Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Longest Ride Movie and SWEET Giveaway Package

The Longest Ride, Nicholas SParks, Book Journey, Give away

About the Film

Based on the bestselling novel by master storyteller Nicholas Sparks, THE LONGEST RIDE centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia, a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City’s art world.  As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected connection with Ira, whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple.  Spanning generations and two intertwining love stories, THE LONGEST RIDE explores the challenges and infinite rewards of enduring love.

Starring: Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood, Jack Huston, Oona Chaplin, and Alan Alda

Directed by: George Tillman, Jr.

Anyone else getting excited about this movie?  I sure am!  I have always enjoyed movies that originate from books!  Here is the trailer:

Thanks to Twentieth Century Fox I am able to give away one sweet package:

The Longesth Ride, Book Journey, Nicholas Sparks, Giveaway Package

One (1) winner receives:

  • $25 Visa gift card to see the film in theaters
  • Tote Bag
  • Copy of the book (movie tie-in book cover)


(I am LOVING that cool tote bag!)


You can enter this giveaway by:

1 entry:  Leave a comment letting me know what your favorite Nicholas Sparks book (or movie!) is and why.

2nd entry:  Tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the following into Twitter:

Enter to Win The Longest Ride movie gift card and gift package! @bookjourney #LongestRide


Winner will be chosen using and announced here on Friday April 3rd.


Official Websites

Like The Longest Ride on Facebook

Follow on Twitter,  Google+, Instagram

Subscribe on YouTube

Visit the Official Website


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


Hello!  Welcome to It’s Monday What Are You Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It’s a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read list. 😀  You never know where that next great read may come from!

I had a busy week but do not think that apply’s to my reading and listening to audio.  I was buried in projects, building websites, working with both of my non profits… and well.. here is what I posted:


The Mystery Writers Of America Cook Book edited by Kate White


The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos


The Boy Who Loved Rain by Gerald Kelly


First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen (with a recipe!)


A Day InThe Life Of A Book Blogger (you may have seen this fun meme around the past few days) I was late, but I joined in!


That’s my week.  It may look like i did ok but in all honesty I have had the Writers Cook Book and The Precious One done for a while – I was just waiting for their release date.


This week will be another busy one.  Remember that little fun interview I get to do this week?  Well that will take me out of town Wednesday afternoon through Thursday evening. My reading I plan on is this:


For My Ears


There have been many books – on a large and small scale – about Steve Jobs, one of the most famous CEOs in history. But this book is different from all the others.

Becoming Steve Jobs takes on and breaks down the existing myth and stereotypes about Steve Jobs. The conventional, one-dimensional view of Jobs is that he was half genius, half jerk from youth, an irascible and selfish leader who slighted friends and family alike. Becoming Steve Jobs answers the central question about the life and career of the Apple cofounder and CEO: How did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our time, ultimately transforming the daily lives of billions of people?

Drawing on incredible and sometimes exclusive access, Schlender and Tetzeli tell a different story of a real human being who wrestled with his failings and learned to maximize his strengths over time. Their rich, compelling narrative is filled with stories never told before from the people who knew Jobs best and who decided to open up to the authors, including his family, former inner circle executives, and top people at Apple, Pixar, and Disney. In addition Brent knew Jobs personally for 25 years and drew upon his many interviews with him, on and off the record, in writing the book. He and Rick humanize the man and explain, rather than simply describe, his behavior. Along the way the book provides rich context about the technology revolution we all have lived through and the ways in which Jobs changed our world.

Schlender and Tetzeli make clear that Jobs’ astounding success at Apple was far more complicated than simply picking the right products: he became more patient, he learned to trust his inner circle, and he discovered the importance of growing the company incrementally rather than only shooting for dazzling, game-changing products.


For My Eyes


Molly Bloom reveals how she built one of the most exclusive, high-stakes underground poker games in the world—an insider’s story of excess and danger, glamour and greed.

In the late 2000s, Molly Bloom, a twentysomething petite brunette from Loveland Colorado, ran the highest stakes, most exclusive poker game Hollywood had ever seen—she was its mistress, its lion tamer, its agent, and its oxygen. Everyone wanted in, few were invited to play.

