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May 27, 2017

Audiobooks for Road Trips: An Infographic

Are planning a summer road trip? Being trapped for hours in a car can be a great time to enjoy a good book. However, it can be difficult for all the occupants to agree on the same book. Follow this infographic to find great options for your group.




























































































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Great Potential: Keeping Away from the Joneses by Bowen Craig

by Donna Huber



A few weeks ago I went to Statham to have lunch and there was a street fair going on. I love looking at the crafts and whatnots so I strolled through. I happened upon a book booth for a local Athens book publisher - Bilbo Books. I got to talking with Bowen Craig who is a co-founder of the publisher and an author himself. He gave me a copy of his book Keeping Away from the Joneses for an honest review.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post.

Keeping Away from the Joneses
June 2009; iUniverse; 978-1440117039
ebook, print (119 pages); satire
I love meeting local authors and I wasn't aware of this publishing group. Bilbo Books is a pay-to-publish outfit focused on memoirs, but they also work with authors of general fiction and children's books.

I was really excited about reading Keeping Away from the Joneses. The back cover summary is sparse:

Diedre Jones is a full-time Appalachian maid and part-time hypochondriac. She and her eclectic, crazy family have always been on the bottom rung of the American ladder. But that was before they won the lottery...

But I was grabbed by the fact that Diedre, or Dee as she is called by friends and family, is a hypochondriac. Hypochondriasm can offer a great deal of comic relief in fiction. And while we are told (there's a bit more telling than showing in this novel) in the opening chapters that she is a hypochondriac, we never see any signs of this particular mental illness. Perhaps, Craig, who often opened chapters with dictionary definitions, failed to read the entry for hypochondriac, "a person who is abnormally anxious about their health."

Unfortunately, this was not the only problem with the book.

The whole book felt a bit like reading a season of The Beverly Hillbillies. The opening chapters were character vignettes and since I'm not a huge fan of short stories, this manner of character establishment didn't appeal to me. It still bugs me that in the chapter where we are introduced to Uncle P, who likes to experiment with household items to see what can get him high, there is mention that the family gets in Ethel's SUV and goes to her house from the hospital. Why didn't they drive themselves to the hospital? Why was Ethel there? Perhaps if Ethel had driven just Dee and Hannah it would have made since they clean her house. But the whole family?

Speaking of the character development. Craig heaped every redneck stereotype upon the characters that they became more caricatures that possible real people. So it was difficult to become attached to any of them. Though when we finally get to the main plot of them winning the lottery things got a little better. The story arc expanded over the chapters and we get to see the actions of the characters more.

There were also technical problems with the book. The reading level is low, but that wasn't the problem per se. Instead, it was the oddly worded sentences, misspelled words, and mixed-up homophones that I took issue with.

"Setting down the silver colored, metal folding chair he was carrying in order to think, PH thought." pg. 22

Did I really need to be told "he thought" at the end of the sentence? It just felt like I was reading more of a draft than a final product. And really there is a lot of potential in this book for a great story. You can see Craig's potential to be a great writer. I really think if Craig would tweak the story a bit, clean up the copy, and address some of the layout inconsistency, the comparison of a modern day John Steinbeck could be made.

If you are interested in checking out this novella, you can buy it at Amazon

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

Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

May 26, 2017

Kickoff to Summer Reading Book Sale!!

Kickoff to Summer Book Sale

All books are either free or 99 cents! Limited time only! 

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post.

Summer officially kicks off this weekend in the US with the Memorial Day holiday. Many people will be traveling this weekend and for the weeks to come. If you need to stock up on books for the summer, check out these free and 99 cent deals.


