Young Adult Blog Hop

Welcome to the Young Adult giveaway hop! Every entry you see below will give you a chance to win a great young adult book. Also, don’t miss my audio series through (click on Audio Series above) or the submissions I have for upcoming anthologies. (See Current Projects.)

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The Cast List

Whenever a book comes out, I always play the game of deciding whom I would cast in each role if the book ever became a movie. I thought it would be fun to try this with “The Last Archangel”, one character at a time. I’ll post a new one every week with the main characters and you can see if you agree or disagree with my picks.

For this first pick, I’m going to start with the most prominent character, Xandir. He is a powerful angel who broke heavenly law and was sentences to serve as a destroying angel until the End of Time. He is a powerful and quick-witted character, often seen brandishing swords and engaging in high-speed chances.

My first pick, for the role of Xandir would be: Gerard Butler.

File:Gerard Butler (Berlin Film Festival 2011).jpgPhoto by Siebbi

Not only can this guy pull of intense roles, but he’s got the muscles to be convincing as an angel who’s job it is to destroy things. Just think of him as a Spartan…with wings. He doesn’t have to sing for this role (think Phantom of the Opera) and overall, I think he’d knock it out of the park.

What do you think? If not, who do you think would do better?

Have a great weekend! 

Interview with Xandir

Today as promised, an interview with Xandir, the main character of my novel, “The Last Archangel”.  

Interviewer: We have here today a guest that wasn’t so easy to get ahold of.  He isn’t listed in the yellow pages, you can’t read his blog, and the guy never tweets. Xandir is a destroying angel by day, and by night…well, still a destroying angel.  In fact, he’s got the gig until the End of the World.  At least there’s job security, right?
Xandir: You’re awfully gutsy making fun of some with a sword in each hand. I’ll have you know, I once toasted two cities and turned a lady into a pillar of salt all before lunchtime. Don’t test me.
Interviewer:  Sorry, it’s just, I’ve never interviewed an angel before. From all the paintings and stained glass windows I’ve seen, you all seemed to be an easy-going lot.  I see I’ve been misled.
Xandir: Yeah, well, you wouldn’t be the first. I know we don’t exactly offer to pose for portraits, but greeting card companies really just need to try harder.
Interviewer:  Perhaps you would like to dispel some other common misconceptions for us, Xandir.
Xandir: Sure, where do I start? I could probably write a whole book about it.
Interviewer: What about music in heaven? Is harp strumming compulsory?
Xandir: Do you think I’d be caught dead with something as frilly as a harp? No, angels play all sorts of things, though I think a few instruments have been banned. The accordion, the bagpipes, and the kazoo have been relegated to Hell. 
Interviewer: Kazoo-wielding demons.  Now there’s one more reason to stay on the straight and narrow. I can’t help but notice that your wings don’t look quite like I had imagined. They look more like the surface of a bubble. Do all angels have them?
Xandir: Most do. But remember the wings are more substantial than they look, and we’re not birds. Not even little cherubs for all their sickly-sweetness.
Interviewer: That’s reminds me, there seem to be a lot of different types of angels.  How does that work?
Xandir: The little bite-sized ones are the cherubim. They are the younger ones in training, usually apprentices to more senior angels.  The suck-ups get made Seraphim, who take great pride in supervising the rest of us. I’ve got a High Seraph who acts as my glorified baby sitter. It’s his job to make sure I don’t just destroy stuff for fun.  Or boredom. I guess there are some Archangels even above them, but who cares about them?
Interviewer: Interesting. Now, I’ve got to ask, is there really a cloud nine? What makes it so great?
Xandir: Yeah, it exists, but it’s not really that much better than clouds one through eight.  I think there’s a pretty good ambrosia stand there, but, you know, it’s been a while.
Interviewer: So, I know you’ve probably got to get on to destroying some more things, but I’ve got to know.  What’s will halos? You don’t seem to have one.
Xandir: You’re pretty observant for a mortal.  The deal is, not all angels have them.  What you all see as a halo is actually a crown given to big wig angels.  Like most angelic clothing, the crowns glow and create that ‘halo’ effect around the angel’s face.  What I’d do to try on one of the Archangel’s crowns.  It would make a Rolex look like a Cracker Jack toy.
Interviewer: Where are you going? I have some other questions I’d like to ask.
Xandir: Too bad.  Duty calls.  Oh, and I’d stay off the interstate today if I were you.  I’m headed there now, and it might not be pretty.
Interviewer:Thanks for the tip.  I’ll…and he’s gone. You heard him folks, straight from the angel’s mouth: stay off the interstate, and, well, don’t take up the kazoo. 

NaNoWriMo Day 12

Day 12 of NaNoWriMo and so long to the Blog Hop.  I’m going to post the winner on Monday’s post. Please stop back on by on Monday to see if you have won.

Another good writing day with another 2,000 words down. I’ve doubled the length of The Last Archangel II in just 12 days. I’m well on my way to finishing up by the end of the month.

