Monday, August 3, 2015

New Releases: August 2015

Get your wish lists ready there are a ton of great looking books coming out this month. What will you be reading first?

cover The Truth about Lies
The enemy is bent on enticing us to enjoy the gifts of this world while making the Giver optional or irrelevant in our quest for life. But what if in God's purposes, temptation is not merely an obstacle to overcome but an opportunity to flourish in faith?

Tim Chaddick believes our greatest temptation is to act independently from God. In The Truth about Lies, Chaddick reveals how Jesus' wilderness temptations serve as a field guide for understanding our own temptations, why God allows them, and the role they play in who we will ultimately become.

Available August 1
Buy The Truth about Lies at Amazon

cover Rome In Love
From the author of LAKE COMO comes the story of a young actress who lands the lead in a film that is shooting in Rome, bringing about difficult life choices, new friendships, and a chance at love.

When Amelia Tate is cast to play the Audrey Hepburn role in a remake of Roman Holiday, she feels as if all her dreams have come true. She has a handsome boyfriend, is portraying her idol in a major motion picture, and gets to live in beautiful Rome for the next two months.

Once there, she befriends a young woman named Sophie with whom she begins to explore the city. Together, they discover all the amazing riches that Rome has to offer. But when Amelia’s boyfriend breaks up with her over her acting career, her perfect world begins to crumble.

While moping in her hotel suite, Amelia discovers a stack of letters written by Audrey Hepburn that start to put her own life into perspective. Then, she meets Philip, a handsome journalist who is under the impression that she is a hotel maid, and it appears as if things are finally looking up. The problem is she can never find the right time to tell Philip her true identity. Not to mention that Philip has a few secrets of his own. Can Amelia finally have both the career and love that she’s always wanted, or will she be forced to choose again?

With her sensory descriptions of the beautiful sites, decadent food, and high fashion of Rome, Hughes draws readers into this fast-paced and superbly written novel. Rome in Love will capture the hearts of readers everywhere.

Available August 4
Buy Rome in Love at Amazon

cover Public Enemies
In Book 2 of the Immortal Game trilogy, Edie must learn the rules of the game . . . and then play better than anyone else.

Through a Faustian bargain, Edie Kramer has been pulled into the dangerous world of the Immortal Game, where belief makes your nightmares real. Hungry for sport, fears-made-flesh are always raising the stakes. To them, human lives are less than nothing, just pieces on a board.

Because of her boyfriend Kian's sacrifice, she's operating under the mysterious Harbinger's aegis, but his patronage could prove as fatal as the opposition. Raw from deepest loss, she's terrified over the deal Kian made for her. Though her very public enemies keep sending foot soldiers--mercenary monsters committed to her destruction--she's not the one playing under a doom clock. Kian has six months...unless Edie can save him. And this is a game she can't bear to lose.

Available August 4
Buy Public Enemies at Amazon

cover Jack Templar and the Lord of the Demons
With two of the Jerusalem Stones in hand, Jack and his friends must race the clock to find the remaining Stones as Ren Lucre's Creach forces gather strength. With two of their group now with Creach blood flowing in their veins, the team will be tested as never before. They must unite together if they have any hope of surviving their journey to the Underworld and their battle with the vicious Lord of the Demons. The fate of the entire world hangs in the balance.

Available August 4
Buy Jack Templar and the Lord of the Demons at Amazon

cover Life in Community

When people live in community moved by the gospel and marked by the Spirit, great things happen.

They commit to one another. They grieve together, sing together, eat, pray, and play together. They love, serve, honor, encourage, and provide for each other gladly. And they live on mission together.

Hearts are healed, walls come down, and outsiders come in. No competition. No pretense. No vain conceit. Just full hearts breaking bread and giving freely.

It is nothing short of amazing.

Most of us live in a shadow of what God intended for us. Life in Community calls us into the light. Reclaiming Scripture's stunning vision of gospel-centered community, it inspires us to live in love unbounded. Read it, live it, and join the movement: Help unleash the power of extraordinary community.

6-Week group study included.

Available August 4
Buy Life in Community at Amazon

cover The Collector
In the merciless microcosm of Paris art auctions and galleries, some people collect pre-Colombian statuettes, while others, like Marion Spicer, collect trouble. When she inherits a prestigious art collection from the father she never knew, her problems start. In order to come into possession of her inheritance, she must first find three priceless works of art, a quest that draws her into a world where people will kill for a love of beauty.

