Advent Anthologies Book II is here!

I am please to announce that this year’s Christmas anthology is already available. I wanted to get a jump on it, so that I could get it out to distributors and reviewers early.  Everyone should be able to get this one early enough to read as an “Advent Anthology” by December 1st.

All proceeds go to Autism Speaks, in honor of my autistic son, Jarem.

You can find the book in paperback or Kindle formats here:

If any of you are interested in reviewing this book, or hosting a stop on a blog tour later in the year, please let me know at thecanticlekingdom (at) gmail (dot) com.

Advent Event Winners!

Thank you to all who entered the Advent Event! Here are the winners:

Angie Lofthouse: Paperback of Sing We Now of Christmas
Andrea Pearson: Paperback copy of “Dawn Quealy”
Konstanz Silverbow: A Hawaiian Goodie Basket
Lynn Cisneros lA homemade winter hat
Randi Spurling Paperback copy of “Life is Like a Unicycle”
Mercedes Murdock Yardley Paperback copy of “The Canticle Kingdom”
Candice Maudsley Paperback copy of “Toys Remembered”
Bobbie Gross Inexpensive gift ideas from Janet Olsen
Wendy Hauer Paperback copy of “The Hidden Sun”
Shauna Wheelwright A book by Brian Ricks
Tara Pennington PDF copy of “Sing We Now of Christmas”
Roberta Purvis Hulse PDF copy of “Sing We Now of Christmas”
If you are a winner, please send me your shipping address to to claim your prize. If you won one of the PDFs, don’t worry about sending me your address. 
Please continue to spread the word about the anthology. It is still available for purchase here:

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

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Advent Event Day 4

 Welcome to day 4 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:
“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” by Susan Dayley

A straggly Christmas tree stood in the foyer. We passed it on our way to the brightly lit gym (it was years before we heard of rooms called “cultural halls”). Like a beggar in a mink coat, the tree had been strung with multi-colored lights, popcorn, and paper-chain garland with red and green links made by Primary children. Someone had contributed some crocheted snowflakes and a thin, white skirt with glitter embedded in it.
The gym echoed with shoes on the wood floors, the clang of adjusting metal chairs, loud greetings, and laughter. Our mom directed us to a row of chairs that faced the stage. To the left, a dark brown upright piano had its back to us. The pianist was warming up with “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” its soft strains lost beneath the conversations.

Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heaven’s all gracious King!

My dad called for everyone’s attention, and we got right to the singing. Daddy led, choosing lively songs and allowing his strong voice to carry above everyone’s, pushing the lyrics forward while the piano strained to keep up. “You know Dasher and Dancer and Comet and Vixen. . .”
In those days, no one had heard of ward parties with themes like “Christmas in Bethlehem,” “A Nauvoo Christmas,” “Christmas Around the World,” or any of our current productions that focus on our Savior. Back then, a night of singing that cumulated in a visit from “The Jolly Old Elf” was common.

Christmas, Don’t Be Late by Jordan McCollum

Jack turned the black iPod over in his hands. It was a good thing Led Zeppelin had finally caught up with the digital age, even if Jack really didn’t get his dad’s obsession. One Christmas wish down—now he just had to make sure Dad got it before it was too late.
“Whatcha doing?” his little sister Maren called from the doorway, obviously shifting from first to fifth gear of obnoxious.
Jack rolled his eyes and turned back to his computer. “Go away.”
“Lemme see. It looks cool.”
“It is cool, and you’re not touching it.”
She screwed up her lips and folded her arms, taking three steps into his room to pout just out of his reach. “I’ll tell Mom.”
“Yeah, right, and I’ll tell her what you did with Dad’s favorite T-shirt.” Like they weren’t losing him fast enough as it was, she had to go ruining that, too.
Maren scowled at him. “Nuh uh.”
“Get lost.”
She lunged for the iPod, but Jack pulled it out of her reach. Maren jumped on top of him, one bony knee landing hard on his leg and the other driving into his stomach. In a reflex he couldn’t stop, he curled into a ball and shoved her to the floor.

And here a look of one of the prizes:

Susan Corpany will send one lucky winner a basket full of goodies from Hawaii where she lives. What’s in this basket of wonders? You’ll just have to win to find out, though I’m pretty sure chocolate-covered macadamia nuts are a pretty good bet.

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