Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I had questions for an interview and was supposed to pick 3 that "touched" me. Well that was pretty hard because they all did. I could have answered them all. The thing I noticed it seemed to evoke emotions of regret. Like, if you could give advice to your seven year old self, or if you could talk to a past boyfriend/girlfriend what would you say? All I could think of is when I was younger and things that I had let pass me by. Times I hadn't taken a chance or even tried. I guess that is what has shaped me to be who I am now. I don't let opportunities pass me by any more. I help out where I can. I let someone know I love them or appreciate them when I get the opportunity or just because. The questions dredged up memories of the past. Memories for the most part, I like to keep buried. I am not that person any more and haven't been for many years. I take chances, I jump in even if I have no idea what exactly I am jumping in to!
I tell people don't let an opportunity pass you by, if something is nudging you to take a moment to talk to someone, do it! If your concience is telling you to turn around and see what is there. Do it. If  an opportunity to get published comes before you. Jump on it! I stepped way out of my comfort zone when I signed up to take a course called utility tech. What the heck did a customer service oriented person know about welding, machining, or blue prints? Not a darned thing! But I took it anyway and I am glad I did! I learned things and met people I would never have gotten to meet otherwise! I have applied for a job as a welder at a company not far from where I live. They are willing to train you. I am hoping against all hope that they will. I did though and now its up to them to either hire me or not. I found I like welding, I like everything about it. Is it hard? yeah, but to me, its fun also.
I have many regrets in my life, the last one that I had was a friend that I didn't take the time to talk to a bit more when my concience told me to. Just see how he was doing. But no, I was in a hurry and couldn't be bothered. A few days later I found out he had killed himself. I know that I probably couldn't have stopped it anyway. But there in the back of my mind, I think, would it have changed anything if I hadn't been in such a hurry? What if I had spent a few minutes more talking to him, letting him know he is worth it. Since then I don't let opportunities pass me by. I tell people I like them, or care about them. If an opportunity presents itself, I try it. Even if I have no idea what I am doing. yeah, already said that. lol, This whole adventure of publishing and marketing the book has been one giant adventure into the unknown!. I have no idea what I am doing most of the time but I keep plugging away.
I guess I want to let others know, don't life a life full of regrets, when you get to the end of your road, do you want to have a life full of "what if's?" Take a chance! Yes I am sure there will be times that it doesn't work out. You will never know though until you try! So get your deriere out there and publish that book! quit delaying it! get out there and let others in your life know you love them! Let others know you care! Talk to that guy/girl who smiles at you everytime you see him/her. In a nice way, not a stalker way! lol. Get out there and LIVE!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Our Interview with Ethan Jones!

Ethan Jones

Arctic Wargame (A Justin Hall Novel) Arctic Wargame: A Justin Hall novel

Ethan Jones is a lawyer by trade and the author of Arctic Wargame, a spy thriller available on Amazon as an e-book and paperback.  He has also published two short stories: Carved in Memory, a prequel to Arctic Wargame, and The Last Confession, both available on Amazon as e-books.  His second spy thriller, Tripoli’s Target, will be released in fall 2012.  Ethan lives in Canada with his wife and his son.
                                                         Bio provided by author

Canadian Intelligence Service Agent Justin Hall—combat-hardened in operations throughout Northern Africa—has been demoted after a botched mission in Libya.

When two foreign icebreakers appear in Canadian Arctic waters, Justin volunteers for the reconnaissance mission, eager to return to the field.  His team discovers a foreign weapons cache deep in the Arctic, but they are not aware that a spy has infiltrated the Department of National Defence.

The team begins to unravel a treasonous plan against Canada, but they fall under attack from one of their own.  Disarmed and stripped of their survival gear, they are stranded in a remote location.  Now the team must survive the deadly Arctic not only to save themselves, but their country.

