Friday, March 24, 2017

An 8 year old future bestselling author. Caitlynn's Story!

She follows in her father's footsteps with her love of stories and words. Although she made me tag it Caitlynn's and Granny's Story, it is mostly her words and her imagination, I just did part of the typing.  Writing with my granddaughter was so much fun, and I hope to encourage her to expand her writing ability and love of words to express what she's feeling, as well as weaving fantastic fiction to entertain.

My little 8 year old author to be:






CAITLYNN’S AND GRANNY’S STORY

(FAIRY TALE)

Once upon a time there were two princesses, and one prince, and one queen and one king.  The family wanted to go on vacation so they decided where to go.  Princess Caitlynn wanted to go to Lake Reba.  Princess Maya wanted to go to Cave Run.  And Prince Chaz wanted to go to Monkey Joes. 
Queen Granny and King Papa said, we can only choose one, and we would like to go to Florida and see the ocean.
So since Granny and Papa were the king and queen we went to Florida.  We stayed for a while, rented a huge motel with a big swimming pool.  It had a beautiful chandelier in the foyer, and Princess Caitlynn like to stand on the beautiful balcony and watch the sea gulls fly by.
When it was nighttime they started heading home.  And when they got home their most valuable items had been stolen.  Princess Caitlynn cried, "oh, no, we forgot to lock the doors!"
Princess Maya said, “I hope they didn’t steal my pokemon cards.” 
Prince Chaz ran up the stairs and screamed.  “AHHHHHHHHHHHH……………they took my kindle!”
Queen Granny went to the bedroom and checked on her jewelry and the crown was gone.  “What do I do?  I can’t be a queen without my crown,” Granny said.
Princess Caitlynn and Princess Maya and Prince Chaz all gathered in the game room.  “We have to find Granny’s crown,” Prince Chaz said.
“We have to call the police,” Princess Caitlynn said.
Princess Maya had a strange look on her face. Her face was red with fury. “I’m gonna find out who did this, and I’m gonna sick my dragon on them and have him burn off their face.”
“Uh, Maya, that’s kind of mean, isn’t it?” Princess Caitlynn said.  “We should just let them stay chained in the dungeon with only three beans a day.”
Prince Chaz looked from one girl to the other. “Really?  You guys are MEAN!”
“Well, what would you do?” Princess Caitlynn asked.
Prince Chaz placed his finger on his chin in a thoughtful pose.  “I think we should look for clues and follow the trail of footprints and find the thief. Then we can call the police and have them arrested.”
“We’d best hurry before they turn the crown in for money.” Princess Caitlynn said.
The three separated and started to look for clues.  Princess Caitlynn searched in the kitchen.  Someone had eaten all the chocolate chip cookies and there was a trail of crumbs leading from the kitchen to the back door.  She followed the crumbs into the castle garden.
Meanwhile, Princess Maya was searching in the parents’ bedroom.  She found a jewel from the crown and cookie crumbs. She followed the trail into the hallway and out into the castle garden.
Prince Chaz searched the king’s weapon room and he found a hat that did not belong to the king.  It had feathers on it, and there was a trail of feathers leading into the castle garden.
“We all came to the same place!” They cried in unison. 
“This must be how he got away.” Prince Chaz said.
But then they all saw the crumbs, jewels and feathers leading out of the garden into the dark forest.
“We’re not allowed to go there.” Princess Caitlynn said.
“Come on,” Princess Maya said, “we need to find the crown. Otherwise it won’t be good. And Granny won’t be queen anymore and we won’t be princesses and a prince.”
Prince Chaz pulled his wooden knife from his belt.  “I’ll protect you. Let’s go.”
Princess Caitlynn giggled. “You are so silly. Let’s take Tad Cooper with us.”
“Great idea.” Princess Maya said.
The three entered the dark forest followed by a somewhat reluctant baby dragon. “It sure is dark in here.” Prince Chaz said.
“Tad Cooper can light it up for us,” Princess Maya said. “Breathe fire, Tad!”
“No, no, no, no!” Princess Caitlynn cried. “The forest will catch on fire and we’ll all burn to death.”
Princess Maya wrapped her arm around Tad Cooper’s neck. “Just a tiny spurt, Tad Cooper, so we can see the trail.”
The tiny dragon sputtered a small flame like a torch.  They could see the entire path in front of them and they continued following the trail of feathers, jewels, and crumbs. Then the trail led to this huge house that was a 1976 house and very spooky.  And it had shattered windows and looked like it needed a tune up, and needed lots of repairs and the door opened all by itself and went CREEEEEAAAKK!
 “Lets go in.” Princess Maya whispered.
 “You first.” Prince Chaz whispered back.
“But you have the knife” Princess Caitlynn whispered.
 Then finally Chaz went in first.  When they went inside they where shaking and they where really scared.  They heard a voice “The crown is finally mine.”
Their eyes got huge as they gasped “AHH!”
The thief opened the door. “Who’s there?” He walked into the room and grinned with an evil sneer. “Oh, it’s the three castle brats.” He reached out and grabbed Princess Maya by the arm. “You’ll bring quite a nice ransom.”
“Let go of her!” Princess Caitlynn screamed.
Prince Chaz held out his knife, his hands shaking. “Unhand her, or I will run you through with my knife.”
The thief laughed. “You’re just kids, you can’t hurt me.”
Tad Cooper flapped his wings and made a big gust of air.
Suddenly the thief’s face turned white.  He let Princess Maya go, and she hit him in the stomach and then kicked him in the shin. “Worthless piece of junk.” she said.
The thief held out the crown and a bag of goodies he had stolen from the castle to Princess Caitlynn. “Here you go.  I was just kidding. You kids should run along home now.”
The three backed out of the house and down the steps, and right into Prince Charles and twenty castle guards. “Daddy,” said Princess Caitlynn, “I’m so glad to see you.”
Princess Maya grinned. “We got back Granny’s crown and all the things the thief stole.”
Prince Charles pulled all three in for a huge hug and patted Tad Cooper on the head.  “You did good. Now I want you all to go back to the castle while we take this guy to jail.”
Prince Chaz, Princess Caitlynn and Princess Maya rushed back to the castle and gave Queen Granny her crown. They helped her glue the jewels back on the crown and Queen Granny was so happy she made them more chocolate chip cookies, and chicken and dumplings.

