Down & Dirty Writing Round Table

Posted in Writing with tags , , , on December 6, 2016 by David North-Martino

I was interviewed, along with three other “knights,” by Reb MacRath for a roundtable on the pros and cons of indie and traditional publishing. Check it out!

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Down and Dirty: Ultimate Round Table

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Jun Fan Gung Fu: Seeking the Path of JKD 2 by Sifu Kevin Seaman

Posted in Martial Arts with tags , , on November 23, 2016 by David North-Martino

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Sifu Kevin Seaman has done it again with Jun Fan Gun Fu: Seeking the path of Jeet Kune Do 2. Like the first volume, Sifu Kevin presents a cornucopia of techniques, concepts and drills, which will be useful to practitioners of all martial arts disciplines.

I purchased this book directly from the author and have an inscribed and signed copy. I’ve been fortunate to attend seminars by and with Sifu Kevin, and with some instructors teaching under him. Although I’ve been practicing martial arts nearly 30 years, I’m just beginning to walk down the JKD path. I feel Sifu Kevin’s books are incredible travel guides for anyone’s journey into the art, science, and philosophy espoused by the incomparable Bruce Lee.

Although you can’t learn from a book alone, you can use this text, along with the first volume, to increase your knowledge, and guide your journey. This book can be used as a mnemonic for those who have been initiated. If you’ve had training in JKD, Sifu Kevin’s books can be used as a memory aid (I’m sure his books are much more organized than your notebook) where you can grab a technique, principle or drill, allowing you to work what you already know, getting expert coaching from the text as you do.

For those who go to seminars or have a teacher, you’ll be able to pull out things you’d like to work on and ask about the material, or to ask them to demonstrate. You can’t hunt down information that you don’t know exists.

The book can be used as an introduction to the principles of JKD, lighting a fire within you, pushing you to seek qualified instruction. And finally, for those who study fighting systems, and other styles of martial arts, you’ll be able to pull out drills and concepts that you can work into your respective martial art’s structure, enhancing your training.

This second volume not only builds on the physical foundations of the first, with topics like advanced footwork, defensive structure, and physical development, but also expounds on the principles, psychology, and philosophy of the well-rounded fighter and martial artist.

Sifu Kevin Seaman’s Jun Fan Gun Fu: Seeking the Path of Jeet Kune Do 2 is a worthy sequel to the first volume, a compressive reference guide, and highly recommended for all fighters and martial artists. You’ll find it a welcome addition to your martial arts library, and a working reference that won’t gather dust.

Review of Hank Schwaeble’s Angel of the Abyss

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2016 by David North-Martino

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Hank Schwaeble’s Jake Hatcher is back in his third novel, The Angel of the Abyss. As always, and just like his short fiction, Schwaeble crafts a rollicking good tale that will keep you turning the pages.

The beginning of this tale has Hatcher facing a demon, although it’s more complicated than that, giving Hatcher time to exercise his sarcastic wit. Fans of Supernatural and Ash vs. the Evil Dead will definitely appreciate the humor.

The mood becomes more serious and dire in the second act. The middle of the book, unlike many writers who get bogged down at this point, is where Schwaeble really shines. He does a great job writing from the perspective of Amy, Jake’s true love, who is also a former cop. I actually enjoyed Amy’s scenes even more than Hatcher’s. The two of them fight like the proverbial married couple, of which, I’m sure, many readers will be able to relate.

Schweable also does a fine job of taking on the perspective of a young boy. We meet the boy while he’s in a precarious situation, and we know from the beginning that the boy will converge with Hatcher and Amy at some point in the story. I won’t spoil it for you, but I think you’ll be racing to the end to find out what happens.

Hatcher’s past is constantly catching up with him, complicating things, and fans of the series will get some closure on events that were set up in the previous volumes. New readers can start here; Hank does a great job of bringing you into Hatcher’s world. You won’t feel left out or confused.

The last third of the book builds up to a hellish crescendo leaving this reader wanting more. There are questions left unanswered, promising a fourth book in this popular series. The Angel of the Abyss has it all: likable characters, demons, black magic, possession, secret military installations, cults, and lots of action. If you want a story to get you in the mood for Halloween and beyond, pick up The Angel of the Abyss. You won’t be disappointed. Highly recommended.

Review of American Nocturne

Posted in Horror, Kindle, Noir, Reviews, Short Stories on July 25, 2016 by David North-Martino

American Nocturne

Hank Schwaeble delivers the goods in this collection of short noir fiction. Each story is compelling and masterfully crafted. There isn’t a bad story in the bunch. Plus you get to read the amazing introduction by Jonathan Maberry.

Here are some of my favorites:

American Nocturne – A dime store detective attempts to solve the most baffling case of his life. This tale will leave you questioning reality.

Midnight Bogey Blues – How do you get rid of a boogeyman? Read this story and find out. You might not like the answer, but you’ll enjoy reading it.

