My Top Ten Tweets for #writers

My Top Ten Tweets

Top Ten Tweets

 

I love to write, but with writing comes marketing, the bane of my existence. I began gathering tips about writing and marketing from various blogs for easier reference. One day I thought why not share? So here we go. Follow me on Twitter @roxannesmolen for more tips.

Traditional vs. self-publishing: A guide for new authors https://buff.ly/2Rp5TXE  Authors nowadays have more opportunities than ever. #writerslife

How to Interview a Book Publicist https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2018/10/how-to-interview-a-book-publicist-before-you-sign-an-agreement/ … A competent publicist can jump-start your publicity campaign. #writerslife

The Creative Penn’s list of recommended editors https://buff.ly/2Mh2pTg  Please check the editor’s site for up-to-date pricing. #writerslife #amediting

5 Quick Tips for Writing Thrilling Fight Scenes https://buff.ly/2H3yv6Y  Why are action and fight scenes so difficult to craft authentically? #writetip

5 Must-Try Writing Techniques For Fiction Authors https://buff.ly/2tVknGQ  What are your favorite techniques to use during a writing session? #writetip #writingtip

The 10 Best Grammar and Punctuation Checker Tools of 2018 https://buff.ly/2GRU1HC  Given the fact that you are not a famous writer and don’t want to spend a fortune on editors, the best option is to find a reliable grammar checker tool. #writetip

How To Master Amazon Kindle Keywords For KDP For Free https://buff.ly/2E6kODp  Your best Amazon keyword research tool is Amazon. #writerslife #indieauthor

How Can You Tell Legitimate Publishers from the Bad Guys? https://buff.ly/2E4fZKQ  A lot of vanity presses pose as self-publishing assistants these days. #writers #indieauthors

How to Write a Short Story from Start to Finish https://buff.ly/2RjYQzl  There are certain patterns to writing a short story. #writers #writetip

Character Voices: How to Write Persona Using Voice https://buff.ly/2NyScSN  Read these tips for making a character’s voice memorable. #writers #writetip

 

Will you be doing Nanowrimo this year?

Eight Reasons to Participate In NaNoWriMo https://buff.ly/2QBl9zm  Are you ready to give NaNoWriMo a try? #writerslife #nanowrimo

What Is NaNoWriMo? https://buff.ly/2y6MGlu  NaNoWriMo is a great challenge to undertake if you’re new to writing. #writers #nanowrimo2018

#NaNoWriMo Preparation: Free Five Day Challenge https://buff.ly/2QDNXay  Sign ups are open now. #writerslife

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) https://buff.ly/2RGrWck  If you or someone you know needs a deadline, needs a motivation, needs a kick in the pants to get started writing, NaNo is one way to do that. #nanowrimo2018

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My Top Ten Tweets for #writers

My Top Ten Tweets

Top Ten Tweets

 

I love to write, but with writing comes marketing, the bane of my existence. I began gathering tips about writing and marketing from various blogs for easier reference. One day I thought why not share? So here we go. Follow me on Twitter @roxannesmolen for more tips.

Book Marketing: 5 Ways To Spice Up Your Amazon Book Pages https://buff.ly/2LW3HmQ  Make your books’ pages stand out. #writerslife

How to Change a Book Title Without Losing Reviews https://buff.ly/2L3Ak0U  Changing the name of a series and all the individual titles isn’t simple. #indieauthors

Realistic Dialogue: Creating Characters’ Speech Patterns https://buff.ly/2OVYXPN  All about making your characters’ voices unique and illustrative of their personalities and backgrounds. #writetip

The Dangers of Premature Editing: Pruning Our Stories vs. Pillaging Them https://buff.ly/2rFO9vx  Once you’ve made it through the first draft…THEN go make the core changes to your story if/as needed. #writetip

Creating an Effective Author Website https://buff.ly/2OT1XMN  This in-depth article will guide you through the process of creating a web presence. #writers #indieauthor

How to Self-Publish a Print Book https://buff.ly/2svkEwZ  The physical book still holds a powerful sway and some people still read only print books! #writers #indieauthor

Does Traditional Advertising Work For Promoting Self-Published Books? https://buff.ly/2y0la8l  Have you ever bought a book because of an ad? #writerslife

How To Find And Work With A Professional Editor https://buff.ly/2IusOMA  Make sure you are well rested and in a positive frame of mind. If it’s your first book, the editing process will be hard on your ego. #writerslife

3 Common Plotting Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Novel https://buff.ly/2NUlS1w  It has to be BIG. Big enough for your reader to say, “Strap in! This plot is moving.” #writers #writetip

How to Develop a Character: 7 Simple Steps https://buff.ly/2IuAVt1  Examples of effective first introductions, development using dialogue and more. #writetip

 

Will you be doing Nanowrimo this year?

4 Proven “Hacks” for Winning NaNoWriMo https://buff.ly/2NcKw8j  Here are some hacks to write 50,000 words in one month. #nanowrimo2018 #writerslife

Sample Sunday – The Bear, The Werewolf, and The Blogger

The Bear, The Werewolf, and The Blogger is the fifth book in my Amazing Wolf Boy series. Its predecessor had a lot of violence, as werewolf books sometimes do, so in this book, I decided to focus on non-violent issues. No werewolves were harmed in the making of this book.

The story takes place in 2008. It’s fun to look back and see all the changes we’ve been through. Today, blogs are commonplace. Not so much in 2008. Early bloggers were celebrities. So, I pitted Cody, my teen werewolf, against Storey Evans, a popular blogger who views herself as an investigative reporter.

