Monday, August 29, 2011

Awesome August Blog Hop!

So, my good friend Tristi Pinkston started this blog hop and it sounded like a lot of fun, so I decided to join her!

Welcome to the Awesome August Blog Hop, where bloggers from all over the Internet have come together to throw a summertime party!

Every blog on this hop is offering a fun prize, and entering is quick and easy. Simply follow the instructions on each blog, leave a comment, and bop right along to the next blog. You can win multiple times, so be sure to check out all the participating blogs!

To enter here, you need to follow my blog for an entry, then go to Barnes and,, and/or and either like/rate (star) my book, The Sapphire Flute, for one entry each, or write a review, for two entries each. (For Amazon, see NOTE below.)

Once you've done all that, leave a comment telling me what you've done and I'll add up your points.

Now, do you want to know what you'll get for doing all of that? Well of course you do!

You shall get a few things:
1) A $10 Amazon or iTunes gift certificate--your choice.
2) A hand-bound collection of my favorite quotes, some about writing, some not.
3) A copy of Mella Reese's book "Nia."

Now, surely that worth a little of your time? :D Good! See y'all on the other side!

NOTE: I have been informed that soliciting reviews for my book on Amazon is against their policy, so I have to withdraw that as being part of the contest, though if you have read the book and feel it genuinely deserving of your vote or comment, that is always appreciated.

Thank you!

Awesome August Blog Hop Participants
1. Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author
2. Karen Hoover
3. Michael Young
4. Kristy Tate
5. cindy Hogan
6. Julie Bellon
7. Margot Hovley
8. Laurie Lewis
9. Mandi Slack
10. Melanie Jacobson
11. Joyce DiPastena
12. Renae Mackley
13. Debbi Weitzell
14. Donna Hatch
15. Carolyn Frank
16. Marsha Ward
17. Stacy Coles
18. Bonnie Harris
19. Danyelle Ferguson aka Queen of the Clan
20. Diony George
21. Lisa Asanuma
22. Susan Dayley
23. Christine Bryant @ Day Dreamer
24. Stephanie Humphreys
25. Ranee` Clark
26. Tamera Westhoff
27. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
28. Heather Justesen
29. Rebecca Talley
30. Jennifer Hurst
31. Aimee Brown
32. Cheryl Christensen
33. Rachelle Christensen
34. Imaginary Reads
35. Andrea Pearson

Learn more about Awesome August Blog Hop here.

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Friday, August 26, 2011


If you're wondering where all the challenge tabs went, don't be concerned. I haven't stopped doing them. Because they were taking over my blog, I moved them to a more writer friendly space that I'm already running--Sprint Writers Central. Challenges will start back up again on September 5th with the Poetry Challenge, so be prepared and go HERE to find it! :)

Thanks for your patience and understanding!

Oh, and just ten more days to pre-order The Armor of Light and get all the extra goodies. Don't forget to order it while you still can!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Hi guys. I am extending the Flash Fiction Challenge until Wednesday to see if we can get some more submissions, so if you still want to play there is still time.

I am temporarily suspending the Poetry and Flash Fiction Challenges until September. I've got too much on my plate at the moment and about to go more insane than I already am, so unless someone is willing to step up and take on the challenges for me for a few weeks, I have to set them aside for the moment. I hope everyone understands. This is only temporarily. We will be back online once I get The Armor of Light out there and follow up on a few projects I promised to do for people.

Thanks for understanding! If you want to take over, e-mail me, or leave a comment below and I'll get back with you.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Winner! Poetry Challenge #7

Wow, what a week Rebecca Blevins is having! First she won the Flash Fiction Challenge, and now today she wins the Poetry Challenge for her poem "Adventures in Baking a Cheesecake!"

Congratulations Rebecca! We're so proud of you!

Second place was "The Wind," by Bethany Ricks

And now their poems for your viewing pleasure:

Adventures in Baking a Cheesecake(Rebecca Blevins)



Scrape, scrape,

I’m going to make a cake!



Crumbs, please,

Pour lots of sweetened cream cheese!



Set, set,

It’ll be the best one yet!



Fall down,

Sagging, unappealing brown.



Drop, plop,

Cherry filling fixes top.



