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

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

Synopsis:

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

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

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

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

Here were his thoughts:

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

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

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

A Conversation with Barbara Renner, In Her Own Words:

How did you create the idea for your book?

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

What audience would be most interested in your book?

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

Where can your book be purchased?

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

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

Use 3 adjectives to describe your book:

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

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

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

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

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

***GIVEAWAY DETAILS***

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

To be entered, please complete these 2 simple steps:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*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*

***GIVEAWAY (Open to International Readers)***The Tooth Fairy’s Tummy Ache {Lori Orlinsky}

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

When Lori Orlinsky sent me a copy of her first book a few months ago, I instantly loved it and couldn’t wait to share it with my blog readers.  Over time and many emails, I came to realize that I not only love her book but I also love Lori!  Her and I have become “real life” friends and we even met for a fun and delicious dinner (local friends, if you haven’t yet tried The Hampton Social you MUST…aaaaand now I’m craving one of their AMAZING lobster rolls).  Lori, let’s go back!

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Lori’s newest book, The Tooth Fairy’s Tummy Ache!  And exactly as predicted…it’s every bit as adorable as her first.

Synopsis:

Ellie has been eagerly awaiting the day she can finally trade in her first baby tooth for a coveted prize from the Tooth Fairy. But when the time comes, the unthinkable happens! Ellie swallows her tooth!

Knowing she can’t disappoint the Tooth Fairy, Ellie decides to lie about what really happened to her tooth. But when her fib leads to big trouble in Fairyland, will Ellie be able to set things right again?

My Thoughts:

Man, this book could not have come to our house at a more perfect time.  My daughter has lost so many teeth recently that I am back to cutting her produce off the core just as I did when she was a toddler 🙂

Talking about the tooth fairy is a daily occurrence in our house.  My daughter LOVES her tooth fairy.  Who wouldn’t?!?  Check this out…

Every time her tooth fairy comes, she leaves money sprinkled with pink fairy dust!

She also always leaves a beautiful gem picked especially for my daughter.

The very first time she came, she left this gorgeous tooth fairy necklace!

Last week, my daughter lost 2 teeth IN THE SAME DAY!  Obviously her tooth fairy had to leave something extra special that night.

As both a teacher and a parent, I can attest that nothing is better than when children can learn an important life lesson without actually having to be “taught”.  This book is such a perfect example of this.  A lesson about why lying is wrong woven throughout a fun, entertaining, captivating book that any child would love to read??  YES PLEASE!

The rhyming is spot on, the word choices are age appropriate, and the lesson behind the story is brilliant.

As for the illustrations, I absolutely love them.  The characters are ADORABLE and everything is so wonderfully and colorfully drawn. Beautiful, whimsical illustrations for a beautiful, whimsical story.

My 8 Year Old Daughter’s Thoughts:

“I liked it because this author used her imagination with what tooth fairies do with the teeth.  This book says to never lie.  I liked the pictures because they had a lot of color!”

My 3.5 Year Old Son’s Thoughts:

“THUMBS UP! I liked seeing the pictures of the Tooth Fairy.  You can’t lie because people won’t know it’s the real thing.  They were the best pictures I ever saw in a tooth fairy book.”

A Conversation with Lori Orlinsky, In Her Own Words:

How did you create the idea for your book?

I’ve always been interested in the Tooth Fairy. Growing up Jewish and not having Santa or the Easter Bunny to believe in, I believed VERY HARD in the Tooth Fairy! When my first tooth came out, I lost it. I remember searching through garbage cans with my parents, and I was so scared the Tooth Fairy wouldn’t come and played so many scenarios out in my head. That’s where the inspiration came from.

What audience would be most interested in your book?

Early readers with a special focus on K-3

Where can your book be purchased?

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target.com, WalMart.com

Use 3 adjectives to describe your book:

Imaginative, silly, lesson-based

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

 I believe reading often naturally leads to important discussions we want to have with our children in a way that doesn’t feel forced. Instead of sitting your child down and saying “we need to talk about honesty,” where they may feel like they are in trouble, I created this book as a lead-in to that topic by using the Tooth Fairy of all things!

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 The Tooth Fairy’s Tummy Ache?
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 your experience with the Tooth Fairy.  Does she currently visit your house?  Or…did she visit you when you were a child?  What does/did she leave behind?

