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

News, clay-creatures, a new release, plus a major sales event!

Jan 24, 2016Did you survive that East Coast snow storm! Lemme tell you, we got 32 inches of snow!!!

Here’s how the front of my condo looked like the night of the storm. Pretty insane, right?

With time on our hands, the kiddo and I nominated ourselves for craft-work, and came up with these little clay-creatures. The pink penguin-unicorn is based off of a Cartoon Network show called “Two More Eggs”. My son came up with the calico-grimacing head, and the smiling mushroom. I have no idea why the lemon is angry looking. 🙂

Odd little clay family

Odd little clay family

Cutsiecorn Penguin

Cutsiecorn Penguin

 

Evil Lemon?

Evil Lemon?


On Tuesday, after shoveling snow for hours and hours, we ventured away from the homestead for a bite to eat.

supermarket shelves during the snow storm

It was slim-pickings at our supermarket. So we ended up eating at a local restaurant that was open.


 

The Daughter of Lava (Reclaimed Souls #3)During the storm, I had several days to finish up a few edits and release book #3 in the Reclaimed Souls Series. The cover was designed by James T. Egan, who, as you can tell, does superb work!

I’m very excited about this installment because Rahda’s world continues to unravel, the war ignites, turning former friends into foes, and her relationship with Roland is just as confusing as ever. As with the other two installments (The Pale Waters, and The Queen of Scarred Hearts), The Daughter of Lava has meaning behind the title, and it ends in a cliffhanger. So start with The Pale Waters. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll get it for free during the confirmation email. Not to worry if you’re not a kindle-person. The service lets you pick which device you use, and you’ll download the appropriate ebook version. Easy as pie

Get The Daughter of Lava now at Amazon. (Amazon UK link)


 

NEW_COLLIDE_eBOOKCollide Into You is on sale for a very limited time. If you haven’t already picked up this gem, it’s $.99 at Amazon. (Amazon UK link)


As for news, I’m working on a super-secret project I can’t quite announce. I will say, however, that this new work is a clear departure from what I normally write, and I am taking on a pen name for this dark-dark-dark (did I mention dark?) trilogy. Once the 4th book in the Reclaimed Souls Series is published, I will devote myself to this new trilogy, which means it may seem like I’m not publishing anything new for a while. I’m not going anywhere, I’m just branching off into new territory, which is terrifying and thrilling. Wish me luck!

<3 Kelly

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

Fiction River: Recycled Pulp

FR15 Recycled Pulp ebook cover webMy short story “Prism of the Crab Gods” appears in Fiction River: Recycled Pulp. This is a fantastic anthology, and I’m incredibly proud to be among the authors below. “Prism of the Crab Gods” was my first pro-sale, and it is a story close to my heart since it is about a a young, disabled and abused boy who clings to the hope that his three hermit crabs will save him and his family.

The editor, John Helfers, had this to say about the story: “In an anthology of excellence, this story stands out for its heartbreaking eloquence, as well as defining a situation that could be happening down the block on your street, and with nary a futuristic or fantastical trope in sight; just the shattering look inside a young boy’s world, and the vivid imagination he uses to keep reality from destroying him completely. I know I’ve been changed by reading it, and I hope you will be as well.”

Publication: September 2015

Publisher: WMG Publishing

Publisher’s Note about the Edition

Editor: John Helfers

The old becomes new again as fifteen talented authors go back to the lurid pulp titles of yesteryear through today’s rich, nuanced storytelling. Enjoy original tales featuring rebel angels fighting a heavenly enforcement squad, a cop whose life might depend on ordering the right deli sandwich, and a wizard who has just three days to pay off the loan on his tower or lose his very soul. Whatever your taste in stories, Recycled Pulp is sure to have something that will amaze, surprise, and delight you.

“…a unique collection 15 tales worthy of the Fiction River name. … Don’t miss Recycled Pulp for a great set of unique and fast-paced tales of the imagination!” —Astro Guyz

Table of Contents

“The Revolt of the Philosophers of Fomalhaut” by Phaedra Weldon
“Marvelous Contrivances of the Heart” by Cat Rambo
“The Flower of the Tabernacle” by Annie Reed
“Lost in the Tarnished Cube” by Thomas K. Carpenter
“Crypt of the Metal Ghouls” by Angela Penrose
“The Imperfect Otter Empire” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“The Unknowable Mansion of the Night” by Sandra M. Odell
“The Portal of Wrong Love” by Dean Wesley Smith
“Sacred Poet from the Future” by Kelly Cairo
“Swamp of the Prehistoric Clan” by Christy Fifield
“The Magnificent Citadel” by Rebecca M. Senese
“Night of the Dancing Champions” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“The Delicatessen from Beyond the Monolith” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Prism of the Crab Gods” by Kelly Washington
“The Gleaming Crater” by Thea Hutcheson

