Friday, September 26, 2014

New Release: The Beachcombers

by Stephanie Queen

Dane Blaise leaned against the wall outside the terminal building of the tiny airport in Edgartown on the tiny island of Martha’s Vineyard. It had been his corner of paradise every summer for years and this summer a much-needed respite from the world at large. Until today. He played with the pack of cigarettes he’d purchased for effect. He wore his only button down shirt – a white linen deal with the long sleeves rolled up so he didn’t have to bother buttoning the cuffs. The sun blazed. This was a far cry from the drink on the terrace at the Haven cafe he’d planned with a certain lady he’d met the day before. At the very least, he should be on the beach resting his soul where he belonged between assignments. But then he supposed he was no longer in between assignments. They had him the second he agreed to volunteer as a judge for the so-called American Invitational Surfing competition.

He watched the low-wing prop plane land and circle around the runway toward the building. But he wasn’t the only one watching.

A tall lean striking man in a pale lemon linen suit –seemed linen was in fashion today—strolled outside and smoked a cigar while he talked on his cell phone. If Dane hadn’t been trained to notice these things, he wouldn’t have noticed the way the well-dressed man watched the plane not too closely, especially once the door popped open and the passengers began disembarking. An airport employee came through the terminal building door out onto the cement pad where they stood and headed toward the plane, but the man in the tan uniform stopped dead and looked stunned. A quick glance at the lemon-suited man told Dane he’d stopped everything and stared too. Dane turned back to the plane to see why.

A long-legged shapely woman with billowing sun-bleached hair wearing a tropical flowered halter sundress and strappy ruby stilettos stepped down from the plane onto the tarmac. If Dane were the kind of man who let out wolf whistles at such visions, Ms. Knockout would qualify. But so far in his life, he’d found it easy to control such impulses in favor of steady yet stealthy stares.

Book 4 of the Scotland Yard Exchange Series

Hard core freelance military operative Dane Blaise plans to get some much needed rest at his beach hideaway on Martha's Vineyard until he gets called by his old friend and special ops mentor, the governor of Massachusetts. Boston's Scotland Yard Exchange Program needs Dane to help find a young heiress who mysteriously disappeared from a suspicious surfing competition. 
Interpol warnings alert them to a French con man with a bad track record and big plans is on the small island.

But when Dane meets his partner in crime-solving, Shana George, a beach-bunny bombshell straight in from Australia to play undercover rich-girl surfer, he knows there'll be more trouble than the bad guys are dishing out--and no rest at all for this weary soul.

Author Bio:

USA Today Bestselling author Stephanie Queen is a romantic at heart and a writer by nature with the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. She enjoys creating stories where her rose-colored world-view comes to life and the good guys always win. Having spent most of her life in New England, she's attended a few of the area colleges, including Harvard. Although she lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Something's Rotten

According to David Gaughran, something is rotten in publishing.

From his blog:

There is something seriously askew with the supposed values of the publishing business.

The most egregious behavior continually gets overlooked, ignored, and swept under the carpet, in favor of pursuing pet targets.


Read the rest.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Author Rock Star Roundup

Here's what my rock star authors have been up to recently.

Bob Mayer has been talking about catastrophes.

Why be concerned about catastrophes?

False Assumptions

What is a catastrophe?

The final event of the dramatic action, especially of a tragedy

An event causing great and often sudden damage or suffering; a disaster Utter failure.

Read more.

J.A. Konrath is talking about the author conference of the future.

If it ever does happen, this is how I'd picture it:

One giant room, similar to ComiCon, with a stage and microphones.

Authors sit at tables, which are set up everywhere. For table space at the 3 day conference, authors pay $25 a day.

Attendees get in for free.

Read more.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Victim Mentality

Or maybe it's Stockholm Syndrome. I'm not a psychologist, just a writer. It's the only explanation for the fact that we writers don't share about problems with our publisher until they go out of business. So knowing that, I applaud this author for standing up and saying the Emperor is not wearing clothing.

I’ve talked some about the issues I’ve been having with one of my publishers. Talked here. Talked on FB and Twitter.

Time to talk again.

Read the rest:

Monday, September 1, 2014


By Alina Adams

All writers are given the same advice. Write your story, edit your story, polish your story. Make sure that only your very, very best work ends up in front of agents, editors, reviewers and readers.

