Readers' Favorite

October 17, 2014

October New Releases pt. 2

October is full to the brim with new releases. There are so many great books coming out this month that I had to break it up into 2 posts (see part 1 here). And I'm sure I'm missing some wonderful new reads, so if you have a new book out this month feel free to drop a link to it in the comments.

Stories of My Life
From her childhood in China to the moment she won her first National Book Award, literary icon Katherine Paterson shares the personal stories that inspired her children’s books.

Told with her trademark humor and heart, Paterson's tales reveal details about her life from her childhood with missionary parents, to living as a single woman in Japan, to raising four children in suburban Maryland with her minister husband. Read about the origins of such familiar characters as Leslie Burke and Janice Avery from Bridge to Terabithia, and go behind the scenes to the moments Katherine found out she won her many awards. Filled with personal photos and letters, this funny, heartwarming history from a legendary writer lets fans in on the making of literary classics.

Available October 16
Buy Stories of My Life at Amazon

Shopaholic to the Stars
Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) has stars in her eyes. She and her daughter, Minnie, have joined husband Luke in LA—city of herbal smoothies, multimillion-dollar yoga retreats, and the lure of celebrity. Luke is there to help manage the career of famous actress Sage Seymour—and Becky is convinced she is destined to be Sage’s personal stylist, and go from there to every A-list celebrity in Hollywood! But things become complicated when Becky joins the team of Sage’s archrival. How will charming and supportive Luke deal with this conflict? Is it possible that what Becky wants most will end up hurting those she loves most? Shopaholic fans old and new will devour Sophie Kinsella’s newest adventure!

Available October 21
Buy Shopaholic to the Stars at Amazon

Until the End
The backstory that fans have been clamoring for—how Rock and Trisha fell in love—is the final installment in the Sea Breeze series from New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines. And don’t miss the sizzling Epilogue, where Abbi wraps up all the Sea Breeze couples’ stories!

Trisha Corbin always knew how to hide a bruise. With her momma’s boyfriends unable to keep their hands off of her, she had no choice. And as long as it meant the guys wouldn’t go near her little brother, Krit, it was worth it. But her days of dreaming that Prince Charming would ever come rescue her are far, far in the past.

Rock Taylor always had a plan. Through football, he would rise above the life he was born into. A full ride to play for a major college team was within his reach—assuming he didn’t let anything get in his way. But scoring a date with the hottest girl in Sea Breeze was proving harder than expected. Trisha Corbin was every man’s walking fantasy, and she wouldn’t even glance his way. 

When Rock finally does get Trisha in his truck, it isn’t for a date. It’s because he picks her up on the side of the road, beaten and bruised and walking to the local hospital. Before Rock knows it, football is no longer his life. Trisha Corbin is. And he’ll do anything to save her. And keep her.

In addition to Rock and Trisha’s love story, this special novel contains the wrap-up stories of all your favorite Sea Breeze couples: Sadie and Jax, Marcus and Low, Cage and Eva, Preston and Amanda, Jess and Jason, Krit and Blythe, and Dewayne and Sienna.

Available October 28
Buy Until the End at Amazon

AD 30
A sweeping epic set in the harsh deserts of Arabia and ancient Palestine.

A war that rages between kingdoms on the earth and in the heart.

The harrowing journey of the woman at the center of it all.

Step back in time to the year of our Lord...A.D. 30.

The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father's warriors--Saba who speaks more with is sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars. Their journey will be fraught with terrible danger. If they can survive the vast forbidding sands of a desert that is deadly to most, they will reach a brutal world subjugated by kings and emperors. There Maviah must secure an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews. 

But Maviah's path leads her unexpectedly to another man. An enigmatic teacher who speaks of a way in this life which offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, his may be the only way for Maviah to save her people--and herself.

Available October 28
Buy A.D. 30 at Amazon

Kate Kavanagh is happy raising her daughter until the girl transfers to New York for a fantastic job and moves in with her philandering father ….

Madeline Stein is a single Mom whose job defines her so when she loses it, Maddy needs to find something or someone else for fun ….

Portia Kavanagh hits New York with a bang but when she bites the Big Apple, it bites back… 

The three girls find themselves in the very romantic hills of Tuscany where blue skies, rich wine and charming Italians bring a whole new set of problems which they have to maneuver with the grace and style of a Lincoln Lady. With more ups and downs than a Florentine fairground, the women survive love, loss and fresh pasta by laughing at life and using a doggie bag. Come on an adventure and enjoy the ride with the lovely Lincoln Ladies.

