September 3rd, 2015

I don’t know when my September article in “Meridian Magazine” will be released. But here is a heads up to the theme.

Do my best

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September 3rd, 2015

My August “Meridian Magazine” article didn’t come out until the first of September. Here is the link. I hope you enjoy it. With the holidays not far off, some of these ideas may be of benefit to you. Go to my Facebook page and let me know.


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July 30th, 2015

Again I cannot understand why they continue to use a really old author photo for the article, but at least the article made it to press! Here is the link for my July “Meridian Magazine” article titled Communication Bonds Generations. Enjoy!

Oh, and they didn’t use the darling photo I gave them to use for the cover photo. So I am going to share it here.

Kallee, Madison, Teagan, Jakob, Payton, Anisha, Xavier, and Ashlee #2, 8-1-2014

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July 14th, 2015

Meridian Magazine

In my last newsletter I mentioned the opportunity that has come my way to write again for “Meridian Magazine.” Thank you, thank you to those who contributed to my June article, regarding grandfathers.

My May article was regrettably bumped so I posted the entire article on my website.

Years ago, I wrote two columns for “Meridian”—one on grandparenting and one on recovering from betrayal. They were popular columns, and I heard from readers around the world. Feel free to comment on the “Meridian” website on my new articles as they become published, or you are welcome to email me. Unfortunately I cannot be sure “Meridian” will publish each month’s article (like what happened in May). If an article is bumped, I will publish it on my website.

The June article had a cute gift box you could print and share with grandchildren. I also posted the gift box on my website.

Meridian Magazine online logo

BYU Women’s Conference

Have you been to the BYU Women’s Conference in Provo, Utah? I never tire of being invited there to sign my books. When you enter the bookstore, it is true sensory overload—so many colors, wonderful books and artwork, and thousands of beautiful women! Always a thrill to participate there.


Here I am with Holly Wood, another featured author at the bookstore.

Amazing Offer

Many of you took advantage of my offer to get copies of We Are Strong! by the case. Well, Grandparents’ Day is coming up on September 13th. So I thought I’d give you another amazing offer at below-author pricing.

I Am Strong! I Am Smart! was a 2014 USA Best Book Finalist in the children’s religious category. Extremely well endorsed, I offer to you copies at $5.00 each when purchased by the case. Your children and grandchildren will love this book. Mothers, grandmothers, all seem to enjoy this book—a fantastic gift for Grandparents’ Day or any day.

Club promotions poster i am strong

You can go to the “Books” menu on this website to read many endorsements and comments regarding I Am Strong! I Am Smart!

Publishing Conference

June 19–20 I participated in the IndieAuthorHub Publishing Conference. It was a very hectic couple of days (well, actually, weeks in preparation). Those who attended received instruction from some of the best in the publishing field.

I enjoyed working with a couple of my favorite authors—Rachel Ann Nunes and Connie Sokol.


Me with Rachel Ann Nunes.


Me with Connie Sokol.

Book Reviews

I’m grateful to everyone who has taken the time to post reviews for my books on Amazon or Goodreads, especially if they have chosen to be honest and lift me up in the process.

Three months ago, in my newsletter, I reviewed a book by Sarah M. Eden—Longing for Home, Book 1. The title for Book 2 is Longing for Home Hope Springs. I really enjoyed Book 1 of this series, but this one (Book 2), oh my goodness, it was wonderful! Ms. Eden taught sooooooooooo many valuable lessons in those two books. She did a marvelous job of making me want to be just like the main character, Katie. I learned from Katie, greatly. The story, the characters, the shared love, the music, everything was just absolutely beautiful!


Here is my interview with Sarah M. Eden.


I see your writing is primarily in the romance genre. Have you written in any other genre?

Romance is my thing. It’s what I most enjoy reading and what I find myself constantly pulled to as a writer. On a few occasions I have attempted to write in other genres but those attempts always either puttered out or ended up being romances. In the end, I have simply come to embrace that I am a romance writer at heart.

