Richard Castle’s “Storm Front” Is The Best Ride Of Bond-Like Fun and Hilarious Romance

richard-castle-storm-front-screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-7-58-02-pmI noticed Storm Front on display at my local library and I was intrigued to listen to it on audio CD because I was enduring long commutes.

I didn’t expect to enjoy the ride I got from this story as much as I did.

I was pleasantly surprised at the quality caliber of the writing. I was a fan of the TV series, Castle, especially the first season. The character’s edge of Beckett noticeably changed thought by season two and if truth be told I was a little disappointed in the softening edge that she became after season one. Still I picked the show back up a couple of seasons later and began to enjoy the cat and mouse romance written around the central murder drama. In particularly, I was attracted to the writing of Terence Paul Winter.

His Castle story ideas were fresh, always with an original angle and always came with a funny, edgy repertoire of plot. This is what comes through in Storm Front. Who’s writing this story…? I don’t know. I do suspect a name or two, as hinted in the story’s acknowledgement and guest appearances of bestselling authors on Castle. Nevertheless, the story doesn’t disappoint. It begins with high profile murder, on a global scale. I hadn’t read the previous Derrick Storm novels, and so I entered this tale’s story without a familiar history except for what was referenced in Castle’s story in the television series.

Derrick Storm is resurrected thanks to the underpinnings of the CIA in this story. Storm is delightfully funny in a James Bond type of fashion and appeal. He follows the murders centered on high finance and international trade. The villain is apparently an old nemesis who has somehow survived a previous death event orchestrated by the story’s strong hero, Storm. Not only do we travel around the world in this tale, but we also meet so many characters in between that are newly entertaining and so much fun to engage with in the story.

These novels have found another fan; I will be seeking out the former stories and the continuing tales of Derrick Storm. It’s such a great distraction and oh so much fun to just read about and enjoy! What better way to escape the real life complications of one’s present day drama than to delve inside this dark and delightful tale of murder and espionage? This story gets all 5 stars. The writing is truly fun and engaging. It’s been a great commute escape that I’ve had enduring the infamous sig-alerts of Los Angeles traffic. I’m very much looking forward to the next Derrick Storm novel!

Riley Rose Author graphic book series

Star Trek Inspires The Creation Of Vela Kurv, A Biracial Female Superhero

Vela Kurv Becomes on sale now on Amazon
-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek

What would it be like if we had a world of totally equal opportunity, if we had no inequality, no disease and no poverty? What if we lived in a world where mankind only needed tobetter itself? What might that world look like?

Such was a world created by Gene Roddenberry, in the original Star Trek series (1966-1969), officers serving and coexisting in rank on a bridge of multi ethnicities. Nichelle Nichols, (cast as Nyota Uhura), has shared the story of how she met MartinLuther King during the Civil Rights Struggle while she contemplated leaving the Star Trek series. She explained how she told Roddenberry, she was leaving the show and he asked her to reconsider, because he was building something of significance. Making a statement about the inequity of a society in which they were living.

Nichols was invited to an event and as luck would have it,she meets Martin Luther King that night. He sought her out and told her how much her show meant to him. Nichols explained that she was leaving the show. He told her, she couldn’t do that. What she represented was too important. Roddenberry’s Star Trek was the only show that he would allow his children to watch because of the multi ethnicities that served together of equal rank (all officers) and of equal capability and training.Nichols decided to stay on the series after her conversation with King.

How Star Trek Influenced Vela Kurv’s Creation

Star Trek had such a resonating tone of truth for me. It spoke to me as a child; I would watch the syndicated reruns everyday after school during my elementary school days. The truth of opportunity and capability resonated with me, as well. How could it not, resonate with everyone, I thought.

This television series did something extraordinary during a very turbulent time in the United States. Star Trek was able to shine a light on inequity, on prejudice and racism and on the plight of war. In fact, so much of the series connected with me, that I was driven to create my own biracial female superhero inside my own world of science fiction, her name is Lorabella Kurv Wiles, also known Vela Kurv. Presently Vela Kurv Begins and Vela Kurv Becomes are in print and for sale on Amazon.

Vela Kurv Finds Its Way To Story

The backstory of Vela Kurv is somewhat surreal. Vela Kurv is part of a line of women created by the combustion of a star, the Constellation Vela. Lorabella becomes Vela Kurv because of her alien and human bloodline. Like all superheroes, she struggles with her own humanity. She has a lesson to learn in dealing with her own father, who happens to also be the commanding officer of Earth’s military.

The struggle of humanity exists for us all in how we view our own world and circumstances. The scales of justice don’t always feel balanced because the struggle for equality has never been just. I can only hope for a world filled with truth, justice and equality for all men, women and children but until that day becomes a reality, I have made make my commentary through the world of Vela Kurv and I show how this biracial female superhero seeks to balance the scales of right and wrong, because she believes that it’s possible. She fights to make justice the prevailing truth inside the world of Vela Kurv.

