Amazon

Readers' Favorite

July 13, 2013

Review: The Shanghai Factor

Planning a late summer vacation? Need something to listen to while laying on the beach? Pick up a copy of The Shanghai Factor by Charles McCarry.

I love espionage books. However, the farther from the Cold War era we get, the less good espionage books I can find. Stories are more focused on military intelligence (which I enjoy, but aren't spy books). Most of my spy reading has involved CIA and MI-6. When I saw The Shanghai Factor in the Highbridge Audio newsletter I knew I had to get it. 

Before listening to this audio book, I would never have known what the intelligence agency of China was called. I've never really thought about it, so it was interesting to learn a little about how China's system works.

However, it was not the fast pace spy novel I typically read. I was expecting whiplash inducing ping-pong match of covert moves and counter moves. Instead I got a calculated game of chess, or more aptly wei chi.

The story is told as a memoir.  Maybe it is the unnamed narrator's confession. He is a newish CIA agent doing his language immersion training in Shanghai. A bike accident that may or may not have been orchestrated is only the beginning of convenient incidents.

Like the narrator, you don't know who to trust; what the truth is. There's enough bread crumbs for you to be suspicious of certain actions and form a few hunches.

I was worried that there would be too many twists and slight of hand tricks to follow as an audio book. As it is a retailing of the events, the story is relatively straight forward and easy to follow. If you are traveling this summer or just driving back and forth to work, The Shanghai Factor by Charles McCarry would make an excellent listen.

Buy The Shanghai Factor at Amazon

Book info: audio, Published June 2013 by Highbridge Audio
ISBN13: 9781622310135
Source: publisher
Listened: June 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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

July 12, 2013

Friday Fun: A Writing Prompt


I'm trying something new for Fridays for the rest of July: writing prompts. If you have wanted to try your hand at writing or perhaps you need a bit of inspiration, either way I hope you will have some fun and link up your stories. Don't have a blog of your own? Email me for a possible feature on Girl Who Reads. There are only 3 rules:

  1. The following prompt must be included in the story (beginning, middle, or end); personal pronouns can be changed to fit your story.
  2. If your story contains mature content, kindly add (18+) with the linky.
  3. Link to this post to encourage your readers to read the other submissions
Are you ready? Here you go...





July 11, 2013

Have you backed up your blog?

IMPORTANT!! This may seem like a boring topic, but it is so important and could save you a lot of headache and heartache later on.

When was the last time you backed up your blog?

On Tuesday, I heard from a few bloggers that their blogs had been deleted. They were using Blogger to host their blogs. It seems that Google is targeting a particular set of blogs with this latest round - those with the Adult Content Warning or having adult ads on their sites. Apparently a letter was sent to blogs that would potentially be affected by this update.

However, this isn't the only time blogs have disappeared. And it can happen to anyone at any time. Those using a free hosting service are most vulnerable though. At anytime the service can be discontinued.

A blog can be deleted by the host for violating TOS. Google has been cracking down on black hat techniques of linking and traffic building. (You may have heard of the Penguin and Panda updates).    Having too much duplicate content (content that is identically posted on multiple blogs) can adversely effect your ranking, but it can also having you running afoul of Google's spammer detecting algorithms.

Blogger isn't the only platform susceptible to deleting blogs. You can run into this problem with any free hosting service, including the free Wordpress.com.

It is IMPORTANT that you back up your blog so you will have a copy to easily reload should your blog be deleted by your host. If you post only a few times a week, a monthly back up should suffice. If you post multiple times a day, you may wish to back up weekly or biweekly.

How do you back up your blog?

It is easy with Blogger to make a back up copy of your blog to store on your hard drive, disk, or cloud. Simply go to Setting > Other > Export Blog.

I'm sure it is similarly easy with Wordpress and I would be most appreciative if one of my Wordpress bloggers would post the instructions in the comments. Thanks!

Remember: Save your Sanity! Save your Blog! Back up TODAY!


Related articles
Enhanced by Zemanta

July 10, 2013

Bloggers Wanted: Sponsored Giveaway with Stacey Rourke

Stacey Rourke is back with another novella in the Gryphon series.


