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Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

July 27, 2013

Review: Truth by Sherri Hayes

I have been following this series since day one and was happy when I saw the ARC available on Netgalley. I read Slave (read my review) and Need (read my review) in just less than a day. I think I read Slave in like 5 hours.

I was fully prepared to spend my day reading Truth. However, I couldn't read it straight through like the other ones. It just didn't hold my attention. I remember some of the early reviews of Slave saying there was too much mundane detail. While I didn't feel that with Slave, I did see it in Truth. I didn't need to be told repeatedly that Brianna read during the day and in the evenings her and Stephen talked about what they were reading.

I felt like Truth was just filler. I don't think there was much in the way of character development or moving the plot forward. Pretty much there was reading and sex happening in this book. And the sex scenes felt forced, kind of like the scene was mandated. It was mechanical, maybe. It was like there was a prescribed number of pages before another sex scene was required.

Thankfully there is only one more book in the series. If there had been a few more scheduled I might give up the series after reading Truth. I think there is a lot of ground to cover in the last book in terms of Brianna and Stephen's relationship. I don't think they communicate about the important aspects of a relationship. For most of this book, she still thinks that it is either be his submissive or be out on the streets. I'm pretty sure a responsible Dom would make sure the person he was considering as a submissive understood she had options. Also, from what I've read about the lifestyle, the D/s is just one part of the relationship - that they love the person unconditionally. If one of the partners develops a condition where they were unable to physically, emotionally, or mentally to continue in their role as the dominant or submissive that the relationship would not end. That is what it means to be in a committed relationship based on unconditional love. I don't get that feeling from Stephen. I don't think he loves Brianna unconditionally.

So I sort of caught off track, but it bugs me every time I read Stephen saying "I love you" or reading how much he loves her. Because the truth is, if she can't be his submissive he won't be with her and to me that isn't love, it's lust. And there is too much lust and not enough love in this world for me to want to read about a couple in lust with one another.

My recommendation: If you are keeping up with this series, then definitely read Truth by Sherri Hayes. (If for no other reason, than to have the cliffhanger from Need resolved). If you haven't read this series, you might want to wait until the fourth book is out to see how it turns out.

Buy Truth at Amazon

Book info: ebook & paperback, published July 2013 by The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
ISBN13: 9781612131610
Source: Netgalley
Read: May 2013

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free digital galley was by provided by the source above in order exchange for an honest review.

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July 26, 2013

Friday Fun Writing Prompt: Feeling

I'm trying something new for Fridays in July: writing prompts. As this is the last Friday of July, I need to know what you think of this feature. Should I keep it or find something else? Voice your opinion in the comments, please. Also, be sure to check out the submissions to Dark & Stormy and I'm Late. There are only 3 rules:

  1. The following prompt must be included in the story (beginning, middle, or end); personal pronouns can be changed to fit your story.
  2. If your story contains mature content, kindly add (18+) with the linky.
  3. Link to this post to encourage your readers to read the other submissions
Are you ready? Here you go...

I'm looking forward to what you come up with this week. You have until midnight on Thursday to link up.

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July 25, 2013

Book Blogger - Media Professional or Reader with an Audience

Today's post is a little less a tips post and more of a brainstorming/thinking out loud post. I hope you will help me think through this topic by leaving comments.

About a year after I started blogging (and realized I was serious about it), I started thinking about a book bloggers role in the publishing and media industries. As book review sections of newspapers disappear, bloggers are filling the gap. While bloggers may not be book critics, we are still serving an important role in book discoverability.

Should book blogs be treated as media sites?

For the most part, I think authors treat bloggers as readers with an audience. They want us to review their books, but they also want us to publish on retail sites. I wonder if their book was reviewed by the NYT or Publisher's Weekly, if they would ask the reviewer to post on Goodreads and Amazon. If not, why do they ask me to do it?

You might be thinking, what's the big deal about posting your review on Goodreads and Amazon (or other retail sites)? One, the duplication of content on the web. Search algorithms penalize for duplicate content. Two, it diverts a blog's traffic. If the review can be read on another site, the reader never has to come to my blog. At least on Goodreads, you can link back to the blog post.

