Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holiday Edition

Happy Holidays!

Canyonland Press has been around for almost a year now and we'd like your feedback. To the right you will see a survey, we'd appreciate it if you'd spend a minute and take it. Let us know how we're doing. Thank you!

All of us at Canyonland would like to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season, whatever you celebrate whether it's the winter solstice, Hanukkah, or Christmas.

In honor of the season, each of us will be sharing either a holiday recipe or our favorite holiday tradition.

Holiday Dessert
By Anna Sugg
We have a tradition around our house for our Christmas Day dinner. All our children and grandchildren come for Dad’s Christmas dinner. His prime rib dinner is the dinner of the year. It’s succulent. Since he won’t let me in on his secret for cooking the perfect prime rib, I’ll have to give you a recipe that is always expected on our Christmas table.

My Christmas Jell-O recipe:
1 package (3 oz) Jell-O Raspberry Flavor Gelatin
2 cups boiling water
¾ cup cranberry juice cocktail
1 cup diced apple
¼ cup sliced celery
¼ chopped walnuts
1 package (3 OZ) Jell-O Lemon Flavor Gelatin
1 container (4 ½ oz) Cool Whip
½ cup Real Mayonnaise

Dissolve raspberry gelatin in 1 cup boiling water.
Add cranberry juice cocktail and chill until thickened about 1 hour
Fold in apple, celery and nuts
Spoon into 6-cup ring mold and child until set (15 minutes)
Dissolve lemon gelatin in remaining boiling water
Chill until slightly thickened (45 minutes)
Combine cool whip and real mayonnaise
Fold into lemon gelatin
Spoon onto the raspberry mold and chill firmly – 4 hours
Unmold. Garnish with crisp salad greens and apples or grapes, if desired.

If you need a good cheese ball recipe for the holiday days, I have one on my website: we use this recipe for more than just Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you and yours, Anna

Holiday Traditions
by Marie Higgins
I make this every year for my friends and neighbors. It's soooo good and it doesn't take long to make or put together--which is another reason I make this. I don't have all day to spend on making Christmas goodies.

Applesauce Cake
½ cup butter
1 cup chocolate chips (or raisins - your choice)
1 cup sugar
1 cup nuts
1 egg
½ teaspoon cloves
1 ¾ cup flour (or so)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup applesauce
½ tsp nutmeg

Blend butter, sugar. Add eggs. Add applesauce with soda. Mix well. Add spices, choc chips and nuts. Add flour. Bake 350 for 50 minutes in greased and flour bread pan or small tins.

Recipe and a tradition
By Amy Durham

Toffee Spice Pudding Cake
1 box Spice Cake Mix
1 can Eagle Brand Milk
1 cup Heath Toffee Bits
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bake cake in a 9X13 pan according to directions on box. While still very warm, use a butter knife to punch holes all over the cake. Pour the can of Eagle Brand Milk evenly over the warm cake. Don't worry if it "pools" up in spots; it will all soak in to the cake! Sprinkle Heath Toffee Bits evenly over the cake.

Just before serving, whip two cups heavy cream. While whipping, add sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. When cream is ready when stiff peaks form. Top each serving of pudding cake with whipped cream.

Cake is best served warm. It will be incredibly moist, and is easier to serve with a large spoon than a cake server!

When I was a little girl, my mom and grandmother made a BUNCH of beaded Christmas tree ornaments. They were beautiful and sparkly, and they fascinated me as a young child. Many of them hung on our tree each year as I was growing up. The rest hung on my grandparents' tree each Christmas. My grandfather passed away in 2000 - my grandmother in 2010. Just before Christmas in 2009, when my grandmother was living with my parents as she battled ovarian cancer, she asked me if I'd like to have her beaded ornaments, since she wouldn't be putting up a tree of her own. It made me sad to know she'd never hang those ornaments again, but honored and happy that she wanted me to have them. This is the fourth year I've hung these beaded bells, stars, and icicles on my Christmas tree. And each year I love them a little bit more.

Holiday Traditions
by Mary Martinez
Okay I'm going to give you a break from recipes. Most my holiday recipes are pretty mainstream. I usually bake a big ham on Christmas Eve that way when everyone drops by on Christmas--usually at different times--who ever is hungry can make a ham sandwich. And of course I have other goodies to go with it. It differs from year to year.

But we have other traditions that start with Halloween. We take all the grandkids to Garden After Dark, this is Red Butte Gardens, Salt Lake City's botanical gardens. They open the garden up late into the evening and have booth's where they kids can make anything from fairy wings to vampire teeth. They have a pumpkin patch, the list of activities go on and on.

Then for Thanksgiving on one of our Papa and Nana nights (every Wednesday evening are grandkids come to have dinner with us) the kids make Thanksgiving decorations to sit around. On thanksgiving day we do the Traditional dinner.

Christmas is a fun month, we start with our family party. First we make ornaments for Nana and Papa's tree. Then make cookies or cupcakes or both and frost them. Then the kids run around like Comanches for a bit. Then we have a nice family dinner until we have a surprise visitor. The older kids roll their eyes a bit, but the younger once are so excited they can hardly sit still. And this escalates when they hear the door open and papa is talking to someone. Then the bells jingle and get louder as he's walking down the stairs. And there is Santa!

And then another fun tradition is our yearly trip to the Hogle Zoo. Yup, rain, snow, freezing cold, it doesn't matter we have to go see the Zoolights. Santa usually makes a visit and the reindeer are there. The animals are smart and stay indoors but it's a good time.

All of us from Canyonland wish all of you Happy Holidays and in we hope all your dreams will come true in the New Year!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

1st Edition, December 1, 2012

Madam Librarian Recommendation
Mary Taylor Huntsman
, Somerset Community College, Somerset KY

Iron Tongue of Midnight
By: Beverle Graves Myers
Iron Tongue of Midnight is part of Myers’ “Tito Amato” series, historical mysteries set in 18th Century Venice, with a castrata soprano as the detective. Ms. Huntsman recommends this book (and series) due largely to the historical detail that Myers weaves throughout the story. The author provides nice plot points about what it would mean for an Italian Catholic to convert to Islam in that era. She also addresses those who "go outside the pale" of society, particularly Tito’s sister, Grisella, who ran away from home and ended up a victim of sexual trafficking. She handles the issue of castrati very tastefully (If you don’t know what castrati is – Google it!) and in a historically relevant manner, providing notes explaining historical details, which may puzzle a modern reader. Additionally, Myers uses details about medical practices during the time, as well as the structure of the Venetian society during the 18th Century. Myers is a resident of Louisville, KY, and a champion of the Louisville Free Public Library, who she always acknowledges in her books for their research assistance.

We are delighted the Beverle Graves Myers gave Canyonland a quote:
Long before everyone was talking about Downton Abbey, I was in love with the literary version of the English country house. I wanted to try my hand at writing a mystery set in that milieu, but I was under contract for another installment of my Tito Amato Mysteries set in 18th-century Venice. I decided to bend the genre and put an Italian spin on it.

In September of 1740, singer Tito Amato receives a curious invitation. The German composer Karl Johann Weber is rehearsing a new opera at an isolated villa nestled in the hills of the Venetian mainland. Would Tito accept the lead role? Puzzled by the air secrecy, but attracted by a generous fee, Tito agrees. He finds the countryside awash in the golden hues of autumn, but all is not well at the villa. A notorious figure from his past is also in residence, and murder makes an appearance when a soprano stumbles over a corpse at the stroke of midnight.

