Author Spotlight: Kelly Harms

the good luck girls of shipwreck lane

Today, Kelly Harms is back to reveal her #literaryconfessions and #literarycrush!

 

Author Spotlight: Kelly Harms

 

What are some of your favorite books, Kelly?

All the usual suspects in the dead girl canon, and a list as long as my arm amongst the living. It’s nearly all fiction that trips my trigger, with an exception made for the dear departed Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking.

If you could choose to be a character in a book- who would you choose?

Jane Bennett. I’ve always wondered if it would be possible to be both completely beautiful and completely good. Also: Bingley’s my type, and I’ve already mentioned my interest in owning a big house.

If you were not an author, what would you like to be?

A financial planner. I like telling people what to do with their money. I’m also a fiscal voyeur.

Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

Of course I do! I couldn’t finish Ulysses. I just had to lie down and quit it. I think back on that day as a moment where I chose life.

Do you have a #literarycrush?

Walt Longmire—both on the screen and in the books. Oh my, my, my in his duster coat and clink, clink, clink cowboy boots. Whew.

What is your favorite song?

The Water is Wide. I can play it pretty well on my ukulele.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

Hot dogs. Baked inside a pretzel. Sold at the mall by surly teens. Dipped in ranch dressing.

 

*Thanks Kelly Harms for agreeing to the Author Spotlight!

 

Want to contact Kelly Harms? Find her on Twitter and Facebook or at her website!

 

 

Author Spotlight: Suzanne Redfearn

hush little baby

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Earlier this week, I interviewed Suzanne Redfearn, author of Hush Little Baby. Today she is back to reveal her #literarycrush and what literary character she would be!

Author Spotlight: Suzanne Redfearn

What are some of your favorite books, Suzanne?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Power of One by Bryce Courtney, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would you choose?

Okay, I thought about the obvious amazing literary protagonists like Jane Eyre and Katniss, but let’s be real here.  If I could choose to be anyone?  Wonder Woman of course.  I mean let’s face it, the woman looks great, she hasn’t aged a bit since 1941.  She has bullet-deflecting bracelets, a deathly tiara, and the amazing lasso of truth.  She kicks butt on injustice and looks great doing it, every woman’s dream.

Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

I am not well read in the classics.  Always on my to do list, but they never quite make it to the bedside table.

Do you have a #literarycrush?

I’m in love with Jean Valjean from Les Miserables, a quiet beaten hero like no other.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

My secret guilty pleasure it watching cheesy reality television with my kids!  I especially love Survivor and Love in the Wild  (it’s so bad, it’s irresistibly good).

Are you a hardback, paperback, or e-book kind of reader?

When I’m writing and doing research, I use my iPad because I need to access a lot of books quickly, but for pleasure, there is nothing better than a real book.  Hardback is a rare treat, mostly I read paperback.

What are some of the books in your TBR (To Be Read) list?

At least a dozen including The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and The Circle by Dave Eggers.

 

*Thank you Suzanne Redfearn for agreeing to this author spotlight!

 

If you would like to read the interview with Suzanne I posted earlier, please click here.

Interview with Kelly Harms, author The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane

the good luck girls of shipwreck laneKelly Harms, author of The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane, stopped by Traveling With T for an interview today. She will be back later this week to reveal her #literarycrush and #literaryconfessions!

Interview with Kelly Harms, author of The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane

Kelly, how did the idea of The Good  Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane happen?

The premise of the book came through obsessive and certainly excessive viewing of the HGTV network, where they give away a Dream Home every year. I wanted that house, and I knew someone had to win. Alas, it was not me. So I gave it to my imaginary friends. That’s healthy, right?

Is any of the characters in The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane like you, Kelly ?

Hah! They all are, I imagine. They are all seeds of the secret selves of me, grown into full blown people. We all have a shy side, a careless side, a daring side. These three women are expressions of mine—but by page six they had taken off running on their own, and I let them.

How long did it take to write The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane?

It took me six months to write it. And two years to edit it. I liked the writing part much, much better.

Kelly, is there a writing room or a writing space that you use when working?