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Lightening Crimes
Lightning Crimes (Disaster Crimes Book 2.5) by Chrys Fey 
Genre: Romantic-Suspense * Pages: 22 


Whistlin' Dixie
Whistlin’ Dixie (Tempered Steel) by Maggie Adams
Genre: Rom Com/Contemporary Romance * Pages: 243


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Quickies
Quickies: Sexy Short Stories and Other Stuff by Jade C. Jamison
Genre: Romance anthology * Pages: 256


Summer Angel
Summer Angel by Samantha Jacobey
Genre: paranormal suspense love story * Pages: 112


Dark Angel
Dark Angel by Samantha Jacobey
Genre: paranormal love story novella * Pages: 112


Loving Jessie's Girl
Loving Jessie's Girl by LA Remenicky
Genre: suspense love story novella * Pages: 90


The Binding
The Binding by Samantha Jacobey
Genre: suspense love story novella * Pages:125


Teach me to Prey
Teach Me to Prey by Samantha Jacobey
Genre: mystery suspense love story novella * Pages: 153


Stranded on Vail Mountain
Stranded on Vail Mountain by Desiree L. Scott
Genre: suspense romance novella * Pages: 81


Christmas Candy
Christmas Candy by Samantha Jacobey
Genre: Contemporary Romance Novella *  Pages: 143


Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve (Sweet Christmas Series #2) by Samantha Jacobey
Genre: contemporary love story novella * Pages: 73


Dirty Old Man
Dirty Old Man by R.A. Carter-Squire
Genre: literary fiction novella * Pages: 65


Last Chance Christmas
Last Chance Christmas (A Fairfield Corners Novella) by L.A. Remenicky
Genre: contemporary romance novella


Rosinanti
Rosinanti: the Decimation of Casid (Rosinanti 1.5) by Kevin J. Kessler
Genre: Fantasy Action Adventure * Pages: 58


Eagle of the Empire
Eagle of the Empire, Relic Hunters Book One by Martin Ferguson
Genre: Young adult, adventure / historical fiction * Pages: 288


Broken Earth
Broken Earth by Lee Ryder
Genre: Dystopian * Pages: 246


Hazel Darling=Sweetest Sister
Hazel Darling: Sweetest Sister (The Ladies of Pistol Fanny's Book 1) by Annie Rose Welch
Genre: Romance * Pages: 144


The Misguided Confession
The Misguided Confession by Dahlia Donovan
Genre: Paranormal Romance * Pages: 167


His Competent Woman
His Competent Woman A BBW Billionaire Romance by Ellen Whyte
Genre: Romance * Pages: 100


We are vengeful addiction
We Are Vengeful Addiction: Lexi (A Vengeful Addiction #1) by Bre Meli
Genre: Rocker Romance


She's Percy's Girl
She’s Percy’s Girl ~ A Step Romance by Bre Meli
Genre: Contemporary Romance * Pages: 231


A Momwnt in the Sun
A Moment in the Sun by Bre Meli
Genre: Paranormal Romance * Pages: 355
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Rockin' Rhythm
Rockin' Rhythm by Bella Jeanisse
Genre: Rockstar Romance * Pages: 260
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Wicked End
Wicked End by Bella Jeanisse
Genre: Rockstar Romance * Pages: 260
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Life's What You Make It
Life’s What You Make It (Love's Great Adventure #1) by Theresa Troutman
Genre: Contemporary Romance/YA * Pages: 368


Michaels Passion
Michaels Passion (A Series of Angels #1) by Joel Crofoot
Genre: Paranormal Romance * Pages: 182
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Ramatel's Vow
Ramatel’s Vow (A Series of Angels #2) by Joel Crofoot Genre: Paranormal Romance 195 Pages Amazon US * Amazon UK * Amazon CA * Amazon AU


Timeless honor
Timeless Honor (Mirrors of Time #3) by Amber Dalton
Genre: Time Travel Romance * Pages: 151


Fate
Fate (Fallen From Grace #1) by Kate Bonham
Genre: Paranormal Romance * Pages: 268
Amazon


Leather and Lace
Leather and Lace (Tempered Steel #2) by Maggie Adams
Genre: Romantic Suspense * Pages: 142
Amazon


Hidden Monsters
Hidden Monsters by London Miller
Genre: Romantic Suspense * Pages: 404
Amazon US * Amazon UK * Amazon CA


