Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Only Half Alive by Konstanz Silverbow - cover reveal

Only Half Alive by Konstanz Silverbow

The world's darkest creature, will be their brightest hope.

While darkness haunts her, she craves the light. Christina is a demon, but she doesn't want to be. She is willing to sacrifice everything to change it. Only one person stands in her way, and he will stop at nothing to keep her the way she is.

The greatest battle of light vs dark threatens every living creature, a battle that could destroy all. And the demon in love will only have one chance to save everyone.

Welcome to the cover reveal of Only Half Alive, by Konstanz Silverbow! The cover is beautiful, isn't it? I love the contrast of light to darkness. and the colors just pop. Only Half Alive releases on September 27--3 days after my own book baby comes out!

About the author: 

Konstanz Silverbow has always been a dreamer . . . but not a writer. Being an author was something she was dragged into. But since that day, she hasn't stopped. It has become more than a hobby, it is a passion. 

During the day Konstanz works, making jewelry, playing the violin, collecting dragons, and learning all she can about medieval weapons. But at night she creates made up worlds and places where those dragons come to life and the weapons are used in battle."

Young adult fantasy, paranormal with a dash of romance author, Konstanz Silverbow; Proud Creator of magical worlds, fictional creatures, ideal super heroes and sarcasm since 2007!

You can get in touch with Konstanz here:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Irish dance diet - How to find your own pot of gold

Month: 9

Weight: 142
Weight lost: 13 pounds
Muscle gained: 17
Total fat loss: 30 pounds

You may have heard that a man will become rich by following a rainbow to its end, where fabled leprechauns squirrel away their gold. Are the legends true? Can something be had for nothing? 
I think we all know the answer:  there is no replacement for hard work. 

Those pounds are not going to melt away like magic. Strong muscles will not build themselves. 

Leprechauns are tricky fellows; they lure the unsuspecting on an impossible quest. To the mythological laborer, assurance of easy riches is a powerful siren that calls him away from the daily grind toward a magical life of ease. He leaves all that he has worked for and drifts toward the allusive rainbow, always just out of reach.

Scientifically, we understand that the rainbow is an optical effect that depends on the location of the viewer. The closer we try to get to its end, the further away the bow will drift.

A rainbow can be thought of in a different light: as a visionary goal. Think of the rainbow as a metaphor for a lofty goal that you have set for yourself. Does it seem so far away that you could walk forever and never reach it?

Unlike a physical rainbow, we have control over the attainability of our personal rainbows. I had a teacher in high school who drilled the importance of determined work into my brain, “Working will win, when wishy-washy wishing won’t,” he often quoted (Thanks Mr. C).

Photo: flickr user dingbat2005
Think of the most successful people you know. Did they pine away after a get-rich-quick scheme or complain about how they just couldn't give up their cola to improve their health? If you take a close look at those people whom you admire, you will see a trend of hard work and determination. Probe a little further and those accomplished success stories will reveal a secret the leprechauns would rather you didn’t know:  when they reached the end of their journey for success, it wasn’t the “pot of gold” at the end that gave them the satisfaction they had looked towards, it was the passage of time and work that became the real treasure. defines a pot of gold as the realization of all one’s hopes and dreams; ultimate success, fulfillment, or happiness. That kind of gold can be found at the end of anyone’s rainbow. Look for your own bow of light, and resist the urge to wait around for success to find you. Catherine Pulsifer, editor of Inspirational Words of Wisdom puts it another way, “Wishing for something occupies the mind, but leaves the bank empty. “

Whether you are working toward improving your health, learning a new set dance, or improving your technique, work hard and keep your rainbow in view, and your own pot of gold will be within grabbing distance. Just don’t forget to gather the valuable nuggets abounding from your efforts along the way.

Readers: Are you an Irish dancer or a dance school, competitive or not, with a story to share? Would you like to inspire others to feel your passion for Irish dancing and culture? Do you have a question about Irish dancing?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blog Tour - Heroes of Faith by Marlene Bateman Sullivan

Our fast-paced society loves adventure and it loves a hero—but what about Latter-day Saint heroes? Are there any? There are plenty! 

Heroes of Faith, True Stories of Faith and Courage, is a collection of twenty-four riveting stories about people who rose above difficulties and impossible odds to emerge triumphant. You’ll read about stalwart men and women who stood firm and valiant in the gospel in spite of dangerous mobs, flying bullets, physical handicaps, extreme hardships, and dictatorial regimes. It's fascinating to read about the exploits of real heroes and when that hero is acting in accordance with the principles of the gospel, the adventure is not only thrilling, but inspiring as well. In these days of increasing trials and tribulation, we can all use some worthy role models, especially those that strengthen our faith and increase our testimonies. 

