Review: Cretaceous Clay and the Black Dwarf by Dan A Knight

e8df851aee7e1aa181cb84e26a0d9351_400x400Dan A. KnightCretaceous Clay and the Black Dwarf by Dan A. Knight is an intriguing and original Science Fiction tale not to be missed by fans of the genre or anyone who enjoys a fascinating and engrossing futuristic mystery.

Black Dwarves are going missing, but are they running away or is something more sinister afoot? Inspector Lastrayed of Nodlon Yard suspects the latter, but the question to be answered is who would kidnap and possibly murder black dwarves? And why only black dwarves who are synthetic biological androids grown in laboratories to be cheap sources of labor?

When the answer to those questions continue to elude the good inspector, he calls on the services of an old and respected friend, the infamous Elven magician, Cretaceous (Jack) Clay and his butler side-kick, Patrick Morgan, who just happens to be a black dwarf, to aid him with the investigation.

The first real break in the case comes when actual tangible evidence is left on the scene when a black dwarf, Evan Labe disappears from his apartment. Finally, they have proof of foul play, but the plot thickens because it appears that the crime was committed using magic and Clay is the only person known who has “real” magic.

I very much enjoyed this highly imaginative Sci-Fi Mystery which has the flavor of a futuristic Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and I’ve no doubt you will, too.

bd4b8262b89d7f7d511478c5130873ae895d39c3, Large Clay Cover



Jack Clay hunts a warlock who escaped from hell by possessing an innocent black dwarf.

Jack entertains thousands in the Circus, and he lives in Babel Tower high above Nodlon. Half-elf, and half-human, Jack is the only magical being in the Solar System. Surrounded by flying cars and high-tech, finding a useful market for a magic talent wasn’t easy for a man who is neither biot nor human.

Nodlon is not a paradise for non-magical biots! Biots work jobs no one wants to pay for, and Evan Labe is a biot. Evan is a black dwarf: a short person with a black chip in his forehead to keep him in his place. He dreams of a better life, but how will he find it? Tempted by an infomercial, Evan falls into a trap.

Nimrod once ruled the fertile crescent with an iron fist and a reign of terror. Now, he takes Evan’s body, and he returns to Earth! This time he raises an army to conquer the Solar System! Soon an epidemic of missing dwarves plagues Nodlon, and the trail leads to murder and a mysterious Black Dwarf.

Freedom must wait! Jack must hunt a foe with powers from beyond this world and stop him before it is too late.

Will Jack save Nodlon? Will he stop the Black Dwarf?

So begins the strange and quirky odyssey of Cretaceous Clay!

Biots are people too!


Review by: Carol Marrs Phipps

The Junk Picker By Jan F. Drewniak & Don Drewniak

41+JOb3PQ-L._SY346_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_The Junk Picker by Jan F. Drewniak and Don Drewniak is a well-written, witty and highly enjoyable tale. Reading these adventures of Johnny, “Pinball” Drewniak put me in mind of a number of beloved sitcoms from the past such as I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Andy Griffith, etc., but better because this story is true. The resemblance is not because The Junk Picker is really like any of these sitcoms, but rather because it is written with the same warmth and good humor.

The young son of Polish immigrants leaves home at an early age and through perseverance and hard work develops a great number of marketable skills. Most notably, an eye for collectibles and antiques. This talent leads his friends and admires to call him a “collector” and his critics to call him a “junk picker”. Read this wonderful tale for yourself and then you decide.
I highly recommend The Junk Picker to people of all ages who like to sit back and simply read and enjoy a good story…and come away smiling.

Reviewed by:
Carol Marrs Phipps

Review: A Born Victim


If you crave heart-pounding, realistic thrillers with believable characters, A Born Victim by rprRP Rochford, may be just what you’re looking for.

Gill Brogan is an unremarkable 27 year-old divorced mother of two who works hard to pay her bills and care for her children, but she has the unfortunate history of being fired from one job after another. She also has a history of being targeted for bullying and mistreatment by her peers, co-workers and her ex-husband, all of which, understandably, make her timid and insecure.

It seems that nothing in Gill’s life ever turns out well, even though she is sure she is not at fault. Perhaps she has just been born to be a victim of everyone else’s abuse.

Meanwhile, someone has been torturing and murdering young women in Britain and posting the sadistic crimes on the Internet for the viewing pleasure of whoever will pay for the opportunity to watch.

Cyber Crime Investigator, Mike Watson, and Police Investigator, DS Lucy Taylor, are determined to discover who and put an end to the heinous crimes before any more young victims meet the same fate.