Gomorrah – A story about the darker side of destiny. An initiation ritual gone wrong leads a participant down a very dark path.

Bone Daddy – This twisted tale goes into very dark territory. Made me feel a little queasy while reading it. A guilty pleasure for sure.

Phantom Hill – A weird western with a unique and compelling twist.

A Murmur of Evil – Who doesn’t like an officially sanctioned Kolchak: The Night Stalker novella?

Nurture – The argument between nature vs. nurture played out literarily and in the darkest sense. A bleak and disturbing tale with just a touch of politically incorrect humor.

There’s plenty more to enjoy. I can’t recommend this collection enough. Absolutely fantastic! If you like noir, have at it. You won’t be disappointed.

Buy american Nocturne here.

Review: Caesar’s Ghost by Reb MacRath

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 27, 2016 by David North-Martino

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Caesar’s Ghost is a well-written mystery or mhistory (mystery + history—-do you see what MacRath did there?) with a splash of the speculative. What would happen if Julius Cesar returned—-could live again in our current time? A man with that type of ambition and cunning would surely set his sights on some amazing conquest, wouldn’t he?

Along the way, Caesar is reunited with Cleopatra (Cleo), and teams up with some colorful characters, including a college professor, a private investigator, and even a mob boss. Yes, as you will see, they all become very close as Caesar works out a grand scheme to the benefit of all… Well, maybe not all. But—-at least—-to some!

I’m being a little cryptic here. I don’t want to spoil it for you. This is such a unique book, and it has something for the mystery lover, the lover of noir, and for those who have an interest in history.

No one else would have dared to write this book. No one else could have written this book. I recommend it wholeheartedly. Go on… Grab it! I know you want to. Quickly now. Adventure awaits.

Wolves of Vengeance: New Cover!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 23, 2016 by David North-Martino

The new cover for Wolves of Vengeance is now live! Cover by Lynne Hansen Design.

 

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“A paranormal wolf novel with real teeth, plus theme, strong plotting, rich characterization…and style to spare. North-Martino’s a writer to watch for.”—Reb MacRath, award-winning author of The Suiting and Caesar’s Ghost

THEY ARE COMING…

Detective Adrian Callahan misses his wife, and can’t find a new meaningful relationship. To take his mind off his own troubles, he focuses all his efforts on a missing persons case he believes is tied to a series of unsolved serial murders, a case that is quickly going cold.

Facing opposition from the police chief, who needs to put limited recourses elsewhere, Callahan is ordered to investigate a string of wild animal attacks that have been occurring within the city limits. The attacks become more frequent and stranger, and he quickly finds himself in uncharted territory, believing in creatures that his rational mind knows can’t exist.

Now he must find the young female victim, he feels may still be alive, before the animals he’s hunting take him off the case permanently.

THEY WILL SHOW NO MERCY

Captain Amanda Rann has spent most of her adult life in the military. She has little to show for it except a failed marriage, and a burning desire to get back to the two little girls she loves. But before she can return to civilian life, she has one last mission to complete. Amanda finds herself in charge of an all male Special Forces unit, tasked with completing the toughest black ops mission of their lives. But maintaining unit integrity is the least of her worries, these creatures have come to settle a score. And when she faces them, she’ll know they are the…

WOLVES OF VENGEANCE

Year in Review 2015

Posted in Goals on December 31, 2015 by David North-Martino

Each year I create a list of goals for every area in my life. Throughout the year I work on those goals, track my progress and my challenges. Then, to keep myself honest, I commit to posting a list of some of my top accomplishments and challenges, and some of my smaller ones as well.

I challenge you to create a list of goals, keep track of them during the year, and then celebrate and post your accomplishments at year end. If you do, please let me know. I’d love to look at your list.

Writing Career 

Short Stories

Wicked Tales Cover

Sat Down Inside Her accepted and published in Wicked Tales: The Journal of the New England Horror Writer’s Vol. 3.

Received author copies and extras copies of Wicked Tales.

Received payment for Sat Down Inside Her.

Wicked Tales premiered at AnthoCon.

Finished Halloween’s Child Redux, approximately 5,000 words. Still needs a proofread.

Received an invite to submit again from a top market.

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Novels

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Wolves of Vengeance

Four-star review on Amazon and Goodreads

David T. Wilbanks reviewed Wolves on his blog. You can read his review here.

Updated Categories on Amazon to test if it affects sales.

“Hand sold” a copy to a new FB friend.

Year of the Demon (Dark Crime Thriller)

Finished 94,500 word 3rd draft.

Completed 4th draft edit.

Proxy Mate (Science Fiction Novella)

Came up with an idea to continue Proxy Mate. I will continue working on it next year.

The Tower (Supernatural Thriller)

Completed Approximately 40,000 words of the first draft.

Networking

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Attended  Larry Correia’s signing at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, MA.

