My One Year Anniversary and a Giveaway

One year ago today, my debut novel, My Soul to Keep, went live on Amazon and other online book retailers. It’s been a good year and I wanted to celebrate. I’m glad you came! There’s no better way to celebrate than with friends. Help me celebrate my one year anniversary and a giveaway! 

Image of champagne being poured into a champagne glass
Won’t you join me in a little bubbly?

One Year Ago

On this day (August 21) one year ago (2018), I pushed that publish now button. There’s nothing more disheartening than the push of an electronic button. There’s no sound. There are no balloons or flags or cheering crowd. I’d done very little promotion and had few sales beyond my friends and family. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate every one of those sales. But when the first person who was not a close personal friend posted a five-star review, I was beyond thrilled. There was dancing and laughing and, I’m not ashamed to admit it, tears of joy. They were nothing compared to the watershed when I held the print version  in my hands. 

The physical book was the culmination of years of working hard to learn to write stories. Millions of words written and trashed or put away in a drawer. A lot of people compare publishing a book to having a baby. There are some parallels, but it’s not the same. Writing a book requires a long gestation period and a lot of “labor,” but when you put it out in the world the creation part is done. There are things to do—marketing, book signings, and events. It’s not like holding or nurturing a baby from then on. 

The Ride

As a first book in a series, I decided not to promote My Soul to Keep much. It’s hard watching your book languish on the shelves.

So I did a few appearances and a couple of promotions. Both of which gave my novel a sales bump. A book club chose to review my book. That led to my first review from a reader in Great Britain. 

I had no real sales goals. Why? Fear that no one would like the book I think. About mid-way through the year I decided to see if I could sell 100 books in the first year. Without any advertising, I fell short of my goal. But I came close. 


Finally, I get to the good part: The My Soul to Keep One Year Anniversary Giveaway. A $32 value, winners will receive the following Kindle ebooks from Amazon:

Tribe of Daughters by Kate L Mary 

Image of cover of Tribe of Daughters by Kate L Mary one of the prizes in my one year anniversary and giveaway celebration.

My Soul to Keep by me, Lynette M. Burrows

Image of book cover for My Soul to Keep by Lynette M. Burrows one of the prizes in my one year anniversary and giveaway celebration.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler 

Image of Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler one of the prizes in my one year anniversary and giveaway celebration.

Red Clocks By Leni Zumas 

Image of the cover of Red Clocks by Leni Zumas one of the prizes in my one year anniversary and giveaway celebration.

To win, enter on the My Soul to Keep One Year Anniversary Giveaway page and follow the directions on links to click and share this giveaway. Points are accumulated by clicking the links or sharing the giveaway or signing up for my blog or newsletter.

Current subscribers to my blog and newsletter, don’t worry, there are daily bonus points available for you. 

The winner will be chosen by and announced on this blog and Facebook and Twitter on September 6th.

Thank You

I appreciate each and everyone of you whether you’re a lurker or someone who comments on posts.Thank you for being part of my adventure into publishing and for helping me celebrate my one year anniversary and giveaway. ETA: This contest is completed and a winner selected. Thank you for your participation. Sign up for blog updates to get notification of future contests.

Cover Reveal for Fellowship

I’m delighted to be able to post the cover reveal for Fellowship, my latest book.

Cover Reveal: Fellowship by Lynette M. Burrows shows a young man in a frozen forest over an image of fog in the mountains

On Preorder Now: Amazon

On sale: July 8, 2019

Artist/Illustrator/Designer: Cover Shot Creations


The Angel of Death is real.

Eighteen-year-old, Ian Hobart couldn’t believe it. Didn’t want to believe it.

But his parents and older brother were Taken.

And the Cleaners want him and his three younger siblings.

They escape and hide in the wilds of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Now his siblings depend on him for their survival.

But resources are scarce. The mountains unforgiving. And winter is only weeks away.

Ian relies on his best friend’s help…

And puts his friend at risk.

Will Ian lose the last friend and family he has left?

Or can he identify and neutralize their betrayer before the Fellowship’s Cleaners find and neutralize them?

Told from two different viewpoints Fellowship is a an action-adventure and a coming-of-age story in a dystopian America. It will be available in all your favorite online bookstores on July 8th.

If you like Fellowship you’ll also want to read My Soul to Keep


Nicole from Cover Shot Creations created the cover. Her website says “enjoy a dependable designer and get the quality work you deserve.”

In my experience you get a professional designer who is easy to work with, who has superior skills, and who produces high quality work in record time.

Cover Shot Creations provides custom book covers, premades, blog and facebook graphics along with any other design needs.

Nicole Hutton owner/designer of Cover Shot Creations is a small town girl from the middle of nowhere. Creative work has always been a favorite outlet, pastime and inevitable career. With over a decade in the industry, she still finds time to ride horses, travel, and spend time with the beloved family.

