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October 20, 2012

Slow: Broken Harbor

Broken Harbor by Tana French
hardcover, 450 pages
Published: July 2012 by Penguin Group
ISBN13: 9780670023653
Read: August - October 2012
Source: Publisher
Goodreads, IndieBound, Amazon

This is the first book of Tana French's I've read. The main character is a secondary character in a previous book. There is reference to a past incident that I assume took place in the previous book, but otherwise Broken Harbor is a stand alone novel.

The premise of the story was intriguing. Within the opening pages, you know a mess is going to happen. 

Here's what I'm trying to tell you: this case should have gone like clockwork. It should have ended up in the textbooks as a shining example of how to get everything right. By every rule in the book, this should have been the dream case.

It was the question "what is going throw the wrench in this 'clear' cut case?" that kept me reading to the halfway point. Still it took forever to get to that point. Broken Harbor is a slow read. I was hoping with the murder of a family that it would be a book that I couldn't put down. It is more of a procedural than a suspense novel. I don't think I like procedurals.

Though the book was touted as being about a fan favorite character - Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy. I didn't like him. He was just too full of himself. Definitely the walking example of "pride goes before the fall". I liked his trainee partner Richie though. And maybe it was the character foil that made it even more difficult to like Kennedy.

By the end of the novel, I didn't care you had committed the murders and the answer to the question in the beginning didn't really matter to me anymore. I finished it mostly because I hate not finishing a book.

I had trouble getting into the book because of the Irish slang and terminology. I usually like books that have the "right" language for the setting and I've become somewhat knowledgeable in British English. Or so I think. And it wasn't the actual dialogue that I found difficult to follow. It was the descriptions in the narrative. I could never fully visual the setting because I wasn't definite on what was being described.

Broken Harbor is a well written story with an interesting plot. For me it was delivery that was a problem, but if you like more the inside details as opposed to the fast pace action, then you will like this book. Page after page about blood splatters is just not my thing.

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. A free book was obtained from the source mentioned above in order to provide an honest and free review.

October 19, 2012

FlashFiveFriday: House

It is kind of ironic that on the eve of my vacation that the prompt is HOUSE. Why is it ironic? The goal of my vacation is thoroughly deep clean my house from top to bottom before I close it up the winter. I really do love my house so I'm just going to share a few pictures I've taken around the house.



Taken after I knocked the front railing off the front porch.

I love coming home.


A couple of my favorite housemates.

I love having parties at my house.

And decorating for Christmas is always a favorite time.


#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
Find more posts and link up yours at The Indie Exchange
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Friday Fun with Anderson O'Donnell


KINGDOM: A Top 10 List of Things to Avoid When Writing a Sex Scene


Of all feedback I’ve received regarding my debut novel, the dystopian thriller entitled KINGDOM, the comments about the sex scene (page 42!) have been the most interesting. And by interesting, I mean wildly divergent: some people thought it was hot and meshed well with the book’s plot and overall themes; others thought it was a bit gratuitous and porno-derivative.

And so, as I continue work on the sequel to KINGDOM, I’ve tried to apply some of the feedback I’ve received into the two sex scenes (so far!!) scattered through EXILE.

When Donna offered me an opportunity to do a Fun Friday, I thought this might be a great chance to share some of the lessons I’ve learned. Sex is fun, right? And it’s Friday! So here goes: A Top 10 List of Things to Avoid When Writing a Sex Scene.

  1. Have the scene resemble actual sex. If it can’t be done in real life, it can’t be done in the book.
  2. Gravity still applies.
  3. No condoms or other birth control unless the prophylactics are somehow germane to the plot. Pausing to cram in that diaphragm isn’t sexy.
  4. A lot of readers are women. And by a lot, I mean almost 80 percent. So maybe a little less Rocco Siffredi, and a little more Pavarti K. Tyler.
  5. Most people do not carry on conversations while in flagrante delectico.
  6. 50 Shades of Grey aside, not every woman on the planet is secretly fiending for kinky depraved sex.
  7. Just because “Take My Breath Away” worked for Maverick and Charlie doesn’t mean it’ll work for you
  8. Avoid orgies. It’s hard enough to describe what two people are doing, let alone 10.
  9. Don’t use names or physical descriptions of people you know. No matter how clever you think you’re being, someone will figure it out.
  10. Fabio is not sexy.

