Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Review & Interview / Mark of the Dragon by Bill Morgan & M.R. Polish @_MRPolish_

Title: Mark of the Dragon (Mysts of Santerrian)
Authors: Bill Morgan & M.R. Polish
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Length: 261 pages
Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy

Book Description

In a land of warriors and dragons, everything is going to change... Countries are divided and war is raging, but none of that matters to Andra. She knows deep down that she is destined to be a dragon rider. There has never been a woman rider, but that doesn’t matter to Andra either. After her father's death, she trains harder than any man to be a worthy candidate. Even when the Aquastrian leader wants her dead, she fights back. Can she overcome traveling hundreds of miles on foot, surviving hunger, bandits, assassins and wild carnivores? Liam is just another warrior who hopes he is worthy of the Mark of the Dragon. He must endure the long trek from Aquastra to Santerrian and avoid all people and especially those who may be hired to kill him. Meeting Andra along the way changes everything. He fights to help her and kills to protect her, but will it be enough to get them both to their dragons before it's too late?

Review By 

As a Dragon lover, I was very eager to read this epic story of dragons and their riders!
It is the first book in the series so there is a good bit of back story that is told before you get to the action. With out it you wouldn't get a full understanding of what is going on. I felt that the story was well written. It kept me up many nights wanting to read just one more or maybe ten more pages before my eyes forced me to sleep. I enjoyed each character's personalities and their feelings were realistic. I couldn't pick a favorite among them as I liked each one for different reasons. Great humor, action and of course DRAGONS...There isn't any sex scenes but there is the implications of it a couple times in the story. I would recommend reading it and making a decision on whether you want to let your child read it. I personally wouldn't see a problem with my 13y reading it.
I love the cover and fits the story wonderfully!
The Father & Daughter writing pair did a great job creating this story and I very much look forward to the next book!

