BTMO Book Zine Thirty-Five
Online credits
Trevor Wilson
About Dawn Colclasure
Books by Dawn Colclasure
Current Projects
Book Reviews
100 Books in 1 Year
Coming Soon!
Non-Linking Credits
Free Ebook
BTMO Book Zine Current Issue
Tools for writers
Recommended Books
Reading List
Parenting Pauses

The Burning the Midnight Oil Book Zine Issue Number Thirty-Five

Burning the Midnight Oil Book Zine - a FR*E*E monthly ezine for writing parents.




You are receiving this e-zine because you subscribed through e-mail.

Unsubscribe information is below.











7. BOOK EXCERPT: The First Seal: The Templar Trial by Sean Harris













Hello, Everyone!

Welcome to another issue of the Burning the Midnight Oil Book Zine!

As always, feel free to send me any email at with comments, suggestions or just to plain chat.


The Burning the Midnight Oil Book Zine has a new format! Each issue will now feature one article pertaining to anything related to writing while another will feature an article specifically for the writing parent crowd. Because there’s only two articles per issue, what this means is that articles submitted will be accepted on a "needs basis." Articles pertaining to being a writing parent, the life of a writing parent, or anything relevant for writing parents will have a greater chance of being accepted and published quicker. If you submit something on a writing topic, your article will be slotted for an issue which will already have an article for writing parents slated. As of October and November, 2007, I’m still open for anything about writing. From there, I’ll be in GREAT NEED of article submissions for writing parents.

This issue’s theme is self-publishing! Not only will you be treated to an interview with award-winning author Peter Bowerman, in my article "Taking the Self-Publishing World by Storm: Interview with Peter Bowerman," but you’ll also get to read a book excerpt by self-published author, Sean Harris. Check them out!

This month’s guest article comes from writing mom Karen Putz, who writes about a common situation ALL of us writing parents have to tolerate in her article "Mom, Can I Have the Computer? The Life of a Writing Mom." At age 5, my little one has gotten pretty computer-savvy, so this was an article I could definitely relate to!

Enjoy this issue!


Dawn Colclasure

Editor and Publisher





"Years from now when verisimilitude is finally understood as a terribly limiting proposition, let our daringly experimental books (often self-published, often ignored by the mainstream) be remembered as the Rubicon fiction crossed on its journey into multidimensionality."—Sol Luckman

"In most cases the ones who bash self-publishing the most have published the least… or nothing at all."—James Bilodeau

"Reality TV, blogging and self-publishing are all evidence of a society's or culture's desire to be more public. And that's a sign of a healthy or energetic culture."—Maureen Corrigan

"If you are going to self-publish you have to make sure that your product is at least as good as the one next to it on the bookshelf."—Rita Mills

"Self-publishing got a bad rap because there were too many people publishing things that weren't fit to be published, but in the last few years self publishers are producing more daring and more cutting edge work the big houses don't want to mess with."—Cathy Stucker

"I would definitely think we're back in a moment like Whitman was in, in the early 19th century, in which self-publishing is a very real thing, but it's increasingly requiring a level of skill that not everybody can attain."—Matt Cohen

"That's when I decided to do the self-publishing thing. The way I look at it is, you have to have confidence in yourself and your product. If the book is good, it's good."—Darden North

"Writers really need to understand that most of the so-called growth in publishing is being driven by self-published authors and tiny presses who may each sell less than a hundred copies of a given title. The reality is book sales are dominated by just 10 major publishers."—Doris Booth






Taking the Self-Publishing World by Storm: Interview with Peter Bowerman

By: Dawn Colclasure


I have had the pleasant experience of knowing Peter Bowerman since 2003, when he agreed to write the Foreword for my book 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS: Inspiration, Writing Prompts and Beat The Block Tips to Turbo Charge Your Creativity (Filbert Publishing, 2004, ). Since then, Peter has been a wonderful friend and inspiration. I wanted Peter to write the Foreword to my book because his success as a writer was inspiring, and I knew his advice would inspire others, as well. He continues to inspire, with his award-winning book, The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-time Living. His book is unlike any other kind of book on self-publishing I have ever read, but don’t take MY word for it. Head on over to his Web site, and check it out for yourself!

