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.
Thanks again for visiting Mom Loves Reading! I would love it if you would subscribe. You will get email notifications for new posts and be one of the first people to know when a giveaway is coming up and when one is currently running. I giveaway LOTS of advance copy books from publishers as well as other books. So click that Subscribe button and tell your bookish friends to do the same. Sharing is caring!😉
*GIVEAWAY time! Do you have a tween-ager in the household, or maybe a niece, babysitter, or a friend with a daughter who enjoys reading? Then you’ll love today’s featured book & giveaway!
Last yr I did a promo for Cindy Callaghan’s novel, ‘Saltwater Secrets’, (*click HERE to see Instagram post) & loved it so much, I bought a copy for a friend’s daughter & she loved it! Being the super, sweet kid she is, she wanted to pass it on to another reader to enjoy as well. So today’s giveaway is for a copy of ‘Saltwater Secrets‘ & also 3 items featured in Callaghan’s 10/12 novella, ‘The Girl Who Ruined Christmas’: a pair of low-top Hello Kitty socks, a red Chuck Taylor shoe keychain, & a Harper Hollow Falls Christmas Countdown calendar that be reused again & again. All you have to do to make this an even MORE fantastic gift is get a copy of ‘The Girl Who Ruined Christmas‘ to add to the box. Thank you Cindy for my gift copy! (which I’m totally keeping!)
Now, let’s talk about Cindy Callaghan’s latest novella, released last month, ‘The Girl Who Ruined Christmas‘. It’s adorable, witty, warmhearted, & good ol’ festive fun! This should 100% be made into a Hallmark movie since it’s perfect for the whole family & could be watched while making sugar cookies like Mrs. Crispin, a character in the book. The book also has Stars Hollow from ‘Gilmore Girls’ vibes which makes it even more delightful & as cozy as hot cocoa!
Imagine you’re a tween visiting a small town that loves nothing more than its prize fir—a perfect Christmas tree destined for the White House. Now picture yourself accidentally destroying that tree, making you public enemy number one. Lastly, imagine that to repay your debt, you have to remain in said town for the Christmas season. That’s what happens to Brady Bancroft.
When Brady ruins Harper Hollow Fall’s prize tree, she’s sentenced to stay in the holiday-festooned town for the month of December. At first, she couldn’t be more depressed about the whole situation; but during her month there, she is surprised to discover that there’s much more than pine needles to the little town holding her captive. In the end, Harper Hollow Falls reminds Brady of the true meaning of Christmas—and she, in turn, saves the town.
To help give one lucky follower get a boost on their holiday shopping, I’m giving away a copy of Cindy Callaghan’s novel, ‘Saltwater Secrets’ as well as 3 items featured in ‘The Girl Who Ruined Christmas’ (*see above for info). All you have to do to enter is go to my Instagram page (@mom_loves_reading) to enter. Click HERE to go there now.
Click HERE to visit Cindy Callaghan’s website & read more about her other amazing books.
Click any of the highlighted book titles above to add them to your Goodreads TBR lists.
Cindy Callaghan is the award-winning author of eleven middle-grade novels including JUST ADD MAGIC & JUST ADD MAGIC 2: POTION PROBLEMS, which were made into an Emmy-nominated Amazon Original series now in its fifth season & distributed world-wide via Nickelodeon. She’s well-known for the best-selling Lost In… books: LOST IN LONDON, LOST IN PARIS, LOST IN ROME, LOST IN HOLLYWOOD, & LOST IN IRELAND. Her Agatha award-winning stand-alone SYDNEY MACKENZIE KNOCKS ‘EM DEAD sells out every year around Halloween. Her 2020 book SALTWATER SECRETS, which is nominated for an Agatha Award, won Delaware Press Association & National Federation of Press Women’s awards, & two International Book Awards, is set up by a major studio. Her newest book THE GIRL WHO RUINED CHRISTMAS, (October 2021), & the upcoming MY BIG HEART-SHAPED FAIL, (September 2022), are actively being shopped to producers, networks & streamers along with Cindy’s robust portfolio of original features & series. A Jersey girl at heart, Cindy lives in Delaware with her family and rescued-pets.
My Monday definitely started out as a ‘Manic Monday’, & I’m pretty impressed with myself for even having the minuscule amount of focus to complete a blog & Instagram post today since lately I don’t have them done ahead of time.
As many of you may know, I have autistic twin sons that are in their teens, but possess a lack of fear & knowledge of right from wrong that is mostly seen in toddlers. They are brilliant, to say the very least, but they also keep me on my toes (while they both walk on their toes, literally), & every once in awhile, one of my twins sneaks out of the house in the early morning hours when he wakes up before his brother or I do.
