Literary Blog Hop – My Giveaway!

Literary Blog Hop, My Book Self Book Journey. Wolf Hall  I am participating in a LOVELY Spring Blog Hop hosted by My Book Self. Win a book here!  Check out the details of what I am giving away and how you can enter here!  (It’s pretty exciting!!!!) *This is a sticky post and will remain at the top of Book Journey through April 12th when a winner is chosen. 

Morning Meanderings… An Actor Meandered Into A Movie Theater…


Good morning from St. Paul Minneapolis.

I am at my son’s apartment where I am currently drinking coffee out of his Harry Potter mug and enjoying the absolute quiet.  He is still sleeping and I never noticed at home but the dogs and the background noise of the equipment from our excavating business must create some sort of low-level noise because this here is


And I like it.


I am in Minneapolis because Justin (son) and I went to the pre-showing of the movie The Longest Ride last night.  It was kind of a cool invite and we were told that when we came to the theater that we were supposed to check in with the studio rep and to be there by 6:45 pm.

We were there around 6:35 pm and we were directed to a LONG LINE of people waiting to get in at the door they had mentioned.  Justin and I walked to the end of the line and waited in the line that barely moved until 6:55.  I asked Justin to go check out the front of the line and see what was happening.  I was hoping we were doing this right as this was my first invite of anything like this.

Justin disappeared around the corner and then came back waving me forward.  We were doing it wrong.  We went to the front of the line, checked in with the lady with the clip board and on in we went.  It was a little crazy as there were security people letting us into the theater.

We were told to stay in our seats after the movie because Twentieth Century Fox was there filming for future advertising and wanted shots of the crowd. We watched the movie (which was really good!) and afterwards we sat there as we were told and a side door opened and…

Scoot Eastwood, Minneapolis Minnesota, Book Journey, Britt Robertson, Mall Of America

YES!  A side door opened and Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson walked in to the front of the theater.  We had a fun 20 minutes with them as they answered questions about the moving, bull riding, their “romantic scenes” together….

What a fun event!

Nicholas Sparks, The Longest Ride, Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson, Book JOurney, Minneapolis Premiere

Yesterday I razzed up the whole “I am not a fan of country things” and I have to admit to a little softening of the heart today.  The movie was very good and opens at the theaters on April 10th.  This afternoon I have the opportunity of sitting at a round table and asking these two stars questions about the book that became a movie.  I am geeky excited and nervous all at the same time.

Also, my giveaway I am hosting for the $25 Visa card, tote, and copy of The Longest Ride book is still going on.  If you have not signed up… you should.  Winner will be drawn this Friday.

Do you have any brilliant questions I should ask?

Outside The Lines by Amy Hatvany (Audiobook)

Outside the lines, Amy Hatvany, Book Journey, audio, Simon Schuster

Growing up, Eden was used to her father, David’s, whimsical ways.  He was always letting her stay home from school to go on adventures with him.  Eden’s mother constantly was at odds with David and his inability to hold down a job just added to the household tensions.  When Eden’s father returns home after a short stay in a mental hospital, 10-year-old Eden finds him on the floor of their bathroom having slit his wrists.  This attempt on taking his life leads to Eden’s parents divorce.

Twenty years later Eden has a successful catering business.  Since that fateful day all those years ago Eden has seen her father only on rare occasions.  She occasionally hears that he is living on the streets or staying in a shelter.  Eden, who has poor attempts at relationships with men, wonders if perhaps if she could try to repair her relationship with her father would help her be a better person for someone else.  While searching for her father, Eden meets Jack.

Jack is everything Eden would want in a man.  He is kind and thoughtful.  Jack also decides to help Eden find her father.  Yet as the two get closer to what Eden is looking for, more comes to surface than she had planned.  Secrets her mother had kept, and the question of if her father even wants to be found.



I thought the synopsis of this book was engaging.  A story centered around mental illness and what it does to the family living with it.  While the story unfolds through Eden’s eyes, you also slowly learn of what it was like for her mother to be in love with a man that just could not keep it together.

