First blogger... CHARLOTTE HENLEY BABB
Web designer, social networks manager, blogger, novelist, and online writing instructor, Charlotte Henley Babb has been writing since she was four, and now makes up fractured fairy tales for people who have survived beyond the love’s last kiss. Where the stories are for people over 20 who have survived marriage, divorce, child-rearing, post-graduate education, bankruptcy, empty nest, and widowhood?
Charlotte Henley Babb writes them.
Her first novel, Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil, was published in 2012 and was awarded the Sharp Writ First Place in Fantasy and Science Fiction. It also received an honorable mention in the 2014 National Federation of Press Women communications contest for adult novels.. She has self-published short stories in ebook and print format, doing the technical work, cover design, and layout herself.
Charlotte has taught English in high school and junior college, written procedure manuals, and edited association newsletters. She has presented at education and writing conferences on using the Internet, blogging, and writing science fiction. She brings to any project a number of experiences: technical writer, gasket inspector, wait staff, fabric and craft retail associate, craft artificer, secret weapon, and telephone psychic. Currently she manages the website, social media presence, and monthly newsletter for Sherman College of Chiropractic.
WIP: 20 Hours to Charles Town – to be released in late Spring 2015
When an airship madam arranges a secret meeting for the ambassadors of all the North American colonies, can she trust her crew and a rogue operative to keep her clients safe from his handlers, her allies, and an anarchist?
Excerpt: Brandy gets her orders.
Brandy walked in, standing before the imposing desk, the elegant lighting and the books—so many books. She waited to be spoken to, standing in the position used to photograph the hostesses. Madame said they were to be seductive at all times on the job.
After a few seconds of scrutiny, Madame spoke. "Why do you want to work for me?" She sipped from a shot of her special tonic.
"I want to go to college, and this is the only way I can make enough money to go." She kept her glance steady on Madame's face, taking in every shift of expression. She didn't know why she was in trouble.
"Why college?" Madame's expression didn't change, and her voice was even, almost friendly, like a maiden aunt.
"I want to be a financier, to make money in the stock market."
Madame's face showed a bit of a smile—not always a good sign.
"My accountants are well paid for their work. You could learn on the job." Madame shifted in her seat, crossing her long legs that even at her age were firm and supple. She did the same training that she required of her girls and had been known to take some of them down a peg if necessary.
"Yes, Madame." Brandy shifted slightly and suppressed a wince. "What are the advancement opportunities?"
Madame tilted her head. "Show me your ribs."
No one hesitated to disrobe on the ship, especially at Madame's command. Brandy dropped her kimono, standing nude with her arms by her sides.
Madame motioned for her to turn around. "Did you learn anything from this experience?"
"Yes. I need to be quicker, and I need to learn when to back away."
Dixie was three inches taller and had much longer arms and legs. Brandy hadn't been able to find a way inside the barrage of hands and heels and elbows. Dixie seemed to enjoy hitting her. Maybe getting off the ship would be the way to go, as she'd never be able to get to Dixie's status as long as Dixie was the top escort.
Dixie made in one night what Brandy would pay for a year's tuition, on top of the money the men, and some women, paid just to ride Freya's Cloak, even after Madame's twenty percent.
"I won't have bruisers--or rumors of bruisers--on this ship." Madame stared out the gallery windows at the late afternoon skyline of New York. She waved her finger at the kimono on the floor.
Brandy grit her teeth as she leaned over to pick it up and slid into it. She stood straight again, waiting to be dismissed, probably forever.
"Opportunities for advancement are found for people I can trust." Madame glanced up. "I have an assignment for you this trip, a man who won't have sex with you on principle, but who needs some encouragement to trust me. You'll have to think like an accountant instead of a whore."
Brandy kept her face expressionless.
"An accountant has no feelings about the numbers, except a sense of satisfaction when everything adds up and is in the black. Can you work with a person like that, seeing the investment rather than the man?"
"Yes, Madame. What do I need to do?" She always thought of the men that way, another tuition payment, a book or ledger for her studies. She liked sex all right, but it was a business for her. "What will make him trust you?"
