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October 6, 2012

Book Quotes


Excerpt: The Recruit by Monica McCarty


Scotland’s King Robert the Bruce is retaking his kingdom from the invading English. To win, he’ll need all the grit and courage of his elite band of warriors, the Highland Guard, men who fight without fear and love without limits.
 
Fiery, aggressive, and bold, Kenneth Sutherland is a true champion—skilled with any weapon and driven to win. Now Kenneth is ready for his greatest challenge: joining Robert the Bruce’s secret army to fight among the elite. Kenneth’s best chance to attain that honor is by winning the Highland Games. Focused and prepared for victory, he is caught off guard by a lovely wisp of a woman—and a stolen moment of wicked seduction. Her innocent arousal and her shameless hunger fire his blood. He will win his place in the guard—and in Mary of Mar’s bed.

The ruggedly handsome hero-in-the-making stirs a heart that should know better. Mary vows that her surrender will be sport only—no promises, no heartbreak, just one night of incredible passion. Nothing, she swears, will persuade her to give up her hard-wrought independence and put her fate in the hands of another powerful man. But with every gentle touch and heart-pounding kiss, Kenneth makes her want more. Now Mary wants his heart. But is this determined champion willing to surrender everything for love? From Goodreads.com
 
Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 30, 2012 by Ballantine Books
ISBN13: 9780345528414
Goodreads, IndieBound, Amazon

Excerpt:





a Rafflecopter giveaway


Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links.

 
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October 5, 2012

$100 PayPal Cash Giveaway

The holidays are coming and I know I could use an extra $100 in my pocket. How about you? Why not enter this giveaway and $100 could be yours!
This giveaway is brought to you by I Heart Giveaways and The Coffee Chic. This time, you can get a chance to win $100 Paypal Cash. The prize is sponsored by Emperola.

Important details:The giveaway is open Worldwide. Simply complete the entries on the rafflecopter widget below for more chances of winning. The event will run from October 6 to 31, 2012. One winner will win $150 cash! Good luck.

About Emperola.com:Emperola.com was founded in summer 2012 in order to provide visitors with daily updated list of contests, giveaways, sweepstakes and deals. For now we are active in United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Enter your email here for a chance to win $500 in cash.
If you host any kind of giveaway or contest feel free to submit your contest at Emperola for free.

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FlashFiveFriday: Date

lectora
lectora (Photo credit: Super Furry Librarian)
There's an essay circulating the internet about Why to Date a Girl Who Reads (there's a few about why not to date a girl who reads as well). Since I am Girl Who Reads, I thought I should weigh in on the subject. Here are some insights and helpful tip to dating a Girl Who Reads.

  • She might not mind you having a guys' night out or watching the sporting event, because it will give her guilt-free uninterrupted time with the characters of her favorite book.
  • Want a little insight in the inner workings of her mind? Ask her about the universe in which the story she's currently reading is set.
  • Check between the cover of her current read - It'll often give you an idea of her mood - ie. if it's romance then she might be feeling a bit unloved or underappreciated, a police procedural, then she may feel like life is out of control and find comfort in the predictability of the story.
  • Don't get upset if dishes aren't done, house isn't clean, food isn't on the table - sometimes a book is just too good to put down.
  • Want to know the kind of man she wants? Look past the shirtless, tattooed bad boy on the cover and see that the character is tender and caring towards the leading lady. 
Dating is a complicated maze and I hope I've given you some help if you decide to DATE a Girl Who Reads.

I would love to hear your reasons.


#FlashFiveFriday is a weekly flash fiction/flash blogging prompt.


