Monthly Archives: May 2016

Where is the Greener Grass?

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Wall Cover

This book is available for pre-order. It will be published on June 14, 2016.

Marcus Battle is victorious in a fight to the death match with six Cartel members fully outfitted with weapons on horseback against twelve Cartel prisoners armed with nothing but their courage. He was able to save the life of Lola’s son and secure their freedom. They left Lubbock, Texas and traveled to the canyon where the Dwellers live, a group of outcasts that are free from Cartel rule. There Marcus hopes to gain passage through the wall that separates the Cartel lands from the rest of what remains of the USA.

Abrahams third and final book in The Travelers series, Wall, finishes Marcus’ story with a bang! I was so afraid this book would be a disaster after reading book two. Fortunately, I was wrong. It was the best of the group. It is fast paced, full of action and surprises. It is also much better edited.

I highly recommend this book.

5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

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Military Fiction mixed with Post Apocalyptic Texas

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Canyon cover

Marcus Battle tries to keep his promise to Lola by leaving his home to find her son. For the first time since the Scourge hit over five years ago he sees the wasteland that remains of the once proud state of Texas. Those that sought him out and destroyed his house are ruthlessly running the Cartel. You either join the Cartel, are ruled by the Cartel, or die by the Cartel.

Abrahams second novel in The Traveler series, Canyon, provides a more in depth look at Marcus’ character. The story pivots between the present and back in time to when Marcus served the military in Syria. I personally found the Syria half of the book boring. It was summed up in a couple of pages in the third book and could have easily done so in this book.

I did enjoy the rest of this book even though it was not as well edited as the first book.

3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

First Time Traveling While Disabled

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Last weekend we traveled to Jamaica for a short vacation. Nothing extraordinary about that for the average person. But, this was my first time traveling out of the country as a disabled person. First time riding a bus. First time flying. First time in another country that does not necessarily follow ADA guidelines. I had a lot of anxiety built up ahead of time not knowing what to expect.

We got up at 4 a.m. to meet our bus at 5:15 a.m. and leave for Atlanta by 5:45 a.m. This was a chartered bus especially for this trip as this was a trip for my husband’s work. All of his coworkers and their guests along with the bus driver were very helpful. We made it to the airport without incident.

Pushing my rollator, a special rolling walker that I’ve named Lola, allowed my husband and I to proceed through special lines ahead of other travelers. Nice perk. Once we cleared TSA, who were extremely nice, we were on our own the rest of our time in the Atlanta airport. We did not see a transport cart nor a customer service person with a wheelchair all the way to our gate. This was disappointing and should have been foretelling. Fortunately, we had plenty of time before boarding and were able to take our time. For you see, I can only walk a short way before having to stop and rest for several minutes even with Lola.

Rollator

At the gate I got the gate check-in tag for Lola and hoped that once we left Atlanta she would make it to Montego Bay, Jamaica. With a lot of trepidation, I parked her just outside the door to the plane and made my way to our seats. Of course, we were in the very back. The good thing was that we were allowed to board first and get settled before others boarded. So far, not too shabby.

Upon deplaning in Jamaica Lola was waiting for me as was a customer service agent with a wheelchair. With her help we were able to take shortcuts and speed through customs and immigration. For you see, the plane parked at the gate farthest from where we needed to go. Gary, my husband, pushed Lola with the carryon luggage while I was pushed by the agent. She took us all the way out to the chartered bus waiting for our group. She was tipped well for her efforts.

The bus to the resort had rather steep steps which made it harder for me to enter and exit. It did have plenty of handles for support, and again, those on the trip with us assisted. Thankfully, it was a short ride to the resort.

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Once we arrived at the resort we were able to take an elevator up to registration for our group. I mention this specifically because we went on vacation last year to a multi-level resort without elevators except in the main building. Throughout our stay everyone working there took very good care of us and made our stay most enjoyable. The layout of the resort was flat and compact. This helped tremendously with my ability to be as independent as possible.

The airport in Jamaica and the resort at which we stayed did have handicap bathrooms and handicap stalls. The only issue was the smallness of the toilets themselves. They reminded me of elementary school toilets. Sitting down and getting back up were my biggest problems. If there had not been grip handles to use, then I don’t know what I would have done. Sorry, TMI?