**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 (2/4/20) at 6:00 pm CDT and the winner will be randomly chosen and announced in Wednesday’s blog post (2/5/20).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*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*

***INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY*** This is Not How it Ends {Rochelle B. Weinstein}

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

I absolutely loved Somebody’s Daughter by Rochelle B. Weinstein.  I read that book over a year ago and I still think about it.  If you haven’t read that one yet, do yourself a favor and read it.  It’s such an important topic and the way she presents it is incredible.  You can read my review of Somebody’s Daughter here.

So obviously when I was asked if I would like to receive a copy of Rochelle Weinstein’s newest book ahead of it’s January 1st release, of course I said yes!

When it arrived in the mail, I was surprised to find that it also contained this adorable little package of Kleenex.  How cute is that?!

Receiving this package of Kleenex was my first clue that I might cry while reading this book.  Ummm…I didn’t cry.  I SOBBED.  In the absolute very best way.  In fact, I messaged Rochelle Weinstein very late one night to share a fun fact that I discovered while reading…eye cream BURNS when it mixes with tears!  Who knew?! Like…for real. It hurt.

Synopsis:

When Charlotte and Philip meet, the pair form a deep and instant connection. Soon they’re settled in the Florida Keys with plans to marry. But just as they should be getting closer, Charlotte feels Philip slipping away.

Second-guessing their love is something Charlotte never imagined, but with Philip’s excessive absences, she finds herself yearning for more. When she meets Ben, she ignores the pull, but the supportive single dad is there for her in ways she never knew she desired. Soon Charlotte finds herself torn between the love she thought she wanted and the one she knows she needs.

As a hurricane passes through Islamorada, stunning revelations challenge Charlotte’s loyalties and upend her life. Forced to reexamine the choices she’s made, and has yet to make, Charlotte embarks on an emotional journey of friendship, love, and sacrifice—knowing that forgiveness is a gift, and the best-laid plans can change in a heartbeat.

This Is Not How It Ends is a tender, moving story of heartbreak and healing that asks the question: Which takes more courage—holding on or letting go?

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)

I truly loved this book.  In fact, it was among my favorites that I read in 2019!

The multifaceted characters, the intricate storylines, the beautiful settings…all of it spoke directly to my heart.  The depths of emotions that each character felt were so beautifully articulated and made my heart continuously see characters from different angles the further I read into the story. I LOVED it.  I found myself thinking of these characters when I wasn’t reading which is always the sign of a great book. I couldn’t wait to pick it up again each day!  I wanted to read quickly to find out what would happen and yet at the same time, I wanted to read slowly just to savor it so it wouldn’t end. I LOVE books that make me feel like that.

Over the past year, Rochelle and I have become friends and I’m so proud of her and of her beautiful new book.  It’s always tricky for me to review a book written by someone whom I adore…what if I don’t adore the book???  I’m happy to report that I truly love this book and it has absolutely nothing to do with how much I love it’s author.  Both this book and this author are absolutely beautiful!

These characters, these storylines, these settings…all of it will stay with me for quite some time. I really loved this book. You will, too.

Bottom Line

Read this book now.  Apply eye cream later.

A Conversation with Rochelle Weinstein, In Her Own Words:

How did you create the idea for your book?

The idea for This Is Not How It Ends came from her big sister What We Leave Behind. An early fan favorite, the novel captured a heart-wrenching love story that resonated with many readers. I’d been itching to write a similar story, one which pulled all the heart strings. And here we are.

What audience would be most interested in your book?

I’d say my books are for women of all ages. Especially book club readers. And I do have some awesome male readers. If you’re the kind who’s willing to go deep, I think you’ll find my work satisfying.

Where can your book be purchased?

Amazon and some select independent bookstores.

Use 3 adjectives to describe your book:

Heartbreaking. Emotional. Unforgettable.

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

I love connecting with readers.  Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Book Bub, Goodreads, or Instagram. Also, sign up for my newsletter at www.RochelleWeinstein.com
Thank you! I’m so grateful to all the readers and bloggers.

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 This is Not How It Ends ?
I have 1 signed copy of to give away! 
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 your favorite love story (it can be from real life, a book, a movie, etc.)

