Amazon icon Audible icon Autographed icon Book Bub icon Booksprout icon Email icon Facebook icon Goodreads icon Instagram icon Patreon icon Periscope icon Pinterest icon RSS icon Search icon Snapchat icon TikTok icon Tumblr icon Twitter icon Vine icon Youtube icon

Author: Michael

My New Novel Blood Riders And Banned Books Week. It’s A Perfect Storm…

Hail Readers,

Let me be clear. I’m against censorship. I’m against banning books. In any form. But I also support free speech and that means, yes Freedom of Speech for morons. As long as what you say or express does not endanger public health or safety. Feel free to make an idiot of yourself. Don’t expect me to watch or approve, but knock yourself out.

So that means while I don’t like censorship or banning books, people have the right to speak up and try to get books banned. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Even morons. Sensing a theme? For as long as books have existed people have tried to get them banned. And mostly failed. Because of this we have a very rich book culture. And in fact, it could be argued its kind of a good thing as Mark Twain did so famously that ‘banning a single book ensures the sale of 100 of its mates.’ I’m paraphrasing but that’s pretty close. So if you’re going to ban books, and again, bad, but if you are…

Sometimes life just works out. Starting October 1st it’s Banned Books Week. My new novel Blood Riders just went on sale this past Tuesday. Do you see where I’m going with this? New book. Just out. Right in time for Banned Books Week.

I’m asking someone out there, just one of you, no wait, 10,000 of you, to raise a ruckus. Call your library and demand Blood Riders be removed from the shelf. March in protest at your local bookstore until they refuse to sell copies. Get in touch with your local media and demand Blood Riders be cast out of your town, heck tell them all my books should be banned and I should go into hiding. Blood Riders is a paranormal. That’s right, I said a paranormal. Vampires. Guns. Violence. Horses. Trains. I don’t even know where to begin on how much this novel is corrupting American values. If it should fall into the wrong hands? Chaos.

So please do what you can. First order a copy of Blood Riders from your favorite bookseller. Then read it. Become so outraged that you go back to your bookstore, buy all the remaining copies and give them to all of your friends. Have your friends read Blood Riders. When they also become outraged, begin a campaign to get the book banned. Write to your Congressman. Email your Mayor. If someone asks why you want to ban Blood Riders don’t say anything. Instead buy them a copy and ask them to read it then join your banning campaign.

To sum up:

1. Visit your local bookseller and buy all their copies.

2. Give them to your friends and have a group reading.

3. Start a ‘Ban Blood Riders’ movement in your community.

4. Call your media, elected leaders and make a “Ban Blood Riders” Facebook page.

Together we can do this!

Thank you,
Your Authorness,

Michael P. Spradlin

P.S. While you are in stores buying all the copies of Blood Riders to keep them from corrupting America, you might as well buy all the copies of The Monster Alphabet, my new picture book. After all. It has monsters. We can’t have that.




Author Suzanne Enoch And I Discuss Our New Novels And More Importantly Which Is Better Star Wars or Star Trek (and it’s totally Star Trek)

Greetings Readers!

It’s just a week from today that my first novel for adults Blood Riders goes on sale! How time flies. And speaking of time flying, you’re running out of it if you want to pre-order a copy and get free-shipping to get the book on it’s release day. In a fun twist of fate, my friend and fellow New York Times Best-selling author Suzanne Enoch has a new novel going on sale the same day! It’s called Rules To Catch A Devilish Duke. So Suzanne and I decided to interview each other about our   new books, and most important which is ‘better’ Star Wars or Star Trek? (Totally Star Trek!)

Michael P. Spradlin: Suzanne, your new book Rules To Catch A Devilish Duke which is on sale, September 25, 2012 has two things in it that women love: Rules and Devilish Dukes. It is also on sale the very same day, (September 25, 2012) as my first novel for adults, Blood Riders. But that’s not what I really want to talk about. The most important question our readers will have, of course, is our positions on which is better: Star Trek or Star Wars? Without hesitation you would answer Star Trek, right?!)

Suzanne Enoch: Hah. I’ll ignore the “rules” comment in favor of the larger affront. Star Trek has some nice bald guys (or guys pretending not to be bald), but come on. A galaxy far, far away, Han Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Force, Princess Leia and her metal bikini (that’s for you, Michael), light sabers, giant ship-eating worms… Need I go on?

Michael P. Spradlin: Well, yeah…Seriously? I’ll give you the Han Solo thing, but I have two words. Jar Jar Binks. Or is that three words? Is it Jar Jar or JarJar? On second thought who cares? The Shat. Leonard Nimoy. Patrick Stewart. Avery Brooks. Klingons, Borg, Romulans v. Darth Vader the walking Iron Lung? You can’t really like Star Wars better can you? I mean…I thought I knew you.

