Publisher’s Note: High School Revisited

Remember high school? Of course you do. Maybe it was the best time of your life. Maybe, and, frankly, more likely, it was an awkward time with some high points and a whole lot of embarrassing moments. Or maybe you hated every minute of it and couldn’t wait to graduate.

For me, it was a mix of the first two. I loved high school. I was a type-A overachiever (shocking, I know), involved in all sorts of extracurricular activities. Not sports so much, although I did run track my junior year until an injury sidelined me permanently. It was probably for the best though. Sports was never my thing.

I was heavily involved in music, however, and academics. And I had plenty of embarrassing moments.

For example, I’ll never forget the football game where the marching band took to the ice-covered field just as the wind began to pick up. When a particularly strong gust took hold of one of the sousaphones, it took down that player and the rest followed like dominoes. It was a thing to behold. Or, I hear it was. I wouldn’t know. I was lying mortified on a sheet of ice under my sousaphone.

But now imagine now that you’re not a regular kid. What if you grew up in a place very different from the average American town? And you find separated from the only family you really know and into a high school where you know you don’t fit in.

Welcome to Kristine Grayson’s newest series: young adult urban fantasies unlike anything else in the genre.
Brittany Bends ebook cover webCrystal Caves ebook cover webTiffany Tumbles ebook cover web

This three-book series, called the Interim Fates, incorporates humor, magic, misunderstandings, and the central theme of finding one’s own identity—the core of the high school experience.

The three books—Tiffany Tumbles, Crystal Caves and Brittany Bends—tell the story of the Interim Fates—Tiffany, Crystal and Brittany—who were first introduced in Grayson’s bestselling Fates Trilogy (Simply Irresistible, Absolutely Captivated, Totally Spellbound). The three teenagers are now mortal and struggling to fit into a world without magic—and without each other.

The Interim Fates series has the long-distance relationships of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (only with more humor), the attitude of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (but in a magical universe), and the extreme outsider viewpoint of Mean Girls (with less viciousness) all rolled into one.

The books will be released one per month, beginning in August with Tiffany Tumbles.

But both Tiffany Tumbles and Crystal Caves are available for preorder now in ebook on Amazon, Kobo and iBooks. And Brittany Bends will be available in preorder as well by the end of the week.

The Fates Trilogy (and Completely Smitten) will also be getting some attention next week, as we redesign the covers to bring them more in line with the new look you see with the Interim Fates. Stay tuned for those new covers.

I’m thrilled to share this new series with you. Like the best young adult books, the Interim Fates trilogy will appeal to readers of all ages.

After all, given a little bit of time, revisiting those embarrassing high school experiences can be downright amusing.

Or maybe that’s just me. Perhaps I got knocked in the head too hard by a sousaphone.

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

Publisher’s Note: Back to School for All


I’ve been having a wonderful time in Savannah, and my daughter, Nola, has been learning all sorts of new things. Like how to drive a golf cart. And swing a golf club. And how to catch fish by using cat food as bait (the cat would approve if she got to eat the fish afterward).

It’s a great way to close out the summer before she starts seventh grade.

Junior high. Where did the time go?

No more having the same teachers for most subjects. No more community sports.

Now, she’ll have seven different teachers during the day. In seven different classrooms. And she’s playing volleyball this fall on the middle school team. They practice every day after school.

This is a big change for all of us.

But change can be good. It can mean we’re learning and growing.

And why would we ever stop learning and growing?

That’s why we started running our WMG Teachable sales every month. So, you know exactly when they’re coming and can take advantage of them when it works for you.

You can read all about this month’s sale on Dean Wesley Smith’s blog by clicking here.

You might want to add a class or two to your back-to-school shopping budget <grin>.

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

Publisher’s Note: Back to School—Again!


My ten-year-old daughter went to school again last week for the first time in almost a year. She was a bit nervous (we’ve been very open about the science of everything) but so very excited to see her friends and classmates again—well, the half that are in her cohort for hybrid learning, anyway—even though she knew it would not be the same as pre-pandemic school. I was equal parts hopeful and terrified (that science thing again…).

Even though I’ve obviously been living through this pandemic, it’s hard to track with a world where my child goes to school in a mask, with half the students in the classroom and half on a TV screen, where she can’t get within six feet of friends she hasn’t seen in almost a year—let alone hug them as she so desperately wants to do.

But this is where we are. And it’s progress. Good progress, despite my initial reservations.

