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December 31, 2014

2014 Wrap-up

by Donna Huber

WikiMedia Commons

2014 has been a great year. We had roughly 302 new posts. We are averaging more than 1,000 page views per day. Several of the Top 10 Posts this year have received 900 - 1,000 views, The number one post had more than 10,000 views. And Girl Who Reads is ranked 27 on Blogmetrics.org list of Top 50 Book Blogs. That is awesome.

Top 10 Posts

10. Douglas R: 5 Things Everyone Should Do Before They Die
9. Best Selling Vampire Thriller: Moth
8. 5 Thrillers to Give You Chills
7. Review: Murder Most Deadly
6. Year End Read-a-thon
5. Series Saturday: What She Knew
4. 10 Things to Know about JB Lynn
3. Review: Switched at Birthday
2. National Poetry Month
1. Syndication = Good, Duplicate Content = Bad. What to do?

Much of this year's success is due to the addition of three team member: Alison DeLuca, Heather Kirchhoff, and Claire Rees.

Alison, our features writer, brings her unique perspective to a variety of topics each month. In case you missed one of her features...

Alison DeLuca's Posts

The Movie Version
Masters of Their Fates:The Fault in Their Stars
Summer in a Medieval Palace
Remembering the Eighties - A Decade in Books
Summer Reading: The Mortal Instruments and American Ghoul
It Isn't Over Until We Say So
Good Books and Movies for Thanksgiving
Cures for the Winter Doldrums

Claire is a voracious reader who has introduced readers of Girl Who Reads to some of the best in horror and paranormal romance with her many reviews. If you would like Claire to consider your book for a review in 2015 contact her at accordingtoclaire (at) outlook.com

Claire Rees's Posts

Series Saturday: Immortal Blood series by Jennifer Loiske
Series Saturday: Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles book 1 & 2 by Brenda Perlin
Review: Night Chill by Jeff Gunhus
10 Questions with Nina Mason
Review: The Queen of Swords by Nina Mason
Interview with David P. Forsyth
Review: Digitus 233 by K.D. Emerson
Review: For Always by Janae Mitchell
Review: Blaze by Summer Newman
Review: The Sound of Crickets by Marissa Farrar
Review: Sedulity - Impact by David P. Forysth
Series Saturday: Freckled Venom books 1 & 2 by Juliette Douglas
Series Saturday: The Darkness Trilogy Books 1 & 2 by A.G. Porter
Review: The Witch's Salvation by Francesca Pelaccia
Series Saturday: What She Knew by K.R. Hughes and T.L. Burns
Review: Phantom Bigfoot Strikes Again by Simon Okill
Review: Hamelin's Child by DJ Bennett
Review: Dystance - Winter Rising by M. R. Tufo
Review: Gabby, Angel of God by Greg Sandora
Review: The Witch, The Wolf, and the Vampire by A, K, Michaels
Review: Easy Bake Coven by Liz Schulte
Review: Benton by Jolie du Pre
Review: Salem's Vengeance by Aaron Galvin
Review: Dead Hunger by Eric A. Shelman
Review: Ty the Bull by Brenda Perlin, K.D. Emerson, and Rex Baughman
Review: I Dream of Zombies by Vickie Johnstone
Series Saturday: Hunters of Reloria by Kasper Beaumont
Review: The Tin Man by Nina Mason
Review: Anabel Unraveled by Amanda Romine Lynch
Review: Twisted Dreams by Marissa Farrar
Review: Anabel Divided by Amanda Romine Lynch
Series Saturday: The PSS Chronicles by Ripley Patton
Review: Waiting for Harvey by Lydia North
15 Horror Novels for Your Halloween Entertainment
Review: Designated Infected by Ricky Cooper
Review: The Haunting by Nicole Garcia
Review: Murder Most Deadly by Simon Okill
Review: The Devil Ate Me by PM Barnes

Each month, Heather introduces readers to a new author with her interviews. Would you like to be interviewed by Heather? Contact her at heather_kirc (at) hotmail.com

Heather Kirchhoff's Posts

Interview with Kate Marie Robbins
Interview with Bree Vanderland
Meet Sandra Love
Meet Delia Steele
Interview with Armand Rosamilia
10 Questions with Renee Jean
Meet Genevieve Scholl
Meet Melina Turner
Meet the Author: Yvonne K. Anderson
Interview with KG Stutts

In addition to the authors that Heather interviews, Girl Who Reads hosted 32 authors who provided guest posts, interviews, character posts, and excerpts. Thank you for helping making Girl Who Reads great this year.

