June 3, 2013

Interview with Carrie Golden

Posted in Interviews tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

Carrie GoldenCarrie was born in a small city of Plattsburgh near the border of Quebec, Canada and grew up in the Adirondack Mountains. She now lives near Raleigh, NC with her husband and son, and a small cat farm.

Christine: How, and when, did you decide to become a writer?

Carrie: As a girl, I pretty much lived in my imaginary worlds. I felt like an outsider; different from the others mainly because of my hearing disability and my strange accent. The problem was I tended to act out whatever went through my mind. One time this landed me in the ER. When I was in 5th grade, a good friend and I decided, just for fun, to see who could write the best short story. From this single experience I discovered another way (safer too!) of bringing things to life. Writing changed everything for me. Since then, it helped me to stay out of the ER!

Christine: What types of writing do you do?

Carrie: I like to write different types especially micro-poetry, short stories, screenplays, and web novels.

Christine: Are you solely a writer or do you have multiple occupations?

Carrie: One day I’d love to be able to stay home and write on a full-time basis; in the meantime, I work in the banking industry as a Loan Servicing Specialist so my husband can complete his Engineering degree.

Christine: What do you like to read?

Carrie: I enjoy reading apocalyptic types of books that have elements of fantasy in them (books written by Terry Brooks for example).

Christine: What genre do you write, and why?

Carrie: I tend to write cross-genre. My favorite is blending Fantasy with Horror while sprinkling in a bit of Science Fiction. I primarily do this because I don’t like being confined to one genre.

Christine: Where can we find your published writing?

Carrie: I have several short works published on Piker Press as well as Zombie Poetry and Literature for Kids

Christine: What seems to be the recurring theme(s) in your writing?

Carrie: Death and hopelessness as well as hope and faith. I like to include most if not all of these in my stories. No matter how bleak things get, if you just hang on, there is an end to this darkness and misery. The light is just around the next corner.

Christine: Where can we find you on the Web?

Carrie: On Twitter or on my writing blog A writer and her adolescent muse.

Thanks so much for interviewing on my blog today, Carrie. Good luck with your writing and your writing career.

April 27, 2013

Interview with Stephen Brayton

Posted in Interviews tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:00 am by Christine Rice

Stephen BraytonStephen L. Brayton owns and operates Brayton’s Black Belt Academy in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He is a Fifth Degree Black Belt and certified instructor in The American Taekwondo Association.

He began writing as a child; his first short story concerned a true incident about his reactions to discipline. During high school, he wrote for the school newspaper and was a photographer for the yearbook. For a Mass Media class, he wrote and edited a video project.

In college, he began a personal journal for a writing class; said journal is ongoing. He was also a reporter for the college newspaper.

During his early twenties, while working for a Kewanee, Illinois radio station, he wrote a fantasy-based story and a trilogy for a comic book.

He has written numerous short stories – both horror and mystery.

His first novel, Night Shadows (Feb. 2011), concerns a Des Moines homicide investigator teaming up with a federal agent to battle creatures from another dimension. His second book, Beta (Oct. 2011), was the debut of Mallory Petersen and her search for a kidnapped girl. In August 2012, the second Mallory Petersen book, Alpha, was published. This time she investigates the murder of her boyfriend.

Christine: How long have you been a writer?

Stephen: Well, I can’t claim I was a writer right from the womb, but soon afterward. ‘Soon’ being a relative term, of course. I loved books from an early age, and one day I thought that with all of the books I’d read, mysteries and science fiction and horror, I’d like try my hand at writing some stories. I created a character called Sam P. Petersen who lived in the Quad Cities (where I spent my early years) and worked for the East Moline Police Department. I wrote short stories featuring him. Those were my first attempts at short story writing and character profiling. From the time I started talking about writing, my parents encouraged me to continue creating stories. I wrote during college and became serious in the late-90s.

Christine: What have you published recently?

Stephen: Well, my last book, Alpha, was published in August of 2012, but my most recent publication has been the first part of a serialized short story called “White Belt Weapons” in Taekwondo Times magazine. The March issue published an interview with me as a ‘Person of Interest,’ and the May issue began what I hope to be a long-term relationship with them on short stories.

Christine: Are you solely a writer or do you have multiple occupations?

