Category Archives: Charlotte’s Comments

Walking Off Heaven’s Shore – Southern Fried Flash Fiction

Walking off Heaven's Shore
Walking off Heaven’s Shore

My author has been exploring her roots, but she has been writing. Today only, her new book, Walking Off Heaven’s Shore, is free at Amazon today only:   

Grab a copy, even if you don’t have a Kindle; read on your phone as I do, or you can convert for  a Nook or iPad instead of a Kindle here:

Use the download to computer option. I don’t put DRM on my books.


Ten-Piece Bucket of Southern Fried Fiction with Fixings

  1. Walking off Heaven’s Shore : Washed in the flood of knowing
  2. Intervention :Mothers and daughters–can it ever work?
  3. Turning Point : Friday morning, a cup of coffee, a decision
  4. Pachelbel’s Canyons : Mall Markswoman Maintains Muzak Manifested Mayhem
  5. Walk the Dog: Who’s holding which end of the leash?
  6. The Fire Inside: Can he stand the heat?
  7. Kitchen Witchery :The lost art of female bonding across generations
  8. Swamp of the Soul: You only see the snakes if you look for them.
  9. Storm Front : Revenge  served cold can be slippery when wet.
  10. The last time I dated a serial killer: A literate man is hard to find

Review of Bluff by Lenore Skomal

Bluff by Lenore Skomal

Told from both third-person about secondary characters and from Jude’s first-person voice, the story has an eerie sense that Jude’s spirit knows all, but only reveals what she knows she waits for the birth of the healthy child growing within her.  How she fell from the bluff, who called 911, how she became pregnant, and who fathered the child are the mysteries that drive this tale.  Jude is the focus of the whole village, and her fate rests entirely in their hands, while she comes to terms, both physically and metaphysically, with the consequences of her choices. Redemption is the best anyone in this story can hope for through the legal and ethical issues of what will happen to Jude’s body once the child is born.

Well-written and intriguing, it’s too dark for my taste. If you like a light, fun read, this is not for you. But if you want to question your own beliefs about the present life and the afterlife, you should read this.

Lenore Skomal
Author: Lenore Skomal

About the author: Lenore Skomal wants you to eat her books. Her passionate desire is to touch your heart, inspire you, and luxuriate in the world of the written word. She is an award-winning author with the single goal of resonating with others. Winner of multiple awards for blogging, literature, biography and humor, her catalogue spans many genres. With 30 years of writing experience, 18 books published, a daily blog and weekly newspaper column, the consistent themes in her work are the big issues of the human experience and adding depth and voice to the intricacies involved in living a multi-dimensional existence. She has won many Society of Professional Journalist awards, the Whidbey Island Writer’s Conference honorable mention for best fiction, Writer’s Digest 73rd Annual Fiction Contest, New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens 2003, and most recently, the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award for humor for “Burnt Toast.,” her first anthology of her award winning humor columns. From journalism, to literary fiction, to humor and biography, her writing is consistent, if not in genre, then in message.

Connect with Lenore on her website, Facebook, GoodReads, or Twitter.

Get Bluff on Amazon.

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Thanks to Marik Berghs for a Great Review

I am so thrilled over the latest review!   :party: :party: :party: :party: :party:
Bibbity Bobbety New, September 28, 2012 By Marik Berghs “still crazy after all these years” (San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews (REAL NAME)
This review is from: Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil (Kindle Edition)

Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil by Charlotte Henley Babb.

I’m a fairy tale junkie and Maven Fairy Godmother is a winner for anyone who believes that every story should have a happy ending. Modern stories demand more of their happy endings. Princesses aren’t asking to be saved. They would rather save themselves.

Fairy Godmother Superior realizes that Fairy is dying. She’s got to recruit some new Fairy Godmothers or hundreds of years of work goes down the tubes. Neither of her two choices would be her first choices, or even her last, but she’s desperate.
Maven is an educated, unemployed woman in her fifties who is down on her luck and out of options. She responds to a call about a mysterious job interview. She is hired and wakes up in Fairy enlisted in Fairy Godmother boot camp. The first strike against her is that she is human, a mundane, someone from the other side of the veil. The Fairy Godmother Superior doesn’t seem to like her much and really doesn’t like the way Maven’s modern outlooks are introducing dangerously unorthodox ideas through the land.

