Category Archives: Action

Blog Tour: Becoming Brooklyn by Amanda Deich – an excerpt

Becoming Brooklyn
Amanda Deich
Publication date: January 5th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Eighteen-year-old Brooklyn never knew her father. Rex Blackburn died in the 9/11 attacks four months before she was born.

And even though she never met him, she always dreamed about what he must have been like before he died. In her mind, he was a hero.

Little did she know.

After an attack at a 9/11 memorial gala, Brooklyn learns her father had been a member of an elite, anti-terrorism, military task force, made up of a very select group of people who had superhuman abilities. On the day the towers fell, he died using his power to save people.

The Army believes she inherited his gift, and Brooklyn is invited to train at West Point in order to hone her skills. Knowing deep down she is different than anyone else her age and wanting to learn more about a father she never knew, she readily agrees to become a cadet at the prestigious military academy.

She and five other 9/11 babies strengthen their superhuman abilities and spend weeks preparing themselves for their future in the army, fighting terrorists at home and abroad. And in the process of training, they identify with their deceased parents in a way they never knew they could.

Brooklyn knows she’ll go to war someday, but when terrorists find out about the group’s gifts, they don’t bother to wait.

They bring the war to West Point.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


“Why do you need to talk to…just us?” Bree asked, her stare critical and questioning. “Why not all the 9/11 Babies?”

The general nodded, acknowledging the fairness of her question. “You would probably instinctively group yourself with the rest of the kids who had parents die in the attacks of 9/11. And while the entire group of 9/11 Babies have been branded heroes – appropriately, I might add – the six of you are different than the others who attended the dinner the other night.”

He brought his hands in front of him, clasped them together casually in front of his broad torso. “In fact, I’ve been assigned to talk with you all this evening regarding this difference. But before I begin, please know I am about to tell you something that is quite possibly the most sensitive, most valuable, most protected secret in our military today.”

My heart picked up speed. Suddenly I felt like I was sitting in the principal’s office, in trouble but not quite sure why.

“Sensitive, how?” Adrianna asked.

The general pursed his lips. “It may take a while to explain. If I may, I’m going to ask for your patience as I attempt to do so.” He walked slowly toward us, clicking a button to lower a white screen behind him. It hovered above the fireplace as if it were a painting.

“I was thinking about the best way to inform you on the topic, and I decided I should start with what you already know: what you see in the papers and what you’ve learned in History Class.”

Ugh. History Class.

The six of us took turns shooting uneasy glances to one another, and the general, like so many teachers, pressed on, despite our obvious lack of enthusiasm.

“Even before the terrorist attacks on 9/11,” he explained, “the United States of America was the world’s leader in stopping terrorism. We continue to fulfill this role today.”

As if to prove his point, the screen behind him exploded into pictures of ongoing warfare. Bombs, tanks, and horrific blasts filled the screen.

“Terrorists know no geographical boundaries,” he continued as the pictures ceased, “but neither do we, when it comes to humanitarian issues. When the U.S. was young, we were spoiled by our location. Oceans separated us from the rest of the world’s conflicts, so we were primarily concerned with our own. But after the atrocities of the Second World War were exposed, we knew we needed to make a global effort to combat the evil that existed outside our borders.”

“The way we did this was to develop our best, most gifted citizens. We identified them at a young age and used our training facilities to nurture their gifts, pushing them as hard as they could be pushed, and making sure those gifts weren’t wasted. Soon, we had enough of these gifted warriors to form an elite military group. Its earliest members named it The Crest.”

“And what does this have to do with us?” I asked. I mean, it was nice of him to give us a history lesson and all, but the anticipation of why we were meeting with a general was killing me.

“Patience, Brooklyn,” General Richards replied, his tone implying he was losing his own. “I promised I’d explain, and I’m about to.” He turned to address the whole group again.

“You are six of the so-called ‘9/11 Babies’,” he began. “But you are a special six. The hundreds of other 9/11 Babies lost their parents heroically on that horrible day, and you did, too. But your parents were more than heroes.”

