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January 12, 2013

Short Story: Prince Nameless

ebook
Published September 2012 by Fierce Ink Press Co-Op
ISBN13 9780988106758
Source: purchased
Read: December 2012
Goodreads
Over Christmas, I was looking for free books at Smashwords to add to the eReader my niece was receiving for Christmas. I happened across Prince Nameless by Patti Larsen. I was first alerted to Patti's writing when I asked from book trailers to feature. Her trailer of Family Magic is the first trailer to make be want to get the book.

Unfortunately, I haven't picked up a copy of Family Magic, but I did download Prince Nameless. I also read it in one night. It is an entertaining short story, yet with a message that really resonated with me. I wish I had had this story when I was growing up. Would it have saved me heartache? Probably not, but I might not have felt so alone.

Prince Nameless is the perfect blend of nonfiction and fantasy. It is a story young girls will identify with as so many struggle with peer acceptance and popularity growing up. And it is sometimes very difficult when reality doesn't match the fairytale.

I knew upon completion that this is a story my niece needs to read. I hope it will give her encouragement to be herself and realize she's not the only to have her experience.

Prince Nameless just makes me want to pick up Family Magic that much more. Patti Larsen is a wonderful storyteller and her writing is excellent. I'm going to go see if it is available for my Nook right now. Meanwhile you should pick up Prince Nameless.

Buy the Book!
Amazon  *  Smashwords  *  B&N 

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound. A small fee is received when purchases are made through the links.
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January 11, 2013

In the Spotlight: Fresh Pot of Tea





I often speak of the great community that can be found amongst book bloggers. I thought for 2013 it would be fun to shine the spotlight on fellow bloggers and encourage the sense of community. If you are a blogger who would like to be featured, I have a form for you to fill out. I want this feature to go beyond just "hey! check out this great blog"; I've asked each blogger to provide a little tip or advice to writers, readers, and/or other bloggers - build community. I hope you enjoy this new feature.

The Blogger: Alison DeLuca
The Blog: Fresh Pot of Tea

Welcome, Alison! Please tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a writer of YA steampunk fiction as well as an editor for my author collective and a local publishing company.

What will readers find on your blog?

My blog highlights online creativity, with an emphasis on writing. I also chat about being a stay-at-home mom and fulltime writer. 

What advice do you have for bloggers and authors?

Social media is great, as long as you keep it social. A fulltime stream of spam turns off prospective readers, followers, and buyers. 

That's a great tip, Alison. I heard that 2013 has been declared the year of RELATIONSHIPS by social media leaders, so thank you for the reminder about the proper use of social media.

Here's a glimpse at Fresh Pot of Tea:


Hop on over there and check out the fun stuff Alison offers her readers.

And if you would like to be In the Spotlight, sign up here.

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.
 

January 10, 2013

Tips on Thursday: tumblr

I was asked in the comments of last week's tips post if I had any thoughts on tumblr. Of course, I have thoughts on tumblr was my answer and then I told them they would have to wait until this week. Tumblr is actually one of the few chapters I have written for the book I'm unsuccessfully attempting to write.  

What is tumblr? 

I like to refer to tumblr as blogging lite, but the correct term is microblogging. According to web definitions from Wikipedia, tumblr is a blogging platform that allow users to post text, images, multimedia, links, and quotes. 

Image representing Tumblr as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase
If you already know what blogging is, then the definition is a no brainer. But it probably still doesn't tell you a whole lot about how you might want to use tumblr or why you even want a tumblr.

Why have a tumblr?

Ease of Use

If you are thinking about blogging, but want an easy to use platform that still has a decent accompaniment of bells & whistles, then tumblr is worth looking into. In the heiracrchy of blogging platforms, I rank tumblr number one for ease of use, followed by Blogger and Wordpress.

If you want to focus solely on content in your blogging, then tumblr is the way to go. Those who blog using Blogger and Wordpress, have to spend a chunk of time "behind the scenes" working on layout and design - optimizing our sites for user engagement.