Check out her designs on her website, Cover Shot Creations or her facebook page.


Lynette M. Burrows is a survivor. She survived moving to seventeen different schools before she graduated from high school. She contends that this makes her uniquely qualified to write a dystopian novel or two.

Lynette enjoys coffee, the pleasure of real books, and the crack of a nine-millimeter, not necessarily all at the same time—although they all appear in her stories. Spiced with a dash of intrigue, a dollop of mayhem, and a liberal dose of automatic weapons her stories aim to entertain. Read more about Lynette.

If you like stories of survival and this cover reveal for Fellowship appeals to you, place your preorder today!

Do You See a Dystopia in America?

Dystopia is all the rage right now. Nearly every day in America, someone refers to a dystopia. From The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu to the current administration in America. A dystopian American society seems closer than ever. Discussion usually becomes a lament that “America is turning into a dystopia.” Do you see a dystopia in America? It’s both in the present and the past. We’ll take a look at a few historical examples, but first…

What is Dystopia

Image of a bunch of rusted buildings with broken windows...dystopia in America?

Dystopia is “an imagined world or society in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives.”

Merriam Webster Dictionary

Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin (1884-1937), a Russian novelist, wrote the first dystopian novel, We. Also a playwright and satirist, he was a “chronic dissenter.” Tsarist censors condemned, arrested and tried Zamyatin. He won an acquittal. He wrote a novel, We, in 1921. His manuscript circulated in Russia but he could not publish it there. An English translation was published in the United States in 1924. The original Russian text was published in New York in 1952. The story tells of a “Single State” where workers live in glass houses and have numbers rather than names. According to Goodreads, the novel is “ a resounding cry for individual freedom.” 

So is that what dystopia is? A fictional world of oppression yearning for or postulating that individual freedom is better? defines dystopia a “a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.”

You can find the definition of society on Merriam-Webster.

Under this definition dystopia is no longer a fiction. Sadly, there are many societies in the world that can fall under this definition. 


The first twenty African slaves brought ashore, landed in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619.

Kidnapping African men, women, and children and selling them for slaves continued for years. Hundreds of thousands of Africans lived in “squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.” The ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 abolished slavery.  


Next, it was the Native Americans. The first Indian Reservation was established in 1758. It was located in what would become Shamong Township, New Jersey.

Later, President Andrew Jackson prompted Congress to pass the “Removal Act” in 1830. The bill forced Native Americans to leave America and settle in the Indian Territories. One relocation effort forced Cherokees on a 1,000 mile march, the “Trail of Tears.” Approximately 4,000 Cherokees died on that walk. 

In 1850, Congress passed the Indian Appropriations Act. This act created the reservation system. The reservations put the Indians under government control, to minimize conflict with settlers, and to “encourage” Native Americans to take on the ways of the white man. Another American dystopia.

Internment Camps

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson established restrictions on German-born males over the age of 14 regardless of their citizenship. Hundreds of thousands of German-born males had to register at their local post office. They had to carry their registration at all times and report any changes of address or employment. 

Thousands of German-born U.S. residents were interrogated. More than two thousand people were arrested. Their imprisonment lasted for the duration of the war. 

In 1941, hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor the FBI arrested 1,291 Japanese community and religious leaders. The FBI had no evidence of any wrong-doing. 

From 1942 to 1945, about 117,000 people of Japanese descent—the majority of whom were American citizens—were placed in internment camps.

Determent Camps

The immigration determent camps have been in the news. You’ve seen the numbers. Thousands of children separated from their families. Thousands held in camps. 

According to global detention project, the U.S. has more than 200 detention facilities.

Some claim the detention facilities are prisons. They use arguments about the legalities in that immigrants (legal or not) are not citizens. There are some who claim the determent camps are equal to concentration camps.  That’s arguable. At the very least, these people have been forced to live in a dystopia as defined by 

Dystopian Fiction

I’ve written a post about why we read dystopian fiction. In it, a list of twenty reasons why we read dystopian fiction. You can read that here. But it didn’t talk about dystopia in America. 

So does writing dystopian fiction (books, movies, etc.) have a place in today’s world? I would answer with a vehement YES. Authors of dystopian fiction are not advocating this is a good way to live. They tell stories of pain and suffering. And there’s always a struggle to break free of the dystopian society.

Do you see a dystopia in America today? You may not live in it. I don’t live in it. But there are people who do. As long as there are, I will write stories encouraging people to break free of their dystopia.

Fellowship, a short novel

Fellowship, a short novel written in the same world as My Soul to Keep is finished. Beta readers will be receiving the ARCs this week. The cover art reveal…just weeks away.

