Archives for November 2014

Spotlight: Your Life Isn’t For You by Seth Adam Smith

Your Life Isn't Your OwnYour Life Isn’t For You: A Selfish Person’s Guide To Being Selfless
written by Seth Adam Smith
published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: In this book, Seth Adam Smith expands on the philosophy behind his extraordinarily popular blog post “Marriage Isn’t for You”—which received over 30 million hits and has been translated into over twenty languages—and shares how living for others can enrich every aspect of your life, just as it has his. With a mix of humor, candor, and compassion, he reveals how, years before his marriage, his self-obsession led to a downward spiral of addiction and depression, culminating in a suicide attempt at the age of twenty. Reflecting on the love and support he experienced in the aftermath, as well as on the lessons he learned from a difficult missionary stint in Russia, his time as a youth leader in the Arizona desert, his marriage, and even a story his father read to him as a child, he shares his deep conviction that the only way you can find your life is to give it away to others.

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Seth Adam SmithAbout the author: Seth Adam Smith is an internationally acclaimed, Alaskan-born writer whose blog posts have been shared worldwide and translated into over twenty languages. He frequently writes about relationships and self-improvement on Huffington Post and his website, SethAdamSmith.com

Find Mr. Smith here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

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Boost It Tuesday! – November 18, 2014

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Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free Chance, Candace’s Book Blog, and Gin’s Book Notes for Boost It Tuesday.

 

What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.

 

As an added bonus, Candace, Ginny, and I will be hosting a giveaway each week just to say thanks for the boost!

 

For this week’s giveaway, head over to the Candace’s Book Blog Facebook page and answer the question in the Boost It post!

 

Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!

 


 

Gin's Book Notes
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Gina’s Review: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)

The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner #2)
written by James Dashner
published by Delacorte Press

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: Why couldn’t The Scorch Trials be the first book in The Maze Runner series? Seriously, why? This book was SO much better. It was like the author realized that The Maze Runner was lacking and rewarded everyone with a better novel. Every night I stayed up a little longer knowing I would have to inject coffee into my veins the next morning, just so I could read a few more chapters.

There was a lot of action and introductions to new characters, and I felt myself becoming more and more invested in what was happening to Thomas. I felt nothing for him before, but all of a sudden, I didn’t want him to die or be maimed by Cranks. What are Cranks, you ask? They are Dashner’s version of zombie-like crazy people. The bonus is that some of them can rhyme like a Tim Burton-esque Dr. Seuss. I didn’t believe it could happen either; only writers could come up with these unique ideas.

I definitely can’t wait to read the last book in the trilogy!

 

Golden Line: “Rose took my nose, I suppose.”

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Would I recommend it: Yes, I definitely would.

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About the book – from Goodreads: Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end.

Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch.

There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die.

The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.

There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive

 

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DNF: Birth of Evil by DW Carver (Melissa’s Review)

Birth of Evil (Albany's End Trilogy, book one)

Birth of Evil (Albany’s End Trilogy #1)
written by D. W. Carver
published by Tirgearr Publishing 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: Location #212/1010 on my Moon+ Reader app

Why I stopped reading: It’s one of those books where the writing isn’t BAD; it’s just not GOOD. The language is murky and convoluted, and I honestly just got tired of trying to sift through the language to figure out what was going on in the story. Birth of Evil has potential, but Carver needs to do some serious editing.

 

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What others have rated this book: There were 2 reviews on Amazon, both four stars. There were no reviews listed on the Barnes & Noble website. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Amazon: David, running for his life to avoid being executed as a daemon, meets Toria, a young priestess banished by her tribe. She is on a quest to help the forest spiryts against an evil presence they claim is near. David joins her, determined that if his life is to be forfeit, his death will be given some meaning in her company.

 

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Blog Tour: The Match Maker by Karey White (Chrissy’s review, excerpt, giveaway)

Match MakerDon’t miss the Blog Tour hosted by I Am A Reader
November 4th to 21st
Tour Schedule

 

Match Maker Book CoverThe Match Maker (The Husband Maker #2)
written by Karey White
published by Orange Door Press

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I did enjoy this book, but not as much as the first book, The Husband Maker. (Check out my review here.)

It was a sweet story. It was quick and romantic-ish with a few squeal-worthy moments thrown in. But it is definitely a bridge book. You can tell it’s a means to an end — a second book in a trilogy. There’s nothing wrong with that. It just made the book a bit meh.

With that said, I really like Charlotte. She’s a sweet girl who needs to find her match. I really want her to be happy. She deserves it. I really don’t like Angus in this book, which makes me sad. He isn’t really a friend of Charlotte’s. Flynn, on the other hand, is a great guy. I wish I could hear his accent. 😉 The descriptions of Scotland were wonderful. I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland, and this book makes me want to go there even more.

I can’t wait to read book 3, The Wife Maker. I will be on the lookout for it because I must know how Charlotte’s story ends. This series has built in a way to make me want to find out how it resolves.

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Would I recommend it: Yes, I would recommend it. Definitely read book 1, The Husband Maker, first.

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About the book: *** Will contain SPOILERS if you haven’t read book #1, The Husband Maker ***

It’s been six months since Charlotte and Kyle broke up, and the Husband Maker strikes again. Kyle is officially engaged, while Charlotte is still nursing a broken heart.

In an effort to get Charlotte out of her rut, she and her best friend decide it’s time for some good old-fashioned matchmaking. While Aleena arranges for Charlotte to meet up with a handsome Scottish tourist, Charlotte gets her two best friends together. But when sparks start to fly between Aleena and Angus, Charlotte is left feeling more alone that ever–at least until the charming Scotsman becomes more than just a safe, rebound guy and teaches her that maybe, just maybe, she can dare to open her heart again.

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I should have felt uncomfortable talking about guys and dating with a man I was sort of dating for only the second time, but I didn’t. There was something strangely easy about talking to Flynn. Maybe it was the fact that he lived on the other side of the world that seemed to give me the freedom to say what I was thinking instead of filtering myself. Or maybe it was just that he was warm and friendly and had a quick, good-natured smile.

“Yeah. I’m still sad about that. He’s engaged now.” Flynn waited, like he expected me to say more. “But it’s not just him. I sort of have a dating reputation that isn’t easy to live with.”

“You have a reputation?”

I laughed. “That didn’t come out right. Does a girl having a ‘reputation’ mean the same in Scotland that it does here?” I put air quotes around “reputation.”

“Probably. But you don’t seem like a girl with that kind of reputation, so you must mean something else.”

I nodded. “I do.” And then I told Flynn about being called the husband maker. I didn’t go into specifics about every guy, but enough that he understood I wasn’t joking and that it was a well-earned nickname. He asked a few questions, but mostly he listened without laughing at me.

When I finished talking, he looked thoughtful for a few minutes. I started to think he had nothing to say about the sad tale I had just shared, but finally he spoke.

“You’re lookin’ at it as a bad thing, but I think that’s wrong.”

“There’s a good way to look at it?” I glanced at him skeptically.

“Ya make men think about growin’ up and settlin’ down. So they do.”

“With someone else.” I was glad I needed to watch the road. I didn’t want to look at him looking at me.

“I guess they weren’t the right one for you. But Charlotte—” why did I melt when he said my name?—“ya make them think gettin’ married would be a good thing. It might not be great for you, but I think you should take it as a compliment.”

I didn’t speak. For the second time in two days, someone had chiseled away at the shell that had been forming over my once hopeful heart. I blinked hard. It was one thing to feel comfortable enough with Flynn to tell him about my nickname. It was quite another to melt into a weepy mess when we hardly knew each other. But his words did something to me. They made me a little teary, but that wasn’t all. They softened some of that shell. For more than six months, fear had been calcifying there, making my hope harder and harder to find. Would every man find happiness with someone else? Would there ever be a man who found his happiness in me?

“Thanks, Flynn,” I finally said. I had never been so open about dating and my worries with a man before. I had always been afraid it made me look lacking in some way. But Flynn was easy to talk to. I wondered if it was because this was a short-term arrangement or if it was just Flynn. Whatever it was, the openness was nice.

“Maybe I should be the one who’s scared, aye?” His voice was teasing again.

“You sure you want to call this a date?” I asked. “Are you ready to go home and get married?”

“Ah, Charlotte. You don’t scare me at all.”

The Husband MakerThe Husband Maker by Karey White
written by Karey White
published by Orange Door Press

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Goodreads

About the book: Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she’s dated since high school has become his next girlfriend’s husband. Not hers. Not three girlfriends down the road. The next.

Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed?

When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she’s not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle’s wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?

Karey WhiteAbout the author: Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

Find Ms. White here: Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ends November 30, 2014 — Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Gratitude Giveaways Hop

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Welcome to our stop for the 5th annual Gratitude Giveaways hop hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Don’t forget to visit the other blogs participating in this year’s Gratitude Giveaways hop!

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Blog Tour: Us by David Nicholls (Melissa’s review)

 

UsUs
written by David Nicholls
published by Harper

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I loved it.

I may have spent the weekend annoying my sisters by interrupting their manicures with quotes every few minutes . . . I hope they’ll forgive me.  *grin*

Nicholls is, quite simply, a wonderful writer. His characters are so realistically written that, though I wanted to be firmly on the “Douglas was wronged” side of things, I found myself switching camps more than once. I don’t want to blather on about how well Mr. Nicholls writes “the human condition” or anything, but geez-o-man, he does. He really does.

GOLDEN LINE(S):

“This is a love story, after all. Certainly love comes into it.”

“There’s a saying, cited in popular song, that if you love someone you must set them free. Well, that’s just nonsense. If you love someone, you bind them to you with heavy metal chains.”

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Would I recommend it: If you’ve just gone through a split, I’d shelve it for a bit, but otherwise yes, absolutely.

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About the book: 
David Nicholls brings the wit and intelligence that graced his enormously popular New York Times bestseller, One Day, to a compellingly human, deftly funny new novel about what holds marriages and families together—and what happens, and what we learn about ourselves, when everything threatens to fall apart.

Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that, against all odds, seduces beautiful Connie into a second date . . . and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce.

The timing couldn’t be worse. Hoping to encourage her son’s artistic interests, Connie has planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world’s greatest works of art as a family, and she can’t bring herself to cancel. And maybe going ahead with the original plan is for the best anyway? Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage, and might even help him to bond with Albie.

Narrated from Douglas’s endearingly honest, slyly witty, and at times achingly optimistic point of view, Us is the story of a man trying to rescue his relationship with the woman he loves, and learning how to get closer to a son who’s always felt like a stranger. Us is a moving meditation on the demands of marriage and parenthood, the regrets of abandoning youth for middle age, and the intricate relationship between the heart and the head. And in David Nicholls’s gifted hands, Douglas’s odyssey brings Europe—from the streets of Amsterdam to the famed museums of Paris, from the cafés of Venice to the beaches of Barcelona—to vivid life just as he experiences a powerful awakening of his own. Will this summer be his last as a husband, or the moment when he turns his marriage, and maybe even his whole life, around?

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“I loved this book. Funny, sad, tender: for anyone who wants to know what happens after the Happy Ever After.” —Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You and One Plus One

“Nicholls brings his trademark wit and wisdom to this by turns hilarious and heartbreaking examination of a long-term marriage…. This tender novel will further cement Nicholls’ reputation as a master of romantic comedy.” —Booklist (starred review)

“From the author of One Day—which was infinitely better than the movie—comes a pathos-laden love story about marriage on the brink of collapse.” —Entertainment Weekly, “A Dozen Books We’re Dying to Read This Fall.”

 

 

David NichollsAbout the author: David Nicholls’s most recent novel, the New York Times bestseller One Day, has sold over 2 million copies and been translated into thirty-seven languages; he also wrote the screenplay for the 2010 film adaptation starring Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway. Trained as an actor before making the switch to writing, Nicholls’s previous novels includeStarter for Ten (originally published in the U.S. as A Question of Attraction), adapted into a film starring James McAvoy, for which Nicholls also wrote the screenplay; and The Understudy. He continues to write for film and TV as well as writing novels and adapting them for the screen, and has twice been nominated for the BAFTA awards. He lives in London with his wife and two children.

Find Mr. Nicholls here: web, Facebook, Goodreads

 

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Melissa’s Review: There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In: Three Novellas About Family

There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In – Three Novellas About Family
written by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
published by Penguin Books

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksGoodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I loved it. It was dark, sad, and impeccably written — all of my favorite things. I’m not at all proud to belong to a race capable of inspiring such dreary depictions of human nature, but Ms. Petrushevskaya’s writing reminds me that we can be beautiful as well.

 

Golden Line: “What have I done except love them both?”

 

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Would I recommend it: Absolutely. Twice.

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
The masterly novellas that established Ludmilla Petrushevskaya as one of the greatest living Russian writers.

“Love them,­ they’ll torture you; don’t love them, ­they’ll leave you anyway.”

After her work was suppressed for many years, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya won wide recognition for capturing the experiences of everyday Russians with profound pathos and mordant wit. Among her most famous and controversial works, these three novellas—The Time Is Night, Chocolates with Liqueur, and Among Friends—are modern classics that breathe new life into Tolstoy’s famous dictum, “All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Together they confirm the genius of an author with a gift for turning adversity into art

 

 

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Blog Tour: Induction Day by P.K. Hrezo (Chrissy’s review, excerpt, giveaway)

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Induction Day CoverInduction Day (Butterman Travel Series #2)
written by P.K. Hrezo
published by P.K. Hrezo

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book:
I really did enjoy this book. It was just as good as the first book, Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. 

