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November 7, 2014

Antonio's Will by Yasmin Tirado-Chiodini


Throughout the month of November, Girl Who Reads will feature books from authors who are participating in National Novel Writing Month. These authors are attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.


About the Book

Antonio's Will
A child emigrates from Spain to Puerto Rico in 1870, adapts to a new culture, and strives through hurricanes, disease and war, becoming a prominent tobacco planter. With high hopes, he sends his son to Albany Law School, but instead, the young man loses his will and becomes the first Hispanic executed on the electric chair in the United States. The author, a lawyer and genealogist, is inspired by the ghost of the executed man to expose the injustices committed against him. Amidst a historical, cultural and legal backdrop spanning three countries and over a century, the story uncovers the tragic events, the trial errors, the prisoner’s struggles at the Sing Sing penitentiary, and the wrongful execution, highlighting the need for constitutional protections and equal justice.


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About the Author

Yasmin Tirado-Chiodini

Yasmin Tirado-Chiodini is an attorney, biomedical engineer and family historian. She is a former Space Shuttle engineer and Adjunct Professor of legal ethics and negotiations for the Executive M.B.A. program at Rollins College, Crummer Graduate School of Business. She is also a recipient of the Top 25 Central Florida Hispanic Influentials, Women Who Make a Difference, and Don Quijote awards, among others. In addition to authoring “Antonio’s Will,” telling the story of injustice of the first Hispanic executed on the electric chair in the United States, she is also the author of “Does Your Compass Work? A Legal Guide for Florida Businesses” and frequently publishes in various media. She has a solo business and intellectual property law practice and lives in Florida with her husband, daughter and their four Labradors.
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November 6, 2014

If the Light Would Stay by JG Lucas


Throughout the month of November, Girl Who Reads will feature books from authors who are participating in National Novel Writing Month. These authors are attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.


About the Book

If the Light Would Stay
The silence of Tess Gilbert’s solitary world is shattered by screams only she can hear. They are coming from inside the mind of Sam Rhodes, a successful but modest young businessman and aspiring artist who has spent his life fighting his true nature. In her drive to help Sam, Tess discovers a deep, ancient connection to him.

For Tess, being with Sam is like drawing poison from her years of wounded loneliness. She feels vital and whole and happy for the first time in her life.

For Sam, the connection with Tess is as intoxicating as it is frightening. Her otherworldly power inspires the painter in him, while the gentleness and fragility of her soul rouses the protector in him. He would do anything to keep her with him and keep her safe, but there is a dark, predatory force only Sam can sense that wants her as much as Sam does.

Buy If the Light Would Stay at Amazon

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Finding Time to Write and Market

by Donna Huber

Are you an author who struggles to find time to write along with the all the other duties of life? Perhaps this month, you are attempting to write 50,000 words in 30 days and in order to do so you have had to clear your calendar of all but the most pressing duties (job, family). One of the things that authors often put on the back burner when in the "writing zone" is marketing. However, marketing is an important component in becoming a best selling author. With a little planning, you can effectively market your book with just a few hours each week.

First, you need to make sure you have the appropriate tools.

A media kit is a must. You will find having everything about you and your book available in a single file to be extremely helpful and time-saving. No more hunting down your review quotes for promos or book summaries for review pitches. If you have not put together a media kit, it can take a couple of hours or more to pull everything together. But once you have it complete, you will have everything you need to promote your book at your finger tips.

Read More: Author Media Kit Components

Other tools you need are auto-schedulers for social media (i.e. Buffer, Tweetdeck, and/or Hootesuite), RSS feeds for easy access to info to share, blogger directories, and a calendar.

Second, fill out author profiles on retail sites and Goodreads.

Sometimes as a blogger I want to do a promo for a book I really enjoyed and it frustrates me to no end when I can't easily find an author bio or social media links. My go to places for these things is Goodreads and if I can't find it there, then Amazon. Many readers are interested in finding these social media links and biographies as well. And it does the author no favors if readers have difficulty learning more about you. Again, this is something you do once and it has lasting returns. You may need to update the info from time to time.

Third, set up a weekly to do list

Marketing can be a daunting task, but if you break it down into smaller bits and pieces you will get more accomplished in less time. You can break the tasks into 3 broad categories - blogger relations, social media management, and personal blogging.

