Thursday, February 17, 2022

"The Wrong Woman"

After a brief career in criminal law, Leanne Kale Sparks is returning to her first love—writing about murder and mayhem. Her new novel, The Wrong Woman, features an FBI agent hunting down her best friend’s murderer. The backdrop is the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the playground of her youth, and the place that will always be home. When not writing, she and her husband spend time reading, mountain biking, and spoiling their German Shepherd, Zoe. And drinking wine.

Sparks applied the Page 69 Test to The Wrong Woman and reported the following:
From page 69:
Kendall dropped her bags next to her desk, and slumped into her chair. She had slept like crap the night before. Tossing and turning, her brain refused to shut off and instead showed her every horrific potential Gwen was facing. Closing her eyes was a dangerous proposition most nights—she had seen some disgusting shit over her career with the FBI—when her best friend was missing, those visions made her physically ill.

And panicked.

Not a feeling she had often. Not since she was in college when she picked up a woman on the side of the road and was chased—hunted down—by the man who had kidnapped her. Weaving through the streets, Kendall had been desperate to get to the police department. She had gotten out of the car. Made a mad dash toward the police station. The bullet had pierced her back and she’d hit the icy asphalt.

She didn’t remember much about that night. Most of the memories were disjointed and she knew from talking to investigators they were often out of sequence with the actual events.

Kendall had never experienced pain like that in her entire life up to that point. But it was the overwhelming fear that ravaged her body. Paralyzed her. Fear that she would die. Fear that she had failed the young woman she had promised would be safe.

“Beck,” Brady bellowed from the doorway of his office.
This test works brilliantly for this passage. The browser will get a taste of what is going on in the story—the main character, Kendall Beck, is concerned about her best friend who is missing—but it also gives a bit of backstory. The browser will discover a little about Kendall’s past and how it shapes what she is feeling and the way she is dealing with her friend’s disappearance. The browser will get a sense of the close-knit relationship of the two friends and how the past is affecting the present.

This story has been one I started writing years ago, and even while I was busy with other things, it stuck with me. I finally cleared my plate and sat down to edit, polish, and submit to an agent, who then found the perfect publisher. And here I am, introducing my little crime novel to the world. I really worked hard to create a story with all the twists and turns one expects in a murder mystery/thriller. But I am most proud of the personalities of each character. I wanted a cast of characters readers would form their own bond with and want to return to them with each new book. I hope I have achieved that and the snippet above helps readers get to know Kendall.
Visit Leanne Kale Sparks's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Leanne Kale Sparks & Zoe.

--Marshal Zeringue