Tag Archives: writing

Writing “The End” ~ LETHAL JOURNEY

Writing “The End”

For me writing “The End” is always a mixture of excitement and sadness.

I originally wrote Lethal Journey in 1996. It’s a novel inspired by my fasination with the Mafia combined with my love for action-packed thrillers.

It was a story I tucked away after a wonderful author I’d met online passed away from cancer. Christina Harris was a friend, my writing mentor and a two-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist. Unfortunately, she died before I finished writing my debut romantic thriller, REFLECTION.

In 2006, Lethal Journey was a finalist in From the Heart Romance Writers (FTHRW) Golden Gate Contest -Romantic Suspense category.

Since 1996, Lethal Journey has evolved from being a romantic suspense to a intricate thriller loaded with intrigue and action and I’m glad I decided to rewrite the story. I think Christina would be very proud.

Lethal Journey

Lethal Journey
A Short Novel Thriller

PRE-ORDER at Kobo, iTunes, Barnes & Noble and SAVE $3.00

Release Date: December 1, 2013

A killer lurks in the shadows of Hyde Park, New York…waiting.

Manhattan District Attorney, Lauren Taylor, is about to take on the most important case of her career, prosecuting Gino Valdina, acting mob boss of New York’s most influential crime syndicate.

For three decades, Gino Valdina has led New York’s Valdina crime family. Since his recent indictment for murder, the leadership of the family is in turmoil, appalled by the death of one of their own, Gino’s wife, Madelina. Without the support of the family behind him, Valdina will do anything to save himself.

But Lauren soon discovers, things aren’t always as they seem when she’s tossed into a mystery, a deadly conspiracy that reaches far beyond the criminal underworld and a journey into the past makes her a target…and anyone she’s ever loved.

FINALPRINTCOVEReabb3-addtogoodreadsreflection200x300You can still grab a copy of my award-winning romantic thriller REFLECTION for $2.99 (reg.$5.95)!

Where to Buy
MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | iTunes | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace

 
 
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Writing a Back Cover Blurb Ain’t Easy!

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The blurb on the back cover of a novel is a sales pitch (Buy Me! Buy Me!). As an author you want to hook the reader into buying your book.

Writing back cover copy for a novel isn’t easy, at least not for me.

So how does an author entice a reader while highlighting the characters, tone and conflict in about 150 words without giving away the ending? There isn’t a universial template to use but the easiest way is to read and study the back covers of some of your favorite authors.

When I began working on the blurb for my upcoming July release, LETHAL JOURNEY, I started with one sentence to summarize the main conflict.

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A killer lurks in the shadows of Hyde Park, New York…waiting.

Then I added another sentence to introduce the main character and what is at stake.

A district attorneys’ journey into the past makes her a target and anyone she has ever loved.

After at least two dozen frustrating attempts…I did it! Finally I was happy with the back cover. Woohoo! My reward? Chocolate and a much needed TALL glass of rum and coke.

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Blurb

Manhattan District Attorney, Lauren Taylor, is about to take on the most important case of her career, prosecuting Gino Valdina, acting mob boss of New York’s most influential crime syndicate.

For over three decades, Gino “Pockets” Valdina has led New York’s crime family. Since his recent indictment for murder, the leadership of the family is in chaos, dismayed by the death of one of their own, Gino’s wife. Without the support of the family behind him, Valdina will do anything to save himself.

But Lauren soon discovers, things aren’t always as they seem when she’s tossed into a mystery, a deadly conspiracy that reaches far beyond the criminal underworld and a journey into the past makes her a target…and anyone she’s ever loved.

If you get stuck writing the blurb for your book, here are some useful links.

Writers in the Storm Blog: Gotcha Blurbs: Easy and Fun to Write

The Book Marketing Maven: How to Write a Back Blurb for Your Book

Scribbling on the Computer: How to Write a Back Cover Blurb for Your Novel

REFLECTION ~ UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner

UP 2013_Fiction_Challenge_awardwinner

If you haven’t heard the fantastic news, REFLECTION, my debut romantic suspense won the UP Authors Fiction Challenge contest! I’m thrilled and was quite honestly surprised!

