Blog Tours

Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

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When her parents and twin brother die within weeks of each other, Alicia and her younger sister are left in the hands of an uncle who has brought them all to financial and social ruin. Desperate to save her family from debtor’s prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. She meets the dashing Lord Amesbury, and her heart whispers that this is the man she is destined to love, but his tainted past may forever stand in their way. Her choices in potential husbands narrow to either a scarred cripple with the heart of a poet, or a handsome rake with a deadly secret.

Cole Amesbury is tormented by his own ghosts, and believes he is beyond redemption, yet he cannot deny his attraction for the girl whose genuine goodness touches the heart he’d thought long dead. He fears the scars in his soul cut so deeply that he may never be able to offer Alicia a love that is true. When yet another bizarre mishap threatens her life, Alicia suspects the seemingly unrelated accidents that have plagued her loved ones are actually a killer’s attempt to exterminate every member of her family. Despite the threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger to her heart. And Cole must protect Alicia from the killer who has been exterminating her family before she is the next target.

This romantic story of loss and betrayal, forgiveness and redemption, and strangers marrying, will leave you laughing, crying, and swooning. Sprinkled liberally with suspense, mystery, and heart-melting kisses, this is not your ordinary historical tale of an arranged marriage nor of redeeming the rakes. Fans of Victorian and Regency Eras as well as those seeking clean and wholesome romance with plenty of chemistry, not to mention the redemptive power of love, will love this story!

Dance with a duke, outwit pirates, save a kingdom, and fall in love. Believe in happily ever after.

The Rogue Hearts Series:
The Stranger She Married
The Guise of a Gentleman
A Perfect Secret
The Suspect’s Daughter

Praise for Donna Hatch:
“Donna Hatch is one of the masters of clean romance with electric tension and smokin’ hot kisses.” ~ Reading is My Super Power Reviews

“Written with heart and depth, Donna Hatch’s books are absolute must-reads for any fan of swoon-worthy historical romance.”  ~ Sarah M. Eden, USA Today best-selling historical romance author

Join the Cover Reveal for the 5th book in the Rogue Hearts Series

Q&A With the Author :
1.     Why do you choose to write romance? Do you write any other genres?
I write romance for two reasons. The fist reason is because a true romance, unlike other genres, guarantees that the story will end well. So many other genres can have sad or bittersweet endings, and I need a book to end leaving me hopeful. The second reason I write romance is because they usually have good character development. Usually, by the end of the story, the characters have overcome at least one major character flaw that allows them to defeat the villain, solve the crime, or whatever it is depending on the subgenre, and who, by the ending love and accept another special someone, who, in turn, loves and accepts them. A romance should feel wrapped up, and the characters should be better, stronger people by the end. Plus, you know, in love. Really, it’s all about hoping tomorrow will be a better day.

2.     How long does it take you to write a book, typically?
That depends on the book—the subgenre, the length of the story, and how easily it all comes together as well as what’s going on with my personal life. Sometimes my family needs don’t leave time for writing, and also I can’t write if I’m overly stressed or if I have fallen into a depression, which is a chronic battle. Once, I wrote, revised, and edited a novella in less than a month. A couple of novels took me years to complete and be ready for publication. Sometimes I write them straight through; other times, I set them aside to work on other projects. The only thing that really guarantees that I’ll finish a project within a specific time is having a contract deadline. I always meet those even if I think it’s going to kill me.

3.     Since a lot of romance books show both male and female perspectives, share with us the most difficult thing about writing the perspective of the opposite gender?
One of my biggest challenges is making sure I hold true to each character’s voice for the chapters or sections written in their point of view so the chapters don’t all feel like they could be told from anyone’s perspective. I want to make sure the perceptions and descriptions are worded in a way that holds true to that character’s personality.

4.     What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to write to instrumental music such light classical—harp or piano in particular—or New Age. I can’t write to lyrics or a drumbeat, and I don’t like silence.

5.     Tell us a bit about a future project you are working on? Do you have any little sneak peeks you can share?
I’m almost finished with book 5 of my Rogue Hearts Series, Not a Fine Gentleman, and hope to have it released this summer. It’s about Lady Margaret who is accused of murdering her estranged husband.

