It felt only appropriate to write my blog this week from a local restaurant called the Coven Café, where I enjoyed a Black Magick mocha and a pumpkin pastie. (Well, I enjoyed those before I wrote this blog because there is no magic spell that can get pastry crumbs out of a Mac laptop keyboard.)
And unlike in the world of Harry Potter, there is no magic spell to knit bones back together. Dean Wesley Smith could have used one of those spells last weekend after he shattered his shoulder in a fall during a race (read more on his blog here), but his orthopedic surgeon worked his own form of magic to fix Dean right up. He’s now on the mend, thank heavens.
This time of year, it feels like magic is all around us. From the darker magic of Halloween to the lighter magic of Christmas.
And this week is your last chance to grab a bounty of fabulous fiction appropriate for each of those holidays.
For Halloween fans, the 2023 Halloween StoryBundle, curated by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, ends this week. It features ten ebooks (including three offerings from WMG—Halloween Harvest, FantasyLife and Other Stories, and Three Sheets to the Wind—plus four StoryBundle exclusives). You can learn more about it here.
For Christmas and other winter holiday fans, the 2023 WMG Holiday Spectacular Kickstarter is in its final days, too. We’ve hit five stretch goals so far, which means in addition to the amazing Calendar of Stories featuring a story a day for 40 days from American Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, all backers also get the following:
BY THE CHIMNEY WITH CARE
AND A CUP OF GOOD CHEER
THREE WISHES BEFORE A FIRE
1… How to Write Cross-Genre Holiday Stories About Baking, Desserts, and Cookies
2… How to Write Cross-Genre Holiday Stories about Holiday Meals
3… How to Write Cross-Genre Holiday Stories About Holiday Decorations
4… How to Write Cross-Genre Holiday Stories About Family and Traditions
That’s a $600 combined value just for the workshops, and 45 total stories to read: 5 shortly after the Kickstarter ends and 40 throughout the holidays!
Plus, there’s beautiful holiday merchandise, Kickstarter-exclusive writing workshops that will be on every writer’s wish list, and so much more.
The latest issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, edited by Dean Wesley Smith, hit the shelves last week, and we’re thrilled with its new paperback format! Pulphouse is now an easy-to-carry 6×9 trade paperback!
Our ebook readerswon’t notice anything different, of course. Your version has been easy-to-carry from the get-go.
But you’ll all be able to benefit from our new monthly publication schedule. So, win-win for everyone!
And we have a fantastic new crop of stories to offer in this issue. Take a look at this story lineup:
“I Was a Teenage Boy-Crazy Blob” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
“The Hair Thief” by Annie Reed
“When the Wiener Dogs Come Out to Play” by David H. Hendrickson
“The Henchman Is Hurled Off the Catwalk” by Adam-Troy Castro
“The Rhythm of Dueling Oak” by O’Neil De Noux
“Shocking Tales” by Don Webb
“The Lessons Only a Jelly Bean Can Teach” by Scott Edelman
With that amazing Calendar of Stories, which this year features a story a day for 40 days from American Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, as well as beautiful holiday merchandise, Kickstarer-exclusive writing workshops that will be on every writer’s wish list, and so much more, it’s a great way to check off your holiday shopping list.
Not only are we launching the Holiday Spectacular’s signature project—the amazing Calendar of Stories, which this year features a story a day for 40 days from American Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day—but we also have oodles of holiday anthologies, special holiday-themed writing workshops and brand-new Holiday Spectacular-themed merchandise!
Some of you might remember that last year, we partnered with exceptionally talented artist Bob Giordano for the book covers for our annual anthologies. Well, this year we’ve also partnered with him to create the perfect merchandise to enjoy the holiday season: mugs and coasters to enjoy a delicious cup of cocoa or tea or coffee as well as pillows and blankets to get comfy on the couch while reading the Calendar of Stories. Plus, we have puzzles, too, to while away the evening after you’ve read that day’s story.
Here’s a sneak peek at these fantastic items:
Click hereto be notified as soon as the Kickstarter launches. It runs through Nov. 2.
It was 80 degrees on the Oregon Coast last week, but despite the really weird (and even more unseasonal) heat, WMG headquarters was decked out for the winter holidays.
That’s because we’re testing out merchandise for our annual WMG Holiday Spectacular Kickstarter (and new store), which are set to launch over the next few weeks. More on this year’s Kickstarter in a minute.
In addition to testing out holiday merchandise, we’re also prepping for the distribution of the three holiday anthologies from last year’s Kickstarter for the 2022 Calendar of Stories. As always, Kickstarter backer get the books earlier than everyone else, and those will ship out this week.
Here’s the synopsis for these festive books:
Candy Cane Kisses
What pairs better than peppermint and hot chocolate? Romance and the holidays, of course!
In this year’s most charming WMG Holiday Spectacular anthology, award-winning editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch offers a sweet collection of romantic holiday stories to add a bit more love to the season.
Let Anthea Lawson take you to a Christmas gathering no one really wants to organize or attend, but must because of an inheritance. Join Stefon Mears as he imagines the perfect bookstore and then lets us explore it. Read how Ron Collins turns the most unromantic Christmas Eve location—an emergency room—into the most wonderful place to spend the holidays. And let Annie Reed’s charming tale of the ways love can surprise us warm your heart.
Along with stories by Julia Vee, Melissa Yi, Robert Jeschonek and more, these eleven wonderful writers touch the soul with these warm tales of holiday happy endings.