Click here and check out all the winning entries!

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“Cinematic writing, powerful visuals, sleek, fast, utterly sexy, notches above anything we have read before!” ~ UP Authors

BLURB

Florida investigative reporter, Whitney Steel, has lived in the shadow of her legendary father long enough. To prove herself she needs to find the “Big” story.

She found it.

Now it may kill her.

After Whitney receives a lead pointing to the world’s first cloned human, now a small child, she vows to unravel the truth. However, sifting through the facts proves to have dangerous results, including death threats and murder.

When Whitney is nearly killed, but is saved by undercover FBI Special Agent, Blake Neely, he refuses to let her get in the way of his own objective—at least not right away.

Caught in a lethal game between a billionaire obsessed with genetic perfection, his hit man’s thirst for retribution, and a Colombian drug lord fresh out of prison determined to make Blake pay for his twin brother’s death over a decade ago…

Can they save an innocent child before it’s too late?

Faced with tough choices, with deadly consequences for many—Whitney soon realizes that sometimes a story becomes more than just a story.

________________________________________

Other Awards for REFLECTION

Silicon Valley RWA (Romance Writers of America) “Gotcha!” Romantic Suspense Winner! (2004)

Honourable Mention (Calgary’s Romance Writers of America) CARWA’s The Writer’s Voice Contest (2006) (Suspense Category)

________________________________________

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Where to Buy REFLECTION
MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Sony | iTunes

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace

REFLECTION ~ Editorial Reviews from InD’Tale and BTSeMag

reflection333x500A reporter’s determination to expose an illegal human cloning project places an innocent child in the crosshairs of a master criminal.

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USA today

May 2013 – The book trailer for REFLECTION was featured in Robin Covington’s, Happy Ever After, Special for USA TODAY! Check it out here! A huge thank you to Robin!

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EMAG

June 2013 – REFLECTION received a 5 star review on page 71 of BTSeMag! Click here to read the magazine!

Review by Lori Zaleski (BTSeMag)

A pulse-pounding opening is just the beginning of the non-stop action in Reflection by Kim Cresswell. Whitney Steel is a headstrong investigative reporter who wants to expose the truth at all costs even while falling for Blake Neely, an undercover FBI Special Agent. As they work to take down an evil billionaire, the romantic tension builds until they give in to their desires. But, is a physical relationship enough for Whitney when she believes Blake is keeping something from her? Watching Whitney and Blake’s struggle to trust each other makes them an intriguing couple. Meanwhile, Cresswell works multiple storylines with stunning plot twists that keep the pages flying by.

Completely captivated with this romantic suspense, I could barely take a breath before reaching the high-octane climax. Cresswell masterfully ties up the major plot points while leaving the door open to revisiting these characters again. I, for one, hope she does.

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Indtale

June 2013 – REFLECTION reviewed a stellar 4 star review by InDTale Magazine!  Click here to read the full review!

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Where to Buy REFLECTION
MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Sony | iTunes

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace

REFLECTION is UPAuthor Approved

UP Approved-1Thank you UPAuthors.com!

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Excerpt
Mason Bailey gulped down his third Glenlivet. “I didn’t kill her.”

How many times had Whitney Steel heard those words? Dozens. But never from the mouth of a United States senator. For all she cared, the man could drink himself to Mars, but not until she got what she’d come for. An exclusive.

Under the awning shading the Pink Flamingo Club’s patio, she took a sip of her lime daiquiri, and couldn’t help notice the way the mid-afternoon sunlight brutally magnified every line on Mason’s tanned face.

“Of all the reporters in Panama City, let alone Florida, why me? We cut our ties years ago.” And our losses, she wanted to say, but didn’t.

“I know I can trust you.” His gaze darted across the street then back to her. “Besides, we were married once. That should count for something.”