Guest Posts

D. J. Donaldson - Cajun Nights and the Character Withing: The Many Lives of a TV Series that Never Was
Allen Wyler: Q&A
Jassy De Long: Four Fatal Flaws of a Romantic Hero
A.P. Gilbert: Blink - a short story
Kathryn Elizabeth Jones: 5 Marketing Tips for the Frantically Busy Author
Jane Carroll: Interview
JB Lynn: Ten Things to Know About Her
Douglas R.: 5 Things Everyone Should Do Before They Die
Danielle DeVor: Can Romance Be Scary?
Brenda Perlin: Ty the Bull - How it started and A Conversation with Rex Baughman
Naomi Zener: Interview
Leslie Liautaud: Writing in Real Life
Rebekkah Ford: Interview
Daniel Lance Wright: The Contrarian
Jinx Schwartz: Plotter? Pantser? or Hipster/Googler?
Barbara Silkstone: Character Interview
Matthew Kadish: The Lazy Author's Guide to Blog Cross-Promotion
Jennie Marts: Interview
Karen Pokras Toz: Character Interview and Ava's Wishes Excerpt
Gert Loveday: Writing Together, Excerpt from Writing is Easy and Excerpt from Crane Mansions
Anne Maro Slanina: The Adventures of Annie Mouse
Jonathan Gould: What's Next for Neville
J.R. Barker: Interview
Linda Bolton: Character Interview
Annabelle Blume: Interview
Valerie Douglas: Top Questions Asked In Writing Groups Answered
Tracey Lampley: Interview
Cassandra Leuthold: Steampunk Carnival Excerpt
Dan O'Brien: Excerpt from Conspirators of the Lost Sock Army and the Loose Change Collections Agency
Doug Simpson: Excerpt from The Soul of Jesus
M.E. Lorde: Excerpt from Tolomay's World and the Pool of Light
Wendy and Charles Siefken: Excerpt from Kai's Journey


While I'm busy with all the behind-the-scenes organization and my weekly tips posts, I also managed to review quite a few books this year.

Donna's Reviews

The Ivory Tower by Kirstin Pulioff
Knightly and Son by Rohan Gavin
Nate Rocks the School by Karen Pokras Toz
Heaven Sent by E van Lowe
Flesh and Bone by Jefferson Bass
A Cold and Lonely Place by Sara J Henry
Broken Allegiance by Mark Young
Morgan Kane Without Mercy by Louis Materson
The Little Moose Who Couldn't Go To Sleep by Willy Claflin
Hayle Coven Books 1 - 4 by Patti Larson
This Is How You Pitch by Ed Zitron
The Hitwoman Hunts a Ghost by JB Lynn
Trust by Sherri Hayes
Three by Kristen Simmons
Weightless by Michele Gorman
Above by Isla Morley
The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Switched at Birthday by Natalie Standiford
This is Not an Accident by April Wilder
Clipped Wings series by Helena Hunting
A Life Apart by L.Y, Marlowe
Mistaken Enemy by Dennis A. Nehamen
Lexicon by Max Barry
Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandall
The Paris Lawyer by Sylvie Granotier
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
The Hitwoman and the 7 Cops by JB Lynn
That Night by Chevy Stevens
We are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt
Broken by Elizabeth Pulford
Exposing the Psalms by Peter Nevland
The Butternut Tree by Maureen Ann Richards Kostalnick
Must Love Pets box set
Night Watchman Express by Alison DeLuca
The Bone Whistle by KB Hoyle
The Bleiberg Project by David S. Khara
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Glow by Jessica Marie Tuccelli
Tin Lily by Joann Swanson
Lock and Key by Sarah Dressen
The Hitwoman and the Poisoned Apple by JB Lynn
Breeder by KB Hoyle
Nate Rocks the City by Karen Pokras Toz
The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by PD Viner
A Match Made in Mystery by JB Lynn
The Practice Proposal by Tracy March

It has been a busy year at Girl Who Reads. I hope we offered you a great variety of posts and that you were able to find a new favorite book or author. I appreciate every reader who has taken a moment to read a post. I want to say a special thank you to the readers who have made purchases through the Amazon affiliate links as this is how we support the blog and can offer giveaways throughout the year.


Here is to another great year!