                                         Excerpt from newly published "Arctic Wargames"

We were very fortunate to have Mr. Ethan Jones contact us and feel very privileged to be asked to do an interview with him regarding his debut novel, "Arctic Wargames" Ethan is a private person who works very hard at all things he does whether it be as an attorney, writer, husband or father. So please give a very warm welcome to Ethan!

1. What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?

 Arctic Wargame, the first book in Justin Hall series, opens with a scene where the main character, Justin, is in jail, waiting for the right moment for an escape. This hooks the reader from the first moments they pick up the book; the subtle conflict and intrigue, the need to know how the escape will take place and whether it will be successful and if yes, what will happen next.

 The first lines are extremely important. They should offer the reader a foretaste of what the novel is all about, a sample of the best that your writing can give them, the promise that if they buy your book, they will be rewarded with a great entertaining story. Tripoli’s Target, the second book in Justin Hall series, opens up with this line: Satam, the driver of the fifth suicide truck bomb, turned onto Ar Rashid Street, merging with the warm evening traffic.

 My spy thrillers are in a sense inspired by current events. Not a dramatized version of true stories, but an imaginary development of a ‘what-if’ scenario. What if an Arctic power decided to take some unilateral military action in that sensitive area of the world? What if an assassination plot happens while the US President visits one of the rogue states of the world?

 Another driver of my storylines is the desire to entertain the reader, to take them away from the ordinary and into an imaginary world where they can follow a great story and take a break from their daily routine. If I have accomplished that, my job is done.

2. Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?

 I wrote Arctic Wargame and Tripoli’s Target without an outline. I just planned the main storyline in my mind and went on writing. There were a couple of places where I really stumbled and had to think hard to come out with ideas and solutions. I learned my lesson and now I make charts, with the characters’ names and their traits, in order to have a clear picture of who’s who and how they relate to one another and the story.

3. What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?

 I have a full-time job, so I do not have a normal writing day. I try to write wherever and whenever I can. At times, I wake up in the morning and put in a few hours before heading to work. Other times, I write well after midnight. Depending on the day, it could be thirty minutes or eight hours. I try to get about 1000 words per day, but that is not always possible.

4. Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?

 John Grisham was one of the writers I read when growing up. I also read books from David Baldacci and Daniel Silva, as well as many other spy thriller writers. They have inspired me to write stories with a lot of twists and turns, face-paced plots, clear and concise language, and overall quite entertaining for the readers.

5. It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?

The middle of the novel does not come as easy as the beginning or the end. After the fast beginning, the introduction of the characters and of the plot, the middle seems to be quite laborious. I don’t want it to be boring or slow, as readers may lose interest. So, I need to work extra hard to make sure the quality of the middle parts is as good, if not better, than the beginning, and, of course, the rest of the story.

 I also dislike rewriting and editing. Once the book is finished, I let out a sigh of relief and celebrate. Then I realize that my work is not done. I have to rewrite and edit, make changes, cut entire paragraphs and add new sentences and phrases here and there. These are required steps in order to have a great novel that readers will love.

6. Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?

 Reading is important for every writer. It helps one understand the market and the competition. It helps sharpen a writer’s skills while learning what works and what doesn’t work in other fellow writers. Reading supports the industry and my colleagues and overall it entertains and it relaxes me.

At the moment, I am reading Deception by Adrian Magson, a great spy thriller. Next on my list is The Bourne Imperative by Eric Van Lustbader.

7. What drew you to writing about the fictional spy genre? Is there personal life experience in the writing?

 Growing up, I liked reading adventure stories and watching action movies. My dad, who worked as a radio technician for the Army, wanted me to attend a military school, but that didn’t work out. I still like reading suspense and thrillers. Since I know the genre, I thought I could learn how to write stories that fit what I like.

 I am not a spy or a secret agent, but I have read a lot of literature on the subject and made use of extensive research.

8. Your book is being published by, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?

 Yes, no doubt about it. Many publishing companies offer their books on Amazon, as well as in the traditional book stores and other distribution channels. The cost is lower, the delivery almost instantaneous, no storage or transportation costs. It makes economic sense.

