Author Stephen L. Brayton

This week on my blog, I’m hosting author Stephen L. Brayton.

Stephen L. Brayton owns and operates Brayton’s Black Belt Academy in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He is a Fifth Degree Black Belt and certified instructor in The American Taekwondo Association.

He began writing as a child; his first short story concerned a true incident about his reactions to discipline. During high school, he wrote for the school newspaper and was a photographer for the yearbook. For a Mass Media class, he wrote and edited a video project.

In college, he began a personal journal for a writing class; said journal is ongoing. He was also a reporter for the college newspaper. During his early twenties, while working for a Kewanee, Illinois radio station, he wrote a fantasy based story and a trilogy for a comic book.

He has written numerous short stories both horror and mystery.

His first novel, Night Shadows (Feb. 2011), concerns a Des Moines homicide investigator teaming up with a federal agent to battle creatures from another dimension. His second book, Beta (Oct. 2011) was the debut of Mallory Petersen and her search for a kidnapped girl. In August 2012, the second Mallory Petersen book, Alpha, was published. This time she investigates the murder of her boyfriend.

He also has a series of serialized short stories featuring Mallory Petersen currently being published in Taekwondo Times magazine.


On a rainy October morning, Mallory Petersen, private detective and martial artist, discovers the corpse of her boyfriend, Bobby Furillo, in front of her office in Des Moines. Bucking police authority and continually attacked by unknown adversaries, Mallory uncovers Bobby’s devastating secrets. Each new revelation puts Mallory in deeper peril from powerful and dangerous people. And just what are those enigmatic RSVP cards that keep showing up in Mallory’s mail?

Here is an excerpt:

Murder takes but a single bullet.

I later learned a .45 caliber ended the life of Bobby Furillo, but I could have provided a reasonable guess upon seeing his body. I stood on the sidewalk under a dirty white protective awning as the October sky dumped enough rain on which even Noah would have commented. I did not envy the score of officers, forensics experts, and paramedics moving quickly, trying to protect both the corpse and the crime scene from the elements.

Dressed in jeans and sweater under a Sam Spade trench coat and hat, I shivered, horrified, but I couldn’t stop staring as it all unfolded before me.

Bobby’s body lay crumpled upon the wet asphalt in the parking lot next to my office building. Blood from the massive exit hole in the back disappeared in thin colored streams. Red tinged water saturated and darkened his jeans, a leather jacket, and a striped button down shirt. The expression on the once handsome face showed a combination of surprise and shock, blended together to form an image too tragic for anybody to want to remember, but one I’ll never forget.

I also couldn’t stop looking at the half dozen roses thrown aside at the moment of death. Rain battered mercilessly, detaching petals at random, sending them swirling into the gutter and on down the street to disappear in a soon to be overflowing sewer entrance.

Bobby had stopped by my office to take me to lunch and he wanted to bring me flowers.

Instead, when I drove into the parking lot, I’d discovered he’d brought me death and heartache.


Contact information:



Book Review Blog:


Twitter: @SLBrayton


Stephen and I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave a comment.

About Evelyn Cullet

I write mystery romance and romantic suspense novels. I'm an avid organic gardener, and I play the piano. I have a spoiled Black Lab mix., Bailey, whom I adore. Visit my blog every Monday to discover new authors and their novels at:
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