Tell me about Katie Macauley, your main character in Longing for Home. How did you come to “find” her?

The first inklings of these books and Katie Macauley began forming in my mind a little over twelve years ago as I was reading up on my own Irish ancestors. In reading about the history of the Irish people, I was drawn to the idea of writing a story that realistically portrayed their experiences both in Ireland and as immigrants. The more I read about Irish women, in particular, the more strongly I felt about crafting a heroine who really exemplified these amazing women, one who was strong and determined, as well as stubborn and flawed and vulnerable. Katie grew out of the accounts I read of Irish women at this time (as well as others) and, of course, is a product of the story itself.

What kind of research do you do in writing your novels to make them realistic and come to life?

I do a ton of research. It’s an ongoing, never-ending part of writing historical fiction. Because all of my other novels take place in a different country during a different era, writing these two books required a lot of new research. I read stacks of historical accounts from this era, newspaper articles published at that time, letters, journal entries, government records, oral histories, and on and on and on.

Outside of researching the historical context for a book, writing itself requires a lot of its own kind of research. Studying characterization, plot arcs, description, setting, etc., is also an ongoing effort. No matter how many books an author has written, she always has room to improve and things to learn. For me, studying history and studying writing are equally crucial, and I spend a lot of time doing both.

What has been the most rewarding thing for you in your writing career?

The most rewarding thing for me, hands down, is the people I’ve met through my writing. So many of my closest friends are people I would never have met otherwise—fellow authors, bloggers, reviewers, readers, etc. This career has allowed me to interact with some truly incredible people, and that has enriched my life in ways I would never have imagined.

I am new to your writing. Your two-book series Longing for Home was compelling! What would you recommend (of your work) I should read next?

The rest of my currently published novels take place in the Regency era of English history (approximately the first two decades of the 19th Century), so it’s a different language style, characters with different kinds of struggles, etc., but with the same overcoming-the-odds type of happy ending that Longing for Home had. While all of my titles except for the two Longing for Home books can, technically, be read in any order, there is a chronological order to most of them and some readers prefer reading them that way. I have a graphic on my website under “Bookshelf” that gives the chronological order of books. But, a good place to start is with either Seeking Persephone, a retelling of the Greek myth of Hades & Persephone, featuring one of the most endearingly grumpy heroes you are likely to ever encounter, or The Kiss of a Stranger, a case of mistaken identity that spirals very quickly and hilariously out of control. These two books each introduce a family, whose members then go on to have their own stories, so they are a good place to get your feet wet before diving in to the rest of the books.

In case you missed it on my website, here is the link to my review of Crooked House by Marlene Bateman. If you follow her mystery series, you will enjoy this newest work.

A Cover for A Crooked House

The following book is quite different than the ones I usually review for you. But there is value in its pages so I am including it here—Survive the Unthinkable, A Total Guide to Women’s Self-Protection by Tim Larkin.

Survive the Unthinkable

In my online review, I wanted to give this book only two stars, and I’d like to explain why. It is a short book. There are only 140 pages, but at least the first 70 pages were one repeat after another, just different words and phrase choices. Perhaps the author thought that necessary—to make his point over and over—but for me, I was ready to stop reading and wondered when he would get to the “tools” he said were in the book.

Now to clarify, if I were rating what I felt I ultimately learned from the book, I’d give it four stars, because I think he did teach some good self-protection concepts, just way, way, way late in the book, and way, way, too little. That is where the repeats with different wording should have been placed. So I averaged my final rating out to three stars!

However, as the weeks have gone by, I must admit as I have interacted with people, watched television shows or movies, and observed the materials taught in this book have come to my mind many, many times. So perhaps Larkin’s repeats were necessary to teach these valuable lessons.

Thank You

Thank you to those who support and share my writing. My success has only come about because of you.


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June 10th, 2015

This Sunday is National Children’s Day. Consider getting a book for the child in your life. I Am Strong! I Am Smart! was a USA 2014 finalist for best children’s religious literature.

