Author Interview: Hank Phillippi Ryan, author of THE WRONG GIRL

author interviews

Oh my stars… Today, Traveling With T has Hank Phillippi Ryan- author of THE WRONG GIRL- a recent winner of the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel (May 2014!) When contacted by one of Hank’s publicist about the option of an interview, I was all “Heck yeah!” (except, I was much more dignified in my email back- something along the lines of I would be delighted to ask Hank some questions!) With THE WRONG GIRL being released in paperback July 29th and Hank’s newest, TRUTH BE TOLD, being released October 7th, 2014- I am beyond excited. And think that after reading this interview- you will be beyond excited, as well. So put on those crime investigator hats- and let’s get to the interview! Continue reading

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Favorite Literary/Film Romantic Couples

fav romanctic couples

Romance is in the air- today is Valentine’s Day! Whether you are celebrating romance by reading or watching a good movie- we all have some fav romantic couples from film or literature!

Here’s a few of mine:

Film:

gone with wind film

Photo Credit: IMDB

Scarlett and Rhett: Gone With The Wind- I LOVE Scarlett and Rhett- the looks between them, the bantering back and forth!

sound of music

Photo Credit: IMDB

Captain Von Trapp and Maria: The Sound of Music- from when she asks “what his whistle sound to call him is” to the meeting in the garden (oh my stars, I love that scene- basically the movie is over after that scene!).  Continue reading

Traveling With T’s Best Books of 2013

Best Books of 2013

It’s that time of the year- the time of year where numerous “Best Books” list are published. And so, it’s time for Traveling With T to publish a list- a list of the books I loved, some books that made me a better reader, and a few honorable mentions.

Best of 2013

The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman  

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Photo Credit: Goodreads

Lori Nelson Spielman’s debut is heartwarming, loving and and has some thought-provoking moments.  I cried, I laughed, I LOVED. Here is my review. This is 1 of the 2 hands down favorite books of Traveling With T. Read on for #2!

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

reconstructing amelia

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Kimberly McCreight’s debut, Reconstructing Amelia, was called 2013’s Gone Girl. While many books in the mystery/suspense was compared to Gone Girl- this one probably was most deserving. Dark. Twisty. Kate’s anguish over what happened to Amelia, realizing how she did not know her daughter- and wondering if past sins of hers played a role in Amelia’s death- of if the sin of not being there for Amelia in her time of need was why Amelia is gone. Each character- each section of the book- carefully crafted and wonderful. You, as a reader, might think you have it all figured out- but Kimberly takes twists and turns- and creates a story in unforgettable. Here is my review.

A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White

place at table

Photo Credit: Goodreads

When I was emailed a request to review this book, I wasn’t familiar with Susan’s work. But, I had a good feeling from the description and the cover was beautiful. I’m glad I trusted my instincts- because this book is a Southern Lit treasure. Love, finding yourself, feeling nourished, and acceptance are themes of this book- and it truly is a gem. Here is my review.

W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton

w is for wasted

Photo Credit: Goodreads

I yearn for the latest Kinsey book well ahead of Sue Grafton’s 2 year publishing schedule. I curse the the day I discovered A is for Alibi and thought “Years and years of mass market paperback books will keep me busy for some time.”  It did not. Thus began the waiting game. Each year a Sue book is published- I’m so happy. Kinsey rocks as a character. Seriously. If you like a mystery- Sue Grafton is great.

The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan

the engagements

Photo Credit: Goodreads

My first J. Courtney Sullivan book was a treat. JCS weaves a story of fiction with some real-life truths about how “A Diamond is Forever” came about. Criss-crossing from 4 viewpoints, 4 different time frames- and how a diamond plays a role in all their lives. Here is my review.

Finding Colin Firth by Mia March

finding colin firth

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Mia March books just scream “SUMMER” to me. Light, funny- sometimes fluffy- I love to read a Mia book. Finding Colin Firth, her 2nd novel, tells the story of  3 women- women who are each dealing with troubles of their own. To add to the mix, a movie is being filmed- and rumor has it that Colin Firth is in town- which adds to the fun of the book.  Here is my review.

Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfearn

hush little baby

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Thriller. Terrifying at times. Suzanne’s look into the dark side of a marriage is worth a read. Here is my review.

The Pieces We Keep by Kristina McMorris

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Photo Credit: Goodreads

A mother’s love. Love and trust in WWII. Secrets and betrayal. Grief. And much more. Kristina McMorris weaves 2 stories together to make 1 compelling book. Here is my review.

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski

the silence of bonaventure arrow

Photo Credit: Amazon

Magical-realism. That phrase made me hesitant about reading this. But, I did. And I’m so glad. It was so much more than I expected. Don’t let the magical-realism label scare you! Here is my review.

The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore

funeral dress

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Haunting and beautifully written. A Southern Lit tale that will stay with you far after the last page is turned. Here is my review.

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams– Love, lust, betrayal. Secrets. And a hurricane. Here is my review.

a hundred summers

Photo Credit: Goodreads

honorable mentions for 2013

Books that def require a mention!

The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan

the wrong girl fb

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Enjoyable- very enjoyable! Here is my review.

You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert

you knew me when

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Entertaining and enjoyable. A tale of friendship- the highs and lows. Here is my review.

Buried Leads by LynDee Walker

buried leads

Photo Credit: Henery Press

Smart. Funny. Nichelle is high-heel loving, Moscato-drinking, and funny as all get out reporter. Enjoyable read! Here is my review.

The Affair by Colette Freedman

the affair

Photo Credit: Amazon

Normally an affair can be seen as pretty black and white issue. But Colette Freedman takes this topic- and paints in shades of grey. By the end, you’re not sure who is right or wrong! Here is my review.

The Longings of Wayward Girls by Karen Brown

the longings of wayward girls

Photo Credit: Goodreads

A lie. A harmless lie. And a girl turns up missing. But, that is just a section of the story. Page turning- and you are never quite sure who is innocent or guilty. Here is my review.

What do you think? Find any books to read? Did I miss a book you thought was “Best of 2013” worthy? Tell me!

*This list is just my opinion. I fully realize that I may have over-looked a book that should be ranked. My apologies!

T Traveling With T pic sign off

Thursday Mashup

mashup

 

Hey ya’ll- it’s Thursday Mashup time (pssttt… here’s the button I made 🙂

 

You know how I like a good mashup- a place where you can stop by for a giveaway, some bloggy talk, and lots of bookish goodness!

 

Here’s the good stuff this Thursday:

 

Giveaways

#bookgiveaways

Luxury Reading is giving away a Kindle Fire HD tablet!

 

Always With A Book is giving away The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan (who I adore- seriously, if you like Sue Grafton, you should def check out HPR!)

 

#craftygiveaways

Recently- I’ve started following non-book blogs. Why? Because I’m a craft girl at heart- books are my other love- but crafts are also great!

The Thinking Closet is giving away a stocking full of great stuff thanks to herself and other bloggers! Seriously, I could tell you all the good things- but you really need to go check it out! There is def a Starbucks gift card (totally worth entering alone for that!)

 

H2O Bungalow is giving away a CRICUT. Yeppers, you read that right. My crafty heart just beats faster.

 

H2O Bungalow is also giving away 600 Visa Gift Card- I could BUY crafty stuff with that 🙂

 

Bloggy Goodness

Love at First Book is hosting her weekly Linky Love party- River City Reading is co-hosting (so it’s a super-special stylish party y’know!) Link up your best post because if you do, THIS could happen!

 

Books Speak Volumes is gearing up for a Jazzy January- a Jazz Age that is! Like the 20’s? Been wanting to read a book about that era? Sign up, read a book or more- and you may win a prize! Full details can be found at Books Speak Volumes.

 

Have you ever wondered about Hanukkah? The symbols and other things that pertain to Hanukkah? Living where I live, I’ll be honest, I’ve not had a first hand experience with Hanukkah- I knew a few of the symbols from reading and TV- but that was my experience. On Twitter, though, I realized I was friends with quite a few Jewish people- and even though I was curious- I wouldn’t ask much because not everyone likes to talk about their personal life. However, Love at First Book guest posted on                     The Book Wheel about Hanukkah symbols- and it was so interesting, I had to share!

