Under A Summer Sky: Excerpt

UNDER A SUMMER SKY

Follow Your Heart, Book 3

By Melody Carlson

Genre: Contemporary Romance / Christian / Inspirational

Publisher: Revell

Date of Publication: June 6, 2017

Number of Pages: 320

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High school art teacher Nicole Anderson is looking forward to a relaxing summer in Savannah, house-sitting and managing an art gallery for a family friend. The house is luxurious in a way that only old money could make it, and the gallery promises interesting days in a gorgeous setting. Yet it isn’t long before her ideal summer turns into more than she bargained for: a snooty gallery employee who’s determined to force her out, a displaced adolescent roosting in the attic, and two of her childhood friends—who also happen to be brothers—vying for her attention.

With the backdrop of a gorgeous historical city, incredible architecture, and even an alleged ghost or two, combined with the opportunity for romance . . . anything can happen! 

Bestselling and award-winning author Melody Carlson invites you to spend the summer surrounded by splendor . . . and tantalizing possibilities.

 

PRAISE FOR THE FOLLOW YOUR HEART SERIES:

“Heartwarming and uplifting.”Library Journal on Once Upon a Summertime 

“Sweet, romantic, and endlessly entertaining.”Radiant Lit on Once Upon a Summertime

“This winsome romance [is] a perfect summer read.”Publishers Weekly on All Summer Long

PURCHASE LINKS

BAKER BOOK HOUSE   AMAZON   CHRISTIANBOOK.COM

iBOOKS   KOBO   LIFEWAY   BARNES & NOBLE

Excerpt: Chapter 1, Part 3

continued from the 6/22/17 Lone Star Book Blog Tours stop

“Well, Vivian called me up this morning. Straight out of the blue. I don’t think we’ve had an actual conversation since her grandbaby was born.”

“Vivian has a grandbaby?”

“Oh, I’m sure I told you about it before. You remember that Alex got married—that was years ago. Poor Vivian was so disappointed they didn’t have a wedding. The selfish kids ran off to Vegas.”

“Oh yeah.” Nicole nodded, remembering how vexed her mom was that there hadn’t been a wedding. Nicole herself hadn’t been too pleased to hear that Alex had gotten married. “So back to Vivian, Mom. She called you this morning?”

“Yes. I couldn’t have been more surprised. Oh, we still exchange Christmas and birthday cards, but we haven’t actually spoken in years. Viv has encouraged me to join one of those online social clubs, but you know me, Nikki, I hate computers.” She snagged a parking place near the neighborhood Starbucks. “All that electronic stuff just gives me the heebie-jeebies. Don’t know how your father can waste so much time on his computer. It’s just plain silly.”

Nicole laughed as she pointed to her mom’s smartphone sticking out of her purse. “Well, at least you know how to use that now. That’s better than nothing.”

Caroline turned off the engine and reached for her phone. “That reminds me, I have to show you the pictures I took at JJ’s ball game yesterday—”

“How about you send them to me?” Nicole said as they got out of the car.

“Anyway, Viv and I had a very interesting conversation.” Caroline’s brows arched.

“That is somehow related to me?” Nicole held the Starbucks door open for her mom.

“Well, as it turns out, it just might be. You see,” Caroline continued as they stepped into the short line, “Vivian and Robert are celebrating their fortieth anniversary this summer by taking a world cruise. Can you imagine three months of being pampered on a luxurious ship that goes all around the world?” She sighed. “But then they’re rich.”

“What does this have to do with me?”

“I’m sure that Vivian called me to brag a little. Really, I can’t blame her. I’d tell everyone I know if your dad was taking me on a trip like that.” She paused to order an iced mocha, and Nicole followed suit, trying to make sense of her mother’s monologue about Vivian’s charmed life.

“But Robert comes from money. Old money. According to Viv, they inherited quite a sum after his dad passed away.” She shook her head. “I can only imagine.”

“You’re not exactly impoverished,” Nicole said.

“I know that. But we’re not the Grahams.”

Nicole smiled. “And I’m glad you’re not.”

As they picked up their iced mochas, Caroline continued to rattle on about how “fortunate” Vivian and Robert were. After they were seated, Nicole held up her hand. “Okay, Mom, can you please get to the part about why this involves me? I’ve had a long day and an even longer school year, and my brain is starting to get a little fuzzy.”

Caroline gave her a sly-looking smile. “Well . . . do you recall that Vivian owns a gallery in Savannah?”

