FAPA (Florida Authors & Publishers Association)
President’s Awards Banquet on Saturday, August 8, 2015

Over Here, James Hockenberry,

HN Books


Katie F Review

A well-crafted and thoroughly researched novel of World War I. Mr. Hockenberry has seamlessly blended the real politics and horrors of the ‘War to End All Wars’ with the ordeals of his characters Capt. Gil Martin and Lt. Paul Keller. From fighting in France to uncovering a German plot in New York City, Send the Word is a fast-paced, informative, and worthwhile read!

November 19, 2022

“Tom’s” review

James Hockenberry does it again, spinning suspense, espionage, and a historical landscape into a thrilling and engaging story about three people who are separated by war but joined by a comradery that spans an ocean. Ratcheting up the tension “over there” and the home front during World War 1. A gripping story set in a time with Carrier Pigeons instead of cellphones, tear-smudged and blood-stained letters instead of emails, and military technology that barely leaves the trenches, James still connects his well-drawn characters and battle scenes effortlessly. In fact, one finds themselves saying, “Oh, if they only had a drone or a cellphone.” But that absence of modern gadgets elevates the suspense and drama. A true immersion into a time when men and women were exposed to life and its consequences without the crutch and shield of technology. At a time when intuition and intellect, not tech, reigned supreme. Hockenberry’s book, Send the Word, brings us through a thrilling chapter of one of humanity’s darkest endeavors with skill and attention to historical as well as splendid human detail. Send the Word: this is a great read!

November 15, 2022


* In a word, masterful! *   DK
* A thrill ride. *   Amazon review
* This would make a great movie. *   RP
* I’m overwhelmed with your novel. It’s fantastic!!!! The way you write gives me a picture as if I were in the story. *   RH
* I really liked the fast pace and the short chapters. It was very effective, like the rat-tat-tat of a machine gun. *   NL
* I felt myself caught up in the excitement and really wanted to see how it would play out.” … A must-read for anyone who loves conspiracy and intrigue in a historical setting. *   MZ
* Hockenberry will be an author in my collection. The only disappointment was when I finished it. *   HD
* I loved the weaving together of the different threads. *   JR
* I thoroughly enjoyed “Over Here,” especially interesting because I could identify with most of if not all of the venues, having grown up and lived in the New York area all my life. *   AS
* I am also grateful for the ‘Author’s Note’ section, separating fact from fiction, as the it was hard to comprehend anything fictional. Clearly your integration of historical events with fictional creation was well done and added to the intrigue of this book. *   PH
* I would put your book right up there with Robert Ludlum, fast pace and mesmerizing. *   HD

August 25, 2022

OVER HERE – Benjamin Franklin Award

I love the pace and complexity of the story. There were no loose ends. I really liked that. Mr. Hockenberry tells quite the tale with precision and deceptive simplicity. I was gripped and wracked and tense as I forded the chapters – absorbing the words that took me to the conclusion and Martin’s understanding of his own tortured soul For WWI aficionados, this is a must read. For mystery and suspense devotees, this is something unique and interesting. Thank you for some delightful hours, Mr. Hockenberry. I wish you acclaim and at least a modicum of success.

Good use of dialogue and descriptive narrative…, but the interior graphics are great.

August 25, 2022

OVER HERE – Midwest Book Review

Synopsis: A thriller set in America beginning in 1915, “Over Here” by James Hockenberry depicts German clandestine activities culminating in America’s entry into World War One. The plot is fast paced and duplicitous. “Over Here” is an international intrigue, a tale of espionage that unfolds as German agents attack America to stop the flow of goods and supplies to the Allies in a desperate German attempt to win the war.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and deftly crafted action/adventure tale of unexpected plot twists and turns, “Over Here” clearly established author James Hockenberry as an extraordinarily gifted writer who will leave his fully entertained readers looking eagerly toward his next literary venture. “Over Here” is enthusiastically recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists and community library collections.

August 25, 2022

OVER HERE – Kirkus Review

…. Over the course of the novel, the author paints a lucid and astute portrayal of postwar turbulence, which he portrays as more of a continuation of war by other means than a détente. … The book still provides readers with a rigorously researched look into a neglected aspect of the First World War…. A sometimes-riveting historical tableau…
…. The story is as riveting as it is edifying, and the author astutely limns the role that the United States played in the world, and the dangers it weathered, before it officially declared war. Hockenberry also paints a vivid picture of the difficulties that German Americans faced; one subplot follows the struggle of German American banker John Wittig, who’s torn between his commitment to peace and his allegiance to Germany….