6.     What is the most romantic date you have ever been on? Or, what is your idea of the perfect Valentine Date?
One of my most memorable dates was when my husband took me to an Italian restaurant that had waiters who went around serenading the diners. Then, after dinner, we took a Venetian-style gondola ride down a canal. The lights along the waterway reflected in the gently rippling waves and a sultry breeze carried the scent of desert flowers. It was lovely and so romantic.  

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Kristin J. Dawson is a non-recovering chocolate and romantic English movie addict who loves to read science fiction and fantasy. You can find her most often indulging her favorite things at 2 am — night owls unite! 

Kristin writes high fantasy with political intrigue, a bit of romance, and of course, magic. When she’s not writing, toting her kids around to sports practices, or cleaning out the chicken coop, she’s probably trying to talk her friends into more shenanigans.

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An oath betrayed. A centuries-long curse. 
A kingdom teetering on the edge of destruction.

In a world of magic, Nicoleta is unremarkable, except for her cursed, stuttering tongue. No special powers, no renowned apprenticeship, just the terrible, stammering aftereffects of the Lilac Plague.

Until she opens the ghostly blue vision from her mother.

Instead of words of endearment, the vision reveals that Nicoleta’s mother was a Guardian entrusted with a magical key — a key so powerful that those who rule will do anything to find it.

The burden of protecting the key now falls to Nicoleta. In a race against the crown, she must find the treasure and the true heir, the only one who can stop the curse from being fulfilled. Impossible? Almost certainly. One false step spells disaster. But Nicoleta is no fool. Where those before her died trying, Nicoleta forges a new path, relying on her wits and some unlikely allies.

Do you dare face the Lilac Plague? This coming of age, young adult fantasy adventure with mysterious magic, evil emperors, and a thread of romance will leave you amazed and clamoring for the next book.”

~ Universal Amazon Link

Would Elek try to kidnap me again?

I ducked into a narrow alley, hoping the horse and rider would pass by. Instead, they sped down the alley after me. The horse stopped and boots slammed onto the cobblestone street. I dug my fingers down into my satchel, clutching the orange-sting. I whirled to face my pursuer.

“Nicoleta.” Marcus stood holding Velos’ reins.

I’d never been happier to see his face.

“Need an escort now?” he asked.

I couldn’t tell if he was trying to be sarcastic or sincere. I didn’t care.

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 


God’s light shines in all of His creations, from the Star of Bethlehem, to the angel proclaiming Christ’s birth, to the Son of God Himself—the light of the world.

Through this light, He illuminates darkness, gives us guidance, and shows us how to love one another.

