Whatever happened to [insert name here]?

Hello my lovelies!

Wow, what a gap, right? For all intents and purposes, I disappeared from the face of the [writing] earth. But I promise I have a good reason. Several good reasons.

  1. I spent a good portion of the summer just chilling out with my family! We went on vacation, went on hikes, and camping. In between all of that, we had a full schedule of swim lessons, drum lessons, and lacrosse. Kids, right?
  2. I focused on my health and got serious about my fitness regime. If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll notice I competed in a Ragnar race. The Ragnar DC race was a 200-ish mile relay race that started in Cumberland, MD and ended in Washington, DC. I joined a group of 10 runners, slept in a van, and ran this monster of relay over the course of two days. If anything, I recommend going to my Instagram page just to see how exhausted (but happy!) I looked in my photos.
  3. Related to no. 2 above, I’ve hit the weights and the gym hard! My next goal (other than running in next year’s Ragnar race) is to get into Bikini Competition shape. I’m very nearly there, actually, and I’m incredibly proud of my results. It’s not easy to eat clean (and eat often) and get to the gym 5-6 days a week, while also getting in 1-2 high intensity cardio sessions in there. Because of this fitness dedication, and a full-time job (at the Department of Defense), and doing fun summer stuff with the family, I have had zero time to devote to writing.
  4. And finally, in years past, Summer has always been my slow writing season. This summer was slower than usual! However, effective today, I’m back to a somewhat normal weekend writing schedule. The good news is that because my selling short stories over the last 12-18 months, I’ve had a steady stream of short stories published through WMG Publishing, and FictionRiver Anthologies coming out over the last few months.

The Wrong Side of the Tracks,” (a suspenseful short story) is the lead story in Kevin J. Anderson’s Pulse Pounders Anthology. If you want to read a review of this short story, here’s the review on Waynne Hammond’s A Fantasy Muse website

Breaking Kayfabe,” (a wrestling short story) is featured in Mark Leslie’s Editor’s Choice Anthology

The Prism of the Crab Gods,” (tough to define this one… it’s about a young boy in a difficult family situation… and he thinks he has magical hermit crabs that can save him) which is on its THIRD re-printing (!!) and featured in Allyson Longueria’s Legacies Collection. She’s called my short story the best short story she’s ever read.

In addition to the three listed above, I have two new short stories slated for publication. “Flowers in Winter” (a young adult short story) will be released in Nov 2017 (I think) and “One Ballerina Dancing” (a political suspense) will be published in Dec 2017. I’ve sold other short stories, but they will be published in 2018 sometime.

So, what am I working on now? Well, I have dozens of short stories that need editing, and maybe a few re-drafts. For the rest of 2017, I will focus on my short work, and starting in 2018 I plan to dive into a new young adult fantasy world. I sold a (longish) short story titled, “EchoDarling,” (a young adult fantasy) that was incredibly well received (and even fought over as to which editor was going to buy it). Several editors, and a few early readers [independently] said it reminded them of Anne McCaffrey’s work (wow!!). As I pondered the story (months after writing it and already having sold it) I realized I had written an origins story for my character, and her world. I can’t go into too much detail, as what an EchoDarling is, is actually something of a surprise and the main element of this world. However, in order to make it work (expanding this universe) I have to alter the ending. So… I have to have a conversation with the acquiring editor who bought the story in the first place. I think she’ll be on board with my changing the ending, but then again, she may not. (She’s super nice! I think she will.)

In between writing updates, keep up with me on Instagram. I’m on it quite frequently, and I like to post whatever captures my fancy (family, fitness, pictures of flowers).

Until then, be well and read often!

 

$5 Supports Literacy with this [Amazing!] StoryBundle

I’m thrilled to report that my novella, “The Pale Waters” is featured alongside 10 other [and amazing!] authors in a [very] limited time at a [very] reasonably priced StoryBundle. Minimum is $5!

