Weddings, Crushes, and Other Dramas Interview and Giveaway

Weddings, Crushes, and Other Dramas (Creative HeArts #6, Willa & Finn #2) by Emily McKay
Publication Date: February 13, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled Teen Crush

Book Summary:

Falling in love with the best man wasn’t on the program.

Willa is happy to be the maid of honor in her dad’s upcoming wedding to uber-celeb Mia McCain. Not as happy about the best man being her soon-to-be stepbrother, the infuriating—and infuriatingly gorgeous—Finn McCain. Every time their paths cross, the attraction simmering between them grows a little harder to ignore. Willa knows all about guys like Finn—they only want what they can’t have. What’s between them isn’t real.

Finn has never felt anything more real than what’s developing between him and Willa. Sure, her dad warned him to steer clear, but it’s not just about forbidden temptation. He’s determined to prove to Willa he’s not going anywhere—and that happily-ever-after will always be worth the risk.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a wedding so crazy it’ll make you laugh, a stepbrother so hot he’ll make you swoon, and a heroine so real she’ll make you cry.

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Indies | Amazon
B&N| Kobo | TBD | iBooks


Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains an unbelievably hot bad boy, an unbelievably famous actress, and all the drama that comes with adding both to your family. Oh, and a forbidden flirtation with a soon-to-be stepbrother. 

When Willa Schofer’s father comes home from a business trip with an über-famous new fiancée, Willa’s senior year blows up in paparazzi-fueled flames. Overnight, she has a new house, a new car, and a new soon-to-be stepbrother—the unbelievably hot, unbelievably arrogant, Finn McCain. Thank god he’s constantly pushing her buttons, or she might do something irresponsible. Like fall for the jerk.

Just when Willa’s decided to avoid him for, oh, ever, Finn lands in the center of her senior project team. Seriously—how hard is it to shake a guy? At least her work on the project snagged the attention of the (second) hottest guy in school. He might only be into her because of her famous stepmom, and he’s not quite as exciting as a certain annoying housemate, but at least she’s allowed to crush on the guy.

Because crushing on your annoying stepbrother? So not cool.

Author Interview:



Tell us a little about yourself. How did you begin writing? What inspires you to write?

I have just always wanted to be a storyteller. Since I was eight.
As for what inspires me … everything! I get ideas from everywhere!


Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

Well, this is a series of YA books, but I have a lot of adult readers who like all the YA emotions. Or just want love a light, fun read.


How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

Well, I wasn’t the only one working on this series. There were four authors total (Tera Lynn Childs, Shellee Roberts, Tracy Deebs and me.) And I honestly don’t remember who came up with the idea to call it Creative heArts. But it’s a fun series name.


Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

It just came to me from Entangled! They did a fabulous job and I loved it immediately.


Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Finn, the hero. He’s not super-angsty, but he does have a lot of trouble letting people in—for good reason. His mother is a super-star actress. And all his life, people have wanted something from him. Now he’s got this stepsister (who he is way too into), and he really wants to save her the heartache he’s had. He’s just a great guy.


How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

The heroine, Willa, has another boyfriend for part of the book. And he turned out to be way more of a jerk than even I suspected. I mean, I knew he wasn’t “the one” for her, but jeez … He really went downhill fast.


If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?

There are always things I want to change. With every story. And I do mean always. I can pick up a book I wrote a decade ago and think, “I wish I’d phrased that better.” Or “I rushed that moment” … with this book, I wished I’d had more time for them to live together in the house. I think that would have been fun.


Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

In the books (both this one and the first in the series), Willa is writing a web series for her senior project. So I watched a lot of web series. I mean … a lot. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Classic Alice … those two were my favorites. But I watched hours and hours of the good, the bad, the weird.

But, if you’re new to webseries, start with The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Classic Alice!


How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

I can be found at or on twitter at @emily_mc_kay or on FB at


What can we expect from you in the future?

Right now I’m working on a super fun urban fantasy YA. It’s been my mammoth project for several years now, so I hope I can get it into the hands of readers soon. After that, I have a couple of adult romance projects.


What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Tell their friends to read them! Seriously, word of mouth is important.


Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

Read good books. Study your craft. Good stories are important. And, remember, you are the only person who can write the stories inside you. Only you. So get writing!


Is there anything else you’d like to say?



And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

I’m not prepared to be friends with Finn. I’m not equipped for it.

I’m sure there are some girls out there who can casually be friends with super-hot guys who also live across the hall from them. Those are the girls who are used to hanging out with hot guys. Who are used to guys flirting with them carelessly, as though it means nothing. I know my limits. I am not one of those girls.

No, I am the girl who keeps tattered copies of Twilight next to my collection of Austen and Bronte. I am the girl who’s watched Ryan Gosling catch Emma Stone approximately one thousand and forty-two times. I am the girl whose insides utter every time I walk past Finn’s bedroom and hear his shower running. My imagination runs deep.

I can’t be friends with Finn. Because I will always want to believe there is more depth to him than there really is.


About the Author:

Emily McKay is a life-long fan of books, pop-culture and anything geeky. She has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and baking cookies. When she’s not kicking-ass and scooping cookie dough, she’s watching videos from Screen Junkies (her favorite Youtube channel) or Pemberly Digital or Classic Alice. Okay, she has a Youtube problem! She’s seeking help. Really. Though, she may also have a slight problem with procrastination.

When the internet is down and there are no chocolate chips in the house, she does write books – everything from Harlequin romance novels to post-apocalyptic YA. Though her interests may appear broad, the common denominators are swoony heroes and snarky humor.

Author Links:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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Frost Promo and Giveaway

Frost (Midnight Ice Book One)
by Kaitlyn Davis
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Release date: January 26th 2017

Summary from Goodreads:

Even the hottest love can turn a girl cold-blooded…

Life’s tough for a vampire thief on the run—just ask Pandora Scott, she knows. Four years ago she ran away from home after everyone she loved betrayed her. But now her annoyingly grown up (and handsome) ex boyfriend is stalking her, begging her to return. A mysterious vamp with a particularly dangerous (and sexy) stare keeps popping unexpectedly into her life. The extremely powerful head vampire of New York is hunting her down because she may or may not have broken into his highly-secure, highly-secretive personal vault. And the fate she’s been trying to outrun? Well, it’s about to catch up. Because even a super-speedy vamp with the ability to disappear can’t escape her own destiny.