Available October 30
Buy Lincoln Ladies at Amazon

So what have I missed? List/link to other new releases in the comments.

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

October 16, 2014

Participating in Book Blog Memes

by Donna Huber

Since I found this book blog meme directory a few weeks ago I've been trying a few out. Memes can be a great way to get inspiration for posts, increase traffic and comments to your blog, and expose your blog to new readers. Yet, memes can be time consuming, lead to lower quality posts, and cause a high bounce rate. Keeping the good and bad in mind I have worked on a strategy to enhance the positives and limit the negatives.

One, tried different memes

By looking over the list from the meme directory, I identified several I had not participated in before (or had not participated in for a while) and I could easily plan ahead to add into my scheduled posts. I used It's Monday! What are you reading?; First Chapter, First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros; WWW Wednesdays; Book Beginnings on Friday; and the Friday 56. By participating new to me memes I gained exposure to a new audience of bloggers. I recognized a few bloggers, but for the most part this was our first encounter with each other. I have gained new followers on Twitter and Google+.

Two, used different days and limited posts to one or two memes a week.

As I chose memes that were tied to a specific day of the week it helped to vary which memes I did each week. And limiting how many memes I did each week so that my readers wouldn't think "another meme" (said in that bored teenager voice). If you have ever participated in a blog meme you know one of the expectations is to visit other participating blogs and leaving comments. Again, if I did a meme each day of the week then I would be leaving a LOT of comments. I struggle to visit 10 blogs and leave comments a week, I wouldn't have time to do my own blogging (not to mention my other life commitments) if I did a meme every day and had to visit all those blogs. Even only doing 1 a week I don't always get to all the blogs participating, though I always shoot to visit the ones that visit my blog as well as 10 other participating bloggers.

Three, paired the meme with a review.

The Tuesday and Friday memes most lent themselves to being paired with a review. By pairing them with some of my regular content, the new visitors get a look at what my blog has to offer without having to sift through past posts. Yes, this means that my bounce rate may increase because they only have to visit the one post. But the time spent on the site might be a longer as they read through the review and not just the meme. It also increases the quality (presumably) of the post. It also looks good to the author/publisher that people are leaving comments on the post. I would like to branch out to pairing a meme with a guest post. Word of caution though, I don't want to stray too far from the spirit of the meme. I don't want to seem like I'm just using the meme to draw numbers to my blog or bringing visitors here under false pretenses. That is why I used the excerpt memes (book beginnings, The Friday 56) because added excerpts and teasers to a review enhances a review for those coming to the post for the review and it gives those coming for the post for the teasers a little more info on the book, which makes it easier to write a comment.

If you are interested in doing a meme/guest post pairing, let me know. I'm also looking for guest posts (Top 10 list, article, or interview) for a Halloween themed week. So any horror or supernatural/paranormal thriller authors interested should also send me an email.

October 15, 2014

Review: Anabel Divided by Amanda Romine Lynch

by Claire Rees

I was so excited to get Anabel Divided by Amanda Romine Lynch that as soon as it downloaded to my Kindle I opened it up straight away and started reading.  I was glued to my seat by the end of the second page and have now become slightly obsessed with the lives of Anabel and Jared.  

This book starts a few years after Anabel Unraveled ends, Anabel, Matt and Jared have moved to Florida where Anabel has chosen to go to college and try to live a normal college life. But Anabel being Anabel will never have a normal life. Her feelings for Jared once again leave her feeling confused and come between Anabel and Matt causing a lot of heart break in their relationship.  Anabel seems quite happy at college and seems to be doing well in her classes and with Jared living so close and able to see Emma on a regular basis things seem to be going well, until we learn that Matt was unable to get a job close to home and had to move away for work and his jealousy starts to cause problems.

With Anabel trying to juggle college, her daughter Emma, Jared and her failing relationship with Matt, this is once again a highly emotional story that kept me captivated from the first chapter.

We see some old characters making appearances, Meghan and Kevin’s wedding was lovely,  but we also get to meet some new characters, friends of Anabel’s from college, and her new professors and I felt it was nice for Anabel to lead somewhat of a normal life and have people other than Jared and Matt to talk to.

