Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why We Might Not Be Packing Guns

River: Okay there is a disclaimer here - for those of you who support major gun control and wish they would fall off the planet - I UNDERSTAND. BUT = I was raised in the Rural South where everyone had a gun and they used it for hunting and protecting the little house back up in those woods.

Shellie: Not to mention having it on hand to fire once, just once, straight up in the air to usher in the New Year. What? Everyone's daddy didn't do that?

River: And where I come from everyone was in a little house in the middle of nowhere surrounded by lots and lots of trees, howling, who-ing, and otherwise spookety night time noises with dark that is really, really, DARK! 911 is not an option. A telephone might be an option but not emergency hurry up services.

Shellie: Of course, back on Bull Run Road, the first emergency call didn't go to the authorities. It went to whoever picked up the party line. This ernest soul made sure a slew of folks came to your aid, like yesterday, men packing heat and women packing food because heavens knows you need to keep your strength up.

River: This brings us to the present where I was raised around woman folk who carried guns too. In their pocketbooks if need be. By the bed - you know, just in case an intruder thought twice about surfacing in that dark night. And yes, the shotgun is loaded and by the back door.

Shellie: Have I told y'all about the time, pre-author/interior decorater days, when I was confronted by a crazy lady (verified) with a shotgun by the door? I think I'll save it for the tour...

River: Have I told ya'll about the woman I met with a shotgun as one of my first introductions to Tennessee? i could see was her from the waist down holding that shotgun she had just fired. Yep, Shellie I better save this for tour also. Understandably, I have had some family members recommend that Shellie and I pack something special for the trip. You know, something cute, shiny, and wearing bullets.

Shellie: And I've had family and friends who can't imagine that we would leave without bullets. On my last road tour my Papa sent me off with mace and a billy club-- and he still thought I was woefully unprepared.

River: But here's the gig - Have you seen Shellie's All Things Southern Chat talking about too many programs open? Have you read my blog about Where Do All The Lost Things Go?  For good reason both of our respective husbands (unbeknowst to one another) have strongly voiced an opinion that we might just shoot ourselves by accident. Hmmm. Let me think about this a moment.

I have images of Shellie holding a cute, shiny thing to her ear thinking it's her cell phone and me crawling all over the backseat saying having you seen my gun? I swear it was  just here a minute ago.

Shellie: Good Lord, Rivuh, that's not a visual, that's a prophecy!

River: There are some people that shouldn't drive around with cases of great giveaways, video and radio recording equpment, books, cell phones, laptops and back-up laptops, flip phones and BULLETS.

(Shellie: For the record, I still say we should leave it up in the air as to whether or not we're really packing heat. You know, keep 'em guessing and all.)

River: I guess we'll just have to kiss our Annie Get Your Gun Roots goodbye and hit the road with just A WING AND A PRAYER!

Shellie: River's right! (wink, wink) No guns!

Keep reading, keep believing
River and Shellie

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Common Threads

A few Common Threads have bound Shellie and River together and set them up for the Great Southern Wing and A Prayer Tour.  

Both love promoting authors and all things related to words on their respective radio programs. ( All Things Southern and River Jordan Live

They have matching recorders for those professional interviews with Book Sellers, readers, and book clubs.

Both have serious crushes on those grand babies and are a bit Braggalicious here and there. 

The Native Southern Girls  have a  deep and abiding love for the deep South and the best of the things it has to offer. (Like boiled peanuts, crickets at night, heat lightning, and STORYTELLING.)

The list really goes on and on. But what the two authors didn't know during the planning of this wild, engaging multi-state romp was that they would both have books coming out next year with Penguin - and actually with the same editor.


It's a little Serendipty, Kezmit, and Divine timing all rolled into one.  So stay tuned for more as  Sue Ellen's Girl Ain't Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson and Praying for Strangers by River Jordan make their respective debuts in 2011!

Thanks for following the tour updates and travel plans. Shellie and River hope to see you soonest in a city near you.

Penny for your thoughts...

Shellie: It's two o'clock and I just got back to my desk. I took my niece to the doctor this morning to help with her three year old who had fallen and fractured her tibia. Poor thing, the baby not the niece, is now in a cast up to her hip. Emmie did really well getting the cast. As she is quite the drama queen, we were totally impressed with her attitude and level of co-operation. Of course, her mindset became quite clear one minute after we got in the car and the new wore off her rocking hot pink cast. "Okay," she said. "It's all better. I'm ready to take it off now." Big sigh from her mom. And now, for the first of many thousands of times, "We've got to leave it on a while long, honey." And here we go....

