Genre: Historical Romance / Inspirational Publisher: Revell Date of Publication: March 20, 2018
Number of Pages: 352 My Rating: 4/5
Scroll down for the giveaway!
Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the town doctor’s excessive bleeding treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life without love or family, a life where dreams rarely come true.
Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.
With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.
“Cabot’s sweet love story will appeal to readers of gentle romances. . .Although this title stands on its own, readers of A Stolen Heart (2017), the first in Cabot’s place-based trilogy, will be happy to revisit the folks of Cimarron Creek.” — Booklist
“The second book in Cabot’s Cimarron Creek trilogy is even better than the first, with a dash of suspense, an intriguing bit of medical history and a host of enjoyable characters.” —RT Book Reviews
PRAISE FOR A STOLEN HEART, BOOK ONE IN THE CIMARRON CREEK TRILOGY:
“Readers will enjoy the surprising ending as well as the romance always found in Cabot’s books.”—Publishers Weekly
“Moments of humor provide a nice balance to the heartwarming scenes and the mild suspense thread.”—RT Book Reviews
“Cabot’s nonpreachy inspirational romance features characters who genuinely try to live honorable lives, and their story has broad appeal for readers of gentle fiction and historical romance as well as for readers of Christian fiction.”—Booklist
Love, historical fiction, suspense, with Christian teachings, this story was purely delightful!
Catherine is a school teacher and seems a bit put off by men. And it’s obvious that the woman can take care of herself. She’s a bit headstrong and iron willed, but has a good heart and is filled with determination. Her strong spirit I think is what draws Austin to her.
Austin is very set on not finding a second wife, and despite how hard he tries, it’s obvious from the start that he’s drawn to Catherine, the school teacher. I love how Austin is just, how do I put it, has his feathers ruffled, when it comes to all things Catherine. He pretends to be disinterested in her, but than adorably reacts to the fact that someone is “courting” Catherine by spilling his coffee everywhere. It’s too cute and too tender hearted.
The characters in this story are very well developed and the plot has many twists to it. I think it’s a well balanced story and has a little for everyone that is looking for a good historical romance. At the heart of all this is love, forgiving others, family, and those relationships that really are important and matter. If you are looking for a good cozy read, then be sure to check this one out!
Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of A Stolen Heart, the first book of the Cimarron Creek trilogy, as well as the Texas Crossroads series, the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming.
Jennie May Walker Burleson was envied for having everything a woman of her time could want—the privileged upbringing, the dazzling good looks, the dashing war hero husband. She was admired for demonstrating that a woman could want more, from the front of the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession to the bottom of a Mesoamerican archaeological dig. But as she stood over the body of her husband’s second wife, gun in hand, society’s envy and admiration quickly hardened into pity and scorn. T. Felder Dorn examines the complicated trajectory of her life as socialite, suffragist and shooter.
T. Felder Dorn graduated from Duke University in 1954 with a BS in chemistry and was awarded a PhD in that discipline in 1958 by the University of Washington. He was a member of the chemistry faculty at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, in 1958–69 and then served four years on the program staff of the College Board in New York. From 1973 to 1991, he held administrative positions at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, serving as associate dean, dean and vice-president for academic affairs. His last ten years at Kean were spent as professor of chemistry. He retired in 2001. Felder Dorn and his wife, Sara Ruth, have resided in Millburn, New Jersey, since 1973. They have three children and three grandchildren. Dorn has previously published four books: Challenges on the Emmaus Road: Episcopal Bishops Confront Slavery, Civil War, and Emancipation (University of South Carolina Press, 2013); Death of a Policeman, Birth of a Baby: A Crime and Its Aftermath (Xlibris, 2012); The Guns of Meeting Street: A Southern Tragedy (University of South Carolina Press, 2001); and The Tompkins School, 1925–1953: A Community Institution (Attic Press, 1994).
Murders don’t happen in Kaufman County, Texas, a sleepy community where people raise their kids quietly and drive into Dallas for work and entertainment. In 2013, murder came to town when two professional prosecutors were slain in cold blood, simply for doing their jobs: one in broad daylight in plain view of the courthouse, and one in his home, along with his wife. Eric Williams is responsible for all the bloodshed—and he has a list of who to kill next.
A Target on My Back is the first-person true story of Erleigh Wiley, an accomplished lawyer who accepted the job as the new district attorney—after the death of her predecessors—which turned her into the next target on the killer’s hit list. This is her story of how she and her family endured the storm of the press, the array of Homeland Security agents assigned to protect them 24/7, and the weight of knowing she was someone’s prey. Though fearing for her life, she served as the prosecution’s final witness against the murderer, sealing his fate on death row. This chilling account of how she survived the hit list is a terrifying cat and mouse tale.