No! I’m on my sofa right now, looking out over a sea of brightly colored toy construction trucks. My beloved little toddler calls the room in which I write “my living room.” As in, his. I’m just lucky he lets me use it after he goes to bed.

The cover of The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane is really pretty and eye-catching. How did the cover get chosen?

Thank you, on behalf of Thomas Dunne Books. It’s beautiful and I had very little to do with it. Years in publishing have taught me, at the very least, how to stay out of my own way when it comes to all things visual. Left to my own devices the cover would have been an actual shipwreck.

Do you think The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane would make a good movie? Have you ever wondered who could make up the dream cast?

Well, I do love romantic comedies. So would I like to see mine on the screen? Naturally. The dream cast would be any actor who cared for the story. Janey and Nean are very visually amorphous in my mind. They could be anyone who brought their hearts to life. Though, I would tell the director, if she asked, not to make a mockery of Aunt Midge. Old broads deserve respect.

What are you working on next, Kelly? Are you still gathering ideas or do you have a book in mind?

I have been tapping away at something I feel pretty passionately about. But I’m wildly superstitious. I’ve gotten it into my head that if I tell anyone the plot, the story will leak out of me and into the air and I will never be able to pin it back down to the page.

I say things like this and think, my God, what an author I’ve become. Still, there we are. I’m writing, but I can’t tell you what.

*Special thanks to Kelly Harms for agreeing to be interviewed!

kelly harmsWhen Kelly is not writing in her son’s living room, or watching HGTV- she can be found on Twitter, Facebook and her website.  Kelly is currently working on her second novel.

Interview with Angela Correll, author of Grounded

grounded

Angela Correll is a debut author- her first book is GROUNDED. One of the best things about blogging is finding debut authors (or having people assist you in the finding of new authors!) Angela graciously allowed me to interview her at Traveling With T- so here is the interview. Check back later this week- because even the debut authors have to answer the #literarycrush and #literaryconfessions questions at Traveling With T!

 

Interview with Angela Correll, author of Grounded

What was the inspiration for the book Grounded?

Fifteen years ago, I left Lexington to marry and move to a farm outside of a small town. This was like coming home for me since I grew up in a neighboring town and most of my family members farmed. However, I hadn’t lived on a farm since I was five years old, so this was a new experience for me as an adult. My recent city mindset made me see the differences in rural and urban environments, city vs. small town, and the value of both. That experience was the original inspiration for Grounded.

 

Angela– Grounded is your first book. As a debut author, is social media playing a role in promoting your book?

Facebook has been huge for getting the word out to friends from different seasons of my life. I can’t imagine doing this without it. I am blogging and tweeting, so yes, it is important. Part of me wants to retreat to a time when there is no technology and I am pecking away on an aged typewriter, but in order to be relevant in today’s age, it’s important to do.

 

What is the best advice you have received in regards to writing?

It’s a little talent, but mostly perseverance. Stay with it day after day, learn, grow, improve, and always be willing to revise.  In the beginning writers want to know if they have enough talent to invest a huge chunk of time writing.  That’s not the question as much as do you want to put the time and effort that it will take to do this? Can you persevere?

 

Do you have a writing space? Or a writing routine?

The early morning is my favorite writing time. I sit in my den with my feet propped up on an ottoman, a laptop in front of me, a lapdog beside me, and a steady stream of coffee.

 

Will you be going on a book signing tours for Grounded?

Yes! I have lots of dates lined up in Kentucky and friends in Texas, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, and North Carolina are working on dates there.  You can check out the events page on the website for updates (www.angelacorrell.com).

 

The characters in Grounded– are any based on people you know or are they created from your imagination?

They are all based on parts of people I know or have known in my lifetime. Each character is like stained glass, a melding of this piece and that piece, to make something unique.

 

Do you have a favorite character in Grounded?

I have always been partial to Beulah. She was the easiest to write.

 

If Grounded was made into a movie- do you, Angela, have a dream cast in mind?

I don’t watch enough of TV or movies to know the possibilities, but I hope whoever is picked will come to Kentucky and soak up the culture and the accents before taking on the job.