FYI here’s my answer:

**My favorite love story is my own!  My husband and I are high school sweethearts.  We broke up the night before I left for college…and got back together 11 years later.  We now have 2 children, bought a house in the town where we grew up, and our kids will one day attend the same high school that we did!  We drank out of our prom champagne glasses at our wedding and Jon’s prom bow tie is current;y displayed in our china cabinet).**

**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 (1/21/20) at 6:00 pm CDT and the winner will be randomly chosen and announced in Wednesday’s blog post (1/22/20).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*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*

***BOOK GIVEAWAY (5 winners!!!)***

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

As soon as Jaina Thatch reached out to tell me about her gorgeous book, I knew it was a book I wanted to read with my daughter.  I’m so excited to share this one with you today and I have FIVE (!) autographed copies to give away!

Synopsis:

Author Jaina Thatch was inspired by her daughter’s tenacious spirit and love of Super Hero clothing that made her daughter feel strong and beautiful. If you’re raising a strong willed and determined daughter, this book is for you! Empowering and validating little girls that your authentic true beauty comes from within and from using your Super Powerful mind. By doing that, you can achieve and do/be anything that you put your mind to!

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)

Oh this book is beautiful.  I love a good rhyming book and the rhyming in this book flows so nicely.

The illustrations are gorgeous!  Bright colors and special details combine to create such beautiful additions to this lovely story.

Aside from the fantastic rhyming and beautiful illustrations, the most wonderful part of this book is the important message that it sends.  Children can be anything they choose and using their imaginations can lead to amazing results.  The back of the book tells that “authentic, true beauty comes from within”… I just love this book and the beautiful messages that it sends.

A quote from within the pages that really spoke to me was, “My super power is my mind.”  If all children (and even adults) truly believed this, how wonderful would our world be???

My absolute favorite part of the book is the last page where there is a space for the reader to draw themselves as a superhero and to describe the super powers that they possess.  My daughter absolutely loved doing this:

This book would make such a fantastic gift for the holidays for any child.  Teachers, this would be such a wonderful addition to your classroom library!  The discussions this book could spark both at home and at school would be so amazing.  I speak from experience…after reading this book, my kids and I had such a wonderful conversation! If you have a special child in any aspect of your life, this book would make such a beautiful present.

Behind the back selfie while reading to my daughter:

This book isn’t just for girls! My husband and my son also loved reading it:

Beautiful book, beautiful author…

You can read more about Jaina and her beautiful book’s mission on her website: www.jainathatch.com

A Conversation with Jaina Thatch, In Her Own Words:

How did you create the idea for your book?

Even though I am a Mom of boys, my perception of the world changed when I was expecting my daughter. I really thought hard about who I was as a woman, the expectations on myself as a woman and mom, who I would want her to be and the positive female role models that I would want for her to emulate.

What audience would be most interested in your book?

My audience is geared toward the ages of 3-6, but the message of the book and the conversation elicited from the message of the book is ageless, genderless and universal.   Our authenticity is our superpower.  And if you believe in yourself, your kind to yourself and kind to your friends, then your dreams will come true.

Where can your book be purchased?

An autographed copy of my book can be purchased on my website at www.jainathatch.com. My Superhero Mind is also available on Barnes and Noble.com, and Amazon.com

Use 3 adjectives to describe your book:

Girl Power, Inspirational, Motivation

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

I believe that every child is a superhero.  All of their wonderful traits and characteristics, are their superpowers.  You just have to believe, that the best part of being you is you!

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 copy of My Superhero Mind?
I have 5 autographed copies of My Superhero Mind to give away!  Each copy will be autographed and mailed directly to your home.

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 you wish to win this book for (you don’t need to mention his/her name)

**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 Thursday (12/26/19) at 6:00 pm CDT and the winner will be randomly chosen and announced in Friday’s blog post (12/28/19).

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 your mailing address.  If I don’t hear from you within 48 hours, I will pick a new winner).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*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*

**Dunkin Donuts Gift Card Giveaway**

Today is my birthday and to celebrate, I’d like to mail someone a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card 🙂 What’s more fun than hosting a birthday giveaway?!

If you have been following me for any length of time you know that Dunkin’ is my all time favorite coffee…and I’d like to buy one for you! Or if you don’t drink coffee (the horror), I’d like to buy you a doughnut, a bagel, or anything else that you love 🙂

To enter, just leave a comment below saying something that will make me smile. I’ll randomly pick a winner and announce it in Wednesday’s blog post. Be sure you check back because once I post, the winner will have 48 hours to email me their mailing address before I will choose a new winner. Once I receive your mailing address, I’ll toss a $5 gift card in the mail for you 🙂

I hope you are having a beautiful day today!

