November Reflections From a Book Blogger

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November was a fantastic month!  Thanksgiving with my family was so special, the ridiculously amazing SNOW we have had here was (is) beautiful, the almost week long time with my family was amazing, and I have entirely too much to be thankful for.

Let’s reflect on Book Coffee Happy’s November…

My favorite post: 

4 Best Friends, 1 Alma Mater

Well that was an easy pick.  I absolutely loved writing (and reading…and rereading) this post.  I love these girls so very much and am so beyond blessed to have them always by my side.  My birthday is on Sunday and tomorrow the 3 of them are taking me downtown for a pre birthday celebration on Michigan Avenue.  Perfection.

I also really loved writing Reading Next to Ones You Love. Reading is such a passion of mine (clearly) and being able to experience that passion surrounded by people I love is really beautiful.

Best Book I Reviewed This Month:

Thanksgiving Thankfulness, Social Media, Giveaway Winners, and a Book Review: The Couple Next Door {Shari Lapena}

I loved that book so much!  And a fun story…I put a link of my review on Instagram and within minutes, Shari Lapena “liked” my post and watched my “story” (which was unrelated to her book)!  I love when that happens (it’s happened a few times including the author of Young Jane Young liking my blog post book review and the movie director of The Hate U Give liking a tweet that I had sent about how much I loved the book).  Social media is such an amazing way of connecting people and allowing us to show our gratitude to people whom we might not normally have that chance.  I’m so happy that Shari Lapena was able to read my glowing review of her book!  Fingers crossed it inspires her enough to write a sequel…

Worst Book I Reviewed This Month: 

Book Review: The Wife Between Us {Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen}

So many people love this book.  I am not one of those people.

Giveaways I hosted:

***GIVEAWAY (2 Winners!)*** Chuckerman Makes A Movie {Francie Arenson Dickman}

**GIVEAWAY (1 International and 1 US)** In Search of Mr. Anonymous {JB Glazer}

**Children’s Book GIVEAWAY** (3 Winners)! A Bag for Santa {Kendra Esbrook}

I loved all 3 of the books that I hosted giveaways for this month.  They were all QUITE different from each other and were wonderful in their own ways.  I have some AWESOME giveaways coming in December!  I’m so excited.  Make sure you check back often so you won’t miss out!

Total Combined Number of Book Coffee Happy Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Blog Subscribers/Followers: 1,161

Not bad for less than 3 months of blogging!

I’m so thankful for every single subscribe, follow, like, share, and comment.  I am overwhelmed at the kindness and generosity of the book blogging community and how many people have helped my blog to GROW!  To the many of you that I do not know in real life, I’m so looking forward to getting to know you though my blog.  I love sharing pieces of my life and thoughts with all of you and I have some upcoming blog posts which I am really passionate about.

One thing that would really help me would be to please subscribe/follow on my actual blog. There is a place to do this right on the top of this page where you can enter your email address (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page if you are on an a mobile device). If you have already done this, THANK YOU so much!

I would also love if you would follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (search book coffee happy).

I joined Instagram in November and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it, lol.  I’m loving making Instagram stories!  So fun.  Please follow me!

I post differently and post different things on all of the various platforms.  I would really love and appreciate your support across the board!

I have made some really nice “blogging” friends over the past few weeks.  Xo!  I love that so many new people have discovered my blog.  If you are new here…welcome!  I’m so happy that you’re here 🙂

A Bag for Santa Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to Jamie, Amy, and Melissa!  All 3 of you will receive your autographed copy in the mail just in time for the holidays 🙂

Please email me (bookcoffeehappy@gmail.com) your mailing address and get excited to receive this adorable autographed book asap!  Thank you to everyone who entered.  Stay tuned, everyone…there MIGHT just happen to be a different children’s book giveaway NEXT WEEK….

3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge

Thank you so much Facing the Story for nominating me to take part in the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge! Here are the rules:

RULES:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post one quote per day for three days.
  • Nominate three blogs per day to take part in this challenge.

