Readers' Favorite

September 29, 2012

So Funny: Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman

Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman by JB Lynn
Published October 16, 2012 by Avon Impulse
ISBN13: 9780062233073
Source Publisher
Read September 2012
Goodreads, Amazon

OMG! My abs hurt reading this book. I laughed so hard through the opening chapters. J. B. has really come into her own with Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman. The writing was sharper and just over all tone had the mark of a mature, seasoned writer. I can't wait for more.

I absolutely love Doomsday. She stole every scene she was in (even upstaging God as my favorite pet character). How I wish I could understand my own dogs. I'm pretty sure my Charlie was giving me his own version of "Gotta! Gotta!" because I didn't want to put this book down for anything.

With the riotous start, you would think this book was all fun and games. But oh, no. There is some serious business going on here. Maggie is dealing with a ton of stuff - her niece is still in a coma, she hates her crappy job with the sexual harassing boss, her crazy aunts (even the sane one is acting odd), a custody struggle,  a guy who "wants" her and the guy she "wants", and of course, there's her side job - hitwoman for a notorious crime boss. The job this time - a drug kingpin who just happened to have been her uncle for a week at one time. Yeah, there were times (amidst the laughter) that I just wanted to, well not hug because I'm not really the hugging type but if you are the hugging type you would have wanted to, hug Maggie. 

Some things were cleared up for me. When I finished Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman (see my review), I couldn't decide who I wanted Maggie to be with - Paul the cop who pulled her over during what had to be the funniest traffic stop ever or Patrick, her hitman mentor who happens to be married and has a second family. I had suspicions about Paul in the first book, which weren't really alluded to in this second book, but he did have more of a creepy vibe in this book. Patrick is so sweet in this story. If he didn't have his two families he would be perfect.

Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman is definitely going on my Best of 2012 list. Go ahead and pre-order it so you don't forget to get it on October 16. Everyone deserves a good laugh and this book will give it to you. And the greatest thing, the way it ends ensures there will be even more confessions of a slightly neurotic hitwoman in the future!

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. A free book was obtained from the source mentioned above in order to provide an honest and free review.

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From the TBR Pile: The Called Ones and the Keys of Sight by S. B. Scrillum

Have you ever felt called by a Voice in the night? If a voice called to you now, would you follow it?

The children in the town of Henley hear the call when they attend Summer's End Camp for the first time. There are legends about the land the town bulit the camp on; it is said to built atop a cursed, ancient Indian burial ground, some even swear to have seen peopel walk into the lake there, never to return.

Is the Voice that is calling to the children of Henley a sinster force bent on leading them to a cursed, watery death, or is it a trustworthy force meaing only good? Eigther way, thirteen children a in for a surprise when they attend camp and follow the strange Voice that calls to them in the night. The call is only the beginning. From
Paperback, 370 pages
Published December 2011
ISBN13: 9781463779375
Goodreads, Amazon, IndieBound 

About the Author:
S.B. Scrillum comes from another dimension known as Halanea. Within that Realm, Scrillum is known as The Historian who is responsible for keeping records and penning the most important book within the land. The Master of Halanea has sent Scrillum on an important mission to cross over into the HuMan Realm and write the story of a small group of brave warriors from a land known as Mississippi located within the North American continent. Scrillum follows them to this day writing down the details of the adventures as they seek to unlock the power they hope will save the HuMan Realm.

Connect with the Author:

Praise for The Called Ones and The Keys of Sight:

"thoughtful, character-driven debut fantasy novel" ~ Karin Ballstadt, Amazon

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Bloggers Wanted: $100 Paypal Cash Giveaway

Here is another FREE event for bloggers worldwide!

Participate in I Heart Giveaways and The Coffee Chic's upcoming $100 Paypal Cash Giveaway.

One winner will get a chance to win $100 Cash sponsored by Emperola!

All you need to do is to make an announcement about the FREE sign-up on your blog. This is a good way to gain more followers on your Facebook page. Co-hosting spots are also available! Click here or on the banner above to sign-up.

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September 28, 2012

FlashFiveFriday: Backbone

Photo source here.
There seems to be a increase in strong female characters in literature, particularly young adult literature. I'm absolutely thrilled about this as self-image is so important to our teenage girls and we don't want them to think they all need to be waif thin damsels in distress. I thought I would put together a short list (I only have 5 minutes) of female characters with BACKBONE.

I'm sure there's more and I would love to hear your list, but time is just about up. I wanted to say what I really like about these strong characters is that they are still able to show vulnerability without being weak.

#FlashFiveFriday is a weekly flash fiction/flash blogging prompt.