When she was young, Storey witnessed her father being torn to shreds by a pack of werewolves. The horror of that night turned into a vendetta. She now runs a blog called Noneties—The Non-Human Entities Among Us. She is obsessed with exposing werewolves and other shapeshifters for the good of the public.

Now the blogger is after my werewolf, and he must outwit not only her but the multitude of monster hunters who follow in her wake. He does so with his usual bumbling humor.

If you read the previous books, you’ll remember that I like to use authentic Wiccan rituals in my stories. In The Bear, The Werewolf, and The Blogger, however, I detailed a Native American wedding instead. I hope you find it interesting.

And now, without further ado, here is an excerpt from The Bear, The Werewolf, and The Blogger.

BWB eCover

THE BEAR, THE WEREWOLF, AND THE BLOGGER

ONE

July 25, 2008, Loxahatchee, Florida

Brittany held my hand as she led me to the back porch. The stench of chlorinated water permeated the air. The filmy curtains stirred, letting in snatches of starlight. I slipped my arms around her. She pressed against me. Her lips found mine. Her kiss was grape-soda sweet. The wolf within me stirred, and it was all I could do to keep from transforming right there.

She pulled away, fumbling with her shirt. I stilled her fingers and undid the buttons. One button. Two buttons. She wore a bathing suit underneath. I slid my hands down the warm contours of her waist. With a little sigh, she pulled away and turned her back. I closed my eyes.

She gasped. “This feels so good.”

I unzipped my jeans and let them drop. I wore an old bathing suit. It was too small to begin with, but after Brittany’s kiss, it was noticeably snug. The only way to hide my bulging enthusiasm was to get into Aunt Lynette’s new hot tub. But as soon as my nethers hit the hot water, I was off like a rocket. My eyes crossed.

I said, “Uh.”

“Cody? Are you all right?”

I said, “Uh.”

“Don’t be such a baby. The water isn’t that hot.” She splashed me.

Behind us, a voice drawled, “That’s enough, you young’uns. This water’s for meditating, not splashing.”

I moaned and slipped sideways off the little plastic seat.

Aunt Lynette approached carrying a flickering candle. “Move your hairy legs, werewolf. This here tub’s supposed to hold six people.” She set the candle on the edge, climbed in opposite us, then dropped a muslin pouch into the water.

I sat gingerly beside Brittany. “What’s in the sack… er, the bag… er, what’s that?”

“Calming herbs,” she said. “We got to keep you under control, wolf boy.”

“I’m under control.” I glanced at Brittany. “Mostly.”

Just then a whiff of the stinking herbs hit me in the face. I sneezed. Brittany laughed and splashed me again.

Aunt Lynette leaned back. “This will be good for our rituals.”

“Better than that blow-up pool we had,” Brittany said. “Is Myra coming in?”

“She’s cleaning up supper.”

I stretched my arms over the top of the tub.

Brittany used my bicep as a pillow. “This is so relaxing.”

I felt like a teabag.

Aunt Lynette said, “I hear tell you’ll be moving soon.”

Not if I can help it.

“Actually, it’s been delayed,” I said. “There’s been some trouble at the construction site. Someone stole the kitchen sink.”

Brittany giggled as if incredulous. “The kitchen sink?”

“Yep. Still in the crate.”

Aunt Lynette said, “Where are you gonna be living again? In a barn?”

“An old stable. At the Richardson place.” I smiled at Brittany. “It’s supposed to have a hot tub, too. But only for two people.”

She gave an exaggerated pout. “I still don’t like the idea of you living so close to Ayanna. I’ve seen how she looks at you.”

Ayanna had had a crush on me since the day we met.

“She’s a member of my pack. And a friend,” I said. “But she knows it won’t go further than that.”

Brittany snuggled against me. “Better not. I’ll turn her into a toad. I’m a Witch Queen, you know.”

Aunt Lynette barked a raucous laugh. “Not yet you ain’t.”

Brittany cast her an angry glare. Aunt Lynette shot her one right back.

Uh-oh. Touchy subject.

Hurriedly, I said, “I thought Eileen was going to join us.”

“She was on the phone with a florist,” Brittany said. “Wedding stuff.”

“Ah.” I nodded. It was hard not to be excited about the wedding. William’s joy was contagious. What would it be like to have someone promise to stay with you forever? Even my own mother hadn’t managed that feat.

“In a Wiccan wedding, everyone would bring flowers to decorate the altar,” Aunt Lynette said. “Just go out to a field and pick ‘em.”

“Must be a beautiful ceremony,” Brittany said.

“We call it handfasting,” Lynette said, “and in the eyes of the goddess they would be one. But she insists on observing tribal ways.”

“They aren’t actually getting married, though, right?” Brittany said. “I mean it isn’t legal.”

“In the eyes of the American government, no, it ain’t legal.”

“It could be,” I blurted. “You can get married in Florida at sixteen.”

Aunt Lynette snorted. “Well, her aunt refused to sign off on her, and her poor mother ain’t here to tell her no.”

“They’re in love. Would you tell them no?”

“Durn tootin’ I would. They ain’t knowed each other but a matter of weeks. Takes longer than that to recognize love.”

“I disagree,” Brittany said. “I believe in love at first sight.”

I said, “I fell in love with you the first time I saw you crossing the parking lot at Video Stop.”

She smiled. “You never told me that.”

I kissed the top of her head.

“That’s smitten,” Aunt Lynette grumbled. “There’s a difference between being smitten and being in love.”

“Cody?” Myra called from the doorway. “Bob and Rita are here. They said they’d wait for you in the truck.”

I sat up straight. “They’re early. Or am I late?”

Brittany moved to stand up. “That was a short soak.”

“No, you stay. I can see myself out.”

“Okay. Remember, tomorrow’s Saturday. We’re going down to Tamiami with Eileen in the morning.”