Got the Life
Got the Life by Jade C. Jamison (A Nicki Sosebee Novel)
Genre: Romantic suspense * Pages: 154
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Reckless
Reckless (Triple Threat 1) by Bella Jeanisse
Genre: Rock Star Romance 206 Pages
Amazon US * Amazon UK * Amazon AU * Amazon CA


Invisible
Invisible by L.A. Remenicky
Genre: suspense love story novella * Pages: 164
Amazon


Weekends
Weekends by Lindy S. Hudis
Genre: Romance/suspense * Pages: 216
Amazon * iBook * Nook


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Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

May 25, 2017

Fantastic Writing ~ All That Is Solid Melts Into Air by Carole Giangrande

by Susan Roberts

Book review All that is solid melts into air by Carole Giangrande

All That is Solid Melts into Air should be read slowly so you can enjoy the fantastic writing.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post. A free book was provided for an honest review.

All that is solid melts into air
April 2017; Inanna Publications; 978-1771333610
ebook, print (200 pages); women's fiction
About the book: In the morning fog of the North Atlantic, Valerie hears the frenetic ticking of clocks. She's come from Toronto to hike on the French island of St. Pierre and to ponder her marriage to Gerard Lefevre, a Montrealer and a broadcast journalist whose passion for justice was ignited in his youth by the death of his lover in an airline bombing. He's a restless traveller (who she suspects is unfaithful) and she's the opposite: quiet, with an inner life she nurtures as a horticulturalist. Valerie's thinking about Gerard on assignment in her native New York City, where their son Andre works. In New York City, an airplane has plunged into a skyscraper, and in the short time before anyone understands the significance of this event, Valerie's mind begins to spiral in and out of the present moment, circling around her intense memories of her father's death, her youthful relationship with troubled Matthew, and her pregnancy with his child, the crisis that led to her marriage to Gerard, and her fears for the safety of her son Andre and his partner James. Unable to reach her loved ones, Valerie finds memory intruding on a surreal and dreamlike present until at last she connects with Gerard and the final horror of that day.

My Review: This is a beautiful book that I read slowly so that I could savor the fantastic writing. It's about 9/11, a subject that many people still can't read about, but it's about so much more than that. It's about family and love and memory of earlier life and trying to make sense of the world around us even during a tragedy such as 9/11. It's about the way that the past and the present are connected and the fact that you often need to look at your past to understand what is presently happening. Most importantly it's a deep look into someone's mind as they deal with senseless tragedy on a personal and a worldview perspective. I really cannot recommend this book enough -- it's one that I plan to keep and re-read.

Buy All That is Solid Melts into Air at Amazon


About the Author:
Carole Giangrande's two most recent books (the novellas Here Comes the Dreamer and Midsummer) were both published by Inanna Publications in 2014. A previous novella, A Gardener On The Moon, won the 2010 Ken Klonsky Novella Contest. She's the author of the novels, An Ordinary Star (2004) and A Forest Burning (2000) and a short story collection, Missing Persons (1994), as well as two non- fiction books: Down To Earth: The Crisis in Canadian Farming (1985) and The Nuclear North: The People, The Regions and the Arms Race (1983). She's worked as a broadcast journalist for CBC Radio, and her fiction, poetry, articles and reviews have appeared in literary journals and
in Canada's major newspapers.


Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with her on Facebook.



Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

May 24, 2017

How EDNOR SCARDENS Prepared Me to Watch THE KEEPERS

by Kathleen Barker



I recently finished viewing all seven parts of the documentary film, "The Keepers" on Netflix.  Tears ran down my face as an immense well of anger overflowed.  Was is because I knew these women personally?  No.  Was it because I was a survivor of abuse?  Yes and no.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post.

The Keepers - Netflix

To explain that last answer, I'm going to do something that an author just doesn't do.  I'm going to review my own book, Ednor Scardens.

Endor Scardens by Kathleen Barker

It all started when I went to a funeral a few years ago, and the eulogy that was delivered gave me pause because it didn't really capture the deceased.  I felt that the speaker didn't know much about her loved one's past.  Then a germ of fear took hold that my own kids didn't know many things about me before I was their mother.  So, I sat down to write down some facts as well as some anecdotes, and, before I knew it, I was typing into the night, and many more nights, as it poured out.

