Rafflecopter Giveaway of Signed Summer Queen

Thursday, October 12, 2017
Want a chance to win a signed copy of Summer Queen? Of course you do! Head on over to my Rafflecopter giveaway to enter to win! 

Your worth is not diminished because my light shines differently.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
I generally get one of three reactions when people learn I'm an author:

1. Barely concealed disdain or the barely restrained urge to make a warding sign. I figure this is mostly because they haven't heard of me. Therefore I'm a hack. These people generally only talk to me if they're in desperate need to know where the bathroom is (and I always make sure I know the answer to that question).

2. Suprise. I sit behind a table full of books, an author sign behind me, and talk to people. Inevitably, they ask me what I'm doing. They're always shocked when I explain I'm an author. The books and sign obviously aren't obvious enough.

3. Nervousness and its running mate Awe
These two probably bother me more than the disdain. It's almost like people think less of themselves next to me, and I hate nothing more than people who make others feel small and worthless (vestiges from being bullied as a child). I've asked many people why I make them nervous. They inevitably answer that it's because I'm doing something super cool.

Trust me when I say I'm not. I have a talent, yes. But everyone does. My mother is an amazing gardener and quilter. My father a hardworking rancher. My talent isn't worth more than theirs. People sometimes argue with me that because my talent is rarer, it's more prized.

I don't believe that.

What I do involves a lot of daydreaming, sitting in front of a computer until my back aches, and working long hours. I regularly fail - either I neglect my children, house, and husband or I'm neglecting my writing and running a business - which are easily three full-time jobs.

You can't have it all. Not without losing your mind, and trust me, losing your mind isn't worth it.

There are months when I struggle to find time to shower. My house is messier than I'd like. I used to make a lot of money, but I don't anymore, which has been a huge blow for me. So many times, I've wanted to quit. So many times, I've felt like a failure. Like I should get a real job. One that actually pays the bills. That I'm wasting my time.

So no. Don't stand in awe of me. It only makes me even more aware of all my glaring failures. Instead, know that I'm not better than you. Your worth is not diminished because my light shines differently. You have your own light, and the world needs it. Shine on.

The Evolution of the Modern Day Witch Hunt

Thursday, September 7, 2017
The look on my son's face - I could tell something was wrong. Perhaps he was just scared, but he'd been on a lot more intense rides throughout our day at the amusement park. As soon as the ride was over, he made a beeline to me, burying his head in my stomach, and burst into tears.

"What's wrong?" I asked. 

He muffled something unintelligible against my shirt. I gripped his head and tipped his chin upward. "Say it again."

"Some lady called me an asshole."

It was like someone gripped me by the hair and dipped me in a bucket of rage. Who would call an eleven-year old child an asshole? "Did you do something?"

"I was standing on the railing and I guess I dripped on her." It was a water ride that they'd been doing over and over. 

He pointed her out. The lady with the black glasses, the insides lined in red. Barefoot (my shoes were dripping wet), I marched over to her. "Excuse me, did you call my son an asshole?"

She lifted her chin proudly. "Yes, I did."

I couldn't believe someone could be proud of talking to a little boy like that. "Why?"

He'd climbed on the railing and dripped on her. She said she'd asked him to move, and he'd told her she was going to get wet anyway. This is where I think the disconnect happened. He felt she'd snapped at him and was defending himself. She didn't know or didn't care if she had snapped at him. Either way, doesn't excuse an adult bullying a little boy. 

I tried to explain as much. She shot back that he needed better parenting and said some more rude things about my boy. I told her to grow up and act like an adult. That there was no excuse for talking to an 11 YO child like that. She stormed away, every inch of her drawn up in self-righteous indignation. 

The whole situation has made me wonder where people's compassion and tolerance have gone. Today, I've seen posts all over the internet calling for the boy(s) who started the fires in Oregon to spend the rest of their lives in jail. To fine their parents and take away everything they own. To tie them to trees and burn them. 

All I can see is the townspeople grabbing their pitchforks to burn the witch.

People would argue that these kids deserve that and worse. That the comparison to witches fails because one group was guilty and the other innocent. I would say that the definition of "sin" is shifting, and while the target may have changed, the mob mentality is the same. Kill the other. Oust the sinner. Brand them with an "A" across their chest and cast them out. Because they deserve it. 

How do you know what they deserve? 

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” ~ JRR Tolkein 

What is happening to us? What happened to compassion? What happened to softness? What happened to loving one another? Are we really so eager to see the demise of another? To see them suffer? Aren't we simply decrying them while turning a blind eye to our own guilt? 

For the last few days, I've been working on forgiving the woman who bullied my son. I chose kindness, compassion, love, FORGIVENESS. I cast out hate, rooting it from my breast whenever it starts to flourish. I urge you to do the same. Spread sunshine instead of darkness. Compassion instead of hatred. Together, we can make a difference.

*note: I'm not saying these children shouldn't be punished. I'm saying there is a difference between a mob screaming for blood and the order of the law.

I am also not saying that you aren't entitled to feeling angry. But anger is a secondary emotion. What is your primary emotion? A sense of loss? Frustration over one person's stupidity ruining things for everyone else? That always helps me move from working on an emotional level to a logical level.

"So Amber is allowed to feel rage and confront someone, but I'm not?" You feel what you feel. Under the circumstances, I feel I showed remarkable restraint. But you are entitled to your opinion. And in this situation, I was on the front lines. My son needed to see I had his back. He needed someone to stand up for him and defend him when he was defenseless.

