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

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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.

Blog Tour · Nonfiction

Blog Tour for “The Opposite of Certainty: Fear, Faith and Life In Between” by Janine Urbaniak Reid

Thank you @wpublishing @thomasnelson @janineurbanurbaniakreid & @tlcbooktours for my gifted copy of “The Opposite of Certainty” which published on May 12th.

What happens when we can no longer pretend that the ground underfoot is bedrock and the sky above predictable?

All Janine Urbaniak Reid ever wanted was for everyone she loved to be okay so she might relax and maybe be happy. Her life strategy was simple: do everything right. This included trying to be the perfect mother to her three kids so they would never experience the kind of pain she pretended not to feel growing up. What she didn’t expect was the chaos of an out-of-control life that begins when her young son’s hand begins to shake.

The Opposite of Certainty is the story of Janine’s reluctant journey beyond easy answers and platitudes. She searches for a source of strength bigger than her circumstances, only to have her circumstances become even thornier with her own crisis. Drawn deeply and against her will into herself, and into the eternal questions we all ask, she discovers hidden reserves of strength, humor, and a no-matter-what faith that looks nothing like she thought it would. 

Beautifully written and deeply hopeful, Janine shows us how can we come through impossible times, transformed and yet more ourselves than we’d ever allowed ourselves to be.

Click HERE to add this to your Goodreads TBR

I found this story utterly compelling, touching, & heartbreaking, but also very heartwarming, uplifting, & inspiring. I have a family member who went through something similar with her son many years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer & she was raising 5 kids. The sleeplessness coupled with daily fatigue, battles with insurance companies & what they will or won’t cover, the daily uncertainty of what each new day will bring. Her son, just like Janine’s, was eventually cured, but the stress of it all really took a toll on my family member’s own health.

“The Opposite of Uncertainty” is a memoir about one mother’s deeply emotional & personal journey through motherhood, letting go of perfectionism & struggling with feelings of hopelessness & overwhelming fear after her son is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Advocating for a proper diagnosis & treatment for him while navigating the healthcare system, Janine details the ups & downs she went through daily trying to get her son the care he needed & while trying to be what she considered a perfect wife & mother.

I couldn’t put this book down. It just resonated with me & spoke to my very soul, not to mention that I, too, have a son named Mason, who has autism & has also given us some pretty frightening health scares in his lifetime. This book also reminds me of the old saying, “God only gives us what we can handle.” Sometimes all the little things that are overwhelming & emotionally exhausting you really are just that…little things, & we get reminded of that when the big things come at us out of nowhere to give us that reality check. “The Opposite of Certainty” is more than just a medical memoir. It will also lift your spirits & help you learn to live in the present, not the past or future, & be mindful about how much time & energy you are really wasting on the trivial aspects of your existence.

This book is so well written & articulated, you will want to reread it as soon as you finish it! Beautiful, inspirational & motivational, this book is already available for purchase. You can also read a sneak-peek of the book at the author’s website, JanineUrbaniakReid.com. You can also use BookStoreLink to find this book & others at a local independent bookstore. Many of them offer curbside pick up, home delivery or e-commerce sales.

Reviews from other authors:

‘The diagnosis of life-threatening illness is one of the most terrifying challenges any family or individual can face. Anger, resentment, fear, and loneliness rise up ready to do battle with hope, and all are made more powerful by love. The Opposite of Certainty is a deeply personal memoir about such a journey, told with brutal honesty and so much grace it will touch your soul.’ –Jacqueline Winspear, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Journey to Munich, A Dangerous Place, Leaving Everything Most Loved, and nine other novels featuring Maisie Dobbs

‘A beautiful sucker punch, like life. When the ground crumbles beneath your hopes, big dreams, and great expectations, what do you stand on and for? Where do you find the strength to keep going? You find it in this gem of a book.’ –Ron Fournier, New York Times bestselling author of Love That Boy

‘Somedays it’s doughnuts and hot coffee. Other days it’s gurneys and scans. That’s true of almost every full life. Here’s the good news: observant and warm, the writing of Janine Urbaniak Reid is the finest company on both kinds of days.’ –Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me More and The Middle Place

About the Author

Janine Urbaniak Reid was born in Chicago and grew up in California. Before she began raising a family and then writing full-time, she was vice president of a San Francisco public relations firm.

