13 Spooky Writing Prompts to ignite your imagination. Bats and cats, owls and howls, trick-or-treat, hosts and ghosts. Kids, have fun this Halloween by creating spooky stories to scare your family and friends.
(3) Amazon eBook copies of any of the Aspiring Author Series (Winner’s choice)
Leave a comment below and/or along any stop along the tour for your chance to win!
In European folklore and folk-belief of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, familiar spirits (sometimes referred to simply as “familiars” or “animal guides”) were believed to be supernatural entities that would assist witches and cunning folk in their practice of magic. According to the records of the time, they would appear in numerous guises, often as an animal.
The main purpose of familiars is to serve the witch or young witch, providing protection for them as they come into their new powers.
(Reference: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
Meet Wendy’s two writing familiars—Zippy & Zappy
13 Spooky Writing Prompts to ignite your imagination
Bats and cats, owls and howls, trick-or-treat, hosts and ghosts.
Have fun this Halloween by creating spooky stories to scare your family and friends.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE! Thanks for stopping by to support Wendy. To follow along with the other two tour stops this weekend, or to find out more about her, please visit her 4WillsPub Blog Tour page and be sure to leave her a comment below, letting her know you’re running out to get her book this weekend! It’s only $.99!!! Grab a copy of Halloween Writing Prompts today. WJ Scott’s writing prompt series ranks among my favorites. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine authorhttps://www.4writersandreaders.com
Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?
As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined in a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. In order to set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.
End of Day can be read as a stand alone novel or as a follow-up to book one of the Hode’s Hill series, Cusp of Night.
End of Day is available for pre-order through this link
and available to add to your Goodreads to-be-read list here.
Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:
It is such a pleasure to introduce this “up and coming author,” Gracie Bradford, and her book about a child with brain cancer. The beagle, Lady Bird, takes on a leading role in this short story. Learn about the role of pet therapy in the healing process.
During her discovery journey and literary, educational adventure, Gracie relates that she stumbled upon software and websites that have proven to give a new meaning to work simplification. She used some of these in her business but discovered they could also be used with some of her writing projects. Most seasoned authors are already familiar with the apps and sites, but the “up and coming authors” may find some of these to be useful. She doesn’t use all, just those that she has the skill set to understand and can give a return on her investment. Although she confesses that she tends to gravitate towards the FREE stuff, she will invest in a few. It will be fun to hear about your favorite sites and apps. Leave your best in the COMMENT section.
Disclaimer: No fees received for recommending these resources nor is there an endorsement
I’m honored to welcome guest author Kim Cox who is here today to tell us about her new book. She’ll also give us insight into writing a series. Read on to find out all about it and discover how to enter Kim’s giveaway to win a gift card or eBook, too! ~Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com
Writing the Series: Style & Profile
Books so far: ALL THIS TIME and BEFORE WE WED, and coming in 2018, FOR THE DEFENSE
ALL THIS TIME, book one, was supposed to be a stand-alone, simple marriage of convenience, best friends, short contemporary romance. I’m not sure why but I can’t write a book in just one genre thus the romantic suspense and paranormal mystery books I’ve written. Short stories, yes, I can make it happen, but it just doesn’t happen in my novels. At least, not so far. I have a couple of other romance books in mind, so we’ll see what the future holds on that score.
The first book has four strong female characters and somewhere near the end of writing book one, I decided to make it a series, giving two of the other females their own books. Since Sarah started dating Jon near the end of book one, she was chosen for the next book. However, I came up with the storyline for book three before book two’s story came to me.
Before I could write book two, BEFORE WE WED, I had to figure out the storyline for these two characters. Normally, for me, the story comes to me first and then I find my characters. The reason it came to me the other way this time was because I was using characters from the first book.
So, the what ifs started. Jon Clayton owned a body shop so what if he’s arrested for some type of crime. What type of crime could he be involved in? He owned an auto shop, so what about letting him get arrested for stealing stolen goods and running a chop shop (slang for stealing cars or car parts and selling them off).
Okay, I do watch a lot of cop shows but this came from someone I knew once who was arrested for this. I didn’t know him personally or well, but he was the dad of a girl I went to school with. I remember how devastated she and her family was over his arrest. They’d had no idea.
