Jul 6, 2021

Once I Was Engaged

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When Bree Carrington gets engaged while at BYU Hawaii, her loving but over-the-top mom goes all out to create the wedding of the century. But both mother and daughter must overcome the pressure of perfection when this happily ever after story doesn’t go quite as expected.

Movie Trailer

Press Release
ONCE I WAS ENGAGED TICKETS ON SALE NOW

-Highly Anticipated Sequel to ONCE I WAS A BEEHIVE opens exclusively in theatres on July 21-

SALT LAKE CITY – Advance tickets are now on sale for ONCE I WAS ENGAGED – the eagerly awaited sequel to the award-winning, smash hit ONCE I WAS A BEEHIVE – the film opens exclusively in Utah theatres on Friday, July 21 before expanding to Arizona, Idaho, and Nevada on August 6 and nationally on August 13. Written and directed by Maclain Nelson, ONCE I WAS ENGAGED brings back all the original film’s favorite cast of characters, including Bree (Clare Niederpruem), Holly (Hailey Smith), Lane (Paris Warner), and of course, Carrie Carrington (Lisa Valentine Clark). And this film introduces a couple key new characters, including Curt Carrington; Carrie’s husband and Bree’s father, played by High School Musical’s Bart Johnson; and Thys Chesterfield, played by Studio C’s Tanner Gillman.

“Fans have been screaming for a sequel ever since we released the first film,” exclaimed Nelson. “And we are beyond excited for everyone to get back to the movie theatre and experience the next chapter in the lives of their favorite campers.”

The story takes place about two years after ONCE I WAS A BEEHIVE. The young women and their leaders have grown up (some more than others), and Bree’s surprise engagement and the whirlwind of wedding planning brings them all back together – with hilarious and touching results.

“This movie is the warmest and funniest thing you’ll see this year,” quipped Lisa Valentine Clark. “Not to mention audiences get to see some men in the mix this time. We added the one-and-only Bart Johnson and the charming and hilarious Tanner Gillman. I’m not going to say they steal the show, but I’m not going to not say that either. You’ll just have to come see for yourself.”

Even though the story is a sequel to the first film, audiences will also get to see the original girls as their much younger selves for the first time. “I won’t give away too much, but old and new fans alike get to learn so much more history of the girls,” explained Clare Niederpruem, who plays Bree. “Audiences will absolutely adore them, and who knows, maybe there’s a prequel story to BEEHIVE that needs to be told.”

In the years since ONCE I WAS A BEEHIVE was released, many cast members have been busy in the entertainment industry, especially Clare Niederpruem. ENGAGED signals her first return to being in front of the camera in quite a few years. “We’re so excited to celebrate at the premiere and mingle with the fans. We want this to be the party of the summer,” said Niederpruem who has become a sought-after director for feature films, TV movies and TV series, including an adaptation of LITTLE WOMEN and multiple TV movies for the Hallmark Channel.

To see the trailer for ONCE I WAS ENGAGED and to see where the film is playing nearest you, visit: https://www.onceiwasengaged.com/

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Jul 1, 2021

Heart of the Frontier

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Happy Book Birthday to Heart of the Frontier
A Western Historical Fiction anthology by Brittany Larsen, Jen Geigle Johnson, 
Jennie Hansen & Carolyn Twede Frank. 

The Gamble by Brittany Larsen
British aristocrat Thomas Clayborne anticipated a grand adventure in America—but what he imagined is a far cry from the rough-and-tumble reality. When his journey West brings a bold young woman into his life, will he risk everything for true love?

Her Frontier Bandit by Jen Geigle Johnson
When Rebecca and her physician father relocate to a frontier town in desperate need of a doctor, Rebecca believes it will be an opportunity to mend her recently broken heart. But she quickly realizes that no matter how far she runs, true love always finds a way.

Sagebrush Sally by Jennie Hansen
English rose Sally is finding it difficult to bloom in the rugged wasteland of the West. But with two handsome cowboys vying for her affections, it seems that even amid cattle thieves and gunfights, the truest danger lies in losing her heart.

