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Featured Author: Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC

January 21, 2023 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Contests, Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , , , ,

About Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC

The Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC (BWG), is a community of mutually supportive fiction and nonfiction authors based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The members are as different from each other as their stories. BWG also publishes quality fiction through their online literary journal, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, and their award-winning A Sweet, Funny, and Strange Anthology series.

Each anthology has an overall theme—broadly interpreted—but includes a variety of genres. All but the first anthology include stories from the winner(s) of The Bethlehem Writers Short Story Award.

Their first anthology, A Christmas Sampler: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales (2009), won two Next Generation Indie Book Awards: Best Anthology and Best Short Fiction.

An Element of Mystery: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Tales of Intrigue is the latest in A Sweet, Funny, and Strange Anthology.

A bird on a tree branch
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About An Element of Mystery

The Bethlehem Writers Group is pleased to present this collection of tales of mystery and intrigue—the latest in its award-winning series of Sweet, Funny, and Strange® anthologies. From classic whodunnits to tales of the unexplained, each of the twenty-three stories contained herein have an element of mystery that will keep you guessing and wanting to read just one more story.

We’re thrilled to have old friends, but new members of BWG, join us this year. Award-winning author Debra H. Goldstein favors us with a mystery set among volunteers at a synagogue entitled “Death in the Hand of the Tongue,” while “Sense Memory,” by the multi-talented Paula Gail Benson, brings a delightful mix of mystery and the paranormal that helps a young couple find their way to each other.

In addition, we are happy to bring you the winning stories from two of our annual Bethlehem Writers Roundtable Short Story Award competitions: “Good Cop/Bad Cop” by Trey Dowell (2021 winner) and “The Tabac Man” by Eleanor Ingbretson (2022 winner).

You’ll also find stories from your favorite BWG authors, including Courtney Annicchiarico, Jeff Baird, Peter J Barbour, A. E. Decker, Marianne H. Donley, Ralph Hieb, DT Krippene, Jerry McFadden, Emily P. W. Murphy, Christopher D. Ochs, Dianna Sinovic, Kidd Wadsworth, Paul Weidknecht, and Carol L. Wright.

So get ready to be mystified . . . or intrigued!


Next up for BWG

BWG is working on their eighth anthology, Season’s Readings: More, Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales.

In connection with this anthology, they are hosting The Bethlehem Writers 2023 Short Story Award

The 2023 Short Story Award opened on January 1, 2023. The theme will be Holiday Stories (broadly interpreted).

BWG is seeking never-published short stories of 2,000 words or fewer. First Place will receive $250 and publication in their upcoming anthology: Season’s Readings: More, Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales or in Bethlehem Writers Roundtable.

The final judge of the 2023 Short Story Award is renowned short story author and editor, Barb Goffman.


Books from Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC

Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC

The Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC (BWG), founded in 2006, is a community of mutually supportive, fiction and nonfiction authors based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The members are as different from each other as their stories, spanning a range of genres including: children’s, fantasy, humor, inspiration, literary, memoir, mystery, paranormal, romance, science fiction, women’s fiction, and young adult.

See the schedule of meetings and events here.


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Free Book Alert

January 20, 2023 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Spotlight tagged as , , ,

★★★BOOK ALERT★★★

Kissing Tolstoy, a standalone student professor romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Penny Reid, is ZERO PENNIES for just a short while on Amazon. Have you checked out Penny’s new adult series? Now is the perfect time.

★★⁣⁣Grab your copy TODAY!★★⁣⁣

★★⁣⁣Blurb★★⁣⁣

What do you do when you discover that your super-hot blind date from months ago is now your super-hot Russian Lit professor?
You overthink everything and pray for a swift end to your misery, of course!

‘Kissing Tolstoy’ is the first book in the Dear Professor series, is 46k words, and can be read as a standalone. 

★★⁣⁣Grab your copy TODAY!★★⁣⁣


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Those Who Forget the Past: Using Backstory to Enhance Your Novel

January 18, 2023 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Events, Online Classes tagged as , , ,

Presented by: Cynthia Owens

Date: February 1 – 28, 2023 (one month)

Registration Closes: February 15, 2023

Pricing:  A2P Member fee: $20

Non-A2P Member fee: $30

About the Workshop:

In Those Who Forget History: Using Backstory to Enhance Your Novel, students will examine how to use backstory effectively to enhance their stories using elements of a character’s past.

We will cover:
• What is Backstory?
• Flashbacks and How to Use Them,
• The Five Ws of Backstory—Who, What, Where, When and Why—of a character’s past.
• Prologues—how to use a prologue to provide backstory.
• Dialogue—how to manipulate your readers by using a character’s dialogue to hint at backstory.
• Weaving—how to weave backstory into your story.
• Inner Thought—revealing your character’s backstory through inner thought.
• What Do They Want?—how your character’s backstory can affect his goals.
• The New Way to Plot: Using backstory to plot your novel
Included in the workshop is a workbook with assignments, checklists, and more.

About the Presenter:

I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.

My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.

A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three.

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New Covers and Free in KU

January 17, 2023 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Spotlight tagged as , , , , ,

★★New Covers + KU★★

Exciting news! Penny Reid’s new adult series have a fresh new look. We’re excited to unveil the covers for Kissing Tolstoy, Kissing Galileo, the Elements of Chemistry bundle, and the Laws Physics bundle. AND for the first time ever, all of these titles in addition to Ten Trends to Seduce Your Best Friend can be found in Kindle Unlimited!

★ ★Grab your ebooks TODAY★ ★

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Friendly Reminder

January 15, 2023 by in category Writing tagged as , , ,
Photo credit: Renae Wrich

For me, January has always felt like a clean slate. An opportunity to psych myself up for the year ahead and think about all the things I hope to accomplish.

On the contrary, January is also a time when I think back on all of the things I wasn’t able to accomplish over the past year.

Did I reach my fitness goals? Nope.

Did I tackle that home improvement project? Nope.

Did I publish my next children’s book? Nope.

I find that I always need that friendly reminder to focus more on what I did accomplish, and less on what I didn’t.

Did I make sure my children knew they were loved? Yes.

Did I keep things like family dinners despite our crazy activity schedule? Yes.

Did I raise a puppy? Yes.

Did I volunteer my time to important causes? Yes.

Did I take outdoor walks when my schedule/the weather allowed? Yes.

Did I tackle massive projects at work? Yes.

Did I start contributing to a new blog? Yes!!!

Did I write my first romance novel?  Yes!

Focusing more on what I did accomplish, helps better prepare me for what I hope to accomplish in the New Year.

How can I build upon the things I that I was successful at? How will that help me accomplish the things I haven’t been successful with in the past?

Please remember to be kind to yourself. You’re doing great things and you are enough just as you are. Everything else is a bonus. 🙂

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