 

The Relentless Reader shares some bookish gifts that would be so appreciated- just in case you need ideas!

 

Have you finished your Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2013?  My Novel Opinion has! Read on for her stats and tips for next year!

 

 

 

 

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!

Thursday Mashup

Got many things to report today- get ready!

#giveaways

Kiss and Thrill is giving away a copy of Hank Phillippi Ryan’s latest, The Wrong Girl!

Rachel Hauck is giving away a copy of Princess Bride!

Peeking Between the Pages is giving away a copy of The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden!

Writer’s Corner is giving away a copy of The Good Wife by Jane Porter!

The Book Wheel (thanks to Lithograhps.com) is giving away a lithography!

She Reads is giving away a copy of Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain!

 

#bookish things

Book-Alicious Mama has posted week 2 questions for Astor Place Vintage! Join in on the fun!

Want help for planning blog posts? Katherine Scott Jones give 5 tips to make your blogging life easier!

Literary Friday ya’ll…..

Friday, Bloggiesta, and lots of reading! What’s your Friday plans?

1. Deep South Magazine and their #literaryfriday: News of James Franco as Faulkner, SoFest of Books in Nashville, 11 scariest mothers in books, upcoming book signings, what Erin is reading now (some good looking books that *may* be on the upcoming Fall Reading list!) and much more!

2. Bloggiesta is happening this weekend! Basically, it’s a 3 day weekend to work on your blog, make connections and visit the other blogs hosting the mini-challenges. It’s blog love, baby! I don’t always participate in Bloggiesta- but I try to do some work when I can during these 3 day blog-love weekends! This time, I’m REALLY trying because 2 of my fav blog buddies- Rebecca @ Love At First Book and Allison @ The Book Wheel are both hosting mini-challenges (Whoo, Rebecca and Allison! Proud of you girls!)

Here are some interesting Bloggiesta-related things I’ve found today:

Love At First Book: How To Host (and participate) in a Digital Book Club & Giveaway!

The Book Wheel: 50 Bookish Things

Always With a Book: Bloggiesta.. My To Do List and Updates

Books Speak Volumes: Ten Things Every Book Blog Needs

 

3. Did you know that I’ll be co-hosting the Hank Phillippi Ryan chat with Literary New England on September 25th at 8pmEST? You didn’t?! Well, I am! Be there as we talk about THE WRONG GIRL and giveaway some books! Use hashtag #LNEChat to join I the fun! This will be the first of 2 scheduled Literary New England/She Reads chats- and everyone is very excited!

My blogger friend, Always With a Book, got to meet Hank Phillippi Ryan this week (and was kind enough to pick me up a signed book!) Read about K meeting HPR- Author Meet and Greet: Hank Phillippi Ryan

 

4. This isn’t Bloggiesta related, but Ivory Owl Reviews blogged this week about what she learned in her first year of blogging- and it’s worth a read!

 

5. #giveaway: Have you heard of The Returned by Jason Mott? The blog-osphere is all a-twitter about this book! And you are in luck! Luxury Reading is giving away a copy! Need more of The Returned? The Book Wheel was lucky enough to get an interview with Jason Mott (that girl is a mover and shaker- folks!)

 

6. 2 reviews posted this week on Traveling With TBeautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand and What A Mother Knows by Leslie Lehr.

 

7. Holly Goddard Jones, author of The Next Time You See Me, stopped by Traveling With T this week for an Interview and Author Spotlight.

 

8. Book Lovers Unite September read Astor Place Vintage is still going on at Book-alicious Mama and October’s book has been announced for when it returns to Traveling With T: The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman I’m very excited for this discussion- and I hope you will join in the fun! Reading schedule to be posted next week!

 

9. Catching up on posting about 2 fab authors I met over the summer: Meeting Anton DiSclafani and Meeting Susan Crandall

 

10. Another Blogger Made of AWESOME: Drey @ Drey’s Library!

 

11. My #fridayreads: Astor Place Vintage, Wedding Belles by Beth Albright, and maybe 212 by Alafair Burke! What are you reading for #fridayreads?

 

Happy Reading and good luck with Bloggiesta if you are participating!