Duplicity of Power

Wild Heritance Book 1

S. Lynn Helton’s debut novel in the Wild Hertiance series is an epic, action and adventure fantasy novel.  Here’s a brief synopsis:

Namid is a leader within the Shadowers, a select guild of rogues in the decrepit city of Rhadanthus. While she has not always been a Shadower, among them she has found a refuge of sorts from darker times. By chance, she rescues a stranger from the brink of death, only to be plunged into chaos and adventure when a long-forgotten threat upends her hard-won haven and sends her fleeing for her life.

Caught up in the stranger’s quest, Namid and her unusual allies find themselves cast across the Six Realms of the Monarch and beyond. Antiquity and present clash, entangling the unlikely band in power struggles, the machinations of gods, and the dangers of a past thought left behind.

What at first seemed a fool’s errand to restore a legendary artifact of Power becomes a gambit for the Six Realms’ fate – and her own. And Namid doesn’t even believe in fate!

You can find out more about this action and adventure author on her website, at All Author, or on Facebook. You may ask her questions at Goodreads Author S. Lynn Helton.

Lynn’s Interview

What is your (1) most favorite thing to do OR (2) least favorite thing to do?

My most favorite thing to do is read. I’ve been reading since I was four – one of the earliest pictures of me shows me with a book in my hand. I love reading because I can experience other places and other people’s views at very little expense and without having to pack a bag and run off somewhere. (Although I do love to visit new places, too!) I can discover new worlds from reading, both real and imaginary, or learn more about our world. Give me a book and I’m happy! 🙂

Book lover extraordinaire!

Do you prefer to read (1) an audiobook OR (2) a paperback?

I prefer to read a physical book, paperback or hardcover doesn’t matter. I like holding the book in my hands, turning the pages. While I’ve listened to a couple of audiobooks—and they were excellent—I’m more of a visual person and so get more from the story when I’m actually reading the words. And I like how it’s just me and the writer, with no one else’s interpretations involved.

Total immersion in an actual book for you!

Can you name just one favorite novel OR (2) you love too many to just pick one?

I definitely love too many to pick just one. Although, at any given time I might have one that’s my favorite at that moment. I do have some all-time favorite authors, C. S. Friedman and Roger Zelazny to name a couple of them. But even among their books, I can’t always pick a favorite. I love discovering new-to-me writers with novels that join my too-many-to-just-pick-one list.

A true bibliophile!

You prefer (1) to people watch OR (2) bird watch?

Can I say both? 😀 I enjoy people-watching – it’s a great source of ideas for characterizations of people for stories. I can get ideas from how I see people interacting, perhaps mannerisms they have, different ways of holding themselves and dressing and wearing the adornments they’ve chosen for themselves. I do also enjoy watching birds, though, especially little birds. I love how they flutter and flit about, always seeming to be in motion.

Yes, you may!

Do you write when the mood takes you or at a set time?

While it’s definitely easiest to write when I’m in the mood for it, I’ve learned that it’s not required. Having a family doesn’t always give me the option of writing when I want, so I’ve adapted to writing when I can. With our various schedules, I seem to have most of most weekday mornings for my stuff, so that time has become my default “set writing time”. Although it’s also sometimes my editing time, my marketing time, my research time…. I try to keep it all writing related! I do still sneak in other times for writing, especially when I’ve got an idea I just have to get written down.

Primarily when she can slot the time!

Thanks for being interviewed, Lynn!

Duplicity of Power book cover
Duplicity of Power


Sorty Makin’ a Doctor

Brutally Honest, Wildly Entertaining

Memoir author J. Douglas Smith has published his debut novel which is a combination of memoir, sports, and spirituality. Here is a synopsis:

A memoir that follows one man from lower middle class in the midwestern United States through medical school, thirty years of practicing medicine to his transition into coaching high school basketball. The statement that true life is stranger than fiction is no more accurate than when we look at the world through a lenses of a physician, especially one who spent a lot of time in the Emergency Department. You’ve never met a doctor who got help from a convict, had a pepper eating contest with a man called “Fat Whore,” participated in American Ninja Warrior, and took a canoe trip down river with a nude Intensive Care doctor. The story is told with humor, humility, and brutal honesty that stirs all of the emotions.

You can find out more about this memoir author on his website. You may send him a Tweet at @SortofaDoctor1, an Instagram at sortofadoctor1, or find him on LinkedIn. See what he’s reading or ask him questions at Goodreads Author J Douglas Smith.

Doug’s Interview

You prefer (1) to eat a home-cooked meal with family and friends OR (2) to eat in a big-name restaurant?

Home with family and friends hands down. Everyone can be himself, unafraid of spills, and nobody has to be concerned about the cost of the meal. For three years running after my dad had a stroke, we have had my parents over weekly for Sunday dinner. It is definitely time that we all cherish.

Family meals for you!

Do you (1) buy an item on impulse OR (2) save up to buy the item?

Your joking, right? Save. I can’t say I’ve never bought anything on impulse, but I’m usually the guy who can walk in the store and leave with the one item he has planned to purchase. That planning usually takes a fair amount of time.

Controllable shopping!

What provides more inspiration to you: (1) art OR (2) nature?

I think I’m equally inspired by both. I live on a small farm and enjoy seeing life constantly evolving and regenerating there. I love the last visible rays of sunlight as Old Sol says so long for the night. I’m also deeply moved by art–music, literature, and movies in particular.

Balanced mix!

Your significant other or child asked you to do something you don’t like to do. Do you (1) grin and bear it OR (2) mumble to yourself while doing the task?

Most times I grin and bear it. My love language is acts of service. In turn, I feel like I best show love when serving others. When I do stumble with a grumble, I am comforted to know that God provided me with a resource that lets me know that it’s ok to be human. (Matthew 21:28-32)

Tries not to ever grumble!

What is your favorite (1) song OR (2) book?

It’s much easier for me to say with certainty what my favorite song is than I am able to single out one book, movie, or tv show. If I have any friends or family left when I cross-over, Roll with the Changes by REO Speedwagon will undoubtedly be played at my celebration of life. Every time I hear the first two notes of that song, I’m instantly transported back to the insouciance of youth and to fantastic memories of shared experiences with my family and closest friends. Besides, no matter what life throws at you, what else can you do but Roll with the Changes?

Turn some pages!

Thanks for being interviewed, Doug!

Sorty Makin' a Doctor book cover
Sorty Makin’ a Doctor

Tales of Mundus


Fantasy author Chris Sifniotis’s debut novel is now available on Amazon.  Here’s a brief synopsis:

It’s amazing what you can find when you least expect it.

By the babbling brooks of the Great River, the halfling Ceannte finds a mysterious piece of gold hidden under the water. He quickly tries to cash in his fortune, but soon discovers an even bigger find. At the center of the world, he learns of a deeper history untold, and the golden coin he holds turns into a quest to find the others. And so begins Ceannte’s quest to find the Pieces of Eight, and he starts at home.

His quest quickly takes a backseat, however, as a sudden change of heart from the Merchant Queen renders him penniless and stranded. He finds a friend, the seasoned hero Capall Beag, and their partnership leads the fisherman headfirst into a world of magic, piracy, and intrigue. In the first book of the Tales of Mundus, who controls who?

You can find out more about this fantasy author on his website and blog or on Facebook. You may send him a Tweet. Chris also blogs at Goodreads Author Chris Sifniotis.

Chris’s Interview

Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?

I reckon I’m a solid 85% introvert. I do like to socialize at any opportunity, and I like to meet new people. But I’m also very aware that people are not super into history, mythology, mathematics, or the sort of media I watch. So it can be very difficult to maintain a conversation.

“Oh, you like Thor Ragnorok too? That’s cool! I like how Loki is portrayed in the Marvel movies, he’s a proper Chaotic Neutral trickster and not just an analogue for Satan……….Yeah, Tom Hiddleston’s a good actor…”

I used to be very much more disinclined to talk as a young adult, so I know that had a real affect on my ability to be sociable. I am still quite shy, but I am more willing to just chat to anyone who listens.

Striving to become more extroverted!

What is your most favorite thing to do or least favorite thing to do?

Listen to music. Quite frankly my entire experience is surrounded by music. My creative career centers around my ability to translate music into other forms of art, even my written work is inspired by the music I listen to. Beyond creativity music conjures images and dreams as I listen to it, certain music can affect my mood, and thus what I think and write, specific music can even influence my body temperature. Gorillaz’s ‘We Got the Power’ and Zedd’s ‘Clarity’ are the only examples I know that give me an energy boost simply by listening to them. Music is, has been, and I suspect always will be an ever present influence on not only my experience in general, but how I experience life.

I encourage new authors with an interest in surrealism to listen to Jean Michel Jarre, anyone with an ear for an alternative sound should check out the Fourplay Electronic String Quartet, and anyone that wishes to enhance their high fantasy experience should have a look for the composers of the Age of Wonders series of computer games; Michel van den Bos and Mason B. Fisher.

