Another 5 Star Review for Dee’s Dishes

zdeedees-dishesFriends and Family~  I am so thrilled that Dee’s Dishes has been so well received.  It truly warms my heart that so many people are interested in reading my stories and sharing my recipes.  Thank you for your support!

The Book Tour was delightful- such opportunities to connect with people!  I hope you followed along and enjoyed it as I did. I am happy to report that I received my most re-tweets ever for this guest spot!

Here is a new, 5-Star review for Dee’s Dishes from Readers Favorite!



Finishing up the Book Tour with a Sweet Treat!


It has been such a  joy touring with this book. Special thanks to Melissa Flicks for her excellent organizing and promotion!

Stop by today’s post by C. Streetlights on her blog here.

Join us tonight for the party on Facebook, if you can!




Guest Post: Love Literary Style by Karin Gillespie

Happy Friday, Friends!  I love to spotlight authors and bloggers and readers on Fridays!  Today I am featuring Love Literary Style by Karin Gillespie. Read on for her Guest Post below! I particularly appreciate her reference to reviews and chicken pox.  I’m downloading this book today!  Are you? 

love-literary-style-book-tour-bannerLove Literary Style Book Tour
By author Karin Gillespie
Tour Date: November 1st-8th, 2016


Low brow meets high brow in a literary love story.

Can an emotionally-stunted literary novelist and a vivacious romance writer find their happily-ever after? Even when she becomes more successful than he? Love Literary Style spoofs romantic comedy tropes, winks at literary pretensions and pokes fun at book publishing.

Like Legally Blonde only in the literary world.

Inspired by the author’s New York Times article “Masters in Chick Lit.” A sparkling romantic comedy for fans of the Rosie Project.

Buy the Book:


About the Author:

2c93bc_f568288f57544254b991cfe17add7d80-mv2Karin Gillespie


Karin Gillespie is the author of the national bestselling Bottom Dollar Girls series, 2016 Georgia Author of the Year, Co-author for Jill Connor Browne’s novel Sweet Potato Queen’s First Big Ass Novel. Her latest novel Love Literary Style was inspired by a New York Times article called “Masters in Chick Lit” that went viral and was shared by literary luminaries like Elizabeth Gilbert and Anne Rice. She’s written for the Washington Post and Writer Magazine and is book columnist and humor columnist for the Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Magazine respectively. She received a Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2016

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

Visit All the Stops:

November 1st

Romantic Reads and Such – Book Excerpt
Hello…Chick Lit – Book Promo/Excerpt

November 2nd

Bookish Lifestyle – Book Promo
Judging More Than Just The Cover – Author Q&A
Steamy Book Momma – Book Promo

November 3rd

Jena Books – Book Review/Promo
Emmathelittlebookworm – Book Promo

November 4th

Live Laugh & Love Books – Book Review
Key of Dee – Author Guest Post

November 5th

Bookaholic Babe – Book Promo
Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt/Promo
Anonymisses – Book Review

November 6th

The Belgian Reviewer – Author Guest Post
The Writing Garnet – Book Review
He Said Books or Me – Author Guest Post

November 7th

Novelgossip– Book Review/Promo
Chick Lit Central – Book Promo

November 8th

Elysium Bibliotheque – Book Promo
ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Review/Excerpt

Tour Arranged by:


Coping with Crappy Reviews

 By Karin Gillespie

I’ll never forget it so long as I live. I was about to embark on my very first ten-city book tour when I went to Amazon and, lying in wait like a black widow spider, was my first customer review.
“Karin Gillespie should be boiled in oil for writing such a terrible book. I will NEVER get back the four precious hours of my life I spend slogging through her deathless prose. Was her publisher on crack? Burning’s not good enough for this book. I want to tear it to pieces, page by abysmal page, and then feed it to an alligator.”
Perhaps I exaggerate. The review wasn’t quite that scathing but it was bad enough that I wanted to call in sick for my book tour, fearing I’d be met by torch-carrying, pitchfork waving, angry mobs. Obviously I’d managed to write the world’s worst book.
Never mind that I’d gotten a starred Kirkus just a few weeks earlier. Clearly my crack-crazed publisher had bribed the reviewer. All of the praise and kudos I’d received up until then had been expunged from my mind. All I cared about was what Edna Cranky from Backwater N.C. had to say about my book, and Edna, bless her pea-picking heart, hated it.
How to Man Up
That was almost ten years ago. Ten years ago and a slew of bad reviews later, I’m actually grateful to dear old Edna. If I ever ran into her, instead of wringing her neck, I might actually hug it. Looking back on it, I actually appreciated a little skin-thickening right out of the gate. Bad reviews are like chicken pox: Best to get ‘em over with early in the game less they turn into shingles. I know some writers that published two or three books before they had an encounter with their own Ednas, and it wasn’t pretty.
I’ve never responded to a bad review, much as I’ve been tempted. Nor do I ever read a bad review more than once. (Good reviews, on the other hand, I read hundreds of times and recently had an especially good one tattooed on my bicep.)
I’ve learned to completely ignore the mean-spirited reviews. People who attack the author just aren’t worth spilling tears or swilling whiskey over. I’ve even got to the point where I welcome the occasional poor review so long as the criticism is constructive, and if you believe that I’ve got some swampland I’d like to sell you.
Actually, every bad review stings for a little while but I do occasionally learn from them, and I’m grateful to anyone who has taken the time to read the book and comment on it. Authors might not like bad reviews but there’s something even worse: No reviews whatsoever.

