Dennis Carstens has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?

Dennis Carstens, you can connect with me at www.denniscarstensauthor.com and on www.facebook.com/TheKeyToJustice. Keep in touch on social media with the hashtag #MarcKadellaMystery

  1. Other than writing, what is your favorite hobby or thing you enjoy for fun?

Even though I am not very good at it because I am basically a beginner, I do like to go golfing with friends. It’s a very pleasant way to spend a nice summer day. I have five grandchildren who are a hobby also. Everything you may have heard about being a grandparent is true. It’s terrific. The kids are all very nice, healthy and fun. And best of all when they act up as kids do, it’s time to go home.

  1. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.

I actually wrote my first book The Key to Justice in 1999 – 2000. I tried to go the traditional route to get it published and was met with total disinterest and rejection. Discouraged, I did not take it up again until 2011. My son encouraged me to self-publish on Amazon. The response surprised me with its success which encouraged me to continue.

The legal world, murder mystery/courtroom drama is the only genre I have written so far. I am extremely interested and well read in history and I have in mind a couple of historical novels based on actual events that I will eventually do.

  1. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…

I am a retired lawyer who always enjoyed a good legal genre novel. What got me interested in doing one is most of the books in the genre left me wondering if the author had ever seen the inside of a courtroom. Ever represented a live, human client with a real legal problem or tried to make a living practicing law. Some do such as Scott Turow and Steve Martini who are very experienced and very good. Then others such as John Grisham, James Patterson and Michael Connelly who clearly have no clue. I wanted to write more realistically about what it is like.

  1. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…

I am about to start, and by the time you read this will have started, the eighth of the Marc Kadella legal mystery series. No, I am not going to tell you about it. Buy it, you’ll like it.

  1. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?

To me the main thing I need to have mostly figured out before I start writing is the ending. I think it is very important to know where you are going so as not to wander off too far as can happen. Writing a book is almost like building a house. You build the story one step at a time. And just as building a house you better have a pretty good idea of what it is supposed to look like when you are finished.

I do not use a written outline. I know what my beginning is going to be, my ending and the middle. I keep a lot of notebooks around the house, especially by my bed, for when ideas pop into my head so I can make notes of it.

As for characters, this is the main thing I am trying to accomplish. I want to create an emotional tie between the reader and the characters (good or bad, favorable or unfavorable) to keep the reader engaged to find out how they all make out in the end. Several of my characters are in all of my books and I do keep a written profile of each to be consistent. I also do that with non-recurring characters for the same reason.

I normally focus on one book at a time but things come to me about future books. When this happens I write up notes about it so as not to forget. Makin notes is extremely important. I once had a dream and I awoke in the middle of the night thinking about it. It was a great idea for a book. I laid in bed for at least twenty minutes thinking it through and was quite pleased about it. Instead of getting up and writing it down I was certain I would remember it in the morning. When I woke up I remembered having a dream, waking up and thinking about it but could not remember one thing about the dream itself. Still have not. Take notes. Do not rely strictly on your memory.

  1. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

I prefer to have my characters tell my story with their actions and interactions and their dialogue. I do not use a lot of third party narration for this. I think it helps with character development, creates the reader-character bond and makes the story flow along better. When reading I can get a little bored with page after page of third party narration.

I am a lawyer, not a grammar expert. Apparently there are people out there who believe they are. I have used the internet to check on grammar usage all the time and have found there are differing opinions on proper usage. If you think you are a grammar expert, you probably are not. At least others will disagree with you. Plus, I use dialogue the way people actually speak not the way your sixth grade English teacher tried to get you to speak.

  1. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?

At first I did nothing much except publish on Amazon and let them do the marketing. There are services out there who will work with you for a fee or commission to use Amazon and other book promo organizations to promote your book. I am just now starting to use them and it has worked for me. But, I was fortunate to do well right away which, from what I understand, is quite unusual.

  1. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

First of all, be disciplined. Writing a 300 plus page fiction novel is very difficult. It is a lot of work. There are millions of partially written manuscripts sitting in desk drawers in this country from people who found this out. They wanted to try it, and good for them, then got part way into it and ran out of ideas.

I treat writing like a job. I am retired but I get up every morning around 6:30 and am at the desk by 8:00 every day. I have a daily goal of what I want to accomplish and I get at it and work until I have it. If you are employed, make a schedule every week of times when you are going to write and stick to it. If you can’t be that disciplined, odds are pretty good you are going to fail. Know that going in.