Blogger relations would include pitching your book for reviews as well as guest posting. Using the blogger directories you should be able to identify 10 bloggers to pitch to each week. You will want to break this task in to two smaller tasks - researching bloggers and the actual pitching. In the beginning the researching will take a bit more time and depending on your schedule you may want to just focus on that until you have identified 30 - 40 blogs to contact. You are not only looking for reviews, but also blogs to appear on in interviews or guest posts.

Read more: Make Friends with Bloggers

Social media management could also mean community management. You will need to give some attention each day to your Twitter and Facebook communities, but for the large part you can plan content in advance so that you can just check in for 10 - 15 minutes while taking a break from writing. Remember to set a timer or you may soon discover your writing time has vanished while in Facebook land. RSS feeds will help you find interesting content to share with your followers. I use Triberr for finding content, but you can things like BlogLovin to get an email about new content on blogs you follow. There are other RSS readers out there as well. I like Triberr because I can select a week's worth of content and it will automatically be shared. If you are getting RSS feeds directly you will want to use the auto-scheduling tools I mentioned to set up content. In addition to sharing blog content (yours as well as others), you can also schedule in quotes, pictures, review snippets, teasers, and conversation starters. You will want to check on any chatter these posting create each day and respond accordingly. If you have a street team, make sure you are providing them with ways to help you each week.

Personal blogging is highly recommended for authors. You should shoot for one post a week. Setting up a schedule of what you will post about each week will be useful, but doesn't have to be rigidly followed. I like to use a Google calendar for scheduling my blogging schedule as I can access it any where. As Girl Who Read is my main publication, my schedule is much fuller than if I were maintaining an author blog in support of a book. Having a list of topics to write on will save you time when you do sit down to blog each week.

Read More: Setting an Editorial Calendar

Fourth, keep a calendar handy.

You calendar will be for more than just setting your blog schedule. Keeping a calendar will help you stay on task each week. Remember those weekly pitches to bloggers? Some of them will net you interviews and guest posts. Putting those engagements on the calendar will help you remember to get the interview/post to the blogger as well as letting you know that you may have to spend a little less time that week pitching bloggers in order to write a guest post.

Busy people have to make sure they are making best use of their time and spending time wondering what to do next is wasted time. So when you are scheduling in dentist appointments and soccer practice, be sure to write down work on blog post, schedule social media, and email bloggers.


November 5, 2014

The Dain Princess by @RaittBlack


Throughout the month of November, Girl Who Reads will feature books from authors who are participating in National Novel Writing Month. These authors are attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.


About the Book

The Dain Princess


Lyhnzi Kole Dain, the only living heir to the Innbern Kingdom, is taken from her home by kidnappers who tell her she was banished. She quickly realizes her captors are no older than she is. A wandering group of orphans trying to find a home one of them sees in his dreams, a city that she, too, begins to see in dreams she shares with the boy. Haunted by unanswered questions, Lyhnzi must decide if she should stay with the boys, or escape into the unkown as she is taken further from her home.


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About the Author


Raitt Black was born and raised in New England and moved to Southern California to escape the cold and snow of winter. His writing is primarily fantasy but, as with life, there are elements of mystery, love, horror, and other such things which are based in reality.
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November 4, 2014

Skinny Me by Charlene Carr (@charcarr1)


Throughout the month of November, Girl Who Reads will feature books from authors who are participating in National Novel Writing Month. These authors are attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.


About the Book

Skinny Me
Jennifer Carpenter dreams of being a different person – A person with confidence, a person with beauty, a person who weighs a heck of a lot less.

At twenty-seven, her world falls apart. She’s out of work, her mother has died, her estranged brother is in a coma and, despite good qualifications, each and every job interview ends in another rejection. Marked by the teasing, taunts, and fat jokes that defined her childhood, Jennifer blames her current lack of success on her ever-growing waist band.

In need of a change, Jennifer puts her dream of ‘skinny’ above all else. Obsessed with this mission, she devotes her life to becoming the ideal version of herself even if it means becoming alienated from the only people who love her. Determined to lose the weight she believes is ruining her life, Jennifer finds herself in danger of losing so much more.


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About the Author

Charlene Carr
Charlene Carr is an ardent lover of words. A voracious reader, when she needed punishment as a child her parents took her books away. These punishments were blessings in disguise - with nothing to read, she created her own stories. Currently, Charlene is focusing exclusively on novel writing and loving every minute of it ... well, almost every minute. There are days when her characters fight to have the story their way! (And they're almost always right.) Charlene lives in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada and loves exploring the amazing coastline of her harbour town, dancing up a storm, and using her husband as a guinea pig for the healthy, yummy recipes she creates!
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Review: Lock and Key by Sarah Dressen

by Donna Huber

Lock and Key
In my hunt of entertaining audio books available through my digital download library I discovered Lock and Key by Sarah Dressen.