A story began to form, beginning with a girl in the sixth grade, who lived in a Catholic, blue-collar neighborhood, and attended Catholic school.  She gradually learns of the abuse of one of her friends by a parish priest, and then slowly realizes that she could become the next victim.  Some of the characters and material were autobiographical and some were fictitious, to provide a more cohesive story.  As Kate navigates middle school and high school, she moves through the minefield of friendship with her classmates.  Her physical maturity attracts the attention that her emotional immaturity is not equipped to deal with.  The scars slowly accumulate on her psyche.

When Kate moves past a puppy-love relationship with a boy named Gabe, and falls in love with his older brother Michael, her ghosts come out from hiding.  No one ever went to counseling in the 1960's.  No one spoke out against the Catholic Church.  You learned to stay quiet and bury it deep so you could act normal like everyone else. Until...

And the story just won't end.  So you write three more books to get it all out.

Buy Ednor Scardens at Amazon



Kathleen BarkerKathleen Barker was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. A graduate of Blessed Sacrament, the Institute of Notre Dame and Towson University, she spent twenty years as the much-traveled wife of a Navy pilot and has three children. While working for a Fortune 500 insurance company in New Orleans, she wrote feature and human interest articles for their magazine and received the Field Reporter of the Year award. After Hurricane Katrina, she returned to her beloved state of Maryland where she started work on "The Charm City Chronicles". All four volumes, "Ednor Scardens", "The Body War", "The Hurting Year", and "On Gabriel's Wings" are available in Amazon's Kindle store.

   

Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

May 23, 2017

A Shattering, Eye-Opening Novel: A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi

by Susan Roberts

Book reivew A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi
This extremely well-written novel was a real eye-opener.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post. A free book was provided for this review.


; William Morrow978-0062449658
ebook, audio, print (432 pages);women's fiction
From Amazon:  For two decades, Zeba was a loving wife, a patient mother, and a peaceful villager. But her quiet life is shattered when her husband, Kamal, is found brutally murdered with a hatchet in the courtyard of their home. Nearly catatonic with shock, Zeba is unable to account for her whereabouts at the time of his death. Her children swear their mother could not have committed such a heinous act. Kamal’s family is sure she did and demands justice. Barely escaping a vengeful mob, Zeba is arrested and jailed.

Awaiting trial, she meets a group of women whose own misfortunes have led them to these bleak cells: eighteen-year-old Nafisa, imprisoned to protect her from an “honor killing”; twenty-five-year-old Latifa, a teen runaway who stays because it is safe shelter; twenty-year-old Mezghan, pregnant and unmarried, waiting for a court order to force her lover’s hand. Is Zeba a cold-blooded killer, these young women wonder or has she been imprisoned, like them, for breaking some social rule? For these women, the prison is both a haven and a punishment; removed from the harsh and unforgiving world outside, they form a lively and indelible sisterhood.

Into this closed world comes Yusuf, Zeba’s Afghan-born, American-raised lawyer whose commitment to human rights and desire to help his homeland have brought him back. With the fate this seemingly ordinary housewife in his hands, Yusuf discovers that, like the Afghanistan itself, his client may not be at all what he imagines.

My Review:  For a woman, this extremely well-written novel was a real eye-opener.

Even though women in much of the world feel discriminated against on a daily basis, it is nothing compared to the way women are treated in Afghanistan. Zeba was a quiet, loving wife and mother for years before her husband was found murdered in their yard and she had blood on her hands. Few questions were asked by the police before she was dragged into jail where she was left for months with no contact with her children, until her trial.

The jail is full of women who made mistakes like dishonoring their father by spending too much time with a man that the family didn't approve of. With some of the lesser crimes by the other women in her cell, Zeba, an accused murderess is a real criminal. Even though she has a lawyer to try to help her, Zeba doesn't want to say anything that will cause dishonor to her husband's family plus she knows that she is safer in jail because they can't get to her to kill her for the murder.

A very telling line, that was written several times in the book, is that there is no reason for a woman to give evidence at her trial because a woman's testimony is considered half as important as a man's. In reality, Zeba is courageous and strong - a fact never accepted by the men in the novel.

This is a shattering, eye-opening novel based on common occurrences of issues for women in Afghanistan
.

Buy A House Without Windows at Amazon


About the Author:

was born and raised in New York and New Jersey. Both her parents were born in Afghanistan and left in the early 1970s, before the Soviet invasion. Her mother, granddaughter of a notable Afghan poet, traveled to Europe to obtain a Master’s degree in civil engineering and her father came to the United States, where he worked hard to fulfill his American dream and build a new, brighter life for his immediate and extended family. Nadia was fortunate to be surrounded by a large family of aunts, uncles and cousins, keeping the Afghan culture an integral part of their daily lives.

Nadia Hashimi is a pediatrician of Afghan descent and an internationally bestselling author. She attended Brandeis University, obtained a medical degree from SUNY Downstate and trained in pediatrics at New York University. She has hometowns in both New York and New Jersey but now calls Maryland home. She is an advocate for women's rights and a public speaker.

Her previous books are The Pearl that Broke its Shell and When the Moon is Low.

website *  Facebook  *  Twitter


Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends.  She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with her on Facebook.


Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

May 22, 2017

Wonderfully Written ~ The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti #MondayBlogs

by Donna Huber


Book Review The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

If I had to sum up The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti it would be it's about a man who lost his way.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post.


The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
March 2017; Dial Press; 978-0812989885
ebook, audio, print (400 pages); literary fiction
I won The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley in a Goodreads giveaway. When it arrived I couldn't remember what had attracted me to the book, but then I started to see it everywhere. It seemed to be the book everyone was talking about. Have you read it?

From the back cover: After fifteen years on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter, Loo, to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, is his late wife's hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and grows curious about her mother's mysterious death. Haunting them both are the twelve scars Hawley carries on his bodies, from twelve bullets in his criminal past -- a past that eventually spills over into his daughter's present, until together they must face a reckoning yet to come. This father-daughter epic weaves back and forth through time and across Amerca, from Alaska to the Adirondacks. Both a coming-of -age and a literary thriller. The Twelves Lifes of Samuel Hawley explores what it means to be a hero, and the cost we pay to protect the people we love most.

I really enjoyed the coming-of-age story of Loo. She is an interesting character as she leaves childhood behind and on the verge of adulthood. She has had a chaotic childhood as her father moves her from one place to another. Do they move because Hawley's past is coming after them, or is it because someone is asking too many questions and will possibly uncover his past?

When the book begins, Loo is your typical tween that has been raised by a single dad. She is pretty unkempt, though there's no real indication that she is neglected. More along the lines of unbrushed hair, disheveled clothing. She's moved around a lot, and for many children that would lead to them falling behind in school. But not Loo. When she and Hawley do eventually settle down, she skips a grade. I mostly kept reading to find out what happens to Loo.

The other reason I kept reading was Tinti's writing. She has crafted a wonderful story. This was my first novel by her and I was impressed. I will be looking for future books from her.

I didn't care too much for the flashbacks to Hawley's past, though as they came closer to the present  I found them more interesting, or maybe they just grew on me. Each flashback is based on one of Hawley's scars and how he got it. I was left with one question throughout - how did he never get caught? His presumably best friend, probably mentor Jove did a couple of stints in jail, but there is never any indication that Hawley was picked up for any of his crimes.

I started seeing where the ending was going a few chapters before it happened. But that didn't stop the ending from being satisfying. I really liked how the story came full circle in the end. When I turned the last page, my only thought was "Samuel Hawley is a man who lost his way." Which isn't really an original thought as Hawley had mentioned losing and finding his way throughout the novel.

But for me, I wasn't so sure if he lost his way when he started his life of crime or when he went straight.

I may not have remembered what drew me to the book in the first place, I'm glad that I did notice it.

While this wouldn't typically be the kind of book you would think of as a 'beach read', this would make for a good vacation read. And they do live on the coast.

Buy The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley at Amazon

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


Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/mHTVL. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

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