Whitney straightened. Anger coiled in the pit of her stomach. “Give me a break. For a year and a half, I thought we were married. Too bad your girlfriends didn’t know about our little legal arrangement.” Especially, your twenty something assistant.

“Damn it, Whitney. I didn’t ask you here to rehash our past.” He yanked a monogrammed handkerchief from his jacket pocket and dabbed the sweat from his forehead. “I need your help. I know why Carmen Lacey was murdered.”

Her eyes widened. Now they were getting somewhere. “You have my full attention. Are we on the record?”

Mason shoved his empty glass aside. “Yes.”

Her heart thumped with anticipation. This story would be the topic du jour for months. Her ratings at WBNN-TV would soar, and finally her colleagues would take notice and treat her with the professional respect she deserved.

For the past twelve years, her colleagues said she’d had a free ride because of her father, an award winning war correspondent, and her ex-husband’s political connections. This time she’d prove them wrong.

She rummaged through her leather bag, placed her digital voice recorder on the table and gave the record button a firm push. “For the record, Senator Bailey, did you kill Carmen Lacey?”

“No.” He leaned back in the chair and loosened his pinstriped tie. “It’s true. I was the last person to see her alive. But there’s more to this than you think.”

Brown eyes that once set her heart hammering now conveyed a chilling,hollow look. Was it guilt? Desperation?

No. Fear.

Uneasiness slid down her spine. She stopped the recorder. “Mason, you’re scaring me. What the hell is going on? It’s been over three years since we last spoke. Then, out of the blue, you beg me to meet with you today. I know the police don’t believe you killed that woman.”

“But do you, Whitney? Do you believe I killed her? I need to know. It’s important.”

Stunned by the urgency in his voice, she answered carefully. “Of course not. You’re many things, but you’re not a killer.”

“Thank you. That means a lot to me.” He reached for his empty glass and tapped his chunky gold ring against the side.

Whitney turned the recorder on again.

“Carmen was a scientist working for a biotech company in Nevada. ShawBioGen. Heard of it?”

“Who hasn’t? They were one of the first to clone animals in the eighties. Caused quite a stir. But I don’t understand. What does that have to do with
Carmen’s death?”

He opened his mouth to answer.

The large window behind them dividing the patio from the main restaurant exploded. A storm of glass rained down, showering the patio.

There was no warning. Everything moved so fast, yet in slow motion as if part of a horrid nightmare.

Screams. Rushed, heavy, thumping footsteps.

A few feet away, a male waiter dropped the two plates of food in his hands. He froze.

“Get down!” Mason yelled.

Whitney dropped. She huddled into a ball under the table and squashed the side of her face against the patio stones. Amid the chaos, a gunshot echoed and the waiter ran for cover.

A bullet ripped through the man’s shoulder and spun him around, the force slamming his body against the restaurant door. He folded to his knees and howled out in pain.

More shots rang out. Debris spewed through the air. Food, glasses, plates. The sickening smell of deep fried food and scorched cordite assaulted her nostrils. She gagged.

Crimson snaked toward her hand. The warm, sticky liquid met her fingertips.

Blood. Lots of blood. But it wasn’t hers.

Her gaze snapped to Mason, lying on his back. Dark red blood pumped from a gaping wound in his chest, soaking his white shirt. She held her breath to keep from screaming.

He raised his arm and reached for her. “I swear—I didn’t kill her. I swear.”

“I believe you.” Whitney kept her head down and inched her body closer. She grasped his hand. “I do. Oh, God.”

Please don’t die. Her pulse roared so loud in her ears she couldn’t hear her own words. “You’re bleeding so much. Someone help us!”

Another bullet whizzed through the air and slammed into the bottom of the wooden table leg.

Needle-like splinters from the wood slashed through her pants and drilled into her thigh like a hundred slivers. The pain knocked the breath from her. The world twisted and turned yellow. Darkness thickened and threatened to overpower her.

Can’t pass out…help Mason.

He gasped a ragged breath and shoved a key into her bloody palm and curled her fingers closed. “Don’t trust—anyone.”

