Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Meet Lisa Swinton

Please welcome debut author Lisa Swinton here today. Her first book, Fallen Angel, was just released. Check it out if you like a good, clean romance. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end.

Hello. Thanks for being a guest on my blog today. Can I offer you a virtual cookie?

Chocolate Chip please!

Here you go. Pretend for a moment that your books are your children. Please introduce us. We’d like names, ages, quirks, birth story, any details you would like to share.
The oldest is Fallen Angel. She was 5 years in the making. She's the Italian fairytale. Next up is Ring on Her Finger, coming this fall. She's part baby/part middle child. I interrupted writing The Make-Out Artist to bring her into the world courtesy of NaNoWriMo 2012. Ring on Her Finger only took 3 months to write. She has the shortest birth. Amen to that. The Make-Out Artist took a year to write, but only because I interrupted her process with summer vacation and Ring. She's the black sheep of the family.

Sounds like a houseful! Your first born is just beautiful. Please give us a peek into your writing life. How much time each week do you spend writing? Is your desk messy or clean? Do you have a schedule or are you sporadic? What helps you stay motivated? We want to know what makes you tick as a writer.
With the decision to self publish my books and launching Fallen Angel. I haven't written in nearly a year. I'd thought with all my kids in school, I'd have lots of time to write. Somehow that hasn't been the case. I'd like to spend 1-2 hours a day writing. I work best in 45 min sprints and not one big chunk. My desk is clean. I can't work in messy conditions. Motivation comes from the characters in my head wanting to be put down on paper. Boy are they impatient and insistent. As a writer, I've found I need a balance between organization and writing between the seat of my pants. So, these days, I outline my book in one sentence summaries for each chapter and then go from there, keeping the book word count to around 85,000 words. This makes editing significantly easier. I also keep a Character Bible for each book.

Please tell us some of your favorites.
Favorite treat:I'm pretty much a chocolate girl, but don't going ruining it with fruit! I also prefer cookies and brownies to cake and ice cream, unless you've got some Phish food on hand or Girl Scout Thin Mint Chocolate ice cream.
Favorite stress reliever: movies, just no horror or war.
Favorite office supply:does my computer count? if not, then I love really pretty notepads.
Favorite punctuation mark:!
Favorite day of the week:Friday. I try to leave my calendar absolutely clear on that day.
Favorite movie:as a kid it was Goonies, as an adult it's Pride and Prejudice (either version)

You have good taste in movies! Describe for us what your surroundings would be if you walked into your favorite piece of art. Feel free to be as literal or figurative as you would like.
I don't really have a favorite piece of art. For artists I like Reubens and Rodin. So, I'd be happy as a curvy girl trapped in the Angel's Kiss I suppose.

Thank you so much for the interview and for bringing an awesome book into the world!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Brother!

I am so grateful I have a brother! My kids don't have any brothers, but lately, Spice has randomly been saying thinks like: "Uncle Jesse's long beard."

At least I have a brother so they have an uncle. Actually, they have lots of uncles, but you get the picture.

My brother is a little more than a year older than me. Sometimes growing up our dad called us twins because for a while we were the same height.

My brother and I had fun together. We would play catch, practice karate, and as we got older, he sort of became my chauffeur. Once when we were driving he commented how he needed a license plate cover that said, "Oh her, she's my sister." He was one of my best friends. We both played in the orchestra and got to go on tour together to Las Vegas and San Francisco. I loved having him there with me, even though we really didn't see each other that much. It was just comforting to know he was there.

My brother looked out for me. One time, when I was in the fifth grade and he was in the sixth, some dumb boy was bothering me. My brother came over, kicked him in the shin and said, "Leave her alone!" And the boy left me alone. Forever. And I was grateful.

I love my brother! He is a great man, husband and father. His wife and children adore him. He is funny and kind and talented. Happy Birthday, Jesse!

Here we are looking more like twins than ever as we posed before prom in High School. :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

My Testimony of the Restored Gospel

First of all, I'd like to say that a testimony is different than a belief. It is a witness born from experience. This is a testimony, born from my experiences in life. I have tried and tested. In return, my faith has been tried and tested. I have persevered. These are things I know to be true.

I know that God lives. He is real. He hears and answers prayers. He loves His children. Everything--every commandment, every bit of scripture, every bit of beauty on this earth--He has given to them for their benefit because He loves them perfectly. He wants us to choose Him, to return to Him. Knowing we would fall short of this, He gave His Son as a perfect and infinite sacrifice to make this possible.

My testimony of the atonement comes from experience also. Applying this gift, whether because of sin, heartache or weakness, releases me from guilt, remorse, pain, and lifts me to do things I otherwise could not do on my own. Faith in Christ has brought real miracles into my life. I know Christ is powerful to save; gentle to heal; capable of anything as long as it is His Father's will. He is my truest and greatest friend. He runs to me in time of need. He wipes my tears and understands me deeper than I even understand myself.

I know the Book of Mormon is a work of scripture, is the word of God, a record kept by prophets by way of commandment. I know it does what it says it can do. I have read it time and time again. I couldn't possibly begin to describe how it has helped me throughout my life, as a young woman, as a mother, as a human being, as a wife, as a daughter of God, as a servant of the Lord. It was kept and preserved and brought forth as a gift to the inhabitants of the earth in this time of the world's history. It is for us. It is for me. I love this book of scripture.

I know these things are true because I have "experiment[ed] upon [the] word." (Alma 32:27) I have received answers to prayers through the quiet promptings of the Holy Ghost. I know anyone can receive their own witness if they will only try. It will take humility, faith, and real, honest desire, but it is possible. God's bounty is for all who will partake.

Thank you for reading.

Additional scriptures that came to mind as I wrote this:

Moses 1:39
John 3:16
1 Nephi 8
1 Nephi 11
2 Nephi 2:27