More information

PACK OF DORKS gets a starred Kirkus Review! 

I’m just going to go ahead and say it.

PACK OF DORKS got a starred Kirkus Review.

Check it out here.


(That was my head hitting the floor as I fainted.)

Being reviewed by Kirkus, let alone nabbing a positive review, is such an honor.

Now the pressure is on for future books!



Thank you, Glee Books! 

Check out the awesome shout out PACK OF DORKS got from Down Under!



White sofa! What?!?

Do you suffer from Dark Sofa Remorse?

It’s a thing.

And I’m a victim.

When we moved less than three years ago, we almost immediately bought this reclining sofa and loveseat. We got the biggest, brownest leather pieces out there.

And I almost immediately suffered the side effects of Dark Sofa Remorse.

They’re just so big. And so brown. And so nothing at all like anything else we’ve collected for the house.

Add to it a recent obsession with white and gray, as seen here and here. Also here.

I tried to fight it. But then I fell in love.

The Ektorp line of IKEA couches kept cropping up all over the blogosphere, my Houzz app and my dreams.

I know what you’re thinking: But it’s white. And you have a dog. Plus two kids. What the heck are you thinking?!

And it’s IKEA. (Just joking here. I absolutely adore IKEA. It’s seriously my happy place. Just about everything in the house is either IKEA or antique.)

Not to mention, I have perfectly fine couches already. Huge, browny brown couches. Sucking up all the light in the room like overstuffed black holes.

I seriously read about fifty blogs and every review I could find on the Ektorp sofas, trying to convince myself to fall out of love with these gorgeous white couches. But the more I read, the harder I fell. The slipcovers are completely washable. Even bleachable!

Plus, if I ever really screw them up, a new set of slipcovers for the entire sectional is $100. Wha?

And they also come in a dozen other fabrics, if my tastes should *ahem* change again.

I was convinced. My husband? Not so much.

But when I posted the browny brown couches for sale, they sold in a few hours. Four different offers in one day! (Which actually made the hub even more annoyed. “Want to make me even more certain that we’re getting rid of great furniture for an IKEA sectional? Keep telling me about the people who want to buy it.”)

The Ektorp Corner 2 x 2, by the way, fits PERFECTLY on a trailer.

Honestly, unpacking the sectional was a little intimidating. That’s a whole lot of couch spread around the living room. But putting it all together was incredibly easy. I did most of it myself. Huzzah!

The slipcover came out of the packaging pretty darn wrinkled. I knew from the reviews to expect that. I ironed the base piece but the cushions nicely filled out the wrinkles in the seating and backing pieces.

Now it’s all together and I got the coveted and rarely heard “You were right.” The sectional just suits the space better.

I think a smaller coffee table, maybe something round, would work better.



We’re all enjoying it, and I’m not even freaking out* that the boy’s incredibly dirty feet are on the white sectional.  

Because it’s washable!

(Okay. Maybe I shooed him toward the den.)




Remember last August, when Emma wrote her first review?

It was of Amanda Flower’s wonderful middle-grade book, ANDI UNEXPECTED. (I’m not shouting at you. I found out this is how titles are supposed to be spelled. All caps, all the time.)

Since then, Emma has gone on to write a few other reviews, and ANDI UNEXPECTED has gotten a lot more attention. The story, about an orphan who solves the mystery of her namesake, is a 2013 Agatha Award Nominee for Best Children’s/YA Mystery!

The next installment of the Andi Boggs series will be released in October (like another little book I know), but Emma was able to get her hands on an Advance Reader Copy through the author. She immediately started reading and wrote the following.

Man! Where does she get this sloppy handwriting?


Notes for my wip. I spared you the one with drawings.

Without further ado, here is Emma’s review of ANDI UNDER PRESSURE.


Are you looking for a good mystery? A book that is just as good as Nancy Drew and “Harriet the Spy”? Then you had better find yourself a copy of ANDI UNDER PRESSURE by Amanda Flower!

ANDI UNDER PRESSURE is the sequel to ANDI UNEXPECTED, another fabulous book. This book involves mystery, history, science and a few explosions along the way.

The first reason I love this book is because Amanda Flower jumped right into the story. Who wastes time on a 50-page intro? Not Amanda Flower! This was an amazing piece of author’s craft, in my opinion. By not giving a super thorough description of the characters, Amanda Flower made you want to read more! Slowly, you begin to uncover bits of information about Andi, Colin, Amelie and Bethany along with other characters. This makes you think a bit, then dive right back in! Amanda Flower sure knows how to pull you in!

Another think I love is her style of writing. Ms. Flower gives you backstories of chacters but only just enough so you just have to read one sentence more. For instance, when Dilian and Madison were talking along, part of my question was unanswered, but yet I was still on the edge of my seat wanting more, more, more! And Polk’s story? I thought I had it all figured out, but nope. I want to tell you but Mom says no spoilers!

Lastly, the characters were riveting. I absolutely love how Andi and Colin can know what each other wants to do while saying nothing! It’s like some kind of super power! On top of that, finding out how nervous Amelie was to parent Bethany and Andi was kind of awesome! And finding out Bethany’s feelings regarding Andi and Colin's friendship was shocking!

The Andi Boggs Books is a series you should definitely pick up! I didn’t think Amanda Flower could top ANDI UNEXPECTED, but ANDI UNDER PRESSURE proved me wrong! I only have one concern: When can I read the next one?*

* Don't worry, Em. I've got it on good authority that Amanda is working on Andi's next adventure.



Just a nibble

I might have just worked a squirrel bite into my work in progress. I suppose it's true that the best fiction is inspired by fact.