Short form content

A second reason I often hear why people don't blog (I'm thinking authors here as that is who I'm usually advising about increasing their social media presence) is they don't know what they would talk about. However, it really isn't about the topic they are worried, but the length they can discuss such topics. When people think blogging they think "essay" length content. And if you ask people in the blogging world for a standard word count for a blog post, you will hear 500 - 1000 words (I actually wrote a tips post on length in my early days of giving advice). 
I know blogging can be daunting when you think about word count, and that is why microblogging has grown so rapidly.  People have been microblogging on Facebook and Twitter for years - sharing tidbits of their lives and thoughts on things that have caught their interest. Tumblr can sort of be seen as a marriage between Facebook and Twitter. 

If a paragraph or less of text is your normal blogging, then tumblr is the place to be - particularly if you are more interested in sharing links, images, videos, and audio. I'm not saying this isn't done on Blogger and Wordpress, but the standard is different.

Do I need a tumblr?

You may be thinking, I'm already on Twitter and Facebook, do I really need a tumblr? The answer is probably yes. 

If you aren't already long form blogging (and not ready to take the plunge), then the answer is definitely. At the end of 2012, there were over 86.8 million tumblr blogs with a combined total of posts in excess of 39 billion (Wikipedia). It will allow you to reach readers in a different way than Twitter and Facebook does.

Aesthetically, tumblr will provide a better presentation for the information you are already conveying on Twitter and Facebook. And in comparison to Twitter, it gives you a bit more room to express yourself. You will be able to customize your post a bit more than you do on Facebook and tumblr doesn't decide for you which of your followers get to see your post like Facebook does.

If you are already long form blogging, it's not as necessary, but could still be useful. If your posts tend to be more observational, shorter, or not really conversation starters (doesn't lend itself to commenting), and you are short on time, you may find tumblr to a great alternative to long form blogging. And as that platform is all about shorter posts then you might find more of an audience.

You can also use tumblr as a "promo" or add-on sites for your long form blog. Much like we use Twitter and Facebook to draw readers to our blogs, we can use tumblr as a teaser. If you are going this route, I do recommend you add tumblr specific posts as well so it isn't just promos all the time. You can share items that aren't fully relevant to the focus of your blog. For me, I might use it to discuss publishing industry news. While it is related to my blog (so interesting to a similar audience), industry news is not a focus on my blog.

A pro & a con to consider:

A cool feature I really like about tumblr is it's built in "Ask my anything" widget. It allows readers to submit questions privately to you that you then can answer publicly on your tumblr. For those familiar with Formspring, the concept is the same, but again, for tumblr, it is built into the platform and not something you have add-on and externally manage. It adds a layer of interaction with your readers, which leads be to probably the biggest "con" I have with tumblr.

Commenting... Unlike with Wordpress and Blogger where users that are on other platforms (or don't have accounts on any of them) can comment on a post, tumblr requires a tumblr log in to reply to a post. Comments are also limited in length. I have read about ways to add traditional commenting to tumblr using Disqus.

Are you a tumblr?

I'm all for experimentation in social media: it's not one platform fits all. If traditional blogging isn't working out for you or you can't fit a thought into 140 characters on Twitter, definitely try out tumblr.

Are you using tumblr currently? I would love to hear what is working (or not) for you.


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January 9, 2013

Michele Richard: Writing Against the Grain

Writing against the grain.

What does that mean?

For me, it’s staying true to the story no matter what. Like any published author, I’ve been asked to adjust my books or been told you can’t do that by editors. Call me headstrong, but I refused to change the very essence of my storylines. I don’t believe any author should sacrifice the story to suit a particular person or publishing house.

That by no means means you should ignore your editor on grammar, punctuation, or detailing. I’m a firm believer anyone who is going to publishing a book should invest in editing. If you’re going to write it, do it right. You should never slap words onto a page and publish it.

I’ve been asked many times over the years if I am an outliner or do I fly by the seat of pants. For those who don’t know what that means: do I plot out my story or just let it flow. Without a doubt I am a flyer. I know where it begins and where it ends, the rest is just as much a surprise to me as the readers. I’m one who thinks the characters should narrate the book and share their story.