A brief biographical paragraph about Peter: Peter Bowerman is the author of the 2000 award-winning Book-of-the-Month Club selection, The Well-Fed Writer, and its 2005 companion volume, The Well-Fed Writer: Back For Seconds, a triple award-finalist (both self-published; His books have become how-to "standards" on starting a lucrative commercial freelancing business – writing for businesses, large and small, and for rates of $50-125+ an hour. He chronicled his self-publishing success (50,000 copies of his first two books in print and a full-time living for over five years) in his third book, the 2007 release, The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living. The book earned an IPPY award ( along with Georgia Author of the Year honors.

• What is your background as a writer?

I actually had very little background as a writer – which is, I think, one of the things that makes my story a good one and inspirational one for a lot of people. Before I started my commercial writing business (writing for businesses, large and small and for hourly rates of $50-125+, and the subject of my Well-Fed Writer titles) in 1994, I had no writing background, no paid professional writing experience or training (one journalism course in high school and college) and had never been paid to write anything. Yet, I was paying all my bills within four month.

The upside to that history was that I never cut my teeth on "five-cents-a-word" writing, and as a result, when I discovered the commercial writing field, and learned that hourly rates started at around $50, that’s what I charged. I didn’t go through any freak-out period where I couldn’t imagine making that kind of money!

• What made you decide to write two books about copywriting and a third one about self-publishing?

My original thought was to do seminars and so I started collecting information about my field with that goal in mind. But once I saw how much stuff I had, I thought, "Wow – I’ve got enough to write a book here." And I liked the idea, because I realized that I had a really great life, one with tons of freedom, flexibility AND a good income with which to enjoy those things. I figured there were a lot of folks out there who’d love to know about this field and how they too could create such a life for themselves.

I never set out to create a popular book, but I guess I did a decent job on TWFW and it’s done well ( With TWFW: Back For Seconds, I almost felt an obligation to write a follow-up to answer all those questions that I didn’t address in the first (and which I realized after getting thousands of questions from readers).

As for The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living (, I had three motivations. First, because of the success of my self-publishing venture (50,000 copies of my two books in print, and a full-time living for five-plus years), I knew I had a successful formula (and one quite different from the standard book promotional model), and knew that many others in similar situations would benefit from it. And judging from the excellent feedback thus far, I think I’ve succeeded. Of course, the second motivation was financial. Because the first two books had been rewarding financially, another one done well couldn’t hurt! See #4 for the third motivation.. ;)

• Why do you think self-publishing gets such a bad rap in the publishing industry?

Overwhelmingly, the bad rap that self-publishing gets in the industry is well deserved. Most self-publishers don’t stop to realize that, for the most part, they’re competing with books that have been professionally edited, designed, indexed, and printed. And to save money, they skimp on all those things, put out all manner of dreck, and then wonder why their books fall flat. And the sad thing is that it’s simply not that difficult at all to create a book that is virtually indistinguishable in quality from one produced by a big publisher.

I’m not saying you’re going to be able to pull that off without investing some bucks into that final high-quality product, but IF your goal is commercial success with your book, then you’d better be willing to do that. On the other hand, if your goal is simply to create a book so you can call yourself an author and have it available for friends and family, then production value doesn’t matter and you can do it any way you want.

• How do you hope to change or improve that with your book? In what way does your book steer prospective self-publishers in a positive direction where they would beat the odds of the downsides of self-publishing?

This, in fact, was my third motivation for writing TWFSP. I wanted to be a model for all those folks who were serious about doing self-publishing right, because I feel I DID do it right in many ways: hiring top quality resources to produce the book; not skimping on the cover; putting some thought into a powerful title; getting creative with your marketing instead of just following, lemming-like, the standard book promotional model; creating many spinoff businesses and providing the how-to details for all of it.

