Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Contest-y Goodness

I Need SNOW! I can't believe I said that, but I'm feelin' it. Remember this picture? It's from last MAY! BRING BACK WINTER!!!

I'm sick of being busy, and I thought I would do something fun... Like post a picture of tulips and... give away BOOKS, why not?

I'm dangerously close to finishing my revisions of two new books and a way to get it off my mind is to share what I have with you.

Starting Jan. 1st my book THE VIVATERA will be available for FREE download with AMAZON PRIME. This is in preparation for my SPRING release of THE CONJECTRIX - 2nd in the Everstar series.

Also, on my Goodreads blog I just posted a contest

Follow the link and follow it's easy to win. I have a bunch of books I'm just staring at all day and I'm ready to part with them.

Good Luck!!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NaNoWriMo... Na -NO -Wri - NOT!

Now with November is about over I think I can report on my progress with this year's NaNoWriMo writing adventure.

C o m p l e t e B u s t . . . . . . .

I completely failed. My idea went nowhere and I was completely distracted by life.

I recently completed my second novel in the Everstar Series and I was excitedly rewriting and going through it. I forgot how Fun these characters are... and not how much I hate them some times for being in my head so much. That made my mind drift away from Writing Month.

I also had many more opportunities to talk to young people about writing - that also was way more fun than staring at a WORD screen hoping for inspiration.

And one more thing - Vampire-ish is much closer to being finished. It is now in book form and I have it running through a critique group and am very excited to get that out for everyone. It is stinkin' funny!

... so I guess I can't call myself a failure. That fact is, I didn't try. Last year I tried and that is how I got my Vampire story out. This year it was a different story, but I will leave that for a different time. I still believe in it, but just not this November.

To all you other Wrimos... Hats Off to you! I hope you did well, because I ....ummm.... didn't...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Breaking Dawn Crap-tacular

  • Barf is a funny word you know? But during all the lovey junk in the beginning... yes, I could've BARFED!!
  • And what was Stephenie Meyer doing at the Wedding? I thought that was TA-a-a-CKY!!! And they like, focused on her. I guess Joe Shmoe wouldn't know, but that is not who is seeing this film. Remind me NEVER to make a Cameo in my Book - Films. Ugh...
  • I couldn't stop laughing at the wolf talking bit. I was relieved the theater was so loud.
  • But there were parts that I thought were lovely, like when Edward had to chew his way through Bella's stomach. Now that's love.
  • I also thought Seth Clearwater was the best part of the whole show. Boo Boo, you rock!
  • I tried to count how many times Jacob ripped off his shirt. I lost count. It was, in fact, the opening scene.
  • I however, thought the Imprinting was lovely, which I thought was so so creepy in the book.
  • ...and the Anticoagulant in the blood was not safe for anyone who is pregnant. No wonder she was a demon baby. I have a whole schpeel about that. Having worked in a Blood Bank for ten years ruins Vampire fiction a little.

This is Friday night with my friends, RayRay, Sare bear, Cyndi-loo, and Preggers.
These are the Isle Esme shirts with the Wrong Black Box on them. And of course I have the green shirt so we look like Christmas.

I had two different groups I promised to go with so I thought I would share both. I had a blast! I just can't take these movies too seriously. It was fun. I can't call me a mega fan, since I couldn't stand the last book, so going in with no expectations has something to be said about it. Will do it again with my TWI-HARDS friends next year I am sure.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Murray High School ROCKS!!

This last Wednesday was so Super fun! I got to hang out at Murray High School and represent with other writers on a panel for their career day. I just wanted to send a loud S H O U T O U T!!!!! To Murray High Students and how absolutely AWESOME they are. I had a blast talking to them about the creative process. I hope to get the chance to come back and do some creative writing exercises.

Karl Beckstrand, Patricia Potts, and Me

It was fun to inspire so many. Each session was full. I gave away 12 books and talked with many young writers about their ideas and I hope that the guidance I could give was helpful. There is such a surge of creativity coming from these teenagers. I can't wait to see what becomes of them. I also placed a book in their Library if anyone is interested.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bones, Muscle, and Skin

NaNoWriMo... Here I go!!!

