Thursday, December 26, 2013

The War of the Weres Continues with the Midwife's Moon, a review

Author’s Description
An ex-lover on trial, life as a newly formed werewolf, and a passion kindled; what’s a girl to do? Released from depraved control of a psychotic lupa, free to find his mate, and a passion kindled; what's a man to do?

Lisa Sanchez is having a bad couple of years. She was betrayed by her lover and made into a werewolf but she’s making the best of her new life…except when it comes to love. Lisa is out of luck in that department until Lance arrives in her not-so-perfect life. 

Lance Navarro once saved his mate from the clutches of his ruthless pack leader by hiding her in a rival pack. Then the packs merged and things got interesting.

Can Lisa accept that Lance is to be her new mate, and get past the betrayal of the last wolf who made promises? Can Lance protect her from the vindictive pack leader? Or will they end up sharing an early grave?

Midwife’s Moon is the second installment in the War of the Weres series. In the first book, Ulfric’s Mate, we were introduced to Nolan, Ulfric of the Wahpawhat, and Alexandria, healer of the Lupin pack.  The Lupin and Wahpawhat packs are eventually merged with Nolan as leader. This left Roxie, sociopathic former lupa of the Lupin pack and her cohorts in exile and angry.
In the Midwife’s Moon we resume the story and re-introduce and explore the characters, Lance and Lisa. Their story follows the continued struggles of the merger of the packs, the wicked Roxie and her quest to regain control of the weres. In the midst of this Lisa, a human turned werewolf by and abandoned by her former lover, a member of the Lupin pack, tries to adapt to her new reality. Lance, who rescued the unconscious Lisa, finds her again and the attraction is the powerful and immediate attraction of a mated pair. They must both overcome the pain and rejection of their pasts to save the newly formed pack and themselves.
This is a well crafted sequel. While it stands on its own, I highly recommend that you read Ulfric’s Mate, as well. The characters are three-dimensional and the world building solid. The plot is tightly written with enough tension and a few unanswered questions that make me look forward to the next installment.

Overall this was an enjoyable read and I highly recommend it! I give Midwife’s Moon 5 out of 5 triskeles.

Leona Bushman goes by many names but the most common one is superhero. She earned this name from saving a kangaroo from a tree—and yes that is as hard as it sounds. The dragons taught their queen how to write, and Queen Leona hasn't looked back. Even when her muse tries to muck things up.

She can be found goofing off and loving dragons and other creatures of the supernatural at these places:

Twitter: @L_Bushman

Queen Leona writes mainly for Breathless Press, and the bulk of her books are found here:

This includes:
The Ulfric's Mate*                                                                   Serviced, Vol 1 ~ Over A Dead Body
Ravaged, Vol 1 ~ Barely There*                                              Down on the Farm, Vol 1 ~ The Lion,      the Witch, and the Faeries
Rick Sexed Up the Doc ~ Naughty Nursery Rhyme                The Captain's Christmas ~ Cyber
Crimson, Vol 1 ~ Daryn's Slayer **                                        Slow Burn ~Dead Man Walking special
The Midwife's Moon*
Mayhem in Mexico: Zombie Infestation A Serena Rouge Novel
*Denotes War of the Weres series

Coming Soon from Breathless Press:
Ravaged, Vol 2~ Witchy Wolf Coming January 3rd.
The Fox in the Wolf Den* freebie

Monday, December 16, 2013

Guest Blogger, Danny Coleman Interviews Peter Dabbene, book reviewer, writer and creator of the graphic novel, Ark

This week we welcome again, Danny Coleman as our guest blogger. Last week, Danny took us inside a NaNoWriMo write-in. This week, he shares with us a recent interview with Peter Dabbene, book reviewer, writer and graphic novelist to talk about his graphic novel, Ark.
Take it away, Danny and Peter!

“Most people’s experience with comic books is that it’s meant for kids; kids get older and still like comic books,” says author, graphic novelist and Hamilton resident Peter Dabbene. “The comic book companies realized that it’s still ok to read comics as an adult, so they began publishing graphic novels.”