The rules are very simple if you’d like to take part:

1) Write for no longer than five minutes
2) No upper or lower word limits
3) You must write something new
4) You can prepare your post ahead of time but the 5 minute limit still applies
5) If you add your blog post to the weekly linky you must visit five other blogs that week too to show your support

Click here for upcoming prompts
 See other DATE posts here.
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Friday Fun with Elizabeth Lang


Important Lessons and Painful Decisions

I’ve been writing for quite a few years now. Got about two dozen novel-sized stories under my belt, though I only seriously took the plunge into publishing three years ago. Writing used to be a hobby, a bit of therapy and at times, a descent into zaniness, but it’s gradually become a way of life, even a vocation.

When people ask me what I am now, I don’t say Senior Systems Analyst, I tell people that I’m a writer. This, of course, produces as many raised eyebrows and queries as an SSA.

What is an SSA? It’s a glorified name for a computer programmer.

When I say that I’m a writer, the usual reaction is…silence. One lady sitting next to me on the plane asked, “Are you famous?” That would be a no.

The people I’ve come across don’t seem to know what to do with a writer, unless they’re fellow writers, or closet-writers. We seem to be a strange, ethereal creature from another world who deals in things that AREN’T REAL.

My other favorite response is, “Can you read my manuscript?” or “I have an idea for a story, you can use it if you want.” I usually get these from total strangers or casual acquaintances.

I try to be polite and decline, or give some advice if they’re serious about breaking into the maze that is publishing these days, but alas between my own writing activities and mentoring an online writers group, I don’t have time to read a 300 page unedited manuscript, and surprisingly as a writer, I usually have a mind bursting with ideas. Would you like some?

So, what is the most important lesson I’ve learned so far as a writer? There are a whole host of topics I can touch on dealing with book covers, marketing, editing, self-publishing and small presses, and even more to do with the nitty-gritties of writing, but the one that has impacted me the most is one that snuck up on me.

I attended a reading by Julie Czerneda during a fan convention. She was reading from a new fantasy novel and during the question period, she mentioned that she had edited out almost as much as she left in. I thought this was interesting since the story wasn’t short, but didn’t think much of it at the time until I was hip-deep into my second novel, The Rebels.

I created a character who was a rebel leader, but whose actions are questionable. I included in him some characteristics of a character that I detested from an old TV show. My character was different, but those similarities served as a thorn in my side as I continued writing until the story came to a standstill and for weeks, I couldn’t get past it. All the hero and the rebel leader did were snarl at each other instead of advancing the story.

I ended up writing the third story in the trilogy in order to get away from it for a while. I was actually further along in the third story than the second one when I realized some drastic surgery had to be done if I was ever to finish the second book. I didn’t think readers would appreciate a trilogy without a middle part.

So, 60,000 words into the story, right in the middle of chapter 25, I decided to scrap the rebel leader and create a brand new character. It was a painful decision because so much work had already been put into it and since the rebel leader was a main character that meant that I had to almost start from scratch because the dynamics would be different, along with the decisions that were made during the story.

But it was the right decision and the new character of Tucker ended up being far more interesting than the original.

It was a valuable lesson, somewhat like having your wisdom tooth pulled out. It hurts like hell but it feels so much better when it’s out.

So, on this part of my journey as a writer, sometimes what makes or breaks a story is as much about what I take out as what I leave in.

What have been your most important lessons as a writer?

About the Author:

Elizabeth Lang was an avid reader from an early age. Science Fiction and Fantasy were and still are her passions, with occasional dips in the pools of Mystery. She has spent many years in the IT industry and started writing late in life, but once begun, she couldn't stop.

Elizabeth lives in Canada though she's worked in many places around the world. She loves traveling, learning about different cultures, and sampling their delectable foods.

She has 2 science fiction thrillers published with IFWG Publishing. From Goodreads.com
 Website, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon 

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of Girl Who Reads.

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October 4, 2012

Now Playing: Mocked by Faith



Find Mocked by Faith by Michele Richard at Goodreads, IndieBound, and Amazon.

Watch more videos here.

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. Book Trailers are a free feature. All videos are provided by the author who has granted Girl Who Reads permission to feature them on this blog.