It's now November and I am participating in National Novel Writing Month again. This will be my third year doing it. The goal, as always, is to reach 50,000 words. And it is not about having a perfect product, it's about getting the story out of you.

If I could give advice, which I don't ever like to do, since if one thing works for one person does not guarantee it will work the same for another, but people who want to write many times get stuck on the little details and rewrite... and rewrite... Truth is you could rewrite forever and never feel satisfied. Many published books are publish simply because the author finished them.

As I see it, there are three stages in writing - Bones, Muscle, and Skin.

The Bones of a story comes out to a completed manuscript, but is never perfect. Bones are only the framework of what can be accomplished. If you are worried and missing details, I wouldn't. If they are in your head at one moment, they return, I promise.

The Muscle is the second rewrite - gives your work strength and a strong bond to characters, situations, and gives you better clarity and understanding of, not only the reality of the story, but also background, or what's to come.

And Finally the Skin. The skin of course it the beautiful package. It is where the story begins to live on its own. The Characters could make decisions and stand on their on without you; the world turns, the plants grow - you believe it and then others will believe it too.

You are giving birth in a sense, to this child and soon it will walk away from you. So don't stop writing, give your ideas a chance to live. NaNoWriMo is a great opportunity for that. Give that idea you have been kicking around some bones and see what happens.

Wish me luck!

If any of you are thinking about doing it, search for me - cani-jo and see how we do.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Death, Babies, and other Distractions...

My new favorite things at the moment...

The last few weeks have been interesting. Here I am trying to finish my book... I mean literally moments from finishing and I have hardly had time to do so. Here are a few of my tiny distractions.

  • Grandma Leah passing away. You might think, well, she was old. But even though it was been nearly a week I really am still shocked that she is not here. She was the neatest lady and I always thought she would out live us all, but it came swift and sudden and now she is with her husband and twins again. God bless her...
  • Travel.... travel... back and forth... 90 miles this way and that... my g-ma had a stroke and we went to see her before she passed, and then came home, when she passed, there was another weekend spent 90 miles away in Logan. And with so much family around it was so fun, but completely distracting.
  • Babies!!! My sister-in-law is having a baby girl. Have two stinky boys finally pink. She never asks for anything, but having a girl is a big deal and she deserves some pink, so me and my book club threw her a SURPRISE shower disguised as Book Club. I planned it before G-ma died and had to leave right after for Logan, but it went Awesome and I'm so excited.
  • Halloween!!! AHH!!! Is it really tomorrow? I've had only 3 costumes to do - Candace Flynn (that's me), Mia is Junie B. Jones (and a dead ringer), and Jules is a girl Frankenstein (ala Monster Highish). Though the costumes are not hard, it took a lot of trips to Savers to get the right look.
  • MY Blasted Cold. I felt it coming earlier this week, but I had to sing at the funeral on Friday and willed it away, but come Saturday I succumbed and right now life stinks.
  • Work is crazy busy. Enough said. When I am rich and indeed FAMOUS, it would be nice to not have a grown-up job, but I do... :(
  • ...and Vampire hunting - sometimes a girl needs some Count Chocula, you know? Any of the monster cereals are fantastic, but I have a ceremonial box of Count Chocula waiting for me when I finish. I can't wait for it.
But now that I have updated you all on my stinkin' life, I will go back to writing and finish this darn thing... thanks for letting me vent.... phew....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mallow-creme Pumpkins ...nummm...

Daddy: What are you eating?
Mia: A Mallow-creme pumpkin.
Daddy: Where did you find that?
Mia: Under the stove.
Daddy: Gross.. and you ate that?
Mia: It wasn't that far under the stove.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


No Chapter should ever take a month to write, but I finally finished 45. I can't say that will be the chapter that you read, since I plan on rearranging all the chapters, but when you get to it when reading the CONJECTRIX, I think you will all understand what I mean. It was all stuff I was building to but was sort of... avoiding.

...And Man!! It was SO hard to write. YIKES!! But now I am smooth sailing... I think. It's all down hill from now.

You may ask what exciting things I am doing instead of writing...


