It’s live!!

I’m still waiting for it to hit a few stores but you can get it here now! It’s on sale for $2.99 until after my release party on Facebook and then will go up to $3.99!


By hafortmanauthor

6 comments on “It’s live!!

  1. I liked the book, but have a critique for the author that I hope she reads…

    Why am I taking such a large amount of space to convey my thoughts? Because the author has talent, and it is my hope she will want to see what people say about her book and take constructive comments as they are intended – to help her write an even better follow-up book. Her story idea was clever. And she has a lot going for her as a writer. I wanted to like this book, and believed I would after reading the Amazon sample. I have enjoyed the book, even with the problems I discovered as I read it – and even with the few glaring problems in how the story developed. I understand what the author was trying to do.

    I have no doubt, in future, this author’s work will get better, her stories and descriptions tighter, her characters even better developed. The characters were interesting, dialogue good. The descriptions gave a good sense of location and what was happening. So as for being able to write – this author can write. The issues I had are issues a new author learns to overcome – if someone explains them and why they were a potential problem for a reader. And so, I begin my list of issues, in the hope the author one day reads this review. Please note – I don’t talk about spelling or grammar – those can be corrected automatically with Word tools. I’m not nit-picky that way. What I’m attempting to convey is based on what I believe the author was trying to give the reader in the story, and where I feel the author could have made changes to have a better final book. (I want to help the author be a better writer because I believe this author could be great.)

    Spoilers are present as I move forward in my review/critique.

    The beating the heroine suffers was well written. I got a good sense of a woman fighting against a much stronger man and losing. I could almost feel the blows. That is compelling writing. It was a beating meant to kill her, and that came across loud and clear.

    That is also what made it hard to forget as I continued to read. I understand the hero takes her to the ship and a medical healer that could actually help her. However, the author should have mentioned the nano tech at that point to give the reader a hint and feel for what was going on. It should have been brought out that they could not heal her skin bruising colors as those only fade with time, however they could heal her injuries enough she would no longer feel the pain of said bruises though she would look terrible. That was NOT done.

    As a result, the author seemed to bounce between two ideas on how to handle the aftermath of the beating – feeling pain or not feeling pain. The author seemed to have not made the conscious choice which to use, so the writing was jumbled when referencing the beating’s aftermath, as if the author couldn’t make up her mind. When the heroine wakes in the human hospital, she is in pain. The doctor has given her pain meds and she is still in pain. The hero asks after her pain. When she moves, she has pain. Basically, the impression and explanations were that the aliens corrected the internal bleeding and fractures so she was no longer in a life-threatening situation, but the bruising to her organs and her external bruising were all still present and would fade over a few days’/week’s time. Later in the book, the author changes the view of the injuries to be like “finger painting” on her skin. Then it is changed again when she feels pain on reaching in the kitchen. The author needs to pick on and stick with it. It will make the story stronger and easier to write if you remember which reality you are writing. Both have very different ways in which the story must be written after that choice is made. By not making it, the story wasn’t as strong as it could have been.

    That said, based on the way it was written after the beating and sick-bay visit, with indications of severe pain needing pain medication, I cannot emphasize enough to the author that a woman will NOT move or act NORMAL with such bruising. I thank God the author has apparently never been hit by a man. That is a blessing. Speaking for women who have been hit, let me say this: NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

    It was NOT believable that the hero hugged her tight, not believable that she would welcome any touching of her breasts or body – not based on the description of how she was beaten – back, ribs especially, head, extremities, chest, abdomen, face. Since the psycho sat on her hip/thigh area to do this beating, first on the back then the front, about the only area NOT affected was her legs. Dear author, if you have never been punched by a man bigger than you are, go and get padded up at a self defense place and have a man hit you as hard as he can in the padding. You will likely feel it and be shocked if not bruised. Every woman is shocked when she is hit but a man.

    You would NEVER think sex was a good idea after having the better part of your body beaten and bruised by a psycho. In fact, just the thought of the heroine accepting a man fondling her breast after the event makes me think OW OW OW OW! As I write this I’m about 78% complete with the book on my Kindle, just after the aborted love scene to which I am referring. I could not get into any of the touching of the hero to the heroine other than helping her stand and get around just because I know what true damage would have been done to a female body taking that kind of beating. So I could not suspend my disbelief.

    I kept thinking how the author could have handled it to keep me in the story – as I said above, by telling me the healer and nanos healed all by the colorful signs she was beaten, but that there was no pain. But that isn’t what the author wrote, that is what she could have done – and then the hero’s touching her would not have seemed callus and selfish and all about his own needs based on the bonding he needed from her. See the difference? The author could have taken the steps needed to write this differently by just a few sentences here and there and it still would have worked. Now, if that is what the author intended all along, she missed the mark in her descriptions because that is not what came across in the story.