Hundreds of millions of dollars were won and lost at her table. Molly’s game became the game for those in the know—celebrities, business moguls, and millionaires. Molly staged her games in palatial suites with beautiful views and exquisite amenities. She flew privately, dined at exclusive restaurants, hobnobbed with the heads of Hollywood studios, was courted by handsome leading men, and was privy to the world’s most delicious gossip, until it all came crashing down around her.

Molly’s Game is a behind the scenes look at Molly’s game, the life she created, the life she lost, and what she learned in the process.


I have other books I am listening to and reading that I mentioned last week.

What are you reading this week?  What did you read last week?  Add your Its Monday What Are You Reading here where it says click here:


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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

For those who read mainly children and middle grade books please add your link here as well:


A Day In The Life Of A Blogger (late… with books!)


Mt friend Trish over at Love, Laughter, and a Touch Of Insanity had the idea to have us share what a day is like in our lives.  I loved the idea, had every intention of doing it this past Friday, started a post even… and then promptly forgot about it.


Then yesterday evening I was reading a few posts and read Kathy’s at Bermuda Onion (love her day by the way!) and thought, I can still do this.  🙂

So without further ado, here is my Friday March 27th:

6:47 am – wake up, let 5 dogs out.  Yes.  FIVE.  I have three, and I am dog sitting my friends two terriers while she is in Korea visiting her daughter.

7:00 am- COFFEE ready and I sit down to read emails.  (First I click on all the junk mail and delete that out of the way).  Then I first read the two emails I love to see each day, Shelf Awareness and Hungry Girl.

7:30 am – I open up a newsletter I am working on for a company and complete the updates.

8:00 am – Second cup of COFFEE. I normally post a Morning Meandering in the morning but can not think of anything (in reality it should have been this post lol!) so write up my review of First Frost to go live late morning.

8:20 am – I launch my new website for my Freelance Business and post about it on Facebook.  That was scary.

8:25 am – jump in the shower with audible audio playing on my phone with a speaker so I can hear it over the shower.  Get ready to go!

8:50 am – Fill up COFFEE cup and I leave the house for the library, grabbing a Fiber One bar on my way out the door for breakfast. For some reason I really like real coffee cups instead of travel mugs so curse myself a bit when I turn out of driveway and spill a little coffee on me.  Think of a post title called “5 Stupid Things That I DO”, with the coffee cup and driving being one of them.  It is only 3 miles up the road to the library from my house so I am there by 9 am.  I meet Ruth and Gail there and we go downstairs to look at the donated books for the spring book sale that is in three weeks.  Discuss plans.

9:30 am – leave with Gail to go and look at the building we will be using for the book sale a block away.  This is the first time we will be moving the book sale off site due to the large quantity of books.  It’s exciting.

10:00 am – Gail leaves and I go to the printer to pick up our tickets for Wine and Words.  I take the tickets to the library (yes, I am back!) to drop off 50 for them to sell.  I talk with the head librarian, and staff.

10:30 am – back in my car and sit in the parking lot of the library while I respond to a few texts.

11:00 back at house, grab mail on my way in, and open up work portfolio and spend time on my current client projects.

12:45 pm – Leave house to go and pick up Vicki at Mid Minnesota bank for lunch.  We discuss the Camp Benedict Bike Ride in July and I secure her for helping out with the food that is needed and cooking the supper at camp that night.  HAZAH!

2:00 pm – drop Vicki off at work and I head to the gym.

2:15 pm – work out on elliptical and stretch until 3 pm

3:10 pm – at grocery store where I pick up a few things and what I need to make Al meatloaf and potatoes for dinner.  (His request)

3:45 pm – Home!  Back to working on client projects.

5:30 pm – turn on audio book and start super while listening to The Pocket Wife.  (Unsure of it so far… I am getting a Girl On The Train vibe).

6:00 pm – with dinner cooking, I continue on work projects and a couple of Camp related phone calls until Al comes in from work around 6:50 pm.

7:00 pm – dinner with husband, he has the meatloaf and potatoes, I have a grilled chicken wrap and corn.  Catch up on each others day.

