Publisher’s Note: The Week of Short Fiction


Avid readers of this blog might remember me talking about how many books we have on our calendar this year. This week will certainly drive that point home.

And fans of short fiction will have many reasons to rejoice. Nine of them, to be exact!

That’s because we’re releasing nine new titles this week, and they are all short fiction based: three holiday anthologies, one short story collection, and five Pulphouse books!

The three holiday anthologies, which publish on Tuesday, are from the WMG Holiday Spectacular 2020. Here are the titles and synopses for each:

Mysterious Christmas

Murder, mayhem, and all manner of crimes set during the holiday season give this anthology a bite that serves as a delightful change from the sweetness that often dominates this time of the year.

This volume contains an abundance of thieves, a few murderers, a wannabe murderer, and one or two stories in which the crime lurks on the periphery. With a host of unreliable narrators, a few psychopaths, and one acrobat, who could resist?

From a search for the perfect Christmas tree that turns deadly to a reformed thief who wrestles with the better angels of his nature when temptation arises during the holidays, these marvelous mysteries prove the perfect distraction for even the stormiest winter evening.

Includes:
“Christmas Chase” by Tonya D. Price
“For The Win” by Stephannie Tallent
“Into the Good Night” by Rob Vagle
“A Different, Better Red” by Michael Warren Lucas
“The Art of Waiting” by Kelly Washington
“Christmas in the Ruins” by Mary Jo Rabe
“The Magi of St. Michael’s” by Annie Reed
“Pungent Justice” by Kari Kilgore
“Targets of Opportunity” by Stefon Mears
“All The Bells and Whistles” by B.A. Paul
Not A Cozy” by Steven Mohan, Jr.

Fantastic Christmas

Venture forth into the delightful adventures of ghosts and elves and imps and more found in the magical worlds of Fantastic Christmas.

Enjoy sweets for the sweet romantics, charming ghosts and imps to capture the imagination, and stories both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.

From Nordic sprites who long for the porridge and butter and sugar from the hands of their human neighbors to a man desperate to be with his dying wife on their own special holiday, the stories in this volume add a bit of warmth to your holiday season.

Includes:
“The Last Hour of Hogswatch” by Michael Warren Lucas
“The Best Christmas” by Dory Crowe
“Spirit of the Season” by Anthea Lawson
“The Magic of Sharing” by R.W. Wallace
“The Way the Cookie Crumbles” by Angela Penrose
“An Embarrassment of Id’imps” by Ezekiel James Boston
“The Case of the Disappearing Decorations” by Annie Reed
“The Inn, the Black Cat, and Two Halves of the Same Heart” by Kari Kilgore
“Motorcoach Miracles” by Juliet Nordeen
“Magic For a New Year” by Lisa Silverthorne

Sweet Holidays

The best holiday stories delight with heartfelt satisfaction from beginning to end.

Romance forms the core of most of the stories in this volume, and they feature holiday settings from Thanksgiving to New Years, with even some made up holidays in between.

From a young woman trying to wheedle some good-luck collard greens out of the new minister on New Year’s Eve to the two young university students adrift in a foreign country for the holidays, each story touches the heart and warms the soul.

A perfect distraction from the hustle and bustle of the holidays!

Includes:
“Good Luck Greens” by Irette Y. Patterson
“Finding Sanctuary” by Kari Kilgore
“The Journey Home” by Erik Kort
“Pagan Sunrise” by Stefon Mears
“Toast The Stars” by Stephannie Tallent
“Speakeasy to Her Heart” by Stephanie Writt
“Winter’s Perfect Night” by Kelly Shire
“The Slowpokes’ Parade” by Patricia Duffy Novak
“An Unexpected Winter” by Tao Wong
“New Year’s Fortune” by Anthea Lawson
“Andrew and Shichi-Go-San” by Jason A. Adams
“Coming Home” by Chrissy Wissler

To find out more information about these three new holiday anthologies (and the three from last year), click here. And don’t forget to sign up for the 2021 WMG Holiday Spectacular 2021 here.

We also have a fantastic new short story collection by Kristine Kathryn Rusch publishing on Tuesday, which features her five stories from the 2019 and 2020 WMG Holiday Spectaculars. It’s called Stories for the Cold of Winter. Here’s the synopsis:

Light-hearted holiday stories abound, but when the days turn cold and bracing, darker tales tempt the senses. This collection of five stories from award-winning and bestselling master of short fiction Kristine Kathryn Rusch fits that bill.

