About ME · Book Reviews · BOTMs, · Fiction · Halloween · ThrillerThursday

Recent posts and a fun pic (regardless of the controversy surrounding today’s deceased birthday boy)…

Today is Read Across America Day & World Teen Mental Wellness Day & yes, it’s Dr Seuss’s birthday. He would have been blowing out 117 candles today since he was born in 1904, but passed away in 1991.
I will let you take it upon yourselves to Google the controversy surrounding some of Seuss’s books & why cancel culture has thrown him to the proverbial lions in recent years.

Controversy aside, above is my husband, twin sons & me on Halloween several years ago in costumes I handmade (including my sons somewhat heavy “wigs”, that were actually winter hats & a bajillion strips of hand cut felt glued on with a hot glue gun, thus adding to the overall weight of the hats. But the boys sure loved those hats & the kept them in their play dress-up & costumes trunk.) I love this picture of the four of us! We haven’t done trick or treating for 2 years now & the boys miss it…but I. Do. Not. Ugh…always so cold & our town has the worst sidewalks ever.)

This past week I posted the above pic on Instagram featuring some of my favorite suspense/thriller arcs that I have received over the years, including my first arc ever & the one I am holding, ‘All is Not Forgotten‘ by Wendy Walker. Click HERE to go to that post & read more about some more of my bookish first’s since beginning my “bookstagram” journey. Speaking of journey (no, not the band), one of my favorite sayings since becoming a fan of ‘Schitt’s Creek’ is from Alexis Rose (Boop!) & I hand lettered & framed that saying for a friend as she is a huge fan as well. You can see that at the end of this post. 😉

On Wednesday & posted about an awesome new release, sci-fi/speculative fiction/apocalyptic debut novel by Claire Holroyde, ‘The Effort’. The post photo also included one of my favorite Rae Dunn mugs (yes, I collect them, but only certain ones) that fit well with the books theme that says ‘Chaos Coordinator’. It always gets the Instagram love when I post it because isn’t that what most of us mom’s really are? I know I am! Click HERE to go to that post.

On Thriller Thursday I posted a giveaway for an arc of one of the most anticipated thrillers of 2021 & what will surely be one of my favorite thrillers of the year, too, ‘Every Last Fear‘ by Alex Finlay. That giveaway ended on 3/1/21, but I am still working on verifying all of the entries & bonus entries, so I will most likely post the winners name sometime tomorrow, on 3/3. That giveaway also included a super cute mini Happy Planner that has a bookish theme & says “The world was hers for the reading!” (well, I guess if a male wins he can give it away or give a Sharpie makeover.) Click HERE to go to that post (keep in mind the comments will be closed now due to the giveaway, but you can give it a LIKE to show your support.)

On Friday I posted with the hashtag #foreverfriday since I am a book influencer for Forever publishing. I really liked my post pic that day because of the color scheme, which honestly, pastels (💕especially pink, gray, & white) is the majority of my pages aesthetic theme & pretty much the color scheme of my home & wardrobe, too. I’m fair haired & fair skinned so the lighter the colors the better. Dark colors make me look splotchy & ill.😆

Anyhow, the book featured is a super cute one & a nice reading palette cleanser since I have been inhaling thrillers lately on audio book. And come on…look at that adorable cover! ‘Dream a Little Dream’ by Melinda Curtis takes place in a small town & just like Journey says (yes, the band this time), I’m 🎶 “Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world…“🎶 (God, I LOVE that song & I will sing right along with it as loud as I can when it comes on the radio in my van, & I truly do not care who see’s me singing. Life’s too short to not sing along to your favorite songs when they come on!) You can click HERE to go to that Insta-post & give it some LIKE love!

Saturday’s Instagram post was about a book that is all kinds of cray-cray, but in a good way (way). That book is ‘The Electric Kingdom‘ by David Arnold. This is geared towards the YA crowd, but Penguin Random House Teen saw that, even though I am well past being a YA, I still love reading many books in that genre, & they sent the book my way…& I am so glad they did! I think we all enjoy some YA books from time to time. I mean, I AM raising two YA’s so I can totally justify my wanting to read books geared towards their age group, so, yeah…💁🏼‍♀️
I’ll be sharing this book with my older kids for sure so we can discuss it. To read more about it, click HERE to go to my Insta-post.