Experience the rich artwork and inspirational messages of A Christmas Story of Light this holiday season and let God’s light bring you the brightness of hope.
As a mother, genealogist, artist, and faithful follower of Jesus Christ, Ora blends her understanding and unique skills to create faith inspired stories that she hopes will give others an added testimony of God’s goodness.
Q&A With the Author:
What inspired this Christmas/Winter book?
I wanted to write a Christmas story for my grandchildren, to let them know my beliefs and also my hope that they will always be kind to those they meet. I’ve always been fascinated with the scriptures in the Bible that tell about the light of Christ being both physical and spiritual, so I decided to tell the traditional Christmas story of Christ’s birth by explaining it all in the aspect of “light” since Christ is the Light of the World. If this light is truly understood, then we realize we are sharing His light by loving others.
Do you have other Holiday books? If so, what Holiday? If not, what other books do you write?
I don’t have any other holiday’s books, but working on an Easter idea for another children’s picture book. My grandson has asked me to write another, and I asked him what he would like it to be about. He’s thinking.  So, there’s that. His mother feels there aren’t enough children’s books for young boys that aren’t related to action heroes or toys. We are putting our heads together to see what we can come up with.
I also write historical novels about my ancestors’ stories. I’m just finishing the third and hope to get it published in 2020.
What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
Getting a historical novel published. The one I’m about done with needs to go through the process of beta readers, editing, and revisions, but it’s a great book about John Lothropp, a man who lived in 17th Century England at a time when church goers were fined, imprisoned, or tortured if they didn’t attend the Church of England. He fought against the system and was imprisoned. It’s also a love story and his wife is a point of view character in the book. Lothropp came to America soon after the Pilgrims and five US presidents descend from him, plus Princess Diana, and a bunch of other famous people. He’s like a founding father most people have never heard of. Writing the story has been a joy and also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I know it will be worth it in the end!
Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
I’m an artist, but when I write, it’s hard to find the time to paint. I work mostly with oils, and have a goal to learn watercolor for my next children’s book. I’m a genealogist and love all things that have to do with finding out more about my ancestors. I have a blog, Writing About Ancestors. I love to spend time with my grandchildren, but they live in different states than I, so I travel a lot, which is also a love—travel. I went to England in March to research my Lothropp book, and hope to go back soon. The UK and Ireland are my favorite places. Although any city with good art museums and galleries is where I want to be. I’ve traveled to 48 of our 50 states and have Alaska and Maine on my bucket list. I took a 10-day art workshop in Ireland, and it was the best way to see the country because we went to the most picturesque places to paint, even the Aran Islands.
Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
Yes, everything I’ve written, both children’s book and novels are based on true stories. I try my hardest to get every ounce of truth I know about my characters and the times he/she lived, and use that in the story. I wrote a Civil War drama about my third great-grandparents in North Carolina that is almost all real, other than the thoughts and conversations of the characters. It’s been harder to find information about 17th Century England, but everything I know for fact is in the story.
Tell us one Christmas or Winter tradition that you love to do every year, and why it is so special to you.
For about thirty years, my husband, children and I have Christmas caroled at retirement homes every Christmas Eve. It’s harder now that most of the children live in different places, but they come for Christmas often. We have always done it with friends, too, so their voices can be joined with ours. It’s amazing and sad how many of the elderly are left alone at Christmas time.
Merry Christmas everyone! If you want to feel the Light of Christ, try reading my book A Christmas Story of Light. I wrote it for ages 5-8, but many adults have told me they love it too.

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Betsy Love has loved to write from the moment she could hold a pen and has been creating stories ever since she was in elementary school. Her high school creative writing teacher told her that one day she would be published.

When not sitting at her computer pouring her heart and soul into her novels, she loves going to her mountain property for inspiration and to escape the desert heat. She loves spending time with her family. At last count she has 20 grandchildren, has given up on gardening. If she had a horse, she might give up writing.


Joie, an over-confident rookie elf, is on her first assignment. 
Its one week before Christmas, and she must find a mother for eight-year-old Emily. Not an easy task, since Emilys grieving father, Matt, is not ready for marriage. Hes still bitter about the accident that killed his wife and handicapped his daughter. 

When events turn Joie into a human, she loses her magic and must use her ingenuity to heal the broken family. How could falling in love be the answer?
Q&A With the Author:
What inspired this Christmas/Winter book?
I’ve been wanting to write a Christmas story for a long time, but just haven’t had any ideas. Then one day I was thinking about the movie Elf and suddenly a whole story formed in my head. 
Do you have other Holiday books? If so, what are they are for which Holidays? If not, what other books do you write?
I’m working on a paranormal winter story. I’m not sure I’m going to call it a Christmas story because it’s a little more on the dark side than I normally write. I’m also writing a series that will take place around different holidays. The first one (still in the writing phase) is called “Ginger in Grayscale.” The theme is “What if you woke up tomorrow with only what you thanked God for today.” This one takes place around Thanksgiving. My other books (all clean) are spread across a couple of genres. I write mail order brides of the future. The series is called “StarBride Chronicles.” My favorite novel “The Penny Project, my anti-bullying book written from the viewpoint of the bully, is inspired by a true story.

What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
To actually make a living as a writer. To achieve this dream I am working on my marketing skills and to date, I’m terrible at it. But that is about to change!

Tell us about things you enjoy what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing? 
I love to crochet and am always on the lookout for a fun pattern. Yesterday it was a unicorn hoodie/scarf. My granddaughter is all about the unicorns.

Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life? 
Yes and no. But I won’t tell you which loved ones I’ve modeled some of my characters after. I get some of my best ideas by listening to people talk about themselves. My favorite t-shirts reads “I’m a writer. Anything you say or do maybe be written into a story.”

Tell us one Christmas or Winter tradition that you love to do every year, and why it is so special. 
When the kids were little, we loved to open one gift at a time and ooo and ahhh over each item. That allowed the receiver to properly thank the giver. We loved going to the Mesa temple to see the Christmas lights and then having wassail afterward. We would then read the story of The Three Trees and talk about how Christ is the center of Christmas. 
Now that the children are grown and are scattered across the US, instead of sending Christmas gifts, we like to send ourselves. We rotate visiting our children and grandchildren.

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Leah Moyes is from Arizona but experienced many parts of the world thanks to a career in the airlines. Now most of her time, aside from writing, is spent with her family, reading Historical Fiction novels or studying ancient cultures as a student of Archaeology.

She always believed she was born in the wrong time period, but since she doesn’t have access to a time machine she must write and read intriguing stories of the past. 

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Did you know that Berlin Butterfly: Ensnare recently won Honorable Mention for Historical Fiction in the Reader’s Favorite International Book Contest? Check it out!  
Treachery, heartache, and loneliness led Ella Kühn to take her first drink of alcohol ten years ago. When the delusions begin, images from her past threaten to challenge her state of mind. Ironically, the very thing that haunts her, is the thing that has kept her alive—the butterfly tattoo covering the gunshot wound to her right shoulder. It’s physical and emotional reminder not only symbolizes her courage, but also signifies Stefan’s absence . . . which now spans twelve years.
It’s 1983 in the Deutsch Democratic Republic. Trust remains a fragile ally as the Communist Bloc begins to crumble. Ella’s involvement in the rising opposition and underground punk movement, puts her more at risk than any escape plan ever could. She is followed, watched and hunted . . .  but by whom? An old enemy? The Secret Police? Or her new employer? 
In Release, the third and final installment of the Berlin Butterfly Series, Ella battles her inner demons as she struggles to survive the ever-growing darkness in the East. Will she regain her former strength and find a way to flee to the thinning borders of Czechoslovakia and join Anton and Josef? Or will ties to her precarious past keep her bound—her only release found in the freedom of pain and guilt while embracing life without her family in East Berlin?
And now for the Cover
Make sure you pre-order your own copy today!!!

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Can they survive the refiner’s fire?
It is 85 B.C. in the Ancient Americas, and against all odds, Amulek and Tabitha’s arranged marriage has turned into one based on love. Their little family is thriving and life seems to be better than they could have ever hoped for.
Despite her blessed and luxurious lifestyle, Tabitha feels as if something is missing. A part of her yearns for something she cannot see, something to fill the hole inside of her heart. However, no matter where she turns, she cannot find the cure, until she  becomes intrigued by a man preaching of God in the town square.
Amulek’s status as a respected and wealthy man in the city of Ammonihah seems to grow by the day. His farm is flourishing and his family is healthy and happy. Everything he ever wanted is in his hands. But when the Lord he has ignored for years, tells Amulek he is not only to house a chosen prophet of God, but travel with him to preach repentance to the people, Amulek’s idyllic life is thrown into turmoil.
No matter his previous status among his peers, Amulek’s change of heart brings his entire family into danger. Before they are ready, their new found faith is thrown directly into the refiner’s fire. It seems as if they will lose everything if they stand firm in their
beliefs and follow the plan God has for them. Is what they will gain worth the cost?
“The Faith of a Wife” is a Christian Historical Fiction Romance. Each book is a stand alone story and can be read in any order.
L.A. Pattillo is the mother of 5 busy children and wife to 1 fantastic husband by day and avid reader and writer by night. She loves her father in heaven and is active in her church. She graduated from BYU with a degree in Creative Writing and now resides with her family in the Pacific Northwest.