To see whether Anderson can follow his own advice, check out KINGDOM, which is available now from Amazon.


About the Author:

Anderson O’Donnell is the author of Kingdom, a gritty-biopunk myth that explores the possibility that there is a gene for the human soul—a gene that cannot be reproduced by genetic engineering.

A graduate of University of Connecticut School of Law and a practicing attorney, Anderson also studied extensively with genre-master Jack O’Connell and the poet Robert Cording, two men whose work influenced Kingdom’s compelling high/low culture dynamic.

Downloaded over 16,000 times in the past month alone, Kingdom has been met with high praise from critics, earning a coveted star from Kirkus Reviews, which heralded the novel as a “taut, brilliantly conceived thriller with impeccable pacing bursting with ideas.”

Presently, Anderson is at work on Exile, the sequel to Kingdom and the next volume in the planned “Tiber City” trilogy. He is also scheduled to embark on another blog tour beginning in October 2012, and promotion for Kingdom—including interviews, guest posts, giveaways, and author appearances—is scheduled to run through the holidays.

Connect with the Author:

Website 
Facebook 
Twitter 
Goodreads 

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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October 18, 2012

Watch Now: Parasouls



Find Parasouls ~ Divine Intervention by Michele Richard at Goodreads, IndieBound, and 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. 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.

Tips on Thursday: Google +

Sometimes I read an article that is so helpful I know that I can't say it any better. I know many people are still trying to figure out Google+, including me. I wanted to share this article with you.

Recently Google announced that Google+, its new social networking site, reached 250 million users. Though that number is staggering, keep in mind that these aren't all active users, just folks who have registered for an account. Therein lies one of the biggest challenges with Google+, because the accounts are easy to register for. If you have any access to Google at all (and who doesn't these days) via their applications such as Gmail, Google Docs, and others, you're going to get into Google+ almost by necessity. The problem is that most of us, once we're there, have no idea what to do with this new social networking platform. 


Many SEO people tout this social networking site as a "must" for search engine ranking and we pay attention because it's Google. Of the 250 million users that Google cited, there are only about 75 million that are active, far less than Facebook. But here's the kicker, when you're in Google, so using Google products, etc. you'll always be "in" Google+ because of the way Google has set up the notifications. Have you seen that red box in the upper right hand corner of your screen when you're in Gmail? That's your Google+ notification letting you know there are new updates for you to look at. And while Google+ is still relatively new in the market, users spend an average of twelve minutes each on the site which is only down by eight minutes from Facebook.
Google's objective with Google+ and its other applications is not to become "just another social network" but rather a core ecosystem because its systems and services are vital to doing business (think Gmail and Google Docs) and Google also has plans to roll out a new tablet which will have an Android operating system, much like the smart phones.
 
How Google+ Works

With Google+ you can isolate who you want your news to go to using Circles. You can have friends and family circles, work circles for work friends and so on. What this allows you to do is isolate the information everyone sees. Google+ was designed to do this, realizing that this was a flaw in the social networking system.

If you have a Gmail account, you can gain easy access to Google+, once you're in there you'll see the +You in the upper left hand corner, click on that and you're in! Then you'll be able to upload your picture and a banner (similar to the Timeline feature in Facebook). Now, let's take a look at the individual features of Google+:
 
Hangouts

One of the first things to get a lot of buzz was the Hangouts. Literally you can "hang out" with two, three or ten people with these remote online video chats. You can also stream live to YouTube (via Hangouts on the Air) and record these sessions. There are hundreds of great applications for Google Hangouts, consider a few of them:

* Customer interaction: Invite your customers to "visit" with your team during these planned sessions. Folks can pop on and off, ask questions and engage with you and/or your team. You can also showcase products, or even do live demos. We do these monthly, sort of a meet-the-publicist, it's fantastic and always well attended. To get on the list email us at info@amarketingexpert.com.

* Behind the Scenes: Consumers love to see the inner workings of companies they buy from. Why not take them on a tour via hangouts, it's easy enough to do with a wireless connection.

