16 December 2014

Last time I posted, I forgot to mention that I uploaded an updated version of my Christmas play, ‘Tis the Season to Go on Strike. I’ve tweaked it just a little to make it more universal. While I’m thinking about Christmas, I want to let you know about a couple of Christmas stories written by authors I know.

The first is Christmas on Mill Street, by Joseph Walker, my brother-in-law. This is a nostalgic little book in the same vein as the movie A Christmas Story. It’s a lot of fun, and I’ve given it to several families I thought would enjoy it.

The second is Unspoken, by Laura Marie Lewis. I attended church with Laurie for many years, and her two youngest children are the same ages as my two oldest and went to school with them. Unspoken was originally published by Covenant and is definitely an LDS novel. It is also a Christmas novel, something you would never know if you looked at the title, cover, description, and even the reviews. This novel is quite romantic and takes place almost entirely during the Christmas season, a fact that figures prominently in the story. Not only that, but the family homestead is a Christmas tree farm, and the primary symbol of the book is a cherished evergreen tree. The thing I like best about this book is the rural Maryland setting, complete with its wild trees, hills, farms, delicious fruit, and beautiful and devastating ice storms.

Merry Christmas!

24 October 2014

Since 2006 I’ve been a part of a book group dedicated to reading “great” books. The group has read and discussed approximately one hundred books in the past eight and a half years, and the titles are all on the list I just posted. Since most of the books are available for free on the web, I’ve included links. Check it out and see how easy it is to read well for free!

I’ve added several more books to my personal list, novels by Charlotte Bronte, Wilkie Collins, Rose Wilder Lane, L.M. Montgomery, Meredith Nicholson, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Jean Webster, and Owen Wister. My favorite of this crop was The Virginian, by Owen Wister, considered the “first great novel of American Western literature.”

I’ve been busy these past months working on Alien Roads and preparing new editions of the five novels already published. I have new covers, a new website design, and print editions in the works, so check back soon and see the changes!

20 May 2013

I have added eighteen books to my personal book list, novels by Louisa May Alcott, Ally Condie, George Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Gaskell, E.L. Konigsburg, Gaston Leroux, George MacDonald, George Orwell, Judith Pella, Brandon Sanderson and Kathy Tyers. My favorites of this round were Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda by George Eliot. I’ve read both of them twice in the last couple of years.

After a three-year hiatus to deal with family matters, I’m finally back to work on the second book in the Dominion Over the Earth series Alien Beauty, which is now entitled Alien Roads. I’m at 140,000 words and should have the novel ready for edit later this year. If all goes well, I will publish it in 2014.

1 September 2012

I am now offering my novels in the Mobipocket and EPUB formats. If you have a Kindle, use Mobipocket. For practically everything else, use EPUB. I have also reformatted my HTML and PDF files for easier reading. I have taken great pains to make sure the PDF files look good and are functional on both a PC screen and on various mobile devices. I am no longer offering PDF-for-print versions, but the new PDF files are smaller than the originals and will make nice print-outs if you would prefer to read the novels that way. Microsoft no longer provides a reader for the LIT format, but I will continue to offer it as long as there is interest.

October 2008

I just finished writing a chapter for Alien Beauty and thought this would be a good time to give an update on that project. This has probably been the most difficult novel I’ve written. I’ve had so many setbacks–resulting in my tossing out about 70,000 words since October 2006–that sometimes I wonder if I will ever get it done. In August I had my 21-year-old daughter Christina read the novel, and from that experience I gained some important insights that jump-started my work on it. I have fourteen chapters and just over 89,000 words, which will probably end up being about half the novel. It’s impossible to say how long I will need to write the other half, but I can happily report that my progress is good right now and that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. To read a description of the book, go to my Dominion Over the Earth page.

I updated my book list today with three new titles: Pebble in the Sky, by Isaac Asimov; Magnificent Obsession, by Lloyd C. Douglas; and The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis. Added last time I updated were Lorna Doone, by R.M. Blackmore; A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens; Book of a Thousand Days and Princess Academy by Shannon Hale; Under the Greenwood Tree and Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy; Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine; North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell; and The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde.

Of this particular group of books, I had the most fun reading Lorna Doone. Book of a Thousand Days was the one that captivated me so much that I could not put it down. The only book I read twice was Under the Greenwood Tree, and the novel that moved me the most was Far From the Madding Crowd. For those of you who are familiar with Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, Far From the Madding Crowd is a love story in the same vein as the one between Marianne Dashwood and Colonel Brandon, although it contains more tragedy. Bathsheba Everdene is one of the most interesting heroines I’ve encountered in literature, and the “everyday sort of man” Gabriel Oak is one of the most admirable heroes. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough.

5 September 2008

Due to long-standing problems with the domain novaun.com, my husband and I moved Novaun Novels to zerosilver.com in July. I know you’re wondering where that crazy “zerosilver” name comes from. I think my husband chose it because we’re not making any money on this web site, plus, when it’s spelled out, it looks kind of cool. The Padilla men think that “zerosilver” is a better name for the family domain because they hate having to spell out “novaun” to everyone. The Padilla women, on the other hand, agree that “novaun” is better than “zerosilver” because it’s a natural fit for the web site. Just this week we recovered novaun.com, so now Novaun Novels is viewable from both URLs and everyone is happy. Because of this move to zerosilver.com, I’ve been forced to make changes in the copyright notices in all of the web site files. I’ve taken this opportunity to correct mistakes and do an all-around update.

