Monday, February 29, 2016

#MMBBR Review Flight of Dreams by @ArielLawhon @SheReadsBookCLB


"At every page a guilty secret bobs up; at every page Lawhon keeps us guessing. Who will bring down the Hindenburg? And how?”
-- New York Times Book Review 

On the evening of May 3rd, 1937, ninety-seven people board the Hindenburg for its final, doomed flight to Lakehurst, New Jersey. Among them are a frightened stewardess who is not what she seems; the steadfast navigator determined to win her heart; a naive cabin boy eager to earn a permanent spot on the world’s largest airship; an impetuous journalist who has been blacklisted in her native Germany; and an enigmatic American businessman with a score to settle. Over the course of three hazy, champagne-soaked days their lies, fears, agendas, and hopes for the future are revealed.

Flight of Dreams is a fiercely intimate portrait of the real people on board the last flight of the Hindenburg. Behind them is the gathering storm in Europe and before them is looming disaster. But for the moment they float over the Atlantic, unaware of the inexorable, tragic fate that awaits them.

Brilliantly exploring one of the most enduring mysteries of the twentieth century, Flight of Dreams is that rare novel with spellbinding plotting that keeps you guessing till the last page and breathtaking emotional intensity that stays with you long after.

Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is co-founder of the popular online book club,, a novelist, blogger, and life-long reader. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and four young sons. She is the author of THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS (2014) and HINDENBURG (2016) both published by Doubleday. Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.

I have to say that I was spellbound while reading this book.  Lawon has found a way to create a story that was multi-layered, fascinating and woven beautifully.  Lawon has found a way to bring the story of the Hindenburg alive through the characters that she has created.  There is such a wondrous mix of history, emotion and brilliance in this book.  5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection:
Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Sunday, February 28, 2016

#MMBBR Art Through Stories: Flossopher and the Brushing Trees by “Dr. Mike” King

MY REVIEW:  Flossopher and the Brushing Trees was a fun book to illustrate to the children in my Art Through Stories class how to take care of their teeth in a fun and adventurous way.  

They loved all the ways the far off land involved good verses evil.  The book kept their interest due to the dynamic characters and interesting and unique story.  I love that dental health was wrapped into this out of this world story!  4 stars  

NOTE:  In addition to being a blogger, wife, mother and cycling instructor, I am also a teacher for children ages 2-5 years old at the Y where I have developed a class entitled Art Through Stories.  

I designed this class to introduce the children I teach to books and then using those books to create art projects.  I try to help them creatively capture the beauty, lessons, concepts and other learning points within the books through the expression of art.  I do this by using various art mediums.  The art projects also act a tool to help retell the stories to their loved ones.  

Here are the art projects I used to bring the story to life:  

PROJECTS:  toothbrush, mouth full of teeth, and a tooth

They painted the tooth with a mix of pain, shaving cream and glue.  The painted the tooth with a toothbrush.  They loved it!

The teeth are made from mini marshmallows, glued to a pink construction paper mouth.  Inside the mouth is also a red tongue that they glued in.  They thought it was a hoot making the mouth.  The toothbrush is a large popsicle stick with a cupcake liner as the bristles.  Then finished off with a sticker.  They decorated the toothbrush, glued the teeth in the mouth and then when all was done and dried we showed them how to brush their teeth.   What fun it all was!!!

An Adventure for Young Tooth Brushers
by “Dr. Mike” King
Illustrations by Rick Ellis
Flossopher knows everything there is to know about taking care of teeth. 
He lives in the Brite forest, where his job is to make 
sure that all his friends keep their teeth clean and sparkly.

Flossopher and the Brushing Trees is an adventure book for young tooth brushers; a children's book that teaches the importance of taking care of your teeth. The Brite Forest is where Flossopher lives with his friends. The evil Cavidorg plots to steal the magic Brushing Crown from Sparkla, the mother of all Brushing Trees. Without the toothbrushes that the Brushing Trees grow, no one will brush, and everyone's teeth will turn rotten. That way Cavidorg's plant, Denture-Con, can make even more fake teeth for the world. Flossopher must find a way to defeat Cavidorg and keep all the teeth in the Brite Forest clean and healthy.

 Dr. Charles Kaner, Chief of Dental Perio Division, Mt. Sinai Hospital:
“My favorite children’s book that shows the importance of brushing and taking care of your teeth!”

