News & Events

"We read to know we’re not alone." ~ From the 1993 movie “Shadowlands”

Writer of the Year

I’m excited and very humbled to announce that I have been named Writer of the Year for 2017 by the Utah Valley Legends, a chapter of the League of Utah Writers! What a fun journey it’s been over the past several months as I’ve gotten to know this awesome group. This is where I shared, for the first time, my ongoing rough draft of The New Wine Baptist Church Chronicles with people I had not previously met. My nervousness was soon dispelled and we are critiquing each other’s writing all the way to huge success. Thank you, Utah Valley Legends, for being my first audience and for helping me with ideas that will make my work even better.

I would also like to thank my very supportive family, including David Davis who told me for five years running that this book would be spectacular and I needed to write it. You called it, David. I hope you’re proud of me.

Here is the bio that the Utah Valley Legends posted:

Shelly Davis is a native of Florida who now makes her home in Utah. Her professional experience includes 11 years as a network news editor with a national press clipping bureau and five years as a movie reviewer with a Tennessee newspaper. Currently a freelance editor, she is the owner of Eagle Eye Edits & Critiques, which works with clients worldwide.

She formerly volunteered as a literacy specialist, served as a judge for children’s literature and poetry recitation competitions, and founded a local book club for which she taught creative writing, hosted meet-the-author nights and other events, and spearheaded a book collection drive for a new young mothers school.

Shelly’s western novels Eagle Shadow and Eagle Rising are a reflection of her keen interest in Old West history and Native American culture. She first created the characters and story of Eagle Shadow when she was 15 years old. She is currently writing a Southern Baptist comedy, which may or may not be based on true events, for as she says, “Truth is strangely like fiction.” Readers of her books who didn’t know better would never guess that the half-Cheyenne Nate Hunter and Tennessee Pastor Eugene Romans were channeled by the same person.

Married to fine art photographer/artist/antiques dealer David “Harley” Davis from 1994 till his death in 2016, they are the parents of two sons, who were homeschooled by their mom from kindergarten through 12th grade. Taylor is now in college, majoring in filmmaking with an emphasis on writing and directing, and Tristan runs his own graphic design/illustrating business.

When she’s not writing, Shelly enjoys reading (of course!), listening to music of all kinds, watching movies, traveling, cooking, visiting museums and art galleries filled with old things, and doing yoga, all while simultaneously eating chocolate.  Discussing homeschooling is actually fun for her (she’s weird that way).  And she loves to observe people (only in public places) and catch snippets of strangers’ phone conversations.  Others call that eavesdropping, but to her it’s character research and is very important.

 

What I’m Doing

Time for an update! It’s been a different and unusual kind of year for our family after losing my husband and the boys’ dad last summer, lots of feelings to deal with while trying to find our new normal, establishing new traditions while reflecting on and honoring old ones. I’m quite proud of how our family is transitioning to the new route.

For now, I am working part-time where I used to long ago. But one of my immediate goals is to grow my editing business and provide stellar service to many more clients. (You’ll want to visit the page for Eagle Eye and learn about all the services available.)

I have some fantastic plans for my Eagle Shadow series in the future, but…patience, patience. My current creative project is a Southern Baptist comedy book. My inspiration for this project is a secret only a few people know! But suffice to say (or is it ‘sufficeth to say’ or ‘suffice it to say’? Not gonna research it now. Pick your favorite.) you’re gonna just love Pastor Eugene Romans and his colorful congregation. I have been attending a writers critique group since last fall, and so far they have loved what they’ve heard of it. Their great comments and laughter at all the right parts have been encouraging me—or shall we say egging me on. It’s been a great experience as well to hear their creative works read aloud and to learn how to critique. It makes us all better writers. I highly recommend that all authors find such a group.

