Win Mother’s Day With These Books for Every Mom—and the Kid-Distraction Tactic to Give Her Time to Read Them by Kelly Harms


[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to have author Kelly Harms guest post on the site today. Take it away Kelly!]

It’s been said (by me, and often) that the best mother’s day gift is a book… and some time in which to read it. Today I’ll be even more helpful:  I’ll tell you what book to buy the mom in your life and how to fittingly occupy the kids while she reads. 

Pro tip: if you’re reading this list whilst mom-ing yourself, find bestie with a kid, buy two copies of the book of choice, and do a childcare swap. You both deserve it!

Moms with Heart:

After topping the bestseller charts for months, True Places by Sonja Yoerg is a book your Mom In Question has probably seen everywhere, but hasn’t had a chance to read. Set in the gorgeous Blue Ridge mountains, it’s a soul-enriching vacation between two covers—and without the airfare.

Co-parenting tip: While Mom’s absorbed by the story of a woman learning to embrace an unexpected path to family, you can take the kids on a hiking trip, tire them out, and then drive around until they fall asleep in the backseat and park in the driveway with a book of your own.

The Drama Mama:

Jessica Strawser is a new-to-me author who has a rabid fan base for a reason. New in a perfectly priced paperback edition, Almost Missed You is a domestic drama with just the right amount of suspense that both celebrates and challenges every instinct of motherhood.

Co-parenting Tip: While Mama reads, take the kids to a play at the local children’s theatre, or short of that, if you’re creative enough, cardboard box plus socks equals puppet show, right? Just so long as it’s not in the same building where Mom is reading.

The Unstoppable Mother:

Nicole Lynn Baart is one of my must buys, and her new release, You Were Always Mine, will shatter your expectations about motherhood in all its forms. Baart’s experience as a mom of five kids from four different countries informs this sensitive, exciting story that will keep readers furiously turning pages well past their bedtime.

Co-parenting Tip: A late night reading binge means the kids need to get out of the house! Bonus points if you take them all to a nearby motel with a pool, swim them, bathe them, and spend the night so Mom can sleep in the next day.

The Mom Who Dazzles:
The main character in Nicole Blades’ sleeper hit The Thunder Beneath Us is a survivor who must find a way to happiness, forgiveness and hope despite a legacy of loss. For mothers who dig deep everyday, reward them with great writing, a little scandal, and plenty of page-turning secrets.

Co-parenting Tip: Mom’s gonna be having a little weep on the porch while she reads this, so take the kids to do something meaningful. It’s the perfect time of year to make hanging baskets with a few inexpensive garden shop buys, and they’ll look great on the patio of your nearest memory care home.

And a bonus read for the women in your life who don’t fall so perfectly into the Mother’s Day boxes:

I love The Curiosities by Susan Gloss for so many reasons, not least of all that not all women enjoy Mother’s Day–for some it’s a painful reminder of loss and heartache. If you or a friend in your life wants to escape the typical motherhood narrative, pick up this beautifully written and beautiful-to-look-at story of a woman finding her way to a new kind of family as she heals from what her attempts at motherhood left behind. Bring a hankie and a hug.

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About the Author:

Kelly Harms is an author, a mother, and a big dreamer. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her sparkling son, Griffin; her fluffy dog, Scout; and her beloved Irishman, Chris. Before this midwestern life, she lived in New York, New York, and worked with many of her author-heroes as an editor at HarperCollins and then as a literary agent. Her latest book, THE OVERDUE LIFE OF AMY BYLER, is a Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller. Learn more at

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms

Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.

Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind.

But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.


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