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July 6, 2013

The Great American Novel

Fireworks
Fireworks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since we celebrated Independence Day this week in the US, I thought it was only fitting to feature some Great American Novels. In order that they came to mind:

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - America has always seemed its strongest in the face of adversity. The human spirit is tested, yet, it remains steadfast. Buy The Grapes of Wrath at Amazon.


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - the epitome of American decadence.  The gaiety of the 1920s covers the moral decline of society. Buy The Great Gatsby at Amazon.


Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe - literature taking on a cause. A controversial and possibly criminal (at least in the south) publication. Add to the fact that is was written by a woman, it's amazing it was ever published. Buy Uncle Tom's Cabin at Amazon. (It's a free ebook)

Fireworks #1
Fireworks #1 (Photo credit: Camera Slayer)

There are a number of novels that can be classified as Great America Novels. I know I haven't even scratched the surface. I asked people on Facebook and Twitter to give me some titles/authors and these titles were added to the list:

Nathaniel Hawthrone - House of Seven Gables (free ebook)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 


What book or author comes to your mind when you think of The Great American Novel?


Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the links above. Book covers are from Goodreads.com and are used for illustrative purposes only.


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July 5, 2013

Excerpt Teaser: Relics by Maer Wilson


This is last stop on the Relics Excerpt Tour. Each blog has featured a snippet from the whole excerpt. If you haven't read the other parts of the excerpt, scroll down to the Rafflecopter and enter the giveaway. There are entries for visiting each stop on the tour.


About the Book:

Most of Thulu and La Fi's clients are dead. Which is perfect since their detective agency caters to the supernatural. So, a job finding relics for an ancient daemon should be simple.
The daemon needs the relics to keep a dangerous portal closed. His enemy, Gabriel, wants the relics to open the portal and give his people access to a new feeding ground – Earth.
Stunning humanity with their existence, portals to other worlds begin to open and the creatures of magic return to Earth.
When Gabriel threatens their family, Thulu and La Fi's search becomes personal. The couple will need powerful allies in the race to find the relics before Gabriel does. But maybe that's what grateful dead, magical allies and daemonic clients are for.
When the creatures of myth and magic return to Earth, they're nothing like your mother's fairy tales.
Buy Relics at Amazon

Meet Maer Wilson - July 13 @ 2:30 am
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, Redondo Beach, CA


Relics Tour


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. This post is part of a GWR Publicity tour paid for by the author.

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July 4, 2013

Karen Pokras Toz: Street Teams

Today I want to talk about street teams, otherwise known as promo teams. Street teams are a great way to get the word out about your books and events to a fresh new audience and should be a part of every author’s marketing plan. Here are my tips on street teams:

Set up a separate Facebook group page just for your team.

I recruited the initial members of my street team by posting about it on my Facebook author page. That way, you know that the people who respond are people who follow you regularly and are familiar with your books. I directed everyone to a separate group page where the team now hangs out to discuss promos.


Love your street team, and they will love you back.

Your street team is your promotional team. As such, they should be paid. After all, if you went out and hired a PR firm, they wouldn’t spread the word about your work out of the kindness of their hearts (although I’d be ever so grateful if they did!) In a perfect world, I’d be able to pay my street team in cash. But since I can’t, I pay them in the next best thing: SWAG. It’s true – street team members love swag!  I like to offer monthly prizes and often will throw in other prizes during the month just because... I use random.org and rafflecopter to keep it fair. I like to use prizes that are exclusive to my team, or that I offer to my team first before anyone else sees them.

Showing off the prizes that you’re giving away to street team members on your author page is also a great way to lure more members into your team. 

Keep it simple.

The first team I started was a disaster! I had this whole elaborate point system that depended on who posted what where. The members were like WHAT? I was like WHAT? It never got past day one. This time around, I did things completely different. When I ask my street team to share, I will have the post or tweet already written. I pin it to the top of the group page where it stays for a few days. They are free to reword if they wish, or they can simply copy & paste it to Facebook, G+, Twitter, etc. Once they share it, they simple let me know in the comments and they are entered into the giveaway.

Don’t overkill.

My team’s followers will get bored if they see the same posts everyday, so unless I have a tour going on, I try to limit posts for the team to once maybe twice a week. Also, I always let my team members know when I hear of other teams looking for members. What? Why would I do that? For starters, I like helping other authors, but also I'm helping my team members have variety in their posts so that their readers won’t get bored and will hopefully stay more engaged.


Ask their opinion.

What types of prizes do they want? What types of posts do they like? A while ago I asked about Twitter and found out about this site called Click to Tweet. It made everything so easy to share. I never would have known about it otherwise.


Have fun & get to know your team!

Remember they are with you because they both like you as a person and enjoy your work.

