Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Nonfiction

Book Tour kick off for ‘Clouds: A Memoir’ by Laura Sobiech featuring the Disney+ movie cover

Thank You @thomasnelson & @tlcbooktours for my gifted copy of ‘Clouds: A Memoir‘ by Laura Sobiech & for letting me kick off the TLC Book Tour of this beautiful book! (Click HERE to go to my Instagram post & show it some love & support with a LIKE, maybe a Share or a Save.)

Originally published as ‘Fly a Little Higher in 2014 & now updated & revised to coincide with the film release of ‘Clouds’ (Disney+), Laura Sobiech tells the amazing, true story behind the song & the movie.

“Okay, Lord, you can have him. But if he must die, I want it to be for something big. I want someone’s life to be changed forever.” This is what Laura Sobiech prayed when she found out her 17-year-old son had only one year to live. With this desperate prayer, she released her son to God’s will.

At that point, Zach Sobiech was just another teenager battling cancer. When his mother told him to think about writing goodbye letters to family & friends, he decided instead to write songs. One of them, “Clouds,” captured hearts & changed lives, making him an international sensation.

(Click HERE to see Zach Sobiech sing ‘Clouds‘)

This story is a testament to what can happen when you live as if each day might be your last. It’s a story about the human spirit. It shows how God used a dying boy from a small town in Minnesota to touch the hearts of millions—including top executives in the entertainment industry, major music artists, news anchors, talk show hosts, actors, priests & pastors, & schoolchildren across the globe. And above all, it’s an example of the amazing things that happen when someone shares the most precious thing he has—himself.

“I’m not a musician; I’m just a filmmaker, and my prayer is that you get an opportunity—both through the reading of this beautiful book and the watching of our film based on it—to experience what I will fail to put into words: the magic and inspiration of Zachary David Sobiech.”

—Justin Baldoni, filmmaker and director of Clouds

The pain of losing a child is one I hope to never experience 1st hand, but last year my 2 oldest sons experienced the loss of their younger brother, S.W. (my ex-husbands son) to cancer. He was 20 & had been fighting cancer since he was 19. One year, endless treatments & hospitals, & then he was gone…& it all started w/ a backache. Much like Zach Sobiech, S.W. touched the hearts of everyone he encountered & was a remarkable human being.

Clouds‘ is so gripping, it left me absolutely breathless! I challenge anyone to read this book & not shed a single tear, sad ones or happy ones, or to feel their hearts fill w/ positivity & hopefulness as they read about the amazing young man who was Zach Sobiech. The courage & grace that he demonstrated while knowing he had only a year of his very young life left to live was just astounding, & the song he wrote, ‘Clouds‘, has been stuck in my head on repeat since I first heard it. The Disney+ adaptation comes out on 10/16, but I encourage you to read this absolutely moving, deeply compelling, inspiring & powerful memoir written by Zach’s mother. I seriously can’t recommend it enough!

Click HERE to visit the Fly A Little Higher website & read a chapter of the book.
Click HERE to add ‘Clouds’ to your Goodreads lists.
Click HERE to visit the Thomas Nelson publishing page for ‘Clouds’, listen to a sample of the audiobook. There are also links for ordering the book. The original version is already available & the new, updated, Disney+ cover version ‘Clouds’ publishes on 10/13.
Click HERE to visit my Instagram page & give this post a LIKE there to show the publisher, author (& ME) your support.
Click HERE to go to the hashtag #Clouds on Instagram & see pics from the movie & it’s actors.
Click HERE to see a trailer of the upcoming movie from Disney+.

In 2009 Laura Sobiech was living a very average life. She was married to her husband, Rob, for 20 yrs, had 4 children & was working 2 part-time jobs & volunteering as a firefighter/EMT at her local fire department.
Then, on a gloomy day in Nov 2009, everything changed. Her 14-yr-old son, Zach, was diagnosed w/ osteosarcoma, a rare form of pediatric bone cancer. As Zach battled cancer, Laura blogged about it on their Caring Bridge website.
In May 2012 Zach learned he had only a year to live &, as a way to say “goodbye” to his family & friends, he wrote a beautiful song called “Clouds.” The song touched not only family & friends, but through the help of a team of people who believed in Zach’s music & message, it reached millions of people across the globe.
In May 2013 a documentary called ‘My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech’ was released on the Soul Pancake YouTube channel. The video went viral & reached over 12.3 million people within months of it’s release. And the numbers continue to grow. The week of Zach’s death, on May 20, 2013, his song reached #1 on iTunes & made it’s way up Billboard’s Top 100 chart, debuting at #26, & topping the Rock Digital Downloads at #1.
Laura’s memoir, ‘Fly A Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom’s Small Prayer in a Big Way’, is about her family’s amazing, joyful & heartbreaking journey with Zach through cancer & his incredible last year of life.
Learn more about Laura, Zach and the book at flyalittlehigher.com. #flyhigher

