Writers in the Storm

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February 1, 2021

A "Month of Love" Pimp & Promote

Share the Love

A few times a year we throw open the virtual doors of WITS and offer up the comments section for your shameless self-promotion. This delightful takeover usually doubles the size of our to-be-read piles with all the great books we find in the comments section. With this pandemic, more reading material is a great bonus.

Many years ago, we borrowed the name of this event from the glorious Chuck Wendig. Here's how it works:

  • Pimp out somebody else’s work – this can be a favorite author, blogger, post or book you’ve read, a wonderful teacher or just someone who had profound influence on you as a writer or a person. Please limit your comments to one work.
  • Promote one of your projects that you’re excited about – a hobby, a blog, a book, or a new direction your writing is taking you. You decide. Just tell us about it in the comments! (Please restrain your enthusiasm to just one of your WIPs.) The rest of us will jump in and “ooooh and ahh” at you, and likely promote your project even further because we’re just so darn excited today.

We'll start you off with some P&P from the WITS Team

From Ellen

Kris Maze author pic
Kris Maze

Pimp: If you enjoy YA speculative fiction, I recommend checking out WITS team member, Kris Maze, who enjoys writing twisty, speculative fiction with character-driven plots.

Her short story, The Detour, is available for free in text or audiobook.


I continue to work on my website: http://ellenbuikema.com/. A sample chapter, Lost in the Museum, awaits you on the Books for Children, Teachers, and Parents page.

My site’s topics focus on family well-being and writing projects. One of the pages on my site is named Ask Frankie. Frankie the Fish, a character in The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon series, is full of snark. People ask Frankie questions and he responds in character. Stop by and subscribe!

From John

Pimp: I'm excited about this book from L'oste Vineyard Press, releasing in April.

The Blurb:

Stephanie knew she was different from the time she was little. She struggled through multiple failed marriages, and living a secret life. It wasn’t until she was a manager for New York Life, that she decided that it was time to transition into the person she was always meant to be: a woman.

After living life as a male with the privileges of that role, she stepped into her new life and discovered the glass ceiling women experience in corporate America. In Reflections from Both Sides of the Glass Ceiling: Finding My True Self in Corporate America, Stephanie shares her journey. You can download a free sample of her book here.


My book, Max and the Spice Thieves, is releasing on April 20 and is currently on sale (20% off!).

Critically acclaimed, the book reviewers have called it “the best middle-grade fantasy novel they have read in a long time.”

More information and the blog, "Tales from the Saucy Pig," can be found here.

From Kris (KMaze)

I'm promoting the novels of Jessica Brody (also known for Save the Cat! Writes a Novel) and Joanne Rendell's, Sky Without Stars, The co-authored novel is a retelling of Les Miserables, set in a futuristic far away planet. 

As we discover our ruffian disguised girl stealing from the upper class to feed herself, she encounters a mysterious benefactor... or foe. The writing is quick-paced and detailed and I enjoy reading it as a writer for style.

As a speculative fiction writer and fan of YA Sci-fi, this Young Adult novel is perfect for anyone who likes a dark and twisty tale with echoes of Victor Hugo's great classic.  

* * * * * *

Happy Reading and Stay healthy, y'all...
Ellen, Jenny, John and Kris

45 comments on “A "Month of Love" Pimp & Promote”

  1. Pimp:
    I have a wonderful critique partner, Michele Douglas, who lives in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. We met through an online writer's association about two years ago. Although she has not submitted her work for publication yet, her WIP is a great read! It is a dual timeline historical set in a WWII POW camp and the early 20th century, 1900-? It is based on something that happened in her family. I love this book and can't wait for her next installment to arrive in my inbox! Looking forward to the day that I can say, "I knew her when..."

    I'm really excited about my WIP, The Last Dollar Princess. It is my second novel set in the Gilded Age and a little different from anything I've written. Here is the tentative blurb: It must be said. Scandal followed the members of her family like an unwanted but ever faithful hound. No matter how often or how hard they kicked it away, it came slinking around to insinuate itself into their lives time after time. The secrets and mysteries that swirled around each passing generation may never be entirely elucidated, but one thing is certain. India Elisabeth Petra De Vries Ledbetter was an outlier among her kin, kin whose secrets haunted her life and who tried to control the woman she would become.
    Check out the first three chapters here: https://www.lindapennell.com

    1. Hi Linda,
      That name! It rolls off the ears like butter! I'm intrigued and love getting wrapped up in a family saga.

