WD Publishing

The Visitor by Barbara Raffin, A Supernatural Romance

 

“Intriguing, surprising, amazing. Well worth the read.” —S. C. Mitchell, Author of The Blarmling Dilemma

 

 

Copyright (c) 2017 by Written Dreams Publishing

Nine months after he’s been cremated, Rebecca Tierney’s husband shows up in her living room…naked.

Rebecca Tierney, now a widow, returns to the family home situated on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula bluffs nine months after her husband’s death to scatter his ashes on the largest, coldest, and most unforgiving of the Great Lakes—Lake Superior, one that never gives up its dead. Unable to handle the grief of missing her husband and the romance they shared, Rebecca becomes a recluse.

She soon finds out that there’s more than just memories in the old Victorian house than of a love ended too soon. A Visitor from afar has appeared and searches the house for the key that will stop his alien race from dying on his home planet. Rebecca can either help the clone reach his goal of finding a shipwreck, or let him die. When a young girl goes missing and someone from the clone’s past surfaces, hard choices must be made.

Only the long-forgotten secrets of the old house can free Rebecca from her grief and teach a man of logic that love is worth more than eternal life. Will she open her mind, and he, his heart to the unlimited possibilities?

 

 

 

Award-winning author Barbara Raffin lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  When Barbara’s not writing, reading, or daydreaming, she hangs out with her Keeshonden dogs, Katie and Slippers.

 

 

 

 

The Force Behind Writing Groups by Bruce Kirkpatrick

A few tips from Bruce Kirkpatrick on being a member of a writer’s group.

I’m a member of four groups and each works differently. Here’s what I’ve learned about writer’s groups and if you are a writer, why you may want be a part of one.

Both new and seasoned writers are often members of writer’s groups. No hard and fast rules exist about how they work, but a few tips to get the most out of them might help.

Groups can meet in person or online. They can require that members trade “chapters” or work beforehand—or not. They can read aloud or simply offer critique in the written form. They can be full of published authors or those just getting started.

 

  1. If you attend a meeting, it forces you to write. No better way to get to work than to have somebody ready to read it.  One of the groups I’m involved with has over 270 members, but only 10 to 15 come to meetings regularly and read. Those are the more serious writers.
  2. It forces you to edit. Nobody wants to read work that is weak. By the time I read something in front of the group, I’ve edited it at least several times. That makes for better writing.
  3. It forces you, in many cases, to read your work out loud. That’s a key to better structure, phrasing, and dialogue. If your group doesn’t read aloud, you can always incorporate that into your editing practice.
  4. Groups force you to toughen up. Most groups offer sound criticism, delivered in a positive manner. One of my groups start the critique with what we liked, then move to how the writing could be better. It can always be better. You need to hear that, continually.
  5. They force you to meet and work with other writers. Writing can be a lonely passion but there is enlightenment in numbers. You’ll pick up great tips, habits, and skills working with like individuals. You may even use the group to connect you to others in the profession that can push your career forward. It’s a great place to network.
  6. Writing groups will force you to be a better writer. If you stay connected, and keep writing, your work will improve. You may not be the next Hemingway, but it’s a start.

 

That said, in my experience, writing groups have little knowledge about getting published. They are all about the writing. My groups don’t include many published authors, so the how-to-write-for-publication is a glaring hole. Most writers will do better reading the books about writing—Stein, Gorkin, Browne & King, George—than trusting inexperienced writers.

But you have to start someplace and a writing group will force you to write, edit, and receive feedback. If you’re a beginning writer or want to write for your own pleasure, it’s a good place to start.

 

Bruce Kirkpatrick is the author of Hard Left and Lumberjack Jesus. He is currently working on several different writing projects. To learn more about Bruce and his books, you can visit: http://www.bkirkpatrick.com/about/

 

At Written Dreams, we believe writers who take part of writer’s groups can be very successful. We will often suggest joining the local chapters to new writers because we believe in the benefits. Here in Green Bay, WI, we’re lucky to have a few groups that meet locally. If you’re looking for a writer’s group in your area, here’s a few associations you can start your search with, depending on the genre you write in: RWA-Romance Writers of America, HWA-Horror Writers of America, SFWA-Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America, CWG-The Children’s Writer’s Guild, NAMW-National Association of Memoir Writers, and many more!

