Tag Archives: Readers

Books I’ve Recently Read

I don’t often blog about what I’ve read, mostly because Goodreads has my list if anyone is interested. But, I realize some of my blog readers may not be part of Goodreads. I will try to do this more often. So, here are a few books I’ve read recently and enjoyed. (And yes, some of them I should have read a long time ago.)

Snow Like Ashes

NOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch. I loved this tale because instead of starting in a world of people showing of their magic, it started with only eight survivors (Winterians) whom had lost there magic (actually they had it stolen). This story is full of dangers and evil politics, and a bit of romance. I think readers of FROST BLOOD will enjoy this

The Delphi Effect (The Delphi Trilogy Book 1) The Delphi Resistance (The Delphi Trilogy Book 2)

THE DELPHI EFFECT and it’s sequel THE DELPHI RESISTANCE by Rysa Walker. It’s no secret I love a story with ghosts involved, but then add magical powers, secret governments, and kids on the run…I’m in! The character Anna, picks ghosts up by simply touching something the spirit has clung to. Then they journey within her until they feel they’ve completed something, but bits of them stay with her after they’ve gone, which is really cool. For example, wouldn’t you love just to suddenly know how to play a piano without ever taking a lesson? There is a third book in this series and I can’t wait to get to it.

King's Cage (Red Queen)

KING’S CAGE by Victoria Aveyard. This is the third book in the RED QUEEN series. And y’all know I’ve already read the first two books. Mare Barrow’s journey continues after discovering new bloods and the war wages on between red bloods and silver bloods. In this story she is prisoner of the boy she once loved and stripped of her magic. I couldn’t wait to see how the story would end and how she’d regain her magic. One thing that has intrigued me throughout the series are the various types of magic in this series, I’m so in love! And lucky for me, the fourth installment came out last month, which means I get to read more about Mare Barrow!

Rise of the Empress (2 Book Series)

FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS by Julie C. Dao. The story of Xifeng destined to become empress had me WOW’d when I realized the story was darker than I had thought. Her aunt is a witch who has taught her magic, but until she finds herself in the company of the Empress and Emperor does she discover how callous she can be. I’ve never wanted to root for someone who is good and so bad at the same time! I’m crying because I have to wait for the sequel to come out this November. I want it NOW!

The Amulet of Samarkand: A Bartimaeus Novel, Book 1

THE AMULET OF SAMARKAND by Jonathan Stroud. I am a fan of a few of Jonathan Stroud’s LOCKWOOD & CO. series books, so I thought I’d give this a try. The author had me laughing out loud at times. Nathaniel is a magician’s apprentice, but his master seems to be a bit daft. Then Nathaniel gets humiliated by other magicians and his master does absolutely nothing to protect him. So Nathaniel summons the powerful djinni, Bartimaeus, to help him get revenge. Seriously, this is a funny and magical read for kids and adults both.

Off to Be the Wizard [Kindle in Motion] (Magic 2.0 Book 1)

OFF TO BE THE WIZARD by Scott Meyer. What would you do if you found out that a computer program controlled everything you and everyone in the entire world did? Become a wizard, of course! This is another story that had me in stitches! Martin discovers a program that controls what he does, where he is, “when” he is, and how to get there, but it gets him in trouble with the cops, so he does what anyone else would do, he goes back in time and discovers someone thinks he’s Merlin (or rather, is imitating Merlin). But thankfully, Martin finds a wizard who is willing to make him an apprentice. Just know the computer has everything to do with why he’s a wizard. So miscalculate some codes and you’ll appear to hover above the floor instead of standing on the floor. There is so much funny in this story, you have to read it!

The Outsider: A Novel

THE OUSIDER by Stephen King. Okay, I have to admit that this was really, really, really, hard for me to read. I couldn’t stomach the way the young boy died. I put the book down, but would pick it back up again later. I’d put it down, then back up, and so forth, and so forth. What kept me going was my curiosity of how Mr. King would resolve the issue of the murder suspect being in two places at once, and the need to see the true murderer–an evil of no human being–be killed. But reading this story reminds me why I like to read middle grade and young adult novels, the brutality may be insinuated most times, but isn’t described in detail. (I don’t need details, not when it comes to kids being murdered.) So, read at your own risk. You have been warned!

Grayling's Song

GRAYLING’S SONG by Karen Cushman. Well now, when I read the blurb about people turning into trees, I HAD to read to find out how different it might be from a manuscript I wrote regarding the same issue. I’m was thrilled to find a huge difference, so I won’t have to shelf my story! Grayling must find who has stolen her mother’s grimoire and prevent her from turning completely into a tree. Along her journey she finds other witches are turning into shrubbery and their grimoires gone too. She picks up a few unlikely witches to help her along the way. This was an easy read and quick read. I not only enjoyed it but I found myself a new comp title. Woo-hoo!

