I am a married, mother of 5 (plus 1 elderly chihuahua), and I am also an avid reader. I read many genres of books: thrillers, contemporary fiction, some sci-fi (hello, Blake Crouch!), YA, non-fiction, and more. I am also a huge fan of audio books, thanks to Libro.fm and the Libby app through my local library. Audio books are my go-to method of reading during the day when I am busy running around doing my usual “mom” stuff, and physical books are my morning with coffee and evening with herbal tea way to unwind.
I started this blog the first week of 2020 as an addition to my other social media outlets (Instagram, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter) so I could have a more creative, personal space for my book reviews, recommendations, what I’m reading now, what I recommend, and also some more personal tidbits about my life as a mother of 5 (including identical twins with autism), living with autoimmune diseases, life in a small, lakeside (touristy) town and other interesting stuff.
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Welcome to Mom Loves Reading stop in the Berkley Blog Tour for the paperback release of Samantha Downing’s 2020 bestselling novel ‘He Started It’, a diabolically twisted road trip you will never forget!
AN INSTANT INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
“Wholly original. Scarily clever. Completely mesmerizing. You will never look at family road trips the same way again.”—Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author
A most anticipated book by Hello Sunshine ∙ Cosmo ∙ Entertainment Weekly ∙ Betches ∙ Hollywood Reporter ∙ Parade ∙ PopSugar ∙ OK! Magazine ∙ Hello Giggles ∙ Bustle ∙ Yahoo! ∙ She Reads ∙ Book Page ∙ CrimeReads ∙ New York Post Best Book of the Week ∙ Goodreads
From the twisted mind behind mega hit My Lovely Wife comes the story of a family—not unlike your own—just with a few more violent tendencies thrown in….
Beth, Portia, and Eddie Morgan haven’t all been together in years. And for very good reasons—we’ll get to those later. But when their wealthy grandfather dies and leaves a cryptic final message in his wake, the siblings and their respective partners must come together for a cross-country road trip to fulfill his final wish and—more importantly—secure their inheritance.
But time with your family can be tough. It isn’t for everyone.
It’s even harder when you’re all keeping secrets and trying to forget a memory, a missing person, an act of revenge, the man in the black truck who won’t stop following your car—and especially when at least one of you is a killer and there’s a body in the trunk. Just to name a few reasons.
But money is a powerful motivator. It is for everyone.
‘He Started It‘ was personally my most anticipated new release in 2020 & I was beyond thrilled when Berkley asked me to be on the blog tour! I LOVED Samantha Downing’s first novel, the wickedly dark & original 2019 domestic thriller, ‘My Lovely Wife’ so much! In 2020 Amazon Studios & Nicole Kidman bought the film rights for ‘My Lovely Wife’, so YAY! That incredible book will be a movie someday (soon, I hope!).
‘He Started It‘ is a twisted, darkly addictive, propulsive family drama/thriller that will have you wanting to read it in one sitting (or standing…in case you get the nervous urge to pace back & forth like I did!). The ending will leave you speechless! I don’t know how Samantha Downing comes up with such original, clever & diabolical stories, but I’m not sure I would ever want to be on her bad side…just sayin’. The paperback & hardback versions of the book is available now wherever books are sold.
***Click on each title below to add them to your Goodreads.***
Samantha Downing is the author of the bestselling My Lovely Wife, nominated for Edgar, ITW, Macavity, and CWA awards. Amazon Studios and Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films have partnered to produce a feature film based on the novel.Her second book, He Started It, was released in 2020 and became an instant international bestseller.
It’s #MysteryMonday & today I’m featuring a young reader’s mystery w/ a heaping side of humor, featuring a protagonist w/ a disability…she was born w/ no arms.
First off, Thank You to @sterlingpublishing for the gift copy of the AMAZING book, ‘Aven Green Sleuthing Machine‘ by Dusti Bowling, w/ illustrations by Gina Perry! The book was released this past wk on 4/13 & there’s a 2nd book in this series, ‘Aven Green Baking Machine’, coming this fall. I seriously can’t wait to get it & read it w/ my boys, who are featured in this post pic. My boys have developmental disabilities (autism w/ a few other related ones) & I love that there’s books w/ diverse main characters like Aven Green.
‘Aven Green Sleuthing Machine’, by Dusti Bowling: Third-grader Aven Green has been solving mysteries for a whole month—cracking such cases as The Mystery of the Cranky Mom. But can this perceptive detective solve two cases at the same time? First her teacher’s lunch bag disappears. Then Aven’s great-grandma’s dog goes missing. Fortunately, since Aven was born without arms, all the “arm” cells went to her super-powered brain instead. (That’s her theory.) This hilarious chapter book showcases a new side to Dusti Bowling’s unforgettable protagonist.