All centered on the winter holidays, Stories for the Cold of Winter features four crime stories: “The Thanksgiving After,” a suspense story set on Black Friday (more or less); “Frank’s Corner Bar,” a Christmas day story set in a neighborhood bar during an ice storm; “Resolution,” which follows an assassin trying to change her life with the new year; and “Other People’s Stupidity,” which focuses on the legal profession at year’s end.

The fifth offering, “Vigil,” offers a tale of quiet dedication to lives lost.

So, stoke the fire and let these tales entertain on a cold winter’s night.

For more information, click here.

And on Thursday, we’ll release five new Pulphouse books. Here are their titles and synopses:

Don’t Touch My Magic!

Magic stories, by their very nature, create fictional worlds. Take a story with magic and twist it in a way that makes it a Pulphouse story, and you get fiction that sometimes shocks, sometimes challenges, and sometimes breaks your heart.

From flying underwear trying to save the world to Mouse Riders trying to save their own world. From a made-up fantasy world to a magical cartoon character exploring his cartoon world. From a romance bound by two guns to a lawyer who represents the magical world in real court.

These ten stories crafted by extremely talented writers take readers to magical worlds.

Includes:
“In the Empire of Underpants” by Robert Jeschonek
“Coyote and the Amazing Herbal Formula” by Sabrina Chase
“Hand Fast” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“The Reign to Come” by Kevin J. Anderson
“A Magical Negro” by Ezekiel James Boston
“This Magic Moment” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Unnatural Law” by J. Steven York
“PMS and a Hand Grenade” by Brenda Carre
“Custard: A Romeo and Juliet Story (sort of)” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“Queen of the Mouse Riders” by Annie Reed

Ghosts Among Us

Everyone loves a good ghost story. Somehow the creepiest, scariest ghost stories always feature sadness at their core.

From a story about a woman who must face her ghosts on Christmas Eve night, to a ghost detective stuck in his own cemetery helping other ghosts move on by solving their own murders, to a ghost who writes letters to the living—these ghosts seem more alive than dead. Their sagas just continue into another realm.

So, steel your courage and delve into these ten stories from the other side of the veil.

Includes:
“Death by Vodka” by Robert J. McCarter
“Dead Girlfriend” by Ray Vukcevich
“The Writing on the Wall” by Kevin J. Anderson
“The Dead on Somerset Hill” by Chuck Heintzelman
“Dreams of Memories Never Lived” by Rob Vagle
“Flowers for Mother” by J. Steven York
“Ghosts of Christmas Present” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“The Developmental Adventures of Phil” by Jason A. Adams
“Salt” by Thorn Coyle
“Just Desserts” by R.W. Wallace

Run!! Creatures, Critters, and Pulphousers…

Take your wildest imagination, and you might just come up with a Pulphouser: a rare creature only found on the pages of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine.

Add in some more strange creatures and critters, and you might just find yourself running—straight to your favorite chair to dive into the ten stories in this wacky volume!

So, welcome to the Pulphouse Zone, with an abundance of creatures and critters that only exist in Pulphouse.

Includes:
“Blackbeard’s Aliens” by Robert Jeschonek
“Vamp until Doomsday” by Stefon Mears
“The Injustice Collector” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Dog Steps” by Rob Vagle
“For the Love of Killer” by Mary Jo Rabe
“Dog People” by Robert J. McCarter
“The Poodles of Panama” by Kent Patterson
“The True Story of Stanley and Stella” by Johanna Rothman
“Starlings” by Jerry Oltion
“Brick Houses” by Annie Reed

There’ll Be Blue Popcorn Without You!

Blue Popcorn means sadness and loss and love. In the pages of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, it also means very weird and entertaining sadness and loss and love.

The ten stories in this volume range from a dweeby guy trying to win the affection of a beautiful woman, to a tale of a solo man in a future world looking for companionship, to a story about art and the crime it reveals.

Running the gamut from science fiction to fantasy to psychological drama, these tales evoke strong emotion.

