Friday, April 27, 2018

My Mostly Happy Life


MY MOSTLY HAPPY LIFE by Shelly Reuben
◊ Paperback: 292 pages
◊ Genre: Fantasy
◊ Publisher: BookBaby (April 27, 2018)
◊ Language: English
◊ ISBN-10: 0988418150
◊ ISBN-13: 978-0988418158

SYNOPSIS:

          Once upon a time, Samuel Swerling, a World War II veteran and inventor, decided to build a park. It would be filled with trees trained to grow in such a way that children could easily climb them. To this end, he bought two acres of land, hired Alonso Hannah, a one-armed arborist, and began to turn his dream into the reality.   
          After five years, Alonso and Sam had created a small, privately-owned park in a big publicly-run city. Sam married Ghita, bought an apartment across the street from his park, and had five children.   
          People fell in love at the Samuel Swerling Park. Painters painted pictures; dogs chased balls; pretty girls basked in the sun; and time stood still. Most of all, though, children did what the park had been built for them to do: They climbed trees.  
          The narrator of this book is one of Sam's climbing trees. He thrives on human contact, and in his long and happy life, he has had few disappointments. Lately, however, he is being subjected to life-threatening injuries by Jarvis Larchmont, a power-hungry politician who was thrown out of the park for bullying when he was twelve-years old.  
          Time passes. Sam’s grandchildren, particularly Esther Swerling, are now in charge of the park. Esther is young, beautiful, and like her grandfather, an inventor. She is also ferociously protective of her heritage. When a hurricane floods the area, she and her family provide food and shelter for those seeking refuge from the storm. At the same time, Jarvis Larchmont is put in charge of the Department of Parks.   
          Still bitterly resentful at having been thrown out of the park as a child, he joins forces with Eco-terrorists to destroy Sam's creation. Suddenly, our narrator and his fellow climbing trees are separated from people. Separated from all that they know and love. Separated from children. They cry...and they begin to die.  
          Then Esther, her friends, and her family organize. And they fight back.


Today – Arbor Day – is a most fitting time for me to share my thoughts on author Shelly Reuben’s latest release, MY MOSTLY HAPPY LIFE: An Autobiography of a Climbing Tree.

In Reuben’s new book, which also hits bookstands today, her narrator for this fascinating tale is a tree. She gives readers a unique perspective of a tree’s life in a park and how we humans interact with them.  This is not a supernatural story where the tree talks to people, but a story where readers get to know the tree’s feelings and outlook on life in the park.

This story is filled with highs and lows, sorrow and happiness, and a whimsical outlook that will have you smiling despite yourself. Reuben has a exceptional way of bringing the tree to life as a narrator.

Reuben’s writing is entertaining and captivating. She pulls you into the story and makes you feel you’re in the middle of the action. The story flows smoothly and at a good pace. It holds you spellbound until the very end.

I have never come away from any of Reuben’s writing without feeling more relaxed and uplifted than when I started reading. Her writing is refreshing and intoxicating leading you to see a more fanciful side of life.

Illustrations by Ruth McGraw enhance the story. McGraw’s beautiful drawings highlights this amazing adventure Reuben takes readers on. Don’t be surprised after you read this delightful story if you start looking at trees in a whole new light.

My Mostly Happy Life: An Autobiography of a Climbing Tree by Shelly Reuben, BookBaby, @2018, ISBN: 978-0988418158, Paperback, 292 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the author. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks for stopping by today. Do stories make you stop and think of how we as humans interact with other creatures and even objects? Did you have a climbing tree you enjoyed as a youngster?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Was It Difficult Or Was It Fun?


I’m delighted today to welcome a great group of authors to Thoughts in Progress to talk about a project you might have heard of – TICK TOCK: A STITCH IN CRIME, An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology.

Thinking about all the writers coming together for this book made me wonder, “What was one advantage of writing for an Anthology and what was one disadvantage?” The authors join us to explain. First, a brief synopsis of TICK TOCK.

The clock is ticking...

          Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?
          Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.
          Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

Now for the authors (you might recognize a few).

For me, having a fiction category, a word count, and a theme set out is a huge advantage in writing for an Anthology. It focuses me on the story. Then, as was the case for Tick Tock, I didn’t have to spend time researching to find a publisher. Dancing Lemur Press was waiting for these specific entries. Also, it’s interesting to meet new people in this business. This Anthology includes a lot of writers who are new to me, so I feel I’ve expanded my network. And it's really wonderful to have a team of writers who step up and help with the promotion. Promoting a book is big job.