December 29, 2014

Year End Read-a-thon Progress

by Donna Huber


I only have a few more days to reach my 2014 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal. I decided to do an impromptu read-a-thon and I have done well so far. I only have to read 2 more books to reach my goal.


Finished Last Week



A Match Made in Mystery

Read my review
Buy A Match Made in Mystery at Amazon


Anabel

Buy Anabel Unraveled at Amazon


The Practice Proposal

Read my review
Buy The Practice Proposal at Amazon


Utterly Loved

Buy Utterly Loved at Amazon


Divergent

Buy Divergent at Amazon


Reading this week


On the Bright Side

Buy On the Bright Side at Amazon


Chasing Invisible

Buy Chasing Invisible at Amazon


All the Light We Cannot See

Buy All the Light We Cannot See at Amazon


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


December 26, 2014

Review: The Practice Proposal by Tracy March

by Donna Huber

The Practice Proposal

Again, he felt guilty about involving her in Frank's scheme. She had shown up and worn his team's colors. For some reason it reminded him of when she'd hung out and watched him at baseball camp.
"What made you change your mind?" he asked.
She lifted one shoulder. "The tweet you sent last night. The hot dog I had during the game was cooked perfectly." She grinned.
Cole flattened his hand against his chest, pretending to be wounded, "You mean it wasn't my irresistible charm and wit?" (pg 56 on my Nook)





My Review

I read this Christmas Eve and it was great mindless fluff. The story line is predictable: The bad boy baseball player needs to clean up his reputation. Wholesome girl who recently lost her finance wins a date with said player.

I really liked the characters and I'm happy to see that there is a book featuring Liza's best friend Paige. And though it was a predictable plot, there were still some smile worthy moments - like the Pie Wars. I'm not big on sports stories typically, but the baseball backdrop was fun. The rivalry added some fun ribbing. Cole plays for the Washington Nationals and Liza's parents own the Baltimore Orioles.

If you are looking for some fun between the pages of a book, I recommend The Practice Proposal.

Buy The Practice Proposal at Amazon


Book Info
Available formats: ebook (229 pages)
Published: March 2013 by Entangled Bliss
ISBN13: 9781622668762
Genre: romance
Source: Barnes & Noble
Read: December 2014



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





December 25, 2014

Tips of 2014


Merry Christmas! I have a present for you: I've indexed all of this year's tips post into this one handy list. If you missed something or couldn't find a post, here are all the tips that posted this year.

10 Blogging Goals of 2014 - goal setting
Make a Marketing Plan - author marketing
What to Talk About on Social Media - social networking
Pitch Perfect - review pitches
5 Tools for Creating Graphics - images
5 Steps to Marketing Your Blog - blog marketing
I'm NOT a Number and Other Twitter Annoyances - social networking
Embedding Kindle Samples on Your Blog - blogging
Managing Multiple Reviewers - blogging
Should Book Bloggers Charge? - blogging
Blogging To Do List - blogging
Syndication - Good, Duplicate Content - Bad. What to do? - blogging
Great Networking Event - ArmchairBEA - blogging events
Getting Noticed on Facebook - social networking
Getting Books to Review - blogging
Preparing for ArmchairBEA - blogging events
Managing Your Brand - marketing
Final Tips for ArmchairBEA - blogging events
One Link that Directs to Amazon Worldwide - marketing
Finding Time for Reading - blogging
Inbound Marketing for Authors - author marketing
Setting an Editorial Calendar - blogging
Formatting Your Review Posts - blogging
Finding Time To Blog - blogging
Social Media for Your Blog - social networking
5 Book Blogging Topics That Aren't Reviews - blogging
3 Publicity Actions to Take - marketing
Coming Back from a Break - blogging
Image Use: Is it Fair Use? - images
Kathryn Elizabeth Jones: 5 Marketing Tips for the Frantically Busy Author - author marketing
A Challenge for Better Interviews - blogging
When You Don't Feel Like Writing - blogging
What to Write About - blogging
Don't Neglect Facebook - social networking
5 Ways Fan Fiction Can Make You a Better Writer - writing
Participating in Book Blog Memes - blogging
How to Keep the Buzz Going After a Blog Tour - author marketing
Marketing Resources for Horror Writers - author marketing
Finding Time to Write and Marketing - author marketing
Reminder: Make Back Up Copies Regularly - blogging
Facebook Groups for Writers - social networking
Blogging Through the Holidays - blogging
Sam Cheever: How to Rock a Facebook Author Event - social networking


What a lot of topics covered this year. I probably have enough posts now to put together my blogging book, but I still have to do the media kit book. I'm not sure what tips I will bring you in 2015, but I will keep bringing you useful information. If you have suggestions for topics, let me know.



