Book Reviews · BOTMs, · Fiction · Giveaway · LiteraryFiction · OwnVoices · WomensFiction

Last day to enter GIVEAWAY! ‘This Close to Okay’ by Leesa Cross-Smith

GIVEAWAY time! (I actually meant to post this to my blog a couple days ago, but then I ended up sick & forgot. So better late than never & you have until the end of the day to enter. Sorry, US residents only per the publisher.)

Thank you to @grandcentralpub for my gift copy of ‘This Close to Okay‘ by Leesa Cross-Smith!

Q: What did you read this weekend? I started & finished ‘Finlay Donovan is Killing It’ & really liked it, & I am this close to finishing the book I am featuring today.

A cathartic novel about the life-changing weekend shared between two strangers: a therapist & the man she prevents from ending his life,

This Close to Okay‘ is a vibrant, powerful story of two strangers brought together by wild chance at the moment they needed each other most.

This book was a Dec BOTM choice & my first book by the author, although ‘So We Can Glow’ is on my TBR list. There is some heavy subject matter covered in this beautiful book: mental illness, racism, grief, & suicide; but don’t let that sway you from reading it. (Just maybe have a rom-com or comedy as a follow-up read if those subjects weigh on your emotions; ‘Finlay Donovan is Killing It’ would make a great follow-up, just saying.)

This Close to Okay‘ is so well written, emotional, heartfelt, intimately honest & raw, & the characters are richly drawn, complex, & unforgettable.
I highly recommend this book & would love to send a copy to (2) of you! (**The following is for information purposes only. You must enter the giveaway on Instagram & you can go to the post HERE.)

To enter to win one:
1- Must be following @mom_loves_reading
2- LIKE this post. (SHARE it in your stories or feed for 5 bonus entries & TAG me.)
3- Tag some bookish pals. (Unlimited entries, up to 3 tags per comm).
Giveaway runs 2/6-2/8/21, is not affiliated w/ Instagram, & is open to US residents only. Please don’t UNfollow after giveaway or you will be ineligible for all future MLR giveaways & there are a LOT.

About the book, ‘This Close to Okay‘:

From the award-winning Southern writer who Roxane Gay calls “a consummate storyteller” comes a cathartic novel about the life-changing weekend shared between two strangers: a therapist and the man she prevents from ending his life.

On a rainy October night in Kentucky, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark is on her way home from work when she spots a man precariously standing on the side of a bridge. Without a second thought, Tallie pulls over and jumps out of the car into the pouring rain. She convinces the man to join her for a cup of coffee, and he eventually agrees to come back to her house, where he finally shares his name: Emmett.

Over the course of the emotionally charged weekend that follows, Tallie makes it her mission to provide a safe space for Emmett, though she hesitates to confess that this is also her day job. But what she doesn’t realize is that he’s not the only one who needs healing — and she’s not the only one with secrets.

Alternating between Tallie and Emmett’s perspectives as they inch closer to the truth of what brought Emmett to the bridge’s edge — as well as the hard truths Tallie has been grappling with in her own life — This Close to Okay is a vibrant, powerful story of two strangers brought together by wild chance at the moment they needed each other most.

Click HERE to add ‘This Close to Okay’ to your Goodreads lists.
Click HERE to check out my Instagram post & enter the giveaway.
Click HERE to visit Leesa Cross-Smith’s website.
Click HERE to find this book & any others at a local or online indie bookstore using BookStoreLink.com.
Click HERE to join Book of the Month & get your first months book selection at a discount. (*’This Close to Okay’ was a Dec 2020 BOTM pick & is still available. You don’t have to get this one, however, in order to get the discount.)
Click HERE to get this book (or any others) on audio from Libro.fm & support indie bookstores that way. You can also get a BOGO using my code MOMLOVESREADING.

