Bookish Radness

End of the Summer Giveaway!

Y’all. It is time! I have been meaning to sort through and organize books from recent blogging, contests, books I’ve bought, etc and I want to share the love. Since it’s the end of summer, I think a giveaway is in order! I’ll be randomly picking two winners for a box of books!

Head over to this link (it’ll open up to a Rafflecopter) and enter to win!

Open to US residents only. Void where prohibited by law.

Enter through Rafflecopter here!

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Author Interviews

4 Questions with Award Winning Elizabeth Camden | Author Interview

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

It’s always such a joy to be able to feature some of my favorite authors! One of those? Elizabeth Camden. Not only because she covers such interesting parts of history, but I love the women she creates, women who are strong and inspiring. And what better way to kick off the week than with a 4 Questions and giveaway right?

Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian at a small college in central Florida. Her novels have won the coveted RITA and Christy Awards. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband near Orlando, Florida.

1. What is something about your life right now that you would have never imagined 5 years ago?
Easy! I would never have dreamed that I’d be writing and publishing novels. It was one of those pie-in-the-sky dreams I worked hard for, but never really expected it would happen. And when it did? It was more thrilling, more challenging, and more heartbreaking than I ever imagined. It’s one thing to write novels in the privacy of your home, quite another to hand it over to others who will slice and dice the text, pick out a cover for it, and send it out into the world where it will be subject to the slings and arrows of public opinion. For the most part folks have been very kind to my books, but I sweat bullets over each one. I never thought about the realities that happen on the other side of getting that first book contract.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
I wish I’d been more of a risk-taker when I was younger. I was always very cautious and worked hard, trying to save money for a rainy day, buckle down to get an education, become gainfully employed, etc.

But I’ve always had a couple of wild, unfulfilled dreams. I wanted to move to Alaska for a year and work in a fish cannery. When I was in college I met a girl who did the Alaska-thing, and I immediately glommed onto it as a wild, wonderful adventure I wanted to try, but I was too timid to pursue it. I wish I had. I know the work would be hard, smelly, and uncomfortable, but I wish I had such a year in my memory bank. Now that I’m older I realize that my early twenties was the perfect time to do such a thing. It’s too late now. I’ve got elderly parents who I’m a caregiver for, and a husband who has zero interest in moving to Alaska. When I was in my twenties I was so worried about money and building my own safety net that I didn’t realize it was the perfect time to do something wild and adventurous.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Oh my….there isn’t any one thing I can point to. The days I am happiest are not linked to grand events. They come in the quiet moments, or at the end of a long day when I’m tired in both body and mind, but have the satisfaction of a job well done. Those are my happiest times.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
I worry that we are robbing our kids by trying to keep them constantly amused and stimulated. Television, video games, amusement parks. Now we can stream movies to kids riding in a car. Kids who are bombarded with this sort of entertainment don’t know what to do when the power fails. They grow into adolescents who expect to be entertained, but lack the ability or emotional heft to venture forth and become productive.

There is a certain magic to going out in your own backyard to search for fossils among the rocks in the garden, or riding a bike on a hot summer’s day. Perhaps even more importantly, there is terrific value in learning to do something hard. Kids who train for a sport, build model airplanes, or join the scouts learn great skills. When my husband was in boy scouts he learned to build a fire, catch, skin and cook a fish. This leads to a sense of accomplishment that no video game can ever provide. So I hope the next generation can move away from short attention spans and learn to enjoy things that are hard. Those are the things we are proudest of.

Then again, my husband says my Indian spirit name is “Dream Killer,” and I never learned how to have fun. Maybe that’s true, but I’ve also learned to derive immense satisfaction from sinking my teeth into a big, hard project, and I learned that skill when I was only a kid. I hope the next generation can put down their cell phones and learn to enjoy doing something hard.

Thank you so so much Elizabeth! I love your books, so it’s a pleasure featuring you on the blog!

Where to Connect with Author
Website | Facebook

 

Author Interviews

4 Questions with Lorie Langdon | Author Interview

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

What better way to end the month than with a fabulous 4 Questions?? I’m excited to have Lorie Langdon on the blog today! I absolutely love the Doon Series (counting down until Book 3!) she writes with Carey Corp (you can find my reviews here)! They’re creative and a great addition to the YA market. If you love the genre or have teenagers, be sure to check it out.