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Tips on Thursday: Content

We all know we need about 3 new posts each week to keep our blogs high in the Google search listings. But do you need new content weekly to keep traffic high to your blog?

No.

What? I don't need to slave away 3 - 5 days a week to provide new content on my blog? I must have read that wrong. Surely you're not serious!

No, you read that correctly. Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't continue striving to bring great, fresh content for your blog. However, everyone needs a break once in a while and the great majority of the content you have already creating for your site does not have an expiration date.

Some Facts:
 
The top viewed post on my blog in the past 7 days is a guest post from February. It has garnered 610 new page views in the last 7 days.

In the last 24 hours the 3rd most viewed post is from July, receiving 52 new views.

How can you capitalize on this time saving traffic driver?

Highlight older posts. With my new template, I added the sidebar gadget - Popular Posts. Typically it is showing the top 5 posts from the past 7 days. Right now though I'm displaying the most popular posts of all time. I can also set it to the top posts for the past 30 days. I choose which ever option that gives a different collection of posts to highlight.

I also tweet about older posts. Some times it is to highlight an older post that's getting new views or a popular post. If a book I've featured/reviewed or an author I've hosted is in the news - won an award or has a new book coming out, then I will let my fans know about the posts I have done.

I also feature popular posts in my monthly newsletter.

Why does it work?

Like I said, most of your content does not have an expiration date. Also you should be getting new fans and while we would like to believe they go through all our old posts when they discover our blog they don't. I have something like 400 posts it's just not feasible. Instead, I direct them to posts of interest. I picked up about 700 new Facebook fans in the past month and probably another 100 or so Twitter followers (with all the follow, unfollow, only to follow again I have trouble determining how many truly new followers I get). That is a slew of new people who haven't read my previous posts.

Books rarely become outdated.

If you are looking for a break or going on a vacation and don't want your traffic to suffer, then consider directing your readers to older content. You can make old content new by doing a short update post - perhaps a new edition is available or the author has a new book in the series coming out. Write up the update as a new post then link back to the old post (s) - the review, guest post, or book feature.

Your Challenge: Try posting to Facebook or tweeting the link to 1 older post a week and see what it does for your readership.
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World Animal Day


World Animal Day Blog Hop: 10/4It's World Animal Day and authors Terri Giuliano Long and David Brown are hosting a hop. You know I'm a big animal fan. I have 2 cats and 2 dogs. I would have more, but I need another 2 legged household member first to balance things out. I used to work as a zoo keeper and my graduate studies were all about endangered species and recovering the Florida panther. So naturally, I thought I should participate.

For as much as I am an animal person (or perhaps it is because I am such an animal person) I do not like to read about animals. Books with animals are always sad. I don't think I ever even read the Velveteen Rabbit. Therefore, it's a bit ironic that my favorite books for October (I know October just started but the books are that good I know nothing else I read this month will top them) has animals in semi-leading roles.

First up is the hilarious Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman (available Oct. 16). When I read the first book in the series, I was all about God (short for Godzilla, the little anole lizard). I even did a couple of posts dedicated to him. However, in this second installment I have to say Doomsday stole my heart. If I glimpsed her name on the page I knew I need to take a deep breath because I would be laughing so hard at the end of the scene I couldn't breathe. Did I mention Doomsday is a doberman? She has a squeaky high pitched voice and when she bears her teeth she isn't trying to be tough; that's how she smiles. How do I know this? Check out my review and then pick up the books for yourself.

My favorite series (after reading this last installment I think it has knocked Harry Potter out of the top spot) is an epic fantasy and has many creatures. There are also a set of animals that are paired with each of the main characters. I guess they are kind of like familiars (I can't remember if that is how they are referred to in The Six or not). Outside of a mention here or there these animals (a horse, lion, badger, song bird, owl, and fox) haven't really played much of a part in The Gateawway Chronicles. I just finished the fourth book, The Enchanted (available Oct. 18; read my review) and the animals have a much bigger role. It was interesting to see them interact with the characters and wonder if they will be more prevalent through the rest of the story (to be honest I had all but forgotten them).