I’ve also had the opportunity to read a lot more books than I’ve had in recent years (books of my choice, not for homeschool prep). Some of my favorites have been: a couple Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (you see me advancing in age-level as I go!), Lake Wobegon Days, The Secret, rereading The Jackrabbit Factor, and I’m currently on my way through Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders. My two most favorite and life-transforming books I’ve read this year (for obvious reasons) are: Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander and Talking to Heaven by James Van Praagh, both #1 New York Times bestsellers. What amazing books about the ‘other side’.

And recently, my boys and I realized a bucket list dream when we spent two weeks touring London and Paris. For purposes of this blog, I will just mention a couple of our literary adventures: the Treasures of the British Library exhibit where we saw the Gutenberg Bible, the Magna Carta, and many other historical writings dating to the 300s A.D., and the famed Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris where we squeezed through tight hallways lined with tons of books and saw the tumbleweeds (writers-in-residence) at work. It was truly a wonderful gift for us to have this opportunity together and to make better memories than last year at this time of year. We came home with a bigger-world perspective and new resolve going forward. Till next time…

“I’m Calm” — Tribute to David “Harley” Davis

Stay in the BoatThe world lost a great poet, photographer, and artist this year when my husband, David “Harley” Davis, passed away in July from complications resulting from leukemia. How I miss his talent and creativity, his uncanny ability to find and bring home the unusual and rare antiques, and introduce the rest of us to ideas and worlds we never knew existed. While going through his many treasures and writings this summer, it was especially touching for me to come across poems he’d written that I’d never read before, including this one, a message directly to me from eternal worlds. What better way to pay tribute on my blog, I thought, than by sharing his own words, written October 3, 2014 from his hospital bed, at the beginning of his treatments. These words have been a secret treasure to me these last few months, but it’s time to share them with others now. I’ll let his own words take it from here:

 

“I’m Calm”

 

I’m calm as a summer morning

A time when dews distill

On ground alert with creatures

That graze on a distant hill.

 

I’m calm as whispering heather

That sing in a highland breeze

I’m calm as a crystal lake

With images that mirror me.

 

No greater peace have I then

Where angels came to tell

I’m calm as a summer morning

When Father found me well.

 

Fear not this sad refrain then

Time goes ever on

Beats warmly rich responding

Our hearts are ever calm.

 

No love is lost forever

No psalm is silent sung

No bells go unnoticed

When they ring together as one.

 

I’m calm to see my Master

Embrace him, linger there

I’m calm to see my mother

And enjoy her perfect fair.

 

I’m calm as a summer morning

Feet dangle in celestial foam

On heavenly beaches lapping

A familiar din back home.

 

At last the stars are sparkling

And brighten my heavenly shore

I’m calm and await my darling

And will love thee ever more.

“Game of Lives” Book Launch with James Dashner

James Dashner book signing

My sons and I attended another book launch of New York Times bestselling author James Dashner, this time for “Game of Lives”, the third book in the “Eye of Minds” trilogy. He was personable and entertaining as always at the end of what must have been an exhausting whirlwind book tour. He’s been putting out a book a year, a good pace for a career author, and a good goal for me I believe.

He addressed those readers who don’t approve of how Hollywood has changed some of his stories when made in movie form. He wisely separates what he calls “book world” and “movie world” and assured fans that they should just enjoy the movies for what they are, that the books will always be there. Hollywood will never be able to change one word of his books. I was impressed with the concept he has. Writers and filmmakers–we are all storymakers, eager to entertain and provide escapism for the masses.

I speak your language, Mr. Dashner, which is why I was slightly giddy when he said he will love to see me at LDStorymakers Conference next year!

When Your Work Gets Stolen

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I have been following the plagiarism case that has turned author Rachel Ann Nunes’ life upside down. In a most angering and frustrating set of developments, a third grade schoolteacher, Tiffanie Rushton, stole a book of Rachel’s, copy and pasted it, changed the names and a couple words in each paragraph, added porn, and self-published it. At least one other plagiarism incident of Rushton’s is known wherein she stole the true and painfully written essay of an injured soldier and put it in an erotica book, horrifically upsetting the soldier and his family. She then used the names of several of her own students to create sock puppets to cyberbully Rachel Ann Nunes and others who supported her.

