I started writing as a nonfiction writer. I wrote Coveralls and Tell-Alls. A fun book about my youth and leadership lessons I learned on the farm. If you haven't read it, you should! But my curiosity has gotten the better of me. I love to entertain people. I love to tell stories. It occurred to me I can do that better, and with larger reach as I write fiction.
This book, Endangered, was actually inspired by true events. I would think any author's dream to have a story line just handed to them. When I first heard the story, I couldn't help but want to hear more. Hopefully this book both entertains and intrigues the audience.
More about me. I did grow up on a farm in Eastern Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas. I have been truly blessed. I learned to work hard, appreciate what people do, and ask a lot of questions. I was fortunate to be able to attend college and acquired a couple of degrees.
But honestly, I feel the need to continue to find challenges in life. Which answers why I ran my first 5K just a month ago. I won't post my time. Small victories.
I have been professionally speaking for years, and love every minute of it. My topic is always related to leadership. I choose to deliver those topics in fun and engaging manners. My audiences have been kind to me and keep me on my toes. For instance, I once learned of a story that involved a black Lab, named Elvis, a block party and underwear. Tough to come back from hearing those kind of stories in a lecture format.
I hope you find my stories of interest.
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Exploring in the Ozarks is breathtaking. For a local biologist, his breath was certainly taken away. His adventure travels from the cave, to the state capitol to the White House.Share Tweet LinkedIn Embed pszr.co/XwlcA 247 views
|5 publishers interested|
Inspired by true events, Endangered starts as an effort to discover the mysterious world of endangered species in the Ozarks. Who knew, a human would become endangered. As the biologist starts to uncover mysteries, our Native American heroine emerges. She is a detective with the Arkansas State Police.
The Detective unravels some of the strangest connections. A skeleton in a cave where no one has been allowed to venture in decades. The owner of the land is discovered to be a wealthy contributor and fund organizer for a Presidential candidate.
The land owner's story becomes even more strange as to how he earned his millions. Did he use the Arkansas Governor to influence the United States Government Accountability Office to import goods from the Western Sahara? How were those goods attained? What laws were broken, and who is involved in the cover up?
The biologist, Jax (who is fashioned after my dog Jax) and the detective journey down the path of discovery. Along the way, they find a little romance, a little comedy and a lot of danger. And surprisingly, they find these things in Arkansas.
1. Intro - The Murder
2. The Ozarks - Description of the Ozarks and where the murder takes place.
3. Background - A little bit about the lead character. Some fun facts to get to know the biologist.
4. The discovery - The body is discovered. Where and how. Involvement of local authorities.
5. Meet the detective - State Police Detective details.
6. A little bit of romance is brewing - Biologist developing some feelings for a neighbor in town.
7. The Sheriff's preliminary response - Get the first scoop on the crime scene.
8. Biologist and Detective meet and greet - more information from biologist to the detective. The detective is alarmed at the misinformation given by the Sheriff. Decides to re-engage in the investigation.
9. Biologist and his office politics - A little fun with state agency politics.
10. Detective uncovers some interesting facts - approaches biologist for more information.
11. Detective - background info and understanding into detective's life.
12. The victim - uncovering the true identity of victim.
13. Detective gets into trouble with boss for researching a cold case.
14. The biologist and dog get attacked.
15. The friendly neighbor lady saves the day. More romance heating up.
16. The neighbor lady actually has a back story with the victim.
17. The landowner's past starts to emerge.
18. The Detective seeks help from old friend. Now phosphate and Western Sahara enter the picture. Was this a crime or a terror plot.
19. The Detective seeks more information about the funding of the land owner's fortune.
20. Research into fertilizer. Yes, fertilizer.
21. Backstory of the victim and his observations into the Western Sahara. Sad stories.
22. Detective researches background of the Governor.
23. The pieces start to fit in the strangest way.
24. The biologist and neighbor seek safety from attackers.
25. The detective saves the day, but at what cost.
26. Surprise ending. Who knew this young man could save the day!
In 2015 a study was conducted that resulted in a finding that 55% of Americans believe in conspiracy theory.
According to Statistica, the most popular genre in the U.S. is Mystery/Thriller/Crime books.
According to Bookstr, Crime and Mystery novels come earn $728.2 million.
Very few books seem to focus on the Ozarks or Arkansas. In fact, I find it hard to come up with good titles.
So my book combines mystery, crime, conspiracy, comedy and nature. I believe it will appeal to American adults who love the thriller/mystery genre, as well as people who like to read about the countryside.
