Readers' Favorite

January 2, 2016

"Murder and Mayhem in the Caribbean" ~ A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie

I love Miss Marple Mysteries and I would love to be in the Caribbean this winter. For just 1.99 (ebook), why not curl up with this cozy mystery and forget the frightful weather outside. ~ Donna

As Jane Marple sat basking in the tropical sunshine she felt mildly discontented with life. True, the warmth eased her rheumatism, but here in paradise nothing ever happened. Then a question was put to her by a stranger: 'Would you like to see a picture of a murderer?' Before she has a chance to answer, the man vanishes, only to be found dead the next day. The mysteries abound: Where is the picture? Why is the hotelier prone to nightmares? Why doesn't the most talked-about guest, a reclusive millionaire, ever leave his room? And why is Miss Marple herself fearful for her life?

Of note: A Caribbean Mystery introduces the wealthy (and difficult) Mr Jason Rafiel, who will call upon Miss Marple for help in Nemesis (1971) -- after his death.

A splendiferous mystery of the highest quality ~ Ellen Rappaport

Great Classic Mystery ~ Raymond Bial

Fun in the sun ~ Thomas DeCanio

Buy A Caribbean Mystery 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.

January 1, 2016

Chris's New Year’s Resolutions

by Chris

As the first Friday of January happens to coincide with the first of the month itself, it therefore falls on me to welcome in the New Year here at Girl Who Reads. So to all of you who celebrate such things, I hope you’ve had a festive holiday, and usher in 2016 with only a small hangover.

New years are often seen as a new beginning; a chance to right the wrongs of the past twelve months, to renew obligations to others and to ourselves, and to promise ourselves once again that we’ll work out at least twice this year. It can be difficult, of course, to maintain this sense of upbeat optimism, since the winter holidays tend to line up pretty well with the shortest and darkest days of the year. (In our hemisphere, at least; I wonder how Australians feel about the new year.)

Feeling, as it were, a little more upbeat than usual myself, I thought I’d take a moment to share my own resolutions with you all; possibly as a way of inspiring you to keep to your own, but more likely as a way of shaming myself into keeping them myself. I’d like to think that, come July, I’ll be able to look back on this article and think to myself, at least I managed to keep to … well, something that I promised I would.

  1. Publish the second book of my ongoing epic fantasy series, The Redemption of ErĂ¢th. This is a particularly difficult one, since this was my resolution last year too. However, I feel a little better about it this time, because it’s so nearly finished. Just a few last edits and I think I’ll be pretty happy with it. Maybe by February? We’ll see.
  2. Finish writing the third book of the series, too. This might take a little longer, but I have almost ten chapters drafted now, so it’s a solid third of the way through. I’m also enjoying the direction of the third book so far, and I think I’ll enjoy finishing it … when I get around to it. I doubt I’ll publish it next year as well, but you never know.
  3. Read more. Actually, that should be just, read. This is somewhat embarrassing for a writer to admit, but I think I read two books last year in total that weren’t my own. Surely it shouldn’t be too hard to read, say, one book a month? Twelve books over the next twelve months sounds more than reasonable, and I’ll start with the fresh copies of The Lord of the Rings that my son gave me as a gift. Maybe then some Anne McCaffrey, or even a beautiful book called Wildwood my sister gave me some years ago that I never even opened. Yes; I need to read more.
  4. Lose weight. Yes, I know this is the perennially forgotten resolution the world over, but I’m starting to show a bit of a tubby middle, and I could do with losing a few pounds. Exercise more, eat less … easy stuff, surely? We’ll see.
  5. Write every day. Yes, yes. This is important. As a writer, I know the drive to continually write, keeping those mental (and finger) muscles in shape. However, the past six months have been pretty trying for me, and I’d be lying if I said I’ve written even once a week for some time now. But no more, I cry! Whether it’s work on my book, journalling, or just a blog post, this is perhaps the most important thing I can promise myself to do. If I write every day, eventually I’ll achieve my goals (or so I keep telling myself). So write I will, starting today!

What are your resolutions this year, and do you intend to (or even think you can) keep to them?

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 31, 2015

Blogging Highlights of 2015

by Donna Huber

Here we are at the end of 2015. Has it been a good year for you? We have had a great year at Girl Who Reads and it is thanks to you the readers and all the wonderful contributors. Back in February readers voted Girl Who Reads Best Book Review Site in the Indies Unlimited Excellence Awards.

