Belles on Wheels- 2014 Gallery Bus Tour

 

Belles on Wheels

Photo Credit: BFB

 

So, back in February- TurnRow Books mentioned me in a tweet- with a link about Gallery Books Bus Tour featuring Indie Authors. “Color me curious” was my thought and I clicked the link- and was very happy to see a great event coming to TurnRow Books- my nearest indie bookstore. My only surprise was that this bus tour was not hitting at least one of the other indie bookstores in Mississippi. So, this is quite a feather in TurnRow Books cap (don’t you agree?!) I think it is!

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World Book Night 2014

world book night 2014

You guys!!!!!! It’s the big day.. No, wait I mean THE BIG DAY. It’s World Book Night Day! You might remember how excited I was being picked as a World Book Night giver back at first of 2014- well my excitement has grown!!! I’m all bouncing off the walls excited now!

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Meeting Cassandra King, author of Moonrise

me and cassandra king

Cassandra King visited TurnRow books on 9/19/13 as part of her MOONRISE tour.

A  crowd sat awaiting Cassandra King to begin reading from her latest book, Moonrise. The air had a lively feel as ladies discussed new books, favorite books and Cassandra King as the sipped complimentary wine. Sounds of laughter and acquaintances being made floated down from the 2nd floor of TurnRow to the lower level- potentially even down Howard Street.

The new novel, Moonrise, is drawing favorable comparison to Daphne Du Maurier’s classic, Rebecca. Although Cassandra King is quick to point out that Moonrise is not a re-telling of Rebecca; it did have an influence on Moonrise. Cassandra wanted to set a book in the Highlands, North Carolina area and tells of how important a setting is to writing. Moonrise is told from 3 different viewpoints- and 1 viewpoint needed to be a friend of Rosalyn’s (the first wife who has passed away). When questioned as to why she chose the name Rosalyn, Cassandra told the crowd that she had always liked the name and had a aunt with the name.

Sitting in the crowd, listening to Cassandra King read from the 3 different viewpoints of Moonrise was a treat!

Susan Gregg Gilmore and Lisa Patton- Oh what a night!

lisa patton, me, susan g gilmore

Last week at TurnRow Books in Greenwood, MS- I got to hang out with 2 Southern Lit authors who rock my socks off!

Lisa Patton (Southern as a Second Language) and Susan Gregg Gilmore (The Funeral Dress)- 2 women, 2 different types of Southern Lit, 2 authors that you must go and buy all their books! Lisa’s are more funny- the lighter side of life; where Susan’s are more about strong women and trying circumstances- yet, each author writes a book that can and should be read by women looking for great reads.

 

The reading took place in an area of TurnRow that I had not seen- the outdoor porch area. Comfy couches, a nice rocking chair- there was a bit of a nip in the air as the people who attended the book signing settled in to listen to the lovely ladies talk. Susan read first and gave the listeners a bit of a backstory about The Funeral Dress, life for the women factory workers (the women were proud to be able to support/provide for their family by working) and the area where The Funeral Dress is set. She also told of the man that the funeral director was inspired by- his name was Rory Joe and Susan talked of how nice and sweet he was- even when he facing grim circumstances of death.

Lisa Patton read next- and recently finishing reading for the audio version of Southern as a Second Language- she was ready with her voices! As Lisa read, the crowd laughed along because while what she was reading was funny- Lisa, herself, was also a comical aspect! After reading, she told us that the 3rd book was supposed to be titled Dixie in Bloom (because it had Dixie like her previous 2 books), but at the last minute, a new title had to be selected- therefore, Southern as a Second Language was selected (a title she liked much better, anyway!)

One of the audience members asked “if there was ever a moment that they felt they had a sign that writing was the right career path” and Susan thought for a minute- then she told a story. Susan talked about living in California, having finished writing an article for Christian Science Monitor, and deciding to begin writing a screenplay (which she says is much harder than she thought!) Slowly begins mulling the idea over about a book and writing some- when a friend told her to go back to Tennessee for a writer weekend event. At first she did not want to go, Susan was not a fan of flying- but she went. And she was glad she did because she saw her old English teacher Lee Smith, who told her to wait for her that day and she would look over/discuss what Susan was currently writing. After telling the story- Susan said that was a moment she felt she was on the right path, a sign that she was on the right path!

Both Lisa and Susan talked about how writing Southern Lit makes it harder for the foreign rights to their books to be sold (which I think is a shame!) Talking about book covers, Susan spoke of Jill McCorkle saying “Give me the same type of cover you would give a male author”.

Seeing both Lisa and Susan again and getting my books signed by them was such a treat- but even more, was just listening to them talk, telling the backstory of the books, of the writing process. I highly encourage that if you enjoy book signings, to go and see 1 or both if you get a chance!