Lorie Langdon has over ten years experience writing online and print advertising for a Fortune 500 company. A few years ago, she left her thriving corporate career to satisfy the voices in her head. Now as a full-time author and stay-at-home mom, she spends her summers editing poolside while dodging automatic water-gun fire, and the rest of the year tucked into her cozy office, Havanese puppy by her side, working to translate her effusive imagination into the written word.

Lorie has a Bachelor’s Degree from Wright State University. She is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America and a board member for her local Ohio Valley RWA chapter.

1. What is something about your life right now that you would have never imagined 5 years ago?
There are so many things that have changed for me in the last five years! One thing that amazes me almost every day is the outpouring of love and enthusiasm for the Doon series on social media. Our readers from all over the world post edits and videos of what our characters might look like, gorgeous photos of our books and even original fan art! Five years ago, I was still dreaming about Doon being published, so our awesome readers were far from something I could have imagined!

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
I would go back to the stressful years prior to getting my first publishing deal and trust God’s perfect timing. After lots of rejection, the publishing deal we got for Doon ended up being beyond anything I could’ve imagined! Our book was the lead title for Blink, a brand new YA imprint geared toward delivering clean, compelling stories that delivered a message of hope. With another publisher, Doon’s subtle spiritual thread would likely have been unacceptable. But with Blink we’re able to tell the story of Doon the way it was meant to be told.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
The first time I held the Doon hardcover in my hands, when Carey and I had our first book signing in New York City and people were lined up to meet us, when I saw our amazingly gorgeous cover for the first time, when a reader drove eight hours to get to our book signing…Oh, was I only allowed to list one?

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
When I was a teen, I sat on the sidelines and watched the world go by. I was afraid of rejection, of taking risks, of trying new things…I’d rather bury my face in a book then take an adventure. But in college someone very close to me passed on and I realized life was too short to sit back and wait for things to come to me. So I fought my way out of my passive shell and I’ve never looked back. I still feel scared sometimes (especially before a speaking engagement!), but I’ve realized that fear, failure, and rejection are all part of living a spectacular life!

My advice for the next generation…Try new things, take a leap of faith, go after your dreams! You may not succeed every time, but it’s worth the risk—I promise. 🙂

Thank you so so much Lorie! It was a pleasure to have you on the blog and can’t wait for the next Doon book as well as your first solo release! Yay! Alright readers, be sure to connect with Lorie.

Where to Connect with Author
Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads | Pinterest | Website | Doon Series Website

 

Author Interviews

4 Questions with Michael K. Reynolds | Author Interview

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

Hello friends! What better way to kick off the weekend than with a 4 Questions?

Michael K. Reynolds is a writer with more than two decades of experience in crafting fiction, non-fiction, journalism, copywriting and documentary production. He is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant of Books & Such Literary Agency. He is the author of a series of Irish historical novels published by B&H Publishing Group. These highly acclaimed books are available in bookstores and libraries across the nation and beyond.

4 Questions

1. What is something about your life right now that you would have never imagined 5 years ago?
Not only that I would have three full length historical novels available on bookshelves throughout the nation and beyond, but that it would require the amount of work it did to get them there. I always knew writing a published work of fiction would be a challenge, but in retrospect I was completely naïve to the amount of hours required to produce a polished novel worthy of my readers’ time. I feel blessed to be a published author but my eyes are wide open moving forward!

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Definitely I would prepare myself more for the journey to be an ultra-marathon. Because I underestimated the task I found that meeting my writing deadlines while still prioritizing striving to be a good Dad and husband took every waking moment. Then again, I am not much of a “go back and do things differently” type of person. I feel blessed there were tremendous lessons learned through this process and for this I am grateful.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Certainly the usual suspects of God, wife and children moments when it comes to general life take precedent but in regard to this writing adventure there are so many breathtaking highlights. And there need to be! They pull you like a bright light through the many dark, lonely and disappointing writing moments that seem to be the necessary wallpaper of any author’s career. The biggest moment of joy was probably when my literary agent, the legendary Janet Grant, first offered me representation. Before that I was just another writer desperate to be heard. After she took me on, there was a sense of validation and all of the pieces rapidly came together.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
I believe we’re at a crisis state in many ways with the disrespect we express towards our wisest population. There is so much treasure in the minds and experiences of the oldest members of the human race yet there is an emerging culture of wanting to hasten them out to early pastures. My prayer is that young people rediscover this precious resource and cherish it as the gift that it is. I am tremendously appreciative of the mentors God put in my life and shudder to think of where I would be without their guidance and intervention. It’s perhaps why I love being a historical novelist is that I believe the past has so much to teach us about a better future.

