BHS Episode 5: Confident Creation with Amanda Pittman

Today, we’re getting to know Amanda Pittman By Her Shelf:

Amanda Pittman

Amanda Pittman is a Christian, a wife, and a mother. She is the author of two books, “Reflecting God’s Beauty,” and “Love Your First Year of Marriage.” Amanda is the founder of the Confident Woman Mentorship Program and helps her husband pastor The Gathering Oasis Church Downtown. In her free time, Amanda creates social media content that inspires and equips women to be confident and Christ-centered.

In this episode, Amanda and I discuss:

  • Consumption vs. creation in social media and reading
  • Why even avid readers should give themselves space to write
  • The odd reading habit Amanda shares with her mother

…and so much more.

Amanda was the very first person I interviewed for By Her Shelf, and this interview really set the tone for me. Her words about creating and using our voices were the exact encouragement I needed to hear as I was stepping into this new space. If you find yourself struggling with self-confidence or using your voice, I know you will be encouraged by this conversation as well.

Quotes:

  • One of the most valuable things we’ve been given is our voice.
  • It’s not that you don’t have any valuable thoughts, it’s that you haven’t give your mind any air to breathe.
  • What are you doing with all the information you stored up?
  • At the end of the day our confidence boils down to what we believe and if we believe the best about ourselves. If we believe what God says we are and who God says we are, then we’re going to walk in confidence.
  • Having the mindset of contentment and compassion is a way we can reflect the beauty of God and not the ugliness of the world.

The Books (These are affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you buy through them at no cost to you):

Links

 

Cover Reveal: The Truth About Cowboys by Lisa Renee Jones

Happy Friday, Shelfies! Erica here. Today, I’m excited to bring you a cover reveal from Entangled Publishing. I love the team behind Entangled, and not just because they give me free books! I love the romances they are bringing readers, especially the sweet romances in their Bliss line. Although you all know I say you can’t judge a book solely by its cover, how could you not stop and pick up a book with a cover like this? 

The Truth About Cowboys Lisa Renee Jones

Erica again. Couldn’t you just pick this up and read it right now? If this cover looks right up your alley, read on for the back cover copy and links to pre-order your copy. The Truth About Cowboys releases August 27th!

About The Truth About Cowboys:
I had my life figured out.

Engaged to a successful man.

About to make partner at my firm.

Bought a high-rise apartment in downtown Denver.

And then, poof, it’s all gone. Now, like in some cheesy romantic comedy, my car has broken down in the pouring rain on my way to “find myself” in The Middle of Nowhere, Texas. Cue hot guy coming to my rescue and changing my tire. This is the part where we flirt and have a meet-cute, right? That’s how it works in romance novels, and I should know—after all, I’m coming to Texas to write my own cowboy romance. But nope. This sexy cowboy lights into me about not being prepared for the country roads and how inappropriate my high-heeled boots are.

Little did I know, Michael Montgomery would tilt my world into a new dimension with his sinful smirk and his bad attitude. Every time I turn around, he’s there to reluctantly save the day. And every time, I think there may be something to that spark we ignite. But there’s a reason the majority of country songs are about broken hearts. The closer I get to this man, the closer I get to learning the truth about cowboys.

Goodreads Link
Purchase Link
Entangled Publishing

About Lisa Renee Jones:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series. Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland) on the INSIDE OUT series: Lisa has created a beautiful, complicated, and sensual world that is filled with intrigue and suspense. Sara’s character is strong, flawed, complex, and sexy – a modern girl we all can identify with. In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, Lisa has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa’s other bestselling series include: DIRTY MONEY and WHITE LIES. She is presently working on her LILAH LOVE series to be published with Amazon Publishing/Montlake Romance. Prior to publishing Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine. Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at http://www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on Twitter and Facebook daily.

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads

BHS Episode 4: Pockets of Lovely with Abigail Rudibaugh

Today, we’re getting to know Abigail Rudibaugh By Her Shelf:

Abigail Rudibaugh

Abigail calls Cincinnati, Ohio home alongside her husband and two young daughters. As a graduate from Miami University of Ohio in Integrated Language Arts, she spent nine years teaching, but is now taking time to nourish her writer’s soul. Abigail believes that in a prescriptive and productive world, poetry has become the umbrella in which she can finally find some shade. Find her on Instagram & Twitter @pocketsoflovely or at pocketsoflovely.com

In this episode, Abby and I discuss:

-The “lovely” story behind the name Pockets of Lovely

-How being a writer has changed the way she reads

-The late Mary Oliver, one of Abby’s favorite poets

-Embarrassing book habits

-FOMO on pop lit conversations

And so much more.

