Advent Event Day 8

 Welcome to day 8 of the Advent Event! Please share this event with your friends. The more anthologies we can sell, the more money we can raise for the National Down Syndrome Society.

Purchase the book here:

Or visit this site for more information:

Here’s a look at the next two stories:

“The Good Page” Part III by Ryan Larsen

Podevin ran, unaware of the tears that flowed down his cheeks. The dark, abnormally warm September air rushed past him as he went, and he had to swerve out of his way to avoid buildings and other obstructions. The bell for matins had tolled only moments past. He prayed to God that he would not be too late. There had been murder enough, as of late—all known supporters of Duke Vaclav.
When Agnes had come to him minutes earlier, had told him of the plot she had overheard, he had tried not to believe it. If he had not been there at the death of Ludmila, he probably would not have believed it. As it was, he now ran to save the life of his duke. His innocence had been robbed from him that horrid night so long ago.
The dark streets of Stara Boleslav were unfamiliar to the page, and he only vaguely knew where its solitary church was. At one point, he was forced to pound on a random door, asking directions from the sleepy and startled occupant who opened it.
Light had begun to creep up the horizon before he saw the spire. He heard shouting.
Podevin rounded the corner of a large building next to the church. What he saw and heard chilled his blood. A hundred feet from the church steps, Duke Vaclav—a sword wound on his head—wrestled with his brother, trying desperately to take away the younger man’s blade. Two men, one large and the other small, stood nearby, both trying to pierce the duke with their own steel.
“Csta! Hnevsa! No!” Podevin yelled this as he closed in, not caring that he had no blade of his own.

“The Good Page” Part IV by Ryan Larsen

“I went to the cave of the Wanderer,” Podevin said, his ancient limbs creaking as Strachkvas sat on the chair, leaning forward intently to hear what the prisoner’s soft voice said. “He told me I could stay there for as long as I wanted, so I did, even long after he left. I think he was there for only a year after I began living with him. He offered to let me go with him when he left, but I didn’t have any desire to travel. I told a few people—merchants, mostly—about Vaclav’s death, and I think most of them believed me. I never saw Agnes again.”
With these words out of his mouth, Podevin slumped down, looking more dejected than ever.
“After a few years, I gave up all hopes of ever seeing anyone I knew again. Mostly I hunted for food. I was almost arrested the last time I came into Prague, and that was more than twenty years ago.”
“Why did you allow yourself to be caught?” Strachkvas asked, finding that his throat was dry. These were the first words he had said throughout the prisoner’s story.
A bitter laugh came from the man. “I’m getting old. Besides, it has been a long time since I confessed my sins. Tell me, Father. Am I absolved?”
The priest thought for a long time, his mind going over what this man had said. He found no guile in him, and although he knew that the man would be killed regardless of what Strachkvas did, he had the strong impression that the man truly was innocent. Strange, as he had shed the blood of a man.
“Yes, my son. I forgive you. And I believe God does, too.”

And here a look of one of the prizes:

Janet Olsen: “I plan to send them a few cheap neighborhood gift ideas (Can of pringles “Have a poppin’ good holiday season, things like that) So I just need to know what day and the address of the winner so I can get that out.”

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Advent Event Day 5

 Welcome to day 5 of the Advent Event! Please share this event with your friends. The more anthologies we can sell, the more money we can raise for the National Down Syndrome Society.

Purchase the book here:

Or visit this site for more information:

Here’s a look at the next two stories:

“The Blessings of Christmas” by Cheri Chesley

Little David had no family. He had no home. He had only the clothes on his back, his worn sandals, and the small drum his father had made for him. David slept under a torn canvas that hung from the wall behind the fish seller’s stand. It always smelled bad, but David could not be picky. At least the canvas kept the wind off him during the long, cold nights.
During the day, Little David stood between the fish seller’s stand and the stand belonging to the man who sold sugared dates. He beat out tunes he had learned on his drum and then held out his worn cap so passers-by could toss coins into it. On a good day, he made money to buy enough food so his stomach didn’t keep him awake that night. He rarely had good days.
One afternoon as the merchants closed up their stands, David stood in his place, beating out a favorite tune on his drum. People hurried past him, eager to get home before the sun set completely and the winds picked up. No one stopped to drop a coin into his hat. Little David looked longingly at the bread shop across the marketplace. He would not have enough money to buy his dinner.
Just then a woman stopped and placed a coin into his hat. “You play very well,” she said and smiled at him.

