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March 30, 2020

Favorite Read of March


I think we are all happy that March is coming to an end. Have you struggled with reading this month? Are you looking for a distraction from the news? A lot of great books come out this month, but you might be struggling with choosing one. To help you out, MK, Susan, and Donna have picked their favorite this month.

March 29, 2020

An Exhibition of Murder by Vivian Conroy ~ a Review

by Donna Huber


An Exhibition of Murder, Vivian Conroy's newest installment of Murder Will Follow, is my favorite so far.

March Wrap Up

by Donna Huber


I think we will all agree March has been one crazy ride. All seemed so normal at the beginning of the month and then suddenly it all went sideways. I've been working from home for 2 weeks now and the new normal is starting to settle in but things still feel surreal at times. How are you doing?

March 28, 2020

The Slug Queen Chronicles by S. O. Thomas ~ a Review

by MK French


Cricket Kane discovers that tooth fairies are now kidnapping entire children, not just collecting teeth. Her brother is taken, leaving behind a changeling and a toxic black dust that affects her family. She’s immune to it and follows a mysterious cat to the land where magical creatures are real. Cricket has to harness the power of that dust to rescue her brother and the other missing children, but it might cost her life.

March 27, 2020

3 Books about Grace Kelly

by Susan Roberts


Grace Patricia Kelly (November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982) was an American film actress who, after starring in several significant films in the early- to mid-1950s, became Princess of Monaco by marrying Prince Rainier III in April 1956.  There are several popular books that have been published in the last year about Grace Kelly and about her wedding dress.  Here are reviews of three that I recently read.

The Sea Glass Cottage by RaeAnne Thayne ~ a Review & Excerpt

by MK French


Olivia Harper had worked sixteen-hour days in Seattle and dropped it all as soon as she heard that her mother was injured. They had been estranged for years, and the relationship with her niece has become strained as well. All three generations have secrets they've been keeping from each other, and all three have friends that might be more than that.

March 26, 2020

The Shape of Family by Shilpi Somaya Gowda ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


"There are so many ways to die without actually leaving the world.  You can cut off a piece of yourself or your feelings.  You can stop doing the things you love or lose sight of your dreams and goals.  You can separate yourself from those who love you or you can never be willing to find love at all.  You can withdraw from the world or you can go through life without seeking anything bigger than yourself.  These may all look like ways of living but they're not.  They're ways of dying." (p 324)

March 25, 2020

Spindle and Dagger by J. Anderson Coats ~ a Review

by MK French


Elen had survived her family's destruction at the hands of Owain ap Cadwgan by claiming that as long as he keeps her safe with him, Saint Elen would prevent his death. In the three years that followed, she had survived. Now it's 1109 in Wales and Owain kidnapped Nest, the wife of a Norman lord, and her three children. This is the start of all-out war, and Elen's careful survival is coming apart. Now she has to figure out who she is truly loyal to: the one that led to the murder of her family and her assault, or to the one person that showed her kindness and wants what's best for her.

March 24, 2020

The Last Human by Zack Jordan ~ a Review

by MK French



Not so many years ago, Shenya the Widow was a void-cold killer. And as hobbies - no, passions - go, it was extraordinarily fulfilling. Hunt all night, feast at dawn, take one's pick of the choicest males before the long day's sleep... oh yes. She still fantasizes about it - through, sadly, fantasy is all she has left. This is because Shenya the Widow has been conquered, mind and body, by an ancient and terrible force. Sarya the Daughter knew she had to hide her actual identity from neighbors on the station she grew up on. She always hoped to someday change her fate, but not in the way that it actually did. Thrust onto a stolen ship with a ragtag team of other intelligences that have motives of their own, Sarya isn't sure what that fate is actually going to be. But one massive intelligence is working against another, and Sarya is caught right in the middle, along with the fate of the rest of Humanity. (The Last Human, p. 4)

March 23, 2020

Recap of 3 Author Events

by Susan Roberts


Are you one of the lucky people who live near indie book stores that have author events?  I am within an hour's drive from six fantastic bookstores.  My favorite is McIntyre's Books in Pittsboro, NC.  Along with the wonderful staff who always has time to make reading suggestions, they also have frequent author events.   I have been there 3 Saturdays this year to see three fantastic authors talk about their new books.

March 22, 2020

The Honey Don't List by Christina Lauren ~ a Review

by MK French


Carey had started working for design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp since she was sixteen, and her entire adult life has been spent as Melissa's assistant. The famous couple had worked on TV shows for HGTV and written books on design principles, banking on their image as a couple as in love as they had been the first day of their marriage. In reality, their marriage has been silently combusting for years. It's up to Carey and Rusty's new assistant/engineer James McCann to keep the couple from going off the rails as they publicize their latest book on marriage advice. They both need the job badly, and the proximity forces Carey and James to get to know each other as they work together.

