Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Interview With Author Michael Knudsen

I am very honored to have the opportunity to interview Michael Knudsen today. He new book The Rogue Shop, just released and it is pretty exciting. Thanks for coming to my blog and letting me ask you some questions, and for taking the time to answer them. It is super cool for me because you are my first interview, and I can't wait to find out the answers to my questions. So let's get started!

Me: How long have you known you wanted to be a writer?

Michael :When I was four months old, I pulled dad's bic pen out of his shirt pocket when he was burping me. It was love at first sight. Later I progressed to picture books on kindergarten-lined pater and sending lengthy stories to my aunt who was on her mission. In third grade I was put in the "resource" class because my teacher thought my imagination was "hyperactive". I lived out entire Apollo missions and Godzilla movies in my ind, with friends or without. After seeing "Jaws" I couldn't take a bath for two weeks. I was the kind of kid parents worried about.

Me: It sounds to me like you had the makings of a great author even when you were little, and I think imagination in kids is an important part of what makes us creative. What lead you to write the story you did?

Michael: The Rogue Shop came out of a time and a place --Downtown Salt Lake City, in the early 1990'. I worked at a tuxedo shop there, and we had a ton of old mannequins and stuff from the 50's and 60's in the cellar. Those things evoked a sense of time and place that just cried out for a good story. Later, my viewpoint character, Chris, became more of a real person and he started giving me a hard time about not finishing his story. I didn't finish a draft until 2008, and by then I was driven to see it published. Chris was mollified, and hasn't actively bothered me since.

Me: I totally get that, I think sometimes our characters take on a life of their own, they have whole conversations and if you don't act quickly then you lose what they are saying. I love that Chris kept at you until you wrote his story. I was wondering what super hero you would be if you could choose and why?

Michael: I'm going to go with Aqua man because I think swimming fast underwater and having gills is cooler than flying through the air.

Me: I think this is a great choice! So how long did it take you to go through the whole process of writing, editing, and getting The Rogue Shop published?

Michael: 20 years total. I wrote the first chapter for the first time in 1989 while still working at the tuxedo shop. I thought about it off and on over the decades, and had five chapters at some point in the mid-90's. Only in 208 did I get serious. on January 1, 2010, I submitted the manuscript to several publishers, and it was accepted May 14. Editing was not bad at all. While finishing my final draft, I put countless hours into scouring the MS for every little typo and bad adjective that it was fairly clean when I submitted. I spent about 6 hours going over my editor's suggestions and that's about it.

I look back on it and call myself an idiot for procrastinating so much and wasting so much time without developing my talent. But I won't do that. The truth is, I just didn't have the maturity and life experience before NOW to write this particular story. Finishing it just felt wrong until the past couple of years. Of course, there is a ton of OTHER stuff I should have been writing all those years, but all I have now is the present.

Me: I think that is great advice about not beating yourself up for not getting things done in the past. I think we can all take that to heart. Did you ever get discouraged along the way and what kept you going?

Michael: Many times. Before having any success as a writer, the tendency is to spend a lot of time in denial. The over active imagination kicks in again. "I'm not that good," "this writing is a waste of time, I could be watching TV", etc. Finally, I had to just will myself into believing that I could do it, and it was possible because of that same imagination. I could see myself getting a novel published. When I finally combined fantasizing about it with actually working toward it on a daily basis, I eventually KNEW I would have a novel published. At some point, you need to get that certainty to get it done.

Me: I think that visualization is truly powerful, and had a powerful effect on you. I think if we visualize our successes more, we might have more of them too. So what is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Michael: One Tuesday in July 2003 I took a day off work and drove alone to the base of Lone Peak, and 11,000 foot mountain near my home. Having never done any mountaineering or even much hiking, I set out to reach the summit, alone. This was not wise. There was no one else on the mountain and I didn't have a cell phone. I reached the summit surrounded by 300 foot cliffs on all sides. The wind was blowing hard. I could have been killed a dozen times. On the way back down I got bad blisters on both feet and lost the trail. It was almost dark when I literally crawled the last half-mile to my car and drove home. I would like to say I'm proud of that achievement, but I would sound like an idiot.

Me: I don't know it sounds pretty darn impressive to me that you were able to do what you did. And it is a darn great story! If you could do anything knowing you couldn't fail what would it be?

Michael: Jump off of Lone Peak. No, really I would dive into writing a huge, epic world-building fantasy series like Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. Wouldn't it be cool to have scads of people living in a world of your own creation as they read your books and follow your characters over thousands of pages? How would it feel to have people line up in anticipation of your next book? Intend to find out, by eventually developing the knowledge that I cannot fail.

Me: Personally, I think you should go for it Micheal! I think you would be more successful than you would ever imagine. I say take the jump! Not off Lone Peak, but into your dream! Thanks so much for stopping by today Michael. I had a great time getting to know you better. I can't wait to get my hands on The Rogue Shop!

Michael: Thank you Debbie for hosting me today.

Me: I had a blast getting to know you! I'm glad you could be here. Just a note, you can get a hard copy or e-copy of The Rogue Shop by clicking here. You can also visit Michael's website at

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book Review : Perilous By Tamara Heiner

Perilous by Tamara Heiner is her debut book and what a fantastic start. Perilous is an amazing action pack Y/A thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I literally could not put this book down and read it in one day. It pulled me into the story right away, and I had to find out what happened next, and was so relieved to know that a sequel is in the works when I wanted the story to go on at the end.
Tamara's writing style is very fluid and crisp. She develops her characters so that you can see them clearly in your mind. You can see the locations and events in your mind as if you were there to experience them yourself. The smell, the sounds, and colors all splash to life in front of you as the events unfold as if on a movie screen, they are vivid and full of life.
The story begins as four girls go to the mall to celebrate a birthday only to be left behind unexpectedly when the mall closes, the parent picking them up is late. They witness a crime and are kidnapped as a result. They are held hostage by ruthless, violent, men. They are dragged across the Canadian boarder, and are in a scary predicament being able to identify their assailants. In an escape attempt one is murdered, the rest are left to go on and hoping for their chance to get away. They are all affected on different levels, and not one of them will remain untouched by the experience, as they try to find a way back home.
Jaci, one of the girls emerges as a leader and finds she has the ability to hold the girls together in their journey to get home. In their escape, they are hunted by their kidnappers all along the Canadian/U.S. boarder as the powerful criminal that held them hostage, sends his men searching for them. Watching and waiting to get them back. Then to add to it all Jaci discovers something about her dad that may connect him to the kidnappers, and she wonders if she will ever be free of them again.
New mysteries unfold as the story progresses and twists and turns pop up unexpectedly. It is difficult for the girls to trust anyone and learn to rely on themselves. They find they are stronger than they ever expected. And meet some unlikely friends along the way.
I loved every page in this psychological thriller. It starts with a bang, and doesn't let up until the last page, when you realize you have just been on an emotional roller coaster, and don't want to get off. I wait in great anticipation for the sequel.
If you would like to purchase your own copy of Perilous, you can get both the hard copy and e-book versions here. I promise you won't be disappointed. Visit Tamara's website here.
Disclaimer: While I do sometimes receive copies of books I review, it in no way influences my opinions, they are and will always be my own.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Awesome Prizes!