On Sunday, the March Book of the Month selections went live, & my post includes my monthly spiel about how great BOTM is (because it REALLY is!) & how you can use my link in my Instagram bio to join Book of the Month (US only) & get your first book at a huge discount. Click HERE to go to that post & read more about that.

I will save today’s post (which you can go see by clicking HERE) for my next blog post since this one is long enough. In the meantime, would you guys do me a solid & LIKE my Facebook page Mom_Loves_Reading? (link in blog side bar or click HERE) Facebook is the big sister to Instagram & you know how their whole algorithm nightmare goes where you can have hundreds of followers, but they only let your posts be seen by like FIVE of them? Arghhh. So annoying. So help a sister out, (please & thank you!) & go LIKE my page, some posts, etc & if you have a bookish Facebook page, drop me a comment & I will LIKE your page & do the same for you! (Quid pro Quo, bro…😉)

☀️I hope everyone’s weather has been better lately wherever you live. Last week was sunny nearly every day for my neck of the woods, & it felt amazing! This weeks forecast shows a lot of sun once again, but temps will still be in the 40s & 30s, with some 50s on horizon for next week. I’m still feeding the 9000 birds that are visiting our yard daily, along with 4 squirrels who have become regulars (which I have named Farley, Spade, Jim & Pam), the neighbors dog (who steals suet blocks I put out for the woodpeckers), the deer (who have been somewhat MIA lately) & last night a raccoon decided he was going to get in on the action nocturnally. It’s a proverbial zoo out back some days!🐿🦝🐦🦌

🌈Stay safe out there, friends, & I hope you all have a fantastic week!😊

Bad lighting, but I still like it! 😉
Audiobooks · Book Reviews · BOTMs, · Fiction · Giveaway · LiteraryFiction · OwnVoices

Giveaway time! Win a copy of new release and NY Times bestseller, ‘Black Buck’!

GIVEAWAY TIME!
Folks, it’s early in the year, but I’m predicting ‘Black Buck’ by Mateo Askaripour to be one of my Top 5 favorite books of 2021 & I guarantee it’ll be for many of you as well!

Black Buck‘ is the author’s debut novel that released on 1/5 & I was fortunate enough to receive early copies of it, ultimately choosing to listen to the audiobook version. The narrator did such a fantastic job! It’s already #15 on the NY Times bestseller list this week, a Book of the Month add-on, & the Jan ’21 ‘Reading w/ Jenna‘ pick.

I loved Mateo’s dedication page at the very beginning of the book: “To all of those who have ever been made to feel less than, I see you”. Followed by that are a few pages of Author’s Notes, one of which encourages white readers to consider themselves an honorary black person as you read the book, which I totally get, to better understand the POV from which the situations & scenarios in the book are coming from.

The book is a dram-edy (funny, yet drama filled) & meant to be satirical, meaning some parts are over the top & exaggerated, but the messages in the story are perfectly clear. The description of the book says ‘for fans of ‘Sorry to Bother You’ & ‘The Wolf of Wall Street”, & since I have never seen the 1st movie I don’t get that comparison; however, having seen the 2nd, I do understand that & agree, but it’s only in some ways similar.

You may want a writing instrument handy while reading this book to annotate & underline meaningful quotes & passages. You will love some of the characters like Brian, Wally Cat, Mr. Rawlings & Darren’s mom, & you’ll hate some of them like Clyde (who is total pond scum). You may also catch yourself saying some of the ‘Black Buck’ catch phrases in everyday life like I have been since reading this, such as ‘Every day is deals day’ & ‘Ring ring’. I also cannot help but to think of Darren & Brian every time I go to Starbucks, which is far too often.

I can definitely see this book made into a feature film or 10-episode limited series & I 100% think Jordan Peele should write the script, produce & direct it. I also totally pictured the handsome author as the protagonist, Darren, as I listened to the book. I highly recommend ‘Black Buck‘ in any version (see below for links to get an audiobook deal at Libro.fm or to join Book of the Month & add ‘Black Buck’ to your first months box as an add-on), & I’d like to send an arc to 2 of my followers.

