Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Review: The Assassination of Governor Boggs by Rod Miller

About the book: Twenty-five years ago, governor Lilburn Boggs was shot in his home, but the gunman was never found. Now Detective Calvin Pogue has been hired by the Boggs family to open the cold case. From one end of the country to the other Detective Pogue follows clues that lead him relentlessly to the legendary Mormon gunman Porter Rockwell–who still isn’t making things easy for anyone!

My thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and found myself caught up in it from beginning to end. I do enjoy historical fiction, and I'm finding LDS historical fiction equally enthralling. It's cool to read fictional stories based in times and places we study in Sunday School.

I liked the character of Detective Pogue, and found myself hoping he could resolve the issues that kept him from his child. I really appreciated that he was a character of some depth, with his own background, and not just a vehicle to tell the assassination story. I will warn you, though, there's a twist in the end that some readers will find frustrating because it is unresolved by the end of the book. I won't say that Pogue behaves out of character at the last, because I'm not convinced he does, but it was enough for me to grumble a bit on the last page. :)

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. I'm no historian, so I can't say for sure where the lines of fiction and fact blur, but it is nonetheless an entertaining and enlightening read. Rod Miller does an excellent job weaving a convincing story with compelling characters. Go for it.

You can purchase the book HERE.

Disclaimer: I did receive a free copy of this book for review, but that did in NO way sway my opinion of the story.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dear Chloe

Dear Chloe, (From Consequences)

I’ve figured something out about myself. I can’t love anyone halfway. I guess that’s what makes me such a lousy stepmom. It’s hard for me to step back and not take part in your life because I love you like my own. I know you aren’t my child; I know you have a mother and she loves you and you love her. I’m not trying to replace anyone or edge anyone out. But I love you with my whole heart. It’s impossible for me to love a child part-way.

Having the day care taught me this. Remember when little Mae burned her hands? Her mom called to tell me what happened and I couldn’t sit still—I had to do something to help. And when she came back to day care with her hands all bandaged and only one little thumb sticking out my heart just bled for her. I’m not her mom. But I love her. Just like I love you and just like I love all my biological children.

Love isn’t a part time thing for me. Once a child pulls me into their world, that’s it; I’m hooked. I think about the kids I babysat in my teens. I wonder about the kids I took care of in the church nursery over a decade ago. The human heart has an unrelenting love capacity with no boundaries. If we allow our hearts to love, then the love just grows and grows.

You have grown up right before my eyes. The last 13 years have flown by; I swear just days ago you were that 4 year old who captured me so completely.

I saw you first. I don’t know if you know that part of the story, but I saw you long before I saw your dad. I fell in love with the little girl skipping circles around her dad long before your dad told me his name. And I knew I wanted to marry him because of the way he treated you. I wanted that kind of love and devotion for my children someday, and I got it.

If only we could have lived forever in those first months I knew you. You accepted me and we had fun together. You have a capacity to love that is unparalleled. I know why it happened. The "honeymoon" had to end at some point. Then you started treating me like I had become something forbidden. Once, you called me late at night just to whisper “I love you” and hang up. I cried. Not for me, but for what you had to change to please the people you love.

I love you. No matter what.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What it Really Means

Not too long ago, I blogged about going OLD SCHOOL, and how much it meant to try to write a novel long hand again. Today, I'm going to update you on my progress.

5700 words. That's about when my brain started going faster than my hands, and I couldn't keep up. Transcribing those last 5 or so pages into the computer, for instance, was a fight to read my own chicken scratch. Not that I've ever had stellar handwriting, but let's just say it gets much worse when I'm in a hurry.

One of my friends, when I told her what I was doing, quipped, "learn shorthand." That might work, but I struggle with the old dog/new tricks reality I realized I didn't want to take time away from my writing to learn another way of writing.

Here's the thing: I may start all my novels long hand from now on. I may write the first chapter without using a computer because it DOES do amazing things to the human brain--or at least my (mostly) human brain. I found the experience to be much richer, and I got to know my characters quickly and I tended to do more description.

Or not. I may just end up doing extensive drafting by hand, so it helps me develop my characters before I actually write the story ON MY COMPUTER.

Because that's what all this boils down to. I can ALMOST match my thought speed with a keyboard. Haven't got a prayer of doing that with a pen and paper.

So, for now, it's keyboard all the way.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bella's Shower--Come Party!

I'm totally stoked to be one of the sponsor's of Bella's Totally Awesome Bridal/Baby Shower on Inksplasher. We’ve had some fun games and prizes already, with more to come. Be sure to go visit Inksplasher every day to enter to win!

In addition to her daily prizes, she's invited sponsors (like me) to give away very cool prizes, like this!

See, I figure you’re going to want to be all prepared when Breaking Dawn comes out on DVD, so here’s a package to keep handy. And the copy of The Peasant Queen is to help you kill time while you wait for them to release the movie.