Book Tour: Christmas Confessions & Cocktails by Vicki Lesage

For Friday Friends this week, I am featuring Christmas Confessions & Cocktails by Vicki Lesage.  When you read it, you will feel as if you have made a new friend. I loved it and bought it for my bestie.

-Blog Tour-

I’m so excited to bring you Christmas Confessions & Cocktails by Vicki Lesage.

-Book Tour-

Christmas Confessions & Cocktails
By Author Vicki Lesage


American-turned-Parisian Vicki tells it like it is, from her crazy Christmases growing up in the Midwest to her even crazier holidays in her new home in France. Bizarre gifts, stomach-turning food, and holiday travel disasters are just some of the tales you’ll chuckle at in this installment of the Paris Confessions series.

This Christmas-themed memoir features 25 funny and heartwarming essays, all with a tenuous tie to Christmas, and pairs each with a delicious drink recipe. So grab your martini shaker and get ready for tasty cocktails and hearty laughs this holiday season!

Buy the Book:



Who doesn’t love a Giveaway?
Vicki is giving away her book ‘Confessions of a Paris Party Girl’ below:

Confessions of a Paris Party Girl


#1 Amazon Best Selling Author

When newly-single party girl Vicki moved to Paris, she was hoping to indulge in wine, stuff her face with croissants, and fall in love. It proved to be much more difficile than she’d imagined. In this laugh-out-loud memoir, this cheeky storyteller recounts the highs and lows of her life in the City of Light. Sassy and shamefully honest, Vicki makes you feel as if you’re right there in Paris stumbling along the cobblestones with her.

Will she find love? Will she learn to consume reasonable amounts of alcohol? Will the French administration ever cut her a break?

A funny memoir about coming of age and embarking on a new life in Paris. Part travel memoir, part love story, this collection of funny essays shows the humorous side of life, love, and drinking in Paris.

Enter to Win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Vicki Lesage


Amazon bestselling author Vicki Lesage proves daily that raising two French kids isn’t as easy as the hype lets on. In her three minutes of spare time per week, she writes, sips bubbly, and prepares for the impending zombie apocalypse. She lives in Paris with her French husband, rambunctious son, and charming daughter, all of whom mercifully don’t laugh when she says “au revoir.”

She penned the Paris Confessions series in between diaper changes and wine refills. She writes about the ups and downs of life in the City of Light at

Find her here:


Check out all the Tour Stops:


Review @ Corinne’s Garden
Review @ Hello…Chick Lit
Spotlight Post @ Lozza’s Book Corner
Guest Post by Vicki @ This Chick Reads


Review/Spotlight Post @ ChocolatePages
Spotlight Post @ Literary Chanteuse
Inteview with Vicki @ Judging More than just the Cover


Review @ Ali – The Dragon Slayer
Excerpt @ T&L Book Reviews
Interview with Vicki @ The Avid Readers Blog


Review/Excerpt @ Live, Laugh & Love Books
Review @ Writing Pearls
Spotlight @ One Book at a Time
Spotlight Post @ Chick Lit Central


Spotlight Post @ Key of Dee
Review @ Serve Me Reviews
Guest Post @ It’s not all Gravy
Excerpt @ Art, Books & Coffee
Spotlight Post @ Around the World Books
Excerpt @ Book Groupies

Tour Set Up by:

I ♥ all the Books Tours

My Mediterranean Journey, Day 2 (Part 1)

We awake refreshed and ready to begin another exciting day in Rome. We enjoy breakfast at the hotel restaurant buffet. At some point someone requests another chair at our table, and they bring a highchair. Seriously, my daughter’s seven. We all look at each other for a moment, while the guy is attempting to assemble it. I say to him we don’t want that. He nods like he understands, and continues. Finally I raise my voice a bit and say No. Now he gets it. Weird.

