Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Short Story - To Be a Ghost...

 I wrote a short story for a Halloween anthology that didn’t get published. So I thought I'd post it here. Hope you enjoy it.

                    To Be a Ghost or Not to Be a Ghost

   Henry Wyatt tramped down Main Street of Hollowville. Pumpkins and witches decorated store windows and doorways. Photos of the headless horseman were posted on walls and posts.
   This time of the year tourists spilled into town to see the famous headless horseman ride through the town on his black stallion and across the covered bridge at midnight on Halloween. On the other side of the bridge, the horseman turned, the stallion reared up, and the horseman removed his plumed hat, which sat on thin air. He waved it at the crowd, threw a fireball toward the town and disappeared.
   The fireball evaporated, leaving no residual ash.
   Henry shook his head. “There’s no such thing, and this year I’ll prove it.”
   “Hi, Henry. Talking to yourself?”
   “What? No, yes, I guess I was. I’m working out my plan to expose the headless horseman as a fake.”
   “Why? You tried that last year. You took pictures, but they were really blurry.”
   “My hand must have been shaking a lot, that’s all.”
   “Sure, okay. But ghosts are never photographed.”
   “There’s no such thing as ghosts. Their existence has never been scientifically proven. It’s someone dressed up in a headless horseman outfit. His head and eyes are probably at buttonhole level. This year I’m going to get him.”
   “And the year before you tried to track the hoof marks down the road, but there weren’t any.”
   “The road was pavement. You couldn’t see the tracks.”
   “Henry, the horseman has been part of the town’s Halloween for over a hundred years. You really think a man more than a hundred years old is still riding through town on a black stallion?”
   “Maybe it’s a family thing. The great-great-grandfather started it as a joke, and then his son took over. When one person gets too old to ride the son takes over. Once I expose him, you’ll see there’s a perfectly logical explanation.”
   “Hollowville is a small town. Where do the black stallions come from? They’d get old, too.”
   Henry shrugged. “I’ll work that out when I catch him this year.”
   “You’ve lived here for five years. Have you heard of anyone, except you, who wants to prove he’s a fake? You do realize the headless horseman’s ride through town at midnight brings lots of tourists to town. They come in the day before, stay overnight at local accommodations, and buy food and souvenirs. It’s good for the town’s economy.”
   “But it’s a myth. People will be glad to know it’s not real. They can keep up the act for tourists if they want. I just want everyone to realize it’s just a joke.”
   “It’s a takeoff from the Sleepy Hollow story, except this one really happens and has for over a hundred years.” Maggie shook her head. “I realize you come from the city and you work in a lab with formulas and scientific facts, but some things in life can’t be explained. Give it up and have some fun. It’s Halloween.”
   Henry looked at Maggie. She was in her late twenties, a few years younger than him. Her blonde hair was pulled back in a ponytail. They’d gone out a few times and he liked her, but she believed in all these fairytales. “Once I make my point.”
   “And if you don’t? Are you going to try again next year?” Maggie pulled her full lips into a pout.
   Henry contemplated her question. It was a fair one. Was this going to take over his life? He spent most of the year working out a plan to expose the fake horseman. When it failed, he started on a new plan. It occupied most of his non-working time. Maggie was an attractive woman. He was attracted to her. They should spend more time together. Maybe they even had a future, except for those silly beliefs she had. But he might be able to accept that.
   “I’ll be glad when you give this up. Are you coming to the Halloween party at the community center?”
   “Not this year. I need to be ready for midnight. I’m sorry, Maggie. I’d like to go with you. Maybe we can go out after. I’ll bring the man to the center and expose him. Then he can go home and we could go for something to eat.”
   Maggie shook her head. “I may meet someone at the party, and then I might be busy later.”
   Henry felt a rock land in his stomach. Anyone would be happy to spend time with her. She might find someone else. It hadn’t occurred to him she might not be there when he was ready to consider a serious relationship.
   “Maggie, please don’t be like that.”