A brand new spinoff to Midnight Fire, a bestselling series with over 200,000 copies sold and over 5000 5-star reviews on Goodreads! Fans will enjoy special appearances from Kira, Luke and Tristan while falling in love with the new characters and new adventure of Midnight Ice.

*Please note, you do not need to read the books of Midnight Fire to enjoy Frost (Midnight Ice Book 1). They are two standalone series with character crossover.

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Apple | B&N
Google Play  | Kobo | Smashwords


All she wanted to do now was forget. Forget Jax, forget everything he’d stirred up, forget her birthday. So, she downed another bloody cocktail, this time O-negative. And another after that. She let the feeding frenzy take over, let the high of fresh life wash through her.

She drank.

And danced.

And lost herself in the blood and the music and the touch of other cold bodies just like hers, searching for that little spark of life, reveling in it.

“You look good enough to eat,” a sultry voice whispered in her ear.

Pandora whipped around lightning fast, flashing her fangs. “I bite.”

The man smiled, lips practically dripping with sin. “Me too.”

Normally, this was when she’d punch and run. Seduction wasn’t really her thing. It just made her think of another boy and another time she’d never get back. But tonight was different. Tonight she wanted to be free. Tonight she was determined to move on, to move forward.

So she grinned back, taking the stranger in. And really, a girl could do worse, much worse. He was tall, broad, with bright golden hair that seemed almost aflame in the darkness of the club. His vampire-blue eyes were just as bright as hers, flashing with unabashed hunger, brazen want. His skin, though, was what really caught her eye. It was sun-kissed and bronzed, not pallid, not washed out by his ebony shirt. Somehow he looked almost warm to the touch.

Before she could stop herself, Pandora lifted her fingers, stretching for the triangle of hard skin at the base of his throat, exposed between two sets of open buttons.

He stepped swiftly to the side.

The darkness seemed to follow, wisps of ebony clinging to his frame, undulating with his every movement.

“Not yet,” he murmured, never once taking his eyes off her.

The longer he held her gaze, the more familiar it seemed to become, as though she’d seen those eyes before, as though this wasn’t the first time they had caressed her body.

“Have we met?” she asked.

His smile deepened, filling with secrets she could tell he had no intention of spilling. “Not like this.”

“Like what then?”

But he looked away without answering, sweeping his stare down to her lips, to every inch of exposed skin, lifting back to her throat, pausing there. She didn’t move. There was a dangerous sort of confidence about him, but against her will, she found it alluring, intriguing in a forbidden way. She’d always been drawn to things she wasn’t supposed to have. Usually, she took them anyway.

She reached out again, trying to touch him.

He moved deftly away, almost made of air as he circled behind her.

“Pandora,” he whispered into her ear, breath like a kiss against the soft skin of her neck, making her shiver.

And then the word he spoke registered.

Her name.

He knew her name.

“How…?” She spun around, trailing off when she realized there was nothing there, no one there.

A ghostly finger brushed against her elbow, tracing a burning path up her arm. “You’re not the only one who knows how to disappear.”

Pandora spun again.

But he was gone.

If you haven’t read the bestselling Midnight Fire series, you can get the first two books free when you buy the entire series at once!


**Over 200,000 Copies of the Midnight Fire Series Sold!**

**Over 5000 5-Star Reviews on Goodreads!**

Kira Dawson has the power to burn vampires to a crisp. The problem is, she doesn’t know it yet. The even bigger problem is, she’s dating one.

When Kira Dawson moves to South Carolina, she meets Luke, a blond goofball who quickly becomes her best friend, and Tristan, a mysterious bad boy who sends shivers down her spine. Kira knows they’re keeping secrets, but when she discovers Tristan’s lust for blood and her own dormant mystical powers, Kira is forced to fight for her life and make the heartbreaking decision between the familiar comfort of friendship and the fiery passion of love.

From bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis comes a paranormal romance perfect for fans of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

Books included in this bundle:

Ignite – Book One
Simmer – Book Two
Blaze – Book Three
Scorch – Book Four
Burn – An Anniversary Novella


Rave Reviews for the Midnight Fire series!

“The writing is effortlessly mind-blowing. I could not put this entire series down.”

– Happy Tales and Tails Blog
“Read the books. Do it.”

– Urban Girl Reader 
“Some of the best action scenes I have come across in a young adult book.”

– Reflections of a Bookworm
“I was riveted throughout … there was drama, danger, action and romance that was wonderfully detailed and described.”

– Obsession With Books 

“You’ll make friends with Kira, choose sides with Tristan and Luke, and fall in love with the story at heart about a girl with so bright a future…even shades aren’t gonna cut it.”

 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Purchase Links:

Amazon  | Apple | B&N

Google Play | Kobo | Smashwords



About the Author

Bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie.

Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she’s not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found indulging in some puppy videos, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family. If you have any questions for her–about her books, about scheduling an event, or just in general–you may contact her at:

To stay up-to-date with all of Kaitlyn’s new releases, sign up for her new release newsletter here:

Author Links:




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Jadeite’s Journey: Excerpt and Giveaway

Jadeite’s Journey
by Lucinda Stein
Genre: YA Scifi
Release date: January 24th 2017
Inkspell Publishing


When romance turns deadly…

Jadeite’s perfect world comes crashing down on her. In the futuristic world of United Society, her only problem has been how to act around the cute boy on the air shuttle. But Jadeite’s world changes when she comes across a man who looks alarmingly like her father. Clones were declared illegal years ago. When she sees her father, a robotic engineer, headed to the Dark Edge of United Society, she follows him and uncovers her father’s secret life.

Jadeite shadows her father past the boundary of United Society and into a primitive world of canyons and high deserts. She learns her father is a Ridge Runner passing between the two worlds. Even more alarming, she discovers her younger brother, Malachite, is sick and requires medicine only available from over the Ridge. After her father is arrested, Jadeite takes his place in order to save her brother’s life.