It's not like an author can't include a quote from a blogger's review on their Amazon page. There is a place for editorial reviews, which authors can insert through Author Central. The reason most prefer you to post your review as a reader is because of Amazon's algorithms. When a book receives 25 reviews, its visibility is raised.

As a book blogger, do you consider yourself part of the media industry? Or are you a reader who shares his/her opinion about books in an open forum?

If you are wanting to make a living from your blog (and there are people that at least supplement their income through blogging), then it is important to think about a blog's place in the media and publishing industries. It's your reputation and influence at stake. Blogging encompasses so much - personal journaling to family newsletters to product recommendations to news/gossip sites.

Is there a way to distinguish personal book blogging from professional book blogging? Is there any difference? Perhaps, we are kidding ourselves into thinking we are something we are not.

I would love to hear your thoughts on a book blogger's role. Should we be considered and treated as media? 
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July 24, 2013

Jeanette Battista: Writing a Novel in a Month or How to Go Crazy in 30 Days

I decided to attempt my first NaNoWriMo in November of 2012. For those of you reading who are unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month and it challenges participants to write 50,000 words in 30 days. November is the traditional month it runs, but there are lots of other instances: JuNoWriMo, Camps, etc. I thought it would be a good idea to challenge myself and see if I could accomplish it. If nothing else, I would have a workable first draft out of it.
One of the key things to doing NaNo successfully is turning off your internal editor. We all have one, some worse than others. My friend and writing partner tends to rewrite a chapter she’s working on at least five times--essentially writing 2000 words over and over again--before finally getting on with it. Her internal editor is a beast. It’s that little (or not so little) voice that constantly tells you what you have just written is crap. That you can do it better, that you suck, that you should pack it all in and stop writing before you embarrass yourself. It’s the voice that stops you before you even get started.
NaNoWriMo tells you to actively ignore this voice. Actually, it urges you to lock it in a box, bury it at a crossroads, and sow the ground with salt. Because in order to get your word count in (about 1600 words a day), you need to write.
Even if it’s crap.
And that’s why I think everyone who really wants to be a writer should try writing a novel in a month. I’ve done it twice now, and while it was painful--especially the second time around when I did it this June--it was incredibly freeing. I’ve throttled my internal editor into a mostly comatose state, but it can still rear up and smite me when I’m least expecting it. But I’ve learned to tell it to go hang and just focus on getting words on the page. Maybe not the best words, maybe not even good words, but at least words that relate to a story I’m trying to tell.

Buy Long Black Veil at Amazon

The important thing is to get those words out. You can’t edit a blank page. Write. Even if they are the worst 2000 words in the history of the written word, write. Even if you end up throwing them away in the final product, write. The point of revising a story and editing a story is to fix the problems in what you wrote. Nothing comes out perfect, well, EVER. Once you understand and really accept that, writing becomes a whole lot easier. First drafts are first drafts for a reason.
At the end of my first NaNoWriMo, I had a the groundwork for a book I loved. I spent time revising and polishing it, and I sent it out to my critique partners who told me where it didn’t work or it lagged or where it just needed tweaking. I fixed these and sent it to them again. Lather, rinse, repeat. When I thought I had it as good as I could make it, I sent it to my agent. Who loved it and is shopping it now.
Does this mean it will get snapped up? No. But if I hadn’t done NaNoWriMo, I wouldn’t have this book to shop at all. So muzzle that voice that’s stopping you and WRITE.

About the Author:
Jeanette Battista graduated with an English degree with a concentration in medieval literature which explains her possibly unhealthy fixation on edged weapons and cathedral architecture. She spent a summer in England and Scotland studying the historical King Arthur, which did nothing to curb her obsession.When she’s not writing or working, Jeanette spends time with family, hikes, reads, makes decadent brownies, buys killer boots, and plays Pocket Frogs. She wishes there were more hours in the day so she could actually do more of these things. She lives with her daughter and their two psychotic kittens in North Carolina. She has won the 2013 IndieReader Discovery Award for Best Young Adult for Long Black Veil, and a 2013 Bronze Independent Publisher (IPPY) Award for Best YA Ebook for Long Black Veil. She's the author of the Moon Series, the Discreet Demolition series, and The Iron Bells, the first book in a New Adult dark fantasy series.
Twitter  *  Facebook  *  website  *  Goodreads

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

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July 22, 2013

Meet Katherine Polillo

Where did you grow up/live now?