Well, I followed that advice. I wrote, edited and polished many, many manuscripts. And I sent them out. And I got rejected. So I wrote and edited and polished some more. And eventually, I sold. Regency romance novels, contemporary romance novels, figure skating mysteries, non-fiction, soap-opera tie-ins. I’ve published over a dozen books, including two NYT best-sellers.

But, here’s the thing: It was all trial and error.

When my books were being rejected, I didn’t get any feedback. I had to guess what was wrong. And I had to guess how to fix it. Afterwards, I’d get editorial notes. Some were specific and helpful. Some less so. (My personal favorite, from an editor who shall remain nameless, was: This scene doesn’t work. Make it work.)

When I was first starting out, I would have loved the chance to just shadow a professional writer and watch them go through the entire process, from first draft to publication, and hear their reasons for why this word instead of that one, why this scene that way and not another way, why begin here, why end there?


o I’ve created the resource I never had. is me writing my latest book completely live. Readers can literally watch as each word is typed. And erased. And rewritten. And misspelled. And then deleted along with the rest of the lousy paragraph. Maybe even the whole chapter.

The problem is, I am doing the exact opposite of what every writer is told. I am not putting my best foot forward. I am putting out my worst one. I want readers to see what I go through. All the missteps, the dead ends, the clunky prose, the boring characters, the laughable sex scenes. And I want them to chime in with their thoughts so that I can make my book the very best that it can be – for them.

Am I risking someone clicking on a link, reading a few lines of my first-draft prose and deciding they never want to see anything with my byline again? It’s certainly possible.

Am I putting my entire career at risk? Sure seems like it.

Am I going to do it anyway? Yup.

Because, honestly, after 20 years of writing for a living, I was starting to get bored. And there is nothing that gets your blood pumping faster than working without a net.

Won’t you join me?


Alina Adams is the NYT best-selling author of soap-opera tie-ins, figure skating mysteries and contemporary and Regency romance novels, including “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “Annie’s Wild Ride,” “The Fictitious Marquis” and “Thieves at Heart.” Visit her at, and stop by to watch her write her next book live in front of your eyes with real-time reader feedback at:


Annie’s Wild Ride by Alina Adams

When his ex-wife and daughter’s plane goes down in a snowstorm, Major Paul Gaasbeck is forced to break every US Air Force rule and betray his own honor code in his attempt to rescue them.

As both battle the elements in a desperate struggle for survival, Paul and Anne can’t help remembering all of the reasons why they couldn’t stay together – or apart.

From Colorado’s Air Force Academy to military bases all across America to the hostile skies above Libya and the battlefields of Iraq, romance lovers will be helplessly swept away – just like Paul – by ANNIE’S WILD RIDE.


Friday, August 29, 2014



Before becoming a children’s writer, Yvonne Ventresca wrote computer programs and taught others how to use technology. Now she happily spends her days writing stories instead of code. Yvonne’s the author of the young adult novel Pandemic, available since May from Sky Pony Press. Yvonne’s other writing credits include two nonfiction books for kids: Avril Lavigne (a biography of the singer) and Publishing (about careers in the field). You can visit her website at


In Pandemic, only a few people know what caused Lilianna Snyder's sudden change from a model student to a withdrawn pessimist who worries about all kinds of disasters. After her parents are called away on business, Lil’s town is hit by what soon becomes a widespread fatal illness. With her worst fears realized, Lil must find a way to survive not only the outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons.

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Books A Million

I stood on the smoking corner behind school reveling in my aloneness. Not many smokers had the same schedule, which made the corner the perfect place for solitude. We always stayed a foot off the high school property, near the big oak tree, and since we were allowed to leave during last period study hall, we weren’t technically breaking any rules.

As if rules mattered.

“Hey, got a light?” Jay Martinez asked, interrupting the quiet. In the fall, he’d moved from Arizona to live with his aunt down the block from my house.

I handed him my half-smoked cigarette. Cupping the burning ember, he used it to light his own. He didn’t fit in with the other smokers, but then neither did I. My black clothes, basic ponytail, and minimal makeup placed me in my own category. Maybe Lazy Goth. But the nice thing about smokers was that they didn’t exclude anyone.

“Thanks.” Jay passed my cigarette back to me.