Suzanne Enoch: Okay, I honestly cannot defend Jar Jar. Or the Ewok’s. But hey, you’ve got Wesley Crusher. And “Spock’s Brain”. And Vulcan’s who can only have sex every seven years. I’ll admit that the Borg are pretty cool, but Star Wars has Darth Maul with a double-bladed light saber. And do you really think the Enterprise (any of them) could make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs? Do you?

Michael P. Spradlin: Sigh. I don’t even know what a parsec is. I think it’s something else George Lucas made up. Like the rest of his extraordinarily  bad dialogue. Whatever. So give us a brief take on Rules To Catch A Devilish Duke? I’m assuming from the title there is a devilish Duke and he…

Suzanne Enoch: Cripes. The Duke of Greaves has to marry within the next six weeks. But his big find-a-bride Christmas   party gets off to a bad start when the only bridge to his estate collapses. His only guest – once he retrieves her from the river – is Sophia White, illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Hennessy and faro dealer at the notorious Tantalus Club. A scandalous female unhappily betrothed to a vicar who wants to save her soul. The exact one woman Greaves can never marry. Or can he?

Suzanne Enoch: So give my readers the skinny on Blood Riders.

Michael P. Spradlin: Blood Riders takes place in the early 1880’s in the American West. A former Captain in the US  Cavalry, Jonas Hollister is locked up in Leavenworth for claiming his platoon was wiped out by ‘blood drinking demons’. One day famed detective Allan Pinkerton shows up with an offer. These demons are real. They are hunting and killing again and if he will lead an effort to hunt them down and kill them he will be pardoned and his name and honor restored.

He teams up with a fellow inmate named Chee, a woman with a mysterious agenda, a dog of indeterminate origins and a MacGyver-esque engineer named Monkey Pete. Pinkerton gives him a specially outfitted train and he travels the West looking for these creatures. I’m calling it ‘Hell On Wheels’ meets ‘The Brothers Grimm.’

To order your copy of Suzanne Enoch’s Rules To Catch A Devilish Duke, click here.

To order your copy of Blood Riders, click here.

And for those of you on Facebook, you can read a special Blood Riders Short story, Blood Riders: Origins & Doubts click here to start reading.



The Legacy Of A Small Town Doctor…

The comedian Louis CK has a hilarious routine about how we live in an amazing time with incredible technology and no one is happy. He talks about how we have phones that we carry in our pocket we can pull out and call China, but we complain when the reception is bad or a text message doesn’t show up for three hours after it was sent. It’s funny and thought provoking and for those of us, who grew up in a simpler time, makes you feel a little nostalgic for a rotary phone. For those of you who have no idea of what a rotary phone is…well Google it. 

But the great thing about technology is how it can connect us. Yes sometimes we can be too connected. But other times it gives you a sense of sheer wonder at how easy it is now to communicate with one another. And to find and reconnect with people from your past.

Many of you who have listened to me speak at your school, library or conference have heard me talk about growing up in the small town of Homer, Michigan. It was and is a rural, mostly agricultural village of about 1500 people. When I was living there most of those 1500 people were relatives of some sort. Cousins four times removed and that sort of thing. I’m sure time and age have given me some rose-colored glasses when I look back on my hometown, but growing up, it seemed like the best place in the world. We had lakes and rivers and woods. There was the greatest pizza place in the universe ‘downtown’ (which is two blocks with one stoplight in the middle. Traffic could be a problem on Friday nights). It’s changed a lot since I lived there. But growing up as a kid it seemed like it had everything you needed. Gehrig’s Dime Store. The Dew Drop Inn Restaurant. Cascarelli’s Pizza. Leedle’s Hardware. Two grocery stores, two drug stores, the barbershop and so on. In those days, you just ‘went to town’ for whatever you needed.

And one of the things we had of course was the town physician, Doctor Long. I recently reconnected with a couple of his sons through Facebook. We were friends in High School and in Boy Scouts together, and I remember them both as bright, funny guys, always cracking wise and having a good time. That’s probably more a reflection on their parents than anything, but that’s not really the story. And I also learned from them that their dad ‘Doc’ Long is ill. He’s retired and in his 80’s and fighting the good fight, but he’s very sick. To me, this just can’t be. He can’t be that old and he can’t be sick. He’s Doctor Long! But as we are constantly reminded, it’s called the ‘Circle Of Life’ for a reason.

