Gift Ideas for Book Lovers (Part 2)


This weekend, with the temps dipping down in the 40’s during the day- and even colder at night, the holiday visions danced even more in my head.

If they were dancing in your head as well- here are some more suggestions for books for the book lovers in your life!

To read part 1, visit here!


Women’s Fiction

Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman

looking for me

Photo Credit: Amazon

My first Beth Hoffman book- and boy was it a treat. Beth wrote a book that made me laugh and cry- and feel good and warm and fuzzy. Her main character, Teddi, was a character with flaws, and tons of potential. Teddi is also dealing with an incredible loss. She’s real and honest and lovable. Here is my review of Looking For Me.


Time Flies by Claire Cook

time flies

Photo Credit: Amazon

High school reunions make some feel nostalgic, others feel nauseous. Claire Cook takes a rite of passage and spins a story that is funny- but sweet. Her character Melanie is dealing with a divorce- and finding out that life does not end- in fact, it may get better. Here is my review of Time Flies.


A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White

a place at the table

Photo Credit: Amazon

Susan Rebecca White tells this story with such feeling and emotion. Her characters, the storylines- all worth reading. This story reminds people of what life and love is really about- and how we, as people, want to have someone in our corner- someone who sees the real us- and accepts us 100%. Here is my review of A Place At The Table.


The Art Forger by B.A. Shapirio

the art forger

Photo Credit: Amazon

Love, lust, betrayal….. and the art world. Fantastic story- a mystery, a story divided into 3 sections- and art. Claire is flawed- she’s made mistakes. She’s also paid for her mistakes by being blackballed in the art world. When she makes a deal with the devil- will Claire come out on top? Or even more of a pariah? Here is my review of The Art Forger.


Finding Colin Firth by Mia March

finding coling firrth1

Photo Credit: Amazon

Mia March’s 2nd book, Finding Colin Firth, is the same bubbly goodness that readers came to expect from her after Meryl Streep Movie Club. Plus, who doesn’t like Colin Firth? Highly recommended for readers who just want to be entertained! Here is my review of Finding Colin Firth.




Learning to Fly: An Uncommon Memoir of Human Flight, Unexpected Love, and One Amazing Dog by Steph Davis

learning to fly fb

Photo Credit: Goodreads

The story of Steph Davis- the things she overcame to find happiness- all with a dog by her side and the notion to learn to be a skydiver- something that goes against her climber personality. Steph’s story is an interesting one- and one that is worth a read. Here is my review of Learning to Fly.


Gods of Mischief: My Undercover Vendetta to Take Down The Vagos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang by George Rowe

gods of mischief fb

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Tough. Gritty. Entertaining. Interesting. The insider look into a tough motorcycle gang is not a story for the soft-hearted. It’s tough at times- but overall, nonfiction lovers will enjoy. Here is my review of Gods of Mischief.




The Sassy Belles by Beth Albright


Photo Credit: Goodreads

When Blake O’Hara Heart’s best friend forever, Vivi, gets herself into a bit of trouble- Blake is there to rescue her. And Blake learns plenty about life, love, and teaches the readers about the  power of friendship along the way! If you like your characters with lots of sass and fun- this is a book for you.  Here is my review of The Sassy Belles (along with my review of Wedding Belles and Sleigh Belles– the other 2 books in this fun trilogy.)



Author Spotlight: B.A. Shapiro

the art forgerOn Tuesday, B.A. Shapiro stopped by to talk about The Art Forger. Today she is back to tell her #literaryconfessions and more!

Author Spotlight: B.A. Shapiro

Barbara, when you are not writing- what do you like to do with your time?

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that I love to read novels, go to the theater and watch movies. I love stories, all kinds, and eat them up in any fashion I can. I also often be found in an art museum, gallery or haunting artists’ studios.

Could you tell us who some of your favorite authors are?

I don’t have favorite authors as much as I have favorite books. Barbara Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible, Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex, Ann Tyler’s Accidental Tourist, Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres, Jane Hamilton’s Map of the World, Anna Karenina, etc. etc. etc.

