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.
🎉GIVEAWAY & new book alert!🎉 . I don’t have any sugar cookies to celebrate National Sugar Cookie Day today (which, btw, is my FAVE cookie), but I DO have another kind of SWEET, fun treat for you that releases 8/1 & (1) copy to give away! Thank you @tlcbooktours & @amazonpublishing for my gift copy of ‘The Magic of Found Objects‘ by Maddie Dawson!
From the bestselling author of ‘Matchmaking for Beginners’ comes a feel-good story about becoming who you were meant to be all along… . Phronsie Linnelle was conceived at Woodstock in a serendipitous liaison between a free-spirited hippie & a farmer’s son & was born w/ magical wonder flickering in her DNA & rationality knit into her bones. All her life she’s been torn between the two. But now that she’s been betrayed by both love & the mother she once idolized, her rational side is winning. . So when her best friend from childhood proposes that they give up on romance & marry each other, Phronsie agrees. Who better to spend your life w/ than your best friend? Maybe the connection they already have is love. Maybe there’s no falling to be done. But immediately after they announce their engagement, she encounters someone who makes a very charming & compelling argument for revisiting romance. While her even-keeled stepmother argues for the safety that comes w/ her new engagement & her mother relays messages from the universe to hold out for true love, Phronsie must look to her own heart to find the answers that have been there all along.
I adored this uniquely original, super cute, captivating, & wholly entertaining adult coming of age novel! Maddie Dawson is such a great writer & creator of charming characters! ‘The Magic of Found Objects‘ releases 8/1 & I have 1 copy up for grabs now. (US/CAN res only)
To enter: Click HERE to go to the Instagram giveaway. The following info is for the giveaway there. You can comment HERE on this blog post for a BONUS entry though. *LIKE this post *Must be following @mom_loves_reading *Comment w/ your current read & tag a couple book buds. (Unlimited, 2 tags per com)
Giveaway is 7/9-7/12/21 & isn’t affiliated w/ Instagram. Please don’t enter if you plan to UNfollow after, it’s totes rude & I keep a naughty list like Santa.
Maddie Dawson grew up in the South, born into a family of outrageous storytellers. Her various careers as a substitute English teacher, department-store clerk, medical-records typist, waitress, cat sitter, wedding-invitation-company receptionist, nanny, day care worker, electrocardiogram technician, and Taco Bell taco maker were made bearable by thinking up stories as she worked. Today Maddie lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with her husband. She’s the bestselling author of seven previous novels: A Happy Catastrophe, Matchmaking for Beginners, The Survivor’s Guide to Family Happiness, The Opposite of Maybe, The Stuff That Never Happened, Kissing Games of the World, and A Piece of Normal. For more information visit http://www.maddiedawson.com.
Are you a fan of modernized or re-imagined classic novels such as Little Women, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, or Pride & Prejudice? I am, as long as they are entertaining & done well.
Today’s upcoming release is a modernized Anne of Green Gables, the beloved classic written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, first published in 1908 & adapted into several movies, series, & now a romantic, charming, hilarious novel set in NYC. Thank you @williammorrowbooks for my gift copies of ‘Anne of Manhattan‘ by Brina Starler! (pub 6/1)
After an idyllic girlhood in Avonlea, Long Island, Anne has packed up her trunk, said goodbye to her foster parents, Marilla & Matthew, & moved to the isle of Manhattan for grad school. Together w/ her best friend, Diana Barry, she’s ready to take on the world & find her voice as a writer. When her long-time archrival Gilbert Blythe shows up at Redmond College for their final year, Anne gets the shock of her life. Gil has been in CA for the last 5 yrs—since he kissed her during a beach bonfire, & she ghosted him. Now the handsome brunette is flashing his dimples at her like he hasn’t a care in the world & she isn’t buying it.
Paired w/ the same professor for their thesis, the two former competitors come to a grudging peace that turns into something so much deeper…& sexier than either intended. But when Gil seemingly betrays her to get ahead, Anne realizes she was right all along—she should never have trusted Gilbert Blythe.
