Loves Dandelions; Loves Books

Loves Dandelions; Loves Books

Book Reviewer, Writer, & Dandelion lover! 

3 Stars
Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel - Nina George, Simon Pare

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened. After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story.


The setting was interesting; who wouldn't want to visit a floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine? The language and writing style was excellent offering many beautiful quotes. I wanted to read a book about books but sadly, it ended up being a romantic tale that was a little slow moving for my taste. 


I was provided with a free copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

5 Stars
Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny
Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny - Holly Madison
  Holly Madison, former girlfriend of Hugh Hefner in the hit reality show The Girls Next Door describes how her years inside the Playboy Mansion went from a fairytale of A-list celebrity parties to an oppressive regime of strict rules, scheduled sex, and a total loss of identity, so much so that she even contemplated suicide. Holly then turned her life around by becoming the Peep Show star, mother, wife and author.

Meow! The claws are out in this tell-all book about the Playboy Mansion and it's inhabitants. I listened to the audio-book that Holly Madison voiced and it was AMAZING! Holly dished the dirt! Whew! It was juicy! This is one of the best celebrity memoirs I've read in a long time.
4 Stars
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl: Book One - Paige McKenzie, Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Something freaky's going on with Sunshine's new house . . . there's the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mum believes her. Sunshine's always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort. If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can't help them?


I believe in ghosts, spirits and all sorts of paranormal weird stuff. This book gave me nightmares and made me scream at dark shadows and strange noises in the night. It's a fast quick read because you'll be turning the pages to find out what happens to Sunshine.

4.5 Stars
The Gilded Life of Matilda DuPlaine by Alex Brunkhorst
The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine - Alex Brunkhorst

A modern-day Gatsby tale of forbidden love, family secrets and the true price of wealth. When young journalist Thomas Cleary is sent to dig up quotes for the obituary of a legendary film producer, the man's eccentric daughter offers him entry into the exclusive upper echelons of Hollywood society. A small-town boy with working-class roots, Thomas is a stranger in this opulent world of private jets and sprawling mansions. Then he meets Matilda Duplaine.


This is a book that I would love turned into a movie! It has mystery, intrigue, romance, glamour and offers a Gatsby feel in a contemporary modern day setting. 


"Someday, when I die, and you're looking for me, you'll be able to see me in the middle star. The buckle. That's where Ill be hanging out."  ... "And someday, the way distant future, if I die before you, you'll be happy I said it, because someday you'll know exactly where to find me. I'll be twinkling for you."


I received a free ARC of this book via NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

0 Stars
Fishbowl: A Novel - Bradley Somer

A goldfish named Ian is falling from the 27th-floor balcony on which his fishbowl sits. He's longed for adventure, so when the opportunity arises, he escapes from his bowl, clears the balcony railing and finds himself airborne. Plummeting toward the street below, Ian witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents. Within the walls of the Seville are stories of love, new life, and death, of facing the ugly truth of who one has been and the beautiful truth of who one can become.


This book is phenomenal! I fell in love with this book when the author beautifully described the apartment building.  "Melvil Dewey, the patron saint of librarians, would cringe at the mere thought of trying to catalog the details of these one hundred and sixty-two compartments."


Fishbowl is quirky, clever, original, thought provoking, and was a delight to read. I highly recommend this book to be added to your To Read list - expected publish date is August 4, 2015.


I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

3 Stars
Wicked Charms by Janet Evvanovich & Phef Sutton
Wicked Charms - Phoef Sutton, Janet Evanovich

Greed is eternal and insatiable, and Lizzy and Diesel aren’t the only ones searching for the lost pirate’s chest. There are people who have dedicated their entire lives to finding it, and are willing to commit murder or make a deal with the devil, just to hold the fortune in their hands. It’s a swashbuckling adventure full of raiders, monkeys, minions, and mayhem. Lizzy and Diesel are going to have to do everything they can to keep their heads above water and hope they are living a charmed life.