I’m racking my brain for one disadvantage, but I can’t think of any. If I do, I’ll chime in via comment. 
C. Lee McKenzie
  
The advantage is easy. With 10 other authors, we have a ton of connections and an amazing collective creative mind. I love the enthusiasm and energy we're creating together for this anthology and for each other as writers. 

The disadvantage? Nothing, except for trying to keep track of everyone, their stories, and blogs, and stay on top of all the postings!
Mary Aalgaard
  
Writing for a themed anthology gave me a set of guidelines to follow—a starting point for my ideas. The Tick Tock anthology was formed around the idea of mysteries where time or clocks played a significant role, so I started brainstorming around different kinds of clocks, and ended up with the tides! That pushed my thinking in a whole new way, and I ended up with “The Tide Waits."

The main advantage was also a disadvantage in some ways—I needed to stay within the guidelines, so I had to pull myself back when I started wandering off in other directions. On the other hand, maybe that’s an advantage…
Rebecca M. Douglass
  
For me, one advantage of writing for an anthology was the thrill of trying something new. Well, a few somethings new. I'd never written a short, never entered a contest, never tried writing for an anthology, never written a crime story, and never worked with a publishing company. I've had so much fun with these new adventures!

This has been such a great experience, that I had to really stretch for a disadvantage! Aside from my Mac crashing TWICE (thank you automatic updates!) the biggest disadvantage is that I'm a total newbie at marketing and promoting. It's hard to know what to do without being obnoxious, and how to be an active and supportive member of this fabulous team - but I'm learning!
Jemi Fraser
  
The advantage is that I write in the mystery genre.

The disadvantage is that I usually write novel length stories. Writing a good short requires a complete story without a lot of background, red herrings, and investigation. When Cypress, Like the Tree, finally unfolded, it played out in my brain as a complete story. A lovely surprise!
Yolanda Renee

Every anthology is a new experience. Sometimes fun, sometimes frustrating. I think one advantage is that we learn from each other. There are always one or two writers who have more knowledge about marketing, blogging and promotion. They drag us neophytes along with them and we can’t help but learn.

The disadvantage (and this might be my own insecurity) is that I always ask myself, “Does my story measure up? Am I good enough to be in this anthology with these fantastic authors or am I the worst of the best?” In spite of those questions, the smartest thing to do is hang on, enjoy the ride and learn all we can from each other.
J.R. Ferguson
  
One awesome advantage - tons of advertising and support. With a group of authors, we reach a much wider audience

One disadvantage - coordinating our marketing efforts, but we are taking care of that. And Dancing Lemur Press has done an impressive job finding us great places to stop by for interviews, like this one! Thanks!
Tara Tyler
  
I have experienced so many great things about writing for an anthology.

The biggest advantage was writing a short story according to a theme and being able to explore different ideas. I also really enjoy reading how all the authors approach the theme.
Christine Clemetson
  
Advantage: I’m not good at asking people to buy my book, so the promotion end of things is definitely easier in an anthology where other authors are there to help share in the marketing.

Disadvantage: Getting eleven authors together in the same place is hard. We all have other things demanding our time; work, family, health—any number of “life” things.
Gwen Gardner
  
Advantage: Being able to share my massive and loyal audience with other writers. Also: Getting to be deluded and full of myself in a crowd of ten other people, so hopefully no one will notice.

Disadvantage: Splitting all those sweet royalty cheques eleven ways.
C.D. Gallant-King

Thanks everyone, I’d have to say it sounds like the advantages quickly and positively outweigh the disadvantages of writing for an anthology.

TICK TOCK: A STITCH IN CRIME, An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology.
·        $14.95 USA, $4.99 eBook
·        6x9 Trade paperback
·        204 pages
·        Mystery & Detective / Crime / Thrillers
·        Print ISBN 9781939844545
·        eBook ISBN 9781939844552
·        Freedom Fox Press

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

TICK TOCK is available through:

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. What are your thoughts on writing for an anthology? Do you see more advantages or disadvantages?

Monday, April 23, 2018

A Shot in the Dark


A SHOT IN THE DARK by Cleo Coyle
◊ Series: A Coffeehouse Mystery, Book 17
◊ Hardcover: 352 pages
◊ Genre:  Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
◊ Publisher: Berkley (April 17, 2018)
◊ Language: English
◊ ISBN-10: 0451488849
◊ ISBN-13: 978-0451488848

SYNOPSIS:

From Cleo Coyle, the New York Times bestselling author of Dead Cold Brew, comes a delicious new entry in the "fun and gripping" (The Huffington Post) Coffeehouse Mysteries.

