Unlikely Friendships: Dogs by Jennifer Holland


Unlikely Friendships Dogs

I’m an animal lover. I always have been and I always will be. I grew up with animals. I cannot imagine a life without animals in it.

Currently we have five cats, a dog who thinks he’s a cat and a Goldfish who fears the cats.

In addition to our “mini-zoo,” I also have a lot of movies and books that are pet/animal related.

There is a new book being released on August 23, 2016 that might be of interest to animals lovers, especially dog lovers. The book is called Unlikely Friendships: Dogs – 37 Stories of Canine Compassion and Courage. It was written by Jennifer Holland.

We’ve all seen those stories pop up on Facebook, or those viral YouTube videos of unusual animal pairings. I am a firm believer that animals love unconditionally. They don’t care if you are a person, a turtle, a hamster or a duck. If they “click” together then it’s possible for them to become friends.

Dogs and cats are supposed to be enemies, but you wouldn’t know that in my home. Our dog Espn and our cat Anakin are about the same age (Anakin is a month older) were the best of friends when they were little. They played together, slept together and spend all their time together. It was funny to see. Espn even slept in the cat tree to be closer to Anakin as he slept in the tree.

Unlikely Friendships: Dogs by Jennifer Holland is a book that features heart-touching stories about usual animal friendships, each one involving a dog.

According the the publisher;

Jennifer Holland has shown us animal friendships, love, and heroism with her New York Times bestsellers Unlikely Friendships, Unlikely Loves and Unlikely Heroes.  Now comes a heartwarming and inspirational book for the tens of millions of dog owners and dog lovers.

Who doesn’t love a dog? And who does a dog not love in return? Almost no one—or no creature—it turns out. Unlikely Friendships: Dogs – 37 Stories of Canine Compassion and Courage (Workman; August 2016) is an irresistible reminder of the affection and bravery of all breeds great and small. Bringing together 28 new stories of canine kindness, plus a handful of classic tales involving dogs from Unlikely Friendships, Unlikely Loves, and Unlikely Heroes, these heartwarming true stories will have you falling in love with man’s best friend all over again.

Meet Rex, a German shepherd who learned to love and trust again through the improbable friendship of a goose. Popeye the Mastiff, who ran into a burning stable and saved 17 terrified horses by nibbling at their hooves. And a temperamental husky named Lilo, who saved a kitten from near death. These are just some of the remarkable stories you’ll find in Unlikely Friendships: Dogs.

Enhanced with beautiful full-color photographs, these true stories of camaraderie, affection, and remarkable bravery are more than a lovely tribute; they are proof that dogs are every creature’s best friend.

I received the book to review. Sadly, I haven’t had a spare moment to sit down and read it. It’s currently on my coffee table waiting for me to sit down with a cup of tea (or coffee) and open it’s pages.

The book will be released on August 23, 2016. Look for it where ever books are sold.

Have you read any of the Unlikely books before? What is your favorite “unlikely friendship” story – either current or from the past?

Unlikely Friends


*I received a free copy of the book to review (I just haven’t had time to read it yet). There was no compensation. 

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What’s new with Kohl’s Cares



If you are a regular reader of She Scribes you know that I absolutely LOVE the Kohl’s Cares program.

If you are unfamiliar with the program, Kohl’s Care is a special program set up by Kohl’s to raise money for children’s charities.

To date, the Kohl’s Cares program has raised nearly $300 million through it’s special merchandise program.

To reinforce the company’s commitment to children’s health, Kohl’s has donated financial support to hospitals across the country. The donations fund hospital outreach programs focused on children’s health initiatives and address the specific issues needed most in each hospital’s community. These tailored programs provide vital resources to families at no cost and include topics such as injury prevention, asthma awareness, dental care, and fitness.

I an honored to support a program that does so much for children in need.

Every few months Kohl’s Cares puts out books, plush animals and other fun merchandise for both children and adults. You can find the products on the Kohl’s website (search for Kohl’s Cares). You can also find the products near the checkout area.

