Texas in Her Own Words Excerpt and Giveaway

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TEXAS IN HER OWN WORDS
(Second Edition)
by
Tweed Scott

Genre: Texas / Texana / General Interest
Publisher: Tejas Publishing
Date of Publication: June 16, 2016
Number of Pages: 336

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Synopsis

Texas in Her Own Words is a peek into the Texas psyche. It explains why Texans are the way they are . . . where all that attitude comes from. This work is the result of a statewide search for what author Tweed Scott calls the “T-Chromosome.” Texans are different but why?  Scott went statewide to find the answers to three basic questions. 1) What makes Texas special? 2) Why is this place so different than anywhere else on the planet? 3) If and when it applied, what does it mean to you personally to BE a native Texan?

Scott shares some remarkable answers with you throughout the book. In the end, he learned that all Texans share four traits or attributes. When you finish this book, you will understand why Texans are the way they are. IF you are a native Texan, chances are you will find some of yourself between the covers of this book. It’s a fun read.
Praise for Texas in Her Own Words

“Searching for the soul of Texas, Tweed Scott has done a great service.  People and places and the cowboy poetry of the heart — Texas in Her Own Words is chockfull of all of these things.  It deserves a special place on your bookshelf. Say right between Larry McMurtry and J. Frank Dobie.” — Kinky Friedman, author and entertainer

“It’s a Texas thing, you either have it, or you don’t.  Few people can define such an emotion, a feeling, a pride that is embedded so deep.  This book made me cry and smile at the same time.  Texas in Her Own Words helps to explain what ‘Lone Star state of mind’ is. . .” — TJ Greaney, Publisher, Countryline Magazine.

“I [Patricia Spork] very highly recommend Texas in Her Own Words (Second Edition) by Tweed Scott to Texas researchers and historians, to any hopeful “wannabe” Texan or to any yee hawin’ boastful Texan, like me (a transplanted didn’t-know-it “wannabe”).”

Patricia Spork, freelance writer and artist

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Excerpt

Steven Fromholz
Birthplace: Temple, Texas
Hometown: Kopperl, Texas
Career: Musician, Actor, Texas Poet Laureate

I became a fan of Steven Fromholz in the early 1970s when I was in college in Beaumont. I loved his music. It was whimsical and just plain fun to listen to. This man could paint pictures in your mind with his words and his voice. The other unmistakable trait was how Texan he was. He loved Texas deeply and it permeated throughout his music. When he sang about Texas, you not only saw it, but you would feel it, too. His Texas Trilogy is truly a window of Texas in the 1950s or 60s. It is a Texas classic.

By the time I graduated, I had already established a career in radio. One thing about that line of work, you certainly get exposed to all kinds of situations and interesting people. I had seen Steven in concert a few times, but I never met him until I went to work in Austin. By the time I did meet him, I was a huge fan. He had deeply touched my heart through his music.

For example, my father and I had always had a strange relationship. Let’s just say we were never close. We were estranged for many years. As I became an adult, we talked and reconciled. We never became really close, but for lack of a better description, I’d say we had an “understanding.” We would stay in touch infrequently through short letters—more like notes. My father passed away a month before my daughter, Whitney, was born. I was somewhat shocked and saddened at his passing.

As I recall, it wasn’t long after that I heard the words in a Steve Fromholz song called “No Regrets.” I was given permission to share the lyric with you. That lyric was seared into my memory forever.

Like the time I cried, when my daddy he died.

Such a common thing, the tears it brings can be hard to hide.

I hadn’t seen my dad and I was feelin’ bad ‘til I heard him whisper in the wind.

“Son, no need to fret. You owe me no debt. Only have no regrets in your life.

©Steven Fromholz

I remember how I broke down and cried upon hearing those words. It was the first time I grieved for him. It was, perhaps, the first time I ever bonded with him as father and son. Steven Fromholz made that happen through his words.

One day, as I passed through the lobby at KVET/KASE, I saw him sitting there, waiting to talk with one of my radio colleagues. I took the opportunity to approach him and tell him what his song meant to me. As I thanked him, he in turn, in a humble sincere voice, looking at me straight in the eye the entire time, told me that he was happy that one of his songs had touched me so deeply. Our friendship grew out of that moment. I got to interview him a few times for various magazines over the years and saw him at several concerts—the last one at Poodie’s Hilltop Café, in Spicewood. He was engaging and just plain fun to be around. I remember talking with him at the bar at El Rancho in Austin one day. Just a couple of guys enjoying a cold one. He loved Texas. That was obvious. He was a Texan to the bone. I was so happy and proud for him when he was honored as the Poet Laureate of Texas. I could not think of a worthier person for that honor.

