The Whitney Awards (and Storymakers!)

(This is an update better late than never, guys. After a BIG family move from North Carolina to Charleston, SC I’m finally making it through my endlessly long to-do list.)

Back in May, I attended the Storymakers Conference (my favorite writing conference OF ALL TIME) in Provo, Utah. The past two years I’ve been in charge of the conference so my experience mostly involved problem solving, fire dousing, and drinking large quantities of Cherry Pepsi. But this year? I wasn’t in charge of anything, and oh how lovely it was. I went to classes! I learned! I spent time with my writer friends! I have some really amazing writer friends, so this was absolutely the very best part. How about some photo evidence?

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(This is a teeny tiny sampling. I’m terrible at taking pictures.)

I’ve said this oh, so many times, but if you’ve ever had any interest in writing and publishing and you could make it to Provo in the Spring? COME TO STORYMAKERS. It’s a great conference for writers across all different genres, skill levels, and career paths. Start planning now though, because registration (Which I’m in charge of for 2018, so trust me on this one!) WILL sell out, and probably within just a couple of weeks. Check out the website, sign up for updates, follow the conference on Facebook, whatever you need to do to stay in the loop.

After the conference, I attended the 2016 Whitney Awards Gala, where Love at First Note was a finalist in the Contemporary Romance category. And guess what? I won!

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It was an honor to be nominated and a joy to win. My acceptance speech was all about my sister, Emily, who, in general, is both my biggest cheerleader and toughest critic (in the best possible way). But for this book? She went above and beyond as my musical consultant and inside source. As a professional musician, she knew just how to teach me the ways of the symphony and pick the best music to reflect Emma and Elliott’s journey. This book was for her, and I’m so glad she was there with me the night it was honored in such a lovely way.

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A Timeless Romance Anthology: Valentine’s Day Collection

What a year 2016 has been! I’m not going to lie. There’s been some TOUGH STUFF to endure in 2016. But I’m all about looking on the bright side and right now I’m moving into 2017 with hope for good things all around: personally and professionally. There are some good things on the horizon writing wise, which I’m excited to share with you now.

Due out Feb.1st: A Timeless Romance Anthology Valentine’s Day Collection

valentines-day-collection-cover-1I had so much fun writing a novella for this collection. It’s an honor to be included among such talented authors, especially when I’ve loved so many of the previous Timeless Romance Anthologies. This is the 19th edition! I’m excited to read the other novellas featured, but here’s a little teaser for my contribution: Hold Your Breath.

Kayla Phillips doesn’t have time to focus on anything but her swimming. A recent college grad and Olympic hopeful, her training is more important than everything else, especially dating. But then she reconnects with Nate Hanson, a fellow swimmer and her high school crush, and wonders if her priorities aren’t actually what they ought to be. She’d never let a little romance stand in the way of her Olympic dreams, but this is Nate. With him, it’s bigger than romance. Bigger than everything. Will Kayla and Nate find balance in and out of the water? Or will they walk away, too afraid to hold their breath and just jump in?

The anthology is up for pre-order on Amazon right now. Care to check it out?

HERE’S AN AMAZON LINK

I’m also excited to release another novel, coming in May of 2017. I don’t have a cover just yet, but I can give you a title: Wrong for You. Are you intrigued? You should be! This one is similar in style to Love at First Note–a romantic comedy I hope you’ll all enjoy. I can’t wait to tell you more! Soon. (I hope.) Soon!

Speaking of Love at First Note, I was honored to see the novel included in a few “Best of 2016” lists. I still get a little swoony when I think of Elliott and love that he and Emma’s romance resonated with readers. There are some great books listed on these lists, so I encourage you to check them out.

(click the medal below to see Prismatic Prospects 2016 Best Reads)

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Singing Librarian Best Reads of 2016

Katie’s Clean Book Collection Top Books of 2016

I hope you all have a warm and happy new year and that 2017 brings JOY in all its forms to you, and yours.

Pride and Politics, by Brittany Larsen (and a Giveaway!)

One of the things I love most about being an author is having author friends that I love and admire. It’s so fun to walk this path with writers I can learn from and have fun with. My dear friend, and fellow Covenant author, Brittany Larsen is no exception. Her debut novel, Pride and Politics, just hit the shelves and I’m totally stoked to tell you about it.

Pride and PoliticsAs the daughter of a well-known senator, Summer Knight is all too familiar with the nasty side of politics. She’s always stayed out of the drama, until an incident involving her fellow Mormons drives her out of her hometown—and out of the Church. What she needs is a change of scene, and sunny California seems like just the place.

Enter Benson Hardy. He’s just her type—until she finds out who he is. Not only is Benson a nephew to her father’s political rival, he’s also a devout member of the Church. The last thing Summer wants is to be mixed up in politics—or religion. But Benson challenges her like no one else, asking the tough questions about her inactivity. Though their incompatibility is clear, their connection is undeniable, and soon Summer finds the embers of her faith reigniting. Just as it seems that the pair might be on the road to romance, a series of embarrassing misunderstandings—and the appearance of a handsome charmer determined to sweep Summer off her feet—knock the couple completely off course. As Summer finds herself at a crossroads, she must decide if she’s willing to set her pride aside for a shot at true love.

Brittany’s writing is clever and witty and so fun. If you’re a Jane Austen fan, it’s fun to see 12657436_797790563687230_806852708837214012_othis modern day version of a classic story. If you don’t know Jane Austen, I still think you’ll love the political bantering and great character development. I highly recommend this novel for fans of LDS romance. Also, I’d love to give you a copy! Signed by Brittany, no less. I’d also love to include a signed copy of Love at First Note, by yours truly. (If you already have this one, I’ve heard it makes an EXCELLENT gift.) If you want an additional chance to win, Brittany is currently giving away a similar prize on her Facebook Author Page. Go visit here!

Enter below, and please do share the word. Authors rely so much on reviews (especially Amazon) as well as positive recommendations shared among friends and family. As always, thanks for your support and your reading time.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE