Tag: author

The Heroes of Burnheart – Captain Spencer

Introducing one of my favorite sub-characters from my up coming novel, “The Burnheart Redemption”, the one and only Captain Spencer. This dashing young captain learned early in life how to command and gain respect, yet maintain his sense of humor and wit. He is a loyal employee to the Garrow’s trading company and plays an important role in the rescue of Phillip during hi run in with pirates. Not only can Spencer  captain a ship, but his skill with a sword and pistol proves useful in the recovery of Phillip Garrow.

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The Heroes of Burnheart – The men from my upcoming novel “The Burnheart Redemption”

ADAM GARROW

Adam Garrow is determined, steadfast, and known to make a show of things. Raised as the son of Lord, he is a gentleman and honest worker. But after discovering the truth of his lineage, Adam embarks on a six-year journey to redefine his life’s purpose. And on the day of his return, fate allows him to cross paths with the lovely and kind Solana Rosenlund.

But when tragedy strikes, Solana is caught in the crossfire of an unseen force threatening to destroy the Garrow family legacy. With the help of his brother, Phillip, and loyal friend, Ian, they fight to keep each other alive and ultimately regain everything they lost.

All Adam has to his name is the Burnheart estate his father left him before he died. Though the house is condemned to ruins, he chooses to find redemption by rebuilding the foundation, as well as his relationships. One of which, he hopes to rebuild with Solana.

PHILLIP GARROW

Phillip Garrow is honorable, strong, and known to take action when leadership is needed. As the sole inheritor of his father’s business and estate of Fairbrooke, he steps into his shoes to continue the Garrow legacy. Along the way, he quite literally runs into the enchanting Iris Westmont; the youngest daughter of a well-known horse breeder. They soon fall completely in love with plans to marry.

But when a mysterious villain attempts to off Phillip entirely, he requires the help of his brother, Adam, and loyal friend, Ian, to bring him back from danger.

With only Burnheart to return to, Phillip is determined to keep his claim of Fairbrooke, discover who this villain is once and for all, and find his way back to the love of his life.

 

IAN O’CONNOR

Ian O’Connor is a charming Irishman, resilient, and stubborn enough to see every plan through. As Cedric Westmont’s top horse trainer, he has a respectable job, and is close friends with his eldest daughter, Abigail. Though she’s above his station, Ian is enamored by her beauty and kindness; and the two have an unspoken flirtation that must be kept hidden from everyone.

But Ian is no longer welcome when he is blindfolded and attacked by men who question his honorable intentions, and despise his Irish heritage.

Relying on the help of Adam and Phillip Garrow, he returns the favor by risking his own life on their behalf, and seeking justice where it is needed. In the end, he is resigned to let go of Abigail entirely, but fate usually has a way of bringing hearts back together.

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How I See You ~ Part 3

My sister, Aleigha, has a insanely active imagination and colorful personality. After seeing Courtney’s transformation i my first “How I See You” post, she willingly sat on a stool for an hour while I painted her face until we got these incredible photos above.

The way I see her now isn’t the same as I’ve seen her as a little girl. Then, she was everybody’s girly girl, a petite little princess who enjoyed the spotlight.

But like may teenagers do, she’d begun to redefine herself as she slowly developed her skill as an artist. While I paint and sketch portraits, she’s dived into the world of animation, cartoons, comics, and anime; growing int our favorite nerdy tomboy.

I could tell her desire to look and feel beautiful never went away. We both struggle with our self image in a similar way, but she would have kicked and screamed if I’d put her in a dress. Her style didn’t go with the flow of modern trends, so I decided to try something a bit out of the ordinary. The art she creates is a pure reflection of herself. BOLD, FUN, DRAMATIC, and EXPRESSIVE. A true character one would find in a classic Archie Comic. Because classic is probably the best way to describe her.

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To Andy Grammer and Jon Schmidt

Have you ever listened to an album and felt chills run down your spine, inspiring a vast spectrum of emotions imploding in your brain and chest cavity? I’ve had many different reactions to different artists, but today is my tribute to two particular artists – Jon Schmidt and Andy Grammer.

 

In June of 2012, Andy Grammer came to perform at Dixie State where I attended college. At that point in my life, I live in a bubble. I hadn’t heard of him, nor his opening act, Rachel Platten. Of course, it was before her hit singles, “Stand by You” and “Fight Song” even existed, but still…holy crap, I was in a room full of talented greatness! Some may disagree, but the sound, lyrics and energy was everything my soul needed at the time.