* Live Expert Interviews: Bringing in an expert is often a great way to build content and give valuable content to your clients. Bring in an expert, invite your customer base and start streaming!

* Meetings: We are an entirely virtual company, meaning everyone is everywhere. Using Skype became prohibitive because of connection issues and they charge if you have more than two people on a video chat. Enter Hangouts, it's a great way to stay visually connected. Sometimes we'll even do client calls this way. We work with people all over the country and it's great to be able to meet them, albeit virtually.

There are quite a number of applications being rolled out for Hangouts, too including Slideshare, Scoot & Doodle, and Google Effects. Did you create an awesome hangout? Submit it to Google https://support.google.com/plus/bin/request.py?contact_type=hoa_submit; if they decide to use it and promote it, it could be some great exposure for your business, book or service!
 
Using Circles

As I mentioned earlier, Google+ has really allowed you to segment out your contacts. When you sign in, Google+ will give you some pre-named circles to choose from, but I recommend having some fun with these. Rename them, add new ones.
 
Tips for Using Google+

* Tagging: You can tag people in your circles by using the + sign before their name. Similar to the @ symbol on Facebook, they'll be notified of your posting.

* +1 Button: This is Google's version of "liking" a post. So the more +1's you get, the more popular your post. You can also +1 someone else's posts by simply clicking that button.

* Pages on Google+ are directly connected to search so along with a profile, you should also have a company page which is simple to set up once you're logged in. Keep in mind that searches for keywords can turn up your pages in Google+, so be sensitive to keywords in your About descriptions.

* Be Unique: One of the things that sets Google+ apart is the benefit of unique content. In many cases I will cross-post things to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter but generally not to Google+.
 
Content: Marc Pitman of the Fundraising Coach Website suggests that you post entire blog posts to Google+, rather than just their links. He asserts that entire postings get more attention than just links.

There's still a lot to learn about Google+ and new features are being added every day. One thing is for sure, Google is serious about its social networking site and is investing a lot of time and energy into this platform.
I spent some time with Matt Beswick of Quirkle and he offered the following insight as an SEO expert about Google+:
 
1. Why should we care about Google Plus? What makes it different from any other social network out there?

We should care because Google cares. They've been 'playing' with their own social network for what feels like forever but Google+ seems to me like the real deal. There are rumors of a Facebook search engine, whisperings that users are slowly but surely going to move away from traditional search mechanisms and a feel from pretty much everyone that social is 'the future.' Google needs to be there and getting left behind just isn't an option for them.
 
2. Is there a real SEO benefit to Google Plus?

If we think of SEO as generating targeted traffic to your site, then yes. As it stands there's no ranking benefit to using Google+ but with 'Search Plus Your World,' the combining of Google Places with Google+, and the addition of people you have in your Circles below URLs that they've given a +1 there's loads of reasons that Plus will help with search traffic. This is only going to increase as time goes on too - social signals are going to become far more important to rankings so you really need to get ahead of the curve.
 
3. Is there a particular type of person that could benefit more from this site?

The joke at the moment is that the only people who use Google+ are Google employees and SEOs. A tad harsh maybe, but it's not that far from the truth. Having said that a good friend of mine runs a travel site in South Africa and has had great success by posting images and local travel advice (although he admits that he's not quite sure how or why!).
 
4. How often does it need to be updated and what type of content works well there? I read somewhere that people on Google Plus don't want to click off the site like they do on Facebook, they want all the content there which suggested that posting entire articles in Google Plus is acceptable, is that true?

It's like anything 'social' - you need to be consistent, pick your niche, interact with the right people, and post as often as you can (without being annoying). I've never heard the comment about posting entire articles to G+ and, to be honest, it sounds like a pile of rubbish! As long as you're posting great content to your profile people will be more than happy to click through to it.
 
5. What are some tips for getting started on Google Plus?

Don't have expectations that are too high. Sign up, start posting regularly, and use the search function to find relevant people in your niche. 'Circles' (friend lists) are really handy as you can segment who sees what you post - so for example you could have a Circle full of Pet Bloggers and one of SEO Professionals. All you need to do then is remember to tick the right box whenever you post something.

