Out of the Icy Blue

Real winter recently and rudely reintroduced itself in our parts, this after many mild seasons.

When the world shuts down, white and beautiful, worry of fender-benders and power outages can loom. It’s easy to get down and question your place and purpose.

Then out of the icy blue comes a couple of images, ringing warmth, appreciation, and to me, nostalgia.

The Burdette home seemed to me to be the center of our little town, where Kanawha Terrace, the main interior thoroughfare, met with the path of people from “up college hill” or from “out the river,” i.e., “out Pennsylvania,” from where I hailed.

Their covered front porch – across the entire structure – could often be seen crowded with laughing, chatting friends of the Burdette boys.

At a time when our destination may have been the basketball courts at Highlawn, maybe tennis at the high school or Ordinance Park, June’s, i.e., The Ventura, the Drive-In Theatre, a baseball game on “the hill” or at Watt Powell Park, or a little later, to play guitar with Loren or Snake, hit C.J.’s, or Drummy’s, or to just cruise the streets with the radio playing. New freedoms, new horizons.

And eventually for many, new cities and states.

John “Doc” Burdette bleeds blue and gold, like most of the WVU fans in our state, and they take that Mountaineer pride with them if they leave.

For my novel “The Lost Lantern,” which has a little homespun “Fort Coal” (wink) flavor weaved in with Myrtle Beach vibes, to land on a shelf with Coach Don Nehlen’s “West Virginia Sideline” book in Doc’s study in Southport, North Carolina – where the Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean – along with some of his other Mountaineer memorabilia, is truly an honor.

And also with that pic of the Burdette boys: Johnie was before my time, but I played a lot of Red Dragons hoops with baby brother Joe, covered many football games coached by state title winner Robert “Little,” and talked a lot of sports with Doc.

I laughed with all.

It is memories like those that keep me, as we “Shelton College Review” boys say, slingin’ ink.

If you want to give one of my novels a spin, check’em out at:

Amazon.com: Andrew Spradling: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

As always, thanks for reading.

© 2022

A Detective Harper Stowe Shout Out

It had been my past practice to post groups of reviews of my novels as they came in – usually in increments of five or ten – as a way to continue to promote and market. As a writer yet to gain a national following, I admit that each review still brings a feeling of warmth and childlike giddiness. It’s still exciting to know someone is out there giving one of my books a read, and it’s satisfying to know that they felt the time they spent was well-worth it.

My “feel” for review quantity based on sales? An author is lucky to get one per ten readers, an extremely low ratio. But there are factors that contribute to making it tough for reviewers, mainly Amazon roadblocks for readers who purchase locally – the non-verified purchase.

I will share one review, which fell into that category, from the father of a friend I’ve known for over 50 years. We literally carpooled to an independent, stand-alone kindergarten together, before our schools provided that kick-start grade. He also took the time to write this review during the strain of the holidays. For that I will always be appreciative:

It has been my privilege to watch this young author grow and mature as an extraordinary story teller.  I have followed his writings from his time honing skills as a newspaper journalist to the consummate author that he has now become.  Each of the author’s books have exceeded the art and strengths of the previous.  His most recent publication “Diagram of Death” is exceptional artistry. The depth of his research allows the reader to be immersed in the inner workings of the bad guy’s brain, as well as the sights, sounds and other actions taking place elsewhere. His ability to place the reader on both sides of the action allows them to follow the thoughts and plans of the “bad guy” as well as the ones seeking justice and security for those being subjected to the terrors surfacing in their previously safe and secure neighborhood thereby keeping the reader deeply involved at all times. I look forward to the author’s next publication.

  • Bruce Moss, Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor Associate

To read further about my novels or order a copy, please click on “My Books” above, or visit my Amazon author page at:

 Amazon.com: Andrew Spradling: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle  

As always, thank you for reading. A.S.

© 2022