Friday, March 9, 2018

Should Children Love Books?

Today I'm delighted to welcome author Jennifer Chase to my blog. She's touring the internet with Pump-up-your-book... and with a Body of the Crime. But what body? What crime? And why? What leads a child to grow up and write a novel? Welcome to my blog Jennifer.

Obsessed with Books at an Early Age     

By Jennifer Chase

Many of my early childhood memories involve all of the great books that I had the opportunity to read. I was a typical kid who loved to be outdoors whenever I could, but I loved my weekly visits to the local library. I would grab books, stack them high, and take them up to the librarian.  They would be books about animals, adventures, mysteries, and anything else that grabbed my attention. I loved books!

As I got a little bit older, my book choices were always about solving mysteries and going on great adventures.  The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, Nancy Drew Mysteries, and The Secret Garden definitely made a lasting impression on me.  From that point, I read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, The Hobbit, The Count of Monte Cristo, and many other timeless classics.      

I had always dreamed of one day writing a book of my own, and it was in the back of my mind as I ventured through the difficulties of life. So many thriller and suspense authors inspired and influenced me to write my first novel, such as Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Jeffrey Deaver, John Connelly, John Grisham, and many others.  You could say that all of these experiences with books in my life paved the way for me to become an author. 

Reading at an early age and being read to have some amazing benefits for children and for the continuing development that will affect the rest of their lives.  It has been established that just reading 20 minutes a day aloud to young children can help to strengthen relationships, promotes curiosity, encourages better listening and language skills, and overall helps to establish a strong reading foundation.  Just by reading aloud together, a child’s reading skill can be mastered over time.

“The magic of this process is the simplicity of action,” stated by The Children’s Reading Foundation.  They also suggest making the reading time together an important and happy part of life. A child’s brain develops faster during the early years and acts like a sponge that soaks up information with enthusiasm and the willingness to learn. Build upon and nurture that wonderful gift of reading.  

It has been suggested that the best time for children to start learning to read is when they are very young, generally at the preschool level.

Here are some tips for laying a strong reading foundation for children:

·         Build a new vocabulary through books, experiences, and interactions.
·         Observe others reading and enjoying books.
·         Recognize that words are made up of sounds.
·         Experience and pretend to read familiar books, poems, and alphabet books.
·         Enjoy and discuss a variety of books that are read aloud by others.

I have to wonder that if I didn’t love books and reading at an early age if I would be so curious and enthusiastic about forensic science and criminal psychology.

Thank you Jennifer. Like you, I was hooked on books from an early age (though it took me quite a while to learn to read). And I agree about laying a foundation for children - without words, how will they communicate? And without books, where will they find all those words?

It's so cool to see how that curiosity led to your later academic pursuits, and to your fiction!

Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: JEC Press
Pages: 397
Genre: Mystery Suspense
Three grisly murders linked to five old cold cases, dubbed the Flower Girl Murders, pushes detectives to their limit to find a clever and extremely brutal serial killer, leaving a California town demanding justice. The District Attorney’s Serial Special Task Force retains the help of the reclusive Dr. Chip Palmer, a forensic expert and criminal profiler, to steer them in the right direction.

Palmer is known for his astute academic interpretations of serial and predatory crimes, along with his unconventional tactics that goes against general police procedures. He is partnered with the tough and beautiful D.A. Inspector Kate Rawlins, a homicide detective transplanted from Phoenix, and the chemistry ignites between the team—turbulent and deadly.

The Flower Girl Murders leaves three homicides, five cold cases, two seasoned detectives, three suspects, and one serial killer calling all the shots. The investigation must rely on one eccentric forensic scientist to unravel the clues to solve the case. But at what cost?

Order Your Copy!

I HATED THE CURIOUS AND often skeptical looks, which came from the audience in the gallery. I gently eased my body into the chair and faced them directly. It felt more like I was a participating target in a firing squad than a courtroom proceeding.
Shifting from side to side in the cushioned seat, I fidgeted with my tie. It was the only thing I could do under the circumstances.
I waited patiently trying not to nervously tap my fingers.
At least the chair was comfortable as I rested my forearms and hands on the armrest. It was not easy to avoid looking at the two burly sheriff deputy bailiffs stationed at the back corners of the room. They watched everyone with an extreme somber, statue-like presence. I was not even sure if they actually blinked or not. 
All eyes in the courtroom fixated on me.
The room fell into complete silence. The audience readied themselves waiting for the show to begin. At least that was what I had imagined in my own mind. 
I realized when the prosecutor had finally called my name to testify and the bailiff escorted me into the courtroom that I had forgotten to change my shoes. Dirt and mud had affixed deep into the crevices of the heavy-duty rubber soles, which donated little chunks of dried soil as I walked from the back of the courtroom to the witness area. There were little piles of mountain soil left behind with every stride. It looked like I had stolen shoes from a homeless person.
It was only yesterday that I had taken an extra-long walk down a wooded path that was barely passable even for the native wildlife, but I did not let the rugged terrain scare me out of adding another specimen to my collection of California sediment. In the process, my shoes sunk deep into the mud. At one point my foot had slipped from the left shoe and then plunged my sock-clad foot directly into the sticky muck.   
I was all too aware of how disheveled I looked only two months before my fortieth birthday. It was not appealing. My appearance did not give the impression that I was an expert at anything, but somehow I managed to muddle through with an air of authority.
Crime scenes never lied, and it was my job to explain the scientific facts to the non-scientific community; but in the end, it was up to the jury to make the right choice of guilt or innocence. Twelve good people ultimately shouldered the justice burden, and I was just the messenger of facts—good or bad.    

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.





Jennifer Chase said...

Thank you Sheila for the opportunity to spotlight Body of the Crime :)

Sheila Deeth said...

I've enjoyed hosting you Jennifer. Sounds like a book I would really enjoy.