Our tour guide meets us at our hotel, and he is a pleasant soul. He introduces himself to each of the nine of us, including the four children, with reverence. His English is very good, and we are delighted to have him guide us through the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica. My father-in-law wondered aloud what one vehicle would accommodate now ten of us plus a driver and all of our luggage. It is an elegant Mercedes bus that seats twenty, and we are plenty comfortable stretched out in the wonderful air conditionI got. This is the way to go. We are stylin’. The four kids take the back row and sit together, of course.

Giovanni has a microphone on the bus and he tells us how “exciting” he is to show us the Vatican. We smile as his English is charming. He even has a little flag and headsets for us. Couldn’t be better. Unless, of course, there was less heat and humidity. A girl can’t have everything, I guess.

I am drinking this all in. My hubby and his parents have all been here before. My sister-in-law and the kids and I, it’s our first time. SIL seems tired, her kids (age 15 and 10) seem disinterested. FIL is watching us all. MIL is uncomfortable in the heat. I mean, we all are. I want for my kids to appreciate it just a tad more than them seem to be. They keep drifting towards their beloved cousins. Each corridor is more amazing than the previous. There are so many statues, and we won’t even see all of them. They are gorgeous. The corridors of tapestries amaze me: there is such detail in the weave, even the table corners depicted appear so realistic, they seem to have depth. One corridor appears to have crown molding and sculptured frames, I am amazed to discover that it is all painted. The detail is such that it appears to have the depth and texture and shadow of raised sculpted crown molding and framery.

My daughter is now crying, as she is tired of walking. I suggest that I bring her ahead to the Sistine chapel and wait for the group there. Hubby says no, this is the Vatican, he will take care of her as I enjoy the museum. I appreciate this. It is like all of my years of Catholic schooling come into play. And I am proud to have learned. We enter a corridor of cartography, and Dear Son quietly whips out his own camera-phone. I am delighted. My three-time school geography champion and two-time state finalist has found his mecca. It feels that we are moving too fast, I want time to slow down (and air condition to come on) but we have to make sure that we can get to the Port on time.

Now we come to the Blessed Virgin Mary room. This is the room which houses the infallible papal proclamation of Mary’s sinlessness. There is a structure as long as the room encasing the proclamation in books in many languages, topped with a statue of Mary and framed with paintings all along every wall. The family has found a portable A/C unit and the hover over it in one corner. But I am overwhelmed with a feeling of, presence. I move slowly through this sacred room and marvel at the paintings, but what I feel throughout my body is that Mary is here, in a special way. My words can hardly do justice. I am almost moved to tears and I don’t want to leave this room, but we must proceed as many tour groups are being shuffled in and out.

Now we enter the Sistine Chapel. Giovanni had given us an introduction to the Sistine Chapel earlier, as tour guides are forbidden to speak inside this chapel. There are also no photographs allowed. He tells us of the meeting point, and leaves us on our own for abut fifteen minutes. The guards are constantly shushing everyone over the amplified speakers, and we are crowded like sardines. My husband sees me and encourages me to enjoy the room privately. My tears are now flowing and I cannot stop them. I am so glad we are seeing this today and after the renovation. The colors are so striking and the scenes depicted are so detailed. It is so beauteous, and I am again overwhelmed. I keep thinking that Michelangelo was here and he painted all of this and here we are seeing it today. It is so marvelous and there are so many details to drink in, I wish I could spend hours there. But of course, I cannot. My husband asks our guide for just a little more time, and we are granted ten minutes. It is not enough, but it is something.

We move now toward St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica. This is a beautiful amazing colossal cathedral with many side chapels. Highlights include the great doors, the Bronze structures at the altar and behind, of course the tomb of St. Peter is below (only specially guided tours have access), the dome, and of course Michelangelo’s Pieta. The Pieta is Mary holding Jesus after he has died on the cross. Michaelangelo’s sculpture is significant because he depicted Mary as young and sacred, almost the same age as Jesus. And Jesus is depicted as nearly sleeping, there are no scars nor holes in his body, no blood. This Pieta is special in that its subject is depicted in such an nontraditional manner, so serene, per Michaelangelo’s vision. Giovanni encourages the children to take in one last view of the cathedral interior before we leave, saying they will never see anything more beautiful.

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica

(I’m not sure they believed him.)

As we exit, I follow my mother’s instructions to find the rosary street vendor. Happily, he is right where she said he’d be, and we buy her a dozen red-wood bead rosaries. They are beautiful.

The family eats at a fast café kind of place, and it’s the worst pizza ever. Seriously, it’s like spaghetti-o’s sauce on cardboard. But no matter, we have seen the Vatican! We head for our private bus and enjoy glorious air conditioning and free wifi for the hour it takes to get to the Port of Civitavecchia.

In my next post, I will detail our embarkation and the Emerald Princess.