The call of the sea.

The promise of adventure.

For Rowan Wade, the need to return to his swashbuckling ways is enough to betray the only woman he’s cared for in over three hundred years.

With vengeance in his heart, he’s determined to exact his revenge on those that mutinied against his father. 

The arrival of an unlikely ally challenges Rowan’s plans. Her goal isn’t to stop him, but to lead him on a journey of self-discovery to unravel the mysteries of the twisted path that led him to the Dark Army.

Will it be enough to make the pirate shift course? Or will he be lost forever in a rum-induced haze? Hoist ye colors and prepare to set sail with the Gryphon Series’ favorite pirate!

Join the Book Blast on July 19
Prize (1): $25 Amazon gift card, signed postcard & bookmark, and a set of 5 Gryphon series magnets

Sign up here:




A GWR Publicity event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Aria Glazki: Silent Rejections and the Successful Author

Those who choose to pursue creative writing professionally learn rather quickly to expect walls of rejections.  “Your work isn’t good enough,” is undeniably a painful thing to hear, no matter how politely it’s actually phrased.  Worse, however, are the silent rejections.

The most obvious instance of silent rejection is the lack of response certain agents and publishing houses believe to be a sufficient reaction to a writer’s query, but the fact is, all authors – traditional or independent – constantly face silent rejections.  Often, those sting more than the bad reviews, criticisms, or passes.  After all, bad reviews sell more books than a lack of reviews, and rejections with explanations allow us to move forward, rather than wanting to scream, “Why??” into the silent void.

Every time a reader visits the sale page for a book, reads the description or preview, and then doesn’t buy the book? Rejection.  Someone visits a page with a giveaway, for which the prize is a copy of our book, but that person doesn’t enter? Rejection. Our fellow writers don’t reach out with the same support they expect, or have received, from the writing community? Rejection


In those instances and more, the rejections have no tangible form, and yet they echo around the author who’s jumping up and down, arms waving, and shouting through a bullhorn in an attempt to stimulate interest in and support for a given work.  And in the digital world, with page hits that can be tracked, those rejections have become even more palpable.

In the face of this resonating, piercing silence, it can be especially easy to become discouraged.  Like most portions of the arduous climb to (relative) fame, this silence serves as a strenuous test of a writer’s mettle.  Unlike the challenge of finishing a manuscript or the necessity of crafting query letters, the trials resulting in silent rejections most resemble pledging a fraternity/sorority; that is, engaging in largely demoralizing activities for the scant hope of making it into an elite club – the Successful Authors.

Passing this stage of the journey requires patience and persistence, as well as a particular blend of humility and confidence.  We must remember that reaching the public eye takes time and effort; that rejections, even dozens of them, boil down to individual opinions – to which each of those individuals is entitled; and that no one owes us their time or money.  All the while, we guard the kernel of confidence that tells us our work is worth the public’s attention as though that kernel were the most precious stone in the world.  

In a way, it is.  That little piece of treasure serves as self-regenerating fuel for our journey.  It hums a tune in the face of the silence and keeps us climbing.  We fail when either that kernel is lost or we become blinded by its brilliance – no longer able to accept humbly the constructive criticisms, or the silence.  

Buy Life Under Examination at Amazon 

There is unfortunately no magic way to survive, or circumvent, the assault of silent rejections.  But remember, this test is ultimately just a phase.  Each of us may take different amounts of time to break through to the next stage of our journey, but if, armed with persistent patience and a closely guarded kernel of confidence, we do make it through, all of these trials will, eventually, be worth it.