PRAISE FOR A TARGET ON MY BACK:
“A legal thriller with a twist: a crazed lawyer and his wife, believing they have been wronged, become a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde and go on a terrifying murder spree. Next on their kill list is the new DA, and her courage in confronting the killers makes this a fascinating read.”
―Dennis L. Breo, coauthor of The Crime of the Century: Richard Speck and the Murders That Shocked a Nation
“John Grisham and Scott Turow had better start looking over their shoulders. . . Wiley’s engaging, nimble style immediately draws you into the action and proves that sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. It’s a good thing for us all that she lived to tell about it!”
―David Dean, Dallas attorney, former Texas secretary of state and chair of the North Texas Crime Commission
“When murder comes to her town, Erleigh Wiley steps into the shoes of the slain district attorney and finds herself on the killer’s hit list. In A Target on My Back, Wiley tells her personal story of overcoming fear in order to carry out her duty to hold Kaufman County, Texas, together while the killer is brought to justice. Don’t miss it!”
―Mike Farris, author of A Death in the Islands: The Unwritten Law and the Last Trial of Clarence Darrow
“A Target on my Back is a unique first-person look into the world of crime-fighting in which the tables have been turned. The author takes the reader on an all-too-real journey into what it means to stand for justice when your very life is in danger. A must-read.
―Robert Kepple, executive director of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association
Speak to That is a local talk show that speaks to relevant and inspirational topics and features innovative guests. On a recent episode, Erleigh Wiley and her husband, Aaron Wiley, were interviewed about life on a hit list and Erleigh’s new book, A Target On MyBack.
Erleigh Norville Wiley was born and raised in Kaufman County. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University, Rawls College of Business; where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with a degree in Finance. She attended law school at Texas Law at The University of Texas in Austin receiving her Doctorate of Jurisprudence.
In 1990, Judge Wiley joined the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. Her goal was to prosecute the criminals and protect innocent children and victims who have no voice. She was promoted to supervising attorney-training other new attorneys and managing fourteen different courts.
Wiley takes an active role in her community by volunteering. Some of her board work includes Chairman of the Kaufman County Juvenile Board, Trustee of Texas Health Resources- Kaufman, Kaufman County Children’s Advocacy Center and Kaufman County Children’s Shelter Board member.
Wiley has been lauded by various organizations for her work in the legal community as a Judge and as the Criminal District Attorney in Kaufman County. Some of the most notable were in 2013, from the State Bar of Texas, Outstanding Leadership-Profiles of Courage Award and Texas District & County Attorney’s Association, Lone Star Prosecutor Award; as well as the Dallas Black Police Officer’s Association with the Paved the Way Award in 2015.
Genre: Suspense / Romance / Christian Publisher: Revell Date of Publication: March 6, 2018
Number of Pages: 352
Scroll down for the giveaway!
Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new romantic suspense novel, Beneath the Surface. This gripping tale from award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn will capture readers from the first page and won’t let them go until the final, heart-pounding scene.
After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston moves home to Carrington, North Carolina, to leave behind her troubled past. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present.
Homicide investigator Ryan Parker finds fulfillment in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer—one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.
PRAISE FOR BENEATH THE SURFACE:
“With this book, author Lynn Blackburn has moved from the status of an upcoming author to watch and cemented herself as an author to note. Her exceptional storytelling skills shine as she weaves an intricate plot, populated with characters we care deeply about. Another up-all-night-because-I-can’t-put-down-the-book read.”
—Edie Melson, award-winning author, blogger, and director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference
“Beneath the Surface is a swoon-worthy romantic suspense that packs a punch from page one. The nonstop action will keep you guessing until the end.”
—Rachel Dylan, author of the Atlanta Justice series
“Just when you think you can relax, Blackburn brings you back to the edge of your seat in this riveting, high-tension suspense story.”
Dinner and a movie. People have been doing it for years because it works.
Whatever is going on in Downtown Carrington – food festivals, art festivals, music festivals. Carrington has a great downtown so an evening spent there is always a good idea.
A day spent hiking in the mountains.
A fancy evening at the theatre for a musical or a play.
A boat ride at sunset. I’m probably happiest on the water.
Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Hidden Legacy (Love Inspired, June 2017) and Covert Justice, winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children.
