Meet The Author This Saturday

Hope to see you at the Northern Virginia Christmas Market on Saturday, November 10th. I’ll be there starting at 10:00 AM

Start your holiday shopping with a copy of STAR TOUCHED.

Dulles Expo Center
Chantilly, Virginia

Startouched front cover2


Do you have the courage to be who you are meant to be?

Posted in Essay | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Looking for something fun do do?

Come the the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading.BU-RFR-WFC2018_final

Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading at WFC 2018

 *** Brief readings from several authors *** Book giveaways *** Free chocolate! ***

When: Saturday, 10:00 pm to 11:30 pm    Where: Federal Hill.


Carmen Webster Buxton has published 10 novels and one novella. Under her real name (Karen Wester Newton) she published a short story titled “Cold Comfort” in Space and Time magazine.  Her work encompasses science fiction, fantasy, and romance. []

Randee Dawn is a Brooklyn-based author and journalist who has published dark, speculative fiction in Well-told Tales and Fantasia Divinity, plus anthologies Where We May Wag and Children of a Different Sky (both available in the dealer’s room). She is also the co-author of The Law & Order: SVU Unofficial Companion. []

J.L. Gribble writes the urban fantasy/alternate history Steel Empires series, which includes Steel VictorySteel MagicSteel Blood, and the recent Steel Time. Her other jobs include medical editing, Netflix watching, cat snuggling, and blogging for  []

A.R. Henle writes non-fiction by day and magical realism by night. Her short story “Strong Meat” is forthcoming March 2019 in Sharp and Sugar Tooth: Women Up to No Good.

Laurel Anne Hill  has authored two award-winning novels, most recently The Engine Woman’s Light (Sand Hill Review Press), a gripping spirits-meet-steampunk tale set in an alternate 19th Century California. Laurel’s published short stories total over thirty. She’s a Literary Stage Manager, speaker, writing contest judge and editor.  []

Paula S. Jordan writes moderately hard, character-driven science fiction, with three stories in Analog and her first novel, a present-day alien contact story set in the mountains of North Carolina, now near completion. In a previous life she supported 30+ unmanned science missions as an orbit analyst with NASA and NOAA. [,,  and on Twitter @PaulaSJwriter]

A L Kaplan’s work has been included in several anthologies and magazines. Her novel Star Touched released in 2017. She is the Maryland Writers’ Association’s Vice President and served on the Howard County Chapter board for several years. A. L. holds an MFA in sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art. []

Laura Kelly is a former professor with degrees from Bradley University and Michigan State University. She currently lives in Ohio, although the lakes of Michigan continue to call and leave inviting messages in her voice mail.

Emily Lavin Leverett is a writer, editor, and Medievalist English professor. Traitor’s Spring, the second novel in the Eisteddfod Chronicles, debuts in 2019, following Changeling’s Fall and Winter’s Heir. Recent editorial works include the anthology Lawless Lands and the collection Faith and Ethics in the Works of Terry Pratchett.  []

Margaret S. McGraw is co-editor of the anthologies Weird Wild West and Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier. Her stories appear in Lawless Lands and Chasing the Light. Margaret writes and edits speculative fiction, blogs on and, and spends too much time on Facebook.

Tina LeCount Myers is a writer, artist, and surfer grew up with a prophecy hanging over her head: Her parents hoped she’d be an author. The Song of All is her debut novel. Dreams of the Dark Sky (Book 2 The Legacy of the Heavens series) available February 2019 (Night Shade Books).  []

Jennifer R. Povey writes everything from heroic fantasy to stories for Analog. She is currently working on an urban fantasy series, Lost Guardians, of which the third book was released in the fall of 2017. She also rides horses. []

Jean Marie Ward writes fiction, nonfiction and everything in between. Her credits include a multi-award nominated novel, two popular art books, and editing Her short stories have appeared in Asimov’s and numerous anthologies. Her video interviews are featured on []

Startouched front cover2

Posted in Essay | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Attack On American Democracy

Worth repeating.

charles french words reading and writing



American democracy is under attack–the threat of the bombs that have been found that were aimed at numerous people, including political figures, business people, artists, and leaders from national intelligence–has precedent only in the assassination of President Lincoln. That conspiracy intended to kill 3 other government figures and bring down the Union.

