Readers' Favorite

May 18, 2013

Children's Book Week Recommendations

While my niece and nephew haven't made an appearance in a while because of school, but they have been busy reading. I thought I would share some their favorites. As summer is coming, you might find something for your kids' reading lists.

I've lost count of how many times my niece has re-read this series. She can't wait for The Scroll to come out later this year. You can see her report on the series here. Buy the series at Amazon.

 She also has enjoyed Neiko's Five Land Adventure by A. K. Taylor. She hasn't read the next one in the series, Escape From Ancient Egypt, but she's asked me to get it for her.

She was re-reading Maya Papaya by Hunter T. Castle, until she talked me into letting her read Hunger Games. She started that last Saturday night, by Tuesday she was calling me for Catching Fire and then she was back on Thursday for Mockingjay. I'm sure I'll hear all about the series when I see here next weekend.

I'm still hoping she will read Harry Potter, but she says she can just watch the movies (so NOT the same thing!)

As for my nephew, he's into the supernatural scary stuff. He really likes the Huber Hill series and if asked, he can tell you exactly when the next one is coming out (because it was at the end of the last one).

During the year my niece received a box of books from a friend. My nephew appeared "uninterested" until she pulled this book out of the box:

I've asked him a couple of times to write a review as he really liked it. He said Gravediggers: Mountain of Bones was scary like the Goosebumps series.  And I'm sure if I told them there were more books by Christopher Krovatin he would act disinterested, but would bring it up in passing as he's at that age where he's not sure if reading is cool for boys.

You can check out the labels Kid Reads and Kid Lit for more recommendations from me and my niece and nephew.

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made through the links above. 
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May 17, 2013

Children's Book Week & Pub Day Giveaway

It should be called Celebration Friday because Girl Who Reads is celebrating Children's Book Week (check tomorrow's post for kid reads recommendations)


It's Pub Day! 

Congratulations to Monette Pangan on the release of her children's book

It's great to be part of a large family but sometimes, when you're the smallest, it's not always fun.
Erin is a screamer! She is the youngest child in a large family and it’s the only way she knows to get herself heard. See what happens when the screaming no longer works and Erin decides it’s time to try something new!

I was the youngest of 3 children, but there was a wide gap in the ages. I talked pretty much non-stop just so I wouldn't miss my opportunity to be heard. What did you (or your kids) do to get noticed?

Buy the book at Amazon

To celebrate her newest novel and children's books, Monette is offering one lucky winner a prize pack that includes a book tote, keychain, signed paperback, a mini collage album, and $25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A GWR Publicity promotional event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made through the link above.
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May 16, 2013

Blogger Sign up: Summer Bounce Giveaway

Keep the kids busy this summer and give yourself time to read!

Playhouse Bouncers Little Sprout Bouncer
ARV $400
Hosted by:
A Lucky Ladybug

Sign-ups close 5/21
**The blogger with the most referrals will receive the additional links at no cost
Click HERE to sign up and for more html info.
M.O.O.N. has now added several perks/discounts for frequent participation in our events but you must be a member of our Facebook group to be eligible.  Please visit the M.O.O.N. group if you are a blogger and would like more information regarding these perks and other group events.

FTC Disclaimer - Revisited and Updated

Back in December, I wrote a tips post about FTC guidelines on advertising and endorsements, which as book reviewers who receive free products are required to follow. At that time I focused mostly on the disclaimer that needed to be included on any post in which you endorse a product you received for free in order to provide the review. The main points to keep in mind were,

  • It must be on each post in which you review/endorse a product - a general disclaimer page will not satisfy the policy
  • It must be visible - it can be part of your footer as long as it easily seen by the reader (if they have to scroll past ads, other posts or widgets/gadgets/plugins then that does not satisfy the guidelines). 
  • It must be legible - you can add it to your "fine print" but do not make it so small it is hard to read.
On Monday, I ran across a blog post at Geeky Bloggers Book Blog about updated FTC guidelines. FTC issued new guidelines in March of this year. The blog post above is good as are the comments that follow. From the post, it seems that the updated guidelines did not make major changes, but instead provided more clarity on some points that may have been lacking in the last update. In particular, the explanation on endorsements in tweets and Facebook posts. I mentioned it briefly in my December post, but at that time there was not a consensus on what to do. The new guidelines seem to clarify this point.