Amy Lignor, Feathered Quill Book Review:
Mike King, also known as “Dr. Mike,” is a pediatric dentist who uses jokes and magic tricks to entertain his young patients. He also writes screenplays and does stand-up comedy in New York City (performing as "The Fifth Dentist" -- as in, Four out of five dentists recommend sugarless gum, well-he's the fifth!), where he lives with his wife, Sophie, and their daughter, Annabelle. You can find out more about Dr. Mike and his practice at, and more about his book at Check out to explore his upcoming play - The Fifth Dentist: In Search of Sid's Treasure or for more about his standup act.

About the Illustrator: Rick Ellis is a cartoonist-illustrator who has worked on several children’s books and is the cartoonist for the syndicated cartoon strip Half Baked Comics. With his wife and five children, he enjoys life and all the beauty and humor that life provides. You can view more of Rick’s work at
*Note: a portion of the profits from every book sold will be donated to Smile Train ( 

*Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. As a result of our efficiency and with the support of our donors and partners around the world, Smile Train has transformed the lives of more than one million children by giving them the power of a smile.

“Dr. Mike” King
An Adventure for Young Tooth Brushers 
by “Dr. Mike” King // Illustrations by Rick Ellis
The Fifth Dentist 
November 2015 // Ages 3+
*$11.95-Hardcover // ISBN 978-0-9909484-0-7

Friday, February 26, 2016

#MMBBR Books in the Classroom with Yvonne: The Coal Thief by: Alane Adams @AlaneAdamsBooks @BookSparks

The Coal Thief
By: Alane Adams

The Coal Thief is perfect and polished in so many ways and for so many reasons.  You will be moved before you even open the cover. The young boy with his big brown eyes and arms full of coal will capture the hearts of young and old. Every illustration brings a part of history to life with the abundance of details. My second-grade students notice something new every time they read it.

The Coal Thief is an ideal cross-curricular, multiple grade-level mentor text.
  • ·      Language development through the rich vocabulary (trotted, scowled, trundled, sagging, shivered, etc.) and descriptive phrases (black gold, swallowed him up, craned his neck, turned tail and run, feeling the shame curl his toes, his heart felt so warm, etc.).
  • ·      Reading with character voices by using the dialogue between Harley and Georgie, and Papa and Georgie.
  • ·      Inferring character feelings.
  • ·      Crafting a lead by describing the setting.
  • ·      Predicting
  • ·      Lesson/Moral
  • ·      Character traits – Georgie and Papa are such well-defined characters.
  • ·      A history lesson by looking into what life was like in the 1920s when times where tough.
Not only is this book wonderful for teaching children about staying true to their values, but also the story shows how Georgie (the boy with the big brown eyes) has parents that guide, model and love unconditionally. A reminder all parents can draw from. Alane Adams and Lauren Gallegos have created a monumental book that is a great addition to any school, classroom, or home library. 5+ stars!!!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

#MMBBR #Audible #Review Grimm House by @KarenMcQuestion

Grimm House Audiobook

Grimm House

When Hadley's parents leave on a cruise and then are reported lost at sea, her perfect world is turned upside down. In a flash she is whisked away to a new life of drudgery at Grimm House where she waits on not one but two persnickety old aunts. As she grudgingly fulfills their commands of cooking, cleaning, and even after-dinner-dancing, she comes to suspect the aunts are really witches who are scheming to take the thing she loves best.

"I loved this story and so will my boys!"
If you could sum up Grimm House in three words, what would they be?
haunting, original, passion

What was one of the most memorable moments of Grimm House?
I loved that the story showcased a strong, young female character. I loved that there was a mystery wrapped into an engaging, haunting and fun story. It was a story like none other.

What about Stacey Glemboski’s performance did you like?
I loved how she changed her voice to suit the characters. Her cadence was spot on, pace was wonderful and voice captured the characters personalities wonderfully.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I was nervous. This book has some interesting twists and turns. There are tense moments and I wanted everything to resolve peacefully. I was invested in Hadley's well being and was cheering her on the whole story long.

Any additional comments?
"Without passion life has no meaning." Audible version of Grimm House, by Karen McQuestion

I adored this book. There was so much to like; suspense, twisty turny plot, original haunting and thrilling story, a lead character worth cheering on and the flawless storytelling that McQuestion is known for. I love that Grimm House is a story that I can share with my kids knowing that they will be taken away on an adventure and will be in safe hands with the flawless writing from the brilliant mind of McQuestion. McQuestion tells stories that both children and adults can love! What a gift McQuestion's writing is to the world. I am a huge fan and my love for her writing continues to grow! 5 HUGE stars all around. Great performance as well! Bravo!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

#MMBBR #Showcase Waking Amy (Amy Series Book 1) by Julieann Dove

Amy Whitfield is blindsided when she comes home and finds a note on the fridge from her husband, Wesley, stating that after four years of marriage, he’s leaving her. Amy was in the midst of trying to spice things up, to bring life back to their boring marriage. It seems now that she was too late. 