I hope you enjoy Tito's quest for justice. To date, it has been the most emotional of the books for me to write because it uncovers such painful family secrets. Though THE IRON TONGUE OF MIDNIGHT is part of a series, the novel takes Tito out of his usual element of the Teatro San Marco and can easily be enjoyed as a stand-alone mystery.

Happy Holiday Season to all of our readers. Canyonland Editors would like to recommend their favorite Christmas Story or book.

Amy Durham recommends: The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts
The story doesn't totally center on Christmas, but a large part of the story takes place during the holidays, which in my opinion makes the romance even more romantic! This book is the 2nd in Roberts' "Inn Boonsboro" trilogy. Amazon

Mary Martinez recommends: Christmas in Cold Creek by RaeAnne Thayne
When this ended I pouted for a few days. I also read until about 3am to finish it because I couldn't put it down, and I had work the next day. I think I was a zombie all day. I wanted it to go on and on. I wanted to find out what happened with Gabi the next day. This is so hard not to give anything away. So you just have to read it! Amazon

Anna Sugg recommends: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
When I started thinking about my favorite Christmas story, I stepped back in time when I was a child, and when the magic of Christmas was wonderful. Besides the Bible story of Christ’s birth, I’m going to choose a book that adds to the magic of Christmas, ’Twas The Night Before Christmas. I can say the poem by heart because my mom read to us on every Christmas Eve, right after the Bible story of Christ’s birth. I read it to my children when they were young, and now I read it to my grandkids.

When you hear the name, Clement C. Moore, you automatically think of ’Twas The Night Before Christmas and you either have a book in your home, or you’ve read the poem from a book with pictures of a family on Christmas Eve. He’s the author, or is he really the author?

Nearing two centuries now, families have shared the Christmas poem, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, a classic since 1823. At first the poem was published anonymously, and then in 1837 a biblical scholar, Clement C. Moore put his name to the poem, stating he wrote the poem in 1823 on a Christmas Eve.

BUT, in 1808 Henry Livingston, supposedly wrote and read the poem to a group that remembered the delightful Christmas poem. By the time Moore put his name to the poem, Livingston had died. There’s no proof because the one only handwritten copy of Henry Livingston’s Christmas poem was destroyed in a fire - of course!

So a literary detective, Don Foster compared Moore’s and Livingston’s writings. There was a difference and some say the only great poem that Moore ever wrote was “Twas the Night Before Christmas, and his other stuff was bad! But, I’ll leave it at that – you might want to go to this site and make you own decision. Interesting.

No matter who wrote the poem, I think, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas will be around for many more centuries.

Marie Higgins Christmas story recommendation: Gift of Love
Ever since watching this movie at home with my family as a young girl, I've always loved the feeling I had afterwards.  I remember the first time I watched this movie. I had a headcold and wasn't feeling well anyway, but the powerful feeling this movie brought had me crying at the end. Even my mother and grandmother had tears in their eyes. I've always been a fan of the Osmonds, anyway, and a few years ago, I remembered loving this movie and realized I wanted a copy of my own no matter it what it took. I finally found me a copy, and I cherish it to this day!

Inspired by O. Henry's short story about a young bride and groom, each of whom foolishly--but quite lovingly--sacrifices a treasured possession to buy the perfect Christmas gift for their mate. Amid a flurry of bustling New Yorkers clad in early-20th-century garb, O. Henry himself (David Wayne) sets the scene: Beth, a teenage orphan (Marie Osmond), comes to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle (the latter played by Donald Moffat). Her friendship with a cheerful kitchen maid soon leads to a stormy encounter with a handsome Swiss immigrant, Rudy (Timothy Bottoms). Despite Beth and Rudy's conflicting social statuses, and Beth's arranged engagement to a sickly bird watcher (a young James Woods, who truly fits the bill), the two fall in love and miraculously overcome these obstacles--all in about 95 minutes. Old-fashioned romance, elegant costumes, and a happy ending make this predictable story completely irresistible to those who love a good fairy tale--or to Osmond fans who fondly remember watching the movie on TV in 1978. Produced by the Osmond Brothers for PBS's American Short Story series. --Liane Thomas

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving Issue

This time of year Canyonland Editors are reading recipes! We wanted to share some of our favorites with you!

By Mary Martinez
One of our traditions is Candied Yams. Last year at Thanksgiving, I added a twist--well I didn't dare cut out the candied ones or my kids would never forgive me. So I had two dishes. Traditional and Jamaica Yams. I thought I'd share the recipes.

Candied Yams
4 large yams cleaned, peeled an sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 bag of miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
dash of cinnamon
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place a row of sliced yams on the bottom of an oven safe baking dish. Put bits of butter over them, sprinkle with brown sugar and add a row of marshmallows. Repeat until the dish is filled. sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for an hour.

Jamaican Yams
4 Yams cleaned, peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
Canola butter
1 1/2 tsp Jamaican spice
Add a row of yams to the bottom of a oven safe baking dish, then add some low cal butter and sprinkle with Jamaican spice, then repeat until dish is full.
1/8 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Onion powder
1/8 tsp Clove (Ground)
1/2 tsp Ground Chili's
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder.
Use mortar and pestle to grind until powdering.
After sprinkling you should have some left. Great rubbed into pork and then grilled.
Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving

The most EXCELLENT Turkey!
by Marie Higgins

I'll start off by saying - I can't take credit for the best tasting turkey I've ever had because my youngest daughter surprised us all and cooked her turkey this way - and SHE is the one who cooks it every year. :) Thanks, Heather!!

* Buy turkey. (that's a given, right?)
* Get your turkey pan and pour 2-3 boxes of Chicken Broth (amount of broth will depend how big or small your turkey is)
* After washing off turkey and patting it dry with papertowels, rub down with butter (or margarine - it's your pick).
* Take 2 Apples, 2 unpealed oranges, and 2 peeled onions and cut them in half. (yes, just in half - although you might want to take out the apple seeds.) Now you'll take these halves and stuff them inside the turkey with 1/2 cube of butter (or margarine) cut up in smaller cubes.
* Put turkey in the baking bag and poke holes it in then set inside the pan that has the Chicken Broth already inside.
* Cook turkey according to the directions that were on the bag when you purchased it. :)
And, lastly... ENJOY the BEST tasting turkey EVER!

Thanksgiving Desserts
By Anna Sugg
Thanksgiving dinner at our house is festive with enough food to feed more than the 11 or 12 people that set around our table. A traditional dessert that I’m required to bake is the Carrot Cake recipe that I received from my sister thirty years ago. I must admit, it’s my favorite too. Let me know if you try it. I call it, Sherry’s Carrot Cake…and a homemade Chocolate Pie, my dad’s favorite, bless his soul.