My goal was always to have someone look at my books and be amazed when they found out they were self-published. And in fact, I achieved that goal. I hear it all the time. I wrote it for all the people who indeed wanted their books to be commercially successful and wanted to avoid making a lot of the same mistakes that newbie SP’ers make. And frankly, it was ideally written for the people who had some money (and no, you don’t have to be rich!) and the time to put into their own SP venture. If you have neither, you’ve got a tougher row to hoe – with or without my book. There’s just no free lunch out there.

• One big thing I noticed about your book is that you offer readers bits of advice here and there on how to save money when self-publishing. It's always great to save money, but there are a lot of the same options out there for free (for example, bar codes and cover design). How do they compare with the more affordable options?

If you can get a free bar code (not aware of them, but I don’t doubt you) and it’s the same as one you’d pay $10 or $20 for, then why not. Just make sure it is the same, because it’s such a small amount of money even at regular price. As for the sites offering self-publishers "free cover designs," again, if you have no aspirations to make any money off your book, why not go for a free cover (typically generic and template-driven)? If you do want your book to be a commercial success, don't even consider it. As I say in TWFSP, it is categorically impossible to overstate the importance of a cover to the overall success of a book. It’s not the place to even skimp, much less pay nothing.

• How can a writing parent crunched for time and faced with the sometimes impossible task of finding a babysitter still manage to be a successful self-publisher?

Not being a woman or a parent, I obviously can’t give too much credible advice on this subject! But, I suppose it goes without saying that you need to become a pretty good time manager and work smart. And I suppose, if you want something badly enough, you’ll make the time. One strategy? I talk in TWFSP about how I used interns to do the heavy lifting of book promo – especially building my review copy list. I gave my interns a few standard cut-n-paste email pitches that I’d written and had them do two things: 1) contact all those on an existing list who’d reviewed my earlier books to see if they were interested in seeing my new one; and 2) explore other avenues for review copy candidates. I used interns for both the promo of TWFW: BFS and TWFSP, and it worked out well.

Speaking of working smarter, and not to be too self-serving here (smile), tools like The Well-Fed SP Biz-in-a-Box, the companion ebook to TWFSP can save an enormous amount of time, money and hassle. It’s basically every piece of marketing material I created in the course of the successful promotion of my first two books all in one place.

Not only can it be a great time- and money-saver, but it’s also a good example of how to expand the profit potential of a book. It poses the question: What could you bundle along with your hard copy book as a digital download that would have enough value that buyers would gladly pay an additional five, ten, or twenty dollars for it? (the Biz-in-a-Box sells for $20 when purchased along with the book and $30 by itself; roughly 2/3 of my online buyers buy it along with the book).

Because it’s an ebook, the only cost involved from my end is the time I originally invested to create the thing; after that, it’s pure profit. So, as a roundabout way to answer your question, for busy people with little time, self-publishing done right can be a really good business model: create something once, resell it many times.

• In what ways do you think just such a writing parent could benefit from self-publishing compared to finding and getting published with an agent or a traditional press?

I’m not sure that’s the way to look at it. There are advantages and disadvantages to both conventional publishing and self-publishing. It all depends on one’s goals and aspirations, regardless of whether one’s a busy writing parent, a retiree, a single person, whomever. Certainly, self-publishing gives you far more control over the process, the timetable, the rights and most of the profits, but those are benefits that would accrue to anyone.

If you like running your own show, then you’ll like the SP process. There’s a pretty incredible feeling of accomplishment that you get when you take something from an idea into a finished written and produced product, and then by your own wits, talents and resources, turn it into a healthy business venture and accompanying income stream. That’s big stuff – and people in circumstances across the spectrum (yes, including many writing parents) are making it happen.

• Your book, The Well-Fed Self-Publisher, is a leading manual on self-publishing, but what other books and sites would you recommend?

