Wednesday, June 20, 2018

INSPY Contemporary Romance Shortlist Giveaway Bundle!

It's been such an honor to be shortlisted alongside such a wonderful group of women for the 2018 INSPY Award! To celebrate, we decided to giveaway a bundle a books to a lucky reader. You can get to know all of the authors a bit below, and then enter to win the bundle below!

N i c o l e  D e e s e
Shortlisted Title - A New Shade of Summer

Favorite food to grill - Chicken kabobs! We grill them about once a week. So yummy! The kids love to help skewer the peppers and fresh pineapple to the marinated chicken. It’s one of our favorite dinners to eat in the summer.

The beach read I’d recommend right now - Sadly, I haven’t read many beachy-type reads lately (although I love them!), but I have enjoyed some books by Jenny Colgan (a general market author) who has a new release out, The Endless Beach. I’m planning to read it on my vacation next week!

The song I'm singing along to in my car - I'm in love with the song, "I Get To Love You" by Ruelle. The lyrics inspired my current writing project, so it gets played a lot!


B e c k y  W a d e
Shortlisted Title - True to You.
Favorite food to grill - Balsamic marinated chicken.

The beach read I’d recommend right now - What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.  The main character, Alice, has amnesia and forgets a huge chunk of her life. I had a blast discovering, alongside Alice, all the things she’d forgotten. Liane writes with a great deal of heart and humor.  Her characters are achingly, astonishingly real.

The song I'm singing along to in my car - "What About Us" by
Pink. Every time it comes on the radio, my nine year old and I both belt it out.

H i l l a r y  M a n t o n  L o d g e
Shortlisted Title - Jane of Austin

Favorite food to grill - Kabobs! Especially if they’re truly Mediterranean-inspired, with lots of garlic, lemon, and herbs.

The beach read I'd recommend right now - Georgette Heyer’s The Grand Sophy - all the witty hijinks a girl could want on a beach.

The song you’re singing along to in my car - Ginny Owens’ "The Loudest Voice." Soooo catchy and happy! Also love Lucius' song "How Loud Your Heart Gets." I'll never not be obsessed with that song.

C o u r t n e y  W a l s h
Shortlisted Title - Just Look Up
Favorite food to grill - I’m going with a traditional burger (mostly because I eat one every single night!)

The beach read I’d recommend right now - How do I pick just ONE!!?? I’m loving Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey, but beach reads are my FAVORITE so I’ve got a pretty big stack!

The song I'm singing along to in my car - Oh, gosh, normally some tune from whatever show we’re directing, but I’m embarrassed to admit that as of yesterday my daughter introduced me to a new song by Five Seconds of Summer called “Lie to Me”. The lyrics are really ridiculous, but the song is so catchy. I can’t get it out of my head!

K a r a  I s a a c
Shortlisted Title - Then There Was You
Favorite food to grill - Chili and lime marinated prawns.
The beach read I’d recommend right now - It’s winter in New Zealand so the beach feels a loooong way away but I recently read Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours on vacation and loved it! It’s a split time novel set in the 1930s and today about illegal adoption based on the true story of Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Children’s Society.

The song I'm singing along to in my car - I am very rarely alone in the car but my 4-year-old loves singing when we’re driving and the current favourite is “I had a little turtle." I know it by heart ("I had a little turtle, his name was Tiny Tim. I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim…") plus bonus actions 🙂

Use the widget below to enter the Giveaway! 
Do you have a question for any of the authors? Sound off below!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Writers Corner: Good to the Last Page - A Crash Course in Finishing your Novel or Narrative Nonfiction

On April 25th, I was honored by the opportunity to share about constructing a book in general, and finishing it in particular, at my very favorite place in Memphis - the Dixon Gallery & Gardens. Between the art (lovely!) the grounds (peaceful!) and the programming (fascinating!) it has brought so much joy to my life, so it was lovely to get to participate in one of their weekly lunchtime lectures ("Munch and Learn," every Wednesday at noon).

Anywho, I got to pare down quite a lot of fiction theory into an afternoon chat and was asked (rightfully so) to post the slides on my website. Theoretically, the video should be available at some point? I will follow up on that. In the meantime, let me walk you through what we covered...

Monday, April 30, 2018

It's Been a Minute

Hey all.

I'm just gonna say it.

I'm terrible at written multi-tasking. Either I'm writing a book or I'm writing blogs, or maybe I'm not even writing at all at which point I'm just bad at the doing of writing, and this has turned into a long sentence.

You may notice that, in fact, the last blog posted was very nearly six months ago. And...I never meant it to be that long. But the thing with blogging is that the longer you're away the harder it is to go back.

Also, things were busy. We experienced our first holiday season in the south, and we spent time with friends and I got sick (again) and I made all of our Christmas gifts and we spent more time with friends. Everyone asks why we moved here, what we were thinking, and you know what? The Mid-south is America's best kept secret. We've moved around a lot over the years, and I feel more settled and at home here than I ever did in the Portland area. Also, I can find parking places. It's a win-win.

After the holidays, life was a blur of visiting family, another round of viruses, and becoming members of our church. Things were settling out a little bit, and I was looking forward to catching up on the writing and blogging and newslettering.

And then Danny's father passed away unexpectedly, and that threw everything, all of us, for a loop. We traveled back to Oregon and spent two weeks there, and since our return Danny's had work trips to Alabama, I got to see Darlingside with my dear friend Ginny in Nashville, and then Danny and I drove to North Carolina and back to attend a sweet cousin's wedding reception.

That was...weekend before last? To complete that whirlwind, I got to speak at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens, which was great but also kinda prepared at the last minute (see previous paragraph). The notes for that will be in the following post, if you're interested.

Also, there will be a newsletter forthcoming I KNOW, BUT I MEAN IT THIS TIME. So if you'd like that in your inbox and haven't subscribed, make sure to do that!

What else? I am still working on a new book. Yes, it is going very slowly. Yes, I hope to pick up the pace. Yes, I like it very much and if you liked Jane of Austin, I think you'll like it too.

I've been reading A Lady in the Smoke and have been enjoying that very much. I also reread The Peach Keeper (which I have to say I enjoyed better as a reread) and have The Music Shop in my TBR pile with Robin Gunn's Woodlands as well for peak nostalgia.

What's kept you busy? What's in your book pile? Share in the comments below!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Needtobreath Interview with Seth Bolt: The Extras

Needtobreathe at the Mud Island Amphitheater in Memphis, TN

Back in August, I had a chance to interview Needtobreathe bassist and vocalist Seth Bolt about the band's history and current tour. You can read the official interview - "Needtobreathe finds success in the space between mainstream and gospel"
It's a tight piece and well-edited, but that editing for the magazine meant a lot of streamlining, and there's material from the interview I knew a lot of you would want. So here's a bit more. Call it the special features edition!