   “What if the ghost escapes again? What if it really is an apparition you can’t explain scientifically?”
   Henry scratched his head. She was wrong. It couldn’t be an apparition. Everything could be explained scientifically. But it wasn’t something that would change the world.
   “Everything can’t be explained scientifically. How do you explain love?”
   Henry’s mouth dropped open.
   Maggie smirked. “Maybe you should be trying to solve love scientifically?” She turned and flounced down the street.
   Henry watched her. Her cute butt swiveled back and forth in tight jeans. Her ponytail bounced back and forth. Love? Where did that come from? But maybe he should explore that option. Would Maggie be open to that?
   The next day, on Hallows’ Eve, he passed Maggie. She was headed to the party wearing a cat woman costume. It revealed every luscious curve of her body, and was cut low over her full breasts. Suddenly he wanted to take her to the party and spend the rest of the evening, and maybe more, with her.
   “Love your all black outfit. On your way to catch a ghost?” she asked.
   Henry stared briefly at her breasts before he raised his eyes. “Yes. I’m sure I’ll get him tonight, but if I don’t, I’ll give it up. I promise. I’ll accept there are some things that can’t be proven scientifically.”
   “Really?” Maggie grinned up at him. “What brought that on?”
   “Something you said about love not being scientific. I agree with you on that, and I’m thinking I might like to do some research on it.”
   “You’re going to research love?” Maggie’s eyes twinkled and she put her hand on his chest. “I like that idea. If you want a subject, I’m willing to volunteer, for science.”
   Henry’s heart rate increased. He couldn’t think of a single scientific fact to explain it, except one.
   “That sounds good, Maggie. I might take you up on your offer. See you later?”
   “I’ll be there with everyone else watching the horseman ride across the bridge. Come find me after.” Maggie proceeded toward the community center, switching the tail of her costume.
   Henry watched until she disappeared around the corner and then marched toward the bridge. He’d hidden a ladder on the other side. He set it up about two feet from where the horseman always stopped and turned around, facing the spot so Henry could jump across and grab him. Henry climbed the ladder and sat down to wait. He had about an hour to wait.
   He kept thinking about Maggie volunteering to be a subject in his love study. She was cute, fun, and worked as an accountant. So she was also smart and organized. He liked her a lot. Spending time with her sounded like a lot more fun than tackling the horseman. He’d get him tonight. It would be over and Henry could move on.
   He heard the townspeople and tourists out in the street, drinking and talking as they waited for the specter. He checked the illuminated dial on his watch. Five minutes to go.
   Then he heard it, the hooves pounding down the street. The crowd cheered. The hooves clattered across the bridge and there he was--the headless horseman. He was right in front of Henry.
   A hand reached up and removed the hat.
   Henry jumped, arms extended out front. He landed on the hard ground with a thud. His breath whooshed out. He looked up.
   There was nothing there. No rider--no horse.
   He must have miscalculated and fallen before he reached the rider. But his fingers should have at least brushed his clothing or the side of the horse. But then where had they disappeared to?
   Henry stood up and looked down the road. There was nothing, only an eerie silence.
   On the other side of the bridge, people were heading back inside or returning to the party.
   He had no scientific explanation.
   It wasn’t possible. Was it? He’d seen him. He’d been a few feet away, and then poof!
   Henry lugged the ladder back to the hardware store and left it propped against the outside wall. He trudged toward the community center. He kept shaking his head as he tried to get his mind around what happened. It just wasn’t possible. Or was it?
   Maggie waited on the front step.
   Henry held up his hands. “I’ve given up. I should have had him. He was right there.”
   “You’re really giving it up?”
   “I said I would. Maybe the explanation is related to love and how it works. Who knows? I’m going to see if I can work that one out, scientifically, of course.”
   “Of course,” Maggie tipped her delightful mouth upwards.
   Henry bent down and kissed her, deepening the kiss. He wanted her more than scientific explanations of ghosts. This new research on love would more enjoyable, and could take many years.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

