**READ THIS BOOK** Book Review: The Chicken Sisters {KJ Dell’Antonia}

I first saw KJ Dell’Antonia’s The Chicken Sisters when I browsing the shelves at the most amazing bookstore I’ve ever visited. I read the back cover on the book and immediately knew that I wanted to read and review it! Reality tv + small town+ family relationships??? Count me IN!

After I took the above picture, my kids each took a side of the wishbone and made a wish as they pulled it apart. My daughter won. My son cried. I digress….

Goodreads Synopsis of The Chicken Sisters {KJ Dell’Antonia}

Three generations. Two chicken shacks. One recipe for disaster.

In tiny Merinac, Kansas, Chicken Mimi’s and Chicken Frannie’s have spent a century vying to serve up the best fried chicken in the state–and the legendary feud between their respective owners, the Moores and the Pogociellos, has lasted just as long. No one feels the impact more than thirty-five-year-old widow Amanda Moore, who grew up working for her mom at Mimi’s before scandalously marrying Frank Pogociello and changing sides to work at Frannie’s. Tired of being caught in the middle, Amanda sends an SOS to Food Wars, the reality TV restaurant competition that promises $100,000 to the winner. But in doing so, she launches both families out of the frying pan and directly into the fire. . .

The last thing Brooklyn-based organizational guru Mae Moore, Amanda’s sister, wants is to go home to Kansas. But when her career implodes, Food Wars becomes her chance to step back into the limelight. Mae is certain she can make the fading Mimi’s look good–even if that pits her against Amanda and Frannie’s. With a greedy producer stoking the flames, their friendly rivalry quickly turns into a game of chicken. Yet when family secrets become public knowledge, the sisters must choose: Will they fight with each other, or for their heritage?

My Review of The Chicken Sisters {KJ Dell’Antonia}

I absolutely LOVED this book. From the very first page, I was alllllll in. I read this book slowly just to savor it, I truly didn’t want for it to end!

It is such a lovely and beautifully written book. Everything about this book is just wonderful! The character development, the complicated story lines, the small town atmosphere, and an added bonus…a behind scenes glimpse into the making of a reality tv show!

The Chicken Sisters was the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick last December…Excellent choice, Reese 🙂

The timing of my reading this book was so ironic. When we were on our southern vacation in December, my husband had his heart SET on eating delicious fried chicken while we were there. He insisted on us driving 30 minutes to a bordering state just to enjoy fried chicken from a tiny place with the word “shack” in it’s name (he had done extensive fried chicken research before we arrived and apparently this was THE PLACE). Him and our kids enjoyed their fried chicken and fries on a random bench outside of the restaurant with plastic utensils and a roll of paper towels. They all LOVED it and my husband declared that it was definitely worth the drive. This experience was a perfect reference for me as I was reading The Chicken Sisters! Exactly how I pictured Mimi’s!

***Side Note*** Fried chicken and fries aren’t my thing and I may or may not have brought my own lunch of a turkey sandwich and baked chips to enjoy on that bench…oh MAN would Mimi and Frannie have been disappointed in me! I’m so sorry Mimi and Frannie!

My favorite things about this book are the absolutely beautiful takeaways it left me with. Without giving away spoilers, I will just say that this book has so many beautiful lessons within these pages and so many lovely quotes that I wrote down from these characters.

Do you remember the post I wrote titled The Best Books I Read in 2020? I can already promise you that this book will be on my 2021 post.

Bottom Line

Absolutely loved every second of reading this lovely book. Highly recommend!

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d 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!*

*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 ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

Book Review: Every Last Secret {A.R. Torre}

I randomly saw A.R.Torre’s Every Last Secret on the shelf at the library a few weeks ago and the synopsis immediately had me wanting more! I was so excited to read this book and review it!

Goodreads Synopsis of Every Last Secret {A.R. Torre}:

Welcome to the neighborhood. Watch your husband, watch your friends, and watch your back.

Cat Winthorpe has worked hard to get what she has: a gorgeous home; social standing; and William, her successful, handsome husband. Then a friendly new couple moves into the estate next door. While cautious, a good neighbor like Cat greets them with open arms and warm hospitality.

