Real Life Spawns a Book

Author Frankie Capers has four children, ten grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren.  It’s probably the great grandchildren that provide her with many of her stories. Frankie, besides poetry, writes children’s Story-Coloring books. The child can color the story as the story is read.  Frankie feels this will help the children develop a love of reading. Here’s how one such book came about.

There are not many things as devastating as retiring and having your income cut in half. I found myself at a crossroads in my life when TrailBlazer, a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare, lost their bid in November of 2011, and I had to retire and relocate. Where would I live? It was certain I could no longer afford to stay in my apartment in Dallas.

After searching, I bought a cozy cottage home, nestled among hundreds of tall pine trees near the beautiful Lake Cypress Springs in east Texas. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was not alone. I shared my acreage with many forest animals, including the red fox, rooting armadillos, curious raccoons, gray squirrels and herds of deer.

The hooting of the owls at evening brought back many memories of childhood. And nothing was more relaxing than the singing of the bright red cardinals every morning as I enjoyed coffee on my front porch. It would seem the brave deer knew they were protected from hunters in our gated community when they roamed among the Dogwood and Crape Myrtle trees. I took many pictures of them when I first moved to my country home.  They would come within ten feet of my front porch to enjoy the fresh new grass of spring. Only doe and fawns could be seen. Most of the time bucks stayed hidden.

One Saturday afternoon a doe stood just inches from my porch with her head down. I opened the door and in a flash she dashed across my driveway, bounding toward the woods. At that moment I glanced down and couldn’t believe my eyes. In my flowerbed, almost hidden by monkey grass, lay a newborn fawn covered with tiny white spots. Its shoulders were still tucked beneath its helpless body.

I didn’t touch it, but watched it all day, taking pictures as it finally stood and gained strength in its legs. The heat from the May sun forced the fawn to walk upon my flat concrete porch and curl up in the shade. It stayed there and didn’t move an inch for six hours. At dusk when I checked again it wasn’t there. With care, I stepped out onto the porch and waited for my eyes to adjust to the twilight. In the middle of the lawn, the mother urged her fawn along, as she licked and fed it until they disappeared into the darkness. In the weeks and months to come, I took more pictures of them as they returned with friends to graze on my lawn.

One morning in early December, as I sat by my window enjoying the new fallen snow, a few deer walked past. One stopped and looked at me. I started to think about the little fawn I had babysat that day in May, and from that came my latest children’s story-coloring book, “Rosebud’s Christmas Gift”. Deer love to eat roses, so to keep one rose around, the fawn was named Rosebud. She grew to be a beautiful doe. Christmas was approaching soon and on Christmas Eve she received a wonderful gift she would always remember.

 

Your children or young friends and neighbors will love discovering Rosebud’s gift as they read about her and color the pages at the same time.

“Rosebud’s Christmas Gift”, released in 2017

One spring a fawn was born in a flowerbed. Deer eat all the roses, so to keep one rose around she was named Rosebud. Her mother left her there, but returned for her at dusk. She grew to be a beautiful doe. The following Christmas Eve, she received a gift she would always remember.

You can get more details, and purchase the book at:  https://tinyurl.com/ya69nv3l

And please leave your comment on how some event sparked your book.

 

Helping a Stranger

I received this from an Austrailian author, Kitty Boyes.  I don’t often post these, but I thought this raised a question sufficiently interesting that I would put it up.  I would love to hear if any of you have experienced this – help a stranger and have it change your life.

Have you ever helped out a stranger only to have it turn your normal life into something that resembles a nightmare?

Arina did.

After a dead man is discovered in one of her motel units, his only relative, an older sister, asks Arina to help her. The sister believes her brother was murdered.

Despite being dissuaded from getting involved, true to form, Arina dives in. Head first.

Without knowing exactly what she was getting into, she inadvertently puts lives on the line. Including the life of her two-year-old son, Ben.

Money laundering and multi-million-dollar tax evasion scams are uncovered. Ruthless and desperate people will do all they can to avoid detection to protect their interests. Including murder.

Released in e-book late November 2017 and in paperback late December 2017. Book Three ‘HER BROTHER’S KEEPER’ of the Arina Perry Series takes a phycological ride on the wild side.

LINK TO THE NOVEL https://www.amazon.com/Her-Brothers-Keeper-Missing-Child-ebook/dp/B0743JS9VM

Have you had the experience of helping a stranger, and having it really affect your life – good or bad – or maybe just a change?  Leave us a comment and tell us about it.  Thanks.

