An Interesting Perspective

A few days ago, I did an author event and was asked what I considered peculiar questions from two people.

Let me start by saying the event was enjoyable but I do want to share a few things.

Two men who had read the first three books of my (Opportvnvs Adest) series came to my table for some autographs. I have to say, that is something I NEVER get tired of. The thought of people actually wanting MY signature is a thrill.

But I digress………

So, the two men wanted to know if I was trying to make some sort of statement by having so many strong women in the series. The second thing they commented on was the number of international/minority characters.

My first reaction was to be blown away by the lack of awareness in 2018, but then I thought: this is a great opportunity for some real dialogue!

I addressed the minority point by saying there was no conscience statement involved with international and minority characters. Since my series takes place all over the globe, it would make sense to have individuals represent different countries.

The conversation about my female characters was a bit longer and it brought other folks to my table.

I told people how I truly see women. One of my tours in the Middle East, I was assigned a female partner for the better part of a year and this lady could do everything I could……and number of things better. I was fortunate to grow up with both parents who operated as equals in the household so that was my frame of reference.

Female friends and my wife to gave me their perspective on how a woman would respond to certain situations. Seemed to make sense to me since I am a man. How the hell would I know how a female reacts? Also, my story would not work if all I had were “damsels in distress” and other parodies of a bygone era.

The conversation was quite lively and very respective; even when folks disagreed. One thing that hit me, that the men who started dialogue, appeared to be close to 70. It made me that about what they grew up watching and hearing and it colored their perspectives even in this day of enlightenment. The Donna Reed Show, Leave it to Beaver, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Amos & Andy, etc might be considered iconic, but they do not hold up well these days on treatment or representation of women and minorities. No slam on anyone, it was just the way things were back then,

In the end, we all learned a little bit about each other, and it in the end we are all better for it.

Till next time.





A Starry Messenger Review by Allies Opinion

on November 10, 2017
In Starry Messenger”, our world among many others is but a puppet on the strings of the ‘Collective’, the Degans and the God of all God’s, Yar. Quentin awakens and is directed by the Synod to observe Earth’s status. Why haven’t the humans conquered the stars? For centuries humans have been given a leg up and it seems to all be for naught. Quentin’s meetings with others like him leave him reeling in his convictions. What exactly is the end game for the Synod and is the way of Yar all Quentin had believed it to be? Will the chance meeting of a human woman and her son change everything for Quentin?

A few things I want to bring attention to first. Thank you Mr. Howard for such a compelling list of characters. Thank you a ton for having a male lead who is a POC and a grown adult. Too many of these stories are based around teens and do not reflect the diversity of humanity.

Quentin is still a bit of a mystery to me. He’s thousands of years old and a very intriguing man. He is introspective and open minded even when all he knows is being questioned. His character is stoic and endearing. It was a treat to watch as he discovered his human forms feelings and desires. How conflicting that must have been.

Regina and her son are an integral part of what made this story so good. I would like to see both of them fleshed out a bit more. The same can be said for Quentin. I’m hoping that in later books they come to understand the world together and our journey with them delves a bit deeper than this book seemed to.

There was a lot of world building in Starry Messenger but I didn’t feel like it was too much at once. I would of liked the book to be a bit longer, as it stands it’s a good toe into this new world and it’s mechanisms.

My only criticism is the withdrawn feel to both Regina and Quentin. I would like to see them fleshed out a bit more intimately since this is an introduction to the series. The language is a bit formal and could use to be loosened up a bit.

Looking for more reviews like this one? Check out my blog AlliesOpinions on WordPress!