As Amy sits with her head between her knees, trying to figure out what to do next, a call comes from Mercer General Hospital. The ER nurse is telling Amy’s answering machine that Wesley has been in a car accident. 

When Amy arrives at the hospital, she finds her husband in a coma. The doctors say there is no sign of brain damage, and Wesley will eventually wake up. Relieved, Amy sees this as her second chance: the chance to get it right this time. To channel the girl Wesley won’t leave when he regains consciousness… She just needs some help to pull it off. After all, she was voted girl most likely to die a virgin in high school. 

Amy would never figure on getting that help from Mark Reilly…Wesley’s doctor! He’s a non-committer, too-cute-for-his-own-good bachelor, and completely the guy Amy begins falling for. It’s a race against time to see who wakes up first—Amy or her husband. 

Julieann Dove

Julieann lives in Virginia, yet longs to live everywhere else. It doesn't come as a surprise that along with her gypsy soul, comes an active imagination. That's why she loves to write and invent worlds and people, so that she can formulate their happily ever after. Hobbies include cooking new recipes, sewing, and spending time with her cute boyfriend/husband and five fabulous children. Vacations happen in Nantucket or the Carolina beaches--anywhere there is inspiration for her next book. One day she hopes to travel to Italy, drive one of those little cars around the countryside, and speak the language fluently!

Q.  What inspires your writing?
A.  It could be anything, really. My first book, “The Secret He Keeps” was inspired by me driving down the interstate and seeing a utility truck from a different state. Wondering what if someone from somewhere else came into your life by accident, saved you from yourself, then had to go away? Silly things like that!

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A.  That I can live in a different world and invent people and their problems. And at the end of the day, solve them, too!

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. Not feeling guilty about sitting in front of my computer for hours. Seeing that I have laundry to wash, or beds to make, and still I write. (Eventually the kids do get clean clothes)

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A.  An owner of a quilt shop. I love fabric and all that it can be made into! I had a shop for a brief period in my life…before baby number five. It was a splendid experience!

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. “Work in Progress.” I’m constantly searching for ways to be better. To help make those lives around me, better!

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. Cliché as it may seem, “Wuthering Heights”. I read it in high school for English and disappeared between the pages. It is romance at its very core. Love and loss.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. Oh my gosh! A question for which I have a million thoughts, but no conclusive answer. I’m a bit of everyone I read. But not entirely the whole person.

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?
A.  I write pieces of me in all my books. In “Waking Amy”, I’m like her in the sense that I’m apprehensive to change. I don’t take life by the horns. That is something I need to work onJ

Q.  What is your favorite season?
A. Spring! It’s the time of rebirth. Everything outside comes to life again. And it’s the season of my entire family’s birthdays!! Talk about parties every couple of weeks. Seven birthday cakes to make in three months. I gain the most weight during spring.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A.  I wanted to have Amy to be the focus, yet I love to see a guy to tell you it’s about romance. Amy has red hair, and this model looked most like her in my mind.

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. I am! I’m working on the third in the “Amy” series. The second one is going to the editor in the next couple of weeks, and I need to get going on the last book. I’m also releasing “A Reason to Stay” in May. Promotion is about to ramp up for this one.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A.  Yes. I would want to say, “Nice to meet you, and thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my interview. I would love it if you picked up my book and gave me the chance to reveal Amy’s journey. And when you’re finished, to kindly leave a review. Let me know if you enjoyed it. I certainly appreciate all the time it takes to invest in getting lost inside a book.”

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Road to Release to Susan Mallery’s latest novel, The Friends We Keep @SusanMallery

Welcome to the Road to Release to Susan Mallery’s latest novel, The Friends We Keep! This journey not only highlights our friendship with BookTrib and fellow bloggers, but is jam-packed with fun Mischief Bay trivia and even pop culture! On your hunt, you will find questions that will bring you one step closer to winning an Alex & Ani friendship bracelet along with an autographed copy of The Girls of Mischief Bay. So grab your best friend, put on your favorite chick flick (or horror movie -- whatever you’re into), get ready, set, go. Good luck!

