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December 20, 2013

Last New Releases of 2013

2013 is quickly coming to an end, but there are still a few more books set to release before we sing Auld Lang Syne. Here are a few that caught my eye.

An un-putdownable thriller for fans of Uglies

When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.

A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.

Available December 26; pre-order at Amazon

Three Broken Promises
Breakout New Adult sensation Monica Murphy returns with a hot new contemporary romance—a heartfelt story of second chances, forgiveness, and redemption.

Commitment. That’s what I really want from Colin. Ever since my brother, Danny, died in Iraq, Colin’s done so much to help me, including giving me a job at his popular restaurant so I can leave my crappy waitressing job at the strip joint. But lying in bed with him every night to comfort him from his horrible nightmares isn’t enough anymore. I know he feels guilty about Danny’s death, about not going to Iraq, but I can’t keep living this double life. 

I love him desperately, but he’s got so many demons, and if he can’t open up to me now, then he’ll never be the real partner I need him to be. I gave him a month, and now I’m out of here. If he truly loves me like he says, he knows where to find me.

Available December 31; pre-order at Amazon

True love—and world war—is at stake in the conclusion to The Pledge trilogy, a dark and romantic blend of dystopia and fantasy.
Charlie, otherwise known as Queen Charlaina of Ludania, has become comfortable as a leader and a ruler. She’s done admirable work to restore Ludania’s broken communications systems with other Queendoms, and she’s mastered the art of ignoring Sabara, the evil former queen whose Essence is alive within Charlie. Or so she thinks.

When the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Queendom of Astonia goes awry, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens Ludania, and it seems her only option is to sacrifice herself in exchange for Ludanian freedom.

But things aren’t always as they seem. Charlie is walking into a trap—one set by Sabara, who is determined to reclaim the Queendoms at any cost.

Available December 31; pre-order at Amazon

The Promise of Amazing
Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how. 

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

Available December 31; pre-order at Amazon

Return to Poughkeepsie
Beckett Taylor is a murderer. His calling, his craft are destruction and intimidation—whether he wants it that way now or not. He left Poughkeepsie to keep his brothers safe, to keep Eve safe. Set up with happy lives to live, they’re better off without him, right?

But all his willpower crumbles when he hears his brother Blake’s frantic voice on the phone. An unknown enemy has moved in on his old territory, and Livia’s been taken. In an instant, Beckett knows it will take an attack only he and Eve can execute to bring her back. All his self-imposed embargoes are torn to shreds, perhaps along with the new man he’s struggled to become.

“Brother, call Eve. I’ll be there soon.” 

In this emotional and action-packed sequel to Poughkeepsie, Debra Anastasia conjures a tale of love at its most raw and ragged. With Beckett and Eve, how could we expect anything less? But even when it’s messy, not magical, true love perseveres. Real love finds a way—for better or for worse until death does part.

Available December 30

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December 18, 2013

Chryse Wymer: Hyphens, Em Dashes, and En Dashes

Thank you so much, Donna Huber, for allowing me to guest post on a subject that is near and dear to my heart: em dashes and en dashes, em dashes in particular. Em dashes are my second-favorite punctuation mark because, like colons, they’re often feared by authors. Maybe it’s the names: colons, em dashes. It sounds a bit fancy.

This month, I’ve been hopping blog to blog to share my knowledge on the nuts and bolts of great writing. I am a copy editor, proofreader, and author—published both traditionally and independently. I’m also raffling off Amazon gift cards to help get your editing bookshelves filled. You can contact me at, or, for more information, visit: At the previous site, I’ll also be keeping a list of the blogs I’ve visited and the subject matter I’ve shared. The Amazon giveaway starts December 1st and ends January 1st.

Anyway, let’s just get to it.



The em-dash, which is as wide as the capital M, is used to mark an interruption in sentence structure. Typewriters create it with two hyphens ( -- ). Word-processing programs can place a true em dash. It is used for several purposes.

First, a pair of em dashes can be used to enclose a parenthetical remark (an aside such as this), or to mark the ending and the resumption of a statement.  E.g.: “The voice was quiet, somber—the way it’s supposed to be—but it was broad daylight.”

