On the Screen …

Yes – I do most of my reading on a screen, whether it’s a book on my Kindle, an email on my work computer or a social media post on my phone.

Yes – I also do most of my writing on a screen, whether it’s an outline for a new chapter, a newsletter for work or (again!) a social media post on my phone.

But I’m a print girl at heart. As much as I love my Kindle, nothing compares to feeling the cool, slick pages of the September issue of Vogue sliding under my fingertips.

During the past few years, it’s become commonly accepted that print journalism is dying. But I’ve always believed that there is still a time and place for newspapers, magazines and even paperbacks. Screens are great (and extremely convenient), but sometimes you want the actual product in your hands – to be able to *touch* it.

So maybe there’s still a heartbeat left in print, after all. I grinned as I read this story from The New York Times, which points out that digital sales accounted for only 20% of the market last year – which is about the same as it was a few years ago.

I am a proud hybrid reader, as the article points out, going back and forth from digital to print. And I think many people are. Sometimes, the convenience of a digital screen wins. Other times, I want to spend a lazy Saturday morning with a cup of tea and the latest Vogue. And I’m happy that I have that choice.

In the Spotlight …

Spotlight spent a little time in the spotlight in June and July!

The lovely katiebird reviewed it for Bookish Temptations and gave it 3.5-4 stars. Woohoo! Read the full review here.

spotlightbooksigningI loved the thoughtfulness of her review and that she understood Lily’s perspective: “I appreciate what it is like to want support an actor but not invade his privacy.” Yes! That’s exactly how Lily feels – and how I suspect many fans feel about their favorites.

Thanks, katiebird, for taking time to read Spotlight and review it!

And a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to do a book signing at Foxleaf Bookstore in my hometown. I’m so grateful to everyone who came out to see me and to Charion for allowing me to host it at her store. It was an amazing day!

Book Signing – Heading Home!

SpotlightFullCoverFrontThey say you can’t go home again … but I’m not so sure that’s true. I love Louisiana, but Rocky Top will always be home sweet home to me.

So, I’m heading home – and bringing Spotlight with me!

I’ll be doing a book signing from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. July 6 at FoxLeaf Bookstore in Cookeville, and I hope you’ll come by. Check out all the details here.

See y’all there!

A Year in the Spotlight

SpotlightFullCoverFrontTime passes so quickly, doesn’t it?

I realize I sound like a proud parent … and in some ways, I suppose I am. My first-born book celebrates its first birthday this week!

It’s hard for me to believe that’s been a year since Spotlight was released. What a year it’s been! This experience has been everything I expected it to be and nothing I expected it to be.

I am so, so grateful to everyone who has taken the time to read Spotlight. You all have no idea how much it means to me.

If you have read it, I’d love to know what you think of it. Reviews are super-important, so I hope you’ll take a quick minute to leave one!

Here are a few places you can find it:

Barnes and Noble

Amazon (paperback)

Amazon (Kindle edition)

TWCS Publishing House



Don’t forget it’s on Goodreads, too. Add it to your lists!

Thanks again for being part of this remarkable journey!🙂

The Real Story

ABC’s Bruce Jenner – The Interview was one of the most fascinating pieces of broadcast journalism I’ve seen in quite some time.

This interview was so important for many reasons. It opened up a national dialogue. It helped explain a sensitive topic. It challenged people to be more open-minded.

Out of all that was said, there is one comment that stuck with me. Diane Sawyer asked Bruce if he regretted doing Keeping Up With The Kardashians. She said, “And all that time …”

Bruce’s response was to raise his hand. “I had the story. We had done 425 episodes, I think, over almost eight years, and the entire run I kept thinking to myself, ‘Oh my god, this whole thing.’ The one real, true story in the family was the one I was hiding and nobody knew about it.”

To me, that comment says so much.

There is an illusion of access to modern celebrities, thanks to social media, paparazzi photos, even TMZ. We feel like we genuinely *know* these people because we see them all the time. But … how much do we really see?

Sure, I see celebrities I follow on social media pop up in my newsfeed, and I could tweet them anything at any time. But that doesn’t mean I know everything about them – or even have the right to. What I see is minute portion of their day and their personality – not a full picture.

There is a point where that illusion of access goes to far. One of the saddest moments of the ABC special to me was when Bruce cancelled a medical procedure because paparazzi found about it and were waiting for him. Even for celebrities who are as (arguably) overexposed as the Jenner/Kardashian family, there is no reason that should happen.

Reality TV might invite viewers into a celebrity’s home, but that doesn’t mean we need to see the dirty laundry. I, for one, am glad that Bruce decided to tell his real, true story.

Fandom Follies …

It’s been a rough few weeks for many fandoms …

Spencer Smith left Panic! at the Disco. (Awww!)

Nina Dobrev is leaving The Vampire Diaries. (How is TVD going to work with no Gilberts?! At least the Salvatores are still there …)

And Zayn Malik left One Direction. (*wipes tear from the corner of my eye*)

Not going to lie. That last one toyed with my boy-band-lovin’ heart. And I know I wasn’t the only one.

The morning after Malik’s announcement, it was a hot topic on my favorite morning radio show. They asked people to call in to share their #ZaynPain, and as I drove to work, I got to hear a couple of those discussions. And the whole time, I kept thinking, “Please don’t make fun of them …”

The callers were both in their teens. And both girls were pretty sad about this news. The hosts were gracious enough to let them talk through their emotions. They recognized that even though this might not be a big deal in the grand scheme of things … to 1D fans, it’s a HUGE deal.

It was interesting to watch the reactions to Malik’s decision as an older pop music fan. I easily could have been those callers when Kevin Richardson left the Backstreet Boys (dating myself!). The difference now is how quickly fandoms can come together. Within minutes of Malik’s announcement, I saw posts on several social media networks all saying variations on the same theme: If you need a place to talk, I’ll listen/We’ll get through this together/Support each other.

That, to me, is the beauty of fandoms. At some point, it stops being about Zayn or Kevin or whatever/whoever you’re a fan of and starts being about the friends you’ve made *because* you’re a fan of Zayn or Kevin or whoever/whatever you enjoy. And – together – you celebrate the successes and mourn the losses.

Enquiring Minds Want To Know …

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite parts of grocery shopping with my mom was standing in the checkout line.

Nope – I’m not kidding.

I loved reading the headlines on all the tabloids. The National Enquirer was always my favorite. Not that I actually believed Elvis was alive and chowing down on burgers at some truck stop outside Tulsa, mind you. But there was something intriguing about their creativity.

I must admit – I still do get a kick out of those headlines. But the world of entertainment news has changed quite a bit since the “Enquiring Minds Want To Know” campaign in the ’80s. That was before paparazzi were implicated in the death of Princess Diana. That was before reality TV gave us so many more people to gossip about.

Now we have entire networks dedicated to entertainment news. Now were have publications like OK! and Life & Style and Radar Online. Perhaps it’s even more important to consider the source.

In Spotlight, Lily talks frequently about being a reliable source for entertainment news. Much like her, I believe there *is* a difference between news and gossip. And it’s all in the source.

I do believe there are outlets that accurately and fairly report entertainment news. And I believe there are outlets that do not. So which ones do you trust? Enquiring minds want to know …