I’m sure there are Chilean Miners or Commercial Fisherman who will take issue with me, but I have to believe that being a small town doctor has got to be one of the hardest jobs in the world. The hours are long, there’s no one to ‘cover for you’. The time away from family, and all the demands of patients must take an incredible toll. But in public you would never know Doctor Long as anyone but a man who thought he had the best job in the world. He made house calls! He took produce from farmers who couldn’t pay their bills and unless I’m wrong, (and I’m never wrong ;)) most of that produce probably made its way to a local needy family or two. He stitched me up more times than I can count. (I’m sure the salesman who supplied his office with sutures has a wing of his home named after me. Then again probably not, because Dr. Long would never violate Doctor/patient confidentiality and tell the guy whom it was going through all those sutures.)

I remember one of the best pieces of advice he ever gave me was. “Next time, remember there is a big difference between real parachutes and bed sheets.” I had just seen a movie on TV about the Invasion of Normandy and I thought it was cool how the 101st Airborne had parachuted behind enemy lines. The next day, wanting to play ‘Invasion of Normandy’ (we actually played outdoors and used our imagination back then) I realized I didn’t have a parachute, but a bed sheet would ‘probably’ work when I ‘parachuted’ off the garage. Six stitches to the knee later, I found out how wrong I was.

One year our Boy Scout Troop had a “Polar Bear” winter campout in February. It happened to take place during a really bad cold spell. Sub zero temperatures. I would have probably welcomed being eaten by a real polar bear because at least I would be warmer. We were freezing, but determined to tough it out. As darkness descended Dr. Long and the man who owned the local funeral parlor, who both had sons in the troop, appeared at the campsite. Dr. Long saw signs of frostbite developing on some of us and said it was time for everyone to go home. Leave the tents and just get home. So we did. We had to come back the next day and take the equipment down. Everything was frozen together. Did I mention it was cold? Years later when I discovered the meaning of ‘irony’ I always laughed that it was the Doctor AND the Undertaker who came to get us.

A few years after I graduated college, my wife and I were renovating a townhouse. Tearing up some old carpet, I scratched my finger on a rusty nail. I knew tetanus shots were good for 8-10 years and I seemed to remember getting one at Dr. Long’s office before I left for college. So to double check, I called the office. They answered, put me on hold and came back about two minutes later, and told me the date. It was six years earlier during my freshman year of college. I was okay. Can you imagine such a thing today? I hadn’t been into the office in years, but they STILL had my records. Today it would take a written request and a $15 fee and maybe you’d get the info in six weeks. One. Phone call.

When my father was first diagnosed with cancer, Dr. Long immediately sent him to the best oncologist in the area. But every appointment, every physical and every single time I ever saw him around town, without fail his first question was “How is your Dad holding up?” He never stopped caring. When my dad’s cancer recurred several years later Dr. Long had finally, deservedly, retired and turned his practice over to another fine, caring doctor who helped us through my father’s final days with great compassion. I wonder whom he learned that from?

But that was who he was. A great doctor and an even better man. The embodiment of the Hippocratic oath. He
doctored a town, raised fine sons and also somehow managed to make it through the day with a wife who suffered from a debilitating illness. I don’t know how he did it. He put everyone else first. It’s sad to think of him sick now, but his son tells me he seems at peace. My guess is if he had the chance he’d tell all of us who are thinking about him to be at peace as well.

I think the point of me telling you all about someone most of you don’t even know or have never met is this: life is short. That’s nothing new. But so many of us wait until it’s too late to say thank you to the people who play either a large or small but important role in our lives. Don’t do that. Pick up the phone. Write a letter. Heck, send an email. Send a text message even it if it does get there three hours later. Tell the people who cared about you how much they meant to you. Somewhere on your life path, a person extended you a kindness. It’s never to late to thank them. This is my chance to say thanks.

So thank you Dr. Long. For the advice, the stitches the compassion and even for the booster shots which, I have to be honest, I wasn’t too crazy about. For figuring out it was the new carpet in our house that was making me swell up like the Elephant Man. For comforting everyone when they needed it most. You undoubtedly could have been a doctor wherever you wanted but you chose Homer, Michigan.

Or maybe, if you believe in things like, fate, destiny, karma, faith or whatever you prefer to call it—maybe Homer, Michigan chose you.

Because we needed you.

Peace be with you Dr. Long.


Read Up! Five Superhero Comics To Get Your Reluctant Reader Hooked…

Hail Readers,

As the Avengers sets new box office records everyday and SpiderMan and Batman are about to sling their way into a cineplex near you, I’ve been getting emails and queries from educators about comic books. Frequent readers of this blog know of my love for the comic book in all it’s forms. Teachers, librarians and parents who might have heard me speak at their schools also know I’m a big advocate of using comics as a gateway to reading. After all, I know how successfully it worked for me. Comics helped instill in me a love of storytelling, action, and as a writer, they are an excellent training ground for writers. 

