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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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 Day 10

 Welcome to day 10 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:

“Troll, the Ancient Yuletide Carol” by Michael D. Young

On the first of November at the stroke of midnight, Ms. Christie Carole flung open to the doors to the Carol Conservatory. “O, come all ye faithful!” she called in a cherry voice. “Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat!”
From within, a chorus of carols sprang to life with the tinkling of jingle bells and refrains of “Fa, la, la, la, la…”
“Isn’t it supposed to be ‘I heard the bells on Christmas day’” asked the carol bearing the same name. “They haven’t even stuffed the turkeys yet.”
“You better not pout,” Ms. Carole said with a stern look. “The radio will need you all before long, and you must be warmed up and ready to go.”
When Ms. Carole had awoken the last of the sleepy carols, Silent Night and Away in a Manger, she glanced in the cupboard and noticed a carol she had never seen before in the far back corner. “Bring a torch, Jennette Isabella.”
The carol she had named stepped into the room, lighting every corner of it. There in the cupboard sat an old, wrinkled carol, blinking and rubbing his eyes.
Ms. Carole turned to the carol next to her and asked, “Yonder carol, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?”
When the carol she had asked shrugged, the old carol answered for himself. “My name is Troll—Troll, the Ancient Yuletide Carol.”

“The Dayspring” by Daron D. Fraley
Charles Gaston used an ink dropper to load the nib reservoir, then tested a few strokes on a scrap of paper grocery bag. The black ink flowed well. To be sure the lines were crisp, he placed the pen in a holder and moved his dynamo-powered flashlight closer so he could see the edges of his work. Satisfied, he rested his wrinkled forearm on the silver edge of the upside-down Victorian server so his hand would not tremble.
What else was he to use? He had no blank paper. The only remaining sheets had already been printed on both sides—back when the electricity was on and they could use the computer to log the incredible changes which had occurred. And a paper bag didn’t seem right. Too cheap.
No, this would have to do. Besides, using the leather base of the tray as his canvas would look nice—it would be trimmed in silver like a fancy picture frame. He set the pen nib at the top of the leather and penned the first lines from memory:
O come, o come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!
He blew on the fresh ink softly so it wouldn’t splatter. As he read the words in the dim light, the tune came to his mind, but he didn’t hum it—he didn’t want to wake his Lizzie. He remembered when he had played it for a visiting dignitary—he couldn’t think of the name—when the Paroisse was cold and damp on a mid-December evening. The visitor had smiled politely, but had not seemed impressed. Charles had muttered a snide comment under his breath. The man heard him. Apologies were later given, but Charles hadn’t really been sincere.

And here a look of one of the prizes:

A pdf copy of “Sing We Now of Christmas”.

  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

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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.

Writing Fireworks

Hope everyone had a happy 4th. My oldest son appreciated every last ‘bomb bursting in air’, while my younger son reenacted the part where the British screamed in terror. I, for one, am grateful for a nation where we are free to pursue the goals that we want, and can even work towards making a living as a writer.

Writing Progress:
Words for July: 15,355 (30%)
Words for 2012: 315,362 (52.5%)

Writing Update:
I had a great writing week as the numbers will show. I’m revising three novels, and adding little bits and pieces here and there as well as working on new works called “Elected” and “Dual School”.  I’ll have project descriptions up soon under ‘Current Projects’.
I’ve actually put my hand to writing a lot of music this week, working on a possible sacred album. I’ll be sure to write about that when that comes to fruition.  

Weekly Writing Tip: 
Once you finish something, step back for a little while before you try to revise it. You’ll look at it more objectively and that new perspective can only help. Also, the ideas there might have simmered in your subconscious for a while, which helps you piece things together that didn’t already turn out in the first draft. 

Anthology Update:
I saw the first draft of the cover for the anthology and I’m very excited. I sent some feedback to the artist and hopefully, I’ll be getting a second draft here soon. I’ll be sure to post it when we have finally settled on a final draft.

Seeking a Few Got Pens:
I am seeking a few other authors to embark with me on a multi-book, multi-author project. I can’t promise you fame and piles of money, but I can promise, time travel, cavemen, the French Revolution and more. If you’d like to see the details, click on “Current Projects”.

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:
Until next week, live bravely, and write well! 

So What Did You Do With the First Half of Your Year?

Happy July, everyone. Contrary to rumors that I have fallen off the face of Earth, I am still around and still writing. May and June provided plenty to do, from doing a show, to traveling to St. Louis for my brother’s wedding to 60 hour work weeks to finish up a project at work.  And despite it all…

…I still got all my writing done. 50, 000 words for May and June. Phew. It’s true that I just barely made it, but it still worked out. I have hit the halfway point for 2012 and am on schedule to hit my ultimate goal of 600,000 words.

I’m hoping to get my blog back up to a state of normal posting, with regular content.

Writing Progress:
Words for July: 0 (0%)
Words for 2012: 300,007 (50%)

Writing Update:
Just because I was silent, doesn’t mean I wasn’t busy!  I have finished the first drafts on the third installments of The Canticle Kingdom and the Last Archangel series and am working on a trio of new middle grade titles. Their working titles are: Dual School, Elected, and Lend a Hand. I’ll take more about each of them in the coming weeks.
I’m also working on revising a musical I wrote while I was in a musical tentatively titled “When Death Comes”. I’ve got several musical projects in the works, and if any of you know of a person who is good at writing scores for such projects, have them drop me a line!