Each Kohl’s Cares product sells for $5.00. What I love is that Kohl’s Cares usually puts out delightful children’s books (many of them classics) and matching plush animals. Each costs $5.00 (they are not sold in sets). For $10 you can have a wonderful hardcover book and a snugly soft plush to give to your child/grandchild or as a gift to another child. At the same time funds from your Kohl’s Care purchases is going to support children’s charities. It’s a win-win situation all around.

I have been an avid fan of the Kohl’s Cares program for years now. Some items I have purchased for me and/or my family. Some I have given as gifts. And often I have donated books, toys and plush to where I work.

Here are some of my personal favorites from over the years.




I like to display the book/plush combo on one of our bookcases. I switch them up very few weeks.

Growing up I was an avid reader, and I loved plush animals. That love has carried into my adult years. That is why I enjoy displaying books/plush that were mine, or my kid’s, favorites.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is NOT a Kohl's Care product.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is NOT a Kohl’s Care product.

You can see some of the Kohl’s Cares products I have donated to where I worked too. Remember, Kohl’s Cares sells other products (not just books and plush). You’ll see one example, a puzzle, pictured below.


The Disney books in the middle area are Kohl’s Cares books.



Currently the Kohl’s Cares program is selling Clifford the Big Red Dog books and plush animals. I love Clifford! He was a favorite of mine when I was younger. My kids also enjoyed reading Clifford books and watching him on television.

Did you know that the late actor, John Ritter, was the voice of Clifford for a while? It’s such a shame that he had to die so young.

I LOVE the plush toys! They are not only adorable (and look just like the characters) but they are super soft and snugly. They are also a decent size (they are not little), making them idea for little hands to carry around.

Kohls Cares Clifford

What would be better than having a Clifford the Big Red Dog book read to you (Kohl’s Cares has four to choose from) all while cuddling a snugly friend at bedtime.

As I mentioned earlier, Kohl’s Cares sells other products as well. Currently available is this fun coloring set.

I received the coloring set to review. It contains a variety of books (coloring book, activity book, doodle book), stickers and crayons. I had taken pictures of it but I can’t seem to find them.


All that for only $5.00 AND it helps children’s charities too.

There is also a super adorable Clifford the Big Red Dog backpack – idea for a child just starting school. I received one to review too and I can’t find those pictures either (all of the picture were together). I have since donated it to a local charity so I no longer have it to take photos of (I filled it with back to school supplies).

If you would like to learn more about the Kohl’s Cares products, or to find a Kohl’s location near you, visit Kohls.com. You can also find the brand on social media.

Now would be a great time to stock up for holiday gifts or upcoming children’s birthdays. You can’t beat a quality stuff animal and hardcover book combination for only $10 ($5 each). The books alone are more than half off what you would pay for them elsewhere (I found one of the book on Amazon for $13+).

Have you ever purchased a Kohl’s Cares product?

What do you think about the program? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.



*I received free product samples to review. Often I buy additional pieces to give as gifts or donate. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Fun books for grown ups from Parragon


Summer Reading

Summer time is a great time to catch up on all the reading you have been meaning to do the rest of the year.

If you are still in need of something wonderful to read, you should check out what is available from Parragon.

Parragon publishes a variety of children’s and adult books including popular characters like Disney and Pixar, to cookbooks, craft books, and my personal favorite – adult coloring books.

Adult coloring books have become so popular the last year or so. I have to laugh a bit when I think about it. My husband and I have been coloring to relax and for the enjoyment of it for 20 years. Yes, my husband colors and he’s not afraid to admit it either. I tend to go for cute pictures where he is more likely to color scenery.

Parragon has a lot of beautiful adult coloring books available, as well as children’s coloring and activity books.

If you are new to adult coloring books, or would like to give one as a gift, a great option would be this book – The Coloring Book of Positivity: Creative Patterns to Energize You.

Book 1

This book comes with an attached pencil case filled with a nice variety of colored pencils and a sharpener. This is perfect for “on the go” or even leaving in your desk at work so you can get some coloring in on your downtime or lunch break.

I personally like that the pencil case is attached. It’s very handy. The pencil sharpener is a nice touch too.

Inside your’ll find plenty of bold designs and patterns. Each page is perforated so that you can easily tear it out and frame your masterpieces.