“Is New Jersey always this cold in April?”

Being the new guy at school made Jay the flavor of the month with the other sophomore girls. They craved him in a nauseating kind of way. He was dark, tall, and lanky, and tended to over-communicate. Totally not my type. Now he ruined my aloneness with weather chatter. I shrugged so he’d get the idea that I wasn’t in a talking mood.

“Ethan was hoping to run into you,” he said.

Another shrug. I’d managed to avoid my ex for months. No reason to change the pattern now.

“So . . . do you have Robertson for bio?” he asked.

I nodded. Jay definitely wasn’t taking the hint.

“What are you doing your report on?”

“Emerging diseases,” I said, finally giving up on staying silent.

“Cheerful stuff.”

The school projects I chose did favor the dark this semester. American history report? The decision to drop the bomb. English book talk? A collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. Thematically, Ebola hemorrhagic fever fit right in.

“What are you writing about?” I flicked the accumulated ashes. “Lung cancer?”

He smiled. “The biology of taste. I write restaurant reviews on my blog and that was the closest topic I could think of. Do you like eating at restaurants?”

Leaning slightly forward, he held eye contact a little too long for me. Was he flirting? Nervous, I pulled my sweater tighter around me and crossed my arms. A flirtatious guy was the absolute last thing I needed in my life. No boyfriends, no coy conversations for me. Not anymore.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Time well spent?

Kathy L Wheeler

Ha! I don’t know the meaning of the word. TIME? What is that? Like sleep, I have no idea. Between a day job (technical writer), summer bootcamp coding class (javascript, express, node, mongo db), writing (four manuscripts underway), short story anthology online class (for next month), critique groups meetings (every other week), NBA Thunder basketball (season ticket holder, forty-three home games, not including playoffs), fantasy football (draft night coming up), OKC Broadway season tickets (starts Aug 29th—Phantom of the Opera!!!! CANNOT WAIT!), editing my stuff, critique partners stuff and various other chapter members requests, OK-Rwa), Burger night (every Wednesday), Martini club (every Friday). Well, I think you begin to see what I mean about time. House cleaning? Ha! I leave that to my husband these days. (I hope doesn’t read this.)

In fact, I’ve actually been cooking dinner since last November (I’m on a health kick). One day my husband stood in the doorway of our remodeled kitchen contemplating the fire beneath the skillet. After a few minutes, he said, “I know you’re not used to cooking with gas, but don’t you think that fire is a little high?” Perhaps he said that a while back. Now (almost every day) it’s “Is that fan on?” And he does regularly asks, “Is that fire too high?”

To my credit, I do not yell, and stomp out. No, I calmly reply, that he is right but if he isn’t careful I might quit cooking again in the near future anyway. Dinner usually goes smoothly after that. On occasion, I’ll just hand him the utensil and walk away.

So how do I manage all of these activities? I’m not quite sure, but somehow I do. I suppose each aspect: job, writing, burger night, martini club night, basketball, football, theater, karaoke (I forgot that one), writing, reading critiquing…get worked in because each activity I’m involved in are important to me. It helps, I suppose, that I don’t have small children about. All my family lives out of town, but I count myself very blessed with the many friends I have. And I do make time for them.

I suppose the point in this post is to give you a little insight to a full-time, tax-paying citizen who loves to read, write and sing. And perhaps leave you to contemplate how you manage all the tasks you consider essential to your life. I’m certain you realize that you will get done what you need to. That we all tend to make room for the things most important to us.

And that’s just fine!

Happy Reading!~~Kathy L Wheeler


Kathy L Wheeler (aka Kae Elle Wheeler) writes both contemporary and historical romance. She is a computer programmer and software expert by day. She is a member of several RWA chapters including The Beau Monde, DARA and has served several positions in her home chapter of the Oklahoma Romance Writers. She is an avid sports fan, theater buff, and loves to travel and sing karaoke.

The Surprising Enchantress – book iii

Delusions of grandeur? Happily-ever-after? Lady Esmeralda is destined for life with a fluttering eye syndrome—a deterrent to any prospective intended. Alessandro de Lecce’s efforts to save Chalmers future heir are nil without Lady Esmeralda’s assistance. There is more to this fluttering-eye miss than meets the . . . eye!

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