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Our Editors

We are honored to have an enthusiastic group of volunteer editors to help us ensure that our book reviews are perfect before posting them to our website and forwarding them to authors. We are all indebted to each of these talented individuals for their support of our program.


Kasia Manolas is the marketing manager at Avail. Her first novel, MT, is a literary crime thriller with speculative elements—Black Mirror meets Cruel Beautiful World. She is on submission with literary agents and writing new material. Follow her on Twitter or visit her website at kasiamanolas.com.



Michael A. Ferro's debut novel, TITLE 13, was published by Harvard Square Editions in February 2018. He was named as a finalist by Glimmer Train for their New Writers Award, won the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award for Fiction, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Michael’s writing has been published in numerous literary journals and print anthologies, including Juked, Michigan Quarterly Review, Monkeybicycle, Heavy Feather Review, Crack the Spine, Entropy, Duende, BULL: Men’s Fiction, Vulture, Splitsider, and elsewhere. Additional information can be found at: www.michaelaferro.com.


Alison Marcotte is a freelance writer and editor. She proofreads and copyedits for book publishers Sourcebooks, Chicago Review Press, and Skyhorse Publishing. She also writes for digital marketing companies and creative agencies in the Chicago area. Follow her on Twitter or visit her website at alisonmarcotte.com.



Lisa Lickel is an eclectic reader/writer/editor/mentor/reviewer. With a degree in history she learned the value of research and utilizes current industry standard tools for editing. Through reading, writing, being edited, editing for indie publishers, and teaching, she has built up a steady clientele over the last decade who include Paul Ely of Hewlett-Packard, and award-winning novelists. Several clients have traditionally published after working with her. She writes cozy mysteries and family drama, edits and reviews most work including academic, has experience working with international English, and offers manuscript evaluation. She coaches writers at Novel-in-Progress Bookcamp and Writers Retreat. Web: www.lisalickel.com.


Leland Humbertson is managing editor of AGD Impact, the newsmagazine of the Academy of General Dentistry. He has writing and editing experience in both the association and newspaper industries. He is a die-hard Trekkie and enjoys reading anything Star Trek- or technology-related.



Roger Prosise served as a school administrator for over twenty-five years in the suburbs of Chicago. He started his career as a teacher in the inner city of Chicago. He has a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago. His book, Housing Projects, Mansions, and Schools: An Educator's Odyssey, was published by Chatter House Press in June 2016. Roger had several pieces published as a school administrator and has come to learn that writing a novel or memoir is a very different kind of writing. His interest in this kind of writing led him to take noncredit writing courses at the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival and at the Graham School at the University of Chicago.


Debra R. Borys has published four books in her Street Stories suspense series, Painted Black, Bend Me Shape Me, Box of Rain, and Cry Baby Cry. Her years of volunteering with Chicago’s Night Ministry lend an authenticity to her work which combines quirky suspense plots with a realistic portrait of what living on the streets is like in reality. Find out more at www.Debra-R-Borys.com and www.streetstoriessuspensenovels.com.


As a journalist for many years, Dennis Hetzel says he sometimes was accused of writing fiction, but he really did it with his award-winning sports-political thrillers, Killing the Curse and Season of Lies. Hetzel grew up in Chicago and Hoffman Estates. After graduating from Western Illinois University, he began his career as a weekly newspaper sports editor in Barrington and become an award-winning reporter, editorial writer, editor, and publisher, most recently at The Cincinnati Enquirer. He's now executive director of the Ohio News Media Association in Columbus, Ohio. He also has taught journalism at Penn State and Temple universities. Find out more about Dennis at dennishetzel.com.


Samantha Hoffman is a writer, editor, personal assistant, private chef, 8-time marathoner, film and theatre buff, and world traveler. She is a freelance editor in the genres of fiction and creative nonfiction, Associate Editor for The Write City Magazine, Editor for Windy City Reviews, author of What More Could You Wish For published by St. Martin’s Press (2012),  V.P. of the Chicago Writers Association, and Executive Director of Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference.  www.samanthahoffman.com  Facebook


Caryn Green is a veteran Chicago journalist, editor and author who has written on topics ranging from travel, lifestyle issues and the arts, to politics, religion and the environment for numerous online and print publications. Her travel memoir Overland:Remembering Southeast Asia, published by Manitou & Cedar Press, won the 2018 National Indie Excellence Award in New Adult Non-Fiction. 


Renee JamesSeven Suspects (2017) was her fourth literary thriller set in Chicago. Her books have won awards from the Chicago Writers Association and Foreword Reviews, and before she focused on fiction, she was an award-winning magazine writer, editor, and owner for many years. She is active as a book reviewer and a substantive editor (plot, character, voice). She loves fiction in most of its forms other than horror, including mysteries, suspense, thrillers, LGBT, and even literary fiction, if it has a plot. Read more at her web site: reneejames-author.com.


