Readers' Favorite

October 12, 2013

Book Blast: Reality Boy by A.S.King

Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he is still haunted by his rage-filled youth—, which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school. 
Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he has tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone is just waiting for him to snap…and he is starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that. 
 In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.
A.S. King is the author of the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner, Ask the Passengers, Everybody Sees the Ants, a 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and Andre Norton Award nominee, and the Edgar Award nominated, 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book Please Ignore Vera Dietz.  She is also the author of the ALA Best Books for Young Adults Dust of 100 Dogs, an adult short story collection, Monica Never Shuts Up, and the upcoming REALITY BOY (2013). 
After a decade living self-sufficiently and teaching literacy to adults in Ireland, she now lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and children.
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Afternoon eBook Deal 10/12

...beautifully written and encapsulates many different aspects of the human struggle... ~ Kathleen Kelly

So real, with so much emotion. ~ Gayle

Emma's Secret

For two years, Megan, Peter, and their two older daughters, Alexis and Hannah, dream of nothing but being reunited with the family’s youngest child, Emma, who was kidnapped just before her third birthday. When Emma is miraculously found living with an elderly couple just miles from the family’s home, they are hopeful that her return will heal the wounds her disappearance created.

But Emma is vastly different from the sunny toddler they remember. She barely remembers her parents or her older sisters. She is quiet and withdrawn, and, worst of all, longs for the very people who kidnapped her.

Megan is consumed with bitterness, while Peter works later and later nights in the company of his gorgeous business partner. And in the middle of everything, Megan’s best friend has become suddenly distant and secretive.

Then a chance encounter in town leads to a secret that changes everything again for Emma. And Peter must decide between the happiness of his youngest daughter and the trust of his family.

$1.99 at Amazon

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October 11, 2013

Afternoon eBook 10/11 enjoyable read and I highly recommend it. ~ Romancing the Book should start reading this delightful series. ~ Tam

By Magic Alone

Something is drawing Julia Collins to Magical Matchups. The Chicago-based dating service is a direct competitor to her own, and it’s winning. It even converted her two best friends, despite the fact that it’s run by a crackpot—if sweet—old woman named Verda who gives personality tests that rate men like fruit! She also espouses everything Julia distrusts: magic, lust, and romantic love rather than logical partnerships.

Five minutes after they’ve met, Verda introduces “the man Julia will marry”—her best friend’s ex. The old woman had better be a witch, because although Scot’s kiss ignites a fire in her soul, there’s only one way Julia can see them finding a happily ever after. By magic alone.

$2 at Amazon

Check The NOOK Blog for today's FREE Friday ebook 

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New Release! Home Wrecker II: The Brooklyn Chronicles

Brooklyn Rosen had high moral principles and was raised properly. Married for over fifteen years, those standards went out the window along with her fidelity when she met Bo. After becoming a self-proclaimed “Home Wrecker” Brooklyn left behind her marital home, along with the damage caused by her emotional wrecking ball. But the whispered remarks followed.
In “Home Wrecker: The Brooklyn Chronicles” we learn what shaped Brooklyn, the trials of an unhappy marriage and a deep abiding love that would not be denied. We meet a troubled, spiteful wife, who does not want to become an “ex”.
Will Brooklyn and Bo survive, or will all be lost to a bitter woman?

Brenda Perlin continues her contemporary romance saga that started with Home Wrecker I, which was acquired by Master Koda Select Publishing and re-released in April. In The Brooklyn Chronicles,  Perlin sends her readers on an emotional roller coaster, delving into in the sad and dark times of her main character Brooklyn. Readers praised Perlin's writing, garnering a 4.9 average rating at Goodreads, in Home Wrecker I. From the early reviews, it looks like she has another hit on her hands.

Paranormal romance author Jennifer Loiske wrote, "it wasn’t just great it was brilliant!" Tricia Drammah found Home Wrecker II: The Brooklyn Chronicles thought-provoking and "will leave you thinking about the book long after you've finished reading."

This story of love, betrayal, and a struggle to keep new-found happiness hits shelves today. 

And if you haven't yet started this ride, be sure to pick up Home Wrecker I.

A little peak at what awaits you in Home Wrecker II: The Brooklyn Chronicles.