This book & the others mentioned above should be in every elementary & middle school classroom & library. They are diverse & inclusive & remind young readers, as well as the adults in their lives, that people w/ physical and/or developmental disabilities may be different than they are, but they are NOT less than. Books like these are fun to read & teach kids inclusivity without coming off as preachy.
‘Aven Green Sleuthing Machine‘ is engaging, witty yet sensitive, refreshing & wholly original & Aven is a character that is utterly inspiring & unforgettable! I highly recommend this series & I’m looking fwd to reading this again & again with my kids.
Click on any of the highlighted book titles above to add them to your Goodreads lists.
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DUSTI BOWLING grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, where, as her family will tell you, she always had her nose in a book. She released her first middle grade novel in 2017 & hasn’t stopped writing since. Dusti’s books have won the Reading the West Award, the Sakura Medal, a Golden Kite Honor, the Silver Nautilus Award, & have been nominated for a Cybil & over twenty state awards. Her books are Junior Library Guild Selections & have been named best books of the year by the Chicago Public Library, Kirkus, Bank Street College of Eduction, A Mighty Girl, Shelf Awareness, & many more. Dusti currently lives in New River, Arizona with her husband, three daughters, a dozen tarantulas, a gopher snake named Burrito, a king snake name Death Noodle, & a cockatiel named Gandalf the Grey.
GIVEAWAY TIME! This month’s Amazon First Reads pre-release selection is ‘The Next Wife‘ by Kaira Rouda, so if you’re an e-book reader & Prime member, go grab that now along w/ the other free e-books! There are several available for April that are on my TBR list, but I’m not an e-book reader. The physical book doesn’t release until 5/1, so Thank you to @getredprbooks & @amazonpublishing for my gift copy of the book!
Deception & betrayal dark enough to end a marriage…or a life. Kate Nelson had it all. A flourishing company founded w/ her husband, John; a happy marriage; & a daughter, Ashlyn. The picture-perfect family. Until John left for another woman. Tish is half his age. Ambitious. She’s cultivated a friendship w/ Ashlyn. Tish believes she’s won. She’s wrong.
Tish Nelson has it all. Youth, influence, a life of luxury, & a new husband. But the truth is, there’s a lot of baggage. Namely, his first wife—& suspicions of his infidelity. After all, that’s how she got John. Maybe it’s time for a romantic getaway, far from his vindictive ex. If Kate plans on getting John back, Tish is one step ahead of her. She thinks.
But what happens next is something neither Kate nor Tish saw coming. As best-laid plans come undone, there’s no telling what a woman will do in the name of love—& revenge.
From the author of ‘Best Day Ever‘ & ‘The Favorite Daughter‘, Rouda’s ‘The Next Wife‘ is a tense, gripping, compulsively readable, psychological thriller that is so deliciously dark & twisty w/ an ending that will leave you speechless.
I have a copy of one of Kaira Rouda’s previous novels, ‘Best Day Ever‘, to give away to one lucky follower. (**Please note, this giveaway can only be entered on Instagram. The following is for information purposes only. You can, however, click HERE to go to the Instagram post, enter giveaway there, & come back here to leave a comment for 5 bonus entries.)
To enter: 1- Must be following @mom_loves_reading (on Instagram) 2- LIKE & SAVE this post. (on Instagram) 3- Tag some bookish pals (Unlimited, only 2 tags per com) Bonus 5 entries ea: 4- SHARE this post to your stories & tag me. Can do daily. 5- ReTweet on Twitter & tag me. 6- Subscribe to my blog & comment on giveaway post.
Click HERE to go to the Instagram post, enter the ‘Best Day Ever’ giveaway & give the post some LIKE love! Click HERE to add ‘The Next Wife’ to your Goodreads lists. Click HERE to go to the Amazon Prime First Reads selections.
Kaira Rouda is a multiple award–winning USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction that explores what goes on beneath the surface of seemingly perfect lives. Her novels of domestic suspense include The Favorite Daughter, Best Day Ever, and All the Difference. To date, Kaira’s work has been translated into more than ten languages. She lives in Southern California with her family and is working on her next novel. For more information, visit www.kairarouda.com.
I have a fantastic YA Thriller to tell you about today, along w/ a generous discount code to buy it AND one of you lucky readers will win a personalized copy from the author!
Q: Did you attend summer camp as a kid/teen?
I didn’t, but I did go camping w/ the parents a lot…that is until I saw ‘Friday the 13th’ then it was a big NOPE from then on out. Fiction or not, Jason (& his psycho mom) scared the crud out of me & frequented my nightmares. Summer camp does make for a fun backdrop in books & movies though, especially suspense/thriller ones. Books like ‘The Last Time I Lied’ by Riley Sager & ‘The Troop’ by Nick Cutter offer up even more reasons to be leary of camping for scaredy-cats like me.