But her world turns even more precarious after she breaks up with her obsessive boyfriend, Mattie. Jadeite soon learns his threats are more than words, and she finds her life is in jeopardy.

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Buy Link: Amazon

Book Trailer:

Jadeite’s Journey Trailer from Lucinda Stein on Vimeo.

  1. About the Author
    A school librarian for over twenty years, Stein now writes fulltime. Sanctuary: Family, Friends, & Strangers was a 2015 Colorado Book Award finalist. Three Threads Woven, was a 2010 WILLA Finalist. Her story, Sulfur Springs, won First Place in the 2011 LAURA Short Fiction competition. Her stories have appeared in Pooled Ink, The South Dakota Review, Fine Lines, and Women Writing the West online.
    When not writing, she hikes desert canyons and alpine trails. She loves anything vintage, her shelter-rescued dog, Opie, and, most of all, her husband, Rob.


Jadeite woke to Mattie holding a cool gel wrap to her forehead. She was propped on one of the chairs that lined the dance floor.

He offered her a drink of punch. “This will revive you. Oh, and I told the principal to tone down the heat.”

Guess Mattie’s power extended to the entire teaching staff.

“I’ll give you a break for a couple of dances, then we have to get back out there, don’t we?”

His expression made the request into a barely disguised order.

Jadeite nodded and looked away. She hated this guy, absolutely hated him.

It was after midnight when the event ended. She stifled a yawn as Mattie escorted her to the waiting shuttle.

They had driven a few minutes when Mattie lowered the partition between the front and back seats. The driver idled outside the public air-shuttle station where lights revealed a shuttle packed with passengers. The passengers, all adults, sat facing forward. None were reading, visiting, or talking via phone waves.

“Driver, take us to the bistro near the school.”

“Yes, sir.” The tinted window slid up again.

Jadeite stared at the passengers as their shuttle moved ahead. Why would people be transported at this late hour? United Society prided itself on daytime shifts for everyone. One woman looked confused, sweeping her eyes from side to side at those around her. As their private shuttle took off, Jadeite glanced back. She could have sworn a man’s face at the window was cloaked in fear.

She turned to Mattie. “Why are all those people on the transport so late at night?”

He wrapped his arm around her shoulder. “Don’t worry that pretty little head of yours. Those people are being transported to other areas in United Society.”

That’s what they’d told Electra about her parents.

About the Author:

A school librarian for over twenty years, Stein now writes fulltime. Sanctuary: Family, Friends, & Strangers was a 2015 Colorado Book Award finalist. Three Threads Woven, was a 2010 WILLA Finalist. Her story, Sulfur Springs, won First Place in the 2011 LAURA Short Fiction competition. Her stories have appeared in Pooled Ink, The South Dakota Review, Fine Lines, and Women Writing the West online.
When not writing, she hikes desert canyons and alpine trails. She loves anything vintage, her shelter-rescued dog, Opie, and, most of all, her husband, Rob.

Author Links:



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A Moonbow Night: Review and Giveaway


  Genre: Historical Romance / Christian
Publisher: Revell / Baker Publishing Group
Date of Publication: January 3, 2017
Number of Pages: 384

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After fleeing Virginia, Temperance Tucker and her family established an inn along the Shawnee River. It’s a welcome way station for settlers and frontiersmen traveling through the wild Cumberland region of Kentucky—men like Sion Morgan, a Virginia surveyor who arrives at the inn with his crew, looking for an experienced guide.

Though he balks when Tempe is appointed to lead his team through the wilderness, it isn’t long before Sion must admit that her abilities may outmatch his own. But can the tenuous tie they are forming survive the dangers waiting just around the bend?

With her signature sweeping style and ability to bring the distant past to vivid life, Laura Frantz beckons you to join her in a land of Indian ambushes, conflicting loyalties, and a tentative love that meanders like a cool mountain stream.



“From the very first page, A Moonbow Night charmed me into its story, a story as earthy, rugged, and beguiling as the early American terrain upon which it has been laid. The book offers everything this reader wants: fidelity to history with rich, sensory details of time and place; names we’ve known fleetingly from the annals of the past who quicken on the page; fictional friends for whose happiness and romantic redemption we yearn. Tempe is a Kentucky heroine worth our time and heart’s investment—a waif on the outside, steel on the inside, kind in every situation. In Sion we find a hero worthy of the title, willing to grapple with his past to own his present and claim his lady. The plot is complex, tense, and layered and resolves in a most satisfying conclusion. This remarkable, elegantly written novel pulses with life and is a must-read for all who love historical romance.”

Sandra Byrd, author of A Lady in Disguise

A Moonbow Night captures the wilds of a young and unyielding American frontier with breathtaking action and Laura Frantz’s signature mastery in storytelling. The effortless merging of narrative with intelligent dialogue allows the spot-on historical research to shine. Sion’s understated valor is in perfect step with Tempe’s independence, making them a pairing that will keep readers turning pages and rooting for them to the end. This is an exquisite novel of love and loss, and a sweet reminder that even in an untamed world, the gentle grace of God heals all wounds.”
Kristy Cambron, author of The Illusionist’s Apprentice and the Hidden Masterpiece series

“As timeless as it is historical, A Moonbow Night is the shining embodiment of everything Laura Frantz does best, from her trademark attention to detail to the unfolding of rich and textured love in a setting no less complex. To read this novel is to take a journey along with the characters, inhabiting the story with all five senses. Truly, a book to savor and revisit.”

Jocelyn Green, award-winning author of The Mark of the King


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A Moonbow Night follows the story of Tempe, a server at an inn, and Sion, a surveyor looking for land. I’m often not a huge fan of pioneer stories, but this one caught my attention right from when I read the book summary and it didn’t disappoint. I absolutely loved both Tempe and Sion and I love how this story is told from both their points of view. I really enjoyed all the history. I honestly never thought about how people had to have gone out in the search for land, that it could have been a job, a way of income. I just figured the pioneers found a place to settle and settled. So surveyor was a new word for me, and it was exciting to learn something new. I enjoyed how well detailed A Moonbow Night was and the adventure it unfolded.The best part about this book is the characters. You can tell that Frantz spent a great deal of time developing these characters. They each have their own quirks and distinct personality! Sion was probably my favorite. He’s kind of quiet at times, like a man of few words. But he’s an observer and very calculating. By the end of the novel Sion will completely win your heart. Not to say I don’t love Tempe, she’s great too, perhaps a little bit on the fiery and fierce side, but she’s strong and determined.

