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E-book and print book available!

October 26, 2018

THE BOOK IS FINISHED! The e-book and print book are on Amazon and the print book is on! Fifty-Five Days of Faith tells about the multiracial Lavin family joining the church less than two months before the 1978 revelation on priesthood was received. We’ll let you know when the print version is available! Read more about this new book here, including advance reviews from Cathy Stokes, Margaret Blair Young, Romane Armand, Paul Furse, Jacqueline Nagy and Marilyn Nelson.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of this book supports Operation Underground Railroadwhich rescues children in 17 countries from sex trafficking.

Photos: Marsha (left) in North Carolina opening her box of books. Marci (right) in Texas opening her box of books.

“Fifty-Five Days of Faith” coming in October 2018!

June 22, 2018

cover design by Mulberry Books

Click here for reviews and more info!

Would I join a church in which only half of my children could fully participate because of their African lineage? Dick and Marsha Lavin made that tough decision on April 14, 1978. After searching for years, their family, including their two biological children and their two adopted black children, felt right about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, at that time, the church did not allow blacks to hold the priesthood. The Lavins decided to exercise faith, join the Church, and pray for a revelation to change the policy. Dick offered a particularly fervent prayer the morning of June 8, 1978. Later that day, the revelation on priesthood was announced, making all worthy male Church members worldwide, age twelve and older, eligible for priesthood ordination.

Dick and Marsha’s faith in God began when each experienced a profound loss at the age of seven. Marsha was involved in a tragic accident that claimed the life of her thirteen-year-old brother and his best friend. Dick’s mother was institutionalized with a brain disorder; he never saw her again until her deathbed. Marsha and Dick’s faith in God grew throughout their life journey together. They ended up with nine children—seven of them adopted—and an extraordinary story to tell.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of this book supports Operation Underground Railroad,
which rescues children in 17 countries from sex trafficking.

Book Contributors Spotted at Girls’ Camp!

August 24, 2017

Left to right – Stacy Appleby (chilling in the hammock), co-editor Marci McPhee, and Abbey Whitcomb

What a treat to meet book contributor Abbey Whitcomb at Girls’ Camp! We corresponded back and forth about her wonderful waterfront contribution to the book “Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders.” But we never met — until now!

And then there’s Stacy Appleby, chilling in the hammock, with whom I’ve been serving at camp on and off since 1995!

Here’s to Girls’ Camp, and the book that we created together.

(Thanks to Anna Fisk for the photo)

Hand-delivered to Brazil (but not India or Wisconsin): Congratulations, Goodreads winners!

March 11, 2017

You won’t believe this, but my Brazilian friend Sheila came for a visit to Boston just as Goodreads announced the winners of our book “Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders.” The winners are from Wisconsin, India and. . . Brazil!

Sheila packed the winning book into her luggage and dropped it into the mail stream in Sao Paulo to go to Parana, Brazil. Much cheaper and more secure than an international mailing. Thanks, Sheila, and congratulations, Goodreads winners all over the world!

I wonder what Girls’ Camp is like in India and Brazil . . . .

Read what they’re saying about “Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders”!

February 27, 2017

Kendra, blogger at

Read Kendra’s nuanced thoughts at “The Things I Love Most.”

Sydney gave it 5 stars on “Girls’ Camp is a fantastic resource for camp directors and leaders to use as they prepare for camp. This unique book has personal examples of different situations that take place at camp, both good and bad. It also has some easy recipes, tips for teaching, possible activities, ways to make every girl feel included and so forth. I would definitely recommend this book to LDS or other religious camp leaders in helping them prepare for a fun and safe Girls’ Camp.”


Read more reviews by

Hailey Smith, co-writer, co-producer, and actress in Once I Was a Beehiveand

Julie Berry, award-winning author of The Passion of Dolssa and All the Truth That’s in Me


We’re delighted that people are enjoying the book! Will you be next? Available on and wherever LDS books are sold.

FREE Goodreads Giveaway – “Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders”

January 15, 2017

FREE! Walnut Springs Press is giving away 3 signed copies of my book “Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders!” Enter by Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day) for a chance to win! Visit Goodreads: #giveaway #free #win #book #goodreads

Congratulations, Goodreads giveaway winners! “Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids”

December 8, 2016

cropped-final-cover.jpgKudos to Darko D. of Serbia, Vanessa G. of Illinois, and Tabitha G. of Kansas, the winners of the Nov. 2016 Goodreads giveaway! I’m thrilled that there is interest in the book from all over the world!

Watch for more Goodreads giveaways in 2017!!

#giveaway #free #win #book #goodreads


FREE Goodreads Giveaway – “Sunday Lessons & Activities for Kids!”

November 1, 2016

final coverFREE! Walnut Springs Press is giving away 3 copies of my book “Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids!” Enter by Nov 30  for a chance to win! Visit Goodreads:  #giveaway #free #win #book #goodreads

Bridging the real world and the ideal: Leading kids and teen girls

August 20, 2016
Photo by Kelly Keenan

Photo by Kelly Keenan

TEACHING KIDS: How do you handle Father’s Day and Mother’s Day when children may not be living with one of each? How do you build a celestial nursery with toddlers? “Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids” has ready-to-use ideas for teachers and parents about channeling boundless energy, staffing challenges, bullying, children’s music for a lifetime, kids with special needs, pint-sized service projects, and behavior management — as well as some of the best children’s lesson enhancements and activities of all time.

LEADING GIRLS: How do you translate Mormonspeak for nonmember friends at girls’ camp? How do you hold to modesty standards while making every girl feel accepted? What about cellphones at camp? “Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders” contains practical ideas and powerful stories, from the first day of camp, to lifetime lessons that continue to bless lives long after camp is over. Whether you’re a leader, lifeguard, nurse, craft-barn leader, or priesthood visitor, whether your camp is primitive or modern, there’s something in these pages for you.

MARCI MCPHEE has collected a spectrum of women and men from across the country, coming together in these volumes to talk about real-world situations faced at church, at home, and girls’ camp. Dive in!


A portion of the proceeds from both books support immigrant mothers and their children at Waltham Family School in Massachusetts.

Now Available: “Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders”

April 3, 2016
Left to right, Julia B. Blake and Marci McPhee

Left to right, editors Julia B. Blake and Marci McPhee

Now available! “Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders” edited by Marci McPhee and Julia B. Blake, now available on (Kindle or print version), and wherever LDS books are sold.

What’s it about? Read the teaser here!

What are people saying about this new book? Read reviews here!

Who are the contributing authors? Here‘s the lineup!

A portion of the proceeds will support immigrant mothers and their children at Waltham Family School in Massachusetts.


Read about the book launch party!