9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?

 I run - a blog updated daily with exclusive author interviews, book reviews and more. My blog also contains exclusive excerpt from my works and news about upcoming events, giveaways and future novels.

I would love your readers' feedback.  They can get in touch with me via e-mail at this address:  I promise to write to each and every one of them.
 My blog - - is the place to learn about my future works, to enjoy exclusive book reviews and author interviews.
Follow me on Twitter: @EthanJonesBooks

10. Do you have any more stories in the works? After the trilogy will you branch into other types of genre or will you stay with the spy genre?

 I’ve finished two short stories, Carved in Memory––which is a prequel to Arctic Wargame and explains an important aspect of Justin’s background–– and The Last Confession––about justice coming to a dying NY mobster during his last confession to his priest. They are released along with Arctic Wargame.

 I’m revising Tripoli’s Target, the second book in Justin Hall series. This time, Justin and Carrie are sent to meet with the Sheikh of the largest terrorist network in Northern Africa, to receive some high-value intelligence. They learn about an assassination plot against the US president, which is to happen during a G-20 summit in Tripoli, Libya. Justin and Carrie inform the US Secret Service about this plot. Then new intelligence comes in, and they realize something is very, very wrong in their plan. Against all odds, they must stop the assassination before the summit forty-eight hours away. Tripoli’s Target will be published in the fall of this year.

 I’m also working on Fog of War, which is the third book in Justin Hall series. Justin and Carrie infiltrate some of the most dangerous spots in the planet. Iran, Somalia and Yemen, the hotbeds of terrorism in the making. Fog of War will come out in spring of 2013.

 Besides spy thrillers, I love mystery and suspense novels. I have started a murder mystery set in the US, called A Complicated Justice. A Court of Appeals judge goes missing and the detectives are trying to find him, the reasons why he has disappeared and the whole truth. I have no date in mind for the release of this novel, perhaps it will be published late next year.

11. Who would be your first choice to play Justin Hall from “Arctic Wargames”?

I haven’t really gives that much thought to this question. It takes a lot of time for a book to turn into a movie. Since Arctic Wargame is a Canadian spy thriller, it would be great if a Canadian author could play Justin. Ryan Gosling, for example.

12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?

Oh, time travel. I am a Christian, so naturally I would like to meet Jesus. First question would be: Why would you suffer and die for mankind, when so many deny you even existed?

13. How much research went into the writing of the “Arctic Wargames” Trilogy?
I spend about nine months writing Arctic Wargame and about the same time revising it.  Tripoli’s Target took about the same time. I do extensive research, since that’s necessary for the spy thrillers. The setting of the places needs to be true and factual. The same about weaponry, gadgets and other equipment used by the characters. I learn about the geo-politics of a certain region, the main players and the relations between the different countries. I explore the background of current and past developments in that area, so that the storylines I create do not appear in a vacuum and do not come across as contrived.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Imagination! its a good thing, right?


A friend mentioned I should blog about my imagination. I thought, hey that sounds like a good idea! But then I have always had a very good, very vivid imagination. Most people would say, "That's a good thing!" For a writer, yes, for coming up with stories on the fly for my kids, yes. For people who say, I wear womens clothes and they are definately male, NO! lol, for those who say, "Just imagine them walking down the street in a moo moo and a thong." Please no! Because my mind will and does come up with a very good snap shot of that is unfortunately in color and everything! You can see how this can and often does go down hill very quickly.

Therefore I can be found giggling at thoughts that randomly run through my head because of conversations over heard or snippets of a conversation that probably wasn't bad to hear the whole thing, but since you only heard part of it, could easily become bad. It does. I like my imagination for the most part. It helps me to picture people who are written in books and stories. I see them, I don't just read the words. Thats how I know its a good book. When I start reading it and its like in the old days and the film starts. Anyone remember those old movie reels we had in school? You fed the film through the projector and the sound it made when it was running before the music or credits started? That sound. I hear it when a good book really has my attention.

