The Young Wives Club by Julie Pennell is a reminder to not hitch your wagon to someone else’s dream…

Photo Credit: Atria Books

Traveling With T purchased this book because of the cover and the blurb “for fans of The Divine Secrets of Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Desperate Housewives.”

The Young Wives Club

Summary: In Toulouse, Louisiana finding your one true love happens sometime around high school. If you’re lucky, he might be the man you thought he was. But as four friends are about to find out, not every girl has luck on her side in this charming debut novel perfect for fans of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Desperate Housewives.

Laura Landry’s quarterback husband was her ticket out of Toulouse. But when a devastating football injury sidelines him, they’re forced to move back to the small town she was so desperate to leave. As Brian starts drinking instead of rehabbing his knee, Laura must reevaluate what her future looks like…and if it includes her husband.

For years, Madison Blanchette has been waiting for bad-boy musician Cash Romero to commit to her. When wealthy George Dubois asks her out, she figures she may as well wait in style. Life with George means weekend trips to New Orleans, gourmet meals, and expensive gifts. At first she loves how George’s affection sparks Cash’s jealousy, but when George proposes to Madison, she finds herself torn between two men…

All Claire Thibodeaux wants is to be the perfect wife and mother. If she can do everything right she won’t end up like her mom, a divorced, single parent trying to make ends meet. But when Claire’s husband Gavin, a well-respected local pastor, starts spending late nights at work and less time in their bed, she can’t help but fear that history is about to repeat itself…

Gabrielle Vaughn never thought she’d end up with someone like her fiancé. The son of a prominent congressman, Tony Ford is completely out of her league—which is why she lied to him about everything from having a college degree to the dark truth about her family. She knows she has to come clean, but how do you tell the love of your life that your entire relationship is a lie?

As these young wives come together to help each other through life, love, and heartbreak, they discover that there are no easy answers when it comes to matters of the heart. Continue reading

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Literary Friday, ya’ll….

literary friday

Today is Literary Friday- the best day of the week!

I’ve got much to talk about- so let’s get to it!

1. First, before I get into the fun of #literaryfriday- Traveling With T has had a “face lift”- yes, a new theme has been applied! While Matala ( my paisely print theme had been a very good theme to me- I did love the bright colors!), the new theme, Sorbet, looks to be a winner. It’s a bit more customizable- even without having to buy all the upgrades, etc- so I hope Sorbet and I are happy for quite some time.

2. Deep South Magazine and their #literaryfriday- Wiley Cash interview (and giveaway of A DARK ROAD TO MERCY), 50 Books by Women Authors and much more!  Continue reading

Interview with Kim Foster- A Beautiful Heist Author

a beautiful heist

Photo credit: TLC Book Tours

Kim Foster was nice enough to find some time in her schedule to stop by, answer some questions about her debut book, A Beautiful Heist, her #literaryconfessions and #literarycrush- and many other things. Plus, we know she’s all cool and everything- because like most of us- she also has a bit of a Pinterest obsession!

Interview with Kim Foster:

1. What was the inspiration for A Beautiful Heist?

 I thought it would be fun to write a story about a woman who is basically a good person, but whose job happens to be entirely illegal. I personally love stories with criminal protagonists—heists and capers, with lots of action, and you find yourself rooting for the people who would traditionally be the villains. It’s a common setup for the big screen (Ocean’s Eleven, The Italian Job…) but I don’t see it in books very often. I thought it would be fascinating to explore what motivates people to either do good or do bad…and all the shades and nuances in between.

 2. From the beginning to end, how long did A Beautiful Heist take to write?

 I had the initial germ of the idea when my firstborn was about 1. He just turned 8. But the path to publication was long and convoluted (as I suspect it is for every writer) because over those years I had another baby, went through two literary agents, lived in the UK for a year, and wrote two entirely different versions of the story.

 3. Do you have a writing space? A writing routine?

 I’ve had to readjust my writing schedule many times—through various stages of motherhood, maternity leaves, and overseas moves. Currently my writing schedule starts at 5 am and I write until 7 am, when my day as a working mother begins (I’m a family doctor in my regular life). Recently I’ve been writing in the evening, too, after the kids are in bed…and then on the weekends, whenever I can sneak out to the nearest Starbucks.

 A coffee shop is my preferred writing space. The ambient sound, the comforting aroma, the endless supply of caffeine…but mostly I like to write in a café because there are no kids there. Well, that’s not strictly true–there are kids there, of course, but they don’t happen to be mine, and conveniently enough, nobody seems to need me to feed those kids or change their diapers or anything. It’s great.