Book Links

Interview with Bill Morgan

What was it like writing this book with your daughter?
 This was one of the most wonderful things I have done in my life.  It is hard to describe it, but being able to do this together was very rewarding and it helped us become closer than we had been for years.  Getting to see into her mind as we developed the story was amazing and the more we worked together, the more I realized how truly gifted she is.  I was very blessed the day she asked me to write with her.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
 Riding the dragons of course.  Oh wait, you said REAL life.  Well, there is one scene where Terrax is trying to tell the council about how much he hates politics and how useless the council has been.  I have done something very similar to that once.  The rest is all imagination.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?  
I am new to this whole writing thing and I did rely heavily on M. R.’s help initially so a mentor is hard to pinpoint.  I guess I would have to split this decision between David Eddings and Anne McCaffrey.  Both of them have influenced my imagination and consequently, my writing.
What book are you reading now? 
I just finished a month long trip where I had no time to read anything, but I am actually getting ready to read The Never by Kristina Circelli, followed by The Sword and the Dragon , book one of The Wardstone Trilogy by M. R. Mathias
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? 
There are many (though some may not be new, just new to me).  Since M. R. introduced me to so many of her friends who are authors, I have begun reading a few YA and paranormal books, simply because I have grown to respect so many of the authors.  They are selfless and caring and they constantly support each other.  They aren’t my normal reads, but I am willing to buy one of their books and give them a try anyway since they are such wonderful people.  Just a few that come to mind off the top of my head include Kristina Circelli of course as mentioned above, Amy Jones, Sarah Ashley Jones, Shadow Stevens, Cameo Renae, Ashley Lavering, Carol Kohnert Kunz and a whole bunch of others.  Hope to get to them all in the next year. 
What are your current projects? 
Of course, we are working on book two in the Mysts of Santerrian series, though we haven’t nailed down the title yet.  I am also working on a sci-fi book called Terra Too that started out as a NaNoWriMo book.  I am about 70% done with that but Mysts takes precedence right now.
Do you ever experience writer’s block? If yes, how do you get past it? 
Of course I do.  I think if anyone ever says they don’t occasionally have a little writer’s block, they are either kidding themselves or they don’t understand what it means.  I usually just have to stop trying to write and get away from the book for a bit.  If it is bad, I usually can take a long drive with a good CD in the radio and something usually comes to me.  I always 
think a lot on long drives.  That recent 5,000 mile trip gave me lots of inspiration.
Do you write an outline before every book you write?
 Not every time.  I had no outline for Terra and it is going well, but I found that it is easier to keep moving if you do have an outline.  M. R. and I like to do outlines and it helps us to divide the scenes.
Do you have any advice for other writers? 
That is tough for me to say since I still don’t feel like I am anything special.  I do know one thing though.  If you want to be a writer, you need to keep at it and grow a thick skin.  Some of the greatest growth you will ever have will come from criticism, and we ask for it all the time.  We ask for reviews and we put our stories out there for anyone who wants to read them.  People will encourage, but they will also criticize so you need to prepare yourself for that, and look at it as a way to grow instead of a disappointment.
Do you have a day job as well? 
Nothing regular.  As many people already know, I retired from the Coast Guard after twenty years and now I do occasional consulting work, but it is very sporadic.  Mostly I just work on our house and write or read when I can.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change? 
The only thing I would change would have been to start it sooner.  M. R. had asked me for help trying to work out a storyline with dragons, and we went back and forth for a time before she finally just asked me to co-write it.  I just wish I would have suggested it sooner or that she had asked sooner. 
What song/s would you say is the best fit for this book? 
Don’t laugh, but I think Standing Outside the Fire by Garth Brooks fits the attitude of this book.  Maybe I just know a little more about where the series goes, but anyway, there you have it.
Cat or Dog?  
Both…  We have two dogs and one cat, and I like them all the same, even when they are a pain in the neck.
80’s or 90’s Music?  
I like almost all types of music.  I like to say I like Beethoven to Bon Jovi and everything in between, but if I had to choose, I would say 80’s music over 90’s.
What is the first thing that comes to mind:
Fire-  Water
Monday-  Manic
Candy-  Chocolate
Fruit-  Nuts
Red-  Red Wine (Bob Marley)
Mood-  ring
If you could be any Paranormal creature, what would you be? 
There are many good options here.  Picking one would be hard.  I like the magic of a Warlock, the strength of a vampire, and the just plain awesomeness of a werewolf, so I guess I would be a “WereVampLock”.  I am a fiction writer so I guess it’s okay to make one up, right?
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
 I don’t think I have any fans yet, but readers, definitely.  The first thing that comes to my mind is thanks.  If you are reading, read, or even plan to read our book, that is awesome and thank you very much.  It is amazing to be able to share our story with others and I hope you like it.  Without readers, writers are just people with strange imaginations.  Well, I have a strange imagination at least.  Read on…

