Murders don’t happen in Kaufman County, Texas, a sleepy community where people raise their kids quietly and drive into Dallas for work and entertainment. In 2013, murder came to town when two professional prosecutors were slain in cold blood, simply for doing their jobs: one in broad daylight in plain view of the courthouse, and one in his home, along with his wife. Eric Williams is responsible for all the bloodshed—and he has a list of who to kill next.
A Target on My Back is the first-person true story of Erleigh Wiley, an accomplished lawyer who accepted the job as the new district attorney—after the death of her predecessors—which turned her into the next target on the killer’s hit list. This is her story of how she and her family endured the storm of the press, the array of Homeland Security agents assigned to protect them 24/7, and the weight of knowing she was someone’s prey. Though fearing for her life, she served as the prosecution’s final witness against the murderer, sealing his fate on death row. This chilling account of how she survived the hit list is a terrifying cat and mouse tale.
PRAISE FOR A TARGET ON MY BACK:
“A legal thriller with a twist: a crazed lawyer and his wife, believing they have been wronged, become a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde and go on a terrifying murder spree. Next on their kill list is the new DA, and her courage in confronting the killers makes this a fascinating read.”
―Dennis L. Breo, coauthor of The Crime of the Century: Richard Speck and the Murders That Shocked a Nation
“John Grisham and Scott Turow had better start looking over their shoulders. . . Wiley’s engaging, nimble style immediately draws you into the action and proves that sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. It’s a good thing for us all that she lived to tell about it!”
―David Dean, Dallas attorney, former Texas secretary of state and chair of the North Texas Crime Commission
“When murder comes to her town, Erleigh Wiley steps into the shoes of the slain district attorney and finds herself on the killer’s hit list. In A Target on My Back, Wiley tells her personal story of overcoming fear in order to carry out her duty to hold Kaufman County, Texas, together while the killer is brought to justice. Don’t miss it!”
―Mike Farris, author of A Death in the Islands: The Unwritten Law and the Last Trial of Clarence Darrow
“A Target on my Back is a unique first-person look into the world of crime-fighting in which the tables have been turned. The author takes the reader on an all-too-real journey into what it means to stand for justice when your very life is in danger. A must-read.
―Robert Kepple, executive director of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association
Speak to That is a local talk show that speaks to relevant and inspirational topics and features innovative guests. On a recent episode, Erleigh Wiley and her husband, Aaron Wiley, were interviewed about life on a hit list and Erleigh’s new book, A Target On MyBack.
Erleigh Norville Wiley was born and raised in Kaufman County. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University, Rawls College of Business; where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with a degree in Finance. She attended law school at Texas Law at The University of Texas in Austin receiving her Doctorate of Jurisprudence.
In 1990, Judge Wiley joined the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. Her goal was to prosecute the criminals and protect innocent children and victims who have no voice. She was promoted to supervising attorney-training other new attorneys and managing fourteen different courts.
Wiley takes an active role in her community by volunteering. Some of her board work includes Chairman of the Kaufman County Juvenile Board, Trustee of Texas Health Resources- Kaufman, Kaufman County Children’s Advocacy Center and Kaufman County Children’s Shelter Board member.
Wiley has been lauded by various organizations for her work in the legal community as a Judge and as the Criminal District Attorney in Kaufman County. Some of the most notable were in 2013, from the State Bar of Texas, Outstanding Leadership-Profiles of Courage Award and Texas District & County Attorney’s Association, Lone Star Prosecutor Award; as well as the Dallas Black Police Officer’s Association with the Paved the Way Award in 2015.
She saved Carraigfaire—but can she save her friends? Gethsemane Brown fought off an attack by a sleazy hotel developer who wanted to turn her Irish cottage into a tourist trap.
Now she must face a vengeful ghost determined to exact revenge for her murder centuries ago. This ghost’s wrath spares no one—not Gethsemane’s students, Inspector Niall O’Reilly, fellow teacher Frankie Grennan, or a group of ghost hunters descended on Dunmullach to capture proof ghosts exist. Proof Gethsemane has to quash to keep Eamon, her resident ghost and friend, from becoming an internet sensation.
As if a spiteful specter wasn’t bad enough, a crooked music reviewer turns up dead in the opera house orchestra pit, a famous composer is arrested for the crime, and Gethsemane must team up with a notorious true-crime author to clear his name. If she doesn’t, friends will die, a ghost she cares about will never know peace, and she’ll star in a final act gruesome enough for any opera.