Related articles

December 24, 2014

Audio Books for Holiday Travel

by Donna Huber

The past few months I have been listening to a bunch of audio books from the digital download library. I don't feel like writing full reviews of all the ones I've listened to, but I did want to let you know about them in case you are looking for something to listen to during your holiday travels.



I really enjoyed listening to The Selection series by Kiera Cass. I LOVED Amy Rubinate. It is a fluffy story and quite predictable, but for mindless entertainment it was very good. I listened to it while cleaning the house and it was entertaining enough that I didn't mind the task. If you have older kids in the car, then this would be great for the whole family.

Buy at Amazon: The Selection, The Elite, The One





I'm a big Jack Ryan fan, but this is my first time listening to one. Command Authority focuses on Jack Ryan, Jr, but flashes back to the younger days of Jack Ryan, Sr. It was sometimes confusing as to which time line I was on while listening to the story. It might have been easier to keep them straight had I been reading the book myself. I also though the reader was a little too monotone and hindered the action scenes. Support and Defend features Dominic Caruso, the nephew of Jack Ryan, Sr. We have seen Dominic a few times in other novels, but I don't think I realized he was Jack's nephew. Scott Brick did a much better job of narrating this book. If there are guys and gals in the car, then these would be a great option.





Enclave
Fans of Kristen Simmons's Article 5 series would enjoy Enclave by Ann Aguirre. There does not seem to be any central government, but individual enclave factions. As such there isn't really an government to rebel against. And truth be told Duece doesn't want to rebel. All she wants to be is a Huntress. Yet as she takes on this new role she can't help but start questioning everything she knows. It doesn't help she is partnered with Fade one not born into the enclave but joined as a young boy. Enclave is the first book in the series, but it is complete enough to be a stand alone. I don't feel compelled to continue with the series. There is some violence, but no more than was in The Hunger Games. If you have kids that are into zombies there are some in the tunnels, though they are called Freaks.

Buy Enclave at Amazon





I only listened to Glow because Spark wasn't available in audio from the digital library. I chose Glow because it is read by Ilyana Kadushin who I absolutely love. This series reminded me of Across the Universe by Beth Revis. There's a third book in this series, but I don't think I'm going to read it. Glow was enjoyable as an audio book, Spark was a bit more of chore to read myself. I probably would have enjoyed it in audio because I would have been doing something else while listening. Again this would make a good choice for a family traveling together.

Buy at Amazon: Glow and Spark


The Silver Lining Playbook

I haven't seen the movie though I meant to because I love Bradley Cooper, so when I saw the audio book of The Silver Lining Playbook was available I thought I would give it a try. I thought it would be a romantic comedy, but it really wasn't. But it was interesting and I'm glad I listened to it as it is mostly told from the journal of the main character. I've heard that the movie is different from the book, so this might be a good choice for a car-full of adult regardless if they have seen the movie or not.

Buy The Silver Lining Playbook at Amazon


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

December 23, 2014

Review: A Match Made in Mystery by @JB_Lynn_author

by Donna Huber

A Match Made in Mystery
Prologue"I need to talk to you."
Brady barely heard the woman over the music being spun by the wedding DJ. He bent closer to the vivacious Latina. "Sorry, didn't quite catch that."
"I said I need to talk to you. It's important."
Although they'd never spoken, Brady knew who the woman was. Everyone attending the wedding knew she was Armani Vasquez, the matchmaker who'd put his friend Tom together with his new bride, Jane.
As a rule, Brady scoffed at the idea of a matchmaker, but even he had to admit that Tom and Jane were a perfect match. he's never seen his friend so happy.
"It's important," Armani told him. "Life-changing important."


The Review

It's no secret that I love JB Lynn's books. Just a few weeks ago, I was telling you about The Hitwoman and the Poisoned Apple. Well, A Match Made in Mystery is part of her spinoff series with Maggie's psychic friend Armani, though she barely makes an appearance in this installment. And this series is even more hilarious, or maybe it is because the laughs don't stop.

I just finished this book as part of my Year End Read-a-thon, but I had to tell you about it in case there was a plane, train, or automobile in your holiday plans and you needed entertainment. I read this book in just under 3 hours and it was entertaining from start to finish.