Nicole tipped her head to one side. “That kind of rings a bell. Didn’t we look at a vacant building when we were in Savannah that last time? Vivian was talking about getting it for an investment?”

“Yes, that’s right. Vivian bought that building. A few years later she opened an art gallery—I guess it was about a dozen years ago. The Graham Gallery, she said it’s called. It took a while for it to catch hold, and then there was the recession. But apparently it’s fairly well established now. I guess it’s been kind of like her baby—even more so after her boys were grown and all. It actually sounds rather nice.”

“Uh-huh.” Nicole tried to imagine it as she sipped her iced mocha.

“Viv was telling me all about her gallery and these art exhibits she has lined up for the upcoming summer, complaining about how hard it would be to leave it all behind—to go off on her fabulous world cruise.” Caroline rolled her eyes, then laughed. “In the meantime, I got this brilliant idea.”

“Oh?” Despite her weariness, Nicole’s curiosity was piquing.

“It was slightly miraculous how this idea occurred to me—almost like a divine inspiration.”

“Seriously?” Nicole frowned.

Caroline nodded firmly. “Don’t be such a skeptic, Nikki. It’s entirely possible that God gave me this idea. Anyway, I suddenly realized that you, my dear, are exactly what Vivian needs.”

“What she needs?”

“To manage her gallery.”

“To manage her gallery?”

“Good grief, is there an echo in this room?” Caroline glanced dramatically around, then narrowed her eyes at Nicole. “Please, dear, stop repeating everything I say.”

Nicole just stared at her mom. Did she honestly think Nicole could simply drop everything, uproot her life for an entire summer, and relocate to Savannah? Furthermore, did she really think Nicole knew the first thing about running an art gallery?

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than 6.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and the contemporary romances Once Upon a Summertime and All Summer Long. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon.

WEBSITE    FACEBOOK   MYSPACE

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Grand Prize:

Print copies of the three books in the Follow Your Heart series, Thanks You’re A Peach Tea Gift Tin,12×18 Savannah travel poster, & Georgia Peach Cookies Tin

1st Runner-Up: Full series + $15 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

2nd Runner-Up: Full Series + $10 Starbucks Gift Card

June 17-26, 2017

(U.S. Only)

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR

6/17 Excerpt 1 Chapter Break Book Blog
6/18 REVIEW Momma On The Rocks
6/19 Guest Post CGB Blog Tours
6/20 Author Interview Books and Broomsticks
6/21 REVIEW My Book Fix Blog
6/22 Excerpt 2 StoreyBook Reviews
6/23 Scrapbook Books in the Garden
6/24 REVIEW Margie’s Must Reads
6/25 Excerpt 3 The Page Unbound
6/26 REVIEW Reading By Moonlight

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Unhooked Giveaway

Hey guys, on my author blog I’m hosting a giveaway for a signed copy of Unhooked. This book is perfect for a good ol’ summer read. Head over to my author blog and enter the rafflecopter giveaway before it’s too late!

http://beccacahill.blogspot.com/2017/06/unhooked-giveaway.html

Happy Reading!

Seeds of Eden Promo and Giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule

Book details:

 Seeds of Eden 
by A.P. Watson
(The Concilium, #1)
Publication date: January 25th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Synopsis:

Haunted by visions of the execution of an innocent man, Evey discovers that the secrets of her past and a mysterious stranger are irrevocably intertwined.

Visions of decapitated corpses, pools of blood, and a masked executioner have haunted Evey for as long as she can remember. Torn between a life in the waking world and dreams of the dead, she realizes her normal existence is nothing more than an illusion. As the veil between reality and her subconscious dissipates, she begins to question her own sanity. Each night as she closes her eyes, she wonders what wrongs she committed to warrant such a curse.

When a handsome stranger suddenly appears in Evey’s life, he is able to provide her with the answers she seeks. However, the only thing more mystifying than Conrad’s appearance in one of her nightmares is the undeniable attraction she feels for him. It is only when he confesses their fates and souls have been intertwined for centuries that an ancient secret is revealed. Now, the two of them must outrun a great darkness or it will claim their lives again.

