Friday, December 5, 2014

Plot Twist

Gone Girl was the book I read for book club and I was SO happy I did. I love mysteries and Gillian Flynn did not disappoint with her tale of Amy and Nick. The plot twist had me going WHAT! and OH MAN! but it makes sense in how it's done. Truly a great book, and I can't wait to see the movie.

Favorite Title

You would think that it would be HP and Prisoner of Azkaban. But that would be too predictable.
Saving Grace is one of those books that after I read it the story and the characters stuck with me. It was such a beautiful and loving story that it makes you so happy. There is some sadness but the powerfulness of the story, is what truly resonates with me. Both the male and female characters are strong.


Overrated..the most overrated book..along with it's counterparts...WICKED.
I had sooo much trouble getting through this book but I finished with dreams of going to see it on Broadway. I'm sure it's much better with music.

Favorite Series

Day 2 of the Book Photo Challenge
My favorite series is none other than, Harry Potter. I have loved this series for many years, longer than my husband, my daughter, and even my truck. It has been with me forever it seems. My favorite from the series is, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Sirius Black, he stole my heart.

J.K. Rowling is brilliant.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Tumblr rec

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called "Le Cirque des Reves," and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway--a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love - a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per-formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

My Reaction
 While I really liked it, I just found it to be kind of good. Kinda meh. Nothing too special. Which disappoints me since I was excited about reading it after all the rave reviews it had from Tumblr peoples. I think the atmosphere of the circus portrayed is very spot on and its magnificence and wonder is very accurate. The descriptions that Morgenstern was able to describe for the reader are so amazing that you feel like you are in one of the tents at the circus or watching the performers yourself. Her imagery is something of greatness. 
The plot is weird. The essence of it is that there are 2 players and they use the circus as the backdrop for their game. Much like chess, but not really. Every move is met with a better move, until one or both cannot continue. I found myself wishing the parts about the 'game' to hurry up and end. I really enjoyed the parts with Bailey and the Twins. Poppet was probably my favorite character. I was sad a lot of the time reading it especially when the older circus members appeared throughout and you heard about their lives and how they live now. 
The person I hated the most was Celia's father. That man. It's good that he ghosted himself into another plane because geeez, he's awful. It felt so good when Celia finally told him she hates him. Which you can't blame her, he treated her horribly all her life and the added fact he trapped her into a game for her whole life, knowing if she lost she would die. Father of the year there, right? *shakes head*
My favorite room was the room where you walk in with a stone and all the sadness and bad things in your life are tearfully collected by the rock for you to throw in the river. You cry and cry until the rock has all your grief. And then the wait you've been carrying around, disappears. I think people in this world could really use a room like that. Cry into a rock and let it all go. Perfect.

Overall, it's a good read. It wasn't one that I just couldn't put down but I did read it when I had time. Took me about 3 days total. 

3 out of 5 stars.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Funny Story

My dog hates to have her picture taken.
I'm doing a photo book challenge on Tumblr and decided that I should use her on the first day.
She hated it.
The full minute it took for me to do this- she glared at me. Look at that face!

I love that dog. My Abby dog!
I'll be uploading the pics I use throughout the month here too! Keep a look out ;)

Oh! I'm currently reading, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It's really good so far! Pick it up and give a go.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Second book in the Lunar Chronicles series by Meyer.