Bite, bite,

This will be a tasty night!

The Wind (Bethany Ricks)

The Wind
The Rush
The Rush of breath
That brought me my life
My life of reason
My life of flight

Everything moving
Moving to a beat
A beat of a heart
The heart of the rush

Before the wind
Before the rush
The life that I knew
The life that was crushed

This rush that found me
Found and held me
Held me up and saved me

Now we walk
Hand in hand
Against the world
With the wind

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Flash Fiction Challenge #8

And here I am, late again. I apologize, people. My nephew got married today and it's just been a long and crazy day.

The prompts are finally up for Flash Fiction. You have until Saturday night at 10:00 PM Mountain time to get your stories to me. Remember you have one hour to write 1,000 words or less. When finished, send them to:

Good luck!

Poetry Challenge #7 Voting open!

Voting for the Poetry Challenge is now open!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Flash Fiction Challenge #7 Winner!

And we have a winner!

Congratulations once again to Rebecca Blevins for "Totally Gnarly"! She's becoming the master of Flash Fiction. :D

And here it is in its entirety for your enjoyment.

“PHONE!” Donna yelled. “It’s Jimmy! Hey, when are you going to make me a flower garden like his?”

I stopped hoeing the corn and dusted off my hands. “Never! It’s too much work!” I took the phone. My wife glared at me, then left for the store.

When I answered, the voice on the other end made an attempt at being cheery. “Hey, Buddy, get over here, quick!”

“Jimmy, I’m not coming over.”

“But DUDE!” he protested, “This guy is wacko! Crazy! Psychedelic! I talked to him this time and he won’t leave! He’s some alien scientist and he’s taking Gramma’s flowers!”

Dude, you’re the one who’s psychedelic. Wait— “You actually talked to him?” I set my drink on the counter and grabbed my keys.

“Yeah, dude. He’s okay, not a murder, I don’t think, but he won’t go.”

“Hang on Jimmy, I’ll be right there.” I put the phone down and hurried to my truck.

Jimmy’d been complaining of aliens—okay, one alien—in his backyard for the past week and each time, I’d seen nothing. Poor guy, I kept hoping he’d keep his promise to swear off grass, but it looked like he’d fallen back into the old pattern. And his Gramma thought she was doing him a favor, leaving him everything. The old gal hadn’t had a lot, but it was enough to enable Jimmy to make nothing of himself for a while.

When I pulled up, the first thing I noticed was that everything looked exactly the same. I’d really hoped to see a flying saucer hovering above the house, but nada.

My shoes crunched the sparse gravel as I headed up the walk. Jimmy’s face peered from the window by the dingy curtain, and the door opened a man-sized crack. “C’mere!” Jimmy waved frantically at me to come inside. Before I could step through the opening, he yanked me through, shut and deadbolted the door. “He’s there, man!”

“Who?” By the looks of him, Jimmy hadn’t slept for a week—or showered either, by the smell that threatened to knock me down.

He put his finger against my lips, I shoved it away, then whispered, “Who?”

Eyes bloodshot and crazy, he pointed at the kitchen, said, “Shhh,” and motioned me to follow.

Yep, has to be on something.

We went into the kitchen and Jimmy sneaked a peek through the ruffly curtains at the window, then he stepped aside. I couldn’t figure out how to get him to come with me if he thought I was taking him to rehab, so to humor him, for the fourth time this week I peeked through the window.

And saw an alien.

He glittered in the sun, green sparkly skin that shimmered colors like a holographic card. Countless waving ears stood out like trumpets on both sides of his three-eyed head. Decked out in a white, Elvis-inspired lab coat, the alien, or whatever it was, pranced around Jimmy’s yard, studying the flowers.

Jimmy must have noticed my eyes had gone huge because he shook me until my teeth rattled. “You see it, right Bob? Right? I’m not crazy!”

“Uh, yeah, I see it.” Then I opened the door and marched outside, Jimmy following and pleading with me not to go.

“Hey, you!” I called. “This is private property! No trespassing!”

“Groovy, dude!” the alien said. “Your friend doesn’t mind. This is research for the gnarly good of our Eustachian society! I’m doing no harm to these plant-creatures. See, they like it!” He held a Black-eyed Susan and blew gently. The yellow flower moved as if it were wriggling with pleasure, and deepened in color to rich gold.

