Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The authors favorite negative review.

This is the author's favorite negative review filled with mistakes about the character ages, calling the author a dick based on his first name, and getting the ages of the characters so very wrong that he alludes to pedophilia. Maz Marik also writes zombie novels, and is not very good at it, as evidenced from his spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes in his review below:

RayzorWire: Julie Rayzor Zombie War Book Two

Terrible book coverRayzorWire: Julie Rayzor Zombie War Book Two
Author: Richard Howes
Publisher: LRCK Publishing
Year: 2013
> They say don’t judge a book by its cover.
> You really should with this one.
Julie Rayzor must choose between her commitment to the Army and helping her drug-addicted best friend. Lt. Col. Winters uses Julie’s loyalty to spy on the enemy. Captured in battle by Scabs and given to the Zomb to become their prized war-trophy, Julie discovers a new force of evil preparing to destroy all of human-kind. Can she escape to warn her friends?
If that synopsis doesn’t make sense then don’t worry, I am sure the writer did not have a specific focus for the story either. I picked this book up a year after release after the author unleashed a prolonged campaign of spamming on a zombie Fb group I frequent, he wore me down and I picked up this book.
Before we discuss the story I just have to say this book suffers from an awful, awful cover, perhaps one of the cheapest and worst I have ever seen and does not set a good tone.
First of all, if you haven’t read the first (I had not but the constant promotion of this specific book did not mention that it was not a direct continuation of the story, but rather a, and I quote “stand-alone sequel” although he now refutes that it is stand-alone so mislead me with this promotional claim) this is a continuation and so many things won’t make sense until you either keep reading or in some circumstances just ignore that specific element, and that is a shame as it doesn’t encourage new readers to pick up the story at this level, and is something that could have been easily avoided had the writer or publisher not promoted it as a stand-alone sequel.
Additionally the overly simplistic writing style does not encourage people to pick up and continue reading, or conversely the non-simplistic character introductions which don’t so much as provide an introduction rather just throws random character names at you from the off, with no discernible features to distinguish them from each other, so ultimately you fail to form any connection  and in a road-story such as this, without that bond there is nothing. Again had you read the first you may be familar with them so may not be an issue.
As previously commented the author, Richard Howes, seems to lack any real focus and this manifests itself in a scattered writing approach and these problems are further exemplified by the characters and writing contradicting each other, with lines such as ‘they would grab everything worthwhile  but it had little value” immediately followed by ‘finding everything Lieutenant-Colonel Winters wanted and more’  before going on to state ‘if it wasn’t what he needed he could find it himself’ so which is it and why bother writing it all. If it’s what he wants it has value and if you have grabbed what he asked for why is it possibly not what he asked for? Answers Richard please!
Not only this, I hope the author puts the money earned from sales towards a thesaurus as sentences like ‘zombies coming in all directions. Escobar fired his grenade in all directions’ and ‘My coat was left behind in the bedroom. Lopez, Jim and Jill also forgot their coats’ hardly fills a reader with confidence in the author and further proves that these books aren’t written for adults.
However, it is not all doom and gloom, due to the lack of descriptions the first few chapters do move at a decent pace and the actual story itself does hold some promise in particular the zombie leaders (living or dead I am unsure), who guide and direct the blind zombies  and this arc has potential but isn’t really explored. While this trait is also shared by our main character, Julie, but if you want to know more about this convenient perk you will have to read the first story as Richard Howes doesn’t want to bother with a catch up despite promoting this as a “stand-alone sequel to Julie Rayzor Zombie War Series” in his marketing.
The secondary plot meanwhile is that of romance, and is a bit confusing due to the reader having to work out the ages of all involved, their past relationship status, a lot of sharing seemed to be going on or potentially grooming as I am guessing the women are all 15-17 and the men perhaps 30+, and when combined with a frigid / near virgin story arc this is even stranger to pursue and I am not really sure who would “get” this story.
While lacking gore and full of cliché’s (and not the tongue in check, fun kind but the tired ones that need more around it to work) this is an introduction to zombies for pre-teens who don’t like zombies and probably won’t and has very little to offer readers of this blog.
On balance, the author doesn’t get it all wrong all the time, and when he does, perhaps serendipitously, build a tense engaging scene he then goes and ruins it with something a Sesame Street writer would pen, with lines like ‘I fired into the zombie mass. “One, two, three, four, five” I said as five zombies fell into the river.’ I can just imagine the Count and not Julie being the star of this story.
I am ashamed to say this is the only book I couldn’t bring myself to fully finish,  and the most praise I can give it is that I expected to hate it but I merely disliked it.
Edited to add: Perhaps I went a little overboard with my scathing approach and always interested in both sides of the story and after reading our review, the author had a response to counter our claims located in the comments, and I would advise you to read it as well to make up your own mind.