Check out Trisit Pinkston's awesome month of give a ways to celebrate the arrival of her new book Dearly Departed. A new prize will be awarded every 24 hours, and they are amazing! You don't want to miss it! You could win jewelry, movies, plus a ton of other exciting things, including the grand prize of a free nights stay at the Lion Gate Manor in Lava Hot Springs. Visit Tristi's blog for the total scoop at Don't miss out!!

By the way congratulations on your new book release Tristi! I am so totally stoked for you and can't wait to read it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Keeping Committed~No Matter What!

Nanowrino has me caught in its tight magical grip, and I hope it never releases me! New unexpected plot twists are being unveiled and it is so much fun to see what will happen next as the story I have worked on for a year, shares new secrets with me. It has captivated me and I have loved every minute of it.

With most amazing month of nanowrino half over I have had such wonderful success with holding to the goal of writing 50,000 words. So far I am already past 30,000 words heading for the home stretch. So all of my writing time is taken there.

For this reason, I wanted to publish a post I wrote a while back about making goals on writing. It is focused on committing to writing every day for an hour, but I found another way that has been hugely inspiring and that is meeting a word count goal for the day. In doing so I have written over 100 pages in my book in 17 days. I can't wait to see what I can accomplish by the end of the month.

So, for all you nanowrimo people out there! Keep the faith, you are awesome! And hold true to your word count goals, or time goals. Here is my post, I hope you enjoy it! I feel it hold so much of what I am going through with writing for nanowrimo, it really speaks of holding on and never giving in!

Last September I took a huge leap of faith, I decided that the writer inside me dying to be let out and be heard, could be. I began to write my first novel even though I was afraid of being found out and exposed by the inner workings of my mind.

Besides, who was I, a crazy busy mom of seven very active kids to think I could be a writer?

This summer alone I had to get my boys to basketball, football, lacrosse, and track practices, camps, games and meets. I was teaching 3 to 4 plus group exercise classes a week, and leading a bunch of energetic fun 12 and 13 year old girls for our church's young women's youth group. Not to mention getting my second daughter ready for college, and keeping my little children entertained too all while my husband was going to be gone most of the time.

But, I figured if I could commit myself to the incredibly difficult goal of running a full marathon with all the training it required and raise over 2200 dollars for charity (which I ended up finishing in a little over 7 hours through hail, rain, snow and winds that blew me off the road) and do another one that same year, then I could commit to being an author and this goal I set for myself.

So I took up a challenge to write every day in the month of July for an hour. I was committed, no matter what. It would be a piece of cake, right? After all it was just an hour a day.

Well, I was way wrong on this one.

It turned out to be more difficult than I could have ever imagined.

Not thinking, I chose to take on this challenge that would be in effect during a caving trip , going out of town to visit family that had plans of their own that I was expected to be a part of for 8 days, taking care of kids on my own while my husband was either traveling for work or serving the Lord at Scout Camp or cooking for over 250 people on a four day Pioneer Trek, most of the month of July. In addition, I was traveling on my own with all seven of my kids (ages 19 to 6 years) to Utah to see my mom, brother and to take my daughter to college orientation in Logan.

Not a single day of this challenge went by that I haven't started writing before 12 am. It is so hard at times. I'm sooo tempted at times to just quit and not keep at it. But I told myself that I was writing no matter what, like I promised myself. And so with bleary eyes and jumbled brain waves, I stayed committed.

I can honestly say I haven't missed a single day of writing and kept my goal alive, beyond my expectations, even when it was as late (or early) as 1:30 am when I finally hit the keys. After finishing my writing time for the day, I always feel a huge sense of accomplishment for not giving up on me.

I have made more progress this month than I ever thought possible. I know that some days my eyes are held open with extra help, when all they want to do was head off to dream land. But I am somehow able to rouse myself enough to finish what I am writing on, hit save and stumble off to bed.

So I say, if me and my crazy self can keep committed to writing everyday no matter how out of control life can get, then I believe you can do it too.

So experiment! Try it out for yourself. Make a goal, stay with it, and come tell me what it was and how it went. I'd love to hear about your writing experiences. Besides, I know one thing for sure, you definitely won't be sorry, when you look back at your accomplishments.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

One Moment that Changes Everything

Health is a precarious thing. One minute you can feel as if you are immortal, invincible even, and in the very next breath it can all disappear. It is vital to take care of yourself and realize how precious good health really can be.

This morning at 1:15 am my 9 year-old daughter came stumbling into my bedroom gasping for breath. She had panic infused in her eyes and terror written all over her face as she struggled with out success to draw air into her lungs.

She couldn't even speak, with all the effort it took for her to fill her lungs with life-giving oxygen. She was in the midst of a full-blown asthma attack. We hadn't seen one this bad in over five years. We rushed to find her inhalers and prayed she could draw enough of it into her lungs to buy some us some time.

Time to get her to the emergency room. It only took us 7 minutes to get there, but every breath was a struggle. Thankfully, the albuterol began to slowly work and she could get more air moving in her restricted airways. Still, getting to the hospital was at a high urgency
Once in the ER, the doctors flew to her giving her oral meds, setting up IVs, hooking her to monitors that took careful watch of her oxygen levels and her racing hear rate. A heart rate that sped along at 165 bpm while she was laying down on the bed as doctors put epinephrine in her body to get her to breathe and stop the attack on her ravaged lungs. Turning the O2 levels up as high as possible, the purple dragon oxygen mask delivered much the much needed pure oxygen that gave sweet relief.

And then they heard it.

The doctors and nurses stopped what they were doing and looked at each other puzzled.

A barky cough. But she was too old for that early-childhood illness of croup.

Frantically, they ran around the ER, realizing that all the meds they had just pumped into her body were not going to be effective and rushed to find and administer the ones that would ease her breathing and calm her racing heart. Then because of conflicting meds warring against each other inside of her body, we were in for a long wait as her body responded
to all that was being done to help her return to the vivacious, carefree, playful 9 year-old she normally was.
It took 6 1/2 hours for her heart to slow to under 100 beats per minute. While in deep sleep, it still sped along, bouncing between 111 and 120 bpm (the heart rate of a moderate workout). Finally, her heart stayed below 100 bpm for a sustained period of time, and we knew we were home free.