"Parents have failed. Their kids have failed." Are you an expert on the subject, or are you just making assumptions based off the news? Cause all I see are parents killing themselves to raise responsible kids. Most are doing phenomenally well. And kids make mistakes. They're learning. Teenagers do dumb things. They should face the consequences of those dumb things, not be flayed alive by hate.

The Evolution of the Modern Day Witch Hunt ~Amber Argyle 

Fun, Free, Cheap Family Activities in Magic Valley (Twin Falls) Idaho

Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Natural Sites
1. Shoshone Falls
2. Auger Falls (access from River Rd just before Centennial Park)
3. Pillar Falls
4. Twin Falls
5. Balanced Rock (west of Castleford)
6. Wilson Butte Cave (from internment camp, go east on Hunt rd, N on Eden rd)
7. City of Rocks/ Castle Rocks (Declo exit- highway 77 to Almo)
8. Niagra Springs Park and Fish hatchery (North of Buhl)
9. Thousand Springs/ Ritter Island (Hi 30 before Hagerman)
10. Shoshone Ice Caves
11. Idaho Mammoth Caves/ Bird Museum
12. Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge (Rupert)
13. Cauldron Linn (Murtaugh)
14. Shoshone Wildlife Ponds and Hummingbird Feeding station (Rogerson Rd just N of Diamond Field Jack in South Hills)
15. Box Canyon Springs (Wendell)
16. Bruneau Sand Dunes (Mountain Home)
17. Craters of the Moon (Malta)

Museums and History Sites
1. Herret Center and Planetarium
2. Twin Falls Visitor Center
3. Twin Falls County Museum (Hi 30)
4. Idaho Heritage Museum (Hollister)
5. Striker Rock Creek Station (Hansen)
6. Cassia County Museum (Main St, Burley)
7. Minidoka County Historical Museum (Rupert)
8. Jerome County Historical Museum
9. Hagerman Fossil beds and visitor center
10. Hagerman Valley Historical Museum
11. Oakley Valley Historical Museum
12. Minidoka Internment Camp (N on H-50, turns into H-25, right on Hunt rd)
13. Three Island Crossing and Oregon Trail Interpretive Center (Glenns Ferry)
14. Milner Dam (East of Murtaugh)

1. Canyon Rim Trail
2. Hidden Lakes
3. Rock Creek
4. Centennial Trail (Shoshone Falls)
5. Malad Gorge (Tuttle exit)
6. Phantom Falls (Drive a mile west out of Oakley, then take Goose Creek Road south. Skirt the north side of Goose Creek Reservoir, and the road will become Trapper Creek Road (forest road 533). About 20 miles after leaving Oakley, you’ll arrive at a fork. Turn left and look for the Phantom Falls Trail sign.)
7. Ross Falls (Trailhead is in a parking lot 2 miles before Magic Mountain)
8. Eagle Loop (Trailhead is on S end of Pettit Campground in South Hills)
9. Rim View Trail Head
10. Wahistrom Hollow (5 mile one way)
                --drop off car at 3rd fork, drive to Wahistorm hollow and hike down to your car.
11. Harrington Fork

Handy app
Avenza Maps—FREE!
1.       Yes on access location
2.       I’m new. Fill out email and password. Activate through email
3.       Search: Sawtooth National Forest:
a.       Sawtooth NF Minidoka RD and Sawtooth NF South Hills Trail Map
1. Cross the I.B. Perrine Bridge and watch base jumpers
2. Zipline the canyon
3. Dierkes Lake
4. Splash Pad at First Federal Park
5. Jump Time
6. Downtown Historic Walk (brochures at Parks and Rec)
7. Hands On
8. Skateland
9. Laser Mania
10. Putters Mini Golf
11. Movies at the Orpheum
12. Nat-Soo-Pah
13. Clear Springs Food Fish tanks and Park (N. of Buhl)
14. Cloverleaf Creamery (205 Broadway ave, Buhl)
15. Lake Walcott Park (Rupert)
16. Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir (Rogerson)
17. Kasota Park (off freeway)
18. Miracle/Banbury Hot springs (Hi 30 between Buhl and Hagerman)
19. Free bowling Monday-Thursday this summer from 11am-5pm at Bowladrome. You just need to pay for shoes each time. Sign up here: www.kidsbowlfree.com
20. Fish Hatchery in Buhl
21. FREE fishing days: https://idfg.idaho.gov/events/9937/month --You DO NOT need a license.
22. Rock Creek Road: 1 mile or so past dirt road there’s a marshy area—great to see moose at night/early morning.

23. $1 kid movies at the mall

New Description for Winter Queen

Monday, May 1, 2017

"A captivating series!" –Jennifer A. Nielsen, NYT bestselling author of The False Prince

A dark twist on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, Winter Queen shows how the Snow Queen came into power. 

Mortally wounded during a raid, seventeen-year-old Ilyenna is healed by winter fairies who present her with a seductive offer: her soul in exchange for escape from the invaders stealing over the mountains.

Refusing to abandon her family, she returns to her village and offers up herself as a hostage to save her father’s life. Struggling to survive Darrien’s cruelty, Ilyenna fin
ds a measure of solace in her fellow prisoner, Rone’s, arms. But it isn’t long before she discovers the feud between their clans is merely a distraction from something far worse.

Ilyenna must decide whether to resurrect the power the fairies left behind. Doing so will allow her to defeat Darrien and the other invaders, but if she embraces winter, she will lose herself to that destroying powers—forever.

Winner of the Rone Award for Best Fantasy/Science Fiction of 2014
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