Book Tour! KC Sprayberry and “Take Chances”

Book Tour! KC Sprayberry and “Take Chances”

I’m happy to be hosting today’s stop on the book tour for KC Sprayberry and her upcoming Young Adult  novel “Take Chances”

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First, let’s meet the author:

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KC Sprayberry started writing young, with a diary followed by an interest in English. Her first experience with publication came when she placed third in a Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge contest while in the Air Force, but her dedication to writing came after she had her youngest child, now a in his senior year of high school.

Her family lives in Northwest Georgia where she spends her days creating stories about life in the south, and far beyond. More than a dozen of her short stories have appeared in several magazines. Five anthologies feature other short stories, and her young adult novel Softly Say Goodbye, released in 2012. During 2013, more young adult stories have been released: The Ghost Catcher, Who Am I?, Family Curse … Times Two, and Amazon Best Seller, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates.

You can find her on the web at:

her Amazon Author PageLinkedInTwitterFacebookGoodreads, her Website,her  BlogAuthorgraphGoogle +JacketFlap and Solstice Publishing

I’m going to turn things over to KC for a few minutes to talk about a topic that her novel deals with:

Surviving School Violence

Violence in our schools never happens to us. It always happens to someone else. Right?

Wrong!

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School violence goes on in every school, every day, but it’s not always what makes headline news. When what we like to think of as the impossible happening actually does, we are at a loss as to how to explain how some survived and others didn’t.

 

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Take Chances is a book about a teenage girl on the cusp of moving forward with her life, getting ready to graduate, to leave behind the familiar and venture into the unknown alone. Julie Bond has a lot more going for her than most high school graduates. She’s spent most of her life abroad, living in Europe. Yet, even though she’s gone through this experience once, even though her dad took the time to teach her techniques to avoid injury or death if the impossible happened a second time, she’s as unprepared as anyone else when it does happen.

 

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Julie has survival skills most teens don’t, but even she is shocked into inaction when faced with another situation where her life is in danger. Those with her have absolutely no training, most of them are teens looking forward to graduation, a summer of fun, and college, yet all of them instinctively react in such a way as to protect each other and themselves.

What are those things that are now being touted as a way to survive what no one wants to endure?

  1. Don’t engage the shooter. No matter how much you want to call this person a dummy, a fool, or stupid, bite down on those feelings.
  2. If you’re in the same room, do nothing to enrage the person. Look for ways to escape, to draw attention to the situation.
  3. If you’re not in the room, get away. Don’t freeze as if someone switched on a light and caught you goofing around.

This all sounds like good advice in theory, but does it work?

 

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Walter Philbrick and Hector Delgado are part of a team comprised of former American Special Forces and SWAT members. They now teach survival skills for students caught in this situation. Here’s what they have to say:

“Look for ordinary items that can be used as weapons. Weapons could be hot coffee, full soda cans, small TVs, letter openers, staplers, statues, rolls of coins, or fire extinguishers could distract, injure or stop the attacker.”

There it is – what was used in Take Chances to take control of the situation – fire extinguishers.

“Say what?” you ask. “Fire extinguishers? That doesn’t make sense.”

In fact, it does make sense, but this avenue isn’t to be used unless you believe you and those with you have a chance to overwhelm the shooter without being a target. However, you must always remember to ensure that you aren’t going to make matters worse.

I won’t give away a plot moment here, but I will say this – the teens involved in my fictional school violence didn’t shrink like violets. They stand as a group against the shooter. Not all of them survived, but the situation could have been much worse.

Also, as was emphasized in my book. The gun wasn’t responsible for what happened. It was the individual who decided to use one. Yes, it was horrific. Yes, it was preventable, but it wasn’t anyone’s fault except the shooter’s.

Now, to the book itself…

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Julie Bond grew up in Europe as a military brat. She found her very first permanent home in Landry, GA as a teen going into high school. Almost four years later, she’s having pre-graduation jitters and flashing back to an incident of school violence she experienced in Europe. She attempts to convince herself that it can never happen again, but continually finds herself flashing back to that day no matter how hard she tries.

The people around her present any number of problems for Julie, and she’s hard put to keep from drowning under all the issues. Then Michael–a cool guy she’s had a crush on for the last three years—returns from traveling the US as a photographer, and Julie now has one more thing to distract her as she prepares to leave high school. One thing she firmly believes in: no one will ever invade her classroom with violence again.

Once again, the impossible happens. Once again, she’s in a classroom with a madman holding a gun. Once again, she must survive.

Watch the Book Trailer here…

And here’s a brief excerpt…

The idea he’ll give up his dreams of college sounds impossible. When Hugh found out he needed a scholarship, he worked hard to achieve top grades in all his classes. He succeeded but the idea of receiving a failing grade throws him into a panic, and he’s not the only one. I suffer from the same problem, but only because WWE– my mom, who is no wrestler, puts them to shame with her drama – threatens to declare me an incorrigible teen if I ever bring home anything below an A.

“Yeah. They did.” He takes off at high speed. “State made me think I could actually get an art degree. I’ll have to find a job if I don’t get that paper finished.”

I run after him, slamming into a couple of other teens, and apologizing. He slows before we reach our classroom.

“Don’t tell anyone else about the job,” he says. “I couldn’t handle it if they knew.”

Another secret, one I have no idea I want to keep, and there’s far more involved than he’s telling me.

You can also get KC’s previous books for free:

Softly Say Goodbye and Who Am I?

Follow KC on tour tomorrow, at…Michele Biring-Pani’s Raven Reviews.

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