He paused, making sure he had our undivided attention. We weren’t breathing; we couldn’t.

“You would probably think of them as superheroes, members of the very same group I described.”

His gaze intensified. “They were part of our most secret, gifted branch of the military: The Crest: Chosen, Rare, Elite… Superhuman and Triumphant.”

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for having me on this tour


Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter for a $20 Amazon gift card (ends Jul-22)

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About the authors

Amanda Deich is an author out of Littleton, CO. In her non-writer life, she is a teacher and coach to hundreds of kids, and she is a mama to two. If you meet her, she’ll talk Jesus and identity like no one’s business.

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Review: Daylight by David Baldacci

Daylight (Atlee Pine #3) by David Baldacci

FBI Agent Atlee Pine’s search for her sister Mercy clashes with military investigator John Puller’s high-stakes case, leading them both deep into a global conspiracy — from which neither of them will escape unscathed.

For many long years, Atlee Pine was tormented by uncertainty after her twin sister, Mercy, was abducted at the age of six and never seen again. Now, just as Atlee is pressured to end her investigation into Mercy’s disappearance, she finally gets her most promising breakthrough yet: the identity of her sister’s kidnapper, Ito Vincenzo.

With time running out, Atlee and her assistant Carol Blum race to Vincenzo’s last known location in Trenton, New Jersey — and unknowingly stumble straight into John Puller’s case, blowing his arrest during a drug ring investigation involving a military installation.

Stunningly, Pine and Puller’s joint investigation uncovers a connection between Vincenzo’s family and a breathtaking scheme that strikes at the very heart of global democracy. Peeling back the layers of deceit, lies and cover-ups, Atlee finally discovers the truth about what happened to Mercy. And that truth will shock Pine to her very core.

Published 17 November 2020|  Publisher: Grand Central Publishing  |  RRP: AUD$32.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (5 / 5 stars)

Can this series get any better than this?! Wow, never was I more enthralled in a book without a lick of romance in it. I don’t usually read romance as a genre but I prefer my books to have sprinkles of romance. I admit shamelessly that I kept looking for it and waiting in this book but it never happened and you know what, I’m not even disappointed! And that’s BIG.

After that bomb was dropped in book 2, I was ever more keenly to follow up on Atlee’s hunt for her twin sister, Mercy. I’m going to be fair and give you warning of a nuclear blast in this one. And the ending hurts… It’s not finished yet though. I think Baldacci has more pain in store for us 😰

Of course, such a thick book can’t just be about Mercy. Atlee inadvertently stumbled over a raid and an old friend while following up information on Mercy. And again, of course, there are much bigger things at play but this time, it’s all the way to the highest level of authorities. As their investigation is being stonewalled from above, it didn’t mean the field work stops because not only are people’s lives have been lost, the country is also at risk.

There seems to be quite of a bit of patriotism in this novel (a lot of comments of serving the country, etc) and there are also certain contemporary issues bought out in it. I feel the author’s love for his country and at the same time acknowledging some deep-rooted issues in it. And in all this, kept readers riveted to the unfolding plot of crime solving. Daylight is my favourite of Baldacci’s so far; highly recommend that fans get behind this series!

Thank you Grand Central Publishing via Netgalley for the e-copy of this book in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  twitter  |  instagram  |  facebook

Blog Tour: GENES by Mary Ting -a Review + Giveaway

Genes (International Sensory Assassin Network #3) by Mary Ting
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: June 30th 2020
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Allegiances will be tested.
Identities will be revealed.
No one is safe.

While searching for the HelixB88 anti-serum on the black market, Ava uncovers valuable intel that may help the rebels in their fight to bring down ISAN—the location of a hidden facility. But first, the insurgents must find the female citizens unexpectedly displaying powers without use of the Helix serum before ISAN captures them.

As the rebels join forces with other sectors, ISAN plans their destruction by using someone they don’t suspect at the rebel home base. A traitor within.

Now, Ava must make a dangerous decision, one that could risk their capture—or worse.