Attended Writer’s Coffeehouse New England at the Andover Book Store in Andover, MA. Reconnected with many writer friends.

Wrote reviews for novels I enjoyed.

Kept up with writer friends through social media.

I had to reclaim my account after a spammer took over my LinkedIn account.

Marketing

Finally set up amazon UK Author Page.

Created Scribe’s Arcanum Web episode #1 on Youtube.

Included in La Dance Diabolique: A Red Hot Boogie Woogie. I’m all dressed up in hot pink! You can’t miss me. Hahaha!

Non-Fiction

Began a super secret non-fiction book, but haven’t gotten back to it yet.

Martial Arts

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Attended the New England Martial Arts Conference in Johnston, RI.

Continued practicing Pyung Ahn and Naihanchi forms, kicks, and boxing drills.

Practiced Kali Sinawali.

Worked Filipino boxing drills and Kali double stick drills with Patty  3x per week on average.

Sticks

Health

Lost 13 pounds since my last physical.

Utilized P90 & P90X to supplement martial arts training.

Returned to Myfitnesspal to count calories.

Had dental Cleanings. No cavities! The dentist told me I do a very good job cleaning my teeth. Gold star!

Had field of Vision Test. No damage to my field of vision. Moved from a generic eye drop to a brand name. Evidently the generic sometimes causes an allergy that will knock out a whole class of glaucoma drugs that can be prescribed.

Weighed-in weekly.

Had to deal with a medical billing issue. It ended up being straightened out after much time and stress, but unfortunately did not end up in my favor.

Weaned off Protonix and replaced with Pepcid AC.

Began Probiotic.

Had my annual physical.

I was put on a low oxalate diet to counteract kidney stone symptoms.

Had a flu shot.

Family

Called my parents  2x per week on average.

Celebrated Patty’s birthday.

Kept up with one of my Lit professors over email.

Lit a candle for my sister.

Called my aunt and keep up with her through email. Also, called her before her surgery.

Visited Mom & Dad for Breakfast.

Celebrated my birthday (Like jack Benny, I celebrated another 39th birthday).

Gave Patty roses for Valentine’s Day.

Donated in my sister’s name 2x this year.

Hid a St. Patrick’s Day card in Patty’s lunch.

Breakfast in Webster for Mother’s Day

Celebrated our 20th wedding Anniversary.

Called my Dad for Father’s Day.

Visited my parents at Foxwoods.

Attended BBQ at the in-laws.

Met with my parents to celebrate their Anniversary and my Dad’s birthday.

Called my Mother to wish her Happy Birthday.

Thanksgiving at In-laws.

Christmas/Hanukah celebration with my parents at Texas Roadhouse.

Christmas at the in-laws.

Cars

Inspected my car and replaced a parking light.

Had to replace a tire and headlight on Patty’s car. Tightened heat shield two times.

Washed undercarriages of our cars after winter snowstorms.

Patty’s car failed inspection because of an exhaust problem.

Found a good deal on an exhaust pipe with labor and had Patty’s car fixed. Had car reinspected and it passed.

House

Sailing

Cleaned out and organized entertainment center.

Unplugged anything we’re not using to save money.

Fixed scuff on kitchen table with wood makers.

Rearranged living room and reappropriated organizing furniture from other rooms.

Changed HVAC Filter quarterly.

Worked with the Board of Trustees to resolve a neighbor issue. Unable to resolve issue so had to come up with a creative solution. The problem is better but still unresolved.

Adjusted HVAC vents seasonally.

The gas company changed out the meter.

The association had painters work on our townhouse.

Put up paintings in living room and dinning room.

Changed out bedroom curtains

Lubricated upstairs door hinges to stop squeaking.

Opened seized PO box lock with WD40 and tools.

Ordered and received new lock & keys for mailbox from post office.

Purchased and installed a new fill valve for upstairs toilet.

Planning

Purchased, installed, and began using Opus One (Upgrade of Opus Domini) virtual day planner.

Computers and Tech

Patty installed 8 Gigs of RAM into my Macbook Pro. Patty also upgraded the memory in her Mac.

Researched digital audio files and lossless formats. Decided to continue buying CDs for superior music quality and convert to AAC format.

Rediscovered and enabled SRS Wow on my car stereo. Wow!!!

Fun/Travel 

Food

Great seats for The Tenderloins/Tru TV Impractical Jokers at the Foxwoods Grand Theater.

Attended the Scituate Art Festival. We made the paper!

Attended the Federal Hill Columbus Day/italian Day Celebration.

Stayed at Mohegan Sun while Patty was in a training. Stayed in a Deluxe King Room. Ate at the Summer Shack, had a Buffett Breakfast. Drank Starbucks Cold Brew. Won a small amount of money.

Traveled to Kittery ME. Stayed at the Coachman Inn. Parused the shops. Had lunch at Weathervane.

Whiskey/whisky tastings: see previous months.

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That’s it for 2015. See you in 2016… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!