Stocking Stuffers, by Michael D. Young
 ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and though her husband had settled down for a long winter’s nap, Theresa lay wide awake. While her husband dreamed of sugarplums, she could only think about cookies, specifically the ones on her side table next to the Christmas tree. 
Last year, the cookies had vanished, replaced by a note written in meticulous calligraphy. It read: 
Dear Fellow Cookie Connoisseur, 
We regret to inform you that St. Nick has developed a slight peanut allergy. In order keep him jolly, we humbly request that your Christmas cookies be nut-free next Christmas. Thank you for your attention in this matter. 
I.M. Fudge
At first, she was convinced that her husband, who had a peanut allergy, was playing a prank on her. A subsequent amateur handwriting analysis, however, proved this theory incorrect. It turned out that no one in the family could produce a single letter of calligraphy, even at the threat of a present-less Christmas. She had no other choice but to concede that a denizen of the North Pole had written the note. 

And here a look of one of the prizes:

A signed copy of “Life is Like Riding A Unicycle.” by Shirley Bahlman.

Life is Like Riding a UnicycleShirley Bahlmann

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Advent of the Advent Event

It is here: the advent of the Advent event!

I know it’s not quite December yet, but I’m sure you’re already starting to hear those carols on the radio. I’m doing this giveaway before Christmas starts, because the anthology I just came out with is meant to be read as an advent calendar, which means you’ll need it before December 1st.

This promotion will go on for 12 days and will have 12 great prizes from the authors who helped make the anthology a reality. Each day, I will highlight a different couple of stories from the anthology and their authors, and go into the prizes that will be offered. To enter, just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Dates November 7th-18th.

Purchase the book here:

Or visit this site for more information:

Here’s a glimpse into our first two stories:

“O Come, All Ye Faithful” by Betsy Love

The evening news came on the television set. Depressing, that’s all it was. Christmas was supposed to be the best time of the year, and yet so many people were lonely and hurting and hungry. At least Claudia wasn’t hungry.

If only she could stop thinking about that trip to Bethlehem, the one she’d never experience since the accident had taken her sweet Joe from her.

How clearly she remembered that day. Was it really only a few months ago? Claudia had watched her husband take the expensive nativity off the shelf. “But Joe, we just can’t sell it,” she said as he dusted the pieces, wrapped them in the original packaging, and tenderly placed each one in the box.
He smiled down at her. “It’ll be like trading one manger for another.”

Later that morning, they headed off to the antique dealer. Joe was certain the set had gone up in value. It had, nearly three times. Joe tucked the money into the envelope along with the rest of their savings. A smile never left his face as they drove across town to the travel agency, but they didn’t make it. A drunk driver ran a red light, hitting the driver’s side.

“A Real Tree” by C. Michelle Jefferies

“What does he think he’s doing?” I asked my twin sister, Ellie. Outside the front window, my father wrestled with a gigantic pine tree. I sat at the kitchen table, my homework piled in front of me. Christmas break had started that morning, and I had homework to do if I wasn’t going to be behind when school started again. My twin pulled a sheet of sugar cookies out of the oven and placed another in. “Couldn’t we just have a hologram tree like everyone else?”

“Kai, you forget. Dad lived on Earth. He likes to do things traditionally,” Ellie said as large mechanical hands washed the dishes in the sink and placed them in the dishwasher. A second pair of hands waited near my twin’s shoulder. She had to remind MAT, the housekeeping program, that she was capable of making cookies without its help. An old, scratched record belted out a choir singing Christmas tunes. My mother was upstairs wrapping presents. The house was stocked to bursting with holiday food.

“It’s stupid,” I said. “Doesn’t he know what he looks like, fighting with a tree that’s bigger than he is?” At least he could use a hover-lift—it’d save me some embarrassment. I leaned back and pulled at the blond hair that kept falling in my face. While I looked like my dad, down to the green eyes, my twin was a striking image of my mother, with dark red hair and blue eyes. Her pale skin rivaled my mother’s in whiteness. Everyone remarked how the two of us were carbon copies of our parents.

