Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Book Review : “Twisted Love” by CLR Dougherty

It was clear on the first page that the title was appropriate for the book. I wouldn’t have picked this book to read on the basis of the book cover itself…it just doesn’t do the work inside justice! I will exclude details about the characters and the plot, the synopsis and the other reviews cover that. I liked this twistedlovebkcvrauthor’s writing style, very direct and to the point and he did not overuse adjectives and adverbs as I so often see these days. I floated through the prose and slipped into a comfortable journey filled with the images he painted as if he’d used a paint brush instead of the proverbial pen and ink. The quick pace was also perfect for me, building up to each twist and turn as it went along and keeping me intrigued and interested so that it was difficult to put the book down. By the ninth page, you think you have a serial killer story but don’t settle into that thought process, this book isn’t that simple!

Loved the balance of character, location and time period development in this book. I was imagining the scenes as the characters were introduced and enough shared about the past and present to make them real so that they stepped out from the pages. Then as the story moved on and more information was revealed, more suspense was built and more clues to connections between characters and story lines, the layers and mystery folding in and around the story, I found myself gripping the edge of my kindle for dear life! This book had the elements that I enjoy in a big screen hit movie and as the imagery formed in my mind, I associated characters with actors. As the tension was building for the surprising end, I couldn’t help but feel something for each of the characters.

No spoilers here but suffice it to say that you start out reading with several characters and more are introduced very cleverly and timed perfectly to emphasize the twists and turns of the plot and allow the reader to identify with each person before having to learn about new ones. Interesting to note, each story line is told in their perspective POV’s and the author did an exceptional job of adjusting his writing to the intellectual, educational and occupational levels of each character. I can’t say more without risking ruining some aspect of the surprises in this book. If you are a fan of thrillers and suspense, you’ll love this book and if you’re not already a fan, you will be. This is a must read filled with suspense and mystery and just when you think you have guessed…nope, not yet!

~ This review was written by Debra L Hartmann, professional editor, published author, book reviewer for the fun of it…. and come have an AHA moment with us at

Friday, 3 May 2013

Book Review – “Unexpecting” by Lori Verni-Fogarsi

From a truly talented author, this book does not disappoint! This is Lori’s second published fiction, the first being “Momnesia” that is actually sort of a prequel to this book. However, because of this author’s talent, they are both excellent stand-alone titles, though, I doubt you can actually read one without anxiously awaiting your copy of the other to arrive.

“Unexpecting” is the perfect title for what is a realistic page turner. Shelley and David, having almost completely raised their 4 children and about to enjoy their empty nester years are suddenly surprised to learn that David has a daughter from a brief fling between his first marriage and his second marriage to Shelley. Introduce Alexandra, baby on the way, and Tiny the dog, that is anything but Tiny. Having just lost her mother, she has nowhere to go. As a teenager just experiencing such a great loss, pregnant, forced to leave her home, friends and school and very pregnant, she has a great deal of emotional baggage. The roller coaster that follows is brilliantly woven into, through and around the trials and tribulations of this family as a whole. You can’t help but laugh and cry along as you are so easily and instantly drawn in and along a journey with the Morsony family. A good read will always make the reader feel a range of emotions and this one certainly does, from surprise to anger to joy to sadness to sympathy and beyond, prepare to be up all night as you won’t be able to put this book down.

I was impressed with the variety in personalities from all of the characters and how well every aspect of this story was developed and conveyed, primarily from Shelley’s view point with some well-placed, well written, head hops to Alexandra and David as well. The dialogue was rich and true to each of the characters, the scenes were so crisp that the imagery formed naturally in my mind as I devoured every word! Even the family pets were intricately woven through the story, so that you could almost see the slobbery grooming that Tiny, the huge lap dog, bestowed on Frick, the old house cat. A perfect blend of reality and fiction gives this book everything it needs to be appealing to a wide range of readers and the ending itself will surprise and amaze you while leaving you feeling at peace from your rollercoaster journey through the pages.

~ This review was written by Debra L Hartmann, professional editor, published author, book reviewer for the fun of it…. and come have an AHA moment with us at

Friday, 12 April 2013

The Wolf Tattoo by Kenneth Fore - Book Review

Despite hundreds of sub categories and genres available to the book publisher and author, books generally and inevitably end up being labelled and defined by the more general ones: fiction or non-fiction or even vague sub headings such as horror. Nothing underlines the discrepancies and oddities of this peculiar phenomenon more than ”The Wolf Tattoo” by Kenneth Fore which got categorised under ”Action and Adventure”. Such vague labels do no justice applied to such a truly original and mesmerising piece of work, five years in the making.

