Tag Archives: Harry Potter

ARC Review of Nate Rocks the Boat by Karen Pokras Toz


Nate Rocks the Boat (Book 2)Nate Rocks the Boat by Karen Pokras Toz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Welcome to a new adventure with Nate Rocks! In this book, we may get less of Nate Rocks’ adventures and more of Nate’s adventures, but, this does not make the book any less fun and interesting. I was really happy to see Nate in action. Seeing him living in the real world, and less in the adventures he creates was wonderful!

This book is perfectly created for the MG reader. In this book, Nate is going to summer camp. I remember the time I dreaded to go on one sponsored by my school. I dreaded being away at a new place, among new kids, and having to adjust to a completely new environment. I dreaded that I would not be accepted, would have to face bullies and I would end up doing something stupid or dangerous. Nate also has to face all these things. But, add to it the fact that is elder sister is going to the same camp, and it gets a whole lot worse. The only solace is that he has his best friend along with him. I can imagine, and somewhat remember going through the same problems that Nate does in this book. Every kid wants to be accepted in school and at camp. Most boys, including me, who have an elder sister feel that their sisters are out to get them. Also, we have all been bullied by someone at some point when we are that age (well almost everyone).

Continue reading

E is for eBooks – The New Normal for Publishing


Harry Potter: I loved them!

I know most of you will not believe it, but I think my first experience with eBooks was in 1998 or 1999. The Harry Potter series was just starting off and the books had not reached India yet. Then one day, a friend got me a pdf file on a CD, and said that I HAD to read it as it was a brilliant book (It was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, of course). I am so glad I did! At the time, I had no idea I was indulging in piracy, and I could not wait to find the next book online and read it.

Continue reading

What’s in a Creature? by K. B. Hoyle


What’s in a Creature? 

Three years ago, when I started actively working on the first book in The Gateway Chronicles, The Six, it came into my mind that if I was going to write a successful fantasy series, I had to create at least one new fantasy creature. I felt this was also a big gamble, as it could either read well and people would like it, or it would read cheesy and be the downfall of my books. You might immediately ask yourself, “Why does this matter?” but think about some of the most successful fantasy stories out there. The Lord of the Rings has its hobbits and wargs, The Chronicles of Narnia its marshwiggles and dufflepuds, and Harry Potter its house elves and dementors (just to name a few). Even The Hunger Games, which is not technically fantasy, has its mutations and mockingjays. Creating new creatures helps “people” (no pun intended) a new realm, and not only makes it more enjoyable for the readers (as they discover something new), but also helps them suspend disbelief (crucial for any fantasy / scifi / dystopian / paranormal story). So, while certain stock creatures should also be used —fairies, gnomes, nymphs, etc. depending on the subgenre—new creatures are, I believe, of crucial importance.

I’ve created a few new creatures for The Six, but the one that took the most careful planning was the nark. At the camp on which the stories are based, there is a saying that if you stay out too late, the “night narks will come and get you.” I never knew what these “night narks” were supposed to be, but as I sat down to plan The Six, that was the term that immediately popped into my mind for a new creature. But then, I reasoned, if there are night narks, there must also be day narks, and what’s going to be the difference between the two? And what are they in the first place? I’m also a teacher, and we often say that in teaching, we should start with what is known and move to the unknown. In that, I decided to, at their base, make the narks a sub-type of creature that is already known—elves. And not Keebler elves, but Tolkienesque elves. In that sense, they are human in form but with large pointy ears and tend to be exceptional at performing various tasks. From there, I moved into the unknown. I decided that night narks and day narks were to be two sides of the same coin—or two different personas inhabiting one body. Night narks are awake at night and day narks are awake during the day, and they share information between the two personas in the transition between day and night. Their physical appearance, also, lightens and darkens between day and night. Now, there is much, much more that I could go on to tell you about the narks, but it would be far too exhaustive for a simple guest post, and then you would have nothing to discover for yourselves about them if you are to read my books! All I will say, however, in wrapping this up, is that my gamble seems to have paid off. Of all the elements in my books, the narks were what I was most nervous about, but they have also received the highest praise and the most remarkable comments from those people who have already read The Six. “The narks are awesome!” and “How did you come up with that?” are comments I’ve received over and over. This has only firmed up my belief that the creation of new creatures in a fantasy story is not only highly important for the successful creation of a new realm, but also highly enjoyable for the reader.

Continue reading

Interview with Kelsey Miller, Author of Retribution


Today, I have with me author Kelsey Miller. She has started on the path of being self published at a very young age and I can see her doing great things.

This is a really fun interview, and I loved some of her answers! So, without much delay, lets just right in!

Interview with Kelsey Miller,

Author of Retribution

Lets start with a question I always ask first. Describe your book and what genre would you classify it into?

My book is a paranormal thriller for young adults. It’s about a vampire who hates being a vampire and a werewolf who shifts into his human form when he’s around her.

How did you come up with the idea for the book?

It’s funny, really. Somehow the topic of vampires wormed its way into my mind. I began thinking of all the vampire characters I had read who drank blood, even ones that only drank animal blood (I think you know which one I’m talking about). Yet, I had never come across a vampire who hated being one. And from there the idea snowballed.

Continue reading