I don’t post every single day but I am taking part in this for 3 consecutive blog posts. You can read my favorite quote of all time that I posted on Day 1 here: SNOW, My Favorite Quote, and a Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere {Celeste Ng}  Day 2 was here: **Children’s Book GIVEAWAY** (3 Winners)! A Bag for Santa {Kendra Esbrook}

And finally Day 3:

“Worry about tomorrow steals the joy from today”

I love this quote and I think it’s so important.  I remind myself of this often although admittingly sometimes it’s easier said than done 🙂

I have had such fun participating in this challenge this week!  I now tag:

Avalinah’s Books

In Between Book Pages

Bookish.Brooklyn

Thank you everyone for all of your support over the past month.  How was your month? I would love to hear some highlights in the comments! Bloggers, feel free to link your most memorable November posts for others to check out in the comments as well 🙂

And now…my favorite month of the entire year is HERE!  Welcome December, I’m so happy to see you!

Xo,

Jenny

Last Month’s Reflections:

October Reflections

**Children’s Book GIVEAWAY** (3 Winners)! A Bag for Santa {Kendra Esbrook}

Happy Hump Day, Friends!

I hope you are having a great week.  We are slowly still getting back into routine after having almost a week off of school for Thanksgiving Break and an unexpected (but so glorious) snow day!

The snow is slowly starting to melt and it’s making me sad.  I’m already ready for another huge snowstorm!  I just love winter so much.  Everything is so breathtakingly beautiful here right now, I could never live in a place that didn’t get snow!

What I DON’T love is the fact that my town apparently has some new kind of fancy LED stoplights and they don’t melt the snow when they are covered (insert face plant emoji here).  I live in a large town!  In a suburb of CHICAGO!  This is not the first time we’ve had snow in this area…It’s insane. There have been tons of car accidents over the past few days while the fire department is apparently trying to manually clear them off.  How crazy is that?!  It’s been scary to drive around here…but not scary enough that I was prevented from picking up Chinese food for dinner last night.  #priorities #favoritefood

I have such a great giveaway for you today!  But first..Day 2 of the Quotes Challenge:

3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge

Thank you so much Facing the Story for nominating me to take part in the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge! Here are the rules:

RULES:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post one quote per day for three days.
  • Nominate three blogs per day to take part in this challenge.

I don’t post every single day but I am taking part in this for 3 consecutive blog posts. You can read my favorite quote of all time that I posted on Day 1 here: SNOW, My Favorite Quote, and a Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere {Celeste Ng}

And for Day 2, here’s my favorite quote that perfectly sums up the relationship between my 3 best friends and I:

“Here’s to the nights that turned into mornings with the friends that turned into family”

There isn’t a better quote to describe us!  I’ve actually been saying this quote to them for years.  Love you, girls (you can read more about our special relationship here: 4 Best Friends, 1 Alma Mater)

I tag:

Mud and Stars

Asha-A Cat, A Book, and a Cup of Tea

Cennins Book Reviews

And now…a GIVEAWAY!!!

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I absolutely LOVE this book.  Like…really love.  The message behind it basically is for kids to leave toys they no longer play with in a bag for Santa.  Santa’s elves can fix them up to be like new again and can give them to other kids so they can have presents on Christmas.  Santa takes the toys but leaves the bag behind so kids can fill it up year after year.

Each book comes with this awesome (large) bag for children to fill with toys that they no longer play with and can leave for Santa:

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This would be a perfect book for any parent, grandparent, or teacher.  As a former teacher myself, I can easily imagine the wonderful class discussion about charity and generosity that could occur after reading this aloud.  My students would have loved this book!

As a fun bonus…check out the adorable way this book and bag were shipped to me!  When I opened my mailbox, I was greeted by the cutest and most festive packaging.  If you win this giveaway, yours will also be shipped from the author in this adorable packaging!  If you don’t have children at your house, this can be shipped to another address where a child can be greeted with this adorable package.  I couldn’t wait to rip it open!

