Meeting Rick Bragg, author of Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story


The day was cold. The day was a day for scarves (hence Traveling With T’s very fetch scarf!) The day was November 18th, 2014 and it was the day I met Rick Bragg- a storyteller of epic proportions.

Rick Bragg signing book

Rick Bragg signing a book at TurnRow Books


I knew of Rick Bragg. Kinda. Vaguely. In a sense of I would hear others discuss him- but I was not familiar with his work. So, when Beth, a new friend of mine, asked me to attend the Rick Bragg book signing at TurnRow Books, I decided to drive over and see him for myself. And, boy was I glad I did. Continue reading

Hanging with Jenny Milchman at Lemuria Books

Back in 2013, I had the pleasure of meeting Jenny Milchman on World Book Night- she was signing books at Lemuria Books. So when I found out that she would be coming back to Lemuria to sign her second book, RUIN FALLS- I knew I would attend that since I had such a great time at COVER OF SNOW signing. Continue reading

Meeting Lisa Howorth, author of FLYING SHOES

Lisa Howorth shows aspiring writers that age is just a number in the publishing game. How old was Lisa when her first novel was published? 63. FLYING SHOES, Lisa Howorth’s debut novel, was a Deep South Magazine Summer 2014 Reading selection– and she was visitor to TurnRow Books in July 2014. When I saw that Lisa would be signing FLYING SHOES at TurnRow, I made plans to attend for several reasons- one that it was a Deep South Magazine selection, two that I had received a copy of FLYING SHOES at Book Expo American from her publisher Bloomsbury Pub, and three- well it just sounded good! Continue reading

Meeting Cassandra King, author of Moonrise

me and cassandra king

Cassandra King visited TurnRow books on 9/19/13 as part of her MOONRISE tour.

A  crowd sat awaiting Cassandra King to begin reading from her latest book, Moonrise. The air had a lively feel as ladies discussed new books, favorite books and Cassandra King as the sipped complimentary wine. Sounds of laughter and acquaintances being made floated down from the 2nd floor of TurnRow to the lower level- potentially even down Howard Street.

The new novel, Moonrise, is drawing favorable comparison to Daphne Du Maurier’s classic, Rebecca. Although Cassandra King is quick to point out that Moonrise is not a re-telling of Rebecca; it did have an influence on Moonrise. Cassandra wanted to set a book in the Highlands, North Carolina area and tells of how important a setting is to writing. Moonrise is told from 3 different viewpoints- and 1 viewpoint needed to be a friend of Rosalyn’s (the first wife who has passed away). When questioned as to why she chose the name Rosalyn, Cassandra told the crowd that she had always liked the name and had a aunt with the name.

Sitting in the crowd, listening to Cassandra King read from the 3 different viewpoints of Moonrise was a treat!


Meeting Ashton Lee- The Cherry Cola Book Club book signing

IMG_0042The Cherry Cola Book Club– I first heard of this book thanks to Andrea at Great Thoughts– Kensington Publishing was being super kind and furnished her some giveaway copies during a #gr8books chat about another Kensington book, The Affair by Collete Freedman.

Anyway- from the moment I saw this bright, fun, and cheery cover- I knew I wanted it. But then to read the description, well that just made me have to have it! As time goes by, though, I found myself still not having it simply because I had many others books to read. This turned out to be fortunate, though, because after checking Lemuria Books website- I realized I could buy and get my book signed (book signings make me VERY happy!)

So, I waited. And then I went to the book signing- and from the name Ashton Lee- I was expecting to see a cute girl reading and signing books. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and yet I was delighted because Robert Kuehnle (pen name Ashton Lee) was charming, funny and theatrical. Of course- with Robert being from the South – theatrical was practically his birthright!

As I sat around and let other people get their books signed, I overheard Robert tell another person “Make all the people think the fun characters are them and the negative characters make them think they are not them!” This was in regard to a question of was his characters based on people he knew. The book signing, was fairly well-attended- 10-12 people where there and Robert had a stack of books to sign!