The rules are very simple if you’d like to take part:
1) Write for no longer than five minutes
2) No upper or lower word limits
3) You must write something new
4) You can prepare your post ahead of time but the 5 minute limit still applies
5) If you add your blog post to the weekly linky you must visit five other blogs that week too to show your support
Checkout more posts about Backbone here.

photo credit: danny.hammontree via photopin cc

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Friday Fun with Kate Mitchell

My name is Kate Mitchell, and I am the author of the novel Aureole, released in July 2012. It came out in July on Kindle and on Amazon paperback, and follows a girl trying to figure out who she is while living with an extremely wealthy family in New York City. Jess deals with maintaining who she is, what she stands for, and where she feels like she belongs. The serious action of Aureole takes place over a period of about a year and a half, and a lot happens to Jess. Since she’s the main character and all, I thought I would take the time during this Friday Fun to
examine Jess’ character, so you can get an idea of what she is like before you start reading.

Character: Jessica Carleton (Jess)

Setting: New York City and Stanford, California

Physical Description: Small, with dirty blond hair. Unobtrusive.

Behavior: Jess does what is asked of her, and occasionally does a little bit more. She’s incredibly smart, but does nothing to advertise that fact. She doesn’t like to talk to people she doesn’t know, but loves talking to the friends she does have.

Thoughts: Oh, if Jess spoke half of the thoughts she has about Cecy, Liz, and Mrs. Knight her relationship with the three of them would be completely different. Jess’ personality outwardly towards these three and inwardly are entirely different, and through her thoughts the materialism and shallowness of the three is examined.

Speech: Jess doesn’t speak a whole lot, especially around those people who made her transition to the Bishops’ household difficult. Now, put her around Eddy in Central Park and you’ve got a whole different matter. Sometimes she mumbles, and looks at the ground. Often her thoughts are much more eloquent than her speech.

Reaction of Others: One of Cecy’s favorite lines is “God, Jessica!” Cecy and Liz are not impressed by Jess, and aren’t terribly fond of her. Eddy likes her, Mrs. Bishop sometimes sees her as a bit of a pet, and Jon tolerates her presence. Mr. Bishop falls somewhere between the two, and Mrs. Knight probably would like Jess more if Jess were confident.

But Jess doesn’t need the people around her to define who she is. This character sketch describes her before some of the key events of Aureole, and also explains some of Jess’ relationships. For more details, and to see how Jess deals with what life throws at her, you can find Aureole at Amazon.

Aureole is available on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback. Kate Mitchell and be found online at and, on Twitter @kmitchellauthor, and via email at

Bloggiesta: To Do List

It's Bloggiesta Time! This is the first time I'm officially participating AND I was chosen as a mini-challenge host. If you are looking for policies and procedures that will make your blog effective, efficient, and legal hop over to yesterday's post. Here's my To Do List for the weekend. I need to finalize some stuff for a tour I'm organizing in October, so I'm not sure how much I will get done. I'll update this post as I complete tasks.

  • Add Goodreads shelves back to sidebar
  • Delete any unused sidebar place holders
  • Update Home page slide show click the Home button to view
  • Write 2 1 reviews (see the review)
  • Update Disclaimers page (click on the Disclaimer tab above)
  • Add Contest Rules page
  • Make graphics for Meet the Author Mondays, Writer Wednesdays, and Friday Fun
  • Finish October newsletter You can view it here (if you want to sign up for my monthly newsletter click the tab above.
The graphics I made:

Check out all the other mini-challenges where you can learn some great tips and tricks to make your blogging even better!

Feel free to leave links to your To Do list or other Bloggiesta posts in the comment section.
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September 27, 2012

Now Showing: Falstaff's Big Gamble

Find Falstaff's Big Gamble by Hank Quense at Amazon.

Watch more videos here.

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. Book trailers are featured for free. All videos are provided by the author who has granted Girl Who Reads permission to feature them on this blog.

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Tips on Thursday: Bloggiesta Edition

This weekend is Bloggiesta. It's a blogging event hosted by There's a Book and It's All About Books. It allows bloggers to set aside time to do some housekeeping tasks on the blog and an opportunity to learn tips and tricks.

I'm hosting a mini-challenge on policy and procedures. While it is a boring topic, having these policies and procedures in place will make your blogging more effective, efficient, and most importantly legal. For your efforts, I have a giveaway at the end of this post.

Review Policy: In a previous tips post, I discuss the importance of review policies in more detail. You can read that post here. Having a review policy will make your blogging life a bit easier as authors can quickly surmise if your blog is a fit for them, but also it will give you a place to point authors to when they make inquiries. If you are like me and have trouble saying "No", it can also be the "excuse" you need. I've put together a questionnaire to help you develop your own policy. The most important tip for developing a review policy is to be concise (no one wants to spend 10 minutes reading the "fine print").