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Top Ten List

Random Facts about Myself:

  1. I grew up on a farm.
  2. Before I turned to English, I studied Opera in college and still sing professionally part time.
  3. I have an unhealthy obsession with good kissing scenes in books.
  4. I prefer the beach over the mountains. (As long as it is warm!!!)
  5. I want to travel the world someday.
  6. I have identical twin daughters.
  7. I am 5+ inches taller than every other female in my family, only an inch shorter than my dad.
  8. I run with a friend several mornings a week, but I’m pretty darn slow.
  9. I drove my first tractor when I was 7.
  10. I can’t stand watching romances on TV, because I get embarrassed for the characters when they do something stupid, but reading about them is just fine.


Excerpt 2

          Zeezrom shook his head sorrowfully. “The people are blind. They do not see the consequences of what they do. Those who lead have kept them in ignorance.” His gaze drifted toward the continued shouting. “And now the city officials look to keep their power by using the people to do their evil works. But we have no time, we must go now!”

            “Where can we go? What will we do?”

            “We must run or your family will surely perish. Grab your children and follow me. I will take you out of the city.” When Tabitha hesitated, Zeezrom stepped forward. “There is no time! I could not save your husband, but I will do my best to save you and the children. Come now or surely die.”

            With a jerky nod, Tabitha turned and darted into the house. The rising sound of the mob shouting sped her actions. “Aminadi, Jeshua, Lydia! Come now! Kezia! We must leave!”

            Kezia bustled out of the kitchen with the children in tow. All the children were wrapped in warm robes and carried a blanket. In her arms, Kezia had a basket of food and Tabitha’s coat. “Here, put this on quickly, Daughter.”

            Tabitha’s eyebrows shot up.

            “I heard you speaking to Zeezrom. I have had the servants prepare the children and the food. Quick. You must go.”

            “Thank you, Mother.” Tabitha threw on her coat and grabbed the basket, then headed for the door. She turned momentarily and froze. Kezia continued to stand in the door of the kitchen with tears streaming down her face. “Mother? Come. Where is your coat?”

            Kezia shook her head. “I cannot, Daughter. Go. I will hold off the soldiers and wait for Giddonah.”

            Tabitha’s heart fell to her stomach. “No. No, you cannot stay! They will take you as well!” She hurried over to her mother-in-law. “Come with us. We will find Giddonah when things have settled down.”

            Kezia shook her head, even as the children began to cry.

            “Come!” Zeezrom whispered loudly from the door. “They are nearly at your step, we must go now!” His movements were jerky and frantic and Tabitha knew he was as afraid as she was.

            She turned toward Kezia one more time. “Please, Mother. Come.”

            Kezia cupped Tabitha’s cheek. “Go, Daughter. Know I love you and you have brought my son and I so much joy. We will meet again. Now, GO!”

            Biting her lip to hold back her own tears, Tabitha nodded, grabbed Lydia’s hand and ran toward Zeezrom. “Keep up my sons. And stay quiet. Your very lives depend on it,” Tabitha whispered to her children.

            Jeshua and Aminadi nodded.

           “Lydia, you as well. I need you to be a quiet girl tonight.”

            Lydia sniffled and rubbed her nose on her sleeve, but also nodded.


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When Jasmine Fuentes finds herself thousands of miles from home, forced to hike around in the wilderness of California with a bunch of juvenile delinquents, she’s convinced she doesn’t belong. 

Forage for food, build shelter, make fire—Jasmine sets out to learn what she needs to do to ace the program so she can go home and salvage her summer vacation. But the more she tries to prove she doesn’t need wilderness therapy, the more desperate her situation becomes. Confronted with life and death, she comes face to face with her past and her imperfections. Will Jasmine ask for help before it’s too late? 

Adrienne Quintana is
the author of Eruption as well as several children’s books. When she isn’t
writing, Adrienne enjoys running, hiking, and matchmaking (Are you single? She
probably knows someone perfect for you.) 
She lives in Arizona with her husband
and four children, who give her love, support, and plenty of good material for

I found High Sierra intriguing. Jasmine’s mother sends her to camp in Yosemite National Park during her summer break. The group hike and learn wilderness skills. At first, Jasmine feels that she doesn’t belong there with a group of troubled teens. After all, she is a straight A student, but gradually her own struggles rise to the surface. I liked that it showed what Jasmine thought and felt as she worked through wilderness challenges, and ultimately had to face her own insecurities. The author did a great job of showing what it’s like to be a teenager. Jasmine’s feelings, thoughts and inner turmoil made me stop and ponder my own challenges. It reminded me what my teen years were like. I highly recommend this book to young men and women who are looking for new perspectives on seemingly impossible problems. Although any age group can benefit too.


