It’s that time of the month again, first Wednesday, which means, it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group:

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.


There are a lot of blog posts out there about writing and finishing and publishing your first book. I did one of those myself. After all, it’s a big deal to write and finish a book, and even a bigger deal to get it published.

What nobody talks about is the second book. I thought it would be easier and I now know about the pressures and expectations of writing and publishing beyond the first book.

I started writing my second book while taking a break after having finished my first novel, The Secret Life of Daydreams. I wrote about 34,000 words of a story between Simon and Isabel, and then put it aside when I started editing and rewriting Josh and Sofia’s story.

A few months ago I went back to it and I knew right away I had to start over. I liked the characters and I liked their story but the plot was not working. So I started over. I wrote about 15,000 words and those were not working so I started again. This time I wrote about 10,000 before I knew it wasn’t working either.

The doubts assailed me: what if I couldn’t write another novel? What if I wrote it but it wasn’t as good as the first one? And what if the readers who loved my first one didn’t like this one? Thinking about the expectations of others, and the expectations I had of me and what I thought others would think, put undue pressure on my ability to let go and write the story.

Yes, I started it again. For the 4th time, I started writing a story with the same characters and the same backstory but I let go of the pressures and concentrated on the characters only. And something amazing happened. Without the pressure of expectations, I was able to write a 40,000 word novella in eighteen days. Unprecedented, I tell you. I’m a slow writer and this never happens. In fact, it completely blew me away how vivid the characters and their story were and how fast I could write it all.

This book has definitely been a lesson for me.


And for this month’s question:

JULY 6TH QUESTION: What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

I’ve been very blessed to receive lots of good reviews and compliments on my book. I especially love the ones that say it’s very well written. I’m not an English speaker and sometimes I worry that it shows in my writing. To have a reader, especially a critical reader, notice that I make an effort not only with the characters and story but also with the writing is like a payoff to all the hard work I put into it.


Insecure Writer #82

New LDS Fiction

It’s that time of the year! The Summer Book Trek Reading Challenge by New LDS Fiction! Keep track of your reading during the month of July and win book prizes. You don’t have to be LDS to participate, just read books by LDS authors. Click on the links above to find out how to enter. And here’s the prize page: Book Trek Prizes!

And here’s some books I’m planning to read next month:

— Summer House Party, Timeless Regency Collection, by Regina Scott, Donna Hatch, and Sarah M. Eden.

— Daughters of Jared, by H.B. Moore.

— Forever and Forever by Josi S. Kilpack

So head on over to the New LDS Fiction blog and enter the challenge!

Happy reading and Happy Summer!

I’ve got news!!!!!!


Yes! I have a new book coming out in two months! I’m so excited about Simon and Isabel’s story. I first started it in 2013 while waiting on the edits for The Secret Life of Daydreams. After a long wait and lots and lots of starting over, I finally got it done and I’m totally in love with it.

One Small Chance is a standalone novella of 43,000 words and it’s set in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s a clean and wholesome contemporary LDS romance.

OneSmallChance_CVR (12)_web

Here’s the blurb:

Isabel Antunes is content with her life as director of the English Academy in Lisbon. Then she’s hit by a man on a bike—a man her boss just hired to be her assistant. Despite Simon Ackerley’s repeated assurances to the contrary, Isabel believes he’s after her position, but she won’t hand it over without a fight. As if dealing with him all week is not enough, he shows up at church as well. Her only solace is in writing to the pen pal she knows as “Elliot”.
Simon Ackerley told his father that he was moving to Lisbon for the job. But that isn’t the only reason. Simon is looking for Amélie, the pen pal he’s written for fifteen years. A woman he knows everything about—except her real name and address.
When the biking accident reveals that Simon’s prickly co-worker Isabel is the elusive Amélie, he knows he has to win her trust before he can confess his true identity. If only he could tell her the actual reason why he’s come, he’s sure Isabel would treat him differently. But she’s not ready for the truth.

Stay tuned for a publication date.

In the mean time, come take a look at Simon and Isabel’s Pinterest board:

Audrey Scott is more upset for her jilted cousin than for the best man who supposedly disappeared and caused the cancellation of the wedding. That is, until the cops come around looking for him on suspicion of murder. When that very same best man, Foster McGuire, ends up bleeding in Audrey’s closet, she has no choice but to try and get him off the hook for a crime he didn’t commit.
Too bad there’s too many people, from an irritating homicide detective who’s way too attractive for Audrey’s own good, right to mob bosses, who don’t want to see Foster McGuire tell his story. Audrey is no detective. In fact, she’s a children’s librarian. However, there’s always room for some good old investigation work between story times, and she’s going to use the skills she knows to follow a trail that starts with murder and ends with betrayal, with a whole lot of guns in between.


My review:
For starters, I love that cover.
I was so excited to see that this author has a new book out.
Audrey Scott is a quirky main character. I loved her humor and her seriousness. She’s trying to do what is right but she manages to get the attention of some very unsavory characters, and everything escalates from there.
And Derek? Well, what can I say? Not enough. I’m definitely looking forward to book two and more of Audrey and Derek together (and more kissing!).
If you like mysteries with a dash of romance and quirky characters this book is for you. Do yourself a favor and don’t miss it!


I just came back from the LDS Storymakers 2016 conference in Provo. Once again, I came back realizing I need to change the plan for my current writing project. I have a lot of work ahead of me.

As usual, after the conference, the Whitney Awards Gala took place, and the 2015 winners were announced.

Here’s the list of all the winners for the 2015 Whitney Awards:

Best Novel of the Year—  Josi S. Kilpack for LORD FENTON’S FOLLY
Best Youth Novel of the Year—  Jennifer A. Nielsen for A NIGHT DIVIDED
Best Novel by a New Author— Valynne E. Maetani for INK AND ASHES
Best Middle Grade Fiction— Jennifer A. Nielsen for A NIGHT DIVIDED
Best Speculative Youth Fiction— Brandon Sanderson for FIREFIGHT
Best General Youth Fiction—  Martine Leavitt for CALVIN
Best Speculative Fiction—  Dan Wells for THE DEVIL’S ONLY FRIEND
Best Mystery/Suspense— Traci Hunter Abramson for FAILSAFE
Best Romance Novel—   Josi S. Kilpack for LORD FENTON’S FOLLY
Best Historical— A.L. Sowards for THE RULES IN ROME
Best General Fiction— Tara C. Allred for THE OTHER SIDE OF QUIET
Outstanding Achievement Award for 2015— Traci and Laura Hickman
Lifetime Achievement Award for 2015—  Marsha Ward


I had the chance to read and vote for the finalists in the Historical, Mystery/Suspense, and Romance categories, and these were my favorites:


(If you’re wondering what the Whitneys are, come read this post and then go nominate a book for next year’s awards. My book is eligible this year. If you read it and liked it, go vote for it too!)



T w i t t e r
F a c e b o o k
N e w s l e t t e r