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Meeting Jill McCorkle- Life After Life book signing

Jill McCorkle reading from Life After Life

Jill McCorkle reading from Life After Life

Can I just say how much I adored meeting Jill McCorkle? I totally enjoyed it! Now from that statement, I’m sure most would think that I’ve been a Jill McCorkle fan for years- but surprise- Life After Life was my first book to read by her.  I had an opportunity to review Life After Life several weeks ago through Netgalley, and during this time frame, Life After Life made Deep South Magazine’s 10 Reads for Spring. I trust Deep South Mag’s opinion- and if they say it’s a good read; well then, I’m going to give it a try. And lastly, during this time, I checked Turnrow Books in Greenwood, MS events and guess who was coming to town? Jill McCorkle! So like the Magic 8 ball says “all signs point to yes”- it was decided that I needed to read this book. So I did- and I really enjoyed it. Funny, heartwarming, sad at times- great characters. All are dealing with a heartache, a situation, and some are trying to make the last years of their lives count.

But what made meeting Jill McCorkle the best was how funny and nice she is- she could go from talking about some of the most heartfelt things to making the room crack up with loud giggles and laughs.

At the signing/reading- Jill read from “Sadie” a bit, then read from “Joanna’s Notes” about her dad, then read “Joanna’s dad’s” section.  Each section had it’s own voice, it’s own thoughts- and was beautifull written- and even humours at times.  Jill told the audience that she likes to think there is a lot of humor in Life After Life, even though there is sadness.

Jill also told the audience that it’s a popular misconception that “life will yield when something happens, but that rarely happens”. This was the case during her creation of Life After Life– her dad was dying, her children still needed her for dinner and other motherly duties, and work was still happening (grading papers and teaching). As she told us this, I began thinking that while we may wish life would slow down and let us deal with things as they happen- life has other plans for us. Life keeps spinning- until your final breath.

When questioned if any characters were based on people she knew in life or not- it was revealed that Toby is based on Jill’s work of teaching Introduction to Fiction. Toby, in the book, tells of how tired she was of reading essays about vampires, werewolves and the like- and that is how Jill felt at one point in her Intro to Fiction class. Jill wanted something with emotion, something with human emotion. So she tried to teach her students that emotion is like a primary box of crayons- but that as they got older, the emotions are more like a 64 pack of crayons- so you might feel periwinkle sometimes. But, at the base of that emotion is the original primary color emotion you felt as a child or teenager.

About Jill’s writing process- she likes to write in same place- but after having children- she realized she had to be more flexible. So she sometimes goes to the grocery store and sits in her car in the parking lot and writes- then later goes grocery shopping! She also takes lots of notes- and just reads them in the morning and evening- then she stores them for a time till she can write for an extended period. In this way, Jill speaks of that she’s always working on something; but it just takes time- and that’s a good thing because it gives her thoughts time to “perk”.  Some of Jill’s characters will have memories or thoughts of her friends (after she’s asked!) Lastly Jill spoke of that sometimes when gathering her thoughts about writing, something will cross her mind that seems like it does not fit, like it’s not a logical next step in the process. When this happens, instead of ignoring that thought, she knows it’s meant to be in the thoughts, in her writing process.

Before she began signing books, she told this piece of advice for writers: The first draft of the book is like falling in love; but the revision of the book is the real deal in love.

Jill signing a book

Jill signing a book

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Jill and Traveling With T

Thanks Tunrow Books for hosting a great event- and thanks to Jill McCorkle for being so gracious- signing my book and posing for pictures.

My review of Life After Life: Life After Life by Jill McCorkle- review by Traveling With T

Literary Friday ya’ll….

Friday- oh Friday. And sunny!

1. Deep South Mag and their #literaryfriday- Joshilyn Jackson cover reveal, Jill McCorkle, 2 giveaways, and more (even some The Great Gastsby news!) Grab a glass of sweet tea- and soak up some #literaryfriday!

2. Speaking of Jill McCorkle, I had the pleasure of meeting her at Turnrow Books last night. She is adorable, funny, charming and so much more. Look for my blog post next week with pictures and tidbits of information she revealed as she read from her latest book, Life After Life.

Traveling With T’s review of Life After Life by Jill McCorkle.

3. Tonight, in a fit of luck, I will be at Rita Leganski’s book signing at Lemuria Books. You may remember that The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow was She Reads March Book Club Selection. I’ll be taking notes and pictures- so look for my blog post next week!

4. What is your #fridayreads? Mine is Three Good Things by Wendy Francis!

5. For those curious about when the Patti Callahan Henry Twitter chat will happen- it appears April 29th will be the day. As details are finalized, I’ll keep my readers in the know. If you’ve read And Then I Found You– or want to read- do consider joining us for the chat- it’s kept as spoiler free as possible!

Happy Reading and have a great weekend!

PS: Thanks to the new followers and commenters- you’ve been noticed and I appreicate you stopping by!

Meeting Whitney Miller- Masterchef Season 1 winner

Back in July 2011, Whitney Miller had a book signing at Turnrow Books in Greenwood, MS.  Being a slight fan of Masterchef, but more of a fan of a small-town Mississippi girl achieving a dream- I went to see her and get my cookbook signed.

Whitney was delightful- sweet and kind- willing to pose for pictures and spoke to each person with a smile. Whitney had also had some food to taste from the cookbook prepared for the book signing. Her tea was wonderful (as well as the other food!) The book signing was fun and memorable.

