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Last chance!

July 29, 2022

Time’s Running Out!

Hidden Magic, A Magic Underground Anthology

This weekend is your last chance to get Naked Came the Sharks at a sale price: 99¢,
in Smashwords’ Summer/Winter Sale. The Sale ends July 31, 2022.

On August 1, the Smashwords ebook edition of Naked Came the Sharks returns to normal pricing.

Don’t wait another minute. Grab this complete novel now for less than a dollar.

It’s Shark Week!

July 24, 2022

The title of Naked Came the Sharks was inspired by a 1969 best-seller, Naked Came the Stranger. A collaborative work, it was authored by 24 separate Newsday newspaper writers and initially released under a pseudonym. Each chapter was written by a different author with no effort to achieve any consistency.

Years later, Naked Came the Manatee was written by 13 Miami area writers. That book came together as a kind of chain. An author would write a chapter, pass it along to the next writer, and so on. The final writer had to tie all the loose ends together in the last chapter.  It was originally published as a serial in the Miami Herald’s Tropic magazine, one chapter per issue, and later published as a single novel.

The authors who wrote Naked Came the Sharks used yet another process. Each chapter is told from the point of view of a particular character. Each author took charge of one character, or in some cases, several characters. I put together an outline and we used that as a guideline in crafting our chapters.

You might wonder how four people managed to collaborate on a novel, finish the work, and remain friends but it was never acrimonious. It wasn’t even our first joint project. We met every week at a coffeehouse, shared what we had written, and critiqued it. When we were done, we created an acronym for our names. Jerry Bateman, Devorah Fox, Don Lowe, and Ellie Killian became “Jed Donellie.”

We started Naked Came the Sharks because we were opposed to several local developments and we aired our gripes in the story. When we finished, we felt it was too controversial to see the light of day. We put the work aside and went on to other individual writing projects.

Six years later, Don Lowe passed away. Jerry Bateman died in 2011. But I still had all the files as well as fond memories of how much fun the story was. It seemed a shame to keep it under wraps. The developments we had opposed were now fait accompli so the writing posed less risk. I asked Ellie Killian how she felt about making it available and she agreed. I was in the publishing business and saw to the rewriting, editing, cover design, layout, and production. At last Naked Came the Sharks was ready to be published and enjoyed by readers everywhere.

Want to celebrate Shark Week without risking life and limb and see what four people put together? For a short time, get it at a sale price. The ebook is just 99¢ on Smashwords. Enter the coupon code at checkout.

Is your curiosity about author collaborations piqued? Get to know the phenomenal writing team of Chris Heinicke and Kate Reedwood. Not only do they not live in the same city, but they also don’t even live on the same continent! How do they do it?

What’s in a name?

July 14, 2022

“What’s in a name?” William Shakespeare asked in “Romeo and Juliet.”

Authors put a lot of thought and creativity into the titles of their works. The title has to do so much: attract readers’ attention, identify the genre, suggest the content, be memorable. Although once I liked a word so much I wrote a novel just so I could use it, I usually find the title is the hardest part to write.

The title of Naked Came the Sharks presented no such problem. Something of an in-joke, it was inspired by another work.

Naked Came the Stranger by Penelope Ashe was published in 1969 and was a commercial success, becoming a national bestseller. Sales quickly reached 20,000 copies.

Shortly thereafter it was revealed to be a hoax. The book hadn’t been authored by “Penelope Ashe,” which was a pseudonym, but by 24 separate Newsday newspaper writers. They collaborated to craft a sexually explicit novel with no redeeming literary or social value. They had become convinced that popular American literary culture had become so base any book could succeed if it had enough sex in it. Each chapter was written by a different author with no effort to achieve any consistency. Some chapters had to be rewritten because they were too good; some of the authors were so skilled as to have won the Pulitzer Prize.

After the revelation, sales soared to 90,000 copies and by the end of the year, the book had spent 13 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. At one count it had sold 400,000 copies.

In 1996, thirteen Miami area writers set out to do something similar. The result was Naked Came the Manatee, mystery/thriller parody.