The only thing I wished with this book was a little bit more of a love story. I mean, there is a love story, but it’s soft, on the side lines, and takes a back seat to the story. There’s plenty of history and adventure to capture anyone’s intrigue, but I felt like Sion and Temp had such good chemistry I was wanting more there between them. It was so subtle that I wasn’t as excited as I could have been for them. Now don’t kid me wrong, the love story was gentle and cute, but I was hoping for more of a love story that swept me off my feet. But the gentle and subtle love works well for this story. I don’t think the love story was meant to be the driving point of the book. I think the journey of these pioneers and what they went through was the beating heart of this book.

If you like history, pioneers, great characters, great story and a cute, subtle love then be sure to check out this book!

Laura Frantz is a Christy Award finalist and the author of several books, including The Frontiersman’s Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, The Colonel’s Lady, The Mistress of Tall Acre, and the Ballantyne Legacy series. She lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky.

January 3 – January 12, 2017


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Of Bulletins and Booze: Author Interview and Giveaway


Bob Horton

Genre: Journalism / Memoir

Date of Publication: March, 2017
Number of Pages: 284

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Bob Horton began his journalism career as a reporter for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Innate skill and good fortune took him from a modest Texas farm upbringing to Washington, DC, where he was thrown into the high-pressure world of the wire service, first as a correspondent for the Associated Press, and later for Reuters news agency. The stress was intense, but he found the rush to be intoxicating.
From his early days covering the Dallas murder trial of Jack Ruby, through three colorful decades as a newsman, Horton often found himself witnessing history in the making. He covered the Pentagon during the early days of the Vietnam War, was on board a Navy ship in the Mediterranean awaiting Israel’s expected attack on Egypt, was witness to the Watergate burglary trial, and attended a Beverly Hills church service with then-President-elect Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy.
The success Horton enjoyed as a journalist mostly hid the dark side of his career: a gradual descent into alcoholism. Of Bulletins and Booze candidly recounts the unforgettable moments of Horton’s career, as well as more than a few moments he would just as soon forget.


Author Interview with Bob Horton


How has being a Texan influenced your writing?

Being raised by and among plain-talking Texas farm folks left me inclined to express myself in a simple, sometimes quite blunt manner. Texans pride themselves in being independent and can be strongly opinionated. I tend to be that way as well, a trait that may be detected in my writing.


Where did your love of storytelling and reading come from?

Neither of my parents had a high school education. They grew up in the Depression and when work often disrupted schooling. I recall my mother reading stories aloud to help me nap. My father would come in from the fields for the noon meal and later read from the Bible as my brother and I lay listening on the floor. Relatives, especially my grandfathers and uncles, were lively talkers and story-tellers.


How long have you been writing?

All told, some 50 years of professional news writing. I began working part-time for a newspaper while a freshman in college. That led to careers spanning years with a second newspaper, two wire services, a news magazine, a syndicated news service, and a radio news operation.  Over the years I spent months of my spare time striving to write a decent novel (three completed but unpublished).


What kind(s) of writing do you do?

I’ve done all kinds, including the standard type of news at the local level, but also eventually high-level political, legislative, military, diplomatic …  I was a reporter in Washington, D.C. for almost a quarter-century; I covered the Pentagon, Congress, State Department, White House and various other federal departments and agencies.


What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

Striving to avoid sentimentality. I had experienced intensely emotional moments and situations as a reporter but I wanted to describe those times with a goodly degree of aloofness. I also sought not to sound self-aggrandizing, even though I had to “drop names” in recounting a career which had me associating with  people of prominence. I was known to such people not by virtue of my personality or talent but because of my connection to major media outlets.


How does Of Bulletins and Booze relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?

This book is about recovery from an addiction. Adhering to the twelve-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous helped direct me into a life style focusing on total abstinence from alcohol. I had found that I could not do this alone; the program stressed my need for “a power greater than myself,” sometimes referred to as “a God of my understanding.”  While AA is not a religious program, there is strong emphasis on the need for an alcoholic to have a “spiritual awakening” about the reality and nature of his illness (the American Medical Association labels alcoholism as a disease). Decades ago, a doctor prominent in the field of alcoholic treatment wrote in the first publication of AA’s “big book” of recovery principles that he was convinced that chronic alcoholics could only be helped by a “psychic change.” AA members came to speak of this psychic change as a “God consciousness.” The principles underlying the twelve-step program have steadily nurtured my spiritual growth.

Bob Horton has been in the news business for more than fifty years. In 1966 he received the Top Reporting Performance Award from the Associated Press Managing Editors organization, and in 1968 he and an AP cohort were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for general coverage of the Pentagon during the Vietnam War. Today he is a radio news anchor with shows in Lubbock and Victoria, Texas. He lives in Lubbock.


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December 26, 2016January 6, 2017


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Spring Shadow Excerpt and Giveaway

Spring Shadow
(Seasons Pass Book 2)
264 Pages

Book Summary:

Homicide detective Noah Daugherty finds purpose in solving the most horrendous of crimes. The last thing he wants is to babysit some spoiled country singer, but that’s exactly what his lieutenant demands.

Posing undercover as a member of the singer’s band, he makes it his mission to protect her from a stalker whose ominous threats have become increasingly personal. As things heat up, she hides a piece of her past that is key to solving the case, ashamed of the part she plays.

Can Noah unearth the painful truth before spring casts its dark shadow?

Book Excerpt:

Last night’s wild race down twenty-one flights of stairs fleeing from a false fire alarm had left Paige Reimer shaken. All she wanted was to get back inside her hotel room.

The detective assigned to protect her slid the key card into the lock and she reached for the door handle.

Stop.” Detective Noah Daugherty held out his hand. “Let me check the room.”

Sorry,she said over her shoulder. “Gotta pee.” She pushed by him, only to freeze after three steps.