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My Blurb (3 / 5 stars)

This review is in relation to book 3 in the series so while I will steer away from spoilers for this book, there may be spoilers of books 1 & 2

GENES picked up right from the end of Helix and if you’re a follower of the series, you’d know that Ava had been impatiently waiting for a certain test result and we find out right at the beginning of this book with an immediate twist to the story. And this sets the tone of the book, many more twists, some kick-ass action, and lots of lovey doveys.

Ava & the rebels continued to find ways to thwart ISAN & Mr Novak but first they needed Brooke to wake up and Gene to cooperate. Gene has completely thrown them off by his very different attitude & personality. Even as he’s kept tightly in isolation and continuous watch, he does not appear to be worried and continue to threaten the safety of the rebels. Ava was a little worried but she’s also got other things to do. The mystery remains, however, just what can Gene do?

A fast paced read with loads of actions and plenty more romance. I love to see Rhett and Ava together though sometimes, I get frustrated because… hello, you’re in the middle of a situation here?! But, as their friends said it, it’s just how they are. The group of friends are just fabulous as ever and growing!! That last sentence-twist at the end of the book was mind boggling BUT *gosh* I’m getting frustrated with Ava too. I do want to find out what’s really going on though so… onto book 4 (hopefully)!

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for having me on this tour and  copy of ebook in exchange of honest review


Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter for a $25 Amazon gift card (ends Jul-09)

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About the author

International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres: science fiction, fantasy, and swoon worthy stories. Her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise.

Mary was born in Seoul Korea and resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two dogs—Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Becoming an author was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, she retired from teaching after twenty years.

Find Mary on:  Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / News update


Review: Archenemies by Marissa Meyer + a Giveaway

Archenemies (Renegades #2) by Marissa Meyer

Time is running out.
Together, they can save the world.
But they are each other’s worst nightmare.

Nova’s double life is about to get a lot more complicated:

As Insomnia, she is a full-fledged member of the Renegades, a syndicate of powerful and beloved superheroes. She works with Adrian’s patrol unit to protect the weak and maintain order in Gatlon City.

As Nightmare, she is an Anarchist – a member of a group of villains who are determined to destroy the Renegades. Nova wants vengeance against the so-called heroes who once failed her when she needed them most.

But as Nova, her feelings for Adrian are deepening, despite the fact that he is the son of her sworn enemies.

Nova, Adrian, and the rest of their crew are faced with escalating crime in Gatlon City, while covert weapons and conflicting missions have Nova and Adrian questioning not only their beliefs about justice, but also the feelings they have for one another.

The line between good and evil has been blurred, but what’s clear to them both is that too much power could mean the end of their city – and the world – as they know it.

Published 31 November 2018 |  Publisher: Pan Australia  |  RRP: AUD$18.99

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

Archenemies begins with a stake out by Renegades Sketch, Monarch, Red Assassin, Smokescreen, and Insomnia. It’s a pretty promising start that we got action right at the beginning. But then, I must confess that even if I found the book pretty easy to read, I don’t much remember what happened in the middle (did anything happen?!). The last 100 pages though near gave me palpitations! Heartpounding, action-packed with lots of near misses though it didn’t quite end with a cliffhanger (thank goodness!)

In Renegades, I really liked the dynamics of the friendship in this Renegades team but it was mostly missing in this book with a bit more pairings happening in this one. A lot of stuff between Adrian & Nova but the rest of the team was mostly missing especially Monarch. We know almost nothing about her, in fact, she seems to be most mysterious out of all of them.

Archenemies is full of anxiety. Adrian with his secrets he’s finding harder and harder to tell whilst Nova with her secrets she’s keeping a tight lid on. There were quite a bit of tip-toeing around which made the read a little bit exciting though it’s always a let down when nothing more happen. I do think that last 100 pages of the book is worth hanging on for so make sure you read to the end!

Thanks to Pan Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review. 


Courtesy of Pan Macmillan Australia, 1 paperback copy of Archenemies is up for grabs! To enter, simple leave a comment with what book you are currently reading and include a random sentence/short paragraph from it. I will draw the winner on the evening of Friday, 30th November.