 

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

 

Author’s Playlist:

  1. Crystallised by The XX
  2. Paradise by Coldplay
  3. Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye
  4. Bartholomew by The Silent Comedy
  5. Shelter by The XX
  6. Here With Me by Susie Suh & Robot Koch
  7. Stay Awake by London Grammar
  8. Fangs by Little Red Lung
  9. Blinding by Florence + The Machine
  10. Tip of My Tongue by The Civil Wars
  11. We Hit a Wall by Chelsea Wolfe
  12. I Gave You All by Mumford & Sons
  13. Big Jet Plane by Angus & Julia Stone
  14. Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars
  15. Eyes on Fire by Blue Foundation

 

 

AUTHOR BIO:

A.P. Watson grew up in the small, southern town of Estill Springs, Tennessee. Growing up in a rural town allowed her imagination to run wild, and Paige began making up stories in her head at a young age. This storytelling eventually transformed into a love of writing. She is currently penning her first trilogy, The Concilium Series, and is also  planning to write four companion novellas to accompany it. She is an avid reader, enjoying a variety of genres and authors from Jane Austen to Charlaine Harris.

When she isn’t reading or writing, Paige spends the majority of her time dancing. She has been taking pole dancing lessons for the past three years and couldn’t be more in love with the sport. The blend of athleticism, grace, and flexibility required to dance continually challenges her and she strives to not only build strength but defy gravity, as well. Paige has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing from East Tennessee State University. She has been a critical care nurse at Bristol Regional Medical Center for the last five years. She currently resides in Johnson City, Tennessee with her adorable dog, Elle.

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Giveaway

Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
  • Hardcover copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass
  • Paperback copy of Confess by Colleen Hoover
  • Signed copy of Seeds of Eden

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Sir Kay: Review

THE ELDRIDGE CONSPIRACY

Sir Kaye the Boy Knight, Book 4

By Don M. Winn

  Genre: Children’s Chapter Book / Adventure / Medieval

Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press

Date of Publication: June 16, 2017

Number of Pages: 166, B&W illustrations 

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Kaye’s father is in danger! The young knight, Kaye, and his friends Reggie and Beau enter Eldridge in search of the only man who can save Kaye’s father. During their journey, they encounter and make a powerful enemy of Baron Thomas—the self-proclaimed heir to the throne of Eldridge—who also has his sights set on ruling the country of Knox.

Together, the boys dodge the baron’s henchmen and race against time to stop an assassination that would plunge the two kingdoms into war in this exciting conclusion to the series.

PRAISE FOR THE ELDRIDGE CONSPIRACY:

“This set of books just gets better and better. Yes, it’s a non-stop adventure, packed full of nasty barons and battling knights. But it’s also a story which is strongly-themed and where the bond between the characters is highly prized.” —The Wishing Shelf Awards Book Review

“Books of adventure and challenge that still offer an emotional component are hard to come by for middle-grade readers—and even more so for middle-grade boys—yet Don M. Winn hits the mark dead center with The Eldridge Conspiracy.” —Patricia Reding, 5-Star Readers’ Favorite Book Review

“This is more than just a fictional story; it teaches children about life, about friendship, making decisions, and about not putting too much stock in pride all the time – sometimes pride gets in the way of making the right decision. Great story. I would recommend that the whole series be read in order to get the most out of it and I think all kids will enjoy this tale.” —Ann-Marie Reynolds, 5-Star Readers’ Favorite Book Review

“The Eldridge Conspiracy was a rewarding read due to a wonderful writing style of incorporating dynamic characters, humor, relevancy, and the thought that even without superpowers, children can be heroes.” —Stacey Waltzer, Urban Mommies 

PURCHASE LINKS

WEBSITE   AMAZON   B&N   PUBLISHER: SIGNED COPIES

This was my first time reading about Sir Kaye, the boy knight, and it definitely made me more intrigued to read the others. This book brings a whimsical adventure that was easy and fun to read. As Kaye and his friends set off on their quest, the pages flew as they fought to save the kingdom. This story brings inner lessons of bravery and friendship. I can easily recommend it for children and really all ages as well. I personally love to read all forms of books, including children’s books. They remind us of our childhood and simpler solutions to tough decisions we face.  They show us fantastical worlds that push the limits of our imagination.

The illustrations really caught my eye as well. I remember when I first did a promotion for the third book and impressed with the style and maturity of the content. Also, the study guide was so cute and helpful, especially since I was new to the series. I felt like I was back in school right as my love for reading started.  I look forward to sharing this and the other books with some of my younger relatives. Enter the giveaway for an amazing chance to win this great series!

