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Be Our Guest Fridays {5}: How Traveling with T Met She Reads


Welcome to Be Our Guest Fridays!

Be Our Guest Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Tanya from Mom’s Small Victories and Helen from My Novel Opinion where we feature guest posts by our favorite bloggers and authors. We started this feature as a fun way to give back to the blogging community. We are excited to share with you these creative, inspiring and knowledgeable bloggers.

My Co-Host Helen from My Novel Opinion

You can find my fabulous co-host Helen on her blog, on Facebook, on G+, and on Twitter. See her blog for more ways you can find Helen.

Today’s Guest Post

I am happy to have Tamara from Traveling with T as Our Guest today. Tamara is a fun book blogger who adds her Southern charm, wit and humor to her book reviews and tweets. She loves to travel and go to book signings. I can always count on her for a kind and enthusiastic word on Twitter or my blog. Tamara enjoys reading women’s fiction, historical fiction, chick lit, cozy mysteries, and suspense.

She is also the Twitter Chat Host for She Reads, a fantastic online book club that reads books I always want to dive right into. It’s still one of my 50 bookish bucket list goals to be invited into the SheReads Blogger Network and be able to review the fabulous books they get their hands on…ah, to dream. It might be time for me to stalk email someone about that again, all I can do is ask, right? So of course, when Tamara agreed to Be Our Guest, I really wanted to know how she got to be in tight with SheReads and become their Twitter Chat Host. Tamara knows how to throw a fun, fast and furious Twitter chat, you’ll definitely want to join in! So, please join me in welcoming Tamara from Traveling with T to Be Our Guest today!

Photo Credit: Traveling With T


Traveling with T & She Reads: How We Met

By Tamara Welch, Traveling with T

Hey ya’ll! First let me just say that I am so honored that Tanya asked me to be part of Be Our Guest Fridays- a feature that I’m totally enjoying.

Many people have wondered how I became a part of She Reads Blog Network- first just as a member and then as the Twitter chat host. Well, I’ve got 2 women to thank for their roles- and then 2 more women to thank for keeping me around!

My first two women- Robin O’Bryant and Kimberly Brock. Robin is a local writer who wrote the funny as all get out Ketchup is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves. About two or three years ago, I was into reading funny/memoir-ish type books- and I loved the title. Robin is now a local-ish gal and we had been tweeting some back and forth for a few weeks when she tweeted an invitation to the Joshilyn Jackson lunch at TurnRow Books.  Recently seeing that book on Deep South Magazine’s Fall/Winter List 2011/2012, I made plans to attend.

I get to the book signing and not really knowing anyone- I’m a bit shy (even though I’m not that shy in real life!) and Robin introduces me to people at her table and makes room for me to sit. Hanging out with Robin was a dream- and not only because the author, JOSHILYN JACKSON, was sitting right at the same table- but because Robin made you feel all special. So, after the book signing- I was basically in love with Robin- and we continued to tweet back and forth some over the next few months.

(I’m totally getting to how this plays into She Reads!)

So, in the spring- Robin tweets a bit about a book called The River Witch by Kimberly Brock. And I tweet something about “Ooh, sounds interesting- must check out!” BOOM! Kimberly Brock is following me- and while I did not know it then- life was about to change for my blog. Life was about to change for me.

At this point, my blog was small. Teeny. Tiny. I was floundering. I wasn’t sure what I wanted exactly. I was beginning to talk about books- but I hadn’t found my voice.

Kimberly, in her infinite wisdom, began helping me. Talking to her about books, about The River Witch, really started to help me. Then, one day out of the clear blue, she tweeted me and a few others a link to sign up at She Reads to become part of their blog network. I hadn’t even heard of She Reads so I looked it up. And began to feel out of my league. Surely, they wouldn’t want my blog- I had maybe 25 followers. I was small. I was not established. But, the more I mulled it over- the more I put this in the “nothing ventured, nothing gained” box. Getting the notification that I would be one of the bloggers and that Kimberly would be leading the blog network = HAPPY DANCES EVERYWHERE!

As the months went by, I was a-tweeting away for She Reads, reading the books, and just enjoying being part of a group of women who not only loved to read- but also supported each other. Then, Kimberly took a magic wand and waved it over me again. She, Ariel Lawhon and Marybeth Whalen had been discussing needing someone to discuss the books, to host Twitter chats- someone to cheerlead on She Reads. And they were asking me! At first, though, I was nervous- could I do it? Would this be a bigger time commitment than I could handle? And then- I just breathed. And knew that I had been listening to Kimberly for awhile- and that had been when my blog life turned into something- so I would be crazy to pass this opportunity up!

