Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Great Things to Come

As I scroll through my Instagram and Facebook feed, I keep seeing videos my friends have put together of highlights from their year. The problem is, they put about fifty pictures together that play in a loop of ten seconds. Even though the pictures look incredible, it's all a bit of a blur. I wanted to show my writing highlights from this year as well, but I thought I'd slow things down. It's not a ten second video, but you can scroll through really fast if you so desire. 

2013 was full of ups and downs for me, but I learned a lot. I am so grateful for the love I received, the opportunities I was given, and for the new friends I made.  

Let's make 2014 a beautiful, positive year.


Barnes and Noble Authorpalooza where I got to sign next to Jennifer Neilsen, Shannen Crane Camp, Lisa Rumsey Harris, and James Dashner. 

The Siren's Secret press tour for Good Things Utah, Daily Dish, and Studio 5. 

The Siren's Secret book Launch party at Barnes and Noble! 

Signing at Costcoespecially when princesses came to visit. 

California book tour for The Siren's Secret. 

Salt Lake Comic Con. 

And lastly, helping welcome freshman at Utah Valley University (and finding my doppelganger). 

Happy New Year everyone! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Merry Christmas!

Wishing you safe and happy holidays!

Love, Heather.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jerusalem, Israel

I'm ending my travel log with Jerusalem, Israel. It was amazing to visit a place so rich in history, and a place held very dear to many religions. This is outside the gated walls of the old city. 

These are remains from David's Palace in The City of David, as in David and Goliath! 

These underground tunnels led us from the remains of The City of David, through the Hezikiah Tunnels to the pool where Christ healed the blind man. 

The Pool of Shiloh, where the miracle was performed. 

Because Jerusalem is built on layers of ancient cities, some of these homes and buildings behind us were built on tombs.

The old city in the gated walls is split up into quarters: Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim.

The Western Wall. 

Not far from the gated city, you'll find Skull Hill or Golgotha. 

The Garden Tomb is also at this location. I loved the feeling here, it was so incredible to imagine the Resurrection happening at a tomb much like this. 

On the door, inside of The Garden Tomb. I loved this! 

The Garden of Gethsemane.

The Dead Sea, just outside of Jerusalem in the West Bank. All those rocks were caked in layers of salt. 

The Mount of Olives. You can see in the golden roof of the of The Dome of The Rock in the background. 

I bought this beautiful hand carved nativity. I have it up for Christmas right now, and I love the fact that a scene depicting The Savior's birth is from a place where he lived. 

Merry Christmas! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Petra, Jordan

Hello, I hope you are having a wonderful December! Can you believe Christmas is so soon? 

I wanted to finish my travel logs by posting about Petra today, and Jerusalem tomorrow. After that I'll just be wishing you a Merry Christmas! 

After visiting Turkey, our group traveled to Israel, then crossed the Jordanian border. A two-hour drive through the desert later, we made it to Petra. 

To get to the rock carved Treasury, you wind through a series of narrow rock passageways. 

Then, the magnificent Treasury comes into view. 

It is absolutely incredible. I can't even fathom the time and energy it took to carve and create this palace of stone. What's even crazier is that Petra wasn't known to the Western World until 1812, even though it is believed to be built 312 BC. 

Though the Treasury is the most well known (and seen on movies such as Indiana Jones and Transformers) there are several other carved buildings beyond the Treasury. 

The Urn Tomb.

2,000 years ago, this theater was originally carved by the Nabateans to hold 3,000 people. Later, the Romans expanded it to hold 8,500 people. 

There were plenty of donkeys, horses, and camels throughout Petra. I was lucky enough to ride a camel in front of the Treasury. This, everyone, is Petro the camel. 

Did you know that camels don't actually spit? 

Some of the architecture carvings are so intricate! And unfortunately, Indiana Jones was wrong, there was no Fountain of Youth inside the Treasury. But it was still amazing. 

Many of these pictures were taken by my friend Malissa, and I'm so glad she captured certain details that I missed. There was so much to see! 

Visiting Petra was one of my favorite parts of the trip. History was brought to life as I got to see this beautiful rock architecture. Once again, I've received so much inspiration for future stories!  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Istanbul, Turkey

Hello! This girl is back from her travels and so excited to tell you about visiting Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Let the pictures begin! 

Obviously Turkey has a lot of Turkish delight! It reminds me of the White Witch on The Lion, the 
witch, and the Wardrobe. Remember when all Edmund wants to eat is Turkish Delight? I loved that it was in every dessert shop, as was Baklava and anything pistachio flavored. 

One of said yummy dessert shops.

The Blue Mosque is absolutely breathtaking. Everyday a prayer is played throughout the whole city, starting at five in the morning and heard every hour until well into the evening.

Inside the Blue Mosque. The ceiling detail and artwork is beautiful! 

My cute friend Malissa and I inside the Blue Mosque courtyard. 

The Hagia Sophia dome. 

Inside the Basilica Cistern. This is an underground system that used to bring water to the city. 

There's fish in there now. Maybe not the best drinking water currently, but still amazing. 

These statues of Medusa were placed in the underground Cistern during the Roman period. The weird part? No one knows why the statue heads were put in upside down and sideways (pictured below). It's a mystery, which of course just makes it so intriguing. I'm so going to write a story about this someday. 

Why is it sideways?! 

Topkapi, a Turkish palace. Learning the history of the royal family is so interesting. Did you know that brothers would battle to become king? They would either win the sword fight and secure their place as king, or die battling. 

Toblerone McFlurry and a cute stray cat. Unfortunately there were so many stray dogs and cats throughout the city, it was painful to see. 

Pomegranate juice stand.

No big. Just balancing a huge tray of bread on his head with no hands. 

The Grand Bazaar was bigger than I ever could have imagined. Honestly, we got lost, but ended up seeing a lot of beautiful lights, lamps, and wood carvings. 

One of the coolest things about Istanbul is that it's the only major city to straddle two continents. We spent most of our time on the European side, however this evening we were on the Asian side. We took a ferry over there to enjoy the freezing, but incredible sunset. 

Stay tuned for adventures in Petra, Jordan!