Seventeen year old Ruby is trying to keep things normal though her mother has disappeared. After all Ruby has been doing most of the parenting anyways. If she can only make it a few more months, she will be 18. However, a broken dryer and overly helpful landlords foils her plans. Insteadl, she finds herself on the doorstep of her sister Cora who she hasn't have any contact with in nearly 10 years. Cora has it all - the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood with a perfect husband. A husband who is the founder of the fictitious version of Facebook. Ruby wants to hate it all because her sister abandoned her. But did Cora really or was it her mother keeping them apart out of fear of being abandoned?

Lock and Key was a good book with teenage angst, but also great truths about love and family.

I was really drawn into the Ruby's world. I loved her brother-in-law Jamie. Why do fictitious husbands have to be so perfect?

The boy next door is the perfect friend for Ruby, but he has troubles of his own.

Dressen draws the reader right smack dap in the middle of the lives of these characters. You might as well be one the neighbors invited to view Jamie's pond or gathered for a party. You will come to care about all the characters and wonder what has happened to them once the last word is read.

As an audiobook, Lock and Key is excellent. Rebecca Soler is great as the narrator. The pace of the story makes it an easy listen.

Buy Lock and Key at Amazon



Book info
Available formats: audio, ebook, print (432 pages)
Published: April 2008 by Penguin Audio
ISBN13: 9780143143055
Genres: growing up, dysfunctional relationships
Audience: young adult
Source: Georgia Digital Download library
Listened: October 2014


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November 3, 2014

The Beacon by @ABHPShepherd


Throughout the month of November, Girl Who Reads will feature books from authors who are participating in National Novel Writing Month. These authors are attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.


About the Book

The Beacon




Shipwrecked on an isolated island... How far would you go to help a new friend? Would you kill someone? How do you know what is and isn't real? When The Beacon beckons safe harbour isn't guaranteed.


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About the Author

AB Shepherd
A.B. Shepherd grew up in Lansing, Michigan, but moved to Australia once her children had grown and empty nest syndrome set in. She now lives in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia, with her husband and their imaginary friends. She loves living near the Southern Ocean and often finds it inspiring. She can usually be found seaside at Port MacDonnell, or lost in a fantasy world. Lifeboat is her debut novel - a science-fiction/suspense tale. Her second book, The Beacon is a psychological thriller, novella.
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November New Releases


Mermaids in Paradise
Mermaids, kidnappers, and mercenaries hijack a tropical vacation in this genre-bending sendup of the American honeymoon.

On the grounds of a Caribbean island resort, newlyweds Deb and Chip—our opinionated, skeptical narrator and her cheerful jock husband who’s friendly to a fault—meet a marine biologist who says she’s sighted mermaids in a coral reef.

As the resort’s “parent company” swoops in to corner the market on mythological creatures, the couple joins forces with other adventurous souls, including an ex–Navy SEAL with a love of explosives and a hipster Tokyo VJ, to save said mermaids from the “Venture of Marvels,” which wants to turn their reef into a theme park.

Available November 3
Buy Mermaids in Paradise at Amazon


Ugly Girls
Perry and Baby Girl are best friends, though you wouldn’t know it if you met them. Their friendship is woven from the threads of never-ending dares and power struggles, their loyalty fierce but incredibly fraught. They spend their nights sneaking out of their trailers, stealing cars for joyrides, and doing all they can to appear hard to the outside world.With all their energy focused on deceiving themselves and the people around them, they don’t know that real danger lurks: Jamey, an alleged high school student from a nearby town, has been pining after Perry from behind the computer screen in his mother’s trailer for some time now, following Perry and Baby Girl’s every move—on Facebook, via instant messaging and text,and, unbeknownst to the girls, in person. When Perry and Baby Girl finally agree to meet Jamey face-to-face, they quickly realize he’s far from the shy high school boy they thought he was, and they’ll do whatever is necessary to protect themselves.

Available November 4
Buy Ugly Girls at Amazon


A Map of Betrayal
From the award-winning author of Waiting: a spare, haunting tale of espionage and conflicted loyalties that spans half a century in the entwined histories of two countries—China and the United States—and two families as it explores the complicated terrain of love and honor.

When Lilian Shang, born and raised in America, discovers her father’s diary after the death of her parents, she is shocked by the secrets it contains. She knew that her father, Gary, convicted decades ago of being a mole in the CIA, was the most important Chinese spy ever caught. But his diary—an astonishing chronicle of his journey from 1949 Shanghai to Okinawa to Langley, Virginia—reveals the pain and longing that his double life entailed. The trail leads Lilian to China, to her father’s long-abandoned other family, whose existence she and her Irish American mother never suspected. As Lilian begins to fathom her father’s dilemma—torn between loyalty to his motherland and the love he came to feel for his adopted country—she sees how his sense of duty distorted his life. But as she starts to understand that Gary, too, had been betrayed, she finds that it is up to her to prevent his tragedy from damaging yet another generation of her family.

Available November 4
Buy A Map of Betrayal at Amazon


Missing Reels
New York in the late 1980s. Ceinwen Reilly has just moved from Yazoo City, Mississippi, and she’s never going back, minimum wage job (vintage store salesgirl) and shabby apartment (Avenue C walkup) be damned. Who cares about earthly matters when Ceinwen can spend her days and her nights at fading movie houses—and most of the time that’s left trying to look like Jean Harlow?

One day, Ceinwen discovers that her downstairs neighbor may have—just possibly—starred in a forgotten silent film that hasn’t been seen for ages. So naturally, it’s time for a quest. She will track down the missing reels, she will impress her neighbor, and she will become a part of movie history: the archivist as ingénue.

As she embarks on her grand mission, Ceinwen meets a somewhat bumbling, very charming, 100 percent English math professor named Matthew, who is as rational as she is dreamy. Together, they will or will not discover the reels, will or will not fall in love, and will or will not encounter the obsessives that make up the New York silent film nut underworld.

Available November 12
Buy Missing Reels at Amazon


Things Grak hates
Grak hates things. Lots of things. And with a peculiar intensity too.

Grak’s contempt is so strong, in fact, that it often leaves his fellow tribesmen bewildered. And when attempting to describe his personality, they find themselves in need of words with greater nuance. “Neurotic” is typically used. “Sociopath” and “narcissist” are also common terms. The most popular descriptor, however, is “pathological.”

Grak, on the other hand, sees his situation in a rather different light. He finds his behavior “necessary” and “selfless,” or even “benevolent” when his mood is just so. Most often, though, he simply attributes his nature to “being human.”

But of all the things Grak despises, his antipathy for olives takes precedence. In his efforts to be rid of this nuisance, he gets his first taste of power and ignites a series of events with troubling consequences. Unwilling to give up his newfound influence, he sets about honing his only true talent: manipulation. But as his grip tightens, Grak’s naively selfish exterior crumbles to reveal a dark and malicious evil …

In his debut work, author Peter J Story brews a robust psychological satire infused with dry humor and a pinch of emotion. Set just prior to recorded history, Things Grak Hates chronicles the life of a bizarre nomad and his descent toward evil. Along the way, this unconventional allegory explores a variety of complex issues. Among them: power, politics, religion, redemption, the dissemination of ideas, and human nature itself.

Available November 18
Buy Things Grak Hates at Amazon



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November 2, 2014

Huw the Bard by Connie J. Jasperson (@CJJasp)


Throughout the month of November, Girl Who Reads will feature books from authors who are participating in National Novel Writing Month. These authors are attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.


About the Book

Huw the Bard
The youngest master in the Bards’ Guild, eighteen-year-old Huw Owyn is at the top of his craft. The Spring Conclave is underway, and Huw is late to the ceremonies. While he lingers with his lady, the Bards’ Guild is attacked. Seeking to rule the most powerful clan in the valley, Earl Rann Dwyn hangs the Guild Master, Huw’s father. His thugs torch the hall with everyone still inside, igniting a firestorm and incinerating a quarter of the city.

Smuggled out of the burning city in a reeking ale barrel, Huw the Bard is a wanted man. Starving, reduced to begging and worse, he must somehow make his way north to safety. It’s a 200-league walk as the crow flies to the one place he might have a friend, though the path Huw must take is anything but straight.

Murder, rape, and the taint of treason – a lot can happen to a man on a journey like that. 


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About the Author

Connie J. Jasperson
Connie J Jasperson lives and writes in Olympia, Washington. She and her husband share five children, eleven grandchildren and a love of good food and great music.

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