Beth Albright, author of Christmas In Dixie, shares her favorite Christmas memories! + Giveaway!

 

 

Christmas in Dixie by Beth Albright

Today, I have Beth Albright stopping by to talk about her favorite Christmas memories. You might remember Beth from her books The Sassy Belles, Wedding Belles, Sleigh Belles and Saved by The Belles.

 

So sit down and let Beth’s tale of Christmas memories out you in the holiday spirit!

Christmas Memories by Beth Albright

I have always felt particularly blessed when it comes to Christmas memories. I have so many wonderful memories from childhood. They are sprinkled with stardust, filled with magic and laughter. I can honestly remember every year during the school Christmas party, I would look around my classroom filled with snaggle-toothed third graders and the smell of construction paper and paste and think how sorry I felt for all those poor children—they weren’t going to get to be at my Nanny’s house for Christmas. How in the world did I get so lucky? I always felt like I had won a prize—I got my family and no one else did. Continue reading

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Bloggers LOVE Belles… Sassy Belles!

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Last summer, when Beth Albright’s debut, THE SASSY BELLES, made Deep South Magazine’s Summer Reading List- I had a good feeling about Beth. As bookish fate would happen, I was not the only one who felt this way- I found 2 other bloggers who adore Beth and her Sassy Belles just as much! Over the past few months, as we each have read the trilogy and the follow up novella- tweets and emails have been flying back and forth over the interwebs about how much we like this character, or how this character has changed so much, or how sweet some of the scenes in the books are! Continue reading

Gift Ideas for Book Lovers (Part 2)

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This weekend, with the temps dipping down in the 40’s during the day- and even colder at night, the holiday visions danced even more in my head.

If they were dancing in your head as well- here are some more suggestions for books for the book lovers in your life!

To read part 1, visit here!

 

Women’s Fiction

Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman

looking for me

Photo Credit: Amazon

My first Beth Hoffman book- and boy was it a treat. Beth wrote a book that made me laugh and cry- and feel good and warm and fuzzy. Her main character, Teddi, was a character with flaws, and tons of potential. Teddi is also dealing with an incredible loss. She’s real and honest and lovable. Here is my review of Looking For Me.

 

Time Flies by Claire Cook

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Photo Credit: Amazon

High school reunions make some feel nostalgic, others feel nauseous. Claire Cook takes a rite of passage and spins a story that is funny- but sweet. Her character Melanie is dealing with a divorce- and finding out that life does not end- in fact, it may get better. Here is my review of Time Flies.

 

A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Susan Rebecca White tells this story with such feeling and emotion. Her characters, the storylines- all worth reading. This story reminds people of what life and love is really about- and how we, as people, want to have someone in our corner- someone who sees the real us- and accepts us 100%. Here is my review of A Place At The Table.

 

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapirio

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Love, lust, betrayal….. and the art world. Fantastic story- a mystery, a story divided into 3 sections- and art. Claire is flawed- she’s made mistakes. She’s also paid for her mistakes by being blackballed in the art world. When she makes a deal with the devil- will Claire come out on top? Or even more of a pariah? Here is my review of The Art Forger.

 

Finding Colin Firth by Mia March

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Mia March’s 2nd book, Finding Colin Firth, is the same bubbly goodness that readers came to expect from her after Meryl Streep Movie Club. Plus, who doesn’t like Colin Firth? Highly recommended for readers who just want to be entertained! Here is my review of Finding Colin Firth.

 

NonFiction

 

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

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Photo Credit: Goodreads

The story of Steph Davis- the things she overcame to find happiness- all with a dog by her side and the notion to learn to be a skydiver- something that goes against her climber personality. Steph’s story is an interesting one- and one that is worth a read. Here is my review of Learning to Fly.

 

Gods of Mischief: My Undercover Vendetta to Take Down The Vagos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang by George Rowe

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Photo Credit: Goodreads

Tough. Gritty. Entertaining. Interesting. The insider look into a tough motorcycle gang is not a story for the soft-hearted. It’s tough at times- but overall, nonfiction lovers will enjoy. Here is my review of Gods of Mischief.

 

Romance

 

The Sassy Belles by Beth Albright

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Photo Credit: Goodreads

When Blake O’Hara Heart’s best friend forever, Vivi, gets herself into a bit of trouble- Blake is there to rescue her. And Blake learns plenty about life, love, and teaches the readers about the  power of friendship along the way! If you like your characters with lots of sass and fun- this is a book for you.  Here is my review of The Sassy Belles (along with my review of Wedding Belles and Sleigh Belles– the other 2 books in this fun trilogy.)

 

 

Sleigh Belles by Beth Albright

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Photo Credit: Harlequin

 

In the previous two books, Sassy Belles and Wedding Belles, the lovely Dallas Dubois has shown the readers just how far she will go to get the story (or a man!) Dallas, while beautiful, has not shown the readers (or the people of Tuscaloosa) that she is the kind of woman to be friends with or to trust. But, if you know women like Dallas, most often- there is a reason for their behavior.  Sleigh Belles tells Dallas’s story- and makes readers who may have wanted to strangle Dallas in previous books- love and understand Dallas. Similar to how Emily Giffin showed the other side of Darcy in Something Blue– Beth Albright shows that there is more to Dallas than the self-centered, beautiful package that Dallas appears.