When we stopped in front of the Curry Village Pizza Patio, I didn’t want to get off with everyone else. How much community service would I be sentenced to if I hijacked the bus?

“C’mon, guys,” Pizza Face called, “real food.”

It was no use. I had to go. The court had already given me my freebee. A hijacking would definitely go on my permanent record. But standing up wasn’t as easy as you’d think. My legs were shaky, and my pack felt like it was full of boulders.

Because it was, actually.

The chain gang had almost reached a set of stairs on the side of the building when I was just barely stepping off the bus. A sign pointed customers of the Pizza Patio up the stairs. I didn’t think I could eat due to my depressing life, but the smell of fresh bread and Italian seasoning changed my mind.

“The restrooms are down here,” Backwoods Barbie said, looking directly at me. “Why don’t we go wash up? Whoever gets done first can order. What do you guys like? A combo?”

“No mushrooms,” Emphysema said.

“Or olives,” Michaela added.

“Or green peppers,” said Quiet Wolf.

“So just pepperoni?” Abercrombie laughed. “Sounds good. I’ll get us a table.”

We followed Backwoods Barbie inside, dropping our packs next to hers in a narrow hallway outside the restroom. I guess she wasn’t worried someone would steal them. I shrugged. If somebody was stupid enough to want them, they deserved what they got.

I barely recognized myself in the tiny bathroom mirror. My face was pretty clean, but dirt covered my bare neck and the front of my shirt. I felt strangely sentimental about the existence of paper towels, as I did the best I could to clean myself off. And running water. How could I have taken it for granted? It was so beautiful.

Michaela and Emphysema went to join the boys upstairs before I was finished, but Backwoods Barbie stayed behind with me.

“Can you believe you’ve hiked over fourteen miles in the last three days?” she asked. “Doesn’t it feel amazing?”

I glared at her out of the corner of my eyes. Was she saying that because she thought I’d never done anything physically hard before? Okay, maybe I hadn’t hiked like this, but it wasn’t like I’d just been sitting at home on the couch.

“How are you feeling?” she asked when I didn’t respond to her first stab at conversation. “You’ve been so quiet all afternoon.”

“I don’t have anything to say,” I told her. The paper towel I’d been using to scrub fell apart, so I took another from the dispenser.

“You’ve had a tough day,” she said, “but I’m impressed. You never complain, and you really pushed through, even after you fell.”

I stopped scrubbing at the dirt on my arm.

Glad you brought that up. Just in case I’d forgotten. I blew out a breath and started scrubbing again. Couldn’t she just go away and leave me alone?

“You’re the only one who decided to carry your rocks all the way down, you know.” she continued.

So we were going to talk about the rocks. Now I understood. She wanted to know why I hadn’t given them away.

“Firewalker said we could give them to him whenever we wanted…” I shut the sink off. “I didn’t want to.”

“Fair enough,” she said, smoothing her ponytail. “I just wonder why anyone would want to carry around extra weight when it’s so easy to give it up.”

Why couldn’t she just leave me alone? I knew what she was thinking. She was thinking I was too self-righteous to admit I had problems. Wadding up the paper towel, I threw it in the trash with a vengeance.

“Carrying extra weight is what I do.” I charged past her, through the door. “Skinny people rarely understand.” Slamming my hands against the door, I stormed out. But the door didn’t swing closed behind me as I’d expected.

“Jasmine,” Backwoods Barbie called, following me into the hallway, “wait.”

Ignoring her, I pushed open the glass door.

“You’re forgetting something,” she said.

 Forgetting what? Was she going to pass on some annoying Miwok wisdom? Or maybe she wanted to apologize for being skinny. I didn’t really care.

This day just needs to be over. I continued on up the stairs without looking back.

