Readers' Favorite

March 23, 2013

Short Story: The Hitwoman Gets Lucky

You know I'm a huge fan of JB Lynn's Hitwoman series. Seriously, if you haven't checked out this series, do yourself a favor and check it out. And to give you a little teaser, JB has released The Hitwoman Gets Lucky a novella that's only 99 cents. Really, how can you say no?

While it is a short story, it's packed with big laughs. You might appreciate it more having read the first two books, Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman (my review) and Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman (my review), but it is not an absolute must (though I guarantee after reading this novella, you will have to get the other two books). There's enough back story to give a new reader an idea of who all the players are, without being boring to the diehard fans.

This wacky story gives fans more of Armani, Maggie, and the good looking, but complicated Patrick. Oh, and of course, there is plenty of God. I think he is at his best in this installment. Just thinking of him flying out of Maggie's boobs has me dissolving into giggles right now.

The only disappointment? That I have to wait months(!) for the next book. I just can't get enough of this zany story.

If you are looking for a quick read (I read it in less than an hour) full of humor for a small price, pick up your copy of The Hitwoman Gets Lucky by JB Lynn today.

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Book info: ebook, published March 2013
Read: March 2013
Source: author

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 provided by the source mentioned in exchange for an honest opinion. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.

March 22, 2013

Love of Shadows Word Puzzle

Judith, the heroine of my book Girl in the Glass and its sequel Love of Shadows, is trained as a perfume-maker. As a result I have had a wonderful time researching the various ingredients and methods used in traditional perfume-making.

Below is a scrambled word puzzle; all the words are materials used in making scents.

Love of Shadows will be free next week - 26th - 28th March at Amazon (US) and Amazon (UK)

About the Book:

"I had always felt most alive, when I was healing. Without healing I was a tin top spinning out of kilter soon to catch the ground. It took all my energy to hold myself from skidding into chaos."

In the city of Pharsis traditional women healers are banned from practising and the penalty for breaking the law is death by hanging. After being arrested and interrogated twice Judith is careful to avoid suspicion, but then scarlet fever breaks over the city like a poisonous wave, leaving in its wake the small corpses of children. What will the young healer do?

Love of Shadows is the second novel in The Healer's Shadow trilogy, which began with Girl in the Glass, and follows the lives of Judith and her Shadow, Sarah. It is a study in grief, love and defiance.

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). In May 2012 she published her long poem for voices Fool's Paradise as an ebook on Amazon, which has just won an EPIC ebook award. Zoe has three novels published Mother of Wolves, Girl in the Glass and her latest book Love of Shadows.
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Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon US. A small fee is earned when purchases are made through the link above. The views, opinions, and beliefs of contributing authors do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions and beliefs of Girl Who Reads.

March 21, 2013

Bloggers Wanted: Dragon Wars Giveaway

Want to offer your readers a Prize Pack worth $50?
Want to tell your readers about a new book?
Want to get more fans?

If you answered YES! to any of the questions above then sign up for

Dragon Wars Book Blast Giveaway

Prize Pack includes:
$20 Amazon Gift Card
1 DW calendar (comprised of illustrations from the book, done by Robert Immings)
2 rack cards
2 signed bookmarks
1 pen
3 pencils
2 keychains
1 tote
3 Idorah mark tattoos
2 magnets
1 signed paperback of Dragon Wars

About the Book:

Dragon Wars by Emily Fogle
Life is filled with changes, but sometimes even the most tragic events bring joy in the end, which is something Danny Warren learns when he joins the Dragon Wars.

Danny sadly loses his father in a hit-and-run auto accident and is forced to move to a different town. But his fresh start is a horrible one and Danny desperately wants to find a world he can belong to. One afternoon, after a particularly hard day at school, Danny finds a mysterious box hidden inside his window seat. He soon discovers that the box is his portal to Dorcian, the dragon world. Sadly, the once amazing world is in utter turmoil, and its inhabitants are suffering.

