Traveling With T turns 2! Happy Bloggy Anniversary/Birthday (+ GIVEAWAY!)

TWT turning 2

That’s right, folks- Traveling With T is turning 2! 2 years of bloggy goodness. Bloggy fun. Bloggy giveaways. And yes some days of being bloggy confused- wondering how to make buttons, what is SEO, do I REALLY need multiple forms of social media, and a million other things.

Has it been fun? Absolutely? Is it worthwhile? 100 percent. Is it all super fun, cupcakes with sparkles, unicorns and rainbows and glitter everywhere? NO. Some days blogging is hard work. But I LOVE it- and the good days outweigh the bad by a million percent.

So- to honor my 2 year bloggy anniversary- my bloggy birthday(I’m totally treating myself to a HUGE cupcake today- because I’ve totally earned it) I’m giving away a slew of books. A pile of books. Books, books, books, and hold on——— 2 of them are signed!! Yes, yes, yes- last Saturday (when the temperature was around 32 degrees- but felt like it was in the mid 20’s) I braved the cold and I got 2 books signed. For you, my darling readers!

Here’s the giveaway line-up:


Photo Credit: Goodreads

Yes. This is the signed book. YES (you are welcome!) But wait…. there is a bit more- I also bought the short story Joshilyn wrote- the story that accompanies SELS- MY OWN MIRACULOUS (which is also SIGNED!) The winner of this wins both- since they are a package deal!

morning glory

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Sarah Jio’s latest. Seriously, you can thank me later. Here is the Goodreads summary (just in case seeing Sarah Jio’s name is not enough to say “Good golly, I NEED that!)

the returned fb

Photo Credit: Goodreads

This book caught quite a bit of attention. Several bloggers I know RAVED about this book. I have 2 copies of this book for you lucky readers! Here is the summary (just in case you aren’t aware of this book!)

read it and weep

Photo Credit: Goodreads

I LOVE cozy mysteries. I LOVE Jenn McKinlay. The Library Lover’s  series is a great one- and this is the latest in the series! Here is the summary on Goodreads.

Topped Chef - Cover

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Lucy Burdette’s latest- Topped Chef– is great. Fun. And Hayley is delightful (and might be finding a romance. Maybe. Possibly. We’ll see!) Here is the Goodreads summary.

murder of stacked librarian

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Denise Swanson’s latest. Another great cozy series. Here is the Goodreads summary.


Photo Credit: Goodreads

And lastly…. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Note: This was a Kindle Daily Deal a week ago and I bought a copy as a “gift” for a lucky commenter. So you need to have a Kindle or Kindle app to read this book! Here is the Goodreads summary.

So, there you have it. My birthday- but you get the presents 🙂 🙂 It’s my way of saying “thank you” for sticking with me, for taking a chance and following my blog, for being a commenter, for retweeting- for all the things you do that make me want to wake up and blog, baby, blog for another day.

You, my dear readers, like me for who I am. And I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart.

Giveaway details:

The giveaways are US only. To win, comment and list the prizes in order of how much you want from 1 (I really want this!) to 7 (I’d be cool  with winning this!) Giveaway begins December 14th and ends Dec 23rd.

Gift Ideas for the Book Lover In Your Life

The holidays are fast approaching.  I’ve got visions of a white Christmas dancing in my head (even though that is not santalikely), craving cups of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and marshmallows while listening to Christmas music and decorating the tree.

Before the stockings are hung by the tree with care, before the cookies are left out for Santa, before the joyous rush of family members hanging out at the house, before I celebrate another successful holiday by enjoying a glass or 2 of wine- presents will have to be purchased. And this is where my list of book-ish delights comes in handy. Have a reader in your life? Perhaps you’ll find a book that you will like to buy!

Mystery and Suspense

The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillipi Ryan

the wrong girl fb

Photo Credit: Goodreads

My first Hank Phillipi Ryan book- and I’m so glad I read it! As a fan of Sue Grafton (and seriously Sue- nothing but love for you- but I NEED you to write faster- yet I dread as we come closer to the end of the alphabet.) That little side topic is my way of saying that Hank helped me in quest for a Sue fix. Jane Ryland won’t knock Kinsey Millhone out of my heart for the #1 spot- but Jane is almost as good. And that’s saying a lot. The Wrong Girl was twisty and turny- with a great mystery and some potential steamy romance. Here is my review of The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan- an excellent consideration for someone looking for mystery and suspense!