Where to buy: Amazon US Ebook  |  Kobo Ebook  |  iTunes  |  Smashwords  | GoodReads  |  Amazon Paperback  |  Powells  |  Barnes and Noble

Saturday Snippet

Happy Saturday, Lovelies! Here’s a sneak peek at a scene between Rahda and Roland in book 3 (The Daughter of Lava). Our quarreling lovers are at Lord Jaucey’s mansion (Jaucey is Roland’s uncle), and Rahda’s about to do what she does best.

“Queens don’t often assassinate their rivals,” Roland says.

I scoff. “It’s a ‘learning on the job’ sort of position. Feel free to hand over your copy of ‘Becoming a queen in ten easy steps or less’ manual. Fuck it all, Roland. Would you rather take care of Jaucey? Chances are he’d prefer your equipment over mine.”

“Yes, actually, I would,” he says quickly, but then realizes what he just agreed to. “But not using your methods,” Roland adds without malice or judgment.

“You know who and what I am, and you know the methods I employ. I am not ashamed of it any more than you are ashamed of your scars. They don’t define us, they are us.”

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

<3 Kelly

The Queen of Scarred Hearts is available for pre-order

Queen-of-Scarred-Hearts-Web-Medium Available September 1, 2015

THE QUEEN OF SCARRED HEARTS

(Reclaimed Souls Volume 2)

The Queen of Scarred Hearts is the second installment in the four-volume epic journey of Rahda and Roland in a heart pounding blend of romance, fantasy, science fiction, and adventure — perfect for fans of Kushiel’s Dart, Cruel Beauty, Graceling, and Sea of Shadows.

Caught in a web between the opposing rulers of Izkirka and Aschalle, Rahda struggles to accept her newfound title as Lady Sevradan while reconciling her former life as a prized disciple and assassin.

Before she can come to terms with the new arrangement, once-buried secrets and a renewed threat sends her fleeing the palace. As she wades ever deeper in royal and political intrigue, and as a royal coup simmers just beneath the surface, Rahda’s not sure who is friend or foe.

But with Roland, things are never quite so simple as the tension between them flares white-hot and out of control, even as Rahda is suspicious of the darkness hiding in the depths of his eyes. However, once she discovers what Roland has kept hidden, she is forced to confront the future, her true feelings, and whether or not her scarred prince has a place in her life, and in her heart.

The Queen of Scarred Hearts, the second installment in the Reclaimed Souls Series, will have readers asking themselves, “Who Owns Your Heart?”

Pre-Order now at Amazon

This title is included in your Kindle Unlimited subscription!

New Release!

The-Pale-Waters-Web-Small

New Release! THE PALE WATERS, # 1 of the Reclaimed Souls Series.

The Pale Waters begins the four-volume epic journey of Rahda and Roland in a heart-pounding blend of romance, fantasy, science fiction, and adventure, perfect for fans of Kushiel’s Dart, Cruel Beauty, Graceling, and Sea of Shadows.

Summoned by Izkirka’s mysterious ruler, class-zero citizen Rahda clashes with Prince Roland Rexus in a battle of lies, secrets, and seduction. She’s been sent to kill him, he knows it, and, strangely enough, he does nothing to actively stop her.

But once she’s in the presence of the man who everyone calls a dark prince, everything begins to unravel. The disfigured prince has his own reasons for summoning the woman meant to kill him; reasons that will alter Rahda’s perception of the world around her. Within a matter of days, she’s thrust into an unfamiliar society with an untrustworthy prince, and becomes involved in a war she never knew existed.

Rahda’s no longer sure where she fits in when she uncovers the truth about Roland, and about herself.

The Pale Waters, the first novella in the Reclaimed Souls Series, will have readers asking themselves, “Who Owns Your Soul?”

The Pales Waters is part of Kindle Unlimited, so readers who subscribe can read this novella as part of their KU Subscription. Readers not subscribed can buy The Pale Waters for $2.99.

Keywords: romance, science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, aliens, metaphysical, dystopian, sword, sorcery, robots, devil, demon, psychic, witch, spies, nobility, millionaire, medical, second chance, deities, artificial intelligence, mutants, mystery, thriller, spiritual, magic, quest, genes, exploration, action, adventure, alien, death, loss, grief, childhood, friendship, war, religion, bisexual, interracial, urban, suspense

This novella is 42,000 words (~230 pages) and is the first novella in a four-novella series. It ends in a cliffhanger.

