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August 8, 2014

6 Popular Books

The Supernatural Enhancements
What begins as a clever, gothic ghost story soon evolves into a wickedly twisted treasure hunt in The Supernatural Enhancements, Edgar Cantero's wholly original, modern-day adventure.

When twentysomething A., the unexpected European relative of the Wells family, and his companion, Niamh, a mute teenage girl with shockingly dyed hair, inherit the beautiful but eerie estate of Axton House, deep in the woods of Point Bless, Virginia, it comes as a surprise to everyone—including A. himself. After all, he never even knew he had a "second cousin, twice removed" in America, much less that the eccentric gentleman had recently committed suicide by jumping out of the third floor bedroom window—at the same age and in the same way as his father had before him . . .

Together, A. and Niamh quickly come to feel as if they have inherited much more than just a rambling home and a cushy lifestyle. Axton House is haunted, they know it, but that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the secrets they slowly but surely uncover. Why all the suicides? What became of the Axton House butler who fled shortly after his master died? What lurks in the garden maze and what does the basement vault keep? And what of the rumors in town about a mysterious gathering at Axton House on the night of the winter solstice?

Told vividly through a series of journal entries, scrawled notes, recovered security footage, letters to Aunt Liza, audio recordings, complicated ciphers, and even advertisements, Edgar Cantero has written a dazzling and original supernatural adventure featuring classic horror elements with a Neil Gaiman-ish twist.

Buy The Supernatural Enhancements at Amazon


In the Kingdom of Ice
New York Times bestselling author Hampton Sides returns with a white-knuckle tale of polar exploration and survival in the Gilded Age

In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: the North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans, although theories abounded. The foremost cartographer in the world, a German named August Petermann, believed that warm currents sustained a verdant island at the top of the world. National glory would fall to whoever could plant his flag upon its shores.

James Gordon Bennett, the eccentric and stupendously wealthy owner of The New York Herald, had recently captured the world's attention by dispatching Stanley to Africa to find Dr. Livingstone. Now he was keen to re-create that sensation on an even more epic scale. So he funded an official U.S. naval expedition to reach the Pole, choosing as its captain a young officer named George Washington De Long, who had gained fame for a rescue operation off the coast of Greenland. De Long led a team of 32 men deep into uncharted Arctic waters, carrying the aspirations of a young country burning to become a world power. On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds in the grip of "Arctic Fever."

The ship sailed into uncharted seas, but soon was trapped in pack ice. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the hull was breached. Amid the rush of water and the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew abandoned the ship. Less than an hour later, the Jeannette sank to the bottom,and the men found themselves marooned a thousand miles north of Siberia with only the barest supplies. Thus began their long march across the endless ice-a frozen hell in the most lonesome corner of the world. Facing everything from snow blindness and polar bears to ferocious storms and frosty labyrinths, the expedition battled madness and starvation as they desperately strove for survival.

With twists and turns worthy of a thriller, In The Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most unforgiving territory on Earth.

Buy In the Kingdom of Ice at Amazon


The Miniaturist
Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam-a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion-a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant

"There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed…"

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella's world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes' gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand-and fear-the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

Buy The Miniaturist at Amazon


Burnt
A delicious memoir from the author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry

In this family history interwoven with recipes, Kathleen Flinn returns readers to the mix of food and memoir beloved by readers of her bestselling The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good explores the very beginnings of her love affair with food and its connection to home. It is the story of her midwestern childhood, its memorable home cooks, and the delicious recipes she grew up with. Flinn shares tales of her parents’ pizza parlor in San Francisco, where they sold Uncle Clarence’s popular oven-fried chicken, as well as recipes for the vats of chili made by her former army cook Grandpa Charles, fluffy Swedish pancakes from Grandma Inez, and cinnamon rolls for birthday breakfasts. Through these dishes, Flinn came to understand how meals can be memories, and how cooking can be a form of communication. Brimming with warmth and wit, this book is sure to appeal to Flinn’s many fans as well as readers of Marcus Samuelsson, Ruth Reichl, and Julie Powell.

Buy Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good at Amazon


We Are Not Ourselves
Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed.

When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream.

Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house, but as years pass it becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.

Through the Learys, novelist Matthew Thomas charts the story of the American Century, particularly the promise of domestic bliss and economic prosperity that captured hearts and minds after WWII. The result is a riveting and affecting work of art; one that reminds us that life is more than a tally of victories and defeats, that we live to love and be loved, and that we should tell each other so before the moment slips away.

Epic in scope, heroic in character, masterful in prose, We Are Not Ourselves heralds the arrival of a major new talent in contemporary fiction.