Janine has been published in the Washington PostChicago Tribune, and San Francisco Chronicle and is widely syndicated. Hoping to bring humanity into the healthcare discussion by sharing her experience as a mother of a son with a brain tumor, she penned a piece for the Post that went viral. She has been interviewed on national news networks and continues her work as a spokeswoman for healthcare justice.

Janine writes about her imperfect life, what connects us, and addresses the question of what it means to love fiercely in a sometimes dangerous and always uncertain world.

Janine is a graduate of the University of California at San Diego and lives in Northern California with her family and a motley assortment of pets. She attends St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Marin City: all are welcome.

For more information, please visit JanineUrbaniakReid.com. You can also connect with Janine at Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.

Blog Tour · MurderinoMonday

Book Tour for “Last Girl Standing” by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush

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Murderino Monday book time!

Thank you @kensingtonbooks & @tlcbooktours for including MomLovesReading on the online book tour for “Last Girl Standing” by Lisa Jackson & Nancy Bush! This book will be available next Tues, May 26th!

The best of friends . . .
In the Portland suburb of West Knoll, Delta & her friends were the pretty, popular elite of the high school. That was fifteen years & a whole lifetime ago. Even then, backstabbing & betrayal erupted among the women in the group, a trio of which are now gathered around a hospital bed. And most of it revolved around the man lying close to death before them . . .

Until the day . . .
To Delta, it feels as if a nightmare unfolds every time they get together. It started at their senior year graduation party when a group of daredevils led by Tanner slipped under the safety rope & tumbled into the dangerous, fast-flowing river. One of their clique died following his lead. It all seemed spontaneous at the time. A thoughtless deed. But since then, there have been more deaths, more “accidents.” And the question hovers, unspoken: who’s next?

They die . . .
As the body count rises, Detective Chris McCrae, one of Delta’s classmates & a long ago friend of Tanner’s, realizes that stopping the terror means digging deep into the past. Hidden beneath the conflicting stories, gossip, & scandalous half-truths are secrets that someone will kill again & again to protect–until there is no one left to tell . . .

Click HERE to add it to your Goodreads list

Last Girl Standing” is co-written by sisters, Lisa Jackson & Nancy Bush, who also wrote the Colony book series together. Both authors have many books under their proverbial belt.

If you like suspense/mystery/thrillers that are fast-paced, twisty, well-written, with interesting characters, laced with romance & keeps you guessing until the end, then this one is for you! Add it to your TBR list or pre-order it today! Use BookStoreLink to find this book & others at a local indie bookstore. Many also ship to your home or have curbside pick-up available. Let’s support the indie stores & help them stay afloat & keep their beautiful brick-n-mortar stores in business!

Also, today is the last day to enter to win 1 of 3 sets of beautiful Elin Hilderbrand beach reads on my Instagram page. Click HERE to go to that post now. Hope you all have a wonderful Monday!

Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Romance

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Ingredients of You and Me by Nina Bocci

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Thank you @gallerybooks @ninapolitan & @tlcbooktours for my gifted copy of ‘The Ingredients of You & Me‘ by Nina Bocci!

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of the “heartwarming and refreshingly sweet” (Lauren Layne, New York Times bestselling author) ‘On the Corner of Love & Hate’ comes a story about a baker who takes her chances on a new town…& an old love.

Click HERE to add this to your Goodreads list

After selling her famous bakery back in New York, Parker Adams visits Hope Lake, Pennsylvania, to figure out her next steps. And soon she’s wondering why she ever loved city life in the first place. Between the Golden Girls—the senior women who hold court—& Nick Arthur, her equally infuriating & charming former flame, Parker finds a community eager to help her get her mojo back.

But even though Hope Lake gives her the fresh start she’s been looking for, Parker discovers that it’s not so easy to start over again with Nick. Their chemistry is undeniable, but since Nick is a freshly taken man, Parker is determined to keep things platonic. With a recipe for disaster looming, Parker must cook up a new scheme, figuring out how to keep everything she’s come to love before she loses it all.