Then I had to come up with where to start the book. Then I thought how awful it would be if they were getting married when he was arrested. After that was decided, the title of BEFORE WE WED just came to me.
Book 3, FOR THE DEFENSE is Lynsi Patterson’s and Jaxon Montgomery’s story. They first meet in book 2 when Lynsi finds a lawyer to represent Jon. The storyline for this story came from a news article I read about a woman who’d been wrongly incarcerated for something like twenty years, but was being released because a witness, one that’s testimony convicted her, was found to have lied about everything. It came out after the witness died that she’d lied.
So, I thought, what if there was more of a reason than someone lying but there was someone who’d paid her to lie and who didn’t want the truth coming out. This someone is willing to do what it takes to keep the secret, even murder again.
Now I’m thinking about writing two more books in this series, sort of spin offs from book two. One of the two books would be about Kate and Liam Roberts’ witness protection. The other would be Kara Martin Lewis (Sarah’s twin) finding love again and her small Georgia inn. I haven’t made up my mind yet, so stay tuned.
I have so many books I want to write that I’m not sure I’ll have time to write the others already planned and write those two new ideas that came to me recently while writing BEFORE WE WED.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Just as Sarah Martin and Jon Clayton say their vows, the police crash the wedding to arrest the groom. Jon is terrified and Sarah is heartbroken. Thankfully, their friends support them emotionally and help find Jon an excellent attorney.
When evidence of John’s guilt is found, he swears he’s innocent. But how can he prove it? As if an arrest and pending trial aren’t bad enough, his ex-wife refuses to let him near their seven-year-old son, and has their shared custody agreement rescinded as part of his bail agreement. But when Jon-Jon is injured, Jon breaks the agreement and his bail is revoked.
Sarah sees strange men in Jon’s business one night. One follows her home and attacks her. When Jon finds out, he pushes her way to protect her, but it doesn’t deter her loyalty to him or the attacker’s determination to killer her. Will the enemy get to her?
Is Jon truly innocent, and does he have no idea how the damaging evidence found its way into his business? Are there more sinister people involved? Will Sarah find the evidence she needs to clear him, or will she find out he’s fooled them all? If someone else is framing Jon, who is it and what are their motives?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An author of Mystery, Suspense, Paranormal, and Romance, Kim Cox lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chainsaw artist husband, their West Highland White Terriers, (Scooter and Harley) and an adopted Yorkie/Maltese mix (Candi). She’s also a mother and grandmother.
Kim is published in novels, short stories and articles. Her published works consist of Romantic Suspense Novels, a Paranormal Mystery series, and short stories.
Besides writing, cover design, and publishing, Kim presently works a full-time position outside the home as MIS Specialist for a Workforce Development company.
She is a graduate of Writer’s Digest’s Writing to Sell Fiction and NRI’s Fiction Writing, and has associate degrees in the fields of Office Systems Technology and Web Technologies.
Today I am sharing space at 4writersandreaders with indie author and publisher Traci Sanders. Sanders has written a fantastic new series that will help even the seasoned pro write it better. Here, in her own words, is Traci…
TIP 165: Watch your tone
This tip, and many others on grammar and writing, can be found in Before You Publish: Tips on grammar, writing, and editing.
You can think of this as a reference guide, rather than a book you need to read from cover to cover. It will become your new go-to-guide for all things writing, grammar, and editing. The tips are easy to follow and explained in simple terms that anyone can understand and put to use right away.
Growing up, do you remember your parents telling you, “It wasn’t what you said, it was how you said it”? I do.
I hated hearing that, but I must admit now that it’s true … especially in writing, because tone cannot be automatically detected in text.
I’ll bet most of you haven’t put much thought into this with your writing. In all honesty, I didn’t either—until I learned a better way.
I won’t get into all the mechanics of writing dialogue just yet. This tip is going to help you establish tone in writing dialogue.
Have you ever read a line such as this in a story?: “Not a word of this to anyone,” she whispered.
Well, until we got to “she whispered,” we had no inclination of the tone of voice this character used. As readers, we had to create the tone in our heads, and then we realized at the end of the sentence, we were wrong.