She clutched the piece of metal. A knot wedged in her throat, one she couldn’t swallow. “I’m going to get help.”

“No—stay.” Blood bubbled at the corners of his mouth and trickled down his jaw. “They cloned…”

His eyelids slid shut.

“What Mason? They cloned what?”

Whitney lowered her head to his chest. “Oh, Mason, no.”

Reflection © 2013 by Kim Cresswell

_______________

Praise

“Action packed from page one…an impressively laid out passionate thrill ride!” -InD’Tale Magazine

“I was looking forward to reading about Whitney and Blake. I anticipated a Booth and Bones relationship (from the Bones TV Series) and I wasn’t wrong…this book is definitely worth reading.” –Quality Reads UK Book Club

“A brilliant mixture of action, romance and mystery. Well worth a read…a very tough book to put down.” Jeep Diva

“Five-star page-turner! A truly edge-of-your-seat, never-a-dull-moment read! Reflection has a dramatic start and just never slows down.” Ellen Fritz at Books4Tomorrow

________________

Where to Buy
MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Sony

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace

No Strings Attached Blog Hop

no strings MayThe No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop is here!

I’m giving away 3 eBook copies of my award-winning debut romantic suspense, REFLECTION, to three lucky winners!

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Silicon Valley’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Gotcha!” Romantic Suspense Winner! (2004)

WARNING: This book contains graphic language, sexual situations, and violence.

BLURB

Florida investigative reporter, Whitney Steel, has lived in the shadow of her legendary father long enough. To prove herself she needs to find the “Big” story.

She found it.

Now it may kill her.

After Whitney receives a lead pointing to the world’s first cloned human, now a small child, she vows to unravel the truth. However, sifting through the facts proves to have dangerous results, including death threats and murder.

When Whitney is nearly killed, but is saved by undercover FBI Special Agent, Blake Neely, he refuses to let her get in the way of his own objective—at least not right away.

Caught in a lethal game between a billionaire obsessed with genetic perfection, his hit man’s thirst for retribution, and a Colombian drug lord fresh out of prison determined to make Blake pay for his twin brother’s death over a decade ago…

Can they save an innocent child before it’s too late?

Faced with tough choices, with deadly consequences for many—Whitney soon realizes that sometimes a story becomes more than just a story.

~

The trailer for REFLECTION was recently featured in Robin Covington’s, Happy Ever After, Special for USA TODAY!  Click here to check out the book trailer!

USA today~

“I was looking forward to reading about Whitney and Blake. I anticipated a Booth and Bones relationship (from the Bones TV Series) and I wasn’t wrong…this book is definitely worth reading.” –Quality Reads UK Book Club

“A brilliant mixture of action, romance and mystery. Well worth a read…a very tough book to put down.” Jeep Diva

“Five-star page-turner! A truly edge-of-your-seat, never-a-dull-moment read! Reflection has a dramatic start and just never slows down.” Ellen Fritz at Books4Tomorrow

“Fast-paced…gripping…riveting!” -Bestselling True Crime Author, RJ Parker

Where to Buy
MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Sony

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace

~

****Enter the Giveaway!****

Don’t forget to visit all the wonderful bloggers and authors participating!

41.

BOOK TALK TUESDAY: Guest Interview with Charlotte Henley Babb

It’s my pleasure to welcome Charlotte Henley Babb, author of  Maven’s Fractured Fairy Tales!

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What is your book about?

Maven’s new dream job–fairy godmother–presents more problems than she expects when she learns that Faery is on the verge of collapse, and the person who is training her isn’t giving her the facts–and may be out to kill her. Will she be able to make all the fractured fairy tales fit together into a happy ending, or will she be eaten by a troll?

What inspired you to write this particular story?