8:00 pm – Go downstairs to watch a little TV with Al.  He is a big fan of Shark Tank.

8:45 pm – Al goes to bed.

8:50 pm – I turn on Netflix, find a movie I can half listen to while I work on the Camp Benedict website rebuild.

11:30 pm – finish the Camp Benedict website, switch the domain over and launch the new website to our social media spots.  Look up at movie I chose and question why I decided to watch Twilight.  🙂

11:50 pm – Bed.

Disclaimer:  That was a full Friday.  I usually am home working more than I was this past Friday.  I usually dedicate more time to working with clients, yet this last Friday I spent a lot of time working on Camp stuff which is one of the charities I am on the board of.

Check out others posts about their “Day In The Life” here.

The Books:


Sophomore Year Is Greek To Me

City 1

Shadow Cabinet

Orphan’s Inheritance

Today I hope to read later this afternoon but as for now I have a few projects to make some progress on.  Have a super Sunday!

Morning Meanderings… Let’s Get This PARTY Started!


Good morning!  Another Saturday is here!  Saturdays are my FAVORITE day of the week.  The work week is over and usually Saturdays are a day that I have something fun going on.

Speaking of Saturday’s, last Saturday was no exception.  After spending the afternoon in a Writing seminar, I sped away to a local gas station where I changed into a dress and went to congratulate my friend Julia Lee at her book launch.

I walked in almost an hour and a half after the launch had started due to the seminar and I was surprised (and excited!) to see how full the room was with people!

Julia Lee, Launch Party, Book Journey

This is the book signing line when I walked in!


I had talked a bit about Julia the week of her book launch for her book Seven Stones when I interviewed her, and then reviewed her book.  Julia is so fun and easy to chat with that she is one of those people that when you meet her, you want to read whatever she has written to see if that personality shows through.

She is like a room full of champagne bubbles.

Julia Lee, Book Launch, Seven Stones, Book JOurney

Signing like a pro at her first book release party. I wonder if she practiced? 😉


The event was a lot of fun, the venue, Prairie Bay is known for delicious and unique horduerves such as artichoke chicken pizza, and apple and goat cheese skewers.  It was amazing food and great conversation as I waited in line with my friend Christy and chatted up what else?  Books.

Julia Lee, Book JOurney, Launch party, seven stones

Still smiling!


Book Journey, Julia Lee, Seven Stones

Sorry Julia, as soon as I took this picture I knew it was a keeper! LOL… it is a rare moment of a quick break in the signing!


What a great first signing!  The event was a lot of fun, I caught the tail end of it and had a glass of wine with Laurel from our Library and then went home after a long and productive day.

Julia Lee, Book JOurney, Seven STones


Today… I leave in about an hour for the library where a few of us are meeting to start hauling some of the books for the April book sale from the library to the venue we will be using.  I am kind of excited to start this process and as there are SO MANY BOOKS this time and we are moving off site every little bit we do helps take the pressure off of the big push in a couple of weeks.


Julia Lee, Book Journey, Seven Stones

Stolen… errr borrowed from Julia’s site… the pic with her author cup that I requested! You have to have a coffee cup pic!

You can read Julia’s fun blog here where she talks about the book, the excitement, life stuff, and great recipes!


First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

First Frost, Sarah Addison Allen, Book JOurney

The Waverly’s were always considered a bit….


Claire went from a successful catering business to making candies that seemed to have taken the town by storm.  Everyone wants the candies and Claire finds that the candy business has slowly taken over every sweet moment of her life.

Sydney has a successful hair stylist shop which is ever-growing in clients, yet Sydney really longs to have a child with her husband.

Evanelle gives people strange gifts but finds her own health failing and she must make changes in her lifestyle.

Sydney’s daughter Bay has a gift of making things just right and is always on the decorating committees at school.  Now she has given her heart away to a boy who does not seem to want what she has so openly given.

And there is the Waverly apple tree, the tree which all the Waverly’s watch… waiting… for first frost.



I really enjoyed First Frost on audio.  Narrated by Susan Ericksen, whose voice lent a mystical musical tone to the book that was most appropriate.  Listening to First Frost was thoroughly enjoyable, almost relaxing as the story unfolds so smoothly.