One of the reporters from the Greenwood Commonwealth came and took a picture of Whitney and me while I was getting my book signed and did an interview with Whitney about her book, winning the Masterchef contest, and cooking in the South. The reporter published the picture and the interview in the Greenwood Commonwealth, along with a blurb from me about Whitney ” Seeing a small-town girl, especially from Mississippi, just gives every girl and young woman hope that she can really do something big with her life even if she is from a really small dot on the map.”

Whitney is proving every day that believing in yourself is the key to success. For a good cookbook, one that has recipes that are yummy and will not require a million special ingredients, consider Whitney Miller’s cookbook Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm.

Whitney Miller’s Cookbook

 

Whitney Miller and Me

 

 

 

Friday Reads ya’ll…..

It’s Friday- so I’m going to jump on the #fridayreads bandwagon!

If you like a little Southern Lit (#southernlit)- be sure and look at Deep South Magazine‘s Literary Friday page- sometimes an interview with an author, sometimes just random literary facts; but always a guaranteed good place to check out.

Currently my Friday reads consists of The River Witch by Kimberly Brock and Alex Cross’s Trial by James Patterson. The River Witch is magical, reminding us that while we may be broken- somewhere in us and somewhere in the world is a place to heal. Roslyn is a character that will haunt me (in a good way!) for sometime. Final thoughts and a full review of book will be forthcoming.

Alex Cross’s Trial– chosen by a member of the book club I’m in- is interesting. It’s not like the typical Alex Cross books I’ve read lately, though.

Other books I look forward to putting on my Friday Reads list soon: The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier and  Sea Change by Karen White (also a book on Deep South Magazine Summer Reading List 2012).

If you will be near Lemuria Books in Jackson, MS on July 13- stop by for a Karen White book signing- begins at 5pm. And if you are reading Kimberly Brock’s The River Witch and will be in Greenwood, MS on August 14 or Tupelo, MS on August 16- stop in Turnrow Books (Greenwood) or Reed’s  Gum Tree Books (Tupelo) for a book signing AND to hear the Anna Kline and the Grits and Soul Band. Both appear to be fun events!

Happy Reading!

 

Meeting Joshilyn Jackson 1-31-2012

Today I had the pleasure of going to Turnrow Books in Greenwood, MS to meet Joshilyn Jackson. Turnrow had a luncheon/book signing today for her. I walk in and buy my book- first the book cover is intriguing. It shows a young woman in a vintage dress- green gingham printed. At her waist, you see a green apple- with a slice of apple missing. While, you cannot see the young girl’s face, it almost seems that this young girl is a beautiful girl- from her dress-style, especially. But the apple- the apple hints at something that is not obvious to a person looking at the book for the first time- however, when you hear the explanation of Joshilyn Jackson- the apple makes perfect sense.

Today’s lunch was shrimp and grits- and it was quite a delight for me- because it was my first time to eat shrimp and grits. Or maybe everything tasted so delicious because I got to sit and eat lunch with both Joshilyn Jackson (A Grown Up Kind of Pretty) and Robin O’Bryant (Ketchup is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves). Both of these ladies are smart, personable, funny, endearing, and entertaining.

Listening to Joshilyn speak as we were eating lunch was an amazing experience. She spoke of the books she currently writes as her boyfriend, her great love, but after the book is published- it’s more like an old boyfriend. She wishes it well and hopes the book goes on to have a good life. When asked if any of her books is in talks to being turned into a movie, she was quite honest that these talks do happen, but so far; nothing has happened in the movie world. Listening to her speak about book to movie option, it seems that she has a real understanding of the process- that she would be excited if a movie would happen, but will not let a movie not happening bother her, either.

Even though it was Joshilyn Jackson’s book signing- Robin O’Bryant was there to support a fellow author. Having missed the opportunity to meet Robin at a previous book signing at Turnrow a couple of months ago, I was excited to find that she would also be in attendance. I’d read her Ketchup is a Vegetable:And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves on my Kindle a few weeks ago, and really enjoyed the book. Found it to be quite funny- even hysterical at times. The cover art and the title was a draw to me- the title sounded like a Celia Rivenbark book (I personally enjoy her brand of humor)- so I decided to give Robin’s book a try. It’s a decision I did not regret (nor do I think you would regret, either). I picked up a copy of the book for Robin to personalize for me (which she graciously did- also posed for a picture with me).

Today was a good day- meeting 2 different authors, being able to add 2 new signed books to my collection and also add more pictures to my collection of photos with authors.

To learn more about Joshilyn Jackson- follow her on Twitter- @joshilynjackson. For Robin O’Bryant, follow her on Twitter @robinobryant. To hear of upcoming book signings or to buy signed copies of books, check out Turnrow Books at http://www.turnrowbooks.com

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Me and Robin O'Bryant

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Joshilyn Jackson (A Grown Up Kind of Pretty) and Robin O'Bryant (Ketchup is a Vegetable)

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Me and Joshilyn Jackson- Turnrow Books