Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Fiction

Book Tour and Book Review for “Saving Ruby King” by Catherine Adel West

Click HERE to go give my Instagram some LIKE love!

Thank you @bookclubbish & @parkrowbooks (#promotion) for including MomLovesReading in the Bookstagram Tour for & my gifted copy of ‘Saving Ruby King‘ by Catherine Adel King!

Set in the South Side of Chicago, an epic, enthralling story of a young woman determined to protect her best friend while a long-buried secret threatens to unravel both their families.

Family. Faith. Secrets. Everything in this world comes full circle.

(from the publisher)

When Ruby King’s mother is found murdered in their home in Chicago’s South Side, the police dismiss it as another act of violence in a black neighborhood. But for Ruby, it means she’ll be living alone with her violent father. The only person who understands the gravity of her situation is Ruby’s best friend, Layla. Their closeness is tested when Layla’s father, the pastor of their church, demands that Layla stay away. But what are his true motives? And what is the price for turning a blind eye?

In a relentless quest to save Ruby, Layla comes to discover the murky loyalties & dark secrets tying their families together for three generations. A crucial pilgrimage through the racially divided landscape of Chicago, ‘Saving Ruby King’ traces the way trauma is passed down through generations & the ways in which communities can come together to create sanctuary.

(from the publisher)

Saving Ruby King‘ is an emotional & revelatory story of race, family secrets, faith & redemption. This is an unforgettable debut novel from an exciting new voice in fiction and a powerful testament that history doesn’t determine the present, and that the bonds of friendship can forever shape the future.

This book is absolutely incredible & it should be on every bookclub’s radar because there are just so many areas of discussion. It is a very timely, relevant, powerful, well-written debut novel that brought out so many emotions while reading it. The book is told from several POV’s to convey the varying viewpoints of the fiction community. There are some very heavy themes covered in this book, too. (I have also heard rumors that West is writing a prequel to this book that focuses on Sara King, so I look fwd to that!)

Saving Ruby King” is complex, nuanced, poignant & thought-provoking, & you will long to discuss it with other readers. This book was released on 6/16. I highly recommend this 5-star read! Look for it today at an independent bookstore by using BookStoreLink to find one near you.

Click HERE to add it to your Goodreads TBR list.
Click HERE to get it on audiobook from Libro.fm & use my code MOMLOVESREADING for a BOGO. (The audio is amazing & has 7 narrators!)
Click HERE to use BookStoreLink & find it at an independent book store near you or online.
Click HERE to give my Instagram post some love! The author & publisher will appreciate it as much as I will!

What others are saying about “Saving Ruby King”:

“In the midst of widespread protests and calls to end racial injustice, the conversations and understanding tackled in Saving Ruby King are all significant reflections of this country’s reality today.” – Parade Magazine

“Family, friendship, secrets…this rich, suspenseful page-turner has it all.” – Woman’s World

 “Incorporating compelling perspectives, this is a powerful story of family, faith and friendship.” – MS. Magazine

“Saving Ruby King is a stunning force of a novel that has everything anyone could want in a family saga—honey-dipped prose, strikingly human characters, and a satisfying, soul-stirring conclusion that will stay with me for a long, long time.”
– Zakiya Harris, author of THE OTHER BLACK GIRL

“Told with teeth and tenderness, SAVING RUBY KING is a surprising, pedal-down debut that explores what happens when the fabrics of family, faith, and friendship snag on violent machinations of the heart. Redemption and survival share a pew with reckoning and hope here, all tangled up with the ties that bind. Catherine Adel West gifts us Chicago, the black church, and a choir of flawed, wonderfully complicated characters who flash fresh with every turn of the page, who stand against the wind, who won’t go down without a fight.”
– Leesa Cross-Smith, author of Whiskey & Ribbons and So We Can Glow

“What an astonishing book. Catherine Adel West breathes life into violence and mayhem like a poet on a new day. These are the stories we need to hear: voices of hope in a wilderness of pain.”
– Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Child Finder and The Butterfly Girl

“West is a bold, exciting new voice in fiction. With honesty and compassion, she brings readers beyond the headlines into the real south side of Chicago where love, church, and family abide. She makes us think not only about saving Ruby King, but about finding our own redemption as we save ourselves individually and collectively. In this assured debut, West deftly breathes life into this community with characters you’ll cry with and root for long after the last page.”
 – Nancy Johnson, author of The Kindest Lie

“[An] Ambitious, keenly observant debut… West’s tale of grace, redemption, and hope would translate handily to the screen. This should enjoy wide popularity with book groups.” 
– Publishers Weekly

