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Carol of the Tales – Guest author spotlight

Carol of the Tales and Other Nightly Noels: An Advent Anthology, Volume 2



Christmas carols capture the spirit of Christmas, and Carol of the Tales and Other Nightly Noels brings beloved carols to life like never before. Throw your cares away with the tales from sweet silver bells. Find out how Santa Claus dabbles in time travel, and feel the redemption of a dying wife’s parting Christmas gift. Experience all this and more in these heartfelt, entertaining tales donated by a team of authors from across the country, working together for a good cause. The proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated toward Autism research and advocacy.

Anthology authors include: Shirley Bahlmann, C. David Belt, Rebecca Carlson, Loretta Carter, Madonna D. Christensen, Danyelle Ferguson, C. Michelle Jefferies, Theric Jepson, Ryan Larsen, Angie Lofthouse, Betsy Love, J. Lloyd Morgan, Janet Olsen, Teresa G. Osgood, Brian Ricks, Jennifer Ricks, Peg Russell, and Michael Young.

Carol of the Tales is the 2nd book in the Advent Anthology series. Both anthologies are available in paperback and Amazon Kindle
formats from 

Purchase “Sing We Now of Christmas”:
Purchase: “Carol of the Tales”:
To kick off the release of the second anthology, a Christmas
concert will be held at American Fork Junior High on December 7th,
2013. The concert will feature the Saltaires Barbershop Chorus. All proceeds from this concert will be donated to charity as well.
Purchase: Tickets for the Concert: Tour Giveaway!

Use the rafflecopter below to enter to win wonderful prizes, such as tickets to the concert and copies of the anthology. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other Blogs on the Tour:

Guest Spotlight – Kai’s Journey by Wendy & Charles Siefken



Today, I am pleased to welcome Wendy & Charles Siefken to my blog to tell us about their book, Kai’s Journey.



Charles Siefken (1992-present) is a recent graduate of high school. This is his first book of many to be published. He currently resides in rural central Iowa where he enjoys reading sci/fi books and playing video games among other things. He is currently enrolled in our local college for automotive technician as well as working part time at a local garage as a mechanic. We have found a publisher, MasterKoda Select Publishing! Christopher Paolini was his inspiration to become a writer.

Wendy Siefken (1966-Present)Currently working full time as a tier one tech at a local call center. Wendy lives on a farm with her family and enjoys reading, gardening and other activities with her family and friends.
This all started as a school project for her youngest son and business partner, Charles Siefken, which has grown into a desire to be published.



Kai’s Journey is a story about a young man, set ten years in the future. Kai has spent those years fighting for survival and trying to find a way rid the world of the disease his father created… His father was a military scientist charged with the task of perfecting a formula that would create a superior breed of soldiers. Kai’s father accidentally created a race of zombies.  Like a virus, it soon spreads to the entire world, unleashing a period of unsurpassed chaos and conflict.

In the midst of this turmoil, Kai comes across a young woman named Clover, who is part of a clan traveling across the United States to try to find what is left of humanity. Clover is a part of a clan of werewolves who can turn at will but aren’t blood thirsty savages as depicted in general history.

Along the way Kai and Clover come across stragglers who join with the group as they journey across the upper part of what used to be known as North America.

One night while Kai and Clover were watching a meteor shower they meet a group totally out of this world. Kai and Clover begin a heroic journey, fueled by the increasingly dim hope that somehow, the human race will have a chance to start over.

An excerpt from Kai’s Journey

Dirty and exhausted from his day’s travels Kai crested a barren hill. This year’s drought had taken its toll and the landscape around him was dulled to muted hues of brown.  A few trees scattered here and there clung to life with bare limbs stretching towards the sky. Fall had come early to this area. He shaded his eyes as the setting sun cast eerie shadows across the sky above, making it look like the ribs of a dead man. Kai spotted the bodies scattered in the field on the left side of the road. With a sigh, he walked over to investigate the scene. He knew from experience that there were worse things in this new world other than the living dead. Checking to see how they were put down could tell you who or what might be in the area. As Kai walked closer he could hear the buzzing of insects in the afternoon air. The sound intensified the closer he came to the bodies. The acrid, metallic smell of death reached him on the next breeze. Pulling a rag over his nose and mouth, Kai walked up to the nearest one, using his boot to turn it over. He then knelt down. It had once been human, but died as a zombie. There were bullet holes in the main part of the body as well as the arms and legs. He’d seen these kinds of wounds on the creatures before. Some, who called themselves the military, used them as target practice as if they were no more than animals. At one time though, every one of these beings had been a human; someone’s mother, father, brother, sister or friend. Now they were dead. Some call them zombies. Kai call them a burden that he alone felt responsible for.