    2. Linda, it sounds like the both of you are working on terrific books! Thank you for sharing with us so we can be on the lookout when they publish. Isn't a great critique partner a wonderful blessing?

    1. Hello Laura,
      Your novella sounds like a great escape into the wide open spaces right now. I may have to revisit my L'Amour phase and get some Cowboy Karma. Thanks!

  2. PIMP: My newest novel, Deadly Options, #10 in my Mapleton Mystery series, now available for pre-order. Are Gordon's days in Mapleton numbered? It's a Mapleton/PIne Hills Police crossover. The first book in each series (Deadly Secrets, Finding Sarah) are free if you like to start at the beginning. https://books2read.com/DeadlyOptions

    PROMOTE: Karla Brandenburg's Coyote Legacy, a fantasy tale about the Legend People in and around Bryce Canyon. https://www.karlabrandenburg.com/coyotelegacy

  3. Promote: Liz McCraine writes lovely romantic fantasy with great characters. I really like the way the romance is based on realistic interactions rather than just appearance. And for those of you who want plot with your romance, pull up a chair, because her books have that, too. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08TV1DC1R

    Pimp: I just finished my secondary world fantasy series, full of gods and intrigue, flying people and shifters and gilled islanders, magic and mystery. The series starts here https://books2read.com/windofchoice, or you can sample my writing for free with some short stories https://books2read.com/unexpectedtales

    1. And Marty, the McCraine books are on KU so I can try them out with no extra expense. HUGE selling point for me. 🙂 I am getting much more into fantasy and sci-fi so I'll check all of these out.

      1. For free books, my favorite place to go is my public library. If it doesn't have the book I want, I ask them to order it. 🙂

  4. Pimp:
    When I decided to expand my reading into a new genre, I found Northern Irish author Stephen Black and his paranormal fantasy series, The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles. Pulling characters from history and mixing them with the modern day, Stephen is weaving some amazing tales that have me hooked strong enough to keep buying his work, as well dipping my toes into writing in the genre as well. His books can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Stephen-Black/e/B07V5NZ3KB?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1612195777&sr=8-2
    Make sure to read the short story Bomb Girl between the two Kirkwood Scott books.

    Between writing on several WIPs (I have a focus issue) I'm also trying out something new and starting a vlog called Five Minute Author. I'll be sharing short peeks into my writing process as well as some of the lessons I've learned along the way. Here's a link to the first episode. https://youtu.be/IpZVSeKldCA . It's a bit rough-cut so be kind. I promise they will get better as I learn!

  5. PIMP: My new trilogy, The Martiniere Legacy is out and I'll be releasing two related books this spring. Near-future agripunk corporate soap opera with relationships, biobots, and horses. Think Longmire meets Dallas in the Pacific Northwest in the future. And scheming. Lots and lots of scheming. Link is to the Amazon series but it's also available on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Apple. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08LDQJG2F?ref_=dbs_dp_rwt_sb_tkin&binding=kindle_edition

    PROMOTE: Not to a book but a Patreon. The husband of my dear friend Alma Alexander, Deck Deckert, is experiencing significant health issues and going into hospice care. Deck and Alma were one of the great Internet romance stories--they met through the Usenet group misc.writing. Alma needs help. Please check into her Patreon and give her support.

    1. Congratulations on your trilogy! And I'm so sorry your friend is struggling. That's hard to watch from the inside and the outside. You're a good friend to spread the word.

  6. Promote: My pal, Libby Waterford, writes contemporary romance and she has a marvelous series called, Never a Bride. Well, you can guess how THAT goes! Her characters are funny, charming, lively and interesting. Set in sunny CA. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=libby+waterford&i=digital-text&crid=XNWW3SWNV0R0&sprefix=libby+waterf%2Caps%2C163&ref=nb_sb_ss_c_2_12_ts-a-p

    Pimp: My first published book, Kissing the Kavalier, goes fully live on 2/28/21. This is a historical romance set in Vienna, 1867 with an indomitable, cross-dressing heroine, a wounded but honor bound soldier.

    1. I know Libby! And I hadn't heard about this series, so thank you for bringing it to my attention. Congratulations on your debut!!!! We absolutely love hearing that kind of news here. Historical romance is my favorite thing to read, especially when it isn't the usual duke or heiress.