THE END




Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Forgotten - Meet the Characters - Robert

Working in the criminal justice system in the USA I've had the opportunity to see different types of scenarios of crime that made me cringe inside. A huge fan of shows like Criminal Minds I would often find myself looking at the evidence, studying the victims and the perpetrators looking for an explanation. I also do that with my characters. Delving into their dark minds, looking for that one glimmer of something good, or simply some explanation for their crimes. 
   
There were times as Robert’s character developed when I wondered if there was good somewhere deep inside him.  Perhaps a redeeming quality that made him worth saving.  As time went on, I realized that some minds are damaged beyond our understanding. Things have just become too twisted and warped.  Although I occasionally felt sympathy for Robert, I found no redeeming qualities to exploit.

Robert is a handsome young man, with a charming smile, dark eyes, and the heart of a crazed killer. He feels no sympathy for his mother’s victims, nor for his own perverted pleasures. He would most likely be diagnosed as criminally insane. There are moments of lucid thought when you’ll almost feel he’s about to change.  Don’t get taken in by his charm.  Raised by his insane mother, his crime spree started at the tender age of ten, but his madness started long before that—along with his hatred of dogs and animals. 

Some fascinating passages from Robert’s mind:

The Indian had looked at him long and hard, but it wasn’t as though she was looking at him. Instead she was looking through him, seeing inside him. Way down deep to the part of him no one knew and no one saw. I should have killed her and the dog.

