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March 28, 2014

Excerpt from Writing is Easy by Gerty Loveday



The students shifted in their seats and exchanged glances as Lilian, her back to the audience, began to make peculiar huffing and hissing noises.  Janie stood near the door so she could hear Mandy if she called her.  Lilian hurled her body down on the floor. Lying on her back, she closed her eyes and raised her arms at right angles above her face. She let out a long howl, “Aaaaaaahhhhh, oooooohhhhh, aaaaahhhh.” Her voice rose and fell, deafeningly loud, then a tiny whisper.  She kicked her legs. Janie thought she might be pretending to be a baby, but her voice was more like a siren. She went on and on. Janie’s ears were ringing. Lilian’s dress was riding up over her knees showing long pink knickers over the top of her tights. Just when Janie thought she couldn’t bear it any longer Lilian turned over onto her hands and knees, crawled to an arm chair and dragged herself to her feet. She stood swaying, her arms held out in front of her like a sleepwalker. What did it mean? It was like a kind of charade. Lilian began to speak, very quickly.

Writing is Easy
“Are you there, are you there, are you there, number please who are you number please are you there no don’t know don’t no don’t.”

She was really getting going now. It was like a steam engine getting started then going faster and faster and all the time Lilian was babbling,

“No oh no are you there no number please who whom who.”

Some words were very loud. Now she was marching up and down. Janie worried she would knock over a table. Helen and Rex had their hands over their mouths. John was looking at his watch, Marilyn had her mouth open in amazement, and Desma was nodding.  Janie couldn’t take her eyes off Lilian. She kept on chattering more and more rapidly until it all sounded like one word, “Areyounumberwho nonowho?” and her voice sank to a whisper. Then she opened her eyes put her arms by her side and let out an earsplitting shriek.

“Noooooooooooooo.”

She stopped and bowed from the waist, her arms hanging loose. Her hair had fallen down and she had sweat marks round the armpits of her navy dress. From her spot in the doorway Janie burst into loud applause and after a little delay the others followed. Lilian bowed again.

“Now,” she said with a smile, “who would care to venture a comment?”

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Gert Loveday is the pen name of sisters Joan Kerr and Gabrielle Daly. Gabrielle’s background is in nursing, medical research and music, while Joan is a widely-published poet and short fiction writer. Since 2006 they have written several comic novels together. 'Writing is Easy', which was shortlisted for a Varuna Publisher Fellowship in 2011, is the first to be published.  Gert Loveday (http://gertlovedaywriter.blogspot.com.au) writes with authority on peculiar diets, exercise regimes, body makeovers, extreme fashion, gurus, pigeons, religion, poetry, politics, the health bureaucracy, gourmet cooking, reality TV and literature from the Norse Sagas to Jeffrey Archer, with a sharp eye for character foibles and the pricking of pomposity.



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

March 27, 2014

Blogging To Do List

by Donna Huber


There are always things to be done around the blog. It might just be some sprucing up. Maybe you want to make some new graphics or need to update your review policy. There is an annual event (actually I think there is now a weekend in the spring and in the fall) that is focused on getting through your 'To Do' list. Bloggiesta is a great event. I participated a couple of years ago; I even hosted a mini-challenge during the event. So if you are having trouble getting the maintenance tasks done on your blog I would highly recommend joining in Bloggiesta this weekend. There are chats and games and lots of tutorials.

More: A Bloggiesta To Do List

I'm not joining in this weekend, but that does not mean I'm not working on my To Do list. I started on it last weekend. I updated my About and Review Policy pages to reflect Claire joining the Girl Who Reads team. There are a few more tweaks that need to be made to fully convert Girl Who Reads from "I" to "We".

I still need to get through my backlog of reviews to write. I read a bunch of books while on vacation in December and then in February I spent a week iced in. I'm close to catching up. I was spacing them out to make sure I had at least one review to post a week. Now that I have a review partner, and she happens to be a quick reader, I'm not as concerned so I've been catching up. I only have 4 more to write! Then I will need to get to reading.

More: How to write a review

I've also been trying to create tweets for older posts that still get a lot of attention. Last month I was able to create 30 tweets that I rotated through my feed through out the month. It really has tested my ability to come up with alternative titles for posts, but at the same time it has been really fun trying to figure out what catches people's eye.

Also, since we are approaching the end of the month it is time to back up the blog. I don't do it as faithfully as I should. Just this morning, I saw a Facebook status from an author who lost their homepage and nothing was backed up. I have almost 1100 posts. No way do I want to lose all that content.

For those participating this weekend in Bloggiesta: Good Luck! I hope everyone accomplishes much.




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.


March 26, 2014

Gert Loveday: Writing Together

In National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2006 we sat down at our computers 6000 km apart and started to write a novel. Gabrielle wrote 1500 words and emailed it to me, I wrote the next 1500 words and emailed it to her, and so on we went, 3000 words a day without changing a thing. We had no idea when we started what the story would be. We had only a few characters' names and the setting of the book, and to our amazement an extraordinary story unfolded. At the end of a month we had the first draft of a novel we called Crane Mansions: a novel about the redeeming power of cake  and Gert Loveday was born. We had so much fun that we have continued this freefalling approach ever since, producing five novels, and every time we have been astounded at what seems to have come from nowhere. Our second novel Writing is Easy got as far as a serious reading by two well-known publishers. When it wasn't taken up we decided to release it ourselves as an ebook.