Grand Prize: Print Copy of the Book, Library Card Socks, Gone Reading Sign (wooden, 5″x7″), Reading Mug; 2nd Prize: Print Copy of the Book + $25 B&N Gift Card; 3rd Prize: Print Copy of the Book + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
Title: ANIMAL GRAPH Author: M. Black Pub. Date: June 7, 2017 Publisher: M. Black Pages: 157 Formats: Paperback, eBook
NOW A SCRIPT FOR MOTION PICTURE 06/2017. SCRIPT REQUESTED TO REVIEW FOR FEATURE FILM DEAL BY TWO COMPANIES 07/2017.
ENTER A WORLD OF ANIMAL GRAPHS in this SciFi FANTASY DYSTOPIA that is also called a “YA AMAZON POST-APOCALYPTIC
never-before-seen-concept in a kind of HUNGER GAMES meets DR. Moreau!”
GET LOST WITH JIN IN A WORLD OF EXOTIC ANIMALS, LANDSCAPES, RIVERS, WARRING GROUPS, AND AN EVIL RULER. When prisoners are experimented on by the ruler of the Americas, after a nuclear war, their cells are grafted with cells and neural tissue from animals of the Amazon. Release to be hunted in the Amazon, to train soldier, Jin finds another Graph like herself named Adan and the two have to survive the Amazon if they are going to live.
Immerse yourself in the gorgeous and dangerous Amazon, find new creatures, learn about new exotic countries, travel the highlands, savannas, and plateaus in this breath-taking, page-turning book, ANIMAL GRAPH.
“AN ACTIVE AND EXCITING STORY THAT WOULD BE ENJOYED BY YOUNG ADULTS AND MATURE READERS. M. BLACK PACKS IN A LOT OF INTERESTING CONCEPTS. FANS OF DYSTOPIAN FICTION LIKE THE HUNGER GAMES WILL ENJOY THIS VERY CREATIVE STORY.” -Netgalley
“WOW! WHAT A CONCEPT! I CAN SAY THAT THIS IS THE FIRST BOOK OF THIS KIND THAT I HAVE READ.” -Amazon Reader
“THIS WAS AN AWESOME STORY. IN THE APOCALYPTIC FUTURE THEY ARE EXPERIMENTING ON PRISONERS.” -Amazon Reader
“M.BLACK’S ANIMAL GRAPH IS MORE THAN A DYSTOPIAN TALE FROM THE CREATIVE GENIUS OF THIS AUTHOR’S MIND. IT RAISES THE QUESTION OF SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST, OF LIVING IN HARMONY AND QUESTIONING WHAT IF THE ODDS ARE ARTIFICIALLY STACKED AGAINST THESE NEW CREATIONS.” -Netgalley
“ANIMAL GRAPH TAKES A FRESH AND INTRIGUING LOOK AT ANIMAL-HUMAN PAIRINGS” -Avid Amazon Reader
“THE CHARACTERS HAVE EXTRAORDINARY ABILITIES FROM THEIR ANIMAL GRAPHS, BUT THESE ALSO COME WITH WEAKNESSES. IT’S A REALLY GOOD BALANCE.” -Netgalley
“IT IS GOOD, VERY STRANGE ON ONE HAND YET THRILLING AND EDGE OF YOUR SEAT! I LOVE THE BEGINNING WHERE THE READER IS IN THE ACTION FROM THE START! I ALSO LOVE THE WHOLE IDEA OF THE GRAPHS.” -Reader Review
“THIS BOOK HAD ME HOOKED FROM THE BEGINNING.” Netgalley
“YOU ARE ONE OF THE FEW AUTHORS WHOSE BOOKS LEAVE ME WANTING TO READ MORE OF YOUR BOOKS.” -Amazon Reader
“GOOD STORY! I DIDN’T WANT IT TO END!” Amazon Reader
“I HAD ANXIETY ATTACKS WITH JIN. IT REALLY BOTHERED ME THAT I HAD TO PUT THE BOOK DOWN TO DO NORMAL THINGS LIKE EAT. LOL.” -Amazon Reader
My feminine bottom slides down the wet, slippery cliff at the end of the path of foliage, dropping me forty meters into the abyss below where I thrash, arms flailing about me in a sure drown, water gulping down my tight throat in a struggle for air. My long, auburn hair is drenched to my side like a second skin. I barely know how to swim, but I have no other choice but to sink down where I won’t be seen. They’re on my trail and the choking gas has almost reached me.
Glancing skyward, under a thin layer of water, I see a cake of the pinkish fog choke the plants and moss above, that grows off the dark stones there—the only elegance out here. Water cascades into a beautiful waterfall toward me in a steady stream, and I hear the loud fog horn-like sound from my pursuers alerting everyone in the vicinity that I’m nearby.
