Gift Ideas for Book Lovers (Part 2)


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

time flies

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

a place at the table

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

the art forger

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

finding coling firrth1

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.




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

learning to fly fb

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

gods of mischief fb

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.




The Sassy Belles by Beth Albright


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.)



Thursday Mashup

Mashup, Mashup, Mashup!


1. Leah’s Thoughts is giving away a copy of The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim. Jolina is adorable on Twitter- she’s so excited about her novel!


2. Amy Sue Nathan is featuring Mia March today on her website (wonder what those 2 smart and wonderful women are talking about?!) Come find out and read Mia’s post: Author Mia March Edits As She Writes, Loves Women’s Fiction, And Celebrates Her Kinship With Authors


3. Book-Alicious Mama is still in Week 1 of discussing The Painted Girls! Come, join my adorable Book Lovers Unite co-host, and let’s chat about The Painted Girls!


4. Deep South Magazine is chatting with Susan Rebecca White, author of A PLACE AT THE TABLE, Fri, July 19th 2-3pm EST. Use #southernlit to join in! Can’t wait? Here is my interview with Susan Rebecca White!


5.  For more #giveaway information- check out my Wednesday Mashup!




Interview with Susan Rebecca White author of A Place At The Table

Susan Rebecca White, author of A Place At The Table, stopped by to answer a few questions.

a place at the tableIf you have not read A Place At The Table– go immediately to the nearest bookstore and buy it. Borrow it from library or a friend! Just get your hands on this book. Trust me.


Interview with Susan Rebecca White:

Susan, what was the inspiration for A PLACE AT THE TABLE?

Though A Place at the Table is a work of fiction, and neither Bobby Banks nor Alice Stone are stand-ins for Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis, the seeds of inspiration did indeed come from the friendship between Scott and Edna, dubbed “the odd couple of southern cooking.” Miss Lewis has now gone on to her glory, but back in the day she and Scott were great friends, despite the many outward differences between them, most notably race and age. Raised in a community of freed slaves in Virginia, Miss Lewis was over fifty years older than Scott, a young white boy who hailed from a tiny town in Alabama. The two bonded over cooking. Eventually they wrote a cookbook together, The Gift of Southern Cooking, which is a fantastic record of the South’s long and esteemed culinary tradition and heritage, the roots of which come from Africa.

My mom gave me a copy of The Gift of Southern Cooking when it was first published, and I fell in love both with the recipes and the story of Scott and Edna’s friendship. That was long before I ever thought I might write a novel inspired by the two of them. Instead I cooked nearly every recipe in the book, especially when I was living in San Francisco, far from my native South. I would make Scott and Edna’s roast duck stuffed with red rice or something simpler, cheese straws or preacher’s cookies. Doing so allowed me to be back in the South, at least while eating.

This is a long way of saying that while I had my own story to tell in this novel, I wanted to pay homage to Scott and Edna’s atypical and beautiful friendship, to shed light on the unexpected connections between us, rather than the things that keep us divided and suspicious of one another.


The characters of Alice and Bobby were inspired by the real life friendship of chefs Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock. Was Amelia or Kate inspired by any real life people? Or are they created from your imagination?

On some levels every single character I write about contains some element of me within them. I guess stating that is to admit that I have many flaws, because my characters are all far from perfect! When I was writing the character of Amelia I was living in the carriage house of my good friends Peter and Bruce, and spending a lot of time with their family, including their daughters Teagan and Olivia. I got to participate in the daily routines of life with young kids: the afternoon bike rides, the early dinners, the bath time rituals before getting to choose a treat for dessert, the stories read and songs sung before bed. I loved the gentle rhythm of family life (though my friend Peter would laugh at my use of the word “gentle” to describe getting his girls to bed—they often fight hard against the day ending.) My time with Teagan and Olivia really influenced my understanding of the type of mother Amelia was to her two girls. I wrote lots and lots of detailed scenes showing Amelia raising her kids, but I ended up cutting a lot of those scenes because while they were important for me to understand, they weren’t important to show the reader in order to carry the story forward. But having written about Amelia as a mother helped me to better know her as a woman. I guess what I’m trying to say is that my personal experience with my friends’ kids helped me build the character of Amelia.

As for Editor Kate, well she’s sort of my ideal. I’ve known a few women like Kate in my life, women who are utterly competent and forthright. Women who make it a point of pride to always keep their word, to be someone their friends and family can rely on.  This type of woman doesn’t let society define who she is—or at least she resists definition. For example, Kate doesn’t mind being traditional (she has prepared many dinners for her husband) but she also has no qualms breaking all types of boundaries in terms of the work she does and the space she makes for herself in the world. Through Kate I wrote a model of a woman I would one day like to be.


Have we, as readers, heard the last from Bobby, Amelia and others in A PLACE AT THE TABLE? Or are you open to revisiting those characters in a future book, perhaps?

Oh wow, I haven’t ever thought about writing a sequel to this book but I appreciate the question because it makes me think you want to read more! I would certainly be interested in knowing what happens to both Amelia and Bobby over the next fifteen years. I have a feeling that Bobby will settle down with another partner at some point. Maybe he’ll even become a dad. As for Amelia, I think her life will be much calmer than it was when she was with Cam. She’ll live lower on the hog but she’ll be happier, more content. The problem is that happy and content lives aren’t always the most interesting to write about. So I wouldn’t hold your breath for a sequel, but I can promise you that there will be another novel from me. I’m working on it now!



