Readers' Favorite

January 26, 2013

Funny Chick Lit: The Escape Diaries

Published December 2012 by Loveswept
ISBN13: 9780345534316
Source: Netgalley
Read: December 2012
The Escape Diaries: Life and Love on the Lam by Juliet Rosetti is the first book I've read from Random House's Loveswept imprint. Usually the books are true romance (you know heaving bosom and hot Scotsman - see this excerpt), but I saw this book on their list and I knew it was for me.

From the cover, you would think it was a pure romance, but I would barely call it chick lit. There is a love interest (which I felt was a bit forced, but ended up being happy the characters go together). The Escape Diaries reminded me a lot of Heather Huffman's Jailbird (see my review) without the social commentary. Though, Juliet Rosetti could have easily focused on social issues as they are alluded to towards the end.

The main character, Mazie, is surviving a life term for the murder of her husband. Through a freak turn of events, she is able to escape. What follows is an implausible scenario of events that leaves the reader shaking their head and chuckling. Mazie must have nine lives!

The narrow escapes and odd situations Mazie finds herself in is much like Maggie in Confessions of Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman by J. B. Lynn (see my review). And since I'm waiting for the third book in that series, The Escape Diaries was a great story to fill the time. I look forward to more stories from Juliet Rosetti.

Buy the Book at 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. A free book was obtained from the source mentioned above in order to provide an honest and free review.

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January 25, 2013

Bloggers Wanted: Pub Day Book Blast

Have your ever feared what may be hiding deep within you?

Darkness often skulks in the blood of unsuspecting victims, but Aster McGrath is acutely aware of the violence coursing through his veins. After all, he is the son of a murderer, and everyone in the town of Bayville, Mississippi says he will end up just like his father.

When Susan Blackman moves into town, Aster has already embraced his brutal nature, but her gentle spirit draws him in and slowly melts the icy exterior of his heart. Taming his savagery, she professes her love, but will the good within him be able to overcome the evil lurking deep inside? Or will the fiend break free of its fetters and seek blood?
Schledia Benefield is celebrating the release of her new young adult novel Wildflowers with a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway. Bloggers sign up below to join the celebration. An html formatted post will be provided.

Friday Fun with Liss Thomas

A villain rarely gets interviewed these days so I decided to extend the offer to the bad guy in my debut novel, Finding Monsters. It was tricky. He's not from our realm...

Liss: Please state your name for our audience.
Anukhan: Anukhan. Think Anubis and Genghis Khan spliced together.

Liss: And your species is Jackal?
Anukhan: I am nothing like the creatures from your world. I am larger, faster, stronger. I can shift at will to stand upright as half man half jackal. It comes in handy for scaring your kind into submission.

Liss: What is your age, please?
Anukhan: It is of no matter to you, human.

Liss: Ok. Do you have a favorite food?
Anukhan: I enjoy feasting on the less fortunate.

Liss: You don't scare me, Anukhan. You agreed to this interview, please answer the questions. Have you ever been to the human realm?
Anukhan: I've seen it. You humans should be careful of the weapons your make. They could be your undoing.

Liss: No doubt. Are you a morning person?
Anukhan: Yes. I do my best plotting in the morning.

Liss: What are your hobbies?
Anukhan: Let's see. Is orchestrating revenge a hobby? If so I do it often.

Liss: You are a powerful king in the monster realm. Why would you need to plot revenge?
Anukhan: Why should I tell you?

Liss: I'm sure you're not afraid to tell me. What could I do anyway?
Anukhan: I'm sure you know there is bad blood between the Bullclan and myself.

Liss: I heard it mentioned.
Anukhan: There you have it.

Liss: Do you have a dark secret or at least darker than the one eluded to prior?
Anukhan: I have many secrets, the darker the better. Perhaps I should demonstrate. *Attempts to grab Liss. Hand glides through without touching*. You are a reflection!

Liss: I thought it wise to deal with you in this form, courtesy of a few monster friends of mine.
Anukhan: You are a coward!

Liss: I am cautious and with reason.
Anukhan: You may be safe for now.

Liss: I'll take my chances. Final question, Anukhan. What annoying habit do you have that drives others crazy?
Anukhan: I have an annoying habit of getting what I want. You are fortunate. I have no interest in you for now.