I loved the characters. Brady is absolutely delish. Smart, good looking, and most important good hearted. And Amy, what a funny girl and the best part is most the time she doesn't mean to be. Like when she started rambling about being thankful that she didn't kill the mugger, but not that he was dead and not that she thought she did kill him and Brady puts a hand on her knee to tells her to be quiet now and let the police officer talk. I could just picture it all (and if you aren't laughing from my paraphrasing then you just need to experience it for yourself).

A Match Made in Mystery was an absolute perfect read for not only my Year End Read-a-thon (because it was a quick read), but also for the holidays when everyone believes in at least a little magic.

Buy A Match Made in Mystery at Amazon


Book info
Available format: ebook (146 pages)
Published: October 2014 
Genres: cozy mystery, chicklit
Source: author
Read: December 2014



Girl Who Read is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above. A free ebook was provided for this review.





December 22, 2014

Review: The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by P. D. Viner

by Donna Huber

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing
I have had The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by P.D. Viner in my reading pile for quite a while. I was interested in it because it featured a brutal murder of a college student. Unlike the stories I read that are during the crime, this one is set 20 years after the murder. Part of what drawls me to these dark stories is seeing how people respond. Unfortunately I wasn't as taken with this story.

I think all the characters are more than a bit crazy. The mother is seeking revenge for her daughter's death, not matter the how far she has to go to get it. The father is mourning more than the loss of a daughter, but the end of a marriage also. Actually his grief for his wife may be more than that for his daughter as he sees and talks to Dani's ghost. (And the ghost doesn't appear to be a mere figment of imagination). Then there is Tom, with his unrequited love, who is seeking redemption.

There are a few twists and turns, but the build up was too slow for me. The introduction of the psychopath pathologist came too late in the story to feel natural, instead it felt like the author was getting close to the end word count wise, but wasn't sure how to finish it. Don't get me started on the epilogue - I was starting to have a better opinion of the book, but the epilogue was disappointing.

I liked the character Tom and the story became more enjoyable for me when it became more focused on him. I felt sorry for him. All he wanted was to have Dani return his love and in her death he wants justice for her. Yet, he is carrying around a really big secret and because it he has devoted his life to finding justice for other female victims.

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing was a mixed bag for me. There were some definite things I liked - Tom and a few of the twists were great. But for everything I liked there were things that I found disappointing. It definitely has the psychological aspect, but was lacking in the thriller department. As far as crime fiction goes, though it was good (I'm just not a big fan of crime novels). If you wonder what happens to people after the headlines, want a book that makes you think without the heart racing effects of a true thriller, then The Last Winter of Dani Lancing is for you.

Buy The Last Winter of Dani Lancing at Amazon


Book info:
Available formats: ebook, audio, print (390 pages)
Published: October 2013 by Crown
ISBN13: 9780804136822
Genres: crime, pyschological
Target audience: adult
Source: publisher
Read: Sept - Dec. 2014


Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link. A free book was provided for this review

December 20, 2014

Year End Read-a-thon

by Donna Huber

Yesterday was my last work day of the year and I should have everything done for Christmas by tomorrow night. I have to read 7 more books to reach my Goodreads Reading Challenge. So I have decided to do an impromptu read-a-thon. I usually can't participate in the ones that are going on during the year because of work. While this is my personal, unorganized read-a-thon, I want to invite anyone else that needs to finish up their reading challenge or just wants to have a little reading fun to end the year.

If you want to participate, just do up a start/goals post and leave a link to it in the comments. (If you don't blog, you can still participate. I will be posting updates on our Facebook page.) You can do a progress post during the next week and a half, if you want. Then on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1, do a "how you did" post. (Again if you don't blog, there will be threads on the Facebook page.)

Here are the books I'm hoping to read before the end of 2014:

Anabel Unraveled
Anabel Martin's world was destroyed the day her father was murdered. After spending seventeen years of her life trapped on a Top Secret island in the South Pacific, she now finds herself in Washington, DC in the care of her former politician brother and his unwelcoming wife. While she wants nothing more than to be left alone, instead she is thrust into the limelight as a key witness in the Congressional hearings investigating the murder of her father and the very existence of her former home. For Anabel, it's hard to concentrate on these proceedings when the thing she wants most in the world is for Jared Sorensen to die. What's even worse is that Jared is the only reason she's still alive.