Narrators Candace Thaxton, and Corey Brill create a flawless flow throughout this read.  A book that would work well for a summer read, Outside The Lines is an interesting look into a family trying to move on.  The end comes together a little too neatly, but still worth a read or listen.



  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 29 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Release Date: December 10, 2013





Morning Meanderings… It’s about to get… Country.


Hey all!  Happy Wednesday!  (I actually had to think for a minute as I typed that, “Is it Wednesday?”)  The week as usual is moving


I told you a little bit a week ago about my invite to a round table discussion with the actors of The Longest Ride (Nicholas Sparks latest book to movie), Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson.  That happens tomorrow afternoon in Minneapolis Minnesota.  A new addition to all of this is that my son and I are going tonight to a special invite at the Mall Of America to a preview of the movie.


I am totally “got my geek on” excited!  I have two dresses picked out for the events… my husband thinks I am crazy (but I think we all knew that already) and my son is loving how I just jump in and LIVE LIFE.

The LOngest Ride, Minneapolis, Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson, Book Journey, Mall Of America

For long-term readers of Book Journey, you may know a few things about me.  One that might be important right now is my strong aversion to all things country.  (Ok not quite all things, I have a really great friend who is from Alabama and I really like her!)  For whatever reason I do not like cowboy boots, cowboy hats, westerns, cowboy related books or movies, or country music.  There.  I said it.  I feel…. lighter somehow.  :D

I have no idea why I feel this way and have come to believe that perhaps as a small child a cowboy kicked me or took away my lollipop and I have buried this deep hurt yet have a trigger (pun intended) knee jerk when something is country near me.

Anyhoo…. before I digress too far…. the next two days may cure me.  :D I leave this afternoon to meet up with my son for dinner and then off to the movie we will go!  I am staying overnight at my sons apartment this evening in the cities, tomorrow I will meet and talk with the actors and then come back home.

Crazy cool…. and I really hope I get at least one great picture.  A girl can dream….

Last thing – I recently posted about a giveaway for a $25 Visa card to see The Longest Ride movie, a cool tote, and a copy of the book – if you have not entered yet I hope you do!  I will draw (having trouble letting go of cowboy words) choose the winner on Friday morning using  Enter here!


Have a g’day.  Partner.





The Longest Ride Movie and SWEET Giveaway Package

The Longest Ride, Nicholas SParks, Book Journey, Give away

About the Film

Based on the bestselling novel by master storyteller Nicholas Sparks, THE LONGEST RIDE centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia, a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City’s art world.  As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected connection with Ira, whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple.  Spanning generations and two intertwining love stories, THE LONGEST RIDE explores the challenges and infinite rewards of enduring love.

Starring: Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood, Jack Huston, Oona Chaplin, and Alan Alda

Directed by: George Tillman, Jr.

Anyone else getting excited about this movie?  I sure am!  I have always enjoyed movies that originate from books!  Here is the trailer:

Thanks to Twentieth Century Fox I am able to give away one sweet package:

The Longesth Ride, Book Journey, Nicholas Sparks, Giveaway Package

One (1) winner receives:

  • $25 Visa gift card to see the film in theaters
  • Tote Bag
  • Copy of the book (movie tie-in book cover)


(I am LOVING that cool tote bag!)


You can enter this giveaway by:

1 entry:  Leave a comment letting me know what your favorite Nicholas Sparks book (or movie!) is and why.

2nd entry:  Tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the following into Twitter:

Enter to Win The Longest Ride movie gift card and gift package! @bookjourney #LongestRide


Winner will be chosen using and announced here on Friday April 3rd.


Official Websites

Like The Longest Ride on Facebook

Follow on Twitter,  Google+, Instagram

Subscribe on YouTube

Visit the Official Website


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


Hello!  Welcome to It’s Monday What Are You Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It’s a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read list. :D  You never know where that next great read may come from!

I had a busy week but do not think that apply’s to my reading and listening to audio.  I was buried in projects, building websites, working with both of my non profits… and well.. here is what I posted:


The Mystery Writers Of America Cook Book edited by Kate White


The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos


The Boy Who Loved Rain by Gerald Kelly


First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen (with a recipe!)


