Thursday, April 28, 2016

#MMBBR #Showcase Acea Bishop Book 1 & 2 by Kyle Shoop


Welcome to the Animal Kingdom - where mystery and adventure roam free! 

Twelve-year-old Acea Bishop was always the nerdy kid who would rather go to the library during recess to read about animals instead of playing basketball like the other boys. Now, after waking up inside of an ancient kingdom strangely resembling a zoo, Acea is running from those same animals he used to love reading about. 

Worse yet? Acea's not just on a quest to get home - his mom and the dad-he-never-knew are both being held hostage inside by an evil sorcerer with a vendetta. Realizing that his odds of survival and freeing his parents are slim, Acea raises an army of animals to combat the sorcerer and regain control of the kingdom. 

Follow Acea as he travels through the exotic zoo habitats and unlocks the secrets of the kingdom's mysterious past that hold the key to his fate. 

Acea has secrets. Big ones. He just doesn't know it yet.


Seven Ancient Wonders, One Path Home. 

Defying all odds, Acea Bishop has ended Vesuvius’s evil spell over his father’s Animal Kingdom. Acea should be relieved, but he knows the real war is just beginning to brew. After watching his parents disappear to Lemuria, the shadowy prison for all indebted Wizards, Acea now must find the path to free them. But where is Lemuria? If he makes it there, will he actually be able to release the debt and reunite his family? 

Finally opening the Animal Kingdom’s “exit” door doesn’t lead Acea back to safety as he’d hoped. Rather, Acea is thrown into the fantastical world of Wizards. He embarks on a journey through the Seven Ancient Wonders in trying to unite long-abandoned Kingdoms in the fight against Vesuvius. In doing so, Acea uncovers long-forgotten secrets – secrets revealing the mysterious history of the ancient Order of the Nine and emphasizing the gravity of Vesuvius’s malicious threat. But Acea knows he must still learn the one thing needed if he’ll ever defeat Vesuvius: how to actually be a Wizard. 

Join Acea on his adventure as he travels through and unearths the secrets of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. There may be Seven Ancient Wonders, but for Acea – there’s only one path home. 

The highly anticipated sequel to Acea and the Animal Kingdom!






Q.  What inspires your writing?

A. At the heart of it, I just want to entertain by telling a good story. I focus on trying to tell a story which entertains and moves me. I’m my biggest critic, so if I can make myself get lost in my own story then I’ve accomplished my goal. What inspires me most is wanting to finally express the characters, plot, and conflict which I find myself thinking about. Stories consume my thoughts until I’m able to finally express them on page.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

A. The moment when I put the period on the final sentence on the first draft of each novel. I didn’t know this would be my favorite part of writing until I finished my first book, Acea and the Animal Kingdom. It was such a rush. Finishing my second one, Acea and the Seven Ancient Wonders, was even more of a rush! Also, though I write primarily to entertain myself, I absolutely love hearing feedback from readers. For the first book, I conduct an informal poll of feedback of which “zoo room” is the favorite, so I love hearing about it from readers.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?

A. Great question! Honestly, for me it’s the moments where I have bursts of inspiration about plot lines but I’m unable to sit down and write it out at that moment. It’s frustrating because those are the moments where writing will absolutely consume my thoughts – and they’re not always at the most opportune times.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?

A. Most people actually don’t realize that in addition to being a writer I’m also a practicing attorney! I’m still not sure, though, which profession is the one starting to give me grey hairs…

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A. Wow, another great question! I’ll just go with what popped into my mind first: “The Dreamer.” Before I started writing novels, I wrote and recorded three music cds (I play guitar). One of the songs I wrote was called The Dreamer, and I suppose I’ve just come to terms with the fact that – years later – that title still sums me up. Regardless of whatever I’m doing in my personal life, I always seem to be relating it to a fictional plot or idea. Writing – regardless of whether through music or novels – has been my creative outlet for this, so that I can find balance between the two.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A. Myst! It’s actually an older trilogy, and I don’t really have a favorite among them. But I re-read those books so many times growing up. They were written after the popular (old) computer game came out. Everything about those books I love, and I’m sure there are elements which have inadvertently inspired my novels.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A. This is embarrassing to admit, but I don’t really read a lot. I know other authors say that writers have to read a lot to do “research” for their own writing, but I don’t work that way. So the answer may be surprising because it’s not for any book in my own genre. I was a philosophy major years ago in college, and loved The Fountainhead. I’d like to think I’m independent and determined like Howard Roark.