I never planned to be an adulteress, a cheater, or even a liar. I have told plenty of little white lies in my lifetime, but it wasn’t really in me to do anything as unethical as I did. Cheating wasn’t something I even imagined myself doing. It certainly was not in my nature and had nothing to do with my upbringing. I was raised to be a “good girl,” with everything that went along with it, and was taught to treat people as you wanted to be treated.

My parents were respectful individuals who never did anything against the law. Well, that is not exactly true; they both had their dishonest moments. My mom had a bad habit of eating candy from the bulk bins in the grocery store as if they were free samples. She thought she could eat at her leisure while she strolled around pushing her grocery cart with one hand and her “freebies” in the other. My dad also had a few digressions that I witnessed on occasion. Once, I caught him changing a price tag to his advantage at Fedco, our neighborhood discount store and another time while we were vacationing in France, I awoke to find him unscrewing the shower head in the hotel’s bathroom.

Looking for more information? Check out the WebsiteTwitter, Facebook, Blog for the Home Wrecker series.

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

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October 10, 2013

Afternoon eBook Deal 10/10

I loved and adored this book. ~ Debbie, Talk Supe 

...sad and emotional but beautiful story... ~Lucia, Reading is My Breathing

Watch Over Me

Addison Snow is your typical teenager. She has a family that loves her, friends that make her laugh, and she's wrapped up in the excitement of graduating high school and going off to college to pursue her dream of becoming an author. When her mother, who also happens to be Addison's best friend, dies unexpectedly, her world comes to a crashing halt.

Death changes everyone...

To make the pain go away, Addison and her father travel down separate, dark paths. She chooses to end her grief forever, while he drowns his sorrows in the bottom of a bottle. How do you learn to live again when the most important person in your life is gone?

Addison struggles to pick up the pieces of her life. Instead of getting back to being the carefree teenager she once was, she's stuck handling all of the responsibilities that should have been her father's. She has no time to grieve, no time for emotions, and no time for happiness...until Zander Reinhardt walks in. All it takes is one little handwritten note on a napkin to kick-start her back to life and help her realize that maybe there's more to that life than pain.

But can it really be that simple? Can she really trust this man who makes her feel alive again for the first time in a year?

Addison and Zander both have secrets they aren't ready to share. When the truth finally comes out, is it enough to tear them apart or has something bigger than themselves always been watching over them, pushing them together, making sure they both get their happily ever after?

$2.99 at Amazon and B&N

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. Summary and cover are from Prices are subject to change without notice, please verify price before purchasing. Want to have your bargain, discounted, or free ebook featured? Fill out this form.

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Do You Need a Press Release

A couple of months ago, I discussed what an author needed in their media kit. One of the components I mentioned was a press release. However, I do not think many indie authors create press releases. At least they do not send them with their review pitches like the traditional publishers do. I go back and forth about whether an author really needs a press release. The more I think about it the more I think an author should have one.

Why you need a press release

Press releases provide the ground work for people in the media to create their story. It gives background information, the angle the story might take, and usable quotes. I have seen pieces of my own press releases appear in news stories. Press releases are still the standard form of announcement. Even if you are not seeking traditional media attention, bloggers and online radio hosts can make use a press release.

What goes in a press release

The most difficult aspect of a press release is crafting the headline. Think about headlines you see in newspapers to get an idea of the best way to word your own headline. It needs to be eye-catching and should indicate the angle you want to convey. What do I mean by "angle"? It is what will make the reader interested in the reading the press release. If it is a press release I'm sending to local media, I will play up the author's ties to the area - Jefferson native, local teacher, UGA alum, business owner - if you are known for something in your community use that to your advantage. It should be noted that when targeting particular outlets with your press release, the headline should be tailored to that audience. Even with a general press release in a media kit, you want to provide an angle for the story. If it is not your first book or it is part of a series the series or book title may form the basis.

When writing a headline, always ask yourself "what makes this newsworthy?"

After the headline you may want to have a summary that expands on the headline in a few sentences. It is not a must have, but can be useful when you can't convey your message in a concise headline.

The body of the press release contains the news you want to share. It should be written as a news story. It needs to be in third person - you might find it helpful to pretend you are writing about another person, instead of that fact it is about you. Lead with the most pertinent information. It is helpful to answer the 5 basic questions of writing a news story - who, what, where, when, and how.

