Readers' Favorite

November 24, 2012

Now Showing: Timeless Valentine

Find Timeless Valentine by J. M. Powers at Goodreads and Amazon.

 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 a free feature. All videos are provided by the author who has granted Girl Who Reads permission to feature them on this blog.

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November 23, 2012

Holiday Buying Guide 2012

Last year's Holiday Buying Guide was a huge hit. I'm back this year with another 10 titles. Whether you are making a list of gifts to buy or receive, I have suggestions for every book lover. (Click on the book titles to read my review of each book)

For the family:

I highly recommend The Gateway Chronicles by K. B. Hoyle. The entire family will enjoy sharing this fantasy series. The Enchanted is the most recent title, but make sure to pick up The Six, The Oracle, and The White Thread if you are new to the series. Also, you can see what my niece thinks of the series in her Kid Who Reads column.
Get The Enchanted at Amazon  (on Friday, Nov. 23, the publisher will have the ebooks marked down to $4.99 on their site)

For Young Readers:

I haven't had the chance to pick up the other books in this series, but 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass was one of the best children's books I've read. It was fun, yet didn't talk down to kids. The audio version was great. 

Get 13 Gifts at Amazon and IndieBound

See Kid Fiction and Kid Who Reads for more young reader suggestions

For the Young Adult/New Adult:

Untraceable by S. R. Johannes is a thrilling wilderness adventure high school and college students will enjoy. If they are into conservation and ecotourism,, then it is a MUST HAVE.

Get Untraceable at Amazon and IndieBound

A strong female character swept into the unknown forces of nature is the highlight of Downburst, a thrilling read that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Get Downburst at Amazon and IndieBound

More young adult/new adult suggestions

For Adults:

Sylvain Reynard's Gabriel's Inferno and its sequel Gabriel's Rapture are perhaps the HOTTEST romance novels of 2012. It was purchased a few months ago by a Penguin imprint and is now available around the world in several languages. 
Get Gabriel's Inferno at Amazon and IndieBound

I loved every book I've read by Heather Huffman. Devil in Disguise is a great mix of romance and suspense. For readers who are interested in human rights and trafficking issues will want this book.
Get Devil in Disguise at Amazon and IndieBound

What all must one family sacrifice to set one girl free? Similar to Devil in Disguise, for those wanting an edgier read I recommend Sempre by J. M. Darhower.
Get Sempre at Amazon and IndieBound

Do you have a Harry Potter fan who is all grown up now? Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness will satisfy their craving for magical fantasy and the adventure to a world beyond the one we see.
Get Shadow of Night at Amazon and IndieBound

Murder and mayhem is on the menu for T. A. Reddick in Lowcountry Punch by Boo Walker. It will appeal to all the mystery and suspense readers on your list, male and female.
Get more info at

I saved the best for last. If I did write a "Best of" list, Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman would be in the number 1 spot. I didn't think J. B. Lynn could improve upon the first book in the series, Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman. I was delightfully proven wrong. I have never laughed so loudly while reading a book.
Get Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman at Amazon and IndieBound

Bonus: A Giveaway!

Thanks to Crown Publishing Group, I have a book to get you in the Christmas spirit! Enter the Rafflecopter for your chance to win A Christams Home by Greg Kincaid (open to US/Canada only).

Todd McCray, hero of A Dog Named Christmas, is now twenty-four years old and working at a local animal shelter, where he meets and quickly becomes best friends with Laura, a young volunteer. Laura, like Todd, has disabilities of her own, but her struggles are more physical than developmental. Their friendship is sealed when Todd—with the help of his trusted companion, the tenacious Labrador retriever named Christmas—trains a beautiful dog named Gracie to help Laura with the day-to-day life tasks that are difficult for her. 

Life seems good for Todd, but all is not well in his hometown. Struggling families unable to make ends meet are abandoning more and more dogs, and the shelter is swelling to capacity.  The local government is struggling to meet its obligations too, and in early December, on the cusp of another holiday season, Todd’s boss delivers the bad news.  Due to funding problems, the shelter will close its doors before the end of the year.  But what will happen to all the animals?

As the Christmas holiday approaches, Todd has limited time to find homes for all the dogs. Not to mention that he needs to secure a new job and figure out what to do when his friendship with Laura takes an unexpected romantic turn. All this seems overwhelming unless you’ve got a loving family, dedicated friends, and a couple of very special dogs behind you. In which case, nothing is impossible.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links.

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November 22, 2012

Tips on Thursday: Facebook

Profiles and Pages and Groups...Oh, My!