By definition, a graphic novel is “a novel in the form of comic strips,” and Dabbene, a Staten Island native, recently published his first; a space age suspense thriller entitled “Ark.” 
Set years into the future and based on a premise that there are other planets which are inhabitable in the vast
realm of outer space, “Ark” brings together human and “meta-human” beings aboard a space craft to carry out a long and arduous mission to seek new planets, solar systems and life. Meta-humans are creatures, whom are the result of crossbreeding experiments by world scientists and governments between the human, animal, plant and insect species.
The novel has several plot twists and turns and is rife with foreshadowing, which only serves to heighten the suspense and drama that Dabbene masterfully intertwines within its pages.

Recently I caught up with Peter for an informative Q & A about himself, graphic novels and the comic industry. An extremely pleasant conversationalist, as well as informative and funny, he easily opened up to me and was more than willing to talk about his passion.

Danny Coleman: Have you always been or was there another vocation for you prior to becoming a graphic novelist?
Peter Dabbene: “I am actually a book reviewer. I’ve always liked to write, in the past I’ve written poetry, plays, and short stories; the beauty of it is, there are things that you can do with one but not the others.  Being a reviewer, I get to make money off of something that I like to do; it’s great because I’ve really found some hidden gems in some of my work that I never would’ve known of.”

DC:   How did you gain interest in writing a graphic novel?
PD: “I grew up in Staten Island and moved to Hamilton about fifteen years ago. As a kid I had an interest in and started reading comic books. I was about five when the original “Star Wars” came out, Marvel Comics put out more on that series and I kept reading, then I branched out into Superheroes. As I got older my tastes changed and I advanced to the graphic novel type.” 

DC: Tell us about the concept behind “Ark?”
PD: “I don’t know really. I wanted to do something Science Fiction and this story developed over time; I take a lot of notes. I like tension, drama, people trapped in one place and the interpersonal tensions that develop. “Ark” has a few moments of humor but it’s also a fast paced thriller.”

DC: You mentioned that it developed “over time,” how long did it take from the original concept to completion and what is the average time length that it takes for a project such as this?
PD: “You know, I couldn’t tell you an average time. It took me about a year; well it’s been in the works for about four years, I took my time over the last year working up the script. So yeah, it took about four years once everything was in place.”

DC: You had to choose an illustrator/artist; can you talk about that process?

PD: “I looked for quite a while. I went the standard route, put up ads at comic shows, asked around and the like, I finally found him on line. He actually lives in the UK and his name is Ryan Bayliss. I have yet to meet him face to face but I did hear his voice for the first time when we did a podcast for a Scottish web site. We’ve worked together for a while now and we know each other, trust each other and have built a good relationship; we just let each other go with it creatively.”

DC: What can you tell me about the characters in the novel?
PD: “That’s a good question. The ensemble was created so that you don’t know who the main character is. The main character tends to stay on for the whole story as opposed to secondary ones who get killed off early or fade away. I designed them to keep you more interested in the story, wanted the reader to wonder; I throw in random elements to stamp them as my own, I like readers to be surprised. First I decided to make it the Captain, then I was not sure but I think I settled on Harmony Smith.”

DC: Is there a target audience and a marketing strategy?
PD: “My publisher, Arcana Publishing handles most of the marketing; they’re on the west coast. I’d say our audience is probably older teens but mostly adults. Fans of “Star Trek” or “Babylon 5” are most likely to get into this type of novel but if people like to read and give it a chance; they may like it.”

DC: Will there be a follow up to “Ark?”
PD: “I’m currently working on a different graphic novel using the same artist; it’s called “The Adventures of Spam Fram. It is based on virtual worlds that people use for entertainment like an avatar or Sims. Arcana have contracted me for three total books, so there will be two more in the series. Once I’m done with the new novel I will return to the “Ark” series.”