Available August 11
Buy The Collector at Amazon

cover Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes

Who cut off Medusa's head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy, ( I've had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I'm going to tell you about were the original old school hard luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. . .) and enhanced with vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan's legions of devoted fans--and for anyone who needs a hero. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you've got arrows in your quiver. We're going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we'll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let's do this.

Available August 18
Buy Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes at Amazon

cover Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good
A delicious new memoir from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry

A family history peppered with recipes, Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good offers a humorous and flavorful tale spanning three generations as Kathleen Flinn returns to the mix of food and memoir readers loved in her New York Times bestseller, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. Brimming with tasty anecdotes about Uncle Clarence’s divine cornflake-crusted fried chicken, Grandpa Charles’s spicy San Antonio chili, and Grandma Inez’s birthday-only cinnamon rolls, Flinn—think Ruth Reichl topped with a dollop of Julia Child—shows how meals can be memories, and how cooking can be communication. Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good will inspire readers (and book clubs) to reminisce about their own childhoods—and spend time in their kitchens making new memories of their own.

Available August 25
Buy Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good at Amazon

cover Until Friday Night
To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

Available August 25
Buy Until Friday Night at Amazon

cover Breakout
All hell is breaking loose in the edge-of-your-seat follow-up to Havoc and Perdition from New York Times bestselling author Ann Aguirre…

The prison ship Perdition has become a post-battle charnel house with only a handful of Dred’s soldiers still standing and now being hunted by Silence’s trained tongueless assassins. Forging an uneasy alliance with mercenary commander Vost—who is their only chance at escape—the Dread Queen will do whatever it takes to end her life sentence on Perdition and keep the survivors alive long enough to cobble together a transport capable of getting them off station.

If Dred and her crew can win the deadly game of cat and mouse, the payoff is not only life but freedom—a prize sweeter than their wildest dreams. Yet the sadistic Silence would rather destroy Perdition than let a single soul slip from her grasp…

Available August 25
Buy Breakout at Amazon

cover Point Blank
The women of Fern Michaels’ New York Times bestselling Sisterhood series are beloved for bringing justice to strangers in need. And when one of their own needs help, that loyalty and commitment goes double…

Nothing compares to the bond between Sisters—except perhaps the special brotherhood between some of their menfolk. Nikki’s husband, Jack Emery, and Yoko’s partner, Harry Wong, have forged a deep friendship over the years. So when Jack awakens one night, knowing in his bones that Harry’s in trouble, he immediately rushes to Harry’s dojo.

Harry, pacing like a lion, has received a phone call from his old schoolmate Jun Yu in China. Both were educated at a Shaolin temple—the same temple where Harry’s daughter, Lily, is now a student. But Jun Yu has had to vacate the temple urgently. He’s managed to get his son out, but Lily is missing. And now Jun is trusting Harry to guard the most precious things in his life—his wife Ling and their two children, whom he has smuggled to America.

While long-time ally Pearl Barnes whisks Ling and her children to safety via her underground railroad, the Sisters and their allies head to the war room to make plans. Finding Lily is a top priority, and Kathryn’s partner, Bert Navarro, comes up with a way for the group to travel to China. They’ll go to Macau, nicknamed “the Monte Carlo of the Orient,” on the pretext of opening a casino there. But what will they find once they reach their destination? Can they hope to rescue Lily when the enemy has the home advantage…and the will to kill? The odds are stacked against them, but when the Sisterhood is involved, you can always bet on the underdog…

Available August 25
Buy Point Blank at Amazon

Covers and description from Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The White Thread #ReadAlong & #Giveaway: Chapters 1 - 6 @KBHoyle_author

by Donna Huber

The White Thread
We are starting on The White Thread (book 3 of The Gateway Chronicles) today. Chapter wise this book is a little shorter and there are 5 Sundays in August so we will only be reading 6 chapters each week.

Once, again, I'm reading a previous edition so there may be a few differences in it from the one you can pick up at Amazon.

I think the reason I didn't remember the beginnings of the previous two books being slow is because starting with The White Thread the story moves quickly from the first page. This is also the first book were we get to see a little bit about Sam's, Lewis's, and Darcy's time at school. Do you think Brandon Cooper really likes Darcy and is picking on her in that silly immature boy way?

Ooh. Colin Mackaby is missing. Did he run away or is he stuck in some other world?

Cool vocabulary word alert!

I feel bad for Darcy as it seems like her and her dad's relationship is a bit strained this year. Their interaction at the end of chapter 1 is almost difficult to read because they always seemed to be so close.

What do you think of Darcy and Perry's developing relationship?

I can't help but roll my eyes at the opening to chapter 2.
It truly was a magical land of opportunities, a land where Darcy could shed the teasing and the heartache of the school year and become an entirely different personality. It was a place where reality was turned on its end and Darcy became, not the teased girl living with the outcasts on the margins of society, but a girl who was desired by a boy who was, not a prince, but a star athlete and the object of more than one girl's attentions. page 17
If you haven't intently read K. B. Hoyle's blog or read her interviews, you may not know that one of Hoyle's favorite books to teach to her students is The Histories of Herodotus, which she gives a little shout out to in chapter 2. Have read it? I haven't. I actually had never heard of it until I read this series.

Is Darcy changing into a tsellodrin? Are you as freaked out as Darcy when she saw her blood? What would happen if she did change all the way while still in her world? People would totally freak out.

At least she finally confided in Sam.

You may know that the six friends are somewhat based on the group of friends Hoyle made at camp. There was a boy that all the girls crushed on, much like Perry. I wonder if the boy of Hoyle's childhood had a bad haircut one summer or if it was purely her dislike of a current trend.

Do you think Darcy is obsessing over Colin? Or are the rest of them not taking it seriously enough?

After the encounter in the woods they are all anxious to get to Alitheia. The past two years they have gone through at the same time and it looks like they won't be able to get through early. It is interesting that Darcy feels compelled to beseech Pateros to open the Gateway early. I think there may be some importance to it. I mean, Pateros could have just opened the Gateway without Darcy asking. Or Darcy could have thought of it of her own accord. But she does it without thinking and it says she doesn't know what compelled her to do it.

So they are through the Gateway, but things are...different. No one is waiting for them. Even the fairies, gnomes and other creatures seem to be gone.

At least Darcy is a bit more confident this year. She stood up to Perry when she knew what they wanted to do was wrong. Too bad she couldn't talk the guys out of going whether they all went or not.

What do think about the golden circlet that formed when Darcy did her bit of air magic? A circlet is a type of ring.

And Rubidius is mad. What's new, right?

What do you think of the apparition of Tselloch?

Cool vocabulary word alert!

So things aren't so good in Alitheia. It seems like this year the six are going to have to get serious about what they are here for. Yes, "they" say the first year they were too young, too uneducated, too unskilled. The second year, Darcy's quest took them off course. But I also think "they" didn't really know what the six were suppose to do to "fix" things so they've been doing what they could in the meantime.

What do you think about Tellius fit of rage over a slur against The Six?

Darcy was getting a little ahead of herself with the whole "Your Majesty" thing from Nurse Dembe. I thought it was kind of funny. And though Tellius is only 14 he seems so much more mature. I guess it is the pressure he is under.

I like the ending to chapter 6. I can just hear Tellius saying this with a bit of smug attitude.
"Eleanor is away. I'll handle Rubidius."
Next week we'll get into swordplay and more as The Six settle back into life in Alitheia. We'll discuss chapters 7 - 12.

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

"Full of twists" ~ Follow You Home by Mark Edwards

 cover Follow You Home
It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, a final adventure before settling down.

After a perfect start, Daniel and Laura’s travels end abruptly when they are thrown off a night train in the middle of nowhere. To find their way back to civilisation, they must hike along the tracks through a forest…a haunting journey that ends in unimaginable terror.

Back in London, Daniel and Laura vow never to talk about what they saw that night. But as they try to fit back into their old lives, it becomes clear that their nightmare is just beginning…

Follow You Home is a chilling tale of secrets, lies and deadly consequences from the author of #1 bestsellers The Magpies and Because She Loves Me.

"Great thriller with lots of surprises" ~ DASchultz

"very intense" ~ Rosebud

"Intense Stephen King-like..." ~ Judith D. Collins

Buy Follow You Home at Amazon

Cover and description from Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: The Hitwoman's Act of Contrition by @JB_Lynn_author

by Donna Huber

Cover: The Hitwoman's Act of Contrition

Friday 56

My friend beamed her approval. "You might need this, but I'm not sure since you seem to have a lot angels around you."
"Angels? I asked, thinking of the man who'd changed my tire.
Ignoring me, she picked up her oversized purse and began rummaging in it. After a long moment, she triumphantly whipped something gout. "Here you go."
I stared at her offering, a slightly tarnished teaspon.
She waved it at me indicating I should take it.
Grabbing the handle, I murmured, "Ummm, thanks?"
"You're going to need it," she assured me. 56%

The Review

"You know it's going to be a bad day when a nun is giving you the evil eye."

So begins another adventure with Maggie Lee, the slightly neurotic hitwoman.

All summer I kept searching for something fun and fluffy to read. It was becoming quite the unfulfilled craving and I was getting frustrated. I remember thinking I wanted something like JB Lynn's hitwoman books. So when the 10th book in the Hitwoman series hit the shelves I gobbled it up - almost reading the entire book in one sitting.

The Hitwoman's Act of Contrition was a delightful read that would make the perfect poolside reading entertainment.

Maggie's life is crazy as usual but with the quickly approaching time of bringing her niece Katie home to care for, Maggie is almost at the end of her rope. Decisions and changes must be made. Her insane mother isn't helping any and the attack may be the last straw for Maggie's frayed nerves. So her aunt signs her up for a retreat because that's what Maggie needs - rest, relaxation, and some pampering. Unfortunately it was the flaky twin that set up this vacation. But it did have the right location - on the estate of her next hit. Speaking of location, is Maggie really leaving Insuring the Future and going to become a real estate agent? That should provide for some fun times.

If you haven't started the series yet, don't be scared away by this being the 10th book in the series (you can read this book on its own). All the books in the series are quick reads filled with laughter and tears as Maggie bumbles through life collecting a myriad of pets and people that she would kill for.

I love this conversation with Aunt Susan,
"In fact, I'm bringing a new friend home."
"How many legs does it have?" Susan asked suspiciously.
Mortified that Gladys had heard that, I felt my cheeks begin to burn. "She has two. Two legs, two arms, two eyes."
"Is it humans?" Susan asked.
Gladys chuckled.
"Yes, she's human. How else would she have two legs?" I hissed.
"Have you seen that cat of yours?" Susan replied mildly.

I don't think this has ever happened before when reading a book, but when I read the last line I heard "Dun dun da da dumm" as the ending is quite ominous and seemed to require the accompaniment of old mystery movie music.

If you are looking for some fun read for the last few weeks of summer, I highly recommend this book and the entire series!

Buy The Hitwoman's Act of Contrition at Amazon

Book info
available formats: ebook
published: July 2015
genre: cozy mystery, humor, romance
source: author
read: July 2015

A free ebook was provided for the review. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Blogging with Kids

by Donna Huber

Instilling the love of books in a child is a great accomplishment and gift. Blogging about books with a child can be rewording as well. I loved it when my niece and nephew would write reviews for me to post. They also got a kick out of having their reviews seen by the world.

If you have kids, including them on your blog can be great fun for you and the child. Depending on the age of the kids it can also provide valuable feedback to authors and readers from the target audience. There are also some things to consider in order for it to be successful. Here are my ideas and tips for including kids on your blog.

Recommendations and other lists

Your children may be too young to write their own reviews, but there are plenty of posts they can do to contribute to your blog. Book hauls and reading lists can be fun ways for your kid to show off what they are reading. Do you go to the library weekly? Have your kids put together a list of the books they picked up and then when they are done reading them have them choose their favorite book or two from that week's library haul to feature in a new post.

Similarly, during holidays or other special occasions ask them to make a list of books they want to read or are favorites. Book recommendation lists are always popular on my blog. Also it can be difficult for parents to recommend new books to their kids because they haven't had a chance to check out the newest fair.


Do you read together? When you write your review of the book ask your child what they though of it and include it. It can be something as simple as a thumbs up or thumbs down to several sentences.

If your children are old enough to write their own reviews it can be great practice in forming an opinion and supporting it. It also helps with reading comprehension as they have to recall the story. I used a questionnaire to guide my niece and nephew.

Your kid doesn't want to write? Then perhaps record their review. Most computers come with some basic software to recording audio and/or video. The child can just talk about the book or if they require a bit of prompting then you can do it interview style. If both of you read the book it might be fun to record you just chatting together about the book.

photo credit: IMG_6033.JPG via photopin (license)
Do memes

There are several memes that your kids can participate in that will make reading and blogging fun. Most of them are for general bloggers, meaning both adult and kid books are featured. But you could always make a kid friendly version of the memes. I know that there is a YA edition of It's Monday, What are you reading? Contact the blogger who hosts the meme and see if they would be interested in either making a linky for kid friendly book bloggers or if it would be okay for you to host it yourself. If they let you host it yourself they may be willing to mention it when they post the general linky for the meme.