I feel this is somewhat and untapped market. People often assume Arkansas is free from international and political influence. Could not be further from the truth. But no other recent book has brought that to life.
Ozark Mountain Trilogy seems to be the closest book to my genre. However, my book offers comedy and conspiracy. Both of which I hope to utilize to keep the reader engaged.
I will update my website with new book, reviews, information, etc.
I will start blogging heavily to generate interest towards the launch date. Linked to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.
Facebook: Endangered (coming soon)
I will update a new page to my facebook page to direct traffic to my page.
I will update this with new artwork and links to Publishizer.com as I build a following.
I will send my book to no less than 10 published authors for their reviews to post on Amazon and Barnes and Noble as well as my website.
Launch team – I will send out preview copies of the latest book to my launch team, informing them of the crowdfunding campaign and encouraging them to spread the word.
Ozark Mountain Trilogy, Kathy Herman; David C. Cook 2018.
A trilogy written about mystery in the Ozarks. Endangered involves political conspiracy.
The Candidate, J. R. McLeay; Create Space, 2018.
Similar to Endangered as the plot surrounds a Presidential candidate. Endangered, however, is set in the Ozarks.
The Big Lead, Stella Reynolds: Sunnyside Press 2015.
The character fights an uphill battle of discovery in a small town. Similar to Endangered. Again, Endangered has political intrigue that is unexpected in small town America.
The Backpacker, Steward Giles; Independent 2018.
Another crime story. Again, the uniqueness of Endangered to center a character and conspiracy in Arkansas.
The Code of the Hills: Ozarks Mystery Series, Nancy Allen; Harper Collins Publishing 2014.
Crime in the Ozarks, specifically Missouri. But the crime does not link Arkansas politics and conspiracy to the White House.
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The crisp October morning air felt good on his face as he walked up the all so familiar trail. He had climbed this trail many times in the past year and a half. The trail always led to two beguiling things. The first was one of the most breath-taking views he had ever seen. Standing on the bluff he could see for miles. He saw slow flowing streams, trees, fields, and birds including the majestic Bald Eagle. And, of course, the most beautiful sight he had ever seen, which leads to the number two thing, the love of his life.
The solitude of the bluff proved a great escape from the reckless callous society he and she existed in. This escape became his favorite sensation to look forward to. Because during those all too brief moments, he was alone with the girl that made him laugh, made him ponder greater things than himself, made him evaluate good versus evil, and all in all, she made him a better man. There was no place on Earth that he was ever happier than being in this place with this girl.
He watched his steps as he carefully glided over the limestone rocks that littered his path. On occasion he would push a low hanging branch to one side, only to be slapped by another. The cedar trees provided the fresh fragrance that surfaced during his journey. He stopped many times to admire the vivid colors of the leaves clinging on to the mighty oak and elm trees for the last few days as the slow march to winter had begun. The red leaves were especially brilliant this year, certain because of the recent rains. The yellows almost seemed to pay tribute to the commanding reds and balance the forest.
His pace increased. He couldn’t wait to reach the bluff today. He patted his pants pocket to verify his treasure made the journey up the trail with him. Today was going to be memorable.
He leaned around the strangest elm tree shaped like a Y. They both loved that tree as it was quirky and strong. A bit of symbolism for both of them.
As he reached the top, he gazed at the sheer brilliance of his view. The view was even more striking than he was expecting. The sun was glowing behind the clouds that left an almost cotton candy effect. He could not have picked a nicer day, and he was filled with excitement.
Off to the corner he saw someone coming. His excitement heightened. He had been looking forward to today for months. He had been preparing for the perfect day, the perfect place, the perfect girl, and the perfect question.
His anticipation increased until he noticed a form enter through the brushy grove where the trail meandered up the mountain. He stood bewildered and gazing on the form as it slowly materialized in front of him. This was clearly not who he was expecting. Then another form started to materialize behind the first. They both were moving intentionally towards him. The forms of two men quickly surfaced before him. The first was a larger man with a scowl on his face. The second, a smaller man, but menacing none-the-less.
He started to call out to them, but then a flush of realization came over him. He had such an eerie feeling he had never felt before. He felt the hairs on his neck stiffen. He recognized them from some of his research, and they were not here to talk.
