Archive for Books

Seattle Red by Reb MacRath – Review

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on May 7, 2017 by David North-Martino

 

Seattle Red

Seattle Red

A modern two-fisted pulp, loaded with action, mystery, style, intelligence, and humor.
In this fourth book in the series, Boss heads to Seattle to take on Organized Retail Crime (ORC). Heavily researched, and highly detailed, we’re treated to firsthand descriptions of the seedier side of the Emerald City, and delve deeply into the world of ORC. Also heavily researched are the “Armless Arms” —weapons disguised as ordinary everyday objects. “Toyless is Joyless.”

Grounded firmly in the heavily researched word MacRath has created, we can gleefully enjoy a pulp romp with Boss and his colorful team as they go from one wild situation to the next. Boss tends to play the jester, but he never plays the fool. Rounding out the MacRathian trinity of tricksters is a an old geisha—or is she?—and the spirit of Mae West appearing in the most unexpected of locations.

As an aside, I have to comment on the Glenfiddich 21 Boss quaffs. I thought the author had inverted the numbers—but no! Boss drinks some really high-end stuff. And why shouldn’t he? Not only because he’s rich, but because we get to live vicariously through his good taste, and in so doing, we’re not even set back the price of a bottle!

MacRath never writes down to his audience, bringing in both pop culture and literary allusions. Authentic Seattle-speak also included! It is rare to find an action thriller/mystery this smart and also this fun.

If you like the snappy dialog of Elmore Leonard, and enjoy Quentin Tarantino’s brand of film making, you are going to go gaga over Boss MacTavin. Highly recommended.

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.

Meeting Larry Correia and Getting Ideas!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 1, 2015 by David North-Martino

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I had the pleasure of attending Larry Correia’s signing at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, Massachusetts. Best known for his Monster Hunter International (MHI) series, Larry was promoting Son of the Black Sword, the first in a series of new fantasy novels. Larry is very passionate at what he does, and loves his fans. He’s become a very controversial figure in certain circles, but if you get the chance to meet him, even if you don’t agree with his politics, you’ll find that he’s a very nice guy, and very down to earth.

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In meeting him I got to thinking about the MHI series, and Weston Ochse’s Seal Team 666 series (soon to be a major motion picture staring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). There are similarities between these two properties, and with my character Captain Amanda Rann, and her paranormal Special Forces team featured in my novel Wolves of Vengeance. I think anyone who enjoys MHI or Seal Team 666 would also love to read about Amanda and her team as she hunts horrid wolf like creatures that devour the cursed.

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If you haven’t tried these successful series, follow the links and check them out.

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Amanda’s team isn’t a knockoff of either of these two groups. I conceived of Amanda and her paranormal SF team back in 2006 while writing the first draft of Wolves of Vengeance. In 2011, while having the novel professionally critiqued, Grandmaster of Horror, Ray Garton, told me that he thought Amanda would make a great series character. I’ve had the idea on the backburner for a while now. I published Wolves of Vengeance in 2013 and then went back to working on other novels and short stories.

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Is this blog post just a way for me to “borrow” the fans of these two very successful series? Absolutely! If you’re a fan of Correia or Ochse, I would love for you to try out my novel. In it I mix SF&F with military fiction. If there were enough interest, I would be more than happy to bring back Amanda Rann and her team (I’ll come up with a cool name—I promise!) with my own unique brand of dark, fast-paced thrillers.

If you give Wolves of Vengeance a shot, and like the idea of more adventures featuring Captain Amanda Rann, let me know in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you.

Red Hot Boogie Woogie!

Posted in Writing with tags , , on July 12, 2015 by David North-Martino

Happy to be included in La Dance Diabolique: A Red Hot Boogie Woogie. I’m all dressed up in hot pink! You can’t miss me. Hahaha! I also got in a plug for Wicked Tales.
“Joining us today are six hot rising stars to discuss the relationship between writers and their audience.”