Vela Kurv Considers Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek TNG’s “The Battle”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

How to prepare for being blindsided? Captain Picard is offered a gift from Ferengi Daimon Bok, the hulk of Pickard’s former command, The U.S.S. Stargazer. What begins as a gift becomes the tool for revenge. Bok uses this gift as an elaborate ploy to gain revenge on Picard for killing his son in the Battle of Maxia. Bok tries to put a nail in Picard’s coffin by falsifying the ship’s records of the battle laying blame on Picard instead of a documented self defense maneuver. Finally, Bok physically injures Picard by using a mind-control device to change his perception of reality and set him up to be destroyed aboard the Stargazer by Picard’s present commanding ship, the U.S.S. Enterprise-D.
In the end, Bok’s falsified records begin the unraveling of the truth. However, rescuing Picard from his own demise now becomes Riker’s (Picard’s second-in-command) objective as well as his duty. I believe it is Picard’s own logic and presence of mind that enables him to push through the fog of mind-control and free himself from his impending plight. But probably the additional contributing factor is the respect that he’s earned to push Riker and the rest of his crew, Counselor Troi and Doctor Crusher to dig deep for answers.

In the end, not only is a leader responsible for the constant oversight of their own balance of senses but the richness of the relationship they foster with their crew. In order for subordinates to have your back, they have to first want to. Engendering this type of loyalty has to be an aspect of the commander’s character. Talk about working on the internal humanity, this is truly the challenge of responsibility.

Signing off, Lorabella.

Vela Kurv Examines “Ex Post Facto” with the Starship Voyager

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

Another curious episode drawing from Latin for its title “from a thing done afterward”, which refers to the concept of retrospective? A law that retroactively changes the legal consequences (or status) of actions committed or relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law. Chief Helmsman Tom Paris is accused of murder on a planet occupied by the Banean people and instead of being sentenced to death; their new punishment is the implantation of memories of the murdered victim into Paris’ mind so that he regularly relives the murder through the eyes of his victim.


Janeway is determined to prove his innocence, a commander standing by her pilot that she desperately needs to get her crew home, so Voyager flies in to investigate this conviction. Tuvok determines that Paris is innocent, a pawn in a warzone between the feuding Banea and Numiri. The Banean doctor is proved guilty. Paris is released, and the doctor arrested along with Ren’s wife who was complicit in the murder of her husband. Voyager leaves the Banean homeworld and continues its journey.
Janeway’s strength is shown and proven by Paris’ innocence. Her judgment is also proven to be of good merit, another lesson for a leader (me) building her chops of command to draw from.

Signing off, Lorabella

Vela Kurv Explores “Eye of the Needle” with the Starship Voyager

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv


This is a curious analogy of science and faith. The title reminds me of a bible verse: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24. Similar verses are in Mark 10:25 and Luke 18:25). Two questions occurred to me: what an eye of the needle analogy on a show all about science and what relevance does it have to Janeway and the Starship Voyager trying to find a way home? Home that is 70,000 light-years away, even?



In the bible verse, the reference is all about whether or not a rich men can enter Heaven; they can get in but only if they put their faith in God rather than in their riches. Well the relevance answer is that the message is all about the persistence of a young Ensign (Harry) Kim who believes he can find a way back home; it is his perseverance that uncovers a decaying wormhole which may allow Voyager to transport home to Earth. Janeway encourages Chief Engineer B’Lanna Torres to investigate her discovery of piggy backing the ship’s transporter to the relay inside the wormhole in order to transport the entire crew back to the Alpha Quadrant and find their way home.

Foiled again, the ship doesn’t find its way home; it turns out the wormhole traverses some 20 years into the past and Starfleet prohibits against the altering of timelines. The test becomes how the leader Janeway expands her new relationships with her new crew and learns to build camaraderie and trust. Yet and still, the adventures of Janeway’s command continue, Voyager’s crew is grossly disappointed by their inability to transport home; nor are they given the satisfaction of notifying Starfleet that they’re alive but lost. Chief Tactical Officer Tuvok reveals that the Romulan scientist Telek R’Mor (who received Voyagers broadcast for help through the relay) dies before he can transmit the crews messages to family, friends, or Starfleet notifying them of their plight and location (lost in the Delta Quadrant). Here is where the Captain must grip the reins of command and find a way to lead when hope is at its lowest.

Signing off, Lorabella

Vela Kurv Assesses Star Trek TNG’s “Justice”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

Captain Picard has to choose between justice for the Edos or justice for Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher. Wesley commits an unknowing transgression, but Edos local authorities on the planet Rubicun III impose a death sentence in accordance with their planetary law. Picard chooses to violate the Prime Directive of noninterference by violating laws to secure Crusher’s release.