And there you have my current list of books. Hope you find one to put on your TBR. Have a great day!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

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Virginia Festival of the Book 2018

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The Virginia Festival of the Book brings readers and writers together for a five-day celebration of books, reading, literacy, and literary culture. The 24th Annual Festival will be held March 21-25, 2018. Programs range from traditional author readings and book signings to children’s programs and hands-on workshops. All programs are open to the public and, with the exception of a few ticketed events, the majority of Festival programs are free to attend.

An abbreviated list of past participants includes Rick Atkinson, Edward Ayers, David Baldacci, Maureen Corrigan, Edwidge Danticat, Kate DiCamillo, Rita Dove, Alan Furst, John Grisham, Jan Karon, Jim Lehrer, Frances Mayes, Colum McCann, David McCullough, Alice McDermott, Katherine Paterson, Jon Scieszka, Lisa Scottoline, Pete Seeger, Karin Slaughter, Alexander McCall Smith, Lee Smith, Bryan Stevenson, Elizabeth Strout, Judith Viorst, and Charles Wright. For a current listing, go here.

As always, have fun and learn lots!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

LIBRARIES PAY AUTHORS! (Worth Mentioning Again.)

book-spines

I wrote a post once about libraries paying authors. It’s definitely worth mentioning again for United Kingdom and Ireland PLR systems. You can see my original post via LIBRARIES PAY AUTHORS?

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Books I’ve Recently Read

I don’t often blog about what I’ve read, mostly because Goodreads has my list if anyone is interested. But, I realize some of my blog readers may not be part of Goodreads. I will try to do this more often. So, here are a few books I’ve read recently and enjoyed. (And yes, some of them I should have read a long time ago.)

RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard. I was instantly taken in by the story of Mare Barrow’s world being divided by blood. Red and Silver. Mare always thought she was a red blood, and reds arent’ treated well by the magical silvers. Yes, this is a story where she finds out she isn’t truly a red blood. She will be called a new blood, and with it comes powers that no red blood has every possessed. And she is thrust into the king’s court to be hidden in plain sight of the silvers.  This story is full of magic, betrayal, and yearning for love. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Glass Sword (Red Queen) by [Aveyard, Victoria]

GLASS SWORD by Victoria Aveyard. Well, obviously I had to read these back-to-back! And the sequel did NOT disappoint. After escaping a near execution in the first book, Mare discovers she is not the only “new blood”. She races against time to find as many as she can before they are murdered by the evil king. An uprising is coming! Oh, and a little love. And yes, I will be reading the 3rd addition to this series!

Below by [Lockwood, Ryan]

BELOW by Ryan Lockwood. Well, I’ll admit that I bought this hoping for a monster under the sea. When I realized the book was about humbolt squid, I was briefly disappointed. Check out the blurb that confused me:

In all his years as a professional diver, Will Sturman has never encountered a killing machine more ferocious than the great white shark or as deadly as the piranha. Now, off the coast of California, something is rising from the deep–and multiplying. Voracious, unstoppable, and migrating north, an ungodly life form trailed by a gruesome wake of corpses. With the help of the brilliant and beautiful oceanographer Valerie Martell, Will finds himself in a race against time to stop the slaughter–by a predator capable of devastating the world’s oceans.

Did you know that humbolt squid really changed colors under the ocean depending on their mood, or if they are hungry? How fascinating is that? They are also known as diablo (devil) squid and flying squid (because yes, they fly out of the water!) As for the book, the more I read, the more I couldn’t put the story down. It’s told from alternating POVs, even from the squid’s point of view! Whoa! But I must say, it might be a long time before I ever go diving again. LoL.

The Littlest Bigfoot by [Weiner, Jennifer]

THE LITTLEST BIGFOOT by Jennifer Weiner. For anyone that has ever felt like they don’t belong, this is a great story. What would you do if someone thought YOU were bigfoot? What would you do if you really met a young bigfoot? This story weaves a familiar tale of bullying, not belonging, with a fantastical take on bigfoots living among us. I cried and laughed. Definitely a good purchase. I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Shatter Me by [Mafi, Tahereh]

SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi. Just WOW! The way Tehereh writes the story is amazing. There were times I really wondered if the main character, Juliette, was really insane. Her words sometimes read insanely! But I didn’t get distracted by them, in fact, sometimes I found certain passages almost lyrical.

I won’t deny, I listened to the audio book with this one and I think it made the story come alive for me. It might’ve even made the repetition of various passages more likely to read as a broken mind. Juliette is locked up in solitary confinement with no human contact, not even guards visit her. She has a magical power she thinks is a curse, and is the reason she’s locked up. But when she suddenly gets a roommate who’s a BOY, things begin to get sticky. While the reality about her powers begins to unravel, she needs to decide if she’ll embrace it. The way this unlikely character becomes the hero of her own story is just breathtaking. Not sure why I waited so long to read this and I can’t wait to dive into the sequels!

