Tuesday Mashup

#giveaway

I adore Giveaways! Ya’ll know that! What I adore almost as much as winning giveaways is letting you, my faithful readers of Traveling With T,  know about the amazing giveaways that other sites are having. I know that while I scour the websites, looking high, low and everywhere in between- that there are probably still hundreds upon hundreds I miss mentioning. But I’m trying!

Love at First Book is giving away 6 books! 3 winners will pick 2 each- and she has 9 to choose from: He’s Gone, The Last Camellia, The Explanation for Everything, The Girl You Left Behind, American Dervish, Girlchild and Shorecliff.

Books Speak Volumes is giving away 1 book- but letting you choose among her 3 favorites for 2013:  Burial Rites, A Constellation of Vital PhenomenaLife After Life (the Kate Atkinson version!)

Books Speak Volumes is also giving We Are Water by Wally Lamb!

Book-Alicious Mama is giving away Is This Tomorrow, Killer Image, Code Name Verity, Man in the Blue Moon, The Unknowns and The Husband’s Secret.

The Relentless Reader is giving away The Husband’s Secret as well.

River City Reading is giving away Rivers by Michael Farris Smith.

Just Another New Blog is giving away Harlequin Romance Holiday Pack– a collection of holiday romance books!

Chick List Is Not Dead is giving away The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch.

Traveling With T is giving away The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins (last day to enter!)

Traveling With T is also giving away Wyoming Bold by Diana Palmer.

Books in the Burbs is giving away The Preservationist by Justin Kramon- giveaway ends Nov 30th!

Other Bloggy Talk

Love At First Book and The Book Wheel are still talking about Orange is the New Black! Join in the fun!

Love at First Book has her Spread the Love Linky Party happening! Go. Visit. Spread the linky love!

Mom’s Small Victories is talking about Netgalley November Reading Goals!

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Meeting Jill McCorkle- Life After Life book signing

Jill McCorkle reading from Life After Life

Jill McCorkle reading from Life After Life

Can I just say how much I adored meeting Jill McCorkle? I totally enjoyed it! Now from that statement, I’m sure most would think that I’ve been a Jill McCorkle fan for years- but surprise- Life After Life was my first book to read by her.  I had an opportunity to review Life After Life several weeks ago through Netgalley, and during this time frame, Life After Life made Deep South Magazine’s 10 Reads for Spring. I trust Deep South Mag’s opinion- and if they say it’s a good read; well then, I’m going to give it a try. And lastly, during this time, I checked Turnrow Books in Greenwood, MS events and guess who was coming to town? Jill McCorkle! So like the Magic 8 ball says “all signs point to yes”- it was decided that I needed to read this book. So I did- and I really enjoyed it. Funny, heartwarming, sad at times- great characters. All are dealing with a heartache, a situation, and some are trying to make the last years of their lives count.

But what made meeting Jill McCorkle the best was how funny and nice she is- she could go from talking about some of the most heartfelt things to making the room crack up with loud giggles and laughs.

At the signing/reading- Jill read from “Sadie” a bit, then read from “Joanna’s Notes” about her dad, then read “Joanna’s dad’s” section.  Each section had it’s own voice, it’s own thoughts- and was beautifull written- and even humours at times.  Jill told the audience that she likes to think there is a lot of humor in Life After Life, even though there is sadness.

Jill also told the audience that it’s a popular misconception that “life will yield when something happens, but that rarely happens”. This was the case during her creation of Life After Life– her dad was dying, her children still needed her for dinner and other motherly duties, and work was still happening (grading papers and teaching). As she told us this, I began thinking that while we may wish life would slow down and let us deal with things as they happen- life has other plans for us. Life keeps spinning- until your final breath.

When questioned if any characters were based on people she knew in life or not- it was revealed that Toby is based on Jill’s work of teaching Introduction to Fiction. Toby, in the book, tells of how tired she was of reading essays about vampires, werewolves and the like- and that is how Jill felt at one point in her Intro to Fiction class. Jill wanted something with emotion, something with human emotion. So she tried to teach her students that emotion is like a primary box of crayons- but that as they got older, the emotions are more like a 64 pack of crayons- so you might feel periwinkle sometimes. But, at the base of that emotion is the original primary color emotion you felt as a child or teenager.

About Jill’s writing process- she likes to write in same place- but after having children- she realized she had to be more flexible. So she sometimes goes to the grocery store and sits in her car in the parking lot and writes- then later goes grocery shopping! She also takes lots of notes- and just reads them in the morning and evening- then she stores them for a time till she can write for an extended period. In this way, Jill speaks of that she’s always working on something; but it just takes time- and that’s a good thing because it gives her thoughts time to “perk”.  Some of Jill’s characters will have memories or thoughts of her friends (after she’s asked!) Lastly Jill spoke of that sometimes when gathering her thoughts about writing, something will cross her mind that seems like it does not fit, like it’s not a logical next step in the process. When this happens, instead of ignoring that thought, she knows it’s meant to be in the thoughts, in her writing process.