He didn’t need to see any more and headed back to the road in disgust. A cluster of buildings lie ahead. Only a few shadows moved among the buildings. Time and experience told Kai that they were the living dead. This town was just like every other place he came across since the accident seven years ago.  He hoped to find shelter for the night, maybe even a few supplies. From the town up ahead there was a sound he hadn’t heard in a long time. A single howl that reached down into his soul and stirred something he’d thought long since disappeared. Momentarily forgetting his exhaustion, he ran toward the town and the sound. Again the howl filled the air as he ran past dilapidated buildings with broken windows and sagging porches and front steps. A few of the creatures he’d seen earlier going from building to building were nowhere in sight. Kai heard the howl again, coming from around the corner of an old store front building. Noiselessly he crept along the wall to the corner and peered down the alley to see a crowd of zombies surrounding a beautiful white wolf trapped at the dead end, its hackles raised. A growl rumbled from its throat as it bared its teeth. Kai’s stomach tightened in fear as he watched as the living dead move in for the kill. It had been so long since he had seen any dogs or pets from the old world that he knew he had to do something.

“Hey!” Kai yelled.

They turned as one towards him when Kai charged around the corner, his sword raised. Deftly he severed the head of the nearest of the walking dead ones. Quickly he moved from one to the next, thrusting his sword or slashing to keep them at arm’s length. Soon he stood next to the wolf. The wolf’s eyes never left the dead as she bared her teeth.

“I won’t hurt you. I just want to help,” Kai said.

With their backs to the wall, Kai and the wolf kept the dead at bay as they fought. Soon bodies lay scattered and unmoving in the alley. He sank to his knees in exhaustion; he raised his head to look over at the wolf. Now that Kai was up close, he could see her white fur was well groomed and cared for. Slowly he eased himself into a sitting position so as not to frighten her away. The wolf’s startling blue eyes gazed at him steadily. ‘Wow, I’ve never seen a wolf with blue eyes before,’ he thought. Kai made a move to raise his hand towards her and the wolf gave a low warning growl. She didn’t run from him, but she didn’t let him touch her either.

“Well, I guess we won this round huh, girl?” Kai asked. Suddenly her ears perked up and she looked back up the alley as if she heard something. Kai looked but at first didn’t see or hear anything. He felt his stomach drop as more of the dead came stumbling around the corner.  Without warning, something hard hit him in the head and he lost consciousness.

Click here to purchase Kai’s Journey at Amazon.

Click here for more information about Wendy & Charles Siefken.

Contact Wendy & Charles on Twitter.

Wendy’s Facebook page.

Siefken Publications on Facebook.


New Release by Maria Savva – 3 – A Trio of Short Stories


Author Bio:

Maria is a writer of short stories and novels. She has always been a storyteller, and an avid reader, and is now having a lot of fun in her adventure with the creative art of writing. She has published 5 novels, including a psychological thriller, a family saga, and a fantasy/paranormal/time travel book. She also has 5 collections of short stories, the latest “3” has been described as an “Innovative showcase” of her short stories. If you like stories that will take you deep inside the characters’ hearts and minds, and you like twists in the tale, you will probably want to try these stories.

As well as writing, Maria is a lawyer (not currently practising law). During her career, she worked in family law, criminal law, immigration, residential property law, and wills & probate, among other things. Many of her stories are inspired from her own experiences and the experiences of those she knows or has known. Chances are, if you get to know this author it won’t be long before you are changed forever into a fictional character and appear in one of her books. If she likes you, you may become a romantic hero/heroine; if she doesn’t… well, she writes a good thriller I hear.

Maria currently divides her time between working as an administrator in a university, and writing/reading/editing/blogging. She maintains the BestsellerBound Recommends blog helping to promote fellow indie authors. She’s also a music blogger for UK Arts Directory where she helps promote independent musicians.



File created with CoreGraphics


A trio of short stories.

Memories from the past can haunt the present.

1. Never To Be Told – Tom and Amber are on a romantic date… but the past is always present.

2. The Bride – In this paranormal short, Olivia makes a chilling discovery.

3. What The Girl Heard – Victoria revisits a place that holds a dark reminder of an incident from her childhood. She had vowed she would never return.

Where to purchase 3

“3” is Currently available in Kindle format (Can be read on a Mac, PC, iPad, Smartphone etc., with the free downloadable apps from Amazon). Look out for the paperback coming soon.

