September 2019 Newsletter

Dragonfly Books Newsletter

September 2019


Copy of Dragonfly Books logo


Copy of Publishing Contract (1)


  • Two author contestants will be chosen as winners.
    The PRIZE? 
    A full year, 12 MONTHS, of complete publishing services: editing, formatting, cover art and promotion for winning entry.
    We will promote on all social media.  Hashtags on all posts.
    Our mission is to give new indie writers exposure in the market.
    We are writers ourselves and want to promote the world of indie writers.

    Book can be any genre
    Book does not have to be professionally edited
    Book cannot be under contract to another publisher
    One entry per author
    All entries must be submitted by Sept. 15, 2019, at 11:59 PM Eastern time
    Formats: MOBI, EPUB, Word, PDF either digital or hard copy
    Books can be submitted via email ( Remember to put contest entry in the subject line.
    Or Mail to:
    Dragonfly Books, P.O. Box 26283, Knoxville, Tennessee, 37912

Winners to be announced Jan. 1, 2020
The manuscript submissions will be read by three judges who will choose the winners.

For more information check out our website

Or email:

Remember! YOU retain ALL rights to your book!


McKay’s Books in Knoxville Tennessee welcomes

The Crazy Writer Couple,

Elizabeth Horton-Newton and Neil Douglas Newton.

September 3 2019



Saturday, September 7, 2019 at 10 AM – 4 PM EDT

The Colonnade

264 Catoosa Cir, Ringgold, Georgia 30736



Pumpkin Palooza Family Festival
September 28, 2019
​10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Greenway Park & Pavilion, Cleveland, TN 37932

Pumpkin Paloozq


Saturday, October 5, 2019, at 1 PM – 5 PM EDT

Forsyth Conference Center at Lanier Technical College
3410 Ronald Reagan Boulevard
Cumming, GA 30041





OCT. 19  FROM 10 AM – 2 PM








beer women written word
Available on Amazon

This book follows the path of Mitchell’s semi-autobiographical alter ego, Harry Block.
Through the highs and lows of a job he hates, impending parenthood, the trials, and misadventures of redemption, and a rather long and successful in alcoholism.
All the while dealing with the struggles of the written word and writer’s block (no pun intended)


“Beer, Women, and the Written Word is a slice of life with all its grit and grime, hope for a better future, and the determination to overcome the unexpected obstacles fate loves to throw in our way, and a denouement so twisted I wanted to scream.”

“Put aside your inhibitions and sensitivity and dive into a book whose writing has been compared to James Joyce and Henry Fielding.” Between the Beats


railroad-04 (2)
Available on Amazon

       Cover Design: Rachel Bostwick

On Sept. 11, 2001, Mike Dobbs’ life was forever changed. Reeling from his nightmare experience in New York’s subway as the twin towers collapsed, he retreats from his high-power Wall Street life to his run-down country house. Coping with PTSD he resorts to single malt Scotch to dull the memories of death and destruction. Soon he is embroiled in the life of Eileen Benoit and her 7-year old daughter Megan as they flee Eileen’s abusive ex-husband. Suddenly Mike is thrown into a world he knows nothing about, and he is forced to answer the question, how far would you go for someone you love?

Re-released with a new cover, signed copies available now at:













Summer Adventures! by Marketing Director/PA Kathy B.

This summer has been a whirlwind and it’s not over yet!  Dragonfly Books has signed new authors including C.A. Sanders and Virginia Dare.  We’ve seen new releases from Starla Hartless, Adam C. Mitchell, and Elizabeth Horton-Newton.  Neil Douglas Newton is re-releasing The Railroad with a new awesome cover by our favorite cover designer, Rachel Bostwick.  New books are coming from Elizabeth Horton-Newton and Adam C. Mitchell.  There is an amazing contest running right now and anyone can enter a manuscript that has not been previously published and the winners will receive a one year contract for that book, including editing, formatting, promos, etc.  The full package.  Of course authors always retain the rights to their books, Dragonfly Books never assumes ownership of any author’s work.

