Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Interview with Lauren Carr

Interview with Lauren Carr                   
Author of Blast from the Past
(A Mac Faraday Mystery)

Questions: R. Murry

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

I first fell in love with mysteries when my mother read Perry Mason to me at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award.

With my third book, I launched the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland.  It’s Murder, My Son, Old Loves Die Hard, and Shades of Murder, have all received rave reviews from both readers and reviewers. Both novels   It’s Murder, My Son and Old Loves Die Hard have made it to number one slots on Amazon under the Cozy Mystery category.

Blast from the Past is the fourth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series. Within days of its release, it was in the Top-100 slot on Amazon under mystery-thrillers/police procedural.  The next installment in the Mac Faraday series will be released in October of this year.

Released September 2012, Dead on Ice introduced a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates. The second installment in the Lovers in Crime series will be out in 2013.

I am also the owner of Acorn Book Services, which offers publishing management, consulting, editing, cover and layout design, and limited marketing for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genres, all written by independent authors, will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

I do all that from my home in Harpers Ferry, WV, where I live with my husband, son, and three dogs (which includes a German shepherd puppy named Gnarly).

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

Actually, I remember two stories. I had been making up stories from the time I could use my imagination, but never actually sat down to write one out. At fourteen, I decided to write a short story for a writing contest in a teen girl magazine. It was a kidnapping story. A romance won.
Later, when I was a senior in high school, a friend of mine was in a fix. She was taking creative writing and had the whole semester to write a short story, but she couldn’t. She was completely blocked. So, on the day the story was due, during lunch, I wrote out a short story in long hand. It was a comedy about a dog that was suffering from the humiliation of fleas. He is in love with the dog across the street, but his flea problem repelled her. The story was written in first person. She paid me with a cheeseburger, fries, and soda. It was my first professional writing job. She got an A for the story.

Were you inspired by someone or something?

I’d have to say my mother. Books and mysteries are the love we share. She has always encouraged me to write and supported it. I can’t tell you how many times she would read a book and say, “Your stories are so much better than that.” She said it enough for me to believe it.

What do you like about writing a story?

It’s the escape into a world of adventure and mystery.

Can you tell us about your book?

In Blast from the Past, Mac Faraday finds himself up to his eyeballs in mobsters and federal agents.

After an attempted hit ends badly with two of his men dead, mobster Tommy Cruze arrives in Spencer, Maryland, to personally supervise the execution of the witness responsible for putting him behind bars—Archie Monday!

Mac Faraday believes he has his work cut out for him in protecting his lady love from one of the most dangerous leaders in organized crime; but when bodies start dropping in his lake shore resort town of Spencer, Maryland, things may be hotter than even he can handle.

What genre best fits for the book?

It’s a mystery.  Amazon has placed it under police procedural. I think it also fits under cozy mysteries. My mysteries have been described as “gritty cozies.”

Are you working on something new at the moment?

Right now, I’m working on the next Mac Faraday, which I am aiming for a Halloween release. The working title is The Haunting of Astaire Castle. No, I am not switching genres. In this mystery, Mac discovers that he owns a haunted castle, in which a famous paranormal author had mysteriously disappeared.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Write whatever turns you on. Don’t worry about the market or what is hot right now. That always changes and you will go nuts trying to keep up with it. Write what you love. If you love it, there will surely be an audience out there that will love it, too.

Where can people go to read your work? All of my books is available in both print and e-book. The e-book versions are only 99 cents each.

Do you have anything to add?

Readers can also get the updated schedule for my tour by visiting my sites:
Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:
Blog: Literary Wealth:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Review: The Sheepish Pirate

Review of The Sheepish Pirate   
Written by B.L. Genteman

Reviewed by R. Murry

Writers, readers, and dreamers are the ones who lead us into the future.  There are too many to mention.  However, I’ll mention Jules Verne, whose adventures first started with a dream, and then he wrote it down, people read it, and the cycle began to produce those machines he wrote about.

Ms. Genteman’s main character is a reader and a dreamer, albeit an eleven year old sheep.  A child is a child and all seem to love one type of an animal.  Many animals are represented in Pirate: Dog, cat, goat, and a rat or two.

These animal/characters come to life in a story about a sea adventure that The Sheepish Pirate, Ryeland, first dreamt about while living in his dull life of going to school.  He is an outcast because of his shyness and studiousness.

