My Book

My Book

So I wrote a book, had a couple people read it, and now it’s getting published. Pretty psyched about it. Check out the adorable cover. It’s almost too tender for words. My children’s picture book, Papa’s Book of Mormon Christmas, will be released on October 13, 2015!...
Mistborn: The Final Empire Review

Mistborn: The Final Empire Review

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson 4.25 Stars I realize this is a ridiculous number for a rating and that I should only be going by increments of 0.5 but it’s the only number that fit this book on a scale of five. Mistborn was one of the better fantasy novels I have ever read. Do not be scared away by the fact that there are three books in this story (and then 4 books after that with a different protagonist, I assume, for the true Mistborn believers). This book had everything you could possibly want in a fantasy novel, so it easily stands alone. This is not a novel where tension is building and a rebellion is growing and the novel ends with a battle left unresolved. Just when you think a turn of events was so great that the book could not possibly contain anymore action, you get even more and finally are left satisfying ending. The high rating for this book comes from the detailed new world and the completely original system of magic for the fantasy novel’s time. Sure, the tyrant leader of the empire was referred to as “The Lord Ruler,” but with all the metals and powers and name connections we had to remember, I was happy that Sanderson cut us a break. However, the system really wasn’t that hard to get down. I appreciated the time Sanderson spent getting his system clear through Vin’s lessons of the many uses of each of her individual powers. Sanderson spent so much time getting the magic just right and the world so vivid, that...

The Switch (Final Part)

Nancy McCall tried to catch her breaths as she stared at the red switch. “This is murder,” she said in a shaking voice. “This is redemption. Leaving the world to annihilate itself is murder.” “Why don’t you do it then?” “Wouldn’t you like to be the vanquisher? You will forever be recorded in history for resuscitating the world.” Nancy began to cry. Ms. Tross looked down at her binder. “How,” Nancy coughed, “will it happen?” She let out a few hiccups. “A myriad of ways. All under careful consideration and preparation of the international government. This moment has been a craft in the making for a decade.” At that moment, one room away, a red switch was inverted. Seven thousand miles away from there, a Chinese man’s chest was ripped open by a tiger. The city of Stockholm disappeared into a mushroom cloud. Los Angeles suffocated in a fog of poisonous gas. A bullet was sent through the head of a man in a blue and white striped shirt, and it fell forward onto a black button on the desk. Ms. Tross looked up to the blinking red light just as a military tank rolled over half of the population of the crowded street outside the window, grounding every human in its wake into the asphalt. Nancy screamed, and Ms. Tross jumped out of her chair. She threw the office door open and found a limp corpse hanging over the reception desk and a puddle of blood spilling off its edges. Ms. Tross’s hand shook as she fumbled with her key in the door to the second office. She...

The Switch (Part 3)

Martin dropped into his seat as Ms. Tross sat, smoothing her suit. “Philosophy master’s student at Northwestern,” Ms. Tross read from the binder. “Deceased parents leaving you with a considerable inheritance, no committed relationship aside from the redhead seen leaving your apartment every morning for the past two weeks.” “Phenomenal research. Just provide your sources, and you’ve got yourself an ‘A’ plus,” Martin said as he reclined in the chair, his arms behind his head. “Are you concerned that college degrees no longer hold any influence?” “Unless that degree opens your mind to fresh knowledge. Ideas that could change the world.” “Interesting choice of words.” Ms. Tross stood and pulled the curtains apart to the same scene Nancy McCall was still witnessing. Martin’s eyes widened, but he repressed all sound from his lips. “I think the world is ready for a bit of changing.” Martin brought his hands to his lap and exhaled deeply. “Martin,” said Ms. Tross. “Have you ever heard of the Switch?” “The Switch that will kill off half of the world’s population in seconds? A philosophical myth.” “It is not a myth, Martin.” Ms. Tross’s voice was soft. Her eyebrows turned up as she focused on his face. “There are simply not enough resources to sustain our population growth. We will all be killed at each other’s hands. The government has been preparing for this moment for the past decade, and everything is now ready.” Martin head never turned from the window. “The Switch exists, Martin. And it is right in front of you.” Martin’s eyes fell on the small metal box on the table....