Please note this giveaway is limited to ANZ residents only.

About the author

Marissa Meyer is the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Heartless and The Lunar Chronicles. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and twin daughters. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, any occasion that requires a costume), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was a child. She may oay not be a cyborg.

Find Marissa on:  goodreads  |  website  | twitter  |  facebook  | instagram  |  pinterest

Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Published 14 September 2017 |  Publisher: Penguin Australia 

My Blurb (5 / 5 stars)

I’m in love!! I love this world so much! It’s glittery colourful shiny façade which hid, of course, a darker than dark underworld which they call, ‘Down Under’ lol

Emika Chen has had to learn to fend for herself. Her father died a few years ago and left her a massive debt to pay off. She’s 18 and doing the best she can to stay afloat but she is about to drown. A daring her-last-chance-at-survival glitched and suddenly she found herself transported from her seedy New York shared apartment to bigger-than-her-wildest-dream hotel room. In the end, she found that nothing appear as it seems.

I’m not a gamer myself but hubby is and whilst he’s tried to get me playing, my brain-to-fingers coordination is too poor for me to enjoy gaming. I do understand, however, the attraction of gaming especially virtual reality ones. This is what Warcross is all about… a virtual reality for which almost anyone can access. Everyone can pretend to be anyone else, to look whichever way they like and be whatever they want to be. What’s even better is the Warcross games; an adrenaline rush like no other. Even a wheelchair-bound man in life can have functioning limbs in Warcross and be an international top player.

Warcross is a thoroughly enjoyable novel; fast-paced action-packed brand new world within an old worn one complete with intriguing mystery & villain and melt-your-heart romance. Thankfully, I can reach over for book 2 right now! So, I guess I made a good decision to wait lol

I borrowed this book from the library. Review is my own honest opinion. 

About the author

I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. 🙂

I graduated from the University of Southern California in ’06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.

Find Marie on:  goodreads  |  website  | twitter  |  facebook  | instagram |  tumblrpinterest

Q&A with Steve Worland + Giveaway

worland'I’d like to welcome Steve Worland once more to my humble blog.  It’s been real fun reading all his books to date and a privilege noting that I’m supporting a local Sydney author (woot!)

Steve has also kindly offered 1 signed copy of his most recent release, Quick, to a lucky reader. Thanks, Steve!

5 things we need to know about Formula 1.

1.) It’s the most watched sport in the world, after the Olympics and World Cup soccer.

2.) A mid field team can spend the better part of 100 million US dollars per year and still not win a race. Or even finish in the top three.

3.) Toyota spent US$445 in 2008 and didn’t win a race.

4.) Once a Formula 1 car is traveling over 160 km/h it can generate enough downforce to equal its own weight, which means it can hold itself to the ceiling of a tunnel and drive upside down.

5.) In the dry an F1 tyre reaches peak operating performance when the rubber tread temperature is between 900C and 1200C. That is very hot.

Do you feel the ‘need for speed’?  What car do you drive or what is your dream car?

1967-Ford-Mustang-Eleanor-393-Stroker-V8-6-SpeedI do. I love to drive. I find it very relaxing. I drive a Hyundai Veloster turbo. My dream car would be a 1967 Mustang Eleanor or a 1969 Corvette Convertible. I love old American muscle cars though they are agricultural gas guzzlers and not particularly practical for the school run with your daughter’s cello in the back!

How much research you did you do about the races or racing?  Did you go on a ‘racing experience’ to get the real feel behind it?

F1 and V8 Supercars are ‘my sport’, so to speak, so I follow them very closely and have done my whole life. That was my research. I have been to the Bathurst 1000 and The Formula 1 in Melbourne and watched them live, though I prefer to watch them on TV as I like to know exactly what’s going on at every moment. The Autosport website is my home page.


How did the inspiration for ‘Quick’ came about?

