About WMG Publishing
Founded in 2010, WMG Publishing, Inc. is located in Lincoln City, OR. The company publishes more than 450 fiction and nonfiction titles in trade paperback, ebook and audiobook formats. In 2013, the company launched Fiction River: An Original Anthology Magazine, which publishes six volumes a year containing short fiction from New York Times bestsellers to debut authors. For more information about the company, go to www.wmgpublishing.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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I imagine the conversations between my two elderly male cats as sounding like Vladimir and Estragon (Didi and Gogo) from Samuel Becket’s play Waiting for Godot. Didi and Gogo’s dialogue runs along the lines: “Gogo: Let’s go. Didi: We can’t. Gogo: Why not? Didi: We’re waiting for Godot. Gogo: (despairingly). Ah!”
My Ollie and Grayson would no doubt sympathize with Cookie Monster when he called Sesame Street’s production, Waiting for Elmo, “A play so modern and so brilliant it makes absolutely noooo sense to anybody.”
But, really, waiting is as natural to cats as napping. Deep thoughts, likewise. Given the time and a quiet space, cats will solve all problems, mostly by out-waiting them.
Sadly yesterday, the noiseless tenor of Ollie and Grayson’s way was abruptly demolished. It happened like this:
(Ollie, svelt black and white; Grayson, large and gray; both washing up in readiness for their post-breakfast naps.)
(A sound of footsteps outside.)
(They lift their heads in unison.)
Grayson: What was that?
Ollie: What was that? Is someone here?
Grayson: Someone’s here.
Ollie: Who is it?
Grayson: Who knows?
(pause, more footsteps)
Ollie: Let’s go.
(He jumps off the bed where most of these conversations occur. Ollie pauses by the bedroom door. He thinks, “Closet? Kitchen cupboard?” Where to hide? What’s closer, safer? He makes his calculations .)
(Then—all hell breaks loose outside. Banging so loud it hurts the eardrums and knocks a picture off the wall. Men yell to each other and laugh—the brutes! An excruciating wrenching sound, like the Titanic breaking up as it goes down in icy waters. Pounding, pounding—will it never stop? Ollie bolts for the closet. Grayson, fatter and arthritic, looks around helplessly, and then heaves his bulk off the bed and lumbers down the hallway to the “safety” of the kitchen.)
Let us draw a curtain on this tragic scene. It went on all day. The drama did not end well. For cats, anyway. Certain indignities and hurt feelings should be relegated to the dark shadows of unrecorded history.
The new siding for the house looks nice, but boy it makes a lot of noise going up.
At WMG, we are all cat lovers. Cats pop up fairly often in WMG fiction. Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes about that tiny black familiar, Ruby, so cute and yet so mouthy among others. And this week, Dean Wesley Smith has chosen a cat story to begin the latest issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, which comes out April 30.
As always, Pulphouse offers up a smorgasbord of short fiction, some of which tickles you, some knocks you upside the head, and some slaps you on the back with slightly off-color bonhomie. The first story this time is called “The Fur Tsunami,” by the late Kent Patterson. It, like Beckett’s Godot, is an absurdist comedy with tragedy at its core. And it’s about cats. Lots and lots of cats.
This new issue includes stories from Pulphouse favorites such as Patterson, Annie Reed, Kevin J. Anderson and O’Neil De Noux, along with some who are new to this publication, Brenda Carre and Robert J. McCarter.
Here’s the description:
The Cutting Edge of Modern Short Fiction.
A three-time Hugo Award nominated magazine, this issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine offers up fifteen fantastic stories by some of the best writers working in modern short fiction. No genre limitations, no topic limitations, just great stories. Attitude, feel, and high quality fiction equals Pulphouse.