Free is Better!

250x_CIYFreebie # 1 – Collide Into You

From November 28-29, 2014 (Fri & Sat), my newest contemporary romance novel is free.

Bickering (and secretly-in-love) roommates Keira and Dillan learn that falling in love isn’t so easy when a meddling barista puts a charm on the roommates, causing them to swap bodies. How they deal with the swap–and each other–is at times hysterical and sweet. A funny (and charming) contemporary romance that’s perfect for the holidays.

For my Falling For Him series fans, you’ll love the fact that Justin, Aaron, and Nebraska play supporting characters in Collide Into You.

Get Collide Into You at Amazon US, Amazon CA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Amazon JP, Amazon IN, Amazon FR, Amazon ES, Amazon IT, Amazon NL, Amazon BR, Amazon MX, and Amazon AU.

Freebie # 2 – The Christmas Journey

From November 28-29, 2014 (Fri & Sat), my only Christmas short story is free.

On a quiet, snow-filled, Christmas morning, a nine-year-old boy and his red wagon set out on a journey to find his father in Heaven. Along the way he encounters obstacles that prevent him from reaching his destination, including the supernatural forces of good and evil that make him question his faith. But for every obstacle, his trusty red wagon contains just the thing he needs to overcome the challenge.

Get The Christmas Journey at Amazon US, Amazon CA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Amazon JP, Amazon IN, Amazon FR, Amazon ES, Amazon IT, Amazon NL, Amazon BR, Amazon MX, and Amazon AU.

Lastly, the updates…

So, you want to know what I’m working on, do you?

I am hard at work on the sequel to Collide Into You. Alec Huffman (the delicious–and sweet–MLB pitcher from Collide Into You) gets his own story, which is tentatively titled Out Of Time. His leading lady is Captain Courtney Hall. She’s feisty, funny, sarcastic, and, maybe a little bit crazy. Oh, and she dismantles bombs for a living. Are you ready for the really crazy part? The “charm” in this story is that it is sort of a time-travel-story. Oh boy, do I have my work cut out for me on this one!!!

I can’t wait to get this story in your hands. I’m guessing it may be ready at the end of Spring 2015. Fingers crossed!

In between writing Out Of Time, I will be focused on an Anthology Workshop that will allow me to work with some amazing magazine editors on stories ranging from Thrillers, Paranormal, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Western, and Young Adult. This workshop get’s my muse working in overdrive, and I enjoy it immensely.

Well… that’s it my lovelies. Have a lovely holiday season!

Kelly

COLLIDE INTO YOU is available for pre-order

200x300_CIY Hi Everyone! Exciting news in the Kelly Washington household: COLLIDE INTO YOU is available for pre-order on Amazon, with a release date of Oct 25, 2014. And, guess what, it’s priced at $2.99. How great is that!?!?

Pre-order here. Add it as a “Want to Read” on GoodReads.

My cover was created by the amazingly talented Gabrielle Prendergast (http://coveryourdreams.net/) and edited by the highly skilled and awesome Susan Helene Gottfried (www.westofmars.com).

So, what’s the story about…? Here is the unofficial blurb:

Collide Into You: A Romantic Gender Swap Love Story

SHE’S ALL ABOUT ORDER. HE LOVES A CHALLENGE. THEIR LIVES ARE ABOUT TO COLLIDE. LITERALLY.

Love, by its very definition is disorder…

When twenty-seven year old Army Sergeant Keira Holtslander, an orderly and rule-loving intelligence analyst is reassigned to the Pentagon for a special assignment, she agrees to room with her brother’s best friend, Dillan Pope. But there’s a problem. Several, in fact. He’s sarcastic, egotistical, full of himself, extremely attractive, and a womanizer. Within a matter of days, her life is chaos. She didn’t like him when they met nine years ago and her opinion isn’t likely to change now.

Love… crashes around you…

Dillan Pope, a thirty year old career businessman climbing his way up the corporate ladder, has learned to use his looks, charm, and sexual skills to his advantage. There isn’t much he cannot accomplish. Women easily tumble into his bed and business deals come about effortlessly. But when his best friend’s little sister moves in, he knows he’s in trouble. She’s rather hostile toward him, which is not the reaction he’s used to. Dillan loves a challenge, and Keira, aka, Sergeant Prim and Proper, has always been the one girl he could never forget when they met nine years ago.

Love… blinds you…

When a meddling barista puts a charm on the roommates, causing them to swap bodies, they must live as each other until they can get back to normal. They quickly learn that panic, fighting and accusations will get them nowhere. Until they can “cure” the charm, they experience life as the other with hilarious results all the while realizing that maybe the other isn’t so bad.