8 Responses to “RayzorWire: Julie Rayzor Zombie War Book Two”

  1. Dear Reviewer: yes. that is interesting… You didn’t read the first book and complain about “vague character descriptions”. Yes. JK Rowling needs to describe Harry Potter and all his friends at the beginning of each book. SMH!!! I sure don’t want my readers to have to “overthink.” Not in today’s world of instant gratification! LOL! Oh and comparing random statements chapters apart from each other… that overthinking must hurt. “further proves that these books aren’t written for adults or anyone with an IQ over 80.” I’m glad you read the book… Don’t overthink that one! Oh and calling the author an insult of his first name… Are you 10 or 12 years old? the secondary plot of the second book is not romance. I’d overthink that was obvious. If you read the first book you would know the protagonist is 17 and her boyfriend is 19. but I don’t expect a 12 year old to understand that. If you read the first book… which you didn’t, you would know that her father taught her to count her shots when shooting, so that you know how much ammo you have left… unlike your favorite movies where guns never run out of ammo. and finishing your review with an insult to my intelligence and my given name… Classy! Thanks for the laugh! did amazon give you your full refund after you “read and return” EVERYONE’s novels? Best Regards and good luck with your next “read and return” – Richard Howes
  2. And where are the author’s comments? Conveniently deleted?
    • Apologies for that an error occurred and the comment was temporarily hidden, not convenient however as I reference it at the end of the web page indicating that it should be there so in fact it was inconvenient. However, thank you for bringing it to my attention so I could look into and fix the issue.
      If you disagree with the review, please feel free to leave your comments regarding your thoughts of the book either in the comments (which I notice you elected not to do) or if you prefer I welcome an alternative opinion on the book, if you would like to submit your own review I would be happy to put that up as well, allowing people to read a differing view.
  3. Wow! I mean wow! You removed all the comments! So much for your desire to hear both sides!
  4. Hi Richard,
    I will be honest I am suprised to get another comment regarding this so many months on and as I said to Bob, I am more than happy to put up an alternative review of the book if one was submitted.
    I am genuinely happy to have a discussion about the book if that is what you want and I did say in the edit that I went overboard but I also wrote a review in line with the themes of the website (this website dealt mainly in trash and 80s style horror which your book does not fall into) and for the targeted audience, which I do not think are the audience you had in mind when you wrote the books.
  5. And where is my response from earlier today with your references to my name and being called a dick and a penis?
  6. I will admit that my attempt at humour backfired there and while I did not mean it personally I see that there was no other way to take it, which is why I removed it and apologise for the offence there.
    The reason I did not post your earlier comment is because at no point did I ever call you a paedophile or anything of that nature, the only comments I made were referring the characters in the story and the probability that this is aimed at the young adult audience, there was nothing regarding or implied about you in that matter.
    Further more the reason I blocked you on Fb was simply because after the initial posts aside from a few snappy and witty comments (zombie undead should never have been born… I agree having seen it, it is very dull) I am not Polish and so words like ‘Polak’ just indicated that the conversation was not going anywhere nor would it have been productive for either of us.
  7. Yes… Calling me a dick based on my first name and saying that my work is pandering to pedophilia is so very respectable, intelligent, and non-personal that I now understand that you meant to indicate everyone on the planet named Richard. Lol. As I said before in comments that you deleted, you claim to be an author, so lets see your work. I’ve been looking and so far you have nothing. I will also add that real authors help each other rather than rip each other to shreds in personal attacks. I’m on several Facebook pages where authors critique (not to be confused with criticize) other writers submissions so that we can all learn and become better writers. If, as you now claim, you didn’t mean to call me a dick and child molester, and actually wanted to help me, you have a damn strange funny way of going bout it. Good luck with trying to get any real help with your very much unfunny, vile attack.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Eleven ways to make your novel better.