Reviewing Your First Draft: WD’s Manuscript Separation Process

It’s easy to get excited after you’ve written your first draft. We know you want to show it to the world. But don’t! Please don’t. Here’s an easy process to remember to make your manuscript the best it can be—before showing even one word to your closest friend, or gasp,  to an editor. We believe this process is time well spent. Read on to learn more about our Manuscript Separation process.
1) If you haven’t started writing your first book and your reading this blog, that’s okay. a) Do as much research as you need to start writing Manuscript 1. b) Begin writing 200-1000 words a day, 6 days a week until you reach the desired story length. (90,000 words is the length of a typical fiction book.)
2) Writing the first draft can be frustrating. Enjoy the process. No matter if it takes you 30 days or 30 months, this is the first draft of Manuscript 1. Ever. Make it whatever you want it to be. Take your time and add as much of the story as you can during this process.
Note: If you get stuck or have writer’s block, no worries.  Relax and unwind. Do some more research on your topic, or get inspired by attending a local writer’s group meeting. Writers are helpful, unselfish people and most want to see their peers succeed.
2) You’ve finished writing your first draft. Congratulations! Now, here’s the most important step in your manuscript process. Put it aside and don’t touch it for 3 months—that’s 90 days of not looking at one word, not even the title. I know, I know. It’s finished, and you want to tweak every last word. Why? Because you can. Revising it now at this stage of the process would be a crucial mistake and could be hazardous to the manuscript. Wait 3 months before reviewing this first draft. Waiting can be tough, but this is very important. Plan a vacation, start a new hobby, outline a new story. Do anything but read Manuscript 1.
Note: If you do think of an idea to add to the manuscript during your time away, write it down in a journal with the date on it (or the day in the process, like Day 25 of 90) so you don’t forget the inspirational idea that could fix that plot hole or character flaw.
3) Day 91: You’re ready to review your manuscript. You’ve been a good writer and haven’t peeked. That’s wonderful! Now, check that journal for any notes to refresh your memory and start reading.
Note: More revisions are typically made on Chapter One than any other chapter. Don’t have a favorite. Spend equal amounts of time on every chapter. I know some are more needy than others and require more attention. Just be aware that you’re not spending all of your time with just one chapter. Remember to add details for characters, like oh I don’t know, them wearing clothing and having skin color, eye color, hair color, etc., so your characters are not running around invisible and naked. LOL! 🙂
4) You’ve finished the second draft. Writer, what are you going to do next? No, (shaking head) not send it to an editor. Wrong answer. Go to Disney World? Maybe. The one thing you need to do: put Draft 2 aside for 2 short months. 60 days, that’s all. You can do it!
Note: During your off time of Manuscript 1, you could begin research on Manuscript 2.
5) Day 61: Review draft day. As you go through the manuscript this time, you’ll see plot holes or character flaws more easily. During this review, you’ll probably spend more time on specific scenes in the story, making sure the story arc is what it needs to be and making the characters live and breathe. When you’ve fixed those plot holes, you’re ready for the next step.
Note: Getting distance away from Manuscript 1 is very important and allows for you to have “Fresh Eyes” on your manuscript. Some writers say they don’t even remember writing some of the things in their manuscript while reviewing.
6) Next step. Put Draft 3 away for 1 month before reviewing it. Easy peasy. The time will go quickly.
Note: During this month off from Manuscript 1, write 5 diary entries your main character would write. If, after you write these entries you discover more about your character’s flaws and characteristics, be sure to write them down in your journal and include them when you begin your next review.
7) Day 31: Review Day of Draft 4.  Take your time with this review, be critical and watch for minor typos and grammatical errors that may have popped up during the revision process. Add any details about your character that you may have missed before, but don’t spend a lot of time on changing scenes/character revisions. This review is meant to be more of a proof, than a rewrite. A rewrite at this point shouldn’t be needed. After this review you should have a clean manuscript.
Note: If you’re fully satisfied with your manuscript at this point, that’s great! If not, take another month away from it and do more revisions. If you’re really stuck, do one of two things: a) join a writer’s critique group and ask for suggestions, or b) set up a time to talk with one of us at Written Dreams and we can put you in contact with a professional to help you.
8) Submission time? Your manuscript has been fully revised, it’s typo free and full of fun details about your characters and the adventure they embark upon. You’re excited and ready to submit to an editor, but first, should you have someone else read it? That depends. If this is truly your first manuscript and you know other writers, you could ask a few willing beta readers. Many pros do this, and it’s not a bad idea at all.
Note: If you do send your manuscript to beta readers keep in mind that you may end up doing more revisions. Remember to take time away from Manuscript 1 after any revision process, a minimum of 30 days after revising any scenes.
8) Submission time: sending Manuscript 1 to an editor. Request their submission guidelines and format your manuscript in their suggested format. Then, off it goes!
Note: You will worry. We know. Remember that editors read manuscripts for a living and that Manuscript 1 isn’t the only one they have on their schedule. After you send your manuscript out, write down the date sent, and then start a new project. Check in with the editor after 6-9 weeks have passed to check on the status of your manuscript.
Good luck! We hope this article helped you. This a suggestion for a process that we’ve seen work for many authors. Ultimately, you need to decide what process works best for you. If you have any questions, you may contact us through our contact page on our website. Check out our store at writtendreams.com/store for some great reads by other authors!

