Readers' Favorite

December 26, 2014

Review: The Practice Proposal by Tracy March

by Donna Huber

The Practice Proposal

Again, he felt guilty about involving her in Frank's scheme. She had shown up and worn his team's colors. For some reason it reminded him of when she'd hung out and watched him at baseball camp.
"What made you change your mind?" he asked.
She lifted one shoulder. "The tweet you sent last night. The hot dog I had during the game was cooked perfectly." She grinned.
Cole flattened his hand against his chest, pretending to be wounded, "You mean it wasn't my irresistible charm and wit?" (pg 56 on my Nook)

My Review

I read this Christmas Eve and it was great mindless fluff. The story line is predictable: The bad boy baseball player needs to clean up his reputation. Wholesome girl who recently lost her finance wins a date with said player.

I really liked the characters and I'm happy to see that there is a book featuring Liza's best friend Paige. And though it was a predictable plot, there were still some smile worthy moments - like the Pie Wars. I'm not big on sports stories typically, but the baseball backdrop was fun. The rivalry added some fun ribbing. Cole plays for the Washington Nationals and Liza's parents own the Baltimore Orioles.

If you are looking for some fun between the pages of a book, I recommend The Practice Proposal.

Buy The Practice Proposal at Amazon

Book Info
Available formats: ebook (229 pages)
Published: March 2013 by Entangled Bliss
ISBN13: 9781622668762
Genre: romance
Source: Barnes & Noble
Read: December 2014

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

December 25, 2014

Tips of 2014

Merry Christmas! I have a present for you: I've indexed all of this year's tips post into this one handy list. If you missed something or couldn't find a post, here are all the tips that posted this year.

10 Blogging Goals of 2014 - goal setting
Make a Marketing Plan - author marketing
What to Talk About on Social Media - social networking
Pitch Perfect - review pitches
5 Tools for Creating Graphics - images
5 Steps to Marketing Your Blog - blog marketing
I'm NOT a Number and Other Twitter Annoyances - social networking
Embedding Kindle Samples on Your Blog - blogging
Managing Multiple Reviewers - blogging
Should Book Bloggers Charge? - blogging
Blogging To Do List - blogging
Syndication - Good, Duplicate Content - Bad. What to do? - blogging
Great Networking Event - ArmchairBEA - blogging events
Getting Noticed on Facebook - social networking
Getting Books to Review - blogging
Preparing for ArmchairBEA - blogging events
Managing Your Brand - marketing
Final Tips for ArmchairBEA - blogging events
One Link that Directs to Amazon Worldwide - marketing
Finding Time for Reading - blogging
Inbound Marketing for Authors - author marketing
Setting an Editorial Calendar - blogging
Formatting Your Review Posts - blogging
Finding Time To Blog - blogging
Social Media for Your Blog - social networking
5 Book Blogging Topics That Aren't Reviews - blogging
3 Publicity Actions to Take - marketing
Coming Back from a Break - blogging
Image Use: Is it Fair Use? - images
Kathryn Elizabeth Jones: 5 Marketing Tips for the Frantically Busy Author - author marketing
A Challenge for Better Interviews - blogging
When You Don't Feel Like Writing - blogging
What to Write About - blogging
Don't Neglect Facebook - social networking
5 Ways Fan Fiction Can Make You a Better Writer - writing
Participating in Book Blog Memes - blogging
How to Keep the Buzz Going After a Blog Tour - author marketing
Marketing Resources for Horror Writers - author marketing
Finding Time to Write and Marketing - author marketing
Reminder: Make Back Up Copies Regularly - blogging
Facebook Groups for Writers - social networking
Blogging Through the Holidays - blogging
Sam Cheever: How to Rock a Facebook Author Event - social networking

What a lot of topics covered this year. I probably have enough posts now to put together my blogging book, but I still have to do the media kit book. I'm not sure what tips I will bring you in 2015, but I will keep bringing you useful information. If you have suggestions for topics, let me know.

Related articles

December 24, 2014

Audio Books for Holiday Travel

by Donna Huber

The past few months I have been listening to a bunch of audio books from the digital download library. I don't feel like writing full reviews of all the ones I've listened to, but I did want to let you know about them in case you are looking for something to listen to during your holiday travels.

I really enjoyed listening to The Selection series by Kiera Cass. I LOVED Amy Rubinate. It is a fluffy story and quite predictable, but for mindless entertainment it was very good. I listened to it while cleaning the house and it was entertaining enough that I didn't mind the task. If you have older kids in the car, then this would be great for the whole family.

Buy at Amazon: The Selection, The Elite, The One

I'm a big Jack Ryan fan, but this is my first time listening to one. Command Authority focuses on Jack Ryan, Jr, but flashes back to the younger days of Jack Ryan, Sr. It was sometimes confusing as to which time line I was on while listening to the story. It might have been easier to keep them straight had I been reading the book myself. I also though the reader was a little too monotone and hindered the action scenes. Support and Defend features Dominic Caruso, the nephew of Jack Ryan, Sr. We have seen Dominic a few times in other novels, but I don't think I realized he was Jack's nephew. Scott Brick did a much better job of narrating this book. If there are guys and gals in the car, then these would be a great option.