1.       Find and replace the word “even” with the word “odd.” If the sentence doesn’t work, delete it.
2.       Quit using adverbs. They are evil, lazy, and destructive. They will destroy your creative work and cause you to rely on lazy writing techniques such as passive voice. They are evil because they should be considered evil and destroyed like ISIS.
3.       Get rid of to-be verbs. Rewrite, restructure, and reinvent any sentence with the words: were, was, would, have, been, had, etc. If the sentence sounds lazy, rewrite it.
4.       Please stop using passive voice. Take this: “They had decided long ago, almost as soon as we had left the cars and began this trudge up the mountain, that I was just slowing them down. They were right. If we did this hike at my preferred pace, the speed would be much slower than this kamakazi attack on the welch landscape.” Fifty-four words. I count five to-be verbs, incorrect punctuation that MS Word catches as an error, the word “right” being used instead of “correct,” extraneous verbosity… And do I see mixed present-past tense? Plus, you can tell the writer sees this sentence as a darling, and all darlings must be killed.
I’d rewrite this section as follows: “We left the cars and started up the mountain. If they let me set the pace, we’d proceed much slower than their attack on the steep welch landscape.” This is Twenty eight words that relay action and reads fast with the same point made. There is no prose, but the reader doesn’t expect to be reading a candidate for the Nobel Prize for literature. Give the reader a good read and he or she will buy your next book and recommend you to others.  
5.       Get rid of the word, “that.” Most of “that” can be deleted and not change the meaning of the sentence.
6.       Kill your darlings. I know. I know. I’ve been there. We all have written beautiful prose. We’ve put them in places where they don’t fit, or yank the reader out of the story. Those are verboten. Kill your darlings!
7.       Never use clichés. Those cute mousey phrases creep into any writers work as they pound the keys to get their story down. As you edit your own work recognize these rodents for what they are: vermin. Then exterminate them. Your readers will not know why your book is better than the average slush on the self-publishing book shelves, but you will.
8.       Hire a competent editor. There’s millions of writers who need to make a living. Editing your self-published book is a good way for them to make five hundred bucks. Hire an editor who has proven credentials and pay them several times more than that. You get what you pay for. Or learn the hard way, write four or five novels, then hire and editor, and wish you had hired a good editor first.
9.       Pick a theme for your story and stick to it.
10.   Each chapter is a scene. Each scene must have a point. It must tell the reader something that drives the story forward.
11.   Memorize the preceeding ten.

That's 11. Now edit, edit, and edit your novel. (That's 12.) And quit spending so much time promoting them on facebook. All you are doing in selling to other writers. (That one is 13.) 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Sully - a Las Vegas short story.

The intentions of the man on the corner became obvious upon a second glance. At first look, he's warm jacket and blue jeans announced he was a local because winter-time visitors to Las Vegas wore shorts and Hawaiian shirts. The fifty degree days felt balmy compared to the near zero temperatures of the northern climes. Not-so to thin blooded Vegas residents grown accustomed to 108 degree summers.
My second glance revealed the muzzle of a handgun under the jacket, breaking smooth lines. The calm, almost sanguine early morning, with the rising sun back lighting the aptly named Sunrise Mountain promised excitement. Nothing ever happened at 5am, no hookers, no deliveries, nothing, except for...
I leaned against the neo-roman concrete fence of Caesars Palace and watched the man standing at the head of the alley between the Flamingo Casino and O'Sheas, my early morning job for a client temporarily postponed. No one posted an armed guard on Las Vegas Boulevard without cause. After a moment, I walked up to the man. He looked away, pretending we didn't know each other.
"Get lost, Sully."
A radio-mike protruded from his collar. A clear coiled tube ran from under his jacket to his ear.
"Need any help?"
"Not your kind."
"Oh. One of those jobs?"
"Bounce." Beads of sweat formed on his brow.
"Just checking out the competition."
"You looking a little sick. Are you okay?"
Stephens put his hand under his jacket and stared into my eyes.
"Extraviarse. I get it. One last question: When the shit goes down, which side am I on?"
Stephens's muscles tightened.
I departed, returning to the Caesars Palace side of the street to watch and wait. Stephens glanced at me. I imagined his thoughts: I've been made. Do we call this off? Is it too late? How do I handle him after this goes down? Should I kill Sully now? Is he packing? Probably. How messy is that going to get? He's got friends on the force.
I enjoyed fun on the Strip at any hour.
Ten minutes later the Oshea's side-door opened. Two guards and three drop-crew personnel manhandled a cash-cart over the threshold and down the concrete ramp. Stephens moved, talking into his coat collar.
I looked at the second hand on my watch.
A rented box truck, it's rear loading gate out and lowered, sped up the street, turned into the alley, and missed hitting the casino crew and cart by inches. The truck's brakes screeched as the vehicle stopped. The rear door opened and three men with sub machine guns jumped out. The loading gate straightened and lowered to the ground. The unarmed casino guards raised their hands and the drop-crew froze, bewildered. Gun barrels swung and pointed. Commands rose. Within half a minute the guards pushed the cash-cart onto the loading deck and the money disappeared into the truck. Five seconds later the truck went mobile again, and ten seconds later, police sirens echoed through the streets.
Those dumb bastards, I thought. I later learned that for ten years, since Flamingo purchased O'Shea's, they'd been taking the cash up an elevator and across the alley through the overhead walkway, then down five stories in another elevator to the count room in the basement. Concealed and secure, but inconvenient and a pain to manage, the bosses did something dumb-deciding to take the money outside, in public, rather than tolerating drop-crew complaints. They finally gave in. I wondered for how long. A day, maybe two, until they got robbed. The eyes on the city, eyes like mine, watching, learning, waiting to see how obtuse the managers were. Street people watched everything. Seeing this one time might be weird. Twice: an anomaly. Three times: opportunity not missed.
An hour afterwards, Detective Esposito, my current nemesis, and certainly not one of my friends, crossed the street. "Sullivan."
"Casino Surveillance says you were talking to one of the gunmen and you've been standing here since before it happened. Are you stupid or do you wish to go down as an accomplice?"
"Nice to see you too."
"What happened?"
"I should arrest you for being an asshole." Esposito's eyes narrowed and he turned away.
"Well... I might have seen something." I walked after him, crossing the street.
"I'm not hiring you."
"Let's call it a finder's fee."
I expected the knock on my office door when it arrived that afternoon. I discussed with a visitor if his side would pay and which small-time, virtually unknown drug-dealer he would frame, deflect suspicion, and allow Esposito the glory of solving the case, recovering half of the million dollars stolen from the casino. The casino certainly reported twice that amount stolen to the insurance company. This profited the bad guys and the casino. I'd deposit two nice paychecks into my vacuous bank account. Everyone wins.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


♥➷♥ 3 NOVELS FOR FREE ♥➷♥  Mystery or Horror. You pick!!!
....What do you do when you are drugged, tied, hanging from the ceiling, and your feet are planted in a bucket of concrete? P.I. Sully digs deep in Sullyland - A Las Vegas Mystery
....What do you when you're 17, trapped with elite soldiers, surrounded by zombies, ammo and supplies run low, and your boyfriend is outside and M.I.A.? Julie Rayzor locks and loads for the final battle.
Starting Thursday May 21st until the 25th for Memorial Day weekend only!!!  (And always free on Kindle Unlimited.)
PLEASE SHARE THIS POST - my goal is to give away over 5000 copies !!!
Do you need three full-length fast-paced adventure novels for Memorial Day weekend?
Sullyland - A Sully Las Vegas Mystery: http://www.amazon.com/Sullyland-Sully-Mystery-Mysteries-Volume/dp/1492829579

Julie Rayzor - Zombie War Series Book One: www.tinyurl.com/JRZWS1
RayzorWire - Zombie War Series Book Two: www.tinyurl.com/Rayzorwire
“Crisp, fast-paced action novel... Writing style is very impressive... realistic energy and highly effective tough combat... Great dialogue in this entertaining novel... Elmore Leonard type: short, character-revealing, and advancing the story conflict. And conflict is everywhere... I will not give away any secrets in the plot... I won’t tell you about the train scenes, wow, you’ll have to discover those yourself...” says John Hill, Author and Screenwriter of "Quigley Down Under", and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (uncredited), "LA Law" and "Quantum Leap".
Sullyland Excerpt:
Roused into a hazy darkness, dust with a hint of lime-the odor of fresh concrete, a stretching of my arms and a slap across my face made the world clearer. John Medici rubbed his hands, injuring himself on my jaw-line. I smiled.
“Wake up, dead man,” Anthony ‘Tall-Tony’ Constantino said. A half-dozen men stood around me.
My head swelled, aching, thudding, as the drug wore off, my crossed eyes focused in the dim room. I hung from my arms, propped upright.
“I want you awake for this,” Medici said. “You don’t get to die easy. I want you to suffer every agonizing gulp of water as it floods your lungs and try to grow gills and breathe like a fish.” He laughed.
With wrists tied above my head, my body hanging down, ropes secured me to a gaffing hook bolted to the ceiling. I sighed and dropped my eyes, gazing at the floor.
Legs weighted down, frozen, paralyzed, my feet held inside a bucket of masonry cement. No one wore concrete galoshes since Whitey Bulger won the Massachusetts state lottery and went on the lam… no one until me. My murder would be stereotypical... a cliché from old movies about Al Capone. I’d be embarrassed for them if the victim was anyone else. Blood drained from my head, I grew weak, panic rising.
Calm, I told myself. What can I do? Analyze the situation… How did I get myself into this mess? Anthony promised not to kill me… Fat joke. What did I do? I insulted John. A minor jab to anyone else except a man who possessed no humor. Killing Butterfield didn’t scare me off… probably upsetting Veronika more than worry of her own death… She wanted her children to be safe. This doesn’t help.
Eyes opening wider and my face flushing renewed bouts of laughter from the audience. They pulled at beer bottles until John gestured–retiring to the upper decks and saying, “Let’s wait while the concrete dries.”

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hell-Bent Wade

My name is Bent Wade. Some have called me Hell-Bent but I could argue that Hell comes to me; I never go looking for it. This isnt about my name. Its about the future. I've always had dreams that come true. No lottery numbers. No lucky scratch tickets. Just dreams about a fence along a highway or a jet crashing into a skyscraper and many others but no details. Nothing to identify when or where they might happen but happen they did. All my life. At 17 years old I visited a psychic on a lark, hoping for confirmation about a dreamhouse in the mountains. She told me of the desert and lots of horses. Then she grew extremely frightened and refused to tell me any more. Idk. Maybe she saw my first wife! I'd have appreciated the heads-up on that one! Even my first wife had nightmares about our divorce a year before I asked for one. Lol! The psychic annoyed me and I wanted my money back, departing with a feeling of being ripped off. Ten years later I bought a horse. Two years after that I moved from Boston, across the country, to Nevada. On the drive, hauling a trailer and my horse, I saw that fence in the Shenandoah valley. In Tennessee I crossed a bridge over a bend in a river to reach a barn for the night. I'd dreamed the barn stood on an island but everything else appeared the same, from the steep river banks to the trees and the stableyard. In Vegas I owned a boarding stable and rode and trained horses as a hobby. In 2001 I saw a jet and skyscraper on tv. In the last 30 plus years I've dreamed and seen things come true more than I can recount. Why do I tell you this? Because last month I felt a premonition that I will be dead in three months: June 2014... My name is Hell-Bent Wade and I hope Hell isnt waiting but rather I know it won't.

Write What You Know

Write what you know.

Write what you know. That's what they told him, but how? Simon thought. How does one write about love and loss and psychosis and suicide when the cuts run too deep and the edge of the knife scrapes a razor-edge against bone? A filet of his flesh, red and juicy, a prime cut made its daily, no, hourly slice and fall to the floor. Write what you know... Love as euphoric as morphine with fuzzy brain-numbing loss of intelligence hidden by a false veil masquerading as clear thought. The mask removed when his wife's infatuation mutated into insecurity, raising loneliness from the dead like a pheonix, with talons gripping psychological damage dug from the depths of some cranial malfunction. The damage itself, perhaps, caused by a childhood of incest or too much high fructose corn syrup in her baby formula. 

This he might pen. Write the words but to what feeling? What effect? To bring the reader to the brink of suicide? If one could write such words he would possess the power of the gods but even to lesser effect, for the sake of drama or enlightenment of the dark corners of life. 

What part did the man play in causing the problems? Is he an intelligent imbecile? A functional idiot? An innocent rube suckered by great sex and too many compliments? Would the reader believe such a man could be so dumb to miss all the signs and ignore the advice of his best friends? 

The story might sell. Simon wondered aloud and to himself as he sat at his desk. It could make him rich, but does wealth bring happiness after all? Yet another concern built a wall between the thought and the deed... Should he do it? Would it free him from the poorly crafted plot point of the protagonist committing suicide? How else besides murder could this fairytale conclude? There is always murder-suicide but-not to misuse a cliche-the horse that cliche rode died of fatigue. And suicide itself is a problem. A story told in first person might be formulated with the protagonist's ghost as the storyteller but he rides a similar problem-horse. Could our flawed but redeemable yet unredeemed hero become a villain filled with hate for all forever? Might he instead pick up the shattered parts of his life, sweep them into the dustbin and go merrily onward? 

The wall becomes too high, too wide and its foundation runs too very deep to reach the other side. This is what holds Simon back. This Shakespearian tragedy is his opus, his swan-song and his nemesis.

He opened a new document in Word and began to type as the never ending tears flowed once more.

Going to Hell

Ten years old in the fourth grade, on a snowy slushy day when the catholic school let out, I lined up with the others to walk by the church and reach Main Street in a near freezing rain. The Sister walks out into the street to stop traffic and then tells us to walk across the street and no running allowed. I walk fast like everyone else and the Sister grabs me by the coat and tells me I'm not supposed to run and that I have to walk back across the street and then cross the street a third time and no running. I think to myself, "How stupid is that!". Streets are dangerous but I walk across the street, reach the sidewalk and turn around. Walking back towards the sister but she moved to the far side of the roadway, as I approach I spot a large pothole filled with icy water. Beside the pothole stands my nemisis dressed in a knee length skirt, stockings, and flat-sole shoes. I accelerate. Walking faster. By the time I reach the pothole, I'm running. (Punished for the crime I didn't commit I figure I might as well do the deed and add a little more.) I leap into the air. Both feet coming together I descend rapidly, school shoes landing side by side in that pothole. Water flies, legs are instantly soaked! My felony committed I bolt across the forbidden convent lawn, comitting a third or fourth crime added to the list. My escape is made, running, racing towards home as I hear my name called,"Richard Howes! Get back here right now!" I don't stop. It's a mile to home and I'm free until mom returns from work. She knows what happened. I explain my side. She agrees that making a kid walk across a street several times for punishment is stupid. And... I should not have splashed the sister. Oh well. Life is interesting and I'm going to hell anyways!