Back Cover:
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

My Reaction: 
I really loved this book! I really loved Scarlet and Wolf as separate characters and also as a couple. I think I enjoyed their developing love story more so than what was happening with Cinder. I would actually love a spin off series with only Scarlet and Wolf. I think they have the strength to carry a series or at least another book about them. 
I really enjoyed how Meyer weaved the tale of Cinder in this second book. It really explains how she was taken care of when she was brought to Earth. I was like "WHOA" reading about the suspended animation part that she was put in so she could heal. It was very well thought out and believable. It really brought the whole story of who she is together and wrapped up any questions reader's may have had about her. 
I will admit that I fell in love with the character Wolf. I mean the description of him- *swoons*. He's a strong character alone but with Scarlet he's even stronger and better. It's a true love that you just 'get' right away. And when they have 'the talk' at the end of the story...I admit I teared up. Don't judge me! I get attached to characters and Wolf is a good one. Scarlet definitely needed him and he needed her. One thing that broke my heart, was when they arrive at the base camp for the gang and Scarlet realizes that Wolf has lied to her. He is a member of the pack still. It broke my heart too. But the fact that he saved her, and kept saying "she's mine!" I just..*swoon*...I can't put into words how much I love him. And his love of tomatoes...I just can't even..
Something that broke my heart, was when Kai decides to marry Levana. I know he did it to save his people but damn, she's such a heartless bitch that you just feel for him. I think that Scarlet makes a fair point that some of it is Cinder's fault. She escaped and hasn't accepted her role as Princes.. Someone who can overpower Levana. 
Thorne. At first, I didn't like this guy. He seemed pompous and like a grade- A jerk. But as I kept reading, I really like him. And I like him for Cinder more than Kai. I really feel like Cinder and him just have a good thing going and it could lead to something else.  

I definitely just loved this book. Which is funny, because it took me 3 times of checking it out before I actually sat down a read it. Once I did, I literally read it in 4 hours. It's sooo good and quick to read.

5 out 5 stars.
Check out this series if you haven't already. It is SO worth reading. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween! Books to Haunt You.

In honor of Halloween I thought I would post a list of spooktacular books for you to read!

Adult Recs: 

Dracula by Bram Stoker

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Gris Grimly

The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie

Love & the Zombie Apocalypse by Chelsea Bellingeri

The Shining by Stephen King

Psycho by Robert Bloch

Graveyard Scavenger Hunt by Brian Barnett

Here's some for children!

Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino

Clifford's Halloween by Norman Bridwell

Humbug Witch by Lorna Balian

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex

Cinderella Skeleton by Robert D. San Souci

Funnybones by Allan Ahlberg

Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex

The Great Pumpkin Strikes Again! by Charles M. Schultz

I hope you have a Spooktacular Halloween! Please be safe and check your children's never know about people.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

October Book Club Pick- great choice!

Summary (back of book)
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

My thoughts 
 In all honesty, I LOVED this book! I was so convinced in the first few chapters that Nick killed his wife. I mean it made sense, it all added up- except the body. But then once you actually start seeing Amy through Nick's eyes, and even reading the Diary Amy entries, you start to think, what? Yes, Nick looses his temper but is he really capable of murder? I don't think so. This book is brilliant, from beginning to end. I mean, Gillian Flynn is a genius. A true genius. The mind it takes to fashion a crime so devious, is remarkable. 
It's hard for me to really decide if Amy is demented sociopath or just pure evil. I think both really. Yes, she's incredibly smart but who the hell does THAT to their husband to teach them a lesson? I mean come on. Just divorce him for heaven's sake. I mean the attention to detail she had planning her own murder/death, wow. I could never do that- which probably why I'm considered normal. I mean it took her a year or so to plan all the details. The fake credit cards, the fake diary..I mean, wow. In a sick way, she is to be admired. She's the kind of psycho that has followers and copycats. Flynn definitely broke the mold creating this character.
Nick is a tired, bored husband who only has one thing going for him- the 20-something hot college student he's banging. He never sees the setup by his wife coming. He does figure it out though. And the good thing is that one of the officers is on his side. I mean you get the feeling he's just not that smart to pull off a murder. He would do something to screw it up. In a big way, like call 911 on himself. In the end though, I just feel incredibly sorry for him. I mean geez, to figure out your wife framed you for her own murder, then she shows back up after killing her supposed 'kidnapper, rapist' well, damn, that sucks so bad. And the thing is, he can't divorce her. She has too much on him. His life is rough and it sucks. I really would love to know what happens though. I would love to know if he does end up killing her, like she should be, that demented witch. 
Amy's parents are a different breed. I hated them. I mean HATED them. They are the reason she is the way she is. 
I loved loved this book. The plot and all the twists and turns will keep you wanting to read and make you not want to sleep. In total, it took me 24 hours to read. I started it one morning and finished it the following afternoon, after begrudingly going to bed because my eyes were going bleary. It's so worth the lack of sleep.

