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
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!
Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 are Back! Wedding bells are ringing for Vivi- unless the psychic’s prediction is true! Blake O’Hara Heart knows this- in the Deep South, in August, you do not upset a pregnant bride- it’s just too darn hot for that mess!
Blake is knee deep into planning her best girlfriend ever an over the top wedding and baby shower! Vivi asks Blake to have Myra Jean, trailer park psychic to the ladies in Tuscaloosa, read their futures at her combo wedding/baby shower. Blake agrees because she is the most loyal matron of honor. As part of booking Myra Jean for the shower, Vivi gets a sample reading. Oh if only Blake had herself a magic ball- then she could have known the trouble heading Vivi’s way! Myra Jean lets Vivi know there is another woman in the picture- which prompts Vivi into a full-on hissy fit. Blake mollifies Vivi by saying that it could be the baby girl (Vivi just has a feeling it’s a girl). However, it’s not long before Vivi, Lewis and Blake find out that Myra Jean is right. A woman from Lewis’s past is going to make this wedding a bit more difficult!
Blake’s law practice has problems as well. The body that was discovered while looking for Lewis is a man who recently inherited his family’s money, amongst a disagreement with his other family members. Blake is trying to find out what happened to him and who earns his inheritance since he was recently married. The barge company says he must have fallen off the boat, the insurance won’t pay till they can rule out suicide, and Blake needs to find this wife! Cal, Lewis’s computer whiz best friend, finds the wife and also finds Lewis’s first wife- when Blake realizes they have the same last name, her pretty head wonders “What if they are the same person?”
On the political front, Harry is working hard to win the November Senate election- and Blake, being the consummate Southern Belle, is going to stick by him in public and help him win this election. In private, though, Blake’s a bad girl- she’s found her true love, Sonny, and wants to make things work with him. Harry has his own private fun- and that nosy reporter, Dallas, is doing her best to crack the case on the Hearts. Dallas is worried about her job, so having the inside track on a story about a falling out between the Hearts could lead to some juicy air time.
Between getting Vivi ready for her wedding, balancing her professional and personal life with Sonny, helping Harry get elected, and finding out what happened on that barge- Blake is busier than a bee in a bonnet. Watching Vivi, her Sassy Belle best friend, on the verge of everything she’s ever longed for- makes Blake happy- and a tad bit wistful. Life is changing for the Sassy Belles- but Blake’s about to find out exactly how much life is changing!
Traveling With T’s Thoughts
The Sassy Belles are back! If you thought Blake and Vivi were going to let a wedding be a calm and serene event- you were wrong! The sassy girls are ready for whatever curveball life throws them- and life’s got quite a few!
Funny, charming, and sweet- Wedding Belles is a read that should be enjoyed with a glass of sweet tea. After reading Wedding Belles, you might feel like talking in Southern accent and watching some college football- don’t fight the feeling!
Perfect for fans of light reading, romance, and Southern Belles.
*This book was provided to Traveling With T in exchange for a fair and honest review. All above thoughts and opinions are mine alone.
It’s Friday! What are your plans for the weekend?
1. Deep South Mag and their #literaryfriday: Flannery O’Connor and money, James Franco and “As I Lay Dying”, Gatsby Companion Reading List, Top 10 references to Faulkner in Pop Culture and much more!
2. Book-Alicious Mama has posted Week 3 Questions for Astor Place Vintage, our September Book Lovers Unite selection. Join in the fun ( it’s a great book!) Don’t forget, Book Lovers Unite fans- we’ll be back at Traveling With T in October for The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman!
3. Bookmagnet’s Fall for These October Titles is filled with interesting sounding books! Two have caught my attention even before she posted her list- The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by P.D. Viner and Bridget Jones Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding.
4. Another AWESOME blogger- Rhiannon @ Ivory Owl Reviews! See Rhiannon’s #literaryconfessions for 2 #literarygiants she cannot stand!
6. My #fridayreads: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty ( from Sept 30-Oct 6th, come discuss at She Reads!), Wedding Belles by Beth Albright, and Grounded by Angela Correll (look for my review and interview next week with Angela Correll!)
Ready 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.
Beth 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).