I, like the rest of his friends and fans, were shocked to hear of his passing in a hunting accident. Although I had corresponded with Angela, his sister, several times before his death, I have had the opportunity to become closer since his passing. She is a great lady in her own right.

It was important to me to include him in this volume. I have kicked myself several times that I didn’t interview him for the first volume when I could have while he was alive. I know he would have gladly shared the time with me. After speaking with Angela, I asked if she would provide some insight to add to this volume. She graciously agreed.

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Photo credit, George Brainard, Austin, TX

STEVEN FROMHOLZ. . .

. . . IS, not WAS, my brother. Yes, he passed on January 19, 2014, but his spirit lives as surely as the sun comes up and sets in his beloved Texas. He was born in Temple, Texas, June 8, 1945, and when his father picked him and our mother up from the hospital a few days after his birth; I was the eight-year-old kid, sitting in the back seat with a pillow on my lap. They placed Steven on that pillow and he rode all the way home with me sitting in absolute awe. I think he became my first child from that day forward and remained so forevermore. As he always said, “Sis always has my back no matter what,” and that was true. He also always had mine!

Little did I know then, nor would I have ever dreamed, that tiny baby was to become a legend and icon in the music industry of Texas. I vividly recall the day Steven told me he’d decided on a music career. He was 18-years-old and carrying a new guitar. I’d had my fling in the music business and knew exactly what he was up against. I inquired as to what name he would use and he replied, “Steven Fromholz.”

I still smile when I recall my reply, “You’d better pick a stage name ‘cause no one is ever going to be able to spell ‘Fromholz’ much less pronounce or remember it.”

We had the same mother but different fathers. Steven’s dad was German/Polish and mine was English/French/Indian. Steven was always fascinated by my Indian heritage and over the years, he often used it when we were on the road to forewarn folks of my quick temper. His favorite answer was often, “Man, the only advice I can give you is don’t piss off the Indian!”

There was never a doubt in anyone’s mind—Steven was a Texan born and bred. He wore the mantle proudly from a very early age, studied Texas history, our family’s history (we’ve been in Texas since the 1850s) and wrote about it prolifically. During his long career, he not only wrote songs about Texas but promoted Texas music, and shared his love for Texas at every show he ever did. He was named Poet Laureate of Texas in 2007. Few people know that once a Texas Poet Laureate, you retain that honor forever, and Steven wore it proudly.

He always said his parents were, “party people,” which actually meant we spent most of our childhood with our Granny in Kopperl, Bosque County, Texas and grew up “country kids.” The population of Kopperl back then was 250 kind souls and it’s the same today. A lover of the outdoors, Steven always said, “God did his best work in Texas…and probably his best lick was in Bosque County, Texas.” He always claimed Kopperl, Texas as his home town and took great pleasure in making fun of our humble beginnings: “Y’all know what the word ‘Bosque’ means?” he’d ask his audiences. Obviously no one did and then he’d say “It’s an old Indian word that means ‘ain’t nothin’ shakin’” and his listeners loved it.

As the years passed, the name “Fromholz” (yeah, that name I thought no one could ever pronounce) became more and more synonymous with the State of Texas. He toured promoting Texas music and made many appearances for folks, running for State office—Democrat or Republican. He refused to publicly endorse anyone running for office in the State of Texas, except Kinky Friedman’s run for Governor. It was agreed between them that if Kinky won, he’d appoint Steven head of Texas Parks and Wildlife, which was a job Steven coveted. To tell the truth, I never knew if they were serious about that or not!

Steven wore many hats during his nearly half-century career, including singer, songwriter, playwright, humorist, actor (stage and screen) poet, river guide, educator…the list is endless. Throughout it all, despite his many talents, outgoing ways, quick wit, and definite social prowess, he never considered himself a “star” or “celebrity,” but would always refer to himself as, “an old Texas folk singer” and a, “wheel man,” which he said meant he drove for a living and just happened to entertain when he reached his destination.

After suffering a massive stroke in 2003, he stepped out of the music mainstream but continued to make a few, well-chosen appearances. On those rare occasions, the folks who enjoyed his music—and loved him dearly—would welcome him with an immediate standing ovation the moment he stepped on the stage. That never ceased to amaze him and his private comment was always ,“Well, I’m blessed they still like an old Texas boy who talks with a limp!” If there was ever an audience who loved him more than he loved them, I never saw it.

He announced his retirement when he moved to the ranch with his true love and it was there he was able to once again get back to the Texas roots he’d known as a child. He celebrated ranching, the outdoors, his faith, and the sheer joy of living as a “normal” (his word) person. He’d always compose a Christmas greeting and have me email it to his fans (whom he called “his friends”) and invariably would sign off on it by saying, “Keep loving each other and keep on loving Texas.”