Danny finds the one thing that can bring meaning and happiness back to his heart: saving those that desperately need his help. Together, one boy and six lone dragons, will defeat evil and wage the Dragon Wars. And, in the midst of it all, Danny will discover that even the smallest person can make a huge difference when it matters the most.
Sign up here to host the Book Blast Giveaway on April 3:

A GWR Publicity promotional event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author.

What Does a Book Reviewer Do When There's No Time to Read?

We've all been there, right? When life gets so busy that there just doesn't seem to be any time left to read.

I knew when I met my 2012 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal in September that it was a fluke. Thankfully, I didn't stop reading and actually squeezed in several books over the Christmas holidays. Knowing how busy January and February would be for me I had already decided that I would only review one book a week. My extra reading over Christmas gave me one book a week to review for January.

I was able to complete another book to get me to mid-February, but I knew I was in trouble. Between Upward Cheerleading and my GWR Publicity clients there just wasn't any time to read. I would work all day and either go to Upward practice until 8 pm or come home and work until 10 pm. By the end of February, I was exhausted and I had also come down with a true cold. I was in the "staring into space" mode.

Now, we are nearing the end of March and I've skipped a few review posts. Thankfully, I had the month's featured posts fully booked, so content was going up at least 4 times a week. Additionally, I had a number of book promo posts. So, traffic hasn't been hurt by my missed review posts (actually there's been a big spike in page views).

But alas, if I want to continue calling myself a book reviewer I need to review books. While March has been spent digging out from under the email and back log of work (oh how I wish it was snow I was digging out of), I have tried to get a few books read. I finished one full length novel that I've been working on, but mostly I've been focusing on the novellas and short stories I have in my pile. I took last week off from the day job for Spring Break and while I wish I could have read all week, there was still plenty of work to be done. I do, though, have 3 reviews waiting to written.

What do you do when you can't find the time to read to keep content fresh on your blog? Or do you not post anything when in a reading slump?
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It's a Party! Twitter Party with HJ Daly

Seeking adventure and magic with a futuristic edge?

Chat LIVE with young adult author HJ Daly
March 21, 10:30 am EST
Twitter: #Pulse
(easiest way to join the chat is with

Esa is a street girl living in a post apocalyptic world. A world that left her with nothing except the physical and mental scars that drive her to the person she is becoming.

Whilst searching for shelter, she encounters a creature known as a spinner who pulls her onto a perilous path. Now with a horde of goblins close on their heels, they must work together and enter the magical realm in search of answers. Why can she sense magic and why is a powerful sorcerer determined to end her life? 

An exciting story of power, friendship and secrets - secrets that threaten to rip Esa’s world apart.

Join the Adventure!

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Here's your chance to win a copy of Pulse plus swag & a $35 Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A GWR Publicity promotional event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author.
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March 20, 2013

Gene Doucette: My Favorite Scene? It's Complicated

When asked to write this article I requested a question to answer, because otherwise I’d probably just type 1,000 words on something silly, like how a couple of friends of mine think the X on the cover looks like a K so they keep asking me when Fiker is coming out.

So it’s my own fault when the question posed—what is my favorite scene in Fixer and why—ended up giving me fits.

The plot is decidedly complex and has quite a few potential spoiler moments, so while I could have listed really excellent scenes, explaining them would have required first walking back and explaining what had happened to get to that point and probably giving away something important prematurely.

This is unfortunate, as there are a good number of nifty bits of writing I’m really proud of. Like this sentence: “Down the down the down the hall red line to the follow the elevator floor first floor to the follow the red line corridor down the corridor to the set of second set of elevators elev seventh floor seventh floor.”

You have to trust me, this makes complete sense in context.

I did briefly consider just widening my answer. For example, I really enjoy part two of the book and I’d love to say, “Look, part two was soooo much fun” and be done with it, except I’ve just said that I love basically 1/3 of my book. And when you say that you may as well also say, “I don’t like 2/3 of my own book” and that’s certainly not the impression I want to leave you with. (Because it’s not true. The whole book is great. You may not even like part two as much as part one, never mind part three which oh my God part three is fantastic. Yeah. Part three… Sorry, right, back to this article.)