We know the character didn’t shout the words because there is no exclamation point. So maybe we thought he/she simply declared this statement in a regular voice, or perhaps he/she was angry and said it through gritted teeth. We had no way of knowing for sure until we saw the word whispered.
Therefore, to convey true tone without making the reader guess how the words are meant to sound, the author needs to indicate a change in voice before the character speaks.
Here are a few examples of ways to establish intonation before dialogue:
Okay: “Don’t touch my phone,” the boy’s mom warned through gritted teeth.
Better: The boy’s mom gritted her teeth and said, “Don’t touch my phone.”
Okay: “Don’t leave me,” she begged.
Better: Her voice trembled as she begged, “Don’t leave me.”
Okay: “Stacey, look at the abs on that guy. His girlfriend is one lucky woman,” Laura whispered to her best friend as they sat at the table in the library.
Well, darn. We had to wait until three-fourths of the way through this sentence to find out that Laura didn’t say the words loud enough for anyone but Stacey to hear, and learn that the two girls were in a library.
Better: As they sat at the library table, Laura leaned into Stacey and whispered, “Girl, look at the abs on that guy. His girlfriend is one lucky woman.”
Okay: “You never let me do anything. I hate you,” he mumbled to his mom under his breath.
Better: In a voice only he could hear, Jamie mumbled, “You never let me do anything. I hate you.” You would have set the scene with the mom before this sentence. It doesn’t always have to be part of the dialogue.
So, now you know another trick to help you write dialogue that keeps your story moving along without readers having to go back and reread the sentence once they realize they used the wrong tone.
For more tips on writing compelling dialogue, I highly recommend you all check out this book. It’s a fun, quick guide that provides a wealth of information.
Traci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children’s, romance and nonfiction guides.
Sanders’s ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors.
Traci Sanders is giving away two prizes during this tour:
ONE unsigned paperback copy of Before You Publish– Volume I
ONE unsigned paperback copy of Beyond The Book –Volume II
To enter, all you have to do is email Traci a proof of purchase of a digital copy of either of these two books during the tour.
She will draw TWO winners total, at the end of the tour.
Please email your proof of purchase (can be a screenshot) to email@example.com
Looking for an unforgettable contemporary fiction read? I’m delighted to introduce you to J.A. Owenby and give you a peek into the first novel in her “Truth” series.
The Truth She Knew by J.A. Owenby is the compelling story of a young woman torn between loyalty to an abusive, controlling, mentally ill mother and her desire to find love and seek out a life of her own. This gripping page–turner brings light to the darkness of a secretly dysfunctional family and takes the reader through a journey they will not soon forget—a journey through the plight of the victims of those affected by the mentally ill. Owenby skillfully weaves a poignant story of first love into the protagonist’s plight. I look forward to reading more from this talented writer. Highly recommended for readers age 18+. ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author
Mama didn’t want me.In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me.
For eighteen-year-old Lacey, life at home is a roller coaster. She doesn’t think she’ll ever be good enough to truly deserve Mama’s love.
But when Lacey enters college and meets Walker, everything starts to change. Suddenly, Lacey is face to face with the realization that maybe what she’s always seen as normal really isn’t. Her entire life—and everything she’s ever believed about herself and her family—is abruptly hanging in midair.
Lacey is left facing two paths, and she has to make a choice. The first means walking away from everything she’s ever known. The other means never really knowing the truth.
The Truth She Knew offers an honest and powerful glimpse into mental illness, the meaning of true love, and the psychological waltz that a daughter dances as she endures her mother’s unpredictable emotions, manipulation, and abuse.
I leaned on the table and propped my chin on my hand.
“I’m dating someone.” I couldn’t control the grin that spread across my face. The Joker had nothing on me.
“Whaaat? Who? When? Where? Fill me in!” she squealed as she set her sandwich down, picked up her drink, and situated herself to hear the full story.
“Well, there’s not a lot to tell, but his name is Walker. I met him at Joss’s party last month and we’ve gone out for three weeks, and . . . he’s gorgeous, Emma!”
She leaned farther across the table and her eyes widened as I told her how we met at the party, Tammy’s rude attempt to distract him, the repercussions of Walker calling after 9 p.m., and our first few dates.
