I'm starting a new monthly feature to keep track of my incoming vs. outgoing reads. I'd like to start decreasing my to be read pile of books, and I think this may help me be a bit more accountable to the actual numbers. I'm not trying to drastically reduce the numbers, but I'm hoping to at least read more each month than I acquire.

Here is how I fared in my debut month. If you want to see my ratings and links to those books that I reviewed, please visit my goodreads page here.

Incoming books: 18 (16 purchased, 2 sent via publisher)

Outgoing: 20 (12 books, 8 audiobooks)

Final result +2 (I had two more books coming off the tbr than I put on). I'm totally happy with that.......baby steps 🙂

Hope you had a good reading month, now on to May!

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hohohorat2016

Yay! I love this one! I get to dig out my holiday themed books and spend the week enjoying the festiveness of the upcoming season! This will be my third year participating in this event, brought to you by Kimberly @ Caffeinatedreviewer.com. Many thanks to her for hosting. For all the information you need to follow along with us, click on the following:

Ho-Ho-Ho Readathon November 9th-15th Signup

Here is what I've got planned for choices. I may or may not make it through all of these in six days, but that doesn't mean that I still won't finish them before the holidays roll around.

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I'll keep you updated on my progress. Who else is joining us in this fun tradition?

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Today I have the honor of revealing the cover to my author friend Kristy Woodson Harvey's new book! This is a big deal for me since the initial reason I connected with Kristy (for her debut novel) was because I thought the cover was so stunning that I had to know more! Unfortunately you're going to have to wait until April 25, 2017 for this gem to hit shelves, but in the meantime, Kristy has a contest going on over at her page. You can win a $100 amazon gift card and some book bundles, so head on over to enter:

http://kristywoodsonharvey.com/blog

Here is a little bit about the book:

SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE:

From the next “major voice in Southern fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand) comes the first in an all-new series chronicling the journeys of three sisters and their mother—and a secret from their past that has the potential to tear them apart and reshape their very definition of what it means to be a family.

Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she'd spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.

Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley's life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open.

Exploring the powerful bonds between sisters and mothers and daughters, this engaging novel is filled with Southern charm, emotional drama, and plenty of heart.

And the cover (I love that it's a beach scene again....yay!):

SlightlySouthOfSimple

 

Be sure to check out Kristy's previous novels (if you have not already done so) while you await this new series (yes, it's a series!). Click the links for my reviews:

Dear Carolina

Lies and Other Acts of Love

Also follow Kristy on social media to keep updated on book news and tour stops!

Twitter
Facebook
Website

 

 

 

 

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Books

This is a fun survey that I thought I would take a stab at. It came from Rita at View From My Home.
1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
I tend to read at the end of a certain couch in our family room. It's close to a table with a good lamp and has a place for my coffee. If my husband is home and watching tv, I will usually switch to the end of the couch partly reserved for the dog 🙂

2. Do you use a bookmark or a random piece of paper?
I use a bookmark. I usually use the same one for a certain period of time (currently it's one that Beatriz Williams gave out on tour advertising her upcoming book), then I'll switch it out. My author friend Kristy Woodson Harvey gives out pretty ones with her advance reader copies.

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or a certain amount of pages?
If the chapters in a book are not extremely long, I will stop at the end of a chapter, always. If they are really long, I will at least look for a paragraph break, I have a hard time stopping in the middle.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?
I don't normally eat, but I do drink coffee, first thing in the morning and then again mid afternoon. Other than that, I have nothing.

5. Do you watch TV or listen to music while reading?
Not if I can help it. Sometimes my husband or daughter will have the tv on, and depending on what it is, it distracts me to the point that I give up reading and browse social media instead.

6. Do you read one book at a time or several at once?
I tend to have two going at once. A print book (or ebook) and an audiobook. I've juggled three at one time, but I'm not sure that I could handle more than that since I read mostly from the same genres. I've heard it's easier if you have fiction, non-fiction, cookbook, etc.

7. Do you prefer to read at home or anywhere?
I can read anywhere except the car (as a passenger of course). Luckily I can do audiobooks even when I'm not driving, which works fine.

8. Do you read out loud or silently?
I read silently, but I always read out loud to my daughters when they were younger.

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages?
I never read ahead! I don't even really skip pages, although if a book is not really grabbing me, but I still want to see how it ends, I will skim through parts.

10. Do you break the spine or keep it like new?
Uh-oh, now we're getting down to my "issues" with books! I keep my books in pristine condition. If I'm buying a book at the store, I will go through them to make sure that I pick the one that has not a speck or crease on it. If the cover was ripped, I would have to go to another store (yes, I'm serious, ask my daughter). My books look beautiful on my shelves, and I want them that way. My sister borrows my books, but she knows the rules about the spines 🙂 Unfortunately no used bookstores for me, not because I'm a book snob, but because.......well, you know.

11. Do you write in your books?
HAHAHAHAHA! Not EVER (see #10). However, I do have those neat post-it tabs that I can use to mark special places.

Let me know what some of your answers would be, or take the survey yourself.

