When Reading Feels Like Coffee With a Friend…

Well it’s January 4th and I’ve already finished reading my first book of 2016.  I made a pledge on Good Reads to read 52 books this year (yikes…what was I thinking?!). You can follow my progress and reading list here!

Back in December, I took part in the 12 days of Love Letter Writing Campaign with a wonderful organization, The World Needs More Love Letters (MLL). If you ever need to know that there are good humans in the world, check out their website and the social media hashtag #moreloveletters.  It’s inspiring and will make you realize that the world isn’t such a bad place. Good exists.


I’m a member of MLL’s love letter alert and have participated in quite a few campaigns and letter requests over the last few years. It’s an organization where I find a lot of meaning and purpose. Plus I’m a sucker for good stationary and helping others find encouragement even in the smallest of ways.

In January of 2012, I was introduced to Hannah Brencher by wonderful people whom I consider my second family, the Shatsoffs. Hannah and I had a common friend in Nate.

Circumstances beyond anyone’s control lead us to meet at a Relentless Against Cancer bowling event in North Haven, CT shortly after Nate’s passing. It seemed pretty serendipitous to me, since Hannah and I are both writers – I was in the process of self-publishing my first novel and Hannah was creating The World Needs More Love Letters. Although we didn’t stay in close contact after the event, we maintained an acquaintance. I followed her blog and her MLL mission and was ecstatic for her when her first novel, If You Find This Letter, was published last year.

I felt strongly that this needed to be my first read of 2016 and I’m so glad it was. However, it’s a little weird reading a book by someone you’ve met, before she was famous, about her life that includes people you know. It’s a weird feeling, but it’s so cool!

As a self-appointed book sommelier, I can pair a wine with any book. However, reading Hannah’s memoir felt more like sitting down with an old friend to drink a big cup of coffee. So in the 15 hours or so that it took me to read it (since I was drawn in pretty quickly), I drank coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer. It was quite the perfect pairing.


If You Find This Letter has a unique rhythm.  There is a steady beat as you read. It’s almost like you can feel the city breathing underneath the story. It’s honest, truthful, and completely raw.  I admire writers who can literally hold their guts in their hands for you to read. It’s brave. Hannah is not afraid to show readers her soul.

Her journey of faith and love is one that anyone can relate to.  While reading, I felt like I was exposing my own truths and learning to have faith in myself as a person and as a writer. When I finished reading, I silently closed the book and took my large cup of coffee in both hands and breathed. I wanted to soak up every piece of the story and let it settle.  I sat in quiet for about an hour, just being. I love when books affect me like that.  That’s why I am so in love with reading. Stories – fiction or nonfiction – pull you into a world where you are capable of learning amazing things about yourself, if you only let the words affect you.

Bigger than this, is the only way to describe this book.



2016, you got me by the pen.

Happy New Year, friends!

As New Year’s Eve approached, I started to think a lot about resolutions.  I decided that this year I would prefer to focus on goals in relation to my writing.

As 2015 came to a close, I realized that my writing had taken a backseat throughout the year.  And I was not OK with that.  No wonder the year had been a difficult one! I felt like I had turned by back on what I love most. This revelation broke my heart and made me realize that my writing must come first.

Tonight I dedicated my evening to working for myself to plan out my 2016 writing goals.  I decided the on 7 goals (7 is my favorite number).



Every Monday, like clock work, Pour Me Another Novel will publish new content.  That means a lot of great books and great wine are coming your way!

January’s menu has been planned out and focuses on non-fiction, so take a closer look at what is coming up this month!


This is my happy place. I’m looking forward to all of the words I will be both reading and writing this year!





12 Days of Love Letter Writing + The World Needs More Love Letters

image2 (1)The holidays are always my favorite time of year. No matter what is going on in the world, or with me personally, there is always this glimmer of new hope.  Hope.  That’s what I love about the holidays.  That and for a moment there is an overwhelming feeling of love and joy that surrounds the world.

A few years back, I met a remarkable friend, Nate, who changed my life in ways I never thought possible.  And through him, I met incredible people – one being Hannah Brencher.

If you aren’t familiar with Hannah or her organization, More Love Letters (MLL), please get acquainted. In a time where we can all use a little more hope and love, Hannah and MLL fill that void.  There are good people in the world and doing good things every day (for the purpose of just doing good things).

The 12 Days of Love Letter Writing campaign brings writers together every year to collect special letter bundles for people (like you and me) that may need a little extra love, hope, or encouragement this holiday season. There are 12 days of letter requests – kinda like that whole 12 days of Christmas thing without the partridge in a pear tree.

I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the holiday season than writing letters to people who need a little extra love and comfort. After all, couldn’t we all use a little extra love and words of hope?

This has been one of the hardest years of my life. This year I lost my grandmother, my best friend. She always left people a littler happier than they had been before they had shared time with her. Her laugh was infectious.  Most of the happiest moments of my life have been shared with my grandma.