Neena Ryder isn’t a fellow lady of leisure. A life coach with off-the-rack dresses, personal issues, and a husband who hasn’t delivered, she’s anxious to move up in the world. This beautiful new town is a step in the right direction. It’s also making Neena aware of what she doesn’t have. Namely, William. When Neena’s infatuation escalates into obsession, it’s just a matter of eliminating a few obstacles to get the life she wants. The life next door.

As Neena’s secret fixation grows, so does her friendship with Cat. But beneath their cordial interactions is a wealth of temptations, secrets, and toxic jealousy. For both women, the desire for a perfect life can turn perfectly dangerous.

My Review of Every Last Secret {A.R. Torre}:

This book was GOOD…but lacked being GREAT. Predictable? Yes. Great? No.

The synopsis SOUNDS so great, right???

I just kept waiting and waiting for something to grab my attention and would suddenly turn all of my opinions around. Unfortunately that moment never came.

I can’t remember the last time I read a book where I didn’t like ANY of the characters! Each character in this book was so completely unlikable. I think that is what made this story feel like it was dragging at times. When there is nobody to root for… you don’t really care what happens to anyone, am I right?

I had to write this review immediately after I closed the back cover because I knew that if I waited even a few days…I would completely forget everything. That’s how detached from this story I was. When you finish a book, you want the characters in the story lines to stay with you for many years to come! These characters and storylines might stay with me for 2 days max. Speaking of covers, I could be wrong…but I’m pretty sure that the scene on the front cover never even happened in this story. Like, ever. I kept waiting! What???

Also, infidelity is disgusting and at times this book felt like a step by step how to guide on stealing someone’s husband. Gross.

Bottom Line

Eh.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Clearly I’m not a big fan of this book…but you just might be, lol. 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!*

*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 ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

Book I’m Currently Reading, Book I Recently Read, What Book I Think I’ll Read Next (#20)

I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate in WWW! The Three Ws: What book are you currently reading? What book did you recently finish reading? What book do you think you’ll read next?

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

What Book Are You Currently Reading?

The Chicken Sisters {KJ Dell’Antonia}

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Three generations. Two chicken shacks. One recipe for disaster.

In tiny Merinac, Kansas, Chicken Mimi’s and Chicken Frannie’s have spent a century vying to serve up the best fried chicken in the state–and the legendary feud between their respective owners, the Moores and the Pogociellos, has lasted just as long. No one feels the impact more than thirty-five-year-old widow Amanda Moore, who grew up working for her mom at Mimi’s before scandalously marrying Frank Pogociello and changing sides to work at Frannie’s. Tired of being caught in the middle, Amanda sends an SOS to Food Wars, the reality TV restaurant competition that promises $100,000 to the winner. But in doing so, she launches both families out of the frying pan and directly into the fire. . .

The last thing Brooklyn-based organizational guru Mae Moore, Amanda’s sister, wants is to go home to Kansas. But when her career implodes, Food Wars becomes her chance to step back into the limelight. Mae is certain she can make the fading Mimi’s look good–even if that pits her against Amanda and Frannie’s. With a greedy producer stoking the flames, their friendly rivalry quickly turns into a game of chicken. Yet when family secrets become public knowledge, the sisters must choose: Will they fight with each other, or for their heritage?

I started reading this book over the weekend and I had posted the following on Facebook:

I will post a full review once I finish reading!

What Book Did You Recently Finish Reading?

Every Last Secret {A.R. Torre}

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Welcome to the neighborhood. Watch your husband, watch your friends, and watch your back.

Cat Winthorpe has worked hard to get what she has: a gorgeous home; social standing; and William, her successful, handsome husband. Then a friendly new couple moves into the estate next door. While cautious, a good neighbor like Cat greets them with open arms and warm hospitality.

Neena Ryder isn’t a fellow lady of leisure. A life coach with off-the-rack dresses, personal issues, and a husband who hasn’t delivered, she’s anxious to move up in the world. This beautiful new town is a step in the right direction. It’s also making Neena aware of what she doesn’t have. Namely, William. When Neena’s infatuation escalates into obsession, it’s just a matter of eliminating a few obstacles to get the life she wants. The life next door.

As Neena’s secret fixation grows, so does her friendship with Cat. But beneath their cordial interactions is a wealth of temptations, secrets, and toxic jealousy. For both women, the desire for a perfect life can turn perfectly dangerous.

I will have my full review of this book posted on Monday!

