Mormon Mondays: Unrealistic standards set by the elaborate dating rituals of Mormon youth

One of the drawbacks of Mormon Culture—a term by which I mean the culture that Mormons and Mormon-adjacent folks who live in Utah and surrounding Mormon-concentrated areas like Idaho and Arizona engage in—drawbacks of this is the expectation for a life that isn’t really based on reality. It’s an idea that if you live life like a character in a ’50’s television show, that “Aww shucks, I’m meeting Penny and … Continue reading

New Release on May 18th, AND IT CAME TO PASS

My third novel. I’m so proud of this one–it’s based off a short story of mine from almost ten years ago. I wrote it for a family member who is deeply closeted with no sign of coming out, and honestly, for myself and for other LGBT Mormons I knew. Over the next few months, I’ll have a lot to say about how the LDS church treats its LGBTQ members (short … Continue reading

Reader’s Question: no guns?

From Perryavenue on Tumblr: Why didn’t Renaldo and Hank carry guns with them for protection? Eduardo had a gun when he was at his parents’ home, wouldn’t Renaldo and Hank carry guns when they’re traveling along open and rough terrain with potential predators (both animal and human)? Fun (and probably shocking) fact, most cowboys didn’t carry guns! Turns out that’s a Hollywood fabrication. Guns were expensive, hard to maintain, and … Continue reading

Romantic Times Con: Las Vegas

VEGAS, BABY, my home away from home.  Well, for the week at least. WHERE: Rio Hotel and Casino, on Flamingo RD WHAT: The biggest party in the world of Romance Writing. Agents, authors, publishers, bloggers, and more importantly: READERS all converge in a week long fest of good times. ME: I’ll be signing books, attending events, drinking cocktails, and (most definitely) hitting the craps tables at some point, and I … Continue reading

Proper Nana Puddin’ with Bonus Elvis Style Twist

So those of you who follow my Twitter and Facebook [see the sidebar] know I’d been yapping about proper old school banana pudding. When I say proper and old school, I mean basically one thing: no damn pudding mix. Look. Shortcuts exist for good reasons.  You want to make pudding fast? Knock your socks off! Goodness knows I’ve used shortcuts in my kitchen. But you know what I don’t  do?  Say … Continue reading

The One with the No-Tell Motel (aka Pimps up, Oh my god, child get down)

This heart-felt tale is about the time when my family was almost shot up Southland-style on the highway of life because of my son disrespecting an Alabama pimp. You know, your typical family summer vacation. Every summer the kids and I would go on a road trip across the south to visit friends in Florida and Alabama. The kids are seasoned road trippers. They have their books and snacks and travel games. … Continue reading

Meet the characters of Bitter Springs: Renaldo Valle Santos

This dashing gent (this is done in pencil, can you stand it?) is Renaldo Valle Santos, youngest son of Estebán Santos.  Like most kids who come tail end in a large family, he hasn’t had expectations put on his shoulders aside from watching out for his twin sister Canadarí­a and doing what his brothers tell him. Life is pretty easy when that’s all you have to think about. And given the … Continue reading

Fun With Fictional To-Do Lists

When Bitter Springs was first released and I was on a “virtual book tour,” I was asked a really fun question that gave me a little more time to play with one of my favorite characters, Hank Burnett. Warning! If you haven’t read the book, spoilers abound. Give us a to-do list for one of your characters. Well, Hank is the sort of man who appreciates order, but also has … Continue reading

Indulgent personal post

The great thing about having my own website is that I get to put what I want here.  My beautiful daughter is an adult now, half-way across the country in college (and on the Dean’s list, thank you so much).  Those of you with children who are teens or older might remember those tumultuous years of eye rolling, arguing and defiance, wondering if you’re ever going to get that little … Continue reading

The One With The Dead Fish

You know how a go-to episode on sitcoms of a family-flavor is when one of the kid’s pets die and the parents have to find a replacement that looks just like it? Can I just remind everyone that what happens on TV shouldn’t be emulated in real life? My youngest child E is Miss Tenderheart. All creatures are precious. Not just your rabbits and puppies. I’m talking sharks, bugs, freaking … Continue reading