Publisher’s Note: Let the festivals begin!

Dia de los Muertos. Calan Gaeaf. Halloween. Samhain. Diwali…The names themselves sound like a magic incantation, a calling from one world into the next. These are all fall festivals that have roots reaching into the distant past where myth and memory mingle.

I love this time of year. And it’s mostly because of those ancient human feelings that we still have: fear of the dark and a need for reassurance when the nights get long and the cold creeps into our bones. But we also still harbor a fascination with the unknown. What is out there in the dark? And who?

These days we entertain ourselves with scary symbols and images during this season, ghosts and skeletons and eerily carved pumpkins, almost as a reminder of the wonder and fear that originated so long ago. But last year, during the total solar eclipse here in Lincoln City, Oregon, when the moon covered the sun and the day turned to night as though someone flipped the off switch, I had the kind of overpowering sense that I imagine our ancient ancestors must have had when darkness conquered the light. It’s a feeling that bypasses the intellect and goes straight to the soul, a sense of astonishment, of the power of the natural world, and an instant certainty of my own feebleness and insignificance. It was both uncanny and absolutely thrilling. I was agog.

No wonder we conjure spirits to guide us through these encounters with the great mysteries of the universe and our place in it. If there’s one thing we at WMG can provide you with, it’s informative and entertaining guides through the liminal worlds of Halloween, Samhain, Dia de los Muertos and the rest. Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith seem to feel right at home there. Dean has created ghosts who fall in love and spend the afterlife helping the rest of us in the Ghost of a Chance series, as well as dozens of creepy stories with weird characters who inhabit that most liminal of suburban neighborhoods, Bryant Street.

It’s hard to know where to start with all the weird and wonderful characters Kris has created: her books are chockablock with ghosts, mermaids, wizards, and familiars.

Hands down my personal favorite is Ruby.

When she first appears in “Familiar Territory,” she is still a little kitten who intends to become the familiar of a wizard named Winston. He is a kind and humble wizard, with small magic powers. Ruby herself is tiny, soft, black and there is nothing humble about her. Her body is small and her mouth is big. And the adventures she and Winston tackle together are matters of life and death.

Just for you, we have made the Ghost of a Chance Starter Bundle, three novels in one ebook, available. Ruby is also yours for the taking by way of Familiarity: A Winston and Ruby Collection. And we’re tossing into the mix a classic volume of Fiction River—Haunted, which is bursting with ghosts. You can get all three for $2.99 each, but only this week.

Take your pick of guides and enjoy this festive time as we slide into the darkness.

Gwyneth Gibby, WMG Associate Publisher. October 29, 2018.

Publisher’s Note: A Beautiful Autumn

October has always been my favorite month of the year, but for different reasons based on where I’ve lived.

Growing up in New Jersey, in was about the cool, crisp air and the amazing fall colors and the piles of leaves everywhere and pumpkins and apples and everything, you know, traditionally autumn. (I have learned since moving from New Jersey to other parts of the country that what tends to be portrayed as typical weather is really Mid-Atlantic East Coast weather.)

Now that I live on the Oregon Coast, I love October because it’s our best opportunity for beautiful, peaceful weather.

We had a stretch of such weather recently. Sunny, warm, relatively windless. Not cool and crisp but very pleasant. And the colors don’t compare to those in the Mid-Atlantic states, but you can still find some color (and the pumpkins and apples, etc.) by taking a drive.

One such sunny day, my husband and I drove in a loop of an hour east then about 45 minutes south, then an hour west and 45 minutes north. I was struck by the amazing juxtaposition of scenery in Oregon. The drives east, south, and west were all about fall color amid the dominant evergreens of the region. But the drive north was all about sparkling, blue ocean. Breathtakingly beautiful.

Growing up I would never have associated the ocean with fall. But I do now.

So, let me send a little bit of that beauty and peacefulness across the internet to you with a lighthearted story suggestion that puts a fun twist on the classic fairy tale fare: “The Charming Way” by Kristine Grayson.

Here’s the synopsis:

Mellie keeps a secret: she blames fairy tales for ruining her life. She believes she can stop fairy tales from ruining other people’s lives by forcing booksellers to stop selling fairy tales. 