 

 

Bloom Where You Are Planted

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Our guest today is Lynn Hobbs. She is an award-winning authorof inspirational Christian fiction and biographies.  Each book in her first series, Running Forward, a powerful faith and family saga, won first place for Religious fiction in the Texas Association … Continue reading

The Cost of Survival

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Today, we’re going to look at a new science fiction thriller by author J.L. Stowers. Behind The Cost of Survival The Cost of Survival is a science fiction thriller exploring the dark side of human nature from a world on … Continue reading

Attacked!

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Today’s guest is Ada Brownell, author of six books and hundreds of stories and articles. When she sat down to write her latest book, The Peach Blossom Rancher, she drew from her experiences growing up in Colorado’s Peach Country near Grand Junction, picking peaches … Continue reading

An Interview with Juan Grande

Interview with Juan Grande

Jim: Today, I’m interviewing Juan Grande. He lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and as I understand it, he was a big help to Crystal Moore in A Silver Medallion. How are you today, Mr. Grande?Cover - A Silver Medallion

Juan: I am fine, gracias. I not know where “Grande” come from. Please call me Juan.

Jim: Okay, Juan. Of course, Juan Grande translates to Big John. You must admit, you are a stout person.

Juan: Please forgive my English. I not know “stout.” My wife call me solid.

Jim: Okay. That works for me. How did you get to know Crystal?

Juan: My amigo Bull O’Malley call me . Ask I look after her. Help her if possible.

Jim:   Did he tell you what help she might need?

Juan: He say she want rescue two niñas, ah, girls, from bad man in San Sebastian.

Jim: Just how bad was this man in San Sebastian?

Juan: Muy bad. Kill people. Steal. Lie. I think drugs.

Jim: Kills people? Who is this man? What is his name?

Juan: He is called Josè Rodriquez de Allende.

Jim: Can’t the police arrest him, lock him up?

Juan: He is rich, powerful. Many men work for him. Maybe police also. He own police. We no get help from police.

Jim: That’s sounds like a big order. How did you go about it? And were you successful?

Juan: I no can tell you. Author tell me no give away plot.

Jim: It sounds dangerous. Did Crystal work with you? Did she help any, or did she just come down and ask you and your men to do it?

Juan: I ask her stay in Puerto Vallarta. Me and my men rescue girls. But she say no. She must help. She no can ask me do it and not help. I beg her stay in Puerto Vallarta. But she no let us go and not she go.

Jim: Did she actually do anything to help?

Juan: Si. Yes. She muy importante. She take girls away.

Jim: Took them away? How did she do that?

Juan: I no can tell you. Author tell me no give away plot.

Jim: Juan, your English is pretty good. Where did you learn it?

Juan: Mi esposa, ah, wife, take university in Texas. She speak good English. I learn some.

Jim: How do you know Mark?

Juan: Bull have home in Vallarta. I meet him long time back. He ride the bulls. He ride one time here. We have much memories.

Jim: Juan, it has been a pleasure talking with you. And I’m anxious to find out if you got the young girls free, and how you – and Crystal – accomplished it if you did. Thank you for your time, and stay safe from Josè Rodriquez de Allende.

Readers, as I understand it, Juan Grande was instrumental in the rescue of the girls. And while he wouldn’t say if they succeeded of not, I believe they were successful. Otherwise, Juan Grande might not be here today. But, I’m getting on the Internet right now to get a copy of A Silver Medallion.   Would you like to join me?

Kindle:  http://amzn.to/1WxoEaF

90 secondTrailer:   https://animoto.com/play/key7NqR0qbmN1JVWrCe8RA#

 

 

The Reluctant Heroine

There’s been many pieces written on the amateur sleuth. Quite often, the amateur is pulled into the case and reluctantly takes it on. In my Crystal Moore Suspense Series, Crystal admits the most dangerous thing she ever did was say “no” to a man who never heard the word. And in that incident, she was pulled into the situation against her will. But, she had the will to extract herself, even if at a great cost. However, this is not the main thrust of the book. In fact, this is revealed only when she tells her sidekick about the incident two years later.

As unadventurous as Crystal sees herself, in both of the first two books it is Crystal who pushes herself into harm’s way. a-ton-of-gold-cover-9-1-16

For the main plot line of A Ton of Gold, Crystal jumps into the fray. She gets in the middle of things when she believes someone is trying to kill her grandmother, her only remaining family and the woman who raised her.

My latest book is A Silver Medallion, June 2016. Here, Crystal decides to undertake a dangerous mission to rescue two young girls from a drug lord in the jungles of Mexico. Everyone tries to talk her out of it. Her grandmother, Eula, “who is tough enough to charge hell with a bucket of water”(description of Eula courtesy of a Caleb Pirtle review) tells her it’s a bad idea. Brandi, Crystal’s street-wise sidekick, says she can tell a dumb idea when she smells one. And Crystal’s boss, a former bull rider, tells her it is too dangerous. Lucita, the mother of the two girls is not certain she wants Crystal to go, afraid a mistake might mean harm for the children.

