Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Fiction · SciFi books

Do you like sci-fi, A.I., movies like ‘I, Robot’? An intriguing mystery with heart and a bit humor?

If you answered YES, or even sometimes, then let me introduce you to ‘The Halo Conspiracy‘ by Michael Murphy, author of a half-dozen other books including a historical mystery series set in the 1930’s.

Thank you TLC Book Tours & Michael Murphy for my gift copy of ‘The Halo Conspiracy‘, book one of Murphy’s new Lucas Nash series & released on 4/15/21!

In mid-twenty-first century, solving murders hasn’t become any easier. Cutting edge science has created more opportunities for crime than offered solutions.

A ruthless technology company threatens to reveal Project Halo, a scientific breakthrough that will change humanity forever. Layers of secrecy conceal cutting-edge robotics, artificial intelligence and even rumors of synthetic humans. Before scientists can correct flaws that threaten the program, someone or something murders the brains behind the project.

Michael Murphy’s witty fast-paced sci-fi mystery introduces Lucas Nash, a gritty, by the book homicide detective thrust into a world he always avoids, high tech. He sifts through a maze of suspects; Rachel, a spirited intern, a brute of a security chief, a treacherous woman, the murdered man’s partner, and two ambitious Army officers, one found dead in the arms of a married schoolteacher, and a Colonel who can’t be found.

A media starved religious leader warns the world against the evils of technology with his beautiful assistant, Lucas’s one-time flame. Before uncovering the killer’s identity, an unlikely romance threatens to derail the investigation and end Lucas’s career. With pressure mounting from his superiors and the government, Lucas must set aside his feelings and solve the murder before technology makes him and humanity the next victims.

The Halo Conspiracy‘ is a well-written, captivating, atmospheric, & quick-paced book that would make a fantastic adaptation on Netflix or HBO Max. With just the right amount of wit, romance, mystery, intrigue (& artificial intelligence), & set in the not too distant future, this 1st book in Murphy’s ‘Lucas Nash’ series has the potential to become a series all the sci-fi/mystery readers will talking about often & recommending to book clubs everywhere.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Click HERE to add ‘The Halo Conspiracy’ to your Goodreads lists.

Click HERE to go to Mom_Loves_Reading on Instagram & show the author (& ME!) your support by giving the post a LIKE!

Click HERE to visit Michael Murphy on Facebook.

Michael Murphy is a part-time urban chicken rancher and the author of The Yankee Club, All That Glitters, and Wings in the Dark. He lives in Arizona with his wife of more than forty years and their five newly adopted children. He’s active in several local writers’ groups and conducts novel-writing workshops at bookstores and libraries.

Michael dedicated ‘The Halo Conspiracy’ to his wife, Jennie, who passed away recently from the effects of Coronavirus and to everyone whose lives have been impacted by this terrible pandemic.

Book Reviews · Memoirs · Nonfiction

Here’s one for all you curious foodie’s out there that enjoy learning something new as well as reading engaging stories!

Do you consider yourself a “foodie”? Do you like to try new or exotic fruits from the market/store that seem utterly odd to you, but hey, YOLO? (IE: Have you ever seen a jackfruit & did you know they are quite popular w/ vegans as a meat alternative for their protein content? And they are huge & look like mutant watermelons!)

If so, then ‘The Book of Difficult Fruit‘ by Kate Lebo will surely appeal to you & also to readers that enjoy well-crafted, engaging, lyrical writing & so much more. Thank you to Farrar, Straus, & Giroux Publishing for my gift copy of this delicious & intriguing book, released on 4/6!

Accurately described as a “glorious mash-up of memoir, love note & cookbook” by Vulture magazine in an article called Best New Books of 2021, ‘The Book of Difficult Fruit‘ is an amazingly original feast of words, with surprising facts, an abundance of insight & information, & one of those books you’ll be happy to have stepped out of your readerly comfort zone & read.