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?

A. My wife says the evil sorcerer named Vesuvius, but I hope she’s just kidding… I’ve always thought I’m most like my main character, Acea’s father. To say anything more, though, would be to spoil aspects of Acea and the Animal Kingdom. But I think I’m just in point in my life where I relate to fatherhood, and recognizing how fatherhood can be a motivation greater than other things.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?

A. Jaws? No, that’s a bad answer… The Shining? No, that’s another bad answer… My wife suggested The Notebook, so I’ll just stick with that. Ever notice how in the book Noah ends up on such a beautiful, secluded property? I’m down with that for a weekend.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A. Autumn! Everything about it – the leaves, the smell of the air, everything…

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A. I actually did both of them, though I had assistance with the second book’s cover. I can’t say why the lion is on the front, other than it makes sense to my readers. The pyramid for the second book just made sense – it’s by far the most recognizable of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which is the setting of the book. I’m actually just finishing up the cover to the last book in the trilogy,Acea and the Adventure Thru Time. I can’t give anything away other than the reason for the cover will make sense on several different levels. And I think it just looks cool! My favorite book cover of all time is probably a copy of Moby Dick I had as a kid that showed the boat on water with a massive whale coming at it from below the water. That dichotomy always stuck with me. 

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. When I was one of the Comic Cons (I won’t say which one), I couldn’t help but laugh at one lady’s costume who came to my stand. Normally I love seeing cosplay outfits, but this was … over the top. She was dressed as Wonder Woman, but was wearing a bikini set made only out of duct tape. I just couldn’t get past that during our conversation.

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A. Yes, and I’m almost done with it! I’m currently finishing up the last book of the Acea Bishop Trilogy. It will be entitled Acea and the Adventure Thru Time, and I expect it to be released before the end of this year. I’ve had the end of the series planned from the very beginning, and I’m thrilled to say that the ending will be more rewarding and satisfying than I even expected when I originally planned it out!

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  Thanks for reading! I love hearing from readers, and they have no idea how book reviews can motivate an author.  You can find more out about me and my novels at www.KyleShoop.com.



#MMBBR #Showcase Going Back by Jennifer Young


Going Back (Lake Garda Series, #2) Kindle Edition


Q.  What inspires your writing?
A.   Location, location, location! Almost all of my books have been wholly or partly inspired by a place.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A.  I love being able to use my imagination. And to stare out of the window on a daydream and, when asked what I’m doing, I say: “I’m working”!

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A.  I hate asking people to buy my books, read them, and write a review (but you all will…won’t you?)

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A.  I don’t know! Before I was a writer I worked for an economics consultancy but I don’t know if I could do that again. I think I’d have to start all over again — but it would have to involve words. 

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A.  I’m terrible at titles. I would call it: My Life, and hope my publisher could come up with something better!

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A.  Peter Hoeg’s Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow. Smilla is a smart, feisty heroine AND she’s a scientist. Power to the girl!

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A.   Piglet in Winnie the Pooh.

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?
A.   That’s much harder. I use a little bit of me in all of them, but I give them qualities I don’t have. I think I’m most like Flora, from Looking For Charlotte — middle aged and a little insecure, but still with plenty to offer the world.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A.   Wuthering Heights would be exciting and dramatic, but I wouldn’t want to stay there too long.

Q.  What is your favorite season?
A.  I like them all, but my favourite is always the next one to come. It gives me something to look forward to. At the moment I’m dreaming of summer. 

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A.  I like all my book covers. I’m a terrible designer and someone did them for me. My favourite is Looking for Charlotte, which just captures exactly what the book is about.

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A.  Right now I’m working on the third book in the Lake Garda series, which I’ve just finished and need to edit. And I’m planning another series, slightly different. It’ll be romantic suspense: the hero is a policeman and the heroine is a very radical political activist.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A.  Never stop reading. Books broaden your mind and keep you company. They help you through every mood and they give you an escape when your life is dull or difficult. 


