Sunday, January 20, 2019

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

I haven't had much time to read lately and I have missed it. So I picked up this book in the library last week.  If the author's name sounds familiar, it's because she wrote the Divergent series.

Carve the Mark is an off planet story following the lives of Cyra Noavek and Akos Kereseth. Both are one of the few to receive a fate from the oracles. A fate is a statement that will come to pass that they are destined to fulfill. They live on a planet with two nations who share of a hatred of one another.

Akos is taken from his home and forced to serve Cyra. Cyra is powerful and has a gift. Her touch brings pain to everyone she encounters. She is coerced by her brother to commit unspeakable acts, or risk him bringing to light her darkest secret.

Akos has a gift as well, he is immune to the pain Cyra brings. Desperate to save his brother Eijeh, Akos enters into an alliance with Cyra. But can they get past generations of hated to trust each other or will they be the death of one another?

Carve the Mark is intriguing and unexpected. Roth paints a vivid picture of new worlds and it's easy to feel a connection to her characters. I can't wait to start the sequel.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Interview with Mark David Abbott author of A Million Reasons (A John Hayes Thriller)

Today let's give a warm welcome to Mark David Abbott, author of the John Hayes Thrillers.
Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us today, Mark.

Why don't you start out by telling us a little about yourself.

I currently live in Hong Kong and have been a serial expat for most of my life. My father was in the Army and I was born in Cyprus while he was stationed there. We then moved to Germany and England before settling in New Zealand where I spent my childhood. The travel bug was instilled in me from then and as soon as I was old enough I left home and have lived in England, Hong Kong (twice), Thailand and India. I travel as much as I can, whenever I can and try and bring those locations into my books.

Traveling is something I would like to do more of. I love reading books about set in exoctic locations. What got you into writing?

I was fed up with sitting in an office answering mindless emails and trying to sell things (real estate) to people who didn’t want it. I thought there had to be more to life. I love to read and wasn’t bad at writing at school so I thought I would give it a try. I wrote my first book and loved the process. I realised that being able to work at something where you can be creative everyday is a blessing and plan to continue as long as readers keep buying my books.

Doing something you are passionate about definitely makes working a lot more enjoyable. And it's one of the few vocations that you can do anywhere, which I am sure is a plus to someone who loves to travel as much as you do. Which do you prefer: print books or ebooks?

I was a die-hard paperback fan and resisted buying a Kindle for a very long time. However now I have one I wouldn’t go back. I travel a lot so it is a much more convenient way to carry around the books I am reading, plus my partner is happy that I no longer have to read with the light on at night. So it has saved my marriage too.

Have you been given any helpful advice?

There is no such thing as writer’s block. Just sit down and write. Worry about what you have written later.

Tell us a little bit about your main characters

I love to read thrillers and a lot of thrillers have one thing in common. The hero is nearly always ex-military or has an espionage background. When reading these books I always wondered what I would do if I was put in the same situations. A man with no special skills or contacts to call upon. That is how I got the idea for the John Hayes series. Put an ordinary guy in extraordinary situations and see what happens.  He is a normal person just like you and me, but he just has a bit of bad luck. Or good luck? You will have to read the books to find out.

From the first spark of a plot to getting a novel in your hand can be a long process. Is there something you learned from writing your first book?

Not to self-edit while writing. Just let the words flow and worry about it later. The first draft is always going to need a lot of work. If I don’t focus on the quality of the first draft , the words flow easily. When I used to worry about the quality I procrastinated all the time, putting off writing until the very last minute. It used to cause me a lot of unnecessary stress. 

Mark, what are your hobbies aside from writing, if any?

I love to travel and eat good food. I’m also a keen runner and run most days. I am also a big fan of motorsport particularly Formula one. It is my dream one day to spend a year attending every race in the season.

I have tried to get into running this year but it is a hard sport.  I feel like I have to fight for every step. I admire runners who keep it up. It is hard work. What is your writing process like?  Do you have a routine?

