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January 17, 2014

5 Popular YA Books

Are you a young adult or just a reader who enjoys young adult literature? Either way, here are some of the most popular titles of January.


Red Rising
Darrow is a miner and a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he digs all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of the planet livable for future generations. Darrow has never seen the sky.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better future for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow and Reds like him are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow joins a resistance group in order to infiltrate the ruling class and destroy society from within. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Available January 28
Buy Red Rising at Amazon


A Mad Wicked Folly
Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
            
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

Available January 23
Buy A Mad, Wicked Folly at Amazon


Uninvited
The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

Available January 28
Buy Uninvited at Amazon


Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Available January 28
Buy Cruel Beauty at Amazon


Afterparty
Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother -- whose name her dad won't even say out loud. That's why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her...and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she's everything Emma is not.

And it may be more than Emma can handle. 

Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It's more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop... 

This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler's spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.

Buy Afterparty at Amazon


Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate;  a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link. Covers and descriptions from Goodreads.com


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January 16, 2014

What to Talk about on Social Media

I recently met with support staff at my church to discuss their social media strategy. In particular we talked about best practices for Twitter and Facebook. Many of the questions I got were the same ones I get from authors and other bloggers, so I thought I would share the tips I shared with the staff member.

Timing of your posts

You really need to be using a scheduling tool, particularly for Twitter. I like using HootSuite, others have recommended TweetDeck. I think it really is a matter of personal preference. The majority of the US population lives in the eastern time zone. Unless your audience is unique to a particular region, you will want to be "present" on social media when the majority of the population is. 

So when are people on social media?

7 am - 9 am: They check their social media accounts while drinking coffee or shortly after arriving at the office.

11 am - 2 pm: People check in again during their lunch break.

4:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Before they leave the office, while waiting for children to get off the bus or dinner to cook. 

A study a couple of years ago found that the largest number of people are on Facebook on Saturdays at noon.

What to post

Pictures are worth a thousand words and get the most views. My church posted a picture of our new senior pastor and his family the Sunday we voted to call them. According to Facebook, 812 people saw it. The church page only has 555 "likes". Next time you are out and about snap a picture of what you are doing. Got some new books from the library, bookstore, or in the mail? Show them off.

Quotes or profound statements are great for retweeting. Tips I give in under 140 characters are among my most retweeted tweets. (They are usually about reviewing and networking.). Combine a quote with an image or make the quote the graphic (use a cool font) and you might hit gold. A publicist sent me a graphic with a quote from a book which I posted on Facebook. It got great views, shares, and likes. 


Questions can garner a good response. But remember the purpose of asking the question is to start a conversation. You will need to go back and respond. I've asked about reading goals, books people are looking forward to, if you had 5 minutes with your favorite author who would it be and what would you talk about, favorite genres, etc. I tend to stay focused on book related discussion, but if you are an author or blog about multiple topics then you can branch out with your topics.

People do come looking for information. Got an event coming up - post the details. Scored an interview with a big name author - definitely announce that. DO NOT continually blast your feed with Buy My Book. DO include a link to where one can buy your book in your profile. But more than information about you, they are looking for information about your niche topic. When I post links to articles from Publisher's Weekly, Forbes, GalleyCat relating to books, publishing, and marketing, I see a quite a few retweets and likes. 


Donna Huber
Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the blogger behind Girl Who Reads and author of the how-to manual Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.








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January 15, 2014

WoW: The Book of Life by @DebHarkness

Did you see it last Thursday in USA Today? Viking revealed the cover for the much anticipated conclusion to Deborah Harkness's All Soul's Trilogy - The Book of Life. Last fall, Harkness announced the final book wouldn't hit shelves until July 2014. Perhaps to appease fans a short excerpt was included with the exclusive cover reveal.

If you saw my tweet, you know I debated long and hard on whether to read the excerpt or not. And 30 seconds  later, I read it. If you are wondering if you should read it or not; it's not spoilerish. It is basically the homecoming scenes from the end of Shadow of Night from the point of view of two characters that I thought would not be making an appearance in this installment.


The Book of Life

If you are anxiously awaiting this title as much as me, make sure you pre-order The Book of Life at Amazon and add it to your "to read" shelf at Goodreads.



Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate;  a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link. Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.
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January 14, 2014

Review: Nate Rocks the School by @KarenToz

Nate Rocks the School
I finally read my first Nate Rocks book. My niece read the first two and said they were great, even though they were about a boy. If you have kids stuck home because of the winter weather, you should definitely pick up this series. I'm sure it would entertain for hours.

Geared for kids in the 2nd to 5th grade, it is still fun for adults. So if you are a parent who either reads to their kids or reads what their kids are reading, then you will enjoy Nate Rocks the School just as much as your kids. Oh, and you don't have to read Nate Rocks the World and Nate Rocks the Boat to know what's going on in Nate Rocks the School. There is enough background on who is who to catch you up to speed pretty quickly.

Buy Nate Rocks the School at Amazon

In this installment, Nathan Rockledge and his fifth grade class are raising funds for the class trip to New York City. They are having a to work a little harder than classes in the past as the Halloween event does not raise as much money as usual. This may or not be a result of Mrs. Rockledge's culinary skills. But never fear! Nate Rocks, Nathan's doodling alter ego, is on the job. Give this kid a piece of paper and a pencil and he is off on an adventure.

It is not surprising that Karen Pokras Toz is an award winning children's author. Her writing is excellent. Children books are difficult especially with all the competing interest these days for kids. Plus kids seem so much more sophisticated. Karen doesn't "write down" to her target audience. Yet her stories retain the innocence of childhood.

I know parents struggle with finding appropriate reading material for kids who read above their grade level. Parents do not need to worry with Nate Rocks the School. A great read for the whole family. So pick it up today and you will be all set for Nate's trip to New York City when Nate Rocks the City comes out in March.

Book Info:
ebook & paperback (125 pages)
Published March 2013 by Grand Daisy Press
ISBN13: 9780984860876
Source: author
Read: December 2013




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 ebook was provided by the source.


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January 13, 2014

My January Reading


I got on a reading roll in December and January has kept on rolling. Actually, I had to tell myself that I couldn't start another book this weekend until I got caught up on some reviews. Though I didn't meet my 2013 reading challenge goal, I'm currently 4 books ahead of schedule for 2014!

Read:


Broken Allegiance
Before Travis Mays, before Gerrit O’Rourke—there was Tom Kagan.

Police gang detective Tom Kagan has been seeking justice for more than ten years, leaving him a broken man. His only reason for living—the woman he loves and the badge he swore to uphold. When a man is brutally killed in a vineyard on the outskirts of Santa Rosa, California, it sparks a series of events that test what’s left of Kagan’s resolve to protect and serve.

Secrets from the past thwart Kagan’s efforts to unravel a series of killings sanctioned from within the walls of California’s highest security prison. From the lush vineyards of Sonoma County to the shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe, the detective must outsmart a killer who is moving in for one epic killing spree.

Leaders of the notorious Nuestra Family prison gang are fighting for power, a struggle that spills out onto the streets of California. Kagan joins forces with Special Agent Hector Garcia, a feisty supervisor of the Special Services Unit for the California Department of Corrections; Diane Phillips, a beautiful and hard-charging prosecutor; and Mikio Sanchez, a former gang member marked for death. Through the eyes of cops and gangsters, readers are able to glimpse the seldom seen workings of the gangster underworld.

Broken Allegiance is about treacherous lies, broken promises, and shattered lives—about life, death and a man’s honor.

Buy Broken Allegiance at Amazon


Witch Hunt
Teen witch Sydlynn Hayle finally did it. Despite the fact she's a social outcast, Syd finally made friends. Even the captain of the football team wants to be her boyfriend. When an ancient power is freed to ravage her new town, Syd does her best to help her family fight. Too bad the mysterious Chosen of the Light don't see things her way. Their interference could lead to her family's destruction.


Buy Witch Hunt (Hayle Coven #2) at Amazon



Demon Child



Syd has only ever wanted to be normal. And now that the rift between her and her demon is growing wider, that future is finally a real possibility. But Syd is having second thoughts, especially when a vampire kidnaps her little sister, Meira. And her normal life at school is falling apart around her, thanks to the new kid, Benjamin, who seems to be an expert at turning her new friends against her. Syd finally understands the value of what she has, but may be too late. The demon inside her has her own agenda and will no longer be ignored.

