Publisher’s Note: Unexpected Triumphs

I have a confession to make. I used to hate basketball. Even as a kid I didn’t like it. At 5’8” I was always asked if I played. I’d try not to roll my eyes. Yes, I’m tall, I’d think. But tall does not equal enjoying running back and forth chasing a ball.

My stepfather loved watching it, but that didn’t make me like it any more. And my second husband also loved watching it, but that only made me come to loathe the sound of sneakers screeching on polished wood.

Heck, the only time I’d ever gotten excited about a basketball game was when my dad told me he had two tickets to see the Dream Team play in Barcelona in the 1992 Olympics (he was living in Madrid at the time, so we were within driving distance). I didn’t even mind not going to the game (there were four of us, but only two tickets). I just wanted to go to the Olympic Village. But my dad, the ever-cautious Marine, didn’t want two college-age girls wandering the streets of Barcelona alone while he took my younger sister to the game. So, we never made it to Barcelona. I’m still grumpy about that one, even though as a parent I now realize the wisdom of that decision.

And I still didn’t like basketball.

Until last year.

My wonderful partner, who also loves basketball, asked me if I’d like to go with him to the Pac-12 championships in Las Vegas. Now, we’d been friends for a decade but only recently started dating, so I didn’t feel like that was the time to tell him I hated basketball. And besides, it’s Vegas.

So, we went. And I went to all the games. And it was awesome!

The crowds, the energy, the athleticism, the raw courage of the players in trying to help their teams win the game. Wow. I finally got it.

You see, no one had ever asked me to watch the games WITH them. I had never before factored into their enjoyment of the sport.

But John didn’t subject me to basketball, he shared basketball with me. I won’t lie and say it’s my favorite thing ever. But I’m definitely a fan now.

So, we routinely watch games together. Including March Madness. And the amazing ride this year’s NCAA championships are turning out to be.

We have Gonzaga and South Carolina going to the final four for the first time ever. Oregon makes its second appearance after a 78-year drought. So, at least one of the teams playing in the final championships will be making history.

Which brings me to the real topic of this week’s blog. The unexpected champion.

There’s something thrilling about seeing the long shot prevail. Maybe it gives us regular folk hope that anything is possible.

And so, my recommended reading for this week is Spree: A Sweet Young Things Mystery. It’s a fantastic book, and we’ve just lowered the paperback price to $9.99. And to get you started, I’m offering you the first story in that series free for one week. Just click here.

Inspiration is in the air, folks. Now’s the time to seize the day!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: Ready for Spring

Today is the first day of spring. And thanks heavens. It has been a long, long winter on the Oregon Coast. It has been a long winter a lot of places, it seems.

Most years, I don’t mind the winters here in Lincoln City. Yes, we get an average of 97.27 inches of rain per year (according to Wikipedia, which also thinks we have an average high temperature in August of 72 degrees [I wish—we’re about 10 degrees cooler than that], so allow for a little wiggle room). And yes, the wettest months of the year are November through March. But we usually get some spectacular sun breaks amid the deluge. This year, however, it’s been unrelentingly rainy and gray.

So, like I said, come on, Spring. Please. You can do it.

One thing long dreary winters is good for, however, is reading. So, this week, I’m recommending a great book to entertain you on a rainy day indoors, but with spring in the title to help usher that season along.

That book—Grapevine Springs by Dean Wesley Smith—is part of the time traveling Western series Thunder Mountain.

Here’s the synopsis:

Could the entire history of an Old West mining town be false?

Did Grapevine Springs ever really exist?

Duster Kendal wants to know the answer to that question. But to get the answer, he must turn for help from two top researchers who must risk everything, including their lives, to find the answer.

A gripping new adventure in the Thunder Mountain series.

Happy Spring!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: A Blast from the Past

The year 1991 was a very important year for me. It’s the year I graduated from high school. It’s the year I started college. It’s the year I turned 18. Really, it’s the year I became an adult.

It was an important year in US history, too. The Cold War ended. The first Gulf War began. We watched a videotape of LAPD officers beating Rodney King, and police brutality became a national discussion topic.

And in the publishing industry, a publication called Pulphouse: A Fiction Magazine, edited by Dean Wesley Smith, was launched.

Now, 26 years later, I’ve found myself reconnecting with classmates I haven’t talked to since high school and college. Topics such as the Cold War, the Gulf War, and police brutality continue to make the news. And Pulphouse Fiction Magazine will soon return to print.

And although time changes all things, many aspects of Pulphouse will remain. Dean remains editor, so the tone of the magazine will remain very similar to its original incarnation. And Kristine Kathryn Rusch, who edited Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine, is tied to this new project, too.

Despite the fact that WMG didn’t exist during the magazine’s first run, we will honor all unfulfilled Pulphouse subscriptions with either a four-volume ebook subscription (no need to figure out how many issues you had left…you’ll automatically get a full year) or a lifetime ebook subscription (for lifetime subscribers). Just email us at subscriptions@wmgpublishingmail.com.

We’ve been working on this for a while, and I’m thrilled to add this magazine—a three-time Hugo Award finalist—to our product line.

The first release will be a limited edition Issue Zero, which will be available only via Kickstarter later this year. So, stay tuned.