He dreamt of going to sea on one of those great ships.  Inadvertently, that is what happens after he finds a key in a cave. From this point, he learns the hard lessons of life through the pirates and new friends he meets on his Mediterranean voyage captained by a father figure, a ram, who is searching for a lost land and a treasure.

The animal/characters in this children’s book are properly developed i.e. ram is his captain; a dog is his friend; a rat is one of his enemies. Colorful attire is also adorned, showing the character’s position.

This is a book for readers and dreamers.  Others do not apply.  Better still read this to your children so they’ll dream and read more.

Ms. Genteman’s links:
Currently I have my book available on Amazon.

Do you have anything to add? 
I’m always interested in feedback from everyone.  Those who liked the book, hated the book, which characters they liked and want to see return.  I am always eager to hear what everyone thinks and try to be responsive to everyone’s comments. I try to have every type of social media option available so that the audience can pick and choose how they want/wish to following me.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Interview with B. L. Genteman

Interview with B.L. Genteman              
Author The Sheepish Pirate

Questions by R. Murry

 Can you tell me a little about yourself?  

For the first nine years of my life my family lived in a log cabin and I learned how to ride a horse before I learned how to ride a bike. I once believed the show “Little House on the Prairie” to be relevant, but soon learned when I started going to school, that I was indeed the odd one out.  When our family did move away from the cabin, we moved to an even more rural town and to yet another farm.  I am the youngest of three sisters and the other half of a twin set.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

didn't write my first cohesive story until college.  It was for a myth class I was taking and we had to write our own creation myth.  I fashioned mine after a traditional Greco/Roman pantheon of Gods, but added in a bit of whimsy by also including a lot of characters and a plot similar to the Finnish epic, the Kalevala.  I really enjoyed the project, but up until that point I hadn't written anything much besides poetry and plays.

Were you inspired by someone or something?  

Initially I have always been inspired by the farm where I grew up and all of our parent’s animals that lived there with us.  The personality that our pets and livestock had been so varied and entertaining, it was hard not to write about them.  As I started to grow and develop my own taste in literature I was really inspired by a group of diverse writers.  Richard Adam’s Watership Down, Robert C. O'Brien’s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and Russell Hoban’s Mouse and his Child really stood out when it came to animal stories. I also enjoyed the works of Kipling, Tolkien, Grahame, Twain, Hemingway and Wolf.  

What do you like about writing a story?  

I really enjoy creating a character.  I always want to make sure that they are different and unique that after a while they start writing their own story and I follow where they take me.  I try to think of ways to make them their own and as outrageous as possible.  I want to entertain myself while writing it as well as the audience who reads it.

Can you tell us about your book?   

The story starts off with a young lamb who is bullied and unhappy where he is.  Ryeland is often lost in daydreaming and one day they come true.  He and his young sister get swept up in this nautical adventure with a band of animal pirates where he learns about courage and determination.  In the end he is molded by this phenomenal journey into a young ram with strong character and knowing he is greater than any obstacle. I don’t want to give too much away, I believe that everyone is going to take something different from the story, but that this is the underlying theme for The Sheepish Pirate.

What genre best fits for the book?  

I would put it under Children’s, around middle grade level, but I don’t want to limit it to just that age range.  I feel that it could also fall under general fiction/fantasy.  It also has strong historical references; I would also place it into historical fiction.

Are you working on something new at the moment?

I’m currently working on small side stories of the characters in The Sheepish Pirate that I am calling The Shepard’s Transcripts. It gives a little insight to the character’s past and motives.  I am also working on the sequel to The Sheepish Pirate as well.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?  

Always write your story.  Write what interests you and tell it in your voice.  The moment you start questioning yourself and watering down your story for others is the moment your writing loses integrity.  Just be honest with yourself.

Where can people go to read your work?  

Currently I have my book available on Amazon.

Do you have anything to add?

I’m always interested in feedback from everyone.  Those who liked the book, hated the book, which characters they liked and want to see return.  I am always eager to hear what everyone thinks and try to be responsive to everyone’s comments. I try to have every type of social media option available so that the audience can pick and choose how they want/wish to following me.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review of Epsilon A. R.

Epsilon A.R.