Writing is Easy
We can thank the Canadian writing teacher Barbara Turner-Vesselago for our start. Her Freefall workshops unfailingly bring out the writer in everyone. It was from Barbara that we learned to jump without a parachute. There's nothing quite so freeing to the imagination being confronted with a twist in the tale that you never envisaged, and having to take it in your stride and go on. And always, you find you can.

What are the ingredients for two writers to be able to cooperate in this way? In our case it was common tastes formed by a lifetime of shared reading, and the exposure to Freefall. But basically what it takes is the willingness to let go of what you want the book to be, to be able to enter into it without preconceptions. You do have to have a shared view about the tenor of the book. If one is aiming at high drama and the other at slapstick comedy, it's not likely to work.

Buy Writing is Easy at Amazon

We'd recommend this to any writer as an exercise. Commit yourself to it for a month, NaNoWriMo style. Choose a voice, a setting, a main character or two. Then go for it. No corrections, no negotiation. Just see what happens.  At the end of a month you'll have a manuscript. Then the work begins.

Be sure to come back on Friday for an excerpt from Writing is Easy.



Gert Loveday is the pen name of sisters Joan Kerr and Gabrielle Daly. Gabrielle’s background is in nursing, medical research and music, while Joan is a widely-published poet and short fiction writer. Since 2006 they have written several comic novels together. 'Writing is Easy', which was shortlisted for a Varuna Publisher Fellowship in 2011, is the first to be published.  Gert Loveday (http://gertlovedaywriter.blogspot.com.au) writes with authority on peculiar diets, exercise regimes, body makeovers, extreme fashion, gurus, pigeons, religion, poetry, politics, the health bureaucracy, gourmet cooking, reality TV and literature from the Norse Sagas to Jeffrey Archer, with a sharp eye for character foibles and the pricking of pomposity.


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

March 25, 2014

Review: Night Chill by Jeff Gunhus

Review by Claire Rees

Night Chill
Jack and Lauren Tremont have two young daughters, Sarah and Becky. Jack now a stay at home dad and Lauren is a Doctor.  When Nate Huckley attacks Jack and his daughters at a rest stop during a storm, Jack manages to escape with the girl’s safe in his car but not without crashing into Huckley, which leaves Huckley in a coma and jack and the girls a trip to A&E.

After the accident Jack starts getting terrifying hallucinations. Is this just a case of PTSD or something more sinister?

When Jacks Daughter Sarah is kidnapped, he becomes the prime suspect. As he scrambles to find her he meets the mysterious Joe Lonetree who claims he knows exactly what is going on and stating that he can help Jack.  After uncovering a web of lies and deceit that goes deeper than he could have ever imagined, and not knowing who else he can trust he turns to Joe Lonetree as his only ally to help his stop this evil.

Buy Night Chill at Amazon

The further Jack and Lonetree get into the mystery the more frightening things get. They discover sickening rituals and men who will stop at nothing to sacrifice people to make them immortal, unable to die from disease or age.

An insight into how far a person will go for immortality and the lengths a father will go to, to protect his child. Will Jack find Sarah in time or has he lost his little girl forever?

This story lives up to its name and is definitely chilling. The characters are very well thought out even down to the smallest details in their backgrounds. The plot is very well planned and scary and will definitely give you chills. The shocking twists and turns will keep you guessing and the nightmares will keep you awake night after night.

This book is not for the faint-hearted. I would recommend it to those who love a good horror.


Book Info:
ebook and paperback (437 pages)
Published May 2013 by Seven Guns Press
ISBN13: 9780615828381
Source: Author
Read: March 2014



Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned with purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free ebook was provided by the source.


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March 24, 2014

Review: Three by Kristen Simmons

Review by Donna Huber

Three
After reading books 2 and 1 (yes, I read the series out of order), I wondered how I would like Three by Kristen Simmons. I was intrigued by the world Simmons had created, yet the story itself left me kind of iffy about the whole series. You may remember in my series review of Article 5 and Breaking Point that I was not anxiously waiting for book 3, but I did want to see how things played out.

I thought that the pacing for Three was better than the first two books. There didn't seem to be as much of the repetitiveness that was in Breaking Point. The writing and story development was better in this book. I wonder if the entire story could have actually been contained in one book.

Buy Three at Amazon

If you have read The Hunger Games series, then you will see many parallels. A young girl is caught up in something much bigger than herself, and she doesn't even care about the "bigger picture". All she cares about is making sure her loved ones are safe. Unfortunately, she's too late for one, but she can honor her mother's memory.

I was not thrilled with the ending. Loose threads got tidied up in the end and even a few characters got their happy ever afters. And if all you are concerned with is micro-level of the story (the individual characters' stories) then you will be satisfied. But if you are more interested with the macro-level, how society fared, then you might be a bit disappointed. I was. I kind of felt the same way with how Mockingjay ended. I worry about our youth becoming apathetic to anything outside their very small world. And if the stories they read make it seem okay then I fear the dystopian societies in fiction will become reality.

If you are just looking for entertainment, then Kristen Simmons's Article 5 series will provide it.



Book info:
ebook and hardcover (384 pages)
Published February 2014 by Tor Teen
ISBN13: 9780765329608
Source: Netgalley
Read: February 2014



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.
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