          A new smartphone dating game turns the Village Blend into a hookup hot spot, until one dark night, when a gunshot leaves a dead body behind and the landmark coffeehouse becomes the center of a whole new scene--a crime scene.  
As Village Blend manager Clare Cosi attempts to finalize a date for her wedding, her ex-husband becomes addicted to making dates through smartphone swipes. Clare has mixed feelings about these quickie matchups happening in her coffeehouse. Even her octogenarian employer is selecting suitors by screenshot! But business is booming, and Clare works hard to keep the espresso shots flowing. Then one dark night, another kind of shot leaves a dead body for her to find. 
The corpse is a successful entrepreneur who became notorious for his "hit it and quit it" behavior: prowling for women on dating apps, then devastating his conquests with morning-after insults. Though the NYPD quickly arrests one of his recent victims, Clare finds reason to believe she's been framed. 
Now, with the help of her ex and crew of quirky baristas, Clare starts "swiping" through suspects in her own shop, determined to find the real killer before another shot rings out.

Includes a bang-up menu of tempting recipes.


Just when you can’t envision what the next adventure protagonist Clare Cosi will encounter, author Cleo Coyle will surprise you by taking you on a roller coast ride of thrillers.

Keeping the series and the characters fresh and current with the times, the author combines social media, smartphone dating, and murder for a fascinating read in the latest release. The story moves at a good pace and keeps you guessing until the very end.

The author blends the story so that new readers aren’t left wondering if they are missing something. At the same time, returning fans can enjoy catching up without having too much back story to bore them. This 17th installment in the series can be read as a standalone.

The author’s talent for merging the cast of favorite characters with new individuals keeps the series and each new story energized. Incorporating aspects of daily life readers can relate to enhances the story and gives it depth.

You can’t help but get up caught up in the excitement and feel the adrenaline rush as Clare, aided by her family and friends, does what she does best – get to the heart of the case no matter the risk.

The core case of characters is realistic and likable. The protagonist is strong, independent, determined with traits and faults readers adore. An added bonus, numerous recipes and coffee tips can be found at the end of the story.

A SHOT IN THE DARK is a tantalizing murder mystery filled with suspense, fun and intrigue. You don’t have to love coffee to enjoy this spellbinding mystery.

A Shot in the Dark by Cleo Coyle, A Coffeehouse Mystery (Book #17), Berkley, @2018, ISBN: 978-0451488848, Hardcover, 352 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Be sure to stop back on May 6th when author Cleo Coyle will be visiting Thoughts in Progress to talk more about this fascinating book. Have you read any of the Coffeehouse Mystery series? What are your thoughts on dating through social media?

Friday, April 20, 2018

Where It All Began … Tick Tock


I’m super excited today to welcome fellow blogger, friend and outstanding author Alex J. Cavanaugh to Thoughts in Progress.

As many of you know, Alex is the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group which offers support for writers and authors alike. Alex is joining us today to talk a bit about the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and a huge event they have coming up. Welcome, Alex.

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime comes out May 1 – the third anthology from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. How did it all come about? Maybe I need to go back and give you some history.

Seven years ago, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group began. At first, it was just a monthly blog hop. But it eventually morphed into a website that we like to call the database of all databases for writers. A Facebook group also began at the same time. Along the line, we opened a Twitter and Instagram account, started a newsletter, published two free writing eBooks, began a Goodreads book club, and launched our own Twitter pitch party, #IWSGPit.

But before we hit our one-year milestone with the website, we decided we needed to do something special. An anthology contest was suggested and once we had a few things lined up, we dove into the opportunity. I’m not sure anyone is prepared for their first anthology project, but somehow we waded through all of the submissions, sent the best ones to our selected judges, and then turned the winners over to Dancing Lemur Press for publication under their imprint, Freedom Fox Press.

Our first contest’s theme was parallel universes and the genre science fiction. The result was Parallels: Felix Was Here. We decided to make it a yearly contest, and that book was followed by Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life, a fantasy book with the theme of hero lost. This past year, we selected mystery/crime/thriller and a theme of tick tock – something having to do with clocks and time. And now Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime comes out on May 1.

Readers (and most people) see only the finished book. Which is how is should be. But there’s so much work behind the scenes. Months beforehand, we announce the genre and start working on a theme. Then judges (authors and agents) are selected based on the genre, which involves a lot of emails. After submissions open, the IWSG admins prepare for the avalanche of stories. The writers have two months to submit–which means the admins have just one week longer than that to read every single one and narrow it down for the judges. We tally up their votes and the best ten to twelve stories make it into the anthology. From there, Dancing Lemur Press takes over and handles everything else.

It’s exhausting for the admins. But when we see the results, it’s worth it. Three excellent anthologies – and many more to come!

