I’m not doing the whole Facebook “Day #: I’m thankful for these things”- not because I don’t believe that it’s a good idea, but mainly because the people who really know me already know the things that I’m thankful for. But for the people who read my blog- you may not know some of the things I’m thankful for- so here goes:

1. Books- without books (whether it’s real books or e-books) a world without books would be a sad place.

2. Photos- I’m the girl with the camera. Always. I take tons of pictures. Why? Because one day- when I’m sitting around in elderly years I want to be able to look back and see the proof that life rocked. Maybe it wasn’t always all glittery and sunshine, rainbows and unicorns- but hopefully the pics will show that life was good more than it wasn’t.

3. Journals- I don’t keep one in particular, I have a few different that I write in. 99% of what I blog, tweet, facebook, etc about is ME. The real me. The me that I want to be recognized, understood, loved, etc- however; there are times when I need a place to write that only I’ll see. Maybe self-doubt is creeping in, maybe I’m unsure if anyone will understand- but mostly I worry that someone will dismiss my thoughts/worries. This is when a journal comes in handy.

4. Erin from Deep South Mag. Ever since she started following me tweets from my first SPQ wkend, a great twitter friendship has formed. When I finally got to meet her over the summer- it was so weird putting a face to a person that I’ve “known” for over 2 years. Erin- thank you for all you have done- the encouragement with my blog, book recommendations, and more. xoxo

5. Robin O’Bryant- could be considered at the center of much good news. Through her, I found out about Joshilyn Jackson coming to Turnrow Books for luncheon book signing. So I went- got to meet Joshilyn Jackson and Robin O’Bryant- then the girl sitting beside me started talking- her name was Keetha and surprise- we live in neighboring towns. Finding someone that lived near me to talk books with was nice- then joining Keetha and her book club worked out even better. Keetha introduced me to Books on the Nightstand podcasts, and told me about Booktopia in Oxford. So I signed up and met even more ladies who rock: Dawn, Michelle, Jana, Cathy, Jennifer, and Suzanne (these are just a few of the wonderful Booktopia people I met). Not to mention the Booktopia authors- Susan Gregg Gilmore and Ellen F. Brown are tops in my book for how they acted towards me and the sweet gift they gave me! But back to Robin being at the epicenter of this- after seeing Robin rave about Kimberly Brock’s book The River Witch- I knew I had to read it-and we started following each other on Twitter. Which led to me getting to know her and becoming part of She Reads Blog Network- and finding another group of people to talk books with.

5. Various authors such as Erika Marks, Erika Robuck,Nichole Bernier Jenn McKinlay, Lucy Burdette, Cleo Coyle, and Alison Pace. xoxo to all you ladies for responding to social media, for writing great books- books that make you think, transport you to another time, a book that is like a warm and cozy sweater- just makes you feel good and happy.

6. Deidre (aka Yankeefan2975) a Twitter friend that is up to date on Days of Our Lives, books and movies. She makes the Twitter fun!

7. Naturally,  family and true friends 🙂 They make life good!

8. Zeke, my beautiful dog. He was great, he loved me and he instinctively knew when a hug or doggy grin was needed to brighten the day. I still miss him every day; but at least not as much as I did when he first passed away.


You Tell Your Dog First by Alison Pace

You Tell Your Dog First by Alison Pace is a book that is about Alison’s adorable dog Carlie. Carlie is the latest of dogs in Alison’s life, but the first one she’s had since she’s been living in NYC (due to finding a dog-friendly apartment).

Carlie is Alison’s best friend, her “person”, the sounding board for day to day life and more. Alison writes the stories of her and Carlie’s life- their day to day interactions with each other, Alison’s family and friends, the general public, and romantic interests in Alison’s life. Each story is sprinkled with humor and the life lessons of loving a dog.

As the book goes on, the reader sees that Carlie has opened Alison to more chances, experiences and people than Alison could have had without Carlie. As I read the book, I fell in love with Carlie- her antics, her love for Alison, just her ways- made Carlie the best. Carlie will melt dog-lover’s hearts with the stories Alison writes.