Love… heals you…

Maybe there’s a reason they hated each other. And discovering the feelings that lay hidden may be the only way to undo the switch.

~*~*~*~*~*

Kelly Washington’s new contemporary, military romance, written with a touch of magic, will make you laugh and believe in love all over again.


 

Oh, and guess what? My sexy heroes from FALLING FOR HIM, Justin, Aaron, and Nebraska are supporting characters in this book. Nebraska is up to his crazy antics (as usual) and you’ll get a glimpse of Justin and Aaron as a couple in the bowling scene.

Needless to say, I’m super excited about this story. It is fun, sexy, exciting, funny, and sweet. Collide Into You isn’t a steamy story and can be read by teens. I really hope you enjoy and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Hugs, Kelly

 

Coming Soon: Print Version of “Falling For Him” and “Reclaimed Souls”

Hi everyone, and happy Sunday. In my house, Sundays are a cleaning day, or an errand day. Stuff like that. Generally I do not write on Sundays, but today I’m writing a post to let you know what I’ve been working on.

Print Versions of my books.

Yes, print, and I’m ecstatic about this.

hottie_justin

Justin is a Hottie!

Oh my God, doesn’t Justin look amazing?!? And hot. And gorgeous. I’m bundling Falling For Him into one book, and I’m reviewing everything as we speak. Here’s a funny thing: when you read something in a different format, you find issues you might not have found originally (see below). For example, I write my novels on a Mac Laptop (using Scrivener), and convert everything for e-book conversions. After my editor has done her part, I make the necessary changes, conduct a final inspection, and press “publish”. Well, I’m finding that while reading my stories in paperback format, I see errors that I didn’t catch the first time. Oh My!

So I am making those edits as fast as I can to get you the option to read Falling For Him in paperback format. My guess is that I’ll have everything ready by late Summer 2014. Yay!

Reclaimed Souls - The Complete Series

Reclaimed Souls – The Complete Series

Here is a pic of Reclaimed Souls – The Complete Series in paperback format. This is one fat puppy because I’m working to reduce the page size in order to make it cheaper for you to buy it. Currently, I have it at 700 pages and I just don’t think I’ll be able to make it any smaller without reducing the font size, and I don’t want to do that. I’m still experimenting with everything, to include the cover, and hope to have the bundled series available early Fall 2014. Print and in E-Book version. Stay tuned.

A tidy little grouping

A tidy little grouping

As you can see here, I’ve adjusted the size of Justin’s – ahem – book. 🙂 The middle book was my first attempt, but it didn’t feel right in my hands, so I adjusted the paperback size to 5.5 x 8.5 (versus 6×9), and I like it a lot better.

Yikes! My red pen has come out!

Yikes! My red pen has come out!

It didn’t take me long to realize I would want to make changes. Not just editing issues (those are minor), but sentence structure and even dialog. I found a few instances where a bit more explanation was needed in the beginning of The Pale Waters (the first novella). One or two carefully crafted sentences will solve the issue.

In other news, I’m diligently working on my first draft of COLLIDING INTO YOU.

I suspect I’ll have the first draft done in a few weeks. While my hotties from Falling For You make appearances, the story centers on Keira (a sergeant in the Army) and Dillan (a junior business executive), and it is a stand-alone novel, meaning you will not need to read anything before it to get your romance-fix on. These two are just adorable, crazy, and get into such a scuffle (there’s a bit of magic in this story) that they must work everything out or risk their lives changing forever – and not in a way that they would want.

Secondary characters will, at some point, get their own stories. One of those secondary characters is a pro baseball player named Alec Huffman. He’s dreamy, sensitive, and totally unlike what his celebrity persona makes him out to be. I have an idea of who I want him to end up with, but my stories have been known to take over and go in a very different direction than I planned.

Keira’s brother (Jon – a Naval Officer) is in a serious relationship with Tanner (a pro baseball player) and while they are already a couple in Keira’s story, I have a feeling many of you will want me to write their M/M love story. So, at night, I’m dreaming up how they met, the problems they will face, and how they ended up together, because, on the surface, they do not seem like a logical couple. So, it should be fun.

I’d like to give a big shout-out to my girl, Chak. Have fun in Alexandria, VA. I am so going to miss you. Also, a big e-hug for Mary, Becky, and Deb. Thank you for agreeing to be my guinea pigs by reading COLLIDING INTO YOU after I’m done with the first draft.

To the rest of you guys and gals -my readers- keep those emails coming. I adore hearing from you. Here’s how I feel about you:Yum