“I’ll be ready.” I climbed out of the tub then leaned for a goodbye kiss. “Smitten you.”

“Smitten you, too.”

I balled up my clothes, picked up my shoes, and stepped out the back door. The night air felt cool on my overheated skin. Eileen and William’s impending wedding played in my head. Could there be such a marriage between Brittany and me? Every time I mention it, she just smiles. She says she loves me—but only after I say it first.

I circled the side of the house and passed the carport where Brittany’s lime green Beetle sat parked for the night. As I walked, I glanced around for Haff, Brittany’s dog. There was no sign of him. Probably out chasing rabbits. I approached my uncle’s truck.

“Hoo-whee, boy.” Uncle Bob waved a hand as if I stank. “What have you been doing?”

“Aw, they put some herbs in the hot tub,” I said. “I’ll shower when I get home.”

“We aren’t going home.” Rita turned her dazzling white smile on me. “The Richardsons invited us over for drinks and to see the latest improvements on the stone cottage.”

Oh crap. Was the thing finished?

“I’ll thank you to ride in the back,” Uncle Bob said.

As if I rode anywhere else. I climbed into the truck bed and settled in, still dripping, next to the toolbox. And just like that, we were off to see the Richardsons and the stable/cottage.

* * *

Dick, Chloe, and Ayanna Richardson lived on an old horse farm on the outskirts of the small town of Loxahatchee. No horses, of course. Horses weren’t fond of werewolves. Their house was Spanish style, as were so many others in the area—red-tiled roof, beige stucco walls, arched windows. It was a distance away from ours, which was one of the reasons Uncle Bob was so keen on moving into their backyard. By the time we reached the long, dusty slope of their driveway, I was dry, although still reeking of herbs. I squirmed to pull on my t-shirt and jeans without standing up.

Dressed in a colorful dashiki with a kufi cap, Dick Richardson stood in the yard admiring the row of spindly flowers lining the front porch. The weather-beaten plants looked more suitable for Africa than South Florida. Dick loved anything African. Behind the house, the silhouette of a huge baobab tree rose over the roof. The trunk was easily fifteen-feet wide. It was made of concrete and rebar, but it looked real.

Uncle Bob pulled his truck behind the Richardson’s mustard-yellow Winnebago, and Dick walked over to open the door for Rita.

“Halloo,” he rumbled. “Welcome, welcome.”

“Thank you, kind sir,” Rita said.

Chloe stepped out of the house. She was dressed as brightly as her husband. A turban tamed her thick hair. The two women hugged as if they hadn’t seen each other the day before.

“What’s that odd odor?” Dick asked.

“Cody,” Uncle Bob said.

All eyes turned to me. Like I was the puppy who had been rolling in it. Without another word, they traipsed around the house to the backyard, Rita and Chloe arm-in-arm and Dick and Uncle Bob side-by-side. I climbed down from the pickup and slunk after them.

The backyard was wide and flat. The only sound came from the splashing of the fake waterfall and the crickets around the koi pond. The only light was starlight. A shadow moved on the patio, and Ayanna glided silently toward me. She took my hand. We followed the adults to the dreaded stone cottage.

We’d started calling it the stone cottage because the walls were made of big round stones, probably excavated from the horse pastures. As homes went, it wasn’t bad. Low to the ground with small irregular windows. I wiped my feet as I stepped over the threshold. The living room smelled faintly of horses. There was no electricity and so no lights, but werewolves didn’t need light to see.

“What I wanted to show you is this,” Dick said with his booming voice.

Everyone crowded into the kitchen. The skylight above showed the starry sky.

“Well, what do you think?” Dick waved a hand as if performing a magic trick. “We have a kitchen sink. The workers cannot or will not say what happened to the original. But no matter. This is a nice upgrade.”

“It’s beautiful,” Rita cooed. She ran her hand over the tiled interior. It looked like a blue and gray mosaic.

“Imported from India by way of Home Depot,” Dick said. “I now declare this abode occupant ready.”

I groaned. Again, all eyes turned to me.

“I sense apprehension from you, young master,” Dick said.

Ayanna elbowed me and whispered, “Tell them.”

I cleared my throat. “It’s just that… Well, my father always says familiarity breeds contempt. We’re all friends now, but how friendly will we be when we start living together?”

“We’re more than friends,” Uncle Bob growled. “We’re packmates. And we’re moving in.”

He shot me a glare that struck me cold. His reprimand was not only in his eyes and words but in the link, the telepathic bond that connected the members of the pack. Uncle Bob was the pack master, but it didn’t seem to agree with him. The weight of command made him sullen and authoritarian. I nodded and took a half-step back, although I hated myself for doing it. Uncle Bob was my friend. What was happening between us?

“This calls for wine.” Chloe’s smile was as bright as her turban. “Come to the house. I believe Concepcion is ready for us.”

I led the way, fleeing the cottage as if it held my doom. We filed onto the patio of the main house.

The Richardson’s housekeeper, Concepcion, was lighting a pair of citronella candles she’d placed at either end of a platter of finger sandwiches. My favorite was her fairy bread. White bread heavily buttered and dunked in sprinkles.

I sat at the table and looked out at the silent yard. A few lightning bugs flitted around the flowers surrounding the koi pond.

Dick pulled out a wine bottle. “You won’t have tried this one. It is Ifrikia Rouge Reserve from Tunisia, produced in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.” He poured a measure into four glasses. The wine had a deep maroon color.

Rita took a glass, sniffed, and sipped. “It’s delightful. Tangy aftertaste. Is that… raspberry?”

Dick laughed and sat. “You have a discerning tongue.”