A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing by Tim Weed ~ a Review

by Donna Huber


I know that Father's Day is still a few months away but if you are already looking for gift ideas and your dad likes to read, then A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing by Tim Weed would make an excellent gift.

March 21, 2020

The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


"By one-o'clock, after a hearty brunch at a nearby cafe, Dillion had carelessly crammed all her belongings into her small car, surprised that they actually fit.  Then, standing in the apartment parking lot, she handed her apartment keys over to her stunned roommates who'd just pulled up." (p19)

March 20, 2020

Is the Pandemic Affecting Your Reading?

by Donna Huber



For me, today marks the end of the first full week working remotely. Last night my city passed a "shelter in place" ordinance. I'm home all day, the amount of reading should be high. Why then have I only finished 2 books this month?

March 19, 2020

The Road to Delano by John DeSimone ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


"There is nothing we can do about the violence of the growers and their thugs.  The courts and the police are in cahoots with them, so that is how they operate.  But the reaction of the poor workers is to strike back.   That is what I must stop. They want to hurt the growers the way they have been injured. If they do, we will lose everything.  So that is why i am fasting.  To quell the anger in their hearts."  (Ceser Chavez p 245-6)

March 18, 2020

3 Books for Science Fiction Fans

by MK French


It seems a little like we have fallen into the pages of a science fiction story lately, hasn't it? These three stories can provide a good distraction from our current crises.

March 17, 2020

Did You Miss These 3 February New Releases?

by Susan Roberts


February may have been a short month but there were some fantastic books published that you don't want to miss.  Here are reviews for three books published in February that I enjoyed.

March 16, 2020

Children of the Stars by Mario Escobar ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


"A woman like her, dead, murdered by this despicable Vichy regime, murdered by all those who have surrendered their souls and looked the other way.  The worst friend of the truth is silence.  The worst lie in the world id that ordinary people are powerless against tyranny." (p 67)

March 15, 2020

Prefer Fiction? 8 Pandemic Novels to Read

by Donna Huber



Do you know that meme that pops up on social media from time to time asking if you could survive the world of your current read? As one who loves reading dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction, particularly ones featuring a pandemic, I feel a little like I've fallen into the pages of one of those books.

March 14, 2020

March 13, 2020

How a Bookworm Prepares for an Emergency

by Donna Huber


How does a bookworm prepare for an emergency? Hint: It isn't by stocking up on toilet paper.

March 12, 2020

The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant by Kayte Nunn ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


"Esther was dumbfounded.  He'd left her there.  She'd heard of husbands committing their wives to insane asylums - for she under no illusion now, that this was what this godforsaken place must surely be - but had never imagined John would do such a thing to her, despite everything that had happened." (Esther - p 54)

March 11, 2020

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson - a Review

by Alison DeLuca


Gosh, there's a lot going on this week. What else is a reader to do but disappear into a good book and forget the news?

BONUS - you can buy ebooks without touching money or leaving your safe space.

March 10, 2020

The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp ~ a Review

by MK French


Barbara Gordon was left paralyzed after a gunshot wound and is recuperating in the Arkham Center for Independence. She is sure that odd noises and disappearing patients are pieces to a larger puzzle, and is determined to follow them rather than make friends with remaining patients. In spite of herself, they come to matter to her, and she won't sit back when they can no longer be found.

March 9, 2020

Don't Put the Boats Away by Ames Sheldon ~ Review

by Susan Roberts


"Eddie's death nearly killed me.  It wasn't until I started wondering what I could do with my experience of suffering that I started to find my way.  Helping others deal with their own grief is where I found the meaning for my life." (p 191)

March 8, 2020

The Lane Betrayal by John A. Heldt ~ a Review

by Donna Huber


On the heels of completing the Carson Chronicles, John Heldt is back with another time-traveling family drama. The Lane Betrayal is the first book in the new Time Box series. If you've enjoyed his previous books then you definitely want to pick up this book.

March 7, 2020

Early March Books to Read

by Susan Roberts


February has ended and it sure seemed like a quick month.  March is one of my favorite months as the spring flowers start to bloom in my part of the South.  I have reviews of three books that are publishing in early March.  They are all totally different genres but they are fun books to read that I don't want you to miss.

