Archives for January 2015

For You And For One Of Your People – A Giveaway

Here are the giveaway winners; we matched a random number drawing with the comment number. I’ll be in touch about how to claim your prizes! Thanks, y’all!

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Today has been one of those days when, for a whole host of reasons, I have been super nostalgic about my college friends. It’s probably because I found myself in the middle of a big ole group text at 6 o’clock in the AM, and by 9 my friend Katy had sent me the following picture of her at a Chi O Valentine’s dance, sporting an outfit that she wore with great intention and also pride.

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It makes me so happy on so many different levels. There’s the bow, the polka dots, the lacy ankle socks, the red shoes with what looks to be just the slightest hint of a heel – it’s just too good. And then, if you look at her date / lifelong friend Charlie’s ankle area, it appears that he might have tight rolled those acid washed jeans in order to showcase his lace-up boots.

So the bottom line is that there is nothing about this picture that does not delight me.

Inevitably, though, this morning’s text convo with Katy turned sort of reflective and serious, and that is maybe the biggest blessing of deep friendships that span a whole lot of years: you can go from silly to serious in about four seconds flat, and then, if need be, you can go right back to silly without missing a beat.

All day long I thought about the girls that shaped so much of what I believe about friendship and kindness and sincerity and being FOR EACH OTHER (as opposed to being mired down in some silent, endless, pointless competition that no one will ever win). Maybe this is why I found myself a little more sentimental than usual on the Instagram tonight.

I’ve been thinking all day about my college friends. They have checked on me and texted me and looked out for me in a hundred ways the last couple of weeks. I don’t have old pictures of all of them on my phone – this is just an impromptu sampler :-) – but oh my word I cannot imagine the last 25 years without these people. They have made me laugh until I wheezed, they have hugged me when I cried, and they have said “What can I do to help?” more times than I can count. They were the first people to read my pitiful attempts at personal essays when I was 19, the first people to read my blog, and the first people to say “YES” when I asked if I could tell some of our stories in a book I wanted to write. I can’t imagine what life would look like without them because they have been God’s grace in my life over and over again. They’re mighty sweet (as my mama would say), and I sure do love them. #homeiswheremypeopleare #tbt #unfortunatepermsofinstagram

A photo posted by Sophie Hudson (@boomama205) on

(You may have to click through to see the IG post if you’re reading this via email.)

(But you do whatever you feel is best. I am certainly not the boss of you.)

So, in the interest of celebrating friendship and the first week of Home is Where My People Are, I’m doing a little giveaway. I’m giving away 10 books, but here’s the twist. I’ll draw for five winners who will get a signed copy of the book, and then each of those winners can pick one of their people – whether that person is a friend or a family member or both – and that special person will get a signed copy, too.

I’m only leaving this giveaway open until noon central time on Friday, January 23rd, and then I’ll draw for winners ASAP. I’ll mail the books just as soon as I have everyone’s addresses – hopefully by the first of next week.

By the way, if you’d like to earn a second entry in this giveaway, just follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and then come back here and leave an additional comment that says “social media entry.” And if you’re already plugged in on one of the social media outlets, you can absolutely still use the additional social media entry. Fair is fair, after all.

Finally. If you’re not sure if you’d want to win the book because you’re not sure if you’d want to read it, you can download the first 20 pages for free American dollars. It’s like a little sampler platter, only unfortunately it will arrive on your computer without any queso or Buffalo wings.

Happy Giveaway, y’all!

This giveaway is now closed. I’ll notify winners via email later this afternoon!

An Unknown Area Of Non-Existent Expertise

When the first book came out, I thought the categories that Amazon assigned it to made pretty good sense. Family & relationships. Christian living. Parenting didn’t even seem like too much of a stretch.

But with the new book, the Amazon categories are a little bit of a mystery to me. Because if you look up the book, you’ll find it listed in the following areas.

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I mean, where else would you expect to find a book about the life of a Mississippi girl who shares stories about her family and friends?

CHURCH HISTORY, OF COURSE.

Apparently Amazon puts some books under not-so-obvious categories so that the book has the opportunity to do well in a specific sub-category, and that is the only way to explain what I saw when I clicked over to Amazon earlier tonight.

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WELL SURE.

That is exactly where a book that discusses stirrup pants should be.

And really, I wouldn’t care if Amazon put the book in the How-To category under Assembling Small Appliances. I’m just grateful that I had the opportunity to write it. And I really appreciate how y’all have ordered the book and sent encouraging emails and basically not grown weary with all the book-related talk. I promise it won’t last forever.

(By the way, if you have ordered the book, don’t forget to claim your prize(s) – pre-orders and orders apply through January 31st.)

