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…

Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Nonfiction

Happy Pub Day GIVEAWAY and Book Tour/Review of ‘The Rescuer: One Firefighter’s Story of Courage…’ by Jason Sautel

Pub Day GIVEAWAY! (Click HERE to go to the IG giveaway post.)

Happy Pub Day to Jason Sautel & Thank you @thomasnelson & @tlcbooktours for my gifted copy of ‘The Rescuer’ & for inviting me on the book tour!

He helped save people every day—but he had no idea how to save himself.

Jason Sautel had it all. Confident in his abilities & trusted by his fellow firefighters, he was making a name for himself on the streets of Oakland, California. His adrenaline-fueled job even helped him forget the pain of his childhood—until the day he looked into the eyes of a jumper on the Bay Bridge & came face to face with a darkness he knew would take him down as well.

In the following months, a series of traumatic emergency calls—some successful, others impossible-to-forget failures—drove Jason deeper into depression. Even as he continued his lifesaving work, he realized he could never rescue everyone, & he had no idea how to save himself.

In the end, Jason was forced to confront the truth: only the relentless power of love could pull him back from his own deadly fall. Action-packed, spiritually honest, & surprisingly romantic, ‘The Rescuer’ transports readers inside the pulse-pounding world of firefighting & into the heart of a man who needed to be broken before he could finally be made whole.

All I can say is Wow! What a powerfully visceral & inspirational story! Jason does a great job creating visual atmosphere in the pgs of his painstakingly raw, heart-wrenching, yet ultimately hopeful & inspiring, memoir. Being a fireman or any sort of first responder may be a rewarding career on many levels, but the emotional toll it may have on these heroic individuals is often worse than the physical one.

The Rescuer: One Firefighter’s Story of Courage, Darkness, & the Relentless Love That Saved Him‘ is an incredibly engaging, thought-provoking story of hope & soul redemption. I was emotionally captivated the whole time I read ‘The Rescuer’ & Jason’s story, along w/ the stories he shared, will stay w/ me for yrs to come!


(*The following is for FYI purposes only. All entries MUST be made on Instagram page. Click HERE to go to the giveaway post.)

To win a copy of ‘The Rescuer‘:
1-Like THIS post.
2-Must be following @mom_loves_reading
3-Tag a bookish friend (Unlimited entries, up to 3 per com)
(Bonus 5 entries if you share to your stories or IG feed & tag me)
.
US residents only. Giveaway begins 9/1 & ends 9/4/20. No UNfollowing after, please, or you’ll be banned from all future MLR giveaways (& there’s LOTS). Giveaway not affiliated w/ IG.

Click HERE to go to my Instagram post & give it a LIKE. (Please & Thank you!)
Click HERE to add ‘The Rescuer’ to your Goodreads list.
Click HERE to visit ‘The Rescuer’ website & download a FREE chapter of the book.
Click HERE to visit Jason Sautel on Facebook.
Click HERE to order on Amazon.

Jason Sautel spent much of his early adulthood as a decorated firefighter in one of the toughest firehouses in the country and today shares Christ-centered stories and lessons from his time there to his 600,000+ Facebook followers. He loves his wife of sixteen years, Kristie, his four two-legged children, his two four-legged children, and appreciates God’s gifts of donuts, surfing, and Maui.

BeachReads · Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Booksparks · Fiction

Book Tour and Review: ‘Barbarians at the PTA’

Please click HERE to give my IG post a LIKE!

‘Desperate Housewives’ meets ‘Mean Girls’ was all I needed to hear to inspire me to read Stephanie Newman’s debut novel, ‘Barbarians at the PTA‘, about a mother-daughter duo facing cliques, cyberbullying, & snobs in a wealthy NYC suburb.

Victoria Bryant is starting over. After a rage-inducing scandal & the realization that her dreamy fiancé is faker than a faux Fendi purse, she moves her psychology practice & 10-yr-old daughter, Rachel, to Mayfair Close, an idyllic Westchester, NY, suburb known for its manicured lawns & excellent schools.

The transition is initially seamless; several PTA moms befriend Victoria, her already busy practice booms, & Rachel finds a group of friends. But before anyone can say “helicopter mom,” in walks Lee DeVry. Wealthy, glamorous & perfectly toned, the PTA president is everything Victoria is not.

Vic tries to fit in w/ Lee & the other SUV driving, athleisure-wearing mothers. At first, she manages to balance the demands of her practice, single parenthood, & her budding romance w/ Jim, a handsome school administrator. All seems well until Rachel is suddenly targeted, first by the girls at school, & then by an anonymous cyberbully. As Rachel spirals, becoming isolated, playing hooky, & exhibiting signs of depression & disordered eating, Victoria vows to find out who has been messing w/ her daughter.

After she learns a secret that will help her rescue her child, Vic faces the ultimate dilemma: should she expose the bully publicly, despite the potential consequences to her professional reputation & relationships w/ Rachel & Jim?

A witty, sharp, & hope-filled debut, ‘Barbarians at the PTA‘ will have you cheering for badass moms everywhere who go to the ends of the earth for their children—& will leave you wanting more from Dr. Stephanie Newman.

Having the insight & fortitude of a psychologist & mother, Newman nails it in this book w/ the all too realistic scenarios & heart-breaking challenges of being a parent to a child who is being bullied at school & online, not just by peers, but by over-involved, competitive mothers. One of my fave comedies is ‘Bad Moms‘ & this book compares to that movie, but on a more serious level, & balanced out w/ humor, twists & sass.

Barbarians at the PTA‘ makes a great summer (or back to school time) read & is available now. Look for it at your local indie stores today! And Thank You to Booksparks for inviting me on the virtual book tour & to Stephanie Newman & SkyHorse Publishing for the autographed copy of the the book!