Written by
Zackery Alexander Humphreys

Reviewed by R. Murry

My knowledge of Science Fiction is limited.  This genre is not the first thing I look for when I look for reading material.  However, Zackery’s Epsilon may have enticed me to read another of his books and put SciFi books on my shelf.

My reference was minimal. Thoughts of Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thrillers and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 came to mind when I was reading Epsilon.  In 451, a main character Clarisse asks another, Montag, if he’s happy.  He is a fireman who burns books for society, which is used to suppress dissenting ideas in that novel.

Mr. Humphreys’ Epsilon, a well written novel, entails both Hitchcock’s psychological thrills and Bradbury’s theme of suppressing ideas.  However, he is not a Hitchcock or a Bradbury – Who is?  He could be if he keeps on with his writing, although I’m no fortune teller.

Violence, murder, crime, and psychological twists are prevalent in this story of a man named ALN-896 who is taken from his beloved city called Epsilon and put in prison.  He has no idea why – murder?

Life in his new environment is different from his beloved Espilon, where unbeknownst to him, he and society’s ideas were suppressed.  In prison, his ideas are not, but his survival is.  Now, he has friends and is called Alan.  Problem is Espilon’s society sets up situations that have one conclusion in mind – all prisoners must die, because they broke laws like loving a women or reading a book, which their society disallowed.

If you like fight scenes, Zackery’s novel produces one that is up there with the Roman gladiator events. Although in Epsilon’s prison, their victors don’t walk away.  They live to die another day.

The reader will feel the psychological effects of this novel and ponder the "What if?"  Therefore, I give this novel thumbs up.  No pun intended.      

Zackery’s links are below his interview:  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Interview with Zackery

Interview with                                    
Zackery Alexander
Author of Epsilon, A.R.

Questions: R. Murry

I am an Acting major at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I love creating. Whether that means a character I'm creating with acting, a universe I'm creating with writing, or just simple beat-boxing to create a beat. I've learned not to keep those ideas trapped in my mind for many reasons, the most embarrassing being that I have short term memory...

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

I count my poetry as short stories told in an emotional medium, therefore I think the first story I wrote of any significance was a sonnet when I was thirteen.

Were you inspired by someone or something?

I started writing poetry because I needed to read a lot of Shakespeare's sonnets in high school. The poetry evolved into short stories and the short stories evolved into novels. I've been writing ever since in as many different ways as possible.

What do you like about writing a story?

The fact is that you create an entire universe. Written stories are my thoughts and visions translated onto paper. Other people then share in that experience when they read it. It's an amazing thing that these worlds I created that were once trapped in my brain, now flourish in others.

Can you tell us about your book?

Epsilon A.R., at its core, is a story of those who have been oppressed finally rising up and fighting back and what sacrifices are necessary for victory. When the general population now accepts a “perfect” society run by a powerful and secretive government, it takes the strength of a rebellion and the heart of one man to bring it down.

What genre best fits for the book?

In Science Fiction you can dig so deep into the universe and all of its mysteries. I've had the tendency to call it Detective Science Fiction.

Are you working on something new at the moment?

I just finished a short screenplay entitled Seamless and a one-act play entitled A Fork in the Road. Both are hopefully getting produced soon. The project I'm working on now is my next novel!  I’m about a third of the way through now.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Perseverance in everything you do, from the first idea in your head to the moment you hand out that first printed copy. Nothing is easy and especially for us authors, the time and dedication it takes to get through every obstacle is draining, but keep with it. If you push through it all you will eventually get through and look back with a smile.

Where can people go to read your work?

Most major bookstores like Barnes & Noble. You can also find it online at various websites like Amazon. It is available as an e-Book on both Kindle and Nook

Sunday, February 10, 2013

100 Unfortunate Days - Review

Review of
100 Unfortunate Days
Written by Penelope Crowe    

Reviewed by R. Murry

When reading Ms. Crowe’s Days, Salvador Dali’s name came to mind.  He always haunts me every once in a while.  Dali’s painting The Persistence of Memory, an omnipotence of a dream and an unconscious, shows in oil what Penelope demonstrates in her writing.

She writes with a natural surrealistic aptitude that reminds me of Dali’s paintings.  Example of this is in her don’t likes list: I don’t like Yeast infections…or…American Idol, said in the same breath.  Ms. Crowe does this with a smile in her presentation, knowing she'll hit a nerve in someone’s mind.