Arcana Publishing has priced the digital version of Dabbene’s “Ark” at $4.99 and the print edition is available for $19.95. Along with it being available at and at some comic bookstores; it can also be found at    

Peter Dabbene’s poetry has been published in many online and print literary journals, and collected in the book Optimism. His stories can be found online at,,,, and elsewhere, and his comic book work can be seen in the graphic novel Ark and the magazine Futurequake. He has published two story collections, Prime Movements and Glossolalia, and a novel, Mister Dreyfus' Demons. His latest book is the humor collection Spamming the Spammers (with Dieter P. Bieny). He writes a monthly column for the Hamilton Post(viewable at and reviews for BlueInk Review and Foreword Reviews His plays have been performed in New Jersey and Philadelphia venues. His website is

Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program
called “Rock On Radio,” which airs Sunday evenings at 10 p.m. EST, on it he features indie/original bands, solo and unsigned artists and entertainers in a laid-back atmosphere. There are live performances, interviews, phone calls and interactive chat rooms as well. He has been a guest on many radio and television programs. You can find Danny, his radio show and his writings at the links below and his weekly print column can be found in The Trentonian newspaper:

Rock On Radio Facebook Page                                    
The Rock Rag                                                                         The Shore Thing

Monday, December 9, 2013

NaNoWriMo: One Man's Perspective with Guest Blogger Danny Coleman

Today we welcome Danny Coleman as our guest blogger. Danny is an accomplished journalist and radio personality. Last month, he was invited to his first NaNoWriMo write-in. As many NaNoWriMo participants review their accomplishments and ponder next steps, we hope this post will re-ignite your passion to edit and publish.

November is National Novel Writers Month, more commonly known as “NaNoWriMo.” When first heard, the anagram possibly sounds like language from a strange planet, or perhaps more like a line spoken by Robin Williams in the old “Mork and Mindy” television series; rest assured it is neither.
According to its own web site, “NaNoWriMo is a fun seat-of-your pants approach to creative writing.” Every year, beginning on November 1 and running thru November 30, people from all walks of life and professions are encouraged to take on the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel over the course of those thirty days. Skilled, unskilled, amateur or professional writers are all welcome to “hunker down” and push themselves towards the finish line in this truly unique literary experience.
The Central New Jersey “WriMos” are one of five “NaNoWriMo” regions and are led by Bridgewater resident Bill Patterson and Richenda Gould of Plainsboro; two very enthusiastic writers in their own right and known as the Municipal Liaisons. From their vantage point at the Hopewell Branch of the Mercer County Library in Pennington, the duo sits amongst their fellow writers and would be novelists, urging them on through various activities like “write- ins” and “word wars.” “You wouldn’t think it because we’re in a library but this really is like a social event,” said Gould.
On this particular day, there were ten participants, a tad higher than the seven to eight that has so far been the daily average. Patterson, a married father of two boys, was the focus of the day’s event as he was the self-imposed “Monkey in the Box.” Putting in an eight hour shift with one fifteen minute break per hour, Patterson accepted the task of writing 10,000 words during that time frame. “I’m averaging about 1,400 per hour,” he said. “The only difference is that I’m writing and all of my words are being projected on a big screen so that everybody can read them, hence, I am the Monkey in the Box. I am under a microscope; it’s a challenge but fun.” “Yes it’s a true public forum,” chimed in Gould. “His written words projected on the big screen for all the people to see, we hope it’s inspiring.” I was afforded the opportunity to participate in an hourly guessing game; guess the total number of words that Patterson will write during the current hour and get to name a character in one of his novels. I came within a hundred words but was bested by another in attendance.