Buy We Are Not Ourselves at Amazon


The Islands at the End of the World
In this fast-paced survival story set in Hawaii, electronics fail worldwide, the islands become completely isolated, and a strange starscape fills the sky. Leilani and her father embark on a nightmare odyssey from Oahu to their home on the Big Island. Leilani’s epilepsy holds a clue to the disaster, if only they can survive as the islands revert to earlier ways.

A powerful story enriched by fascinating elements of Hawaiian ecology, culture, and warfare, this captivating and dramatic debut from Austin Aslan is the first of two novels. The author has a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Buy The Islands at the End of the World at Amazon








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


August 7, 2014

3 Publicity Actions to Take

by Donna Huber

Whether you are a book publisher, an author, blog publisher/writer, you need publicity. Thankful for small publishers and writers that do not have much in the way of a publicity budget, there are a number of money free actions you can take (though they will require an investment of time).

1. Be active on social media
Being active on Twitter and Facebook doesn't mean just promoting yourself. Instead, you should be interactive. Pose questions, respond to questions, share cool quotes and informative articles. Follow a variety of people - publishers, authors, bloggers, magazines, PR people and just regular old people. The more variety you follow the more variety the content you share, the conversations join in will be.

2. Create a street team
A number of authors have already jumped on this and some have successful teams. Publishers and bloggers may be wondering why they need one. Having a group of people who are dedicated to posting about your work can immensely increase your exposure. For book publishers, a street team can supplement the work that is done my the author's own team. For bloggers, Triberr can act somewhat as a street team. However, unless you are in a tribe that is required to share all posts from tribe members, you may not get as much exposure as you would from a dedicated team of sharers. To be successful with your street team, you should give a daily task and have fun - offer giveaways that only your street team members are eligible for.

3. Participate in interviews and guest posts
By appearing on other blogs, your name will be exposed to their readers. Authors should shoot for 3 appearances a month. Publishers and bloggers should try for one a month. Bloggers, ask the authors you have featured if they have a blog and would like to interview you or allow you to write a guest post. (You probably are thinking what will I write about - authors are always interested in tips from bloggers on getting features and reviews).



August 6, 2014

WOW: The Bone Whistle by @KBHoyle_author

by Donna Huber

I can't believe this series is coming to an end. The Gateway Chronicles by K.B. Hoyle will always hold a special place in my heart. My niece was practically a non-reader before starting this series. Last year, she was the top reader in her class. I will miss the excitement of a new book that I have shared for several years now with my niece.


The Bone Whistle

Darcy burned with the pain of knowing she’d failed. What happened when a prophecy didn’t come true? It must not have been much of a prophecy in the first place. And if they couldn’t trust in that, then they couldn’t trust in anything at all.

Five years ago, Darcy first received the prophecy of the Six, which stated she and her friends would save the land of Alitheia from a shadowy foe. For five years, she hasn’t known what the end will look like, but she certainly didn’t expect this.

Thrust back into Alitheia through unexpected means, Darcy winds up alone, scared, and without her recent memory. As she struggles to regain her lost memories and reunite with the ones she loves, she pieces together the prophecies and the oracles to find they all converge into one story—a story that tells her just how much she’ll have to give to save both worlds, and everyone she loves.

Coming September 18


August 5, 2014

Review: We are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

by Donna Huber

We Are the Goldens
On the heels of reading That Night by Chevy Stevens,  I picked up We are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt. I thought it was an interesting follow up book on my part as they were both about sisters and the secrets they keep. However, whereas That Night is for adults, We are the Goldens is young adult.

In We are the Goldens, Nell is writing to her sister recounting the year. Nell looks up to her older sister, idolizes her, wants to be her. When they were younger, Nell even thought they were the same person. But like so many teens on the brink of adulthood, Layla is wanting to be older than she is. While she loves her sister, Layla wants to be her own person. But is the secretness and changes in Layla just her establishing her independence or is there more to the story.

Nell tells you all she knows as she seeks forgiveness from her sister. I think it is also Nell's way of sorting out all the chaos she is experiencing during her own period of transition. 

We are the Goldens is such a moving story, especially given that it is on the rather short side. You can tell a great deal of thought and care went into each word, each action, each plot turn. It is perfectly crafted. I loved this story right up to the end, though I'm unsure of how I feel about the ending. I will let you make up your own decision.

Buy We Are the Goldens at Amazon


Book info:
hardcover
Published: May 2014 by Wendy Lamb Books
ISBN13: 9780385742573
Source: Netgalley
Read: June 2014



Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is paid by Amazon when purchases are made through the above links. A free egalley was provided for this review.



