Sunday, February 26, 2012


Last week the UPS man delivered a nice big box to me. I did not recognize the return address.

I began unwrapping the package and was very impressed with the billowy quantity of tissue paper and bubble-wrap. This is breakable--cool!

I carefully removed the final layer of bubble-wrap only to find a beautiful and quite expensive item. (The exact nature of the item shall remain untold to protect the sender.)

The next layer of the package contained an advance copy of an unpublished book and a query letter from a hopeful author. The author said that the beautiful item was a gift. Jon looked at the beautiful object and said, "You have to send it back."

"I do?" I said, cradling said item and getting quite fond of it. "Why? I didn't order this; it's a gift."

"No," he said. "It's a bribe."

"That's so cold," I sniffed, setting the lovely thing on my hutch. (It looked quite beautiful there, glinting seductively in the waning afternoon sun.)

"It's gotta go," he said.

"But, I'll have to pay postage for a thing I didn't order! It's not fair!"

"No, it's not fair," he said. "Send it back."

I'm not going to tell you the rest of the story. What is the ethical thing to do? What would you have done?

I'll tell you what I did in the next post.

Friday, February 17, 2012


August 1, 1995—February 17, 2012

 Wylie was a fixture in our office for over 14 years, from his early days with his brother and sister, romping under our feet and skittering down the hall after catnip mice, to the past few weeks when play, eating, sleeping, even purring, were more than he could manage.

He was sick and suffering so we took him to the vet this afternoon and said goodbye for the last time. What an awful decision, but it was a promise we made to him years ago.

When you’re unable to be a cat, when pain and suffering dominate your days, we will release you.

When we got home tonight we gathered the blankets, towels, the brushes, cat toys and dishes and put them in large trash bags. The cans of cat food and container of cat litter will go to our local cat rescuer; the litter boxes will be discarded. Without all that cat detritus the office looks much more professional and less cluttered. But it’s also less alive. We’re going to have to figure out how to move forward post-Wylie. We’ve decided that we will not try to replace him.

The house is so different without Wylie. We both fight the tears and the sorrow and I’m sure we will for some time. He was such a good friend and such a good cat. We miss him desperately and will remember him forever.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


As the snow flutters down here in Fogelsville today, we are reminded of the quaint seaside village of Cape Willington, Maine, setting of the national bestselling Candy Holliday mystery series.

Author B.B. Haywood just did it again with the latest in the series, TOWN IN A WILD MOOSE CHASE. The book hit the New York Times Mass Market Fiction Bestseller Extended list at #33!

This book is set in winter in Cape Willington--and trouble is about to walk right into Candy's life. First, town hermit Solomon Hatch stirs things up by claiming to have seen a dead body in the woods with a hatchet in its back. Then, a mysterious white moose starts appearing around town in the strangest of places...

Take a look at this book--it's a great winter read!

Monday, February 13, 2012


Jon received an email yesterday from an author he'd turned down at the partial stage. Jon told me that while he admired the author's writing, the content was simply too dark and troubling for Jon's taste.
Jon explained this to the author when he sent his rejection letter.
Yesterday the author wrote back telling Jon that he'd been picked up by another agent. He thanked Jon for his comments and said that, rather than discouraging him, the rejection gave him hope that another agent might see things differently.
This is not an unusual story. We often pass on projects that don't fit our own personal tastes because it's very hard to get behind a book that we don't find personally compelling.
So, when you receive rejections from agents like us think of them as stepping stones to your goal. If your writing is splendid, if the topic is unique and your voice is driving, your book will find a champion.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Our authors Rob and Beth Feeman (a.k.a. B.B. Haywood) just redesigned their website. The timing is great as the third book in their Berkley Prime Crime cozy mystery series, Town in a Wild Moose Chase, will be published next week.

If you liked the first two books, you'll love this saga of life in Cape Willington, Maine during the winter. Of course there is a dead body and a celebration and Candy and Doc Holliday. But this time there is also a mysterious moose and lots of other exciting features. The book is available everywhere!

Check out the website and read a chapter!