And that’s how I became not only a member of She Reads Blog Network- but also their Twitter chat host.

It’s been a wild ride- a fun ride. A bookishly wonderful ride. And I hope it never ends.

My second set of women to thank are Ariel Lawhon and Marybeth Whalen- thank you for taking a chance on me, for seeing my enthusiasm for books and authors.

And lastly, thank you Twitter. For your role in helping introduce me to all these people who changed my bookish life.

About Traveling with T

t at Traveling with t guest post

Find Traveling with T on her blog, on Facebook, on Pinterest, and of course, on Twitter


I love Tamara’s story of how active tweeting helped her develop a personal relationship with these authors that led to a fantastic opportunity when the time was right. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm, story and inspiration with us T!

What do you think of T’s start as Twitter chat host for She Reads? Are you a member of She Reads or participate in their book club reads? If not, you should totally check out their Books of Fall, I’ve already read The Silent Sister!


  1. How did I not know about She Reads? Or Tamara (whose lists of early literary influences in her She Reads bio perfect match mine)?

    I love this story about how Tamara got involved with She Reads. My book-loving heart is very excited. I’m going to have to check out these twitter chats!

    1. Yes, check out the Twitter chats and She Reads! I won The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle just yesterday at a chat with @deepsouthmag and Tamara (they have one weekly, Friday 2pm EST, #southernlit). Tamara is great and such fun to chat with. I am not sure when the next She Reads chat is but they giveaway books too!

    2. Tracie!

      I LOVE hearing all this!!

      She Reads is a great thing- I totally enjoy it! The Twitter chats are fun- and we have giveaways as well (I know, be still your book loving heart!)

      I try to get the word spread through various social media- but I’m prob the best at sharing on Twitter

      Thanks for stopping by to comment- and hope to see you at a Twitter chat!

  2. This was just an amazing post. I love being introduced to bloggers I have not “met” before in the blogging community. I know whose blog I’m checking out after right this comment

    By the way that SheReads Blogger Network (did I get that right?)sounds fantastic. Wish I could be a part of it but I know how hard and sometimes exclusive those things can be. But a girl can wish right?

    As always you’ve written a lovely post and I will be dropping by again. Might as well have the Earl Grey and Blueberry Scones ready. I’m a permanent guest…lol

    1. Hi!

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting (and for coming to visit my blog as well!) Means so much!

      She Reads Blog Network (yes you got that right!) is a great thing 🙂 🙂 I hope to see you reading and talking about the books that are selected- and at the Twitter chats 🙂

  3. I’m not a part of SheReads, but I need to check it out. I once was dropped from a book club, because my favorite genre of books was not what they deemed book club “worthy.” (I really love chick lit.)

    Also, I love how just taking a chance, filling out a simple questionnaire, can get us so far – randomly! Being real and being ourselves is good enough!

    1. Aw, how unfortunate they dropped you. Our little in person book club lets members take turns choosing books. Right now we are on the last Harry Potter so our tween kids can come to the meetings too and discuss thebooks. We had to make it kid friendly so we didn’t lose a member. That’s the advantage of online book clubs too, you can join in whenever you want to if you like what they are reading. 🙂 I like chick lit but really I like a balance and reading what i am in the mood for. I recently read and reviewed one you might like, Seven Letters from Paris. Those love letters from a handsome Frenchman made my heart skip a beat! 🙂

    2. Hi Jaime!

      Thanks for stopping by to comment!

      Ugh, don’t get me started on book clubs BOOK SHAMING readers. I hate that. Please, please, please come and hang out at She Reads- we’ve picked 4 great books for the Books of Fall- and the new books will be announced in the new year (we take Dec off for holidays!) You should read what you want, when you want!

      And being yourself- it should always be in style! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      YES! Taking a chance, well I’m not always a big risk taker- but this is def one time I’m glad I just went with my gut and tried!

  4. I found you 🙂 As long as I take out the “www.” from your site address, it comes up fine on my pc & laptop – keep that in and all that comes up is html!

    What a great piece here! I so cannot keep up with Tamara or SheReads though I do try! I don’t know how y’all do it and kudo’s!!!