I'm going to highlight a few of the changes that directly effect book bloggers as highlighted in the overview.

  • Placement: When possible incorporate the disclosure within the text of the post instead of as a separate disclaimer. It should also be placed close to the relevant claim. Particularly in regards to affiliate links. No longer is a statement at the end of your post sufficient. If an affiliate link is embedded in your text then you must disclose that fact beside the link. 
  • Repeated: When it is not possible to include the disclosure within the text, then you must display it clearly without the need to scroll to view it. Most bloggers have included the disclaimer in their footers or at the end of the post. This is no longer sufficient. While you may not need to open every post with the disclaimer it needs to be "above the fold" or the point where a reader must scroll. If the post is very long then you may need to include the disclaimer multiple times. This is particularly important for bloggers who show a snippet of their post on the homepage and then a reader must click "read more" and go to another page.
  • Space limiting medium: In my previous post, I mentioned using #ad, #sponsored, or #promo. The new guideline includes an interesting statement in regards to how to handle endorsements in tweets and other limited media: "under some circumstances, be acceptable to make the disclosure clearly and conspicuously on the page to which the ad links." The document goes on to list proper ways of using such a link.
The rest of the document goes further in depth on each point made in the overview. Remember the updated guidelines only apply to reviews, advertisements, and endorsements made since March 1, 2013. Also it only applies to reviews, advertisements, and endorsements where you received a free product. If you bought the book, borrowed it from a friend, or checked it out of the library, you do not have to include any disclaimers (except for where affiliate links are used). While you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to handle these new rules, I will reiterate what I said in my previous post, FTC is not out to get you. Their purpose to ensure fair and truthful advertisement, to protect the consumer. As long as you are making a good faith effort to abide by the guidelines, you should be fine. 

With all that being said, I do have questions:
  1. What about books I originally received free (such as from Netgalley) to write my review, but later purchased? When I make claims do I include a disclosure or not?
  2. What about when a friend on Twitter or Facebook asks about a recommendation? Like today, my friend (who I know in real life) on Facebook asked for audio book recommendations. I wanted to recommend the book I'm currently listening to, but then I thought about how I would to phrase it: "I'm really enjoying Is It Tomorrow - I received a free copy in order to provide an honest review" or perhaps it would be sufficient to say, "I'm reviewing Is It Tomorrow and really enjoying" Would it be enough? Does reviewing = received a free product? Is it "common knowledge" that 90% of the books I review are received free from publisher or author.
I will need to read through the guidelines a bit more thoroughly. And I suggest you do so as well as I am not a lawyer and what I have provided above should not be considered legal advice.

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May 15, 2013

John Abramowitz: Building Character

Let me tell you about one of my biggest rookie mistakes ever.

I'm probably not supposed to do that, as a writer. I'm probably supposed to keep my creative process under a tight veil of secrecy, and let you think everything that happens in one of my books was part of my plan from the start. That would be the smart thing to do, but I'm not going to do the smart thing. I'm going to pull back the curtain--so pay close attention to the man behind it!

A couple of years ago, I sat down to write Atticus for the Undead, my second book ever. The main character in Atticus is Hunter Gamble, a lawyer who defends witches, zombies, vampires, and werewolves. I knew that I ultimately wanted to tell the story of a zombie on trial for eating brains, but first, I wanted to give readers a taste of Hunter and his world. I wanted to let them know who he was, what sorts of clients he dealt with, and what sorts of issues he encountered.

So I decided to invent a throwaway case for Hunter to dispose of in the first chapter. An actress in a high-school play, accused by one of her classmates of attempting to hex him. (She claimed she was just rehearsing Macbeth.) Since I wanted to start the book off on a fun, lighthearted note, I decided to make her a diva of the worst sort--utterly self-centered and condescending, looking down her nose at everyone around her. And, since she was a teenage witch (maybe), what better name to give her than Sabrina?

