The Whitneys and Wazzu

Some great things happened last weekend. I went to the LDStorymakers Writer’s Conference in Provo and had a wonderful time. I strengthened some existing friendships, made new friends, and learned a ton. Thank you to everyone who helped make the conference a success!

The rest of this post is about giving congratulations to some very deserving individuals. After the conference were the Whitney awards, and I’d like to congratulate the winners: Dan Wells for I Don’t Want to Kill You (Novel of the Year), Tess Hilmo for With a Name Like Love (Best Novel by a New Author AND Best Youth Fiction/General),  Rachel Ann Nunes for Before I Say Goodbye (Best General Fiction), Gale Sears for Letters in the Jade Dragon Box (Best Historical), Carla Kelly for Borrowed Light (Best Romance), Stephanie Black for Rearview Mirror (Best Mystery/Suspense), Robison Wells for Variant (Best Youth Fiction/Speculative) and Brandon Sanderson for The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel (Best Speculative Fiction). You can see the cover art for the winning books here.

Never heard of the Whitneys? It’s an awards program designed to highlight the best works of fiction by LDS authors and help raise the quality of LDS literature. You can see all the finalists from 2011 here. If you’re looking for a great book to read, this list is a good place to start! And if you’ve read a great book by a LDS author, you can nominate them for a Whitney Award here.

The next congratulations goes to one of my little brothers. This past weekend he graduated from Washington State University and received his commission in the US Army. Congrats, Second Lieutenant Grant! I have five siblings, and they are all wonderful, talented, amazing people and good friends. This week I am extra proud of my brother Jeremy. Here are a few pictures taken by my awesome big sister VaLynn.

2Lt. Grant, in the front row, second from the left.

I, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States…do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.

Pictures like this make me wish I could have been in more than one place last weekend! I’m so grateful to live in the United States and to have such a wonderful family. As a side note, I’ve had a few people ask me if Jeremy is the model for the cover of Espionage. The answer is no, but he’s now the right rank!

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