Do you have any #literaryconfessions? 

I have three degrees in sociology and took only the required English classes as an undergrad, so I’ve read very few of the great books, can’t spell and I’m still learning correct grammar. (The spell checker just picked up original misspelling of grammar.)

Do you have a #literarycrush? 

Although it’s incredibly politically incorrect, I’ve always wanted to be Scarlett O’Hara.


What are some of the books you are looking forward to reading in 2013?

Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver; The Season of Open Water, Dawn Tripp; The Good Braider, Terry Farish


If you could be best friends with a character in a book- who would you pick? And why?

Sully in Richard Russo’s Nobody’s Fool. If you know Sully, you know why.

What is your idea of a perfect day?

A perfect work day would be one where I spend all day in the zone and don’t notice the day at all. My perfect play day would be on a beach with friends, family – especially my two-year-old granddaughter and a pitcher full of icy cold, perfect dirty martinis.

What is your favorite “guilty pleasure” song?

Well, I’ve been singing I’ve Been Working on the Railroad to my granddaughter a lot. Does that count?


*Special thanks to B.A. Shapiro for agreeing to the Author Spotlight.


Want more information on B.A. Shapiro? Check out her website, Facebook and Twitter pages.


Literary Friday ya’ll…

Hey ya’ll- it’s Friday. The first day of the new month. It’s also just a few more days till Valentine’s Day- which is a day that some people love, some dislike and some just don’t care. I, for the most part, love it. I like hearts and glitter personally. And no matter the status of my love life- I always make sure to treat myself- this year it’s all about culture- I have tickets to Cirque de la Symphonie and plans for dinner with a friend.  On to #literaryfriday news:

1. Deep South Magazine– Amelia Bedelia, The Following, literary events, and much more. Check out this week’s edition and if you do the Pinterest thing, check out Deep South Mag’s board- quite fun!

2. She Reads is discussing The Art Forger today, all day long! Get your book loving selves over there- let’s discuss art, love, lust, double-crossing and more!

Here’s the link to my review of The Art Forger– a book that still thrills me and I’m basically just telling everyone to read. I mean, seriously, everyone. Strangers on the street are hearing “Read The Art Forger”.

3. Not to toot my horn, but I have some good news: I’m the new She Reads Discussion Leader! The first book discussion I’ll lead is Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler. So grab some copies (book comes out Feb 12!) and read- then come by She Reads at the end of the month and let’s discuss!

4. My #fridayreads is Gods of Mischief by George Rowe and The Next Time You See Me by Holly Goddard Jones. Look for both books in February from Touchstone Books.

5. Speaking of Valentine’s Day- why don’t you give the book lover in your life a new book? A fellow #srblog member has ideas! Check out Bookmagnet’s Blog for suggestions of books to give and reviews!

Happy Reading!

List-style Thursday

A round-up of different things on blogs or upcoming events that I have been meaning to post about:

1. The Making of a Writer by B.A Shapiro

2.A Life-Long Love Affair With Books by Karen White

3. Tell Me Something True: A Visit With Lisa O’Donnell

4. Literary First Love by B.A. Shapiro

5. Have You Ever Stood at the Barre?

All the above post can be found at She Reads

To prepare for #literaryfriday, don’t forget that Deep South Mag will be hosting a Twitter chat Friday, Jan 18 2-3 pm EST. Deep South Mag has posted an interview with Attica Locke- but please join in the chat if at all possible. Use hashtag #southernlit to join in.


Random thoughts….

It’s Tuesday- and I’ve got a few things to say, but nothing that fits under one cute title- hence the random thoughts!


Cozy Mystery Book Reviews is still doing the 31 days of giveaways for January. If you are a cozy reader- check it out!

Hallie Sawyer is giving away a copy of The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro- just read the post to find out how to enter- and take some time to look at Hallie’s blog (it’s great!) and check out Great New Books (another great website to help readers find books and book chatter!)