August 25, 2022

SEND THE WORD – Elite Choice Award

SEND THE WORD by James Hockenberry is a truly breathtaking piece of historical fiction. Right from the very first page, the book transports you into chaos and monstrosities of WWI. The writing is concise, fast-paced and engaging. The characters have been well-developed and are realistic and relatable. In addition, what truly stands out about the book is author James Hockenberry’s ability to showcase the elements of war from different viewpoints: The Allies, Germany and family back home.
For readers who enjoy military and historical fiction, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat. A highly recommended read!

August 25, 2022

SEND THE WORD – Benjamin Franklin Award

A) Beautifully presented book. Great cover design and the “section” pages with the beautiful borders and pictures really added something special – making the arrival to each new section feel like an event. No author bio – it is obvious from the Author’s notes that he is passionate about writing, about the time period and is a gifted and apparently thoughtful writer who considers his obligation to the reader to draw his characters well enough to make them interesting and some of them likeable and sympathetic. Thank you for that Mr. Hockenberry.
This was an exciting story. I love the nicknames like Fishbait, Acne Face held by some of the characters. They were rather funny in a peculiar sort of way and gave some grit to the tale. This was a well edited and well proofread book. It was nice to read a book not cluttered up with typos, misused words etc. You and your team should be well pleased. This book was very nicely affordable compared to other books in this genre.
B) This book is an installment in World War One Intrigue Series. So, is it a stand-alone story? The cover images are clear and reflect soldiers’ solitariness. There is a good plot explanation on the back cover and high praise reviews for the story. The interior has smooth pages and good type. The Chapters are not highlighted – as if an afterthought. The images inside are clear. Most the Appendices at the end of the book.

August 25, 2022

SEND THE WORD – Midwest Book Review

Send The Word is part of Hockenberry’s World War One Intrigue series, set during the end of World War One, centering on the actions of U.S. Army Captain Gil Martin, his best friend Lieutenant Paul Keller (an army intelligence assistant and long-term partner on the Bomb Squad), and his wife, Shannon Tunney Keller. She works in New York City with the New York City Police Department’s elite Bomb Squad unit and detective bureau and does her part from home, never quite knowing if she’ll soon be a widow.
They are intelligence officers on the Western Front who struggle to identify an assassin who has targeted General Pershing, and secret betrayers who would thwart the efforts of the Allies in the midst of battle.
A recap of the history of Spring 1918 real-world events is needed, and is provided in an introduction which sets the stage for their actions. This assures that readers need no prior background in World War I military events to understand the nuances and struggles presented in this novel.
The story opens as the German army overwhelms the British front. Shannon is a confident woman in a man’s world, joining fellow female suffragettes in shedding the vestiges of female oppression, from clothing to attitudes.
Her current investigation of a Tammany Hall case involving corruption is shadowed by wider-ranging concerns as her new husband, Detective Paul Keller, becomes a member of Army Intelligence and an untested lieutenant on the Western Front.
As Martin and Keller strain to unravel a plot that could change the course of the war, Shannon faces her own struggles at home. She’s kept informed by letters from Gil and develops insights into the costs this war has demanded of everyone she knows.
When events turn tragic and Martin must face the fact that Paul is likely dead, his feelings of failure grow. The only things that seem set to survive this struggle are a locket, a promise, and love.
James Hockenberry does an excellent job of juxtaposing the backdrop of a European front embroiled in battle and subterfuge with the concurrent life of a proactive woman who faces her own mission at home.
He is especially strong at describing the environment of the battlefield and the struggles soldiers faced both within themselves and during their experiences: “Exhausted, wet, and furious, Keller received word that the 79th Division attacks were halted for the night. Preparations should be made to continue them the next morning. With the respite, he had time to realize he had suffered numerous wounds. None serious if tended. All he could do was bandage himself and wait. Maybe he was already in Hell and didn’t know it.”
The actual history intersects with the fictional story of Shannon’s own special charge of thwarting a dangerous plot on the home front, and is seamlessly presented as well as accurately represented: “Maybe issues of life and death are not as black and white as they seem. Did her husband feel the same way about his fight?”
As questions arise on both sides about the costs of these efforts, historical fiction readers (especially those interested in World War I backdrops) will find Send The Word an outstanding interplay of demanding scenarios, intrigue, and strong characters who each grow their personalities from their special challenges.
The intrigue and action make for an involving story indeed, highly recommended for military history readers and those who like stories of strong women conducting their own effective operations on the home front.