Music is inspirational!

Your novel brought you fame and fortune. Do you spend approximately $2 million on an expensive car on a Hollywood-style RV?

Livin’ the dream…

Let me answer this question with a gigantic caveat in saying that I would honestly do neither of those things, but let’s entertain the idea. If given the choice between a hyper car and an RV, gimme the Koenigsegg SSC Tuatara!! I want to experience the closest I can get to the speed of light.

My real answer is much less interesting. I’d keep a million for myself for financial security and to fund my writing career, and the rest would be donated. I want to emulate John Green and his positive effect on the world. Nerdfighteria forever!

Making donation to charity instead!

The most important event in the past century was the moon landing or the Berlin Wall coming down?

Undeniably the moon landing. I am currently at university and I recently learned about the 20th century broadly. What genuinely sets the last century apart is the sheer scale of the violence, the ideological fervor, and the legacies of the World Wars and the politics within them. Despite the fact that I currently live in a world that survived the existential crisis that the Cold War both developed and at times encouraged, it genuinely shocks me that the world still exists as it does. Yes, the destruction of the Berlin Wall is a very important piece of history, signifying the end of totalitarian communism and reaffirming unity and the global community. But the fact that during this period the space race was not only in full swing, but also that for the first time in our nearly three million year history of civilization building we left our home and traveled to a new celestial body; the moon landing is the event that defines humanity at its best.

We can hate each other. We can decide to let our differences define us, create the fences that encircle our tribes, and partition the community into individual camps that fight each other. Of course, this is a thing we can do, and have demonstrated to have done in the past. Or we can combine our forces, build upon the shoulders of our ancestors together, and propel ourselves into the future. I much prefer the latter.

Interesting insight!

Do you write when the mood takes you or at a set time?

Kinda neither, but I do write better and quicker while I feel inspired and in the mood to write. I make the effort to write everyday, either on a story or just a random idea. I work in hospitality, so most days I tend to come home tired. I would need to spend some hours simply to recharge and gather energy to write. The weekends are precious to me, I have the time to spend time writing and coming up with new ideas for interesting settings and characters.

In the mood!

Thanks for being interviewed, Chris!

Tales of Mundus: Puppets book cover
Tales of Mundus: Puppets

The String Rider

Sci-fi author John Espie’s time travel novel is available on Amazon in both ebook and paperback format. Here’s a brief synopsis:

Trevor jumps 20 years forward to steal lotto numbers for his dream girl Rubie. Except, in this future, Rubie has been murdered… and Trevor instantly adores the daughter he’s raising with another woman. Never mind his missing thumb or the fact that he drives a minivan… with eyelashes. So, upon his return, Trevor must ask: how can he save Rubie? And does saving her mean his daughter won’t be born, or can he—should he—have both?

You can find out more about this sci-fi author on his Goodreads blog or him questions at Goodreads Author John Espie.

John’s Interview

Science has advanced, and we can now colonize other planets. Do you (1) sign up to be a colonist OR (2) remain on Earth?

I’ll stay on Earth because only the rich will be able to afford to colonize. After sitting back to watch the prices plummet on their Earth-based vacation homes, I’ll swoop in on a modest seaside villa for a killer deal and then proceed to live the life of Gatsby… minus the heartbreak and getting shot to death.

Wow! Interesting perspective!

Your novel brought you fame and fortune. Do you spend approximately $2 million on (1) an expensive car OR (2) a Hollywood-style RV?

Easy– Hollywood RV with a tricked out Jeep in tow. My family currently has an aging RV trailer for vacationing, and my dream is to someday own a fancy motorhome that simply requires me to push a button, and it automatically levels and sets itself up. Ahhh… glamping like a richie…

Living the rich life in style!

Are you (1) a morning person OR (2) a night owl?

If you ask my family, they would insist that I’m a morning person because I get up at 5 am, hours before everybody else. In fact, I despise waking up that early, but it’s the only way I can get an hour or two of quiet time to work without interruption.

Understandable reasoning!

Do you write (1) when the mood takes you OR (2) at a set time?

Well… kind of somewhere in the middle. I write whenever the opportunity presents itself. If my wife unexpectedly takes the kids out of the house for a couple of hours, then y’know what? The mood to write just struck me!

Opportunity seeker!

(1) Can you name just one favorite novel OR (2) you love too many to just pick one?

I couldn’t pick just one novel, because I appreciate that everyone has a different style to offer. A sampling of my favorite authors includes John Steinbeck, Kurt Vonnegut, Dr. Seuss, and who knows how many more. Limiting myself to one is unthinkable!