  • Who are you open to receiving review pitches from? Self-published, independent published, major publishers, etc.
  • How do you want to be contacted? Email, contact form? Should Review Request or something be in the subject line?
  • What formats do you accept? Hard copies (paperback or hardcover), ebooks (mobi, pdf, epub), advance copies or finished copies only, audio books, serials
  • What genre(s) do you read? You might say you read everything, but everyone has 1 - 3 favorite genres. If you are unsure of genres or only read a narrow subgenre, you can list some of your favorite authors.
  • What genres won't you read? You might be open to everything, but if there is a genre you really don't like to read then you should state it. I don't read horror and I listed Stephen King as someone who I consider writes horror.
  • Are you open to guest posts or interviews? I include my feature posts options in my review policy.
  • Will you review a book you do not finish? Will you post reviews of books that you consider 1 or 2 stars? Also you will want to explain your rating system.
  • Do you post your reviews anywhere else (Amazon, Goodreads,etc.)?

Answering these questions will give you a pretty comprehensive review policy. There might be specific things you want to add. For example some bloggers like to have authors/publishers send book cover images or a digital version in the pitch email, others don't. If you feel strongly that you want it included then you should state it in your review policy.
The important thing to keep in mind is to be CONCISE. Check out my review policy for an example.

FTC Disclaimer: I haven't written a full post on the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) guidelines for advertisement and endorsements, yet (it's in the works so please stop back by). With the recent news about sock puppets and paid reviews it is more important than ever to include a few disclaimers on your blog and within your posts. If you are outside the U.S., you may think you are not affected by the policy. However, if the servers where your blog is hosted are in the U.S. or you are reviewing for U.S. based companies, then the policy does apply. Also, your home country may have it's own requirements. The disclaimer adds credibility to review blogs. You can read FTC 16 CFR Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising here. But it's a government document so you might just want to read some commentary. I like the posts here and here.

So what do you need to do to be in compliance?

  • Disclose any financial relationship you have with the company/author in which you are reviewing.
  • If you use affiliate links within your post, you must disclose that and inform your readers you are paid an advertising fee.
  • The disclaimer must be included in every review post where you received a free copy of the product and/or you use affiliate links. Some bloggers have the disclaimer in the footer so it shows on every page.
It really isn't too difficult to comply with. I recommend being as open with your readers about any connections as it adds to your credibility as a reviewer. If you are like me and include publishing information about the book you are reviewing it isn't any extra work really to add another line stating the source of you copy.

Personal Opinion Statements: It's possible that the company you work for has a social media policy that affects the employee's personal use. Or you may work within the book industry (librarian, publicist, editor, bookseller, etc.) and need to differentiate your personal opinion from that of your place of business. Even if your company doesn't have a policy, you may want to include one to be safe.

Also if you accept guest posts, you may wish to protect yourself from what your guests write. I didn't really think about that until I saw the disclaimer on Terri Giuliano Long's blog. But it makes good business sense to include such a statement.

Examples: You can check out my full disclaimer page, but below are also the statements I add to each post (well I'm starting to add to each post). I have these in a notepad document for easy cut and paste.

  • Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links.
  • Featured Books is a free announcement feature and all information is provided by the author unless otherwise noted.
  • Book Trailers are a free feature. All videos are provided by the author who has granted Girl Who Reads permission to post them on this blog.
  • The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of Girl Who Reads. 
  • A free book was obtained from the source mentioned above in order to provide an honest and free review.

Contest Rules: I recently wrote a tips post about laws that govern contests and giveaways. After researching the topic a bit, I realized a number of bloggers (and even a few indie publishers) were running illegal giveaways. You can read the full post here. For this challenge, I'm just going to paste below the rules I use.

By clicking 'enter' I agree to these terms and conditions (I typically use Rafflecopter for giveaways and this is a mandatory entry):

  • I am at least 18 years old or older.
  • I understand my information will not be shared or sold to a third party and I will only be contacted if I am a winner.
  • I understand my entry may be verified and if the entry cannot be verified it may be removed.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
  • Physical copies can only be shipped to US/Canada. eBooks and/or Gift Cards can be emailed internationally unless prohibited by that country or the publisher. 
  • No purchase is necessary to win.
  • Odds of winning are based on the number of entries.
  • Prize value:
  • This giveaway is sponsored by the author. The author is responsible for the delivery of prizes.

Wow! That was a lot of boring text. Just one more thing - I'm not a lawyer and my advice should not taken as legal counsel. For assistance with your specific situation please consult a licensed lawyer.

Ok, now the fun part. If you complete (or already had on your blog) one of the tasks above then you can enter to win your choice of the following paperback books (I'm willing to ship internationally, but the winner will be responsible for any applicable custom duties/import taxes). There are 4 Tasks that you can complete, the more you do the more entries you get! (Feel free to leave a link in the comment section to your completed task or your Bloggiesta post).