Where are the stories for women of a certain age, the ones Clarissa Pinkola Estès calls The Dangerous Old Woman?  The Boomers are the first women to live to a ripe old age, many of us still with our mothers alive. Our only role models in fairy tales are bumbling grandmothers and evil witches.  I wanted to write about negotiating the second half of life. One of my great-unts is 97 years old. If I live that long, I have 25 years of adult life left. If I’m to spend it in a rocking chair, the porch will have wi-fi and I’ll be burning up the data with my tablet.

Describe your writing in three words.

Fractured fairy tales

Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?

I’m still learning outlining, so my main technique is character based—what would Maven do and why would she do that? Have I told enough backstory to make that plausible? When I know the motivations of all the characters, major and minor, the story is done, and just needs polish. This may take several drafts

Are your characters in the book based on anyone you know?

Yes and No – there are certainly traits that are from people I know, but for the most part they are just my imaginary friends.

Have you ever had difficulty “killing off” a character because she or he was so intriguing and full of possibility for you?

Ironically, I’m looking at two villains in my second novel, both of whom I’d like to redeem but one of which, and maybe both will have to die. They have chosen their path, they refuse to change, and there’s only one way out for them—at least that I’ve been able to see so far.

If your book was made into a TV series or movie, which actors would you choose to play your main characters?

If I could do a movie today, I’d have Kathy Bates play Maven, Judi Dench would play Fiona the Fairy Godmother Superior, and Queen Latifa would play Belle. Harrison Ford might be a good choice for Jones.

Who gets to read your drafts before they’re published?

Anyone among my friends who will listen!!! Actually, I’m a member of the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop and critters.org, and I get very good critique from them.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve Googled?

Today?  “the cult of the Grandmother” and “the two million year old woman”  Last month I did a fair amount of research about women named Charlotte to celebrate my birthday month. I’m particularly fond of my blog post about Princess Charlotte of Monaco…trailer trash got nothing on the crowned heads of Europe.   http://charlottehenleybabb.com/princess-charlottefairy-tale/

What projects are you working on now?

Current WIP is That Darn Maven, in which Maven is punished for her antics in the first book by being transformed into a cat, who must grant three wishes to get her human form back, but none of the characters she meets are making any wishes.

 I’ve completed a couple of short stories to be released on Kindle when I get time to format and upload them. I’ve been working on the print version of Through the Veil, volume one of Maven Fairy Godmother, since my ebook publisher allowed the print rights to revert to me.

Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?

I appreciate the kind words from readers on Amazon and Goodreads. It’s extremely gratifying  to know that some people get what I am doing and think it’s funny.  I’d love to know what stories they’d like to see fractured and whose point of view they would find interesting. I have a short story based on Sleeping Beauty that involves Maven and the Palace of the princess, rather than the princess herself.

Where can readers find you and your books online?

§  @charlottebabb  on twitter

§  http://www.linkedin.com/in/charlottebabb/

Short fiction can be found here:

Bubba and the Beast http://amzn.to/17lL7vq

Can a wish be granted across the veil? Trolls need love too, but can Maven find Grizelda’s true love without her wand and wings?

 MavenStiltskin         http://amzn.to/14Q9fa7

Maven takes a hike across the gender fence to see if the grass is greener, or the straw more golden, but there are some cats who just want to tangle his/her threads.

 Fairy Frogmother    http://amzn.to/10Jlv87

Maven’s favorite spell backfires and turns her into a frog. How can she grant the wishes of the prince, his rogue fairy godmother mom, and frog princess Medori, if she can’t even hold her wand?

Broke, busted and despairing over the mess her life has turned out to be, middle-aged Maven Morrigan is offered a job as a fairy godmother, a one-time-only last chance to make something of herself and to make the world a better place.

Not knowing whom to trust: her boss, her slithery familiar or her own Bump of Direction, she has to find her personal power by relying on herself, her real-world failures, and her sense of the absurd, to survive in this imaginary garden with real trolls in it, so her clients get their happily ever after.

(a scene from Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the veil)

A scratching noise caught Maven’s attention when it began to rattle the door. The latch moved, but not quite far enough to allow the door to open. Maven set her teacup down and pushed herself up out of her chair. She was stiff from sitting still for so long.