While Gil must prove to Anne that they’re meant to be together, she must come to terms w/ her old fears if she wants a happily-ever-after w/ the boy she’s always (secretly) loved.
I adored this heartwarming, sweet, nostalgia-inducing story! It made me want to go back & read the whole Anne of Green Gables series, & I may just do that now. I have (1) arc of ‘Anne of Manhattan‘ up for grabs to send to one lucky reader within the 50 United States. (*Please note: The giveaway can be entered on Instagram only; however, you can earn an extra 10 entries by subscribing to my blog emails & commenting on this post. Click HERE to go to the Instagram post.)
To enter: (*for information sakes only; enter on Instagram by going HERE.) 1-LIKE this post. 2-MUST be following @mom_loves_reading 3-Tag some bookish pals (unlimited entries, up to 3 tags per com) Bonus 5: SHARE in stories & tag me. Can do daily. (**Don’t forget the blog subscriber bonus mentioned above.) Giveaway is US 50 states, runs 5/30-6/1/21, & isn’t affiliated w/ Instagram. Please don’t UNfollow after or you’ll be banned from my many future giveaways, & it’s rude.
Click HERE to go to my Instagram post & enter (or even just to give it some LIKE love!)
Click HERE to add ‘Anne of Manhattan‘ to your Goodreads lists.
Click HERE to read more about ‘Anne of Green Gables’ or to add it to your Goodreads lists.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brina Starler writes and reads romance novels and romantic fiction—really, anything with kissing will do. She loves to bake, garden, and tweet for posterity about the bizarre things her kids say, and she is working her way through a truly frightening backlog of fan fiction. Brina lives in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and a pup who bears a strong resemblance to Falkor the Luck Dragon. She has finally resigned herself to a future of asking tall people to get stuff off the top shelf.
This week went by super fast for me as usual but, boy oh boy, did I get to listen to & read some fantastic books while I was on the go. Right now I am currently finishing up listening to ‘Who is Maud Dixon?‘ by Alexandra Andrews (Little, Brown & Co, 3/2/21) & it is really good!
Florence Darrow is a small-town striver who believes that she’s destined to become a celebrated writer. When she stumbles into the opportunity to become the assistant to “Maud Dixon,” a celebrated-but anonymous-novelist (think: Elena Ferrante), she believes that the universe is finally providing her big chance. The arrangement feels idyllic; Helen can be prickly, but she is full of pointed wisdom on both writing and living. She even invites Florence along on a research trip to Morocco, where her new novel is set. Florence has never been out of the country before; maybe, she imagines, she’ll finally have something exciting to write about herself.
But when Florence wakes up in the hospital after a terrible car crash, and Helen is dead, she begins to imagine what it might be like to ‘upgrade’ into not only Helen’s life, but also that of Helen’s bestselling pseudonym, Maud Dixon…
The narrators do such a fantastic job of bringing this story to life & it’s very engaging. The cover is kind of boring, but that single squiggly line that makes the shape of two women’s faces kind of grew on me as I listened to the story. Definitely recommend it! (Click HERE to add it to your Goodreads.)
On Tuesday I posted about the new release, ‘Maybe One Day‘ by Debbie Johnson (William Morrow, 3/2/21). A poignant, heartbreaking, yet heartwarming story that will give you all the emotions.
In the spirit of Ruth Hogan and Adriana Trigiani, bestselling British author Debbie Johnson brings us the ultimate in “happy tears”: a heartfelt story about a woman seizing the chance to reconnect with her lost love.
The truth changes everything. For years Jess believed that Joe—the father of her child and the only man she ever loved—had abandoned her during her greatest time of need. That belief nearly destroyed her. Seventeen years later, when cleaning out her mother’s house, Jess unpacks a box of cards and letters hidden in the attic and makes a discovery that changes everything about life as she knows it.
