Readers' Favorite

June 6, 2014

An All Souls Trilogy Giveaway

We are just over a month away from the release of the final installment in Deborah Harkness's All Souls triology. The Book of Life comes out July 15! Who's excited? Me!! To get you a little more excited I have holographic Book of Life buttons and a copy of Diana's commonplace book:

The commonplace book, which was featured in Shadow of Night, includes never before seen content from Deborah Harkness. There are spells, recipes, astrology, and even blank pages for the new owner to include their own notes and journal entries. Who wants a copy? Me! And if you do to, then be sure to enter the giveaway below (open to US residences only). Also, remember to pre-order your copy of The Book of Life so you don't miss out on this most anticipated conclusion.

The Book of Life

Pre-order at Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is paid by Amazon when purchases are made through the link above.
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June 5, 2014

One Link that Directs to Amazon Worldwide

by Donna Huber

Do you like to link to Amazon US and UK or other Amazons around the globe? Do you want a concise way to post one link to Amazon that will automatically take your reader to the Amazon in their country? In today's short, but valuable tips post I share a cool link maker.

This is the site you want to bookmark:

Now instead of typing Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon France, etc. you can type Amazon (or whatever word you want to hyperlink to Amazon) and then use the SmartURL to hyperlink it to all the Amazons.

Remember you can sign up to be an Amazon affiliate in every country that offers the program.

On the SmartURL site you will set a default URL. If the visitor's country cannot be determined or is not part of the SmartURL you created, they will be directed to the default URL. I use the US Amazon as my default. Then you will will add the other countries you want to link it. I should warn you that it is a bit time consuming as you have to get each URL, but if you are an affiliate and have readers in other countries it might provide a new finance stream.

By the way it was easy to set up the affiliate accounts for Amazon EU once I did it for Amazon UK. I still need to set up Canada as I have several readers from there.

There you have the handy dandy tip for Thursday.

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June 4, 2014

June New Releases

Are you ready for summer vacation? Your favorite authors aren't taking a break. There a bunch of new releases coming out this month, just in time to be packed for that beach trip you have planned or just for the trip to the pool.

After everything that has happened, Grace moves to the Everglades to live with her grandmother, Birdee, and hang out with old man Rex, Birdee's "friend with benefits". Grace quickly befriends Dylan, Rex's nephew, and Dylan's girlfriend, Sadie, who is a die-hard teen activist. Sadie spends her time leading protests against the roadside zoos that run rampant in Florida with a total disregard for animals or the flimsy law.

One day while out in the marshes of the Everglades, Grace and her friends rescue an abused—and endangered—Florida panther. She and Birdee spend time rehabilitating the animal. But when the panther runs off, Grace follows it to Uncle Bob's, a large roadside zoo they all have been protesting. One that is illegally filled with a variety of endangered and exotic animals. Before she can rescue the panther, she and her friends are kidnapped by the ruthless owner and dragged deep into the Everglades for a hunting challenge. 

Only this time, Grace is the prey. 

During a sick game of cat and mouse, Grace and her friends are offered one chance at survival, but only if they reach civilization before being caught. With a small head start and very little supplies, only time and skill stand between the hunter and the hunted. But out in the Everglades, there may be more dangers than Grace realizes.

Against all odds, Grace must make it out alive and win, or everything she holds dear could be lost.

Available June 3
Buy Unstoppable at Amazon

Hide Tight
Six years ago, Dewayne Falco's life changed. He lost someone he never expected to lose. Resigned to punish himself for something he felt he could have prevented, he goes through life without getting too close to anyone.

What he didn't expect was for the girl across the street to move back home and remind him of what they both lost: Dewayne's younger brother Dustin. However, when a miniature version of Dustin opens the door to greet him, Dewayne realizes he might not have lost everything after all.

Sienna Roy loved Dustin Falco most of her life. He was the boy next door, the high school basketball star and her best friend. But when his life was cut short, she realized he left a part of himself behind.

Now, she's back in Sea Breeze, thankful to have a home for her and Dustin's son, but not sure if she can ever forgive the people across the street who abandoned her when she needed them the most — The Falcos.

Betrayal, lies, and forbidden attraction might end Dewayne and Sienna's story before it's even begun.

Available June 3
Buy Hold Tight at Amazon

The year was 1942, there was a war on, and Adam was having a lot of trouble avoiding the attention of some important people. The kind of people with guns, and ways to make a fella disappear. He was caught somewhere between the mob and the government, and the only way out involved a red-haired dame he was pretty sure he couldn't trust.