Inspired by twenty-six fruits, essayist, poet, & pie lady Kate Lebo expertly blends natural, culinary, medical, & personal history..A is for Aronia, berry member of the apple family, clothes-stainer, superfruit with reputed healing power. D is for Durian, endowed with a dramatic rind & a shifty odor–peaches, old garlic.

M is for medlar, name-checked by Shakespeare for its crude shape, beloved by gardeners for its flowers. Q is for quince, which, when fresh, gives off the scent of “roses and citrus and rich women’s perfume,” but if eaten raw is so astringent it wicks the juice from one’s mouth.

In this work of unique invention, these & other difficult fruits serve as the central ingredients of twenty-six lyrical essays (and recipes!) that range from deeply personal to botanical, from culinary to medical, from humorous to philosophical.

The entries are associative, often poetic, taking unexpected turns & giving sideways insights into life, relationships, self-care, modern medicine, & more. What if the primary way you show love is to bake, but your partner suffers from celiac disease? Why leave in the pits for Willa Cather’s Plum Jam? How can we rely on bodies as fragile as the fruits that nourish them?

Taking you on an engaging, illuminating, culinary adventure, Kate Lebo’s unquenchable curiosity promises adventure: intimate, sensuous, ranging, bitter, challenging, rotten, ripe. After reading ‘The Book of Difficult Fruit‘, you will never think of sweetness the same way again.

Click HERE to go to my post on Instagram, & while you’re there, check out my latest giveaways (2 of them!) by clicking HERE & HERE.
You can also click on the highlighted book titles above to add ‘The Book of Difficult Fruit’ to your Goodreads lists. There are currently 50 copies of the book up for grabs in a current Goodreads giveaway (ends 5/23, US only). Click HERE to go to the giveaway.

Kate Lebo’s first collection of nonfiction, The Book of Difficult Fruit, is forthcoming from FSG and Picador in April 2021. She is the author of the cookbook Pie School (Sasquatch Books), the poetry chapbook Seven Prayers to Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Entre Rios Books), and co-editor with Samuel Ligon of Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter and Booze (Sasquatch Books). Her essay about listening through hearing loss, “The Loudproof Room,” originally published in New England Review, was anthologized in Best American Essays 2015.
Her poems and essays have appeared in This is the Place: Women Writing About Home, Ghosts of Seattle Past, Best New Poets, Gettysburg Review, Willow Springs, Moss, Catapult, and Poetry Northwest, among other places.
Through the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions she is an apprenticed cheesemaker to Lora Lea Misterly of Quillisascut Farm. She lives in Spokane, Washington. 

BeachReads · Book Reviews · Fiction · Giveaway · WomensFiction

Who’s ready for some summer reading? (…and a GIVEAWAY!)

*GIVEAWAY time!* Even though we still have our heat on here in N Ohio, w/ night temps still in the 30’s, summer reading is just around the corner.

Thank you @atriabooks for my gift copy of ‘That Summer‘ by Jennifer Weiner, a timely, deliciously twisty novel of intrigue, secrets, & the transformative power of female friendship, set on beautiful Cape Cod. (available 5/11/21)

📖Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, & a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful; her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, & she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?

📖While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet & become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, & what does she want with Daisy?

📖From the manicured Main Line of Philadelphia to the wild landscape of the Outer Cape, written w/ Jennifer Weiner’s signature wit & sharp observations, ‘That Summer‘ is a story about surviving our pasts, confronting our futures, & the sustaining bonds of friendship.

Described as an engaging, thought-provoking, emotionally charged drama w/ secrets, complicated female friendships, & captivating w/ atmosphere & suspense filled, I’m saving ‘That Summer‘ for THIS summer & some poolside reading. I really enjoyed ‘Big SummerLAST summer & I have an extra copy of that & Weiner’s essay collection, ‘Hungry Heart‘ up for grabs for one lucky reader. (I’ve said SUMMER so many times, it reminds me of that 80’s song by The Cars, ‘Magic’…”Summer, summer, summer, It’s like a merry-go-round.