And the great thing is, since most kids want to be in on what’s ‘cool’ what is cooler right now than Comic Book Movies? Thinking…thinking…or that’s right…nothing! Hulk Smash! So here is an opportunity for us as parents and educators to encourage kids to read comics, good comics, because after all reading is reading. I’m willing to bet if you take your kid to the comic shop and indulge their passion for SpiderMan and Captain America, before long you’ll be taking them to the library and the bookstore. So think about it. There’s a lot to learn and more importantly, and let’s not forget this please, ENJOY when it comes to reading a comic.

So without further ado…here is a short ‘Summer Reading list of Comics you should check out and get your youngster interested.

1) BATMAN: YEAR ONE. This is comics genius Frank Miller’s retelling of the first year of Batman’s appearance in Gotham City. It is often referred to as “The Canon” and is the source material used by Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan for the films. It gives those making an entree into the world of the Dark Knight his origin story as well as his ‘first contact’ with many of the villains of the Batverse such as Joker, Penguin and the Riddler. There are great questions you can ask your student/reader. What does it mean to be a vigilante? Is vengeance ever justified? Why do people sometimes fear those who seek to save them?

2) IRON MAN–Extremis. Another comics writing genius, Warren Ellis discusses the role of technology and humanity. At what point does advanced technology chip away at our souls? Just because we can make or create a marvelous invention are we obligated to use it? On top of those questions you might ask your young reader, if you could design a new set of armor for Iron Man what would it look like? How would you insure such technology could not be used for evil purposes? 

3) SUPERMAN–Birthright. You cannot have a comics discussion without including the Man Of Steel. And in my view this is the best Superman comic in the last ten years. Ask your reader what makes Superman reluctant to use his gifts? When we have special abilities are we obligated to use them for the benefit of man kind? What about just ‘fitting in?’ All of these themes are beautifully explored in this book.

4) THOR Vol 1. A great introduction to the demi-god from Asgard. While this particular story takes place after Marvel’s huge ‘Civil War’ event of a few years ago, it still stands alone. Here is a good introduction to the major figures of Norse Mythology. Ask your reader how the gods of Asgard compare with those of Rick Riordan’s Olympians. Written by J. Michael Strazynski, this is an awesome story by, in my opinion one of the best writers working in comics today.

5) THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN Vol 1. Another ‘re-boot’ of SpiderMan and a good book to read before seeing the movie. Also written by Strazynski it explores the burden that comes with great power. And it shows why the character of Peter Parker/SpiderMan has been so popular with generations of teenagers. He’s awkward with girls, struggles to balance a social life with the demands of his ‘other job’ and has to deal with bullies. But it also shows that Peter Parker is the hero more often than the Amazing SpiderMan. Strength comes from inside our hearts. Not from the bite of a radioactive spider.

That’s a short list and I’m happy to recommend more if you want to drop me a line through the website! 

Happy Reading,

Michael P. Spradlin








What’s your I,Q?

Hail Readers!

Here at team Spradlin we are constantly working to bring you the best most fascinating books possible. Using the latest technology we look a variety of metrics, meta-data, verticals and other such buzzwords (and we have no idea what they mean) to bring you exciting stories, complex characters and books that will hopefully leave you wanting more. One of the most frequent questions I’m asked by readers is “What are you writing now?”

The answer to that question can vary. For example right this moment I just wrote the words ‘right this moment.’ Now I am writing different words. But I know that I just tricked you and what most of you want to know what BOOKS am I writing next. And the answer to that question is: it depends. Now that I’ve sucked you into this blog with vague and annoying answers to questions I’ve posed myself, I’m ready to tell you about my next project. Right after I tell this story. (Seriously, I’m getting to it. Relax.)

One of the great things about being a writer is getting to meet other writers. Almost nine years ago, I was invited to a Children’s Literature Festival at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri. It was after my first book The Legend of Blue Jacket had been published (which School Library Journal called “a well-researched labor of love, beautifully and accurately illustrated, just sayin’…) and it was my initial introduction to conferences and lit festivals. And at this conference, I happened to meet Roland and Marie Smith. Mainly, I got to meet them a lot because at this conference we stayed in a dorm/conference center and I kept locking them out of our shared bathroom. So embarrassing.

Anyhoo, Roland and Marie and many other authors and illustrators I met there have become great friends. And as you write more books, you go to more conferences and see your friends throughout the year, and talk about books and writing. And at a conference last year Roland and I were talking and he mentioned his very popular I,Q series. He was working on book 3 . And he really wanted to do more books but like many of us, he had a lot of other projects in the works and wasn’t sure he could devote more time to it past Book 3. Then he looked at me and said “Hey! Why don’t you write the next three books? We’ll work out an outline and story arc and then you can pick up the characters and story in Book 4 and continue on with them! It’ll be awesome!” So I did what any writer would do. I looked at Roland and said: “‘kay.” Then he got in touch with the publisher and they said “‘kay.” And it was done.