Book 1a

Book 1b

You could even use markers to color in this book if that is your medium of choice. I bounce around between markers and colored pencils, depending on the details in the piece and whether or not I want bold colors or more subdued colors.

Another fun option is this small, pocket sized, coloring book. It would fit perfectly in a backpack, purse or tote bag. You could even put it in your car’s glove compartment so you have it handy if you have to wait a long time in a doctor’s office or something along those lines.

Book 2

The book looks bigger in the photo, but it’s no “taller” than our remote control for our TV.

Inside you’ll find plenty of images of critters to color, including insects.

Book 2 b

Book 2a

I like that most images are easy enough to color so you can color them quickly. Even children could easily color these images.

If you enjoy coloring animals/critters, check out this other adult coloring book available from Parragon – Animal Wonders. Coloring Book 3

Some of the animals in this book are a bit odd looking (for lack of a better word). None the less they are still fun to color.

I like that there are inspirational quotes found on the pages too, making these great to frame and put up on your wall (or give as a gift).

Coloring book 3a

Coloring Book 3b

If coloring is not your thing, Parragon has other unique books worth checking out.

Are you a fan of cocktails and mixed drinks? Do you host a lot of parties? If so, you might be interested in this book – The Art of Mixology.


This is a recipe book for cocktails and other beverage concoctions including classics like Whiskey Sour and Moscow Mule to more interesting drinks like “First Night” and “Beagle.”

Page  1

Page 2

There are plenty of recipes to choose from. They even include images and recommendations for the type of serving glass to use.

There are dozens of recipe in here I have never heard of before, but they sound interesting. Most are made with easy to find ingredients too.

Our daughter keep talking about becoming a bartender when she’s older. She wants to keep this book for herself. Considering she’s got a few years to go before she’s the legal drinking age, I’ll keep this in MY bookcase for the time being.

If you are into Whiskey, Parragon has the Ultimate Book of Whiskey. Whiskey is good, but I am not a Whiskey connoisseur by any means.


I’m not sure what I’ll do with this book. I might donate it to our local library.

I used to work with a gentleman that would have loved this book, but he’s long since retired and he moved away.

As you can see, Parragon has plenty of books for adults.

If you would like to learn more visit Parragon.com. You can also check them out on social media.

Many Parragon titles are available at Amazon.com.

Parrago Logo


*I received free copies to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris – available August 9, 2016

This is an advertisement for SheSpeaks/St. Martins Press.

Summer Reading

The summer time is a great time to catch up on all of those books you have been meaning to read all year long. Personally I have a stack of books in my bookcase just waiting to be read. During the school year (I work in the school district), I simply don’t have much time to read. Like many others, the summer time is the one time of the year when I can finally sit down and enjoy a good book for more than ten minutes.

If you are an avid reader, to you have a summer reading list or specific books you set aside just to enjoy during the summer months?

If you are looking for an interesting book to read while on summer vacation or simply lounging pool side, you might want to consider looking into the book Behind Closed Door by B.A. Paris. It’s published by St. Martins Press.

SMP Logo

The book is not available for purchase yet (it will be on August 9, 2016). I received a free copy from SheSpeaks to review.

I love to read books that keep me wanting more – the kind of book where you are so tired you can barely keep your eyes open, yet you find yourself reading “just one more” page which usually ends up being several pages – if not more. Behind Closed Doors is one of those types of books that you don’t want to put down – you just want to keep reading to find out what happens next.

Behind Closed Doors is the story of a woman named Grace. Grace has a sister, Millie, who has Downs Syndrome, that she loves and cares for very much.

One day when she was out with her sister, Grace met a man named Jack. Jack was a handsome, successful lawyer with much charm and charisma. It was impossible for her not to fall instantly in love with him – especially after he did something wonderful for her sister (at that point a total stranger to her).

Jack and Grace eventually marry.

The the outside world, Jack and Grace are the perfect couple – the kind of couple that others admire and wish they could be more like them. Jack is a hugely successful lawyer who goes after anyone who harms a woman (domestic violence cases). Grace on the other hand stays home, cooking, baking, gardening and making her home look like a showpiece for guests who come over for dinner. They seem to have a fairy tale existence… or do they? Is it all just an act? What really goes on with Jack and Grace behind closed doors? The answer might (and will!) surprise you. You’ll just have to pick up a copy of Behind Closed Doors to find out.