What Book Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

Local Woman Missing {Mary Kubica}

Synopsis from Goodreads:

People don’t just disappear without a trace…

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find…

In this smart and chilling thriller, master of suspense and New York Times bestselling author Mary Kubica takes domestic secrets to a whole new level, showing that some people will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried. 

Yessssssss I can’t WAIT to read this book! The fact that it’s not even being officially released until May is just icing on the cake. I absolutely LOVE Mary Kubica and her newest book sounds so amazing! I will be jointly reviewing this book alongside the wonderful Melissa Amster from Chick Lit Central…can’t wait!

Have you read (or plan to read) any of these 3 books? What did you think (no spoilers)? What are you currently reading? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click on the images below to order through my Amazon link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission.

**Local Girl Missing isn’t yet available to preorder on Amazon**

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!*

*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 ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

2 Book Reviews: Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda AND Leah on the Offbeat {Becky Albertalli}

Thank you all SO MUCH for your amazing and supportive comments on my LAST POST 🙂 It has been such a fun time over these past 11 days and definitely continues to be such an awesome experience! A giant warm welcome to all of my new readers 🙂 I absolutely love sharing my blog with all of you and today, I have 2 book reviews to share! Becky Albertalli’s Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda has been on my to read list for YEARS. A few months ago, when Jenna from Jenna Stop Reading posted a giveaway containing Simon’s sequel, Leah on the Offbeat, I knew I had to enter! Once I won, it was exactly the push I needed to finally read Simon. I immediately put it on the wait list at my local library and I’m so glad that I did! (To see the other 3 books that I won in that giveaway, you can read about them HERE).

Book Review #1: Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda {Becky Albertalli}:

Goodreads Synopsis of Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda {Becky Albertalli}:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met. 

My Review of Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda {Becky Albertalli}:

Oh I absolutely LOVED this book!

Becky Albertalli has such an awesome way of getting into the minds of a younger generation and writing from their point of view. The dialogue in this book felt like actual teenagers were speaking!

These characters were so wonderful and the rich storylines were so detailed.

And FUNNY. Becky Albertalli is so funny! I found myself smiling through so much of this book. I absolutely love the way that she writes! She must be such fun in real life 🙂

Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is such a beautiful, emotional, and powerful read which discusses such important topics.

This book was made into the movie Love, Simon which I haven’t seen. I did see the trailer, however and I have so many thoughts. In the 2 1/2 minutes…I already can spot 100 differences from the book. I actually have zero desire to see this movie because I can already tell that the differences will annoy me! Side note: seeing Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel play the roles of the PARENTS of the high schoolers just makes me feel old.

The movie trailer:

Have any of you seen the movie? I’d love to hear how it compares to the book. I WILL say that I like the movie title a WHOLE lot more than the book title…

There is also a tv spinoff currently available on Hulu called Love, Victor…have any of you watched? I have not.

Basically this book was everything I was so hoping that this other book that I read a few months ago was going to be.

Bottom Line:

Absolutely loved it.

Book Review #2: Leah on the Offbeat {Becky Albertalli}:

I started to read Simon’s sequel Leah on the Offbeat immediately after I finished reading Simon. There are actually 3 books in this series but Leah is the sequel to Simon even though there is a book in between? Becky Albertalli’s website addresses this:

My first three books are part of the same universe, so if you want to experience the full story chronologically, you should read SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, then THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED, then LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT. That said, The Upside of Unrequited takes place in a different setting, and can easily exist as a standalone story (meaning: it will make total sense if you read it on its own, and also, you do not need to read it to understand Leah On the Offbeat). You can read Leah On the Offbeat on its own, but I think you’ll get more out of it if you read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda first (or at least see Love, Simon)(but seriously, IMO, Leah is much more exciting if you read Simon Vs first).

Goodreads Synopsis of Leah on the Offbeat {Becky Albertalli}:

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

My Review of Leah on the Offbeat {Becky Albertelli}:

So one of the very best things about Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is the very reason that I had to STOP reading Leah on the Offbeat. Becky Albertalli has such a gift of getting into the heads of these teenage characters and truly writing as if she were a teenager. The way they think, the way they talk, the actions they take. It’s amazing!

