To promote reading, support our authors, and mentor aspiring authors

The Final Twist is a group of authors, aspiring writers, librarians, reviewers, publicists, editors and publishers in the Houston Area.


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Those thoughts left unspoken that chill my soul

When I failed to speak of my love for you;

The passage of lost time is failure’s toll

And your eternal loss my payment due.

The sun cast light in your hair; a halo

Begins the cherished dream that moved me towards

That rare moment of daring; even though

You never heard my loving whispered words.

My heart so bested by folly’s anguish

With scars self created can I…

Posted by J.W. Nugent on October 5, 2009 at 6:47pm

Help when you least expect it

This week, Diana Driver and I visited The Chocolate Bar, at 1835 West Alabama in Houston, a little west of the Montrose area. Just going in the door is a treat! The aroma of chocolate almost makes you swoon.

The reason for our visit, besides to delight the senses, was to meet Gilbert the Chocolatier, who owns the shop and another one in West University. He had previously agreed to host our launch party for this fall's anthology by The Final Twist Writers, titled A BOX OF TEXAS… Continue

Posted by Cash Anthony on August 13, 2009 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

A Day at the Office

Jack has been a real challenge. The other day I spent about three hours on him and had a brutal ride. He knocked me over and took off down the lane then turned around and galloped back at me. He came thundering up expecting me to give way, but I just stood there looking at him until he was forty feet out then raised my arms to the side cutting down his options for pushing past me. He slid to a stop and I walked up and took his halter (I always ride with a halter under the bridle)…

Posted by J.W. Nugent on August 1, 2009 at 10:54pm

The Didactic Function of Genre Fiction

Mark Twain wrote that,”Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” I would claim that novels can play a similar role. On the other hand, Cecil B. DeMille, when asked about the message contained in his latest picture commented that, “If I wanted to send a message, I’d use Western Union.” Our primary duty as mystery writers is to entertain, but many of us feel that even genre fiction can also contain profound ethical insights and illuminate social and political issues in all… Continue

Posted by Mark Phillips on January 18, 2009 at 5:15am — 1 Comment

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Posted by The Final Twist on November 9, 2008 at 2:47pm





Started by Emmitt Alfonza Savannah, Jr. Oct 30, 2011.



The Final Twist - Blended Genres

Suscipere et finire - To undertake and complete

The Final Twist Writers Society is a writers’ group with headquarters in Houston, Texas.

Houston-area writers who are interested in joining The Final Twist Writers Society are asked to attend two meetings before applying to join. Writers too far away to attend our meetings may become associate members or start a local chapter.


Next Houston Meeting:

10 a.m., January 4, 2014

Location, TBA

For a series of blogs by our members, go to our new website at





We welcome new members -- we have various projects underway and look forward to seeing our writers become productive.

Our latest anthology from L&L Dreamspell is DEADLY DIVERSIONS, released in December 2012. We had a book signing at Katy Budget Books on February 9, 2013, where authors read from their stories and signed the new anthology.

It features stories about hobbies, pastimes, and collections.


The 2011 anthology, UNDERGROUND TEXAS, contains mysteries set in

all sorts of 'underground' environments, such as caves, tunnels, and even the underground economy.


Our 2010 anthology, TWISTED TALES OF TEXAS LANDMARKS, was released in November 2010. 


Copies  of all anthologies are available at or through other online sellers.


Submissions for the 2013 anthology, on the theme of recipes for mayhem, are now in progress, with critique sessions available by Skype and in groups hosted by our members.

Final Twist Authors since 2003:

Historical Celtic Romance - Cornelia Amiri
Mysteries in Novel Form - Sylvia Dickey-Smith, Laura Elvebak, Betty Gordon, and Mark and Charlotte Phillips
Mysteries in Short Fiction - All of the above, as well as Cash Anthony, Alexis Glynn Latner, Autumn Storm, Shirley Wetzel and Sally Love
Magical Realism/Action-Adventure - Diana Driver, Stewart Hearl
Science Fiction in full Length Novel and Short Stories - Alexis Glynn Latner and Mark H. Phillips
Romantic Suspense - CeCe Smith
Screenplays - Cash Anthony, Laura Elvebak


At previous meetings and events...


The annual business meeting and election of officers was held on January 7, 2012.  Local novelist Pauline Baird Jones discussed solutions to marketing issues for writers and shared insights into her latest projects.


The Final Twist celebrated the holidays with the launch of  the latest group anthology, "Underground Texas", on December 3rd, at 13 Celsius. Writers signed books and gave short readings from their stories.


Short story authors signed copies of "Twisted Tales of Texas Landmarks" on November 12th at Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. The booksigning  featured a panel discussion led by President Laura Elvebak with contributions by several authors about their inspiration for the stories in this collection. Texas-themed refreshments -- the baking creations of writer Bridget Haines, who is debuting her talent for writing short stories next year -- were a spectacular addition to the evening.