Until she woke up and her hear jumped to 145 bpm with an irratic beat, for the next 45 minutes more tests were done, x-rays of her lungs taken, and evaluations on EKG stressors checked to see how she would respond with out the assist of extra oxygen and simple walking. Only then, even still a bit hesitant, the doctor let us take her home, under careful watch in case she should have a relapse, with the promise that we would take her to the doctor's in the morning to be re-evaluated, and have her progress checked.

In sharing this hair-raising event I wanted to send a simple reminder that health is a precious gift, that we far too often take for granted, or feel it is too inconvenient to bother with. But all too soon and faster than imagined it can be snatched away if you are not careful, and guard it with faithful diligence.

So make a promise to yourself that everyday you will find ways to be more healthy.Whether it is in increased exercise, watching what you eat, or stopping a life-threatening habit, commit to yourself not to take your health for granted.

Commit to yourself that you will take small measured steps to increase the level that you care for yourself. Then guard it carefully, because we only get one body to take us through our adventures in this life and we want to be sure that we can have our greatest adventures still to come. And if we take care of ourselves, we will find it less likely that our health will be fleeting in our next steps into life.

Bill Phillips once said," If you wait until things are "perfect" before you begin something healthy, challenging, and new, you'll be waiting forever. Set a deadline for when to begin."

So take a moment, breathe in deep and fill your lungs to capacity with oxygen infused air and let it out. Realize how wonderful it truly is to feel them move freely as they fill your blood stream and then your body with energy enriched oxygen and be grateful for good health and the ability to build strong bodies.

Here is a yummy fall treat to try out to help you along the way to good health!

Crank Up Your Crockpots!This applesauce recipe is a serious time saver"One of my favorite fall treats is fresh applesauce," says Cheryl Forberg, RD, The Biggest Loser nutritionist. "It can be a hassle to cook but store-bought varieties are usually loaded with added sugar. The recipe below, which employs a crockpot, is a real time-saver; you don't need to monitor the sauce as it simmers on the stovetop, or stir it to prevent sticking. Plus, this recipe has no added sugar."Chunky Crock Pot Applesauce This makes a great topping for hot cereal or the perfect addition to stir into yogurt.Yield: About three cups (six 1/2-cup servings)
8 unpeeled medium-size apples (about 3 1/2 pounds of Gala, Delicious or Fuji), cored and cut into one-inch pieces
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Place all ingredients in crockpot. Toss to coat apples. Cover and cook on low setting for 4 hours.
Cool slightly. Serve warm or cold.Note: Granny Smith or other tart apples may be used, though sweetener may be needed.
Recipe from The Biggest Loser Nutrition Facts per 1/2-Cup Serving:Calories 145Calories from Fat 0Sodium 0mgDietary Fiber
7gSugar 28g

Make this week awesome, ask yourself how you can change your life so that good health is not something to be taken for granted. Write out how you are going to make each breath you take worth living!

See you in the water!

Debbie Davis
24 hour fitness group exercise instructor


Mon Aqua 10:00 am Centennial Super Sport
Tues Aqua 9:30 am North Aurora Chambers * now an hour
Thur Aqua 5:30 pm North Aurora Chambers * now an hour
Sat Aqua 9:00 am Lowry

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book Review: Intrinsical By Lani Woodland

Intrinsical by Lani Woodland is a new young adult paranormal romance that gives a new slant to what paranormal is all about. It is her debut novel and it is filled with everything that makes paranormal so exciting as she creates a new way of showing us how out of the ordinary life can really be. It is the perfect way to have a taste of Halloween anytime of the year. It delves into ghosts, curses, dark sinister mists, hauntings, and let's not forget a little romance along the way.

I loved this story from start to finish and it grabbed me and had me hanging on for dear life wondering what was going to happen next. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough as I devoured all the many unexpected twists that forced surprise from my mouth numerous times.

In addition to the amazing story-weaving talents Lani possess,where she easily casts the reader under the spell of her well-written, engaging characters; she also has an incredible eye for photography. She took the fabulous underwater picture that graces her cover.

In Intrinsical, Yara was looking forward to attending Pendrell boarding school with her best friend, Cherie. It was a chance to escape all the jokes about her crazy ghost-talking grandmother. She wanted to be normal and with relief thought that the dormant Waker gene that let her grandmother see and talk with ghosts might just have missed claiming her. But when she sees a dark mist trying to attack Brent, a gorgeous, popular athlete, and tries to kill him, she impulsively jumps in to save his life. But this causes her to draw the attention of the dark mist as it begins to stalk her as she learns about the curse that has haunted her new school with dark spirits, as it seeks to threaten her life. At the same time Brent turns his focus to Yara as he wants to know more about the girl who saved his life.

Then Yara's best-friend Cherie, excited to investigate all the stories of hauntings around the school, hopes to make contact with the ghosts of the curse. She drags her new boyfriend Steve along with Yara and Brent into the heart of the curse, but she doesn't have the ability to make contact, even though she studied with Yara's grandmother,the ways of the Wakers, strange things begin to happen around them.

Meanwhile, Yara learns that maybe the Waker gene didn't skip a generation after all. Fighting her heredity and her growing powers as a Waker she finds herself pulled further and further into the realm of ghosts and dark spirits as she and her friends delve deeper into finding out about the long standing curse and the mystery behind it the danger that lurks in the shadows as they learn that the deaths that occurred at the school and the sinister nature of them is may be more than what anyone ever realized.

Intrinsical held me spell-bound until the last amazing twist-filed page. I loved the characters and how they grew with each new discovery they made. The ties of friendship and loyalty are portrayed in a depth that shows the importance of courage, trust and always being there for each other. They changed as they learned that they could be more important in each other's lives than they ever imagined.

I loved how well each new surprise sprang out at me unexpectedly as incredible events where there was no turning back left you wondering how the characters could possibly overcome them and how unpredictable it all was in the end. It was refreshing to find this clean paranormal romance free of sex and swearing.

Lani's writing transported me to Pendrell where I felt the brush of the icy wind on my face and could smell the chlorine that permeated the air and hear the slopping wet foot prints as they appeared sinisterly as they drew closer and closer. I could even feel the chill go up my spine when a mysterious message appeared in a fogged up mirror. This is a book where you want to curl up in a under the covers with a flash light so you can chase away the shadows edging closer and closer.

