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

Bloggers LOVE Belles… Sassy Belles!

bloggers love belles

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)


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.)



The Sassy Belles by Beth Albright


Photo Credit: Provided by Author

Meet Blake O’Hara Heart. Southern Belle from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. Lover of pearls, Alabama football, sweet tea and family (not necessarily in that order!) And fiercely protective of her best friend forever, Vivi. And boy, does Vivi need some protecting after the latest mess she’s found herself in!

It’s Blake O’Hara Heart’s 10 year anniversary with her husband, Harry, and she’s planning on asking him a biq question. But when her best friend, Vivi, and fellow Sassy Belle calls to say she need her, Blake lets thoughts of anniversary and other topics fly out the window. When Blake and Harry arrive at Mother’s (Blake’s grandmothers house- plus the place where you go to escape your problems), Vivi is beside herself. Vivi thinks she has killed a man during a certain vigorous romp at the Fountain Mist hotel. Not just any man, though. Lewis Heart, voice of the Crimson Tide and Harry’s estranged brother.

Vivi, Blake and Harry go back to the hotel to check on Lewis; only, there is no body. Did Lewis walk away? Did someone else see fit to hurt Lewis? Is Lewis on another get rich quick scheme? When the police get called, Blake is happy to see her long ago sweetheart, Sonny (and he’s pretty happy to see her!) Sparks still fly between Blake and Sonny- but Blake is a good girl. Or is she?

As news gets out that Lewis is missing, people worry and wonder. After all, football season is fast approaching and the fans need the voice! Dallas, a shapely and beautiful reporter, makes finding Lewis her top priority- which just drives Blake crazy, because she knows that Dallas has an ulterior motive. Dallas does make time for 1 more thing besides finding Lewis, which prompts Blake to do some more long term thinking of her future.

The search continues for Lewis and Blake feels unsettled. Not herself. Her marriage is not what she wants it to be- and Harry doesn’t seem to be able to help fix it. Blake begins to wonder about the future and sparks flying with Sonny is only showing her how different she wishes her marriage was.

Blake’s got her hands full- worrying about her marriage, trying to find Lewis, and keeping a shady land developer from bulldozing a treasured landmark. However, if anyone can handle it, it’s Blake. After all, she is a Sassy Belle!

Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

Beth Albrights uses words like paint to create a picture of The Sassy Belles in action- fun, friendship, and sisterhood. With her descriptions of scenes in Alabama and the characters themselves- each word on the page is dripping with honey. To describe The Sassy Belles, think Steel Magnolias meets Divine Secrets of Ya Ya Sisterhood with a helping of high fashion. Fun, charming, cute- this book will you were a Sassy Belle!

Literary Friday ya’ll……

Happy Labor Day weekend!


1.  Deep South Magazine #literaryfriday is filled with mentions of Donna Tart, literary Iphone cases, and news about Southern Festival of Books. Plus many other things!


2. Next week on Traveling With T, I have a pretty awesome giveaway: book and nail polish 🙂 What more could a girl want?! Check back on Monday for more details!


3. THE PERFUME COLLECTOR discussion is still going on strong at She Reads. Come. Discuss. Talk to me about the book.


4. In more She Reads news: I’m soaking up and announcing my 15 minutes of fame to EVERYONE! Guess who is one of the people featured in The Blog Network Recommends? Come on guess! Oh you’ll never guess, so I’ll tell you: It’s ME! I recommended Erika Marks THE GUEST HOUSE (which if you remember I raved about it here first!) Pssst…. Even more good news: Get over to She Reads and comment for a chance to win ALL 3 BOOKS! Naturally, you’ll want to read the 1 I recommended first, right? 😉


5. My #fridayreads While We Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax, The Sassy Belles by Beth Albright, Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand and I’m considering adding another book to the rotation- suggestions? What are your #fridayreads?


6. Today is August 30th which means that #ctbs is almost over. For the unfamiliar, #ctbs is Conquering The Book Stacks. So far, August was not kind in my mission- but I’m hoping to knock another book out before August ends. However, I stood tall and strong and did not buy any books this August. I looked temptation in the eye and walked away. My bookshelves thank me.


7. Book Lovers Unite- Jen @ Booka-licious Mama has announced the September read in Ashtor Place Vintage. Before I hand the reigns over to her, though, I have 1 more surprise cooked up from our August Book Club Selection, The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers. Check the blog later today for the surprise! In related news, I’m hard at work for the October pick- and trying to decide if October should be spooky or not in our selection!


Happy Reading!

Literary Friday ya’ll….