Then there’s the book festivals and signings!  August 1 to 4 we were in Orlando FL at the Indie Book Fest where Elizabeth Horton-Newton appeared on a couple of panels, attended a Fandom event and an afternoon book signing.  She brought along a couple of friends, Ophelia Ostrich and Sadie Sloth who were frequently requested for photo ops.  Elizabeth appeared on a Youtube show called Hanging with the Web and acquired many new fans. 

Sept. 3rd our Crazy Writer Couple – Elizabeth Horton-Newton and Neil Douglas Newton will be signing books at the Knoxville TN location of McKay’s Books. 

The following Saturday, Sept. 7, they will be at Next Chapter Con in Ringgold GA where Elizabeth will again be on discussion panels.  This event is from       10 AM to 4 PM.  $5 admission.  Children under 12 are free with a paid adult. 

From there we will travel to Pumpkin Palooza at Greenway Park and Pavillion in Cleveland TN.   Dragonfly Books will have a table where we will be selling all our books and some Dragonfly jewelry.  Both Elizabeth Horton-Newton and Neil Douglas Newton will be on hand to sign their books.  Pumpkin Palooza  Sept 28 from 10 AM to 5 PM

We’re not done yet, then its onto Cumming GA for Sweet As A Peach GA Indie Author Event from 1 PM to 5 PM on Saturday, Oct 5th  at Forsyth Conference Center at Lanier Technical College. Elizabeth Horton-Newton will again be there signing her books.

Such an exciting summer for Dragonfly Books.

Kathy B.

The Inspiration Behind “The Railroad”

Neil Douglas Newton is one of the authors with Dragonfly Books. His first novel, “The Railroad“, was inspired by his experiences in New York City during the terrorist attacks on 9/11. The following is his blog about how that day and child abuse came together to create an emotional and suspenseful work of fiction. Dragonfly Books

“Two years ago I was lucky enough to have a book published, “The Railroad”. While it is fiction, I have a more personal connection to the story than might be apparent to anyone who reads it.

395057 06: (FILE PHOTO) Rubble and wreckage blocks a southbound track at the Cortland/WTC subway station in New York City in this undated photo taken after the collapse of the World Trade Center. Restrictions barring single-occupant cars from entering parts of New York City September 28, 2001 have combined with damage to subway stations to create serious delays for commuters in New York City. (Photo courtesy of New York City Transit Authority/Getty Images)

The story was inspired by 9/11 or, more specifically, my experiences on September 11, 2001. I am a New Yorker and was working a few blocks south of the Twin Towers back then. I found myself in the subway only a block and a half from the World Trade Center as the towers went down. I emerged into a false night as the dust-covered lower Manhattan. Eventually I was fortunate enough to walk north to my home in Chelsea, cheating the death that had met so many that day.

To this day, the numbers are staggering and incomprehensible.
Total number killed in attacks: 2,819
Firefighters and paramedics killed: 343
NYPD officers killed: 23
Port Authority police officers killed: 37
For the first responders who survived, the attacks will always be not only in their hearts and minds, but also, it turns out, in their lungs and blood. The toxic dust in the air around New York City’s ground zero made many first responders gravely ill. A government study indicated nearly 70 percent of 9/11 first responders have debilitating respiratory illnesses.

The memory of 9/11 is fading, something that is disturbing but something I consider to be part of the healing process. There are things left to remind us of what happened; positive things like the new World Trade Center and negative things like first responders who have succumbed to respiratory illnesses that our government is just beginning to admit are a result of breathing in the toxic soup that came out of 9/11. If there are true heroes of 9/11, the police, fire, and medical rescue workers are certainly the best examples.

It’s hard to explain the sense of loss that followed that day; an oppressive hopelessness on a surreal stage. In the months that followed I thought about loss and pain and transformation. Out of that came the book, “The Railroad”. The book incorporates child abuse as a theme, something that fit, in my mind, with the experience of watching the world fall apart. I have found that, as time has passed, I have spent less time trying to sell the book and have used it more as a platform for making people aware of child abuse and domestic abuse. I am still working in that direction and have not marketed the book in the traditional way.