To enter: (***Please be advised, the following info is for info sakes ONLY & giveaway can only be entered on Instagram. Click HERE to go to that post now & be sure you are following me on Insta, too!)
1-LIKE this post. 
2-Must be following @mom_loves_reading
3-Tag some friends (Unlimited, up to 3 per com)
Bonus 5 entries- Share in stories & tag me.
(Giveaway is 5/10-5/13/21, US only, isn’t affiliated w/ Instagram. Please don’t UNfollow after giveaway or you’ll be excluded from my MANY future giveaways, & it’s rude.)

Jennifer Weiner (pronounced WINE-er) is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of sixteen books, including Good in Bed, The Littlest Bigfoot, and her memoir Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com

To add ‘That Summer’, ‘Big Summer’ or ‘Hungry Heart’ to your Goodreads lists, click on highlighted titles in this blog post. ‘That Summer’ is available on May 11th from Atria Books.

Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Fiction · psychologicalsuspense · Thriller

Happy (paperback) Pub Day to Samantha Downing and her amazing book ‘He Started It’

Welcome to Mom Loves Reading stop in the Berkley Blog Tour for the paperback release of Samantha Downing’s 2020 bestselling novel ‘He Started It’, a diabolically twisted road trip you will never forget!

AN INSTANT INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

“Wholly original. Scarily clever. Completely mesmerizing. You will never look at family road trips the same way again.”—Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

A most anticipated book by Hello Sunshine ∙ Cosmo ∙ Entertainment Weekly ∙ Betches ∙ Hollywood Reporter ∙ Parade ∙ PopSugar ∙ OK! Magazine ∙ Hello Giggles ∙ Bustle ∙ Yahoo! ∙ She Reads ∙ Book Page ∙ CrimeReads ∙ New York Post Best Book of the Week ∙ Goodreads

From the twisted mind behind mega hit My Lovely Wife comes the story of a family—not unlike your own—just with a few more violent tendencies thrown in….

Beth, Portia, and Eddie Morgan haven’t all been together in years. And for very good reasons—we’ll get to those later. But when their wealthy grandfather dies and leaves a cryptic final message in his wake, the siblings and their respective partners must come together for a cross-country road trip to fulfill his final wish and—more importantly—secure their inheritance.

But time with your family can be tough. It isn’t for everyone.

It’s even harder when you’re all keeping secrets and trying to forget a memory, a missing person, an act of revenge, the man in the black truck who won’t stop following your car—and especially when at least one of you is a killer and there’s a body in the trunk. Just to name a few reasons.

But money is a powerful motivator. It is for everyone.

He Started It‘ was personally my most anticipated new release in 2020 & I was beyond thrilled when Berkley asked me to be on the blog tour! I LOVED Samantha Downing’s first novel, the wickedly dark & original 2019 domestic thriller, ‘My Lovely Wife’ so much! In 2020 Amazon Studios & Nicole Kidman bought the film rights for ‘My Lovely Wife’, so YAY! That incredible book will be a movie someday (soon, I hope!).

He Started It‘ is a twisted, darkly addictive, propulsive family drama/thriller that will have you wanting to read it in one sitting (or standing…in case you get the nervous urge to pace back & forth like I did!). The ending will leave you speechless! I don’t know how Samantha Downing comes up with such original, clever & diabolical stories, but I’m not sure I would ever want to be on her bad side…just sayin’. The paperback & hardback versions of the book is available now wherever books are sold.

***Click on each title below to add them to your Goodreads.***

MY LOVELY WIFE

HE STARTED IT

FOR YOUR OWN GOOD (coming July, ’21)

Click HERE to visit my post about ‘He Started It’ on Instagram, & show Samantha your support & LIKE (maybe even SHARE) it.