It’s the first Friday of August. Kids are headed back to school and summer is winding down. PS: Have you already started to see the Halloween stuff in stores? Ugh, I wanted to stomp my foot the other day and scream “It’s July, for Pete’s Sake! JULY!” I held back, tho, because I’m nice 😉


1. Deep South Magazine– chock full with good news this week for #literaryfriday: DBF news (Decatur Book Festival), giveaway for Beth Albright’s The Sassy Belles, 2013’s most talked about books, and Hemingway look alike’s!


2. Interviews this week on Traveling With T include: Amy Shearn where she talks about who make a perfect rusalka if The Mermaid of Brooklyn is made into a movie and Randy Susan Meyers where she tells about “the butter in the cookies” and a special surprise for book clubs that have selected The Comfort of Lies to read!


3. Author Spotlights this week on Traveling With T include: Amy Shearn where she confesses something that may get her Author Card revoked, her Pinterest obsession and her #literarycrush. Randy Susan Meyers tells her #literaryconfession- her confession is likely to cause raised eyes in the literary world!


4. Have you been seeing the #ctbs posts and wondering what that’s all about? #ctbs = Conquering the Book Stacks. Here is the info and here is my goals (which may get revised as I update weekly!)


5. Book Lovers Unite Online Book Club is back at Traveling With T- August’s Book Club Selection is: The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers. Here is the reading schedule and here is the opening thoughts. Discussion questions will be posted Aug 9th- so plenty of time to get the book!


6. Two reviews were posted on Traveling With T this week: Finding Colin Firth by Mia March and The Recipe Box by Sandra Lee.


7. Missed out on my Bloggers Made of AWESOME post? Here it is!


8. I haven’t picked my #fridayreads yet- need to look at my #ctbs list!


9. Want to win a copy of The Mermaid Collector by Erika Marks? Visit Goodreads!


Happy Reading!

Literary Friday ya’ll….



1. Deep South Mag and their #literaryfriday is posted! Erika Robuck chat was wonderful- her #literarycrush was revealed: It’s a tie between Tatiana de Rosnay and Simon van Booy (she calls it #swooncity!) Tatiana de Rosnay must know how Erika feels- because she wrote a beautiful blurb for Call Me Zelda! Read over #southernlit

More #literaryfriday news: Interview with Beth Albright, The Sassy Belles, news about Kimberly Brock, Georgia Author of the Year First Fiction Award winner, a play about Zelda F (She’s HOT now, folks!) and more!

For more Twitter chat info- check out Deep South Mag’s Twitter chat schedule!


2. Katherine Scott Jones reveals her Summertime Reading, One Book at a Time!


3. Kimberly McCreight is coming to my blog to answer questions about Reconstructing Amelia! Here are the details!


4. Week 4 of Reconstructing Amelia discussion questions have been posted!


5. Author Spotlight for Beth Albright– find out her #literarycrush and #literaryconfessions! Plus a #giveaway of The Sassy Belles!


6. My Thursday Mashup was filled with #giveaway information! Check it out!


7. My #fridayreads- I must confess: I’ve been lying- I keep saying the past 2 weeks, I’m going to read The Engagements ( I haven’t! This weekend is changing that, tho!) Other #fridayreads Restrike by Reba White Williams, Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella, and Chose The Wrong Guy, Gave the Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison.


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).



Interview with Beth Albright author of The Sassy Belles

Beth Albright, author of The Sassy Belles, found time in her busy  schedule to stop by and answer some questions. Interviewing Beth was a fun experience- and if her book, The Sassy Belles, is half as fun as finding our her answers- then we are in for a delight! The Sassy Belles is part of Deep South Magazine’s Summer Reading List– a list that has quite a few good books- whether you are from the South or just long to read about Southern life and Southern belles.


Interview with Beth Albright:

What was the inspiration for The Sassy Belles?

Literally, I was homesick. I had had many careers from being an actress on Days of Our Lives, to being a long-time radio talk show host all over the country. After my son was born, I opened an acting school for kids and after nearly 7 years, the Enron scandal happened in Houston, TX, and my school was collateral damage. I sat in a rainy parking lot waiting for my husband to run into a grocery store, when I pulled my directors notebook from my purse and scribbled out the very first words of what would become The Sassy Belles. “My name is Blake O’Hara Heart and boy do I have a story to tell. It wouldn’t be such a story if Vivi hadn’t done what she did.” I was homesick and needed my mom and sassy girlfriends around me—with some salty margaritas!


From the beginning to end, how long did The Sassy Belles take to write?

