Remembering the 2017 Conference one more time…

This week, member Vicky Ramakka takes us down memory lane in this post recalling her experience on the 2017 WWW Tuscon conference’s nature walk.

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            This is a very late follow-up to the Tucson conference. (No one can accuse me of rushing into things, but I do have the excuse of traveling to Botswana in the interim.) All the workshops, networking and events were wonderful, but I especially enjoyed the morning nature walk with Carolyn Niethammer, author of Cooking the Wild Southwest: Delicious Recipes for Desert Plants. She shared a wealth of native plant uses with our group.

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            Starting with a gnarly old Prickly Pear cactus next to the lodge, Carolyn pointed out the cochineal insect that produces a unique red dye and lives only on Opuntia cactus.

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She reached into her big basket, brought out a jar of Prickly Pear juice, and poured a taste for all of us. Along the trail to the waterfall, we sniffed, rubbed, and chewed all kinds of plants. What a great teacher and memorable experience.

            Thanks, Carolyn. And thanks to all the officers and organizers who put on a great conference. 

Looking forward to seeing everyone in Walla Walla…THIS year!


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New Release: WRITE TO ME, by WWW Member Cynthia Grady

Screen Shot 2017-12-26 at 8.59.03 PMOne of our new WWW members, Cynthia Grady, will have a children’s book out on January 9th: Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind. Set in the 1940’s, Write to Me tackles the difficult subject of Executive Order 9066, when Japanese Americans were imprisoned in the desert.

The story involves a children’s librarian, Clara Breed, and her Japanese American patrons, who promise to write Miss Breed letters while she, in turn, gives them books to read during their imprisonment. Throughout the three-year internment, the children correspond with Miss Breed, sharing stories, feedback on books, and creating a written record of this snapshot of history. Using excerpts from children’s letters of real-life Japanese prisoners from the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, this Booklist starred children’s book is a touching tale of hope and encouragement amid dark times.

Link to Pre-Order:

About Cynthia

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Born on Whidbey Island, Washington as the 6th of 9 children, Cynthia grew up near San Francisco and now lives in New Mexico after a teaching career in Washington DC. When not writing, Cynthia gardens, sews and plays music. To learn more about Cynthia and her books, visit

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What’s Going on with Goodreads?

The other week, many authors saw the news about the change Goodreads is making to their Giveaway feature, and the publishing (both traditional and self) worlds had a mini explosion.

In case you did happen to miss this tidbit in the news, the general idea is that Goodreads will now charge authors to do a Giveaway on their site. This service used to be free to do, and only would cost authors the cost of their books they gave away and the shipping. Now, authors must pay for those books and shipping as well as pay for the actual Giveaway service. This service is going to cost anywhere from $120 – $599.

Whether you are for, against, or indifferent to the change on the Goodreads platform, it is, if anything, a reminder that the publishing world is constantly pivoting and changing, with little to no warning. We all depend on the online sales, no matter our publishing situation, and we all need to reach our audiences. What will that be, in the future, especially as services (no matter which service that is!) continually change, or become too big an investment for any but the most well-backed authors? It’s going to be interesting as the publishing world continues to evolve, large big publishing houses struggle to keep afloat, and millions of books are propped on a large array of distribution locations.

These changes may encourage us to go back to our roots and find our audiences on a more intimate, grassroots level, which would certainly mean the audience is more engaged and interested in a long-term way. We may be on the brink of new technology for meeting readers and fans, which would likely be a  good thing (albeit we might find it annoying to constantly have to relearn the next new place to spend time! Will it be new social media? A new place to promote?). And we certainly need to turn to one another for help and ideas.

This is where a community like Women Writing the West comes into play. The camaraderie with the group is robust, thoughtful, supportive, and fully active. Authors promote, congratulate, and applaud the successes of one another, and we love to see our family grow. Even beyond the social sites such as Facebook, we have private chat groups on Listserv, and offer ideas, advice, and contacts that cannot be found easily otherwise.

As our president, Carmen Peone says, “We are rich in wisdom with this organization.”