Never Tell by Alafair Burke

Never Tell

Photo Credit: Goodreads

This was my first Alafair Burke- and after reading it- I’m all “Alafair-where have you been all my reading life?” Each time I thought I had the story figured out- Alafair zigged. Then she zagged. Then she twisted and turned. And kept me captivated.  Highly recommend Never Tell by Alafair Burke! Here is my review of Never Tell.

W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton

w is for wasted

Photo Credit: Goodreads

As witnessed above, I LOVE Sue Grafton. I LOVE Kinsey (Sue’s Character). If you have enjoyed A-V- then W is another great book.  Seriously. Just go get it. W is for Wasted is worth it.

If You Were Here by Alafair Burke

if you were here

Photo Credit: Amazon

Another Alafair Burke book- and again- twist, turns, zig and zags! While I prefer Alafair’s Ellie Hatcher a bit more to McKenna- that’s just a personal preference. Both mysteries are top-notch and great reads! Put If You Were Here on your wish list! Here is my review of If You Were Here- intriguing and enjoyable.

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

recon amelia

Photo Credit: Amazon

Oh. My. Gosh. I LOVED this book. Edge of my seat. Great storyline. How well do you know your child? Read this and prepare to wonder. This book will lead to a wonderful discussion amongst friends and book clubs. Reconstructing Amelia may very well be this year’s Gone Girl.  Here is my review of Reconstructing Amelia.

Cozy Mystery

I adore Cozy Mysteries. They are quick, fun and easy reads. They make me feel warm and fuzzy. The characters are fun and interesting. The settings are enjoyable- and the mystery is good.

Murder of a Stacked Librarian by Denise Swanson

murder of stacked librarian

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Denise Swanson’s latest has Skye getting married- if the groom can get away from the police station long enough to exchange vows! If you’ve read Denise’s other books- you’ll enjoy this one. If not, start with Murder of a Small Town Honey. While each story stands on it’s own- there are some things that build along the series of the books- and to fully enjoy, you might want to be invested in the characters. Murder of a Small Town Librarian is a must have for cozy mystery fans! Here is my review of Murder of a Small Town Librarian.

Topped Chef (Key West Food Critic Mystery #3) by Lucy Burdette

Topped Chef - Cover

Photo Credit: Goodreads

I have fallen in love with Lucy Burdette’s main character, Hayley Snow. Cute, fun, gets her tarot cards read- how adorable she is! She’s a foodie- but not pretentious. Hayley is struggling a bit in the romance department (but aren’t we all?!) Topped Chef is a book to put on your list! Here is my review of Topped Chef.

Women’s Fiction

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski

the silence of bonaventure arrow

Photo Credit: Amazon

Magical- realism. If you were like me- and those words kind of make you feel nervous about a book- put aside your worries. The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow is wonderful. The story, the setting- the amazing Bonaventure Arrow. Forgiveness and love are major themes of this story. Read. You won’t be sorry. The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow is a book that some readers might overlook- don’t do that! Here is my review of The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow.

The Guest House by Erika Marks

the guest house

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Love. Secrets. Family drama. Being true to yourself. The Guest House is a book that you must read. Here is my review of The Guest House.

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

a hundred summers

Photo Credit: Amazon

Love. Intrigue. Friendships. Family secrets. And a Aunt Julie that provides a humorous aspect to the story. This story is fantastic. A Hundred Summers is a book to read- no matter the time of the year. Here is my review of A Hundred Summers.

I’ll be posting a few more recommendations next week as well! Hopefully, you, my darling readers of Traveling With T, will find a book to buy for your book-ish friends and loved ones!

Murder of a Stacked Librarian: Sept Cozy Discussion

murder of stacked librarian

It’s time to start the discussion of MURDER OF A STACKED LIBRARIAN.

Being a member of Swanson’s Sleuths Street Team, naturally, this had to be the book of September.

Skye’s latest adventure is filled with laughs and good times (plus the characters we love in Scumble River!)