Baby steps. Or, in this case, child steps.

There’s a light waaaay at the end of the tunnel now. But we’ve still got a fair way to go.

Which is why WMG is holding another workshop sale to help our writers further their craft and their career goals from the safety of their homes.

It is, appropriately, the Back to School—Again sale!

Now through 5 p.m. PST Thursday, March 4, every WMG Publishing workshop, lecture, pop-up, class, or subscription on Teachable will be HALF PRICE! That even includes the brand-new Collection Classes.

Click here to read all the details on Dean Wesley Smith’s blog. Dean, as you know if you’ve taken any of our workshops, is the mastermind behind the WMG Workshops.

So, stock up on workshops and lectures to get you through the coming months, and make 2021 even better.

Or even grab one of the Lifetime Workshop Subscriptions for half price and really commit to learning and writing!

The coupon code to get anything on WMG’s Teachable at half price now through 5 p.m. PST Thursday, March 4, is:

AGAIN

Click here to use it.

And have fun learning—again!

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

This Reading Comes Highly Recommended

Since long before reviewing a product was as simple as typing in a few words on our phones, word-of-mouth has been considered the absolute best way to sell something. Think about it: when someone you trust and respect suggests you try something, you seriously consider doing just that. Food, travel, cleaning products, shoes, books…you name it.

Look at the success of Instant Pot. I see posts all over Facebook from friends singing the versatile cooking device’s praises. I’ve even considered buying one even though I have a similar brand sitting in my cabinet as-yet unused (I bought it two years ago). Yet, every time I see the cult of Instant Pot posting, I think it’s something I might need. (Don’t worry, sanity prevails…but I do need to try that thing I already have…)

When it comes to books, word-of-mouth has great power, too. Oprah’s Book Club makes books an overnight success. Book reviewers helped guide readers’ and book store purchases. And one of the best tools in the business is the Recommended Reading List.

I love seeing WMG stories on such reading lists. And when the list is compiled by a science fiction and fantasy magazine with 24 years of history, it’s especially humbling.

Enter the Tangent Online 2017 Recommended Reading List, which features ten Fiction River stories, from six different volumes. The stories are ranked as follows, according to Tangent Online: “As is our custom, there are four sections to each length category. Those making the list in the short story, novelette, and novella lengths but having no stars, and those with either one, two, or three stars, according to how well the reviewer or reviewers valued a particular story.”

You can see the entire list here, but the Fiction River stories and their respective categories are:

Short Stories
“The Four Thirty-Five” by Annie Reed (Fiction River: Editor’s Choice)
“Dust to Dust” by Annie Reed (Fiction River: Pulse Pounders: Adrenaline)
“Legs” by Steven Mohan, Jr. (Fiction River: Feel the Fear)
“The Sound of Salvation” by Leslie Claire Walker (Fiction River: No Humans Allowed)
“We, the Ocean” by Alexandra Brandt (Fiction River: No Humans Allowed)
“The Legend of Anlahn” by Eric Kent Edstrom (Fiction River: No Humans Allowed)

Short Stories One Star
“Killing Spree” by Brigid Collins (Fiction River: Tavern Tales)
“The Glass Girl” by Leah Cutter (Fiction River: Editor’s Choice)

Short Stories Two Stars
“The Hot Eagle Roadhouse” by Chuck Heintzelman (Fiction River: Tavern Tales)
“Trees” by Diana Benedict (Fiction River: Editor’s Choice)
“Bad Dates Bite” by Kerrie L. Hughes (Fiction River: Editor’s Choice)

Short Stories Three Stars
“The First Ingredient” by Eric Kent Edstrom (Fiction River: Tavern Tales)
“A Ballad of Osmosis McGuire” by Travis Heermann (Fiction River: Superpowers)

So, if you missed any of these stories, or their respective volumes, be sure to check them out. And you don’t just need to take my recommendation on that <grin>.

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

Ace High

Cold Poker GangMystery Available in:ebook, $5.99Trade paperback, $9.99ISBN 978-1561467808 Get the ebook! Get the ebook direct from WMG! Get the trade paperback! Get the hardcover! Ace High:A Cold Poker Gang Mystery Dean Wesley Smith The famous Las Vegas hotel The...

Publisher’s Note: Back-to-school Reading List

Tiffany Tumbles ebook cover web 284This is it. The last week of summer before school starts. At least, it is for us here on the Oregon Coast. Next week, my daughter starts first grade. I can’t believe I just typed that.