The press was always kind to Steven as he was kind to and loved the press. Among the notable quotes written in obituaries there’s one that pretty well sums up who Steven Fromholz was, is, and always will be:

…But in 1973 pre-Austin City Limits, all that mattered was that Fromholz was already viewed as some elder statesman of our music and Austin’s rapidly developing scene. It wasn’t that he was an old graybeard, it wasn’t that he had a string of hits. It was that he combined in one person that hard-Texas gravitas and left-handed humor that is part and parcel of every Texan’s birthright. When he sang “There’s bacon to fry and there’s biscuits to bake/On a stove the Salvation Army won’t take,” it was like watching The Last Picture Show or Giant. It was as real as a scorpion bite.
The final time we encountered Fromholz was when he came to Anderson Fair to hear Mark Germino in 2008. Fromholz, who had driven over from Austin for the occasion, had recently been appointed Poet Laureate of Texas and he caused quite a stir when he entered the room. Even after some years out of the performing limelight, he was an instantly recognizable figure to the hip crowd at the fair that night. When he walked in, it was like Sam Houston had entered the room. So, it’s so long to the man in the big hat. Brother, you were real. (William Michael Smith/Houston Press/January 2014)

The day of Steven’s memorial service at Ft. McKavett, Texas; I was at the funeral home—just as the sun came up on a bitterly cold West Texas, January day and helped carry him to the vehicle that would transport him to his long-before-chosen resting place at Ft. McKavett Cemetery, 50 miles away. He had taken me there to view the site a year earlier, remarking at the time, “This spot is as close to heaven on earth, and still be in Texas, as I’ve ever found.” The hearse pulled out onto the highway and I followed it. It seemed we were the only two cars in the State of Texas that morning as the sun came out, shining down on us like a giant spotlight between the clouds.

When we arrived at the cemetery, and I’d helped carry Steven to his final resting place, memories overwhelmed me. I’d carried my brother home when he entered this world and had now carried him home again because he’d left it. We’d made our final road trip. It had been my great honor. As I turned to walk back to my car and get out of the cold, West Texas wind, a statement by an entertainer friend, made to a reporter in New York, came to mind:

“Hell, man, Steven Fromholz IS Texas!” All things considered—that’s the legacy he’d cherish most of all.

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about the author

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Tweed Scott is a laugh-out-loud funny motivational speaker and corporate entertainer. He retired from broadcasting after 31 years. His broadcasting accomplishments include operating the highest rated FM station in America and later the 5th highest rated AM station in America. Tweed is an award winning speaker and the author of the three-time national award-winning book, Texas in Her Own Words. His book is sold at the Alamo, the state capitol gifts shops in Austin, the San Jacinto Museum & Battleground, and the Sam Houston Statue & Visitor’s Center in Huntsville.

He is the past president of the board for the Writers’ League of Texas serving some 1,300 members. Tweed now writes for several magazines and has built his own writing and speaking company, Tejas Publishing, LLC.  He is a graduate of Lamar University and a US Navy veteran. He continues to write and spread what he calls, “The Gospel of Texas.”

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Afterlife Book Blitz and Giveaway

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Afterlife by Sandy Goldsworthy 
(The Afterworld Saga #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 29th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:

AFTERLIFE is the highly anticipated sequel to AFTERMATH by Sandy Goldsworthy. This exciting Young Adult mystery romance is a must-read.

Everything seems perfect for Emma Bennett—she has a new set of friends she adores and a boyfriend she is crazy about. But when Emma sees a picture of her hunky boyfriend kissing another girl, she begins to question if his love for her is real. As she searches for the truth, will Emma be exposed to the dangers of another world?

Ben Parker enjoys the role of high school student and boyfriend to the love of his existence. Juggling his social life with his job in the Afterworld’s Bureau of Investigation is supposed to be easy for the decorated undercover agent. But when some kid captures a photo of him in a precarious position, he’s faced with lying to his girlfriend or erasing her memory. Instead, Ben makes the worst decision of his career. Now, forced to face the consequences, he loses the only thing that matters to him—Emma.

When seemingly insurmountable obstacles separate the lovers, will the two soul mates be able find their way back to each other?

Afterlife

Excerpt:

Sheer Stillness

It was a moment of sheer stillness.

Between the impact of the crash and the point the victims acknowledged it happened, an ugly calmness flooded their minds. In that tiny interim of time, they couldn’t quite determine if they lived or died. When they slowly opened their eyes, humans were often afraid to look anywhere but straight ahead. Until their vision cleared, victims had trouble understanding if they were safe, injured, or if their condition was serious. It was the point of in-between when pain was not yet recognized and uncertainty flourished.

