There's a Hamster in the Dashboard: A Life in Pets by David W. Berner coming soon as a WOW! Blog Tour

Monday, June 08, 2015
I am excited to announce a new book and a new WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour coming your way! You dear readers will not want to miss There's a Hamster in the Dashboard by David W. Berner. This is not only a book for those of us that love pets, it's a book for anyone with a sense of humor or anyone lacking a sense of humor who is looking for a good laugh or something to put a smile on their face. This WOW! tour will launch right here on the Muffin on July 13th with an author interview and giveaway. In the meantime, there is an excerpt available at the end of this post and buy links are included. This is a five star read; pick up two copies right away as this is the perfect pick me up gift for a friend or loved one!

If you are a blogger interested in hosting this tour, please email me at:

Review: Expertly written, There's a Hamster in the Dashboard is just what we need as humans living all too much of our lives without smiling. Berner will make you laugh, make you cry, and leave you with a smile on your face. I would liken this book to Chicken Soup for the Soul. The essays are great on their own, but if you wrap them up in a neat little package (ie: this book), you'll have something you can read to brighten your day and uplift your spirit. I would recommend this book, but also think it makes the perfect gift for that hard to buy for friend or relative. Congratulations on a great book Mr. Berner. This is definitely a Five Star Read!

Book Summary:
A book of essays by award-winning author and journalist David W. Berner is the next best thing to storytelling around a bonfire. In There’s a Hamster in the Dashboard, Berner shares stories of “a life in pets”—from a collie that herds Berner home when the author goes “streaking” through the neighborhood as a two-year-old, to a father crying in front of his son for the only time in his life while burying the family dog on the Fourth of July. And from the ant farm that seems like a great learning experience (until the ants learn how to escape), to the hamster that sets out on its own road trip (but only gets as far as the dashboard). Along the way, Berner shows that pets not only connect us with the animal world, but also with each other and with ourselves. The result is a collection of essays that is insightful and humorous, entertaining and touching.

Author Bio:
David W. Berner is a journalist, broadcaster, teacher, and author of two award-winning books: Accidental Lessons, which earned the Royal Dragonfly Grand Prize for Literature, and Any Road Will Take You There, which was a Grand Prize Finalist for the 2015 Hoffer Award for Books. Berner’s stories have been published in a number of literary magazines and journals, and his broadcast reporting and audio documentaries have aired on the CBS Radio Network and dozens of public radio stations across America. He teaches at Columbia College Chicago.

Buy links:

Print or Ebook: Amazon

Print copy only: Dream of Things

Excerpt (from the chapter called "The Intelligence of Dogs"):

When I was three years old, my mother turned her head for just a moment, and I slipped out the front door. I toddled my way down the steep street in front of our home. Naked. Absolutely bare-bottomed.

“Do you know where your son is?” This is how my mother remembered the neighbor’s phone call to our house. “He’s happy as ever; just out for a stroll. But he also looks like he’s on a mission. Oh, and now the dog’s there, too.”

Sally came sprinting from behind. When she caught up, she started to bark and then nudge her nose on my butt and belly.

“The dog is dancing around him like she wants to play or something,” the neighbor told my mother.

Sally kept barking, nudging. I kept walking. Then Sally started to run in a circle around me, as if she were herding sheep.

Mom hung up the phone and hurried out the door.

By this time I was all the way down the street, but I was no longer walking away from home. I was now walking back. Sally, with her persistent shepherding, had turned me around.

My mother was part of the way down the block when she stopped and instead of frantically chasing after me, she simply watched.

“I knew Sally was a good dog,” she said. “But I had never seen a dog do anything like that.” Mom grabbed my arm and gave me a slap on the butt—just enough to get my attention—and then crouched down, wrapped me in her arms, and pulled me in tight. Sally began to whimper and lick my face. My mother hugged her, looked Sally in the eyes, and softly said, “Thank you, girl.”

Photo by Olivia Brey of Oh! Photography
Crystal is a church musician, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Reedsville, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 8, Andre 7, Breccan 20 months, and Delphine 14 weeks), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, and over 200 Holsteins. You can find Crystal blogging and reviewing books and all sorts of other stuff at:


Sioux Roslawski said...

Crystal--Thanks for posting this.

David--This sounds like a great book. Is it funny at times and touching at times?

Good luck. (I had a gerbil in the closet, after it got loose. I mean, I guess that's where it headed... we never found it.)

Crystal Otto said...

You'd love David's book! Could I persuade you to participate in the tour?

Sioux Roslawski said...

Crystal--Yes, you could. Pick a Monday or a Thursday (if possible)... That's when I post.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Crystal--Yes, you could. Pick a Monday or a Thursday (if possible)... That's when I post.

Crystal Otto said...


I'll email you, but I'm putting you down for July 20th and we can work out the details!


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