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It’s such a cute book with such an important message.  Teaching children about the importance of charity is a year round lesson but especially during the holiday season.  The illustrations are wonderful, the rhyming is wonderful, everything about this book is wonderful.  I absolutely loved reading it.  The icing on the cake is that a portion of each book sold goes to Toys for Tots.

A Conversation with Kendra Esbrook, in her own words:

Briefly give a description of your book:

Christmas is just around the corner! David and Will are busy making their list for Santa. Suddenly a troublesome thought enters their minds; what if the Elves can’t make all the toys?  The boys have a brilliant idea, one that will help Santa get toys to everyone when the elves are behind.

How did you create the idea for your book?

I’m a stay-at-home mom who wanted a better tradition than Elf on the Shelf. I wanted my kids to understand the joy of giving. So when I saw all the personalized bags from Santa to the kids being sold I asked my friend to make us one from the kids to Santa, and we started leaving old toys for him. I couldn’t believe no one else had written about it yet, so I did!

What audience would be most interested in your book?

Anyone who believes in Christmas magic.

Where can your book be purchased?

Amazing page to come… for now just here:

 

Use 3 adjectives to describe your book:

Heartwarming, merry, inspirational

***GIVEAWAY***

Would you like a chance to win a copy of this adorable story?

I have THREE copies of A Bag for Santa to give away!  THREE!

The autographed books will be mailed directly to the winners (US only for this giveaway).  To be entered, please complete these 2 simple steps:

1. Follow and/or subscribe to my blog

2. Leave a comment below telling me your favorite thing about the holiday season

**You must complete both of these steps to be eligible for the giveaway**

Giveaway will end Friday morning at 6:00 CDT and the 3 winners will be randomly chosen and announced in Friday morning’s blog post.

Make sure you check back on Friday 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, 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!

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page (www.fb.com/bookcoffeehappy),  follow me on Twitter@bookcoffeehappy, and follow me on Instagram (@bookcoffeehappy)!  

SNOW, My Favorite Quote, and a Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere {Celeste Ng}

There is a ridiculously amazingly awesome amount of snow here! I. LOVE. WINTER. My children are home from school, my husband is home from work, and my heart is so very happy. We are safe, we are warm, and my father is coming over this afternoon for the annual “Snow Picnic” that my kids wait all year for. It’s going to be a good day.  A very good day indeed.

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3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge

Thank you so much Facing the Story for nominating me to take part in the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge! I gladly accept 🙂 Here are the rules:

RULES:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post one quote per day for three days.
  • Nominate three blogs per day to take part in this challenge.

I don’t post every single day but I will take part in this for 3 consecutive blog posts. For Day 1, I’ll leave my absolute favorite quote of all time:

“I always knew I’d look back on the times I had cried and laugh but I never knew I’d look back on the times I had laughed and cry.”

That quote was written in my senior yearbook from high school as my favorite quote and over 20 years later it’s still my favorite. Since becoming a mother, it has taken on an entirely new meaning! I love it so much and I think of it often.

I tag:

Jennifer Tar Heel Reader 

Flowers In The Brain

Dirty Sci Fi Buddha

I’m looking forward to reading your favorite quotes!

And now..a book review:

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

4 Stars

When this book was first released last year, it was literally FLYING off of the shelves.  I was #32 on the library wait list and painfully checked the library website every single day to see how many readers were in front of me (does anyone else do this??)  My family and I were on a vacation in Mexico during the painful wait list time.  I was reading (and not enjoying) this book (click the link to read my review): A Stranger in the House {Shari Lapena} while the lady next to me at the pool was casually lounging and reading Little Fires Everywhere (affiliate)! I was so jealous!  I kept glaring at her and she obviously had no idea why, lol (although some of that could have been that she was spending more time talking to her husband than actually reading the book and clearly didn’t realize how lucky she was to be holding it but I digress).