This is truly a suspenseful thriller. At first it doesn’t seem that way, but once you get into the book you’ll find a whole lot of crazy going on.

The books does jump back in time a bit, to give you a wee bit of insight into Grace’s life pre-Jack and their earlier relationship where Jack completely swept Grace off her feet.

I don’t want to give away much, but there are A LOT of mind games going on in this story. It is also rather violent at times, which can be too much for some readers (the author paints a vivid picture of what goes on which is very powerful and intense).

I cannot remember the last time I hated a character so much. Once you read this book you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

People liken this book to Gone Girl. Honestly, I don’t see that. I saw the movie (Gone Girl), but I never read the book. Unless the book is vastly different than the film.

This is a fantastic summer read. If you are looking for an amazing book to read during the remaining “dog days” of summer, grab a copy of Behind Closed Doors. You won’t be disappointed.

SS Logo

SheSpeaks is also hosting a Twitter party on the day of the books release, August 9, 2016 at 2:00 PM (EST).

Twitter party participants will have the chance to win Behind Closed Doors prize packs and chat with the author and other book lovers about summer reading and this book (of course). Participants must RSVP to be eligible to win prizes. To RSVP, simply comment with your Twitter handle on this post on the SheSpeaks website.

If you are interested in pre-ordering or purchasing the book please visit the book’s purchase page on Amazon. The book will be available as a paperback, hardcover, Kindle e-book and an audio book.

Behind Closed Doors is published by St. Martins Press. You can check out the publisher on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The books official hashtag is #BehindClosedDoors.

What do you think about this book? Does it sound like something you would be interested in reading?

Do you plan on attending the Twitter party?

Behind Closed Doors


*I received a free copy to review. I will also be receiving compensation, however the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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What’s new at Parragon


Child Reading

If you read my blog on a regular basis you might recall some posts I’ve done about fun books (and more) available from Parragon. Parragon publishes books for both children and adults – including fun activities and games too.

Parragon has books featuring beloved characters from Disney, Eric Carle, Barbie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Paw Patrol and more.

Adults can find books on cooking, juicing, puzzle books and my personal favorite – adult coloring books.

Parragon sent me an assortment of titles that might be of interest to readers. I’m going to focus on some delightful children’s books and a game I think will appeal to many families.

The first book makes me smile every time I look at it. I think it’s the most adorable book.

This Little Piggy

This Little Piggy Finger Puppet Book is by Little Learners.

The book is based on the classic nursery rhyme, “…this little piggy went to the market, and this little piggy stayed home…”

When you are reading the book you are suppose to insert your finger in the hole in the back and make the piggy puppet head move around. It’s really rather comical. I can only imagine how much little ones would enjoy this.

This is a sturdy board book. Even page features colorful illustrations that go along with the story.

Let's Play

Let’s Play Touch and Feel

This is another title from Little Learners.

This colorful board book features a variety of textures for a child to “touch and feel” including a fluffy teddy bear and  a smooth, sparkly drum – among other fun texture for children to explore.

Inside book

Words are kept to a minimum. Most of the text is to describe the item and texture.

My kids loved books like this when they were little. I think having the textures to feel really emphasis the words. It’s a great educational tool, especially for tactile learners.

Love Song

Love Song of the Little Bear

This charming book is all about the incredible love the mother bear feels for her baby bear. It is expressed through out the entire book.

I adore the illustrations. They are so cute. I just want to reach inside the bags and snuggle with them.


Even though this book is about the love a mama bear has for her baby, anyone (father, grandparent…) can use it to reinforce the love between any parent/caregiver and child.

Ring around the rosie

Ring Around the Rosie 

This is yet another Little Learners title.

This adorable book feature four different sound (sneezing, giggling, music…) which can be achieved by pressing the button on top. The buttons also light up.

When you press the music button (first button with the music notes) the book will play the song “Ring Around the Rosie.” As it does that it goes through each button, lighting it up as it goes along.