Fans of Kristen Simmons's Article 5 series would enjoy Enclave by Ann Aguirre. There does not seem to be any central government, but individual enclave factions. As such there isn't really an government to rebel against. And truth be told Duece doesn't want to rebel. All she wants to be is a Huntress. Yet as she takes on this new role she can't help but start questioning everything she knows. It doesn't help she is partnered with Fade one not born into the enclave but joined as a young boy. Enclave is the first book in the series, but it is complete enough to be a stand alone. I don't feel compelled to continue with the series. There is some violence, but no more than was in The Hunger Games. If you have kids that are into zombies there are some in the tunnels, though they are called Freaks.

Buy Enclave at Amazon

I only listened to Glow because Spark wasn't available in audio from the digital library. I chose Glow because it is read by Ilyana Kadushin who I absolutely love. This series reminded me of Across the Universe by Beth Revis. There's a third book in this series, but I don't think I'm going to read it. Glow was enjoyable as an audio book, Spark was a bit more of chore to read myself. I probably would have enjoyed it in audio because I would have been doing something else while listening. Again this would make a good choice for a family traveling together.

Buy at Amazon: Glow and Spark

The Silver Lining Playbook

I haven't seen the movie though I meant to because I love Bradley Cooper, so when I saw the audio book of The Silver Lining Playbook was available I thought I would give it a try. I thought it would be a romantic comedy, but it really wasn't. But it was interesting and I'm glad I listened to it as it is mostly told from the journal of the main character. I've heard that the movie is different from the book, so this might be a good choice for a car-full of adult regardless if they have seen the movie or not.

Buy The Silver Lining Playbook at Amazon

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

December 23, 2014

Review: A Match Made in Mystery by @JB_Lynn_author

by Donna Huber

A Match Made in Mystery
Prologue"I need to talk to you."
Brady barely heard the woman over the music being spun by the wedding DJ. He bent closer to the vivacious Latina. "Sorry, didn't quite catch that."
"I said I need to talk to you. It's important."
Although they'd never spoken, Brady knew who the woman was. Everyone attending the wedding knew she was Armani Vasquez, the matchmaker who'd put his friend Tom together with his new bride, Jane.
As a rule, Brady scoffed at the idea of a matchmaker, but even he had to admit that Tom and Jane were a perfect match. he's never seen his friend so happy.
"It's important," Armani told him. "Life-changing important."

The Review

It's no secret that I love JB Lynn's books. Just a few weeks ago, I was telling you about The Hitwoman and the Poisoned Apple. Well, A Match Made in Mystery is part of her spinoff series with Maggie's psychic friend Armani, though she barely makes an appearance in this installment. And this series is even more hilarious, or maybe it is because the laughs don't stop.

I just finished this book as part of my Year End Read-a-thon, but I had to tell you about it in case there was a plane, train, or automobile in your holiday plans and you needed entertainment. I read this book in just under 3 hours and it was entertaining from start to finish.

I loved the characters. Brady is absolutely delish. Smart, good looking, and most important good hearted. And Amy, what a funny girl and the best part is most the time she doesn't mean to be. Like when she started rambling about being thankful that she didn't kill the mugger, but not that he was dead and not that she thought she did kill him and Brady puts a hand on her knee to tells her to be quiet now and let the police officer talk. I could just picture it all (and if you aren't laughing from my paraphrasing then you just need to experience it for yourself).

A Match Made in Mystery was an absolute perfect read for not only my Year End Read-a-thon (because it was a quick read), but also for the holidays when everyone believes in at least a little magic.

Buy A Match Made in Mystery at Amazon

Book info
Available format: ebook (146 pages)
Published: October 2014 
Genres: cozy mystery, chicklit
Source: author
Read: December 2014

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

December 22, 2014

Review: The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by P. D. Viner

by Donna Huber

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing
I have had The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by P.D. Viner in my reading pile for quite a while. I was interested in it because it featured a brutal murder of a college student. Unlike the stories I read that are during the crime, this one is set 20 years after the murder. Part of what drawls me to these dark stories is seeing how people respond. Unfortunately I wasn't as taken with this story.

I think all the characters are more than a bit crazy. The mother is seeking revenge for her daughter's death, not matter the how far she has to go to get it. The father is mourning more than the loss of a daughter, but the end of a marriage also. Actually his grief for his wife may be more than that for his daughter as he sees and talks to Dani's ghost. (And the ghost doesn't appear to be a mere figment of imagination). Then there is Tom, with his unrequited love, who is seeking redemption.

There are a few twists and turns, but the build up was too slow for me. The introduction of the psychopath pathologist came too late in the story to feel natural, instead it felt like the author was getting close to the end word count wise, but wasn't sure how to finish it. Don't get me started on the epilogue - I was starting to have a better opinion of the book, but the epilogue was disappointing.

I liked the character Tom and the story became more enjoyable for me when it became more focused on him. I felt sorry for him. All he wanted was to have Dani return his love and in her death he wants justice for her. Yet, he is carrying around a really big secret and because it he has devoted his life to finding justice for other female victims.

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing was a mixed bag for me. There were some definite things I liked - Tom and a few of the twists were great. But for everything I liked there were things that I found disappointing. It definitely has the psychological aspect, but was lacking in the thriller department. As far as crime fiction goes, though it was good (I'm just not a big fan of crime novels). If you wonder what happens to people after the headlines, want a book that makes you think without the heart racing effects of a true thriller, then The Last Winter of Dani Lancing is for you.

Buy The Last Winter of Dani Lancing at Amazon

Book info:
Available formats: ebook, audio, print (390 pages)
Published: October 2013 by Crown
ISBN13: 9780804136822
Genres: crime, pyschological
Target audience: adult
Source: publisher
Read: Sept - Dec. 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 book was provided for this review