Wednesday, October 7, 2015

#GIVEAWAY #MMBBR Review The Secret Loves of Animals by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer @stacytornio @TSR_Promos

The Secret Lives of Animals
The Secret Lives of Animals is the perfect mix of field guide know-how and armchair entertainment. In addition to the standard field guide notes and range maps, the meat of the book will offer up “spark moments” in nature—something fascinating or memorable that catches your attention and sets you on a path of lifelong learning. The Secret Lives of Animals will feature more than 100 North American animals and over 1,000 tidbits in a fun, colorful, illustrated format.

I cannot stop picking this book up and reading facts and looking at the pictures!  This book is a treasure trove of information!!!  There is so much to read and learn within this fabulous book!  My kids and I love reading animal facts!  I love how it is laid out and there are numbered facts on each animal.  This makes the book so much more reader friendly for children and adults too.  I also love the Go Outside tidbits!  They are just awesome!  It is really cool to see that there is a book like this out there because the sense of the wonder of the outdoor is being lost within technology and I think any kid that reads this book will want to get outside and explore nature in all it glory!  
 5 stars!!

PS: Did you now that slugs can lay 400 to 500 eggs in a single year!!! (P. 37, The Secret Loves of Animals). Crazy right???  Check out this book to learn more interesting and crazy animal facts!!!


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Website  /  Facebook  /  Twitter  /  Pinterest  /  YouTube
Stacy Tornio is an Oklahoma girl at heart, though she’s lived in Wisconsin for the last 10 years. As editor of Birds & Blooms Magazine, Stacy is able to share her love of backyard nature. Her first book, Cathy’s Animal Garden, takes readers on a picture journey into the neighbor’s scary backyard in search of a homerun baseball. Project Garden, her recent book, is a monthly guide filled with activities to keep the whole family gardening all year long. Along with her husband, Steve, Stacy enjoys watching her two children explore nature in their Milwaukee backyard and on trips up north.
Ken Keffer was born and raised in Wyoming.  A vagabond naturalist, he’s done a little bit of everything, from monitoring mice and vole populations and picking up carnivore scat in Grand Teton National Park to researching flying squirrels in the Tongass National Forest of southeast Alaska, and monitoring Bactrian camels in Mongolia’s Great Gobi Strictly Protected Area. He’s also worked as an environmental educator in Wyoming, northern New Mexico, coastal Maryland, and along the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio. Ken enjoys birding, floating on lazy rivers, and fly fishing in the mountains out west.

Brought to you by Worldwind Virtual Book Tours

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

#GIVEAWAY #DivaandFlea #MMBBR Diva and Flea by Mo Willems w/ Tony DiTerlizzi @DisneyHyperion @The_Pigeon @TonyDiTerlizzi #ad

About the book:  
Diva, a small yet brave dog, and Flea, a curious streetwise cat, develop an unexpected friendship in this unforgettable tale of discovery.

For as long as she could remember, Diva lived at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France. For as long as he could remember, Flea also lived in Paris, France-but at no fixed address. When Flea fl neurs past Diva's courtyard one day, their lives are forever changed. Together, Diva and Flea explore and share their very different worlds, as only true friends can do.

I adored this book so very much.  I was already of fan of Mo Willems, as are my boys.  I loved this story so much because it was not only about watching two animals become friends but it was also about helping each other find strength and bravery.  It was about how friends add to each other and make each other better.  That great friendships are those that are built by finding things that they both like and having respect for one another.  So as you can see, I loved the story so much!!! Now onto the beautiful illustrations!!!  The illustrations capture the story flawlessly.  They capture the adventure and the setting and the emotions of the characters just perfectly!  I promise you that you will love taking an adventure to France with with unlikely, but completely lovable, duo!!!   
5 stars


BONJOUR, AMI prize pack
Hello, Friend! One (1) winner receives:
·         A kit for DIY friendship bracelets;
·         and a copy of The Story of Diva and Flea to read with your best friend.

To enter:  :Leave a blog comment about who you would share this wonderful prize with!!!

About the Author

Mo Willems (, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity). Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. The celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as garnering four Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, Let's Go for a Drive! and A Big Guy Took My Ball!). 

About the Illustrator
Tony DiTerlizzi ( number-one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, created the middle-grade series The Spiderwick Chronicles with Holly Black, which has sold millions of copies, been translated into more than 30 languages and made into a feature film. He won a Caldecott Honor for illustrating The Spider & The Fly, and in 2014 he teamed up with Lucasfilm to retell the original Star Wars trilogy in a picture book featuring artwork by Academy award-winning concept artist, Ralph McQuarrie. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife, daughter and dog, Mimi.