HOWEVER…

Finishing Simon and starting Leah literally within the span of less than 1 hour was TOO MUCH time spent in the heads of teenagers and I just needed to get out, lol. I read about 120 pages and finally…this grown mother of 2 just needed a break from very literally being inside the minds of teenagers.

Becky Albertalli is AWESOME and truly has a gift for writing from the INSIDES of teenagers minds. It’s very hard to find a YA author that masters this the way that she does! Reading these books back to back was just a bit…too much teenager thought for me.

Would any of my local readers like my copy of Leah on the Offbeat? I can leave it on my front porch for you! If not, I will put it in my local Little Free Library.

Bottom Line:

This is truly a case of (most likely) good book, wrong time.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

Click the images below to order the books through my Amazon affiliate links. When you order through these links, 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!*

*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 ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

5 Books To Read for Your Next Book Club {Volume 2}

About a year ago, I wrote a post called “5 Books for your Book Club” and I received such amazing feedback! You can read that original post HERE. Apparently lots of you found that post very helpful so I thought I would write a second edition! I still 100 percent stand by my original picks but here are a few more titles to add to your book club selections!

**I also still stand by my choice of not wanting to join a book club but I know that many of you love them! You can read why I’m personally anti-book club HERE. Although I have no desire to join a book club myself, I can absolutely see why other people feel differently. If you are in a book club, use these suggestions on books for your next meeting. If you are a solo reader like me, you can use these suggestions as books you can enjoy on your own 🙂 **

Each of the following books would be a perfect selection for your next book club. They are all VERY different but all are excellent, thought provoking, and would lead to such interesting discussions. Some I loved more than others but ALL would be perfect picks for interesting conversations.

5 Books To Read For Your Next Book Club:

Click the link below each book to read the synopsis and my (always spoiler free) review. Click the picture of each book cover 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

Last Couple Standing {Matthew Norman}

Read the book synopsis and my review of Last Couple Standing HERE.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo {Taylor Jenkins Reid}

Why am I recommending that you read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo for your book club when I didn’t even finish reading it myself??? Read the book synopsis and my explanation of that HERE.

The Family Upstairs {Lisa Jewell}

Read the book synopsis and my review of The Family Upstairs HERE.

American Dirt {Jeanine Cummins}

Read the book synopsis and my review of American Dirt HERE.

My Dark Vanessa {Kate Elizabeth Russell}

Read the book synopsis and my review of My Dark Vanessa HERE.

Everyday Mindfulness Book Giveaway Winner Video:

Thank you to everyone who entered! You can read more about this wonderful book and my review of it HERE.

Have you read any of my book club selections? What book(s) would you recommend for a book club? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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!*

*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 ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

**GIVEAWAY** Everyday Mindfulness {Melissa Steginus}

According to Merriam Webster, the definition of mindfulness is as follows: 1: the quality or state of being mindful 2: the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis also: such a state of awareness. The act of mindfulness is something that I have personally been working on over the past year. A few months ago, I took a virtual mindfulness course and it was amazing. I learned so much about how to center my thoughts and actions! I even had my children take the family friendly version of the same virtual mindfulness course that I had taken and it was largely beneficial for our whole family. I think practicing mindfulness is SUCH an important skill and one that could truly benefit everyone in their daily life, regardless of age. Melissa Steginus’s Everyday Mindfulness says right on the cover that it contains “108 simple practices to empower yourself and transform your life”. If THAT doesn’t grab your attention, I’m not sure what would! Who couldn’t use THAT in their life?!? I’m so excited for this giveaway!

Goodreads Synopsis of Everyday Mindfulness {Melissa Steginus}:

“Everyday Mindfulness” guides you through the most powerful daily mindfulness practices that help you rewire your habits and rewrite your life.

With step-by-step instruction and evidence-based exercises you can do in as little as 5 minutes a day, it’s never been easier to make positive changes stick in your life.

This is a powerful personal development program cleverly disguised as a book.

Connect with Yourself and Discover Your Capacity

Most of us are so busy that we forgot to focus on how we really feel, what we truly desire, and what we need to do to move our lives in the right direction.

This book is your master manual for reconnecting with yourself and your inner resources so you can take immediate action to transform your life.

The power to change your life is in the small things you do every day. This book guides you through over 100 simple practices, in small doses, so you can discover what works best for you and build on it.

