Category Archives: New Release

New Release: DARK MIND by Jennifer Chase

Emily Stone is hot on the trail of an abducted child and the clues take her to the beautiful island paradise of Kauai.  It doesn’t take long for her to get thrown into the middle of murder, mayhem, and conspiracies.  A serial killer stalks the island, taking women in a brutal frenzy of ancient superstitions and folklore.  Local cops are stumped without any clues or suspects. 

Can Emily find the killer before it’s too late?

Scheduled release date: November 21, 2011

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Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Crime, Mystery, New Release, Thriller, Writing


EIKO, a new release by Kenan Brack


In this martial-arts fantasy, a young girl is raised by the assassins who killed her family.  When she comes of age, she becomes their next target.  Eiko follows a dangerous and fascinating journey as she grows from child to young woman, along the way experiencing a world few could understand.

Eiko was released on October 1, 2011 and is published by GrayBooks, LLC. It can be found at




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Posted by on November 5, 2011 in New Release, Writing


Guest Blogger: Stephen Brayton

I’m pleased to bring you guest blogger, Stephen Brayton, whose second book, BETA, will be released on October 1, 2011. In addition to being an author, Stephen is a Fifth Degree Black Belt instructor, business owner, and graphic designer. 

A Study in Character

Many things I’ve learned over the years are self-taught. When I worked as a graphic designer at a local newspaper, I was unfamiliar about the software being used to create advertising. Slowly, through the months, I discovered new things to be done with the program others hadn’t.

So it was with writing. I didn’t know anything about outlining, or formatting, or even too much editing, but throughout the years, I developed a system that worked for me. When I started writing my first action mystery, I knew what type of character I wanted as my protagonist. Since, she has developed into a deeper character with more flaws and more personality. At the time, though, I sat with pen in hand and wrote a very basic character outline. Along with her general description, I listed her favorite color, flower, food/drink, car, clothing, music, books. Nobody told me to do this and I didn’t read any guidelines out of a how-to book. This just made sense to me to do this to better understand about whom I was writing.

Years later, I read about a more in-depth character outline. This included background information, childhood memories, past employment, etc. Also included was a guideline to understand the character in that particular story. I liken it to actors preparing for a scene. What’s their motivation? What’s their goal? What are their obstacles? How are the obstacles overcome? These series of questions can be used for every character in every scene and for the story as a whole. However, the trap into which some writer may fall is taking this too far. I know a writer whose character description included almost soap opera like dimensions. While this may be fine to jot down, do those miscellaneous factoids have any bearing on the present story? If not, I think time has been wasted when actual writing could have been done.

One of the difficulties I encountered was in the physical description of the characters. Brown eyes, dark brown hair, and medium build are so common, and I get bored reading about the same person in many books. For me, I had to develop a mental image of each character and I based the looks on various people I knew whether they be friends, classmates, or people in the public eye such as movie or television actresses.

Mallory Petersen, in Beta (release date October 1), was an easy character to develop. Basically, she is me as a female, with a little more flair, better looks, and better martial arts skills. I just took many of my traits, likes and dislikes, and improved them to create Mallory. The drug lord has the suave looks of Powers Booth while one of the cops takes his attractiveness from Nicholas Cage. One of the bad guys has an avian visage. Many characters were drawn from actual people I encountered while doing research. The stern secretary. The flustered receptionist.

For my first book, Night Shadows, background plays a large role for each of the two protagonists. Harry Reznik is married to an attractive woman and feels lucky to have her for a wife. He attended almost three years at the university unable to decide upon a career choice…until he met his future wife. So she, in essence, helps to develop his character throughout their marriage. For Lori Campisi, her background is mystery, and her struggle against amnesia and the revelations are part of the story. I knew the personality I wanted to portray and had a mental image of her features. The medical examiner has, “Tom Brokaw handsomeness.” The Lieutenant is drawn from a model in a magazine. Reznik compares FBI Agent Campisi to Spock because of her control over exhibiting emotions.

Good authors will bring their characters off the pages and put them into the reader’s mind’s eye. Of course, every person’s conception of a particular character may be different from another’s, but differing views are the beauty of imagination and what make the books enjoyable.

Learn more about Stephen at his website:

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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Mystery, New Release, Writing

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