Induction Day grabbed me from the beginning, held onto me through the middle, and wouldn’t let go of me at the end. In fact, it has such a hold on me that I cannot wait until the third book is released. (I’m not sure when it will be released, but I wish it were out right now!!!!)

There’s action. There’s love. There’s excitement. There’s sadness. And there’s the Titanic. If that’s not enough to get you interested, there’s also time travel that sounds plausible. What more can you hope for!

I love Bianca and Tristan. They make such a good pair. Garth is a bitch with an ax to grind. She’s a great character. Bianca’s parents . . . I haven’t figured them out yet. At times they seem so naive while at other times they seem to know exactly what they are doing. I’m just not sure about them. And I can’t wait to see what role a certain crewman aboard the Titanic has to play in this series. (At least, I’m hoping he plays a role.)

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Would I recommend it: Be sure to read book 1, Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc., first. To read my review, click here.

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About the book – from Goodreads: 
The year 2069 is coming to a close, and eighteen-year-old Bianca Butterman’s time-craft license is finally official. She’s ready for the Induction Day she’s waited for since she was a kid-the one that will secure her name on the Butterman family tree of time travelers. But ever since the media discovered Bianca is pop superstar Tristan Helms’ latest new honey, everything Bianca does or says becomes a target of criticism. Having her professional credibility topping the gossip sites across social media is an open invitation for the government to step in and regulate Bianca’s Induction. Now she will have to ask herself if saving 1500 people from drowning is worth losing everything she’s ever worked for, including the Butterman family biz.

Welcome to Butterman Travel, Incorporated; a full service agency designed to meet all your exclusive time travel needs. We’re a family owned and operated business with one hundred years of experience. A place where you can rest assured, safety and reliability always come first.

Anxious to attend some special event from the past? Or for a glimpse of what the future holds?

You’ve come to the right place. We’re a fully accredited operation, offering an array of services; including, but not limited to: customized travel plans, professionally piloted operations, and personal trip guides. *Terms and conditions do apply.

Use our Web conferencing to contact our frontline reservation specialist, Bianca Butterman, who will handle all your inquiries in a professional and efficient manner, offering a tentative itinerary and free fare quote, so you can make the most of your time trip. We look forward to serving you at Butterman Travel, Inc., where time is always in your hands.

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An eerie flash of unspoken communication passes between us. I don’t want to tell him he’ll die—it’s too much knowledge for a person to bear. The way his face softens for the briefest of moments sends a jolt of possibility through me. All isn’t lost yet. He wants to believe, I can see it in the glint of his eye, the angle of his brow.

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pk hrezoAbout the author: PK Hrezo is a native Floridian whose life could easily be a Jimmy Buffet song. She shares her home with her firefighter husband and their two children. When not creating characters and their worlds, PK can be found at her other job of rearranging passenger’s itineraries for a major international airline. The only hobbies she loves more than traveling, are reading, writing, and music, and when the four are combined she exists in total bliss.

She blogs regularly at PK HREZO: Fearless Fiction http://pk-hrezo.blogspot.com/

Find Ms. Hrezo here: web, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

giveaway

 

To be entered into a special giveaway, copy one of these ready-made posts and share it. Make sure PK’s name is tagged so she can see it and enter your name into a giveaway. The more you share, the more entries you receive. 5 winners will receive a time traveler’s book thong:
time traveler book thongs
TWEETS:
Induction Day by @PKHrezo is a #timetravel #mustread. Retweet this to be entered into a special #giveaway. Add it to #AmazonCart here.
FACEBOOK:
Induction Day is here! A taut, fast-paced, engrossing read by PKHrezo. Find it on Amazon here:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G9ADV2O
Share this post for an entry into a special giveaway.
GOOGLE PLUS
Induction Day by #PKHrezo is a #timetravel #mustread. Retweet this to be entered into a special #giveaway. A taut, fast-paced, engrossing read. Find it on Amazon here:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G9ADV2O

Share this post for an entry into a special giveaway.

 

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Boost It Tuesday! – November 11, 2014

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Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free Chance, Candace’s Book Blog, and Gin’s Book Notes for Boost It Tuesday.

 

What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.

 

As an added bonus, Candace, Ginny, and I will be hosting a giveaway each week just to say thanks for the boost!

 

For this week’s giveaway, head over to the Every Free Chance Facebook page and answer the question in the Boost It post!

 

Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!


Gin's Book Notes
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