One of my quirks is that I also don’t write in chronicle order. Too many times to count, I’ve had the ending chapter written long before I am half way done with the middle chapters. My newest release Mocked by Faith ~ Affirming the Faith was no different.

It was actually written to be the end of Mocked by Faith ~ Healing the Faith. Actually the whole series was meant to be one book. Once the characters came to life, there was no stopping them. Their stories demanded to be told.

How did I know when to end each book?

I listened to my editor who said this has to end here.

Now for a few tips to help make the editing easier:

  • Words that end in -ly are a huge deal. (Most authors don’t know there is a publishing standard on this.) 1:300. That means: you should only use one -ly word for every three hundred words you write. Mine by choice is 1:1000. That means only one for every thousand words. But that’s a personal preference.
  •  Avoid the heavily overused words that trap so many. Was, and, has, had, and I if writing in first person.
  • Too many details are always better than not enough. It’s easier to remove than to add as you go.
  • Count the sex scenes in your story. Did you know more than four in a book makes it an erotica? Again that’s a publishing standard.
  • Are you writing in the third person? Did you know there is a point of view standard for shifting the view? That’s right, there is. No less than one shift per a page or an estimated 600 words. So keep those flip flopping to a minimum.
  • Lastly: Don’t give up if a publishing house turns you down. There may have been a very good reason such as it just wasn’t what they were looking for at the time. Or perhaps the manuscript needed more work. Were your characters unique and well developed?

I hope this helps any authors out there looking to have their books released by a publishing house.

Thanks for letting me stop by today and ramble. I hope you’ll check out my newest novel Mocked by Faith ~ Affirming the Faith.

About the Author:
Michele Richard lives in a suburb of Boston, Mass. She’s the mother of two pre-teen daughters and the wife.

Michele Richard has created the Mocked series. From Mocked by Destiny to the trilogy Mocked by Faith, she writes what comes from the heart. A wife and the mother of two preteen girls, she spends her days spinning tales about what happens when what you believe in mocks your every turn.

When she’s not writing, her days are filled with her family, her bunny Geneva, and friends. Her greatest passions are learning new languages and traveling. She currently resides in the northeastern part of the United States however; her family members live down the east coast as far as North Carolina.

She’s currently learning French and Spanish, and one day hopes to be fluent in both. Learning new things is always something she enjoys.

Facebook  *  Blog  *  Twitter  *  Goodreads 

Buy the Book!
Amazon  *  B&N

Affirming the Faith

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound. A small fee is received when purchases are made through the link. 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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January 8, 2013

Boy Who Reads: Granny is a Werewolf

ebook
Published 2012
ISBN13: 9781301518999
Source: purchased
Read: December 2012
Goodreads
I think Granny is a Werewolf by Rae Z. Ryans is a good book, because it has a mix of mystery and adventure. I really liked this book. I would recommend this book to kids 9 through 12 years old. I can not wait till the next book comes out.

The book is about a boy and a girl finding out that they are half werewolf. They are sent to their grandma's house for the summer. Their grandma is a werewolf. Read the book to learn more.

Buy the book at 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.
 

January 7, 2013

Meet the Author: Sherri Hayes

If someone would have told me growing up that I would one day be a published author, I wouldn’t have believed them. English was a subject I always struggled with in school, mainly because I wasn’t good at spelling. In school, especially elementary school, spelling was often lumped together with grammar and literature, and no matter how hard I tried, it would always drag my grade down. It was so bad, in fact, that my second grade teacher dragged my parents in two weeks into the  school year, and told them that I would most likely be held back because I couldn’t spell what were considered basic words in a second graders vocabulary.

As I got older, I learned to cope—adjust—to my difficulty spelling. Often times, I would realize I couldn’t spell the word I wanted to use, so I’d have to find a word that would mean the same thing, but was easier to spell. It was frustrating, not being able to express myself through writing the way I wanted to.

Two things saved me—My memory and my ability to express myself well through writing, even if I was handicapped by my lack of ability in the area of spelling. My memory not only served me well when trying to memorize those dreaded spelling words, it also helped me remember story and plot lines in books. It helped with studying for tests. As much difficulty as spelling has given me over the years, it also forced me to hone other skills that I didn’t have to work at so hard.

