Readers' Favorite

December 19, 2015

Featured Book: Love, Peace & Joy by Stephany Tullis #ASMSG

Love, Peace & Joy is guaranteed to fill readers hearts with the magical, mystical spirit of Christmas. Three short stories filled with all the ingredients of a holiday season like none other: fun, family, food, love, music and the potent gift of giving.

The perfect holiday gift and one you won't forget: A Holly Spriggs Jolly Christmas, Chocolate Covered Kisses and Joyeux Noelle.

Beautiful Christmas short stories! ~ M.A

...warmed my heart and made me look forward to Christmas... ~ Robert Jr.

...overflowing with holiday spirit... ~SKY08

Buy Love, Peace & Joy at Amazon

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December 18, 2015

Infographic: Should You Send Them a Holiday Card?

Holiday Card Flow Chart Infographic2

Holiday Card Facts
  • Americans send 1.6 billion holiday cards annually [source]
  • Women purchase an estimated 80% of all greeting cards [source]
  • E-cards have become an environmentally friendly alternative to paper cards [source]
  • Christmas cards originated in London, where Sir Henry Cole commissioned the first in 1843. [Source]
  • Two batches totaling 2,050 cards were printed and sold that year for a shilling each. [Source]
  • Despite the separation of church and state, it’s customary for the President and First Lady to send White House Christmas cards each holiday season. [source]
  • Calvin Coolidge issued the first official Christmas message to the American people in 1927. [source]

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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.

December 17, 2015

Tips for Wrapping Up the Blogging Year

by Donna Huber

In the midst of decking the halls and downing the egg nog, there are a few blog related tasks that should be on your end of the year to do list.

First and foremost: Back Up Your Blog

This task really should be done periodically throughout the year. The more you post the more often you should make a back up. This is even more important if you are squatting on free real estate (i.e. Blogger or

You would hate to log in one day and find your blog gone, POOF! It has been known to happen and as the new year is a prime time for new guidelines you may unknowingly find yourself caught in a change in terms of service.

Second, reflect on what worked

I like to do a wrap up post each year because it forces me to take a look at what readers liked, what memes brought the most traffic and comments, what guest post topics have been done to death. Knowing what went well and conversely what didn't work so well will guide you in what to do next year. Maybe it is time to say goodbye to a feature that has out lived it times. I'm contemplating discontinuing these weekly tips posts. They are time consuming and I'm not sure they fit into the content landscape of Girl Who Reads anymore. I'm toying with idea of doing a monthly column instead that would address the business side of publishing and blogging.

Third, set goals for next year

After you've had time to reflect on what went on in 2015, it's time to consider where you want to go with your blog in 2016. Do you want to add variety and do more than reviews? Or have you found that you have strayed for reviews and want to go back to your roots? I'm feeling this way a little bit. I don't think I can write more reviews, and adding new voices to Girl Who Reads has been popular, which is why we will be adding a new reviewer in 2016. The monthly columns have also been popular and a great way to have regular content. We are adding at least one new columnist in January.

Finally, set your editorial calendar

The end of 2015 will be here before you know it. Take a few minutes to outline the content you want to publish at least in January. If you can start filling in the later months before the ball drops, then you will find it will free you up to do more reading!

What is on your end of year to do list?

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December 16, 2015

5 #Books to Watch for in 2016

As we wrap up 2015 and start looking towards 2016, here are 5 books to put on your reading list.

cover The Things We Keep
Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at only thirty-eight years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there's just one another resident her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

When Eve Bennett is suddenly thrust into the role of single mother she finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them.

Available January 2016
Buy The Things We Keep at Amazon

cover Salty Sky
A thrilling coastal adventure.

Retired DEA pilot Cale Coleman’s life has slowed to the leisurely pace of running a small charter operation and living the life of a recreational waterman. Coleman is both wrapping up a reunion for childhood friends and battening down the hatches for an approaching hurricane when his life gets a jolt of adrenaline.

