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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...

September 26, 2014

Review: The Tin Man by @NinaMasonAuthor

by Claire Rees

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice. Flip to page 56 or go to 56% on your eReader and share a few lines.

This week's selection comes from The Tin Man by Nina Mason

The Tin Man

The 56% tease:
Not only had the targets escaped, they had also ruined his clients custom van – failures for which he would be made to answer. Worst yet he had been bested by a woman- something his male ego refused to allow. Someday he would catch that Kurva and make her pay. No woman was going to make him look foolish.

The Review:

Alex Buchanan, reporter, finds getting a cup of coffee saves his life as the rest of his team gets assassinated when he visits the coffee shop on a floor below his office and just barely escapes from the killer himself. Forced into a web of conspiracy and lies Alex teams up with Thea, a woman from his past, the woman he calls the ‘ ball buster’.  Whilst police look for the killer more and more people in the newspaper world are being murdered and it seems the only person who can help Thea and Buchanan unravel this mystery and stop the murders is Thea’s Grandfather. After finding her grandfathers home empty they receive a mystery phone call off another man from Thea’s past claiming he knows something about her grandfather’s whereabouts and the plot thickens even more. Every person Buchanan and Thea met or spoke to on the telephone kept me wondering if that person was the killer. They find themselves travelling across country hoping to find Theas grandfather alive and well and able to help them find the murderer.

I really enjoyed this book and easily got swept away in all the fast paced action.  There is a lot of betrayal, mystery and lies that will keep the reader intrigued.  . A real page turner, I started this book one day and finished it the next.  I would recommend The Tin Man by Nina Mason to anyone who loves a political thriller with lots of action, murder and a little romance.

Buy The Tin Man at Amazon

Book Info
Available formats: ebook and paperback (316 pages)
Published: August 2014 by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
ISBN13: 9781502396976
Genres: Fiction, Political Thriller, Crime
Source: Author
Read: September 2014

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link. A free ebook was provided for this review.

September 25, 2014

Taking a Break

by Donna Huber

Everyone needs a break once in a while and I'm taking a break this week from my weekly tips post. See you next week!

Image is used with permission. Credit: Irene O'Garden

September 24, 2014

Best of September's YA

Illusions of Fate
Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.

Buy Illusions of Fate at Amazon

Made for You
Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.

Buy Made for You at Amazon

The Lies We Tell Ourselves
In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept “separate but equal.”

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

Buy Lies We Tell Ourselves at Amazon

Rites of Passage
Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust...and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.

Buy Rites of Passage at Amazon

"Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion--and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

Buy Jackaby at Amazon

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

September 23, 2014

Review: The Bone Whistle by @KBHoyle_author

by Donna Huber

The Bone Whistle
All good things have to come to an end, right? So it is with The Gateway Chronicles. Last week the last book in this very much loved series came out. It is hard to believe that I was introduced to this series just a month into blogging (3.5 years ago). The first two books in the series were already available so I got to read them back to back. Then I had to wait several months for The White Thread. But then I had to wait a year between the next three. It was like the wait for Harry Potter!

If have been following along with the series, I highly recommend re-reading at least The Scroll, but if you have the time a re-read of the whole series won't hurt. The Bone Whistle jumps right into the story.

Darcy's family has moved to Tennessee and her parents don't want her to go to the camp with the gang. They think Sam, Amelia, Dean, Perry, and Lewis are made influences. In desperation to get back to camp, get back to Tellius, get back to Alitheia, Darcy tells her parents everything. Yeah, that goes over well. Locked in her room she finds an likely ally in her brother, but will she make it back before the gateway closes?

The Bone Whistle was as full of action and totally captivating as the previous 5 books in the series. Yet, there was a slightly different tone for this installment. We the readers know we have to say goodbye to the characters at the end, but with the stakes so high the characters themselves seem to know that goodbyes are coming too.

My only nit to pick with the story was the 8 weeks of wasted story while we waited for Darcy to recover. Don't worry the pages aren't blank, and we don't know until after the fact that 8 weeks past. But I still couldn't help thinking that we could have had 8 more "weeks" with the characters.

It was nice to get glimpse of past characters that had minor but important roles throughout the story. Even the fallen are remembered.

I have to say that KB Hoyle wrote one of the best closing books I have read in quite some time. She wrote it in a way that very much feels like the characters live on, yet the story is complete. Much like how we close a chapter of our lives - the end of high school, the end of college, etc.

If you haven't read this series, or just like to wait for the complete series to be available so you can binge read, now is the time. Forget that it is a Middle Grades/Young Adult series and just delve into this timeless tale of friendship, loyalty, growing up, doing what is right, and love. (If I was twenty years younger I would so be swooning over Tellius).