PRAISE FOR THE GETHSEMANE BROWN MYSTERY SERIES:
Book 1, Murder in G Major
Winner of the 2017 Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel
2016 Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel
Suspense magazine “Best of 2016” selection in Debut Novel category
Book 2, Death in D Minor
Runner-Up, 2017 Lone Star Bloggers’ Choice Awards, Best Mystery/Suspense
Short List, 2017 Lone Star Bloggers’ Choice Awards, Best Series
Book 3, Killing in C Sharp
Starred review, Publisher’s Weekly, January 29, 2018
“You don’t go out of your way to avoid them, either. I think you enjoy solving the puzzles, sussing out who done it.”
Did she? Was that why she involved herself in criminal investigations despite the exhortations of cooler heads and common sense? The challenge of answering a riddle? Or a desire—a need—to do the right thing, to be on the right side of the battle between order and chaos, good and evil?
“Solving puzzles is in Sissy’s nature, Niall,” Frankie said. “She’s the daughter of a mathematician.”
The urge to tell him to stop using that stupid nickname fought with the urge to thank him for taking her side. She silently recited Negro League baseball statistics until both urges passed.
“You encourage her, Frankie,” Niall said. “Don’t bother denying it. I know who aids and abets Sissy in her escapades. Breaking and entering, theft—”
“You make us sound like the bad guys.” Frankie laughed.
The inspector’s allegations didn’t appear to concern him.
“Not bad guys. More like mischievous school boys,” Niall looked at Gethsemane, “and girls. Except dead bodies are as far away from childish pranks as Earth is from Neptune. Keep poking your noses into criminals’ business and you might find yourselves listed in a police blotter.”
“Mischievous school girl?” Gethsemane came out of her seat. Niall had no right to reduce her rational, adult decisions—even when they were wrong—to instances of childish naughtiness, friend or no.
Before she could unleash her feminist ire, a high-pitched scream outside the pub ripped through the air and silenced all conversation just as Aed’s overture had. No one spoke or moved for several seconds. Frankie spoke first.
“What the bloody hell?” Niall knocked over his chair as he raced to the door.
“Stay here,” he called without looking to see if anyone obeyed.
A writer since childhood, I put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. Medical career established, I returned to writing fiction. I completed SMU’s Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas. Henery Press published my first novel, Murder in G Major, book one of the Gethsemane Brown mysteries, in September 2016. Book two, Death in D Minor, released July 11, 2017. Book three, Killing in C Sharp, comes out March 6, 2018. Murder in G Major won the Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best New Novel and was selected one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Debuts.
I listen to classical music, drink whiskey, and blog at Miss Demeanors, voted one of Writers’ Digest magazine’s 101 best websites for writers, and Femmes Fatales.
Genre: Suspense / Romance / Christian Publisher: Revell Date of Publication: March 6, 2018
Number of Pages: 352
Scroll down for the giveaway!
Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new romantic suspense novel, Beneath the Surface. This gripping tale from award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn will capture readers from the first page and won’t let them go until the final, heart-pounding scene.
After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston moves home to Carrington, North Carolina, to leave behind her troubled past. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present.
Homicide investigator Ryan Parker finds fulfillment in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer—one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.
PRAISE FOR BENEATH THE SURFACE:
“With this book, author Lynn Blackburn has moved from the status of an upcoming author to watch and cemented herself as an author to note. Her exceptional storytelling skills shine as she weaves an intricate plot, populated with characters we care deeply about. Another up-all-night-because-I-can’t-put-down-the-book read.”
—Edie Melson, award-winning author, blogger, and director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference
“Beneath the Surface is a swoon-worthy romantic suspense that packs a punch from page one. The nonstop action will keep you guessing until the end.”
—Rachel Dylan, author of the Atlanta Justice series
“Just when you think you can relax, Blackburn brings you back to the edge of your seat in this riveting, high-tension suspense story.”
Dinner and a movie. People have been doing it for years because it works.
Whatever is going on in Downtown Carrington – food festivals, art festivals, music festivals. Carrington has a great downtown so an evening spent there is always a good idea.
A day spent hiking in the mountains.
A fancy evening at the theatre for a musical or a play.