March 6, 2020

City Spies by James Ponti ~ a Review

by MK French


Sarah Martinez hacked into the New York City foster care system to expose her foster parents as cheats and lawbreakers, but she was the one that would be punished. Mother, the man collecting troubled tweens and teens with extraordinary skills that can be useful for MI6, recruited her right out of the courtroom. Operating out of Scotland, Mother and his team have to use their unique skills to get Sarah up to speed in joining them on their next mission. The group has to go to Paris for an international youth summit, protecting the summit’s sponsor and try to stop the terrorists attacking similar meetings.

March 5, 2020

The Moonglow Sisters by Lori Wilde ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


"Townsfolk called them the Moonglow sisters... They bore the noble heritage of the town's founding family, Chapman by blood, if not by label.  Descending from the town's original forbearers lent them prestige, heft and mythological clout.  And they were orphans, having lost both mother and father, banding together in a tight little unit, watching after and taking up for one another despite the six year age difference between oldest and youngest, they went everywhere together."  (p 8)

March 4, 2020

3 Books of Historical Fiction

by MK French


Historical fiction covers so much ground. Today, I have reviews of 3 very different stories of historical fiction. The first is an adventure story set during Mayan times and then we move the 1900s with two stories looking at the limited options of women.

March 3, 2020

Butchering Chickens: A Guide to Humane, Small-Scale Processing by Adam Danforth ~ Review & Recipe

by Donna Huber


"A chicken in every pot" was touted during the late 1920s as the aspiration for Sunday dinners across the United States. American meant production has come a long way since this statement was made. Today, Americans eat a lot of chicken - more than any other species of livestock, and by a long shot. (In fact, it almost averages out to a whole chicken in every Sunday pot across the country!) Because of increased awareness of how meat is produced, astute modern poultry consumers often ask questions like "Where was that chicken raised?" and "What was that chicken fed?" and "How was that chicken killed?" You can easily answer these questions for yourself when you raise your own animals. (p. 9)

March 2, 2020

Runes for Writers: Boost Your Creativity and Destroy Writer's Block by Marc Graham ~ a Review

by MK French


Many people know that Norse cultures used runes for writing, and they have recently been co-opted by various far-right and Nazi movements. While this book acknowledges that, it also seeks to reclaim the knowledge for others to use. The first section of the book outlines this purpose as well as the meaning of each rune of the Elder Futhark. This is the ancient alphabet that the Norse cultures used; the alphabet is named for the first letters of the writing system, much like "alphabet" is derived from the first two letters of the Phoenician and Roman writing system.

March 1, 2020

Ghosts of the Missing by Kathleen Donohoe ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


In the vein of The Lovely Bones and The Little Friend, Ghosts of the Missing follows the mysterious disappearance of a twelve-year-old girl during a town parade and the reverberations of this tragedy throughout the town.

February 29, 2020

Best Books of February 2020


Happy Leap Day! We got an extra day of reading this month. Are you reading anything good today? As it is the last day of February, the staff of Girl Who Reads once again has the difficult task of naming their favorite read of the month. Which book did you read this month that you would consider the best of the bunch?

February 28, 2020

Wild, Wild Rake by Janna Macgregor ~ a Review & Excerpt

by MK French


Lady Avalon Warwyk had to marry her husband at the urging of her parents, and the two always loathed each other. She didn't mourn him when he died and took charge of her son and the estate left behind. Her son's guardian sent his brother, Vicar Devan Farris, to investigate how she was able to do that, as well as to check if she was squandering her son's inheritance. Devan has the reputation of being a rake, and never tried to disprove it. The two were at odds from the start, but Devan is sure that he is attached to Avalon from the start.

February 27, 2020

Coconut Layer Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke ~ a Review

by Donna Huber


Fans of Hannah Swensen can rejoice as their wait for the latest in Joanne Fluke's cozy mystery series is over. If you enjoy the series, then you will love Coconut Layer Cake Murder.

February 26, 2020

Eternity Springs: Tucker by Emily March ~ a Review & Excerpt

by MK French


Gillian Thacker owns Bliss Bridal Salon, and works with wedding parties in Redemption, Texas. Her own wedding plans are a bust, so she decided to try learning survival skills. Tucker McBride, former military, decided to open a wilderness training school. It happens to be right next to the Bliss Bridal Salon, and suddenly he couldn't help but start thinking of weddings himself.

The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts



"A dead woman looked out from the laptop resting on Alice Fine's kitchen table.  The woman's skin was waxen against the metal slab.  thin shoulders, thick hair.  She stared with sightless black eyes.