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon FR:

Amazon ES:

Amazon CA:

Amazon BR:

Amazon IT:

Amazon JP:

Connect with Maria

Official website:

Goodreads Blog:

BestsellerBound Recommends:

UK Arts Directory Blog:



Click to watch the video trailer for 3

Delusions and Dreams by Maria Savva

Today I have the pleasure of handing over the reins of this blog to a new guest, Maria Savva, author of Delusions and Dreams.

Hi Maria and welcome to my blog.  Over to you.



About my novels

Delusion and Dreams is my fourth collection of short stories. I have also published five novels.

In this blog post I will introduce my novels. I’ll be introducing the short story collections in a later stop on the tour.

The Novels:


Written in 1997 and first published in 2001, Coincidences was my first novel. In 2012, I published a second edition of the book to make it more widely available in e-book and paperback because the original was only ever published in hardback and that is out of print.

Coincidences is the story of Alice, a young girl who decides she wants to look for her father. He left the family home when Alice was not even 2 years old, and she has no memories of him. Her mother is very secretive about their relationship and reluctant to help Alice find him. In the course of looking for her father, Alice discovers some well-kept secrets. It’s a mystery and a drama. It explores a mother/daughter relationship, and follows Alice in her search for the truth.

A Time To Tell

A Time to Tell is a family saga. It was written between about 1998 – 2000 and published in 2006. It’s Cara’s story, and also the parallel story of her granddaughter, Penelope. It’s themes include domestic violence, love, family relationships, secrets, and how history can sometimes repeat itself.

Second Chances

My third novel is about how there are always two sides to every story. James and Pamela are facing a rocky time in their marriage. This book explores each of the characters and how they are feeling. Ultimately, it is also about how secrets and miscommunication can affect a relationship. Second Chances includes a solicitor as one of the main characters, and many of James’s experiences reflect my own, inspired by my years working as a solicitor.

The Dream

A paranormal fantasy novel. Paranormal in the ghostly sense, and in the sense that things are not all they seem. You won’t find werewolves or vampires here — sorry to disappoint.
In this story, Lynne is forewarned in a dream not to marry her fiancé. She then finds out why. There is time travel, fantasy, romance, and mystery in this novel.


A psychological suspense/thriller.
This is a dark fiction novel. Very dark. I’ve been told by many of my readers that the story remains in their mind long after they’ve read it and haunts them! One of my readers said that it had the same effect on her as ‘Salem’s Lot’ by Stephen King — i.e. it gave her nightmares — but she loved it!
It’s Nigel’s story; a man consumed by guilt over an incident that happened in a moment of anger. There is a paranormal twist.


Twelve stories of betrayal, greed, revenge, deception, dreams, and courage.

We all struggle to find our way. What you see isn’t necessarily all there is. This collection takes you into the grey area, because the world is never just black and white.

Life is all about perspective. One person’s delusion is another person’s dream.

Includes five bonus stories.

Maria Savva lives and works in London. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She is a lawyer, although not currently practising law. She writes novels and short stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. Many of her books and stories are inspired by her years working as a lawyer, although she has not written a courtroom drama to date. Her most recent novel is Haunted, a crime fiction/psychological thriller.

Maria’s website link –

Maria’s blog link –

Maria’s facebook page –

Maria on twitter –

To purchase Delusions and Dreams use Amazon usa or Amazon uk

Maria is also running a Rafflecopter giveaway with prizes of  a signed paperback and an e-book copy of Delusion and Dreams, also e-books from Darcia Helle, J. Michael Radcliffe, and Helle Gade. There are 5 prizes, so there’ll be 5 winners.

Guest Blog – Sara’s Cuppa Cakes

For my guest blog today, I’m handing over the pen to a great young lady, Sara Rose Pollard of Sara’s Cuppa Cakes.  This amazingly talented gal specialises in baking for those with special dietary needs and makes delicious gluten free, dairy free and diabetic friendly cakes.



Its funny how things can change.  12 months ago, I was a full time single mother just dreaming about having my own business.  Now, just 8 months later, those dreams have become a reality and I’m even teetering on the edge of moving into a commercial property. Its amazing to have come this far in such little time, but its not been easy either.

I chose 18 months ago what I wanted to do with my life.  This was a little later than I’d expected but at 25 I wasn’t getting any younger and my daughter was due to start pre-school in a matter of months. Then one day, I went to meet my boyfriend’s parents, and being an old fashioned girl at heart, I baked them a cake. I wanted to make a good impression, especially as I’d turned to baking to relieve stress and I secretly thought they might like me more if I made an effort, so I went all out. On receipt of the cake they were very grateful, but I felt like I wanted to shoot myself when I learned that his sister Katherine had something called Coeliac Disease.