August 25, 2022

SO BEWARE – Midwest Book Review

One would expect that the third book in a World War I novel series would require prior familiarity with characters and setting. But, then, that same newcomer to James Hockenberry’s work will also be surprised at the blend of history and intrigue that sets this book apart from most World War I scenarios, requiring no prior familiarity with its predecessors in order to prove accessible.
The blend of intrigue, suspense, and World War I events is taut and attractive. A rather long list of characters at the beginning helps newcomers understand that this novel will be wide-ranging both in its viewpoints and its international scope. It is followed by a section of historical background that will delight readers of nonfiction who want to understand both the milieu and premise of the novel and also serves to introduce the reader to the coming narrative.
Chapter 1 opens with ‘The Last Day’ and is set in France in 1918, where Captain Gilbert Martin and the Kellers (heroes of the first two books, Over Here and Send the Word) return to the limelight.
A threat to the signing of the Versailles peace treaty emerges to threaten catastrophe unless the military intelligence officers can thwart a dangerous plot.
A series of cat-and-mouse encounters based on lesser-known World War I real events and people keeps the story fast-paced and readers on their toes. Even those versed in history will find many of the intelligence and historical insights riveting and unexpected.
From links between chess moves and encryption puzzles to political deals and schemes that determine the fate of nations and their connections to one another, Hockenberry provides a seamless intersection between history and fiction that keeps his story action-packed, believable, and hard to put down.
Readers should ideally be attracted to historical backdrops surrounding World War I, while also satisfied with fictional intrigue and action that bring these situations to life. There are many passages of historical insight that reflect not just the usual physical battles, but behind-the-scenes maneuvering and special interests that result in political alliances and agreements: “The Allies would promise to remove their entire forces from Russia and end the blockade. They would also stop all financial and military aid to the White Russians and would guarantee the White Russians would accept the conditions. Lenin gave the Allies one month to accept the deal. Bullitt ended by saying, ‘These are excellent terms. Better than we could have hoped for.'”
Through the lens of accusations, confrontations, and agreements, fragments of a puzzle “click into place” as readers follow the intelligence leaders in a desperate struggle to prevent calamity. The drama and complexities of the Peace Conference jump off the pages, culminating in the electrifying moment when German delegates are invited to receive the punishing terms.
James Hockenberry’s story will reach even those who enjoy thrillers but have little World War I interest. Its vivid blend of action, drama, and political intrigue will keep audiences on edge and wondering about outcomes, especially with the twists and turns that keep intrigue high and results unpredictable.
Any historical fiction collection looking for more than battle stories alone will find So Beware a fitting, complex, appealing addition.

August 25, 2022


[T]he book still provides readers with a rigorously researched look into a neglected aspect of the First World War. A sometimes-riveting historical tableau …

August 25, 2022

FULL READER REVIEWS – By Black Hills Reader: “So moved was I by the way Hockenberry weaved a brilliant story yet taught me so much …”

Rarely do I rate a novel so highly deserving of 5 Stars, but Hockenberry earned every one of them. So moved was I by the way Hockenberry weaved a brilliant story, yet taught me so much history of WWI I knew nothing about, I went out and researched where we were as a nation to commemorate the heroes of that forgotten war. After you buy and read James Hockenberry’s OVER HERE… Brilliantly written!

August 25, 2022

FULL READER REVIEWS – By Suz M: “Try it – What a great read”

I had a hard time putting this book down – and when I put it down it was because I didn’t want it to end. Not many books generate that response, trust me. The book is very well written, and a page-turner. The author enlightens and educates us about a part of American history with which so many of us are unaware, and brings history to life with great characters and story development. It’s been a long while since I enjoyed a book so much. Kudos to Mr. Hockenberry – we’re looking forward to Book 2.

August 25, 2022

FULL READER REVIEWS – By Cheryl M. Denault: “It kept me up at night”

Over Here is a terrific read. It kept me up at night. The characters are complex but believable and the plot is unpredictable and moves at a fast pace. The author blends fact and fiction seamlessly. Can’t wait for the sequel!