Maven’s side-kick is even less viable as a candidate for Fairy Godmother status. Young and beautiful, Daisy is torn between her desire to save Fairy and to live in the Mundane, a place she dreams of often but has never visited. Enter a computer wizard, dragons, princes, wolves, helpless maidens, selfish maidens, dissatisfied maidens, with many offers of unrequited love. The story is rich with subplots, allegory, metaphors and literary allusions.

Maven Fairy Godmother is clever, witty, engaging. Unlike traditional fairy tales where the characters are flat archetypes we learn nothing about as individuals, Ms Babbs characters pull you in, developing round unforgettable personalities. Ms. Babb deftly weaves folklore, metaphor and human psychology into intriguing new fairy tales. She intertwines the basic rules of magic into an elegant, stylistically repeating admonition: be careful what you wish for.

I really enjoyed this read and it stayed with me for days. I was given a copy for review but was under no obligation to finish the book or review it. The opinions offered are strictly my own.

Thank you, Whoopdeyoo! for a Sweet Review

A review fromWhoopdeyoo! :D :

Oh my, I liked it! I loved fairytales as a kid but what I found out was that I love fractured fairytales even more. Heroines gone kickass, no more damsels in distress. Prince Charmings who are not one-dimensional. Maybe that’s why I freaking love the show Once Upon a Time. You get fractured fairytales every episode. And Charlotte Henley Babb writes fractured fairytales! Sure, this isn’t really a specific fairytale revisioned for my enjoyment but it is about a middle-aged fairy godmother. Well, she wasn’t a fairy godmother at first but she was offered the job. I never knew being a fairy godmother is a job you can get. Hahaha! I love the concept! I’m a generally happy person and so happy endings always have a place in me even though they’re oftentimes cliche and very formulaic. What a job it is to be the one responsible for handing out happy endings and happy everafters? Squee! Of course, it isn’t always rainbows being a fairy godmother because it can be dangerous and it can place you in trouble. But life is all the more fun with that!

So this book is so fun and relatable and just plain good! It’s exciting and a fast read. Perfect for a lazy reading and for deriving happiness from a book. :)

Request for Reviews

Please feel free to review “Maven Fairy Godmother – Through the Veil” on, on,  or at Barnes & Noble.  If you have a blog and like to review fantasy, leave a comment to see how you can get a review copy. Maven is also available on iTunes. Grab a copy, sit back, and prepare to smile.

Why Every Little Girl Should Stay A Princess By Stacy Green

As I’m writing this, I’m watching my precocious and brilliant (I’m only slightly biased) six-year-old dance around in her bathing suit, pretending to be a model. What happened to being a princess? I try to keep her away from the shows with the scantily clad girls, but lets face it: they’re everywhere, and even the little girls have an understanding of what society deems “sexy.”

Scares me to death. She’s growing up so quickly, and I want her to stay my little baby. And I certainly don’t want her to think her self-worth and popularity rests on her figure or the way she dresses. But I can’t protect her from friends with older siblings, or the things she’s learning from kids at school.

Soon enough, she’ll hit puberty. And she’s going to be just like me. She’s already an emotional basket case with a stubborn streak that rivals my own. You can imagine the arguments. I’m terrified of her teenage years. My mind is filled the things every parent fears: what if she falls in with the wrong crowd? What if she stops speaking to me? What if she does poorly in school? What if a boy ruins her teenage life? Will I be able to help her? There’s no rulebook for this sort of thing, and I never was much for those, anyway.

All I can do is love her, be there for her. Just like my mother was for me. She was and is my best friend, and because of her support, I stayed a princess longer than a lot of my little girlfriends. I might have been a little naïve, but I was happy with my dolls and pretend classroom, and I was spared a couple of years of angst.

It probably won’t happen, but I pray for the same for Grace. I want her to be a princess a little while longer, before clothes and shoes and popularity become everything.

Stacy Green
Stacy Green, author of INTO THE DARK

Raised in southeastern Iowa, Stacy Green cultivated her love of suspense and thrillers watching crime shows with her parents. She’s fascinated by the workings of the criminal mind and explores true crime on her popular Thriller Thursday posts.

Her debut romantic suspense novel is set in Las Vegas and features a heroine on the edge of disaster, a tormented villain, and the city’s infamous storm drains that house hundreds of homeless.

INTO THE DARK releases from MuseItUp Publishing November 30.