Each of the women’s story line in the book is engaging.  Often when a story unfolds this way I find that I tend to enjoy one story line over the others and rush through to get to the parts I like.  This is not the case in First Frost.  Each character lends itself to the story building off the others.

Worth a listen.



  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 35 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Release Date: January 20, 2015


The Boy Who Loved Rain by Gerald Kelly

the boy who loved rain, Gerald Kelly, Book Journey, TLC Tours

David and Fiona have one son Colom.  Yet no matter what they do, Colum, now 14, acts out at school and is desensitized when it comes to any sort of discipline.  David, who is a Pastor is adamant that Colom receive any counseling through the Church and that no outside help be administered.  Fiona, who just wants to help Colom is not so sure her husband’s ways are right this time.

As Colom continues to strike out as school, and have nightmares about a drowning sister although he has no sister, the walls feel like they are closing in on this family. David becomes more and more distant from his son and Fiona finds no other solution but to take Colom and run seeking shelter through the kindness of a friend… hoping perhaps distance from his father and from the school pressures will help Colom sort through what he is going through.

but how much of what is happening is Colom, and how much is David and Fiona’s own creation?



The Boy Who Loved Rain is a powerful read.  I was unsure picking this book up what I was in for…would I experience the slow destruction of a boy like in Nineteen Minutes?  Would I find the cold calculations of a child like in We Need To Talk About Kevin?

As it turns out, no, The Boy Who Loved Rain is an entirely different type of book and one that I enjoyed thoroughly.  Written in an almost lyrical way I like how this story unfolds from a family to individuals and it felt true to life.  Broken people just trying to get it right.  The book also brings up great discussion questions and I could not help but think that this would make for a good group read.

This book is a thought-provoking read.  I enjoyed spending time with it very much.



  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Fiction; 1st New edition (January 1, 2015)

I was able to experience this journey with Colom thanks to TLC Book Tours




Morning Meanderings…. Oh WordPress…. Beep Beep Boop To You.


Good morning!  CHILLY here in Minnesota the past few days however rumor has it that the weekend will warm up.  I hope so.  I am ready to be wearing Capri’s and light shirts and not having to dress in layers just in case.

For WordPress users such as myself, this post is kind of for us.  However, Blogger users hang out too as for years I have read posts or tweets on grumbles about Blogger and I thought “I am so glad I chose WordPress!”, now I too have a grumble.

Quite a while back WordPress changed how you created and edited a new post with a shiny new version that has a “beep beep boop” message while it is processing and is very different to use and format.



However, WP gave an option to click a sweet little button that said Classic Mode and my world continued in happy blissful blogging peace.  That is, up until couple days ago when WP decided that it was time to suck it up and convert to the new ways of doing things.  (The WordPress version of “drink the Kool Aid!”

wordpress editior, classic, Book JOurney, beep beep boop

Now I have been looking up ways on line to change it back to the way I like to use it.  I did find a way that you can go through your dashboard to the new posts, or edit from the dashboard to bring up the old way, however if you do this from the main page you will be directed to the new way.

Beep Beep Boop.

wordpress editior, beep beep boop, Book Journey


There are other posts about this and one I read this morning that explains ways around the new editor but really why change what is already working well?  Many WP users are not happy about this messing with what isn’t broke.

If you are a WordPress user and know easier ways to return to classic mode, chat with me.  🙂


This morning I am enjoying a big cup of COFFEE after a fairly restless night.  I have my friends two dogs staying with us while she goes to see her daughter in Korea.  Yes, that means I have 5 (FIVE!) dogs in the house for the next week and then they will go to another friends house to share the duty.  Last night the two newbies to the house were restless, crying, and wondering the house most of the night.  Hopefully tonight they will feel more adjusted. 🙂  They are small so they do not take up much room… just a lot of activity in my home. 😀