 

 

This past Saturday (October 24), I had the pleasure of attending the Boston book festival on my way back from a trip to visit family in Vermont. The festival takes place over one day in and around the Copley Square section of Boston. Lots of authors and author panels taking place at a variety of venues (most of mine were in beautiful local churches). It was a wonderful day with many great authors! Here are a few pictures chronicling the events.

The sign located on the Boston public library building (many, many children's author events were at this venue, sadly I did not have time to attend any of them).

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Panel from left to right Elena Delbanco (The Silver Swan), Peter Davis (Girl of My Dreams), Courtney Maum (I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You), and B.A. Shapiro (The Art Forger and The Muralist).

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Next stop: Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven) and Sandra Newman (The Country of Ice Cream Star).

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Next up was a keynote address from James Wood. I did not get a picture because I was way in the back. This was the only disappointing choice of the day (how I wish I had opted for the Jennifer McMahon panel). He spoke like he was giving a lecture to a high level college literature course, way over the head of the average reader.

On to Colum McCann (Thirteen Ways of Looking), interviewed by Claire Messud (The Woman Upstairs).

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Last (but certainly not least) was Bill Clegg. I was fairly far back for this one also, but he was sweet to take a photo in the signing line 🙂

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A great day for book lovers, I wish I had the chance to see the panel with Meg Mitchell Moore (The Admissions), but it conflicted with another panel. Hopefully I'll run into her at another event.

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Today I have the great pleasure of introducing the cover of my author friend Kristy Woodson Harvey's new book Lies and Other Acts of Love. I loved Kristy's debut novel Dear Carolina (review here), and cannot wait for the release of Lies and Other Acts of Love next April. Please join me, and my fellow bloggers, in learning a bit about this book. Then scroll down for the cover reveal, as well as a fantastic giveaway!

Participating Bloggers:

Be sure and show them some love by visiting their blogs!
Traveling With T
Karen’s Korner
Always With a Book
Laurie Here
Whiskey Tales
On D Bookshelf
Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
Book Mama
Great Thoughts
The Turning Pages
My Novel Opinion
Chick Lit Central Facebook
Shelf Pleasure Facebook
Kristy Woodson Harvey
Design Chic

A short story before the reveal. I was cruising around some bookish site last fall when I stumbled upon the cover of Dear Carolina. I absolutely fell in love with it, and started to do some research about this gorgeous book. Much to my delight, it not only sounded like a great book, but the author lives in my state! I started following her blog, and we've ended up meeting and hanging out at both her book signing and BEA. So how could I not be anticipating the cover of her next book? Let me say, I am not disappointed, it's just as beautiful as her first cover! So without further ado, I present Lies and Other Acts of Love:

 

LiesAndOtherActsOfLove

BACK COVER COPY
Dear Carolina was praised as “Southern fiction at its best.”* Now author Kristy Woodson Harvey presents a new novel about what it really means to tell the truth . . .

After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn “Lovey” White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies.

Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing—that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancé and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health.

But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems. And Lovey has to decide whether one more lie will make or break the ones she loves . . .

Blurbs:

“We loved everything about LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE. From the strong plot about the many facets of love told from the alternating points of view of Annabelle and her grandmother, Lovey, to the equally strong cast of richly drawn southern characters, Kristy Woodson Harvey crafted a story so perfectly detailed that we could imagine ourselves on a wrap around porch in the south with a tall glass of sweet tea. LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE will grab you by the heart strings and pull hard. A perfect story about the lies we tell and the secrets we keep-- all in the name of love.” – Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life

“LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE by Kristy Woodson Harvey is a richly detailed, intergenerational tale of love, loss and loyalty. Harvey pulls the reader into the hearts and souls of her characters.” -- Heather Gudenkauf ~ New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence

Links to pre-order:

LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE releases 4.5.16 from Berkley/Penguin Random House. Currently available for pre-order at your local bookstore, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

GIVEAWAY INFO

To celebrate the LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE cover reveal, we are giving away three wonderful bundles of books penned by Tall Poppy Writers! Enter below to win!

Book Bundle 1: MY VERY BEST FRIEND, Cathy Lamb; THE DOG YEAR, Ann Wertz Garvin; CONFESSIONS OF A PARIS PARTY GIRL, Vicki Lesage; VINTAGE, Susan Gloss; DEAR CAROLINA, Kristy Woodson Harvey; FUGITIVE COLORS, Lisa Barr

Book Bundle 2: THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE, Amy Guertin Reichert;  CLOSE TO DESTINY, Adria Cimino; LEMONGRASS HOPE, Amy Impellizzeri; KEEP THE ENDS LOOSE, Molly Duncan Campbell; ROME IN LOVE, Anita Hughes; LITTLE BLACK LIES, Sandra Block

Book Bundle 3: THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE, Sonja Yoerg; WAKING UP JOY, Tina Ann Forkner; WHILE YOU WERE GONE, Kate Moretti; THE BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS, Nicole Baart; ENTANGLEMENT, Katie Rose; DEAR CAROLINA, Kristy Woodson Harvey

Rafflecopter

Be sure to get yourself a copy of Dear Carolina if you have not read it yet. And because I can't resist, let's add the cover here also:

DearCarolina

 