To this day, I have trouble spelling. I love interacting with my readers at events and book signings, but there is often that twinge of fear that I’ll be asked to write something that I can’t spell. The last thing a reader expects is for an author to have difficulty spelling. Most think of it as a natural thing that goes hand-in-hand with the other, but for me, it’s not.

I am grateful that I have been given this gift of being able to tell stories that so many readers love, but I am equally grateful for spell check, my beta, and my editors. I couldn’t produce the stories I do without them.

About the Author:

Sherri is the author of four novels: Hidden Threat, Slave (Finding Anna Book 1), Need (Finding Anna Book 2), Behind Closed Doors (A Daniels Brothers’ Novel), and a short story, A Christmas Proposal. She lives in central Ohio with her husband and three cats. Her mother fostered her love for books by reading to Sherri when she was a child. Stories have been floating around in her head for as long as she can remember, but she didn’t start writing them down until five years ago. It has become
creative outlet that allows her to explore a wide range of emotions while having fun taking her characters through all the twists and turns she can create. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found helping her husband in his woodworking shop.
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New Year! No new books

News:

For those who have accepted my 5 a week comment challenge, I'll be posting how well I did the past week on leaving comments on other blogs (a little accountability never hurts). I invite you to share your progress in the comments (then you can count that as one towards this week goal!).

Number of Comments: 8

Want to offer your readers an opportunity to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card and help spread the word about a great fictional memoir? Sign up for the Beat the Winter Time Blues Giveaway sponsored by Playing the Genetic Lottery author Terri Morgan. 

Authors who are looking for guest post features, I have several openings in all 3 features for February (as well as a couple in January). See "Review Policy" for description of the features or the side bar for the link to sign up.

My first review on 2013 posted on Saturday. For a light read, check out my review of Phone Kitten.

The Confessions Tour with J. B. Lynn kicked off TODAY. See all the stops here. The first LIVE event is TONIGHT at 8 pm EST on Ali Talks Live. Feel free to call in with questions or just to chat with J. B. Lynn.

I set my 2013 reading goal at 84 books (one more than last year). However, if this past week is any indication I won't make that goal. In my defense, I did finish proofreading a manuscript and start beta reading another. What is your reading goal for 2013?

The Indie Exchange will be hosting a Family Fiction Fest to highlight all the great children, middle grade, and young adult authors and book in February. We are looking for authors and bloggers (particularly classroom bloggers) to participate. Authors you do not have to blog on your own, there will be bloggers available to feature you on their blog during the hop. Learn more by joining The Indie Exchange Facebook Group.

Finished:

"My Blog Traffic Sucks!" details an easy-to-follow plan for getting quality visitors to your blog. The best part? You can easily do it with only 15 hours of work each week.

You'll learn how to: Understand the 4 habits of effective bloggers, Design a MWR blog that converts traffic, Network with top bloggers to build powerful alliances, Write awesome (search engine optimized) content, Execute a 7-step blog post promotion plan, Craft compelling guest blog posts that generate a flood of traffic, Get results with Twitter in as little as 30 minutes a day, Generate additional traffic using 6 BONUS strategies.

Blog traffic can be systematized. Just follow these eight-steps and you'll be on your way to getting 100,000 visitors! From Amazon
 Find My Blog Traffic Sucks! at Goodreads and Amazon

Reading:


What would you do if you could see into the future?

As a child, he dreamed of being a superhero. Most people never get to realize their childhood dreams, but Corrigan Bain has come close. He is a fixer. His job is to prevent accidents—to see the future and “fix” things before people get hurt. But the ability to see into the future, however limited, isn’t always so simple. Sometimes not everyone can be saved.

“Don’t let them know you can see them.”

Graduate students from a local university are dying, and former lover and FBI agent Maggie Trent is the only person who believes their deaths aren’t as accidental as they appear. But the truth can only be found in something from Corrigan Bain’s past, and he’s not interested in sharing that past, not even with Maggie.