(Please be advised, the following entry info is for information sakes, only. You must enter on Instagram & can do so by clicking HERE to be directed to the giveaway.)
To enter giveaway:
1-LIKE this post.
2-Must be following @mom_loves_reading
3-Tag a couple bookish pals (unlimited entries, 2 tags per com).
Bonus entries (5 ea)
4-SHARE to your stories & tag me (can do daily)
5-Subscribe to my blog (Hey, you’re already here, so why not sign up to get email notifications when a new post is up, & if you ARE subscribed, why Thank You very much!😉
6-LIKE my Facebook page & this post there. (Click HERE to go there now.)
7-Follow me on Twitter & REtweet post. (Click HERE to go there now.)

Giveaway is US only due to shipping, begins 1/16 & ends 1/19/21, & is not affiliated w/ Instagram. Please don’t UNfollow afterwards because it’s rude & you get added to my ‘excluded from all future MLR giveaways’ list. Plus, you’ll miss out on a TON of really great giveaways coming up, some of which will be International.

Click HERE to use my referral code MOMLOVESREADING at Libro.fm & get a BOGO-free audiobook offer.
Click HERE to use my referral link & start a Book of the Month membership. (If you scroll a few posts back you will see more detailed info on all of the great benefits of becoming a BOTM member, & there are no obligations.)

Click HERE to add ‘Black Buck’ to your Goodreads lists.
Click HERE to look for ‘Black Buck’ at a local independent bookstore using BookStoreLink.com.
Click HERE to go to MomLovesReading on Instagram.

MATEO ASKARIPOUR was a 2018 Rhode Island Writers Colony writer-in-residence, and his writing has appeared in EntrepreneurLit HubCatapultThe RumpusMedium, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, and his favorite pastimes include bingeing music videos and movie trailers, drinking yerba mate, and dancing in his apartment. BLACK BUCK is his debut novel. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @AskMateo. You can also subscribe to his monthly newsletter here. 

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!


Book Reviews · BOTMs, · CrimeThriller · Thriller

Book Review: ‘The Night Swim’ by Megan Goldin (pub 8/4)

Thank you @stmartinspress for my gifted copy of ‘The Night Swim‘ by Megan Goldin! (pub 8/4). (Click HERE to see this post on Instagram & give it a LIKE, Comment or Save!)

After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation & set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―& the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a hs student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing & investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places.

Someone is following her, & she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister 25 yrs ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―& when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past & present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial & the lives of everyone involved.

I flew through this mystery/courtroom drama in mere hrs! It kinda gave me ‘Are You Sleeping‘ (fic) meets ‘Know My Name‘ (non-fic) vibes as it deals w/ the relevant issue of rape culture & a true-crime podcast. Goldin did handle the subject matter w/ care & respect & not exploitatively. I will warn you, there is some disturbing & graphic content that may be triggering or hard to read.

The Night Swim‘ is emotional, thought-provoking, heartbreaking & often cringey & uncomfortable to read, but it’s a great book if you can handle the subject matter. This book is also an August Book of the Month, so if you want to get it at a discount & you’re not a member, click on my referral link HERE & read my last Instagram post HERE for all the great benefits of being a BOTM member. This book publishes on 8/4.

Click HERE to add ‘The Night Swim’ to your Goodreads.
Click HERE to look for this book (or others) at a local indie bookstore using BookStoreLink.
Click HERE to give my Instagram post some LIKE love!

Praise for The Night Swim:

“Goldin’s prose is inviting, at times electrifying, and always sensitive in dealing with hot-button issues…well done.” ―Booklist (starred)

“Outstanding…[Goldin’s thriller] casts a searing light on small-town politics.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Remarkably strong.” ―Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The Escape Room:

“The pages turn themselves…a sleek, well-crafted ride to a surprisingly twisty conclusion.” ―New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice

“THE ESCAPE ROOM works as the ultimate locked-room mystery…Goldin excels at illustrating the pressures of a Wall Street career.” ―Associated Press

“Addicting.” ―Time Magazine

“High wire tension from the first moment to the last. Four ruthless people locked in a deadly game where victory means survival. Gripping and unforgettable!” ―Harlan Coben

“Fantastic. One of my favorite books of the year.” ―Lee Child

“Amazing…a thriller set in an elevator [that explores] the vast territory of people’s worst natures. A nightmarish look inside ourselves. Simply riveting.” ―Louise Penny

“A shrewd, brilliantly structured thriller doubling as a takedown of corporate culture.” ―Shelf Awareness