Other news:

MVB Club is celebrating their 1 year Anniversary as bloggers! Join me in extending them congratulations to a great first year- and to many more!

Am I the only one who does not watch Downton Abbey? You’ll be happy to know that I’m downloading the first season 🙂

I’m reading A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano. Really enjoying it. However, I’m also reading The End Of Your Life Book Club– and honestly, I’m not enjoying it that much. Perhaps, my expectations were too high as everyone I know was raving about book. Thoughts?


Literary Friday ya’ll…

Today is a beautiful day. Bright sunshine after a couple of days of dreary rain- temp is in high 60’s/70’s and it’s #literaryfriday!

1. Deep South Magazine will have 2 author chats in the upcoming weeks- so please check back at @deepsouthmag or Deep South Magazine’s Facebook page for more information on that. In other #literaryfriday news, a picture of F.Scott Fitzgerald in drag, a list of 12 Gay Book Characters Turned Straight for Movies ( can you guess who they are?), Pulpwood Queen talk about their upcoming Girlfriend Weekend (Kimberly Brock, The River Witch, will be there!) and much more.

2. What are you reading for #fridayreads? I’m reading Stuck on Murder by Lucy Lawrence ( this will be my 3rd book in goal of 13 for Cruisin Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2013).

3. In case you missed the announcement earlier this week, She Reads January Book Club pick is The Art Forger by B.A.Shapiro. Here are some links that you might find interesting.

Literary First Love: B.A Shapiro

B.A. Shapiro on Why She Wrote The Art Forger

January Book Club Selection

The Art Forger: Review by Traveling With T

4. Traveling With T took the plunge and made a Facebook page-

So come over to Facebook and give Traveling With T a “like”. Blog posts will be posted to the facebook page- but not to worry- if you don’t do the facebook thing, feel free to stick around the blog- I’ll be blogging, commenting, posting pictures and recommending books here as well as there.

5. Want to help a soon to be published author? Read Julie Kibler’s tips- Julie’s debut book is Calling Me Home (release date is Feb 12, 2013). Her book has already been getting some advance praise- hopefully will get much more!

6. Excuse my while my inner child squeals- but on Wednesday Jan 16 at 5:30 pm (EST), Scholastic is hosting a BabySitters Club meeting- talk with Ann M. Martin and test your BSC knowledge! Grab the Kid Kits, find some junk food in Claudia’s room (unless you are Stacey or Dawn) and get ready for a great meeting- and don’t be late or Kristy will give you THE LOOK.  Follow @scholastic and use the hashtag #BSCMeeting to join in.

7. Check in with Cozy Mystery Book Reviews– they are giving away books for the month of January!

8. Peeking Between the Pages is giving away a copy of Allison Winn Scotch The Song Remains the Same– check in with that blog for the rules and details.

Happy Reading!




The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro (She Reads January Book Club Pick)

It’s January- and She Reads is back in business after taking some time off for the holidays. And boy- have they picked a great book to start the 2013 year off with a POP! The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro has it all- love, lust, double-crossing, intrigue, mystery and art!

This is a book where the reader can’t take characters at face-value- with each page turned, a bit more of the story is revealed and the characters true nature is shown. It takes the reader on a wild ride, a heart pounding ride!

Thanks to Algonquin Books, She Reads is able to give 10 copies of The Art Forger away to some very lucky people!

To enter to win a copy of The Art Forger, check out She Reads. My review of The Art Forger has also been posted. For fans of Twitter, look for #srblog- She Reads Blog Network will be chattering away all month about The Art Forger!


The Art Forger by B.A.Shapiro

Love, lust, lies, betrayal, trust, and double crossing- all in a day of the art world.

Claire- a young artist that has been blackballed by the artist community and given the nickname “Great Pretender” is approached by Aiden Markel, owner of Markel G, a studio in town. Aiden makes a visit to Claire’s studio apartment with a proposition – one might even call it a deal with the devil. Everyone in the world knows about the art theft at the Isabella Stewart  Gardner Museum- a theft that has never been solved.