Book 3 in the Lizzy and Diesel Wicked series wasn't as good as the first two books. I'm not sure why I didn't enjoy it because this book is still very entertaining, adventurous, funny, and mysterious. Diesel is sexy as always and all the other characters are quirky and memorable but this book was missing some of the magic. 


I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Get to Know Me

1. Are you named after anyone?


My mom split up her first name, JoAnn and created a middle name for my older sister and myself. 

2. When was the last time you cried?


When I finished the bottle of wine on Sunday & couldn't go to the liquor store for more (dang Minnesota law)

3. Do you have kids? 


I have a Dachshund named Ernest Hemingway or Ernie to his friends.

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?


Heck yeah, I would be too afraid to piss me off.

5. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Everyone just thinks I'm a bitch & mean it

6. Will you ever bungee-jump?

I did bungee-jump - it was called a Johnny Jump Up

7. What’s your favorite cereal?


Captain Crunchberry


8. What’s the first thing you notice about people?


9. What is your eye color?

Brown ( I used to think I was adopted because my siblings all have my Mom's blue eyes & I have my Dad's brown eyes).

10. Scary movie or happy endings?

Happy Endings (I read the last couple pages of every book if it doesn't end well then I do not start it)

11. Favorite smells?

The smell of worms after it rains and my dog's ears

12. Summer or Winter? 


Summer!  Minnesota winters are too long

13. Computer or television?


Computer - I can pretty much do anything on here

14. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?


I travel many distant lands whenever I open a book

15. Do you have any special talents?


I'm a Princess

16. Where were you born?



17. What are your hobbies?


Reading, spending too much time on social media, acting, & unfinished crafts

18. Do you have any pets?


Ernie, my dachshund but don't tell him he's a dog

19. Favorite movie?


Foot Loose (original)

20. Do you have any siblings?


Two brothers & Two sisters

21. What do you want to be when you grow up?



4 Stars
Confessions of a Queen B by Crista McHugh
Confessions of a Queen B* (The Queen B* Book 1) - Crista McHugh
  In every high school, there are two types of Queen B's. The first type is the most obvious with an entourage of drones that follow the Queen Bee wherever she flitters. Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch. After years of being the subject of ridicule and bullying, Alexis revels in her ability to make the in-crowd cower via the exposés on her blog; The Eastline Spy. That is until Brett Pederson, the star quarterback is her partner in a project for health class forcing her to rethink that not all popular kids are bad.

This book is a quick read. The book makes you think about how you can stop bullying or bad behavior of other students whether it be helping someone in the hallway, calling out someone who is cheating or figuring out who is posting YouTube videos of the girl's shower room. Remember your pen is mightier than the sword.

"God gave men both a brain and a penis and only enough blood to use one at a time," he replied matter-of-factly.

"What I'm trying to say is that you can break the mold and shake things up in this upper middle class suburbia hellhole."

I received a free ARC of this book via NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. I highly recommend Confessions of a Queen B by Crista McHugh expected publication of July 28, 2015.




Reblogged from Susana "Lost in Fantasy Land"
5 Stars
The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks Book Review
The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster - Scott Wilbanks

There is an adventure waiting at every door! 

Annabelle Aster doesn’t bow to convention—not even that of space and time—which makes the 1890s Kansas wheat field that has appeared in her modern-day San Francisco garden easy to accept. Even more peculiar is Elsbeth, the truculent schoolmarm who sends Annie letters through the mysterious brass mailbox perched on the picket fence that now divides their two worlds.

Annie and Elsbeth’s search for an explanation to the hiccup in the universe linking their homes leads to an unsettling discovery—and potential disaster for both of them. Together they must solve the mystery of what connects them before one of them is convicted of a murder that has yet to happen…and yet somehow already did.

Charming characters, time travel, mysteries, adventure, twists and turns that will make you gasp with surprise and turn the pages with anticipation!