The exact same feeling occurred when one transitioned.

“Emma,” I whispered, removing the invisible web I cloaked over her prior to the accident. The intricate weave of the net held her in place during impact. She couldn’t see the neon blue glow, but I could, and so could headquarters. Severing my tether and going off grid to tell her the truth about me only worked when I wasn’t using excessive powers.

Crashing into a hundred-year-old oak tree was cause for use of excessive powers. Except, I hadn’t worried about the consequences—at the time.

“Emma,” I called again. This time, I put my hand on her neck. My fingers searched for her pulse. I pressed the tip of my forefinger on her vein and felt the slow, steady thump. Slight pressure increased her pulse to the speed of mine. In seconds, she opened her eyes. “Shhhh. It’s okay. You’re okay.”

She blinked. When she looked forward, all she saw was me. Moments passed as her mind recalibrated her location, the accident, and the escape from the tavern. When she teetered on recalling our conversation and the confusion of me telling her who I was, I knew I had to compel her.

It was the right thing to do.

I stared into her eyes and watched her pupils dilate. In that instant, she was mine. I could make her do anything I wanted—tell her a lie she’d believe as truth, make her forget I cheated, or have her remember our past life together. She was under my control.

“Ben?” Emma whispered. My concentration was broken by the softness of her voice. My chance to compel her was lost.

“Yes, I’m here.”

“What happened—?” Emma tried leaning forward, but the space around us was constricting. Emma’s door was crushed inward, her seat shifted to the middle of the vehicle. The front bench seat was now diagonal and further back than its original position. It rested inches from Emma’s knees. The 1980’s Chevrolet sedan was now a part of the tall oak tree.

“Shhh. We were in an accident. How do you feel?”

Emma looked around, her eyes widening. Panic crossed her mind, and I held her hand.

“It’s okay. Are you hurt?” I asked, although I already knew she was fine. I had protected her, after all. She calmed when I stroked my thumb over her fingers.

She shook her head.

Lights glowed from behind us. Distant voices sounded, and I knew it was a matter of time. I placed my hand on the inside of her wrist. Squeezing gently and only for an instant, I was able to increase Emma’s blood pressure long enough for the alcohol content to dissipate. A blood test would be the first test run at a hospital to verify if intoxication was a factor. It would be devastating in Emma’s mind if her aunt learned she’d been drinking. If only I could do the same to Lucas and Brinn.

A flashlight shone in the rear window, and someone yelled. “Anyone hurt?”

I cleared my throat and called back. “We’re pinned.”

“Aaaahhh.” A moan crept up, like a crescendo, from deep within Brinn’s diaphragm. She extended her hand toward Lucas, but she stopped when she realized the dashboard filled the gap between them. “Lucas?” she croaked.

He didn’t answer.

 

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Quest Post with Sandy Goldsworthy:

What is your writing inspiration?

That’s an interesting question. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been inspired to write. In high school, my English teacher didn’t love the assignment I turned in. I thought it was perfect—just what she was looking for. It wasn’t.

The assignment was to describe a house. I wrote that the door was red. My teacher didn’t like just red. She wanted to really “see” the red. It was a turning point for me. Instead of being a chore, writing was something I enjoyed. It was an art to me.

Every time I read a good book, I get inspired to write. Great characters and twisting plots motivate me to craft my story—to take it to the next level.

Aftermath started when the character of Ben Parker came to life. About five years ago, I had a very vivid dream of a train derailment. Railcars tumbled off a ridge, landing on top of each other in a ravine. In my dream, there was a young man that appeared untouched by the accident. Once everything settled, he pulled the victims from the crash site and escorted them to the afterworld. I still remember waking up, my heart pounding in my chest.

 

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AUTHOR BIO:

Sandy Goldsworthy was raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, blocks from the rocky shores of Lake Michigan. As a child, she fantasized about becoming an author. She jotted story lines in spiral notebooks and drew images of characters that never came to life. Her passion for putting pen to paper began when her high school English teacher inspired her to be more descriptive in her work. Ever since, Sandy dabbled in creative writing, searching for that perfect shade of red and that character you want to get to know.

A graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Sandy is the YA author of the paranormal romance series, The Afterworld Saga. She spends her days managing corporate client programs, and her nights and weekends drafting new plot lines in spiral notebooks. She resides in southeastern Wisconsin with her husband, two children, and an energetic puppy. Learn more at www.sandygoldsworthy.com.