Francisco Escobar, nephew of Columbian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, has spent the last two decades maintaining a low profile but now ready to expand his family’s empire. As Escobar plans for new business opportunities, he also wrestles with how to handle old grievances.

In this riveting thriller, Seth Coker develops a range of unforgettable characters while providing a nuanced glimpse of a waterman’s life on the North Carolina coast.

Available February 2016

cover The Whole Contemplation of a Single Bone
In this her second collection of poetry, Nancy K. Pearson explores the possibilities of recovery and transformation in a world where "words cease to matter." The speaker attempts to reconcile the past--a past shadowed by depression, addiction and misdiagnosis. Pearson refuses to end in a place of relief, asking the question, "don't we all /fall into aggregate darkness/for something?" Instead her poems meditate on the lyric of absence and fragmentation. Pearson's poems are restless, unsettling and revelatory.

Available April 2016
Buy The Whole by Contemplation of a Single Bone at Amazon

Mark Haddon, author of the international bestselling novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and A Spot of Bother, returns with a collection of unsparing short stories

In the prize-winning story "The Gun," a man's life is marked by a single afternoon and a rusty .45; in "The Island," a mythical princess is abandoned on an island in the midst of war; in "The Boys Who Left Home to Learn Fear," a cadre of sheltered artistocrats sets out to find adventure in a foreign land and finds the gravest dangers among themselves. These are but some of the men and women who fill this searingly imaginative and emotionally taut collection of short stories by Mark Haddon, that weaves through time and space to showcase the author's incredible versatility.

Yet the collection achieves a sum that is greater than its parts, proving itself a meditation not only on isolation and loneliness but also on the tenuous and unseen connections that link individuals to each other, often despite themselves. In its titular story, the narrator describes with fluid precision a catastrophe that will collectively define its victims as much as it will disperse them—and brilliantly lays bare the reader's appetite for spectacle alongside its characters'. Cut with lean prose and drawing inventively from history, myth, fairy tales, and, above all, the deep well of empathy that made his three novels so compelling, The Pier Falls reveals a previously unseen side of the celebrated author.

Available May 2016
Buy The Pier Falls and Other Stories at Amazon

cover Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet
May 1904. Coney Island’s newest amusement park, Dreamland, has just opened. Its many spectacles are expected to attract crowds by the thousands, paying back investors many times over.

Kitty Hayward and her mother arrive by steamer from South Africa. When Kitty’s mother takes ill, the hotel doctor sends Kitty to Manhattan to fetch some special medicine. But when she returns, Kitty’s mother has vanished. The desk clerk tells Kitty she is at the wrong hotel. The doctor says he’s never seen her although, she notices, he is unable to look her in the eye.

Alone in a strange country, Kitty meets the denizens of Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet. A relic of a darker, dirtier era, Magruder's is home to a forlorn flea circus, a handful of disgruntled Unusuals, and a mad Uzbek scientist. Magruder’s Unusuals take Kitty under their wing and resolve to find out what happened to her mother.

But as a plague spreads, Coney Island is placed under quarantine. The gang at Magruder’s finds that a missing mother is the least of their problems, as the once-glamorous resort town is abandoned to the freaks, anarchists, and madmen.

Available June 2016
Buy Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet at Amazon

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.

December 15, 2015

Review: Emma vs. the Tech Guy by Lia Fairchild

by Donna Huber

cover Emma vs the Tech Guy

"Check out that curly hair." Jayne sat and stared through the glass window of my corner office, drool dripping from her chin like a barbecue sauce at an all-you-can-eat wings night. "It remind me of --"
"Bozo the clown?" I interrupted, without looking up from my computer. Normally, I'd be up for Jayne's amusing way of finding "hot" in every guy, but today I was too preoccupied to indulge her. In addition to everything else I had going on, the magazine redesign launch was a little more than a month away. Was I feeling the pressure since it was my idea to revamp the publication? Do supermodels eat salad? I had to stay on top of things to make sure everything turned out the way I'd envisioned it. The way I'd planned it from day one here at New You magazine.