 4. Are any of the characters based on people in real life? Or just figments of your imagination?


Some of the characters are inspired by people in real life—not wholesale, but little pieces of them, stitched together with other bits, like Frankenstein. My protagonist, Cat, has a rival in this story, Brooke—and she’s an amalgamation of all the mean girls I’ve encountered in my life. Most characters, though, are pure figments of my imagination.

5. Kim, do you enjoy hearing from fans about their thoughts of the book?

Yes, of course! If I wasn’t interested in hearing what people think, I might have been satisfied leaving this story on my hard drive, for my own entertainment alone.

 It’s especially fun to hear people’s feelings about the love triangle in A Beautiful Heist. I’ve heard from a few readers about this recently, and it’s so fascinating. A friend—someone I would have pegged as Team Jack—just told me she was totally Team Ethan, so we giggled about that.  

 6. Do you want A Beautiful Heist to be made into a movie one day? If so, who are the actors that would comprise your dream cast?

 That would be a dream come true. And to be honest, I’ve thought about it a lot, because my book is very visual and the scenes have plenty of action. I created Pinterest pages, in fact, for my dream cast for the major characters, and wrote a post on my blog about that when I was counting down to book launch.

 For Cat, my protagonist, I see Rachel McAdams, or maybe Emily Blunt. Jack (her FBI agent ex-boyfriend): Hugh Jackman or Eric Bana. Ethan (the charming art thief): Chris Pine, perhaps, or Bradley Cooper. 

7. Are you working on another book? If so, can you tell us what the book is about?

 A Beautiful Heist is the first book in the Agency of Burglary & Theft series, so I’m absolutely working on the next stories. I just sent the manuscript for the second book to my editor this week, actually.

 In book two (which is slated for publication in June 2014), you’ll see Cat’s adventures become even more international—the story is set, in large part, in Paris. The heists in the next stories get even bigger (she goes after a very famous target in book two—and it’s something everyone has heard of) and the personal stakes get deeper. She comes face to face with some of her deepest fears and has to struggle with those, while attempting to pull off an impossible job. As far as romance goes: sadly, I don’t make things easy for Cat. Let’s just say the love triangle that emerges in book one gets a lot more pointy in subsequent books.

 8. Could you tell us some of your favorite authors?

 I have eclectic tastes in fiction, and there are so many fabulous authors out there it’s hard to narrow it down. That said, I love Kate Morton and Diana Gabaldon and Ken Follett. Philip Pullman and JK Rowling are the masters when it comes to combining action and suspense with humor. I recently read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and that book rocked my world, to be honest, so I’d like to read more of her. Probably my all-time favorite author, though, is Jane Austen.

 9. What book (or books!) will you always make room for on your shelf?

 Well, this is an ongoing problem, of course, because who has the room for all the wonderful books out there? Actually, I thought I’d solved this problem once, because my husband and I opened a secondhand bookstore in Vancouver several years ago—and for a little while I had the most kickass personal library. It was great fun running that store. But, alas, we had to sell it when life became crazy with the birth of our first son.

 Our house now has bookshelves covering pretty much every spare wall. Technology has provided the most recent answer to the bookshelf space conundrum, however, in the form of my beloved e-reader. Hundreds of books in my purse!

 10. Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

 My #literaryconfession is that I’m not a very fast reader. And it’s not for lack of trying; I’ve read tons of books throughout my life. But somehow I just didn’t get that gene. My dad and my sisters have the lightning fast reading gene—my baby sister can polish off a book standing in the bookstore (something I’ve scolded her for: give the author the sale, for crying out loud!).

11. Do you have a #literarycrush?

 Jamie Fraser, hands down. And both of the Darcy reincarnations (Mr. in Pride and Prejudice, and Mark  in Bridget Jones).  *Editor’s note: For those that have been living under a rock like me- Jamie Fraser is from Outlander.

12. What are some of the books that will be in your beach bag for 2013?
A Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling has been sitting on my TBR list for a few months, so I’m pretty excited to dive into that. Also, I’m curious to try A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. And I’ve been meaning to read something by Sarah Jio for a while; her stuff has piqued my interest. Maybe Blackberry Winter, or The Last Camellia. We’re taking our boys on a road trip to California this summer, so I’m positively salivating to do a little beach reading.

*Special thanks to Kim Foster for this interview.

kim foster

Photo credit: TLC Book Tours

For more information on Kim, visit her Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, and website.

Want to win a copy of  A Beautiful Heist? Sure you do! Visit Traveling With T’s review of A Beautiful Heist– leave a comment and an email address- and you are entered to win! *Note this is book is in e-book format only.

Monday Mashup

It’s been a while since I’ve done a mashup- so I’m bringing it back!

#giveaways:

A Novel Review is giving away THE LAKE HOUSE by Marci Nault (! Day left to enter- so get those entries in there!)