Whether or not you consider yourself to be a poetry lover, I guarantee you’ll connect with some part of this interview with Abby.

The books (These are affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you buy through one of these links):

The first book Abby remembers loving (Kindle)

The assigned reading that surprised her (in a good way) (Kindle)

This classic was disliked twice in five interviews! (Kindle)

A Thousand Mornings Kindle Version

Ariel by Sylvia Plath (Kindle)

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (Kindle)

Abby’s Surprising Book (Kindle)

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Kindle)

Liane Moriarty

John Steinbeck

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Kindle)

Abby’s current read (Kindle)

Up next for Abby (Kindle)

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Kindle)

The Links:

I’m Nobody! Who are you? by Emily Dickinson

Abby’s site: Pockets of Lovely

Poet Mary Oliver

“A Thousand Mornings”

Poet Wendell Berry

Recordings of Sylvia Plath reading poems from Ariel

Newsletter subscribers will receive two special emails this week: A list of diverse books if Madeleine’s episode inspired you and a list of can’t miss poetry collections if Abby’s episode sparked your poetry reading fancy. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

Next week’s episode is actually the first episode I recorded for the podcast. My guest is an entrepreneur and content creator focused on empowering women to be confident and cultivate self-esteem. You don’t want to miss getting to know this powerhouse By Her Shelf. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t!

If you’re loving the show, I would really appreciate it if you left a rating/review on iTunes. It helps others find the show…and maybe their next favorite book.

BHS Episode 3: The Muggle Version of Hermione Granger with Madeleine Riley

Today we’re getting to know Madeleine Riley By Her Shelf:

Madeleine Riley

Madeleine is a special education teacher by day and a voracious bookworm by night. She shares her bookish life on her literary-themed Instagram @topshelftext. A loyal New Englander, she loves the ocean, cats, organizing, and is an aspiring gardener. When she grows up, she wants to be the muggle version of Hermione Granger.

In this episode, Madeleine and I discuss:

How she implements reading into her curriculum as a special education teacher

How watching the white Nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia sparked the Diverse Books Club, and why she shuttered the club with over 13,000 members

How she makes her Instagram more accessible and inclusive

The feedback she receives the most often from her appearance on What Should I Read Next

The book recommendation she’s been avoiding.

The books:

Nancy Drew Mysteries

Harry Potter Series

Romeo and Juliet (Kindle)

Madeleine’s favorite assigned book: The Odyssey (Kindle)

Song of Achilles (Kindle)

Circe (Kindle)

Madeleine’s least favorite assigned book: Great Expectations (Kindle)

Barracoon (Kindle)

The Madeline books

Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast

A Boy Called Bat (Kindle)

What Should I Read Next Picks:

The Mothers (Kindle)

Death at La Fenice (Kindle)–A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

A Share in Death (Kindle)

Small Great Things (Kindle)

The Pact: A Love Story (Kindle)

Most mentioned book from her WSIRN episode: The Cuckoo’s Calling (Kindle)

Don’t Judge Me, But: Beloved (Kindle)

Madeleine didn’t like this popular book: The Handmaid’s Tale (Kindle)

The Road Back to You (Kindle)

She also didn’t like this author: Liane Moriarty

Her comfort zone series: The Lady Hardcastle Mysteries (Kindle)

(T.E. Kinsey Author Page)

Maisey Dobbs Mysteries

Current read at time of interview: The Clockmaker’s Daughter (Kindle)

Top of TBR pile at time of interview: Beneath a Scarlet Sky (Kindle)

My suggestion for learning more about history of Charlottesville, VA:

Urban Renewal and the End of Black Culture in Charlottesville, Virginia: An Oral History of Vinegar Hill (Kindle)

The Links:

The account that inspired Madeleine to close caption her posts: @mugandnook

The book club Madeleine is following for diverse reads: @words.between.worlds 

For more enneagram info: @yourenneagramcoach

Madeleine’s episode of What Should I Read Next: Ep 72: Embarrassing Bookworm Confessions

BHS Episode 2: Cooking Up Drama with Agatha Marshall

Welcome to the very first set of show notes for By Her Shelf with Erica D. Hearns!