Perfect for fans of Amy E. Reichert & Jenny Colgan, ‘The Ingredients of You and Me‘ is a scrumptious romantic comedy that lets you have your cake & eat it too.

Just like the blurb on the cover says, this book is “like a Hallmark movie on paper!” And let me just say, I am a complete sucker for all the heart-warming, whimsical, sappy & predictable Hallmark movies! Especially on weekend afternoons while baking in the kitchen! I could totally picture this book in my head as a made-for-tv movie & that made the reading experience even better for me & more engaging! I loved it!

Click HERE to look for this book at an independent bookstore

The Ingredients of You & Me‘ is the third book in the ‘Hopeless Romantic’ series by Nina Bocci, but can be read as a stand-alone. The first book is ‘On the Corner of Love & Hate‘ & the second book is ‘Meet Me On Love Lane‘. I’m going to go back & read both of those now, too! (Click on the highlighted titles to read more about them & add them to your Goodreads list!)

This book has a strong female lead (which I love) & takes place in a small town (which I also love, because it seems like EVERYTHING always takes place in NYC, including a bit of this book, & even though I like NYC, I am totally a small town gal in real life & at heart!) ‘The Ingredients of You & Me’ is a light, charming, funny, & cozy romance that is a perfect read for times like these where everything is feeling overwhelming & hopeless. This book will warm your heart right up!

Click HERE to get this book on audio

Praise for The Ingredients of You and Me

“With all the makings of a Hallmark movie, this story will delight small-town romance readers.”, Booklist

“Satisfying… the true charm of this story is the path Parker takes to rediscovering her passion for baking with help from a cast of supporting characters that will make readers want to reach for the first two books in the series and look forward to future installments.”, Library Journal

“Parker’s journey through a transitional period is interesting, and her close relationships with her girlfriends add humor.”, Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Meet Me on Love Lane

“A sweet exploration of what it means to come home again… With a relatable heroine, witty dialogue, and an idyllic setting, Meet Me On Love Lane is a contemporary romance that is essentially a Hallmark movie on paper. While it’s perfect as a standalone, readers will enjoy visiting Hope Lake time and time again.”, Booklist

“In the feel-good second installment of Bocci’s Hopeless Romantics series… the idyllic setting is vividly rendered and Charlotte’s personal growth as she builds a home for herself is handled with compassion. Readers will enjoy this sweet, fluffy tale that sits squarely at the intersection of romance and women’s fiction.”, Publishers Weekly

“Filled with small-town charm and a sweet cast of characters.”, Woman’s World (Best of Week Book Club pick)

“A feel-good romance that will add a spring to your step and light a fire in your heart, Meet Me on Love Lane was a heartfelt follow up from one of my new favorite authors, Nina Bocci.”, Harlequin Junkie (4 1/2 stars)

“With the sweetest cast of characters and a rich history to fall madly in love with, I dare you to resist the allure of Hope Lake. Especially with charmers like Cooper, Nick, and Henry strutting their stuff all over town. Meet Me On Love Lane is the perfect follow up to On the Corner of Love and Hate, with all the same sweetness and tear-jerking true love you can expect from Nina Bocci.”, Hypable

Praise for On the Corner of Love and Hate

“Romance at its finest with a colorful cast of characters and a couple to root for.” — New York Times bestselling author Sylvain Reynard

“I flew through On the Corner of Love and Hate. Written with wit, quick banter, and heartfelt moments, I wished and rooted for Emma and Cooper’s happily-ever-after, for that opposites-attract heat to smolder and catch fire. And Nina Bocci delivered!” — Tif Marcelo, author of The Key to Happily Ever After

**************If you would like to get this & the other two books in the Hopeless Romantic series on audiobook, use the Libro.fm audiobook app & my special code MOMLOVESREADING & get all 3 for the price of 1! What a deal! (Or you can use that code & get ANY 3 books you choose!)

Thanks for visiting MomLovesReading on the blog tour for ‘The Ingredients of You & Me” by Nina Bocci! Hope you buy the book & love it as much as I did! Be sure to check out my Instagram page for this weeks giveaway! And as always: stay home, stay safe, stay sane. Now go wash your hands!