Monday, March 2, 2015

New Releases: March 2015

Stock your shelves with these new releases

The Princess Madeline trilogy
The complete Princess Madeline series in one book.

The Escape of Princess Madeline
Madeline, princess of Soron, awakens on her sixteenth birthday to find that her father has already made preparations for her betrothal. When she disappears unexpectedly, her suitors and knight champion rush to the rescue. But all is not as it seems, and the errant princess’s flight has put the kingdom at stake…
Can Madeline find freedom or does it come with too high a price?

The Battle for Princess Madeline
Princess Madeline rejected Prince Paulsen’s advances, but he’s not about to take it lying down. In the middle of Soron’s festival preparations, when his obsession jeopardizes the kingdom, mysterious figures from the kingdom’s past arrive. Can Madeline risk accepting their help or will their information about a family secret be too much for her to handle?
Can Madeline trust anyone or will saving the kingdom come down to her own bravery?

The Dragon and Princess Madeline
Princess Madeline is ready to celebrate. With the foundation of her future in place, it seems nothing can hurt her. Then the return of a mysterious green dragon threatens her kingdom and king. Will this challenge prove to be too much for Princess Madeline and Prince Braden or will they find the answers they seek hidden in cryptic messages from the past?
Can Madeline save her kingdom from the dragon or is the real danger something else?

Available March 1
Buy The Princess Madeline Trilogy at Amazon

Regency Immortal
Adam has accidentally stumbled upon an important period in history: Vienna in 1814. Mostly, he'd just like to continue to enjoy the local pubs, but that becomes impossible when he meets Anna, an intriguing woman with an unreasonable number of secrets and sharp objects.

Anna is hunting down a man who isn't exactly a man, and if Adam doesn't help her, all of Europe will suffer. If Adam does help, the cost may be his own life. It's not a fantastic set of options. Also, he's probably fallen in love with her, which just complicates everything.

Available March 3
Buy Regency Immortal at Amazon

The Selection Stories
Two novellas set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series, now available in print for the first time! In The Queen and The Favorite, discover untold stories from the lives of two of the Selection series' most beloved characters.

Before America Singer's story began, another girl came to the palace to compete for the hand of a different prince. In The Queen, follow Prince Maxon's mother, Amberly, through the Selection that made her a beloved queen.

Marlee Tames came to the palace to win Prince Maxon's heart—but her own heart had other ideas. The Favorite goes behind the scenes of Marlee and Carter's life together, from the fateful night their secret was discovered to the events at the end of The One.

Available March 3
Buy The Selection Stories at Amazon

Let the Journey Begin
Powerful, life-changing messages for a vital time in life.

Graduation is a time of excitement and uncertainty. For graduates the question is, will they face the future with or without God? "Let the Journey Begin"repack is filled with godly wisdom, encouragement, and guidance from bestselling and trusted author Max Lucado for students about to embark on new steps in their life journey. Graduates will be reassured that they are not alone--God is with them every step of their way.

This bestselling book will include thirty-two additional pages of new content, all consisting of excerpts, quotes, and scripture as well as an updated interior design to appeal to a new generation of graduates. Included are pages for personal goals, favorite verses of scripture, and prayers.

Available March 10
Buy Let the Journey Begin at Amazon

Wicked Charms
Lizzy and Diesel return once again in an all-new adventure in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Janet Evanovich and her co-author, Phoef Sutton!

Available March 10
Buy Wicked Charms at Amazon

Beauty Shot
Decon West arrives at Columbia University to start his freshman year. But New York City is like an alien planet to him and even though he’s a fish out of water, he takes it in stride. He expected to be homesick. He expected to find the city chaotic. What he hadn’t expected was that the girls would be so aggressive, throwing themselves at him. But, there’s only one woman he’s interested in tracking down and that’s Minnie Tattersall.

Minnie dodged the bullet and resisted the temptation of eighteen-year-old Deke West when she was visiting Suttontowne. Now she’s hard at work on the upcoming collection she and Verity Outlaw will be showing at Fashion Week. She also finds it hard work to get Deke off her mind, but easy to remember that he’s much too young for her. It isn’t until he shows up at the show, and accidentally lands on the runway modeling their clothes that things begin to heat up for them. It's clear to Minnie that Deke doesn’t much care that he’s taking the New York City fashion scene by storm. He's hell-bent on breaking down her barriers and having her. How will she resist?

Available March 16
Buy Beauty Shot at Amazon

The Precious One
From the bestselling author of Belong to Me, Love Walked In, and Falling Together comes a captivating novel about friendship, family, second chances, and the redemptive power of love

In all her life, Eustacia “Taisy” Cleary has given her heart to only three men: her first love, Ben Ransom; her twin brother, Marcus; and Wilson Cleary — professor, inventor, philanderer, self-made millionaire, brilliant man, breathtaking jerk: her father.