Liss: Indeed. Thank you for your time, Anukhan
Anukhan: Perhaps the next time we meet, it will be in person *wicked smile*

Liss: I don't think so . . . *reflection dissolves away*

About the Author:

Liss Thomas is a YA Fantasy Author who likes to dabble in other genres as well.  She currently resides in Florida and is patiently waiting for her first glimpse of a wild alligator (from a distance is fine).  When she's not writing, she's playing iPad games and dreaming of fishing.  She's currently working on the sequel to 'Finding Monsters' and an online serial novel entitled 'Hidden Monsters'.

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Buy the book at 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. 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.

January 24, 2013

Bloggers Wanted: Nate Rocks Tour

Nate Rocks Is At It Again!

Join Nate Rocks the School Book Blast & Tour
March 4 - 24

According to Nathan Rockledge, fifth grade has plenty of perks. Oh sure, there’s more work, and he still has to deal with the know-it-all, Lisa Crane. Luckily, there is a lot to look forward to as well: a laser tag birthday party, baseball at recess, and even a cool Halloween dance. Of course, all of that means nothing without the biggest perk of all … the class trip to New York City in the spring. If his class can raise enough money to go, that is.

Give Nathan paper and a pencil, and watch as his imagination turns him into Nate Rocks, hero and fifth-grade super star. With adventures abound, Nate saves the day time and again. But will Nate be able to save the fifth grade trip?

Join Nathan, his hilarious family, and his friends, as he rocks the school in another fun Nate Rocks adventure.

Bloggers participating in the Book Blast and/or Tour will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card and Nate Rocks Swag prize.

Individual TOUR blogs can host their own giveaway of a Nate Rocks Swag Pack.

Book Blast & Tour Grand Prize - One reader will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and Nate Rocks Swag Pack.

Book Blast & Twitter Party: March 4

We will be kicking off the tour in style with a book blast announcement and Twitter Party. If you  want to sign up ONLY for the book blast (you will receive an html announcement to post on your blog MARCH 4 along with the tour grand prize rafflecopter - $25 Amazon gift card & Nate Rocks swag), sign up here:


Nate Rocks Tour: March 5 - 24

Join us for interviews, guest posts, reviews, excerpts by signing up below. This form is for those wishing to participating either in the Book Blast AND Tour or Tour ONLY.

Nate Rocks the School Book Blast and Tour is paid for by Karen Pokras Toz
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Tips on Thursday: Networking

Blogging can feel a bit lonely at times - you don't get a lot of comments, don't have many followers, see little traffic, etc. But there is also a huge community of bloggers and industry types out there. Ask a blogger why they blog and a top answer is always the community they found. However, you can't just occupy your little space on the internet. You must reach out and do a little networking.

Networking with Publishers/Publicists/Authors:

Early last year, I asked Lucinda Blumenfeld about what it takes for a blogger to get noticed by traditional publishers and publicists. After you get noticed though, you need to nurture the relationship you have with that contact. One of the points in Lucinda's post was about doing for others - and that is a super important when networking (tweet it!).

What can you do for publishers/publicists/authors? Respond to their requests. I know most of us have exploding inboxes, but try to respond to as many requests as possible. Even if it is a "no, thank you" or "I don't review that genre". It will let the sender know they have a valid email address for you, increasing the likelihood you will receive future requests.

I also know that we can't possibly review every book we are pitched. I often offer to do a giveaway, a feature, or guest post. Almost everyone takes me up on the offer. They are looking for publicity and getting the name of their author/book in front of your readers. It is how I've gotten NYT and USA Today best selling authors to appear on my blog.

Don't be afraid to reach out to publishers and authors. Even if you are just starting out and your blog is small, there will still be people interested in what you can offer them. Once you get a few names, you will start to see an increase in demand.

Join It will help you get on mailing lists of publicists at traditional publishing houses.

Networking with Book Bloggers

It's not just publishers and authors you need to network with, but other book bloggers. The blogging community isn't really about competition. While there are the occasional bad apple that have stolen content or what not, by and large bloggers are helpful and welcoming. Connecting with other bloggers will increase your visibility (tweet it!)

Today, a number of bloggers have branched out and are organizing tours and publicity for authors (both indie and traditional). Getting involved with these blogs can really increase traffic to your blog by connecting you with authors and readers.

There are a number of events that can help you network with other bloggers. ArmchairBEA is a huge event during Book Expo America week. Also check out the twice a year blogging maintenance event Bloggiesta - get tips and make friends!

Hops, read-a-thons, tours, memes, challenges, etc are also great events for networking. And they are all over the place, you are sure to discover something that interests you. Type in reading challenge, book meme, etc to your search bar and you will have plenty of choices.