Yes, there are a bunch of other resources on the subject, and in fact, I provide an entire 14-page appendix in TWFSP of additional resources (and I’ve even turned it into an ebook bonus that buyers of my book can get for free for purchasing off my site; because it’s a digital document, all the links are live! Another marketing idea…). Certainly, Dan Poynter’s The Self-Publishing Manual, the original bible on the subject; and 1001 Ways to Market Your Book by John Kremer, are good places to start. Also, check out PMA, The Independent Book Publishers Association ( It’s definitely worth joining and tapping for a whole host of wonderful resources.

• Some people are under the impression that self-publishing is the "lazy person's" way to get published because there is no editor, no typesetter, no fact-checker, etc. Plus, the author is paying to have their book published, instead of being paid for their book. What are your thoughts on this kind of attitude towards self-published authors?

As I addressed in another question, you’d better have an editor, typesetter and fact-checker (if applicable) if you want your book to compete out there in the marketplace. Sure, you can do self-publishing the lazy way, but it’s the old "garbage-in-garbage-out," and the results will reflect your effort. And maybe I’m just playing semantics here, but in fact, you’re not "paying to have your book published," you’re paying to have it printed. You’re doing everything that a publisher would do. And with a publisher, you may or may not get paid. If you get an advance, it won’t be much and if you don’t sell a lot of books, the fate of most books published by publishers, that’s all you’re going to make.

More importantly, I truly couldn’t care less what they or the industry thinks about what I’m doing. The only people I need to impress are my wholesaler (by working hard to move books), the bookstores (ditto), reviewers (by writing and producing a good book) and my readers (ditto). Everyone else out there can think whatever they want. It’s a free country. And as I like to point out to people who ask questions like, "Should the stigma of self-publishing bother an author?" how would anyone even know you self-published unless you told them you had, or you did such a lousy job that it was obvious? (that said, shoddy production value isn’t the exclusive domain of the self-publisher; I’ve seen it coming out of established publishers as well).

• Any advice for someone considering self-publishing?

If the genre of your book is "non-fiction how-to" (like my books), SP’ing is a particularly good fit because it’s easy to zero in on your target audience, which makes the promotion easier (not easy, easier). Fiction is a lot harder to self-publish, but it’s a lot harder to publish in any way. Bottom line, self-publishing is a lot of work, but it can be enormously rewarding on many levels.

But when comparing self-publishing and conventional publishing, keep this in mind: one of the biggest and more unpleasant surprises than many authors get when they go with a publisher is discovering how little marketing support they get from that publisher. You pretty much need to count on doing it all yourself. Anything on top of that is a bonus. That being the case, self-publishing looks more and more attractive, especially when you factor in the aforementioned SP bennies: keeping control of the process, timetable, rights and most of the profits. Most of all, have fun!



Dawn Colclasure edits and publishes the Burning the Midnight Oil Book Zine, which is a product of her book: BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents (Booklocker). She also writes for the newspaper SIGNews and the Web site, The Shadowlands. She’s been published both on and off the Web, in magazines such as Mothering, American Fitness, Home Education Magazine and HOMEspirations, and Web sites such as Absolute Write, Writing Etc. and Writing World. Visit her on the Web at





The Tallahassee Writers Association is now accepting submissions in four categories: short story, memoir, essay/opinion, and children’s literature. First place winners receive $75; second place, $50, and third place, $35. The Seven Hills Review literary magazine will publish all winning entries.

Winners will be recognized at the writers’ luncheon at Killearn Country Club Saturday, April 5, from 12-1 p.m. Nationally acclaimed author David Morrell (Rambo, First Blood) is tentatively scheduled to speak at the luncheon, during a Writers’ Retreat sponsored by TWA that week.

Entries must be postmarked by Sept. 30.---see Seven Hills Rules:


Leaf Books Humour Competition

The 2007 Zoetrope: All-Story Short Fiction Contest

15th Annual North American Travel Journalists Association AWARDS COMPETITION

The Earth Vision nature writing contest

Barrelhouse Invitational, Pop Culture Essay Contest

Union County Writers' Club Annual Adult Literary Contest

Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers Twenty-Sixth Annual Delacorte Press Contest for a First Young Adult Novel

Here's Looking At You Writing Contest

The Paumanok Poetry Award

LILITH Magazine Fourth Annual Fiction Competition

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest

MyItThings Magazine Writing Contest

Things Mother Taught Me Writing Contest






New Message Board for Writers, Writing Parents and Booklovers!!!