‘Called Upon‘ is the debut novel by Bethany Lee, that takes place at summer camp, it’s my current read & I’m loving it! Lee does such a great job w/ character development & keeps the reader engaged, w/ a twisty, compelling, page-turner, while tackling some important issues & there’s even a little side of (clean) romance. I’m stunned this is a debut, it’s written so exquisitely.
About the book, ‘Called Upon’: (click on title to add to your Goodreads lists!) Kaitlin, the social pariah of her high school, is so relieved to have made friends at Camp Overlook—and time have caught the attention of a real, live, honest-to-goodness boy—that she is willing to look past the camp’s anomalies: creepy grey-eyed counselors, 24 hour video surveillance, and campers falling ill and then disappearing quietly into the night.
But when Kaitlin begins feeling strange symptoms herself, she can no longer pretend that Overlook is a run-of-the-mill summer camp. She and her new friend must race to solve the mystery of Camp Overlook, even if it means facing some difficult truths and uncovering some painful family secrets, before she is the next camper to vanish.
Bethany is generously giving anyone who uses my code MOMLOVES60 to order ‘Called Upon‘ (from her website, www.bethanylee.com, ONLY) 60% off. What a deal! (**Please be advised, this discount does not work anywhere else, only her website.) And she’ll send one of you a personalized, autographed copy when you enter today’s giveaway. (U.S. only).
To enter: (Click HERE to go to the Instagram post & enter. The following information is for FYI only, but read on for a special blog follower/subscriber bonus!) 1-Must be following @mom_loves_reading & @bethanyrlee81 2-LIKE this post. (SHARE it to stories or feed & tag me for additional 5 entries!) 3-Tag a couple book lovers! (unlimited, only 2 per comment).
Rules & such: Giveaway runs 4/11-4/14/21, is open to the 50 USA states only & is not affiliated w/ Instagram. Please don’t UNfollow after or you’ll be excluded from all future MomLovesReading giveaways, & there are a LOT. (**Remember, you MUST enter on my Instagram page; however, you can comment on this blogpost that you did & I will give you 5 extra entries, because I am cool like that. 😉)
When Bethany Lee isn’t writing, she is elbow deep in garden soil or covered in dust from a mountain trail. She is decidedly an “outside girl” and loves biking, hiking, and basically any activity that can be done in yoga pants —clearly, she was born to write a book about an adventure in the mountains. Bethany is a communications graduate who has a soft spot for young adults and all of the cringy moments they experience every day (It gets better, friends). A creative writer since early childhood, she uses humor, honesty, and whimsy to pull readers in and invite them to laugh, relate, and introspect. Bethany currently resides in Lehi, Utah, with her husband, three kids, and garden.
Who else is ready for some summer reading? The sun’s been shining most of the week where I live in Ohio & it has definitely got me excited for some outdoor reading! (as long as I’ve had my allergy meds…allergy season is hitting me hard this year!)
If you’re a fan of authors like Robyn Carr, Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs, you may have read books by RaeAnne Thayne, since she has many. If you haven’t, today’s featured book is an excellent one to start with!
‘The Path to Sunshine Cove’ by RaeAnne Thayne
She knows what’s best for everyone but herself…
With a past like hers, Jessica Clayton feels safer in a life spent on the road. She’s made a career out of helping others downsize–because she’s learned the hard way that the less “stuff,” the better, a policy she applies equally to her relationships. But a new client is taking Jess back to Cape Sanctuary, a town she once called home…& that her little sister, Rachel, still does. The years apart haven’t made a dent in the guilt Jess still carries after a handgun took the lives of both their parents & changed everything between them.
While Jess couldn’t wait to put the miles between her and Cape Sanctuary, Rachel put down roots, content for the world–and her sister–to think she has a picture-perfect life. But w/ the demands of her youngest child’s disability, Rachel’s marriage has begun to fray at the seams. She needs her sister now more than ever, yet she’s learned from painful experience that Jessica doesn’t do family, & she shouldn’t count on her now.
Against her judgment, Jess finds herself becoming attached–to her sister & her family, even to her client’s interfering son, Nate–& it’s time to put everything on the line. Does she continue running from her painful past, or stay put & make room for the love & joy that come along with it?
This book is book 2 in the Cape Sanctuary series, but can be read as a standalone. I absolutely loved it! It’s emotionally engaging, breathtakingly atmospheric, charming, & realistic in nature. For me it was also somewhat relatable in the sense that Rachel is a SAHM & mother to a child w/ autism (oh & she’s a social media influencer on the side).
This heartwarming novel is available now (released on 3/30/21) & a big Thanks to @harlequinbooks & @getredprbooks for my gift copy!
Click HERE to add ‘The Path to Sunshine Cove’ to your Goodreads lists.
Click HERE to visit RaeAnne Thayne’s web page and HERE to visit her on Instagram.
Click HERE to go to my Instagram post & give it some LIKE love or SHARE it with other readers.
Click HERE to find this book or RaeAnne Thayne’s other books at a local independent bookseller near you or online.
New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com