I'm sorry about missing last week's tips post, but sometimes I have to take my own advice. The lead up to the holidays got a bit more overwhelming than I was expecting, so I had to say no to something. But I'm back! And today's post was inspired by a chat I had with a minister at my church. My church is trying to get its social media presence established. Most of the conversation was similar to ones I've had with authors and as many bloggers are using Facebook to network as well, I thought I would share what I know about profiles, pages, and groups.

Profiles: A profile is the personal page that is created when you create an account on Facebook. This profile is about you as a person and you may use it to connect with old friends and classmates, keep family updated, or to network with people. I'm a big proponent of keeping personal stuff separate from your public image. I'm reluctant to "friend" authors, bloggers, or readers of Girl Who Reads. It has nothing to do with them really. I actually use my profile very little, but I like to keep it to friends and family. I do occasionally "friend" people I've interacted with online, but it usually after we have moved past the acquaintance phase. I do occasionally use my profile to network. My friends and family read, so I will share a post or two of relevance with them (usually a book I just have to tell everyone about or a giveaway/free book offer). I've encouraged my "friends" to "like" my fan page in order to get all the news about Girl Who Reads.
Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...
Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Français : Logo de Facebook Tiếng Việt: Logo Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pages: Also known as fan pages, they connect you to your fan base. If you really want to keep your personal and professional life separate you must have a page. It works much like your personal profile. You can add photos, post status updates, etc. A page is about talking TO your fans. When others write on your Page's wall, it is not easily visible to everyone. They also do not get notification when others post to your wall. A Page works well as a notice board for you to let your fans know what's happening. You can also ask questions to encourage discussion, but the conversation on a page is mostly between you and your fans.

Groups: Do you want you fans to interact and talk amongst themselves? Then you need a group. I have a page for my blog, but I have a group for GWR Publicity. Why? Because I want the bloggers and authors to be able to interact without me having to always be the intermediary. Also, bloggers can post in the group about events and things they have going on that might need other bloggers or authors. For authors, a group can work much like a fan club. An author doesn't want to be the president of their own fan club, with a group others can take charge, meet fans that might be local to them, and organize events on behalf of the author.

Whether you are a blogger or an author (or perhaps both), you need to get people talking about you (well, not necessarily you, but your book or blog) and a great way to make that happen is with Facebook. Assess what your needs are and what your goals are, then decide if 1 or all 3 Facebook options will help you achieve that goal.

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November 21, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Zoe Brooks

First I would like to thank you Donna for hosting me on this Writer's Wednesday. In this post I want to talk about the games authors play to enable them to write.

A few days ago the BBC aired a programme following writer Ian Rankin while he wrote his latest book. I was hugely impressed that Rankin agreed to doing a video diary through the stressful process of writing the first draft of a novel. I know I would never do it and I wondered whether Rankin having writen dozens of successful books did not have the barren patches and bouts of self doubt that we mere mortals endure. But no, there was Rankin running out of steam at page sixty- five, reverting as his wife put it to being a selfish teenager, and running off to the cafe to read a newspaper which he claimed was research.

In February, when Rankin was still struggling with the novel, his wife took their children on holiday to allow her husband the peace to write. Virginia Woolf said that "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction," and, I would add, an understanding husband. I was unable to write after I became a mother, partly because of the constant distractions and partly because I shared my room with my son and the television. I now have a room at the top of the house in England in what used to be my son's room (he now lives in London) and a whole house in the Czech Republic.

But even if you have a room of your own, as Ian Rankin can vouch, it doesn't mean you can concentrate on your writing. I have always had the ability for high concentration, which I inherited from my mother - there is a family saying "Never talk to a Holtom when they are reading" because we won't notice you. Even so I have difficulty achieving the concentration levels I need in order to write. Rankin is not alone in seeking the stimulation of coffee, many writers do. WH Auden drank endless cups of tea and so do I. The German writer Schiller had to have rotten apples in his desk, the smell of which for some reason stimulated him to write. My story editor friend Hannah stopped writing scripts because she chain-smoked when sitting at her laptop.

Rankin uses favourite rock albums as the background to his writing. I will play the same CD over and over again - it is about using the music to set a mood and to exclude other noises. My favourite band for this is Dead Can Dance, which I discovered when I wrote my first novel Girl in the Glass three years ago. I have played their music while writing Mother of Wolves and my latest novel Love of Shadows. I will be playing it in a few days when I sit down to face a blank screen and the beginning of my next book. I am not playing it to be entertained, I don't want to think about the music, which is why I play the same cd over and over again. It is about getting into the right part of my mind.