The Review

I forgot I had Emma vs. the Tech Guy on my Nook and funny enough I had been thinking that I really wanted to read it. I like Lia Fairchild's writing and since I'm all about the rom coms this time of year I was happy to unearth this gem of a story.

I didn't immediately fall in love with Emma. She had too many of the personality traits that I don't like in myself. Emma is a bit anti-social or maybe socially awkward is a better term. She has her best friend from college and recently became friends with her co-worker Jayne. She's very driven work-wise and heaps a ton of responsibility on herself. You can see from the opening paragraphs above that she has the weight of the magazine on her shoulders.

Even if I didn't totally like her I still wanted her to have a happily ever after. And in the beginning I wasn't sure if that was going to happen.

The tech guy - Guy Walker - is a great guy. He seems to balance out Emma. And you can totally see them together. However, there is a minor problem - Emma is married. Or is she?

This was a fun, quick read that you should pick up for when you need an escape from real life.

Buy Emma vs. the Tech Guy at Amazon

Book info:
available format: ebook
published: May 2015
genres: chick lit
source: author
read: November 2015

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.

December 14, 2015

Claire's Fave Books of 2015 #MondayBlogs

Here is a list of some of my favourite books of 2015. I have read so many good ones that it's hard to choose!

cover White Mountain
Amongst our modern world lies another, an archaic and hidden world of tradition, sorcery and magic.

As dark demons awaken from our past, the last remaining wizards are being hunted and murdered by a changeling of terrifying strength.

Attacked and drained of most of his powers, a dying sorcerer must race against time to save himself, and the fate of all, from an enemy intent on cleansing the planet of humanity...
Darkness spreads as friendships, betrayals and horrifying truths await...

Buy White Mountain at Amazon

cover Zombie Fallout 9
In a world overrun by zombies, one family struggles against all odds to hold on. With three vampires closing in can the Talbot family withstand the coming onslaught? Or will they become a footnote in the history of the apocalypse.

Buy Zombie Fallout 9 at Amazon

cover Darkness of Man
Rage, hatred, an insatiable sexual appetite...these things come natural to our dark doppelgangers on the other side of the mirror. When Gabe, an average Joe, finds himself trapped on the other side, he realizes the only thing stopping him from getting home and saving the woman he loves is The Darkness of Man.

This is a love story laced with maniacs and monsters.


Buy Darkness of Man at Amazon

cover In an Instant
Summers are supposed to be carefree; a time to relax in the sun and enjoy life. But what if all that changed? What if a normal summer day turned into a day no one would ever forget? We never think it will happen to us, but it can. For Kaden and everyone who loves him, including Emersyn Moore, it did. The day that altered their lives forever happened... and it happened in an instant.

Buy In An Instant at Amazon

cover Nerd
Two people from completely different worlds are about to be thrown together...

In more ways than one.

She wants to keep her scholarship. He wants to stay on the team. An awkward alliance doesn't even begin to cover Rimmel and Romeo's relationship.

But that's about to change.

It starts with a dare. An initiation. A challenge.

Quickly, it turns into more. But when you're a victim of your status, there is no room for anything real. The rules are clear and simple.

Stick to your circle.

And never fall in love with anyone on the outside.

Buy #Nerd at Amazon

cover Red Hunter
The hunt is not over!

The story of Samantha Green (the Immortal Blood series) continues in this fast-paced, utterly absorbing new series. Red Hunter, book one of the Blood Hunters series, takes up the story where the Immortal Blood series ended, yet is a complete stand-alone series that does not require prior knowledge of the Immortal Blood series.

