It’s May, y'all! This is one of my favorite months of the year. Why? The flowers are in full bloom, birds are making nests around my house, and the greatest event on the planet takes place, the Kentucky Derby.
But this May holds a special place in my heart—it’s the month my book, Where the Grass Grows Blue, will finally debut! So many things are happening right now. I’m doing podcast interviews, writing articles for magazines, and practically living at my local FedEx and post office; it’s a busy time. But there’s something big happening at the end of the month, and there’s a plot twist to it. Keep reading. I promise, it’s worth it.
First and foremost, I cherish each and every one of you. I know it’s taken a long time to get my book into the world, but you have patiently stuck with me through it all. I get it; why does it take so long to get a book published? Another plot twist: something is coming in June 2023. Stay tuned. This one is going to be interesting.
Where the Grass Grows Blue will debut in less than two weeks. Am I excited? Yes. Am I scared to death? YES! A few days ago, I received my first paperback copy. Though I’m technically a "writer," I simply cannot put into words how it felt. Four years, one hundred and twenty thousand words, three content edits, sleepless nights, and a few tears later... I’m holding my book in my hands for the first time. What a feeling!
Speaking of Where the Grass Grows Blue, it’s in the top ten bestsellers for Red Adept Publishing for the month of April—and it doesn't debut until May 16th! None of this could have happened without you! I am beyond grateful for the support and love for this book. If you haven’t had the chance to pre-order Where the Grass Grows Blue, click the button up top!
Another announcement…Where the Grass Grows Blue has a "voice!" Helen Laser is narrating my audiobook for Blackstone, and I’m over the moon. She’s fantastic.
And for my final piece of good news—Where the Grass Grows Blue is Bookish Road Trip’s Book Club selection for May! I’m still pinching myself.
What is Bookish Road Trip’s book club?
"Each month we invite bestselling authors to our virtual meetups. This is a very casual get-together where readers and authors sit in the same virtual space and share thoughts on all book-related things. For the readers in the room, this is your chance to talk to your favorite authors. For the authors in the house, this is your chance to learn something new about the craft of writing. Enjoy thirty minutes of socializing with bookish friends, followed by an hour with the author, all from the comfort of your home. Always the last Wednesday of the month." -BRT’s website.
I’ve been attending this book club (on Zoom) once a month for about a year. It’s super fun and Barbara Conrey does a fantastic job as host. Go to their website or check out their Facebook page for more information. While you’re there, join. It’s simple and free.
So here’s the plot twist I promised you earlier—this event takes place on May 31st. Why is this day special? It’s my mother’s birthday.
A little backstory (I am a writer after all, so please indulge) LaRecea Gibbs, was a force of nature. Though only 4’10, when she entered a room, she was the biggest personality there. Trust me, no one could forget meeting her. Not only was she the most determined woman I’ve ever met, but she was THE writer in our family, spending several summers at Western Kentucky University honing her craft while juggling multiple jobs to keep our family afloat. It was her passion. Outside of her love for her children and grandchildren, nothing made her happier.
A few years after retiring from teaching, she wrote a book honoring my late brother Todd, entitled Not a Wasted Breath. It was an inspiring look into his incredible story and his passion for life while fighting against cystic fibrosis. Todd never let his disease hold him back. He was a news director for a radio station, wrote a column for the local newspaper, served as a deacon of his church, graduated from college while holding down several jobs, became a high school basketball referee, was elected to the City Council, and met a president of the United States in the Oval Office, just to name a few of his accomplishments.
He was a fascinating human being, and a large part of his success was because of my mother, who fought for him daily, slept countless nights on hard hospital couches, and supported his dreams up until he passed away. She lovingly wrote about their unique bond, mother and son, having to come to terms with a life cut far too short.
Sadly, my mother is no longer with us, and Not a Wasted Breath is not available for sale, but I like to think she’s with me on this journey as I launch my own book into the world. In my heart, I think she would find it fitting that my first book club event will take place on her birthday. Maybe she had a little hand in the date chosen for me. I told you, the woman was one of a kind.
Three Things I’m Obsessed with…
1). Firefly Lane, Season 2. I cannot stop thinking about the final six episodes. Tissues PLEASE.
2). Kettle Corn. I bought some individual pouches to put in my Where the Grass Grows Blue swag bags (it plays an important role in my book), and now I can’t stop eating it! My sweet tooth has kicked into overdrive. I’m going to have to order another box.
3). Peonies, or as I call them, pee-oh-knees. My first bush started blooming this week, and my Atlanta family sent me a bouquet full of them. They are one of my favorite flowers.
Until next time…when I will be doing my first author give-a-way for my subscribers! A signed copy of my book, some Where the Grass Grows Blue inspired gifts, and more. Stay tuned.
Until next time...