Also.

My friend Tracey sent me this picture earlier tonight, and I’m excited to share it so that you can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when I write about wearing bows in college, it is NO JOKE.

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Where to start?

The mint green ensemble?

The slightly askew bow?

THE PERM?

And if all that weren’t enough, I’m almost certain that I was wearing some white bucks and ankle socks with that sassy outfit.

So it’s made me wonder: what’s your greatest fashion regret? What trend were you ALL ABOUT during a certain period of time – even though it may make you cringe (more than) a little bit in retrospect?

Since my preoccupation with hairbows was somewhat unfortunate, I’m secretly hoping that at least one of you had a deep affinity for Units or a bubble suit.

But if acid washed jeans and denim rompers are the best we can do, so be it.

We’ll take our joy wherever we can find it.

Amen.

Back In Birmingham & Book Signing Dates

You know how there are some days when it seems like you catch up on every phone conversation you’ve been meaning to have for pretty much forever?

THAT WAS MY MONDAY.

It wasn’t even intentional. But by 9 o’clock tonight I realized that I had at least six longer-than-usual phone conversations today, and my inner extrovert feels just as accomplished as it can be.

Naturally this means that tomorrow I’ll need to read in solitude for several hours before I go sit by myself in Starbucks and catch up on my journal writing.

Being equal parts introvert and extrovert is no joke, my friends.

Alex and I got back to Birmingham this afternoon around 3:30 or so (David drove back yesterday because he had to work today), and I have to say that one of the very best parts of my day was reuniting with Hazel. I missed her LIKE CRAZY while I was in Mississippi, and she was so happy to see me this afternoon that after she’d jumped and whimpered for several minutes, she finally just squatted in the middle of the breakfast room and tee-teed.

Oh, she is a charmer.

But I am very happy to report that this time around I didn’t slip and fall.

So. Hazel and I are currently sitting side-by-side while I try not to fall asleep, and Alex just went to bed, and David is watching something-or-other on TV. There’s a pile of clean laundry on the guest room bed that needs to be folded, and the only thing is in this house that I can fix for breakfast in the morning is what’s left of a bag of frozen biscuits. I need to plan some meals, I need to go to the grocery store, and heaven knows that I need to fold some clothes.

But oh my word it is so nice to be home.

And if home in and of itself weren’t enough, the sunset flat-out showed out tonight. It was so pretty that I cried.

Twice.

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I just kept looking up at the sky and thinking, No matter what we’re facing in life – God is greater.

It’s good to remember that. Especially when my wandering heart can be so prone to forget.

Anyway. I didn’t mean to go off on such a tangent, because the real reason I sat down to write this post was to pass along some information about book signings. I could make it sound all fancy and say, “Since so many of you have asked, I thought I’d pass along book signing info,” but the fact of the matter is that only about four of you have asked. However, YOU FOUR PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW.

So here’s what I have scheduled so far:

Wednesday, February 4th – The Liberty Shop, Meridian, MS – 3:00-5:30pm
Thursday, February 5th – Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS – 4:00-6:00pm
Saturday, February 7th – LifeWay Store @ Lee Branch, Birmingham, AL – 12:00-2:00pm
Saturday, February 14th – LifeWay Store, Franklin, TN – 12:00-2:00pm

I also have a couple of out-of-state speaking things this spring, and I imagine I’ll be signing books there, too:

March 1, 2015 – North Monroe Baptist Church Women’s Event – Monroe, LA
March 28, 2015 – First Baptist Church Women’s Event – Collinsville, MS
April 21, 2015 – BLOOM at Crossroads Baptist Church – The Woodlands, TX

I’ll keep y’all posted if I add some more dates; I’d like to get up to north Mississippi / Memphis sometime in March, but I don’t have all the details nailed down yet.

So that’s all the news I have. Except that I think it might be good to look at that sunset picture ONE more time because OH, THE PRETTY.

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In the middle of all this book stuff, which to be honest can be a little overwhelming, that sky is a big ole dose of perspective.

He is greater.

And I’m so glad.

Big Mama Has Some Prizes

Hey everybody –

I’m still in Mississippi, but I wanted to let you know that Melanie is giving away three copies of Home is Where My People Are on her blog. The giveaway closes at 5pm central today (Monday), so I wanted to pass along the info in the hopes that a few of you have a chance to click over and enter to win.

Also, thanks so much for your sweet blog and Instagram comments (and emails) about these last few days. We appreciate your kind words and your prayers more than you know. I’ll update y’all as soon as I know it’s the right time. But in the meantime, I keep thinking about this song.

Hope you’re having a great Monday!