“Ice Dancing and Crab Apple Sorbet” by Melissa Yi
“Patterns” by Irette Y. Patterson
“A Little More Aloha” by Julia Vee
“Trapped Between Book Lovers” by Stefon Mears
“She Wanted It to be Perfect” by Ron Collins
“The Mistletoe Duke” by Anthea Lawson
“The Ditty and the Ornament” by Deb Miller
“A Fluffy Black Ball of Pure Naughtiness” by Kari Kilgore
“When Nicky Met Holly” by Annie Reed
“A Decidedly Fly-By-Night Angel” by Robert Jeschonek
“Wings for Keiko” by Jessi Hammond
Crooked Little Christmas
Crime threads its way through everything, including the holidays. But for writers, that just adds some spice to their creativity.
Take this WMG Holiday Spectacular anthology, in which award-winning editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch offers holiday tales from dark to light and everything in between.
Let Thea Hutcheson thrill you as Paolo Bianchi tries to save the man he loves in time for their annual solstice celebration. Travel to Colombia as one family puts their own little twist on the celebration called Día de las Velitas. Buckle in with Irette Y. Patterson for one of those unexpected spy stories about a seemingly unassuming person. And join Karen Abrahamson in Thailand on a hot December day as she introduces you to a handful of people up to no good.
Along with stories by Leslie Claire Walker, Kari Kilgore, Steven Mohan, Jr. and more, these eleven thrilling writers capture the mischief and mayhem to the holiday season.
“Black Deeds on a Black Friday” by Laura Ware
“The Good Girl” by Lauren Lang
“The Copper Valley Cocoa Conniption Competition” by Kari Kilgore
“Three Spectacular Capers and the Whatever It’s Called Beneath the Tree” by Steven Mohan, Jr.
“Larceny’s Love Lost and Found” by Leslie Claire Walker
“Shinier Things” by Filip Wiltgren
“The Laws of St. Laurent” by Kelsey Hutton
“The Whole Darn Package” by Karen Abrahamson
“The File Clerk Who Hid in the Cave” by Irette Y. Patterson
“Día de Las Velitas” by Liz Lazo
“A Close Shave” by Thea Hutcheson
Time Travel Holidays
Time travel might not seem like the standard holiday story fare. But in the hands of talented writers, you’ll find yourself transported to new places and new world .
In this incredibly creative WMG Holiday Spectacular anthology, Hugo and World Fantasy award-winning editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch offers a masterfully curated collection of holiday stories that travel through time and back again.
Ride along with Brenda Carre and Joey as that little explorer manages time travel in just about the best way possible. Join Lisa Silverthorne for a gothic romance with storms and broken dreams and just the right amount of hope. And travel the galaxy with Robert Jeschonek who writes an award-worthy classic science fiction tale set on Mars.
Along with stories by Irette Y. Patterson, Michèle Laframboise, Steven Mohan, Jr. and more, these eleven powerful writers add plenty of adventure to the holiday season.
“Loss Prevention at the Hypermart” by DeAnna Knippling
“No Material Impact on the Timeline” by Irette Y. Patterson
“Déjà Vécu” by Dæmon Crowe
“Training Run” by Marcelle Dubé
“The Skeptic and the Primrose” by Michèle Laframboise
“The Space Between Us” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Heaven in 1944” by Leslie Claire Walker
“Crutnacker Sweets” by Brenda Carre
“The Yule Log” by Cate Martin
“The Last Saturnalia” by Steven Mohan, Jr.
“What Happened Between Go-Days 15 and 16” by Robert Jeschonek
For anyone who isn’t a backer of the 2022 Kickstarter, these books will be available as a reward in the 2023 WMG Holiday Spectacular Kickstarter, which launches Oct. 17. You’ll also get the 2023 WMG Holiday Spectacular Calendar of Stories with every reward. Click here to be notified as soon as the Kickstarter launches.
And if you want to read a holiday anthology right now, you can always pick up a volume or three from our previous years. Click hereto see all of our previously published holiday anthologies.
So, go ahead and start getting your eReader or bookshelf decked out for the winter holiday season!
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.
It’s October, which means it’s time to get my pumpkin on!
I love this time of year. It’s the best time to have a birthday, in my opinion, because I can celebrate all things fall, like pumpkin patches and apple cider and light-up ghosts and…well, you get the picture.
To start, I took my daughter to a pumpkin patch this weekend so that we could pick out our annual pumpkins. We get several every year, some of which become jack-o-lanterns and some of which stick around until Thanksgiving (at which point they are referred to as simply gourds so as to justify their continued presence).
Oh, and did I mention my house is already decorated for Halloween?
I love Halloween, almost as much as I love Christmas. But Kristine Kathryn Rusch has me beat, because Halloween is her favorite holiday of all. She’s even curated a StoryBundle to celebrate it.
New York Times bestsellers, international bestsellers, winners and nominees of the ITW Thriller Award, the Stoker award, the World Fantasy Award, and the GoodReads Choice for Horror. Omnibuses. Novels and spooky collections. Four exclusives. This StoryBundle has all of that and more. And…the most important part…great reading.
For $20, you’ll get all the books and a chance to donate to Maui Strong to help the victims in Lahaina.
To find out more about the ten books (including three offerings from WMG—Halloween Harvest, FantasyLife and Other Stories, and Three Sheets to the Wind— plus four StoryBundle exclusives!), click here.