All right, all right, don’t have a hissy fit,” she muttered. “Are you going to let me open the door?” she said to the house.

The latch flew up, the door crashed back against the wall, and a wolf leapt into the room. Covered with twigs and leaves, as though he had penetrated the underbrush with his long nose, he panted heavily, his sides heaving. His paws left mud and smears of blood on the floor.

“Oh, NO!” he gasped. “A Grandmother!” He looked back out the door, where someone was coming after him. They could hear the shouts and stamping of someone coming through the woods.

“Calm down,” Maven said. “I’m not going to eat you. What’s wrong?”

The wolf turned to go back out.

“No, wait. Climb into bed.” Maven looked at the nightgown and the bonnet on the peg. Fairy tale people were pretty easily fooled, but surely not that easily. She threw the nightgown over his head and tied the bonnet over his ears. “Don’t wag your tail.” She threw the cloak over him too. Not too bad if they didn’t actually see him. “Roll over.”

“I’m not a dog.” The wolf growled.

“You’ll be dog food if they catch you. Shut up. Look sick.” Maven turned to face the fireplace. “All right, Hut. Make it dark and musty in here, and make a kettle of whatever kind of bad smelling stuff they use for medicine around here. I don’t want anyone chopped up on my watch.”

“I prefer to be called Cottage.” The walls sounded peevish.

“All right, Cottage, you can be the freaking Taj Mahal as long as you do what needs to be done. Fiona would not have gone to this much trouble just to aggravate me.”

“Don’t count on that.” A brownish smell began to bubble from the kettle, an herb that seemed vaguely familiar, but Maven couldn’t place it.

Before she could ask the cottage, the door, having latched itself again, shook with the blows of pounding fists.

Maven leaned heavily on her cane and made her voice croak like a frog. “Who’s there? I’m just an old crone here, go away.”

The door rattled with the heavy blows, shaking the latch loose again. Three hulking woodcutters came in, axe handles in hand.

“Where are you, Wolf?” He saw Maven leaning on her cane. “There he is now.” He grabbed her by her shawl, which came off, exposing her iron gray hair and her face.

“My, what small ears you have.” he exclaimed, pulling on one of them.

“Must be why you are shouting,” Maven said. She pushed against him to no avail. She stomped on the instep of his hobnailed boot, but it only hurt her foot.

“And what small eyes you have.” he said, turning her face between his thumb and forefinger.

“Big enough to see your face and remember it,” Maven said, her look being dark enough to kill if he had been bright enough to see it.

“And your nose isn’t long at all.” He began to look truly perplexed.

“It’s long enough to smell herbs cooking in a sick house.” Maven shook herself loose. “Now if you don’t want to be in the bed at your house, you’d better get on out of here.” Then kicking her self mentally for having a big mouth, she saw that they hadn’t seen the wolf in the bed at all.

“Can’t have a wolf running around, eating helpless grandmothers.” He stepped to the bed, his axe ready to fall and his cronies right behind him. “It’s for your own protection.”

“No!” Maven stretched herself up to her full height, drew in a deep breath, and pointed her cane at the woodcutters. Tulip had said she could turn anyone into a frog for self-protection, so she could do it to protect someone else.

She gathered her anger and forced it through the cane so that green sparkles flew out the end.

By the time the sparkles settled, three bewildered frogs sat on the floor beside their axes, one of which fell, narrowly missing the bed. The bed had seen it coming though, and dodged.

Maven shooed the frogs out, keeping their axes for future reference. She stacked them into a corner where they became a mop, a broom, and a pitchfork.

Thanks” she said to the Cottage.

Certainly,” it replied, less coldly than before.

“All right, you, get up.” Maven shook the wolf’s shoulder, only to feel it quivering. “You’re safe now, from the frogs.” She untied the bonnet and helped the wolf out of the nightgown. “How did they get on your trail? You must have done something to get their attention.”

“Humans. It’s always the wolf at the door; never mind what they do to us.” The wolf growled, slinking away from her towards the door. Yet he was afraid to go out.

