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Love at First Bark (2017) – Lessons in Love and Dog Trainers

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hallmark’s 2017 Spring Fling promotion may be over, but fortunately for us, we can relive it through the films they debuted  (including Moonlight in Vermont, The Perfect Catch) during its time frame. One of those was this appropriately spring-y romance that is sure to melt even cynical hearts.



Bravery to Julia McGivens (Jana Kramer) is stepping up and following her dream. She’s launching her own interior design company, and coupled with the trepidation of a new experience, she’s feeling optimistic. All she has to do is lock in an important account and she will be set. 

Taking a break from romantic entanglements, Julia decides to adopt a dog. When she finds the perfect companion, she opts for the “love approach” when she brings him home. She doesn’t want to give her dog structure; in her opinion, he needs love and nothing more.

Her idea of this is challenged by dog trainer Owen Michaels (Kevin McGarry). Having struggles in his own business, Owen sets out to prove that Julia’s approach isn’t the best environment in which to make a home for a dog. But as the pair grows close, they discover it’s more than their difference of opinion that pulls them together.

Known as a country singer (with a popular song, 'Circles' to her credit), and former contestant on Dancing with the Stars, Jana Kramer is again dipping her toes in the acting field. After co-starring in the WB show, One Tree Hill, Kramer returns to the small screen (post DWTS) with this romance, that will appeal to its demographic for a variety of reasons.


One of those reasons being the “puppy love” the script pushes. With so many people liking to see furry friends play co-stars, this is sure to inspire lots of smile. Jana and Kevin also play their roles with a dose of infectious happiness. From their first glance, interest sparks, but their character’s cautious capacities keep the romance grounded. Because of this, everything is mature and genuine, and once again, I appreciate that the “three little words” aren’t the cornerstone of these relationships. Because the timeline moves so fast (everything has to happen in a mere 90 minutes!), portraying anything other than the start of something feels less believable. That said, as is true of everything, there are exceptions to every rule.

As usual, Love at First Bark is another winning production from the Heart of TV network. It’s full of happiness and made me giggle throughout the adventures this trio has. In consideration of the learning curve Julia undergoes, the story offers some insight into human and flawed characters while still maintaining its joyful attitude.

As is true of everything on this channel, fans will enjoy ‘Love.’ The cast makes the story sparkle with the branding's usual “cute meter” (though I do kind of wish the script were titled differently, but that's just me), and the story is in line with what we’ve come to expect. Put it all together, and you discover another lovely little small screen movie that’s as sure to please its viewers as its adorable furry star is his new owner. (Not to mention makes us eager for what's next on Hallmark Channel!) ♥


Photos: Hallmark / Crown Media

Expedition: Still Life Tour + GIVEAWAY! | Spotlighting Dani Pettrey and her new Novel, 'Still Life'

 G'morning happy readers and fellow adventure seekers. (Even if it is only through the power of words.) Today I have the privilege of hosting Dani Pettrey's final stop in her Expedition: Still Life tour.

I'd like to thank Dani for the kind words about Finding Wonderland and the chance to be a part of this tour. As anyone who has read this blog for a length of time can attest, I am the biggest fan of Dani's novels. They're fast-paced, romantic and most of all, feature characters struggling with genuine issues and true-to-life complications. If you've not read them or you haven't visited Dani's website to learn more about the person behind the name, visit her home on the web to learn more about Dani and her books.

BOOK REVIEW | Still Life by Dani Pettrey - Fast Paced Suspense in the Art Scene

Today Dani talks about "Little Italy," shares recipes (um, how yummy do those garlic knots look!? As a girl who loved those at her uncle's restaurant, I will definitely be making these!) and fun facts about her latest novel, Still Life. Please, join me in welcoming author, DaniPettrey!

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 Little Italy

Thanks so much for joining me on Rissi’s blog. It’s absolutely one of my favorites! Rissi does an incredible job so I’m thrilled she graciously invited me to guest post here for the seventh and final stop on my Expedition: Still Life Tour.

If you aren't familiar with this exciting blog tour, or the fabulous grand prize you can win by taking part in it, please visit Expedition: Still Life's main contest page for all the details.