Please don’t wait on this offer as it ends on March 16, 2017.

And that’s not even the most amazing part!

Part of the proceeds will be donated to SMART – Start Making A Reader Today. About SMART: provide early reading support, access to books and community engagement to positively impact literacy outcomes and provide equitable opportunity for all kids.

Why do I care about SMART’s Mission? As a child, reading was my ONLY ESCAPE from a troubled childhood. And ESCAPE is what I needed. For my heart, my soul, my very life. I wish I could say I was exaggerating, but I am not. Without READING, I do not know who I would be as a person. I would not be whole, that’s for certain.

So anything that allows me to support a childhood literacy program is a no-brainer.

Don’t wait! Even if you don’t think you’ll read all the books, or maybe you’ve read a few of the authors or haven’t heard of everyone, just by purchasing the bundle you are supporting literacy as well as indie authors, and you’ll receive gobs of great stories for a fantastic price. AND you may discover your next favorite author!

Here’s the link: https://storybundle.com/escapist

Here’s what the curator of the StoryBundle has to say:

THE ESCAPIST BUNDLE

The Escapist Bundle – Curated by Allyson Longueira, WMG Publishing

Ever feel like you need to escape from reality for a while? A day, a week, four years—whatever it takes. It seems like many of us feel that way right now, so what better time for some escapist fiction?

Hence, this new Escapist Bundle for StoryBundle, an entertaining vacation of the written word and a bit of a new format for StoryBundle.

You see, the eleven fantastic books in this bundle come from authors tied together by, among other accolades, their inclusion in a single volume of Fiction River, in this case a volume called Recycled Pulp. For those of you unfamiliar with Fiction River, it’s an original anthology series that Adventures Fantastic calls “one of the best and most exciting publications in the field today.”

With 22 volumes published so far, Recycled Pulp proves one of the most creative volumes. Inspired by the fantastic, escapist pulp fiction of the last century, the amazing authors in this volume were tasked with creating modern escapist fiction from nothing but a pulp-inspired title. The results were fantastic, indeed.

Ten of those authors have provided books for the bundle. Like the diverse genre mix of stories Fiction River is famous for, this bundle also features a diverse genre mix of books. But they all have one very important thing in common—they are the perfect escape from everyday life.

Included in the bundle is, of course, Fiction River: Recycled Pulp, edited by John Helfers. We also have: Lisa Silverthorne’s Isabel’s Tears, a novel about a magical inn; Dayle A. Dermatis’ Waking the Witch, a gothic mystery novel with some paranormal elements and a light romance; Kelly Washington’s The Pale Waters, the first novella in a four-part epic journey; Erica Lyon’s Hot Waters, a steamy sea adventure novel; and New York Times bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s The War and After, five historical fantasy stories of magic and revenge.

As a bonus, we have Rebecca Senese’s ten-story science fiction collection Tales of Possibilities; Thomas K. Carpenter’s Revolutionary Magic, a historical fantasy and the first in the Dashkova Memoirs; Annie Reed’s A Death in Cumberland, a moody police procedural; Nebula Award finalist Cat Rambo’s Neither Here Nor There, a double collection of alt-world and real world fantasy stories; and last but not least, USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith’s The Slots of Saturn, the origin story for his fan-favorite superhero Poker Boy.

As always, at StoryBundle, you name your own price—whatever you feel the books are worth, and a portion of the proceeds goes to charity—in this case, SMART (Start Making a Reader Today). For $5 (or more, if you feel generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of six books in any eBook format—WORLDWIDE. If you pay $14 (or more, if you feel generous), you’ll get the five bonus books as well.

The Escapist Bundle runs for three weeks only. This is cheaper than any vacation, and best of all, you get to enjoy it from wherever you are. Now, that’s a true escape. – Allyson Longueira

The initial titles in the Escapist Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

  • Waking the Witch by Dayle A. Dermatis
  • Hot Waters by Erica Lyon
  • Recycled Pulp by Fiction River
  • The Pale Waters by Kelly Washington
  • Isabel’s Tears by Lisa Silverthorne

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get all five of the regular titles, plus SIX more!