Seventeen years ago, Wilson ditched his first family for Caroline, a beautiful young sculptor. In all that time, Taisy’s family has seen Wilson, Caroline, and their daughter Willow only once.

Why then, is Wilson calling Taisy now, inviting her for an extended visit, encouraging her to meet her pretty sister — a teenager who views her with jealousy, mistrust, and grudging admiration? Why, now, does Wilson want Taisy to help him write his memoir?

Told in alternating voices — Taisy’s strong, unsparing observations and Willow’s naive, heartbreakingly earnest yearnings — The Precious One is an unforgettable novel of family secrets, lost love, and dangerous obsession, a captivating tale with the deep characterization, piercing emotional resonance, and heartfelt insight that are the hallmarks of Marisa de los Santos’s beloved works.

Available March 24
Buy The Precious One at Amazon

At the Water's Edge
In her stunning new novel, Gruen returns to the kind of storytelling she excelled at in Water for Elephants: a historical timeframe in an unusual setting with a moving love story. Think Scottish Downton Abbey.

After embarrassing themselves at the social event of the year in high society Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve of 1942, Maddie and Ellis Hyde are cut off financially by Ellis’s father, a former army Colonel who is already embarrassed by his son’s inability to serve in WWII due to his being colorblind. To Maddie’s horror, Ellis decides that the only way to regain his father’s favor is to succeed in a venture his father attempted and very publicly failed at: he will hunt the famous Loch Ness monster and when he finds it he will restore his father’s name and return to his father’s good graces (and pocketbook). Joined by their friend Hank, a wealthy socialite, the three make their way to Scotland in the midst of war. Each day the two men go off to hunt the monster, while another monster, Hitler, is devastating Europe. And Maddie, now alone in a foreign country, must begin to figure out who she is and what she wants. The novel tells of Maddie’s social awakening: to the harsh realities of life, to the beauties of nature, to a connection with forces larger than herself, to female friendship, and finally, to love.

Available March 31
Buy At the Water's Edge at Amazon

The Patriot Threat
The 16th Amendment to the Constitution is why Americans pay income taxes. But what if there were problems associated with that amendment? Secrets that call into question decades of tax collecting? In fact, there is a surprising truth to this hidden possibility.

Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired and owns an old bookshop in Denmark. But when his former-boss, Stephanie Nelle, asks him to track a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top secret Treasury Department files—the kind that could bring the United States to its knees—Malone is vaulted into a harrowing twenty-four hour chase that begins on the canals in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia.

With appearances by Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Mellon, a curious painting that still hangs in the National Gallery of Art, and some eye-opening revelations from the $1 bill, this riveting, non-stop adventure is trademark Steve Berry—90% historical fact, 10% exciting speculation—a provocative thriller posing a dangerous question: What if the Federal income tax is illegal?

Availble March 31
Buy The Patriot Threat at Amazon

Unlocked: A Love Story
Before You Take a Stand . . . You've Got to Take a Chance.

Holden Harris is an eighteen-year-old locked in a prison of autism. Despite his quiet ways and quirky behaviors, Holden is very happy and socially engaged--on the inside in a private world all his own. In reality he is bullied at school by kids who only see that he is very different.

Ella Reynolds is part of the "in" crowd. A cheerleader and star of the high school drama production, her life seems perfect. When she catches Holden listening to her rehearse for the school play, she is drawn to him . . . . the way he is drawn to the music. Then Ella makes a dramatic discovery--she and Holden were best friends as children. Frustrated by the way Holden is bullied and horrified at the indifference of her peers, Ella decides to take a stand against the most privileged and popular kids at school. Including her boyfriend, Jake.

Ella believes miracles can happen in the most unlikely places and that just maybe an entire community might celebrate from the sidelines. But will Holden's praying mother and Ella's efforts and a cast of theater kids be enough to unlock the prison that contains Holden? This time friendship, faith, and the power of a song must be strong enough to open the doors to the miracle Holden needs.

Available March 31
Buy Unlocked: A Love Story at Amazon

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Excerpt: The Hitwoman's Downward Dog by @JB_Lynn_author

The Hitwoman's Downward Dog

Piss, sprawled out on the sofa, watched me with her good eye. "What happened to you, Sugar?"

Unable to speak because of the painful lump in my throat, I shook my head.

"Did you lose them both?"

It took me a second to figure out what she meant. Groaning loudly, I raced to open the cellar storm doors. Sure enough. DeeDee was there waiting to be let in.