And that’s what I’ve read lately. If you have a great recommendation, just let me know in the comments. Until next time, have a fantastic day!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

San Miguel Writers’ Conference & Literary Festival

The best thing about writing conferences and literary festivals is the luxury of learning while on vacation! If you have an itch to get away but want to keep your writing skills tuned, escape to San Miguel Writers’ Conference & Literary Festival.

As the largest and most prestigious co-cultural, bi-lingual literary gathering in the Americas, each February the San Miguel Writers’ Conference & Literary Festival attracts distinguished authors, established and emerging writers, industry experts, teaching professionals, and avid readers from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

  • Wally Lamb: Author of six New York Times Bestsellers.
  • Jane Friedman: Co-Founder of The Hot Sheet, columnist, speaker, and Author .
  • Rita Dove: U.S. Poet Leareate and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.
  • John Vaillant: Award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction.
  • Jorge Volpi: Author of over 20 novels and an international bestseller.
  • Joseph Boyden: Award-winning Canadian novelist and short story writer.
  • Emma Donoghue: International bestseller of Room (the film adaptatoin was nominated for four academy awards).

And don’t forget, conferences are tax deductible! Get you seat fast because the conference is February 14-18, 2018. Have fun!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Books I’ve Recently Read and Enjoyed!

As I said last month, I don’t often blog about what I’ve read, mostly because Goodreads has my list if anyone is interested. But, I realize some of my blog readers may not be part of Goodreads. I will try to do this more often. So, here are a few books I’ve read recently and enjoyed.

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Frostblood by Elly Blake. Okay, so I actually listened to the audio book. But boy was I sucked into the world of Ruby hiding her fire gift in the cruel world of the frost king. And of course, like all creatures who try to hide things, they get found out. But when frostbloods rescue her from the frost king’s prison, she must learn to trust them and help save them from the evil king. Oh, and she just might fall in love with her enemy. What a fantastically imagined world! I enjoyed it so much, I had to listen to the sequel immediately afterwards:

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Fireblood by Elly Blake. For those who might’ve skimmed the previous paragraph, this is the sequel to Frostblood. Again, Ruby’s world lured me in as she left her frost king–her love–to learn about her homeland of fire, a world she never knew growing up. In this book, her powers grow stronger and she risks never seeing her beloved frost king again. Oooh, this story was just as good as the first. How many times can you say that about sequels? My only complaint is that I have to wait until June 5, 2018 for the third book in this saga. Waaaaaa!

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The Monster at the end of this Book by Jon Stone. Yeah, I read to my grandson people! Find a youngster and read this Sesame Street book. My grandson laughed and asked me to read again and again and again. Of course, when Grover says not to turn the page so the reader will never get to the end of the book because he’s afraid of seeing the monster at the end, I kept asking my grandson, “What do you think? Should we turn the page?” And of course, after some giggles, he’d say yes. What fun we had!

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Entertainment weekly described this as The Hunger Games meets The Night Circus. Needless to say, I HAD to read it! The blurb says it best as Scarlett becomes “enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic” as she searches to find her sister before Tella disappears forever. Loved it and can’t wait for the sequel!

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Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast by Josh Funk. (No, not the Josh Funk I went to school with. LoL) This was a wonderful rhyming book that reminded me of some of the Dr. Seuss books I’ve read. My grandson loved the rhythm and seeing the illustrations of some of his favorite foods animated. Grab a kid and get to reading!

And there you have a quick view into what I’ve read lately. Let me know if you have any recommendations! Have a fantastic day.

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Santa

Wishing all my family, friends, virtual acquaintances, and readers of this blog a Merry Christmas! Safe travels to everyone going out of town. I hope folks have plenty of food to stuff their bellies and joy to fill their hearts.

The holiday season can be very tough for some people, whether it’s a recent loss of a loved one, financial woes, illness, or some other unforeseen event. If it’s within your power, remember those less fortunate. Christmas should be about giving and less about taking. And prayers never hurt either! Send them out to those in need!

May you all be blessed with a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

MasterClass With Author Judy Bloom

Image result for judy bloom masterclass

Judy Bloom will be teaching a Master Class in early 2018. While the dates don’t appear to be set, you can pre-enroll for only $90. The award winning author broke the rules. Her refreshingly honest children’s books were banned by hundreds of libraries—and loved by generations of readers, who bought 85 million copies of classics like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Superfudge.