Right now, there doesn't look like anything bad will befall these furry and feathered creatures. J. B. Lynn and K. B. Hoyle - I'm putting you on notice YOU CANNOT LET ANYTHING HAPPEN TO THESE CHARACTERS. Otherwise I will be very, very upset. Consider yourself warned! :)




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October 3, 2012

It's a Wrap - Bloggiesta Wrap Up






This was my first time officially participating in Bloggiesta. It was a lot of fun and I got a lot done. Not every thing on my To Do List was complete over the weekend, but I'm happy to report that by today I have completed list. So what did I accomplish?

Since I hosted the a mini-challenge on policies/disclaimers I tweaked my review policy and disclaimer page, I also added a contest rules page that are the general guidelines governing giveaways I host on my blog.

I lost a few sidebar gadgets (and imported a bunch of place holders) when I changed templates last month. I did get my Goodreads Shelves back up (scroll down) and deleted the place holders. I also add the gadget "follow by email".

I changed out the slide show images (click on the home tab to see the slide show).

I wanted to write 2 reviews. I wrote a review for Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman over the weekend and then on Monday night I wrote the review for The Enchanted.

I finished the October newsletter and sent it out. You can view it here.

I wanted to make graphics for my features. I did get 2 done over the weekend, but I since tweaked one and finished the third. I even got a fourth graphic made tonight. Here are all the graphics:





I'm proud of myself for what I accomplished. I hope all of you accomplished many, if not all, of your goals. If you liked my mini-challenge, I hope you will stop by every Thursday for tips and tricks to help make your blog everything you want it to be.



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Sylvain Reynard: Redemption

“Look for me in Hell.” – Gabriel’s Inferno

The characters in my novels Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture aren’t perfect. Professor Gabriel Emerson is arrogant and cruel until he encounters a woman he wants more than his own self-satisfaction. Even our heroine, Julia, has flaws and shortcomings.

But if one wants to tell a story about redemption and have that story mean something, a character’s need for redemption must be made clear.

As an author, my goal is to show that despite the complexities of human frailty, grace and forgiveness persist. First and foremost, however, the character has to recognize his failures and wish to change them.

Both of my novels were inspired by Graham Greene’s writing and the way he presents redemption and forgiveness.

“…this is a record of hate far more than love …”

So writes Greene near the beginning of his novel The End of the Affair. Readers are no doubt surprised, shocked perhaps, that a novel with so tantalizing a title is a diary of hatred. Indeed, readers will be far more surprised when they discover that God is among the hated, especially when the narrator admits that he begins his story failing to believe in God at all.

The novel is one of my favourites. It explores love and faith, but it does so by focusing on the lives of sinners rather than saints, atheists rather than believers, while curiously weaving instances of coincidence or miracle in the narrative.

The narrator, Maurice Bendrix, engages in an adulterous affair with Sarah Miles, the wife of his friend. Sarah ends their affair abruptly, leaving Bendrix jealous and suspicious. A strange collusion begins as Sarah’s husband, Henry, confides in Bendrix that he believes she is being unfaithful.

Bendrix hires a private investigator to follow Sarah, determined to discover the identity of the lover for whom she has abandoned him. What he learns is most unexpected.

Greene is not the first Catholic writer to explore issues of faith in his novels. But The End of the Affair is not the kind of book that one would normally shelve as inspirational. Indeed, Bendrix is not saintly. His lust and love for Sarah have been transformed into a burning hatred. Even during their affair, when he thought that he loved her, he was occasionally cruel. Bendrix is hardly a romantic hero and the novel is certainly not a
romance in the conventional sense.

But there’s something appealing about the way Greene presents his characters and their shortcomings, something that resonates in the reader. Indeed, many readers who would never read an inspirational book might find themselves picking up The End of the Affair and enjoying it.