Includes:
“A Better Man Than You” by Jerry Oltion and Kent Patterson
“Rose in Dreamland” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Under the Blood-Red Maple” by Joslyn Chase
“A Cherub by Any Other Name” by Annie Reed
“Small Discrete Intervals from a Sample Size of One” by J. Steven York
“A Night Under the Stars” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Bravo and Jazz” by Ron Collins
“The Man Who Married His Wife’s Thigh” by Bonnie Elizabeth
“Virtual Oracle” by Leigh Saunders
“The Pearce Shootout” by Robert J. McCarter

Twisted Robots, Oh, My!

Robots often walk the pages of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine.

Pulphouse prides itself on crossing genre lines, blurring genre lines, and just flat mixing up genres until the genre classification means nothing.

Terms like different, off-center, twisted, and sometimes just head-scratching form the hallmarks of a Pulphouse story.

So, like everything else in Pulphouse, the robots in these ten stories might or might not fit the standard classification of robots. But they definitely scream Pulphouse!

Includes:
“The Clockwork Man’s Canteen” by J. Steven York
“nanoturds” by Ray Vukcevich
“A Little Song, A Little Dance, A Little Apocalypse Down Your Pants” by Robert Jeschonek
“Battery-Operated Boyfriend” by Barbara G. Tarn
“One-Night Stands for Love and Glory” by David H. Hendrickson
“Daisy’s Heart” by Robert J. McCarter
“Taking Care of Business” by Mary Jo Rabe
“Unfamiliar, Foreign, Outré” by Jerry Oltion
“Exchange Policy” by Scott William Carter
“Tinker Henry and the Clockwork Whore” by Jim Gotaas

To find out more information about these five new Pulphouse books (and the nine others that were previously published), click here.

So many awesome short stories. What a great excuse to stay inside with a good book!

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: The Price We Pay for Learning


My daughter had her first volleyball game over the weekend (well, her first two games, actually, because they double up on some of the weekends). It was awesome to see her playing again. She hasn’t been on a court since the world shut down in March 2020, right after basketball season ended.

She also just finished her fourth full week of school. Which has been crazy and chaotic but well worth it so far for her. She’s loving it.

Not that any of this has been easy. Covid has seen to that, of course. Every time we drop her off at school or volleyball practice comes with fear. Will this be the day she’s exposed to Covid?

I do my best to keep my fears to myself.

She, on the other hand, has this stuff down. She wears her mask all day long without complaining. She washes her hands on a regular basis at school, even though many of her peers don’t. She even has to wear a mask to play volleyball because of state mandates, but she rolls with that, too.

If she can do it, so can I. It’s the price we must pay right now for her to learn the things she wants to learn and the way she wants to learn them.

She knows there are risks, but she knows that we’ve given her all the tools at our disposal to minimize those risks.

We’ve done the cost/benefit analysis. And this is the best we can do given the circumstances.

When you’re passionate about learning, you do what you need to do.

We feel that way about learning at WMG. And about teaching.

Which is why we keep the costs of what we teach as low as possible.

And sometimes, we make those costs even lower when we can.

Like right now.

This week, until Oct. 10, we’re offering 50% off on everything on Teachable for our Fall Special Workshop Sale. Every WMG Publishing Workshop, Lecture, Pop-Up, Class, or Subscription on Teachable is half price.

Some of the new offerings available for this sale are: Power Words, Making a Living with Novels, and a Holiday Collections Class.

Go to the WMG Teachable page and click on “see all courses.” Then find the course you would like to buy and hit purchase. On the top of the next page there is a place to put in the code:

FALLSPECIAL

Click here to learn more.

Isn’t it wonderful that, as adults, we have so many Covid-safe ways to continue 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: Full of Fall Frivolity


It’s officially autumn, my favorite season. And although I miss the crisp weather and fall colors of New Jersey (where I grew up), I make up for it with fall treats: pumpkin cream cheese muffins, apple pie, apple cider, pumpkin cream cold brew coffee, and my new favorite: a hot Caramel Pumpkin Brûlée Breve from Dutch Bros.

This weekend, we’ll go get our pumpkins and gourds for the front porch and put up the Halloween decorations.

I love Halloween. It’s really the most fun holiday. Even during the pandemic. I mean, think about it: an activity that already involved being outdoors no matter the weather with everyone wearing masks!

Although Christmas is my favorite holiday, Halloween is my second favorite. And not just because of its pandemic versatility.