When I told stories, people who I didn't even know, would listen. I would be sitting in the Dr.'s office and just talking to a friend explaining a movie I had seen. I would be so into it and describing it, its like I am watching it again right before my eyes. when I pause, I suddenly see that others are actually listening to me! It kinda scared me. I was young then. But now it doesn't bother me.

Can my imagination get me into trouble?  yes, it can. I usually manage to get myself out very nicely though. Maybe thats why I am always day dreaming of this or that. I dream of becoming a famous author along with my son. I dream of leaving my mark on the world. Though I am not sure how yet. I have always dreamed of winning the lottery. Yeah, I am one of those fools too. I always dream of being successful at so many things.  I think, I can do this. My imagination can see me doing it. So I try it. But then reality sometimes steps in and lets me know. Nope, not for you. I guess I haven't grown up yet.

I remember in the movie "Uncle Buck" about him saying he is glad his niece has an imagination. I loved that movie. Growing up books were my escape from my life. I could become anyone else I wanted to be. I could be the heroine in a book or just the observer in a scene. I wasn't me any more. I was hoping this blog would be a bit wilder and crazy. But I guess I am just not that wild any more! ha ha ha. In person I can get silly around friends and family. But here, Its my thoughts and dreams. I am still picturing Raymond as a woman, and trust me, the image in my mind isn't pretty! lol, I picture Raymond as a rugged man who is strong and sure of who he is. Tonight when he jokingly said he was a woman too, my imagination went crazy and put a dress on him! I think Severus Snape looked better in Nevil Longbottom's grandma's dress then Raymond did! lol. Sorry Raymond. You asked for it!
So there you go, I have a very vivid imagination so be careful what you say around me, because if  I have an image of you in my mind and you mess with that image, it may not be pretty! lol.

I hope everyone has a great Weekend and remember the reason for Memorial Weekend! thank a soldier who has served or is serving now. Remember those who have passed on. Take care and be safe!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Just tired.

I hope that no one in anyway thinks I am giving up on the publishing industry or anything like that. But today, I am just tired. I feel like all I am doing is chasing my tail. I advertise, I help others, I let them know about the book, we had a write up in the local paper, nada. We have been featured in blogs and also on radio shows, nada. We have a sweet new cover that is totally amazing! and still nada. I keep looking at the book sales, only about once a week now, but still, We did sell 4 books in a few days one week, bout sent me over the moon. But once again. nada. I just don't know what I am doing wrong, or right, or left or what. I have done the marketing thing as far as I can on a budget of zero dollars. But still, nada. I guess I need to step back a bit and re evaluate our situation. I don't know what else to do right now. Maybe its the stress of the graduation of my youngest, and the finishing up of my schooling and also the stress of not having a job + bills. I am just so very tired right now. Physically and emotionally. I would love for this to be the full time job, writing, publishing, helping others, but right now it just isn't working. I have been able to interview some amazing authors. I have tossed around the idea of ghost writing. So far no takers. But then, I really haven't hung out my shingle either. I don't have a college degree, or even a long and lustrious writing career to back me either. Just my ten fingers and the ability to string thoughts into words and words into stories. I feel like some days I am bucking a system that is determined to keep me down. I have so much to be thankful for and I am very thankful for. My health, my kids, grown and all graduated. All good kids. A good and loving husband.
I want more out of life then just barely scraping by. I want to be the next mother/son writing team sensation! Yeah, I have set my sights a bit high. o.k I have aimed for the stars. Thats what they say to do isn't it? To aim for the stars? Go big or go home? Does that mean we can't feel frustrated at times or feel tired and sometimes even contemplate giving up? I am aiming for the stars and I do want it so bad. I want it because I feel we have stories to tell and I think people will want to hear it. But I also want it so bad because its a job that I could do and not get fired from, so to speak. I wouldn't be "downsized", "Bought out", "going out of business" or just plain harrassed by my boss or co workers into quiting. I keep plugging away hoping maybe someday, something will click and the stars will line up or the powers that be will forget to beat me down for a few days and we will finally get our chance. We are willing to put in the time and work our tushies off. But we just want a chance. So for today and probably the rest of the week, I am just going to lay low and lick my wounds. I have an interview I promised someone and I also have a review I promised to get done. But other then that, I think I will take a break from all the marketing and stuff. I don't think it can possibly hurt my sales, because there aren't any. ha ha ha.
So someday if I look back at this and we have made it I can honestly say to others, even successful people get frustrated at times before they make it. If we don't make it, then well, I can say, see, you shouldn't get this way or you will have failed before you even got started. I have heard both sides so could honestly say both. I will think of us as a success when we can comfortably pay all the bills and have quite a bit left over. I will think of us as a success when a company offers us two million dollars to sign us for a contract to write stories for them. Is that a big rarety? heck yes! lol, but thats my goal. Is it a bit lofty? heck yes! But I figured it this way, it always gives me something to strive for. So, I feel I have done my rant for the day and just wanted to let others know, I may be down, but I am not out. While I am down here though, I figure I will pray and ask the Lord for guidance and help. I know others out there don't believe but I do. So I am off to fix supper and be a normal broke person who is trying to figure out how to rob Jack, to pay Peter and repay Paul. (Only a figure of speach!) Well, have a good evening all and have a good one.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Review from Page Bookshelf Central

