Thursday, May 8, 2014

Guest Blogger: Beth Hoffman & Looking for Me Giveaway

Summary: Beth Hoffman’s bestselling debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, won admirers and acclaim with its heartwarming story and cast of unforgettably quirky characters. Now her flair for evocative settings and richly drawn Southern personalities shines again in her compelling second novel, Looking for Me.

Teddi Overman found her life’s passion in turning other people’s castoffs into beautifully restored antiques. Leaving her hardscrabble Kentucky childhood behind, Teddi opens her own store in Charleston. She builds a life as unexpected and quirky as her many customers, but nothing alleviates the haunting uncertainty she’s felt since her brother Josh mysteriously disappeared. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi returns to Kentucky, embarking on a journey that could help her come to terms with her shattered family—and find herself. -- Penguin

I can't believe it's been a year since I first read LOOKING FOR ME by Beth Hoffman -- you can read my review here. I am a HUGE fan of Beth's, and she is not only a very talented writer, but she's also an amazing person. (But I swear I don't let my friendship with her get in the way of my assessment of her novels!)

I am so excited that Beth agreed to write a guest post for my blog. It truly is an honor for me! I love her idea of coming up with a bucket list so much that I just might have to put my "informal" one into writing. I have to admit that Beth's list is much sweeter and more compassionate than mine, and I found so many of her ideas to be inspirational.

My Bucket List
by bestselling author Beth Hoffman

While on a plane returning home from Charleston, the people sitting in front of me were discussing their “Bucket Lists” and it got me thinking. What are the top ten things I would put on my list? I was surprised by what I wrote down:

  1. Say no without explaining why.
  2. Wear hats more often.
  3. Suffer fools less often.
  4. Take the long way home.
  5. Read to the blind.
  6. Take food and toys to the dogs and cats in shelters.
  7. Hide loving notes for my husband in unusual places.
  8. Organize old photos and place them in albums.
  9. Send cards to my friends for no reason.
  10. Write a list of my three greatest life-lessons, seal it in a jar, and bury it in my garden. Maybe one day a new gardener will discover it. Maybe it will mean something … or nothing at all.

Since that day I’ve tackled a few of the items on my list: I’ve pretty much mastered the art of saying no. Sometimes, when it’s particularly difficult, I put on a hat first. I don’t know why, but it helps. The wider the brim, the better. Hiding love notes for my husband has turned out to be one of the sweetest tender-extras of our marriage. Local animal shelters now receive bags of goodies, toys, and fleece bed-liners. Most times this leaves me in tears because I wish I could adopt every single animal, but I can’t.

As for that jar of life lessons, well, I’m working on it. Turns out those lessons have morphed into a novella. I guess I’ve been a slow learner. I’ll need to find a bigger jar.

Beth Hoffman is the internationally bestselling author of Looking for Me and Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. Before beginning her writing career, she was president and co-owner of an interior design studio. Beth lives, along with her husband and their four-legged fur-kids, in a historic Queen Anne home in Kentucky. Her interests include the rescue of abandoned and abused animals, nature conservancy, birding, historic preservation, and antiquing.

You can visit Beth’s website, Facebook, or Twitter @wordrunner

To celebrate the paperback release of LOOKING FOR ME, I have a copy of this wonderful novel to share with one lucky reader courtesy of Penguin Books and Tandem Literary. To enter, just fill out the form below before May 21st at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will randomly select and notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. addresses only. Good luck!


bermudaonion said...

Only Beth would have a bucket list as sweet as that! I'm excited to learn that she's writing a novella!

Stacie said...

I love the Bucket List! I've been wanting to read this and LOVE the cover!

Beth Hoffman said...

Thanks a million for hosting me today, Julie! I so appreciate all your support. Maybe one day we can sit down and talk about our bucket lists!

Unknown said...

The idea of a bucket list is terrific. Think I would add something about helping children that I know who have " issues".

Beth F said...

Ha!!!! Love the need a bigger jar comment. And I can't wait to read the novella!