Edenbrooke Autograph

The other highlight I wanted to remember from the conference in May was the mass book signing, where I turned into a gushing teenager.

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I only took one book for the signing and when I walked up to Julianne Donaldson, my brain shut down and all I could say was, “I just loved your book. It was soooo romantic.”

I felt like an idiot, but I seriously couldn’t think of anything more intelligent to say while she smiled up at me expectantly, so that’s what she got. Then I shoved my book at her.

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I loved what she wrote, so simple, kind and perfectly tied in with the book’s dedication.

After that, a portion of my brain rebooted and I managed to “talk shop” with her a little about her agent and publishing with Shadow Mountain. Julianne was so down-to-earth and laid back. You’d never guess her work had the power to reduce a pregnant 30-something woman to a hopelessly romantic teeny bopper.

But I guess that’s part of the fun of it, isn’t it? :)


p.s. Today is the last day to spread the word and enter the contest for the Midwest Conference. Good luck!

Another Conference Highlight

I remembered two more highlights I wanted to share from my last writers conference!


One of the highlights happened the first morning of the LDStorymakers Conference, when I ran into these ladies from the NW Retreat. We sat at a table together and pulled out our schedules to compare what classes we wanted to attend. One of the women mentioned she had a pitching session with an agent and we wished her luck.

That’s when Liz Adair (the woman above who’s holding the sign) surprised the socks off of me. She has published numerous novels and was one of the judges at the NW Retreat where I placed 2nd with my Flash Fiction story. She was also one of my cabin-mates and a completely fabulous person.

She turned to me and asked, “Do you have a pitching session?”

“No.” I shook my head. “I don’t have anything finished.”

Without blinking an eye, she shrugged. “So? You’ve got talent. You should pitch to an agent.”

I stared at her. Could you even do that? I’d never heard of such a thing.

“Thank you,” I finally responded, a bit dazed.

“It’s true,” she continued. “If you don’t see an agent this year, then see one next year.”


We all went back to our schedules, but the conversation replayed in my mind and a little warm fuzzy unfurled inside of me. She thinks I’ve got talent and I should talk to an agent!

It wasn’t what I expected to hear at all and it totally made my day. Thank you, Liz! If I ever get the guts to pitch to an agent, I’ll be thinking of you.


p.s. Five more days to enter the Show The Love contest for the Midwest Conference to win a first chapter critique. Good luck!


It’s that time of year again when you can win a prize for spreading the word about the LDStorymakers Midwest Conference! Last year, I won a free edit and I’m such a slow writer, I’m trying to finish 50 pages to finally redeem my free edit this month.

This year, they’re offering first chapter critiques from eight different published authors. Very exciting!

You can click here to register for the Midwest conference.

You can enter here for the Show the Love! giveaway.

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As part of the contest, you’re asked to share your favorite Storymakers memory and I realized I never did share about my trip a couple months ago. I went to my second LDStorymakers Conference in Provo, Utah.

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It was actually kind of rough on me, because I was nauseated and tired from being pregnant. And I also had a cold. Adding traveling, trying to pay attention to classes and sitting down for hours on end (excruciating for my pregnancy back/pelvis pains) became a bit much for me. :(

But there were two highlights I really, really enjoyed.


The first was seeing these ladies. It was a neat milestone for me to go to a writers conference and actually know some of the people (a first for me)! I met these wonderful gals at the ANWA retreat back in November. There was another woman who wasn’t able to come to this conference, so we took a picture to let her know we were missing her. It was so fun to have a group of great friends to sit with and attend the classes together.

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The second highlight was meeting this woman. She was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, completely genuine and kind. And she was so excited to hear that I write romance. It totally made my day and I actually forgot how crummy I felt for a little while. :) Thank you, friend!

If you’ve never been to an LDStorymakers Conference, I whole-heartedly recommend it. They have had a huge impact on my writing and led me to find the support and guidance I needed.

Thank you, Storymakers! I hope the Midwest Conference is a smashing success!

Flash Fiction Story

After I posted about my first retreat, I intended to follow it up with the story I wrote for the contest, but somehow time slipped away from me and I’m only now doing it. I’m sorry!

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To understand the story, let me take you just down the beach from our retreat where there was a beautiful totem pole that is double-sided and depicts The Maiden of Deception Pass from a romantic Indian legend. (I’m sorry my picture is so dark… It really is gorgeous.)

Our contest assignment was to somehow include this legend in our story and make it no more than 300 words. It was very fun to write it while staying at that exact location. Plus the beach always makes me feel wistfully romantic and the Indian legend only added to that delicious feeling.

Now, without further ado, my little story:


Maybe it was the mournful cry of the seagull overhead or the unusual calm of the bay, but something about the beach that night gave me the courage to ask the question boiling inside of me.

“Do you think it’s true?”

Caleb Davis turned away from the sunset to look at me. I read the surprise in his sea-blue eyes before I motioned to the majestic totem pole looming behind us as a monument to my Indian tribe. “Do you think an Indian maiden really married a sea spirit?”

He raised a single teasing eyebrow. “Do I think a woman sprouted barnacles on her face?” He shook his blonde head. “No.”

I tried to smile with him, but disappointment twisted in my chest and I hid it by facing the bay. Caleb followed my lead and rubbed a perfectly smooth rock he’d picked up.

“And yet,” he suddenly said, “I don’t think that’s what you’re really asking me.”

I almost brushed him off, told him to forget it, but something in his voice stilled me.

“Do I think there was once a man who looked up out of his world to find his love in the face of a woman from a different land?”

A fire sparked in my lungs as he let the rock drop at our feet.

“You tell me, Jenna.” There was no more humor in the handsome face that looked down at me. “Is it possible for two people to love each other more than anything else on earth? Even the very people who gave them life?”

The answer burned through me. “Yes.”

A warm light softened his gaze and he reached for one of my brown hands. Deliberately, he laced his fingers with mine and brought our hands to his fair cheek. “Me, too.”