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Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

December 31, 2019

Best Reads of December 2019

Can you believe it is the end of 2019? Have you enjoyed this new feature we started this year where we name our favorite book from all the books we read during the month? Have you read any of the books we've picked? We would also love to hear what book you read this month that you loved.

The Moonshiner's Daughter by Donna Everhart ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"The only memory I have of Mama, she was on fire."  (p 1)

December 30, 2019

Donna's December Wrap Up

by Donna Huber

How was your Christmas? The pet drama continued a bit this month. You may remember me mentioning adopting a new cat last month. Well, she went for her spay earlier this month and since she doesn't like to be held or picked up it was difficult to get a good look at her incision most days. But everything seems to have healed and she is back to zooming around the house, outplaying the three other cats I have. Just days before Mia went in for her spay, my dog Charlie started having seizures and it took about a week to find a medication that stopped them. It was also discovered he had a UTI so he also went on an antibiotic. Plus my other dog Schatz wasn't feeling great so I started her on an antibiotic too and she is already on medicine for pain management (she's 15). It was crazy trying to remember who got what medicine when. And of course, there was Christmas to get ready for. Thankfully, I had a lot of annual leave left to take this year so my last working day in 2019 was Dec. 13. It's going to be really hard to go back into the office on January 2. Christmas went well. I spent a lot of time with my family (both the human family and my pet family), watching Christmas movies, and reading Christmas books.

December 29, 2019

Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake ~ a Review

by MK French

Like every other Duke, Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. While he thought he had the perfect one picked out, the outspoken American Natalie Fanshawe catches his eye. She isn't flattered by his attention or title in the least. Instead, she's too busy trying to open a school and reunite a young orphan with his family. Hadrian is determined to launch a campaign to win her over and have her fall in love with him in spite of his title.

December 28, 2019

2019 in Review

Here we are at the end of 2019. This year has gone by faster than any other year, but it has been a great year. We have reviewed so many books and discussed some fun bookish topics. In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights from the year.

December 27, 2019

999 by Heather Dune Macadam ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

I read a lot of WWII set fiction so when I saw a nonfiction book was the first Jewish transport to Auschwitz at Netgalley I had to request.

December 26, 2019

2 Young Adult Novels

by MK French

Do you have teens home for the holidays? Are you looking for some quiet time? Then pick up these books for your young adult.

December 25, 2019

Load Up Your eReader

Did you get a new tablet or eReader for Christmas? Here are some popular FREE ebooks to get you started.

December 24, 2019

The Art of Regret by Mary Fleming ~ a Review

 by Susan Roberts

"For many years, in what might have been the prime of my life, I lived and worked on the rue des Martyrs. This narrow market street, which begins its climb at the northern edge of the banking and insurance district and ends in the skein of streets that wraps around Sacre Coeur at the heart of Montmartre, is not on the tourist circuit and has no pretensions to Parisian grandeur.  Behind and above its modest shop fronts are forgettable lives." (p 9)

December 23, 2019

8 Thrillers to Keep You Up Too Late

by Susan Roberts

I love to read a good thriller that keeps me guessing until the end. Here are 8 novels with roller-coaster plots that may keep you up past your bedtime.

December 22, 2019

2 Christmas Stories to Read Before Christmas

by Donna Huber

I've been binge-reading Christmas stories all month. Most of them have been pretty good. The last two Christmas ebooks I read were cute, quick reads - perfect for taking a break from all the holiday craziness.

December 21, 2019

3 Graphic Novels for You

by MK French

Graphic novels can take on many different kinds of stories, and the various styles of art can really add to or change the flow of the story. Comics aren't just for superheroes or children anymore. Here are three very different stories that I read this year.

December 20, 2019

5 Books about the World Wars

by Susan Roberts

My reviews today are about the devastation caused by war.  The first three books take place during World War II in Germany, Holland, and Russia.  The last 2 books are set during WWI and take place in Russia and France.

December 19, 2019

Meet Me on Love Lane by Nina Bocci ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"The bus rolled to a stop.  A blinking yellow light hung over a pair of rickety train tracks.  They looked defunct with the chipped white safety bars remaining at attention on the rusted metal poles.  I spied a large green sign next to it.  It swung back and forth in the May breeze.  HOPE LAKE  25 miles"  (p 11)

December 18, 2019

7 Books for Fans of Fantasy

by MK French

For an escape from the day to day, exploring new and different worlds can be fun and exciting. The stakes sometimes feel high if there are troubles involved in these worlds; they're not always full of fun and games. Dangers have to be maneuvered past, and it will take a team to make sure it all works out.