Rick Roberts’ Books: Song Stories and Lame Brain

At Written Dreams Publishing, we’ve had the pleasure to work with multiplatinum artist, Rick Roberts, and put two of his books into large print hardcover format for his fans.

During the 1970s, Rick Roberts’ songs topped the music charts when he was the lead singer of the band, Firefall. Now, Rick Roberts has put together a beautiful collection of his memorable stories and the lyrics he’s written over the years in Song Stories and Other Left-Handed Recollections. Included are some of Rick Roberts’ best-loved songs: “You Are the Woman”, “Colorado”, “Strange Way”, and “Just Remember I Love You”. Read along as Rick Roberts takes you back to the days with these nostalgic songs when he performed them with his band Firefall and other artists, and learn about what is yet to come for him.

 

 

 

 

A multiplatinum rock star’s life meets an unexpected detour when a bump on the head reveals itself to be a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Told with honesty and humor, Lame Brain: My Journey Back to Real Life is Rick Roberts’ story of his entangled afflictions of TBI and Alcoholism.

Approximately 1.7 million people experience a TBI in the United States every year, with accidental falls being the leading cause. TBI can strike anyone at any time, swiftly changing the course of life. For Rick, this meant losing his ability to walk (with doctors giving only a 50/50 chance that he would ever walk again), losing many of his innate guitar skills, and facing difficult decisions that he wasn’t quite ready to make.

Rick openly shares the story of how he confronted these challenges while simultaneously fighting alcoholism. True to his talent for writing award winning lyrics and melodies, Rick now gives the world a story of healing told in his own compelling voice. He details the routines he created to reclaim his mobility, coordination, and sobriety. Refusing to accept his circumstances as a game ender, he instead considers them to be merely setbacks. Within the pages of Lame Brain, readers will find inspiration to achieve their own miracles and increased awareness of TBI and alcoholism.

 

About the Author:

Rick Roberts is a 40-year veteran of the rock’n’roll wars. He began his recording career in 1970 with the Flying Burrito Brothers and was a major contributor to their last two albums. He went on to do two solo albums and then form the well-known band Firefall in 1974, with whom he played for seven years during their heyday. He has also been a member of Stephen Stills’ band and Linda Ronstadt’s band during his career, and has been awarded two platinum and four gold albums for his efforts.

He has had over 60 of his compositions recorded and performed by such artists as The Burritos, Firefall, Stephen Stills, Linda Ronstadt, Barry Manilow, The Dirt Band, and numerous others. He is the composer of the hit songs “Just Remember I Love You”, “You Are the Woman”, “Strange Way”, “Colorado”, and several more that graced the Top 40 at one time or another.