This story does not have a beginning or an end without Roland Smith, a kind an generous man. So we will be teaming up. I get to be the Robin to his Batman. The Hutch to his Starsky. The ah…er…co-writer of the next three I,Q books! It’s like being asked to take the Ferrari for a spin. You just try to hold on through the curves and hope you don’t crash it.

My recommendation to you is to go out and pick up the first book I,Q: Independence Hall and dive right in. (To the book. Not Independence Hall. They tend to frown on that.) I,Q tells the story of Qwest and his step-sister Angela. Their parents are famous musicians, recently married, who take off on a cross-country tour. Along the way, Qwest learns that Angela’s mother was a Secret Service Agent who died in the line of duty. But everything is not as it seems, and when a mysterious terrorist organization called The Ghost Cell surfaces, Angela learns a terrible secret. And she and Qwest, along with the mysterious roadie ‘Boone’ are drawn into a web of intrigue that follows them where ever they go. Like all of Roland’s books, I,Q is full of action, suspense, fantastic characters and  intrigue. You’re going to love them. The second book is I,Q: The White House and this October comes I,Q: Kitty Hawk.

And I’m just going to try to make sure I don’t crash the Ferrari.

Your authorness

Michael P. Spradlin

Visit the I,Q website!

Going To See The Hunger Games Movie? What’s Your Opinion?

I’m not going to see The Hunger Games movie. I haven’t read the books. Probably never will. I have no beef with them, I think it’s a great thing that a book has excited so many readers of all ages and a movie made from that book is selling out theaters and the media is giving books and reading this much coverage. This is never a bad thing. And as an author, I firmly believe that any book that becomes a phenomenon and drives people into to bookstores and gets people, especially young readers, excited and jazzed about reading is great for both readers and writers.

But the thing about reading is, it’s a personal choice. And I know the subject matter of The Hunger Games would be difficult for me to deal with. Reading is an intense emotional experience for me. And I’m certain the idea of children being forced to fight to the death for food, no matter the reasons or circumstances, would bother me. Again. I don’t have a problem with Suzanne Collins writing about it, people reading it or watching it on the screen. I want to be clear. It just not for me. I know a lot of authors, but I’ve never met Suzanne Collins. But from reading about her she seems like an imminently likable, nice person and and an obviously talented writer. I congratulate her on her success. But I won’t be reading her books. At least not The Hunger Games.

I realize it sounds like a contradiction for me to say, as someone who has written about the Third Crusade in my Youngest Templar series, a particularly violent period of human history, that I don’t want to read a book like this. My characters face battles and death and all things the people of that era faced. But I also try to show them avoiding violence whenever possible. Resorting to violence only when it’s necessary to defend themselves or someone else. I also try to show that violence has consequences. It changes a person.

And I understand the concept behind The Hunger Games of a young girl doing what she feels she must to save herself and her family. But as a father, upon reading the books or seeing the movies, and cursed with a vivid imagination, I know I would imagine my own children in a similar predicament and it would upset me. I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. I tend to do this all the time. I love reading Dennis Lehane for example, but I have never read his book Gone Baby, Gone because it deals with a kidnapped young girl. I know I would instantly imagine my own daughter in that situation and become emotionally distraught by it. I can’t watch movies or TV shows or read books where children face this kind of danger. Like I said, it’s a personal thing. Maybe it is a naive viewpoint, heck it probably is. But its how I feel. Maybe I’m just a big ole wuss.

But I will watch the success of The Hunger Games with a smile. I rejoice in the fact that we live in a place where books like The Hunger Games are published. Where books that inspire, teach, entertain, speak to and sometimes even anger people, are readily available. And I’ll especially rejoice that we live in a place where we are free to make our own choices.

So if you’re going to the movie this weekend, I hope you enjoy the experience. If you are a parent taking your child to see it, I congratulate you for allowing books like The Hunger Games to be read in your home. I hope you’ll discuss it with each other, reveling in the parts that spoke to you. And when the movie is over, I sincerely hope you’ll stop by the bookstore or library on your way home and pick out something else to read.

I would love to know your point of view. Are you going to the movie? Have you read the books? Love them? Not love them? If not why not? Tell me what you think. No spoilers please for those who may not have read the books or seen the movie.

Your authorness,

Michael P. Spradlin



The Year 2012: A Look Back

Greetings Readers…

It’s hard to believe we are almost a month and a half into the year 2012. The last year of human existence if you believe the Mayans. Personally, I think they just ran out of space on the rock.

