever-after. The fact that Rellie isn’t sure this is her dream come true-balls are fun, but princes tend to be less interesting than fluffy bunnies-isn’t something management considers a problem.

Complicating things a bit is Jon, the youngest son of the royal family, who meets Kate, and is smitten, but isn’t quite ready yet to reveal his true identity. After all, it’s his older brother Rupert who’s supposed to marry Rellie, which means pretending to be a lowly civil servant will give him the chance to spend more time with Kate. (As long as he can get the ball arranged, and stop Rupert from getting himself into trouble over his “self-actualization” business, he should have the perfect opportunity to explain everything and get started on making a little magic with the Fairy Godmother of his dreams.)

But, of course, things never ever happen as planned.

Read excerpt

Title: Fairy Godmothers, Inc.

Author: Jenniffer Wardell

Publisher: Jolly Fish Press

Release Date: April 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0988649149

Size: 304 pages, 6×9, softcover

Genre: Romantic Fantasy

Upcoming Events

Do you know of a writing conference in your area or an open call for submissions that would would be of interest to LDS writers? If so, please email the information and link(s) to me to be included in next month’s post. Event posts go live on the last Friday of each month.

Note: This listing does not constitute an endorsement by LDS Publisher. It’s for your information only.


Writing Conferences

Conduit 23 (Speculative Writing)
May 24-26, 2013 • Salt Lake City
Cost: $35 (?)
More info at:

Writers@Work Conference
June 5-9, 2013 • Alta Lodge, Utah
More info at:

Writing & Illustrating for Young Readers
June 17-21, 2013 • Sandy, Utah
Cost: Dependent upon what you sign up to attend.
More info at:

Teen Writers Conference
June 22, 2013 • Weber State University, Utah
For ages 13 to 19 only!
More info at:

iWriteNetwork Summer Workshop
July 12 – 13, 2013 • Orem, University Mall
Cost: $35 for 1 day; $60 for 2 days
More info at: (top of right sidebar)

Heart of the West Romance Writers Conference
October 11 & 12, 2013 • Silver Baron Lodge, Deer Valley, UT
Theme: Making Our Mark on the Writing World
More info at:

League of Utah Writers Roundup
September 13-14, 2013 • Salt Lake City, UT
More info at:


Call for Submissions/Writing Competitions

2nd Annual WUFC Writing Contest: the Drive to Thrive
Needed: Fiction short stories or partial novels, all genres. Non-Fiction memoir, essay, editorial. Max word 4,000 words. Winners published in anthology. They are also looking for volunteer judges, editors, proofreaders, etc.
Entry Fee: $30 per submission; no limit.
Submission Deadline: August 15, 2013 (I think)
More info at:

Flagship Magazine (
Needed: Sci-fi and Fantasy Short stories (2,000 – 7,000 words), with a positive spin. They pay $25 per story.
Submission deadline: Ongoing
More info at:



Whitney Awards Gala
May 11, 2013 • Provo Marriott Hotel, Provo, UT
$35.00. Tickets required.
More info at: