Thursday, August 21, 2014

Interview: C.R. Asay

Interview: C.R. Asay

Heart of Annihilation was released this month through WIDO Publishing. Christauna is someone I consider to be a friend, and an amazing human being. I’m excited to talk with her about bringing her first book baby into the world, or should I say alien? I should probably call it the latter because that’s what this book’s about—aliens and our military trying to keep a lid on their invasion.

A: You write military so well that I feel like I’m actually catching a glimpse behind the scenes. How many years did you serve our country?

C: Only about five years. But it was an amazing five years of getting to know the best people on earth, having amazing experiences, and serving my country. I love my country.

A: We thank you for your service, and this really awesome book inspired by your work. How did you first come up with the idea for the premise behind this book?  

C: I wrote the character Kris Rose in a scene where she’s facing down a red-headed lieutenant with an M-16 pointing at her. Then I had to figure out how she got in that situation. Add on some seriously cool, science-y super powers, an alternate dimension, a horrible crime, and I had the premise for Heart of Annihilation. The bulk of the story took years to develop, but the coolness factor always remained the same.

A: I love the electrical current concept, and your plausible explanation. Is Science Fiction the genre you generally write?

C: I always thought I’d be a fantasy writer because I read a lot of it. But when it came right down to it, I enjoy fantasy that is based in reality. Apparently that’s science fiction. So I write sci-fi. And now I can’t stop. What else could something as common as electricity do if we really understood and could manipulate it? What about the powers of the mind? Or communication between different species? There are a thousand questions that never gets old. Worlds are built them. I will probably write sci-fi until the day I die.

A: It looks like you’ve found your niche, and I agree. A story is more believable when it mimics reality, and actual people. Kris carries a lot of your attributes. Was she modelled after you?

C: Originally, yes. I was a new writer when I wrote my first draft and I didn’t know any better. Anyway, years down the line with massive rewrites and revisions and she has become and entirely different person. I see small similarities between us, but I wouldn’t wish her existence on my worst enemy. This girl has some serious darkness inside her.

A: I think you’re pretty bad-ass, and so is Kris. If there is ever a zombie apocalypse, you’re definitely on my team. I’ll bring the tomahawks. What will be your weapon of choice, and why?

C: My AR-15. It’s such a glorious weapon. Now I understand that it’s a pretty loud weapon so I’ll be happy to sit up in a high building with a scope and pick off the zombies. If I had to do it hand to hand I would use and machete, but I’d rather just shoot the !@#$# from afar.

A: Which is why I’m putting my chips in with you. What’s your favorite aspect of the work?

C: Watching words on a page become real. Real people, real places, real situations. It’s like magic. Only science based. So science fiction then….

A: Great way to describe it! When did you first realize you would be a writer?

C: I started writing after watching my husband write a novel. I became infatuated with the process. However it took me months of watching him and “helping” him before Kris Rose visited me and demanded that I write her story. That was a good 7-8 years ago. And now she is fully realized on a page.

A: It’s awesome that you and your spouse share this. Do you have any advice for someone who is just starting out?

C: Learn the craft. Do the work. Don’t settle for anything other than your fully realized masterpiece. When you finally hold your book, your actual, glorious, perfectly perfect book in your hands for the first time, you will realize it was worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears you put into it.

A: What are you reading right now?

C: Suspect, by Robert Crais. IED sniffing military dog paired up with a wounded police officer who are both suffering from PTSD. It’s fantastic. Can’t recommend it enough.

A: If you could travel back in time and talk to a younger you, what would you say?

C: My younger self didn’t know she had ADHD. My older self does. I’ve only had my diagnoses for about a year and it’s been quite the learning curve. I’d love to tell my younger self that we are not lazy or crazy. Our brains just work a little differently. And it’s because of our differently working brains that brilliant things (such as publishing a book) can come to pass.

 C. R. Asay joined the Utah National Guard at the age of seventeen. After spending time in the 625th Military Police Corp she transferred to the 19th Special Forces group as a counterintelligence agent. She retired from the military after marrying her best friend and graduating from college so that she could embark on the most exciting adventure of all; being a mom.