6. If you had a crystal ball, what would you predict for the future of Google Plus and all its partners, YouTube, etc.?

I expect Google+ to succeed, but there's a long road ahead. The important thing to remember is that Google as a whole isn't going to go away and they're going to continue pioneering how things are done online no matter how much the likes of Facebook wish it weren't so. The advantage they have is the range of products and offerings; it's nearly impossible for anyone to catch up with them. I can see everything becoming more integrated though and it wouldn't surprise me if, at some point, Google looks to tie YouTube and Google+ together somehow as it would be the perfect way to give a quick (massive) boost to mainstream traffic.

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com

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October 17, 2012

Excerpt: The Enchanted by K. B. Hoyle




My niece was thrilled to share her weekly column for her favorite author and series. Check out Kid Who Reads thoughts on The Gateway Chronicles. I'm happy to be able to give you an exclusive excerpt for what I think is the Best YA novel of 2012. Read my full review of The Enchanted by K. B. Hoyle.

Excerpt:

If she hadn’t seen Colin’s father earlier, she wouldn’t have believed this boy was Colin. His shaggy hair was golden blond like his father’s, and his outfit wasn’t at all Goth. His one concession to his previous style was the tight black T-shirt he wore over dark jeans and sneakers.

He stood with his head bowed, muttering something incoherent. His hands were clenched into fists and he was focused on a spot at the end of the game trail.

There was a sudden oppressive darkness. Even the cold wind seemed to still, and Darcy’s chest grew heavy with fear as sweat broke out on her forehead. Something was here. Colin was calling on dark powers—powers from another world. She had to do something.

She jumped onto the path and yelled, “Colin!”

He swung around. The darkness lifted for a moment and then returned with a vengeance as he hurried toward her. “Why are you here? Why are you here? Don’t you know it’s dangerous for you to be here?”

Colin came on fast. His irises had turned black, and he reached toward her. She jerked away, wanting to run, but stared, mesmerized as the darkness in his eyes spread until it swallowed up the whites. He grabbed her right wrist and held it tight.

“You’re mine,” he growled in a voice that wasn’t his. “Mine!”

Darcy’s cold hand and forearm pulsed. She tried to yank away, but his grip was like iron. The cold spread like a plague up her arm and toward her heart. She shuddered. It entered her chest, and she gasped and whimpered.

Her knees gave out beneath her. Colin seemed to grow bigger as he loomed over her collapsing form.

“Hey!” someone shouted. A blur rushed past her, and Colin loosened his grasp and stumbled backward. A deep growl emanated from his chest, and he lowered his head like a threatened animal.

Darcy sat back and cradled her frozen arm as she gasped for air. Lewis stood over her with his feet planted, facing down Colin.

Colin lunged toward Lewis with a snarl, and Lewis punched him right in the nose. Colin stumbled backward while holding his bleeding nose in both hands.

He swayed drunkenly and looked up at Lewis. His eyes had returned to their usual brown, though a strange gleam still lingered.

“Go,” Colin said, sounding as though he had a bad cold. “Go on, get her away from here.”

Lewis stood in uncertainty, his hands clasped into fists.

“Go!” Colin said again. “I can’t—not right now—not yet . . .” He waved them away and plunged off into the woods.

Follow the rest of tour:

10/13 sherrygomes.com
10/14 Kid Who Reads
10/15 msbookqueen.com
10/16 paperbookprincess.blogspot.com/
10/17 Girl Who Reads
10/18 oakenbookcase.com
10/19 jacitamati.blogspot.com/

About the Author:

K. B. Hoyle is a wife to a wonderful husband, a mother to two rambunctious little boys, an expectant mother to baby number three, and has been a classical educator for five years. She always knew from a young age that she wanted to write stories that would inspire people. Her favorite genre to read and write is Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction, so that is where her journey began. K. B. Hoyle began writing her first fantasy novel at the age of eleven, which proved to be valuable experience and practice for the novels she would publish as an adult.