December 17, 2019

Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon by James Lovegrove ~ a Review

by MK French

"Father Christmas! Halt right there!"
These words were delivered by Sherlock Holmes in his most stentorian and authoritative tone of voice. (chapter 1)

December 16, 2019

Death of a Dapper Snowman by Angela Pepper ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Are you not really into holiday romances but still want a good winter story? Then you should pick up Death of a Dapper Snowman the first book in the Stormy Day Mystery series by Angela Pepper.

December 15, 2019

The Wicked Redhead by Beatriz Williams ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

1998 "The photograph in Ella's hand was about the size of a small old fashioned postcard. It had a matte finish, almost like newsprint, and the edges were soft and frayed, as you might expect from a photograph over seventy years old. From anything over seventy years old, really, but especially a photograph of a naked woman. And what a woman." (p1)

December 14, 2019

December 13, 2019

Bowman of the Yard books 1 & 2 by Richard James ~ a Series Review

by MK French

Today I'm reviewing the first two books in the Victorian mystery series Bowman of the Yard which features Inspector George Bowman.

December 12, 2019

Death Comes to the School by Catherine Lloyd ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

I fell in love with Lucy and Robert this summer, so when I saw Death Comes to the School on my library's bookshelf I couldn't help but check it out. It is a delightful mystery.

December 11, 2019

For My Husband - A List of Book Gifts

by Alison DeLuca

Just in case my husband needs Christmas suggestions, here's a whole list. Let's just say any of these under the tree would make this wife very, very happy:

December 10, 2019

Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"Is it just me, or does everybody have a day in their life like the one I'm about to retell?  I'm talking about those days that act like a fulcrum between everything that came before and your brand-new life after." (p 3)

December 9, 2019

A Violet Fire by Kelsey Quick ~ a Review

by MK French

Human blood is a scarce resource in Cain, a place ruled by vampires for centuries. To try to fill the shortage, humans are bred and blood is collected for the rich and powerful vampires. Wavorly is officially one of those service units, meant to donate her blood to her master for the rest of her life. She wasn't bred in Cain and is willing to do just about anything to escape its clutches, even though that carries a death penalty.

December 8, 2019

3 Books for Science Fiction Fans

by MK French

According to Wikipedia, "science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life." Today, I'm reviewing 3 different science fiction novels. The first one is a space opera, the second novel is an alternative history adventure in which dinosaurs did not go extinct, and finally, I wrap up with a novel featuring water-breathing descendants of African slaves.

December 7, 2019

3 Novels for Chilly Days

by Susan Roberts

The weather has finally turned and it is time to curl up under cozy blankets, next to a roaring fire, with a hot beverage, and a good book. These 3 books would make the perfect read.

December 6, 2019

5 Friday Freebies - Christmas ebooks

by Donna Huber

One of my favorite things about Christmas is binge-reading Christmas stories. I don't read much romance throughout the year, but there is something about holiday romances that I find irresistible. I usually load up on the free reads this time of year, usually with more than I can read. I'm trying not to add too many this year as I still have ebooks from last year to read. But here are 5 free ebooks to kick off the weekend.

December 5, 2019

Lake Season by Denise Hunter ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"If we sell the place now, we'll get pennies on the dollar.  Who's going to want a building that's half house and half inn. If we finish the remodel and make a go of the place, even for two or three years,  it'll be much more attractive to potential buyers." (p 6)

December 4, 2019

7 Tales of Romance

by MK French

Part of the fun of romance novels is finding that person to make the hero or heroine excited about sharing experiences. It's a sense of comfort and completion as well, and it doesn't hurt if the couple is attractive! Sometimes they find the future in the shape of a person they never expected to find, which makes the story that much better to read.

December 3, 2019

Thin Ice by Paige Shelton ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

The good thing about being suddenly overcome with fresh terror is that you forget everything else you were afraid of. At least temporarily. (chapter 1)

December 2, 2019

6 Thrillers to Read this Winter

by MK French

Secrets can lurk in the daytime or under cover of night. Not everyone wants to see them revealed, and it can become a chase to the finish line or a fight to the death. In these novels, it's more about the tension between revealing the truth and keeping secrets hidden no matter the cost.

