Bewitched by JK Candlen – Weekend Writing Warriors #6 February 28, 2015

It’s the weekend and you know what that means, 8 more sentences from my completed manuscript, Bewitched. Iris is still pondering what went wrong with the potion but let’s Bev use it anyways. Oh boy, you’ll just have to wait to see what mischief the potion creates.

And don’t forget to check out my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors too. The spinning snippets are such a tease and will bring you back each weekend for more.

Feel free to connect with me on Twitter, @JKCandlen or on Facebook. You certainly will get a laugh at my rant on life as a writer. So without further ado, cozy up to your computer, grab your favorite brew and click away.


Bending down, Iris took a sniff at the pot. She didn’t think it was unpleasant to smell but then again it wasn’t the most pleasing scent. How Bev was going to get the potion on Rick was beyond her. She smiled at the thought. Bev would have to recite the incantation while dowsing Rick with it in three places.

The candles flickered in the frigid night air, Iris blew them out. She was surprised that Bev followed her instructions on carving her and Rick’s names on the white pillar candles. Her friend was determined, it was evident.



Iris Cooper, the Witch of Tobias

Since I have many new followers, I thought I would repost my interview with Iris. I hope you enjoy it.

Interview originally posted July, 2014

I just got off the phone with Iris to let her know I’m coming to town and would love to stop by for a chat. She said she’s home and can’t wait to see me. So I’m heading north to Tobias to spend time and catch up on the gossip.

As I drive down Snooks Hollow Road and pull up and park in front of number seventeen, I think of all the times Ares Stoner drove over this road rescuing Iris from one catastrophe after another. I am happy the town highway department filled in the ruts.

The sun is bright as I stand in front of the house looking over my sunglasses to admire the glittery efflorescence bouncing off the mica in the stone. It has a happy feeling.

Opening the gate, I walk into the garden and love the cluttered plots of roses, herbs, flowers, and vegetables. A movement under the dwarf boxwoods in the celtic knot herb garden catches my eye. Trixie saunters out and I bend down to pick up the sweet feline calico.

“Hello Trixie, how are you?” I say to her scratching behind her ears. I nuzzle her and listen to purrs.

I look down the wood chip paths and I spot Iris weeding around her Rugosa roses. “Hello Iris,” I call out putting Trixie down.

“JK, I’m so happy you called,” Iris says walking towards me taking off her garden gloves. We hug and I laugh at the pink garden clogs peeking out from under the broomstick skirt Iris is wearing.

“I see you found your other shoe.”

“Yes, Ares found it. They are so comfortable and I would hate to lose them.” Iris looks down at her shoes and wiggles her feet.

“So how are you doing?” Iris says with a heartfelt smile on her lips.

“I’m fantastic. The book is done. Where is Ares? I was hoping to talk to both of you.”

“He’s working and won’t be home for hours. But come on, I have a nice bottle of Pinot Noir and we can sit on the patio for a nice chat.”

“Sounds great.”

We walk to the back of the house and sit down. I look at the grassy patch, leaning against the bushes is a five foot dream catcher embellished with feathers and crystals. Buffalo skin covered drums and a Tibetan bowl is off to the side.

“Iris, are you having a circle tonight?”

“Yes. Do you want to stay for it?”

“No.” An odd feeling runs through me. I try to hide it from Iris but she doesn’t miss anything.

Laughing, Iris says, “I get the same reaction from Ares. He swears the white sage is some sort of hallucinogen.” My face is a light rose color, I lift my brow and give Iris a shrug.

“So when are we going to get published.”

“That is the sixty four thousand dollar question. I submitted it to Pitch Madness and I’m crossing my fingers.”

“So what do you want to know?” Iris says as she pours the wine.

“I want mystery romance readers out there to know what a good read the story is. ‘Bewitched’ is the first book in the trilogy and I am hoping they will love it as much as we do.”

Iris nods, “Yes it is. I can’t wait for it to come out. I hope you’ll give me an autograph copy.”

“Absolutely. Anyways, how are you doing? You really went through a lot coming out by just the skin of your teeth.”

“That’s the truth. But you know it since you are the one that put me there.” Iris says releasing the hair clip, her brown chestnut tresses fall to her shoulders. Threading her hair through her fingers, she quickly clips it back up on top of her head.

“I don’t want to give too much away to the readers, but what would you say was the most harrowing scene for you.

