Sunday, September 25, 2011

Why Women Cry In Church

Today hubby and I had to talk in church. I'm a crier (never used to be!) so I picked the topic "Why Women Cry In Church". I wanted to throw in my voice - which means I had to make people laugh. And I'm happy to say, I accomplished my goal. The added bonus was that I did NOT cry! Of course, I had an experience I wanted to share, but because I'd talked long enough as it was, I didn't share that experience...which would have made me cry.

Anyway, for this talk, I wrote a poem - hoping to start out my talk making the congregation chuckle. It worked. So...I'm sharing my poem with you now.

Ode To The Crying Woman - by Marie Higgins

There she sits on the bench half asleep
Earnestly struggling, praying to keep awake.

Oh, why does she struggle so
Fighting and nodding off, yet not so much that her neck would break.

Suddenly a speaker’s topic sparks her interest
She straightens, focuses, and becomes in tune with his part

Nothing to disturb her
She understands, relates,and soon feels the tug on her heart.

Oh no! Not again.
She won’t, can’t, refuses to let this feeling transpire

It’s just like all the other times
Tight throat, stinging eyes, can’t really explain – it’s like singing to the choir.

All it takes to start crying is
One word, one phrase, and she’s quickly searching for a tissue.

Beside her, she receives a look from her husband
Questioning, rolling of eyes, and she doesn’t want to explain the issue.

Is she really the only one
Sniffling, blubbering, a nose so red, and liquid in her eyes

She must stop this inanity
Blame it on allergies, make up, or something she should despise

Why do women always have these feelings
Overflowing emotions, sadness – yet happy, simple things to make them weep

Why can’t men act this way
Just once, okay, maybe twice, or are they not affected because they’re asleep?

Unfortunately, this is not an allergy
Not make up, and nothing to fear, this tender, womanly feeling comes from above

But the truth of the matter is simple
Believable, hard to deny, the feeling in her heart is Love.

Yeah, you can tell I'm not a poet, but worked. (grins)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pirates, anyone?

Maybe the reason I like Halloween so much is because I love dressing up - or seeing others dress up. So today was Pirate Day in my little town (actually by Willard Bay which is close enough), so my daughter and I took her kids and went to see the pirates. We heard Captain Jack Sparrow would be there, and that's good enough reason for me to go!!!  So, without further ado, here are some fun pictures I took.

Grandson, Xavier, on Black Pearl

Granddaughter, Gracelyn, on the Black Pearl

This particular pirate had some Pirate Tales to tell an idea for a new story! Also, he explained the difference between a cutlass and a sword. Very interesting!

FINALLY! We got to meet Captain Jack Sparrow!

Xavier loved this pirate, but Gracelyn did NOT want to get near him. I don't know...does he look scary to you? lol

My daughter, Heather with ... her hero!

So you knew I HAD to get my picture taken, right? lol

Fun horseback riding, too!

Before a storm hit us, we were lucky enough to watch a sword fight! It was awesome...and Captain Jack was very silly!

So, now I have a new story to write. I LOVE IT!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Meet Regency author - Wanda Luce

I had the privilege of meeting Wanda Luce in person when I was invited to a multi-author signing at The Book Table in Logan, Utah. Wanda is with the same publisher I'm with, and she's such a sweet woman! Not only that...if you love reading Regency Romance and your favorite stories are Jane Austen's will definitely LOVE Wanda Luce!  When I read her book, "Lydia" I felt like I was reading one of Jane Austen stories. I had to keep checking the front cover to make sure! Really!! Wanda's writing is that good!!

Okay, so now let me introduce you to this wonderful author.

Wanda, please tell us a little about yourself.

Wow, a little about myself…  The “in a nutshell version?”  Definitely synonymous with Hitchcock’s formula for good fiction: “A good story is life with the dull parts taken out.”  So, even though my non-fiction life has hardly had a dull moment, my “short” account may have your readers yawning.

I was born in Burlingame, California but lived in San Mateo until I was four when our family moved to Carson City, Nevada.  When I was thirteen, we moved to Reno.  At 18 I left home for BYU. After three years as an undergraduate student, I interrupted my studies to serve an LDS mission in Germany. Afterward, I returned to BYU and graduated with a B.A. in German Literature.  If you think Goethe is tough in English, you ought to try understanding it in old German—scary.  While at BYU, I taught two years of German at the MTC and one year of German 101 on campus.  I also played in the BYU Symphony, danced on the Ballroom Dance Team, and …fell in love with my husband. The first time I met my husband he was still dating a former roommate.  My first thought upon seeing him?  Wow, that is the most gosh darn drop dead gorgeous man I’ve ever seen!  A year later we were married, and we spent our first eight years of marriage honeymooning in the luxury of San Diego until my husband’s job change brought us back to Utah. We have raised two beautiful young men.  Once our boys were in school, I began my teaching career and am currently teaching German at two Salt Lake City high schools.  But…that is just my side job.  Writing has now become my passion, and one I pray I can hone successfully.  So, you made it through my long-winded “a little about yourself.”  Thanks, though for taking the time. If I had another ten thousand pages to fill I could tell you the really “good story with the dull parts taken out!”

Wanda, you've been all over it seems. And I bet you have many stories to tell! But right now, we want you to tell us about your new release "Lydia", and what inspired you to write this.   
During a particularly challenging few years of my life, I decided to reread all of Jane Austen’s books.  When I was done, I read all of the books in the library pamphlet with a list of Jane Austen spin-offs.  Next, I turned to the internet for titles of other Regencies but quickly discovered that I had to be careful which ones I picked (Yikes! too much information in some of those).  So, I found the Clean Romances group on Goodreads and started choosing my reads from there.  One day, however, before I found that resource for clean Regencies, I was complaining of the dilemma to my husband and his response?  “Well, then write one.”  Yeah, I thought.  Why not?  So I sat down and after a period of toying with a possible opening line, I typed:  Condolences were felt though no longer expressed that the lovely Lydia still stood in want of a husband.