I try to write every morning except perhaps Sundays. I write as early in the day as possible otherwise it is very easy to get sidetracked. I aim for 2000 words which takes me around two hours and then I have the rest of the day to do whatever I like, whether it is marketing, social media, or hanging out with friends.

What advice would you give someone who is considering publishing? Should they consider traditional or self-publishing?

Do it. technology has made it so easy and reasonably inexpensive to get our work out there. We can now reach millions of potential readers worldwide at the click of a few buttons. There is now no need for us to have someone else decide whether or not our work is worth reading. Get it out there and let the reader decide.

Even if you don’t become a best seller, it’s a wonderful feeling to have your name on a published book.

Don't forget to check out the entire John Hayes Series, and learn more about Mark at the sites below. Happy Reading!!

The John Hayes Series

Vengeance ( Book 1)

A Million Reasons ( Book 2)

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Countdown to Christmas

Only 6 days left until Christmas...

I am always getting asked for recommendations of books I love. Here are a list of just a few of my favorite MG Fiction novels.  ~Enjoy~

For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite.

Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken -- Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good -- powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most.
The Fablehaven series is one of my favorites. Not only is it one of my kids favorites but I loved it as well.

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school . . . again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

Skip the movies and go straight to the books.


Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

I couldn't have a list of favorites without Harry Potter. An epic fantasy. The books are great and add so much to the movies.

Give your child the gift of reading this Christmas. 

Happy Reading!!

Monday, December 10, 2018

A Time for Vengeance

If your looking for a good YA book to add to a teen's kindle this Christmas. Try out A Time for Vengeance by Nathaniel Wyckoff. A new release I just had the pleasure of reading.

Simon Mendez has an anger problem, and he’s about to unleash his fury on the Spanish Inquisition.
The Mendez family is on top of the world. An upper-class family in 17th century Spain, they live a secret life – outwardly Catholic by all accounts, but desperately worried that, someday, someone will discover the Jewish traditions that they practice behind closed doors.
Everything comes crashing down when the Inquisition arrests Simon's father. Incensed, Simon must retaliate with everything he’s got. With his father set to be burned at the stake and a sadistic hometown eager to see it happen, Simon has no time to lose. It will take his sharp wit, brutal weapons and raw courage to strike back hard at the Inquisition - before it’s too late.

The first in the series, I gave the book 4 out of 5 Stars.
A time for vengeance is the first book in Nathaniel's new series. It follow's the life of Simon Mendez and his family. Being Jewish in Spain is a death sentence. Simon and his family must hide their beliefs from those around them. When Simon's father is accused of being holding secret Jewish classes, Simon's world is turned upside down, leaving the rest of his family homeless and in hiding. Simon must figure out how to take care of his family, while trying desperately to save his father as he weighs the importance of being true to himself. Definitely one to add to the kindle.

I'm looking forward to the coming adventure's of Simon. Give A Time for Vengeance a try and let me know what you thought.  Happy Reading!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Who doesn't like a little something Free

Today Patrick McNulty's first book in his Monster series is Free.  A great addition to any kids reading list this year. And Adult too for those Middle Grade Adult lovers like myself.  Just click on the link to claim your free copy:)  Also don't forget to take the time to post a review. It will make any author's day!

The children of Cripple Creek have been kidnapped!
When school buses loaded with kids go missing, the Ministry of Monsters (MOM) send their top agents, thirteen-year-old monster hunter Milo Jenkins and his ghostly sidekick, Ruby, to investigate. 
Armed with magical tools of the trade and the latest in futuristic gadgets, Milo and Ruby find themselves up against an evil mastermind determined to transform the good people of Cripple Creek into an unstoppable army of monsters!
Monster Factory is the first book in the action-packed Milo Jenkins: Monster Hunter series. If you like heart-racing action, cool gadgets, witty heroes, evil villains and stories full of things that go bump in the night, then you’ll love Monster Factory!