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Spy Goddess! Back To The Future!

My very first novel was the intended start of a series. It was called Spy Goddess: Live and Let Shop. It got good reviews. It got an Edgar nomination from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Young Adult mystery. A second book, Spy Goddess: To Hawaii, With Love was published. More good reviews.

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A third book was written. I called it Spy Goddess: The Spy Who Totally Had A Crush On Me. I waited for the original publisher to call with an offer for the next book. You see it was supposed to be a series. But they decided not to continue the series. Or else they had a very different definition of series than I did. I think I heard ‘series’ and they heard ‘sequel’. Anyway, they never published any more books. So they are dead to me.

Then a funny thing happened. I started getting fan mail. People started writing to the publisher. They didn’t care. But more fan mail came. And more. And it still comes to this day. Every week I get emails and letters from young readers wanting to know when I will ‘make the next Spy Goddess’ book. Well, unfortunately I   don’t get to control that.SPYGHaw

But I am pleased to announce that both Spy Goddess: Live And Let Shop and Spy Goddess: To Hawaii, With Love are now available in spiffy new eBook editions from Open Road Integrated Media. Find your favorite eBook seller and order your copies now. (Stay tuned for details on how to get a print edition on demand soon!)

And sign up for my newsletter! Because in April, Open Road will be publishing Spy Goddess: The Spy Who Totally Had A Crush On Me. The third book that I self-published (I figur

ed what the heck, it was already written). It’s updated, and has a new epilogue. (So it’s almost like a whole new book! Kidding! I kid! It’s what I do. But there IS a new epilogue).

 

 

Keep Reading!

Your authorness,

Michael P. Spradlin

Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. My Running Diary Of The First Episode. Because That’s How I Roll.

 

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8:00pm. Joss! Back on TV! Let us pause a moment and give thanks. Okay. We’re done. Avenger’s actions figures in the very first scene! And J. August RichcardsGunn from Angel—is the first actor to appear on screen. I’M SOLD ALREADY!

8:03pm. Could J. August Richards’ character be Luke Cage? Power Man? I might faint here.

8:05pm. I Always thought Buffy and Angel had some of the best fight scenes on any TV show. This one with Agent Ward is very good. Always use a kitchen drawer when you punch someone in the head.

8:07pm. Colbie Smulders in her cat suit. I’M SOLD ALREADY!

8:10pm. Whedonesque dialogue. God I’ve missed you.

8:11pm. Agent Coulson! He’s back! Alive! And the Rising Tide? What is the Rising Tide? I don’t know. But I don’t care. Agent Coulson is alive! I’m still waiting for him to taze Iron Man.

8:13pm. Shepard Book! It’s a Whedon reuninon!

8:15pm. There’s a secret about how Agent Coulson came back to life after The Avengers! How Joss? How? WHAT IS THE SECRET, DARN YOU

We now pause for a commercial break.

8:18pm. Skye. Who is she? And how did Agent Ward score almost as high as Black Widow on his combat scores? Nobody puts Black Widow in a box.

8:20pm. “This where they actually make the red tape.” Ha! Did I mention how much I missed you Joss?

8:21pm. Big-ass S.H.I.E.L.D plane. Not enough awww in Awesome.

8:22pm. Tech geeks. Every show like this has to have someone to invent technology that is impossible to invent and talk about it in a way that it is impossible to understand.

8:23pm. “Don’t touch Lola.” Just don’t.

8:25pm. The Rising Tide is apparently a girl in a beat up van.

8:30pm. I don’t J. August Richards character is Luke Cage. Dang it. That would have been more awesome than the really big, cool plane.

8:33pm. to 8:37pm. Interrogation and then cool flying gadgets.

8:38pm. Truth serum. Very fast acting truth serum. Very funny.

8:39pm. J. August Richards is definitely not Luke Cage. That would have been so cool. Maybe there’ll be a movie.

8:40pm. So the woman J. August Richards saved at the beginning of the show is bad. She’s been giving him something to make him look like Luke Cage, Power Man. I hate her for getting my hopes up.

8:41pm. Those pesky aliens and their technology

8:42pm. Extremis. From Iron Man Three. Agent Coulson figured it out because he’s level seven. Also because he’s a badass. The entire Marvel Universe in a one-hour weekly show. I might literally pass out.

8:44pm. Don’t tell Agent Coulson “It can’t be done!” He might taze you. Or throw a sack of flour at your head.

8:46pm. Obligatory people flying everywhere at Union Station. Not flying like Iron man. Flying through the air because the guy who is not Power Man is throwing them around.