I take after her with my writing and my wit – two of my most blessed qualities. She never questioned my abilities as a writer, even when I questioned them myself.  She always just knew. She knew I’d be a writer. My grandmother loved to write letters.  She gave me a book of handwritten poetry and letters for my birthday about six years ago.  When I miss her most, I run my fingers across the ridges left by her pen.  Most times I cry, but often I smile, thinking of my grandma sitting at her kitchen table, glasses perched on the end of her nose, lost in thought listening to Frank Sinatra while filling my journal with some of her favorite words.

This year, I am honored to be a part of MLL’s 12 Days of Love Letter Writing campaign and sharing my blog to spread some love to Kevin.

Here is some information about Kevin:

“Kevin is just an all-around wonderful human. He is always going out of his way to make other people feel loved and included. It doesn’t take long for any random stranger to add Kevin to their “top favorite people” list.” A close friends writes to us.

Recently Kevin’s girlfriend passed away suddenly due to a brain aneurysm, she was only 32. It happened so fast that all their friends are struggling with ways to grieve and ways to heal, and of course Kevin is still going out of his way to make sure that everyone else is doing ok with the loss of their friend. Join us in showering Kevin with all the love that he consistently shows to everyone around him!

Kevin’s bundle
℅ Kayla L.
139 Ordale Boulevard
Pittsburgh PA 15228

I hope you will join me in writing to Kevin, and the rest of the 12 days of love letter writing recipients.

I don’t know about you, but I am determined to make the love and joy of the season last, at least in my orbit.  If I can leave one person feeling happier, more joyful, and feeling more loved, in my wake, I’d consider myself a blessed and accomplished person.


Blog Tour: Everything You Want (or Don’t Want) to Know About My Writing

A little late to the blog tour, but better late than never, as the old cliché goes!  Thank you to Tiffany Dailey for involving me in the project.  Check her out; she’s awesome:  http://trdailey.blogspot.com

Also, thank you to Kelley Harvey and the Blog Tour for the great opportunity! Check Kelley out here: http://www.kelleyharveywrites.blogspot.com/

For those who are finding your way to my blog for the first time, welcome to Pour Me Another Novel! A writer by heart and soul, I was raised in rural northern New Jersey and have been a purveyor of the arts since a young age. In high school I cultivated a passion for writing. The realization that books and stories could not only change my world, but the world around me, lead me to study literature in college. My first novel, My Song, debuted in May 2012 and is currently available on amazon.com and lulu.com. When I’m not writing I can be found singing, reading, traveling, and/or drinking wine.

Currently I am working on two projects. The first and most important is my second novel, The Year of the Butterfly. I’m not sharing too much about it yet, as I’m still enjoying the beginning phase of getting to know my characters and their emotions. But trust me, it’s going to be a good one. I feel it deep within my bones. My second project is enhancing and expanding my blog, Pour Me Another Novel, which is a recent project. The premise is simple: I talk about the books I read and pair them with an awesome wine! Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper with Harvest Moon wine from Warwick Valley Winery (deep in the heart of the black dirt region of NY state), and The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand with Woodbridge White Zinfindel. This blog combines my love of reading and my love of wine into one perfect package. I mean, really, what is better than reading a good book with a glass of delicious wine? Not much, if you ask me!

While my blog may be light, fun, and filled with wine, my fiction writing goes a lot deeper.When I’m writing my novels and short stories, I definitely key in on my characters emotions.  I focus heavily on how and why my characters feel the way they do. I think there is more conflict deep within ourselves than with outside forces. The journey from beginning to end shows how they deal with themselves and their environment. I find that my writing is deeply affected by emotion and my plots are heavily driven by what my characters feel, their morals, and their conscience. My books and short stories tend to be an emotional immersion.

I write the books and stories I do because I fell in love with writing as a way to deal with my own emotions. I find that there is healing in writing from the heart and putting feelings on paper. There is vulnerability in writing and how I feel and I honestly, I think it has made me a better person. Writing is therapy and my sincerest hope is to touch readers on a personal level, to tug at their heart strings.

My writing process is a bit scattered (in my experience, most writers’ processes are!). Usually, inspiration hits while I’m driving, when I have no ability to physically write anything down. That’s when Siri and I become best friends and I tell her to take a note of my idea. And she does with minimal grammatical errors that I decode when I am finally behind my desk and not the wheel. I have journal that is brown with the word COURAGE stamped across the front. It’s more important to me than any of my possessions. I use it to write scenes, ideas, stories, and letters. When I need inspiration, I need only to ready past entries. And usually a glass of good wine helps me relax and get the creative (grape) juices flowing. I type a lot of first drafts on my trusty computer and don’t think about editing until I’ve finished a scene or chapter. Then I like to go back and tighten the language and make sure all necessary, powerful emotion is present. I find inspiration wherever I go, whether I’m traveling, visiting vineyards for my blog, or just talking with friends or strangers. Parts of me and my life are always prevalent in my writing. Even if it’s the smallest detail, like a dog-eared page of a book I didn’t finish because I had looked up and met someone who changed my life forever at that moment. The details are important to me because they say so much in their simplicity. I am a person who has been profoundly impacted by those around me – the good and the bad. I continue to learn and grow and I leave that page dog-eared to remind me of a life changing moment, that I will never forget, but continues to influence everything I do, everything I’ve become, and most importantly, everything I write.