“H-how did you get here?” I stuttered.

“Why, take a gander at my sweet love ship! I call her Willow, after my favorite Earth tree.” The green guy smiled, and I realized that besides his ears, third eye and green, color-shimmering skin, he looked a lot like us. Sounded more like Jimmy, but I was used to that.

The ship hid well among the huge flower garden. Willow had green moss trailing off her gleaming sides, which poked through here and there under all the flowers that grew on her. “Most impressive ship! Now, when will you be going?”

“Dude, I will leave your garden of flowers and love, man, when I get enough for the Head Mum’s wedding. Nothing but the best for her. See, we’ve been coming here from Eustachia for many years now, and we bring back stuff that we find totally groovy. Well, the Mum loves your green cabbage sprouts and beans, and wants to serve them at her wedding. Problem is, they do a number on our totally bogus digestive systems. So Mum needs some pretty radical flowers to help make her wedding dinner smell nice as a gnarly gardenia.”

“Makes sense, I guess.” I folded my arms while Jimmy quaked behind me. “But you can’t just steal things. Pick a third of the blossoms and pay my friend for them.”

The alien sighed. “Okay, dude. If we have to.”

“You have to,” I said.

He went back into the ship and came out with a sack, which he handed to Jimmy. “Will that be radical enough, dude?”

Jimmy opened the sack, which was full of gold coins. His mouth dropped open.

“Yeah,” I answered for him. “That’ll be fine.”

Jimmy and I went into the house and watched through the window as the alien carried piles of blossoms into his ship, then ship and alien disappeared in a flash of light.

“So,” I motioned to the pile of money, “are you going to party?”

He shook his head. “Nah. I think I’m gonna get me some gardener training. I don’t wanna sit here day after day and wonder if the aliens are coming back. But if they do,” he patted the sack, “I’ll be ready for ‘em.”

I left Jimmy burning with excitement. On the way home, I began planning my own flower garden.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Flash Fiction Challenge #7 Voting Begins!

Voting has begun for Flash Fiction #7! Go and cast your vote!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Poetry Challenge #6 Winner!

Well, it was a close run down to the wire, but we have a winner for Poetry Challenge #6. Now, what made this particular challenge so special, was that both of our lead poems were written by kids and they were neck and neck until the end. Thus, for the first time, I am awarding a first and second place widget to our winners and posting both of their poems. These are some special kids, guys. They beat out all the adults!

And so our first place win goes to Noah Blevins for World of Words! Congratulations, Noah!

Our Second Place win goes to Abby Finch for Aliens! Congrats to you as well, Abby. I'm so proud of the both of you!

And now here are their poems!

World of Words (Noah Blevins)

Opening a world
Swirling, twirling thoughts
Words dancing across the many pages
Feel the words stealing you away to a new dimension
See things that you have not seen
Hear sounds unknown to all
Smell forests, mountains, valleys
Taste foreign fruits
Living the lives of others
Feeling their emotions
Close the world
Wondering about what was just explored,
Hungry for more words

Aliens (Abby Finch)

Connect the stars

Way past Mars

As far as the eye can see

I can see you

But can you see me

The Armor of Light Book Launch!

Here's the news you've all been anxiously waiting for! Thanks to a lovely friend who shall be justly acknowledged in the book, The Armor of Light is currently undergoing professional edits--thus delaying the release date just a teensy bit. But my friends, this editor is brilliant, and she will make the extra wait well worth it.

"But when?" you ask. "When can we read the next book?" Well, let me tell you!

The Armor of Light, book 2 of The Wolfchild Saga, will be available on:
September 6, 2011 (in honor of my mother's birthday)

Now, I'm going to be doing a few things between now and then. I'm going to have some contests. There will be some blog reviews. And I will have special deals available if you order through me.

"Deals? Deals? What deals?" I'm sure you are asking. That is a question easily answered.

All deals are for pre-paid orders only (Before September 6th). The first 100 orders will receive a numbered, personalized, and autographed copy of The Armor of Light: Book 2 of The Wolfchild Saga. After the first 100 orders, the books will be autographed and personalized, but not numbered. You will also receive bookmarks for both The Armor of Light and The Sapphire Flute.

