Scripture Study Made Awesome: Over 100 Unique Scripture Study Methods

scripture study made awesome_2x3Have you ever had times when scripture study was tedious, boring, or non-existent? Most of us have. But you’re in luck. Those days are over.

In Scripture Study Made Awesome, released TODAY, you’ll find an original list of over 100 fun, interesting, and creative ways to study the scriptures, with encouragement to help you begin a life-long habit of enjoyable daily study of the word of God. You now have more resources than ever before to discover the study methods that will work best for you in your individual situation.

Starting today, your personal and family scripture study will forever be awesome.

You can order it online through Cedar Fort, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and soon it should be available in Seagull Book and Deseret Book.

Please tell everyone you know about this. Pass the word, Facebook it, pin it, forward it, let’s get the word out and help everyone have a great scripture study experience every day!

Recent Signings

I’ve had a couple of great signings with Marriage is Ordained of God, but WHO Came Up with Dating? recently. The great thing was that Jenni got to come to them as well.

The first was at BYU bookstore, and the second was at Confetti Books and Antiques in Spanish Fork. At BYU Bookstore, I was able to meet with three other authors, Andrew C. Skinner, Alonzo L. Gaskill, and one other who’s name I don’t remember (which is sad, because I had a great conversation with him). They’re really great guys, and I hope to get to do more author stuff with them.

The second was at Confetti Antiques & Books in Spanish Fork with Mandi Tucker Slack, Misty Moncur, and Sherri Mills. That was a fun signing. Those three were great to sign with, and fun to talk to. It also helped that the store was a cool antique shop, so even once we got done, Jenni and I stuck around for another 45 minutes.

Launch Party Recap

Randy Lindsay asked me recently about my launch party last month for Marriage is Ordained of God, but Who Came Up with Dating?, and I realized I hadn’t blogged about it. I make the excuse that it was in the middle of one of my nonblogging months, but that doesn’t really hold water, so I’ll just say I’m a little slow and mention it now.

It was a blast! We didn’t have enough people to unbalance the earth’s magnetic pole, but I was so glad people came, and some even bought books.

We had it at the Fairview museum and had balloons (in the color theme of the book), cake (see above), cookies (also color themed like the book), games, tables, chairs, books, pens, giveaways, music download cards, a woolly mammoth, and tons of Doritos,

I wish I’d gotten more pictures, because it really was a cool setup, and I think those who came had a great time. Thanks to all of you who made it, and especially all you who bought books! You keep me writing!

You can’t tell from the photo, but the cake was a half-sheet, which means it was massive. Kudos especially to my mom for decorating it. Didn’t she do awesome?

Just a couple weeks later I attended Michael Young’s launch party for his book, The Last Archangel, and had a great time! He had all kinds of angel themed games and activities. Even my kids had fun coloring, though I couldn’t get them to wear my crafty multicolor pipe-cleaner halos I made them for more than a few seconds. Plus my son loved going home with a glow-in-the dark pitchfork prize.

So how do you all do launch parties? How have they gone for you? Have you seen cool things (or not-so-cool things) at other’s parties that you would recommend?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review – The 39 Clues, Book 1: The Maze of Bones

Maybe I’m a bit of a cheeseball, but I like to give ratings to the books I read, similar to movie ratings, in addition to a traditional review. I’ve always thought the G, PG, PG13, and R ratings were a little limited however, so I’ve started using my own system – with the same basic ratings, only using numbers after the PG that are based on age. So instead of only having PG13, which means it’s okay for kids over 13, I use PG5, PG6, PG7, etc, based on my own estimation of what age it’s first appropriate for. Anything under age 5 will probably be G. Anyway, here’s my review of The Maze of Bones:

PG 6: for action and thematic stuff. The main characters are constantly in danger, and can’t trust anyone. A very clean and action-packed mystery.