I see it sort of like this. Two Mayans carving the calendar into a rock…

Carver 1: “2010…2011…2012…uh, dude we’re out of space. Bigger rock?”
Carver 2: “No. I’m good.”

So just in case, and because this blog is mostly about me, I’m giving myself a reverse promotional calendar! Luckily all my new books this year will be out before the world ends in December. So in reverse order, here is what readers have to ‘luck’ forward too in 2012.

The way the publication has aligned for Blood Riders my first adult novel almost makes me believe in stuff like the Mayan calendar. Blood Riders will go on sale on September 25, 2012 which also happens to be my 30th wedding anniversary. It’s a fitting day for my venture into the world of writing for grownups for there is no one who has helped me become a better adult than my loving, lovely and gracious wife of thirty years. What can I say? I married up. And I’m the luckiest man in the world.

Blood Riders is what we call in the writing game a ‘mash-up.’ It takes several genre conventions and mixes them together for what I hope will be a fast-paced, action packed thrill ride. It starts on the plains of the Eastern Wyoming Territory in the 1870’s. Captain Jonas Hollister leads a platoon of troopers on a search party for a missing group of settlers. He finds their camp, with the settlers apparently murdered by Lakota raiders. His instincts warn him that something is wrong and when he and his men enter the camp, they are set upon by the settlers who have come to life. Only they are no longer human. His men are killed, and only the rising sun saves Hollister from death.The Wild, Wild West TV Show from the 1960's.

Of course the army doesn’t believe his wild tales of strange creatures. He is court-martialed and cashiered from the Army and thrown into Leavenworth prison. There he spends his days digging wells, until one day the famous detective Allan Pinkerton shows up with an offer for Hollister. These creatures have been killing again. There is a survivor and this time, as the son of a famous politician, he is believed. Pinkerton offers Hollister a chance at redemption. Find these creatures kill them. And you’ll be pardoned.

Hollister knows what he is up against. He has seen what these creatures can do. With a few conditions, Hollister sets off with Pinkerton and another inmate from Leavenworth, a young man named Chee. With the help of Pinkerton and some of his associates Dr. Abraham van Helsing and Oliver Winchester among others. In a specially outfitted train he follows the trail until it leads him to these creatures who have grown in strength and numbers. And he and Chee encounter a mysterious woman named Shaniah who is also tracking the creatures for her own reasons.

As I said, there is action, adventure, steam-punk, the supernatural and as with all of my books, lots of stuff blows up.
You can read more about the book on my Coming Soon page. And it’s now available for pre-order at all of your favorite booksellers. Think of it as The Wild, Wild West meets The X-Files.

August 17th is the publication date for The Monster Alphabet my newest picture book for young readers. With the most delightful illustrations by artist Jeff Weigel, readers can follow Morgan Marvin Marshall the world’s best monster hunter as he travels the world looking to find a monster for every letter of the alphabet. In full color and priced at only $7.99 you won’t want to miss this one. It’s also available for pre-order and you can see more of the illustrations on my Coming Soon page.

This summer (date to come) will see the publication of my very first short story Running With Geronimo in Boy’s Life Magazine. It’s a thrill for me to be published in Boy’s Life, which has published authors like Jack London, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke. It’s a thrill and an honor to be published there.

So there you have it! The entire year in reverse chronological order. While you look for these books, I’ll be busy storing up on canned goods and bottled water. You know. Just in case the Mayans are right. So I hope you’ll stock up on these books and get copies for your and your friends. I mean if the apocalypse actually happens, you’re going to need something to read!

Your authorness

Michael P. Spradlin


12 Great Holiday Gift Ideas To Ease Your Stress! Rest Easy. I Am Here To Help.

It’s almost upon us, the–depending on your point of view–holiday gift season. You are running around the mall, scanning the stores, burning up your mouse trolling websites looking for the ‘just right’ gift for you mom or dad or uncle, brother or sister and children.

Rest easy. I am here to help.

Here are 12 selections that should cover just about anyone on you shopping list.

1) Do you have a friend or relative who is a big fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Or just likes pirates in general. Then you should have a copy of Pirate Haiku: Bilge Sucking Poems of Booty Grog and Wenches for Scurvy Sea Dogs. The book is full of hearty chuckles as it tells the life story of the fearless, but slightly incompetent scourge of the Seven Seas Captain One Leg Sterling. It is sure to bring a smile to the face of your pirate loving kin. In fact you can complete the ensemble with our Pirate themed “Got Rum?” t-shirt for your favorite scallywag. Sure to please!

Pirate Haiku: Bilge-sucking Poems of Booty, Grog, and Wenches for Scurvy Sea DogsGot Rum? T-Shirt

2) Those of you who regularly read my blog know that I’m a big advocate of using comic books to encourage kids to read. And you also may have read or heard about DC Comics and their decision to re-launch their entire universe of characters with new books.

