Friday, February 28, 2014

Dating, Dining and Desperation by Melody Carlson

In the second installment of the Dear Daphne series Daphne is still looking for a husband. She only has 10 months left according to the stipulations in her Aunt's will. When new neighbor Sabrina moves into the neighborhood the southern charmer guesses what Daphne's Aunt requires of her and sets about helping Daphne find Mr. Right.

When it seems that Jake, Daphne's lawyer, may be getting back together with his ex she crosses him off of her list of prospective husbands. There still seems to be a long list of potentials though. A lot of nice men, a few frogs, but no Prince Charming for Daphne...yet.

Dating, Dining, and Desperation was quite entertaining and amused me in several places. I like how Daphne is settling into Appleton and finding her place in the small little town. Her character seems to be maturing and I love her desire to help a friend/neighbor in need. Her dates made for some entertaining reading and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the next Dear Daphne book which is titled: Home, Hearth, and Holidays and scheduled for ebook release shortly after Dating, Dining, and Desperation releases.

Thank you to B&H Publishers through NetGalley for my copy of the book which releases March 1, 2014. This review is my honest opinion.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

No One To Trust by Lynette Eason

Summer and her husband have been married for about a year. Before they were married Summer told her husband that the only thing she could never forgive was if he lied to her. When Summer is awakened with a gun to her head she soon finds that not only has her husband lied to her, but he has also plunged her and those she loves the most into mortal danger.

From the very first pages I was hooked! Seriously, my heart was pounding several times while reading this book. Not only was I on the edge of my seat from the suspense of the events happening, but also from all of the emotions that each character was feeling. Throughout I was often wondering if Summer would ever be able to forgive her husband. Then just as the emotional turmoil would subside a bit then another suspenseful scene would take it's place! I'm a definite fan of mystery/suspense and NO ONE TO TRUST did not disappoint in either category. Oh, and I can't even mention the snakes...*shiver*

Friday, February 21, 2014

Find Momo A Photography Book by Andrew Knapp

Find Momo: A Photography Book (Quirk Books; March 4, 2014; $14.95) is Knapp's collection of charming photography that invites readers to play hide-and-seek with this ever-cute, ever-patient, ever-eager border collie who is skilled at hiding in a variety of settings. With plenty of never-before-seen photos, readers will look for Momo in famous locales like Central Park in New York City and Millennium Park in Chicago, as well as in fields, snow banks, and toy stores. 

Full of striking and unforgettable images, Find Momo is part art book and part "Where's Waldo?" and it will challenge and inspire dog lovers, photography buffs, and curious readers of all ages.

About the Authors:

Andrew Knapp is a freelance interface designer and photographer from northern Ontario. Dog crazy, with a desire to make everyday routines into creative adventures, Andrew has presented a TEDx Talk, Huffington Post, Mashable,, and the Daily Mail Online.
collaborated on an Instamissions project with MTV and Sony.

Momo is an adorable, brown-eyed, nearly five-year-old border collie, Andrew's BFF, and a genius at hiding. he has over 100,000 Instagram fans. Say hello at


My Thoughts:

This book was so fun to look through! I loved trying to find Momo in each picture. Besides Momo being adorable in each of his hiding places, the pictures are beautiful! Momo is a talented dog who does his job well at hiding for each picture. I was thankful for the "answers" in the back of the book for those pictures that I just couldn't find Momo. Before I had seen Find Momo I had never heard of him even though he is an internet sensation. After reading Momo's and Andrew's story I signed up for an Instagram account so that I can now "find Momo" along with the thousands of other people that follow their adventures. I'm looking forward to sharing this book with my grandchildren to see if they too can "find Momo."

Thanks to Quirk Publishers for my copy of Find Momo for review purposes.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cover Reveal: FERAL by Holly Schindler

From the jacket cover:

It’s too late for you. You’re dead.
Those words float through Claire Cain’s head as she lies broken and barely alive after a brutal beating. And the words continue to haunt her months later, in the relentless, terrifying nightmares that plague her sleep. So when her father is offered a teaching sabbatical in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out of Chicago, away from the things that remind her of what she went through, will offer a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire quickly realizes something is wrong—the town is brimming with hidden dangers and overrun by feral cats. And her fears are confirmed when a popular high school girl, Serena Sims, is suddenly found dead in the icy woods behind the school. While everyone is quick to say Serena died in an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it—for she was the one who found Serena, battered and most certainly dead, surrounded by the town’s feral cats.

Now Claire vows to learn the truth about what happened, but the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to discovering a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley. . . .

With an eerie setting and heart-stopping twists and turns, Holly Schindler weaves a gripping story that will make you question everything you think you know.

To Pre-Order: 

Add to your Goodreads shelf: 

About Holly:

 Holly Schindler is the critically acclaimed author of two previous YAs; her debut, A BLUE SO DARK, received a starred review in Booklist, was named one of Booklist's Top 10 First Novels for Youth, and won both a silver medal in ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year and a gold medal in the IPPYs.  She is also the author of the recently-released MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY. 