Catch up with Stacy online: Twitter Facebook Blog

Scary Fairy Tales – the not-Disney Versions

Most folk tales were gruesome until they were cleaned up for telling to children. They were cautionary tales, rather than bedtime stories. Here’s a link to some gory details left out by the late Victorians:

Rumplestiltskin ripped himself in half, Rapunzel’s prince was blinded when he fell from her tower–and she was pregnant, and Cinderella’s step-sisters chopped off pieces of their feet to wear her tiny shoes. Red Riding Hood not only ate her own grandmother but did a bit of strip tease and crawled in bed with the wolf.

And we think TV is violent. The censors would never let real fairy tales broadcast.

I hope to get more insight when I get to the topic of discussion at ConCarolinas “when fairies were scary.”

Hello Technorati


Maven Fairy Godmother at your service. What do you wish for?

I don’t know Jack

I’ve been researching about Jack of Beanstalk and Giant-Killing fame.  He’s a typical trickster, using his wits and luck to accomplish his impossible feats. He’s small, wiry, but mostly fearless and smarter than the average giant or king.  He’s often gullible and foolish, forgetting the very good advice he gets from magical helpers, but he gets his own back and more.

Most of the Jack Tales I’ve been able to find are Southern Appalachian folklore, told in the mountain dialects that are the remnants of lowland Scots, the brogue of the folks relocated to Northern Ireland and then the US during the 1700s. They are incongruous, the valiant Jack going to market, but stopping by the house of the king which is located in the village.

He manages to kill a wild boar, a unicorn and a lion–one with a mane like in Africa, not the mane-less catamounts or cougars found in the Appalachians. The king pays him in cash–a total of $1500, and he goes back home to mom, with no princess in tow.

In another story, Jack is on his way to find the North Wind, to stop up the hole it blow through to make himself and his mom more comfortable. On the way he meets a magical man who gives him a tablecloth that provides food, a hen who lays golden eggs and a stick that will beat anything, including a log into firewood.

Of course, Jack loses each of these things to some ruffians along the way, and has to get them back by using the stick to beat the other men until they give his things back. Then it’s back home to Mom. Jack is always described as the youngest son, typical of most folk tales, but generally the other brothers are out with their father hunting or  trading or just away.

Since most of these tales were published in the 20s and 30s, they are not in the public domain and aren’t available free online,and cheapskate that I am, I’m reading through lesson plans for third grade and scholarly articles through the U. of Phoenix library–it’s good to have access. But I don’t  know Jack.

The beanstalk climber is  a thief and a murderer, so that later versions of this story have a fairy tell Jack that all the things he stole were stolen from his own father, and in some cases that he himself is a prince reduced to farming. It seems strange that his mom did not share these details with him, but then, often we don’t tell our kids things they don’t need to know.

I’m reading Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, and part of the conflict there is that the fifteen year old son does not know the truth about his father and his grandfather, one of whom is seen as a hero, and one as a villain. So he’s on a quest, and therefore, so is she. So mjuch of the conflict in relationships is not sharing the information a person needs to know, or knowing what a person needs to know. That’s the conflict that keeps Boneshaker moving, along with the wonderfully detailed steampunk setting.

In the next Maven book, the son of the Jack who climbed the beanstalk is featured, and I’m looking for his further adventures, and what I can use to explore that story, much like Andrew Lloyd Webber did with Into the Woods.  What happens after happily ever after?

Lottery winners are often broke after a couple of years, and so are Ward and his mom, a regional princess brought to poverty and completely unable to cope with it. They are down to a dry cow, and the contents of their cottage–a nice one with glass windows and slate roof, but a cottage none the less.This “jack” is named Edward,but he goes by Ward, and his primary goal is to take care of his mom in such a way that he can escape the farm and see the wider world, and maybe take the miller’s daughter Yz, short for Ysabella, along with him. She has her own problems as we all do,  and while she likes Ward, she has her dad the miller to look after.

So, I’m still working on the Jack stories and looking for the European variants, like the Brave Little Tailor and the Boy Who Knew No Fear for some inspiration of stories to fracture. I don’t yet know Jack.

I checked into my gmail this morning to see who might have “encircled” me on g+, and found the smiling face of Scott Barnes, editor of

How lucky is that?  So I read a few of the stories there, “Crumbling Butterflies” flash fiction by Joseph Zieja,with a nice illustration by Nathan Wyckoff; “Expiration Dateby Yeoryios Pantazis; and “Cinnamon Sale,” a poem by Johan Jðnsson–all well written and with that deep twist that we all like.

I’m sure I have a tale worth telling to them of one of my adventures. I’ll get busy polishing it up and submit it. They like fantasy, science fiction and mythology, and that is right down my alley. What a great find for a Thursday!