 

Towards the end when Andy had someone take a photo of he and the entire audience I was in, it completely made my night, especially when Facebook resurfaced that memory after 5 years. I found it so poetically perfect sense it was his newer album, Magazines or Novels, that inspired my upcoming novel, Unseen Road to Love.

Ideas for my book had been roaming around my head for years, but I wasn’t motivated to begin the writing process until after my friend’s birthday party. His girlfriend at the time had planned a big surprise, and I showed up to find his friends, family, food, cake and massive blowup slide in his backyard. And if said friend is reading this right now, call me, it’s been awhile. Anyway, there was a moment amidst all the awesome chaos when I noticed them gravitate towards each other. And for a few minutes the world around them disappeared.

The exchange was sweet and gave off a genuine feeling that suddenly inspired my main characters, Logan and Addie. I could see their personalities, their lifestyles and what their interaction would be like if they were put in the same room. Right then the story had a foundation, but now it was time to learn about their history, and determine their future. In doing so, I discovered Andy Grammer’s album.

“Kiss You Slow” – Logan’s secret sensitive side his connection to Addie.

“Pushing” and “Sinner”  – Logan’s desire/struggle to be spiritually helped.

“Back Home” – The bond between Logan and his family.

“Co-pilot” – Logan and Addie’s relationship.

In the book, a particular musician, Jon Schmidt, is mentioned, as well as one of his songs, “Christmas Medley. This was before he was officially a part of The Piano Guys. He frequently performing at my high school back in Riverton, Utah, and that song not only inspired the whole scene it’s mentioned in, but the whole nature of the book. It’s what inspired me to give the whole book and Christmas/redemption theme, and I get chills every time I hear it. Like “Hedwig’s theme” is to Harry Potter… “Christmas Medley” is to Unseen Road to Love. At least in my point of view.

So to Jon Schmidt and Andy Grammer, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your musical talents with the world. I hope I can inspire in a similar way, and perhaps one day I’ll get a real photo with my heroes lol.

As far as inspirations go, I have so much more to tell, but I’ll wait until after April 11th to give you more of the juicy details. There’s quite a few shout outs to real events and people who inspired the book. Some of which are intense and awesome in my opinion. So stayed tuned for next time!

Cheers to you, XO

~ Chelsea

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While the momentum is going, I want to tell everyone about the book, Daughter of Ishmael, that gives a true definition of feminism and how it will inspire modern day women. No matter what religion you are from, I encourage EVERYONE to read this book.

As a writer, it’s super cool how I get to meet incredible authors and recently I got to know the amazing Diane Stringham Tolley. She gave me the opportunity to read Daughter of Ishmael before it was sent to print, and after doing so, I can easily say her story is a truly captivating and emotional take on the strong and courageous women we know from the scriptures. Many of us have probably guessed what it would be like to be the wife or daughter of a prophet, but this book gives a detailed perspective on how strong and important they really are.

This last week, the media has been filled with stories of women defending their rights in multiple ways. How I’ve chosen to recognize my rights as a woman is comparing myself to the character Tolley chooses as her main voice. I think about my childhood, worrying mostly about my education while she thought about her service to her family. I thought about how sad I was to move into a different home and leaving all my friends, while she was forced to travel into the wilderness, leaving behind all wealth and treasured possessions behind.

As a teenager, I thought the boys I had crushes on and excited I was to attend my first dance. By that age, she was betrothed to man of her father’s choosing; a man she worried about when it came to his moral character. I thought about the 12 hour car trips I’ve taken that felt long and tedious, while she traveled for years in the desert on camel back with no certainty of when and where her family would end up.

I think about my discouragement of finding my future spouse and one day starting a family, and she feared her complete inability to have children during a time where producing healthy posterity determined a part of a woman’s value. If not, men took on more wives to ensure that posterity. I sometimes fear how hard motherhood will be, while she carried her child and gave birth on a boat with no doctors amongst family members threatening to kill one another. I think about how few responses I get to my posts—making what I have to say unimportant. She feared her family would literally start a war if they wouldn’t heed her advice about peace and the gospel.

The very fact I can express this to you right now, is a pretty solid reminder to me that I’ve had more freedom than I recognize on a daily basis. I choose to express it differently, but at the very least our leaders heard what we have to say and hopefully will take it into consideration. I’m not worried or scared about the future, but mainly because I’ve been so blessed to live in a country and time period where I can live comfortably and do what I love. I’m choosing to thank previous leaders who were inspired by the woman I described and saw value in that. I also admire the men in my life who do as well.

Again, no matter what religion you are from, Daughter of Ishmael is absolutely brilliant. If these women can cross oceans without rights, imagine what we could do with ours. Until next time…

Cheers to you XO

~ Chelsea

P.S. You can order your own copy with link below

https://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Ishmael-Promised-Broken-Heart/dp/1462119662

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Whoopee Cushions and Dreams of Cowboys

Advice to all you people out there, if you’re ever set up on a blind date, the first 60 seconds are critical in making a first impression. Which is why if you show up wearing a whoopee cushion costume, unless they’re into that, it’s probably not going to work out the way you expect.

About a year after I started college, I could count the amount of dates I’ve had on one hand. I was awkward and still learning how to dress myself. But a friend had agreed to set me and my second roommate up on a group date for Halloween. It was going to be very low key. Bowling and going for shakes after. No plans to dress up or doing anything Halloween related.

Lame? Yes. But we were excited, and this was back in the day when not everyone had social media, and flip phones weren’t going extinct yet. So I had no idea what my date looked like until he showed up on my doorstep. Now I don’t blame the guy for wanting to make a lasting impression. He was truly a sweet guy and fun to bowl with. But boy was it hard to take him seriously wearing a costume that represented a toy that makes fart noises when you squeeze it. Kinda kills the mood when you’re hugging the man goodbye.

It would be a few years before my dating life really took off, but getting closer to the holiday season that year, the colder it got, the more we stayed indoors. And tis the season to sniff and sneeze, because I dove into reading when I came down with a nasty two week cold before finals. Missing work and classes was not an option for me, so reading romantic Christmas themed novellas helped me unwind after the busy, miserable hours on my feet.

My roommates had been throwing books my way, sometimes literally, and I remember reading “Dusty Britches” which was another Marcia Lynn McClure novel that open a new idea for me, as well as help me discover I’m a huge sucker for old western romance. Especially when they involve dreamy cowboys.

The leading woman, having a broken heart and a strong distrust for men, learned how to let her walls down and really love a man she hadn’t stopped loving since she was young. Like her, letting go of pride, anger and old grudges was something I learned the hard way a bit later in my life.

Halfway through book, I sat in my college apartment dining room, and by that I mean table in the corner of the tiny kitchen, eating strawberries in my pajamas, when my roommate’s entire family showed up on our doorstep to surprise her. Her parents and five siblings had driven 5 hours just to visit their two daughters on a completely random day just for the fun of it.

At the time my parents had been divorced about a year, I was the only adult child who sat through endless phone calls with one parent while they vented about the other. Though I commend them for how hard they worked to keep things as civil as possible for their children’s sake, at the time it had been years since I didn’t worry over things falling apart at a family gathering. And to witness it was like observing a Steve Irwin’s wildlife special.

*Crikey! Here we have a loving family in an unnatural habitat. The cubs have real high energy, but the parents sit and watch together with pride and love, while they laugh, catch up on happy family news, and share a hearty meal at the watering hole.*

But seriously though, growing up, I didn’t see my parents showing affection very often. There was some here and there, but not like the way her parents sat on the couch and held hands without even thinking about it, her resting her head on his shoulder; or sneaking kisses whenever they had the chance, and being incredibly cute while taking pictures together. And not once did their daughters groan or say, “Ewww!” when it happened. It usually followed with one watching them lovingly, saying, “Aren’t they adorable?”

Suddenly it wasn’t just a fictional novel I was reading anymore. This was a real couple with a marriage that lasted over two decades. And the feelings they were sharing was strong enough to be seen and felt by others. It impacted me so much, I wanted to know their story and what it took to get to that level. Most importantly, I wanted to know how it felt myself.

Watching them was the water and nutrients I needed for the seed of hope that was planted. Little did I know it was only a matter of time before I learned firsthand what that felt like, and also, it’s polar opposite…

So until next time with some holiday love and mistletoe madness…

Cheers to you, XO

~ Chelsea

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