Customers stood in line under the green and white striped awning, waiting to order at the window. Others sat at hexagon shaped picnic tables with green umbrellas. My group took up two tables in a corner near a tall tree. Its branches pushed over the railing, encroaching on the umbrella’s space.

“Where’s Monica?” Pizza Face asked, before I even sat down.

I shrugged and sat at the other table, next to Noah.

“Look at that,” Quiet Wolf said, nodding toward a family that was just pulling apart a large Hawaiian. My mouth began to water as soon as I saw the stringy cheese. The sight and smell of it temporarily erased my disgruntled attitude toward life while the primeval desire to eat real food consumed me.

“How long until ours will be ready?” I asked.

“They said fifteen minutes, but that was about ten minutes ago,” Pizza Face answered.

I expected someone to acknowledge Backwoods Barbie when she came up the stairs. She should have been right behind me. What was taking her so long?

I was starting to get nervous about what she might be doing. Did it have something to do with me? My question was answered all too soon.

“Monica?” Michaela stood up and looked from the stairs to me and back again. Everyone else stood too, except Noah. We both turned around to look at the same time.

Backwoods Barbie trudged up the stairs sandwiched between two packs—hers slung over her shoulders and mine in front with her arms wrapped around it like a jumbo paper grocery bag. Abercrombie rushed over to meet her, taking my pack. Everyone else turned their stink eyes on me. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.


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In the Midst of Winter shares ways to cope for those suffering from misunderstood chronic illnesses, and a glimpse into our daily lives for those who wish to understand. It also testifies of the Savior’s ability to reach into each heart and bring hope and renewal.

At age fourteen, Danice Hope started having troubles functioning during the winter months. Each year, the fatigue and depression grew worse. During the summers, her health would improve, and she learned to fit as much joy into life as possible before winter returned. After six years, she was finally diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder. Over time, she realized that there was also beauty in winter. She found a poster with flowers growing out of the snow that said, “In the midst of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”
In the mid 1990’s, Danice moved south to Arizona with the hope of improving her health enough to have a better life. While the SAD improved, she found herself developing new health problems. The biggest surprise was that she could be sitting slumped over in a wheelchair in the emergency room, barely able to speak or move, and doctor after doctor told her that she wasn’t ill, or that it was “just anxiety”. After going to twenty-four different doctors in the next year, she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Stunned at the loss of her hopes and dreams, she gradually learned to see in new ways, to balance her health, to reshape her dreams, and to look to Christ. She learned that flowers can grow not only in the snow, but also in the desert sun.
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Danice Hope has been married to the same loving, supportive husband for 26 years. They live in the deserts of the American Southwest, where the winters are mild. Their two lovable cats keep them busy.
Danice loved to roam the mountains of Utah in her younger years, and to see the variety of wildflowers each spring. She has enjoyed writing since she was old enough to write. She takes solace in reading the scriptures and other good books. She is grateful for God’s care and guidance through the distresses of life.

Top Ten List

10 of my favorite books


  1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Charlie’s Monument by Blaine M. Yorgason
  3. Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales
  4. The Black Unicorn by Terry Brooks
  5. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis


  1. The scriptures
  2. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
  3. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
  4. Lighten Up by Chieko Okazaki
  5. Willpower Is Not Enough by A. Dean Byrd and Mark D. Chamberlain

Excerpt #2

Poem from the introduction to my book

What Matters

By Danice Hope

“Why did I get this illness?” I asked.

When Esther long ago was faced with a choice:

Should she endanger her own life

to ask the king to save her people?

Said Mordecai to her, “and who knoweth

whether thou art come to the kingdom

for such a time as this?”

“But it’s not fair,

it’s not what I planned for my life,” I moaned.

Said Lao-tse, a wise Chinese man,

“The world was not a setter of traps

but a teacher of valuable lessons.”

“But what can I learn from this?

I can’t even clean my home.

It’s a struggle to get up each day,” I cried.

“Bloom where you’re planted,”

said the wise woman.

“But I feel so alone,

No one understands me,” I said.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace give I unto you …

Let not your heart be troubled,

neither let it be afraid,” said Jesus.

“If you will walk with me,

I will try to learn,” I humbly said.

“I see that what matters

is what you do with what you’ve got.”


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