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Static Review and Giveaway

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Static (The Luminaries #2)
By S.K. Anthony
Genre: NA Urban Fantasy
Release Date: September 20th 2015

 

Summary from Goodreads

 

Static_coverKevin Pierce is a teleporter, a ladies’ man, and a loyal friend. Or so he thought.

 

As a genetically altered Luminary, he helps the government bring down some of the most dangerous criminals. Not very challenging if you have his special abilities. But when a group of rebel Luminaries attacks his Organization the fight for survival begins.

 

One shattering event after another tests the depth of his relationships, his sanity, and his powers. Emotionally torn, Kevin must choose carefully where his loyalty lies. In the middle of all the unexpected chaos he gets the biggest shock of his life when he’s faced by a betrayal he never saw coming. Angry, injured, and ready to even the score, Kevin goes Static.

 

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My Review

 

Static is the second installment to this series and does not disappoint.  While I do not usually prefer to read first person, S.K. Anthony has a great way of moving her story along quickly and effortlessly. Kinetic is in Annie’s point of view, a well-experienced character in The Org. Kevin, however, despite his confident attitude is still learning about this world and his own past. I would definitely recommend that you read Kinetic before Static as this intriguing world developed has a great mystery and history to unfold.

 

Kevin is reintroduced in this novel and brings a new exciting journey in the Luminaries universe. We see a new side to characters introduced in Kinetic and explore the charismatic and arrogant nature of Kevin. In Kinetic, I really enjoyed reading Kevin and his charming and energetic attitude. While he learns more about the Luminaries and develops his own romantic entanglements, I really came to love his character. Especially his interactions with Ryan and other new ‘super’ people.

 

I do have to say that at times, it was hard to understand and find the characters likable. Their choices and thought processes could be a bit fickle and frustrating. I tend to find that books that have me baffled at character decisions tend to be the ones I read faster and more eager to reach the end. In a good way! What’s a great story without growth after all?

 

I really enjoy the exploration in genetically modified powers as well as the complications that arise. This story arch will constantly be stretching the good vs. evil and the grey in between. Static has an amazing amount of action and drama that shocked me. With questions still to be answered, I look forward to reading Book 3.

 

About the Author

 

Author profile picS.K. Anthony is a writer, a reader and a make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York with her husband and toddler twins. She is a wine connoisseur, which just really means she knows she loves it, and a caffeine addict. When she isn’t busy with her family she finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders…she is convinced they are out to get her!

 

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Intertwined Promo and Giveaway

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Intertwined
by Jenn Marie
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Release Date: July 3rd 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

Quiet seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Parker is looking forward to another mellow summer with her goofy relatives: sun tanning at the beach and staying out of trouble. Which is why the thought of her younger cousin participating in what is, clearly, a setup disguised as an initiation, worries her to the point of intervention.

One that backfires … big time …

Mistaken for her cousin, Elizabeth finds herself transported to an abandoned plantation, a place deeply haunted with unresolved mystery and where horror reigns every summer between July 20 and August 13.

It is there, locked in the pitch dark, where she finds herself paired with the strange and mysterious Adam Hunt—an unexpected trespasser with his own agenda. Together, they find a list of instructions—follow the clues to various possessions in the house, store them in the backpack provided, and find the key that will grant escape.

Having snuck in to document the haunting, Adam offers to help her find the key so long as she helps him record paranormal activity along the way. But as they make their way through the house, they soon discover unexplained anomalies …

For the first time in the plantation’s recorded history, the haunting deviates from its known cycle of events, thrusting Elizabeth and Adam in a series of perilous circumstances that ensue long after the night is over.

As the last day of the haunting draws nearer, and as forces beyond their control ignite their growing attraction, Elizabeth and Adam must work together to uncover the plantations mysterious past before its too late.

Or die trying.

Warning: Occasional coarse language. Intended for Mature Young Adult audience.

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About the Author:

jenn marie

Jenn Marie currently lives in sunny California with her wonderful husband and their runt kitty, Chloe. When she’s not writing Young Adult Fiction, she can be found reading, plotting or spending time with her crazy, lovable family. Current obsessions include the movie, Frozen, the New Girl series, Arcade Fire’s latest album, and avocados. Seriously, she can’t get enough of it! Writing, for her, is a passion that refuses to be under prioritized. No matter what’s going on in her life, whether good or bad, writing is always there to lift her spirits.

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Serenity Promo and Giveaway

Serenity
India R. Adams
(Forever, #1)
Publication date: July 26th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

To say I know where this story begins is to say I remember what lifetime started it all…and why. What I do know is this lifetime is hard and cruel…maybe like the rest. That is until I meet him–the light that shines and guides me. To where I don’t know but my soul chooses to follow regardless. I believe it has done this before. I believe I will follow him…forever.