August 4, 2014

August New Releases

Immortal and the Madman
The Immortal Chronicles is an ongoing series of short stories and novellas written by Adam, the immortal narrator of IMMORTAL, HELLENIC IMMORTAL, and the upcoming IMMORTAL AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD.

Immortal and the Madman is a novella, and a crossover story between IMMORTAL and FIXER, another novel by Gene Doucette.
*****************************

“I’m sorry I startled you last evening,” he said. “I get confused. It’s worse at the end of the day.”

“That’s all right,” I said. He was reacting to my words before they came out of my mouth, nodding affirmation. I decided to stick to simple declarative sentences for the moment. “Confused how? You see the future?”

He shifted in his chair. “I experience the future.”

That was different. “Whose future? You can predict? Like a prophet?”

“All futures within my senses. I see them all at once, and I can’t stop it. Your words, my words, they echo forward. Everything happens and will happen and is happening.”

On a nice quiet trip to the English countryside to cope with the likelihood that he has gone a little insane, Adam meets a man who definitely has. The madman’s name is John Corrigan, and he is convinced he’s going to die soon.

He may be right. Because there’s trouble coming, and unless Adam can get his own head together in time, they may die together.

Available August 4
Buy Immortal and the Madman at Amazon


The Sign Painter
A deeply emotive story about a young mother struggling to get back on her feet after a devastating loss leaves both her and her daughter alone and living on the street from bestselling and award-winning author Davis Bunn.

Amy Dowell had always considered herself a very good mother. But when she loses her husband to illness and her home to debt, she finds herself and her young daughter, Kimberly, living on the streets as she struggles to find a job that will get them back on their feet again.

When Amy meets Lucy Watts, the pastor in charge of the church program that fed Amy and Kimberly their latest meal, Lucy sets them up in temporary housing and gives her a lead on a job painting signs for a local auto dealership but Amy is hesitant to let go and trust. Is this finally a legitimate break? Can Amy subject herself to the possibility of disappointment and hurt by hoping again?

Inspired by the true story, The Sign Painter is a tale of desperation, taking chances, and ultimately redemption. This heartwarming novel blends mystery, romance, and characters you'll root for, will leave you wondering. Is home really where the heart is?

Available August 5
Buy The Sign Painter at Amazon


Moth
Social worker Max Hollingsworth is no stranger to the otherworldly. But when he's called upon to investigate a missing child, he stumbles upon a deeper mystery. 

Children are vanishing and no one remembers them, not even their parents. Suspicion turns to Neo-Nazi vampires and humans running a child slavery ring, but that is only the beginning. For help, he turns to friends, old and new, but even they might not be enough. When new enemies turn deadly, old enemies become allies, including the least likely ally of all: an enemy whose cruelty and evil was almost his end, and haunts him still.

Available August 5
Buy Moth at Amazon


Percy Jackson's Greek Gods
Who could tell the origin stories of the gods of Olympus better than a modern-day demigod? Percy Jackson provides an insider's view with plenty of 'tude in this illustrated collection.

So begins Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic--and sarcastic asides--to the classics. He explains how the world was created, then gives readers his personal take on a who's who of ancients, from Apollo to Zeus. Percy does not hold back. "If you like horror shows, blood baths, lying, stealing, backstabbing, and cannibalism, then read on, because it definitely was a Golden Age for all that."

Dramatic full-color illustrations throughout by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco make this volume--a must for home, library, and classroom shelves--as stunning as it is entertaining.

Available August 19
Buy Percy Jackson's Greek Gods at Amazon


Upside DownBehind every member of the Sisterhood, there’s a man who knows better than to get in her way. Now the guys are bonding together, in the first in a thrilling new series from New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels.

Through public triumphs and private sorrows, the men in the Sisters’ lives—husbands, friends, colleagues, and lovers—have offered invaluable aid and support. In the process, they’ve become an informal brotherhood of their own, able to relate to the unique challenges and rewards of life among the vigilantes.

