Fridays 5 with Rita Lee Chapman

Rita Lee Chapman was born in London and moved to Australia in her early twenties.  It was only when she retired that she wrote her first novel, Missing in Egypt, a romantic travel mystery. 

Winston – A Horse’s Tale followed, written for horse lovers like herself.  “It was the book I had to write.” 

Her latest book, Dangerous Associations, is her first foray into crime mystery.

1.) When did you first get serious about writing?

A.) It was after I retired. Over the years I had started a couple of times but I only had a typewriter, no computer and I didn’t get very far. Once I retired I had more time – and a computer!

2.) What is the hardest part for you about writing?

A.) I’d say it’s deciding what to write about. My first book was the hardest – with so many options what sort of story did I want to tell? I remembered a wonderful holiday in Egypt, a mysterious and intriguing country. Vast deserts and uninhabited areas, crowded cities, towering pyramids and ancient tombs are all found in Egypt. Even today new tombs are being discovered, many still containing the sarcophagus and a myriad of valuable jewellery and antiques provided to sustain the deceased on their journey to the after-life.  What better place to set a mystery? And so Missing in Egypt was born.

My second book, Winston – A Horse’s Tale, was the book I always wanted to write. It is told by Winston himself but it is very horsey.

Dangerous Associations, my latest book, is my first foray in to crime mystery and was written to appeal to a wider readership.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.) I know every author says this, but to hold your first book in your hands is an amazing feeling. After finally coming up with a subject to write about, finding time to write it and going through the editing and publishing processes it is a very satisfying time. Little was I to know that the hardest part was still ahead – marketing!

4.) What is more important to you, story, or character? Why?

A.)  I think the story is the more important to me than the character – I hope this doesn’t show in my writing! I don’t become as attached to my characters as some authors do – to me they are a tool through which the story is revealed.

5.) What is a typical day like in your world?

A.)   Because I am retired I would have to say a typical day for me is pretty wonderful.  My husband and I play tennis, walk by the sear, or the rivers and lakes so close to our home and enjoy mixing with a wide circle of friends. Usually I do some housework in the morning and after that is my normal writing time. However, I don’t write every day, only when I’m in the mood!  After all, I am retired.

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Synopsis: An ex-husband, a new love, a stalker. Cathy Thompson’s link to her ex-husband fills her life with threats and intimidation. She must either trap her stalker or find Geoffrey to put an end to her life of fear.

All Roads Lead to Terror: Chapter Five

The horrors of the past meet the brutality of the present.

Chapter 5

In his stocking feet Meat moved away from the barn, crouching low and keeping to the shadows he quickly made his way into the forest that surrounded the small farm. His skin crawled as he vanished into the gloom, the remnants of the nightmare that had awakened him still fresh in his mind.

He had been dreaming about that lone house surrounded by an overgrown yard through which unseen things slithered within shadowy spaces. He and the man he called Dad had taken refuge within those silent walls that weren’t so quiet, the whispered memories of its past lying at the indistinct edge of consciousness as the ghosts of a happier time moved through shadowy rooms.

A swing set in the back yard offered mute testimony to the joy that had once inhabited the house. Its rusted chains squeaking with a plaintive cry as an errant breeze moved it to and fro. Pictures on the mantle piece, covered by a deep layer of dust, provided evidence that this dead place had once known life, light, and the happiness of a growing family. In one photo a man and woman stood together, the woman leaning back in the man’s strong arms, their entwined hands resting on her swollen belly.

The photo had both frightened him, and filled him with a sense of loss, sorrow for a child that might never know the joys life had to offer. Joys he himself had never known. A part of him understood, with a maturity beyond his years, that his sorrow was for himself and the other children he’d seen struggling to survive in a world turned upside down.  

Pushing away the dream, and the memories it awakened, he slowed his steps considerably to keep from stirring the dead leaves at his feet, and alerting the target. Carefully he worked his way around until the tractor was directly between he and the barn. He knew then he was getting close and he stopped to listen.

In the deep shadows ahead he heard movement. Turning his head to the side he watched from the corner of his eye, as he had been taught by the man he called Dad, and was rewarded with a glimpse of a shadowy form crouched at the tree line. The stranger was  watching the barn and house that glowed with the ghostly light of the full moon. Seemingly unaware of Meat’s presence.

Ever so carefully he worked his way around behind the watcher, maintaining his distance, the soft breeze stirring the leaves around them helped to mask any sound he made, while at the same time carrying away his scent. He was slowly approaching the figure when, warned of his approach by some primitive sixth sense, that shadowy form suddenly spun around to confront him. From the gloom came the sound of cold steel being drawn across leather and Meat spotted the faint glimmer of a blade.