“West uses a fresh approach to covering not only several decades of family history, but also complex themes including the ways in which close communities can nourish and harm their members; how friendships and family ties can hold intimacy and distance; the way misunderstandings and trauma can pass down the generations; and the difference between a relationship with God and a church. The characters, language, and plot come together for a story full of hard truths, insight, and warmth…a daring, dynamic story.
A multilayered love letter to South Side Chicago’s African American faith-based community.”
– Kirkus Reviews

“West delivers her debut with an honesty that jumps off the pages and into the laps of her readers. Telling Ruby’s story from multiple points of view, West writes with a precision that makes the story sing, with clear language and poetic imagery.”
– Booklist

“A story of intrigue and heartbreaking family secrets… A fresh look into the church community of Chicago’s South Side with a bold female perspective.”
– Library Journal


Catherine Adel West graduated with both her BA and MA in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her work has been published in Gay MagazineBlack Fox Literary MagazineFive2OneBetter Than Starbucks, and others. Catherine was born and raised in Chicago. Saving Ruby King is her debut novel.

Blog Tour · Book Reviews

Book Tour, featuring: “(Im)Perfectly Happy” by Sharina Harris

Click HERE to go to my Instagram page

Thank you @kensingtonbooks @sharinawrites & @tlcbooktours for my gifted copy of “(Im)Perfectly Happy” by Sharina Harris!

When four college friends formed the Brown Sugarettes Mastermind Group, they had very different goals—but matched each other in ambition. Yet ten years later they can’t help wondering what happened to the hopeful, confident, driven women they used to be—& how to getthem back…

Radio personality Raina, known as “the black Delilah,” hates the wholesome persona that’s made her a success. Doling out syrupy versions of her grandma’s wisdom feels worlds away from the sarcastic, tell-it-like-it-is woman Raina really is.

Click HERE to add it to your Goodreads list

Kara Jones was sure she’d be a master sommelier by thirty. Life & loss interfered with that plan. Now she has one more chance—but it’s taking a toll on her self-esteem & her marriage.

Nikki Grayson hardly recognizes the stay-at-home mom she’s become. When her band signed a record deal, she swapped the limelight for a minivan & a sensible ’do. Now she’s wishing she had followed her heart. Instead, she’s drowning her regret in alcohol.

Public defender Sienna Njeri willingly put her city council aspirations aside to support her fiancé’s bid for office—& now she’s wondering if her loyalty is misplaced.

Longing for the support, advice, & tough love they once shared, all four resolve to start meeting up again. After all, their dreams may still be within reach. But are they worth the price they’ll pay to achieve them?

A wonderful book with well-developed, relatable narratives, “(Im)Perfectly Happy” has just the female cast of characters you will want in your life. It embraces female friendships, women supporting women, it’s endearing, inspiring, & fueled with the full spectrum of human emotion. It is told from all four women’s POV & is just the kind of book you’ll want to share with all your female friends.

(Im)Perfectly Happy” was released on 4/28. Look for it at your local bookstore today by using BookStoreLink. Click HERE to find it now (and any other books you may be looking for!)

Sharina Harris earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgia State University. After college, she pursued a career in digital marketing and public relations. Although her profession required writing, she decided to pursue a career in writing in 2012. Sharina’s contemporary romance series under the pen name, Rina Gray, was named Book Riot’s 100 Must‑Read Romantic Comedies. When Sharina’s not writing, she can be found with her head stuck in a book, yelling for her favorite NBA teams, and spending time with friends and family. Sharina resides in Atlanta with her husband and son. Visit her at SharinaHarris.com.

Audiobooks · Blog Tour · Book Reviews · LibroFm

Book Tour for “The Essence of Perfection” by Nita Brooks (and some very important Libro.fm audiobook info…)

Click HERE to go give the IG post some love!

Thank you @kensingtonbooks & @tlcbooktours for my gifted copy of ‘The Essence of Perfection‘ by Nita Brooks & for inviting me to be a stop on your digital Book Tour!

Wickedly entertaining, insightful, and always surprising, Nita Brooks delivers a delicious new novel about a celebrity perfume designer forced to add a daring new ingredient to her carefully curated life . . .

Click HERE to add it to your Goodreads

Among the uber-famous, she’s the most highly sought-after fragrance maker—and a well-kept secret. But designing a scent for pop’s newest superstar could take Nicola King and her family’s business from elite to downright legendary. Of course, mystery is part of Nicola’s brand—so no one knows she’s actually an over-cautious person who always puts her own life on permanent hold. Until her ultra-personal list of regrets is accidentally put on a social media blast—and she’s challenged to go after everything she really wants.