And if you read this blog regularly, you might remember me mentioning I was surrounded by some amazing authors and editors a couple of weeks ago. Well, while other WMG editors bought stories for seven new volumes of Fiction River, Dean bought stories for five issues of Pulphouse.

See, I told you it was exhausting and exhilarating around here. My brain is still recovering, but I couldn’t wait any longer to tell you about Pulphouse. You can read more about the history and future of Pulphouse in Dean’s blog here.

And really, you should.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: The Makings of a Mysterious March

 

I’ve just wrapped up a long and exhilarating week with about 50 amazing fiction writers and editors here on the Oregon Coast. It was the best workshop yet, I believe, and I’ll have lots to tell you about from it. But not yet. Right now, I’m so exhausted, I’m a bit brain dead.

Which is appropriate, because what I am going to tell you about right now is a brand-new collection by Dean Wesley Smith called Dead to Me.

The first in a new line of collections for Dean’s short fiction, called, appropriately, Smith’s Fiction Collections, Dead to Me offers five funny, creepy and strange mysteries.

Here’s the synopsis:

Dean Wesley Smith, famous for being one of the most prolific and wide ranging authors working today, draws on his library of short mystery stories to produce this collection, Dead to Me.

Hard-boiled Las Vegas coughs up a very dead and very cold body for the retired detectives of the Cold Poker Gang to deal with in “The Case of the Pleasant Hills Murder.” In “Two Roads, No Choices,” the legendary Sherlock Holmes tackles a lingering mystery surrounding the ill-fated Titanic, with a science fiction twist. A creepy Bryant Street story offers up a strange couple in the suburbs in “An Obscene Crime Against Passion.” Cold-blooded vodka-sipping Mary Jo in “Make Myself Just One More,” offers more twists and turns, and the better halves of two “Husband Dummies” make clear that woman win more than they lose.

I’m thrilled to be able to offer Dean’s work in this way, because these collections give you a true sense of just how diverse Dean’s stories are, even within the same genre.

Speaking of diverse writing, I have another new bundle to tell you about. As you might remember, we have a limited-time bundle that focuses on a Fiction River volume—The Escapist Bundle—which introduces you to the longer work of our great Fiction River authors.

This new bundle I mentioned earlier is on BundleRabbit and is called The Haunted Bundle. It contains stories about ghosts, hauntings, and mysterious things by twenty different authors. WMG has two stories in this bundle: “Waltzing on a Dancer’s Grave” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and “Roses Around the Moment” by Dean Wesley Smith.

Here’s the synopsis:

Have you ever felt as though someone was watching you, but when you turned around no one was there?

How many times have you been unable to find something, then it later turned up in the exact place you’d searched over and over?

Why does your cat act as though it’s staring at something, even though you can’t see anything?

Just because you can’t see anything doesn’t mean there isn’t something there…

But don’t worry. Ghosts aren’t real.

Or are they?

Mysterious things or just plain mysteries…March has a lot to offer. And it’s only the beginning.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: Fiction, Fiction Everywhere

I’m surrounded by writers this week. Literally. Our annual anthology workshop runs this week here on the Oregon Coast, and we have about 50 writers from all over the world here.

It’s a ton of work and some of the most fun I have doing this job.

The product of these workshops is Fiction River. So, it’s apropros that we have a brand-new release hitting while all these folks are here.

The newest Fiction River Presents (for those of you who aren’t already subscribers, that’s the reprint line for Fiction River, which I edit) officially publishes tomorrow. It’s called Legacies, and the theme for this one is families—in all their beautiful and sometimes messed up glory.

Here’s the synopsis:

Family time takes the stage with this latest volume of Fiction River Presents. From the gut-wrenching struggle to survive a broken family to the heartbreaking loss of a child to the all-encompassing power of familial love, Legacies takes readers on a roller-coaster of emotions. Spanning genre lines from literary to fantasy to paranormal romance, this volume proves why Adventures Fantastic says: “If you haven’t checked out Fiction River yet, you should. There’s something for everyone.”

Table of Contents
“Prism of the Crab Gods” by Kelly Washington
“Sisters” by Leah Cutter
“Deathmobile” by Michele Lang
“The F Factor” by Chrissy Wissler
“Shaman” by Leslie Claire Walker
“Legacy” by Irette Y. Patterson
“My Real Cousin Ruby” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“The Man Who Decided” by Dean Wesley Smith
“The Farewell Gift” by Louise Marley

And don’t forget that another volume in the Fiction River family—Recycled Pulp—and ten of its authors are featured in the Escapist Bundle of Storybundle, which launched last week. You can read more about it and buy it here.

But I’m still not done. In addition to Legacies, Dean Wesley Smith’s latest Cold Poker Gang novel publishes Tuesday, as well.

Here’s the synopsis for Ace High:

1991. The famous Las Vegas hotel The Landmark scheduled for destruction. A girl’s body found in one of the old rooms. Impossible to even tell her identity or what happened to her.

Seventeen years later Cold Poker Gang members Pickett and Sarge take up the girl’s long-cold case. And layer by layer they uncover one of the most twisted crimes in the history of the famous sin city.

A crime that still needs to be covered up with even more death. Ace High wins the award for the most twisted crime novel yet in the series of Cold Poker Gang novels. If you love great mystery books, grab this one.

So much fiction, so little time. Sounds like a great excuse for a vacation day, don’t you think?

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.