Archive for September, 2013

Behold the new film guide from Jonathan Decker.250 Great Movies for Latter-Day Families_2x3

I thought this was a great little book. While movies will always be a matter of opinion, there are plenty of ideas here for people looking for movie suggestions that won’t burn their eyes out.

The author started a blog,, to help people find movie reviews with a Mormon perspective. This is more or less a compilation of some positive reviews. (The blog has both positive and negative reviews)

First comes an introduction about media, and then the criteria used for choosing the movies. The author looked at artistic merit, the presence of potentially offensive content, and how the film compared to the teachings of the Gospel. He includes scriptures and general authority quotes with the reviews, plus quotes and scriptures which expand on each film’s major themes.

The information is nicely organized. Films are listed alphabetically. Decker talks first about the film in a general way–the “artistic merit” part of the review–and assigns it a letter grade. Next are sections called Content Overview and Messages to Discuss.

There are plenty of kids’ shows here, but there are titles for grownups as well, from the Mormon cinema offering 17 Miracles to 2011’s We Bought A Zoo. Many suggestions are classics, like Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn and State Fair. A hefty percentage are cartoons.

I found several things I hadn’t seen and now plan to because of Decker’s praise.

My review is based on a complimentary PDF version of the ARC. Hopefully, the finished version will include an index. I miss the colorful movie posters that the blog provides, but that would greatly increase the cost of the book.

Buy the book here: Cedar Fort or Amazon

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Here’s an interview with my dear friend and author Christy Monson, whose new book Love, Hugs and Hope is just released. Lori Nawyn is the illustrator.

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How did you meet Lori? How did your collaboration work?

Lori Nawyn did the art and I wrote the script for this picture book, Love Hugs and Hope, and we are both very happy about it. However, we didn’t start out to work together. Lori and I knew each other from a couple of SCBWI Conferences. We had formed a picture book critique group that met each month so we were friends. But it was the publisher that teamed us up. Lori is a darling, and I love her art. We never collaborated on the book at all. I turned in the manuscript and Lori and the publishers did the rest.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing about 7 years and loving every minute of it.

Did you draw on your own experience as a mother in writing this book?

My experience as a mom has really helped me in writing this book. Children just need to talk things out a lot of times. They want love and reassurance.

You’re a retired family counselor. How did your training and/or years of practice help you with this book?

I kind of had a sense about how to process with kids from being a mom, but my training as a therapist really gave me the knowledge I needed to help children heal. In my practice I saw a lot of kids that were dealing with tragedy of some kind or another. Talk therapy is good for kids, but art is a wonderful way for them to release feelings.

How long did this book take to create?
It took me about a week to write the first draft of this manuscript. I felt so sad for those who had experienced loss in the school shooting at Sandy Hook. Shortly after that a gunman shot up the Clackamas Towne Center in Oregon. Our daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters live about three miles from the center. The parents monitored the events carefully, but turned off all media to protect the kids from knowing about it. However, the next day at school the children were all talking about it, so you can’t protect children from knowing about tragedies like this.
As I thought about these two catastrophes, I felt something needed to be written to help parents and children look at disasters like these, be able to share their feelings, and find hope in the world around them.

Do you have other book ideas along the lines of children’s self-help/picture books?

I love writing picture books. I have many other book ideas I’m thinking about, but right now I’m focused on  a series about children’s feelings.

How did you find a publisher for the book?

I am so fortunate to have found my publisher, Christopher Robbins, and Familius. At LDS Storymakers Boot Camp, Rick Walton was conducting  out picture book section. He began talking about Familius and what a great new company it was. When he found out I was a retired therapist, he suggested I contact Familius, and I’m so happy I did.

Buy Love, Hugs, and Hope on Amazon

Becoming Free

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I see you have another book coming out for electronic book format. How is writing for ebook different from a regular “paper” book?

Writing an ebook is the same as writing a paper book. In fact, I didn’t know that Becoming Free would be an ebook at first. But I’m excited for the new experience. I’m looking forward to promoting it.

What gave you the idea for this women’s self-help book?

My clients were the ones who inspired me to write Becoming Free. I learned so much from them and was so impressed by their hard work in therapy, I wanted to share their stories and their healing process with everyone.

How do you envision women use this book?

Understanding the concepts in this book can benefit all of us. The discussion on motivation and work ethic (First Section) is something I think we all need to review often. The chapters on understanding of self and communication (Second and Third Sections) are skills everyone uses daily. I love the last part (Fourth Section) on healing techniques. It a compilation of the most effective concepts and procedures I have gathered together over the years–methods that will lead us all to live a life full of peace and positive energy.
You can read the book straight through, but it’s really designed to create change by being used slowly over time to alter your habits and establish positive thinking skills. Enjoy! Happy Reading!.
Here are the links to buy the book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Becoming Free on Amazon
Becoming Free on Barnes and Noble

There is a giveaway for each book below…enter both!

Enter for a free $25 Amazon gift card: Love, Hugs, and Hope
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Enter for a free $25 Amazon gift card: Becoming Free

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