Celebration for Celia by Carolyn Twede Frank
Though Celia generally adores Fourth of July festivities, she finds herself weighed down by uncertainties that dim her anticipation of the holiday. Then fate brings into her life a dashing stranger who is determined to give Celia a celebration she’ll never forget. 

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AMAZON 

Jun 29, 2021

Time's Dagger

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After a rough stint at work in the ER, Dillon Kelly is more than a little ready for a vacation when he packs his bags and sets off on a camping trip in the wilds of Ireland. But when a mysterious dagger covered in druidic markings appears in his backpack, Dillon finds himself hurtled into the fourteenth century. Thrust into the legends and politics of ancient Ireland, he is rescued from suspicious locals by a beautiful young woman named Ailish.

Ailish has always dreamed of being a bard, but there’s just one problem: women aren’t allowed. Determined to follow her heart, Ailish has fooled everyone into thinking she’s a boy—everyone, that is, except for Dillon. He’s agreed to keep her secret in exchange for her help in finding his way home to his own time. Despite the impossible barriers between them, feelings beyond friendship soon blossom. 

But more than just their budding romance is in danger. Ailish isn’t the only one who recognizes the dagger’s druidic significance, and there are those who would stop at nothing to harness its time-bending powers.

My Review
Travel back in time with this fun tale. I highly recommend it!

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Jun 28, 2021

Nora and the Sacred Stones

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Trespasser, Thief, Assailant—these were never titles Nora planned on. She was just trying to protect her sister. With the help of her little brother and his best friend, Nora embarks on a life-or-death quest that could rock the very fabric of their society. After breaking into the royal palace, Nora discovers that the ancient power of the sacred stones is more than just a legend. But in her desperate attempt to help her sister, Nora may have awoken something deep inside the earth—a power she doesn’t fully understand. As Nora flees, she accidentally encounters Prince Kyn, heir to the Liardian throne. She narrowly manages to escape, but now the young prince knows who she is and what she looks like.

Eager to prove himself to his father, Prince Kyn leads a mission to find Nora and bring her back to House Liard. Unfortunately, his search is riddled with obstacles he never saw coming. Kyn soon realizes he needs Nora’s help more than he could have possibly imagined. In fact, the whole world does.

My Review
This is a fun book and would make a fantastic summertime read for the whole family.

Link

Fun Things About the Author
My story was inspired by some stone wrapping paper that I saw. This led me to wonder what an ‘all stone’ world would be like. I also spent a summer watching a ton of Great British Baking Show and this inspired Nora’s special cooking talent.

I wanted to create a story with two heroes who have opposing missions. If Nora succeeds Kyn will fail and vice versa. Nora and the Sacred Stones is short because it was written for Covenant’s Story Catcher novella contest. I am frequently asked if there is a second book. There is. It’s called Nora and the Gateman’s Prophecy – the first draft is complete.

Little tidbits about me: I’m in a masters of school counseling program. I have three daughters and one giant dog. I love to walk or run with friends and chat. A really cool thing I did was run the Boston Marathon (15 years and 15 pounds ago). One of the bravest things I’ve done was teaching elementary orchestra without much knowledge of string instruments. Something that challenges me, in a good way, is coming up with math lessons for fourth and fifth graders. To relax I like to write (there’s nothing better than creating a story) and paint – I’m currently trying out watercolors. And, of course, I love to read, read, read!!

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Jun 21, 2021

An Unlikely Pair

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After a family tragedy, aspiring ballerina Amaliya Marcell is adrift. When she is forced to leave behind everything she knows, the lost young woman struggles to build a new life in an unfamiliar city. But when she meets a handsome world-class figure skater, she finds a glimmer of hope.