  7. Promote: My favorite genre to read of late is Urban or Paranormal, the darker the better. One of the best series I've read to date is the Order of the Senary series by L.D. Rose. This series follows the adventures and loves of an elite group of warriors in a not too distant future. They're gritty, sometimes brutal, and often beautiful
    The first book in the series can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013GVCC7I

    Pimp: The first book in my four book series The Sentinel Chronicles is on preorder, with launch date of 2/24/21. Each book is loosely based on a fairy tale. The Spirit Hunter and the Frozen Child is a retelling of The Little Match Girl. Think Supernatural meets the match girl and the girl is ticked off.

    1. Hi Brenda,
      I like the vibe of your books! I especially am interested in the Sentinel Chronicles stories. The Match Girl is one of my favorite tragic tales. Thanks for sharing these!

  8. Pimp: Anna Bradley is a Regency author whose work I enjoy. I met her at the very first Historical Romance Retreat and we have been friends since. I’ve enjoyed meeting with her over the years to talk about writing and publishing. She’s also been a help to me as far as my own writing and I’ve appreciate her feedback and insights. Her website is https://www.annabradley.net/. She has a new release coming out tomorrow that I’m excited about. It’s a Regency romance with a Gothic feel. https://www.annabradley.net/book/the-virgin-who-vindicated-lord-darlington/

    Promote: I’m pre-published and have finished writing a novella length Regency romance. It’s in the middle of edits and I’m looking forward to the prospect of seeing it published later this year. My website is https://www.cynthiacapley.com.

    1. Gothic romance, yes please! This sounds intriguing. It's wonderful to have connections with people you've meet at writing conferences. I can't stress enough how useful attending those has been for me and my writing!

  9. Pimp: If you're in KU, you can read my short story in the anthology Then Comes Winter for free. It did win some JAFF awards. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017V7XKDS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

    Promote: I'm doing some PA work for my friend to help with her upcoming third book in The Fury Triad trilogy. If you like YA/NA high fantasy set in the Regency and a parallel universe, here's her blog which will update when she's ready to publish, https://www.furytriad.com/.


    1. Congratulations on your award-winning short story, Denise!

      Writing short stories is an art, for sure! I tried the NYC Midnight Short Story Contest for the first time. Last week was a busy one, but I'm happy with my submission.

  10. If it's not too late I want to pimp friend & first time author, Kimbra Eberly, and her new book about Lizzie Borden and other murderous women who were acquitted during the Victorian era.

    I want to promote my new podcast of 100% testimony from Lizzie Borden's Witness Statements, episode #3 featuring Emma Borden & Alice Russell as they talk about burning the Bedford Cord Dress. Now I'm preparing to write the docudrama into a 6 hour televised series. https://www.lizziebordenaudio.com

    1. Thank you, Kate, for sharing the Lizzie Borden podcast and new book. What a fascinating part of history. That's cool that you are working on a Broadcast series with this, too! When does that arrive?

    2. When I said televised I was thinking of HBO or Netflix. LoL... At this point I am moving out of research and onto the page with a little help from screenwriting guru David Trottier, who has already taught me not to write it for the Borden Scholars but for the story analysts, the gatekeepers, that pass or recommend your script. It's made a huge difference in my writing. I'm much calmer now. Thanks for asking, Jenny.

      P.S. Yes, Lizzie killed them both. I'm going to try and tell you how. There are many clues in my podcasts plus, I have Lizzie on the record with her Inquest testimony. See you in the Spring!

  11. PIMP: I seldom enjoyed a romance novel until I discovered Mary Balogh. I've read all of her books, many more than once. My favorite is Slightly Dangerous. She was inspired to pair Wulfric Bedwyn with Christine Derrick. Sparks fly ... as does a quizzing glass. Delightful.

    PROMOTE: I am in production mode for my trilogy: Surgeon's Duty. It's about surgeons and the resurrection men who supplied bodies for the study of anatomy in Jane Austen's England. It was an interesting time in medicine: leeches and bloodletting were common therapies at the same time surgeons were beginning to operate on aneurisms and hernias. Of course, not everyone survived, but we all owe a debt to their daring.

    1. Those medicinal methods make me wonder how we have gotten the advancements we have today. I'd love to learn more about this, especially since it it during Austen's era. When is your trilogy expected to come out?

      1. Hi, Kris. I'm pleased to learn of your interest in my trilogy. I expect to bring out book 1 (titled Ravaging the Dead) in the summer or fall. Book 2 (Naught but Butchers) will be released about 3 months later and Book 3 (Bear and Blame Not) 3 months after that, probably in early 2022. Because I'm an indie publisher I hire someone to do my covers while I teach myself how to use InDesign to format the interior. InDesign terrifies me every time I open it, but I persist with it because it gives a very professional look.