We came home from our glorious Mexican vacation and a few weeks later…I got THE call!  The book was waiting for me!  I drove straight to the library that day, I couldn’t WAIT to dig into this book.

My thoughts in a nutshell?

This book was great…but…I don’t think it quite deserves all of the hype that it has received.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved it.  Like everyone does.  The story lines as well as the characters were complex, detailed, and interesting, Ng did a brilliant job of intertwining all of the characters and it made for a very interesting and intriguing read.  However, with all of the hype surrounding this book, I was just expecting MORE.  If the book weren’t so hyped it to begin with, I truly think I would have found it even more enjoyable.  I spent the entire book just waiting to be blown away so when I wasn’t…it was a tiny bit of a let down.

Bottom Line:

Great book but not nearly as great as everyone says it is.

Did you read this book?  What did you think?

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page (www.fb.com/bookcoffeehappy),  follow me on Twitter@bookcoffeehappy, and follow me on Instagram (@bookcoffeehappy)!  

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

Thanksgiving Thankfulness, Social Media, Giveaway Winners, and a Book Review: The Couple Next Door {Shari Lapena}

If you celebrated yesterday, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!

I have so much to be thankful for.  My family, my health, my friends, my house, and the fact that my husband works so hard which allows me the opportunity to stay home with my children.  This is something that I never, EVER take for granted and am thankful for every single day of the year.  Next week, I get to go into my son’s preschool class to help bake cookies and last week I was able to help with the book fair at my daughter’s school.  Priceless.  I love you, Jon.

I am so thankful for the most fun hobby I have ever had, Book Coffee Happy.  It has allowed me some amazing experiences and opportunities and it’s only been 2.5 months.  I’m SO thankful for all of YOU!  I love “meeting” you and interacting with you.  Thank you for your support.  If you haven’t already followed/subscribed to the blog, I would be so thankful if you would.

My Thanksgiving yesterday was perfect.  The morning began with my favorite Thanksgiving tradition of watching the Macy’s parade on TV with my family and ended last night with a delicious feast at my parents’ house.  My mom made the most delicious dinner and her table was stunning as always.  Tiny pumpkins with twinkle lights, candles, leaves, and glitter branches.  My favorite part of dinner was the stuffing.  She makes the absolute best stuffing!

A special thank you shout out to my cousin, Jessica, who after dinner taught me how to use Instagram stories!  I joined Instagram earlier in the month and I’m slowly learning all of it’s features.  Jessica and I made my very first “story” about my favorite book of all time from when I was in high school!  Go check it out, the video of me talking is still up there.  If you don’t already follow me, I would so love if you did @bookcoffeehappy.  I had posted this picture earlier in the day:

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Love.

Speaking of social media, I posted this on Facebook yesterday:

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If you don’t already “like” my Facebook page (Book Coffee Happy), please do!  There have been some awesome book discussions on there, thank you to those of you who have contributed.

I’m also on Twitter (@bookcoffeehappy) and would love if you followed me on there as well!  I try to post different content on the various 3 platforms and have been loving watching all 3 grow!

Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the **GIVEAWAY (1 International and 1 US)** In Search of Mr. Anonymous {JB Glazer}.  The US winner of the hard copy is Jenchaos76 and the international winner (from Australia) of the ebook is ihavenoshelfcontrol!  Ladies, please email me at bookcoffeehappy@gmail.com and we will arrange all of the details!  Congratulations 🙂

If you didn’t win this one, no worries…I have a few AWESOME giveaways coming your way over the next few weeks!  Stay tuned 🙂

And now…a book review!

A few weeks ago, I reviewed Shari Lapena’s newest book, An Unwanted Guest {Shari Lapena}.  That book was great but this book was OUTSTANDING!  I absolutely love this author and am waiting on pins and needles for her to write more psychological thrillers.  If you haven’t read either of her books, I would recommend starting with this one…and clear your schedule for the next few days because you won’t want to do anything but read.