“The Fur Tsunami” by Kent Patterson
“Unnatural Law” by J. Steven York
“A Cherub by Any Other Name” by Annie Reed
“PMS and a Hand Grenade” by Brenda Carre
“The Disappearing Neighborhood” by Robert J. McCarter
“Hello Brain, It’s Me” by Ray Vukcevich
“Eye of Newt: A Dan Shamble Zombie P.I. Adventure” by Kevin J. Anderson
“Knock on Wood” by Rob Vagle
“Featuring Martin and Lewis” by O’Neil De Noux
“Double Date” by William Oday
“Sleeping with the Devil” by Kelly Washington
“Upgrade? Up Yours” by Jerry Oltion
“Between” by M. L. Buchman
“The Thousandth Atlas” by Robert Jeschonek
“The Injustice Collector” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Minions at Work: Burn Noticed” by J Steven York
Get this lively issue full of entertaining stories by your favorite authors starting Tuesday, April 30.
Meanwhile, if you could just spare a sympathetic thought for cats; the demons who are replacing the siding on our house will continue their dark rites on Monday.
I am an opera lover—not a taste that I share with many of my friends. Years ago when the Metropolitan Opera still toured the country every year, I would go and sit night after night alone to experience La Bohème, Tosca, Madame Butterfly, and Carmen. Opera is really about emotion and music, and particularly in the great tragic operas, it’s about Fate.
The stories themselves could be ripped from today’s headlines: poor young girl dies of tuberculosis after quarreling with her lover; woman commits suicide when her heartless foreign lover deserts her; when a rather naïve soldier falls for a gypsy dancer, he kills her after she leaves him for a famous matador. They could have ended differently; Butterfly blackmails her unfaithful former lover into providing for herself and their child, and becomes a wealthy businesswoman, for example.
But Fate! Fate will not be hoodwinked into prosaic endings. When Carmen turns over her cards and each one says La Mort, death!, she understands quite well that nothing awaits her but doom. (No one tries to comfort her by saying, “Well, everything happens for a reason.”)
All of this came to mind this week as we prepare to release Kristine Grayson’s whimsical trilogy, The Fates. Her Fates are quite different. For one thing, there are three of them, and they can’t agree about much of anything let alone dooming lovers to premature death; for another, Grayson’s Fates do not hide in the background and move people around like chess pieces; they get right into the action and mix themselves and everyone else up. But the biggest difference is that no matter what they do, their endings are always happy. Ever after, in fact.
Tomorrow, The Fates Trilogy; A Fates Universe Omnibus will be available everywhere, and you can read Simply Irresistible, Absolutely Captivated, and Totally Spellbound back to back. One after the other, each one says not La Mort, but L’Amour!
Sunday I spent a couple of hours talking to my oldest friend. She is exactly three months younger than I am and we’ve been like sisters our whole lives. We live on opposite coasts, so our main communication these days is very long phone conversations a few times a year.
Sunday, after catching up on life and family, old friends and books, we ended up talking about writing. Our fathers were English professors, so maybe it was natural that we both loved reading books and writing from the time we were little. We wrote stories and poems and plays, performed some of them, too. Because it was fun.
Mina went on to get an MA in English and teach professional writing for many years. I ran off to the theater, filmmaking, and journalism. Neither one of us writing fiction. Every ten years or so I’d painfully crank out a short story. Stash it in the proverbial drawer and go back to real life.
But if you work at WMG for Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith—among all the other wonderful writers who contribute to Fiction River and Pulphouse and participate in workshops—the joy of writing fiction kind of sneaks up on you, slips its little hand in yours and asks you to come out and play.
So I did. And do. For fun.
Kris blogged about her youthful writing adventures last week, and it rang a bell for me. Of course, she and Dean do much more than write for fun. Among other things, they have written a whole series of books on the profession of writing, the WMG Writer’s Guides, and Kris has a magnum opus called The Freelancer’s Survival Guide. Countless people have turned to these books for guidance. And now, just in time for Kris’s Spring Writing Storybundle, we are publishing her latest, Writing With Chronic Illness.
Here’s the description:
In this WMG Writer’s Guide, award-winning author Kristine Kathryn Rusch offers words of wisdom for writers who suffer from chronic illnesses and who want to keep working, to improve their craft and spread their creative wings.