A scream echoed through the air and it took a moment to realize it came from her.

Paige’s knees buckled and she grabbed the wall as Noah rushed past. A tiny portion of her brain registered that he clutched a gun the size of her favorite Kate Spade bag, waving it from one side of the room to the other.

And all she’d been worried about was hiding the box of tampons she’d left sitting on her pillow.

Instead, displayed prominently on the ivory comforter of the enormous, multi-pillowed bed, was a single rose. Not even a red rose. A black one. With the stem broken near the top so the blossom hung to one side like a broken neck.

Bile threatened to pour out of her and she stumbled toward the bathroom before she collapsed completely.

“Wait.” Noah’s voice sounded behind her, a distant echo from the bottom of a deep well. “I need to check for intruders before you go in there.”

But she couldn’t stop. Besides, it wasn’t necessary. She could feel the stillness in the air. No one else was in the room.

Whoever had been here was long gone.

She stretched one leg behind her and kicked the door shut. This was humiliating enough without him watching her hug the commode like a Saturday night drunk.

When nothing was left of any meal in recent memory, she lay back on the cool tile, trying to douse the heat that spread over her entire body. How long could she stay here? Would he leave if she just didn’t come out?

A hesitant tap sounded on the closed door. “Paige, are you alright?”

Guess not.

“Five minutes. Just give me five minutes, okay?”

The carpet was too thick to hear footsteps, yet she felt him move away.

She counted to sixty slowly, then again, and one more time, before pushing herself off the floor. Two minutes left to make herself presentable. She brushed her teeth and splashed cold water on her face, then brushed her teeth again, but the foul taste remained.

Her hands shook and her knees were as week as if she’d run a 10K. Uphill. In July.

Every emotion in the dictionary swirled around her and she couldn’t pick just one to settle on. Fear. Anger. Humiliation. Denial. Each seemed the most dominate until the next took over. But exhaustion trumped them all.

One swipe of powder and a dash of lipstick. That was the most she could manage.

Hand on the door knob, she took a deep breath. Time to face Noah, with his endless questioning and probing. And what good did it do? There wasn’t anything she could tell him.

Noah sat at the desk, intent on his phone. Playing Candy Crush? No, she had to quit underestimating him. He was most likely texting his partner.

He glanced up. “Feeling better?”

Real concern coated his voice. She tried to answer, but only managed to nod.

“Try this, I made you a cup of tea.” He held out a paper cup of steaming liquid.

She clutched the cardboard as if it were a life preserver. Maybe it was.

“I need you to look around. Is anything different than you left it? Is anything missing?”

Well, there wasn’t a dead rose on her bed when she left, did that qualify as different?

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About the Author:

Susan C. Muller is a fourth generation Texan. She attended Stephen F. Austin State University where she studied business administration but took creative writing classes on the side. She started her first novel at age eleven, but it wasn’t until after she had worked many years and raised a family that she returned to her first love, writing.


She enjoys speaking to book clubs and writer’s groups. Susan lives in Spring, Texas with her rescue dog, Maggie. She loves to travel and has been fortunate to see much of the world. Her favorite places include Kenya, New Zealand, and the Galapagos Islands.

When not writing, she can be found doing volunteer work at a local hospital. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, snorkeling and taking Maggie for long walks.

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Walking the Llano: Excerpt and Giveaway!

Shelley Armitage

Genre: Eco-Memoir / Nature

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Date of Publication: February 15, 2016
Number of Pages: 216
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When American explorers arrived in the Texas Panhandle, they dubbed the region the “Great American Desert.” Its rough terrain appeared flat, dry, uninhabitable. Later, cell phone towers, oil rigs, and wind turbines added to this stereotype. Yet in this lyrical ecomemoir, Shelley Armitage charts a unique rediscovery of an unknown land, a journey at once deeply personal and far-reaching in its exploration of the connections between memory, spirit, and place.
Armitage begins her walk by following the Middle Alamosa Creek thirty meandering miles from her family farm to the Canadian River. Growing up in the small llano town of Vega, Texas, she finds the act of walking inseparable from the act of listening and writing. “What does the land say to us?” she asks as she witnesses human alterations to the landscape—perhaps most catastrophic the drainage of the land’s most precious water source, the Ogallala Aquifer.
But the llano’s wonders persist: colorful mesas and canyons, vast flora and fauna, diverse wildlife. While meditating on the region’s history, Armitage recovers the voices of ancient, Native, and Hispano peoples as interwoven with her own: her father’s legacy, her mother’s decline, a brother’s love.  The llano holds not only the beauty of ecological surprises but a renewed kinship in a world ever-changing.
Reminiscent of the work of memoirists Terry Tempest Williams and John McPhee, Walking the Llano is a soaring testimony to the power of landscape to draw us into greater understanding of ourselves and deeper connection with the places we inhabit.


* Amazon * University of Oklahoma Press *



Both an intensely lyrical and intimate scrapbook of familial history and a uniquely sublime travelogue of the American Southwestern landscape” A Starred review from Kirkus



“. . .an enticing mix of memoir, nature study and the hunting of ghosts. [ Walking The Llano] is a testament to the value of slowing down and watching where you are going.” Ollie Reed, The Albuquerque Journal



“. . .[Armitage] is an explorer, and from her book we learn much about people who settled [the llano] and those who must now make gutwrenching decisions about modern methods of energy extraction. . .a perfectly balanced memoir.” Kimberly Burk, The Oklahoman



“With a cleareyed appreciation for landscape and our place in it combined with uncluttered flowing writing, Armitage establishes her place in the tradition of the best American nature writing.” Mark Pendleton, INK



“Once you’ve ambled into the lyrical, evocative pages of Shelley Armitage’s ‘Walking the Llano’, the Plains will never seem plain again.” William deBuys , Author of A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest



“Shelley Armitage’s prose is as poetic as it is intelligent. She masterfully weaves together her personal story with the narrative of the Llano, and she does so in a way that begs the question of what lies ahead for the people and the land she loves. If literature is a study of the human heart—and it is—then Walking the Llano is a quiet masterpiece.” BK Loren, Author of T heft:A Novel and Animal, Mineral, Radical: Essays