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

It all started at a dinner party. . .

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors–a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . .

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all–a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family–a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

YES.  YES.  YES.  This book is FANTASTIC.  It twists and turns in ways that I never saw coming.  I couldn’t put it down, I loved every second.  So clever, so well written, so amazing.  There is nothing I love more than a book that simply will not allow me to put it down, and this was a perfect example.  I carried this book around with me and read whenever I found a few minutes.  I read it over 3 days but could EASILY have read it in one sitting.

This book is fast paced and easy to read.  The chapters are quick and the story runs deep. And those twists…those TWISTS.  Yessssssssss.

And the thing is, EVERYONE I know who has read this book has also loved it!  In fact, I have yet to have someone tell me that they didn’t love it.  It’s SO good.  So, so good.  You’ll love it.

Bottom Line:

This. Book. Is. AWESOME.

Have you read this book?  What did you think?  How was your Thanksgiving?  What are you thankful for?

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page (www.fb.com/bookcoffeehappy),  follow me on Twitter@bookcoffeehappy, and follow me on Instagram (@bookcoffeehappy)!  

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 (1 International and 1 US)** In Search of Mr. Anonymous {JB Glazer}

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Sex.  This book has sex.  Hot, steamy, mind blowing, amazingly delicious sex.  Aaaaand if that doesn’t make you want to keep reading this post, I’m not sure what will, lol…

Full disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book to read and review for my blog.  All opinions are my own. 

Giveaway details will be given at the bottom of this post!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

One bet. One passionate weekend with a mysterious stranger. Endless heart break. Cynical event planner Lucy doesn’t have time for love. She’s focused on her career and planning the hottest wedding in Chicago. A wedding she never thought her firm, Dreams DLC, would win. She was so confident, in fact, that she agreed to a rather unorthodox bet with her friend, Trish. If Dreams won the pitch, Lucy would have a one-night stand with the man of Trish’s choosing. Now it’s time to pay up. Lucy doesn’t do one-night stands. Period. But she’s loyal to the core, so she can’t help but honor her commitment. Trish scouts out the perfect man who’s sure to bring Lucy out of her shell. He agrees to the deal, so Lucy makes a term of her own: no names, no personal details. Her handsome stranger agrees, and what was supposed to be one-night turns into a weekend of passion that tests Lucy’s boundaries. Lucy falls hard only to never hear from him again. She searches for answers, but it’s difficult to find someone who’s anonymous. Lucy struggles with moving on until she meets James. James is her perfect match: kind, funny, patient, and giving. His only flaw is that he isn’t him–Mr. Anonymous. Lucy realizes she must stop chasing the ghosts of her past if she wants a future with James. But that’s the thing about ghosts. You never know when they’ll come back to haunt you.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

Loved it.  Couldn’t put it down.  Immediately drew me in from page 1.

I absolutely adore when a book keeps me guessing the entire time with how everything will turn out in the end.  There were so many story lines and I think she did a great job with how they all turned out.  So many different themes were discussed in this book—love, friendship, loyalty, abandonment, honesty, family, etc.  The characters were interesting and the story lines were well developed.  I found the chapters to be a perfect length which held my interest and made me want to read further.

And the sex.  OHHH the sex.  There were some very detailed and descriptive scenes in this book.  If you don’t mind some heat, you’ll love reading this book.  I know I sure did 😉

Insider scoop:  JB Glazer just finished writing the SEQUEL to this book!  As I told her when she shared this information with me…COUNT.  ME.  IN.  I can’t wait to continue the journey with these characters and see how their stories will continue to unfold.  Fingers crossed for more steamy sex scenes…

Bottom Line:

Ladies, you will love this sexy book.

