Literary Friday ya’ll……

Can you believe that next week is Labor Day Weekend? Where, oh where did my summer go?!

1. Deep South Magazine and their #literaryfriday is hot, hot, hot: Giveaway of Lookaway, Lookaway By Wilton Barnhardt, Decatur Book Festival news, Southern Festival of Books, and much more!

PS: Plus a mention of an interview I did with Katherine Center, author of The Lost Husband, that just happened to make Deep South Mag’s Summer Reading List 2013!

2. Several #giveaways to list this week:

Linus’s Blanket is giving away a copy of The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes! (this giveaway ends TODAY!)

Always With A Book is giving away Three Little Words by Susan Mallery!

Traveling With T is giving away The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim!

Traveling With T is giving away The Lost Husband by Katherine Center!

**Just added: The Book Wheel is giving away Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra.  This giveaway ends in 2 days!

3. Another Blogger Made Of AWESOME was featured this week on Traveling With TKatherine @ Story Matters has quite a story and a nostalgic #literaryconfession!

4. #ctbs is still going on- so far, I’ve read 4 books from my shelf (a far less admirable goal than I’d hoped- but this last week of August might turn things around!)

5. My #fridayreads Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand- what are you reading for #fridayreads?

6. Author Spotlights this week on Traveling With T: Jolina Petersheim, Katherine Center, and Shannon Polson (plus a Shannon Polson Interview!)

7. I reviewed Whistling Past The Graveyard by Susan Crandall this week on Traveling With T!

Happy Reading!

Bloggers Made Of AWESOME: Katherine @ Story Matters

Katherine is a fellow She Reads member- but her blog’s name is what caught my attention: Story Matters. I thought it sounded like a blog that has heart and maybe a deep thought or so for whenever I need a little pick me up. I’m never disappointed when I read Katherine’s blog!


Bloggers Made Of AWESOME: Katherine @ Story Matters

Katherine- when did you begin blogging?

I came to blogging very reluctantly a little over a year ago. As an aspiring novelist, I knew that I needed some kind of web presence in order to be considered by publishers, but keeping up with the endless demands of social media struck me as an irksome distraction. I have two children in elementary school, and my writing time is limited more or less to the hours they are in school. I was loath to pull any of that precious time away from my novel and put it into something that I questioned the value of.

So I put it off until I signed with my agent in February 2012. One of the first assignments she gave me was to start building my web presence. So, hoo boy, I knew I could avoid it no longer. Fortunately for me, I knew a fantastic social media guru—Laura Christianson of—whom I’d met at a writer’s conference. I consulted her, and she helped me create a website that incorporates my interests in both writing and reading—which soon led to blogging about books.

How did you come up with the name Story Matters?

I have long been fascinated by the phenomenon of *story*–how every culture has a storytelling tradition in one form or another. The way *story* is used to guide and teach and encourage. The way *story* can circumvent reason to creep through the back door of our hearts to inform our minds and affect our behavior. *Story* is a most powerful tool!

I chose Story Matters as the name for my blog because of this, and because I appreciate the double entendre. My blog is a forum to discuss all things story-related. It’s also an acknowledgement that our stories—yours, mine, his, hers…regardless of how apparently ordinary or inconsequential—really do matter in the grand scheme of life.

What are your thoughts on blogging today in an ever-changing book-ish world? Are blogs helping other readers connect with good books?

I see blogs playing an increasing role in the book world. More and more readers are turning to book review blogs for information about what’s good, what’s not. And I appreciate the dialogue this opens up among readers and writers.

When you are not blogging (or reading!)- what do you like to do?

I love spending time with my husband of 23 years and our son (12) and daughter (9)—going on hikes, playing Bananagrams, watching my son play ice hockey and my daughter dance ballet, traveling (most recently to Scandinavia), just hanging out.  I’m also an aspiring novelist, so most of my work hours (i.e., the hours my kiddos are in school) are spent on my WIP (work in progress). I volunteer quite a bit of my time at our school and church as well. And I do love to read, so if I’m not doing any of the above, I most likely have my nose in a book.

Do you have any #literaryconfessions? 

I suppose I’d have to confess that I’m just not that into the classics anymore. I’ve enjoyed them at points in my life, but these days, I’d much rather immerse myself in a great contemporary novel by a fresh new voice. And I don’t get most poetry. I think it’s because I’m too impatient a reader, and with poetry, you have to be willing to invest time and ponder awhile.

Do you have a #literarycrush? 

These days, my husband is all the crush I need. J But years and years ago, I remember crushing on Trixie Belden’s boyfriend, Jim Frayne. And as an addendum to #literaryconfessions, I occasionally indulge in a re-read of one of my old Trixie Belden mysteries (I still have the entire series). I find the nostalgia trip very soothing.

What books are you looking forward to reading in 2013?

Oh, there’s such a thick pile of books I can’t wait to read. Sometimes I despair at getting to them all, and yet the knowledge that they await fills me with delicious anticipation. It creates an interesting tension. Anyway, included in that pile (and not all of them new releases) are:

The Underside of Joy by Sere Prince Halverson

My New Orleans, Gone Away by Peter M. Wolf

North of Hope by Shannon Huffman Polson

The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood

gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

The Girls by Lori Lansens

Rescue by Anita Shreve

In your opinion, what book has been the best book you have read (so far!) in 2013?

I’ve been touting Jolina Petersheim’s The Outcast as my most recent fave. I was stunned by this debut novelist’s skillful storytelling. I also loved Heather Kopp’s intensely authentic recovery memoir, Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up With a Christian Drunk, and Julie Kibler’s beautiful debut, Calling Me Home.

You have a beach vacation planned. What are the 3 books that you must bring?

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky. Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter. Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand.

Are you an e-book or tree book lover? Or does it not matter?

I do love a real book, and I thank trees for their noble sacrifice. I relish the very feel of a book in my hand, its solid weight, its texture, the smell of its pages. And a lovely cover design fills me with singular joy. While I appreciate the advent of e-readers and the flexibility they offer, I will never outgrow my desire for the real deal.

Katherine- you are a member of She Reads. To you, what does that mean for women readers? Does She Reads give them a voice in this book world? A place to go and say “These are the kinds of books I want to read?”

Love She Reads! So appreciate what they are doing for women’s fiction—for both women who write it and those who read it. Book by book, as they recognize and promote quality women’s fiction, She Reads is becoming an increasingly powerful voice in the industry. I count it a distinct privilege to be a blogging member of their organization.

What is your favorite line/quote from a book?

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” From The Help by Kathryn Stockett


Liked my interview with Katherine @ Story Matters? Follow her blog or Twitter!