You can learn more about the fascinating world of Intrinsical at and you can purchase your own chilling ghost-filled copy of Intrinsical by clicking here or here.

Disclaimer: While I did receive a copy of the book from the author, my opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

you can check out my review at barnes and noble here, and my review at amazon here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Setting Goals that Transform You Inside and Out

As you enjoy the cool whisper of the autumn air and we edge ever closer to Halloween, it is a time of pumpkins and fun magical possibilities!
With those possibilities are the dreams that we make as we take a night to become something different, and take on the identity of a mythological creature or scary monster, it is about re-creating ourselves,even for just a spellbound night. But what if you could take that change and make it more permanent?

Not so much as turning ourselves into ghost and fairies for the rest of our lives, but more along the lines of changing who we want to become in a world not made up of fantastical creatures, but ordinary human beings. Make that extraordinary human beings!

We are all capable of changing and becoming more than we ever imagined. All it take is a little disciple and a smidgen of determination, guised in the form of a written goal. With a little encouragement and a chance to see progress, we can do amazing things.

There was a time in my life that I never thought I could run more than three miles. That distance seemed daunting! Then I was set with the challenge of running 26.2 miles. That seemed unbelievable, almost impossible. I couldn't see myself accomplishing that huge number. But then I decided that it was doable. That it could be done, and so I set a goal. With the help of good friends and a little disciple, I created mini goals to help me along the way.

I did not do 26.2 miles the next day, not even close. That number was still intimidating to me, but I did smaller ones. I ran 2 miles, then 5, then 8 and on and on, until I was up to 21 before the big event. Finally, the day of my first full marathon arrived. I started it at 5:30 am on a beautiful cool day up in the mountains of Steamboat Colorado. I was with a hand full of people doing an early start. I knew I needed all of the extra time I would be allotted to accomplish my biggest and still uncompleted goal of 26.2 miles. The day was calm when I started, I thought it would be easy, my adrenaline was racing through my veins as I ran along the black ribboned high way. I was so excited! It was going to be so much fun! It was the day I would finally meet that goal that I had trained 5 months for, working up to the big event little increments at a time. I was laughing, taking pictures of the breath taking scenery and was on an all time high.

But as the day progressed, things became more challenging. IT rained, the temperatures dipped low, and it snowed. The wind picked up with a fury to blow me off the road. Disgruntled Sunday drivers ran me off the road and at times almost hit me. I saw runner after runner pass me by, each encouraging me to keep going and not give up, counting them as they went wondering if I would be the last one to finish as I continued to push one foot in front of the other toward that golden shining moment when I would cross that finish line. I had Friends cheer me on the way with green wigs and horns, shouts of encouragement and treats. My family found me 5 miles out, and in the pouring rain which soon became mixed with pounding hail, 3 of my children rushed to meet me on the trial. The hugged my weary body and told me I could finish, not to give up I was so close. Then 2 of my sons decided to finish the journey with me. They braved the rain and hail that stung our skin when the wind kicked up, they ran by my side keeping my mind off my aching feet, and worn-out legs. The rest of my family found me again half a mile from the finish and they all ran out on the road to join me as I made my last few steps toward that elusive goal, the finish line. A little over seven hours after I started, I pulled my exhausted body into a last run to cross the line to the cheering cries of my family and friends. They rushed to hug me and tell me I was awesome. I had finally accomplished what I had once thought almost impossible.

I did not come close to finishing first, and to be honest... I ended up being dead last! The slowest time of the race. But that is not what mattered. What was important was that I did not stop, I never gave up, I kept trying until I finally made my goal. It was not always easy, but there were those who where there along the way, strangers, friends and family who helped me to reach my goal. Me, a mom of 7 children and running my first marathon at the age of 40, and not in the best shape of my life, I did it!

It is the same with everything else in our lives. IF we allow others to be there for us, If we let them know our goals and what we want to do, they will be there along the journey, encouraging us, helping us to not give in, and lifting us back up when we falter. I want you think about who in your life you could turn to, look around you at those who would encourage you. Maybe it is a co-worker, a spouse, a friend, a child. It could even be a stranger, who smiles encouragingly to you as you work hard to accomplish your goals. Just know that you can do what ever you set a mind to do. It may seem an impossible, daunting task, but by taking it a step at a time, with help along the way, you can accomplish the unbelievable! IT IS WITHIN YOU! You can become that new creature for more than just one fun filled night of dressing up, you can transform yourself into something wonderful. And as you do, the changes will become apparent to you on the inside as well as what everyone else will notice and see.

So take the challenge, as we head into the season of fun and celebrations. Write your fitness goals down. Decide what you are going to do. Break them up so they can be manageable, and tell some one what you plan to do, so they can help you make that goal a finish line that you can cross with determination and excitement. Send them to me and I will cheer you on as well! It can be anything, you don't have to run a marathon to be amazing, just planning your exercise schedule, eating right, and putting in your best efforts goes a long way to creating positive, permanent change. Aqua classes can help you in your calorie burn of 350-500 plus calories burned depending on how hard you work. Augmenting it with other cross trianing will help you see drastic improvements. Together we can all be more than we ever imagined. We can accomplish the incredible!

I look forward to hearing about the goals and challenge you set for yourself! Let me in on them, I will promise to cheer you on, no matter what. I will be there along the way and especially during that last half mile as you sprint to the finish line!

Have a rocking great week! See you all in the water!

love ya
Debbie Davis
24hour fitness group exercise instructor


Thur 5:30 pm Aqua North Aurora Chambers * now an hour long!
Sat 9:00 am Aqua Lowry
Mon 10:00 am Aqua Centennial Super Sport
Tues 9:30 am Aqua North Aurora Chambers * now an hour long

Monday, October 4, 2010

Making Friends Monday

I want you to meet one of the neatest people I have had the chance to get to know~ Tristi Pinkston. She is an amazing friend. I feel it is a privilege to know her and I want to share her with you. I love her blog and like one of the really neat features she has on it called Making Friends Monday. I am so excited that I get to be featured on her blog, and I wanted to share a little bit about Tristi with you and some of the things that make her so wonderful!

Tristi Pinkston has been blogging since 2006. On her main blog, she covers everything from writing tips and the life of a published author to kid funnies, spiritual thoughts, and embarrassing moments. She also has a weight loss blog, one for writing challenges, another for her fictional characters … and she lost count of how many others she has. You can find the links for them on her sidebar.

Tristi is the author of five published novels and a whole kit ‘n caboodle of unpublished novels. Right now she’s focusing on cozy mysteries, although she has written historical fiction in the past and plans to write more in that genre. She works as a freelance editor and a virtual book tour coordinator. She loves taking long naps, being charmingly annoying, and watching good movies. She’s a Mormon, a homeschooler, a Cubmaster, and most of the time, a headless chicken.

