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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...

April 15, 2017

Maria Murnane: How one particular friendship helped Bridges come to life!

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post.

Bridges is a story about how friendship can overcome differences such as geography, age, income, even marital status. In my own life, friendship helped me overcome the fear that my success as an author had come to an end. I make a living off my novels, so after I finished Wait for the Rain, which I absolutely loved writing, I put a lot of pressure on myself to begin another book right away. That proved to be a terrible decision because I didn’t have a good idea for an interesting plot. As a result, I ended up spending more than a year working on––forcing, actually––a lackluster story that was going nowhere. In the process, I not only lost my joy for writing but my confidence. When I finally decided to pull the plug on the book, I honestly didn’t know if I had it in me to write another one.

Fast-forward a few months, and during a visit to see my parents back to California I met up with my dear friend Annie Flaig, who may be the most kind-hearted person I have ever met. A devoted fan of my books—as well as the inspiration for the globe-trotting, ultra successful saleswoman Skylar character in both Wait for the Rain and Bridges—Annie convinced me to get back on the horse, and over dinner, we put our heads together and came up with the idea for Bridges. It was a bare bones outline, but it got me motivated to try again.

As soon I returned to Brooklyn, I sat down and started writing. For months I wrote and wrote, and when I finished the first draft I emailed it to Annie to see what she thought.

The very next day I got this email from her:

OMG!!!  Maria…it is 554am here in the Canary Islands and I stayed up all night reading your book!!!  I was going to just start it by reading a couple of chapters and fall asleep (on my iPhone…not even my iPad) and ended up reading the entire thing on my phone!  I was pretty much crying or had tears in my eyes the whole book (in a good way!) so I had to expand the text on my phone a bunch of times to read through the water works!

I absolutely LOVE it!  You are an amazing writer (as I already knew) but I agree with you that this one is very special.  You really got to the bottom of these characters and I am with you…I want to be friends with them too!

My book made Annie cry, and Annie’s reaction to it made me cry. How wonderful is that? I never would have been able to write Bridges without her help and support, and I can only hope those who read it enjoy it a fraction as much as she did. Here’s to the power of female friendship!

Buy Bridges at Amazon

Enter the giveaway!

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Maria Murnane spent several years working in high-tech PR before deciding she needed a change. She quit her job and went to Argentina by herself for what was supposed to be a two-week trip before figuring out what to do next. Instead, she ended up staying for a year to play semi-professional soccer, and while down there she also decided to write a humorous novel called Perfect on Paper based on her experiences as a single woman in San Francisco. Fast forward a few years, and she’s now the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series (Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two), as well as Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, Wait for the Rain, and Bridges.
Visit Maria on Facebook, Twitter, and website

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April 14, 2017

Learn About Literature

by Donna Huber

As I mentioned in my first post for the A to Z Challenge, I don't have a degree in English or Literature. I have a degree in biology and to be honest, my English courses in college were more about ticking off a box on my requirements than learning anything. I enjoyed my American Lit class, but I also chose it because I had read everything on the syllabus.

I love learning and have maybe a bit of free time I would like to learn about something I'm passionate about (I was passionate about biology and I do use my degree a little bit in my day job). As an employee of a university, I can enroll in classes for free. I almost completed a Ph.D. in Ecology (didn't defend). But I don't care to take tests or do projects. I want something that fits my schedule.

For those wanting to learn anything, technology has definitely made it possible. If you don't care about getting a certificate or college credit there are a number of literature courses available online for FREE! And these aren't no-name schools or shady organizations. You can listen (and in most cases watch) recorded lectures from MIT, Yale, Harvard, UC Berkley, Oxford and more.

If you are looking for a bit more interaction than just listening to a lecture, you will often have access to the assignments (i.e. essay topics) and since in some courses (like those at Coursera) the assignments are peer graded, you could get your own "class" together. Again technology can help with that. You can use Google Docs to share essays or Google Hangouts or Skype for oral presentations. You can create a Facebook group which would allow for ongoing discussions. Reach out to your network and see who is interested. (I know some homeschoolers do something similar).

Where can you find these courses where you can learn anything from basic English grammar to studying Shakespeare and the Great American Novel? Here are the top spots I've found (often the same courses are cataloged at several sites, these sites offer the widest range of different courses). While I linked to the literature courses, you can find a number of other subject matters if you are interested in something else.

MIT OpenCourseWare
Open Culture
edX Literature Courses
Open Yale Courses
Oxford Playlists  This includes all subjects, but there are a number of audio guides to classic novels.