Even Crystal is reluctant. Several times, she convinces herself not to go. But her conscience keeps pulling her back. She is plagues with nightmares about the two young girls and their mother, slaves for the rest of their lives. She tries to think of some other approach. But the circumstances eliminate all of them. Finally, she is convinced if she ever wants to sleep again, or have a normal life, she must go and at least try.

Fortunately, she gets hooked up with mysterious Juan Grande. But if she is successful, she will have two ruthless and powerful men, one in Texas and one in Mexico, who now want her dead.

In A Silver Medallion, as with A Ton of Gold, Crystal enters into the dangerous situations willingly, yet fearfully. She has the unusual combination of reluctance and eagerness. It makes for an interesting and engaging character. She is the kind of character that adds to the joy of writing.

For less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or a Blizzard at the Dairy Queen, you can get a digital copy of A Silver Medallion. And as one reviewer on Amazon said, “Once I began reading it, putting it down became the challenge.”

Or from the BookLife Prize in Fiction, Critic’s Report: “reads like a gold-medal thriller from page one.”

A Silver Medallion on Kindle at: http://amzn.to/1WxoEaF

A Silver Medallion in paperback at: http://amzn.to/28LIdWs

Cover - A Silver MedallionETWG Contest Award -ASM

Beauty in the Eyes of the Beholder

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We pleased to have Kelly Irvin blogging for us today. Kelly has been a non-fiction writer for thirty years. But, she also has three Amish series. The first book in the Amish of Bee County series (Zondervan/HarperCollins ), The Beekeeper’s … Continue reading

Now Here’s a Sidekick

Today, I am interviewing Brandie Brewer, the sidekick for Crystal Moore in the newly released suspense A Silver Medallion. And if you like Brandi, see the special offer at the end of this interview.

Jim: Hi Brandi, I understand you’re Crystal’s roommate.

Brandi: Actually, it’s house mate. We share a two bedroom house kinda close to downtown Dallas.

Cover - A Silver MedallionJim: How did you meet Crystal?

Brandi: She was looking for someone to share the house with her. A friend of a friend of a friend told me about it and I called her. We met at a coffee shop and visited for awhile and then struck a deal. At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. I mean, she was pretty business like, sort of straight-laced, you know? But it was a nice house, two good sized bedrooms. ‘Course, only had one bath. But great location and not too pricey. So, you pays your money and takes your chances. I said cool.

Jim: And how long have you two shared the house?

Brandi: Gotta be over three years now, closer to four.

Jim: How’s is working out?

Brandi: What do you think, Jim? It’s been nearly four years and we’re still friends.

Jim: Well, I mean you got stabbed and nearly died because of Crystal.

Brandi: Hold it right there. If you want to continue this interview, back off on that. It was not because of Crystal. Some dumb dud comes in, gets information he asks for, well sort of, and then decides to break my foot, slash my arm and stab me in the chest. He’s to blame, not Crystal. You got that? Otherwise, we’re through.

Jim: I’ve got it. Very clear. You’re dating a detective, right? How’s that going?

Brandi: Fantantalastic. Tom Terrific is the greatest. That’s not really his name, but he is. I went with a lot of scum before I met Tom. I thought all men were that way. Then along came Tom, a tough cop – actually a detective, a gentleman through and through. I love the guy.

Jim: But you’re still rooming with Crystal.

Brandi: See. I told you Tom was a gentleman. He’s ready for us to move in together. But I’ve seen too many of my friends rush into things and then regret it. I said I wanted to take it slow. He’s okay with that. Lot of guys wouldn’t stand for that.

Jim: I heard you weren’t always Brandi. You had your name legally changed.

Brandi: Yeah. Never liked Bertha. Would you? Decided, why should I keep the name of one of Dad’s old girlfriends? I didn’t like it. And I’m sure Mom didn’t either. So, poof, it was gone. Took off twenty pounds, changed the hair. I had mousey brown from Mom. No more. I got washed-out blue eyes from Dad. Accuvue gave me these aqua beauties. Decided the nose was fine. Wore braces for two years.

Jim: You just decided to . . .

Brandi: Look the way I wanted to. Oh, and I took a course in make-up. Best money I ever spent. Even the contacts didn’t do as much for my eyes as knowing how to put on eye shadow, and eyeliner, and eyebrow pencil. ‘Course now, I just have my brows and lashes dyed.

Jim: You and Crystal seem … different. How do you get along?

Brandi: Maybe it’s that opposites attract thing. She’s got natural beauty; I had to recreate mine. She’s got lots of book learning, but doesn’t have street smarts, like I do. I think we’re a good match. So does Crystal.

Jim: From what I see, Crystal’s lucky to have you around.

