Archive | November 2017

Morning News

As I’m sitting here listening to the morning news before I head out to work my mind drifts back to the news I was hearing one year ago. It was this time last year that my morning news was filled with images and updates as wildfires ripped through Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and I watched as places I have been to and knew were burned to the ground. Or saw families not sure if they would have a home to go back to or worse yet not sure if their loved ones were in the path of the fire and if they were safe. I still can’t believe it has been a year.

Titanic over Gone With the Wind

I am devastated that Gone With the Wind has loss out to Titanic for the day before Thanksgiving movie. I loved being able to watch Rhett and Scarlett before my turkey day started. I am just not a fan of Rose and Jack. I feel like a piece of history is being thrown away. I still love you Gone With The Wind.

Smokies Strong 1 Year Later

Next week marks the one year anniversary of the wildfires that ripped through the Great Smoky Mountains. Lives were lost, homes destroyed, and the people of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge were determined to carry on. I have been back twice since the fires and they are moving forward from this hard time. They truly are Smokies Strong. I still can’t believe we were so close to the fires starting with the precious babies.

One Company Two Totally Different Experiences

I had two bottles of body spray that would not spray, one was a Bath and Body Works and the other a Victoria Secret. I emailed the company about them and was told I could take them to the stores and exchange them but it would have to be a body spray for a body spray, no big deal. So I went yesterday, what an experience that was. First I went to Victoria Secret. I picked up a body spray and took it to the counter, told the lady I had the one that wouldn’t spray, she asked for my receipt. I ordered it online so I didn’t have my receipt, so she tried looking it up by my card, still no luck. So then they asked if I had the email so I could put the order number in. Well good thing I never delete my emails, I found it but then they were still questioning me if I bought it on line when you could clearly read on the email that scent was purchased on that order. Well I finally get it exchanged and head out the door and onto Bath and Body Works. I walk into Bath and Body find my spray I want, wait in line get up to the register pull out my spray that isn’t working and tell her it won’t spray, she tells me I can just take the new one and apologized for it not working, and out the door I went. At no time did they apologize at Victoria Secret. It amazes me that two stores owned by the same company could have so totally different experiences. Well Bath and Body Works won the customer service award hands down in this case.

After Burn/After Shock Book and Movie

Last Friday Passionflix started streaming their newest book turned movie, After Burn/After Shock by Sylvia Day.  I’ll start with the book, it was okay.  I like the Crossfire Series more but this is actaully two novellas in one book.  So they are not as in depth, which I prefere but limited space means limited information.  I would have preferred more of Gia and Jax’s backstory.  On to the movie.  They did a great job following the book and hitting some of the major points.  I love that Passionflix is turning books into movies, this being the second, and I can’t wait for more.  I think I would have to say Hollywood Dirt was better but then again maybe that was just me liking that book better. 

15 Southern Belle Recommended Books

A few weeks ago I gave my list of 10 Recommended Series so here is my list of Recommended books.

1) Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  I think every Southern Belle should read this at least once in their lifetime and don’t let the number of pages scare you away.

2) Rhett Butler’s People by: Donald McCaig.  This is a nice “sequel” to Gone With the Wind.

3) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  It’s a classic, and if you are only going to read one Jane Austin book in your life I would recommend this one. 

4)  The Royal We by Heather Cocks.  This is a fun read in which an American girl falls in love with a prince while at college.  Will their road lead them to marriage?

5) Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld.  This is a fun modern day version of Pride and Prejudice set in Cincinnati.  But I would recommend reading it in addition to not instead of Austen’s original version.

6) Message From Nam by Danielle Steel.  This book holds a special place in my heart that I will share with you soon.

7) Black Hills by Nora Roberts.  I was surprised I liked this book as much as I did.  I especially enjoyed it since I have been to the black hills.  It’s a type of book I would not usually go for.

8) Pemberley Ranch by Jack Caldwell.  This is Pride and Prejudice meets Gone With the Wind.  Need I say more.

9) Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.  This is an laugh out loud book that entertains.  

10) Table for Five by Susan Wiggs.  This is a touching book that will make you cry.  

11) At the Altar of Speed: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of Dale Earnhardt by Leigh Montville.  No words can express this book.  It was a nice insight that was the man known as the man in Black.  

12) Driver 8 by Dale Earnhardt Jr.  At the time this came out it was a breathe of fresh air coming from a quite man.  I’m sure it could use some updating now but still a good read.  There were tears for this Southern Belle so be warned.