Don M. Winn is a multiple award-winning children’s author of eleven picture books and four children’s novels. His Sir Kaye the Boy Knight® series of novels for independent readers include The Knighting of Sir Kaye, The Lost Castle Treasure, Legend of the Forest Beast, and The Eldridge Conspiracy. Don’s picture books include The Higgledy-Piggledy Pigeon; Superhero; Twitch the Squirrel and the Forbidden Bridge; Shelby the Cat; Space Cop Zack, Protector of the Galaxy; and many others. 

Don has been writing for over 20 years. After beginning with poetry, Winn moved on to writing children’s picture books. Almost immediately, his growing young readers begged for chapter books, which led to the creation of the Sir Kaye series. As a dyslexic, who well knows the challenge of learning to love to read, Winn’s goal is to write books that are so engaging they will entice even the most reluctant or struggling reader. Winn lives in Round Rock, Texas.

WEBSITE    AUTHOR FACEBOOK    SIR KAYE FACEBOOK

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Three Sir Kaye #4 ARCs + 1 Sir Kaye Series Study Guide!

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR

 

6/14 Book Trailer Chapter Break Book Blog
6/15 Review Margie’s Must Reads
6/16 Guest Post 1 Books in the Garden
6/17 Review The Page Unbound
6/18 Author Interview My Book Fix Blog
6/19 Excerpt StoreyBook Reviews
6/20 Review Reading By Moonlight
6/21 Scrapbook Page 1 Syd Savvy
6/22 Guest Post 2 Forgotten Winds
6/23 Review Hall Ways Blog
6/24 Character Interview Missus Gonzo
6/25 Educators’ Special The Librarian Talks
6/26 Review CGB Blog Tours
6/27 Scrapbook Page 2 Texas Book Lover
6/28 Review Books and Broomsticks

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Phoebe Pope Excerpt and Giveaway

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Book details:
The Year of Four 
by Nya Jade
(Phoebe Pope, #1)
Publication date: October 28th 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Synopsis:

The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.

As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.

Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.

 

 

Excerpt from The Year of Four:

The instant Phoebe stepped into the Great Hall, the scent of sweet spices wafted into her nostrils. She stood still, trying to absorb the scene before her. A large, two-story dome glistened at the center of the cavernous room—a glass structure embellished with several golden images of a lion’s head. Countless ornamental glass bottles ablaze with firelight formed a circle around the base of the dome, washing the room in warm light. Inside, long tables, garnished with white moon flowers, had been arranged in three rows in front of a wide stage. The festive tables were packed with hundreds of students whose backs faced Phoebe and Hayley.

Phoebe elbowed Hayley. “Amazing, huh?”

“Unreal,” Hayley gushed. “Now what?”

“Over there.” Phoebe nodded toward the only two empty seats at the last row of tables near the dome’s entrance.

Hayley charged forward, pulling Phoebe along with her.

“Don’t look,” Hayley whispered, “but we’re getting the evil eye.”

“Crap.” Phoebe cringed at the disapproving glare she got from some faculty members. Great first impression, she thought.

“Next,” a commanding male baritone bellowed, as Phoebe and Hayley settled into their seats. “I call before you Xavier Reno.”

Phoebe’s eyes followed an elaborate marble staircase, one of a pair that spiraled upward to a balcony that was situated under the dome’s ceiling and to the right side of the stage. There, a middle-aged man with a prominent aquiline nose and deep sunken eyes stood peering down at the crowd. He wore a purple toga that swathed him in silken waves. From her father’s description, Phoebe knew at once that this man must be Professor Yori, Headmaster of the Campus Below.

Phoebe turned her attention to the stage where a male student draped in an ivory toga rose from a bench. After a nervous glance at a blond, heavyset girl next to him, also in a toga, who gave an encouraging smile, the boy moved forward, tugging up fistfuls of cloth to prevent tripping as he walked. He arrived at center stage, and cautiously picked up a luminous object from a round, gilded table.

Hayley gasped, shifting in her seat for a better view. “Utaviium,” she said, faster than Phoebe could think it. And it was. Thin and cylindrical, Utaviium was a pale blue crystal enchanted to capture and hold a single bolt of lightning. It was beautiful to look at; both of the girls sat transfixed, focused on the frenetic light within the crystal.

“Xavier, show yourself!” Professor Yori declared.

In the moment of those words’ utterance, several things happened at once. The boy’s toga slipped to the floor. He smashed the Utaviium at his feet. A massive wave of energy rippled through the dome, and for an instant, Phoebe was blinded by the intensity of its accompanying light. When her vision recovered, a giant, red falcon stood where the boy had been.

