Literary Friday ya’ll…

Today is a beautiful day. Bright sunshine after a couple of days of dreary rain- temp is in high 60’s/70’s and it’s #literaryfriday!

1. Deep South Magazine will have 2 author chats in the upcoming weeks- so please check back at @deepsouthmag or Deep South Magazine’s Facebook page for more information on that. In other #literaryfriday news, a picture of F.Scott Fitzgerald in drag, a list of 12 Gay Book Characters Turned Straight for Movies ( can you guess who they are?), Pulpwood Queen talk about their upcoming Girlfriend Weekend (Kimberly Brock, The River Witch, will be there!) and much more.

2. What are you reading for #fridayreads? I’m reading Stuck on Murder by Lucy Lawrence ( this will be my 3rd book in goal of 13 for Cruisin Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2013).

3. In case you missed the announcement earlier this week, She Reads January Book Club pick is The Art Forger by B.A.Shapiro. Here are some links that you might find interesting.

Literary First Love: B.A Shapiro

B.A. Shapiro on Why She Wrote The Art Forger

January Book Club Selection

The Art Forger: Review by Traveling With T

4. Traveling With T took the plunge and made a Facebook page- facebook.com/TravelingWithT

So come over to Facebook and give Traveling With T a “like”. Blog posts will be posted to the facebook page- but not to worry- if you don’t do the facebook thing, feel free to stick around the blog- I’ll be blogging, commenting, posting pictures and recommending books here as well as there.

5. Want to help a soon to be published author? Read Julie Kibler’s tips- Julie’s debut book is Calling Me Home (release date is Feb 12, 2013). Her book has already been getting some advance praise- hopefully will get much more!

6. Excuse my while my inner child squeals- but on Wednesday Jan 16 at 5:30 pm (EST), Scholastic is hosting a BabySitters Club meeting- talk with Ann M. Martin and test your BSC knowledge! Grab the Kid Kits, find some junk food in Claudia’s room (unless you are Stacey or Dawn) and get ready for a great meeting- and don’t be late or Kristy will give you THE LOOK.  Follow @scholastic and use the hashtag #BSCMeeting to join in.

7. Check in with Cozy Mystery Book Reviews– they are giving away books for the month of January!

8. Peeking Between the Pages is giving away a copy of Allison Winn Scotch The Song Remains the Same– check in with that blog for the rules and details.

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Kimberly Brock and Holidays (in her own words)

Can Kimberly Brock get any more amazing? The girl writes a great book (The River Witch), has the fantastic Joshilyn Jackson write a blurb for it (OMG- really?!!!) and then just has even more amazingly wonderful things happen: Amazon picks the book twice for special sale price/promotion, readers and bloggers are raving about this book, Kim does a fantastic The River Witch tour with Anna Kline and Grits and Soul Band (good music!), and to top it off- she’s hard at work at her 2nd book. Might we say that 2012 was the year of Kimberly Brock and The River Witch?

Another blog, It’s Only a Novel, had the opportunity to interview Kimberly Brock as part of their 12 Days of Christmas. Kimberly is a beautiful writer- she takes the words and just polishes them to they shine and make an impact on you as you read- this is no exception. Read on for Kimberly Brock’s When the River Meets the Sea

 

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

Literary Friday ya’ll….

Today is Friday- #literayfriday and I’m so glad 🙂

Tomorrow I’ll be shopping at Mistletoe Marketplace and painting later that night- creativity is good for the soul.

But today, today it’s all about #literayfriday- some good stuff, some #giveaways, some news, even some early announcements about Black Friday shopping for readers 🙂

1. Deep South Magazine and their weekly #literaryfriday: Brad Pitt and New Orleans, National Novel Writing Month, Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones made another reading list besides Deep South Mag’s Summer Reading List, book festivals and much, much more.

Also a #giveaway- a sweet Cafe Du Monde giveaway! Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde: Life stories about Food will be given away November 16.

2. Cozy Mystery Reviews is celebrating Young Adult Vintage Mysteries Weekend. Check back often for reviews, giveaways and more.

3. For Black Friday shoppers and readers, Kimberly Brock’s book, The River Witch, will be on sale Black Friday for Kindle. Trust me there will be no better way to unwind after eating too much turkey, doing too much shopping, and enjoying some pumpkin pie than reading The River Witch. And if you are enjoying some pumpkin pie- you may start to feel a kinship to Damacus- but to understand that- you have to read the book! Got a reader in your life, but doon’t want to give the book early- want to save it for Christmas day? That’s fine! Buy it on Black Friday at the low price and send it as a gift- you can then choose the delivery day you want! Easy-peasy!

4. #fridayreads- mine is Nightshade on Elm Street by Kate Collins. What are you reading for #fridayreads?

5. Finished Jenn McKinlay’s Books Can be Deceiving– while I did not enjoy it quite as much as I enjoy her Cupcake cozy books- I did think it was good. Totally worth a read.

6. It’s getting closer to Christmas picture time- because I absolutely adore pictures- this year I’m beginning to work on some Christmas ideas to make our pictures a bit more special. Cricut, a glass of wine and pinterest- let the creativity flow!

Have a happy #literaryfriday- and if you read some great books- please come back and share!

 

 

Michael Morris- Man in a Blue Moon- She Reads November Book Club Pick

Today is November 1- which means it’s time for She Reads to publicly announce it’s November book club pick. The book of the month is: ****drumroll, drumroll,drumroll**** MAN IN A BLUE MOON by Michael Morris.

Check back with She Reads for monthly discussion questions and chances to win prizes. We all love #giveaways don’t we?

If you do the Twitter thing- use HT #srblog to see what members of the She Reads blog group is having to saying about MAN IN A BLUE MOON.

Couple of other important notes: Deep South Magazine will host Twitter chat with Michael Morris Friday, Nov 2nd, from 1-2pmCST (that’s TOMORROW!) Use hashtag #southernlit to follow along with chat- also use Tweetchat if possible- makes for a better chat experience. However, Deep South Mag RT (retweets) the questions and answers- so people can still follow along, even if they do  not use Tweetchat.

To find out more about the Twitter chat tomorrow with Michael Morris- read here!

Also, the fantastic Kimberly Brock (perhaps you’ve read me raving on about her debut book- The River Witch?) had a chance to interview Michael Morris. Her interview is enlightening and terrific. For the interview, read here.

Hope to “see” you tomorrow at the Michael Morris chat- it should be a fun time.