Publisher’s Note: What a Mystery!

Did you know that we have several first-in-series ebooks available for free? One of those is Kill Game, the first novel in USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith’s Cold Poker Gang series.

If you love puzzle mystery novels, complicated cold cases, and detectives tackling the most twisted crimes, you’ll want to take this opportunity to introduce yourself to USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith’s Cold Poker Gang. Smith takes you into the world of his acclaimed novel Dead Money with a series focused around a group of retired Las Vegas detectives playing poker and solving cold cases.

Here’s the synopsis:

Retired Detective Bayard Lott hosts the weekly poker games at his home. The group calls themselves the Cold Poker Gang. And they succeed at closing old cases.

Lott’s very first homicide case as a brand-new detective had gone cold more than twenty years earlier. But retired Reno detective Julia Rogers, new to the Cold Poker Gang, suggests they look at that case again for personal reasons.

From that simple suggestion spins one of the strangest and most complicated murder mystery puzzles the gang has ever seen.

Click here to get the ebook now.

And watch this blog for more news on free first-in-series ebooks. I’ll highlight another one next month.

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: Heading into Fall

Fall arrives this week, and our busiest season is already in full swing!

Our Kickstarter for Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s new Fey novel ended last week, and we’re so grateful to all of the backers. What a fantastic showing of support for the first new Fey novel in 22 years!

If you missed the Kickstarter, but still want to get the book, never fear. The book publishes wide in February, and the ebook is already available for preorder here.

Speaking of Kickstarters, this week you can read a story set in another of Kris’ popular series—the Diving series—that WMG previously has only offered as a stretch goal reward during the 2021 Diving Kickstarter. And the story is free, this week only!

“Hunches” offers the backstory on Balázs Jicha, whom we first met in the Diving novel Thieves. Here’s the synopsis:

The Fleet designed the new SC-Class ships with an impenetrable bridge. The most protected spot on the ship. Right in the center.

So, when Lieutenant Balázs Jicha realizes the bridge of the Izlovchi now opens to space, he fights to remember what happened. And what to do next.

Jicha always follows his hunches. Now, he must rely on those hunches to help him save his ship.

A pulse-pounding addition to Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s award-winning Diving Series, “Hunches” offers key insights into one of the series’ newer characters.

You can read the story here for free this week on Kris’ website, as part of her weekly Free Fiction. Or you can order the book here.

Finally, it’s time for the monthly WMG Teachable sale. You can read all about this month’s sale, including our new offerings, on Dean Wesley Smith’s blog by clicking here.

What a great time to fall back into reading, writing and learning!

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: A Royal Influence

I cried last week when Queen Elizabeth II died. And my heart goes out to those of you for whom she played a much larger role. She was a very strong woman. We will not likely see her equal again.

Despite the United States declaring its independence from the English monarchy 246 years ago, we remain captivated by the royal family and its workings. I know more about the royal family that I do about the families of some US presidents.

The British royal history also sometimes inspires US writers in their fiction. As it does with Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Fey series and the people of Blue Isle.

If you’ve read the series, this probably won’t surprise you. But if you haven’t, there’s never been a better time to start.

The Brand New Fey Novel Kickstarter, featuring the first new Fey novel in 22 years, has been hugely successful, and you still have a few days left to join in on the fun.

The Kickstarter funded in record time and blew through three stretch goals in one day!

We’ve hit more since then, of course, and the additional rewards keep piling up so fast, I can’t list them here or risk this blog being obsolete before the day is out!

With each new stretch goal comes another free story and more free writing videos.

Plus, there’s that new novel, The Kirilli Matter, the first book in the new Qavnerian Protectorate saga, that comes with every single reward.

You really need to check it out if you haven’t already. And keep watching if you have to see just how many books and writing classes our backers will get.  

Click here to go to the Kickstarter.

But hurry. This one ends on Thursday, Sept. 15!

I suspect you’ll have time to read the entire series before the world is done mourning such a powerful presence as the late Queen Elizabeth II.

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: Book Covers as Art

Of all the many hats I wear as publisher, my favorite one is cover designer. That’s an unusual hat for a publisher to wear, in fact, but I’ve never been called “usual.”

A cover designer is different than a cover artist. I don’t create cover art. I find it. I might modify it or enhance it. But as a cover designer, I curate together the best piece of art I can find to represent the book and its genre and pair it with the fonts that pair best to the genre, and voila! Pretty cover.

But sometimes, I have a really important book that I just can’t find the right art for. Or I’m looking for something specific. This usually happens for a series of books. That makes it harder. Because series branding is very important, and it starts with the cover.

That’s when I turn to the artists. Digital illustrators these days.

For some of our major sf series (the Diving Series by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and the Seeders Universe for Dean Wesley Smith), we work with the amazingly talented Philcold. He customizes all of our spaceships and space scenes for those books. He’s a delight to work with.

But those books are easy to cover compared to Kris’ Fey series, the latest books in need of new covers. The Fey books have a troubled history thanks to neglect from traditional publishers. You can read all about it in Lessons from the Writing of The Fey or watch Kris talk about it in a series of videos on the WMG Teachable site.

So, these covers had to be spectacular to make up for all of that. To make it up to Kris, who loved this series and was heartbroken by its treatment.

I worked closely with her on the project and created covers that we liked. But they weren’t good enough. I knew they needed to be more. But because I’m not a cover artist, I didn’t know how to achieve it.

Until I met Echo Chernik at the Licensing Expo in May.

Echo is the coordinating judge for the annual Illustrators of the Future contest and one of the premiere Art Nouveau artists of her generation.

I showed Echo what I’d come up with and she loved the concept. She could already visualize how to take what I’d created and enhance it to what I wanted it to be.

And oh wow, has she.

We have three covers done so far, and they are simply stunning. We’ll be using them prodigiously in the coming weeks as we promote our next Kickstarter—for the first new Fey novel in 22 years, so be sure to watch for news on that next week!

To give you a taste of what I’m talking about, here are side-by-side comparisons for the new covers for The Sacrifice and The Changeling. The ones on the left are what I did with the art I had to work with. The ones on the right are Echo’s incredible creations.

Sometimes, you’re just in the right place at the right time. And you find a partner who just makes everything better.

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 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.