Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year

Here's wishing all my friends and family a happy and productive 2015. I look forward to some serious goal-setting (and keeping) this year!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Story Over Style Every Time

The problem I have always had with reading books that other people (usually vastly more literate than myself) recommend, is that often more importance is given to the writing style and use of verbiage than to the story itself. Yes, there are several great books I have enjoyed that come with extensive literary pedigrees. But that's not the reason I like them. I like them because of the stories they tell.  I have been able to read many a novel and have overlooked writing that isn't great just because the story was intriguing. I enjoy these novels because it is the story that stays in my head and twists and turns around in my brain for days after I put the book down. On the other hand, I have read many highly-acclaimed books that left me empty and feeling like I had just wasted some portion of my life that I will never get back. Just because it's a big hit with the literary critics doesn't mean it's good.
For example, I love Baldacci and Clive Cussler books and have recommended them to my book clubs in the past. These books weren't exactly sneered at, but I could tell that this kind of general consumer literature would not be included in the annual reading list. Why? Because a really great story that is entertaining and enjoyable isn't usually considered literary. I have also recommended Victor Hugo's Les Miserables and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and they were considered wonderful book choices. Why? Because they are literary classics, of course! Those happen to be two of my personal favorites, alongside the less literary, but no less classic, King and Maxwell and The Camel Club series by Baldacci.
I don't care what pedigree comes with the book, as long it tells a great story. If it takes me into another world for awhile and makes me forget that my toilet overflowed this evening and that I had to spend an hour cleaning it up, then in my view, it was a great novel!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wondering ...

It's sometimes amazing to me that I ever deeply desired to have children. And now that our biological children are a little older, we're even considering adoption. But it's nights like these, where my two youngest are fighting non-stop, my teenager is being particularly rebellious, and my husband is gone on yet another business trip that I question myself. Is parenthood worth it? Does it really have to be this hard?

Wait. Give me a second to take a deep breath ...

OK. The answer to both questions is a resounding "YES!" Parenthood is wonderful, simply because it is so hard. All the endless disciplining, nagging, negotiating and bickering has a flip-side. It's the moment when your youngest child comes up and gives you a sweet hug for no apparent reason. It's also the moment when you see that your bed is mysteriously made for you and there's an 'I Love You, Mom' post-it note on the pillow. It's when you watch your husband teaching your daughter some of his 'famous' dance moves as she prepares to go to her first church dance. It's when I get so mad at my children's fighting that I say sternly, "The first person to say anything else will get spanked!" And then, as it turns out, I'm the first one to speak, and yes, I get spanked.

Parenthood is a moment-by-moment adventure and if you're thinking of having kids or adopting kids, DO IT! You may find yourself exasperated and tearful (a lot!), but you'll never, ever regret it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Raising Money For My Mom

I'm donating all the proceeds from the sale of the e-book version of Silent No More to my mother. Since my dad passed last year, she has been struggling financially and I want to do something special for her. If you are looking for a good book, please click on the link to the right and purchase my novel. If you love it, lend your review and pass the word on to your friends. If you hate it, just delete it off your Kindle. I won't be offended. I really want to sell a lot of books, so I can funnel as much money as I can back to my mom - the woman who first inspired me to love reading. Thanks in advance for all your support!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Welcome to Alvsborg Books!

I revamped my website to reflect some recent changes. Please take a look at www.alvsborgbooks.com. In addition, the link to the right was taking people to the wrong place - I have fixed that and if you would like to purchase Silent No More, you're now just one click away. Thanks again for all the support!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Life Moves On

When we first moved in to our home, we were greeted with a warm lick and a bark of 'hello' by a wonderful little dog named Rudy. My girls loved Rudy from the first moment they saw him and he loved them. The girls love every dog in the neighborhood, mainly because they do not have one of their own. However, Rudy held a special place in their hearts. Unfortunately, Rudy passed away a few weeks ago and a little piece of all of us went with him. We miss him a lot. But this morning, I was reminded of how life is wonderfully good at starting over - our neighbors brought home a new dog who desperately needed a loving, forever family. Wiley looks a lot like Rudy, but he's quieter, and perhaps a little more shy. My girls have fallen madly in love him, as has his forever family. While Rudy will remain forever with us, Wiley has managed to open up a new place in our hearts just for him.
We love and miss you, Rudy. Welcome to the neighborhood, Wiley.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

