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.


Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck

Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck is a historical fiction novel that absolutely should be on a reader’s “to be read” list. The book has it all: love, anger, drama, family situations, sadness, despair and hope.  Grab a copy of this book and get sucked into the world of Mariella and Hemingway’s Key West.

Mariella is the bread-winner of the family. Her father has passed away, she has 2 sisters and a mother that need food and a roof over their heads. When Mariella meets Hemingway- she’s drawn to him- his ways, his life. Mariella is hired as a maid at Hemingway’s house- and through that becomes friends and immersed in Hemingway and his family’s life.

Hemingway and Mariella have a relationship that not many can understand- they understand each other on levels that aren’t apparent to many. This becomes a source of stress for others. When Mariella gets involved with Gavin- a man that is quite dear to her- her relationship with Hemingway evolves.

Gavin is everything that Hemingway is not- and yet, both men have a pull on Mariella. Will Mariella cross a line with Hemingway- a man that understands her in ways others can’t? Or will she stay with Gavin- a man that is more like her- hardworking, salt of the earth?

With a hurricane heading toward Key West, Mariella gets drawn further in the world of Ernest Hemingway and his family- while struggling to take care of her own family. Will this hurricane solidify the things that are important to Mariella?

Hemingway’s Girl– this book was fantastic. The emotions I felt while reading, the anger at Hemingway and his selfish ways, the fear and sadness I felt for Mariella- this book has something for everyone. Read Hemingway’s Girl– enjoy a story about Hemingway and his Key West.

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!

Literary Friday ya’ll…

I’ve been so terrible about posting lately. Apologies to all.

#literaryfriday is the word of the day. As usual- I like to post some of the best news that I see around for this day.

1. Deep South Magazine and their #literaryfriday: this week contains news about new author chat NEXT Friday (November 2). Michael Morris author of A Man in a Blue Moon. The book is in my possesion- it’s on my TBR list- I just haven’t yet. Hearing good things about the book, though. Erin from Deep South Mag really goes above and beyond the call- she picks some of the best people. The chats are informative and interesting.

Other #literaryfriday tidbits: Deep South Magazine has a Literary Trail App- because when you are traveling it’s always nice to know what literary greats attractions are nearby. The app can be purchased on Itunes- however, that sweet author Erika Robuck (who is a fan of Deep South Magazine and author of Hemingway’s Girl) is giving away a free download of the DSM Literary Trail App. Either check out Deep South Magazine Literary Friday or Erika Robuck’s blog to find out how to enter. Good luck!

In need of a costume ideas? Check out the #litmajorhalloweeencostumes. Thanks to Deep South Magazine for posting this hashtag- should be a fun way to get costume ideas!

A fan of Pinterest? Like literary themed Pinterest pages? Deep South Magazine has a Literary Friday Pinterest page!

2. October is pumpkin time. I love pumpkins. And today is National Pumpkin Day. So in honor of National Pumpkin Day- curl up with Kimberly Brock’s The River Witch (trust me- it’s def a book you read on National Pumpkin Day) and enjoy.

3. A big THANK YOU to Erika Marks for calling in to my book club to discuss her debut novel- Little Gale Gumbo. Warmed my heart to no end. If you’ve read the book- chime in with thoughts of it. I’d love to hear other people’s opinions!

4. What is your #fridayreads? Mine is Iced by Carol Higgins Clark!

Happy Reading and have a great weekend!

She Reads Giveaway: Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck

Today on She Reads, author Erika Robuck talks about her first literary love (The Great Gatsby!) and has given She Reads a copy of Hemingway’s Girl  to give away to a lucky person who comments on the post.

Now while I’ve not read Hemingway’s Girl– I do have a copy and I can’t wait to read it. There has been a lot of buzz about the book- and other book bloggers and reviewers have been writing positive comments about the book.

If the book sounds intriguing, go to She Reads and make a comment- maybe today will be your lucky day and you will win a copy of Hemingway’s Girl!

Best of luck!

A catch-up and preview of things to come…..

Sorry that my blogging has been so, what’s the word, oh yes…. spotty lately! Between a trip to Pensacola for my brother’s wedding AND the very next weekend a trip to Nashville (note to self: booking 2 weekend trips back to back is not advisable- I should have told my brother to move his wedding to a less busy time, right? 😉

So- today’s entry is going to be a mash-up, a catch-up, a running tally of things that I’ve been meaning to talk about but haven’t. Hold on to your hats, I’m getting on a roll!

1.  Deep South Magazine is giving away a copy of Erika Robuck’s book, Hemingway’s Girl, this Friday (Sept.28) AND is having a literary chat with Erika Robuck. If you haven’t heard of Hemingway’s Girl– it’s getting some good reviews from a few book-bloggers, so I anticipate the book being good. To enter the giveaway, click HERE. On Friday, September 28th, Deep South Magazine is hosting a Twitter chat with Erika Robuck- use Tweet Chat (it’s the best way to participate) and #southernlit. The chat will go on from 1-2pm CST.  To find out more about Erika Robuck before the chat- click HERE.

2. Speaking of Erika’s- my blog countdown clock reminds me that Erika Marks new book, The Mermaid Collector, will be released in 1 week. If you missed out on Little Gale Gumbo (Erika Marks first book) do yourself a favor and read that! I hope her second book is as good as the first one!

3. If you find yourself in Dickson, TN- there is a store called Reading Rock Books. Used and new books- I bought myself 2 used books for a fairly good deal. Nice little store- wished I had more time to spend in the place.

4. Speaking of used books- I was in Nashville this past weekend for a girl’s weekend AND the Carrie Underwood concert. We went to a place called McKay Used Books– huge warehouse-style place. Books and Movies- EVERYWHERE. I saw some paperbacks for as low as 5 cents. Definitely worth a look if you are near the area.

5. Melinda McGuire- you know who I’ve been raving about for a few weeks- 1. for her #STHRN project and 2. for her writing skills and because she’ll be at Grand Festival of Arts and Books in Fairhope, Al (October 5th and 6th!)…. BUT- here’s a whole other reason to rave about her: Melinda will have a new book released on September 28 (This Friday!). The book is called Rich Fabric– the tradition, symbolism and stories of quilting.  While the book sounds all neat and all- what makes this even more special is this: All profits from the book will be donated to Twilight Wish Foundation- a non-profit for elderly people who live below the poverty level. For more information about Rich Fabric– click HERE.

Psst- and in case you don’t get enough information from that link- Melinda McGuire will be guest-blogging here in the next few weeks. So keep checking back!

6. I’m reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls for book club. I don’t hate it, but man, it’s depressing. Disturbing, even. Anyone read it? Thoughts?

7. Has anyone read Dare Me by Megan Abbot? I’ve been hearing good things about the book, but haven’t read it.  It sounds good.

8. While it’s still a bit warm where I live- fall is approaching. And while I love reading, I love watching TV and movies, too. So any new shows out this season that are just GREAT? What about movies you anticipate seeing? My movie list is: Taken 2, Pitch Perfect, and Alex Cross. Tell me your list!

Happy Reading- and have a great week!