Sherry’s Carrot Cake
2 cups of sugar
1 ¼ cups of vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 ½ cups cake flour
2 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon 3 cups finely shredded carrots
3 ½ cups black walnuts
Combined sugar, oil, egg (one at a time) Mix well after each egg. Stir in carrots, Add nuts. Sift together: flour, baking soda, cinnamon. Stir into mixture Pour into 3 greased 9 inch round cake pans
Bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool

Cake Icing
1 8oz package cream cheese – softened
¼ cup butter – softened
1 lb box soft confection sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon lemon juice
Blend cream cheese and butter until smooth
Add sugar, gradually mixing
Stir in lemon and vanilla
If frosting seems too soft – refrigerate for a few minutes

Dad’s Chocolate Pie
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour or 3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
2 1oz squares unsweetened chocolate (or four tablespoons of Hershey’s Cocoa)
1 ½ cups milk
3 slightly beaten yolks
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 9” baked pastry shell
Meringue (3 egg whites)
In a saucepan combine sugar, flour, chocolate, and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat till bubbly. Cook and stir 2 more minutes. Remove from heat. Stir small amount of hot mixture into yolks. Immediately return to hot mixture; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Pour into cooled baked pastry shell. Spread meringue atop pie.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool or, omit meringue and serve with whipped cream
Enjoy. May you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Holiday Tradition
by Amy Durham
I love this French Coconut pie for the holidays. It's SO easy, and it's SO good served warm!!

French Coconut Pie
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 (3 1/2–ounce) can shredded sweetened coconut (about 1 cup)
1 cup milk
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell (Make your own, or buy it pre-made)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, eggs, flour, sugar, coconut, and milk. Pour into pie shell. Bake until firm, about 45 to 60 minutes.
From all of us at Canyonland Press

Thursday, November 1, 2012

1st edition, November 1, 2012

Madam Librarian Recommendation
Trish Hull,
Manager Magna Library, Utah Library Association President Elect. Salt Lake County Library Services--Magna Library recommends the following book: Following Atticus--I am not a dog person, but this is one of my favorite books of the year. It made me laugh, cry and inspired me to be better and do more. You will fall in love with Atticus and want to start hiking.

Following Atticus
by Tom Ryan

After a close friend died of cancer, middle-aged, overweight, acrophobic newspaperman Tom Ryan decided to pay tribute to her in a most unorthodox manner. Ryan and his friend, miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch, would attempt to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire's four thousand- foot peaks twice in one winter while raising money for charity. It was an adventure of a lifetime, leading them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. At the heart of the amazing journey was the extraordinary relationship they shared, one that blurred the line between man and dog.

Canyonland Press were not able to reach Mr. Ryan, so we are sharing his link and public Bio.

Tom Ryan is the founder of the Newburyport, Massachusetts, newspaper the Undertoad and served as its publisher and editor for more than a decade. In 2007 he moved to the White Mountains of New Hampshire with miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch. Over the last five years, Tom and Atticus have climbed more than 450 four-thousand-foot peaks. After raising thousands of dollars for Angell Animal Medical Center in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, the pair was inducted into the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Hall of Fame. Tom currently writes the popular The Adventures of Tom & Atticus column in the Northcountry News and Mountainside... Read More...

Grammar Fun!
By: Amy Durham

This month, I thought I’d take a look at something important to all of us… grammar. Whether you’re good at it, bad at, love it, or hate it, grammar is a part of our society that is many times woefully neglected. We are forced to ignore many proper grammatical tactics when “tweeting”. On Facebook, grammar seems largely absent, despite the fact that we aren’t limited on the number of characters in our posts.

So today, I decided to take a humorous look at grammar, and demonstrate just how easy it is to be correct… or incorrect! Who knows, maybe I’ll encourage someone to take a closer look at the grammar they use in their everyday life!

There are grammatical errors that really bother me alot. Oops, I mean a lot . Yes, that's right... a lot is two words. It seems I see it written as one word so often I’ve stopped noticing. Which bothers me alot. Dang it! I mean a lot!

I try not to be a grammar snob. Really, I do. But despite my best efforts, I have grammar pet peeves. Its true. Yikes, I mean it's true. Read on to learn a few more common grammatical errors that pop up all too often.

Sometimes its (I mean it's ) difficult to turn off you're internal proof-reader (uh oh... I mean your internal proof-reader) when your reading other people's writing. Drat, that should be... when you're reading other people's writing.

Of course, it does make a difference who's writing (I mean whose writing) your (oops... I mean you're ) reading. If its a young person (oops, that should be it's ) whose (I mean who's ) doing the writing, sometimes you need to cut them a little slack. But there are times when even experienced writers make mistakes, even myself. Oh wait... that should be me.

It’s also important to note that their (Uh oh, that should be there! ) are 3 versions of a particular word that cannot be used interchangeably, because there not the same. (Wait! That should say … because they’re not the same!) So be clear on their, there, and they’re, and don’t use their when you actually mean they’re or there.

So if your (you're) writing a letter or a paper, be sure you take the time to do alot (a lot) of proofreading, so that you find those common mistakes that are easy to fix. Its (It's) a little thing that can make alot (a lot) of difference in the long run. You never know who's (whose) eyes might be on you're (your) writing, and you want to make a good impression, because you never know how their (they’re) going to be affected by you’re (your) writing. Take it from myself (me) .

Monday, October 15, 2012

2nd Edition, October 15, 2012

Welcome to the Idea edition! Canyonland Press editors have interviewed three authors from three different genre's.

By Mary Martinez

Canyonland Press welcomes back, Melissa Mayhue.

MELISSA MAYHUE began her writing career in 2005 after a vacation to Scotland and a hike on the Black Isle inspired her with the perfect setting for the characters running around in her head. Her resulting debut novel, THIRTY NIGHTS WITH A HIGHLAND HUSBAND, won the Holt Medallion and Book Buyers Best awards in 2008 and made the finals of the Colorado Book Awards.

Since then, her imaginary world of Faeries and Mortals has continued to grow. A HIGHLANDER’S HOMECOMING, sixth book in her award-winning Daughters of the Glen series from Pocket Books, was a 2011 RITA finalist in the Paranormal Category. WARRIOR’S REDEMPTION, the first book of The Warriors series, released in January 2012 with the second, WARRIOR REBORN due out in November 2012.

Married and the mother of three sons, Melissa lives in beautiful Northern Colorado with her family and two very spoiled Boston Terriers.

You can visit her on the web at:

Mary: A huge part of my reading enjoyment is characterization, as a paranormal/time travel author, how do you develop your characters?

Ms. Mayhue: I begin with a name. Once they have a name, they’re real to me. From there, I figure out what the challenges are they’re going to face and how they’ll respond to them. From that point on [when the writing is working as it is supposed to!] I just hear them in my head.

Mary: What type of research do you use to make your characters believable? Clothing, etc. paranormal aspect, does it give you a bit a leeway? And, of course, the time travel you’d have to be authentic to the time period correct?

Ms. Mayhue: Writing Paranormal requires just as much research as writing anything else. I spend hours on it. In fact, I suspect I put more hours into research than I do into the actual writing! I’ll admit now to being a Research Geek. I love that part of my job. Not only does it help insure accuracy in my writing, it also never fails to spark an idea for something else – either a new character or a scene with an existing one. While I do use the internet extensively, when I need factual, my personal rule for internet research is that I have to confirm something in two totally different places before I accept it as fact. In addition to the internet, I have a couple of bookcases full of books that I use. Though I haven’t updated the list for a couple of years, I even have many of the books noted on my website. If your readers are interested in seeing some of my resources, they can go here:

Mary: Where do you find your names? Is it just by looking in a baby book? Or do you have a process?