A long-time sufferer herself, Rusch reports from the trenches. She tells us her own struggle with health issues and how they challenge her. But none of it actually derailed her career; she worked out ways to keep writing, and in the process became an international bestselling author with hundreds of books in print.
Rusch helps writers customize a plan of action based on the writer’s individual experience. She shows how to increase productivity by developing a positive, and realistic, outlook.
Importantly, Rusch points the way to reclaim the joy of writing, and celebrate success.
The bundle has LOTS more in it, too. Look out for it on Thursday; it includes Dean’s lecture on Carving out Time for Your Writing, Kevin J. Anderson’s The Million Dollar Writing Series Boxed Set, and Mark Leslie Lefebvre’s Killing it on Kobo, and six more wonderful books of information and advice for writers.
And now you see why I mentioned the importance of joy. Even if Dean and Kris didn’t talk, write, and lecture about joy often, anyone paying attention would surely detect that the enjoyment of writing is at the heart of what they do and why they do it. And I’m here to tell you it’s infectious.
My friend Mina said I had inspired her to have some fun writing, too. Maybe we can trade some stories before the next time we talk…see? Infectious.
I love spies. I have since I was a kid. In the mid-1960s I loved equally the blunt and brainy Harriet the Spy and the coolly calculating John Drake, hero of the TV show Secret Agent (Danger Man in the UK). The person I really wished to emulate, though, was Emma Peel. And I tried. I found somewhere a pair of soft ankle-high, zip-up leather boots with rubber soles that I could pad around in to watch and listen without being heard.
But these spies were just the tip of the iceberg for me. I read every book by Alastair MacLean I could get my hands on: The Black Shrike, Where Eagles Dare, Ice Station Zebra. Graham Greene, Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth, Ian Fleming, Robert Ludlum and the classic spies of the Cold War era were meat and drink to me.
And then there was John le Carré.
One balmy summer’s evening in my twenties I sat down under an open window to read Smiley’s People. From six o’clock until eleven I didn’t look up,I was so deep in the treacherous world of George Smiley. The next day I found out there had been a fatal motorcycle accident in front of our house, not twenty feet from where I sat under the open window. I’d heard nothing: crash, police, ambulance—nothing.
Such is the power of the spy story for me.
Imagine my delight when Kristine Kathryn Rusch put together the latest Fiction River Special Edition, and it was called Spies. Did I wait until it was published to read these stories? Of course not! The delectable thing about this anthology for a spy fan like me is that every kind of spy story is here. It’s like a tray of all my favorite foods.
There is always a war going on, of some kind or other. Wars against slavery, racism, greed, power grabs, the Cold War, techno-wars, even a species war. And spies fight in those wars, sometimes with outright violence, but mostly with their brains and, yes, their hearts.
Here’s hoping that as my fellow espionage lovers consume this volume of choice morsels—some of them bitter—no vehicles crash outside your windows to disturb you. Or not.
Speaking of great stories, we at WMG want to send our hearty congratulations to Diana Deverell whose story “Mercy Find Me” from Fiction River: Justice, edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, has been chosen as a finalist for a Derringer Award. It is the poignant story of a woman who comes to terms with both retribution and mercy, as well as her own failings. Diana says the story came straight from her heart. It sure touched mine.
Pick up Justice, available as an ebook or paperback, read Diana’s story—and then keep reading!
By Gwyneth Gibby, guest blog.
Spring has sprung! Allyson’s daffodils, ready to burst into bloom a week ago, now bob gently in the breeze with all their sunny yellow glory.
Mine, on the other hand, although right next door and planted on the same weekend, are still just thinking about it. Flowers have minds of their own, just like cats do, and there’s no point trying to rush them. My mom, whose favorite flowers were daffodils, used to go out to her garden and tell them, “It is your duty to grow!” And they did.