Do you have any favorite learning sites?

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

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April 13, 2017

Kids Favorite Top Five Books Lists

by Elisabeth Scherer

kids favorite book reviews

Today I'm veering away from my regular reviews to talk about something that we read in our household daily. With two young children, we are constantly reading to them and searching out the next great read. My friends frequently post on social media requests for recommendations for books and recently we've come across quite a few good ones I'd like to pass on to other people looking for inspiration.

When I first started compiling for this article I pulled books I wanted to include down from our kids' bookshelf and realized I'd need to find a way to categorize them for making this list manageable. So without further ado, books our household currently ranks as the top reads for board books, early reading books, chapter books/middle readers, and series of books.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this article.

For board books, I look to my little girl's stash and found her top five frequently requested books.

5. I Know A Rhino by Charles Fuge
        This is a cute book about a girl who knows quite a few animals.

4. Glasses by Ann Gwinn Zawistoski Photography by Heide M. Woodworth
        This book makes the top because my little girl wears glasses and it helps introduce kids to glasses on people and what is their purpose.

3. Don't Push the Button written and illustrated by Bill Cotter
        Much like Monster at the end of the book, this is a fun and interactive story to read.
Peanuts Do Your happy Dance book

2. Hello Ninja by ND Wilson and illustrated by Forrest Dickison
        The Nerd in my loves this book. The rhyming and cute pictures have me reaching for it over and over.

1. Peanuts Do Your Happy Dance! Celebrate Wonderful you by Charles M. Schulz, Adapted by Elizabeth Dennis Barton, Illustrated by Scott Jeralds
       This book by far is my favorite board book. It talks about being an individual, trying hard, being different, trying your best, and many other life lessons with our favorite gang. It is a long book but worth every read.

For early reading books, I am pulling from a wide selection of my personal favorite and unique books I like to read to the kids.

5. Squid Kid the Magnificent by Lynne Berry and Illustrated by Luke LaMarca
        This is a delightful book about a Squid who thinks he's a magician and his pesky sister.
4. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
        Do you like tacos? Well did you know Dragons like them too? But they do not like Spicy tacos!
3. LMNO Peas by Keith Baker (bonus would be Little Green Peas a big book of colors also by Baker)
      This cute little book walks you through the alphabet of professions with cute little peas. Don't forget to find the ladybug hiding on each page.
Don't worry bear book

2. Don't Worry Bear by Greg Foley
      The cute illustrations make the wonderful topics in this book soar.

1. The Further Tales of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson (bonus would be the two other books she has written as well, all equally as good as this one)
      I'm a huge fan of Beatrix Potter and Emma Thompson does a fantastic job writing complimentary tales. It's another adventure for Peter!

For Chapter books and middle readers, I looked at books that I'm anxiously waiting to read to my children when they get a bit older.

5. Freckle Juice by Judy Blume
       In this book Andrew sees the boy sitting in front of him has freckles and Andrew believes he could solve many of his problems if he just had freckles. Another classmate hears his woes and tells him of Freckle Juice, a way to get freckles.  This is a fun story that I think the kids will giggle at and enjoy.

4. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien
        In this classic story, a family of Rats needs to move but one young member of the family is very ill. Mrs. Frisby meets the rats of NIMH and they come up with a solution to her problem. It has well-written characters, the great theme of courage and doing what is right. Good for kids and wonderful to re-read as an adult.
Fortune's Folly book by Deva Fagan

3. Fortune's Folly by Deva Fagan
     Fortunata makes up fortunes to help earn money for her family. One day she tells a fortune that may cost her. A clever heroine, wonderful supporting characters, and a nice different fairy tale.

2. The Six by K.B. Hoyle
      Darcy and her friends stumble upon a gateway to another world where they are all part of a prophecy. This book is very C.S. Lewis and Tolkien inspired with wonderful creatures and characters and a great plot.

1. Circus Galacticus by Deva Fagan
      Trix is a tough girl orphan who is offered a position with the travelling space circus. She finds a new world to explore with dangers and new friends as well as exploding desserts. She is searching information about her past in this delightful Middle reader.

Finally here are the top three books series that I think are must haves for families with children.

3. The Day the Crayons Quit & The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt & Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
      These two books chronicle the misadventures of crayons in a boy name Duncan's life. They are compilations of letters of crayons going on strike for various reasons. In the second book, the Crayons write Duncan from multiple locations with tragedies and convictions.   We find it's more entertaining with someone reading in funny voices as well. Hilarious and silly.

2. Ordinary People Change the World Series by Brad Meltzer & Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
      Each book in this series is about a real person who changed in things in the world. The books are illustrated in the cartoon style which keeps younger kids interested as well. People such as Albert Einstien, Jane Goodall, Helen Keller, and George Washington are all have their own books.
Ish by Peter H. Reynolds

1. Sky Color & Ish & The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
     These are my absolute favorite books. Each book talks about someone struggling with an artistic concept. In Sky Color, Marisol is looking for the right color to paint the sky in a mural. In Ish, Ramon struggles with if he can draw after receiving criticism from his brother. And in The Dot, Vashti is certain she can't draw until one special teacher takes a different approach to reach her.  Each book is beautifully illustrated with a lovely message. There is a fourth book about music which we are itching to by called Playing from the Heart. 

Elisabeth Scherer grew up in a very small town in Minnesota but now lives in the lovely Pacific Northwest where she spends most of her time raising her two young children. She and her husband have a large collection of books that takes a good space of their small condo. When she's not reading she has a variety of hobbies that include crocheting, drawing, baking, cooking, and movie watching. She is currently obsessed with making French Macarons and other baked deliciousness! You can also find her blogging at

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April 12, 2017

Japanese Literature

by Alison DeLuca

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post.

I love Japanese writers for their fearless approach to storytelling. This is obvious in manga and anime, where anything goes. You want a kid who owns a God notebook that can kill anyone? Death Note will suck you into that world. Want flying heroes who fight naked super-giants? You got it, in Attack on Titan. How about a town haunted by spirals? Uzumaki is here for you in all its gory glory.

The Pillow Book
Refusing to be dictated by society, Japanese writing confronts sex, relationships, nature and magic. Literature has evolved from The Pillow Book by Lady Sei Shōnagon, a 990’s marvel comprising hundreds of intertwined characters, and The Book of Genji by Lady Murasaki Shikibu – also known as the world’s first modern novel.

The Pillow Book’s characters – all 400 of them – grow old and interact in an incredibly superhuman feat of writing. It’s difficult enough to track several people in a novel, let alone an entire court filled with them.

This is why I love Japanese literature. Most books from Japan concentrate on the people, no matter the genre. Even a murder mystery concentrates on character development – and not in an obvious way.

Probably no one is better at this than Haruki Murakami. In Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of The World, Japan’s most famous writer develops two mysteries while also investigating the nameless narrator’s mind. Set in a futuristic Tokyo (more specifically, an underground city) and a mysterious Town populated by people who have no shadows.

The story is strange and compelling. If you are looking for something completely different, Hard-Boiled Wonderland is a great choice.

My favorite Murakami novel is Kafka on the Shore. Like Hard-Boiled Wonderland, it’s told on two different levels. One is the story of Kafka, a 15-year-old runaway who hides out in a library. The other centers on Nakata, a man who can communicate with cats.

If this sounds dry, think again. Murakami unleashes mystery, science fiction, and unbound sexuality in this wonderful inner and outer journey.

Another Murakami book I loved is nonfiction. Underground is a detailed account of the Sarin poison gas attack on the Tokyo subway, perpetrated by members of the Aum cult. The author said the news accounts concentrated on the attackers, instead of the victims.

Underground is an account of the attack but, more importantly, an intense retelling of what happened to many of the victims the day of the attack and after. It’s a fascinating historical account that offers an intriguing look into the country’s collective psyche.

I need to read more Japanese fiction. My next read is Banana Yoshimoto, who’s known for Kitchen and Moshi-Moshi. Like Murakami, she crawls right into her characters’ heads and brings us with her.

It’s a lot of fun to explore, and one way to do that is through books. Reading novels from another country is like a journey to a new world, one populated with beautiful and mysterious stories.

Alison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books.  She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain. Currently, she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey. Connect with Alison on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and her blog.

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April 11, 2017

An Irish Author, 3 Irish-Set Stories and an Ireland Travel Guide

by Susan Roberts

Today I am going to review a few books set in Ireland. Ireland is somewhere that I wanted to visit my whole life and when I finally got there, it was all that I'd imagined and more. Now I'm trying to figure out how to get back there again. Have you ever been to Ireland or visited somewhere that you've read about or dreamed about visiting? I'd love to hear your travel dreams in the comments below.

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post.

Circle of Friends
May 2007; Dell; 9780385341738
ebook & print (608 pages)
women's fiction
Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy

You can't talk about Irish authors and not start with Maeve Binchy, who is, in my opinion, one of the best.  This is my favorite book by her, written about half way through her writing career.  She died in 2012 and her talent is greatly missed.

It began with Benny Hogan and Eve Malone, growing up, inseparable, in the village of Knockglen. Benny—the only child, yearning to break free from her adoring parents...Eve—the orphaned offspring of a convent handyman and a rebellious blueblood, abandoned by her mother's wealthy family to be raised by nuns. Eve and Benny—they knew the sins and secrets behind every villager's lace curtains...except their own.

It widened at Dublin, at the university where Benny and Eve met beautiful Nan Mahlon and Jack Foley, a doctor's handsome son. But heartbreak and betrayal would bring the worlds of Knockglen and Dublin into explosive collision. Long-hidden lies would emerge to test the meaning of love and the strength of ties held within the fragile gold bands of a...Circle Of Friends.

Buy Circle of Friends at Amazon

Galway Bay
February 2009; Grand Central Publishing
9780446579001; ebook & print (551 pages)
historical fiction
Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly

In a hidden Ireland where fishermen and tenant farmers find solace in their ancient faith, songs, stories, and communal celebrations, young Honora Keeley and Michael Kelly wed and start a family. Because they and their countrymen must sell both their catch and their crops to pay exorbitant rents, potatoes have become their only staple food.

But when blight destroys the potatoes three times in four years, a callous government and uncaring landlords turn a natural disaster into The Great Starvation that will kill one million. Honora and Michael vow their children will live. The family joins two million other Irish refugees--victims saving themselves--in the emigration from Ireland.

Danger and hardship await them in America. Honora, her unconventional sister Máire, and their seven sons help transform Chicago from a frontier town to the "City of the Century." The boys go on to fight in the Civil War and enlist in the cause of Ireland's freedom.

Spanning six generations and filled with joy, sadness, and heroism, GALWAYBAY sheds brilliant light on the ancestors of today's forty-four million Irish Americans--and is a universal story you will never forget.

Buy Galway Bay at Amazon

The Magdalen Girls
December 2016; Kensington
978-1496706126; ebook, audio, print (304 pages)
The Magdalen Girls by V.S. Alexander

Dublin, 1962. Within the gated grounds of the convent of The Sisters of the Holy Redemption lies one of the city’s Magdalen Laundries. Once places of refuge, the laundries have evolved into grim workhouses. Some inmates are “fallen” women—unwed mothers, prostitutes, or petty criminals. Most are ordinary girls whose only sin lies in being too pretty, too independent, or tempting the wrong man. Among them is sixteen-year-old Teagan Tiernan, sent by her family when her beauty provokes a lustful revelation from a young priest.

Teagan soon befriends Nora Craven, a new arrival who thought nothing could be worse than living in a squalid tenement flat. Stripped of their freedom and dignity, the girls are given new names and denied contact with the outside world. The Mother Superior, Sister Anne, who has secrets of her own, inflicts cruel, dehumanizing punishments—but always in the name of love. Finally, Nora and Teagan find an ally in the reclusive Lea, who helps them endure—and plot an escape. But as they will discover, the outside world has dangers too, especially for young women with soiled reputations.

Told with candor, compassion, and vivid historical detail, The Magdalen Girls is a masterfully written novel of life within the era’s notorious institutions—and an inspiring story of friendship, hope, and unyielding courage.

Buy The Magdalen Girls from Amazon

Rick Steves Ireland
December 2016; 9781631214417;
ebook & print (545 pages)
travel guide
When you get ready to take that trip to Ireland, I suggest that you use a Rick Steves guidebook.  It's the best guidebook that I've found that gives you good value hotels and restaurants plus information for fun places that the bigger guidebooks don't cover.

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their grandson.  Susan reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.

Get even more book news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter: Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.

April 10, 2017

The Horror Genre and 3 Horror Novels Reviewed

by MK French

According to Wikipedia, "Horror is a genre of fiction which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten, scare, disgust, or startle their readers or viewers by inducing feelings of horror and terror. Literary historian J. A. Cuddon has defined the horror story as "a piece of fiction in prose of variable length... which shocks or even frightens the reader, or perhaps induces a feeling of repulsion or loathing".[1] It creates an eerie and frightening atmosphere. Horror is frequently supernatural, though it can be non-supernatural."

For many people, there is a fine line between horror and thriller. David Hohl, on his website, discusses the differences. He asserts that Horror is a subgenre of Fantasy.  The Horror Writers Association has a nice piece on What Horror Is that you might want to check out if you are interested in how the horror genre went from an esteemed literary genre, i.e. gothic horror, to more of a pop culture genre.

The three horror novels I recently read have supernatural elements and could also be considered dark fantasy. What do you like about the horror genre? What are some of your favorite horror novels or films?

Amazon Affiliate links are used in this post and a free book was provided for these reviews. The opinions are my own.

October 2016; 978-1535515283
ebook & print (244 pages)
a free book was provided for this review
Chaste: A Tale of Perilisc by Jesse Teller

Chaste is a small town known for its ties to the god Cor-lyn-ber, but gradually its peaceful nature had been corrupted. Children go missing and are found dead, and a sinister presence seems to have infected the town. Cheryl's parents had once been its defenders, but after their deaths, she turned her back on her god and submitted to the abuses heaped upon her. The priest and all those in power in the town are corrupted, and her efforts to keep its corruption from spoiling the innocent are feeble at best. Five strangers enter the town, intending to keep going but are soon drawn into the corruption and evil.

Those who play Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, or similar games set in high fantasy sword-and-sorcery settings will instantly feel at home with this book, as long as they are comfortable with the darker potential of it. There are graphic descriptions of violence, torture, and fights, as well as rape, murder, and psychological tortures. While Cor-lyn-ber might be the god of hope and light in this series of novels (this particular book is the third in the Perilisc series), the priest is actually a corrupted minion of Hac-Jahoo. He plans to bring demons into the world using the bodies of the children, which are defiled in ways not actually described but disgust the characters comfortable with rape, murder, and torture. The stories of all the characters are eventually revealed, and all of them are tortured in some way.

This is not a book of happiness or light, and the darkness can be very disconcerting at times. Characters are changed by the end of it, not always for the better, but in ways that make sense for this world. For those who enjoy dark fantasy tropes, this book will definitely meet expectations.

Buy Chaste at Amazon

The Devil's Prayer
February 2016; Australian eBook Publisher
ebook (294 pages)
a free ebook was provided for this review
The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias

The suicide of Sister Benedictine in Spain reveals that she was Denise Russo, the mother of Australian Siobhan Russo. She had apparently abandoned her family six years before, and Siobhan travels to Spain to pay her respects and find out what happened to give her family closure. A strange group of monks follows her, and she steals her mother's confession that had been locked away in the convent vault. Siobhan reads the journal as she tries to escape the monks and understand why her mother took a vow of silence after leaving Australia. It turned out that her mother had made a deal with the devil to get revenge on the people that had tortured her when Siobhan was a girl, with Siobhan's soul hanging in the balance.

The entire book was an engaging read, full of details that really give the characters life and full atmosphere to the locations. There are two distinct stories within this book. One is Siobhan's home life in Australia and journey to Spain, then being on the run from the monks before returning to Australia. The other is Denise's journal, which outlines the rape and torture she endured from friends after winning a lottery ticket. It's horrific to experience with her, even in the relatively spare description given, as well as the intense revenge she takes after making the deal with the devil. A larger conspiracy is at work, so Denise had also been tasked with finding the Devil's Prayer, which was left to Siobhan in the back of the journal.

It feels very similar to the Da Vinci Code, as it involves history blending together with religion; Luke Gracias had actually taken the Devil's Prayer from a piece of folklore regarding a bet a monk had made to complete a handwritten Bible overnight. That gives the conspiracy behind the drama a little more authenticity, which is always good in a novel like this. The ending feels almost abrupt and open-ended, though the story is complete. It could very easily be the first of a series of novels, exploring the ramifications of the Devil's Prayer and the fallout from Denise's deal.

Buy The Devil's Prayer at Amazon

Evening's Land
February 2017; 978-1542463461
ebook & print (376 pages)
a free book was provided for this review
Evening's Land by Pauline West

After her best friend's suicide, Ada Walker moves with her parents to Charleston, South Carolina. They have their own issues and don't always see what's happening to Ada. There is a ghost in the house that appears to her, and she has some kind of psychic gift that allows her to access the collective unconscious of the world, known as Evening's Land. She isn't the only one able to do so, and the others that are aware of her plan to use her ability for their own purposes.

The tagline says that this book has the "dark elegance of Anne Rice" and "lush parallel worlds of Neil Gaiman." Being a fan of both authors, of course, I would try to read this book.