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I'm participating in a giveaway for Mother's Day! You can win either an Amazon kindle or a Paypal gift certificate. Check out the rules below, enter via the Rafflecopter at the end, and discover some great bloggers along the way. Thanks to Kathy from I Am A Reader for sponsoring this contest.
Good luck to all 🙂

Kindle Fire Giveaway

Mother's Day Kindle Fire Giveaway Sponsor List

I Am A Reader
Donna @ OnDBookshelf
Diana's Book Reviews
Krysten Lindsay Hager author
Raven Haired Girl
Stephanie Keyes
Mother Daughter Book Reviews
The Lovely Books
Simple Wyrdings
Amiabooklover
Orsayor @ The Book Referees
What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know
Talia Jager
LeahSay's Views
Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Author Camelia Miron Skiba
Paij Slater @ My Love for Reading Keeps Growing
BookHounds
Jennifer Lane
Heather Boyd
The Page Unbound
Tamara Gill
D.E. Haggerty author
Glistering Bs Blog
Rockin' Book Reviews
Author B. Kristin McMichael
Home Is Where the Wine Is Book Blog
TMBA Corbett Tries to Write
Emma Right Books for Children
Unshelfish
The Discerning Reader
Taylor Dean Books
A Leisure Moment
ExtraordinaryReads
Connie Sokol

 

Giveaway Details

Prize Valued at $250. Winner's choice of an Amazon.com gift code to purchase a Kindle & ebooks or alternately winner can choose to receive $250 in Paypal Cash.

Ends 5/10/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or an Amazon.com gift code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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March 2015 Take Control of Your TBR Pile

Wow, is this a challenge I need! I'll be participating in this during the month of March to see if I can make a dent in my overly stuffed "to be read" bookshelf! I'll be updating my progress as the month goes on. If you'd like to participate, head on over to Caffeinated Book Reviewer for all the details. Wish me luck 🙂

March 1  The Good Girl

March 4   The Headmaster's Wife

March 6   Shotgun Lovesongs

March 8   Wonder

March 12  Fangirl

March 15  To All The Boys I've Loved Before

March 16  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

March 19  Mr. Penumbra's 24 hour Bookstore

March 23  Your Perfect Life

March 30  We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

March 31  Will Grayson Will Grayson

UPDATE: And there you have it..........a grand total of eleven books off my tbr pile during the month! I'm very happy with my results, especially since one of the weeks I was on vacation (and not in a place that gave lots of reading time).

Now if I can just keep myself from buying twenty more books to replace the ones I just read.........I'll be good 🙂

Today I had the pleasure of guest blogging over at a fellow blogger's site. Many thanks to Tanya of Mom's Small Victories for asking me to guest post on her weekly feature.

MomsSmallVictories

I met Tanya at an author event at our Indie bookstore shortly after I began blogging. She was very supportive of my blog, and was one of my first followers. We were to meet this week at an event that unfortunately got cancelled, due to our ice storm in NC. We hope to have more adventures together in the future.

Here is a link to my blog post:

Thanks Tanya for inviting me to write a post for your blog!

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I've recently attended four author events in eight days!! I feel so lucky to live in an area that has some wonderful Indie bookstores that schedule great authors to come talk about their books! I love being able to listen to these authors talk about how these books came to be, and to get a feel for the authors themselves. It is interesting how much their personalities sometimes spill over into their writing. This was quite a diverse group, two debut authors, one relative newbie, and one with over 20 books to her name. Here is the lineup:

Monday February 2, 2015

Natalie Baszile with her debut novel Queen Sugar.

QueenSugar20150202_194100_resized

Natalie spoke to us on the night that it was revealed that her book was being picked up by Oprah to become a series on OWN TV! Needless to say she was pretty excited, as were we!

Friday February 6, 2015

Kristin Hannah with her 23rd book The Nightingale.

TheNightingale20150206_192136_resized_120150206_202322_resized_2

Wonderful presentation about her research and reason for writing this book. Great Q&A session with insight into lots of her previous books as well as this one. So personable and friendly!

Saturday February 7, 2015

Kim Wright with her 2nd book The Unexpected Waltz.

TheUnexpectedWaltz20150207_111545_resized20150207_115711_resized20150207_115730_resized

This event was at a new to me bookstore about 40 minutes from my house. Can we talk about how beautiful this place is? That fireplace in the "signing room" was so lovely! Even though it was a bit of a drive, I would go back to future events for certain. Kim's book is one that I am in a discussion group on Goodreads for. During the course of the discussion I found out that she would be close enough to me to go and hear her talk. Great lady who writes about middle aged women (yay). Very funny story about how her next book The Canterbury Sisters came to be!

Tuesday February 10, 2015

Charles Belfoure with his debut novel The Paris Architect.

TheParisArchitectIMG_0068

New author of a book that sounds fascinating. This author is an architect (still) who decided to start a second career in writing fiction. He's looking forward to his writing career taking off so he can quit his stressful day job! He talked about the idea for this book, and gave us lots of info about his second novel (due out in the fall) which sounds equally as interesting as the first.

Whew! I think I'm done with events for a while, now I need to sit back and read all these, and the dozens of other books on my shelves 🙂