~Cedar Fort, Inc. (July 9, 2013)

Where to buy the book:


Barnes and Noble

 Books & Things

About the Author: 

Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they are the parents of seven children.

Her hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and has written a number of non-fiction books, including: Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, and Brigham’s Boys. Marlene also wrote the best-selling novel, Light on Fire Island.

A busy writer, Marlene is set to have three books published this year. Gaze Into Heaven, a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences in early church history, was published earlier this year. Next came Motive for Murder, the first in a mystery series featuring the quirky private eye, Erica Coleman. Then, Heroes of Faith, a collection of stories about people who acted heroically in the face of grave trials and handicaps was released by Cedar Fort Inc.

Question and Answers with Marlene Bateman  Sullivan

About how long does it take to write a book? 

My first book took me three years. But I had seven kids at home and they took most of my time. My first novel (Light on Fire Island—a mystery romance) took me about 2 years to write. If I work hard, I can do a non-fiction book in 6-9 months. I like to keep going over it, polishing and revising until I’m sure it’s as good as it’s going to get and that takes a long time!

Are you working on any more non-fiction, and, if so, what? And since you also write fiction which do you find more difficult—and why? 

I just had my first novel in the Erica Coleman series published last month, Motive for Murder, and so started on another mystery. I love writing mysteries, and writing about a quirky private eye, Erica, who has OCD is a lot of fun. I am considering writing another non-fiction book, since Gaze Into Heaven, which was released earlier this year, has been so successful. Gaze Into Heaven is a collection of over 50 near-death experiences in early church history. It’s fascinating. For me, writing non-fiction is easier than writing novels. I don’t have to strain my brain the way I do with mysteries. Researching takes a lot of time, but I love that part. Since I’ve done a number of non-fiction books, I’ve settled into a comfortable routine. It’s harder to get into a routine with fiction. I’m always striving to come up with an interesting plot, figure out scenes and the characters, and all of that can be stressful. Fortunately, once I get to the revising process, writing becomes easier. I derive a great sense of satisfaction when all the editing and revising makes a polished, intriguing mystery.

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? 

Never. Give. Up. People don’t fail because they can’t write, they fail because they stop trying. I have a yellowed newspaper clipping by my computer that says; “For most of us, it isn’t that we don’t have the ability to write, it’s that we don’t devote the time. You have to put in the effort.” Another way of saying that, is if you want to write and be published bad enough, you’ll work for it. And if you work at it, your writing will improve and you WILL be published.

When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you always want to write books?

I’ve always wanted to be an author. I’ve wanted to write ever since I was in elementary, although I did not commit to it until I was in Jr. High. While attending college, I got married and that and having children set me back for years because—let’s face it—you can’t do everything at one time. To everything there is a season—But I continued writing as I could (I wrote a lot of magazine articles) and I never gave up.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Blog Tour for Emma: A Latter-Day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison

Emma by Rebecca H. Jamison

NOT Looking for Love: Single woman (23) seeks best friend to chat on the phone, shop the clearance racks, watch chick flicks, try out messy cooking projects, and eat Dove dark chocolates.

Emma isn’t so good at the whole life-coaching thing. Her first client ended up with a broken heart and is threatening to relapse in her bad habits. Now Emma has problems of her own to deal with, and all those problems start with one name: Justin.

Justin is her best friend, so it’s hard for Emma not to feel betrayed when she suspects he is falling for her childhood rival. And she knows she’s losing him despite her best efforts. No matter how much she tries, she keeps running up against obstacles. How is she supposed to help other people when she’s drowning in her own failures?

Fans of Jane Austen’s Emma will love this modern retelling of the classic romance novel. Fall in love with Emma’s latter-day tale of redemption, forgiveness, and the quest for true love.

Rebecca H. Jamison
Rebecca grew up in Virginia. She attended Brigham Young University, where she earned a BA and MA in English with an emphasis in creative writing. In between college and graduate school, she served a mission to Portugal and Cape Verde.


It was amazing how much more snow Phil could pick up with his shovel than I could with mine. He cleared three feet of the driveway before I was done with one.
“When we’re done, if you have time, you should come in and meet Harri. I think you two will get along.”
Phil stopped and looked at his watch. “I’m planning to do a couple more driveways before it gets dark.”
“I’ll go get Harri now if you’re in a hurry. She wants to meet you.”
Phil leaned on his shovel. “Harry is a she?”
 “Her real name is Harriet. She moved here a couple months ago and she’s hardly met anybody. I think you’ll like her.”
Phil threw his head back, laughed, and started shoveling again. “I thought you were trying to introduce me to your new boyfriend.”
“You think I would be out here shoveling snow while my new boyfriend stays inside?” I grabbed a handful of snow and threw it at him. I didn’t mean to hit him in the face, but that’s where it landed.
Phil wiped the snow off his face and grinned. “I wondered why you were dating such a loser.” I expected him to throw a snowball at me, but he just stood there. “So you don’t have a boyfriend?”
I giggled a little at his awkwardness. “Nope. Harri doesn’t either.”
Phil threw another shovelful of snow away from the driveway. “So you . . . I mean, you and your friend are . . . available?” Phil didn’t open his mouth enough when he talked. That was the one thing about him that always distracted me. I couldn’t help staring at his mouth.