Dallas is not happy. She’s weeks away from finding out if she will be the new anchor or will be looking for a new job- and would rather have her beautiful hair cut by Edward Scissorhands than become the director of children’s Christmas play. But, the director is sick and Dallas’s boss insists that she take the reigns. So, she does- and hopes it’ll not be as bad as she thinks. Turns out, it’s worse. The children aren’t listening and Cal Hollingsworth- a friend of Lewis, Blake and Vivi- being around is causing Dallas frustration. Cal is the boy that Dallas had a secret crush on in high school- and Dallas is trying to keep her cool around him because they are different as night and day.

Cal is not exactly pleased to see Dallas, either. Oh his eyes enjoy the curvy goodness of Dallas- but he remembers her as the Ice Queen and it seems that she has not changed as he watches her interactions with the children. One day, though, Dallas encounters a girl that pulls at her heart strings- and reminds her of life from long ago. Seeing Dallas soften makes Cal wonder if he misjudged Dallas- and the two decide to get better acquainted.

As Cal and Dallas begin to spend more time together, they find themselves falling in love. Until Dallas gets some blasts from the past that cause her to begin putting the walls back up that she had just let down. Will Cal and Dallas find happy ever after? Or will Dallas always be unlucky in love?

Dallas’s personal life is a mess- and her professional life is almost as messy. She’s worried about the anchor job and wonders what will happen if she does not get the job. When someone steals Baby Jesus from the Nativity scene of a Tuscaloosa resident- Dallas is on the case, even though she’d much rather have the harder news stories. Could the missing Baby Jesus help lead Dallas to happiness?

 

Traveling With T’s Thoughts

Sleigh Belles, by far, is the most heartwarming of the Sassy Belles series. While the other 2 books have more humor, fun and sass- Sleigh Belles tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. The reader learns more about Dallas’s past and why Dallas is the way she is. Beth Albright had to dig deep and work hard to show that there is way more to Dallas than the hair and the body that won’t quit- but, by golly, she did.

And not to worry- there is plenty of mention of those 2 Sassy Belles- Blake and Vivi- but this book is mostly Dallas’s time to shine and to learn that love and friendship have been closer than she ever imagined.

Recommended for readers who want something sweet and heartwarming to read during the holidays- with a heavy dash of romance. Grab a copy of Sleigh Belles and a cup of hot chocolate- and enjoy a story that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

 

Literary Friday ya’ll……

It’s Friday- the weekend is almost here- we can almost touch it!

 

1. Deep South Magazine and their #literaryfriday: Louisiana Book Festival wrap-up (plus a picture of me, Erin and Rita Leganski!), a video of Erin interviewing Shirley Ann Grau, a #giveaway of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, and much more!

Next week (when I finally get all my pics uploaded and organized), I’ll be posting about my first time experience at the Louisiana Book Festival- but Deep South Mag’s is EXCELLENT!

 

2. Blog Talk: Today, Rebecca at Love First Book gives us access to this cute printable blog planners! Maybe you are more of a digital person- and that’s great! But wouldn’t it be nice to have 1 binder where all your bloggy stuff is? Use the printables! Get organized. Your blog will thank you! Want more Blog Talk? Check out my Thursday Mashup– there’s talk of how to increase traffic, blog tips and much more (all thanks to other bloggers who are kicking butt and taking names in the bloggy world!)

 

3. Giveaway news: Closed the Cover and Book2Buzz teamed up to create a fantastic giveaway- and I, Traveling With T, is part of it! Visit here for the details! Want more giveaway? See my Thursday Mashup for other giveaway news!

 

4. Last night I was reading a few blogs and looking over some others that I’d been meaning to check out- The Book Musings was one of those I’d meaning to look at. I noticed a blog post in her Top Posts and Pages titled Please Don’t Reblog Our Content- so I clicked on it to read. M talks about how she does not care for the WordPress feature of re-blogging a post for a variety of reasons- but mainly because she works hard on having unique content at her blog. I had never actually even thought about this- but after reading her views, I’m curious as to what other people think. Re-blog or not? Should you ASK the blog before you re-blog?

I have re-blogged a few things in my time- bloggy friends post and the likes. I’ve always considered it a shout-out (since if you click to read, it directs you to the original website post). For Book Lovers Unite, before my co-host had to take a break- re-blogging worked great for us to make sure fans of our blogs were aware that new discussion questions had been posted. However, I’ve also had a negative experience- I wrote a post about Chick Lit and Body Image- and a bloggy friend re-blogged it. Months later a person commented on the post being negative and thinking that the people who re-blogged the post actually wrote it (their blog was about getting Men to read books).

Re-blogging is a feature I don’t mind- but use responsibly. Think about target audiences and if someone asks you to remove the re-blogged content, respect their wishes.

 

5. Week 1 Discussion Questions about Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfearn. Join in the discussion! This book is fast-paced and exciting!