They’ll need to find me before sundown or risk encountering the savage wildlife of the Amazon rainforest, like Radguars, a mutated form of the Jaguar which began to appear after the radiation hit. No one ever lives after facing one. They’ll tear a man to shreds.
I hear them coming, five of them—they always come in fives—their thick boots hitting the forest floor in a scratch-scratch as they approach the end of my path. I’m not even sure how I do this—hear them. The distance is more than thirty meters away and the rush of water interferes with my ears. I never would have been able to do this before they took me.
Taken in the middle of the night by Borran’s soldiers while asleep in my cell, a two-by-three-meter room in which I’d been locked for a year, since I was sixteen, after I’d stolen a loaf of bread from a village vendor. Too many of us end up behind bars for petty crimes, to ensure as a whole we comply with the laws. When they registered me for prison, they scanned the bar code on my upper arm, denoting my full name, region of residency, and any prior arrests. I didn’t have priors before, but now my bar code will always show I was in prison.
About the Author:
M.Black is Ami Blackwelder and writes for the brand ENTER TOMORROW. She is a Montessori teacher, helps the deaf and hard of hearing, is an avid Pescetarian, believer in animal rights and wildlife conservation, and a lover of books. she is the author of the never-before-seen-concept Animal Graph, and dubs herself the ‘Robot Girl’ since many of her stories revolve around robots and A.I. She has a Siamese cat names LOTUS from Thailand when she was an educator there and he show sup in all her robot books. She adopted a cat named Ash in the States who also shows up in all of her robot books. She loves reading on Kindle Unlimited and only buys paperback. She enjoys many vegetarian dishes like veggie lasagna and four bean chili. She also likes watching movies, gardening, the beach, and hanging out with friends. Of course most of the time you will find her at home, pounding away at her computer.
Insecurity. As women, we all struggle with it. Our skinny jeans mock us. Our age-defying serums with flecks of gold refuse to erase our crow’s feet. Our social media feeds taunt us with everyone else’s picture-perfect lives. If you’ve ever felt uninteresting, unlovable, or unattractive, you’re ready for Lincee Ray’s particular brand of hilarious (and hard-hitting) self-reflection.
Like a trustworthy friend, she shows us that the fastest way to happiness is to embrace ourselves in all our imperfection and trust that God knew what He was doing when He made us. From maneuvering the muffin top to navigating the sketchy waters of singleness to walking the judgmental halls of the workplace, Lincee’s laugh-out-loud look at real life reveals many of the key truths she’s learned about her identity:
Yoga pants are your friend, Jesus sees you, and green-bean diets are never the answer.
PRAISE FOR WHY I HATE GREEN BEANS:
“Lincee is a brilliant writer. She once described me as ‘smelling of worn leather, a vintage nine iron and swagger.’ She pretty much nailed it. She is definitely worthy of the final rose.” —Chris Harrison, host of ABC’s Bachelor franchise and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
“I found myself laughing out loud, wiping away a few tears, and cheering her on every step of the way. Lincee is the best friend you wish you had. Get ready to fall in love with her and her fabulous debut book!” —Melanie Shankle, author of the Big Mama blog
“By the end of this book, you’ll think of Lincee as a favorite friend: someone who shoots straight, finds the funny in every situation, and reminds you what matters most. You are in for a treat!” —Sophie Hudson, author of Giddy Up,Eunice and cohost of The Big Boo Cast podcast
For ten years I waded through the ins and outs of the oil industry. As one of few females in that male-dominated world, I’ve had my fair share of eye-rolling exploits. I’ve kept my face neutral as crude jokes were shared. I’ve tried to look feminine in flame retardant overalls, safety goggles, and steel-toe boots. I’ve stood before a boardroom full of men who didn’t speak English, trying to convince them we didn’t need to wait for my boss—I was the presenter.
The international stories are the ones I like best because they sound so exotic. One of my more notable jaunts was a facility visit in the middle of Ukraine.
The guys from the Ukrainian company wanted to treat the Americans to a traditional dinner. I was seated at the middle of the long table for ten with my American colleagues on either side. The Ukrainian general manager sat across from me and motioned for the waiter to pour a round of vodka shots.
You’ve probably heard that Russians drink vodka like it’s water. In my personal experience, this is true. I can also attest it’s considered an insult not to drink with them. If offered vodka, you’d better partake, especially when the logistics of future million-dollar deals are circling the table.