There can be no doubt that this is a domestic terrorist attack, and all Americans should be horrified by these actions. These are the kind of actions that put many people, including the people who work in the postal facilities and offices where the bombs were sent, into grave danger. This is an attack clearly focused on one political side. I would condemn this kind of action, no matter who is the focus.

We are supposed to be Americans, regardless of political party affiliation. After 9/11, we had a brief moment of unity. We need to end…

View original post 86 more words

Posted in Essay | 1 Comment

WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – G J Stevens

081Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

Give a big wolf welcome to GJ Stevens

29066376_1078869432253464_3932930084414947328_oGJ Stevens started writing fiction at the age of thirty. He describes his style of writing as popular fiction which usually has some sort of Sci-Fi or paranormal element, but he is on a journey and won’t pigeon hole himself into one genre. Even as a degree level engineer with a large family and a full-time career in a serious profession with plenty of adult responsibilities, he has always had an artistic and creative side. After years of self-suppression, the flood gates opened and his novel, In The End, is the culmination of many years of finding time from nowhere to learn the craft.

Whilst working to self-publish his first novel, GJ, real name Gareth, chose to document his publishing journey in an open-book and honest fashion and through his blog he lays bare his journey, detailing his mistakes and the findings of his research as he treads his way into publishing.

As a lover of the outdoors, every year he spends weekends out in the desolate countryside of the UK hiking and camping with his long-time friends which he uses as inspiration for both his creative fiction works and the subject of many a blog post. GJ Stevens is on the beginning of his publishing journey and wants to share the highs and lows with anyone who will listen.

Wolf: Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

Gareth: A dog person. I grew up with a dog in the family but as an adult I’m allergic to both cats and dogs. I get my dog fix vicariously through my best friend’s black lab.

Wolf: I’m a dog person too. (Shouldn’t be a surprise for a wolf.) While walking in the woods you come across…

Gareth: A sight I knew I would see eventually. I’d taken to the woods to get away. Walking between the trees because it felt safe, despite each step taken with care, a glance to where my feet might trip, might snap a branch or twig and turn their heads, might force me to run, to find some other place of safety

This is an adapted version of one of my favourite flash fiction pieces I have pinned on my twitter account.

Wolf: Cool. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Gareth: Invisibility, until I really think about it. I’d like to be left alone to write, but I’d have to be able to turn the power on and off. I love my family and friends and wouldn’t want that to end just because they can’t see me! I’m an introvert when it comes to creativity but weirdly confident and somewhat more extrovert when it comes to normal life.

Wolf: That would be a great power. It seems like every time I sit down to write someone walks in the room or calls. Maybe I should try closing the door. Speaking of doors:

There is a door at the end of a dark, damp corridor. You hear rumbling. What do you do?

Gareth: Shout at the TV and tell myself not to take a single step forward. When I realize I’m not on the TV, I’ll look around for anything heavy to swing. If nothing is at hand then I’ll check my pockets for a pen and paper so I can immortalize the moment, ready for adding the scene to my next book.

Wolf: The world is about to end. What is the first thing you do?

Gareth: Find my wife and hold her in my arms. If I’ve got a little longer then gather together with my friends and family and empty the wine stocks from the house.

Wolf: I’ll drink to that. What five items would you want to have in a post-cataclysmic world?

Gareth: This is very fitting. My first novel to be published is set at the start of a world changing event and I blog about preparing for the worst by packing a bug out bag. With the bag you’re limited to what you can carry on your back, but if I could only take five items they would be a water filtration straw so you can drink water from almost any source, my micro-pick for defense. It’s lightweight and packs a great punch suitable for all types of post-cataclysmic scenarios. A roll of gaffer type, the swiss army knife of survival. The final items would be a sleeping bag and my multi-fuel compact camping stove.

Wolf: You are ready to go. Let’s hope you never need to used it. I think my character, Tatiana, would have loved your bag. What story are you working on now?