“First of all, Lacey Anne Beaumont, you’re in big trouble for holding out on me,” she said, waving her finger at me.
“I’m sorry, I just didn’t want to say anything until I knew it was real. And, I haven’t seen you to tell you,” I said.
Emma leaned back in her chair and bolted upright again.
“Holy crap, Lacey, your mom doesn’t have any idea?”
“No! Dammit, Emma, what am I going to do?” I asked and slumped in my chair.
“Well, so far he sounds acceptable, but in order to fully support this relationship I need to meet this Walker Farren. Second, I do not want to be anywhere close by when you tell your mom you’re dating him. She does not respond well to you dating. Granted, your last choice was complete gutter material, but maybe this one’s different.” She took a sip of her iced tea.
“Emma, I’m in trouble. I shouldn’t be with him, but I like him, and I mean really like him. He’s different—there’s something special about him.”
“Well, good grief, don’t knock it. Who cares why as long as he’s good to you? And who says you’re in trouble? Because your mom says you make bad choices? Well, the last one wasn’t a hit by any means, but that doesn’t mean you’re not capable of having a good boyfriend in your life. Besides, everyone knows she hates men.”
“Emma! I don’t want to talk about this again,” I said. A frown crept across my face at how quickly the conversation had turned in an uncomfortable direction.
J.A. Owenby lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and two cats.
Owenby is the published author of six short stories, and she is working on her second full-length novel. She also runs her own business as a professional resume writer and interview coach—helping people find jobs they love.
J.A. is an avid reader of thrillers, romance, new adult, and young adult novels. She loves music, movies, and good wine. And call her crazy, but she loves the rainy Pacific Northwest; she gets her best story ideas while listening to the rain pattering against the windows in front of the fireplace.
Barbara Ann Mojica, author of The Little Miss HISTORY series
After reading, thoroughly enjoying and recommending several books in Barbara Ann Mojica’s Little Miss History series to friends, I was delighted when the author provided me with a copy of her latest book. As a retired teacher, I love to spread the word about wonderful new children’s books and Mojica’s series is sure to get kids hooked on history. In her latest book, Little Miss History travels to Ellis Island, the main character takes readers through the museum where we find intriguing facts, photos and illustrations encapsulating the history of Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty while uncovering the plight of many of the immigrants who entered America through its gates. Although I had the opportunity to visit Ellis Island as a teen, I discovered aspects of my maternal ancestors’ entry into the USA that I plan to research further. The Little Miss History series by Barbara Ann Mojica is a valuable collection I highly recommend to teachers and parents as a wonderful way to explore US history and excite young readers to want learn more. And, today I’m honored to have the series’ talented author here with us. ~ Bette A. Stevenshttp://www.4writersandreaders.com
Welcome Barbara. To start off, tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Queens. Proud to say that I worked my way through college and was the first in my family to graduate with a degree at age twenty. Receiving a scholarship, I went on to graduate school. After college, I worked as an administrative assistant for a short time before embarking on a teaching career. I taught in elementary school, then moved to special education, and later principal and special education administrator. In addition I taught dyslexic children using the Wilson Reading Program and Applied Behavioral Analysis with autistic children. Now that I am retired, I am loving my new career as a writer for a local news magazine, children’s book writer and book reviewer.
I can see you’re a busy gal with little time for boredom to set in. How about an update on your family and community?
Barbara’s granddaughter, a big fan of Little Miss History, dresses up as her favorite book character for author day at school.
I live in upstate New York in a rural area with my wonderful husband, who is also the illustrator and publisher of my book series. We write and draw from a cozy studio in our home overlooking a pretty lake. Together we have six children and seven grandchildren, including two sets of twins. I love to keep up with our grandchildren through social media. My oldest grandchild, six-year-old Ava, is a big Little Miss HISTORY fan. She made me proud when she dressed up as Little Miss HISTORY on favorite author day in school.
We live in a community filled with historic sites, which we enjoy visiting. Victor and I support local events like the Hudson Children’s Book Festival, library events, and fundraisers for literacy in and around our community. One of my goals for this year is to increase Little Miss HISTORY’s presence in school communities by doing more classroom visits.