Buy The Bone Whistle at Amazon

Book info:
available formats: ebook and paperback (372 pages)
Published: September 2014 by The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
ISBN13: 9781612132792
Genres: fantasy, coming of age, middle grades/young adult
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Read: August 2014

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made through the above link. A free egalley was provided for this review.

September 22, 2014

It's Monday! This is what we are reading

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey. Take a peak at what Claire and Donna are reading this week.

Claire's reading list:

Zombie Fallout
Audio Book: Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo

Zombie Fallout It was a flu season like no other. With fears of contracting the H1N1 virus running rampant throughout the country, people lined up in droves to try an attain one of the coveted vaccines. What was not known, was the effect this largely untested, rushed to market, inoculation was to have on the unsuspecting throngs. Within days, feverish folk throughout the country, convulsed, collapsed and died, only to be re-born. With a taste for brains, blood and bodies, these modern day zombies scoured the lands for their next meal. Overnight the country became a killing ground for the hordes of zombies that ravaged the land. This is the story of Michael Talbot, his family and his friends. This is their story a band of ordinary people just trying to get by in these extra-ordinary times. When disaster strikes, Mike a self-proclaimed survivalist, does his best to ensure the safety and security of those he cares for. Book 1 - Of the Zombie Fall-Out Trilogy, follows our lead character in his self-deprecating, sarcastic best. What he encounters along the way leads him down a long dark road always skirting on the edge of insanity. Can he keep his family safe? Can he discover the secret behind Tommy's powers? Can he save anyone from the zombie Queen? - A zombie that seems by all accounts to have some sort of hold over the zombies and Mike himself. Encircled in a seemingly safe haven called Little Turtle, Mike and his family together with the remnants of a tattered community while not fighting each other, fight against a relentless, ruthless, unstoppable force. This last bastion of civilization has made its final stand. God help them all.

Buy Zombie Fallout at Amazon

The Tin Man
eBook - The Tin Man by Nina Mason

The last thing Alex Buchanan, the editor-in-chief of a formidable news site, expects as he looks around the newsroom at the bodies of his editors, is that he’ll soon be teaming up with The Ball Buster to solve the crime and stay alive. Well, maybe not the last thing. The last thing he expects is to fall for her or any other woman. Because he’s The Tin Man–a suit of armor without a heart.

Or so he believes…

The Ball Buster is his private nickname for Thea Hamilton, a smart, gutsy, and insecure investigative reporter for The New York News, America’s newspaper of record. They went out once years ago–an unmitigated disaster during which she jumped all over his case about smoking.

When events force them together, they embark on an emotion-charged, high-octane quest for the truth, ending up in bed, but also in the clutches of a sociopathic corporate raider. “Zeus” is obsessed with James Bond and owns a hardcore S & M club in an old fallout shelter. Is he the killer? And, if so, what’s his motive? What he hopes to gain by torturing the journalists is clearer: the proof they’ve uncovered of a corporate takeover scheme that threatens the future of democracy. And he’ll stop at nothing to get it.

Buy The Tin Man at Amazon

Designated Infected
Paperback - Designated Infected by Ricky Cooper

A plague is sweeping the globe, the Infected lay waste to all in their path, in their desperate bid to satisfy the ravaging hunger that slowly eats away at them. A team of elite Soldiers run by the British Royal Family and aided by their compatriots from around the world, are all that stands between it and the complete annihilation of not only Great Britain but ultimately all mankind. Will they stem the tide of blood threatening to drown the world, or like every one else, will they end up, Designated Infected.

Buy Designated Infected at Amazon

Donna's reading list

Command Authority
Audio Book - Command Authority by Tom Clancy

Decades ago, when he was a young CIA analyst, President Jack Ryan, Sr. was sent on what was supposed to be a simple support mission to investigate the death of an operative who had been looking into suspicious banking activities at a Swiss bank. Ryan's dogged tenacity uncovered not only financial deceit, but also the existence of a KGB assassin, code-named Zenith. He was never able to find the killer. But in the shadowy world of covert operations, nothing stays hidden forever. In the present, a new strongman has emerged in the ever-chaotic Russian republic -- the enigmatic President Valeri Volodin. His rise to power was meteoric, but shrouded in deception and treachery. The foundations of his personal empire are built on a bloody secret from his past, and he will eliminate anyone who comes close to that truth. For he has set in motion a plot to return Russia to its former glory and might, with the rest of the world once again trembling in fear of the mighty Bear. When an old friend of the Ryans is poisoned by a radioactive agent, the trail leads to Russia. And Jack Ryan, Jr. -- aided by his compatriots John Clark and the covert warriors of the secretive Campus -- must delve into an international conflict thirty years in the making, and finish what his father started.