(I'm already 30% into this book so will hopefully be checking this off the list soon)

Buy Anabel Unraveled at Amazon


A match made in mystery
Attorney Brady Stewart knows he’s in for a wild ride when psychic matchmaker Armani Vasquez tasks him with finding a Purple People Eater.

His life becomes even more complicated when he meets Amy Winn, a woman crazy enough to take on a would-be mugger, and desperate enough to come looking for a mysterious inheritance.

As Brady and Amy attempt to unravel the mystery behind the puzzling legacy, they can’t deny their mutual attraction despite the fact they live in different worlds.

Difficult choices put their budding romance at risk as they juggle Amy’s desire to unlock the secrets of a father she never knew and Brady’s need to tread carefully in order to protect his career.

Can they solve a mystery twenty years in the making? Or will doing so ruin any chance at a future together?

Buy A Match Made in Mystery at Amazon


Chasing Invisible
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



Divergent
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

(I'm listening to audio book)

Buy Divergent at Amazon


The Practice Proposal
Liza Sutherland isn’t looking for love. Not from a charity-auction date she didn’t even bid on and especially not with Nationals first baseman Cole Collins, the guy she obsessed over as an awkward teenager. She won’t get involved with a notorious player, no matter how attractive Cole is.

Cole Collins is up for contract renegotiation, but after too many late-night parties, he’ll need some positive publicity before he can make the roster. His agent, Frank, pitches Liza as the perfect prop…only Cole didn’t account for Liza no longer being just a teenager with a crush. She’s gorgeous and smart and he’s instantly hooked.

When Frank makes Liza a deal she can’t refuse—a bet she will fall in love with Cole or a cool half mil goes to charity—the game is on. But neither bet on the real feelings that surface. Could a fake fling turn into an official forever?

Buy The Practice Proposal at Amazon


On the Bright Side
On the Bright Side is a hilarious road to guardian angeldom paved with so much drama and due-paying that it makes middle school look painless. As if the devil's food cake at her wake and the white fat pants she's stuck wearing for eternity weren't bad enough, fourteen year-old Gabby is quick to discover that Cirrus, the main rung of Heaven, is a far cry from the Pearly Gates. Here, Skyphones and InnerNets are all the rage. Until Gabby finds out she has to protect Angela, her school nemesis, in order to move up through the training levels of heaven. Problem is, Angela is now hitting on Gabby's should-have-been boyfriend. (awkward!) Instead of protecting Angela, Gabby pranks her (like tripping is a sin?) at the hopes of cooling off the new couple. At first, they seem harmless until the school dance sabotage gets completely out of control. Then, her Celestial Sky Agent, who happens to have anger management issues of his own, puts Gabby on probation, threatening her eternal future. Determined to right her wrongs, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to Earth for just one day. Without knowing, she kicks off a series of events and learns what can happen when you hate someone to death.

Buy On the Bright Side at Amazon


Utterly Loved
In Utterly Loved, award-winning paranormal romance writer Kat Bastion shares her poetry with the world for charity. Heartfelt poems, rich in passion and rooted in nature, transport us to misty forests and sandy beaches. What began as a private collection of poetic love letters to her husband for their twentieth anniversary, evolved into a book of poems and quotes they decided to share.

Proceeds of Utterly Loved, after costs and taxes, will go directly to selected charities. They will feel Utterly Loved.

Buy Uttlerly Loved at Amazon






I tried to pick short and/or quick reads in hope of reaching my goal by the December 31, 2014. I hope you will join me in this read-a-thon (it'll be more fun!).


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



December 19, 2014

Review: Nate Rocks the City by Karen Pokras Toz (@KarenToz)

by Donna Huber

Nate Rocks the City

"Now, let's all line up. We have to through security before we can go into the museum,. Once inside, we'll look around for a bit, and then we'll make our way up to the platform. Next, we;ll head up to the crown where you'll have the most spectacular views of the city. While we're waiting, how about a little history? Let's see... so back in the 1880s, Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design--"
"This is boring," Sam whispers, as we wait in the long line to get through security. (pg 56 on my Nook)




The Review

I have to agree with Sam, that excerpt is quite boring. Particularly given that the rest of the book is full of adventure and fun. I guess that's how it goes when you do the Friday 56 :)

On a more serious note, if you have a 3rd through 5th grader then you will want to get this series. My niece reviewed the first two books in the series and according to her the only reason she couldn't give it 5 stars was because the main character is a boy. You can read her review of Nate Rocks the World and Nate Rocks the Boat. You can also check out my review of the third book - Nate Rocks the School