But denial or not, back-to-school is here. And that means shopping for school supplies and setting schedules and basically getting back to some semblance of a “normal” routine.

So, to get you back into that school-year mindset, here is some suggested reading:

The Interim Fates Trilogy by Kristine Grayson

The three books— Tiffany Tumbles, Crystal Caves and Brittany Bends—tell the story of the Interim Fates—Tiffany, Crystal and Brittany—who were first introduced in Grayson’s bestselling Fates Trilogy (Simply Irresistible, Absolutely Captivated, Totally Spellbound). The three teenagers are now mortal and struggling to fit into a world without magic—and without each other.

Crystal Caves ebook cover web 284The Interim Fates series has the long-distance relationships of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (only with more humor), the attitude of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (but in a magical universe), and the extreme outsider viewpoint of Mean Girls (with less viciousness) all rolled into one.

These books incorporate humor, magic, misunderstandings, and the central theme of finding one’s own identity—the core of the high school experience.

Bleed Through by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

I won’t lie. This is a powerful, heart-wrenching book. It opens after a devastating school shooting. But if you haven’t read it, I highly encourage you to. It’s one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve ever read.

Here’s the synopsis:

Brittany Bends ebook cover web 284Former journalist turned journalism teacher Larissa Johanssen moved back to her hometown to escape the violence she once covered on a national stage. Until that violence strikes her high school, her students.

Now, she must help her students deal with the type of coverage that drove her to the breaking point. And she must revisit parts of her past she thought long buried—and separate truth from fiction to finally begin to heal.

Bleed Through ebook cover web 285So, whether you’re in the mood for some young adult urban fantasy or a powerful literary experience, WMG has you covered.

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

Publisher’s Note: Highway to Hell

As some of you already know, I’m moving to Eugene, Oregon, this month. Yes, I’ll still be working at WMG. But I’m going to be hard to contact for the rest of this month because of the move.

And this is why: The movers recently loaded the rest of my earthly possessions into a truck and transported them to our new home in Eugene. Movers possess a rare magic, I assure you. Sadly, that magic didn’t extend to my car ride. That part was hell.

The Destroyer ebook cover web 284Why?

Because I transported five cats to their new home. Yes, five. It’s a long story. Well, it’s actually three long stories. But the point is, have you ever taken a cat on a long drive (keeping in mind that “long” to a cat means anything longer than, say, the driveway)?

Yup, that’s what I did. And that’s why I’m in hell. I mean, two hours of caterwauling? Not to mention whatever noises the cats were making. That was the part of the trip I’d been dreading for months.

I was prepared, of course. I’m always prepared. Or, at least, I try to be. I got pheromone diffusers for the new house, pheromone spray for the cat carriers and a pheromone collar for the cat least likely to tolerate the trip. Okay, I’ll be honest, he needs the collar all the time. He’s pretty high strung.

I know Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith sympathize. They’re cat people, too, as you might realize.

Kris even has enough cat fiction stories to make up at least a couple of collections.

So, let’s make a deal. You read cat fiction. And I’ll try to turn my cat-crazy drive into a distant memory.

Five Feline Fancies ebook cover web 285Here are some good places to start:
Five Feline Fancies
“Star” (which you can read for free on Kris’ website next week, by the way)
“The Destroyer”
“Strays”
“Familiar Territory”

Some of these are pure mystery. Some mix mystery and fantasy. And one, Destiny (which is included in Five Feline Fancies), is a prequel to an entire series (The Fey).

If you’re not a cat-lover, well, not to worry. She writes about dogs, too. But that’s a topic for another week.

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

The High Edge

The Seeders UniverseScience fiction Available in:ebook, $4.99Trade paperback, $14.99ISBN 978-1561466177 Get the book! The High Edge:A Seeders Universe Novel Dean Wesley Smith USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith returns to his fan-favorite Seeders Universe...

Publisher’s Note: Dealing with Trauma


Yesterday was the six-month anniversary of my craniotomy to remove a grade II meningioma. That’s kind of amazing. It both doesn’t feel like that long and yet feels like an eternity ago. I’m still healing. Still figuring out the way my brain works now. Still finding workarounds to some of the maybe-permanent brain damage the tumor and surgery caused.

But I’m here. That’s huge. And I’m doing remarkably well, all things considered. So, I’m really grateful.

