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.


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.





The Theme Song to Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris

Don’t forget tomorrow Novemeber 30th- all DAY long She Reads will be hosting their online book club discussion of Michael Morris Man in the Blue Moon. It’s all day long, so feel free to stop in anytime- ask a question, make a comment, find out what other people are thinking of Man in the Blue Moon!

Before the online discussion tomorrow, read the article about Michael Morris Man in the Blue Moon theme song. Find the song and listen to it- see if the music takes you to era of Man in the Blue Moon.

Links for Michael Morris Man in the Blue Moon and the She Reads Online Discussion:

Man in the Blue Moon

The Theme Song for Man in the Blue Moon

A Room of His Own: The Writing Space of Michael Morris

New Online Discussion Schedule

Come- join She Reads for the November  discussion of Michael Morris latest book- Man in the Blue Moon!

The Real Man in the Blue Moon (interview with She Reads)

Michael Morris tells about the story behind the book Man in the Blue Moon (in case you did not know- he based his 4th book on a real-life story that he heard from his family!)

After reading the guest post, be sure and pick up a copy of Man in the Blue Moon! The book is being discussed all month long at She Reads!

Michael Morris: On Story-Telling (a guest post for She Reads)

Michael Morris and his guest post for She Reads: the first questions he’s asked at book club meetings, a teacher who helped him discover his potential, the authors that changed his life, and being from a member of a family of story-tellers.

Heart-warming and insightful guest post by Michael Morris- a story that is defintely worth reading. On Storytelling: A Guest Post by Michael Morris.

Remember to pick up a copy of MAN IN THE BLUE MOON to read and discuss with She Reads online book club all month long!

Man in the Blue Moon- She Reads November Book Club Pick!

Looking for a good book to read? Join in She Reads online book club and spend the month reading and discussing Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris. It’ll be a fun and fabulous event!

Plus there’ll be a #giveaway!

To find out more about the book club selection, the giveaway, and how to chat with members of the She Reads online book club- read HERE.

And, seriously, come join us! It’ll be a super-fun month discussing #southernlit.

Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris

November’s She Reads book club pick is Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris. Besides being a pick of She Reads- Man in the Blue Moon has received some notable praise from other authors- specfically Pat Conroy.  When people in high places are praising the book and author, a reader is surely in for a good ride. This book is no exception.

Ella Wallace- a 35 year old woman with 3 kids and a husband who has left her for parts unknow. Her aunt warned her years ago about Harlan- “He’s a gambler at best. A con artist at worst”- but Ella was young, full of dreams and love for this man. Now she’s paying the price. Ella is on the verge of losing the one thing she has left (besides her 3 kids)- her land. Ella speaks of this land similarily to how Mr. O’Hara spoke of land to Scarlett in Gone with the Wind; but the land is important Ella and she needs to keep it- especially since if she loses the land it will be in the hands of a man who is not fit to spit on the land that Ella holds dear, much less own it.

When Ella was a teen, she was involved with Clive Gillespie. Harlan Wallace swept in and stole the young Ella from Clive- and that is not the first embarassment that Clive suffered at the hands of the Harlan- a man who had more charisma than needed. Clive is pressuring Ella to sell her precious land to him or face foreclosure- either way to him, he’ll own it. Clive plays it close to the vest as to why he wants the land, but secrets- they do have a way of coming out.

All while Ella is facing the propsect of losing her land, a package arrives for Ella- only it’s not quite the package that she had expected. It’s a man, Lanier, a relation of Harlan. Lanier has his own secrets that he would rather not tell, as well.

Does Ella lose her land? What is Clive’s secret plans with Ella’s land? Is Lanier a friend or foe? Will Harlan come back to Ella- and if he does, will Ella accept him back into her life after the pain he’s caused? The answers to all the above questions are in this beautifully written book- a book that will move you to tears at times.

This is a wonderfully written book: Themes of desperation, redemption, betrayal, love, loss, learning to become stronger than you ever had to be, and accepting people and yourself- are interweaved through the story- to create a tale that is dramatic, sorrowful, bittersweet, and engaging. This is a book that causes the reader to feel emotions- the reader will find aspects to be angry about, happy, sad, and hopeful. The reader will feel sadness during the book- and ultimately sadness when the book is finished; because Man in the Blue Moon is that good of a book.

Literary Friday ya’ll…

#Literaryfriday 🙂 Just seeing the hashtag make me happy.

Today’s round-up of #literaryfriday tidbits:

1.Deep South Magazine- Honey Boo Boo and #literaryfriday- you better believe it! There’s a connection between the two! Other #literaryfriday news: Faulkner estate is suing a motion picture company, a review of Erika Marks The Mermaid Collector, and what book tops the list of Book Riot’s Readers 50 Favorite novels? To find out the details on all of the above read Deep South Magazine’s Literary Friday page.

2. What are you reading for #fridayreads? I’m reading Michael Morris Man In The Blue Moon and Burned by Carol Higgins Clark.

3. Used the HT today #charactersthatmayneedkilling in relation to Michael Morris book Man in the Blue Moon. Have you ever read a book that had a character that you thought something bad needed to happen to?

4. Cozy Mystery Reviews is helping out victims of Hurricane Sandy- if you’d like to find out the details- please read their page HERE for the most up-to-date info.

5. Have you pre-ordered a copy of Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich? Any Team Cupcake or Team Babe fans? I’ve ordered mine; but really feel some sort of resolution needs to be made with the triangle. Anyone else feeling that way?

6. Hate it if you did not get to stop in on the Tweetchat with Michael Morris hosted by Deep South Mag- it was a great chat. Lots of behind the scene info on Man in the Blue Moon. And Michael Morris told us the name of his next book: King of Florabama (release 2013/2014)

Happy Reading! 🙂


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.

Trick or Treat.. Give me some Good Books to read…

Happy Halloween. Today, while most are celebrating in costumes and taking kids trick or treating, I’m feeling just festive enough to wear my cute jack o’lantern socks (They really are cute socks, though!)

Instead of doing the  Halloween thing of watching scary movies -and because scary movies are not my fav- well I do like the Scream series (and the first 1 still scares me- the 3rd had almost got into a comical territory at times) I believe that I’ll have a Kit-Kat and read on the book MAN IN A BLUE MOON by Michael Morris. It’s a tale of Ella- left by her no-good husband trying to keep her family land. The book has some unsavory characters in it- people who would like to do nothing more than take Ella’s land for their own use. Ella has some help in her quest- but still can’t completely classify him as friend or foe. Only time will tell.

If the book sounds good to you, there will be a  Twitter chat sponsored by Deep South Mag on Friday, Novemeber 2nd from 1-2pmCST. Use #southernlit to follow the tweets or to join in. Erin suggests using TweetChat- it’s the easiest way to keep up with the chat on Twitter. And to tempt you a bit further- there will be a giveaway of the book MAN IN A BLUE MOON during the chat.

To find out more about Michael Morris and MAN IN A BLUE MOON- read here.

Hope to “see” you on Friday at the chat!