Her Days, 100 of them, represent many attitudes, one of which is the theme of Self Reliance.  Ralph Waldo Emerson and his Transcendentalists would be proud of her.  Faith in God or the after-life is not all that is needed to survive underlines her episodes with religion.  I posed the question: Is Penelope a Gnostic?

100 Unfortunate Days is not for the faint of heart, overly religious, or weak minded person.  One must have an open mind to read each individual Day.  She doesn’t hole back any punches on any of the subjects to the point you may feel insulted.  Just forget about it and more on to the next Day.  It’s worth it and you’ll be intellectually stimulated on another Day.

I paid $.99 for a read that I will remember.  Penelope Crowe, whatever her real name is, will haunt me, as Dali has since the Sixties.  I paid a dollar for a haunt - What a deal?!

Ms. Crowe links are attached to her interview below:


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Interview with Penelope

Interview with Penelope Crowe,    
Author of
100 Unfortunate Days   

Questions: R. Murry

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

I am currently a writer and artist—and probably SHOULD have been doing this all along. I have been everything from a small business owner to VP of sales for an outsourcing company, which by the way, was NOT my cup of tea. I write dark fiction/horror and also children’s books. I illustrate both.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

Yes. J It was called The Littlest Grape—written and illustrated by six year old me…so nothing has changed. It was the tale of a grape that was so tiny that no one wanted to pick him. Then one day Tanya and Tory picked him and he was made into fine wine.

Were you inspired by someone or something?

I don’t know if inspired is the word—I just always wrote and drew. I was inspired by other people’s art, and I would try and recreate what I saw. My father set up an art area for me in the basement with paints and a table with a light.

What do you like about writing a story?

Neat question. I like winging it. I like starting with a singular idea and letting it go where it wants to go. I love to integrate situations or visuals into a story that do not seem to fit and see if they manifest into something new.

Can you tell us about your book?

100 Unfortunate Days is a book that does not fit into a regular mold. There is no story to speak of and it is written in diary form. Each ‘day’ is a completely new and different idea from the day before. It is very dark and does not have a plot. Some have categorized it as psychological horror, some as dark fiction. It is a look into madness and questions good and evil. It is a book not for everyone. A few people said they had creepy things happen to them after they read the book—especially at 3 a.m..

Are you working on something new at the moment?

Yes. I am finishing a horror anthology called The Daughter of Nostradamus, and an illustrated children’s book called Art Mouse about an art-loving girl named Mary who 
meets a mouse that has a gallery behind the walls of her house.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Only do it if you love it. It is consuming and takes up too much time for a job that you don’t care for.

Where can people go to read your work?

My work is available on Amazon—children’s books under the name Dea Lenihan and dark and creepy as Penelope Crowe.

My latest:

Latest illustrated by me:
THE OPEN PILLOW written by David Rowinski, illustrated by yours truly.

Do you have anything to add?

Thank you so much for having me Roy. Much appreciated.  

Here are my links:

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Voices in my Head

Poems by Cindy Smith

Reviewed by R. Murry

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood was T.S. Eliot’s motto for writing.   His name and motto I picked as a stepping stone because of his American fame and the appropriateness of using his motto in referring to Ms. Smith’s style, which is clear and comprehensible – no mental gymnastics required in reading her poems

I give you a microcosm of her writing technique:

From poem:  OLD MAN        (My note: Man looking back on life.)

…You are thinking of your children
    They are all full grown
    “Where are they? How are they?
    Why have they left me alone?”…

From poem:  NEW LIFE        (My note: Pregnant woman talking to unborn child.)

…I will try to show you
   The best way that I can
   How to love and respect
   The whole family of man…

Cindy Smith writes from the heart.  She, as in the poems OLD MAN, NEW LIFE, and the others in this collection of poetry, communicates in an understanding way that we all can relate to.  I am happy to say that her poems meet T.S. Eliot’s motto’s criteria for being genuine poems.

Being an old man and a father, 65 years old with two adult sons, LOL, I connected right away with these two poems.  I read them a number of times because of their theme and the easy flow of the thoughtful words.

I recommend that you purchase VOICES IN MY HEAD for your bookcase.  Take it out every once in awhile and quietly read a good-heart word or two.  These poems will take you away from your everyday life and make you feel good about yourself, or not.

Purchase at:
Amazon Paperback:

Barnes and Noble: