Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review: Tin Lily by Joann Swanson

by Donna Huber

Tin Lily
I'm excited to tell you about Tin Lily by Joann Swanson. It was such a great young adult read. You know how I love a good troubled teen novel and as a young adult I would have eaten up a novel like this. Even today as an adult I didn't want to put it down. I hate that I left it on my TBR for so long.

Lily and her mom have left her dad who has become an abusive drunk. A quite, impressionable teen of 15, Lily comes to bear a weight much too heavy for her shoulders. She witnesses the murder of her mother at her father's hand, but that's not all. I'm sure you can imagine how something like that can traumatize a child. Thankful she has a loving aunt who will do anything to help her.

Even with the dramatic opening, it is truly a lovely story of strength and love. And it isn't quite as dark as some of the stories that I read involving troubled teens. It is appropriate in both tone and reading level for its target audience.

All I wanted to do was find more time to read while reading Tin Lily. I didn't want to put it down. Not because it is suspenseful, but because Swanson creates an incredible emotional bond between to the reader and her characters. It was like hearing the story from a friend and needing to know what was happening with them.

And it isn't just the main character that you connect with. Even the minor characters that only have a few scenes in the book will steal your heart. If only there were more boys like Nick, we may see a change in the ways girls view themselves.

Tin Lily by Joann Swanson will definitely be on my "books to give as gifts" list this holiday season. But don't wait til the holidays to grab up this great read for yourself.

Buy Tin Lily at Amazon


Book info:
Available format: ebook & print (276 pages)
Published: July 2014 by Cranky Owl Books
ISBN13: 9780990345305
Genres: family saga, drama
Audience: Young adult
Source: author
Read: October 2014



Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above links. A free ebook was provided for this review.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rook: Allie's War by @jcandrijeski

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Share a couple of sentences from your current read to wet the appetite of other readers.



Rook Allie's War



In Jon's words, she was a freak magnet, and always had been. Mia Taylor, Allie's mother, once told Cass that Allie had been nearly abducted, or abducted for short periods of time, six times as a child.
Buy Rook: Allie's War at Amazon 







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Monday, October 20, 2014

Meet Melina Turner

by Heather Kirchhoff


What made you decide to start writing? Was this something you always thought you’d do?

The Deathly Roses
As a child in year 3, I found that I was above average in my writing skills and it came easy for me but I had a brilliant English teacher who saw my poetry and recommended I try out this school poetry competition - it was a worldwide primary to high school competition called ‘Write4Fun’ and I did really good and was published in a book so I was really happy with the outcome and being published at such a young age really made me want to continue. So I did. My writing helps me - whether it be a short, a poem, a novel, lyrics or a movie script - it helps me express my emotions.

How do you come up with your characters or story ideas?

It is really a random thing - I see an object in the house or something weird pops in my head and I go from there and embarrassingly enough - I google search it - see its meaning and work my characters around that. Story Ideas are mainly all original and off the top of my head - most time I wake up - snap my fingers and BAM! Another bloody idea manages to enter my head and be heard - to be honest, I have way too many ideas and usually give them out freely to those who ask.

How do you get inspired to write?

I don’t have much that inspires me - I am more of a random thinker. I thinker of an idea and then jot down the what if’s and what not’s and from there I create major twists and a plot. Every now and then someone or something will inspire me but these days it is quite rare.

What do you do while having writer's block?

What I do when I have writer’s block is simple - Most reasons why we have writer’s block is because we second guess our original story ideas. What I do is read over what I have already written for it -NOT referring to my notes and ideas - and see where inspiration will take me. Most times, when I do this I end up with something totally opposite of what I wanted but that is the fun of writing, that it can be random and surprise even the writer, and that anything goes.

What kind of stories do you write?

I write everything and anything - currently I'm working on publishing two dark fiction prose/narrative shorts and a paranormal horror short. I'm also working on a parafantasy and a mix-genre dystopian.

Who are your favorite authors?

There are many but here are a few; James Patterson, Isobelle Carmody, Janet Evanovich, Jake Bonsignore, Diana Nixon, Cornelia Funke, Heather Killough-Walden, Steig Larsson, Gladys Quintal, Carole Wilkinson, J.K. Accinni, John Marsden, Suzanne Collins, Derek Landy, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kim Harrison, COMICS and many more!

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I started primary school and am still writing  So about twelve and a half years.

What are your stories about?

One of the pieces is an introduction to a series about heroes, the paranormal undead, vengeance and morals. It is called Old Betrays and it releases 9th June. 

Another is a volume series called The Deathly-Roses. And is about a young, teenager whose parents try to marry her off to someone rich and well-known in Raverne Town. But what she doesn’t know and suddenly finds out has changed her life forever. Deciding to leave her favourite home and journey far away to find the truth - she finds more than she has bargained for. The second volume continues the journey.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on Fighting What’s Right, Pieces of Mel (Poetry Collection 1), Surrendering to the Flames and many many more

What do you do when not writing? 

When I am not writing, I am either studying my Certificate II in Animal Care which qualifies me as a Vet Nurse Assistant - hoping to reach Qualified Vet Nurse within a few years. Editing other people’s manuscripts, sketching, singing, camping, and trying to get back into playing my violin.  

Buy The Deathly Roses (Volume 1) at Amazon

About the Author

Melina Turner is an international award-winning poet and lives in Australia in a little town called Gympie. She began her writing at an extremely young age starting in primary school in year 3 when she heard about Write4Fun, a school international writing competition. Her first piece was called Wild Brumbies published in 2003 when she was in year 3. She soon after moved from Nambour to Gympie an hour away, where she was influenced by an amazing English teacher to continue writing. In 2005, when she was in year 5, she was awarded “honoured writer” for her poetry in which she continued and still does. In 2013 she was awarded “Best Poet of 2012” and put into a poetry book that is now in the Library of Congress.
After she began poetry she soon wanted to branch out thus starting The Deathly-Roses Volume 1 a flash fiction narrative-prose piece, original and first of its kind, to be published 2014. She then gapped it out and wrote Volume 2 in 2007 to be published also in 2014; the third to be written in 2014 and publish 2015. Her goal with these books (TDR Volumes) was to make it short and poetic-like to gain non-readers' interest and she believes she has done that. As of 2012, she slowly branched out and started helping co-author for an independent film company called Timothy Mitchell Films, helping with scripts for movies.
As of now she is beginning to write her first finished novel ever and working at her business as an editor and promoter for independent authors.
As of now she will be finishing her novels and aiming for traditional publishing.
Facebook Author Page  *  Twitter  *  blog  *  Goodreads


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Friday, October 17, 2014

October New Releases pt. 2


October is full to the brim with new releases. There are so many great books coming out this month that I had to break it up into 2 posts (see part 1 here). And I'm sure I'm missing some wonderful new reads, so if you have a new book out this month feel free to drop a link to it in the comments.


Stories of My Life
From her childhood in China to the moment she won her first National Book Award, literary icon Katherine Paterson shares the personal stories that inspired her children’s books.

Told with her trademark humor and heart, Paterson's tales reveal details about her life from her childhood with missionary parents, to living as a single woman in Japan, to raising four children in suburban Maryland with her minister husband. Read about the origins of such familiar characters as Leslie Burke and Janice Avery from Bridge to Terabithia, and go behind the scenes to the moments Katherine found out she won her many awards. Filled with personal photos and letters, this funny, heartwarming history from a legendary writer lets fans in on the making of literary classics.

Available October 16
Buy Stories of My Life at Amazon


Shopaholic to the Stars
Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) has stars in her eyes. She and her daughter, Minnie, have joined husband Luke in LA—city of herbal smoothies, multimillion-dollar yoga retreats, and the lure of celebrity. Luke is there to help manage the career of famous actress Sage Seymour—and Becky is convinced she is destined to be Sage’s personal stylist, and go from there to every A-list celebrity in Hollywood! But things become complicated when Becky joins the team of Sage’s archrival. How will charming and supportive Luke deal with this conflict? Is it possible that what Becky wants most will end up hurting those she loves most? Shopaholic fans old and new will devour Sophie Kinsella’s newest adventure!

Available October 21
Buy Shopaholic to the Stars at Amazon


Until the End
The backstory that fans have been clamoring for—how Rock and Trisha fell in love—is the final installment in the Sea Breeze series from New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines. And don’t miss the sizzling Epilogue, where Abbi wraps up all the Sea Breeze couples’ stories!

Trisha Corbin always knew how to hide a bruise. With her momma’s boyfriends unable to keep their hands off of her, she had no choice. And as long as it meant the guys wouldn’t go near her little brother, Krit, it was worth it. But her days of dreaming that Prince Charming would ever come rescue her are far, far in the past.

Rock Taylor always had a plan. Through football, he would rise above the life he was born into. A full ride to play for a major college team was within his reach—assuming he didn’t let anything get in his way. But scoring a date with the hottest girl in Sea Breeze was proving harder than expected. Trisha Corbin was every man’s walking fantasy, and she wouldn’t even glance his way. 

When Rock finally does get Trisha in his truck, it isn’t for a date. It’s because he picks her up on the side of the road, beaten and bruised and walking to the local hospital. Before Rock knows it, football is no longer his life. Trisha Corbin is. And he’ll do anything to save her. And keep her.

In addition to Rock and Trisha’s love story, this special novel contains the wrap-up stories of all your favorite Sea Breeze couples: Sadie and Jax, Marcus and Low, Cage and Eva, Preston and Amanda, Jess and Jason, Krit and Blythe, and Dewayne and Sienna.

Available October 28
Buy Until the End at Amazon


AD 30
A sweeping epic set in the harsh deserts of Arabia and ancient Palestine.

A war that rages between kingdoms on the earth and in the heart.

The harrowing journey of the woman at the center of it all.

Step back in time to the year of our Lord...A.D. 30.

The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father's warriors--Saba who speaks more with is sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars. Their journey will be fraught with terrible danger. If they can survive the vast forbidding sands of a desert that is deadly to most, they will reach a brutal world subjugated by kings and emperors. There Maviah must secure an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews. 

But Maviah's path leads her unexpectedly to another man. An enigmatic teacher who speaks of a way in this life which offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, his may be the only way for Maviah to save her people--and herself.

Available October 28
Buy A.D. 30 at Amazon


Kate Kavanagh is happy raising her daughter until the girl transfers to New York for a fantastic job and moves in with her philandering father ….

Madeline Stein is a single Mom whose job defines her so when she loses it, Maddy needs to find something or someone else for fun ….

Portia Kavanagh hits New York with a bang but when she bites the Big Apple, it bites back… 

The three girls find themselves in the very romantic hills of Tuscany where blue skies, rich wine and charming Italians bring a whole new set of problems which they have to maneuver with the grace and style of a Lincoln Lady. With more ups and downs than a Florentine fairground, the women survive love, loss and fresh pasta by laughing at life and using a doggie bag. Come on an adventure and enjoy the ride with the lovely Lincoln Ladies.

Available October 30
Buy Lincoln Ladies at Amazon


So what have I missed? List/link to other new releases in the comments.


Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above links.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Participating in Book Blog Memes

by Donna Huber

Since I found this book blog meme directory a few weeks ago I've been trying a few out. Memes can be a great way to get inspiration for posts, increase traffic and comments to your blog, and expose your blog to new readers. Yet, memes can be time consuming, lead to lower quality posts, and cause a high bounce rate. Keeping the good and bad in mind I have worked on a strategy to enhance the positives and limit the negatives.

One, tried different memes

By looking over the list from the meme directory, I identified several I had not participated in before (or had not participated in for a while) and I could easily plan ahead to add into my scheduled posts. I used It's Monday! What are you reading?; First Chapter, First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros; WWW Wednesdays; Book Beginnings on Friday; and the Friday 56. By participating new to me memes I gained exposure to a new audience of bloggers. I recognized a few bloggers, but for the most part this was our first encounter with each other. I have gained new followers on Twitter and Google+.

Two, used different days and limited posts to one or two memes a week.

As I chose memes that were tied to a specific day of the week it helped to vary which memes I did each week. And limiting how many memes I did each week so that my readers wouldn't think "another meme" (said in that bored teenager voice). If you have ever participated in a blog meme you know one of the expectations is to visit other participating blogs and leaving comments. Again, if I did a meme each day of the week then I would be leaving a LOT of comments. I struggle to visit 10 blogs and leave comments a week, I wouldn't have time to do my own blogging (not to mention my other life commitments) if I did a meme every day and had to visit all those blogs. Even only doing 1 a week I don't always get to all the blogs participating, though I always shoot to visit the ones that visit my blog as well as 10 other participating bloggers.

Three, paired the meme with a review.

The Tuesday and Friday memes most lent themselves to being paired with a review. By pairing them with some of my regular content, the new visitors get a look at what my blog has to offer without having to sift through past posts. Yes, this means that my bounce rate may increase because they only have to visit the one post. But the time spent on the site might be a longer as they read through the review and not just the meme. It also increases the quality (presumably) of the post. It also looks good to the author/publisher that people are leaving comments on the post. I would like to branch out to pairing a meme with a guest post. Word of caution though, I don't want to stray too far from the spirit of the meme. I don't want to seem like I'm just using the meme to draw numbers to my blog or bringing visitors here under false pretenses. That is why I used the excerpt memes (book beginnings, The Friday 56) because added excerpts and teasers to a review enhances a review for those coming to the post for the review and it gives those coming for the post for the teasers a little more info on the book, which makes it easier to write a comment.

If you are interested in doing a meme/guest post pairing, let me know. I'm also looking for guest posts (Top 10 list, article, or interview) for a Halloween themed week. So any horror or supernatural/paranormal thriller authors interested should also send me an email.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review: Anabel Divided by Amanda Romine Lynch

by Claire Rees

I was so excited to get Anabel Divided by Amanda Romine Lynch that as soon as it downloaded to my Kindle I opened it up straight away and started reading.  I was glued to my seat by the end of the second page and have now become slightly obsessed with the lives of Anabel and Jared.  

This book starts a few years after Anabel Unraveled ends, Anabel, Matt and Jared have moved to Florida where Anabel has chosen to go to college and try to live a normal college life. But Anabel being Anabel will never have a normal life. Her feelings for Jared once again leave her feeling confused and come between Anabel and Matt causing a lot of heart break in their relationship.  Anabel seems quite happy at college and seems to be doing well in her classes and with Jared living so close and able to see Emma on a regular basis things seem to be going well, until we learn that Matt was unable to get a job close to home and had to move away for work and his jealousy starts to cause problems.

With Anabel trying to juggle college, her daughter Emma, Jared and her failing relationship with Matt, this is once again a highly emotional story that kept me captivated from the first chapter.

We see some old characters making appearances, Meghan and Kevin’s wedding was lovely,  but we also get to meet some new characters, friends of Anabel’s from college, and her new professors and I felt it was nice for Anabel to lead somewhat of a normal life and have people other than Jared and Matt to talk to.

Again Anabel Divided is full to the brim with emotion.  Plus with Anabel getting into all sorts of trouble, this story will definitely keep you entertained and begging for more in the life of Anabel and Jared. This is one of those books that I would love to see get turned into a tv series. I feel that Lynch writes the characters and storylines so well that by the end of the book you can’t help but feel invested in the characters and you will love them, good or bad.  

I would recommend this to all who love a good love story, with its ups and downs and life lessons included. It will make you laugh, cry and scream out loud in frustration at the characters but at the end it will turn into a series you will love.

Buy Anabel Divided at Amazon



Book Info
Available formats: ebook and print (276 pages)
Published: October 2014 by eLectio Publishing
ISBN13: 978-1632130563
Genres: chicklit, romance
Audience: New adult
Source: Author
Read: October 2014







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Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link. A free ebook was provided for this review.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review: Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli

by Donna Huber


First Chapter, First Paragraph is a weekly meme hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea.

Glow

First Chapter, First Paragraph

No matter what trouble he stirs up, what law he breaks, Obidiah Bounds will always be her cool sip of hyssop nectar on a sunny day. Mia knew Obidiah was hers the first time she laid eyes on him. She had to be about three, which would have made him five. You could call it puppy love, a crush, good old infatuation, but the feeling has never died. He didn't start out dark and broody, prone to gloominess on the clearest of blue-sky days. He was shy as a youth, that's true, but he was not angry - not at that age. That's the thing about knowing someone your entire life. You have a common history; it binds, provides a depth that new friendships, new loves, can never create. It lets two folks be in the room together without having to explain their silences. Or their passions.


The Review

In my effort to dwindle down my review pile,  I picked up Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli. I wasn't sure what I would think about the book. It is billed for fans of The Help, but I didn't really care all that much for the audio book or movie. But Glow featured an 11 year old girl and I though maybe I would like it a bit more.

"A bit more" would be an understatement. I really enjoyed Glow, which is saying a lot for being southern fiction.

I do have to say that there wasn't so much of a plot to the story and I think that might be what I liked the most. It was like when you sit around at a family reunion and people get to telling stories and a mention on one person in a story leads you to another story further back and so forth. It was fun to see how everyone was connected and a look at the life of minorities from the sixties back into the 1800s. And it wasn't just blacks and slaves, but also the Native American population. And in true southern legend fashion there is even a bit of the supernatural thrown in.

I'm not so sure about the ending. I hate to admit but I don't think I understood what happened. Or maybe it is because what I think might have happen is not the end I wanted so it is more disbelief that misunderstanding. Have you read Glow? If so, let me know so I can you what you think happened.

If you are a fan of oral histories, family sagas, historical fiction, southern lit, then you will want to pick up Glow by Jessica Maria Tucelli.

Buy Glow at Amazon


Book Info
Available formats: ebook, audio, print (336 pages)
Published: February 2013 by Penguin Books
ISBN13: 9780143122920
Genres: historical fiction, southern lit
Audience: adult
Source: publisher
Read: September 2014



Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link. A free paperback was provided for this review.

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