Describing this book as action or adventure might win itself a prize for most deceiving and indecent trade description but you certainly can't blame the writer for this as there couldn’t be a harder book to categorise than ”The Wolf Tattoo”. Encompassing fantasy, nature, paranormal and horror, the book starts off a bit like an Alaskan version of Rambo, as we follow Clayton on his trek across the Alaskan wilderness. This is quickly followed up by a bit of the 60’s Bonanza cowboy TV show as the grizzlies and wolves enter the fray and, as Clayton manages to adapt and survive, we suddenly find ourselves in the film ”Born Free”, only not in Kenya but Alaska!

But it's the second half of the book that defies expectation as a weird mix of what can only be described as ”Lord of the Rings" meets "Avatar" meets "The Thing”, as the story goes in completely unexpected directions and encompasses secret forests, a new species called Mueumonds, tropical jungles and miracle medicines. And yet, despite all this, the themes of the book remain simple: the fragility of nature, the evil of humans, human temptation and love.

Despite the danger of so many different themes diluting the experience of reading it, fear not, The Wolf Tattoo is beautifully written - fresh as a cold Alaskan snowball hitting your face, a wakeup call and an entertaining, delightfully mesmerising read. It's a book that's hard to put down as you are taken on a ride through the Alaskan wilderness, all deftly described with great dialogue and haunting scenery. It can be peculiarly bizarre and confusing at times but it's also exhilarating and entertaining as, what starts off as a getaway, ends up as a battle to survive.

Kenneth Fore is certainly the right man to tell this tale. Stationed in rural Alaska during his military service, his knowledge of the area is vast and he skilfully uses his memories to create Clayton Spears, a war veteran, carrier of huge physical and mental scars from war, a man determined to never give up because he believes it's not we who choose the path, but rather, the path that chooses us, to teach us something valuable we would have otherwise not accepted.

Alas, no book is perfect. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but beauty can also be overrated and a double sided coin. Despite its sheer scope and ambition, Clayton seems to end up as a superhuman James bond, irritating in his ability to escape and sometimes kill grizzlies and wolves. You rather get the idea that he is like a Canadian James bond who somehow manages to miraculously survive every bullet aimed at him along the way. By the time the Mueumonds arrive, mythical relentless killing creatures that can smell human blood from miles away, we don't seem to fear them as much as we should because Clayton is such a clever chap, so naturally gifted that perhaps he could beat God up with just his fingernails. Undoubtedly, a bit of the suspense and horror is drained away by stretching the sticky tape of reality a little too much.

Another setback detracting from its perfection was the first part of the book. Possessing such a beautiful talent for writing, Kenneth Fore makes the error of attempting to be too clever with his words, trying too hard to illustrate Clayton's state of mind as the Vietnam veteran who is constantly on the lookout for snipers and other hidden dangers that lurk in the Alaskan wild. These pages are drenched with too much action and not enough contrast.

However, I digress. We all want different things from our entertainment... We all have our trivial hates and idiosyncrasies but without a doubt, this truly is a special and original book that deserves immense praise for its originality, passion and ambition. Books like this don't come along very often and when they do, and you are privileged enough to read it , then you also owe it to yourself , despite those otherwise niggling doubts, to pinch yourself hard in the arm and say ”reading a book is about being entertained, that's what matters in the end.”

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Out Now On Itunes / Ibooks - only 99 cents!

“Redemption” by Joe Prentis - Book Review


This wonderfully crafted novel begins near the end of the Civil War.  With so many historical fiction works on the shelves already, its a breath of fresh air to read this depiction of a time after the war, of rebuilding and of the culture and mindsets that developed in our nation as a result of the war.  The author quickly brings the reader to a time and place made not so distant by his exceptional skill for weaving descriptive imagery.  The politics of this event in American history was quite interesting and seemed very real as if the author had been a fly on the wall at many of the closed door meetings that certainly occurred between military and government leaders.  The characters were fleshed out and realistic.  The sights, sounds and smells you would expect to experience if you were actually there, jumped off the pages.  Aids and bodyguards to General McClellan, Oakley and McCade are very believable, realistic characters that are clearly destined to continue as main characters in the Renegade series and thankfully so.  I am anxious to read more and learn how these men will change and adjust as they put their war torn history behind them.