To stop the deaths, Corrigan will have to face up to some old horrors, confront the possibility that he may be going mad, and find a way to stop a killer no one can see.

Corrigan Bain is going insane . . . or is he?

Because there’s something in the future that doesn’t want to be seen. It isn’t human. It’s got a taste for mayhem. And it is very, very angry. From Goodreads.com
 
Fixer is not available until March 2013, but learn more about it at Goodreads.


Gen Y has been picked apart by analysts, statistics, and trend reports, which often portray 20-somethings in negative, one-dimensional terms like "entitled" and "whiners". In this thought-provoking new book that aims to dispel these stereotypes, journalist Hannah Seligson chronicles the lives of seven individuals who embody this generation, exploring their challenges and ambitions in vivid detail and sketching a picture, through their eyes, of what life is actually like for young adults. Through these first-hand stories, readers will discover the transformational effect this enterprising, open-minded, innovative, and diverse generation is having on society. From Goodreads.com
Find Mission: Adulthood at Goodreads, Amazon, and IndieBound.


How much reading did you get done this past week?

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

January 6, 2013

Confessions Tour with J. B. Lynn

Join us for the next 9 days as J. B. Lynn and the characters of her hilarious Confessions series visit various blogs. There are 2 LIVE events for YOU to chat with J. B. And, of course, an opportunity to win a signed set of this must read series. Keep reading to learn more...

About the Books:

Maggie Lee is not your average hitwoman. For one thing, she's never killed anyone. For another, after hitting her head in the car accident that killed her sister, her new best friend is a talking lizard—a picky eater, obsessed with Wheel of Fortune, that only Maggie can hear.

Maggie, who can barely take care of herself, is desperate to help her injured and orphaned niece get the best medical care possible, so she reluctantly accepts a mobster's lucrative job offer: major cash to kill his monstrous son-in-law.

Paired with Patrick Mulligan, a charming murder mentor (who happens to moonlight as a police detective), Maggie stumbles down her new career path, contending with self-doubt, three meddling aunts, a semi-psychic friend predicting her doom, and a day job she hates. Oh, and let's not forget about Paul Kowalski, the sexy beat cop who could throw her ass in jail if he finds out what she's up to.

Training has never been so complicated! And, this time, Maggie has to get the job done. Because if she doesn't . . . she's the mob's next target.

Take three wacky aunts,
two talking animals,
one nervous bride,
and an upcoming hit, 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…

Tour Schedule:

Jan. 7 Hear from Patrick at Modokker Book Picks (Review of book 2)
Jan. 8 Let's Talk Family at Alchemy of Scrawl
Jan. 9 J. B. discusses Creative Obsession at Bunny's Reviews
Jan. 10 An Interview at Jess Resides Here
Jan. 11 Advice from a Lizard at SM Johnson Writes
Jan. 12 Learn how characters are like OLD FRIENDS at Living, Learning, and Loving Life
Jan. 13 Maggie shares her resolutions with Mom with a Kindle
Jan. 14 Meet Maggie's friends at Alli's World
Jan. 15 Is Maggie nuts? Find out at Keeping Up with the Rheinlander's

Live Events:

Monday, January 7 at Ali Talks Live (8 pm EST): Listen to the archive
Thursday, January 10 at Goodreads for a LIVE author chat. Post your questions now!

About the Author:


Besides being a writer, JB Lynn is a compulsive reader, a runner (of sorts), an enthusiastic cook (who doesn't get the appeal of the Food Network), and someone who has an irresistible urge to eavesdrop at all times.

JB has a great love of her husband, dogs, coffee, purple ink, spiral notebooks, running gear, hot showers, and '80s music. Given enough time, all of these things will eventually show up in her books.

Links:

Website: www.jblynn.com

Publisher: http://www.harpercollins.com/authors/38895/JB_Lynn/index.aspx

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jb_lynn_author

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jb.lynn.14

KILLER CHICKS (blog): http://www.killerchicks.org/

Buy the Books:

Book 1: Amazon, IndieBound, B&N
Book 2: Amazon, IndieBound, B&N

Giveaway:


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. A paid publicity package was purchased by the author from GWR Publicity.
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