Happy Birthday to me AND to my girl Britney Spears 🙂

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*

INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY: The Unbreakables {Lisa Barr}

Lisa and I began communicating roughly a year ago to discuss a possible blog book review and as soon as she sent me the book synopsis, I knew this was a book I wanted to read. Unfortunately it wasn’t going to be released until June and I had to wait a looooooong time to get my hands on a copy.  It was an exciting day when this lovely book arrived in my mailbox!

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:

It’s Sophie Bloom’s forty-second birthday, and she’s ready for a night of celebration with Gabe, her longtime, devoted husband, and her two besties and their spouses. Dinner is served with a side of delicious gossip, including which North Grove residents were caught with their pants down on Ashley Madison after the secret on-line dating site for married and committed couples was hacked. Thirty-two million cheaters worldwide have been exposed…including Sophie’s “perfect” husband. To add insult to injury, she learns Gabe is the top cheater in their town.

Humiliated and directionless, Sophie jumps into the unknown and flees to France to meet up with her teenage daughter who is studying abroad and nursing her own heartbreak. After a brief visit to Paris, Sophie heads out to the artist enclave of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. There, for the first time in a long time, Sophie acknowledges her own desires—not her husband’s, not her daughter’s—and rediscovers her essence with painful honesty and humor, reawakening both her sensuality and ambitions as a sculptor.

As she sheds her past and travels the obstacle-filled off beaten path, Sophie Bloom is determined to blossom. Allowing her true self to emerge in the postcard beauty of Provence, Sophie must decide what is broken forever…and what it means to be truly unbreakable.

My Thoughts:

One of the best books I’ve read so far in 2019.

I truly LOVED it.  Everything about this book was great…the characters, the storylines, the settings, all of it.  I devoured this book!

It was REAL. Lisa Barr wrote from her heart without holding anything back. It was scandalous, it was sexy, it was heartwarming, it was AWESOME.  The storylines were detailed and complex, the characters were well developed, and the overall messages delivered through the book were clear, deep, and thought provoking.  It was so beautifully written.

Can we talk about it’s gorgeous cover?  Stunning.

I truly loved everything about this book and I’ve already recommended it to so many people.  It’s WONDERFUL.

Over the course of the past year, Lisa and I have gone from author/blogger to real life friends.  We have yet to meet in person but I can promise that I am saving one massive hug for this beauty when we finally do!

And check out what she said to me…here is a direct quote from one of her emails:

“You’re the absolute best and you need to quit your day job, ignore your kids, and do a podcast … all that personality cannot be a suburban best-kept secret.

Ha LOVE it! Anyone out there want to help me start a podcast?!?  I’m so down.

Here’s a bit about Lisa:

Lisa Barr is the author of THE UNBREAKABLES (HarperCollins) and the award-winning historical thriller, FUGITIVE COLORS, a suspenseful tale of stolen art, love, lust, deception and revenge on the eve of WWII. The novel won the Independent Publisher Book Awards gold medal for “Best Literary Fiction 2014” and first prize at The Hollywood Film Festival (Opus Magnum Discovery Award). In addition, Lisa served as an editor for The Jerusalem Post, managing editor of Today’s Chicago Woman, managing editor of Moment magazine, and as an editor/reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Among the highlights of her career, Lisa covered the famous “handshake” between the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat, and President Bill Clinton at the White House. Lisa is also the editor and creator of the popular parenting blog GIRLilla Warfare (www.girlillawarfare.com), and has been featured on Good Morning America and Today for her work as an author, journalist and blogger. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and their three daughters.

How beautiful is she???

A Conversation with Lisa Barr, in her own words:

How did you create the idea for your book?

It was 2015, and the Ashley Madison cheating scandal just broke after hackers exposed ALL 32 million names on the infidelity website. I was out with a small group of friends having dinner and reading off the list of Ashley Madison cheaters  in our community together (I know, awful, right? Not proud, people, not proud). Needless to say,  I was shocked, but there it was—neighbors, high school and college friends, acquaintances, etc—on this exposed list of cheaters. It was the train wreck that you knew you should just look away, but simply couldn’t. The story began to form in my mind … The Unbreakables is sexy, but it also tackles betrayal, second chances, mother-daughter bonding, reinvention, finding love again. My protagonist, Sophie Bloom, is a hot mess turned badass … and I kinda fell in love with her.  Did I mention that my “research” was in the South of France? Torture, I know … This book was truly a labor of love.