So I wrote the chapter. Hunter won his case, he and Sabrina clashed in (what I hope are) hilarious ways, and a good time was had by all. And then, as is my wont, I showed it to one of my beta readers.

"John," my beta reader said to me, "when is Sabrina coming back? What's her overall role in the story going to be?"

"Um," I said, starting to feel a bit sheepish. "She's not coming back. She's a throwaway client. A one-time appearance."

"No," my beta-reader said. "I like her too much for her to be a one-off character. You have to bring her back."

I scratched my head. Bring her back? That would mean figuring out a way to fit her into the story I wanted to tell, and I had no idea how to do that. On the other hand, if my readers say they want something, who am I to deny it to them? So I did what any lazy person would do: I let him do the work for me!

"All right," I said. "I can bring her back. But how do you think I should do that?"

He had answers for that, all right. I can't tell you what they were without spoiling major major elements of the plot, but suffice it to say, by the time we finished brainstorming, I was wondering how I had ever planned to write the novel without her as a major character. 

As I wrote, Sabrina became the scalpel I used to delve into the psyches of both Hunter and his associate, Kirsten Harper. Through her, I was able to develop both characters in ways that would have been impossible otherwise. (And she let me write a Wicked reference into the book, which was pure joy for a musical theater nerd like me.)

By the time I started the second Hunter book, Identity Theft, bringing Sabrina back was a foregone conclusion. At this point, I would say that she's the second-most-important character in the series after Hunter himself. I'm even considering a spinoff series centering around her (though I'd have to think of something to name it besides Sabrina: The Teenage Witch.)

All this from a character who was supposed to have a lifespan of one chapter.

Moral of the story? Listen to your beta readers. Don't get so attached to your outline that you're unwilling to make changes.

And if I ever tell you I had everything planned out from the start, do call bullshit.

About the Author:

John Abramowitz is a long, tall Texan (who apologizes to Lyle Lovett for stealing his line) born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. His heart is split between Texas and Iowa (where he attended college), and he keeps on good terms with both by eating ample amounts of corn and barbecue. Abramowitz is an unapologetic fanboy who liked Joss Whedon before it was cool. Among his other loves are thrillers (which influence his work), musical theater, and parentheses (of which there are far too many in this bio). He doesn't like discussing himself in the third person, and apologizes if this bio comes off as pretentious. He currently resides in Austin, Texas, where he works as an author and lawyer.
 Blog  *  Facebook  *  Twitter 

Buy the book at Amazon

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made through the link above. The views, opinions, and beliefs expressed by contributing writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads.

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May 14, 2013

Featured Book: The Enemy by Larry Bograd

The Enemy

The Enemy

A red-hot political thriller from a blue state author. Buried among the thousands of financial transactions he reviews each day, analyst Randy Duncan finds a secret web of laundered money financing the assassination of the President, which, in turn, will lead the country into war. Can Randy and his law-student daughter Clare follow the money and stop the enemy in time? In a political thriller worthy of Dan Brown, Richard Condon, and Allen Drury, award- winning novelist Larry Bograd charts a political thriller sure to keep you reading and leave you sleepless wondering and worried about who really controls America.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads


Author Larry Bograd Larry Bograd has published more than two dozen books, primary for children and young adults--and now his first eBook original, "The Enemy." He is also a playwright, screenwriter, and filmmaker. He is president of Roundtable Media Group, which produces documentary films, Web shows, and events.

Book Blast Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/31/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating author/publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Prize value $100 US

.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bloggers Wanted: Crimson Key Pub Day Giveaway

Help Christy Sloat celebrate the release of her newest novel, Crimson Key, by hosting a Pub Day Giveaway
Monday, May 20

Prize Pack includes:

Signed copy of book 1: The Brown House, Key necklace and Handmade official Crimson Key soap

The truth can be deadly.
Brylee Branson’s best friend and boyfriend have fallen victim to a horrible curse that haunts her home. With the witches who cast it dead she has no choice but to rely on the ghosts inside the Brown house to help her find a cure. But time is not on her side, because Lynley's illness is spreading rapidly.

