Cinco de Murder: Top 5 List

CINCO DE MURDER

A Taste of Texas Mystery, #3

by Rebecca Adler

Genre:  Texas Cozy Mystery

Date of Publication: April 3, 2018

Publisher: Berkley

Number of Pages: 304

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Tex-Mex waitress and part-time reporter Josie Callahan serves up more Lone Star justice in this spicy mystery from the author of The Good, the Bad, and the Guacamole.

It’s fiesta time in Broken Boot, Texas, and tourists are pouring into town faster than free beer at a bull roping for the mouthwatering Cinco de Mayo festivities. Tex-Mex waitress Josie Callahan, her feisty abuela, and even her spunky Chihuahua Lenny are polishing their folklórico dances for Saturday’s big parade, while Uncle Eddie is adding his own spicy event to the fiesta menu: Broken Boot’s First Annual Charity Chili Cook-off.

But Uncle Eddie’s hopes of impressing the town council go up in smoke when cantankerous chili cook Lucky Straw is found dead in his tent. And when Josie’s beloved uncle is accused of fatal negligence, she, Lenny, and the steadfast Detective Lightfoot must uncover who ended the ambitious chilihead’s life–before another cook kicks the bucket.

PRAISE FOR CINCO DE MURDER:

“I enjoyed every minute of this high fa looting Texas escapade. The authentic Texas sayings had me rolling on the floor. I’m a Texan and boy did I relate to the towns and chili cook-off so well.”

–Texas Book-aholic

 

“I enjoy the Texas flair and touch while all the food talk just makes me hungry. If you enjoy a good cozy mystery that features an adorable dog and a culinary touch then this is the book/series for you.”~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

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TOP FIVE REASONS

TO READ THE TASTE OF TEXAS MYSTERY SERIES

BY REBECCA ADLER

In a recent interview I was asked, what makes your new release Cinco de Murder and the rest of your cozy mystery series unique?

  1. Beautiful deserts and breathtaking sky.
  2. Delicious Tex-Mex and mouthwatering BBQ.
  3. Corny jokes and heartwarming humor.
  4. Characters so fresh they snap like a fresh tortilla chip.

Sometimes I create my characters before I begin writing; and other times they walk onto the page when I need them the most. The idea of a family running a Tex-Mex restaurant in a small Texas town came from my editor–but I fleshed out the details. I’d say that’s my favorite part of writing this series—meeting the characters who arrive on the page, sometimes by design and other times by pure accident.

I can’t play favorites—that would be hurtful to my children, uh, charactersbut here’s what makes a few of them unique.

Josie Callahan’s my girl! She’s gutsy, funny, brave, and able to put together clues like nobody’s business. She might come across a ditz in the beginning; but she’s very committed to protecting her family and friends. She’s had to overcome the adversity of being jilted at the altar and being laid off from her dream job without losing hope for a brighter future. These life-altering experiences may have brought her unexpectedly back home to the small town she left behind; but she’s not bitter.

A close second on the list would definitely be the quiet, thoughtful, and oh-so-handsome Detective Quint Lightfoot. I am a huge fan of Tony Hillerman’s Native American lawmen Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, not to mention Native American actors Adam Beach and Michael Horse. When it came time to create a local deputy, I couldn’t resist introducing the handsome Detective Quint Lightfoot.

Um, I’m feeling guilty. I can’t not mention Josie’s erstwhile abuela, Senora Mari, hard on the outside, marshmallow on the inside. She’s in charge of the kitchen at Milagro, the family restaurant, and a member of the local folklórico dance troupe. A real spitfire!

And what would Lenny, the long-haired Chihuahua, say if I left him out? This adorable bachelor is a big fan of tamales, Tejano music, and wearing his mariachi costume.

5. A hint of romance. What’s not to love?

Rebecca Adler grew up on the sugar beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast. Drawn to the Big Apple by the sweet smell of wishful thinking, she studied acting on Broadway until a dark-eyed cowboy flung her over his saddle and hightailed it to the Southwest.

 

She’s currently content to pour her melodramatic tendencies into writing the Taste of Texas culinary mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime: Here Today, Gone TamaleThe Good, the Bad, and the Guacamoleand Cinco de Murder. Set in far West Texas, her humorous stories are filled with delicious suspense and scrumptious Tex-Mex recipes. Her alter ego, Gina Lee Nelson, writes contemporary romance with a sweet, Southern-fried flavor. 

 

A former president of North Texas Romance Writers, Rebecca is currently a member of Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she spends a great deal of time on her other favorite pastime, directing high school theatre. 