5 out of 5 stars!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Sometimes I go onto the OverDrive app that my local library has and I browse all the books. And on some occasions, I find books that I like because of their cover picture...this is one of those cases.

Summary: (back cover) I don't usually take the back cover summary, but I liked it for this book.

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

My Feelings:
I was a bit hesitant when I first started reading this book. I mean, I've read a lot of teen fiction and a lot of it deals with high schoolers dealing with high school drama. This book is the same but with an added twist. It has a sorta who-dun-it aspect to it which I loved.  
Ezra is a smart, popular high school kid who has everything he could ask for. After finding his girlfriend in a less than attractive position with another guy, Ezra leaves the party of the week only to find himself in the hospital days later. What happened? Ezra was hit by a black SUV going way too fast. His knee is shattered and Dr's tell him he will never play sports again. Ever. So goes the tale of how Ezra went from popular stud to debate club nerd. He reconnects with his once best friend, Toby. Who is probably the best character in the book with his book smarts and quick wit. Cassidy, Ezra's love interest is something else. She's mysterious but I'm not sure it's a good way. It's rather annoying. And then, poof!, she doesn't want anything to do with Ezra. It's crazy. Charlotte, Ezra's ex-girlfriend, is the epitome of high school slut. She will open her legs for any guy. I didn't like her- it was like reading about Mean Girls. 
The whole story revolved around how Ezra is pitiful now because of his injury and because he can't play sports. Almost like, if you can't be a jock you can't be anything. Which may be true in some schools. Ezra joins the Debate club because of class schedule rules and is good, no great, but good. He can hold his own when needed. Cassidy, you find out, was a debate champion, who quit all of a sudden last year for no apparent reason. She starts training Ezra to be her protege so she doesn't have to participate anymore. Ezra and Cassidy become a couple all of sudden, no words discussed, just it happens. You find out that Cassidy had a brother- he's the reason that Ezra is injured. It's very sad really.
This book did remind me of Eleanor & Park because of the relationship between Ezra and Cassidy. I give props to Schneider though for her humor and having smart high schoolers portrayed. It was great. I loved how she had geeks in the forefront as the winners and the ones you wanted to be friends with for a lifetime. 
It's a good read. Great humor and reads fast.

4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cat in the Stacks Mystery Series (books 1-5) by Miranda James

I convinced my husband to take me and our daughter to the book store a week or so ago just so I could peruse the goodies on the shelves. Well, I ended up buying the first 5 books in this mystery series. I am such a sucker for mysteries! Especially when they have all the books in that series ready for you to buy..Bless my husband's heart..he stood no chance.

The books:
1. Murder Past Due
2. Classified as Murder
3. File M for Murder
4. Out of Circulation
5. The Silence of the Library

As you can see the series is set in libraries and revolves around library type stuff. Miranda James is an alias for Dean James. He also writes under a couple other names. I LOVE this series because it's set in Mississippi, which is where I'm from. Honestly, it made me very homesick.

Charlie Harris is a 50ish year old man, widower, with 2 adult children. He also is works at the college library in Athena, MS. He volunteers at the public library once a week also. What makes Charlie interesting and the talk of the town is his companion, Diesel. Diesel is a Maine Coon cat, who is large even for the breed. Charlie and Diesel go everywhere together.
In Murder Past Due, Charlie is working hard when his old high school classmate, Godfrey Priest, arrives. Priest is an unbearable man who is famous for writing thrillers. Events unfold quickly once Priest arrives- he lands a man in the hospital, and then he's found dead- by Charlie. Justin, a boarder in Charlie's house, is the biological son of Priest. They both just found out and were getting acquainted. The story continues with Charlie helping out Deputy Berry solving the murder. Who killed Priest and why? Can Charlie clear Justin's name? Yes he does. Read Murder Past Due to find out who kills Priest! 