I just wondered about what would it be like if Craig Lowndes became James Bond. I was taken by the idea that many top draw professional race drivers like Lowndes (who drives in the Australian V8 Supecar series) have astonishing athletic and analytical skills on the track so it would be interesting to send them uncover to use those abilities to solve a crime in the world of motorsport. And of course the most interesting motorsport series in the world is Formula One, which I thought would be a perfect place to set a crime story that had an international scope.

Your Main Casting for ‘Quick’.

Well for the Aussie Billy Hotchkiss anyone from Eric Bana, a well know rev head, to Sam Worthington to Hugh Jackman to one of the Hemsworths. There’s a such a great selection of Aussie leading men at the moment that any one of them would be great.

For Claude the Frenchman I’m thinking Jean Reno, Vincent Cassell or a slimmed down Gerard Depardieu would work nicely!

As for Swiss driver and Billy’s love interest Franka I’m thinking anyone from Eva Green from ‘Casino Royale’ to Franka Potente from ‘Run Lola Run’.

What’s your next project?

Next up is the release of a family movie I co-wrote called ‘Paper Planes’, which stars Sam Worthington, and will be out on January 15 Australia wide. Also on the same day the novel I wrote based on the movie will be published. Then next September ‘War Birds’, my forth action adventure novel, will be out in time for Father’s Day.

Giveaway (international)

quickFor a signed copy of Quick, enter by Rafflecopter. Before you go, though, one of the optional entry is for you to leave a comment on either naming one of Steve’s previous books or your dream car.  If you’re interested in my thoughts on Quick, check out my review.

Review: Quick

quickQuick by Steve Worland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: paperback copy courtesy of author / publisher

When the book first arrived, my son tore open the package and said that this must be for him. There was a racing car on the cover so it mustn’t be mummy’s. He’s 4 and can’t read yet but persisted that he will read it when he’s 5. I myself would have said that Quick isn’t my usual cup of tea though now that I’ve read all 3 of Steve Worland’s blockbuster action works, I really can’t say that anymore… especially since I’ve enjoyed them all.

As I begin reading, I really thought that my ignorance of motor racing or of anything motor would be a detriment in understanding this book. The only think I can boast of is driving manual –which hubby (God bless him for his patience!) first taught me to drive in his Peugeot 206 then let me drive his Colt RalliArt then Legnum (all turbo-charged, I think –or is that even the right term / usage?). Even knowing the sound or how it felt when turbo engages, I really do NOT feel the need for speed. Thankfully, Quick really isn’t about speed… though it provided a very exciting background to this story.

Billy Hotchkiss is an easily likeable character. I felt though that he is quite similar to Corey Purchase ([book:Velocity|15824903)) in that down to earth, easygoing type of Aussie bloke. He is a Good Samaritan –he just can’t help himself from jumping in though he would usually end up in a scrape. Sometimes though, it’s totally worth it or so it seems as each scrapes landed him on greener grass anyway. His Aussie-ness, I found, to be underscored quite heavily especially in terms of his speech with lots of Aussie terms / phrases thrown in. This was slightly annoying though at times, it can be humorous. On the other hand, I found it slightly inexplicable that his French partner barely sounded “French” at the start and it was only a bit later that French expressions were introduced into the story.

The mystery, though large scale, isn’t the main feature of this novel either. Again, it provided a great background, diamond heists which spanned the globe with a more sinister agenda behind it all, but the actions in the effort of capturing these criminals were the highlights of the story. Thankfully, Billy isn’t a bumbling amateur in the fast lane so each encounter really was high in tension and very exciting. The term “action-packed” cannot be more apt when applied to Quick. Don’t worry about not knowing motoring terms; you’ll still enjoy the humour, the explosive actions, and the fight for justice. Oh, let’s not forget that bit of romance too! Fairly sweet for this lady’s perspective

There were many sceptical moments though I think reading an action adventure blockbuster novel is just like watching an action adventure blockbuster movie… you know certain things just aren’t going to happen like that in real life but you suspend belief and enjoy the ride. It was a blast of a ride –one I’ve come to expect of Steve Worland. A perfect read for those with a need for speed or those who love their action blockbusters.