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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

6/20/18 Author Interview Chapter Break Book Blog
6/20/18 Guest Post Hall Ways Blog
6/21/18 Review Missus Gonzo
6/22/18 Top 5 List The Page Unbound
6/23/18 Excerpt Texas Book Lover
6/24/18 Review Forgotten Winds
6/25/18 Bonus Review Reading by Moonlight
6/26/18 Character Guest Post Dressed to Read
6/27/18 Review The Librarian Talks
6/28/18 Guest Post + Bonus Review That’s What She’s Reading
6/29/18 Review Book Fidelity

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The Widow’s Watcher: Notable Quotable

THE WIDOW’S WATCHER

By ELIZA MAXWELL

Genre:  Literary Fiction / Gothic

Publisher: Lake Union Press

Date of Publication: March 29, 2018

Number of Pages: 286

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From Eliza Maxwell, the bestselling author of The Unremembered Girl, comes a gripping novel about the mysteries that haunt us and the twists of fate that can unravel them…

Living in the shadow of a decades-old crime that stole his children from him, reclusive Lars Jorgensen is an unlikely savior. But when a stranger walks onto the ice of a frozen Minnesota lake, her intentions are brutally clear, and the old man isn’t about to let her follow through.

Jenna Shaw didn’t ask for Lars’s help, nor does she want it. After he pulls her from the brink, however, Jenna finds her desire to give up challenged by their unlikely friendship. In Jenna, Lars recognizes his last chance for redemption. And in her quest to solve the mysteries of Lars’s past and bring him closure, Jenna may find the way out of her own darkness. 

But the truth that waits threatens to shatter it all. When secrets are surrendered and lies are laid bare, Jenna and Lars may find that accepting the past isn’t their greatest challenge. Can they afford the heartbreaking price of forgiveness?

PRAISE FOR THE WIDOW’S WATCHER:

“There was a moment I had to tell myself that this is just a book…”

 Goodreads reviewer

 

“A well-paced story of healing, forgiveness and tragedy, with enough unexpected twists to keep readers guessing.”

— Amber Cowie, author of Rapid Falls

 

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Eliza Maxwell lives in Texas with her ever-patient husband and two kids. She’s an artist and writer, an introvert and a British cop drama addict. She loves nothing more than to hear from readers.

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5/22/18 Book Trailer StoreyBook Reviews
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5/23/18 Guest Post Texas Book Lover
5/24/18 Review #Bookish
5/24/18 Notable Quotable The Page Unbound
5/25/18 Review That’s What She’s Reading
5/25/18 Author Interview Dressed to Read
5/26/18 Review Tangled in Text
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5/27/18 Deleted Scene Books and Broomsticks
5/28/18 Review The Clueless Gent
5/28/18 Author Interview Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
5/29/18 Top Five List Nerd Narration
5/30/18 Review Forgotten Winds
5/31/18 BONUS Review Hall Ways Blog

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Sins of the Younger Sons: Promo

SINS OF THE YOUNGER SONS

By JAN REID

Genre: Literary Fiction / Romance / Spy / Thriller

Publisher: Texas Christian University Press 

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Publication Date: February 28, 2018

Number of Pages: 296 pages

Sins of the Younger Sons has received the Jesse H. Jones Award for Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters! 

Luke Burgoa is an ex-Marine on a solitary covert mission to infiltrate the Basque separatist organization ETA in Spain and help bring down its military commander, Peru Madariaga. Luke hails from a Basque ancestry that came with the Spanish empire to Cuba, Argentina, Mexico, and, seventy-five years ago, to a Texas ranch.

Neighbors consider the Burgoas Mexican immigrants and exiles of that nation’s revolution, but the matriarch of the family speaks the ancient language Euskera and honors traditions of the old country. Luke’s orders are to sell guns to the ETA and lure Peru into a trap. Instead he falls in love with Peru’s estranged wife, Ysolina, who lives in Paris and pursues a doctorate about an Inquisition-driven witchcraft frenzy in her native land. From the day they cross the border into the Basque Pyrenees, their love affair on the run conveys the beauty, sensuality, exoticism, and violence of an ancient homeland cut in two by Spain and France.

Their trajectory puts Luke, Ysolina, and Peru on a collision course with each other and the famed American architect Frank Gehry, whose construction of a Guggenheim art museum seeks to transform the Basque city of Bilbao, a decrepit industrial backwater haunted by the Spanish Civil War—and a hotbed of ETA extremism. Ranging from the Amazon rain forest to a deadly prison in Madrid, Sins of the Younger Sons is a love story exposed to dire risk at every turn.