In Classified as Murder, Charlie is asked by the town's eccentric resident, James Delacorte, to do inventory for him of his rare books collection. He has feelings that someone is stealing his books, and the thief is related to him. On the first day of inventory, Charlie leaves for lunch only to return to find Mr. Delacorte dead in the library. Charlie once again is thrown into the investigation to help find out who killed Mr. Delacorte and why. Charlie tries not to step on Deputy Berry's toes and tries to stay out of trouble poking his nose around. After receiving threats, Charlie can't stop. He must find out who killed this man. Can Charlie put all the facts together? Read Classified as Murder to find out!

File M for Murder revolves around the arrival of noted playwright, Connor Lawton. He's in town helping Athena College perform a new drama. We also meet Charlie's daughter, Laura, and learn of her previous relationship with Connor. After Connor calls Laura and asks her to come over to his hotel room, Laura finds Connor dead. She immediately calls Charlie and asks him to come help her and what to do. Deputy Berry arrives sometime later full of questions for both Charlie and Laura. Can Charlie make Berry see that Laura would never murder anyone? Charlie has to find who killed Connor before Deputy Berry arrests Laura for a murder she did not commit. Charlie poles his nose around and soon finds out who did it and the twist on why! This was probably the most twisty book in the series. I enjoyed this one because it had drama with it- stalkers, loud clothing, drama actors. Read File M for Murder, you will love it!

Out of Circulation finds Charlie as a member of one of the town boards- along with some very high rolling ladies. The Ducote sisters are one of the wealthiest and charitable ladies in town. Along with Vera Cassity they like to throw big todo's in town to raise money for various organizations. Charlie finds himself disliking Vera and throwing his vote in with the Ducote sisters. But was that the right thing to do? Especially after they tell him, Vera will get what's coming to her soon. At the party of the year, Vera is found dead and Charlie's maid, Deputy Berry's mother, Azalea, is in the midst of it- or so it seems. Can Charlie help Berry clear Azalea's name? and find out who the true murderer is? This book is full of twists and turns! I LOVE this one too!

The Silence of the Library is about National Library Week and the week of events that will be happening in honor of it. Charlie is working on a display about mystery series. One of the series authors, Electra Barnes Cartwright, is rumored to have settled close to Athena. He and Teresa (library director) go and visit Mrs. Cartwright to invite her to talk during the week. She gladly accepts! Teresa is called the next day by Cartwright's daughter to discuss the fee- something the Teresa is shocked about since money wasn't discussed at the meeting. Now Teresa fears that the author won't appear because paying her isn't in the library budget. Soon, collectors start to arrive and try to bully their way into having Mrs. Cartwright sign all their copies of her mystery books. They are willing to pay crazy amounts for her to do this. When the president of the ECB's fan club is found murdered Charlie puts on his detective hat once again to help solve the murder and find out if Mrs. Cartwright is truly alive at 100 yrs old or if something more sinister happened to her.

My feelings
I absolutely loved this series! I read it in 5 days- yes, one book a day. I was uncertain about having a man as the lead character in a mystery series but I really love Charlie and his cat Diesel. I'm so used to having strong female leads in the mysteries I read, that it was refreshing to have Charlie and his sweet cat be the spotlight. I loved this book even more because it's set in my home state of Mississippi. It made me so very homesick that I was calling my mom regularly (which I do anyways but more so). I even researched Miranda James to find out more about her only to find out she's a he! It made more sense that Dean James would have a male lead in a detective series such as this once you discover the name Miranda James is his pseudonym. It works though! I especially love Diesel! I would love love love to see a Maine Coon in person. They sound like such amazing and beautiful animals, smart too.
One of my favorite characters, besides Charlie and Diesel, was Deputy Kanesha Berry. She was the first African American woman Deputy in the small town of Athena and she is FIERCE! Her character is strong, smart, and badass. She's intimidating but she knows good help when she finds it. She doesn't trust many but when she does she relies on them. I thought her character was needed in the story. She was the yang to Charlie's ying since he's so nice and welcoming.

