Friday, July 29, 2016

Best Books of July

It's once again time to tell you about the best books I read this month. Here are my favorite July reads!




Keeping with the "fun summer read" theme is this next book from the very talented Alison CherryLook Both Ways is a young adult book about the exciting world of summer theater.



I was in plays in high school and it brought some of my best memories. Look Both Ways gives us the chance to spend the summer with Brooklyn, a New York high schooler who spends her life surrounded by theater professionals. Brooklyn isn't quite the actress or singer she feels she's expected to be, so when she lands at Allerdale, she already worries she'll be seen as a faker. But thanks to an amazing roommate, Brooklyn finds summer is taking her in an entirely different direction. I loved this book. The depth of the characters in Look Both Ways draws you into the story and keeps you turning the page, all the way to the end.

I miss chick lit. It was around such a short time but it was so fun. Fortunately, the young adult genre sometimes gives us a younger version of it, as is the case with the next book I read this month:



In Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies, a high schooler gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move to New York City and work at a cool teen magazine. The author's voice is chick lit at its best. You can't stop reading, it's so compelling. Plus, the character takes you along for the adventure. There's a great reason this book is getting phenomenal reviews. If you're looking for a fun summer read, this is it!

Medeia Sharif is a favorite around here. If you read her blog, you know she's one of the most prolific authors around. Her latest release touches on a lot of the race issues that are on everyone's mind these days.



A Love That Disturbs is an intense read. Throughout, I was amazed at Medeia's range. She can write lighthearted stories, adventures, and gut-wrenching dramas like this one. The story alternates between Maysa's and Haydee's points of view. Maysa is a Pakistani-American whose old-fashioned parents want her to marry someone from her background. Haydee is a former prostitute trying to turn her life around. The two fall in love--and must deal with the consequences of that love. This is an important book that breaks down stereotypes, while also being a page-turner.

The next book I read was by a familiar name, although you might not recognize it on the cover. Patricia Lynne writes new adult under the name Patricia Josephine.



Michael is hard to describe. On the surface, it's about an archangel whose job it is to search for fallen angels. However, there is a same-sex attraction between Michael and a fallen angel named Lake that takes the story in a different direction than you'd expect. Patricia wove in so many twists and turns with her suspense, you won't be able to put it down once you start. This is the first in a series and I can't wait to read the rest!

Once I finished Michael, I dove into another blogger's book. Libby Heily writes YA, science fiction, and contemporary fiction. Her book, Welcome to Sortilege Falls, grabs your attention with its super-interesting premise.




Strange things are happening in Sortilege Falls. A 16-year-old girl named Grape has just moved to the town with her family and she knows right away that things aren't normal. A small group of models seems to rule the high school in a weird way. When those models start dying, one by one, Grape must find a way to save them. The mystery of this one will keep you reading all the way to the end.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

How to Do a Giveaway on Your Blog

As a writer/blogger, I've seen more than my share of book giveaways. I've even offered a few of my own. With my new book coming out, I can't help but review the things I've learned. I have many, many more things to learn, so please feel free to share your own tips in the comments.

And now...here are my tips for hosting a giveaway on your blog.



Tip #1: Don't offer the item to a random commenter.

I'm actually afraid to comment on blogs now that do this. I stay pretty busy reading books from those of you who help me out with my blog tours and such. I don't have much time to read random books. So if you contact me to tell me I won a book, I won't take it. Ever. If the book is written by a member of my network, I'm going to want to buy it. If it's written by someone who isn't part of that network, it's just a big, fat: 



Tip #2: People want the Amazon gift card, not the book.

If, like me, you use an Amazon gift card giveaway to get people to tweet about your book, be prepared. There are thousands of people out there who will do whatever it takes to get that gift card. If they win second place and second place isn't that gift card, this is what you'll hear:



Tip #3: Give away just enough.

A while ago, someone offered advice that I've found handy. If you're doing a Goodreads giveaway, offering one book is just as effective as offering two or three or four. You'll get just as many entries and you can save one of your freebies for a later giveaway.



Tip #4: Decide whether you're limiting it geographically.

You have the option to limit your giveaway to your own country or send your free item around the globe. Before you decide, know the cost of postage to get the item overseas, as well as the complications that come with shipping internationally.



Tip #5: Know your goal.

Before you press "publish" on your giveaway, know what you hope to accomplish. Do you want to sell more books? Get more "to read" adds on Goodreads? Increase your Twitter follower base? Make sure when you set up your giveaway, you make those goals a part of your giveaway requirements. If you're interested in boosting your Twitter followers, require entrants to tweet about the giveaway. If you want Goodreads adds, use that as a requirement or host your giveaway through that site.



Tip #6: Use the right tools.

There are several options for hosting giveaways. One is to host it through Goodreads, which you do through your book's page. You can also use Rafflecopter, which is the best. Rafflecopter lets you create the entry requirements mentioned in tip #5...plus the basic version is free.

Okay, now it's your turn. What are your tips for hosting giveaways?



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Monday, July 25, 2016

Introducing the Proctor Hollow Series by Valerie Capps

Today I have a very special book release to tell you about. A very talented author has just released two new exciting short stories that are part of the same larger series. Best of all, they're only $.99 each! Valerie Capps already released the first book in the series, The Holler Witch, last year. Scroll down to read about the next two stories in the series.


Encounter on a Deserted Highway
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Blurb:

Seven-year-old Lucy Rhys has a special gift and a powerful talisman she received from her grandmother. One summer day in 1956 Lucy and her father met a mysterious man that changed their lives forever. Was the chance meeting a simple coincidence, an angel unaware, or could it have been a benevolent spirit conjured by Lucy’s wishful thinking with a little help from a magic medallion and her dead grandmother?

Incident at the Diner:




Blurb:

The afternoon seven-year-old Lucy Rhys boldly confronted Harvey Jacobs, the town folks silently cheered the child's courage. But many were also concerned for Lucy's safety. Lucy made a fearsome enemy that day. Everyone in Proctor Hollow knew the fact that she was just a child would make no difference to the town bully. But Lucy was oblivious to the danger--or was she?


Bio:

Valerie Capps is a freelance writer. Her short stories and articles have appeared in magazines and newsletters with world-wide circulation. Her latest endeavor is a series of short stories set in a fictional mid-twentieth century small town called Proctor Hollow. The tales are individually published on Amazon as Kindle e-books. Valerie lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband. Visit her blog at www.valeriecapps.com.





Links:




Still time to sign up for my Piper Morgan blog tour. I ran out of August dates, so I added some in September.


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