End of All Things (A Review)

End of All Things by Ethan Howard (Opportvnvs Adest, #4)

End Of All Things
by Ethan Howard
Series: Opportvnvs Adest – Book 4
Publisher: CreateSpace | Ethan Howard (March 19, 2017)
Genre: Science Fiction??? You decide
Paperback: 240 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Humanity is in its final days. Rex Talion stands triumphant as the invasion of Earth has begun. The Degans and their allies roam the world destroying everything in their wake. Yar is no more. The Synod sits in the Beyond indecisive while the rest of the Collective follows suit. The way is clear and seemingly nothing can stop Talion and the Degans. The Discarded One has taken notice and the all-consuming evil being moves across the cosmos towards the planet he vowed to destroy centuries ago.
If Earth falls, the universe will follow. Evil and darkness will reign supreme. Regina Tate has watched her world literally crumble around her. Regina’s son and best friend were murdered by her brother, Rex Talion. Quentin, the man she loves, and the one being capable of halting the horrors befalling the planet, has gone into a self-imposed exile on the moon in an attempt to atone for his past crimes.
Earth is alone because each planet in the Collective fears for its own survival and will offer no assistance to the war-torn planet. The outlook for Earth is overwhelmingly bleak. Except…… There are a few special individuals who decide to rise to the challenge and oppose the forces of evil. The war to end all wars has begun. The battle for Earth and all of existence is at stake.
This is the story 4.6 billion years in the making. More secrets are revealed. Lives are lost and worlds are destroyed. The universe will never be the same again… if it survives.
End of All Things by Ethan Howard (Opportvnvs Adest, #4)

End Of All Things (Opportvnvs Adest Book 4)This is it, humanity is about to go the way of the dinosaur and the end will not be pretty. It will be a nightmare of epic proportions as good and evil converge on the final battlefield. Will it be in time to save humanity as we know it? Was it even supposed to be?

As aliens band together on the side of good or evil, Earth is being decimated by the killing machines, the Degans under the command of Talion, a monster who should be dead. Is this the Armageddon spiritual leaders have warned of? Is it to come at the hand of aliens, not a god willing to forsake the world he once created?

Is it possible that our minds could not comprehend the vastness of space, and the fact that somewhere, out there are beings far superior to us? Did the unexplainable become the basis for an all-powerful being and creator? If not, then where is this being when his children are dying?

Even the aliens who tell of creation can only describe a mysterious pair of blue hands that reached through the blackness, created the world and disappeared. And yet, they would share their truths of the extinction of beings and creatures on Earth and what happened to them. As the chosen few listen, a new tale of the creation theory comes to light, and the parallels to our version are uncanny, yet fathomable. Where did the universe begin? Where will it end? Has Talion, the greatest of evils finally succeeded in his quest? Only a few know the truth and only one can bring him down, but then what? Will space become an empty parking lot, void of any life or is there one last chance for a do over if there is trust and faith.

Ethan Howard’s THE END OF ALL THINGS will leave its readers breathless, have them comparing what they have been taught or believe and what the aliens talk of. Has the apocalypse come in a form we could never expect? Will these events herald in a new universe, a fresh start or are they the death knell of a world too self-absorbed in itself to entertain that sharpest pencil in the universe’s box is not the third planet from our sun?

Rest up for this addition to the series, be prepared for the shock and awe of its revelations and mourn the deaths, the tragedies and the limits we have always placed on ourselves…and wonder if this truly is the end or just the beginning?

Fabulous, reading outstanding storytelling and quite simply an amazing series from Ethan Howard. If he isn’t on your authors “to read” list, he should be. But don’t wait too long, because you never know how long you have…

Know Thy Self (A review of Book Three)

Know Thy Self by Ethan Howard (Opportvnvs Adest Series Book 3)

Know Thy Self
by Ethan Howard
My rating: 5 stars
Series: Opportvnvs Adest –BOOK 3
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Book Three edition (March 20, 2017)
Genre: Fantasy
Paperback: 254 pages

It is the year 2020. Rex Talion and his Quid Pro Quo have pushed the unsuspecting population to the brink of the greatest war the planet has ever seen.

Regina Tate is the only one aware of Talion’s insidiousPLANS and the impending Degan invasion. For this reason, she and her son Dante have been marked for death by the most unlikely source.

Quentin, the man from the stars sent to Earth on a mission to save the planet has ultimately ignored his responsibilities. The powerful Vestigare with a dark secret has entered into a relationship with Regina and this action may spell doom for the planet and all of existence.