But on the way to her protest at a book fair, she runs into a handsome man. A very handsome man who also happens to be Prince Charming. And he loves books. Even fairy tales.

The short story that provided the inspiration for Grayson’s paranormal romance novel, Wickedly Charming.

Click here for more information.

Happy Fall!

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

Publisher’s Note: Bundling Up for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is fast approaching, and Kevin J. Anderson has curated another of his annual Storybundles to help you writers out there make the most of it.

We have not one but two WMG Writer’s Guides in this informative 12-book bundle: The Secrets of Success by New York Times bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch and How to Write a Novel in Ten Days by USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith.

Here are a few words about The 2018 NaNoWriMo Writing Tools Bundle StoryBundle from Kevin:

It’s that time of year: November is “NaNoWriMo” or National Novel Writing Month, when ambitious authors take the challenge to write the first draft of a novel from start to finish in a month. While gearing up for the challenge, writers are looking for advice, techniques, and resources.

And boy do we have a toolkit for you! I’ve curated an impressive collection of a dozen books on writing that will be inspirational, helpful, maybe even provocative. You can get all of the books for as little as $15, and a portion of the proceeds goes directly to benefit the Challenger Learning Center for Space Science Education.

In this bundle, you’ll get titles with basic nuts-and-bolts advice on writing, including How to Write a Novel by Simon Haynes, Story Pitch by Scott King, The How-To Structure Workbook for Trilogies, Series, and Parallel Worlds by C. Michelle Jeffries, Writing As a Team Sport on collaboration by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta (we included a partial sneak-preview of this book in last year’s bundle, and this version is greatly expanded), and How to Polish Your Manuscript into a Rock-Solid Book by Andrea Pearson.

We’ve included inspirational and motivational titles to get your book done, You Must Write: Success Through Heinlein’s Rules by Kevin McLaughlin, Pulp Speed for the Professional Writer by Blaze Ward, and How to Write a Novel in Ten Days by Dean Wesley Smith (and, yes, he does that…regularly).

And for those of you thinking about the big picture, we have important career advice with The Secrets of Success by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Become a Successful Indie Author by Craig Martelle, and The Healthy Writer by Joanna Penn. For those of you interested in the whole process of bundling, we include the StoryBundle exclusive, Bundle Up! by Jamie J. Ferguson.

In short—you need these books!

Click here to read much more about the bundle.

Happy writing!

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

Publisher’s Note: A New Conundrum

What do you get when you set a cozy mystery series at science fiction conventions? Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s fan-favorite Spade/Paladin series, of course.

The infamous private detectives return for their latest mystery in “At Witt’s End.”

Here’s the synopsis:

When legendary science fiction fan Brendan Witt dies, Secret Master of Fandom and private detective Spade finds himself planning a memorial charity auction to honor Witt’s final wishes.

But when some very rare and highly collectible fanzines go missing, Spade and Paladin must race to find them before anyone notices.

Just one problem: Why they went missing might just prove the biggest mystery of all.

You can read this story for free on Kris’ website as part of her Free Fiction Monday. Click here to do so.

But don’t dally. The story is only available for one week.

Speaking of limited-time opportunities for a great deal in fiction, the Darker Realms Fantasy StoryBundle ends in a few days. As a reminder, you can get Fiction River Presents: Darker Realms, Kris’ FantasyLife and Other Stories (Author Preferred Edition), and Dean Wesley Smith’s The Free Meal: A Ghost of a Chance Novel, along with seven other fantastic books (plus support the AbleGamers charity) for just $15!

To learn more about the bundle, click here.

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

Publisher’s Note: Time Waits for No Man…Woman…Child

I was reminded recently how incredible fast childhood goes by. My daughter has suddenly reached the very beginning stages of puberty.

“Mommy, I’m becoming a little woman,” she said when I finally accepted and acknowledged the signs.

“NOOOOOOOOOOO!” I screamed silently.

Time, it seems, moves faster and faster. And childhood, for us adults, is gone in the blink of an eye.

Blink. Blink. Blink.

But when it comes to thrillers, things should move fast. And our latest volume of Fiction River doesn’t disappoint.