Buy Command Authority at Amazon

Tin Lily
eBook - Tin Lily by Joann Swanson

Just because you survive doesn’t mean you’re alive.

One moment fifteen-year-old Lily Berkenshire is sitting in her bedroom, favorite song blaring through her earbuds, history book open on her lap. The next, her alcoholic father is shooting and killing her mother. Then he’s pointing the gun at Lily and pulling the trigger. Click. He’s out of bullets.

For now.

When she moves to Seattle to live with her aunt, Lily retreats into peaceful, dissociative trances to escape the shattered nightmare that is her life. Soon, though, she discovers a beautiful boy who wants to take her out, a therapist who wants to help her heal and new friends who believe she can find wholeness again.

But her father wants something else entirely. He is hunting her and unless Lily confronts and heals the devastation inside her, she’ll forfeit her life to a father determined to end it.

From the first shot to the final, terrifying showdown, Tin Lily is an edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller.

Buy Tin Lily at Amazon

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing
Hardcover - The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by P.D. Viner

Twenty years ago, college student Dani Lancing was kidnapped and brutally murdered. The killer was never found, and the case has long gone cold. Her parents, Patty and Jim, were utterly devastated, their marriage destroyed. While Jim fell apart, Patty was consumed by the unsolved case. She abandoned her journalism career and her marriage to spend every waking hour searching and plotting. She keeps contact with Tom, Dani's childhood sweetheart, who has become a detective intent on solving murders like Dani's. When he finds a lead that seems ironclad, he brings Patty in on it. After years of dead ends, her obsession is rekindled, and she will do anything for revenge, even become a killer herself-dragging her whole family into the nightmare once again, as lies and secrets are uncovered.

Buy The Last Winter of Dani Lancing at Amazon

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

September 21, 2014

Bloggers Wanted: New Adult Blog Tour

The sequel to new adult mystery Anabel Unraveled will be released by Electio Publishing on October 7 and Amanda Romine Lynch will be heading out on a virtual tour October 13 through October 27. She would love to visit your blog to talk about Anabel Divided. Sign up form is below.

About Anabel Divided

Anabel Martin thought that the resolution of her father's murder would bring a resolution to her problems. After all, she was starting life over in a new place, with new friends, and new adventures, focusing on attending college and raising her daughter free from the distractions of Washington, DC. She was ready to move on.

But a trip back to the District for Meghan's wedding stirs up old feelings and brings new life to old relationships. Matt is cold and distant, while Jared is caring and attentive. A woman from Matt's past, a bold public flirtation, and Anabel's desire to be truly loved lead her to a crossroads...and her final decision leaves her with more questions than answers.

Tour details:
  • There will be a tour wide giveaway that includes 3 prizes - 2 signed paperbacks of Anabel Unraveled and 1 $25 Amazon gift card.
  • Participating bloggers can get a digital review copy of Anabel Unraveled as well as an e-ARC of Anabel Divided (available the week of Sept. 22)
  • Bloggers can choose to do a review, guest post, or interview (with either Amanda or a character from the book)
Tour Schedule:

October 13
October 14 My Devotional Thoughts Top 10 List
October 15 Girl Who Reads Claire Reviews
October 16 What Shall We Blog About? Book Promo
October 17 Lindsay and Jane's Views and Reviews Top 10 List
October 18 Renaissance Woman Review and Excerpt
October 19
October 20 Library Girl Reads & Reviews Review
October 21 Rayborn Rambles Review
October 22 Rise of the Slush Character Interview
October 23 Ali's Bookshelf Author Guest Post
October 24 Fresh Pot of Tea Excerpt
October 25 Book Heathens Review and Excerpt
October 26 Tyrneathem Review and Excerpt
October 27

About Amanda Romine Lynch

Amanda Romine Lynch is a writer, editor, and blogger who grew up in Florida knowing she belonged somewhere else. She now lives in the DC Metro Area with her husband and three amazing little boys. She is the Eco-Friendly/Green Living Contributor over at the Prime Parents’ Club and strives to live earth friendly in a world of disposable diapers. When not writing about Anabel and Jared or chasing around a curly-haired boy, she cheers for the Gators (in all kinds of weather) and occasionally remembers to sleep.

Sign up for the tour!

The Anabel Divided Tour is paid GWR Publicity promotional event.