In Nate Rocks the City, we finally get the long awaited class trip to New York City. In addition to the normal sites (and food!), Nate has to save the city not once but twice - in his imagination at least. If you haven't met Nate Rocks yet, let me introduce you to the alter ego of Nathan Rockledge. Give Nathan a piece of paper and a pencil and he is off on his next adventure as the famous Nate Rocks. In this installment Nate battles robotic pigeons and alien invaders. Plus he must rescue the class tickets to the Phillies game from criminals playing poker. I loved the story even besides Nathan's wild imagination. It reminded me a lot of the class trip I took to New York City.

In my county, and I'm sure in school districts across the country, children will be heading into their last day of classes today. They will be home for the next two weeks. What is a parent to do? Consider picking up Nate Rocks the City to keep them entertained.

Buy Nate Rocks the City at Amazon


Book info
Available formats: ebooks & paperback (142 pages)
Published: February 2014 by Grand Daisy Press
ISBN13: 978-0984860890
Genre: humor, adventure
Target audience: children age 8 - 12
Source: author
Read: December


Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made through the above link. A free ebook was provided for this review.




December 18, 2014

Featured Book: Fateful Night by K.R. Hughes and T.L. Burns (@WhatSheKnewBook)




About the Book

Fateful Night

Did Marilyn Monroe commit suicide? Did someone get away with an elaborate plot to murder the famous sex goddess? On that “Fateful Night” in August 1962 find out what may have happened to her and why she was killed. Many argue that she was involved in way too many secrets from different factions of the world. She was a smart woman who could play the dumb blonde to attain her stardom yet she unwittingly learned of conspiracy plots and political threats that would not only end her life but that of the current president, John F. Kennedy.

In this fast paced suspense every major player of the early sixties is involved, from the world politicians, to the Rat Pack, to Hollywood, and the mafia. What if Marilyn Monroe had lived and what if what she knew could have saved JFK?
Fact or fiction? What if....



Buy Fateful Night at Amazon




About the Author


K.R. Hughes

K.R. Hughes is an English major from Texas. She enjoys writing with her co-author T.L. Burns.
T. L. Burns ~ As my co-author puts it "I am the foremost researcher and historical guru for our trilogy "What She Knew."
I am originally from California (desert region, with mountains), spent nearly 20 years in the panhandle of Texas (again, desert region only without the mountains), moved to Atlanta, GA (trees and flowers everywhere) and have recently moved back to the desert. I miss living in the post card of Atlanta, but I don't miss the humidity.I've been married for 32 years! Woo Hoo! And, to the same man!! That's an accomplishment, and not because of our present times. If you knew my hubby, then you'd know why. LOL! No, all joking aside, he's a great guy and my biggest
supporter! He always believes in my writing, even if I doubt at times.
We have two grown sons; both of them are perfect in every way, except for the parts that take after their dad, lol!! One serves our country in the Army, is married to a beautiful woman and has three beautiful children. Our other son is in College, he has one degree in Modern Languages and is pursuing his Engineering degree. Needless to say, we are so very proud of the wonderful young men our sons have turned out to be. We also have one pupple (puppy/people) living at home with us, Digby. Now, he really is perfect in every way.
 Twitter



Read a Sample



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How to Rock a Facebook Author Event by @samcheever

If you’ve never joined a Facebook Event/Party, you’re missing a great chance to make real friendships and have a lot of fun. These events are the closest thing to a real party you can have online, and are valuable to both the authors who host them and the readers who attend. Although, I’m guessing Facebook will eventually change the rules to make the events much harder to hold…just because that’s what Facebook does…for now at least, if you haven’t looked into doing one of these parties I highly recommend that you do.

I do a few Facebook events a month, celebrating new book releases, genres, holidays, anniversaries…whatever ideas  the hosts could come up with for a party! I’ve hosted a few parties of my own, but most of the parties I attend are hosted by other authors or promotion groups and I’m just generally assigned a one or two hour slot (though some have half hour or even 15 minute slots!). Basically, you have a certain amount of time to inspire some portion of the attending group to at least take a look at your website or books to see if they look interesting. You can probably achieve that flying by the seat of your pants. But if you really want to rock the event, make long-time connections and sell some books, you’ll want to make a plan for the event and spend some time preparing for it!