5 Secrets (What No One Knows About My Book)

Our guest author today is B.C. Brown, who is going to share some tidbits about the writing of her book that no one knows--until today.
BC Brown is the author of A Touch of Darkness and A Touch of Madness, both Abigail St. Michael novels. Her work has been included in three, multi-author anthologies – Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, Quixotic: Not Everyday Love Stories, and A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court. She has published a dark fantasy novel, Sister Light, Book One: Of Shadows previously under the pen name B.B. Walter.
She lives in Arizona and on tequila and gummy bear-related products. She spends her free time bicycling, performing in Community Theater, and spends way too much time on karaoke, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. She is legendary for her mismatched sock collection. Her foul mouth and lack of filter has gotten her into hot water in the past. She will no longer discuss the “big booty ho” incident of 2012.

5 Secrets About A Touch of Darkness
Writers write. Everyone knows that.
What people may not realize is the overwhelming amount of writing we do. On top of your favorite, say, 75,000 word novel, that author wrote and re wrote that same 75,000 words probably on average of 3 times. Plus they wrote the short story for every character in their story. And then the individual character descriptions. Then there’s the world the story takes place in. Guess what? All written and more than two-thirds probably left out of the book you read.

In my paranormal romantic suspense novel, A Touch of Darkness, I wasn’t spared from writing above and beyond the confines of the book. Below are 5 things most readers don’t know about my novel.
1. Abigail St. Michael, the protagonist and all around badass of my novel, was almost a Mormon.
Why you might ask? Well, while writing my first draft (which lasted until chapter 4 when I began realizing the religion angle was all wrong for Abbey), I was studying the Mormon religion. Like many authors, when I’m interested in a subject, personally or academically, I tend to include elements of it in my writing. Hence Abbey almost being Mormon.
2. Nikolas Romanoff was a woman until the third draft.
In the dream that kicked off the first book in the Abigail St Michael novel, Nik was short for Nicole, who was a Russian ballerina with an interest in the culinary arts. It was when I remembered that ballerinas weren’t known as big eaters, appreciative of food, Nicole morphed into Nikolas, the chef. Why she went from being female to male, I’m not exactly clear on. Except once she became a chef I could no longer see the character as a female.
3. Lieutenant Jason Davis, Abbey’s mentor and friend, speaks six languages, not including English.
There really isn’t a reason behind it except that his wife is half Brazilian and speaks Portuguese. Jason wasn’t expected to learn the language but he did. He also went on to learn Italian, Spanish, Cantonese Chinese, Hebrew, and (since meeting Nikolas) Russian.
4. Abbey’s mom gave birth to a still born child before she gave birth to Abbey. This fact never made it into the books (Yet), but I felt it was important to note the high anxiety Abbey has about difficult births.
5. Nik’s grandmother has a tattoo on her left butt cheek given to her by (she claims), none other than, Jimi Hendrix.
Nik’s grandmother has, perhaps, the most extensive character history of any secondary character in the novels. A renaissance woman, she has done everything imaginable (and some things not) in pursuit of knowledge and experience. She claims that, one drunken night in a friend’s tattoo parlor in San Francisco, she and the legendary Hendrix (pre-legend) were drinking. Out of the blue, Jimi asks if he can tattoo a smiley face on her butt and she agrees, thinking it good fun. Despite his lack of skill with the tattoo gun, she adores the artwork and likes to show it off.
And there you have it. 5 things about A Touch of Darkness

Blurb from A Touch of Darkness:
Abigail St. Michael, a former cop, has joined the recently growing ranks of metaphysicals, individuals with abilities outside that of normal human nature. When a murderer stalks her town killing children, Abbey uses her ability of touch clairvoyance to hunt him down. Her only roadblock is that her villain seems to have his own unique talent, the ability to ‘wipe’ his victims and their surroundings of any metaphysical energy. With little physical evidence and no supernatural evidence, Abbey is forced to rely on luck and instinct to solve the case. However both seem to have taken a permanent vacation as the victims keep piling up with the killer’s escalating blood lust.