Stephen: I’m a Fifth Degree Black Belt and own and operate a taekwondo club in Oskaloosa; plus, I have a full-time job. I have to find time to write during the slow hours or days off.

Christine: What is a typical day like for you as a writer?

Stephen: Depends on the day. My schedule is never the same from week to week. I could work weekends or nine nights in a row. Usually, I’m on the graveyard shift from 11-7; sleep until the middle of the afternoon; class on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings; back to work at 11. During the night, I have plenty of time to write. On days off or afternoons, I may head outside to write or fish or visit family. I wish I could tell you I was an international spy in a different locale every day… At least the travel part sounds fun.

Christine: What is the title of your most recently published novel and a description of it?

AlphaStephen: Alpha is about Mallory Petersen, a Fourth Degree Black Belt in taekwondo and private investigator in Des Moines, Iowa. Usually her cases involve the oddballs of society, but every now and then she takes on a serious investigation. In this book, she’s relating a story to her current boyfriend about her involvement in the investigation of the murder of her previous boyfriend. Along with that case, she’s also searching for a missing woman.

Christine: What are your favorite characters that you have created? Tell us about them.

Stephen: Of course I’m in love with Mallory. Six feet tall, blonde, blue eyes, drop dead gorgeous, excellent martial artist and instructor, strong, independent, quirky sense of humor, and a romantic.

I know an author is supposed to know almost everything about all the characters, but I’m still discovering things about Mallory’s office manager Darren. Currently, he doesn’t have a last name. That issue will be solved in the next book. He’s enigmatic, quiet, loyal, and always seems to know where Mallory is and what she’s doing. This drives her crazy sometimes.

Christine: Where can we find your novels?

Stephen: Alphawww.amazon.com/Alpha-Stephen-L-Brayton/dp/1610091159
Beta (Mallory’s introduction. Ebook only) – www.amazon.com/Beta-Mallory-Petersen-Mystery-ebook/dp/B005UHEWPC
Night Shadows (eBook only) – www.amazon.com/Night-Shadows-ebook/dp/B004O0VD1M

Christine: Who are your favorite authors?

Stephen: Ellery Queen – I think I’ve read almost every one of his mysteries.
Erle Stanley Garnder – Ditto.
H. P. Lovecraft – The master.
Clark A. Smith – A close second to Lovecraft.
Elaine Viets – She helps inspire my humorous creativity.
Sparkle Abbey – Who doesn’t like dog and cat mysteries?
Robert Pobi – A true genius with words.
Frank Kane, Carter Brown, Day Keene, (and others in the same genre) – Pulp fiction mysteries. I really enjoy the flavor of these stories.

Christine: Where can we find you on the Web?

Stephen: Website – www.stephenbrayton.com
Blog – www.stephenbrayton.wordpress.com
Book Review Blog – www.braytonsbookbuzz.wordpress.com
I’m also on Facebook and Twitter (@SLBrayton).

November 7, 2012

Interview with Natasha House

Posted in Interviews tagged , , , , , , , at 10:35 am by Christine Rice

I met Natasha House on Book Blogs. She has been happily married for seven years. She enjoys reading, writing, singing, playing piano, and crafting. Her dream is to be a full-time author one day and quit her day job!

Christine: How, and when, did you decide to become a writer?
Natasha:
I decided to become a writer when I was twelve. I wrote a story for school and finished it in one day. I went to young authors because of it!

Christine: How long have you been a writer?
Natasha:
Eighteen years. Forever I know!

Christine: What is your writing experience as an author?
Natasha:
I’m a fairly new author, so I don’t have a ton of experience. I did have a book signing for the first time on my book Superhero Princess. That was exciting!

Christine: What types of writing do you do?
Natasha:
I do all kinds of writing. I have a sci-fi romance novel and a middle grade/YA fantasy book. I’m also writing a paranormal/gothic and fantasy book.

Christine: What books have you published recently?
Natasha:
My most recent one would be Superhero Princess and the Curse of the Rainbow Fairy. I’m working on book two for this series!

Christine: Are you solely a writer or do you have multiple occupations?
Natasha:
I wish! That is what I’d love to do, but no, I’m a department manager for a retail store.

Christine: What is a typical day like for you as an author?
Natasha:
I write on my lunch break at a bookstore. It’s my best focus time. I tend to get distracted at home.