In Hard-Boiled Immortal , the second adventure in The Immortal Chronicles Adam has to figure out how to survive wartime from the quiet corner of a bar in Chicago... if he can.

Available June 9
Buy Hard-boiled Immortal at Amazon

"My name is Nyah and I'm a hacker. I know things most people would never believe. Things that shouldn't exist, but do." 

Seventeen year old Nyah Parks is a genius hacker who makes a living by cracking the firewalls of the world's largest corporations. But when the biggest job of her life goes wrong she's plunged into a desperate situation with only one way out: one last hack that will either save her or kill her. So begins Hacker, a modern day parable that examines the staggering world around us, the seen and unseen, and reminds us that there's far more to who we are than meets the eye.

Available June 10
Buy Hacker at Amazon

The Matchmaker
A touching new novel from Elin Hilderbrand in which a dying woman sets out to find love for those closest to her - before it's too late

Dabney Kimball Beech, the 48-year-old fifth generation Nantucketer, has had a lifelong gift of matchmaking (52 couples still together to her credit). But when Dabney discovers she is dying of pancreatic cancer, she sets out to find matches for a few people very close to home: her husband, celebrated economist John Boxmiller Beech; her lover journalist Clendenin Hughes; and her daughter, Agnes, who is engaged to be married to the wrong man.

As time slips away from Dabney, she is determined to find matches for those she loves most - but at what cost to her own relationships? THE MATCHMAKER is the heartbreaking new novel from Elin Hilderbrand about losing and finding love, even as you're running out of time.

Available June 10
Buy The Matchmaker at Amazon

That Night
As a teenager, Toni Murphy had a life full of typical adolescent complications: a boyfriend she adored, a younger sister she couldn't relate to, a strained relationship with her parents, and classmates who seemed hell-bent on making her life miserable. Things weren't easy, but Toni could never have predicted how horrific they would become until her younger sister was brutally murdered one summer night.

Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were convicted of the murder and sent to prison.

Now thirty-four, Toni is out on parole and back in her hometown, struggling to adjust to a new life on the outside. Prison changed her, hardened her, and she’s doing everything in her power to avoid violating her parole and going back. This means having absolutely no contact with Ryan, avoiding fellow parolees looking to pick fights, and steering clear of trouble in all its forms. But nothing is making that easy—not Ryan, who is convinced he can figure out the truth; not her mother, who doubts Toni's innocence; and certainly not the group of women who made Toni's life hell in high school and may have darker secrets than anyone realizes. No matter how hard she tries, ignoring her old life to start a new one is impossible. Before Toni can truly move on, she must risk everything to find out what really happened that night.

But the truth might be the most terrifying thing of all.

Available June 17
Buy That Night at Amazon

Top Secret Twenty One
Catch a professional assassin: top priority. Find a failure-to-appear and collect big bucks: top score. How she’ll pull it all off: top secret.

Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find a clue to the suspected killer’s whereabouts. These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures. So Stephanie is going to have to do something she really doesn’t want to do: protect former hospital security guard and general pain in her behind Randy Briggs. Briggs was picking up quick cash as Poletti’s bookkeeper and knows all his boss’s dirty secrets. Now Briggs is next on Poletti’s list of people to put six feet under.

To top things off, Ranger—resident security expert and Stephanie’s greatest temptation—has been the target of an assassination plot. He’s dodged the bullet this time, but if Ranger wants to survive the next attempt on his life, he’ll have to enlist Stephanie’s help and reveal a bit more of his mysterious past.

Death threats, highly trained assassins, highly untrained assassins, and Stark Street being overrun by a pack of feral Chihuahuas are all in a day’s work for Stephanie Plum. The real challenge is dealing with her Grandma Mazur’s wild bucket list. A boob job and getting revenge on Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella can barely hold a candle to what’s number one on the list—but that’s top secret.

Available June 17
Buy Top Secret Twenty-One at Amazon

Cracks in the Armor
Chris, a sexy tattoo artist, tries to win the heart of Sarah, a grad student with little interest in him, in this second e-short and follow-up to Helena Hunting’s gripping love story, Clipped Wings—“twisted, dark, incredibly erotic…a love story like no other” (USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton).

Part owner of the Chicago tattoo shop Inked Armor, Chris Zelter is a talented artist who decorates skin with gorgeous designs. He might look the part of the typical jacked-up, inked-up bad-boy, but underneath is a fiercely loyal, complicated man. Kicked out at sixteen, Chris has had to fend for himself for the last twelve years, making his Inked Armor crew as much family as they are business partners. For him, it’s enough—until he meets Sarah Adamson.

