All News

Query Letter Boot Camp

Presenter: Angie Hodapp 

This is highlights-only version of the four-week query boot camp I teach at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. We’ll typically move from the general (what is a query letter, how does it fit into the publishing process, how do you know when you’re ready to query, and what can you expect after you do?), to the more specific (the four parts of a query letter, how to execute each part well and avoid common pitfalls that make agents cringe), to the very specific (how to approach crafting a solid query pitch—the most important part of any query letter).

Sara M. Schaller Celebrates Sweet Success!

By: Darby Karchut

Congratulations to Sara M Schaller on the recent publication of her book, THE GENESIS OF SEVEN, the first in a new YA fantasy series.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Eighteen-year-old Jordan Conway has always wanted to help people, but helping seven archangels to achieve their divine duty was never quite what he had in mind… 

When Jordan is entrusted by the head nun of his orphanage to deliver a mysterious backpack to a New York City address, he comes unexpectedly face-to-face with Archangel Gabriel. Their acquaintance fast uncovers a labyrinth of secrets that connect Jordan’s once-normal life to an ancient heavenly prophecy. Now, he must help Gabriel to reunite the archangels before evil forces grow too strong.

Soon, Jordan and Gabriel find themselves on a divine quest across the globe, while deep in the pits of Hell, Satan plots his return to earth. To gain control, however, Satan needs the powerful prophetic objects locked safe inside Jordan’s backpack—and the devil will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

 With that notion threatening his only family and the safety of his newfound friends, Jordan must do whatever it takes to protect the ones he loves and help the archangels succeed. If that means sacrificing all he thought he knew to go to war with the devil himself? Bring it on.

Pick up a copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, or from indie booksellers around the nation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sara M Schaller is a paralibrarian, publishing professional, and young adult author. She loves the world of pop culture and the performing arts, so when she is not reading or writing, she is either attending conventions or going out to see live performances. Sara has a Bachelor’s degree in English, Art History, and Religious Studies from the University of Denver, and a Master’s degree in Publishing from Pace University. For five years, Sara worked as a graphic designer, and her creativity in design carries over into other areas of her life like writing. Be sure to visit her at www.saramschaller.com and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
If you have a Sweet Success to share please contact her via email.

Colorado Writers Collaborative Offers a Free Conference-lite

In a year when so many writers conferences had to be cancelled, Pikes Peak Writers joined forces with Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Northern Colorado Writers to present the Colorado Writers Collaborative. This is a free YouTube channel going live September 1st and offering over thirty videos for writers covering topics ranging from writing vivid settings to negotiating media deals. Learn from NYT bestselling authors like Rachel Howzell Hall, John Gilstrap, and Bob Mayer; local favorites like Carol Berg, Stant Latore, and Johnny Worthen; editors Tiffany Yates Martin and Anita Mumm, and many, many others. Now, you can have a conference-esque experience for free without leaving the comfort of your favorite chair. Enjoy!

 

Sweet Success for Jennie MacDonald

By: Darby Karchut

Congratulations to Jennie MacDonald on her recent release. Her edited collection, Schabraco and other Gothic tales from The Lady’s Monthly Museum, 1798-1828, is now available from Valancourt Books.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Originally published for girls attending English boarding schools, The Lady’s Monthly Museum offers a fascinating look at popular culture for young people during Jane Austen’s era. The book is available from Valancourt Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and other booksellers worldwide.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jennie MacDonald

Jennie MacDonald, PhD, is an award-winning author and playwright. Her edited collection, Schabraco and other Gothic tales from The Lady’s Monthly Museum, 1798-1828, debuted in February 2020 from Valancourt Books. Her picture book play, “Where There’s Smoke,” debuted in PHAMALY Theatre Company’s 2020 production, Come to Your Senses. Her dark comedy, “A Merry Widow or Two,” received the 2019 Colorado Authors League Award of Excellence for Playwriting. Other publications include short stories, fine art photos, and articles concerning 18th and 19th century Gothic literature, theatre, and visual and material culture. The latest, “’The Comical Hotch Potch, or the Alphabet turn’d Posture Master’: A Fluid Text Reading of Carington Bowles’ 1782 Satirical Print,” appears in the Spring 2020 issue of Palaver. Visit the author at www.jenniemacdonald.com


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
If you have a Sweet Success to share please contact her via email.

Sweet Success for Jean Alfieri

By: Darby Karchut

Congratulations to Jean Alfieri on the April 12th release of her self-guided journal, BLESSED TO BE ME.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Blessed to Be Me - Book Cover

BLESSED TO BE ME is a guided journal to capture the love, laughter and tears – all the many facets surrounding the life and times of YOU! Through the use of writing prompts and personal story-telling it’s a fun and easy way to compile some great lifetime memories.

The bonus is that you also create a legacy. Tracking one’s lineage can tell your family WHERE they came from. BLESSED TO BE ME reveals WHO they came from! The stories left untold by previous generations are captured here. Find hope and inspiration from this personal reflection, and leave a treasured keepsake. Pick up a copy at Amazon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

When Jean’s eyes locked with those of a smooshy-faced little dog who sat inside a kennel at the Humane Society, it was love! He captured her heart. She captured their many adventures in short stories starring ZUGGY THE RESCUE PUG. An advocate for adopting senior dogs, Jean has had her share of heartbreak when a beloved fur-family member passes away. To cope, her family has a tradition of telling their favorite stories about that dog at the dinner table. In doing this, Jean realized how much of our human legacy is lost within a single generation. Inspired, she created BLESSED TO BE ME. Visit the author’s website to learn more about all her books or follow her and Zuggy on  FacebookInstagram, or YouTube


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
If you have a Sweet Success to share please contact her via email.

Sweet Success for Kale!

By: Darby Karchut

CWG KALE

Congratulations to these Pikes Peak Writers members on their various stories appearing in the Corrales Writing Group’s upcoming horror anthology entitled KALE IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD: Chris Allen, Maureen Cooke, Sandi Hoover, Jim Tritten, and Patricia Walkow (all members of PPW), contributed to the book. The following individuals also made either written or artistic contributions: Jane Butel (recipe), Sandi Cathcart (recipe), Adrienne Evatt (recipe), Alex Knight (art), Paul Knight (art), Jasmine Tritten (prose and art and also a member of PPW), and Walter Walkow (prose).

ABOUT THE BOOK: Kale has invaded our culture as the go-to food for healthy living, appearing everywhere on restaurant menus, in grocery stores and in beauty products like soaps and scrubs. It’s in salads and sandwiches, on pizzas, in soups and stews, and even salted as chips. For many, it shouts, “Eat me. I’m good for you.” For others, the vitamin load and beneficial fiber cannot outweigh the bitterness and texture of this member of the cabbage family. For those people, kale has ignited a passionate response, often reflected in internet memes and T-shirt slogans. This collection of short stories shows kale in a new light. Some stories present the perspective of those who introduce kale to their spouses and the reaction of those who are so targeted. A couple of tales are horror stories about kale’s effect on a life; another one describes a speculative history of kale; one is a murder mystery where kale plays an unusual role; and one is a fantasy about kale’s rivalry with another popular, competing vegetable, cauliflower. This book also has delicious recipes which feature kale as the primary ingredient. A word of caution, though. One recipe was written by someone with a novel approach to cooking kale.

KALE IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD releases September 2020. Pre-orders are now available at Amazon.  


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
If you have a Sweet Success to share please contact her via email.

Sweet Success for Debbie Burke

By: Darby Karchut

Congratulations to Debbie Burke on the June 23rd release of her latest thriller, DEAD MAN’S BLUFF.

Dead Man's Bluff, book cover

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Investigator Tawny Lindholm’s plans for a romantic Florida vacation with attorney Tillman Rosenbaum vanish when they’re caught up in Hurricane Irma. Tillman’s beloved coach, Smoky, disappears into the storm, along with a priceless baseball card. Is he dead or on the run from a shady sports memorabilia dealer with a murderous grudge? During a desperate search in snake-infested floodwaters, Tawny becomes the bargaining chip in a high-stakes gamble. The winner lives, the loser dies. Purchase a copy on Amazon.

Author Debbie Burke

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Debbie Burke writes thrillers with a heart. A regular blogger at The Kill Zone, her nonfiction articles have appeared in national and international publications. She is a founding member of Authors of the Flathead and helps to plan the annual Flathead River Writers Conference in Kalispell, Montana. Her greatest joy is mentoring young writers. The first book in Debbie’s series, INSTRUMENT OF THE DEVIL, won the 2016 Zebulon Award which led to her publishing contract. For more information about Debbie and her books, follow her on Twitter or visit her at www.debbieburkewriter.com


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
If you have a Sweet Success to share please contact her via email.