It’s been so long since I’ve updated Novaun Novels that I’ve added 20 books to Kathy’s Best Book List. You can search through the list to find the new titles if you’d like, but I’ve decided to introduce additions to the list on this page and tell you a little about them, not in the form of full reviews, but in comments comparable to the “notes” that are already in the list. Since I’m adding so many titles at once, I’ll present them over several entries.

The Relief Society in my ward (congregation) has a Great Books Club that I’ve been involved with for 2 1/2 years. We read fiction and non-fiction classics, and every summer we choose a few children’s books to read. In the summer of 2007 we read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series. I knew about this series as a child but somehow missed reading it. I enjoyed it very much as an adult. I read Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, and These Golden Happy Years. I left out Farmer Boy, not because there was anything wrong with it, but because I didn’t want to lose the thread of the story about Laura Ingalls and her family.

This summer (2008) the Great Books Club read The Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter. This is a story about a boy who was raised by Native Americans and then returned to his biological family at age 15. I especially liked the way Richter made the perspectives of the Native Americans and the American colonists equally believable and sympathetic. This is a beautiful, fascinating, harrowing little book that would be a good choice for a middle or high school summer reading assignment.

Speaking of children’s books, I have a terrific new link for you: Krystel’s Book Blog. Krystel, my daughter-in-law, is a children’s librarian who writes reviews for the many books she reads. Her particular interest is young adult fiction. Since she works in a conservative community, she comments on wholesomeness issues. If you are interested in books that are currently being published for children and teens, you won’t want to miss this blog.

16 April 2007

I have updated all of the pages of this web site. Some of the changes are minor; others are a little more substantial, so take a look around and see what’s new. In particular, I’ve added many more resources for finding wholesome literature on my links page.

At long last, I have put Travail of a Traitor and Bond With a Terrorist into the HTML, MS Reader, and DOC formats. I’m still not anywhere close to being finished writing Alien Beauty, the sequel to Fall to Eden, but I have added a few sample scenes to the Dominion Over the Earth page.

13 March 2006

The final two novels in the Heirs of Novaun quartet–Travail of a Traitor and Bond With a Terrorist–are now available in the pdf format. You may also have noticed that the guest book doesn’t work. Because of some problems with posts last year, I made it unavailable.  I hope to have it back up and running sometime in the future, but for now,  if you would like to comment on my work, please e-mail me.

After interruptions to do web site work, rewrite the Heirs series, and move, I’m finally able to devote my full attention to writing Alien Beauty, the second novel in the Dominion Over the Earth series. It’s too early to post a sample or reveal a tentative publication date, but I’ve passed the 50,000-word mark and feel it’s coming along nicely.

In other news, I had another piece of writing ( a jewel of a paragraph!) published in the Ensign in December 2005. I contributed to a “Questions and Answers” article that addressed the question: How can we magnify our callings while at the same time following the counsel of Church leaders to reduce and simplify the work? To read the piece, follow the link I gave in the 4 April 2005 entry.

4 April 2005

The Double-Edged Choice is now available in all of the formats I use–pdf, lit, HTML, and pdb–as is its sequel, Twin Witness to Betrayal. I’ve also updated my Heirs of Novaun page to include a description and sample chapters of the third book in the series, Travail of a Traitor, which I hope to make available in late 2005.

As a side note, an article I wrote entitled “My Stay-at-Home Education” appears in the March 2005 issue of the Ensign, one of the magazines published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This article contains ideas on how a mother can improve herself while taking care of her children full-time. I will eventually publish “My Stay-at-Home Education” on my Miscellaneous Short Works page, but until then, it can be found at:
http://www.lds.org/churchmagazines/3-2005-Ensign/Mar2005Ensign.pdf

13 December 2004

I’ve added four new pages to the site: Book Lists, Literary Speeches and Essays, Plays and Programs, and Miscellaneous Short Works. On these pages you’ll find old favorites as well as several new offerings.

10 May 2004

I am pleased to present the first Novaun novel I wrote–The Double-Edged Choice. I completed the initial draft in 1985, when I wasn’t much older than the characters in the story. It’s been through countless revisions, and now that I have children the same age as the characters in the story, it is finally finished for good. Hurray!

2 February 2004

I’ve changed my e-mail address to novels@zerosilver.com. I’ve also updated my LINKS page and made some minor corrections to Fall to Eden.

29 September 2003

For those of you who have visited NOVAUN NOVELS before, you’ll notice that I’ve changed the format and design of the site. My husband and I have been working on this new format for many months, and I’m very pleased with the result. With this change and the flexibility it gives me, I’ve added more information about the site and myself. I’ve also included a list of some of my favorite authors and literary links. I haven’t been reading fiction this year, which means I don’t have any new titles to add to my book list. I have, instead, been spending much of my free time working on the final rewrite of my original quartet of Novaun novels, Heirs of Novaun. The first novel of the quartet, The Double-Edged Choice, should be available on this site at the beginning of 2004. If you like my work, I’d love to know! Please feel free to e-mail me or leave a note in my guest book.