What can you do for bloggers? Again, doing for others must be forefront when doing any networking.  Bloggers are also looking for publicity. Consider doing a spotlight or other blogger feature (if you are interested in appearing on my blog, fill out this form). Participate in the memes, challenges, etc that a blog hosts. Leave comments. Connect with them on Twitter or Facebook - and chat with them! Share tips and tricks with the blogging community. Get involved in a blog group (either online or offline) and offer assistance to newer bloggers.

If you are feeling a little lonely, take a few minutes to reach out the other bloggers. Leave a comment on your favorite blog (or on a new blog), send a tweet to a blogger or leave a facebook message. We are a friendly bunch and usually will drop most things to chat for a few minutes about books, blogging, or just life.

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January 23, 2013

Lissa Bryan: Writing a Well-Researched Novel

Unless you are writing a novel set in your modern-day hometown, chances are, you’ll need to do at least some research. One of the great things about being a writer in the modern age is that the internet has made this aspect of writing so much easier.

A good place to start is by finding writers’ groups online for your particular genre.Often, they have discussion boards where you can ask a question if you are stuck or need some advice. They might be able to steer you to historians or other professionals who can answer your questions. Something else you might find helpful is doing a search for novels in your genre and the common complaints about inaccuracies. This can help you avoid the same pitfalls.

My latest novel, The End of All Things, starts out in Juneau, Alaska and the characters travel from there to the southern United States. I’ve never been to many of the places mentioned in the story, but I wanted to be as accurate as possible in my descriptions. A friend of mine suggested I research the route with Google Maps. I’d used it before for getting driving directions, but I never realized
Available Jan. 24, 2013
just how many helpful features it had. Not only do they have excellent maps for both driving and walking, you can also trace the route in 3-D, and view photographs of the locations. I was able to describe what my characters would see along the road as they traveled, and add details such as whether they were going uphill or downhill. I took virtual “walks” through cities right beside my characters.

I was also able to find vacation photos and travel diaries that were amazingly helpful. Just with a few clicks, I had all the information about a location I could possibly need. My characters stay in a certain motel along the route; I was able to find pictures of one of the rooms, the restaurant next door, even the menu and some of the food items served.

The novel I am working on now is a historical novel, and that presents additional research challenges for a writer. Almost every aspect of life is different, and sometimes it is hard to remember ubiquitous modern conveniences didn’t always exist. (I once read a novel set in the Middle Ages in which one of the characters used a tooth brush.)

I suggest starting with a list of your daily activities and how they would be different during the time period, or the situation, you’re describing. Getting up in the morning, attending to hygiene, dressing, cooking breakfast, travel, listening to music … The internet has articles on the most incredibly esoteric topics, so you’re likely to find the information you need to add little details which will give your story realism.

It is also important that your characters are realistic to the culture in which they were raised. It’s somewhat jarring to see a character espousing 21st century values in a historical setting. Their journey and life lessons can lead them to becoming more sensitive or enlightened, but their beliefs have to make sense within their cultural context.

Above all, have fun with it. You may end up finding something that gives you new ideas. Your story can only benefit from the many interesting, quirky details you’ll uncover.

About the Author:

Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot.... though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.

Her first novel, Ghostwriter, is now available through The Writer's Coffee Shop (which is the least expensive option), Amazon, iTunes, and Kobo. Her second novel, The End of All Things, will be released on January 24, 2013, and is now available for pre-order. Her third novel, tentatively titled Daughter of the Wind and Waves is in-progress.
Blog  *  Facebook  *  Goodreads  *  tumblr  *  Pinterest  *  LinkedIn  *  Google+

Buy Ghostwriter!

Amazon IndieBound   

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

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January 22, 2013

Featured Book: The Boon

Accompany Eugene Uttley on a mythological "hero's journey" to another world and back again, and join him as he articulates the prize that he won there -- The  Ultimate Boon.

Through his struggles in coping with schizophrenia, Uttley has come to know what he wants. Now he just needs to figure out how to get it.

This experimental open letter includes original and appropriated prose, poetry, song, prayer... memoir, travelogue, sketches of Uttley's present-day life, and literary exegesis. Its many sources and topics are ranging, but circle always back to the overarching theme of recovery from mental illness through better knowledge of self and becoming more whole, a complex process both mental and spiritual, which entails increasing awareness of connectedness to the greater whole, the infinite.