  • A Death in Cumberland by Annie Reed
  • Neither Here Nor There by Cat Rambo
  • The Slots of Saturn by Dean Wesley Smith
  • The War and After by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Revolutionary Magic by Thomas K. Carpenter
  • Tales of Possibilities by Rebecca M. Senese

This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!

It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

  • Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
  • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
  • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
  • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to SMART, a group that provides early reading support, access to books and community engagement to positively impact literacy outcomes and provide equitable opportunity for all kids!
  • Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!

StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.

For more information, visit our website at storybundle.com, tweet us at @storybundle and like us on Facebook.

 

What do I, Mary Higgins Clark, and Joyce Carol Oates have in common?

We each have stories that were chosen as a best of 2015! My short story, “The American Flag of Sergeant Hale Schofield” is a 2015 best crime and mystery story, and is the third story in “Year’s Best Crime & Mystery Stories 2016”. I’m extremely proud of this story, and very attached to the protagonist, Willa Schofield, as she takes care of her father, Hale Schofield, a wounded Vietnam Veteran who feels guilty for surviving the war. I wrote this story at the end of 2014, it was published in 2015, and now, in 2016, it’s been picked as a best of 2015 story. I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Mystery_Anthology_2016The Year’s Best Crime & Mystery Stories contains the best crime and mystery stories that were originally published in 2015 in either print or electronic format as selected by editors Kristine Kathryn Rusch and John Helfers.

Reading through thousands of titles and carefully narrowing their favorite reads down to the ultimate list that is presented in this volume, the editors chose their top picks of notable works from hundreds of anthologies, magazines, journals, and websites.

Join Rusch and Helfers as they take you on a representative selection of some of the finest mystery and crime stories of the year, from stories firmly rooted in the classic mystery genres to tales that edge their way over into other genres. Explore human nature in all its variations with writers you may recognize as worldwide bestsellers to amazing voices you might not have experienced before.

Grab a copy now!

Amazon  | GoodReads  |  Barnes & Noble  | Kobo

Fiction River: Hidden In Crime Anthology

Kelly eating her book

Stories so good, you want to eat them!

Hi Gang! I’m the third story in Kristine Katherine Rusch’s Hidden In Crime anthology. My title is “The American Flag of Sergeant Hale Schofield.”

Here’s what Kris had to say about my story:

Some people come home from war, and others never do. “The American Flag of Sergeant Hale Schofield” focuses on a man whose body returned but whose soul never really did.

Kelly Washington, a third generation soldier, is the perfect person to write this story…. One of the most powerful stories in the volume, “The American Flag of Sergeant Hale Schofield” deals with the repeated desecration of the American flag, an act so controversial that it often finds itself in front of the courts.

Writing this story forced Kelly to figure out why a soldier would burn an American flag. Her answer will touch your heart.”

In addition to my story, you’ll find other fantastic stories from many of today’s top authors, including Anthea Sharp, Ron Collins, and Patrick O’Sullivan; many of whom are best selling and award winning authors. The fact that I’m in a book with them–these talented authors–baffles me.

Do me favor and pick up this anthology. If not for me, then at least to read the talent of everyone else associated with this fantastic volume.

Blurb: Imagine paying a fine for walking across town. Or hiding an illegal marriage. Or losing your life for playing the harp. Strange crimes, dangerous activities, some from the not-so-distant past, return to life in Hidden in Crime. See why Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine says Fiction River’s crime volumes have “high quality throughout,” and why Publishers Weekly states “… fans of the unconventional will be well satisfied.” Join some of the best authors in the business as they uncover once-hidden crimes. “Readers will find many impressive voices, both familiar and new.” —Publishers Weekly on Past Crime

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | GoodReads

FR16 Hidden in Crime ebook cover lighter web