A boat ride at sunset. I’m probably happiest on the water.
Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Hidden Legacy (Love Inspired, June 2017) and Covert Justice, winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children.
Grand Prize: Print Copy of the Book, Library Card Socks, Gone Reading Sign (wooden, 5″x7″), Reading Mug; 2nd Prize: Print Copy of the Book + $25 B&N Gift Card; 3rd Prize: Print Copy of the Book + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
The Initiation by Chris Babu Genre: YA sci-fi Release Date: February 27th 2018 Permuted Press
Book Summary Everyone is equal. But no one is safe.
In a ruined world, Manhattan is now New America, a walled-in society based on equality. But the perfect facade hides a dark truth.
A timid math geek, sixteen-year-old Drayden watches his life crumble when his beloved mother is exiled. The mystery of her banishment leads him to a sinister secret: New America is in trouble, and every one of its citizens is in jeopardy.
With time running out, he enters the Initiation. It’s a test within the empty subway tunnels—a perilous journey of puzzles and deadly physical trials. Winners join the ruling Bureau and move to its safe haven. But failure means death. Can Drayden conquer the Initiation, or is salvation out of his grasp?
This is one to remember. Drayden is such a great character to follow. Kind and smart, he tries to do what is best. Though life isn’t easy in New America. Everything he thought he knew starts coming to light with the reality of the world. His mother asks him to take care of the family but not to do the Initiation just to find the truth of her exile. But with mounting stress of their situation and even the encouragement of his brother, he gathers the courage to try. Failure could mean exile and very likely his end.
The book takes off from there. High intensity action and tense moments had me gripping my screen. It was hard to tear myself away as Drayden and the other contestants went through their tests.
Overall chilling was the looming history of how the Confluence happened. All indications we see in our world today. Suddenly this dystopian world just seemed like a glimpse in a not-so-distant future. Then present still in this world were the same disproportionate societies that boasted equality. Ironic considering the names of the Dorms versus the Palace. This book has very intelligent writing, great character growth and can get very emotional. I recommend this one a lot!
About the Author
Chris Babu grew up in North Haven, CT, playing soccer and the violin in his free time. After devouring The Shining under the covers with a flashlight when he was eight, Chris was hooked on fiction. He’s always had a thing for young adult books. But he’s also a major science and math nerd – physics being his favorite – and he has a math degree from MIT.
For nineteen years, he worked as a bond trader on Wall Street, riding the subway to and from work every day. He traded mortgage-backed securities for Bank of America and then Deutsche Bank, where he eventually ran the MBS trading desk. Now Chris writes full-time, always with his trusted assistant Buddy, a 130-pound Great Dane, who can usually be found on his lap. They split their time between New York City and the east end of Long Island. Their omnipresence at home drives his wife Michelle and daughter Lily crazy. The Initiation is his first novel.
Riley’s War: Phase 1 By Kiersten Jackson Genre: YA Sci-fi Fantasy Release date: December 2017
The year’s 2027.
Humanity has split into two halves: First World, the floating plate above that covers ⅓ of the planet built with futuristic technology and home to 56 million First Class citizens, and Second World, the Original Earth below running to ruin from war, famine, and poverty.
Recruited by Second World from jail, Jukebox is taken to their Base, discovering files with dragons, mythical shape shifting snakes from China—even the ghost from his past. And when the dragons actually show up, threatening to destroy humanity within three days, it doesn’t make it any better. Not even the androids and cyborgs that are sent to kill him on an everyday basis. Maybe it’s because they’re looking for his dad that holds all the original secrets and truths behind their world’s destruction, like him.
And when a comet is learned to hit both worlds soon, Jukebox is faced with the decision of fighting for his race or himself when the meteor is established to contain a power that could grant mankind renewed life, or instantaneous death— his power. Both worlds are at a clash to get to him and the comet once learning Jukebox can stop it—on the price of dying, deeming this battle as Second War—Riley’s War. And Jukebox doesn’t even want to stop it.
RILEY’S WAR: PHASE 1 is a powerful explosive sci-fi YA fantasy and action/adventure complete at 38,600 words with undeniable series potential that would appeal to fans of diverse POC with LGBTQIA+ main characters and supporting cast.