The Write Stuff is a new message board created by Dawn Colclasure, a disabled writing parent who loves books! The board offers anyone of similar situations a chance to discuss being a disabled writer, a writing parent or a booklover! The write Stuff offers registered members a chance to swap books, talk shop or discuss Dawn’s books, as well!

All writers and booklovers of any age or stage are welcome to participate!

Check the new board out here:



Check out the FREE Ebook for writing parents EVERYWHERE! From one writing parent to another, "Survival Strategies for Writing Parents" by Dawn Colclasure gives the lowdown on finding time to write, strategies for writing the "skeleton" article and tips and ideas for your home office!




CONTACT:Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Phone: 818 790 0502


Author Awards the Noble (Not Nobel) Prize for Fifth Year

Carolyn Howard-Johnson Takes On the Nobel Prize Committee for Sixth Year!

Praised or maligned, the Nobel Prize for Literature is always news. It selects the best from the world and therefore misses much of value. Carolyn Howard-Johnson, "Back to Literature" columnist for, closes the gap (only slightly) with her an annual "Noble (Not Nobel!) Prize for Literature."

Over the last years the Nobel committee has recognized authors for their literary expertise but there has also been a trend toward awarding the prize for, as Los Angeles Times Staff Writer Tim Rutten says, "an author’s particular relevance to the moral moment in which the world finds itself."

Howard-Johnson’s prize therefore concentrates on books that address these same issues. For her Noble Prize (as opposed to the NOBEL prize), Howard-Johnson considers books written in English (which narrows the field of prospects considerably) because Nobel has rather neglected writers who write in English over the years and because that is the language in which she . . . .ahem, reads, at least well enough.

Howard-Johnson’s lists have included well-known authors who explore discrimination in their writing like Toni Morrison and Ralph Ellison but she tries to concentrate on authors who have not been posted to bestseller lists or won major awards. Some past winners are LA's Leora G. Krygier and Randall Sylvis, New York's Leora Skokin Smith, Australia's Bob Rich and Magdalena Ball.

Books nominated for the 2007 Noble Prize for Literature must be submitted by Sept 15, 2007. Published books and chapbooks of poetry, plays and literary novels are eligible., but may have been published in any year. Results are published each January on the "Back to Literature" page at and on Howard-Johnson's New Book Review blog ( Query Carolyn Howard-Johnson at . Please put "NOBLE PRIZE QUERY" in the subject line. The prize is honorary only, no monies or gifts. Readers may nominate their favorite books and authors may nominate their own.

Howard Johnson is no stranger to literary prizes. Her first, This Is the Place, won the Reviewers’ Choice Award after it was published in 2001 and went on to win seven other awards. A chapter from the book was a finalist in the Masters’ Literary Award and another was selected for inclusion in The Copperfield Review. Her book of creative nonfiction, Harkening, has won three awards, her Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't was USA Book News' Best Professional Book of 2004 and the Irwin Award. Her chapbook of poetry, Tracings, was named "Top 10 Reads for 2004" by The Compulsive Reader and given the Military Writers' Society of America's Award of Excellence. She is also an instructor for UCLA Extension's renowned Writers' Program.

Learn more about Howard-Johnson at Her efforts are sponsored by Editor Brenda Weeaks at

Howard-Johnson's "Back to Literature" column may be found at, where book covers and comments on the winners are posted.




Pop artist BRANDON is back!

Brandon who gave us the Top 100 Billboard HITS like "Kisses in the night", "Destiny" and the classic dance tune "Moves" is ready to do it again!

Bal Harbour Records Inc. is proud to present our featured artist Brandon with his new single "Don't Go Away". Available now for purchase at our website at:

Go ahead and surf into our website and listen before you buy.

Let Brandon take you on a freestyle journey into a whole new dimension.