Years later, when four South Texas writers decided to collaborate on a novel, they took a page, so to speak, from these previous collective works. Naked Came the Stranger became the inspiration for the title. Rather than invent a pseudonym for the author, the team decided to craft an acronym of the four writers’ names. (How four people managed to work on the same book and remain friends is the subject of a future post.)

Want to see what they came up with? The ebook edition of Naked Came the Sharks is on sale this month on

What say you?

July 8, 2022

Lady Blackwing’s third exploit is about ready for launch. The question is, where to launch it?

  • Vella, as a serial read?
  • Kindle Unlimited?
  • Audiobook?
  • Or go wide and publish it on a variety of platforms like Nook?

These are mutually exclusive so picking one may rule out the others. What’s your opinion? Tell me, please. Leave a comment.

Meanwhile, here’s a sneak peak at the cover.

And you read that right. Third exploit. Do you need to catch up on Lady Blackwing’s previous ventures? Not a problem. You can find Lady Blackwing’s origin story here followed by Lady Blackwing Gets Her Moniker, in digital editions and as audiobooks.

A gift from the gods

July 7, 2022

That would be chocolate! Happy World Chocolate Day!

Why July 7? It’s the date that according to Wikipedia, “some suggest to be the anniversary of the introduction of chocolate to Europe in 1550.” But we all know King Bewilliam discovered it much sooner than that, and used it to bribe a woman into revealing a secret that unlocked the mystery of “The Lost King.” (See how I cleverly worked in that plug?)

So, settle back with your favorite chocolatey treat and melt into King Bewilliam’s bewildering world.

Happy July!

July 1, 2022
Naked Came the Sharks by Jed Donellie and Devorah Fox

Happy July and Happy Canada Day. Happy July 4th weekend. It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in Southern Hemisphere. Maybe you’re planning a beach vacation or only wish you were. If you can’t get to the beach, you can at least send your imagination there, at a bargain price.

The digital edition of “Naked Came the Sharks” is only 99¢ on Enter the code SSW75 at checkout for 75% off.

Or, get the audiobook version at a discount at Google Play Audiobooks and earn bonus points for your purchase at Kobo Audiobooks.

Find this entertaining title in all its forms at your favorite store:

Earn a bonus!

June 29, 2022

The audiobook edition of “Naked Came the Sharks” is now available for preorder on You can get it for free with your trial. Or, if you don’t want to subscribe, you can simply buy the single title. BONUS: if you buy it, you get 3X “superpoints” redeemable for other titles from their catalog. The app for listening is free from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Devorah Fox | Facebook

June 29, 2022

Source: Devorah Fox | Facebook

Is it safe to go in the water?

June 16, 2022

Headed for a beach vacation? Maybe only in your dreams? No worries. I’ve got a beach read for you: Naked Came the Sharks. Set on the Texas Gulf Coast, it’s murder, mayhem, and shenanigans. And I have some exciting news to share about it. 

You can now get Naked Came the Sharks not only in hardback, in paperback, as a Kindle or epub book, but also as an audiobook. Instead of reading it, you can have it read TO you. En route to that beach vacation, perhaps, or there at your desk on break while you’re dreaming about the beach.

I had so much fun putting this together. I almost like the audio version better than the readable ones. No, I didn’t do the narration but Michelle did a fabulous job.

Never fear, I haven’t abandoned print. In fact, I have another work-in-progress.  Having now done five audiobooks, though I plan for an audio edition of the new one as well as paperback and digital.

We’re investigating other platforms and distributors but for now, the audiobook edition of Naked Came the Sharks is available from Google Play for Books. You’ll need the Google Play for Books app, which is free, and possibly a Gmail address to listen. And as of this writing, while it’s on preorder, Naked Came the Sharks is available at a discounted price. Grab it today before the price goes up.

For You Fantasy Fans

It does sound like it’s all about crimes and crime-solving but worry not. Fantasy stories are in progress. Even now, Lady Blackwing is tackling her third exploit and there’s another King Bewilliam story on the way too. They’re slated for publication later this year and next year, so stay tuned.

Ready, set … launch!

May 27, 2022

Lady Blackwing by Devorah Fox

Looking for some adventure this weekend? Lady Blackwing to the rescue. Exploits #1 and #2 are now available as ebooks AND audiobooks. Exploit #3 is in progress!