But the perpetrators prove to be incredibly illusive incredibly clever at covering their tracks,  leaving not even the tiniest  piece of traceable evidence as to their identities at either the crime scenes or online. As the investigation wears on it seems more and more that someone has finally A.Born.Victim.Coverfound a way to pull off the perfect crimes while rubbing it in the faces of the authorities who seek them. But who? Can Watson and Taylor even realistically hope to track down the perpetrators who have thus far eluded an entire police force? And can they do it before Gill Brogan or any other young woman is tortured and murdered to gratify the perverted appetites of the sick lowlifes who enjoy watching?

A Born Victim is a roller-coaster ride of chills and appalling revelations that will keep you holding your breath and turning pages into the wee hours that you’ll not want to miss…but be warned, it is not for the faint of heart.

Carol Marrs Phipps

Author Interview & Review: UK Author of The Diamond Seekers, Jack Everett

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

Jack 63aMy name is Jack Everett, I was born in Staffordshire in the English Midlands. I now live in rural Yorkshire in Lower Wharfedale.    

Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).

For the last ten years I have been a member of Sebring Writers Circle, Florida and attend critique groups to hopefully help other authors and would-be authors

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to travel and meet people.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?

My latest novel is The Diamond Seekers which has just finished 4th in The Book Awards:510x765-DiamondSeekers the people’s choice. A man loses his family then receives a call from someone purporting to be his son?

Is this book part of a series?

No it is a one off.

Would you share a blurb with us?

A courier carrying a fortune in diamonds is followed by an assassin, in his panic he leaves an International airport and drives frantically away looking for a place of safety or at the very least a place to hide the diamonds in this strange land.

Years later an Italian godfather figure, the Russian mafia and the British security services are still looking for them. Does Philip Madden have the answers?

Do you have plans for a new book? Would you tell us a little about it?

For the 1st time ever we are writing a series of books featuring our hero: Detective Inspector Stewart White The 1st one in the series was originally published under the title The Tourist but has been purchased by a new publisher and will be released soon as Damaged Goods. The 2nd with a title yet to be chosen will follow quickly on its heels. The 3rd is currently in the formulating ideas stage.

How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?

Unfortunately I have been writing for over thirty years. I wished I could go back to those days with the knowledge I have now. My son who died in a motorcycle accident 13 years ago was the initial inspiration in my writing; I used to make up stories which some years later I decided to put on paper.

How did the decision to write as a team come about?

I met David after he had published a short story I had read and enjoyed. It just so happened that we only lived four miles apart and we agreed to meet.That was the start of a series of meetings the result of which was a partnership which has stood the test of time.

Can you briefly describe your writing process as a team?

We discuss plots and scenarios and mostly but not always I write the first draft with David rewriting and embellishing afterwards.

Are there any particular challenges to writing as a team as opposed to writing solo, or do you find it easier?

I don’t find it challenging because we use each other as sounding boards and we have, over the years, had thousands of laughs.

Are there times during the writing process where you disagree on how things should progress? How do you resolve that?

We never disagree because we meet weekly and read all of the week’s work. If there is ever a suggestion of unhappiness about the writing it is forgotten and started again. We never argue.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Because of the distances involved –worldwide- it is difficult to gift hard copies but we do offer electronic copies in the author’s choice of format.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?

Currently our publisher has the final say on titles and cover design but we have had brainstorming when it comes to the title. David has designed several of our covers  

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

Often, it makes sense to use your own experiences.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?

Several: Frank Yerby, James Clavell, Jack Vance and William Diehl to name but a few.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?

I like to hold a book in my hands, smell the paper and feel it as I turn the pages but on holiday, ereaders are invaluable –it saves carrying a library-and maybe I will grow used to them.

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?

The Demon Princes series of five books by Vance that I have read many times.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Why or why not?

Not often because the amount of content in a book would prove too costly to translate onto film. Look at the Lord of the Rings it had to be filmed in three parts and even then there was lots of stuff left out.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback)

I am reading Kith and Kill an Agatha Christie style mystery by Geraldine James and yes I enjoy the type of writing that makes me think who did what to whom, when,where and how. I find it helps me in some of my own writing.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish?

I can honestly say I have read every book put in front of me but I struggled with Ullyses and there are many I failed to enjoy.

What do you think about book trailers?

We paid for one for our book 1/1:Jihad-Britain but I can’t honestly say it helped with sales. A review in The Sun newspaper probably did more but I will reserve my opinions on that as I am not the oracle on such matters.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Don’t start writing as a means to get rich as most writers don’t achieve that but if you have a longing to get words down, make a start on the journey and if you never get fed up you should become one.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

I have used several, most well known being Everett Coles under which we write all of our Fantasy/ Sci-Fi. Two of our books are featured on

If your book was ever made into a movie, what actor/actress would you like to see play the main character?

George Clooney and Scarlet O’hara ; or the two actors who recently married and had a baby in Downton Abbey.

