Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Starting My New Year Out Right--With a Good Book: Betrayed, by Rhonda Hinrichsen

Betrayed by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen
With the coming of this new year comes a commitment from me to do better at posting on my blog. My major house renovation is almost complete. We hope to be finished by the end of this month. We have to be finished by mid February. We've sold our currently home and have to be out by Feb. 19. That said, by the end of February I hope to have my life settle back down to normal. Which includes lots of writing. I can't believe that I have worked almost daily on fixing up the bank-owned house we purchase in November of 2013. If I could have invested the same number or hours that I spent up at that other house into writing, I would have a blog with tons of followers, not to mention  several best sellers in the form of novels. (It doesn't hurt to dream).

To start the blogging new year off, I want to share a new book with you that I really enjoyed. It is entitled Betrayed, by Rhonda Gibb Hinrichsen. She is not just a friend of mine, but a fellow author who is very talented. Below is the review I posted in Goodreads:

I was immediately drawn into this story on the first page. The author Rhonda Gibb Hinrichsen continued to keep me turning the pages as she wove the story of a young girl who loses her family with that of a young women faced with hard decisions concerning love. I don’t generally read romance novels, but then I wouldn’t classify this as a strict romance novel. Betrayed had a well-balance mix of action, suspense, and romance, making for a very enjoyable read that I would easily recommend to a reader of all three genres.

I am very busy, and I have a history of finishing only a fraction of the books I start reading. If a book doesn’t draw me in by the first chapter, I don’t want to invest the time in a book I’m unsure I’ll like. But I was delighted when I read Betrayed—it has been quite some time since I’ve found a book that connected to me as a reader as this one did.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Family Talk, a new book I recomend

I want to share a new book with my readers and friends. It is written by Christy Monson, a fellow author and dear friend of mine. It's an awesome "how to" book about organizing family meetings, solving family problems, and strengthening relationships. I highly recommend it.

Family Talk, How to Organize Family Meetings to Solve Problems and Strengthen Relationships
Author Christy Monson helps families achieve healthy synergy through
hosting regular family councils
A retired family therapist, Monson shares stories and concrete examples to guide families through the process of fine tuning communication through family meetings.
She explores the use of family councils as the perfect teaching environment to:
            Understand difficult issues
            Troubleshoot problems
            Find solutions
            Build a child's self esteem
            Give children the message that they are valued
            Help children know they are loved
            Encourage family members to become the best they can be
About the Author: Christy Monson established a successful counseling practice in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her books, Love, Hugs, and Hope: When Scary Things Happen and Becoming Free: A Woman's Guide To Internal Strength are published by Familius.

Praise for Family Talk

The Family Council Guidebook is a vital and necessary addition to every home. In this day and age when emails, chat rooms, and staring at computer screens are rapidly replacing real-time human interaction, what better corrective could there be than a guidebook to how to talk with one another in meaningful, productive and healing ways. Christy Monson knows what she is talking about. It is a great blessing that she is sharing it with all of us.

—Ben Bernstein, PhD, Author of Test Success! and A Teen's Guide to Success

Purchase Family Talk on Amazon.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Missing in Action


     I apologize to any followers of my blog (and other social media) that I still might have. My waning  posts have weighed on my mind. Unfortunately, other matters have weighed heavier and they have received my attention, thus my blog has suffered.

Please be patient. Check back in the future. It will get better.

Like in most all situations, there lessons to be found among the rubble created by hard times. Patience and the ability to look for silver linings in massive gray clouds are two of the most common ones--two that I am learning at present.

Just a quick update on the massive undertaking that has basically put my life and writing career on hold for almost a year now.

Exactly a year ago, my husband and I decided to sell our large house and downsize so as to use the equity in our house to help us retire a few years early and go on a mission while we were still young enough to do some good. My husband gave me a budget for our new house. I immediately went to task looking for something that would fit in that budget.
Everything I found, that was still large enough to allow my children and their families to still come back for family gatherings was far away from where I cared to live out my life. I really wanted to remain in Kaysville. It's not only where I had raised my family and where I feel at home, but my mother-in-law still lives here and we need to be close to her as her healthy is going down hill and she will only need our assistance more in the days ahead.

I did find a bank owned property last October in Kaysville. It was located in a wonderful, quiet neighborhood with a stream in the back yard. It was "cheap" and I figured we could still pour 100K into the place and still be on budget.

We ended up paying more than the asking price because there was a lot of house flippers competing for the property. The end of November last year, we began the demolition. After the first day of help from friends and family, the remaining demolition basically fell into my hands. I felt like I was trying to move an ocean of water with a thimble. At least close; it was literally a ton of tile I pulled out of that house one bucketful at a time. A big orange crowbar became my best friend, I leaned to frame, run pex, and be innovative when tasks required the strength of a man. My husband and son in law did most of the plumbing, but I have done 90% of the rest of the house by myself. Needless to say, it has consumed my life for the past eleven months.

I've just had to keep reminding myself of our end goal. That and lots of prayer has kept me going. Everyday I would pray for help. The task was so overwhelming and I felt I was doing it essentially all alone. Occasionally, I would get help from someone other than my husband. At first I was frustrated with this, but I kept praying. Then it dawned on me. The Lord did send help. To me. He blessed me with strength and perseverance beyond my normal abilities. I KNOW He has helped me do things beyond whatever I imagined was possible by scrawny, old me.