After suffering a debilitating brain injury in 2006 which left him in jeopardy of never walking again, it took him nearly four years of intense physical therapy to walk again without crutches or other aids. Rick currently lives and works in Longmont, Colorado with his wife, Mary, and their two dogs and two cats.

 

Death by G-String:  Book 1 of the Coyote Canyon Ukulele Club Mystery Series by C.C. Harrison

 Book 1 of the Coyote Canyon Ukulele Club Mystery Series

 

Can Viva Winter find the truth before it’s too late?

The Coyote Canyon Ladies Ukulele Club is gearing up for a ukulele competition when their flamboyant star player, Kiki Jacquenette, is found strangled to death with a G-string. Not only is a first place win in jeopardy, the entire folk music festival is put on the verge of collapse. A murderer on the loose is sure to keep tourists away.

Chronicle editor Viva Winter had hoped to make Coyote Canyon the folk music capitol of the Colorado mountains, and was also trying to raise money to help repay the townspeople bilked by her father’s phony investment scheme. With much to gain by Kiki’s death, Viva soon comes under suspicion, so she must uncover the truth before her whole life turns into one sour note, and a tourist trade boom falls flat.

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

C.C. Harrison lives in Anthem, Arizona. She is the author of hundreds of articles and short stories. When she’s not writing, reading, or working out at the gym, she can be found in the mountains of Colorado or in some far-flung corner of the Southwest. She has won national recognition with her suspense novels.

Resurfaced: A Sci-Fi Dystopian Novel by Lexi Jordan

A Sci-Fi Dystopian Novel

Before a large asteroid hit Earth and wiped out most of all humanity, survivors gathered in The Burrow, an underground community, with the hope of survival being the one thing on their minds. Realizing their fate, the Burrow dwellers developed a new society.

Over one hundred years later, a grave decision is made by the United Assembly, a group of representatives who make up the new government. They’ve decided to send every prisoner incarcerated to a land not touched in over a century.

Max is a teenage girl who has survived the end of humanity. She’s also a prisoner.

Sentenced to a life above ground, prisoners are put on a hovercraft with one destination. On her journey, the hovercraft Max is on crashes, leaving eighty-two young souls to fend for themselves in a new world. Their new world. It’s a new start for them, a liberation from a past they left back in the Burrow.

But there’s something bizarre about the way the hovercraft crashed, or how the radio stopped working when there were no signs of damage. Suspicions grow about the United Assembly’s real intentions of sending them away. Was it really an accident?

The crash is the least of Max’s problems when the group makes a shocking discovery. It contradicts everything the Burrow leaders told them about the surface. After all, the unknown kills.

 

About the Author: 

Lexi Jordan is a sixteen year old high school student attending Ashwaubenon High School in Green Bay, WI. She is currently working on her third book. Resurfaced is her first novel. Learn more about Lexi’s series at www.writtendreams.com or follow her on social media.

 

Writer Tip: Every emotion counts!

Characterization

Help readers empathize with your main character by giving them real situations that they can feel real emotions in, just like in life. In your novel, your main character should go through every emotion at least once: angry, frustrated, anxious, excited, sad, exhilarated, concerned, and terrified. When you’re thinking about these scenes, think about moments in your life when you felt this way. First, write down what you were doing when you felt that way. Next, write your story from the heart! Your readers will know it. 

Copyright 2012 by Sabrena R. Koren

Shaking the Family Tree: A Journey from Addiction to Recovery by Dallas H.

Self-Help/Motivational

 

Dallas H illustrates in a beautifully poetic way in Shaking the Family Tree the predictable pattern of addiction and its impact on relationships. She acknowledges the subtle role of alcohol as a Great Deceiver that is sometimes temporarily veiled as the Great Deliverer. An attractive invitation—through personal experience—into self-awareness, recovery, and healing.”

—Austin W. Houghtaling, Ph.D., LMFT, Sr. Clinical Director, Caron Treatment Centers

 

There was a boogie man in the closet and its name was alcoholism.