Alex, it is amazing. Thanks for giving us a behind the scenes look at how TICK TOCK (as well as the other anthology projects) came to be.

Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with Alex (you really should be), here’s a bit of background on him.

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, CassaStorm, and Dragon of the Stars. The author lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

For more on Alex and his writing, visit his website and connect with him on Twitter and the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website.

You can also find the IWSG books HERE.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have you read any of the anthology books? Are you a member of the IWSG?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Queen Anne’s Lace


QUEEN ANNE’S LACE by Susan Wittig Albert
◊ Series: A China Bayles Mystery, Book 26
◊ Hardcover: 304 pages
◊ Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
◊ Publisher: Berkley (April 3, 2018)
◊ Language: English
◊ ISBN-10: 0425280055
◊ ISBN-13: 978-0425280058

SYNOPSIS:

 A present day ghost leads China Bayles to a secret from Pecan Springs's past in this haunting mystery from New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert.

While helping Ruby Wilcox clean up the loft above their shops, China comes upon a box of antique handcrafted lace and old photographs. Following the discovery, she hears a woman humming an old Scottish ballad and smells the delicate scent of lavender....
Soon, strange happenings start to occur in Thyme and Seasons: misplaced items, a ringing bell, and the appearance of lavender sprigs in odd places. When a customer mentions seeing a mysterious woman picking flowers nearby and then suddenly disappearing, China must finally admit what Ruby has always known--their building is haunted. But by whom?
As China investigates, the tragic story of a woman in one of the old photographs unfolds. Annie Laurie was a young widow who'd lost both her husband and her child in the same day. She manages to survive through her lace-making business and finds happiness again only to have a suspicious death overshadow her new life.
China delves into Annie's century-old mystery and realizes that solving it could have unimaginable repercussions in the here and now.


An interest in herbs first drew me to the China Bayles Mystery series by Susan Wittig Albert. Great storytelling by Albert keeps me coming back for more and more.

QUEEN ANNE’S LACE, the latest installment in the series, is a prime example of Albert’s writing abilities. She combines mystery and a touch of the supernatural with family and friendship blends it into a story about the past and present for a tantalizing tale. The intrigue pulls you in quickly and the characters hold you spellbound until the very end.

Albert has created a protagonist and cast of supporting characters that are realistic and likable. They are easy for readers to relate to. Even though this is the 26th installment in the series, Albert keeps it fresh and inviting. She blends enough of the back story so that new readers aren’t left in the dark. At the same time, she doesn’t rehash events in such a manner that returning fans feel overwhelmed with the same old story.

Another interesting aspect of the story is the depth of research Albert does in order to feature herbs throughout the tale. There are even recipes included at the end using herbs.

Albert delivers another story that will tug on your heart strings and make you ponder what you would do if you were in China’s place.

Queen Anne’s Lace by Susan Wittig Albert, A China Bayles Mystery (Book #26), Berkley, @2018, ISBN: 978-0425280058, Hardcover, 304 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks for stopping by. Have you ever picked up a book and read it, then discovered it was the latest in a series? Do you go back and read the earlier installments and/or keep going with any future books?

P.S. Hope you’re having a great and HAPPY FRIDAY THE 13TH!!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Tick Tock … What Do You Know


It’s a pleasure to welcome today’s guest to Thoughts in Progress as this is an amazing lady who knows the book world not only as an author and blogger, but as a publisher.

Please join me in welcoming Diane L. Wolfe, who is here today to talk to us about the publishing aspect of her world. Diane’s company, Dancing Lemur Press LLC/Freedom Fox Press has just published an intriguing anthology that will soon be available to purchase. Welcome, Diane.

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime is the third anthology for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. It’s the ninth anthology for Dancing Lemur Press LLC/Freedom Fox Press, so we’ve some experience putting them together. This one ran very smoothly, and we give credit to the authors and their high level of responsibility.

There’s a lot that can go wrong during the process. Writers can balk on the contract, miss editing deadlines, fail to supply bios and author shots, ignore emails, and fall short of marketing expectations. (And we’ve had all of that happen.) Fortunately, these eleven authors rose to the challenge.

They were on time with edits and went above and beyond to ensure their stories were the very best. They sought out reviewers and spread the news of the release. A website https://ticktockmysteries.blogspot.co.nz/ and a Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/TickTockMystery/ were created. Several reviewers offered to do multiple interviews and posts and the authors were prompt in putting everything together for us. Add in all of the sites they lined up on their own, and they have a great online tour planned.

We couldn’t work with a better group. Dancing Lemur Press is very proud of these authors and their upcoming book.
  
Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

The clock is ticking...

Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

$14.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 204 pages, $4.99 eBook
Mystery & Detective / Crime / Thrillers
Print ISBN 9781939844545 eBook ISBN 9781939844552
Freedom Fox Press

“Each story is fast paced, grabbing the reader from the beginning.”  - Readers' Favorite, 5 stars

“I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of thought-provoking crime stories.” - Denise Covey, author

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

For more on Tick Tock, visit the following links:

Diane, thanks for sharing this behind-the-scenes look at the anthology. It is packed with fascinating stories.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. Be sure to come back as there will be more on this tantalizing book as it nears its release date (including my review). What do you enjoy most about reading an anthology?

Monday, April 9, 2018

Mornings on Main


It’s a pleasure to welcome New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas back to Thoughts in Progress and today she is here to talk about her latest release, MORNING ON MAIN.

Jodi, a master of family drama, returns with MORNINGS ON MAIN (HQN Books, April 2018, $15.99 U.S./$19.99 CAN.), a riveting tale that follows three generations of women, each facing challenging circumstances, but whose stories unite as they strive to overcome their individual burdens.   

Jillian James has been a wanderer as long as she can remember, traveling from town to town, never staying too long in any one place. Not running to or from anything, or hiding out. Just drifting…the way she was taught as a child by her nomadic single father, a man who liked to travel and went wherever the jobs took him, never putting down roots or getting involved for too long with anyone. And Jillian is the same way—no strings anywhere, no place to call home. And no one to call family, not since she last saw her father the day he dropped her off at college—before disappearing from her life completely. But now, twelve years later, Jillian is hoping to find some trace of him in the only place she believes he ever had a special connection—the small, welcoming town of Laurel Springs, Texas.
          Soon after arriving, Jillian lands a temporary job courtesy of Connor Larady, a man of many hats—town mayor, land owner, newspaper publisher, unpublished novelist and, most important, devoted single dad to his rebellious teenaged daughter, Sunnie, and doting grandson to Eugenia Larady, better known to everyone as Gram. Connor hires Jillian to help out in aging Gram’s quilt shop, cataloguing and preserving each quilt’s history, just as Gram starts struggling with her own slipping memory.
          Despite her better judgment, Jillian soon finds herself growing closer to each of the Laradys: helping Sunnie cope with a tragic past while struggling to figure out what she wants from her future; spending time with the shy, handsome Connor while knowing that any romance between them will only end in sadness when she eventually leaves; and connecting with the lovely Gram, a woman who is the heart of the entire town, building literal and invisible threads throughout the community--and whose fading memories and occasional flashbacks, a shocked Jillian realizes, contain clues to her own family history.
          Jillian has spent her life avoiding attachments. According to her father’s rules, it hurts too much to care. But for the first time in her life, she’s starting to wonder if his rules are wrong, if it’s better to be part of something greater than just herself—part of a community, of a family, of loving someone.

Now please join me in giving a warm welcome to Jodi as she joins us to talk about her latest release. Welcome, Jodi.

Stories dance in my head all the time, but now and then one lives on after I turn the book in. MORNINGS ON MAIN is still waltzing in my thoughts. I hope that the people of Laurel Springs come as alive to you as they did to me.

MORNINGS ON MAIN weaves three women’s stories together as the stories of the town’s history is displayed in quilts. Quilts have always fascinated me. I remember laying under my grandmother’s quilt from that drifted down from the ceiling. I remember my mother quilting long after her mind had had been invaded by Alzheimer’s. I love seeing my sisters’ quilts displayed on their bedroom walls. 

But, I don’t quilt. 

My mother only read my first book before she stopped reading completely.  I’ll never forget what she said about my patchwork stories that blend together.  She said, “Jodi, you quilt with words. 

Come visit my town and I hope you’ll stay for a while, Jodi.

Jodi, thanks for sharing these women’s stories with us. Stories like this are always fascinating.

Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with Jodi, here’s a bit of background on her.

Author Jodi Thomas
A fifth-generation Texan, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A former teacher, Thomas traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable.  

With a degree in family studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A&M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

Commenting on her contribution to the arts, Thomas said, “When I was teaching classes fulltime, I thought I was making the world a better place. Now I think of a teacher or nurse or mother settling back and relaxing with one of my books. I want to take her away on an adventure that will entertain her. Maybe, in a small way, I’m still making the world a better place.”

When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo and checking up on their two grown sons. 

For more on Jodi, went her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks so much for visiting today. Sorry that I’ve been MIA but I will be back online full time before too long. I hope you’ll check out Jodi’s latest release. Do you enjoy stories featuring several generations of one family?