In The Interest Of Overexplaining

So if you’d asked me a couple of weeks ago if I was ready for the launch of Home is Where My People Are, I would have said, “YES MA’AM.” The book page was almost finished, the pre-order stuff was ready to go, and I’d lined up three book signings for that first release week. THUMBS UP.

But around the beginning of last week, it became crystal clear that the baby, as a friend of mine called it, was gonna arrive a couple of weeks early. The book started showing up on different bookseller websites, and so this past Thursday, when I was driving to Mississippi to take Mama to a doctor’s appointment, I had a couple of phone conversations where we decided that the best thing to do was jump on the early release horse and GIDDY UP. And yes, I realize that I could have continued that whole birthing-a-baby metaphor, but I just felt like that word picture might be a little bit too vivid.

Given the slight-ish change in plans, I just wanted to take a second and let you know where the book is in stock. You can still pre-order it from your favorite retailer if it’s not in stock, of course, and whether you order or pre-order between now and January 31st, the pre-order incentives apply. The Tyndale folks have even said that if you pre-ordered a long time ago and can still find your proof of purchase somewhere in your email, you can get the freebies, too (details at the bottom of the book page).

Here’s where the paperback is in stock and shipping:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Parable
Tyndale Direct

Here’s where the eBook is in stock and available:

Amazon
iBooks

And if you’d rather have a test drive, you can read the first chapter here.

AND THEN. If you finish reading and wouldn’t mind leaving a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or etc., that would be awesome. Unless you hate the book. Because in that case, a review wouldn’t be nearly as awesome. But by all means you respond however the Lord leads.

Last thing.

I’ve been in my hometown all weekend. I’m not really ready to write about the details of this trip (not trying to be mysterious or vague – just being honest), but so much of what I wrote about in the new book has hit me afresh in the last few days. In fact, I was thinking about the book – and the Lord, of course – when I snapped this picture at my aunt’s house last night.

Hug your people real tight.

Hope y’all are having a great weekend.

What We Have Here Are Some Special Offers

So today was the day that the book page for Home is Where My People Are went live (is that the right terminology? should I say that it dropped? that it made its debut? I have no idea.), and now that it’s up and running, I am just as tickled as I can be to point y’all in that direction. There are all sorts of little goodies there, so I will explain them at this juncture.

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(This book cover isn’t supposed to be animated or anything.)

(I just thought it would be helpful if we had a visual aid.)

1. The first fancy thing about the book page is that you can download the first chapter of the book. And really, you can download the first chapter and two chapter-ettes, because the download includes the book’s introduction. So basically what we’re talking about is twenty pages of free entertainment.

2. The book page also has some very sassy artwork that you can pin to Pinterest, share on Facebook, or just quietly admire on your computer screen while you enjoy the snack cracker of your choice.

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These are just two of the share-able prints, and I think they’re darlin’.

(Also, if you’re on Facebook, SO AM I. Just FYI because I do not mention that as much as my very wonderful publisher would like for me to mention it. So I’ll be looking forward to seeing you there.)

3. There are some ready-made tweets on the book page as well. TWEET AT WILL, MY FRIENDS.

4. There’s a short biography about me. I do not think by any stretch of the imagination that this is the part of the book page that will hold your interest for a very long period of time, but I feel obligated to mention it.

5. Here’s the very best part: the pre-order incentives. If you buy the book anywhere – online, in a local bookstore, in your Aunt Gertrude’s gift shop – between 1/15 and 1/31, you can email your proof of purchase to Tyndale and receive a special gift from me to you. If you buy 2 or more books between 1/15 and 1/31, you can email those proofs of purchase to Tyndale and get TWO special gifts. Details are at the bottom of the book page.

6. And here’s what we started to realize today: the book is actually in stock at lots of retailers. Some places are shipping books already. So you can FOR REAL order it – not just pre-order it – and the pre-order incentives still apply. So in some cases the pre-order incentives will actually be order incentives. ISN’T THAT FANCY?

6. I suddenly feel like I’m on The Price is Right.

7. But free gifts are fun!

8. Here are some online retailers that have the book in stock right now.

Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Books-A-Million

9. So. If you have a few extra minutes, head on over to the book page. Or if you’d really just like to know HOW TO GET THE FREE STUFF, you can click the box at the top of the book page to go directly to the pre-order offers.

And I’ll say it 149 times over the next few weeks, but thank y’all so much. Your support and encouragement and prayers and funny emails / tweets / comments mean the absolute world to me. I am so grateful for each one of you.

I hope y’all enjoy the book and the goodies, too!

p.s. and edited to add – If you pre-ordered the book before 1/15, you can still send your proof of purchase to the email address on the pre-order offer, and they will honor it!