Click HERE to find ‘He Started It’ or ‘My Lovely Wife’ at a local or online independent bookseller using BookStoreLink.com

**Visit Samanta Downing: **

Instagram Facebook Website Twitter

Photo Credit: Jaqueline Dallimore

Samantha Downing is the author of the bestselling My Lovely Wife, nominated for Edgar, ITW, Macavity, and CWA awards. Amazon Studios and Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films have partnered to produce a feature film based on the novel.Her second book, He Started It, was released in 2020 and became an instant international bestseller.

Sign up for her newsletter: https://www.samanthadowning.com/contact

Book Reviews · Family Reading · Fiction · Young Readers Books

Introducing ‘Aven Green Sleuthing Machine’ by Dusti Bowling, today’s featured Mystery Monday book for young readers!

It’s #MysteryMonday & today I’m featuring a young reader’s mystery w/ a heaping side of humor, featuring a protagonist w/ a disability…she was born w/ no arms.

First off, Thank You to @sterlingpublishing for the gift copy of the AMAZING book, ‘Aven Green Sleuthing Machine‘ by Dusti Bowling, w/ illustrations by Gina Perry! The book was released this past wk on 4/13 & there’s a 2nd book in this series, ‘Aven Green Baking Machine’, coming this fall. I seriously can’t wait to get it & read it w/ my boys, who are featured in this post pic. My boys have developmental disabilities (autism w/ a few other related ones) & I love that there’s books w/ diverse main characters like Aven Green.

Aven Green Sleuthing Machine’, by Dusti Bowling:
Third-grader Aven Green has been solving mysteries for a whole month—cracking such cases as The Mystery of the Cranky Mom. But can this perceptive detective solve two cases at the same time? First her teacher’s lunch bag disappears. Then Aven’s great-grandma’s dog goes missing.
Fortunately, since Aven was born without arms, all the “arm” cells went to her super-powered brain instead. (That’s her theory.) This hilarious chapter book showcases a new side to Dusti Bowling’s unforgettable protagonist.

Bowling first introduced Aven to readers in her previous books, ‘Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus’ & the follow-up, ‘Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus’. Aven is smart, sassy, spunky & extremely likable. You’ll adore her as much as your kids will & you’ll be buying these books as gifts for young readers for years to come. I know I will!

This book & the others mentioned above should be in every elementary & middle school classroom & library. They are diverse & inclusive & remind young readers, as well as the adults in their lives, that people w/ physical and/or developmental disabilities may be different than they are, but they are NOT less than. Books like these are fun to read & teach kids inclusivity without coming off as preachy.

Aven Green Sleuthing Machine‘ is engaging, witty yet sensitive, refreshing & wholly original & Aven is a character that is utterly inspiring & unforgettable! I highly recommend this series & I’m looking fwd to reading this again & again with my kids.

Click on any of the highlighted book titles above to add them to your Goodreads lists.

Click HERE to visit Mom_Loves_Reading on Instagram & support the author (& my awesome boys & I) by giving my post a LIKE & consider SHARING it to your stories.

Click HERE to find ‘Aven Green Sleuthing Machine’ & Dusti Bowling’s other books at an independent bookstore near you or online using BookStoreLink.com

DUSTI BOWLING grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, where, as her family will tell you, she always had her nose in a book. She released her first middle grade novel in 2017 & hasn’t stopped writing since.
Dusti’s books have won the Reading the West Award, the Sakura Medal, a Golden Kite Honor, the Silver Nautilus Award, & have been nominated for a Cybil & over twenty state awards. Her books are Junior Library Guild Selections & have been named best books of the year by the Chicago Public Library, Kirkus, Bank Street College of Eduction, A Mighty Girl, Shelf Awareness, & many more. Dusti currently lives in New River, Arizona with her husband, three daughters, a dozen tarantulas, a gopher snake named Burrito, a king snake name Death Noodle, & a cockatiel named Gandalf the Grey.