A Touch of Darkness Excerpt:

I’d gotten the call on my work cell. I actually have a second that I carried for just police work. For a while, my advisory jobs had become so hectic that the calls began to outnumber my personal ones. Davis had spoken to the police chief and gotten the force to foot the bill for a company phone.
   Everyone referred to it as the “Bat Signal.”
   I digress.
   Davis called me in and, almost a week after the incident, I walked the crime scene for the first time. I was more than a little pissed. I was even more pissed when I arrived on the crime scene amidst a light drizzle.
   Rain is a problem for individuals with my unique talents. Water washes away metaphysical energy as quickly as it washes away physical evidence. A violent event can get trapped for longer but eventually time and the elements fade the energy no matter how violent the event. I mean, I’m not still picking up shit from the Manson murders or anything.
   Once I arrived on the crime scene, I was doubtful I’d pick up anything left over. I told Davis my doubts. He encouraged me to try, regardless; he always encouraged me to try. It was his special talent, I guess. So I slipped off my special-made gloves.
   Clothing doesn’t always protect me from seeing impressions, but the gloves were a damned sight better than my walking around bare-skinned. That would land me back in the funny farm in no time. Trust me, I know, I’d been there once already. I had once brushed up against a woman who beat her two children on a twice-daily basis. I felt her glee as she did it; her happiness as she felt their little bones crunch under her/my hands…
   Oh, God…
   I digress.
   Davis knew my doubts, but I did my job. I slipped off my sweet Italian, designer gloves and touched everything in sight. The railing, the stairs, the curb where he’d busted his damned head, and… nothing. Nada, zip, nein – no pun intended, Mr. Schleck. There was nothing left to see. I told my ex-boss as much, but I was wrong.
   There was a cat.

Buy Links:

You can find B.C. Brown on these links

Thanks for checking out B.C. Brown and her secrets. If you have any comments or questions, B.C. will be around to answer them today.

And don’t forget to check back next Thursday to find out even more author secrets about their book. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

What's News in Writing this Week

What’s News in Writing This Week

1.  New Release The Killer You Know by Riley McKissack
   Someone is trying to kill Katie Taylor. Does she have information worth killing for? Amnesia after a car crash leaves her unable to remember a lot, like the fact that she is no longer engaged to Sheriff Grant Campbell.
   Men of the Badge continues in Hawk’s Peak, a small mountain town in North Georgia, where Grant Campbell, a former Atlanta cop, has returned after many years to be sheriff. 
   Katie Taylor is the love of his life – the woman he loved and lost years ago.
   Grant must keep Katie alive long enough to remember the secrets worth killing for, even if it means she remembers she stopped loving him. Even if it costs him, once again, the love of his life.

2.Find The Magic – How to Plot a Story in 10 Easy Steps by Alicia Dean

  How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it. 
Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process. 

 Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

Buy Links:

3. We have the Reaper blog hop with 12 Authors of Reaper Stories – A Grand Prize of $100 Amazon Gift Card – PLUS lots of other prizes, interviews, and games. Check the twelve authors here.
Check the blog hop here

4. And we have a giveaway – not a book but a calendar. Check the cover. It’s a 2015 NZ Firefighters Calendar via Rafflecopter. Giveaway runs till 31st October and is open internationally. Here’s the link for information on the giveaway.
And here’s the Direct link to the giveaway on Rafflecopter

5. One more last minute new release
The group Love Historicals has a new release, a boxed set called “Love Historicals presents Lost in a Kiss: 8 Sweet and Sensual Novellas”.
It is available at the bargain price of $2.99
Buy links:
Barnes & Noble

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Scary Things

Welcome to our group blog. Robin has picked another fascinating topic just before Halloween - What is the scariest thing that has happened to you?

Ghost stories around the campfire, the ghost in New Orleans, are possibilities. But the one that immediately came to my mind was when my husband and I were held up at gunpoint, in New Orleans.

Paul and I were taking a cruise out of New Orleans, before Katrina. We arrived a few days early to spend time exploring the city. We booked an older hotel a few blocks off Bourbon Street for three nights. The hotel was two stories with a courtyard in the middle and a locked gate into the courtyard. The office was locked at night but you could ring the bell and they’d let you in, or you were given a key so you could open the gate on your own. We chose the key to the gate. We were on the second floor and came in the gate and took the stairs up to our room. 

After checking out the Garden district, Preservation Hall and the French Quarter we finished off each day on Bourbon Street and then we’d walk back to the hotel.  We used our gate key to get in. The last night we picked up a couple of those huge cups of beer and headed back to our hotel room. Paul opened the gate and I walked through, made a u-turn to go up the stairs and started up.