A destructive home life silently tears Serenity, a 16 year old girl, apart until her broken spirit is given a gift in the form of an old journal that sends her a visitor in the night.

Away from the sun I close my eyes
and release myself into the unknown
I hope she is there
I hope she is there…

The cloaked woman teaches Serenity that the lingering feeling of missing a part of her soul, may not be a figment of her imagination and with these words Serenity’s journey, of this lifetime, begins.

The toll on my spirit had slowly broken me down—day by day, night by night, drink by drink, hit by hit—to the limp, fragile, lost girl that Dereck Hamilton . . . carried away.

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Author’s top 10 places to go for writing a story:

            Well, physically, I do my writing from home, and I don’t travel to different places for research. Of course, when the budget allows, I would love for this to change, hahaha… So I’ve decided to mention the places I go in my mind…

  1. A crystal blue lake (Blue Waters, novella one from the Tainted Water series).
  2. Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina (My Wolf and Me).
  3. South Georgia and Daytona, Florida (Steal Me, book one in the Haunted Roads series).
  4. Brass Town, North Carolina (Rain, first book in the Stranger in the Woods series).
  5. Austin, Texas (Serenity, book one in the Forever series).
  6. Nashville, Tennessee (Destiny, book two in the Forever series)
  7. Throughout the United States (Destiny, book two in the Forever series).
  8. Scotland (River, book two in the Stranger in the Woods series).
  9. Peruvian Mountains of Macho Pichu
  10. All around the world (Hope & Faith, and Joy from the Forever series).

Author Bio:

India R Adams is an author/singer/songwriter who has written YA and NA novels such as Blue Waters (A Tainted Waters Novella), My Wolf and Me, Steal Me (A Haunted Roads Novel), Rain (A Stranger in the Woods Novel), Serenity (A Forever Series Novel) and also The Forever Series music.

India was born and raised in Florida but has also been so lucky as to live in Idaho (where she froze but fell in love with the small town life), Austin Texas (where she started her first book, Serenity, and met wonderful artist), and now Murphy, North Carolina (where the mountains have stolen a piece of her heart).

Being a survivor of abuse, has inspired India to let others know they have nothing to be ashamed of. She put her many years of professional theater background to the test and has written fictional stories with a shadow of her personal experiences. She says, “I’m simply finding ways to empower perfect imperfections.”

Another cause India feels needs change, is Sexual Slavery. She has joined forces with jewelers to design beautiful ways to raise money for non-profit organizations. Even though India writes about serious subjects such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, and Human Trafficking, she has a magnificent sense of humor, as do the characters she creates. Perfectly balanced between laughter and tears, her readers see how to empower their own perfect imperfections.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Derailed (The Obscured Series #3)

by C.M. Boers
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: August 2016

Summary:

Abby Martin has normal problems for a teenage girl—her dad lives in another state, her mom’s boyfriend is moving in, and school and work are stressful. But these are the least of her concerns when she begins receiving threatening notes and a black SUV stalks her at night. As the web of danger tightens around her, panic sets in. With the help of her boyfriend, Eli, and best friend, Casey, she must find out who is obsessed with her before her nightmares come true.

Complicating her life further, Eli and Casey are both acting strangely. Who can she trust? And will she figure out what’s going on before she ends up dead?

Encounter Derailed, the heart-pounding third novel in C.M. Boers’ Obscured series.

 

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Obscured (The Obscured series #1) on Goodreads

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Divulge (The Obscured series #2) on Goodreads

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Promo Post:  Author C.M. Boers

Four things I love about my favorite book:

I have lots of favorite books of course, but one series in particular stands out to me when I think of my four favorite things about them.

The Doorknob Society by M. J. Fletcher.

  1. I love that the main character is a girl who thrown into a new world and she owns it! She completely takes charge and ends up being such a great role model.

 

  1. I love that this series was written by a man. A little background on this Author is that he wrote this book because there weren’t many female heros for his daughter to look up to, and he completely nails captivating a girl’s emotions in his writing.

 

  1. I love that with such a strong female heroine there is enough action and adventure that it totally could be entertaining to both girls and boys!

 

  1. I love the whole world he has created, where doorknobs and skeleton keys don’t just open normal doorways. It’s so imaginative and unique.

 

c.m. boers

About the Author

I am a wife and mother of three. I grew up in the sunshine state of Arizona with a love of reading and an ambition to write. But I never took my writing seriously until after the birth of my first child. After that I took up writing more seriously in my spare time and I haven’t stopped since

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Back to the Books $250 Cash Giveaway

August 17th to September 7th

An Awesome Group of Authors & Bloggers have joined with me to bring you 1 fabulous prize!!