I highly recommend 'The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster' by Scott Wilbanks with a publication date of August 2015. 

I received a free ARC of this book via NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 Stars
Peter Pan, Mocha & Reading

I had front row tickets for Peter Pan presented by the Minneapolis Children's Theatre for Thursday's 7pm show.  


I took the bus to the Minneapolis Children's Theatre which is connected to the Minneapolis Art Institute. I planned to arrive early so I could either have a mocha and read or walk around the museum.  I opted for the mocha since I fell asleep on the bus and woke with my head on the shoulder of the poor man that chose to sit with me. The man was nice enough not to acknowledge that I used him as a pillow and I pretended that nothing happened out of the ordinary.  No sleeping here.


I ordered my mocha from The Agra Culture Coffee Shop and Café is in the Main Lobby of the museum.  There is plenty of tables in front of the coffee shop with a great view of people watching or reading a great book.  I was finishing up my book 'The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster' by Scott Wilbanks (review to follow later tonight).  I was more than happy sipping my mocha, reading my book and people watching and could have went home in a blissful state but I also had Peter Pan tickets.


Row A. Seat 11 with a center stage view. Last time, I sat in the front row of the 2nd Balcony for The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and wished I would have brought binoculars. The front row was so much better!  I was able to focus entirely on the production and not on the families that were siting on either side of me. 


I clapped my hands to show Tinker Bell that I believed in fairies.  I reached my hand out to try to catch the fairy dust and confetti.  I laughed, I cried and I even screamed with fear at the ravenous crocodile. What a fabulous show!  What a fabulous evening drinking mocha, reading a book, people watching and Peter Pan!

Spice your posts: embed Tweets and Tumblr posts into your BookLikes texts


Embedded post is a simple way of adding a public post published on other platforms to your BookLikes reviews and texts. Now you can spice your posts with embedded Tweets and Tumblr content. Here's how. 


You can get the embedded code directly from the post on Twitter or Tumblr, click the three dot icon for more options under the posts and Embed:





Grab the codes and paste them into the writing box on your BookLikes. 



Choose a place where you want to put the embedded post, and click the icon on the tool bar. Then paste the code in the window:



The embedded post won't be visible in full in the editing mode:



Embedded tweet



Embedded Tumblr post



But when you save to Draft or Publish... Voila! Your first embedded post is ready and looks great!


Embedded tweet



Embedded Tumblr post 


P.S. For video scripts: remember to use the Video type pots.



Why it's great to use the embedded posts? 


Thanks to the embedded posts you can share the news, support the author of the post, and spice your texts with real-life examples.


It's also a great way to show the reference sources when you want to quote a person or refer to the idea published on somebody else's profile. The embedded post always shows the author and the source link making it easier for the reader to go back to the original text, profile or post. 


Why not to embed the Tweets and Tumblr posts to trigger the discussion? The more diversified your posts are, the more popular your text will become. We bet your followers will love to engage in the discussion where they can view different point of views with supporting examples. In consequence, this will boost the engagement and turn your readers and followers into active participants of your BookLikes webpage. 


Finally, you can use the embedded posts to show your best content from your social media and gain followers on various platforms you're active on.

Reblogged from BookLikes
Book Catalogue App

Working in a library, I get asked by patrons, all the time how can they keep track of the books that they read so they don't check out the same book twice. 


I think I may have found their solution.  I was looking at Kindle apps available and ran across Book Catalogue; a free Android app that keeps track of all your books just by entering the ISBN number of each book.  After you enter the ISBN then all of the information automatically fills in: Picture, Title, Publisher, Author etc.


Cover art


An open source book cataloguing application (source on github). Books can be added manually, by ISBN, or barcode.

Remember to backup and export your existing catalogue before you upgrade!

Book Catalogue is NOT a book reader.