Concepcion came out with a couple of root beers for Ayanna and me.

Chloe passed over empty wine glasses. “Don’t drink out of the can, Ayanna. It is unseemly for a young lady.”

“Which brings us to our next announcement,” Dick announced. “In one week, our little flower will turn fifteen.”

“It is a milestone birthday,” Chloe said. “In Africa, the celebration would draw a hundred people. Or more.”

“Here, it is only us. But our celebration will be no less heartfelt. I invite you to join us next Friday for our party.” Dick raised his glass. “To Ayanna.”

“To Ayanna,” we answered in unison and drank.

Ayanna looked both embarrassed and pleased.

 

TWO

Saturday morning, I was up at daybreak. Time to meet the fam. It was an hour drive to the Tamiami Trail Indian Reservation, and Brittany and Eileen wanted to get an early start. Technically, my presence wasn’t necessary since I wasn’t a member of the wedding party. I was Support Guy. I combed my hair and tied it into a tail and put on my white dress shirt and good shoes. The ones that squeaked when I walked. No tie. I wasn’t worried about impressing the tribal elders. I just wanted to make Brittany happy.

Uncle Bob and Rita were still asleep, their bedroom door closed. My father slept on the couch where he’d put down roots ever since he left my mom. He snuffled a soft snore. I tiptoed through the living room and out to the front porch. Even at sunrise, the air was hot and muggy. Birds squawked in the trees, and rabbits stirred the underbrush. We lived in a sub-division that backed into a forest. Loxahatchee was in the northern tip of the Everglades.

I closed my eyes and stretched out with my senses. Brittany and I had a sort of link, a bond that tied us together. I felt her across the distance, knew she was on her way. Her presence was as warm as a hug. A few minutes later, the girls drove up in Eileen’s woody station wagon.

I bounded down the stairs and leaned in through Brittany’s open window. “Good morning. You look nice.”

She did, too. Her spiky hair was tipped in blue, and her lips were blue to match. She wore a dark, sleeveless dress that showed off the creamy paleness of her skin.

Brittany smiled. “So do you.”

She slid over on the bench seat, and I slid in. From the driver’s seat, Eileen gave me a strained smile. Not her usual laid-back self. I wanted to ask why she was bothering to get married when the preparations made her so miserable. Then I thought about marrying Brittany. I would endure anything to be with her.

Eileen was a nudist, but the last few times I’d seen her, she’d worn clothes. Today it was a sundress with bright green flowers. She was changing. For William. I wondered if someday she would resent it.

She backed the car down the gravel driveway, and we headed out. Eileen’s car didn’t have air conditioning. Worse, it only had AM radio, and the only station it got in was an oldies station. Brittany and Eileen sang along with the tunes. I didn’t join in, although I recognized a few of the songs. They brought to mind riding in the old convertible with Mom when I was a kid. She loved the oldies. But Mom lived in Massachusetts and I lived down here, so there was that.

We took I95 south toward Miami. Rush hour hadn’t even started yet, and already traffic was a nightmare. But we made good time, and soon we were taking side streets to the Reservation. Tamiami was more city than a town. Crowded and bustling.

“Wow,” I blurted. “It looks like anywhere else.”

Brittany laughed. “What did you expect? Tepees?”

My cheeks turned warm. “Well, no. Of course not.” Only I guess I kind of had.

“You’re thinking of the traditionals,” Eileen said. “They live west down Tamiami Trail. Look there.” She pointed to a four-story building with an orange overhang and flags out front. The sign said Miccosukee Administration Building. “That’s where I had to go to get permission to have the wedding on tribal land.”

“But William is a member of the tribe,” I said.

“They have a matriarchal society. Everything goes through the mother, and my mother was mostly Norwegian.”

“You should have the ceremony at home. At our house.” Brittany shrugged. “We have a nice, big yard.”

“Will wants it on the reservation. He wants us to live here.”

“Ah.” I nodded. “For all the free benefits.”

Eileen clucked her tongue. “There are no free benefits. You can rent a house pretty cheap, and the healthcare is good. Will gets a dividend check each month from the casino, but that’s money earned by the tribe. It’s not free.”

Brittany chuckled. “You sound like you’re already a member.”

“I’m starting to realize that I’ll never be part of the tribe.” She sighed. “I just want a place to belong, you know. Somewhere I fit in. Since Mom died…”

“You fit in with us. You have a home. We don’t want you to leave.”

“There’s no place for me there. Not now that Myra’s back. Whoever heard of a coven with four people? No one, that’s who.” Her sigh became ragged. “I love Will. I figured we’d get married sooner or later. Why not sooner? But Lynette wants me to have a Wiccan ceremony. Will wants tribal customs on tribal land. Lynette insists we marry on the new moon or the Goddess won’t bless us. Will says we can’t be ready that soon. I feel torn in half.”

We pulled into a sub-division. The houses were small, the yards large, some well-kept, others not so much. Just like any other neighborhood.

“Is this where Will lives?” Brittany asked.

“His mother.” Eileen stared out the windshield, her hands white-knuckled on the steering wheel. “I haven’t met his uncle yet. A mother’s oldest brother has a very important role in the family. If he doesn’t like me, I’m afraid the whole thing will be off.”

As we pulled into a driveway, William stepped outside. He also wore a white dress shirt, but his shirt was stretched over bulging muscle. Fitting, since he could turn into a bear. But that was a secret. I don’t think even his mother knew. He opened the door for Eileen then took her in his arms and kissed her like we weren’t there. Brittany smiled at me, crinkling her nose in the way that I loved.

I got out of the car then held out my hand for her. Sunlight caught her dark dress, drawing hints of deepest purple. She wore her usual combat boots and carried a kid-sized My Little Pony backpack for a purse.