Book summary:

Luisa May, known to her family and friends as Lu, loves to play games with her grandma. When she’s bullied at school, Grandma has a special puzzle for Lu to help her see how valuable she is—no matter what others say, or how much doubt she feels within herself. Soon after, Grandma has to go to the hospital, and Lu finds out Grandma needs help recovering. Then it’s Lu’s turn to help Grandma see how valuable she is—no matter how much doubt she feels within herself. It’s a beautiful parallel for young and old alike, as each age learns from the other.
Written and illustrated with loving hands, this delightful children’s story offers a heartfelt message that unites and bonds generations. From the award-winning pen of Fay A. Klingler, I Am Strong! I Am Smart! provides to women of all ages a reminder of the tremendous gift of “girl power.”

I Am Strong! I Am Smart!

I Am Strong! I Am Smart!


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June 3rd, 2015

Grandparents, here’s an idea for you. Choose a grandchild who needs a little lift. Print this “Kindness Box” on cardstock (use “Kindness box 8″ link below for 8 1/2 X 11 PDF) . Cut and glue it together. Put a special note of praise and appreciation inside and secure the lid. Give it to your grandchild and see how he or she lights up. You will have just made a positive difference in a child’s life. Amazing how such a small thing will be remembered far into adulthood!

Kindness box 8.5 X 11

Kindness box 8

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May 22nd, 2015

This is absolutely my favorite time of year–spring into summer. One friend told me the only thing I left out of my poster is “FAMILY.” And she was right. Family is the one of the most important elements of happiness!

Springtime to Summer

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May 7th, 2015

Linda Badurek drawing for Meridian

Perhaps you have wished for yourself, as the saying goes, the wisdom of a ninety-year-old, the body of a twenty-year-old, and the energy of a three-year-old. While I cannot offer you the young and energetic body, I can provide some grandparenting wisdom from four delightful ninety-plus-year-olds and their suggestions for the best Mother’s Day gifts.

Let me first introduce these dynamic women. I’ll start with the youngest—ninety-year-old Joan Ingleby from Sandy, Utah.

Joan Ingleby for Meridian

Next in line by age is Florence Moody. Florence is ninety-one and also lives in Sandy, Utah.

Florence Moody for Meridian

Then comes June Alldredge, who lives in Mesa, Arizona, and turns ninety-four on her birthday this June.

June Alldredge for Meridian

Then the most experienced of them all, Deane Lawlor, age ninety-six, living in Lehi, Utah.

Deane Lawlor for Meridian

Value What Is Most Important

Ladies, your gifts of grandparenting are polished by practice. What advice can you offer regarding what is most important in grandmotherhood?

Joan, what do you feel is the most important thing you can do as a grandmother?

I think the biggest and most important job is establishing a healthy relationship with your grandchildren. The more support you can give them and the more love you can show them helps them to understand what’s important in their lives and what negative things can do. I hope I’m one of their best friends. I think that relationship makes such a difference.

Florence said it was most important to let her grandchildren see what she holds sacred and dear to her heart—the gospel and service.

I took them with me to Crosslands Care Center and let them push the elderly ladies in their wheelchairs down to the Relief Society room. I encouraged them to talk to the ladies—introduce themselves and show that they care. I also took them to the Jordan River Temple to do baptisms for the dead. My husband always had a barbeque treat for them. They thought it was great to be with Grandma and Grandpa.

The most important thing is that they know you truly love them and they can always come and feel welcome.

June agrees, but added, “I feel grandmothers should teach what is right by their example.”

Deane felt it was most important to see her grandchildren as much as possible.

Make Contact

So we are in full agreement that the most important thing a grandmother can do is to make the effort to establish and maintain a good relationship with her grandchildren. It’s something, however, we cannot force on them. One grandchild might be thrilled to hear from his or her grandmother. Another might find it a nuisance. And those feelings might change depending on their experiences and maturity. Certainly distance adds to the challenge. What do you do when your grandchildren are not close by and you cannot drive to see them?

