I have a new something to share with you.
I’m calling it “Spotlight” and I hope it brings as much value and interest to you as it has to me.
Ready then? Here we goooooo!
I’d love for you to meet someone very special.
She’s stunningly beautiful, incredibly witty and smart, has a heart bigger than this planet, and is probably the most voracious reader I’ve ever known.
When you finish reading this next bit, you will have met a dear friend of mine who will instantly become your dear friend as well. But fair warning: once you visit her social media you won’t want to leave. She has the most amazing book review edits, and review, after review, after delicious review, of all the romance novels you MUST read.
She’s a homeschooling mama (um, hello — deserves an award just for that alone!), she’s a wife, kick-ass entrepreneur, people-connector, influencer, and now, a writer.
And she’s got a heart of pure gold.
But she’s so much more than all of this. In a nutshell, my friend Korrie Noelle is a force to be reckoned with.
I interviewed Korrie for this, my inaugural “Spotlight” segment, and wow does she have some great information to make your reading life even better.
Without further adieu, please meet my friend, Korrie Noelle.
Megan: Your instagram page, @curlyhairlass19, is phenomenal! When did you begin it, and why? Was there one book that just made you say, “I HAVE to start a bookstagram page!”?
Korrie: Aww, thank you Megan. I believe that’s where you and I met, and I’m so grateful for that. I started my Bookstagram page back in August of 2017. I was reading epic books left and right during that time, and needed an outlet other than Facebook to get my feels out. IG [Instagram] has an entirely different vibe than other platforms, and I was craving that. No nonsense, or drama. Just chatting about books with likeminded friends. So it was then that my bookstagram page was born.
Megan: Have you always had a love for reading? What book started it all for you?
Korrie: Since I was a young tween, I’ve had a passion for reading. I believe it started with Anne of Green Gables, Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley Twins etc.. I was a very avid reader until I became a mom, and then the reading just stopped. I was so overwhelmed with all the newness in my life, and lack of sleep, that I started neglecting myself and stopped doing things that gave me joy. Mom guilt is real, folks. Thank goodness for Twilight that I discovered in 2010. My reading flame was reignited.
Megan: (interjects) Korrie, this is exactly what happened to me as well. I stopped reading altogether after children, for many of the same reasons, and it wasn’t until someone put a copy of Twilight in my hands that I remembered what it was like to have a love of reading. I know many will criticize the writing, but I will always say, “Twilight changed my life.”
Megan: How many books do you typically read in a year? I know you love, love, love the romance genre. Is there a specific troupe you adore most?
Korrie: I typically read around 120 books a year. Last year I read 168 which is unreal for me. I love all romance, but my absolute fave is historical romance. I enjoy marriage of convenience, unrequited love, and even some age gap tropes. I just love romance, and want to feel all the things.
Megan: Who are some of your most favorite authors? What is it about his or her books that drive them to the top of your list?
Korrie: Some of my favorite authors include: Amy Harmon, Mia Sheridan, Emma Scott, Penny Reid, Karen Marie Moning, Carian Cole, Cat Porter, Lucia Franco, and so many more! I love when I can walk away from a read feeling like I’ve grown as a person, wife, mother, and friend. I also love being pushed to the edge of a cliff, and the author not being afraid to push me off. Just as long as the story has a HEA [happily ever after].
Megan: What would you say to someone who loves to read but simply can’t find the time anymore?
Korrie: I would say this: if you have a desire to read, then you will make the time for it. Whether it’s 15 minutes, or an hour, we take time for things we really want to do. Just focus on one book at a time, a few pages at a time, and before you know it you’ve read a book. Just focus on one book at a time. That is key.
Megan: Kindle or Traditional book (paperback/hardback)?
Korrie: Kindle. I buy paperbacks of those that are truly special to me, but due to lack of space—kindle it is.
Megan: Favorite book to reread?
Korrie: I haven’t done many rereads, but usually epic ones I will try to. I just finished rereading Outlander, book 1 for the fourth time in 5 years. I’m making 2020 all about rereading books on my favorite books list.