(I dedicate this blog post to Zach Sobiech’s family & also to my son’s brother, S.W….rest peacefully in Heaven…

Book Reviews · Fiction · psychologicalsuspense · Thriller

Five-Star Fiction Friday Book Review: ‘Keep Your Friends Close’ by Janelle Harris

Click HERE for IG post & give it a LIKE!

Time for a Five-Star Fiction Friday rec! Thank you @amazonpublishing #lakeunionpublishing for my gift copy of ‘Keep Your Friends Close‘ by Janelle Harris! (pub 10/6)

QOTD: Do you agree with the old saying, “Keep your friends close & your enemies closer.” I agree to a certain point I guess, because if I don’t like someone, I have a really hard time w/ keeping a poker face when that person is around & tend to just ignore them completely or kill them w/ kindness, so to speak. But I’m not sure sure how close I would want to be w/ any enemy of mine.

Darcy Hogan’s perfect life is all over social media. She’s beautiful, she’s successful, & she & her childhood sweetheart are about to become parents for the first time. But behind all the followers & the superficial likes lurks a darker truth…

In reality, Darcy feels isolated & afraid. Her difficult pregnancy has her confined to the house, she’s being harassed online, & out-of-control debt threatens to ruin everything she’s worked so hard for.
When her husband is summoned away on business, Darcy’s cabin fever soon spirals into fear. Who is making mysterious phone calls & knocking on her door? Is it an old friend trying to reach out—or a stranger determined to push in?

As her due date creeps closer, Darcy feels ever more certain that someone is out to get her. She’s desperate to get away—but is she running from the right person?

‘Keep Your Enemies Close’ is a dual-narrated, psychological suspense/thriller by the author of ‘Under Lying‘, ‘See Me Not‘ & ‘No Kiss Goodbye‘…3 books I will surely be checking out because I loved this one so much! Darcy’s whole story is pretty fascinating & held my interest throughout the entire book. The book is fast-paced, expertly plotted, easy to follow timelines/narration, gripping & twisty. I would highly recommend this book to any suspense/mystery/thriller lover, & even if you manage to figure stuff out, it is still an entertaining & quite enjoyable read!

Look for ‘Keep Your Enemies Close‘ this Tues, 10/6, at your local indie bookstore or online wherever books are sold.

Click HERE to add ‘Keep Your Friends Close‘ to your Goodreads list.
Click HERE to visit Janelle Harris at her website.
Click HERE to visit my Instagram page, follow me, & give my post about this book a LIKE.

Janelle Harris lives in Kildare, Ireland with her husband and young family. Janelle enjoys books that screw with your head and mess with your heart. She hopes her books offer her readers a taste of that world.
Janelle rarely checks Goodreads but she does love to chat, so if you would like to get in touch check out www.janellebrookeharris.com

BOTMs, · Fiction · HistoricalFiction · Thriller · WomensFiction

The October Books of the Month are LIVE!

📚The October BOTM’s are up!! (Click HERE to visit my Instagram post & give it some LIKE love!)

📚It’s that time of the month that all of Book of the Month book club members look forward to! Constantly refreshing our browser every so often on those last couple days of the month, when BOTM generally releases the 5 new books & a few new add-on selections.

📚A long time member & fan of Book of the Month club, I get so excited to see what books they have selected for us each month. I skipped the last 2 mos because I already had the books that I wanted from the Aug/Sep selections from the publishers. So I was extra stoked to see what would be available for me to choose for October.

Once again, they are some goodies! The books are:

‘Magic Lessons‘:
Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.

‘Leave the World Behind’: Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older Black couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.

Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one another?