Interview with M.R. Polish
What was it like writing this book with your father?
It was some of the best fun I’ve ever had. Honestly, it was the best experience. I learned a lot about him and myself through the process and had an even deeper respect grow out of it for him.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
You mean besides riding dragons with my dad? Psssh… of course it was real! The scenes may not be real based off me, but the emotions come from somewhere deep inside. I think to write a good book you need to pull from your own to make it believable.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Gosh, that is a strong question. I have my favorite authors, and I am not sure mentor wise who it would be, but I would like to think that indie authors who paved the way before me have left me with a part of them. I look up to my dad for sure, even in writing, he is utterly one of the most educated and wisest people I’ve ever known. His imagination and writing skills have helped me tremendously and I don’t think I’d be where I am without him.
What book are you reading now?
I actually just finished reading a book I edited by Starla Huchton about superheros, and let me just say that was AWESOME. I have a book hangover….
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
There are so many, but Sarah Ashley Jones just had her debut book release this year and it rocked. I’m not a huge contemporary reader but hers really sucked me in. There are so many new and aspiring authors, I am afraid of naming them and missing anyone lol.  Starla Huchton might not be a NEW author but she is new to me and I was sucked in with that one book, so I’d say her as well.
What are your current projects?
I am currently finishing up Change of Possession a romantic suspense stand alone novel. I am also getting things ready to take off on Endless Shores and also the third and final book in the Wolf Trilogy. I have also endeavored in spot writing, or fill writing (When I can’t get my brain to focus on my other projects lol) on another paranormal. Then of course, I am working with my dad to work on the second book in the Mysts of Santerrian Series because I need my dragons!
Do you ever experience writer’s block? If yes, how do you get past it?
Yes! Ugh… it is evil. When I get it I write on something else, like I said above, or I play lots of music and get off the computer. Usually the muse will find me again, like in the shower or somewhere I can’t write anything down. Just my doing something like dishes my brain starts to think again and I can go back to writing.
Who designed the cover?
Jeanette Mathews
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up, keep trying. My favorite advice, and you’ll know what I’m about to say if you follow me or are involved in any of my writing challenges that I host for authors…. YOU CAN DO IT!
Do you have a day job as well?
I am a mom of four kiddos, that is a job in itself lol. I am also a wife to a supportive husband… but other than that, writing is my job.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
This one, no. I love that I was able to do it all with my dad and we were able to do this journey together. I love everything about it.
What song/s would you say is the best fit for this book?
Well, I listen to music for each book I write and have specific playlists. Each song has a feel or a mood to set the scene in a book. I not only love the song, but it was on repeat for 90% of the time while I wrote: Come Away to the Water by Maroon 5, it really set a mood for me to use with Andra and Liam and the dragons.
Cat or Dog?
80’s or 90’s Music?
What is the first thing that comes to mind:
Fire-Men J
Red-Riding Hood
If you could be any Paranormal creature, what would you be?
A witch!
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, through all my spellbooks, and to the top of my unicorn’s horn, THANK YOU!

About the Author

M.R. Polish was born in Idaho, a long, long, long, well, maybe not that long time ago.... Writing has always been there for her. Growing up, her mind was filled with stories, some she shared and others she filed away to write down later in life. It wasn't until 2011 that she decided to publish her stories for everyone to enjoy. Her first award, and when writing became more than just an idea, was in the 5th grade. She won the scary story contest for the school newspaper. It is one story she still has tucked away for memories. Her teacher told her she could be anything she wanted and that she had a talent for writing, being creative and drawing people into her stories. M.R. took that to heart and continued to write, although mostly in secret until recent years. Now you can find her enjoying life with her family - wrangling her four kids, setting traps in the house with toys for unsuspecting victims (aka, her husband) and writing down all her crazy and fun stories. "Life is too short to stand by and watch everyone else live your dreams. The bigger the dream, the bigger the adventure!" ~ M.R. Polish  Bill Morgan is M.R.’s dad, and if she was born that long ago, You all should shudder at how long ago he was born. He has always been creative. As an amateur artist and an avid woodworker, he always could see the hidden beauty in a blank piece of paper or a piece of wood. He joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1986 and spent twenty years saving lives and serving his country. He always had stories running around in his head, but he never tried to put them onto paper until M.R. convinced him to do this book with her. Now he is actively writing two additional sci-fi/fantasy novels. Hopefully she hasn’t created a monster. Bill’s favorite thing is his family. He has a wonderful wife, two adult daughters, four sisters, and more wonderful nieces and nephews than you can believe. His last count was over one hundred and he loves them all. One of his favorite quotes comes from a movie, but it applies to writing a fictional novel as well: “Don’t know where we’re going, but there’s no sense in being late.” ~Mathew Quigley

Author Links


  1. This was so much fun. Reading this and both interviews made me smile! Thank you so much!

  2. Thanks to M.R. Polish for mentioning me in the interview! Working on the cover for Mark of the Dragon was a great deal of fun and I was so proud to have been part of this. :)


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