Have you ever considered writing in a completely different genre? If so, what would it be and why.

I already write in several different genres and enjoy every moment of it, see my website.

Do you think the current popularity of eBooks will last or do you believe it is just another passing trend?

Ah what you need is a crystal ball, if I knew the answer to that I could probably make millions. All I want is for people to read my work and enjoy it, in any format and by whatever manner they choose.

Considering Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing, do you think one has a clear advantage over the other? If so, please elaborate.

Traditional publishing has the means to push forward authors into the public face by spending money to promote their works. This obviously gives them a massive advantage over the Indies.

Would you ever consider writing on your own rather than as a part of a team?

Only if anything ever happened to my partner.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what did you do about it?

Can’t help with this one as we write all ideas down as we think of them. If I ever pause or stall I have my partner who has my back.


Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details?
Your web site?
Your facebook page? Jack_59
Your Goodreads author page? Don’t know if I have one although some of our books are on there I know.
Your Twitter details? Jack_59
And any other information you wish to supply? and
Carol 1

Thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to interview with us today. It has been a real pleasure having you here on our blog, Jack. I hope you will visit again in the future. See my review of The Diamond Seekers below.


The Diamond Seekers Review


Philip Madden takes an early retirement from his job at deciphering codes for the English intelligence service when he looses his wife and son in a car crash. He spends the next four years living by himself in a state of melancholy distraction until he answers the phone to a man claiming to be an illegitimate son he never knew existed. As this is sinking in, a former colleague comes for a visit and is shot to death where he stands in the bedroom by a sniper a half mile away.

Feeling converged upon, and suspecting that he might be the intended target, Philip flees to Austria to stay with his old college chum, Rudi. Though he becomes fast friends with Rudi’s mother and falls in love with his sister, his visit is quickly spoilt by phone calls from a kidnaper who is holding his newly discovered son in a coffin. To remove Philip to safer surroundings, Rudi and his family take him to their hunting lodge in the Alps, where they continue having encounters with people, either dangerous or dead, who seem to have connections with an Italian magnate known as il Principe who has a finger in a substantial amount of the crime throughout Europe and the UK.

Philip’s struggle to find out just who exactly is after him and what it might take to call these people off takes him back to England where he finds more danger yet and millions in diamonds buried in a far-flung Yorkshire graveyard. Without warning, things are not at all the way they had seemed. Suddenly, impossible parties have been in charge all along.

The Diamond Seekers, by David Coles and Jack Everett is an engaging and worthwhile mystery whose characters are believably realistic out of recognition of the very kind of human behavior examined in Machiavelli’s seminal essay The Prince. Like Machiavelli’s prince, their own felonious and proud patriarch, who is openly devoted to his grandson and his family, shrewdly dotes on his hired help with a strategic wisdom which earns their love and admiration at the very moment he is engaging them to serve his interests. Realistic characters make the best entertainment. And I was indeed fascinated, particularly with the eerie similarities to the stories I’ve heard out of Chicago and ‘Vegas. I will certainly be looking for their next book.

Purchase Links: &

Carol Marrs Phipps

The Tyrant King Blog Tour with Cheri Chesley


Review of The Tyrant King

 When a mysterious stranger with an eerie resemblance to Gregory Gildersleeve, her deceased husband, arrives upon the heels of a devastating letter bearing the news of her younger brother’s death, Queen Krystal is catapulted into a series of events wrought with intrigue, danger and heartbreak. As time passes she learns that her beloved husband, Jareth, and the Kingdom of Fayterra are the true targets of the stranger, now known to be Gregory’s son, Donovan Gildersleeve. However, Donovan considers the destruction of everything and everyone important to King Jareth part of his revenge against the king he considers responsible for his father’s death.

Though Queen Krystal came from peasant stock she proves once again that there is nothing common about her as she takes up her sword and prepares to defend and protect those she loves, propriety be hanged!

There are an abundance of page-turning revelations and mysteries in this fantasy tale to keep you up well after your bedtime. But this engrossing story won’t make you regret the missed hours of sleep.

By  Carol Marrs Phipps

Interview with Cheri Chesley


I’m Carol Marrs Phipps and today I am interviewing Cheri Chesley, the very talented author of The Tyrant King. The eBook was released on July 20, 2012 and print version July 31.

Hello Cheri. I want to thank you for granting this interview today. How are you doing?

A little sleepy, actually. But otherwise great! 🙂

We’ll begin our interview today with a few “Cheri” trivia questions.

Favorite Book: That depends entirely on my mood. It’s like asking me which is my favorite child.

Favorite Author: Again, tough to narrow down. I love Gail Carson Levine, Jessica Day George, Shannon Hale, C.K. Bryant, Ali Cross and Karen E. Hoover. And that’s just the top of the list.