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Today I have the absolute pleasure of introducing you to Agatha Marshall.

come eat with aggie

Agatha is a mom, the author of the cookbook Come Eat with Aggie*, an entrepreneur, and a publishing consultant with Lincross Publishing, an independent publisher assisting authors who want to publish their passion professionally while keeping their rights and royalties. We discuss Agatha’s work with Lincross, her cookbook “sheroes,” and the of-assigned play she dislikes so much she can barely utter its name. If you’re an aspiring author, or aspiring to put down the takeout menu and learn to cook fabulous meals on a less glamorous budget, you need to get to know Agatha by her shelf today.

Quotable:

“You have a part to play in the kingdom, and that’s my part.”

“It’s one of the jobs you don’t get tired of doing.”

“Anyone can write a book…but Lincross is about publishing purpose.”

The books (these are affiliate links. I get a small commission if you purchase books using these links. The title link is the print version):

The book that reignited Agatha’s love of reading (Kindle)

No Disrespect

The publisher Agatha works for, Lincross Publishing

Agatha’s cookbook, Come Eat with Aggie (Kindle)

Cookbooks Agatha loves:

-A Perfect Recipe (Kindle)

-Ayesha Curry’s book (Kindle)

-Chrissy Teigen’s book (Kindle)

-Pat and Gina Neely’s Holiday Book (Kindle)

Agatha’s New Auto-buy author (Kindle)

Most Underrated Book/Author (Kindle)

Agatha’s favorite assigned reading (Kindle)

Agatha’s least favorite assigned reading (Kindle)

Surprising book on her shelf (Author’s other popular book)

I have one more episode of the podcast debuting this week, so be on the lookout for episode three. After this week, new interviews will debut Mondays.

*Agatha is gluten free, mostly vegetarian/pescatarian, but her recipes range to include all types of dishes, with substitutions and modifications you can make to suit your diet.

5 Ways to Reach Your Reading Goals in 2019

Tis the season to talk about goals–how to set and achieve them. If you have one or two (or ten) goals focused on reading this year, here are five of my best tips, tricks, and tools to make the most out of your reading life in 2019.

  1. Utilize free or inexpensive sources for obtaining books. This is my favorite tip for readers because it removes the restrictions a lack of money places on readers. Utilizing your local public library, little free libraries, and low cost book buying options like Friends of the Library allows you to make more daring choices, get more books at once, and browse without fear of busting your budget. There are also free and low priced eBooks available on Amazon and through Wal-Mart’s eBook distributor, Kobo.
  2. Challenge yourself with reading challenges. Whether you want to read more, wider, in community, or what you already own (and STILL haven’t read *sigh*), a reading challenge might help you reach your goal this year. There are several reading challenges out there to choose from, including #theunreadshelfproject2019 Challenge, the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge, the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, and a numbers-based challenge like the Goodreads. You can also join a subscription service like OwlCrate (YA books) or Book of the Month, or an online book club like Well Read Black Girl
  3. Develop a group of trusted review sources. A list of reviewers you trust will help you determine whether a book is for you right now. This will reduce the number of books you slog through or set aside. Find readers with similar tastes and search their feeds for book reviews or where they get their recommendations. Follow people with great taste wherever they post about books they love–Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, their website, etc. “Official” reviewers like Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews or lists in Entertainment Weekly, Essence, or other publications are also good resources.
  4. Create a habit or routine around your goal.  Schedule reading time. Take books with you to take advantage of wait times. Leave your current read on your nightstand or wherever you read. Participate in #readawholebooksunday. Do something to make reading a part of your routine, and you’ll be more likely to show up and READ.
  5. Get better book recommendations. The best way to reach your reading goals is to read better books. If you don’t choose books you want to read, no schedule, challenge, or price is going to help you. One way you can find good book recommendations is through sites like By Her Shelf. By Her Shelf showcases romance, YA, historical, literary fiction, memoir, poetry, thriller, horror, magical realism, suspense, self-help, contemporary fiction, non-fiction, and Christian non-fiction books. You can also find great recommendations on Modern Mrs. Darcy or genre specific sites. Another great resource for book recommendations is podcasts. Here at By Her Shelf, we’re big fans of What Should I Read Next, First Draft, DIY MFA, and The Librarian is In, along with podcasts that interview authors like The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey and That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!: I’m pleased to announce By Her Shelf with Erica D. Hearns is LIVE on Apple Podcasts and Messy.fm! BHS will be on other apps/sites soon. When I posted about buying a microphone in early November, I never imagined I would have recorded 16 interviews and launched with 3 live episodes less than three months later. For show notes, upcoming guests, featured books, and other exclusive content, subscribe to our weekly Shelf Talk newsletter here. Show notes can also be found by searching the podcast category of the blog.