Confused and scared, seventeen-year-old Brylee must confront a new ghost in the house she has never spoken to before. This spirit is not a Brown relative and makes no promises to help them … unless she can re-unite her with a loved one.
The fate of those she loves now rests on her. Can Brylee put the pieces of this puzzle together in time to save them? Or will the Brown house claim another victim?

The Visitor’s Series continues to scare and entice its readers with this gripping second book.

After you sign up below, grab the html file here.

A GWR Publicity promotional event paid for by Anchor Group Publishing. Giveaway is sponsored by the author.
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May 13, 2013

Bloggers Wanted: Pub Day Giveaway

Celebrate Children's Book Week!

Erin by Monette Pangan
Pub Day Giveaway: May 17

Prize Pack includes: 
Signed paperback, book tote, keychain, bookmarks, mini collage album, and $25 Amazon gift card

It's great to be part of a large family but sometimes, when you're the smallest, it's not always fun.

There's still time to participate. Fill out the form below and find the information to post here. Post anytime between May 17 and June 6.

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

Meet the Author: Lorenz Font


I’m excited, nervous and hopeful. And I’ve been getting a lot of those ‘feeling like I’m going to pee in my panties soon’ moments.

Joking aside, I can honestly say that the reality hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m sure once it does, I’ll probably do the one thing that helps me when I get nervous or overwhelmed, grab a glass of wine and talk to my support group.

Apart from the work I’ve done so far, it’s been mostly getting ready, making sure all loose ends are tied up nicely and revising the next manuscript due to the house soon. I’m looking forward to finding out what the readers think of Hunted and that’s pretty much it.

Being a published author is comparable to giving birth. Of course, I’m sure a lot of you won’t agree with my analogy, but that’s what it feels like so far. You give birth (aka finished a novel), then the whole waking up at night begins (edits) and burping (more edits) follow. Don’t get me wrong. I love it and have enjoyed the whole experience, just like I love my children. So yeah, that’s exactly how I feel right now.

It’s going to be a long journey and I intend to enjoy every minute of it. Ask me again after the whole reality has caught up with me, and by then, I’ll be able to give a more in-depth answer.

At the very least, I get to see my name in print. A writer’s dream!

As Hunted, my first published novel, is finally out, I’m focusing on the edits of Indivisible Line. It’s a romance novel set in the beautiful city of Beaver, Alaska and New York City. It centers on Sarah Jones, a medical student and a member of the Gwich’in tribe. She is torn between her inherent loyalty to serve her people and the urge to spread her wings.

Her priorities shifted when she met Greg Andrews, a rich businessman shot on their land. Sarah was faced with the decision of helping him out despite the limited provisions their tribe had and the laws that governed them.

Here’s a brief summary:

Sarah Jones, a fledgling doctor-to-be, doesn’t question her life’s purpose. A daughter of the Chief of a small Gwich’in Tribe in Beaver, Alaska, she accepts her ultimate fate as the town’s future doctor and consequent wife to Trimble Meda, the man she is promised to marry since birth. Despite her quiet protest, Sarah acknowledges her destiny. She accepts their tribe’s outdated traditions of arranged marriages, servitude and even the unspoken racial line.

One day, Sarah is confronted by a life and death decision, testing her beliefs and everything she ever stood for. Greg Andrews, an affluent businessman and avid hunter went to Alaska on a private hunting tour with Cade, his best friend, only to find himself shot by Cade and fighting for his life. Sarah and Greg’s path’s cross the day he is brought to the clinic. Sarah faces an enormous choice, ignore the ethical implications and defy her father’s strict beliefs in order to save Greg’s life. Opting for the latter, she performs an impromptu surgery and crude blood transfusion. Sarah manages to save Greg and give him a part of her heart in the process.