I HIGHLY recommend this series! I cannot wait to read the next books in the series.

5 out of 5 stars for all 5 books!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Forget Me by K.A. Harrington

Recommendation from Tumblr.

Three months after her boyfriend's death, Morgan uploads a picture of him to a social media site for 'closure'. In doing this, she finds out that her may be alive as the site prompted to tag someone- who looks exactly like him. Realizing she doesn't know a lot about her boyfriend of 2 months, Morgan sets out to find out who this 'twin' is and why her boyfriend was so secretive. Morgan goes into detective mode and finds out a lot of answers to questions she has. This fast paced novel really delves into the lies and mysteries in a small town and found in your own family. Is Morgan's boyfriend really alive? No. Does he have a twin? No. But the person she does find is even better than him. Does she bring down an evil man who was thought to be dead? Yes. Does she give the town peace? Yes.

Read it to find out how! It's a super quick read. I read it in 2 hours.

My Thoughts:
LOVED IT! The conversations are quick and well written. Morgan is a quick-thinking teen who is motivated to find the truth. Her best friend is a great side-kick but can definitely hold her own. Evan is adorable (come on, dimples, *swoon*). I think he's the one she's been looking for anyways. Their relationship is real from the start, a little weird under the circumstances but real. What I really liked about this book is the active presence of parents. It's so great to finally have parents who care! Who actively parent in a book. It's so life-like. So hooray for that, Harrington. It's a face paced read and you will enjoy it. It's maybe a little easy to figure out but it's such a great read that you won't care. Read it.

5 out of 5 stars! I love quick reads that are also quick-thinking and have strong characters.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

This book has a very pretty cover, which is why I really wanted it. It's also a great read so it wasn't chosen in vain.

Incarnate introduces Ana a nosoul, someone who is new to the world and hasn't been reborn like everyone else. Everyone else is 5,000 years old or more, but not Ana. She is the first nosoul to ever be born. She has no friends, no one that loves her. Even her mother hates her. Then on her 18th birthday, she sets out for the city in hopes to find some answers. Along the way she runs into some trouble and is saved by Sam. Sam is the only person who has ever talked to her nicely or at all. He's the only person who hasn't shunned her and told her she was a nosoul. He calls her a new soul. Along the way, Ana and Sam's relationship blooms, forming into this love that Ana has never known. Ana also finds out Sam is the man from the past thousands of years whose music has inspired her to keep going and kept her sane all these years. Their passion for music and the arts fuels their love making their relationship deeper and more real.
Once Ana is allowed to enter the city, everything goes from bad to worse. She is put on curfew, made to check in, and get a proper education (something her mother slacked on). If it wasn't for Sam, Ana wouldn't be allowed to look into her father and also why she was born. There is always something that gets in her way. Will she find out why she was born? Why she replaced Ciana? Yes. She does. And man, it's not what you expect! Her father is the reason (Spoiler). He created a way to stop souls from being reborn.

My Thoughts:
I really liked this book. It took me a few days to read it because it does start out slow and Ana's pity party does get on your nerves which makes you want to get away from her for a bit. But if you can get passed her pity party of 'why me' then it's really a great story. The idea of people being reborn for thousands of years over and over again, it's interesting. The author really does a great job weaving this tale of being reborn and remembering your past lives. It's truly awesome! Ana is a good character, she's stronger than you realize at first and does eventually become the person Sam believes in. Sam is the person you would want to meet along any journey. He's passionate, artistic, and (in my head) handsome. He's what Ana needs in the book- someone to believe in her. Because he also needs someone to believe in him. Their relationship is very romantic and fast and just what you think of when you think of teenagers. Even though Sam is thousands of years of old, in this life, he's Ana's age.
Like I said, it's a great story and the details of this world are extraordinary. It's a great read and makes you think.

