That’s Some Shoutin’ Ground, Right There!

Lisa-Wingate-porchpicthumb65-1Happy Monday, Everyone! Usually Monday morning is a quiet time… a time to slowly wake up to the beginning of a new week, maybe a time of post-weekend (or post-Superbowl) letdown… but every once in a while, Monday has a mind of its own. This week, my friends, there’s no lolling around in the pink robe and fuzzy slippers here on the porch, because I’m on some shoutin’ ground and I can’t wait to share it with you!

I’ll just jump right in, from first to last (not necessarily in order of importance) so we can shout together.

1. Shoutin’ out to an all-new porch! Yes, we’ve redecorated!  Did you think you’d landed on the wrong page when you arrived this morning?  Thanks to Shellie Rushing Tomlinson’s, uber-talented daughter, Jessica, we’re sporting a brand new, beautiful, site design here at BelleView!  We’re so proud of our new home and we hope you’ll hang out here and have fun too.  You know we love it anytime you stop by!  We think Jessica has done a super job of spiffing up the place, and by the way if you’d like to know more about Jessica’s web designs, you can find out about at Belle Grey Design.  We’re so proud of that girl!

2. Shoutin’ out to TWO new Belle Books! This month, we welcome not one but TWO new Book Babies to the BelleView community.  Both Rachel Hauck and Lisa Wingate (well… me… or I…) have new February book releases.  Rachel is offering up Princess Ever After, the next of her awesome Royal Wedding books, and I’m thrilled to have Wildwood Creek, the fourth Moses Lake book (and my first contempo-storical story) hitting the market!  I’m also tickled to share that RT Bookreviews gave it a Top Pick this month.  Yyyyy-yay!


3. Shoutin’ out to FIVE new Belles!  That’s right!  Not only do we have a brand new (and swanky, I might add) porch, we have new Belles to share it!  You might’ve heard whispers the last month or two and seen a few new visitors coming and going, and yes we’ve decided it’s time to expand the staff.  Each of us has picked a beloved “Book Sister” to join Belleview and share our day from now on. Our new Belles will host the porch on alternate weeks. Check out the far right column (top), and you’ll see who each of us invited to join the crew.  More Belles, more wonderful stories and great conversation!  We’ll be introducing our new girls all week, but for today, let me present you the “other” Belle Monday, my Book Sister, Kellie Coates Gilbert. She’s one smart girl and one fine writer. I know you’ll love her as much as I do.


Awesome Book Sister (and the new alternate Belle Monday), Kellie Coates Gilbert with me, at the Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend book fest a couple weeks ago. That’s Jamie Ford (Hotel On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet) and Kathryn Casey (The Killing Storm) in the background, so we’re in good company!

Here are a few fun factoids about my talented author and friend, Kellie Coates Gilbert:

  1. I fell for my skydive instructor (pun intended) and we’ve been married over thirty years.
  2. I appeared on the popular television game show, Price is Right.
  3. I made Ted Kennedy’s bed (as a maid at the Sun Valley Lodge).
  4. I’ve herded sheep.
  5. I’ve attended a presidential inaugural ball.
  6. I was a popcorn ball in my fourth grade Christmas pageant.
  7. My Gram called me her “precious puddin’ gift of God.” I’ve tried to get my husband to use that term of endearment, but he refuses.
  8. The popular doll, Barbie, and I are nearly the same age.
  9. There were sixteen students in my high school graduating class.
  10. My life motto is: Prone to wander, chained to grace.

3. Shoutin’ out about FIVE fun Giveaways! This week on the porch, we’ll be having a new Book Sisters Giveaway each day.  Each day, you could win a pair of autographed books from the Belles of the day.  Today, we’ll be giving away signed copies of Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate and Mother of Pearl by Kellie Coates Gilbert.


Today’s Book Sisters Giveaway — To enter, answer the question of the day in the comments below.  Winner will be announced in comments on Tuesday. Leave an email address in your comment if you’d like to be notified by email, in case you win!  Good luck everyone!

Question of the day:  Do you read with sisters, friends, kids, or grandkids?  Who’s your favorite read-together pal or what’s your favorite read-together memory?  Share with us in the comments.  We’d love to know!