Maven thought he looked pitiful, wavering. She dipped water out of the bucket into a bowl and set it on the floor. “Here, at least drink something and rest.”

“You aren’t afraid that I will eat you?” The wolf said. His legs shook, on the verge of collapse.

“You weren’t planning to, were you?” Maven said.

He slunk over to the bowl and lapped noisily until the bowl was dry.

Maven sat back in the rocker. She swirled the tea leaves again to listen to the wolf’s story. It was a different perspective, film noir, and at a 24-inch eye level, but it was clear he was a sheep in a wolf’s body.

“You are obviously a witch. Are you going to turn me into a frog too?” the wolf asked finally. “I’d probably be better at being a frog.” He laid his chin on his paws. “At least people wouldn’t be afraid of me.”

“Actually, I’m a fairy godmother. On vacation.”

What would a wolf wish for?

“That explains the brambles around the cottage.” He began to chew at the brambles in his paws. “I thought I would never get through. I don’t remember this cottage being here before.”

“That’s magic for you.” Maven shrugged. “Now, you rest here tonight. I’d be glad of the company.” She spoke to the kettle, and the medicine smell disappeared. She made more tea, and when a plate of meat appeared on the table, she laid it on the floor by the wolf. After he had eaten, he curled up by the hearth and went to sleep.

Maven moved closer to the fire as well, her legs cold and shakier than the persona warranted. She was so tired.

She picked up the bit of gossamer that had been her shawl before the woodcutter grabbed it and stretched it around her bare arms. No wonder she was cold. Her hemline had crept up at least a foot and her sleeves had disappeared. She tugged the rags down, making them slightly less ragged, and much warmer.

What had happened to her gossamers?

She had used her energy, her anger, to transform the frogs. Now she could see why she had to be careful. It hadn’t seemed like all that much energy, but the adrenaline pumping through her was hers, not the energy available in the cottage. She turned the rocker towards the fire.

She was very tired now, and finally feeling warm again, she drifted off into a nap.

jaguar-hat

Charlotte Henley Babb, presently living in Spartanburg, SC, is originally from the Charlotte, NC, area. When she told her mother she wanted to be a teacher, her mom said, “You’d better find a job.” She thought her mother just meant that she had to pay her college tuition!

She is the first college graduate in the history of her family, and the second high school grad, after her mother. While she has done many other things, as her mom suggested, teaching has always supported her true vocation: writing.

Babb earned a Bachelor of Science in English/Education from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, a Masters of Secondary Education from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, and  a Master of Arts in Humanities from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her studies have focused on writing, special needs learners, personal growth, and computer applications.

Charlotte’s new MA in the Humanities—Myth and Education, gave her a California perspective on her Southern heritage. She studies mythology to deepen her work with themes from ancient sources. Sharing perspectives with people from across the country lets her delve into the cultural notions that are as invisible as water is to fish, fertilizer for the soul!

For the first eighteen years of her work life, she taught remedial English at three rural high schools, mostly to students in technical programs or in the bottom quartile. She taught at Spartanburg Community College and Spartanburg Methodist College, as well as University of Phoenix since 2002. She is currently the web designer and social networks manager for Sherman College of Chiropractic. As her mom, suggested, she did finally get a ‘real’ job. She was the webmaster and newsletter editor for the Southeastern Writers Association from 2005 to 2011.  To supplement her income, she has worked various jobs:

§  computer support technician

§  cloth store associate

§  waitress

§  office temp

§  art, craft, and frame store

§  washing machine gasket inspector

§  newspaper ads designer

§  craft fair creative

§  technical writer of ISO 9000 procedures

§  telephone tech support

§  telephone tarot reader

Each job has given her more insight to the challenges involved being human and living in the human condition. She is a mistress of juggling time and energy. She still reads the Tarot, but not for money. She has one daughter, a freelance illustrator of fantasy and science fiction.

Fantastic interview! Thanks for stopping by today, Charlotte.