Leesa Cross-Smith is a homemaker and writer from Kentucky. She is the author of SO WE CAN GLOW, WHISKEY & RIBBONS, EVERY KISS A WAR, and the forthcoming novels THIS CLOSE TO OKAY and HALF-BLOWN ROSE from Grand Central Publishing. She is longlisted for the 2021 Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize. SO WE CAN GLOW was listed as one of NPR’s Best Books of 2020. WHISKEY & RIBBONS won the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) Gold Medal in Literary Fiction, was longlisted for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and was one of O Magazine’s 2018 Top Books of Summer. EVERY KISS A WAR was nominated for the PEN Open Book Award (2014) and was a finalist for both the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction (2012) and the Iowa Short Fiction Award (2012). Find more @ LeesaCrossSmith.com

About ME · Book Reviews · BOTMs, · Fiction · LibroFm

It’s Friday folks and the November Books of the Month are LIVE!

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

It’s Friday folks & the NOV Books of the Month are up! (And speaking of Friday’s, just for fun, here’s the song that I used to sing to my daughter when I would wake her up on Friday mornings:

📚Nov selections are some good ones! Four of them are early releases, too! Plus, there are some great new add-on additions, such as ‘Goodnight Beautiful‘ by Aimee Molloy, ‘White Ivy‘ by Susie Young, ‘Group‘ by Christie Tate (which is also Reese Witherspoon’s Nov Book Club pick! See my review 21 posts back), & a 2019 release ‘The Hunting Party‘ by Lucy Foley.

November Books of the Month are:

Memorial‘, by Bryan Washington (also GMA book club selection for Nov! Pub 10/27)
This Time Next Year‘ by Sophie Cousens (pub 12/1)
Pretty Little Wife’ by Darby Kane (debut, pub 12/29)
These Violent Delights‘ by Chloe Gong (debut, YA, pub 11/17)
The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany‘ by Lori Nelson Spielman (pub 11/17)


(Click on any of the highlighted titles under book pics to read more about them & add them to your Goodreads lists.)

📚As a long time member & fan of BOTM, I get so excited to see what books they have selected for us each month because many of their picks end up being some of my all-time favorites! They also have some fan fave, older books available as add-on’s such as ‘The Secret History’, ‘Gone Girl’, all of Riley Sager’s books & so much more!

📚If you have been on the fence about joining BOTM, I encourage you to do it now! Many of the books each month are Early Releases, meaning you can get books a month or more before the gen public! Four of them this month! You get a special intro price for your first BOTM & then you’ll be on your way to being a BOTM BFF like me.

If there is one book I might suggest, it is ‘The Invisible Life of Addie Larue‘…one of my FAVES of 2020!

📚Once you’ve rcvd 12 BOTM monthly boxes, you are officially a BFF. With that new title comes great things: a FREE BOTM tote bag, a FREE BOTM add-on during your bday month & a FREE book at the end of the year from the Book of the Year finalists. It’s pretty freakin’ awesome! Full-sz hardback books for nearly HALF of what you’d pay elsewhere & well-curated selections of various genres. A little something for everyone! You can add-on other books for even LESS (up to 3 books total per mo) & you can skip any mo. you like. You can also sign another member of your household up & have two accts so you can get all of the BOTM’s each month. Many club members do this! So act now & click HERE to join & get a discount offer!

So current members, what are you choosing this month? Or are you skipping? I think I am going with the thriller pick, ‘Pretty Little Wife’ & ‘Goodnight Beautiful’ as an add-on. I was gifted an audio copy of ‘Goodnight Beautiful’ since I am a Libro.fm influencer, but I haven’t heard many good things about the audio version. Mainly that it’s hard to follow & some other auditory issues, but I was really interested in the book in general, so I’m happy to pick it as an add-on.

Be sure to go give my Instagram post some LIKE love by clicking HERE & while you’re there, enter my current giveaway (US only due to shipping costs) that includes SIX books that are thriller/suspense/mystery themed AND they all have orange spines for Halloween! Click HERE to go to that post!