I’d never heard of it before but she wasn’t allowed to eat my cak, as she couldn’t have anything that had gluten or wheat in it. It was not only my cake that she couldn’t eat, but also bread, pizza dough, cookies, sauces and even some types of meat. I felt so sorry for her thenand I decided that if I could, I was going to make a difference to her life, and that I’d come up with the best gluten free recipe she’d ever tasted. Four weeks later II returned with chocolate brownies and the picture on her face told me all I needed to know!



It was like a light bulb went on in my head; I suddenly knew my calling and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I was going to help people who had allergies and intolerances eat all the things I took for granted. As word spread of my brownies, I got more requests to make things that were gluten free, then dairy free and finally even diabetic friendly too.

After then it all happened very quickly.  I had a charity interested in my ideas and they spent a few weeks with me showing me how to bake different cakes and better my own recipes. Then as they faded away I felt strong enough to go it alone and felt a confidence inside I’d almost forgotten about and a passion to learn more. I dived back right into the research, using anything I could get my hands on to make unique cakes and cupcakes. I stuffed my friends and family with sponge, and then, when I knew I’d finally got it right, I told income support that I was returning to work. They supported me 100% and it was one of the best feelings walking out of that office knowing I’d never return again.

pony cake


It was then that I had to make a decision. I’d seen that the free-from market was growing but falling, and that cross contamination was high. If I made normal stuff as well as specialist, I risked putting my clients health in danger, so I decided the best thing was to be a completely gluten free baker. That way, it wouldn’t apply to me as you can’t cross contaminate something your not using. In time I chose to also be dairy free, as I made recipes without cows milk and butter and used soya in my egg free recipes which have become my well known virtually fat free cupcakes because I calculate the calories and syns using the slimming world technique.

7 months ago my daughter innocently ran into a cafe on the high street that had just opened, named Cafe Imbizo. I met Nick for the first time then,and with me apologizing profoundly for the whirlwind that was my daughter and he laughing saying it was okay, he wasnt busy, he was just trying to sort out things for the cafe. I took that moment to shake his hand and introduce myself. “Well in that case, hi, my names Sara and I’m a cake maker.”   It was as if pound signs appeared in both our eyes. These days he’s not just my stockist, but also a good friend and the first person I turn to for business related things!

cake pan


Today though, I hold an online clientele base of over 1250 people across facebook and twitter combined who all live mainly within Hampshire. They keep me on my toes and have led me to make a profit in my first tax year of business. This now means that I can, with the help of companies like crowd funder, seek help from the public to help made a change to the community. What I want is a cafe just for my client so all those lovely people with an allergy or intolerance who need and want somewhere to go, can be finally treated as equals. I want to be able to help them understand their intolerances by showing them how to bake safely and healthily and prove that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. So here I am, 49 days away from reaching my £12,000 target to open my own cafe. I am determined to get there. Maybe not today, and probably not tomorrow, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and the truth behind anything in life, is you just have to believe.

If you’d like to get in touch please email me on or visit my facebook page via the link below.

I aim to reply as quickly as possible to each message and I’m taking bookings right through to October! So if you would like to order anything from a cupcake to celebration cake, I’d advise you to get them in quick!
for each pledge made to my crowd funder pitch, you will be entered  into a draw to win a variety of things from cupcakes to celebration cakes.

Click here to visit Sara’s facebook page.

Follow Sara on Twitter.

Click here to support Sara’s Crowd Funder pitch.

New guest blog post

gamlock 7

I was honoured to be asked to do a guest blog post by Steven Ramirez on his blog, The Glass Highway.  I chose to write about world building for space opera writers, a huge subject but great fun.

Click here to read my guest blog post – World Building for Space Opera Writers.

I hope you enjoy the blog.


New Interview & Other Stuff

I did a new interview recently that went live today.  Author Jennifer Loiske interviewed me for her 7 Minutes blog.

Click here to read my interview with Jennifer.

Thank you so much Jennifer for great questions.

Yesterday, I decided in a moment of madness to splash out on a set of new fingernails.  Now, I’m a total nail virgin so this was all new to me.  I’ve thought about it many times but never taken the plunge but after talking with a friend about her experiences with them, I decided to do it.  A lovely gal named Kate came to my flat and did them.  We chatted all the way through and she explained everything to me.

They look lovely and for the first time in my life I like the way my nails look.  I went for the typical french manicure look and I’m very pleased.  The downside is that I now feel like an amputee who’s just received new false hands and has to learn to manipulate them.  Boy is it hard to work these things or what?