This book is not all about Carlie, though- Alison learns about things in her own life-family, happiness and love. Things that Alison knew (but is so much sweeter with Carlie at her side).

You Tell Your Dog First– a must for a dog lover, a love song to Carlie, and sprinkled with humor, love and life lessons. Buy it. Read it. Love it.


Zeke- my “you tell your dog first” dog.

Reading Alison Pace’s book, You Tell Your Dog First, has brought forth a flurry of emotions: happiness, sadness and many more.


Alison writes of her love for Carlie and the antics that Carlie finds herself in. I love Carlie. Carlie is a happy little dog, a dog that comes into your heart and make a day seem brighter.However, as I’m reading You Tell Your Dog First– I’m reminded of my own recently deceased dog, Zeke. I try to focus on the good memories, but somedays I’m still beside myself.

While I’ve always had dogs, I learned at an early age that things can happen to dogs (getting hit by vehicles, eating the neighbor’s rat poison, and being dognapped) are just a few of the heartaches I suffered over the years. Then Zeke came into my life. He was my brother’s dog first, but over the years- he became more of my dog. Zeke was a boxer- a beautiful dog. Caramel colored, chocolate-y ears, and white places on his feet. When he loved you, you knew it. A doggy grin that stretched for miles, a bunny hop run when he was happy, leaning on you when he wanted some petting- while Zeke could not talk- he was clear in his requests.

Zeke was also a camera lover- and my personal model for many pictures. He would see my camera and begin to pose- sometimes looking away from the camera in a stoic, yet majestic way. Sometimes smiling that doggy smile. He even liked props- glasses, hats, and other things.

Zeke knew everything. He knew when I was happy, sad, mad, hurt. He knew when I needed to pet him to distract me from worrying or when I needed him to come over for a hug.

While sometimes it may have crossed that mind that I wished Zeke could talk, it was probably best that he could not. As we could have wrote a tell-all book. Not that he would have- becasue that was not in Zeke’s nature. He was protective of me and I was of him.

One day, I’ll have another dog. A dog that I’ll love. A dog that will get multiple pictures taken of. A dog that will have pillows and creature comforts.  But Zeke- Zeke will always be my original “you tell your dog first” dog.

Literary Friday ya’ll..

It’s been a week- people- have had some sickness in the family (been spraying Lysol like it’s my BFF), perusing my brother’s wedding pictures, and beginning to get crafty for our holiday pictures.

But today’s Friday and it’s time to relax and anticipate the weekend:

1. Deep South Magazine will have Tweet chat with Janis Owens, author of American Ghost, from 1-2 pm CST TODAY. Be there and use #southernlit to participate!

Deep South Magazine and their weekly #literaryfriday- early reveal of Erika Robuck’s new book cover Call Me Zelda (it’s a great cover!), National Book Awards and news about Gillian Flynn and a new book deal!

2. A couple of giveaways that I posted about yesterday are still going on- How to Eat a Cupcake and The Mermaid Collector are being given away by 2 other blogs that I like to read. For more information on the giveway, read my post HERE.

3. On Black Friday- Amazon will have 25 Kindle Books on sale! While the complete list is not known, Kimberly Brock’s The River Witch will be $1.99 on Black Friday. Buy it. Read it. Devour it. You’ll gain a new appreciation for pumpkins, unconventional families, and stories that help a person heal.

4. I’m reading Alison Pace’s You Tell Your Dog First– and I love Carlie and Alison. Carlie is quite the little dog and while I cried the first few chapters of the book thinking about my recently deceased, Zeke, I will say that Carlie and her antics have put a smile on my face in the latest chapters I’ve read. I’m not finished yet, but so far- this books is heartfelt, heartwarming, and an ode to dog lovers everywhere- and a love song to Carlie.

5. My #fridayreads are Alison Pace’s You Tell Your Dog First & Erika Robuck’s Hemingway’s Girl.

6. My #payitforwardwithcozymystery is Jenn McKinlay and her Library Lover’s cozy series. Recently discovered them and I love them! Check them out if you like good cozy books with great settings and characters!

Happy Reading and have a great weekend!