Monday, May 1, 2017

Cold Case Review - A definite 5* read


















Bosses can sometimes be the pits, don't you think? Expecting the impossible. That's how I felt when Sally Parker was handed a ten year old cold case--and given only a few days to solve it, while continuing to work the regular cases that came in. I had to wonder for just a moment if he wanted her to fail. Her team was also shocked, but willing and able to jump in and give it their best.

One of the most wonderful things about reading Cold Case was the feeling you were there for a ride-a-long with the team. A superb police procedural.

Anyone connected to the judicial system or law enforcement will grasp immediately the issues related to trying to reconstruct a ten year old murder case. Witnesses forget things, suspects have disappeared, but even worse you have to step on the toes of your fellow officers who originally investigated the crime. Uncovering the mistakes of a fellow officer leads to another dilemma--do you let it go, or turn them in? Sally is faced with all these questions and more.

Another wonderful thing about reading Cold Case was the true life addition of scenes involving Sally and her team's real life issues. These brief glimpses into the everyday problems of working and living, and having someone target you for revenge, add a special touch to both the characters and the plot. There's nothing one-dimensional about this book.  A complex plot with well-developed characters that pulls you in from the very first page, and doesn't let go until the last word.

Although I tagged this early as a police procedural, I would also have to add the tag thriller due to several very suspenseful moments, and mystery as the ending will both surprise and shock you. Everything a great mystery should do.

Highly recommended to fans of mystery, thriller, suspense and police procedural--as well as fans of true crime, as it truly reads like true crime.  Another excellent addition the the Sally Parker Series. Haven't read any of the earlier books?  Check out Wrong Place and No Hiding Place. You won't be disappointed.








Sunday, March 26, 2017

#SundaySample - WIP - Carter

Ever had one of those characters that just gets inside your head demanding a voice?  Well, Andi Carter has really made herself a nuisance lately, especially since I'm working hard on another WIP.  I find her rude, crude and somewhat socially unacceptable, but as her story unfolds I'm beginning to understand where that attitude comes from.  Have a lovely weekend!