“I call them on the phone or write to them,” said Deane. “Pray for them. Grandmothers should contact them any way they can.”

What about the use of technology? In your ninety+ years, I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of change in the way people communicate. Some prefer one form while others like another. What is your feeling about technology?

“All this new technology makes me wonder,” said June. “I try to work on the computer and use a cell phone. Other things I leave to other people who know how.”

Enthusiastically, Deane said. “Oh, I love all this technology. I’ve tried to use it as it has been developed. I email and Skype, but I don’t text.”

“Not me,” said Florence. “I am illiterate about the computer and I have no desire to learn. I think the best way to communicate is one on one.”

Florence, you have a really large family. You don’t have all your children here to communicate with one on one, so what do you do?

“I have a phone, and I have long distance. At the beginning of every year, I write each birthday and each anniversary on my calendar, and I call them all. When you have 110 kids in the family, you have a lot of phone calls. If they are not there, I leave a message for them so they know Grandma called.”

So one-on-one visits trump technology. But making contact with grandchildren in some form is a vital part of grandmotherhood. That contact, whether it is a phone call, a mailed note, a text, or a Skype hello tells them they are thought of, cared about, and loved.

Love Unconditionally

Let me ask you, then, what do you do when your grandchildren make choices that take them away from the gospel and Christ’s teachings? How do you set boundaries between unconditional love and standards you want to maintain?

“Try not to criticize,” said June. “Support them in their good actions. Listen to them and be interested in what they are doing. Include them, if possible, in what you are doing. Try to look on the bright side of things and not let society get you down. I try to live as I was taught, to always try to do what is right. Example is a great tool!”

“I agree,” said Florence. “Just love them. I try not to be judgmental. I figure they get enough of that from all around them. Everybody’s telling them what to do. I have family members who are far away from the Church, and I love them the same as everybody else. I just love my family unconditionally and pray they will come back.”

“I think the only way you can get through to them is to try to show love and respect and tell them they should take a little time to think before they act!” said Joan.

I have just one more question. Then I’d like you to tell us what you think grandmothers want for Mother’s Day—the best Mother’s Day gifts.

If you feel comfortable doing so, will you share with us a personal experience of when the Lord helped you get through a particularly hard time in your life?

Work through Life’s Challenges

Joan responded.

I was given away at birth. I was unaware of being a give-away child until I was almost twelve years old. Things happen to you that really jolt your life and change the way you feel. Every person has their own personality and how they look at it which depends on what your outcome is going to be.

When I went to get my recommend to be baptized for the dead, the daughter of the presiding bishopric came up to me at a ward show and said, “You know no one wanted you and you were given away, and no one wants you around now.” So that was a challenge I had to face when I was young and decide which direction I was going.

I had a step-father who told me every day of my life that I would never amount to anything. That’s not an easy thing to live with. Even at this old age of ninety, I still have those feelings. You know it all depends on how you choose to react to different situations.

Well, I adopted the attitude of “I’ll show you!” At school I made sure I was very studious. I did things the way they were supposed to be. I got straight A’s, and that was the way I proved to myself I could do things if I applied myself. And I carried that attitude through life. In school, the principal’s daughter said to me, “I’m not coming back next year. I’m going to the university.” I asked her how she was going to do it. She told me her father said if a person had good enough grades, he or she could get a one-year scholarship to the university. Well that’s what I applied for too. That’s how I got my education.

You never completely get over the feeling that you were once not wanted. It affects almost everything in your life. You have to recognize things that are a challenge, and you have to put something positive alongside the negative. You have to remember you are a daughter of God, and if there is no one on earth who loves you, you have a Heavenly Father who loves you. That’s the most important thing in the whole scheme of things.

Every day young people have so many more difficulties thrown in front of them than what we have experienced. People’s standards are different. So when they perform or give a talk in church, we need to support them by saying, “I really enjoyed your talk.” Then they know someone is behind them.