A conversation with JB Glazer, in her own words:

Briefly give a description of your book:
Cynical event planner Lucy shares a passionate weekend with a handsome stranger as
a result of losing a bet. It’s so out of character that she wants to keep their names
anonymous. She falls hard only to never hear from him again. Lucy struggles with
moving on and finally meets an incredible guy who is perfect for her. But can she let go
of her “Mr. Anonymous?” And is she in love with a ghost because it’s easier than facing
the possibility of having the real thing? Along Lucy’s search for love her loyalty will be
put to the ultimate test. In Search of Mr. Anonymous tackles topics such as love and
loyalty, and how even the best of intentions can lead to devastating consequences.

How did you create the idea for your book?
I’ve always found it interesting how Millennials are more open to sharing information
about themselves online. My last novel, I Should Have Said Yes, touched on this idea
because I think people find it’s easier to express themselves when they can hide behind
the anonymity of a screen. I started to wonder would the same philosophy apply in real
life. Is it easier to give into temptation and do or say things you normally wouldn’t
knowing you may never see someone again? I explored this concept by having Lucy
agree to a one-night stand as long as they kept their names anonymous.

What audience would be most interested in your book?
Women ages 18+ who like a bit of sizzle, a dash of drama, and lots of heart.

Where can your book be purchased?
My book can be purchased at most major retailers including Amazon, iBooks, Kobo,
Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and more. For about the cost of a cup of coffee, you can
indulge in something steamy, spicy, and hot!

Use 3 adjectives to describe your book:
Heart-warming, heart-breaking, thought-provoking

Any additional information that you would like to provide about you or your
book:
In Search of Mr. Anonymous follows Lucy on her journey to finding love and herself in
the process. While I hope the ending will satisfy readers, the story is far from over. This book is part 1 of a 2 part series. The sequel, Finding Forgiveness, will be available in early 2019.

As for me, I believe in writing books with relatable characters, dramatic happy endings, and that a daily dose of chocolate is one of life’s necessities.

***GIVEAWAY***

Would you like a chance to win a copy of this HOT story?

I have TWO copies of In Search of Mr. Anonymous to give away!

The US autographed book will be mailed directly to the winner and the international ebook will be emailed directly to the winner.  To be entered, please complete these 3 simple steps:

1. Follow and/or subscribe to my blog

2. Leave a comment below telling me 1 sexy quality you look for in a partner

3. Please mention if you are in the US or are internationally located in your comment

**You must complete all 3 of these steps to be eligible for the giveaway**

Giveaway will end Friday morning at 6:00 CDT and winner will be randomly chosen and announced in Friday morning’s blog post.  Make sure you check back on Friday to see if you’ve won!  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!  (PS…I love TALL men even though I’m only 5’1.  My husband is 6’3)!

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page (www.fb.com/bookcoffeehappy),  follow me on Twitter@bookcoffeehappy, and follow me on Instagram (@bookcoffeehappy)!  

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

Reading Next to Ones You Love

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A few weeks ago on a cold, windy, and rainy afternoon my daughter had 2 of her friends come to our house for a play date.  The 3 girls happily played board games and ate popcorn in the kitchen while I kept my younger son entertained upstairs to allow the older girls their bonding time.

About an hour into the play date, the door to my bedroom opened and my daughter walked in.  “Mommy, will you please let me know when an hour has passed?  We are going to silently read for an hour.”

Ummm….WHAT?!  Did my 6.5 year old daughter just say that her and her friends would like to silently READ on their play date?!

I told her that I would keep track for her.  She came upstairs every 15 minutes asking if it was time yet and I told her no.  Eventually my son fell asleep and you KNOW where I immediately ran!

I couldn’t believe my eyes.  1 girl was on the couch.  1 girl was on the love seat.  One girl was on the floor.  All silently reading.  Books everywhere.  It was truly my version of play date heaven!  They were beyond excited when I immediately ran back upstairs to get my own book so that I could join the fun (they told me there were 2 rules that must be followed: find a place to sit where nobody else was sitting and no talking.  I silently took a seat on our leather bench).