A woman stepped onto the porch. Chelsea Osceola, Story Keeper of the tribe and William’s mother. She had long, black hair and wore a red-and-yellow patchwork skirt.

I gave her a little bow. “Chehuntamo.”

Her dark eyes sparkled as if she were suppressing a laugh. “Chehuntamo. It’s good to see you both again. Brittany, I understand you will be Eileen’s maid of honor.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Brittany said.

“Please come inside. Many of the family are already here.”

We followed Chelsea into the house. The living room was crowded. As we entered, everyone stood. I felt like I was at an inspection.

Chelsea said, “This is Brittany. She stands with the bride. And this is Cody, her plus one.”

That’s me. Support Guy.

A shriveled old man squinted at us through wire-rimmed glasses. “I see your auras. Oh, yes.”

My smile froze, belying the alarm that shot through me. Howard, William’s father, could tell I was a werewolf by simply looking at my aura. Was that an Indian thing? I couldn’t afford to have anyone else know my secret.

William and Eileen entered. The screened door banged behind them.

“And this is Eileen,” Chelsea announced.

A tall man stepped forward. He had bronze skin, gray-streaked hair, and wore a crisp dress shirt, long-sleeved in spite of the growing heat.

William said, “This is Michael, my mother’s oldest brother.”

Eileen held out her hand. “How do you do, sir?”

The man took her hand in both of his. “Eileen. We have many questions for you.”

“And we have questions for all of you,” William said.

Michael frowned. “You do?”

“I want my father to preside over the ceremony.”

Even Eileen looked shocked. A pervasive mutter rose.

“Nokosi!” someone spat.

Michael’s face darkened. “Your father is banned from tribal land. You know this.”

“I ask that the ban be lifted.”

The voices fell to shocked silence. Howard had been shunned after he got drunk one night and turned into a bear while in a bar. No one was hurt except Joseph Achak, his intended target. Still, he made a lot of people nervous.

“No,” one man said. “That isn’t possible.”

“He is not welcome,” said another.

“My father is a Navajo medicine man,” William said. “He is qualified to preside.”

Michael motioned at the shriveled man. “Barney can—”

William’s voice rose. “I am within my rights.”

From the back of the room, an elderly man said, “The council has already ruled on the matter of Howard Shebala.”

“If my father is not allowed,” William said, “then I will leave. That will be to the tribe’s detriment. The census is already dangerously low. This marriage is as important to you as it is to me.”

This was apparently jaw-dropping news to everyone but Chelsea.

“Coffee?” she asked us.

“I’d love some.” Brittany smiled.

We followed Chelsea to the kitchen, leaving William and Eileen to hammer out the wedding details.

The kitchen smelled like hot grease and sugar. Two women danced around as if choreographed. One fished doughy disks out of a countertop deep fryer while the other dusted them with powdered sugar.

Chelsea said, “These are my sisters, Marjory and Susan.”

“Hello,” I murmured.

“Frybread,” the younger of the sisters said. “Have one.”

My mouth watered. I wrapped a napkin around a six-inch round of hot goodness. A depression in the center held a spoonful of berry jam. I sat at a table that was piled high with paper plates and cups. Brittany joined me with her cup of coffee. A steady breeze streamed through the open window, making the checkered curtain flap. I couldn’t tell if it was hotter outside or in the kitchen.

“How long have you known Willie?” the oldest woman asked.

“Just a few months,” I said.

“Harrumph. He speaks as if he’s known you his entire life.”

“I’ve known Eileen for years,” Brittany said.

Laughter came from the backyard.

The woman cocked her brow. “Perhaps you would be more comfortable outside with the other children.”

Do we look like children?

Chelsea blushed and gave a sheepish shrug. “It’s cooler out there.”

We stood obediently. I snagged another frybread as we went out.

The backyard was a wide expanse of green. No fences. Children ran everywhere. One group played an informal version of lacrosse. Another group took turns climbing a tree and jumping from the branches. Brittany and I sat together at a patio table. A wide overhang shaded the porch, and ceiling fans kept the breeze moving.

Brittany sipped her coffee. A short distance away, a group of twelve-year-old girls huddled together, grinning and glancing over their shoulders at us. When they noticed I was looking at them, they giggled.

I sighed and leaned toward Brittany. “Look, I have something to tell you, and I don’t think you’ll like it.”

“Oh, boy.” She set down her cup.

“Last night when my uncle picked me up—”

A girl appeared at the table. She wore a pink dress and had ribbons in her braids. Her dark eyes trained on Brittany. “Is it true you’re a witch?”

Brittany smiled. “I am. But not the Halloween kind. I use my powers for good.”

The girl nodded. I gave her an indulgent smile, and she returned to the knot of giggling girls.

“Anyway,” I said. “Last night, we went to the Richardson’s and… The stone cottage is ready for us to move in.”

“Oh.” She looked stunned. “Did you tell them you didn’t want to?”

“Yeah. I said it was a bad idea and that it would ruin our friendship and—”

“Oh my gosh, it’s true?” Two more girls appeared at the table. “Can you put spells on people?”

“I can,” Brittany said, “but that’s not what being Wiccan is all about. We want to understand nature and live in harmony with the world around us.”

“Ooh,” they crooned.

I smiled and nodded as they slipped away. “So, yeah, I told them I didn’t want to. Then my uncle gave me the look. I really don’t see how I’m going to—”

Three other girls approached. They hung on each other as if needing support. “Can you ride a broom?”

“What kind of question is that?” I bellowed. “Go on. Get out of here. All of you.”

They squealed and scurried away, laughing.

