Book Reviews · Booksparks

"Slay Like a Mother: How to Destroy What's Holding You Back…"

Thank you @booksparks (partner) & @sourcebooks for my gifted copy of “Slay Like A Mother: How to Destroy What’s Holding You Back So You Can Live the Life You Want” by Katherine Wintsch!
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This empowering self-help book champions the kind of self-doubting that mother Katherine Wintsch, CEO of The Mom Complex, calls “Never-Enough,” the kind of mother whose guilt, desperation, & fear about not being enough is overwhelming.
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Based on more than a decade of research, “Slay Like a Mother” takes a brave new look at the increasing population of modern mothers & reveals the good, the bad, & the ugly behind the battles they fight within. Brave, supportive, & insightful, the stories and advice shared in this book will teach women to live more confidently, enjoy the present, & slay like a mother.
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This book is exactly what all women should read. It discusses ways women can & should support & empower each other & how we should be lifting one another up instead of tearing each other down. (Let’s face it, women can be the absolute worst, am I right?) We often say we are all about supporting other women, yet we are also the ones judging each other the hardest, comparing ourselves to one another, trying to conform to what we feel society expects us to look like, & pointing out what we are told are flaws on ourselves and others. Being a woman & a mother is really fracking hard!
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I know I, for one, am my own biggest critic. I strive too hard for perfection in everything I do, & it ends up backfiring on me in one way or another, & I end up mentally or physically exhausted. Motherhood is hard, one of the hardest jobs in the universe; but it doesn’t have to be.
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I will chose to be the best me I can be, but not get down on myself when I don’t feel like I am matching my own expectations or societies even. I will choose instead to love myself- my imperfect self- & be the best mother I can be & not compare my life or looks to another mothers. I will be the Mother of Dragons (#GOTreference) & slay like one as well!
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Slay Like a Mother” is thought-provoking, inspiring, relatable & brutally honest. The paperback comes out on 3/3 & the hardback is available now.

Book Reviews

Book Review "When We Were Vikings"

📖Thank you @gallerybooks #scoutpress for my gifted finished copy of “When We Were Vikings” by Andrew David MacDonald! And thank you to @librofm & @simon.audio (partner) for my free audio copy of the book!🎧
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💛Sometimes life isn’t as simple as heroes and villains. For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is best lived with some basic rules:
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1. A smile means “thank you for doing something small that I liked.”
2. Fist bumps and dabs = respect.
3. Strange people are not appreciated in her home.
4. Tomatoes must go in the middle of the sandwich and not get the bread wet.
5. Sometimes the most important things don’t fit on lists.
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💙But when Zelda finds out that Gert has resorted to some questionable—and dangerous—methods to make enough money to keep them afloat, Zelda decides to launch her own quest. Her mission: to be legendary. It isn’t long before Zelda finds herself in a battle that tests the reach of her heroism, her love for her brother, and the depth of her Viking strength.
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💛”When We Were Vikings” is an uplifting debut about an unlikely heroine whose journey will leave you wanting to embark on a quest of your own, because after all…We are all legends of our own making.

💙As a parent of two kids with autism, I loved that main character Zelda was well representative of a person with a high functioning learning disability. Some authors just don’t hit the mark in that area. MacDonald nailed it!
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💛A beautiful, heart-warming, heart-breaking, inspiring and unforgettable story! Definitely recommend it and I Loved it!!
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🎧The audio version is well-narrated and held my interest from beginning to end. To get it on audio, goto Librofm, use my code MOMLOVESREADING and get a 3-for-1 audiobook deal. Librofm is the first audio app that supports indie bookstores with our purchases instead of billionaires.👍🏻😉

PS…Don’t forget today (2/16) is the last day to enter to win the book “Our Stop” featured in the Sunshine Book Stack post. Click HERE.

Book Reviews

The Hazel Wood, The Night Country & a new release trilogy

Click HERE to view on Instagram

Thank you @flatiron_books @macmillan.audio & @librofm for my free copies of “The Hazel Wood” & “The Night Country” by Melissa Albert!

I received this beautiful, hardback copy of “The Hazel Wood” a couple years ago & never got around to reading it. Seriously, the cover is freaking gorgeous! Then when I received an audio version of “The Night Country” I knew it was time to listen to both. I listened to “The Hazel Wood” in one day! It was just so addictive! I sped it up to about 1.5x which was just right for me to keep up, then I started “The Night Country” the next day.

Both books are way outside of my usual comfort zone, but I did end up enjoying them. (I think I liked “The Hazel Wood” better than the 2nd one, mostly because the second book got sorta confusing for me, due to so many more characters than the first book.) The series is like “Once Upon a Time” the TV show meets Grimm fairytales, with a modern twist. These books are geared toward YA, but due to some of the graphic nature & language, I would say maybe 15 and up. There is some seriously twisted stuff in “The Night Country”. I was captivated by both books & the narrator was fantastic & narrated both books.