I bet little ones will really enjoy the lights and sounds. This would be the perfect bedtime story.

While it’s true that Parragon has a lot of wonderful children’s books available, they also have fun activity books, educational books and even games.

This one looks really fun. It’s the perfect gift for the shark lover in your life. It would have been perfect for Shark Week.

Shark 1

Shark 2

This set is a “must have” for any shark lover in your life.

The teeth (not real) are super cool too.

The book teaches you about everything there is to know about sharks. It’s like the entire Shark Week rolled into one book. By the time  you read it I’m sure you will know everything thing there is to know about sharks – and then some!

Also available from Parragon is this adorable card game featuring characters from Eric Carle books.

Card Game 1

Card Game 2

I love the game box! How cute is this Ladybug? I love that when her “wing” is lifted the cards are exposed. When not in use the box could make a nice display on a bookshelf or dresser.

It’s hard to tell from the photo but the cards are really big, which is great for little, or not-so-little, hands.

One side of the card has descriptions on it. Players need to guess on what animal/critter fits that description. Not only is it a fun game for the whole family, it’s also a great way to teach children who to be more descriptive. That was always an issue with my son’s English teacher. She said he never put in enough description when he wrote creative essays. A game like this is a great way to learn how to be descriptive.

These are just some of the fun books and games you’ll find from Parragon.

For more information visit Parragon.com. The brand can also be found on social media. All of their links are found on top of their home page.

Most of these books are also available on Amazon.com.

What do you think about these offerings from Parragon? Did any of them stand out to you?

Parrago Logo


*I received free samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Looking for a great summer read? Check out Baby Doll by Hollie Overton (giveaway ends 7/31/16)



When I think of summer a lot of things come to mind – the beach, hanging out by the pool, vacation, barbecues, picnics and reading.

The summer is a great time to catch up on all of those books you have been meaning to read but never had the time to. It’s also a great time to grab a good book and find a shady spot to read and let your mind go on an adventure.

Recently we were at the beach and I saw A LOT of people reading.

If you are someone who enjoys reading during the summer months (or year round), I have a book suggestion for you – Baby Doll by Hollie Overton.

Escape was just the beginning.

Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked.

This is what happens next… to Lily, to her twin sister, to her mother, to her daughter—and to her captor.

For fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, Baby Doll is the most tense thriller you will read this year.

“What a compulsive read! A brilliant first novel that kept me transfixed and entertained until the very last page.” – Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Die Again.

Photo Credit: Heather Overton

Photo Credit: Heather Overton

About the author;

A tense, unique psychological thriller, Baby Doll is a remarkable first novel from TV writer Hollie Overton, who has worked Cold Case, The Client List, and the new Shadowhunters on ABC Family.

Debut author Hollie Overton was raised by her single mother, and Hollie—an identical twin herself—draws on her unique childhood experiences for her first novel, Baby Doll. Overton’s father was a member of the notorious Overton gang in Austin, Texas, and spent several years in prison for manslaughter. Hollie is a television writer and resides in Los Angeles.

I have a copy of the book. I have been trying to read a few pages here and there when I could. I didn’t bring it to the beach with me (I rather be in the water than on the beach reading). So far, from what I read, it’s a very interesting read. It’s a real page turner. It’s the kind of book you don’t want to put down – you want to continue reading the next page because you want to know what happens.

I really enjoyed Gone Girl and I heard good things about Girl on a Train. I can see why Baby Doll compares to those popular titles.

I am looking forward to reading more of Baby Doll.

If you are interested in learning more about the book, or purchasing it, please check out these site where the book is currently sold.

If you would like to learn more please visit Hollie Overton’s official website. You can also follow Hollie Overton on Twitter or “like” her on Facebook.

The official hashtag is #BabyDollBook.


I have an awesome giveaway for a lucky reader, compliments of Redhook.

*Redhook sent me this title, and is also providing the prize pack for the lucky winner.

The “Spectacular Days” prize package consists of;

  • Copy of the book Baby Doll
  • $100 SpaFinder.com Gift Card

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on July 31, 2016. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t quality.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*Prizing and samples provided by Redhook. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 


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