After you answer this question, make sure to return to to get the next stop on the Road to Release!

About The Friends We Keep

In this insightful and compelling story from book club favorite Susan Mallery, three close friends test the boundaries of how much a woman can give before she has nothing left 

After five years as a stay-at-home mom, Gabby Schaefer can't wait to return to work. Oh, to use the bathroom in peace! No twins clamoring at the door, no husband barging in, no stepdaughter throwing a tantrum. But when her plans are derailed by some shocking news and her husband's crushing expectations, Gabby must fight for the right to have a life of her own. 

Getting pregnant is easy for Hayley Batchelor. Staying pregnant is the hard part. Her husband is worried about the expensive fertility treatments and frantic about the threat to her health. But to Hayley, a woman who was born to be a mom should risk everything to fulfill her destiny—no matter how high the cost. 

Nicole Lord is still shell-shocked by a divorce that wasn't as painful as it should've been. Other than the son they share, her ex-husband left barely a ripple in her life. A great new guy tempts her to believe maybe the second time's the charm…but how can she trust herself to recognize true love? 

As their bonds of friendship deepen against the beautiful backdrop of Mischief Bay, Gabby, Hayley and Nicole will rely on good food, good wine and especially each other to navigate life's toughest changes.

Monday, February 22, 2016

#MMBBR Blog Tour Host: NO ORDINARY LIFE by @SuzanneRedfearn @Suzy4PR

A story about a young mother's fight to protect her children from the dangerous world of Hollywood…

Faye Martin never expected her husband to abandon her and their three children or that she'd have to struggle every day to make ends meet. So when her four-year-old daughter is discovered through a YouTube video and offered a starring role on a television series, it seems like her prayers have been answered. But when the reality of their new life settles in, Faye realizes that fame and fortune don't come without a price. In a world where everyone is an actor and every move is scrutinized by millions, it's impossible to know whom to trust, and Faye finds herself utterly alone in her struggle to save her family.

Emotionally riveting and insightful, NO ORDINARY LIFE is an unforgettable novel about the preciousness of childhood and the difficult choices a mother needs to make in order to protect this fragile time in her children's lives.

Suzanne Redfearn
About Suzanne Redfearn
Suzanne Redfearn is a summa cum laude graduate from California Polytechnic University and is an architect, in addition to an author.  She is also an avid surfer, golfer, skier, and Angels fan.  She lives with her husband and children in California. No Ordinary Life is her second novel. 

Wow, just wow! There are books that grab you from the first sentence:

"Molly and I sit outside the principal's office, eyes staring at my hands in my lap like a defendant awaiting a verdict." (page 1, No Ordinary Life)

From the first sentence in this book to the very end the words hold on the tight and keep the reader glued to the book! I both wanted to blast through the book and savor it at the same time.  Written with raw emotions and glaring truths No Ordinary Life will make you savor every single word within the book. Redfearn crafts sentences and characters that cut to the soul of the reader. The reader cannot help but be moved to feel the feelings and take on the emotions of the characters and situations within the book! As a mother, this book moved me so much. There are almost no words for how I felt reading this book. Redfearn captures the family dynamic and drama so eloquently! Brilliant, just BRILLIANT!!! 5 HUGE stars!!!

Praise for Suzanne Redfearn
"NO ORDINARY LIFE is a gripping exploration of a mother's love and the lengths she'll go to protect her children. Redfearn honestly captures one family's meteoric rise and heartbreaking undoing. Compulsively readable, this poignant story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.”—Heather GudenkaufNew York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence

“Once again, Suzanne Redfearn delivers a fast-paced, compelling story of family, frustration, and the unexpected consequences of a mother's choice. NO ORDINARY LIFE provides a dazzling look inside the entertainment industry, illustrating both the lure and lunacy of child stardom. A gripping story, with twists and turns…and characters I felt close to and rooted for.”—Lori Nelson-Spielman, international bestselling author of The Life List

"…snappily paced…A smart, suspenseful debut."—Publishers Weekly on HUSH LITTLE BABY

"A compelling tale…Redfearn's debut ratchets up the tension page by page…”
Kirkus Reviews on HUSH LITTLE BABY

"Top Pick!  4 1/2 Stars defined plot, making this novel a stunning and captivating read."—RT Book Reviews on HUSH LITTLE BABY

"Hush Little Baby is the type of book that you don't put down.”— on HUSH LITTLE BABY

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