About ME · Book Reviews · BOTMs, · Thriller

🎶These are a few of my favorite things🎶 (….err, I mean, THRILLERS!📚)

🎶Haunted old schools & murder suspicions,
Troubling marriages, psycho weather conditions,
Creepy kids, summer camp & wedding guest killers,
These are a few of my favorite thrillers!🎶
(Yes, that was meant to be sung in Julie Andrews voice to the tune of ‘My Favorite Things’ from ‘The Sound of Music’; see video below, watch it & let this song be stuck in your head all day now like it has been in mine.😉)

Q: Are you a thriller/mystery/suspense book fan? What is one that you always recommend to other fans of the genre? (please leave a comment with your recommendations!)

📚Fall is the perfect time of year to tackle your thriller tbr stacks, especially Halloween time! I love curling up in my fave chair in the evening with a glass of wine, cup of tea or cocoa, a nice warm blanket, & an unputdownable thriller book that keeps me so engaged I have to force myself to go to bed instead of reading into to wee hours! The books in my arms are examples of ones that met that criteria for me! I know some of you have a different opinion on a couple of these, but that’s what’s so great about books…what one may loathe, another may love! (For some reason there are people that hated ‘No Exit‘ while frankly, I LOVED it! Que sera, sera…🤷🏼)

📚You know where you can get some of the best thriller books at an even more thrilling discount? The Book-of-the-Month Club! As a long time member & fan of BOTM, I get so excited to see what books they have selected for us each month because many of their picks are some of my all-time favorites! They also have some fan fave, older books available as add-on’s such as ‘The Secret History’, ‘Gone Girl’, all of Riley Sager’s books & so much more!

📚If you have been on the fence about joining BOTM, I encourage you to do it now! The November books are coming later this week & many of the books each month are Early Releases, meaning you can get books a month or more before the gen public! You get a special intro price for your first BOTM & then you’ll be on your way to being a BOTM BFF like me!

📚Once you’ve received 12 BOTM monthly boxes, you are officially a BFF. With that new title comes great things: a FREE BOTM tote bag, a FREE BOTM add-on during your birthday month & a FREE book at the end of the year from the Book of the Year finalists. It’s pretty freakin’ awesome! Full-size hardback books for nearly HALF of what you’d pay elsewhere & well-curated selections of various genres. A little something for everyone! You can add-on other books for even LESS (up to 3 books total per month, per membership…And YES, some people sign up for more than one account so they can get more than 3 books per month!) & you can skip any month you like.

Click HERE now for your discount offer & you will be on your way to being a BOTM BFF! OMG!😉 (Hey, while you are clicking links, click HERE to go to my Instagram & give THIS post some LIKE love as well as some of my other posts. There are a couple posts for book tours of books people haven’t heard much about & those posts could use a little algorithm boost. Please & Thank You!

📚Q: Current BOTM members, what books are you hoping to see offered later this week?

And just for fun & because I think she is AHH-MAZING, here is Adele as the guest host of Saturday Night Live last night (10/24/20) in a skit about The Bachelor…Enjoy!


BOTMs, · Fiction · HistoricalFiction · Thriller · WomensFiction

The October Books of the Month are LIVE!

📚The October BOTM’s are up!! (Click HERE to visit my Instagram post & give it some LIKE love!)

📚It’s that time of the month that all of Book of the Month book club members look forward to! Constantly refreshing our browser every so often on those last couple days of the month, when BOTM generally releases the 5 new books & a few new add-on selections.

📚A long time member & fan of Book of the Month club, I get so excited to see what books they have selected for us each month. I skipped the last 2 mos because I already had the books that I wanted from the Aug/Sep selections from the publishers. So I was extra stoked to see what would be available for me to choose for October.

Once again, they are some goodies! The books are:

‘Magic Lessons‘:
Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.

‘Leave the World Behind’: Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older Black couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.

Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one another?