What audience would be most interested in your book?

It’s sexy women’s fiction geared toward … wait for it … WOMEN. While the novel is steamy, it is also feminist, artsy, passionate, and empowering. Women – especially Moms – will really connect to it. That said – the Millennials and MEN are reading this book. I have received lots of emails and texts from Moms and daughters reading it together, and I love that. And the men … crazy … I attribute this to it’s like reading their sister’s Cosmo in the bathroom. I’ve had at least a dozen men or more write me that they stayed up all night reading my novel and loving it, which means the world to me. The book is very relationship-y – it’s great that men are connecting to it too.

Where can your book be purchased? 

It can be purchased in bookstores nationwide, Costco, airports, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Books-a-million, and directly on HarperCollins book site.

Use 3 adjectives to describe your book: 

Sensual, Empowering, and Emotionally-gripping

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

Life for all of us has many twists and turns. When everything falls apart, there still is a Second Act, new leases, new beginnings. Everything my protagonist has been through, I, too, have been through on a different level. Years ago, I lost everything and had to seek a new life when my old one fell apart. My fave sentence in the book, which sums up what I really want my reader to gain, comes from one of my minor characters – a French millennial artist named Lea (love her). She and Sophie Bloom become friends (and yes, more) … Sophie has opened up to her about the devastating pain of her broken marriage. Lea looks at her and says: “My mother used to tell me when I doubted myself that no one wants to be with a shell. Be the pearl, Sophie, and you will find you again.” Here’s the takeaway: No matter what happens … it’s the spirit that is truly unbreakable.

***GIVEAWAY DETAILS***

Would you like to win a copy of The Unbreakables?
I have 1 copy of The Unbreakables to give away! 
If you are located in the US, a hard copy will be mailed to you and if you are located internationally an e-copy will be emailed 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. The main character in this book spends a great deal of time learning the things she needs to do for herself.  Self care is so important! Tell me in the comments below about 1 thing that you do for yourself that makes you happy.

**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 (Thursday) at 6:00 pm CDT and the winner will be randomly chosen and announced in Friday’s blog post (10/18/19).

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 winner 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!

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***INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY*** Hidden Treasure {Margaret Rodeheaver} AND My Own Personal Flea Market/Antique Store Finds!

As soon as Margaret Rodeheaver emailed me asking if I would like a copy of her book to review, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.  I LOVE thrift stores, flea markets, antique stores, garage sales, etc. and reading a book in this setting was exactly that type of book I knew I would love!

Over the years I have found some absolute treasures in stores such as the fictitious one in this book.

This gorgeous piece:

Such an exquisite piece of art that someone sat and patiently, lovingly glued together.  It’s created entirely of antique jewelry!  I think about each individual piece and wonder about the stories behind them.  Who did they belong to?  Where were they worn?  I love this piece of art so, so much not only for it’s beauty but for the deep history that each facet of it contains.

I saw it on a table at a flea market and instantly fell in love.  For some unexplainable reason, I left the booth without buying it…and then couldn’t get it out of my mind after I walked away.  Hours later (in POURING rain), I made my poor mom walk alllllll the way back through that massive flea market with me until we found it once again and I could buy it.  I’m so glad that I did (even if we got completely soaked.  Love you, Mom).

And being that we’re Jewish, it wasn’t until we got home that my mom and I even noticed the non Jewish religious figure at the very center of my new piece of art 🙂  Makes me love it even more!

And then there’s this…

Years ago and merely a few weeks after I became pregnant with my son, I saw this $2.00 lampshade in a gorgeous antique store in Wisconsin and instantly KNEW I had to have it.

At the time, I didn’t even officially know that he was a boy…but in my heart I just KNEW that he was…and I couldn’t leave without this gorgeous vintage lampshade!

As it turned out, the lampshade’s shade of blue didn’t end up matching his nursery but to this day it remains high up on his closet shelf as a reminder of the very first thing he ever owned 🙂

Have you ever discovered a treasure in a thrift shop, antique store, garage sale, flea market, etc?  The BEST!