Today’s stop is Little Italy and it’s going to be an extra fun post with an extra special giveaway.
Baltimore's Little Italy is an amazingly quaint Italian neighborhood in Baltimore City that has thrived for multiple generations. Its original immigrants from Italy emigrated between the mid-1800s through the early 1900s. By 1920, the entire neighborhood was 100% Italian. The neighborhood is comprised of century-old row homes, family-run restaurants, open-air movie nights and bocce courts. Little Italy is home to the Star Spangled Banner Flag house. It is also the setting of Nora Robert’s book Blue Smoke (and its film adaptation).

In Still Life, Parker heads to grab cannoli from a Little Italy institution—the scrumptious Italian bakery and coffee bar, Vaccaro’s.

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My family and I always hit Vaccaro’s for coffee and dessert after enjoying a wonderful Italian feast at one of our favorite Little Italy restaurants. Our top two restaurants of choice are La Scala and Sabatino’s.

If all this talk of Italian restaurants is making you hungry, never fear. Here are recipes from Still Life to make your own Italian feast:

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Little Italy also happens to be home to Declan Grey, the hero of my upcoming October release, Blind Spot

FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life--but isn't sure exactly what he's chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that "the wrath is coming," Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw for help. She has sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there's anyone who can help him, it's Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor, which means she now has even more opportunities to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can't deny, and she's pretty sure Declan feels the same way. However, before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell--and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming "wrath" that could cost thousands of lives. 
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Learn more about Dani Pettrey:

Praised by New York Times bestselling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a sigh-worthy romance novel. Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent” of romance (USA Today).

Dani’s adventure-focused Alaskan Courage series climbed the CBA bestseller lists, 
with Submerged staying in the top twenty for five consecutive months. The five-book series also won multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award, among others. She turns her attention to crime and law enforcement in her home state of Maryland in her new Chesapeake Courage series, starting with Cold Shot, which Library Journal called, “a harrowing and thrilling ride.” For more information about her novels, visit www.danipettrey.com.
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GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Thanks again to Rissi for so graciously hosting me today, and for all of you joining me on the final stop (#7) of my Expedition: Still Life Tour. Be sure to collect your passport stamp to be entered to win the Grand Prize here.

Collect The Little Italy Stamp!

* indicates required



To also be entered to win an Amazon gift card and, to celebrate the last stop, a Joyful Devotion Box too! Your Joyful Devotion box will contain one book or bible study, along with 3-4 inspiring artisan items. To enter to win, just answer the question below. After answering the question, visit http://danipettrey.com/stilllife-contest/ to see all the other stops and giveaways on this tour.

What’s your favorite Italian dish (and feel free to be like me and make it a dessert)?

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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I'll get the answers rolling to this question! While I don't know that I've made many Italian desserts, when it comes to the sweet tooth I like, well, aside from a good piece of cheesecake (or a cake batter cookie. Or pistachio cookie. Or key lime pie. Or a good old-fashion chocolate chip cookie. Or... on the list goes), one of my favorite Italian desserts is a simple tiramisu trifle.

Many thanks, again, to Dani for stopping in on Finding Wonderland. It's been an honor to host her and spotlight her novel, Still Life. Who else is looking forward to meeting Declan??? ♥

Also, in addition to entering to win Dani's amazing prize pack, by answering the question above^, I have a a copy of Dani's books (your choice!) for a US reader. Second random winner will win this.

Top Ten Tuesday | Please, NO! (aka Topics that Inspire me to Say, “Talk to the Hand!”)

Monday, April 24, 2017

No matter our love of reading, there are some things about books that make us instantly shake our head and go, nope! 

Broke and Bookish April 25:  Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book – tell us all your book turn offs! - Broke and Bookish


Do I have a list of book “turn offs”? Probably, yes, but I’ll be the first to admit, I had to think (and think) over this to come up with five things I dislike in books. I mean, sure, there might be “petty” things that annoy as I get into the opening of the book, but if it’s a genre I love featuring likable characters, usually by its conclusion, I’ve long since forgotten what miffed me so.

Most of the things on my list today are inconsequential and can certainly be overcome if the story inside is compelling. In fact, I’d even say, I would and will read books with (most of) these things depending on the “severity.” It will just take me all the longer to get around to them. That said, since today’s topic asks this of us, I decided to think about the things that make me NOT want to read a book.

These reasons are as follows. (Yes, I'm recycling graphics two weeks in a row. This is what happens when I - aka, the "bad blogger" - don't plan accordingly.)


 1. “Chosen One” | This is a trope that I have read in many books, and I’ll confess, in most it does work. I’ve enjoyed the books that has had it, but it’s often a “thing” in fiction which makes me think it’s overused to some extent.