Iris moils over the question for a moment then says, “You would think it would be when I found Patty under my Rugosa rose bush, but I think Joe putting a pistol to my head had me in a real panic. I thought I was a goner for sure.”

“Yeah that was pretty scary. I closed my eyes through the scene and said a prayer.” I say forcing myself not to make the sign of the cross. Instead, I pick up my wine glass and take a deep swallow.

I look up at the second floor windows and say, “Is the Colonel still hanging around?”

“No, I haven’t seen him in weeks but Aunt Alice is here.”

“Really, what does she want?”

“I think you are the one to tell me that. I am dying to know what you have in store for me in the next book.”

“We will have to see Iris. You’ll just have to wait with everyone else.”

We sit for a while enjoying the late summer afternoon, Trixie jumps on my lap and after a bit of pawing, she settles down to take a nap.

The ringing of the phone drifts down the back steps, taking us out of our quiet solitude. “Excuse me JK, let me get that.” Iris says as she hurries up the back stairs to the kitchen.

After a few minutes Iris returns. “JK, I’m sorry but I got to go. That was Bev and she needs me to come by and help her pack. She wants to move to Florida with her mom but I’m trying to convince her to stay.”

“Yeah, she shouldn’t leave. I feel bad what happened to her and Rick. He has issues and needs to work through them.”

“Are they going to get back together? They are the perfect couple. I never saw it coming, I mean they appeared to love each other very much.”

“I think I am going to have her stay, Rick and Bev will resolve their issues. I’m not promising they will get back together but I can’t leave it as I did in the book. I have to think about it.”

“Yes, write them in book two and Bev will have to stay. She won’t have an option. I will be heartbroken if she moves away, she is my best friend.” I nodded at Iris’s insistence.

“Ok, I’ll let you go. I think I got enough. We’ll chat and have lunch at the diner. I want to see Mable before I leave Tobias.” I say as I shoo Trixie off my lap and get up.

“I’ll let you in a little bit of gossip, Mable wants a love interest. She asked me to talk to you.”

“I don’t know Iris, it’s not what I was thinking for her. She is only a minor character.”

“Yeah, but maybe you could hook her up with a trucker passing through town.”

“We’ll see.” I tell Iris in a noncommittal tone.

Walking down the sidewalk to the garden gate, I pause to look at the rose bushes. Poor Patty. I smirk at what I did to her. She was a nice girl. Oh well, there had to be some sort of dark theme to the book. Didn’t it?

I get into my car and drive off to track down the Cinderella Sisters.

Bewitched by JK Candlen-Weekend Writing Warriors #5 February 21, 2015

Before anyone says anything, I’m sorry I left you hanging with Iris and Bev. They have been up to no good and it has taken most of my time to reign them in.

For the readers who haven’t been following along, Iris has just cooked up a love potion for Bev. But something might have gone wrong. I guess you could say the small explosion was a telltale sign.

Feel free to look back at the previous posts to catch up. So without wasting any more time, here are the next 8 sentences for my Weekend Writing Warriors. If you like what you read, follow me on Twitter @JKCandlen or check me out on FB.


     “I sure hope it does. I have a date with Rick tonight and I know he is the one,” Bev said eagerly. Iris gave her a sideward glance. Her friend was always chasing after the happy ever after. Was there any such thing? She didn’t think so.

     The reaction picked at Iris’s thoughts. Did Aunt Alice leave anything out of the recipe?


Am I Mad to Pitch?

Thirty five little words, that’s all I have at my disposal to rise above the noise and get noticed. I have written millions of words but it all boils down to this. If you are not a writer, maybe you don’t even know what I’m talking about. Well let me clue you in.

It’s every aspiring writer’s dream to sign a book deal with a literary agent/publisher. As you think about your favorite authors, they started from oblivion, just like me. The question is, how did they get published? Yes they have written some fantastic stories, but there are a lot of writers that can do that. I guess some authors got lucky, while others might have called in the proverbial marker.

There are many contests targeting the writer with the promise of getting published. Pitch Madness is one, and a favorite amongst my contemporaries. It’s held every March where literary agents vie for a chance to read your manuscript. This is a table turner. It’s usually us writers knocking on the doors of the agents.

So I’m throwing my hat in the ring for the first time and crossing my fingers. I have the first 250 words from my story, but I still have to come up with those 35 words. If you are a writer and have a completed manuscript and want to read more about this madness, go to Brenda Drake’s blog and get your hash tags ready.

Pitch Madness 2015