This is one of my favorite quotes:

"Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father [in Heaven] gave us."  - Sheri L. Dew, President and CEO of Deseret Book


To all women, whether single or married, with or without children - Happy Mother's Day!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Joy in the Journey

One of my favorite quotes is by Gordon B. Hinckley, former president (now deceased) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

“Life is just like an old time rail journey ... delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”

Amen!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Quote for the Day

What do you think of your pet(s)?


"Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” – Mary Ann Evans (aka George Eliot), 1819-1880

Our bunny, Coco, loves it when I scratch under his chin and nuzzle his nose. He’ll sit for hours if I just keep petting him. He reminds me daily of what it means to live 'simply' and 'agreeably.'
Although my kids sometimes give him a little too much love, he still seems to enjoy being part of our family. I’m so glad we have him in our lives.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quote for the Day


Question: How many of you think prayer is a real way to communicate with deity? Why or why not?

The following Quote for the Day describes how I feel:

"Ere you left your room this morning,
Did you think to pray?
In the name of Christ, our Savior,
Did you sue for loving favor
As a shield today?

Oh, how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day.
So, when life gets dark and dreary,
Don't forget to pray."

-Mary A. Pepper Kidder, 1820-1905

Monday, April 16, 2012

Quote for the Day

“A word is not the same with one writer as it is with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.” - William Wordsworth

I think today might be a 'guts' day. Time to take care of that blank screen staring back at me.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

A great new book!

Binary by Jennifer Coons is a great new book just out on Amazon.com! If you love YA, the action of Star Wars and the romance of Twilight, then this is the book for you. Go check it out today!




Binary by Jennifer Coons

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Life

As always, life tends to get in the way of best-laid plans. I lost my dad on Nov. 17, 10 days before his 81st birthday, so NaNoWriMo (and everything else, really) went by the wayside. I'd just like to say that my father was a great influence on me and a powerful force in getting me to start writing again after many years of putting it off for one reason or another. He always asked me, "Krista, how is your writing coming along?" or tell me in his usual annoying parent voice, "You need to be writing!" Well, it worked. I hope he enjoys what I have done with the written word, even if it is from the other side. He had a great deal to do with it.

I love you, Dad! Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Silent No More Reaches top 1% of Amazon E-books!!

Woo-hoo!! Thanks to all the buzz created by Fantasy Island Publishing Company and all my friends on Facebook, Silent No More is in the top 1% of all Amazon e-books!  It's a great book that, I have to admit, practically wrote itself. What started with a desire just to share a fantastic story about the White Rose group and its rebellion against Hitler's Third Reich turned into a rich and engaging novel about one modern-day woman's odyssey through time. Wow! It's neat to finally see my novel out there - I just hope everybody enjoys reading it!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thank you!

Since the Kindle version does not have any "Acknowledgements" section, I justed wanted to do a few of my own right here on my blog.
I'd like to thank the following people: Inge Jens and Inge Aicher Scholl, who wrote the main books I studied to get into the heads of Hans and Sophie Scholl (their links are below); William Wordsworth, whose poems inspired much of the story; Carla Champ, who allowed me to use the "Dammit Doll" in my story (her link is below); the Fantasy Island Book Publishing family, who believed in my story and made this all possible (and who continue to be invaluable); all my family and friends who encouraged me along during this writing process with edits and lots of helpful advice; and finally, and most importantly, my husband, who never gave up on me or my writing, even when I did.
Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Little History

My children didn't get breakfast this morning before going to school, but I DID have enough time to put together a little history for you on The White Rose (don't worry, I'm making it up to them by bringing them Subway sandwiches and milkshakes for lunch).