Ms. Mayhue: While I do use baby books for my modern characters, [or songs or even people I meet] I wanted a more authentic feel for my medieval characters. My ‘go-to’ resource is the Ragmans Rolls. It is a document [actually, two, since the first was signed in 1291 and then a second in 1296] pledging loyalty to King Edward I of England. All prominent landowners, churchmen and burgesses in Scotland were summoned to Berwick in 1296 and required to sign the document. There are even many female signatories, whether attending in their husband’s place or signing on their own. Containing over 2000 signatures, it’s an excellent resource for naming a medieval Scot! It also is a good record of which names were located in which areas since their home region is noted.

Thank you, Melissa for joining us two months in a row. I love your stories, those of you who haven't read them, you are missing out.

Romantic Adventure Novels
By Anna Sugg

Kim and her husband work for the National Park Services. Kim McMahill has returned to visit with us again this month. Kim, we’re excited to hear more about your romantic adventure novels. If you missed Kim’s bio and the first half of her interview, you’ll find it in the second edition of September’s publication.

Marked in Mexico is available as well as her new book Big Horn Storm – check out the video on her website: or

Anna: Hi Kim, welcome. A huge part of my reading enjoyment is characterization, how do you develop your characters?

Kim: The most important aspect of character development is making realistic multi-faceted individuals who readers can relate to. No person is perfect, so characters shouldn’t be either. First I focus on physical traits. When I can close my eyes and picture the hero or heroine clearly, I know I’ll be able to convey that to the reader. Second, but most importantly, I have to create a personality, whether for a hero or villain, that will draw the reader into his or her world. It’s essential to subtly weave in a past so the reader can understand why the character behaves a certain way and what propels them to make the decisions they do, good or bad. If characters aren’t believable and relatable, the story line will quickly fall apart.

Anna: What type of research do you use to make your characters believable and authentic to the time period?

Kim: So far I’ve written only twenty-first century adventures so I mostly just observe. I do considerable research into geographic areas to make the settings believable and try to accurately depict any cultural differences of my characters as much as possible. No amount of research can replace firsthand knowledge, but I do work to make my characters, settings, occupations, technologies, etc. as believable as I can.

Anna: Where do you find your names? Do you have a process?

Kim: I have a notebook where I jot down names that strike me as interesting. I have a page each for male, female and last names and I often consult these lists and mix and match to come up with the perfect name for the character. Occasionally, like with Big Horn Storm, there’s a little more to it. Not long ago I learned that my husband was sometimes referred to as Deuce when he was younger while with his dad’s friends since him and his dad share the same first name. I decided on the spot that I would use the name in a book, and what else could a man named Deuce be but a handsome rugged rancher?

Anna: Thank you, Kim, for visiting us again at Canyonland Press. We look forward to more from you as you continue to write those great adventure romances.

Historical Romance
by Marie Higgins

Today I have interviewed Anita Davison who is a multi-published of historical romances. She has a new book coming out "Royalist Rebel" which will be released earl 2013 under the named Anita Seymour.

Marie - Anita, you write historical romances (which I love) and I was wondering how you go about creating your characters before starting a new story.

Anita - I began my writing career with two Historical Family Sagas set in the 17th Century, both of which had romantic elements. These were followed by two Victorian Gothic Romances, but I was told by the Romance Publishers they had too many sub plots to fit the 'True Romance' genre.

So I tried again, and went back to the 17th century, where my soul really belongs, and at the suggestion of my agent found a real life character on whom to base my story.  Thus 'Royalist Rebel' was born and is being released in early 2013. I think I have found my niche now in Biographical Historical Fiction, though of course what book is complete without a romantic element?

I also don't need to create a character, though bringing her to life from, say a bland historical account or a painting is quite a challenge.

Marie - What type of research do you do in this process?

Anita - Lots - the person I am writing about, the place where she lived, the historical figures she interacted with and where they stood in the social order. I spent some time at Elizabeth's former home, which has been restored to look exactly as it did during her lifetime. I love digging out images,usually drawings or paintings of places as they used to look so I can place myself there. I mean who can imagine St Paul's Cathedral ever dominating the London skyline - but in 1645 it certainly did - though without the dome!

Marie - That's great you spent some time in the home! Lucky you! Do you like to give your characters flaws? What makes them stand out in your stories?

Anita - I try and portray the historical figures as they actually were, even though this sometimes means they can come across as unsympathetic. For example, my critique partners say my heroine, Elizabeth Murray is sometimes arrogant towards those she regards as her inferiors - in the 17th Century this was the way the rich and privileged felt the 'lower orders' deserved, or why did God put them there?  A philosophy we reject today, but was prevalent then.

Thus making Elizabeth a character my readers cared about was a challenge, but using the present tense helped, in that she may say something scathing to another character, but in her head she's doubting herself, or has a reason for her harshness.

In real life, Elizabeth became even more arrogant and superior as she got older, and was notorious for political meddling and dominating the men in her life. When she became a duchess, her servants had to remain bent at the waist until she was completely out of sight, even if she had her back to
them.  In 'Royalist Rebel' I hope I have given her some character growth, in that she becomes less imperious and more understanding of the difficulties of others through her own troubles.

Anita - thank you so much for taking us through this process. Readers can find Anita Davison at her wonderful blog - click here

Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Edition, October 1, 2012

Madam Librarian Recommendation
Liesl Seborg, Senior Librarian, Adult Services, Outreach and Programming Salt Lake County Library Services--Hunter Library recommends the following book:

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

This novel is one of my most favorite books of all time! I listened to this book and was incredibly wrapped up in the story. It has a secret library with book guardians, a mysterious author and romance. Set in Barcelona, 1864, the descriptions are lovely and the story is haunting. A fabulous choice for reading or listening!

More reviews:
"Wonderous... masterful... The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero." --Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)

"One gorgeous read." --Stephen King

Canyonland Press was unable to contact the author, we have taken the liberty to use his public bio from his website.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a Spanish novelist. Born in Barcelona in 1964, he has lived in Los Angeles, United States, since 1994, and works as a scriptwriter aside from writing novels.

His first novel, El príncipe de la niebla (The Prince of Mist, 1993), earned the Edebé literary prize for young adult fiction. He is also the author of three more young-adult novels, El palacio de la medianoche (1994), Las luces de septiembre (1995) and Marina (1999).

In 2001 he published the novel La sombra del viento ("The Shadow of the Wind"), his first "adult" novel, which has sold millions of copies worldwide. Since its publication, La sombra del viento has garnered critical acclaim around the world and has won numerous international awards. Ruiz Zafón's works have been published in more than 40 countries and have been translated into more than 30 languages.

YOUNG ADULT FICTION – It Crosses Generations
By Amy Durham

Have you ever felt invisible in the middle of your own life?
Have you ever walked into a crowded room and felt like no one noticed you?
Have you ever felt completely on the fringes of normality?
Have you ever felt the conflicting emotions of hating the shallowness and superficial-ness of the “in crowd”, and yet at the same time wanting so badly to be a part of it?
Have you ever felt sad and depressed for no obvious reason?
Have you ever felt completely unappreciated, as if there’s not a soul on the planet who cares or acknowledges what you have to offer?
Have you ever longed for someone to think you’re pretty or cute or smart or funny?
Have you ever wished you had just one person to talk to, only to realize at every turn that there's no one?
Have you ever just wanted to feel like you belonged somewhere, anywhere?
Welcome to the tumultuous world of adolescence.