About the Author:

Karen Pokras Toz, recently discovered her love for writing. Karen writes middle grade and adult contemporary fiction. Her middle grade children’s novels have won several awards including the Grand Prize in the 2012 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards and First Place for a Global E-Book Award for Pre-Teen Literature. Karen is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). A native of Connecticut, Karen now lives outside of Philadelphia with her family. For more information, please visit www.karentoz.com.

About the Book:

Could you handle life in the spotlight?
Julia Alexander is a quiet girl from a small town. Content to spend her days with her small group of friends and a pile of books, Julia thinks her future is set. When she unexpectedly meets Chase, a fellow college student and budding musician, she is unaware of just how drastically things are about to change.
Suddenly thrown into the limelight, her life is no longer her own. Relentlessly followed by the paparazzi, Julia is forced to make tough decisions about fame, love, family, and relationships. But just how much will Julia have to sacrifice to become invisible...
Buy Chasing Invisible at Amazon


Chasing Invisible Tour


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. The opinions, beliefs, and views expressed by contributing authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads. This post is part of a paid GWR Publicity tour by the author.
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Mountain Charm Blog Blitz

Today is release day for Sydney Logan’s novel, Mountain Charm! To celebrate, we have two awesome giveaways, including a signed copy of Mountain Charm and a $100 Amazon Gift Card!
At the age of thirteen, Angelina Clark followed in the footsteps of her ancestors by casting an Appalachian love spell, which promised she would blossom into a beautiful and gifted woman who would find her true love. A young Angelina had been thrilled to participate in the sacred ritual, but through the years, her father’s untimely death and her mother’s failing health have shaken Angelina’s magical faith to its core. As her twenty-first birthday approaches, she refuses to practice her supernatural gifts and no longer believes in the love charm. That is, until Dylan Thomas arrives on her front porch.Dylan, a Nashville writer, travels to the mountain town of Maple Ridge to unearth the family’s supernatural secrets. While her clairvoyant mother is convinced that Dylan is her daughter’s soul mate, Angelina refuses to see the nosy reporter as anything more than a nuisance. Despite their constant bickering, sparks fly. Dylan admits he feels strangely drawn to Angelina and is in no hurry to leave Maple Ridge or publish his magazine article. Fearful that his emotions are being influenced by the spell, a stubborn Angelina struggles to fight her own budding attraction to the reporter. The two inevitably grow closer just as her mother’s health begins to deteriorate, and Angelina is faced with the possibility of selling the family’s music shop to pay the mounting medical expenses. Desperate to help the woman he loves, Dylan explores his own family tree and finds support from an unlikely source. Can he finally prove his love is real—spell or no spell? A story filled with love, friendship, family, and just a hint of Appalachian magic, Mountain Charm will leave you spellbound.

Sydney Logan is an Amazon bestselling author and holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. With the 2012 release of her first novel, Lessons Learned, she made the transition from bookworm to author. Sydney has a very unhealthy obsession with music, and her iPod is filled with everything from Johnny Cash to Eminem. She is also the author of two short stories: “Mistletoe Magic,” available exclusively on Amazon Kindle, and “Stupid Cupid,” which is featured in the Romantic Interludes compilation. When she isn't reading or writing, she enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her front porch at her home in East Tennessee with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat. Visit Sydney’s website at www.sydneylogan.com

July 3, 2013

Interview with Bella Andre

What influenced you to write romance novels?
I'm a lifelong romance reader, devouring up to a book a day when I can! Romance is my favorite genre to read and it was a natural fit to write it, as well. I absolutely love to both read and write stories about two people falling in love.

How does writing from a male character’s perspective differ from writing from a female character’s perspective?
I love to write from my hero's perspectives. Especially alpha heroes who put the women they love above everything else. I pay very close attention to the way the men in my books speak – they're guys, so it's doubtful they'll use flowery language even when they're telling the heroine how much they adore her. I also love to write the interactions between the Sullivan brothers. They may not always go easy on each other, but they're always there for each other when one of them needs help.

You do such a great job of painting romantic scenes in your books. Can you describe your perfect romantic date?
Thank you! One of my favorite things about writing romance is getting to experience that  delicious thrill of falling in love over and over again with every new hero and heroine. My perfect romantic date would start with a sunset walk through the local vineyards hand-in-hand with my husband, followed by a delicious dinner, and then curling up on with him on a blanket under the stars listening to a jazz band play.

In your opinion, what ingredients are needed to make up a good love story?
Friendship. Laughter. Respect. Trust. And heat.