I realized I was halfway out of my chair and sat back down. “You can’t, right?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. I never tried.”

The door creaked open, and William stepped out. He sat at the table with us. “Thank you both for coming. It means a lot.”

“No problem,” I said. “Did you get everything straightened out about your Dad?”

“I think I have them convinced.” He grinned.

“Excellent,” I said.

“Will you have the wedding here?” Brittany motioned to the swath of grass behind the houses. The lacrosse game was breaking up.

“There’s a nearby park,” William said. “The land must be consecrated, blessed every sunrise and sunset for seven days. The problem is, they play lacrosse there, too. We had to wait until after a scheduled game to start the blessings.”

“That’s why you couldn’t have the wedding this weekend.”

He nodded. “It’s the perfect place, though. Should be plenty of room. Eileen wants a maypole.”

I frowned. “Isn’t that supposed to be in the spring?”

William raised his eyebrows.

“Hey, you! Stop that!” Brittany leaped to her feet, glaring at a tall boy who was shoving around a smaller one.

The kid scowled at her then pushed his victim again. The boy fell. Like a shot, she was down the green slope and in his face. William and I hurried after her. Turned out, the tall kid wasn’t a kid after all—he was our age. He towered over Brittany.

She poked him in the chest. “Who do you think you are?”

“I don’t answer to the likes of you,” he growled.

“Is that right? You think you’re scarier than me because you’re Native American?”

His ruddy face darkened further. “I may be Native, but my people were here long before yours.”

One of the girls snickered. “Better watch out, Thomas. She’s a witch. Turn you into a toad.”

He took a half-step back. “A witch?”

“You hurt?” Brittany helped the younger boy to his feet.

“No, ma’am. Thank you, ma’am.” He stared wide-eyed for a moment then ran off. A group of lacrosse players ran with him.

William said, “On your way, cousin.”

Thomas snorted and trudged off. Three cronies trailed in his wake.

“You know him?” Brittany crooked her thumb.

“Aunt Marjory’s youngest.” William nodded. “He’s a bit of a bully.”

“I’ll say.” Brittany huffed out her breath.

“C’mere, fierce one.” I chuckled and kissed the top of her head.

The door slammed, and Eileen hurried toward us. “Y’all come in and get some brunch. Don’t you leave me in there all on my own.”

“Sorry.” Brittany hugged her.

William clapped me on the back. The four of us traipsed back to the house. I noticed Thomas and his cronies eyeing us from a distance.

Did that whet your appetite for more? I hope so. You can buy The Bear, The Werewolf, and The Blogger at your favorite eBook store or get it in paperback. And be sure to leave a short review. I’d love to hear what you think of it.

My Top Ten Tweets for #writers

My Top Ten Tweets

Top Ten Tweets

 

I love to write, but with writing comes marketing, the bane of my existence. I began gathering tips about writing and marketing from various blogs for easier reference. One day I thought why not share? So here we go. Follow me on Twitter @roxannesmolen for more tips.

Fatal Flaws: Why Your Story is Falling Apart & How to Fix It https://buff.ly/2DcgOk9  If you’ve been struggling to write a query or synopsis, try starting with the log-line. #writerslife

10 Top Book Marketing Takeaways from RWA 2018 https://buff.ly/2mHyh92  Too many people are pricing their backlist too low. #writerslife

Holy Publishing Power! How To Self-Publish Your Comic Book https://buff.ly/2xIO8dF  The freedom and overall control a writer enjoys when self-publishing isn’t limited to novels. #writers

What is the Best Service for Print on Demand Books? https://buff.ly/2OrzRrk  How the major POD providers out there stack up. #writerssupportingwriters

Self-publish-fiction-successfully-9-tips-for-indie-novelists https://annerallen.com/2018/09/self-publish-fiction-successfully/ … A lot of top indies are putting out consistently good product. #indieauthor

CreateSpace & Ingram Spark https://buff.ly/2Dyeggw  Have you tried KDP Print yet? #writerslife

Beyond Visuals: How to “Show” with Other Senses https://buff.ly/2vFHh3C  Create a deeper world for readers by engaging other senses. #writingtips

How to Make a Plot Captivating: 7 Strategies https://buff.ly/2wsKVx4  Is your plot is missing something? #writingtips

Why (and How!) to Reach the Right Readers [Book Marketing 101] https://buff.ly/2vrWOD0  Why you should target a narrow audience. #writerslife

Using CafePress for Book Merchandise https://buff.ly/2QXAv22  Be sure to list your shop on your website and in your newsletter. #writerslife

My Top Ten Tweets for #writers

My Top Ten Tweets

Top Ten Tweets

 

I love to write, but with writing comes marketing, the bane of my existence. I began gathering tips about writing and marketing from various blogs for easier reference. One day I thought why not share? So here we go. Follow me on Twitter @roxannesmolen for more tips.

ProWritingAid Review: Find Out if It’s For You https://buff.ly/2papUEj  Your goal should be to have it detect fewer mistakes with each new piece you write. #writerslife

Best and Worst Self-Publishing Services Rated by the Alliance of Independent Authors https://buff.ly/2F92Z6L  The assessments listed on this page are the opinion of the ALLi Watchdog Desk. #writerslife

Beware the Vanity Press in Sheep’s Clothing https://buff.ly/2p5DgSa  They will do everything they can to hide the fact they are running a scam. #writerslife

7 Tactics To Grip A Reader At The End Of A Chapter https://buff.ly/2GMLE10  What is it about a chapter ending that makes someone read on? #writers

About the Author Examples (That You’ll Actually Want to Read) https://buff.ly/2p7lVIz  It’s crucial to get the About the Author right. #writers