K. B. Hoyle is currently writing the Young Adult Fantasy series The Gateway Chronicles, but she never stops brainstorming and planning for all the stories she hopes to write in the future.
Connect with the Author:

Blog: On Alitheia
Facebook
Twitter: @KBHoyle_author


Find The Enchanted at Goodreads and 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. Featured Books is a free announcement feature and all information is provided by the author unless otherwise noted.

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Writer Wednesday: Sam Croft

I’ve loved two things from an early age.

My mum was a reader, and she taught me to read, long before I started school. I loved getting a new reading book, and I was always eager to finish so I could get onto the next.

When I was five, I discovered something new. My parents took my sister and I on a day trip to London, and my favourite part was Madame Tussauds. Only, when we came to the Jack the Ripper exhibition, I was disappointed, there was no one there. Why not? Who was this Jack the Ripper? What did he do? If they never caught him, how did he have a name? Why is he famous? The questions were endless, and nobody could give me answers.

Things come and go in life, people, interests, favourite bands, and I was no exception, but my love of books and interest in Jack the Ripper always stayed. I should explain myself, I’m not a ghoul. What he did doesn’t fascinate me, it’s the unanswered questions, why. What would drive a man (or woman) to commit such terrible crimes against a fellow human?

As readers often do, I began writing (or trying to) when I was still quite young, and I’ve wanted to write about Jack the Ripper for as long as I can remember. But with so many books already written on the subject, what did I have to offer? What research could I do that might shed some light on the mystery?

So I kept my interests separate. I continued to write, I continued to read, and I continued to read about Jack the Ripper. Until one day I realised I didn’t have to discover irrefutable proof of which suspect committed the crimes, or discover a new suspect. I didn’t have to write a fictitious story that barely touched on the facts of the case. I would write about Jack the Ripper using the facts as the backbone, and write my story around it to fill in the holes.

I began writing THE WATCHER in early 2008. At first I found it difficult. Even though I was already quite knowledgeable on the subject, I researched meticulously, not wanting to get any detail wrong. I tried to address some of the questions about the murders: Why did he start? How did he choose his victims? What type of person was he, that he could do such terrible things? Why did he stop?

I found an FBI profile on Jack the Ripper, and given the amazing accuracy of their profiles, I used that as the basis for the character. The story is different to any I’ve seen or read, and I wanted it that way, nothing ghoulish or cliché. But I also wanted something familiar for those already interested in the subject, so I took characteristics from many of the recognisable suspects.

As a single mum with a full time job, I sometimes had to put the book away, not working on it for months at a time, coming back to it when I had the chance. Eventually, in May 2010, I finished, put it away, and then began editing two months later.

It took me almost a year to edit (eight times in total), and after a professional edit, the manuscript was returned to me exactly a year to the day that I’d typed ‘The End’. I was happy; I’d done something I’d wanted to do for almost my entire life.

Of course, in the time that I’d taken writing my book, everything changed. E-books were on the rise, bookstore sales were declining. Whilst several agents were interested, they were reluctant to take it on; most felt I’d pushed the boundaries a little further then they were comfortable with. Another year later, I decided to give up and publish THE WATCHER myself, as an eBook.

I had a cover designed, figured out how to format the manuscript, read everything I could about e-publishing and finally put THE WATCHER on Kindle in September this year. I don’t regret it. I’ve now had a lot of interest on a second novel, not about Jack the Ripper, but just as dark, but I’m enjoying this process so much that I don’t think I want to try the traditional route with the second book either.

It’s the indie life for me!


 About the Author:
Sam Croft is the author of novels exploring the darker side of historical fiction. Her first novel, The Watcher, was published for Kindle 14th September 2012. Sam is currently working on her second novel, Requiem, due to be released in 2013.
Connect with the Author:

Twitter: @samcroftauthor
Facebook

Find The Watcher at Goodreads and 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 16, 2012

Excerpt: Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman by J. B. Lynn

Today you can get your very own copy of perhaps the funniest book I've ever read and definitely the best adult book of 2012. What am I talking about? Further Confessions of a Slightly Neuorotic Hitwoman, of course. If you missed by review, read it here. Or you can read a little excerpt that J. B. Lynn sent over as a Girl Who Reads exclusive. I laughed when I read this scene the first time and I laughed again when I re-read it.