I had to force myself to look into his eyes. “Why is that a shock, Phil? Every woman in that house right now is available. You can take your pick—Harri, me, or Barbara. You’re surrounded by single women.” It was safe to assume Phil wouldn’t pick me. I was at least three inches taller than he was, and it was a rare man who dated a taller woman.

To buy:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Shut up and dance! Exclusive interview with Irish dancer Joel Hanna (PHOTOS)

Joel Hanna, Irish dancer and choreographer
"Listen to your teachers...shut up and dance!"
~Joel Hannah

Joel Hanna is well known throughout the world for his innovative Irish dance techniques. A Vancouver, B.C. native, Joel began his Irish dance training at the age of nine. He launched his career and joined "Riverdance" in 1997, after which he joined the original stars of the show, Colin Dunne and Jean Butler, to perform in "Dancing on Dangerous Ground". He has taught and choreographed all over the world, spreading his love of dance, percussion, and martial arts. In May of 2013, Joel was involved with the dance choreography of young Schuyler Iona Press's production, "What I'm Failing to Learn". He soloed and choreographed in "Pastures", a Woodie Guthrie piece that was selected as a New York Times pick of 2012. Joel most recently finished a performance of "Choreography on The Edge" to sold out audiences in Woodstock. 

Joel Hanna
Christy:  How did you get started in dancing?

Joel:  That's a bit of a story. I started doing Philippino folk dance when I was about five, and then quit for the same reasons any toddler does anythingsomething shiny caught my attention. Whether it was kung fu or Transformers, I don't know, but I ended up a couple years later fumbling into an Irish dance class with my sister. My dad is Irish, so it was kind of a no brainer. But, back then it was different. Irish dance was still a thing that you only did because your family was Irish, or at some point claimed to be. So, to be this little half-Asian thing, bouncing around in a kilt at feiseanna all over the place must've been a sight to see. I started doing pretty well and traveling a lot to compete, so the cockeyed skeptic quickly jumped on board. From there, to somehow ending up in Riverdance, Dangerous Ground, becoming a principal in Fire, and then starting to produce and getting to be myself all the time, it seems like a life time ago.

Christy:  What is it about Irish dancing that draws you? 

Joel:  Wow. That's an interesting question. In it's traditional form, I think the universal appeal of Irish dance comes from the music. There is something charming and fetching about Irish music that is infectious--that much is undeniable. And now, thinking back to when I was a kid growing up with this, there's something really special about the innocence of it. This ancient form of spectacle and social dance has made it through thousands of years of cultural evolution without changing much (until the last few decades really), and was a closely guarded secret. Now, I want to see what can be done with it. I believe that it has the ability to be as much of a relevant form of contemporary movement as any other dance form. The traditional form and competitive system of Irish dance will always be there, and I believe it should be. I disagree with people who say that it needs to change and evolve. I don't think it does. I believe that it is the text book that we need to build our foundation from as dancers, and to master the vocabulary handed down by the generations before us. But I believe Irish dance is at a critical point, and the future of it excites me.  
Joel Hanna in Choreography on the Edge

Christy:  Your style of teaching and performance has been called innovative. What is it about your style that is unique?

Joel:  Really? That's very generous, thank you. I guess it's because I like to do things in my weird way. I think a lot about philosophy when I start on projects and new works, and I get inspiration from a whole whack of places and people. Bruce Lee is a great one for me, not just physically though. His words, I believe, have application in life as a whole. But we're all different, and everyone comes from their own background and experience.

I don't know really, I just know that it works. When I'm working with dancers, especially competitive dancers, I work on "them" much more than the material that they are doing. I think that the fundamental mechanics of their own bodies is a much more important subject to focus on. Technique depends on it. How can a dancer of any kind have any technique if they don't have the facilities to support technique? I use a combination of kung fu strengthening and stretching methods with ballet training to condition dancers, and myself. I won't say who's method is right or wrong, or that mine is any better, but I know it works, and it works fast.

I know that my life and career have been a sort of fairytale. I find it hard to take in sometimes. Between the things that I've gotten to do that came out of nowhere, and the things that we put ourselves through hell for, a lot of it seems surreal sometimes, and I don't know why I've been lucky enough to live it. 

Christy:  How did you meet Schuyler Iona Press, and what made you decide to be involved in the production of "What I'm Failing to Learn"?