If the Sullivan’s were a real family, which brother would you want to be with?
I couldn't possibly choose a favorite brother. Each of my Sullivan men are special to me. Chase from THE LOOK OF LOVE is incredibly loving and supportive. Marcus from FROM THIS MOMENT ON is swoon-worthy because he's taken care of his seven siblings and mother since he was fourteen years old. Gabe from CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE is so brave that he runs into burning buildings to save strangers every day.

About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Bella Andre has always been a writer. Songs came first, and then non-fiction books, but as soon as she started writing her first romance novel, she knew she’d found her perfect career. Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly) about sizzling alpha heroes and the strong women they’ll love forever, nearly all of her novels have appeared on Top 5 lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Kobo.
Her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine ”Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into nine languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post has called her “One of the top digital writers in America” and she has been featured by NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. She has given the keynote speech at Book Expo America on her self-publishing success and has sold more than one million books.
If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100 year old log cabin in the Adirondacks.

Buy The Way You Look Tonight at Amazon 

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. The views, opinions, and beliefs expressed by contributing authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads.
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July 2, 2013

Weekly Short: Sex, Life, & Hannah Vol. 3

I thought this was going to be my pool book for the summer. There's a couple of criteria for being a pool book. One, it is absolutely necessary that it can get wet. Signed books and hardbacks are not allowed in the pool because accidents happen (particularly since I nap in the pool most of the time). Two, it's got to be light (story-wise, but size of book could be important, too).

Sex, Life & Hannah volume 3 The Summer Season by Dorota Skrzypek fit the bill perfectly. I always enjoy checking in with Hannah. Life isn't a storybook for Hannah. It's messy; it's real. Though, I'm starting to hope that Jack can get through to her. Her decision making skills leave a lot to be desired.

I read the first two volume in this series pretty close together. But it's been  a while since I read them (read my reviews of volume 1 and volume 2), and I was a bit confused by the timeline. Once I got past trying to figure out where this fit with the other two and just enjoyed the story for itself I got pretty engrossed. So engrossed in fact that when I got done in the pool I didn't stop reading it. Like the other two, I read this book in a day.

Now, it looks like I have to wait until next year for another installment of Sex, Life, & Hannah.

Buy Sex, Life & Hannah at Amazon

Book Info: ebook & paperback, 190 pages, July 2012 by Concept Publishing
Source: author
Read: May 2013

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source indicated in exchange for an honest review.
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July 1, 2013

Jennifer Garcia - What I Learned from my Father

I was born Jennifer Forbes Arnone and took my husband’s name when we married twelve years ago, Jennifer Forbes Garcia. Unfortunately, I couldn’t convince him to take my last name instead of me taking his. I like mine a lot better. I write under both names Jennifer Garcia and Forbes Arnone. Forbes was my fraternal grandmother’s maiden name and Arnone was my fraternal grandfather’s last name. I’m actually three-quarters Italian and one-quarter Scottish, and grew up in Boston until I was sixteen, when I moved to the Los Angeles area. 

I was born in the early seventies and grew up with my single mother after my parents divorced when I was three. My dad and I had such a strong relationship before he left and we maintained it while he was gone. So, from a very young age, I visited him in California every possible school vacation. 

My father taught me so much growing up. He was always a go-getter and an entrepreneur.  He was also a dreamer. Big plans and new ideas flooded his mind constantly and I’d be swept up in a new adventure during one of my visits. During those early years he lived in Northern California and at around eight years old, I’d go bike riding from Marin City over the Golden Gate Bridge, take the ferry to Angel Island and ride around there all day with the son of one of his girlfriends. 

Most girls would say they learned how to sew and cook from their mother’s but my mother is not the most domesticated person, when I was little she worked a lot. No, I learned how to do all of those things and many more from my father. 

As I said, my dad taught me many things: how to fish, how to gut a fish, how to sew, cook, clean, sand my thirteen foot Boston Whaler and get fiberglass stuck in my skin for days while it burned, and how to work hard. With all of his dreaming and adventures, he started an interior demolition business out of the trunk of his car for over twenty years. From a young age I did little jobs for him. 


First, I learned how to enter business cards into a computer system that created a digital phone book for him. Then I grew old enough to answer phones and file. The older I got the more responsibility I was given. Until I was sixteen and I began running crews for overnight weekend jobs. We gutted out almost all of the business buildings in downtown Los Angles, Century City, and high end stores in Beverly Hills. 

I’m not much of a dreamer like my dad, but I am ambitious and a go-getter. There has never been anything I wanted that I didn’t try to get. I am stubborn like my father and from a young age, as close as we are, we butted heads for years. But it all worked out because my logical side taught him to plan and think more clearly and he opened my creative side. Together, we are a force to be reckoned with. We currently own and run a Recycling and Scrap business in Long Beach and have survived the bad economy. 