From finding a hobby to reconnecting with a family member, Nicola’s getting some surprising results. But when she reveals her deepest, darkest secret of all to her troubled sister, the fallout threatens her budding romance, her career, and her reputation. Now between ambition, heartbreak, and hard truths, Nicola must risk the courage to fix the damage—and decide what success truly means.

Click HERE to add it to your Goodreads

The Essence of Perfection‘ is a fun read while self-isolating! And a main character that you will root for! Not to mention the fact that you will be reminded how much social media can be both a pro & a con! ‘The Essence of Perfection‘ was released on 3/31 from Kensington Books. Thank’s again, TLC Book Tours! Look for this book at your local, independent bookstore! Click HERE to look for it using BookStoreLink. The independent bookstores need our sales right now more than ever!

And if audiobooks is your jam, I encourage you to use the Libro.fm app. Libro.fm is an audiobook app that supports independent bookstores with their audiobook sales. I LOVE listening to audiobooks during the day while I am on the go & saving my physical books for evening time in my rocker with my cozy blankey & a cuppa tea. Sometimes audiobooks just make certain books so much more engaging & better, & you are STILL supporting the author, publisher & bookstore with your audiobook purchases.

Click HERE to get this on audio

To try Libro.fm for yourself, click HERE to use my promo code for a special 3-for-1 offer or you can use my promo code MOMLOVESREADING. Be sure to download your FREE Libro.fm app now because on Saturday, April 25th they are celebrating what would have been Independent Bookstore Day (which is now postponed until August 29th) & they are giving away 2 FREE audiobooks (pre-selected titles) to everyone that has an account. This will happen ONLY on April 25th, so be sure to download your app before then and be sure to follow Libro.fm on Facebook & Instagram & get in on all the IBD celebration fun!

And as always, stay home, stay safe, stay sane. Now go wash your hands…

Blog Tour · Book Reviews

Blog Tour and Book Review for “My Name is Tani…And I Believe in Miracles” by Tanitoluwa Adewumi

Click HERE to give the Instagram post a LIKE

Thank you @tlcbooktours & @thomasnelson for my gifted copy of “My Name is Tani...& I Believe in Miracles: The Amazing True Story of One Boy’s Journey From Refugee to Chess Champion”!

Tani Adewumi didn’t know what Boko Haram was or why they had threatened his family. All he knew was that when his parents said the family was going to America, Tani thought it was the start of a great adventure rather than an escape. In truth, his family’s journey to the United States was nothing short of miraculous—& the miracles were just beginning.

Tani’s father, Kayode, became a dishwasher & Uber driver while Tani’s mother, Oluwatoyin, cleaned buildings, while the family lived in a homeless shelter. Eight-year-old Tani jumped into his new life with courage & perseverance—& an unusual mind for chess.

Tanitoluwa Adewumi

After joining the chess club in his public school, Tani practiced his game for hours in the evenings at the shelter. Then he began competing in the ultra-exclusive chess clubs of New York City. And winning—again & again. And then, less than a year after he learned to play, Tani won the New York State chess championship.

In “My Name Is Tani . . . and I Believe in Miracles, Tani & his parents tell us their incredible true story of sacrificing everything for family, living with nothing but hope, & then sharing generously all they received to discover the greatest riches of all. Tani’s triumphant spirit reminds us of the power of kindness & the beauty of unity as we watch for the next miracle to begin.

Click HERE to add it to your Goodreads list

What an amazing story! (And to think, I have no CLUE how to play chess. Seriously, not even a little. I know there are like rooks & pawns & other pieces, but that’s IT. Sad, I know. I can play checkers though!)

“I don’t know what I’m going to be. My dad says that’s okay. But I do know this much. I believe it miracles.”-Tani Adewumi (quoted from the book)

This boy is such an amazing young man! A true inspiration! This story is both impressive & faith-affirming, but the stories about the Boko Haram are also terrifying. (Read more about that group on Google! Crazy stuff, man!).

The young readers addition of the book is also available

The book is narrated by both Tani & his parents & is divided into 5 parts. It’s a quick read with a small section of color photos. A truly heart-warming, awe-inspiring, & captivating novel about a fascinating young man, & how a $5 gift turned out to be a life-changing miracle for him & his family.

This book is now available (released on 4/14) and you can use BookStoreLink to find it at a local, independent bookseller near you.

PS…I have a pretty awesome GIVEAWAY going on now on my Instagram. Click HERE to go to that post now. And as always, stay home, stay safe, stay sane. Now go wash your hands! (and excuse me while I go download an online chess game…)