Joel Hanna
 Joel:  I first met Sky when she was really little. She was just this tiny little thing in a school that had brought me in to do a workshop and set a choreography on. I had no idea that there was this magical little thing in the room at the time. I'd seen her sporadically in the last few years and heard about her developing talent, so when I was approached to be a part of this project, of course I had to say yes. The idea being so out of left field, and interesting, to the point that I didn't know if I'd be able to do it, is what really caught my attention. Whenever a challenge comes up like this, I know that no matter how it ends up manifesting itself in the end, it's going to be interesting, and a surprise worth waiting for. 

Christy:  How did it feel to perform for to a sold out audience in Choreography on The Edge?

Joel:  It was wonderfuland terrifying! I always get really nervous when putting out a new piece like that.We got an wonderful review from the New York Times, "The spark of Joel Hanna’s tapping and clogging, like the sheer panache of his performance, was utterly winning, but his camaraderie was equally so," and the piece was later selected as one the NY Times picks of 2012. It was one of my favorite things to do. 

Christy:  What are your thoughts about the future of Irish dance performance? 

Joel Hanna
Joel:  I wish I could see into the future and come up with an answer that doesn't make me sound like an idiot, but I can't. But I have hopes for Irish dance, and whenever I wonder about what is going to happen, there are words from some of the greatest dance icons in history that make me feel excited to see it. Ted Shawn said that "Dance is the only art of which we are the stuff of which its made", and Martha Graham said that "It is a barometer telling the state of the soul's weather to all who can read it." I know both of those ideas to be true. And I know that I would do this whether there was anyone there to notice or not. So, I guess I think that as long as the heart and soul of the people Irish dancing is in the right place, I can look to the future with curious excitement. But even then, I can only tell you where my heart and soul will be. 

Christy:  Are there any other projects, recent or future that you are willing to tell us about? 

Joel:  The next season is crazy for me. I think I'm going to be on almost every continent in the next year. I have some exciting new collaborations in China, with a new collection of repertoire coming out in North America. There's a wonderful outreach program this December in India that I can't wait for (I love doing outreach work) and in the New Year I'll be back in Europe for a few months. We're only half way through this year and I'm chomping at the bit to dig into next season.

Christy:  What advice do you have to Irish dancers who are just starting out? 

Joel:  Shut up and dance. Learn as much as you can, keep what works for you and throw away what doesn't. Listen to your teachers, and don't ever think that there's such a thing as "too much practice". And no matter what happens, or what people say, don't you ever, ever, ever quit. 

*all photos are kindly provided courtesy of Joel Hanna

Readers: Are you an Irish dancer or a dance school, competitive or not, with a story to share? Would you like to inspire others to feel your passion for Irish dancing and culture? Do you have a question about Irish dancing? 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cover Reveal for Awakening by Christy Dorrity

I am thrilled to reveal to you my cover for Awakening (Book One of The Geis)! I just love this cover and can I tell you that this was one of the most fun parts of producing this book baby.

My hubby and I hired a model and had photos taken of her. I purchased a wig off of Amazon, and the nails from Etsy. They worked even better than I planned. The photo shoot was a blast--watching a real, live person portray my villainess, and just seeing people take my book so seriously was empowering.

My talented brother-in-law painted the image and my equally talented husband put the cover together. I am tickled to death with it. I wanted the eyes to be haunting and harbor a bit of a secret. I think the model got it right. What do you think?

Add Awakening to your Goodreads list!

Awakening: (Book One of The Geis)

Awakening by Christy Dorrity

. . .because some Celtic stories won’t be contained in myth. 

A little magic has always run in sixteen-year-old McKayla McCleery’s family—at least that’s what she’s been told. McKayla’s eccentric Aunt Avril travels the world as a clairvoyant for the FBI, and her mother can make amazing delicacies out of the most basic of ingredients. But McKayla doesn’t think for a second that the magic is real—it’s just good storytelling. Besides, McKayla doesn’t need magic. She just moved to beautiful Star Valley, Wyoming, and already she has an amazing best friend, a solo in her upcoming ballet recital, and the gorgeous guy in her physics class keeps looking her way. 

When an unexpected fascination with Irish dance leads McKayla to seek instruction from the mute, crippled, janitor at her high school, she learns that her family is not the only one with unexplained abilities. 

After Aunt Avril comes to the valley in pursuit of the supernatural killer that she has been chasing her entire career, people in the valley begin disappearing, and the lives of those McKayla holds most dear are threatened. When an ancient curse, known as a geis, awakens powers that defy explanation, McKayla is forced to come to terms with what is real and what is fantasy. 

A thrilling first novel, Awakening is a gripping contemporary fantasy rife with magic, romance, and mystery.

Awakening will be available in September. I'll be holding an Irish dance ceili (party) to celebrate the launch. I hope you can come!