I first took notice of Riley’s War by the summary. It seemed so wild and unusual. It did not disappoint in that impression. Also, the cover by Anna Dittman is amazing and I knew I had to read this to figure it out. It was easy for me to be captured by this quick story. I’d honestly just recommend reading it in one day. Have some snacks ready as well. The pacing and characters were good and well developed. It was an excellent first novel from Jackson.
This books has it’s quirks and may have some challenges for certain readers. For me, it was a speedy read with a diverse and engaging energy. The reader needs to actively focus on the details and storyline. I recommend reading it with an open mind on a day you want plenty of unique details and action. I’d definitely read more from Jackson!
About the Author
Kiersten Jackson is an African-American author born in the United States, from Florida. She is very active in BLACKLIVESMATTER and LGBTQIA+. She currently likes to sleep, eat, and nap as long as she can. Her talents include drawing, writing, and being the Best at what she does. Greatest of All Time. Forever.
Manhattan antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury dreams of a quiet life on the family farm among the sheep she loves, when her best friend is murdered. The police assume robbery is the motive because her friend’s expensive bracelet is missing. But the 500-year-old artifact is rumored to carry an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family—and Annalisse believes her friend is the latest victim.
Weeks later, Annalisse sees a necklace matching the stolen bracelet at a gallery opening. Convinced the necklace is part of the deadly collection, Annalisse begs the gallery’s owner to destroy the piece, but her pleas are ignored—despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.
Desperate to keep the gallery owner safe, Annalisse reluctantly enlists the owner’s son to help—even though she’s afraid he’ll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse’s concerns—until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.
Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. As time lapses, the killer switches mode and closes in on the man who’s meant for Annalisse with the lifestyle she wants most.
But when it’s her turn as the hunted, will she choose to save Alec and his mother, or sacrifice everything to save herself?
Hold on for a heart-thumping adventure through exotic lands in this fast moving, romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M Bell.
Marlene M Bell is an acclaimed artist and photographer as well as a writer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of publications such as, Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living and Sheep Industry News. Ewephoric, her mail order venture, began in 1985 out of a desire for realistic sheep stationery. A color catalog of non-fiction books and sheep-related gifts may be requested at www.marlenembell.com or www.texassheep.com.
Marlene and her husband, Gregg reside on a wooded ranch in East Texas with their 50 head of Horned Dorset sheep, a lovable Maremma guard dog named, Tia, and 3 spoiled cats who rule the household.
Fire and Bone
by Rachel A. Marks
Release Date: February 20th 2018
In Hollywood’s underworld of demigods, druids, and ancient bonds, one girl has a dangerous future.
Sage is eighteen, down on her luck, and struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles. Everything changes the night she’s invited to a party—one that turns out to be a trap.
Thrust into a magical world hidden within the City of Angels, Sage discovers that she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, with powers that are only in their infancy. Now that she is of age, she’s asked to pledge her service to one of the five deities, all keen on winning her favor by any means possible. She has to admit that she’s tempted—especially when this new life comes with spells, Hollywood glam, and a bodyguard with secrets of his own. Not to mention a prince whose proposal could boost her rank in the Otherworld.
As loyalties shift, and as the two men vie for her attention, Sage tries to figure out whom to trust in a realm she doesn’t understand. One thing is for sure: the trap she’s in has bigger claws than she thought. And it’s going to take a lot more than magic for this Celtic demigoddess to make it out alive.
“…brilliantly plotted and executed. Every sentence felt carefully yet beautifully crafted. Overall, this was an A+ book…memorable and captivating characters, original ideas, an interesting and action-filled storyline, and beautiful, lyrical writing.”– Night Owl Reviews, Reviewer Top Pick
“Marks mashes together Irish mythology and Southern California in the brilliant start to her new series. Fire and Bone hooked me from page one, and the last page left me desperate for more.” —Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger and Breath of Earth
“Fantasy readers who enjoy Celtic mythology will revel in the detailed backstories, while romance fans will find plenty of Harlequinesque physical description…It’s certainly fun, and the ending nicely teases the sequel.” —Booklist
“Clever, addictive, and paced to steal your breath. You’ll come for the Celtic demigoddess and you’ll stay for the complex, unpredictable world. The romance is sizzling, the powers are intriguing. I look forward to the next book!” —Emily R. King, author of The Hundredth Queen
About the Author
I’m an author and professional artist, cancer survivor, mother of four, and wife to the most amazing man in the world. In my free time I’m a beach bum and entertainment cheese junkie. If you don’t like Superman I may wonder about you and suggest you seek professional help.