One of the realities of writing is that you often don’t know why you’ve added certain elements to a story. In “The Railroad” I touch both on 9/11 and, more substantially, on the issue of child abuse. I had to ask myself why both these topics became part of the book, almost as if they were connected. There is nothing necessarily profound about writing. An author has incidents and issues jumbled up in his or her head and often connections appear between things that may not seem obvious on the surface.

9/11 and child abuse? It was the horrific shootings in Colorado that made me understand why these two things seemed connected to me. The issue is theft.

We are all given so many resources: so many years of life in an unknown quantity, so many opportunities to make our dreams a reality, so many chances to form relationships that are important in our lives. In the weeks after 9/11, I had to grapple with what I’d lost. Fortunately it wasn’t the loss of any loved ones or even acquaintances. In the end it was the loss of my home town.Of course, New York didn’t disappear that day; the area affected by 9/11 was geographically small.

It might be hard for all of you to believe a New Yorker would see his or her city as the same safe haven that someone in a small town would. Certainly there is more danger in day to day life in New York. But I never would have thought that my city, large and imposing as it is, could be as vulnerable as it was on 9/11.

I remember telling someone only days after 9/11 that I thought that someone had stolen my city. In the wake of the destruction, the predatory news crews from all over the world, the disconcerting break in our routines, I felt more like a freak in a sideshow than I did a New Yorker.

Child abuse, physical and sexual, is a theft of another kind. For victims of child abuse, there is often no safe haven to lose in the first place and the assumptions of trust that act as a foundation of being human are ripped away. The aftermath of child abuse can be even bleaker than the original theft of trust at the hands of abusers. The issue here is the slow, insidious way that the dysfunction of child abuse leeches the sense of purpose out of life. It separates us from our fellow men and shrinks our view of the world until we can only see a few feet in front of us. Every person I’ve known or people I’ve seen interviewed who were victims of abuse always talk about the parts of themselves they have lost. While some people have taken the awful lemons of abuse and made lemonade by helping other victims and telling their own stories, there are many more who suffer in silence, who may never learn to be dancers, musicians, teachers. Whatever dreams they might have normally pursued are barred to them in ways that even they can’t understand. This is theft in its most basic form; it’s a theft that is built into the fabric of someone’s life and it can make loss and failure seem inevitable. For many abuse victims, their problems become a moving target that often defies both understanding and healing.

Is it so hard to understand why some people are so zealous about removing the blight of child abuse from our society? All of us carry fears from our childhood that make us less than we could be. For a victim of child abuse those fears and constraints become constant companions limiting the scope of what they can do. Our prisons are filled with victims of child abuse and medicating the beasts that live within us has become a thriving industry.

The loss to our society is incalculable and it’s one that I believe we have been willing to bear because a solution seems so far out of reach. It shouldn’t be surprising that there are dozens of agencies and organizations dedicated to attacking the issues surrounding child abuse, domestic violence, bullying, and countless other social problems. I have come to believe that avoiding these issues will cripple our society in ways that we can’t imagine.

People have expressed these ideas far more eloquently than I can. This quote comes from a poem, “Maud Muller”, by John Greenleaf Whittier

For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: “It might have been”.

 If we take these words to heart the awful consequences of child abuse of any kind become all the more tragic.” Neil Douglas Newton

Guest Post: The Ten Commandments of Writing a Detective Novel by Adam C. Mitchell

Welcome Adam C. Mitchell, one of Dragonfly’s most prolific writers. Enjoy this repost from his blog, “Noir Writer, Adam C. Mitchell.” You can find this and other blogs by this author there.