I just hint to them from time to time, “My, aren’t those nice yellow daffs next door lovely!” To which mine mumble, “We’re pink, so back off.” The creative process must take its course…
Which it has here at WMG. We think spring means romance. Magical fragrant evenings, sweet birdsong, softness in the air with the bite of winter gone like a half-remembered dream. April in Paris may not be on the agenda for everyone, but we have the next-best thing: Kristine Grayson’s new omnibus from the Fates Universe, The Charming Trilogy, Vol.1.
Sit yourself down in your favorite reading chair, next to an open window perhaps, settle in and read three romantic novels, back to back, from the fairy-tale land of charming princes, sleeping beauties, and the bumpy and sometimes hilarious road to happily-ever-after endings. Utterly Charming, Thoroughly Kissed, and Completely Smitten will thoroughly and completely charm you with hours of reading bliss.
Critics and readers love these books. Here’s a sample of their comments:
“Grayson uses smooth prose and humorous, human characters to create a delightful, breezy tale perfect for anyone who truly enjoys happy endings.”
“A snappy, fast-paced read that is indeed utterly charming.”
“A sweet love story makes this a perfect beach read for hopeless romantics.”
“Sleeping Beauty, Prince Charming, Snow White, and Grumpy all populate this magical tale. I was thoroughly charmed by Ms. Grayson’s imaginative story.”
“Thoroughly Kissed is a thoroughly charming fairy tale. So suspend disbelief and enjoy. This book is fun!”
The Romance Reader
This is the first of four omnibuses of Grayson’s work coming up this spring, one each month. Keep particular lookout for a brand new Grayson novel in the Fates Universe, Hidden Charm, coming in June.
For those with a taste for more intrigue, also out this week is Fiction River Special Edition: Spies. The award-winning editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch chose these fifteen stories that range from satire to brutal realism, all from the secret world of espionage.
In her introduction to the volume, Kris writes:
What links these stories, besides their wide variety of spies and spying, is their willingness to look at the world in all its messiness. The stories don’t flinch from the effect that secrets have on those keeping them (or those who are victims of them).
The other thing that links the stories is their entertainment value. Even as I reread them, I couldn’t put them down. Even when I knew what was going to happen. The writing is compelling, the characters more so, and the situations memorable.
The writers in this volume outdid themselves.
Happy reading, but remember to come up for air and stroll through the sweet flowery air of spring.
The daffodils my husband planted this winter are just about ready to pop open and reveal their buttery yellow heads, and I must tell you, I’m more than ready for spring this year.
Part of the reason is the new crop of book projects we’ll be releasing. I already told you about the Grayson news last week (to read that blog, click here), and now I have two new Storybundles to tell you about—and one of them includes our first Fiction River Presents release of the year!
Dean Wesley Smith has curated a space opera Storybundle that launches Wednesday and has three WMG products: Dean’s Star Rain: A Seeders Universe Novel, The Runabout: A Diving Novel by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and that new Fiction River Presents volume I told you about called Among the Stars.
Here’s the synopsis:
Editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch reaches for the stars with this latest volume of Fiction River Presents. With stories that take the reader from pulse-pounding terror and utter darkness to sheer joy and wish fulfillment, this volume runs the gamut of the space opera genre. So, get ready for a wonderful journey and see why Adventures Fantastic says: “If you haven’t checked out Fiction River yet, you should. There’s something for everyone.”
Table of Contents
“Get Inside” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“Sole Survivor” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“The Mooring Buoy” by Jamie McNabb
“Schrodinger’s Bar” by Kim May
“Upon_A_Starship.png” by Brigid Collins
“Jelly’s Heroes” by Louisa Swann
“Dreams of A Moon” by Dean Wesley Smith
“Charlie Company” by JC Andrijeski
“H-Hour” by Steven Mohan, Jr.
The book will release about the same time as the Storybundle, this Wednesday, and you’ll have your choice to buy it as a standalone or the bundle. Check back here on Wednesday for buy links. (Shop Now!)
Subscribers of Fiction River Presents will receive Among the Stars automatically. To learn more about subscriptions, click here.