The Prayer Box — One of Booklist’s Top Ten of 2013!  Click for excerpt

Wildwood Creek — RT Bookreviews Top Pick Feb 2013! Click for excerpt



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Selected among BOOKLIST'S Top 10 of 2012 and Top 10 of 2013, Lisa Wingate weaves Southern settings with elements of women's fiction, history, and mystery to create stories that Publisher's Weekly calls "Masterful" and Library Journal refers to as "Lyrical and beautiful." She is a seven-time Carol Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. She once dreamed of making the Olympics and winning the National Finals Rodeo, but was thwarted by an inability to do a back flip on the balance beam and parents who wouldn't finance a rodeo career, so she took her first-grade teacher's advice and became a writer instead ;)

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  1. says

    HOORAY! Such a HAPPY Monday morning here on the porch. I hope everyone is as excited as I am to welcome the fantabulous Kellie Coates Gilbert as our newest Belle Monday! Kellie is one of the most genuine, kind-hearted, loyal, supportive, beautiful souls you will EVER meet, and I am certain you’ll all enjoy getting to know her here at SBV.

    Now, even though I can’t win these books…I’ll answer the game questions just for fun. I LOVE to read aloud. As an elementary teacher, I always enjoyed reading to my wee students, and we would get into the story in silly voices and character dances, etc. I’m all about multi-sensory involvement as a teacher.

    But as a mom, reading aloud is something I have always done with my family. We actually take turns reading together aloud every day, and since Jan. 1 and a New Years Resolution, we now read a 500 word essay every night at the dinner table. The reader for that night leads the discussion after the read-aloud, and that reader writes each family member’s thoughts in the margins of the book along with the date. This has led to some amazing family discussions on topics we may never have tackled otherwise.

    My son had a fabulous idea last night that I am super hyped about. in fact, we plan to implement it as soon as our essay book is finished. The next phase will require each family member to WRITE the essay each week that s/he will read aloud at dinner to be discussed. Can you believe a 13-year-old boy suggested such a thing? I was in awe, and you can bet we’ll be giving it a try.

    Tell us how you like to read. And what are some of the best read-alouds you’ve discovered?


    • Lisa Wingate says

      Julie, I love, love super-love your ideas of reading with the family at the dinner table. What a great way to get discussion going. Obviously it’s working, since your son has suggested writing as well. What thoughts will come out in those essays? I think you’ll have a future family treasure in those!

  2. Nicole Seitz says

    Great intro for the week, Lisa!! And so happy to get to know Kellie better in this format. I so look forward to reading what’s going on in everyone’s lives this year!

    • Lisa Wingate says

      Good morning, Nicole! We’re so glad to have you joining us on the porch! Looking forward to hearing what’s new with you, too 😉

  3. Sharon says

    I love the new website format! Thanks for nice intro to it all, Lisa. You picked a good buddy there. Kellie’s book is really great and I love the fun facts, Kellie.

    So much to say today…

    Rachel, congratulations on the new book. I’ll be reading that soon. Maybe I can win a copy…

    Lisa, RT is so right. I’ve already read Wildwood Creek and LOVE it. Love what you are doing with a contemporary story and a historical woven together in WC and in The Prayer Box. It’s such a page turner. I finish one chapter and then the other time frame comes in and I can’t wait to see what happens with Bonnie Rose or how Allie is getting along. Super read.

    • Lisa Wingate says

      Thank you, Sharon! We’re so glad you’re on the porch with us. I hope you win Rachel’s new book later in the week. I’m digging into that one myself!

  4. mary branham says

    I want to read both the books. I read with my husband and granddaughters ( I read to the granddaughters and now that they can read they read to me. I like when my husband has read a book, then I read it and we can talk about it. My friend and I read the same books. Even my mom at 87 reads and we talk about the books.

    • Lisa Wingate says

      Hi Mary! I love it when I hear from husbands and wives who read together. What a great way to stay close and come up with new subjects to discuss. Give that man a big high-five from the girls at Southern BelleView, will you?

      • says

        Mary, Some of my readers send me reactions to my book from each spouse. I love hearing what the husband thought vs the wife, and it always gives them some interesting discussion topics. Great fun reading with your husband!