The Ukrainian stood up and toasted everyone in the room. He spoke about the wonderful relationship between his company and the U.S. division and genuinely seemed proud to call us partners. This lasted for about five minutes. During this time, the waiter placed a plate of “something” at each end of the table. I’m no expert, but it looked like slugs.
Our host concluded his salute and pointed to the plate, explaining that this was a celebratory occasion and we would be chasing the vodka shot with herring and onions.
I suddenly craved green beans.
The man lifted his glass and toasted the table. We all slammed our drinks back and spiked the herring with little forks. Down the hatch.
Thank goodness the vodka was like rubbing alcohol, because it burned off the aftermath of the oily, slimy, fishy taste in my mouth. It may have burned a few taste buds, too, but that was a blessing in disguise.
Everyone cheered and high fived as the waiter presented a tray of cucumbers, tomatoes, and red bell peppers. I munched away like a pro, even though I can’t stand tomatoes. I have the palate of a sophisticated fourth grader, but I pressed through for the good of the company.
Suddenly the waiter started filling the shot glasses with vodka again. Number two Ukranian guy stood up and made his own toast that lasted forever. We cheered. We clinked glasses. We took the shot before chugging yet another herring.
Soon the questionable deli meat selection arrived. Being the smart connoisseur I am, I chose the two lightest meats. I mentally chanted in my head, “It’s turkey and ham. It’s turkey and ham. It’s turkey and ham.” I gobbled it up in three bites, ignoring the funny smell, only to find a plate full of rolled-up bacon thrust in my face.
You may be thinking, Oh good! Something she recognizes. Everyone loves bacon!
Dear friend. You are too sweet. It was bacon fat. Fat. The fat of bacon. All white, fat, bacon fat.
The waiter rushed over with a third shot. It helped to dissolve the roll of pork belly lodged in my throat.
At the beginning of the fourth course, I realized we were going to toast each dish. I tried to get the attention of the waiter, but I couldn’t lift my arms. He finally realized my joints were paralyzed from the vodka and came over to see what I needed. Once he understood what I needed, he brought me a bottle of plain old boring water. I begged him with my eyes not to rat me out as a poser Russki.
Everyone devoured what I thought of as potato ravioli and luckily, they never noticed me pouring water into my shot glass. The next course materialized, and I enthusiastically toasted everyone. By the end of the night, the Russians were toasting the vodka, the Brits were toasting the Americans who carry guns, the Americans were toasting the Revolutionary War, and nine men were toasting the little blonde girl who could hold her liquor.
All together there were seven courses. I had three vodka shots and four waters. I slept like a log that night. I also suspected my insides had been thoroughly cleansed. It’s a good thing, too, because I later found out the questionable deli meat was donkey tongue.
Any time I hear a Russian accent, my arms get heavy and it’s a good forty-eight hours before I can eat a turkey sandwich again.
Lincee Ray is an accidental blogging superstar from Texas who now writes for EW.com and the Associated Press. An active speaker, she can be found at her popular website ihategreenbeans.com, where she makes it clear that she believes it’s important to tell your story—even if it makes you seem a little crazy. Connect with Lincee!
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! FEBRUARY 13-22, 2018
Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed book plate, $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card, and Lincee’s Loves Basket which includes: Rave travel hairspray, Minnie Mouse ears, Vodka*, Heartbreakers Candy, Dr. Pepper, chocolate rose, and green jelly beans.
Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed book plate, $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed book plate, $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
When Saudi Prince Omar bin Talal visits Houston to seek cancer treatment for his mother, an attempt on his life puts all agencies on high alert. FBI Special Agent Kord Davidson is the lead on the prince’s protective detail because of their long-standing friendship, but he’s surprised—and none too happy—when the CIA brings one of their operatives, Monica Alden, in on the task force after the assassination attempt.
Kord and Monica must quickly put aside interagency squabbles, however, when they learn the prince has additional motives for his visit—plans to promote stronger ties with the US and encourage economic growth and westernization in his own country. Plans that could easily incite a number of suspects both in the US and in countries hostile to Saudi Arabia. Worse yet, the would-be assassin always seems to be one step ahead of them, implicating someone close to the prince—or the investigation. But who would be willing to commit high treason, and can Kord and Monica stop them in time?
“Compelling characters and a riveting plot that fits seamlessly with current events make this novel impossible to put down. Readers can count on being glued to the pages late into the night – as “just one more chapter” turns into “can’t stop now.”” – RT Book Reviews
DiAnn 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 Reader’s 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 and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. 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.