About the Author

Aria Glazki’s writing story starts with one of those cliché beginnings when an English teacher encouraged her to submit a class assignment for publication. That piece was printed, and let’s just say, she was hooked! Since then, Aria has run a literary magazine, completed her Creative Writing degree, been published a few more times, and of course spent countless hours writing. After a brief hiatus, Aria was a 2012 NaNoWriMowinner, which re-inspired her to pursue writing as a career. Aria’s latest release is Life Under Examination, a poetry collection exploring the complexities of the gamut of interpersonal relationships, which is now available on Amazon and on Smashwords. Learn more about Aria and her writing through her blog or follow her on Twitter (@AriaGlazki).
Twitter  *  Blog  *  Facebook

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Book Blast & Giveaway: Zaremba, or Love and the Rule of Law

I loved the descriptions of all the characters, especially Cordelia and Zaremba. The dialogue between them is what made the book. ~ Andrea, Andrea's Book Nook

The outstanding quality of Zaremba, or Love and the Rule of Law is its charm and warmth. ~ K.N., Goodreads

In Warsaw, a shy and high-minded polio victim lives a life of seclusion caring for her odd family until a chance encounter plunges her into the intrigues of dirty politics; Zaremba, a wealthy businessman, is about to be arrested on trumped-up charges and only she can save him. Swept along by events, Cordelia finds her feelings increasingly involved with a stranger for whom she is both rescuer and victim. When Zaremba disappears, Cordelia must overcome surveillance, corruption, the media, and mounting humiliations and difficulties to learn the truth.
Although set in Poland, this is a story that could happen anywhere, as young democracies struggle against the temptations of covert operations and older democracies sometimes lead them astray.

Buy Zaremba, or Love and the Rule of Law at Amazon


You can read the excerpt from Zaremba, or Love and the Rule of Law by Michelle Granas that was featured on Friday Fun. You can read more excerpts (6 different ones) on the Book Blast participating blogs:

About the Author:


Michelle Granas was born in Alaska, but currently divides her time between Oregon and Poland. She has degrees in philosophy and comparative literature, but now works s a translator. Over the past dozen years she has translated for many of Poland's major politicians and writers, including short pieces for the Nobel Prize winner Lech Walesa and Nobel Prize nominee Ryszard Kapuscinski.



Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

July 9, 2013

Review: Defiant Heart

Defiant Heart by Marty Steere has been on my to read list for a while which I have been trying to whittle down this summer. It was an easy read (I read it in just a few days) with likeable characters. I've mentioned before that most of the historical fiction I read are set in during the World War II era.

Defiant Heart is a World War II book, but isn't really. It's a romance, but isn't really. What is really is, is a coming of age story.

Jon Meyer is orphaned after a terrible car accident kills his parents and brother. He is sent to live with his only living relative - a grandmother he's never met. In an Indiana small town, the reader get a glimpse of what life was like leading up to America's entrance into WWII. Congressional elections are coming up, uncertainty in Europe looms, and Jon must find his place in a new home, town and school. If you have ever moved to a small town where everyone has known each other since they were in diapers, you know how difficult it can be to fit in - any difference is exploited by the "in crowd". Unfortunately for Jon his difference is a cause for division around the globe.

The plot is pretty much your standard boy meets girl story line. There wasn't too many surprises and it was pretty predictable. But what I really enjoyed was seeing what life was like for Jews in America leading up to the US involvement in WWII. Also, most of the books I've read set during WWII focus on the infantry, but in Defiant Heart the Air Force is featured.

If you like historical coming of age stories with a bit of romance, then I recommend picking up a copy of Defiant Heart (there's a giveaway at Goodreads through July 18).

Buy Defiant Heart at Amazon

Book info: ebook & paperback, 386 pages, published April 2013 by Penfield Publications
ISBN13: 9780985401443
Source: Author
Read: June 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 ebook was provided by the source mentioned above in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own.

July 8, 2013

Bloggers & Authors Wanted: Blog Tour

Bloggers and Authors are wanted for Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour
Blog Tour: July 29 - August 16


From the publicist who introduced the world to Fifty Shades of Grey, Donna Huber is now revealing her secrets to successful blog tours. She shares tips and tricks learned through organizing over 30 tours, blasts, and promotional events for nearly 50 independently and traditionally published titles. 