Amen. So much truth behind those answers, so thank you Michael for stopping by and sharing!

Where to connect with Michael
Website | Facebook | Twitter

I hope you enjoyed his words as well dear readers! I’d love to hear your thoughts too!

Author Interviews

4 Questions With Author Jennie Allen

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

What better way to kick off the new month than with another 4 Questions?! I’m excited to have a fellow Austinite on the blog too! Jennie Allen has been doing some amazing things for women and it’s awesome to see the ripples of her faithfulness to teach women and empower them lead to incredible things! So let’s dive right in! Here’s 4 Questions with Jennie.

Jennie Allen’s passion is to encourage women to serve God and others by pursuing their passion. She holds a master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary and is the author of two books and numerous Bible Studies, including her latest book entitled Restless: Because You Were Made for More. She is also the founder of IF, which gathers, equips and unleashes women to live out their purpose. Jennie and Zac Allen are the parents of four children and live in Austin, Texas. Find Jennie’s blog at www.JennieAllen.com.

1. What is something about your life right now that you never would have imagined 5 years ago?
I think I was always afraid to admit that I was a leader. I don’t think that I’m alone. I think a lot of women wrestle with their gifts and not knowing how to use them. Now, it’s absolutely undeniable. I’m leading a major organization, and I’m speaking and teaching. All of these were difficult for me step into, and I think that came from a lot of fears and ideas about what it meant to be a godly woman. Unfortunately, there were times I thought sitting in the back and holding my more public, strong gifts back was ideal. Now, I realize that God has built me this way, and that this was a cultural issue for me. It was an expectation for myself that certainly wasn’t from God. Ephesians 2:10 says God “equipped me for the good works that he prepared in advance for me to do.” Now, I feel much more responsible to Him than to these false ideas that I had about what it meant to be a Christian woman. But I know five years ago I would have been shocked at all the things that I am leading and ways that I am using my gifts. I just couldn’t have imagined it.

2. What is one thing you would go back and do differently if you could?
Well, since you have me thinking about the ways I held my gifts back… I think I knew my gifts at a young age. People spoke them to me. They said, “You are gifted teacher. You are a gifted visionary. You are a gifted leader.” But I fought so much insecurity and fear for so long when I could’ve been using those gifts for others and for the glory of God. At the same time, I believe that’s also a part of my story now. It’s the reason I’m so compelled to help other women use their gifts and lean into the ways they are made and the good works that God’s prepared for them. I can’t say that I would take it back because it’s shaped what I’m doing. Isn’t that true of all of our weakness and regret? God can take those things and use them for good.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Well, there are the obvious happy moments of marriage and children, but one of the sweetest moments lately was the day of IF: Gathering. It had been a dream for so long and it had cost us so much emotionally. It had been years and years of dreaming and working and believing and obeying God in the darkness. IF was the moment we got to walk out of the cave and see the light. It was too much to take in. It was too overwhelming that God had been leading me all that time. I think until the day of IF, I still wondered if I was wrong. Was I misleading everybody? Were we going to come to that day and fail miserably? I was so blown away and surprised at how God came through, and how it reached out beyond anything we could have hoped or imagined. That was a day that I believed and trusted God, and he showed up. Just to say He was with me and for me. It felt so personal, and yet there were so many other people a part of it.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
This isn’t some game, our lives. It’s a gift that we get to serve God and obey Him and love Him with these days that we have here. I think I’ve turned that it into pressure at certain points. I told myself that I needed to do something big or great, but I’m learning that this isn’t about something for God. It’s about doing something with God. As long as their eyes are fixed on Jesus, the author and perfector of their faith, the races that He has for them will not be run in agony, but they’ll be run with joy because we’re running with our God—the one who adores us and we adore. I think I look at this next generation, and I see so much passion and joy and fervor to impact the world and spend their lives well. I relate to that. I feel like I’m a part of that. But I I’ve messed up in thinking that he wanted something from me. God wants to do the works that he prepared in advance with me. I’m learning to lean into the joy of a daily walk with God rather than focusing on the great works that I think He wants from me.

Thank you so SO much Jennie for your time and wise words! I’m so encouraged and want to dive right in the race with Jesus alongside me :). If y’all haven’t, be sure to connect with Jennie online!