 

Can you give any hints about what you are working on next, Angela?

My hope is to continue to write about different characters from Somerville so that when readers invest in the place, they will get to visit it over and over through the eyes of different characters.  Next up is a sequel for Grounded.

 

*Special thanks to Angela Correll for agreeing to be interviewed!

 

 

angela correll

Angela Correll is working on her second novel- which is a sequel to Grounded. When not writing or reading- Angela can be found on Facebook, Twitter and her website.

 

 

Grounded by Angela Correll

grounded

Photo Credit: Amazon

Annie is a flight attendant- flying the skies to far-flung places around the world. When she is home, New York City- with it’s wonderful ambience and never-ending options of things to do, places to eat, and buzzing activity. Annie is happy- jet-setting off to great places, coming home to her sweet boyfriend. The only teeny concern- there is talk of a merger- which could lead to losing her job. But, Annie is sure the airline will work out the necessary details and keep her flying the good life. Annie has a boyfriend who she adores- and he asks her to move in with him- which she takes a step on the way to the rest of their lives.

One day, on a flight, Annie begins chatting with someone who sheds a light on her relationship- and Annie is concerned. When she gets home, she finds that she had reason to be concerned. So, she doesn’t have a place to live, no boyfriend, and then she gets the final bad news- she’s been grounded. Her boss hopes to get her back in the air in a few months- but the 2 airlines need time to see who they are keeping and who will not be re-hired. Annie decides to head to her family farm- back to Kentucky.

When Annie arrives in Kentucky, life on the farm has changed. Her grandmother’s getting older and can’t keep up with farm life like she once was able. Annie suggests selling the farm and downsizing to a smaller home- but her grandmother balks at the idea. At first, Annie does not understand. Soon, though, farm life begins to feel right to Annie. Annie reconnects with her buddy Jake, who is wanting to leave the corporate rat race behind and start sustainable farming. That’s not the only thing he’s looking to change, though. He’s got a girlfriend who he’s hoping to make a fiance. His fiance, though, after visiting Kentucky- is hoping he’ll stay in the corporate world.

When Annie gets a call telling her she’s going to be able to fly the skies again- she thought she would be excited. But life in Kentucky has grounded her in more ways than one. Will Annie go back to New York City or will farm life (and maybe the boy next door) be reason to stay in Kentucky?

Traveling With T’s Thoughts

Angela Correll wears her big ole Kentucky loving heart on her sleeve as she writes Grounded! A debut novel that is sweet and funny- with life lessons amongst the story. Angela takes a story of a woman displaced from a fast paced life and sends her back home, back to where she learns to appreciate the simple life- the life of hard work and being able to hold your own. The plot, while it is a tad bit predictable at times, is still well-written enough to hold a reader’s attention. Enjoyable. Interesting. Nice pace and characters.

*This book was sent to Traveling With T by a publicist in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.

The Sassy Belles by Beth Albright

9780778315285_p0_v2_s260x420

Photo Credit: Provided by Author

Meet Blake O’Hara Heart. Southern Belle from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. Lover of pearls, Alabama football, sweet tea and family (not necessarily in that order!) And fiercely protective of her best friend forever, Vivi. And boy, does Vivi need some protecting after the latest mess she’s found herself in!

It’s Blake O’Hara Heart’s 10 year anniversary with her husband, Harry, and she’s planning on asking him a biq question. But when her best friend, Vivi, and fellow Sassy Belle calls to say she need her, Blake lets thoughts of anniversary and other topics fly out the window. When Blake and Harry arrive at Mother’s (Blake’s grandmothers house- plus the place where you go to escape your problems), Vivi is beside herself. Vivi thinks she has killed a man during a certain vigorous romp at the Fountain Mist hotel. Not just any man, though. Lewis Heart, voice of the Crimson Tide and Harry’s estranged brother.

Vivi, Blake and Harry go back to the hotel to check on Lewis; only, there is no body. Did Lewis walk away? Did someone else see fit to hurt Lewis? Is Lewis on another get rich quick scheme? When the police get called, Blake is happy to see her long ago sweetheart, Sonny (and he’s pretty happy to see her!) Sparks still fly between Blake and Sonny- but Blake is a good girl. Or is she?