I’m still scheduling future guests. If you’d like to discuss the books you read, write, or help produce, I’d love to host you! Simply fill out the form here.

Your Turn: What are you reading goals for 2019? How can By Her Shelf help you reach those goals?

Author Interview: Jill Lynn, Author of The Rancher’s Unexpected Baby

Happy Tuesday, Shelfies! Today, I’ve invited contemporary inspirational romance author Jill Lynn to By Her Shelf to talk about her upcoming release, The Rancher’s Unexpected Baby. Grab your coffee (or tea, or beverage of choice) and get to know Jill By Her Shelf!

The Rancher's Unexpected Baby Cover (lower res)
What’s the elevator pitch (short summary) of The Rancher’s Unexpected Baby?

From the back cover:
After his marriage ended, Gage Frasier vowed he’d never remarry or have children—but now he’s guardian of an orphaned baby boy. Thankfully, his friend’s sweet sister, Emma Wilder, offers to nanny while Gage seeks a more suitable family for the child. But soon Gage finds himself bonding with his new son…and with Emma. Parenthood surprised Gage, but will love sneak up on him, too?
The Rancher’s Unexpected Baby is book two in the Colorado Grooms series. How did you come up with the concept for this series, and how many more books can readers expect as of now?

Goodness, I wish I knew better where my ideas come from. 😊 I’m a day dreamer, and I pretty much constantly have book ideas floating through my head. I loved the idea of a guest ranch setting, so the series idea came from that. Each of the Wilder siblings needed their own story, and Emma Wilder and Gage Frasier were the perfect opposites. He’s wounded and she’s giving. He’s lost his faith and she has enough for the both of them. Between the two of them, I hoped for healing and growth and a new future that surpassed what either of them had expected.

Currently there’s three books in the series for the three Wilders. We’ll see if anything else comes of the town of Westbend in the future…

He bought me books quote TRUB

Where did you get the inspiration for your hero and heroine, Gage Frasier and Emma Wilder?
Emma is so sacrificial, and I am not. So definitely not from me. 😉 I wanted to represent a woman who’s always done everything for others…and eventually has to take care of herself and stand up for herself.

Gage was inspired by the idea of a man who’d been through a disastrous marriage. Someone who no longer had faith in relationships. Can God show up even in the roughest of ruins?

What interesting fact(s) did you learn while researching The Rancher’s Unexpected Baby?

After drafting book one, I visited Lost Valley Guest Ranch. Gorgeous place and wonderful people. I learned that they constantly have guests in the summer. Guests leave on Saturday, the staff does the turnover, and the new guests also arrive on Saturday. I’d already written my series as guests leaving Saturday with new guests arriving Sunday (and it fit my storylines) so I left it. But man, do they work hard!

What can you share about upcoming releases?
The third book in the Colorado Grooms series will release in September 2019. It’s currently being titled, and I’m excited to share that news with my readers soon.

Boots quote Emma TRUB

Reading Questions

Lightning round
-print, eBook, or audiobook?
Print is my first choice. I like to read in the bath, so if it’s a library book, I’ll choose an ebook so that I’m not ruining it with any water. And I prefer audiobook for non-fiction. 😊

-Buy or borrow from library?
Both! If it’s an author I know I’ll read again, then I’ll purchase the book. But I read so much that I definitely take advantage of the library. We’re huge library fans at our house—and we go often. Especially in the summer.