“There is clearly no happy ending likely for the four colleagues trapped inside [the escape room]; but fans of JP Delany and Ruth Ware will want to be right in there with them…a nail-biting tale of a corporate team-building exercise gone horribly wrong.” ―Booklist

“Riveting…[a] tale of greed and revenge set on Wall Street…Thriller fans will eagerly turn the pages to see what happens next.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Cancel all your plans and call in sick; once you start reading, you’ll be caught in your own escape room―the only key to freedom is turning the last page!” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Smart and compelling… I devoured this novel!” ―Karen Cleveland, bestselling author of Need to Know

“A sharp, slick, utterly engrossing thriller. This knockout debut hooked me from the first page and didn’t let go.” ―Cristina Alger, USA Today bestselling author of The Banker’s Wife

Megan Goldin is the bestselling author of “The Escape Room”, praised by Lee Child as “one of my favorite books of the year”, as well as “The Girl In Kellers Way”, a critically-acclaimed domestic noir thriller nominated for Australia’s leading crime fiction awards.
Megan worked as a journalist for Reuters, the Australian ABC and Yahoo! News before writing her debut psychological thriller The Girl In Kellers Way.

BOTMs,

June Books of the Month selections are up!!

Click HERE to give my Instagram post some love!

🎉Whoo Hoo!! The June BOTM’s are LIVE! And this girl is HAPPY!😁
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📚Why am I so happy? Because I had my hopes up that the upcoming, new Sager novel, “Home Before Dark“, would be a Book of the Month selection & I’m excited to say, BOTM came through! I think this is the first month in awhile where every one of the 5 BOTM choices are on my TBR list.
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📚I have an arc of “A Burning” by Megha Majumdar & can’t wait to read that one soon! And I loved Brit Bennett’s last book “The Mothers” so much & I’m looking forward to this new one of hers, “The Vanishing Half“. Then, because one can never have too many thrillers, I added “The Last Flight” by Julie Clark to my box along with the romance choice, “One to Watch” by Kate Stayman-London.
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📚What a fantastic group of books & of course, there are still plenty of awesome add-on choices available as well!
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📚Once you have 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 bday month, & a FREE book at the end of the year from the Book of the Year finalists. It’s pretty freakin’ awesome!
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📚Many of the books each month are Early Releases (like 3 of this months!) meaning you can get a nice hardback copy of a book sometimes a month or more before the gen public! Full-size, beautiful hardback books for nearly HALF of what you would pay anywhere else, & 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) & you can skip any month you like. (You can cancel anytime, but trust me, you won’t want to!)
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📚To use my special referral code & get your first BOTM at a discount, click on any of the highlighted BOTM’s in this post. You will so happy you joined! If you are already a member, what book(s) did you choose this month? Or perhaps you skipped? Do tell!

Here are the June selections:

Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums, determined to move up in life, who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party, and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan’s fall. Lovely—an irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humor—has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear.

Taut, symphonic, propulsive, and riveting from its opening lines, A Burning has the force of an epic while being so masterfully compressed it can be read in a single sitting. Majumdar writes with dazzling assurance at a breakneck pace on complex themes that read here as the components of a thriller: class, fate, corruption, justice, and what it feels like to face profound obstacles and yet nurture big dreams in a country spinning toward extremism. An extraordinary debut.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern Black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her Black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

What was it like? Living in that house.

Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.

Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers—and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?

Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition—under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.

But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, razor-sharp debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men—and herself—for a chance to live happily ever after.

Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to the scion of a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse and a staff of ten, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns as bright as his promising political career, and he’s not above using his staff to track Claire’s every move, making sure she’s living up to his impossible standards. But what he doesn’t know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish.

A chance meeting in an airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision to switch tickets—Claire taking Eva’s flight to Oakland, and Eva traveling to Puerto Rico as Claire. They believe the swap will give each of them the head start they need to begin again somewhere far away. But when the flight to Puerto Rico goes down, Claire realizes it’s no longer a head start but a new life. Cut off, out of options, with the news of her death about to explode in the media, Claire will assume Eva’s identity, and along with it, the secrets Eva fought so hard to keep hidden.

***Again, be sure to use my Book of the Month referral link & you will get a big discount on your first month’s BOTM box & be well on your way to earning your BFF status & start getting those awesome benefits I mentioned above.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!