I SO Wish Authors Would Stop Doing This {Part 2}

I love authors and I have an incredible amount of respect for all they do.

However, there are certain things that I so wish they would stop doing!  You can read Part 1 of this series HERE.

Part 2 of this series will focus onnnn….drumroll please…

TOO MANY CHARACTERS!

Omg this is SUCH a pet peeve of mine.

I would so rather read a book with a handful of well developed characters than a book with so many characters that none of them are developed or even mentioned enough to make significant contributions to the story.

I hate, hate, HATE when I have to flip back through pages (I only read paper books) to try to figure out who a character is because there were just too many to keep straight.

I find this especially frustrating while reading thrillers.  I get it…there needs to be a fair amount of characters introduced so the “who done it” isn’t completely obvious.  However, it’s more than annoying to find out that the “who done it” turns out to be a meaningless character who I never even had the chance to get to “know” in the first place.  Nothing worse than a huge plot twist at the end revolving around an insignificant character.

What do you think?  Do you agree with me?  How many characters is too many?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

And just an FYI because a few of you have asked…yes, I’m still reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo!  I usually finish reading books must faster than this…but…I’ve been spending any and all of my quiet time on a Bachelor BINGE.  I was 5 episodes behind and it was time to just sit and BINGE so I would be caught up for the finale.  I’m alllllmost caught up but not quite so until I do, Evelyn Hugo is taking a backseat.  As soon as I’m all caught up to Bachelor nation, I will finish Evelyn!  My 2 spolier free thoughts on this season:

  1. This is the first season in the history of The Bachelor that I don’t have a favorite contestant and I haven’t had one all season.
  2. Peter has made some absolutely HORRIBLE choices.  Like…throughout entire time.

Do you watch the Bachelor?  Please NO SPOILERS and NO PREDICTIONS if you do!

Winner of the Spring! Time to Build a Nest, A Story About Trumpeter Swans Giveaway:

Xo,

Jenny

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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:

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Book Review: The Wives {Tarryn Fisher}

Last week I wrote a post about how my impatience for reading this book momentarily outweighed my desire to maintain my clutter free home.  I literally couldn’t wait even 1 more day to read this one!

So I bought it.  And I read it.

Synopsis From the Back of the Book:

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life? And who is his mysterious third wife?

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)

2 Stars

This review is going to be nearly impossible to write without giving anything from the book away but I’ll just sum it up by saying this:

I really hated this book.

There is SO MUCH hype surrounding this book right now and I truly believe that it’s all due to exploring a topic which isn’t a very commonly addressed one.  I really think the hype is completely surrounding the topic and has nothing to do with this actual story.

The book synopsis sounds so amazing, right?  So here’s something that has never happened to me before…I’ve never read a book where the synopsis was SO MISLEADING as to what the book was actually about.

This book was hardly about polygamy at all!  I was looking for the juicy details behind this fascinating way some people choose to live their lives.

Side Note:  I could never be a part of a polygamist family.  I am an only child and sharing has NEVER been my strong suit.  Sharing my wonderful husband and beautiful children???  HARD NO.

If the topic of polygamy fascinates you, watch Sister Wives on TLC.  I’ve been watching it since the very beginning and it’s one of my favorite shows.  #teamchristine

Something else that has never happened to me before…I felt like that first half of this book was an entirely separate book from the second half!  Like…how does that even happen?! So weird.  For what it’s worth, I enjoyed the 1st half SIGNIFICANTLY more than the 2nd half and I didn’t even really enjoy the first half, lol.

The ONLY reason I am giving this 2 stars was that I DID enjoy Tarryn Fisher’s style of writing.  Short, easy to read chapters.  I quickly read through this one.  Also, this book DID provide a bit of thought provoking insight into the emotional aspect of polygamy…

Would any of my local readers like to own my copy of this book?  Obviously I have zero desire to read it again.  While I clearly don’t recommend it…if you would like it, it’s yours.  I can put it on my porch for you!  Just leave a comment down below on this post  telling me that you want it and I’ll randomly choose a “winner” (notice winner is in quotation marks because I truly don’t consider this book a prize, lol).  Check my post on Monday to see if you’ve “won”!

Bottom Line:

A perfect example of why some books just don’t deserve the hype they receive.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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

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)*

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WWW Wednesday #3 {Book Coffee Happy}

Thanks so much to Sam from Taking on a World of Words  for hosting this fun weekly post!

The Three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

On Monday I posted on both Facebook and Instagram asking for your help in choosing which of these 2 books I should read next.  Your responses were OVERWHELMING! 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was the CLEAR winner with a huge amount of votes, everyone seems to really love this book!

I’m not very far in but I have HUGE expectations for this book….fingers crossed they will be met!  Thank you to everyone who helped make my choice!  I’ll post a review once I’ve finished reading 🙂

What did you recently finish reading?

I have SO MANY thoughts on this extremely hyped up book.  SO.  MANY.  THOUGHTS.  Full blog review will be posted on Friday!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m thinking maybe this one but I’m not 100 percent sure…???  I’ve heard it’s wonderful.  Have you read it?

What are you currently reading?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

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


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)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*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.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

This. Book. Is. AWESOME.

Omg this book.  It’s AWESOME.  From page 1 I was ALL IN…you will be, too.  Couldn’t put it down!  LOVED.  IT.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates, and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favors are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. She begins drinking heavily and stalking him: watching him at work, spying on his wife, even befriending his daughter, who is not much younger than she is. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

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)

4.5 Stars

This was the 2nd Robyn Harding book that I’ve read and although I didn’t love the last one, I truly did love this one!  Her writing is descriptive, easy to follow, and definitely captivating.  I flew through this book and it held my interest from page 1.