Including today's post, we have published 322 articles this year featuring countless number of books, authors and advice. More than 100 books were reviewed by Claire, Elisabeth, Alison, and me. While book recommendations is the main purpose of Girl Who Reads, we also provide tips and advice on blogging, reviewing, writing, and marketing. See the list of Tips on Thursday articles for help.

Alison, Chris, Ross and Kathleen have provided dozens of articles on writing, music, television and movies, and other pop culture topics.

Chris, who started writing for Girl Who Reads in March, often starts off the new month for us with his column appearing the 1st Friday of every month. If you enjoy his writing, he has an epic fantasy series under the pen name Satis. Check out his Amazon page for details about his books.

Reading with an Eleven-Year Old (March)
Fear and Loathing in Literature (April)
What Was I Writing About (May)
What Do Authors Owe Us? (June)
Music in Stories...Stories in Music (July)
The Importance of a Sound Environment (August)
The Trials and Tribulations of a Struggling Author (September)
How to Publish - My (Less Than Helpful) Experiences (October)
Writing for the Fan(s) (November)
How Not to Turn a Book into a Movie (December)

Alison DeLuca has published a middle grades steam punk series as well as an adult retelling of Snow White. She has also appeared in two anthology. Discover all of Alison's published works on her Amazon page. Be sure to catch Alison's column every 2nd Wednesday of the month.

Oscars and Resolutions (January)
Streaming on Netflix (February)
Despite All Odds: a Review of Red Rising by Pierce Brown (March)
The Meteoric Rise of the Superhero (April)
Happily Ever After (May)
Marvel's Daredevil (June)
Breaking the Love Laws (July)
The Connection Between Kelly Link and Zombies (August)
How to Prep for the Fall Movie Season (September)
It's Under my Bed: Horror and Halloween (October)
Books for Boys (November)
Easy Christmas Cookies and Amazing Books (December)

Ross Kitson, a fantasy author, and Kathleen Barker, author of coming of age romance novels, share the 4th Wednesday of month. Take a look at their published works at Amazon - Ross's page and Kathleen's page.

Nostalgia (Ross - February)
Book vs Movie (Kathleen - March)
Potty Mouth (Ross - April)
Buried Alive (Kathleen - May)
New Who Versus Old Who (Ross - June)
Read, Clean, Write, Repeat (Kathleen - July)
After Games of Thrones: My Televisual Fantasies (Ross - August)
Cornwall and Coal, Mining for Romance in the 18th Century (Kathleen - September)
From Watchman to 300 - My Top 5 Comic Adaptations (Ross - October)
The Pull of YA Fiction (Kathleen - November)
Christmas (?) Music (Ross - December)

By the way, staff reviewer Claire published her debut novel this year under the pen name Scarlet Le Clair. Torn is a contemporary erotic novel involving a love triangle with two brothers. Buy Torn at Amazon.

We would like to say a special THANK YOU to Heather Kirchhoff. She has introduced us to a number of authors this year with her interviews. Heather has decided to Girl Who Reads to focus more on her own writing. It is with great saddens we say good bye to her. Check out her published books on her Amazon page.

Interview with Jon Messenger
Interview with Gwen Selix
Interview with Mark Mackey
Interview with J.J. Brown
Interview with Karyn Pearson
Interview with K. Webster
Interview with Christopher Slayton
Interview with H.R. Lutz
Interview with Charles Gerard Timm

A side note: we will be looking for a new interviewer. If you are interested contact me at donna(at)

In addition to our regular contributors, we had 25 guest authors write feature articles this year.

