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.

Checkin’ It Twice

Checkin' It Twice

In addition to my own anthology, Sing We Now of Christmas, I have the honor of being in this wonderful Christmas anthology put out by LDS Publisher. It doesn’t hurt that they named the anthology after my story “Checkin’ It Twice”.

These stories really are the creme of the crop and will make an excellent addition to your Christmas. The variety also strikes me as huge plus, with some more lighthearted and others more serious, but all of them uplifting. It is literally an effort years in the making and quality shows.

If you order before December 15th from Amazon, you’re eligible for all sorts of Christmas goodies. Simply email your proof of purchase to: For details, click here:

Here are some links where you can order this festive anthology:

• Amazon (print & kindle):
To learn more about the individual stories and the authors involved, visit the Checkin’ It Twice site:

 Merry Christmas to all!

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 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.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Advent Event Day 3

 Welcome to day 3 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 Mistletoe” by Janet Olsen

Charlie stood outside the shop, watching through the window as children waited to see Santa, the younger ones clinging to their mothers. Charlie couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for Santa. So many children feared him.
“Hey man, what ya doing out here?” Tony joined Charlie on the sidewalk.
“Do you think I’m too old to see Santa?”
Tony chuckled. “You’re looking at him through the glass right now.”
“You know what I mean.”
“A twenty-five-year-old man would look kinda funny sitting on Santa’s lap.” Tony turned to his friend. Charlie stared through the window but he wasn’t looking at what was inside. “You’re not still moping about Bernice, are ya?”
“No—like you said, we were all wrong for each other. I hate that she dumped me right before Christmas but It’s fine.” Charlie shifted in the cold pulling his coat tighter. “I just wish…”
Charlie shook his head and pulled out the package he was delivering to Tony. Tony thanked him and shoved the box into his pocket before they stepped into the warmth of the shop.
“Come on—I’m not Santa, but I can listen to your Christmas wish.”

“In the Bleak Midwinter” by Teresa G. Osgood

“Chop your wood, sir?  Please, sir?  Carry your bundle, miss?”
The bleak midwinter day was coming to a close, and the chance of filling my belly was close to naught.  The few townspeople still on the street rushed by my corner, arms full, muffled faces down.
“Fetch your water, ma’am?”
“Bit late for that, ain’t it?”  The crone looked up to cackle at me.  “The well’s frozen over.  You’d best get on home, lad,” she called, but I was already headed across the square.
I slipped two or three times on the morning’s snow, packed down over the snow from yesterday and from the day before.  The well was an inky pit, but surely the ink was still liquid.  I let down the heavy bucket.
I thought the bucket must have hit the stony side of the shaft, so I pulled on the rope, jiggled it a bit.  Again, I heard the sound of oak on stone, and I knew the old woman had told me the truth.  A parched feeling spread across my throat, competing with the hollowness of my belly.
The wind whipped past, snatching at the shawl around my shoulders.  I grabbed it back.  That shawl was all I had left of my mum, near all that was keeping me alive in this world.  I looked up to see the wind chasing the last tattered clouds away.  Stars were coming out like so many shards of ice.  I shuddered, and picked my way toward the alley.

And here a look of one of the prizes:

A signed copy of my first novel. The prequel just came out on Amazon, called “The Canticle Prelude”.

  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.

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!

National Novel Revision Month

Congratulations to all those who completed National Novel Writing Month! I finished early this year and that felt pretty good. I’m now on to what I call “National Novel Revision Month”, in which I sand down the rough edges of my hastily-constructed novel.  I’m sure many of you are doing the same.  I’ve decided to call this sequel to the Last Archangel, “The Last Kingdom”, which has to do with the prophecy in Daniel 2 of the Old Testament.  Go read it for a clue as to what I mean:

As such, I want to announce the winners of my NaNoWriMo contest. Alas, no one who entered the contest beat me to the punch of winning NaNoWriMo, but I did select three lucky winners to receive first chapter evaluations of their NaNoWriMo manuscripts.  They are:

Heather Justesen
Diana Ault
Megan Conway

Thanks for entering! I think I’ll make that an annual event, so start gearing up for next year.

Next of all, I’m very excited about how many people are preparing stories for my Christmas Carol anthology.  I would still love to see more entries.  If you are considering writing one, please let me know so that I can make sure we all write on different songs.  I have included a list of those songs already taken in my “Current Projects” page above.

All proceeds of this project will go to the National Down Syndrome Society, which is a great cause, so I hope you’ll help me spread the word! If there is anyone who would like to volunteer their services in helping design a cover, edit/typeset, or anything else, please shoot me an email at

Finally, look for a new blog hop starting tomorrow, and to all of you, I wish a blessed and peaceful holiday season.

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!