But if you’re looking for something to buy now, and you’re a fan of epic fantasy, Kevin J. Anderson has curated a bundle that includes not one but two of Kris’ Fey books: The Sacrifice: Book One of the Fey and The Changeling: Book Two of the Fey.
Called the Truly Epic Fantasy Storybundle, you can get the two Fey books as well as thirteen other books for $15. Click here to learn more.
So, what are you waiting for? You’ve got a lot of reading to do.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.
My daughter, Nola, is determined to catch a Leprechaun. She builds a new trap every year. I’ve included a photo of this year’s version. Needless to say, she never catches one, but she finds “evidence” of their visit every year.
The irony: I don’t plant that evidence. This year, the evidence was in the front yard. She decided the leprechauns left some green ties in our yard. Now, those ties have been there since before she was born, but she never noticed them. Ah, the power of wishful thinking.
Obviously, I know she’s never going to catch a leprechaun. But I won’t discourage her from believing she will (even if I have to spend $40 on craft supplies). I firmly believe everyone needs a little magic in their lives.
So does Kristine Grayson. She put her own twist on the legend of the leprechaun in her story “Cosmic Balances, Inc.” Click here to read the synopsis and download that story for free for one week only.
We’re entering an exciting time for Grayson fans. Next Thursday, we’ll be releasing the first of four omnibuses. It’s called The Charming Trilogy, Vol. 1, which contains the novels Utterly Charming, Thoroughly Kissed, and Completely Smitten, along with a ton of bonus materials. We’re also rebranding the series to better align it with the genre and provide a comprehensive reading order. So, watch for a relaunch of Completely Smitten and a redesign of the Grayson website to correspond with the omnibus release. I’ve included the covers of the omnibus and Completely Smitten to give you a sneak peek.
We’ll release a new omnibus every month, in series order, until June (along with any rebranded books we have the rights to publish).
Now, I saved the best news for last, because in June we will have the first new Grayson novel in years, Hidden Charm, so stay tuned for more information on that release.
We’re in for a magical spring.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.
You see, they are so compelling that I get sucked into the narrative and can lose vast parts of my day reading. It happens every time. The books are that good.
And obviously, I’m not alone in thinking that. This series is extremely popular with fans and reviewers alike.
And now it’s on sale in ebook for a limited time.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Retrieval Artist series, it all began with the Hugo Award-winning novella, The Retrieval Artist, about a future private investigator of sorts, working a case on the Moon. That one novella (which is actually set much later in Miles Flint’s career than the novels) sparked a series so richly developed that Miles Flint has been called one of “the top ten greatest science fiction detectives of all time” by io9 and one of “14 great sci-fi and fantasy detectives who out-Sherlock’d Holmes” and “a candidate for the title of greatest fictional detective of all time” by Blastr. Analog has said of the series, “The SF thriller is alive and well, and today’s leading practitioner is Kristine Kathryn Rusch.” And The Edge Boston says, “If there’s any such thing as a sci-fi CSI, the Retrieval Artist novels set the tone.”
The series has garnered much more acclaim, but you get the point.
Here’s the synopsis:
In a universe where humans and aliens have formed a loose government called the Earth Alliance, treaties guarantee that humans are subject to alien laws when on alien soil. But alien laws often make no sense, and the punishments vary from loss of life to loss of a first-born child.
Now three cases have collided: a stolen spaceyacht filled with dead bodies, two kidnapped human children, and a human woman on the run, trying to Disappear to avoid alien prosecution. Flint must enforce the law—giving the children to aliens, solving the murders, and arresting the woman for trying to save her own life. But how is a man supposed to enforce laws that are unjust? How can he sacrifice innocents to a system he’s not sure he believes in? How can Miles Flint do the right thing in a universe where the right thing is very, very wrong?
This Endeavor Award-winning novel is Flint’s first adventure, the story that turns him from a police detective in the Armstrong Dome on the Moon into a Retrieval Artist.