Wait! Perhaps this post should've come with a disclaimer. Okay, here's one now: This post will be full of digressions from the original digression. I feel better.

It's two o'clock, the day is half over and I am staring at my overwhelming desk. I could and should jump into knocking out content I'll have to tape Monday that will air the following week on the radio affiliates that carry my daily taped segments. That would let me turn my attention to doing radio prep for Friday's LIVE show and after checking that off, I could send out the postcards to the stores on our tour, (right, Rivuh?) and after that I could get the t-shirt order to Simmons, and after that I could attack the inbox, and after that I could work on the manuscript that must be in New York, JUNE 1ST!

But, am I doing any of that? All together now: NO! Instead, I'm doing what I suspect all author type people do when they're supposed to be writing. I am p-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-u-n-g. It is an art, perfected over time. It is also called, "priming the pump", writing endless words to get to some that matter. I think I have to go thru more than the average bear to get to those that count. 

And now, just when all of us thought this post was totally pointless, (and River is probably seriously considering using her admin credentials to get in here and delete this), I shall get to my reason for strolling over to our little mutual blog. 

As River and I may have mentioned a hundred dozen times, one of the goals of our wild and wooly road trip isto interview Y'ALL the book-sellers and the book readers. I'm getting really excited about that! I spend time at night when I should be resting my tired brain, thinking about not wasting such a fantabulous opportunity. I do not want to miss a thing. So, here's my question. If you were with us, and you could interview a stranger about the industry in general, or their literary tastes in particular, what would you ask them?
Keep reading, keep believing.

(P.S. to Rivuh, I have no idea why the font changed sizes and shapes and some of the letters wouldn't stay with their rightful owners. I can't seem to fix it and I didn't do it on purpose, tomboy honor.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

BookCrossing joins the Tour!

River: We are making a list and checking it twice and yes - running out of more room every single day to fit all our great giveaways and goodies in the Jeep before we hit the road.

If you've never heard of BookCrossing you just don't know all the fun that you've been missing. We are proud to announce that BookCrossing has just joined the Southern Wing and A Prayer Tour as an official sponsor. They'll be providing us with some of the coolest book stuff you've ever seen for our great givewaways and . . . can we have a drum roll please -

Just because we didn't have enough to do we're going to be setting a book loose in the WILD every day of the trip. You can read all about exactly what that means at BookCrossing because they do such an incredbile job of doing what they were created to do. Celebrate books by just giving them away in strange place.

Shellie: Wild writer women giving away odd books in strange places. What a perfect sponsor!

BookCrossing first crossed our paths back in OHHH that was about the 1900's. Okay - at least it feels that way when they firsts visit the Gulf Coasts many years ago for a great book festival known as Book Alive. The founding member of BookCrossing gave this incredbile demonstraion how books were being set free and readers responded in droves. What's a drove you might ask? Just go on over, check out the site and you'll soon discover how many book enthusiasts from so many countries make up a drove.

Yes, each of us will be releasing a book into the wild every day, twittering and facebooking clues along the way of just where we left that book as we hit the road again - and then giving away great BookCrossing surprises to the people that find our little treasure!

Yes, that's more to pack but we're having too much fun to stop now. Thanks BookCrossing for joining the Great Southern Wing and A Prayer tour and to all our readers and tour trackers who are making plans to join us on the road or follow us on facebook/twitter/and youtube!

Keep reading, keep believing,
River and Shellie

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Packing Clampett Style

River: Okay - for those of you old enough to remember, or who have the good graces of TV LAND cable where they are PRESERVING our TV heritage, then you know all about that image of the Clampett's truck setting out to move to Hollywood piled high to the heavens with everything in this world including granny and her rocking chair.

Shellie: Come and listen to the story of some girls, corn fed...

River: Well folks, here's the deal -  We only have so much room for our stuff in the jeep and our packing list has just begun - are you ready for this. 