This book is designed to help you master the six areas of your life:

• Physical: Listen to your body and reconnect with yourself
• Emotional: Understand your feelings and learn to trust them
• Rational: Observe your thought patterns to gain mental clarity
• Spiritual: Explore your relationship with yourself and your truth
• Occupation: Manage your time and energy to pursue your priorities
• Network: Nourish relationships that deepen your sense of belonging

Each of the six sections has 18 exercises, complete with reflection questions, to help you reclaim, redefine, and realize your untapped potential within that area of your life.

With “Everyday Mindfulness” you will awaken to yourself, connect with your inner wisdom, and tap into your capacity for self-empowerment, fulfillment, and transformation.

It all begins with paying attention.

This book includes 108 daily mindfulness practices, explanations of the purpose behind each practice, and over 300 reflection questions that encourage profound self-exploration and transformative action.

My Thoughts on Everyday Mindfulness {Melissa Steginus}:

Back in November when I was asked if I would like to review Everyday Mindfulness on my blog I was so excited to say YES! I wanted to really take time to read this book and have the opportunity to practice it’s teachings in my own life before writing my review. I’m so glad that I did!

This book is beautiful. It outlines 108 mindful practices and breaks them down in a specific order, 1 practice to focus on each day. I actually kept this book in my closet so that each morning as I was getting dressed, I took literally 2 minutes to read about the practice that I would be focusing on for that day. Keeping it in my closet and so visible was a perfect visual reminder that this was now part of my morning routine and made it so easy to remember to read that day’s practice. At the end of each day, I again took 2 minutes as I was getting ready for bed to reflect upon the day’s practice and write a few details of how it went and what I learned.

When I first received this book, I took some random photos of a few of the pages to share with you. I made sure to do this BEFORE I filled them with my writing. Mindfulness is a deeply personal journey and as much as I love to share my thoughts and feelings with all of you, somehow this feels different and too personal to share. Here are some of the “before” photos to give you an idea of some of the simple practices (which are now all filled in with my own thoughts):

I would sum up my time working through this book as one of learning and connecting with so many aspects of my life. This book is a GIFT…it very literally gives you the tools to reset your thinking and help you to self connect.

I very highly recommend this book…for everyone. Every single person can and will benefit from the simple practices in this book. Whether you already practice mindfulness on a regular basis or this is a completely new area of exploration for you, the tools that this book will give you will be so beneficial in so many areas of your life. I’m so happy to introduce you to this lovely book!

There has never been a more perfect time to practice mindfulness than right now. With so much uncertainty in the world, learning how to better connect with your own self is so important.

I love this book.

To learn more about Everyday Mindfulness, here are some helpful links:

Melissa Steginus’s Website: www.melissasteginus.com

TCK Publishing Website: www.tckpublishing.com

***GIVEAWAY DETAILS***

Would you like to win a copy of Everyday Mindfulness? I have 1 copy to give away (open to US only for this giveaway)!

To be entered, just leave a comment below (on this blog post)!  Your comment can be about anything!

**You must comment below to be eligible for the giveaway and you must comment here on this blog post (not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)**

Giveaway will close tomorrow (1/26/21) at 6:00 pm CDT and the winner will be randomly chosen and announced here on my blog on Wednesday (1/27/21).

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).

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

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!*

*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 12 best books that I read in 2020 can be found HERE

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

Book Review: One By One {Ruth Ware}

For the love of GOD thank goodness I didn’t read Ruth Ware’s One by One while I was stuck on that mountain in Tennessee! For REAL. It’s insane to me that I actually had it packed in my suitcase! No words can explain how thankful I am that I chose not to open the cover until I was safely back at home and not freezing and hungry while snowed in on top of that mountain. Omg. That would NOT have been a good choice. Nope, not a good choice at all. Holy hell. Once I safely returned home with heat, food, and a working vehicle was when I decided to read and review this one. Yikes!

Synopsis of One by One {Ruth Ware}:

My Review of One by One {Ruth Ware}:

Some of the characters were very well developed while some lacked some pretty big character development and as a result…I kept confusing everyone throughout the ENTIRE book! Pair this with the fact that some of the characters had some pretty unique and possibly gender neutral names (Inigo, Ani, Tiger, etc.) and I truly had no idea who anyone was while reading. This is a MAJOR con and the number one thing that I absolutely hated about this book…I couldn’t keep anyone straight! I spent the majority of this book feeling frustrated by this and wasn’t able to properly focus on the story lines because I was too busy trying to figure out who everyone was! Ugh.