Picard knows that Crusher can’t be allowed to be killed, this was not the Prime Directive’s intension, so he tries diplomacy but in the end, these negotiations fail. Instead he and Riker (Picard’s second-in-command) convince the Edos god, a powerful noncorporeal spaceborne entity, that laws cannot be absolute. Circumstances of the infraction must be evaluated.

This is a tall lesson for any leader, justice is truly about weighing the scales of inequity after evaluating all information and making an educated assessment of what’s right. It’s all about doing the right thing. So in this case, Picard’s judgment for the sake of Wesley’s justice must prevail.


Vela Kurv Finds Expression in Star Trek TNG’s “Lonely Among Us”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

This episode centers on trust for me. Captain Picard shares his consciousness with an entity found inside an energy cloud. The entity becomes a kindred spirit after it causes a series of malfunctions in the computer system while the starship Enterprise-D is on a diplomatic mission transporting delegates from planets Antica and Selay to an interstellar conference.
Picard expresses concern about the ship’s malfunctions before he is invaded by the entity. The Enterprise is a new vessel, right out of space dock and the major series of malfunctions seem unrealistic. Data confirms this to Picard. The transformation of Picard after the entity shares his conscious is what tips the crew off that something is terribly wrong with him, that and Counselor Troi’s Betazed intuition.
The leader’s lesson here would seem to imply the need to have a trusted crew. One that will take extraordinary and needed measures to rescue the Captain but also recognizing the concerns for the safety of the crew and its mission. Hopefully, my choices will prove as prudent.
Signing off, Lorabella

Vela Kurv Finds More Than “The Cloud” Covering Crew Individuality in Star Trek Voyager

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

Captain Janeway has to determine when individuality is a help or a block for both the Doctor and Neelix aboard the Star Trek Voyager starship. Exploration of an unusual nebula reveals a discovery of a spaceborne life-form injured by Voyager’s entry. Also revealed is “the Doctor’s” injustice of circumstance, a hologram with an attitude and under consideration of reprogramming to adjust his attitude for a bruised crew’s feelings. Kes points out the inequity of this assessment because Holograms deserve to evolve too, so Janeway listens…
Neelix learns to adjust his fearful perspective for the good of repairing the injured life-form and Janeway grants “the Doctor” the ability to evolve. He is given the ability to expand his programming, he can turn himself off and on and put together a list of needs in order to best service the crew’s medical needs.
Military leaders need to be able to adjust their assessment of justice in order to balance the scales correctly. Our first determination of what’s best may not be accurate and listening before acting may be the adjustment that equals the fair answer for the best solution.
Signing off, Lorabella

Vela Kurv Journeys with Captain Picard “Where No One Has Gone Before”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

Intelligence isn’t measured or merited always by time or age; such is the case with U.S.S. Enterprise-D’s Wesley Crusher in the episode “Where No One Has Gone Before”. Wesley is young, curious, and determined to get Captain Picard’s attention. He is able to recognize the truth before all of the ship’s engineers and scientists who stare right past “the Traveler” and miss his energy phase that propels the ship past galaxy M33.

It is Wesley Crusher’s efforts in working with the Traveler that encourage him to return the Enterprise to the Milky Way galaxy. Picard does the honorable thing; he grants Wesley the rank of “acting ensign”, after a one-on-one conversation with “the Traveler” convincing Picard of Wesley’s talents with time and propulsion.Despite Picard’s self proclaimed inability to communicate or relate to children, he does so with a young 12-year old Crusher. It is precisely his nobility of rank that draws in this child’s desire to work and learn from Captain Picard. Taking off the blinders and embracing what we fear as leaders can be the challenge and the blessing that enables us to conquer more than our fears, as military leaders. Breaking through these bindings may allow us to save the crew we are entrusted with leading.

Signing off, Lorabella

Vela Kurv Reviews Star Trek Voyager’s “Phage”

-Riley Rose McKesson, Writer

From Lorabella’s journals at the West Pipe Space Academy, before she becomes Vela Kurv

Janeway in “Phage” like Picard in “Code of Honor” must deal with a medical plight. However, in this scenario, it is not a Federation quest to deliver a vaccine to an infected planet, but a new race in the Delta Quadrant, the Viidians, who themselves have become raving body part raiders because of a plague on their own world.

Janeway finds that these aliens attacked and stole lungs from her crew member (Neelix), in order to implant them in a dying Viidian sculptor. Because she spares the sculptor’s life instead of killing him to take the organs back, he offers his race’s superior medical expertise to save the debilitated Neelix and Voyager’s doctor is also enriched with new medical technology for a long lost crew, very far from home.

Although Janeway employs a threat against the Viidians from ever utilizing her crew to harvest body organs, in the end her diplomacy wins over force and an executed death threat. Knowing the time to warn, act, or exact diplomacy is a skill a commander must accomplish. I’m keeping notes to help me make the best choice when I’m conflicted with a similar choice.

Exhausted now, goodnight, Lorabella