Catch up with Holly at:

FERAL releases with HarperCollins on August 26, 2014. I don't know about you, but after reading the description and seeing the cover I'm definitely excited to get this book in my hands. I love a good suspense/horror story!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler: BLOG TOUR, INTERVIEW, REVIEW, GIVEAWAY


“Beasts of the Southern Wild” meets Because of Winn Dixie in this inspiring story of hope.

Auggie Jones lives with her grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town.  So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.”  But Auggie is determined to prove that there’s more to her—and to her house—than meets the eye.

What starts out as a home renovation project quickly becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had—and redefine a whole town’s perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time.

Holly Schindler’s feel-good story about the power one voice can have will inspire readers to speak from their hearts.

About the Author:
Holly Schindler was born in Missouri. After college she taught music lessons while pursuing a writing
career. Initially she was only writing adult work—but soon, her writing took an entirely different direction, as the kids and teens whose music filled her home inspired her to try writing for children. It was then that she found her true calling. 

Holly Schindler is also the author of two YA novels, A Blue So Dark (named one of Booklist’s Top 10 First Novels for Youth in 2010) and Playing Hurt

Links to visit Holly Schindler:

Twitter: @holly_schindler
Author site:

Site for young readers: 

Holly Schindler’s Middles - I’m especially excited about this site.  I adored getting to interact with the YA readership online—usually through Twitter or FB.  But I had to create a site where I could interact with the MG readership.  I’m devoting a page on the site to reviews from young readers themselves!  Be sure to send your young reader’s review through the Contact Me page.

Group Author Blogs: YA Outside the Lines ( for YA authors and Smack Dab in the Middle ( for MG authors.


My Favorite Pastime:  How did you come up with the name Auggie?  (I know that in the book she is named after her grandfather, so how did that character name come about?)

  Holly Schindler: THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY actually started out as a picture book.  In that first draft, Auggie didn’t have a name at all—she told the story of her Grampa Gus, a trash hauler turned folk artist.  When I submitted the book, editors consistently told me that the book had good writing in it, but the concept of folk art was too advanced for the picture book readership.  I was encouraged to turn the book into a middle grade novel. 
As I wrote the middle grade novel, the story of course became Auggie’s, more than it was Gus’s.  But since they shared so much in their journey toward becoming folk artists, it only seemed natural that they would share their names, as well.

     My Favorite Pastime:  I loved Auggie and her grandfather’s creations; where did you get your inspiration for them to create their “company?”  Have you ever seen a display like Auggie’s home?

Holly Schindler: I’ve been going to rural farm auction since I was a little girl—these days, I still go…mostly with my brother, who’s an antiques dealer.  I’ve always loved those unique, one-of-a-kind items found at farm auctions: dresses made from feedsack material, stools made from old Coke crates, etc.  I knew I wanted Auggie and her Grampa Gus to reinvent old items from his trash hauls in the same way…But as I wrote, I also got completely intrigued with the idea of folk art environments, like the Watts Towers in California or the Orange Show in Texas.  I loved the idea of a work of art that was big enough that the artist could actually live inside it!

My Favorite Pastime:  You depicted the age group so well, have you experienced the prejudice that Victoria displays in the book?

Holly Schindler: Not to the extent that Victoria displays it.  But I think we all experience being looked down on, for whatever reason.  When you’re young, you can get looked down on for what seem like the silliest reasons: not being in the right social circles or cliques, not having the right label on your jeans.  But when you’re adult, the reasons are equally ridiculous: not having a flashy car, not living in the right neighborhood, not having an impressive-sounding job.  It’s important to learn—as Auggie does throughout the course of the book—to feel secure in and love yourself.  To never let others’ opinions color how you feel about yourself.

My Favorite Pastime:   Did you ever have a best friend like Auggie does in the book who dumped you for someone else?

Holly Schindler: Of course!  No one gets through childhood without being dumped a few times, or treated unfairly by someone you’d once considered a friend.  But I think those experiences teach us about what kind of friend we want to be.  In the book, Auggie actually forgives Lexie—which I think says a great deal about what Auggie thinks about friendship.  Sometimes, forgiveness is possible—other times, the hurt is too great.  Either way, I think you take those lessons with you into the next friendship; it’s always an opportunity to grow.

My Favorite Pastime:  What lessons do you hope that your readers will take away from THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY?

Holly Schindler:I hope they’re inspired to try their hand at some artistic expression.  I hope they believe their voice matters.  And I hope they love their neighborhood—no matter where it is—a little more…


First of all, I wish I had Auggie and her Grandpa Gus’s talent! Secondly, I would love to live in the house that Auggie and her Grandfather “improved”. And lastly, I absolutely loved Auggie!

Obviously the author Holly Schindler managed to evoke a lot of feelings in her writing of The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky. I scowled at Victoria, her father and the whole Beautification Committee! I wanted to reach through the pages and shake Victoria out of her prejudice and meanness to Auggie. I smiled at Auggie’s enthusiasm as her creative juices started to flow and she found her “Shine”. I hurt for Auggie as I read about her mother and her hope that someday her mother would return to her. And I laughed in triumph with her as she rallied people together to protect their property and fight injustice.

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky was a delightful read that has the characters staying in my head and heart for long after I finished reading the book. A great book for Elementary and Middle School readers that is full of lessons on accepting people for who they are.



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