-bookmark, dog ear, random paper or other to hold your place?
I would never dog ear, but I rarely have a bookmark nearby, so I’ll use whatever I can get my hands on for a bookmark.

-write/highlight in a book, or leave it pristine?
For non-fiction, I definitely underline or highlight. I don’t think I’ve ever done that with fiction!

-worst reading habit?
Not hearing anyone around me when I’m reading. It drives my husband crazy! I tune the world out.

All wrong for her quote TRUB

What book made you fall in love with or reignited your love of reading?
I can’t remember a specific book as a child, but I do remember books in general. I read the Babysitter’s club series, the Nancy Drew Series. I even dipped into the Hardy Boys once Nancy ran out. I read the Little Women series numerous times. I would come home from the library with so many books. I just loved to read.

What book might people be surprised to find on your shelf?
I struggled with flying for a while, so I have a non-fiction book called Soar that was written by a pilot. An interesting and knowledgeable book.

What are you currently reading?
Cold Case Christmas by my dear friend Jessica Patch.

What book is currently on top of your TBR pile?
Didn’t See it Coming (non-fiction).

Upcoming releases you can’t wait to read.
Becky Wade’s Sweet on You.
Denise Hunter’s Summer by the Tides.
Lee Tobin McClain’s Low Country Hero.

JL Headshot (2)Jill Lynn is an author of small-town romances filled with faith, humor and happily ever after. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Bethel University and lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children. Jill loves to connect with readers on social media or at Jill-Lynn.com. Follow Jill on Facebook or Instagram.
Current Giveaway & Newsletter: http://jill-lynn.com/news/

How Do You Measure of a Year? In Books, Of Course!

The last few days while everyone else was sharing their reflections on their year in reading, I was scrambling to complete my Goodreads goal and editing podcast episodes (*cue confetti* *have a nap waiting in the wings*). I don’t like to review a year until I’m in the new year, anyway.

As you’ll see in my stats, my reading for the challenge was heavily weighted one way. While I enjoyed the books I read and look forward to reading more of the same in 2019, I want to make sure I read more of other genres I love this year. I’ll share my new reading goals in a separate post. On the positive side, I upped the number of books I wanted to read in 2018 by 15 books, and I met my goal! Without further ado, here’s my year in books *:

Books read: 65

Library books finished: 3

Read What You Own Books (that I know I owned before 2018): 6

Review/Launch Team Books: 7

Fiction: 58

Non-Fiction: 7

Romance: 54

-Romantic Suspense: 14

-Contemporary Romance: 38

-Historical Romance: 2

Non-Romantic Fiction: 4

Memoir/Autobiography: 6

These stats provide a good snapshot of my year, but for a more accurate picture, I wanted to spotlight some notable books.My affiliate links are included.

First book finished*: The Trophy Husband by Lynne Graham
This was a quick, fun read that reeked of 90’s romance tropes. If you can appreciate it for what it is–trope soup, limited POV, and 90s level of understanding of masculinity/femininity/happily ever after–it’s a fast and funny book.

Last book read: Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston

I really ended the year on a high note. I LOVED this book! This book combines many elements of my favorite reads: Zora Neale Hurston; Anthropological/Ethnographical study; a personal story told in the subject’s voice; a snapshot of an interesting time in history, etc. This story is an important one, and I’m thankful it has finally been published and disseminated.

Better Than Expected: Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

This book had some pretty harsh reviews, but I like Anne Tyler and retellings of classics are some of my favorite stories, so I decided to give this one a try. If you’re a fan of Taming of the Shrew or Ten Things I Hate About You, you might like this retelling set between academia and daycare.

FOMO Reads of 2018: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell

I heard these two books recommended several times on What Should I Read Next. I caved to FOMO and read both, and I’m glad I did! Both of these books lived up to the hype. Eleanor is funny and endearing, and Maggie O’Farrell’s memoir is gripping and reflective in an engaging way. I highly recommend both.

Best Book for Book Lovers: I’d Rather be Reading by Anne Bogel

If you love all things books and reading, you must read this book! Anne beautifully portrays many of the joys and dilemmas of the reading life. This book is a beautiful celebration of all the things I love about literature.

