Back-to-School Winners!

summer nowAugust is at our doorstep and school will soon be back in session. But here at the Writing Prompts blog, we still have time for a few more book winners. Are you on our list?

Jordan Redwood’s love-inspired suspense novel, Fractured Memory, has been won by Heather. Congrats!

Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird, a book by Lisa Worthey Smith, goes to Deanna S. Woo hoo!

Michelle Griep’s action-packed romance, The Doctor’s Woman, goes to Lientje H. Yay!

Caryl K. has been picked to win her choice of Robin E. Mason’s books, Tessa or Clara Bess, in Mobi or PDF. Congratulations!

A big THANK YOU to all our faithful readers for taking the time to stop by and comment.

Disappointed you didn’t win? Next month we’ll give away more books. And maybe it will be cooler. See you then...


Hanging with the Dogs

by Carlton Hughes

When I think of vacations, I think of family.

My wife, my two sons, and I have had some wonderful trips. In brainstorming for this blog post, I thought back to a small but memorable one.

It was my 39th birthday (a few weeks ago . . . just kidding), and we decided to take the boys to the zoo. I was a late bloomer, so to speak, so my children were seven and five.

prairie-dog-459458_1280We had a ball roaming the zoo and checking out all of the animals. One of the highlights was the prairie dog exhibit. This particular zoo has a tunnel under the exhibit, and you can crawl through it to end up in a big plastic dome in the midst of the super-cute critters.

gophers-850385_1280At the time, my wife had a serious hip problem, so I was elected to accompany the boys into the prairie dog tunnel. I folded my substantial 39-year-old body into the tunnel, crawling on my substantial belly to the dome. My boys were delighted to see the prairie dogs up close, and I thought it was pretty cool, too.

fire-engine-23774_1280Getting out was a challenge, and, for a few tense moments, I thought the fire department would get to celebrate my birthday with me by pulling me out of the tunnel. I eventually made it out, and, of course, we headed to the gift shop, where both boys went straight to the stuffed prairie dogs.

Since my sons were in a NASCAR phase, we closed the day with dinner at a racecar-themed restaurant, complete with kids meals served in cardboard cars.automobile-1299522_1280

It was only an overnight trip a FEW years ago, but I cherish the memory.

WRITING PROMPT: Imagine you are visiting the zoo, and something funny happens. Who is with you? What has happened? Write a paragraph or two with your story.




3 Questions Wednesday with Robin E. Mason

Robin E Mason - 041115 - croppedToday we welcome author and fellow Crew member, Robin E. Mason, to 3 Questions Wednesday!

Hi, Robin! So glad you can share your thoughts with us today. First question.

What books have fortified you as a writer? How?

Robin: I have a confession to make. I don’t read non-fiction! GASP I know, I know, I’ve tried, really I have. And I do at least skim through and even highlight some good stuff. That said, I have a few good ones, but mostly I follow blogs and save posts and/or links to the posts to refer to. And, of course, reading other works of fiction. Every nuance or turn of phrase triggers my own creative sparks, and I see it transferring to my own writing.

Interesting way to look at it. Now…

What secret talents do you have?

Robin: I’m pretty transparent so not so many secrets, but this doesn’t come across so well online (with one notable exception, ahem ahem, I have thus far resisted video blogs…..) but I can ROCK a British accent. Irish, too, but Brit is my go-to. Once upon a time, when I was waiting table, a British family came in and (how I’ll never know) I got bold enough to wait on them in accent. They actually argued with me that I’m not from England! My favorite thing to say in accent is, “I’m born in Mississippi!”

I’ve heard you on Vimeo. You’re pretty good! Last question: 

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Robin: Well, whaddya like? I’m a good cook and I love to cook, so… Italian? I make a crazy stuffed pasta shells dish (mine own recipe, too). Chinese? I got the stir fry going on. Homestyle? I make a fanTAStic chicken pot pie. Dessert? I’ve just started playing with crepes, one of my favorites, and I’d love to whip up a batch with your choice of filling!

It all sounds good to me! Thanks, Robin, for dropping by!

072716 - writing prompt crew - 3QW - 2 book giveaway  images


cissy cover - teaserEvil words. Words that should never have been spoken. Words that she should not have heard.

But she did. And she believed them.

Everything changed when Cissy heard those words that day. She was five.

What torment is wrought when wicked words are spoken? Can Cissy’s ravaged life be redeemed? Or will she wreak havoc on all who love her?

Robin E Mason - 041115 - cropped“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!” Robin E. Mason

I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013.  Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, and made countless notes for story ideas.  I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years.  My characters face many of these same demons.