"I don't know." Madame shook her head as if she were thinking of something far away. "He doesn't approve of what we do here, but he pays his way to do his networking. Just being here is a sacrifice of his principles, but he can't get what he wants any other way."
She gave Brandy an appraising look. "I need for you to change that impression. I know what he has to offer, and I want in on the deal. Make that happen, and I'll see that you are trained as an accountant, a financier and a securities broker. I'll even send you to law school, if it works out favorably for me."
Brandy's heart leapt to her throat, and she could not speak. She nodded, pulling her composure together. She didn't want to know what would happen if she failed. "I can play an innocent, maybe, a runaway who is working passage to a new life. Do you think he would like that? It's not that far from the truth, except for the innocent part."
She shifted her stance to stoop a little, hanging her head and opening her eyes wide. She dropped her shoulders, and let the pain of her cracked rib show on her face.
Madame nodded. "I think you can pull that off. Can you still talk like a Brooklyn street rat?"
"I'm a good, honest girl. I just need a job." then Brandy straightened up, almost rigid, with her face tucked to look at the floor. She changed her voice to sound more like the mountain people. "I got away from the Iroquois, so I know how to work. Give me a chance."
She stared directly at Madame, letting her hands fall limp from her wrists.
Madame stood up, walked around Brandy, looking her over again, like a horse she might want to buy. She lifted Brandy's hair, twisting it up into a knot, just to get the effect. She stood back, crossed her arms, and tilted her head again. "I'll work you hard, and you'll have a half-day off on Saturday. Can you cook and clean?"
"Yes, Ma'am. I can tend babies, sew, and keep a garden. I'm your all-around girl." Brandy crossed her arms too, mimicking the stance of the buyer, as she'd been taught to do. She even matched Madame's breathing.
Madame smiled. "I believe you can. We'll give it a try. If nothing else, I can put you on the stage." She put her arm around Brandy, again like an aunt, instead of the hardest, most dastardly, scheming robber baroness of them all. "I'll have Ciao Tseng train you. She is smaller than you, and can handle a full-grown Irish boxer with one hand behind her back. You may give Dixie some of her own back, then."
"Dixie doesn't like my client."
"That's why she isn't working with him. You are. Do me proud." Madame left the "or else" unspoken.
Charlotte’s Published Books
Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil
A dead cellphone calls with a job offer and a promise of dragons.
Giving up what's her self-esteem for coffee, her last chance to redeem her life comes as a job offer to be a fairy godmother. But Faery is shrinking, the other fairy godmothers have disappeared, and nothing she does turns out right.
How can she put together the happily ever after each of her clients wants with her boss standing in her way?
http://bit.ly/Maven2ed $5.95 Kindle $15.99 Paper
Maven's Fractured Fairy Tales
Fairy Godmother Maven Morrigan has her own way of making the happily ever after come true for The Frog Prince, Rumpelstiltskin and Beauty and the Beast. Three fractured fairy tales to bring you a smile
http://bit.ly/eMFFT $2.99 Kindle $5.99 Paper
Separate stories also available $0.99
Bubba and the beast: http://bit.ly/BubbaBeast
Fairy Frogmother: http://bit.ly/FrogMom
Just a Smidgen of Magic: Enchantment at the Edge of Mundane Five flash fiction stories of magical encounters in the modern world.
http://bit.ly/Smidgen $2.99 Kindle, $5.49, Paper
Walking Off Heaven’s Shore
A ten-piece bucket of Southern fried flash fiction.
$2.99 Kindle $5.99 Paper
A short-short about a cup of coffee on a sunny morning and a decision.
http://bit.ly/TurnPoint $0.99 Kindle
Connect with Charlotte Henley Babb
· Blog: http://charlottehenleybabb.com
· Facebook: http://facebook.com/charlotte.henley.babb
· LinkedIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/charlottebabb/
· Goodreads: http://bit.ly/CHBabb-g
· Amazon: http://amzn.to/CHBabb
· Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+CharlotteHenleyBabb/posts/p/pub