My first real job was for a major airline and I was hired as a part-time administrative assistant. The high achiever that I am helped me make myself a valuable asset for the company and soon I was full-time. My ambition had me focusing on management and I worked for over two years learning every possible position I could to get the experience I needed to get the position I wanted. I interviewed for that position for a whole year. Every single job that opened, I was there interviewing. I never gave up even though I was told I wasn’t ready every single time. I heard, “No,” more times than I liked but I carried on. Finally, I did it and then I kept moving up. It was a wonderful feeling, working so hard for something and to have it finally pay off.  

My father’s determination to succeed in everything he did stuck with me and it gave me the confidence to follow all of my dreams. Even new ones that came late in life. At age thirty-nine, I decided I wanted to go to college for the first time to get a BA in English Literature. When I was forty-one, I decided I wanted to be a published author. I never hesitated once, I made a goal and went for it, ready for whatever life’s obstacle would try and stop me. Both things actually went well for me. My first ever manuscript entered was accepted and I graduated with an AA in Communications and am still working toward my BA. 

I learned to never give up. So, if you have a dream, go for it! Don’t let rejection stop you; allow it to help you get better. You’ll get there if you never quit.

About the book: Available July 2

Anela Alborn’s life is a lie. After growing up without the love of a father, her mother reveals his identity. Tragedy strikes and she sets off on an adventure that leads to more than she could ever imagine. Bumping into Christian Sivers distracts her from the real man of her dreams, her father. Will he live up to her dreams? And does she follow in her mother’s footsteps?
Connect with the Author:

Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Blog  *  Goodreads

The views, opinions, and beliefs expressed by contributing authors do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads.
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June 30, 2013

Sunday Sale Page 6/30

I'm on holiday this week and with Independence Day (US) coming up on Thursday, I think we all need to load up on some great ebook deals. But first, a few giveaways you will want to enter.

iPad with Retina Display
$50 Amazon Gift Card
$10 Amazon Gift Card
$25 Amazon Gift Card & signed paperback
$20 Amazon Gift Card & signed paperback


$1.99 at Amazon and B&N


$2.99 at Amazon and B&N
I don't usually feature books over $2 but when I saw this one was only $2.99 I had to mention it. It's a great story. Read my review.


99 cents at Amazon and B&N
(middle grades, Newbery Award winner)


99 cents at Amazon and B&N


FREE at Amazon


FREE at Amazon


FREE at Amazon

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the links above. The prices were accurate at time of posting. Please verify price before purchasing. 

Relics Excerpt Tour: July 1 - 5


All week blogs will be hosting short teasers from Relics by Maer Wilson. Make sure you visit each blog to read the entire excerpt.

July 1
Cu's Author Promos part 1
The Eternal Scribe part 2
My Journey to Living Well part 3 

July 2
What Shall We Blog About Today? part 4 
Playing For Sweeps part 5
Random Reviews by Leanne part 6

July 3
The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl part 7
Cabin Goddess part 8
Lubs Book Chatter part 9

July 4 
Lucy Pireel part 10
Library Girl Reads & Reviews part 11
Keeping Up with the Rheinlander's part 12 

July 5
Book Goodies part 13
Ali's Bookshelf  part 14
Girl Who Reads part 15

About the book:

Most of Thulu and La Fi's clients are dead. Which is perfect since their detective agency caters to the supernatural. So, a job finding relics for an ancient daemon should be simple.
The daemon needs the relics to keep a dangerous portal closed. His enemy, Gabriel, wants the relics to open the portal and give his people access to a new feeding ground – Earth.
Stunning humanity with their existence, portals to other worlds begin to open and the creatures of magic return to Earth.
When Gabriel threatens their family, Thulu and La Fi's search becomes personal. The couple will need powerful allies in the race to find the relics before Gabriel does. But maybe that's what grateful dead, magical allies and daemonic clients are for.
When the creatures of myth and magic return to Earth, they're nothing like your mother's fairy tales.
Attention California Residents!

Meet Maer Wilson at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
Reading & Book Signing
July 13 at 2:30 pm
Redondo Beach

About the Author:

After a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she's a writer. She's always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. Maer was born in the Year of the Dragon and has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard. When she's not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. She also co-hosts the literary podcast, “MythBehaving” and writes for two gaming fansites. She lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her two dogs, a chihuahua and a poodle. Relics is her first novel and is published by Crescent Moon Press. It’s currently available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can visit her website at maerwilson.com
Facebook  *  Twitter  *  website

Buy Relics at Amazon and B&N 

Giveaway
(clarification: There will be 4 winners winning one (1) prize listed)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

A GWR Publicity event paid for by the author. The author is responsible for the delivery of prizes. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above.
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