Some children don’t know how it feels to have someone say, “I am so proud of you,” or “You did such a good job.” That is one way we can help our children and grandchildren get through their hard times.

Florence shared her feelings.

Losing my husband was the hardest. It has been ten years since he died. No matter how many people you have around you, it’s not the same as having your husband. But now there’s something on top of that.

My patriarchal blessing said I would have health and strength of body and mind, and I have. So why at ninety do I have to have cancer? When I was so very ill, I sobbed and begged for the Lord to take me home. I know it was my fear and my loneliness and my great desire to be with my husband. I couldn’t understand why Heavenly Father wouldn’t let me die. I was angry. And I guess that’s part of being sick, that you don’t think straight. My youngest daughter sat by my bed and stayed with me for about five nights, and took me back and forth to the hospital. I wouldn’t have made it without her. She is a cancer survivor, too. So she understood, and she was right there. I guess she was so understanding because she’s been there and gone through that. But I’m fine now. I’m even working in my yard from time to time. I’ve learned it is all part of Heavenly Father’s plan, even when this testing is so hard. I know now none of us have a say of when we are going to go. I’m going to have to put my trust in the Lord and wait until He is ready.

Deane said the hardest thing she has gone through was marrying the wrong person when she was young. “When the ceremony was over, I knew I made a mistake, immediately. He was good looking, a good dresser. Fun to be with. But I didn’t catch a few important clues. I got a quick divorce. I got through that hard time by leaning on Heavenly Father to make that decision and by talking a lot with my bishop, my hometeacher, my family.” With a laugh she added, “Talking with everybody I could!”

Ever since June’s husband fell and broke his hip last year, he has been living in a care center. He has severe dementia and very little eyesight or hearing. She continues to live in their apartment.

The hardest time in my life is now, when I have been married for almost 74 years, and now we are separated. I have tended to his needs and wants for many years, but as we grow older, we are now apart.

When he fell, my daughters came to my rescue and were with me. I really appreciated that. Then, when my daughters returned to their homes out of state, the granddaughters took me to see Miles whenever I wanted. Now, as the year has passed, and he is still there, I do not ask to go quite so often. It is hard not to go, for I have taken care of him for many years, knowing what to feed him, what he wears, how he sleeps, and just knowing how he is. Yes, I ask Heavenly Father, many times for help. I need His help daily, all the time, to get through this time. What can I say? I just take one day at a time, hoping all is right with him, and with me.

Prayer is the best thing we have. We all need His guidance. We need to listen, and hope we are on the right path.

Thank you, each of you, for sharing your feelings. You have shown enduring courage to not only stand strong in your hard times, but to press forward. Heaven’s medicine is not always sweet. But no matter how difficult or impossible the challenges may appear (and we all have them), there is always a clear way out, and it always begins with turning to Heavenly Father. Peace comes as we rely on Him to give us the emotional and spiritual strength to get us through the hard times and to encourage our faith to follow the promptings of the Spirit.

I find it comforting to know He will be there for us no matter how old we are. No matter how many children or grandchildren we have, or have not. As we lean on Him and take action through His guidance, we become stronger and more capable to assist Him in His work of building and uniting families.

Give the Best Mother’s Day Gifts

Last of all, what do you feel is the best Mother’s Day gift for grandmothers?

“All mothers love notes from their children,” said June.

Expensive gifts are not needed at this time of life. We usually have the things that we need, or go buy the things we want. For me, a small candy bar would do just fine. I love phone calls.

Since I cannot drive, a short trip to the grocery store is an extra special treat.

When the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren come to visit, that is always a good time that makes me happy. When they just drop in to say hello, it feels great. Some have brought in a dish of food (since I eat alone, it is always welcome), bringing in their babies. That always makes me smile.