The reading was quite good as well. I love a good reading and Robert delivered! The Cherry Cola Book Club, based of small-town Mississippi, has the feel of a small Southern town down pat. Ashton Lee nails the surroundings, the language, the feel of small town Mississippi. But, after all, growing up in Natchez and now residing in Oxford- he not only knows the feel of a Southern town- he is a Southern town. As he read, he put feelings into the parts, into the reading. In the small reading area section of Lemuria, people sat and watched Ashton as he read- all of us smiling and laughing at parts because while we did not know each other- we could all relate to the story, as most of us had a tie to a small Southern town.

While I have not read The Cherry Cola Book Club (yet!), I’m happy to know that there is a sequel in the works- The Reading Room: Cherry Cola Book Club (release date March/April 2014). Will there be more books in the Cherry Cola series? Time will tell!

Bucket List Things: Authors on my “To Meet” List

I go to book signings as much as possible. I live relatively near 3 different independent bookstore and I keep an eye on the events pages. I follow on Twitter the big name authors and hope that one day they’ll come down South for a book signing.

So I read and read and read- I read reviews of books, check out the books that have the “buzz” about them, and hope that one day- I’ll have had the chance to meet every author I’d like to meet.

My current bucket list of authors I’d like to meet:

1. Judy Blume (seriously, when I found out that Judy Blume was on Twitter- that was the coolest thing to me. Being able to see the tweets from the genius behind Tales of a 4th grade Nothing, Superfudge, Just As Long As We’re Together, and many,many, many more favorites of mine- well, that was just something else!)

2. Michael Lee WestGone With A Handsomer Man and A Teeny Bit of Trouble– both are delightful and quirky books. I want to see the lady behind the creation of Teeny!

3. Gillian Flynn– her dark and twisted stories have intrigued me- Gone Girl– I just wanted to buy everyone a copy and tell them to read!

4. Erika Marks– author of Little Gale Gumbo and The Mermaid Collector (out in October 2012). “Gumbo” was a favorite of mine in early 2012. The story line was great, but the book cover kept catching my eye- it was so peaceful-looking.

5. Nichole Bernier– her book The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. has intrigued me- from the cover, the story, the questions the story brings to mind.

While this is in no way a comprehensive list- these are the ones topping my bucket list as of now. I still hold out hope for people like Sue Grafton, Mary Higgins Clark, Janet Evanovich, and more like that- however, many of them do not even come near where I live.

So what authors are on your bucket list to meet?


Kimberly Brock “The River Witch” book signing

Kimberly Brock and her fantastic book, The River Witch, was the event at TurnRow Books in Greenwood, MS on August 14.  Kimberly did not come alone, though- she brought the fun group, Anna Kline and the Grits and Soul Band with her. The band played for a bit, then Kim spoke about her book and read a bit from it, and then Grits and Soul played a bit more before they headed to Webster’s to play for more music-loving folks.

If you’ve never heard Anna Kline and the Grits and Soul Band- the music is interesting and good. A little hard for me to describe exactly- kind of blues-y, folksy music- music that will make you sit up and take notice because it’s interesting. I highly recommend seeing them perform. Anna Kline told the crowd of how they got the name “Grits and Soul”- she said that some time ago seeing a James Brown album with the title Grits and Soul, and thought that was perfect name to describe the group. I have to agree with Anna, I think the name describes the group to perfection- as well as helps describe the kind of entertaining music a person will be hearing.

Kimberly Brock- her tweets are sweet; but she’s even nice in real-life. Discussing her book, telling of how many years she put into The River Witch, and describing the characters- she was totally in her element. She teased the crowd by talking of the meaning about The River Witch-saying she wouldn’t spoil it for anyone by telling who is a river witch (although there is certainly some contenders for that title) or even if there is a river witch! I like the ambiguity of the title, and I like how she didn’t spoil anything about the book- it’s a book that doesn’t need to have things wrapped up perfectly.

