Saturday, September 23, 2017

#MMBBR #Review #ImTheOneWhoGotAway by @AndreaJarrell ‏@BookSparks @shewritespress ‏@GoSparkPoint

As featured in the New York Times “Modern Love” column * a Redbook Magazine must-read * Rumpus, Hello Giggles, Bustle, and Southern Living magazine Fall book pick

Fugitives from a man as alluring as he is violent, Andrea Jarrell and her mother develop a powerful, unusual bond. Once grown, Jarrell thinks she’s put that chapter of her life behind her―until a woman she knows is murdered, and she suddenly sees that it’s her mother’s choices she’s been trying to escape all along. Without preaching or prescribing, I’m the One Who Got Away is a life-affirming story of having the courage to become both safe enough and vulnerable enough to love and be loved.

#FirstLine ~ Susannah was murdered just before Christmas but I didn't find out until after New Year's. 

This memoir is one not to be missed.  It was painful and powerful, honest ans raw.  It was hard to out down because Jarrell pulls the reader into the book, making them witness to the story.  This entrancement is done with beautiful prose and a pace that allows the reader to get lost in the pages.  A must read.

Andrea JarrellAndrea Jarrell’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many other popular and literary publications. She earned her BA in literature at Scripps College and her MFA in creative writing and literature at Bennington College. A Los Angeles native, she currently lives in suburban Washington, D.C.


#MMBBR #Highlight #ToBeWhereYouAre by #JanKaron #GPPutnamsSons #AMitfordNovel

Quick Take: Featuring three generations of the Kavanagh family, TO BE WHERE YOU ARE is a heartfelt new novel with all of the favorite Mitford characters on hand. Fans will be delighted to spend time with the funny and utterly human Father Tim Kavanagh and his beloved wife Cynthia, newlyweds Dooley and Lace, and many more cherished characters. Millions of Karon fans will be thrilled that it’s life as usual in Mitford: A beloved town character lands a front-page obituary, but who was it, exactly, who died? And what about the former mayor, born the year Lindbergh landed in Paris, who’s still running for office? All this, of course, is just a feather in the wind compared to Museeditor J.C. Hogan’s desperate attempts to find a cure for his marital woes. Will it be high-def TV or his pork chop marinate? Twenty minutes from Mitford at Meadowgate Farm, newlyweds Dooley and Lace Kavanagh face a crisis that devastates their bank account and impacts their family vet practice. But there is still a lot to celebrate, as their adopted son, Jack, looks forward to the most important day of his life—with great cooking, country music, and lots of people who love him. Happily, it will also be a day when the terrible rift in Dooley’s biological family begins to heal because of a game—let’s just call it a miracle—that breaks all the rules. By turns comical and compassionate, TO BE WHERE YOU ARE blends the down-home charm of rural life with the stark realities of a changing world. In Mitford, as in real life, it’s all about the journey and thoughtful choices made along the way. And, as always, Jan Karon gently illuminates those struggles along with the untold blessings that come from forging ahead while keeping the faith.  Karon’s Mitford remains as familiar and comforting as an old hymn or a cherished friendship and TO BE WHERE YOU ARE is a testament to its enduring appeal. 

#FirstLine ~ It was the first day of October, and all things considered, Mitford was pretty quiet.  

 Jan Karon
About the author:
Jan Karon is the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of twenty-five books, including fourteen Mitford novels, a popular cookbook, and several books for children.  She lives near Mr. Jefferson’s Monticello, a World Heritage site in central Virginia.


Friday, September 22, 2017

#MMBBR #Review #NationalGeographic #RoundUp @NGKidsBooks

Ultimate Space Atlas (ages 8-12) — Attention Space Lovers! Blast into space to explore our solar system and beyond. This out-of-this-world atlas takes readers through maps of the solar system, the Milky Way, and deep space, giving them a close look at and locations of planets, supernovas, and other universes. Sky maps will help kids spot these objects in the night sky and maps of planets and our solar system give the kind of incredible detail that National Geographic is known for. It's the perfect book for space fans and budding astronauts and a great pick for World Space Week (October 4-10, 2017).