He turned and ran from his perch on the bluff. He heard the steps of the men behind him. One grabbed his shirt and pulled him to the ground. He pulled away and sprung up to run. He ran without direction and soon found himself faced with no escape except up. He grabbed frantically at the rocks to pull himself up. One of the men grabbed him from behind and this time threw him to the ground with such a force the air left his lungs. He lay there defenseless. The man was yelling something at him. The man forced a fist into his already breathless chest. He lay there gasping for breath for what seemed an eternity. He felt his chest slowly fill with air again.
Suddenly he found the courage and energy to crawl. Something hit the side of his head. His ears started ringing. His vision blurred. Falling back to the ground he cringed in pain. Reaching up to his head thinking he would stop another blow he felt moisture drenching the side of his head. Pulling his hand down close to his blurring eyes he saw blood.
He decided he was going to die here. He had to do something or that man was surely going to beat him to death. He saw one man talking to the other. He could not understand what they were saying. His eyesight all but gone, his head covered in blood, and his lungs still feeling the lack of oxygen from the body, he pulled together his last bit of energy and bolted for the forest. He felt something grab his foot. He was falling. He was reaching for anything that could stop the fall.
Days past and Jim finds himself loading Jax up for yet another stream adventure. This time to monitor land owned by the state of Arkansas, to verify it was not being abused or there were squatting activities taking place.
Jim arrives in Siloam Springs and decides to step in to a coffee shop for a little energy boost. Truth be known, Jim loves the frou frou coffees. Tough on his masculinity to admit it, but he loves sweet coffees with a little whipped cream.
Since the coffee house is a dog friendly shop, he snaps the leash on Jax, which proves to yet again yield the disapproving Aussie head tilt, and steps into the tiny, alluring, aroma filled shop. The coffee shop was a hybrid coffee shop/book store. Jim wasn’t certain if patrons were allowed to read the books on the walls, or if the books were merely decoration. Regardless the walls were covered with books. At the front of the shop was a small counter. One side of the counter was for ordering your drink, the other housed local pastries behind a glass dome. The lady at the counter was busy helping others as Jim walked in. He decided to review the selection, one more time, in the event he had missed a worthy flavor.
After taking some deep breaths, enjoying his senses, he realizes Sheriff Drennan also has the same addiction as he has just purchased his coffee and was walking towards the door. “Hello Professor, I mean Mr. Burroughs,” Sheriff Drennan spouts off as he gets in close proximity. “How goes the world of fish?” Much to Jim’s surprise as he didn’t think Sheriff Drennan would remember him. “All going well at the moment,” Jim replied, “just out checking some of the state land out this way”.
Trying to keep the conversation alive, Jim continues, “By the way, have you heard anything about our little discovery last week?”
Sheriff Drennan takes a long sip of what appeared to be much needed coffee and replied, “you know, I haven’t heard anything back from the crime lab, but I think I know who that was. About four years ago, there was a kid from Siloam Springs who got caught up in behavior way over his head. He was a good kid, from a respectable, wealthy home. But started running with a crowd known for drugs and booze. I had to haul him in many times for trespassing on other’s property. Never Huck’s, I mean the Moore’s, but definitely out that way. The parents searched and searched for about a year. We had all given up and believed he must have met with ill means.”
Jim nodded his head as that seemed such a plausible explanation.
Sheriff Drennan continues shaking his head, “likely a suicide.”
At that moment, Jim’s gaze was captured. A lady, who looked like the lady who was sitting on the porch of the cottage, strolled by from the back of the coffee shop. “Hello Sheriff,” she said in a confident, but definitely southern voice. “Fine day to you Kat”, Sheriff Drennan replied and tipped his hat. She smiled at Sheriff Drennan then glanced towards Jim and smiled to him as she continued her gait out the door. Jim was enthralled at the sight of her eyes.
To say her eyes were blue was like saying a rose is red. Sufficient but certainly not accurate. Her eyes were blue like a lake, like a perfect raindrop. The expression of her eyes revealed narratives of her experiences. He thought to himself, the twinkle in those eyes were the most beautiful thing that a person could see in their short lifetime.
Jim was still gazing in her wake as she left the room when Sheriff Drennan chuckled. “Boy, don’t get your hopes up there. Many men have tried to date her, but she doesn’t seem interested. Hell, if I wasn’t married to the meanest woman in Benton County, I would even give it a go.” Sheriff Drennan laughing a bit now. The laughter caught Jim off guard as he didn’t know Sheriff Drennan had the capability.
Sheriff Drennan slapped Jim on the back, reached down and petted Jax on the head and proceeded out the door. Jim regaining his purpose, purchased his coffee and loaded back in to the truck headed to no man’s land.
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