Thank you, Steve Worland & Penguin Books Australia, for copy of paperback

View all my reviews

Q&A with Steve Worland +Giveaway


I met Steve at Supanova Sydney earlier this year and when I became his ‘fan’ on GR, he actually remembered me.  I was never better pleased 🙂  This is a very exciting opportunity for a Q&A and he has also offered to giveaway a signed copy of his new release (lucky you!!).  Without further ado, I present…. Steve Worland!!

What does the ultimate ‘bad guy’ look like to you?  What defines this person as the ultimate ‘bad-guy’?  [can be in fiction or reality]

vaderFor me the ultimate fictional bad guy must have a believable, personal motivation. You must feel some empathy with him or her, no matter how bad what they are doing may be — and it needs to be pretty bad. If the villain’s motivation is not believable, or doesn’t ring true to the character, the story won’t engage the reader. Also, the bad guy and the good guy are usually the characters who are closest to each other in personality type. When I write them I should believe that if things had been different for either of them they could be in the other’s shoes. The perfect example of this is Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.

In both Velocity and Combustion, weapons of mass destruction are being employed by highly motivated terrorists. If you were in a position where you are the one person to stop the world from being destroyed, what would you do?  What would your first reaction be?  Sometimes I think reading books like this should equip you for this type of impossible mission – after all, the author has done all the research, right?  All you need to do is recall, apply, and execute.  Would you feel equipped from the research & writing you’ve done so far?

The characters in my books tend to be making it up as they go along, trying their best but not always succeeding, and I think that’s how it would be for me. I would try to rise to the occasion, utilise what I remember, and whatever specific skill set I might have, and give it a go — without knowing if I will be successful or not. That’s why I write my characters the way I do. To me it’s much more interesting to write an ‘everyman’ who is unsure of what course of action to take but will give it a go rather than a ‘superhero’ who has all the answers and knows exactly what to do.

Have you ever experienced writers’ block? If so, what have you done to break through this frustrating period?

I do get it occasionally. The best way to overcome writers block is to: a) keep writing, even if it’s terrible. I often find if I am blocked on something I just write until something resonates and starts to flow. Then I keep going for as long as I can, then go back and rewrite the part that was terrible. Prose never comes out perfectly formed so, to me, good writing is rewriting. Also, b) it can help to read or watch something that you love, and think is good, to inspire you. After you’ve done that something interesting usually occurs which will pull you out of the slump.

I think your book covers are great – the explosion on Combustion definitely attracts the male species (my husband for example though he’s not a reader, I’m trying to get him there yet!) but I’m finding it hard to sell to my girlfriends.  What would you say to appeal to the female readers who would normally walk pass the exploding cover at the shops?

I’m so glad you like the covers but I can not take any credit for them! Covers are absolutely the domain of the publisher and they have very specific ideas about what does and does not work for the readers they are targeting. I can throw in the occasional idea but that’s about it. All I can say to people is don’t judge a book by it’s cover, or back cover blurb for that matter. Open it up, read the prose and see if you are excited by the writing and engaged with the characters, then make a decision on whether the story is worth your time. Good writing can make any subject interesting.

Please share with us the man behind the Author Steve Worland (eg. What defines you as a person, what are you like at home / at your most comfortable zones, what do you do when you’re angry, etc)

Like so many White Anglo Saxon Protestants I’m defined by my work! My wife has been able to beat a bit of that out of me over the years, as has my daughter, but I’m definitely a guy who loves work. I have to really psych myself up for vacations and holidays, though I’m getting better at it. To relax my wife and daughter enjoy action adventure movies as much as I do so we try to see one a week if possible. I love to read but when you’re writing all the time you want to get away from it if you have a little time off. Having said that, I am reading, and enjoying, ‘Telegraph Road’ at the moment. The TV shows my wife and I watch tend to have great writing — ‘Mad Men’, ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Dexter’, ‘Modern Family’, ‘Downton Abbey’, ‘True Blood’, ‘The Killing’ and a pair of fantastic new ones called ‘Ray Donovan’ and ‘Banshee’. I don’t actually get upset very often, more often with myself if I don’t do something as well as I think I can.