It took many years because I wasn’t serious about it. I wrote most of it after my acting school closed and we were living in Nashville. Then we moved to LA for the third time, and my son became a competitive pairs figure skater and I put it away for three years. But my mom kept pushing me to finish, telling me I really had something, so I finished, went to the San Francisco Writers Conference, met my agent and she sold a three-book deal to Harlequin/MIRA!


Do you have a writing space? A writing routine?

I have a favorite chair, with my cat nicely sprawled behind my head on the back of the chair. Also, I love my desk and my writing space on the fourth floor of my SF townhome, but the chair in the bedroom seems to be where I land. My routine is hard…I had only about 5 weeks each to write the last 2 books in the trilogy. We wanted to keep a tight production schedule and I wanted to get the books out, so I wrote from about 9am till about 2-3am, taking breaks of course. With the next trilogy, I will be taking more time, but I am pretty diligent and focused when I write. I get inside the story and sometimes it’s hard to get me out!


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

All of the characters are good amalgamations of many of the people I know. I like to take traits of different people and put together new people. The character of Meridee is very much like my late maternal grandmother. She is closest to her actual character.


Will you be going on a book signing tour? If so, what are you looking forward to the most about the tour?

We just did a huge launch and book party at the Barnes and Noble in Tuscaloosa Alabama, where the books are based. We sold 200 books in four hours!! It was crazy. I definitely want to go on a huge book tour and I am hoping to put one together this fall when all 3 books are out! What I look most forward to is meeting my readers! I love people and love shaking hands, and talking with them!


Do you want The Sassy Belles to be made into a movie one day? If so, who are the actors that would comprise your dream cast?

Actually, the book is currently being packaged for a pitch for an hour long TV series!!! Vivi was written for Jessica Chastain!! I love Allison Brie as she appeared in Five Year Engagement as  Blake! Betty White as Meridee for sure, Delta Burke for Kitty, Jessica Simpson (not pregnant) as Dallas. The men, oooh I love so many of them! Maybe Jon Hamm as Harry, Blake Shelton as Sonny, and Vince Vaughn as Lewis. Bonita would be played by Octavia Spencer and Arthur would be played by Denzel Washington! His character becomes huge in later books! I think that would be awesome!


The Sassy Belles is the first in the series. Can you tell us anything about the next two books, Wedding Belles and Sleigh Belles?

Wedding Belles, out July 30th, to me, is the funniest of the three books. Here is the quote from the back of the book:

Seven months pregnant and head over heels in love, Vivi Ann McFadden is busy pulling together the final details for her wedding to Lewis Heart, famous play-by-play announcer for the Crimson Tide. But with two wedding-planners-gone-wild and a psychic giving her advice, a missing wedding ring and the ceremony happening on the same day as the wildly popular Crimson Tide kickoff game, chaos reigns supreme. Luckily, maid of honor Blake O’Hara Heart is on the job. She’ll tackle this wedding if it’s the last thing she does!

Sleigh Belles is much more poignant. While there are funny scenes, the story is a tale of tying to put pieces of a fragmented family back together for Christmas. You’ll need your hankies for sure. It is the most deep and emotional of the three books. Here is the back cover:

With her hair perfectly coiffed, nails freshly manicured and a heavy trail of perfume wafting behind her, local news reporter Dallas Dubois is sure she’s about to kick her career—and maybe her love life—into high gear. The director of the Tuscaloosa children’s Christmas play has fallen ill, and Dallas is ordered by her station manager to take the reins. Everyone is shocked—especially Cal Hollingsworth, who still remembers her as the Ice Queen from high school.

If nothing else, Dallas has never met a challenge that a little lip gloss and a Chanel knockoff couldn’t fix. But she has no idea how to relate to these kids, and their brutal honesty is giving her pause. Things are made even more complicated by the butterflies she gets whenever Cal is near….

But when long-lost family members reenter her life, Dallas’s icy veneer begins to melt. And with Cal by her side, she soon realizes that it’s what’s under all the hair spray that counts.


Now that you’ve read the interview- is your inner “sassy belle” just having a fit to read The Sassy Belles? If so, you are in luck! Come back on Friday- Beth will be revealing her #literarycrush, some Southern writers that she just LOVES, and more. There will also be a #giveaway of The Sassy Belles!



Beth Albright, author of The Sassy Belles, loves her sassy girlfriends and some salty margaritas ( Beth sounds like a very good person to be friends with!) For more information about Beth, please visit her website, The Sassy Belles Facebook page, or Twitter.



*Special shout-out goes to Beth for agreeing to this interview. Long live The Sassy Belles!