2. Content Warning | If I’m reading about a book on Goodreads (I was recently in fact) and am thinking, “…sounds promising,” only to then reach the end and spy a “content warming” (a mature one), yeah, I’m going to skip that. Don’t get me wrong, I read books with “adult content,” but what I don’t like is content in books for “shock value.” If a book is going to involve mature topics or issues, do so with a purpose, not because you can. That said, I am grateful to know this, so maybe adding this is contrary?? I'll channel Violet Crawley here...
I'm a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose. - Violet

3. Cover Changes Mid Series | Just no! Don’t be messing with my pretty covers, and more importantly, my bookshelf candy. A prime example that comes to mind? Marie Rutkowski’s ‘Winner’s Crime’ trilogy. What’s worse is the publisher made the change with only one book left in the series. Like, whaaat??? Wait until it’s all published and in the world. Then, if you must, make the change. Fortunately, they went ahead and released the hardcover to match the first two books, so I won’t have to disown book three.


4. Kick Butt Girls (and Guys Who Don’t Matter) | OK, so this might be one I could write a "discussion" post on to further elaborate on. Don't get me wrong, I love kick-butt characters, girls or guys. Where I have a problem is when the former (or latter, either way) become the "only" character who matters to the point of the "love interest" being mere window dressing rather than a strong, and important character in their own right. I say this happens more with girls because of how culture trends. 


5. Love Triangles | Again this is another thing that can be perfectly fine if written well. My greater pet peeve (outside the triangle) is when the girl is SO. DARN. WISHY-WASHY. But I’d like to save further dissection of this for a “discussion” post. (Yay or nay? And while we're on the topic: Guys, I'm looking to write more discussion-y posts. What'd you think?)

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That’s a wrap on today’s topic. What are some of your reader pet peeves? I’d love to read about them: comment down below with all of your thoughts. I’m ready to chat all fangirl and bookish thoughts – good or bad.

Leave your Top Ten Tuesday links, I’d be glad to visit your bookish havens.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

The Perfect Catch (2017) - Hallmark's 'Perfect' RomCom Hits Home Run

Another Spring Fling campaign came to its close this past weekend. If it had to end (all good things must come to an end, right?), it went out in a most memorable way. This new Hallmark original is an infectious piece of sunshine sure to leave us with a smile.



Single mother Jessica Parker (Nikki DeLoach) is happy. It’s been two years since she and her husband split (and he left them), and though she worries about the impact it has on her son, Wesley, they’re doing all right. She’s trying to build a better life by keeping the diner that her grandfather built running. What she didn’t factor into her plans was the return of her ex, Chase Taynor (Andrew Walker).

Chase left their small Midwest home town for bigger dreams. Namely that of a MLB all-star career. Living this dream in Boston, Chase comes home after he single-handedly lost a World Series game, not to mention the hope his arm will heal. With his agent looking for a new contract, Chase hopes a visit to his hometown will be a place to hide out. Little does he realize, coming home will force him to confront his past in the face of his past: Jessica.

Hallmark films are always a ray of sunshine. Sure, as we do with everything (books or fashion or ways to organize), we each have favorites, but the one thing they have in common is their optimism. This original follows in those footsteps and is, for me at least, among the best Hallmark and its branding has produced.


The Perfect Catch is quite ‘perfect.’ From the seasonal fodder of baseball as its revolving theme to the actors, and easy-going rapport between them, it’s not difficult to get wrapped up in the lives of these characters. Of course, Andrew Walker is familiar to those of us who binge watch Hallmark. He’s been in romantic-comedies (Love on Ice, Bridal Wave) and Christmas originals (A Bride for Christmas). Nikki too has appeared on Hallmark, and the young actor playing Wesley, Chance does a fantastic job.

In the last six months, Hallmark’s programming has made great strides towards being the “best of the best” in terms of production. They already endear themselves with their storytelling corner, but now they’ve made a distinct mark in filmmaking, earning impressive scores with their latest offerings. One of the ways they accomplish this is with their scripts. They have pulled back on the typical romance tropes (an ex who returns to wreck the party; a knock-out break up ten minutes prior to the end) and instead focus on the dynamics of the characters. The emotions and real situations they’re put in are more memorable because of this.