When Sam Barnes’ high-flying life in Dallas falls apart, he flees to the coastal town of Port Aransas, Texas and fades into the life of a reclusive beach bum. But things start to change when he meets Dave, a young widower working through his own loss; Shelly, owner of the Dream Bean coffee shop; Bo, a crusty old shrimper; and Allie, Bo’s free-spirited daughter. Together they are tested and forced to confront their own issues. In doing so they discover family and community.
PRAISE FOR ARANSAS MORNING:
“Engrossing characters that keep doing unexpected things. Strong sense of place along the Texas coast and deep knowledge of the culture. This book is about relationships and how ‘family’ and ‘community’ might be redefined.”
“In this heartwarming book, Jeff Hampton took me to a place I’ve never been and captured me with his delightful characters, seaside landscape, and deft use of words to portray a small group of people who came together to create and run the Dream Bean cafe. Great summer reading.”
“I loved the characters, with their flaws and their graces. It is an honest and heart-warming story of redemption coming through community. I’m really glad I read it.”
“Really nice character development, articulating in a very comfortable and readable style the messy, complex, joyous and hopeful ways we build, break and nurture ‘community.’”
“Very quickly in the story, the characters became like friends. The book is engaging and held my interest.”
Texas is a big and colorful state – a country unto itself, really – and it inspires stories that are big and colorful.
Why did you choose to write in your particular genre?
I didn’t choose the genre; it chose me. I live in a real world with real people and I like real stories about real people. Science fiction and fantasy can wow us with amazing technology and powers; those stories only work and we only are attracted to them when the characters have emotions and challenges that we can relate to.
Where did your love of books and storytelling come from?
I’m not sure because it’s always been there in one way or another.
How long have you been writing?
My education and career have been in journalism and communications, so I have been writing in one way or another for more than three decades.
What kinds of writing do you do?
All of my published book writing is fiction, but I’ve also written essays and short memoir pieces and plan to publish them too. My fictional stories usually contain pieces of events and real emotions from my own life, so it makes sense to go ahead and share more of the details through non-fiction writing.
What cultural value do you see in books?
The traditional journalism I’ve worked in has been overtaken by social media, but books will never die as long as there are storytellers telling good stories. Movies and television put it all on the screen, but books still allow room for the imagination and that is so important.
How does your book relate to your faith?
Many of my stories are about people who are trying to figure out the meaning of life and how they fit into it. And they often discover the meaning of life through community – not acting and living as solo characters but as members of something larger than themselves.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
The hardest part of writing for me is knowing when to let it go and trust it to readers. I could edit and tinker forever, but if I do that then it never gets published and read.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Not knowing where the characters were going next. I had a broad idea of where the story was going, but my characters become real people, and they don’t always do and say what I think they will do and say when I first start out.
Which character from your book is most or least like you?
Dave is most like me. He has lost a wife to illness and is trying to rebuild his life. On the other hand, Dave is much more outgoing than me. I am more of an introvert and a potential loner like Sam.
What did you find most useful in learning to write for publication? What was least useful or most destructive?
Because my fiction is embedded with real life, I had to live and experience more of life before I could write about it. In some ways, I wish I had started writing fiction years ago but the reality is I had to wait, so I would know how to clothe fictional characters in the real joys and sorrows of life.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
I quit a full-time job a few years ago to focus more on fiction and essay writing, but my writing today includes freelance articles for business and institutional magazines. The paid work is very different, so it is a good counterbalance to creative writing.
What are some day jobs that you have held? Have any of them impacted your writing?
All of my day jobs have required writing – newspapers, magazines, corporate communications, etc. – and I think the newspaper work has instilled in me a brevity that keeps a story moving.
What does your perfect writing spot look like? Is that what your ACTUAL writing spot looks like?
I have a wonderful upstairs room with a big window looking out over the neighborhood. It’s a great place to write and was created for that purpose. But the truth is I write wherever I am and whatever I am doing. I’m always thinking, taking notes on an iPhone or iPad, scribbling on pieces of paper. But it all eventually comes together in my upstairs room.
Do you have any strange writing habits or writing rituals you’d like to share with your readers?
Some writers are very focused and disciplined and will tell you they sit down at their desk and hammer it out for hours on end. I start and stop and shift gears a lot. I get stuck on a scene or a conversation, and so I switch gears and work on a freelance project or go work in the yard or run an errand. Doing those other things always sends me back to my desk with fresh ideas.
During a 35-year career in journalism and communications, Jeff Hampton has covered and written about topics ranging from business and finance to history and faith. His bylines have appeared in publications ranging from The Dallas Morning News to The New York Times.