While the characters all have their own motivations, the way the story is told makes the beginning rather confusing. There is the current plot alternating with chapters outlining the past with Faye before her suicide, which would be fine if it wasn't told from varying points of view. I had no idea there was going to be graphic depictions of violence, drug use, rape, self-harm, suicide, and human sacrifice, and it felt like all of these elements were thrown together because it had to be "dark" and "edgy." The ghost didn't seem to be "rakishly handsome," but manipulative, selfish, and just as awful as everyone else in the book.

This was a quick but not very pleasant read, and by the end, I really wasn't interested in what else might happen to the characters.

Buy Evening's Land at Amazon

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April 9, 2017

Spotlight & Giveaway: Tiago by Cátia Skye

~ $25 Amazon Voucher Giveaway ~

Tiago, by Cátia Skye, YA Contemporary Romance

Two shattered hearts. One unstoppable love.

Nominate Tiago, by debut YA Romance author Cátia Skye, for consideration by Kindle Scout and you could win a $25 Amazon Gift Voucher, and you could get to read the book for free! Scroll down for excerpts, blurb, author info and, of course, the giveaway!

Tiago, by Cátia Skye, Book Cover

New York, USA
Kezra, sixteen, dumped by her boyfriend of six months after he took her virginity, shocked by revelations about her father, falls into an abyss of panic and anxiety. On doctor's orders, she is sent on a vacation to get away from pressures.
Lisbon, Portugal
Tiago, seventeen, has lost more than most lose in a lifetime, believes implicitly in the inevitable Portuguese Tragedy, has left the thug-life, has left school, is just trying to survive each new day.
Neither of them is looking for love…

  • Teen & Young Adult > Romance > Contemporary
  • Romance > Series
  • Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Coming of Age
  • Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Geography & Cultures > Europe



The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

I am no looker.
I'm not a dog either. But I am no looker.
Aylin used to say I was precocious. "Precocious when it comes to boys," she'd say.
By the time I was done dating Conor, I said I was nothing but a fool.
I started dating too early. Antoni was the first guy I ever saw. I was fourteen, close to fifteen, sporting braces on my teeth. We shared a kiss, nothing passionate, innocent.
Until he touched my breasts and I went cold.
Fourteen. Was he a freaking idiot?
Dawson happened after that. It lasted three months. I was more grown up, more developed. My breasts, especially, were more developed.
I hate my breasts.
But it was Conor who would thrust me into the black world of adulthood with an indignant slap I am certain I will never forget.


I write because I am lonely.
I write because I hurt.
I write while tears drip from my eyes, turning the screen of my tablet into splotches of pixelated rainbows.


The way I was brought into this world has nothing to do with how I feel about love.
It has everything to do with how I feel about myself.


How much horror can a mind endure?
Are the pains of a sixteen-year-old laughed at by those older then her?
What pain did my mother suffer? ("Sometimes I went without food so that I wouldn't have to take that bastard's money, Kez.")
My pain is nothing compared to what hers must have been. And yet, the pain I feel is phenomenal.


P.S. I Love You (2007)

Just before the sun rises, when the world is silent and the River Tejo laps gently at the stone steps leading to the giant Praça do Comércio square, leaves of golden sunlight shimmer above the surface of Lisbon's great river. This is my favorite time to sit on these steps, flicking stones into the water, letting my gaze drift west toward the ocean.
And I think of her.
I do not weep anymore. My eyes are dry. I have wept this entire river twice over and still that will not bring her back.
The seagulls taunt me, cawing in accusation. I should have moved faster, they say. I should not have been so complacent with my joy.
I never deserved that joy. I know it.

Deadly is the Female (1950)

It is the week for meeting Americans. And if I thought my encounter with Dahlia went bad, then I can only compare my meeting with the one called Kezra to something just short of a nuclear war. It's my fault, mostly. But it's also her fault.
I would love to say that our first encounter is quaint and sweet, that it is the type of first-meeting you expect from a Rom-Com.
It is not.
It is a disaster.
And I am nothing short of a hungover bastard.
But let's call a spade a spade. Guilt must be placed where guilt belongs. And this chick is a real stinker of a piece of work too.
I guess you could say I started it.
I did.
But she contributes gladly to the atomic chain reaction which follows.
Dare I say, I think she even revels in it.
Copyright © 2017, Cátia Skye. All Rights Reserved.

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Cátia Skye AvatarAbout Cátia
Cátia Skye is a New-York-born, Portuguese-American gal who now resides in the romantic heart of Lisbon, Portugal. She is the single mother of one rambunctious little boy, and pens romance novels between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. each night when her boy finally falls asleep.
Tiago is her first novel.
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