Features include:
* Sorting by author (last name), title, series, etc.
* user-defined sort and list styles
* Search Amazon, Google Books, goodreads and LibraryThing for data
* Searching
* Thumbnails (download, gallery or camera)
* Loaning books
* goodreads synchronization
* Export and Backup
* Bookshelves (books can be on multiple shelves)

Want a wishlist? Just create a bookshelf called 'Wishlist' and start adding books


The Average Customer Review gives it a 4 Star rating.  Because it is a free app there will be ads. 


4 Stars
Taking Angels by CS Yelle Book Review
Taking Angels (The Angel Crusades) - CS Yelle

Every person has a soul with a guardian angel to watch over it. Kind of like a personal bodyguard for your eternal spirit.

As Britt tries to end her life by going into the frigid waters she realizes her mistake. When Allister Parks finds Britt’s fragile body on the riverbank something calls out to him. Allister brings Britt back from the edge of death. Her very existence threatens Allister’s place in this world. Allister struggles to keep Britt a secret from the Eternal Council and out of the hands of the only Eternal who already knows the truth: the one who stole her guardian angel.

Taking Angels is full of mystery, drama, suspense, adventure, great characters like Angelina, Kendall, Bastion, Gabe and Britt's three amigos! The downside of this book is that everyone seems to fall in love with Britt but her heart only beats for one. At times this book reads like my diary when I met a boy and fell head-over-heels in love and was so over-the-top-dramatic - ugh! ... 'Was that why I loved Allister so much? Because he saved me?..."No, well, yes maybe partly. And because he loves me so completely. And I feel something when I'm with him I've never felt before. And I yearn for him when we're apart."

Ugh! I had to keep reminding myself that I used to be just like Britt, (I blush just reading my old diary entries) even though my now, jaded heart hates sappy love scenes.

All in all, this book is an intriguing read. 

"Ok, so you're an Eternal. Good for you. I'm a Scorpio. What is that supposed to mean?"

"Great, not only am I a freak, I'm the freak of the freaks now?"

4 Stars
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake - Amy E. Reichert
  Foodgasm Alert! Foodies will savor every bite of this storyline feast! This story set in Milwaukee Wisconsin is a charming story of how baking a Coconut Cake can change the trajectory of your life and have the power to bring two people together or tear them apart.

You will love the characters of Lou, Al, Sue, Harley, John, Gertrude, and Otto with each character adding their own special ingredient to the mix.

My favorite scene in the book was when Lou and Al ate peanuts at the baseball game and made a sacrifice to the baseball gods to appease them for a team win (dropping the shells to the ground).

The only thing that I found unbelievable was that Al and Lou never really talked about their jobs or that Al didn't ask if Lou was her real name. Maybe I'm too curious when I'm on dates or getting to know someone but those are the questions I would ask.

All in all it was a culinary delight that I recommend!

I received a free ARC of this book via NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.


4 Stars
Wanderlush by David Robert
Wanderlush - David Robert
  This book is so funny that I almost spit out my Orgy Juice!

When David, a self-proclaimed anxiety-ridden introvert, convinces himself he's dying of cancer, he invites his delightfully unpredictable, Xanax-popping, chardonnay-swilling mother on a series of international good-bye vacations. By doing so, he unwittingly opens a Pandora's Box of hilarious and humiliating events that will test just how far they are willing to go to get a laugh.

Wanderlush brought back lots of happy memories of vacationing with my mother before she passed away; luckily I have boxes of pictures to remind me of our vacations together (similar to the 1100 pictures David's mother took on one weekend trip). This book is so laugh-out-loud funny I almost wish I would have waited to read it while I was actually traveling.

The only thing missing from this wonderful book was the pictures! I would have loved to have seen pictures of the places that you travelled.

"Mornie, ladies," he said. "Coffee, tea, orgy juice?" Immediately and simultaneously my mother and sister said, "Orgy juice!"

I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

currently reading

Progress: 81/327pages