December 1, 2019

3 Books for Fans of Historical Fiction

by Susan Roberts

Today I have reviews of historical fiction that span America from Chicago in the early 1960s to West Virginia in 1912 and then back to Hawaii in 1902.

November 30, 2019

Best Reads of November

We are at the end of another month. Can you believe that there are only 25 days until Christmas? The staff of Girl Who Reads has been busy reading and now are attempting the difficult task of naming their favorite read of the month.

November 29, 2019

Book Buying Guide 2019

by Donna Huber

To my U.S. readers, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. I'm back this year with my top book recommendations for the readers on your holiday list. Of the 108 books I've read so far this year, I have rated 26 of them with 5 stars. I narrowed the list down a dozen that I'm sure will be enjoyed by any reader you are trying to buy for. I also have an Amazon deal offer for you at the end of the post where you get $5 when you purchase $20 in ebooks.

November 28, 2019

Impeccable Petunia Part I & Part 2 by Katie Christine ~ a Series Review

by MK French

Petunia is an extraordinary chicken, not just because of her unusual feather coloring, but because she enjoys creating a garden and doesn't care about the endless gossip that the other chickens engage in to solidify their ranking in the pecking order. The human that takes care of the house is a tearful thing and takes a shine to Petunia. This friendship isolates her from the main chickens further, but also expands her horizons even more. Illustrations help the reader visualize the characters and the intensity of the situations.

November 27, 2019

The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”

"I'm not sure who I should thank-or blame-for the chance to become an old woman. Though as a young girl, sixty-seven seemed much older than it actually was...I have watched the world grow up around me.  I was old when I was born, so it seems,  Was I ever really young?  I've been around long enough to know that progress is a relative term.  What is progress anyway?  A lot of damage has been done in the name of progress, hasn't it? But then I have to think, where would I be without progress?" (p1)

November 26, 2019

Into the Dark by Karen Rose ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Chapter 1
Diesel Kennedy blew his whistle and gestured for the kids to join him on the sideline. "That's good for today, guys. Come on over."
He smiled at the ten kindergarteners ambling off the field. They were all too cute in their shin guards and little cleats. Only two of the boys had any soccers competence at all. The others missed the ball, fell down, ran into each other, and generally looked like they were doing a Three Stooges routine. But they tried so hard and seemed to be having fun, which was the real win Diesel was looking for when he coached their team. (p. 13) 

November 25, 2019

November Reading & Blogging Wrap Up

by Donna Huber

This has been an up and down kind of month. Work has been busy as we head into the holidays and the end of the semester. I haven't read as many books this month, but I read a few longer books and a couple of nonfiction books (since it is Nonfiction November). A little cat showed up at my house. She is really skittish but she was warming up to me so after several of weeks of seeing her all the time at my house I trapped her, took her to the vet, and then on Friday I started introducing her to my other cats. One of my cats didn't take meeting her well and ran out of the house when I was trying to bring in my dog. My cats are indoors only, and he totally freaked when outside. I couldn't get him back inside. It rained all day on Saturday so I didn't seem him at all. Then Sunday morning I did another sweep around my house and I found him hiding behind an old door that is leaning against the bench seats on my deck. I fed him some meat sticks and he let me pet him and then I picked him up. He was close to the back door and I had locked the rest of the animals in rooms so I had the door open and just had to take a few steps back into the house. I'm overjoyed!

November 24, 2019

Tell Me A Story: A Literary Love Story by Cassandra King Conroy ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"It's the way of beauty, I thought.  Destruction and devastation are always there, always demanding our attention.  The chaos of life makes us forget that sometimes, if we don't get too distracted by the wreckage, the losses and heartbreaks, we're offered a glimpse of something better, maybe even something we can call divine.  But we'll miss it if we forget that beauty, like joy, is fleeting and never lasts more than a moment. " (loc5893)

November 23, 2019

Seekers of the Past by Amy Valentini ~ a Series Review

by MK French

Today I'm reviewing the four books in the Amy Valentini's time traveling romance series Seekers of the Past. It is a "journey to where the past meets the present and love lives forever".