We’re giving away $250 in Paypal Cash! Or alternately you can choose a $250 Amazon.com Gift Code!

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$250 in Paypal Cash (alternately the winner can choose a $250 Amazon.com Gift Code)

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Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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There Once Were Stars Blog Tour and Giveaway

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There Once Were Stars 

by Melanie McFarlane
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has the Order been hiding from everyone?

Stars

Excerpt:

When I was growing up, there wasn’t enough room to mourn for both my parents, and my uncle at the same time, so I pushed Alec into a small corner of my memories. He was only ten years older than me, so I was more of an inconvenience to him than a niece, and I followed him around everywhere he went. But, he did take time to show me things he found. He was an apprentice geologist and passionate about rocks.

“Look here, Nat.” Uncle Alec would demand my direct attention. “This is a river rock. Feel it. Its roundness was formed by the water, long before the Cleansing Wars. It represents how one element can be changed by another, showing there’s magic in the world all around us. Your parents brought it back for me from one of their expeditions. One day I will get to go with them.”

And he eventually did. Like Jak, he knew the field he wanted to work in before he was eighteen. Because of his passion, he was allowed to start directly in geology when he left the Learning Institute. For that entire year, he brought more and more rocks back to study from the outside. It’s funny. I can hardly remember his face. But I can picture almost every rock he had in his collection.

But now, as I wake up, my memory haunts me with his face. Not the one from my childhood, but the one on the other side of the dome wall. My uncle is alive.

 

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Melanie

About the Author:

Melanie McFarlane is a passionate writer of other-wordly adventures, a little excitable, and a little quirky. Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, she jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies and orcs from time to time, Melanie focuses her powers on writing young adult stories to keep the rest of the world up reading all night.

She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies.

 

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Under a Million Stars

by Rita Branches
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 8th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

Can a beating heart bleed from the shattered pieces?

Her heart cracked when her best friend walked away; it completely shattered when she lost her family in a tragic accident.

Now orphaned at seventeen, Charlotte Peterson is forced to live with her former best friend, Jacob Parker. Charlie, a talented pianist, desperately wants their loving friendship back, but something is holding Jake back. The more she spirals into the darkness of depression, the more she needs him.

Jacob vowed to stay away from her—no matter how much he still loved her. Armed with secrets that would have destroyed both of their families, he chose to end their friendship and walk away, which nearly killed him. As he watches the girl he once knew begin to fade away, however, he realizes that their relationship is more important than the truth he’s hiding.

Now it’s up to Jacob to put the pieces of Charlie’s broken heart back together—even if it means revealing the secrets he so desperately wants to protect her from.
Will Jacob find a way to bring back the carefree, talented girl he once knew, or is it too late for both of them?

*It’s a Stand-alone*  

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Excerpt:

Jacob

These two weeks had been hell for me.

I didn’t know how I was going to pull this off for the eight months I still had left in this hell of a town. My parents didn’t get me, and she was around all the time, suffocating me. My heart skipped a beat every time I heard her voice, and it doubled in speed when she was near me. I wouldn’t be able to stay away, I knew it. She was breaking my heart all over again.

I heard her at night, when she thought everyone was sleeping. I just sat on the floor, resting my head against the wall, and listen to her cry and throw up every other night.

I stayed there like a jerk, as if I didn’t give a crap about her or her feelings, but I cried. I missed her. I wanted to hold her at night and tell her that everything would be alright, but I couldn’t. I promised I would stay away—I couldn’t hurt her, anymore. I pushed my knees to my chest to hold myself together and to keep me from crumbling. Sometimes, I had to place my closed fist against my mouth, so she wouldn’t hear me sob. I wished she would have, though. I wished she would have opened the door and saw me sitting there, caring about her, suffering like she did.

My mom was getting suspicious about me. She knew about her, or at least that something wasn’t right. My face, the permanent dark circles under my eyes, and my lack of appetite wasn’t normal, though. I was okay, before her parents’ accident—I had started to pull myself together.

***

This night was especially bad. She stayed in the bathroom for hours. I had been on the other side, hearing her cry and wishing I could take it all away.

I was starting to get really scared for her. I left before my parents woke up, unable to face them and those disapproving looks, anymore, like I wasn’t doing anything right with my life. They wanted a perfect son and they didn’t have one.

I was in no condition to go to college—I couldn’t even imagine myself being closed behind four walls for another four or five years. I needed something to take my thoughts away—something that would fuel me with adrenaline. They wouldn’t approve of the plans I’d been making. They’d hate them, in fact, but I didn’t care, anymore, I just needed to get away.