The Precious One by Marisa do los Santos

The Precious One, Marissa de los Santos, Marisa do los Santos, Book Journey

Recently, I had fallen behind on reviews.. you know… life happens and all that stuff.  When I sat down one morning and thought it was time to catch up I absolutely knew this was the review I wanted to write first.  I was so impressed and excited about this authors style of writing I was ready to gush gush gush, perform cart wheels and produce pom poms;  but here, let me share with you this story… ~Sheila

Eustacia (Taisy) Cleary grew up with Wilson, a father that was beyond structured and strict, and never quite earned the title of daddy.  Not only did he destroy the relationship she had with the only boy she ever loved, his selfish hard ways also led to the destruction of their family when he left Taisy, her twin brother Marcus, and their mother for a younger woman, and soon to follow a baby girl named Willow, who Taisy has never had a chance to get to know.

Now seventeen years later the dust of that destructive time has cleared and Taisy despite the damage to her self-esteem that her father had created, is doing well as a ghost writer.  Her relationship with her brother and mom are very intact, and the boy, Ben, the one that broke her heart just as much as she broke his, is but a small flutter of regretful memory.

Then out of the blue, Wilson calls.  He wants Taisy to come and stay with him for a couple of weeks and write his life story.  He claims that everything she has ever wondered about him will be revealed, but it is she who he wants to do the research and writing.  Against her better judgement, Taisy agrees to go, curious about the man who was so controlling, and his mysterious wife, as well as Willow, her sister who would now be 17 years old.

Willow, who has been home schooled until recently, and sheltered all her life by her parents is incredibly smart, beautiful, and freakishly naive about all things in the real world.  She has never had a cell phone, a computer, or watch TV other than educational programming… and she is immediately mistrusting of Taisy’s presence in her home, trying, in Willow’s opinion to take back the family she was no longer a part of.

Taisy is about to get a life lesson in family, in friendship, and in lost love.  There is so much more as to why Wilson has called on her, and all involved are about to move forward into a strange new present.

Let the gushing commence.  This is the first book I have read by Marissa de los Santos and I absolutely had no idea going in what an experience her writing would be.  I adored the long sentences of conversation (much the way I myself may talk) and the funny little comments in parenthesis … but it was so much more than the writing I enjoyed, it was also the amazing characters and story.

Once again I find myself in a sort of trend in books that somehow lead to someone coming back home to fix, repair, or learn something.  And again I am blown away with what a useful synopsis this truly is.  In Taisy’s case, she is only back in her home town for a task and then has every intention to return to her life.  Taisy is the kind of protagonist I really like, a strong independent woman who is just cleaning up some past residue.

Willow is also an excellent voice to this book.  Told in alternating chapters between Taisy and Willow, it is enjoyable to see life through this sheltered girls eyes.  Her dialogue is not that of a teenager due to her upbringing but even that is fun (it felt a little like Jane Eyre dialogue).  It was like Willow struggles between the sophisticated rich upbringing she has had and the desire to be a teenager and go through teenager stuff.  This inner struggles is handled superbly.

I absolutely devoured this book and am now eyeballing another book I have waiting for me by this same author, Belong To Me.

If you have not read this author, I highly recommend her.  She has a refreshing style that inspired me to really be myself in my own writing.  It was wonderful!

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (March 24, 2015)
  • Language: English

Morning Meanderings… What Book Are You Waiting For?


Good morning.  Ahhhhh…. Wednesday.  It almost feels like a plateau in my week and I like it.  I need it.  I was supposed to be on my way to Bemidji bright and early this morning for my Grant Writing class, however it is postponed until April and I am ok with that.  That gives me today to do some catching up.  It’s like a bonus day I wasn’t planning on having so I am all over that.

I noticed quite a few great titles have been released recently.  Books I think are drool worthy and I am sure the books that I am excited about is just the tip of the publishing iceberg as to what is AWESOME out there and coming available in Spring 2015.

Here are just a few that I am excited about:


Harlan Cobe, Book Journey, The Stranger

I have been a long time groupie of Harlan Coben.  His writing is engaging, witty, and usually has a sweet story line too.  The Stranger just released yesterday and I am holding up virtual pom poms for this one.  I can not wait to take an afternoon and dive into this one!  Released yesterday, March 24th.