After his sister’s unexpected retirement from figure skating, Tyler Linden is devastated to give up his shot at the US national championships. His only hope is to find a new partner, a task that proves nearly impossible—until he observes a beautiful young woman at the local ice rink. Struck by her grace and poise, Tyler takes an unthinkable risk and asks Amaliya to become his new partner. To both of their surprise, she agrees. The path to the championship won’t be easy, but Amaliya and Tyler quickly establish a solid partnership and a profound connection—both on and off the ice. However, competition at the championships is fierce, and when the time comes, they will be forced to put everything on the line if they hope to achieve their dreams.

Excerpt
Washington, DC
January 1982

Frigid air, skates scraping against the ice, the scent of stale popcorn. Amaliya Marcell sat in one of the twenty thousand seats of the Cap Centre and laced up her figure skates before she tugged her leg warmers into place and watched while twenty hockey players worked through their last drill.

As soon as they finished, they joined her father at center ice.

The great Robert Marcell. Amaliya still missed watching her father compete, but his transition from player to assistant coach to head coach had allowed her to enjoy her routine of spending time with her dad at work. She could hardly remember a Saturday when the Washington Capitals were home and she hadn’t been here with him.

Travis, the goalkeeper, stepped off the ice and gave her a disapproving shake of his head. “You’re wearing the wrong skates again.”

“You sound like my dad.”

“Coach knows what he’s talking about,” Travis said.

“Maybe for you, but I don’t think I’m going to be joining a hockey team anytime soon.” Amaliya stepped past him. “Figure skates are more my style these days.”

“Too bad. With a bit more practice, maybe you could score on me.”Amaliya’s eyebrows lifted. “I scored a goal on you last week.”

“That was a lucky shot.”

“That’s what he always says,” her dad said as he joined them.Amaliya grinned. “Yeah, I know.”

“Travis, get some rest. It’s the kid’s turn to play.”

“Kid?” Amaliya stepped onto the ice and twirled to face her dad. “I hate to break it to you, but I’ll be an adult next week.”

“Don’t remind me,” Robert groaned.“Good luck, Coach.” Travis started toward the locker room.

“Thanks. I’m going to need it.” Robert turned his attention to Amaliya and spoke in French, his preferred language, thanks to his upbringing in Quebec. “Are you going to play a little one-on-one with your old man?”“Don’t you have to check on your players?”

“I can spare a few minutes.” He tapped his stick against the ice. “Show me what you’ve got.”

“Okay.” Amaliya combined her years of ballet training with growing up on the ice and executed a spin that resembled a pirouette.

“When you skate like that, you look like a ballerina on the ice.”Amaliya laughed. “I am a ballerina on the ice.”

“Honey, I hate to break it to you, but most ballerinas can’t do that once they put on ice skates.”

“If you say so.” She skated backward so she could still see her dad. “You’re going to let me skate while you’re in your meetings, right?”

Robert grabbed an extra hockey stick and held it out. “Play a little hockey with me first, and I might be persuaded.”Amaliya made a quick stop and returned to her father. She took the offering and grinned. “Deal.”

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Jun 17, 2021

Eat Well & Feel Great: The Power of Food to Nourish Your Body and Soul

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"Are you overwhelmed and frustrated with all the different information on diets and don't know where to begin?


It's completely okay to be confused! The truth is that one diet plan does not fit all because we are not all designed the same way. This book is not about the latest diet or any quick fixes. It's about a lifestyle and a way to approach what and how you eat. All of this is explained in an extremely simple manner!


Here is a preview of what you will learn:



  • The importance of real, unprocessed food and how to eat mindfully

  • How to shop and incorporate real, whole foods into your routine

  • How real food has the power to heal your body and mind. Food is medicine.

  • How you can make simple changes to your current eating habits so that eating healthy foods becomes automatic for you

  • A fun challenge that you can try with a friend or family member to build small habits

  • Simple healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner"

My Review
This book was a great reminder of how much food really affects our bodies. If you want to feel well, you must eat well. 

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Jun 16, 2021

Isabelle and Alexander

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Isabelle Rackham knows she will not marry for love. Though arranged marriages have fallen out of fashion, hers has been settled for some time to combine the upper-middle-class wealth of her father’s coal mines with Alexander Osgood’s prospering Northern country textile mills. Though not a man prone to romantic gestures, Alexander is well-known as an eligible bachelor. His good looks have turned more than one head, so Isabelle is content to think of herself as Alexander’s wife.

However, her marriage is not what she expected. Northern England is nothing like her home farther west in the lake country. Cold, dreary, and dark, the soot from the textile mills creates a gray hue that seems to cling to everything in the city of Manchester. Alexander is distant and aloof, preferring to spend his time at the mill rather than with her at home. Their few conversations are brief, polite, and lacking any emotion, leaving Isabelle lonely and desperately homesick.

Sensing his wife’s unhappiness, Alexander suggests a trip to his country estate. Isabelle hopes this will be an opportunity to get to know her new husband without the distractions of his business. But the change of scenery doesn't bring them any closer. While riding together on horses, Alexander is thrown from his and becomes paralyzed. Tragedy or destiny? The help and care that Alexander now needs is Isabelle’s opportunity to forge a connection and create a deep and romantic love where nothing else could.

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The Cost of Secrets

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Museum curator Ray Peralta knows that at the best of times, the Superstition Mountain Museum is a magnet for treasure hunters chasing the legendary Lost Dutchman's Mine. But this winter, his small desert town on the outskirts of Phoenix worries him as the visitors clear out and the vigilantes move in. Generally, the Sons of Liberty roll into Phoenix Valley for a week each winter with their souped-up army jeeps and dirt bikes to conduct drills in the desert and wreak havoc on the town before they leave. But this year, there is an undeniable tension in the air, and within days of the group's arrival, instead of the usual trail of destruction, they leave a wake of death.

There are secrets lurking in the Superstition Mountains not related to any treasure. Countless people have lost their lives in that sweltering desert, and it isn't the heat that has taken them. How did they die? That's the real mystery. And in the midst of the riddle stands Ray, a man who swore an oath of secrecy—and he'll die before he breaks it.

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Jun 15, 2021

Inventing Vivian

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Ladies of London’s High Society are known for their social graces and poise. Vivian Kirby boasts neither of these enviable qualities, though she does offer impressive conversation on chemical compositions. Unfortunately, it appears that not many men want a brilliant wife. So it is that Vivian finds kinship with a group of young women who embrace each other’s differences: The Blue Orchid Society.

After an extended stay in China, Lord Benedict has returned transformed to his family’s estate, where an encounter with Vivian, whose scientific knowledge he once undermined, leaves him determined to make amends. He arranges to help forward her research—anonymously, of course. Through letters, Vivian establishes a warm friendship with her secret benefactor, even as she’s unexpectedly drawn into a murder investigation that forces her to work alongside Benedict to unearth the truth. Soon, Vivian fears she may be falling in love with two men, never suspecting that they are one and the same.

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A Torn Allegiance

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When the man she must spy on becomes the man she loves...

Peace is tenuous in the small kingdom of Oldenburg, and the looming threat of invasion from Napoleon weighs heavily on the royal family. Their country's best chance for safety lies in strengthening their alliance with the English. So it is that Prince Hayes Wilhelm finds himself returning to England, where he hopes a prominent duke can help him protect his country.

Lady Elsie longs to make a difference in the world, but spying was not quite what she had in mind. So when her father, the Duke of Shelby, approaches her about keeping a close eye on the visiting crown prince of Oldenburg, she reluctantly agrees. But the outspoken young woman did not anticipate finding in Hayes a man who shares--and respects--her progressive ideas. Their mutual attraction is undeniable, but Elsie cannot forget her charge to spy on the man who is quickly stealing her heart. With the threat of war looming ever closer, Elsie and Hayes must consider carefully whom to trust--before their secrets tear them apart.