What are your 3 greatest fears?

Making sure my family is healthy and happy is the most important single thing in my life. After that, making sure I live up to my potential is something I do think about now and then. And finally, I do despair for the fate of the planet on occasion, so I try to do my bit to make it better whenever possible.

A quick fun one – can we get a picture of the view from your office where you write? Or a view of your office?

I do write in my office occasionally, but now, with the advent of mobile devices and the ‘cloud’, I can write anywhere and everywhere, and that often means while waiting to pick children up after activities. Having said that here’s a pic from my office window. You can just see the Harbour Bridge in the distance!

worland office***Soooo totally jealous of this view!!!***

Thank you so much for your time, Steve!  For sharing a bit about yourself and your writing with us. You can find Steve at: website, goodreads, twitter, and facebook.

combustionAs mentioned at the beginning of the post, Steve is kindly providing a signed copy of his new release, Combustion, to giveaway here.  Check out the blurb on Goodreads and also my review.

If you’d like to enter, please leave a comment confirming your AU residence and who your ultimate bad guy is and why.

Please note: Giveaway is limited to AU only (apologies INT peeps but postage is prohibitive). Please leave your email address in the form where it is required but not in the body of your comment.  I will draw the winner next week (midday of Sat, 17 August 2013 – Sydney time).

Review: Combustion

combustionCombustion by Steve Worland

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Source: eCopy via Netgalley courtesy of Penguin Books Australian

After the action-packed Velocity (Worland’s debut), the beginning feels slow. Understandably so, however, as Combustion is set approximately a year after Velocity. The main characters’ current situations and the new set of baddies need to be set up prior to the action taking off. In Velocity, the terrorists are avenging personal injury whilst with Combustion, they are seeking to ‘save the world’ (albeit punishing it by destruction) from environmental threats. It was an interesting sci-fi / speculative twist to the method of punishment.

About 25% into the book though, BAM!

Explosions left, right, and centre –everywhere you turn your eyes

Buildings are collapsing

Cars, trucks, planes crashing, blowing up

“…looks like a war zone.”

I couldn’t stop reading and I couldn’t read fast enough! It was jam-packed with actions, friendship, and humour. I just loved the pairing of Judd Bell and Corey Purchase – a true friendship forged in fire again and again. They work well together in saving each other and the world. But most of all, their humorous interaction in-between the suspense was a great tool of relief (my tense shoulders are thankful for the short breaks).

[Corey] ‘Jesuschwepppes.’
[Judd] ‘You know it’s Jesus wept, right? As in, “boo hoo, I’m having a tear”, not Schweppes as in, “Thank you, Stephan, I’ll have another gin and tonic”.’
‘Are you sure?’
‘One hundred per cent.’
Corey’s not at all convinced.

There really wasn’t enough room for character growth amongst all the action but amazingly, there were! Of course, with life-changing experiences such as these will not leave anyone unchanged, especially in their appreciation of life and loved ones. Whilst at times, I had to suspend my disbelief that an astronaut and a helicopter pilot from woop woop (for the non-Aussies, woop woop is something like ‘middle of nowhere’) came to save the world twice over, I really had so so MUCH fun reading this. Not that I had a hard time doing that, there was too much excitement and things were happening so fast that I really didn’t want to spare time to ponder anything else but the words in front of me. If you’re after a fast, fun, suspenseful, gripping read, this is it!

I really enjoyed Velocity a lot that it was an easy decision to pick this one up and I enjoyed this one even more! I think I’m addicted. Steve Worland had just made it to my list of always-read-author.

Coincidentally, I really just had to get this out there:
1. Really, the release date should be 27th July NOT 24th (you’ll understand if you read the epilogue);
2. Just curious, why purple?
3. What’s with the iPhones?! :p

Thank you, Steve Worland, Penguin Books Australia & Netgalley for ecopy of book


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