  5. Shellie says

    Oh, I’m so tickled about our big reveal (yes, I think my daughter rocked it, too!) and all the new goings on around here. Can’t wait to introduce my alternate Belle Friday! HUGE congrats to you, Lisa, and to you, Rachel! You two can flat out tell a story. May those books take wings and FLY!

    As to your question…I super love to read aloud to anyone who will listen. My grands are always willing, but I lasso other people, too.

    One of my dearest friends in all the world, (shoutout Rhonda Perry!) is gracious about allowing me to read parts of my WIP to her and it never fails to help me tighten the piece in question, or build on in with a new thought.

    Welcome to the new SBV, y’all! We’re delighted to have everyone with us!

      • Lisa Wingate says

        That happens sometimes. We’re so busy in our modern lives that get-togethers often fade away. The great thing is, there are always friends waiting inside the book, too… and they work on our schedule 😉

    • Lisa Wingate says

      Thank you, Denise! I’m excited about the changes here and super tickled about the new book babies. Happy to be sharing February with the awesome Rachel Hauck!

  6. Missy says

    I read for myself primarily these days since I don’t have children but my mother read to me every night as a girl and now that she’s gone I’ll always remember Lady in the Tramp and Jungle Book and the precious stories she read me. I would love to read Lisa Wingate’s new book. If I win please contact me. mycouponsandsuch at aol dot com.

    • Lisa Wingate says

      “Lady in the Tramp and Jungle Book” two of my all-time favorites, both in childhood and with my boys when they were little!

  7. Mia Callahan says

    So excited to see the new page layout! And for more books & authors to look forward to getting to know! Love sharing books with friends, Kathy and Tamara….and often read same titles as daughter-in-laws! (Because I was blessed with 3 handsome sons!). God bless all you fine ladies!!!

  8. says

    Reading Chapter books with my boys at night all snuggled in bed. They loved Mr. Popper’s Penguins, A Man without A Country, Jungle Book, The Whipping Boy and Aesop’s Fables. Just to list a few.

  9. Virginia Rush says

    oh yea, new ladies to the porch…welcome!!!!!!! and Kellie is one of my favs and I can’t wait to get to know the other ladies. maybe they’d love to do a Whirlaway Lisa!!!! yes I know…give it a rest….but…. I don’t have a reading partner here, except my husband asking “why are you laughing?” when I’m reading! and facebook friends who love the same books and we talk about the books either on facebook, email or PM. I love promoting books, I love proofing and reading, anything to help…and I love reviewing, but sometimes, I read to fast and miss a lot of reviews by not just stopping and doing that…sorry. WELCOME TO THE PORCH!!!!!!!!

  10. Rachel Hauck says

    Awesome new porch thanks to Jessica Maher! And LOVE having Kellie as a new Belle Monday. If you’re not hanging out on the southernbelleview porch, ya might not be cool. LOL.

    Welcome Kellie!!


  11. Ann Badder says

    Favorite memory is reading to my daughters when they were young. They have families of their own and love to read.

  12. Kelly O. says

    I read to my little ones. I love when my three year old knows her favorite book so well that she can finish the sentences!

  13. Jackie Smith says

    LOVE your new “look”……great job in the design! And I was able to subscribe via E. That way I won’t miss a day.

    I love to read and read a lot; already have Lisa’s newest so don’t enter me. I will be back later in week to try for Rachel’s. lol

  14. Anne Olson says

    This is my first time visiting the porch. I will continue to return because it looks like a place I would love to be. I read with my kids when they were younger and now I read with my two little grandsons every chance I get. They moved to Texas so I don’t see them nearly enough. I mostly read on my own now and get my friends to read the same books I have read. I would love to win any books because I so so so much love to read.

    • says

      Anne — WELCOME! We’re so happy to have you with us. Come back every day and get to know our other Porch Pals. We’ll have free book giveaways all week! And always something fun to chat about.

  15. Ashton Morgan says

    This is my first time here as well. I typically read by myself, although my grandma and my dad are the ones who sparked my love for reading. I loved reading with my grandma as a young girl, and she really instilled in me the need to read. We both read as often as we can!

  16. Georgine Dorman says

    I will recommend a book that I found really interesting to my 17 year old granddaughter, and she will recommend books to me that she finds really interesting. We each have found some great books this way that we otherwise would not have read. I like to think she got her love of reading from me.