But sometimes, no matter what music is playing nor how many mugs of tea I drink, nothing is enough. The external world still intrudes. On such occasions I will close the curtains, even though it may be broad daylight outside. If that doesn't work, I have two options. The first is to walk away, to pick up my basket and go picking mushrooms. The second is to go to bed (no matter what time of day it is) and allow my subconscious to take over. You'd be surprised how many authors do that (or maybe you wouldn't).

I would welcome any comments about what you do to enhance concentration - favourite music, routines, whatever. I might just try them.

About the Author:
Zoe Brooks is a British writer and poet who spends half her life in a partly restored old farmhouse in the Czech Republic, where she writes all her novels and poetry. She aims to write popular books, which have complex characters and themes that get under the reader's skin.

Zoe was a successful published poet in her teens and twenties (featuring in the Grandchildren of Albion anthology). Zoe has just published her latest novel Love of Shadows, which continues the story of the young healer Judith and her Shadow Sarah, whom we first met in Zoe's first book Girl
in the Glass.
Connect with the Author:

Amazon author page

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.

November 20, 2012

Featured Book: In His Stead by Judith Sanders

In His Stead explores the tension, devastation, strength, and love of service families during wartime through the story of one man, Retired Army Ranger Thomas Lane, as he attempts to make the greatest sacrifice for his son.

Lane once burned for the taste of gunpowder and thrill of the battle. But as he struggles to cope with his own PTSD and the death of his eldest son who was killed by an IED in Afghanistan, Lane learns that the price of war is far too dear. Now the National Guard is calling on Lane’s youngest son to serve. Consumed with sorrow, Lane knows he will do anything to save his child—even if it means going in his place.

In His Stead follows the tumultuous battle of Thomas Lane as he navigates the United States Army, its JAG corps, a vengeful officer, the very son he is desperate to save, and his own wife, who has the Solomon like choice of losing either a husband or a son. Capturing the essence of family life in wartime—the good, the bad, and the hopeful—In His Stead explores what it means to be a father and a man.
Paperback, 325 pages
Published: November 2012 by IronWord Press
ISBN13: 9781938573835
Goodreads, Amazon, IndieBound

Enter the Goodreads giveaway NOW (closes November 30)


"I was overcome with a full range of emotions from joy and laughter one page to sorrow and sadness the next in a flawless transition." ~ Kristal,

"a must read for anyone who wants to know of a father's love and sacrifice." ~ Jim,

About the Author:

Judith Sanders received her B.S. from Graceland College and worked as a registered nurse for over twenty years, including serving the military as a nurse in Maryland and Texas. As a civilian nurse at an Army research facility, she handled special immunizations for the military and civilian research staff.

The military, and more precisely, war has been the backdrop throughout Judith’s life. As a civilian nurse Judith had the honor to serve the military at Fort Detrick in Maryland. Her brother served in Japan after the Korean War. Judith’s husband, Frank, served with the U. S. Army for seven years as a physician and during the first Gulf War. The Vietnam War took high school friends and extended family and debilitated others (PTSD and injuries). Now she has two grand nephews, one in the Marines, the other the Army, who have just returned from their first tours in Afghanistan.

Judith is blessed to have been allowed into the lives of the many soldiers, civilians serving for the military, patients, and family who were kind enough to share their stories. Judith is an avid reader and a natural storyteller. She feels the best stories are those based on real people living and struggling through this life one chapter at a time.

A mother of three boys, Judith now makes writing her full time career and divides her time between her homes in New Hampshire and North Carolina.
Connect with the Author:

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November 19, 2012

Holidays: A Time for Reading!


I received super exciting news Friday afternoon. Two months ago, my state's writers' association sent out a call for articles. I submitted one on using Goodreads to kickstart a word of mouth book campaign. I hadn't heard anything and didn't really expect to. Lo and behold if I didn't get an acceptance email on Friday! My article will appear in the next issue of The Georgia Authority.

If you are interested in finding out about blog hops, tours, and other promotional opportunities for authors and bloggers, there are two new Facebook groups for you to join:

GWR Publicity (my PR firm)
Blog Tours, Hops, and Promo Ops (a number of tour companies and publicists announce events here)
You can also check my sidebar for a few upcoming events.

Wanting a good deal on a great book? Check out the Sunday Sales Page for discounted and FREE books (print & digital). If you would like for your book sale to be listed, please email me.

I was busy with a beta reading project, so I made slow progress on the two books I'm working on this past week. I have all this week off and have pretty much wrapped up GWR Publicity projects so I should be able to get through these books and maybe even start a new one or two! We'll see. I would love to hear what you are reading, drop me a line in the comments.