Brandi: Now you’re getting it. Hey, gotta run. I’m on the late shift today.

Jim: Brandi and Crystal were a good fit in A Ton of Gold and now they are even better in A Silver Medallion. Check it out at:   http://amzn.to/1WxoEaF

ETWG Contest Award -ASM

 Click here to see A Silver Medallion on Amazon in paperback or Kindle format

“A Silver Medallion is a gripping, action-packed adventure from talented author James Callan.  Crystal Moore is a tough and savvy heroine …” New York Times Bestselling Author Bobbi Smith

Special Offer.  If you’d like to read the first six chapters of A Silver Medallion, send an e-mail to:   asm6@callansite.com  and just put  “6 chapters” in the subject line and your name in the body of the e-mail. OR you can request the chapters in a comment. Just make sure you have registered with a good e-mail address so you will receive the chapters. Either way,  I’ll send you the chapters right away.

A Silver Medallion is the second in the Crystal Moore Suspense series, following A Ton of Gold.

Thanks for stopping by The Author’s Blog.

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Slaves in the U.S. – Today

The story behind the story – A Silver Medallion 

Cover - A Silver Medallion

(See the Special Offer below.)

Several years ago, I read a short article in the L.A. Times about a woman who was held a virtual slave by threats to harm family members left behind in Viet Nam. I was amazed that such could happen here in the United States, so I did a little research.

What I found astounded me. One government report stated there were more slaves in the U.S. today than in 1860. Today’s slaves are held not by chains, but by threats to harm family members, usually left behind in a foreign country.

This information rattled around in my head for months. I knew I would write about it. But what? How? One writer friend said it needed to be a non-fiction book. Another suggested a story based on an actual instance, interviewing someone at ICE and perhaps even a victim.

Finally, I decided it would be a fictional account. The actual truth was too heavy. Either of the approaches above would haunt me and I suspected such a book would never be finished. So I created a completely fictional story, but one I believe, based on my research, was close to the truth.

Crystal Moore discovers a young Mexican woman , Rosa, who has been held a virtual slave because her husband in Mexico would be killed if she escaped. But many months later, Rosa learns from another woman smuggled into Texas, her husband has died. With that threat gone, Rosa manages to escape from her captor, Hunter Blackwood.

Crystal’s grandmother takes Rosa in and gives her a job.

When Crystal and her Nana are visiting with Rosa, they find out about Lucita who is also a virtual slave to Blackwood. Lucita had a husband and two small girls in Mexico. But when her husband died, she could not provide the bare necessities for her children. Jose Rodriquez offered her the opportunity to make “big Yankee Dollars.” Jose would arrange for a job in Texas and pay for her transportation. In addition, he would take care of the children until Lucita could save the $1,500 to pay for the girls travel to Texas. Surely, that could be done in a few months.

ETWG Contest Award -ASMBut once in Texas, Lucita is given a different story. She will work for Blackwood and should she leave or even tell anybody of her predicament, her children will be killed. She must stay at his massive house and is paid only a few dollars per month. She will never be able to accumulate the money to bring her girls to Texas. And other Mexican women tell her that Jose Rodriquez is indeed capable of carrying out the threat.

This revelation stuns Crystal. She is haunted by the plight of this young mother and her children. Crystal’s parents were killed in an auto accident when she was seven. Nothing could be done; they were dead. But Lucita is not dead.

Crystal manages to see Lucita and it becomes clear Lucita will do nothing that might cause harm to her young girls.

Crystal tries to put it out of her mind, to forget about it. But her conscience will not let her. Nightmares plague her. She often wakes, thinking she can hear Lucita’s two young girls crying. After considering various approaches, she comes to the realization that Lucita will never be free unless her girls are rescued from Jose first. Naive and driven, Crystal travels to Mexico in an attempt to rescue the two children.

If she succeeds, Lucita and her two girls will be free and reunited.

And Crystal will have two powerful and ruthless men, one in Texas and one in Mexico, who want her dead.

See the offer below.

Click on the cover of the book above to see it’s listing and reviews on Amazon.  Thanks.

“A Silver Medallion is a gripping, action-packed adventure from talented author James Callan.  Crystal Moore is a tough and savvy heroine …”

 New York Times Bestselling Author Bobbi Smith

If you’d like to read the first six chapters of A Silver Medallion, send an e-mail to:   asm6@callansite.com  and just put  “6 chapters” in the subject line and your name in the body of the e-mail. OR you can request the chapters in a comment. Just make sure you have registered with a good e-mail address so you will receive the chapters. Either way,  I’ll send you the chapters right away.

A Silver Medallion is the second in the Crystal Moore Suspense series, following A Ton of Gold.

Thanks for stopping by The Author’s Blog.