Here are some questions/thoughts to begin a discussion:

1. Skye is getting married, but as the wedding approaches, she’s beginning to feel some nerves. Can you understand what makes Skye nervous?


2. Wally is working quite a bit. Is he working so much to avoid helping out with the wedding details? Trying to catch up with work load before he gets married?


3. Skye’s house has a spirit that prevents her and Wally from romance at Skye’s. What have you thought of the spirit?


4. May is not calling Skye so much in Murder of a Stacked Librarian. Skye is curious b/c in her experience silence from May is never a good thing. Is Skye right to be curious?


5. How did you like the mystery? Did you solve the mystery?


6. What do you think is in Skye’s future?

Literary Friday ya’ll…. (plus a feature on little ole me!)

I’ve got my eyes on the lookout for pumpkins and other signs of the fall fast approaching- what about you?


1. Deep South Mag and their #literaryfriday: Giveaway of 2 books (1 is Karen White’s latest, THE TIME BETWEEN!), Claire Danes, news about last week’s AJC Decatur Book Fest, and much more!


2. Jessica McCann posted a lovely post titled What Cupcakes Taught Me About Life and Literature. Read. It’s VERY good!


3. This week on Traveling With T, I had several author spotlights: Dana Bate, Denise Swanson, and Emily Liebert.


4. Interviews, interviews, interviews: Dana Bate, Denise Swanson, and Emily Liebert.


5. I reviewed 2 books this week: Murder of a Stacked Librarian by Denise Swanson and You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert.


6. Another AWESOME blogger featured this week: Cindi @ Utah Mom’s Life!


7. My #fridayreads: The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillipi Ryan, The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore, and Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand.


8. Katherine at Story Matters– one of my AWESOME bloggers mentioned a couple of weeks ago asked to interview me (me!, Little ole me!) In the interview we cover my #literaryconfessions (yes, yes, after asking everyone and their mama their #literaryconfessions- someone turned the tables on me and asked me the question. I confessed freely (even though it might be a bit shameworthy for a bookworm to admit!) Thank you, Katherine for the Spotlight on Tamara Welch, Book Blogger!


Happy Reading 🙂



Murder of a Stacked Librarian by Denise Swanson

murder of stacked librarian

Photo Credit: Amazon

It’s almost Skye’s wedding- which should be the happiest day of her life. Except the groom is spending more time at the police station, Skye’s worried about fitting in her wedding dress and a murder needs to be solved so Skye can relax on her honeymoon- that is, if she can find time to get married with the chaos of life of Scumble River!

Skye is busy finishing the planning for her December wedding and really second-guessing  getting married at Christmas holidays- what with all the normal holiday events, a wedding to plan has made Skye busier than a bee! Wally, her groom, is also busy at work- and a murder of librarian- a beautiful  lady with a moral code that always points due north, is complicating matters further in Scumble River!

Skye, even with the wedding planning, takes on her role as a consultant to the police with relish. Wally and Skye team up to narrow down a list of suspects who wished the beautiful and shapely Yvonne harm- and conclude quickly that Yvonne was targeted because she was a firm believer in following the rules. As suspect by suspect is crossed off the list, Skye worries the case will not be solved before they have to leave for the honeymoon- which might mean the case may never get solved.

Not only is Skye worried about the case, but her wedding cake turns into a disaster (could this be a bad omen?!), the ghost at her house is still preventing her and Wally from amorous activities, and May is being suspiciously quiet- which makes Skye worry what she has up her sleeve! Last but not least, Skye becomes aware that Simon, her ex, might be involved with another lady- and she feels amiss. Is there a slight green eyed monster in Skye?

Do Skye and Wally solve the case in time? Does the wedding happen with out any problems? Will Skye have packed the right type of clothes for her honeymoon? And just what does May have up her sleeve and should Skye be worried? All these and more questions will be answered in Murder of a Stacked Librarian!

Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

If you are a fan of the Scumble River series by Denise Swanson- you’ll enjoy this book. Skye is on the road to a happy life with Wally (or is she?!) and the antics and happenings of Scumble River are enough to keep a cozy mystery fan happy and entertained.

Denise Swanson writes a humorous story with a cast of characters that are known and loved by many.  Enjoyable, funny, and a good mystery!