Florence agrees. She said, “I always tell my family I need no gifts, just their love! And my kids are so good to tell me continually how much they love me, or send me a special, little note. That is all I need. One of the notes I got I read and just sat and cried and cried. It was so special to me. I put it out where I could read it every day for a while.”

I so appreciate them gathering at my home. They know they are welcome and loved. One of my grandsons contacted all of my grandchildren (and that was no small task). Every single one of them wrote a note and my grandson published them with pictures in a book and gave it to me. I will always be grateful for that.

“See them in person,” suggested Deane. “Skype with them. I think that is very important. My daughter made a photo book for me. It has pictures of all of my family in it. I can go through it whenever I want to. I love it!”

Joan said, “The best gifts are hugs, kisses, and photos! I have this letter from my grandson. It is one of my treasures.”

May I share just a couple paragraphs from your grandson’s letter, Joan?


My dearest Grandma Joan, what a fantastic blessing you are in my life. The thought of you and your impressive life, your adventures and accomplishments, and most impressive, the love you have for your grandchildren and great-grandchildren is overwhelming!

. . . I have many more fond memories of you from my childhood, teen years, and adult life. You have been there when I needed you. You always made time for me. You always asked about my life, you always showed me you cared. There were times that you came out of the blue with answers to prayers . . . blessings Heavenly Father granted that came through your kindness. Thank you for being worthy and willing to listen to the Spirit, to be a tool in the hands of the Father.

. . . I know that Heavenly Father thought to himself before he sent you here, “I am going to bless the Ingleby/Nelson family with a Grandmother who can emulate the love of Christ” . . . and He did just that.

The message of this article is really not about Joan, Florence, June, or Deane. The take-home message is about us! It’s about our application today of the lessons our own mothers and grandmothers left or are leaving for us. Messages of strength, of persevering. Of our willingness to obey even in the hard and lonely times. Of showing gratitude and giving back. The message is about us seizing the opportunities to love and be loved. To live more fully each hour, and to glean the wisdom offered by those defenders of the family.

Today is the time to let them know we care.

Ayden with Mom at the grocery store, for Meridian

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May 5th, 2015

Crooked House Blog Tour Banner no dates

I’ve written before about this author’s work—Marlene Bateman. My favorite book she has written is a non-fiction piece titled Gaze into Heaven. That book helped me a great deal during my father’s recent death.

Here is Marlene’s new fiction work—Crooked House. It is a true mystery. True meaning it keeps you guessing all the way through the book. So you know what it is about, this is the copy on the back cover.

Someone is trying to kill Liz Johnson and it’s up to quirky private investigator, Erica Coleman, to find out who. Erica is no stranger to murder and mystery, which is why her best friend’s daughter, Megan, turns to her when unaccountable and potentially fatal “accidents” threaten her roommate’s life.

Once Erica arrives at the ramshackle old mansion known as Crooked House, matters go from disturbing to deadly as it becomes clear someone is trying to kill Liz. As Erica begins to unearth secrets, she discovers a twisted web of love, money, greed, and deception. Although the police and friends sometimes find Erica’s OCD annoying, its those very traits that help her sift through evidence and see clues that others miss. Erica must draw upon all her investigative prowess to keep Liz safe and unmask the killer before he can accomplish his deadly objective.

With a dash of romance and surprising twists, this thrilling mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. As with all Erica Coleman mysteries, ten delicious recipes are included.

I interviewed Marlene for this post. Here is what she said about Cooked House and her writing.

Does a reader need to read the first two Erica Coleman books to fully enjoy Crooked House?

Not at all. Each book is a stand-alone. Although Erica Coleman is the private investigator in each book, each one has a new mystery for her to solve. Think of “Jessica Fletcher,” or “Elementary,” or “The Mentalist.” Each week, they have a new mystery to figure out.

You have written books in a broad range of genres. Do you find one more difficult to write than another? Do you find one more fulfilling than another?