Alice studied the photo.  Juanita Doe, maybe.  They didn't know.  They might never know.  Race UNK.  Unknown.  Everything UNK at the moment.  That was the basic point with UIDs.  They were unidentified." (p 5)

February 25, 2020

Master of Sorrows by Justin Call ~ a Review

by MK French


The Academy of Chaenbleu has trained students for centuries how to identify and take magical items so that they can be locked away. Magic is forbidden, and deformities are held to be curses from Keos, the trickster and evil of three gods of history. They're killed at birth as well as their parents for being servants of Keos. Annev was saved from being sacrificed to the woods, and seventeen years later is at the Academy hiding his deformity with a magic prosthetic and competing for one of the coveted spots as an avatar, one of the trained magic item thieves. It's a difficult line to walk, and one fraught with severe consequences if he fails.

February 24, 2020

Wildland by Rebecca Hodge ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


"There was no fairy tale ending here.  Flames consumed undergrowth, flames crept up tree trunks, flames leaped into dry upper branches.  Distant trees burned like torches, tossing fire into the tops of the trees beside them.  The wall of noise struck Kat as a physical blow and her mouth tasted liked singed evergreen."  (p 216)

February 23, 2020

A Highlander in a Pickup by Laura Trentham ~ a Review

by MK French


With Isabel Blackmoor in Scotland awaiting the birth of her first child, Anna Maitland is left in Highland, Georgia to set up the festival. She's determined to do it alone to prove that she's capable of it, as well as lay the foundation for a possible mayoral bid. Iain Connors had grown up in Cairndow Castle and isn't sure what he wants for his future. Of course, he and Anna are at odds as to who is in charge of the Highland Games and fight off a physical attraction.

What Happened to February?

by Donna Huber



Here we are at the end of February. I know that there is still a week left of the month, but it has flown by. It's all been a blur; I'm not even sure what went on this month.

February 22, 2020

Death with a Dark Red Rose by Julia Buckley ~ a Review

by Donna Huber


I had enjoyed a previous novel by Julia Buckley so when I saw her new cozy mystery Death with a Dark Red Rose I decided to pick it up. Unfortunately, it didn't really work for me.

3 New Books about War

by Susan Roberts


I have reviews of three books about wars but they are all from a different perspective and a different part of the world. The Land Beneath Us looks at WWII from the perspective of a woman who is waiting for her husband to return, The Light after the War is about two friends who move to South America after WWII and Promised Land is about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

February 21, 2020

5 Books for Fans of Fantasy Novels

by MK French


Fantasy novels can be fun or dark, but almost always they are thought-provoking. Young adult fantasy novels can usually be enjoyed by all ages of readers, as is the case with the two on this list. As enjoyable as fantasy plots can be, it is often the world-building that sets them apart from other genres.

February 20, 2020

The New Gardener's Handbook by Daryl Beyers ~ a Review

by Donna Huber



Spring will eventually be here and garden stores will be filling with colorful flowers and lush vegetable plants. If you are thinking about starting a garden but have never done any gardening before, then The New Gardner's Handbook will get you started on the right foot.

February 19, 2020

Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


If you can’t remember it, how do you prove you didn’t do it? 

"If nobody believes you, if the police don't believe you, how can you trust yourself?"

Christina McDonald's debut novel The Night Oliva Fell was a real roller coaster ride. Behind Every Lie is a very different type of book but it also is full of twists and turns and kept me rapidly turning pages (and losing sleep) until the end.

February 18, 2020

The Last Sister by Kendra Elliot ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


She wrapped her shaking fingers in the hem of her sweater to avoid damaging any fingerprints as she slid open the rear patio door, following the trail of blood. Outside it was dark, daybreak still a few hours away, and the air was cold with the coast's salty mist. (pg 1)

February 17, 2020

5 Historical Biographies for President's Day

by Donna Huber



I know a lot of readers have set goals to read more nonfiction this year. However, nonfiction books are often pricey. My library's bookstore (it's run by the Friends of the Library, all the books are donated by the community so they only charge $1 for their books) has a decent size collection of presidential biographies and memoirs. I know not everyone has access to such a great resource so I took a look at the best selling kindle books to see if there were any reasonably priced presidential biographies. A couple of the books aren't about presidents but instead about their wives or the white house. Here are the ones I thought looked interesting.

February 16, 2020

Ten Days Gone by Beverly Long ~ a Review

by MK French


Baywood, Wisconsin is a small city with the feel of a small town, and there had never been major issues. Detectives A.L. McKittridge and Rena Morgan are part of the task force investigating the deaths of four women in town, each spaced ten days apart with no obvious ties between them.

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