Our experience leaving the resort and making our way through the Montego Bay airport was very similar to our arrival. We were once again given priority boarding. I was again anxious about checking Lola at the gate, but she made it to Atlanta just fine. Too bad the rest of the Atlanta experience wasn’t so sweet.

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The plane landed and was parked at our arrival gate by 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday. The very last gate farthest from customs. No one was at the gate to offer assistance. There was no customer agent in site, no cart to whisk us through the terminal, nothing. Let me tell you something right now. That is a VERY long walk. OMG! It is an interminable walk. The walk from hades and back. I’m not kidding you. For someone that is disabled it is absolutely horrible.

We took every people mover that we came across. I stopped many times to rest. I had no other option. At the junction where you either go straight and then to the left for connecting flights or to the right to get out of the airport (eventually) we got a ride on a cart to the elevators. That was a blessing!

Once we got off the elevator downstairs there was no one around to help. We eventually came across a customer service agent who WALKED with us the rest of the way. Still no cart, no wheelchair, nothing. I asked over and over again without getting a clear answer as to why he couldn’t get us help. At the place we met him the sign said it was another 6 to 8-minute walk for the average person to get to customs.

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The only thing he was able to help us with was going to the head of the line at customs. That was helpful as it kept us from missing our bus. We were the last to arrive at our bus. And, we made it home without further incident.

It took me two days to recover from the ordeal in the Atlanta airport. The disability that I have does not allow me to be active for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time without having to rest at least 20 or so minutes – longer if the activity is very strenuous for me. Pushing my limits like I did almost rendered me nonfunctional.

I will not let that happen again. I will pitch a hissy fit if I have to. And, I still don’t know why there was absolutely no one in our terminal at arrival. It was eerie. The only thing I can think of that might have made a difference is to have had the flight attendants verify assistance was there before we landed.

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Interview with Author Tania Hagan

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CTC – Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Tania Hagan, author of the amazing dystopian novel, The Cure.

The Cure

Thank you so much for joining me and taking time to answer a few questions for my readers. Let’s get started, shall we?

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

TH – I sort of fell into news and feature writing right out of college. I didn’t know I would love writing fiction until I sat down to write The Cure.

CTC – How long does it take you to write a book?

TH – The Cure took about nine months. It’s a lengthy novel at 112 thousand words. The sequel is taking me about the same amount of time.

CTC – What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

TH – I do my best work in the morning, but I’ve been known to stay up late typing. I don’t really have a schedule, since I don’t have a day job.

CTC – What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

TH – I write whenever I get an idea. I literally stop in the grocery aisles to type into my phone, if an interesting concept hits me. I think that might be a quirk.

CTC – Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

TH – I try to think of topics that have not yet been explored.
My idea for The Cure series came out of a conversation I had with my brother. He was discussing another possible idea for a book about cloning. Suddenly it hit me–what would happen in human cloning was mandated by the government? What if the only legal way to procreate was through cloning?

CTC – When did you write your first book and how old were you?

TH – The Cure was my first book, and I was forty-something.

CTC – What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

TH – I’m a stay-at-home mom, so my daughter is my life.

CTC – What does your family think of your writing?

TH – My family is incredibly supportive. We come from a long line of media people, so I have professional eyes everywhere with my extended family.

CTC – What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

TH – The most surprising thing was that I actually could do it. I was also shocked at how quickly The Cure was picked up by my publisher.

CTC – How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

TH – I’ve written The Cure, and I’m nearly done with the sequel. I also have a part in the anthology, Lurking in the Shadows.
So, I’m fairly new to this business.

CTC – What is it about your writing that sets you apart from other authors?

TH – I think my writing is typically in plain, easy to follow language. My goal is to make the reader feel like he or she is experiencing the words, rather than reading them.
I also strive to make my subject matter different from anything anyone has ever read. I’m fairly confident I accomplished that goal with The Cure. Although Dystopian books are everywhere, no one has ever attempted a theme quite like mine. If I couldn’t come up with something entirely original, I don’t think I would be a writer.

CTC – Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

TH – The best advice I can give to anyone is to read, read, read!! You can’t write if you aren’t an avid reader.

CTC – Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

TH – I do! I’m blessed with the most amazing readers.
They tell me if they liked my book, and how it has affected them. We also just chat about life events in general. I’ve made some awesome friends through this whole process.