I started out writing non-fiction. I wanted to write fiction, but didn’t think I could do it. I finally realized that non-fiction writers are just as talented as fiction writers. Duh. So I started writing a novel. I worked on the manuscript for three years, then sent Light on Fire Island, to a publisher, who accepted it. I was so excited when it turned out to be a bestseller. Yay!

For me, writing non-fiction is easier than writing novels. All of my non-fiction have been collections of inspiring stories and experiences from early LDS Church history. Three have been about angelic experiences—And There Were Angels Among Them, Visits Beyond the Veil, and By the Ministering of Angels—where people have actually seen or heard an angel. Two books—Heroes of Faith and LDS Heroes and Heroines—were collections of stories about Saints who were super-valiant in the Church and stood up for their beliefs despite the very real peril to their own lives. One was about Brigham Young and the men who helped him bring the Saints across the plains and colonize the Great Basin—Brigham’s Boys. My latest non-fiction book was Gaze into Heaven: Near-death Experiences in Early Church History.

Researching takes a lot of time and you have to be super-meticulous, but I love that part. Since I’ve done a number of non-fiction books, I’ve settled into a routine of writing. It’s harder with fiction. You have to be really creative in order to come up with an interesting plot, figure out scenes and characters, etc. Fortunately, once I get the plotting (months of work) down, and the first draft written (more months), it becomes easier and is a matter of making sure all the clues are in place and the timeline is correct. Then comes the polishing, to make the book as good as can be. I derive a great sense of satisfaction when my efforts result in an entertaining and intriguing mystery. So far, I’ve had four mysteries published. Light on Fire Island is more of a suspenseful romance, while Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House are murder mysteries.

Tell us about Erica Coleman, your main character in Crooked House. How did you come to “find” her?

Erica is loosely based on Jennifer Hart, of the very old, but very good television series “Hart to Hart.” I wanted someone witty, charming, kind, and very smart. Then I added a dose of OCD to make her interesting and quirky.

What kind of research do you do in writing your mystery novels to make them realistic and come to life?

I take great pride in going to each and every setting I write about. I take tons of pictures and notes so everything is accurate, including street names, directions on how to get to places, etc. Everything is accurate. For A Death in the Family, my husband and I drove to Oregon, rented a car, and drove all over Florence and Lake Oswego. When I describe the Sea Lion Caves and how the gift shop and caves are laid out, it’s all accurate, as are the descriptions of the beach, Heceta Head lighthouse, the historic Siuslaw Bridge, Charl’s Restaurant, etc.

With Crooked House, we flew into Philadelphia and drove to Dover, Delaware. I researched all about NASCAR racing, looked at the track, and took lots of pictures and notes. Historic Dover is amazing, with its unique houses. So, everything is accurate.


Marlene Bateman was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan. Her hobbies include gardening, camping, reading, and enjoying her four cats and three dogs.

A Cover for A Crooked House

Here is an excerpt from Crooked House.

“I’m scared.”
Erica’s heart turned over when she heard the quaver in her young friend’s voice on the phone.
Then Megan asked, “Can you come?”
“Of course.” Erica’s reply was automatic. She would do anything she could to help. Although she often received emotionally-laden phone calls in her job as a private investigator, there was a difference when the call came from the teen-aged daughter of her best friend. The very fact that Megan—who was usually so calm and composed—sounded frightened out of her wits, put Erica on high alert.
“I think someone’s trying to kill my roommate, Liz,” Megan said.
“What makes you think that?” Erica asked. “Has someone threatened her?”
“No, but Liz has had a couple of serious accidents lately—at least she says they’re accidents, but either one of them could have killed her.”
Erica made an effort to reel in her skepticism. “Tell me about them.”
“First, someone tampered with her car. The brakes went out and Liz ended up driving across someone’s yard and hitting a tree. Fortunately, she was okay. The second one happened downtown. Liz was on the sidewalk waiting for the bus when someone shoved her. She fell into the road. A truck was coming and if a guy hadn’t pulled her back, Liz could have been killed.”
Still, they could have been accidents, Erica thought, at least until the third one occurred—this time at Crooked House.