Typing is difficult as the nails, being longer than my own, get in the way so I’m having to learn to type using the ball of my finger tips and not the tips, as is normal.  I was trained to type properly and can normally go pretty fast but now I’m slow and clumsy.  You just don’t realise how important fingernails are until they get in the way.  Other girls on facebook have promised I’ll get used to them and I’m hoping for that as I do love the way they look.  On a brighter note, picking my nose and scratching my ass are going to be a walk in the park..!

I was invited to do two guest blogs recently.  One for April 18th and the other for May 23rd.  The first is about world building for space opera writers and offers simple tips to make your universes both plausible and unique.  I haven’t decided what to write about in the May post yet but I’ll be posting the links when they go live.

I uploaded two of my covers to the cover contest today in a fit of madness.  They have to be approved first though, before they go live for folks to vote on, which seems odd to me.  It’s a contest where the public vote for their favourites so why the hell do they need to be approved by some faceless admin first?  Oh well, I’ll post if and when they go live and beg shamelessly for your votes.

In the meantime, hop along via the link above and read my interview with Jennifer at her 7 Minutes blog.

New Guest Blog Post – Suzie McGregor

Today I have invited a friend and fellow writer, Suzie McGregor to write a guest blog about herself and her experiences as a children’s author.


I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in March 1972 but moved to Wolverhampton in 1975 where my mother was originally from after my parents divorce and have lived here ever since.

As a child I always loved to write stories but as I grew older I never seemed to find the time to write them down but was always making up stories in my head. I trained as an International Beauty Therapist, and worked on and off whilst my children were growing up. During this time I also became interested in the paranormal and became a paranormal investigator for a while which took up a lot of my time and I did start writing a book about investigating the paranormal but as yet it is still not finished.

It was in 2005 whilst I was going through a significantly ‘low’ time in my life that I had the idea of my first book which I completely threw myself into as my escape from the reality of my controlling and suffocating marriage and the depression that came with it. This book was to be the first of a series of children’s stories called ‘The Amazing Adventures of Mystica’. The story is based around a holiday cottage, in the little village of Tarbet, in Kintyre; this was an actual place I used to visit as a child with my Dad, Step mum and half brother and it seemed to me to be the perfect setting for my stories. The main characters ‘Jemima and Elizabeth’ are based on my two own daughters.I attempted to get my book published for three years without succeeding so in the end at a very financially high price I self published my first book in 2008, and my eldest daughter Amelia drew some sketches that I used for the illustrations and she also designed and drew the front cover. I have since written another book in the ‘Mystica’ series, and I’m currently working on the third book, but due to my recent depression problems resurfacing I don’t seem to have the concentration I used to have to get the book written as quickly as the others. I am slowly making progress and if I’m perfectly honest I see no great rush as the next step – which is the publishing – is always a drag due to the fact that it’s such a competitive market. Not only that but I’ve found it is almost impossible to achieve the ‘traditional’ way and I’m not sure how other writers feel but I get the impression that a lot of authors don’t like to help others because they’re scared of the competition, even though there is room in the world for all of us.

I am also currently writing what I hope will be another series of children’s books based around a friend of mine, which will be called ‘Mrs. Magpie.’ Although I’m in the very early stages of writing it, I am also excited about the possibility of these books being published too in the future.

Over the past twelve months I have recently started writing different styles of short stories, none of which have been published or even read by anyone else. I sometimes feel my work isn’t good enough and people will laugh at me. This lack of confidence unfortunately comes from the result of years of psychological abuse making me think I’m ‘not good enough’ plus having a form of dyslexia always makes writing a little more difficult because I can’t see my mistakes. Saying all that I still love to write so when the mood takes me that’s just what I do. Over time I’ve given a lot of thought as to why I prefer to write children’s stories and the only conclusion I came up with is because when I was a child I felt ‘safe’ and ‘looked after’ which is the same feeling I get whilst writing stories for children which gives me a great comfort.

Even with my terrible lack of self confidence underneath I’m a very determined person and when I set my mind to something I don’t give up until I achieve what I set out to do even if it takes years. I suppose the thing that helps me is coming from a spiritual family; they’ve taught me to always look on the positive side of things and if you want something in life then all you have to do is believe and it will be yours. I consider this to be true hence the way my life has changed and I’m now in a wonderful relationship with someone who I can only describe as my guardian angel. He’s my soulmate and a brilliant father to my two daughters and having this has made me more determined to fulfill the dream I set out to accomplish many years ago.

My personal reason for writing is that I find it’s my way of putting my feelings into words without actually having to explain myself. I think that’s why in my first story there is a magical world because in my reality when this story was born all I wanted to do was escape, so I did, to another land called Mystica.

Find Suzie on Facebook here