Shaken but empowered, Jess—and her two stalwart best friends—set out on a remarkable journey to follow a set of faded postmarks around the world. Is Joe still alive? Does he know that Jess never forgot him? Maybe their love story isn’t over. Maybe one day they’ll find each other again… (Click HERE for my Instagram post & HERE to add the book on Goodreads.)
Thursday’s post posted sort of late in the day & was a more personal one, giving a bit of an explanation as to why I am currently still in so much physical pain today. The post photo also features some of my lettering that I enjoy doing in the evening as a way to decompress & wind down my day. Handwriting has always been something I have enjoyed doing & I am a total “font-nerd” or typophile (a lover of printed matter or typography). I am not even sure how many different pens I own, but I would venture to say the number is around 500-600. And Lord have mercy, but I’m in a couple of “pen obsessed” groups on Facebook & they are quite a motley group of enablers, but I love it! (Click HERE for that post on Instagram.)
Friday’s post is what I like to call #ForeverFriday when I post a book review for a Forever Publishing recent release, & this weeks book is ‘Sandcastle Beach’ by Jenny Holiday, book #3 in Holiday’s Matchmaker Bay series. This beach read is sassy, witty, sweet & sexy! All three books in the series are like $5 on Amazon & would make great additions to your seaside (or poolside) reading. You can click HERE to see the post on Instagram & for those that may ask, the cup featured in the post is by Kate Spade & was bought a couple years ago at T J Maxx (aka: the GREATEST store ever!).
About the book: From the USA Today bestselling “master of witty banter” (Entertainment Weekly) comes a hilarious and heartwarming romance about two enemies whose feud turns red-hot. Maya Mehta will do anything to save her tiny, beloved community theater. Put on musicals she hates? Check. Hire an arrogant former-pop-star-turned-actor? Done. But what Maya really needs to save her theater is Matchmaker Bay’s new business grant. She’s got some serious competition, though: Benjamin “Law” Lawson, local bar owner, Jerk Extraordinaire, and Maya’s annoyingly hot arch nemesis. Let the games begin.
Law loves nothing more than getting under Maya’s skin, and making those gorgeous eyes dance with irritation. But when he discovers the ex-pop star has a thing for Maya, too, Law decides he’s done waiting in the wings-starting with a scorching-hot kiss. Turns out there’s a thin line between hate and irresistible desire, and Maya and Law are really good at crossing it. But when things heat up, will they allow their long-standing feud to get in the way of their growing feelings? Click HERE to add the book to your Goodreads.
Yesterday’s post was about one of my favorite books so far this year, ‘The Lost Apothecary‘ by Sarah Penner (Park Row, 3/2/21). I hadn’t planned to post about it until next week, but I wanted to encourage anyone who hadn’t made their Book of the Month selections yet to grab this one, since it was one of the March choices. ‘The Lost Apothecary‘ is such a fabulous book! I literally didn’t want it to end, that’s how much I loved it!
A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course. Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman. Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.
One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.
In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive. (Click HERE to add the book to your Goodreads & HERE to see my Instagram post.)
Last, but certainly not least, today’s post features a fab new book, ‘When We Were Young’ by Jaclyn Goldis (Forever Pub, 2/6/21) & a splendid dose of serendipity! Have you ever discovered something you bought at a thrift store actually belonged to a family member long ago? That happened to me today!
Today began w/ me starting a new book (as mentioned above). I was really looking forward to starting this book after reading many fantastic reviews & having just finished (& loved!) ‘The Lost Apothecary’ which also has 3 amazing female protagonists & takes place in the past & present day.
As I was getting my props together, I decided to use two of my vintage luggage pieces that I bought on 2 separate shopping trips last year at a local Goodwill. The luggage belonged to the same person as was evident by personalization inside both pieces via an inked address stamper. Since this sort of stamper is meant for paper, not the silky material inside of the cases, it was very blurry, & the lettering bled so much that I never really bothered to get a closer look at the name. I could only see a nearby city fairly well & really the name didn’t matter to me that much…until today.