What’s Going On With CreateSpace and KDP Print? [Updated] https://buff.ly/2w9c8FI  Are you curious about all of the changes going on at CreateSpace? #writerslife

Self-Publishing with Amazon KDP: Orna Ross Interviews KDP Manager Darren Hardy https://buff.ly/2LVFSjk  No self-publishing service is more useful to writers than KDP. #writerslife

50 Great New Blog Post Ideas for Self-Published Authors (Plus Book Marketing Tips!) https://buff.ly/2ldbYr5  Blog post ideas for marketing and promoting your books! #writerslife

How To Come Up With Blog Post Ideas When Writer’s Block Strikes https://buff.ly/2Mc9ZlO  Keep your swipe file topped up with ideas. #writerslife

How to Write a Synopsis in 4 Easy Steps https://buff.ly/2NciZJe  Tips on writing a synopsis that’s clear, concise, and captivating. #writerslife

 

 

Bonus: Urban Fantasy fans! My latest eBook, The Bear, The Werewolf, and the Blogger is now available on most digital platforms. Find out what kind of crazy trouble my Amazing Wolf Boy gets himself into this time when a blogger with a vendetta exposes his secrets. Look for it in your favorite eBook store. Buy now! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HDBHSLR

My Top Ten Tweets for #writers

My Top Ten Tweets

Top Ten Tweets

 

I love to write, but with writing comes marketing, the bane of my existence. I began gathering tips about writing and marketing from various blogs for easier reference. One day I thought why not share? So here we go. Follow me on Twitter @roxannesmolen for more tips.

 

5 Reasons This Is The Best Time To Be A Creator https://buff.ly/2M5F072  Looking for inspiration to hang in there? #writers #indieauthor

7 Useful Tips For Establishing A Writing Routine https://buff.ly/2HUDG5L  Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.’ #writers #indieauthors #writerslife

How to Write a Short Story in 7 Steps https://buff.ly/2wbTRI9  Short stories are often seen as a stepping stone on an author’s journey to publishing a novel. #writers #indieauthors #writetip

Boost Your Profile and Sales with a Podcast Tour https://buff.ly/2M8JQQR  Book yourself a tour of other people’s podcasts. #writers #indieauthors #bookmarketing

10 Ways to Build Traffic to Your Author Website or Blog https://buff.ly/2x0tVib  Some of the most popular ways to build traffic to your site. #writers #writerslife

The 13 Most Common Self-Publishing Mistakes to Avoid https://buff.ly/2LKaCTN  Every new book you publish will boost the sales of your older books. #writerslife

The Power of a Single Word. 4 Tips for Stronger Writing https://buff.ly/2wVGzyU  Learn the rules, and decide when it’s safe to bend or ignore them. #writers #writetip

“If you struggle to finish anything, then don’t start a new book before you’ve finished the one you’re working on, especially if you are just starting out. It’s that simple!” https://buff.ly/2MmCHxS  #writerslife #writetip

7 Smart Ways To Sell More Books At A Writing Conference https://buff.ly/2L0MFrz  Heading to a writing conference? Make the most of your investment. #writers #indieauthors

10 Instagram Tips for Writers https://buff.ly/2CkRIz8  How can writers use Instagram to their benefit? #writerslife

 

Bonus: My latest eBook is being released today. Check out The Bear, The Werewolf, and The Blogger. It’s book five of The Amazing Wolf Boy series, but don’t let that stop you. All five books stand alone. Same characters, different stories. So, they can be enjoyed on their own. Buy now! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HDBHSLR

 

My Top Ten Tweets for #writers

My Top Ten Tweets

Top Ten Tweets

 

I love to write, but with writing comes marketing, the bane of my existence. I began gathering tips about writing and marketing from various blogs for easier reference. One day I thought why not share? So here we go. Follow me on Twitter @roxannesmolen for more tips.

WHAT’S YOUR NICHE? https://buff.ly/2MKBc02  No one else can or will write like you. #writers #writerslife

How to Get Reviews for Your Book https://buff.ly/2POTUBR  Here are some starting points for reviews. #writers #indieauthor

15 Ten Minute Easy And Free Book Promotion Tips For Authors https://buff.ly/2wDCv6b  Spare ten minutes each day to build your author platform and promote your books more effectively. #writers #indieauthor

Ways to Make Your Fantasy Book Cover Pop https://buff.ly/2MPRm8H  Think about what you want color and font to say about your work. #writers #indieauthor #amwritingfantasy

The Lazy Author’s Guide to Platform Building https://buff.ly/2wnUAbv  I sincerely hope this alleviates the pressure from platform building. #writers #indieauthor

Ten More Tips for New Novelists #writers #writerslife #amwriting https://buff.ly/2LAi1k8  For debut authors or those who are just starting to plan their first novel.

Five Security Tips for Writers https://buff.ly/2wCP2qy  There are special precautions we have to take because everyone is susceptible and vulnerable. #writers #writerslife

How Writers Can Overcome Their Fear of Public Speaking https://buff.ly/2wG6qeX  If we wait for courage to arrive, it never does. #writers #indieauthor #writerslife

Writing Tips: Things To Consider Before Writing A Novel https://buff.ly/2CnbOJg  Starting a novel isn’t the problem. Finishing one is. #writers #indieauthor #writetip

Another 3 Writing Myths You Should Feel Free To Ignore https://buff.ly/2wF6N9n  #writers #writingcommunity

My Top Ten Tweets for #writers

My Top Ten Tweets

Top Ten Tweets

 

I love to write, but with writing comes marketing, the bane of my existence. I began gathering tips about writing and marketing from various blogs for easier reference. One day I thought why not share? So here we go. Follow me on Twitter @roxannesmolen for more tips.