I hope you see a little bit of why I love Doomsday so much. If you haven't read the first Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman (see my review), pick up both books and plan to hole up all weekend with the hilarious goodness that is J. B. Lynn's writing.

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
 Find Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman at Goodreads, Amazon, and B&N.

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. A free book was obtained from the publisher in order to provide an honest and free review.


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They're back: Uncontrollable

Uncontrollable (Nature of Grace #2) by S. R. Johannes
ebook
Published September 2012 by Coleman & Stott
ISBN13: 9780984799145
Read: October 2012
Source: author
Goodreads, Amazon

It was great to check in again with Grace, Wyn, Tommy and the rest of the North Carolina town in the Smoky Mountains. Uncontrollable picks up just months after the end of Untraceable (see my review). Grace has become of the pariah of the town. Like it is the fault of a teenager that the town is failing fiscally and has nothing to do with the illegal activity over half the town was involved in.

I didn't think Uncontrollable was as grisly as Untraceable. Maybe it was because the focus was red wolves instead bears (hehe, see my little pun?) Seriously though the violence has been taken down a notch in the second book.

To be completely honest, I enjoyed Untraceable more. I had trouble with the plot in Uncontrollable. For a realistic drama, I didn't feel the circumstances were very believable. What state/federal agencies would send high school students out into the field with little supervision and any less training? It doesn't even appear they needed parental consent. There are some sinister dynamics at play, but even so I just had a hard time buying into it.

The book was a lot more focused on the plight of red wolves than the first book was focused on the plight of bears. So much so, that it seemed like all the action and resolution happened in the last few pages. I wondered at one point if we were going to discover the "bad guy" before the end of the book.

As my dissertation dealt with the reintroduction of an endangered predator and while in college I visited a reintroduction site for red wolves at Cades Cove, TN, I kept trying to piece together my knowledge with what was being said in the book. The Tennessee wolves had a genetic defect or something that required all the young born in the wild to be inoculated. There is no mention of anything like that, but otherwise the info was correct. Red wolves are an interesting case study for endangered species law as the only naturally occurring population is in North Carolina and aren't welcomed. I have a whole section in my dissertation on some case law involving the red wolf.

Anyways, back to Uncontrollable. I really like the characters and for the story that's being told. I look forward to more in this series. I also kind of want a Moonpie after reading both of these books so close together. I thought about doing a Moonpie giveaway, but I wasn't sure if they would survive shipping. Want to know what Moonpies have to do with poaching and conservation? You'll just have to check out The Nature of Grace series.

photo credit: akibubblet via photopin cc

A free book was obtained from the source mentioned above in order to provide an honest and free review. 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 15, 2012

Meet the Author: Emily Ward

As a self-published author trying to thrive in the digital world, I found I've written a lot of these kinds of blog posts. Meet the author, learn about Emily, what inspires her, etc. I feel like touting about myself has to be boring, so I usually try to mix it up with something. I like lists, so let's do some lists today!

The 5 Things Everyone Should Know About Me:
  1. I'm married to the coolest guy I know, a very talented musician (http://facebook.com/yaquinabay) and my best friend!
  2. I'm a Torah-observant Christian (kosher laws, Sabbath, holidays like Passover—I'm all over that!)
  3. I have an awesome family that I love very much.
  4. I love traveling.
  5. I love reading and writing (but you probably already guessed that!)

Top 5 Played Songs on my iTunes:
  1. "Delicate Goodbye" by Chaz Knapp
  2. "Romance" by Olafur Arnalds
  3. "United State of Pop 2009" by DJ Earworm
  4. "Raein" by Olafur Arnalds
  5. "The Sickness Unto Death" by Typhoon

Last 5 Books I Read:
  1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  2. Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  3. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  4. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling
  5. Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard

Top 5 Favorite Authors (in no particular order because I can't choose!)
  • JK Rowling
  • John Marsden
  • CS Lewis
  • Samantha Young
  • JRR Tolkien

Top 5 Favorite Movies (again, in no particular order)
  • Clue
  • The Princess Bride
  • Up
  • Inception
  • Moulin Rouge

Last 5 Word Documents Open:

  1. This one (I'm writing in Pages right now, a word processor for Mac)
  2. Publishing Plan. Trying to get organized!
  3. My manuscript Connection, which I'm currently revising for a late November release date. It's about two friends who are rekindling their friendship and dealing with their strange telepathic connection when they find out they have supernatural powers.
  4. Another manuscript, currently untitled (the document name is "paris madison"). It's set in Paris and centers around a seventeen-year-old girl named Madison who is trying to become a Guardian, her magical world's peace-keeping force. Her dad disappeared two years ago and when they find an orb with his magic, she gets pulled into the world of illegal trading and selling of magic.
  5. A paper for my Anthropology class (African Film and Society) about the Senegalese movie, Mandabi.

The 5 Books from the Protectors series (by yours truly!):

  1. Shifting Light: a YA fantasy novella free on most retailers. The shape changers deal with the aftermath of a curse on their family from the Protectors.
  2. Fire and Light: second novella, the sequel to SL, set two years later.
  3. The End of Light: the final of the prequel novellas, set three years later.
  4. Promising Light: the first novel, set two years after End of Light. Grace, a young noble, must decide whether to help the shape changers break a curse set on their family.
  5. Promising Hope: After the events of Promising Light, Grace and the shape changers fight for the rights of the shifters and face the man who cursed their family.

This is the last day for my blog tour for the Protectors, so I thought I'd share the giveaway that we've had. You still have today and tomorrow to enter for a $15 Amazon Gift Card and the Protectors ebook and paperback packages!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for having me, Donna! I've had fun writing this "Meet the Author" post!

Emily Ward is the author of Passages, Beyond Home, Finding Fiona, and The Protectors series. One of her first stories featured a young girl whose doll came to life. The rest is history. When it comes to fiction, she writes mainly young adult, contemporary, and fantasy. She also writes nonfiction, ranging from stories of her travels to thoughts on God and the Bible. Aside from writing, she’s also a content editor for Entranced Publishing. She loves reading, traveling, sociology, religion, and Reese’s sticks. Currently, she lives in Salem, Oregon with her husband Chris and their crazy cats.
Connect with the Author:


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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Read them ALL!!



News:

The Bunny's Review is hosting a fundraiser for the House Rabbit Society. All you need to do is make a donation to HRS and then you get to choose an ebook as a thank you gift. For more info, check out Books for Bunnies.

Are you following the Millicent Marie Tour with Karen Pokras Toz? Make sure you check the schedule each day for that day's stop. *author has paid for a publicity package from GWR Publicity.
  
Kid Who Reads participated in her first blog tour. Check out what she thought about The Gateway Chronicles and what she hopes happens in The Enchanted by K. B. Hoyle.

Giveaways:

Paperback copy of The Recruit by Monica McCarty

Have It Your Way $200 - last week to enter!
$100 Paypal Cash
Keurig Vue V700
Millicent Marie swag & $20 Amazon Gift Card 

I'm pretty excited that I finished my entire reading list from last week. If you read my Monday posts regularly you know that I've been working on Broken Harbor since the end of August.

Finished:


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.

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 tell you all I know for sure. "My name. Shauna."

I woke up in a hospital bed missing six months of my memory. In the room was my loving boyfriend-how could I have forgotten him?-my uncle and my abusive stepmother. Everyone blames me for the tragic car accident that left me near death and my dear brother brain damaged. But what they say can't be true-can it?

I believe the medicine is doing strange things to my memory. I'm unsure who I can trust and who I should run from. And I'm starting to remember things I've never known. Things not about me. I think I'm going crazy.

"And even worse, I think they want to kill me."

But who? And for what? Is dying for the truth really better than living with a lie? From Goodreads.com
Read my review. Find Kiss at Goodreads, IndieBound, and Amazon.

Reading:

Tara and Sky are as different as two sisters can be.
 

Sky, obedient and cautious, has worked hard to build her dream life: In her ideal job as a lawyer and married to handsome Troy, they live with their beautiful three-year-old daughter, Rachel, in a house on the beach.
 