Today I put on my readers, used my camera’s magnifying glass, & I was absolutely flabbergasted. Now I know why the first piece appealed to me so much & why there was a second piece at the shop a week later, as if waiting for me to reunite it w/ it’s partner at home: the luggage belonged to my Grandfather’s brother, my great Uncle! Holy serendipity! My great uncle passed away at the age of 97 in 2014. All this time & I had no idea they had belonged to him.
The book, ‘When We Were Young’, spans 3 generations & is a page-turner of a debut full of family secrets, heart-wrenching drama, & second chances. My vintage luggage, now heirloom, also spans 3 generations & is all about family, too! I’m loving this book so far & think you all would, too! (Click HERE to read more about it on Goodreads & HERE to go to my Instagram post.)
Well, that’s my reading week in a nutshell. Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend & best wishes in your weeks to come! I leave you with my Friday evening lettering project, which may be hard to tell from the poor quality pic, but it’s on a shimmery pink cardstock & was done with Mildliner Clickart Pens by Zebra & Micron’s. (Ahhh, pens!💕)
We made it to November, folks! Thank you @avonbooks for my gift copy of ‘Tools of Engagement’ by Tessa Bailey! (pub 9/22)
In Tessa Bailey’s latest rom-com, two enemies team up to flip a house… and the sparks between them might burn the place down or ignite a passion that neither can ignore!
Hair, makeup, clothing, decor… everything in Bethany Castle’s world is organized, planned, and styled to perfection. Which is why the homes she designs for her family’s real estate business are the most coveted in town. The only thing not perfect? Her track record with men. She’s on a dating hiatus and after helping her friends achieve theirdreams, Bethany finally has time to focus on her own: flip a house, from framework to furnishings, all by herself. Except her older brother runs the company and refuses to take her seriously.
When a television producer gets wind of the Castle sibling rivalry, they’re invited on Flip Off, a competition to see who can do the best renovation. Bethany wants bragging rights, but she needs a crew and the only member of her brother’s construction team willing to jump ship is Wes Daniels, the new guy in town. His Texas drawl and handsome face got under Bethany’s skin on day one, and the last thing she needs is some cocky young cowboy in her way.
As the race to renovate heats up, Wes and Bethany are forced into close quarters, trading barbs and biting banter as they remodel the ugliest house on the block. It’s a labor of love, hate, and everything in between, and soon sparks are flying. But Bethany’s perfectly structured life is one kiss away from going up in smoke and she knows falling for a guy like Wes would be a flippingdisaster.
So, I wanted to use my cute, little pink tool bag in my pics, but then I remembered I gave it to my daughter when she moved out, so heads up, Santa…mama needs a new, pink tool bag set! Instead in my pic you get a peak at my home office along w/ my lunch of homemade sugar-free, gluten-free chocolate cake & hot cocoa.
About the book, first off, can I just say how much I love the name of the fiction competition show: ‘Flip Off’. ‘Tools of Engagement’ is Bailey’s 3rd book in her Hot & Hammered series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. The book is flipping hilarious w/ it’s witty banter, but it also is heart-tugging w/ emotions at times, romantic, & swoony, & filled w/ enough blush-worthy steam to warm you up during these chilly Nov days! (We actually are getting our first snowflakes right now as I write this!)
The whole Hot & Hammered series is wonderful, reality escapism at it’s romantic best & I highly recommend them all! Fans of HGTV’s house flipping & remodeling shows will love this latest installment!
Be sure to visit my Instagram account & give my post some LIKE love! Click HERE to go there now!
New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey aspires to three things. Writing hot and unforgettable, character-driven romance, being a good mother and eventually sneaking onto the judging panel on a reality show baking competition. She lives on Long Island, New York with her husband and daughter, writing all day and rewarding herself with a cheese plate and Netflix binges in the evening. If you want sexy, heartfelt, humorous romance with a guaranteed happy ending, you’ve come to the right place.