These books are dark, complex, creepy & atmospheric. There will be a third book coming in the future, and a screen version of “The Hazel Wood” is currently in production. If you are into creepy, modern/fantasy novel on audiobook, use my special code MOMLOVESREADING on the Librofm audiobook app, & get a 3-for-1 deal. You could get both of these books & then another one for free!

Librofm is the first audiobook company to support independent book stores with all of their audiobook purchases, they have over 125,000+ books to choose from, including new releases & best sellers, & once you download the audiobook to your phone, you don’t need to use wifi or data to listen to it. There are also many other audiobooks you can choose at a generous discount.You can cancel your subscription anytime, too.

I LOVE Librofm & the positive impact they have had on my reading! As a very busy mom on the go, I always have my phone & Airpods with me so I can listen to my current book. Make the switch from that other audiobook company today!

Click HERE for synopsis of “The Hazel Wood” and HERE for “The Night Country”.

And now, introducing another fantasy series…

INDIGO DUSK- A High Fantasy Romance

Indigo Dusk (The Aetherial Embrace Trilogy Book 1)” by Kristy Nicolle

SYNOPSIS:

When Kairi Freemont happens upon a winged man on her parents’ Tennessee Ranch, she’s given what she’s wanted ever since the day she was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome: An escape from the pain of her chronic, invisible illness.
Through the power of the Aetherial Sun, Aro shows her there’s not only a place where her pain disappears but that she can live in a fairytale world of Unicorns, Fae, and magic she’s always wished was real. But when Kairi discovers that meeting Aro was no accident, that she may have lived a whole past life at Aro’s side before being stolen away by the monstrous Draconians, things start to spin out of control.
Are the Draconians, a race of banished dragon riders who have long since lost their precious reptilian steeds, as monstrous as the rest of Aetheria believes? And what lies at the heart of Aro’s motivation behind sweeping Kairi off her feet? Is it simply flirtation and his desire to give her a better life, or is the truth far more malicious than she could have ever expected?

PRE-ORDER NOW: https://books2read.com/u/3Lpvw5

Book Reviews

"The Giver of Stars" by JoJo Moyes

My daughter, my friend Jaclyn, and I were lucky enough to meet JoJo Moyes back in October at the Cuyahoga Public Library. We got to listen to her discuss the months of research she put into her latest novel “The Giver of Stars” and she also did some Q&A’s with the audience.

Things I got to hear JoJo Moyes say in person:
•The “F” word twice when she was telling us a story from her time in KY doing research.
•She slipped that “Giver of Stars was already optioned for movie.
•This is also her favorite of all of her books thus far.
•Her dad didn’t think her book “Me Before You” would do very well. (It’s one of my all time faves!)
•Author friend, Sophia Kinsella was the one that convinced her to publish “Me Before You”.
•Her novel “The Last Letter from Her Lover” is being made into a movie.

Me Before Her

She also complimented my blouse and practically choked on her water when I introduced my daughter…
JM: “THAT’S your daughter? (said in her adorable accent) How old is she? You don’t look old enough to be her mother. I thought you were sisters.” (we DO look a lot alike!)
ME:”She’s 22. And thank you..I’m actually 3 mos older than you, also born in the summer of 69.”
(insert gasping while drinking water)
JM:”What?? Oh my goodness! (Big smile!) You look so young! Yay, Generation X!”(then she shook my hand firmly)

JoJo autographing my “The Giver of Stars”

She is just the cutest, sweetest person and quite funny! I would have loved to have taken a posed picture with her, but this event didn’t allow for that due to the time allotment and the amount of people there. So my daughter snapped the quick pics while I was talking to her. It was a lovely event and I am so glad I was able to go.

I took the book photo above back in Oct also, when the sky was so beautiful and tried to line it up just right with the book (nailed it!) I loved this book and learned a lot of cool things from it. It’s fiction, but loosely based on real people. It’s just a really interesting book! Atmospheric, heartfelt, inspiring and just wonderful! I hope to see her in person again someday and I will buy every book she ever writes!

I really want that blouse she is wearing!

You can buy this book here using Book Store Link. With Book Store Link, you type in the book you are looking for, then choose an independent book seller in your area or from the list, and when it comes up on the screen, it will give you a link to the bookstores website (if applicable), a phone number to call and request that it be held or ordered for you, and also the link to get the book on audio (if that’s your thing…I LOVE audio books!) It is so important to buy books from local, independent book sellers, instead of just ordering them on Amazon (and supporting a bajillionaire!) I, for one, do not want to know a world where independent book stores no longer exist. So, please, join me in helping to support them and try Book Store Link today! Or use Libro.fm and my special code MOMLOVESREADING to get your books on audio and get a 3-for-1 deal.