#onlinebookclubnews

The Book Wheel and Love at First Book are still rocking on with their nonfiction pick for May. If nonfiction floats your boat- then there is still time to join in on the fun!

Traveling With T  (that’s me!) and Book-alicious Mama are working hard on getting RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA ready for June. Thanks to a special person, I hope to have blog buttons by June.  Plans for the hashtag #bookloversunite will be revealed on Friday.

Southern Lit Lovers on Goodreads are discussing Julie Kibler’s CALLING ME HOME. If you missed the chance to talk about it with me at She Reads- do stop by Goodreads.

My review of CALLING ME HOME by Julie Kibler.

#justgoodnews

The Book Wheel has started her own literary consulting company. Read her blog post for the details.

On Danna Pycher’s blog- I was given a lovely shout-out for my interview with Danna that posted on Friday. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

More good news for me: I won an autographed copy of TIME FLIES by Claire Cook– I don’t think I even need to explain how excited I was since TIME FLIES since it made my Beach Bag Reads list!

#books

I reviewed THE COTTAGE AT GLASS BEACH today. Beautiful cover, good book, mystery and intrigue- worth a read!

Do you like a little chill in your reading for the summer? Marybeth Whalen, co-creator of She Reads, has got a list of summer reads for you then! Looking over the list of A Little Chill in the Summer– I already have marked to read LIE STILL by Julia Heaberlin- looks like I have more to add!

I created a Book Signings board on Pinterest- go check it out- it’s every book signing that I’ve been to!

Last week was Bout of Books– here is how my week went with that!

LASTLY: Twitter chat with CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE, author of ORPHAN TRAIN  Thursday, May 23 at 8pmEST. Use #srchat to join in! It’ll be fun and fabulous!

My review of ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline

Literary Friday, ya’ll…..

I know my #literaryfriday is 2 days late; but I still wanted to post about it!

Got lots of news so read on!

1. Deep South Mag has their #literaryfriday- and it’s just filled with good things. Foreign movie posters ( you just have to see the Gone With the Wind one!) and good news for us folks awaiting the new Spring/Summer Reading List- it comes out VERY soon!

2. She Reads & Southern Lit Lovers (on Goodreads) are teaming up for some VERY exciting news in March!

3. Tomorrow (Monday) is the beginning of the Calling Me Home discussion on She Reads. The discussion will be led by me- and it’ll be going all week! We’re going to talk about the book, who we think would be perfect in the roles if Calling Me Home was a movie, and much more!

4. She Reads is on Pinterest now! So check them out there! Interesting boards to check out: Calling Me Home Board, Our Pretty Peepers, Our Furry Muses and The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow

5. The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow will be She Reads March Book Club pick. Look over the Pinterest board, grab a copy, get ready for a Twitter discussion (Date TBD) and join me at the end of March as I lead the discussion!

6. My #fridayreads is American Ghost by Janis Owens- what was your #fridayreads?

Happy Reading!

Literary Friday ya’ll…

I’ve been so terrible about posting lately. Apologies to all.

#literaryfriday is the word of the day. As usual- I like to post some of the best news that I see around for this day.

1. Deep South Magazine and their #literaryfriday: this week contains news about new author chat NEXT Friday (November 2). Michael Morris author of A Man in a Blue Moon. The book is in my possesion- it’s on my TBR list- I just haven’t yet. Hearing good things about the book, though. Erin from Deep South Mag really goes above and beyond the call- she picks some of the best people. The chats are informative and interesting.

Other #literaryfriday tidbits: Deep South Magazine has a Literary Trail App- because when you are traveling it’s always nice to know what literary greats attractions are nearby. The app can be purchased on Itunes- however, that sweet author Erika Robuck (who is a fan of Deep South Magazine and author of Hemingway’s Girl) is giving away a free download of the DSM Literary Trail App. Either check out Deep South Magazine Literary Friday or Erika Robuck’s blog to find out how to enter. Good luck!

In need of a costume ideas? Check out the #litmajorhalloweeencostumes. Thanks to Deep South Magazine for posting this hashtag- should be a fun way to get costume ideas!

A fan of Pinterest? Like literary themed Pinterest pages? Deep South Magazine has a Literary Friday Pinterest page!

2. October is pumpkin time. I love pumpkins. And today is National Pumpkin Day. So in honor of National Pumpkin Day- curl up with Kimberly Brock’s The River Witch (trust me- it’s def a book you read on National Pumpkin Day) and enjoy.

3. A big THANK YOU to Erika Marks for calling in to my book club to discuss her debut novel- Little Gale Gumbo. Warmed my heart to no end. If you’ve read the book- chime in with thoughts of it. I’d love to hear other people’s opinions!

4. What is your #fridayreads? Mine is Iced by Carol Higgins Clark!

Happy Reading and have a great weekend!