Why Men Opt Out of the Fiction World (Leonce Gaiter)
Q&A with Melissa Pimentel
Critter Control to the Rescue (Jeannie Kaye)
Surviving Valentine's Day: Pauline Parril's Advice for Married Women (Collette Yvonne)
Chunk, Chunker, Chunkiest (Robert James Dellamano)
Fiction Writing is Not a Marathon, It's an Ironman Race (Rubin Johnson)
Q&A with B.J. Daniels
Meet Author Jay Richards
Interview with Monica Ropal
How I Created a "Book Soundtrack" for My Novel (Lee Wolf)
The Ten Most Memorable Moms in New Fiction (Andrea Lochen)
Five Awesome Books on the Craft of Writing (Susan Paulson Clark)
10 Questions with Siggy Buckley
Interview with Character Charlotte Nightingale (Pam Ferderbar)
Deleted Chapter from The Silver Ships (S.H. Jucha)
Interview with #LAPunkQueen Brenda Perlin
When a Character Shows Up and Asks for Her Story to be Told (Andrew Joyce)
A New Site for Finding Bargain Books (K.D. Emerson)
Social Science Fiction (Robert Eggleton)
You Don't Have to Go Home (Katrina Dierking)
Top Ten Most Useful Things in an Apocalypse (Lissa Bryan)
Why Wonder Woman Must Dies (Katrina Dierking)
Canada and the U.S. are Missing the Boat in the Artic (Roger Herst)
Q&A with Jacob Rubin
Writing with No Rules (Laurent Guillaume)
Irishisms in America (Byddi Lee)

By the way, Byddi Lee will be joining Girl Who Reads as a regular contributor starting in January.

This year we surpassed 1 million views since Girl Who Reads started in 2011. Readership was up with 21 articles being viewed more than 1,000 times each. The top 10 articles garnered more than 1,100 views each and the top post received more than 1,600 views. Interestingly, the most popular articles appeared in July, August, and September with the exception of an announcement for The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness paperback release that appeared in May.

Top 10 Most Viewed Articles in 2015

#10 Books to T Adaptions to Add to Your Read and Watch Lists (Donna Huber)
#9 The Connection Between Kelly Link and Zombies (Alison DeLuca)
#8 The White Thread Read Along: Chapters 19 -24 (Donna Huber)
#7 The Oracle Read Along: Chapters 12-22 (Donna Huber)
#6 The White Thread Read Along: Chapters 13 - 18 (Donna Huber)
#5 Social Science Fiction (Robert Eggleton)
#4 Interview with #LAPunkQueen Brenda Perlin (Donna Huber)
#3 Review: Natives in Exile by Dirk Harman (Elisabeth Scherer)
#2 The White Thread Read Along: Chapters 1 - 6 (Donna Huber)
#1 "Heavy Metal Hotness" ~ Bullet (Special Edition) by Jade C. Jamison (Featured Book)

I declare 2015 a success for Girl Who Reads. Again, I thank all the readers and contributors who have helped to make this site a great place for book reviews and author promotion.

I raise my glass and wish you happy reading in 2016!

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 30, 2015

2015 Book Reviews

2015 is winding down and while there are always more books to read than days in the year, it has been a great year of reading. One the main purposes of Girl Who Reads is to help you find your next great read. In case you missed any of our reviews this year or are at a loss as to what to read next, check out this list of all the books we reviewed in 2015.