Mystery novelist and short story writer Laura Elvebak was the featured speaker at The Final Twist Writers Society on Saturday, November 5. She discussed the content of several writers' seminars at writing conferences such as Bouchercon, and MWA-University. Her notes from a special local talk by an FBI Profiler were particularly helpful for mystery writers.


Maggie Galehouse, Book Editor with the Houston Chronicle, was the featured speaker at the October meeting of The Final Twist Writers Society.  Ms. Galehouse gave us fascinating insights on the selection process for writing book reviews for major newspapers. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Temple University in Philadelphia and has worked as a news reporter and book reviewer for the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and Washington Post.


Christie Craig was our featured speaker in September. Ms. Craig discussed her multi-faceted career as an adult romance and young adult paranormal romance writer, photo journalist, magazine feature writer and writing teacher, as well as the particulars of characterization and motivation. Her romance fiction has been described as “witty humor with a suspenseful, sexy tone.” Many of our writers took the opportunity to purchase Craig’s books following the meeting and to have them autographed. Christie's website is at, where you can read about her latest release, Don't Mess With Texas.


In July, we met off-site - at the National Museum of Funeral History, one of Houston's most unusual and maybe funkiest landmarks. It was a fascinating museum, large and full of extremely interesting objects that should inspire almost any writer. The museum opens at 10 a.m. and is located off North I-45, exit Airtex Drive and go west. If you didn't attend, you owe it to yourself to go on your own.

Here's a link with a map and directions.

The address is

The National Museum of Funeral History
415 Barren Springs Drive
Houston, TX 77090


At the June meeting, Dr. Tom Carter, a Jungian psychologist, presented a highly informative and enlightening discussion on the topic of Jungian depth psychological therapy and dream analysis. He will be conducting a class in dream interpretation this fall, to which area writers are invited.


At the April meeting, member Jim Davis described the economics of self-publishing by referencing MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AND DYNAMICS, Vol. I, which was just published by The Master Strategy Group. A discussion of the many details involved in setting up layouts, meeting printer specifications, and managing the sales of this reference book followed.


At the March meeting, members discussed the book conventions they have attended recently, the benefits they obtained from attending, and what to expect this year.


In February, Lucy Riggs, a professional illustrator with 30 years experience in architectural renderings and other projects, talked to the members about how illustrators deal with text to bring it to life in pictures.

Authors signed Twisted Tales of Texas Landmarks at our book launch November 13th at 13 Celcius Wine Bar, 3000 Caroline.

The October meeting was superceded by a 'field trip' to the Museum of Printing History. Charles Criner, resident print artist at the Museum of Printing History, gave a terrific guided tour through the museum.

Our September meeting featured a talk about Politics among Police Agencies; plus Why You Want to Make Your Sleuth a Customs Agent; and other topics in the criminal justice arena, from Larry Karson, retired U.S. Customs Agent and lecturer in the criminal justice program at University of Houston-Downtown. It was GREAT!

At our August meeting, we were delighted to have David Thompson join us to talk about the bookselling business, Busted Flush Press (his publishing company), and share stories of his 20 years at Murder By the Book.

At our June and July 2010 meetings, we discussed the rewrite process and a series of interviews by award-winning fiction writers about how they do it.

Our speaker for the May meeting was Dee Blackwell, who provided useful guidelines and hand-outs about the details of editing a manuscript.

Our speaker for the April 3rd meeting was our own Charlotte Phillips, whose topic was Publishers, Editors and Printing.

Business meetings this Spring focused on development and adoption of our Bylaws.

The Final Twist will not meet in December, as is customary. Happy Holidays to all!

Our 2009 anthology, A Box of Texas Chocolates, has won Best Anthology of 2009 at the New England Book Festival!

Our speaker for the November 7 meeting was Mylene Dressler. Mylene put together a special version of "The Art of Inspiration" for us, in which we focused on building and harnessing our inner narratives of aspiration so that they flow powerfully outward in the narratives we construct and share with the world. The program also included a frank talk about keeping our spirits up as we get through this rather depressed period in publishing, as well as about the larger role of the writer in a culture/country facing difficult times. For more information on Mylene, check out her website:

The Final Twist Writers took photos in period costume, October 17th, for the "Wanted Posters" to use at the Chocolate Festival in Rockdale.

Our speaker at the October 3 meeting was Officer Michael Collins with HPD, who studied with Edward Albee and who is writing a teen mystery novel. He says he loves being a cop and has met all kinds of people. His father, also named Michael Collins, is an internationally famous painter, BTW, and his grandfather Lowell Collins painted, collected art, and owned a gallery here.

Release party for A Box of Texas Chocolates, our 2009 anthology, was September 24.

2010 Officers of The Final Twist Writers Society

These members were elected officers of the Houston chapter, Texas-1, and members of the Boards of Directors for 2011:

President, Laura Elvebak

Vice President for Membership, Dee Blackwell
Secretary, Becky Hogeland
Public Relations and Publicity, Sally Love
Treasurer, Cash Anthony
Member-at-Large, Natasha Storfer
Past President, Cash Anthony


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