A grad student waitressing at the local strip club, Sarah is used to propositions and crude comments. The job is a means to an end—finish her MBA, pay off the tuition loans, and get a good job. Then she won’t have to rely on anyone to take care of her. So when brawny, tatted up Chris begins hanging out at the club, she rebuffs his advances. At first. But Chris isn’t like her usual clientele: despite his hard exterior, he’s almost…sweet. 

Sometimes, the people with the roughest edges have the biggest hearts.

Available June 23
Buy Cracks in the Armor at Amazon

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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June 3, 2014

Review: Phantom Bigfoot Strikes Again by Simon Okill

by Claire Rees

Phantom Bigfoot Strikes Again
Ever wonder what it would be like to be a Bigfoot?

In Phantom Bigfoot Strikes Again, Simon Okill writes a delightful tale about the little town of ‘Beaver’ where a local teenager Duane keeps the police busy and the local tourist attractions alive by pretending to be a bigfoot and pulling silly pranks on tourists and the townspeople.

Behind all of these pranks Duane has been appointed the guardian of the forest by the Bigfoot elders. His job is to protect the forest and its animals but also to hide any evidence that the real Bigfoots live there.

And now with the reward for a picture of a real Bigfoot being put up, it makes Duane’s job even harder as the forest is now full of hunters and tourists looking for the picture to make them rich.

Buy Phantom Bigfoot Strikes Again at Amazon

When a local boy goes missing in the woods, the local police are called but the acting sheriff does not take it too serious as the boy pulls these kinds of disappearances a lot. When he has been missing a few days they have no choice but to call the FBI and once again Duane has to scramble to protect the Bigfoot community and their secret.

A wonderful cast of characters, Phantom Bigfoot Strikes Again by Simon Okill was funny in places but I did start to worry when people were getting to close to the real Bigfoot.

I recommend this to all who love lighthearted books about mythical creatures.

Read a Sample:

Book Info
format: ebook
published: December 2013 
source: Author
read: May 2013

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the links above. SmartURL is used to direct readers to Amazon US, UK, and EU. A free book was provided for the review.
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June 2, 2014

Interview with Kate Marie Robbins

by Heather Kirchhoff

What made you decide to start writing? Was this something you always thought you’d do?

I’ve always been a poet for as long as I can remember. I started when I was about 13. For a long time that’s all I wrote. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started writing something else. It was actually a song that sparked my first novel. Things just started to flow then. So no, it wasn’t something I always thought I’d do. It kind of just happened. I wouldn’t have it any other way now.

How do you come up with your characters or story ideas? 

I get my ideas from a lot of places. Songs, real life experiences, shows and movies I watch, other books I read, and more recently, my dreams.

How do you get inspired to write? 

My friends and family. They are my biggest inspiration. And music.

What do you do while having writers block?

I either have a long chat with my brother or my boyfriend about what is going on in my book and usually explaining and bouncing ideas off them generates word flow again. Also, if that doesn’t work, I either read or work on something else artistic.

What kind of stories do you write? 

My main forte is fantasy, but I don’t limit myself to that. Wherever my ideas take me, that’s what I write about. At present, I’ve written fantasy, non-fiction, paranormal, horror, and fairy tale. I have ideas for dystopian and science fiction novels as well.

Who’s your favorite author(s)? 

That is a hard question, because there are so many amazing authors out there. To adequately answer this, I’m going to have to break it down into three categories: classic, contemporary, and indie.

Classic: Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare, Sir Conan Doyle, Knut Hamsun, Franz Kafka, Robert Lewis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, to name a few.

Contemporary: L.A. Meyer, Mark Hodder, George R.R. Martin, Bruce Coville

Indie: L.L. Hunter, Bree Vanderland, Gwen Selix, Renee Jean, Yvonne K. Anderson, Konstanz Silverbow, Heather Kirchhoff

Buy Indigo at Amazon

How long have you been writing? 

Books, about 4 years or so.

What are your stories about? 

Indigo (book 1 of the Lazulis Trilogy): Ava is your typical teenage girl, hoping to spend her summer doing the usual: shopping, concerts, skateboarding, and hanging out with her friends. Her best friend Sera has other plans for them, learning how fly her uncle Mat’s hot air balloon. Their first solo flight turns out to be the adventure of a lifetime.

By magical forces, they are pulled into a world that is unlike their own: the world of Indigo, steeped in myths, legends, and prophecy. Where nothing is what it seems, and where good and evil are not easily distinguished. Will the two teens be able to figure out whose side they are really on before it’s too late and find their way home?