Title: ANIMAL GRAPH Author: M. Black Pub. Date: June 7, 2017 Publisher: M. Black Pages: 157 Formats: Paperback, eBook
NOW A SCRIPT FOR MOTION PICTURE 06/2017. SCRIPT REQUESTED TO REVIEW FOR FEATURE FILM DEAL BY TWO COMPANIES 07/2017.
ENTER A WORLD OF ANIMAL GRAPHS in this SciFi FANTASY DYSTOPIA that is also called a “YA AMAZON POST-APOCALYPTIC
never-before-seen-concept in a kind of HUNGER GAMES meets DR. Moreau!”
GET LOST WITH JIN IN A WORLD OF EXOTIC ANIMALS, LANDSCAPES, RIVERS, WARRING GROUPS, AND AN EVIL RULER. When prisoners are experimented on by the ruler of the Americas, after a nuclear war, their cells are grafted with cells and neural tissue from animals of the Amazon. Release to be hunted in the Amazon, to train soldier, Jin finds another Graph like herself named Adan and the two have to survive the Amazon if they are going to live.
Immerse yourself in the gorgeous and dangerous Amazon, find new creatures, learn about new exotic countries, travel the highlands, savannas, and plateaus in this breath-taking, page-turning book, ANIMAL GRAPH.
“AN ACTIVE AND EXCITING STORY THAT WOULD BE ENJOYED BY YOUNG ADULTS AND MATURE READERS. M. BLACK PACKS IN A LOT OF INTERESTING CONCEPTS. FANS OF DYSTOPIAN FICTION LIKE THE HUNGER GAMES WILL ENJOY THIS VERY CREATIVE STORY.” -Netgalley
“WOW! WHAT A CONCEPT! I CAN SAY THAT THIS IS THE FIRST BOOK OF THIS KIND THAT I HAVE READ.” -Amazon Reader
“THIS WAS AN AWESOME STORY. IN THE APOCALYPTIC FUTURE THEY ARE EXPERIMENTING ON PRISONERS.” -Amazon Reader
“M.BLACK’S ANIMAL GRAPH IS MORE THAN A DYSTOPIAN TALE FROM THE CREATIVE GENIUS OF THIS AUTHOR’S MIND. IT RAISES THE QUESTION OF SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST, OF LIVING IN HARMONY AND QUESTIONING WHAT IF THE ODDS ARE ARTIFICIALLY STACKED AGAINST THESE NEW CREATIONS.” -Netgalley
“ANIMAL GRAPH TAKES A FRESH AND INTRIGUING LOOK AT ANIMAL-HUMAN PAIRINGS” -Avid Amazon Reader
“THE CHARACTERS HAVE EXTRAORDINARY ABILITIES FROM THEIR ANIMAL GRAPHS, BUT THESE ALSO COME WITH WEAKNESSES. IT’S A REALLY GOOD BALANCE.” -Netgalley
“IT IS GOOD, VERY STRANGE ON ONE HAND YET THRILLING AND EDGE OF YOUR SEAT! I LOVE THE BEGINNING WHERE THE READER IS IN THE ACTION FROM THE START! I ALSO LOVE THE WHOLE IDEA OF THE GRAPHS.” -Reader Review
“THIS BOOK HAD ME HOOKED FROM THE BEGINNING.” Netgalley
“YOU ARE ONE OF THE FEW AUTHORS WHOSE BOOKS LEAVE ME WANTING TO READ MORE OF YOUR BOOKS.” -Amazon Reader
“GOOD STORY! I DIDN’T WANT IT TO END!” Amazon Reader
“I HAD ANXIETY ATTACKS WITH JIN. IT REALLY BOTHERED ME THAT I HAD TO PUT THE BOOK DOWN TO DO NORMAL THINGS LIKE EAT. LOL.” -Amazon Reader
My feminine bottom slides down the wet, slippery cliff at the end of the path of foliage, dropping me forty meters into the abyss below where I thrash, arms flailing about me in a sure drown, water gulping down my tight throat in a struggle for air. My long, auburn hair is drenched to my side like a second skin. I barely know how to swim, but I have no other choice but to sink down where I won’t be seen. They’re on my trail and the choking gas has almost reached me.