Adam C. Mitchell

As a Noir Crime Fiction writer, I read a lot of noir, both modern and golden age, this writer’s preference being those set in the ’30s and ’40s, and the kingpin of the noir crime caper were my literary idols Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, these two creative masters both set the foundations and gold standard in my opinion, on what good crime fiction should be! This can especially be said for Raymond Chandler, most notably through the eyes of his most beloved creation, his character Philip Marlowe later played on the small screen by Powers Boothe, a Tv show I can’t recommend enough to those wanting to not just read but see the glory of chandler.

The script lifts a lot straight from his books (a character I heavily based my own private eye Jack Malone on – check out my book The Lost Angel to read about Malone). Marlowe showed a side of Los Angeles back in the 1940s that most crime novels and films of the day refused to show, mainly the everyday people with everyday problems and how they suffered through the greed of others and the city leaning on and over them, pushing them into acts, they would later regret.

Chandler throughout the tradition of crime novels of his time, the so-called ‘Locked Room Mystery’ made famous by authors like Agatha Christie. Instead, Chandler created outward-looking stories and plots that showed the world with its lose ever-changing morals. This genre, the genre of noir crime fiction, (some would also say the golden age of crime fiction –I tend to stand by both labels) was his life’s work and even after his death would go on to influence and inspire future generations of noir and crime writers and authors, this author, in particular, being one of those touched and inspired by this god of the genre. So it’s not a stretch to find out the man who gave his life to a genre, had some very strong often controversial opinions on crime fiction.

Below are what he called The Ten Commandments of Writing a Detective Novel.

*These are taken from a book by him Selected Letters of Raymond Chandler published in 1981 – note this book has been republished countless times and the commandants have been added to and expanded upon but this is the original ten.

1) It must be credibly motivated, both as to the original situation and the dénouement.

2) It must be technically sound as to the methods of murder and detection.

3) It must be realistic in character, setting and atmosphere. It must be about real people in a real world.

4) It must have a sound story value apart from the mystery element: i.e., the investigation itself must be an adventure worth reading.

5) It must have enough essential simplicity to be explained easily when the time comes.

6) It must baffle a reasonably intelligent reader.

7) The solution must seem inevitable once revealed.

8) It must not try to do everything at once. If it is a puzzle story operating in a rather cool, reasonable atmosphere, it cannot also be a violent adventure or a passionate romance.

9) It must punish the criminal in one way or another, not necessarily by operation of the law…. If the detective fails to resolve the consequences of the crime, the story is an unresolved chord and leaves irritation behind it.

10) It must be honest with the reader.

These ten commandments are heavy-hitting left and right hooks to the locked room mystery that was popular in the 1920s-1940s. Chandler delivers a heavy volley of creative punches two of these works in his seminal essay about crime fiction, The Simple Art of Murder (a must-read for any crime author)

In that essay after thoroughly taking apart the murder mystery The Red House by A. A. Milne (yes, the writer of Winnie the Pooh), Chandler fights back against detective stories where the whole point of the plot makes no sense when compared to what would happen in real life in that exact situation. On the matter Chandler says this, “If the situation is false, you cannot even accept it as a light novel, for there is no story for the light novel to be about.”

He goes on to trash other British mystery writers like Agatha Christie who Chandler paints not only as a hypocritical snob but also as boring. “The English may not always be the best writers in the world, but they are incomparably the best dull writers,” he quips. (being a fellow Brit crime writer I have to say if I could go back in time I would happily punch the yank, with a choice quip or two of my own.)

Chandler then offers praise to his hard-boiled partner in literary crime Dashiell Hammett who infuses his stories with a sense of realism. “Hammett gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse; and with the means at hand, not with hand-wrought dueling pistols, curare, and tropical fish….He was spare, frugal, hard-boiled, but he did over and over again what only the best writers can ever do at all. He wrote scenes that seemed never to have been written before.” Chandler says.

It’s funny that this quote about Hammet also sums up Chandler.

Adam C. Mitchell on Amazon

Amazon Page


July News

July News and Updates

This is an exciting month at Dragonfly Books!

We have two books for your reading pleasure with another long-awaited book coming at the end of August.

