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August 2, 2013

Now Playing - A Pirate's Tale

A Gryphon series novella....



Buy A Pirate's Tale by Stacey Rourke at Amazon



Ending soon! Gryphon Series Giveaway

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. 

August 1, 2013

Priorities

You know I love my blog and take great pride in it. I know you love your blog, too and want it to be the best it can be. But sometimes, there's something else that takes priority. Today's tips post is preempted because I had a cuddle bug on my lap all evening.


What are your priorities?

I'm visiting other blogs this week...
See my hat collection at Fresh Pot of Tea
Sarah Aisling let me talk about the differences between author blogging and book blogging.
And at 1 Book Lover's Opinion I discussed the important role book bloggers have.
To see where else I'm blogging the next few weeks, check out the schedule here.


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July 31, 2013

Pavarti K. Tyler: A teenage protagonist does not a YA book make

Teenagers have sex.  Oh yes they do.  Most of them do.  You probably did.  I definitely did.  They do drugs, they set things on fire, the shoot each other in the face with guns and they dream of impossibly beautiful violence.  But that doesn’t mean these things should be written out in detail in books marketed as YA.

I can hear the crowd already, don’t underestimate teenagers, they can handle more than you think.  Indeed they can.  And they will.  So they should read ADULT books.  Adult books where content is king and the author can go into as much detail as they want without concerns for the audience.  If a teenage reader can handle that, let them.  Let them read every book they want.

I read Henry Miller when I was 15 thanks to the lyrics from this song:


That led me to Anais Nin which led me to Dostoyevsky.  I didn’t understand half of it, but I read it.  But no one EVER suggested the content was appropriate to market to a teenager.  Read above your comprehension, push the limits, look words up in your dictionary and try something new.

But books actively marketed to teens are expected to have a PG-13 rating.  At least to me. I find consensus on this point from marketers, readers, parents and writers.  Yes, I know, the YA market is huge and by labeling yourself YA you can make more sales, but should you?  Self publishing authors aren’t the only ones falling into the trap of the idea that just because a book is about a teenager it’s appropriate for teens.  I have read a number of traditionally published authors who have written things wildly inappropriate for the YA market.

Would I let a teenager read these books?  Depends on the teenager, but probably.

But I also let my 10 year old read the back of any book I own, including the erotica. Then she can ask questions and ask permission to read said book if she wants, but the ones in HER room that I didn’t read before she did, are marketed as children’s books.

In White Chalk the main character turns 14 during the arc of the story.  I have had people place it on the YA section of their websites and refer to it as a Young Adult novel.  Trust me, the people who do this haven’t read the book.  When I notice, I always contact them and ask for it to be moved to either Literary Fiction or Coming of Age.

Some people may wonder why I do this, especially since having it in YA would sell more books.  It’s because White Chalk was written about teenagers for adults.  It’s raw.  It’s real.  There are many teenagers who are living this life right now, and perhaps reading White Chalk will be a source of comfort for them because someone out there understands. But it shouldn’t be shelved next to Judy Bloom.

Buy White Chalk at Amazon

White Chalk deals with issues of sexual abuse, identity, self harm, suicide and pedophilia. It’s a dark book.  I believe it’s a good book. But I also believe handing it to teenagers as if it’s the next Twilight would be dangerous without some kind of understanding that this is an adult novel.

Perhaps I’m over sensitive.  Perhaps it’s because I have two little girls.  But I don’t recall anyone ever referring to Grapes of Wrath as YA just because every teenager in America has read it or Huck Finn as Middle Grade because the main character is a 12.  They are adult novels, literary novels, and teenagers should and do read them.  But that’s different from being a Young Adult novel.

What do you think?  Do you think explicit content like sex scenes and cutting are appropriate in YA books? Do you think there’s a line between a book on these topics for adults and one for teens?  What would be the difference?

About the Author:

Award winning author of multi-cultural and transgressive literature, Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway. Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry several international law firms. She now lives with her husband, two daughters and one very large, very terrible dog. She keeps busy working with fabulous authors as the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity and penning her next genre bending novel.
White Chalk  (Evolved Publishing) marks Tyler’s third full length novel and promises readers familiar with her work the same mind bending experience.  Her other projects include:  Shadow on the Wall (Fighting Monkey Press) and  Two Moons of Sera (Fighting Monkey Press).   Shadow on the Wall  has been received many awards: Winner of the General Fiction/Novel Category of the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Winner in the Fiction: Multicultural category for The 2012 USA Best Book Awards, and Finalist in the Multicultural Fiction category for the 2012 International Book Awards.
White Chalk has been hailed as “brave”, “raw”, and “destroyingly beautiful”.  In line with novels such as  White Oleander, Thirteen Reasons Why and Gemma, White Chalk invites you to witness one girl’s heartrending story of confusion and desperation.
 Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Google+  *  YouTube  *  tumblr  *  Pinterest



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Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the links above. The views, opinions, and beliefs of contributing authors do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads. 
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July 30, 2013

Bloggers Wanted: Love is Never Past Tense Book Blast

Blast Banner
The events described in the book occur amidst complicated changes in the political and economic system of the former Soviet Union. This is a period of great turmoil for the country and the people. A period of many broken destinies, and uprooted lives.