But I promise, I will get out of this slump soon. I hope.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Today it is SUNDAY... And I have decided to repent...

I have been very relaxed on my blogging duty. This all comes down to me finishing my second novel in the Everstar series. So I know many of you will forgive me for that.

Other things that have slipped by the wayside...
  • I have absolutely no spoons or bowls that are clean - this is do to the huge amount of cereal that everyone has been consuming while I am NOT cooking.
  • I have no clean towels for the same reason.
  • It has now been a full month since my back lawn has been mowed. (This is not my fault entirely... I do have a husband)
  • and I'm sure my Bookclub think I am a flake, but really I want to read, but if I muddle up my world with someone's fantastic words it might look like plagiarism.

But things that helped finish my novel...

  • I got the cutest new bedspread that I constantly straighten so I can write in peace.
  • Nestle Magical Marshmallow Hot Cocoa - the marshmallows are colored... FUN!!
  • That I, at the moment, have no trainees at my full time job, I say at the moment, because we have 3 positions open, so it is just a matter of time.
  • York Peppermint patties and Mint 3 Musketeers... nummm
  • and the fantastic LUW Writers conference that helped fuel my desire to finish and confirmed to me that YES I am doing the right thing and I need to finish so I can get to the exciting world of rewrites.
And of course.. ALL OF YOU and all your support. My book is taking off. I have had 2 more people ask to review it and I couldn't be more excited.

I am only chapters away from completing, but endings and climaxes can be tricky, so wish me luck. My newest goal is 3 weeks. That is how much time I have before I get trainees and I need to be done before then I think.

I have the goal of April 1st for release as of right now. (No Joke!)

Here I go...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Going Mainstream

The hip thing to do for books - YOU GOT TO GET A TRAILER!! With my book signing coming up, I got this together and here you go...


New trailer created for the Vivatera.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Memoir to The Boy Who Lived

...To Harry.....

I want you to go back in your memory... Christmas 1999... my husband and I were living in Logan Utah finishing up his Master's Degree. That year my Sister-In-Law Kris had my name for Christmas and got me this dinky Paperback book called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

I thought that was so nice of her, but I really didn't look interested in it. It looked like a Juvenile book, like Junie B. Jones or Tale of the Fourth Grade Nothing. But she liked it so much and thought I would really like it, so I thought I would read it.

I was hooked by the first chapter - The Boy Who Lived. I was so intrigued. Now everyone in the entire world knows that Harry Potter is a wizard, but I had no idea at the time -1999 remember - what I was reading about - IT WAS GREAT!! It was surprising and I was so surprised but the whole thing. I was HOOKED and I read what I could, which at the time was only three books.

Ever since I have followed THE BOY WHO LIVED throughout the book releases and the Movie releases, parties... Midnight showings... and the time of my life - Harry Potter World in Islands of Adventure Universal in Orlando, Florida.

AND NOW.... what do I do?

First, I wanted to say THANK YOU to J.K. Rowling for creating such an intricately woven story that it inspired not only me, but so many others that have turned the YA Juvenile fiction genre into something for everyone.

Next, I wanted to say THANK YOU to Warner Bros. for doing the best series of movies I can imagine. I understand the world of script writing and movie making and I know they did the best they could. Books best of course... but Movies were downright FANTASTIC!

And Last, I wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you that have shared all my crazy Harry Potterness with me. I've done a lot of silly stuff with my love and have brought many of you into the Fan Fare... and it has been the best fun I have ever had.

I thought I might share some pictures of my craziness.

Thank you for Everything Harry! We'll miss you!!

Summoning the Dark Lord

Dark Marks

Half of our Group at the Midnight Show - Our Shirts Say
"The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed Is Death"

Party Group at My Everything HP Party

Me and my Hubby at Hogwarts - Harry Potter World Nov. 2010

Becky, my best friend and I drinking REAL Butterbeer at HP World.
Our shirts say "Got Horcruxes?" with horcruxes as letters.
Creepy picture at Half Blood Prince Midnight Show.
I am showing off my missing pinky, like Wormtail.
I really do have a pinky - I just don't know what happened here.