Sweet Success for Mike Torreano

By: Darby Karchut

Congratulations to Mike Torreano! He just signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for his third western, titled A SCORE TO SETTLE. It’s set on a cattle drive on the Goodnight-Loving Trail in 1870 New Mexico Territory, the historic genesis for Larry McMurtry’s beloved LONESOME DOVEseries. The release is schedule for this summer and takes its place along with Mike’s other traditional western mysteries, THE RECKONING and THE RENEWAL, also from The Wild Rose Press.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Del Lawson, a broken-hearted rancher, drifts aimlessly after his family is murdered. He signs on to a cattle drive along the Goodnight-Loving trail, unaware he’s still in danger. When he falls in love with Rose, a pretty Army nurse, the killers target her. Now, if he’s to recover from his grief and build a new life with her, Del must set out on a gritty hunt for the men who are hunting him.

Meanwhile, Del’s mother, who Del doesn’t know survived that murderous night, discovers the gold the killers are after. Vowing revenge, she uses the treasure in an elaborate masquerade aimed at taking the murderers down.

Will mother and son’s plans reap justice or destroy what’s left of the Lawson clan?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mike Torreano has a military background and is a student of American history and the Old West.

His debut western mystery, THE RECKONING, set in South Park, Colorado, in 1868, released in 2016 by The Wild Rose Press. The sequel, THE REVEWAL, also in South Park, 1872, released in 2018.

Mike’s written for magazines and newspapers for many years. An experienced editor, he’s taught University-level English and Journalism. He’s a member of the Historical Novel Society, Pikes Peak Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Western Writers of America and several other western writing groups. He brings his readers back in time with him as he recreates life in mid-to-late 19th century America. He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Anne.

 For more information on Mike and all his publications, visit him at miketorreano.com.


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
If you have a Sweet Success to share please contact her via email.

Sweet Success for Barbara Nickless

By: Darby Karchut

Congratulations to Barbara Nickless on her newest release, GONE TO DARKNESS, the next book in the best-selling Sydney Parnell series.

About the Book

Gone to Darkness cover, by, Barbara Nickless

Newly minted homicide detective Sydney Parnell faces a savage killer whose endgame is to capture her. And keep her.

Iraqi war vet and former railway cop Sydney Parnell is now the youngest homicide detective in Denver’s Major Crimes Unit. In the past, gut instinct has served her and her K9 partner well. But it’s not a trait Len Bandoni, her old nemesis turned reluctant mentor, admires. Not until Sydney’s instincts lead to their first case: a man tortured and beaten to death, then left in a refrigerated train car with cryptic messages carved into his body.

As Sydney; her K9 partner, Clyde; and Bandoni investigate the grisly murder, the three develop a bond that carries them through a shocking series of crimes and a horrifying conspiracy that threatens the detectives’ lives and promises to bring their beloved city to its knees. Pick up a copy at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or your favorite indie bookstore world-wide.

About the Author

Barbara Nickless

Barbara Nickless is the #1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the award-winning Sydney Parnell crime novels featuring a railway cop and her K9 partner. Jeffery Deaver promises “you’ll fall in love with one of the best characters in thriller fiction.” The series has been optioned for television. Barbara’s essays and short stories have appeared in Writer’s DigestCriminal ElementPenguin Random House, and other markets. She also teaches creative writing to veterans at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. Barbara is often in the Rocky Mountains where she loves to hike, cave, and drink single malt Scotch—although usually not at the same time. Follow the author on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or visit her at www.barbaranickless.com


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
If you have a Sweet Success to share please contact her via email.

Sweet Success for Roger Thomas

By: Darby Karchut

Congratulations to Roger Thomas on the May 29th release of THE SPECTER OF SPAR MOUNTAIN. 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

This fourth book in the Roland Mason historical mystery series presents Mason, an attorney in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1881, with a daunting case.  A miner stands accused of murdering his partner.  While he admits his partner is dead, he claims he didn’t do it; his partner was killed by a ghost. Grab a copy at Amazon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Roger Thomas was born in Illinois and lived in Virginia, but he has spent the last 25 years living in Colorado Springs.  After a 30-year career in Information Technology, he retired and returned to his love of writing.  In all, he has indie published six books, including four historical mysteries set in Laramie, Wyoming, in the 1880s. THE SPECTER OF SPAR MOUNTAIN is the latest in the series, and Roger is already busy writing a fifth Roland Mason mystery novel.  He lives here with his wife, Becky, and is happy to report that his two grown children and two grandchildren also live in Colorado. For more information about his other books, visit the author at rogerthewriter.weebly.com   


Darby Karchut

Sweet Success is coordinated by Darby Karchut who is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.
If you have a Sweet Success to share please contact her via email.