Book Review: The Dilemma {B.A. Paris} and Zin Mignon Giveaway Winners (Video)

Have you read Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris? If not…stop reading whatever you are reading and read that book! It was AWESOME. I read it years ago so the details are a bit fuzzy but I do remember that I literally could not stop reading until I found out how it ended. I absolutely loved that book and therefore couldn’t WAIT to get my hands on B.A. Paris’s newest book, The Dilemma. I picked this one of a few weeks ago on my very first trip to the INSIDE of my library during this pandemic. I couldn’t wait to read and review it! ***Giveaway winners for Michael Daswick’s Zin Mignon and The Secret of the Pickled Pigs’ Feet video is at the bottom of this post***

Goodreads Synopsis of The Dilemma {B.A. Paris}:

It’s Livia’s fortieth birthday and tonight she’s having a party, a party she’s been planning for a long time. The only person missing will be her daughter, Marnie.

But Livia has a secret, a secret she’s been keeping from Adam, her husband, until the party is over. Because how can she tell him that although she loves Marnie, she’s glad their daughter won’t be there to celebrate with her?

Adam is determined everything will be just right for Livia and the party is going to be perfect… until he learns something that will leave him facing an unbearable decision.

My Review of The Dilemma {B.A.Paris}:

The 2 main characters just may be my most hated main characters of all time. Livia was completely immature…a child! What grown woman centers herself around her own party the way that she did? And don’t even get me started on Adam. His choices continuously went from stupid to bad to REALLY stupid to REALLY bad throughout the entire book. The marriage between them felt more like a high school relationship than a marriage. 98 percent of this book focuses around the fact that they were afraid to talk to each other? Not to mention the fact that they were awful parents who CLEARLY lacked any type of respect for their own children.

In fact, the entire group of friends in this book felt like a group of high schoolers rather than a group of adults. So much he said/she said, cattiness, gossiping, etc.

Have you ever watched Three’s Company? The famously best part of that show were the times when misunderstandings between characters led to awkward conversations and actions where only the viewer was privy to understanding both sides. This is how I felt about The Dilemma…but…where watching it play out on television was hilarious, reading it in this book was annoying.

So now that I have successfully told you all of the reasons that I really didn’t like this book, allow me to share one tidbit from the other side of the coin:

I. COULDN’T. PUT. IT. DOWN.

That’s right! For all of my complaints, this book sure had me on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t WAIT to see what was going to happen! The writing was BRILLIANT, the chapters were so short (my favorite), and all of my guesses as to how this story would play out were wrong (love when that happens). 

So, there you have it. Hated the characters, hated the story lines, loved the writing, loved the suspense. How’s THAT for a mixed review??

Bottom Line:

NOT as good as Behind Closed Doors. Not even close.

Giveaway Winners Video for Zin Mignon and the Secret of the Pickled Pigs’ Feet {Michael Daswick}:

Congratulations to the winners! Here is a video of the hard copy winners. Michael Daswick will be emailing the winners of the ebooks 🙂

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:

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

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

Photo credit: Michael Daswick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Conversation with Michael Daswick, in His Own Words:

What ages would be the ideal readers for your book?

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

How did you create the idea for your book?

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

What audience would be most interested in your book?

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

Where can your book be purchased?

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

Use 3 adjectives to describe your book:

Original; Funny; Loaded with Humanity. Unexpected. 

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


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

***GIVEAWAY DETAILS***

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

There are 2 different ways to enter this giveaway:

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

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

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

Good luck!

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

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What I’m Currently Reading, What I’ve Recently Read, What I Think I’ll Read Next (WWW #15) {Book Coffee Happy}

I love when Book Coffee Happy can participate in WWW! The Three Ws: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What 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!

Today is Tuesday…just pretend that it’s Wednesday! I have more time to blog today than I will tomorrow and I wanted to be sure to get this posted, lol.

What Are You Currently Reading?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Breezing into the tony seaside paradise of Westport, Connecticut, gorgeous thirtysomething Piper Reynard sets down roots, opening a rehab and wellness space and joining a local yacht club. When she meets Leo Drakos, a handsome, successful lawyer, the wedding ring on his finger is the only thing she doesn’t like about him. Yet as Piper well knows, no marriage is permanent.

Meanwhile, Joanna has been waiting patiently for Leo, the charismatic man she fell in love with all those years ago, to re-emerge from the severe depression that has engulfed him. Though she’s thankful when Leo returns to his charming, energetic self, paying attention again to Evie and Stelli, the children they both love beyond measure, Joanna is shocked to discover that it’s not her loving support that’s sparked his renewed happiness—it’s something else.

Piper. Leo has fallen head over heels for the flaky, New Age-y newcomer, and unrepentant and resolute, he’s more than willing to leave Joanna behind, along with everything they’ve built. Of course, he assures her, she can still see the children.

Joanna is devastated—and determined to find something, anything, to use against this woman who has stolen her life and her true love. As she digs deeper into Piper’s past, Joanna begins to unearth disturbing secrets . . . but when she confides to her therapist that she fears for the lives of her ex-husband and children, her concerns are dismissed as paranoia. Can she find the proof she needs in time to save them?

I am starting this book tonight and I am SO EXCITED. It has been on my to-read list for MONTHS! It sounds so amazing, I will report back and post my full review once I finish reading.

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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

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

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

When Michael Daswick sent me book #1 of his Zin Mignon book series, I was super excited. We are VERY into children’s cooking competition shows over here so reading about the journey of a young chef who opens his own HIGHLY successful restaurant sounded wonderful to me. I finished reading this book yesterday morning and I can honestly say from my heart that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. My daughter will adore this book, I’m so excited for her to read it. I can’t wait to write a full glowing review on my blog for this one soon (and to also host an AWESOME giveaway for it)! Stay tuned! In the meantime, check out Michael’s website to lean more about this amazing book series: www.michaeldaswick.com

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?

In all honestly, I’m not 100 percent sure that this will be the next book that I’m going to read as it’s library due date has **cough cough** already passed. Oops. I do have a few books on hold at the library that look amazing so if I get to the library over the next few days I will return this one and grab those. If I don’t have a chance to get there over the next few days…I’ll read this one and eventually return it when I can. DON’T EVER DO THIS! Oops. #momlife #pandemic

Have you 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. 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

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