Wow, that was fun! I said to myself. Let’s see if I can come up with a few more lines.  Well, a few became a page, two pages became ten, then ten a hundred, and so on until I had written a whole manuscript!  The original manuscript had 142,000 words and was simply titled Lydia.  I had only written that monster for fun.  And what fun it was, too, but after a while, the bug to revise hit.  So, I revised, revised, revised, r e v i s e d, and r   e   v   i   s   e   d.  I felt destitute when I came to the end of the last revision (ha, ha, NOT) or so I thought.  I didn’t want to say goodbye to my characters.  Then, I decided it couldn’t hurt to submit that heavy tome to a few agents and publishers to get some feedback (after doing a little research, I had a box all ready for a pile of rejection notices), and to the shock of the entire natural world, I actually got two (almost three) offers!  When Walnut Springs Press sent me an email saying they wanted to publish Lydia, I jumped up and started screaming with excitement.  Everyone in the house ran to be sure I wasn’t dying.  And yes, I was dying, dying of joy…and shock.  Don’t you just love happy endings?  Well, that wasn’t one of them, it was a HAPPY BEGINNING to a new life for one entirely obscure little person just quietly going about her life.  

Wanda, I could definitely see that Jane Austen was your favorite when I started reading your book. So how did you become a writer? What or who inspired you?

Oops, I guess I already answered this one above.  But just let me add this one little footnote that says more than all the lengthy wordiness above.  If credit could go to anyone or anything, it would have to be my mother, the greatest mother ever born, whose love, support, example, encouragement, and teachings made me who I am.

How wonderful!!  I owe credit to my mother in a lot of things as well!  So what stories are in your future?

My husband asks me that a lot.  Specifically, I don’t know yet.  Right now I am revising my second Regency that I hope to have ready for submission before Christmas (fingers, toes, and hairs crossed).  I love the Regency Era and can’t see myself writing in any other genre.  English literature has me heart and soul, I am afraid.  Learning to write great Regency is a goal I don’t imagine I’ll abandon.  Would you like to read the blurb for the Regency I hope to submit soon?  I hate to impose upon you all, (no, actually I love it), but here it is:

Lord Rupert is the rakish son of the Marquess of Lansdowne.  His covert escapades to ferret out a ring of aristocratic criminals requires that he disappear into the British countryside for a short time under a false identity.  Here he meets Alexandra Dancy, a country miss whose family hides its aristocratic origins because they must guard a dark secret.  How can the two overcome the prejudices and hidden identities that divide them? 

Sorry, you will just have to wait and read it to learn the answer.

Wanda, I have had the privilege of reading through the beginning of this new story, and I think it's going to be another WINNER! can your fans get a hold of you? Do you have a blog, website, or a newsletter?
 I love to hear from my fans and hope they will visit my blog/website at or send me and email at Every Wednesday I post snippets from my WIP and hope all who are interested will hop over to my website to learn more about Lydia and to read the exerpts from my WIP that I have posted there.  Any who are interested can purchase Lydia on, at Deseret Book, at Brigham Distributing, and at many LDS bookstores, including BYU.  Lydia contains no references to the LDS Church or its beliefs, rather it is written in harmony with the moral standards taught by the Church, so it is a good fit for Regency lovers who want clean romance.

Thanks so much, Marie, for interviewing me.  

You are welcome, Wanda, and thanks for taking time to be my special guest today!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dream Come True

Some of you might find me a little strange...or a LOT strange, but that's just me. While growing up, my mother was a fan of the 50's & 60's music. I grew up loving Elvis, Paul Anka, Everly Brothers, Beach Boys...and yes, even Engelbert Humperdinck. I played Barbies with my younger sister and when our Barbie and Ken would fall in love, we'd listen to the love songs from these artists. I know nearly every one of Engelbert Humperdinck's songs--word by word. So when my friend, Judy Baker, told me Engelbert was going to be in Wendover on Sept. 2nd, I really wanted to go. Thankfully, a rebate check come in the mail earlier this week that made this trip possible. are some fun pics from my time in Wendover. The concert hall wouldn't let me take my camera into the concert, so instead, I took pics of the program I bought.

This is where we stayed - which was an easy walk to the concert hall.

We were on the fourth floor, and this pic was taken from our window.

EH with famous people throughout the years.

Ahhh...the memories. I'll always cherish them. EH sang my three favorite songs: "After The Loving", "Spanish Eyes", and "The Last Waltz". I did get teary-eyed but only because I was so happy...and then at the end I got teary-eyed again because the concert was over. But it was a WONDERFUL time!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Wonderful day with Wonderful authors!

Last Saturday I spent the afternoon with some great writers. K.R. Bailey, Jewel Adams, Abel Keogh, Julie Bellon, Joy Spraycar, Michael Young, N.C. Allen. The day was a complete success! Not only did I get to interact with readers, but I met authors face-to-face who I've only met online! And it was a PLEASURE to know these great authors!

My friend, K.R. Bailey - her first book signing!

Abel Keogh - a multi-published author

Jewel Adams - a friend I'd only met online, until today!

Joy Spraycar and Abel Keogh

Jewel is MUCH taller in person than on her email!