Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fido and Friend in Five: Tess Hilmo and Daisy!

I know you're probably sick of hearing me say this, but there's something about Utah and children's authors. We have more than our fair share in this high desert country: Shannon Hale, Matt Kirby, Anne Bowen, Rick Walton, Brandon Mull, Sara Zarr, Sydney Salter, Becky Hall, just to name a very few. Now we have a wonderful new member to the Utah pack, Tess Hilmo. Tess's debut novel, With a Name Like Love, has gently taken the reviewers by storm. Her book garnered not one, not two, but three starred reviews! Booklist, School Library Journal, and the notoriously hard-to-please Kirkus all gave stars to With a Name Like Love. The American Booksellers Association also named Tess's book a "New Voices" pick for 2011! And this is just her first book. Holy cow!
With a Name Like Love

When Tess was pregnant with her second daughter, she had to be put on bed rest. Bored to tears from watching TV, Tess started reading, reading, reading. Then, she started writing, writing, writing. Twelve years later, Tess has a pre-teen daughter and an absolutely lovely, charming book. With a Name Like Love introduces the reader to the loving yet rather unconventional Love family. The father, Everlasting Love, is a traveling preacher, carrying his message of grace and redemption to all. In tow are his wife and five daughters. To the main character, Ollie, it's a less than wonderful life until they arrive in the tiny town of Binder, Arkasas. With A Name Like Love is filled with many things I love: gospel music, rich characters, big hearts, and frogs. And a bit of a murder mystery too!

Tess lives right down the mountains from me in Salt Lake City. She's the mother of three, married to her college sweetheart, and the servant of the Great Daisy, Poodle Who Must Be Obeyed. Let's meet Tess and her Poodle, Daisy, in today's Fido and Friend in Five:

1. How did you and Daisy find each other?  We adopted Daisy eight years ago when our neighbors moved out of state.
Daisy and Her Girl, Tess

2. What makes Daisy's tail wag?  So much! She is the happiest dog you've ever met. But if I had to choose a few things, I'd have to say peanut butter, the door bell, and seeing my kiddos pull her red leash out, because that means adventure time!

3. What's your all time favorite dog story?  Because of Winn Dixie...though I just started reading A Dog's Way Home and am loving it! (blush blush)

The Daisy Endorsement
4. If Daisy could change just one thing about you, what would it be?  She'd have me quit my job and spend the whole day lounging in the sun with her.

5. In five words, tell us what Daisy means to you:  Unconditional acceptance, giggles, and cuddles.

Thanks so much to Tess and Daisy for stopping by! Be sure to check out Tess's website and blog to read the reviews of her wonderful book and to see what all she's up to. Who knows what she'll do next?