Spreading his bejeweled fingers across the balcony’s railing, Professor Yori spoke down to the majestic bird, “Son of Osiah, rise!” Phoebe watched a pair of iridescent wings unfold sleekly, wings that from tip to tip spanned the width of the stage. The falcon lifted and lowered them slowly. The students erupted with applause as he took silent flight, faltered for a moment, then shot upward to a long perch suspended from the dome’s ceiling by gold chains. All heads peered up as, beating his wings inward to steady himself, the falcon took his place on the perch next to a silver eagle and a black hawk.

Phoebe glanced to her side. She saw Hayley’s eyes ablaze with her own excitement. Never before had she seen the mind-thrilling spectacle of a first time Conversion.

 

The Blood of Kings
by Nya Jade
(Phoebe Pope, #2)
Publication date: April 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Synopsis:

According to the press, Phoebe Pope and teen movie star Colten Chase are no longer an item—which is just how the happy new couple like it. And yet there’s trouble in paradise . . .

Phoebe is haunted by dreams that show her things she can’t possibly know about—including a pact between Colten and a wanted assassin. In the daylight, she struggles to keep a newly emerging power hidden, even as her hands itch to wield it.

Meanwhile, in the wake of their escape from a Vigo crèche, Phoebe and her fellow Hyphas study under lock and key at the Campus Below. As the foursome wait to see who among them will fulfill the prophecy, someone dear to Phoebe is kidnapped by a powerful Vigo determined to use her to spy on the Shaper royalty. When the Hyphas are called to the Royal Court, Phoebe refuses to heed warnings of imminent danger for she will do whatever it takes to rescue her loved one.

But once at court, nothing is as it first appears. A sinister force controls some royals, while others whisper behind closed doors about forbidden alliances. And as Phoebe draws on her courage to complete the task set by her enemy, she makes a startling discovery—one that upends her father’s memory.

With dangerous conspiracies surfacing, Phoebe must uncover what the Royal Shapers really want from her, and decide whether there’s room for Colten in her unraveling life.

 

 

Book Trailer

Purchase Links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

AUTHOR BIO:
Nya Jade has enjoyed a fun career as a singer-songwriter. Her music videos have aired on the Vh1, BET and MTV networks and she’s opened for some of the biggest names in music. Nya’s music has also received recognition in major publications, including USA Today and the LA Times. She took a break from writing and performing music to write The Year of Four, her first YA novel. When she isn’t writing, Nya can be found hanging out with family and friends, reading or bargain hunting for her next pair of funky shoes. Nya lives with her family in California.
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Breakfast in Texas: Promo

BREAKFAST IN TEXAS

By Terry Thompson-Anderson

 Genre: Cookbook / Southwest Cuisine

Publisher: The University of Texas Press

Date of Publication: April 18, 2017

Number of Pages: 312

 Scroll down for Giveaway!

Texans love the morning meal, whether it’s bacon and eggs (often eaten in a breakfast taco) or something as distinctively nontraditional as saag paneer omelets, pon haus, or goat curry. A Lone Star breakfast can be a time for eating healthy, or for indulging in decadent food and drink. And with Texas’s rich regional and cultural diversity, an amazing variety of dishes graces the state’s breakfast and brunch tables. The first Texas cookbook dedicated exclusively to the morning meal, Breakfast in Texas gathers nearly one hundred recipes that range from perfectly prepared classics to the breakfast foods of our regional cuisines (Southern, Mexican, German, Czech, Indian, and Asian among them) to stand-out dishes from the state’s established and rising chefs and restaurants.

Terry Thompson-Anderson organizes the book into sections that cover breakfast and brunch libations (with and without alcohol); simple, classic, and fancy egg presentations; pancakes, French toast, and waffles; meat lover’s dishes; seafood and shellfish; vegan dishes and sides; and pastries. The recipes reference locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, and Thompson-Anderson provides enjoyable notes about the chefs who created them or the cultural history they represent. She also offers an expert primer on cooking eggs, featuring an encounter with Julia Child, as well as a selection of theme brunches (the boozy brunch, the make-ahead brunch, New Year’s Day brunch, Mother’s Day brunch with seasonal ingredients, teenage daughter’s post-slumber party breakfast, and more). Sandy Wilson’s color photographs of many of the dishes and the chefs and restaurants who serve them provide a lovely visual counterpoint to the appetizing text.