How do you get entered to win my prize? It's easy!

1. FOLLOW ME: Become a follower of my blog & leave a comment on this post telling me you're a follower. If you're already a follower, just say so in the comments.

2. Answer my Trivia Question: Email the answer to the question below to bellasshower@gmail.com. Put my name, Cheri Chesley, in the Subject line of the email & include your mailing address—in case you win. Deadline: midnight, November 19, 2011.

It’s that simple. And not only will you be entered to win my prize, but you'll also get THREE ENTRIES for the Grand Prize!

So are you ready for my question? Here it is...

Earlier this month, I shared the first chapter of City of Light with my blog readers. Which 4 blogs did the segments of chapter One appear? (Hint: The answer is on my blog)

Please DON’T post the answer in the comments. Send it via email to bellasshower@gmail.com. All emails with the correct answer will be automatically entered to win my book and the Grand Prize.

The answer to the question and the name of the winner will be posted on the Inksplasher blog on November 21st. Winner must have a shipping address within the U.S. Prize will be shipped at the end of the contest.

Good luck!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My review: Become by Ali Cross

Last weekend I attended a writers' retreat. If you've never done one, it's awesome. I doubt non writers would get as much out of it, but there's something about having over a dozen people in a house, and hearing only the clickety clack of their keyboards for hours at a time.

I also got my hands on some fantastic books. I've teased you before with news of the DARK CARMA tour, and now you're going to hear about the A. Ali Cross' book, Become.

How can you not LOVE that cover?

From the back cover: Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared.

When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is finding a reason to change—something she’s never had before—a friend.

My take: Ali is a genius. Seriously. I was at a WRITERS' retreat, people, not a READERS' retreat. But I wanted to see what she wrote when she signed it. Then I thought, oh, I'll just read the prologue. Then my eyes flicked--flicked--to the first chapter and caught a few words.

I was 183 pages in before I forced myself to stop.

I love Desi--her struggles, her weaknesses, her strengths. It can't be easy to make Satan's daughter a likable character, but Ali does it with such finesse you kind of don't realize it's happening until you find yourself rooting for her. I love the Norse mythology tie-ins, but I love mythologies. This story is all about the murky gray, but none of the characters leave you guessing whose side they're on.

Ali's writing style fit me. Become Does not have the rough feel of an author's first book. I actually found myself imagining editors kicking themselves for letting this one slip through their fingers (as I read). It's that good, that compelling.

I honestly can't wait to see what she does next. And, if enough people know about Become, it could easily become a best seller.

**Disclaimer, if you want one. I bought this book with my hard-saved money, so you can bet I'd let you know if I'd been disappointed!**

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Beginning, part 1

When does a story begin? It begins with the action. While authors may develop a whole, complex back story it's never a good idea to start your book with it. This is one of the reasons I've worked at doing away with prologues. Mine were always heavy with back story, because I loved the story part. But readers want action.

Last night I watched The Fugitive with the boys. At the end, my son complained that we didn't see the part where they officially cleared Richard Kimble's name. Technically, at the end of the movie, he was still a convicted murderer. I told him that's the boring part and nobody wants to see the boring part. His brother reminded him of his previous complaints at every scene that wasn't packed with action.

It's the same with books. Nobody wants to see the boring part.

I'm going to share a little journey with you this week. If you blog hop with me, you'll get the entire first chapter of the story I teased you about a few weeks back. We're starting here and now. Tomorrow, if you hit my MOMMY BLOG, you'll get the second installment. Thursday, the third will be at LDS WRITERS BLOGCK. Friday you can tie it all together over at MORMON MOMMY WRITERS. Have fun and happy reading!

by Cheri Chesley


The voice came from everywhere and nowhere, echoing off the beautifully polished building walls so that every ear in the City could hear it. People of Light, my shadow creatures have long watched you. In two days’ time my servant shall walk among you. He will claim my bride, the maiden Aisilyn. Our union will allow me to cross the Barrier of Light, and bring your destruction!
Gennavieve, shopping in the marketplace with her sister, froze when she head the voice. Everyone around her paused to listen. Genna’s eyes sought her sister’s face; at the mention of her name, Aisilyn closed her eyes and swayed a little. Genna clutched her arm, the silk she’d been holding slid back to the merchant’s table. Aisilyn opened her eyes, and Genna saw.

She knows it’s her, she thought. Just as I know.

The voice ended, and, as though bidden, the sun slid from behind the clouds. Genna became aware of the excited voices around them, fearful and urgent.

“Let’s go home,” she said. “Mother will be worried.”

Aisilyn nodded, but didn’t pull away from Genna’s grasp. Genna inclined her head to Sorai, who snatched up their purchases and followed.