November 22, 2019

Beautiful, Complicated Family: Volumes 1 & 2 by Rosey Lee ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Beautiful, Complicated Family is a collection of flash fiction stories exploring the connections that can hold people together or tear them apart. Like most families, the relationships in this uplifting collection consist of intricate elements. Sometimes things get messy, but it’s always beautiful. Read each story in about 5 minutes The stories are perfect for readers who enjoy contemporary fiction/women's fiction novels as well as those who only have time for a quick read. This collection is filled with relatable characters and endings that pull at your heartstrings, so don’t be surprised if you laugh or cry along the way.

November 21, 2019

Scarlet Fever by Rita Mae Brown ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Scarlet Fever, the 12th book in Rita Mae Brown's Sister Jane series, is a bit different than most cozy mysteries I read. But it is still filled with fun characters. If you are fan of books with animal characters then you might want to check out this book.

November 20, 2019

The Princess Plan by Julia London ~ a Review

by MK French

Eliza Tricklebank is sure that she's a spinster after cruel rumors from ten years ago, but she has a life taking care of her father, and working with her sister and friend on a fashion and gossip gazette. She is sure that meeting the prince of Alucia will be great gossip fodder, but that is soon eclipsed by the murder of his personal secretary. A clue is deposited at her home that she and her sister publishes, leading the Crown Prince Sebastian of Alucia to her doorstep. His secretary had been his friend, and he wants to find the murderer. Eliza frustrates him at every turn but is clever in ways he didn't expect, leading them to work together on what clues were available.

November 19, 2019

Mistletoe at the Lakeside Resort by Susan Schild ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Jenny Beckett woke up in her little log cabin to the sounds of waves lapping on the shore of Heron Lake and a cool fall breeze wafting in. Was there anything more delightful than sleeping with an open window on a cool night? Smiling, she yawned, pushed her two eighty-pound dogs off her bed, where officially they weren't allowed to sleep, and slipped on a flannel robe. The temperature was finally dropping, heaven after the steam bath of a summer they'd had. Buddy and Bear pranced, capered, and reared up on their hind legs, play fighting. The drop in temperature always made the dogs friskier. As she scooped chow into bowls, Jenny glanced at the Just a Buck store calendar she kept on her fridge. It was October 15th. Hard to believe how much her life had changed in just one year. (pg 1)

November 18, 2019

3 Books for Nonfiction November

by Susan Roberts

A nonfiction book is one that tells you facts and information about the world around you. It can cover almost any topic, from wild animals to Vikings. If it's about something that really happened or something that really exists, it is nonfiction.

I don't read many non-fiction books but I set a 2019 goal to read 10.  I just finished my 11th non-fiction book so there's one reading goal that I've met this year.  Here are reviews of the last three non-fiction books I've read.

November 17, 2019

5 Books to Entertain Young Readers

by MK French

People seem to think that children need watered down stories and can't handle hearing about potentially serious topics. Children are often far more aware of these issues than adults think and can face their own struggles and triumphs even without an adult present. In these stories, the fantastic elements of the story don't detract from those themes that children often have to deal with: bullying, fear, self-confidence and discovering who they are under pressure.

November 16, 2019

Under the Guise of Death by Vivian Conroy ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Do you enjoy a story where you root for a character to be murdered? Then Under the Guise of Death by Vivian Conroy is your book.

November 15, 2019

The Wishing Tree in Irish Falls by Jen Gilroy ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

They're ordinary blueberry muffins.  A lot like her...Once, she'd been a starry-eyed girl with a golden voice who'd imagined she could make it in the music industry.  But nowadays, she was an ordinary person and she'd worked hard to convince herself that all she wanted was to raise Hannah and live her everyday life."  (p 4)

November 14, 2019

5 Tales of Romantic Fantasy You May Have Missed

by MK French

It's often fun to explore new locations for a vacation. How about entirely new worlds? Some of them are close to our own, others can be completely different from everything we've ever known. People all need and want the same kinds of things, and that includes someone they can love and care for. It often isn't the driving force for the story, but it certainly helps to give our heroes an added push.

November 13, 2019

The Institute by Stephen King ~ a Review

by Alison DeLuca

Recently I read two books, both of them urban fantasy with a touch of horror.

One was beautifully written, with poetic prose that swirled and made me read slowly to enjoy each word. The other was The Institute by Stephen King.