There were 2 major ongoing topics in this book that I have absolutely zero background knowledge of and as a result I had to do some Googling while reading. The inner workings of a tech company? The terminology and logistics of skiing? I truly know nothing about either and my lack of background knowledge was a definite hindrance to my understanding of this book while reading. I LOVE when books teach me new things and although I DID learn a bit about these topics, unfortunately my research is what taught me, not the words in this book. If you are like me and have zero knowledge of these 2 topics, get ready to Google.

The beginning of this book and the end of this book were undoubatly the best parts. I was honestly pretty bored throughout the middle. There were absolutely times where I debated putting it down and moving on. I’m glad I stuck with it because the end was great (BUT using words like “stuck with it” should never be used when describing a book that it supposed to be enjoyable sooooo…)

I’ve now read 4 Ruth Ware books. The Woman in Cabin 10…I don’t believe I ever reviewed this on my blog? I read it years ago. I remember really liking it, not necessarily loving it? The Turn of the Key…LOVED LOVED LOVED it! You can read my review of that book HERE. In A Dark, Dark, Wood…I read this over the summer and put it down without finishing. You can read more of my thoughts on that book HERE.

Bottom Line:

I wish the whole book could have somehow just consisted of the beginning and the ending…the entire middle was pretty boring.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d 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!*

*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 ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

Book I’m Currently Reading, Coffee I’m Currently Drinking, 1 Thing Currently Making Me Happy (#3)

Book Coffee Happy’s newest series where I share the book I’m currently reading, the coffee I’m currently drinking, and 1 thing that is currently making me happy!

Book I’m Currently Reading:

Synopsis of One By One {Ruth Ware}:

What on EARTH was I thinking when I packed this book in my suitcase to read on our recent trip to Tennessee??? Thank GOODNESS I chose to read a different (absolutely beautiful) book while my family was stuck on that mountain (review of it HERE)! If I would have read One by One while in that situation, that would NOT have been a good choice, lol. I am currently reading One by One while safely at home with power, an abundance of fresh food, and our car with all 4 tires in working order. PHEW.

Coffee I’m Currently Drinking:

I bought this mug at the beginning of the quarantine, love it so much 🙂

I am such a sucker for always buying new-to-me brands of coffee to make at home….aaaaaand I ALWAYS end up going straight back to my all time favorite Dunkin’. Why do I even bother ever buying anything else?

Currently Making Me Happy:

BOOK MAIL!

I have received some amazing book mail this week!

Kendra Esbrook has written a new book and it’s ADORABLE. I reviewed Kendra’s last book on the blog back in 2018 (you can read my review of A Bag for Santa HERE) and I was so excited when she reached out to see if I would like to review her newest book, The Gift of Time!

I will have a full review (and giveaway!!) posted next month but in the meantime, you can learn more about both of Kendra’s wonderful books and purchase them HERE.

Another package arrived for me this week and I’m SO EXCITED that I have a copy of this book in my possession even though it isn’t being released until May!

It’s not a secret that I absolutely adore Mary Kubica and I am beyond excited to read her newest book. If you haven’t yet read any of Mary’s books, here are links to 2 of my favorites:

Pretty Baby

The Other Mrs. (I was a guest blogger on Chick Lit Central)

I also loved Don’t You Cry…but for some reason I don’t think I ever reviewed it on my blog?

Thank you Melissa Amster of the wonderful blog Chick Lit Central for sending me this book! Melissa and I will be doing a joint blog review for this one in the spring. I can’t wait to see if we have similar thoughts on this book (the last time Melissa and I worked together we did NOT have similar thoughts on the book we were reviewing! You can revisit that post and our conflicting thoughts HERE)!

AND Melissa also included a bonus book in my package! I had not previously heard of this book but I think it sounds wonderful. Have any of you read it? Thank you SO much, Melissa! Book surprises are the best 🙂

Happy Friday! I hope your weekend is filled with love and BOOKS!

What are you currently reading?

What coffee are you currently enjoying?

What is 1 thing currently making you HAPPY?

