Book Release: The Cat Lady’s Secret, by Linda Yezak

Congratulations to Linda Yezak on the release of The Cat Lady’s Secret from Harbourlight Books.

Emily Taylor loves to help people, loves to ease their burdens and make their dreams come true. But when a conman ruins her reputation, she discovers that helping others is safer and easier from behind the scenes.

When one of Emily’s gifts captures the attention of an avid journalist, her identity as the town’s anonymous benefactor—and her renewed relationship with her high school sweetheart—are threatened.

As her private life begins to unravel, she realizes the one hope for regaining control lies behind prison walls.

The Cat Lady’s Secret is available on Amazon and at other online retailers. Linda can be found online at and on Facebook.

Book Release: Alpha Revelation by P.A. Baines

Congratulations to P.A. Baines on the release of the second novel in his Alpha series. Alpha Revelation is available at all online retailers.


The forefathers built a new home on the Red Planet and named it Utopia but, for Shor, life in the underground Martian colony is anything but utopian. With few friends and no prospects, he has never really fitted in. And he is aware of something approaching. Something evil.

His dream of working in the Space Program is the only thing keeping him sane. When even this is taken from him, he thinks life cannot possibly get any worse.

Then, during a routine fix on a hangar door, he stumbles upon a neglected and forgotten spaceship, and his life is turned upside down.

Could this spaceship hold the key to his past, his future, and the approaching apocalypse?

“The Thief” by Stephanie Landsem – Book Release

Congratulations to Stephanie Landsem on the release of her historical novel, The Thief, from Howard-Simon & Schuster.

A global traveller since her teens, Stephanie loves adventure in far-off places. She brings her rich experience of the world to her storytelling, creating immersive reading experiences. The Thief picks up where her debut novel, The Well, left off, continuing through the events of Jerusalem in Roman times.

Stephanie can be found on Facebook or at her website. Her books are available at all major online retailers.

Book Release: Structuring Your Novel, by KM Weiland

Congratulations to KM Weiland on the release of her writer’s help book Structuring Your Novel. Using familiar story examples, KM explains the journey from opening lines to “The End.”

The process of editing this book generated some interesting discussion between myself and a colleague: Is there such a thing as a novelist who naturally knows how to shape a story from beginning to end, or is it something we all have to learn?

A minority of my clients are natural structuralists. Interestingly, I recall a time when I was, and how I lost it, and when I found it again. I think all writers have a top strength and a top area for growth. Structure can be either one, or somewhere in between.

In my case, I lost the feel for it due to absorbing a variety of conflicting (and sometimes utterly misguided) advice as a very new writer. The first two novels I ever drafted were terribly written but correctly structured.

For this reason, I think it’s tremendously important that writers keep in mind:

  • Internet advice is piecework. It doesn’t give you enough meat to understand it in the greater context of your whole book. For instance, a blog post or forum discussion on characterization may or may not succeed at relating character development to plot, theme and structure.
  • Critique groups can only rise to the level of their most experienced member. This was a difficulty for me too, early on: Being part of an online group that critiqued novels 2,000 words at a time (what structure?) where 95% of the members were extremely new, unpublished novelists.

I can still recall, about a decade ago, a particular critique group submission: a beautifully voiced opening to a police procedural. It used a fantastic control of narrative distance to sweep in on the crime scene. It was like having a movie’s opening pan shot play through your head.

It was stripped down to a page and a half by one critiquer because the narrative passages “failed to include action.” That, my friends, was a horrifying thing to see. That was zero sense of scene structure at work. It was sincere, but not healthy.

So in discussing this with Katie, I began to wonder if this is why we see so few writers who know how to structure. Perhaps the online environment of anyone’s-an-expert and 500-word blog posts that contradict each other from blog to blog are part of the problem. Or maybe it doesn’t come naturally to most people. It’s hard to say.

What I do know is this: Strong structure is one of the top three things missing from novels that take a rejection slip. If you don’t know what it is, grab hold of it. If you do, stand on your knowledge and don’t let the confusing hodgepodge out there interfere.

“The Witch Watch” by Shamus Young – Book Release


Congratulations to Shamus Young on the release of The Witch Watch, a YA fantasy with a high hilarity rating.

In this good-for-all-ages story, a young lady with a head for invention, a boy with a gift for sorcery, and a rotting corpse with a dry sense of humor find themselves fighting against a strange new threat in Victorian-era London.

In addition to the vintage-style cover, The Witch Watch includes beautiful interior illustrations by Heather Young of Tiny Book Dragon Art. More information is available at Shamus’s author page.

“I Am Ocilla” by Diane Graham – Book Release

Congratulations to Diane Graham on the release of her YA fantasy novel, I Am Ocilla, from Splashdown Books. I Am Ocilla is available for online ordering at all major outlets.

I Am Ocilla - Diane Graham

I Am Ocilla is a literary ball of string, combining fantasy, allegory, and mystery that slowly unwinds to reveal a beautiful picture of one woman’s identity in Christ. Prophecy, a cursed land, talking animals, fairies, dragons, and a chosen one—this book is a creative journey, not just for the mind, but for the soul.

-Jill Williamson, Christy Award-winning author of the Blood of Kings trilogy (Marcher Lord Press) and Replication (ZonderKidz)