You can get your very own S.H.I.E.L.D. T-shirt!
You can get your very own S.H.I.E.L.D. T-shirt!

8:48pm. Agent Mei is not just in charge of red tape. She’s a secret agent red-tape making ninja.

8:52pm. Agent Coulson explains everything and recruits the Rising Tide hacker to be the plucky outsider.

8: 58pm. Her name is LOLA! She was a showgirl!

8:59pm I’M TOTALLY SOLD!

It’s Banned Books Week! You Can Help! By Banning Mine!

With apologies to Sir-Mix-A-Lot ‘I like Banned Books and I cannot lie.’ This week is Banned Books week. And as I do every year, I’m here to give you my annual take on censorship, banning books, and to also ask you why, why, why none of you people will ban one of my books. What’s up with that? I know that sounds like a contradiction. Let me explain.

There is no time. Let me sum up.

I believe in freedom of speech. I would gladly die for that freedom. Freedom of speech is a hard concept for people to comprehend. Even those who live in this country and enjoy its benefits. It means exactly that: speak freely. Unless what you are saying directly endangers someone’s life (the “yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater” example we all learned in civics class) you have the freedom to speak out on any issue.BBWLogo

But for freedom of speech to work it has to be truly free. Where we run into problems in this country is that some don’t understand this freedom applies to everyone. Every. One. And that means bigots, racists, homophobes, and fans of One Direction. They get to spew whatever crap comes out of their mouth without fear of being hauled off to prison or being muzzled or stifled.

The great flip side is that freedom is a wonderful concept that works both ways. Because I have the freedom to call those people morons. And even better, I have the right, one that I exercise with more and more frequency, to ignore them. But I don’t advocate censoring them. In fact, I don’t want any person, government or agency censoring anyone.

Why?

Because I don’t want anyone censoring me.

That’s how it works. For there to be true freedom it must mean freedom for all. Even the stupid and idiotic. The flat earthers. The religious zealots. Even the people who seek to ban and remove books from libraries and schools. Whether you or I agree with them or not. Everyone has the right to be heard, and to express their concerns. It must be this way.

Unfortunately, we live in a media driven world of shouting. If you watch the ‘news’ you’ll see everyone yelling at every one else. Right vs. Left. Red vs. Blue. Each side thinking the only solution is to silence the other. But it doesn’t work this way. Our freedom of speech has given us big giant blowhards like Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher. But you have the freedom to do what I do. Ignore them both. I have the right to wish that all the shouters would just go somewhere else and shut their cake holes.

It doesn’t mean I don’t participate in our democracy. It doesn’t mean I don’t have convictions or values. It doesn’t mean I don’t stand up and speak out and let my voice be heard on important issues. But I wish we lived in a more polite society. I choose not to shout my beliefs from the mountaintop.

In college, I took a Political Science course on the U.S. Constitution and learned about ‘expressed and implied’ rights. Expressed rights are those written down as law. Implied rights are those our courts say the law grants us, even if they are not written down. In my opinion, the most important right in the Constitution is one that is implied. It is the right to be left alone. To not be bothered. To proceed through life without being hassled by anyone. And that includes the right to read whatever books you would like.

So my advice is this. Stand up against censorship. Disagree vigorously with those who would ban and censor books, but do it respectfully and politely. If you are a parent, you should have control over what books your children have access too. You should have control over everything your child has access too. That’s a parent’s job. No argument from me.

But you should not have control over the books other parents choose to allow their children to read and enjoy. If you’re uncomfortable with a book, worried about the age appropriateness or whatever, then tell your child you don’t think they’re ready for it. You’ll let them read it when they’re older. But please don’t try to prohibit others from reading it. Maybe their child is at a different level emotionally or intellectually than yours.

The irony in all of this is that those who chose to ban books often achieve the opposite result. Much like ‘shouting’ about other issues, we only bring attention to the ignorant and profane. When someone spouts racial epithets or bigoted statements, try letting them drown in the silence of their own ignorance. Giving them attention only strengthens their voice. Who will these people speak to if no one is listening? You do not solve disagreements by shouting louder.

You change the Keeper-of-the-Grailworld by winning hearts and minds. By actions and words. By careful, conscientious, well-reasoned, fact based and thoughtful arguments.

Banned Books provide us with a perfect example of this phenomenon. When a booked is banned or challenged, it becomes an irresistible forbidden fruit. It’s sales usually rise. People want to see what all the fuss is about. As Mark Twain once said in a ‘thank you’ letter to a library that had removed one of his books from its shelves (and I’m paraphrasing) “One banned book insures the sale of one hundred of it’s mates.”