Praise for Breakfast in Texas:

**A James Beard Cookbook Award Finalist**

“Bring a Texas-sized appetite to the table for Breakfast in Texas! A combination of home-style cooking and favorite dishes from restaurants across the great state, Breakfast in Texas is packed with recipes for simple to spectacular egg dishes, creative cocktails, meat lovers’ feasts, and pancakes and pastries, as well as vegan breakfast and brunch ideas. Beautiful photographs, mouth-watering recipes, and great menu and party ideas make this a must-have for your cookbook shelf.”

-Virginia Willis, chef and James Beard Award–winning cookbook author 

“I thoroughly enjoyed Terry Thompson-Anderson’s latest cookbook, Breakfast in Texas. I’m sure many of these recipes are going to become signature dishes for my family, as well as my loyal restaurant customers. Relish every story; enjoy every bite. This cookbook is Texas at the breakfast table.”

-Monica Pope, chef and author of Eat Where Your Food Lives

“Terry Thompson-Anderson’s epic breakfast book spans the cultures of Texas, as well as its regions. With recipes that run from simple to more elaborate, and range from libations to pastries, there’s something for everyone. Plus, Breakfast in Texas is a good read, with all sorts of fascinating information about Texas and its rich and colorful history.”

-Paula Lambert, owner of the Mozzarella Company and author of The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide

CLICK TO PURCHASE

Terry Thompson-Anderson is the author of nine previous cookbooks, including Texas on the Table: People, Places, and Recipes Celebrating the Flavors of the Lone Star State, which was a finalist for the 2015 James Beard Book Award for American Cooking.

Connect with The University of Texas Press:

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  May 30-June 13, 2017

 

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR

5/30 Promo Hall Ways Blog
5/31 Review StoreyBook Reviews
6/1   Sneak Peek 1 Momma On The Rocks
6/2   Review Books in the Garden
6/3   Book Trailer 1 My Book Fix Blog
6/4   Promo Syd Savvy
6/5   Review Bibliotica
6/6   Book Trailer 2 Texas Book Lover
6/7   Review Chapter Break Book Blog
6/8   Sneak Peek 2 Forgotten Winds
6/9   Excerpt Missus Gonzo
6/10 Review Books and Broomsticks
6/12  Author Interview CGB Blog Tours
6/13  Review Reading By Moonlight

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The Rebirth of Hope: Scrapbook

THE REBIRTH OF HOPE

My Journey from Vietnam War Child to American Citizen

By Sau Le Hudecek

  Genre: Memoir / Inspirational

Publisher: Texas Christian University Press

Date of Publication: June 15, 2017

Number of Pages: 160 

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Born in a demilitarized zone during the Vietnam War to a Vietnamese mother and American soldier, Sau Le arrived in the United States as a young woman with only twenty dollars in her pocket. Though bullied and abused since childhood, she nevertheless came to her new homeland armed with courage and determined to build a decent life for herself, her infant son, and her traumatized mother.

This is the story of how she overcame every conceivable hurdle—significant culture shock, a daunting language barrier, serious illness, heartbreak, and betrayal—to become a landlord, a successful business owner, a joyous wife and mom, and a woman blessed with generous, loyal friends. She describes an arduous journey, both physical and emotional, from a place of terror and utter despair to a life overflowing with love and prosperity.

Ultimately, this is a story of hope, something Sau Le thought she’d lost long ago in the minefields of Vietnam. Her goal is both to uplift and to remind everyone born on American soil that anything in this land is possible for those willing to put dedication, faith, and passion to work.

Praise for The Rebirth of Hope:

“Sau Le has an innate abundance of beauty, wisdom, loyalty and dignity which led her to overcome unbelievable challenges and fully realize her dream in America. Thus proving once again that adversity builds character. I couldn’t put it down.” —Dan Jenkins, bestselling author of Semi-Tough

“Sau Le lifted her head and walked through years of hard work and determination, inspiring other women along the way! Every word of her personal journey was written to remind all of us!”  —Robin Sanders, Sanders Travel Agency

“An inspiring story of a Vietnam refugee’s journey to achieve the ‘American Dream.’ This book is a lesson for everyone.”  —Martin C. Bowen, financial executive

“To have written this remarkable story is one more example of the focus and tenacity that Sau Le Hudecek has shown in achieving her previous goals. You will remember this gripping tale of resilience and courage.”  —Gail Williamson Rawl

“A truly inspirational story of a fearless person who overcame unbelievable odds to make a better life and obtain the ‘American dream.’”  —Janie Beggs

Purchase Links

TCU Press    IndieBound    Barnes & Noble    Amazon

Sau Le Hudecek owns a successful salon in Fort Worth, Texas, while still serving her own elite clientele.  In 1993, she arrived in the United States at the age of 22 and was sworn in as a citizen in 2001. She lives with her family in Granbury enjoying the sunsets from their home on the lake.