The boiler plate - is generic information that the media might find useful, but isn't really part of the story. When I was with the publishing house, it contained basic information about the house. For my clients, it usually includes a short bio and information about the book - ISBN, price, formats. You should also include where to find more information or contact information. The boiler plate is at the end of the release. Use three hashmarks (#) to separate the press release from the boiler plate.

What to do with a press release

One of the main reasons authors do not create press releases is because they don't know what to do with them. It takes a bit of work to create a great press release and it can also be one the least seen pieces of writing. Books, particularly from unknowns, is of little news to traditional media. You may think a press release is just a waste of time, particularly when it doesn't seem to be getting any traction. However, I urge you to reconsider and hone your press release writing skills.

You may have tried submitting your press release to a free news wire service. One of the reasons I thought press releases weren't really needed for indie authors was because I was only using the free services. I don't think any of my releases were picked up by a larger distributor. And when I looked at what other stories were being submitted, I wasn't surprise - get rich quick schemes and the likes. However, if you have something that is truly newsworthy, you may want to try a paid news wire services. My author friend Karen Pokras Toz submitted a press release to a paid services and it was picked up by larger news distributors, such as Yahoo! News. The press release was not about a recent release, but about her participation in restocking libraries affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Can't afford a paid news wire service (they are pricey)? You can still get your news out there. Your press release may not get picked up by USA Today, but you can leverage it to give you and your book media exposure. Local newspapers still run human interest stories. If you are planning a book signing or other local event, your local paper will be more interested than it is just an announcement about a book release. is specifically for providing community news. Check to see if your area has a Patch as I have found them welcoming to news about local authors.

Send your press release to bloggers  and online radio show hosts. Many book bloggers write more than just book reviews. They provide readers with general book news, and your press release will come in handy for writing that story.

Be sure to include it in your media kit. Want brick-and-mortar bookstores to stock your book? A press release in your media kit adds to your professionalism and demonstrates your marketing efforts.

Have a public appearance planned? Be sure the organizers have a press release to include in their newsletters and websites.

I've used press releases to pitch stories to magazines. If you are a parent or teacher writing children or young adult books, research parenting magazines in your area.

Bonus tip:

I write the press release for the media kit first as it is the most general. I think tweak it and change the headline when submitting it to particular outlets to best capture the attention of that outlet.

An offer:

I would like to provide more bookish news to my readers. Send me your press releases for possible inclusion in this new feature: donna(at)

Donna Huber
Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the blogger behind Girl Who Reads and author of the how-to manual Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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October 9, 2013

Afternoon eBook Deal 10/9

This is chick lit at its finest.  ~ Carol absolute jewel of a novel... ~ Louise

Molly Marx
The circumstances of Molly Marx’s death may be suspicious, but she hasn’t lost her sense of humor. Newly arrived in the hereafter, aka the Duration, Molly discovers that she can still keep tabs on those she left behind: Annabel, her beloved four-year-old daughter; Lucy, her combustible twin sister; Kitty, her piece-of-work mother-in-law; Brie, her beautiful and steadfast best friend; and of course her husband, Barry, a plastic surgeon with more than a professional interest in many of his female patients. As the police question Molly’s circle of intimates about the circumstances of her death, Molly relives the years and days that led up to her sudden end—and takes responsibility for her choices in life.

$1.99 at Amazon and B&N

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. Summary and cover are from Prices are subject to change without notice, please verify price before purchasing. Want to have your bargain, discounted, or free ebook featured? Fill out this form.

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Selena Marimba: Romantic Fantasy Writing - How Do You Get Started

Romantic fantasy is popular because it illustrates tales that place human drama in a fantastic world. It may be difficult to envision your own fantasy world and the characters that will develop inside, but it’ll get easier with practice. Follow a few easy steps and your book and eventual series will have a fan base of its own.

Map it Out

You’ll need to map out the world and the people inside the world that you are going to create. You don't have to explain everything about this fantasy world, but make sure you mention things that are going to count later on. Just start writing about this world and treat it like a rough draft. Go through this draft and start compartmentalizing the ideas and take ones out that don’t have to be in there for the reader to understand the story. Include strong characters that are focused and ones that oppose them but never characters that are merely shells of real people. They can be fictional but they should have a reason for being in the story and a reason they are the way they are.

