Beta Issue 18

November 16, 2015

Review of Between Lions and Lambs by N.T. McQueen

by Lynne Hinkey       Reviewer Rating: 2.5 Stars      

The appeal of Between Lions and Lambs is in the flawed and very believable characters and the tragic tale of the making–and breaking–of evangelical preacher Ezekiel Clemens. The multitude of basic English-usage and writing errors, however, leaves the reader feeling somewhat abused by the author. He clearly cared more about publishing than writing, or its essential partner, editing. Readers who don’t mind reading something closer to a first draft than a publication ready story might enjoy this, but don’t expect any polish in the story’s telling. It’s not there. Four stars for an intriguing plot and interesting characters, but one star for the poor quality of the writing, averaging out to 2.5.


Writing What You Know, the Journalism and Blogging Edition

by Katie Rose Guest Pryal      

In my first novel, Entanglement, the hero (Timmy) and heroine (Greta) end up working together in a niche company owned by the hero, called Pacific Production Lighting. Pac Lighting owns hundreds of stage lights, thousands of meters of cable, multiple lighting control boards, meters and meters of truss, motors to hang the truss from event spaces, and more. When Greta first enters Pac Lighting’s warehouse, she’s awestruck by the huge space and the huge amount of gear. At readings, audience members often ask me how I know so much about such a unique business. I seem to know an awful lot about stage lights and cable and such. Did I just do a lot of research? Sort of…



Author Spotlight: Jillian Green DiGiacomo

ABOUT THE BOOK: CODENAME CUPCAKE CODENAME CUPCAKE is the story of Molly Peterson, frazzled suburban mom who takes her first day “off” from full-time parenting to visit New York City. When she witnesses a crime in progress, Molly’s mommy instincts kick in and she instinctively grabs the gun out of the would-be criminal’s hand, just as she would take any dangerous object away from a child. With that, her life changes forever. Recorded by a bystander’s iPhone, the “hero mom” video goes viral and Molly becomes an instant, albeit reluctant, celebrity. But the real fun begins when a super-secret spy agency recruits Molly. At first she is thrilled: super powers! An “enhanced” mini-van! Secret tunnels from New Jersey to Manhattan spy headquarters! Life is great! But then she is given her assignment: to infiltrate the PTA at her son’s elementary school. She must join every committee and volunteer at every event in order to be in the building enough to find out why Midwood Elementary School is getting chillier and chillier, discover who is behind the dangerous cooling trend, and prevent a potential calamity. Molly is completely on board for the spying part. It’s the PTA part that she dreads. CODENAME CUPCAKE is a hilarious send-up of parenting, PTA moms and dads, PTA avoiders, spy novels, and comic books. Readers will cheer for Molly as she grapples with both the ordinary and the outlandish in her new life as a super-mom.




Pitch Perfect Pick Winner

Over the last month, our top submissions were put to a vote. This one came out on top.


The Opener

Votes: 2

Abandoning a recession-plagued America for the easy money of Asia’s lucrative but highly illegal boiler room industry, Don Rouse must navigate through a sordid world of drug addicts, deviants, prostitutes and professional con men in order to achieve his lifelong dream of making it big.



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