 

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6/7   Author Interview   StoreyBook Review

6/8   Review    Reading by Moonlight

6/10  Review   Syd Savvy

6/11  Promo    Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books

6/12  Excerpt  Missus Gonzo

6/13  Review   Hall Ways Blog

6/14  Scrapbook 2  Texas Book Lover

6/15  Promo    CGB Blog Tours

6/16  Review   Forgotten Winds

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Breakwater: Review

Rating:

Breakwater

By Catherine Jones Payne
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mermaids
Release Date: May 30th 2017
Fathom Ink Press


Summary from Goodreads


A red tide is rising.

As the daughter of one of the mer-king’s trusted advisors, seventeen-year-old Jade has great responsibilities. When her fiancé murders a naiad, plunging the underwater city of Thessalonike into uproar, tensions surge between the mer and the naiads. Jade learns too late that the choices she makes ripple further than she’d ever imagined. And as she fights against the tide of anger in a city that lives for scandal, she discovers danger lurking in every canal, imperiling her family and shattering the ocean’s fragile peace.

Can the city’s divisions be mended before the upwelling of hate rips apart everything Jade loves?

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Review

Colorful haired mermaids and water manipulating naiads are a recipe of everything I wanted to read right now. Breakwater did an excellent job of bringing me an entirely different underwater world and keeping things very relatable. Tensions are high between the mers and the naiads with injustice and prejudice. It’s something we see everyday in reality. I’m sure with every story we read, the reader will always see similarities to their own world. Nothing is ever quite simple but this book brings something to light that is. Compassion.

The others characters like Pippa show that even with great loss, we can still find something for which to smile. Or Alexander who doesn’t fit in but works hard and eventually finds a home he enjoys. Even Jade’s mother shows acts of kindness despite the complicated position it would bring her. These characters and more come together in tragedy and upheaval and still persevere.

Jade’s compassion shines through a bleak and troublesome war brewing in her city and it what really drove me to loving this book. At one point, Jade describes heroic women from the past that jeopardized their lives but still persisted. This book is a great example for everyone, and especially young girls, about embracing differences and standing for what’s right. Even if you’re afraid. Well done Catherine Payne.

I enjoyed how mature this book could be while still keeping simple elements to the plot. It was an easy to read, fast paced, and thrilling story that I believe many will enjoy.

About the Author

 

Catherine Jones Payne is a Seattle native who loves the written word, international travel, crashing waves, and good coffee. Her earliest memory involves pulling up a rolling chair to her parents’ old DOS computer—while wearing a tiara, naturally—and tapping out a story of kidnapped princesses. By day she’s the managing editor of Quill Pen Editorial and the editor of Splickety Magazine. She lives in Waco, TX with her historian husband, Brendan, and their cats, Mildred and Minerva.

 

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Internet Famous Promo and Giveaway

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Internet Famous 
by Danika Stone
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 6th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Can an online romance survive in real life?

Internet sensation Madison Nakama has it all! Her pop-culture rewatch site has a massive following, and fans across the world wait on her every post and tweet. Even Madi’s dismal romantic life seems ready to take off as Laurent, a fellow geek (and unfairly HOT French exchange student!) starts flirting with her in the comments section of her blog. But Laurent’s not the only one watching for Madi’s replies.

Internet fame has a price, and their online romance sparks the unwanted attention of a troll. When Madi’s “real life” hits a rough patch, she feels her whole world crumbling. With Laurent’s support, can Madi rally her friends across the globe to beat the troll, or will he succeed in driving her away from everything―and everyone―she loves?

Excerpt:

This guy looked more like a college student than high school senior, but there were too many other clues to ignore. Madi’s stomach twisted. Oh God—there’s no way this is happening.

“You’re Madi,” he repeated. “From the MadLibs blog, right?”

“I am,” she said, then forced a smile. “I know this sounds weird, but how do you pronounce your name?”