An Illinois native, Florence Osmund began writing novels after retiring from a long career in administrative management. In addition to Windy City Reviews, she reviews books for the indieBRAG organization. While literary fiction is her favorite genre to read, write, and review, she will also review contemporary fiction, mysteries, coming of age fiction, dramas, mainstream fiction, family sagas, and young adult fiction. “I will review most fiction genres except for romance, science fiction, and fantasies.” For those looking to hone their author skills, visit Florence’s website at www.novelelements.comwhere she offers substantial tips and advice on writing and marketing books. Connect with her at http://www.facebook.com/FlorenceOsmundBookshttps://www.twitter.com/FlorenceOsmundhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/florenceosmundhttp://www.amazon.com/author/florenceosmund, and http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8800692-florence-osmund


Diane Piron-Gelman has worked in publishing since 1998, editing mysteries, historicals, and sci-fi/fantasy. Her novels Shall We Not Revenge and For You Were Strangers (D. M. Pirrone, Allium Press), were named Notable Page-Turners by Shelf Unbound, and Shall We Not Revenge was a 2014 Kirkus Prize nominee. A Chicago native, Ms. Piron-Gelman belongs to Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Chicago Writers’ Association, and Society for Midland Authors. She particularly enjoys mysteries, historical fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, history, and biography. Connect with her at https://twitter.com/dmpirrone, https://www.wordnrd.com/www.dmpirrone.nethttps://www.facebook.com/pg/wordnrdinc/services/?ref=page_internal, and https://www.facebook.com/D-M-Pirrone-188103237887566/.


Toni L. Harty is a customer service coordinator for a multinational corporation, wishing she could find more time to write. She uses her English degree and editing experience to volunteer working with up-and-coming or first time authors. Her books Behold Ellowee and Danu are part of an on-going series. Although these books are in the fiction category of magical realism, she enjoys writing and reading across many genres and topics. You can contact her at tlharty.com.


Brian R. Johnston lives in St. Joseph, MI with his wife and two children. He is the author of two books: The Art of Being a Baseball Fan and Quiet Faith. In addition, he is a writer for the Wrigleyville Nation website, a book reviewer for Booklist magazine, and a freelance editor. Brian also has over a decade of public library work experience. He is primarily interested in reviewing adult nonfiction. You can find him online at https://sites.google.com/site/brjwriting/.


Having majored in English Lit and taken just one writing course, Susan Hodges began her career as a newspaper reporter. She did well but suffered chronic financial abuse, so she moved on to magazine feature-writing. In between, she served as an editor for the American Automobile Association’s TourBooks and TravelGuides. Gifted folks at AAA taught her the finer points of editing, which she applies to her own writing and that of others when asked. A freelancer for more years than she wishes to disclose, Susan enjoys fiction and non-fiction and can be found at hodgeswrites.com and linkedin.com/in/susanlhodges-5623333/.


E. C. Diskin wrote The Green Line (legal thriller), Broken Grace (psychological thriller), Depth of Lies (domestic suspense), and Desperate Paths (psychological suspense) with Thomas & Mercer. She’s a former attorney with undergrad degrees in Radio/TV/Film and English. With wide-ranging interests, she enjoys a variety of fiction, but naturally gravitates toward mysteries and thrillers. After trading critiques and editorial review within a writers’ group for fourteen years, she recently began providing freelance editorial work to aspiring novelists. For more, see www.ecdiskin.comwww.facebook.com/ecdiskinwww.twitter.com/ecdiskin


Brinda Gupta is a writer, editor, and editorial project manager with almost twenty years of experience in the educational publishing industry, with specialties in social studies and literature. She currently runs her freelance editorial firm Kali Ink, Inc. Because of her love of dogs, Brinda will happily complete any editorial work for nonprofit dog rescues and shelters pro bono. Though she is a nonfiction writer herself, she enjoys reviewing all genres. You can find her online at www.kali-ink.com


Lawrence Hartmann has been a freelance writer for over 20 years. For over ten years, he was the editor of a newsletter, The Week in Congress, covering the U.S. Congress for the publishing company Wolters Kluwer. He enjoys most types of literature and currently focuses his time on nonfiction and poetry. In the nonfiction field, he’s particularly interested in biography, history, and science. He has a BA in English from the University of Missouri. His blog on the Chicago Tribune blogsite Chicagonow.com, called From Hollywood to Ravenswood, includes movie reviews, current events, poems and more.


A professional writer/editor for almost 30 years, Karen Wojcik Berner's wide and varied experience includes such topics as grammar, blog content, book reviews, corporate communications, the arts, coatings, the fire service, writing, and literature. An award-winning journalist, her work has appeared in several magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including the Chicago Tribune, Writer Unboxed, and Naperville magazine. She also is the author of the Bibliophiles series, contemporary fiction with a sprinkling of the classics. Her blog features Editing for Grammarphobes every Wednesday with handy tips to enhance all of our writing from daily emails to articles to novels. www.karenberner.com.