Making a plan isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Here’s my formula for a typical 1-hour event:

  • Post intro and bio with all of your pertinent links
  • Introduce the book you want to highlight during your hour
  • Introduce your first game/contest
  • Post a couple snippets of your highlighted book
  • Introduce another game/contest
  • Post another snippet of your highlighted book and something fun having to do with your book
  • Offer a Q&A session (if you have leftover time)
  • Say goodbye

Now, obviously there’s some play in this outline. The key to success is your interaction through each phase of the things on this list. If you just post your stuff at predetermined increments, your hour probably won’t inspire anyone to find out more about you. But if you interact with people as they respond, I can almost guarantee you’ll have a successful party:

Post Intro and Bio with Pertinent Links

HoHo Honeybun
Every author has a bio. If yours is friendly and succinct, use it here. But if your bio encompasses two full pages and mentions everything from where you went to pre-school to what type of undies you prefer (silky bikinis) you might want to rewrite it to make it party friendly. You want to inspire attendees to check you out and to do that the bio should be short enough to read quickly and it should be fun. Nobody wants to hear about the bad case of shingles you suffered through the year before that kept you from winning Author of the Year. #:0) Joking of course, but you get the point. Also, and this is the most important thing of all, make sure you include links to your website, blog, twitter, Facebook Author page, and newsletter sign up. These are direct avenues into your writing webworld that enable you to keep in touch with the new friends you make at the party.

Introduce the Book you want to Highlight

Tell them why you’re highlighting that particular book. Is it a new release? Is it a Christmas event and you’re talking about a Christmas book? Just a couple of lines to tell them why they should be interested.
Provide a blurb and all buy links. Don’t use hyperlinked terms for your buy links because people using mobile devices (a high percentage of the people attending) will have to click through a few times before they find your book. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to make an impulse purchase!

Examples:



Introduce Games and Contests

I generally do two contests for a one hour event. One contest per half hour. If it’s two hours I do three, spacing them out over the two hours. Contests are invaluable because they pull lurkers (shy attendees) out of the woodwork and allow you to interact with them. Use your imagination on your contests. DON’T pick something that limits your ability to chat and DO pick something that gets them digging around in your website.

Some examples:

  • Have them go to your book page and pick their favorite line from the book’s blurb or excerpt. 
  • Ask them a question to be answered by checking out the same information. 
  • Send them on a brief scavenger hunt or ask them to post pictures. 

Whatever you do, keep it light and make sure you comment a lot on their contributions. Prizes for these contests are totally up to you. I generally use some combination of gift cards, books, or goodie boxes.
Games can be used as contests or just for fun. If you have a basic graphics software and some imagination you can create fun games. Here’s one I used in a recent event:



Posting Snippets of Your Book

When posting snippets of your highlighted book, make sure you pick something that will make it impossible for them to resist buying the book. Keep the snippets brief. Pick one that ends on a cliff-hanger, and make sure you include buy links. Thrilling, sexy and humorous snippets seem to do best. I recommend that you keep your snippets PG-13 or milder so you don’t get gonged by Facebook. Spend time when selecting your snippets, they’re a very important part of the event.

You can also post something fun that pertains to your book. For example, if you wrote a Christmas-themed book, you can post an online quiz such as the one below. This site always has a lot of fun quizzes: https://www.blogthings.com/whatwillbeinyourchristmasstockingquiz/ .

Offer a Q&A Session

If you’ve exhausted all your goodies and still have a few minutes left in your assigned timeframe, don’t go silent, offer an Ask the Author opportunity. Attendees really like these because, as they’ve been visiting with you over the hour, they’ve probably found themselves wondering things about your books, your lifestyle, your world. This gives them a chance to ask those questions.

Say Goodbye

Make sure you don’t just slip away at the end of your hour. Create a new post just to say goodbye, tell them how much fun you’ve had and that you’ll see them at the next event. Manners are important and when people have taken time out of their lives to spend with you, you owe them that at the very least.
Part of what makes a successful party is variety and flexibility. Don’t always do the same exact thing or highlight the same book the same way every time. If you consider these basic guidelines but make them uniquely your own, you’ll enjoy much success in the Facebook party world!

Party on, Everybody!

Giveaway

For a chance to win a copy of HoHo Honeybun, comment about this post or, what the heck, play the Zombie Santa game and put your results in a comment below! Don’t forget to include your EMAIL in the post so we can let you know if you won!

Buy HoHo Honeybun at Amazon

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog | About.Me




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

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