EVERY SINGLE kids feel like this. Sometimes there are real reasons for these feelings. Sometimes the feelings are completely irrational. But you know what? It doesn’t really matter whether the feelings are rational or not. They still FEEL them. And the result is the same.

To some degree, we never fully outgrow those feelings. At least it seems that way to me! Sure, as adults, we’re able to see the big picture, and can (most of the time) discern when our feelings are irrational, but I’ll be the first to admit that those feelings I described above still creep up on me from time to time.

This is why I LOVE Young Adult fiction. Because kids need reading material that can meet them where they are… fiction that mirrors their own lives, feelings, and experiences, and yet offers hope and encouragement that things really can work out okay and perseverance really can pay off. They need to see that other teens (and former teens!) have felt that same sense of loneliness, isolation, sadness, longing, and invisibility that they experience, and that those people have been able to come out of those situations stronger and more equipped to handle life and all that comes with it. The fact that most adults still sometimes experience those same feelings just widens the appeal of quality, relevant Young Adult fiction. Good YA fiction reaches across the generations, to speak to the teenager in all of us, and remind us all that we really do have reason to be encouraged and hopeful.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

2nd Edition, September 15, 2012

Welcome to the Idea edition! Canyonland Press editors have interviewed three authors from three different genre's.

By Mary Martinez

Welcome Melissa Mayhue to Canyonland. Let's begin with her bio.

MELISSA MAYHUE began her writing career in 2005 after a vacation to Scotland and a hike on the Black Isle inspired her with the perfect setting for the characters running around in her head. Her resulting debut novel, THIRTY NIGHTS WITH A HIGHLAND HUSBAND, won the Holt Medallion and Book Buyers Best awards in 2008 and made the finals of the Colorado Book Awards.

Since then, her imaginary world of Faeries and Mortals has continued to grow. A HIGHLANDER’S HOMECOMING, sixth book in her award-winning Daughters of the Glen series from Pocket Books, was a 2011 RITA finalist in the Paranormal Category. WARRIOR’S REDEMPTION, the first book of The Warriors series, released in January 2012 with the second, WARRIOR REBORN due out in November 2012.

Married and the mother of three sons, Melissa lives in beautiful Northern Colorado with her family and two very spoiled Boston Terriers.

You can visit her on the web at:

Mary: As an author, I’m sure you are asked a lot of questions about where you get your ideas. I didn’t think readers would be interested in anything to do with the process, however my local librarian has assured me that readers find that very fascinating. So, where do your ideas come from?

Ms. Mayhue: I wish I could point to one spot and tell you that’s where they come from. If I could, I would hang out there ALL the time!!!  The ideas come from everywhere. Generally, when I start a book, I know who my lead characters are and what internal and external challenges they face. Many of my ideas for story events are triggered as I do research to confirm the accuracy in my historical time period. Others have been triggered as I read through old mythology texts. Once the story is up and running, ideas spring from everything I do. A piece of music I hear might trigger an image of a character in a particular situation. A dry year where I live might spark wildfires and, because they’re on my mind, they show up in a story. Looking through a cookbook, searching for a word in the dictionary, those pesky, elusive ideas hide everywhere.

Mary: As a Paranormal/Time travel author, do you think your idea process is different? It’s not as if what you write happens in normal everyday life.

Ms. Mayhue: I don’t really think my creative process is different because I write Paranormal/Time Travel. My ideas get to be wilder, but certain things are universal, regardless of whether you’re writing Paranormal, Historical or Contemporary. For example, I mentioned above that each of my characters have internal struggles that I usually know at the beginning of each book. Those struggles – lack of confidence, fear of abandonment, self-doubt, etc – those are all things that people deal with every day. At the heart of the writing is the character and the characters are just people. And people, whether they’re living in Scotland in 1296 or Colorado in 2012, --or even if they have Faeries next door!! -- they’re all pretty much the same.

Mary: Writing paranormal/time travel I would imagine you had a very vivid imagination as a child. Tell us if you did, or how growing up has helped you in your writing?

Ms. Mayhue: I was an only child and spent a lot of time as my own playmate. That meant I was an avid reader from early on, which I think contributed to developing my imagination. I loved to pretend. Whether I was a teacher or a cowgirl or a mommy, many of my games were played out in my head. Barbies were one of my favorite toys and I think I was having my dolls live out their own romantic fantasies even before I had ever read my first Romance novel! I have always been a sucker for that Happy Ever After!!

Thank you, Melissa for joining Chanyonland Press today. Next month Melissa will be answering questions about Characterization.

Historical Romance
by Marie Higgins

DEBRA BROWN is a wife and mother of adult children. She was born in Minnesota and spent some years there, and has also lived in San Diego and Idaho. She is now settled in Oregon. She studied nursing, homeopathy and art, all of which have been a great part of her life. She loves traveling and has spent years in creative fields, painting, making jewelry and working with an interior designer. This variety has also helped her in her writing career. It contributes to rounding out her stories which she so loves writing.

Her debut novel is The Companion of Lady Holmeshire, published by World Castle Publishing. Her second is not yet published, but she hopes it will be in the next months. It is currently titled For the Skylark, and meant to be the first in a series. Debra also started a historical blog for both readers and writers who love history. 

Marie: As an author of historical fiction, where does your ideas come from?

Debra: I used to watch period movies for years as I made jewelry. During the recession I put my jewelry business aside. It was too slow, and I was a little tired of it. I decided to write a novel as a hobby. I never thought it would be published. To get some ideas, I went to the library and brought home some large picture books about England. Certain pictures triggered ideas which developed into The Companion of Lady Holmeshire. My second novel, titled For the Skylark as I work on it, started with thoughts about one of Charles Dickens' great characters, Miss Havisham. She had intrigued me all my life, and I created my own reclusive woman, the mother of adult twins who must live in forced seclusion with her.

Marie: Do you think your plot ideas are any different than suspense or paranormal authors?

Debra:  My stories are actually historical suspense. I love mysteries and suspense. I don't have any inclination to put murder and bodies into the stories, but the mysterious settings and suspense appeal to me.

Marie: Did your childhood / teenage years have anything to do with you wanting to be a historical author?

Debra: Yes, very much. I loved reading historical fiction or contemporary fiction written a few centuries ago. I never dreamed at the time I would become an author, but I loved being pulled into the past.

Debra, thank you for taking the time to answer questions for us. Readers, you can find Debra here.

Romantic Adventure
by Anna Sugg

Kim, welcome to Canyonland Press. We’re excited to hear about your romantic adventure novels. Kim’s bio:

Working for the National Park Service has given Kim McMahill and her husband the opportunity to live in Grand Teton, Hawaii Volcanoes, Guadalupe Mountains, Carlsbad Caverns and Wind Cave national parks, and on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi. Residing amid some of America’s most stunning landscapes and extensive travels to remote parts of the world have provided inspiration for many of her books and articles. Along with her passion for romantic adventure stories, Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel anthology and cookbook. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from the University of Wyoming and currently resides along the unpredictable banks of the Missouri River. For more information visit her website or blog at or

Anna: What inspired you to write romantic adventure novels?