CHAPTER ONE

“Carter!”
“The master summons you, lassie. You’d best be hopping to it.”
“Screw you, Irish.” Andi Carter stubbed out the cigarette she’d just lit, sighed and glanced at the editor’s office. I’m not changing one damn word of that article. She stood, smoothed out the wrinkles of her pants, rolled down her shirt sleeves and picked up her jacket.
Shamus O’Conner glanced at her and grinned broadly. “About that offer to screw me, Andi.”
Andi leaned across his desk, placing her hands firmly in front of her, her face only inches from his and whispered, “When hell freezes over….lad.” She waited a second or two for his witty, and usually stupid comeback, but he swallowed hard and looked away from her.
“I was only kidding. Give a lad a break, will you. Today’s me birthday, and I just turned twenty-one. Legal at the pubs now.” He picked up a folder and held it out to her. “Don’t forget your file.”
Andi took the manila folder and studied the curly red hair and freckled face of her newest apprentice. She actually loved his Irish accent, and she had a feeling if asked he’d take a bullet for her. That was the problem, he was just a kid.  “Well, Happy Birthday, Irish, but if you want to live to see twenty-two you’ll tone down that sense of humor, and grow a pair.”
 She glanced longingly at the crumpled cigarette before stalking toward Matt Sinclair’s closed door. All she’d ever wanted to do was be a top-notch investigative reporter with a major newspaper, or television station. So how the hell did I wind up thirty five years old, and still at this shitty hole in the wall?
The answer to that question carried quite a sting—legs too short, hair too stringy and teeth not white enough. Even if she fixed her hair, and whitened her teeth, she’d still look somewhat like a blind dog in a meat market in those short, contoured dresses and high heels. So what if she took a little creative licensure with her articles. She called a spade a spade, and an ass an ass. Sinclair should appreciate that, the readers certainly did. Her articles have increased the circulation of the Daily Drudge by fifty percent in the last six months. Taking a deep breath Andi expelled it and opened the door. “You wanted to see me?”
“Close the door, Carter.” Sinclair glared at her from behind his hundred year old tattered oak desk. “And take a seat.”
Andi pulled up a chair near the desk, and sat down, immediately leaning back, crossing her legs and folding her arms over her chest. She’d studied body language and she’d be damn if she’d let his icy glare intimidate her. “So, what’s up?”
“What’s up!” Sinclair tossed the paperwork he’d been reading across the desk. “You can’t call the mayor’s wife a lush, dressed like a floozy. That’s what’s up.”
Andi felt the twitch and bit down on her bottom lip to keep from laughing. She’d never wanted to cover the mayor’s political dinner, and had told Sinclair as much.  What she really wanted was something she could sink her teeth into. Something cold, dark and dangerous. “I call it like I see it. That’s why your reader’s love me.”
Sinclair ran a hand over his eyes, sighed and lowered his voice. “Change it, Andi. Comment on her dress, her hair, her makeup. Be creative and give the readers something out of Vogue. As much as we don’t like politics, we have to live with them. The mayor is a powerful man.” He waved a trembling hand at the article. “I can’t print that.”
 The trembling hand and the fact he’d used her first name was a dead giveaway of just how scared he was she’d pack up and walk out before she’d change an article. And I would if I had any other options, but I need this stinking job. “All right, on one condition.”
Sinclair eyed her suspiciously. “What kind of condition? We’re barely making ends meet. I can’t afford to pay you more.”
Andi uncrossed her legs, placed her hands on her knees and leaned forward. “No more political dinners. A ten year old could cover those things. I’ve been listening to the police scanners and I want to cover crime. You agree to that and I’ll change the article.”
“We don’t have a crime section.” Sinclair frowned, avoiding looking at her as he shuffled files on his desk. “What makes you think our readers would even want to read that?”
Andi walked to his trash can and pulled out a paper. “Because ninety percent of the people in this God forsaken city are buying the Tribune. “ She tossed the paper on his desk and grinned. “Even you.” She tapped the front page, a huge article on the influx of drugs and prostitution. “They’re not buying it for the celebrity posts, they’re buying it for this. If you want to make money, then you’ll start competing. And you need an online site. You’re missing out on a lot of sales simply because you’re cheap. It takes money to make money.”  
 Sinclair’s lips puckered, pulling the wrinkles tighter as he tapped a pen against the desk. “You got a story?”
A surge of excitement rushed through her. “Not yet, but the stories are out there. All I have to do is hit the pavement.”
Sinclair was nodding thoughtfully and she knew he was comparing the cost of ink and paper to the giddy idea of increased circulation and money in his pocket. “All right. We’ll try it for one week. If sales don’t improve, you go back to covering local events. If they improve we’ll look into the online site.”
Andi grinned picked up her file and the article. “I’ll have this back to you in five.”
Shamus was watching for her, a concerned look on his face. I guess he figures if I got fired he’d be out of a job too. Andi dropped the article on his desk. “Take out the lush and floozy part and write something flowery.”
“The hell you say, there’s nothing flowery about the wench. If it weren’t for all the liquor in her blood she could be called the ice queen.”
“Come on, Irish, you can think of something I’m sure. Get it back to Sinclair in five, and I’ll buy your first legal drink. We’ve got work to do before morning.”
 “Now you’re talking.” Shamus grabbed the article and turned on his computer.  In minutes his fingers were tapping away at the keys. “How this? The lovely Divina Morgan shined in regal form as she toasted her husband’s supporters with exuberance, dressed in a form fitting piece of pure magic.”
Andi laughed, shook her head and stuffed a note pad in her purse. “It sucks, but Sinclair will love it. Print it, give it to him and grab your jacket.”
He was back in seconds pulling on his coat. “Are you really taking me to a pub?”
“O’Reillys, down on Fifteenth.”
Shamus frowned. “Isn’t that where all the Garda hang out?”
 “Yep, and that’s where the best stories are.” Andi strolled out in front of him. “Listen, Irish,  you need to get your language right. It’s bars in America, and we call them cops or the police.”
He moved ahead of her to open the door. “My name’s not Irish, it’s Shamus O’Conner.”
Andi brushed past him. “A broken nose would ruin that pretty face of yours, so if you want to hang out with me, learn the language.”



Website: http://lindasprather.com

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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.