“In Walking the Llano, Shelley Armitage does for the Staked Plains what John McPhee did for the Northern Plains in Rising from the Plains. She carefully mines the history, character, and geology of the Llano Estacado and combines it with a compelling personal narrative to create an account that flows with lyricism, authenticity, and wisdom. A splendid and cleareyed book.” Nancy Curtis – Coeditor of Leaning into the Wind: Women Write from the Heart of the West


A Habit of Landscape: The Draws

Excerpt: Part II

This explained the cracked concrete one-lane overpass near that highway. Parallel to what is now the interstate was a one-lane road called the Ozark Trail, starting in St. Louis and running to California, a precursor of Route 66. The overpass must have served as a water crossing. Earlier it had been an Indian trail, the Indians originating the best overland routes. I occasionally found flint from the Alibates Flint Quarry, northeast of Amarillo, suggesting this was a trade route—the red, white, and purple-streaked dolomite highly valued for its strength and beauty. The Ozark Trail was built and used primarily in the l920s. The prehistoric and historic Indians traded from as early as the Clovis period (1500 B.C.E.) to the l880s. Likely the Armitages traveled the Ozark Highway when it was the only roadway from Arkansas west into Vega. On one walk there I leaned over the pipe barrier on top and checked the swallows’ nests underneath. After rains cattle liked to stomp around in the shaded pooling underneath; tracks of antelope and skunk suggested other visitors. I liked to imagine what went on here at night when no one was looking.

Downstream, now that I could imagine it as one, the creek widened and a Civilian Conservation Corps dam, concrete and native stone, hung perilously over eroded banks. Some corpsman had scratched “l936” into the concrete on top. I liked to swab up the Triops that slew in the muddy areas below. Their date of origin: circa 300 million years ago to the present, Jurassic survivors. Dinosaur shrimp some people call them. A living fossil, they hardly have changed since the Jurassic period. Their eggs remain dormant for years, hatching only when there is sufficient water and proper temperature. Pentimento, you remind us that something always lives below, contemporary life a remnant in your twirling tentacles.

Catching and keeping: that’s what folks tried to do with the water. My dad built yet another dam more recently behind the aging CCC one. Part of the reason was conservation for watering cattle, but he also stocked the pond with catfish, building a feeder he could send into the waters, like Moses’s basket into the bulrushes. After my dad’s death, the rusting of the feeder, and droughts that dried the pond for years, I had forgotten the catfish. But after a rain, Triops-like, I saw them flopping over the check dam, resurfacing in a wet season. I tried to catch them with an old fishnet rummaged out of the garage to return them to the now-full pond. When most of them got away, I realized you can’t stop the flow.

And yet the settlers had tried. Dams and fences and corrals and railroads and country roads. I, too, wanted to save something of my father, the emblem of his love of this place, by keeping the catfish from escaping with the water downstream. Tom Green, on the ranch just north, had a one-room camp where he used to escape to nap and read Paris Match. He had cookouts there and sometimes invited us out. The iron cook stove was a beauty and so heavy it took three men to wrestle it into its place. During one of the high rises—Tom’s retreat is on the Middle Alamosa—the iron stove was washed away, later discovered mired in the muddy banks of the Canadian. Water will have its way.

When my father died our family’s relationship to the land shifted. I still ran the roads but touched ground like a worry stone. My mother and I looked at each other and wondered how we would run the farm. My brother was in Omaha and later Houston, far away, and already removed from the necessary knowledge of farm programs, grazing leases, and grain prices. I had only indirect experience. Mother had driven a grain truck during the first harvests in the l930s, grinding the gears in such a way that Dad said she took two inches off the roadway.

Hers was a mostly rosy view of the particulars—sun-baked skin, cow piss, and broken machinery—of running a small farm. When a PBS film crew came to record interviews with local survivors of the Dust Bowl, my mom’s story was not the expected page out of The Grapes of Wrath. Rather than remember dust pneumonia, jack rabbit roundups, and Black Sundays, she told love stories. Her favorite (and mine): to get the farm work done Dad had to plow by the tractor lights late at night, after he had gotten off work from the bank. She lovingly wound herself around his feet on the tractor platform, behind the pedals, to keep him company, sleeping as he wheeled through the dust into the night.

To keep reading and get the full excerpt, click here.

“A Habit of Landscape: The Draws” is an excerpt of Walking the Llano: A Texas Memoir of Place, by Shelley Armitage (University of Oklahoma Press, 2016). It is reprinted by permission of the author and press.





Dr. Shelley Armitage is Professor Emerita from University of Texas at El Paso where she taught courses in literature of the environment, women’s studies, and American Studies.  She is author of eight award winning books and 50 scholarly articles.  She resides in Las Cruces, New Mexico but still manages her family farm outside of Vega, Texas.
Armitage grew up in the northwest Texas Panhandle in Oldham County.  She owns and operates the family farm, 1200 acres of native grass—once part wheat and milo—bordering
Interstate 40 on the south and near the Canadian River breaks on the north.  Armitage shared this landscape from her childhood on, riding with her father and grandfather to check crops and cattle and later jogging and more recently walking the farm roads.  Though most of her adult life has been spent away from the Panhandle as a university professor, Armitage has always returned to the “farm” which offered until recently a 360-degree view of earth and sky.  Wind energy farms, oil and gas, microwave towers, and strip mining have greatly altered her childhood landscape.
Throughout her distinguished university career, Armitage’s professional life offered her a connection with landscape. Because of senior Fulbright teaching grants in Portugal and Finland, a Distinguished Fulbright Chair in American Literature in Warsaw, a Distinguished Fulbright Chair in American Studies in Budapest as well as research, writing, and teaching in Ethiopia, the American Southwest, and Hawai’i, place has taken on special meanings.  As the Dorrance Roderick Professor at University of Texas at El Paso and a Distinguished Senior Professor in Cincinnati, she decided in her most recent book to write about the meaning of home place as connected to the land’s own ecological and human stories.  
As the holder of three National Endowment for the Humanities grants, a National Endowment of the Arts grant, and a Rockefeller grant, Armitage nevertheless prizes a recent recognition from the United States Department of Agriculture most highly.  Commended for her “commitment to the spirit, principles, and practices” of the Conservation Reserve Program, Armitage has restored the farm to grassland in an effort to heal fragmented landscapes by recreating wildlife corridors and habitat.  Like the fragmented narratives of stories lost, she says: “If we could read the land like a poem, we might more intimately learn from it, understand what it says of natural and human cycles—and that sometimes uneasy relationship between them.”