Praise for The Boon:

"This isn't your typical feel-good-rainy-day sort of read, but it's fantastic." ~ Angella Graff

"I don't recall having ever read an anecdotal account from someone with the illness, and I think it's just a fantastic idea." ~ Kristin Kim

About the Author:

Eugene Uttley is a lifelong reader and author (diapers and a typewriter). In addition to working on literary fiction, he is currently doing free reviews of memoir and narrative & experimental non-fiction. He has a BA in English and half-an-MA in Literature. He’s a sometime composition TA and ESL instructor and now a student again, of accounting. The author of two books on coping with schizophrenia (as he does), he’s a fan (but not follower) of Carl Jung. Some authors who are dear, dear to him are Haruki Murakami, Charles Portis, Kingsley & Martin Amis, J.P. Donleavy, D.F. Wallace, Thomas Pynchon, Augusten Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Alan Watts.To contact him (with a review request or for any reason at all, really) please use mruttleysz at gmail dot com. For more on his work in re schizophrenia, including an excerpt, see his Authors Den page.

More info: Authors Den / Interview / Blog / Facebook / Twitter

Buy the Book!

Amazon  *  B&N 

Find the giveaway and other hosting blogs 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. Featured Books is a free announcement feature and all information is provided by the author unless otherwise noted.
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January 21, 2013

Tours, Giveaways, No Reading...Oh My!


It's been a while, but I posted an interview at Athens Patch with a local book blogger who is starting an offline blogging group.

I forgot to mention last week, my new article at The Indie Exchange about long term goal planning is up.

J. B. Lynn wrote a post at Killer Chicks telling about how I changed her life - maybe a slight exaggeration. Read the post to decide for yourself.

Comment Challenge: This week has been busy and I may have done 1 comment (outside of the comments on my blog). Hopefully this will be better week.

The most commented on post on my blog this week - Meet the Author: Rose Gordon.

Did you miss my new review? Check out Something New by Malena Lott.


GWR Publicity is organizing several tours that you will want to be a part of.

February 4 - 24: Guardians Inc.: The Cypher by Julian Rosado-Machain. Learn more about the book and sign up for the tour here. ($75 Amazon Gift Card giveaway included)

February 18 - 22: The Playing the Genetic Lottery by Terri Morgan. Sign up for the excerpt tour here. (Each blog will receive a short excerpt to post).

February 8 - Pub Day Blast for Wildflowers by Schledia Benefield - Sign up here ($50 Amazon Gift Card giveaway included)

Booking soon:
March 4 - 24: Nate Rocks the School by Karen Pokras Toz

Join the GWR Publicity mailing list to receive notices about upcoming tours, events, & new authors:


Bird jewelry for The Forever Girl tour
$50 Amazon Gift Card from Terri Morgan


What would you do if you could see into the future?

As a child, he dreamed of being a superhero. Most people never get to realize their childhood dreams, but Corrigan Bain has come close. He is a fixer. His job is to prevent accidents—to see the future and “fix” things before people get hurt. But the ability to see into the future, however limited, isn’t always so simple. Sometimes not everyone can be saved.

“Don’t let them know you can see them.”

Graduate students from a local university are dying, and former lover and FBI agent Maggie Trent is the only person who believes their deaths aren’t as accidental as they appear. But the truth can only be found in something from Corrigan Bain’s past, and he’s not interested in sharing that past, not even with Maggie.

To stop the deaths, Corrigan will have to face up to some old horrors, confront the possibility that he may be going mad, and find a way to stop a killer no one can see.

Corrigan Bain is going insane . . . or is he?

Because there’s something in the future that doesn’t want to be seen. It isn’t human. It’s got a taste for mayhem. And it is very, very angry. From
Fixer is not available until March 2013, but learn more about it at Goodreads.

Gen Y has been picked apart by analysts, statistics, and trend reports, which often portray 20-somethings in negative, one-dimensional terms like "entitled" and "whiners". In this thought-provoking new book that aims to dispel these stereotypes, journalist Hannah Seligson chronicles the lives of seven individuals who embody this generation, exploring their challenges and ambitions in vivid detail and sketching a picture, through their eyes, of what life is actually like for young adults. Through these first-hand stories, readers will discover the transformational effect this enterprising, open-minded, innovative, and diverse generation is having on society. From
Find Mission: Adulthood at Goodreads, Amazon, and IndieBound.

Are you enjoying a 3 Day weekend? What are your favorite reads for long weekends?

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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