But after years of bit parts, the Sisterhood’s significant others are itching to take center stage. Frustrated with the limits of the criminal justice system, Nikki’s husband Jack Emery has recruited his friends Ted, Joe, Harry, Bert, Jay, and Abner. They have brand-new headquarters with state-of-the-art equipment, an unlimited bankroll, and a plaque on the door that reads BOLO Consultants. Their first case: toppling ruthless slum landlord Tyler Sandford—also lieutenant governor of Virginia. Sandford may have friends in very high places, but that’s no match for BOLO—or the women who’ve got their backs…

Available August 19
Buy Upside Down at Amazon


Simplify
"Exhausted. Overwhelmed. Overscheduled." Sound familiar? Today's velocity of life can consume and control us . . . until our breakneck pace begins to feel normal and expected. That's where the danger lies: When we spend our lives doing things that keep us busy but don't really matter, we sacrifice the things that do.What if your life could be different? What if you could be certain you were living the life God called you to live--and building a legacy for those you love? If you crave a simpler life anchored by the priorities that matter most, roll up your sleeves: Simplified living requires more than just cleaning out your closets or reorganizing your desk drawer. It requires uncluttering your soul. By eradicating the stuff that leaves your spirit drained, you can stop doing what doesn't matter--and start doing what does.In "Simplify," bestselling author Bill Hybels identifies the core issues that lure us into frenetic living--and offers searingly practical steps for sweeping the clutter from our souls.

Available August 19
Buy Simplify at Amazon


Visions
As #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s new Cainsville series continues, Olivia’s power to read omens leads to the discovery of a gruesome crime with troubling connections to her new hometown.

Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally. Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.

Their success, however, is short-lived. While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel’s past mistakes have come to light, creating a rift between the pair just when she needs his help the most.

Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s convinced it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago—the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has her new home played in this disturbing murder?

Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed.

Available August 19
Buy Visions at Amazon

A Perfect Dilemma
The one secret she can't stand to keep is the one she can't afford to tell.

The perfect little rich girl, River Pearl Sutton has always done what her family expected of her. She’d become the perfect little beauty queen, the perfect child model and now her global success locks her into a life she never really chose.

Coming home for the summer to prepare for the Founder’s Day Festival, a celebration of her lauded ancestor, she is tasked by her father to write a speech to be delivered at the end of the party.

Returning to Hope Parish brings her back into close proximity with sweet-talking, skirt-chasing Braxton Outlaw, the boy who always seemed immune to her charms in high school. But now he looks at her with those challenging blue eyes, both intimidating and seductive at the same time. Using research of her family lineage and his as way to get close to this bad boy, they fall into a hot, torrid affair.

She stumbles across a terrible secret that could bring to ruin not only her reputation, but the reputation and standing of her family. But when her infatuation with Brax grows into something that she can’t live without, she must decide what to do. Keep the secret and lose Brax or destroy her family and lose them.

It’s an awful, heartrending perfect dilemma.

Available August 25
Buy A Perfect Dilemma at Amazon



Heroes Are My Weakness
The dead of winter.

An isolated island off the coast of Maine.

A man.

A woman.

A sinister house looming over the sea ...

He's a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She's a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs.

But she's not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they're trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.

It's going to be a long, hot winter.

Available August 26
Buy Heroes are my Weakness at Amazon



Countdown
In the second episode of a spectacular new series from New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels, the men in the Sisterhood's lives join forces to protect the underdog and see justice served. . .

It takes a special kind of man to love and be loved by one of the Sisterhood. The women's escapades have brought them worldwide fame and created a bond among their menfolk too. But now, Jack, Ted, Harry, Joe, Bert and Abner have formed a secret group of their own and they've got a project in mind--taking down some of Washington D.C.'s most ruthless slum landlords.

First step: making reparations to the tenants who've suffered. Second step: making sure the bad guys pay. Ted, Jack, and company must find a way to hit the villains where it hurts most. Good thing these modern-day Robin Hoods have learned from the best, and that the Sisterhood can always be counted on to help fight for what's right.

Available August 26
Buy Countdown at Amazon


The Secret Place
The photo on the card shows a boy who was found murdered, a year ago, on the grounds of a girls’ boarding school in the leafy suburbs of Dublin. The caption says, I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.

Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to get a foot in the door of Dublin’s Murder Squad—and one morning, sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey brings him this photo. The Secret Place, a board where the girls at St. Kilda’s School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

But everything they discover leads them back to Holly’s close-knit group of friends and their fierce enemies, a rival clique—and to the tangled web of relationships that bound all the girls to Chris Harper. Every step in their direction turns up the pressure. Antoinette Conway is already suspicious of Stephen’s links to the Mackey family. St. Kilda’s will go a long way to keep murder outside their walls. Holly’s father, Detective Frank Mackey, is circling, ready to pounce if any of the new evidence points toward his daughter. And the private underworld of teenage girls can be more mysterious and more dangerous than either of the detectives imagined.

The Secret Place is a powerful, haunting exploration of friendship and loyalty, and a gripping addition to the Dublin Murder Squad series.

Available August 28
Buy The Secret Place at Amazon


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

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