The Additions to the above and prices are outlined below:

Deal #1: $15
1) Your choice of an Armor of Light Keychain or Poster

Deal #2: $20
1) A DIGITAL version of The Armor of Light (Your choice of format)
2) Your choice of an Armor of Light Keychain or Poster

Deal #3: $25
1) An Armor of Light Keychain or Poster
2) The person of your choice written into one of the books as a character

Deal #4: $27
1) The softcover version (with new, matching cover art!) of The Sapphire Flute in addition to The Armor of Light
2) A Keychain
3) A Poster
4) A 10% Discount (Price above reflects discount)

Deal #5: $40
1) The softcover matching version of The Sapphire Flute (with its new cover!) in addition to The Armor of Light
2) A Keychain
3) A Poster
4) The person of your choice written into one of the books in the series as a character.

Okay, you've got five choices here. Just look to the sidebar on your right for ordering information. If you order from me you'll always get an autographed copy. If you want to buy keychains or posters separately, e-mail me to let me know, or just comment here.

Thank you for your patience, everyone. I know it's been a long wait, but it's been a long journey to get here. I can hardly wait for you guys to read it! Thank you for all your support!

Flash Fiction Challenge #7 Begins

The new Flash Fiction Challenge is open with a few changes, namely the dates. I had to move things up a day so I'm not trying to juggle so much at once, so Flash Fiction Fridays are now Flash Fiction Thursdays, so we're a day behind. That means, since this is a transition week, I'm giving you until Sunday night at 10:00 pm to turn in your stories, rather than Saturday. Just ignore the schedule on the sidebar this week.

Can't wait to see what y'all come up with this time! I know I say that every week, but I mean it every week. I love reading these stories! Prompts are posted, so click on the Flash Fiction Challenge tab, make sure you read the rules, and go have fun!

Flash Fiction Challenge #6 Winners!

Would you believe we have another tie??? I am thrilled to announce our winners this week, both worthy of the win, though all entries were very good.

And the winners are:

Rebecca Blevins for Love and Lost
James Duckett for Sebastian

Congratulations to the both of you! And here are their stories for your reading pleasure.

Love and Lost by Rebecca Blevins

Virginia ripped open the red envelope with trembling fingers. At last, a new one! Only two days ago, she’d sat at her brand new computer chair and shakily moved the arrow over to what movie she’d wanted and put it her queue. Queue. What a fancy name. The label on the sleeve said “Lost: Season 1.” Mabel told her about the show at bridge club last week and Virginia’d been dying to see it ever since.

She tottered over to her DVD player, the one her son Robert got her a few years ago, and slipped in the silver disc. DVDs weren’t as rugged as VHS cassettes, but she liked them more. Her living room cabinet was full of movies from every era, but her favorites were the ones with strong, handsome, leading men.

While the DVD was loading, Virginia went to her room and put on a red, beaded necklace that went beautifully with her cobalt blue blouse. Powder on each cheek and a swipe of crimson lipstick completed her outfit. She didn’t go to the movies much anymore, but she figured she might as well dress the part if she was going to fantasize about going to dinner with George Clooney or Brad Pitt. Another handsome face surfaced in her memory.

She put on her best glasses, the ones with golden frames. Vernon had loved her in gold—he used to say, “Gold makes the sun rise and set on you, Ginny.”

Virginia picked up a photograph of their wedding day. She gently rubbed her finger over Vernon’s face, then again as a tear splashed on the glass. Setting the frame down, she cleared her throat. “Now, none of that.” After getting a glass of iced tea, Virginia settled in and turned on the show.

Virginia giggled. Jack was certainly handsome. There was something about that roguish Sawyer, too. “Ah, Mabel,” she said to the empty room, “you were right! I’m very much going to enjoy this one.”

“What’s that?” a voice asked.

Virginia’s heart nearly stopped. “W-who’s there?” she replied weakly, reaching for something, anything to defend herself, but finding only her remote. After looking around the room, she saw a man sitting in Vernon’s old leather recliner.