Kim: I’ve always enjoyed reading about exciting places and people who accomplish extraordinary feats when faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges. A couple of my favorite authors are Clive Cussler and James Rollins, both of whom write outrageous stories that make my heart race at times and wonder, “what if.” I’m always disappointed when their tales come to an end. Growing up in the rural west and travelling the world has molded me into a modest adventurer, but writing allows me to take exploits to the extreme without risk to life or limb. But, deep down I’m a romantic. Romantic elements make stories more relatable and nothing is a better catalyst for forcing someone to take action outside his or her comfort zone than love. So, I believe combining romance and adventure is always a winning combination.

Anna: Are you planning on writing another Romantic Adventure novel? If so, share with us, please.

Kim:I always have at least one novel in the works and usually I have multiple stories going at the same time. I enjoyed writing about my home state so much in Big Horn Storm that I’ve begun another romantic adventure set in northwestern Wyoming. The book’s not too far along yet, so I’d better not divulge much since at this stage in the project everything is subject to change. I’ve also completed a story which involves simultaneous break-ins at three of the world’s most secure museums, destruction of one of the greatest manmade wonders of the world and the massacre of an unarmed South American village which ignites a desperate scramble to locate a deadly group of terrorists. And, amid the chaos our hero discovers the woman who can heal his emotional scars.

Anna: Are all your adventure books located in places that you’ve visited?

Kim: I haven’t visited all the places I’ve written about, but many have provided inspiration for my stories. Several of my novels have been set in Mexico because the country was once a fairly frequent destination of mine. I’ve been to numerous Mayan ruins, and Cobá and Chichén Itzá have figured prominently in Deadly Ruins and Marked in Mexico, respectively. Though, once the characters leave the mapped ruins the rest of the scenes come from my imagination and research. In Desperate Dreams the fictitious southwest New Mexico town is based on a place I once lived and the descriptions of Big Bend National Park come from my visits to the area. Many of our National Parks seem to be filled to the brim with visitors, but whenever I’m in Big Bend I feel a bit alone, insignificant in its vast expanse, and like anything could happen. My most recent novel, Big Horn Storm, is set in the Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming. I have a treasure-trove of fond memories of camping, fishing and riding horses and four-wheelers in this amazing place. One of the greatest things about writing fiction is that you can take what you see and make it more exciting, dangerous or more idyllic, but sometimes the real world is so interesting or perfect nothing needs changed.

Kim MaMchill has a new romantic adventure novel released this month, Big Horn Storm. Check out her blog and website for details.

I want to thank Kim for visiting us at Canyonland Press today. We are looking forward to her return visit next month to talk about how she develops her characters, research and how she names her characters.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

1st Edition, September 1, 2012

Madam Librarian Recommendation
Elizabeth, Librarian, Brigham City Library

Dead Scared by S.J. Bolton
When a rash of suicides tears through Cambridge University, DI Mark Joesbury recruits DC Lacey Flint to go undercover as a student to investigate. Although each student’s death appears to be a suicide, the psychological histories, social networks, and online activities of the students involved share remarkable similarities, and the London police are not convinced that the victims acted alone. They believe that someone might be preying on lonely and insecure students and either encouraging them to take their own lives or actually luring them to their deaths. As long as Lacey can play the role of a vulnerable young woman, she may be able to stop these deaths, but is it just a role for her? With her fragile past, is she drawing out the killers, or is she herself being drawn into a deadly game where she’s a perfect victim?

Author Spotlight: S.J. Bolton
We asked S.J. Bolton so questions, and she was very happy to give us an interview.

CanyonLand: What was your inspiration for this story?
S.J. Bolton: Books, for me, are rarely inspired by a single idea, more often they represent an amalgamation of several thoughts that I may have been mulling around for a while, sometimes several years. I know the time is right for me to start work when I see the thread that binds the diverse parts together. In the case of Dead Scared, I'd been grimly fascinated for a while by the growing rate of internet-driven suicides. Depressed and desperate people, with nowhere left to turn, seek solace on the web, only to find themselves prey to internet trolls, who feed off and actively encourage the misery of others. I wanted to explore to what extent murder could be committed with no direct contact between perpetrator and victim. At the same time, I was very interested in the notion of how we are all scared in different ways. What is it about spiders, the dark, heights, etc, that can cause people to lose the ability to think rationally? I wondered whether it was possible to scare someone to death. Finally, I wanted to write a story that deals with bullying and that looks at what drives groups of young, intelligent people to gang up on those they perceive to be weaker. The binding thread was my new series character, the young undercover detective, Lacey Flint, who has as many demons of her own to battle, as the women whose lives she is trying to save.

CanyonLand:Are there any more stories in your future?
S.J. Bolton:I've just finished the third in the Lacey Flint series, title yet to be confirmed, but due for US publication in the summer of 2013. In this work, Lacey is back in her home city of London, struggling to deal with the events of Dead Scared, and wanting nothing more than to be left alone.

When a serial killer appears to be targeting young boys, abandoning their bodies on the banks of the River Thames, she resists being drawn into the investigation. Until the son of the man she loves becomes the latest victim.

CanyonLand:Where can your fans find you?
S.J. Bolton:‘Readers can contact me directly via my website I am also on Facebook (S J Bolton) and Twitter (@authorsjbolton) and Goodreads (SJ Bolton)

Don't forget to browse the right side for all the librarian recommendations. They are all nominated for the inaugural Canyonland Press Readers Choice Awards coming up! don't miss out on some excellent reader! Then VOTE!

Banned Books Week 2012 – Read What You Choose!
By: Amy Durham

When I was in high school, the censorship craze was in full swing. During my junior year, my English teacher assigned a book report and gave us a lengthy list of books from which to choose. When I saw "The Catcher in the Rye" on the list, I immediately decided that was the book I would read. I chose it solely because it was one of the titles being bandied about as "inappropriate" for students. Thought it's been a few years and, admittedly, there are many things I don't remember about it, I do remember thinking that Holden Caufield was just a high school kid, like me and the kids I knew. His language and his actions didn't shock or offend me. He was a teenager. And... big shocker here... teenagers sometimes misbehave and cuss. Holden was a teenager with baggage struggling to find his way. Sure, his drinking and cavorting around New York City wasn't all that smart... but kids don't always make smart decisions. And besides, it's fiction, right?

This year, the annual “Banned Books Week” begins on September 30. In preparation of the observation of this cause that’s very near and dear to my heart, I recently visited the Banned Book Week website ( I encourage all of you to peruse the website as well. On the “about” page, you’ll find a list of the 10 most challenged books of 2011. On that list… The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (due to violence, among other things) and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (due to offensive language and themes of racism). I was simply aghast. In 2012, are we really still arguing about the racist references in a book that is widely considered to be the finest work of fiction of the 20th century? Are we really still ignoring the fact that the book was set in Alabama in the 1930’s, when racism and all that came with it ran rampant? Are we really still ignoring the greater message of the book, that Scout and her brother, with their father’s help, grow into compassionate, kind, color-blind young people who see the value and the good in every person? Are people in this country really jumping on the anti-Hunger-Games bandwagon because of the violence in the book, and failing to see that the series teaches incredible lessons about the value of human life and what it means to be a compassionate individual in the midst of greed and debauchery? Let me be clear – there is a big difference in being an involved parent and taking an active role in the books your kids read, shielding them from things you feel they aren’t ready for and just blindly striking a book from the list of possibilities because you’ve “heard” it’s violent or has bad language. I encourage good parenting. I discourage blind censorship.