Rachel is fighting this case in the courts, but it is costing her her life savings, which she expects to never recover. She is doing it to stand up for all of us authors who could become victims of such a crime. But here’s what you may not know and WE ALL NEED TO KNOW. Many of us believe that, as long as we own a copyright and it’s registered with the Library of Congress, we’re all set. We could easily win any case of plagiarism against us. While that is true, in most cases, that justice would not come without a very heavy price, monetarily and, as a result, mentally. Rachel explains it succinctly, from her own personal experience, here. 

Please learn about her case if you haven’t, and consider donating WHATEVER YOU CAN to this very important cause. Taking a stand for Rachel is taking a stand for all writers.

 

“The Rule of Thoughts” Book Launch With James Dashner


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The Rule of Thoughts, sequel to The Eye of Minds by James Dashner, launched on August 26, and the author chose to spend his launch day at OUR Barnes & Noble. I have a son who loves his books and was so excited to see him in person, and Dashner did not disappoint. He spoke to the full house audience about the major motion picture The Maze Runner opening September 19, which is based on his New York Times bestselling book. It’s highly unusual for an author to be pleased with a movie adaptation of his book. According to Dashner’s agent, the best he can hope for is that the author “won’t hate it”. But Dashner’s overwhelming excitement and endorsement for The Maze Runner movie came through so loud and clear that we can’t wait for it. He spoke of his involvement with the project from consulting on the script to visiting the set to being present for the recording of the soundtrack. He is pleased with how well the movie sticks to the book, while also being impressed with how some parts of the book had to be made more visual for a movie audience.

Question-and-answer time followed, which spurred him to talk a lot about the writing process. He nailed it when he said we writers are “insane in the brain”. For me, it was intense fun to hear him say all the same things I feel as a writer: that we develop our characters based on parts of every person we see and meet, every conversation we hear, every mannerism we notice in others; that we can sit in front of the keyboard for an hour trying to come up with the next words, then put our fingers on the keyboard and suddenly something just pours out that was totally unplanned but spectacular; that we love all of our characters, even the bad ones, and we feel all the emotions our characters feel. He even said that he visualizes his books as movies as he’s writing them and so writes in a cinematic way, just as I do. Writing can be a very lonely endeavor, so to hear that James Dashner experiences all the same things I do created such a unifying, feel-good moment for me.

Check out his latest book, The Rule of Thoughts.

 

“Choreography of Awakening” a Worthy Addition to Any Bookshelf

Faye Kitariev

Choreography of Awakening by my friend Faye Kitariev is now available on Amazon, and I sincerely hope you will get yourself a copy. I had the high privilege of helping to edit this book, and I found it so empowering and beautifully written that I couldn’t wait to tell people about it.

Faye has loads of experience as a world-class figure skating coach. Her success was tied to her unique ability to bring out the hidden potential of her skating proteges. She shares that, what I can only call “superpower”, with her readers. She uses her vast experience to help all of us, in whatever walks of life we follow, realize our own potential. She uses skating terms to show us what we are capable of and inspires us to achieve our own greatness.

Her writing style is impeccable, her words lilting, as they touch the reader’s inner soul. Check out this great book and awaken yourself to your possibilities. Find out more here, and buy a Kindle edition or paperback on Amazon.

Choreography of Awakening

 

“Grammar Wings” Writing Camp

proofreading

When I was asked to present at the Grammar Wings writing camp, one of several Brigham Young University-sponsored writing camps for teens this summer, the dedication and passion of young people, some from out of state, who would spend a portion of their summer vacation voluntarily learning about grammar and creative writing surprised and elated me. Count me in!

On the last day of their camp on Friday, June 13th, I spent an hour talking with them about rough drafting versus revisions, changing passive to active voice, and how to do speech tags that keep the author invisible to the reader, allowing the reader to fully immerse themselves in a story. Part of my task was to bring a little of the writing, editing, and publishing world into the classroom as there were several in the group who aim to publish their work. What a privilege to address this bright bunch as a guest author.