‘The Girl in the Mirror’: Twin sisters Iris & Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical & insecure, Iris has long been envious of Summer’s seemingly never-ending good fortune, including her perfect husband Adam. Called to Thailand to help her sister sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, Iris nurtures her own secret hopes for what might happen on the journey. But when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes. When she makes it to land, Iris allows herself to be swept up by Adam, who assumes that she is Summer.
Iris recklessly goes along with his mistake. Not only does she finally have the golden life she’s always envied, w/ her sister gone, she’s one step closer to the 100-million-dollar inheritance left by her manipulative father. All Iris has to do is be the first of his seven children to produce an heir. Iris’s “new” life lurches between glamorous dream & paranoid nightmare. On the edge of being exposed, how far will she go to ensure no one discovers the truth? And just what did happen to Summer on the yacht? Only Iris knows…

‘Ties That Tether’: At 12 yrs old, Azere promised her dying father she would marry a Nigerian man & preserve her culture even after immigrating to Canada. Her mother has been vigilant about helping—forcing—her to stay well within the Nigerian dating pool ever since. But when another match-made-by-mom goes wrong, Azere ends up at a bar, enjoying the company & later sharing the bed of Rafael Castellano, a man who is tall, handsome, & white.
When their one-night stand unexpectedly evolves into something serious, Azere is caught between her growing feelings for Rafael & the compulsive need to please her mother who will never accept a relationship that threatens to dilute Azere’s Nigerian heritage.
Azere can’t help wondering if loving Rafael makes her any less of a Nigerian. Can she be w/ him without compromising her identity? The answer will either cause Azere to be audacious & fight for her happiness or continue as the compliant daughter.

‘The Invisible Life of Addie Larue’:
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever―and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, & a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries & continents, across history & art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore & he remembers her name.



📚If you have been on the fence about joining BOTM, I encourage you to do it now! There are some GREAT books to choose from & w/ some excellent fall releases coming, you will be able to get in on that readerly action before your non-BOTM friends. You get a special intro price for your first BOTM & then you’ll be on your way to being a BOTM BFF like me! (**Please be advised, BOTM is currently only available for shipping within the 50 United States.)

📚Once you’ve rcvd 12 BOTM monthly boxes, you are officially a BFF. With that new title comes great things: a FREE BOTM tote bag, a FREE BOTM add-on during your bday month & a FREE book at the end of the year from the Book of the Year finalists. It’s pretty freakin’ awesome!

📚Many of the books each mo. are Early Releases, meaning you can get books a mo. or more before the gen public! Full-sz hardback books for nearly HALF of what you’d pay elsewhere & well-curated selections of various genres. A little something for everyone! You can add-on other books for even LESS (up to 3 books total per mo) & you can skip any month you choose to. Click HERE for my referral offer & get your first book for only $9.99!

📚Some of this mos new add-ons include ‘Invisible Girl’ by Lisa Jewell, ‘Practical Magic‘, Elin Hilderbrand’s ‘Troubles in Paradise’, & more! So, what looks good to you this month? All of them, right!?😉 (Don’t forget, once you add a monthly BOTM, go back & check out all of the available add-ons. There are new ones addes all of the time! Some are newer, some are classics!

Click HERE to use my special code & join me in becoming a Book of the Month club member!

About ME · Book Reviews · Family Drama · Fiction · Thriller · WomensFiction

A Motherhood Monday book review featuring ‘The Best of Friends’ by Lucinda Berry (and a pic of two actual bff’s)

Thank you @amazonpublishing #thomasandmercer for my gifted copy of ‘The Best of Friends‘ by Lucinda Berry! (pub 8/18)

The two lovely ladies pictured in today’s post are my daughter & her BFF. I really need to get an updated pic of me & my BFF sometime soon, but if you go to my Instagram post HERE, you will get to see a picture of us running a 5k together a few yrs ago & a couple other pics of my daughter & her BFF’s.

(And remember this silly little song written by actor Zach Galifianakis, from the movie, The Hangover, (if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll understand the simplicity of the lyrics. Click here to view on YouTube)

We’re the Three Best Friends
That Anyone Could Have
We’re the Three Best Friends
That Anyone Could Have.

We’re the Three Best Friends
That Anyone Could Have
And We’ll Never ever ever ever
Leave Each Other.

We’re the Three Best Friends
That Anyone Could Have
We’re the Three Best Friends
That Anyone Could Have…
(Source: Musixmatch Songwriters: Zachary Knight Galifianakis
Three Best Friends lyrics © Warner Olive Music Llc.)

