We’ve entered a new transition phase of the pandemic. Here in the US, Covid-19 vaccines are rolling out at a rapid pace now. The county I live in leads Oregon (and far exceeds the US) in its vaccination rates. As of April 9, Lincoln County has vaccinated 45.2% of its total population and 52.7% of its population aged 16 and up. I’m happy to report that my husband and I are part of that percentage.

So, more than half of our eligible residents have received at least one shot of the vaccine. That’s spectacular news and a testament to how well our county has facilitated its vaccine rollout.

But, like has happened so often during this pandemic, there’s good news and bad news.

Our new cases are also spiking. Two variants of concern from California (B.1.427 and B.1.429) are spreading here in Oregon. And we have some spreading local outbreaks.

We are transitioning to a new phase, but not yet exiting the pandemic. We are in a new kind of in-between.

We’ve been living in a kind of Twilight Zone for more than a year, for sure. Call it The Pandemic Zone. What we’ll find when we finally leave The Pandemic Zone is not yet fully written. We still have to wait and see how it plays out.

But a new novel by Dean Wesley Smith has been written. It’s a new novel in the shared world of Cave Creek. And as Dean said in our Cave Creek Kickstarter last year: “Think of Cave Creek as a place where The Twilight Zone kind of story still lives. In fact, if The Twilight Zone had a hometown, it would be Cave Creek.”

Sounds like just the distraction we need right now.

And even better, this new novel, Card Sharp Silver, is part of the latest issue of Smith’s Monthly, so you can get it packaged with five short stories and a nonfiction book in one fantastic package.

Here’s the synopsis for Smith’s Monthly #48:

More than fifty-five thousand words of original fiction from USA Today bestselling writer Dean Wesley Smith. Introducing Card Sharp Silver, a novel in the new Cave Creek series, a shared world “Where the Unexpected Meets the Real World.” Also included are five new short stories in some of Smith’s most popular series: “Whistle for Help: A Marble Grant Story,” “Half a Clue: A Cold Poker Gang Short Story,” “Remembering the Last Laughter: A Bryant Street Story,” “Cat in a Hole: A Pakhet Jones Story,” and “Pleasing Pearl: A Sky Tate Story.”

This 48th volume of Smith’s Monthly also includes Heinlein’s Rules: A WMG Writer’s Guide.

So, trade The Pandemic Zone for Cave Creek and distract yourself with fictional world problems for a while.

You can find Smith’s Monthly #48 here.

Happy travels!

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