Midnight party group for Half-blood Prince. Our shirt say
"Love Potions - Located at Weasley Wizard Weases 92 Diagon Ally London UK"
and on the back it has Wonder Witch Products Logo.

First in line for Deathly Hallows Book Release at the Gateway Barnes and Noble

Hermione, Luna, and Marietta the Sneak

Midnight Group for Order of the Phoenix. Our shirts say
"Weasley is our King"

Me, My SIL Kris, who first introduced the books to me, and my sis Becka. Our shirts read
"I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good"

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Everstar Blog: a place to geek out with Naomi and Reynolds

I have been asked if there is a place where you can review what is happening with my Everstar series...

And I am happy to announce that I have started a blog all about it!

I think this will be fun. I can't wait to talk about the series and how it is progressing. It is filled with fan art, silliness, and updates, reviews, contact and events... all involved with the series.

This is also encouragement for me to finish what I have started. I knew once I set my book out in the real world that it would be read by real people, and from that day forth I would be making a commitment - to finish the story I started and to give people what they want.

So please visit and become a fan. I hope you like it and am excited as I am!!


Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Mia: Mommy? Does Heavenly Father know everything? Even very, very, hard division?

Mom: Yes, he knows everything. He created it.

Mia: He created Division? Why would he do that?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dead People aren't Magicians

May has been a strange month - I've had a few funerals that I attended. Both I will post a link if you are curious about people that have had an effect on my life -


Grandpa "Hap"~

...but enough about that, I wanted to tell you some funny things that come from kids trying to understand death.

Jules- my 4 yr old tough as nail princess - who we call Miss Bossy Pants, attended the viewing of Grandpa "Hap", my husband's grandfather.

I was delicate, because I wasn't sure she would handle it. When I took her to my own grandma's funeral, she was barely three and kept trying to wake her up.

Here are some conversations:

Dad: Does it look like he is sleeping.

Jules: (Matter of fact) No. It looks like he's dead.

She was very curious about the casket and said.

Jules: Are the pillows so he can sleep better?

Only half of the casket was open and she couldn't see his feet, this was a big concern to her.

Jules: Mom? His he a magician?

Me: A magician?

Jules: Yes, he looks like they cut him in half.

Me: (snicker) No honey, his legs are there.

Jules: Are they in the drawer?

Me: What drawer?

Jules moves to the handle on the front and tries to move it.

Me: Sweetie, that's not a drawer. That's so people can lift him up and carry him to the car.

Jules: But when it tips over we can see his legs. Then will he stand up?

Me: Honey, it's not going to tip over.

Jules: It might tip over if the drawer comes out.

At this point I gave up and just agreed with her.

The next day when we went to the family viewing before the funeral my husband took her back over there to see his body.

Dad: What do you think?

Jules: Nope, he's still dead.

Mia - my 7 yr old wanted nothing to do with it. She just said "Funerals are Boring," and complained the entire time. I happened to mention that my grandpa died when I was 7. I said, "Think about if he were your own Grandpa and if he died."

....Wrong thing to say. She burst into tears, but was good the rest of the time.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bloggies and Sweeties!

In this world of Blogging I have to say that anything is possible.

I was recently approached by a blogger on Goodreads if she could review my book. I was ecstatic! It is always a little nerve racking knowing someone is going to look at your work and judge you. YIKES! No one wants to be judged, but to do it on purpose just seems stupid.

I've been nervous about people reading my stuff, but that is what an author does. I think that anything that an author writes that is not polished is frankly embarrassing for others to see, since everyone expects the quality to be impeccable. But authors are human and sometimes my "they"s are "the"s and so on. I feel more comfortable knowing this is, at the very least, edited.

She just received my novel and posted it on your blog.

She will be posting a review within the next few months.

I will also soon be interviewed on a blog featuring local artists. This is run by a great friend Mike Frye, who is a columnist, photographer, blogger, and one of my biggest cheerleaders. He is helping me understand more of the world of Social Media and how to get my name out. Thank you Mike!

In celebration of these exciting moments I have discounted my ebooks to $4.99 from $8.99.