Gareth: I’m editing the follow up to my first novel In The End. It’s is as-of-yet unnamed, but follows the same timeline as the first novel but from another, completely different perspective.

Wolf: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Gareth: I work full time and have a wonderful family and group of close friends. When I get chance, I like to hike with my friends but I only get the chance to do that once or twice a year.

Wolf: Thanks for stopping by. You can connect with GJ Stevens through these links:

Social Media Links:
Twitter: @stevens_GJ



Startouched front cover2


Posted in interview | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Holdontothelight FB BannerI had intended to post a little something about mental health each day in September, but time slipped away. Excuses are easy to find, but in all likely hood, it was the gray shroud that tried to smother me again. I’ve battled depression since childhood, although I wasn’t diagnosed until my late twenty’s.

I’ve always been good at hiding my gray, showing the world my glass-half-full side. Perhaps that’s why I like the song “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile,” from Annie. That and “Tomorrow” were my go-to songs growing up. If only I’d felt that way inside as well. But I didn’t. I was more than a little sad. There were times when I’d cry uncontrollably for no reason, but I couldn’t stop.

So why didn’t I get help then? Why didn’t I talk to someone?

I had no idea who to talk to, and I was afraid of what people would say or think. A middle school run in with bullies left me hyper conscious of reactions. Besides, people didn’t talk about depression back then. They didn’t even talk about bullies. There was no internet to get information on depression or resources for help. There were no depression or suicide hotlines at school, or anywhere else that I know of.

Besides, I wasn’t that far into the darkness to consider ending my life. That meant that I didn’t need help, right?


No one should have to walk through life half in darkness. It took me years to figure that out and get help.

Next time you see someone without a smile, say good morning/good evening as you walk by. It may not seem like much, but sometimes that little greeting can mean the difference between gray and darkness, a small touch to let them know someone cares.

Everyone needs help at times
Don’t be afraid to ask
For a rope of light
To pull you from the darkness
Climb out of the gray
Hold onto yourself
Your life
Your heart
This world
Hold onto the light

About the campaign:

#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.

Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

To find out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors and blog posts, or reach a media contact, go to and join us on Facebook

Posted in Essay, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Morning After

America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, September 28, 2018

Yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court came off yesterday pretty much the way Chairman Chuck Grassley intended. There were no witnesses other than Professor Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. None of the eleven white male members of the Committee questioned Professor Ford directly; instead, Rachel Mitchell, a professional prosecutor with a long history of trying sexual assault cases addressed all questions on their behalf.

There were some positive differences in style between the Kavanaugh hearing and the Clarence Thomas hearing of 1991. Professor Ford was treated respectfully, and Ms. Mitchell addressed her with professional calm and sensitivity, but then, Mitchell was there to assure that no Republican Senator could say anything that might be taken as offensive to women. They were simply muzzled.

Except for those differences, the hearing was a replay of 1991. Anita…

View original post 689 more words

Posted in Essay | Leave a comment


Looking for something fun to do this weekend?

Come to the Baltimore Book Festival.

Friday September 28 – Sunday September 30

The Baltimore Book Festival, produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, is Baltimore’s premier celebration of the literary arts and features hundreds of appearances by local, celebrity and nationally-known authors, book signings, more than 100 exhibitors and booksellers, nonstop readings on multiple stages, cooking demos by top chefs and culinary-themed panel discussions, workshops, hands-on projects for kids, live music and a thoughtfully curated local food and beverage program. Admission to the festival is free.

I’ll be at the Maryland Writers’ Association table on Sunday from 11:00 – 2:00.

Come by and say hi to me and Fifi.

Startouched front cover2


Eighteen-year-old Tatiana is running from her past and her star-touched powers eight years after a meteor devastates earth’s population. Her power to heal may be overshadowed by more destructive abilities. Fleeing the persecution of those like her, Tatiana seeks refuge in a small town she once visited. But this civil haven, in a world where society has broken down, is beginning to crumble. Will Tatiana flee or stay and fight for the new life she has built? Only by harnessing the very forces that haunt her can Tatiana save her friends…and herself.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment