Readers' Favorite

January 19, 2013

Now Booking: Excerpt Tour

Join the tour for Playing the Genetic Lottery by Terri Morgan
February 18 - 22

Each participating will receive a portion of the excerpt to post on their blog. Readers will be encouraged to visit all the blogs involved to read the entire excerpt. A SPECIAL promotion will be going on in conjunction with the tour. Sign up below!

Caitlin Kane knows more about the impact of schizophrenia than most people could imagine. Both her parents were afflicted with the devastating mental illness, a disease that tends to run in families, and Caitlin and her brother grew up trying to navigate the chaos of living with two schizophrenics. Her tumultuous childhood left Caitlin determined to forge a peaceful and serene life for herself. Now 32, she is living her dream. Married to her best friend, she and her husband are raising two bright young children in the suburbs of Seattle. While her unusual upbringing has left Caitlin with emotional scars, she enjoys the love and support of her extended family and her challenging career as a pediatric nurse. But no matter how hard she tries, she can't shake the obsessive fear that the family illness will strike again, robbing her of her mind or stealing away the sanity of one or both of her children.

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Loved it: Something New

Published: Nov. 2012 by Buzz Books USA
Source: Publicist
Read: December 2012
I've had Something New by Malena Lott on my to read list for a while and I read it over Christmas break. I read it in a weekend (actually the weekend before Christmas). I loved it and didn't want to put it down.

It's been on my reading list for a while because I don't read a lot of romance, but Something New is so much more than a romance novel. I so identified with Kelly - the dependable family member that always does what is expected of her.

Something New is a modern day fairy tale of a family with old money - real estate wealthy, but cash poor - with a number of secrets. Three generations of Apple women have done the "right" thing, followed the path that was expected, endured the life they led all in the name of Apple. However, following expectations doesn't always lead to happiness as these four women discover.

At the start of the story, Kelly has sworn off men, but wants a baby. Her sister is getting married on a national television show because of her shopping addiction debt. Her parents are divorcing and her mother is tired of pretending. Her grandmother, the matriarch of the family, is succumbing to dementia and holds the biggest secret of them all - one that will shake the family to the core (no pun intended). In a lot of ways the Apple family is experience growing pains. And while it is set-up to be a book of self-discovery for Kelly, or at least that is what you believe in the beginning, it is truly a multi-generational revelation in the end.

The multi-generational perspective reminded me of The Friday Night Knit Club. Though I identified with Kelly, the three other women are not just in the wings. I think it would be just as easy for another reader to pick up the book and say Mae is the star, while someone else may say Gwen. It really depends on which character you relate to the most and they get pretty equal attention. And though I thought the women were a little slow to catching on to Mauve's secret, it was fun following their journey.

Something New is a story about growing up, growing closer, and finding love in unexpected places. For those who enjoy stories of strength, bonding, and being true to oneself, Something New should be your next read.

Buy the Book!
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Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. A free book was obtained from the source mentioned above in order to provide an honest and free review.

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Bloggers Wanted: YA Tour

Guardians Inc.: The Cypher  February 4 - 24
Reviews, Interviews, Guest Posts, & Excerpts 
The Adventure Awaits You!

A chance reading of a newspaper ad will send 16 year old Thomas Byrne into the world within our world.

Following the ad he will find Guardians Incorporated. A seven thousand year old organization charged with protecting the balance between Magic and technology.

Through their guidance technology has kept Magic at bay since the Renaissance, but the balance is shifting and soon all those creatures we've driven into myth and legend will come back with a vengeance.

To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future and to unlock the future they need a cypher.

Free at Amazon

January 18, 2013

Friday Fun: The Forever Girl Tour

Welcome to the Forever Girl Character Tour. We’re celebrating The Forever Girl’s one year anniversary — that means it’s been one year since The Forever Girl was released! Copies are still available at the same low price of $2.99 for ebook and $10.95 for print. But fear not, this tour is not without some really cool prizes for you to win, whether you already own a copy of The Forever Girl or never plan to read it. Each stop on the tour will feature one of the main characters from the book, and you can easily enter to win some of their favorite things! For a full list of stops on this tour, visit the author’s blog at

Red’s just a bird Sophia rescued outside the woods. Or is he? Since the release of The Forever Girl, some very savvy readers have decided there MUST be more to Red. And they are right. But who is he, really? And what role will he play in future books in the series? Is Sophia looking out for him, or is it the other way around?

Here’s the top five fast “fun facts” about Red.
  1. Favorite Color: Blue.
  2. Favorite Drink: Water.
  3. What he’s afraid of: Putting others in danger.
  4. Likes: Flying, Nature.
  5. Dislikes: Vampires.

Today’s character giveaway features some bird-themed items: Earrings, Ring, Necklace, and Purse.

If you want to snag Red’s favorite items for yourself (or as a gift for a friend or loved one!) simply enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

"Whatever you do, fight."

Sophia's family has skeletons, but they aren't in their graves.

At twenty-two, practicing Wiccan Sophia Parsons is scratching out a living waiting tables in her Rocky Mountain hometown, a pariah after a string of unsolved murders with only one thing in common: her.

Sophia can imagine lots of ways to improve her life, but she'd settle for just getting rid of the buzzing noise in her head. When the spell she casts goes wrong, the static turns into voices. Her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous.

One of them is a man named Charles, who Sophia falls for despite her better judgment. He has connections that might help her unveil the mystery surrounding her ancestor's hanging, but she gets more than she bargains for when she finally decides to trust him.

Survival in his world, she learns, means not asking questions and staying out of the immortal council's way. It's a line she crossed long ago. If Sophia wants to survive the council and save the people she loves, she must accept who she is, perform dark magic, and fight to the death for her freedom.
Buy the Book!
Amazon  *  B&N

Connect with Rebecca on Twitter, Facebook, and her Blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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January 17, 2013

Tips on Thursday: Blog Reading

The comment challenge I issued at the beginning of the year is going strong. I mentioned then that I needed to organize the blogs I read so that I can comment better. A tip I picked up from My Blog Traffic Sucks! was to have tiers for the blogs you read.

The top tier should be powerhouse blogs with great content, large readership, and lively discussion. These blogs you visit every day (or every time they post something new if they don't post daily). I think the book recommended having 10 such blogs.

The next tier are mid-size blogs. These blogs may be more specialized than the top tier blogs which results in smaller audiences. These are the blogs you visit weekly.

The third tier consists of blogs that you check in on maybe once a month. These blogs may be have good content, but they don't post regularly or the posts don't encourage discussion.

The point of the My Blog Traffic Sucks! is to drive more traffic to your site by making your name more visible to new audiences. It also expects that a blogger has 15 hours a week to devote to their blog. I know I don't, so I'm working on a system that will work for me.

I do like his recommendation of picking out "Must Read" blogs and organizing what blogs you read. When I started my comment challenge one of the first problems I encountered was finding blogs to comment on. I want my comment to be more meaningful than just "great post" so I needed to find blogs that were posting discussion motivating content.

Back when I started blogging (I just had my 2 year anniversary!) Google Friend Connect (GFC) was the way EVERYONE followed blogs. It has been phased out to a Google-user only product, meaning me on Blogger can still use it. However, there are a number of Wordpress bloggers who I like to read.

Shortly after the discontinuous of GFC many people went looking for other blog subscribing programs. One that was recommend to me was BlogLovin. I signed up for it and put in a whole bunch of blogs. Daily I'm sent an email with recent updates. But you know what? I get so much email that I usually don't even open it. It just gets deleted.

I also recently purchased a tablet and thought wouldn't it be great if on the home screen I could easily see what blogs have updated recently.  That way when I had a few minutes (I'm the queen of squeezing the life out a minute - one of the reasons I can wear so many hats) I could quickly see what was new.

It is obvious that I am firmly on the Google bandwagon. I have a Google tablet. And guess what! Google reader has a widget that I can display on my home screen. YAY! I added it immediately and started using it the next minute.

But then I quickly realized a problem. I'm following a ton of blogs. How do I decide which to read and which I have to pass on. Again, taking the advice from My Blog Traffic Sucks! and modifying it for my schedule I'm looking at the ones that offer content that I can easily comment on.

My Game Plan:

First, cull some blogs. I imported my GFC follow list to Google Reader and soon discovered several blogs had moved and no longer was I following the right address - when possible I subscribed to the new url and deleted the old one. Also, a number of blogs hadn't updated in 6 months or more- they were deleted. Some of the blogs I haven't visited in forever. For the last bunch, I will monitor them for a few weeks to see if they offer content I'm still interested in before I deciding to delete or keep. You should sort through and cull your blog list every 6 months.

Second, there are blogs I read pretty regularly that I wasn't subscribed to. I pick up their links from Facebook groups or Twitter. I started adding them to Google Reader. It will be easier and more efficient if all the blogs you read are in one place.

Third, skim through posts. On my tablet I can easily swipe through a number of blogs to see what topics are being shared and what I might be able to add value to with my thoughts. For posts that I'm interested in, I either click through to read and comment or mark it as "unread" so I can go back to it when I have more time. There will be posts - mostly memes type posts - that I can quickly dismiss, though I occasionally share them directly from Google Reader. Sort through your reading list daily to see which posts you will read and possibly comment.

That's my 3 part game plan for being a more active participant in the blogging community.

How do you find time to produce content and connect with other bloggers?

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January 16, 2013

Jennings Wright: Inner Editor

I just put "inner editor" into my Bing search bar. This is what I got: 43,600,000 results. Google, not to be outdone, has "about" 84,800,000 results. I find that astonishing! And people are still looking for answers on how to deal with it. So what to do?

First recognize the enemy. The inner editor is a demon of epic proportions that's got to be at least as scary as a balrog. Like a balrog (my own balrog experience being limited to The Lord of the Rings), it's the bane of writers everywhere. In fact, it's so scary that many would-be writers never venture forth into writer-land, afraid that the flaming whip is going to come out of the dark recesses of their mind and snatch them right off their feet. Many who start writing aren't able to stand up to the balrog like Gandalf does in The Lord of the Rings, uttering my favorite line of the whole book/movie: YOU. SHALL NOT. PASS. Many, if  not most, don't think they have that power.

Let me assure you, friends, you do. You, too, can stand on that rickety writing bridge, turn to face the demonic inner editor, and throw down the gauntlet. You, too, can look that flaming freakazoid in the fiery eyeballs and refuse to back down. You, too, can claim your territory, draw a line in the sand, and put a stop to the tyranny by saying "I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS!"

Who is this inner editor anyway? Well, like the balrog, he or she lives down in the dark recesses of your mind. Usually, it's content with scathing remarks when you're standing in front of the mirror or when you say something you're not sure if you regret. But get out the pen and paper, or computer, or paintbrush and paint, and its true nature comes swelling into life. It says:
  • How dare you think you have anything to say to the world?
  • How dare you presume to write 50,000 or 100,000 words and expect anyone to read it? And certainly don’t expect them to like it…
  • Who told you that you could write?
  • Who told you that you could do anything at all unique, interesting or good?
  • Who do you think you are????
If you forge ahead anyway, the inner editor goes from vastly exaggerated statements of your measly self-worth to minutia in an instant.
  • Your grammar sucks.
  • That sentence sucks.
  • Why would you choose that word?
  • This is crap.
  • Those people are one dimensional, unbelievable, and stupid.
  • You are one dimensional, unbelievable and stupid.
  • This whole thing is stupid. Let's just order pizza and watch a movie.
And if you don't turn at some point in this whole process and say it -- say "You shall not pass!" right then and there -- you will quit. You will close your laptop or cap your pen, wander off to the tv to see what’s recorded on the DVR, and quit. And the balrog... uh, inner editor... will smirk and smile and leave you alone for a while, so you have peace and forget about that stupid writing thing.

Well. Are you going to give up that easily? Believe it or not, the inner editor can only be stopped by taking a stand. Sure, you can trick it. You can use tips and tricks and get some of your first draft done, and that would definitely be a great accomplishment. But what if you actually want to do something with the story? That will require finishing it and editing it, and the inner editor will get louder and louder. And you have to shut it up, or your novel will be one of millions in drawers, old hard drives and dusty boxes the world over.

It IS necessary to be honest with ourselves about our writing. It IS necessary to get beta readers who will be honest with us about our writing. It IS necessary to edit and edit and edit, and try to make it the very best it can be. But if you don't believe in yourself and your writing, if you won't take a stand for it against the inner editor/balrog, won’t reach your goals. Humility is one thing. False humility is another. Your balrog isn't a pet... It's an enemy. One only you can fight. Will you stand up for yourself and your vision and take a stand? (I think you can order whips like Gandalf’s online, if you need a confidence booster!)

About the Author:

Born and raised in Rockledge, Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn't spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.

Jennings attended the University of the South and the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of script doctoring, business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit to Uganda.

Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn't stopped since. She's written four novels and a screenplay in less than a year, with more ideas on the drawing board. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a writer, and two children, and travels extensively.
website  *  blog  *  Twitter  *  Facebook

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of Girl Who Reads.

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Beat the Winter Time Blues Give Away

Does winter have you down? Perk up with a $50 Amazon gift card from Terri Morgan, author of Playing the Genetic Lottery. Enter to win below.

"Caitlin’s story touched me deep in my soul" ~ Marina, Chick Library Cat

"Terri Morgan's depictions of [schizophrenia] are realistic as well as haunting." ~ Allizabeth Collins, The Paperback Pursuer

Will Caitlin succumb to the disease that has claimed her parents and brother? Will her daughters be the next victims of the family curse? Find out in Terri Morgan's fictional memoir Playing the Genetic Lottery.

Available at Amazon and in paperback directly from *
*$1 of every paperback purchased from Terri's site goes to support mental health research.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beat the Winter Time Blues Giveaway is paid for by Terri Morgan and organized by GWR Publicity.
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January 15, 2013

Happy 2nd Anniversary

Books HD
Books HD (Photo credit: Abee5)
Wow! I had tried to plan some big party for my second blogiversary, but time has gotten away from me. I was busy doing what I love - promoting awesome authors and reviewing great books. And I have read some terrific books these past two years. Books I never would have picked up or possibly even known about if it was for blogging.

I have met some truly wonderful people through the blog - fellow bloggers and authors as well as regular readers - who have encouraged me and shared some of life's ups & downs. For a single gal in a small town, the online community I have found in the blogosphere really means a lot to me.

When I think back over the last two years, I'm amazed at how far this blog has come (a long ways from posting just 1 review a week). I've hosted NYT & USA Today best selling authors as well as a Pultizer Prize winner. I've discovered I like some fantasy & sci-fi novels and I prefer first person narration in my audio books. I've learned I had a secret talent hidden inside - the ability to network and promote - that is leading me in a career direction I never would have dreamed I would like, let alone be good at.

So here's to a great two years and hopefully many more successful years to come!

photo credit: Ben Sutherland via photopin cc

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Featured Book: Love of Shadows by Zoe Brooks

Free January 16 - 19!

"I had always felt most alive, when I was healing. Without healing I was a tin top spinning out of kilter soon to catch the ground. It took all my energy to hold myself from skidding into chaos."

But in the city of Pharsis traditional women healers are banned from practising and the penalty for breaking the law is death by hanging. After being arrested and interrogated twice Judith is careful to avoid suspicion, but then scarlet fever breaks over the city like a poisonous wave, leaving in its wake the small corpses of children. What will the young healer do?

Love of Shadows is the second novel in The Healer's Shadow trilogy, which began with Girl in the Glass, and follows the lives of Judith and her Shadow, Sarah. It is a study in grief, love and defiance.

Praise for Love of Shadows:

"Zoe Brooks' writing style delighted me." ~ Andrea,

"heartfelt story" ~ Shalini, Book Review

"A great sequel to the first book that leaves me on the edge of my seat for the final installment." ~ Georgia, Need to Reads, Got to Watch 

Buy the Book!
Amazon US  *  Amazon UK

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. Featured Books is a free announcement feature and all information is provided by the author unless otherwise noted.

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January 14, 2013

Meet the Author: Rose Gordon

First, let me say a huge thank you to Donna for having me on! Thanks so much.

I'd originally written out my story. No, not my love story or even my whole life story, but the story of how a third grade girl who couldn't even read her own name became a USA Today Bestselling Author fifteen years later. But that's not really what people want to know—they want to know personal things. So I asked on my blog and on Facebook for some random, everyday questions for me to answer. So here goes:
  1. Where do you live? In a house. Next! Actually, I live in a very small town in Oklahoma that has only two stoplights—one of which was put in only three years ago. This particular “town” is actually no longer really a town as just a few months ago, the address I live at changed “cities”. I still have rural water and trash, and if I call 911 nobody knows who is to come because if I call from the front of my house, the call goes to one county and if I'm in the back of my house, the call is routed to a different county. Smalltown, USA right there.
  2. If you weren't writing books, what would you do? Crunching numbers. My degree is actually in business administration with an emphasis on accounting. Accountants are the same as writers, they just express themselves with a calculator instead of keyboard.
  3. Two truths and a lie: 1. I was a teen mother. 2. I married my high school sweetheart. 3. My husband is two inches shy of being a foot and a half taller than me.
  4. Excluding your books, what was your biggest accomplishment of 2012? That I rode 150 miles on the back of a tandem bicycle with my husband without ever once uttering the word divorce! In September we rode our tandem bicycle from Tulsa, Oklahoma to the capitol building in Oklahoma City for roughly 150 miles spread out over two days as a fundraiser for MS. We'd had very little training and the longest we'd ever ridden before this was twenty-six miles at once, so more than seventy miles in a day was quite a challenge! But we survived.
  5. Do you pull any of your book ideas from your family? Absolutely. There are so many things in my books that are just twists on things that I've been through or that I've encountered in one way or another. As they say, write what you know. That's exactly what I do.
  6. What are the hardest scenes to write? Love scenes. Believe it or not, these are some of the toughest scenes to write because you have to portray emotions though facial expressions, reactions and a very few murmured words (the less, the better during these scenes) all while describing two people sharing the most intimate bond there is. Not to mention, I always get a little red in the face and keep glancing over my shoulder to make sure nobody has walked up on me while I'm doing these. It's even worse when I go back to re-read them for edits. At least with writing them, I can get up, walk around and fan myself off. When reading it straight through, I have to sit there and read it all right then!
  7. What are your hidden talents and hobbies? I have a few hobbies: attempting to scrapbook, burning dinner, pretending I play the accordion, being chased by my five and seven year old through the backyard or chasing after our pom-a-poo (half-Pomeranian, half-Toy poodle) named Sir Rhett at 3am in the backyard wearing not much more than a T-shirt and knickers. Talents? Yikes, I don't know if I have many of those, either...well, except I can without fail make my kids laugh, which, let's face it, at this age is vitally important as it keeps them happy and I know in a few years, I won't be nearly as much fun for them to be around.
  8. Any advice for aspiring writer? Keep at it and be true to your characters. It's easy to feel pressured to bend your story into what you think will make others happy, but resist the urge! I'll far better remember a unique story than I will one that I feel like I've read before. And when you feel like you're not making progress, don't panic. Some stories come slow, and that's okay. Your story is as unique as you, keep it that way.
  9. What do you have planned for 2013? More books! I have one that will come out the end of January, titled His Jilted Bride, then another that will come out in April and is the last in the Banks Brothers' Brides series, titled His Brother's Bride. Then onto the American West for me. Hopefully, I'll have four new books come out this year!
Thank you again, Donna, for having me and for all of your readers for reading it. I've enjoyed answering your questions.