A Day InThe Life Of A Book Blogger (you may have seen this fun meme around the past few days) I was late, but I joined in!


That’s my week.  It may look like i did ok but in all honesty I have had the Writers Cook Book and The Precious One done for a while – I was just waiting for their release date.


This week will be another busy one.  Remember that little fun interview I get to do this week?  Well that will take me out of town Wednesday afternoon through Thursday evening. My reading I plan on is this:


For My Ears


There have been many books – on a large and small scale – about Steve Jobs, one of the most famous CEOs in history. But this book is different from all the others.

Becoming Steve Jobs takes on and breaks down the existing myth and stereotypes about Steve Jobs. The conventional, one-dimensional view of Jobs is that he was half genius, half jerk from youth, an irascible and selfish leader who slighted friends and family alike. Becoming Steve Jobs answers the central question about the life and career of the Apple cofounder and CEO: How did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our time, ultimately transforming the daily lives of billions of people?

Drawing on incredible and sometimes exclusive access, Schlender and Tetzeli tell a different story of a real human being who wrestled with his failings and learned to maximize his strengths over time. Their rich, compelling narrative is filled with stories never told before from the people who knew Jobs best and who decided to open up to the authors, including his family, former inner circle executives, and top people at Apple, Pixar, and Disney. In addition Brent knew Jobs personally for 25 years and drew upon his many interviews with him, on and off the record, in writing the book. He and Rick humanize the man and explain, rather than simply describe, his behavior. Along the way the book provides rich context about the technology revolution we all have lived through and the ways in which Jobs changed our world.

Schlender and Tetzeli make clear that Jobs’ astounding success at Apple was far more complicated than simply picking the right products: he became more patient, he learned to trust his inner circle, and he discovered the importance of growing the company incrementally rather than only shooting for dazzling, game-changing products.


For My Eyes


Molly Bloom reveals how she built one of the most exclusive, high-stakes underground poker games in the world—an insider’s story of excess and danger, glamour and greed.

In the late 2000s, Molly Bloom, a twentysomething petite brunette from Loveland Colorado, ran the highest stakes, most exclusive poker game Hollywood had ever seen—she was its mistress, its lion tamer, its agent, and its oxygen. Everyone wanted in, few were invited to play.

Hundreds of millions of dollars were won and lost at her table. Molly’s game became the game for those in the know—celebrities, business moguls, and millionaires. Molly staged her games in palatial suites with beautiful views and exquisite amenities. She flew privately, dined at exclusive restaurants, hobnobbed with the heads of Hollywood studios, was courted by handsome leading men, and was privy to the world’s most delicious gossip, until it all came crashing down around her.

Molly’s Game is a behind the scenes look at Molly’s game, the life she created, the life she lost, and what she learned in the process.


I have other books I am listening to and reading that I mentioned last week.

What are you reading this week?  What did you read last week?  Add your Its Monday What Are You Reading here where it says click here:


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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

For those who read mainly children and middle grade books please add your link here as well:


A Day In The Life Of A Blogger (late… with books!)


Mt friend Trish over at Love, Laughter, and a Touch Of Insanity had the idea to have us share what a day is like in our lives.  I loved the idea, had every intention of doing it this past Friday, started a post even… and then promptly forgot about it.


Then yesterday evening I was reading a few posts and read Kathy’s at Bermuda Onion (love her day by the way!) and thought, I can still do this.  :)

So without further ado, here is my Friday March 27th:

6:47 am – wake up, let 5 dogs out.  Yes.  FIVE.  I have three, and I am dog sitting my friends two terriers while she is in Korea visiting her daughter.

7:00 am- COFFEE ready and I sit down to read emails.  (First I click on all the junk mail and delete that out of the way).  Then I first read the two emails I love to see each day, Shelf Awareness and Hungry Girl.

7:30 am – I open up a newsletter I am working on for a company and complete the updates.

8:00 am – Second cup of COFFEE. I normally post a Morning Meandering in the morning but can not think of anything (in reality it should have been this post lol!) so write up my review of First Frost to go live late morning.

8:20 am – I launch my new website for my Freelance Business and post about it on Facebook.  That was scary.