PRAISE FOR SINS OF THE YOUNGER SONS:

Reid’s story is a fascinating blend of page-turning thriller and vivid tableau of Basque culture and the movement that battled the Spanish establishment for many decades. A reader can’t ask for more—a book that’s engaging, entertaining, educative, and unique.” 

—Thomas Zigal, author of Many Rivers to Cross and The White League

“What a fine book Jan Reid has written!  At once history—both cultural and political—and sensual love story, it reaches beyond genre to make for a magical and profound reading experience.  Don’t start reading it at night unless you want to stay up until dawn and then some.” —Beverly Lowry, author of Who Killed These Girls? and Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life

“Page by page, Sins of the Younger Sons invites the reader to dwell for a while within its unique world, to suffer and celebrate with its unforgettable characters. It’s a trip that, if taken, is well worth the effort.” —Ed Conroy, San Antonio Express-News

“Sins of the Younger Sons vividly takes us into a world few of us have seen and into a bitter conflict most of us have never considered nor understood.” —Si Dunn, Dallas Morning News

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Jan Reid’s highly praised books include his novel Comanche Sundown, his biography of Texas governor Ann Richards, Let the People In, his memoir of Mexico, The Bullet Meant for Me, and The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock. Making his home in Austin, Reid has been a leading contributor to Texas Monthly for over forty years. 

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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR

5/17/18 Promo The Page Unbound
5/18/18 Review Hall Ways Blog
5/19/18 Excerpt Texas Book Lover
5/20/18 Author Interview The Librarian Talks
5/21/18 Review Books in the Garden
5/22/18 Promo Book Fidelity
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5/24/18 Review The Love of a Bibliophile
5/25/18 Promo Forgotten Winds
5/26/18 Review Reading by Moonlight

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Beyond Control: Excerpt

BEYOND CONTROL

The Texas Trilogy, Book 3

By Kat Martin

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Zebra

Date of Publication: May 29, 2018

Number of Pages: 368  

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Present Danger

When Victoria Bradford got engaged, she told herself to give love a chance. Six months later, she’s on the run from her angry, abusive ex-fiancé with her four-year-old daughter and nowhere to go.

Seventy miles north of Dallas, the Iron River Ranch is pretty much nowhere. That’s what its new owner, Josh Cain, wanted when he came back from Afghanistan. Big skies, quiet nights, no trouble.

One look tells Josh the pretty redhead with the adorable little girl will give him trouble of the most personal kind. But he’s seen trouble before, and he doesn’t scare easy. Not when “accidents” start happening around the ranch. Not when Tory’s best friend back in Phoenix is abducted and brutalized. Not even when it looks like their current problems are only the tip of the iceberg.

But if he gets too close to fierce, determined Tory, Josh knows his nights are going to be anything but quiet. And that’s one possibility no amount of training can prepare him for…

PRAISE FOR BEYOND CONTROL:

“As the excitement in Iron Springs continues, two strangers with tragic pasts form an unbreakable bond. Beyond Control is the last installment in the Texas Trilogy. It’s delightfully fast-paced, riveting, and amazingly compelling. Martin has outdone herself with unpredictable twists and suspense that will leave readers panting for more. Definitely a must-read for readers who enjoy mystery, thrills, and romance to spice up their life.” – RT Reviews Top Pick

“Bestseller Martin brings her Texas Trilogy … to a hair-raising finish with the gripping tale of a single mother on the run and the Marine veteran who offers her a second chance at happily-ever-after. Martin has a consummate skill for developing the most loveable and the most despicable characters; readers will cheer when sadistic Damon meets his well-deserved end. Martin’s finely described Texas is a delight.” – Publishers Weekly

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EXCERPT, PART ONE

FROM BEYOND CONTROL

BY KAT MARTIN

Iron River Ranch

Iron Springs, Texas

Victoria Bradford drove the old blue Chevy Malibu along the two-lane road.  Up ahead, a sign hung above a narrow dirt track running off to the west, IRON RIVER RANCH.

“Are we there yet, Mama?”  Ivy, her four-year-old daughter, had asked at a dozen times since they’d left the Walmart parking lot in Iron Springs.  The ten-mile drive didn’t take long, but to a four-year-old who’d been in the car for days, they couldn’t reach their destination soon enough. 

“We’re very close, sweetheart.  This is the turn, right here.”  Tory checked the gas gauge as the wheels left the pavement and started rumbling over the bumpy dirt road.  Less than an eighth of a tank.  She hoped the ranch wasn’t much farther.

