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

BeachReads · Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Family Drama · Fiction · Romance · WomensFiction

‘The Path to Sunshine Cove’ by RaeAnne Thayne is today’s featured book and a great one, too!

Who else is ready for some summer reading? The sun’s been shining most of the week where I live in Ohio & it has definitely got me excited for some outdoor reading! (as long as I’ve had my allergy meds…allergy season is hitting me hard this year!)

If you’re a fan of authors like Robyn Carr, Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs, you may have read books by RaeAnne Thayne, since she has many. If you haven’t, today’s featured book is an excellent one to start with!

‘The Path to Sunshine Cove’ by RaeAnne Thayne

She knows what’s best for everyone but herself…

With a past like hers, Jessica Clayton feels safer in a life spent on the road. She’s made a career out of helping others downsize–because she’s learned the hard way that the less “stuff,” the better, a policy she applies equally to her relationships. But a new client is taking Jess back to Cape Sanctuary, a town she once called home…& that her little sister, Rachel, still does. The years apart haven’t made a dent in the guilt Jess still carries after a handgun took the lives of both their parents & changed everything between them.

While Jess couldn’t wait to put the miles between her and Cape Sanctuary, Rachel put down roots, content for the world–and her sister–to think she has a picture-perfect life. But w/ the demands of her youngest child’s disability, Rachel’s marriage has begun to fray at the seams. She needs her sister now more than ever, yet she’s learned from painful experience that Jessica doesn’t do family, & she shouldn’t count on her now.

Against her judgment, Jess finds herself becoming attached–to her sister & her family, even to her client’s interfering son, Nate–& it’s time to put everything on the line. Does she continue running from her painful past, or stay put & make room for the love & joy that come along with it?

This book is book 2 in the Cape Sanctuary series, but can be read as a standalone. I absolutely loved it! It’s emotionally engaging, breathtakingly atmospheric, charming, & realistic in nature. For me it was also somewhat relatable in the sense that Rachel is a SAHM & mother to a child w/ autism (oh & she’s a social media influencer on the side).

This heartwarming novel is available now (released on 3/30/21) & a big  Thanks to @harlequinbooks & @getredprbooks for my gift copy!

Click HERE to add ‘The Path to Sunshine Cove’ to your Goodreads lists.

Click HERE to visit RaeAnne Thayne’s web page and HERE to visit her on Instagram.

Click HERE to go to my Instagram post & give it some LIKE love or SHARE it with other readers.

Click HERE to find this book or RaeAnne Thayne’s other books at a local independent bookseller near you or online.

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com

About ME · Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Booksparks · Parenting books

Happy Book Birthday Week to ‘Overcoming the Mom-Life Crisis’ by Nina Restieri

Happy Book Birthday Week to @nina.restieri & her new, non-fiction release ‘Overcoming the Mom-Life Crisis: Ditch the Guilt, Put Yourself on the To-Do List & Create a Life You Love‘! (pub 4/6). Thank you to @Booksparks for my gift copy of the book & for inviting me on the pop-up book tour!

As a super busy mother of 5, it’s far too often that I forget to or run out of hours in the day to make time for myself. As you’ve seen in previous posts, my 2 kids at home are autistic (click HERE for a recent Instagram post for World Autism Awareness Day) & you probably don’t need me to tell you what a toll that can take on me some days. And yes, 3 of my 5 kids live on their own, but as any mother knows, the job of “MOM” is full-time, 24/7, all day/all night, every single day, forever & ever. I never stop thinking about or worrying about any of my kids. Yet, there’s one person I forget to prioritize & show love & care to…ME!

A perfect mom (or parent) is as mythical as unicorns: they don’t exist. We’re all flawed in some way, but still doing our best, still deserve a break & self-care, so we can embrace a more fulfilling life & remember we’re blessed just to BE parents. This book helped open my eyes & heart to the pressure I’ve been putting on myself & the ‘ME-time’ I need to recharge, but rarely give myself.

Overcoming the Mom-Life Crisis‘ is perfect for mothers like me who are often overwhelmed by the non-stop demands of parenthood & exhausted by the day to day hustle. The book is soulful & excruciatingly honest, & is the essential handbook for stressed-out & overwhelmed moms & offers up steps for creating your own “momAgenda” & finding lifelong happiness & fulfillment.

From the founder of momAgenda comes the ultimate guide to navigating the mom-life crisis, with a simple process for putting your own long-forgotten needs back on the to-do list.