Megan: Who are some of your favorite bookstagram accounts to follow?
Korrie: My girls that I usually chat with several times a week are: Paperback Princess, Forbidden Booklover7, KrisReadsRomance, Kaliesbookshelf, Katies.library, AshesBooksandBobs, CrazyReaderChicks, CoolMomswhoread, NatashaBookjunkie, HappilyMaryAfter, KCBooklover, ReadsRomance, Love2Read, Mirrorlight31, TheCurvySavante, 4TheLoveofBooks, BooksandacupofJoee, and RomanceLibrary. I know I’ve left some out. Not intentional.
Megan: What advice would you give to someone just starting out on Instagram who wants to start a bookstagram account?
Korrie: I would say just start one just for you. Have fun, share things YOU love. Don’t compare yourself to others or get caught up in numbers. Just do you, and you will have a blast!
Megan: Book you can’t wait to read in 2020?
Korrie: Amy Harmon has an epic Interracial romance that she is writing now set in the 60’s music world. I am anxiously awaiting those precious pages.
Megan: I know you love reading, but I also know you are working on a personal writing project. Can you tell us a little more about that?
Korrie: I am writing a book about my personal journey in overcoming narcissism in the pulpit. This book has helped me heal from spending 25 years in a “church”, from a child to an adult, where God was used as a cover to do evil.
Megan: That sounds amazing! I will definitely be watching for it. Besides Instagram, where can people find you on social?
Korrie: You can find me on Facebook under Korrie Noelle; on Instagram my personal account is KorriesKorner, and Curlyhairlass19 for all things books. I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this Megan. Thank you so much for thinking of me.
Megan: It has absolutely been my pleasure! One last question: I understand you are putting together a very special event for your book community next month. Can you tell us more about that?
Korrie: Sure! I am doing a reader’s retreat and author luncheon for my book club, Korrie’s Korral. It will be March 26 – 28, 2020 in Charleston, South Carolina. I have several authors attending — Amy Harmon, Daisy Prescott, Natasha Boyd and Celia Aaron to name a few. It’s $75.00 to cover the luncheon, which includes all food, beverages, gratuity, and the author meet and greet. There are just a few spaces left!
I’ve always wanted to do something like this for my girls because, as busy women in this world, we don’t just take the time to do fun things for ourselves. I have been so blessed to become friend with some of my favorite authors, and I thought, “why not do something special?” This is just the beginning.
Megan: This truly sounds amazing, Korrie. This isn’t the first time I’ve said I wished we lived closer to each other. Thank you so much for letting me pick your brain about books and writing! I can’t wait to see what you have for us in the future!
WHAT I’VE READ LATELY
In January 2019, I didn’t set a reading goal. I never really thought it would be something I would benefit from. “I’ll just read when I want,” I thought. I didn’t want the pressure of a goal hanging over my head.
But then, at the end of 2019 I realized I hadn’t any idea how many books I’d read. I didn’t know what kind of genre I read most, or what my favorite reads of the year were, or any kind of data from my book consumption.
So this year I decided to set a goal and track it on Goodreads. In order to make it easily attainable, I set the goal low…only 15 books for the whole year. And then I started reading.
And now I can’t seem to stop.
It’s funny how once you get back in the hang of something it becomes easier and easier and you realize how much you missed it. In the case of reading, I really think it only takes one good book and you’re hooked again.
In my case, it was this one:
Get a Life, Chloe Brown, was absolutely darling. I loved it. Talia Hibbert’s writing is so witty and fun, each chapter made me smile and laugh, sometimes right out loud. I love sarcasm and she just kills it with this book. Chloe Brown is a flawed, funny, and highly lovable character and Redford (Red) is sexy and charming all on his own.
I noted several passages that I loved, passages that made me laugh or giggle or slightly swoon, or passages that I just thought sounded beautiful:
“He shut his eyes for one long moment, and when they opened again he looked a little more like himself and a little less like a creature sent from Planet Lust to sex her to death…”
“He was in his forties or fifties, dark-skinned and classically handsome, wearing a suit so sharp, it should be kept away from infants and waterbeds.”