Ghost Files by Apryl Baker: Claire's review
Chasing Invisible by Karen Pokras Toz: Donna's review
Sublime Wreckage by Charlene Zapata: Claire's review
The Marriage Match by Tracy March: Donna's review
Sublime Resistance by Charlene Zapata: Claire's review
A Whole New You by Brett Blumenthal: Donna's review
Moorehead Manor by David McMullen-Sullivan: Claire's review
The Winter Boy by Sally Wiener Grotta: Donna's review
The Oath of Nimrod by David S. Brody: Claire's review
The Abduction of Lilly Waters by T.M. Novak: Claire's review
The Legend of Stuckey's Bridge by Lori Crane: Claire's review
Champagne Jackson Kicks Zombie Ass by F. A. Tallahasse: Claire's review
Love By the Book by Melissa Pimentel: Donna's review
Red Rising by Pierce Brown: Alison's review
Red Hunter by Jennifer Loiske: Claire's review
The End of All Things by Lissa Bryan: Donna's review
The Land of Shadow by Lissa Bryan: Donna's review
Shadow Ritual by Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne: Donna's review
Shadows have Gone by Lissa Bryan: Donna's review
King Callie by B. Lynch: Claire's review
Eviction Notice by Robyn Wyrick: Elisabeth's review
Infected by Jessica Gomez: Claire's review
Salem's Fury by Aaron Glavin: Claire's review
The Show by John A. Heldt: Donna's review
The Guild of the Wizards of Witchfire by Iain Reading: Donna's review
Silk by Chris Karlsen: Elizabeth's review
When You Leave by Monica Ropal: Donna's review
When the Crows Fly Low by V.J. Patterson: Claire's review
Slumber by Christy Sloat: Donna's review
The Running Game by L.E. Fitzpatrick: Claire's review
Phoenix Rising by Elise Faber: Claire's review
Divisive by John Tucker: Claire' review
A Thirty-Something Girl by Lisa M. Gott: Donna's review
How Maxwell Grover Stole My House by C.E. Vance: Claire's review
The Shadow Cartel by Layton Green: Donna's review
White Mountain by Sophie Tallis: Claire's review
Shelter Us by Laure Nicole Diamond: Donna's review
Dead Market by Gary Strata: Claire's review
Darkhaven by A.F.E. Smith: Elisabeth's review
Supernatural - Deniable by Hugh Gouws: Claire's review
In the Blood of the Greeks by Mary D. Brooks: Donna's review
Touch by David J. Linden: Donna's review
The Secret of Montrose Hall by Adam Steel: Claire's review
Those Girls by Chevy Stevens: Donna's review
The Good of the Smalls Things by Arundhati Roy: Alison's review
The Journey of the Marked by Rebecca P. McCray: Claire's reviews
5 audio book recommendations: Donna's review
Alive by Scott Sigler: Elisabeth's review
Freckled Venom: Skeletons by Juliette Douglas: Claire's review
Naked by Stacey Trombley: Donna's review
The Devil's Kitchen by Alison DeLuca: Donna's review
Malee: A Tear in the Ocean by William V.M. McAllister III: Elisabeth's review
Hollywood Witch Hunter by Valerie Tejeda: Donna's review
The Hitwoman's Act of Contrition by JB Lynn: Donna's review
The Further Adventures of Carlotta Carylye by Linda Barnes: Elisabeth's review
The Book of the Lion by Thomas Perry: Elisabeth's review
Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth: Donna's review
The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer: Donna's review
At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen: Donna's review
The SEAL's Angel by Petie McCarty: Claire's review
SEED by Lisa Heathfield: Donna's review
Natives in Exhile by Dirk Harman: Elisabeth's review
Taking Leaps and Finding Ghosts by Janet DeLee: Claire's review
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley: Donna's review
Black Diamond by Jennifer Loiske: Claire's review
12:07 The Sleeping by L. Sydney Abel: Claire's review
The Truth About Lies by Tim Chaddick: Donna's review
Tainted Deception by Aleya Michelle: Claire's review
Feels Like Rain by Janae Mitchell: Claire's review
The Heir by Kiera Cass: Donna's review
High Maintenance by Lia Fairchild: Donna's review
6 audio book recommendations: Donna's review
Darkness of Man by C.C. Genovese: Claire's review
In an Instant by Janae Mitchell: Claire's review
Dear Stephanie by Mandi Castle: Donna's review
Killing Floor by Lee Child: Claire's review
Warren the 13th and All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio: Donna's review
A Woof in Sheep's Clothing by JB Lynn: Donna's review
The Beast and Me by D. S. Wrights: Claire's review
LIFE: It Is What It Is by Lisa Sugarman: Elisabeth's review
A Camp Edson Christmas by Cynthia Davis: Donna's review
Fooling Around with Cinderella by Stacy Juba: Donna's review
#NERD by Cambria Herbert: Claire's review
A Caller on Christmas Eve by James Hampton: Donna's review
Emma vs the Tech Guy by Lia Fairchild: Donna's review
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: Donna's review
Imperfect by Claire Fraise: Donna's review
A Darcy Christmas by Sharon Lathan, Amanda Grange, and Carolyn Eberhart: Donna's review
8 audio book recommendations: Donna's review
Awakening by Catrina Burgess: Donna's review

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 29, 2015

Review: Awakening by Catrina Burgess

by Donna Huber

cover Awakening

"You want to learn the Death Arts?"
The look on his face was hard to read. It couldn't be everyday that someone wandered into the shop and made such a request.
I tried to look more confident than I felt. He couldn't tell my hands were trembling slightly inside my jacket pockets, could he? I forced to keep my gaze steady and resisted the urge to take my heels and run out the door.

The Review

The last review of 2015!

I chose to read Awakening by Catrina Burgess, not because it is something I would normally read, but because it looked like something my niece would read and I try to at least sort of keep up with what she is into. I was surprised just how much I enjoyed the story. When I discovered that the series had been on Wattpad I asked her if she had read it since I know she reads a number of stories there. She didn't think she had, but said it did look interesting.

