Giveaways, Twitter chats and more!

1.Erika Robuck chats about Hemingway’s Girl on Twitter Wed Feb 6th from 8-9 pm CST! Use #gr8books to join in! Great Thoughts ( a blog) is hosting the chat- stop by her page and see some of the questions that will be discussed!

2. Elin Hilderbrand’s book The Castaways is $2.99 for e-books today only!

3. She Reads has a copy of The Girl’s Guide to Love and Supper Clubs to give to a lucky commenter! Go read Tell Me Something True- A Visit with Dana Bate, comment and maybe win! Also get a chuckle out of Dana’s story- it involves a Pyrex dish, explosion, and a 2 lessons she learned that night!

4. Be Your Own Valentine Giveaway- check Amy Hatvany website for details! Chocolates, signed galley, and Sephora- it’s a good #giveaway!

5. Win a copy of Joanne Fluke’s Red Velvet Cupcake Murder on Goodreads! Go there and follow the directions- fingers crossed for a win!

6. If you are not following #srblog hashtag on Twitter, you are missing out on so much. Reviews about books that are GREAT, good conversation with ladies who love to read, and much more!

7. The Next Time You See Me by Holly Goddard Jones- my review will be posted this week. Entertaining, though!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

A Year of Blogging- My Blog’s a year old!

Today my blog, Traveling With T, turned a year old. It’s been a crazy, fun, wild, frustrating, challenging year. But, and here’s the key: It’s been so worth it. Fulfilling. Enjoyable.

When I started Traveling With T, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wanted a blog where I could write about experiences- local restaurants, book signings, events. I wanted some anonymity, I wanted a title that was catchy, but didn’t pigeonhole me- one that I could discuss different things; but still with a focus.

I didn’t start the blog because I had a burning desire to be a writer (although, I have much respect for writers).  I’ve thought over the last few years that someone publishing my thoughts from the pitfalls of guys using emoticons in texts, to the art of the road trip, to why being a nail polish namer has to be an interesting job (plus much, much, much more) would make for an interesting book- but I’ve never really had a burning desire to write for a living.

When I was a kid, I used to read Ann M. Martin books, Francine Pascal and more. Reading these books, I always thought it would be so nice to get to meet the people behind the books I loved. But, a small-town girl, states and hours away from these authors never did get a chance to meet them. As I grew up, I put the idea out of my head- reading was not cool (even though I secretly read in high school). The older I got, the more I realized reading was a part of me- it was something I needed. With social media, I can chat with authors, learn about book signings and more. Going to a book signing is the best kind of fun. Proud to report that I’ve been to several book signings over the past year- and I love each and every one.

Part of the reason I started blogging is that while I don’t have burning desire to be a writer/author- I do have a strong desire to be around the writer types. To hear where they get inspiration, to see their works comes to life. To be able to sit down with them- with total wide eyed innocence and discuss the things I love, dislike, and more about their books. An author has a creative energy that I adore being around- a creative energy that fills a place in my heart and life. An author gives me something to think about, something to ponder deeply and maybe even creatively for days, weeks. When I’m around an author-type person, I feel like I’m the best version of myself- the bright, inquisitive person- the person who is fully validated because she is with people who speak a language that she loves. I feel smarter, brighter, almost Wonder Woman-ish.

There have been times over the past year that I thought of just deleting my blog. It seemed like it wasn’t going anywhere, some days it wasn’t even fun. But, slowly, I began to get followers- and then I became involved with She Reads Blog Network- and that for me was all the validation I needed to continue. While, I don’t think I started the blog with the full on intention to review books completely- being able to review books is something I find pleasure in. It’s back to that whole “books fill a place in me, in my creative part”.

My desire for myself and my blog:

1. Host giveaways. I promote other blog giveaways, but have never had one at Traveling With T. 2013 will be the year that changes.

2. Continue to review books. Fiction, #southernlit, cozies and more.

3. To one day, be more involved in the process of an author’s life. A publicist, perhaps? To be more involved in the work of an author from the beginning of the process to the end would be very fulfilling.

 

On today, as my blog turns a year old- a heartfelt “Thank You” to my followers, the people who “like”, retweet, and share my blog posts. Without you, my blog would be floating around in the internet. Each time you like something I write- I”m reminded of the Sally Field “You Like me! You Really Like Me!”

To MVBClub- thanks for letting me guest blog, for being an inspiration and a sounding board. xoxo

To Melinda McGuire- thank you for letting me guest blog about Oxford and Faulkner- you’re the best!

To Deep South Magazine- thank you for every RT, every comment and more. My appreciation for you is beyond words.

To authors (Erika Marks, Erika Robuck, Nichole Bernier, Michael Lee West, Meg Donohue, Jenn McKinlay, Cleo Coyle,Lucy Burdette,Robin O’Bryant, Claire Cook, Mia March, Sarah Jio, Michael Morris, Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, Megan Abbott) Thank you for your books. For taking time out of your schedules to tweet with me, to call in for book clubs. Thank you for writing great books and books that I anticipate being great.

To She Reads, She Reads Blog Network, and Kimberly Brock- I’m so overcome with happiness for being able to be part of She Reads. Thank you- Thank You- Thank You. Being able to be a part of this great group just makes me feel all sparkly and happy. Honored to be a part of a such a sparkly wonderful group.

To authors everywhere: Even if I don’t know you- you inspire me. To the dreamers, the people with the imaginations and creativity, to the ones who have the desire, drive and determination to write a book: Never change. Keep writing. Keep inspiring people. Write not just because you can; but because you can’t live in a world that’s without your writing.

Best,

Traveling With T

 

PS: A special thank you to Ann M. Martin, Judy Blume, Francine Pascal and the Nancy Drew books: without your books, I might not be the reader I am today. Beyond grateful for the love of reading the books you’ve written that has instilled a love of reading in me. “Thank you” seems so inadequate- but that’s all I have to say.

 

 

 

 

Thankfulness…..

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.

xoxo

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!