I grew up in South Jersey and after moving north for a period of time I returned and currently still live in South Jersey.  I enjoy the location, which is very country and rural, but Philadelphia is only 30 minutes away and the shore is also close.  I have a little of everything living where I live. 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a paleontologist.  I was/ still am obsessed with dinosaurs.  Jurassic Park was the most amazing movie to the 10 year old me.  I wore that VHS out! 

What is your education/career background?

I graduated from Rowan University with a Bachelors in Liberal Arts and a certification to teach secondary history and language arts.  I have since gone back and am currently completing my Masters in Teacher of Students with Disabilities.  

Do you have kids and/or pets?

No kids unless you count the 120 students I torture daily.  I refer to my students as my kids, but I think their parents would be upset if I tried to claim them.  Maybe… 

Pets, I have two spoiled rotten cats that think the world revolves around their fuzzy little heads.  I have no idea who spoiled them so badly. 

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or, what first inspired you to write?

My inspiration hit when I was struggling in between jobs. I was looking for a school district that would share my educational philosophy and while I was looking I spent a lot of time reading.  I was generally reading YA books, and I thought to myself… Self, you can do this.  And so that is how my first book Destine came to pass.  By time I was finished Destine I had found a new job at a school I love and finding time to write since then has been hard.  Devoted took about a year to create balancing between job, family, and school, but it has finally come to fruition.  

Buy Devoted at Amazon

Where/When do you best like to write? 

I like to write on Sunday mornings with a giant cup of coffee in my pajamas.  I send my husband out and I have the house to myself so I can focus and write in silence.  

Do you have any interesting writing habits or superstitions?

I wouldn’t call consuming mass quantities of coffee an interesting habit, but I think I can hold a quantity of caffeine that would kill lesser men.  I do need quite, I am easily distracted, eww look something shiny.  

When you are struggling to write/have writer’s block, what are some ways that help you find your creative muse again?

I read.  Sometimes leaving my characters’ world behind and immersing myself in someone else’s imagination can reignite my creative juices.  If not there is always wine.  

How does a new story idea come to you? Is it an event that sparks the plot or a character speaking to you?

I don’t know…usually a topic peaks my interest and I create characters around a situation or topic.  

On a Friday night, what are you most likely to be doing?

My family owns a farm, so Friday nights are lame for me.  I go to bed early because I’m expected on the farm at 6 am, and my Father is not forgiving when it comes to punctuality.  

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love to read, especially during the summer on the beach.  When I get the opportunity I love to camp, kayak, and hike.  I find being in nature helps foster my creativity.  

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Gillian Flynn 
John Green 
Abbi Glines
Stacey Rourke
Christy Sloat 
Jessica Sorenson 

Do you have a bucket list? What are some of things on it?

I have a travel bucket list, places I want to see someday.  I’ve been to every state in the continental U.S., but I’m dying to see Alaska and Hawaii.  I want to see Egypt, Turkey, New Zealand… the list goes on and on really.  

Have you won any awards or honors (not just for writing)?

Does craziest teacher count?  Teacher with the weirdest socks? 

What person(s) has/have helped you the most in your career?

Hard to say really, my husband kept telling me to write.  He provided the motivation.  Christy Sloat has been a fantastic mentor in guiding me through the process, and if Stacey Rourke hadn’t of believed in my The Watcher’s Trilogy would never have been published.  Thanks to everyone! 

What was your favorite book as a child?

When I was really young it was The Giving Tree, then in tween hood it was Little Women.  

How does your spouse/significant other/friends/family feel about your writing career?

Everyone is wonderfully supportive and I couldn’t ask for more support.  My husband never misses the opportunity to tell people I’m a writer, and I jokingly correct him and tell him I’m a teacher who writes sometimes.  I would like one day to be confidant enough to identify myself as a writer, but until then my husband will instead.

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A GWR Publicity tour paid for by the author. Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. The views, opinions, and beliefs expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads.

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July 21, 2013

Sunday Sale Page 7/21

 Need more reading material? I've got great deals and a few steals for you. Happy reading!

$1.99 at Amazon and B&N

99 cents at Amazon and B&N 

99 cents at Amazon and B&N

FREE at Amazon

FREE at Amazon


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

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