Which brings me to my books. Please ignore everything I just said and ban them. My books are dangerous. Subversive. Some of them have swear words. And those are the children’s books. (Okay, technically, ‘arse’ is not a swear word but it’s right there in The Youngest Templar). Heck, in Killer Species, one of the characters almost uses the word ‘crap’ in a sentence. He only gets to killer_speciesthe ‘cr…’ part, but still. If I were you, I would go to the local bookstore and buy every single copy of one of my books and burn them. Seriously. All of them.

Just let me know where. I’ll bring hotdogs.

 

Your Authorness

 

Friday The 13th and The Knights Templar

Today is Friday the 13th. Not only that it’s also 2013. Numerologists everywhere are passing out from the tension. Many people of the superstitious sort consider Friday the 13th to be unlucky. There are people who wear good luck charms all day and some who go so far as to refuse to leave home, lest something unlucky happen to them.

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But many don’t know that one legend of the origin of Friday the 13th as unlucky comes from the persecution of the Knights   Templar in the 14th Century. On Friday, October 13th, 1307, King Philip IV of France, in league with Pope Clement V ordered  all Templars to be rounded up and thrown in prison. The Knights were accused of numerous crimes including heresy and treason. For two hundred years the Knights Templar had been the most dominant force in Christendom, but after their defeat at the Siege of Acre and the loss of the Holy Land, their influence began to wane.

Yet they still held enormous power and great amounts of wealth. Pope Clement sought to merge the Knights Templar with the Knights Hospitaller another powerful order at the time. Neither group found such a merger ideal. And despite the loss of the Holy Land, the Templars were still a part of of everyday life in the Middle Ages. Their houses, churches and farms dotted the countryside throughout Europe. It provided employment for thousands of people. They started an international banking system that allowed nobles to deposit funds and valuables for safekeeping. And in what ultimately led to their downfall, they occasionally helped finance wars.

Philip IV borrowed enormous sums of money to finance a war with England. A poor king and an even worse military commander, Philip was easily defeated. He saw a way of both currying favor with the Pope and eliminating his huge debt. On that fateful day of Friday, October 13, 1307 he ordered all Templars arrested and their property seized. The Grandmaster of the order, Jacques DeMolay was thrown in prison along with several other high-ranking members of the order.

Their ‘trial’ was a farce. The Templars were charged with heresy, worshiping false idols and other crimes against the church. Many of them were tortured until they ‘confessed’ to their crimes. Refusing to capitulate, Jacques DeMolay would not confess and Philip ordered him burned at the stake. In 2007 the Vatican issued a proclamation declaring the Templars innocent of their alleged crimes.

The Knights Templar, which had dominated medieval life for two centuries, was no more. Unfortunately for Philip, the Templars had learned of his planned treachery before hand. Many of them escaped and their vast stores of treasure were hidden from the King’s soldiers.51prCMicvML

Another legend that has also persisted is that Jacques DeMolay, the last Grandmaster of the Order, cursed both Philip IV and Pope Clement V, as he died. Whether or not you believe in curses, both Philip and Clement died within months of DeMolay’s death.

My Youngest Templar trilogy, Keeper of the GrailTrail of Fate and Orphan of Destiny is set in the world of the Knights Templar. With legends and myths surrounding both their origin and their demise, they make irresistible fodder for a novelist. The Youngest Templar trilogy follows the story of Tristan, an orphan who becomes the squire to Sir Thomas Leux a Templar Knight, as he travels from England to the Holy Land and must undertake a secret and deadly mission.

Friday the 13th. Sounds like a good day to start reading!

 

 

 

Your authorness,
Michael P. Spradlin

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Follow me on twitter @MSpradlinAuthor

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Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters and Killer Species Free Book Giveaway!

Dear Readers,

Big news for Killer Species: Menace From The Deep!

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Are you heading out see Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters at the movie theater this weekend? If you are planning to see it at Showcase Cinemas and you’re a member of the Showcase Cinema Popcorn Club, then you could win a free copy of Killer Species: Menace From the Deep!  Showcase Cinemas will be giving away books at all of their locations while supplies last. Quantities may vary at each location but 2500 copies total will be given away this weekend! Don’t miss out!

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Visit the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Website!225px-PercySeamonsters

Like Killer Species on Facebook!

Follow me on twitter!

Like my author page on Facebook!

Follow me on Google+

And don’t forget to reserve your copy of Book 2 in the KILLER SPECIES series KILLER SPECIES: Feeding Frenzy!

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We’ll see you at the movies!

 

Your authorness!