1. Sleeping bags for the nights we must sleep like real cowgirls under the stars
2. Hot rollers, hair dryers, hair brushes, hair spray, hair flat irons, hair spray and all things hair.
3. Make up for high definition television interviews - see exhibit a) pink fishing tackle box filled with spackle for faces and eyes
4. Outfits that will last us 14 days and nights with never once having time to do our laundry even at the Wishy Washy on the road. 
5. Shoes for cold days, muddy days, mountin stops, seeing ROCK CITY, southern alabama, driving with tired ankles and booties to sleep in.
6. Mama's medicine kit which includes Pepto Bismol, Alka Seltzer cold plus, Vit C, those antibotics the dog never finished just in case, and a strange little bottle of things left over from other prescriptions that might just come in handy cause you just never know if someone might have a toothache, the hives, or naseau due to car sickness from trying to ride and twitter too much.
7. Electronics. Now this takes on a life form of it's own as we must bring multiple sets of headphones, audio recording equipment, two maybe three laptops for work and production, music for interludes, a couple of crackberries and charging equipment for both rooms and cars, gps electronic devices because ya'll - we are going to get lost, video equipment for the docudrama part of the program, flip phones, cords that we no longer recognise but are sure belong to something and we should bring them just in case. Cameras, camera batteries, camera charges, camera connectors for laptops and throw away cameras cause Mama says she is tired of never seeing pictures that just end up on the internet.

(Shellie: Mama is just gonna love you for that last one, Rivuh. She is so weary of people not printing out pictures anymore. "For goodness sakes, Shellie, I need some regular pictures I can show people.")
8. Raincoast, warm coats, jeans jackets, and coats just for Mississippi air conditioning (note - this may just be for River's suitcase) 
9. Ball caps. We don't know why but We're thinking we are going to need ball caps maybe with our wing and prayer logo's and that we'll ride with the windows down so we just can't even hear each other talking anymore.
10. Books. Hahahaha. Not just books to read but some of our books. Then our books to read. Aloud. To each other. Oh, and add one Kindle to that electronic devise list.
12. A double loaded pocketful of prayers for a safe journey there and back again.
13. Earplugs so that we can just smile sweetly at one another and say, UH, huh.
14. Pictures of the Adorables and the Baby Czars - so that we can brag a little on the road.

Shellie: And number 15: Something small and cute with bullets.
River: That number 15 will have to be a whole new blog :) 
Okay - friends, followers, and author buddies who have logged thousands and thousands of miles on the road - what are we forgetting?  We're counting on you so do tell!

River and Shellie

Monday, February 15, 2010

And the Winner is...

Shellie:  Hey Y'all! Thanks for playing the slogan game with us. We appreciate all the good ideas and this wasn't easy by any stretch, but it's time to choose a winner. Now, if we could have a drum roll please...

And the winner is "Angels of the Airwaves"! Congratulations, Kory! We loved all the slogans, but yours speaks to us in particular about the many people we'll be interviewing and their love stories with the written word that we'll be bringing back to our respective radio shows. We want to celebrate those angel readers that keep literature alive! Send me an email with your physical address and your prize box will be on it's way.

Keep reading and keep believing!
Shellie and River

Friday, February 12, 2010

Write and Win!

Shellie: Hey y'all! Monday night, Feb. 15th, River and I will draw a name from the hat and send someone a signed copy of each of our books, along with two All Things Southern t-shirts, one for you and one for a friend, that I'm tossing in just cuz. So, how do you get your name in the hat? The rules are simple:

1. Sign up to follow this blog. It won't hurt. I promise, and you'll be able to keep up with the tour!
2. Come up with a slogan for our tour and leave it as a comment.
3. Sit up pretty and be sweet.

River: Or Sit sweet and be pretty. Actually - just tell other people they are pretty no matter what. Specially the older they are. I don't care how you sit if you are reading one of our books. You can hang upside down off the couch.

Shellie: Okay, so that last one isn't exactly a rule. I think I was channeling Mama there for a second. But you have to follow the first two or game over.

Tread softly and carry a ton of books!

River: We apprecitate you keeping up with us cause God knows somebody needs to!
Shellie: Amen.

Keep reading and Keep believing!
Shellie and River

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


River: I'm thinking it was the SIBA Trade show Shellie - what do you think? The moment of inspiration was the trolley car cell phone incident. WAIT! Or was it when we first met at Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Getaway Weekend - I remember the moment - both of us with laptops humming, blackberries cracking, and somehow trying to juggle radio show productions from Jefferson.