    • Lisa Wingate says

      What a sweet mother-daughter relationship! Thanks for raising a reader, Georgine. My mom and I read together, too!

  17. Doris Schraeder says

    My favorite reading memory is from reading “The Terrible Tiger” to my grand daughters when they were little. As a trip along memory lane, I read it the last time to my college age granddaughter just for laughs. It’s a rhyming book and by then, we both knew it by memory!

  18. says

    Such excitement here on the porch, with a new style, new faces, and new books! WOW!! This is one of my very favorite places to visit and I look forward to all that is to come!

    Welcome, Kellie! I love the fun facts you shared and can’t wait to learn more!

    Lisa, you have woven such an intriguing tale in WILDWOOD CREEK. Thank you for sharing this incredible journey through past and present!

    My favorite reading pals are my children. :) There is nothing better than having one in my lap and one on each side while we enjoy story time! Very special moments, indeed!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

  19. Jordan Sims says

    What a great post! The family essay reading sounds like an amazing idea! One of my favorite read-alouds is The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever. My mom read it aloud to my brother and I around Christmas time years ago, and we have carried on the tradition with my younger siblings every few years. Even though we are inconsistent about it, it’s always fun when we get to do it! A few years ago, I read The Christmas Shoes aloud to my siblings – that was difficult to get through without stopping to cry! I guess there’s just something about Christmastime that turns reading into a group activity in my house.

  20. Marsha Paul says

    Books, reading has always been part of my life. My mother read to me, I read to my children and grandchildren.
    I read constantly now…Even my son who is in my care, with a brain injury, loves books!

  21. Ann VZ says

    Love the essay idea. How do I like to read? Anytime, anywhere, as long as its safe – as in I don’t read while driving. Two things I love to read aloud: The Word of God and children’s books. One of our favorites is James Stevens “That’s Exactly the Way it Wasn’t.” I can pull that book out, start reading and both my almost 16-year-old and 12-year-old show up!

    • Lisa Wingate says

      If it attracts teenagers, it has to be a good book, Ann. I’m going to add this to my library list… for grandkids… someday…

  22. Dara Gentry says

    I read w/ my grandma sometimes and also my friends from camp and I had a book club!!!We love to read Karen Kingsbury!!!

  23. Shannon S. says

    I love the Moses Lake series and have recently become a Rachel Hauck fan. I read alone, but I have a friend I used to work with who loves the same kind of books so I’m always texting her my thoughts and suggestions on books I read and she in turn lets me know if she comes across a great one too.

  24. Darlene Griffith says

    I have shared Lisa’s books with friends in OK. We all enjoyed ‘Tending Roses’series.
    Will have to admit I am way behind in reading since I was diagnosed with RA in 2011. Am ready to get started again with ‘Prayer Box’. Just counted 11 Lisa Wingate books in my bookcase!
    She is on my fb. We are fellow ‘Okies’
    Love this website.
    Darlene Griffith, Jane, Missouri

    • Lisa Wingate says

      Hey, to a fellow Okie! I’m so glad you’ve given some of my “book babies” a good home on your bookshelf! Tending Roses is still my sentimental favorite, but I hope you enjoy The Prayer Box!

  25. connie price says

    My favorite memories are reading to our girls when they were little-we had so many favorite books!! We have kept them all in hopes of having grandbabies to read them to!! Our oldest is an English major and still loves to read-with enough books to start her own library!!

  26. Edie McFaddin says

    Wow! I’m so excited about the new “book babies”, and that today is the due date for my first grandbaby! He’ll be here any day now! It’s a great week for babies! I can hardly wait to read to my new little grandson. I think that will be our favorite thing to do together. I keep up with all the Southern Belle writers and love your talents! Now you’re giving me a whole bunch more to read and I’m excited!

    • Lisa Wingate says

      Hi Edie! Well, yay! A new grand baby coming to the porch crowd. Let us know when he gets here and you read your first book together. i bet it won’t take long!

  27. Becky S. says

    One of my favorite memories as a teacher was reading a book to a class of students who couldn’t wait for the next chapter and didn’t want for me to stop reading each day. I loved their enthusiasm!

  28. Rachel Boyd says

    I don’t have a favorite person to read with … I have two! One of our favorite things to do on lazy evenings (especially if it is raining outside or like tonight, cold with lots of snow on the ground) is to sit in the living room and read for an hour. As a busy mom of twin tween boys, this is one of our rare moments of where we just sit in the same room and read. The boys would read their Archie Comics or whatever is the current bestseller in the YA selection. I would read whatever it is that I am reading. (I love all kinds of books, especially memoirs, history, historical fiction, contemporary fiction and yes, Lisa’s books!) I have tried to get my boys to read my selections of books but they’re not all that interested in what I have to read. At least they are sitting in the same room with me and we would read … sometimes, we would even share the bits and pieces of what we’re reading.

    I know that these moments are rare and will become even rarer in the future, but they sure are treasured!

    • Lisa Wingate says

      “I have tried to get my boys to read my selections of books but they’re not all that interested in what I have to read.”

      Been there for sure! Like you, I’m just happy if these big boys will hang out in the room with me and read their magazines 😉

  29. Glenda says

    My reading buddy is my hubby. He normally reads a book first, then I read the book and we discuss it. My favorite reading memory is when we travelled and I read the books aloud. He drove, I read. We are unable to travel anymore but I still like to read to him. We leave a special book on our table as we approach Christmas and/or Easter. When we have lunch or just sit for a cup of tea I read stories aloud. It is such a special time.

  30. Annette B. says

    The new format looks fabulous! And hooray for the new belles! :) By the way Kellie…I have also herded sheep, and I had 13 in my graduating class. I think we must be soul sisters! lol

    My reading buddy is my mom. When I read a good book, I’m always excited to share it with her and when she likes it as much as I do, it’s the best. My other reading buddy is my daughter. She’s a teenager, but our genres cross over sometimes, and I especially love getting to relive a great book with her.

    I’m dying to read both of these books. Would love to win! Thanks for the giveaway!

  31. Melanie Backus says

    I love the new face of the porch and a great big Texas Welcome to the new porch members. We all have so much to look forward to.

    One of the greatest feelings I experience concerning books is when my two youngest grands climb up in my lap with a book in hand for me to read or when my oldest grand sits by me to read his latest “Hank the Cowdog” adventure. My heart overflows with joy.

    I experience another great pleasure when my daughter, Britney, and I chat about great books we are reading or have read. We might call each other several times a day just to discuss books. What fun!

    Thank you all for the great work you do. It is greatly appreciated.

    melback at cebridge dot net

    • Lisa Wingate says

      Hank the Cowdog was the all-time favorite around our house. Bedtime reading for years, and we’ve had a few real “Hanks” around, too. Ranch Security around here is usually the four-legged, hapless kind 😉

  32. says

    I love to read to my kids (even when they pretend to be too old). My favorite memory was reading Inkheart to them, where things from a book come true. I was being silly and reading dramatically about rain and it started raining! They were pretty freaked out right then. :)
    Thanks so much for the opportunities you give us to win!

  33. Kelly Farley says

    What a great opportunity to get some amazing books……I love Kellie Coats Gilbert……I have ever since we went to school together……

  34. Cyndi Wilson says

    I loved reading books to my kids when they were younger! I remember Petunia, Curious George, The Big Hungry Bear, Lassie, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, etc… hmmm… lots of animals! LOL These are just the ones that come to mind immediately. My kids are both now married so maybe one day, before too long, I’ll start over by reading to the grands. :-) Definitely looking forward to reading both of y’all’s books!!!

  35. Kaylee says

    Love the new look, and excited to meet the new book sisters! I honestly have a hard time with read-alouds, because the book goes so much slower! I find myself trailing off as I switch to silent read-ahead mode, and my husband or kids have to send a search party to remind me I’m supposed to be reading aloud. lol.

    Most of my reading aloud is with my kids.I have a book I’m reading with each child, and one we’re reading together. And when we go on long car trips, my husband drives and I read until my voice gives out. We’ve gotten through lots of great books this way!

  36. Lynn Maniak says

    Two memories are evoked with the thought of your books–when my kids were little I read to them daily. One is a very avid reader to this day and is well-spoken because of her knowledge of words. Also, as a child we lived above our grandparents, who had a lovely, screen-enclosed back porch. I’ve always admired porches–viewed them as a comfy place to read!

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