April and May in Review

Posted in Goals, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2015 by David North-Martino

April was a challenging month to say the least. Had to use much time and energy to deal with some issues. May was a much better month, but very busy on the positive side.

Challenges

  • My insurance company billed incorrectly for an ER visit last year. This led to the hospital trying to bill me for the difference, and before I could get it resolved they sent it to a collections agency. Many phone calls, letters, and much stress later, it now seems to be resolved. It only took a month and a half.
  • A family member had a work challenge that continues. I can’t divulge much, but suffice it to say that it has taken time and stress to get it resolved.
  • We had a neighborhood issue that required phone calls and letters to resolve, and we’re still monitoring the situation.
  • Patty contracted and got over a bronchial infection.
  • We had to resolve a wireless network issue in May.
  • The sun was in my eyes!

Writing

Short Fiction

  • Halloween’s Child Redux continues slowly, now clocking in at 3,500 words or 14 pages.
  • Wrote a 30 word bio for AnthoCon.
  • Here’s the official cover reveal for Wicked Tales, an anthology that includes my short SF/Horror story, “Sat Down Inside Her.”

Wicked Tales Cover

Novels

  • The Tower (Paranormal Haunting/Woman in Jeopardy Crime Thriller) Now at 106 pages or 26,250 words. I’ve had to hunker back to move forward, requiring some fun research into Wing Chun Kung Fu as well as significant research into the nursing profession.
  • Year of the Demon (Conspiracy/Crime Thriller) I polish edited approximately twenty scenes, and I like how it’s all coming together. The actual editing is a tedious slog, however. This is the part I like the least. The only thing more tedious is the final proofread where I work thorough the book fixing typos and commas.

Non-Fiction

  • I began work on a non-fiction project that I may write under a pseudonym. I wrote 2,389 words or 9 pages.

Reading

  • Completed the Indy Author’s Pack.
  • Became a backer of Editor Rick Schober’s The Whole Shot: Interviews with Beat Poet Gregory Corso.
  • Purchased the Signed & Numbered Limited Edition novella (#18) of Baby’s Breath by Sydney Leigh.

Family

  • Called my Mom & Dad approx 1x per week.
  • Brought Patty to her dentist appointment and yearly physical.
  • Got haircuts.
  • Took care of Patty while she had a bronchial infection.
  • Visited my Mom & Dad in Webster for a Mother’s Day breakfast.
  • Spent a couple days at Mohegan Sun while my wife was in a seminar.
  • Made a 20th Wedding Anniversary trip to Kittery, ME. I figured some retail therapy was in order after dealing with me all these years.

Martial Arts

  • After Patty felt better we resumed the Filipino punching and kicking drills. We also worked in some basic boxing drills on focus mitts.
  • Purchased a new set of Hayabusa Ikusa focus mitts.
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  • I practiced footwork drills.
  • Practiced sinawali stick drills.

Health

  • Lost 2 pounds of fat. I continue to move in the right direction, and now I’m at the lowest weight that I have been in years.
  • Resumed physical therapy leg exercises.
  • Worked with Tufts to resolve a billing issue.
  • Weened off of Protonix.

 

Financial

  • Leveraged taxes to a tax preparer.
  • Made tax payments.

Charity & Community Service

  • Relay for life.
  • Nepal Relief Efforts .

Cars

  • Went to the dealer for C service and to replace the driver’s side headlight on Patty’s car.
  • Washed my car including undercarriage.
  • Washed Patty’s car including undercarriage.

House

  • Spent a significant amount of time Spring cleaning our townhouse.
  • Cleaned and polished kitchen cabinets.
  • Fixed scuff on kitchen table with wood markers.
  • Fixed scuff on floor with wood markers.
  • Rearranged living room and reappropriated organizing furniture from other rooms to cut down on clutter.
  • Changed HVAC filter.
  • Cleaned foyer.
  • Pulled everything out of the spare room and cleaned.
  • Prepped HVAC Vents for summer.
  • Resolved neighborhood issues.