#MMBBR #Showcase Find Me by Margaret Watson


Author:        Margaret Watson
Title:            Find Me
Series:         The Donovan Family.  This book is 3rd in a series of 7 books, but can be enjoyed as a standalone book.
Length:        260 pages.  78,000 words
Genre:         Romantic Suspense
Synopsis:    
After witnessing the murder of an FBI agent in a parking garage late one night, Lizzy Monroe meets with the FBI and agrees to work with a sketch artist.  But on her way out of the office, she comes face to face with the killer – another FBI agent.  She knows from experience what happens when a criminal is a member of law enforcement – cops protect their own.  So when the killer shows up at her door later that morning, she knows she has no choice but to run.

From the moment he sees her, Mac Donovan is intrigued by – and in lust with – their beautiful witness.  After Lizzy disappears, he spends his free time tracking her down.  When he finally finds her on a remote island in the San Juans, their chemistry is explosive and the sex is even hotter.  But he's hiding his identity from her.  What will happen when she discovers who he really is?  Will she be able to forgive his betrayal?  Or will the killer find them first?

"Margaret Watson, a star in the world of contemporary romance, grabs you on the opening page and keeps you reading to the happily ever after." -- New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips




Q.  What inspires your writing?

A.  My desire to tell stories.  I've always had stories in my head, and being able to write them down and share them with other people is an amazing gift.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

A.  I get really excited when the characters I'm writing about say or do something unexpected, something that leads me down a different path.  There's nothing like the rush of uncovering another layer of the person you're writing about.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?

A. It's a lonely job – you sit at a desk by yourself every day, staring at a blank screen.  I have a group of friends who are writers, and we get together often, but it's a very different work environment than I had as a veterinarian, where I was interacting with people and their pets all day long.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?

A.  I'd go back to working full-time as a veterinarian.  Even though I'm now a full-time author, I've always loved my job as a vet.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A.  A surprise around every corner.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A.  I'd have to say Mary Stewart's Moonspinners.  It was the first 'adult' book and the first romantic suspense book I read.  It was love at first read.  I expanded quickly to all things romance, from the Regency romances of Georgette Heyer to gothic romance to historical romance.  But The Moonspinners was the one that started it all.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A. I write about strong, independent women.  I think I'm a strong woman.  I'm definitely an independent one!  And I truly believe in happily-ever-after.  My husband is the love of my life.

Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?

A. Probably Lizzy, the heroine from Find Me.  She loves her dog, and they have a very special bond.  I've always been crazy about animals

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?

A. Helen MacInnes's book Decision at Delphi, which I read a long time ago as a teen.  I fell in love with Greece in that book.  One of these days I'll get there – for longer than a weekend, I hope!

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A. There are things I love about all four seasons.  But I'd have to say my favorite is summer.  I love the heat, love being able to sit on my patio with my husband in the evening after I've finished working.  And I love the beautiful garden my husband has created in our backyard.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A.  For my Donovan Family series, I wanted my book covers to reflect something about Chicago, a city I love, and also make sure readers knew it was a romance.  I think my fabulous cover designer, Tammy Seidick, did both really well.  And she also made sure that the covers signaled that it was a series.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A.  I was having lunch with a group of friends at a conference, and people began talking about tattoos.  Before I knew it, several of them took off to find a tattoo parlor.  Two of them actually got tattoos.  I smile every time I think about that afternoon.

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A. I’m working on the eighth book in the Donovan Family series.  This one focuses on secondary characters from Trust Me.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read my interview and support the Mrs. Mommy Booknerd blog.  For me as a writer, it's all about my readers.  I love to hear from them, letting me know what they like about my books, as well as what they don't like.  And I love hearing which characters' stories they want me to write next!