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 ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

Book Review: Before I Let You Go {Kelly Rimmer}

If you follow Book Coffee Happy on Facebook you know that I often ask my followers to share what they are reading. I love reading the comments on those posts and seeing how everyone interacts with each other to discover new books to read. The book community is so amazing! When I asked for everyone to share a few weeks ago, my dear friend Julie commented that she was reading Kelly Rimmer’s Before I Let You Go. As soon as I Googled the synopsis, I immediately knew that this was a book I wanted to read and review on the blog…it sounded SO GOOD. When the library called the day before we were leaving for our trip to Tennessee, I took that as a sign that this should be my vacation read. Who knew that I would eventually be stuck on that mountain with little food, no power, and our car in a ditch??? Yup if you missed that crazy story, you can read all about our trip HERE! 1 thing that I DID have up on that crazy mountain with me was a good book 🙂

Goodreads Synopsis of Before I Let You Go {Kelly Rimmer}:

The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. Annie is a drug addict, a thief, a liar—and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out—she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby—maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.

As weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhood, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?

Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break.

My Review of Before I Let You Go {Kelly Rimmer}:

Oh this is such a beautifully written book.

I read this entire book while on my vacation in Tennessee. Couldn’t put it down!

This isn’t the usual type of book I read but I’m so glad I did. This is such a complicated topic and one that I’ll admit I’ve never given much thought to. This book really opened my eyes and gave me so much to think about.

Before I Let You Go tugged at my heart and I found myself crying at many points throughout. It was heartbreaking, beautiful, and SO wonderfully written. It was HEAVY, not a light read by any means…but it was so wonderfully written.

This is the first Kelly Rimmer book that I’ve read and I’ve already added 3 of her other books to my list to read. I absolutely love her beautiful and descriptive writing style! I’m already a huge fan and I’ve only read 1 of her books!

I finished reading this beautiful book over a week and a half ago and there hasn’t been a single day since where I haven’t thought of these characters and reflected upon their stories. Their characters and their stories will stay with me for a long, long time.

I highly recommend this one!

Bottom Line:

A beautifully written, extremely thought provoking, absolutely heartbreaking story

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d 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!*

*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 ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

GIVEAWAY and Book Review: Woman on the Edge {Samantha M. Bailey}

Thank you for all of your support on my last post “The 12 Best Books I’ve Read in 2020” (you can read that post HERE)! So many of you read it that it is now the most viewed post that I’ve ever written on this blog 🙂 I absolutely love sharing my book suggestions with you and I’m SO excited to share another AWESOME book with you today! Samantha M. Bailey’s Woman on the Edge had been on my to read radar for months ever since my friend Melissa read it and told me how much she had loved it (check out Melissa’s wonderful book review blog HERE). I was SUPER excited when my copy came in at the library and I immediately raced to pick it up! Once I started reading and I told Melissa how much I was enjoying it, she so kindly introduced Samantha M. Bailey and I. I’ve truly loved communicating with Samantha over the past few months…she’s not only an AMAZING writer but a super sweet person. Thank you so much, Samantha and thank you to Melissa for introducing us 🙂 I’m so excited to share Samantha’s AWESOME book debut with all of you today and to host a GIVEAWAY for it as well!

Goodreads Synopsis of Woman on the Edge {Samantha M. Bailey}:

A total stranger on the subway platform whispers, “Take my baby.”

She places her child in your arms. She says your name.

Then she jumps…

In a split second, Morgan Kincaid’s life changes forever. She’s on her way home from work when a mother begs her to take her baby, then places the infant in her arms. Before Morgan can stop her, the distraught mother jumps in front of an oncoming train.

Morgan has never seen this woman before, and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life. She also can’t understand how this woman knew her name.

The police take Morgan in for questioning. She soon learns that the woman who jumped was Nicole Markham, prominent CEO of the athletic brand Breathe. She also learns that no witness can corroborate her version of events, which means she’s just become a murder suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically retraces the last days of Nicole’s life. Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia or was she in danger? When strange things start happening to Morgan, she suddenly realizes she might be in danger, too.

Woman on the Edge is a pulse-pounding, propulsive thriller about the lengths to which a woman will go to protect her baby—even if that means sacrificing her own life. 

My Review of Woman on the Edge {Samantha M. Bailey}:

This book was GREAT.