So this year, we’ve taken our popular Winter Holiday Spectacular Calendar of Stories concept and applied a Halloween take on it.

So, if the idea of getting a daily dose of spooky fun in your inbox appeals to you, you’ll want to check out this literary equivalent of trick-or-treating.

Here’s how it works:

Every day, starting on October 25, 2021, and running through November 2, 2021, you will get an original short story sent to you (or the recipient of your choice) via email.

Each seasonally themed tale is accompanied by an introduction by the editor of the Halloween Calendar of Stories, Mark Leslie.

You will get each story in ebook format (epub and mobi), so you can read them daily on your own device, anywhere, anytime you choose. Or you can store them up and binge on a weekend.

Your choice.

As an added bonus, all subscribers will receive the Halloween Harvest anthology, which includes all nine stories, plus two bonus stories! Halloween Harvest will be released just two days after the calendar ends, on November 4.

Online ordering for this magical virtual harvest hayride of reading pleasures and treats opens on Wednesday, and can be found at this link: https://wmgpublishinginc.com/project/halloween-spectacula-2021/

Get yourself one or give one or more as a gift or both! If ever we needed to have fun, it’s 2021.

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: The Chase is On!


It feels like we’ve been fighting threats from all sides since the beginning of last year. The pandemic, climate change, political turmoil…the list goes on. Our fight or flight response is constantly activated. And we are fatigued. There’s no doubt about it.

Acknowledging that is important. So is finding ways to cope.

Fortunately, you are all readers or you wouldn’t be reading this blog right now. And we readers know how to take those much-needed breaks from reality.

Our fiction friends Boss and Coop know all about fight or flight. The main characters in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s bestselling Diving series, Boss and Coop return this week with a brand-new, pulse-pounding adventure.

If you supported our Kickstarter earlier this year, you already know I speak truth. But if you didn’t, The Chase will be available in ebook, trade paperback, and hardcover on Tuesday.

Here’s the synopsis:

On the run.

After fleeing pursuers from two different missions, Boss and Coop reconvene at the Lost Souls Corporation headquarters. Both share exciting but troublesome news.

And a whole lot of questions.

But before they begin to even scratch the surface of the new information, they face threats from all quarters.

And when an old adversary of Coop’s gets involved, Boss questions who to trust to survive and find some long-awaited answers.

A nonstop new adventure, The Chase provides thrilling new details about Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s award-winning Diving series.

Click here for all the links.

And if you have Kickstarter FOMO, never fear. You still have time to back our latest Kickstarter project featuring Kris’ Spade/Paladin Conundrums.

We’ve already hit five stretch goals, which means all backers at the $5 level above get an advance ebook copy of Kris’ new Spade/Paladin novel Ten Little Fen, plus five bonus ebooks and four pop-up workshops for writers (or to gift to writers). That’s a helluva lot of value for $5!

Check out the Kickstarter here, but do hurry. It ends Thursday.

And so, I hope your coming week is filled with mystery and adventure, but mostly of the fictional kind.

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 Time for Reminiscence


With the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I’ve been taken back in time a lot lately to what the world was like in the late ‘90s/early 2000s. So many things have changed since then.

I didn’t get a text alert or push notification that the first tower was hit, I got a phone call from my then-husband.

He couldn’t even talk, he could only tell me to turn on the TV, because that’s how we got news immediately back then. But when I turned it on, there was nothing but static. It was tuned to ABC.

I lived in northern New Jersey on Sept. 11, 2001. Our television stations (the big three: ABC, CBS, NBC) broadcast from giant antennae on the top of 1 World Trade Center, the North Tower. The first tower hit.

Life changed for many of us that day. Even more so for those of us near Ground Zero.

I can’t watch the images. I saw them in real time, and they are burned into my memory.

So, this year, I focused on podcasts. Those I can handle. They let me reflect on that time period with more clarity and less trauma.

They also let me reminisce about what life was like in the years before 9/11. Before smartphones and Covid and Zoom.

What were you doing in the ‘90s? My high school graduation, undergraduate college years and first career were all in the ‘90s.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch attended hundreds of science fiction fan conventions in the ‘90s. She loved them. And she started writing short stories starring characters Spade and Paladin honored that love of the fans and the conventions.