The short story version of her first novel, Heart of Annihilation, earned an honorable mention from the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest. C. R. Asay currently resides in West Jordan, Utah, with her husband, four children, and a dog. There is always a dog

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review: Fire of the Sea

Fire of the Sea- by Lyndsay Johnson

The first thing I noticed about this book was how beautiful the cover was. I've met Lyndsay, and I've grown to know her on a personal level. I've decided she’s a lovely human being. Of course I wanted to read her novel, but the artwork would’ve drawn me to the pages of a stranger. For one, the story’s about a mermaid! Not just any mermaid either, but a Meriad based on Norse legend. Think of Hans Christian Anderson’s tale, but placed in modern day and closer to actual Viking myths. You have the evil demigoddess, the Selurs, Silkies, and a princess of the sea who (of course) falls in love with a human.

Lyndsay’s writing was rich and as fluid as the ocean she was describing. Although I am familiar with the myths and could predict the ending, I was never certain of how I would arrive at the ultimate conclusion. The story is told from an intimate first-person perspective, placing you directly in the main character, Aeva’s head. You understand her fears and desires, and want what she wants.

All living sentient creatures desire a love so strong that they are willing to sacrifice half of themselves to be whole with someone else. They want to experience a draw towards another soul that is as tangible as the air we breathe. This is the power of myth, magic, and mysticism. The ancients had a brilliant way of explaining fate, destiny, and tragedy in a belief system that allowed gods to be just as flawed as the humans who worshiped them. Lindsay does an amazing job of capturing this element in her work. I give Fire of the Sea a five-star rating, and would recommend this read for anyone who has a love of myths and mermaids.
You can purchase Fire of the Sea at:
The kindle version is only $0.99 for a limited time!


LYNDSAY JOHNSON grew up in the wide expanses of Texas, where the only thing stronger than the accents was the state pride. An over-active imagination, tale-telling father, and an encouraging librarian mother lead to her love of all things creative.

When it comes to books on her bedside table, young adult lit has always been a favorite (Blue Balliett, Libba Bray, and JK Rowling, to name a few). But it was actually an old, yellowing copy of Scandinavian Folk and Fairy Tales that planted a particularly relentless seed. Shapeshifters and sea nymphs began forming an idea that would eventually grow into Lyndsay’s debut novel, Fire of the Sea.

When she is not writing, you can find Lyndsay spending time with her family in the Rocky Mountains of Utah. She enjoys sitting in dark ­theaters, trying new gluten-free recipes, watching breaking storms over the peaks out her window, and secret naps.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: The Offspring

Review: The Offspring
By R.J. Craddock

            I read and reviewed The Forsaken a few months ago, and it was time for me to see what kind of trouble Gwenevere has gotten herself into now. Boy, if you though her interactions with humans were tragic, wait until you see what happens when vampires get ahold of this little witch.

            In The Offspring, Gwenevere is whisked away to an underground fortress named Bac LeNuff where the children of Cain love the night life and the vampire king has evil intentions for twelve-year-old Gwen. Friends become foes and foes become friends as a child witch discovers that an offer of love should never be taken at face-value.

            Like The Forsaken, I struggled with the pacing and POV shifts. The premise is good. The story is heart-wrenching, but the plot moves a little slow for my taste at times and too fast through others. Again, this is probably a style difference, but the fight scene at the end makes the middle worthwhile. I should also warn that there are also some disturbing scenes involving the rape of a child, which is a difficult concept for me.  If you have a sensitivity like I do, you’ll probably want to avoid those parts.

Ruth, the youngest of eight children, was raised in Orem, Utah. She graduated from Orem High in 2001. From 2002 - 2004, Ruth studied Animation and Media Arts at The Art Institute of Phoenix. When she returned home from school, she met her Mr. Perfect and married him in 2006. She now lives in Springville, Utah with her husband and their three sons: five year-old Ethan, three year-old Dylan, and 18 moth old Colin.

Her hobbies include: writing novels, screenplays, poetry, and songs. She also enjoys drawing, painting, sculpting, reading, eating, interior design/home improvement, swing dancing, compulsive shopping, watching movies, quoting movies,and just hanging out with her family.

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