4 out of 5 stars!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Interview #6- Renee Hague, Genealogy and History


 Before I married my husband, I started working in the public library in my hometown. While working there, I had the very great pleasure of working with Mrs. Renee Hague. She is hilarious, chic, and super knowledgeable about her work. I have always found genealogy fascinating (I blame my mother lol) and seeing the passion that Mrs. Hague and her counterpart, Mrs. Sherry, have for this subject is amazing and mind-blowing. I wanted to interview Mrs. Hague because she's someone you just can't help but love and she knows her stuff. I was also inspired by the t.v. show "Who Do You Think You Are?" which helps celebrities trace their ancestry using plus professionals in the field all over the world. After watching this show, I was very excited about interviewing someone in the genealogy field and immediately thought of Renee Hague- who always dresses very fashionably. 

The Interview!

1. Tell me 6 things about yourself.

I  love  my work and continue to learn new things each day.   
- I’m happily married To Doug Hague( 35 years)  and have three grown children who are my pride and joy.  Joseph is a composer living in Oakland, CA; Laura teaches Special Education in Daphne, AL; and Nelson lives in Quito, Ecuador and is starting a Wellness business (certified massage therapist) there and also has a certification for teaching English as a second language.  
- I play flute, recorder, ukulele, Indian drums and rattles,  and collect instruments.

- My degrees are in English and Combined arts therapy and I’ve found a way to apply my college education  to my job at the library.  

- India, Greece and Israel are among my favorite countries and I’ve traveled there!

- My favorite poets are Rumi and William Blake and I have a file on my computer with my favorite  100 books.

2. How long have you been working in genealogy?

I’ve been working in genealogy and local history for 13 years,  and my grandmother, Archie Gautier,  started training me for the job when I was a child.   She worked as curator of the “Old Spanish Fort” for over 30 years and I help take care of her archive collection today!

3. What is the most interesting thing about genealogy? 

The interconnectedness of people and things amazes me.  I get goosebumps at work  on a daily basis because of random coincidences (or are they?).

4. What's the hardest part about genealogy?

For me, the hardest part of genealogy is citing sources, because I get so excited about finding things and forget to write down  the source in my eagerness to find the next thing!  Citing sources has to be one of the most important tasks of a genealogist. (Check out Richard Lackey’s book on the subject).

5. Have you traced back your genealogy? Are you related to anyone famous or interesting?

Yes, I’m working on  75 family lines and I find most of my ancestors are interesting.  My Indian ancestors are who I am most interested in now. While they are usually the hardest to document, I’m lucky to have found some of them in the records.  A couple of them married  Frenchmen who  helped found the Gulf Coast.  

6. For beginners,  what are some tips for tracing your genealogy?

Do your homework before you begin your research online or at the library.  Interview your family and get the names of people and the places where they were, as well as dates.  Write all of this down in an organized fashion (family group sheets, etc…) and be sure and cite your sources.  When you begin in earnest, it will be easier to find the documents if you’ve done your homework.

7. Can you tell me about genealogy. General or specific things.

When I first started working in this department,  I found it creepy to be looking up obituaries on a daily basis.   Sherry Owens,  one of my first teachers, taught me to look at the obit as a life span of a person (as opposed to a death).  That clicked and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Once you have dates, names and places….it’s time to start putting it all into a historical context!  Maps become fascinating and begin to look like art!  History comes alive and is no longer boring.
It helps me to read and write historical fiction when researching.  I can remember all the facts if I’m interested in the story!  Otherwise it’s too dry.

8. The t.v. show, 'Who Do You Think You Are' shows celebrities tracing their genealogy. How long can it take to trace a family lineage?

People spend their entire lives researching their families.  We have people waltz in the library thinking they can find everything in a day with a few clicks on the computer.  That is not true!!  “Who do You think You Are” is a fascinating program, but fosters the myth that genealogy is easy.