I'm tickled with these opportunities and grateful that this person as wanting to give my little novel a chance. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mia Moments

Just some memorable things that have happened lately:

Mia tends to talk in her sleep. The other night she sat up and yelled -

Mia: Daddy?

Daddy from the family room: Yes?

Mia: Did Peter Piper really pick a giant pack of pickled peppers?

Daddy laughing: Uh... Yes. Now go to bed.

Mia: Okay.


I was about to leave my mother's house when Mia stopped and said...

Mia: Mom? How do you get gum out of your belly button?

Me: What? How did you get gum there?

Mia: I put it there.

Me: But why?

Mia: Because I didn't see a garbage.

Me: But you know where Grandma's garbage is. You could have come and thrown it away there.

Mia: I know and I wanted to, but I forgot about it and then it got really sticky so I tried to get it out by myself, but then it got smeared on my belly and on my shirt, so then I tried to hide it from you because I didn't want to get in trouble. But now... I need help.

(just a little hint, gum doesn't come out of belly buttons.)


Mia kept talking to us when she should have been going to sleep.

Me: Mia. I don't want to hear anything else from you. You eed to close your mouth and go to sleep.

Mia: Mommy? Just one more question.

Me: sigh... What?

Mia: Did you get the end of the story I told you?

Me: (Look confused) What story?

Mia: (Grumble) You mean you don't remember? Well let me tell you. There once lived three bears. One was born in a candy store and all he could say was Goody goody gumdrops...

(On she went for five minutes telling a silly joke that know she has never told me before.... WORLDS BIGGEST STALL)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My first "FIRST PLACE"

I won!! I actually got a place in something. For a while now I have received some high Honorable Mentions on my stories, but this one was First Place in the Children's/Teen category at the Oquirrh Chapter in the League of Utah Writers. I was actually shocked.

Here is an idea of the night.

I have been sick for the past few days and I didn't want to go at all. My husband was out of town and my awesome family were gathered to watch the BYU game, which sounded more fun than attending this meeting. But a few weeks before I had receive an email from the committee chair stating I had won and to be in attendance that night. So I braved the night and went.

I was one of the last, if no the last to come in, so I had to sit near the back. They talked about a bunch of things before and we introduced ourselves and what we write. Then they moved to the awards.

The chairperson - a woman name Natty Dye - who is so adorable I would love to be her new best friend - introduced herself and mentioned about the emails and was grateful for the turnout, but she did mention that the email stated - YOU MAY HAVE WON - not that you HAVE won. At that thought I got nervous...

There were a few different categories and the first one was First Chapter contest. That was the one I entered, so I listened for my name... third place, nope - second place, nope - first place, ....nope... She didn't read my name.

So here I am - sick as a dog, feeling like an idiot for coming and realizing I had not won, and felt tricked.

But I didn't have the courage to leave, so I sat there listening to the winners read or tell about their stories and how awesome and more wonderful they are than mine.

When she got to the last category - CHILDREN'S - she read through third and second place and I honestly was trying to be interested, but I was more interested in the clock and how soon I could go home and go to bed.

Then she read "First Place... Prodigal - Candace Thomas".

What??? I stood a little shocked. I wasn't prepared at all. What I had submitted was my first chapter of my sequel novel to the Young Adult Fiction the Vivatera called the Conjectrix, but I wanted to spare the committee the explanation of the title, so I called it Prodigal after the Chapter name.

I hadn't prepared to read it either. I had lost my voice and then had to think on the fly of what I could tell them about it without horrendous detail. I think I did okay, but I got nervous and my words rambled around. I felt like an idiot, and all these people thought I was a rambling idiot too.

But it's too bad. The chapter is very good and I may post it here later when I have more time.

Thought I would share... Yeah me!!

P.S. I checked at home in my emails and mine did say You Won, so I feel better about that.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Update from last post -

Just to update you on one of the contests -

I did get notified that I won something for my LUW chapter contest. It will be on the 24th of March and I guess they want me there.

I'm excited to see the super certificate. Last contest the certificate was just printed on white paper with no graphics of any kind. Let's hope they step it up a little this time.

I'm just crossing my fingers that I get that $5 back. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

The HONOR of being JUDGED

Contests... more contests.... always contests....