Favorite Genre: I read pretty much everything but horror and erotica. But, right now, because I’m writing fantasy, I’m reading fantasy.

Pet Peeve: Having to repeat myself. Especially with my kids.

Place you’d most like to visit and why: Ireland. It’s always been Ireland. Part of my family heritage can be traced back there, and I love ruins, castles, scenery, and the like.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in AZ, where I nurtured an early love of books and writing into creating my first novel in high school. I married in 1996 and had 5 children in rapid succession (I had twins, so that helped). In 2006 a series of personal and family incidents caused me to refocus on my writing. Now I’m writing, working, raising my kids, and trying to keep it all together–like everyone else.

 What is your worst nightmare?

Call it a superstition, but I don’t believe in acknowledging my deepest fears and having that information out in the universe.

Were you inspired by any other writers?

Certainly. Most of the time it’s books I read and think, “I can never be that good” that inspire me to be the best I CAN be.

Would you tell us a little about your upcoming book? Is it a stand alone book or part of a series?

The Tyrant King is the sequel to my first book, The Peasant Queen, and it takes place 4 years after TPQ ends.  Trouble starts when a stranger arrives in Fayterra with a link to the past that threatens to spiral Krystal’s entire peaceful world into chaos. I really think it’s the best thing I’ve written so far.

There is an unofficial fourth book in the planned trilogy that I released last year called The Wild Queen. It’s primarily for readers who liked my villain from The Peasant Queen (there were surprisingly many of them) and wanted to know more about his past.

The final book in the series, The Lost Princess, will be out next year.

If you could become one of the characters in The Tyrant King who would it be and why?

For a long time I’d have said Krystal, because in so many ways she was me. But, really, I’d want to be Alana. There’s a lot more to that character than the readers get to see. Maybe someday I’ll write her story, too.

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

The seeds were planted in high school, but I waffled about it for a long time. Sure I’d love to be a writer, but is it hobby or profession?

It wasn’t until 2006 that I began to take myself seriously as a writer. It seems like a long journey, since it encompasses over 20 years of my life, but I wasn’t writing all that time. I was spending a lot of it growing up, getting married and having my own family.

What genre(s) do you write?

My current focus is YA fantasy, with a dash of romance. But I have several irons in the fire, so to speak. I have contemporary YA, good old clean romance, middle grade fiction, even a couple of mysteries.


How do you come up with the title and cover designs for your books? Who was the designer of your current book?

I work with the amazing Deirdra A. Eden for my covers. She does awesome work. The titles are mine–usually the third or fourth attempt at finding the “perfect” title for the story.

What do you think about book trailers?

I’m still on the fence. I admire so many of the trailers I’ve seen, but I’m not sure how effectively they help sell books. And I admit part of that is due to my severe creative handicap at coming up with one of my own. 🙂

Is there any book that you know you will just never read? If so, why not?

50 Shades of Gray. Honestly, I’m not remotely tempted. I’m simply not a fan of graphically sexual or violent books.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Write. And read. And write some more. And share. Be open to learning how to make your writing better.

Would you share one thing about yourself that no one else knows?

That is impossible, since my husband knows everything about me. But something that perhaps is not well known is that I hate berries. I really do. I won’t eat anything with berries in it–unless it’s store bought blueberry waffles. Weird, but true.

When and where do you usually write?

I write whenever the impulse strikes, and wherever I am–I always have paper of some kind with me. But I prefer to sit at my desk when I’m working on my stories. That’s where I take all my scattered ideas and try to make sense of them.

Why did you choose Indie Publishing?

I was traditionally published at first, but they declined to take on the sequel so I decided to publish it myself. It’s next to impossible to find a publisher willing to start in the middle of a series.

But the more I get into it, the more I realize I like it. I like having control over the finished product–cover, formatting, editing, etc. The Tyrant King went through a professional edit after I was done editing it myself and sending it out to writer friends and reader friends for feedback. I believe in putting out the best book I can.

Are you currently working on something new and if so would you give us a sneak peek of what it is about?

I plan to have another book out by the end of the year. It’s called City of Light, and it’s about a young woman who purposely thwarts a demon’s prophecy to save her sister’s life.

Is there anything that I didn’t ask that you wish I had?

I don’t think we covered whether or not I have any pets. 🙂 For the record, I have the perfect little dog for our family. She’s a recent acquisition and we call her Sunny.

Where can readers follow you?



Goodreads author Page:



Any other info you wish to share:

Readers who have read The Peasant Queen may enjoy the alternate ending I added to my website.

Also, I put up the first chapter of The Tyrant King on my site for those who want to read more.

Thank you so much Cheri for taking time to interview on our blog. It has been a genuine pleasure getting a peek into your writing world.