Series I enjoyed this year:

The Precinct Series by Julie Miller

I read many books in this series in 2016, but I read the backlist and became current on this series in 2018. If you love romantic suspense, seeing your favorite characters in several different books, mini-series within a larger series, and heroes/heroines with real world conflicts and complications, then I highly recommend this series.

Mirror Lake Series by Kathryn Springer
This inspirational romance series was wonderful. The characters were realistic and made me root for them. Springer made the town and its inhabitants come alive, and the conflicts were just as realistic. If you’re a fan of inspirational romances set in a small close knit town involving a core group of characters, then give this six book series a try.
Get in My Kindle picks I’ve Read: Butterface by Avery Flynn and I’d Rather be Reading by Anne Bogel (I also listened to the audiobook of Remember God by Annie F. Downs, but I’m not counting this as I plan to read the physical copy)


I’ve read a few of Avery Flynn’s other books, and Butterface had the humor and heart I’ve come to expect from her. If you like hot romantic comedies (and the heat level is pretty high on this one), you might like this first book in The Hartigans series. Book two, Muffin Top, is also out now, and book three, Tomboy, will release February 18, 2019.

The books I’m Most Looking Forward to in 2019:

Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
You can read my post on this book here.
The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman
Read my reasons for looking forward to this The Next Right Thing here.

MY BOOK!!!!!
121418_SS Front CoverI’ve been holding this news in for months! If you’re an email subscriber, you might have heard about this book already, but I wanted to officially announce it to my By Her Shelf readers. The Speaking Season: Poems and Pieces, my first poetry collection, will be releasing this month! If you’re a fan of poetry, this book is a must have for your collection. More details to come soon!

*Note: I don’t track my progress/read status for every book I read through Goodreads. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I don’t want to share what I’m reading. This post was created using my 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge statistics. It’s by no means definitive, but it’s mostly accurate.

You Oughta Know: We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights by Adam Winkler

Happy Monday, Shelfies! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine included recording my second podcast interview, a writer’s meetup, and a Christmas party. Despite all the toing and froing, I managed to read two books this weekend (more reviews coming soon)! Today, I wanted to tell you about one more book from the Miami Book Fair’s National Book Award Finalists in Non-Fiction panel. It’s another surprising pick from me (all the Miami Book Fair books are).

Did you know that American businesses have nearly all the same civil rights as AmericanWe the Corporations citizens? I didn’t before I attended a panel featuring the National Book Award Finalists in Non-Fiction at the Miami Book Fair. Author Adam Winkler (no relations to Henry Winkler) shared some interesting and alarming facts about what he describes as “the most successful but least well-known ‘civil rights movement’ in American History.” For example, did you know the first Supreme Court case on the rights of corporations was decided before the Dredd Scott Case? Did you know the court ruled that a corporation was a citizen and could exercise the rights of a citizen over a half century before African Americans and women were able to get such issues before the Supreme court (and even longer before they received the same protections and provisions)?

In his book, Winkler explores how corporations have used some of the strategies of other civil rights movements to reshape the law, namely through the courts. While I’m not usually one to read a lot of history, political or governmental, the things I learned in the short time Adam spoke on the panel fascinated me. My purse said “no” to buying this book after the session, but I have it on my list of books to read in 2019 as both a book to expand my reading palate but a source of random trivia to pull out at parties (you’re welcome!).

Your Turn: What’s the best piece of trivia you learned while reading a book? Share what book it’s from if you remember.

Author Interview: Kelsey Baldwin, Author of Strong Girl, Brave Girl

Happy Friday, Shelfies! Today, I invited author Kelsey Baldwin to By Her Shelf to talk about her book, Strong Girl, Brave Girl: A Single Mother’s Candid Story of Reconciling a Life Unexpected and Navigating the Messy In-Between. Grab your morning cup of coffee (or tea, or beverage of choice), and get to know Kelsey By Her Shelf!

KelseyBaldwinHeadshot2

What’s the elevator pitch (short summary) for Strong Girl, Brave Girl?
SGBG is about my journey as a single mother, going through a pregnancy and divorce at the same time, and how I’ve reconciled a life that looks completely different than I ever expected since then. It covers a wide range of life changes beyond divorce including dating after divorce, moving to a new city (twice!), giving birth, and becoming a mother without a partner.