*This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday Mashup

Hope everyone had a lovely Labor Day weekend! Mine was filled with family, sun and fun, bbq-ing, and laughs! Plus, some good book-ish time!



Traveling With T is giving away Emily Liebert’s YOU KNEW ME WHEN + a set of Zoya nail polish specifically created for the book. Book + nail polish set = #winning. Trust me- you WANT this. You really do 🙂

Happy Pub Day to Emily Liebert, by the way! Run, do not walk to nearest book store to get this book. Funny, sweet, and enjoyable- YOU KNEW ME WHEN is a great book to end the summer with and ease into the fall months!


Socrates’ Book Reviews is also giving away a copy of YOU KNEW ME WHEN!


Doing Dewey is giving away a copy of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist! **ENDS TODAY!


Book Club News

Book Lovers Unite is back at Jen S’s blog, Book-alicious Mama for September. Astor Place Vintage is the book- and here is the reading schedule! * Note: We’ll be back at Traveling With T for October- and I have 2 books that I’m trying to decide between- but rest assured, they will be good!


Want a different type of read for September? Maybe something non-fiction? You are in luck! The Book Wheel and Love at First Book have Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg as their book choice! I remember quite a buzz about this book when it was first released and I know Allison and Rebecca will have great comments to guide the discussion along- so if it’s been on your TBR list- check them out!


Did you miss out on The Perfume Collector online discussion last week at She Reads? Good news! I extended it a week due to Labor Day madness! So get over there while we discuss the nitty gritty of the book!


Twitter chats

I’m co-hosting a Literary New England chat with Cindy of Literary New England- Sept 25th! The book will be Hank Phillipi Ryan’s latest, The Wrong Girl! A little bird told me that there will be giveaways and other good things- so don’t miss out! Details: Sept 25th, 8pmEST, use #LNEchat as hashtag!


Other Book-ish news:

Happy pub day to BOTH Denise Swanson author of Murder of a Stacked Librarian AND Emily Liebert You Knew Me When!


She Reads will announce their September selection next Monday! It’s going to be good (but I can’t reveal what it’ll be!)



Author Spotlight: Denise Swanson

murder of stacked librarian

Today is the DAY! Murder of a Stacked Librarian is out! In stores! Go GET IT!


Author Spotlight: Denise Swanson

Denise- when not writing your own cozy mystery series- what cozy mysteries do you enjoy reading?

That’s always a tough question because I read so many, but to name a few Heather Webber/Blakes three series, Sara Rosett, Marcia Talley, and of course Carolyn Hart’s Dead on Demand series which inspired me to write.

Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

Although I’ve seen the movie, I’ve never read To Kill a Mocking Bird, and with the exception of Ten Little Indians, I really don’t like most of Agatha Christie’s books.

Do you have a #literarycrush? 

I’m pretty fickle. I usually crush on the hero of the book that I’m currently reading, but one constant crush is Rhett Butler. I like the intensity of his love for Scarlet even though she is seriously flawed.

If you could be best friends with a character in a book, who would you pick? And why?

That’s another tough one, but I’d have to say Darcy Merriweather from Heather Blake’s Wishcraft series. I like Darcy as a person, and her ability to grant wishes is hard to beat.

What books are you looking forward to reading in 2013?

The book I’ve been saving as a reward to myself when I finish Scumble River # 17 is Charlaine Harris’ Dead Ever After, the final book in the Sookie Stackhouse series.

How many books are on your to be read (TBR) list?

I have about a dozen physical books and too many to count on my e-reader. I also have a couple of manuscripts that I’m reading for possible cover quotes.

Interview with Denise Swanson, author of The Scumble River series

murder of stacked librarian

I’m a cozy mystery fan. Have been for years. The books are light and fluffy- but with a good mystery at it’s core. Plus the characters are funny and enjoyable!

This week, Denise Swanson’s latest, Murder of a Stacked Librarian, will be in stores! Denise found some time to come by and talk to me- so read the interview- then go buy the book!


Interview with Denise Swanson

Denise, how did you create the character Skye?

When I decided to write a mystery, a school psychologist as the main character seemed like a good idea. No one else was writing about that profession and as a school psychologist myself, I knew I could give readers a true idea of what it was like. I also thought the profession lent itself to being an ideal one for a sleuth as we are trained investigators and everyone tells us their secrets.


