Issue #11 February 2020

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” -Mark Twain

Feb 2020 Issue
Click to download your copy

Well put Mark Twain!

We’re not much for Valentine’s Day. Rather than a day to get a heart-shaped box of chocolates, it makes for a great day to reflect on why we enjoy the craft or writing. We love to write because it makes for an excellent outlet to vent! In my most recent issues, I poured my heart on paper cursing and saying nasty things about others. When I took it to my writing group, I apologized. Embarrassed to read what I want people to hear. I want people to read the raw story of my emotions that I felt when banged angrily on the keyboard. They all laughed, “That’s what you got to do!” said one of the recently published authors who shares my genre. Come back to it in a few weeks, clean it up, and be proud of yourself for sharing something so personal.

I was glad to take her advice, and Twain’s as well. After cleaning it up, I was proud to have a clean essay that told the story I wanted to tell. I took the same piece and fictionalized it into a story completely different. The raw anger was there, and I was happy with it. 

And that’s what I love about writing. To all of those who submitted this month, I could see the same passion behind each piece. Congrats on all your hard work. You should be proud to be a writer and have the confidence to share your heart and soul.

Happy writing,

Dani & The Book Smuggler’s Den community

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SHALIMAR, Cara Lorello


The Escape, Maureen Mancini Amaturo
Rebirth, Nitin Chawla
Burnt Bridge, Ken Kapp
The Garden, Jack Wildern


Amour, Dr. Priya Dolma Tamang

Let’s Chat

with Author Julian K. Jarboe

Book Reviews

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga, Reviewed by Sascha Harris
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin, Reviewed by Karisma J. Tobin

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