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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Heather Justesen & Diony George - Countdown to Christmas 2009

12 Days until Christmas!

Heather Justesen's recently published book, The Ball's in Her Court, is her first novel. Heather's second book, Rebound, featuring secondary characters from The Ball's in Her Court, will be released in May 2010.

The Ball's in Her Court can be purchased at Deseret Book, www.amazon.com, and www.barnesandnoble.com, as well as in stores at the Sandy and Orem locations of Barnes & Noble.

Learn more about Heather on her website: www.heatherjustesen.com and her blog: Heather Juste

LDSWBR: What favorite holiday traditions do you and your family participate in every year, and will you be starting any new traditions this year?

HEATHER: Every year when there are kids around we hide the presents all over the house with one package for each kid in each spot. Then one of the adults makes up a really lame rhyming clue about where the presents are and the kids race to find them. This takes what could otherwise be a ten-minute orgy of wrapping-paper ripping fun into a slower-paced hour or more of exciting discoveries. Our family has done this since I was in elementary school and now the grand kids love it as much as we did. Unfortunately, there will be no grandchildren in town this year as all of my siblings have opted to stay home for a change.

LDSWBR: Heather, what books are on your Christmas wish list?

HEATHER: I'm dying to read Jessica Day George's Princess at the Midnight Ball, Julie Wright's Eyes Like Mine and Michele Paige Holmes' All the Stars in Heaven.

LDSWBR: What books have you purchased/will you purchase for loved ones this Christmas? (Don't ruin any surprises!)

HEATHER: I picked up Mormon Mishaps and Mischief for my mother-in-law and I plan to pick up James Dashner's Maze Runner for my husband. I'm still waffling on a few others.

R: Thank you, Heather. We hope you have a very Merry Christmas!


Diony George's first novel, Torn Apart, had it's second edition release in February 2009. She is currently working on a book titled Shaded View, the story of a wife and mother who thinks getting a divorce will fix everything wrong in her life. She learns the answer is changing herself.

Torn Apart can be purchased at Seagull Book, Deseret Book, www.amazon.com and on Diony's personal blog: The Sun Always Returns After the Rain and website: tornapartbyporn.com. She is currently offering signed copies on sale for Christmas.

More about Diony: Author Diony George is a dedicated wife and mother of seven. Originally from Alaska, she enjoys traveling, cooking, applique quilting, and spending time with her family. Through personal experience she's become passionate about helping those whose lives have been drastically affected by pornography addiction. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband Daryl, and their children.

LDSWBR: Diony, what favorite holiday traditions do you and your family participate in each year? Will you be starting any new traditions this Christmas?

DIONY: Every Christmas Eve we have a special program in the evening with our family by candlelight and the lit Christmas tree. Everyone participates by sharing a story, a song, a skit or a poem. We sing carols around the piano, ending with my husband reading the Christmas Story from the Bible found in Luke. We have homemade cookies and treats, as well as warm spiced cider afterward and the children can choose to open one gift.

LDSWBR: What books are on your Christmas wish list?

DIONY: Women of the Old Testament by Camille Fronk Olson and Elspeth Young; Saving Madeline by Rachel Ann Nunes.

LDSWBR: What books have you purchased/will you purchase for loved ones this year?

DIONY: Worldwide Ward Cookbook by Deanna Buxton--I can't say who for!

LDSWBR: Thanks for sharing with us, Diony, and thank you so much for donating a signed copy of Torn Apart for our drawing! Best Christmas Wishes to you and your family.

Is your Christmas Morning one big free-for-all, or do you take turns opening presents? How do you control the chaos? Or do you even try?

Don't forget to nominate your favorite 2009 books by LDS authors for Whitney Awards by December 31! Can't remember what you read? Visit the LDS Publisher blog for a list of books published by LDS authors in 2009.

***Countdown to Christmas Contest***

LDSWBR will hold a drawing on Christmas Day for a $25 eGift Card from Deseret Book, as well as a variety of books being offered by some of the LDS authors that will be featured on the blog. Simply post a thoughtful comment on the Countdown to Christmas author posts to enter. Here are the rules:

  • LDSWBR reserves the right to decide what determines a "thoughtful" comment.
  • Only one comment per person per "Countdown to Christmas" author post will be entered into the drawing. This allows the potential for 24 entries per person at the end of the contest. Feel free to comment more than once per post if you'd like, but only one comment will be accepted as an entry.
  • Contest ends at 12:00 Midnight MST on December 24, 2009. Drawing winners will have until 12:00 Midnight MST on December 31, 2009 to claim their prize. After that time, another name will be drawn to receive the prize.
  • Book prizes can only be shipped within the contiguous United States.
Books that have been generously donated by the author for drawing prizes:
  • Loyalty's Web by Joyce DiPastena
  • Hidden Branch by G.G. Vandagriff
  • Altared Plans by Rebecca Talley
  • A Modest Proposal by Michele Ashman Bell (includes a bonus copy of Michele's Christmas booklet, A Candle in the Window)
  • Her Good Name by Josi Kilpack
  • MISSING by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen
  • Famous Family Nights by Anne Bradshaw
  • Love Letters of Joseph and Emma (autographed copy) by Angela Eschler
  • Family Home Evening Adventures by Rebecca Irvine
  • Counting the Cost by Liz Adair
  • Shudder by Jennie Hansen
  • Mormon Mishaps & Mischief by D. N. Giles & C. L. Beck
  • Dawn's Early Light by Laurie (L.C.) Lewis
  • The Fairy Thorn (brand new release!) by Dorothy Keddington
  • Torn Apart (signed copy) by Diony George
  • Pursued: A Maggie McKenzie Mystery by Lynn Gardner
Thank you so much!


  1. Thanks for including me in your Countdown to Christmas, Shanda! I totally agree with Diony's picks for Christmas gift--both for sending and receiving. The cookbook has been teasing and taunting me and will definitely find its way onto my shelves soon.

  2. Thanks Shanda! Going through the list of authors you've already highlighted has made my wish list even bigger! I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and don't forget to enter the contest to win a free book from the list above.

  3. We take turns opening presents, after the kids see what Santa gave them. We let one of the kids open one, and then it's the other's turn and so on.:) Mom and dad have to wait until they are finished and playing with their toys to open ours!:P

  4. This is great getting to know all these authors. Thank you!
    We start out taking turns, but it quickly dissolves into a free-for-all. But the kids make a point to find and deliver gifts to us and each other if they don't immediately see one for themselves.

  5. When our kids were small the grandparents would have way too many gifts under the tree! We did have to take control. We would let the kids pass out the presents but that could only open one in between someone else opening so that it rotated and we could all see what everyone got!

    More great sounding books!

  6. We start with Santa gifts one at a time so Mom and get the facial expressions.
    Then it's one or two at a time. And Mom usually goes last 'cause she wants to see everyones gifts and of course, take pictures.

  7. We always take turns. It takes longer, but it is more fun to see what other people get, especially the little kids! I loved learning about these two authors-now I have some new books to add to my list to read.