Scumble River is a fictional town set in the Midwest (near Chicago, IL). How did the idea of Scumble River happen?

I originally was going to set the books in my hometown of Coal City, but when I was offered a publication contract, my husband asked me if I had ever heard of the word lawsuit and suggested that I fictionalize the setting. Scumble River is inspired by Coal City, and the two neighboring towns of Braidwood and Wilmington. My mother grew up in Braidwood and I was a school psychologist in Wilmington for several years.


Murder of a Stacked Librarian is the latest book in the Scumble River series. How has Skye changed from the first of the series to now?

Skye has changed a great deal from her first appearance in Murder of a Small-Town Honey. In that book, she had just moved back to Scumble River after being jilted and fired. She had maxed out her credit cards and had only come home because she had no other options. Throughout the series, she’s learned what she really wants out of life and grown up a great deal.

Denise, do you have an idea how you will end the Scumble River series? Or will you keep writing for as long as you can?

I currently have no intentions of ending the series. For a while, I thought when Skye got married that would be the final book, but then I realized there is life (and sleuthing) after marriage. 😉

I’m finishing up the honeymoon book now and have a great idea for the 2015 book. The big question is will my publisher offer me a contract past the 2014 book, which is the last one I’m contracted to write. Penguin makes that decision based on overall sales, but even more on the first week sales. So the sales of Murder of a Stacked Librarian between September 3 and 7 will probably determine if I get to write about  the 2015 book or not.

Do you have a writing space or routine?

I’m fortunate to have an office, complete with a cat. My routine is to write from about 8 AM to 2 or 3 PM seven days a week. My goal is five pages, but if I can write seven that’s even better.

Can you reveal anything that is happening next for Skye?

Skye does get married in Murder of a Stacked Librarian, but I can say whether or not it’s to her current fiancé.  Her honeymoon is fabulous, but there is a big surprise waiting for her there.

The Dozier family is a set of characters that Skye interacts with often in the Scumble River series. What was the inspiration for the Dozier family?

Skye’s interactions with the Dooziers are inspired by many of my own experiences as a school psychologist. As I like to say, there’s a little Earl Doozier in everyone.

The 3rd book in the Dime Store Mystery series (your other cozy mystery series) will be released in spring of 2014. Will the next Scumble River be released in fall of 2014?

Dead Between the Lines, the third Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery comes out March 2014 and Scumble River # 17 will be out the first Tuesday of September 2014.


*Special thanks to Denise Swanson for agreeing to be interviewed!


denise swanson

Denise Swanson writes both the Scumble River Mystery series and Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery series. Connect with Denise on Facebook!


Cozy-riffic Cuties Book Club: Sign-up for July Read!

murder of small town honeyI love cozy mysteries. They are some of my favorite reads. The characters, the mysteries, the settings- cozy mysteries are good!

But, not everyone likes them, and while I have the pleasure of talking to some of the most interesting book-ish folks, I do miss out on talking to people about cozy mysteries. Luckily, being a member of Swanson’s Sleuths and reviewing other cozy mysteries with Cozy Mystery Reviews has put me in contact with fans of cozy books. Then I decided- why not create an online book club for cozy books?

So here it is: Cozy-riffic Cuties- an online book club to discuss cozy mysteries!

For July- we will be reading Murder of a Small-Town Honey by Denise Swanson. Since several people that expressed interest in the group has already read this book (many of us are Swanson’s Sleuths Street Team Members), July will be a bit different than other months. While we will discuss the book, we also will be discussing things like the main character, Skye, and how much she has changed over the course of the books in Scumble River series.

We will meet and discuss for 1 day during the month of July. Can’t make it that day? No problem- come and discuss when you can! Questions  about Murder of a Small-Town Honey will be posted July 30th.

August and September book selection has already been picked by me, as well- Kate Collins newest, Seed No Evil (in stores Aug 5th) will be August and September will be Denise Swanson’s newest- Murder of a Stacked Librarian (in stores Sept 4th).

For October- we will discuss what book to read!

Any questions/comments/concerns- please direct them to me.

I look forward to discussing cozy mysteries with you!