Fun

  • Julio’s liquors.
  • New York Deli in Westboro.
  • Researched trips for May.

May

  • We ate at Juniors NY Deli at Foxwoods and then went to see The Tenderloins/Tru TV Impractical Jokers at the Foxwoods Grand Theater. We had center balcony seats. Great seats and a great show.

Jokers

 

  • Visited the new Cabelas in Berlin, MA.
  • Went to Mohegan Sun with Patty. We stayed in a Deluxe King Room, ate at Summer Shack. Then while Patty was in her seminar I had the breakfast Buffet, then a Starbucks iced Cold Brew with soy milk. Then I played some video poker and quit while I was ahead. The rest of the day I used the room as my writing retreat. After Patty got out of the seminar we had dinner at the buffet then played video poker and slots. The next day found me at the buffet. After Patty finished her seminar we played some more video poker. I won $10.00 in slot play, turned it into $36.00 and then cashed out. Haha! A win is a win! Then we poked around Brookstone, avoiding the sales girl. Another round of Starbucks and we were homeward bound.

Mohegan Writing Retreat 1

 

Mohegan Writing Retreat 2

  • Stayed overnight at the Coachman Inn in Kittery, ME. Shopped at the outlets and then had a nice dinner at Weathervane. The Inn provided breakfast the next morning. Then we shopped more and went to Kittery Trading Post. Back to Weathervane for lunch, and then some Starbucks Cold Brew to fortify us as we fought the Memorial Day traffic home.

Movies

Ender’s Game ** 1/2 I found this movie fun but it lacked an indefinable something.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ** After all the hype surrounding this film, I was left disappointed. I found it vapid and cliche.

Personal Development

  • To get myself back on track I began listening to the Anthony Robbins audio program Get the Edge again.
  • Completed the goal setting workshop to fine tune my life’s direction.

Blog Post Mention for Cellar Door Authors

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 31, 2013 by David North-Martino

Greg Norris mentioned me in his blog post, along with some other amazing writers.  

“Rounding out the Table of Contents are such luminous authors as Tracy L Carbone, J Daniel Stone, K Trap Jones, and David North-Martino.”

http://gregorylnorris.blogspot.com/2013/10/new-release-flash-flood.html

http://www.amazon.com/David-North-Martino/e/B004TIM8WC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_6

2009 Goals Achieved…Now onto 2010…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2009 by David North-Martino

Every year I set a series of goals in every aspect of my life. I keep track of all my progress no matter how small. I’ve found that by doing this my productivity has really improved. This year I documented 22 pages worth of accomplishments and progress. Every year I post an abbreviated list to help myself stay productive throughout the year. And I hope that my example will inspire others to go for what they want in life.

Goal List:

Writing

Completed my first novel

Wrote and edited complete synopsis of first novel

Won ebay auction to have horror grandmaster Ray Garton critique my novel

Entered the Leisure Books Fresh Blood Novel Contest (This allowed me to get the goal of sending out my completed novel to a publisher).

Had two short stories shortlisted for inclusion in two different anthologies

Started a Word Press Blog

Submitted stories to 14 fiction markets

Entered 4 writing contests

Made Stoker award recommendations

Paid Horror Writers Association dues

Updated Myspace page

Transferred fiction and nonfiction to the Mac

Began an outline for a nonfiction book idea

Wrote the first chapters of 2 nonfiction book ideas

Researched writing project management software

Joined and donated to Duotrope Digest

Read chapters and stories for two aspiring authors and gave them some encouragement and information

Bought and read The Novel Selling Tool Kit

Wrote 2 new stories

Purchased Scrivener

Began writing another short story for an anthology

Martial Arts

Celebrated 22 years of martial arts training

Celebrated 10 years of Bujinkan Budo/Ninpo Taijutsu and jujutsu training

Began teaching private martial arts lessons

Continued teaching my wife martial arts (but changed the focus to a karate style curriculum).