No matter the reason for anything, I loved this film. It’s cute and sweet and everything an “old fashioned” romantic-comedy should be. I adore that it’s exactly what the viewer “needs” when enjoying a Saturday night in, and yet so much more than what we expect it to be.

In other words, it hits itself a home run far (far!) out of the park.


Photos: Hallmark Channel / Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Kailey Schwerman

INSPYs 2017 | Welcoming Judges

Friday, April 21, 2017

Good afternoon, book nerds, readers and friends! Today is an important day in the INSPYs timeline. Today, we formally welcome and announce our 2017 judging panels. Please, join us in welcoming them all.

Before we announce them, I'd like to thank everyone who supports the INSPYs. Those who have judged and are judging, and those who applied. We so appreciate it. Please, consider applying again next year again - whether you're a newbie or a seasoned pro. Your time, support and enthusiasm is MUCH appreciated. Thank you.

Without further ado, let us meet our amazing 2017 panels.
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Now that the advisory board is (nearly) done with the task of shortlisting the books nominated in the 2016 INSPY Awards, the advisory board is pleased to introduce you to our 2017 panels of judges. We now hand the job of choosing the winning novel over to them. The INSPY Advisory Board thanks each and every applicant for their enthusiasm and is thrilled to announce the judges for 2017. The shortlists  are coming your way. They will be announced on April 30! Once our judges receive their respective books, they then have the task of narrowing the list from five novels to the one worthy of the 2017 INSPY in each category.

We enthusiastically welcome these judges and thank them for their time and service.

Contemporary Romance / Romantic Suspense Judges

Becky Ritta is a thirty-something single girl from small town Nebraska. She’s been a voracious reader ever since the moment she realized c-a-t spelled “cat.” By day, she teaches journalism and manages the website and social media accounts for a Christian high school. By night, she reads, blogs, experiments with gluten free baking, and binge watches ’90s TV shows. Becky began blogging on MySpace back in 2006; in 2008 she moved over to Christian Chick’s Thoughts  and posted her first book review. She loves interacting with authors and other book lovers, and her favorite part of reviewing is discovering great new (or new-to-her) authors.
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Karen WeidoTing’s Mom Books, fantasizes about a place where her task list only includes sitting in the sunshine and reading books. But since that is not a reality, she spends her days juggling wife and mom duties while squeezing in books any chance she can. Karen has been writing Christian fiction reviews since early 2014, and loves discovering new authors and characters. Outside of her blog, you can find Karen on her other addiction – Instagram. There she shares her adventures with her husband, two children, one dog, and lots of books. Karen and her family live in South Arkansas.
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Bree Herron is the blogger of Bibliophile Reviews. A mom to a young daughter and a student working on her second Bachelors, Bree finds reading to be her relaxation. Books are a source of inspiration and happiness, giving her mind a break from the studying, and every day life. A passion for reading is one that Bree intends to hand down to her daughter, books are the future of our present.

 Historical Romance Judges

Annie LOVES books – the look, the feel, the smell and the words. She’s an avid reader turned blogger reviewer. She dabbled at sharing her thoughts on her blog, Just Commonly for years (very sporadically), and only since 2015 have she focused on reviewing what she loves best, BOOKS! A widely known book nerd, once you get her started on a book, she might talk your ear off until you just had to get your own copy. She’s a big fan of all Christian fiction, as well as books in the Young Adult, Middle Grade and even Kids Fiction genre. She’ll test out recipes from cookbooks and share thoughts from biographies to books on nutrition, spiritual help or just any book that struck her fancy. Being a speed reader, she’s happy to be able to immerse herself in more books than normal. Next to reading, her other interests includes spending time with friends and family, eating and somehow challenge her non-existent athletic abilities to improve (tremendously) her tennis and golf game.

Annie is proud to be one of the founding stewards of the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat. Christian Fiction Readers Retreat (CFRR) is a one day event gathering of Christian Fiction readers and authors, 2016 being its inaugural year. The event’s theme is “Honoring God through Christian Fiction” and will feature speaker sessions, author panels, breakout sessions, prayer & worship and author signings.
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Maggie Boyd has been an avid reader since the second grade when she discovered the riveting Billy and Blaze books. She found out about Inspirational romance in seventh grade and has been hooked ever since. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two sons and when she isn't reading she is often writing about reading at either Heroes and Heartbreakers or All About Romance.  The things she looks for in a novel are originality, whimsy and a soul deep connection between the hero and heroine.
Maggie is an active member of her church Care Ministry team as well as being part of the meals ministry. The book she has read cover to cover most often is the Bible and she collects prayer journals and bible studies at an alarming rate.
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Beth Erin is a Christian fiction enthusiast, book reviewer, and blogger. She strives to edify and connect with readers and authors through her blog and on social media. Beth is passionate about promoting authors and their entertaining, encouraging, and redemptive stories.
Beth lives with her husband and their four children in a close-knit rural southern Illinois farming community. They love their laid back lifestyle and small country church family. When she isn’t reading, Beth enjoys indulging in a favorite show or movie with her family, completing DIY projects with her husband, and seeing the country on long family road trips.