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About the Author

Hi! I’m Rita Branches. I was born and raised in in Portugal and I’m going to independently publish my debut novel in the Spring of 2016, Painting Sky.

I am so happy that you decided to take a look at my work.

Little bit about myself: along with being a writer, I am also a landscape architect. I started writing to bring ‘to life’ the stories that my mind created.

I LOVE to read. It was and always will be my passion.

 

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Deadly Encounter Author Interview

Banner Deadly Encounter

DEADLY ENCOUNTER
(FBI: Task Force)
by DiAnn Mills

Genre: Romance / Suspense / Christian

Publisher: Tyndale House

Date of Publication: August 1, 2016

Number of Pages: 376

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Synopsis

Cover lo res Deadly EncounterAirport Ranger volunteer Stacy Broussard expected a peaceful Saturday morning ride around the perimeter of Houston’s airport. What she encounters instead is a brutal homicide and a baffling mystery. Next to the body is an injured dog, the dead man’s motorcycle, and a drone armed with a laser capable of taking down a 747.

Though FBI Special Agent Alex LeBlanc sees a clear-cut case of terrorism, his past has taught him to be suspicious of everyone, even witnesses. Even bleeding-heart veterinarians like Stacy. But when her gruesome discovery is only the first in a string of incidences that throw her life into a tailspin, Alex begins to wonder if Stacy was targeted. As a health emergency endangers Stacy’s community, and the task force pulls in leads from all directions, Alex and Stacy must work together to prevent another deadly encounter.

Praise for the FBI: Houston novels

Deadlock: “This is a fast moving crime story with several interesting twists and turns. [Deadlock] is a page turner.” — Online Reviewer

 

Double-Cross:  

“Mills does a superb job of character and plot development in this faith-filled series.” — Christian Library Journal

 

“Mills’ writing is transparently crisp, backed up with solid research, filled with believable characters and sparks of romantic chemistry.” — Novel Crossing

 

Firewall:  

“Christy Award–winning Mills skillfully builds a menacing overall tone, and the tension level rises as layers of lies are peeled away in multiple plot twists. This novel, which takes off at a breakneck pace with a narrative arc that could have been ripped from today’s headlines, will greatly appeal to fans of James Patterson’s “Alex Cross” series and readers who enjoy psychological thrillers.” — Library Journal starred review

 

“Mills takes readers on an explosive ride. The terror is all the more chilling because it
could easily be a headline story on the nightly news, and Mills’ characters spring to life
through their fears, strengths, and quirks. A story as romantic as it is exciting, Fi
rewall
will appeal to fans of Dee Henderson’s romantic suspense stories.” — Booklist 

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AuthorInterview

What do you think most characterizes your writing?
A slice of today’s real world with hope for tomorrow.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Linking what my heroine found the morning she discovered a dead body, wounded dog, blood-splattered motorcycle, and a drone capable of taking down a 747.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Ushering characters through story and watching them grow with the problems set before them.

Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?
The issues of seeking custody and eventually adoption of a child. I adopted three of my four sons. It’s rewarding and challenging. In Deadly Encounter, my heroine is a single woman. Another issue is forgiveness among family.

Who are some of your favorite authors you feel were influential in your work?
What impact have they had on your writing? My favorite authors are Joel Rosenberg, David Baldacci, Harlen Coben, and Steven James. I lose all sense of time and place when I’m reading their books. I want my readers to experience the same adventure.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?
Searching the psychological aspect of my characters and ensuring I write an antagonistic setting.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
Full-time! I’m organized and disciplined. My best writing happens in the mornings. It’s10:45 a.m. as I answer these questions.

How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?
I’ve always viewed my fiction writing as a ministry. Creating real stories is my purpose, not a candy-coated book that skirts issues but provides readers with hope while entertaining them with the best possible story I can write.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Telepathy. I would have so much fun with that.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Rome, Italy

about the author

 

Mills PicDiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at http://www.diannmills.com.

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

8/10 Review – It’s a Jenn World
8/11 Author Interview – StoreyBook Reviews
8/12 Review – Chapter Break Book Blog
8/13 Promo – A Novel Reality
8/15 Excerpt #1 – Margie’s Must Reads
8/16 Review – Byers Editing Reviews & Blog
8/17 Guest Post – Country Girl Bookaholic
8/18 Review – Kara The Redhead
8/19 Author Interview – My Book Fix Blog
8/20 Excerpt #2 – Forgotten Winds
8/21 Review – Reading By Moonlight
8/22 Promo – The Crazy Booksellers
8/23 Author Interview – Missus Gonzo
8/24 Review – The Librarian Talks

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