The 4 of us silently read.  Together.  It was awesome.  I was so happy and proud!  Best play date ever.

It got me thinking of other times in my life where I enjoyed a book silently next to someone I love.  When my husband and I were dating, we used to go out for weekend breakfasts and sit and read the newspaper together over coffee. Years later, I will never forget enjoying  The Time Traveler’s Wife (affiliate) while floating on a raft in a gorgeous Jamaican swimming pool floating next to him (but this time he was no longer my boyfriend but my brand new husband) on our honeymoon.  I read The Violets of March: A Novel (affiliate) days after I gave birth and laying in a bath was my only relief for the pain.  I laid in that bathtub and read while my newborn daughter slept peacefully on floor of our bathroom on her Boppy Newborn Lounger, Elephant Love Gray (affiliate)  (Side note: MY #1 NEWBORN MUST HAVE).  And these days…my absolute favorite place to read is with one of my children peacefully sleeping on my chest (I previously had posted a picture of this happening in this post: My Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 1 Picture From Each).

Reading has always brought me peace and happiness.  Being able to experience that kind of peace and happiness while being surrounded by people that I love only adds to that experience.  I like to think that even if she didn’t say it out loud, this is what my daughter felt during her play date.  A proud parenting moment for sure.

As for her 2 friends?  I told them that they are invited to our home anytime 🙂

What are your examples of reading next to someone you love?  I would love to hear in the comments!

Happy Thanksgiving week, everyone!  I’m thankful for YOU!

Xo,

Jenny

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The Ultimate Throwback to my 20’s and Early 30’s Book Series

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When I was a bit younger, these books were EVERYTHING.  I absolutely adored them and literally DEVOURED them as soon as each one was released.  There are 8 total books in the Shopaholic series (not including a short story which Kinsella wrote midway through the books).  The synopsis below is for the first book in the series to give an idea of what the series is about.

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is, she can’t actually afford it—not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Saving magazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. And lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from the bank—letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read. She tries cutting back. But none of her efforts succeeds. Her only consolation is to buy herself something . . . just a little something.

Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life—and the lives of those around her—forever.

My Thoughts:

4 Stars

If I were to choose a fictional best friend to be my real life bestie, my answer will always and forever be Becky Bloomwood.  She’s absolutely hilarious, extraordinarily spontaneous, adorably flighty, and completely lovable.  In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that Becky Bloomwood is quite possibly the most likable and adorable book character ever created.

These books were absolute staples for me when I was in my 20’s and early 30’s.  Becky and I went though all of life’s milestones together–the serious relationship, the wedding, the home ownership, the babies, etc.  I savored each book and read them as soon as they were released.  Some books were definitely better than others but overall they combine to create an adorable collection.

DISCLAIMER: I do have to wonder if I would appreciate them in the same way if I read them for the first time now that I’m in my 40’s?

I actually read many of these twice in anticipation of the movie release in 2009.  The movie itself proved to be a big disappointment but the books were just as wonderful to read for the 2nd time as they were the 1st.

I always loved the relationship that Becky had with her best friend Sus and I always loved the characters of Becky’s parents!  Reading about day to day life in England (where the majority of this series takes place) always fascinated me.

I read Shopaholic to the Stars: A Novel (affiliate) when it came out roughly 4 years ago and it was like reuniting with an old friend!  I was instantly brought back into the lives of the characters that I had said good-bye to so many years earlier.  Loved it.

These books are NOT award winning in any way.  The writing is simple and the story lines can get a bit ridiculous.  However, the characters are boldly colorful and extremely likable.  Very quick and easy reads which will forever hold a special place in my heart!

And on a side note…Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I have a definite obsession with wearing scarves. I truly think that Becky Bloomwood and her beloved green scarf might just be where all of that started.

Bottom Line

These are simple, adorable books which will forever hold a special place in my heart.  Writing this review is making me want to read all of them again from the beginning.  I adore you and miss you, Becky Bloomwood!

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