Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Friend - Carol Spradling

Please welcome today's Friday Friend, Carol Spradling.

Carol and her husband live in east Florida but look for any opportunity to spend time in the North Carolina mountains.  No matter where she goes, her laptop is sure to be with her.  She likes nothing better than pounding out the next chapter of a new book while watching the fog roll in from across the neighboring mountain peaks.

She's telling us about her journey to self-publishing:

When I finished writing my first book, I wanted to pursue publishing but knew nothing about the industry.  I was very fortunate to be picked up by a small press.  I had a very positive experience with them and would recommend this direction for anyone new to writing.  After a few years with the same publishing house, I wanted to try to publish on my own.  If I had known all of the details involved with this endeavor, I might have talked myself out of the idea.

I was very fortunate to have my critique partner.  Not only is she excellent with her critiques, she is a wealth of information.  She had decided to go the untraditional route with her writing and self publish.  At the time, I had never considered this an option.  I preferred to concentrate on the creative side of writing and leave the publishing end of the business to others.  She didn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to be involved in every aspect of my book.  She did have a point.

The two of us had a book ready for release, and our conversations slowly turned from editing a final draft to a series of innocent, publishing questions.  She was quite vocal about the pitfalls and stumbling blocks she was experiencing with self-publishing.  She also shared with me the secrets to overcome them.  It wasn’t until I saw her book on that I considered self-publishing for myself.

She gave me links to just browse and also wrote a vague to-do list if I chose this route.  I’m glad she walked me through the process a step at a time.  I would have been overwhelmed otherwise.  After formatting my book for ebooks and then for print, creating a cover, a trailer, establishing seller accounts on three major distributors, updating my blog and website, The Night Lamp was shining pretty.

Looking back, I am grateful for my experience with a small press but am enjoying the self-publishing journey.

The Night Lamp
Military confidant Cole McKnight will do anything to reclaim his home, even run bounties for an unprincipled bondsman. When Isa Foster becomes his latest assignment, Cole jeopardizes more than his property to bring her in.

Isa Foster has a bounty on her head and a dead friend at her feet. Accused of the murder, she must rely on her espionage training and wits to clear her name. Cole McKnight is one distraction she can’t afford.

With George Washington's impending inauguration and the birth of a nation hanging in the balance, Isa and Cole must work together to uncover the truth behind the murder. While Cole fights for his family home, and Isa for her very survival, their biggest battle may be fighting their attraction for each other.


The door handle rattled and Cole shot a glance over his shoulder.  Isa glared at him as he decided his next move.  Bent to his work, and seemingly determined to remain a bachelor, he yanked her nightgown off her shoulders and buried his face in her cleavage.  Pearl buttons popped to the sides, pinging as they struck the floor, and silk ribbons slipped free.

Gasping, she raked her hands through his hair and tried to pull him away.  Her grunts only added to the illusion of a woman enjoying intimacies with her husband.  Cole added to her mortification by bending her leg next to his side.  Isa could only imagine how this looked from an outsider’s viewpoint, and she closed her eyes to keep from making eye contact with the gawking stares in the doorway.  Becoming compliant in his hands, she ran her fingers through his hair and down his bare back.  Apparently, the crowd of onlookers seemed confused by the display.  They stood quiet, but staring.  Cole jabbed his thumb in Isa’s ribs and she squealed.  Hurried footsteps fled the room.

Now that the audience had fled, he pressed upward on his hands and raised his torso above Isa.  Cool air rushed between them, but she made no move to gather the neckline of her nightgown.  With no concern for her lack of modesty, she stared up at Cole, hoping to prolong the moment.  He seemed to have a similar thought, for his eyes slowly scanned her exposed skin.  She arched her back and instinctively trailed her fingers over the lines of carved definition from his elbow to shoulder to lips.  His tongue flicked out and drew her finger into his mouth.  Her breath caught and she glanced up at him.  Hooking her digit over his teeth, she drew him down to her.  He hesitated long enough to search her face.  She closed her eyes in answer and wet her lips.  His mouth covered hers, and she didn’t care if they were alone or not.  Aunt Lenore may not have meant for them to carry the charade this far, but neither of them made any effort to stop their desires.  Her nails dug into his taut flesh on its way to his lower back.  Their teeth clicked against each other and Cole tensed. 

Cold water poured from over his back onto Isa’s chest.  They both gasped and looked up at an upended pail.  Next to the dripping bucket, Aunt Lenore’s stern face was as harsh as worn leather.

Purchase links:

Find out more about Carol at

Thanks for being our Friday friend today, Carol. We wish you lots of success with 'The Night Lamp' and your future writing career.


  1. I've always wondered about self-publishing--you're very lucky to have had such great guidance! Your book sounds intriguing. Thanks for visiting today.

  2. Carol, your guidance as my crit partner gave me the courage to self pub - you know how much I balked at publishing at all. Thank you for your help and moral support. You have become such a good friend, and I know we will share many many experiences together in our writing endevours. You are the best!

  3. Wow, Carol. You are definitely a success already.
    I love historical romances, and have not seen many set around the Revolutionary War. You must have done your research.

  4. Thanks Ladies for your support. I still have much to learn, but enjoy the chance to met others who enjoy books set in this time period.

  5. Hi Carol,

    Sorry I'm so late chiming in, but I've been out of town.

    Loved the exerpt! Good luck with this story and thanks for visiting us today.

  6. Hi Carol

    I'm even later! I admire you so much for heading into self-publishing and think it's a great move for you.

    I've been reading Carol's work for a long time and she simply gets better and better.

    Jane x