 Please also consider entering my NaNoWriMo contest. I could use some more people on my leaderboard.  You can update your word count by either leaving a comment on one of my posts or by posting on my Facebook author page at You can find the widget to offical enter the contest by clicking on any of my NaNoWriMo posts.

1. Writer Mike 31,387 (as of November 12th)
2. Robin: 25,022 (as of November 12th)
3. Misha: 3,398 (as of November 2nd)

Word Count:

31387 / 50000

Writing Tip of the Day:
Even when not doing NaNoWriMo, one of the best ways to motivate yourself is to keep track of your progress. For this reason, I always have a word count meter like the one you see above. Not only does it give you a visual representation of your progress towards the finish line, but it even tells you what percentage you have completed. There are many options out there, but here is the one that I use. Check it out. It’s very easy to use.

RafflecopterSettings = { raffleID: ‘ZGM1OTRjYmFhNjUwNGM1OWE3ZTQxMmE4NzQ5MTc3OjY=’};<a href=””>You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway</a>.

Final Angel Trivia:

The last question was:  What is the name of the “Angell” that designed the Salt Lake City Temple as well as many other buildings in Salt Lake City?

The correct answer was given by Tanya Parker Mills: Truman, from the architect’s full name of Truman O. Angell.  

The final question is: In which Biblical book does it record a donkey seeing an angel and then temporarily getting the power of speech? 

Hint: It is in one of the books that are considered “the books of Moses”. 

Join me later this week as I review too books and talk about what I learned as a writer by reading them.  

Angel Trivia 4

The question yesterday was: Which book of the Bible mentions angels the most

The Answer: Revelation

No takers on this one.  Try the next one on for size: 

What is the name of the “angell” that designed the LDS Salt Lake City Temple, as well as many other buildings in Salt Lake City?

Hint: His initals are T.O.A.  

Just one more question on Monday!  Not to late to step in and answer. 

Angel Trivia Day 3

The question yesterday was: Name the three angels mentioned by name in the standard cannon of the Bible.

The first was Gabriel, who visited Mary to tell her of her special status as the mother of Jesus. 

The second is Michael. (What a great name) He is the archangel who cast Satan and his followers out of Heaven. 

For the third, I will accept either Lucifer or Appollyon. 

I had a few other answers, such as Uriel and Raphael.  These are traditional angels in many religions, but are not mentioned by name in the standard Old and New Testaments.  They are mentioned in some apocryphal books that are included in some biblical version.  

Congrats to: Alyssa Clark again, as well as T. J. Bronley.  

The question for today to be answered on my Facebook pageWhich book in the Bible mentions the word angel the most times?

a.     Genesis
b.    Revelation
c.     Matthew
d.    Deuteronomy

Angel Soundtrack and Other News

Here’s the list of angel songs I found just by searching through my playlist.  Maybe I could even call it my angel soundtrack.
1.       Angel by Lionel Richie
2.       Angel’s Among Us by Alabama
3.       Hear You Me by Jimmy Eat World
4.       Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls (from the movie City of Angels)
5.       Pretty Little Angel Eyes by Curtis Lee
6.       Johnny Angel by Shelly Fabares
7.       Lullaby (Goodnight my Angel) by Billy Joel
8.       Angels by David Archuleta
9.       Hark! The Herald Angel’s Sing by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
10.   Like an Angel Passing Through My Room by Sissel
I’ll be listening to these while I write the next installment.  What other angel songs did you come up with?
In other news:
1.       I’ve made a new landing page for my Facebook author page.  You should see it automatically if you have not “liked” the page yet.  If you have, just click “welcome” from the menu on the left under the book cover picture.  I used an app called Pagemodo and I highly recommend it.
2.       I was interviewed by The Deseret News yesterday about “The Last Archangel”.  For those of you not in Utah, it is a major newspaper based out of Salt Lake City.  The feature should appear in September and I’ll post a link to it here on the blog.  I talked with interviewer a lot about the symbolism in “The Last Archangel”, so I think it should be interesting. 

Angel Music and 99 Followers!

I’m writing today from hot and humid Illinois. I’ve been here on vacation visiting family and having a great time.  I see that my blog has reached the 99 follower mark.  Thanks to all followers both old and new.  Let’s see if we can tip the 100 mark soon.  

When writing “The Last Archangel”, I read a lot about angels and listened to many songs about them. One great thing about angels is that there are so many great songs about them.  Being the music buff that I am, I happen to own many of them.So, I wanted to play a little game on my blog. 

I have made a playlist in which every track has something to do with angels. Make a list of 10 songs that have “angel” as part of the lyrics or that are about angels in some way.  After I have enough entries, I will post my list and you will get one point for each song you thought of that I did not.  The winner will be featured here on my blog with the prestigious “golden harp award”.

After this, I wanted to feature some angel trivia that we used at the my recent launch party.  My wife and I came up with these together and the guests thought it was really fun.  

If you haven’t already, head over to​m/ where you can hear a recording of a recent radio interview I did about “The Last Archangel” and some of my upcoming projects.  

Enjoy, and don’t forget to submit your angel music list!