Suffering doesn’t always mean dead. The dog had suffered too, but it was still breathing, still snarling and growling. What if the girl lived?

   He’d learned early to keep his urges in check by working with the old and feeble. There was something cathartic about watching them slowly waste away, their eyes constantly searching the hallways in hopes of a visit from a relative, or a friendly face. They were the real forgotten. Put out to pasture to rot from the inside out.

Love a twisted killer? Then you'll thoroughly enjoy Robert.



Available on all Amazon sites. Grab your copy now! The Forgotten
  

  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Forgotten - Meet the Characters - Dr. Mary Ann Coomer



Dr. Coomer is named after one of my lovely fans.  My newsletter requested anyone wanting to be mentioned in a future book to email me with their name.   Like to see your name appear in a future novel?  Sign up for my newsletter at http://www.lindasprather.com

Dr. Coomer is an old country doctor who has been the family doctor for the Redmonds for as long as Loki can remember, and who took care of Loki’s grandfather until he passed away. Originally a bit part, I was somewhat shocked when the serial killers had other plans for Dr. Coomer.

She’s dedicated to saving lives, feisty and her sense of humor had me laughing out loud as her part developed and grew.  A Christian woman, she often prays and talks to God, although at times she has to ask for forgiveness as some of her prayers and thoughts might be perceived as detrimental to the health of the killers.

A couple of my favorite quotes from Mary:

He’s nuttier than your grandma’s jam cake, Anna Claire.


She’d known the second she laid eyes on Harriett Tatum that the wheels might be spinning but the guinea pig had died a long time ago.




Available on all Amazon sites. Grab your copy now! The Forgotten




Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Winners for Release Party Giveaway

I wanted to thank everyone for playing.  Winners were chosen randomly by Rafflecopter.  I personally do not know any of the winners below, but each of you have received an email from me.  If you did not get it, please check your spam folder or email me at: linda@lindasprather to claim your prize. Congratulations!

$50.00 GC - Gina M

$50.00 GC - Dina S

Bookbag - Dorena

Coffee Cup - Karen Mikusak

Autographed copy of The Forgotten - Peggy Salkill



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March 18, 2017 - Meet The Author - Berea Book Fest - Berea, Kentucky


Spring is in the air--although in the last few days it's become quite chilly here in Kentucky.  One of the wonderful things about spring, summer and fall are Book Fairs and Book Fests spring up around the country, giving readers and fans an opportunity to meet and greet their favorite authors.  The Madison County Public Library, 319 Chestnut Street, Berea, Kentucky will be hosting their annual Book Fest this weekend on March 18th, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. with a fabulous lineup of both authors and poets.

From 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. I'll be hosting a fun and informative workshop for both writers and readers on "The Writer's Circle, Where My Journey Began".  Bring a notepad, and don't forget to sign up for the door prizes on your way in.  For mystery/thriller lovers I'll also have several of my books available for sale, but for the most part I just want us to have fun and share our knowledge.  I'll be reading "Lessons From The Sparrow" a short story that won this year's Kentucky Monthly 9th Annual Fiction Contest.

 I hope you'll stop by and say hi, even if you can't stay for the full workshop.

Where: Madison County Public Library
319 Chestnut Street
Berea, Kentucky

When: March 18, 2017 3:00 p.m. through 5:00 p.m.













Sunday, March 12, 2017

Guest Author Interview - British Author, Tara Lyons



Today I have the lovely and talented British author, Tara Lyons as my guest. Tara is not only a fabulously fun person, but also has a relatively new book on the market, No Safe Home, published by Bloodhound Books in January of 2017. For all you book lovers, Tara’s book is currently on sale through March 15th. Buy links are below. Check out this video! All I can say is WOW!

video


LP: Good morning Tara, and thank you for being my guest today.

TL: Hi, Linda. Thanks so much for having me today.

LP: Let’s jump right in. Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you live now, and where did you grow up?

TL: I live in England. I was born in London and have always lived here.