Find out more on at
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Monday, October 5, 2015

#MMBBR Blog Tour Host: Up To I Do by Samantha March @BySamanthaMarch #MarchingInk

Blog Tour: Up To I Do by Samantha March

Emerson Sinclair, twenty-seven year old hotel heiress, has said yes. With just over a year to plan her extravagant, over the top nuptials to Logan Worthington, it’s all hands on deck with the wedding plans. A Sinclair marrying into the Worthington family is the talk of their small New Hampshire town, and ideas include filming the wedding for a TV segment. But as the items get checked off the list, plans start to go ... not as planned. From not getting a designer dress to a selfish bridesmaid and unaccountable best man, Emerson is afraid her wedding will be more a joke than anything. 
When both her mother and sister seemingly begin to lose interest in her wedding plans in favor of their own personal lives, Emerson fears her big day will turn into the forgotten wedding. With the pressure to pull off a beautiful and elegant event that everyone expects from their respectable families, Emerson starts to forget the reason why she is saying I Do in the first place.


March has definitely found her voice within the chick lit genre and with every new book you can tell she is growing stronger and stronger as a writer!  Up To I Do is about many topics, like love, friendship in various forms, finding yourself and sticking to ones guns and living the life you feel you deserve.  There is drama, adventure and some misadventures :).  It is a great feel good story with characters that are real, flawed, but ultimately very likable!  The relationship between Emerson and her Gram was so beautiful and I just loved reading it!  Way to go Samantha on another FABULOUS read!  4.5 stars

1.  What inspired UP TO I DO?

The inspiration was from getting engaged, and my first thought was to have the book include funny moments or sentimental experiences from my wedding planning. It turned out to be nothing even close to it. Not even a bit!

2.  How do you feel about having your wedding picture on the cover?

I love it! When I first got engaged and thought of writing this book, I immediately knew I wanted to use a personal photo if possible. I think it makes the book so special, and of course, unique. I should not see a cover twin out there ;)

3.  What challenges did you face writing this book?

The usual – writer’s block, completely changing my main character’s personality after writing the book, re-writing the ending three times. Just a typical writer’s life ;)

4.  What was your favorite part of writing this book?

Exploring the relationship between Emerson and her Grams. This book is dedicated to my late grandmother, and I let myself envision what our journey could have been like had she been alive during my engagement and wedding.

5.  Are you working on something new?

I am! I just started writing book 5 and am having a blast with it!


Chapter Nine Status Update: Nearly lost a bridesmaid today. #needaredo #redhotmess