        And you're right about Regency era medicine and surgery. It was truly awful. I drew on case studies published between 1800 and 1820 for the diseases and treatments in my books. The mortality rate was high, as you might expect in an era without antibiotics. When a surgeon needed an antiseptic to prevent inflammation or mortification he used vinegar or a little wine mixed with cinnamon. The miracle is that some people survived.

        I hope your writing goes well this year.

        Best wishes,

  12. Pimp: My friend and critique partner Amanda Wen's debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone, makes its entry into the world today. It's a lovely, gentle split-time Christian fiction novel that doesn't lean too heavily on the religious aspect for heathens like me who don't normally read that genre. It's just a wonderful story that I'm so proud to have helped critique into the world. https://www.amazon.com/Roots-Stone-Sedgwick-County-Chronicles/dp/0825446686/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1612273755&sr=8-1

    Promote: After a bit of a writing slump (goodbye, 2020, don't let the door hit you in the posterior on the way out), I'm closing in on a story idea for myself that has me excited. I also plan to rework my website.

    1. Hi Linda,
      I can relate to the writing slump-- in fact, it inspired my last post here at WITS.

      Reworking your website may help energize your writing, too. And I can relate to that, too.

      That is a task I was putting off for months, and once I started working on it (and all the moving parts behind it) I found my writing accelerated as I refocused my efforts and vision.

      I'm glad you are moving forward - keep on writing!

  13. Promote: I'd like to let everyone know that I am promoting reading. At my blog, Reading Fiction Blog, I offer a free short story by a famous author every month, both contemporary and classic authors. So, if you are a fan of the short story, do stop by. I have over 200 free short stories by over 100 authors to choose from. And this year, every week I am now focused on my newest project "Author of the Week": this is for readers to discover a quick introduction to famous authors they may or may not know—a short bio, quotations, photos, interviews, and some of their book covers. This week I featured the classic French novelist Colette. More here https://paulacappa.wordpress.com/ . If you are fiction hound like me, short stories are a great way to read a variety of authors and really saturate yourself in fiction easily. I have five of my own short stories (previously published in literary journals) that are free on Amazon (Kindle) and I hope readers will download them to experience my writing and maybe even take a look at my mystery novels. Find my FREE short stories on Kindle here:

    Pimp: I'd like to mention author Erika Robuck, historical fiction. I find her novels to be inspiring and entertaining but also deep with history about writers like Hemingway, Hawthorne, Zelda Fitzgerald and war time stories. Historical fiction about the lives of famous writers really speak to you if you are a writer!

    1. Encouraging reading is the best gift to authors and readers.
      What a collection you've got at your site! The pictures on your site help get a sense of the author and their works as well. I may have to dabble in the short stories you have there. This is a great resource and I am going to share it.

  14. I'm going to go rogue and switch genres to pimp "Doodling for Writers" by Rebecca Fish Ewan, who I just discovered this morning. Her book looks like so much fun, I bought it!


    I'll stay rogue to promote my newish webpage: Ten Signs You May be a People-Pleaser. If you or someone you love has a proclivity toward being "too nice," you'll want to take a look. This page and other new projects are in support of my memoir, available for representation: "Portrait of a People-Pleaser and the Son Who Paid the Price."


    1. Nice! Have you also seen the "Writer's Coloring Book" by Rachel Funk Heller? There's are fantastic worksheets, a character mandala and even character visualization tools. And of course, the ability to color if you want. 🙂

      I went to your page new web page. I like it! And it's interesting to see how your memoir has developed as you've dived deeper and deeper.

  15. This is so fun to read through -- I'm finding lots of new people to explore. 🙂

    Pimp: I'd like to give a shout out to Aussie YA author Hannah Currie (https://hannahcurrie.com/). She writes princess stories that remind me of The Selection series by Kiera Cass (which is huge praise!). Heart of the Crown is the final book in Hannah's first trilogy and just released a few weeks ago. Fun stories with some swoon-worthy but clean romance, great faith messages underlying the story without being preachy. Great reads for middle grades and up. She's working on her next series and I know I'll be reading it.

    Promote: I read across multiple genres and want to be more intentional about sharing some of my favorite books. I sometimes post reviews on my main website but have a brand new, baby steps website focusing on book reviews (brand new = I just started building it last week!). I'd love any visitors (and followers 🙂 ) there or on the equally new Twitter page:


    https://twitter.com/cleanfictionre1 (Cleanfictionreviews)

    Thanks, and have a great day!

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