Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Watchers - Knight of Light - Audiobook

Last year The Watchers, Knight of Light broke sales records and held its place on the Amazon Bestseller List almost the entire month it first released.

More books sold in the first 10 days than, statistically, what most authors sell in a lifetime.
The Watchers got picked up by Costco and other retailers and was nominated for literary awards.

Amazon contacted us and gave us a grant to produce The Watchers, Knight of Light into an audiobook.

We had access to New York talent and the same quality production as the big five publishers.

Auditions flooded in. My book manager listened to many voice actors then passed the best on to me. My husband and I listened to so many great readers, but when we heard Julia Farmer, we knew she was the one.

I hope you love her as much as we did.

Available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes,

In England, 1270 A.D., Aura flees her village after being accused of witchcraft and sentenced to death. Pursued by creatures of darkness, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity and choose what side of an eternal war she will fight. Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, and epic villains, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.

 Deirdra Eden's, The Watcher's Series, is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl's discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Why Serving in the Nursery is Awesome.

When we moved to our new home, the new ward of course wanted to get to know us.

I'm sure the elders knew there was something different about our family when they helped us unpack more weapons and Zombie Apocalypse gear than furniture out of our moving truck.

Then the Relief Society comes to visit and asks about what callings you've had in the past and what your talents are.
Its almost like a job interview.
For people like me and Leif, we very diverse and don't want to be stereotyped into a category or church calling.

Since I have experience with just about every auxiliary in the church, I told them I would be happy to serve anywhere - EXCEPT the nursery.
I explained that I am kind of a germaphobe and can't stand the sight of buggers, then gave them a list of reasons why I wouldn't be good in the Nursery.

My kids are born Celtic Spartans and progress really fast. Avalon was not a normal 9-month-old. She is super tall for her age and was already learning sword fighting and gymnastics.

She ran around the Relief Society room, doing somersaults, digging through sisters' purses to find their phones and look for apps, standing at the table and pretending to teach the class ..... etc... etc.... etc....

Leif and I switched off, but it became clear to us that she needed Nursery and there was no way I could do this for another 9 months, not even with quiet books, snacks, electronics and all the other tactics parents use to entertain their kids during three hours of church.

A friend saw me following Avalon through the halls during class. She was subbing in Nursery and said she could take Avalon in there to play. After asking her, "Are you sure?" a dozen times, I enjoyed class while Avalon enjoyed nursery.

Of course I did what all new nursery moms do and checked on her a billion times through the "parent peep hole." Each time she was interacting well with the other kids and having a good time.

I wanted her in nursery every Sunday.

I knew there was only one way I could get my 9-month-old into nursery. I found a member of the bishopric and told them I took back what I said about not wanting to have a calling in nursery.

In fact, I was begging and pushing for them to put in me in there and came up with a list of reasons why it would be a good calling for me right now.

Since I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy I know I'm probably not going to be in nursery much longer so I thought I would write up a "review" on my church calling so that others with a phobia of nursery will see its actually pretty good.

1. You get to be a teacher, but lesson preparation is easy and your students are all munching on snacks while you teach.

2. The kids spend the first half of the time playing and having fun while you get to visit with the other parents and teachers in the room about how cute your kids and grand-kids are, what you did that week, what diets are working for you, what books you are reading, dream vacations. Its pretty awesome.

3. The parents are so grateful to you and you get to see other members of the ward not as bishop, teacher, or chorister, but as mommy and daddy. They beam so proud when they pick up their kids and you tell them what a fun time they had and show them the picture they colored.

4. Fast progression. You know how kids are. They can completely change in a year so you can see the rewards of your work almost instantly.

5. Art. Seriously. There is so much good zen when you sit down and just color with crayons.

6. No diaper changing. Yep. All the perks of being a grandparent. You get to let them play with cool toys, feed them snacks and send them home. If they get fussy or need a diaper change you give them back to there parents.

7. Comfy rocking chair. The bishop doesn't even have as comfy of a chair. You can kick your feet up or sit on the floor in you prefer.

8. Most accepting ward members. My ward is awesome and very accepting of everyone, but the kids don't care of you did your makeup or not, if your dress has a hole in it, or if you shaved your legs. They just care that you are there.

9. Lots of help. Very rarely is there mass chaos. There is plenty of toys, play dough, books, puzzles etc. to keep the kids entertained. Most of the time they just play quietly. There are plenty of parents and other nursery and primary leaders backing you up so no one feels overwhelmed. They even have the primary chorister come in and help entertain the kiddos with songs and musical instruments.

10. Learn their tricks.Yep. You can see it.
Mom comes in and drops off little Johnny. The kid screams and cries and act like mom is leaving him forever. Mom is about to cry herself. The kid knows he's torturing her. You assure her everything will be fine, just go to class. Mom hesitantly leaves, but stand outside the door and listens to little Johnny screaming bloody murder. As long as mom stays strong and doesn't come back in, then a few minutes later little Johnny stops screaming, turns to his friends and is like, "Hey guys, what's up?" He joins in with his friends and has tons of fun while mom is worrying about if the kid is okay or not.
Yes, he's okay. If he freaks out or has bad behavior we will give him back to you.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Book Review: Wise Bear William: A New Beginning by Arthur Wooten, illustrated by Bud Santora

From Amazon:

In Wise Bear William: A New Beginning, toys long forgotten in an attic discover that children are coming up to rescue them.

All wanting to be picked, each toy examines their own self-described shortcomings and turn to one another for comfort and advice. But the most important thing they discover is that as much as you fix things up on the outside, it's what's on the inside that really counts.

With an emotional and surprising ending for all the toys, this heartwarming and timeless tale of love and friendship is destined to become a favorite of young and old for years to come.

Kal'el's Review:

It is cool, because it has cool pictures. I liked it when the bear got picked again. It was so cute. I liked that the rag doll got helped to get dressed up pretty again so she could get chosen by a child.

I was surprised by the ending when the bear got chosen and who the grandpa was.

Deirdra's Review:

The story reminded me a little of a vintage style Toy Story where the toys are alive and want to play with children. The toys in this story spent many years in the attic and help each other get dressed up, cleaned, and repaired for the anticipated day when the children will come into the attic and each pick one of the old toys to play with.

There is a good moral to this story as none of the toys were able to reach their goals without the other's help. I love how this applies to economics and business success. We are most successful when we lift each other up instead of shoving each other down to get ahead.

Kal'el asked many good questions and was engaged while we read.

I loved the rich and vibrant illustrations.The illustrations set a mood for the book that is classic, festive and compliments the author's story telling style.

The pages each have a high word count, but the elaborate detail in the illustrations keep the eye and imagination busy while the child is being read to.

The book itself is well constructed and has an heirloom feel to it, as if it is a special book to be read by the fire during Christmas or other special occasions and visits.

You can purchase your copy of Wise Bear William on Amazon.

All Children's books reviewed by A Storybook World are donated to schools after reviews.