The holiday season will look different this year, no doubt about it. Covid cases are spiking across the country, and states are already beginning to reissue lockdown orders reminiscent of the spring. Oregon begins a two-week “freeze” starting Wednesday, Nov. 18, and stretching over the Thanksgiving holiday until Dec. 2. The message, which should be abundantly clear at this point: stay home and leave the family celebrations for next year.

We had already made that decision on our own, so it doesn’t change plans for my household. But the office will be even quieter because part of the freeze requires businesses to have their employees work from home if even remotely possible. Fortunately, that’s an easy one in publishing.

So, home it is. I’d already planned on a Zoom dinner with my family on the East Coast, and cooking our favorites at home (including my grandmother’s Caldo Gallego, which is a family tradition). And we’ll be getting a jump on the Christmas decorating to eke out every second of holiday joy and magic we can this year!

Speaking of holiday joy, if you’ve been waiting to back the WMG Holiday Spectacular 2020 Kickstarter, you’ve almost missed it. The Kickstarter ends Tuesday, Nov. 17, and features some amazing rewards and stretch goal bonuses you won’t want to miss, in addition to the fabulous Calendar of Stories. Click here to learn more.

Also on Tuesday, Christmas comes early for fans of Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s award-winning Diving series. Tuesday marks the official publication day for the latest novel in that series, Squishy’s Teams.

This new novel, called a Diving Universe novel because it doesn’t feature main characters Boss or Coop, takes readers back to the early days of the series. It’s set at the exact same time as the third novel in the series, Boneyards, and offers a different perspective on the events from that novel. Here’s the synopsis:

Diving readers know that Squishy enlisted others to help her destroy stealth tech in the novel Boneyards. But exactly what happened to those teams remained a mystery—until now.

Ten people signed up to help Squishy in her fateful mission. Only five returned.

Paired up in teams of two, they set out across the Enterran Empire to infiltrate and sabotage the Empire’s bases used to back up their stealth tech research.

But what exactly happened on those bases? Who survived? Squishy’s Teams provides the answers to those burning questions and reveals twists to the ongoing saga no one sees coming.

We highly recommend reading (or rereading if it’s been a while) Boneyards before reading Squishy’s Teams. There’s a very good reason for this, as Kris said in the story of our Return of Boss Kickstarter back in June:

While I was trying to figure out the book after Thieves, I needed to know something about the Enterran Empire. So I wrote what I thought was a side story, Squishy’s Teams. That turned into a novel, because Squishy sent out several teams to destroy something the Empire calls stealth tech. After Boneyards, we thought we knew what happened to the teams. We were wrong.

As you can see, Squishy’s Teams will also play an important role in the storyline of the new novels that will be coming out starting in 2021. Those new releases start with Thieves, which releases in February.

Click here to buy Boneyards, and here to buy Squishy’s Teams (tomorrow).

Now, if only time travel were a real thing…

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.