This may have the extra benefit of your kids finding other kid bloggers to befriend. This can be good if they don't have a lot of reading friends in real life.

Think safety

I'm sure you are careful with your kid on the internet and your blog is no place to be slacking on those precautions. I never used my niece's and nephew's names. One was referred to kid who reads and the other boy who reads.

You will also need to decide how much interaction your kids will have with authors and other bloggers. My niece and nephew didn't care too much about the interaction, though my niece did like when she did an email interview with her favorite author. Even in that instance I was the go between for emailing the interview.

Have fun

The most important thing to keep in mind when blogging with kids is to have fun. If it seems like work or there's not much reward, your kids may grow tired of it and it may even make them want to stop reading all together. My niece and nephew thought it was cool when they received an ARC or was asked in particular for a review.

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Andrew Joyce: When a character shows up and asks for her story to be told

Molly Lee
My name is Andrew Joyce, and I write books for a living. Donna has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new book, MOLLY LEE. The story is a female-driven account of a young naive girl’s journey into an independent, strong woman and all the trouble she gets into along the way.

Now you may possibly be asking yourself, What is a guy doing writing in a woman’s voice? And that’s a good question. I can only say that I did not start out to write about Molly; she just came to me one day and asked that I tell her story.

Perhaps I should start at the beginning.

My first book was a 164,000-word historical novel. And in the publishing world, anything over 80,000 words for a first-time author is heresy. Or so I was told time and time again when I approached an agent for representation. After two years of research and writing, and a year of trying to secure the services of an agent, I got angry. To be told that my efforts were meaningless was somewhat demoralizing to say the least. I mean, those rejections were coming from people who had never even read my book.

“So you want an 80,000-word novel?” I said to no one in particular, unless you count my dog, because he was the only one around at the time. Consequently, I decided to show them City Slickers that I could write an 80,000-word novel!

I had just finished reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time, and I started thinking about what ever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? So I sat down at my computer and banged out REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer (2014, Amazon) in two months. Then sent out query letters to agents.

Less than a month later, the chairman of one of the biggest agencies in New York City emailed me that he loved the story. We signed a contract and it was off to the races, or so I thought. But then the real fun began: the serious editing. Seven months later, I gave birth to Huck and Tom as adults. And just for the record, the final word count is 79,914. The book went on to reach #1 status on Amazon twice, and the rest, as they say, is history.

But not quite.

My agent then wanted me to write a sequel, but I had other plans. I was in the middle of editing down my first novel (that had been rejected by 1,876,324 agents . . . or so it seemed) from 164,000 words to the present 125,000. However, he was insistent, so I started to think about it. Now, one thing you have to understand is that I tied up all the loose ends at the end of REDEMPTION, so there was no way that I could write a sequel. And that is when Molly asked me to tell her story. Molly was a character that we met briefly in the first chapter of REDEMPTION, and then she is not heard from again.

This is the description from MOLLY LEE:

Molly is about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime . . . of two lifetimes.

It’s 1861 and the Civil War has just started. Molly is an eighteen-year-old girl living on her family’s farm in Virginia when two deserters from the Southern Cause enter her life. One of them—a twenty-four-year-old Huck Finn—ends up saving her virtue, if not her life.

Molly is so enamored with Huck, she wants to run away with him. But Huck has other plans and is gone the next morning before she awakens. Thus starts a sequence of events that leads Molly into adventure after adventure; most of them not so nice.

We follow the travails of Molly Lee, starting when she is eighteen and ending when she is fifty-six. Even then Life has one more surprise in store for her.

As I had wondered whatever became of Huck and Tom, I also wondered what Molly did when she found Huck gone.

I know this has been a long-winded set up, but I felt I had to tell the backstory. Now I can move on and tell you about Molly.

As stated earlier, Molly starts out as a naive young girl. Over time she develops into a strong, independent woman. The change is gradual. Her strengths come from the adversities she encounters along the road that is her life.

With each setback, Molly follows that first rule she set against self-pity and simply moves on to make the best of whatever life throws her way. From working as a whore to owning a saloon, from going to prison to running a ranch, Molly plays to win with the cards she’s dealt. But she always keeps her humanity. She will kill to defend herself and she has no problem killing to protect the weak and preyed upon. However, when a band of Indians (for instance) have been run off their land and have nowhere else to go, Molly allows them to live on her ranch, and in time they become extended family.