I literally could not put this book down. I LOVED IT!

I found the “Sugar Baby/Sugar Daddy” lifestyle absolutely fascinating…people really live like this?!?  Apparently so and the details behind it are so involved.  Who knew???  Clearly I need some more interesting friends…

The ONLY reason I’m not giving this gem 5 stars is because the last 75 pages or so didn’t capture my attention as much as the rest of the book did.  I still LOVED it and couldn’t stop reading but those last 75ish pages definitely weren’t the best part of this book.  I obviously wasn’t nearly as interested in learning the details of the murder as I was in learning the details of the Sugar Baby/Sugar Daddy lifestyle!

Bottom Line:

READ THIS.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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

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)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

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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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WWW Wednesday #2 {Book Coffee Happy}

I’m not going to participate in WWW Wednesday every single week but I loved doing it last week so I thought I would do it again this week 🙂  I first saw WWW Wednesday on Wonderfilled Reads and I immediately knew I wanted Book Coffee Happy to participate!  Thanks so much to Sam from Taking on a World of Words  for hosting!

The Three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Read this post to see the desperate measures I took just to get my hands on a copy!  Full review coming as soon as I finish reading!

What did you recently finish reading? 

Full blog review coming your way SOON! 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Oh man, I’m just not sure.  Here is my current stack of library books (it keeps growing). None of them are especially calling to me although I’ve heard great things about all of them (especially The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo).  Have you read any of these?  Which should I read next?  **No spoilers please!!**

Did you read any of the above books?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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


Xo,

Jenny

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)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*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.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The First Book I’ve Bought in YEARS!

The older I become, the more I believe in and practice minimalism.  You can read more about this decision in this post!  I am constantly tidying, decluttering, and getting rid of things around our house.  My annual garage sale has become one of my favorite events!  Whenever anyone asks for gift ideas for anyone in our family (especially for our children) I always respond with EXPERIENCES OVER PHYSICAL THINGS.  My children will gain so much more from an enriching experience than any toy could ever provide.  I proudly keep my house clean, organized, and as clutter free as possible (If you are interested, I can do an entire post on this…just let me know in the comments). One area that I’ve come to realize gets out of hand quickly when I allow it to is BOOKS.  As you know, I’m a huge book lover (obvi) and reading books truly brings me happiness (hence the name of my blog).  It took me many years to realize that my joy of READING does not in fact mean that I find joy in OWNING books.  Libraries have become my happy place as they allow me the opportunity to read any book I want without having the physical book in my possession when I’m done.

As a book blogger, I’m extraordinarily blessed that authors are constantly mailing me copies of their books on a regular basis for me to read and review on my blog.  These books are in a whole separate category of things that I own.  They are so much more than just books to me…these are actual reminders of my hard work and dedication to this blog as well as the actual reminders of authors and publishers who believe in my value as well as my opinion.  Minimalism dictates not keeping anything which doesn’t hold a special meaning to the owner…these special books are some of my prized possessions!

It’s the books that I seek out on my OWN to read…the books where buying them will eventually mean one more thing on my bookshelf to keep tidy…it’s THOSE books where I love reading (and returning) a library copy.

I have been wanting to read this particular book for MONTHS.

I went to the library yesterday…no copies in stock.  I checked out 2 books that I wasn’t even that excited to read for the simple fact that they weren’t this particular book.

When I got back to my car, I called our other local library (the one where I had placed a hold on this particular book) from the parking lot of the first library.

I’ve been on this library’s wait list FOR. EV.  ER.  The library recently started a new system where they won’t tell you what number you are in line! They are now part of a consortium that receives books from all other surrounding libraries so there really is no way to track when your book will be in. It’s both wonderful and FRUSTRATING. It’s wonderful because you theoretically could receive your book much quicker as it could be coming from a multitude of libraries and not just from one. I called our library yesterday to see if they could give me ANY indication…am I #2 or #200??? They wouldn’t tell me. I hung up and drove my annoyed self straight to Barnes and Noble.  I couldn’t wait even another day to start reading this book.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I’ve been holding on to this beautiful gift card from one of my best friends for months waiting until there was a book I’ve reaaaaally been wanting to read. The time has come!

How cute are these tote bags???  Barnes and Noble for the WIN!

I’ve seen this before and I think it’s a fun idea. You get a book without knowing which book you are receiving! There are descriptions written on the covers and you make your decision based upon those descriptions without ever seeing the actual cover. Love it!

HOWEVER…

I love it for a library where you aren’t paying actual money to blindly make a purchase. $16.00 to buy a book I very well might not want to own? That’s the exact OPPOSITE of minimalism (and smart purchasing in general). Hell no!

Besides, I was there on a MISSION.  No time for cute tote bags or mystery purchases. I hobbled (stupid broken toe) straight to the fiction section, found my book waiting for me on the shelf, quickly scooped it up, paid with my beautiful gift card, and happily drove home.

I started reading this afternoon! It’s making my broken toe feel better already…

Polygamy is absolutely fascinating to me…I could NEVER share my husband/life with another woman.  EVER.  Sister Wives on TLC is one of my very favorite shows.  Do you watch Sister Wives?  Which wife is your favorite?  #teamchristine

I’m currently on chapter 2 of my new book and from what I’ve read so far…this was a smart purchase.  A very smart purchase indeed.

Sometimes, minimalist or not…a girl just wants to read what a girl wants to read.  NOW.  And this girl is doing just that 🙂

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

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

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)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*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.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*