A Portion of the proceeds from the sale of this CD will go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) The foundation provides college scholarship grants, along with financial aid and educational counseling, to the children of Special Operations personnel who were killed in an operational mission or training accident.

Thank you for all your support

Now lets get this party started!

Bal Harbour Record Staff


In Husbands, Hot Flashes, and All That Hullabaloo!, award-winning humor writer Vicky DeCoster takes you on a hilarious hormonal journey from bikinis to granny panties and control top pantyhose to knee-highs as she teaches you not to take yourself too seriously.


Any woman tackling the second act of her life will relate to DeCoster’s humorous personal essays as she makes fun of matrimony malfunctions, female fervor, corporate craziness, parenting pandemonium, and aging anatomies. This new-age Erma Bombeck entertains readers with her comical anecdotes on dieting with her husband, the roller coaster of emotions that accompany trying on swimming suits in your forties and beyond, and the unwelcome neuroses that often occur during parenthood. DeCoster amuses with outrageous tips on how to knit without catching the yarn on fire and her witty spin on the story of a mall Easter Bunny gone wild. It’s safe to say that you’ll never suffer through a hot flash the same way again after you experience one through her eyes!

Husbands, Hot Flashes, and All That Hullabaloo! will have you laughing out loud at the realities of life as a middle-aged woman, ultimately leaving you with the comforting secret that life is too funny to take seriously.


Visit her web site at for more details on how to order the book!




Learn More about Promoting!

To promote better, authors need to know the ups and downs, ins and outs of contests, not just the same old, same old. Here's everything a writer needs to know from sponsoring a contest of her own to how to use contests to improve her writing. Yep, they can be used for that and more!

Contest Facts:

How to Add Award-winning to Your Name

Instructors/producers and moderators are:

Allyn Evans

Joyce Faulkner

Kathe Gogolewski

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Published by Double Dragon Press:

Our Price: $9.99 USD



Genre: Self Help - Non-Fiction

Audio Duration: 60 Minutes

Published: November 2006


Go to:




What's Momfidence?

It means believing Oreos make a fine snack...TV won't rot kids' brains...Locks are for doors, not toilets...Hollering happens...Toy guns are harmless fun...And Saturday mornings are for sleep, not tiny-tots soccer.

Worry less, wing it more.


An Oreo Never Killed Anybody and Other Secrets of Happier Parenting

by Paula Spencer

"Bold, true, and a hoot."

—Jacquelyn Mitchard, The Deep End of the Ocean, mom of seven

"If I weren't dead, I'd give 'Momfidence' Five Stars!"

--Erma Bombeck



Based the popular "Momfidence!" column in Woman's Day and Paula's features in Parenting and Baby Talk

Crown/Three Rivers Press


To pre-order:




Got a book inside you? Having trouble landing a publisher? Like the idea of actually making a living off your book? If you haven't checked out my latest, here's the scoop...

The Well-Fed Self-Publisher:
How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living

As most of you know, I self-published both The Well-Fed Writer and TWFW: Back For Seconds, and together, these two books - over 50,000 copies in print - have provided me with a full-time living for over five years (and counting…).

This latest work explains, in step-by-step detail, exactly how I did it…   

But that's not all. To truly simplify your marketing efforts, I assembled virtually every piece of marketing material I created in the course of my successful book promotion campaigns in one phenomenal 100-page ebook resource called…

The Well-Fed SP Biz-in-a-Box

To quote one of my first buyers:

"I took a quick look at the Biz-in-a-Box. You're drastically undercharging."

You said it, my friend. You have to see this beauty to believe it. The cost? Ridiculously low. About what an evening at the movies (okay, with popcorn and drinks…) would cost: $29.95. But, it gets better…

Purchase the Biz-in-a-Box along with the book, and it's only $19.95!

Check it all out at And may all your writing - and now your books, too! - be "well-fed"!