General Fiction Judges

Kristi Morgan works in retail management but my passion is reading. I have been reading since before I started kindergarten and always have a book with me. I love to blog about the books I've read and will talk books with anyone who will listen. I live in Indiana with my husband of 23 years and our spoiled rotten Sheltie and two equally spoiled cats.
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Carrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Carrie lives in Kentucky with her husband Eric and their quirky dog Zuzu and is a co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers' Retreat. She blogs at Reading is my Superpower.
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Alyssa Washburn is born and raised in the West, but Southern at heart. Alyssa currently lives in the mountains of Northern California amidst Gold Rush country and former Maidu and Miwok territory. She began her reading journey with Nancy Drew and the Lord of the Rings at an early age, and never turned back. Alyssa also loves to write, classic films, music and all things vintage. She's also very involved in her church as a Sunday School Teacher. She has a passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Pro-Life Movement, Politics, Personal Freedom, and an advocate against Human Sex Trafficking. Alyssa is also an amateur Genealogist and has found her ancestry to have everything and the kitchen sink. Her stories are a mixture of truth and happily ever afters because this world could use more happily ever afters.

Literature for Young People Judges

Katie is an avid book lover who can never seem to have enough books. The stacks around the house prove it. Along with reading, Katie has been blogging for 5 years about Christian Fiction at Too2017 Judge Katie Read or Not Too Read and can't wait for another 5 years. Reading hasn't always been easy, having been diagnosed with dyslexia, but with a determined teacher-mother and 8 years of homeschooling, Katie was able to graduate high school with a college reading level. Now in her early 30's, she has a preteen daughter to share the love of reading with. Along with blogging, Katie is a library assistant. Books are in every aspect of life!
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2017 INSPYs Judge RachelRachel is a stay at home mom who LOVES to read. She enjoys good (clean) books of all kinds. However, she has a soft spot for historical fiction. There is something magical that can only be found between the covers a book. Her desire is to share that piece of magic with you.
Rachel has been reviewing books since 2014 and simply adores being immersed in the bookish world. Her husband and 2 beautiful children are her life and joy. Among the 500 things she does a day, she somehow still finds time to read.
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Tressa has been an avid reader her whole life. She grew up listening to her parents read the classics, which started her love for story-book worlds, especially the various challenges of characters and their happily-ever-after endings. She blogs about her love of books at Wishful Endings and is a tour co-host at Prism Book Tours. Outside of blogging, she’s active in her church, a total Marvel geek, Austen lover, has way too many hobbies, and enjoys hanging with the family (husband, four kiddos, and pup).

Mystery / Thriller Judges


Elizabeth Olmedo loves all things books. Whether reading or writing, she spends most of her waking (and sometimes sleeping) hours lost deep in the world of fiction, especially if they belong to the mystery, suspense, and/or romance genres. To feed her addiction, Elizabeth reviews books for Fiction Addict and Radiant Lit, as well as on her personal blog.
Elizabeth lives in Spain with her dog, Ari, and works as a freelance writer, editor, and social media specialist. When she isn’t reading, Elizabeth also enjoys writing, watching movies, and cooking (often while listening to an audiobook).

You can connect with Elizabeth on Facebook and Twitter, or find her on Eli’s Novel Reviews.
___________Jessica Baker
Jessica Baker is an avid reader from Cooperstown, NY. When she's not busy working as a mortgage lender, wife and mother, she runs A Baker's Perspective blog. It is here that she shares her love of books with others. Jessica is the leader of the young youth group at church and enjoys spending time with her church family.
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Born only a few miles from where Jesse James robbed his first train, Rachel Kovaciny has loved the Old West all her life. She now lives in Virginia with her husband and their three homeschooled children. In her free time, Rachel writes, reads, blogs, bakes, watches movies, and daydreams.