Nina Restieri was a wife, a mom of 4 young kids, & a successful entrepreneur. Despite having what most people would consider “it all,” happiness eluded her. She beat herself up daily for not being grateful. But as she looked around, she realized most of the moms she knew shared that same sense of sadness, stress, & overwhelm, all while working hard to keep up the “perfect mom” appearance. Desperate for a change & tired of crying behind a locked bathroom door, Nina embarked upon a 10-yr journey that led her to unexpected places—including a pole dancing studio—for peace & solace.

After digging deep & facing some painful truths, Nina emerged knowing she deserved more than she was giving herself & figured out that a mom can take care of her kids, AND take care of herself. Like a permission slip for mothers to love themselves as much as they do their children, this book chronicles Nina’s journey to putting her mom-life crisis behind her—forever—& offers up a roadmap so you can too.

Click HERE to visit Nina Restieri’s blog.

Click HERE to visit momagenda.com (it’s a beautiful site w/ even more beautiful planners! And I LOVE planners!)

Click HERE to visit my Instagram post & give is some LIKE love, maybe even share it!😉

Click HERE to add ‘Overcoming Mom-Life Crisis’ to your Goodreads lists.

Click HERE to find the book at a nearby independent book store using BookStoreLink.

Nina Restieri is the founder and president of momAgenda. Previously, she has spent time as an advertising executive, as the president of a family business, and as a stay-at-home mom.

She started momAgenda when her four kids were seven, five, three, and one, to create organizing products to help make moms’ lives (and her own life) easier. momAgenda has grown to include a diversified range of products that help organize the lives of mothers and others, including day planners, home organizers, pads, journals, and accessories. The collection is sold at leading national retailers and regional boutiques throughout the U.S. Over the past fifteen years, Nina Restieri and momAgenda have been featured in numerous outlets including NBC’s Today show, The Early Show, MSNBC, Real Simple, Better Homes and Gardens, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post.

Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Memoirs · Nonfiction

Book Tour and Review of ‘Breathe Again: Choosing to Believe There’s More When Life Has Left You Broken’ by Stacy Henagan

Click HERE to go to IG post & give it a LIKE.

Thank you @thomasnelson & @tlcbooktours for my gifted copy of ‘Breathe Again: Choosing to Believe There’s More When Life Has Left You Broken‘ by Stacy Henagan! (pub 9/22)

What Do You Do When It Seems God Hasn’t Come Through for You?

When the miracle-working God whom Pastor Stacy Henagan loved and served did not answer the prayers on behalf of her terminally ill one-year-old daughter as expected, she was left crushed with grief and struggling to understand.

How could a loving God allow this to happen?

What do you do when it seems God has let you down?

Is God trustworthy?

Rather than choosing to remain in overwhelming pain and doubt, Stacy emerged with a much greater belief that God is good and trustworthy, even when we don’t think His plans make sense.

Breathe Again‘ is a honest, deeply moving & raw reflection on experiencing the devastating sense of loss, grief & pain of losing a child to a terminal illness. When we are feeling lost & broken, vulnerable & grief stricken, sometimes letting go of someone we love & giving in to our faith in something greater can be what helps us to get through life’s worst trials & tribulations we experience as human beings.

As a parent of five, Stacy’s story touched my heart & soul & nearly everyone who reads this book will find a way to relate to it in one way or another. You don’t have to be a parent or even a religious person to be profoundly touched by this heart-breaking, yet redeeming, story. It’s beautiful, well-written, genuine & quite thought-provoking.

Click HERE to add ‘Breathe Again’ to your Goodreads lists.

Click HERE to order the book from Thomas Nelson publishing.

Click HERE to visit Stacy Henagan on Instagram.

Click HERE to visit my post on Instagram & give a LIKE (please & thank you!)

About the author:

Stacy Henagan is copastor of Keypoint Church in northwest Arkansas, a multicampus church she founded with her husband, Casey. Stacy also hosts an annual women’s conference and speaks at other events in the United States and overseas. Stacy and Casey have four children: Haven, who is waiting for them in heaven, and Holland, Hayes, and Hudson.

Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Nonfiction

Blog Tour and Book Review: ‘Love Her Well: 10 Ways to Find Joy and Connection w/ Your Teenage Daughter’ by Kari Kampakis

Click HERE to give IG post a LIKE!