How do YOU promote your books? What ideas can you glean from others? These questions are constantly asked as the business moves and changes. WWW is a wonderful resource to be a member and receive answers from authors both new and experienced.

Regardless of what happens next, pieces to the writing and marketing puzzle are worth it to get our words out there. We should all be sure we support each other as changes in the publishing work continue to trickle down to us. We’re stronger together, and we’ll survive the shifting sand beneath our feet, no matter where it comes from!

If you want to read about the new Goodreads policies, you can read them here:

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New Release: THE HIRED MAN by Lynna Banning (WWW member Carolyn Woolston)

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 6.28.35 PMCongratulations are in order for WWW member Lynna Banning with her recent release, The Hired Man, published on October 17, 2017 by Mills & Boon Press. It is a Harlequin Historical.

Eleanor Malloy’s farm is on the brink of collapse. Her kids run wild and the whole place is held up by spit and rust. Hiring Cordell Winterman is a smart decision, if only to keep her farm from foundering. He’s haunted by his past mistakes, but most importantly, he’s broke, hungry and desperate for work. Soon, her children fall for him, regardless of his enigmatic persona, and Eleanor discovers she’s falling too. The farm – and Eleanor’s world – start to grow again, just as the husband long thought dead in the War returns home . . .


To buy link:

About Lynna

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 8.18.38 PMLynna Banning (Carolyn Woolston) was born in Oregon, and now lives in Felton, California. Her past work as an editor and technical writer, as well as an English and journalism teacher, gives her an inordinate amount of writing experience. An avid musician, Lynna plays piano, harp, psaltery, harpsichord, and recorder, and coaches music ensembles. Learn more at: .

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New Release(s) with WWW Member Shanna Hatfield

November was a very busy month for WWW Member Shanna Hatfield. She had not one or two books come out, but four! Three books are western romance novels, and the third is an illustrated children’s book. The line that binds all three together are animals. Shanna includes a furry friend (or two or more!) in each book, which is sure to melt the hearts of all animal lovers who read them.

She also has two December (and Christmas-themed) books that are hot off the press. The Dove just released on December 2, with The Christmas Confection launching tomorrow, December 5th.

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 2.45.21 PMThe Christmas Confection (releasing Dec. 5)

Born to an outlaw father and a shrewish mother, Fred Decker feels obligated to atone for the past without much hope for his future. If he possessed a lick of sense, he’d pack up and leave the town where he was born and raised, but something… someone… unknowingly holds him there. On the other hand, Elsa Lindstrom adores the life she’s carved out for herself in the small Eastern Oregon town. She and her twin brother, Ethan, run their own bakery where she delights in creating delicious treats. Then Ethan comes home unexpectedly married, the drunks in town mistakenly identify her as a missing harlot, and a mishap in the bakery leaves her at the mercy of the most gossiped-about man in Hardman.


Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 2.45.07 PMThe Dove

Culver Daniels spent years cultivating a peaceful, orderly existence with his blacksmith shop and livery business. Then the pastor of Noelle lands upon a crazy scheme to save the town by sending for a bunch of mail-order brides. Despite his determination to remain single, Culver finds himself among those agreeing to wed. The moment he meets the beautiful gypsy woman he’s promised to marry, he realizes life will never be the same. Like Culver, widow Kezia Mirga has no desire to marry. Yet, for the sake of her most cherished treasure, she moves to a remote Colorado mining town to do just that. She arrives to find nothing as she expected, the town in a state of turmoil, and her intended far more handsome and charming than she imagined.


Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 2.45.38 PMChasing Christmas

Professional bull rider Chase Jarrett has the world on a string. The only blight in his idyllic existence is his nosy cousin’s nonstop nagging about his need for more publicity. Tired of listening to her suggestions, he gives her free rein when she hatches a plan to skyrocket his popularity. All he has to do is show up for a phony wedding in Las Vegas. Then Chase discovers the wedding was real, the surprise bride is beautiful, and his sponsors are demanding he remain married. A business proposal leaves Chase and shy Jessie Pierce committed to a year of marriage. How hard could it be to remain wed in name only?



Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 2.28.49 PMBlown Into Romance

Artist Brooke Roberts spent her life without roots, wandering from town to town. When she seeks refuge from a freak storm in the town of Romance, she decides to stay and open a blown glass studio. Determined to immerse herself in the community, she adopts a family of pigs. Brooke is unprepared for the chaos and comfort they bring to her world, or for the dashing cowboy who rescues stray animals, and, quite possibly, her heart.


Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 2.28.41 PMSaving Mistletoe

Hotshot attorney Ellen Meade seems to have it all: a powerful position with her firm, a posh downtown apartment, and a bright future ahead of her. But for Ellen, the future grows dimmer with each passing day. Her apartment is lonely without her best friend, and the demands of her job are slowly killing her soul. At the same time, Burke Tipton loves his job as a Mounted Patrol Officer in downtown Portland. The life he’s built away from his family’s ranch is simple and uncomplicated. At least it was until a beautiful woman bumps into him and turns his world upside down. Add in Burke’s partner Sugar Bear, Lovey the dog, and a child named Mistletoe in need of a Christmas miracle, and you get a heartwarming, holiday romance.


Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 2.28.32 PMSteve the Mule

From the beloved Pendleton Petticoats series, Steve the Mule now has his own story!

 Steve the Mule has an important job at his family’s ranch in 1910 Pendleton, Oregon: he keeps his eye on little Willa. When he discovers trouble brewing, Steve races off to save her. Will he make it in time?

Steve the Mule is great for young readers, ages 3-8, of course, and the young at heart.


(All books are also available via Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo.)


About Shanna

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 2.43.04 PMShanna is the first to describe herself as a hopeless romantic. A USA Today bestselling author, Shanna has also had novels final in the Will Rodgers Medallion and RONE award contests. Growing up in Oregon,  she now lives with her husband, who she calls Captain Cavedweller. Learn more at

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Las Vegas Writer’s Conference


Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 1.19.09 PMJust a little announcement that Linda Weber, WWW member and the current president of the Henderson Writers’ Group in Nevada wanted to let all of us know about the annual Las Vegas Writers Conference, coming up in spring 2018.

This year’s dates are April 19 – 21, with April 22 as an add-on Master Class with Jane Friedman on Building Your Author Platform. {Jane will also present four classes and present as the keynote speaker.} You can also sign up for individual dates: only Friday, only Saturday or only the Sunday Master Class if you desire.


The conference is known for being small and intimate, with a limit of 150 attendees and faculty total. At $425 (early pricing), it is an all-inclusive experience at the Tuscany Suites and Casino Resort, just off the Las Vegas strip. With three meals provided each day including the keynote banquet, multiple pitches and a full schedule of classes, it’s sure to be a lot of hands-on time.

Linda wanted the WWW membership to be able to take advantage of the early special pricing available until January 31, 2018, so head over to to sign up. Pricing increaseson February 1 to $500. Or, if you have questions for Linda, you can contact her directly at


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Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 9.30.48 PMWWW member Gail Jenner released her historic cookbook, Sourdough Biscuits and Pioneer Pies on November 1, 2017 with TwoDot Publishing.

With over 120 vintage/historic recipes, sidebars relating the history of settlement in the West, plus vintage and color photos, this cookbook is a call-out to our WWW membership. Many of the recipes came from WWW members as well as bakers/cooks from all over the West. And though many of the recipes are from history, they’re fully adapted for the modern cook and baker.

Sourdough Biscuits and Pioneer Pies shares the baking secrets of Native American ranch house cooks, chuck wagon chefs, and wagon train homemakers. Laced among classic baked goods recipes such as Sourdough Biscuits, and Wild Grape-Apple Pie are dozens of anecdotes and fun facts on how our ancestors were so successful with so little, which likely calls to the hearts of many of our members!


About Gail
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Gail lives with her rancher husband on his family’s 150-year-old, original homestead near Etna in Northern California. The author of ten books, Gail is also an avid cook and gardener and has had recipes published in Better Homes & Gardens, Everyday with Rachel Ray, Country Woman, and A Taste of Home.
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