Before she began signing books, she told this piece of advice for writers: The first draft of the book is like falling in love; but the revision of the book is the real deal in love.

Jill signing a book

Jill signing a book

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Jill and Traveling With T

Thanks Tunrow Books for hosting a great event- and thanks to Jill McCorkle for being so gracious- signing my book and posing for pictures.

My review of Life After Life: Life After Life by Jill McCorkle- review by Traveling With T

Literary Friday ya’ll….

Friday- oh Friday. And sunny!

1. Deep South Mag and their #literaryfriday- Joshilyn Jackson cover reveal, Jill McCorkle, 2 giveaways, and more (even some The Great Gastsby news!) Grab a glass of sweet tea- and soak up some #literaryfriday!

2. Speaking of Jill McCorkle, I had the pleasure of meeting her at Turnrow Books last night. She is adorable, funny, charming and so much more. Look for my blog post next week with pictures and tidbits of information she revealed as she read from her latest book, Life After Life.

Traveling With T’s review of Life After Life by Jill McCorkle.

3. Tonight, in a fit of luck, I will be at Rita Leganski’s book signing at Lemuria Books. You may remember that The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow was She Reads March Book Club Selection. I’ll be taking notes and pictures- so look for my blog post next week!

4. What is your #fridayreads? Mine is Three Good Things by Wendy Francis!

5. For those curious about when the Patti Callahan Henry Twitter chat will happen- it appears April 29th will be the day. As details are finalized, I’ll keep my readers in the know. If you’ve read And Then I Found You– or want to read- do consider joining us for the chat- it’s kept as spoiler free as possible!

Happy Reading and have a great weekend!

PS: Thanks to the new followers and commenters- you’ve been noticed and I appreicate you stopping by!

Literary Friday ya’ll…

Friday. Pretty spring day. I’ve been enjoying my morning coffee while watching these 2 small brown birds make a nest near the breakfast nook area.  It’s a good day.

1. Deep South Mag and their #literaryfriday: A honor for Square Books, news about The Great Gatsby movie, and much more.

2. #giveaways: Luxury Reading is giving away a copy of Wendy Wax’s latest While We Were Downtown Abbey and She Reads is giving away a copy of The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley.

3. Other She Reads news:

1. Books and Wine: A Pairing for The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow.

2. She Reads April Book Club Selection: And Then I Found You by Patti Callahan Henry

3. Book Review: Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg

4. A Room of Her Own: The Writing Space of Patti Callahan Henry

4. What is your #fridayreads? Mine is Going, Going, Ganache by Jenn McKinlay.

5. Books that I have read lately and really enjoyed:

1. The Affair by Colette Freedman

2. And Then I Found You by Patti Callahan Henry

3. Learning to Fly: An Ucommon Memoir of Human Flight, Unexpected Love, and One Amazing Dog by Steph Davis

4. Nickled and Dimed to Death: A Devereaux’s Dime Store Mystery by Denise Swanson

5. The Mermaid of Brooklyn by Amy Shearn

6. Life After Life by Jill McCorkle

6. Have you made your bucket list? What about your book-ish bucket list? Here’s mine: Traveling With T’s Book-ish Bucket List

 

Happy Reading 🙂

 

Life After Life by Jill McCorkle

This is my first Jill McCorkle book- and I must say that I really enjoyed Jill’s way with words and the story-line she created.

The longest and most expensive journey you will ever take is the one to yourself…..

Death is a part of life. It’s not a part of life that many choose to focus on; but it is a part of life. For Joanna, the hospice volunteer at Pine Haven retirement center, death is something that quite literally helped save her life. Joanna, through choices- some good, some bad- had her experience; and it helped put some of life in perspective. While at Pine Haven, she helps the dying let go, and helps make the end of life as comfortable as possible for all involved.

Each resident at Pine Haven- Sadie, Stanley, Marge, Rachel, and Toby are at Pine Haven for various reasons. For some, death is near; for others- death will be coming, but there’s still time- time to make amends, time to right wrongs, time to make sure their family is in a good place. Sadly, there is time for regret for all the residents- regrets of what could have been or the way they should have lived.

Each resident has a story- and some of the stories overlap with Pine Haven’s workers and visitor- Joanna, CJ, and Abby. Jill McCorkle weaves all the stories, intertwines them in ways that at first the reader might not see how it connects- but when they do- it’s moments of greatness.

When I finished reading last night, I felt a mixture of emotions- happiness and sadness, mainly. I enjoyed how the story ended, for the most part, and I thought parts of the last few chapters were very fitting for the characters. Is it a perfect ending? Not exactly- there are some things I wished that were different; but it’s a good ending. Strongly suggest this as a book-club book or with a book-loving friend who will want to discuss- because there is plenty about this book that could (and will!) lead to a great discussion.

Recommended.