Indivisible Line will be coming your way July 15, 2013, so please watch for this story.

After Indivisible Line, the next installment of The Gates Legacy, Tormented, is next. The edit is happening as we speak. The sequel to Hunted is a continuation of Tor, Harrow, and Rohnert’s effort to hide from the Vampire Council who continually hunts them. Tormented focuses on Tor and Allison finding love amid the chaos around them. It is full of surprises and is guaranteed to have you asking for the last book in the trilogy to come sooner. Tormented will hit the shelves in September.

Last but not the least this year for me is my Romantica novel entitled Feather Light. A top three finisher in The MASTERpiece contest and will be published by another publishing house. I will talk more about it before it launches on October 10.

Then of course, the last of the trilogy, which is titled Ascension, will be coming out in early spring next year. This will cap the last of The Gates Legacy Trilogy.

About the author:
Lorenz Font discovered her love of writing after reading a celebrated novel that inspired one idea after another. Hunted, the first book of The Gates Legacy trilogy, is her debut novel.
She enjoys dabbling in different genres with an intense focus on angst and the redemption of flawed characters. Her fascination with romantic twists is a mainstay in all her stories.
She currently lives in California with her husband, children, and two demanding dogs. Lorenz spends most of her free time writing while also working as a Business Office Manager for a skilled-rehabilitation hospital.
website  *  Facebook  *  Twitter

Buy the book at Amazon!

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made through the links above. The views, opinions, and beliefs expressed by contributing writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads.

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May 12, 2013

Sunday Sale Page 5/12

Happy Mother's Day! Give your mom some quiet time to read and gift her one of these great ebook deals.

When her mentor is brutally murdered by a supernatural force, an alcoholic former cop turns to her past lovers—her ex-partner and a powerful sorcerer—to help her hunt down a demon terrorizing Memphis.

99 cents at Amazon

Ride the rollercoaster of Shiloh Jacobs’s life as her dreams derail, sending her on a downward spiral from the heights of an AP job in Tokyo to penniless in rural Virginia. Trapped in a world so foreign to her sensibilities and surrounded by a quirky group of friends, will she break through her hardened prejudices before she loses those who want to help her? Can she find the key to what changed her estranged mother’s life so powerfully before her death that she became a different woman—and can it help Shiloh too?

Free at B&N & Amazon

PI Denys Bellami is in his office when a quake shakes the earth. Within seconds Denys becomes a guest of the White Valley, where ghosts reside.

But what about the investigation he was working on? He makes the case to the Great Light: well, Denys will be able to continue investigating but he won’t be allowed to participate in any physical actions. It’s a big challenge, but Denys accepts it.

Free at B&N

School will be out soon so stock up on reading material for the kids. 

Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack's fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it's great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend "T-Rex" from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he's the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he's destined to be in the family business. Second, that there's a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits...until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him.

99 cents at Amazon

While the world leaders of Archana gather for an unprecedented peace treaty signing, tragedy strikes, and rumors spread of war. Osric; a young, untested leader, is thrust into the chaos and must journey far with his unlikely companions to stop the inevitable world war. Circumstance brought them together, but prophecy has entwined their fates. 

99 cents at Amazon

When Lucy Leary turned 18, her life fell apart. She crashed her car, her best friend abandoned her, her parents divorced, and her grandfather passed away, leaving her a single possession: A vampire slaying kit with a note that said, “THEY’RE REAL. FIGHT THEM.” 

FREE at Amazon
99 cents at B&N

"Rubber baby buggy bumpers" - Say this three times as fast as you can. How about, try saying " Loopy lizards lying lazily aloft a little lane of logs," without messing up. This Tongue Twister book is huge collection of funny phrases, ridiculous rhymes, and silly sentences that will have kids laughing for hours. Each one challenges your mouth muscles as you try to say these tongue twisters faster and multiple times.

FREE at Amazon

Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

99 cents at Amazon

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made through the links above. Prices were accurate at the time of posting, please verify price before purchasing.

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