I found myself facing a man in a hoodie with a gun aimed at my husband. The man was at the same level as my left hand holding the beer. I threw the beer directly in his face and screamed loudly as I raced up the stairs expecting to be shot in the leg. (I’d always wondered if I’d be able to or if I’d lose my voice. Guess what? I screamed.) The receptionist rushed out into the courtyard and several people came out of their rooms. She called the police. They were there very quickly and we gave a description of the man and the gun. They caught him shortly after. I have to admit neither Paul nor I slept much that night. We’d never been so scared. We were very glad to be leaving on the cruise the next morning.

I’m looking forward to hearing other people’s stories. You can check them out at the following sites.
Heidi M.
Skye Taylor
Anne Stenhouse
A.J. Maguire
Rachael Kosnski

Margaret Fieland
Geeta Kakade
Marci Baun
Victoria Chatham
Diane Bator
Fiona McGier
Ginger Simpson
Rhobin Courtright

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

5 Secrets (What No One Knows About My Book) with Jeanine McAdam

Our guest author today is Jeanine McAdam, who is going to share some tidbits about the writing of her book that no one knows--until today.

Jeanine lives in New York City in Upstate Manhattan. She’s married to a wonderful man who loves her stories. He’s also very good at thinking up creative titles. He named “The Skirts and the Spurs,” her upcoming contemporary cowboy trilogy. They have two teenage sons who aren’t so happy about all this romance stuff. Her chocolate lab Aaron (rescue) is a wonderful companion that follows her around the house.  She tries to tell him she’s only leaving the computer for a second to get a cup of chamomile tea.  But he still comes, and then resumes his place under her desk three minutes later. Loyalty is his middle name. Even though she lives in a metropolitan area, she’s fascinated by the American west. She writes about cowboys and the urban women who love them. She’s curious about the clash in culture, goals and values that happen between a hero and heroine raised in different environments. 

Five Secrets No One Knows About The Bull Rider and The Baby:

1. THE BULL RIDER AND THE BABY has a ‘tiger mom’.  The Urban Dictionary defines a tiger mom as a: “mother who is overly strict with her child in order to foster an academically competitive spirit. This form of upbringing is intended to direct a child towards financially successful careers at the potential risk of feeling emotionally unfulfilled and/or socially inept.”  Usually a Tiger Mom is of Asian descent but not always.
2. A few facts about bull riding:  Bull riders break bones, suffer concussions and dislocate all sorts of body parts.  One in every fifteen bull riders get hurt.  It is inevitable, just a matter of when.
3. Concussions are common and they are a theme in my book.  Many bull riders don’t wear helmets.  My neuroscientist heroine is studying those injuries to prove helmets are safer.
4. I write witty: Many of my reviewers mention how fun, cleaver and humorous my dialogue is.  Honestly, in real life I’m not that funny even though I would like to be, so it makes me happy when someone comments with an LOL while reading my books.
5. I love THE BULL RIDER AND THE BABY.  It’s my favorite in the “Skirts and Spurs” series.  Even though it is humorous, it does address some serious issues: For example an unwed mother.

Leave a comment with your email address.  Win an e-copy of THE BULL RIDER AND THE BABY.

“Yes, it’s painful, distressing and also extremely embarrassing to get knocked up in a bleaker closet.  Especially when you are a promising neuroscientist and should have known better.  Then to get sent out west seven months pregnant to study concussions and the bull riders who get them, it’s just plain degrading.  But good comes out of my little adventure in Montana, I just didn’t realize it at the time.”  Carrie Wang, THE BULL RIDER AND THE BABY.

Caleb didn't want to open his eyes. He knew the pregnant woman was sitting beside his bed because he could smell her. It was that same assertive, smart, and extremely sexy smell his sister-in-law Rachel had. Yes, Caleb had a crush on Rachel and yes, he proposed to her when he thought there was a slim chance his brother wasn’t going to take responsibility for his actions.

Holy hell, why did Caleb keep meeting and falling for women knocked up by some other guy. Why couldn’t he be that other guy? Probably the concussion researcher’s ‘Baby Daddy’ was just as smart and successful as she was. Then they’d have the perfect kid to complete their perfect family. Mother of God, Caleb hated perfect families.