I’ve had similar reactions from my readers, some of whom would never read a love story or something that could be categorized as romance.

But the need for love and redemption is something that transcends genres, and it’s something that both Greene and I explore in our novels.

About the Author:
Sylvain Reynard is a Canadian writer with an interest in Renaissance art and culture and an inordinate attachment to the city of Florence. website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

See my review of Gabriel's Inferno. Get your copy at IndieBound, Amazon, and other retailers.
See my review of Gabriel's Rapture. Get your copy at IndieBound, Amazon, and other retailers.

Writer Wednesdays is a weekly feature on Girl Who Reads where authors can share about their writing.. The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of Girl Who Reads. Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links.




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From the TBR Pile: Daddy Left me Alone with God by Robin Slick


Annie loathes middle age because in her mind, as long as she avoids mirrors in brightly lit rooms, she is still a cool, cutting edge hipster with a scandalous secret she has kept for almost three decades. At age seventeen, Annie had a love affair with a man ten years her senior -- legendary British rock guitarist Mick Saunders. Now, feeling stuck in a boring, faltering marriage and desperate to change her life, she is unexpectedly given the chance to reconnect with Mick while chaperoning her fledgling rock star teenagers on a tour across America. To Annie, this opportunity to recapture her past is a dream come true. But will she and Mick be able to pick up where they left off? From Goodreads.com
paperback, 291 pages
Published March 2011 by Dip Books
ISBN13: 9780615440859
*received book from author at The Indie Book Event
Goodreads, IndieBound, Amazon
 

Praise for Daddy Left Me Alone With God:

"he plot is great, the characters interact so well" ~ Cheryl's Book Nook

"a funny, sexy and scathingly honest look at what it means to be a baby boomer in a world changing faster than a phone number on speed dial. with a fresh voice, a fast plot and a unique perspective on the new generation of sex, drugs, and rock and roll...a delight from start to finish." ~ Ellen Meister, back cover 

"The road trip from hell made the story so funny, sad, and poignant, depicting the end of an era and the beginning of the next." ~ Coffee Time Romance & More

About the Author:
Robin Slick is a raging liberal living in downtown Philadelphia who wishes she could jump in a time machine and travel to London in the late sixties where she'd party with the Beatles, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and all of their pals. Robin is the author of several published short stories and novels, a nominee for a Best American Short Story award, former fiction editor at both NFG Magazine and Philadelphia Stories, but alas is probably most well known as the mother of Eric Slick, drummer for Dr. Dog and Paper Cat, and Julie Slick, solo artist, bassist for the Adrian Belew Power Trio, and Paper Cat.

Robin's interests include rock music, world travel, and eating gourmet vegetarian meals prepared by five star restaurants and her daughter, Julie.

She generally prefers dogs over people but does not like cats though she should have one, given her irrational fear of mice.  From RobinSlick.com


Connect with the Author:
website 
Facebook 
Twitter 
Blog  

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links.  
 
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October 2, 2012

Now Showing: For All Time



Find For All Time by J. M. Powers at Goodreads and Amazon.

Watch more trailers here.

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate of Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is received when purchases are made through the above links.

My Favorite: The Enchanted

The Enchanted (The Gateway Chronicles 4) by K. B. Hoyle
ARC via Netgalley
Published October 18, 2012 by The Writer's Coffee Shop
ISBN13:
Read September 2012
Goodreads, Amazon

I absolutely LOVED this book. It was fantastic, definitely my favorite of the series (well so far as there are a few more to come). Seriously, this is the best young adult series that I have read in a long time. If you haven't picked it up yet, there's no time to waste. If you start The Six (see my review) today, you can get through The Oracle (my review) and The White Thread (my review) before The Enchanted is released on October 18.