LP: I love British accents, and have become a huge fan of both British authors and British TV Dramas like Luther and River. Do you feel that the environment you were raised in has any effect on your choice of genre?

TL: Subconsciously, it may be why I write the novels I do. It’s probably no surprise that London can be littered with crime, as well as the tourist landmarks and beautiful cultures. Just watching the news the other day I knew the locations where a murder, rape and World War II bomb was found. They were all within thirty minutes driving distance from my house.

LP: Well, I’m a little twisted so I notice crime scenes more often than others too. When and why did you begin writing?

TL: I’ve loved writing and telling stories from a young age. In 2015, I finally made the jump – after tremendous help from some amazing friends – and began writing.

LP: Share with us what inspired your first book.

TL: My first book, In The Shadows, came from a place of grief after my own Grandad lost his battle with cancer. I was also reading a lot of crime novels at the time and I’ve always enjoyed watching those kinds of programmes on TV. I combined all those elements together and told my own story.

LP: I love it when an author does that. I personally love book titles, and I’m often amazed at how well a title fits the book. How do you come up with your titles?

TL: I played around with the title for In The Shadows for a little while. I was using different words to see what images they invoked in my mind. Ultimately, the simplest is what worked. With No Safe Home, the title was there before I wrote the first word. I wasn’t certain where the story would go, or who the secondary characters were, but I knew it would focus on the center place for families, the place we should feel the safest.

LP: I hear comments all the time that readers “just didn’t get it” when describing certain books that attempted to convey a message. Is there a specific message in your novels that you’d like the reader to grasp?

TL: For me, this is more evident for In The Shadows than No Safe Home. From the reviews, readers seem to connect with the themes and characters in my current book a lot more. What I was trying to portray with In The Shadows was that a person’s grief, born from a death of natural causes, can be as traumatic and life-changing as any other loss.

LP: How much of your book is realistic or based on real life issues?

TL: No Safe Home isn’t based on a real-life event, but I used what I know and what I see to write it. I too am a single mother to a young boy living in London, so I took inspiration from the fact that sometimes there is a strange noise, or extra creak of the floorboard and I reach for the baseball bat behind my bed.

LP: Wow, us thriller/suspense writers do have to fight our imagination quite often. I often think I hear footsteps in the kitchen or hallway. When did you first consider yourself a writer?

TL: When I signed with Bloodhound Books, I think I was in a bubble for a while. I felt like I had made it. By this point I had co-authored with the formidable M.A. Comley and self-published In The Shadows. But, to receive the recognition and support of an amazing publishing company, I truly believed in myself.

LP: Do you have a specific writing style?

TL: Although I write crime novels, and my main character is a Detective Inspector, I like to include another voice to my stories. Therefore, alongside the main DI, I also have another lead character – always female – who is somehow caught up in the story. I want my readers to enjoy the police chase element, but also how a normal, everyday person is affected by the perils of crime. I write short, snappy chapters because, as a reader, I enjoy that pace.

LP: Exactly the type of pace I love, and I’ve always felt a touch of reality lends credence to fiction, especially crime stories. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

TL: M.A. Comley – and I didn’t even have to think about that answer. She is a power-house Indie author who has built her business, her brand, her readership and her talent. She always strives for the best and I’m constantly in awe of her. I’m also privileged to call her a dear friend.

LP: Mel is truly an inspiration to all those who know her. Not only does she write amazing stories, she’s always there to lend a hand to a new author. We could literally talk about her all day. I picked up on the fact that like me, you’re an avid reader yourself. What book are you reading now?

TL: My list is never ending! But, last night I started The Abattoir of Dreams by Mark Tilbury and I have In Plain Sight, M.A. Comley’s new one, lined up next.

LP: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

TL: Nicky Black – her book, The Prodigal, is dark and gritty and I cannot wait to read more from here. Likewise, Ross Greenwood’s powerful The Boy Inside, really made me think young people in this world and the decisions they make; can’t wait for his new one. I am also looking forward to David McCaffrey’s new novel, Nameless.