I love the idea of contests, but when it is your writing that is being judged, it's tricky. It is both a blessing and a curse. In certain contests it the honor of being judged that is the reward - like last year when I entered a writing contest and had to pay $15 per entry just to find out that the first place winner gets a certificate and $10. If you look at it right, I'd be ten dollars in the whole, just to win. But that is how literary contests work. "Here, let me judge you for a fee and I will tell you your the winner, and you can blog it and everyone will think you are fantastic!" Doesn't that sound like a great idea? Hmmm.... I am going to have to think about that .... (devious plotting...)

Here's the contest I am most excited about and it didn't cost me a thing:

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Writing Contest.

A friend of mine, who loves my novel, told me about this in January and I looked into it. I submitted my novel around the beginning of February.

A little bit about the contest - in my own words -
  • A whole ton of people enter, very few win. They take 5,000 entries in Young Adult and Adult and narrow it to 1,000 per genre. And they based this not on your novel, but on your plot and PITCH in less than 500 words.
  • 500? Wow! So many? No problem, right? Wrong! I struggled with this more than my wedding vows. My story is so complex that I eventually had to tell the story inside out - start from the back and work frontwards. Do you think JK Rowling had to do the same thing? If everyone knew that Harry dies at the end would anyone read it? - Sorry if you didn't know, but the book has been out for a while. :)
  • I got the news on Feb. 23rd that I made it to the next round. From this round they pick 250 novels total based on your previous stuff plus your first chapter.
  • Then they narrow it down further by throwing darts at your manuscript and then they run it through a series of tests - like how absorbent it is and which one makes the best stabilizer for a wobbly chair.
Other Contest entered:
  • I also entered my local League of Utah Writing Chapter's Annual Writing Contest. For this contest I submitted my newest chapter for my new novel - The Conjectrix.
  • I entered some stupid poetry I wrote to the American Fork Council's Write In Depth Literary Collection. Yeah... we'll see if THAT goes anywhere. think I have to buy the bok to see if I won.
  • I am also working on some writing for the LUW Round-up that will be in Logan this September. Doesn't that seem far away, but submission deadline is in June. And really, the more you write the better you write, and right now, I really feel like I need it.
Wish me luck! .....or not....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Declassified

I have always hated Valentine's day. I don't like the logic behind it. It seems like another holiday to make you feel bad that you are not as appreciated as you think you are. But it is irrelevant - you are appreciated everyday. Why would one day change that?

I told Kevin when we got married, that all I wanted was a homemade card. Boy, if you think he got it easy... you would be right. That to me is much better than flowers or candy. Kevin is not the lovey type - neither am I, which is perfect, but he tends to get a little creative and I never know what to expect.

Last year I posted his V-day card. The awesome Doomsday Squad igniting the atmosphere - yes, that was the one.

This year is pretty good. Let me start with my card...

Kevin and I have really gotten into the British show TOP GEAR on BBC America. If you don't know it - SHAMELESS PLUG... YOU MUST WATCH THIS SHOW!! IT IS THE FUNNIEST SHOW I HAVE EVER SEEN. Okay, so if you do know Top Gear you will know that they are looking for a new STIG. The Stig is their test track driver with a secret identity.

I thought I was clever.

Here is Kevin's. He got the idea from RED - ANOTHER SHAMELESS PLUG... LOVE THAT SHOW. Bruce Willis's character's FBI file looked much like this. I thought it was hilarious. Now that is love...

Here is a close-up...

I guess that's what I get for marrying a mad scientist.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Thinking... is a BAD idea

Mia: I have a joke to tell you...

Me: Mia, do you have your hands in your pants?

Mia: Yes... but I have something to tell you.

Me: Well, get your hands out of your pants, it's gross.

Mia: But it helps me think, Mom.

Me: Well you can try to think with your hands in your back pockets instead.

Mia: Mom, it doesn't work. Look, (Hands in pockets) I'm not thinking.

Me: I'm sorry. I don't want you doing that anymore.

Mia: But how am I going to think?

Me: Well, you will just have to think of some other way to think.

Daddy for the other room: How about you stick your hands in your pants and think of another way to think.