Experience the explosive convergence as these three characters uncover revelations aboutTHEMSELVES and others that will lead Earth on a collision course towards destruction……

Know Thy Self by Ethan Howard
(Opportvnvs Adest SeriesBOOK 3)

Know Thy Self (Opportvnvs Adest Series Book 3)The planet is teetering on the brink of a war of cataclysmic proportions and doesn’t even realize it. People are being blindly led like lambs to slaughter by Rex Talion and only one woman knows the truth. “They” are coming and “They” will be unstoppable and “We” will need a miracle toSURVIVE.

Regina, a woman of deep personal convictions knows too much, so she and her son must die. For anyone who still believes we are alone in the universe, on this plane of existence or any other, prepare to become part of the End as an inter-galactic battle between good and evil is being staged on the chess board called Earth. Discover possible truths behind the faiths we cling to. Are the Powers we believe in actually alien beings seeking to test our resolve? Do we deserve toSURVIVE as a species?

As the players line up, the parallels between religious beliefs and alien tampering are terrifying. Has Talion come to cleanse the earth or is he evil run amok in a world seeking instant gratification preparing us to become his minions in hell? Has our true savior been among us? Quentin was sent to save our world, but he fell in love. Has he lost his way, misunderstood his mission? What role will Regina take on and how did this God-fearing woman become the warrior she is and finally Dante, a young and innocent child, who could he become and what would he stand for? Has the primordial soup boiled over leaving the truth of the world exposed, just as it is ending or will humans be givenA SECOND CHANCE to get things right?…not if Talion has his way…

KNOW THY SELF could be Ethan Howard’s best addition to the Opportvnvs Adest Series as he rains chaos down on a clueless world eager for the pleasures of life. The simply brilliant imaginings from his mind have been shared and trust me the action is non-stop, the betrayals are brutal and the revelations can be heart stopping. From start to finish, this tale is amazing, rich with details that only add to the chaos and turmoil as Earth becomes the tennis ball in final match forSURVIVAL.

Its time to meet another author, spread your reading wings and take flight into the world Ethan Howard has created. Mr. Howard has thePOWER of suggestion down pat as he leads his readers into a world of what ifs, whys, and cause and effect as time runs out on humanity.

Enemy of The Human Race (A Review of Book Two)

Enemy of the Human Race (Hostis Humani Generis) by Ethan Howard (Opportvnvs #2)

Enemy of the Human Race
by Ethan Howard
My rating: 4 stars
Series: Opportvnvs Adest –BOOK 2
PUBLISHER Imprint Publishing (March 30, 2016)
Publication Date: March 30, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Book Two edition (March 20, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1544713177
ISBN-13: 978-1544713175
Genre: Dark Fiction
Print Length: 297 pages
Available from: Amazon
A once young child of strong religious background and faith is now a man full of unparalleled malevolence.

Rex Talion is the great deceiver and he carries the mark of the Degans. He is the Anti-Life for planet Earth, the third and final great evil foretold in Degan prophecy to pave the way for the most terrifying life-form the universe has ever spawned, the Discarded One. The otherworldly allies Talion has gathered to set hisPLANS in motion will stop at nothing to see the planet fall.

Hostis Humani Generis chronicles the loss of innocence, the deconstruction of an individual’s humanity and the creation of a madman.

Enemy of the Human Race (Hostis Humani Generis)
by Ethan Howard(Opportvnvs #2)

Enemy of the Human Race (Opportvnvs Adest Book 2)He was once a well-loved little boy. Born to wealth and privilege, there was nothing he couldn’t have, but hisPARENTS raised him in the faith of their church, and his heart was filled with light and goodness. But his life, his goals and his memories changed when his parents died one fateful night.

No longer did he believe in goodness. No longer did he believe in God and no longer did he think his life was anything less than a living nightmare. He became a student of people, life control andPOWER and his name became Rex Talion. One of the most powerful and wealthiest men on earth, he was now guided by a monster, an evil power that became his mentor and his quest was to conquer the entire world.

With the calculated manipulations of alien beings, Talion was on his way to dark greatness and any means available, any pawns in play would be his vehicle to darkPOWER. But was Talion really just another puppet dangling from the jagged wires of an all-powerful evil?