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author Rose Gordon has written ten unusually unusual historical romances that have been known to include scarred heroes, feisty heroines, marriage-producing scandals, far too much scheming, naughty literature and always a sweet happily-ever-after. When not escaping to another world via reading or writing a book, she spends her time chasing two young boys around the house, being hunted by wild animals, or sitting on the swing in the backyard where she has to use her arms as shields to deflect projectiles AKA: balls, water balloons, sticks, pinecones, and anything else one of her boys picks up to hurl at his brother who just happens to be hiding behind her.

Website  *  Goodreads  *  Twitter

Buy the Book!
Amazon  *  B&N

Have a question of your own for Rose? Leave it in the comment section.

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of Girl Who Reads.

Have you been reading?

It's Monday, again. And, again, I don't have any new books to report having been read. I did finish my beta reading project and do not have any manuscript projects waiting so I should be able to get some pleasure reading in this week. (If you are looking for a beta reader, you can see my rates under the GWR Publicity tab).

5 a Week Comment Challenge: I'm happy so many people have signed on to this challenge. I really hope that it will change the commenting culture in the book blogging world. (Don't know what I'm talking about? See this post). I made 5 or 6 comments this week. What I'm most thrilled about, though, is the quality of comments. I'm not just leaving the "great post" generic comment. How did you with the challenge?

I'm already seeing a change in commenting behavior on my blog. The most commented on post this week was Michele Richard's guest post with editing tips.

It is the last days of the Confessions Tour with J. B. Lynn. It has been a great tour with some very funny moments. Make sure you enter to win a signed set of her books.

On Friday, I did my first blogger spotlight - check out Fresh Pot Tea for all things creative writing. Over the weekend I posted my review of Prince Nameless by Patti Larsen and the trailer for The Night Watchmen by J. L. Manning.


What would you do if you could see into the future?

As a child, he dreamed of being a superhero. Most people never get to realize their childhood dreams, but Corrigan Bain has come close. He is a fixer. His job is to prevent accidents—to see the future and “fix” things before people get hurt. But the ability to see into the future, however limited, isn’t always so simple. Sometimes not everyone can be saved.

“Don’t let them know you can see them.”

Graduate students from a local university are dying, and former lover and FBI agent Maggie Trent is the only person who believes their deaths aren’t as accidental as they appear. But the truth can only be found in something from Corrigan Bain’s past, and he’s not interested in sharing that past, not even with Maggie.

To stop the deaths, Corrigan will have to face up to some old horrors, confront the possibility that he may be going mad, and find a way to stop a killer no one can see.

Corrigan Bain is going insane . . . or is he?

Because there’s something in the future that doesn’t want to be seen. It isn’t human. It’s got a taste for mayhem. And it is very, very angry. From
Fixer is not available until March 2013, but learn more about it at Goodreads.

Gen Y has been picked apart by analysts, statistics, and trend reports, which often portray 20-somethings in negative, one-dimensional terms like "entitled" and "whiners". In this thought-provoking new book that aims to dispel these stereotypes, journalist Hannah Seligson chronicles the lives of seven individuals who embody this generation, exploring their challenges and ambitions in vivid detail and sketching a picture, through their eyes, of what life is actually like for young adults. Through these first-hand stories, readers will discover the transformational effect this enterprising, open-minded, innovative, and diverse generation is having on society. From
Find Mission: Adulthood at Goodreads, Amazon, and IndieBound.

What are you reading this week? Are you like me and still working on books from last week or are you picking up something new?

Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links.
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January 13, 2013

Watch Now: The Night Watchman

The Night Watchman by J. L. Manning
Published March 2009 by PublishAmerica
ISBN13: 9781607491408

Buy the Book!


Girl Who Reads is an advertising affiliate with Amazon and IndieBound; a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links. Book Trailer showings are a free feature. All videos are provided by the author who has granted Girl Who Reads permission to feature them on this blog.