Broken Branches – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

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Brenda M. Spalding

A highly intriguing story, Broken Branches is the first book in The Green Lady Inn series. Megan, an art gallery owner in New York, is shocked and deeply saddened by her grandmother’s unexpected death. She rushes to Salem to take care of the details, but she’s not prepared to handle the danger that faces her. Her grandmother, Corey Elizabeth Bishop, had secrets that were about to blow Megan’s mind. In the midst of uncovering the truth, the big city girl discovers love alongside family heirlooms worth far more than simply money. Just who were Megan’s ancestors and who does that make her now? Author, Brenda M. Spalding, wove together a beautiful tapestry of love, murder, mystery and secret treasure within the pages of Broken Branches.

Though the cover of Broken Branches leaves something to be desired, Brenda Spalding’s story is enthralling. Readers will feel the need to keep turning pages because they’re aren’t any obvious giveaways within Broken Branches. Spalding skillfully keeps readers wondering who is after the family treasure and how it is all connected to Halloween and Salem. She brings in a fast-paced romance -maybe a little too fast- that is an important piece of the story, but it doesn’t overshadow the mystery of “the green” within Broken Branches. Magic, history, trust, friendship and love abound in Brenda M. Spalding’s Broken Branches without causing readers to leave the lights on at night and without needing to skip past overly sensual scenes. Broken Branches is a wonderful book to curl up with, enjoy a cup of tea and follow along as Spalding takes her characters and readers on a fascinating journey.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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[Author Interview] Brenda M. Spalding | Whispers in Time

Featured Authors Talk About It

Author Interview

Brenda M. Spalding

ATAI: Tell us a little about you.

BRENDA M SPALDING: I grew up in Newton Massachusetts. After I married I traveled with my husband who was in the USAF spending most of our time in England. We settled in Florida about twelve years ago. When I started writing and trying to market my books I found a great many writers living in the Sarasota/Bradenton area who were trying to achieve the same things. In 2012 a group of us met and founded ABC Books 4 Children & Adults, Inc which is now a 501c3. Two years ago, I started playing around with my own micro publishing company. I was self-publishing my own books so why not help others do the same.…

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

BRENDA M SPALDING: I wrote my first children’s story in 2010 so I’ve been writing about seven years now. It’s a rather unique story itself. A friend had written a story with her granddaughter as the main character. I figured I could do that and the next day I wrote my first story.

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

BRENDA M SPALDING: My most recent release is Whispers in Time. It’s the second book in the Green Lady Inn series. It’s set in Salem Massachusetts and has a paranormal twist to it. Being of Irish decent I have a natural affinity for all things spooky.

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ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

BRENDA M SPALDING: I love the research involved in getting the facts right. I try to have a bit of history in all my adult novels. I also have great fun at book signings and events where I can talk to people, tell them about my books. It’s wonderful when someone comes up to you and says they bought one of your books and really liked it.…

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

BRENDA M SPALDING: Finding the time to sit and write without interruption. I have a busy household. I’d love to be able to sit and write for hours to keep my train of thought on track.

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

BRENDA M SPALDING: Most of my children’s stories are inspired by my grandson. He’s seven now. He loves nature and exploring the world around him. For my adult novels it’s just what ever take my fancy and I run with it.

ATAI: What is your writing process?

BRENDA M SPALDING: I don’t write an outline. I have an idea I want to explore and let the story lead me.

ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

BRENDA M SPALDING: My characters take on a life of their own. What they will or will not do depends on their personalities. Are they mean and cruel? Then they would kick a cat. Are they young and innocent? They would take the cat and give it a good home. As to having an agenda, it’s self-preservation for the bad guys. Falling in love and having the happy ever after is the agenda for the good guys.…

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

BRENDA M SPALDING: I like working on the Green Lady Inn series. I try to find way to bring in the paranormal and make it seem real. I like bringing in ghosts. In book one, Broken Branches, ghosts appear in the last chapter. Book two there is a ghost from book one that has taken up residence in one of the rooms. I enjoy having her poke her nose in from time to time and give clues to solve whatever the crime might be.

ATAI: What are you working on next?

BRENDA M SPALDING: I’m working on a couple things. My next novel, Blood Orange, is about the 1980’s when the Medellin cartel was dropping cocaine into the orange groves of rural Florida. It’s with an editor now and should be out in a couple months. 

Book three in the Green Lady Inn series, Double Vision, is coming along slowly. I’m about half way on that one. 

I’m also having a new children’s book illustrated. Sailing Away to Nod, is being illustrated by Jacqueline Paske Gill who is a very talented artist and children’s author herself. She has illustrated all my children’s books.

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

BRENDA M SPALDING: People can find me on my website, and also on Amazon and Kindle.

ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.

BRENDA M SPALDING: I do enjoy the creative process and learning the technology to be a self-published author. Being an author is fun for me. I don’t expect to get rich. I just want people to enjoy what I write.

Thank you for letting me share a bit about me and my writing.

*NOTE: ATAI does not edit the responses of the authors.

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