She almost bowled me over as she bounded inside. "Hungry."

"In a second." I ran up the stairs into the backyard, slamming the storm door closed behind me. "I'm never going to hear the end of this, " I warned myself.

Running over to my car, I yanked open the door and peered inside.

"You, Forgot. Me." Disdain dripped from every syllable that came out of God's mouth.

"I was distracted," I told the lizard, hoping he'd drop the matter.

Nook page 56 of The Hitwoman's Downward Dog by J. B. Lynn

Buy The Hitwoman's Doward Dog at Amazon

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Changes in Blogger's Adult Content Policy

by Donna Huber

If you are using Blogger as your blogging platform and post adult content - Romance/Erotica authors and reviewers - you may find your blog set to private come March 23. We have seen in the past romance/erotica author blogs disappearing. Now Blogger is updating its adult content policy officially to prohibit explicit content.

According to Blogger's announcement, "as of March 23, 2015, you won't be able to publicly share images and videos that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity..."

The announcement goes on to state, "we’ll still allow nudity if the content offers a substantial public benefit. For example, in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts."

Most romance/erotica authors and reviewers that I know have their blog listed as 'adult', but will that be enough for Blogger?

My opinion, for what it is worth, is that book covers with nudity or sexually explicit images will be allowed because of its artistic nature. So if the only images you are using on your blog are book covers and your blog is marked 'adult', then things will continue as normal for you. Book trailers will probably be okay, too as long as they clearly support the book and are not just sexually explicit to be sexually explicit.

You may be getting into a gray area with images that inspired your characters. This practice has always been risky do to copyright issues and lack of permission to use a person's image. I would recommend if you are currently doing this (regardless of the sexual nature of the image) to discontinue this practice for legal issues it could cause.

If you think your blog may run up against this policy, there are a few options.

  1. Remove the images
  2. Mark your blog as private (if your blog does violate the policy, Blogger will automatically set your blog to private on March 23). Private blogs can only be viewed by the owner, admins, and those the owner shares the blog with.
  3. Shut down your Blogger blog. It is relatively easy to make a backup of your blog. 
  4. Look into a self-hosted WordPress blog, though I suspect they have some rules on sexually explicit content as well.
  5. Wait and see. 
Blogger has stated that it will not delete any content or blogs that are established, they will just set the blog to private. Any blog that is started after March 23 may be removed if it violates the policy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Nostalgia by @RossMKitson

Number Eight (Battlestar Galactica)
Number Eight (Battlestar Galactica) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So here’s a thing. After a rather drawn out house move and the sledgehammer style disposal of the creaking old PC, I’ve recently downloaded 30GB of music from G-drive onto the wife’s laptop (now nominally the family computer). Having lost all the former playlists I decided to create some new ones, and amongst those thought a compilation of Eighties music would be good. Let me tell you, it’s been a soul-changing experience akin to finding out your parents were secretly Cylons (they weren’t, as Cylons in Battlestar Galactica are all uber-good looking, except Dean Stockwell).

I’ve always had a mild degree of musical snobbery. Through my life I’ve smiled wryly at the vagaries of pop fashion, valued bands that play ‘real instruments’, and quite admired those with a political stance (providing it was left of centre and not accompanied by the trample of jackboots). So, to my horror, I found myself adding Eighties pop band after pop band to my new compilations. Alongside The Specials Ghost Town, I put Madonna; abutting Visage Fade to Grey, I slide in Duran Duran; next to Gary Numan’s Are Friends Electric (arguably the greatest baseline in modern music), I deposit… Bonnie Tyler…. 
English: A cropped version photo British singe...
English: A cropped version photo British singer Bonnie Tyler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I could go on. I find myself humming along to Belinda Carlisle, the Bangles, Bros, Wham…. My inner music snob wails and gibbers, desperately seeking some The Smiths, Dead Kennedies, Depeche Mode, The Cure… But it’s no use. I’ve started listening to Eighties throwback stations on the radio—replete with big hair AOR bands. When I’m alone I start playing air guitar like I’m in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. I have… nostalgia. 

It’s a powerful elixir, nostalgia. I suspect mine is orange MD20-20 flavoured. In my adolescence, I abhorred the pop bands of the time—Wham, Duran Duran, Culture Club, Spandau Ballet, Human League, latterly Bros, New Kids. They were a common source of derision from the lads to the lasses, a good way of teasing them as they wrote the band names on their pencil cases and folders. Yet I’ll hear Wham’s Club Tropicana, or Duran Duran’s Save A Prayer and I find myself really enjoying the tracks. Maybe I’m mellowing, maybe they’ve grown on me (after thirty years), or maybe it triggers a memory of the time, the place. Nostalgia is like the soundtrack to our lives—whether it’s the music, the TV programmes, the films, the board-games or the books. It ties the memories together, glues it into something that feels almost cinematic. I think of me and five friends being the only ones dancing the Time Warp at a school disco in 1985; of feeling rebellious at my mate Nik’s house playing Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Relax at top volume as school term ended; of Careless Whisper being the song you suppressed your terror and asked a girl to slow dance to at the end of the 13th birthday party at the Rec.  