You can see a list of all my books at my website, www.margaretwatson.com.  You can email me at margaretwatsonauthor@gmail.com.  I try my hardest to answer every email I get.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

#MMBBR #Review The Other Widow by Susan Crawford @crawfordsusanh


The author of The Pocket Wife explores the dark side of love, marriage, and infidelity in this sizzling novel of psychological suspense.
Everybody’s luck runs out. This time it could be theirs . . .
It isn’t safe. That’s what Joe tells her when he ends their affair—moments before their car skids off an icy road in a blinding snowstorm and hits a tree. Desperate to keep her life intact—her job, her husband, and her precious daughter, Lily—Dorrie will do everything she can to protect herself, even if it means walking away from the wreckage. Dorrie has always been a good actress, pretending to be someone else: the dutiful daughter, the satisfied wife, the woman who can handle anything. Now she’s going to put on the most challenging performance of her life. But details about the accident leave her feeling uneasy and afraid. Why didn’t Joe’s airbag work? Why was his car door open before the EMTs arrived? And now suddenly someone is calling her from her dead lover’s burner phone. . . .
Joe’s death has left his wife in free fall as well. Karen knew Joe was cheating—she found some suspicious e-mails. Trying to cope with grief is devastating enough without the constant fear that has overtaken her—this feeling she can’t shake that someone is watching her. And with Joe gone and the kids grown, she’s vulnerable . . . and on her own.
Insurance investigator Maggie Devlin is suspicious of the latest claim that’s landed on her desk—a man dying on an icy road shortly after buying a lucrative life insurance policy. Maggie doesn’t believe in coincidences. The former cop knows that things—and people—are never what they seem to be.
As the fates of these three women become more tightly entwined, layers of lies and deception begin to peel away, pushing them dangerously to the edge . . . closer to each other . . . to a terrifying truth . . . to a shocking end.



This is an engaging psychological thriller that takes us into the world of infidelity. The Other Widow is a very quick read because it keeps the reader guessing the whole entire time.  The women in the book are not perfect, far from, but there flaws make the more human and force the reader to relate to them and their situation.   This is a tangled web of a read that will have to wondering how it will all work out until the very last page. 4 stars


Highlight: The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman

I wanted to share this book with all of you.  This will be one of my summer reads and wanted to highlight it here so you can all grab a copy too!



Lose yourself to the magic of The Charm Bracelet.
Through an heirloom charm bracelet, three women will rediscover the importance of family and a passion for living as each charm changes their lives.
On her birthday each year, Lolly’s mother gave her a charm, along with the advice that there is nothing more important than keeping family memories alive, and so Lolly’s charm bracelet would be a constant reminder of that love.
Now seventy and starting to forget things, Lolly knows time is running out to reconnect with a daughter and granddaughter whose lives have become too busy for Lolly or her family stories.
But when Arden, Lolly’s daughter, receives an unexpected phone call about her mother, she and granddaughter Lauren rush home. Over the course of their visit, Lolly reveals the story behind each charm on her bracelet, and one by one the family stories help Lolly, Arden, and Lauren reconnect in a way that brings each woman closer to finding joy, love, and faith.
A compelling story of three women and a beautiful reminder of the preciousness of family, The Charm Bracelet is a keepsake you’ll cherish long after the final page.

Viola ShipmanFROM THE AUTHOR:

THE CHARM BRACELET is a tribute to my beloved grandmothers - as well as all our elders - whose stories and lessons helped shape us and make us the people we are. 

It was through the charms on my grandmothers' bracelets that I got to know my grandmothers not just as my grandmas but as incredible women who lived extraordinary lives filled beauty, hope and tragedy. They taught me that the simplest things in life - family, friends, faith, fun, love and a passion for life and what you do - are truly the grandest gifts. 

VIOLA SHIPMAN is a pen name for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist. Rouse chose his grandmother's name to honor the woman whose charm bracelet and family stories inspired him to write his debut novel, which is a tribute to all of our elders. Rouse lives in Michigan and writes regularly for People and Coastal Living, among other places, and is a contributor to All Things Considered. To date, The Charm Bracelet has been translated into nine languages. He is at work on his second "heirloom novel," which will be published in 2017.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

#MMBBR #Showcase The Hundred-Year Walk by Dawn Anahid MacKeen @dawnmackeen



An epic tale of one man’s courage in the face of genocide and his granddaughter’s quest to tell his story

In the heart of the Ottoman Empire as World War I rages, Stepan Miskjian’s world becomes undone. He is separated from his family as they are swept up in the government’s mass deportation of Armenians into internment camps. Gradually realizing the unthinkable—that they are all being driven to their deaths—he fights, through starvation and thirst, not to lose hope. Just before killing squads slaughter his caravan during a forced desert march, Stepan manages to escape, making a perilous six-day trek to the Euphrates River carrying nothing more than two cups of water and one gold coin. In his desperate bid for survival, Stepan dons disguises, outmaneuvers gendarmes, and, when he least expects it, encounters the miraculous kindness of strangers.