Me and Kimberly Brock “The River Witch”


Me and Erin from Deep South Magazine


Me and Anna Kline



Literary Friday ya’ll…

It’s Friday- Literary Friday!  Let’s break out some bubbly and toast the weekend.
1. Deep South Magazine has posted their edition of Literary Friday– it’s screamingly funny this week- from a link to the books that make you un-dateable (I checked the link and luckily none of my favorite books made the list!) to a round up of Southern events. Sign up to have Deep South Mag delivered to your inbox- that way you won’t miss out on any Southern goodies!

2. Deep South Mag also did a post on Summer Booksignings that can’t be missed- a huge thanks to Erin for posting my picture with Karen White and for mentioning my blog- grateful beyond words! Also mentioned is Kimberly Brock’s The River Witch tour- she’s making stops in Mississippi- so come and see her, listen to Anna Kline and the Grits and Soul Band, get your book signed, and mingle with other fans. Should be extremely fun!

3. I used the term “literary crushes” a few weeks ago- and I was all about Peeta from The Hunger Games (don’t judge and I still am!) However, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice is gaining ground. I’ve enjoyed reading his and Elizabeth’s back and forth banter in Pride and Prejudice.

4. I’ve been raving about Gone Girl for weeks- it’s great, it’s a summer read, it’s wonderful- get ready for more raves- it’s going to be a MOVIE!

5. My Friday Reads is a bit of a mystery- I have way too many books to choose from- Emily Giffin’s Where We Belong, Elin Hilderbrand’s Summerland, and several others. What are you reading on this Friday?

Happy Reading!


Karen White- Lemuria Books Friday July 13, 2012

Hmm…. Don’t read too much into the Friday the 13th and Karen White. There was nothing scary about meeting her!

Karen White stopped by Lemuria Books to sign and read from her latest book, Sea Change. But as 2 ladies (Terri and Stacy) found out, Karen was gracious enough to sign all the books they had to have signed. Karen White  appreciates fans!

It was a nice book signing, a small group of ladies eager to meet Karen and hear tidbits about past books and upcoming books. One man even stopped by for a minute to get a book signed for his significant other- now that’s love!
Karen White also had family stop by to support her- which was lovely. We heard stories of inspiration from characters in her books- it seems some family members play a role in the inspiration of characters, which made for a nice little chat about where writers draw inspiration.

Other tidbits that Karen told us: Sea Change debuted at #12 on the New York Times (NYT) list. Her first book to make the NYT was Beach Trees. Another interesting tidbit about Karen’s writing- Sea Change is the first book where the main character has brothers, the other books are either only children or sisters.

When asked if there was any interest in her books to be made to movies, Karen told the group “the odds of getting a book made into a movie are very slim, but there has been interest.” Another audience member asked Karen “Where does she get ideas?” Karen’s response- ” always has a stewpot going on in back of her head (even though she’s not a cook!) and that the best ideas come when she’s not thinking of the book.” Karen also informed the audience that she likes to write about “multi-generational family stories- a grandma or a grandmother figure, a mom, and daughter.” Another question was asked as why did she like to write about the coast- her reply was ” she likes to write about storms, not just physical storms, though; sometimes internal storms.” Karen says when writing she “always starts with the main character and her conflict and the rest comes together” (when she said this, she reminded me of Susan Gregg Gilmore- she said something in a similar vein at the Booktopia event about her writing- I wonder if that is a trait of Southern writers?)

Good news if you are a Karen White fan- After the Rain (sequel to Falling Home) will be released in the next few months. Also, Karen’s first hardcover book will be released in June 2013.

Check back later for reviews of Sea Change and Falling Home– the 2 books I purchased and had signed by Karen White.


Karen White and me


Karen White signing books for a fan


Karen White answering questions from the audience