That’s right. Starting over from scratch. None of the superheroes have met each other. They’ve collected all 52 of the 1st Issues of each new comic in a gorgeous hardcover book. You have to admit, even if you disagree with the premise, it’s a way cool gift and it’s a great way to get your kid hooked on comics and by extension hooked on reading.

DC Comics The New 52

3) Tired of signing the same old Christmas Carols around the tree this year? Don’t blame you. Jazz things up with It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Zombies: A Book of Zombie Christmas Carols. Christmas will never be the same. And while you’re at it, you may as well pick up Every Zombie Eats Somebody Sometime: A Book of Zombie Love Songs. That way your Valentine’s Day shopping will be done as well.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies! A Book of Zombie Christmas CarolsEvery Zombie Eats Somebody Sometime: A Book of Zombie Love Songs

4) If you love the movie Zombieland then I have to recommend our t-shirt two pack ALWAYS DOUBLE TAP and NUT UP OR SHUT UP. Remember all the shirts mentioned here are available in sizes up to 5XL and come in about two-dozen different color options. But they are printed on demand, so hurry.

Always Double Tap T-ShirtNut Up or Shut Up T-Shirt

5) Here is a gift perfect for either the boy or girl middle grade reader. It’s Roland Smith’s I,Q series. And it’s a smartly written story about a boy name Q and his step-sister Angela, who get caught up in some very interesting international intrigue. Book 1 I,Q: Independence Hall is out in paperback. And book 2 I,Q: The White House is now available. You can look for book 3 in July.

I, Q: Independence Hall by Roland SmithI, Q: White House by Roland Smith

5) Speaking of smartly written books for young readers I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my Youngest Templar series. Starting with The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail then the action continues in The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate and reaches a stunning conclusion in The Youngest Templar: Orphan of Destiny. All three books are now available in paperback and make a great gift.

The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the GrailThe Youngest Templar: Trail of FateThe Youngest Templar: Orphan of Destiny

6) If you have a student or aficionado of the American Civil War on your shopping list this year. Why not try out our “CIVIL WAR BUFF” t-shirts. We have a version of Robert E. Lee and a version of Ulysses S. Grant. These shirts are only available online.

Civil War Buff (Robert E. Lee)Civil War Buff (Ulysses S. Grant)

7) If you’ve got a wee little future Albert Pujols living in your house, try a copy of the funtastic alphabet book Baseball From A to Z: A Baseball Alphabet. Learning the alphabet has never been so much fun! Batter up!

Baseball from A to Z

8 ) For grown-up readers and by that I mean adults. Adults. Not kids. Let me be clear, this is not a book for kids under the ages of 16. But my favorite holiday pick this year is When Elves Attack by Tim Dorsey. It’s non stop hilarity from page one. You’ll never look at the Christmas holidays the same way. Trust me. And it’s for adults. Did I mention that?

When Elves Attack by Tim Dorsey

9) Have you sent out your Christmas Cards yet? Me neither. But it’s not too late. And be the only one of your friends to send Zombie Christmas Cards. Really, you’ve got to try these.

Zombie Cards

10) And speaking of sending cards, you don’t have to send them by Pony Express anymore, but you could still read about the Pony in the Wrangler Award winning OFF LIKE THE WIND! The First Ride of The Pony Express with stunning paintings by Layne Johnson this is book your young Pony rider will want to read again and again.

Off Like the Wind: The First Ride of The Pony Express

11) Okay, if you’re going to break down and buy an e-reader this year. Why not pre-load it with a copy of the newest Spy Goddess novel Spy Goddess: The Spy Who Totally Had a Crush on Me? It can be found at in any format for any device. This book picks up right where Book 3 left off so don’t worry about the Manga editions. Like the ‘prequel’ to Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid it never happened. Are we clear? It never happened.

Spy Goddess: The Spy Who Totally Had a Crush on Me

12) And to round out your twelfth day of Christmas. You’ll want to pick up a copy of Jack And Jill Went Up To Kill: A Book Of Zombie Nursery Rhymes. Why? Because it’s the perfect stocking stuffer for all of you people who are watching The Walking Dead on AMC and not admitting it.

Jack and Jill Went Up to Kill: A Book of Zombie Nursery Rhymes

Have You Been Pining Away For The Third Spy Goddess Book?

Over the years, I’ve gotten hundreds of emails from Spy Goddess fans. Most of them begging me to know when the third book in the series was going to be available. For a long time I had no answer. The story went like this.

Author writes first book SPY GODDESS: LIVE AND LET SHOP. Gets great reviews. A nomination from Mystery Writers of America for Best Young Adult Mystery. Fans rejoice.