I am so excited to work through this atlas with my kiddos. What makes this atlas so cool is that it is a bit different than other atlases. You will find the maps, but there is more...lots more.  There is information on constellations, solar system and and information on atmosphere.  This book is filled with pictures, charts and stats. I am always looking for ways to keep the learning going over the fall months and into the school year to supplement what they learn at school. This book is going to be a HUGE hit! It is a super big book and has bright and colorful photos. I cannot get over how jam packed with facts, maps and other tidbits this book is. You will get to explore so much. This book also includes a detailed glossary and index. I love that the facts are written in a way that is easy to understand. Adults and kids alike will get lost looking at the pictures and learning so much cool and interesting information. So awesome!!! 5 HUGE stars

Chomp! (ages 7-10) -- National Geographic Explorer and snake wrangler Dr. Brady Barr has been bitten by a lot of creatures over the years. So this book is born from first hand – er, tooth – experience of getting close to some of the biggest biters in the animal kingdom.  It turns out that there's a lot more to biting than meets the eye. Physical features and the how (and when and why) an animal bites reveals much about the animal itself. Chomp! highlights an array of awesome creatures with a diversity of chomp styles – from shredders and slicers to grippers and gulpers. Then it shows how tooth type, bite force, jaw shape, and food source all come to together to make each an incredible member of the animal bite force!


This book is one of the BEST I have seen! It is awesome how it is laid out!!! It is like a vision sensation! There is so much to look at and read! I am sure that you could read this over and over and over and learn something new. Here is a fun tidbit: This soft-bodied squid has an unreal 1,100-pound bite. Learn about this and so many more awesome and interesting facts in this book! It is jam packed with things that I find fun, intriguing and oh so fascinating! My kids are going to love this book so much too.

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What Would Happen?: Serious Answers to Silly Questions (ages 8-12) -- Technology, physics, biology, engineering and even history all play a role when What Would Happen? poses some silly questions and answers them with thoroughly researched scenarios from experts in their fields.  What if you saw the world through the eyes of a dog? What if Earth suddenly stopped rotating? What if you never aged? What if you could teleport anywhere you wanted? What if you were raised by wolves? What if Neanderthals never went extinct? This out-of-the-box book cultivates a better understanding of the world as it is — and what it could be (zombie apocalypse, anyone?).  


This book is FANTASTIC. I could not stop reading it and both my boys thought is was super cool too! Did you know that if mosquitoes went instinct it would greatly affect the food chain?!?!!! So interesting right! In this book you will read clear and distinct answers to so many silly questions you have always wanted to know. This book has all the things that I love about National Geographic...the amazing photos, great tidbits and facts, as well as the well written table of content and index. This book will make you want to hit the books this fall and seek out cool answers to all your burning questions. 5 stars 

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#MMBBR #Review #BearHockey by #JessicaBoyd

Bear Hockey by [Boyd, Jessica]

Every year, right before hibernation, all the bears in the forest gather for a rousing game of Bear Hockey! Whether you're a big bear, a small bear, a short bear or a tall bear, everyone can play - and you never know who will score the winning pinecone!

This book is a delight, so both the story and the pictures.  It is one of those feel good books that children will want to read over and over again.  My son plays hockey so I adore all books about hockey.  Both my son's loved this book too.  The loved all the characters and the sheer joy of the game with 4 simple rules.  A huge hit and one I cannot wait to share with my classes at the Y.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

#MMBBR #Review #FirstLine #TheSummerThatMadeUs by @RCarrWriter @HarlequinBooks @MIRAEditors ‏

The brand-new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr that Kirkus calls "a blissful beach read." The Summer That Made Us is an unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again.

That was then… 

For the Hempsteads, summers were idyllic. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything.

This is now…

After an accident turned the lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. None of the Hempstead women speak of what happened, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth.

Robyn Carr
Robyn Carr has crafted another beautifully woven story about the complexities of family dynamics and the value of strong female relationships.

Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost fifty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. Her highly anticipated new series, Thunder Point, will be released March 2013. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr's website at

#FirstLine ~ Charlene Berkey was devastated. 

This  book is sheer brilliance.  I adored the setting and the characters, both main and secondary, were well fleshed out, real and believable.  There was a richness to the story that is true to Carr and what we know and love about her writing.  I thought the story was touching and hard to out down. I could see being made into a movie because it would translate so well to the big screen.  I adored this book and highly recommend it!

Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost fifty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. Her highly anticipated new series, Thunder Point, will be released March 2013. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr's website at

Monday, September 18, 2017

#MMBBR #Giveaway #BeatriceZinker #UpsideDownThinker by @shelleyjohannes thanks to @disneyhyperion @DisneyBooks #FirstLine


Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker
By Shelley Johannes
Release September 19, 2017
Recommended for ages 9-12

About the Book
Beatrice does her best thinking upside down.

Hanging from trees by her knees, doing handstands . . . for Beatrice Zinker, upside down works every time. She was definitely upside down when she and her best friend, Lenny, agreed to wear matching ninja suits on the first day of third grade. 

But when Beatrice shows up at school dressed in black, Lenny arrives with a cool new outfit and a cool new friend. Even worse, she seems to have forgotten all about the top-secret operation they planned!

Can Beatrice use her topsy-turvy way of thinking to save the mission, mend their friendship, and flip things sunny-side up?


#FirstLine ~ Beatrice Zinker always did her best thinking upside down.  

We are upside down thinkers in this house.  We also think sideways and sunny side up and all ways in between. We tackle problems head on with honesty, humor and heart. We stick together like glue and know that there is nothing we cannot face. 

This story is sheer delight and I adored it cover to cover. How can you not love Beatrice. She is everything I would hope to be and more. Her zany personality and approach to life is so refreshing. She has a way about her that is inspiring to others and I love that she is a girl that never gives up. We can all learn a thing or two from Beatrice. I want every kid to read this book and discuss it. There are gems of wisdom in this book that will certainly be helpful to young readers. I highly recommend this book.



About the Author
Shelley Johannes previously spent ten years in architecture—where she fell in love with felt-tip pens, tracing paper, and the greatness of black turtlenecks. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons. Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker is the first book she's written. Find her online at


Disney-Hyperion sent me a copy to check out, and is partnering with me for a giveaway.

Be An Upside Down Thinker!
One (1) winner receives:
Copy of Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker
“Upside Down Thinker” beanie
And branded pencil case and notepad!

Open to US addresses only.
Prizing and samples provided by Disney-Hyperion.


TO ENTER:  Answer this question in the comments:  
How do you encourage topsy-turvy thinking in your own family?

NOTE:  Disney-Hyperion sent me a copy of the book to check out, and is partnering with me for a giveaway.

Links + Social Media
Visit the Official Site
Follow Disney-Hyperion on Twitter and Instagram
Like Disney Books on Facebook
Hashtags #BeatriceZinker #UpsideDownThinker


Saturday, September 16, 2017

#MMBBR #Review #FirstLine If the Creek Don't Rise by #LeahWeiss @sbkslandmark

"[A] striking debut..." ― BUSTLE  
"...masterful use of language....Weiss' novel is a great suggestion for fans of the Big Stone Gap books, by Adriana Trigiani, and Mitford series, by Jan Karon."―Booklist, STARRED Review
He's gonna be sorry he ever messed with me and Loretta Lynn
Sadie Blue has been a wife for fifteen days. That's long enough to know she should have never hitched herself to Roy Tupkin, even with the baby.
Sadie is desperate to make her own mark on the world, but in remote Appalachia, a ticket out of town is hard to come by, and hope often gets stomped out.  When a stranger sweeps into Baines Creek and knocks things off kilter, Sadie finds herself with an unexpected lifeline...if she can just figure out how to use it.
This intimate insight into a fiercely proud, tenacious community unfolds through the voices of the forgotten folks of Baines Creek. With a colorful cast of characters that each contribute a new perspective, IF THE CREEK DON'T RISE is a debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

#FirstLine ~ I struggle to my feet, straighten my back, life my chin, then he hits me again.  

This is a dynamic debut whose setting was as powerful as the characters.  There was heart break and hope blending with a story that illustrates struggle and love and all the things in between.  A must read for fall or winter and a perfect book club pick.

Leah Weiss

Leah Weiss is a Southern writer born in the flat lands of North Carolina and raised in the foothills of Virginia where she loves hiking short stretches of the Appalachian Trail. Her debut novel, IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE, is set in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. The book has been chosen as an Indie Next, Okra Pick and LibraryReads. Leah retired in 2015 from a 24-year career as Executive Assistant to the Headmaster at Virginia Episcopal School. She enjoys speaking with book clubs. You may contact her through her website about availability, and check for events coming to your area.


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