The clicking sound of furious fingers tapping away on laptops was quietly deafening as each would be author applied generous amounts of pressure to themselves to reach their word goal. Pennington resident Shelley Seymour, a married mother of two daughters, real estate referral agent, blogger and self-published author has written five previous novels and got her start because of “NaNoWriMo.” “I’m from Canada,” said Shelley. “I was educated through the graduate level in English Literature from Ottawa Canada where I took creative writing, this event, “NaNoWriMo” got me into this. I’ve now got my own publishing company and I’ve done it pretty much on my own. I figured a literary agent, even with a good one, major publishing companies only accept one out of every twelve hundred to two thousand books; I’ve published five on my own and I got started at an event like this.”
Sarah Sensenig, 29, a married vocal music teacher and like Seymour, a Pennington resident, has only begun writing in the last three months. Sarah is penning a “Dystopian Sci-Fi Romance” because it’s her favorite genre. “My husband is a music teacher at Pennington School; I graduated from Princeton’s Westminster Choir College and my mom was a writer, she wrote a book when I was in third grade and she used to make me read all the time. I never minded because I love to read, I did then and still do now. I started writing for fun and I got hooked. I’ve attended a writing workshop here at the library and decided to come back for “NaNoWriMo.” This is a great thing, I’m glad that I’m doing it.”
Former journalist and Hopewell Township resident Susan Swords, a married mother of one daughter and currently employed by the State of New Jersey was attending her first “NaNo.” “I’ve been writing creatively for about four or five years now, my first job was that of a newspaper reporter, quite a difference in styles. In my journalism days I had to rely on facts and relaying things accurately; as a novelist I can just let it flow. The difference is that I can embellish my work now, I’m not held to the facts.” Swords is writing a “Sci-Fi novel about a girl’s journey, who during its course, keeps getting randomly transported in time without warning,” a “Kind of scary but good undertaking.” “I wrote 3,500 words today but to look at a blank screen, knowing you have a word quota, can be intimidating. I am enjoying every bit of this; I can get something done that I never thought that I’d be able to do and the program gives you tons of support.”
Librarian Ross Holley, 22, participated in “NaNo” in high school and enjoys seeing the writers come and go. “I’ve been a librarian for the last seven years and I’m currently in Grad School, so my time is limited but if it wasn’t, I’d be right with them. I love seeing it drive extra traffic to the library, love the write-ins; it’s always good to have something going on here.”
According to Patterson, he has big plans for the Central New Jersey Region “WriMos,” “I registered for my first “NaNo” in 2007. During the registration process an entire plot, seemingly all 50,000 words came to me, I thought, I can do this. From there I became more involved and eventually thought, why not? I became the Municipal Liaison for Central Jersey Region and when I teamed up with Shen it just got better. I want to have a “Write All Night” where we get going around 6 p.m. and finish at 6 a.m. I want a large venue where we can have a huge group of writers take part. I want this in addition to the smaller library sessions. That’s my job, I dream big and Shen makes it happen!”
To obtain more information about “NaNoWriMo” or the Central Jersey Region, please go to or

Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program called “Rock On Radio,” which airs Sunday evenings at 10 p.m. EST, on it he features indie/original bands, solo and unsigned artists and entertainers in a laid-back atmosphere. There are live performances, interviews, phone calls and interactive chat rooms as well. He has been a guest on many radio and television programs. You can find Danny, his radio show and his writings at the links below and his weekly print column can be found in The Trentonian newspaper:

Rock On Radio Facebook Page                                    
The Rock Rag                                                                         The Shore Thing

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Life in the New Jersey Mob with some Rock and Roll. A review of The Boss Always Sits in the Back

Move over Tony Soprano and Michael Corleone, the real Boss is in town. No, I don’t mean Bruce Springsteen, either. Last month I had the pleasure of meeting Jon D’Amore at the To Be Continued bookstore in Metuchen, NJ. He was there to do a reading from his novel, The Boss Always Sits in the Back.

Mr. D’Amore’s memoir recounts his early years as the cousin and godson of Gerald “Jerry” D’Amore, underboss to Rocco Casciano, then boss of Lucky Luciano Family. How even as the outside rock and roller in the family, he was drawn into life in the Mafia. A story that spans the decades and crosses the country from the unions and waterfronts of Hudson County, NJ to the glamour and decadence of Las Vegas to Hollywood, where Jon’s uncle was the famed owner of Patsy’s, the hangout of celebrities like Frank Sinatra.  Make no mistake, Mr. D’Amore does not gloss over the downside of the mob and the violent punishment meted out for breaking the rules of la familia. A violence that he was to witness personally.