Secrets revealed in this quick read include,

Planning stage decisions
Different types of tours
Recruiting bloggers and keeping requests organized
Best practice communication tips 
Tricks to making a great guest appearance
How to organize a fun (and legal) giveaway
Actions to take during the tour
Next steps once the tour is complete
Virtual tour and other promotional opportunities
When to hire a professional


In this easy to follow manual, Donna does not stop there. She spills even more of her blog tour secrets to help authors get the most out of their events by providing,

Tour checklist
Tour invite tips
Step-by-step guide to creating tour graphics
10 broad guest post topics
25 sample interview questions

Tour giveaway prizes (2): (1) $20 Gift Card, (1) 5 - 9 stop tour
Schedule:
July 29 Fresh Pot of Tea Review & Guest Post
July 30 Sarah Aisling Guest Post
July 31 1Book Lover's Opinion Guest Post
Aug. 1 What Shall We Blog About Today? Review & Top 10 List
Aug. 2 Jude ouvrard Interview
Aug. 3 Jamie Sheffield Interview
Aug. 4 From the desk of . . . R.E. Hargrave Interview
Aug. 5 All That's Written ... Top 10 List
Aug. 6 Italian Brat's Obsessions Review & Guest Post
Aug. 7 Author S.A. Jones Review & Book Promo
Aug. 8 Karen Pokras Toz Author Spotlight
Aug. 9 Lisa Bilbrey Guest Post
Aug. 10 Elizabeth Lawrence, Author & Professional Oddity Guest Post
Aug. 11 Aria Glazki Writes Guest Post
Aug. 12 Rose & Beps Blog Guest Post
Aug. 13 Cabin Goddess Review
Aug. 14 Killer Chicks Interview
Aug. 15
Aug. 16 Library Girl Reads & Reviews Review & Top 10 List




Enhanced by Zemanta

Meet Travis Simmons



When asked to talk about myself, I normally draw a blank. Honestly, what am I going to say? I have actually researched what other authors have written about themselves to write this post. I will try my best to keep you entertained throughout.

I grew up in upstate New York and lived a pretty typical, small town life for a nerd. Didn’t talk to many people my age, kept my nose in books after a certain age where I discovered my love for reading. It was around that time that I started writing off and on, but nothing too seriously.

When I was sixteen I moved from New York to Anchorage, Alaska with my sister and cousin. It was here that I started discovering more about myself. I told my sister I was gay before that, and she had a really hard time accepting it. She didn’t dislike me or anything as dramatic as that, but she also didn’t believe that I was gay. When she met her future husband in Alaska, he told her to pretty much back off, if it was a phase I would grow out of it, if it wasn’t then she had to support me.

I didn’t grow out of it and she is a really big supporter.

In 1999 we moved from Alaska closer to home. My grandmother was starting to get sick, and we realized the distance that separated us from our family. We didn’t want to live in New York again, though, and so we moved to Pennsylvania where I met a second one of my best friends and had the most amazing years of my life. My friend Anna and I would do everything together, seriously we hung out every single day, and most outings normally ended with us at a Chinese buffet or some other kind of restaurant.

I lived in Pennsylvania for several years. During my time there I opened up to my parents about my sexuality, and despite all my fear of them hating me, they pretty much already knew I was gay, and had come to terms with it long before I had told them. I also had a lot of experience with the gay community while in Pennsylvania. I marched in parades, I wrote for a gay and lesbian political newsletter, I went to my very first drag queen ball, and fell madly in love with an amazing man named George, who only saw me as a little brother.

When I moved back to New York after Pennsylvania is when I started taking my writing a little more seriously. I started writing a series that would see my time in The Great Realms for pretty much the next several years, morphing into a long time line of books that I hope I can write all of before I am ninety. The first book is The Bonds of Blood.

Several years later, I moved to Texas with my best friend, and lived there for a few years before ultimately moving back home. Now I am taking my writing more seriously than ever, realizing that this is all I want to do, and if I can’t write and publish my work, there is little need to draw breath. I think when we give up on our dreams, then we give up on ourselves. No one is going to give you what you want, you have to fight for it.

Buy Desolation at Amazon
In my free time I like to support charities that give homes to needy pets, stop animal abuse, and promote equal rights for all people. If you are interested in getting to know me more, please stop by my Facebook page and give me a like, I strive to entertain and I try not to bite, unless you are into that kinda thing.