Again Anabel Divided is full to the brim with emotion.  Plus with Anabel getting into all sorts of trouble, this story will definitely keep you entertained and begging for more in the life of Anabel and Jared. This is one of those books that I would love to see get turned into a tv series. I feel that Lynch writes the characters and storylines so well that by the end of the book you can’t help but feel invested in the characters and you will love them, good or bad.  

I would recommend this to all who love a good love story, with its ups and downs and life lessons included. It will make you laugh, cry and scream out loud in frustration at the characters but at the end it will turn into a series you will love.

Buy Anabel Divided at Amazon

Book Info
Available formats: ebook and print (276 pages)
Published: October 2014 by eLectio Publishing
ISBN13: 978-1632130563
Genres: chicklit, romance
Audience: New adult
Source: Author
Read: October 2014

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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. A free ebook was provided for this review.

October 14, 2014

Review: Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli

by Donna Huber

First Chapter, First Paragraph is a weekly meme hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea.


First Chapter, First Paragraph

No matter what trouble he stirs up, what law he breaks, Obidiah Bounds will always be her cool sip of hyssop nectar on a sunny day. Mia knew Obidiah was hers the first time she laid eyes on him. She had to be about three, which would have made him five. You could call it puppy love, a crush, good old infatuation, but the feeling has never died. He didn't start out dark and broody, prone to gloominess on the clearest of blue-sky days. He was shy as a youth, that's true, but he was not angry - not at that age. That's the thing about knowing someone your entire life. You have a common history; it binds, provides a depth that new friendships, new loves, can never create. It lets two folks be in the room together without having to explain their silences. Or their passions.

The Review

In my effort to dwindle down my review pile,  I picked up Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli. I wasn't sure what I would think about the book. It is billed for fans of The Help, but I didn't really care all that much for the audio book or movie. But Glow featured an 11 year old girl and I though maybe I would like it a bit more.

"A bit more" would be an understatement. I really enjoyed Glow, which is saying a lot for being southern fiction.

I do have to say that there wasn't so much of a plot to the story and I think that might be what I liked the most. It was like when you sit around at a family reunion and people get to telling stories and a mention on one person in a story leads you to another story further back and so forth. It was fun to see how everyone was connected and a look at the life of minorities from the sixties back into the 1800s. And it wasn't just blacks and slaves, but also the Native American population. And in true southern legend fashion there is even a bit of the supernatural thrown in.

I'm not so sure about the ending. I hate to admit but I don't think I understood what happened. Or maybe it is because what I think might have happen is not the end I wanted so it is more disbelief that misunderstanding. Have you read Glow? If so, let me know so I can you what you think happened.

If you are a fan of oral histories, family sagas, historical fiction, southern lit, then you will want to pick up Glow by Jessica Maria Tucelli.

Buy Glow at Amazon

Book Info
Available formats: ebook, audio, print (336 pages)
Published: February 2013 by Penguin Books
ISBN13: 9780143122920
Genres: historical fiction, southern lit
Audience: adult
Source: publisher
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 paperback was provided for this review.

October 13, 2014

Official Tour: Anabel Divided by Amanda Romine Lynch

The highly anticipated sequel to Anabel Unraveled by Amanda Romine Lynch is now available. For the next two weeks you can learn more about Amanda, Anabel, and the book Anabel Divided by following the tour. PLUS you get a chance to win a signed paperback of Anabel Unraveled or $25 Amazon gift card.

Tour Schedule:

October 13 Tour Kick off  - Girl Who Reads
October 14 My Devotional Thoughts Top 10 Songs
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 Anabel's Top 10 Favorite Books
October 18 Renaissance Woman Review and Guest Post
October 19 Karen Pokras Top 10 Things Amanda Loves that Influenced Anabel Divided
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 Finding a critique partner
October 24 Fresh Pot of Tea Excerpt
October 25 BookHeathens Review and Excerpt
October 26 Tyrneathem Review and Excerpt
October 27 Get to know the author

About the Book

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.

Learn more about Anabel Unraveled at Goodreads.

Buy Anabel Divided at Amazon

About the Author

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.

Facebook  *  Twitter  *  website

Enter the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made through Amazon through the above link. The Anabel Divided Tour is a GWR Publicity promotional event paid for by the author.