So as not to be overly negative, it is also very rewarding. I am fortunate enough to have had some success and am making a pretty good living at it. I also like the creative side of it. Apparently I have a fairly active imagination and creative streak. Not to brag but I have received more Five Star reviews from readers than all other reviews combined. Each time you get one of those it feels very gratifying to know that all of the work you put into the book was not a waste of time.

Write about what you know. If you are a doctor don’t write science fiction about interstellar space travel. You can do that but it will not seem factual.

Be realistic about your target market. I happen to have worked in a genre that is very popular with the reading public. My audience was quite large going in. Children’s books are enormously popular. For some reason people keep having babies and buying books for them to teach them to read. Apparently no one tells them about dealing with teenagers. Books about the exciting life of a plumber, not so much.

To Trust a Wolf

To Trust a Wolf   by  Danielle Hardgrave   description:

A list of things Helen Jurist never expected to see in her museum:

1. Viking relics
2. A dangerously seductive Dane with a suspicious interest in Viking relics
3. Werewolves

With the discovery of the Cutler Hoard, Helen may be forced to strike the word “never” from her vocabulary.

BOOK 1: To Trust a Wolf    4 STARS

I have to admit that within the same old story of werewolves and vampires the part that shines brightest is Helen. Here is finally a heroine that I can relate too whole heartedly. A no nonsense woman, who doesn’t get hysterical at the sight of mythical creatures, but instead takes it in realizes what’s happening and moves forward from there. While she can’t help but notice how handsome Rune is, and is at times swayed by his charm, she doesn’t let him stop her from trying to do what’s right and find the truth. But mostly a woman whose more about research and organization than some magical quest. I just feel like this here is a real woman, or maybe it’s just because that would so be me. And while Rune is a character I did quite enjoy, I believe Benji was far more intriguing. A being whose hypnotic powers felt more like that of the old tales of vampires, and I’m very curious to see what he’s all about. Altogether it was a good book, with some twists and romance to keep you coming back for more, though it does feel like it was over rather quickly. Regardless, I’ll definitely be picking up the next book as soon as I can.

Palm Beach Bones RELEASE BLITZ!!!

Detective Charlie Crawford is having a tough week. First, Palm Beach’s ex-police chief washes up dead on the beach behind The Breakers. Then Charlie’s friend’s niece is abducted without a trace. As if that wasn’t bad enough, his brother just checked himself into a clinic for depression and alcoholism.

The good news is Charlie’s love life has never been better…except with the woman he really loves.

 

 

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon http://amzn.to/2qK6uEu

Amazon CA http://amzn.to/2qFq8q4

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2ror9jA

 

Also Available Books 1-3 in the Charlie Crawford series, all books can be read as stand-alone

Palm Beach Nasty

Amazon http://amzn.to/2kRvlEE

Amazon CA http://amzn.to/2kqLRyd

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2kRgD3S

 

Palm Beach Poison

Amazon http://amzn.to/2jvF1Yv

Amazon CA http://amzn.to/2kRtOOY

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2kRyNz9

 

Palm Beach Deadly

Amazon http://amzn.to/2kqRP1R

Amazon CA http://amzn.to/2jUQcGo

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2jCW3iq

 

About the Author

A native New Englander, Tom dropped out of college and ran a Vermont bar—straight into the ground. After limping back to college to get his diploma, Tom became an advertising copywriter, first in Boston then New York. After ten years of post-Mad Men life, he made a radical change and got a job in Manhattan commercial real estate. Not long after that he ended up in Palm Beach, buying, renovating and selling houses while collecting a lot of raw material for his novels. On the side, he wrote Palm Beach Nasty and a screenplay called Dead in the Water. While at a wedding a few years back, he fell for the charm of Charleston, South Carolina. He moved there and wrote Palm Beach Poison and a series set in Charleston. Recently, wandering Tom moved again. This time, just down the road to Skidaway Island, outside of Savannah, where he just completed Palm Beach Deadly.

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Where you can find me:

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Prison Planet Barbarian

Prison Planet Barbarian   description:

Being kidnapped by aliens is one thing. Being kidnapped by aliens and then sent to a prison planet is something infinitely worse.

Here in Haven’s prison system, I’m stranded among strangers, enemies, and the most ruthless criminals in the galaxy. There’s no safety for a human woman here, especially not one branded as a murderer. I’m doomed to a fate worse than death.

Then…he decides I should be his. His name’s Jutari. He’s seven feet tall, blue, and horned. He’s an assassin and one of the most dangerous prisoners here. He’s like no one I’ve ever met before…and he might be my only chance.

This story stands completely alone and is only marginally connected to the Ice Planet Barbarians series. You do not need to read those books in order to follow this one.

Prison Planet Barbarian  3 STARS

This book is definitely separate from the Ice Planet Barbarians series. However, if you are reading the series I wouldn’t check this out until you’ve read Barbarian’s Lady, because you do get a mention of Chloe and her connection to the women there. This was a fun look into the rest of the galaxy, seeing more species and how things are ran, and their view on humans and knowledge of them. I really enjoyed this book, and having read Dixon’s other series, it was fun seeing the connections of the different aliens and the galaxy out there, and it’d be great to see how far she can take all of this. I just didn’t like that for once we could see a relationship form between a messakh and a human outside of the influence of a khui, or even the tribe that survives off such pairings, and actually see how they might come together, but instead we get Jutari being influenced by a primal urge. There is no real relationship other than Jutari wanting Chloe, and deciding she is his, and Chloe needing him for protection. Even within the Ice Planet series you’d get more development between the couples that show why they’re a good match, and this just felt too rushed through.

The Winner

The Winner  by  David Baldacci  description:

THE DREAM

She is twenty, beautiful, dirt-poor, and hoping for a better life for her infant daughter when LuAnn Tyler is offered the gift of a lifetime, a $100 million lottery jackpot. All she has to do is change her identity and leave the U.S. forever.

THE KILLER

It’s an offer she dares to refuse…until violence forces her hand and thrusts her into a harrowing game of high-stakes, big-money subterfuge. It’s a price she won’t fully pay…until she does the unthinkable and breaks the promise that made her rich.

THE WINNER

For if LuAnn Tyler comes home, she will be pitted against the deadliest contestant of all: the chameleon-like financial mastermind who changed her life. And who can take it away at will…

the-winnerThe Winner   3 STARS

This book took me forever to get through. While it was good, it just wasn’t so to the point I couldn’t wait to know what would happen next. You want to know the answers, but it also feels like it takes a bit too long to get the answers. More so, I really loved the Will Robie books, and Baldacci’s style of writing which feels so factual and to the point worked great with them. With him attempting to put a bit of a love story in here, and dealing with their growing emotions, made it not the best style. It’s like he had all the right parts but just couldn’t get them to flow together in a way that made LuAnn’s and Riggs’ feelings come across as realistic. I think that’s the one thing that should’ve had more of a build and less rushed. Plus the whole psychic bit that got thrown in for no reason, and how Jackson knew everything about LuAnn except the fact that she had no SSN, and so many other things that felt like they were holes in the story that I don’t want to mention for fear of spoiling it if you do wish to read this. There are good things. The plot was definitely different, and LuAnn was someone you could relate to, and her predicament is one that was understandable and tragic. You can’t help but feel sympathy for her throughout all of this. Charlie, Riggs, and even Jackson are well developed characters, but there was just something lacking in the end.

E.C. “Redge” Hanes has been INTERVIEWED!!!

redge-hanes1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?

E.C. “Redge” Hanes. My Web site is www.echanes.com and you can find me on twitter @redgehanes and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hanesec

2.      Other than writing, what is your favorite hobby or thing you enjoy for fun?

First would be fly fishing followed at some distance by orchid propagation. Wing shooting is also a contender and in my younger days polo was a prime hobby. The stitches and broken bones slowed me down on this one so I took up golf…still hitting a white ball off the grass but it’s sitting still and I’m not going twenty miles and hour.

  1. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.

    I have been writing for seventeen years and have written fiction [ novels and short stories, essays and mediocre poetry.

  2. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…

Other authors who have shown me how to translate life stories to the page.

  1. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…justice

I am writing a novel which reconnects with William Bowater twenty five years after the end of my first book. It serves as a final chapter in Billy’s search for truth and self understanding.

  1. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?

    I decide what story I am going to tell and who is the best person to tell it. Sometimes, as in Justice By Another Name, the narrator is an unidentified third person, the omniscient observer. Other times I let my main character tell their story. I decide what the action is that will carry the story and do a preliminary outline; however as I write, certain characters become more real to me while others shrink away. I get to know my characters as I go along.

  2. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

    A friend and fellow author once wrote a blurb for one of my books in which she said,” you can write scenes like a son of a bitch.” I’ll consider that as a testament to my main strength as a writer. Weaknesses are legion but not glaring.

  3. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?

    The first thing I do is hire a good publicist. The second thing is to listen to them. The last thing of late is to get someone who understands and can navigate the less than wonderful world of social media.

  4. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

Don’t think you’re going to make a living writing, so do it because you love the process while holding on to the myth that you will make a lot of money.

 

Justice by Another Name COVER REVEAL!!!

justice

Justice by Another Name  by  E.C. Hanes

March 7th, 2017

THRILLING MURDER MYSTERY SET IN ONE OF THE SOUTH’S MOST CONTROVERSIAL INDUSTRIES

              If Lana Reavis can’t get justice for her husband’s death, will she get vengeance?

In the second title by distinguished North Carolina author E.C. Hanes, Justice by Another Name  readers are submerged in the profitable but much-maligned hog industry in North Carolina when Paul Reavis’ suspicious workplace death is followed up by the similarly questionable demise of his own son.

A thunderous, unforgettable opening sets the breakneck pace of Justice by Another Name, a page-turner that keeps readers guessing to the very last sentence. Hanes knows eastern North Carolina—its people, culture, and geography—and brings it to life with wonderful documentary precision that authenticates every word.

Lana Reavis, who believes her husband was murdered and her son the victim of deliberate negligence, enlists the aid of her long-ago boyfriend, Will Moser, who is currently chief deputy of Hogg County and the heir apparent to the local sheriff.

As Will’s investigation unfolds, suspicious activities and cover-ups begin to emerge. All evidence points to Oris Martin, the powerful owner of Martin Farms, a huge hog-production enterprise and Hogg County’s largest employer, as the mastermind. Despite political pressure and physical threats to look the other way, Will continues his search for what really happened. Meanwhile, Lana, convinced that Oris will be beyond the reach of justice, devises a plan to avenge her family and destroy everything precious to Oris Martin.

“Whether it has been greed, ego, or some psychosis, the human urge to accumulate power, which is at the center of my book, has been the main source of evil and primary fuel for mankind’s continual self destruction,” says Hanes.

Preorder at Indiebound, Amazon and wherever books are sold.

E.C. “Redge” Hanes began his business career working for the famous apparel company started by his great grandfather after graduating from Duke University in 1967 and a tour in Viet Nam in 1969 and 1970 where he was awarded a bronze star. Hanes has served on the boards of several prestigious wildlife conservation, environmental, educational, and arts-related organizations in North Carolina. His debut novel, Billy Bowater, was based on the behind-the-scenes politics of North Carolina with particular focus on the period dominated by the late senator Jesse Helms. Hanes lives in Winston-Salem, NC.

Connect with E.C. Hanes on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and at www.echanes.com

Spy Glass

BOOK 1: Storm Glass  by  Maria V. Snyder

BOOK 2: Sea Glass

Spy Glass  description:

Opal Cowan had been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her friends and rid the world of blood magic. Though she survives, she is forever changed…

Opal Cowan has lost her powers. More than that, she is now immune to magic. Opal is an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference to the world and were her whole world…

Until spying through the glass becomes her new power. Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makes fl ash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that someone has stolen some of her blood and that finding it might let her regain her powers. Or learn if she’s lost them forever…

spy-glassBOOK 3: Spy Glass   5 STARS

There are two things I love about Snyder’s books. How it shows characters overcoming the most horrible of abuses, and coming out of it stronger than ever. First Yelena, and now Opal, show that if you keep fighting, and find those people you can trust in and holding onto them, you can survive whatever the world throws at you. More so, I like that she shows that any who truly seek redemption can find it, one way or another, which is shown in Devlen. I’ve read several reviews that don’t like the relationship that forms between Opal and Devlen, but I understand it. I see it as someone finally getting sober after having done things while in the midst of addiction that no sane person would do, but once sobering up are ashamed of their actions. It was more than just being free of his magic,  because Ulrick who went through similar circumstances shows no ability to take responsibility for his own actions. But you can see how Devlen is one of the few who can understand what Opal is going through, and he tries to help her in the way he was trained to be a Story Weaver. While I’m glad that the characters from the Study series continue to be a big part, I also love how Snyder does mainly focus on the new friends and enemies Opal has gained in her own journeys, and ties up the full arc of the story that we’ve been following through this trilogy. I’m just so happy that she continued to write more in this world with the continuance of the Study series, can’t wait to see what happens next.