So there it is: the reason I have not been posting on my blog. Please accept my apology and come back for a visit in 2015. I will be back.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Honey Vanilla Yogurt Suitable to Serve at a Wedding. :)

Earlier this month I made 6 gallons of my honey vanilla yogurt for a dear friend, Ilona Hunsaker--actually it was for her son's wedding open house she had in her gorgeous back yard. She served make-your-own yogurt parfaits. They were a big hit and many of those attending asked her for the recipe for the yogurt. \

I'm posting it here on my blog because I thought it would be the easiest way for me to share it with them. (Also because I have posted these instructions before and I just had to go into my archives and retrieve them. I found that I have changed the recipe a bit since I first posted this, so I have updated them for this post).

It's healthy, tasty, and easy. You just need a candy thermometer, a good sauce pan, an oven that can maintain a temperature of 100 degrees, and the following ingredients:

8 cups of fresh milk
2/3 cup powdered milk
2 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (1/2 envelope)
2 scant teaspoon instant pectin

Mix together in a heavy sauce pan with a wire whisk.
Turn the burner to low-medium low and let the milk slowly rise in temperature up to 170 degrees, but DO NOT let the milk come to a boil. Stir occasionally to prevent a film sticking to the bottom of the pan.

When the milk mixture reaches 170, remove from heat and stir in:
3/4 to 1 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

When the mixture reaches a temperature between 112 and 108, add:
1/2 cup of yogurt starter. (Use plain or vanilla. You can reserve a 1/2 cup from your previous batch of yogurt).

Mix well with wire whisk. Strain and pour into containers. I like to use Pyrex bowls that come with lids, but I have found that used yogurt containers work, as long as they have snap on lids.

Put the lids on the containers and place in a pre-heated 100 degree oven for 8 to 10 hours. Turn off the heat and let remain in the oven for another 1 to 6 hours, depending on how strong you want the yogurt flavor.

Refrigerate and enjoy.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Another Year Older, But Still Kickin'

Today is my birthday. I'm as old as the year I was born. ('57). That will only happen once in my life. Though that is not a major milestone, I always choke up a little (sometimes a lot, but in this case only a little), when something will never happen again, marks the end of an era. When you look at the grand scheme of things, our mortal experience here on this earth is one of a kind--it will never happen again. And it is very short. For this reason, I want to make the most of my life because I love life.

As a person who has always set goals and strives to meet them, I have the goal to live 30 more years. I realize that this particular goal might be slightly out of my hands. But there are some things I can do to increase my odds of success.
* First I will apply one of my most favorite sayings: "work like everything depends on you and pray like everything depends on God." Yep, I'm going to pray that God will grant me a long, healthy life--can't hurt.
*Second, I'm going to do everything I can to maintain good health. I've already started--unfortunately, it took a pair of sore knees to remind me that I wasn't eating right. I've cut out refined foods, especially sugar. My knees and my energy levels are feeling better already. This leads to the ease of accomplishing another goal--take a brisk half hour walk at least 5 times a week.

Aren't birthdays great? They remind us we are getting older, which reminds us we need to take action so that all those previous birthdays don't do us in.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Hitler Dilemma Official Book Blog Tour Starts Here

The first stop of the Official Book Blog Tour for The Hitler Dilemma is here on my very own blog, Frankly Creative.
To kick off this blog tour,I'd like to share with you some purchase links and what you'll read on the back cover of the printed book


“We’re Nazis, Max. Everybody in Germany is Nazi—if they want to be safe.” Papa pulled up a chair and sat down, crumpling the newspaper in his hand. “We don’t have to think like them, son, but we’ve got to act like them—at least on the outside. Try to remember that. Okay?”

Saarbr├╝cken, Germany—1938 Change is in the air in Max Adams’s home town: The censorship of classic literature, the elimination of math and science courses, the addition of extra physical education classes. Along with thousands of other young men, he is forced into the Hitler Youth and is being groomed to become the next generation of Nazi soldiers. But as a faithful Latter-day Saint, how can Max serve the villain who destroyed his younger brother in his effort to create a Master Race—a man who is bent on tearing apart not only a single nation, but also the entire world?

From the horrors of battle and the sorrow of separation from family to the privations of a prisoner of war, Carolyn Twede Frank’s groundbreaking novel The Hitler Dilemma is a poignant chronicle of one remarkable young man’s struggle to reconcile his sense of duty with his staunch opposition to the evil tyrant destroying the country he loves.
"Compelling, life-affirming, historical fiction.  
Carolyn Frank Builds a rich and very readable
 narrative that brings this true story to life."
--Brad Westwood
Director, Utah State Historical Society

I hope you take the opportunity to visit as many of the stop as you can. Here is a list of the other bloggers that are participating.

The Hitler Dilemma Book Blog Tour Stops
May 24th. www.franklycreative.blogspot.com
May 25th: annadelc.com/blog
May 26th  http://www.fayklingler.com/
May 27th: lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com
May 28th: sueysbooks.blogspot.com
May 29th: themusingsofabookaddict.com
May 30th: ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com
May 31sth: http://www.tarynataylor.com/
June 1st: Julielcasey.com/blog
June 2nd: renaeswritespot.blogspot.com
June 3rd: thewriteblocks.blogspot.com
June 4th: maryanndennis.blogspot.com
June 5th: whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com
June 6th: donnakweaver.com
June 7th: lisaswinton.blogspot.com

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Hitler Dilemma Book Trailer

Check out this book trailer for my new book. I'm so very pleased with the qualitly of work my son-in-law did in creating it. And I was floored by the music my son, Jordan created for the trailer. He said it took him less than half and hour.