13) A Week at the Beach by Varginia Jewel.  This was one of the first books I ever read on an e-reader and it was set in the Outer Banks, that in it self makes a favorite for me.  

14) Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews.  Another Outer banks based books and my first Mary Kay Andrews book.  A great book about friendship and love.

15) Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews.  I have only read a few of her books but she brings the Southern Charm, which I love, and this is no exception.  
These are in no order.  I hope you find my list helpful. 

NOLA In My Reading (Recommended Series In Depth Part 2)

I knew I was drawn to the city of New Orleans from my short trip there two years ago, I just didn’t realize how drawn I was. That draw has even found its way to my reading now. There are two series (both from my recommended series list) that based in New Orleans. The first is the Boudreaux Series by Kristen Proby and the other is the Bourbon Street Boys Series by Elle Casey.   

Boudreaux Series (in order)

– Easy Love

– Easy With You (novella)

– Easy Charm

– Easy Melody

– Easy Kisses

– Easy for Keeps (novella)

– Easy Magic

– Easy Fortune (novella)

– Easy Nights

I just learned about the first novella Easy with You so I am super excited to go back and read it. These are fun romances that really capture the essence of New Orleans. They are full of southern charm mixed with the music, magic, history, and night life of New Orleans. Reading these really made me want to go back to NOLA and since I don’t see that happening any time soon these were a fun way to take a little trip back there, even if it was only in my mind.


Bourbon Street Boys Series (in order)

– Wrong Number, Right Guy

– Wrong Place, Right Time

– Wrong Question, Right Answer

– Wrong Turn, Right Direction

The Bourbon Street Boys series are four quirky detective stories with some romance built in. Would I say these are the best books, not really, but they were a fun breath of fresh air. They kept me laughing and I really enjoyed the characters and their bond, so that was good. These are perfect for a change of pace reads, in my opinion.  

Good Luck Dale

As the 2017 NASCAR schedule is winding down, three races including today’s. It is hard to believe that after the final race of the season Dale Earnhardt Jr is hanging up his fire suite and retiring. I was a Junior fan before I was a NASCAR fan. How does that work you ask? Well I had seen Dale Jr on TV and thought he was cute, so he was my favorite driver, but it wasn’t until after Senior’s death in the 2001 Daytona 500 that I really sat down to watch a race and enjoyed what I was watching. I remember that week while it was yesterday, watching everything I could about it on the news and purchasing the newspapers, books, and magazines. I was in shock that a larger than life person like that was killed during the biggest race of the year. I cried tears of fear when Dale Jr. wrecked early in the next race at Rockingham and tears of happiness when Steve Park, driving one of the cars owned by Dale Sr., won the race. And the tears were really flowing when Dale Earnhardt Jr won the July Daytona race. I was excited when Dale Jr. decided to make the move to Hendrick and even more excited when they moved the 48 and 88 into the same shop, my two favorite drivers coming out of the same shop, they were going to be unstoppable, and for a while they were the it team. But then Dale Jr had that hard wreck last year, at Kentucky none the less, and the retirement gears started turning. It is going to be weird not having a “Dale Earnhardt” racing (and not just because of an injury). But I wish Dale luck and he is going to have a new little baby to keep him busy. And I know this does not been he is leaving racing completely, it’s just a little sad for a long-time Earnhardt fan like myself to see him walking away without ever winning a championship. And I know there will be more tears flowing in a few weeks when they race that final race at Homestead Miami.  

The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories by: Celeste Fletcher McHale

They always say you can’t judge a book by its cover, well I chose my books by their cover, most of the time. The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories is one of those. I was drawn to this book the moment I saw the cover. (Plus, I am drawn to all things magnolia.) It was a nice easy read with a story that pulls at the heart strings.
On a roof time during a flood, is that where someone expects to find the love of their life? Usually no, but that is what Jacey is wondering a year later after meeting Colin in that exact way. Is he the love of her life and where does she go to find him? But they find each other in the most unexpected way and what ensures is a journey they both must take to see if the feelings they have toward each other is love or something else.  

I enjoyed taking the journey with Jacey and Colin. They have some bumps along the way, which of course makes the story more interesting. I have never read a story quite like this before, it was an easy read that opened my eyes a little at the same time. I will keep books Celeste Fletcher McHale on my watch list. I know she has one other one that I have not read yet but I am hoping to soon.