Love Moves People

The romance part of the fantasy world shouldn’t take up the majority of the storyline but it should be used as a plot vehicle. Love can make people do crazy things and it’s always a good way to carry a story out to the next scene. This shouldn’t be the only plot device though or it will become dull. The story should have a greater focus on real problems that are going on in their world. How these characters deal with circumstances is the part of the story that the reader is going to really care about while appreciating the romantic aspects as well. Maintain a good balance between the genres and you’ll have a plot that stays on everyone's mind.

Characters with Connections

Before you have the characters fall in love with each other, give the reader enough details so that they fall for them. By reinstating what makes these characters so unique you make the romance aspect much more enjoyable. Add in some personal details and use characteristics that you find admirable. Building strong characters to have a romance is the most difficult part of this genre but the most rewarding for the reader.

Cultivate the World

Romantic fantasy writing needs to be practiced to get the right feel for it but once you do you can keep writing novels for a long time. Build the characters up so that the reader understands the situation and then construct an altered reality that’s different but also shockingly similar to our reality. Getting all these ideas on paper also helps the process a ton since constructing a fantasy world isn’t always easy to just do. Follow these easy tips though and you’ll be on your way to a far off land with lovers torn apart by warring kingdoms or anywhere else you decide.

Selena Marimba is a journalist who writes articles on relationships, family, romance, tips for writers, and the Top 25 Smart Choice Schools for Online Communication and Public Relations Degrees.

The views, opinions, and beliefs of contributing writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads.

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October 8, 2013

Afternoon eBook Deal 10/8

This book was awesome! I love the idea! ~ Jen

Love the characters!!! The plot is awesome!! ~ Kim


"With one last look, one final search of the lines of his face for some sign, Kira turned and ran away from the sound of the man she loved laughing in the face of her death."

When Kira Dawson moves to South Carolina, she meets Luke, a blond goofball who quickly becomes her best friend, and Tristan, a mysterious bad boy who sends shivers down her spine. Kira knows they're keeping secrets, but when she discovers Tristan's lust for blood and her own dormant mystical powers, Kira is forced to fight for her life and make the heartbreaking decision between the familiar comfort of friendship and the fiery passion of love.

FREE at Amazon, Smashwords, and B&N

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. Summary and cover are from Prices are subject to change without notice, please verify price before purchasing. Want to have your bargain, discounted, or free ebook featured? Fill out this form.

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Review: Always Watching by Chevy Stevens

Always Watching
I love Chevy Stevens's writing. My first experience with her writing was when I read Still Missing (read my review) and Chevy became one of my top favorite authors. I'm so glad I saw my friend's review for Always Watching (read her review).

Nadine is a psychiatrist who has her own issues. When a young woman is admitted to the psychiatric hospital works, she must face her own fears and perhaps find the missing pieces of her past. In an effort to help Heather, Nadine returns to a place she has blocked in her mind. She soon realizes that she must remember in order to save her own daughter.

Buy Always Watching at Amazon

Always Watching is a another gripping tale. Seriously, once I started reading I couldn't put it down. I think it might have creeped me out more than Still Missing, or maybe in a different way. With Still Missing I was a bit scared because the abduction was something that could happen to me. In Always Watching, it was crazy of the world that freaked me out. 

Chevy Stevens's storytelling is so realistic - ripped from the headlines kind of story. Her characters are compelling. Even the secondary characters are well rounded and fleshed out. If you are looking for an absolutely great book to read, you must pick up Always Watching. I'm so glad to see that Stevens has another book out, Never Knowing. I don't know how I missed it and I'm so thankful I saw Jess's review of Always Watching.

Book Info:
Hardcover (342 pages)
Published June 2013 by St. Martin's Press
ISBN13: 9780312595692
Source: Library
Read: September 2013

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October 7, 2013

Afternoon eBook Deal 10/7

Mr. Reich delivers a tightly controlled plot and pace, and the story comes together with no loose ends. ~ David Crawford

This is a gripping thriller that is fast paced albeit long. ~ Joni Daniels

Numbered Account

A job he shouldn't have taken... A woman he shouldn't have loved... A secret he shouldn't expose...if he wants to live.

Nick Neumann had it all: a Harvard degree, a beautiful fiancĂ©e, a star-making Wall Street career.  But behind the dazzling veneer of this golden boy is a man haunted by the brutal killing of his father seventeen years before.