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Jun 14, 2021

A Walk in My Shoes: Questions I'm Often Asked as a Gay Latter-day Saint

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A Walk in My Shoes: Questions I'm Often Asked as a Gay Latter-day Saint

by Ben Schilaty

President M. Russell Ballard counseled, "We need to listen to and understand what our LGBT brothers and sisters are feeling and experiencing. Certainly, we must do better than we have done in the past so that all members feel they have a spiritual home where their brothers and sisters love them and where they have a place to worship and serve the Lord" (BYU devotional, November 14, 2017). A Walk in My Shoes: Questions I'm Often Asked as a Gay Latter-day Saint invites readers to act upon that counsel by following the journey of Ben Schilaty, a licensed therapist and BYU Honor Code administrator, as he works to reconcile his faith with his sexual orientation. Each chapter in the book focuses on a question that the author is often asked, such as, "Were you born gay?" "Why do you stay in the Church?" "Why don't you marry a woman if marriage is about more than sex?" A Walk in My Shoes allows readers a glimpse into the life of a single, gay, active Latter-day Saint and provides guidance for how they can support and minister to their LGBTQ loved ones.

My Review
This book is well-written, engaging, and has some amazing, thought-provoking insights- I highly recommend it!

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Jun 12, 2021

Dream's Edge

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BRAND NEW SERIES by TRACI HUNTER ABRAMSON

Dancing to Freedom (Dream's Edge #.5) - https://amzn.to/3ghH9yX
An Unlikely Pair (Dream's Edge, #1) - https://amzn.to/2TklOMa
Broken Dreams (Dream's Edge, #1.5) - https://amzn.to/3vibEJa

 
DANCING TO FREEDOM
Canada, 1960

Ballet is Katerina Petrova’s world. But when the stage lights go dim and the curtain closes, she is simply a young woman who is trapped. On tour with the Soviet Kirov Ballet in Canada, Katerina is watched day and night by her chaperones and ballet security. But no one realizes that her hotel balcony adjoins that of handsome Canadian hockey player Robert Marcell’s.

Robert is enchanted by Katerina, though he knows little about who she really is. In an attempt to find out more about this mysterious young woman, Robert extends his stay in the hotel. One night, when a teammate’s wife persuades him to join them at the ballet, Robert reluctantly attends. He has no interest in cultural experiences—until Katerina dances onto the stage. Soon, the two are inseparable, but despite their growing love, Katerina knows they can have no future together. They come from different worlds, and to escape her gilded cage would be nearly impossible.

 
AN UNLIKELY PAIR
After a family tragedy, aspiring ballerina Amaliya Marcell is adrift. When she is forced to leave behind everything she knows, the lost young woman struggles to build a new life in an unfamiliar city. But when she meets a handsome world-class figure skater, she finds a glimmer of hope.

After his sister’s unexpected retirement from figure skating, Tyler Linden is devastated to give up his shot at the US national championships. His only hope is to find a new partner, a task that proves nearly impossible—until he observes a beautiful young woman at the local ice rink. Struck by her grace and poise, Tyler takes an unthinkable risk and asks Amaliya to become his new partner. To both of their surprise, she agrees. The path to the championship won’t be easy, but Amaliya and Tyler quickly establish a solid partnership and a profound connection—both on and off the ice. However, competition at the championships is fierce, and when the time comes, they will be forced to put everything on the line if they hope to achieve their dreams.

 
BROKEN DREAMS
A lifetime ago, Maggie Alexander’s parents narrowly missed medaling in the Olympics as pairs figure skaters. Now a coach, her father Gordon is living his dreams through the skaters he trains—until Maggie is forced to deliver heartbreaking news: her mother’s battle against cancer will be a losing one. Shattered, her father loses his dreams in an instant—his beloved wife and his will to coach. Left to pick up the pieces, a devastated Maggie finds herself relying on the steadfast support of her childhood best friend, Lance Whitmore.

Despite the fact that Maggie has never seen Lance as more than a friend, his heart has always been hers. Lance does what he can to help Maggie work through her grief, and soon their friendship blossoms into love. But when distance threatens their relationship, Maggie is torn between building a life with the man she loves and helping her broken father rebuild his life.
 

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