Big Announcement Post…

I won’t hold you all in suspense for any longer. Last year, I put together “Sing We Now of Christmas” and was very pleased at the end result of raising over $1000 for charity. This year, I wanted to do something to up the ante.

So, this year, not only am I going to release volume II, but I am going to hold a charity concert with Utah’s very own…

They will be headlining the concert I’m putting together for the first Saturday in December, with all proceeds going to charity. If you’d like a taste of what to expect, please go visit them on April 20th for their Spring Concert. I went last year, and it was a blast, with a huge variety of music and excellent guest artists. 
More details to come. Stop by next Friday when I reveal the cover for Volume II…
Any guesses about what it will look like? 

Book Lovers Holiday Giveaway Hop

I’m fresh off a win from NaNoWriMo with 50,000 words towards a single novel and 30,000 other words written for a personal best of 80,000 words written in one month. Congrats to all those who finished NaNoWriMo!

Another great giveaway hop where you can win some great things just in time for the holidays. Enter below on the Rafflecopter widget, and then visit the many other blogs participating. Thanks, and happy holidays!

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

Say Hello to August

Hello all! July is now officially in the win column, and with a little icing on the top as well. I didn’t have quite as much going on in July, but was still busy. I’m a firm believer that anyone can find time for writing if you are willing to sacrifice and prioritize. I have to stay up later and forgo other entertainment such as playing video games, but it is all very worth it. Good luck with your own writing endeavors. 

Writing Progress:
Words for July: 53,432 (106.8%)
Words for 2012: 353,439 (70.6%)

Writing Update:
I’m just waiting for my final edit on the second Canticle Kingdom book, and am editing the third Last Archangel and Canticle Kingdom books. I finished my first “The Last Archangel” serial for, which is going to be called “Age of Archangels” Like my Canticle serials, these serials, of which I am planning eight, will tell Xandir’s backstory over the centuries. Progress on “Elected” is going forward very well, and I’ve been working on many articles for websites and such.

One of these websites is called and deals with informing people about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of which I am a member. I think this is an especially important endeavor as there are many false conceptions out there these days.  You can read some of my work here: 

Anthology Update:
I should be getting the first draft of the Christmas anthology in a few days. The cover and the back cover copy are all ready to go and just about everything is in place. I’m very excited to get the work out about it. I’m going to need people to review ARC copies soon, so shoot me an email if you are interested.  Without further ado, the cover: 

 (Many thanks to artist James Curwen for donating his services to make this cover. I would recommend his services anytime. You can find him at:

Canticle of Twilight
The last season of what I’m calling “The Canticle Prelude” is going on right now with new episodes every Monday. Even though it has the word “Twilight” in the title, I promise, it has nothing to do with sparkly vampires.  Instead, it is a story that tells about what happened in the Kingdom right before the events of the first book. Check it out at:

Til next time, live bravely and write well!

Raising the Stakes on NaNoWriMo

I always look forward to November each year for more reasonsthan Thanksgiving. Though I am a sucker for turkey and stuffing, I also lovewatching my word counts skyrocket as I take part in National Novel WritingMonth.  (NaNoWriMo for short) For theuninitiated, during NaNoWriMo, writers seek to write 50,000 words in 30 days,which is the length of a short novel.
I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo for three years, and I’veimproved every year. My first year, I barely squeaked by on the 30th,the next year I hit the goal on the 25th, and this year I took ahuge leap forward in finishing on the 17th
This got me to thinking—why couldn’t every month be likeNaNoWriMo? If I can do in November, what makes it impossible in January orJuly? The answer for me is: nothing. I just try harder in November to work hardand minimize distractions because I have a firm target.
With that in mind, I want to set a very high goal this year:I literally want to make every month like NaNoWriMo. I think I’ll call itNational Novel Writing Year (or NaNoWriYe) for short. I want to write 50,000per month for every month in 2012 for a grand total of 600,000 words.
To put that in perspective that’s about two installments ofRobert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series.  It is much more than I have ever written, butI think that I can do it. I am serious in my commitment to writing, and I thinkthis will be a formative year in my career.
I’m sure that many full-time authors can easily pull of thisfeat.  However, I’m working a full-timejob, have a wife and two kids, and a very busy schedule with the MormonTabernacle Choir.  I hope that in doingthis, I can inspire others who have busy lives to see that they can still fitwriting into their schedules.
I have also decided that I want to take it a step further.Many runners run to raise money for charity. I thought I would go ahead andwrite for charity instead. To help out, you can pledge an amount, howeversmall, for every month’s worth of words I write (every 50,000 words). Thatmeans, if you pledge $1, and I reach my goal, you would donate $12 to charity. In this case, I have selected the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in honor of a good friend who suffers from this disease. 
To pledge an amount, fill out the form below. All you needis a full name and email address.  I willthen send you an invoice through PayPal at the end of the challenge for theproper amount. I will be taking charity suggestions from my readers to figureout where the money should go.  I won’tkeep a dime.
Anyone else up to the challenge? I’m excited and already alittle tired just thinking about it. Luckily, I have several full noveloutlines ready to hash out, and I’ll be giving constant updates here on my blogthroughout the year. 
In this season of giving, I encourage you all to think ofways to spread the abundance we all have been given.  Have a happy and blessed Holiday Season.