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

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.

Book Reviews · CrimeThriller · Fiction · Thriller

Book Review: ‘And Now She’s Gone’ by Rachel Howzell Hall

MomLovesReading IG post- Click HERE

Happy Pub Day & Thank You @forgereads for my gift copy of ‘And Now She’s Gone‘ by Rachel Howzell Hall!

Isabel Lincoln is gone. But is she missing?

It’s up to Grayson Sykes to find her. Although she is reluctant to track down a woman who may not want to be found, Gray’s search for Isabel Lincoln becomes more complicated & dangerous with every new revelation about the woman’s secrets & the truth she’s hidden from her friends & family.

Featuring two complicated women in a dangerous cat & mouse game, ‘And Now She’s Gone’ explores the nature of secrets — & how violence & fear can lead you to abandon everything in order to survive.

Fun fact: 15 yrs ago when I was pregnant w/ my twins I had planned to name one of them Grayson Jean (Jean was my Grandma’s name, & is my mom & my husband’s mom’s middle name) if they were girl twins. In the last decade there was a sudden explosion of the name Grayson & it’s a widely popular now. But I still love it!

And Now She’s Gone‘ is a very powerful, thought-provoking, character driven novel that may appear to be a bit lengthy, but honestly, it moves along effortlessly & you will find it very hard to put down. It is suspenseful, crime fiction at it’s best with some unexpected twists, razor sharp writing & dialogue, & paced with perfection.

And Now She’s Gone‘ is written in a past & present day timeline & has some real edge of your seat moments balanced out with some humor here & there. I really loved the book & hope there’s a follow-up book, & in the meantime, I need to get my hands on more of Rachel Howzell Hall’s writing!
(Content warnings for ‘And Now She’s Gone’: racism, physical/emotional abuse, assault, animal death)

Click HERE to add ‘And Then She Was Gone‘ to your Goodreads list.
Click HERE to give my Instagram post some LIKE love.
Click HERE to visit Rachel Howzell Hall’s website.
Click HERE find ‘And Then She Was Gone‘ at an independent bookstore near you or online.
Click HERE to get ‘And Then She Was Gone‘ on audiobook from Libro.fm & use my code MOMLOVESREADING to get a 2nd audiobook for FREE.

Rachel Howzell Hall, author of the bestseller & Anthony-, ITW- & Lefty Award-nominated THEY ALL FALL DOWN (Forge), writes the acclaimed Lou Norton series, including Land of Shadows, Skies of Ash, Trail of Echoes, & City of Saviors. She is also the co-author of The Good Sister w/ James Patterson, which was included in the NY Times bestseller The Family Lawyer. She is currently on the board of directors for the Southern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America, & lives in Los Angeles. Her next novel AND NOW SHE’S GONE (Forge) will be published in September 2020.
A featured writer on NPR’s acclaimed ‘Crime in the City’ series & the National Endowment for the Arts weekly podcast, Rachel has also served as a mentor in AWP’s Writer to Writer Program & is currently on the board of directors of the Mystery Writers of America. She was named one of Apple iBooks’ “10 Authors to Read in 2017.” She lives in Los Angeles w/ her husband & daughter.