“Do you like your website?” she asked. He blinked, then burst out laughing. “What do you mean, do I like it? Didn’t you see my seventy fucking texts?”
“He bend his head, brushed his lips over her cheek, and the feel of her was like the sweetest possible punch to the gut.”
“Ah. He looked up at the canopy of trees and the night being born above them, stars glowing into view like a thousand bright-white candles.”
Anyway, this book was so cute and fun. The ending was a bit overdone, in my opinion, but the rest of the story was so dang good that I didn’t even mind.
Go get this one. You won’t be sorry.
After GALCB, I read a few, straight up steamy, dirty romance novels, but nothing that was so amazing or incredible that I wanted to recommend it here.
So see? Already I’ve read three books and February has just begun.
Next up, I’m super excited to read a mystery/thriller by one of my favorite authors, Riley Sager. His older-ish novel, The Last Time I Lied looks to be pretty good, so I’m excited to give that a go. If you are looking for a thriller that is not gory or violent, check out Riley Sager’s newest, “Lock Every Door”. It’s a page-turner, for sure.
Music can change your life. Here’s what’s making a different in mine lately.
ILYSB (I Love You So Bad) ~ LANY (video)
Summertime Sadness ~ Lana Del Rey vs. Cedric Gervais (remix) (video)
In my house right now we are following the autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet. It’s similar to Paleo and Whole 30 eating but even a little bit more restrictive in the first weeks. It’s a diet that is used to control autoimmune disorders like Rheumatoid Arthritis, or Shingles, for example. Basically it’s an anti-inflammation way to eat.
There’s a ton of good information and evidence-based research out there about the AIP way of eating and I really would encourage anyone and everyone to look into it. What have you got to lose? And if you find you hate it after a few weeks, no problem. You go back to your old ways.
(Psst: you will love it though, I bet)
The biggest change in the way we eat now is breakfast.
It used to be eggs and oatmeal. Every. Single. Day.
Now, it’s usually some concoction of a meat (chicken, pork, or steak — we don’t eat fish, but you could!), a starch (either yams, quinoa, or plantains), and a crap ton of vegetables (kale, broccoli, zucchini noodles, cauliflower, spinach, micro arugula, asparagus…whatever is in season). I heat all that up in a pan, add some Primal Palate AIP approved spices and serve it up in a bowl with an avocado slapped on top.
Here’s the best part: I literally am not hungry again until late afternoon. My body feels great from 8 a.m. until about 3:30/4:00 when I start to feel hungry. And then I just make dinner early and that’s it.
Done. Completely happy with only 2 meals and little to no snacks in between.
Anyway, give it a try. You might discover a new way of eating that you love, and one that changes the way your body looks and acts.
PRODUCTS I WOULD GIVE UP COFFEE FOR
Heart t-shirt, $25.00
Even if you don’t have a Valentine, or plans for Valentine’s Day, I think this shirt is totally cute and should be worn every day of February, 🙂 The hem is split and the back is longer than the front so it’s totally tuck-able and flattering. And Lulu’s has a great return policy if you’d rather trade the shirt for a bottle of wine instead.
Floral rayon top, $17.99
Here’s another adorable top. It’s by one of my favorite brands at Target, Universal Thread. I think it can just be so versatile. How cute would this be under a cropped sweater, or unbuttoned and tied at the waist with jeans and red converse? Ugh. I need this.
Blue light blocking glasses, pair of 2 for $17.98
Do you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen, tablet or telephone screen? If so, you need these glasses. Blue light blocking glasses are designed to stop the ultraviolet radiation emitted from screens. Blocking the blue light will result in an ability to fall asleep and stay asleep faster, waking up feeling energetic and less groggy.
I use blue light blocking glasses and I have noticed a difference in how much easier it is for me to fall asleep. I also feel like my eyes aren’t straining as hard as when I’m not wearing them.
With this deal, you get two pair for less than $20.00 and the styles are hip and cute.