For a second, Samantha, ‘Sam’, Green thought she could finally put her past behind her and concentrate on the future. She thought she was being given a second chance and that something exciting was looming ahead. But with a past like hers, she really couldn’t have a future until those wanting to kill her were dead, or even then…

Nothing in Sam’s new life is what it seems. She’s being tossed around with the evil twins Alexander and Benjamin, the drool-worthy fighters assigned to take her vampire instincts to a whole new level. Dane and Sam … their relationship can only be described as complicated. In an epic way. And Kieran, sweet, blue-eyed servant, friend, and something like a little brother to Sam, is drawn into the middle of a game that the lunatic master vampires are steering arbitrarily.

Can Sam survive or is she only a pawn in a delusional game that no one can win? Can she beat her enemies at their own game without losing herself on the way? And what happens when she is introduced to the Hunter society?

Buy Red Hunter at Amazon

cover Fallen Souls
**Not Recommended for readers who have not read books 1 and 2**

Fallen Souls is a The Darkness Trilogy Novella that takes place between books 2 and 3 of the The Darkness Trilogy.

Tragedy has struck Rayna Stone's small town in more ways the one. Not only is she healing from the death of a friend, but Liam is still stuck in a coma that she knows is The Shadow's doing. While she, Jayce, Logan and the other Gifted try to find a way to save him, The Shadow is working behind the scenes, gathering his own army for something that none of them expects. Secrets are revealed about Rayna's past that leave her with only more questions and she might find out who The Shadow is and what he wants from her. Rayna questions her ability to to save Liam and to defeat The Shadow when the unthinkable happens. Can she stop the darkness that has invaded her life before it consumes everything and everyone she loves?

Buy Fallen Souls at Amazon

cover The Beast in Me
Meg has vanished from Jay's life and not even Peter seems to knows what has happened to her, what White has done to her or - even worse - is currently doing to her.

Without having Meghan to keep him sane, Jay struggles to keep the upper hand and control over his body and mind, and to face not only his new everyday life, and guilt over all the things he couldn't help her, but also the scattered memories of his encounters with the woman who brought back his humanity to the surface.

Eventually, he knows that he has to face the Beast within, because this time it's his turn to save her.

Read the review of The Beast and Me (book1)
Buy The Beast In Me at Amazon

cover Freckled Venom Skeletons
More excitement then a passel of skunks nesting under your bed...Juliette Douglas and the folks of White River, Wyoming are back to entertain you once again with her third installment in the Freckled Venom series: Freckled Venom Skeletons.

Big Joe Kannon had a bone stuck in his craw and he was bound and determined to get even with that redheaded bounty hunter and her lawman husband. In cahoots with Del Rio, a human slave trafficker in Mexico, Kannon was on the hunt to deliver fresh new trinkets to Del Rio. Fourteen kids vanish from White River’s schoolhouse, including Hanah and Cotton Lovett.

And the chase is on...

Will a determined bunch of kids become more trouble then a pound of pennies for Kannon?

Will Rawley and Lacy find the kids in time? Or will they be lost forever?

Receiving high acclaim for her western novels, author Juliette Douglas invites you to pick up the others in the Freckled Venom Series: Freckled Venom Copperhead, and Freckled Venom Copperhead Strikes.

Saddle Up...Let’s Ride!

Buy Freckled Venom: Skeletons at Amazon

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.

December 13, 2015

Review: A Caller on Christmas Eve by James Hampton

by Donna Huber

cover A Caller on Christmas Eve

A woman who lies dying in a hospital room on Christmas Eve gets an unusual visitor.

Another short story I discovered on my Nook. If you would like a little paranormal for your holidays, then this is the short story to pick up.

Outside of being set on Christmas Eve, it wasn't really a Christmas story.

It is a well written short story that I read in about 30 minutes, maybe less. And it's FREE.

Buy A Caller on Christmas Eve at Smashwords

Book info:
available formats: ebook
published: December 2013
ISBN13: 9781311836458
genres: fantasy
source: Smashwords
read: November 2015

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.