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) www.books2read.com/u/b62zd0



A Million Reasons ( Book 2)  www.books2read.com/A-Million-Reasons

Tuesday, January 1, 2019