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The West Texas Pilgrimage Interview and Giveaway

M.M. Wolthoff

  Genre: Contemporary / Coming of Age


Publisher: River Grove Books
Date of Publication: February 29, 2015
Number of Pages: 220
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Hunter’s friend Ty survived war in the Middle East only to succumb to cancer at home. On a quest with his college buddies and Ty’s father, Hunter journeys from South Texas into the mountains and desert of West Texas to bury his close friend. During this trek, they’ll drink, hunt, party, and encounter unexpected people and enthralling landscapes as Hunter deals with his grief, compounded by his struggle with depression and obsessive–compulsive disorder. 

The West Texas Pilgrimage is a love letter to West Texas and the wild culture that defines it. Author M. M. Wolthoff vividly depicts the regional landscape, exploring intriguing stops along the way and the authentic context of music, food, and language integral to this generation of Texans, while frankly and thoughtfully addressing relationships, mourning, and mental illness, with characters as unforgettable as the region itself.




I laughed. I cried. This is a book that is real, honest and reminds all of us that life is filled with ups and downs. The only way to keep moving forward is to get real with ourselves about whom we are and accept our beauty and our pain. This young author has amazing wisdom that is so articulately shared with readers of all ages. 
5 Stars, Amazon Verified Purchase
The West Texas Pilgrimage was insightful into the mind of a privileged, pre-adult male who tries to self-medicate his OCD condition with alcohol. While reading, I felt the main character’s vulnerabilities as he struggled with his feelings regarding his career choice, the loss of a good friend to cancer, and the complications of his search for the right female life mate. The book was a quick read…only because I could not put it down! There were several “ah-ha” moments when I thought: oh my, that’s really how a pre-adult male thinks??!? I never knew!! 
5 Stars Donna J Millon
I read the first half of the book in one night; it draws you in with believable characters and real challenges they face. Could have been written about people you know or have met. It covers some tough topics but is an enjoyable read. — 5 Stars Peter Day
Really nice read. Very detailed description of so many things made me feel like I was right there with them. 2 nights to read for a non reader like me makes for a really easy and entertaining time. Thumbs up. 
5 Stars Nunya
The book brought me right back to the border towns of my youth. Step outside any bar and be hit with the smell of fajita and sewer. Glorious!  5 Stars Amazon Verified Purchase


What was the hardest part of writing The West Texas Pilgrimage

I struggled with the ending.  This is a story that doesn’t really have a conclusion, and that is intentional.  There are no easy answers to the issues the main character faces, and the only thing that ends is the party.  As much as it pains me to admit it, Robert Earl Keen was wrong when he said that “….the party never ends.”


What did you enjoy most about writing the book?

See above about the nostalgia.


Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured if your book?

This story is written from the perspective of a twenty something young man who comes from a privileged background in south Texas.  There are a lot of unrepresented groups in the story, but again, that was intentional.  I hope that readers from all different backgrounds will appreciate it for what it is and enjoy a look into that perspective.


Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I’m a part-time writer, at least for now, and I think that is what makes it enjoyable.  The little time I do find to write is an escape for me from the crazy corporate world.  It’s typically late at night, on weekends, or even better yet on vacation when I can really detach and pour myself into writing.


What do you like to read in your free time?

I go back and forth between military history, biographies, and critically acclaimed novels.  In true form, my last three books have been Without Getting Killed or Caught The Life and Music of Guy Clark by Tamara Saviano, Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls, and Killing Patton by Bill O’Reilly.


What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m currently working on a story based upon a trail of corruption in healthcare in South Texas. One of the few places you might think would be devoid of corruption in South Texas, a not for profit faith based hospital, actually turns out to be the center of it.


What do your plans for future projects include?

I have a few other ideas I would like to get to, but the most developed is a story about a salt water fishing guide.  I’ve got to know a lot of them and they all make for interesting characters.


What book do you wish you could have written?

The list is long, but I’ll tell you what, my most recent read, a biography of Guy Clark, would have been an amazing story to put together.  I’m extremely jealous of Tamara Saviano to have connected with one of the premier poets of our time.  It wouldn’t have been a bad deal to write Old Man and the Sea or Lonesome Dove either.


How important are names to you in your books?

The names were very intentional in this story.  South Texans seem to really favor unique names. If you notice, there’s not a lot of common names in this one. The Mexican influence is also apparent.  I personally know four “Cuatros,” two “Cincos,” and six “Hunters.”  My own kids’ names are Hunter Ann, McCoy Martin, and Kerr Dunkin, while our dogs are Uno, Chula, and Gordo. We wouldn’t stand for a normal name in this household.


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

Cuba; I hear the flats there haven’t been overfished yet. I would travel anywhere to catch a fish on a fly.


What’s your funniest flaw?

I have a little bit of an issue with red wine; I really like it.  I probably like it more than I should. I blame my Mom for that one as well.



Matthew Martin Wolthoff lives in McAllen, Texas, with his wife, Lucy Ann, and three children, Hunter Ann, McCoy Martin, and Kerr Dunkin. He grew up in a military family, living all over the world until finding home in South Texas, where he went to high school in San Antonio. He is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His parents instilled a passion for reading and writing in him early in life that grows stronger every day. An avid outdoorsman, he finds his inspiration—and peace of mind—in the shallow waters of the Lower Laguna Madre and the wilderness of the South Texas brush country. His first West Texas pilgrimage was in 2010. It was a life-changing event.