Here’s the synopsis for Pulse Pounders: Countdown:

The relentless ticking of a clock as time slips away marks the breathless pace of these remarkable stories. In Fiction River’s third edition of its Pulse Pounders series, these sixteen authors push the envelope of the thriller form. From a man desperately searching for his missing little girl to a chef racing to finish a cooking competition to an airship captain facing a deadly adversary, these stories will keep your pulse racing until the very end.

Table of Contents
“Payback is a Bitch” by Diana Deverell
“Death-Blind” by Robert Jeschonek
“The Airship Adventures of Captain Jane Fury” by Anthea Sharp
“Fifteen Men on a Dead Man’s Chest” by Henry Martin
“The Tomb of Arisel” by Bonnie Elizabeth
“Goodnight, Madison” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Romancing the Puffin” by Louisa Swann
“Dominant Species” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“Three Seconds” by T. Thorn Coyle
“Blood Chase” by Leah Cutter
“Caterpillar Boot Man” by Valerie Brook
“The Case of the Dead Son” by Laura Ware
“Breakfast at Luigi’s” by Thea Hutcheson
“Black Phantom, Gray Op” by Stefon Mears
“The Last Ramekin” by Liz Pierce
“The Princess, the Huntsman and the Monster” by Erik Lynd

We can’t control time, but we can put it to good use. And the countdown to this latest volume of Fiction River is now over. You can buy it here.

Or subscribe here and let Fiction River show up in your inbox automatically. Now, that’s a real time-saver.

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

Publisher’s Note: Going to the Dark Side

I vividly remember one of my first forays into a darker realm. It was a short story by Stephen King called “The Eyes of the Dragon.” I remember it in part because I was so surprised it was a King story. I knew King as a horror writer. And, to be honest, I hated horror—or so I thought.

Ironically, it was another of King’s short stories, “The Colorado Kid,” that opened my eyes to what horror could be. Darkness comes in many forms—and many expressions.

The Darker Realms Fantasy Storybundle explores just that.: the darkness at the heart of the unknown.

Four of these books are new releases just in time for this Storybundle. New York Times bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s gives us a dark fantasy set on the Oregon Coast called FantasyLife and Other Stories (Author Preferred Edition). New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson’s Selected Stories: Horror and Dark Fantasy features 29 dark tales (including stories co-written with Grammy Award-winning singer Janis Ian and Rush’s Neil Peart)Award-winning author Annie Reed’s Iris & Ivy provides a heart-wrenching twist on the classic ghost story. And Stefon Mears Hunting Monsters gives us an old-school vampire in an urban setting.

Also included in the bundle is Fiction River Presents: Darker Realms. This short fiction anthology, which I edited, is the inspiration for the whole bundle and includes the prequels to two groundbreaking fantasy series: Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Fey series and David Farland’s Runelords.

Rounding out the bundle, we mix humor with darkness in The Free Meal: A Ghost of a Chance Novel by USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith and A Canadian Werewolf in New York by Mark Leslie. Then we turn decidedly more frightening with Residue by Hugo Award-nominated author Steve Diamond and Elements of Mind by Walter H. Hunt. And finally, D.J. Butler has given us not only Devil Sent the Rain, the fourth installment of his pulp fiction serial Rock Bands Fight Evil, but also the Rock Band Fights Evil Omnibus, too, for those readers who missed the first three installments.

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, AbleGamers.

For $5 (or more, if you feel generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of four books in any ebook format worldwide:
Fiction River Presents: Darker Realms
Kevin J. Anderson: Selected Stories: Horror and Dark Fantasy
Annie Reed: Iris & Ivy
Stefon Mears: Hunting Monsters

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular books, plus SIX more!
Dean Wesley Smith: The Free Meal
Kristine Kathryn Rusch: FantasyLife and Other Stories
Mark Leslie: A Canadian Werewolf in New York
Steve Diamond: Residue
Walter H. Hunt: Elements of Mind
D.J. Butler: Devil Sent the Rain and Rock Band Fights Evil Omnibus

The Darker Realms Fantasy Storybundle runs for three weeks only. So, you’ll want to act fast.

To learn more about the bundle, click here. To learn more about AbleGamers, click here.

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