So how I’m electing to answer this question is what my favorite scene was from a writing perspective, and I’m picking one scene in particular not because it’s uncommonly spectacular but because I hated writing it a lot, and it took me forever to get right.

Corrigan Bain, the main character of Fixer, can see a running five seconds of the future. What he does with this talent is save people who are about to have accidents of some degree of severity. Generally he needs to decide very quickly how to do this, because he’s not working with a bunch of time to spare, five seconds being only five seconds and all that.

There’s a part of the book where Corrigan witnesses something about to happen, but then the future splits into two possible outcomes, and here is where I ran into a problem. There is no tense in the English language—or I imagine in any other language although I can’t be sure—to describe events that are happening in the future but which then do not happen. As it is, I had a hell of a time describing things that were about to happen, but things that were about to happen that then did not happen, well… that was just a huge headache.

What I tried at first simply didn’t work. Technically, it wasn’t bad, because I used the future tense correctly, but the problem with the future tense is if you overuse it it’s exhausting, and you become convinced that what you’re reading is simply incorrect. Later iterations used mixes of future tense with past tense, present tense and slashes (happening/not happening) none of which were any better than any other version and a couple of which made me cry.

There was no single solution to this, exactly. Basically I kept rewriting it until it felt right and none of it caused me to have a seizure. The version in the book relies on present tense primarily, which while not actually being future tense feels like future tense because the rest of the book is in past tense. Plus there were a lot of, “except it didn’t happen because something changed” walk-backs from the action as it had just been described to help everyone keep things straight.

Hopefully this scene works for everyone, and by that I mean when you read the book it’s possible that you miss the scene I’ve just described and will have to go back and find it.

About the Author:

In addition to ghost writing for an immortal man, Gene Doucette has been published as a humorist with Beating Up Daddy: A Year in the Life of an Amateur Father and The Other Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: A Parody. He is also a screenwriter and a playwright. Gene lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife and two children.
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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 contributing authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of Girl Who Reads.
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March 18, 2013

Meet the Author: Coral Russell

I'm a writer. I guess. I still struggle with that label and made up a word I like better - scrawler. I scrawl. It's messy and convoluted and complicated. And fun, always fun!

Laptops are fantastic. You really can go anywhere to write. Most places have an outlet which makes it easy to plug-in although I get plenty of time on my battery to do some writing damage. Plus, a Kindle Fire and iPhone will do in a pinch. Once during a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) local meet up my laptop got temperamental. My writer friend sitting across from me offered pencil and paper but I said, 'Nah.' and whipped out my iPhone and started working. She laughed but when I was done I just emailed it to myself and a copy/paste later it was a part of Sacrifice.

At my house I can move around from room to room as the mood strikes. I usually watch movies or television while I'm working. Very occasionally I'll listen to music. I'm watching Lost Girl right now as I'm typing this post. You'd think it would be distracting and if I'm working on a non-fiction piece it is but fiction is different. I like the background noise.

As to what I write, it's fiction. I have three stories published about ghost hunters, one DIY guide on social media and eBook publishing, one on the reunification of North and South Korea, and now Sacrifice, a fictionalized story about current events in the El Paso/Juarez area that includes drug runners, gangs, a detective and his wife and a car salesman. It's messy and convoluted and complicated and fun! It's my scrawl.

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About the book:

When Mexican drug cartels fight for control along the border, Juarez becomes the murder capital of the world. In El Paso, Texas it's drug business as usual: a grifter sets out to buy her freedom, a car salesman runs drugs to make his fortune, a gang leader battles to rise among the ranks of the cartel, and a detective and his wife are ripped apart by a family secret. Everyone's fate lies in the hands of an old woman. Will she let the past die with her or take revenge the only way she knows how?

Sacrifice is a fast-paced, gritty story that'll keep you guessing, gasping, and gripping your Kindle.

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 contributing authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of Girl Who Reads.
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