Overall the reader is destined to go through a range of emotions as they read through this seemingly very accurate depiction of what life at the end of the war must have been like. I was glad to know this was a prequel novel before I started reading or I would have been very disappointed in how “quickly” the book ended.  As a prequel, the ending leaves the reader wanting and anxious for the first edition in the actual series as it should.  The author could have trimmed the book by reducing the number of adjectives he used, significantly, and still given the reader’s imagination what it needed to follow along and bond with the characters.   Joe Prentis has crafted a painstakingly researched, well written manuscript that clearly paves the way for his Renegade series.

Book reviewed by Debra L Hartmann, Owner of The Pro Book Editor and dlhbookreviews 

“Promise of Departure” by L W Montgomery - Book Review

PromiseofDeparture_LW Montgomery

The book begins with a “picture” of a typed letter to Janet from Greg, telling her he is stepping out of the picture as a result of his own inability to deal with their divorce.  I liked this unique start, this presentation of the letter, it made me want to see what other surprises would be included and I wasn’t disappointed.  Chapter 1 begins with Greg fussing over having dropped his motorcycle while off loading from the ship that had only just brought him to Haiti.  Right away this character begins to immerge, flawed and realistic, mentally past his edge that was once sharp and dedicated to his career and his family and clearly battling depression and alcoholism while not falling into any cliché patterns but instead, drawing me along into an intriguing storyline that would not allow me to put this book down.

I appreciated the author’s witty prose as he crafted enlightening yet brief flashbacks to establish the needed history behind Greg’s decision to write the letter and to venture to disaster torn Haiti.  The supporting characters and the very descriptive imagery as the storyline moved through emotional highs and lows, despair, hopelessness and Greg’s search for himself were written with great skill and talent and presented through Greg’s eyes.  The characters were so completely human and realistic that relating and feeling a connection to them was natural.  As the reader, I felt like a passenger on the back of Greg’s motorcycle while he showed me Haiti after the earthquake tragedy of 2010, the people that lived there and some of the volunteers, including Beth and Ben.  Upon meeting Beth, a dialogue that was so natural and realistic occurs between them and Greg is greatly affected by all that he sees and experiences in the company of her and the other members of her volunteer medical unit over the course of just a few days.  True to a well written protagonist, Greg sticks to his original mission and soon meets a colorful character named Ben.  From here the story moves a bit quicker as Greg finds where he is needed most, revisits working on things with Janet and becoming part of his daughter’s life again.  As the last page is turned and you see the back cover art of this wonderful novel, you can’t help but wish for more!

The way this story discusses the profound impacts of career on family life and on an individual struggling to find the right balance in both, the resulting failed marriage that was based not on sensational events but on a slow deterioration and the great love of a father for his daughter was so real, so not dramatic and so refreshingly presented.  The complexities, the reality in the issues and the author’s skill in crafting imagery of places and events was exceptional!  I personally would love to read a sequel to this book just to check in on Greg again.  In the battle to rise above the millions of authors and books vying for number one these days, it was quite courageous to leave out vampires, monsters, psychopaths, elves and the like and write a real story like this!

Book reviewed by Debra L Hartmann, Owner of The Pro Book Editor and dlhbookreviews

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Vidu by Giles Anderson - Book Review

Vidu By: Giles A Anderson

This is clearly a book NOT designed for the squeamish but instead for the readers who love their daily dose of graphic, disturbing, sadistic adult horror, blood and murder, mixed up with a potent syringe of hard drugs and alcohol – handed to them on a tray full of human skulls and gunpowder.

In this gritty dark tale, the main character awakes with a huge hangover, soaked in blood, and holding a gun he doesn’t recognise. We are then taken on a journey of self discovery as, via phone calls, dead bodies and bizarre rendezvous with a stranger, he pieces together a past that he has been trying so hard to suppress.

Indeed, it reminded me of an old James Herbert novel mixed with a bit of early Stephen King. My disappointment was that this plot has been done so many times before and this version didn’t offer anything new to keep me turning the pages. Despite being well written, it suffers from far too many annoying references to hangovers, blood and darkness as if I, the reader was some sort of horror virgin. Perhaps to improve the readers experience, the writer could employ a wider variety of descriptions to avoid tempting the reader to become annoyed with the repetition.

Again, definitely not for the faint of heart, young and squeamish but, if this is your type of book , I personally recommend that instead of purchasing this, you go up into the dark attic with your fading torchlight, walk across those creaky floorboards and get all those old Stephen King novels out you haven’t read for a few decades.