Kai's Journey - Charles & Wendy Siefken

by Page Bookshelf Central on Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 10:20am ·
"Kai's Journey" is a story about a young man, set ten years in the future. Kai has spent those years fighting for survival and trying to find a way rid the world of the disease his father created.. His father was a military scientist charged with the task of perfecting a formula that would create a superior breed of soldiers. Kai's father accidentally created a race of zombies. Like a virus, it soon spreads to the entire world, unleashing a period of unsurpassed chaos and conflict. In the midst of this turmoil, Kai comes across a young woman named Clover, who is part of a clan traveling across the United States to try to find what is left of humanity. Clover is a part of a clan of werewolves who can turn at will but aren't blood thirsty savages as depicted in general history. . Along the way Kai and Clover come across stragglers who join with the group as they journey across the upper part of what used to be known as North America.One night while Kai and Clover were watching a meteor shower they meet a group totally out of this world. Kai and Clover begin a heroic journey, fueled by the increasingly dim hope that somehow, the human race will have a chance to start over.

From the title I expected a story along the same lines as The kite runner, but oh no this is definately nothing like that. This is a story of a quest; a quest to cure a disease and rid the world of zombies and Kai, for reasons that will be made clear in the book, is the one who feels he must carry out this quest. A thrilling book and that is praise indeed as I don't normally read or watch anything to do with zombies.
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Yes, I copied this from Facebook! I loved the review and was so thrilled when it came out! Needed this boost today!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Book review for Raymond Frazee's "Kuntilanak"

Kim Mutch Emerson Review for Kuntilanak - author Raymond Frazee, review by MasterKoda Reviews (Wendy Siefken reporting)

Raymond Frazee is a powerful story teller and Kuntilanak is a mystery and a thriller that will keep you guessing with each turn of the page. Frazee blends cultural folklore with new technology brilliantly as you step into another world. This reader was drawn into the story with each exciting twist and could the smell the ocean breeze as it swept through the Bamboo with this author’s excellent prose.

Without giving any spoilers away, I must say I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Indonesia by reading this book of mystery and intrigue, set within a rich culture and surroundings. For anyone looking for a good mystery that will have you hanging on to the edge of your seat, read this book. Read Kuntilanak!
I just wanted to thank you Raymond for writing such a wonderful book! Thank you very much!