It is the most God-awful, gut-wrenching, sense of panic & frantic fear when the neighbor calls to let you know your son is just chilling in their family room at 5am while you were sleeping, pretty much cinching the cold hard fact that you will never sleep soundly again & your PTSD symptoms just went next level. That was a few years ago…then came this morning, when it happened again. Nearly 3 yrs of thinking maybe he’s done doing the sneaking out while I’m sleeping thing, & he did it again this morning. We’ve tried many different security measures to ensure his safety & stop him from sneaking out, but the kid is a freaking genius like his brother & for safety precautions it’s not like we can strap him in his bed or lock him in their room. And we don’t inject tagging chips into human beings (…yet…) because of privacy & all that ethical stuff, but I would 100% have it done to my twins because they will always live with us & it would be super beneficial to them, their safety, our security (& sanity!)… I would like to sleep before I’m dead.
In the meantime, like a computer, I pretty much just go into “sleep mode” not that elusive REM state sleep of a typical teenager that I long for, & will once again research until my fingers go numb ways to ensure my autistic children’s safety, not only when they are out in the world (supervised & accompanied by adults, of course), but also at home as they grow bigger & wiser, catching on easily to all other precautions that their parental units have made. Ok, let’s talk book stuff now, shall we?
I’d like to introduce you to Sissie Klein. Sissie Klein was a minor character in Kris Clink’s first novel, released earlier this year in April, ‘Goodbye, Lark Lovejoy‘. I thoroughly enjoyed that delightfully funny, heartwarming novel & was excited to get an advance copy of the 2nd book in The Enchanted Rock Series that releases next Tues, Nov. 9th. Thank you @getredprbooks & #sparkspress for my gift copy of ‘Sissie Klein is Completely Normal‘ by Kris Clink!
‘Sissie Klein is Completely Normal‘ can be read as a stand-alone novel, although I highly recommend reading ‘Goodbye, Lark Lovejoy’ as well, if not first. ‘Sissie Klein is Completely Normal’ is as captivating & relatable as it is heartfelt & poignant.
In Clink’s previous novel, “Sissy offered an opportunity to conduct a deep-dive character study, all while challenging readers to question their assumptions about the people they think they understand,” stated Kris Clink. “Sissie demonstrates how we can be the heroes in our own stories. When Sissie was young, she didn’t know what her power was. Now, it was her turn to claim it. In this book, you get to witness her evolution,” added the author.
Sissie Klein barely remembers the night that tore her from the carefree life she knew. Not long after the shocked teen is pushed into marriage, she’s rushed to the hospital where a catastrophic delivery seals her destiny.
Sissie is determined to give her daughter the opportunities she forfeited, but some fates can’t be avoided. Tragedy strikes, leaving behind a legacy of deceit—and an orphaned toddler.
Told with heartbreaking honesty and shrewd humor, Sissie Klein Is Completely Normal examines the ties that bind us—some inherited, others chosen—none without their share of agonizing tangles.
Captivating, compulsively readable, & weaving together tenderness, humor, & heartbreak, ‘Sissie Klein is Completely Normal’, by Kris Clink, is on sale next Tuesday, Nov 9, 2021.
Click the highlightedtitles in this post to add Kris Clink’s books to your Goodreads lists. Click HERE to visit Kris Clink’s website http://www.krisclink.com. Click HERE to visit/follow Kris Clink on Instagram. Click HERE to visit/FOLLOW (please!) Mom_Loves_Reading on Instagram & while you’re there, LIKE & maybe SHARE the post about this book! Click HERE to pre-order ‘Sissie Klein…’ on Amazon. but… It’s be much nicer if you pre-order this book & any others from an indie bookstore near you! You can click HERE to use BookstoreLink.com to find it & others at an Independent Bookstore!
Kris Clink is the author of ‘Goodbye, Lark Lovejoy’ & ‘Sissie Klein is Completely Normal’. Her novels have received praise from Bustle, Midwest Book Review, Kirkus Reviews, San Francisco Book Review, Women.com, Lone Star Literary, Brit + Co, Travel & Leisure Magazine, & Entertainment Weekly, among others. Set in middle America, her novels are laced w/ love, heartbreak, & just enough snark to rock the boat as relatable characters confront transformative challenges.
She’s a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association & The Author’s Guild. Before becoming a novelist, she oversaw business development in medical environments & managed an office of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Since then, her work has been published in Moms Don’t Have Time to Write on Medium, diyMFA, Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, Women Writers Women’s Books, & Accent West Magazine. She is the host of Kris Clink’s Writing Table, a podcast about books & writing where she interviews a variety of publishing professionals & authors including Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler), Zibby Owens, Camille Pagán, & Laurie Frankel.