I really liked 95% of this book. I loved the characters - Colina and Luke are great together. The minor characters are well rounded and used effectively in the story. The plot moved at a good pace that kept you wanting more, but didn't feel rushed. Right up to the end I couldn't put it down.

I thought Burgess could have done a bit better with the world building. I couldn't decide if they were in the real world with the added magic of Healers and Death Dealers or if it was a completely new universe. I'm leaning towards the former, but then I had trouble figuring out if it was the US or Europe. Colina mentions Scottish clans as being her people which made me think UK, but then there were other things that seemed a bit more American. Not having a clear idea of the setting was unsettling to me throughout the book.

I'm not typically into the dark stuff, but even the possibility of zombies didn't turn me off as the main story line was too good. I still had a quarter of the book left and I was already anticipating the next book in the series. But then there was a twist and my love for the book was crushed. I won't give it away, but I think it was a very big risk the author took. Seeing as the series had over 3 million reads on Wattpad (source: Goodreads entry) I guess others weren't as turned off by it as I was.

Awakening is a very dark book. It gave me the same feel as Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series.

Buy Awakening at Amazon

Book info:
available formats: ebook and print (336 pages)
published: October 2015 by Full Fathom Five Digital
ISBN13: 9781633700833
genres: horror, fantasy
target audience: young adult
source: Netgalley
read: November/December 2015

A free ebook was provided for this review. 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 28, 2015

8 Audio Books to Listen to #MondayBlogs

by Donna Huber 

Are you wrapping up 2015 with travel? If you so here are 8 audio books sure to entertain!

cover Bones on Ice
Bones on Ice by Kathy Reichs

Now that I realize that the Temperance Brennan in the books is not the same as the Temperance Brennan on the television show Bones, I found I enjoyed this novella better than the one I listened to in August. I prefer the television show, but it was a nice way to fill the silence at work. 

It is called the “death zone”: the point on Everest, nearly five miles high, above which a climber cannot be rescued. More than 250 souls have lost their lives there. Most of the bodies remain, abandoned, frozen in place. When an earthquake leads to a miraculous recovery, Dr. Temperance Brennan is hired to identify the frozen mummified human corpse. The victim is the daughter of a wealthy Charlotte couple who never got the chance to say goodbye. But far from offering solace and closure, Tempe’s findings only provoke more questions. What happened on Mount Everest? Was the young woman’s death an accident? Why aren’t the other climbers talking? And how far will those hiding the truth go to make sure the past stays buried?

Buy Bones on Ice at Amazon

cover Love May Fail
Love May Fail by Matthew Quick

Having enjoyed Silver Linings Playbook, I was happy to see my digital library have a copy of Love May Fail. Unfortunately this one fell a little flat for me. I felt that it was the same characters in a slightly different situation. I even looked to see if the narrator was the same person as the high school English teacher sounded like Pat. But it all different narrators.

Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her ritzy Florida life and her cheating pornographer husband, she finds herself transported back to South Jersey, where things remain largely unchanged from her unhappy childhood. In need of saving herself, she sets out to find and resurrect a beloved high school English teacher who has retired after a horrific scandal. Will a sassy nun, an ex-heroin addict, a metal-head little boy, and her hoarder mother help or hurt Portia's chances in this bid for renewed hope in the human race? This is a story of the great highs and lows of existence: the heartache and daring choices it takes to become the person you know (deep down) you are meant to be.

Buy Love May Fail at Amazon

cover The Christmas Train
The Christmas Train by David Baldacci

This was fun to listen to. The cast of characters that Tom meets along his train trip are not to be missed. They totally made the story. If you enjoy Mark Twain stories, then you should definitely pick up this book. There is even a nod to Twain in the story line. I also think this one of the best audio book productions I have listened to. The musical interludes added something special to the story.

Tom Langdon, a weary, cash-strapped journalist, must get to Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his girlfriend. Flying is not an option, so he opts for a transcontinental train ride -- thus beginning one of the most hilarious and heartwarming journeys ever. Along the way he encounters mechanical failures, derailments, and the odd eccentric, including Agnes Joe, who rides trains all of the time, though no one knows why. There's also a mysterious passenger whom Tom suspects may be a fugitive, an avalanche that threatens everyone's Christmas plans, and an unexpected romance. As the mighty Southwest Chief chugs from Washington, D.C., to the City of Angels via Chicago, Tom Langdon's unforgettable train adventure will rekindle the holiday spirits of one and all -- and reacquaint listeners with the magic that makes Christmas truly special.

