Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Review: All That Was Promised by Vickie Hall

All That Was Promised does that and more! From the beginning pages I was intrigued by the story, having read many accounts of the early pioneers. But all previous ones were focused on the saints in America. This delightful tale featured the saints in Wales and drew me in even more because of the change in venue. Having had ancestors hailing from this very place, I felt an immediate connection to the trials they faced. As well as their joys. I loved the balance of fear and hope, and the inclusion of more than one romantic thread.

The back cover reads:

An encounter with a Mormon missionary and his unusual message of a “restored gospel” leaves Richard Kenyon, a young Methodist minister, questioning his life’s work when he cannot deny a growing testimony of this peculiar American religion. But Richard soon finds himself struggling to recognize the promised blessings of the gospel when violent persecution shakes the fledgling Church in Wales.

The early members of the LDS church faced unthinkable hatred, spurred by those who feared what they did not understand. I loved Richard’s reactions to all of the hatred he faced and watching his wife deal with her unbelief. I was inspired by how the saints chose to stand and fight, by loving their enemies and facing their fears. The individual accounts of each person’s trials were so familiar to those we might still face today; like loss of family, freedom, and financial woes. Such themes cross nations and religions alike, allowing the reader to easily sympathize with such plights.

The style and pacing made it an easy read, while the plotline kept me engaged until well into the night. It found its way to the beach with me, which turned out to enhance my experience even more. I feel stronger for having read this book and have no doubt that when my lot begins to feel hard, this inspirational story will find its way into my reading pile again.

I received a free copy to do this review, but look forward to purchasing more in the future from this wonderful author! You can order your own copy of All That Was Promised here and visit Vickie's website here or blog here to learn more about her.

5 Stars to Vickie Hall for this great new chapter about the early saints!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Writing Groups

Don't have one? Get one. Seriously. You won't regret it. How do I know?

I have one.

I believe that writing groups are essential for a writer's career, but also for helping the writer themselves. They are your friends, your confidants, the people you trust to look into your soul. You know, the bared one. The naked one that we protect so well. (Yes, I just used the word naked.) At least until it's time to critique. And because they're your friends they'll do it gently.

I cannot tell you how invaluable my group has been. We're called Moonwriters for the time of day that we write, though for myself I do best when the moon's on its last leg. We're also part of a larger group, a wonderful organization called American Night Writers Association. ANWA was organized over 20 years ago and includes beautiful ladies from around the globe. All these ladies have three things in common and all are essential for the writing I do.

  1. They're all women. (sorry guys, but it's easier to do the naked thing in front of other women. You understand.)
  2. They're all LDS. Each member of ANWA belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And though I have MANY friends who are not of my faith, this group helps to service some of my particular needs.
  3. They're all writers.
Trying to balance my life as wife, mother and writer is a constant struggle, but it's a little easier having a support group like this. And you want to know the best part? They can be there for you, too! How? you ask. So glad you did. :)

I know several of these ladies personally who go out of their way to blog for writers and give helpful hints towards bettering their craft. I'm jealous of their skill and time, and the way they can help more than just our group. Perhaps my blogging about them may count for something. :)

In my sidebar you'll find a list of these wonderful writers whom I hope to include on my future acknowledgements page. Some day. When I get published. Not if...when. Because with friends like them, how can I fail?

So what are you waiting for? Go get a group!