She peered into the twilight. “V-Vernon?”

The silver-haired man nodded. As Virginia stared in awe, Vernon faded away. She noticed the smell of honeysuckle, her favorite flower. Something was on the chair where Vernon had been sitting.

Virginia went over to the chair. Lying there, was a single, perfect honeysuckle.

“Oh, Vernon,” she whispered. “Thank you.”

By this point, Virginia had missed much of the Lost episode, but she really didn’t want to watch any more TV. Instead, she put the flower into a glass of water and brought it to her bedside, then lay down and dreamed—not of Jack or Sawyer, but of Vernon, her Vernon.

The next day, Virginia went to her knitting club. She told them about her story. “Well,” Mabel said, “That’s a sure sign you’re losing it, Ginny. You need to get back to reality, keep watching and doing stuff that makes you feel young and vibrant. Did you get to the episode where—”

Virginia pointed a knitting needle at Mabel. “Stop right there. I haven’t finished the first one, but I will tonight. Don’t say a single word! You’d better not spoil this one like you spoiled the second season of Friends!”

Mabel winked and the women went back to knitting and gossiping. Ann went on about Peggy’s new hip. Usually Virginia would have been very interested, but her thoughts kept slipping to Vernon.

That night, missing Vernon so much, Virginia didn’t even wait to finish her dinner before turning on the TV. She skipped the makeup and beads, and brought her plate into the living room instead of eating at the kitchen table.

She still thought that kid Jack was adorable. He kind of reminded her of Vernon at that age. Why now? Everything reminds me of Vernon. Oh, how I miss you, dear.

Virginia’d realized she’d been staring at her plate for half an hour when there was silence. The show was over, and she’d missed most of it again.

A noise came from Vernon’s old chair, like something creaking. It reminded her of the sound his knee made before he had surgery when he was forty. She looked over and there he was, not silver-haired like the night before, but blond with a touch of gray at his temples, like when their children were at home. “Oh, Vernon, I’ve missed you.”

His dear, lightly lined face showed every emotion. “I missed . . .” he began, but before he could say anything else, he was gone.

Tears dripped freely down Virginia’s face, dropping into her peas. The scent of honeysuckle was stronger than the night before, so she went to the chair and found several perfect blossoms. She placed them by her bedside as well.

The next night, Virginia didn’t try to watch TV. She dressed her very best, and placed a single honeysuckle blossom in her hair. She went to her chair and waited.

Just as she was about to doze off, a soft, deep voice woke her. “Virginia.”

She opened her eyes and saw Vernon young and vibrant, just as he was when they began their life together. “Is it really you?” she asked.

“Of course!” His green eyes twinkled as he laughed and reached for her hand. “I couldn’t have you pining over film stars any longer, could I?”

Virginia took his hand and rose from her chair, surprised at how light she felt, how young. “Of course not, dear. I’ve missed you terribly.”

Vernon wrapped his arms around her and whispered in her ear, “So have I, darling. So have I.”

The next day when Virginia’s son Robert came to see her, he found his mother had passed on in her chair, smiling, and a large bouquet of honeysuckle in his father’s old recliner.

Sebastian by James Duckett

Sebastian lamented over his death. For three thousand years he walked the vast desert that had appeared before him after being stampeded to death at the special screening for the last episode of Lost. For three thousand years he had wandered and wondered: how did the series end.

Sebastian remembered it like it had happened only moments before. He stood in line holding tight to his Jack bobble-head only half an hour before the last episode was to air.

“Hey, kid! You squeeze that doll any harder you are going to choke it to death,” one large, old man in a flannel shirt had said to him. Sebastian might have ignored him except the fact that nearly everybody had dressed up in expensive suits and tuxes he normally saw at the opera.

“It’s a bobble-head, not a doll,” Sebastian explained. He held it out for the stranger to see.

The flannel shirt seemed to grow in size as the old man shifted to get a better look. “Oh, it’s Matthew Fox!” he exclaimed. Sadly, this would be the last thing ever said to Sebastian.

Somebody overheard what the old man had said and shouted, “What, Matthew Fox is here?!” for everybody to hear. Mayhem broke loose and everybody scrambled, trying to get the autograph of one of the main characters of the show. Before Sebastian knew it, a riot had broken out and two minutes later he lay in his own blood gasping for air.