Glancing skyward, under a thin layer of water, I see a cake of the pinkish fog choke the plants and moss above, that grows off the dark stones there—the only elegance out here. Water cascades into a beautiful waterfall toward me in a steady stream, and I hear the loud fog horn-like sound from my pursuers alerting everyone in the vicinity that I’m nearby.
They’ll need to find me before sundown or risk encountering the savage wildlife of the Amazon rainforest, like Radguars, a mutated form of the Jaguar which began to appear after the radiation hit. No one ever lives after facing one. They’ll tear a man to shreds.
I hear them coming, five of them—they always come in fives—their thick boots hitting the forest floor in a scratch-scratch as they approach the end of my path. I’m not even sure how I do this—hear them. The distance is more than thirty meters away and the rush of water interferes with my ears. I never would have been able to do this before they took me.
Taken in the middle of the night by Borran’s soldiers while asleep in my cell, a two-by-three-meter room in which I’d been locked for a year, since I was sixteen, after I’d stolen a loaf of bread from a village vendor. Too many of us end up behind bars for petty crimes, to ensure as a whole we comply with the laws. When they registered me for prison, they scanned the bar code on my upper arm, denoting my full name, region of residency, and any prior arrests. I didn’t have priors before, but now my bar code will always show I was in prison.
About the Author:
M.Black is Ami Blackwelder and writes for the brand ENTER TOMORROW. She is a Montessori teacher, helps the deaf and hard of hearing, is an avid Pescetarian, believer in animal rights and wildlife conservation, and a lover of books. she is the author of the never-before-seen-concept Animal Graph, and dubs herself the ‘Robot Girl’ since many of her stories revolve around robots and A.I. She has a Siamese cat names LOTUS from Thailand when she was an educator there and he show sup in all her robot books. She adopted a cat named Ash in the States who also shows up in all of her robot books. She loves reading on Kindle Unlimited and only buys paperback. She enjoys many vegetarian dishes like veggie lasagna and four bean chili. She also likes watching movies, gardening, the beach, and hanging out with friends. Of course most of the time you will find her at home, pounding away at her computer.
Insecurity. As women, we all struggle with it. Our skinny jeans mock us. Our age-defying serums with flecks of gold refuse to erase our crow’s feet. Our social media feeds taunt us with everyone else’s picture-perfect lives. If you’ve ever felt uninteresting, unlovable, or unattractive, you’re ready for Lincee Ray’s particular brand of hilarious (and hard-hitting) self-reflection.
Like a trustworthy friend, she shows us that the fastest way to happiness is to embrace ourselves in all our imperfection and trust that God knew what He was doing when He made us. From maneuvering the muffin top to navigating the sketchy waters of singleness to walking the judgmental halls of the workplace, Lincee’s laugh-out-loud look at real life reveals many of the key truths she’s learned about her identity:
Yoga pants are your friend, Jesus sees you, and green-bean diets are never the answer.
PRAISE FOR WHY I HATE GREEN BEANS:
“Lincee is a brilliant writer. She once described me as ‘smelling of worn leather, a vintage nine iron and swagger.’ She pretty much nailed it. She is definitely worthy of the final rose.” —Chris Harrison, host of ABC’s Bachelor franchise and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
“I found myself laughing out loud, wiping away a few tears, and cheering her on every step of the way. Lincee is the best friend you wish you had. Get ready to fall in love with her and her fabulous debut book!” —Melanie Shankle, author of the Big Mama blog
“By the end of this book, you’ll think of Lincee as a favorite friend: someone who shoots straight, finds the funny in every situation, and reminds you what matters most. You are in for a treat!” —Sophie Hudson, author of Giddy Up,Eunice and cohost of The Big Boo Cast podcast
For ten years I waded through the ins and outs of the oil industry. As one of few females in that male-dominated world, I’ve had my fair share of eye-rolling exploits. I’ve kept my face neutral as crude jokes were shared. I’ve tried to look feminine in flame retardant overalls, safety goggles, and steel-toe boots. I’ve stood before a boardroom full of men who didn’t speak English, trying to convince them we didn’t need to wait for my boss—I was the presenter.
The international stories are the ones I like best because they sound so exotic. One of my more notable jaunts was a facility visit in the middle of Ukraine.