Beta Readers

Beta readers volunteer to read and give feedback on a a work before it’s published. They spot the plot holes, the character inconsistencies, and just plain mistakes so the author and the book will look as good as possible on publication.


The Advance Reader Copy (ARC) is the unpublished book before the final proofreading is done. This is what Beta readers receive, warts and all. *smile*

With a little help from my artist hubby, I created the ARC cover for Fellowship. This is not the final cover.

The arc cover for Fellowship, a short novel, is a black and white image of the blue ridge Mountains with a red and white Fellowship Shield suspended above the title.

Book Description

The book description that will be on Amazon and all ebook retailers is:

The Angel of Death is real.

Eighteen-year-old, Ian Hobart couldn’t believe it. Didn’t want to believe it.

But his parents and older brother were Taken. And the Cleaners want him and his three younger siblings.

They escape and hide in the wilds of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Now his siblings depend on him for their survival.

But resources are scarce. The mountains unforgiving. And winter is weeks away.

Ian relies on his best friend’s help… And puts his friend at risk.

Will Ian lose the last friend and family he has left?

Or can he identify and neutralize their betrayer before the Fellowship’s Cleaners find and neutralize them?

I’ve created a page for the book. It lists the blog posts and the sample chapter I’ve put on this blog. You can find it here.

Fellowship will be published at the end of next month. But I could use your help. Would you like to be a beta reader? Would you like to help spread the word about this book or any of my books? Join my reader group, Burrows Insiders.

My Story Went to the Dogs

What do a bloodhound, a satellite, and a tracking device have in common? The answer is a search and research. I researched all three were subjects for my short novel, Fellowship (formerly Ian’s Trust). After the research, my story went to the dogs. 

Fellowship is the story of Ian Hobart, an eighteen-year-old high school student. Ian lives in an imaginary town between Lynchburg, Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains. His parents and older brother are Taken by the Fellowship. Ian in a desperate attempt to save his younger siblings takes them into the mountains. 

The pursuit of Ian and his siblings takes place in the same world but a couple of years before My Soul to Keep. To create a believable pursuit, I needed to learn about methods of tracking escapees. 

Early Communication Satellites

I dove into the history of early satellites and telemetry to learn about tracking methods like GPS. 

The first artificial Earth satellite was Sputnik 1. Launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957, Sputnik had an on-board radio-transmitter. A major step in space exploration, it was not a communications satellite.

The first satellite purpose-built to relay communications was NASA’s Project SCORE in 1958. It stored and forwarded tape-recorded voice messages. 

Image of Echo I, a balloon satellite launched by NASA and part of the research that meant my story went to the dogs.
public domain

Launched in 1960 Project Echo was the first passive communication satellite. Signals from one location on Earth bounced off Echo to another earthly location.

The U.S. Department of Defense launched the GPS project in 1973. Intended for use by the United States military, it became available to the public in the 1980s. 

That’s where my research ended. My timeline and the world of My Soul to Keep would not have as advanced a space program as we did in reality. So, GPS tracking was out. 

Electronic Tagging

An electronic tracking device and its receiver--another item that failed to fit my story so my story went to the dogs.
The electronic tracking device (bottom) is surgically implanted in paddlefish. The device sends a signal to the receiver (top) which records data that can be downloaded wirelessly. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region [Public domain]

Electronic tagging is a method of surveillance. A tracking device is attached to the animal or person. Devices can use GPS technology or RF (radio frequency) technology.

Ralph Kirkland Schwitzgebel led a team Psychological Experimentation at Harvard University. He created a tracking device to relieve inmate crowding. His 1968 experiments with prototypes are the basis of today’s technologies for electronic monitoring systems. 

And so, electronic tagging was also not available in my story’s timeline or world. 


Photo of a bloodhound tracking a scent in the field--this is what I mean when I say my story went to the dogs.
John Leslie from London, UK [CC BY 2.0 (]

Bloodhounds are a scent hound. Their origins reach far back into history.

The French monastery, St. Hubert, bred hounds in 727 AD. This may be the origin of the true bloodhound.

Robert the Bruce (King of Scots 1306-1329) and William Wallace, a Scottish knight (1270-1305) used Sleuth Hounds (bloodhounds) to track and hunt people. 

 In 1860 Bloodhounds entered England’s second national dog show.

Bloodhounds can track a scent in the air and on the ground. A bloodhound can follow his nose for 130 miles or more. He can pick up a trail that’s almost two weeks old.

My Story Went to the Dogs

Enter a tracker named Fischer and his bloodhound, Xena. 

With a bloodhound on their trail, can Ian and his siblings escape? 

Did you really think I’d answer that one? My story went to the dogs but you’ll have to read Fellowship to find out what happens to Ian and his siblings. Coming soon to your favorite online bookstore,