Now chilling new evidence has implicated his father's employer, the United Swiss Bank, in the crime.  Nick doesn't know how.  Or why.  But he has a plan to find out: move to Zurich.  Work for the same bank.  Follow in his father's footsteps.  Look for the same secrets...and uncover something so shocking, so unexpected, justice may not be enough.

For as a circle of treachery tightens around him, as a woman with secrets of her own enters his life, Nick makes another chilling discovery.  Not just about his father but about himself.  And how far he's willing to go to find out what happened seventeen years before--when a man died and a conspiracy was born.

99 cents at Amazon and B&N

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. Summary and cover are from Prices are subject to change without notice, please verify price before purchasing. Want to have your bargain, discounted, or free ebook featured? Fill out this form.

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Meet Jamie Baywood

Jamie Baywood
Welcome, Jamie Baywood, author of Getting Rooted in New Zealand. Will you tell us a little about yourself and your book ?

I moved to New Zealand because I read in a tour book that New Zealand’s population has 100,000 fewer men than women. I thought it would be the perfect place for me to escape the crazy dating scene in California. For the past three years, I’ve been disassembling and reassembling my life by moving to different countries. I’ve lived in five countries now; America, American Samoa, New Zealand, Scotland and now England.

When I reviewed my first memoir, I commented that I would find it scary to write one. I mean, you are revealing your life to the world. Did you have doubts while preparing Getting Rooted in New Zealand for publication?

Publishing my story was one the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. I barely slept the first half of the year worrying what people would think of my book.

What made you want to publish your story? When did you know you had a story that people would want to read? 

Publishing my book was my way of transforming poison into medicine. I hope that it can help people that have had bad dating experiences or bad work experiences – make them laugh and not give up hope.

My education is in fine arts. I had a lot of art shows in California and New Zealand and even managed an art collective in Auckland. I was bored with the fine art scene. Everything has already been done before in painting, but I am the only person that can tell my own story. Writing feels like a more honest form of art than any other method I’ve tried. While I was in New Zealand I meet a director named Thomas Sainsbury, he asked me what I was doing in New Zealand. My everyday stories made him laugh and he asked me to write a monologue for him. I had never done anything like that before. I was shocked by the adrenaline rush that came with storytelling and making people laugh. That is when I knew I wanted to be a writer.

Getting Rooted in New Zealand is based on your journal entries. Have you always journaled or was this something just to document the experience?

I didn’t start keeping a diary or writing until I moved to New Zealand. I wrote to keep in touch with friends and family. I saved the emails that eventually became my book.

Most of the book was written as the events happened; it just took me a few years to work up the nerve to publish. To write my book Getting Rooted In New Zealand, I relied upon my personal journals, e-mails, and memories. In February 2013, I organized my stories into a cohesive narrative. It went through several rounds of editing and then I published in April.

Buy Getting Rooted in New Zealand at Amazon

What do your friends and family think about your book?

The hardest part has been trying to promote the book while simultaneously attempting to stay anonymous. My life is literally an open book, but Jamie Baywood is a pen name. I haven’t told my family that I’ve written or published a book. They think I’m just living in the UK working on a MA in Design studying book covers.

Did you travel much before you moved to New Zealand? What are some of your favorite locales?

Before I moved to New Zealand, the longest period of time I had travel was only for ten days. For a single female traveling alone, New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world. I might not have understood people’s accents initially, but I was able to get off the plane and land on my feet quickly. I got a job and a place to live within two weeks of arrival. I don’t know anywhere else in the world you can do that.

I currently have to live in the center of England. I desperately miss the ocean and being warm at the beach. I really miss the warm, friendly nature of the people in the South Pacific. I had the chance to visit Australia briefly after I lived in New Zealand. I would move to Australia or back to New Zealand in a heartbeat.

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

Cooking dinner at home, watching a movie and plotting my next great escape.

I see you are working on a second book. Do you want to tell us a little about it?

My next book will be about traveling through the South Island of New Zealand, Australia, and California and attempting to settle down in Scotland. I plan to divide my books by the countries I’ve lived in.

About the author:
Jamie Baywood grew up in Petaluma, California. In 2010, she made the most impulsive decision of her life by moving to New Zealand. Getting Rooted in New Zealand is her first book about her experiences living there. Jamie is now married and living happily ever after in the United Kingdom. She is working on her second book.
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Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate;  a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link. The views, opinions, and beliefs of contributing writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads.

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