Thursday, April 21, 2011

TAKEN BY STORM, by Angela Morrison

Leesie is a seventeen-year-old Mormon girl who lives in a small farming community in Washington State. She’s known as the Ice Queen by her classmates because of her moral values—meaning she won’t have sex with the popular boy in school—the one who pinches her butt and tries to grope her whenever he can. The boys in school have made a game of it, and Lessie is anxious for high school to end so she no longer has to deal with him. She dreams of being admitted into BYU and moving far away.

Michael is an only child who, after his parents died in a tragic scuba-diving accident, is filled with guilt so thick he can barely breathe. He ends up in the same little farming community and is living with his grandmother. All Michael wants is to feel again, to go scuba-diving and discover the accident was a horrible nightmare, to be normal, and have his life back. He goes through the motions of life while under the influence of anti-depressants, but when his prescription runs out, he has to learn to cope on his own.

It’s on a high school field trip that he finally meets Leesie—the girl that stares at him in class. She’s not as aggressive as the girls he’s used to. Michael surprises himself by talking to her and being anxious for their next visit.

While Leesie is trying to befriend Michael, she breaks almost all of her rules. Those rules—the no dating outside of her faith, no French kissing, no making out—the rules that earned her the Ice Queen status. Michael has different values than Leesie, meaning that sex before marriage is not a big deal, he’s done it dozens of times. This rule is barely hanging by a thread, and we (the reader) wonder if Leesie will do this one last thing to prove to Michael that she loves him.

Death, grieving, friendship, respect—Morrison deals with a lot of heavy subjects in this novel, but she does it with finesse. Will Michel learn to respect Leesie and her values, or will she sacrifice everything she’s worked and longed for? This is the underlying question that is sustained throughout the novel.

TAKEN BY STORM is like no other book that I’ve read. For one, it’s written in first person, present tense. We get to know Leesie through her poetry as well as through her chatspot correspondence to a friend. The story also evolves through Michael’s dive-log entries.

TAKEN BY STORM is a good novel to read if you’re a dating teen or a twenty-something in a life-consuming relationship. It isn’t preachy by any means, but it clearly shows that mutual respect is important in a relationship, and though we love someone it doesn’t mean they’ll make us happy. Circumstances change, people change, and if we truly love someone, we’ll help them accomplish their dreams.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


It’s been forever since I posted a recipe. And, now that the weather is getting nice and warm, I figured it’s time for some creative sandwiches. Imagine that. I have the perfect recipe to share.

The “It tastes too good to be canned tuna” tuna sandwich.

That’s right. I fooled my husband. He thought it was a chicken salad sandwich. I didn’t do it on purpose. I was just desperate for a tuna sandwich that didn’t give me that miserable tuna-salad-sandwich-heartburn. I found this recipe online, either on or It sounded delicious, and it is. Okay, enough hype, here’s the recipe:

Fruity Tuna Sandwich
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp curry powder
½ C. lemon yogurt
12 oz solid white tuna—drained
1 ½ C seedless red grapes, cut in half
1 celery stalk, diced
¼ C. chopped dates
2 TBSP red onion, minced
2 TBSP slivered almonds, toasted

Toast the almonds first, then while they’re cooling, cut the grapes in half, dice the celery, mince the onions, and I always chop the chopped dates into slightly smaller pieces. Add it all into a bowl and stir.

If you want a something healthier than a sandwich—use 6 large lettuce leaves and make Fruity Tuna Lettuce Wraps instead.

My family all loved this and had no idea it was tuna. When I made it for my three-year-old granddaughter, I cut the grapes into fourths just to be sure she didn’t choke on them.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Anna del C. Dye, author of Curse of the Elfs

Anna, you have a new book out. Can you share the back cover introduction with us?

When an Immortal race ceases to be immortal, woe to the land. Ancient legend tells of elfs crossing paths with a dying wizard named Zoltan. The Old Sorcerer’s unrepentant deeds had caused the wizarding school to chastise him severely. On his deathbed Zoltan asked the elfs for help. Losing patience in his delirium, he cursed them. Now, the immortal elfin race is slowly, but surely dying.
Their only hope lies in a servant of kings who must learn to love the elfs before he will attempt to save them. But no one, elf or mankind, has ever heard of this man. Can the healer be found before their race is gone forever?

It sounds interesting, what was your inspiration?
It is inspired by the last movie of Tolkien’s, Lord of the Rings. I wanted to know more about the character’s lives and couldn’t find enough. My husband said, “Why don’t you write your own.” I answered, “Yah right!” But his answer haunted me and in three days I had the draft of The Elf and the Princess in my mind. When I told him the story he came back with a laptop and told me to write it. The rest is history.

Anna has led an interesting life. She was born in Valparaiso, Chile. After meeting Rodney, a native of Idaho, in her hometown, Anna traveled to Utah on Christmas Eve and married him two weeks later. Their love story, Why Him? was published by Covenant in the book entitled Tender Mercies. Anna and Rodney reside in Taylorsville, Utah and are the parents of three princes and a princess.

Anna is an accomplished, multi-award winning author. One of her short stories entitled, Amerine—Fairy Princess, won an award in the Oquirrh Writers contest. The first book in her new YA Romance Series entitled, A Kingdom By The Sea, also won an award. Anna’s works also include The Silent Warrior Trilogy, the beginning saga of her YA Elf Series.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never give up!!! Join a writer's chapter close to you right now, and learn the craft from them.

Do you have a particular goal you aim to achieve with your writing?
To take people to a wonderful world where they can forget reality’s cold hand and safely enjoy fantasy. Life is tough and we need something to help us make it more fun and worth living. Fantasy is the way I choose to do it.

I understand that you have some really great battle scenes. How did you learn to describe them so well?
We found a medieval sword fighting class at the local high school and my husband and I took it. My husband liked it so much he has taken it for a few years now and has even earned two different belts with the clan.

Anna has three other books out.
The Silent Warrior Trilogy
Book 1 - The Elf and the Princess
Book 2 - Trouble in the Elf City
Book 3 - Elfs in a conquered Realm

To purchase a copy of Anna’s books, go to:

Anna, thanks for the interview.
Thank you for this opportunity to visit with you and your friends.