Calling Texas home for most of her life, Kris now lives in KS, where she & “Hubs” have filled their empty nest w/ two spoiled-rotten pups–a mini-doxie & a rescue who thinks he’s a mini-doxie. When not writing, Kris is playing pickleball w/ friends, riding her bike, counting cardinals in her backyard, reading in the hammock, or searching for an open karaoke mic & an understanding audience.
It’s just another rainy, chilly Sunday here in N Ohio, but thanks to Booksparks Fall Reading Challenge #FRC2021, I have some fabulous new fall releases to keep me “booked” for the weekend!
Thank you @booksparks for my gift copy of the 9/21/21 contemporary romance novel, ‘When Sparks Fly’ by Helena Hunting, NYT bestselling author of more than 2 dozen novels, including the others that I’ve read shown in the above photo: ‘The Good Luck Charm’‘Meet Cute’ & ‘Kiss My Cupcake’
Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for yrs, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After yrs of working hard & making personal sacrifices, Avery & her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works w/ her sisters & loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, & she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she’s happy.
But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur.
Avery & Declan have been best friends since college & always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan & Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she’d dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay &, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.
‘When Sparks Fly’ is a feel-good, soul warming novel that’s charming, witty, sexy, & emotional & is Helena Hunting at her best! Here’s what some of the leading editorial reviewer’s have said about the book:
“When Sparks Fly will warm your heart and make you cry – sometimes at the same time.” – PopSugar
“In this delightfully fun standalone contemporary from prolific and ever-lively Hunting, the author plays to her literary strengths by giving readers a sensuality-forward storyline that is neatly lightened by snarky humor even as it’s deftly grounded by a thoughtful exploration of the roles family and friends can play in our lives.” – Booklist
“This is a solid pick for romance fans.” – Publishers Weekly
“The supporting characters―Avery’s two sisters and her and Declan’s group of friends―make the romance richer.” – Kirkus Reviews
Click HERE to add ‘When Sparks Fly’ to your Goodreads list. Click HERE to visit Helena Hunting on Instagram. Click HERE to visit (& FOLLOW, please!) Mom_Loves_Reading on Instagram.
NYT and USA Today bestselling author, Helena Hunting lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her two awesome cats, who think the best place to sleep is her keyboard.
Helena writes everything from emotional contemporary romance to romantic comedies that will have you laughing until you cry.
Happy Pub Week to Melissa Payne & her new novel ‘The Night of Many Endings‘, released on 10/19! Thank you @getredprbooks #lakeunionpublishing for my gift copy of the book!
If you grew up roaming the aisles of your local library, hiding in its corners, spending hours reading in a corner head deep in a book, or if you loved the 80s classic ‘The Breakfast Club’ where a group of teens from various social classes find common ground, then you will love this open-hearted, emotionally resonant novel.
“I heard a powerful quote from a librarian that libraries are perhaps the last place in society where they welcome you, where you don’t have to buy or believe anything. So, I wanted to write about a library that faces real challenges every day, & that brings strangers together. To explore how it’s easy to make assumptions about people rather than wait & get to know someone.”- Melissa Payne
From the bestselling author of ‘Memories in the Drift’ & ‘The Secrets of Lost Stones’, comes ‘The Night of Many Endings‘, an emotionally rich, feel-good novel about hope, second chances, & seeing the world through someone else’s eyes.
Orphaned at a young age & witness to her brother’s decline into addiction, Nora Martinez has every excuse to question the fairness of life. Instead, the openhearted librarian in the small Colorado community of Silver Ridge sees only promise. She holds onto the hope that she’ll be reunited w/ her missing brother & does what she can at the town library. It’s her home away from home, but it’s also a sanctuary for others who, like her brother, could use a second chance.
There’s Marlene, an elderly loner who believes that, apart from her husband, there’s little good left in the world; Jasmine, a troubled teen; Lewis, a homeless man w/ lost hope & one last wish; & Vlado, the security guard who loves a good book &, from afar, Nora.
As a winter storm buries Silver Ridge, this collection of lonely hearts takes shelter in the library. They’ll discover more about each other, & themselves, than they ever knew—& Nora will be forced to question her brother’s disappearance in ways she never could have imagined. No matter how stranded in life they feel, this fateful night could be the new beginning they didn’t think was possible.