Buy The Christmas Train at Amazon

cover Longbourn
Longbourn by Jo Baker

I saw this on another blog during a Tuesday meme I did. Though I haven't read Pride and Prejudice, I was intrigued by the servants downstairs. If you are fan of Jane Austen or Downtown Abbey I believe you will enjoy this story. My only complaint was the narrator was a bit too soft spoken and I at times had trouble hearing the story over regular office equipment noise.

The servants at Longbourn estate--only glancingly mentioned in Jane Austen's classic--take centre stage in Jo Baker's lively, cunning new novel. Here are the Bennets as we have never known them: seen through the eyes of those scrubbing the floors, cooking the meals, emptying the chamber pots. Our heroine is Sarah, an orphaned housemaid beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class. When the militia marches into town, a new footman arrives under mysterious circumstances, and Sarah finds herself the object of the attentions of an ambitious young former slave working at neighboring Netherfield Hall, the carefully choreographed world downstairs at Longbourn threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, up-ended. From the stern but soft-hearted housekeeper to the starry-eyed kitchen maid, these new characters come vividly to life in this already beloved world. Jo Baker shows us what Jane Austen wouldn't in a captivating, wonderfully evocative, moving work of fiction.

Buy Longbourn at Amazon

cover Friction
Friction by Sandra Brown

I featured this book as a new release and when I saw it at the digital library I was so excited. I immediately put a hold on it. This was the end of September and my turn finally came at the beginning of December. It was well worth the wait. It was so good! Most of the time with audio books I half listen to them while working. Not with this book. I finally had to give up listening to it at work because the story consumed my attention. Which was a good thing because there were some descriptive sex scenes that I would have been super embarrassed had someone walked into my office while it was being read. If you liked the television show Justified, you will love this book.

Crawford Hunt wants his daughter back. Following the death of his wife four years ago, Crawford, a Texas Ranger, fell into a downward spiral that left him relegated to deskwork and with his five-year-old daughter Georgia in the custody of her grandparents. But Crawford has cleaned up his act, met all the court imposed requirements, and now the fate of his family lies with Judge Holly Spencer.

Holly, ambitious and confident, temporarily occupies the bench of her recently deceased mentor. With an election upcoming, she must prove herself worthy of making her judgeship permanent. Every decision is high-stakes. Despite Crawford's obvious love for his child and his commitment to being an ideal parent, Holly is wary of his checkered past. Her opinion of him is radically changed when a masked gunman barges into the courtroom during the custody hearing. Crawford reacts instinctually, saving Holly from a bullet.

But his heroism soon takes on the taint of recklessness. The cloud over him grows even darker after he uncovers a horrifying truth about the courtroom gunman and realizes that the unknown person behind the shooting remains at large . . .and a threat.

Catching the real culprit becomes a personal fight for Crawford. But pursuing the killer in his customary diehard fashion will jeopardize his chances of gaining custody of his daughter, and further compromise Judge Holly Spencer, who needs protection not only from an assassin, but from Crawford himself and the forbidden attraction between them.

FRICTION will keep you on the edge of your seat with breathtaking plot twists and the unforgettable characters that make Sandra Brown one of the world's best-loved authors. It is an extraordinary novel about the powerful ties that bind us to the ones we love and the secrets we keep to protect them.

Buy Friction at Amazon

cover Dashing Through the Snow
Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber

After listening to the note from the author at the beginning, I knew this was going to be the perfect book for me. Like me, Debbie thinks Christmas time is the perfect time for a romantic comedy. And she delivered a great one. It is a short one at only about 4.5 hours. This would be a fun story to wrap up the year with.

Ashley Davison, a graduate student in California, desperately wants to spend the holidays with her family in Seattle. Dashiell Sutherland, a former army intelligence officer, has a job interview in Seattle and must arrive by December 23. Though frantic to book a last-minute flight out of San Francisco, both are out of luck: Every flight is full, and there’s only one rental car available. Ashley and Dash reluctantly decide to share the car, but neither anticipates the wild ride ahead.