Though the following people are not the main characters of 'Silent No More', they form the factual foundation on which my story rests:
“Die Sonne Scheint Noch” (The sun still shines).These were some of the last words uttered by Sophie Scholl just before she was beheaded at the notorious Stadelheim Prison in Munich on Feb. 22, 1943. She was executed along with her brother, Hans, and Christoph Probst, another co-conspirator, for treason against the Third Reich. Sophie, Hans, Christoph, Willi Graf, Alexander Schmorell, and Kurt Huber all shared one common dream – to one day see their beloved country torn from the iron grip of Adolf Hitler and a Nazi war machine that was out of control. All of them paid for their dissension with their lives.
Over the course of about 10 months, from the summer of 1942 to February 1943, this small group of mostly university students drafted, published and distributed several leaflets decrying the war and Hitler’s regime from its headquarters in Munich. (I use the term ‘headquarters’ loosely, as there was never one designated place where the group met and drafted the leaflets. Sometimes it was in the secrecy of a small apartment and other times in the secluded basement of a friend).
Referring to itself as The White Rose (Die Weisse Rose), the group called on Germans everywhere to rise up and passively resist Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime. “We will not be silenced. We are your bad conscience,” Hans and Alex wrote in the first leaflet. As the war grew worse and news of the Jewish atrocities more severe, The White Rose redoubled its efforts, distributing leaflets to other like-minded groups as far north as Hamburg.
The Gestapo, or German Secret Police, eventually caught up with the Scholls after a janitor spied them secretly distributing leaflets at the University of Munich on Feb. 18, 1943. They were arrested, along with Probst, who was implicated by the draft of new leaflet he had written that was discovered in Hans’ pocket. Within four days of their arrest, the three were tried in a kangaroo court and executed a few hours after their conviction. Graf, Schmorell and Huber were later found, tried and executed as well. Hans’ last words were, “Es lebe Freiheit!” (Long live freedom!).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Book

Elisabeth ‘Elsie’ Bauer is an ambitious college graduate from Colorado. With her degree in hand and a deep desire to leave the scars of the past behind her, she is ready to head to New York to begin a career in journalism as a fledgling reporter. But she veers off course when a celebratory trip to Europe turns into a nightmare, leaving her stranded in a strange place with no memory of her life. As Elsie struggles to figure out her past, she meets a rag-tag group of young idealists on the verge of facing down the most heinous regime in history. In a world where tyranny reigns and certain death awaits the tiniest of missteps, Elsie realizes that courage comes in many forms, as does love.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Welcome to Silent No More

The idea for this book was actually conceived more than 20 years ago, when I was just 15 years old. I was riding my bike through my neighborhood in Plano, Texas, and I was passing by a small wooded area away from the rest of the homes. As I rode along, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a young man step out of the woods. It was one of those moments in life that seems to go by in slow motion. He wore a German World War II uniform - even with that short glimpse, I knew that's what it was since I had seen many of those kinds of uniforms displayed in museums and old photos when I lived in Germany. It also looked like some sort of machine gun was slung over his shoulder. I guess I should have been scared, but it all happened too fast. I slammed on my brakes and looked back over my shoulder. His face was expressionless as he stared at me. Then, he just turned away, walked back into the treeline and disappeared. Was he some guy taking part in a freakish reinactment somewhere? Was he a weirdo? Was he a ghost? To this day, I have no explanation for what I saw. I often rode my bike past that spot to see if he would ever come back (as a parent, I'd be mortified if my child did that today), but I never saw him again.

That image, and a desire to build a fictional story around a real group of rebellious young university students in World War II Munich, Germany, drove me to write this book. Indeed, it wasn't until I finished my last revision (of course, I'm sure once a publisher gets ahold of it, there will be many more) that I truly felt released from some sort of life-long compulsion to tell this story.

Anyway, as we go along, I'll be posting little bits and pieces of the story, as well as some background info on the real people depicted in the novel. This blog is also a forum for your feedback, as Silent No More is, as yet, an unpublished novel. My hope is that, at some point, you'll be interested enough to want to read the book. So please, enjoy!