Okay, disclaimer time: I am a Jersey girl, in fact I grew up in Hudson County where I lived until age 17. I still
reside in New Jersey. While I did not move in Mr. D’Amore’s circles, I have my own family lore about my grandfather and others in the days of Prohibition and Mayor Frank Hague (google him for a lesson in political machines). But it was part of the culture, if you grew up in Jersey City, Bayonne, Union City,Secaucus or the surrounding towns. So for me the personalities, the street savvy, the locales in New Jersey all resonate.

The Boss Always Sits in the Back is a great read. Mr. D’Amore’s style is such that you feel as if you are sitting around the kitchen table drinking homemade wine and listening to his story. It is an easy, intimate voice that makes you feel like an insider.  According to Mr. D’Amore, he had to wait this long until some were dead, incarcerated or had left New Jersey never to return. Even then, he sought permission from those who
mattered to the story. When you read the book, you’ll understand why.
In addition to his life in the Mob, he touches on his career as a successful session musician, which I’m sure would make an interesting book of its own.

This is well-written and edited book with enough sex, violence, family loyalty and humor to go around.  I have not read a mob story since The Godfather and am not a Real Housewives/Mob Wives fan, but I can safely assure fans of all that you will enjoy every page.

I rate The Boss Always Sits in the Back 5 triskeles:


It was the 1960s. The place was Hudson County, New Jersey...a tunnel ride away from midtown Manhattan. Jon was first published at 10. A story he'd written about the Civil War was transformed into a mimeographed book and distributed throughout the county school system. He went on to write for the school newspaper. Also at that time the pre-teenager began studying the guitar, leading him to hone his love and knowledge of music...and the art of composing.
In a logical progression, he graduated school, played in club bands, opened for touring acts and by his mid 20s was traveling cross-country as a session musician.

While touring during the 1970s, Jon was also a feature writer for New Jersey's 3rd largest newspaper, The Herald News, simultaneously allowing him to enjoy the best of his favorite worlds; Playing rock & roll...and writing.

In 1985, Jon found a different side of life. He said, "Goodbye and it's been a slice!" to the music business and got a job in the corporate world.  By 1999, another change was about to take place. For more than two decades Jon knew that within him there was the desire and ability to's just that New Jersey wasn't the place to do it.

So he drove to Los Angeles...and stayed.
He started writing as soon as he arrived...and didn't stop until the manuscript and screenplay for "The Boss Always Sits In The Back" were completed.

Jon's writing has received rousingly enthusiastic industry response, and he is currently waiting for the check that's supposedly in the mail.

Jon continues to reside in California...and writes all the time.

The Boss Always Sits in the Back is available autographed in paperback or hardcover by clicking here. It can also be purchased at To Be Continued Bookstore and Boutique in Metuchen, NJ You can also follow Mr. D’Amore on Facebook or learn more about him on his website.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Panters, Plotter or culotter? How do you approach NaNoWriMo?

                For those who don't know this is National Novel Writing Month ...NaNoWriMo for short. The goal is to write a 50,000 word first draft of a novel in 30 days.

               I have tried NaNoWriMo twice with no success.  Part of it was timing.  I worked full time and cooked Thanksgiving dinner with lots of from-scratch items.  Then, of course, there are the Christmas holiday preparations.  

               Another part was my inability to turn off my inner editor and organizer.  I am not a full blown plotter but I am not a pantser, either.   When I wrote Dark Dealings, I could not get momentum going until I had a vision (no, nothing requiring medication, I think) of a beginning middle and end and a very clear picture of my main characters and, at least, most of their goals, motivations and conflicts. But I also don't work with a full-blown outline.

                Ogham Court started as a NaNoWriMo project but didn't get finished in the month.   I did learn a few things about myself and my characters as a result. One of the things I am working on is the ability to turn down, if not turn off the editor.  I can’t do it completely which is a good thing.  In pushing myself to move Ogham Court forward I am discovering things about Nora, the main character and the course of the story.  Unfortunately it means some revisions.  One night I went to bed thinking that a seduction plot line felt wrong.  I had the antagonist romancing Nora.  In the meantime I had introduced her mother, a quirky divorcee.  A woke one morning with one of those writer’s light bulb moments and realized that the romancing had to be of the mother as a way to get to Nora.  It means rewriting some scenes, but I think it gives me the piece I needed to lead to the middle and the end.  At least that’s what I think today. Then again, I could be wrong. My characters will set me straight.