Shellie: Nah, we were full steam ahead with this idea by that time, remember? Jefferson, home of the Pulwood Queen, host to the Pulpwood Festival and Girlfriend Weekend/Book Event Extraordinaire, just threw gas on our word fire!

River: Well, the shows were definitely years ahead but our inspiration to take the shows on the road? Maybe it was when we were running around in Decatur at the Decatur Book Festival -  I guess the truth is taking our radio shows on the road was an ongoing hum. A developing saga for sometime.

Shellie: Actually, I think the idea was birthed that time you arrived in your shiny new Jeep in the niche of time and on a wing and a prayer for your author panel, and yours truly was waiting in front of building to grab your keys and park your brand new baby. I trust you've forgiven me for texting you that little funny concerning my innocence as to that dent in the left fender-- you know the message I sent just as you were going on? I was just loosening you up.

River: I didn't think it was funny did I Shel? Well, no need to worry - that run in with those 3 deer has gotten me over the worry of a little ding in the jeep. NOW that I think of it, I think this story might really have started during the trolly car crash that caused witnesses (ummm, that's friends) to say you two need to just hit the road together.

Shellie: Of course, there is always the chance that they just wanted us to hit the road period, meaning, leave the city they were in before anything worse happened...

River: No matter when it happened, the fact is Shellie and I are both interviewing authors every week on the air, promoting new book releases, taking the pulse of the book industry, and hearing from readers on what they are loving and why. And we both have some things in common. We both love talking a lot! To God (who is a good listener) to our husbands (who say, umhum baby and probably didn't hear a word), to our children who actually like us and will be seen in public with us, - and yes to those grandbabies who we think walk on water!

Shellie: Is this where I should post pictures of Grant Thomas, nine month old Baby Beau Czar and Emerson Ann, 14 month old Bellerina Czar? It's late and I'm tired, but as The Arnold would say, "I'll be back."

River: We also love great words,and stories in all their glory. And we are a little fond of all things Southern like Boiled Peanuts, rocking chairs, back porches, slow summer evenings, and the smell of dirt just before it rains.

Shellie: Stories and words, words and stories. They're gonna pile up in our Jeep and fall out all over everybody, Rivuh! (Thought I should let the folks know that I like to call you Rivuh. It makes me feel all Scarlett like.)

River: Our differences - oh, no doubt we are about to discover what those are to the full extent after fourteen days on the road together. Here's a few right up front.
#1. My music tendencies run pretty much from The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Coldplay and The Blind Boys of Alabama. I'm thinking Shellie will not really like my music. (We are packing separate earphones)

Shellie: I lean towards Kirk Franklin, December Radio, Allison Kraus, Babbi Mason, Reba Does She Need a Last Name, and Carey Underwood.

River: #2. Shellie tends to get HOT a LOT. I tend to run COLD all the TIME. (We are packing layers to take off and put on respectively. - Maybe I can just put on the layers Shellie is taking off to cut down on our packing!)

Shellie: I hope your Jeep baby has those seperate controls. I keep forgetting to ask you about that. Oh, well, no matter, I can always hang my head out the window. It's not like I haven't done it before.

River: Okay - the most excellent cool thing is - We are so EXCITED to be going out to visit book sellers, readers, and story lovers across six states. We already love each and every book seller we've spoken with. Our only disappointment is that with SEVENTEEN Bookstores/Venues AND a SPECIAL SIBA NIGHT EVENT in FOURTEEN days - we don't have time to make ever visit where we've been invited. (Next year? Could there possibly be a Southern Wing & A Prayer Tour II in the works?)

Shellie: Oh, yes, there could, Virginia, River. It may even be an annual event! Who knows?!

Stay tuned here for ALL THE INSIDE NEWS From the both of us as the Great Southern Wing and A Prayer Tour continues. And stay tuned for the awesome giveaways to tour trackers!

Special thanks to Literary Threads for joining the tour as an official sponsor and offering great totes for a lucky winner at every store!

And To Panola Pepper from Lake Providence, LA for sponsoring us, and packing us out with all kinds of goodies to give away!  

We'll be comin' 'round the mountain near your hometown soon!

Tread softly and carry a ton of books,
~River and Shellie