Tag Archives: new adult

Wolves Don’t Knock!

I’ve been working diligently on my book WOLVES DON’T KNOCK for several years, off and on, in several evolving versions (short story, novella, novel) and finally had the nerve to send it off to beta readers. (A select few have previously read the manuscript in various stages, but not as it is now, in its—hopefully—last and final revision.)

One beta reader, a stranger, got back to me yesterday: “Absolutely thrilling.  I couldn’t put it down…I love the parallel mother/daughter relationship and once the grandmother gets involved, it truly turns into a generational problem….Jeremy is a good character.  He sneaks in gradually—I like that….Grammar looks good.  Dialog is good.  Character development is good… You have wonderful symbolism and use it well throughout.  And all the “wolf” connections and descriptions are soooo perfect this should be in a lit course to teach symbolism!” Criticism: She wanted more information about the abductor, and the itty-bitty “prologue” (which isn’t labelled as a prologue) threw her off at the start, but by the time she finished reading the manuscript, she got it.

This is a far cry from my other beta reader (we exchanged beta reads), an online writer acquaintance, who relayed a couple of weeks previously: “I didn’t know what to make of all the visions both women had of wolves. I thought maybe shape-shifter things….I have never read a book with (possibly) wolf man themes and didn’t know what to expect….I have to wonder why the wolf-man theme is even there. What are we supposed to think at the end? That…the babies…half wolves and are now out there somewhere searching for new victims…”

What!?!? I was mystified and stunned as to the latter critique. I politely told her so, too, and she understood my feelings (we’re still friends; no hard feelings). Yes, I “get” that readers have differences and not every reader will enjoy every story, but I hate werewolf and vampire stories and most certainly would never write about them, so when she gleaned that theme from my book I was more than stunned. (Though she didn’t get the gist of my book, she was still helpful and picked up numerous errors.)

I have three other beta readers in the works. I’m hoping they get back to me soon, so I will have a clearer picture of my book. Right now, I’m batting 50/50, right? And then, after perhaps a few adjustments, off it goes to an editor—unless I accept an offered publishing contract. Hmm…

If I self-publish and all goes well, publication date is May 2, 2018.

Stay tuned….


Wolves Cover

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The Spot Writers – “Dear Mom,” by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to the Spot Writers. The prompt for this month is to write a letter from one character to another about a third character. Miranda, the central character in Cathy’s work in progress, has written a letter to her mother, though she veers away from third character, Paul, and toward other characters.

This book, tentatively titled DOORBELLS AND DECEMBER, is Cathy’s longest work thus far. Two chapters (before she knew she’d continue with the story) were published by Dancing With Bear Publishing in 2012 and 2013 as short stories (parts 1 and 2) in Christmas anthologies. As of now, the story is approximately 45,000 words, and her goal is to have this book finished by the end of the summer and ready for publication by October. Cathy is beyond excited to have written this much on one work and hopes to add another 20,000 words. The book will likely be categorized as “New Adult” (ages 18-24).

Check out Cathy’s website (below) for information on her books of short stories for sale, as well as her recent children’s books.


Dear Mom,

This letter is so very hard to write, but Diane suggested I write it to relieve myself of burdens I can’t let go of. Even if I never give you this letter, she says I’ll feel better afterward.

Paul. Where do I start? I can’t begin to tell you all the things he did to me, most I’d never want you to know. And now I find I can’t even write about it—so much for therapy. I suppose he could have been worse; I’ve heard way more horrific stories than mine. Over time, Diane says the pain will lessen, but I know I’ll always remember. Perhaps someday, if and when joy enters my life to stay, I might forget.

I know I have a bright future, especially now that I’m reunited with Kevin. And Chad—I’m hoping he’s my soulmate. (I love that word, which can mean so many different things.)  But I’m not sure Chad feels the same way about me, not with his many mixed messages. He IS a womanizer, as you and Clara have said, so I’ll wait it out, see what happens. All I can do, right? I can’t force someone to love me.

Mom, I’ve lied to you in the past. About Kevin. About Jeremy. Lies I’ll never reveal to you. I can’t. You’d hate me then for sure, so certain things will be left unsaid. Again, I can’t even write them down. Am I trying to hide my secrets from me, too? I’m such a coward!

I miss Dad so much. When he died, I wished you had been killed instead of him. What an awful thought. For sure, this is one secret I’ll never reveal. But I am sorry I rebelled after his death. Bad, bad Miranda.

Well, I haven’t accomplished much with this letter. Except for the revelation about Dad, I could probably hand this to you. Would I feel better then? No, I don’t think so. A female is entitled to her secrets, isn’t she? And I know, in the end, I’ll be okay. I’m a survivor. And I will be until the day I die.

I love you, Mom, and I’m sorry I never told you that enough. I’ll make it up to you. I promise.

Love, Miranda.


The Spot Writers- our members.

RC Bonitz


Val Muller


 Catherine A. MacKenzie


 Deborah Marie Dera


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