 The book weaves its story within the discord of the country. Fear is growing, an animal fear. There remains only one way--emigration. An evacuation without bombing and without the ability to come back, the author writes. You cannot give a better definition.

The rest you will need to read. Because of this, the book delivers multifaceted, versatile content in huge volume to the reader’s range of vision. In some special moments, the author makes us breathless, frantic with worry, and hoping to relax if a satisfactory solution of the situation arrives.


Book Blast and Giveaway

From August 26th through 31st Love is Never Past Tense will Blast across the internet.

Grab your chance to be a part of this event and sign up today. Join and earn your chance to win in the Giveaway.

The prizes are: One lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift card, (5 lucky winners) digital copy (INTL), or (3 lucky winners) a signed paperback copy of Love is Never Past Tense (US residents only).

Each entry in the Rafflecopter earns you points and increases your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Sign up, grab the banner, put it on your blog, tweet about the Blast and Giveaway and help spread the word about Love is Never past Tense.
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July 29, 2013

N. K. Smith: How Mental Health Shaped My Storytelling

I’ve recognized a trend in my writing: mental health. Not every single piece outright deals with a mental health issue, but the theme runs throughout. It’s taken me a little while to realize it was there. Sometimes I set out to write a story about friendship, but then I find it’s laced with undertones of mental illness.

While it took me a while to realize the underlying theme of many of my stories, it took next to no time to identify why I write about it so much. First, since some of you don’t know me, let me say, I love angst. I love reading it; I love writing it. There’s something angsty inside of me that only comes out through reading or writing.

In high school, before I truly found creative writing, I wrote in my journal. It’s hard looking back on those passages, but at the time, it helped me process my world. When I read them now, it helps me understand who I’ve been, how far I’ve come, and how I’ve become this version of me. 

Nowadays, I use made-up stories and pretend people to deal with emotions I don’t otherwise know how to deal with. Not every story I write tells my personal story or a story of someone close to me, but the emotions within my novels do.

When I was young, someone very, very close to me was admitted into a mental health facility. It was a hospital and a scary one at that. I remember going to visit once when I was nine or ten and there was a guy who had the strangest, wildest eyes I’d ever seen. To say it frightened me when he looked right at me would be an understatement. His eyes and the way he roamed around what had to be a recreational room has stayed with me for over twenty years.

The diagnosis of my loved one was something along the lines or bipolar (I was too young for me to say this with all certainty), and I remember hearing the words “Shock Therapy.” So I grew up with a loved one with a mental illness. I grew up surrounded by my extended family members’ gambling issues, drug addiction, alcoholism, OCD, and sexual abuse.

Mental illness was a fact of my life.

By the time I reached high school, I was angry and depressed. I entered into therapy with a lovely woman who gave me some tools to manage my anger and some pills to control my depression (interestingly enough, they no longer give that medication to teenagers as it increases the likelihood of suicide).  I took the pills for six months or so but then weaned off of them. It wasn’t until college that I could say my chronic depression relaxed into just occasional bouts, although I was wracked with self-doubt and a negative self-opinion.

But the mental illness in my life didn’t stop there.  Another person very close and dear to me is suffering from what a pre-diagnosis labels as dysthymia with episodic mania, but is most likely more along the lines of full-on bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder.

I cannot tell anyone who doesn’t know mental illness themselves what’s like to live around such illness. There is guilt unlike any other, both from the person suffering from the ailment, and those of us surrounding that person. I don’t know what to do to help, and if I’m honest with myself, there is probably very little I can do beyond just give support.

I grew up thinking people were just like me. People had all this stuff in their everyday life. It took me until my late twenties to really understand that there are people out there not touched by mental illness. If you’re one of them, take a moment and give thanks, because having a mental health issue or loving someone who does is a complete life changer.

Since I’m writing about how it’s affected my storytelling and not about how it’s affected my entire life, I’ll turn my focus onto my stories. In my first book, Old Wounds (and the remaining three in the series), both main characters have serious mental battles to conquer. They each struggle to find acceptance for each other and for themselves. It shows the way two wounded souls lean on each other for support and help, but it also shows how no one but yourself can drive your recovery. That’s not to say every person can control their recovery or that they do not need outside intervention.