And here’s a look at one of our prizes:

An autographed copy of “The Hidden Sun” by J. Lloyd Morgan

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get Ready for Sing We Now of Christmas

It has been a truly difficult time, and I’ve got to say, I was down and out for a while. Without going into too many details, I was laid off from a beloved job and have had a terrible time looking for work. I became very sick and for a couple weeks, I was barely able to do anything, much less get any writing done.

I’m still out of a job, but at least I’m back on my feet, and using the extra time to write and work on great projects.

I’m happy to announce that “Sing We Now of Christmas: An Advent Anthology” is coming very soon. I’ve ordered the proof copy of it and it just needs my final review. It will be coming out in paperback and Amazon Kindle formats.

You can get a better idea about what you’ll find at the anthology’s website:

We will be having a promotion soon to get everything kicked off that has to do with “The 12 Days of Christmas”.  We’re also hoping to do another book next year that will benefit autism. Please send any stories you’d like to have considered for that my way.

This week, another anothology came out of which I am a part. I have two stories that are modern parables that I think you’ll like. Check out “Parables for Today”:

Parables for Today

I’ll going to try to be online more in the upcoming days. Thank you all for your friendship and support.

Another Winner and a Happy New Year!

Congratulations to Krista Jensen of Cody, WY who won the second copy of “The Canticle Kingdom.” Apparently she really did get some things off of this list for Christmas.  

1 Kindle e-reader
2 book release dates
3 pedicures
4-piece flannel sheets
6 pairs of socks (I need some, okay?)
7-day writing retreat
8 maids
9 times the energy
10 new Kindle books
11 free loads of laundry
12 chocolate truffles

A safe and happy New Year to you all.  I’ve got a lot of exciting writing projects in the works this year and I look forward to sharing them all with you.  If you want to write as well, I encourage you to make it part of your New Year’s resolutions to dive in this year. Make this the year that you write that novel or that play, or whatever it is you like to write.  Small, consistent efforts will accomplish more than the occasional big effort will.  Go for it! 

First Winner in 12 Days of Christmas Contest

Congratulations to Annette Lyon! She posted her personal 12 days for Christmas and is the winner of the first copy of “The Canticle Kingdom.” Here’s the winning list:

As for my list, having a bit of fun:
1. Spotless house
2. book tours
3. trips to Disneyland
4. happy, healthy kids
5. gold rings (hey, why not?)
6. afternoon naps
7. happy hours with family
8. days to write
9. million dollars
10. chocolate pies
11. days in Europe
12. pounds lost! (more than that, but the song doesn’t go any higher)

If you didn’t win this time around, never fear. There is still one more copy up for grabs.  Simply leave your list as a comment to this post or the original post, or let me know that you have tweeted, blogged, or posted the contest on Facebook.  I will draw the next one on the 24th of December. 

A New Twelve Days of Christmas Contest

One website totals the value of the 12 days of Christmas at nearly $100,000.  Makes you wonder what this guy did for a living, and why he needed to try so hard to impress his true love.  (And if he bothered to wrap any of the gifts.)


It is speculated that the song was actually a Catholic symbolism song meant to teach children:

1The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch”, which gives the history of man’s fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed

For more, see: (This list is from that site)

Who knows?

The question is, if someone was going to do the 12 Days of Christmas to you, what would you want?  Leave a comment on this post answering this question, and you could win one of two signed copies of “The Canticle Kingdom.”  You don’t have to do the whole song if you don’t want, but at least on of the days.

Myself?  I’d probably put more edible stuff in there like “and a pizza with pepperoni…” 12 publishing contracts would be nice too.

I will draw a winner on the 12th of December and one on the 24th (which is 12 days from the 12th).  Entries are as follows:

1 entry for a blog post answering the question.
2 entries for posting on Facebook about this contest.
2 entries of posting on Twitter about this contest.
2 entries for blogging about it.

(Please let me know which of these you have done in your post.)

“The Canticle Kingdom” is also available on for a great price.  Check it out here:

And have a very Merry Christmas!