Publisher's Note

Time for Fun in the Sun

School ended for my daughter last Friday, which for me marks the official start of summer.
As a now third-grader (when did that happen???), we’re shifting from viewing summer as a time for full-time daycare to a time of summer camps and sports camps and sundry other activities. More planning for me, but also more fun for her.
Some of the activities she has coming up: cheerleading practice, theater camp, volleyball camp, art classes, and even some science classes thanks to our proximity to the Hatfield Marine Science Center.
And because I’m thinking about summertime adventures for my school-age child, I thought this would be a good time to remind you about a fantastic young adult novel by Dean Wesley Smith that involves sun and sand and lots of heart-stopping adventure.

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Something to Celebrate

My daughter celebrates her eighth birthday this week. We kicked off the celebrations with a Star Wars-themed get-together with a few of her oldest friends.
I love that she chose Star Wars. And that she dressed up as Rey (in the costume, complete with staff, that my father and stepmother bought her. And that she chose red and black as her colors (based on the Star Wars cake we ordered).
I love all this most because Star Wars was one choice among a variety of options she considered, including Guardians of the Galaxy, Monster High, and Disney princesses.
She loves them all. She enjoys playing with Barbie dolls AND fighting with lightsabers. She can play with the boys AND play with the girls. She’s been known to dig in the dirt for slugs while wearing her Easter dress.
She can be HER. Part sf geek, part Disney princess, part tomboy, part girly-girl, all Nola.

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Wishing Upon a Star

I’ve seen a handful of shooting stars in my life. I’ve made a wish on every one of them.
I’m not counting the meteor showers I’ve watched, mind you. That feels like cheating. I mean that rare event where a burst of light shoots across the sky out of the blue (or black, as the case may be).
I love that feeling of breathlessness and joy. Like you’ve witnessed something so special and fleeting it’s a miracle you saw it at all.
In that moment, wondrous things seem possible. So, why not dare to dream they might come true?
I tried to capture that feeling on the cover art of our latest volume of Fiction River. It’s called Wishes, after all.

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Remembrances

Each Memorial Day, I’m grateful that I have no one directly related to me to mourn. I am related to many veterans, mind you. My father, stepfather, both grandfathers, husband and even an ex-husband served in the military. So did a number of my friends.
They all survived that service. Thank god.
And I realize how lucky I am. Because I’ll never forget watching my dad scanning the Vietnam Wall in D.C. for the names of his fellow soldiers, his friends. It’s one of the very few times I’ve seen my dad cry, and it was then that I realized just how horrific war must be. And how hard it must be to survive it.

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Cats and Dogs

You’ve heard the old saying “fighting like cats and dogs.” Well, what if you’re fighting about cats and dogs.
My husband and I argue very little. But one of those rare sources of conflict is about our pets.
We’re both animal-lovers, he and I. And we love cats and dogs more or less equally. But we brought different species into this marriage…and different histories.
I came with three cats. He brought one dog. My cats are better trained than his dog. Hence, my frustration and our latest argument.
I read a fascinating article the other day about training cats (I’d share the link, but it was in my Apple News feed and I don’t subscribe to National Geographic. However, you can Google the topic and find lots of similar articles, as it turns out.)
It’s different in some ways than training a dog.

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Technology and change

I’m writing this blog on my older laptop because my newer laptop is in the shop, so to speak. I had stopped using the older laptop for everyday work (and got the newer, which was new when the company bought it less than a year ago) because it had gotten completely bogged down.
When you have more than 600 titles, you have a ton of files. And some of those files (like the photo and design files) are huge. And let’s not even consider the size of the video files.
As a result, the entire WMG digital inventory takes up more than a quarter terabyte. As in 275GB or 2,750MB or 2,750,000K.
Remember when 64 to 100MB storage seemed like a huge amount of storage space? I do. Now, I have individual files that big.
And that adds up. But that was only part of the problem.
Because all of my advanced computer programs need a lot of RAM to run. That combination of factors rendered my older laptop more or less useless.

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Free for All

Free books.
Ok, now that I have your attention, I want to reassure you that my blog opening was not a marketing trick to keep you reading. I really mean it.
We’ve made the first ebook in four of Dean Wesley Smith’s series free:

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A Great Deal on Writing Business Tools

This week’s blog is specifically for you writers out there. The masterful Kristine Kathryn Rusch is the creative source behind two projects that launched last week to help writers improve their business and craft.
First up is Creating Your Author Brand, Kris’ latest entry in the WMG Writer’s Guide series.

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The Next Pulphouse is Almost Here

They say nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. Perhaps this is true. But you can also be fairly certain that the latest issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine will push the envelope of modern fiction.
Issue #2 of Pulphouse releases this Thursday, and we’ve got a great new lineup of stories.

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Writer’s Block

Well, I’ll be honest: I’ve started and trashed three blogs so far, and I’m no closer to a successful attempt. Sometimes, the words just don’t flow. It happens to all writers. And while I could keep banging away at it (I’d eventually come up with something passable…I was a journalist after all, so the writing gets done on deadline no matter what), I do have a company to run.
So instead, I think I’ll just give you a link to a free story to read. Given all the headlines about the FBI and the President lately, it’s timely, too.

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