I thought I couldn’t be anymore surprised, and then I clicked on the “mapping censorship” tab. That censorship is still so widespread in this country is a staggering thought. This year for “Banned Books Week”, I encourage you to take a look at the website and find a book to read. Visit your local bookseller or library and tell the person who assists you that you are observing banned books week by exercising your right to read whatever book you choose!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2nd Edition, August 15, 2012

Ask an Author
by Marie Higgins

The question was asked, "What does it mean when your characters talk to you?"

This is a good question, ML Blue. I have told so many people that I don't write my stories - but my characters do. If you have a friend who is a writer, you have probably heard them talk about 'voices' in their heads. Well...I'm quite sure some hear voices. Some see scenes flash in their head. Some dream about the story. When characters 'talk' to us, it means we (writers) are in touch with our muse - our creativity so much that we know what kind of story our characters want us to write. Most of us aren't crazy for hearing voices - or seeing scenes flash through our minds. (Now Stephen King...he's a different sort of writer. hahahaha)

When I sit down to write a story, I usually have an idea of what I want my characters to do. The more in-depth we write our characters, the more we'll hear them. I'll start a dialogue, and I can see my characters talking to each other... They are 'talking' to me so-to-speak. I once had a story 3/4 of the way written when an editor told me to change the hero's name. I took that advice, then I wished I hadn't because my hero was upset and didn't like his new name. For six weeks he didn't talk to me...which means my muse (creativity) didn't work. I couldn't see the story and I couldn't 'hear' my characters. Finally the name grew on him, and Damien started talking once again.

Please email your questions to me for next month's issue of "Ask An Author".

Book Titles
by Anna Sugg

I think book titles are a great way to hook a reader. What do you think?

Many times I’ve been drawn to a book just because of the title. I checked’s 100 lists of great titles, a few that you might recognize were Where the Wild Things Are, The Grapes of Wrath, A Wrinkle in Time, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (hmm, don’t recognize that one!), Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Okay, that’s their opinion. A couple of titles that I like are Wuthering Heights, Charlotte’s Web, and of course, The Lord of the Rings. Actually, I could list more, but I’ll let you think of the titles you like the best. There have been titles that I really liked, but discovered the novel wasn’t for me, for instance, Eat, Pray, and Love.

Did you know the publisher has the last say for a title and not the author? For instance, would you be drawn to this title Trimalchio in West Egg? This was the first title of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Now, we all recognize that title. Would you have bothered to read it with the first title splashed across the book cover?

One of my favorite books that I read when I was young was Gone with the Wind (love the title). Did you know the original title was Pansy?

Authors spend hours pondering over what to name their novel and many times it’s changed by the publishers. Titles should be an overall impression of the novel, even create the tone of the book, don’t you think? It’s frustrating when you’ve read a book and wonder how they came up with such a title.

Maybe titles for well established authors aren’t as important as new authors looking to be discovered. When you hear the title Twilight, everyone immediately associated that title with Stephenie Meyers’ books. Or, how many of you have the Bourne trilogy? Did you read Hunger Games before the movie? Did these titles hook you?

To attract readers, titles as well as book covers, are highly important. Don’t you think? Please check out the list of book titles in Canyonland Press and let us know what you think about the titles our authors have on their books.

New fun things at the Library!
by Mary Martinez

Once again I've gone to the library, this time for a meeting. I asked the branch manager what she likes as a reader. As in, what does she find interesting about authors. You're going to have to wait for the answer. In the next few months we're going to do some articles based on her answers.

While I was there I browsed as I usually do. I love books. I have an iPad, which I have several Apps; for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo and now I have a new one. It's called overdrive. What is it? I'm more than happy to tell you.

It's how you check out books from the library to use on any of your devices. I for one would love to be able to check something out at 2 a.m. instead of go to the cyber book store and pay $$ for a new book when I can't sleep. Or any time for that matter. Anyway...

Once you've downloaded the app (you can also get it from from the App Store on your device) it goes to a screen that has a Get Books option you can great a book shelf with libraries. You can add as many libraries as you'd like from New York to San Diego, all over the world, or as I've done, my local library. Any time, any place, as long as you have 4G or a WiFi connect on your device, you have instant books, for free.

There are some conditions, just like checking a book out does, you have to have it turned in, in time. It has some type of time code and after three to four weeks, depending on the libraries policy, it will automatically delete from your device. You can't horde books in otherwords. And you cannot have an overdue eBook, so no fees!

The library manager of my local library, you may notice she has recommended a few books for us, Trish Hull, was a guest on Studio 5, a local studio morning show if you'd like to view a video with instructions you can find it here...

Now go out and enjoy the wonderful world of books!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

1st Edition, August 1, 2012

Madam Librarian Recommendation
Liesl Seborg, Senior Librarian, Salt Lake County Library Services--Hunter Library

Some Sing, Some Cry. “This is an incredibly well-written story of the generations of Mayfield women and their connections and disconnections over lifetimes. Music and perseverance pervade this saga where richly crafted characters travel the world from South Carolina through wars in Europe and Vietnam to modern day France. Well worth a read or listen!”

Left - Ifa Bayeza, Right - Ntozake Shange
Authors Sportlight: Ntozake Shange and Ifa Bayeza
We were unable to reach Ms. Shange and Ms. Bayeza for comment, but the public link an bio can be found on the number one site for African American Literature,

“Award-winning writer Ntozake Shange and real-life sister, award-winning playwright Ifa Bayeza achieve nothing less than a modern classic in this epic story of the Mayfield family. Opening dramatically at Sweet Tamarind, a rice and cotton plantation on an island off South Carolina's coast, we watch as recently emancipated Bette Mayfield says her goodbyes before fleeing for the mainland. With her granddaughter, Eudora, in tow, she heads to Charleston. There, they carve out lives for themselves as fortune-teller and seamstress. Dora will marry, the Mayfield line will grow, and we will follow them on an journey through the watershed events of America's troubled, vibrant history -- from Reconstruction to both World Wars, from the Harlem Renaissance to Vietnam and the modern day. Shange and Bayeza give us a monumental story of a family and of America, of songs and why we have to sing them, of home and of heartbreak, of the past and of the future, bright and blazing ahead.”

Expanding Your Reading Experience
By: Amy Durham

Many times, after finishing a book I've thoroughly enjoyed, I find myself a little sad. Sometimes I even slow down the pace of my reading as I near the end of the book so I can draw out the experience. It's actually a rather sweet feeling, to have enjoyed a book so much that I'm sad when it ends.

If you've ever found yourself in a similar situation, I'd like to suggest a few ways that you can expand that experience, so that when you finish the last page and close the covers of the book, it feels less abrupt and leaves you with a fun sense of anticipation.