Crooked House is available at physical bookstores, including Deseret Book and Seagull Book. Below are three links where Crooked House can be purchased online.


Deseret Book:

Seagull Book:


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April 28th, 2015

Meridian Magazine Column (Please Help)

In my last newsletter I mentioned Carolyn Allen interviewed me for a feature article for “Meridian Magazine”— Following that article, the opportunity came for me to write a monthly column for the magazine. Years ago, I wrote two columns for “Meridian”—one on grandparenting and one on recovering from betrayal. They were popular columns, and I heard from readers around the world.

This new column will once again be focused on grandparenting. And the first one comes out the beginning of May. It is a marvelous piece covering the advice from four women who are 90 years old or older. I had a delightful time interviewing these four women, and the answers they gave me on grandparenting and the best gifts for Mother’s Day were absolutely priceless. What they said made a difference in my own outlook and actions. Because the first column article has not yet been released, I cannot give you a link today. Stay tuned to “Meridian” to meet these amazing women—

My article in June is entitled “A Tribute to Grandfathers,” and I need your help. I’m looking for a story or two (or quote or two). (Depending on what is sent to me, I may or may not be able to use it all.) What has your grandfather done (example or said) that has impacted you and made a difference in your life and why? I’d like to know the story. This could also be what your father has done that has impacted you and your children (his grandchildren). Or it could be a favorite quote from your father or grandfather that has impacted you and your children. Please email me if you can help

Meridian Magazine online logo

BYU Women’s Conference

I have been invited to a booksigning at BYU Women’s Conference. I have been there many times over the years, and each time is a thrill! If you are attending the conference (or if you know someone who is, please forward my information), please come into the bookstore on Friday, May 1, and say hello. My timeslot is 12:00 to 2:00. I hope to see you there.

BYU Women's Conference

Amazing Offer Extended

Thank you to those who took advantage of my offer to get copies of We Are Strong by the case at below-author pricing. Some neighborhoods as well as some family members went together to get the cases. That made it possible for many to receive book copies.

I am passionate about the messages in this book. I feel they are so important I extended my offer through Mother’s Day. Please consider giving these books for gifts or using them for Relief Society book clubs or women’s retreats. There are 24 books in a case, $4.00 per book. You will have to cover the shipping costs or pick them up at my home. Please forward this offer to any and all you think might be interested.


At this link you can read the amazing endorsements this book received even prior to printing.

Publishing Conference

June 19–20 I am participating in the IndieAuthorHub Publishing Conference. If you are at all interested in pursuing writing and publishing, this conference will be incredibly valuable. The keynote speaker is international bestseller Michaelbrent Collings. Here is the link to an interview with him.

And here is the registration information. I’d love to see you there.


Book Reviews

I’m grateful to everyone who has taken the time to post reviews for my books. Especially if they have chosen to be honest and lift me up in the process.

Here is a book I HIGHLY recommend—The Lincoln Hypothesis. It is a powerful, non-fiction work. Very well written and edited, this book by Timothy Ballard taught me much and gave me an incredible appreciation for Abraham Lincoln.

The Lincoln Hypothesis

I’ve been to the Lincoln home in Springfield, Illinois, and felt the wonderful spirit surrounding his grave. The Lincoln Hypothesis was extremely engaging and increased my patriotism, love of America’s founding fathers, and understanding of the scriptures.

Abraham Lincoln home in Springfield, Illinois

My sister and my cousin introduced me to the work of writer Sarah M. Eden. I am enthralled! I got this book—Longing for Home—on tape to listen to while on a trip to Arizona. Let me tell you, the narrator is one of the best I have ever heard. How on earth she can switch from one voice to the next without hesitation is beyond me. Excellent narration. Excellent, captivating story. Five stars for Sarah Eden’s Longing for Home.

Sarah Eden's Longing for Home

Thank You

Thank you to those who support and share my writing. My success has only come about because of you.



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