August 25, 2022

FULL READER REVIEWS – By Chip Loeb: “A thrilling and fascinating read”

A thrilling and fascinating read that gave me a real feel of American life in the WW I era. It is rare to find a page-turner that provides so much historical color. There were dozens of times I stopped reading and thought about how my grandparents lived in NYC in that era, and how I knew so little about how people lived in that time, and more importantly, about how the war — before the US became involved — impacted life in the United States. It is obvious the author is not only a gifted storyteller but also an outstanding researcher. I can’t wait for book 2 of the series.

August 25, 2022

FULL READER REVIEWS – By Mort Zachter: “Hockenberry does a terrific job”

In his first novel, “Over Here,” Hockenberry does a terrific job of bringing New York City to life in this fast-moving spy thriller set during WWI. The book’s hero, N.Y.C. Bomb Squad Detective Sergeant Gil Martin, and its primary villain, Boer war veteran Danie Caarsens, are well-rounded characters whose family circumstances turn out to be equally tragic. A great deal of hard work has gone into researching the details that make “Over Here,” both fascinating and historically accurate. For example, I learned that the first international terrorist act in NYC history took place during WWI. “Over Here” would make a wonderful movie.

August 25, 2022

FULL READER REVIEWS – By Barbara Hale: “I’m ready for Book #2”

Great read; historically correct fiction. The book has the feel of a mini TV series. Not easy to put down. I’m ready for the next book from James Hockenberry. Similar to a Clancy book.

August 25, 2022

FULL READER REVIEWS – By Mark Taylor: German saboteurs and hard-bitten cops fight it out in old New York”

Over Here is a great thriller set in the run up to America’s entry into World War One. It’s 1915 and the German Empire is determined to keep America out of the war in Europe through any means necessary; either through peace rallies or sabotage. For the latter plan, Danie Caarsens, a veteran of the Boer War with a grudge against the British, is enlisted to carry out the coordinated decimation of American industry. Opposing him is Gil Martin, an honest cop of French descent from the NYPD’s bomb squad. Needless to say, after the German invasion of France, Martin is less than sympathetic to the German cause. Caarsens opens up his destructive bombardment, culminating with actual real life incidents that occurred in 1916.

Hockenberry recreates 1915 NYC in all its murky, hard-broiled detail with beautifully illustrated maps and landmarks throughout the novel, giving the reader where exactly they are. There are many real-life historical figures interwoven in this narrative but they take second place to our fictional characters.

‘Over Here’ is a must-read for anyone who loves conspiracy and intrigue in a historical setting, especially if you’re interested in a period of American history that has largely been ignored.

August 25, 2022

FULL READER REVIEWS – By Daco: “Meticulously researched”

James Hockenberry’s “Over Here” explores little-known, but significant events in the history of the United States—acts of German sabotage during World War I on American soil. Meticulously researched, the story is told with drama and flair, and fictional characters and events are seamlessly integrated with the true-to-life story.

August 25, 2022

FULL READER REVIEWS – By Nina Levitt: “Fascinating historical novel”

The plot is fast moving with much intrigue involving those who are perpetrating the crimes and those who are trying to prevent them. The characters, convincingly drawn, represent a myriad of key players including representatives of the German government, prominent German Americans, American law enforcement personnel and German sympathizers. For those who are unfamiliar with that period of time, it is interesting to learn of the role of such well-known Americans as Henry Ford. Among the antagonists is an extremely interesting character who isn’t pro-German as much as he is anti-British.

The author includes fascinating facts about the time period and actual events such as the peace rally in Madison Square Garden on June 24, 1915, and the “cigar bombs” used to blow up munition ships. In addition, the author weaves into the story almost totally unknown but thought-provoking facts such as the use by the British of concentration camps for women and children during the Second Boer War. At the end of the book is an Author’s Notes section that explains which parts of the story are based on actual facts and which are not. Part of the fun here as you read the novel is speculating about which events and characters fall into which category.

“Over Here” is a fast and fun read which gives the reader an opportunity to learn historical facts long since forgotten while becoming engrossed in a tale of totally committed saboteurs and those desperately trying to stop them. Highly recommended.

August 25, 2022

FULL READER REVIEWS – By Hung Do: “Fast pace and entertaining… Hard to put down”

A GREAT READ!!! I am glad I bought it over the Holidays since I could not put it down. Read it cover-to-cover. The action is fast pace and the writing is crisp. If you are a fan of Robert Ludlum, you will love this book. It is well written and very entertaining. I will definitely add Jim Hockenberry as an author in my collection. Can’t wait to read his next one.

August 25, 2022