Second, it can be used in place of a colon, e.g.: “This person is . . . was . . . my son, and it ain’t right—none of it.”

My editing clients have frequently used commas in place of em dashes, often resulting in confusion and/or comma splices. That’s it. Let’s move on to the easier mark.


The en-dash is as wide as the capital letter N, and is distinct from the hyphen. It joins pairs or groups of words to show a range, and also indicates movement and tension (rather than cooperation and unity). It is often equivalent to to or versus <the 1914–1918 war> <the love–hate dichotomy> <the Tyson–Foreman match> <the Dallas–Toronto–Quebec route> 

The en-dash is also used for joint authors <the Stephen King–Peter Straub book>

Some editors, myself included, use an en-dash for a phrasal adjective in which the individual elements contain spaces or internal hyphens <a Pulitzer Prize–winning author> <pre–Revolutionary War times>. I prefer to use the en-dash in this way because it often helps to clarify in such situations. I’m all about clarity and consistency. 

Just like with the em-dash, the en-dash is commonly represented by a single hyphen in typewriting. Word-processing programs can insert a true en-dash.

Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to enter the Amazon giveaway before January 1st, 2014.

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Chryse Wymer is a freelance copy editor and proofreader whose main focus is on indie writers. Her clients have been well reviewed, and one was recently chosen as a top-five finalist in The Kindle Book Review's 2013 Best Indie Book Awards in his category: mystery/thriller. For some years, she has been particularly obsessed with William S. Burroughs’s writing, who happened to coin the term heavy metal ... her favorite music.
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The views, opinions, and beliefs of contributing writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads. 

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December 17, 2013

Review: The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile

The Time-Traveling Fashionista 3
by Donna Huber

I haven't read many middle grade books this year since my niece has finally gotten the reading bug AND can find books she enjoys on her own. But I kind of miss reading the same books she is and discussing them with her. We are still reading The Gateway Chronicles, but that is it as she loves fantasy novels much more than me (she just finished up The Mortal Instruments series). So when I was asked to review The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleoptra, Queen of the Nile by Bianca Turetsky, I couldn't say no. Outside of the time traveling, it is historical fiction (a genre I enjoy). My niece has read the first two books in the series and loves it. A few weeks before being asked to review, I had noticed a third book was due out and was already planning on it being a Christmas present. So of course I was excited to get to to read it early.

And I was not disappointed (my niece does have good taste in books) and thoroughly enjoyed the book. Middle grade books can be hit or miss for me. While I can objectively say a middle grade book is good or not for the age group, I don't always enjoy it personally as an adult. I can say with 100% truth that I enjoyed it as an adult reader. I liked it so much I'm going to have to borrow the other two books in the series from my niece. The writing is sophisticated enough that it holds the attention of an adult reader, yet it isn't "over-the-heads" of the intended reader. And the story is so engaging that the reader of any age will be enthralled with it.

Louise is a pretty average 12 year old who is in love with vintage clothing. An invitation to the Traveling Fashionista Sale has her not only finding a great party dress, but traveling through time on an awesome adventure. While Louise is only suppose to be visiting the set of the 1963 filming of Cleopatra, she "accidentally" is transported back to the day of Cleopatra - a deadly time she soon finds out. She learns some important life lessons and the ending promises more adventures are to come.

If you are looking for an adventure to share with your daughter, then The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile should be on your to read list. While it is the third book in the series, it totally reads well as a stand alone. But, hey, a long school holiday is just around the corner so why not get all three to enjoy this winter.

Buy The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile at Amazon.

Book Info:
Hardcover (256 pages)
Published December 2013 by Poppy
ISBN13: 9780316224888
Source: Netgalley
Read: November 2013

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate;  a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link.  A free e-galley was provided by the source.

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December 16, 2013

5 New Books for December

Looking for a new book to read over the holidays? Check out these new releases.

A Beautiful Wedding
You know that Abby Abernathy unexpectedly became Mrs. Maddox. But what do you really know?

Why did Abby pop the question?
What secrets were shared before the ceremony?
Where did they spend their wedding night?
Who else knew about it . . . and didn’t tell?

Everything about Abby and Travis’s elopement was top-secret . . . until now. Fans of Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster will get all of their questions answered in this whirlwind tale of the wedding day (and night!)—and as with all good stories, this one will definitely have been worth the wait.

Buy A Beautiful Wedding at Amazon

Deadly, the fourteenth volume in Sara Shepard's YA Pretty Little Liars series, delivers more juicy scandals, dark secrets, and shocking plot twists. This #1 New York Times bestselling series is also a hit ABC Family original TV show.

High school seniors Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer have all done horrible things—things that would put them behind bars if anyone ever found out. And their stalker "A" knows everything.

So far A has kept their secrets, using them to torture the girls. But now A's changed the game. Suddenly the girls are hauled in for questioning, and all their worlds begin to unravel. If A's plan succeeds, Rosewood's pretty little liars will be locked away for good. . .

Buy Deadly at Amazon

The Ever After
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Temptation of Lila and Ethan comes a story of change, hope, and unbreakable vows.

The day Ella has waited for is just around the corner. It's the day she'll marry Micha, the love of her life, the light that guided her out of the darkness. It looks like it will be the perfect Christmas-until an unexpected package arrives with a harsh reminder of Ella's past. Suddenly Ella doesn't feel as confident about her future. Can she really have a "happily-ever-after" if she's never even seen one?

Micha will stand by Ella no matter what she's going through-though he worries that she might leave him standing at the altar again. When he's offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to tour with his favorite bands for three months, Micha knows he can't leave Ella behind. But can he ask her to uproot her life to join him on the road?

Now Ella and Micha must find a way to balance their fears, their dreams, and their love . . . if they ever want to hear wedding bells.

Buy The Ever After of Ella and Micha at Amazon

Sempre Redemption
In this thrilling and sexy follow-up to Sempre, two young lovers struggle to keep their relationship intact after they become deeply enmeshed in the dangerous mafia-run crime ring they once tried to overthrow.

Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco have been through a lot. Haven was taken in by Carmine’s father, and with his family’s help, she escaped a gruesome fate. However, saving Haven from the dark intentions of a mafia family cost Carmine a steep price: he was forced to swear loyalty to them.

Now, still passionately in love, Carmine and Haven must face the fall-out of Carmine’s forced service, as Haven discovers terrifying secrets about the family that enslaved both her and her mother—and why she matters so much in this intricate web of lies. 

Buy Sempre: Redemption at Amazon

Elizabeth of York
Many are familiar with the story of the much-married King Henry VIII of England and the celebrated reign of his daughter, Elizabeth I. But it is often forgotten that the life of the first Tudor queen, Elizabeth of York, Henry’s mother and Elizabeth’s grandmother, spanned one of England’s most dramatic and perilous periods. Now New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir presents the first modern biography of this extraordinary woman, whose very existence united the realm and ensured the survival of the Plantagenet bloodline.

Her birth was greeted with as much pomp and ceremony as that of a male heir. The first child of King Edward IV, Elizabeth enjoyed all the glittering trappings of royalty. But after the death of her father; the disappearance and probable murder of her brothers—the Princes in the Tower; and the usurpation of the throne by her calculating uncle Richard III, Elizabeth found her world turned upside-down: She and her siblings were declared bastards.

As Richard’s wife, Anne Neville, was dying, there were murmurs that the king sought to marry his niece Elizabeth, knowing that most people believed her to be England’s rightful queen. Weir addresses Elizabeth’s possible role in this and her covert support for Henry Tudor, the exiled pretender who defeated Richard at the Battle of Bosworth and was crowned Henry VII, first sovereign of the House of Tudor. Elizabeth’s subsequent marriage to Henry united the houses of York and Lancaster and signaled the end of the Wars of the Roses. For centuries historians have asserted that, as queen, she was kept under Henry’s firm grasp, but Weir shows that Elizabeth proved to be a model consort—pious and generous—who enjoyed the confidence of her husband, exerted a tangible and beneficial influence, and was revered by her son, the future King Henry VIII. 

Drawing from a rich trove of historical records, Weir gives a long overdue and much-deserved look at this unforgettable princess whose line descends to today’s British monarch—a woman who overcame tragedy and danger to become one of England’s most beloved consorts.

Buy Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her World at Amazon

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

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