Thanks to Chris Thompson, Sadie Rawlinson, and BYU Conferences & Workshops for granting me this opportunity to talk with these up-and-coming authors. And if you know a teen author, check out the BYU writing camps. Several are held each year.

New Release: Possession by J. Elizabeth Hill

Possession

We have a treat on the Eagle’s Quill today, the announcement of the release of Possession by J. Elizabeth Hill, second in her Mirrors of Bershan series. Have a sneak peek.

“I never meant any of this, least of all for you to pay the price of my pride.”

After binding themselves to each other through their magic, Faylanna Derrion and Tavis journey back to her ancestral home, Iondis, intent on restoring the estate to its former beauty. From the moment they arrive, they find the secret horrors of the place aren’t exhausted yet.

Faylanna finds an old journal of her father’s, one that shakes her understanding of her own past. Worse, Faylanna and Tavis are both nearly killed when attacked by one of the men set to guard the Ninth Mirror of Bershan, still residing at Iondis. In the aftermath, he disappears with the newly found journal. Sure there is more to this event than they know, Faylanna and Tavis return to the capital, Rianza, for help.

More secrets await them there, ones kept for years by people Tavis never suspected. When the truth is revealed, it alters his present and future completely. Can he rise to the challenges this new fate presents him with or will the change be more than he can handle?

The truths each learn about themselves and those they thought they knew will test Faylanna and Tavis’ love for each other. Will they be able to endure the pain and chaos they face, or will it tear them apart?

Amazon: http://amzn.to/16gGjW3

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/16NODuG

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/j.-elizabeth-hill

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/possession-30

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17191116-possession

Chapter 1 of Possession: http://jelizabethhill.wordpress.com/possession-sample/

The first book in this popular series was Bound. If you’re not familiar, or need refreshing, check it out here:

Bound

“Doesn’t she know you can’t do real magic alone?”

Faylanna Derrion’s graduation from the Voleno Academy is marred by her father’s demand that she return to the family estate, Iondis. He refuses to accept her decision not to bind herself to another Magicia in an unbreakable partnership, insisting she must do so with his help. No one understands her need to prove she can succeed on her own.

Then her mentor and his partner are taken before her eyes by a terrible darkness, forcing her to flee, even as her father’s soldiers try to force her to go home. On her journey to find help, she meets Tavis, a farmer in search of his mother, who she can’t manage to refuse. The revelation that he’s a novice Magicia causes Faylanna to question everything she’s believed.

At the same time, a dream that’s haunted her since childhood begins to change and the unknown man in it calls to her. His words are sweet but she’s not quite willing to believe he’s anything more than a dream, until she can’t deny it.

As secrets are revealed and events unfold, will Faylanna hold to her solitary path or will she choose the one that now beckons her with new possibilities?

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bound-j-elizabeth-hill/1114076686?ean=2940045093873

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/256011

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Mirrors-Bershan-ebook/dp/B00A92CWOQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377826552&sr=1-1

Chapter 1 of Bound: http://jelizabethhill.wordpress.com/the-mirrors-of-bershan/bound-sample/

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About J. Elizabeth Hill:

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Julie Elizabeth Hill exported herself to Vancouver, British Columbia after many years of staring longingly at the map following every snowfall. For as long as she can remember, she’s been making up stories, but it wasn’t until high school that someone suggested writing them down. Since then, she’s been hopelessly in love with story crafting, often forgetting about everything else in the process.

Connect with the author here:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6566039.J_Elizabeth_Hill

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlizhill

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/J-Elizabeth-Hill/345946002103430

Website: http://jelizabethhill.wordpress.com/

There is a giveaway currently going on through 9/13 to win signed copies of both Bound and Possession. Here is the link to the rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/OTNhYTMzNDQzYjc0NmU5ZjcyNjY5ZWJjOGVlOTFlOjI0/

Thanks, J. Elizabeth Hill, for visiting the Eagle’s Quill today. We’re so excited to see more of Possession.