The rest of the novels in the series (all 14 of them) are $3.99 for the ebook (again, for a limited time). There are seven books in the original series and another eight books in the Anniversary Day Saga. You can read more about the series and find the complete reading order here.
Just remember that I warned you about these books—once you start reading, you’ll find it very hard to stop until you get to the very end. Now, that’s great writing!
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.
On Feb. 28, we released the first issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, Year Two (that’s Issue #5, for the record). It’s the Winter Issue for this quarterly magazine edited by Dean Wesley Smith, and like all Pulphouse issues, it has some spectacularly creative stories.
Of particular note is Robert Jeschonek’s story, “Offensive in Every Possible Way.” This one was hell on our staff because we had to figure out how to format (and we had different issues in the epub and paperback versions) it while still maintaining the author’s voice (which takes Planet Bob to a whole new level). But the story is consummately Pulphouse. It’s a unique (and I don’t use that word lightly) must-read.
So, now that I have you intrigued about Bob’s story, check out the entire fantastic table of contents:
“The Geezer Squad” by Annie Reed
“The Dog That Ate Homework” by J. Steven York
“Battery-operated Boyfriend” by Barbara G. Tarn
“Offensive in Every Possible Way” by Robert Jeschonek
“Gravity Well” by Kent Patterson
“The Sport of Queens: A Lucifer Jones Story” by Mike Resnick
“The New Crop” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“The Blind Lagoon Misadventure” O’Neil De Noux
“Practice” by Ray Vukcevich
“One-Night Stands for Love and Glory” by David H. Hendrickson
“Maiden’s Dance” by Rebecca Lyons
“The True Story of Stanley and Stella” by Johanna Rothman
“Death Be Nimble” by James Gotaas
“Under the Blood-Red Maple” by Joslyn Chase
“Head Case: A Dan Shamble Zombie P.I. Adventure” by Kevin J. Anderson
“Minions at Work: Allen Wrenched” by J Steven York
For those of you who supported our Pulphouse Kickstarter in 2017 (again, thank you!), you might remember we had three books we promised as stretch goals.
Well, now that we have a year of Pulphouse under our belts, we’re ready to publish the first of those books. And we started with a compilation of reader’s favorites, called—in true Pulphouse style—You Really Liked That?
Pulphouse editor Dean Wesley Smith has spent the past year keeping track of reader comments to put this book together. Here’s the synopsis and table of contents:
The readers, the fans, the reviewers all weighed in over the first year of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine. Five issues, almost 100 stories. They raved about some stories, liked others, and found some eye-opening, shall we say?
And editor Dean Wesley Smith kept track.
So now, as promised in Pulphouse Fiction Magazine’s first Kickstarter campaign, here come the favorites, the stories the readers and reviewers loved from the first full year (plus Issue Zero, our test issue). These stories wonderfully represent Pulphouse’s mission: attitude, feel, no genre limitations, no topic limitations, just great stories.
This might be one of the strangest anthologies ever put together of extremely high-quality fiction. But editor Dean claims no credit. He just listened to all of you.
“Spud Wrangler” by Kent Patterson
“A Few Minutes in the Plantation Bar and Grill Outside of Woodville, Mississippi” by Steve Perry
“Graymatters” by David Stier
“The Clockwork Man’s Canteen” by J. Steven York
“A Good Negro” by Ezekiel James Boston
“Collector’s Curse: A Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. Adventure” by Kevin J. Anderson
“nanoturds” by Ray Vukcevich
“Queen of the Mouse Riders” by Annie Reed
“Who’s the Abomination?” By Johanna Rothman
“In the Empire of the Underpants” by Robert Jeschonek
“At Witt’s End: A Spade/Paladin Conundrum” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
If you’ve never read Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, this book is a great way to experience the cutting-edge fiction that epitomizes Pulphouse.
So, what are you waiting for? You can buy the book here (it’s available in ebook and trade paperback). And if you like what you read, you might want to consider a subscription. You can find out more about that here.
Our next issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine publishes later this week, so stay tuned.