CTC – Do you like to create books for adults?

TH – So far, I’m primarily a YA author. I do have an upcoming short story for adults. It’s not adult content though. My writing is very tame.
It seems like The Cure somehow appeals to all ages, male and female. So, even though I write for a YA audience, everyone gets something out of my work.

CTC – What do you think makes a good story?

TH – A good story is anything that will stick with you. A reader once told me she knew my book was important to her because she remembered random scenes long after she finished the book. Comments like that make my day.

CTC – As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

TH – I wanted to be a teacher. I’ve been a preschool teacher. When I got married, all I wanted to do was to be a mommy. Being a mom is my number-one accomplishment.
I suppose we all change a bit from whatever we wanted to do as a child. I’m very content being a mom and an author.

CTC – Again, thank you, Tania, for allowing me to take up your time.

You can follow Tania Hagan here:

http://taniahagan.com/

https://twitter.com/tania_hagan

https://www.facebook.com/TaniaHaganAuthor/?fref=ts

http://smile.amazon.com/Tania-Hagan/e/B01BQ4M8YY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1464463812&sr=8-1

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14739174.Tania_Hagan

Tania Hagan photo What do you do when the monster is you?

Human Experimentation vs. Free Will

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Advance cover

Faith Elaina lives a lonely life with no friends or family in one of the richest areas of the city. She’s a news reporter and jumps at the chance given to her by the former head professor of Advance Industries to expose illegal human experimentation. When she meets the mysterious and handsome Kye, she begins to question her reality. Will her suppressed memories provide the answers?

Duggsy’s first novel in the Advance Industries series, Advance, is set in a dystopian future controlled by Advance Industries. It is a relatively short book and a quick read. The story is told from several different points of view which became laborious, especially in the second half of the book. The author goes into so much detail with each person’s thoughts that I eventually started skimming over them.

This is a good story and goes on to show that free will is strong in all of us. Unlike so many dystopian novels being churned out today this one is not about a teenage girl saving the world. In fact, this woman is the one who has to be saved. It also points out that who is good and who is evil is not always cut and dry.

3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Roya’s Battles Continue, Both Personal & Professional

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Revived cover

Roya Stark can’t catch a break. She’s defeated Zhuang and he’s back stronger than ever. She’s rescued Dr. Aiden Livingston, one of the young men she loves, from the Voyageurs, a rival Dream Traveler sect. Trey reveals that he is hers and Joseph’s, her twin, father. And, now, Chase, a devilishly handsome Voyageur, wants to claim her for his bride. Just another day in the life of a Lucidite.

Noffke’s third and final installment in The Lucidites Series, Revived, packs a lot of action. All of the supporting characters return to help Roya with yet another battle or two. The only battle they cannot help her with is the ongoing struggle within her heart. She continues to go from pillar to post, from George to Aiden, unable to finalize a decision. Will Chase tear her love from both of them?

This novel comes full circle and answers all of the questions that I’ve had from the beginning. It also is the saddest of the series with scenes that took me by surprise. Thankfully, the ending is as I had hoped. Therefore, I am content.

5 out of 5 stars.

Do the Lucidites ask to much of Roya?

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Stunned cover

Roya Stark fought the battle of her life saving the Lucidites and herself from the monster Zhuang. Finding the Lucidites full of secrets and possible lies she is ready to leave the Institute and start a new life with her pseudo parents. But, the Institute and the Lucidites are not done with her and her powers just yet. Why does everything have to be so hard? And, why is she the answer to everything wrong in the Lucidite world?

Noffke’s second novel in The Lucidites Series, Stunned, picks up with Roya anxiously counting the days before she will leave the Institute for good. She has been overwhelmed with revelations about her life and seeks the comfort afforded to her by Bob and Steve, her pseudo parents. Her life has her torn between two very different young men of whom she both loves.

Roya’s character continues to develop as she grows into her new role as a member of the Dream Traveler society. Every bit the typical teenaged girl exploring her emotions and sometimes being a brat, or a prat as Ren would call her. The war between the Lucidites and another faction of Dream Travelers again tests and expands her abilities.

This book is very fast paced and a rollercoaster of emotions. I actually found it more enjoyable than the first book in this series. Again, this is not my genre, but I am willing to stretch my mind and go all the way to the end.

5 out of 5 stars.