As news gets out that Lewis is missing, people worry and wonder. After all, football season is fast approaching and the fans need the voice! Dallas, a shapely and beautiful reporter, makes finding Lewis her top priority- which just drives Blake crazy, because she knows that Dallas has an ulterior motive. Dallas does make time for 1 more thing besides finding Lewis, which prompts Blake to do some more long term thinking of her future.

The search continues for Lewis and Blake feels unsettled. Not herself. Her marriage is not what she wants it to be- and Harry doesn’t seem to be able to help fix it. Blake begins to wonder about the future and sparks flying with Sonny is only showing her how different she wishes her marriage was.

Blake’s got her hands full- worrying about her marriage, trying to find Lewis, and keeping a shady land developer from bulldozing a treasured landmark. However, if anyone can handle it, it’s Blake. After all, she is a Sassy Belle!

Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

Beth Albrights uses words like paint to create a picture of The Sassy Belles in action- fun, friendship, and sisterhood. With her descriptions of scenes in Alabama and the characters themselves- each word on the page is dripping with honey. To describe The Sassy Belles, think Steel Magnolias meets Divine Secrets of Ya Ya Sisterhood with a helping of high fashion. Fun, charming, cute- this book will you were a Sassy Belle!

You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert

you knew me when

Two girls, best friends. Planned a future together, always vowing to be there for one another. Until one took a different path. Twelve years later, these former best friends meet again. Can they find a way to be friends again? Can they learn to understand what happened twelve years ago?

Katherine- beautiful, driven, and single. Katherine is an executive at Blend Cosmetics, an exclusive brand. Katherine’s days are filled with meetings, parties and more- she’s on the move always. New York City is Katherine’s home and she has a hard time imagining living elsewhere. However, once upon a time she was Kitty- shy, slightly insecure and set on a life with her best friend, Laney, by her side.

Laney, married, has a 12 year old daughter. She runs a spa, Oasis, in town- a job that she loves (besides her boos, that is). Laney’s days consist of family, work and living in Manchester- a town she never dreamed she be living in as an adult. Life has a funny way, though.

Luella Hancock, a kind and older lady who lived on the same street with Kitty and Laney. Luella welcomed both into her house and life- but it was Kitty that she took a bit more of a shine to over the years.  Luella showed both the girls the finer things in life- sparkly dresses, beautiful jewelry and more.

Katherine and Laney both get notifications to meet at an attorney’s office regarding Luella Hancock. Both go, each without the knowledge the other would be there. Both are surprised because they haven’t seen each other in twelve years. Luella, loving both the girls in special ways, leaves her house to them- with the stipulation that both must work together to clean it out and they could sell and split the proceeds. Luella remembers a time when it was Kitty and Laney, best friends forever. She hopes that they might remember this time as well as they clean the house that Luella left them in her will.

Together the two ladies work on the house- but without discussing the past. The past is complicated with broken dreams, promises, and hurt feelings. While Katherine is in Manchester, she realizes that there is more than 1 set of unfinished business left for her to take care of. Can Katherine find a way to explain the past to another person she hurt? Can Laney forgive the past? Can Katherine forgive Laney?

Working on Luella’s house brings back memories of their friendship, of the sisterhood they shared before their lives took different paths. Katherine and Laney are both grown up- but is there still a spark of Kitty and Laney, best friends forever, in there? Or is the past too complicated, too broken to mend?

Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

Emily Liebert’s debut novel, You Knew Me When, tells the story of 2 girls, Laney and Kitty, neighbors and best friends. The story is told in alternating perspective- present and past years. Emily Liebert weaves the past and present together to create a story that is about the heart of a women’s friendship.

Funny, charming, and sweet- You Knew Me When is an enjoyable story. A story that hints that friendship never dies, that a person can go home again and that love will happen in it’s perfect timing. Recommended for fans of women’s fiction- this book is a story to give to friends to read and discuss. Book clubs will love discussing this- as there is a little of Laney and Kitty in all of us.

 

*This book was sent to my by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.