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SHAY Review and Giveaway



S.H.A.Y. (Almost #1)
by Christina Leigh Pritchard
Genre: NA Scifi/Suspense
Release Date: August 16th 2016
Limitless Publishing
Rating: 3/5

Summary from Goodreads:

Experiment 318: Gone Rogue

Shay is scientific experiment #318. Science may have created her, but she refuses to allow it to blind her to the difference between right and wrong…

Synthetic Hominid Assumed Youth (S.H.A.Y.) is eighteen years old, which means she has completed Phase One: Developmental. Shay no longer requires the assistance of her Optional Human Parent, Darla, who has guided her in the process of discovering her morality. Shay loves her easy, charming life aboard the marine research facility and doesn’t want it to change.

Phase Two: Experimental. All S.H.A.Y. ages 18-20 will experience loss…
Darla shouldn’t have to die because of an experiment. The thought of losing the only parent she’s ever known is too much. Determined to make sure the scientists at the facility don’t get their way, Shay entraps Darla in a transport device to escape across the Miami Border. There, on the mainland, law enforcement will keep her human parent safe.  

Escape Mission: Failed…

Shay crashes into one of the Lone Keys off the coast of Florida, abandoned to all humanity, except for the stranger who drags her ashore. Shay must get Darla to safety or she will die of radiation poisoning trapped inside the Freeze Portal, but Shay can’t do it alone. 

The boy who found her, an Ersatz Reproduction Intelligence Clone (E.R.I.C.), is her only hope. He has adaptation skills she needs to complete her mission. Eric was created by the same scientists who want to kill Darla, though. She tries to keep their interaction strictly business, but it’s hard to hate him. He’s flirty, charming and not to mention devastatingly handsome. 

Shay must put her trust in Eric’s hands if she wants to save Darla from her fate. It may be worth her heart, but will it be worth her life?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00033]

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S.H.A.Y. is a short novella that gives us a glimpse into the intriguing world of The Almost Series. I think the world building that the author has created is very in depth, well drawn out, and detailed. Though I do think the story starts off a tad bit complex. There were way too many acronyms in my opinion and I got lost with the code names and what they stood for pretty easily, but I think the characters were so sharp, so well defined that it still was a story that pulled me in.

S.H.A.Y. is about a humanoid trapped in a science lab and approaching her termination date. With the help of her artificial mother (Aimee), Shay escapes only to run into her E.R.IC. Desperate to keep her basically adoptive mother alive, Darla, Shay does whatever she can to set her free.

Shay is kind and compassionate, very driven and courageous. As far as characters go, I think she’s my favorite in S.H.A.Y.  I also really enjoyed her Aimee, which is her artificial mother. Aimee is an AI, but she appears to have emotions like a human. She cares of Shay and does what she can to help her escape the science labs. When Shay meets Eric I honestly wasn’t so sure about him at first. Shay had crash landed from her escape from the facility and Eric ends up finding her. Eric is a bit insensitive and had no problem raking his eyes from head to toe over Shay (to the point that it kind of bothered me because of the manner in which he did it).  I also didn’t like his nickname for her. He called her cream-puff. Another insensitive tally against him. But towards the end of the novella Eric grew on me somewhat. I think he has the potential to be better than what he first appeared to be. I guess I will have to read more in order to find out!

The novella was a little on the short side (I would have preferred it to be a few chapters longer), but it did leave me hanging and wanting more. I think S.H.A.Y. is intriguing and definitely worth checking it out. I think Christina has created a very intriguing and alluring world and I look forward to reading future reads by her.

The Almost Series


About the Author:

Christina Leigh Pritchard was born and raised in South Florida. Her first stories were written at the age of nine in spiral notebooks and in the various diaries she kept.

Since she’s upgraded to a computer, she’s completed over fifty books, including her ALMOST Series, signed with Limitless Publishing.

Christina Leigh Pritchard is still going strong with many more to come! Her genre’s include science fiction, dark fantasy, young adult, drama, suspense, historical romance, multicultural, comedy, poetry and many more.

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Moved, Left No Address Excerpt and Giveaway


Vickie Phelps

  Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Date of Publication: June 10, 2016
Number of Pages: 328

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Joel Webster’s uncle disappeared forty years ago without a trace. All he knows about his uncle are the stories his mother has told him. Now his parents are dead and Joel is left alone. When he finds some old postcards with his uncle’s name on them, he decides to search for him. His journey takes him from a small town in Texas to Santa Fe, New Mexico. He encounters danger, death threats, and a beautiful woman he can’t resist as he searches for his long-lost uncle.




My uncle, Joel Webster, disappeared without a trace on June 1, 1949. At the time, he lived on the family farm at Silver Creek, Texas, with my parents. I wasn’t around then, but my mom told me stories about him that intrigued me at an early age. Of course, her stories only went as far as the date of his disappearance.

On the day he vanished, Dad invited Uncle Joel to go with him and my mother into Silver Creek. “Joel, let’s go into town and pick up some supplies. While we’re there, we’ll get us something cold to drink and visit with some of the other fellows for awhile.”

Uncle Joel shook his head. “Warner, I think I’m just gonna set on the porch awhile and enjoy the nice weather. We won’t have too many more days like this before the heat sets in. You and Maria go on into town and do your shopping.”

My mom joined in hoping to persuade him. “It’s your birthday, Joel. Come with us. We’ll treat you to an ice cream soda.”

But he couldn’t be swayed. They left him sitting on the porch alone, smoking a Viceroy cigarette and blowing smoke rings into the fresh morning air. When they returned later in the day, Uncle Joel was gone.

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Vickie Phelps writes to encourage, inspire, and influence. She has published articles, devotionals, and essays in more than fifty magazines and contributed to several anthologies. Vickie is the author of the novels, Postmark From the Past and Moved, Left No Address, and a devotional book, Psalms for the Common Man. Vickie is coauthor with Jo Huddleston of the gift book, Simply Christmas, and two books on writing, How to Write for the Christian Marketplace, and Writing 101: A Handbook of Tips & Encouragement for Writers.

Vickie is the founder and director of the East Texas Christian Writers Group in Longview, Texas and a member of the Northeast Texas Writers Organization. She worked for eighteen years as a bookseller for Barron’s Books, an independent bookstore in Longview, Texas.

Vickie is a native Texan and lives in Henderson, Texas with her husband, Sonny, and one very spoiled schnauzer. 

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