3 Stars out of 5

Review written by Roger Gerald Scott, best-selling novelist, author of 5 short stories, voted “Most Promising New Author 2012″ at EKAP and recently received “Clean Slate’s Most Promising Breakthrough Short Story 2013″ for “The Strange Case of Will Newman”.

Also a team member of, offering formatting and book cover design services for indie eBook publishers and a professional editor.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Release of The Strange Case of Will Newman

Out on Amazon

It's been rewritten, re-edited and repriced !

Will Newman’s mum is convinced that he has a Facebook addiction problem but, naturally, Will doesn’t share this point of view. Afterall, he’s just a normal teenager and everyone he knows is on Facebook, including the girl of his dreams, Rachel. With his mum going off on holiday and leaving him alone in the house for the first time ever, Will finally has a chance to hold that wild party he always wanted and get closer to her. Unfortunately, his obsessions quickly present problem for those around him, in particular his best friend, Pete Barham. If Will doesn't soon acknowledge his problems and addictions soon, his life is going to get very complicated.

Skilfully blending modern day topics into an original short story, Roger Gerald Scott addresses the more serious problems caused by the modern phenomena of social media, blending non-stop action with compassionate characters and a sharp sense of humour.

- founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg. On September 2012, Facebook reached the milestone of one billion active users, approximately one seventh of the world's population. More than half of these users access Facebook on a smartphone or other mobile device.

- launched in July 2006 by Jack Dorsey, this service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with over 500 million registered users as of 2012, generating over 340 million tweets daily and handling over 1.6 billion search queries per day.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Book Review – “The Call of Agon” by Dean F Wilson

One of the challenges of writing books is how to approach the ever-present conundrum of originality. Do you attempt to write something completely different and risk the likely low sales forecasts, inviting the scorn of the reading world as they fail miserably to understand all the clever themes and plot twists of your brave new story. Or do you play safe and go for the reader’s jugular vein, writing your book in the familiar and dark style shadows of, for example, Harry Potter and Twilight?
At the end of the day, there is no conundrum if the book itself is badly written. Fortunately, in this case, “The Call of Agon : The children of Telm” and its author, Dean Wilson, need not worry for this is a beautifully written book full of loveable twists and well developed characters. The story revolves around Ifferon and his journey to confront the beast Agon and his mighty forces. Along the way, he has a magic scroll and fellow companions to assist him as fierce battles rage across the land of Iraldas. It’s all written passionately and interspersed with themes of love, bravery and faith.
Did the story sound familiar? However brilliant the writing, I found it hard to escape the feeling that I had read this type of book before. It’s certainly not difficult to guess where all the influences are coming from, intentional or not. Replace the magic scroll in the story with a ring, for example, and you’ll find a lot of glaring similarities with Lord of the Rings. But does it matter? A lot of people out there love stories of this caliber. Wherever your tastes may lie, it’s hard to deny that this is a good read. But don’t expect anything original here, just enjoy the journey!
4 out of 5 stars

Dean F. Wilson was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1987. He started writing at age 11, when he began his first (unpublished) novel, entitled The Power Source. He won a TAP Educational Award from Trinity College Dublin for an early draft of The Call of Agon (then called Protos Mythos) in 2001. He has published a number of poems and short stories over the years, while working on and reworking some of his many novels. The Call of Agon is his first published novel.

Review written by Roger Gerald Scott, best-selling novelist, author of 5 short stories, voted “Most Promising New Author 2012″ at EKAP and recently received “Clean Slate’s Most Promising Breakthrough Short Story 2013″ for “The Strange Case of Will Newman”.

Also a team member of, offering formatting and book cover design services for indie eBook publishers and a professional editor.

Drop a line to to request your book review and/or author interview!

Monday, 11 March 2013



Hope you will have time to take a look at the new "Authors Helping Authors" blog site. If you do, read on to learn what the blog is all about and how you can become a member of the community – no registration required, nobody is going to ask you to spend a ton of time everyday, we just want the site to be there when you need it!


Being an author is much like being a starving artist when you first get started and we are trying to build a community of authors that can offer advice and tips about resources to help each other. The focus is on providing support, information and resources to authors so they don’t have to learn the hard way. The hope is that authors will pitch in by sharing helpful tips and links for others and thus the community will grow.

We have also set up a Facebook page be sure to LIKE the page and let all of your friends know about it – remember friends don’t let friends struggle through the process of being a successful author alone!