Book synopsis:

Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond.

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.

What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.

Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic–a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.

Book Reviews · Giveaway

Heads up! Giveaway starting today on IG…

Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanna Elden

GIVEAWAY!! Thank you @atriabooks (#partner) for my gifted copy of “Adequate Yearly Progress” by Roxanna Elden & for sponsoring this giveaway!

Roxanna Elden’s satire is a brilliantly entertaining & moving look at our education system..Each new school year brings familiar challenges to Brae Hill Valley, a struggling high school in one the biggest cities in Texas. But the teachers also face plenty of personal challenges and this year, they may finally spill over into the classroom.

English teacher Lena Wright, a spoken-word poet, can never seem to truly connect with her students. Hernan D. Hernandez is confident in front of his biology classes, but tongue-tied around the woman he most wants to impress. Down the hall, math teacher Maybelline Galang focuses on the numbers as she struggles to parent her daughter, while Coach Ray hustles his troubled football team toward another winning season.

Recording it all is idealistic second-year history teacher Kaytee Mahoney, whose anonymous blog gains new readers by the day as it drifts ever further from her in-class reality. And this year, a new superintendent is determined to leave his own mark on the school—even if that means shutting the whole place down.

“Gossip Girl” meets “The Office” but in an urban high school…sounds intriguing, eh?I LOVED this book so much! I already have a few teacher friends asking to borrow my copy after they heard about this book! “Adequate Yearly Progress” is funny, clever, engaging, & heart-warming & will have you thanking all the teachers in your life for all of their sacrifices & their service! Fans of @LaurieGelman ‘s “Class Mom” series will love this book! 

Giveaway will begin at 10:00am EST on Instagram.

Book Reviews · BOTMs,

February Book of the Month selections…


📚The BOTM’s went live yesterday! And here are your February choices…

February Books of the Month

📖First up is the super controversial novel by Jeanine Cummins, “American Dirt”, which released 1/21. Controversy aside, I liked the book and read an advance copy of it.

📖Next up, from my fave author duo, “You are Not Alone” by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen. This is an early release selection, as it doesn’t release until 3/3. I have read their other novels & loved them & I know I will love this one just as much! (I have an arc!🥰)

📖Then we have “The Holdout” by Graham Moore (which is my Feb pick)! This comes out 2/18. I liked his 2016 book, “The Last Days of Night” very much!

📖If you are a YA fan, we have “Anna K: A Love Story” by Jenny Lee which is a reimagining of Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”. This is another early release addition and it also comes out 3/3.

📖And last, but not least, “The Girl with the Louding Voice” a very powerful, debut novel by Abi Dare that I have already seen all over ‘the gram’ & everywhere else! This book comes out 2/4.

📚So, what sounds good to you? I am getting “The Holdout” and added in “Dear Edward” (a previous choice) as an add-on.
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📚If you are not a Book of the Month member yet, what are ya waiting for? Early release & highly anticipated hardbacks at half the cost of buying elsewhere, bonus freebies after 12 BOTM’s, titles that are well curated, and so much more!
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📚If you would like to join us BOTM’ers and get your first book for just $5, CLICK HERE!

Book Reviews

"Followers" by Megan Angelo

Thank you to @Bookishfirst for my free copy of “Followers” by Megan Angelo, which was released on 1/14! I used the points I earned reviewing books on Bookish First to claim this book for FREE! If you would like to earn FREE books by giving your first impressions of the the books in the weekly Bookish First giveaway and also for reviewing books on Bookish First, goto Bookish First , create an account and use my referral code 866866da9d3a27200 and we will BOTH earn bonus points!

“Followers” synopsis: An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make & the profound moment that changes the meaning of privacy forever.
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Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups & influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss―a striving, wannabe A-lister―comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla & Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.

Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.

“Followers” traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, & toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry & tender, bleak & hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

What a book! If you are on social media, use the internet for everything (um, don’t we all?), use text messaging, etc, READ this book! You will think long & hard about your online presence & lack of all privacy these days, whether willingly or at the hands of apps, social media, or government. (For more on government privacy issues, read Edward Snowden’s “Permanent Record”, better yet, listen to it on audio book. It’s a real eye-opener!) You’ll think at times this book is going to be a thriller, but it’s not. It’s suspenseful at times, but more fiction-drama-human studies-meets Netflix’s “Black Mirror”.

A slow-burn at first, but then unputdownable! “Followers” was released on 1/14/20 so get it today anywhere books are sold or listen to it on audio book by going to Libro.fm and use my special code MOMLOVESREADING and get a 3-for-1 audio book deal. Libro.fm is SO much better than “the other” leading audio book app because Libro.fm supports independent book stores with their audio book purchases (instead of helping to line the pockets of a bajillionaire.) I LOVE Libro.fm and all they stand for, not to mention the ease of their app!