                So I am a half-pantser, or as I told a fellow writer, I am a culotter. No being a culotter does not involve rum, coconut and a blender. Okay maybe it does.  What it means is that I am somewhere in between a  plotter (full detailed outline) and a panster (seat of the pants) as a writer.  But most of all I am dedicated to writing the best damn story I can write.  That, in my mind, is the first and largest part of being a successful author –Write a damn good story that lots of people will want to read and share.

                And it all starts with the plot….tension, tension, tension. Even if your plot evolves like mine from just a beginning, a middle and an end.

                A few reminders as you work through NaNoWriMo:  Show don’t tell.  Dig deep into your characters to find out what makes them tick.  Then in NaNoEdMo (March) edit it and polish it until you can see your face in it.  When you think you’ve got it right,  give it to trusted betas readers with sharp red pens or pencils to have a go at it.  You may not accept everything they suggest but they will see things that you cannot because you have been too close for long to the words, the characters, and the story. They will help you be a better writer.

           Life sometimes gets in the way of things but I am working on a short story for an upcoming Breathless Press anthology and then I will attack Ogham Court.  The voices are back.

          But I have my first draft, the rest is just editing.... um JUST???

          By the way, I am also a Content Editor for Breathless Press, if you have that novel and it is looking for a home...message me. If you are just looking for some awesome reads, stop over and check out our selection. (Warning: Some are EXTREMELY steamy!)

        Are you a plotter, a pantser or a culotter?


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review: Simon Townley's The Dry Lands: A Journey of Survival in Prehistory

Author’s Synopsis: Isolated by a changing climate, hemmed in by arid wasteland, a band of prehistoric humans faces starvation. The tribes have grown too big. They've hunted too fiercely, and the animals are gone. The waterholes are dry, the rains don't come. Their world has changed, and they need a way out.
As the young men of the tribe go in search of a new home, Temfe, the chief's son, must learn to lead his clansmen, before they betray him. To survive in a harsh world, surrounded by enemies, he must gather new allies. Discover new weapons. Learn new ways of seeing the world.
In the African rift valley, 43,000 years BCE, a spark of consciousness flares into life. The dawn of human culture, the fire that will reshape the world. 

The Dry Lands, by Simon J. Townley, is a well-written tale of courage and survival set in prehistoric times. I would almost describe it as a fable. It is the story of a damaged chief’s son. His wounds are both external and internal, who as the sole surviving son of the chief, must rise to many challenges to assure his own survival and that of his tribes. Other characters, including his intended, his father and the antagonist have clear challenges and issuers to either overcome or to which they must surrender.
The main characters are well developed with clear goals and motivations. The plot has a solid arc and is well planned with no holes or sudden “reveals”. The editing is solid and I found no stray point-of-view shifts (a pet peeve of mine).
If I had any suggestions, it would be in certain areas where I felt the writing did not convey the tension that was underlying the scene. In a few places, the sentence structure and dialogue did not heighten the emotional level that the action would have implied. These however a not major flaw, but did take away a bit from the power of the story.
Overall this was however a very good book and I look forward to reading more of Mr. Townley’s work.
I give The Drylands: 4.5 triskeles.


Simon Townley is the author of the acclaimed slipstream / speculative novels 'Lost In Thought' and 'Ball Machine', and has written a range of cross-genre novels for both adults and young adults, including prehistoric fiction series 'A Tribal Song - Tales of the Koriba'. The first novel in the series, 'The Dry Lands,' was published in 2012, with the second, 'Caves of the Seers,' scheduled for release in early in 2014. His sci-fi thriller 'Outlivers,' again written for both adults and young adults alike, is to be released in Autumn of 2013. This will be followed by the post-global warming, high-seas adventure 'Among The Wreckage.'   