Buy Demon Child (Hayle Coven #3) at Amazon

The

Syd has what she’s always wanted. Thanks to her demon’s sacrifice, she is finally normal. Why then does she want her magic back so badly? It really sucks to find out Brad was only into her because of her power. And even Quaid is keeping his distance. Her loss couldn’t have come at a worse time. A storm is brewing, one that could devour the entire world. Syd refuses to accept she will never be a witch again, doing everything she can to track down the Chosen of the Light and rescue her demon. If only the ordinary life she’s been building didn’t interfere.

Buy The Wild (Hayle Coven #4) at Amazon


Dreams and Echos

Sydlynn Hayle just wants to be ordinary. But with a witch for a mother and a demon for a father, her dream of being normal and like everyone else has its difficulties. When Syd lands a job in a hair salon, she finally feels like her wish to be just folks could be coming true. That is, until the ghost haunting her house wakes to ask her a favor...

Buy Dreams and Echoes (Hayle Coven prequel) at Amazon






(That's all the Hayle Coven novels I currently have. If anyone is looking for a birthday present for me - my birthday is on Saturday - I have a Nook!)


A Maynard Moose Tale
From the award winning creative team who brought you The Uglified Ducky, winner of the 2011 Texas Bluebonnet Award, Rapunzel and the Seven Dwarfs, and The Bully Goat Grim comes the fourth fractured fairy tale from Maynard Moose. The Little Moose Who Couldn’t go to Sleep practically named itself. Part cautionary tale, part travelogue, Little Moose will take you places no moose has been before, well except Mother Moose. Never mind that. If you want to do well in school, impress your parents and show up your siblings, a good night’s sleep is essential. So grab a cup of tea, hang on for a ride into space and learn the secret of, uh, of MAHHH Dingy-Ding!


Includes a Moose / English glossary to help everyone follow the action.


Buy The Little Moose Who Couldn't go to Sleep at Amazon


Up Next:

This is how you pitch
So you want to work in PR? Does the idea of glamorous parties, open bars 
and rubbing elbows with the rich and famous sound like an exciting career 
for you? Then neither this book or a career in Public Relations are for you. This book will teach you all you need to know about public relations, from
 what to do on your first day at your desk to how to start your own PR 
agency. You’ll learn the core skill of the business: pitching. It’ll also 
tell you how to avoid becoming a buzzword-spitting automaton that the media 
will hate. Written by a PR veteran who has done it all – and made every mistake along the way – This Is How You Pitch is an honest, direct guidebook to Public Relations and how to survive your first years in the business and how to turn it into a prosperous, fulfilling career.


Buy This is How You Pitch at Amazon


What
Imagine waking to the shock of finding yourself on a train and realizing that you don't know who you are, where you have come from, where you are going. And with the certain knowledge that you cannot afford to reveal your plight to anyone, least of all the police. A story of psychological suspense that follows a young woman through the terrifying labyrinth of amnesia, where no one is who or what they appear to be. Claudia Rose, Detective Joel Jovanic, and Dr. Zebediah Gold from Sheila Lowe's Forensic Handwriting mystery series play a vital role in helping her uncover a devastating past and learn what she saw that robbed her of her memory.


Buy What She Saw at Amazon




Morgan Kane
Kane was born a gambler. When he was taken to the cleaners in a rigged game of cards in St. Louis, he didn't realize it was part of a private vendetta.


When they thought they had finished Kane off, he was left for dead - but saved by the buzzards, he survived/ As a match to the the Ranger's star he carried/. Kaen had gained a star-shaped scar on his right hand - the hand that meant the difference between life and death to a ranger who lived by the speed of his draw.

Kane wanted revenge...

Buy Morgan Kane - Without Mercy at Amazon



Downton Abbey and Sherlock Holmes returns this month so I'm sure my reading time will be shortened a bit. But there is always lunch!


Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate;  a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link. It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.


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January 12, 2014

Oscar Wilde Quote





I ran across this quote this week, but I'm not sure if I agree or not. I've read several books that I'm glad I read, but I wouldn't necessarily read again. What do you think?

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