Where to connect with Jennie
Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

 

Author Interviews

4 Questions With New York Times Bestseller Melanie Shankle

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

We need to all stop, collaborate and listen. Really friends, because the wonderful and hilarious Melanie Shankle of The Big Mama blog is on Books and Beverages today!!

I kinda want to pass out people.

I’ve followed her blog for a while now and I can’t even tell you how many times I laugh (and sometimes cry). She has two books you need to read as well. Her latest The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life just came out last week, an awesome and real life story of all things marriage. Y’all, I’m not even close to getting married or having children and I can’t wait to read this book! Enough from me, let’s dive right into 4 Questions!

Melanie Shankle writes daily on her blog, Big Mama. She is a graduate of Texas A&M and loves writing, shopping at Target, checking to see what’s on sale at Anthropologie, and trying to find the funny in every situation.

Most of all, she loves being the mother of Caroline and the wife of her husband, Perry. The three of them live in San Antonio, Texas.

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
Writing books and having them published as real live books that are for sale is something I never could have imagined five years ago. It was always a dream, but not something I ever thought would actually happen. The whole thing still seems so surreal.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
This is tricky because I believe that all our life experiences, both good and bad, work together to make us into the person God created us to be. And so I look back on a lot of dumb things and maybe wish I had been smarter, yet know that it was a life lesson I needed to learn.

All that being said, I wish I had known earlier in life that the only way to find real security is in Jesus Christ. It would have saved me a lot of heartache.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Without a doubt it was the day my daughter Caroline was born. That moment of holding her for the first time is forever etched in my mind. It was just pure joy and has to be the closest thing to heaven here on earth.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
That nothing compares to the love of Jesus Christ. We live in a world that is constantly searching for answers and chasing after all these things we are told will make us happy. But the truth is that God is the only thing that will bring us peace.

Thank you so much Melanie!! I can’t say enough what a joy it is to host you on the blog!! Now everyone, please stop what you’re doing, find her on the internet and follow all of them.

Connect with Melanie! Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Author Interviews

4 Questions With Author Amanda Flower

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

I really feel like this January has been the best January of my blogging life. Based on the author interviews alone, it’s been so great! I can’t thank all of these wonderful people enough :). And today, the radness continues with Amanda Flower on the blog!

As I mentioned in my review of the fabulous Andi Unexpected, there was nothing I enjoyed more than playing detective and figuring out the crimes (usually consisted of my older brother “kidnapping” my stuffed animals). That’s one of the reasons I enjoyed her latest young children’s detective series. I know I would have devoured them even as a kid! I haven’t read any of her other books yet, but I if they’re anything like this one, I promise you should pick up a copy. I’m excited to have her join the blog and 4 Questions!

Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She also writes mysteries as Isabella Alan.

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
Five years ago, I had just signed my first book contract for my debut novel, Maid of Murder. At that time, all I wanted was to have one mystery published. I never dreamed of the eight I have today, nor that I would have pen name (Isabella Alan).

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
I would allow myself and those around me to enjoy what I have achieved instead of worrying about what comes next. I’m still working on that.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
My new challenge for myself is to find joy in small moments. I had a moment of joy last weekend while running in the snow with my four-year-old niece and talking with her about heaven.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
You can’t know all the challenges the people around you, both friends and strangers, are facing, nor can they know yours. Please be kind.

Thank you so much Amanda for joining in! Be sure to connect with her all over the world wide web!

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

Author Interviews

4 Questions With Author Krista McGee

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

One of my favorite reads last year was, hands down, Anomaly by Krista McGee. It’s a fantastic YA dystopian novel I’d recommend to anyone! As a bonus the author is pretty awesome too. I mean she’s lived in Spain and Costa Rica, what more evidence do you need ;)? I love the heart behind her writing and I’m so excited to dive into the next book in the series, Luminary, which is waiting patiently on my kindle. So it is truly my pleasure to have her hang out today on Books and Beverages!

I write for teens, teach teens, and more often than not, act like a teen. My family and I have lived and ministered in Texas, Costa Rica, and Spain. Our current hometown is Tampa, FL. Check out my website for FAQ’s, info on my books, and my blog.