This is the first Rick Riordan I’ve read yet, and I’d have to say, I’m very impressed. It’s a treasure hunt, and the first of a series. And it’s a good, clean read. Sometimes super-clean reads get the reputation of being boring. This one is not. It’s very entertaining, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys adventure, treasure hunts, mysteries, historical fiction (it’s not historical fiction, but it uses a sort of National Treasure approach to the hunt), or YA fiction.

I suspect this would also be a great book to read out loud to kids. It’s thick enough that a 6 year old probably isn’t going to try it (if they do, AWESOME!), but I think they would really enjoy having it read to them.

I’m gunna be published! Like from a real publisher kind of published!

Don’t get me wrong, I still think of self-publishing as a publishing, and I have nothing against it – but I had no idea how excited I would be when I opened an Email from Cedar Fort at work that said, “We are pleased to inform you that we would like to publish your work… Congratulations!”

What?

“We are pleased to inform you that we would like to publish your work… Congratulations!”

“Holy cr**! This is for real!”

I’m almost embarrassed to say I was giddy. I would have immediately jumped up and done the Myposian Dance of Joy, but at the time I was filming a girls basketball game (no seriously, don’t laugh, that’s my job), and I didn’t want to be mistaken for one of the cheerleaders – especially since my team was losing pretty bad. So I saved the Dance of Joy till I got home.

Just to let you know, too, this isn’t the Mission book (Giraffe Tracks) I’ve talked about on this blog that I self-published already. This is a different book about dating, and since I don’t know what the protocol is for what to share about my upcoming book, I’ll leave it at that for now. So here we go! Let the games begin! I realize it’s going to be a long road ahead, and I know it’s a lot of work and time to get a book from acceptance to on the shelf, but I say BRING IT ON! I’m gunna be friggin’ published!!!

Nano Absence Heads Up

Just a heads up. If I don’t respond to email, Facebook, etc. it’s because I’m writing my head off. November is National Novel Writing Month, so I’ll be typing nonstop for a month. 50,000 words in 4 weeks. Actually, I’m kind of cheating. I have a story that I’m about 10,000 words into that’s been sitting on the shelf for a couple years, and I’m going to finish it. But I’m going to re-write what I have so far to put it in first person. Plus I’ve made myself a deal that those first 10,000 words don’t count for Nanowrimo, and I’ll only track the rest, so that by the end of November, the novel has to be at least 65,000. The extra 5,000 is “interest” for having something of a head-start. Fair enough? I hope so, because that’s what I’m doing.

I’ve been wracking my brain to decide which story to write. I have two that have been calling me for years, and all that time, the plots of both stories have been coming together. Actually, there have been three, but two of them I joined into one. It’s only been in the past few days that I’ve decided for sure which to write. It’s a Young Adult Fantasy book, and since it’s been grinding around in my mind for so long, it’s now the first in a series of at least four books, but probably more.

The one I decided against is an LDS fiction, and the reason I decided against it is because it involves a plane crash, wilderness survival, and a lost ancient culture, all of which will take a great deal of research – which is not ideal for Nanowrimo.

But I am really excited to finally write this one. It’s still intimidating approaching this one, because if it works right, It should have religious symbolic value similar to the Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve been carrying this story in me for awhile, forming characters, places, culture, and plot for a long time, and that’s why I feel ready to write it now.

Actually, another reason I’m excited to write it is that the places, species, and culture are based on stories, tales, and “mythology” that my family has been inventing for over twenty years. To my family who read this, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I mention that one of the pivotal lands in the book will be Yonder. Maybe if the story works, I can get Ria to illustrate it. 😀

Anyway, just wanted to give a heads up that if I seem to disappear for awhile, that’s why. I don’t want family time to suffer, so everything else (except work, of course), might.

See you December 1st!

My First Book is Out!

My first book is finally out!!! It’s taken about five years to write, revise, cleanup, format, edit, and publish, but Giraffe Tracks is available as of today! I’ll have it on its own webpage soon, but the webpage isn’t ready yet, so for now I’m linking to straight the store from my blog.