 “I know you’re awake,” she said in that take-no-prisoners tone of hers. Rachel spoke the same way when she was annoyed at him. For some damn reason, he liked it. “You may as well open your eyes,” she continued.
Sweet Jesus, why couldn’t she and that smell of hers leave him alone? It was jasmine with a hint of vanilla. Nothing overbearing like the buckle bunnies wore. “I’m not awake,” he mumbled as he covered his eyes with the heels of his hands. Yes, he knew what jasmine smelled like because Rachel drank the tea.

“Do you know you have a Grade III concession?” Then she crossed her legs. Caleb knew she did because he could hear her silky skin rub together. Or maybe she was crossing her arms. No, she couldn’t be that mad at him for getting himself knocked out. He laughed sadly. She was knocked up and he was knocked out.

He pulled his hands off his face and opened his eyes. Dammit, she had crossed her arms. “Did you know the rodeo circuit is no place for a pregnant woman?” he countered. Why, oh why did he have to be attracted to her? If only he could get that smell out of his nose, then maybe he could fight this thing.

“My personal life has nothing to do with you.” She moved closer to the bed and put her hand on his forehead. Her touch felt good as she pushed his hair back. Then she pulled his eyebrow up and at the same time flashed a light in his eye. Son of a gun, that didn’t feel good.

“What the hell?” he asked as his hair flopped back. His hair was like that, unruly. His brother had gotten the good hair, along with the good wife. No, Caleb wasn’t dwelling on the fact he wasn’t meeting any women he liked.
Leave a comment with your email address.  Win an e-copy of THE BULL RIDER AND THE BABY.

Buy The Bull Rider and the Baby at:
Barnes & Noble:
Sweet Cravings Publishing:

You can find Jeanine on:

Thanks for checking out Jeanine and her secrets. If you have any comments or questions, Jeanine will be around to answer them today. And don’t forget to post a comment for a chance to win her book.

And don’t forget to check back next Thursday to find out even more author secrets about their book. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

What's News in Writing This Week

1. FREE Book Book Five in The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, SNAP: Love for Blood, by Michele Drier, will be free at Amazon Oct. 23-25 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday).

Love for Blood was nominated as the best Paranormal Romance book of 2013 by the reviewers of the Paranormal Romance Guild and was a finalist for the Readers' Crown award of Romcon.
When Maxie Gwenoch snags the job as managing editor of SNAP, an international gossip conglomerate, she's looking for fame, fortune and Jimmy Choos. What she finds is a media empire owned by Baron Kandesky and his family. A family of vampires. They're European, urbane, wealthy and mesmerizing. And when she meets Jean-Louis, vampire and co-worker, she's a goner. 
Maxie believes she's found her ultimate career. She doesn't realize that she's found a family feud like none other, a centuries-old rivalry between vampire families, with her as the linchpin. Bells ring with Jean-Louis, but she doesn't realize they're alarm sirens until she learns that Jean-Louis is second in command of the Kandeskys...but by then it's too late.

In this fifth book of the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, Maxie and Jean-Louis come to deeper understandings after her rescue from Leonid, a Huszar strong-man who kidnapped and brutally abused her. They reach a separate peace against the backdrop of the death penalty trial of Huszar leader Matthais, bringing an end to centuries of war between the two vampire families.
Get it at

2. New Release Don’t Go by Beverley Bateman
Sam is a Washoe Sheriff detective who was sexually abused. Now she works to catch sexual predators. Devlin, a Reno cop who doesn’t do relationships or missing kids, is stuck working with a computer smart detective who has no use for Reno police, to find a serial killer who has targeted a girl from Sam’s chatroms and she’s missing. Can they resolve their personal issues and catch a serial killer?
Google Play

3. Contest Romance Books '4' Us

Romance Books ‘4’ contest ends soon so hurry and enter! Over 25 prizes, and you have MANY chances to win something!
Visit: for rules and prize list. Be sure to check every page; lots of authors and their books,industry rep and services, and a publisher with books to offer!