Why was it important to you to tell this story? Who is it written for?
The more I shared about my story on my blog in the years before writing the book, the more I knew a book was on the horizon. I’ve always loved writing and always wanted to write a book. Once I saw how my story was inspiring + encouraging people, I felt like I couldn’t not write it! I also wrote it a lot for myself to work through a lot of the seasons I’ve been through (writing is like therapy to me!), and I wrote it for my daughter to read someday to see that her family might be really different than the others around her, but she has extra people who love her and parents who aren’t perfect. And hopefully she can find some encouragement in that.

BookQuotes36

Why did you decide to write Strong Girl, Brave Girl, when you were, as you say, still in the middle of this story?
I decided to tell this story candidly, from the middle of my mess, not from the end with a wrapped up bow and rose-colored glasses. When I’m going through difficult seasons, the most helpful conversations were with women who were going through something similar. They were struggling with the same things I was, and they didn’t have it all figured out either. I wanted to be that for other women, because the middle of our stories is where we connect with each other.

How did you make time to write this story while running Paper & Oats and raising a human?
I gave myself plenty of time to write, and worked it into my calendar during a slower season for my business. I wrote mostly at night after my daughter went to bed, that’s when I feel my most creative!

Why did you choose the publishing route you took, and how has it changed your perspective on books?
I didn’t know anything about traditional publishing except that it takes a LONG time to get a publisher to say yes, and then it takes a LONG time to get it released after that. I didn’t want to drag this out forever, and I really wanted to write it on my terms and my timeline. As a former book designer, I knew the design side of things very well (which is a hang up for a lot of self-published authors), which helped make it an easy decision, too. Plus, having an existing audience who was interested in my story gave me a good head start for marketing. Someday I’d like to pursue traditional publishing, but for this very personal book, I knew self-publishing was the right choice to start.

Do you plan to release another book in the future?
Yes! I’d love to write more books! Not sure what they’ll be about, but I really loved the entire process, so I’ll for sure be doing more.

Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
My website — www.paperandoats.com — has all my current projects, teaching, articles, and more about my business. I also hang out on Instagram a lot, so you can follow @paperandoats for some good behind-the-scenes stuff.

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Reading Questions
What book made you fall in love with or reignited your love of reading?
“Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott. I really love all things Anne Lamott — her writing and her teaching on writing was a huge inspiration for me writing my book. It’s effortless, not dramatic, but it sounds like you’re sitting across the table from her.

What book might people be surprised to find on your shelf?
I have a couple books about the LGBTQ community that I got when my brother came out as gay a few years ago. They definitely helped me understand him better and get a picture of what it’s like to be gay in middle America.

What are your ideal reading conditions?
Quiet, in bed or on the couch, fireplace going, warm drink in hand, low lights 🙂

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading “Finding God in The Waves” by Mike McHargue and “It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too)” by Nora McInerny.

What book is currently on top of your TBR pile?
Anne Lamott’s new book, of course — “Almost Everything” 🙂

What book are you most looking forward to (not yet released)?
I’m really looking forward to Nora McInerny’s new book “No Happy Endings” — how she writes about her story is super inspiring to me!

Lightning Round
Print, eBook, or audiobook?
Print all the way!

Buy or Borrow from library?
Buy — I can’t finish a book before it’s due back to the library, haha!

Bookmark, dog ear, or scrap paper to hold your place?
Scrap paper — usually a little scribble from my daughter or a plane ticket.

Write/highlight in book or leave it pristine?
Maaaaybe write in pencil, but not usually. I like to loan out books, so notes feel too personal to me.

Worst book habit?
Not finishing them in a timely manner! I either finish a book within a couple days, or it takes me months and months, haha!
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KelseyBaldwinHeadshot3Kelsey Baldwin is an author, designer, and entrepreneur. She runs Paper + Oats, an online blog and resource for creative entrepreneurs looking to do business on their own terms. She helps fellow creatives organize, design, and market their digital products, so they can share what they know, and look good doing it. As a single mother, she is also an advocate for women learning to sustain themselves and gain independence through online business. Her first book – Strong Girl, Brave Girl – chronicles her journey through divorce while being pregnant, and is now available on Amazon. She lives in Missouri with her daughter and dog, forever in search of their next ice cream cone.