“It’s Laurent.” The way he said his name tipped her off: Luh-Ron. It rhymed with Lebron—the accent on the second part of the name—clearly masculine. Laurent Abelard, not Lauren Tabelard! she realized. Madi fought the urge to face-palm.

“I didn’t realize it was you,” she said. “I thought you were a girl.”

“I didn’t either. I thought you were—” He laughed. “I don’t know. Someone else. I expected someone… different.”

“Different?”

“I don’t know. You just look like—like—”

Madi’s wanton perusal came to a screeching halt. What. The. HELL.

“Like what?” she snapped.

“Like a blogger.”

“A blogger? What’s that supposed to mean?!”

He shrugged “I… I don’t know. You’re just not what I expected.”

Madi drew herself up to her full height, vibrating with anger. “Sorry to disappoint you, but there are lots of people who look lots of ways—”

“But I only meant—”

“—and bloggers come in all shapes and sizes—”

“Yes, I know, but—”

“—and MadLibs has a HUGE fanbase! Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to my site each month. I’m eighteen years old. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m not some—some kid, or something!”

Laurent recoiled from the screen, his face blanching. “Ah, non! Ce n’est pas le cas! I-I’m so very sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. I just—I messed up. I didn’t think—I-I—Pardonnez-moi, s’il vous plaît. Je ne veux pas vous ennuyer…” His words tumbled out faster and faster, disappearing into a blur of anxiety-ridden French.

And that was the moment, Madi realized, when she knew she was going to fall and fall hard, because nothing was more romantic than a language you couldn’t understand and a young man who was anything but American who was spouting apologies and wringing his hands. (That doing it onscreen made him look like a matinee idol from some brooding French film was an added bonus.)

 

Purchase Links:

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Author Bio:

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both adults (The Intaglio Series and Ctrl Z) and teens (Icarus and All the Feels). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

The first book in Danika’s upcoming Tathagata series (Edge of Wild) was selected as a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel of the Year Award (2013). Edge of Wild (Stonehouse CA) will be released March 2016. Danika’s YA novel, All the Feels (Macmillan US), will be released June 2016.

Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.

Author Links:

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Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney

Publication Date:  February 14, 2017

Publisher:  Clean Reads Publishing

Synopsis:

The end of an Empire, the rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long-lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows

Excerpt:

Jaxson sat on a wooden perch, his chin resting on his hands as he stared longingly onto the horizon. She spoke softly, “Go to bed, Jaxson, I have it from here.”

Snapping to attention, he jumped slightly, not having heard her come in. “Nyx, you scared me a bit there. How are you?”

She winked at him. “Needing some starlight and an endless night.”

Nodding solemnly, Jaxson hopped down. Before leaving, he placed a burly hand on her shoulder. “We have to be prepared not to give up hope. For Alby.”

His words were like a weight anchoring onto the ocean floor. Nyx climbed up on the perch as Jaxson left, the door swinging closed behind him. Nyx closed her eyes. She could move forward with this. It was already too late. She had pushed Memphis to make his decision. He believed in Emory like he had never believed in her. He had and would always choose Emory. Her chin wobbled as her eyes snapped open. There was no going back now. She silently said goodbye to the man she loved as her eyes searched the land stretching out in front of her. To her left, the woods, and beyond that, an escarpment of mountain terrain…and Adair. It was as simple as breathing as Nyx reached out, her mind brushing against a thousand consciousnesses. A thousand whispers sounded back to her. She searched only for one. She didn’t have to wait long.

 

Purchase Links:

BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Guest Post by Mallory McCartney

Best places to go writing and why

Thank you for having me!! Personally, I thrive on routine, and when it comes to my writing spaces I am a creature of habit! I have my writing nook in my home, which is nicely framed by my bookcases. When I hike, I always carry my notebook and take down lines and ideas when they come to me. I have my favorite coffee house as well, though this is a place I only write at once and a while. I tend to get deep into my world when I work, so for me personally my best place to write is in my nook, where I can be utterly transported (plus my dachshunds for company!). Also hiking, using the inspiration of nature to get my creative juices flowing. I think the best places to write really depends on the author themselves, where they are comfortable, and is different for everyone as individuals.

 

AUTHOR INFO:

Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

 

Author Links:

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Giveaway Details:

Three (3) winners will recieve a signed copy of Black Dawn by  Mallory McCartney (INT)

 

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