Thank you @thomasnelson @karikampakis & @tlcbooktours for my gifted copy of ‘Love Her Well: 10 Ways to Find Joy & Connection w/ Your Teenage Daughter’! (pub 8/18) And thank you for inviting me to be part of the blog tour!

As a mother to 5 (1 daughter- the middle child, & 4 sons- the 2 youngest are twins), I can’t even tell you how many times over the yrs my hubs & I have said “Thank God the twins were boys!” TRUTH! I don’t know if I could survive going through these current teen yrs (again) if my twin sons were daughters. And during a pandemic? I just got chills thinking about it.

Moms are eager for tips and wisdom to help them build strong relationships with their daughters, & Kari Kampakis’s ‘Love Her Well’ gives them ten practical ways to do so, not by changing their daughters but by changing their own thoughts, actions, & mind-set.

For many women, having a baby girl is a dream come true. Yet as girls grow up, the narrative of innocence & joy changes to gloom & doom as moms are told, “Just wait until she’s a teenager!” & handed a disheartening script that treats a teenage girl’s final years at home as solely a season to survive.

Author & blogger Kari Kampakis suggests it’s time to change the narrative & mind-set that lead moms to parent teen girls with a spirit of defeat, not strength. By improving the foundation, habits, & dynamics of the relationship, mothers can connect with their teen daughters & earn a voice in their lives that allows moms to offer guidance, love, wisdom, & emotional support.

As a mom of four daughters (three of whom are teenagers), Kari has learned the hard way that as girls grow up, mothers must grow up too. In ‘Love Her Well, Kari shares ten ways that moms can better connect with their daughters in a challenging season, including:

  • choosing their words and timing carefully,
  • listening and empathizing with her teen’s world,
  • seeing the good and loving her for who she is,
  • taking care of themselves and having a support system, and more.

This book isn’t a guide to help mothers “fix” their daughters or make them behave. Rather, it’s about a mom’s journey, doing the heart work and legwork necessary to love a teenager while still being a strong, steady parent. Kari explores how every relationship consists of two imperfect sinners, and teenagers gain more respect for their parents when they admit (and learn from) their mistakes, apologize, listen, give grace, and try to understand their teens’ point of view. Yes, teenagers need rules and consequences, but without a connected relationship, parents may never gain a significant voice in their lives or be a safe place they long to return to.

By admitting her personal failures and prideful mistakes that have hurt her relationships with her teenage daughters, Kari gives mothers hope and reminds them all things are possible through God. By leaning on him, mothers gain the wisdom, guidance, protection, and clarity they need to grow strong relationships with their daughters at every age, especially during the critical teen years.

I love the easy way ‘Love Her Well‘ is laid out. Easy to read, short, to the point chapters; inspirational quotes & proverbs; lists (boy, do I love lists!); reflection questions & space to write your answers at the end of each chapter; & so much relevant, useful & easily employable advice from an author who has been on the front lines of raising daughters for many years (she has 4 daughters).

Love Her Well‘ may quite possibly change your life if you are a mother to a teen or pre-teen daughter. It’s insightful, practical, compassionate, & packed with many pearls of relatable wisdom. I will be utilizing some of Kampakis’s advice in my relationship w/ my 22-yr-old as well. Have your pen, highlighter & post-it flags ready when you read this well-written, informational guidebook & be sure to check out Kari’s blog & other books as well. (Links below)

Click HERE to be nice & give my Instagram post a LIKE.
Click HERE to pre-order ‘Love Her Well’ on Amazon. (I also encourage you to shop local indie bookstores first!)
Click HERE to add ‘Love Her Well’ to your Goodreads TBR.
Click HERE to read more about ’10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know’ also by Kari Kampakis.
Click HERE to read more about ‘Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For’ also by Kari Kampakis.
Click HERE to visit Kari’s Instagram page.
Click HERE to visit Kari’s blog.
Click HERE to visit Kari Kampakis’s podcast, ‘Girl Mom Podcast’.

Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is an author, blogger, & national speaker from Birmingham, Alabama. Her books for teen girls, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know & Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For?, have been used widely across the country by teen youth groups & church groups to empower girls through faith.
Kari’s work has been featured on the TODAY Show, TODAY Parents, Yahoo! News, EWTN, Proverbs 31, Ann Voskamp’s blog, The Huffington Post, & other national outlets. She & her husband, Harry, have four daughters & a dog named Lola.