Tucker Lee Anderson’s boss needs him to check out a story over on the beachside. Not earth- shattering, it’s more of a follow up to the Ed Ventara case, he says. When Anderson, a staff reporter for a local Southern newspaper hears this, a red light goes off in his head. But wait, wasn’t Ventura the serial killer convicted of killing five children, even though they only found four bodies a few years back? Following the discovery of a child’s skeleton, what at first appears to be a straightforward case of suspected murder is anything but, when Anderson finds himself not only investigating the case, but also dabbling in ancestral research.

This laid-back divorced dad’s ordinary life soon takes a turn when in the process, he soon discovers family ties that bind him to both the present and the past—but what does this have to do with the child? Set in the Central Florida community of Brevard County, Beneath the Dune features an interesting cast of characters, and what Anderson uncovers is bound to shock a few upper class residents to the core. Steeped in suspense and blended with humor, the book has all the ingredients necessary for the making of mystery that is sure to hold you in its grip to the very end. From
 Find Beneath the Dune at Goodreads, IndieBound, Amazon.

Clinical psychologist Tony Hill has had a good run. He and police detective Carol Jordan have put away scores of dangerous criminals and have a clearance rate that colleagues envy or resent. But there is one serial killer who has shaped and defined their careers, a person whose evil surpasses all others: Jacko Vance, an ex-celebrity and sociopath whose brilliance and utter lack of remorse have never left Tony’s mind in the ten years Vance has been locked up. Now Jacko has broken out of prison and, with a mind even more twisted and cunning than before, he is focused on wreaking revenge on Tony and Carol for the years he has spent in prison. They don’t know when Jacko will strike, or where. All they know is that he will cause them to feel fear like they’ve never known. From
Find The Retribution at Goodreads, IndieBound, Amazon.

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links.

November 18, 2012

Sunday Sale Page #2

Check out what is FREE and DISCOUNTED this week. You might just find your next favorite book!


Zoe Guire just talked to an elephant. Well, technically speaking, the elephant spoke to her, but either way it was weird and, as a rule, Zoe doesn't do weird. Except the thing is, when Zoe goes along on her mom's business trip to India, things get very weird, very quickly. Soon after she arrives, Zoe finds herself tagging alongside a kid named Zak, lost in a crazy city, with no money and no way home.

And those are the least of Zoe's troubles. Because if she's to believe the scary-looking snake charmer guy sitting in the corner, she and Zak have been chosen -- chosen to protect some kind of mythical animal called the Ghost Leopard from who knows what.
Now, the further they get into the mountains, the more crazily impossible things get. Carpets fly and statues talk and if either Zoe or Zak want to make it back to their parents, or the sixth grade, or anything even close to normal, they're going to have to make some new friends, learn some new tricks, and listen, really listen to that talking elephant. Because if they don't, nothing will ever be the same again. From

Get 25% OFF the paperback through at Createspace, use coupon code CQ3XXT28 (Good through Dec. 31)

A Chinese satellite is on crash course with Earth.
It contains enough plutonium to irradiate a large city.
And that's the good news...

In the tradition of Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, and Robert Ludlum, comes a new hero.

Michael Chase is a twenty-six year old backpacker, a recent college grad, an amateur. He flew to Hong Kong to find his missing father. Four hours later, he's running for his life. The Chinese Secret Police want him dead. The Conspiracy wants him dead. And the one person who he thinks is on his side, may want him dead too. If Michael is going to live, he'll need to find a hidden piece of Nazi technology lost since World War II. And he'll have to do it before anyone else. Because if he doesn't, a little plutonium is going to be the least of his problems. From
Get 25% OFF the paperback at Createspace, use coupon code J5B45PUZ (Good through Dec. 31) 


A modern take on the classic Pride & Prejudice premise.

Model, Elle Benedict is young, beautiful and headstrong. When she overhears billionaire, William Dexter insulting her integrity, it leaves her deep attraction to him in tatters.

As William stumbles over himself to repair the damage, he pursues her intensely, and begins to draw her into his private world. They embark on a relationship, consumed by love and desire, awakening feelings neither had experienced before.

But not everything is perfect. Jealousy and misunderstandings allow a so-called friend to seek out the cracks in their relationship and use them to manipulate and interfere, intent on ruining a little boy's life before he has even drawn a breath.

From euphoria to the depths of a dark abyss of pain they spend seven years apart, until an a unforeseen circumstance finds Elle staying in William's house, with just him for company.

The sparks of fire between them reignite, but will their time alone allow them to work through their past problems?
Get it FREE at Amazon on TODAY (Nov. 18)
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