The Hundred-Year Walk alternates between Stepan’s saga and another journey that takes place a century later, after his family discovers his long-lost journals. Reading this rare firsthand account, his granddaughter Dawn MacKeen finds herself first drawn into the colorful bazaars before the war and then into the horrors Stepan later endured. Inspired to retrace his steps, she sets out alone to Turkey and Syria, shadowing her resourceful, resilient grandfather across a landscape still rife with tension. With his journals guiding her, she grows ever closer to the man she barely knew as a child. Their shared story is a testament to family, to home, and to the power of the human spirit to transcend the barriers of religion, ethnicity, and even time itself.



Dawn Anahid MacKeenDawn Anahid MacKeen is an award-winning journalist who spent nearly a decade on her grandfather's story. Previously, she covered health and social issues for Salon, SmartMoney, and Newsday, where her investigative series on assisted living facilities' poor care helped prompt legislative reform. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Elle, the Sunday Times Magazine (London), the Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. She lives in Southern California with her husband Steve.







Mrs. Mommy Booknerd interview with Dawn Anahid MacKeen, author of The Hundred-Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey

Q.  What inspires your writing?
A. Real life. I’ve always believed in the old adage,Truth is stranger than fiction.I’m constantly amazed at all the bizarre, incredible, and, of course, sad events that transpire every day. Plus, I don’t have the kind of imagination needed to write fiction. I prefer to document, or reconstruct, what happens around us.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. Working in my pajamas on some days. Okay, not just that. I love telling other people’s stories. It helps me get to know people I would never otherwise encounter in my day-to-day life. Also, through the process of putting words to the page, I can work through almost any emotion. Writing about my grandfather’s survival of the Armenian genocide has been extremely cathartic. It’s a gift to be able to do this full-time, and I’m thankful every day.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. Spending all that time alone. When I was working for a newspaper or magazine, I interviewed people all day. But this book was different. I was writing about people long gone. That meant spending countless hours in the stacks at libraries alone, or poring over old newspapers and books, and listening to the words of the dead. Thankfully, despite everything that happened to my grandfather, he was a very inspirational man; his faith in humanity, and remembrance of all the kind acts from strangers who helped him survive, lifted me up. He was a great man to spend time with over this past decade.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. Maybe a psychologist. Sitting down and interviewing people can be similar to a therapy session. I love listening to people talk about their lives.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. Wow, that’s a tough one to answer since it hasn’t been finished being written yet.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. Paul Bowles’ The Sheltering Sky

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. Jess Walters’ Beautiful Ruins, but only as a fly on the wall.

Q.  What is your favorite season and why?
A. Spring. I love how everything dead comes to life again. It makes me so happy to feel that renewal, which I think mirrors the human spirit.

Q.  What inspired your book cover?
A. The black tree is a very stark and haunting image: one half of the tree is full, symbolizing  the Armenians’ life before the genocide, and the other side is bare, with the leaves turning into birds taking flight. The name of the old Armenian quarter in my grandfather’s hometown was called “Under the Black Tree, and therefore the cover’s inspiration. The image is a metaphor for the loss of the more than million lives, but also the community’s resilience in the aftermath.

Q.  Tell me something interesting that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. My book is about my mother’s father, Stepan Miskjian. So I brought my 87-year-old mother Anahid on tour with me. After presenting my book, my mother has been saying a few words about how the genocide affected her father. At my reading in Berkeley, people were so moved by her talk, they asked her to sign my book after me. It made me so happy since having her father’s story told has been her life’s dream.

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. There are a bunch of essays that I’m working on right now. But, at the moment, all I’m thinking about is the vacation I’ll take once my tour concludes! After ten years of hard work researching and writing this book, I’m looking forward to it.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. Thank you so much for your support. I put my heart into this book. I hope that through my grandfather’s inspiring story, readers can learn about this forgotten chapter of history— and make sure that it never happens again. If anyone wants to learn more about my book, please visit dawnmackeen.com


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