 

This story is not for the faint at heart. Shaking the Family Tree is an anonymous personal memoir of a recovering alcoholic. It is interlaced with poetic offerings that take the reader to the heart and soul of the ramifications of the disease of alcoholism. Dallas’s story is one of coming to terms with what has become her family’s unfortunate legacy. She and her sister were raised by two loving parents who did the best they could. As young girls growing up, they never doubted for one moment whether or not they were loved, and were infused with a strong sense of family values.

Alcoholism wasn’t a stranger to the family. It could be traced back for four generations and continues to reveal itself in three younger generations of Dallas’s family. In her memoir, Dallas explains her battle with co-dependency, and the genetic predisposition for alcoholism being the single thread that ties it all together of what made her life a living hell.

Dallas didn’t give up. Although she wanted to kick the habit, it wasn’t easy. With the help of a loyal sponsor, a lot of determination, and several hard lessons Dallas now shares how she conquered her biggest demons and became a survivor of alcoholism.

 

 

About the Author: Dallas H. lives in a small friendly city in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. In addition to being a recovering alcoholic, she is a proud mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She is also a part-time employee at a local bank, a loving sister, a loyal friend, and a poet. Dallas considers herself to be just another run-of-the-mill alcoholic and refuses to allow that aspect of her makeup to define her.

In 2017, Dallas celebrates 30 years of continuous sobriety. And although she understands that this fact will not negate the genetic pre-disposition that curses her family, she hopes it may have a positive impact on those others, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren who may be at risk.

News from Lake Boobbegone: A Breast Cancer Memoir from the Heart by Carolyn Redman

Self-Help/Women’s Memoir

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Question: Does the world really need another breast cancer memoir?

Answer: Probably not.

But writing is the only way Carolyn Redman knew how to process a heartbreaking breast cancer diagnosis and the year-long treatments that ensued.  These honest, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous e-mails and essays, written solely to keep family and friends informed of her medical condition morphed into the definitive exercise in self-compassion and healing. In the end, no one was more surprised or more grateful than she was to find purpose and meaning masquerading as cancer.

 

 

 

 

About the Author:  

Carolyn Redman has been writing poetry and short stories since junior high school, where she was erroneously labeled by her guidance counselor as having the wrong kind of imagination. She persevered, earning a BA (cum laude) from Mount Mary University in English / Professional Writing, while working full time as an editorial assistant at an academic medical institution. She is a Wisconsin state licensed massage therapist who believes strongly in integrative medicine and the mind body connection. She was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she lives with her artist husband Tom and their cat, Sophie. This is her first published work.

Parts Unknown: An Alaskan Mystery by Toni Niesen

Mystery

Toni Niesen makes her debut into the mystery field with Parts Unknown.

 

Somewhere over the Alaskan wilderness a plane has disappeared.

As winter approaches Anchorage, flight instructor Beri Quinn races to find a student who took off in one of her planes, and hasn’t been seen since. She’s convinced he’s still alive despite the Civil Air Patrol calling off their search. She strives to locate the missing pilot, save her reputation as a flight instructor and keep her business. But both in the air and on land, she must overcome gathering forces conspiring against her.

A single mother, Quinn fears losing custody of her son. She draws on her knowledge of aviation and musters the emotional strength necessary to overcome unseen adversaries and protect her family. With missing gold, sabotaged aircraft and unsolved murder, the stakes are high for Quinn and for her enemies.

To resolve her dilemma, Beri must answer one underlying question: did her student misjudge the weather and make a fatal mistake, or was he the victim of an elaborate murder plot? In her quest for an answer, she discovers unexpected betrayal and a massive criminal conspiracy. Told with suspense, humor, and a fighting spirit, this is a mystery for anyone who has ever dreamed of adventure in Alaska.

 

About the Author:

Toni Niesen lived in Alaska for twenty-four years. She worked in public health in Anchorage, and lived the life of a pilot vicariously through the exploits of her husband and friends. She is the author of short stories, three of which were published in Desert Sleuth anthologies. Parts Unknown is her debut novel. She currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband, grandson, and Boston Terrier, Sushi. To learn more about Toni Niesen and her books, visit writtendreams.com.