This is from a review on Amazon:
A young female in nineteenth-century rural America would have needed courage, fortitude, and firm resolve to thrive in the best of circumstances. Molly Lee possesses all of these, along with an iron will and an inherent ability to read people accurately and respond accordingly.

I reckon that about sums up Molly.

I would like to say that I wrote MOLLY LEE in one sitting and everything in it is my pure genius. But that would be a lie. I have three editors (two women and one guy). They kept me honest with regard to Molly. When I made her a little too hard, they would point out that she had to be softer or show more emotion in a particular scene.

I set out to write a book where every chapter ended with a cliffhanger. I wanted the reader to be forced to turn to the next chapter. And I pretty much accomplished that, but I also wrote a few chapters where Molly and my readers could catch their collective breath.

One last thing: Everything in MOLLY LEE is historically correct from the languages of the Indians to the descriptions of the way people dressed, spoke, and lived. I spend as much time on research as I do in writing my stories. Sometimes more.

It looks as though I’ve used up my allotted word count (self-imposed), so I reckon I’ll ride off into the sunset and rustle up a little vodka and cranberry juice (with extra lime).

It’s been a pleasure,

Andrew Joyce

Buy Molly Lee at Amazon

About the author:

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written three books, and a collection of almost one hundred forty short stories that is comprised of his hitching adventures, written as veiled non-fiction called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS, and his latest novel, MOLLY LEE. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with his dog, Danny.

The views, opinions, and beliefs expressed by guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review: Hollywood Witch Hunter by Valerie Tejeda

by Donna Huber

Hollywood Witch Hunter
First Chapter, First Paragraph

There are two types of people in Hollywood: the hunted and the hunters.
Iris Maria Bently was born to be a Hunter.
She always knew her family was different. Not just because they lived in a lavish mansion in the Hollywood Hills, or because they were always rubbing elbows with the rich and famous. But because of the many secrets surrounding her family's business.
What kind of secrets exactly? Nothing she could pinpoint. Just lots of whispers behind locked doors, echoes of screams, and the occasional lifeless body marked with a silver star that would have left most children with nightmares. But not Iris.

The Review

I was looking for a fluffy read and I thought Hollywood Witch Hunter would be something my niece would read so I decided to try it for myself. Unfortunately, it a little too cheesy for me and it wound up just being a long, painful read.

It looked a little like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I loved the television show.

I was a bit concerned about the messages this book would send to impressionable girls. First, Iris is a high school drop out. Second,females in general are portrayed in less than spectacular light in this book. The witches, who are supposedly the bad "guys" are all female who are shallow, only concerned about their looks and wealth. Then there are the Hunters, who are supposedly the good guys. There has never been a female hunter until Iris. Only men have the gene to be a hunter. And finally there are the Hunter wives who are just to do the biding of their husbands.
Iris was never allowed to discuss hunter business with her mother. For the most part, her mom's knowledge of the witch-hunting world was limited. Like all Hunters' wives, she knew witches were a threat that needed to be eliminated, but not much else. If she ever learned more than was deemed necessary, she would be subjects to an Idas spell, wiping her memory clean and planting a new one.
Iris hated how often her mother's mind was altered, but Hunters' wives knew exactly what they'd gotten themselves into. Apparently, they considered it an honor just to be married to a Hunter... (Chapter 4)
There were some plot inconsistencies which really caused me to be pulled out of the story. But this was an ARC so I can hope they were cleared up in the final product. The reading level was little lower than what I usually read in young adult, but I know there is a need for that.

My biggest problems though were with the characters. Their interactions felt stilted and awkward. I wish Iris had been a bit smarter. For all the "superior"genes hunters are suppose to have, intelligence isn't one of those traits. Or maybe she just has too much blind loyalty. I would have liked for her to have a defining moment of what she believed. She came close at the end, but I still think if her mom, dad, or another hunter gave her an explanation she would just go along with it. She did with Silos, Helmer, even Levana.

The plot threads felt like a jumble mess to me most of the time. I could not lose myself in the story. I'm sure there will be kids that eat this up because they will not be over thinking the story and just go with it at face value (much like the character Iris did with everything through the story).

Buy Hollywood Witch Hunter at Amazon

Book info:
available formats: ebook (232 pages)
published: July 2015 by Bloomsbury Spark
genres: fantasy
audience: young adult
source: Netgalley

A free egalley was provided for this review. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.


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