LP: If you had it to do all over again, would you change anything in your first book?

TL: Yes. I think I would have given more explanation to the ‘why’

LP: Are you currently working on a new book, and if so, can you share some of it with us?

TL: I am working on book 3 in the DI Hamilton series, which will be published later this year. I can’t give too much away, but so far I have focused on families and the home, this time I’m delving into the relationships we have with our friends.

LP: You’ll have to keep us updated on your progress. What has been the most challenging part of writing your current work in progress?

TL: I want more time. I work around my son, as he attends part-time pre-school and therefore my schedule is dictated a lot around him.

LP: Who are your favorite authors and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

TL: This is the hardest question. Obviously, M.A. Comley is up at the top of the list because I admire the skill she has. Likewise, in the past 12 months I’ve read a lot of indie authors, or authors that I don’t think enough people know about. And the authors who strike a chord with me are because they makes me feel something, the story stays with me and, to me, that’s the sign of a great writer – Barbara Copperthwaite, Betsy Reavley, Ross Greenwood, Netta Newbound, Tammy Robinson, Sue Watson, Jojo Moyes, JK Rowling, Truman Capote.

LP: Our lists are quite similar, which may be why I enjoyed your book so much. Do you actually travel to the places you write about?

TL: The majority of my scenes are located in places I know – it’s not a case of travelling to them to research them, I know them because they are the places I’ve grown up and visited many times over the years.

LP: Do you design your own covers?

TL: No, I’m very lucky to have had all my covers expertly designed by some very talented people.

LP: You did a great job. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

TL: I think the editing process. Of course, I wanted to make No Safe Home the very best it can be, but I always worry at the editing stage that I’ve become too close to it, I can’t see what needs to be changed.

LP: I hear you there. I’m getting ready to start the first rewrite of my current WIP. Do you feel that you learned something from writing your book, and if so, what?

TL: I take the time to read all the Amazon reviews and I use those as my teachings for writing. I feel very humbled that No Safe Home has received some awesome feedback, but they’ve also been pointers on making the next one even better. Hopefully.

LP: I’m sure it will be great. Do you have any advice for other writers?

TL: The advice I was once given – Don’t get it right, get it written. And, although the editing stage of the process isn’t my favourite part, that line always stays with me. Don’t keep the ideas in your head, thinking they’re not good enough. Don’t agonise over the first sentence, or first paragraph, trying to make it on point straight away. Write down all the words, all the characters, all the dialogue and themes. Then, you have something to work with.

LP: Is there anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

TL: The first anniversary of publishing my solo debut novel is close approaching (March 17th) and it’s been the most fantastic year of my life. I’ve achieved so much, met so many fantastic people and been given great opportunities. To my readers, I thank you for that. Without you, none of that would have been possible – your support and encouraging is what spurs me on.

LP: Thank you, Tara, for sharing with us today. I look forward to reading and reviewing your next book in the near future. Please drop me a line and stop by to update us.

TL: Thank you, Linda. As someone who has read and loved your books, I’m honoured to have had this chat with you.

Want to be sure you never miss a new release from Tara? Sign up for her newsletter or join her on social media.
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I've had the pleasure of reading No Safe Home and a book review will follow shortly. If you haven’t read No Safe Home, what are you waiting for? Grab a copy now and sit back with a nice cup of coffee or tea and hours of great entertainment.


Ready to download a sample or buy now?

Amazon πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ http://amzn.to/2jMWnfq

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Monday, March 6, 2017

RELEASE PARTY GIVEAWAY! Two - $50.00 Amazon Gift Cards


So excited to announce the release of The Forgotten by Bloodhound Books! Follow the instructions to enter for some great prizes. All entries and emails will be confidential and used for no other purpose than this giveaway.








a Rafflecopter giveaway



Enter some daily - Winners will be announced on 3/15/17!