    Thank you so much Tanya for dropping by my blog today and for your kind words. It was great meeting you too today (on twitter, where else?!)! Miss Boo (the kitty pictured in the post) is indeed a snuggler of snugglers lol I’m sorry you’re allergic! It’s so true that sometimes the furs know better when we’re not feeling well. They are a comfort indeed! Best of luck catching your boys for snuggles 😉

  5. Thanks for having me on here Tanya! 🙂 🙂

    She Reads has really been such a great part of my social media/blogging life- and no matter how busy I get with other things- I always, always, always make sure to support them vocally- because without them, I would not be where I am today. Would I still be blogging? Yes, probably. But I feel She Reads came into my life in a very serendipitous way- and helped me beyond words I can express!

    I’m so glad ya’ll enjoy the books that are selected- She Reads really does nail it on the head for some good books!!

    My advice: Just be authentic. Be yourself. Share the things you are interested in. Cultivate relationships and friendships and business-y type things with people (but please don’t do so in a false way- it becomes painfully obvious if you are only “helping” or “desiring new relationships” to JUST further your bottom line!)

    As far as new members of She Reads- all I can tell you is that to occasionally check in- Ariel and Marybeth are writing books and promoting other books- plus their She Reads stuff- it’s just a busy time for those ladies!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement and advice Tamara. I definitely think they recognized your talent and enthusiasm. I am all about cultivating relationships too, in fact I posted about 5 tips to building community on the NC Blogger Network site. I have a small community but I love the personal friendship I feel for my frequent visitors. I agree too with being yourself and being genuine. I will try She Reads again, I know how busy I am and I don’t have an entire book to write. I so appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us!

      1. Tanya-

        Again thank you for having me! Cultivating relationships and community is such a big part of blogging/social media. And, to me, it’s one of the best parts!

        I know with both Ariel and Marybeth being busy with writing, etc- it’s been hard for them to answer each and every email- I do hope you try again in the future- and get an answer you will like 🙂 🙂 🙂 NEVER give up 🙂

  6. Great post! I was encouraged by her story. I love how small steps led to bigger blessings, thanks in part to the generosity of others. I loved The River Witch and I try to read other books recommended by She Reads. So glad I discovered this series. I’m looking forward to reading more.

    1. Hi Heidi!

      Thank you for stopping by! Wasn’t The River Witch fantastic? Kimberly Brock is a genius!

      I love hearing that you’ve been reading other She Reads selections! Please join in the Twitter chats if possible- I love seeing new faces!

    1. WESLEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Thank you so much! You are such a great supporter and I just love you! PS: I have embraced my scarf obsession- and I totally need to send you pics of all my pretties 🙂

  7. Great post. I love how people in the book blogging community are so great at connecting with each other, and sometimes that leads to paths you might never have expected. I enjoy seeing what books the She Reads Bloggers pick…….I’ve read two of their current ones.

    1. Hi Donna,

      I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know you since you commented here! YES! It’s so neat how social media and blogging can lead you to all sorts of wonderful paths!

      Thanks for commenting here and visiting my blog/finding me on Twitter!

  8. Hi Tanya. I keep hearing about Robin’s book – I’m going to order! I’m a book reviewer at Chick Lit Plus – and I love She Reads. I’m still a novice at Twitter though. It overwhelms me.

  9. I love this post! I, too, have always eyed the She Reads Blogger network and even emailed them about joining (of course, I never heard back – ha!).

    I appreciate how active tweeting can really help you and that’s one of the areas I struggle with the most. I’m not a naturally active social media person (I “like” people’s updates, but don’t often post my own) and I always have trouble grasping the fact that anyone out there would possibly care what I have to say. So, that makes me tentative on social media. I need to get better about that 🙂

    1. Well I am glad I’m not the only one who has not heard back from She Reads 🙂 I am very active on Facebook and probably least active on Twitter. I do really need to change that. For bookish opportunities it seems Twitter is where everyone is! I care what you have to say 🙂 thanks for commenting!

    2. Sarah,

      I used to never tweet my blog posts! I would tweet abt books and things- but never actually my blog posts. Because I would think “who wants to read this?” So I totally get why you are hesitant about putting your own stuff out on social media. It can be super-scary- but so worth it!!!!!!!

      I think you already do a pretty great job at social media myself- I always love seeing your cute pic 🙂 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting-means the world!

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