Tag Archives: writing contest

Celebrating Four New Releases from Second Wind Publishing!

To celebrate these releases, we have three contests/giveaways/chances to win books. Choose your favorite, or enter all of them! All events end on April 15, 2011, so hurry!!

1. a writing contest: If you could write a letter and send it back through time to yourself, at age eight, what would you say to your younger self? J. Conrad Guest will select the best ones and award those letter writers inscribed copies of One Hot January. Click here for the rules and to submit your entry: What Would You Say to Your Eight-Year-Old Self?

2. a quiz: One person, randomly chosen from all correct entries, will win an ecopy of all four newly released books. (To be downloaded at Smashwords.com). Click here for the quiz: Take this Quiz and Win Books!

3. a giveaway:  leave a comment on this post telling us which newly released book (or books) you would like to read, and you might win that ebook! Four people chosen at random from all commenters will win an ebook of their choice to be downloaded from Smashwords in their preferred format.

Your choices of books for the giveaway:

Light Bringer: Becka Johnson had been abandoned on the doorstep of a remote cabin in Chalcedony, Colorado when she was a baby. Now, thirty-seven years later, she has returned to Chalcedony to discover her identity, but she only finds more questions. Who has been looking for her all those years? Why are those same people interested in fellow newcomer Philip Hansen? Who is Philip, and why does her body sing in harmony with his? And what do either of them have to do with a shadow corporation that once operated a secret underground installation in the area?


In One Hot January, Joe January, an emotionally aloof private investigator from the South Bronx, gets more than he bargains for when he uncovers this seemingly impossible plot of time travel and alternate realities by grudgingly agreeing to help a pretty young woman locate her missing father. Her father, a Professor of Archeology from Columbia College, must prevent the secret location of Hitler’s body, which lies in a cryogenic state awaiting a cure for cancer, from falling into the wrong hands. By the end of the novel, January is thrust one hundred years into the future, where he must survive on a century-old sagacity as he endeavors to find his way back to his own time and the woman he loves but lacked the courage to tell. The tale concludes in January’s Thaw, to be released later this year.

The Magic Fault unfolds in Turin, Italy, where the Catholic Church’s most revered relic has been stolen by a mysterious sect from the city’s cathedral.  The theft occurs during the 2004 Salone del Gusto, Turin’s celebration of “good, clean, and fair food” sponsored by the international Slow Food Movement. Tom Ueland, an American Midwest college history professor and journalist who writes about magical thinking, is in Turin to vacation with a friend, Rachel Cohen, an exhibitor at the celebration.  He’s also there at the invitation of the Turin archbishop, himself a student of magical thinking.  Tom takes up the chase after the Shroud of Turin and is spun toward a resolution he never sees coming.

More Than a Governess: Becky Thorn has been keeping a secret for more than seven years. A secret that, if found out, could destroy her. So before she gets too ensconced in London society, she accepts a position as a governess for a reclusive Viscount and his wife, far away from the ton.

Stephen Hastings, the third Viscount Hastings, is nothing short of perturbed when the tart Miss Thorn shows up on his doorstep. He is a man with little time and even less patience, who feels his pushover housekeeper is doing a fine job keeping his wards out of his hair. But Miss Thorn thinks differently and needles her way into becoming his governess, and eventually, the object of his affection.

Read the first chapters of these books at: The Exciting Worlds of Second Wind Books.

For even more fun, click on the covers and you will find a surprise!


Filed under books, fiction, fun, writing

Staccato: Concept-by Deborah J Ledford

Continuing with how my upcoming suspense thriller Staccato came to be, the next part of the series touches upon concept. Another top question asked by many people unfamiliar with the writing process is: How do you come up with your ideas?

I’ve written screenplays, poetry, short stories and have completed four thriller novels, and can honestly say that no two concepts have come to me the same way. In the previous article here on the Second Wind Publishing blog Staccato: Inception, I tell of how the initial inspiration for my debut novel came to me after discovering an extremely visual poster.

For me, some concepts come from a piece of music, a snippet of conversation from passersby, captivating, inspirational or even disturbing visuals. Most powerful for me are the too-brief news bulletins or the often-maddening news crawl on CNN or MSNBC—the “breaking news” items you simply must know right now, but come morning will never hear of again.

The concept for one of my short stories, “For Katie,” came to me while watching the news late one night. Yet another unfortunate story about a missing child was being speculated on the 24-hour news stations. Polly Klaas’ father was on a panel, as always offering his advice whenever a child is thought to be taken by a stranger.

A number of questions popped into my mind: What does Mrs. Klaas think of Polly’s father being on the news all the time—dredging up their tragic story. Has the woman ever healed? We see Marc Klaas, too often it seems, but whatever became of Polly’s mother?

Those questions wouldn’t let me go—a sure sign that I needed to flesh out the subject matter, bring a few characters to life and allow them to tell their story.  These mere ideas quickly turned into a “high-concept” short story.  Apparently, “For Katie” struck a cord with a number of people.  The piece won first place in an international short story contest, was published in print, and I received my first Pushcart Prize nomination.

Again, I urge you to remain open to what is presented to you. If you are troubled by the smallest element of a concept, the wink of idea that won’t let you go, it’s a sure sign for you to get busy writing.


Deborah J Ledford invites you to read the short story “For Katie”.  She is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel Staccato, scheduled for release by Second Wind Publishing, September, 2009.


Filed under fiction, writing

Becoming Pat Bertram

I finally understand why books about writing suggest writing the first draft of a novel as quickly as possible, to forget the mechanics and just get the story on paper or in the computer. I’ve never been able to do that — the words come hard to me (or perhaps I enjoy the search for the right word too much). Either way, it takes me a long time to write a book. I also write longhand, which limits the number of words I can write at a sitting. Still, my work-in-progress has been taking longer than normal. In fact, I’ve been playing around with it on and off (mostly off) for more than two years.

I just finished typing up what I have written so far — 39,000 words. Very good words, actually.  The book started out as a humorous apocalyptic fantasy, metamorphosed into horror, then turned into allegory (which is sort of ridiculous, because who reads allegory nowadays?) but it seems to have gradually swung full circle and become humorous again. I found myself laughing aloud at times, which is something I seldom do when reading, and never before at anything I wrote.

I’m anxious to get back to writing — the story deserves to be told. (And I hate the thought of wasting those hard won words.) The problem is, I am not the same person today as I was when I conceived the story. I’m not even the same as I was in January when I last worked on the book. The past two years have been filled with changes — learning how to use a computer, learning the Internet, finding a publisher, learning how to promote (or rather trying to learn), to say nothing of the wonderful people I have met and the friends I have made. It’s been a life changing experience, this becoming Pat Bertram, author.

So the question is, do I continue writing the book as I conceived it, do I try to wing it, do I do what I’ve been doing all along — writing when and what I feel like? A more important question that haunts me is that my first four books had a particular theme — how public lies and hidden truths affect our lives — and I have said what I wanted to say about that. So where do I go from here?

I don’t write short stories, but Second Wind is going to be putting out an anthology in September, and my publisher is tying to talk me into submitting a story. (You can submit one too. Second Wind is sponsoring a contest, and the winner will be published. You can find the details here: Mystery Contest.) So that will allow me to put off working on my manuscript for a while (which I’m sure is not what he had in mind), but eventually I will have to decide what I want to write. What I want to say.

In the end, it will depend on who Pat Bertram becomes. And of that, I haven’t a clue.

Pat Bertram is the author of More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire, available from Second Wind Publishing, LLC.


Filed under books, life, musings, Pat Bertram, writing