ENEMY OF THE HUMAN RACE by Ethan Howard is a terrifying journey into the madness of a man who had it all and gave it up to become the master of his own dark malevolence.

Ethan Howard’s world is raw, primal and very soulless as Talion sinks further into the madness of his own machinations. What drives one man toward the light and goodness? What pulls another into the abyss of hell, reveling in the pain of others inSEARCH of the ultimate power? Mr. Howard creates monsters from other worlds, voices in the dark and bloody violence and depravity of every kind.

Tread carefully through the maze that is veiled in darkness as we witness the fall of good and rise of evil told in bold strokes with no sensibilities left unscathed. There are times the fall may beSLOW and painful, others when it seems to drop with the speed of a broken elevator, one thing for sure, the descent is terrifying. You may find yourself watching for things that go bump in the shadows…intriguing writing, demonic scenes, horror fans, this is for you!

A Fun Interview with Mercedes Fox

Hello out there.

One of the many enjoyable things about writing is getting to know new people. Here is an April interview with fellow writer and blogger, Mercedes Fox:

Why do you write?  The sheer joy of creating stories and characters. This an outlet for an over active imaginative mind that never stops thinking about endless possibilities.

When did you decide to become a writer?  I thought about it for years, but when I truly decided to write was in 2012 when I came home from the Middle East and realized it was time for a new challenge.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book?  6-7 months.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?  Talking to my wife in the kitchen about writing and she said “Why don’t you start writing? There’s nothing stopping you.” I started that night.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  Best time for me is late Friday and late Saturday night. After I have spent my time with family and everyone is tucked in, I start writing.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?  I have read hundreds of books for enjoyment in the past. Now, I go back and STUDY them. Meaning, I look HOW someone writes. Tone, foreshadowing, structure, etc.  Alan Moore, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, H.G. Wells are just a few of my teachers.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write?  I listen to music on my iPod. I enjoy all kinds of music, but for writing the content I have, it is very specific. Smashing Pumpkins, Deftones, Godsmack, 311, Godsmack, Sevendust, CKY, Korn, Papa Roach all put me in a creative state of mind. Go figure.

What have you written?

Tales of the Unexpected

Starry Messenger

Enemy of The Human Race

Know Thy Self

End of All Things

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  Always outline the plots first. Create profiles and detailed histories on the character—even if I do not show the histories to the reader. Once I know the characters inside and out, the dialogue is considerably easier to write.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website?  Julia Sage is my designer. She is terrific. Detailed, professional, timely, and patient. Oh, and she is a nice person too.

Julia Sage Photography and Talent Promotion   @juliasagephotography

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?  Scheduling book signings with local book store. Great way to interact with the public and actively promote your product.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?  Keep writing. Write for yourself. SOMEONE will read it and SOMEONE will like it.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?  Quentin is very complex and we can all relate to him. Yes, he is an alien with great power but the reader can see his/herself in him. He is isolated, lonely, and full of doubt. He questions authority and is confused by his own action. He rebels and does the very thing his superiors tell him not to do. I think there is a little of Quentin in all of us.

Where do your ideas come from?  Traveling the world. Reading everything I can. Talking to diverse people and getting their opinions on life itself. Staring up at the sky and just imagining.

What is the hardest thing about writing?  Devoting the proper time to do it and balancing the rest of your life.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?  Coming to the end and saying goodbye to the characters.

What is your favorite movie or TV show?  Favorite movie: LA Confidential.

Which writers inspire you?  Too many to count but I will give you one: Alan Moore.

What is the current book you are promoting?  All four books in the Opportvnvs Adest series are now out. Binge reading at its finest.

  1. Starry Messenger
  2. Enemy of The Human Race.
  3. Know Thy Self
  4. End Of All Things.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?  Quentin, for the reasons I stated earlier.

Who is your least favorite character and why?  Dante Tate. He is a ten-year-old boy who I wish was not such a little pain.

Do you have any formal education in creative writing? If not are you planning to go to school?  Studied creative writing in college.

