Write by the Rails

Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club

Ellen Butler Releases Latest Novel “Planning for Love”

A modern day romantic comedy releasing just in time for Valentine’s Day.


Ellen Butler’s fourth novel, Planning for Love, (Book 2 in the Love, California Style Trilogy),  released on January 26, 2015, is now available  on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for your reading pleasure.

About “Planning for Love”:
Poppy Reagan is a Type A personality who runs her professional life with the precision of a Swiss watch. After catching her latest boyfriend cheating, she decides it’s time to take her dating life as seriously as she does her business. She swears off the bad boys and strategically maps out a plan to find an honest, attractive man to become her life partner.

As she works her way through a summer of dates ranging from crazy to plain boring, she begins to wonder if her soulmate’s even on the same coast. Her foolish emotional spirit secretly yearns for the sexy Ohio dermatologist she met on a trip to Hawaii last year. The one who she insists is “just a friend,” because she refused to engage in a long-distance relationship.

Will her heart overrule her head and move this California girl to the Midwest?

Enjoy a Short Excerpt from “Planning for Love”

To: Adam from Hawaii
From: Poppy Reagan
Subject: Don’t do drugs, kids.

Here to bring you today’s entertainment. So, my latest computer date was supposed to be a successful marketer. At least that’s what his profile indicated. He instead decided to visit an Ashram last week, and while there, apparently found the meaning of life through yoga and wacky tobacky. He’s quit his job, and while craving the munchies, decided to take me to a well-known eatery called … El Taco Bell. Yes, that’s right he offered to take me to the Bell, the place with the Chihuahua ads.

Adam, you know me. Do I look like the type of woman you should take, on a date, to the Taco Bell? I didn’t think so. Here’s the embarrassing part, I was actually buying his guru-intellectual-life-affirming crapola until I realized his serenity came from too many tokes from the bong. That’s it. I’m off computer dating and plan to start having my friends set me up with normal people.

To top off this fun-loving week, my mom announced she’s coming in for a visit after my trip to Denver. I’ve told you a little about her. I’m worried this is the beginning of her next divorce and all the accompanying drama that goes along with it. Ugh!

Looking forward Denver and connecting with a normal human being.



Read what the Reviewers are saying about “Planning for Love” :

“Poppy, a California party planner, stops by her boy friend’s apartment to drop off some items for their special Valentines Day dinner, she finds him cheating on her. What she does is priceless!! You gotta read it!” — 5 Stars from Harps Romance Book Review   –Read the Full Review–

“What a fun and entertaining read, with the perfect amount of romance and heat. This story was realistic and the characters were written beautifully. I could not put this book down.” — 5 Stars from A Beautiful Book Blog

About the Author:

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Ellen Butler lives in Prince William County and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Policy.  Her history includes a long list of writing and editing for dry but illuminating professional newsletters and public policy papers. The leap to novel writing was simply a creative outlet for Ellen’s overactive imagination to run wild.

Professionally, she belongs to the Virginia Writers Club, the Northern VA Writers Club and Write by the Rails. Ellen is admitted chocoholic and confesses to a penchant for shoe shopping.


More from Ellen Butler
Available on Goodreads

Also Available on Goodreads


Follow @EButlerBooks



If you missed January’s WbtR Meeting…Here’s a Wrap-Up

Robert Bausch Author of "As Far as the Eye can See"

Robert Bausch, Author  ‘Far As The Eye Can See’


WbtR Monthly Meeting Wrap-Up for January 15th 2015

Last Thursday, we had the distinct pleasure of welcoming one of our own as a guest speaker, local author and teacher Mr. Robert Bausch.  Among other things he shared his experience as an author with candor, humor and profound sentiment.

Here’s What You Missed If You Didn’t Make It:

Robert Bausch, author of nine books one of which was made into the film ‘Bruce Almighty’ (Disney bought his book Almighty Me.) Sadly he sold his rights to Disney, so he lost his copyright and thus an additional income from the film.

But Mr. Bausch, a lively speaker, full of enthusiasm is clearly in love with the creative process of writing.

One his own favorite books is Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman which, he says, is better than War and Peace. A quote he loves from that book is: “Is there any limit to the human imagination?” Another example of great writing was Joseph Conrad who, he told us, was Polish but wrote everything in his second language, English.

Mr. Bausch says he writes from the point of view of the character. He warns against type casting characters. He adds, “Purity of writing is just for myself.” Underline purity and myself!

He and his twin, also a writer, born in 1945, will host Woodbridge Writers Retreat. Please check their site for details. Along with Mr. Zoellner for non-fiction, they will assist no more than 12 people, thus giving needed individual attention to each writer.

