GIVEAWAY (12 WINNERS)! Zin Mignon and the Secret of the Pickled Pigs’ Feet {Michael Daswick}

When Michael Daswick reached out to tell me about his Zin Mignon book series, I knew this was a book series that my entire family would love! When book #1, Zin Mignon and the Secret of The Pickled Pigs’ Feet, arrived in my mailbox…I couldn’t wait to “dig in”! I’m so excited to host this amazing giveaway today where there will be 12 WINNERS!

Photo credit: Michael Daswick

Our family LOVES watching cooking competitions, especially when they involve children chefs. Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship is our absolute favorite and we have faithfully watched every single season. Over the summer, my daughter had a chance to attend a virtual cooking lesson from Valerie Bertinelli (the host of Kids Baking Championship) and it was so cool! Total once in a lifetime opportunity for her and she loved every single second. If you haven’t watched Kids Baking Championship, it’s such a wonderful show. Our other favorite is Be Our Chef on Disney Plus. Children chefs are amazing!

Best day. Valerie taught my daughter how to make an asparagus frittata!

Synopsis from Goodreads of Zin Mignon and the Secret of The Pickled Pigs’ Feet (Michael Daswick}:

11 year old genius Chef Zin Mignon is in a horrific pickle. He’s been kidnapped from Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris by the mysterious Mustard Monks and spirited away to their ultra-remote mountaintop abbey. In time, he’ll be able to take their daunting Test. If he passes, he may join their secret Order and achieve the culinary success he’s always dreamed of. If he fails….

The tale of Zin Mignon begins at the bottom of a jar of pickled pigs’ feet in his father’s pathetic Brooklyn deli. A secret note sets him on a world-spinning adventure that takes him through the alleys of the homeless to the tables of billionaires, to discover who he really is and the greatness for which he is destined. As he sets the culinary world on fire, a mix of treacherous rivals feasts on the chance to make his dreams go up in smoke.

In the wildly appetizing first book of the Zin Mignon series, with the help of his family and friends, Zin is off to honor the solemn promise he made to his dad and to learn the incredible secret of his family legacy. With humor, amazing exploits and heartfelt compassion, Zin uses food and his kitchen to build a recipe that will lead him to his true identity. Can he cut the mustard, or is it all just pie in the sky?

My Thoughts on Zin Mignon and the Secret of the Pickled Pigs’ Feet {Michael Daswick}:

I absolutely loved this book and read it over the course of just a few days. I was completely engrossed in this story and in these characters.

This book has a bit of everything. A story of hard work, dedication, compassion, and patience? Check. A bit of mystery? Check. Most of all, this book has such beautiful themes… the importance of family, acceptance, having big dreams, and of always treating others with kindness and respect.

Warning #1: This book will make you HUNGRY. The food that Zin creates are nothing short of spectacular, and his ability to create these magnificant dishes from whatever ingredients he has available to him at the time is truly fantastic.

Warning #2: No matter how good of a cook you think you are, you will absolutely 100 percent doubt yourself when you witness the skills of this child chef. Seriously.

Zin Mignon is the type of book series that you can feel good about your child reading. I can’t wait for my daughter to read this! She is going to love the story, the characters, the food, and as a fun bonus she is going to love the celebrity names mentioned throughout! If I were still an elementary school teacher, I would so love to read this book to my class.

Thank you, Michael Daswick, for sharing Zin with me. I can’t wait to read book #2! I’ve got it sitting here on my desk and it looks wonderful 🙂

A Conversation with Michael Daswick, in His Own Words:

What ages would be the ideal readers for your book?

Zin has a wide crossover audience. The ZIN Series goes against publishing norms in that it’s not directed at a certain age group as much as it’s aimed at any reader who loves food and cooking, humor and mystery. Zin has readers who are eight years old, as well as many moms, dads and grammas who cook with their kids, or want to pass along the joys of food to their families. We have teachers reading these books to their third grade classroom. The books are crammed with pop culture, little jokes and references that only adults will ‘get’; but there’s also plot and many areas that junior readers will love. There’s something for everyone.

How did you create the idea for your book?

Many people know this story. Our daughter Sidney has special needs and uses a wheelchair. Over the years, she loved watching Emeril, Giada, and all the Food Network shows. That love for food led her to our own kitchen where she loves ‘helping’ me cook, directing traffic and making suggestions on her communication device. I’ve written stuff my entire life and one night we were all watching Food Network with Sid when it hit me: With all this interest in Food on TV, Cooking Channel, MasterChef, Chef’s Table and all that, how come there’s never been fictional Series about a 13 year genius chef? The food phenomenon is so big, how come it hasn’t spread to fiction? Well, now it has.

What audience would be most interested in your book?

Food fans, kids who cook, parents and grandparents who cook (or want to cook) with their kids. Readers who watch cooking on TV. ALSO, the books are just solid humor-filled mysteries as well. Anyone who wants a good, well-written story.

Where can your book be purchased?

Amazon, Apple, Barnes n Noble, Scrib’d, Kobo, and others. All the platforms. 

Use 3 adjectives to describe your book:

Original; Funny; Loaded with Humanity. Unexpected. 

Any additional information that you would like to provide about you or your book:


While people might think a ‘food-centric’ topic is light-hearted, these are sophisticated, detailed, very well written novels with great characters who inspire and bring out the best in each other. Family is crucial throughout ZIN. I won both of Columbia’s prestigious literary awards and take the writing business very seriously. 

***GIVEAWAY DETAILS***

Would you like to win a copy of the first book in the series? I have 12 copies (yes 12!) of Zin Mignon and the Secret of the Pickled Pigs’ Feet to give away!!!

There are 2 different ways to enter this giveaway:

  • If you would like to enter to win an ebook: Click HERE and enter your email address. EVERYONE who does this will automatically receive the first 3 chapters for FREE. From those who enter, 10 of you will randomly be chosen to receive the complete ebook sent straight to your inbox! **This option is open to US as well as international readers**
  • If you would like to enter to receive a hard copy: Leave a comment below (about anything)! I will randomly choose 2 people who will receive a signed hard copy. You must comment below to be eligible for the giveaway and you must comment here on this blog post (not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). **This option is open to US readers only**

Both giveaway options will close tomorrow (10/20/20) at 6:00 pm CDT and all winners will be randomly chosen and announced here on my blog on Wednesday (10/21/20).

Make sure you check the blog on Wednesday to see if you’ve won (you will have 48 hours from the time I post the winners to email me your mailing address if you are receiving a hard copy.  If I don’t hear from you within 48 hours, I will pick a new winner).

Good luck!

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***GIVEAWAY***Spring! Time to Build a Nest, A Story about Trumpeter Swans {Barbara Renner}

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest blog review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Synopsis:

Pen and Cob Swan listen as ice pops and crackles on the lake announcing the arrival of Spring. Realizing she will be laying her eggs soon, Pen urges Cob to find a place to nest. After being shooed away from a beaver’s lodge and muskrat’s den, they hurry to build their own home before it’s too late.

Coloring pages are included so children can interact with the swans’ search for a home. Facts about Trumpeter Swans make this book educational as well as entertaining.

An audio QR code allows the reader to hear the Trumpeter Swan’s call using a QR Code Reader App. This book is appropriate for ages 3 – 7.

My Thoughts:

When Barbara Renner first reached out to ask if I would be interested in reviewing a copy of her beautiful book, the teacher in me squealed with delight!  I taught elementary school for 14 years and was always on the hunt for interesting books to help me teach various topics.  I would have LOVED to have this book in my classroom!

The story is interesting, the pictures are colorful, and the simplistic way that it teaches about trumpeter swans is perfection.  Look at these beautiful pictures!

I read this book to my 4 year old son (and took a selfie for the blog mid word, lol).

Here were his thoughts:

“I liked seeing the baby swans swim. I learned that swans could fly. Swans could make their neck twist in a weird way! Swans have nests.”

There is a QR code included in this book which allows the reader to hear the sounds of real life trumpeter swans. My son and I were both surprised to hear how the swans sound! So different than how we thought they would! For the rest of the day my son walked around making swan sounds. I love that he learned such an interesting fact and clearly thought about it after we finished reading the book. Awesome.

Coloring pages, a QR code, a glossary of terms, AND a page of “interesting facts” all included alongside an informative story with beautiful pictures?!  This book is GREAT!

A Conversation with Barbara Renner, In Her Own Words:

How did you create the idea for your book?

While visiting the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota, one of the volunteers told me how the Trumpeter Swans were once on the endangered species list. In the 1980s Trumpeter Swan eggs were flown from Alaska to Minnesota to be incubated in an attempt to increase their population in that region. There are now more than 30 nesting pairs at the refuge. I thought this was fascinating and vowed to write a series of children’s book about the Trumpeter Swans.

What audience would be most interested in your book?

The target ages for my book are 3-7; however, since there are facts about Trumpeter Swans included in the book, it is a great resource for all ages, including teachers and parents who homeschool children.

Where can your book be purchased?

There are numerous stores in Minnesota that carry the Trumpeter Swan book, as well as the gift shops at Harriman State Park in Island Park, Idaho. The Barnes & Noble at Somerset Shopping Center is featuring my book at a special price from January 15 to April 15, 2020.

My book can also be purchased online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and from my website, RennerWrites.com.

Use 3 adjectives to describe your book:

I would consider my book to be entertaining, educational, and interactive.

Any additional information that you would like to provide about you or your book:

I’m working on another fun Trumpeter Swan book that will be released the summer of 2020. It’s called SUMMER! TIME TO SEARCH FOR FOOD, A STORY ABOUT TRUMPETER SWANS. The main character, Cygie, is a juvenile swan, also known as a cygnet, who doesn’t want to dive for food because the water stings his nose. The story is about his quest for other sources of food without going underwater. As he encounters several obstacles, and becomes hungrier and hungrier, he finally discovers a way to dive for food without burning his nose.

I love to visit elementary schools as a guest author and facilitate writing activities. I also organize book fairs with other children’s book authors where four or five of us go into the classrooms, read our books, and present lessons.

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

***GIVEAWAY DETAILS***

Would you like to win a signed copy of Spring! Time to Build a Nest, A Story of Trumpeter Swans?
I have 1 signed copy of to give away which will include the name of the child who will be receiving this book!
If you live in the US, the book will be mailed directly to your home.  If you live internationally, an electronic copy will be sent to you.

To be entered, please complete these 2 simple steps:

1. Make sure that you are following and/or subscribed to my blog

2. Tell me about the child(ren) in your life who would receive this book if you were to win (you don’t have to mention their name (s)!

**You must complete BOTH of these steps to be eligible for the giveaway and you must complete them here on my blog (not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)**

Giveaway will close tomorrow (2/3/20) at 6:00 pm CDT and the winner will be randomly chosen and announced in Wednesday’s blog post (2/4/20).

Make sure you check the blog on Wednesday to see if you’ve won (you will have 48 hours from the time I post the winners to email me your mailing address.  If I don’t hear from you within 48 hours, I will pick a new winner).

If you already follow and/or subscribe to my blog, you are still eligible…just leave a comment below to be entered 🙂

Good luck!  Can’t wait to read your comments!

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

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*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

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