He attended Baylor University where he majored in journalism and was editor of the Baylor Lariat campus newspaper. He began his professional career at the Waco Tribune-Herald and has written for newspapers, magazines, businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies.
Hampton has based his life and career in Texas where his interest in observing the people around him has led him to write essays, short stories, and novels that explore relationships and communities in their many forms.
Aransas Morning is his fifth book, following Grandpa Jack, When the Light Returned to Main Street, Jonah Prophet and The Snowman Uprising on Hickory Lane.
Watch for Aransas Evening, a sequel to Aransas Morning, in 2018.
Genre: Southern Fiction / Christian / Coming of Age
Date of Publication: January 2, 2018
Number of Pages: 352
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Isaac believed in luck. But from Pete’s point of view, Isaac’s luck had all run out. When Pete McLean loses his father in the summer of 1962, his friend Isaac is one of the few people he can lean on. Though their worlds are as different as black and white, friendship knows no color. So when Isaac suddenly goes missing, Pete is determined to find out what happened—no matter what it costs him. His quest will lead him into parts of town that he knows only through rumors and introduce him to a girl who will change his life. What they discover together will change the small Southern town of Glory, Alabama—forever. With vivid descriptions, palpable atmosphere, and unforgettable characters, debut novelist Valerie Fraser Luesse breathes life into the rural South of the 1960s—a place where ordinary people struggle to find their footing in a social landscape that is shifting beneath their feet.
PRAISE FOR MISSING ISAAC: “Valerie Fraser Luesse’s beautiful story reveals the human heart that always beats beneath the headlines. In the process, she movingly illuminates not only the spirit of a special region but the soul of every human being who ever dared to care. Missing Isaac will break—and then heal—your heart.” —J. I. Baker, journalist and author of The Empty Glass
“Welcome debut novelist Valerie Fraser Luesse to the legions of gifted Southern writers before her. Missing Isaac is the first of what we hope will be many more tales from this talented writer.”—Nancy Dorman-Hickson, coauthor of Diplomacy and Diamonds and a former editor for Progressive Farmer and Southern Living magazines
“Valerie Luesse has an ear for dialogue, an eye for detail, and a profound gift for storytelling. She breathes life into these colorful Southern characters and this quirky Alabama town from the first page.”
—Sid Evans, editor-in-chief of Southern Living magazine
Valerie Fraser Luesse is an award-winning writer and a senior travel editor for Southern Living. Specializing in stories about unique pockets of Southern culture, Luesse has published major pieces on the Gulf Coast, the Mississippi Delta, Louisiana’s Acadian Prairie, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She lives in Alabama.
Grand Prize: Print Copy of Missing Isaac, Print Copy of Southern Living Annual Recipes 2017, Handmade Leather Journal (9“x5”); 2ND PRIZE: Copy of Missing Isaac + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card; 3RD PRIZE: Copy of Missing Isaac + $10 Starbucks Gift Card January 2-January 11, 2018
Date of Publication: November 15, 2017 Publisher: Wild Horse Press
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Events on the Little Bighorn might have turned out better for George Armstrong Custer had he listened to H.H. Lomax rather than trying to kill him. To save his own skin—and scalp!—Lomax must outwit Custer and his troopers as well as face hundreds of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors swarming Last Stand Hill.
At least that is how Lomax in his inimitable style tells the story in this humorous romp across Old West history. Lomax’s latest misadventures take him from the Battle of Adobe Walls to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. In between, he’s a bouncer in a Waco whorehouse, a prospector in the Black Hills, a bartender in a Dakota Territory saloon and a combatant in the worst defeat in the history of the frontier Army.
Along the way, Lomax crosses paths with Bat Masterson, Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickok, General Custer, his brother Tom Custer and the troopers of the Seventh Cavalry as well as hordes of Comanche, Kiowa, Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, not to mention the most dangerous adversary of all—a newspaper reporter with ambition.
Told with Lomax’s characteristic wit, Bluster’s Last Stand puts a new spin on the Little Bighorn and its aftermath. Whether you believe him or not, you’ve got to admire Lomax’s luck and pluck in both surviving one of the darkest days in Old West history and writing about the disaster in the latest volume of The Memoirs of H.H. Lomax.
PRAISE FOR THE H.H. LOMAX SERIES:
“A new series by Preston Lewis features a protagonist, H.H. Lomax, who isn’t much of a gunfighter, horseman or gambler. Instead, he is a likeable loser who runs into old western celebrities like Billy the Kid and the Jesse James gang, and barely escapes.” —Wall Street Journal
“It takes a special talent to write first-person novels based on the premise of ‘lost papers,’ but Preston Lewis is an especially fresh and innovative writer and he knows how to do it.”