More than that, she prayed the job hadn’t already been filled. 

She sighed as the aging Malibu rolled along.  She was basically in bumfrick Egypt, ten miles north of Nowhere Springs, almost out of gas, with twenty-three dollars and thirty-three cents in her wallet. 

Last night, without enough money for a motel room and afraid to use her credit cards for fear Damon would somehow track her, they’d slept in the car in the Walmart parking lot.  As soon as the McDonald’s opened, she had pulled into the drive-thru and bought Sausage McMuffins, then driven out to the ranch to somehow convince the owner to hire a woman with a daughter and no actual ranching experience.

She thought of the ad in the paper she had spotted last night on the counter in the Iron Springs Café.  If she somehow managed to get the job, it would be perfect.  Besides a steady paycheck and the ranch being way off the grid, the position included the use of a double-wide trailer. 

After being on the road for the past three weeks, living out of motel rooms and suitcases, the trailer sounded like a palace.

“Look, Mama, there it is!”  Ivy pointed toward the cluster of buildings up ahead, a couple of barns, several fenced training arenas, and a two-story home with dormer windows and a covered porch running the length out in front.  A double-wide sat fifty yards away.

Vast stretches of open green pastureland surrounded the complex where horses and cattle grazed, and there were ponds and woodlands in the distance, and dense copses of trees.

The Chevy bumped over the last patch of road, pulled up in front of the house, and Tory quickly turned off the engine.  No use wasting what little gas she had left. 

“Mama, there’s a man over there by the barn.”

Her gaze swung in that direction.  There was, indeed, a man.  The noisy buzz of a saw covered the sound of their arrival, giving her time to assess him. 

Shirtless, he was working with his back to them, broad, tanned, and muscled above a narrow waist that disappeared into a pair of faded jeans.  The jeans hugged a round behind and long, powerful legs. 

  He was tall, she saw when he straightened away from his work and walked into the barn, with medium brown hair cut short.  She got her first look at his face when he walked back out, handsome, with a solid jaw and masculine features, at least three days’ growth of whiskers. 

The front of him was just as impressive as the back, a broad chest with solid pecs, muscular biceps, and six pack abs.

Unease filtered through her.  This was a strong, powerful male.  She knew firsthand what a man like that could do to a woman. 

Tory forced down the notion.  Not all men were like Damon.  Before she’d met him, she had been married to a good and decent man, the father of her child.  Jamie Bradford, her high school sweetheart, was one of the gentlest people she’d ever known.  Her father was a good man, before he’d fallen in love with his secretary and divorced her mother, leaving the two of them alone.

Tory took a courage-building breath.  “Stay here, sweetheart.”  Cracking open the car door, she slid out from behind the wheel.  “Don’t worry, sweetie.  Everything’s going to be okay.”

She hoped.

Ivy sank down in her booster seat, trying to make herself invisible.  Tory had survived the fights, arguments, and finally the brutal beating Damon had given her that had put her in the hospital.  Though he had never hurt Ivy, the little girl had seen the results of his mistreatment, leaving her with an unnatural fear of men.    

Tory glanced at the big, thick-chested male striding toward her, shrugging into a blue denim shirt.  Ivy would be terrified of him.  If there was any other way, she would climb back in the car and just drive away.

There wasn’t.  Tory started walking, meeting the man half way.  She glanced around but didn’t see a soul besides the big man in front of her.  Her uneasiness returned but she forced it away. 

Read part two of the excerpt on the Lone Star Book Blog Tours 5/15/18 tour stop with Books and Broomsticks blog!

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.

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5/11/18

Promo

Texas Book Lover

5/12/18

Review

Missus Gonzo

5/13/18

Excerpt Part 1

The Page Unbound

5/14/18

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

5/15/18

Excerpt Part 2

Books and Broomsticks

5/16/18

Author Interview

Nerd Narration

5/17/18

Review

Reading by Moonlight

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Author Interview

The Librarian Talks

5/19/18

Top Ten List

Tangled in Text

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Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

  

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Harmon General: Cover Reveal Blitz

HARMON GENERAL

Misfits and Millionaires #2 

By KIMBERLY FISH

Genre: Historical Fiction / WWII / Spies 

Expected Date of Publication: June 16, 2018

Number of Pages: 330

Harmon General is book two in the WWII historical fiction series entitled Misfits and Millionaires—set in Longview, Texas. The novel picks up about two months after the story line in The Big Inch ended.