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
I wouldn’t have imagined I’d be a published writer! Five years ago, I was just starting to think about writing First Date, but I didn’t even know if I could actually finish the book. I certainly wouldn’t have imagined that I’d write three YA contemporary books and then switch genres to write YA dystopian.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
That’s a tough question! As a writer, I think I would start working on the craft earlier. I didn’t really get serious about writing until five years ago.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
It’s a four-way tie between my wedding day and the births of my three children.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
As a wholehearted, committed Christian, I want this generation to know that God has great plans for them, that He is worth knowing and serving. We get too caught up in things that don’t matter and miss out on what matters most.

Be sure to connect with Krista online because she’s fabulous!
Facebook | Website | Twitter

Author Interviews

4 Questions With Author DeAnna Julie Dodson

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

One of my favorite books last year belongs to the one and only DeAnna Julie Dodson! The book? Rules of Murder (A Drew Farthering Mystery), written under the pen Julianna Deering. It’s kicked off the beginning of a fabulous new mystery series full of Agatha Christie vibes and English accents. So if y’all haven’t dived into the world of Drew Farthering, why you must.

DeAnna Julie Dodson has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, 2014). She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency.

I’m so excited to host DeAnna on the blog and join 4 Questions, so let’s dive right in!

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
After more than a decade of no contracts, I am amazed that I am now a Bethany House author. Their editorial and support staff are a dream to work with, and they’re all incredibly sweet. Everything they do is first class, and I am blessed to be with them. Having them publish the book (and series!) of my heart is just an added bonus.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
I would have more actively written and pursued publication after my medieval trilogy was published in the late ’90s. It took me about ten years to get back into the swing of things, but thanks to my wonderful agent, Wendy Lawton, things are better than ever. I believe God doesn’t waste anything, so I’m sure that ten years of “lost” time was beneficial to me and my writing in one way or another. I’m just glad I got a second chance.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
My cat Elliot passed away in August of last year. I had just lost another cat, my sweet Emily, and was heartbroken to lose my boy, too. But when I was at the vet’s office letting Elliot go, they brought me a tiny little orange kitten who needed a home. I was sold. Even though a “toddler” kitten is always a handful, he brought me such joy from that moment on. He makes me laugh every day, and I couldn’t imagine being without him.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
You are loved, and you are forgiven. God loved you enough to give Himself (Jesus) to die for any- and everything you’ve ever done wrong. He wants you to come to Him and will never turn you away if you do.

Thank you so much DeAnna for taking the time to hang out at Books and Beverages! Be sure to connect with DeAnna around the web! With her next coming out at the end of February, Death By Book, you don’t want to miss out on any of the news!

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Author Interviews

4 Questions With Bestselling Author Deeanne Gist

(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)

Guys.

Look who is on the blog today. Look! Yep, the very same I always mention is absolutely hilarious and how I love all her books. The bestselling author herself, Deeanne Gist! Do you know how exciting it is for me to be able to host my favorite authors on this little corner of the web? All I’m saying is I’ve been known to dance around the room from excitement. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did and be sure to pick up one of her books stat!

Deeanne Gist — known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee — has rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very original, very fun historical & contemporary love stories. Add to this four RITA nominations, two consecutive Christy Awards, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you’ve got one recipe for success.

You can connect with Deeanne on at her website, Twitter or Facebook!

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
In the last five years we’ve seen 2 kids get married, 2 graduate college, and 1 move to the other side of the country to pursue a career in music. In that time, as Greg and I became empty nesters, our sweet border collie suddenly moved way up in the pecking order. He’s not *quite* top dog, but he’s close. Never did I dream we’d let him on the furniture with us, on our bed, in our hotel rooms, and hardly ever out of our sight. Our kids are all shaking their heads at this sad state of affairs.

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
Oh, goodness. There are too many to count, much less narrow down to one. So many words I’ve let spill out that I’d love to recapture. So many decisions I’ve made that I so wish I’d never fallen through on. So many falls I took that could have so been avoided. One thing? Hardly.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
I remember looking out the window above the kitchen sink while washing up some dishes. The day was glorious and the girls were playing hula-hoop on the deck and the boys were eating popsicles while they watched Greg work on a fort he was building for them. I remember resting my hands against the sink and thinking, “You know, life just doesn’t get any better than this.”

Before
After

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
I hope the next generation never forgets that though they are connected to “friends” all over the globe with a touch of their fingers, that it is still extremely important to have friends they spend time with, play with, and share with–live and in person. No amount of texting, tweeting, or facebooking can ever replace the rewards which come from those face-to-face, day-to-day relationships.

Thank you so much Deeanne! Such a pleasure to host you at Books and Beverages!