—Rocky Mountain News
Fans of the Western as a genre will delight in Lewis’ ongoing spoof of many traditions which fiction writers from Owen Wister to Elmer Kelton captured well enough to turn into key parts of our myths and folklore….Lewis’s wit is at times Puckishly wry, at other times bawdy in the manner of Chaucer. It is always engaging. —Texas Books in Review
Several Old West historians have blessed the Lomax books as expertly crafted fiction. —Dallas Morning News
Drawing up my horse twenty paces in front of Cody, I watched as he lowered his hand from his eyes. A grin broke open between his mustache and beard. He strode toward me.
“Well, I’ll be damned,” Cody said. “If my sight doesn’t deceive me, it’s Leadeye Lomax, the worst buffalo shooter on the plains.”
“Your eyes are as sharp as ever, Bill,” I said as I dismounted. “How the hell you been?”
“Making money and making do,” he answered. “Much as I hate to admit it, I owe my good fortune to you. If you hadn’t nicknamed me Buffalo Bill, I’d probably still be scouting for low wages rather than getting paid for leading expeditions for wealthy men and even performing my exploits on stage for paying customers.”
“Maybe I need a cut of your take if I’m the cause of your good fortune.”
Cody laughed, then walked up, grabbed my hand and shook it vigorously before grasping me in a bear hug.
“You don’t need a cut, Lomax. I returned the favor by knighting you Leadeye Lomax.”
“The name’s yet to catch on but I’ll give you a quarter interest in the proceeds in exchange for a quarter share of the profits from your name,” I offered.
“No deal, but I’ll introduce you to folks that can make your name as famous as mine.”
When I escaped Cody’s bear hug, I turned around and motioned for Wolfe and Dreban to dismount. The fear had drained from their faces, though I hoped it hadn’t reached the seat of their britches. Dreban and Wolfe stepped beside me, very careful with their movement.
“Fellows,” I said, “I’d like you to meet William F. Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill.”
With a dramatic gesture he must have learned from theater work, he yanked off his hat and bowed like a performer after a standing ovation. That was Cody. He craved attention and acclaim as well as the women that always seemed to be with him when his wife wasn’t.
As he straightened up and replaced his hat, I said, “Bill, these are my partners, Douglas Wolfe and Brian Dreban. They’re telegraphers.”
Cody stepped to them, grabbed their hands and shook them vigorously. “You boys won’t find many telegraph wires in these parts, smoke signals more likely.”
“You’re the Buffalo Bill?” Dreban stammered.
“Absolutely, friend. I can’t afford to hire an imposter.”
“And you know, Lomax?” Wolfe wanted to know.
“Known him for years,” Cody replied. “We’ve hunted together, fought Indians together, eaten from the same pot of beans and even shared the same woman on occasion.”
“We didn’t believe him,” Dreban said.
Cody slapped me on the shoulder. “I’ve never known a man to tell more truths than Leadeye Lomax. Of course, if he’s in a bind, he might stretch the facts a little.”
Preston Lewis is the Spur Award-winning author of 30 western, juvenile and historical novels, including Bluster’s Last Stand published by Wild Horse Press.
Bluster’s Last Stand, a novel about Custer and the Battle of Little Bighorn, is the latest volume in Lewis’s well-received Memoirs of H.H. Lomax series of comic westerns that began with The Demise of Billy the Kid. Subsequent books in the series—The Redemption of Jesse James and Mix-Up at the O.K. Corral—were both Spur Finalists from Western Writers of America (WWA).
Lewis’s historical novel Blood of Texas on the Texas Revolution received WWA’s Spur Award for Best Western Novel. His western caper The Fleecing of Fort Griffin in 2017 earned him his third Elmer Kelton Award from the West Texas Historical Association (WTHA) for best creative work on West Texas.
His True West article on the Battle of Yellowhouse Canyon won a Spur Award for Best Nonfiction Article. In addition to True West, his short works have appeared in publications as varied as Louis L’Amour Western Magazine, Persimmon Hill,Dallas Morning News, The Roundup, Journal of the Wild West History Association and San Angelo Standard-Times.
A native West Texan and current San Angelo resident, Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University and master’s degrees from Ohio State in journalism and Angelo State in history. He is a past president of WWA and WTHA. Lewis is a longstanding member of the Authors Guild and an associate member of the Dramatists Guild of America.