Already in pre-order on Amazon Kindle and available in paperback, the latest romance from Starla Hartless is the first in a series of cougar love stories. Book one, “Dear Libby…”, will be released on Kindle on July 4th. Order before then and you can get it for the introductory price of $.99! This is a HOT Summer Read!

“Sparks fly when older advice columnist, Sadie Broward, meets the grandson of a publishing magnate from New York City. Jake Stark is sent by his grandfather Richard to the small town of Sweetwater, Tennessee to interview one of the candidates for a position in the family’s national publications. Sadie feels Jake is looking down his nose at her and her town. Jake inserts himself uninvited into her life. When she travels to New York City to meet the Board of Directors of Stark Publications she is unprepared for the adventures that follow. She meets Pepper Vandenberg, Jake’s purported fiancee to be. Is Jake using Sadie to make Pepper jealous or is there more to their passion than what happens in the bedroom? This is a story about chance encounters leading to unexpected liaisons. When Fate steps in, common sense flies out the window. A steamy romance from one of the author’s of “Carved Wooden Heart”.

“This book gives hope to all cougars, there is a special someone out there. 5-stars!” Michelle Martin

“A 5-star book that kept me reading all night even when my glasses steamed up!” Elizabeth Horton-Newton, Co-Author “Carved Wooden Heart”

“Song of Simon” by author C.A. Sanders is being re-released with a new cover by designer Rachel Bostwick through Dragonfly Books! A fantasy to be enjoyed by adults young and old, it will be available to pre-order for $.99 July 8th through July 14th. The price will go up July 21st so grab it now! Treat yourself to an exciting adventure this summer!

“Life was never sweet for Simon. He lived in suburban New York, dodging high school bullies and strumming his guitar. Things were about to get much worse. Simon is drawn into the land of Algavar, where High Priestess Teretha has imprisoned their god in amber. He falls into a holy war led by Ilyana, a renegade priestess who claims to be the Messiah. Simon agrees to accompany Ilyana on a quest to kill Teretha, and he sinks hip-deep into the violence and despair that permeate Algavar. Will Simon become the hero Ilyana believes he is, or will he lose his soul in a bloody world so different from his own?”

5-Star Reviews

Thought-Provoking And Entertaining, A must read coming of age tale, Vividly extraordinary!, Vivid Fantasy, Excellent Plot

Coming at the End of August!

“Beer, Women, and the Written Word” by Adam Mitchell

A raunchy semi-autobiographical tale that is sometimes funny, sometimes painful, and a great read beginning to end. Harry Block is a writer who struggles to write a number one best seller while drinking, working in a grocery market, having sex with women, and getting into crazy situations at every turn. A rollicking tale of mishaps and mayhem in Britain.Think James Joyce meets Tom Jones in the 21st century.

Author Elizabeth Horton-Newton has released three of her most popular Electric Eclectic Novelettes in paperback format through Dragonfly Books! “Old Habits”, “April Showers”, and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” can be found on Amazon, sized perfectly to fit in your purse, backpack, or carry-on.

Don’t forget August 1-4 author Elizabeth Horton-Newton will be at The Indie Bookfest in Orlando, Florida. Get your tickets here!

Elizabeth will be on two panels.

Look for her in Room 2

10-10:45: What Makes Romance Sweet? What’s the difference between romance that smolders and romance that flames?

11-11:45: Is Hot Romance Still on Fire? Have we cooled our love affair with super sexy love stories?


Elizabeth Horton-Newton and Neil Douglas Newton better known as the Crazy Writer Couple will be at McKay’s Bookstore 230 Papermill Place Way, Knoxville, TN 37919 on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 from noon to 3 PM.  Come by and see them!  You can also find them on YouTube!

If you do miss her at this event you can catch her at the

Georgia Indie Author Event – Sweet As a Georgis Peach on October 5th, 2019.

Event Address:
Forsyth Conference Center – Lanier Technical College
3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd, Cumming, GA 30041, USA

Have you entered the Dragonfly Books Big Publishing Contest yet?