Visit the author at www.melissapayneauthor.com Be sure to follow Mom_Loves_Reading on Instagram by clicking HERE Follow Mom_Loves_Reading on Goodreads by clicking HERE Follow Mom_Loves_Reading on Facebook by clicking HERE
As a middle child, Melissa Payne was born to tell stories. What started with blaming her brother for breaking the car window evolved to a graduate thesis that she desperately wishes she could rewrite to blogging on motherhood and marriage. Now she likes to create stories set in wild and beautiful places with characters in flawed and imperfect relationships, whether that’s between a mother and a daughter, friends or strangers. And imagining all of it with just a hint of the ethereal, a whisper of something beyond what we can see and a sense that it’s all for a purpose.
GIVEAWAY time! 3 winners! Be one of the first to read ‘Catch Us When We Fall‘, the latest novel from Juliette Fay, that releases on 9/21! Thank you @williammorrowbooks & @getredpr (partners) for the gift copies for the giveaway & me! But first…
& Today is Nat’l Ampersand Day & if you’ve never noticed before, I use ampersand’s all the time, pretty much exclusively when it comes to my posts, text messages, emails, etc. I just love them for some reason.🤷🏼♀️😁
Who doesn’t love the fun & functional ampersand? From jotting a shorthand “and” to branding corporate names, this curly, quirky little character is ubiquitously useful. It’s also quite aesthetic, as you’ll see at AmperArt.com, featuring “the ampersand as fun & fabulous art.”
To acknowledge & applaud this great little glyph, National Ampersand Day is observed annually on September 8th. Did you know:
The ampersand used to be the last letter of the alphabet?
It is a ligature of “e” & “t”? That’s “et” in Latin, meaning “and”?
The word “ampersand” is a slurring of “real words” run together over time?
The plus sign is actually an ampersand
Ok, now on to the today’s book feature & giveaway info….
If you love the emotionally complex novels of JoJo Moyes & the dramatic books of Jodi Picoult, you won’t want to miss this newest book about second chances, redemption, & the power of hope from USA Today bestselling author of ‘Shelter Me’, Juliette Fay.
On her own since the age of eighteen, Cass Macklin dated brilliant, troubled Ben McGreavy, convinced he was the smartest person she’d ever known. They partied their way through their twenties, slowly descending into a bleak world of binge-drinking & broken promises, inebriated for most of a decade. Now Ben is dead, & Cass is broke, homeless, scared…& pregnant.
Determined to have a healthy pregnancy & raise Ben’s baby, Cass has to find a way to stop drinking & build a stable life for herself & her child. But with no money, skills, or sober friends or family, the task seems insurmountable. At wit’s end, Cass turns to the only person with the means to help her: Ben’s brother Scott, third basemen for the Boston Red Sox, a man with a temper & problems of his own.
The two make a deal that neither one of them is sure they can live up to. As Cass struggles to take control of her life & to ask for help when she needs it, Scott begins to realize there’s a life for him beyond the baseball diamond.
By turns heartbreaking & humorous, with its message that change is possible, that forgiveness can be freely given, & that life, though imperfect, is worth embracing, ‘Catch Us When We Fall‘ is a story of human connection & hope.
I’d love to send 3 of my followers an arc of the book & maybe even a bonus other book, too. (see details below) To enter: (click HERE to go to the Instagram post & giveaway, then…) 1-LIKE & SAVE the post. 2-Must be following me on Instagram 3-Tag a couple book lovers (Unlimited entries, 2 tags per com) 4-To possibly earn a bonus book if you win, comment up to 10 books per com that you would love to receive. Past or newer books.) Bonus 5 entries ea: 5-SHARE to your stories or grid & tag me. Can do daily! 6-Subscribe to my blog (I hope you already are),& comment on giveaway there & comment on Insta that you did so I can confirm. 7-Follow Mom_Loves_Reading on Facebook & comment on giveaway post there.
Be sure to add ‘Catch Us When We Fall‘ to your Goodreads & look for it on 9/21! Giveaway is 9/8-9/11/21, is US only, & not affiliated w/ Insta. Unfollowing after gets you banned from my many giveaways for 1 yr, so don’t risk missing out.🙅🏼♀️😉
Juliette Fay is the bestselling author of six novels, including CATCH US WHEN WE FALL, CITY OF FLICKERING LIGHT & THE TUMBLING TURNER SISTERS, a USA Today bestseller & Costco Pennie’s Book Club Pick. Previous novels include THE SHORTEST WAY HOME, one of Library Journal’s Top 5 Best Books of 2012: Women’s Fiction; DEEP DOWN TRUE, short-listed for the 2011Women’s Fiction award by the American Library Association; & SHELTER ME, a 2009 Massachusetts Book Award “Must-Read Book” & an Indie Next pick.
Juliette is a graduate of Boston College & Harvard University, and lives in Massachusetts with her family. Visit her at www.juliettefay.com, Facebook: Juliette Fay author, Twitter: @juliettefay, & Instagram: Juliette_Fay.