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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September 26, 2012

Writer Wednesday with Dorota Skrzypek

From Concept to Creation with Sex, Life, & Hannah 

Sex, Life, & Hannah started out as a manuscript I wrote in 2004. I’ve been a journal writer my entire life; wrote in my first diary at age six, so there is a lot of content that has stacked up over the years. Well, back in 2004 I decided to do something with it.

But where to start? A memoir didn’t feel right, and I’d never set out to write non-fiction, so instead I tried to think of a pivotal moment in my life that could be the beginning of a fun fictional tale… I decided it was the day my boyfriend of many years, who I thought I was going to marry, broke up with me. On New Year’s Eve. It was a turbulent relationship to say the least, so the break-up was not unexpected, but everything that happened after it was.

Even though I didn’t want to write a memoir, the first draft of the manuscript read very personal. I literally took almost all the words right out of my journal entries and made them into chapters. We write best what we know, but I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it all.

I eventually got an editor, tore the manuscript apart with her (yes, there were pages all over the floor when we were done), and settled on a nine-chapter novella. In 2007 Sex, Life, & Hannah was born.

I get a lot of people asking me about the process of going from concept to creation. How do you organize all those ideas in your head? Or even know where to begin?

Three books into the Sex, Life, & Hannah series, and about to start work on the fourth (and last) I can honestly say the most beneficial tool for me is the one-page outline. With chapter numbers on one side and characters at the top I think of two to three main story points for each chapter. Knowing, at least loosely, how I’m going to get from Point A to Point Z gives my brain the parameters it needs to start the writing process.

The outline is supposed to be a living document, and mostly a tool to get your creative juices flowing in an organized manner, so don’t beat yourself up for not knowing exactly how each chapter is going to turn out. I’m still stuck on the last chapter and how I’m going to finish this series.

Though I believe the ending is never as important as the journey.

Dorota Skrzypek was born in Poland, grew-up in Canada, and moved to Southern California in 1997. After many years of flying airplanes, designing airports, and exploring the world, she decided to focus on writing fiction. Sex, Life, & Hannah is Dorota's juicy woman-on-top book series chronicling the exploits of Hannah, a female professional trying desperately to make sense of the L.A. single life. Through broken hearts, broken dreams, and nearly-broken bed frames, Hannah grapples with the modern late-twenty-something's conundrum: Does the fairytale life exist, and is it worth having?
Connect with the author:


Girl Who Reads is an Amazon and IndieBound affiliate; a small fee is earned from any purchases made using the above links. The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of Girl Who Reads. Writer Wednesday is a free feature where authors can share about their writing.

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Featured Book: Piercing the Fold by Venessa Kimball

Such is life, Jesca Gershon-Sera does not see this coming. Life is pretty normal for Jesca in Marrieta, Georgia. She is a sophomore at Southern Polytechnic State University and holds a part-time job at a local bookstore. Her life is predictable and comfortable; nothing out of the ordinary. Until, Jesca begins experiencing reoccurring childhood nightmares. The terrors take on a stronger meaning, when dark looming auras, distorted beings, and her unnatural physical and mental abilities begin to seep out of the dream realm and into her real world. Jesca begins to question her sanity as these terrors increase and flood her reality. 

At the peak of what could be her mental breaking point, Jesca has multiple coincidental encounters with her professor, Ezra Kahn. Jesca is blind-sided as Ezra exposes how these terrors are part of a reality in our world set askew and that Jesca must claim her role in a battle to protect humanity from eminent catastrophe. 

Jesca begins her quest discovering herself, her inevitable purpose, and the undeniable truth that she is part of humanity’s salvation whether she is ready or not. 
New edition coming October 2012
Find Piercing the Fold at Goodreads, IndieBound, and Amazon.

From the author:
Piercing the Fold: Book 1 brings forth “smart” science fiction reflecting on real scientific and spiritual endeavors of our time. Artfully intermingling science fiction, supernatural, love and romance, and thrilling suspense leaving the readers questioning where Jesca’s journey will take them next.

Praise for Piercing the Fold:

"Outstanding book! Totally sucked me in from the beginning." ~ Dmiller,

"an engrossing story" ~ Mallory Hearts Reviews,

"hard to put down" ~ Isabel Zamora,  

About the author:

Venessa Kimball, born October 21, 1975, is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. Her hometown is San Antonio, Texas. She currently resides in Amarillo,Texas with her loving husband and 3 amazing children.For 3 years, she taught at an Austin, Texas middle school. For 6 years, she was a full-time Texas Realtor in the Austin, Texas  Metro Area.

In 2010, she revisted her writing roots that were so prominent in her high school years. Piercing the Fold, her debut novel, was born on November 23rd of that year. Venessa is a full-time, independent author. She is actively working on the 2nd and 3rd installment of the Piercing the Fold series.

Connect with the author: 

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Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound and a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. Featured Books is a free announcement feature and all information is provided by the author unless otherwise noted.