He did not specifically remember death. It was nothing like he had imagined, full of pain and sorrow. Instead, it seemed peaceful, as the movie theater setting slowly dissolved and turned into the desert that he roamed ever since.

Death didn’t bother him too much. His life had only produced one passion. His parents tried to get him into music, first with voice lessons, then piano, and finally the drums. No passion. They tried getting him into sports. His heart was just not into it. School? No. Girls? No. Well, one girl. Evangeline Lilly, the woman who played Kate Austen on Lost.

Sebastian knew and loved Lost, but he did not know how it ended. For three thousand years, lost himself on this desert with no food (which he didn’t need), no company (which he didn’t desire), and only the haunting realization that he would not see the final episode, he wandered in search of some sort of meaning in it all.

And then Sebastian tripped.

Sebastian had never tripped for three thousand years. He looked around to see what he could possibly have tripped over. He had never seen anything for millennia but sand and sun and had never found anything he could trip over.

He dug around where he saw his footprints turn from steps into a small ditch. Sebastian almost gave up his search but then he found something solid, much unlike the sand that he only knew since his death. He continued to dig, surprise and anticipation welling up in his throat. When he finally found something to hold on to, he gave it a pull and it easily came out of the sand.

It was a picture frame. No picture, not even glass in the middle. It was only an empty picture frame, apparently made of gold. Trying to get a better look, Sebastian wiped the edge of the picture frame.

Suddenly, where a picture and glass should have been, fog had appeared. Sebastian looked on in wonderment when a face dissolved out of the fog. Sebastian stared, realizing he had seen that face before.

“Hello, young man!” the man inside the picture frame spoke to him.

“Sco—Scott--- Scott Baio?” He had grown up watching Happy Days and Charles in Charge and now Scott Baio appeared before him in a picture frame.

“Yes, it is me. I have been waiting for three thousand years for you to find me. Finally! Together, we can leave this place.”

If Sebastian had a heart, it would have leapt out of his chest. “Leave? This place? Where are we? Is this hell?”

“No, Sebastian. It is Limbo. Something is holding you here and for some unknown reason only I can release us. My frame has special powers. Ask it to show anything and it will show you what you desire. It is simple, just ask it how to get us out of this place so we can both go on to our fates of eternity.”

“I can see anything?”

“Yes,” Scott said. “But I can only show you one thing. So ask carefully.”

Sebastian thought, wanting to make sure he had the right question in mind. He played it over and over in his head. Only one request? Only one chance? “I want to see the last episode of Lost!”

The jaw of Scott Baio dropped, dipping below the peripheral of the Golden Frame. “Lost?!?!? The TV show? No, you have to wi—,” before his statement was over the fog had returned and after a few seconds he heard the familiar words, “Previously, on Lost.”

For the next 104 minutes he watched how the show had concluded.

After the credits rolled, Sebastian started to dig out the hole he had made previously to bring up the picture frame. While digging Scott Baio’s face reappeared. “Sebastian. Are you happy now? You wasted our one ticket out of here to watch a stupid show that ended a long, long time ago. Was it worth it?”

Sebastian stopped digging and lifted up the golden frame. “I waited three thousand years for this ending. I made guesses. I think I came up with a hundred endings that were plausible and satisfactory. And ABC decides to end it like this? This was the best they could do?”

Sebastian then lifted the frame and threw it in the hole. “You were wrong Scott. This is hell!”

After smoothing out the sand covering the hole Sebastian stood, sobbed one last time, gave a sigh, and continued to walk.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Poetry challenge #6 Voting is up!

Come, my pretties, and vote your heart away! The Poetry challenge is up!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Flash Fiction #6 Voting is up!

Voting has started for this week's Flash Fiction Challenge! You have until Thursday night at 10:00 pm to vote and the winner will be announced immediately after.

Thanks once again for your support and for participating!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Poetry Challenge #6

Sorry, guys! I'm late again! I need to set these up to post automatically. Regardless of the time, I think y'all will be happy with this week's prompt, suggested by my good friend Ted Finch. :)

Now go have fun!