Officially founded North-Martino Martial Arts

Had a discussion with my Aiki-Jujutsu teacher that is sure to shape my martial destiny for the next decade.

Went to the BMAC Old School Winter Seminar

Paid Bujinkan Dues

Reviewed SKH Coaching Program

Bought Patty a Do-gi for our training together

Attended BMAC March seminar

Bought a new Kasari-Fundo training weapon

Joined the NRA—got a free membership

Bought new BDU pants

Bought a new Bo (staff)

Watched monthly SKH DVD’s

Appeared on monthly SKH DVD as a student in training at SKH Martial Arts Festival.

Watched and took Comprehensive notes on SKH Kuji-in and Kuji Kiri DVD’s

Received Business credit card for my martial arts business

PNM Books

Continued to sell books and DVD’s as an Amazon seller.

Car

Completed all scheduled maintenance for our cars

Set up GPS

Had to update my license this year

Won a car spar from Anchor Subaru ($160.00 value) and cashed it in.

Financial Goals

Created two Think and Grow Rich affirmations and said them regularly

Sold old Kindles so we could buy Kindle 2’s

Filed taxes

Decided to wait before we locked in mortgage rate—It didn’t make sense financially

Won 2 tickets to IMAX from IMAX on Facebook

Made a small profit from selling Cemex stock

Made a small profit from selling TIVO stock

Made a small profit from selling Titanima Metals stock

Activated and used a 2 Month Free BJ’s Membership

Decided to move from Sharebuilder to Options Express

Patty Won Tickets to the Providence Bruins

Paid our car loans down significantly

Paid equity loan down significantly

401k increased significantly

Old 401k improved and mostly recovered

Got $$$ for opening Options Express account

Patty received bonus and raise

Transferred credit card balance to take advantage of 0% APR

IRA Improved and mostly recovered

Things

I don’t like to list everything on line but suffice it to say, we made our thing goals for the year.

Family

Celebrated 14 years of marriage and 17 years since our first date.

Visited with my uncle and aunt from NH

Visited with my Dad’s cousin from CA

Called my Mom, Dad and Sister once per week

Easter at the in-laws

Visited Mom for Mother’s Day

Went on vacation to York and Kittery Maine

Visited Dad for Father’s Day

Visited with Parents in Newport

Patty and I spent a day in Mystic CT. We went to Mystic Sea port, Mystic Aquarium, and ate at Go Fish. We also stayed a night at the Hilton

Attended my Nieces’ baby shower

Thanksgiving at In-laws

Holliday’s with In-laws and parents

Health

Lost 10 lbs

Passed a kidney stone

Changed my eating to combat kidney stones

Used Triple Flex for joint mobility

Pulled a hamstring

Dentist appointments. Had cavity filled.

Signed up for Medco by mail to get cheaper prescriptions but decided to go back to a brick and mortar pharmacy.

Education

The Gothic Tradition in Literature A

Applied Chemistry C+

Adult Development and Ageing A

Introduction to Information Systems A

Friends

This year has been extremely busy and I’ve neglected some friends but I’m already making some plans to rectify that in the coming year.

Appointed Vice President of Physical Fitness of the David Martino’s club of world on Facebook.

Caught up with a lot of friends on facebook

Made plans to visits some friends in January

Spent time training with friends at dojo

House

Got new rugs for downstairs bathroom

Finished sorting clutter in the study

Replaced air filters and heater filter

Completed spring cleaning

Video taped house for insurance

Replaced mattress

Had floors installed

Had Cable box put in upstairs bedroom

Had 1800 Junk come to clean out garage

Got a new fire extinguisher

Charity/Community Service

Completed all charity/community service goals

Planning

Decided to stop using Franklin Covey for Outlook. I have returned completely to Anthony Robbins RPM. But I’m using the Word for Mac notebook and some templates to implement the system instead of using the planner.

Travel

Kittery, York and Scarborough Maine

Foxwoods in CT

Newport RI

Mystic CT

That’s all I have for now. 2010 here I come…