The characters are more mature in this book. Darcy has moved from the tween angst of "my parents are so uncool" we saw in The Six to the more mature melodrama of "he loves me, he loves me not". And speaking of "he"... Tellius is all grown up and quite the handsome prince.

Much as the title suggest, The Enchanted was much more the fairytale than the early books. It is not as action packed, though there is still plenty of action and danger. Afterall, Tselloch is stronger than ever and has Collin in his grasp. Yet, there seemed to be more of a focus on the relationships. As I mentioned in my Flash Five Friday post, Sam shows off her backbone. It was a "good for her" moment.

I've never wanted to go back to my teenage years, but reading The Enchanted and the perfection that is Tellius had me wishing for those innocent years when I would have still believed a guy like that could exist. Ok, I have to admit that he isn't actually perfect. He makes some stupid (but totally understandable) mistakes. But, he's charming and good looking, and has manners (you know those behaviors of olden days when guys were gentlemen and made girls feel like ladies). Also, if I was a teenager then I wouldn't feel so creepy swooning over this seventeen year old boy.

We get more answers toward solving the prophesy (I think I know what "twice red" refers to). I so should have taken the bet with my niece (don't know what I'm talking about? Read my niece's interview). Speaking of my niece, she was none too happy to learn I got an advance copy. The Gateway Chronicles is her all time favorite series (it's rivaling my love for Harry Potter). You do NOT want to miss out on these well written, entertaining stories. GET THEM NOW!

A free book was obtained from the source mentioned above in order to provide an honest and free review.
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October 1, 2012

Meet the Author: Suzy Duffy


Zack, Cody & making God laugh…

Hi, Girl Who Reads.

Lovely to meet you. I’m Suzy Duffy, author of Wellesley Wives. I’m Irish and moved to the USA with my five kids, dog and husband, Michael in 2009. His work was beginning to involve more time spent in the US than in Europe and one day he suggested trying to live on this side of the Atlantic. I was pretty surprised and a little terrified about moving because most of my family lives in Ireland and it’s been my lifelong home. My kids heard us ‘discussing’ it however, and they thought it was a great idea. (Personally I think they wanted to move because they were obsessed with The Sweet Life of Zack & Cody, back then.) Finally we agreed to put our home in Dublin on the rental market. If we got a nice tenant, wouldn’t an adventure in the USA be amazing? The first family to view the house was American and they wanted to relocate to Ireland for three years. Was it coincidence or destiny?

The preparations were insane. My youngest was only ten months and there were schools to contact, doctors to meet, even the dog had to get a passport! It was really busy but we got it all done and moved in August 2009. Those three years have passed and we’re still here. I wonder is that how a great many people end up moving countries? They come thinking it’s only for a couple of years but that turns into decades and ends up being a lifetime.

Everyday, I feel I’m becoming more American and less Irish. Who knows what the future holds, if somebody had told me five years ago that I’d be living in America I would have laughed but now I understand that nothing is definite. At this point I’d be happy to live in the States or Europe but we have an expression in Ireland - “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!”

So now I don’t make plans. I write fiction. It’s the one place I can actually be sure of the outcome. We live in Wellesley so writing Wellesley Wives came naturally. It’s a romantic comedy about very rich women who lose everything but still come up smelling of roses and laughing at life. Since the publicity started, I think the oddest thing has been the reaction to Wellesley Wives from certain quarters. So many journalists are expecting a big Exposé on what goes on out here in Super-suburbia … Do you know suburbia? It’s all about kids, school lunches, PTOs for the Moms who don’t work and manic carpooling for those who do. I had to write fiction because real life would be far too quiet!

Women the world over are pretty much the same and the women I’ve met since moving here have been charming, intelligent, friendly, and very generous with their time and love. For those who were looking for scandal, sorry to disappoint. This is better than that. It’s a funny, heartwarming, life affirming story about how wonderful we women are.

I may not quite have The Sweet Live of Zack & Cody but it’s sweet enough for me!

