{Giveaway} A Thousand Miles to Freedom: My Escape from North Korea by Eunsun Kim

giveaway giveaway

Thanks for St. Martin’s Press- Traveling With T has 2 copies of A THOUSAND MILES TO FREEDOM: MY ESCAPE FROM NORTH KOREA by Eunsun Kim to give to lucky readers!

Fans of non-fiction and memoirs or book clubs who like a heavier read need to enter this #giveaway. Continue reading

Interview with Lizzie Harwood, author of Xamnesia

author interviews

Hello! Lizzie Harwood is back today to talk about her new memoir, XAMNESIA! There is a Goodreads giveaway– ends June 23rd- so HURRY!


Interview with Lizzie Harwood about XAMNESIA:

Hi Lizzie- welcome back to Traveling With T!

Thanks for inviting me back! I love your site. Let’s travel…

Xamnesia is about your previous work and the world you found yourself in after accepting a job that required you to rub elbows with rich and famous (but to keep your lips zipped!) How surreal was it to be in a world like that- where money was no problem and most whims could be taken care of with a phone call?

Surreal is a good word. I think the self-containment of it comes across in my memoir – it was a world that operated apart from the real world and everything happened by phone or fax. We never emailed and hardly even went into stores. Things appeared. Continue reading

I Regret Nothing by Jen Lancaster

I Regret Nothing

Photo Credit: Penguin/NAL May 5th 2015


This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

I Regret Nothing

Jen is back- and is talking the difference between mistakes and regrets. Mistakes help people grow- and Jen has made plenty (see all previous books for proof). But regrets? Jen has no time for that. She wants to learn to ride a bike. Learn a new language. Immerse herself in another culture.

So, armed with this thought process and a trusty bucket list- Jen sets out to rock her bucket list and relish each crossing off the list moment.

Will she make mistakes? Sure. But Jen won’t live with regrets. Continue reading

Book Spotlight: To Live in Paradise by Cindi McVey

book spotlight

Today, TO LIVE IN PARADISE by Cindi McVey is getting some attention at Traveling With T. Cindi emailed me a few weeks ago and as we began chatting- I found her to be smart and so nice! I know many of the readers of Traveling With T are fans of non-fiction so….I hope ya’ll enjoy the spotlight!

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Book Spotlight: Confessions of a Paris Party Girl by Vicki Lesage

book spotlight


Ya’ll, it’s a good day for a book spotlight! Vicki Lesage, CONFESSIONS OF A PARIS PARTY GIRL, emailed me and we got to chatting back and forth some. And through the power of emails- this is how you are getting to see this book spotlight!

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We’ll Always Have Paris by Jennifer Coburn

we'll always have paris

Photo Credit: Sourcebooks

This book was sent to Traveling With T in exchange for a honest review.

We’ll Always Have Paris

Jennifer Coburn is not dying. Or maybe she is. Because, logically speaking, each day we live, we get one day closer to dying (morbid thought, yes?) But Jennifer has 1 mission- she wants to take her daughter Katie on a trip to Paris- so that when the day comes, whether it be near or far- Jennifer can say to Katie in her last dying breaths “We’ll always have Paris.”

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Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart by Carol Wall

Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening

Photo Credit: Goodreads

This book was sent to Traveling With T in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Mister Owita’s Guide To Gardening

Carol Wall’s yard is a mess. This, in the past has not bothered her. Between raising kids, working, spending time with her husband and doing other things- the yard has not been a priority. One day, though, Carol begins to realize how far the yard has gotten out of control and openly envies other yards. Shortly, she finds out about Mister Owita and he begins to help Carol with her garden. Even though she knows the garden needs work- she is hesitant about some Owita’s advice and preferences (the azaela bushes being one thing). Soon, though, with Owita’s charming way of looking at life- she begins to trust him more and more and open herself to learning- not just gardening tips, but life lessons as well.

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Interview with Shannon Polson, author of North of Hope

north of hopeShannon Polson, author of North of Hope, caught my eye after seeing Bookmagnet talking about North of Hope. Bookmagnet hosted a giveaway- and then through the power of social media- Shannon and I began chatting- and that is how you, my readers of Traveling With T, are getting to read all about Shannon!


Interview with Shannon Polson

Shannon- the inspiration for North of Hope came from a terrible accident that happened to your family and the grief you felt afterward.  For some, writing is a way to think and reflect. Was this how North of Hope was for you?

In some ways yes, but I’d be quick to differentiate writing memoir from the therapeutic writing that journaling or letter writing provides. When I decided to write North of Hope, it was a concerted formal effort. I think when people consider writing as catharsis, they are referring more to journaling and letter writing, both of which I did and found really helpful. Writing North of Hope, though, was a completely different ball game.

Remembering your family, going on the same trip your family went on before the accident- did anyone try to talk you out of doing this? Or did your loved ones understand why you had to do this?

I think people have known for a long time I’m hard to talk out of anything! They did have concerns, and as a result we took a number of precautions that would likely be considered redundant to allay their concerns.

North of Hope is a non-fiction/memoir book. Have you always wanted to write non-fiction/memoir books? Or was this particular story so compelling you felt you needed to write North of Hope?

This was a story I felt I needed to write, that needed to be written. In one sense, I needed to make something beautiful out of tragic circumstances– to see if I could do it by shaping an honest narrative. I am constantly learning what it is that made writing North of Hope important to me. Recently I’ve reflected that memoir is a genre of connection, and that it’s important (for me) to find a way to tell a story of hope after tragedy because it’s something we all face one day in one form or another individually and collectively. Joan Didion said that “we tell stories in order to live,” and after these events in my life I’m more convinced than ever that we choose our own story given a set of circumstances. We don’t have a choice about living in a story, but we do have a choice about what that story will be.

I’ve thought about whether I could have written the book as a novel, and that didn’t make sense this time around. The themes, though, of adventure, grief, loss, family, love, music, and faith are big ones in my life that are likely to recur no matter what genre I write in.


Any idea as to what the next book will be about, Shannon?  Will there be a next book?

Absolutely! With two very small children right now, I’m likely to focus on shorter form for a little while. In the meantime, I’m working on a couple of ideas that will be ongoing until I figure out which will wrestle it’s way to the surface to complete first. One is straight nonfiction about a particularly fascinating moment in aviation history. Another is a novel. And a third might be some kind of a multi-genre consideration of my time in the military.


*Special thanks to Shannon Polson for agreeing to be interviewed!


shannon p twitter Shannon Polson, author of North of Hope, can be found on major social media sites- Facebook and Twitter. She also has a website. Check back on Friday to find out more about Shannon- authors she likes and books that are on her To Be Read List!