When you realize, in the course of your journey through the book, that the story is speaking to you and pulling you in, decide at that point that you will visit the author's blog or website once you finish the book. It's a simple process in this day and age to contact an author, and while I'm certainly not condoning author-stalking, authors love reader feedback. A comment on a blog post or a sincere email, letting the author know how moved you were by his or her story, will not only provide affirmation to the author, but it also expands the reader's experience, allowing you a "positive closure" for an enjoyable reading experience.

Next, consider reviewing the book. This is yet another way to let the author know - as well as other enthusiastic readers - that this is a book worth investing in. Readers value the opinion of other readers, so reviewing the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or other retailers will help others find and choose the book that you enjoyed so much. It also allows you a way to process your feelings about a good book, a way to extend the experience in a way that expresses your thoughts and enthusiasm for the story you loved.

Finally, check out the author's other titles, if you haven't already. Many times the style of writing that you loved in one story will also be present in other books by the same author. While it's true that particular character types and story lines appeal to you, you may find that the author's particular style appeals to you. So, it's worth your time to take a look at an author's back list, or watch his or her website for news of upcoming releases.

Rather than bottling up your enthusiasm when you finish a great book, try these suggestions! They will expand your reading experience, offering ways to "close out" the experience of reading a book you loved by giving the author feedback, telling other readers how much you loved the book, and giving you a sense of anticipation for other books you might love even more!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2nd Edition July 15, 2012

Why are some genre's more popular than others? That is the theme of our issue.

Empress Theater Magna, Utah 
Paranormal - What goes bump in the night?
By Mary Martinez
Why do people read what they do? I don't know. Why do some people absolutely love to be scared, sit on the edge of their seats and can't wait to turn the next page to have something jump out at them? And yet other people won't even pick up a scary book?

This is a bit off the subject, but what I find fascinating is that not everyone watches the same thing on TV as they read in a book. Do you? I love to ghost hunt, yes back on subject, but yet I don't watch all those paranormal, ghost hunter series they have one now. Once in a while I watch an episode of Phsych, but it's more comedy than anything.

So why do people read paranormal? I know I asked this question before, but is it the unknown? Does it make them wonder, could this really happen? Be happening? I guess it depends what you're reading, I mean how many people read about vampires and think those two questions?

Ridiculous right? Maybe not. I'm reading Discovery of Witches right now. There are Witches, Vampires and daemons (author's spelling, not mine) all walking around intermingling with the humans. Have I looked around at the people on the bus and wondered, could he be... Yes! Well if you'd seen the people on the bus you'd wonder too.

Back to why do people read paranormal? True it's a matter of taste, but also paranormal is an umbrella that covers so many different things. I for one do not like to read vampire stories. I may not have started the book I'm reading now if I'd known, yet I'm finding it interesting. But vampires or werewolf's do not do it for me. But witches, ghosts, druids, faeries, I love all of those. I even like a bit of time travel.

Some paranormal is like suspense, it can keep you on the edge of your seat. You know there is a creature in the basement and you just want to scream at the character not to go down the stairs. Yet, you can't wait until he or she does. Isn't it the same when you know the killer is down there?

Summing it all up, I don't know why one person reads paranormal and another person hates it. It's all a matter of taste. Please take a minute to take the survey on the right and let Canyonland Press readers know what you like about paranormal.

Suspense or Mystery?
by Anna Sugg
Which do you like to read? Suspense? Mysteries? Do you know the difference between suspense and mystery?

I’m a suspense person myself. One great author that comes to mind is Mary Stewart. She started writing romance suspense, as well as historical fictions, in the mid-1950s through the 1980s. You’re in for a treat if you’ve never read her novels, which continue to be reprinted over and over again.

Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, said that suspense isn’t related to fear, but “a state of waiting for something to happen”. As you read a good suspense novel, you feel the tension, alert to what is surely going to happen, and hold your breath, waiting. This is suspense. Hitchcock kept the audience informed as the story progressed with that suspense building. He was a master.

Mysteries, on the other hand, are puzzles. Usually asking who and why the crime was committed. An intriguing mystery revolves around something that has already happened, as opposed to something that’s going to happen. Of course, you do find mysteries containing many elements of suspense, especially while the villain is still at large. Mysteries, typically lack surprises, but the puzzled drama of whodunit keeps us turning the pages, like a game.

Simple differences: suspense is the imminent danger that needs to be resolved; mystery is the intellectual game of puzzles that need to be unraveled.

Mystery Writers of America listed their best 100 mysteries and at the top was the complete Sherlock Holmes by author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Also on the list was Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, John Grisham’s A Time to Kill, and the 100th was Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby. Here’s the link:

Do you agree with their list of best 100 mysteries? Really now, are these the best? What would your list look like? Of course the above list is different from the top ten best-selling mysteries of all times:

One of Amazon’s top ten picks for romance suspense authors listed Naked in Death by J.D. Robbs and the fifth place was my favorite book by Catherine Coulter (love that author) The Maze an FBI Series.

After asking several friends about their favorite authors, and if they knew if they were suspense or mystery writers, they didn’t seem to know or care if they were one or the other. Bottom line, it’s the content that’s important.

All in all, by the time I completed my research on the difference between suspense and mystery, it was not so complicated to tell the difference between the two. But while searching for the top best mystery and suspense authors, I discovered many authors were listed under both, and there are so many lists, that when it comes right down to it, it’s a certain person or group’s opinion. Hmm, maybe I should do my own list. What do you think?
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Historicals - a wonderful getaway
by Marie Higgins

When I first started reading romance novels, my first book was a historical by Kathleen E Woodiwiss, "A Rose in Winter".  I was swept away in another world where men were gentlemen and women were proper...and everyone had manners and etiquette.  Times were so different back then that most people don't believe things like that happened.  Did women really wear dresses all the time? Did gentlemen really wear top hats and walk with walking-sticks? And really...did all they ever do was go to balls or have tea parties?  But really, it doesn't matter!  What matters to me is that I'm swept away in another world where I can imagine myself wearing a beautiful ball gown dancing with a charming gentleman (or rogue).  My two favorite eras are Regency and Victorian.

REGENCY (1795-1837) - The era was a time of excess for the aristocracy: for example, it was during this time that the Prince Regent built the Brighton Pavilion. However, it was also an era of uncertainty caused by several factors including the Napoleonic wars, periodic riots, and the concern (threat to some, hope to others) that the British people might imitate the upheavals of the French Revolution.

VICTORIAN (1837-1901) - When 18 year old Princess Victoria pictured in the header above, became Queen in 1837 no one dreamed she would reign for the rest of the century for another 64 years. The name Victorian to describe the whole period is a misnomer as for some years at the beginning of the era, Regency attitudes prevailed. After 1840 when Victoria married Albert we see the heyday of Victorian attitudes of prudery and a strict outwardly moral code that lasted until about 1890 when Prince Edward the Prince Of Wales and his more spirited lifestyle was echoed in society.

I love these eras because of their manners, their language, and their courtesy.  I've always thought reading books in these eras were more romanctic.  And I know I'm not the only one.  Historical romance is booming!  More and more authors are writing in this genre almost to the point that the publishing companies have too many!  But that's okay with me.  The more...the merrier!  I encourage you to pick up a historical romance (any era you like) and read. I can pretty much guarantee you'll love it!