The day of the bridesmaid dress appointment felt similar to picking out my wedding dress. Once again, Mom, Grams, Milly, Sienna, and the rest of the bridesmaids gathered at the house for breakfast. Delilah had even made the trip down once again, and we were going to have a sleepover at Milly’s that night with the three of us. I couldn’t wait.
                Once we were finished eating, we were off in the limo once again to the bridal shop where I had purchased my dress. I had to put my foot down on this. Evie (and also Honor and a tad bit of Tatiana if I’m honest) pushed for a New York trip to find the bridesmaid dress, throwing out all these top-notch shops filled with designer dresses. But . . . if I couldn’t have a designer dress, why would my maids wear one? I had finally come to terms that I had my dream dress and it just happened not to be a big name designer. I couldn’t handle if the other girls had one. The men were wearing Vera Wang for God’s sake. Cut me a little slack here.
                Once we arrived at the store and were greeted warmly by Sandra, the owner, she ushered us to the back and I sat on the throne—a big fluffy red chair reserved for brides. Milly handed me scorecards that she had made so I could rate each dress from 1-10, and Sandra explained what would happen. We had fifteen minutes to walk around the store and grab dresses, then the fun would begin. Pretty simple.
On her mark, the lot of us scattered like marbles on a wood floor, on the hunt for the perfect bridesmaid dress. I managed to pull two, getting overwhelmed quickly by all the choices. How would I ever find one? Maybe each girl could wear a different dress in the same color. Would that be too busy? Did I care? Why was I here? Couldn’t I have made Katrina handle this on her own? But no, she probably would have been sucked into going to New York as well. It was better I was here and in control.
                “Time!” Sandra stood in the middle of the floor, and I realized then that we were the only people in the store, which I had to think was unusual for a Saturday morning. I wondered if Mom had reserved the space solely for us. That was sweet and a necessity I hadn’t even thought of because I wasn’t sure I could concentrate if a bunch of other bridesmaids were traipsing along the aisles.
                After handing my choices over to Sandra and taking a seat at the throne, I waited anxiously for the girls to come out. Each was coming out first in a pick of their own, and I was curious to see what each girl’s style was going to be. Milly was the exception. Since she was my maid of honor, I was going to let her off the hook for trying dresses on. I figured we had enough girls around. She had thanked me profusely that morning for the favor.
                “Got your scorecards at the ready?” Sienna asked me, her eyes bright. As the countdown to the big day got closer, Sienna seemed to be more and more in her element. I think Mom was relieved she was taking some of the pressure off her, especially with the pageant taking up more time than she expected it to.
                I held up the thick cards that Milly had clearly put a lot of time into. “Ready to roll!”
                Sandra cleared her throat and started listing off the designer names and the dress features. Honor was in a strapless dress that fell to the knee, with a belted waist and crumb catcher top. Delilah’s dress also featured a crumb catcher top (these two were so alike it could be scary) but hers had no belt and was less structured than Honor’s. Tatiana had a long strapless dress with a keyhole in the chest area—a little too risqué in my opinion. Evie . . . Evie. Evie was in a short hot pink dress that dipped low in the back, nearly to her crack, and her boobs were pushed up so high I was sure a nip slip was going to happen in the store. How in the world that was a suitable bridesmaid dress for anyone was beyond me. I couldn’t even look at her.
                “Gabby’s dress is my favorite out of this group,” I said, my eyes immediately going to her soft chiffon dress with delicate straps and a ruched bodice. It fit her well and looked so pretty and feminine. And to be honest—a crumb catcher scared me. Even the name was just plain weird.
                “You have a little diversity here with styles and even lengths,” Sandra said, standing by me. “Let’s focus on Honor and Delilah first, since they are similar. Do you like the crumb catcher top?”
                I held up a scorecard with a 4 on it. “Sorry, ladies. I think those tops are weird.”
                “Emerson!” They both screeched, looking at one another and laughing. Milly joined in from her perch on the chair next to me.
                “I bet this would look great in your wedding,” Delilah said, patting Honor on the arm, who I think turned a little pale at that. “Or yours, Milly. And I can’t wait to hear all about this Miles tonight!”
                Milly blushed as we all—even Grams and Sienna—hooted at her. “Yeah, yeah, let’s get back to the task at hand. So nothing fashion forward for the bride. No crumb catcher. Got it.”
                “How about Tatiana’s? What do you think of a long dress?” Sandra asked.
                I flipped through my stack and held up a 7. “I like this one more, but I’m not sure about long. Most of the pictures I’ve been pinning are short.”
                “Long tends to work better for more formal weddings,” Mom said as her cell phone started to ring, piercing through the quiet store. “My gracious, my apologies. I thought I turned the ringer off.” She fumbled in her Prada for her phone, looking at the screen and frowning. “It’s the pageant. Again. Third call this morning. I’m sorry, let me just step outside quick and I’ll be back in a shake.” She rushed outside without even grabbing her coat, and I stared at her retreating back, frowning. For someone who was donating her time and efforts to the pageant cause, she sure was pretty invested in that event.
                Shaking my head, I focused again at the task at hand. “Let’s keep it long then,” I said. “I like the idea of a more formal wedding, so if that will help with the pictures, let’s do it. And it’ll be September, so not like the girls will be overheated or anything.”
                “Long it is,” Grams confirmed.
                “Let’s move to Gabby’s,” Sandra suggested.
                “I thought you didn’t want chiffon,” Milly said, remembering a conversation we had in the past about bridesmaid dresses.
                “I didn’t think I did, but seeing it on her, it looks really good. I especially like how it’s tight in the middle. I think it would be really flattering on everyone.” I eyed the dress, liking it more with each passing second. I held up a 9. “This is a serious contender.”
                Sandra cleared her throat. “And how about . . . Evie’s?”
                Everyone was silent. “No,” I said simply.
                Evie stomped a foot. “But, Emerson, this color is gorgeous! And not to diss any of these other top-notch dresses, but this one really is the best.” Her tone dripped in sarcasm.
                I raised a brow. “No,” I said again. “I’m not even going to touch on how hideous that dress is—no offense, Sandra—or how inappropriate it would be for not only my wedding, but the majority of weddings that take place. Now go back, pick a dress that is actually suitable, and come back. Or leave. I honestly don’t care which.” I folded my arms and stared at her.
                She wavered under my glare—I saw it. “Fine.” She flounced away and everyone stood frozen to their spots, not sure of what to say.
                Sandra cleared her throat. “Well, um, a successful first round. Let’s head back into the dressing room and I’ll do one of your picks, Emerson, along with picks from the others in the group.” Sandra ushered my maids away and I leaned back in the chair, replacing all the score cards and gearing up for round two.

Follow the tour:

September 21 – Melanie Surani – Excerpt

September 22- Change the Word – Interview

September 24 – Living Life With Joy – Review, Q&A & Excerpt

September 28 – Writing Pearls – Review

September 28 – Love Chick Lit – Review & Excerpt

September 28 – MyHomemadeLibrary – Review & Excerpt

September 30 – Chick Lit Goddess – Excerpt

September 30 – Lozza’s Book Corner –  Excerpt

September 30 – Texas BookAHolic -  Review

October 1 – Hey Said Renee – Review & Q&A

October 1 – Hello Chick Lit – Q&A & Excerpt

October 2 -  One Book At A Time – Q&A

October 5 – Book Groupies – Excerpt

October 5 – Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews – Review, Q&A& Excerpt 

About Samantha March

Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women's lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and celebrity related. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and has three published novels - Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket and A Questionable Friendship. When she isn't reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers. Samantha lives in Iowa with her husband and Vizsla puppy.

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