Your books are so well researched and designed, Barbara. And the illustrations are marvelous. How long have you been writing?
I have been doing lots of writing since by college days. Majoring in History and minoring in English and the classics involved lots of term papers and research. Pursuing graduate degrees in History sharpened my focus, but I have always been drawn to children so I found myself entering the education field. As a college freshman, one of my professors told me my research was impeccable, but that my writing style was “turgid and bombastic.” I guess that helped me to learn how to be concise. I now write one page historical articles for a local news magazine, concise blog book reviews, and children’s nonfiction picture books that generally fall within the 500 to 700 word range. Aside from an article or two for a scholarly journal, most of my published works appeared in the last five years. Ninety percent of my work is nonfiction focusing on history.
Can you give us a synopsis of The Little Miss HISTORY series and tell us what inspired you to write these wonderful books?
Get the kids hooked on history!
The Little Miss HISTORY Travel s to….. is a series of books using the Little Miss HISTORY character as a guide. She looks like a wannabe park ranger with pig tails and hiking boots three sizes too big. The aim of these books is to whet your child’s appetite for visiting these landmarks while having fun learning history. My objective in writing these books is to make learning about history something other than a series of facts, but instead the story of the people and places who have formed the heritage of America.
Do you have a favorite line to share from the series?
My favorite line does not come from a particular book. Little Miss HISTORY‘s motto, “If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about,” sums it up for me. I believe that history is our story, not a random series of events, but a process that involves the people of the past, their successes and failures, and their connections to us in the present. How we use what we learn and preserve these treasures will have an impact on what the future holds for our descendants.
How about a favorite character?
Little Miss HISTORY is the only character contained in each of the books of the series. She is a cartoon-like character based on a younger version of myself. Like Little Miss I hiked in my local area and trekked across the globe. I have visited more than fifty countries and a good number of states in America. Lately, I have been spending more time researching, revisiting and writing rather than traveling.
If I had to pick one favorite character in my series, it is Abraham Lincoln. I love the complexity of Lincoln’s character. He was a devoted father who grieved at the loss of two sons before his own death. While known as Honest Abe, he was a pragmatist who did not hesitate to use bribery to achieve his goals. Lincoln loved life; he educated himself and became a practicing lawyer. This president opened the doors of the White House to the people and listened sincerely to their ideas. He embraced technology, using the telegraph for the first time and inventing a device to move landlocked steamboats. I admire his persistence and resolve. He is a role model for me.
What do you find is the hardest part about writing your books?
For me, the most difficult part of writing is the rewrite and editing. There is so much that I would like to include in my books. While my targeted audience is children, most of the adults who use my books in the classroom or read them to children, tell me how many new things they have learned. So I do a careful research and try to bring to light information not commonly known about the historical personages, sites and events about which I write. For example, the Native American story important to Mount Rushmore, the pollution problems in Sequoia National Park, and the bravery of Alonzo Swann and his battery serving aboard The Intrepid. These things are all a part of history. The illustrations and photographs become an important part of that story and allow me to be as succinct as possible in the final word count, presenting as much information as possible in a suitable, appealing format for any age reader.
When not writing bi-weekly historical articles, researching, marketing or writing my own books, you will often find me reading other family friendly books. I post reviews twice weekly on my blog as well as review books on Amazon and Goodreads. As a retired educator and administrator, I share advice and expertise in developments occurring in elementary and special education with parents and educators.
In the evening I enjoy catching up on current events or watching movies with my husband. During the warmer months, I spend time gardening and boating. Of course I always find time to enjoy my grandchildren .
Where can readers find you and your books?
You can read about my books or contact me through my website: http://LittleMissHISTORY.COM At that site you can find reviews of my books, buying links, merchandise and more. All the books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and independent book stores.
The next book in the Little Miss HISTORY Travels to series will be stopping by George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon, Virginia, where readers will learn about a side of America’s first president that few know much about. I have already begun working on three other books for the series, and will leave those a mystery for now….
It’s been wonderful having you with us today, Barbara—I can’t wait to follow Little Miss HISTORY as her journey through American history continues.
Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit. I invite you to join the conversation (comments below) and share this post with your friends and family. Barbara and I would love to hear from you.