 

6. What are your #fridayreads? I’m reading Sleigh Belles by Beth Albright. I’m in the mood for a mystery- any suggestions?

 

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

Beth Albright: Author Spotlight

9780778315285_p0_v2_s260x420Ready to find out about Beth Albright- her #literarycrush, her #literaryconfessions, Southern writers that she just gushes over? Grab a salty margarita and get ready to find out all that and so much more!

 

Author Spotlight with Beth Albright

 

Beth, when you are not writing- what are some of your favorite things to do?

I love to take pictures! I am never without my camera and literally have thousands of photos, many of my son, but also so many of nature! Living in California, the dramatic scenery beckons and I am always trying to capture it! If not taking pics or writing, you can find me at the movies! I am a movie fanatic!

 

Could you tell us some of your favorite authors?

I love Mary Kay Andrews! Also Dorothea Benton Frank and Patti Callahan Henry. I read them regularly. And who doesn’t LOVE Janet Evanovich? Early on, when I sent the book to family and friends, so many of them told me I sounded just like a Stephanie Plum novel!! One of my best compliments ever!! I was reading Plantation by Dorothea Benton Frank when I scribbled my first words down. She was an inspiration. Also, I have nearly all of Mary Kay’s books. Hissy Fit was an early inspiration as well. I also love Emily Giffin’s novels. Also, I just LOVE humorist Celia Rivenbark! Have every one of her books—sidesplitting, I swear- you will wet your pants!

 

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

The classics, so I can look at them and pretend I read them ALL!

 

Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

I have so many! I always wanted to read ALL the classics– alas, when I am in the ever- after, I will have time.

(See question above 🙂 )

 

Do you have a #literarycrush? (Joe Morelli from Stephanie Plum series is one of mine!)

OMYGOSH, he is mine! But then there’s Ranger…MMMMMM! I like those mysterious chivalrous types. But truly, I love my own hero of Sonny Bartholomew so much. I found myself flying when I was writing about him…getting out 5000 words a day! He makes me very excited!

 

What are some of the books that will be in your beach bag for 2013?

Just bought the new Dorothea Benton Frank novel, The Last Original Wife, just finished Patti Callahan Henry’s new novel, And Then I Found You. Adding Mary Kay’s new one, Ladies’ Night. And oh yeah, I’ll be working on my next trilogy, first one due in the fall.

 

What was your favorite childhood book?

Loved Charlotte’s Web. So emotional. I read it several times, over and over.

 

Was there a person or a book series that helped start your love of reading?

I would say it was Dorothea Benton Frank and all her Low Country tales. I wanted to be just like her. I was not a big reader till I stopped talking…for a living! Haha. When I left talk radio, I started reading and I wanted to read Southern books. I began with hers and migrated to include Mary Kay Andrews. Now my first review, from Booklist, May 1st, actually compares me to Mary Kay Andrews! I nearly had a fit!!!

 

If you were not an author, what would you want to be?

Okay, I know this is crazy, but if I had anything to choose from, I would love to be one of the professional dancers on Dancing With The Stars! Also, I would go nuts to act on Broadway…which I could soooo do, if I wasn’t in a musical. Nobody wants to hear me sing!

 

If you could be a character in a book, who would you be? Why?

I can’t even narrow it down. All the typical ones come to mind, but I like some of the female characters in Emily Giffin’s novels too. I like strong women but I like really feminine women who are ok with being a woman and letting the man be the man, like Stephanie Plum! Oh, too many to choose from.

 

Being a former Days of Our Lives actress and now an author- how different are the worlds? Did your Days experience give you insight into writing? Into meeting fans and other people?

The worlds are very, very different. While I did love acting, I missed the live audience of talk radio. That’s why I love stage acting so much! The audience is right there and I love the live element of both the stage and talk radio! Days Of Our Lives didn’t really give me any insight into novel writing, but it did help with script writing—two very different things.

Talk radio best prepared me to meet the readers as I did so many live broadcasts in malls and everywhere from local to remote shows broadcast live from Hollywood, CA. I loved those Hollywood shows where I would do my show live with, who else…Soap Opera stars! I loved the idea of playing a bad girl and never messing up my make-up!

 

#Giveaway time! A copy of The Sassy Belles could be headed your way (perfect for that beach vacation or just lounging by the pool!)  To win a copy of The Sassy Belles– tell me one thing you love about Southern Belles! The #giveaway is open to US only (sorry!) and you MUST provide your email in the comment section. You may use (AT) and (DOT) (example: iheartbooks (AT) gmail (DOT) com)  as you write your email in the comment section. Comments without an email will not be considered in the #giveaway.

The #giveaway will run from Friday June 21- through Friday, June 28th at 11:59pmEST. Winner will be notified by email on Monday, July 1.

 

 

154-XLBeth Albright, author of The Sassy Belles, can be found tweeting to her fans on Twitter, talking on her Facebook page, or hanging out at her website. The next 2 books in the series are Wedding Belles (out July 30th) and Sleigh Belles (to be released later in 2013).