So far, it’s available in:

Softbound book

Hardbound book

PDF download

Kindle book

or you can Read a Sample

I was hoping to release the audio book at the same time as the book release, but couldn’t have it ready in time.

If there is a format that you would want to buy it in that is not listed above, let me know. I’d like people to be able to buy it in whatever format they want, even if it’s .doc, .jpg or even .mov (that would be interesting). If you’re willing to buy it in a certain format, I’ll make it in that format and sell it at the same price as any digital text format.

I’m publishing it through Willowrise Press, which is my family’s independent publishing company.

Anyway, please buy it!

Here’s the blurb from the back of the book, so you can get an idea what it’s about:

By the late 1990’s, South Africa was in the midst of heavy political and social turmoil. With the ending of Apartheid in 1994, which was a legalized system of racial segregation which heavily curtailed the rights of the black population, the country was left in a dangerously challenging situation. The white population, who had enjoyed relative wealth, government protection, and exclusive employment opportunities, were now forced to share those resources with the massive majority population of native black Africans.

Native Africans, who had been socially, economically, and physically oppressed for centuries, were now allowed to leave their reservation-like townships and come into the cities and suburbs. Having been held back for so long, black Africans continued to experience severe poverty. As new opportunities were thrown at them, poverty-driven crime rose to a frightening level, leaving sour feelings in the hearts of the country’s general population. It became a time of anger, reunion, bitter feelings, fear, and hope.

Giraffe Tracks is the true story of an LDS missionary serving in the Johannesburg, South Africa Mission only a few years after the ending of Apartheid. Using compelling stories, humor, and spiritual insight, the story demonstrates that even in a land overflowing with crime, poverty, and racial hatred, peace and joy can be found through the gospel of Jesus Christ. As the powers of evil shake the foundations of human society, the truth and light carried in the testimonies of the Lord’s missionaries can change hearts, heal minds, and turn fear and hatred into faith and love.

Episode 12

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Alice sat down behind the information desk, exhausted at the end of a full day.  In the early afternoon, a school class had come on a field trip to the library, and Alice was the only one available to give them a tour and read to them.  Then after school let out, one of the local scout troops had come for some merit badge… something.  Somehow it felt like she was catching up on everything else for the rest of the day.  But now it was 8 pm, the library was closed, and the doors were locked.  She slumped back in the chair, tempted to fall asleep right at the computer.

She looked down at a paper next to the keyboard.  She had nearly forgotten about her research on local history.  The sticky note had the names of the books Matt Robinson had brought in.

There was something strange about Matt.  When he had come in the library that morning, he had been dressed in an outfit that Alice would have described as being appropriate for a mountain-man, and he was accompanied by a young kid of ten or eleven.  His attitude had been very direct and determined, though she had assumed that he was a foreigner.  He acted like he’d never seen the inside of a library before, and was very conscious of everything happening around him.

But when he returned in the afternoon, he was Continue reading

I Need a Writing/Critique Group!

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——–THANKS EVERYONE!!! YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!  We got a writing group together and we are now full.  But if you’d like, we can start some kind of system for helping other people group into writing groups.  Just let me know.  At any rate, I’m leaving the original article up anyway.———

talltab1 Hey, all you writers out there, I have a favor to ask!  I need to be in a writing/critique group, and I’m not sure where to start.  I would be happy to either join one that already exists or start a new one.

talltab1 I’m kind of out in the boonies of Sanpete, Utah, so I can’t meet in person very often.  Most correspondence would have to take place online.  I mainly write LDS nonfiction, so it would be good if it were an LDS group that can help me keep doctrine pure, but most of what I have so far is memoir type stuff anyway.
talltab1 I have done a tiny bit of fiction, but not much.
talltab1 Are you in a writing group that needs another writer?  Do you know other LDS writers that are looking for a critique group?  Please let me know!  Either comment or email me.  I know there are a lot of opportunities for writers living near the city, but it’s hard for me to get up to Salt Lake or Utah county, so your help would be appreciated!

Thanks!

– Chas

chashathaway@gmail.com