Lots of love,

Suzy, the Wellesley Wife

XX

Suzy Duffy is an international and #1 bestselling author. A former national radio DJ and TV presenter in her native Ireland, she moved to Boston with her husband, five children and one dog in 2009 in light of Europe’s economic downturn. Duffy’s colorful background has taken her from working in the United Nations’ Geneva headquarters to being a water-ski instructor in Greece to laboring as a corn cutter in the south of France.

Wellesley Wives, Duffy’s debut U.S. book release, is the first in a New England based trilogy of novels. She is currently working on the second installment, Newton Neighbors.

Wellesley Wives is currently available at Amazon
 

Meet the Author Mondays is a weekly feature on Girl Who Reads to introduce authors. The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of Girl Who Reads. Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links.

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A Good Week for eBooks



News:

Sent out the October Newsletter last night. If you haven't subscribed, you can view it here.

There's a couple of giveaways still going on that you will want to enter: Harry Potter Blu-Ray set and $200 Cash.

Make sure you check out the World Animal Day hop happening Oct. 4 - click on the button on the side bar.

Looking for a little blogosphere Halloween fun? Then you might be interested in the Halloween Blog Flash. Details can be found by clicking on the side bar button.

There's a new Kid Who Reads review for Nate Rocks the Boat by Karen Pokras Toz.

Mailbox Finds:

The Watchmaker's Daughter tells the story of a child of two refugees: a watchmaker who saved lives within Dachau prison, and his wife, a gifted concert pianist about to make her debut when the Nazis seized power. In this memoir, Sonia Taitz is born into a world in which the Holocaust is discussed constantly by her insular concentration camp-surviving parents. This legacy, combined with Sonia's passion and intelligence, leads the author to forge an adventurous life in which she seeks to heal both her parents and herself through travel, achievement, and a daring love affair. Ironically, it is her marriage to a non-Jew that brings her parents the peace and fulfillment they would never have imagined possible. Sonia manages to combine her own independence with a tender dutifulness, honoring her parents' legacy while forging a new family of her own. From Goodreads.com 
 Find The Watchmaker's Daughter at Goodreads, IndieBound, and Amazon

Talis glimpses an alien world where Rikar, his old friend and traitor, is being tortured. He is tempted down a dark path leading to the forbidden knowledge of Shadow Magic, the magic he needs to keep from going insane.
The feud between the royal houses of Naru has Talis and Mara caught in the middle, and once again threatens their friendship. And the magical Order of the Dawn distances themselves from Talis, pushing him aside to study the discarded magical art of runes. With civil war looming, Jiserian sorcerers again invade the city of Naru, and Talis must rise to help protect their city.

A mysterious sorcerer from the Tarasen Islands arrives, with eyes on the black crystal, aiming to create a World Portal to the planet where Aurellia and his Elders have escaped. Talis finds his heart wrenched between saving his city and saving the one closest to his heart. Even after being trapped on an alien world, with no way back home, Talis realizes that his friendship with Mara and Nikulo is the key to their fate and survival. From Goodreads.com
 
Read my reviews of Book 1 and Book 2. Find Shadow Mage at Goodreads and Amazon.
 

Drawing on her own experience with personal reinvention, her professional work as a change management consultant, and her studies in the fields of pyschology and human behavior, Blumenthal breaks down how to successfully reinvent your life in six steps. Each stage is comprehensively explained, with action items, tools, and resources to enable you to follow through and effect change in your life. From Amazon

Find it at Goodreads, IndieBound, and Amazon.



Finished:


Take three wacky aunts, two talking animals, one nervous bride, and an upcoming hit, and you've got the follow-up to JB Lynn's wickedly funny Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman.
Knocking off a drug kingpin was the last thing on Maggie Lee's to-do list, but when a tragic accident leaves her beloved niece orphaned and in the hospital, Maggie will go to desperate lengths to land the money needed for her care.