Peter Bowerman      

Know anyone who dreams of making a GOOD living as a writer? Steer them to for a FREE report, "Why Commercial Writing?" by Peter Bowerman, author of the award winning Well-Fed Writer titles - how-to standards in the field of lucrative commercial freelancing.
Subscribe to THE WELL-FED E-PUB, the critically acclaimed FREE monthly ezine and
companion to The Well-Fed Writer series:

Just Released! The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book Into a Full-Time Living. For full details and FREE report, visit - Freelance Copywriting Services



My newest e-book is here!!!

Whether you're a first time home buyer or already living in a great house, "Home is where the Heart/Money Is" will build your financial future.

This 135-page e-book is filled with savvy tips and designer secrets to turn your house into a haven for your family and friends. Buy "Home is where the Heart/Money Is" for only 19.99 and download it instantly.

From realizing your dreams of home ownership, to living a thankful life, "Home is where the Heart/Money Is" will help you build wealth and give you a great foundation for your financial future. Buy it today!





Hello Fellow Writers,


In celebration of the successful release of my new novel, Pressed Pennies, my publisher has proposed the following: Although the book can be found on B&, (please see posted reviews) and in your local bookstore, you can now purchase the book directly from the publisher at for $10.00, a $5.95 discount (just click on the *Book Clubs Only button)! 


The publisher's hope is that you will enjoy the book and spread the word to other avid readers.    


Early Reviews:

"Steve Manchester has a gift for expressing through his writing the complicated and transcendent beauty of the human experience with poignant clarity." – Yolanda King (eldest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King) Higher Ground


"Pressed Pennies is priceless! Steve Manchester has an obvious love of words and an amazing ability to use those words to create lasting images in the reader’s mind. His detail-oriented, richly drawn characters and descriptions make this story leap off the pages." - Joyce Handzo, In the Library Reviews


"Pressed Pennies is a tale of love and second chances and affirms that love can come at any stage of life if we are just open. This is a book that is sure to warm your heart." - Roberta Austin, The Compulsive Reader


Sincere thanks for your time and consideration.










Mom, Can I Have the Computer?  The Life of a Writing Mom

By: Karen Putz


"Mom, when are you getting off the computer?"


"Mom, are you almost done?"


"Mom, how much longer?"


I've now learned to shut the door and train the kids not to knock on the door unless they are bleeding or have to dial 911. There's no other way to get the writing done and a paycheck in my account every month.


Unfortunately, the family doesn't take my writing seriously.  They fail to see the correlation between purchasing a "must have" polo shirt at American Eagle and the hours spent at the computer churning out articles.  The fact that my paychecks are directly deposited into a rapidly depleting checking account doesn't help.  There's nothing for them to see.  The articles that I churn out for a writing company are published under "Staff Writer," so there's no kudos or the glory of a byline.  I'm just a production line writer for this company.


Is it any wonder, then, that I take the most pride in the articles that I've sweated over--the ones that have my byline proudly displayed directly under the title--the ones that don't have a single penny contributing to my checking account--the ones that make a difference in the life of a reader--those are the articles that make me the most proud.


I find it interesting that those articles touch people enough that they leave me comments, send an email or pass on some verbal kudos in person. My family, on the other hand, is so used to article after article that they've all blended together for them.


My daughter slowly opens the door and peeks in.


"Mom, when will you be done?"



BIO: Karen Putz is a writer-in-denial who plunks out articles when she can access her computer.  Karen resides in Chicago and occasionally escapes to Colorado where her love for nature refuels her spirit.  She is the mom of four kids, one who happens to be her husband.






Excerpt from:

The First Seal: The Templar Trial

Author: Sean Harris

Publisher: BookSurge Publishing

ISBN-10: 1419649531

ISBN-13: 978-1419649530

Web site: or

Price: $15.99

Amazon link:

"You must be feeling better," he commented. "I don’t see the harm in letting you stand but, no, I won’t take the tape off your feet." He took a step toward her, leaned over and extended his hand. Marji waited until he was slightly past his center of gravity, bent her knees and drove her bare feet directly into his face. She felt a crunch as his nose broke and saw the surprise on his face and the knife fall from his other hand. Chippy stumbled backwards holding his shattered nose that was now bleeding profusely. He fell backwards over the coffee table and lay swearing on the floor. Marji grabbed the knife and cut the tape holding her ankles. Then, in a move she would soon regret, she tossed the knife aside and bolted for the door.