Rebellious and impetuous, her younger sister,Tara, devotes herself to her music, falls in love with the unsuitable but irresistible Aaron, becomes pregnant, and embarks on a rollercoaster of a life as a musician.
 

But when tragedy besets Sky her life is turned upside down. Meanwhile, to Tara's astonishment, instead of facing a future destined to be foolhardy and risky, Tara suddenly finds herself on the brink of. With this reversal of fortune, everything changes between the two sisters. 

Sky is at a loss until Tara offers her to help her start over and move home. And so begins a road trip where tensions between the two sisters erupt, loyalties are tested and long hidden secrets revealed. From Goodreads.com
 Find A Gift for My Sister at Goodreads, IndieBound, Amazon.


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, Amazon.

Listening:


While more and more people each day become aware of the dangerous world of human trafficking, many people in the U.S. believe this is something that happens to foreign women men and children not something that happens to their own children and neighbors.

They couldn't be more wrong.

In this powerful true story. Theresa Flores shares how her life as an All American, 15-years-old teenager was enslaved into the dangerous world of sex trafficking-all while living at home with unsuspecting parents in an upper-middle class suburb of Detroit. Her story peels the cover off of this horrific criminal activity and gives dedicated activists as well as casual bystanders a glimpse into the underbelly of human trafficking

Even more importantly, Theres's story and expertise as a counselor and licensed social worker help identify red flags that could prevent her plight from becoming the fate of an unsuspecting teenager. She discusses how she healed the wounds of sexual servitude and offers advice to parents and professionals through prevention tips, education and significant information on human trafficking in modern day America.

With insights and perspectives from a doctor, a friend and her own brother, Theresa's memoir provides a well-rounded portrait of the dark world of human trafficking and serves as a reminder of the most important clement to overcoming slavery: hope. From Goodreads.com
Find The Slave Across the Street at Goodreads, IndieBound, Amazon.

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October 14, 2012

Watch Now: Margery's Time by J. M. Powers



Find Margery's Time by J. M. Powers at Goodreads and 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. 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.

 

Kid Who Reads: Thoughts on The Gateway Chronicles


Kid Who Reads is excited to be part of The Enchanted tour. The Gateway Chronicles is my favorite series EVER. It got me started reading. So let me tell you about this great series. (And at the end there's a special note from K. B. Hoyle to her younger readers.)

These are good, great awesome books. Good for anyone. I started them in 3rd grade (at age 9). My aunt is 35 and my grandma is 63 and loved it. So anyone can love it.

I like them because it has fantasy, action, and just so much to learn how one day at camp and then a world with fairies and magic with other stuff.

Darcy is my favorite character because she has cool powers.

The first book is about the Six learning about the new world. Second book is about Darcy having to go see the Oracle. Third is about them going to rescue a friend that was capture by the Oracle.

I can't pick one book that is my favorite. They are all my favorites.

I hope that the riddle will be solved in the fourth book.

Ms. Hoyle, I love all the books and because of this series I started to actually read. Thank you.

You can check out my aunt's reviews of The Six, The Oracle, The White Thread, and The Enchanted. I also interviewed K. B. Hoyle this summer. Read that interview.

A Note From K.B. Hoyle

To my young readers…
Have you ever wanted so badly for something to be real? Well, when I was growing up, I used to read books about fantasy lands and dream about what it would be like to visit another world myself. I was pretty shy, too, and I didn’t have many friends, so I found comfort more often than not in the pages of my books. Now, although I pushed on the back wall of my closet plenty of times hoping for an entrance to Narnia, I was also a pretty smart kid and knew, unfortunately, that none of that was real. What I did discover, however, was that there are other ways to escape to a fantasy world other than just reading about them, and so I began to write. I figured out early on that a writer can be an explorer one day, a fantasy princess another, an astronaut the day after that, and a superhero the next day. Writing, like reading, became another means of transporting myself to fantastic realities in which I, ultimately, learned more about myself and became more comfortable in my own skin. I’m so grateful that I’ve been given the gift of being able to write and craft new fantasy stories that others may also enjoy now, not only myself. I hope you join me in exploring my world of Alitheia in The Gateway Chronicles, and that you find inspiration yourself to craft new realms. The possibilities truly are endless!


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