*Special thanks to Susan Rebecca White for answering the questions and to Al for her help as well.


susan rw

 Susan Rebecca White is working on her next novel. For more information on Susan, please visit her website.



* Traveling With T’s review of A Place At The Table can be found here.

Thursday Mashup

#giveaways, reviews, another place to buy books, and interviews.  Plus news for Book Lovers Unite Online Book Club.


My blog (Traveling With T) is giving away The Guest House by Erika Marks. Ends Thursday night 11:59PMEST.

Book-alicious Mama is giving away A Hundred Summers.

Great New Books is giving away Sarah Jio’s latest The Last Camellia and Sarah Jio talks about Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Joshilyn Jackson is giving away Susan Rebecca White’s latest, A Place at the Table.

Bermudaonion is giving away an autographed copy of Mary Kay Andrews Ladies’ Night.

Anita Loves Books is giving away THE YONAHLOSEE RIDING CAMP FOR GIRLS by Anton DiScalafani.

Read Alongs

Can’t find anyone to read and discuss A Hundred Summer by Beatriz Williams with? Let Literate Housewife save you. During month of July she’s leading a discussion. Check her blog out (all the details you need to know are there!)

Have you been reading with Book Lovers Unite Online Book Club? Our inaugural pick, Reconstructing Amelia, has been a blast. It’s not too late to join in- we still have 2 weeks left & I have a super-duper surprise lined up! So grab those copies of Reconstructing Amelia and join in!

Jen, my co-host, at Book-alicious Mama has picked the July book for Book Lovers United- The Painted Girls! Reading schedule and other info to be announced later.

Other Places To Buy Books

Crossroads Press! – You can purchase e-books (for multiple devices) and paperback books have a discount automatically applied. Right now, there are several e-books for 99 cents. Consider giving them a look- you might find something you like at a good price.


Interview with Marybeth Whalen

Interview with Beth Albright


Island Girls by Nancy Thayer

The Widow Waltz by Sally Koslow



A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White

a place at the tableSusan Rebecca White’s A PLACE AT THE TABLE is a story that is entertaining- it has family drama, social issues, being at peace with yourself and your past and food- glorious food.

The main characters of the story are Bobby, a young gay man originally from Georgia and Amelia, a posh woman from Connecticut. Alice, a chef and author, originally from North Carolina- is a character that is also very central to the story. While at first the reader will not understand the connection between the 3 characters, Susan Rebecca White creates a story that connects them in a way that is memorable.

Bobby and his life in Georgia is good- but Bobby knows as he grows older that he is different. Being different is not something he wants, and yet- he must be true to himself. As his story is revealed bit by bit, the reader finds out exactly how he came to live in New York City- and how love and acceptance of him made a difference in Bobby’s life.

Amelia, a mother of teenager girls, is living with her husband in Connecticut. Amelia suspects things about her husband- and yet, she loves him. With the girls being out of the house, Amelia has a firsthand look at how her life could be and how it is- and she makes a choice.

A Place at the Table takes characters that on the surface have nothing in common- except that they are humans- and yet as the story goes- each character has plenty in common- a need for nourishment for the stomach and soul, a need to find a place where they can be- no judgments. These characters face trials and tribulations- but, they form connections with the reader- and the reader wants to know what happens next and wants them to find their “place at the table”.

A Place at the Table is a book that makes the reader think, think about social issues, think about love, finding yourself, being true to yourself. As you read, you’ll find that you understand the characters and their need for nourishment, their desire to find places of love and acceptance. After the book is finished, it will be a book that stays in a person’s thoughts for days.



A Place at the Table was provided to me by Touchstone Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are mine alone.

Literary Friday, ya’ll…..

Friday. Ahhhh…..

1. Deep South Mag and their #literaryfriday: Sinning across the South, book signings and more!

2. Boston Herald reveals it’s Summer Book Club: 10 hot reads to pack in your beach bag. The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan made the list- which I’m super excited about because I won an ARC from the adorable Sarah McCoy, author of The Baker’s Daughter. Look for my review of The Engagements to be posted in a couple of weeks!

3. A Novel Review is giving away Sarah Jio’s newest book, The Last Camellia!

4.  She Reads featured today The Blog Network Recommends– 3 great sounding books were recommended- The Last Camellia, The Third Son, and The Outcast.

5. Drey’s Library is also giving away The Last Camellia by Sarah Jio (plus she has a fabulous interview with her!)

6. Today, Traveling With T, began Book Lovers Unite Online Book Club– come join in the fun as we talk about Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. The questions for Week 1 discussion have been posted- so plenty of time to join in!

7. ICYMI: I reviewed Never Tell by Alafair Burke and Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman this week.

8. My #fridayreads are Reconstructing Amelia and A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White.

9. Traveling With T will have #giveaways next week! Come and visit 🙂 A Cookbook Conspiracy by Kate Carlisle will be given away MONDAY JUNE 3rd. Don’t miss it!


Happy Reading!