As she sprinted into the darkness, she heard the sound of someone approaching the cabin. Then Chippy was standing in the doorway.

"She’s getting away! Stop her!" he shouted, though it sounded more like she’s gedding away, stob her.

More shouting and crashing through the brush followed her as she ran deeper into the forest. The brush was thick and the large rocks and fallen branches were painful on her bare feet but she continued to run, certain that what lay ahead of her was bound to be more pleasant than what lay behind. The cold air burned her lungs and her breath came in visible puffs as she ran by the light of the full moon. Then, as if guided by some unseen force determined to work against her, the rain started to fall. It was light at first but soon became a full-fledged downpour.

She came to a small creek and paused to check on her pursuers. Through the trees she could see their flashlights bouncing and hear their shouts as they followed. They were much closer than she would have liked. Though she was tired, this gave her the will to run again and she jumped into the icy water. It barely reached her ankles but the icy mountain water chilled her to the bone. Her feet now numb, she forced herself to run faster. At last she burst out of the underbrush onto what seemed to be a trail.

The trail was soft from the deluge but it was relatively flat, which was good. The muddy ground made running more difficult but at least she no longer had to deal with the constant scratches from bushes and tree branches here in the open. The trail grew steeper and she slowed her pace to avoid falling.

Finally the trail she was following turned sharply down. That was good because it meant she was probably headed out of the forest but bad because it increased the likelihood that she would fall in the slippery mud. Pausing at the top of the hill, she wiped the rain from her eyes and checked the progress of the men behind her and was alarmed to see they were gaining ground. She quickly concluded that there was no better way down, and she descended the hill carefully, following the rudimentary switchbacks. About halfway down the hill, she heard the voice of her pursuers and looked back to see them at the top. The distraction was enough to cause her to step into the mud and begin to slide. Marji braced her left ankle and tried to stop but pain in her legs from the cold and sheer fatigue allowed her ankle to give. Her ankle twisted painfully and down she went. Attempting to tuck and roll, her right knee came down squarely on a rock. She cried out and tumbled roughly to the bottom of the hill.

As she lay in a heap at in the middle of the muddy trail, bruised and battered, covered in mud, freezing and in a great deal of pain, Marji looked back and saw a man coming down after her. Perhaps she had just made the biggest mistake of her life and she was now living the last moments of it. She didn’t know. As she lay there in the mud awaiting the inevitable, she took her rosary out of her pocket and began to pray.







No giveaway this month.





No news this month.




What's the latest with the first volume of BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents?

No book news this month.





Free Reports for Writers:

Free Bumper Sticker

Free Writers Notes Magazine™ Issue

Assorted Freebies for subscribing to Smart Writers newsletter (good for September, 2007 only)

Free book marketing info





The following are interesting, helpful sites that I’d like to pass on.

Water Forest Press:

The Book Sistah:

AllBooks Review:

Mom 2 Mom Connection:

Gotta Write Network:

The Association of American Publishers:

Get Caught Reading:

The Cute Kid:






Tip: This month’s mantra: "ANY writing is better than no writing."






I am always open to submissions for the E-zine!! Feel free to submit any of the following:

1. An article. Any style and length. Articles must relate to writing, being a writing parent or successful business/marketing ideas. If the article is a reprint, you must own the reprint rights.

2. Tips for writing parents.

3. Advertising info, a freebie link, fan mail or, if you are included in the book, news and updates on what’s going on in your writing life!

PLEASE NOTE: Payment for submissions has been restored to $5 per article, payable on publication.

And, please, be sure to include your bio with submissions. It gets everything moving a little faster. :)




You are subscribed to this E-zine because you requested a subscription or signed yourself up on your own.

To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to:





To subscribe to this FREE E-zine, please send a blank email to:
Questions or concerns? Please contact Dawn at