Simon has also written non-fiction, in particular on the subjects of copywriting and search engine optimization. He studied English literature at the University of York in the UK and has worked as a journalist and copywriter for the past twenty years. He currently lives in Devon, England, with a woman, three cats and two Airedale terriers. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: NYPD Detective Kelli Storm Returns in Storm Warning by Kenneth Hoss

Author’s Synopsis: When her new partner is shot during a botched robbery, Detective Kelli Storm never expected that the trail of the shooter would lead her to Colombian drug lord Miguel Garcia; the man who’s cousin she had killed months earlier, and had made numerous attempts on her life. A man she had believed to be dead.

Detectives Kelli Storm and Eric Ryder follow the bloody trail of a notorious drug kingpin from the streets of Washington Heights, New York and south to Medellin, Colombia.
When the suspect in her partner’s shooting is killed while in custody, the man makes a startling deathbed confession. With this revelation, Kelli finds herself unwillingly thrown back into the world of the drug cartels. With the aid of DEA Special Agent Gregory Larsen and Narcotics Detective Javier Vasquez, Kelli works to stop the Cartel’s operations in the city, and bring down the notorious drug lord.

Storm Warning is the second book in the Kelli Storm Series. The first in series, Storm Rising was previously reviewed here. In Storm Warning, we meet again Kelli Storm, NYPD detective with a complicated personal life, and her new partner, Eric Ryder. The action kicks of immediately with Ryder being shot in what at first appears to be a robbery gone wrong. But nothing is ever simple for Storm. This seemingly freak event opens an investigation that resurrects a supposedly dead drug lord, Miguel Garcia, who is hell-bent on killing Kelli and anyone else in his way.
If I had to suggest areas for improvement it would be in pacing and, in particular, tension. There are key scenes where the writing is more laid back than it should be. Tension can be created by the artful use of shorter sentences, clipped dialogue and vivid verbs. I found the ending to not be the climax I was hoping for in terms of tension and action. I wanted to be more on the edge of my seat and right there with Storm.
However, the action scenes are vivid without being as gory as they could be. Mr. Hoss, to these non-expert eyes, seems to have a handle on police procedure and daily life issues. The plot proceeds logically without any holes. There are no noticeable unnecessary point of view slips and with the exception of a few errors it is adequately edited, although it could use a second read through.  Kelli Storm continues to unfold as a three dimensional character and I hope to see her “issues” rise even further to surface in the future.
I give Storm Warning 4 of 5 triskeles


Kenneth Hoss was born at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas in 1957 to Albert and Mary Hoss. He served a combined total of fourteen years on active duty from 1974 to 1987 in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. His tour in the Army took him to Frankfurt, Germany where he had the opportunity to
travel Europe. While in the Navy, Kenneth spent most of his time stationed in San Diego and Long Beach. His Navy travels took him to Hawaii, Guam, The Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Okinawa, the Middle East and Pakistan. He has lived in several States, including South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Washington and California.
Storm Rising - A Kelli Storm Novel is a Police Procedural and is the first book in a three book series. Storm Warning, book two in the series is now available on Amazon. Deadly Storm, book three has just been released and is now available on Amazon.
Kenneth currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas.
Twitter: @kenhoss
Independent Authors Network:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas, a Dark Erotic Story (Adult Material)

Comfort Food

Author’s Notice:  Comfort Food is a work of literary erotica that explores power dynamics and the psychology of ownership. This work is NOT romance.

Emily Vargas has been taken captive. As part of his conditioning methods, her captor refuses to speak to her, knowing how much she craves human contact. He's far too beautiful to be a monster. Combined with his lack of violence toward her, this has her walking a fine line at the edge of sanity. Told in the first person from Emily's perspective, Comfort Food is a tale of erotic surrender that explores what happens when all expectations of pleasure and pain are turned upside down, as whips become comfort and 
chicken soup becomes punishment.


This is not a story about consensual BDSM. This is a story about “actual” slavery. If reading erotica without safewords makes you uncomfortable, this is not the book for you. This is a work of fiction, and the author does not endorse or condone any behavior done to another human being without their consent.

This book contains BDSM elements, master/slave dynamics, dubious consent, psychological conditioning, and oral and anal play. 