Speculative Fiction Judges

Ian Acheson's debut novel, Angelguard, is available in the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK. This is the first release in the Angelguard Chronicles, a series of speculative fiction novels that explore the interconnection of the spiritual and physical worlds and the power of prayer. Ian reads a lot, and a lot, and a lot more. He reads widely in fiction, non-fiction, magazines, web and newspapers. He’s been telling and writing stories for most of his life since early childhood.

When Ian’s not writing he’s a professional strategy consultant having been in the Corporate world for the past 25 years. He brings some of this experience into his stories. He’s lives in Sydney, Australia, and shares life with his wife, Fiona, two adult sons and one gorgeous daughter-in-law. In addition, they have two adored dogs that keep them active. This will be Ian’s third year as an INSPY judge and he’s excited about getting his hands on the shortlisted finalists.
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Michelle R. Wood is a professional freelancer in theatre and web development. Her education included studies in Theatre and English, including classes in London and an internship with Walt Disney World. When not working backstage or on a computer, she continues to enjoy reading, a habit she learned at a tender age from her bookworm mother. Michelle's personal musings and book reviews can be found at her blog, Distractions of Grandeur (www.woodmr.net/blog). She is honoured and excited to return as a judge in the speculative fiction category for her fourth time.
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Meagan Myhren-Bennett developed an early love of reading growing up in a family where books were the gift of choice. And when you move often books quickly become one of your best friends. This love was the perfect excuse to become both a reviewer and a librarian.

When not at the library, she can be found at home, which is a small farm in rural Northwest Central Wisconsin, spending time with her family or reading with some of the family’s 15 dogs, of which 13 are dachshunds who   
Meagan also leads the Page Turner's Book Discussion Group in Bloomer, which is a monthly themed book club Where she’s more than willing to help other readers discover her favourite authors.

This is Meagan's third time serving as an INSPY judge and another great excuse to pick up her next great read. You can connect with her on her blog Blooming with BooksFacebook, or Twitter.

Booktube Talk | The Disney Princess Tag

Thursday, April 20, 2017

We all love Disney, right? We relish in the adventure of a fox robbing the wealthy (all for a good cause); relate to the strength and bond of sisterhood between siblings who are opposites; admire a book-loving girl who sacrifices for someone she loves; and believe in the impossibility of a girl who dreams of nothing more than touching her feet to grass. Even if, as adults, we’re no longer invested, I’m willing to wager Disney played a role in most if not all of our childhoods.

Because this book community is an endless source of creativity and amazing people, Of Stacks and Cups combined the personalities of Disney princesses with our love of books and created a book tag.

Was I tagged with this? No, but I ran across it and since I’m looking for fun ideas for my booktube channel, I couldn't resist putting this together.


Today, I decided to split up the tag. Half of the princesses and their prompt are featured here on Finding wonderland, and the other half (because apparently I’m mean like that) are in my new booktube video. So, read on through these twelve prompts and the princess they’re paired with and then, if you’re inclined, head on over to Finding Wonderland’s channel to hear my rambles.

Let’s get started. *First 5 answers are on Booktube!

1. Snow White - Name your favorite classic 

2. Cinderella - Name a book that kept you reading well past your bedtime

3. Aurora - Name your favorite classic romance

4. Ariel - Name a book that's about making sacrifices and fighting for your dreams

5. Belle - Name a book with a smart and independent female character

6. Jasmine - Name a book with a character who challenged the social conventions of his or her world

Tris Prior, who's name being the answer to this prompt should be self explanatory. 

7. Pocahontas - Name a book [with an] ending [that] was a roller-coaster of emotions

Sara Ella’s Unblemished comes to mind. I don’t remember any ending beyond it that really struck me as awe-inspiring or jaw-dropping. I know there have been some, but since Sara’s is a recent read, hers in foremost in my mind.

8. Mulan - Name a book with a kick-ass female character

Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The fact that Lizzie works inserted into a world of zombies is either very (very) wrong or somehow so right.

FILM REVIEW | Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) – Or the Film in Which Darcy and Lizzy Kick Butt

9. Tiana - Name a book featuring a hardworking, self-made character

Ella from Joanne Bischof’s The Lady and the Lionheart. Ella is far more self-sufficient that I think the surface reader gives her credit for. True, she chooses to have to be as “alone” as she is, but given the times she lives in, I think she’s incredibly brave, strong and admirable.

