the genius of Andrew Spradling (a repost of Joseph Bird)


Here are some hints and clues as to the nature of my next project. A sincere thanks to Shelton College Review member Joseph Bird, who is completing his FIFTH novel, for these flattering thoughts and comments – please follow link and read HIS post, my reason for writing today. 

Let me add that if you are an independent writer at the beginning stages of this game, find yourself a writers group to bounce ideas off, help edit, support, and encourage. Along with our founder Larry Ellis, Joe and I are in a positive, fun, informative situation that very much helps me in my quest for completing a third novel, following The Long Shadow of Hope, and The Lost Lantern. The photo, for photography buffs, is from a recent Charleston (WV) Live On The Levee, and is a situation in her game of cat and mouse that Harper Stowe might find herself in. Thanks for reading and keep slinging ink! A.S. 

via the genius of Andrew Spradling

The Lost Lantern Sweepstakes

For Whom The Bell Tolls

Do you have a favorite book? A top five or ten list?

Have you read a book where you imagined the author opened a vein and bled for you? A book where there was so much hurt you felt it, followed by joy and elation, then more disappointment, followed by intrigue, and perhaps happiness? A book where the characters you’ve visualized stay in your mind and return to you later? You lived the tension they experienced, and felt empathy, anger, or disgust?

Transferring feelings to readers from the written page is the goal of any author, and certainly is for me. My most recent Lantern Thumbrelease came from deep within, I assure you. It is a tale with much raw emotion.

For the next week you can enter to win a paperback copy of my new book, The Lost Lantern. Please follow this link:

If you win, it will be shipped to your door. If you don’t win, please consider reading both my books, which are also available electronically on and

Good luck and as always, thank you for reading. A.S.

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P.S.  I would enjoy reading what book means the most to YOU. My favorite is For Whom The Bell Tolls.

© 2017

For The Love Of Books

Since my last post, shamelessly, with tongue-in-cheek connecting my new novel, The Lost Lantern, with Jeannette Walls’ memoir, The Glass Castle (oops, I did it again), I played around with some numbers. If Jeannette’s sales were created in the 261 weeks it was on the NY Times Bestseller List, the per week amount of books sold is 10,344. If it were over the 12 years since the book’s release the number is 4,326 sold a week. Dan Brown sold 27 million copies of the Da Vinci Code. Over 14 years that’s 37,087 a week. Can you imagine the elation either must have been feeling?

Lantern Thumb I’ve been at this independent publishing for less than 16 months.  I get excited each and every time I sell a book. In one of the above scenarios I probably would stroke out from happiness.  But it’s an uphill battle. Even Amazon, which makes most of the money, chooses not to promote independents. The cost-free electronic version? We indies still get bumped by the Pattersons, Sparks, and Grishams. There’s a big ol’ bank of money each month from subscribers at Kindle Unlimited, but writers like me will never see any of it. I believe both my novels are entertaining departures, yet how does one get them in front of the masses?

Still, I’m feeling blessed and extremely grateful. Today marks one month since we released “The Lost Lantern,” and I can’t help but feel optimistic. Without the benefit of a big-budget publisher, pre-publicity, or industry reviews, we have sold 90 copies in 30 days, with five reviews, on I received great news from Terri Dingess Baloga, a fellow St. Albans (WV) High grad now residing in North Carolina, who chose “The Lost Lantern” for her book club to read next month! This is exactly what an independent writer like me needs – word of mouth among READERS in other states… in other countries. I need to offer thanks to Tom Hindman, Ray Epperly, Ross Harrison, (now deployed) Jeremy Ranson, and Becky Goodwin for their honest reviews, with expectations for more soon from Bob Carpenter, Lance Carney, and Carla Williamson. If reviews add the validity buyers need, I’ll scratch and claw for all I can get. Thanks for reading!  

Unique Sports Novel, Low Price

In appreciation of the success we’ve had in our first 10 months, The Long Shadow Of Hope, my first novel, is available to read on any electronic device for $1.99 for the next five days. Just download the free Kindle app for other devices. Buy it now and save it for summer! Paperback is available for $13.99. Thank you, sincerely, for all the support. Look for the release of my next novel, The Lost Lantern, in April. Thanks for reading, A.S.

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Read 20 reviews – 18 5-star – of a college football program gone awry – at same page. 


Hope’s 20th Review: Write What You Know

Author’s Note: Lance Carney is an author in his own “write.” A hospital pharmacist whose protagonist in his novel Ripped Tide: A Daniel O’Dwyer Oak Island Adventure is a – can you believe it? – pharmacist who reluctantly goes undercover to attempt to thwart a drug diversion scheme. Carney’s understated humor – you can hear it in his Amazon bio – makes the book sound like a hoot. It is first on my must-read list. As he points out in his review of The Long Shadow Of Hope concerning my background, writing what you know – using it as the backdrop – adds authenticity to the work.
On a personal note, Lance, a Dunbar, WV, native is a friend and former men’s league basketball comrade who I met through our mutual-amigo, Jody Jividen, one of the three departed souls to whom my book is dedicated, along with Mike Cherry, another shared friend, and Kelly Spradling Simmons.
Thanks for reading and thank you, Lance!  –  A.S.
on February 5, 2017

Lookout Mountain State University’s football team is undefeated and the team and community are riding high. Going into a bye week after seven wins, the future of the team and its star quarterback, Ben Wright, couldn’t be brighter. But lurking just below the big plays, the Top 10 ranking, the Heisman hopeful, the ESPN highlights and chatter, is an unethical snake, playing the system for all it is worth. Pay-offs are made, deals are brokered, innocent players are put at risk and big money rules.

The Long Shadow of Hope is an impressive debut novel by author Andy Spradling. It is much more than a sports story; it has intrigue, murder and romance. Being about a university and football, you almost need a program to keep track of the characters. However, once main players of the mystery are set, the plot begins to develop and the story flows nicely. As a former sportswriter and college administrator, Spradling has had a reserved seat to what goes on behind the scenes. He provides details in this book about a fictional university that only an authentic insider would know. Sports equals big money and greed often leads to ignoring the rules.

So break out the tailgate snacks and sit down with The Long Shadow of Hope; it was an excellent, enjoyable read and I highly recommend it.

Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Read more The Long Shadow of Hope reviews or order your copy at:

Larry Ellis Live

Bloggers, our friend Larry Ellis, prolific poet and award-winning novelist, will appear as a guest at 1 p.m. (ET) today (Thursday, February 25), on Frankie Picasso’s internet radio show on the TogiNet Radio Network. He’ll be talking about his latest novel, Overtime: A Basketball Parable.  You can listen live here.  If you happen to miss it, it will be up later as a podcast linked from his blog: Larry Ellis