Aiden and Claire make a deal- Claire will paint a copy of Degas “After the Bath”, Aiden will sell the copy to his buyer, the buyer will think he’s bought the original, and the original will return to the Gardner museum where it rightfully belongs. Aiden talks of things of “the greater good’ and righting wrongs- Claire decides that she can live with that and the money she’ll make. As Claire begins the process of copying the Degas painting- she begins to suspect something is wrong. Did Aiden have the original or was he double-crossed? Can Claire trust Aiden or is he using her past to set her up? Because of Claire’s past as “The Great Pretender” she has insights into this potential problem that no other artist has.

This story tells the story in 3 different phases: the time when After the Baths was painted, 3 years ago and current time. All 3 sections interweave to tell a story that is brilliant, interesting, and mysterious. In this story- the reader can never be 100% sure of who is telling the truth, who is looking to double cross someone, and who is innocent. A fabulous tale of love, lust, intrigue, and betrayal in the art world.

Best Books of 2012 (Traveling With T’s List)

There are many, many, many books of 2012 that were good- some were great- others fantastic. Some created a lot of buzz (hello, Gone Girl!) while some were equally as good- but did not get the attention. These are the books I read in 2012 that I thought were great!

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn– yes more praise for this book. It really was THAT good!

2. Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck– historical fiction. Romance. Sadness. Anger. A strong willed Mariella. And Hemingway- his literary ways, his personal life- the things that made him a good man, but also the bad sides that he showed. READ!

3. The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D by Nichole Bernier– this book made me think quite a bit. Excellent discussion for book club.

4. Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio– two tales seemingly unconnected- except for the fact of a Blackberry Winter. But, oh so much more to this story!

5. The Mermaid Collector by Erika Marks- Coastal Community, mermaids, secrets, love. Beautiful story.

6. The Art Forger by BA Shapiro– art, lust, deceit, double-crossing- each page is filled with good plot.

7. The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia March– funny book about 3 women dealing with some personal life drama- then their aunts terrible news. Finding yourself, reconnecting with family- all while watching Meryl Streep movies. Perfect beach book.

8. The River Witch by Kimberly Brock– haunting. The story will stay with the reader for quite some time!



Literary Friday ya’ll….

It’s Friday. It’s been a week of getting ready for the holidays. A week of reading. A week of watching holiday movies.

Deep South Magazine has some good articles this week posted on thei website. Good food, good cooking, books to give as gifts.

Remembering F. Scott Fitzgerald at West Egg Cafe- this has made my list of must stop places on my next trip to Atlanta. If literary trails and eateries make your heart happy- do check out Deep South Literary Trail App. Still looking for books to give to the bookwork in your life? Our Favorite Books for Giving has some excellent selections- including Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck. Here’s my review of Hemingway’s Girl.

My  #fridayreads: The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe and A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano. What are you reading?

I read The Art Forger by BA Shapiro this past weekend. Fantastic. Review will be posted after the holidays. I also finished The History of Us by Leah Stewart– it’s good, emotional at times- some hard subjects are dealt with. However, I’m recommending it to book clubs- the theme, subplots, and overall tone of book will be excellent for discussion- I strongly believe that everyone will have an opinion on this book.

Preparing my list for Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge- quite looking forward to that. List will be posted in 2013.

Traveling With T’s Favorite Books of 2012 will be posted ASAP (I know I’ve been saying it, but I really mean it!) Traveling With T’s Books to Look Forward to in 2013 will also be posted (NOTE: This list will only contain books that I’m aware of being published in 2013 & that I’m RIDICULOUSLY excited for- if there is a book that you think I should be aware of- please, please, please comment!)

I made my goal of reading 110 books in 2012 this week. No applause, please 😉

Enjoy the holidays and have a Happy New Year! And happy reading as always!