I read her book Agent in Old Lace and absolutely loved it! It was a hilarious face-paced read that kept me on the edge until the very last page and kept me up way past my bedtime. I know you will love reading it as much as me. I hope you had as much fun getting to know Tristi as I did, jump on over to her blog and say hi, I know she would love it!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Book Review: Defensive Tactics By Steve Westover

This is a story about Paul, Jimmy and Emily and how they each grow and find that they have more courage and strength to overcome incredible odds than they ever dreamed they had. It is an LDS action thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat and pages flying until the last sentence into the earliest hours of the morning. I found that I couldn't put it down once I started. It has everything in it that you could ever want - FBI, corrupt judges, mob action, chase scenes, tragedies, love complications, and more.

New to their jobs in the FBI, Paul and Emily find they may connect on a level deeper than friendship. Then Jimmy, with his eccentric ways and interest in Emily, ends up staying with Paul. When Emily's life is in danger, it takes all of Paul's wits to try to get her out of danger . When Jimmy jumps in to help out anything can happen in the race against time to save her.
I love the idea of savvy yet sleazy bad guys who use thugs to do their dirty work and how it shows us how absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Defensive Tactics is a fast-paced story that grabs you and doesn't let go until the last pages. I loved how integrity and understanding, love and second chances are all so neatly woven into the story - especially with Jimmy. I totally identified with him and all that he was going through, the whole idea of overcoming terrible unexpected loss and wandering aimlessly in life as a result. I know that when Jimmy goes to get help from the LDS bishop, I felt I learned new important truths right along with Jimmy. The author has the ability to teach and nurture as he keeps the excitement going, and I read things that the bishop talked about in the book with Jimmy to my husband because they rang so deeply with in me. About life after death, what real judgement is about, and how not to assume that all is lost with our limited understanding of life after death. I found that I grew in my own understanding and learned a lot from this book. It made me sit up and go WOW, I just had an epiphany when gospel truths rang clearly. It actually helped me in dealing with the unexpected loss of my father earlier this year, to find the strength to pull myself up from floundering and to find the ability and desire to make important goals again, in a similar fashion to Jimmy.

I felt that this story had it all. I really enjoyed it from start to finish and found that I grew along with the characters in unexpected ways. I loved the Mafia aspect, and felt it was very realistic. I loved all the intrigue that kept me wanting to know what happens next. I felt that this was an amazing first book by Steve Westover and would never have believed that it was his first novel- if I hadn't been told. It has the air of a seasoned writer to it, with complicated plot twists and character growth throughout the story! I loved it and know that you can't go wrong picking it up to read. Just make sure you have a block of unscheduled time, because once you start reading, I guarantee that you will enjoy the rapid thrill-ride until you have reached the exciting and very satisfying conclusion!
You can get a copy of Steve's book

Disclaimer: While I did receive a copy of this book to review, my opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Creating Characters

My friend Christine Bryant at came up with another fun writing challenge! To create characters from a picture. It was so much fun I had to post it.

I'd love to know what you think of the characters I created.

Here are the guidelines:

Choose one or both and tell me about them. Give them a name, a back story and a genre. What's their story? What conflict would you give them? Are they strong or weak? You can be as brief or long winded as you like.

Here is what I came up with:

Nayla Anderlon turns 18 years old tomorrow. It will be the best day of her life. With her dark green eyes with fleck s of gold, long beautiful black hair she is hailed as the most beautiful young woman in all the land. She is kind, loving, intelligent, and feisty. She is regal in her height at 5’9. As High Princess of the Country Zandria she is about to take over the throne as her father steps down upon her wedding in the morning. She will marry her handsome best friend and adjoining kingdom’s Prince Zachariah Crofters and she will then have everything she ever dreamed in her life. She has grown up in the shadow of great love and affection and she is cherished by her country and her kinsmen. All would lay down their lives for her. She has been trained all her life to be the leader of her country, to rule with love and mercy. She has learned all the skills needed to be a high princess, and knows she was ready to step into her father’s shoes and her new life beside the young man who was dearest to her.
The night before she turns eighteen, an old kind woman approaches her while she is strolling along the edge of the forest and gives her a gift. “For the beautiful new queen”, she say. “It is from the heart of those who look to keep you safe, a token of their love.” Surprised by this beautiful unexpected gift she smiles and hugs her gift giver and slips the elegant necklace of gold and silver interspersed with amethysts and sapphires over her head. “It’ll protect you dearie” the old lady says with a knowing smile. Confused she looks up to ask the woman, “To protect me from what?” Only to find the old woman gone in the swirling mists surrounding her.
As she goes to enter the castle doors, she is covered by a burlap sack, quickly tied closed by rope and unceremoniously thrown over the back of a horse before she can even get a scream out. Struggling to be free, she kicks and squirms, but the grunts she hears are the only indication that she has from her abductors. She works to slide off the horse only to be dragged back on, as the horse gallops through the night away from all her dreams.
Nayla is now faced with how to escape and return to the kingdom she loves, looks to defy her captors at every point, and discover the power of the necklace that was given to her by the old woman to protect her in her darkest hour, and the strange powers that she discovers she possesses. But as she works to find her way home, back to her country and the man she is to marry, she discovers that home may not be what and where she always thought it to be and her heart may not belong to who she thought it did after all. All while discovering dark secrets about herself and her country, she stands tall and strong in the face of them all.
This is a paranormal ya romance of how a young girl discovers the strength to overcome, understand who she really is, and finding the courage to face herself and follow what her heart tells her.