As you know, short chapters are my favorite and this book was PERFECT. Chapters that are only a few pages long make it SO easy to FLY through a book that was exactly what happened here. I also appreciated that this story was only told from only 2 alternating points of view. More than that and it would have been confusing. 2 was perfection.

As someone who lived in downtown Chicago for 8 years, I absolutely LOVED all of the street references. My exact neighborhood was a major reference in this story!

This book had so many twists. Just when I would think I had the ending all figured out, something would happen to make me completely change my mind. LOVE. I was completely invested in this story and these characters. I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out how everything was going to end! Kept me guessing right up until the very end. I truly couldn’t put this book down.

I absolutely love the writing in this book and I am eagerly looking forward to future works by Samantha M. Bailey! This is her debut novel…and what a wonderful debut it is.

I had posted this on Instagram:

#truth.

I absolutely loved this book…you will, too!

A Conversation with Samantha M. Bailey:

As someone who lived in downtown Chicago for many years, I absolutely loved reading about the streets, neighborhoods, etc. I was shocked to learn that you live in Canada! Have you ever lived in Chicago? If not, how did you conduct your research to learn each neighborhood’s personality so perfectly?

Thank you! I’m so happy to know I got it right! I’ve never lived in Chicago, but I’ve visited, though it was when I was much younger. For my debut, I wanted an American city to reach a wider audience and because it felt too close to home to set it in Toronto, where I live. When I was thinking about which city I wanted, Chicago felt so right because it seems to have a similar landscape, architecture, diversity, and sensibility to Toronto, which helped me envision it. Because my budget didn’t extend to traveling, I relied on Google, Google Earth, and the little person who walks along the streets in Google Maps. I was also lucky that my copy editor, Erica Ferguson, lived in Chicago so she could tell me when my characters were driving into the lake.

 How did you choose the names for the characters in Woman on the Edge?

It was such a process! It always is for me. I look at baby name websites for the years my characters were born and wait for the right name to hit me. But as I revised, I changed the names of many of the characters, like Morgan, because with edits I would re-imagine who the characters are. In my next book, I’ve already changed characters’ names a few times, and I’ll probably change them again. 

This book explores many themes including mental health, motherhood, marriage, friendship, and love. Of these themes, which was the hardest for you to write? Which was the easiest? Why?

I don’t think any of the themes were easy for me, except maybe the love a mother has for her child. Even that, though, is deeply emotional for me. While I didn’t experience postpartum depression myself and depended on the struggles of my friends, ones I watched firsthand and those they generously shared with me, I definitely felt anxiety about being the best mother I could to my own two children. It’s such a sudden, shocking, beautiful, frightening life change when your baby is put in your arms for the first time. Writing about Nicole’s struggles was complex and cathartic, as was writing about suicide, loss, relationships, and family. I’m grateful to have an incredibly loving and supportive family and the best friends in the world, which helps, I think, to separate my own life from my characters’ so I can really dig deep.

Woman on the Edge was such an amazing debut, I’d love to hear more about your future literary plans. Are you working on another book? Can you tell us anything about it? If you aren’t currently working on another book, what type of book (if any) can you see yourself working on in the future?

This means so much to me. Releasing a debut is both joyous and scary, and doing so in 2020 has been a roller coaster. Besides my family and friends, what’s kept me grounded during the pandemic has been writing my next thriller. Writing is where I put my fears and worries, and it helps me handle them when I can unleash them on my characters. I’m so thankful to you, Jenny, and the entire book community for giving me the career I’ve longed for. I just finished my draft of my untitled-for-now next book, set in Canada, that is about middle-aged motherhood, obsession, addiction, neighbors, and…a dead body. It’s tentatively slated to release in late 2021, but until then, the mass market paperback of Woman on the Edge is up for pre-order and out on February 23, 2021.

***GIVEAWAY DETAILS***

Would you like to win an electronic copy of Woman on The Edge? I have 1 ebook to give away (open to US and Canada only for this giveaway)!  

To be entered, just leave a comment below (on this blog post)!  Your comment can be about anything!

**You must comment below to be eligible for the giveaway and you must comment here on this blog post (not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)**

Giveaway will close tomorrow (10/17/20) at 6:00 pm CDT and the winner will be randomly chosen and announced here on my blog on Friday (10/18/20).

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

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

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!*

*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 12 best books that I read in 2020 can be found HERE

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg