Monday, August 29, 2011

Southern-Style Meet & Greet with Marybeth Whalen Plus Giveaway!

Y'all, I am super excited about this week's Southern-Style Meet & Greet!  I just had the enormous pleasure of reading her latest book, and I'm bursting at the seams to let you know about it!  :o)  But first things first, gotta wrap up all our fun from last week's Meet & Greet with Beth Wiseman.

Remember, Beth was super sweet to offer a copy of her newest book which happens to be a collection of all of her Amish novellas.  For those of you that entered the drawing and didn't win, I hope you'll be able to get your hands on a copy of it very soon!  It was a wonderful collection of stories that is sure to be enjoyed by many.  :o)

So, thanks to our friends at, the winner of Healing Hearts by Beth Wiseman is:

Diana (dianalflowers@...)

Diana, thank you so much for signing up!  I'll be in touch with you shortly to get your mailing address.  :o)

And now, for this week's author!  You may have seen Marybeth Whalen several places on the web, and if this is your first time meeting her, you are in for a real treat!  In addition to being a successful author, she's also a contributor on Southern Belle View, and the founder of  I hope you enjoy our chat this week!

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I have always written and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write novels.

What genre do you most like to write?

Contemporary women’s fiction with a southern flair.

Do your own personal experiences, or those of family and friends, ever find their way into one your stories?

Pieces of me and the people I know and love will always be in my characters. My husband and friends have learned to be very careful with what they tell me. This newest novel, She Makes It Look Easy, was inspired by something that happened to me and at the same time to two of my friends. We all three knew very together, family-oriented women who walked away from their families. In part, this novel was my way of digging into what would make a woman do that.

What do you hope readers “take away” with them after they read one of your books?

Hope, and the sense of understanding themselves better because of the time they spent with these characters.

What is your latest book release?

She Makes It Look Easy released June 1st, 2011.  Here's the back cover blurb:

Ariel Baxter has just moved into the neighborhood of her dreams. The chaos of domestic life and the loneliness of motherhood, however, moved with her. Then she meets her neighbor, Justine Miller. Justine ushers Ariel into a world of clutter-free houses, fresh-baked bread, homemade crafts, neighborhood playdates, and organization techniques designed to make marriage better and parenting manageable.

Soon Ariel realizes there is hope for peace, friendship, and clean kitchen counters. But when rumors start to circulate about Justine’s real home life, Ariel must choose whether to believe the best about the friend she admires or consider the possibility that “perfection” isn’t always what it seems to be.

A novel for every woman who has looked at another woman’s life and said, “I want what she has,” She Makes It Look Easy reminds us of the danger of pedestals and the beauty of authentic friendship.

Are you currently working on another novel, and if so, can you give us a snippet about it?

I am working on another Sunset Beach, NC love story, in the same vein as my first novel, The Mailbox. This one revolves around a mysterious guestbook in a beach house that unites two people over time and against the odds.

Now that I've read your latest, I'm making it a high priority to go back and read your debut novel very soon.  :o)

What was the last Christian Fiction book that you read that you couldn’t put down?

Susan Meissner’s upcoming book A Sound Among The Trees. I started that one at 4 pm and finished it at midnight. She’s one of my faves and has been an inspiration to me. I love how she ties historical and contemporary plot lines together.

I just got this book in the mail last week, and contemporary/historical plots combined together usually make for some of my favorite books.  :o)

Where can readers find you on the web?

What is your most favorite thing about the South?

The people. I love the way we talk and act. I love that “where do you go to church?” is as likely a question when you meet someone new as “where are you from?”

Iced Tea—sweet or un-sweet?

SWEET. My husband used to say that you could put my tea in the hummingbird feeder. I have since tamed it down, I’m happy to report.

LOL!  That's almost as good as the line from comedian Mark Lowry--"I like my tea so sweet that if you run out of syrup, you could pour it over your pancakes!"

BBQ Pork or BBQ Beef?


Dolly Parton or Elvis Presley?

Dolly all the way, although my husband hails from Memphis so I might get voted out of the family for that answer.

I may have to side with your hubby on this one since I'm a Memphis girl, too.  :o)

Historical House—Plantation or Log Cabin?

Plantation. I can swoon with the best of ‘em.

Country gal or city gal?

I was raised in the country but have gotten much too spoiled by having city convenience now...I doubt I could go back. I need a Starbucks within 5 minutes of me.

You, you all, or y’all?


Did y'all have as much fun as I did?!  I surely hope so!  And you're bound to have even more fun when you see that Marybeth is offering to give away one copy of She Makes It Looks Easy to one special person.  :o)

Contest is open to US residents only, and ends on Sunday, September 4th.  Click the link below that says "Read More," and then, follow the directions to be entered in the contest.  To get your mandatory entry in, simply click "I Did This" in the "Name and Email Address" section.  The other two entry choices are optional.  :o)

Good luck everyone, and thanks for stopping by my front porch this week!


  1. No need to enter me, I loved this book and it's on my keeper shelf for all time! I just finished The Mailbox as well and it was great too. Can't wait for book three, MaryBeth!

  2. This one is at the TOP of my "want to read" list!! I wanted to read it as soon as I saw the description, but the fact that since I've only heard GREAT reviews on it has made me want to read it even more. :)

    bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

  3. Casey,

    Gotta get The Mailbox soon! Very eager to know if it's as good as SMILE. :o)


    The TOP of your want pile is a good place for it to be! Good luck! :o)

  4. Oh squeee! I'm sooo excited about her next book set in Sunset Beach! I really liked The Mailbox, especially since it was set on the beach, my favorite place on earth. :-)

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  5. This is already on my PBS wish list, but would love to read it sooner by winning your drawing! ;) thanks for the opportunity!

  6. I love what she said about one of the first questions when you meet someone being "Where do you go to church?" That is SO true!

  7. This is an amazing interview. Thanks for the chance to win this.

    R. Hagan


  8. would love to read marybeth's novel...thanks for the chance :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  9. Wonderful interview and gorgeous book cover. Donna

  10. I love to read books about the South written by someone who lives here or has lived here. The cover is wonderful. I would love to read the book.

  11. I have been wanting to read this book so am thankful for this opportunity.


  12. I am from south Texas and my husband likes his tea sweet and in the fridge for several days. My grandmother spoiled us on fresh strong iced tea with a little sugar and if the pitcher wasn't empty after before bedtime it was poured out.

    I told my daughters that when you find a mate the grass looks greener on the other side but to realize that we all have baggage and when you move in together you each start pulling out baggage we had no idea the other had. So expect some baggage that is a little hard to deal with at times and we all have baggage.

    I am looking forward to reading this book.

    Patricia Blackmon
    plb1050 at gmail dot com

  13. I posted to my blog about the review.
    plb1050 at gmail dot com


I love your comments!! They make me happier than cold sweet tea on a hot summer day! :o)