Connect with the author: Twitter  *  Facebook  *  website  *  Goodreads 

 
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 views, opinions, and beliefs of contributing authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Book Blast & Giveaway: Devoted by Katherine Polillo

Now available Devoted (The Watcher's Trilogy #2) by Katherine Polillo


Chat with Katherine Polillo
Tuesday, July 9 at 8:00 pm eastern
Twitter #Devoted


Can love conquer all? 
Michelle has managed to survive high school against all odds, but now she finds herself floating adrift in “the real world”. With two horsemen defeated, there are still two unaccounted for, and surely they are plotting her immediate demise. Michelle leaves her small New Jersey town behind to venture off west. Barely able to comprehend her role as humanity’s savior she now has to grapple with some new roles and identities. With her Watcher, Gabriel, by her side she must again face the evils of Hell and attempt to keep her family safe. Will love conquer all or will till death do us part come too soon? 

Buy Devoted at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords


Devoted Tour


a Rafflecopter giveaway

A GWR Publicity event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored the author who responsible for delivery of prize pack.

July 7, 2013

Sunday Sale Page 7/7

Act quick to pick up some great deals and steals on ebooks. Also at the bottom of the post is a list of open giveaways where you can win signed paperbacks, ebooks, and gift cards.


Middle Grades Fantasy
FREE at Amazon and B&N


Children's Fantasy
FREE at Amazon and B&N


Women's Fiction
99 cents at Amazon and B&N


Paranormal Romance
FREE at Amazon
99 cents at B&N


Historical Thriller
99 cents at Amazon and B&N

Giveaways:

Relics giveaway (4 winners, 4 Prizes)

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 the time of posting. Please confirm price before purchasing as price can change without notice.

Blog Tour: Devoted by Katherine Polillo


Follow the tour for interviews with the author, guest posts from characters, excerpts and more!

Tour Schedule:
July 8 Book Blast
July 9 YA Book Addict Review
July 10 Playing For Sweeps Top 10 Ways to Catch Fire
July 11 Ali's Bookshelf Writing Play List
July 12 A.B. Shepherd Reasons We Love YA
July 13 Rayborn Rambles Review
July 14 Aria Glazki Writes Why Do I Write?
July 15 R&M Fab Book Reviews Review & Top 10 Hotties
July 16 Into the Land of Books Author Interview
July 17 Lindsay and Jane's views and reviews Review & Character Guest Post
July 18 What Shall We Blog About Today? Excerpt

July 20 Book Dream Land Review & Author Guest Post

July 22 Girl Who Reads Author Interview
July 23 Cabin Goddess Book Promo & Character Guest Post
July 24 Our New Generation for Reading Review & Excerpt
July 25 Karen Pokras Toz Author Interview

July 27 Lubs Book Chatter Review & Character Interview

July 29 All That's Written ... Character Guest Post

About the Book:


Book II in The Watcher’s Trilogy
Can love conqueror all?
Michelle has managed to survive high school against all odds, but now she finds herself floating adrift in “the real world”. With two horsemen defeated, there are still two unaccounted for, and surely they are plotting her immediate demise. Michelle leaves her small New Jersey town behind to venture off west. Barely able to comprehend her role as humanity’s savior she now has to grapple with some new roles and identities. With her Watcher, Gabriel, by her side she must again face the evils of Hell and attempt to keep her family safe. Will love conquer all or will till death do us part come too soon? 


Buy Devoted at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords

Chat with Katherine Polillo
Tuesday, July 9 at 8 pm eastern
Twitter #Devoted

About the Author:

Katherine Polillo originally planned to grow-up and become an archeologist. Unfortunately the desert air dried out her skin, the dirt was impossible to get from under her fingernails, and she just couldn’t pull off a fedora like Harrison Ford. So instead she pursued a career in education. She currently teaches high school history and special education, while fabricating fictional stories in her free time. She never really outgrew her imaginary friends stage, and instead has created lives and stories for the creations of her imagination to live in. When she is present in reality and not off on an adventure with her imaginary friends, she lives in a small, New Jersey town with her husband, the man to which all fictional leading men are compared, and their two spoiled rotten, ungrateful cats. 
Giveaway:


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. A GWR Publicity tour paid for by the author.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Shareahollic

Amazon Studio

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...