Thursday, July 10, 2014

Diane Daniels Manning - Almost Perfect - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

An old woman who has given up hope and a boy who believes the impossible wonder if life would be perfect at the Westminster Dog Show.

Seventy-year old Bess Rutledge has dreamed of winning the Westminster Dog Show all her life. Despite her decades-long career as one of America’s top Standard Poodle breeders, she has decided she’s too old to hold on to her foolish dream. She sells off all the dogs in her once famous kennel except for the aging champion McCreery and his mischievous, handsome son Breaker. Part of her senses they might have been the ones to take her to Westminster, if only she’d dared to try.

Bess meets Benny, a teenager with mild autism who attends a therapeutic special school, and learns he has a dream of his own: to impress his self-absorbed mother. Benny is drawn into the world of dog shows and becomes convinced he has found the perfect way to win his mother’s attention. If he can win Westminster with either McCreery or Breaker, he just knows she will finally be proud of him. Getting Bess to go along with his plan, however, is not going to be so easy. . .

Up to 100% of the author’s profits will be donated to charities serving animals and children.

Video Trailer

My Review

I found this to be a delightful, inspiring story of Bess, a seventy-year-old dog breeder and Benny, a young teenage boy with a mild form of autism.

Bess has entered dog shows for decades and has dreamed of winning Westminster with her prize winning standard poodle, McCreery, but never had the guts to enter.

Even though they're total opposites, Benny and Bess, in a strange way, embark on a unique friendship. By teaming together, they wind up taking a stab at making their impossible dream come true. It's an uplifting story that will bring tears to your eyes as you see both of them going for the personal victory they're only able to be achieve by helping each other.

As a lover of dogs, I really came to appreciate the hard work that trainers put in and the many personal sacrifices they make in order to succeed.


Almost Perfect can be purchased at:

Prices/Formats: $3.99 ebook, $8.99 paperback
Pages: 330
Genre: Pet Fiction
Release: January 29, 2014
Publisher: Beltor
ISBN: 9780578136394
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Diane Daniels Manning is the co-founder and director of The New School in the Heights, a therapeutic school in Houston, Texas which helps children dealing with social-emotional challenges find success in school and life. She has a Ph.D. in Education and a post-doctoral M.P.H from Harvard and is a practicing child psychoanalyst certified by the American Psychoanalytic Association. Formerly, she was the Director of the Reading and Learning Disabilities Clinic at Tufts University, Lecturer and Research Associate in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Harvard, and Chair of the Department of Education at Tulane University. She learned the inner workings of dog show kennels by writing an authorized oral history of a lifetime President of the Poodle of Club of America. Her writing awards include the Faulkner-Wisdom Novella Prize and the Women in Film and Television Short Script Competition.

Links to connect with Diane:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I liked the description you gave of the relationship between Benny and Bess. Many thanks for taking the time to support ALMOST PERFECT.

  2. Oh, I really enjoyed the video. Would love to read the book.

  3. This looks good to me. I'm always interested in a main character with autism.

    1. Diane does a very realistic job of portraying autism. You will enjoy getting to know Benny.