Author writes second book SPY GODDESS: TO HAWAII, WITH LOVE. More great reviews. More fan rejoicing.

Author writes third book SPY GODDESS: THE SPY WHO TOTALLY HAD A CRUSH ON ME and…the publisher says “Sorry no more Spy Goddess novels.”


We try a couple of Manga versions of Spy Goddess to see if that will work. It doesn’t. And I get angry letters from readers who ‘hate’ manga and actually ‘curse’ me for turning their beloved novels into ‘cartoons’.

So the manuscript sits there lonely on my hard drive, yearning to breathe free. Fans continue to email and send letters. Actual hand-written letters, asking me when the next book will be out. And all I can tell them is there won’t be another book.

Except now there is. While all of this time passed, these things like I-Pads and Nooks and Kindles and Kobo’s and Lions and Tigers and Bears started cropping up all over the place. And I started thinking, I bet if I could put SPY GODDESS: THE SPY WHO TOTALLY HAD A CRUSH ON ME out as an ebook, people would buy it. So will they? Time will tell. But if you’ve been waiting for more adventures of Rachel Buchanan and Mr. Kim and Blackthorn Academy this new book picks up right where SPY GODDESS: TO HAWAII, WITH LOVE left off. For all intents and purposes the Manga never happened. Never. Happened.

I’m considering this as an experiment. If it works, then more Spy Goddess books could follow. I hope you’ll pick up…err…download a copy (I’ll never get used to saying that) and let me know what you think.

And tell all your friends!

Your authorness!

Michael P. Spradlin

PS For those of you who don’t have an e-reader, fear not, follow this link and you can download a PDF that you read on a computer!

The 1st of 52 Ways To Hook Your Reluctant Reader On Comics…

Justice League #1 The New 52At first it’s a little weird. After years of reading comics we’re used to Batman and Superman and the Green Lantern knowing each other. They call each other up on their superhero phones and say ‘Dude, there’s some big bad thing threatening the world, could use a little help.’ And they all show up and they fight together and they save the world.

That’s not how it works in Justice League #1 The New 52.

As previously mentioned, DC Comics is starting over. They are taking 52 of their most popular characters and ‘rebooting them’ completely. No connections to each other. No familiarity. We’re talking going all the way back to:

“Hi, I’m Green Lantern, and you are?”
“Nice to meet you Batman.”
“Uh huh.”

Superman Action ComicsIf you have read comics for a while it takes a little getting used to. But I have to admit, at least in Justice League #1 it works. You get caught up in the story. Green Lantern arrives in Gotham City to save the world from a space alien. Batman not so politely says Gotham City is my town. GL is all “how can that be when you don’t even have superpowers? And beside Green Lantern’s are responsible for this whole sector of space” so he says to Batman “That kind of makes me the boss of you.” And Batman is all “Like that’ll happen.”

Good writing captures us and invests us in the characters, whether it’s in a novel or a comic book. And Justice League #1 is a well-written comic book. And without giving away any spoilers the best part of the book is the end, when the Green Lantern and Batman finally make peace and decide they need to head to Metropolis to check out this Superman guy. The way it’s brought to a close is fun. It could have been a cheap tactic, but they invested in the idea and made it work.

Fun. Well-written. Interesting. For $3.99 you might be able to get your reluctant reader hooked on a comic series.

I’d also recommend Green Arrow #1 and Action Comics #1, which reboots Superman’s origin story. For older kids Detective Comics #1 (Which is for older kids only because it re-launches the epic struggle between Batman and Joker but is very violent and the art is a little graphic for young readers).

I’ll admit, which DC announced this initiative I was skeptical. But so far the stories and the writing are winning me over. Forcing something on a reluctant reader almost never works. So maybe you make a quick trip to the comic shop and leave a few of them ‘lying around’. The next thing you know, they’re asking you to take them to the comic shop every Wednesday. (Wednesday’s are new comics days). Or you make a deal with your reluctant reader. Sure. You can have a Green Lantern t-shirt, or an Iron Man lunchbox, but first you’ve got to read one of the comics. Try as many different tactics as you can. Reading is just too important.

And more importantly, if you want your reluctant reader to start reading comics, they just might try it if they see you reading them. And if you haven’t read them in years and don’t know where the stories are or where the characters are at in their lives, well DC has given you a chance to jump in at a new beginning for all of their biggest names. If your reluctant reader gets hooked, there are lots more stories to come. And the next thing you know they’re reading George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones or maybe even,  The Youngest Templar: Keeper of The Grail.

I’m just sayin…

Your authorness

This blog has been brought to you by NERDTASTIC DESIGNS, the official sponsor of


Neat. Nerdy. Nerdtastic