He stepped back, dodging the arc of the sharp edge that narrowly missed laying open his throat. Weaving to the right, away from the blade, Meat lunged forward, his right hand grasping what felt like a small neck, his fingers digging into pliable flesh. From the shadowy form came a strangled cry of surprise.

Meat felt a small hand wrapping itself about his wrist as the faint glimmer of the blade flashed in the shadows. He felt the blade as it passed across his forearm, the faint sting of  cold steel slicing through warm flesh. Meat drew back his left hand, balled into a fist, and slammed it into the unseen face above his right hand. The figure suddenly went limp as Meat held on, knowing that if he let go he might lose the watcher in the gloomy depths that filled the forest around him.

Holding onto the neck of the stranger he stepped out of the tree line into the overgrown field, and the pale light of the moon. It looked to be a boy, no more than ten, his torso bare, the flesh of his back and chest covered with black markings that made little sense. Meat looked up as Window crossed the field towards him.

“What did ya find?”

“You were right, someone was watching us, I don’t know how long they were there but we’ll find out soon enough.”

Window grabbed the young boy by his other arm and together they returned to the barn with their captive between them.

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Ogden by Corey Abernathy

Cory recently stopped by my blog to share some info about his recently published first novel, 'Ogden' an action packed zombie story set in his home town of Ogden, IL where he lives with his wife Stephanie and daughter Sydney. The two dogs (Indiana and Bailey) that appear in this novel are his own and make quite an impression on readers. This novel acts as a prequel to his upcoming 'Orange Band' series. You can follow Cory on Twitter @Cory_Abernathy.


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A seemingly routine accident investigation just outside of the small town of Ogden, IL, pulls Detective Desmond King into a tempest of terror. What Detective King discovers at that scene causes him to realize that something terrible is happening in Ogden and he must act quickly to prevent the town from destroying itself. When Detective King recognizes he has only a small chance left to save any of the 1,200 citizens of Ogden from each other, a new threat presents itself. One that promises to destroy not only the town itself, but everyone within it.

Fridays 5 with KP Smith

I love to read and it was my love for reading that ignited my passion to write. I am currently penning the Growing Pains Series. The First Book Kendra’s Diaries is available for purchase. The Second Book New Beginnings will be available soon. The Third Book Decisions is currently being penned. When I am not reading and writing I have lots of other hobbies to occupy my time. I love Sports football, basketball, tennis, golf yeah basically all of them.

I’m also a big TV watcher (maybe too big? Nah no such thing). I love my soaps; soaper for life love my night time dramas. These are enjoyable and a perk also helps with my creative thinking/writing process. The only thing better than watching my favorite shows is watching it with millions of others via twitter!! I’m a major tweeter!
I also love a good movie. I am a Social Media junkie but it can’t replace some good old fashion talking…love good conversation.
I work in the insurance company by day. I have a wonderful family life including two wonderful sons.

I live in NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) home of Mardi Gras, Jazz, great food and Southern Hospitality. WHO DAT!!

1.) When did you first get serious about writing?

A.) In 2007 after going through Hurricane Katrina I made several life changing decisions. One of the decisions was to get serious and  to begin to write the book I had been talking about for years.   The book turned into The Growing Pains Series.

2.) What is the hardest part for you about writing?

A.) Finding the time finding the time finding the time. Once I can find/make the time the rest is a cake walk.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.) It was the biggest sense of accomplishment I felt since graduating from college. My writing journey has totally transformed the  way I look at success vs. failure. Every time I reach a milestone I know I’m that much closer to fulfilling my dream.

4.) What is more important to you, story, or character? Why?

A.) What a difficult question! In my mind they are one in the same. But if I have to choose one I’m going with story but once you do it successfully great characters can’t be too far behind.   

5.) What is a typical day like in your world?

A.) 5 days a week I juggle my daytime job, family, and the daily routines of life while trying to find/make time to write and do marketing. On the weekends it’s much easier to invest time in my writing and I utilize them as much as possible.

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Synopsis: Meet Kendra Foster. She’s right in the middle of the roller coaster ride of growing up. Her family seems to be in a permanent state of disarray. High school is right around the corner and there is only one school she wants to attend but it is going to take a miracle for her to go. She finally made the cheerleading team which is the best thing that has happened since forever. But much to her dismay this wreaks havoc in a completely unexpected way. Then she has one year left to get Jamie’s attention yet she hasn’t been able to do that since fourth grade. And with the new girl everyone is going crazy over she doesn’t have much of a chance does she? Life is coming at her from all sides and she is determined to keep it all together. Kendra’s Diaries is the first installment in the Growing Pains series. During the twists, turns, ups and downs Kendra will develop courage, faith and perseverance. She will learn no matter what happens in life always remain positive and never give up. Life has a way of working itself out.

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