Anthology Update:
The anthology is right on track. The first draft is at the editor, also known as Darth Editus. Extra points if you know her real name. The cover design, suggested by fellow author Daron Fraley, is at the cover designer. It was an excellent suggestion that speaks to the idea of the anthology being a little like an advent calendar. It should be about another week before I get that. Check back later for the big reveal!
In case you missed it, the title of the anthology is going to be: Sing We Now of Christmas: An Advent Anthology.
We are already tossing around the idea of having a ‘caroling book signing’, where we could perform some of the carols mentioned in the anthology while we sign books. 
Seeking a Few Got Pens:
I am seeking a few other authors to embark with me on a multi-book, multi-author project. I can’t promise you fame and piles of money, but I can promise, time travel, cavemen, the French Revolution and more. If you’d like to see the details, click on “Current Projects”.

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 I see you again, write bravely and live well! 

Mayday Update

April is a Winning Month!
Welcome to another month! April was a very difficult month for writing. I had the opening of “The Secret Garden”, the crash of my computer and a thousand other things vying for my time. I’m pleased to report, however, that on April 30th, I jumped over the finish line for 50,000 words in April.  That was a close one! I had to find all sorts of little times to write a little here and there. It really does add up.
My hard drive situation is still not taken care of, but I have high hopes. I will get back to posting writing stats once I get back my old records. Until then, just know that I’ve done about 200,000 words already this year! Many fun projects coming your way soon.

Canticle Kingdom eBook
Great news! “The Canticle Kingdom” is now available as an eBook!  You can get the Kindle edition here: and on the Nook:  Many of the Canticle Kingdom prequel stories are going eventually to be in eBook form as well, and the two sequels I am writing will be in eBook form as well, so this makes me very happy.  

I went to the LDStorymakers conference this weekend  down in Provo and it was just to soak in all the knowledge and to get a chance to pitch to agent Holly Root. I think it all went really well!  I also loved seeing all of my writer friends and catching up on their amazing projects. We are in good company in our organization.
Last week, I attended a great workshop given David Farland about outlining. If you ever have a chance to take anything from him, jump at it. He has trained many NYT bestsellers and is one himself. You can find more about him at

All the stories are in for the Christmas Anthology, and one of the major steps that now needs to be made is to name it.
To this end, I’m announcing a contest. Send me in your best name suggestions and we’ll take a vote. If you suggest the winning name, you’ll get credit in the anthology, a free copy of the anthology when it comes out and your choice of one of my books or a free three-chapter edit from me if you’d rather.
Keep in mind the nature of the anthology, which is that it is comprised of short stories based on Christmas songs.  Please keep all suggestions family friendly, and be creative as you can be. Send all submissions to:

‘Til I see you again, live bravely and write well! 

Autism Awareness Blog Hop

For the next little bit (April 11th -17th), I am suspending my usual activities to participate in the Autism Awareness Blog hop.
My oldest son, Jarem, has a form of autism and I hear all the time how much more prevalent it is becoming. I’m very glad that there are so many resources to help people with autism.
I encourage you all to go to order to learn more.
In honor of this blog hop, I’m giving away a free signed copy of “The Canticle Kingdom”. You can use the widget to enter below, and don’t forget to follow the other blogs who are participating in the hop for more ways to win. 

Also don’t forget to check out my web serials to which I have contributed.

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April is Great…No Foolin’!

A happy Easter weekend to you all! 

Hello, everyone. I apologize for not checking in earlier this week. Between singing in LDS General Conference over the weekend and doing dress rehearsals for “The Secret Garden” at the Hale Center Theater Orem, I’ve been pretty booked. It was a bit of a rough start for the first part of April as far as writing goes, but I made up for it with a good writing day yesterday.
Here’s a few announcements:
I’m going to be in Ephraim Utah at the “Write Here in Ephraim” event, teaching my class on avoiding cliché and signing books. It will be held most of the day on Saturday April 14th at Snow College, so stop by if you are in the area.
All the submissions for my Christmas anthology are in and there are great things in store. I have an editor and a cover artist on board and I’m ready to go. One of my favorites is a historical fiction piece that centers around the legend of Good King Wenceslas.  Look for that and more this holiday season.  (Sounds like I need a movie trailer voice there.)
If you’d like to see me and many other wonderful actors and actress’s in “The Secret Garden” you can get your tickets online at The first performances start April 13th and the show runs all the way until June 2nd. I will be performing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday night as well as some of the Saturday matinees. (I’ll post those later). I highly recommend you come see this one. It not only has incredible music, but a timeless and touching story that will stay with you long after the show is over.
Also don’t forget to check out my web serials to which I have contributed.
Running Total: 173357
Month to Date:  8731
Yearly Percentage to Go: 71.1%
Writing Tip of the Week:
It really pays to plan. I’m reading over some things that I wrote in my early writing days when I just went for it without taking much time to plan. I found things rambling more often than not. I don’t think there is one true way of planning, but I think whatever works best for you is the way you should go. I’m attending David Farland’s Million Dollar Outlines workshop this month, so I’m sure I’ll have more to say on the subject later.
Writing Update:
Wandaful is finished! I see that one as a series, but I’m not sure exactly how long yet. I’m going to let that one sit for a week before taking it up again so that it has time to ‘simmer’.  Now I’m just wondering what to do next. I have several options, and I’m not sure which one would be best. I’ll be sure to let you all know.
‘Til I see you again, write bravely and live well!