10. Rapunzel - Name a book that features an artist

Evelyn from the beautifully, emotional contemporary novel, Change of Heart by Courtney Walsh.

11. Merida - Name a book that features a mother-daughter relationship

Breaking the book rules here and picking the icons, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. (Although I will admit, sometimes they're relationship is unhealthy when Lorelai should be more of a mother than "bestie," I still love them.)

12. Anna and Elsa - Name a book that features a great relationship between siblings 
The relationship between siblings in Hillary Manton Lodge’s ‘Two Blue Doors’ series is fabulous. I know this might not be the kind of relationship this prompt is thinking of, but the D’Alisa siblings are pretty special.
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That brings the Disney Princess tag to its conclusion! If you want to know how I answered (and what books I paired with them!) the first six princesses featured in this tag, check out my latest Booktube video now on Finding Wonderland’s channel.

I tagged one person in my video, but since I don’t want to overburden anyone on Booktube with tags (plus I don’t know who likes to put tags together), I skipped out on tagging there. As a result, I’ll tag a couple new bloggers I’ve recently met whose blogs I enjoy. Saying “Tag! You’re It!” to Cait of A Page with a View, Tiff of Mostly YA Lit, Shannon of It Starts at Midnight, and anyone else who wants to join in, please do. Only thing I ask is come by and share your blog post/video link, because as usual, I want to come by to read/watch your spin on this tag!

Which of these princesses are among your favorite? Which of these ladies is your favorite character? Comment down below with all the bookish and Disney comments. I’d love to chat with you all. For now, thanks for reading.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

Agent Carter, Season Two (2016) – 1940s Glitz, Glamour and Sunny Hollywood

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

If there is one thing that could make ABC’s Agent Carter any more sophisticated than it is (and let’s face it, that’s nearly impossible), it’d be transplanting the series to the opposite Coast. Season two moved (nearly) the whole gang to sunny California, and the cool, 1940s vibes it gives are pretty fabulous.

In the wake of her wildly successful contribution to the agency and capture of the mysterious nuisance known to the SSR as Dottie Underwood, Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) is finally on equal standing with her male peers. New York chief Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) even places enough faith in her to send her to LA where their newly promoted West Coast Chief Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) is in need of her skills.

Once in LA, Peggy is reunited with her faithful friend, Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy). So long as she’s in LA, she’s given the run of Howard Stark’s mansion and the assistance of Jarvis. All help Peggy will need if she’s to solve the puzzle that is the body of a woman found in a frozen lake. A case that will propel this team, and a handful of newcomers to stop a dangerous enemy they call, “Dark Matter.”

As is the golden standard of this show, the pilot right up until its final episode (which doubles as the series finale) is fast-paced and thrilling, and somehow, charming. Everything about this Marvel TV serial personifies itself as being quality television. Down to the minuscule detail (plus the big stuff too). In short, everything about Agent Carter is lovely.


Season two does (very nearly) write itself into a pickle with its attempt at a love triangle (or perhaps its sum is greater than three). That said, it redeems itself with a nearly picture perfect ending despite the fact that the writer’s probably weren’t sure of its cancellation at the time of filming. An ending that is, really, as perfect as its episode title (‘A Hollywood Ending’) and I’d even be so bold as to say, it’ll make even ardent Steve/Peggy shippers smile in delight.

The production of this series is lovely, whether it has a low budget or not. They do everything they can to bring us into the 40s. From the wardrobe (when doesn’t Peggy look like a perfect lady albeit one who can kick butt) to the iconic red lips and nails of the era, and through the automobiles. The vintage vibes go on for miles and impress every single time.

All that to say nothing of the stories. This season is tightly interlocked, which is both interesting though it does (in my opinion) slow the momentum. Time after time the baddies get away, which makes the chase (on occasion) wear thin. Nevertheless, we have too much fun learning more about her heroes and heroine to care. We chase these villains with the soft-hearted, but smart war hero; the devoted, loyal servant and loving husband; the scientist who crushes on an emotionally unavailable woman; the funny secretary who’s more than just a secretary; and of course, the smart SSR agent who outwits her male colleagues no matter the day of the week.

Whether you like period drama or comic book stories, Agent Carter will give you both, and it does it in style.

(Content: There is some innuendo here and there. Violence does play a role, but never becomes graphic; characters double-cross allies. Commonplace profanity crops up now and again. The show is rated TVPG.)
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