8:25 am – jump in the shower with audible audio playing on my phone with a speaker so I can hear it over the shower.  Get ready to go!

8:50 am – Fill up COFFEE cup and I leave the house for the library, grabbing a Fiber One bar on my way out the door for breakfast. For some reason I really like real coffee cups instead of travel mugs so curse myself a bit when I turn out of driveway and spill a little coffee on me.  Think of a post title called “5 Stupid Things That I DO”, with the coffee cup and driving being one of them.  It is only 3 miles up the road to the library from my house so I am there by 9 am.  I meet Ruth and Gail there and we go downstairs to look at the donated books for the spring book sale that is in three weeks.  Discuss plans.

9:30 am – leave with Gail to go and look at the building we will be using for the book sale a block away.  This is the first time we will be moving the book sale off site due to the large quantity of books.  It’s exciting.

10:00 am – Gail leaves and I go to the printer to pick up our tickets for Wine and Words.  I take the tickets to the library (yes, I am back!) to drop off 50 for them to sell.  I talk with the head librarian, and staff.

10:30 am – back in my car and sit in the parking lot of the library while I respond to a few texts.

11:00 back at house, grab mail on my way in, and open up work portfolio and spend time on my current client projects.

12:45 pm – Leave house to go and pick up Vicki at Mid Minnesota bank for lunch.  We discuss the Camp Benedict Bike Ride in July and I secure her for helping out with the food that is needed and cooking the supper at camp that night.  HAZAH!

2:00 pm – drop Vicki off at work and I head to the gym.

2:15 pm – work out on elliptical and stretch until 3 pm

3:10 pm – at grocery store where I pick up a few things and what I need to make Al meatloaf and potatoes for dinner.  (His request)

3:45 pm – Home!  Back to working on client projects.

5:30 pm – turn on audio book and start super while listening to The Pocket Wife.  (Unsure of it so far… I am getting a Girl On The Train vibe).

6:00 pm – with dinner cooking, I continue on work projects and a couple of Camp related phone calls until Al comes in from work around 6:50 pm.

7:00 pm – dinner with husband, he has the meatloaf and potatoes, I have a grilled chicken wrap and corn.  Catch up on each others day.

8:00 pm – Go downstairs to watch a little TV with Al.  He is a big fan of Shark Tank.

8:45 pm – Al goes to bed.

8:50 pm – I turn on Netflix, find a movie I can half listen to while I work on the Camp Benedict website rebuild.

11:30 pm – finish the Camp Benedict website, switch the domain over and launch the new website to our social media spots.  Look up at movie I chose and question why I decided to watch Twilight.  :)

11:50 pm – Bed.

Disclaimer:  That was a full Friday.  I usually am home working more than I was this past Friday.  I usually dedicate more time to working with clients, yet this last Friday I spent a lot of time working on Camp stuff which is one of the charities I am on the board of.

Check out others posts about their “Day In The Life” here.

The Books:


Sophomore Year Is Greek To Me

City 1

Shadow Cabinet

Orphan’s Inheritance

Today I hope to read later this afternoon but as for now I have a few projects to make some progress on.  Have a super Sunday!

Morning Meanderings… Let’s Get This PARTY Started!


Good morning!  Another Saturday is here!  Saturdays are my FAVORITE day of the week.  The work week is over and usually Saturdays are a day that I have something fun going on.

Speaking of Saturday’s, last Saturday was no exception.  After spending the afternoon in a Writing seminar, I sped away to a local gas station where I changed into a dress and went to congratulate my friend Julia Lee at her book launch.

I walked in almost an hour and a half after the launch had started due to the seminar and I was surprised (and excited!) to see how full the room was with people!

Julia Lee, Launch Party, Book Journey

This is the book signing line when I walked in!


I had talked a bit about Julia the week of her book launch for her book Seven Stones when I interviewed her, and then reviewed her book.  Julia is so fun and easy to chat with that she is one of those people that when you meet her, you want to read whatever she has written to see if that personality shows through.

She is like a room full of champagne bubbles.