Book Giveaway:

Hidden Treasure By Margaret Rodeheaver

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:

Welcome to the small town of Chinkapin, Georgia, where recently-divorced Laurie Lanton is starting her new life in a warmer climate. To keep her mind off her ex, Laurie joins Mary and the other volunteers at the Treasure Chest, a charity thrift shop run by ‘St. Mark’s Across from the Tasty Chick.’ Anything can happen at the Treasure Chest – and does. Two robberies, a leaky roof, and an invasion of mice give Laurie plenty to think about. But a couple of new men have also caught her attention.

Will she pick Chase, the interesting and talented musician from St. Mark’s choir? He sure is easy to be with, but there’s something in his past no one wants to talk about.

And what about Jeff, the new painting instructor at the local arts center? He seems to have a few secrets of his own, including something he’s discovered about an old painting at the thrift shop.

Laurie soon learns just how important the Treasure Chest is to her new hometown. When disaster threatens to close the shop, will her ‘his super power’ be enough to save it?

My Thoughts:

I want to visit The Treasure Chest!  Reading about the store was definitely my favorite part of the book.  I found the “behind the scenes” of running a thrift store so interesting!  I just so happen to be reading this book at the same time as I was running my annual garage sale and it made me view my “products” in a whole new way 🙂

This was a light, easy to enjoy novel set in what sounds to be a delightful small town.

I appreciated the church references throughout the book.  This Jewish girl learned a great deal 🙂  St. Marks sounds just lovely!

I enjoyed this book and appreciated how my perception of certain characters changed throughout the story as I was granted more insight into their personalities.  Characters who I initially liked I ended up hating and characters who I initially wasn’t a fan of morphed into lovely people.  Love when that happens!

A cute, easy read!

A Discussion With Margaret Rodeheaver, In Her Own Words:

How did you create the idea for your book?
I volunteer in a thrift shop similar to the Treasure Chest where, as it says on the back of the book,“anything can happen!” We have some interesting customers, and receive some surprising donations, including the emerald necklace I mention. A large, beautiful painting was donated to us, and one of our volunteers with connections in the art world was able to have it auctioned, which of course brought in more money than we ever could have sold it for. Meanwhile, I had vacationed with my husband in Homosassa, Florida (near the Gulf of Mexico, about 300 miles from my middle-Georgia home) and learned that Winslow Homer had fished and painted there in the early 1900’s. So it seemed plausible that someone from my fictional town of Chinkapin might have encountered Homer on a fishing trip to Florida and received a painting, which was
passed down through the family and ultimately ended up at the Treasure Chest.
As far as some of the characters in “Hidden Treasure,” I’ve known lots of musicians and several guitar players, so Chase was easy. And an artist in my family has led a lot of paint-along classes like Jeff does in the book. The scenes in St. Mark’s church were also easy, because faith plays an important part in my life, as it does for Laurie.
I’ll leave it to readers to figure out what small Georgia town Chinkapin is based on. Sadly, the original for the Coffee Pot café is closed!

What audience would be most interested in your book?
Fans of Debbie Macomber, Kristy Woodson Harvey, or Jan Karon would love “Hidden
Treasure” and the rest of the Chinkapin series (Book 2, “Finders Keepers,” has just been
published!) It would appeal to adult women who enjoy a feel-good story of friendship, faith, love, and second chances, who enjoy art and music, and like a little romantic sizzle to spice things up.

Where can your book be purchased?
Paperback and Kindle versions of “Hidden Treasure” can be purchased from Amazon. The eBook is also available from many online retailers, including Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. https://books2read.com/b/4EMpMY

Use three adjectives to describe your book.

Engaging. Entertaining. Uplifting.

Any additional information that you would like to provide about you and your book.
“Finders Keepers,” book 2 of the Chinkapin series, has just been published, and book three is coming in November, so stay tuned for more. And remember, writers love readers! You can help your favorite writers by sharing your thoughts with friends, via social media, or anywhere books are discussed or purchased.

***GIVEAWAY DETAILS***

Would you like to win a copy of Hidden Treasure?
I have 3 signed copies to give away! 
If you are located in the US, a hard copy will be mailed to you and if you are located internationally an e-copy will be emailed 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. Leave a comment below telling me about a treasure you have found at a flea market, thrift shop, antique shop, garage sale, etc.!

**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 (Thursday) at 4:00 pm CDT and the winner will be randomly chosen and announced in Friday’s blog post (8/2/19).

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 winner 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!