Did I just write a middle grade novel?

I sure as heck did!

During the Christmas break, my son and I came up with a nifty idea we thought could turn into a middle grade series. We brainstormed and came up with a few ideas, and on Dec 26 I wrote the first three chapters and asked the kiddo to read them.

He liked the character, the tone, and the direction the story was going, so I pressed on. This weekend I finished the first draft (37k words).  I think it’s a bit too long, and at times repetitive (which I’ll fix during the first round of edits) but, overall, I’m enjoying the process of writing children’s novels.

I never thought I’d write a children’s novel. Super fun!!

As for the series theme, it’s spooky with a tinge of conspiracy… a cross between X-Files and Goosebumps. My plan is to write the first six books (each a stand-alone with a different cast of characters) before anything is published.

Between this, a thicket of short stories up for publication, as well as my fleshing out a fantasy series (EchoDarling) I think 2018 is pretty much mapped out for me!

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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!


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$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 – 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.


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What happened at All Romance eBooks (ARe)?

Onto publishing news:

Like many romance authors, several of my novels and short stories were on the All Romance eBooks (ARe) website, and unfortunately and for reasons I have yet to read, ARe is going dark tomorrow (Dec 31, 2016).

It saddens me because ARe, while somewhat clunky in its interface, published romance material that might not be easily found on other ebook sellers’ (‘Zon, B&N, etc) sites. For example, if a reader wanted to read darker romance material (dubious consent, dark-horror romances, or a steamier shape-shifter romance) ARe was the go-to.

I like a free ebook market, and I like readers having a choice in where they buy reading material. Other sites will emerge and it is an exciting time to be an author and a reader. What I don’t like is when authors are screwed on royalties owed (ARe wants to give us .10 to the dollar) while giving readers mere days to backup their ebook library.

I can’t fix the industry, but I can make sure my readers are taken care of.

If you bought any book of mine from ARe, and you are 1) unable to download it, or 2) unable to back-up your copy, contact me at kellywashwrites (at) gmail (dot) com (make sure to include your purchase receipt) and I’ll ensure you get the ebook in a pdf, mobi, or epub version.

Onto my news:

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season, and a happy new year! I’ve been busy working on darker romance material (which is why I’m bummed about ARe’s closing) under a pen name while working on several short stories for an anthology workshop. I’ll admit that 2016 has been a slow writing year for me (or at least a slow publishing year) but I hope 2017 picks up for me. I have several stories in the pipeline that need editing and covers, and I’ll get those stories published over the next few months.

Recently, I removed all of my work from Amazon’s exclusivity program (KDP-Select). You can still buy all titles on Amazon, but they are no longer in the Select program. Basically, my royalties dropped significantly when Amazon retooled the pay structure on titles enrolled in KDP-Select (pages read versus by the borrow).

I do apologize to my readers who use Amazon’s ebook subscription service, and I did give it six additional months to see if things changed (they didn’t). It no longer made financial sense for me to keep my titles in that program. Give me a few weeks, and I will have all titles published on all e-platforms.

Lastly, onto fun news, my son and I have been brainstorming a middle-grade novel idea (think Goosebumps, but less spooky), and I can honestly say he has awesome ideas! During the long New Year weekend, I’ll get the novel plotted and can hopefully start writing it in the near future. Fingers crossed.

Until next time, lovelies!

<3 Kelly

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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

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Delinquent Kelly

Hello my lovelies! I’ve been away for a while, holed up in a cabin in Oregon writing my eyeballs (and fingers) to the bone! I’m only sort of kidding.

In my last newsletter, I mentioned that I recently created a new pen-name, and I’ve been writing into “the dark” – which has two meanings.

  1. No outlines, or plots, or deadlines. I sit in front of my computer and simply write. This has been incredibly freeing, and I’ve written several stories I might not have before. More on that in a minute.
  2. Some of my new work (under the pen-name) is, literally, dark. The themes are darker, with violence. I’m exploring a few darker themes that are not appropriate under this name (Kelly Washington). I’d categorize my new work as horror meets dark romance. This has been a little less freeing (but still rewarding) as I have to channel a different side of me when writing the darker side of humanity.

While in Oregon, I wrote several gothic (!) novellas as well as a young adult LGBT “first love” romance (also in novella length). All three came out of nowhere (writing in the dark!), and I’m delighted with the results. I expect to have the young adult novella out shortly, under the abbreviated name K. Washington (this is not the new pen-name). Below is a proof cover for THE BEGINNING OF US. Totally not finalized, and you can see the watermarks (as I’m playing around with a few ideas before going final), but the idea is to keep the cover simple and inline with YA Covers.

the beginning of usThe Blurb? After a surprise meeting on the lacrosse field, teens Emma and Gina spend the rest of the night discovering that when you open up to a kindred spirit, love can bloom even in unexpected places. “The Beginning of Us” is a sweet “first love” LGBT romance appropriate for all audiences.

It was incredibly fun writing this story because Gina is a lacrosse player, and my son has been involved in lacrosse for four years. It’s a fascinating sport, and I’m having a blast learning more about girl’s lacrosse and how it differs from boys’ lacrosse. The equipment is different, and there is less contact. My goal is to make this a series, focusing on the girls on this lacrosse team.

We’ll see where it leads, and I’m excited for the results! I’ll let you know when the e-book is available.

In addition to writing, I’ve been reading a great deal. I think I’m up to 25 books so far this year, and I just finished Villette by Charlotte Bronte last night. Next? And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie.

I’d like to highlight Sarina Bowen’s “Ivy Years” series, and the “Him” series as she kept me awake many a night reading her fantastic books. Whew, that woman can write the feels like no ones business. I never knew that I loved hockey romance until I read her books. If you haven’t picked up one of her books, I highly recommend it.





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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

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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

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GoodReads Giveaway

3D_BUNDLE_whiteWanna win one of six copies of FALLING FOR HIM, (The Complete Series)? Yeah, I thought so. The print version is pretty frickin’ gorgeous, and was designed by Anita B. Carroll at race-point.com.

The giveaway opens 8 Nov 2015 and ends 31 Dec 2015. Open to US, UK, AUS, CAN residents.

Enter Giveaway

No purchase necessary. Reviews are requested, but not required.


Old cover









New Cover










xo Kelly

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