The Switch (Part 2)

“That was more of a formality, Ms. McCall. It is no secret that Bass & Cordovan’s revenues have declined drastically from ten years ago.” “Yes, well, prisons are full to bursting, so criminals no longer have a need for attorneys.” “I am well aware of our current legal system.” “You seem to be aware of everything else,” Nancy’s voice began to rise. Ms. Tross cocked her head almost too slightly to notice. “There are just too many of us these days.” “You’ve got that right.” Nancy leaned back. The red bulb above the door began to flash. “I am going to leave you for the next few minutes to consider this visual.” Ms. Tross stood from her seat and pushed the curtains open. Nancy let out a gasp at the sight of the street below. Not five inches of the street was left unpopulated by people. Several groups were engaged in full out brawls. A few broken down cars were scattered and appeared to have been remodeled into homes with linens in the windows and makeshift toilets by the wheels. Everyone was bloody and dirty. Guns went off. Whenever one person fell down dead, three more appeared to take his or her place in the battle. “Hence, the reason we had you take our underground entrance.” Ms. Tross peered at the scene as if viewing a portrait at the Guggenheim. “Close it! They’ll see us!” Nancy yelled, pushing her wheeled seat away from the window with her heels. “This is bulletproof, one-way glass,” Ms. Tross said. “You are safe here.” She exited the office with the second binder and...

The Switch

The taps of her high-heeled shoes echoed behind her through the metal hall. Her blond hair danced on her gray suited shoulders. As her pale face blended into its blond hairline, her gray eyes contrasted deeply as its only dark feature. She squeezed the two binders she held into her side as she pushed open the thick metal door.             “Good morning, Ms. Tross,” a young man said from the front desk. He wore a blue and white striped collared shirt. “How many are we expecting today?”             “We decided two is most efficient. Gives them time for personal reflection.” “Anyone promising?”             “They’re always promising,” Ms. Tross said. Her mouth remained in a line flatter than a calm sea. The office was a sealed box with metal floors and walls. The reception area was decorated in abstract art pieces and mahogany furnishings. Ms. Tross continued behind the man’s desk and entered the first office. Ms. Tross pulled the black curtains together on the far wall and dropped the two folders on the end of the long white table. She glanced up at the small metal box at the other end before turning back to her binders. Ms. Tross was halfway through the second binder when the red bulb above the door began blinking, and she stepped out of the office. A woman sat in the waiting area with crossed legs and arms, her back stiff in her chair. She wore a black high-waist pencil skit with a white collared blouse. Her black hair was twisted into a bun behind her head. “Nancy McCall?” Ms. Tross said. The woman...
Inferno Review

Inferno Review

Pretty top notch things have been happening, which is why I have been the world’s biggest slacker for the past month. But now that I am a college grad, started my dream job, and got home from a trip to Italy, things are looking up. So if you like reading my stuff (and you are the world’s classiest champ if you do) then you should be hearing a lot more from me. I just started a job as an acquisitions editor for a publishing house. So now I’m getting paid to be judgmental (and to read all day which is better than great). So now I’ll share some judgments here, too, about books I’ve read. I promise I’ll never reveal any spoilers so they all will be safe to read. Inferno by Dan Brown 4 Stars Dan Brown is an incredible story-teller, which is why you can read his 400-500 page books in a few days. They play better in your mind than the movies do on the screen. This book was not his best. (The Da Vinci Code will probably always hold the title for that one.) The confusion and lack of purpose at the beginning makes it drag slightly more than I am used to with Brown, but once you start getting clues from events that happened before the narration started, it picks right back up again. I loved this book, but I’m not sure if it was because the story rivaled that of Angles and Demons of if it was because I got to visit everywhere Langdon went in Italy a week later. (If you are going to Florence or Venice...

Introducing, A Delicate Charade

My novel in progress, A Delicate Charade, is a work of contemporary fiction. This novel revolves around two characters, Jack and Ellie, along with their family and friends that surround them. Each character reveals their account of a specific illness, disorder, or issue from which they suffer and attempt to hide. Written as a tightly knit anthology of short stories, each disorder is given a personal and detailed account, and in most cases, the reader is left to discover the illness that is being described. This work revolves around the theme of people lives not always living as they seem. Below is a tiny excerpt from this work in progress!: “You’re kidding!” Jack finally halted his fork. His voice sounded horse and a little gargled from the food still making its way down his esophagus. He took a huge gulp of milk from the glass in front of him, leaving food debris on its rim, and brown gravy remained doodled around his lips and chin. This was no concern to him. His entire mind had just shifted from the juices running down his meat to the juicy information his mother just shared. The gossip filled his mind like a balloon being pumped with helium, and there was no room for thought about how ridiculous he looked at that moment and how easy it would have been to use the napkin sitting underneath his crusted, sticky right hand. “What did his parents say? What did he...
Beginning a Healthier Life: Making Habits

Beginning a Healthier Life: Making Habits

The link below is one of my nonfiction writing samples. If you have tried to get healthy at least five times and find it never sticks, check it out to learn how to keep healthy habits. Or if you already have fabulous healthy habits and motivation of steel, check it out for an ounce of entertainment. Click on my name and take a look at my other published articles if you want to read more. Familius | Beginning a Healthier Life, Step Four: Making...