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Learn with one of the best with 24 lessons on writing vivid characters and realistic dialogue. There will be a workbook along with the videos, and Judy will critique select members of the class. Have fun and learn lots!
P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/Fiction

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Thanksgiving 2014
THANKSGIVING 2016

Thanksgiving is a designated time to remember what we are thankful for in life. For many, it’s having our health to spend time with family and friends while gorging on amazing meals until our stomach feels like it will explode. But there are others who might be joyful they survived a fatal illness to be here celebrating with people they love. Or maybe, there are those thrilled to still have a job, maybe paid off a mortgage, or even happy because they got that iPhone they’ve always wanted.

As for me, I’d like to thank:

  • My family and friends who’ve supported me with my writing. I LOVE you guys!
  • My daughter and grandson for bringing me joy in my life with their adventurous spirit.
  • My readers. (Because without y’all, I’d have no reason to have a blog!)
  • All my past and current critique partners (especially Diana DeBolt Johnson!). This includes anyone who has ever glanced at a few pitches/pages/chapters and offered feedback.
  • Contest hosts for supplying fabulous opportunities with agents and mentoring, and for those who selected me at some point in the past, for one thing or another. (For example: Brenda Drake, Authoress (Jillian), Michelle Hauck, and Jessa Russo.)
  • The mentors that participated in contests. Your feedback was completely awesome!
  • All slush readers (agents, editors, mentors, etc.) are the bomb. We don’t send enough chocolate, and I apologize!
  • The creator’s of Preditors & Editors (linky still down), Writer’s Beware , Absolute Write Forums, Publishers Marketplace, and QueryTracker. (I use them often.)
  • All the authors that allowed me to participate in their book releases or cover reveals!
  • For all the ARCs I received, because FREE BOOKS before they’re published is AWESOME!
  • I have a job and I adore working with all my coworkers!
  • And finally (but not last), to God for giving me the strength to get through each day.

I’m sure there are many things and other people I may have forgotten, and ask forgiveness if I have. Everyone in my physical and virtual life are very important to me. Y’all give me strength to become the best me. Thank you for being a part of my life!

Whatever your reason for being thankful today, I wish you the Happiest of Thanksgivings!

XOXO

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Books I’ve Recently Read And Enjoyed

I don’t often blog about what I’ve read, mostly because Goodreads has my list if anyone is interested. But, I realize some of my blog readers may not be part of Goodreads. So, here are a few books I’ve read recently and enjoyed. And although Halloween has passed, I’m still in the mood for a good MG or YA ghost story, so feel free to make suggestions in the comments.

Lockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase

LOCKWOOD & CO. THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE: (Jonathan Stroud) I listened to the audio book of this, which had an older voice than the age of the character. This distracted me a little. And while I felt the story moved a little slow due to the writer being heavy with backstory, it was full of ghosts and young kids trying to get rid of them as their daily paid jobs, which made me think of Ghostbusters! In the end, I quite enjoyed the tale.

THE AWKWARD PATH TO GETTING LUCKY: A NOVEL: (Summer Heacock) What can I say? Sometimes I read more than MG and YA. Okay? Okay. So, this story is very adult and hysterically funny about a woman’s lady-parts gone wonky and in need of mending. She gets guidance from her friends and coworkers at a bakery! Yes, there are plenty of sweets in this story:-) But no, this isn’t an erotic novel with explicit sex. That’s for porn people. Geesh!

JACK AND THE GENIUSES: AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD: (Bill Nye) Yep, I’ve always been a science nerd. Whether it’s an invention or research for cures, I’m in! And when you throw brainiac kids in the mix doing the inventions and solving a missing case mystery, doubly better!

WONDER: (R.J. Palacio) It’s no wonder the book has been on NYT Bestselling list for two years and is being made into a movie. It has ALL THE FEELS! While this may be a story about a boy with a deformed face and will make you cry, it also makes you laugh OUT LOUD so many times! The main character seems to find the good in people most of the time and is more generous with his understanding of them than they deserve! This will tug at your heart, but you’ll be happy you read the story. I PROMISE!

THE ADVENTURER’S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES: (Wade Albert White)  The author is great at making the reader laugh, which is always a win. Orphans going on a dangerous quest, constant roadblocks, and unreliable characters make this story a fantastic read in a world of science and magic. Oh, and there is a cool dragon!

SAVAGE: DRAGONRIDER LEGACY 1: (Nicole Conway) While this suggests the first book of a new tale, it is really an extention of THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES and is another great story of Maldobar and Luntharda. I thought I’d miss the character of Jaevid who had been in the previous books (Okay, I kind of did!) but Reigh is introduced and I couldn’t help but fall in love with him and his magic, which he has to adapt to practically in the same manner as Jaevid had to with his. And for those that loved THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES as much as I did, there’s a sweet surprise at the end!

And there you have a quick view into what I’ve read lately. As you can see, my heart may be black in my writing, but I enjoy a range of genres and age groups when reading. Don’t forget to leave suggestions in the comments for some spooky reads for middle grade and young adult stories. Have a great day!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/Ya fiction.