Oddly I was thinking this not so long ago when I watched Guardians of the Galaxy with the kids. They loved it, the wife loved it, but I think I loved it more. Not just the soundtrack, but the style of the film—it was an Eighties sci-fi film done with modern special effects. As I watched Starlord leaping about and generally getting beaten up I was back in the early Eighties making ‘pew pew’ noises with my makeshift blaster. The rogue-ish heroes were very much Han and Chewie, with a bit of Galactica’s Starbuck chucked in for measure. Maybe with the success of Guardians, Disney’s new Star Wars film will escape the dark lumbering of Revenge of the Sith, and look more to the cheeky fun of Star Wars (New Hope). 

But more on my sci-fi love in another post (assuming I get invited back…). 

So I’ll leave you with thoughts of another era—whether that’s your own soundtrack to the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties or Nineties—and maybe give my inner music snob a rest for a while longer.

About the Author

Ross M Kitson is a doctor, occasinal blogger, full time geek, and sporadic author of fantasy and YA sci-fi. If you were curious about his work you could check him out on Amazon. And his first fantasy book for free, yes... Free! At Smashwords. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Indies Unlimited Excellence Award Winner

The winners of the 2014 Indies Unlimited Excellence Awards were announced yesterday. 

Be sure to visit the Indies Unlimited website to see the other winners and finalists.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: The Abduction of Lilly Waters By T.M.Novak

by Claire Rees

The Abduction of Lilly Waters
The Abduction of Lilly Waters by T. M. Novak is every parent’s worst nightmare. Beth is fleeing from her violent relationship with her boyfriend. Being heavily pregnant she stops to go to the toilet at a diner, taking her daughter Lilly with her and leaving her outside the cubicle. Whilst Beth is in the toilet, Lilly is taken by somebody that nobody seems to have seen. The two detectives assigned to the case scramble to find clues and leads, anything that could lead them to Lilly’s location. Although it seems that every lead and clue they find leads to a dead end. Nobody saw Lilly leaving the diner, Lilly’s car seat is missing from Beth’s car. Was Lilly taken by somebody who knew her and Beth or is this somebody that may have been following them or just seen them and knew where the car seat was? The detectives are at a loss and decide to start with Beth's ex. Soon the detectives find themselves with nothing to go on, and with Beth being no help at all, they fear that Lilly will be lost forever.

I really enjoyed the book as it is fast paced and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Even though the whole story was great, the ending was my favourite part. It was a huge surprise for me at the end, one I did not see coming. The story is written really well and I could feel myself empathising with Beth and feeling her desperation in wanting Lilly back.

Buy The Abduction of Lilly Waters at Amazon

Book info:
Available formats: ebook and print (134 pages)
Published: January 2014 by Master Koda Select Publishing
ISBN13: 9780985983857
Genres: thriller, police procedural
Read: February 2015

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

Friday, February 20, 2015

Excerpt: Love by the Book by Melissa Pimentel

Love by the Book
Anyway, I asked her to write something that would entice the menfolk and she came up with the following:

Lauren is an American expat who's been in London for a while now. She reads, drinks, and smokes a lot. She excels at the following activities: having fun, making sure her companions are having fun, eating baguettes, being clever. 

As a child, she rode a very fat horse named Jason, played defense in football, kick-boxed on a regular basis and got in trouble at her Catholic high school for reading Candide in church. When you meet her, none of this will surprise you.

Now. First of all, let me say that all of the above is true. But more important to the cause at hand, it makes me sound like Ignatius J. Reilly out of A Confederacy of Dunces. And yes, I know that reference just reinforced her description of me, but I'm trying to hide my true, hideous self from prospective suitors (at least for a little while).

So Meghan's description just wasn't going to cut the mustard. In the end, I confessed to Cathryn that I'd signed up to Castaways and begged her to write my description, hoping that her relatively scant knowledge of my adolescence would work in my favor. I was right, and Cathryn wrote a great, slightly fabricated couple of paragraphs that made me sound eminently more attractive than Meghan had.

It went online today along with a full-color photograph of my entire smiling face and from then on it was in the hands of the Internet dating gods.

page 56, Love by the Book by Melissa Pimentel

Buy Love by the Book at Amazon


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