At first they drive in silence, but forced into close quarters Ashley and Dash can’t help but open up. Not only do they find they have a lot in common, but there’s even a spark of romance in the air. Their feelings catch them off guard—never before has either been so excited about a first meeting. But the two are in for more twists and turns along the way as they rescue a lost puppy, run into petty thieves, and even get caught up in a case of mistaken identity. Though Ashley and Dash may never reach Seattle in time for Christmas, the season is still full of surprises—and their greatest wishes may yet come true.

Buy Dashing Through the Snow at Amazon

cover Containment
Containment by Christian Cantrell

This is another audio book that I had been waiting on since August. Not as good as Friction, but an entertaining story none-the-less. Particularly if you like conspiracy. It kind of reminded me of Across the Universe by Beth Revis. I also thought it was very heavy on science, even for a science fiction novel.

As Earth's ability to support human life begins to diminish, the Global Space Agency establishes a colony on Venus. When Arik Ockley, part of the first generation to be born and raised off-Earth, undertakes research on artificial photosynthesis to save the life of his unborn child, everything he has ever known is called into question.

Buy Containment at Amazon

cover Nerd
#Nerd by Cambria Hebert

After reading Claire's review, I saw this at the digital library and decided to try it out. It was fun. I had a bit of trouble with the plot. It seemed a bit juvenile for college kids, but the descriptive sex scenes would have been inappropriate for young adult. (Because of those scenes I wouldn't recommend listening to it at work unless you use headphones). I thought the characters were similar in personality to Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. So if you liked that book, then you will probably enjoy #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

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 27, 2015

Review: A Darcy Christmas by Sharon Lathan, Amanda Grange, and Carolyn Eberhart

by Donna Huber

cover A Darcy Christmas
If you are are a fan of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and enjoy the creative license that authors have taken with the universe she created, then A Darcy Christmas will be just thing to wrap up your Christmas season. This treasury of short stories from Sharon Lathan, Amanda Grange, and Carolyn Eberhart was an enjoyable read.

The collection includes A Darcy Christmas by Sharon Lathan, Christmas Present by Amanda Grange, and Mr. Darcy's Christmas Carol by Carolyn Eberhart.

As I'm not really a Jane Austen fan and have not read Pride and Prejudice, but I did watch the BBC's 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice.  Based on that "research" I feel that these authors did a good job of being faithful to the universe.

(If you are wondering why I had this ebook on my Nook since I'm not an Austen fan. I pickup the Friday Free ebook from Barnes and Noble and this was the feature ebook one week).

In Mr. Darcy's Christmas Carol by Carolyn Eberhart , the first story in the collection, Jane Austen meets Charles Dickens. Ironically, I decided this year to read Dickens's A Christmas Carol (read my review). I had just read the first Stave when I picked up A Darcy Christmas and I did a double take as Mr. Darcy's Christmas Carol begins the same way as Dickens's classic. And I do mean word for word. The similarities continued for the majority of the book. I will also assume that the parts that I knew should have been in Pride and Prejudice (Darcy's proposal and Elizabeth's refusal) were identical. I did feel that creatively this was a bit of a lazy way of writing the story. I expect it in fan fiction, but not in a published book. Though, I guess there is nothing legally wrong as presumably the copyright on these novels have expired.

Christmas Present by Amanda Grange was short and enjoyable, though somewhat forgettable. If you want a glimpse into what the future may hold for the Darcys then you will enjoy this story.

It was the last story in the collection, A Darcy Christmas by Sharon Lathan, that really made me feel that this was more of a collection of fan fiction stories. One of the tropes of fan fiction is the infusion of sex in a story that the original lacked. While the sex was not overly descriptive and therefore not a full blown lemon, it had enough citrus to be a slice. (If you don't read fan fiction: lemons are sex scenes). In addition, this "short story" was a collection of Christmas scenes, or in fan fiction language: one-shots.

I read fan fiction so I'm not against it, but it is not what I'm expecting in a published novel or collection. I'm also not against derivative works of fiction. I recently listened to the audio book version of Longbourn by Jo Baker and I really liked this story about the people below stairs in the Pride and Prejudice universe. It didn't feel like fan fiction.

A Darcy Christmas will satisfy Darcy and Elizabeth fans that need more than what Austen provided.

Buy A Darcy Christmas at Amazon

Book info:
available formats: ebook and print (290 pages)
published: October 2010 by Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN13: 9781402258053
genre: romance
source: B&N
read: December 2015

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