Guerilla Marketing Your Book… https://buff.ly/2weJoLU  Only you can pour your creative juices into creating a guerrilla marketing idea. #writers #writerslife

The Word ‘They’ Can Improve How You Self-Edit https://buff.ly/2PHK4S4  It’s easy to find yourself halfway through a project, doubting every choice you’ve made so far and unsure how to go on. #writerscommunity #writingtips

How Writers Can Get Started on Goodreads https://buff.ly/2FTzfpR  Use all the features Goodreads offers. #writers #indieauthor

Ten Reasons to Write Your Novel in Scrivener https://buff.ly/2BTuv73  Some of Scrivener’s most beneficial core features. #writers #indieauthors #writetip

Ten Mistakes New Authors Often Make When Marketing Books https://buff.ly/2rysCUI  Use other people’s experience to help you give your book its best chance of success. #bookmarketing #indieauthor

Self-Publish or Traditionally Publish: Which Should You Do? https://buff.ly/2PVHVCz  Make a decision and move forward with your manuscript. #writers #indieauthor

Don’t fall for these 3 book promotion myths https://buff.ly/2wvN23k  A nice dose of reality. #writers #indieauthor

How to Write a Fight Scene in 5 Steps • Writing Fight Scenes https://buff.ly/2wwIslu  A satisfying resolution is the cherry on top of a well-written fight scene. #writers #writetip

5 Things Only Serious Writers Do https://buff.ly/2JQaH2Y  There are five fundamental things that set serious writers apart from the rest. #writers #indieauthor

Amazon Author Central: The Underrated Book Discovery Strategy https://buff.ly/2LF2bZC  Log in and update sections of your Amazon Author Central account once per month. #writers #indieauthor

My Top Ten Tweets for #writers

My Top Ten Tweets

Top Ten Tweets

 

I love to write, but with writing comes marketing, the bane of my existence. I began gathering tips about writing and marketing from various blogs for easier reference. One day I thought why not share? So here we go. Follow me on Twitter @roxannesmolen for more tips.

 

5 Ways To Tell If Backstory Is A Threat To Your Book https://buff.ly/2ODVW6i  If the most interesting thing is your backstory, you could be writing the wrong book. #writers #writingtips

#WriteTip or #BadWritingAdvice? Keep Backstory to the Back of the Story https://buff.ly/2OkFfwy  Here are four tips for writing backstory. #writers

5 Alternative Content Ideas For Your Author Platform https://buff.ly/2KHQu00  Keeping your indie author brand active and strong. #writers #indieauthor

How To Switch From Createspace to KDP Print https://buff.ly/2KZZlKt  Createspace is closing soon, possibly in the next few months. #writers #indieauthor

What’s Going On With CreateSpace and KDP Print? https://buff.ly/2w9c8FI  There have been some HUGE changes to KDP that we should all pay attention to. #writers #indieauthor

Read Up! The Right Way To Pitch A Book Promotion Event To A Library https://buff.ly/2MqGL3W  Make a better impression on the library event coordinator and boost your chances of holding your event at the library. #indieauthor #writerslife

3 Amazon Secrets Every Author Needs to Know https://buff.ly/2NuffPS  Save time and money determining the best way to maximize your advertising budget. #writers #indieauthor

Advertising Your Books on Facebook & Instagram: 5 Actionable Tips for Authors | Your Writer Platform https://buff.ly/2M7YqwW  If you have never tried advertising on Facebook before, these five tips are a good place to start. #writerslife #indieauthor

How to Identify and Cut Your Story’s Filler https://buff.ly/2w4eHsQ  Make an effort to consider the purpose each word lends in telling the very best version of your story. #writingtips #WritingWednesday

The Fuss-Free Beginner’s Guide To Scrivener https://buff.ly/2LRKgvl  Will it really help you write your novel? #writers #writetip #scrivener

 

My Top Ten Tweets for #writers

My Top Ten Tweets

Top Ten Tweets

 

I love to write, but with writing comes marketing, the bane of my existence. I began gathering tips about writing and marketing from various blogs for easier reference. One day I thought why not share? So here we go. Follow me on Twitter @roxannesmolen for more tips.

Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book https://buff.ly/2McEIiR  This is an introductory guide to how to self-publish (both print and ebook.) #writers #indieauthor

6 things every author can do to captivate an event audience https://buff.ly/2vuHXZk  How can authors captivate their listeners during book launches? #writers #indieauthors

Amazon KDP updates and new features you might have missed https://buff.ly/2Mz8MC1  Here is a roundup of the most important new KDP options. #writers #indieauthor

Nonfiction Writers: Beware the Curse of Knowledge https://buff.ly/2w4XEpJ  How do you provide the right amount of information without overloading the reader? #writetip #writingtips

Where to Go for Author Services without CreateSpace https://buff.ly/2MrHuNX  It’s an exciting time to be an indie author. #writers #indieauthor

What is the Best Service for Print on Demand Books? https://buff.ly/2OrzRrk  How the major POD providers out there stack up. #writers #indieauthors

Character description: 7 ways to avoid weak imagery https://buff.ly/2KOHvdb  Introduce physical details about your characters as they become relevant to the story. #writers #writetip

6 Tips for Book Marketing with Little to No Budget https://buff.ly/2vFg9UM  There are some things you can do that cost little to no money at all. #writers #indieauthor

How to Market Your Book-When You Hate Marketing https://buff.ly/2ny6eJF  How to sell your books without selling out. #writers #writerslife

It’s a Start: What Not to Worry About in a First Draft https://buff.ly/QcWX1l  First drafts are usually messy, bad, and scattered. Don’t worry if you don’t have everything worked out from the start. #writers #writingtips