Kitty Thomas writes dark erotic fiction with BDSM elements that explores the psychology of ownership.

This is a work of dark erotic fiction for adults who are opening to exploring issues of power and control.  Not for the faint of heart. I was introduced to Kitty Thomas by her alter ego, Zoe Winters who writes wonderful paranormal romances.

That said. I loved this book. It was incredibly well written. The plot and characters are well and fully developed.  The major characters are complex and believable. The settings are so well described that you feel you are there.  We live inside Emily’s head as she is reinvented into a willing slave. Ms. Thomas’ deliberate use of a shift of point of view is a perfect tool in the development of the main character and theme of the book. 

I could spot no grammatical or mechanical mistakes. This is a novel that raises the bar for the proper recognition of erotic fiction’s legitimacy.

If you are up for an intense well-crafted adult read, this is a must. Comfort Food and other works by Kitty Thomas and Zoe Winters are available through Amazon.

I give it        

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Review of The Time Weaver by Thomas Knight: Parallel Worlds,Wizards, Romance, oh and a Dragon

Author’s summary:  Seth Alkirk is a 30-year-old programmer who doesn't know he can control time. Problem is, others do. When he's kidnapped from his quiet Iowa life and taken to the parallel world of Galadir, Seth thinks he's in a dream from which he can't wake.

His kidnapper, the warrior Malia, needs his help. Her kingdom is in danger from an evil wizard who will stop at nothing to exact revenge on those who exiled him. Seth needs her protection. The same wizard is after Seth's powers, knowing they will grant the advantage he needs to conquer Malia's kingdom. Seth and Malia must work together as they travel hundreds of miles to reach the safety of her castle.

Learning to accept and control his powers is the hardest thing Seth has ever had to do, but the longer he spends in Galadir, the more he grows to love this new world and the female warrior accompanying him. When a much more ancient and dangerous wizard awakens and threatens to destroy Galadir, Seth is the key to defeating him. Now he must save a world he never knew existed with magic he never knew he could wield, if only he could learn to control it in time.

This is the first book in Mr. Knight’s The Time Weaver Chronicles.

The Time Weaver is the story of Seth Alkirk, who finds himself drawn into an epic battle in a parallel world when that world intrudes on his own. Your typical average Joe, Seth discovers things about himself and the father he hardly knew. He finds power (magical and personal), love and a dragon.

This is a well-edited novel with few POV slips and mechanical errors. The plot develops well with no noticeable convenience devices. The secondary characters are complex and potentially interesting in their own right. Mr. Knight does a extraordinary job of world-building, I could see the people and places , smell and taste the food, hear the clang of the armor and swords.
 If I had to say what I would like to see improved on, I would say first and foremost, Seth. Unlike the secondary characters, he does not rise up off the page the way a hero should.  His conflict, confusion and terror at the strangeness and danger this run-of-the-mill guy is thrust into does not come through. His internal journey and battles with his own perceived past and the revelations should be as powerful as the battle scenes.
In addition, many characters disappear from the pages only to return much later with barely a mention in between.  This caught me off guard and I had to remember, in some cases, who they were and why they were important. It is useful to make sure that the reader is reminded of these characters through even brief references until they return for their pivotal scene. Best example of that was the absence of reference to the earth world and the characters there. There is no mention of them for about 25% of the book and then they reappear for the climax.

I give The Time Weaver


The second book in the Time Weaver Chronicles, Legacy, is available and will be the subject of a future review on this blog.

Thomas A. Knight built a career out of software development and took up writing in his spare time. Since then, he has released two books and is in the process of writing a third. His novels are epic fantasies set in Galadir, an alternate world of his own design.

His debut novel, The Time Weaver, is the recipient of an indiePENdents Seal of Good Writing, has reached both the Sci-Fi/Adventure and Epic Fantasy Amazon best-seller lists, and is considered by many to be an exciting and unique story that appeals to readers of all types.
When he's not writing or developing software, Thomas enjoys family time with his wife and two little girls, or playing fantasy role-playing games. He is also an avid supporter of Free and Open Source software, and uses entirely Linux and open source software in the writing and production of his novels.