If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast?

Quentin: Idris Alba

Regina Tate: Ruth Wilson

Rex Talion: Jason Isaacs

What is your next project?  Opportvnvs Adest series created an entire universe of worlds and characters. I am finishing a encyclopedia ( A-Z) with every character, world, weapon, item, directly, or indirectly related to the stories.

The other project (and the most enjoyable) is a timeline for my alternative universe. This ambitious time line begins 4.6 billion years ago and ends 2020 CE.  It gives you a crash course on the Opportvnvs Adest Earth. Everything from the pyramids to the Kennedy assassination is in there. Unexplained, weird things throughout history are explained.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?  Professor John Robinson from the Lost in Space. He was the perfect blend of brains and brawn. He was brave, heroic, and a family man.

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?  Homelessness.

Who inspires your writing?  Alan Moore. Richard Matheson. Ernest Hemmingway. Henry James. Ray Bradbury. Ian Fleming. Phillip K. Dick. Lewis Carroll. Virginia Woolf, H.G. Wells. Mary Shelly. John Wyndham. Isaac Asimov. Stan Lee.

Where do you come up with your stories?  By studying history. I tried to explain the unexplained by putting a science fiction/fantasy twist on it.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?  Casino Royale. Ian Fleming created one of the most iconic, most imitated, characters in the last one hundred years. And it turned into a billion-dollar movie franchise. Not bad.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?  Save your work in several places! Including on a pin drive. Listen to your editor. I started out with Latin titles for my books. I did a live interview and host and audience could not pronounce the names.

Do have a favorite car or truck model?  BMW 325i.

Do you ever feel self-conscious when writing love/sex scenes?  No. It is a natural instinct in all creatures on Earth. Whenever I write a scene like that, I make sure it fits the story and not just gratuitous smut.

What are some of your favorite books and why?  The Martian Chronicles. Frankenstein. Old Man & The Sea. Portrait of a Lady. The Iliad. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. A Tale of Two Cities. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. The Day of the Triffids. War of The Worlds. I, Robot. Rabbit Run. Lord of the Flies. Just great reads.

Are you currently reading a book or just finished one?  The Dictionary of Imaginary Places by Alberto Manguel. This fine piece of literature catalogs fantasy lands from literature around the world.

What do your readers mean to you?  They keep me in line. They deserve a good story and no shortcuts. Ever.


And there you have it.

Thank you, Mercedes for an enjoyable interview. I encourage all indie writers out to do these. Not only are they fun, but the extra expose cannot hurt. Heck, if it gets one more person to read your book, then it is a win.

See you next time.



Every Indie Writer Needs A Good Cover Artist

Hello out there.

Been awhile since I spoke to you. Why is that?

Glad you asked.

I have spent weeks and weeks searching for a cover artist for my Opportvnvs Adest series..

It is a long and arduous process. You know what you want but dammit you can’t draw! You meet someone and it sounds good but in the end they don’t deliver on the promises. Others are not professional and “space” meetings. Some forget deadlines. There are those who disappear after initial contact. They don’t return phone calls or texts.

Almost sounds like dating.

Well, my search is over.

Julia Sage came to my rescue and I could not be happier.

Ms. Sage is a professional artist and photographer in the San Diego area with a good reputation. I was a bit skeptical at first meet but all doubt was erased when I took a look at her portfolio. Her work is timely and flawlessly executed to my specifics.

That is a fancy way of saying she put up with my last minute changes!

I could not be happier with the results.

Recommendation to all of you indie writers (like me): DO NOT SETTLE. Keep looking until you find the right one to convey the message you want on your book cover. Do yourself a favor and see if Ms. Sage is artist for you.


Below are the covers to the science fiction series called Opportvnvs Adest. All four books are available on Amazon  and anywhere else you want to look.

If you like mystery, the unexpected, fantasy, and a story rich with characters, and enough drama to last a lifetime, then this is the story for you.

You will not regret it.


p.s. I got rid of the Latin book titles because nearly fan I encountered stumbled over the pronunciations. It was good advice. Thanks.

Until next time. Be good to yourself.