I was reminded of how lucky I am that all went well last week, when I discovered that two of my high school classmates have died in the past two months.

The first died of ovarian cancer. I knew her but not particularly well. But still. F@&% cancer.

The second died of a heart attack. He was a great guy. A good friend. Someone I’ve thought about reconnecting with over the years but couldn’t seem to track down. And now, it’s too late. He’s gone. At 46.

We were also dealing with trauma of a different kind last week with my daughter. She’s been through a lot the past few years. And on Thursday, she faced what is becoming all too common in our schools: a threat of physical violence, and a menacing one. A classmate wrote in her math notebook the following: “I am hunting you Nola.”

Worse still, we have no idea who did it. But the school is leaving no stone unturned to find out. They are in frequent communication with me and I with them. Her teacher is making sure she feels safe, as is the vice principle conducting the investigation. As am I. That is my job.

But, ugh. No kid needs this. And for Nola, it’s bringing back the feelings of being bullied and unsafe she experienced in second grade when a student, after bullying her for most of the year, threated to stalk her and made a throat-slitting motion. At that point I gave the school no choice but to move her to a different classroom immediately.

Now, Nola stands up to bullies. She’ll fearlessly defend her fellow students in a heartbeat, even if she doesn’t particularly like the person being bullied. This kind of behavior is unacceptable to her (as it should be to everyone), and she won’t tolerate it. But she’s still 9. And she’s still human. No matter how strong we are, it’s hard. And it’s traumatic.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how we deal with trauma for all of these reasons. And I keep thinking about a book by Kristine Kathryn Rusch I published years ago called Bleed Through.

We kept putting off the release of this fantastic book, which addresses the traumatic aftermath of a school shooting, because every time we were set to release it, another school shooting would make the news. Eventually, we decided that our only option was to do a silent release. Just publish it. No advertising. No big marketing push. Just get it out there and hope people find it on their own.

Kris and I both feel awkward about promoting it even now. Which is a shame considering what a compelling novel it is. Really, it’s a story about healing. And I fervently hope that someday, we don’t live in a world where school violence happens with such frequency that I have to worry about releasing a book that deals with it.

If you would like to read more about Bleed Through, click here.

In the meantime, reach out to people you’ve been meaning to connect with. Hug your kids. Tell your spouse how much you appreciate them.

As a close friend of mine (who also had brain surgery within the last year at the same hospital) reminds me often: YOLO. You only live once.

And taking that to heart, I promise that next week’s Publisher’s Note will be of a much cheerier nature.

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

Making the Most of Moving

Moving. The thought of it makes me shudder. I’ve often joked that it would be simpler to just set everything on fire and start over.

But, you know, that’s expensive, and I’m kind of attached to some of my stuff. OK, a lot of my stuff. So, that’s just not an option.

That sentiment comes from moving a lot, I think. Not as much as some, of course. Military families, for example, move all the time. But I had my fair share of location upheaval in my youth. I lived in six different towns and residences by the time I graduated high school. Two different states. Four different school systems. Again, not as much change as some, but enough to be a bit unsettling.

After high school, and before moving to Lincoln City, I lived in ten different places (in five different states). Lincoln City is the place I’ve lived in the longest. I’ve lived in my house for 12 years (if you don’t count the 10-month period where I moved out of my house only to return to it three moves later, but that’s a long, complicated story…)

As you can see, I have some experience with moving. And I can say with some authority that it’s hell. I can count on pretty much four to six months of lost productivity (except for the moving thing).

Which is why I’m so amazed at the latest project Dean Wesley Smith has embarked on.

Dean and his wife, Kris, are in the process of moving to Las Vegas. They’ll still have a home base here, but much of their time will be spent there, and they won’t need their rather large house here anymore. And so Dean is in the midst of dismantling said house to complete the move.

And because he’s Dean, he decided to throw in a writing challenge for good measure. Thirty short stories in thirty days.

Did I mention he’s moving???

Well, he’s on day nine already and going strong. Oh, and he’s writing a nonfiction book while he’s at it called How to Write 30 Short Stories in 30 Days While Moving.

If I’ve learned one thing in my six years running this business, it’s that when Dean sets his mind to something, it usually gets done.

If you want to follow along from the start of this adventure, click here to go to Dean’s first blog post about it. He posts a new blog every day with an update.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a ton of new covers to do…

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