Alien Former continued…

Book 1: Alien Former  by  Ashley L. Hunt

Alien Former Collection description:

Joanna Angeles is ready for anything. She has been dispatched to a frozen planet at the back end of nowhere, accompanied only by an advanced Artificial Intelligence known as Barbas. Her mission: to transform an unliveable frozen wasteland into a home for over a hundred-thousand colonists within ten years. Unbeknownst to her, the brutal glacier world is not as lifeless as she thought. When her planetfall is mistaken for the coming of a deity by a local ranger, Volistad, Joanna finds herself embroiled in an ancient war.

Can Joanna and Volistad find common ground, despite their vast differences?
Can they forge a connection to unite their two peoples? Or will the ice-bound world of Chalice claim them all?

Join Joanna & Bardas in their mission to survive to this exotic and new harsh planet…

alien-formerBOOK 1-5: Alien Former   4 STARS

So I bought the complete collection, which is supposed to be books 1-5, and as you can see I already read book 1 and wrote a review for it, but this collection just has it as one whole book, nothing separating out the different stories that can be bought, which makes me think it was previously just chopped up and never meant to really be 5 separate books. I hate it when authors do that, but since it is being sold all together for just 99cents, I’m not going to dock it for having done such. Just give you a heads up, you might as well just go for the complete collection.

Continuing from the first review I did of just book 1, this does continue to develop the characters very well. I feel like I finally got a good picture of Joanna, and really like her character and who she becomes. Understanding the gods that are trapped beneath the surface, and the history of what they were and how they came to be there, was actually a really interesting look at human nature, and a great sci-fi tell all around. Volistad and his people dealing with the upheaval of their beliefs was really well done, and helped show how hard people want to cling to their faith but also the power they may have built upon it. Honestly, even though it’s marked as sci-fi romance, the romance part doesn’t overshadow the plot, and anyone who likes alien adventures would enjoy this. My main problem with the book is it really needs better editing. I almost knocked it down to 3 STARS because of it, but the rest of it was so good I didn’t want to do such. But there are a lot of typos, as well as repetitiveness, which is  a pet peeve of mine. Like yes we get that Barbas’ presence feels like someone reading over your shoulder, and other such description that she got stuck on and felt the need to repeat over and over.

 

The Girl On Legare Street

BOOK 1: The House on Tradd Street  by  Karen White

The Girl On Legare Street  description:

Melanie has grown accustomed to renovating old houses, but she never imagined she’d have to renovate her own life to include her estranged mother. Ginnette Prioleau Middleton left Charleston thirty-five years ago. She’s returned wanting to protect the daughter she’s never really known after receiving an ominous premonition.

Melanie never wanted to see her mother again, but with some prodding from her partner, Jack Trenholm, she agrees-and begins to rebuild their relationship. Together Melanie and Ginnette buy back their old home. With their combined psychic abilities they expect to unearth some ghosts. But what they find is a vengeful dark spirit whose strength has been growing for decades. It will take unearthing long buried secrets to beat this demon and save what’s left of Melanie’s family…

legareBOOK 2: The Girl On Legare Street  3 STARS

While the first book was such a surprising delight, this felt like she basically just repeated everything that happened in the first book to the point of being obnoxious. The plot itself was a good idea for a sequel. Going back to the house Melanie grew up in, and should’ve inherited, helped to learn more about her past, and a good reason to bring in her mom. But while this ghost is supposed to be the scariest ghost her mom ever came in contact with, and supposedly why she might have left, it didn’t manage to inflict much of anything in comparison with the previous evil ghost on Tradd Street. The big reveal was so glaringly obvious through the majority of the book that it was rather sad the characters didn’t figure it out, though White made their search into the truth so convoluted that I wasn’t even sure what it was they were trying to figure out half the time. For instance there was 7 words they had to put in the right order to figure out a sentence, and for anyone who reads it would take 2 seconds to know what it was meant to say, and yet they had to write out every variation of the order they could go in. Why? And Melanie’s childish behavior towards her mom, even after her dad told her the truth, was frustrating enough. But her still acting like Jack is a bad guy just playing her made me want to punch her in the face. It was such a rehashing of the same issues in the last book, it’s like it might as well not even have happen. Altogether, while it wasn’t the worst, it was a let down.