Christine: How much time do you spend writing each day and what do you normally work on?
Natasha:
I would say I spend a good half-hour a day writing. I’ve been working currently on my fantasy novel. It’s getting crazy exciting! I also have been working on Superhero Princess and the Well of Madness.

Christine: What marketing techniques do you use to promote yourself as a writer and your writing?
Natasha:
I use facebook, twitter, and blogs. It’s a lot of leg work, but I’m sure it will be worth it in the end!

Christine: Where can we find your published writing?
Natasha:
http://www.amazon.com/Superhero-Princess-Curse-Rainbow-ebook/dp/B007ODOGJW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352258808&sr=8-1&keywords=superhero+princess

http://www.amazon.com/Citizen-ebook/dp/B007SCUBG6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1352258847&sr=8-2&keywords=superhero+princess

Christine: What genres do you like to read?
Natasha:
I like to read paranormal or YA books.

Christine: Do you find you “mentally edit” other writers’ works as you read them? Does doing this help you or bother you?
Natasha:
I find myself observing other writers’ work. Sometimes too many errors get on my nerves, or if words sound choppy and hard to read. I think one thing as an author I encourage is to read your own work out loud to someone.

Christine: What is your favorite book?
Natasha:
I really love The Oath by Frank Peretti. It has so much action and crazy stuff in it.

Thanks so much for joining us, Natasha. All the best with your writing endeavors!

August 11, 2012

Review of “The Zul Enigma”

Posted in Book Reviews tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:50 pm by Christine Rice

Fast-paced, action-packed adventure – Five stars

The Zul Enigma by J M Leitch is a refreshing story, as it is not like any other. It doesn’t fit into a certain genre and has lots of twists and turns in the plot. I can tell Leitch put her heart and soul into this book, as it is a high-quality read. The plot is solid, the characters are memorable, and the storyline will keep you guessing.

The multifaceted story covers politics, religion, relationships, secret service, government, and outer space. It goes into the depths of betrayal and lies. It takes place during a time when the end of the world is near and it is evident with all the conflicts and problems occurring.

Because the plot is solid, it is clear that the details were thoroughly researched to make it so believable. The characters are distinct and vivid, and some of them held my heart. The optimist in me wanted everything and everyone to be okay, but in actuality, it was quite the opposite.

This is a very long book, and I would have liked to see the author make it into two books. And there is a lot of alcohol drinking and alcoholic behaviors in this book, which I’m not fond of. However, those two minor setbacks did not keep me from enjoying the story or change my feelings about the book, because I give it five stars.

I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy conspiracy, science-fiction, action, and thought-provoking storytelling. This book will take you to another world, and the action will keep you turning the pages.

Pick up your own copy here. Note that it is available in both paperback and kindle edition. Enjoy the read!

June 5, 2012

Review of “Right Ascension”

Posted in Book Reviews tagged , , , , at 5:36 am by Christine Rice

Right Ascension by David Derrico is an action-packed science-fiction novel that takes place in the year 3040. Chad Atgard recently graduates from the Confederation Academy and his excitement and pride extends to his family, especially to his father, Admiral Daniel Atgard. Chad, and certain cadets from the Academy, board the Indomitable – the largest, fastest, most powerful starship in the galaxy. The fact that it is so has kept peace in space, at least as it so appears…

Something unthinkable happens, and then Daniel Atgard becomes determined to stop an alien species that wants to destroy Earth. Daniel leads his team of flight officers through the universe to discover the origin of the aliens, as well as to find them, in order to keep them from achieving their goal. Daniel and his team experience many adventures on their way to finding out the truth about the aliens, so that they can try to eliminate the aliens’ spaceship.

Right Ascension is full of action and adventure and is a natural page-turner. It is realistic in the sense that rarely anything happens as planned, which also makes it an exciting read. The unique qualities of the book – being in the faraway future and having both friendly and evil aliens – make it a one-of-a-kind book. The characters are unique individuals that have charisma and loyalty. This book is well-written and entertaining, and the haphazard action is easy to follow.

I definitely recommend Right Ascension to all science-fiction book lovers. If you are interested in space travel, the future, memorable characters and relationships, and politics, this book is for you.

I gave Right Ascension five stars on Amazon. You can get your kindle copy for Free here. It is also available in paperback. Enjoy!