Julia Lee, Book Launch, Seven Stones, Book JOurney

Signing like a pro at her first book release party. I wonder if she practiced? ;)


The event was a lot of fun, the venue, Prairie Bay is known for delicious and unique horduerves such as artichoke chicken pizza, and apple and goat cheese skewers.  It was amazing food and great conversation as I waited in line with my friend Christy and chatted up what else?  Books.

Julia Lee, Book JOurney, Launch party, seven stones

Still smiling!


Book Journey, Julia Lee, Seven Stones

Sorry Julia, as soon as I took this picture I knew it was a keeper! LOL… it is a rare moment of a quick break in the signing!


What a great first signing!  The event was a lot of fun, I caught the tail end of it and had a glass of wine with Laurel from our Library and then went home after a long and productive day.

Julia Lee, Book JOurney, Seven STones


Today… I leave in about an hour for the library where a few of us are meeting to start hauling some of the books for the April book sale from the library to the venue we will be using.  I am kind of excited to start this process and as there are SO MANY BOOKS this time and we are moving off site every little bit we do helps take the pressure off of the big push in a couple of weeks.


Julia Lee, Book Journey, Seven Stones

Stolen… errr borrowed from Julia’s site… the pic with her author cup that I requested! You have to have a coffee cup pic!

You can read Julia’s fun blog here where she talks about the book, the excitement, life stuff, and great recipes!


First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

First Frost, Sarah Addison Allen, Book JOurney

The Waverly’s were always considered a bit….


Claire went from a successful catering business to making candies that seemed to have taken the town by storm.  Everyone wants the candies and Claire finds that the candy business has slowly taken over every sweet moment of her life.

Sydney has a successful hair stylist shop which is ever-growing in clients, yet Sydney really longs to have a child with her husband.

Evanelle gives people strange gifts but finds her own health failing and she must make changes in her lifestyle.

Sydney’s daughter Bay has a gift of making things just right and is always on the decorating committees at school.  Now she has given her heart away to a boy who does not seem to want what she has so openly given.

And there is the Waverly apple tree, the tree which all the Waverly’s watch… waiting… for first frost.



I really enjoyed First Frost on audio.  Narrated by Susan Ericksen, whose voice lent a mystical musical tone to the book that was most appropriate.  Listening to First Frost was thoroughly enjoyable, almost relaxing as the story unfolds so smoothly.

Each of the women’s story line in the book is engaging.  Often when a story unfolds this way I find that I tend to enjoy one story line over the others and rush through to get to the parts I like.  This is not the case in First Frost.  Each character lends itself to the story building off the others.

Worth a listen.



  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 35 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Release Date: January 20, 2015


The Boy Who Loved Rain by Gerald Kelly

the boy who loved rain, Gerald Kelly, Book Journey, TLC Tours

David and Fiona have one son Colom.  Yet no matter what they do, Colum, now 14, acts out at school and is desensitized when it comes to any sort of discipline.  David, who is a Pastor is adamant that Colom receive any counseling through the Church and that no outside help be administered.  Fiona, who just wants to help Colom is not so sure her husband’s ways are right this time.

As Colom continues to strike out as school, and have nightmares about a drowning sister although he has no sister, the walls feel like they are closing in on this family. David becomes more and more distant from his son and Fiona finds no other solution but to take Colom and run seeking shelter through the kindness of a friend… hoping perhaps distance from his father and from the school pressures will help Colom sort through what he is going through.

but how much of what is happening is Colom, and how much is David and Fiona’s own creation?



The Boy Who Loved Rain is a powerful read.  I was unsure picking this book up what I was in for…would I experience the slow destruction of a boy like in Nineteen Minutes?  Would I find the cold calculations of a child like in We Need To Talk About Kevin?

As it turns out, no, The Boy Who Loved Rain is an entirely different type of book and one that I enjoyed thoroughly.  Written in an almost lyrical way I like how this story unfolds from a family to individuals and it felt true to life.  Broken people just trying to get it right.  The book also brings up great discussion questions and I could not help but think that this would make for a good group read.

This book is a thought-provoking read.  I enjoyed spending time with it very much.



  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Fiction; 1st New edition (January 1, 2015)

I was able to experience this journey with Colom thanks to TLC Book Tours





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