You Belong to Me: Emaline has moved halfway across the country with her parents, for her senior year of high school. She isn't exactly thrilled about it, but she's decided to make the best of it. She makes fast friends with Victoria, the girl chosen to show her around her new school.Victoria, upon realizing the house in which Emaline has moved into, tells her about what happened to the boy who lived there before her. Koah committed suicide. Not only that, but the locker she now uses was his, and the bedroom she sleeps in.She tries to make the best of things and live a normal life, until the people she's closest to start dying under mysterious circumstances. Emaline alone holds the power to stop these deaths. If only she can figure it out in time.

Aine's Freedom
Aine’s Freedom (Book 1 of the Chasing Rainbows Series): Leprechauns don't exist. At least that's what Hugh and Oliver believe. On their most recent geocaching excursion, Hugh insists they chase after the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, not believing that they will find anything. They cannot believe what they find. Not only do they find the pot of gold, but they meet Aine, who is on a quest to prove herself worthy of the leprechaun name.

Hugh and Oliver are in for the ride of their lives. Steeped in myths and legends that they didn't even believe could be true.

Buy Aine's Freedom at Amazon

Rock & Roll Saved My Soul (an anthology I put together for charity): Has music had a positive impact on you? Changed your life? Or even saved you? For us, it has.In this book, you will find a collection of stories, letters, and poetry about how music has personally changed our lives. Each story is unique, each story is true. Filled with emotion, passion, and love for the bands and songs that have touched our lives. All proceeds from this book will be donated to Rock the Cause. Rock the Cause is a Minnesota based charity that use the power of music, community, and social media to create a new generation of stewardship for other non-profit causes.

What are you currently working on? 

I am in the editing stage on a Lazulis novella, called Anguish. I am also in the editing stage of another Rock & Roll Saved My Soul anthology, called Random Acts of Kindness. Along with those, I am currently writing book 2 of the Lazulis trilogy, and am working on illustrations for a short story called Gail & the Rose.

What do you do when not writing?

I do cover art both freelance and for Pure Ice Publishing, as well as work another job at a nursing home. Outside of work, I like to spend my time reading, spending time with my boyfriend, friends, and family, drawing/painting, and going to concerts

About the Author
From the makings of her fabulous tennis hits, from the inspiration of her waggish pets, from the riotous air of Minnesota, comes Kate Marie Robbins...
She lives in a VERY small town in southeastern Minnesota with her family and her three pets. She is currently working in a nursing home but has for long dreamed of being a published author- which since you are reading this, has come true. She likes to read, sing, paint and is very proud of her music & book collections. She also wants to travel the world. When she travels the world of Indigo, she would like to learn sword fighting from Bradan, or be a tailor.
Kate once waited to get into a concert for ten hours, in a snow storm. She dyes her hair a different color every few months, and once went to Walmart wearing a black cape and cat ears. She never got into trouble at school, and has not yet achieved her ambition of drinking her way through all twelve pubs pictured on her Irish calendar. 
Facebook  *  Charity Page  *  Goodreads

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate. Amazon pays a small fee when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. Smarturl is used to direct readers to Amazon in US, UK, and EU. Views, opinions, and beliefs expressed by guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads.

June 1, 2014

Two Cents Discussion: What Makes a Book a Classic

I've been writing discussion type posts all week for Armchair BEA, so I'm just going to delve right in with today's topic:

What Makes a Book a Classic?

Often we equate literature with classic, but as we saw last week during day one of Armchair BEA that literature means any written word. Yeah, Fifty Shades of Grey is literature. But there are books we all agree are classics, however, when I think "classic" I think of all the books I read in high school.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

That's just a few of the titles that come to mind when I think "classic". All of those titles were published in the 1800s. Does classic mean old?

Not necessarily, there are a number of titles from the 1900s that we think of as classics.

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
1984 by George Orwell

But we are still looking at books more than 50 years old. Can a book published in the last decade be a classic? A number of people think Harry Potter is a classic. Will Hunger Games or Divergent become a classic? They are both very popular. Does popularity make a book a classic?

I'm not sure if popularity is enough of a reason for a book to be a classic. Look at Twilight and the a fore mentioned Fifty Shades of Grey they were/are huge hits. Twilight inspired many to try writing and they have become successful authors. But I don't think it will be a classic.

Definitely I believe that the writing style and storytelling abilities of the author play a part in a book becoming a classic. But looking at my list of classics there also seems to be a theme to them. The all provide commentary on culture or society; usually there is a character that goes against the rules or at least pushes the boundaries.

What do you think makes a book a classic? Bonus - What books today do you think might become classics?

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