BeachReads · Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Booksparks · Fiction · Romance · RomCom · WomensFiction

Online Book Tour for ‘Kiss My Cupcake’ by Helena Hunting

Click HERE to give my IG post some LIKE love!

QOTD: Do you have a sweet tooth? (I totally do!) Well, have I got a book that will get your taste buds tingling & your heart swooning!

Thank you @booksparks & @readforeverpub for my gifted copy of Helena Hunting‘s latest rom-com, ‘Kiss My Cupcake‘! This book published on 8/11 by Forever Publishing.

*As two neighborhood shop owners battle for business, they prove opposites attract in this outrageously funny romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of ‘Meet Cute, ‘The Good Luck Charm‘ & over a dozen other novels.

Blaire Calloway has planned every Instagram-worthy moment of her cupcake & cocktails shop launch down to the tiniest detail. What she didn’t plan on? Ronan Knight & his old-school sports bar next door opening on the very same day. He may be super swoony, but Blaire hasn’t spent years obsessing over buttercream & bourbon to have him ruin her chance at success.

From axe throwing (his place) to frosting contests (hers), Blaire & Ronan are constantly trying to one-up each other in a battle to win new customers. But with every clash, there’s also an undeniable chemistry. When an even bigger threat to their business comes to town, they’re forced to call a temporary time-out on their own war & work together. And the more time Blaire spends getting to know the real Ronan, the more she wonders if it’s possible to have her cupcake & eat it too.

We actually have one of those axe throwing bars in the next town over & I am still dumbfounded by the very fact that axe throwing while consuming alcohol exists! Cupcakes & adult bev’s, on the other hand…now THAT I am down with!

I just received ‘Kiss My Cupcake‘ a couple days ago & I started reading it that same night! I will probably finish it later today, but so far I am LOVING it! It is hilarious, charming, sexy & very engaging! Hunting does such a great job of creating a sense of place, you can practically smell the buttercream frosting (& bourbon)! I can’t wait to get back to reading it this evening! (& the flavors of cupcakes Blaire whips up in the book will make you drool with confectionery delight!) ‘Meet Cute‘ is also a super engaging, romantic, fun read that I definitely recommend & I will be reading ‘The Good Luck Charm‘ soon, too!

Kiss My Cupcake‘ & Helena’s other books are available now. Look for it at your local indie bookstore today!
(PS: Did you know this Sat is National Independent Book Store Day? What better way to help them celebrate than to support your local (or an online) indie bookstore! You can use BookStoreLink to locate indie bookstores. (PS…Today is the last day to enter the Murderino Monday giveaway on Instagram. Click HERE to go to that post.)

Click HERE to read more about ‘Meet Cute”
Click HERE to read more about ‘The Good Luck Charm’

New York Times 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. She writes all things romance — contemporary, romantic comedy, sports and angsty new adult. Helena loves to bake cupcakes, has been known to listen to a song on repeat 1512 times while writing a book, and if she has to be away from her family, prefers to be in warm weather with her friends.

Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Fiction · OwnVoices

Book Tour and Review of: ‘The Last Story of Mina Lee’ by Nancy Jooyoun Kim

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Thank you @bookclubbish #parkrowbooks (partner) for my gifted copy of ‘The Last Story of Mina Lee’ by Nancy Jooyoun Kim & for inviting me on the #Bookstagram Tour! (book release date 9/1)

A profoundly moving & unconventional mother-daughter saga, ‘The Last Story of Mina Lee illustrates the devastating realities of being an immigrant in America.

Margot Lee’s mother, Mina, isn’t returning her calls. It’s a mystery to twenty-six-year-old Margot, until she visits her childhood apartment in Koreatown, LA, & finds that her mother has suspiciously died. The discovery sends Margot digging through the past, unraveling the tenuous invisible strings that held together her single mother’s life as a Korean War orphan & an undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she truly knew about her mother.

Interwoven with Margot’s present-day search is Mina’s story of her first year in Los Angeles as she navigates the promises & perils of the American myth of reinvention. While she’s barely earning a living by stocking shelves at a Korean grocery store, the last thing Mina ever expects is to fall in love. But that love story sets in motion a series of events that have consequences for years to come, leading up to the truth of what happened the night of her death.

Told through the intimate lens of a mother & daughter who have struggled all their lives to understand each other, ‘The Last Story of Mina Lee’ is a powerful & exquisitely woven debut novel that explores identity, family, secrets, & what it truly means to belong.

Told in alternating POV’s (the past & present, Mina & Margot), this is a story that will make a home in your heart for years to come. This book would make an excellent book club choice, too! There are just so many points of discussion in this gorgeous, debut novel.

The Last Story of Mina Lee‘ is a gripping, poignant, & often heartbreaking story about a complex mother-daughter relationship: an immigrant parent’s sacrifices & the mystery surrounding her life & her death, & the daughter who longs to reconnect with & understand her, & who now must do so by unraveling the enigma of her mother’s past. I loved learning more about Korean culture as well in this well-written, #ownvoice novel.

Click HERE to add ‘The Last Story of Mina Lee’ to your Goodreads list.
Click HERE to visit Nancy Jooyoun Kim on Instagram.
Click HERE to go to my Instagram post & show it some LIKE love!

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Nancy Jooyoun Kim is a graduate of UCLA & the University of Washington, Seattle. Her essays & short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, NPR/PRI’s Selected Shorts, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s The Margins, The Offing, & elsewhere.

Her debut novel, ‘THE LAST STORY OF MINA LEE’, is forthcoming from Park Row Books/HarperCollins on September 1, 2020.