Jeremiah Manfield is 18 years old and wise beyond his years. He is intelligent, cunning, strong and handsome. He has dark blue eyes and short tawny hair, a perpetual five o’clock shadow that drives him crazy and an easy laugh. He is tall, over 6’4.He is the rebel leader of the underground movement to stop the union of the countries of Zandria and the adjoining kingdom Rastreinghton. He is the first born son of the king of farthest adjoining country Northrolun, a country that has been stripped of all honor because of the rash decisions of other sovereign rulers who seek to take their lands, and ignore their royal standing. Jeremiah knows it will spell disaster for all kingdoms if the union between Nayla and Zachariah happens. He plots to kidnap the princess to prevent this from occuring, but the window is short and he has watched Nayla carefully to find where the slip in her routine may be. He must put his life in jeopardy and all his men in peril against the evil kingsmen who would stop at nothing to see the two countries united so that they might control the prophecy of the one who holds the Power of Light that is said to be found in the first daughter of the King with no sons in the uniting of kingdoms. He knows that Nayla is the first daughter of a King with no sons in over five hundred years throughout all the surrounding kingdoms and that prophecy is about to be fulfilled when she pledges herself to Prince Zachariah in the morning on her 18th birthday.
He carefully calculates the walk she takes every night along the edge of the woods along the same pathway at the same time every night. He misses the time he is supposed to take her because his horse throws him just at the edge of the forest sending him landing none too kindly on his butt just yards from where the preplanned point of capture is to take place. Angered at his horse for ruining his chances of snatching her quickly without chance of detection from the pathway by the forest, he must quickly devise an alternate plan. Glaring at his horse, he decides to risk all and sneak onto the castle lands, and wait for her as she enters goes to enter the castle. He captures her with great speed and whistles to his horse that arrives instantly beside him, he throws her over the saddle and climbs behind her and rushes off into the cover of the woods.
He takes her deep into the woods far from all the countries to the wild unclaimed territories, fighting the whole time to keep her on the horse as she struggles to get free. Once he reaches his destination, he must find the truth of Nayla’s part in the deception, and decide how to keep the underground movement strong as he fights to subvert the evil kings men and keep Nayla from being recaptured, and taking the throne with Zachariah. As he learns about her, he finds that he cannot deny his strong feelings for her, even as she professes herself pledged to the Prince she is to wed.
Jeremiah finds he can help her and gain her trust if she will listen to him as he tells her the truth that has been kept from her all her life. He wants to help her, then he finds that in spite of all his attempts to prevent it, the prophecy cannot be stopped after all. As he watches the power consume Nayla who is powerless to prevent it, the Power of Light takes over her body. Jeremiah now must help Nayla learn how to control her powers that she holds that have been foretold for centuries and keep her safe from those who want her power. He helps her see how to let the necklace of protection can help her as the darkest secrets are uncovered. He must guard himself and most especially his heart as he helps her to understand the prophecy and her part in it.
This is a paranormal ya romance about a boy destined to rule a country but instead finds he must stop a terrible prophecy from being fulfilled to save everyone from those who would twist it for their own purposes even if it means kidnapping a princess and putting his life and those who pledge their allegiance to him in jeopardy. Only to find that there is more than he could have ever expected to be gained and lost along the journey.

Thanks Christine for the great time, you can visit her at
http://http// to see what other people came up with, maybe you could make up something exciting and fun with the same challenge!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Book Review: The Hidden Sun by J. Lloyd Morgan

Released ~May 1, 2010
Pages ~323
Genre~ Medieval/Romance
Website ~

The HIDDEN SUN is about a princess who was born to become the ruler of the land at the age of 21. A contest called the Shognoc is held every twenty-one years. This time, the winner will get the chance to become the next King and rule by Princess Eliana's side. All the surrounding lands are invited to send their best representative to participate.

There is talk that Daimh, the son of conniving and scheming Governor Abrecan from the land of Erd is the favorite to win, with his dark, handsome looks and amazing strength. Many think it is a sure bet.

But in an unexpected twist, Eliana falls in love with her personal guardian Rinan and wishes to step from the throne and walk away from her title as future Queen, to be with the man she loves.

She is convinced that if she steps down, the throne will fall into the hands of corrupt leaders and magistrates. The Kingdom of Bariwon could fall into the hands of those who would rule without justice. She is torn between what she must do. Does she follow her heart, or does she step into the role she was born to fill?

A plan is devised to allow Eliana to remain as Queen and stay in power to insure a kingdom ruled with fairness. It also allows her to marry Rinan, the man she loves. As the plan goes forward, no one can anticipate the aftermath that follows such an unprecedented decision. Neither can anyone predict how the consequences would effect the entire kingdom of Bariwon for years to come. To reverse those consequences would be a daunting task, one that might not be a possibility.

About the Author:
Author J. Lloyd Morgan is an award-winning television director. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Communications and a minor in English. Morgan has lived all over the United States, but now resides in North Carolina with his wife and four daughters. He is currently working on a sequel to THE HIDDEN SUN.

My Review:

I always look forward to stories that take me away to another land, a place where life is different and times are far in the past. To be carried away by a beautiful heroine and a handsome hero with romance splashed in. Ahh, heaven! THE HIDDEN SUN had this and more.

I fell in love with Eliana and Rinan right away. I wanted their love and happily-ever-after to work out. They were so pure and wholesome and cared for others more than themselves. They were so perfect for each other. They go forward with a plan that allows them to be together.

But the contest had to go on, and the book The Tome of Laws decreed that the winner marry the next in line to take the throne. Daimh was favored to be the next King to rule beside Eliana. He is good-looking and strong, but not always in the right ways. His father the, Governor of Abrecan, plans to use his son as a pawn for his unjust agenda.

Meanwhile, there is a mystery discovered in the Tome of Laws that must be unraveled. It is a key that will unlock the course of the future. It becomes a race against time as the Governor and his evil minions work to ensure that no one ever uncovers the truth.

I can honestly say that I grew to hate Governor Abrecan so much that I wanted bad things to happen to him. He was the perfect evil villain, the kind you love to hate. He was more despicable the more you got to know him.

I was anxious the whole time to know if there would be a happily-ever-after or not. There was so much political intrigue and crazy plot twists that it kept me up at late at night wondering what would happen. I was really unhappy when some of the characters were killed off so soon. I was upset, I even cried, I was angry at the author, and it made no sense to me. But as I read on, I realized that it was essential to the plot of the book. I found myself falling in love again with other characters along the way. I wanted to personally go into the book and do bodily damage to Abrecan with all the things he did. I felt bad for his son. Who would want a dad like him, anyway?

I did wish that I could get to know the characters a little better in some places. I felt that time passed to fast at times, kind of like a mini-time warp. I wanted to hang on to what was happening and had to go back to see if I missed anything important. It was necessary for the story, though. I also found at times that I tripped over the words in a few places, like there were too many. I wanted to edit them out so it would flow a bit better. Some of the names took some getting used to, as well. I worked at different pronunciations until I felt comfortable with them. I only learned after I read the book that there was a guide for them on the author's website. You can click on it at the top of my review.

But once I got past those things, I fell into the book and couldn't stop reading. I made myself not look at the end of the book to see how it all finished, to see if the characters I loved were still there.

I really enjoyed reading this book. The scenes were vivid, the characters were distinctive and sometimes quirky. There was a great good versus evil theme that kept me turning pages. I recommend this book for anyone who loves romance set in medieval times. J. Lloyd Morgan is a vivid storyteller who weaves unexpected surprises along the way. I look forward to reading the sequel.

If you would like to purchase THE HIDDEN SUN please click here

Disclaimer: While I did receive a copy of this book from the author, it had no influence on my opinion of the book, or on my review.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I survived my first time ever as a guest blogger

I feel like I am growing up as a writer and in the world of blogging. My very first time as a guest blogger dropped today and being so new at blogging in general it was sort of intimidating. . I am a guest this week on the Blogck. It went up today. You can see it at

I write about staying committed to yourself and the challenges that you can be faced with and over coming them. I am excited about it and have to say I have been totally nervous all week long. Wondering what I committed my self too and would I be good enough to be posted along side so many experienced bloggers.

But now it is here with a lot of help from my friend Ali Cross later, I managed to pull it off. I learned all kinds of great things along the way. Like how to transfer html, and get pictures to go where you want them to in your blog. I learned how to add fun little things called widgets. I also learned that there are lots of people willing and happy to help you along the way to becoming a seasoned blogger, writer and book reviewer. They are friends who reach down to pull you up to the level they are on.

And if you falter? They are there to catch you too.

I feel more confident and sure of myself now. I know my way around the blogging world a little better than I did before, and I found how fun it was. And now that I know what I am doing, I look forward to the next time. Don't get me wrong, there is still a lot I need to learn, but I know that there will be friends along the way to help me figure it all out.

Thanks Ali for giving me this chance to be a guest blogger. And for being there for the journey.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Writing Contest

So my friend Christine Bryant did this great thing for her birthday this year. She gave a challenge to write a story using 20 words and no longer than 1000 words. I was so excited to do this competition and she was going to give a gift in return, it was for 3 chapters to be edited for free by her. So cool! I got right on it.

It reminded me of high school when I would get my spelling words for english and would need to write sentences for them. I got creative and started to make short stories instead, because it was more fun and my teacher loved it.

WELL, I didn't win, you can see who did at but I sure had a great time writing mine and I wanted to share what I wrote with you.

So here are the 20 words I needed to use they were: pink fuzzy bath slippers, .22 rifle, glass horse, sleeping bag, a journal, white bean bag chair, a kitten (Sheba), a bouquet of flowers, a Barbie doll, Roller skates, a book (How to Draw Animals), a 10-speed bike (white), A stuffed alligator, A Donny Osmond poster (stop laughing), a lamp for my desk, flip flops, a jewelry box, a cedar chest, a heart locket, a used stereo (with record turn table)

See if you can find the words in the story:

The Visitor

Where did I leave my pink fuzzy bath slippers? I know they aren’t in the cedar chest. What did I do with them? Sheba better not of run off with them again. Ugh! When I see her little kitten face I’ll show her exactly what she can shred. I’ll trap her on my white bean bag chair and give her Jeffery’s stuffed alligator. She can go to town on that, tear it to pieces for all I care. Bond with it as much as she wants, just not my brand new slippers.

Dang, where are they? I really needed a new lamp for my desk. It’s ridiculous not being able to see anything. The lamp by my bed did nothing to light my room, only my Donny Osmond poster—don’t ask.


I stomped down the stairs none too gracefully in my roller skates hoping not to fall on my butt. Where did those slippers go? I was going to kill myself getting to the front door in these. At least I had something to put on my feet. The floor was like ice and I had no clue when Jeffery, my bratty little brother, found the time to hide all of my shoes. He even took my flip flops and hid them who knows where. He better hope my .22 rifle wasn’t loaded when he got home from camp, the little twerp!


“Chill out! Sheesh, I’m coming!” I shouted as the door bell rang for the bazillionth time. “Just give me a sec!”

Ding. Ding. Ding. Couldn’t whoever was at the door just let up on the bell for Pete’s sake? Crymanie. Don’t they realize how hard it is to get through a house in skates much less down the stairs?

Ripping the door open I was ready to give the ringer a piece of my mind.

What in the world?

Something cold, soft and sweet smelling, blinded me as it was shoved in my face. Losing my balance I fell backward, my arms flailed everywhere as my feet rolled out from underneath me. Grabbing at the air hoping to latch on to something, anything that would stop my fall; I felt something solid and held on. It was a large muscular arm. Unfortunately, that something attached to the huge muscular arm fell also, and with all the grace of a grizzly bear. It landed on top of me knocking the wind out of me. My rear took the brunt of the fall, and I lay on the floor regaining my bearings and my breath.

“I’m normally not this clumsy.” I said. “Sorry about that.”

Blushing, I looked up and saw . . . him. Oh no! I looked like a Barbie doll gone bad. Hair wild with bed head, no make-up and ratty flower jammies. My mouth gaped open in an unattractive O.

Dreamy blue eyes looked steadily at me, as a brilliant smile spread across Jeremy’s beautiful face. In spite of the fall he looked perfect, not a bit of his wavy dark hair out of place. He rolled off me and helped me sit up. Smoothing my blonde Barbie-ish hair, I tried like crazy to look better. It was useless. I was a mess.

“Hi, Green-eyes” he said using my nickname. “I . . . um, brought you these.” He held up what was left of a bouquet of flowers. Yellow Roses, how did he know those were my all-time, ultimate favorite flower? I never told him. No one knew.

“And these” he added giving me a velvet covered jewelry box and a beautiful leather-bound journal. His smile grew larger.

“Thanks” I said, taking the flowers breathing them in. “They’re my favorite.” I carefully placed them between the little glass horse and a book How to Draw Animals in front of Mom and Dad’s old used stereo. The one with the ancient record turn table.

“I know,” he said mysteriously.

I took the journal and the jewelry box from him, my eyes flew to his, puzzled. “What’s in the box?” I asked. Stealing a second, I glanced out the open door. Jeremy’s white 10 speed bike stood gleaming in the middle of the side walk. The same one he rode all over university campus last semester. It had a sleeping bag strapped to the back of it. No way! He couldn’t have.

“You rode all the way here? On that?”

“Ya,” he sheepishly grinned. “I did.”

“Don’t tell me you slept in that sleeping bag too.”

Jeremy’s smiled widened. “Ya, I did.”

Warmth flooded through me, as my heart beat wildly in my chest. He came to Denver? On a bike? From Utah?

“Open your present, Bonnie” he said softly. “I promise you are going to like it.”

I smiled as another wave of warmth flooded me.

I put my new journal next to the flowers on the table and looked up into his gorgeous baby blues. I slowly opened the jewelry box. My heart stopped beating then took wild flight again.

Was that really what I thought it was?

I lifted a beautiful heart locket from the box. It gleamed golden in the soft light of the moon.

“You’ve stolen my heart, Bonnie” he said drawing me close to him. He placed my hand on his chest. It beat as crazily as mine. “I want to give it to you to always watch over and protect.”