 

New Release: Feudlings in Flames by Wendy Knight

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Today on the Eagle’s Quill I’m excited to announce the release of bestselling author Wendy Knight’s newest book, Feudlings in Flames, part of her Fate on Fire series. Check it out:

Ari thought being in love with her prophesied nemesis sucked. But being responsible for her best friend’s kidnapping? It sucks worse.

Ari and Shane thought they’d beaten Fate and ended the three-hundred-year war plaguing their people. They thought love had won. But they were so, so wrong.

Instead of graduating high school like the normals, they’re in a battle to save Charity – Shane’s cousin, Ari’s best friend, and the seer who might hold the key to ending the war for good. To do that, they’re forced to accept help from a boy they aren’t even sure they can trust. He’s powerful and knows spells even Ari’s never heard of, but he’s also secretive and has a past he’s determined to keep hidden. Add to that the fact that he has his sights set on Ari, and Shane would rather do without his help.

Ari has bigger problems than mysterious boys and their strange powers. The powerful Edren Family is hunting her brother, and she can’t very well save him or Charity while they’re constantly being attacked by her own people. To stop the raids, she has to take the fight to them. But if she starts hunting the family that raised her, what kind of monster will she be?

Fate still waits for the death of one by the hand of the other.

And here’s a taste of the real thing:

“No no, Hunter, it curves this way.” Ari stood back, watching with a frown, and then jumped back in. “Imagine in your mind what you want the spell to do. Tie your emotions to your spells.”

Shane watched her guide Hunter and tried again on his own. “Close, Shane, but like this,” Ari reached out, holding his hand as she led him through the motion. He felt the flames racing through his blood react to her touch and sparks flew from his fingers, igniting the spell. It hung, burning, in the air, a bright blue curlicue thing. “Perfect,” she whispered, still holding on to his hand.

“Maybe, but does it work?” Tristan’s voice was flat and uninterested, but Shane could hear the animosity running under the words.

“We don’t have any targets set out. He can’t test it.” Ari shook her head, and still holding Shane’s hand, made a quick swiping motion through the spell, dissipating it. “Try again.” She let go of his hand and stepped back, watching expectantly.

Shane tried, once, twice, and three times. He couldn’t get it quite right, but neither could Hunter, which made him feel better, and Tristan wasn’t even trying.

“It’s okay if you can’t do it, Shane. There are a lot of other powerful spells she uses that will be much easier for you to master,” Will said.

Ari vehemently shook her head. “No. He can do it. Just give him a minute!”

Shane kept his attention focused on the spell in front of him, but he couldn’t stop his grin.

Ari believed in him.

He burned the spell into the air again, trying to replicate the one Ari had drawn, but it fizzled into a mass of smoke. The spell had to ignite to actually do anything. He groaned in frustration, tipping his head sideways to look at Ari. “What am I doing wrong?”

She bit her lip, studying him for several seconds. “When you did it the first time, what were you thinking?”

Shane paused, dropping his hand that was still poised in the air. “Umm… I was thinking we were gonna die and I had seen you throw that spell so I knew it was possible. It just happened.”

 

Wendy Knight PhotoWendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, et cetera, et cetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.

You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing.

Be sure to connect with Wendy and buy her book at these links, and thanks, Wendy, for letting the Eagle’s Quill feature you and your amazing work!

Links:

Twitter: @wjk8099

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyKnight

Blog: www.writethroughthenoise.blogspot.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7009940.Wendy_Knight

Buy Links:

Astraea Press: http://astraeapress.com/#!/~/product/category=662245&id=27682185

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Feudlings-in-Flames-ebook/dp/B00EY5DALS/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1378194244&sr=8-4&keywords=Feudlings+in+Flames

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/feudlings-in-flames-wendy-knight/1116814623?ean=2940148467472