Mr. Bausch’s newest novel is ‘Far As The Eye Can See.’ This is an odyssey through the Old West. After the Civil War, a veteran who never knew his real name, takes the name Bobby Hale, and heads toward California only to find that rampant violence plagues both his dreams and the vast landscape unrolling before him. Meeting up with the native Indian tribes, he learns how to overcome the mistaken belief by the white race that all Indians must be viewed as dangerous and warriors.

Recorded By:

Patricia Lipe-Daly

Secretary, Write by the Rails


Related Post

Robert Bausch: Special Guest Speaker for January WbtR Meeting

Art Banner Project Deadline Extended to Feb. 1

BAC2014-Header-Click Image to View Details-

Caroline Shaaber, Arts Recreation Specialist for Prince William County Parks & Recreation, has issued an informative email regarding the Art Banner Project in Historic Manassas, Virginia.

Although the ‘Project’ website does not reflect this information, it has been confirmed that entries to the competition are now being accepted through Sunday February 1, 2015.

So dust off those art supplies and get creative!

Good Luck to All!

Claudia Lefeve’s “Destined for Trouble” Sold to Thomas & Mercer

Congratulations to Claudia Lefeve!
Claudia Lefeve, Author of "Destined for Trouble" -Photo Credit: Chip Deyerle-

Claudia Lefeve, Author of “Destined for Trouble”
-Photo Credit: Chip Deyerle-

Check out all of Claudia Lefeve’s novels at: www.claudialefeve.com

Publishers Marketplace announced that Write by the Rails member and Manassas author Claudia Lefeve’s book, “Destined for Trouble,” which was featured at Fall for the Book’s Haute Cuisine at the Hylton event last September in Manassas, is being re-released in May 2015 under the Thomas & Mercer imprint.  Lefeve is represented by MacKenzie Fraser-Bub, literary agent, at Trident Media Group.

Destined for Trouble,” is a cozy mystery in which a vacation to Trouble Island, Texas turns out to be anything but for a Lilly Pulitzer-clad, reluctant amateur sleuth.

Follow Claudia Lefeve on Twitter: @claudialefeve

Follow Claudia Lefeve on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/claudialefeve

Spilled Ink: A Celebration of the Written Word

Join Us for an Open Mic Event

All are welcome to listen or read

Admission is free.

Please support our gracious host, Matt Brower, and his coffee shop by purchasing drinks and food.

Facilitated by: Manassas poet and PWC Poet Circle Member, John Dutton

John Dutton

John Dutton







Date: Friday, January 16, 2015

Time: 7 to 9 pm

Location: Grounds Central Station

9360 Main Street

Historic Downtown Manassas, VA

Robert Bausch: Special Guest Speaker for January WbtR Meeting

Write by the Rails Monthly Meeting

Special Guest: Robert BauschRobert Bausch

Robert Bausch is the author of nine novels, teaches at NOVA-Woodbridge campus and leads the annual Woodbridge Writers Retreat.

A review of his recently published novel, “Far as the Eye Can See,” is in the January 9, 2015 issue of the New York Times Book Review and is a “Must Read” in the current issue of Southern Writers Magazine for .  He was awarded the John Dos Passos Prize in Literature in 2009.

The film version (uncredited) of his third novel,“Almighty Me,” was recently released on Netflix – you know it as “Bruce Almighty” starring comedians Jim Carrey and Steve Carell.


Date: Thursday, January 15, 2015

Time: 7 to 9 pm

Location: Trinity Episcopal Church

9325 West Street

Historic Downtown Manassas, VA

WbtR to Participate in GMU Winter Welcome Week 2015

To all our members and community supporters,

We have the great privilege of participating in Community Day, hosted by George Mason University as part of their Winter Welcome Week schedule of events.   As is our goal, this is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with local institutions through community outreach programs.  Anyone who is interested in representing Write by the Rails is strongly encouraged to contact Stacia Kelly -President- at: Staciakelly@gmail.com by Friday January 16, 2015, for further volunteer coordination.

Our focus for this event will be:
  • To highlight benefits and provide information on becoming a member
  • Promote our newly formed ‘Student Membership‘ status
  • Be a voice of literary arts in The Greater Prince William Area of Virginia
  • Encourage emerging authors/artists to interact with their local literary community 


The Office of University Life at the Prince William Campus dedicate this day to informing Mason students about the local community programs, services, volunteer/internship opportunities, and businesses around Prince William County and the City of Manassas. The purpose of this event is to provide a venue for students to find jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities offered by various organizations. Community Day is an excellent opportunity to promote your organization and to reach out to the entire Mason community of students, faculty, and staff.

Event Information:

-View Flyer Here-

Community Day

Date:         Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Location: George Mason University, Prince William Campus

Bull Run Hall Atrium, 10900 University Boulevard

Manassas, Virginia 20110

Event time:   10:00am – 1:30pm

Set-up time:  9:30am-10:00am

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