Thursday, April 30, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW with Alexis Lantgen( The Magical Muse: A Collection of Fantasy Stories)

Dragon Knight Chronicles host a writers contest every year where an author can submit a short fantasy story to be featured in their annual fantasy stories publication. I have the honor of interviewing one such winner Alexis Lantgen!


How exciting is it to be a part of this fantasy book collection?

AL: It’s a big encouragement to my writing. Though I’d finished a first draft of my novel by the time I wrote “Switched,” I hadn’t written many short stories before. I was excited my writing got so much recognition!

Is writing Fantasy your favorite genre?

AL: Yes, though I try to read as widely as I can. I love fantasy classics, from The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings to the Harry Potter series. I also enjoyed books like Mists of Avalon.

It seems every writer has a process when it comes to writing. What is your writing process?

AL: I keep a writing journal for notes, ideas, and sometimes short outlines. When I’m looking for an idea, I read through my journal to see if there’s anything in there I’m ready to work on. After that, it’s a matter of finding the time and energy to write. I work part-time teaching violin and viola lessons, and I play both instruments in a local symphony orchestras. Between working as a free-lance musician and caring for my energetic daughter, I usually have to write on my work breaks or at night. It takes a lot of focus to keep going, but I love working on creative projects.

So how did your prize winning story come about?

AL: When I had my daughter, I was in labor for fourteen hours before my doctor told me I needed a C-section. Even though C-sections are fairly safe and I trusted my doctor, it was still a terrifying moment. I didn’t calm down until I held my new baby in my arms--one of the most beautiful moments of my life so far. But I think the fear stayed with me, too. They give you so many different drugs, and you get so little sleep in the hospital--I think all new parents go a little crazy for a while. My story grew out of my fears.

Now for some fun questions! Writing tool of choice. Pen and paper or computer?

AL: All of the above! I use pen and paper for my writing journal. It helps me brain storm. But for most of my actual writing, I work on a laptop computer.

Do you have any muses or other authors that inspired you to write?

AL: I have a good friend, Sarah Mensinga, who’s a fantastic writer and an artist. She invited me out to her writing group when I first started writing, and I think that was a huge encouragement. It’s so helpful when you have people to critique your work and give you good feedback.

How do you like to read? Paper? Or Digital?

AL: Right now, paper. I have an e-reader, but it’s super slow and out of date. I need to get a new one, which I think I’d enjoy way more.

Worst book you ever read?

AL: Anything by Ernest Hemingway. His misogyny is too vicious for me to enjoy any of his books.

Have you ever fallen asleep reading?

AL: Not often, since I have a super-natural ability to stay awake indefinitely if I’m reading something I really like.

Ever fallen asleep writing? I’ve done this. I think it showed my dedication to my writing…What do you think? Have you ever fallen asleep writing?

AL: Ha ha, no. I think the screen keeps me awake. If I get to tired to focus, I stop for the night.

A writer who knows her limits! Okay now when is your favorite time to write? Morning? Afternoon? Evening? Nights? Or whenever the mood strikes you?

AL: I like afternoons, but I can only write then if I have a break at work. I don’t usually mind writing in the evening or at night, but if I’m tired from a long day it’s hard to focus. I’m not a morning person, so I don’t try to do anything then.

Close us out with your favorite literary quote!

AL: I can’t choose between “Fear is the Mindkiller,” and “If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.”

Beautiful! Thank you for taking time to talk with me. Congratulations again on your publication.

AL:You’re welcome. You can see more of my writing at my blog, The Wise Serpent, and you can find me on twitter @TheWiseSerpent.

Don’t forget to check out Alexis Story in “ The Magical Muse: A Collection of Fantasy Stories” now available on Smashwords 
AND Amazon


Alexis Lantgen is a musician and writer who holds a master’s degree in music performance from Florida International University, as well as a Bachelor of Music in viola performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Letters (Magna cum Laude) from the University of Oklahoma. She performs on violin and viola in orchestras including the Wichita Falls Symphony and the San Angelo Symphony. Currently, Alexis teaches private violin and viola lessons, and in the past she's taught eighth grade English and ESL in Dallas public schools. Her first novel is a YA Urban Fantasy about a young African American boy with special powers who must save his sister from an evil voodoo sorcerer. She hopes to finish revising her first draft by January 2014. In addition to her novel and short stories, Alexis writes poetry and a blog,


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Review: Shadow Stalker: Part 1 (Episodes 1-6)

I’ve featured excepts. I’ve done author interviews on Renee Scattergood’s hit serial Shadow Stalker. To be honest though I have never read the books! Now Renee has released a bundle pack that features episodes 1-6 . Its perfect for those who are wondering what this serial is about, and to catch up quickly. So here we go!


Auren learns that she is destined to enslave the people of her world, and Drevin, emperor of the Galvadi Empire is determined to end her life before it happens. Her foster father, Kado, has sworn to protect her and trains her as a shadow stalker. But her training is cut short, when their people are overrun by the Galvadi Empire. Now she has to find a way to help her people without succumbing to the prophecy.


When I pick up a book it is a challenge to that of the author to wow me. To entertain me as a reader, and as a writer. Renee Scattergood does both.

I liked this story. I was drawn in as we first meet Auren as a little child having a “so called nightmare“, and her foster Father Kado with his attempt to comfort her. We then shift to present where Auren is now 18 years old wanting to go on a camping trip with her friends. Her Foster Father warned her not to go. Auren of course goes learning  learns the hard way why Kado said no, which evidently leads to her learning who she is and the prophecy about herself. The adventure doesn’t let up as we taken deeper in learning more and more about the Galvadi Empire, and Shadow Stalkers.

Scattergood’s writing style is riveting. I just loved the way her words flowed, her character development is awesome. I loved these characters! They are relatable. You are drawn to them instantly. You feel for them along with their struggles. I also loved the relationship between Kado and Auren. These two are wonderful, strong characters. They are just perfect characters. A recommended read!

Available NOW!

Amazon Kindle 




About The Author

Renee Scattergood, author of the fantasy series, Shadow Stalker, and novella, Demon Hunt, lives in Australia with her husband and daughter. Aside from writing, she loves reading (Fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter. Find out more about her, and sign up for her newsletter on her blog:

Author Pages:

Renee Writes: - my personal website and blog.

Renee's Author Spotlight: - a blog where I feature indie and small press authors.

Amazon Author Page:

Smashwords Author Page:

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