Buy Old Wounds  at Amazon

Ghosts of Our Pasts is similar in nature, only instead of teenagers, this novel deals with adults, and instead of dealing with traumatic violations happening to them, they are dealing with loss. Will and Emily share a bond, but process their grief so differently. She goes out seeking sensation, covering herself in whatever emotion she can find, while he hides away and wraps the pain around him like a warm blanket on an autumn night.

Buy Ghost of Our Pasts at Amazon

My Only deals with Adam James. His narrative is subdued, and he’s obviously depressed. His mother died during childbirth, and this has affected his outlook on life and love. When Olivia arrives across the street, they couldn’t be more different in their worldview if they tried, but Olivia knows the loss of her mother as well. Again, these two are bonded by loss, but one is stuck while the other is free.

Buy My Only at Amazon

Okay, so Hollywood Lies isn’t some psychological masterpiece that details every mental health issue faced by Hollywood elite, but it does hinge on the pressures of celebrity. It’s these pressures that cause the main characters to make poor decisions, become addicted to the limelight or become a recluse, unable to go out into public without suffering from panic attacks.

Buy Hollywood Lies at Amazon

In August, I’ll release Are You Mine? Again, it’s not a deep psychological narrative, but it does feature a young man who has been deeply affected by the mental illness of a loved one.  Fox Harrington seems like the perfect guy with a fantastic life, but not everyone knows—or wants to acknowledge—the difficultly of loving someone whose brain chemistry isn’t like everyone else’s.

I write stories that weave mental health issues through them in order to figure things out for myself. I hope some of my writing can help others process their own experiences with grief, loss, depression, trauma. I’ll probably never stop writing these kinds of stories because they are what feeds my soul and help my world make sense.

About the Author:
Based in the American Midwest, N.K. Smith is a Technical Writer for a Fortune 100 company. The author of the Old Wounds Series, Ghosts of Our Pasts, and My Only, she is a mother of two who finds the time to write very early in the morning when the rest of the world is still fast asleep.
An avid lover of history, art, music, books, and people, she is interested in telling stories that speak to the human condition.
 Twitter  *  Facebook  *  website  *  Goodreads

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the links above. The views, opinions, and beliefs expressed by contributing author are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads.
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July 28, 2013

Sunday Sale Page 7/28

Summer is coming to an end and I remember feeling bored the last weeks before school started back. I found deals to keep the kids entertained, plus some for the grown ups.

Middle Grades, Fantasy
$1.99 at Amazon and B&N

200 FIVE STAR reviews at Amazon
99 cents at Amazon
$2.99 at B&N

48 FIVE STAR reviews
99 cents at Amazon and B&N

146 FIVE STAR reviews
FREE at Amazon

#1 in Humor
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. Prices were accurate at time of posting, please confirm price before purchases as price may change at any time.


Blog Tour: Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

I'm on tour! In case you missed the announcement last month, I published a how-to manual for authors - Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour. I will be visiting several blogs over the next few weeks talking about blogging, marketing, and answering questions. I hope you will follow along; the schedule is below.

Plan a successful blog tour while keeping your sanity
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
Buy Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour at Amazon

Tour Schedule:
July 29 Fresh Pot of Tea Girl Who Wears Many Hats
July 30 Sarah Aisling Differences Between an Author Blog and a Book Blog
July 31 1 Book Lover's Opinion The Importance of Bloggers
Aug. 1 What Shall We Blog About Today? 10 Promotional Sites
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 Places to Find Bloggers
Aug. 6 Italian Brat's Obsessions Review & Creative Tour Ideas
Aug. 7 Author S.A. Jones Review
Aug. 8 Karen Pokras Toz Author Spotlight - How did I get here?
#K8chat on Twitter at 9 pm eastern
Aug. 9 Lisa Bilbrey Advantages to Blogging
Aug. 10 Elizabeth Lawrence, Author & Professional Oddity Being on the Author Side
Aug. 11 Aria Glazki Writes An Author Media Sheet
Aug. 12 Rose & Beps Blog Promo
Aug. 13 Cabin Goddess Review
Aug. 14 Killer Chicks Interview
Aug. 15 Twitter Party 8 pm eastern #GWRchat
Aug. 16 Library Girl Reads & Reviews Review & 10 Things Bloggers Can Do to Promote Books

The Giveaway!

Prize 1: a 5 - 9 stop tour organized by me
Prize 2: $20 Amazon Gift Card


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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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