“Oh, Jeremy,” I said. “I love it.” Taking the necklace he reached around my neck to clasp it on.

He sunk to one knee before me, holding out another box. A black velvet one.

“Will you let me do the same with yours?” he asked opening the box. Inside was a large, brilliant, white-gold diamond ring. “Will you let me protect your heart for all of eternity?” He paused for just a second.

“Bonnie Marie Knight will you be my wife?” he asked with love shining in his eyes.

“Yes,” I whispered. “For all eternity.”

The End

I hope you had fun reading it, now how about writing your own story, just for the fun of it? I would love to see what you wrote if you choose to take up the challenge.

Thanks Christine for sparking my imagination and for all the fun I got from writing this story and once again Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The challenge!

I have accepted an issued challenge. The challenge you ask? What could it possibly be? I have challenged myself to write at least an hour a day every day for the month of July on my book. Now this includes the days we go caving, my husband tells me I have enough battery power on my lap top to fulfill it, even at camp. It will be fun to see how that turns out.

So far after picking up the gauntlet, I have been able to swing it with full force everyday this month. I have even exceeded my expectations and been able to write more than anticipated. I love being able to let my creativity flow and being able to bring what I see and hear so vividly inside my head to flowing script on the page before me. And yes, I do hear voices talking to me in my head. Doesn't every body?

Extra time on the computer without kids demanding a turn is mine! YES! But admittedly, this extra time comes at a price. My husband is out of town this entire week as are my three boys. They are off exploring the wilds of the mountains in the guise of scout camp. Fantastic! you might say. Less interruptions, and you would be right but . . . I have a terrible time getting to sleep at night when my husband is gone, and so I have found my self up through the wee hours of the morning typing away, with a terrible case of insomnia. It happens every time he leaves town. So I make the best of it by letting my characters out to play, and letting those voices in my head take over . . . again, I am not completely crazy, its just that I see great scenes in full technicolor playing out in my head and I work to capture it with words.

Now for a warning . . .

Even though at the last and only writing conference I have been to so far, David Farland said that our creative minds wake up at 5 pm and stays up until really late at night, I am thinking that perhaps he didn't mean until 4 am . I found my self working on my book enjoying the silence of my three girls sleeping peacefully in their beds, except for when they shouted out in their sleep about someone doing whatever to you know who . Smiling to myself, I wondered why I felt so tired, to look down at the clock on the computer and see 4 am staring wickedly back at me. OH WOW! It was not really that late . . . er. . . I mean early was it? That is how the first night my husband was gone played out , but I have to admit, I was able to write creatively for most of the time my insomnia was in full force. Eventually (4 am) the word began to blur, and I was finally able to sleep.

I looked back the next day, worried about the blathering gibberish I might find to see that what I wrote was actually pretty good and even made sense, which was a shocker to me. I expected nonsensical words to appear in place of the wondrous prose of the night before. I was happy this was not the case. Actually I was ecstatic. However, I don't recommend doing this, at least not very often, because its not the day after that you feel like you were hit by a semi because of a lack of sleep, but the day after that.

But the writing challenge has helped me focus in and forced me to carve out time every day to write and move my story forward to completion instead of jumping around with portions, I am now focusing on start to finish, with some editing along the way. I love the challenge, I feel excited when I sit down and easily lose myself in the world of my creation. It has sparked new imagination, and a little thrill of anticipation each time I write.

So now I pass my gauntlet to you, will you pick it up and rise to the challenge as well? Will you choose to write everyday something that releases the creativity within you? Answer the call, don't be afraid, prepare your self for the journey, you may just find yourself entering into a wondrous new world.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jumping into the blogosphere

Here I go diving in, finally to touch cyberspace. It is a bit frightening and exciting all at the same time. So as I explore the world of writing and books and share my thoughts here I will share my thoughts of how my writing is going, and what I am reading.

But first a few thoughts about me. I have always loved writing. I remember being thrilled beyond belief when my mom gave me a "writer's notebook" when I was in the fourth grade. I was so excited by it, I couldn't wait to get writing, creating my next master piece. The new sharpened pencils that came with the pad of paper called to me. My fingers itched to grab one, to take that graphite and change it into beautiful words. Words of a story, a creation of another land, another universe. To create stories so wonderful that my teachers gave me rave reviews, which they always did.

I lived for when I could get home, sharpen my pencil and dive into the world I was creating. I looked forward to every creative writing prompt I got in school, to explore new ways of looking at things and listen to the voices clamoring to be heard inside my head. No, not multiple personalities, but rather characters who wanted to be immortalized by my sharpened pencil.

Soon, however, mandatory high school and college papers took over and squashed those voices until they were completely silent. They tried valiantly to break back out, and here and there I would free them for a just a moment, with a pounding heart, then imprison them almost as quickly afraid of what others might think of what I had created.

I yearned for that little girl I was who had no inhibitions, who freely wrote, but I kept her hushed up, gagged and put her in the farthest corners of my mind.

But she would still tantalize me with the musings of characters who still wanted to play on the page with that sharpened pencil. Instead I ignored her and the characters, feeling that I was too busy with my family, too busy with other things I deemed more important as a grown up. I didn't have time for playing, listening to the beggings of worlds to be unleashed on the blank pages. I settled for writing in my journal. That would have to be enough. But it I knew deep inside that it wasn't enough.

I delved into the worlds of other writers pushing those sober thoughts away, but that little girl would tease me, taunt me with the idea that I could be as good a writer as those I was reading. I could create the same kinds of worlds, the same kinds of characters as they could and I could unleash my imagination once again. But I didn't dare.

I found another who like me yearned to put her story down and was brave enough to submit to a publisher, I felt desire to write again surge inside me and I found that I could wanted to write a book also, one of the many stories dying to be let out of the shadows of my mind.

I swallowed the fear I felt inside me, I swallowed the insecurities and the devilish voice that tried to tell me I was insane, but I shoved that devil right into the corner and bound him up tight and released that little girl who loved to write. And suddenly, I felt an immense sense of freedom. I was finally, free once again to be that little girl who loved to write stories of different places and different worlds where vampires, wizards, sorcerers, werewolves, faeries, and dragons and all kinds of creatures are free to romp and play.

So I hope you join me in my sense of excitement, wonder and magic as I finish up my first novel, and find what I think of other stories I have read fascinating and fresh. As I unleash that little girl here in cyberspace as she helps me find my voice on the printed page permanently. With that being said, WELCOME to Debbie's Inkspectations. Enjoy, and have fun with me as I continue to explore all over again, that childlike sense of imagination that has been waiting to be released.