‘The Girl in the Mirror’: Twin sisters Iris & Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical & insecure, Iris has long been envious of Summer’s seemingly never-ending good fortune, including her perfect husband Adam. Called to Thailand to help her sister sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, Iris nurtures her own secret hopes for what might happen on the journey. But when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes. When she makes it to land, Iris allows herself to be swept up by Adam, who assumes that she is Summer.
Iris recklessly goes along with his mistake. Not only does she finally have the golden life she’s always envied, w/ her sister gone, she’s one step closer to the 100-million-dollar inheritance left by her manipulative father. All Iris has to do is be the first of his seven children to produce an heir. Iris’s “new” life lurches between glamorous dream & paranoid nightmare. On the edge of being exposed, how far will she go to ensure no one discovers the truth? And just what did happen to Summer on the yacht? Only Iris knows…

‘Ties That Tether’: At 12 yrs old, Azere promised her dying father she would marry a Nigerian man & preserve her culture even after immigrating to Canada. Her mother has been vigilant about helping—forcing—her to stay well within the Nigerian dating pool ever since. But when another match-made-by-mom goes wrong, Azere ends up at a bar, enjoying the company & later sharing the bed of Rafael Castellano, a man who is tall, handsome, & white.
When their one-night stand unexpectedly evolves into something serious, Azere is caught between her growing feelings for Rafael & the compulsive need to please her mother who will never accept a relationship that threatens to dilute Azere’s Nigerian heritage.
Azere can’t help wondering if loving Rafael makes her any less of a Nigerian. Can she be w/ him without compromising her identity? The answer will either cause Azere to be audacious & fight for her happiness or continue as the compliant daughter.

‘The Invisible Life of Addie Larue’:
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever―and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, & a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries & continents, across history & art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore & he remembers her name.



📚If you have been on the fence about joining BOTM, I encourage you to do it now! There are some GREAT books to choose from & w/ some excellent fall releases coming, you will be able to get in on that readerly action before your non-BOTM friends. You get a special intro price for your first BOTM & then you’ll be on your way to being a BOTM BFF like me! (**Please be advised, BOTM is currently only available for shipping within the 50 United States.)

📚Once you’ve rcvd 12 BOTM monthly boxes, you are officially a BFF. With that new title comes great things: a FREE BOTM tote bag, a FREE BOTM add-on during your bday month & a FREE book at the end of the year from the Book of the Year finalists. It’s pretty freakin’ awesome!

📚Many of the books each mo. are Early Releases, meaning you can get books a mo. or more before the gen public! Full-sz hardback books for nearly HALF of what you’d pay elsewhere & well-curated selections of various genres. A little something for everyone! You can add-on other books for even LESS (up to 3 books total per mo) & you can skip any month you choose to. Click HERE for my referral offer & get your first book for only $9.99!

📚Some of this mos new add-ons include ‘Invisible Girl’ by Lisa Jewell, ‘Practical Magic‘, Elin Hilderbrand’s ‘Troubles in Paradise’, & more! So, what looks good to you this month? All of them, right!?😉 (Don’t forget, once you add a monthly BOTM, go back & check out all of the available add-ons. There are new ones addes all of the time! Some are newer, some are classics!

Click HERE to use my special code & join me in becoming a Book of the Month club member!

BeachReads · Book Reviews · BOTMs, · Fiction · Giveaway · Romance · WomensFiction

Big Giveaway of ‘Big Summer’ on IG…it’s kind of a BIG deal!

Click HERE to go to the giveaway on IG

Happy Saturday folks! This blog post should have went out yesterday, but sometimes real life just gets in the way of my cyber-life, so as the saying goes, ‘A day late, & a dollar short…’🤷🏼

GIVEAWAY TIME! Thank you @atriabooks @jenniferweinerwrites for my cool gift set, including one of my favorite #beachreads of the year, ‘Big Summer‘!

Monday is Labor Day here in the US, which many people consider the ‘unofficial’ end of summer & in my touristy town off Lake Erie, things really die down after this wkends holiday, which is both good & bad.

Speaking of ‘good’, here’s a perfect summer beach read that was released back in early May…’Big Summer‘. (Oh, & it’s pronounced WHY-ner, not WE-ner like a hotdog. Carry on…)

New York Times #1 Bestselling author Jennifer Weiner returns w/ an unforgettable novel about friendship & forgiveness set during a disastrous wedding on picturesque Cape Cod.

Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely & successful as ever, w/ a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken 1 word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.

Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in HS. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs & pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.

A sparkling novel about the complexities of female friendship, the pitfalls of living out loud & online, & the resilience of the human heart, ‘Big Summer‘ is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, & figuring out what matters most…(oh, & someone gets murdered, so there’s an intriguing mystery, too!)

I really enjoyed this book! It’s masterfully woven w/ complex characters, atmosphere, suspense, spice & will give you all the feels! This book is so much more nuanced than it’s cute cover & back cover description. The audiobook is really well done as well!

One winner will receive a copy of the book & some fun swag to go w/ it.

(👉🏻Important: Please note that the giveaway takes place on Instagram ONLY. The info in this blog post is for FYI purposes only. Click HERE to go to the giveaway on Instagram.)

To enter: (US residents only, Entry on IG only)
1-LIKE this post. –
2-Must be following @mom_loves_reading & @jenniferweinerwrites
3-Tag some friends (Unlimited, up to 2 per com, ea tag is an entry)
Bonus 5 entries-
Share to your stories or page & tag me. Can do daily.
Giveaway ends 9/7 11:59pm EST & is not affiliated w/ Instagram. Please don’t UNfollow after giveaway which is just so rude & because I hold a grudge like it’s my job, you will get banned from all future MomLovesReading giveaways.

So there ya have it! My BIG ‘Big Summer‘ giveaway sponsored by Atria Publishing. Now I’m just hoping Jenn Weiner SHARES my post on her IG page with her 46.5K followers! (Atria shared it in their stories yesterday with their 85.5K followers.😉👍🏻)

Click HERE to go to the giveaway on Instagram. (& even if you aren’t entering, you can do me a solid & just LIKE and/or SHARE the post. Please & Thank you!)
Click HERE to add ‘Big Summer’ to your Goodreads list.
Click HERE to visit J-Weiner on the IG.

Click HERE to go to giveaway on IG

Here’s what others are saying about ‘Big Summer’:

Sexy and satisfying. . . Observant, self-aware, and very funny, Big Summer will delight Jennifer Weiner’s many fans and could be just the absorbing take-me-away read so many of us need right now.” USA Today

“It’s the beach read to end all beach reads.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Part dissection of female friendships, part murder mystery, part social-media tutorial, part love story and—the best of them all—part portrait of an overweight, under-confident striver. Daphne is an endearing creation: funny, plucky, willing to acknowledge certain critical lapses in judgment and eminently worthy of the love that she is certain will never come her way.” —The Wall Street Journal

“It’s deliciously fun: frothy entertainment with surprising depth.Big Summer is big fun, and then some. It’s empowering and surprising—a reminder to put down the phone and enjoy each moment for what it is, rather than what it could look like on Instagram.” —The Washington Post

“Everything you’d hope to find in a beach read: complicated female friendships, unhappy rich people, a hardworking heroine with an eye for fashion, and an Instagram-worthy setting for an over-the-top wedding on Cape Cod.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Weiner is deft at plumbing the depths of female friendship and developing characters readers will care about. This highly recommended book willappeal not only to the author’s fans but also to a new audience looking for a fresh take on women’s fiction.” —Library Journal (starred)

“Weiner’s story of female friendships (after Mrs. Everything) mixes a splash of romance, a dash of humor, and a pinch of mystery to create a deliciously bloody poolside cocktail. Weiner’s surprising tale is hard to put down.” Publishers Weekly

“If you love Jennifer Weiner, you’ll love this one. And if you’re a newbie, start here.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“The perfect beach read . . . A funny and tender examination of female friendship in all of its messy glory.”—PopSugar

“A new story perfect for summer… Weiner’s lighthearted, moving tale takes readers on a journey that explores the complexities of female friendship.” —The Hollywood Reporter

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of seventeen books, including Mrs. Everything, the children’s book The Littlest Bigfoot, and an essay collection, 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