The stories became known as Spade/Paladin Conundrums. And both mystery readers and science fiction fans loved them. She’s written eight of those short stories over the years.

When the pandemic hit, and Kris needed a place to escape the world and have fun in her fiction, she turned once again to the ‘90s and the Spade/Paladin Conundrums. But this time, she wrote a novel. It’s called Ten Little Fen.

The novel won’t officially be released until November, but you can get a copy early through our latest Kickstarter. And since the Kickstarter has already hit several stretch goals, you’ll also get electronic editions of several of the Spade/Paladin short stories (including one that’s exclusive to the Kickstarter), special pop-up workshops for writers, and a whole lot more to come.

Check out the Kickstarter here, and be sure to watch Kris’ video about the fun that is the Spade/Paladin Conundrums.

Because couldn’t we all use a bit of fun and nostalgia these days?

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: An Alien Landscape


We live in crazy times. (An understatement, I know.) Weird shit keeps happening. And nothing goes the way it’s supposed to go. These are the times we live in.

Take this blog, for example.

We couldn’t post the one I originally wrote for Monday, Aug. 30, because our web host decided to delete all the content on our site (it’s a long and frustrating story filled with gross incompetence that I’d rather not rehash at this time). We finally got the site back up thanks wholly to the ingenuity of WMG’s intrepid IT Manager.

And just in case more website weirdness happens over the long holiday weekend upcoming, I felt like we should post the next blog early.

So, here we are days late for one blog and early for the next. Somehow, that seems wholly appropriate for the times we live in.

Speaking of strange times, school starts on Tuesday. At least, I think it does. The district calendar lists two start days. And I still have very little information as to how school will be handled.

I do know two things thanks to state mandates, at least: Masks will be required by everyone entering school buildings during school hours, and vaccines will be mandated for all teachers, support staff and volunteers.

Other than that, we’re flying blind here. Even my teacher friends don’t fully know what’s going on yet.

You might think I’m angry about all this. I’m not. Frustrated, yes. But I also know that the schools are dealing with extraordinarily difficult circumstances. Before they could even assemble the classroom rosters, for example, they have the daunting task of tracking down all the students who got “lost” during online schooling. Given last year’s attendance rates, which by the end of the year were about 30 percent, that’s a lot of lost kids.

I can’t even imagine what school administrators are dealing with now, and I’ve worked in enough fields to understand that if you’re not in the field, you don’t fully understand the challenges. Just because you eat in a restaurant, for example, doesn’t mean you know what it takes to run one.

The pandemic has certainly driven that home. I approach everything with even more patience now than I would have before. Everyone is struggling. I get it.

We’re trying to navigate school on a different world than the one we’ve always known. We continue to be in uncharted territory. And that requires flexibility, backup plans, and no small measure of creativity.

Good thing I navigate other worlds all the time. They might be fictional, but I find science fiction helps explain a lot these days.

At the very least, it helps distract us from the bizarre reality we live in now.

So, if you’re looking for a little otherworldly distraction too, check out the Cosmic Visionaries StoryBundle, curated by frequent Pulphouse Fiction Magazine contributor Robert Jeschonek.

Here’s a bit about the bundle in his words:

What is it about space opera that makes us love it so much? The action, the exotic settings, the colorful characters, the alien species? The promise of countless adventures in the face of the great unknown? The excitement of imagining what humanity may someday become and accomplish in the vast reaches of the final frontier?

Or is it mostly just that space opera is so gosh-darn cool? The ships…the technology…the planets…the ray guns and laser swords. In many ways, it’s the ultimate escapist genre, transporting us to places and situations that dwarf our everyday troubles in every possible way. And yet, at its heart, space opera is all about us, about what it means to be human and how we can triumph over our limitations.

WMG has two books in this ten-book bundle: Maelstrom: A Diving Universe Novella by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Ball of Confusion: An Earth Protection League Novella by Dean Wesley Smith.

Click here to learn more.

And if Maelstrom makes you crave more adventures in Kris’ Diving Universe, her newest novel in the Diving Series, The Chase, publishes Sept. 21 but is available for preorder now in ebook, trade paperback, and hardcover.

Click here for more information.

Back in the real world, I’m taking it day by day. Nola will learn new things one way or the other. Crazy times are certainly not short on life lessons.

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