The guys from the Ukrainian company wanted to treat the Americans to a traditional dinner. I was seated at the middle of the long table for ten with my American colleagues on either side. The Ukrainian general manager sat across from me and motioned for the waiter to pour a round of vodka shots.
You’ve probably heard that Russians drink vodka like it’s water. In my personal experience, this is true. I can also attest it’s considered an insult not to drink with them. If offered vodka, you’d better partake, especially when the logistics of future million-dollar deals are circling the table.
The Ukrainian stood up and toasted everyone in the room. He spoke about the wonderful relationship between his company and the U.S. division and genuinely seemed proud to call us partners. This lasted for about five minutes. During this time, the waiter placed a plate of “something” at each end of the table. I’m no expert, but it looked like slugs.
Our host concluded his salute and pointed to the plate, explaining that this was a celebratory occasion and we would be chasing the vodka shot with herring and onions.
I suddenly craved green beans.
The man lifted his glass and toasted the table. We all slammed our drinks back and spiked the herring with little forks. Down the hatch.
Thank goodness the vodka was like rubbing alcohol, because it burned off the aftermath of the oily, slimy, fishy taste in my mouth. It may have burned a few taste buds, too, but that was a blessing in disguise.
Everyone cheered and high fived as the waiter presented a tray of cucumbers, tomatoes, and red bell peppers. I munched away like a pro, even though I can’t stand tomatoes. I have the palate of a sophisticated fourth grader, but I pressed through for the good of the company.
Suddenly the waiter started filling the shot glasses with vodka again. Number two Ukranian guy stood up and made his own toast that lasted forever. We cheered. We clinked glasses. We took the shot before chugging yet another herring.
Soon the questionable deli meat selection arrived. Being the smart connoisseur I am, I chose the two lightest meats. I mentally chanted in my head, “It’s turkey and ham. It’s turkey and ham. It’s turkey and ham.” I gobbled it up in three bites, ignoring the funny smell, only to find a plate full of rolled-up bacon thrust in my face.
You may be thinking, Oh good! Something she recognizes. Everyone loves bacon!
Dear friend. You are too sweet. It was bacon fat. Fat. The fat of bacon. All white, fat, bacon fat.
The waiter rushed over with a third shot. It helped to dissolve the roll of pork belly lodged in my throat.
At the beginning of the fourth course, I realized we were going to toast each dish. I tried to get the attention of the waiter, but I couldn’t lift my arms. He finally realized my joints were paralyzed from the vodka and came over to see what I needed. Once he understood what I needed, he brought me a bottle of plain old boring water. I begged him with my eyes not to rat me out as a poser Russki.
Everyone devoured what I thought of as potato ravioli and luckily, they never noticed me pouring water into my shot glass. The next course materialized, and I enthusiastically toasted everyone. By the end of the night, the Russians were toasting the vodka, the Brits were toasting the Americans who carry guns, the Americans were toasting the Revolutionary War, and nine men were toasting the little blonde girl who could hold her liquor.
All together there were seven courses. I had three vodka shots and four waters. I slept like a log that night. I also suspected my insides had been thoroughly cleansed. It’s a good thing, too, because I later found out the questionable deli meat was donkey tongue.
Any time I hear a Russian accent, my arms get heavy and it’s a good forty-eight hours before I can eat a turkey sandwich again.
Lincee Ray is an accidental blogging superstar from Texas who now writes for EW.com and the Associated Press. An active speaker, she can be found at her popular website ihategreenbeans.com, where she makes it clear that she believes it’s important to tell your story—even if it makes you seem a little crazy. Connect with Lincee!
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! FEBRUARY 13-22, 2018
Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed book plate, $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card, and Lincee’s Loves Basket which includes: Rave travel hairspray, Minnie Mouse ears, Vodka*, Heartbreakers Candy, Dr. Pepper, chocolate rose, and green jelly beans.
Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed book plate, $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed book plate, $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
The Lone Star Book Blog Tours team has voted, and the results are in! From Best Fiction to Most Engaged Author, we have seventeen awards to hand out to the awesome Texas books and authors featured on Lone Star Book Blog Tours in 2017.
From February 15-23, 2018, please join us as we hop around the LSBBT blogs and share the winners, runners-up, and shortlisted titles. Don’t miss it!