Lover of many novels!

Thanks for being interviewed, John!

The String Rider book cover
The String Rider

Nursery’s Rhyme

Suspense novelist Trish Arrowsmith’s debut novel is now available to pre-order on Amazon. Trish describes her work as a combination of suspense, thriller, and police procedural. Here’s a brief synopsis:

Sometimes change can forge a path to a new beginning…

Other times, it leaves a trail for your past to follow.

Lawrence Rockefeller, known as “Rock” to most, is doing his best to embrace the recent changes in his life: marriage, a newborn daughter, a promotion to Lead Detective, and a new work partner. At home, he’s struggling with the idea of being a “family man” rather than a carefree bachelor. At work, he’s trying to earn the respect of his captain while learning to trust his new partner, Dixie.

When a call comes in from a frantic mother reporting a missing infant, Rock believes it will be a simple custody case. His hope for an easy closure diminishes when Dixie finds three mismatched mittens strung across the window in the baby’s nursery. Rock knows this is a message from the kidnapper and after years of working missing persons’ cases, he’s aware of the limited amount of time he has to bring the child home alive.

As the days and weeks pass by, more reports of missing infants come in and Rock finds himself falling victim to the emotional pull of the case. He’s battling a reporter determined to ruin his career, trying to find the person that’s been watching his wife and daughter for over a year, and uncovering secrets about his partner’s personal life, all while convincing his captain that he’s still capable of performing his duties.

Upon receiving a letter threatening his family, Rock must determine whether it came from the stalker or the kidnapper looking for their final victim. His time is almost up.

You can find out more about this thriller author on her Trish Arrowsmith Author website or on Facebook. You may send her a Tweet, an Instagram, or ask her questions at Goodreads Author Trish Arrowsmith.

Trish’s Interview

You see an amusing incident while grocery shopping. Do you (1) record what happens in some form OR (2) do nothing?

I would watch but I would never record it. I would, most likely, write up a post about it to put on social media where I have the option to limit the audience. I would not mention a specific name of either the location or the person(s) involved. My main reason for not recording it is because I think it’s unfair to record or take pictures of people without their permission. Speaking from personal experience, some people have to go to extreme lengths to not broadcast where they are, live, or places they may frequent.

Sounds reasonable!

You have enough money to do anything. Will you (1) pamper yourself at a spa for a week OR (2) go on a cruise for a week?

I would choose a cruise every time. I’m not really one to pamper myself often and as much as I hate to admit it, I am not a fan of people touching me, to the extreme that I have to give myself a pep talk before going in to get my nails done. At a spa, I would last about three hours, just long enough for a manicure, pedicure, and massage. I don’t know what I would do with the rest of the week. On a cruise, I would be sitting on the deck all day long, soaking up the sun, seeing new places, and creating lasting memories that a spa couldn’t replicate. I’m also a nature lover and prefer to be outside as often as I can be.

Cruising it is!

Do you find it (1) easy to give a witty retort OR (2) think of what you should have said after the conversation is over?

It does depend a little bit on the circumstances. If I’m in a job interview, I always think of something better I could have said while I’m driving home or trying to fall asleep. In most cases, I do find it easy to give a witty retort. I blame (and thank) my dad for my quick wit. Sometimes my responses are funny, sometimes they sound mean, often times they are both depending on what side one is observing from. I’m more honest than I should be at times which is why some responses may sound harsher than they are meant to be.

Circumstantial response for you!

Are you (1) a morning person OR (2) a night owl?

Both and neither. When I was younger, I was always a night owl. 2am was my best time. I was energetic, creative, and full of life. As I got older, I started not staying up quite so late, mainly because I had to be up early for work. Now, and for the past few years, I just don’t sleep. I typically fall asleep around 11pm or 12 and am up between 4 and 5. I often joke that I run on caffeine but I think that statement is more accurate than I like to admit.

Running on caffeine!

What provides more inspiration to you: (1) art OR (2) nature?

Nature, by far. I am inspired by artists and seeing what they are able to create but nature has so much to offer before being touched by the human mind. Nature is raw and authentic. It’s beautiful and destructive. Harsh and kind. It’s brings life and death, compassion and unforgiving chaos. Nature, if you’re willing to take the time to enjoy it, is able to pull inspiration from the deepest parts of you.

Lovely comparison!

Thanks for being interviewed, Trish!

Nursery's Rhyme book cover
Nursery’s Rhyme