Now for the book: ‘The Best of Friends‘ by Lucinda Berry

An unthinkable tragedy forever changes a group of teens & turns family against family in this edge-of-your-seat thriller that begs to be read in one sitting.
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Best friends Lindsey, Kendra, & Dani endure every parent’s nightmare when a tragic accident befalls their teenage boys, leaving one dead, another in a coma, & a third too traumatized to speak. Reeling from the worst night of their lives, the 3 mothers plunge into a desperate investigation of the bizarre incident. How could something so horrible happen in their wealthy Southern California suburb?
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They soon discover that the accident was just the beginning, & troubling discoveries lead to chilling questions: Do they really know their children? Do they even know each other? As more secrets surface, a fog of doubt & suspicion threatens to poison their families, their friendships, & the whole community. With the illusion of happiness and safety long gone, these women must now confront the hazards of heartbreak, the consequences of jealousy, & the dangers of living double lives.
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The Best of Friends‘ relentlessly grabs you from the first pages & doesn’t let go! As a parent of 5, 2 of which are currently teenage boys, this book resonated w/ me & how as a mother, I would go to the end of the world, through hell & back, to protect my child, & if something bad happened to them, I would never give up on finding the truth behind the incident. This book is a heart-wrenching, compelling, thought-provoking domestic suspense, & I loved it! I can’t wait to check out other books by Berry soon!

Click HERE to add ‘The Best of Friends’ to your Goodreads lists.
Click HERE to visit Lucinda Berry’s website.
Click HERE to go to my Instagram post & give it a LIKE. (…please…& thank you!)

**And don’t forget to enter my 4-book thriller giveaway on Instagram that ends tomorrow night! Click HERE to go to that post now!

Dr. Lucinda Berry is a former clinical psychologist and leading researcher in childhood trauma. Now, she spends her days writing full-time where she uses her clinical experience to blur the line between fiction and nonfiction. She enjoys taking her readers on a journey through the dark recesses of the human psyche.

If Berry isn’t chasing after her son, you can find her running through Los Angeles, prepping for her next marathon. To hear about her upcoming releases, visit her on Facebook or sign up for her newsletter at https://lucindaberryauthor.com/

Book Reviews · Family Drama · Fiction · WomensFiction

Book Review: ‘Only Human’ by Diane Chandler (pub 9/8)

Thank you @blackbird_bks for my gifted copy of ‘Only Human‘ by Diane Chandler! (pub date 9/8)

QOTD: Do you like to try out new authors or do you stick to specific ones? Personally, I love discovering new authors & I am very glad to have been introduced to the writing talent of Diane Chandler.

Every betrayal has a consequence…One family…one summer…one woman…

Anna Bond is floundering. Tiger mom to tricky teen Sophie, now slipping through her fingers, & loyal wife to big sociable Ollie, whom she no longer trusts, what does she do next with her life? Once a confident career woman, after so many years at home & the school gate, Anna now finds her mind is chattering & her soul is searching – for what matters.

Then Jack walks into their lives. Sophie’s first boyfriend is a breath of fresh air for the whole family, & Anna gradually discovers new purpose for herself. But when deceit creeps in, tensions surface, & she finds herself propelled through a tangled web of secrets & lies towards a devastating climax.

This is my first book by Diane Chandler & it will not be my last. ‘Only Human‘ is a very profound, heartbreaking, poignant, beautifully told story about the human condition w/ vividly fleshed out characters that are realistically portrayed throughout the pages. It’s an all-consuming family drama that was truly hard to put down.

Only Human‘ is a very thought-provoking, well-written, relatable story about family dynamics that also has some humor woven in as well. I highly recommend this book, which is available now.

On another note, don’t forget to enter my current giveaway for 4 thriller arc’s on Instagram. Click HERE to go to the giveaway now. Ends on 9/29.

Click HERE to purchase ‘Only Human’ on Amazon.
Click HERE to give my Instagram post some LIKE love!
Click HERE to add ‘Only Human’ to your Goodreads list.

Diane was a political lobbyist in Brussels before then working at the European Commission in overseas aid for several years. Back in London, she joined the Ukraine and Africa desks at the Department for International Development (DFID). Her first novel, The Road to Donetsk, draws on her experiences in overseas aid. Her second, Moondance, on the emotional impact of fertility treatment. Her third novel, Only Human, is about a woman struggling to find new meaning in life after her husband cheats on her and her only daughter flies the nest. Diane co-runs Creative Writing Workshops London with Stephanie Zia of Blackbird Digital Books, and also coaches aspiring writers. She hosts www.Chiswickbuzz.net book club Words with Wine in W4.