    At the 82 % mark in the book, her injuries were described as “finger paint” on her skin – implying no real pain. Then later in the book, she stretches in the kitchen and has pain. It can’t be both ways. Badly beaten and healed to the point the bruises needed a week or so to heal works for the book because that puts off the intimacy between the main characters and gives them time to find the killer. BUT this also means the hero can’t be real touchy-feely in any way but super-tender because any touch is going to have the possibility of causing her pain. By not being definitive on this issue, I felt it weakened the story the author was trying to tell. Other readers would not analyze it the way I do, they would just be frustrated by the inconsistencies, and possibly be unwilling to read this author again.

    As a side note, a woman severely beaten with black and blue marks all over the upper part of her body, front and back, is NOT going to wear a halter sun dress without some kind of cover-up. Why not? Because women are naturally self-conscious about their bodies. You can’t change human nature in a work of fiction – not without well written motivation in place to explain it.

    On a different subject, the heroine is too accepting at first when she finds Chase and Tracker to be aliens – too accepting of the sudden weirdness in her world. That was the time to be skeptical, to question, to disbelieve. Accepting the healer on the ship – that made sense – the healer was taking away the pain and injury, talking to her intelligently and thoroughly explaining what was happening.

    Then, later, after she has sat on Chase’s lap, cuddled with him in front of a detective – said she trusts him, her responses didn’t make sense when she learns she is his “one and only” and he will literally die without her in his life from now on, she gets pissy and angry and suddenly she can’t understand or believe the alien? I don’t think so.

    In a romance, when a sexy alien says he must bond with you because he has scented you are the one, has dreamed of you for years, etc. etc. that is when the heart melts, when you start to hope and believe it might be true, that you might have won the lottery of relationships and actually found a man who will totally devote himself to you and your happiness because that is what he needs to survive as well. Considering the author made a point of introducing a lousy ex-boyfriend in the beginning of the book, the heroine had the history of a bad relationship with a chauvinistic pig of a man as a contrast. The motivation for her reaction wasn’t made clear enough for me to accept it.

    The detective handled the alien talk better than she did, and HE had NOT been to the ship. In fact, the detective’s reactions were too under-stated for him to be a seasoned cop. Later the explanation he gives helps explain it, but that should have come sooner in the scene to explain his easy acceptance. Placement of the explanation is key. Too early and it feels like the author is “telling” instead of “showing”. Too late and the reader is not believing the story they are reading because the character’s reactions don’t make sense.

    I found the descriptions of emotion and reactions to be muted when they should have been high and then over-the-top when they should have been more thoughtful and considering. It lacked consistency with true human emotional reactions. Humans react with disbelief first when faced with something amazing, and then grudging acceptance as logic and explanation take over. An author has to take care not to over-emphasize the emotions in a scene with the wrong descriptive words. Just one mis-placed word can make the reaction seem too mild or too exaggerated.

    Even when dealing with a futuristic romance, it is the similarities to human life that help us transition to the new alien world of the author’s vision. It is the similarities in how the people/creatures of the book react that help us understand their motivations and actions. All actions need motivations of one kind or another – some simple, some complex. But basic human nature is our guide.

    The author did a good job of this in dealing with why the heroine was compelled to insert herself into a big investigation. Her parents were murdered. She had no closure. Excellent motivation for her actions. This should continue with every character and sub-character developed in the story. Action – motivation – reaction – follow-through. Even if the author leaves cliff-hangers, there must still be follow-through for each character.

    As I finish my review/critique, I have now finished the book. I have some thoughts. Part of the problem I see with the book is in the lack of time transitions. Did this all happen in a day, a couple days, a week. There are some time transitions, but they are rough. It would have made sense for the hero to work with the cops and the heroine to catch the villain, and to give the heroine time to heal from her beating. However, it seemed everything happened in a day. There just wasn’t a clear transition, in my opinion.

    A few little things:
    1. When world building, determine the religious element and stick with it. There was reference to “Gods and Goddesses”, then suddenly it became “the Lord and Lady”. The author must be consistent or it knocks the reader out of the flow of the read.

    2. Future travel? Seriously? Less is more in a world building for a fiction novel. You cannot put every cliché you have ever read into your story. It makes it ring false. Why would aliens capable of space travel, nano-technology, etc. need to go into the future to get one of our pitiful G.P.S. units? Here again, this is a consistency issue. If your story is set in a previous past (during the reign of the Zodiac killer), you have to stick with that timeframe for what is available. However, your space aliens can have any technology they need. You just need to briefly mention what it is and does. The alien could have deployed undetectable satellites to map the planet and transmit the information to his handheld device. Remember, circling our planet at this time is tons of space “junk” and even our folks at NASA don’t know what all is up there. That would have worked as an explanation without the jarring mention of a case where they went into the future. It was too “Time cop”ish.

    3. Another rough transition – Why did Tracker leave after their showers? This was a place that needed about two sentences for a placement in “time”, such as “the next morning, after receiving the file from the detective, Tracker left to…” That would have set up the coming scenes.

    4. At the 90% complete point, suddenly a condition for intimacy between the hero/heroine is added – they had to catch the villain before they could make love. Why was that not brought up at an earlier time? In my opinion, it was unnecessary. Here again, I refer to the “choice” of whether the heroine’s injuries were painful or just finger-paint on skin. With her having pain, the heroine’s injuries were enough to keep them from being intimate for a few days or more.

    5. I felt there was a missed opportunity in the showdown with the villain. The villain should have crowed about “earning” his adult name. “Zodaic”. It would have tied things together nicely because it would have tied back to the beginning of the book and the explanation of the killer and his apparent joy in the name. It would also have tied to the explanation of how the hero earned his adult name. Just a suggestion.

    My final critique item is the Epilog. As an author, you have to know to “show”, don’t “tell”. This means that you don’t give the reader a “flashback” of a major scene that should happen in the book’s “now”. Having the bonding in the Epilog as a flashback is unsatisfying to the reader. And it is not the proper use of the Epilog. The Epilog is meant to tie up the final elements, maybe foreshadow future events for the next book.

    The message from Tracker at the end – it was perfect for an Epilog. The details of the characters’ physical and sexual bonding as a flashback the beginning of the Epilog – not good. As an ending, it made the book’s end seem rushed, as if you ran out of word count and needed to end the book. That will never leave a good impression with a reader. The author needs the ending to feel satisfying to the reader. The reader is happy with the ending, maybe anticipating the next book because this one was such a good read with good compelling secondary characters, etc. As an author, here is a rule to follow – if your ending is rushed, your reader will not be happy with the results and your reader reviews will suffer, and as a result, so will your sales.

    (Note: During the telling of this story, two intriguing characters were brought out by the author as possible main characters for future books. That was well done. Subtle.)

    My advice to the author on the Epilog – If you run out of space/word count, take a day or so and get away from the book. Then go back to the beginning and start reading to edit out words or even sentences. Remember, editing and creating use two different parts of the brain. You cannot effectively edit when you are in create mode. In the book, as I’ve described above, there were areas where information wasn’t given soon enough, or where given information conflicted with previous information given. During rewrites, removing and tightening these things would have given more the author more word count to use at the end. In the book, there were additions that served no purpose, such as the “future” G.P.S acquisition. The reference didn’t need to be in the book at all as it really didn’t add anything important. That could have been removed. After editing, the author could have then had room to give us a scene before the Epilog where the bonding occurred in the book’s “now”, showing the bonding between them with the blood exchange, waking in sick bay, making love, etc. The author’s Epilog would then have been short and sweet, and left us waiting for the next book while being satisfied with the one just read.

    Overall, I liked the book – so much that I took the time to really write up something to help the author. I hope she reads what I’ve written and knows I write it with every hope for her continued and future success.


    • I appreciate the review here (And yes I saw it on Amazon) But it seems that everyone is forgetting that she had been given a sedative. I tried to make it known that it was reacting differently in Elisa and calming her down.

      As for personally experiencing it, no, I have not. I have been slapped and punched yes, but they were only able to get one or two hits in. That part of the book was very difficult for me to write and I know I glossed over some of it because I didn’t want to offend anyone. I have talked to others that had been in similar situations and they all told me that while they didn’t want to be touched, some gentle consoling and even some hugging were ok. In a way it helped that both Mestrock and Chase looked so similar because Elisa was able to almost believe that it were a bad dream, combined with the sedative.

      As for the moving and hurting/not hurting. I know from first hand experience that at times your mind becomes “numb” to the pain but if you – for instance – stepped wrong it will ‘remind’ you of it suddenly and unexpectedly.

      However I do hope that the 2nd book is better. As I am striving to improve with each day.


      • Please don’t get hung up on the beating aspect of what I wrote. The sedative part didn’t come through clearly. My concern as a fellow published author is to guide you to the consistency issue; picking a path and following that story path. All we can do is try to make each story we write better than the last, improving in our craft as we go forward. I’m of the opinion we improve with good critiques given by someone who is not nit-picking the punctuation, and who really liked the book and just wants to offer a helping hand.

        I hope I did not overstep. Had I been able I would have sent you a personal email. If you would like, you are welcome to contact me via email. I do wish you great success.


      • I don’t think you did overstep. It’s comments like this, done in a creative critique way and not slamming me for what I DID write, that help me learn and improve. And I appreciate it. These are all topics I was already made aware of, hey it was my first long story and all my beta/editors didn’t catch everything, and I’m already making sure NOT to fall into the same pit-falls with Trackers book.


    • FYI once I saw you got my comments, I went back to Amazon and revised my review to key toward readers. My review/critique was meant for an author, not a reader. I did not want to adversely affect your future sales. Good luck.


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