But the drug kingpin is the least of her worries. Maggie's aunts are driving her crazy, her best friend's turned into a bridezilla…and a knock on the head has given Maggie Dr. Dolittle abilities—she can talk to animals. Unfortunately, they talk back.

It's just another day in the life of this neurotic hitwoman. From Goodreads.com
Read my review. Find Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman at Goodreads and Amazon.

Darcy Pennington’s course was plotted out for her long before she ever stepped foot in Alitheia. Finally willing to go along with her prophesied path, Darcy returns to the magical realm to find everything spiraling out of control. A painful rejection almost pushes her to breaking, and when she and her friends finally confront one of Tselloch’s gateways, nothing turns out as expected. Darcy wonders, in the end, if there is any hope at all for her, or for Alitheia. From TWCS
Read my reviews of Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3. Find The Enchanted at Goodreads.


Reading:

As Grace recovers from tragedy, her science class is chosen by Agent Sweeney at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to help with research on the new "Red Wolf Reintroduction Program".

While she’s excited about helping with the conservation of the endangered wolves, Grace knows this means being outdoors in the worst winter recorded, in a place she no longer feels comfortable. It also means working closely with Wyn (her ex) and his annoying girlfriend (Skyler), a girl whose idea of getting close to nature is picking silk plants and growing fake plants.

After a couple of wolves show up dead, Grace almost quits. However, when a fellow project team member goes missing, Grace continues the assignment under a renewed suspicion that someone might be sabotaging the conservation program. She quietly begins to hunt for clues.

Little does she know, she is being hunted too. From Goodreads.com
 Reads my review of Book 1. Find Uncontrollable at Goodreads and Amazon.


Centuries have passed since civilization's brush with apocalypse. The world's greatest threats have all been silenced. There is no anger, no hatred, no war. There is only perfect peace...and fear. A terrible secret was closely guarded for centuries: every single soul walking the earth, though in appearance totally normal, is actually dead, long ago genetically stripped of true humanity.

Nine years have gone by since an unlikely hero named Rom Sebastian first discovered a secret and consumed an ancient potion of blood to bring himself back to life in Forbidden. Surviving against impossible odds, Rom has gathered a secret faction of followers who have also taken the blood-the first Mortals in a world that is dead.

But The Order has raised an elite army to hunt and crush the living. Division and betrayal threaten to destroy the Mortals from within. The final surviving hope for humanity teeters on the brink of annihilation and no one knows the path to survival.

On the heels of Forbidden comes MORTAL, the second novel in The Books of Mortals saga penned by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee. Set in a terrifying, medieval future, where grim pageantry masks death, this tale of dark desires and staggering stakes peels back the layers of the heart for all who dare take the journey.

The Books of Mortals are three novels, each of which stands on its own, yet all are seamlessly woven into one epic thriller. From Goodreads.com
 Read my review of Book 1. Find Mortal at Goodreads, IndieBound, and Amazon.


Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy, the brash cop from Tana French’s bestselling Faithful Place, plays by the book and plays hard. That’s what’s made him the Murder squad’s top detective—and that’s what puts the biggest case of the year into his hands.

On one of the half-built, half-abandoned "luxury" developments that litter Ireland, Patrick Spain and his two young children are dead. His wife, Jenny, is in intensive care.

At first, Scorcher and his rookie partner, Richie, think it’s going to be an easy solve. But too many small things can’t be explained. The half dozen baby monitors, their cameras pointing at holes smashed in the Spains’ walls. The files erased from the Spains’ computer. The story Jenny told her sister about a shadowy intruder who was slipping past all the locks.

And Broken Harbor holds memories for Scorcher. Seeing the case on the news sends his sister Dina off the rails again, and she’s resurrecting something that Scorcher thought he had tightly under control: what happened to their family one summer at Broken Harbor, back when they were children. From Goodreads.com

Find Broken Harbor at Goodreads, IndieBound, and Amazon.

Let me know what you are reading this week.
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