Cupshe swimsuits, price varies
Guys. Hear me out on this. I know you don’t want to think about swimsuits. I don’t either. I’d rather have dental work done, or see the gyno. *shudders violently*
And while it won’t officially be sunny here in Oregon again until probably June, if you need a new swimsuit this year, ya better order now. I mean, before you know it, Spring Break will be here, and after that it’s almost summer!! And we all know that just when you figure out you need a seasonal piece of clothing, the next season ahead is all they have in stores.
So please, do yourself a favor and order now while the sizing and selection is still decent. And check this brand Cupshe out on Amazon. Really great prices and some super cute prints and styles. (Also, I guess I have a small obsession with florals this season, eh?)
This neck pillow, eye mask and earplug set is in my shopping cart right now. I’m done with long car rides or flights where I can’t get a decent sleep. And what better “do not talk to me, I’m tired” signal do you need? Just put this memory foam puppy around your neck, slip your eye mask on, and adios amigos. No one will bother you (except the attendant when your cocktail arrives). And this ingenious design has different contours and levels so it adequately supports your skull, unlike those other one dimensional jobs. The cover comes off to be washed too, so don’t worry about your makeup.
Last week I had to dispense some Advil to one of my girls while she was at volleyball practice. All I had with me was a ziplock bag with a few unnamed pills left inside. You should have seen the looks I got when I pulled that out of my purse.
It was as if I was giving her pure cocaine or something.
Anyway, right then I decided to get something a little more professional to carry around all my mom medications in. And this little case does the trick. So cute. So small. So exactly what I need for all my street drugs.
How many have you lost? Me, I’m up to about 843. But not any longer, baby, because this thing is magnetic and holds them all so snug. Save yourself some time and frustration when you need to get outta the house and can’t walk around holding your hand on your head while you open every dang drawer in the house.
PODCASTS I AM DIGGING
Two episodes of the same podcast you MUST listen to!
Oh my gosh. Okay, first of all: Joe Rogan is the best. He can ask anyone anything and never even hesitate at what otherwise might be an awkward or intrusive question. He never censors himself, and he has some of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever heard.
You have to listen to him talk to two incredible guests:
- Dan Akroyd
- Leah Remini
Let’s start with Dan. First off, you almost need to fast forward through the beginning moments where Dan’s just talking about his vodka company. It’s interesting, for sure, and now I’m stoked to try the vodka, but it’s really commercial-ly sounding.
But okay, so as it turns out, the main ghostbuster (did you know he wrote that movie?) is a fantastically smart fella. And also, like how did he learn to speak that fast, AND WITHOUT NOTES!
So Dan wins the award for most interesting interview for many reasons, but one of the biggest is due to the fact that he wholeheartedly believes in the existence of Aliens and Bigfoot. He has some really crazy stories to tell and he does it all while able to spout dates, names, times, and case studies. He’s a living, breathing, Wikipedia — even the guy Googling all the citations couldn’t keep up with Dan. At first you might think he’s full of it, but after awhile you start to realize his arguments are actually almost bulletproof.
I don’t often replay a podcast of Joe’s but I have twice recently. One was Dr. David Sinclair. And now, Dan Ackroyd. He is just the most interesting guy I think I’ve ever listened to.
Here’s the link to watch and listen in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LIsLD3j0oQ
When you’re done with that, bring up Joe’s interview with Leah Remini. It will BLOW your mind. If you don’t know Leah, she’s an actress (The King of Queens), but she’s also a “survivor” of The Church of Scientology. If you don’t know that much about Scientology, please listen to this show. It is fascinating.
Leah is a little odd at times during the interview, but honestly, after learning she essentially spent her whole childhood and early adulthood growing up in a church that requires a minimum of 2.5 hours of church attendance every day, I was prepared to cut her some slack.
In this interview she talks about Scientology, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, the different levels of ascension, the strange policies Scientology has and why she filed a missing person’s report on the wife of the Scientology leader, David Miscavige.
This interview was both interesting and creepy.
You can watch the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ0-VeWMr-A
Annnnnd that concludes this month’s newsletter.
I hope you enjoyed it, hope you found value in something that was discussed here, but mostly, I hope you will come back again next month.
Wishing you all the best!