Announcing the new Book Talk With R & T: The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick

book talk r t

Hello! Back when I attended BEA 2015 and heard about this book, I just knew this would be a contender for Book Talk With R&T!

As the discussion began for the next Book Talk, I suggested this and Gates of Evangeline (a book I LOVED) and we debated back and forth. Forth and back. Up and down. Down and up. I was about to the point of wanting to consult a psychic about which book to choose.

And here we are. Choices were made. Interview lined up. Giveaway procured. Enjoy!

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of Book Talk With R & T- give my fabulous co-host, Rhiannon @ Ivory Owl Reviews some major loving! And then check out Ellen Herrick on Twitter and Facebook. Be sure and give her some bookish love on 9/1 as THE SPARROW SISTERS hits the shelves! Continue reading

Guest Post: Author Cathy Lamb Talks Writing and Gardening

It's a Guest Post day

Today, Cathy Lamb, author of MY VERY BEST FRIEND, WHAT I REMEMBER MOST (and 7 other books along with several anthologies) is here today to talk about gardening and writing. You are in for a treat, my readers! Don’t forget that the #giveaway is still happening for MY VERY BEST FRIEND– so check it out! Continue reading

The Anti-Hero’s Journey: a trick of the trade by Bradley Somer

fishbowl by bradley s

It’s blog-sitting time! Tamara, you “forgot” to leave the keys for the place but, lucky for us, one of the upstairs windows was left open. I’ve made myself at home while you were out, drank most of your coffee, finished up the leftovers in the fridge (delicious quiche, by the way), and have been sleeping on the couch… mostly. Anyway, the other night I was going through that pile of papers on your desk and was inspired to pen this little piece about the craft of writing anti-hero’s journey.


The Anti-Hero’s Journey: a trick of the trade.


Bradley Somer


There are a million articles on ‘The Hero’s Journey’, a common construct underpinning the majority of novels. Essentially, an ordinary person in the ordinary world is called to an adventure. Said ordinary person takes a harrowing journey through a strange world on a strange quest only to later return to their ordinary world, changed and enhanced for the better. For examples, think of those wily hobbits or that young moisture farmer on the desert planet of Tataouine.

Everyone loves to root for a hero… but sometimes you’re asked to root for the villain and sometimes you do.

“I’m a good person and here I am rooting for an evil-doer. How is this possible?” you ask. Surely that high-school chemistry teacher turned meth cooker/mob boss shouldn’t hold my attention… but he does for a lot of people. It’s okay to like a fictional bad guy, but how is this done?

The answer is the Anti-Hero’s Journey. This is a topic that could span volumes of text and months of discussion but, distilled into a few hundred words, it all amounts to this: the two essential qualities for having a reader care about a villain are scaled perspective and appropriate comeuppance.

Firstly, scaled perspective. The concepts of good and bad are a gray scale of perspective and our empathy towards a character is framed in relation to where on the scale your anti-hero sits. For example, in my latest novel Fishbowl, The Villain Connor Radley is a pernicious philanderer wronging his sweet and innocent girlfriend Katie by secretly holding relations with two other women. At the beginning of his character arc, Connor has few redeeming qualities. Through the course of his story however, we learn of his troubled upbringing and inability to connect effectively with his emotions. In the story, Connor realizes that he is wronging Katie and vows to change his two-timing ways and make everything better. The Connor we know at the end of the book is quite different than the one at the beginning… he’s still not a good guy, just a better one.

Secondly, appropriate comeuppance. This is at the root that satisfaction we feel when an anti-hero gets what’s coming to him/her. It can also offset some of the animosity a reader feels for an evil-doer. Without giving away the story, Connor does get what he deserves, he suffers appropriately and, in the end, there’s a catharsis afforded his character… he has changed his ways and he has suffered for his past wrongs. We’re tentatively ready to give him a second chance and are appreciative of his new outlook.

So, the fundamentals of Anti-Hero’s Journey could be summed up as: there’s a call to adventure of a villainous person in the ordinary world. Said evil person takes a harrowing journey through a strange world of good on a strange quest of self-realization only later to later return to the ordinary world, changed and enhanced for the better… or worse.


Anyhow, that’s about it for now. For readers and writers alike, this is just the tip of the iceberg of the fun you can have telling anti-heroes stories. Throw in your two cents, leave a comment!

Now, I should take out the trash and tidy up the place a bit before I go. Tamara, you won’t even know I was here!


Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,

T @ Traveling With T

T Traveling With T pic sign off


The Secrets of Lake Road by Karen Katchur

The secrets of lake road by karen k

Photo Credit: St. Martin’s Press

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

The Secrets of Lake Road

It’s summer time and all Caroline wants to do is play at the lake. The lake is her sanctuary, her cocoon- her comfort.

Not so for her mom, Jo. Jo can’t stand to be at the lake- the place of summer’s past- and the place where she is reminded of secrets and her role in events of the summer sixteen years ago.

A body of water, a small vacation community- both represent such vastly different things to two people.

When little Sarah goes missing, the community knows that she’s drowned- all ban together to help find Sarah. Some have altruistic reasons, some don’t. But one thing is for certain- no one expects to find what was uncovered in the search for Sarah.

Can mother/daughter survive this summer as events come to light that change their lives? Continue reading

{Giveaway} Landfall by Ellen Urbani

giveaway giveaway

Hello! Last Friday at Lemuria Books, I had the pleasure of meeting Ellen Urbani, who recently published the book LANDFALL.

Since LANDFALL is set in the wake of Hurricane Katrina- and this is the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina- I knew when I heard Ellen talk about the book, I wanted to get a copy for the readers of Traveling With T.

To read more about LANDFALL and to enter the giveaway- read on! Continue reading

Literary Friday ya’ll…..

literary friday

Hey ya’ll! Today is a gorgeous sunshine filled day. Miss A (aka the cutest niece ever) is coming to spend the night and I have been scheduling blog posts and finding books to read all week!

It’s time for my feet (with the coral-polished nails) to be put up on the ottoman and to grab a cool drink and let the weekend wash over me….. beginning now!


1. Deep South Magazine and their #literaryfriday: News about MS Book Festival (C-SPAN was there broadcasting live, folks!), a new festival is Milton, Georgia and much more….


2. Lots of giveaways happening at Traveling With T: SEASON OF SALT AND HONEY by Hannah Tunnicliffe, MY VERY BEST FRIEND by Cathy Lamb, and THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE by Sonja Yoerg. All, except for the SEASON SALT AND HONEY are US only. SSH is US/Canada only. Continue reading

X by Sue Grafton


Photo Credit: Putnam Books

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.


Summary from Goodreads:

X:  The number ten. An unknown quantity. A mistake. A cross. A kiss.

 The shortest entry in Webster’s Unabridged. Derived from Greek and Latin and commonly found in science, medicine, and religion. The most graphically dramatic letter. Notoriously tricky to pronounce: thinkxylophone.

The twenty-fourth letter in the English alphabet.

Sue Grafton’s X: Perhaps her darkest and most chilling novel, it features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton wastes little time identifying this sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim.


Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

Listen, it’s no secret that I LOVE me some Sue Grafton. I may not have been reading her my entire life (actually, I think A IS FOR ALIBI was first printed before I was even born!) but for the past 10 or so years, I have been loving Sue and Kinsey. As we get closer to the end of the alphabet, I grow increasingly nervous about my beloved Kinsey. Will Kinsey just end when we get to Z? Does Sue Grafton have more in store? Can we make a plan to re-write the alphabet and add a few more letters? (Desperate times call for desperate measures!) Continue reading