I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I, really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.

Tessa and Clara Bess, books I and II in the unsavory heritage series, are available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print, with the third book in the series, Cissy, coming out in September of this year.   I also have several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers,, as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers. I will also be working on a personal anthology of poetry to be released in 2016 as well.

My Island Dream



By Betty Boyd

The island is lush, warm, and inviting. The beaches are pristine, the water is turquoise blue and makes you just want to jump in. Where is this island dream? It is Hawaii and my ultimate summer vacation.

I’ve never really thought much about going to an island until my best friend’s daughter started talking about visiting this chain of islands. I’ve been doing some exploring about costs, time, and what my commitment would be. I’m all in! I will be doing long term planning for this trip, but it will be worth it.
What’s so special about Hawaii, you wonder? Here are some amazing facts about our 50th state. It became a state in 1959 and is called the “Aloha State”. There are a total of eight main islands with the capital of Honolulu which is on Oahu. In fact, there are two national parks: Haleakala National Park on the island of Maui, featuring a dormant volcano and the park I’m most interested in seeing is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park located on the Big Island of Hawaii. This park features an active volcano and you can take helicopter rides to see the volcano.

I like the idea the Hawaii’s climate is tropical, but the temperatures and humidity are less extreme because there are near-constant trade winds. This would make me want to stay on the beach and bring lots of sun screen. The temperature in the summer usually reaches 88 degrees during the day and 75 degrees at night. Winter days are around 83 degrees and do not dip below 65 degrees.sunset-1034525_960_720

Typically, you wouldn’t think there would be any reason to think about snow. On Mauna Kea, which is 13,800 feet above sea level, snow does fall. Hawaii has only two seasons: a dry season that runs from May to October and the wet season from October to April.
Some of the other places I want to visit are the Arizona Memorial, Waikiki beach, and Diamond Head. I want to be able to step back and just imagine that this was my own island paradise.
There are so many places to visit and see in these chain of islands, that it would take me the rest of my life to take it all in. Needless to say, I will be taking this trip in a couple of years and will be one I will remember for the rest of my life.

So what is your favorite summer vacation?


Can you write a story with these four words?
• Island
• Trade winds
• Tropical
• Beaches

Favorite Summer Vacation

Once upon a time, and thanks to the magic of the single-mom tax return, I was able to make a dream come true for my kids. I don’t say children, because they weren’t little kids anymore; they were teens. But truly, if you’re going to go to DISNEY WORLD, it’s so much easier when they’re older!


I didn’t get to take my kids on vacations when they were little. We visited my family, and I took them to their paternal grandparents until we left Colorado, and we took day trips. But no actual vacations, no hotel stays, and definitely no resorts like Disney. So the year I was able to make this happen, it was pretty magical.


I booked a package deal that included Busch Gardens, Sea World, and Water Mania, plus four day World Hopper passes at Disney. We could go back and forth from one Disney theme park to any other during those four days—and we sure did!


We paired off, the boys (15 & 17) and the girls (13 & me), relying on pagers (remember those!) to communicate. I had a debit card for the first time and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time!


Our favorite ride was the Tower of Terror. All of us kept going back, riding it over and over. For the uninformed, it’s a basic drop. Housed in an old haunted hotel, you ride an elevator to the top, then switch cars to one of the ride cars (seated, of course) and hover ere so briefly before you plummet back to the ground. My fav pic was snapped just at the moment the mechanism opened to take the souvenir shot. And yes, we purchased souvenir copies. That’s what vacations are for, right?


There were ruby slippers, Ace Venture, and dragons…


… and T-I-double G-ER.


There were whales…


… and there were roller coasters (did I mention I love roller coasters!!!) The Kumba at Busch Gardens but only got to ride it oncet, on account of it started raining!


And there were water slides.




But best of all, there were smiles! And yes, even from the teenager with attitude.



WRITING PROMPT:  We arrived at our hotel and it was more than we could have imagined! Kid units had squabbled over who got which bed, but that was quickly settled. We had our dinner and settled in for the night. Tomorrow our adventure would begin…..




ME - 041115“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!

Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013. She resides in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1988. Besides Tessa, she has Clara Bess, book two in her unsavory heritage series. She is currently working on Cissy, the third and final book in the series. It will be released in September of this year.


Come visit me at:


Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas, Favorite Summer Vacation, Disney World, Magical, Ruby Slippers, Tigger, Roller Coasters, Busch Gardens, Water Slides, Smiles