Silent Alarm, Book Journey, Jennifer Banash


Silent Alarm actually released on March 10th.  I am adding it to this list because it is one I am excited about and plan on reading very soon.  Written in the vein of Nineteen Minutes and We Need To Talk About Kevin.




LIARS INC, Paula Stokes, Book JOurney

LIARS INC. is a book I do not have on my shelf but I think I want to.  A YA setting of a senior who starts a business selling permissions slips to fellow classmates… until things go terribly wrong.  Feels like it has a good vibe.






CATALYST, Control, Lydia Kang, Book Journey

Catalyst in the Dystopian sequel to Control, both books here… both I need to read.  These books look like they have potential and I wonder once again how necessary sleep is.





Precisous One, Marisa de los Santos, Book Journey

Precious One also released yesterday and is a book that made me a fan of Marisa De Los Santos.  This one is as excellent read, fun writing style, and gush worthy.  My review for this book goes up today.




I know there are so many great reads out there.  What are you looking forward to this month?  What books should be on my radar?













The Mystery Writer’s of America Cookbook edited by Kate White

Mystery Writers Of America Cook Book, Book Journey, Gift Book, Author Recipes,   Mystery Writers Of America Cook Book, Sheila DeChantal, Male Chauvenist Pigs In A Blanket

I love books.  I love food.  I love books about food.  One of the things I enjoy about reading is making food mentioned in books.  It’s true.   I make Pepsi steak to this day because a character did it in a James Patterson book I read years ago and I thought it sounded simple and tasty.  My husband loves it.

If you know all of this about me, then as you can imagine, saying yes to review this book was a no brainer.  Recipes from wonderful mystery writers that have come from their books.  My mouth waters just to think of it.

When the book arrived I was thrilled at how beautiful it is.  Sturdy hard cover, thick quality pages…definitely a beautiful gift book to that mystery lover you know.



I enjoyed that each recipe is accompanied by information from the author of where the recipe came from.  Gillian Flynn presents Beef Skillet Fiesta, she is a Midwestern girl at heart and says her characters are as well.  Laura Childs is known for her Tea Shop Mysteries so her recipe of Killer Sweet Tea should come as no surprise.  James Patterson offer us Grandma’s Killer Chocolate Cake which is something I know I need to make.  It will be Sandra Browns Mystery Crackers I will be making soon along with Harlan Coben’s offering of Myron’s Crabmeat Dip (which Harlan believes that while Myron’s friend Win makes this dip, he is pretty sure it was one of the many ex girlfriends of Win that told him how to make it.)

For now though….  I could not wait to make Nelson Demille’s Male Chauvinist Pigs In The Blanket.  The recipe is simple, it sounds tasty, and I had a friend coming over who could taste test.


Male Chauvinist Pigs In The Blanket

I am not going to rewrite the whole recipe, and it is much cooler in the book than I am about to write here… but here is the basics of this one by Nelson DeMille.

1 package of hot dogs

1 can of crescent rolls (like Pillsbury)

chili powder

a can of beer



Mystery Writers Of America Cook Book, Sheila DeChantal, Male Chauvenist Pigs In A BlanketCut hot dogs at an angle in half.  Place in bowl and add beer on top.  Leave in bowl until beer is not foamy anymore (I found that happened quickly so I left them in a little longer).  Take hot dogs out of beer bath and sprinkle with chili powder (according to DeMille this is the top secret ingredient).  Roll hot dog up in crescent roll as you would when making pigs in a blanket.  Cook at 375 for about 17 minutes, 5 minutes or so longer than you would if you were following instructions for PIAB on the rolls.  Serve warm and with mustard.

Mystery Writers Of America Cook Book, Sheila DeChantal, Male Chauvenist Pigs In A Blanket

Mystery Writers Of America Cook Book, Sheila DeChantal,Male Chauvenist Pigs In A Blanket Book Journey



The results:  Tasty.  I am looking forward to making this at book club as the next earliest convenience when I am presented with a male chauvinist character.  I can not wait!

Keep this book in mind if you need a gift for a fellow book lover.  I have already ordered a copy for just that purpose.



  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (March 24, 2015)
  • Language: English