 

Familiar characters and locations get a shot of adrenaline from the biological hazard espionage going on at the U.S. Army’s new medical hospital treating diseased and wounded soldiers—a 156-acre pop campus created as part of a master plan to place U.S. Army hospitals around Texas specializing in long-term wound care for WWII soldiers. The Office of Strategic Services has one of its best agents in place as a nurse at Harmon General—Sgt. Emmie Tesco—and she’s soon up to her blood pressure cuff in intrigues at the hospital campus, particularly the mission to stop a culprit code-named “Dr. Death” who is accused of skewing the malaria test protocols being established at Harmon so that no one will notice him preparing to sell the malaria research to the enemies of the Allies. Heroes and villains circulate in Longview from the post at Harmon General, and Emmie ropes Lane Mercer into helping manage the overload of responsibilities. Readers of The Big Inch will better understand what drives Emmie Tesco and why poking at old wounds can be a messy affair. The backstory of Lane Mercer and her first husband gets a brutal airing too, and stakes grow dangerous for Lane and Zeke Hayes as the plans they’d wanted for their wedding are upended by well-meaning, Aunt Edith.

PRESENTING THE COVER 

OF HARMON GENERAL

PRAISE FOR HARMON GENERAL:

“The war that changed the world brought the world to East Texas through Harmon General, a significant US Army hospital that treated thousands of wounded soldiers in Longview.  In Harmon General, we meet again Lane Mercer, a World War II heroine, and we enjoy again how the drama of her secret service to the nation and her complicated personal relationships pull us into the vast impact of the world war.” — Dale Lunsford, Ph.D., President, LeTourneau University

Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won The Writer’s League of Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting. 

She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats and in January 2017, released the first novel in the Misfits and Millionaires series set during the World War II years in Longview, Texas—The Big Inch. Her second book, Comfort Plans, was published later that same year.

She lives with her family in East Texas.

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HARMON GENERAL

COMING TO LONE STAR BOOK BLOG TOURS

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StoreyBook Reviews

Dressed to Read

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The Way of Beauty: Author Interview

THE WAY OF BEAUTY

By Camille Di Maio

Genre: Historical Fiction / 20th Century / Literary

Publisher: Lake Union Press

Date of Publication: May 1, 2018

Number of Pages: 384

  

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Hearts and dreams evolve in the shadow of the once-magnificent Penn Station.

Vera Keller, the daughter of German immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York City, finds her life upended when the man she loves becomes engaged to another woman. But Angelo Bellavia has also inadvertently opened up Vera’s life to unexpected possibilities. Angelo’s new wife, Pearl, the wealthy daughter of a clothing manufacturer, has defied her family’s expectations by devoting herself to the suffrage movement. In Pearl, Vera finds an unexpected dear friend…and a stirring new cause of her own. But when Pearl’s selfless work pulls her farther from Angelo and their son, the life Vera craved is suddenly within her reach—if her conscience will allow her to take it.

Her choice will define not only her future but also that of her daughter, Alice.

Vera and Alice—a generation and a world apart—are bound by the same passionate drive to fulfill their dreams. As first mother and then daughter come of age in a city that is changing as rapidly as its skyline, they’ll each discover that love is the only constant.

PRAISE FOR THE WAY OF BEAUTY:

The Way of Beauty is a thing of beauty. The writing is gorgeous, the story is engaging, the characters are amazing. The amount of research that goes into historical fiction just astounds me. Add this to your TBR!”

“If you want to be swept away by a love story set in a fascinating and meticulously researched past, Camille Di Maio is the author for you. Don’t miss this one.”

“A captivating story of love and family that spans several generations.”

“The writing transports you to the time, not so long ago when women had to choose between love and their rights. Camille Di Maio’s dialogue, descriptions, and relationships create a complete picture of the era and struggles. Great book club book.” 

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CHECK OUT THE BOOK TRAILER!

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR CAMILLE DI MAIO

What was your favorite childhood book?

I love this book called The King Who Rained for Forty Years. It was written by Fred Gwynne (Mr. Munster!), and it illustrated the way we hear language versus the way we read it. It is so clever! It made me fall in love with words.

Do you Google yourself?

I have done this a few times – mostly because I want to stay on top of any articles or posts about my books so that I can thank the blogger.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Since I write historical fiction, choosing era-accurate names is especially important. I figure out which year my characters would have been born in, and then I search for the most popular baby names of that year – I think the furthest I’ve gone back is 1890! I love that some of the old names are coming back – Violet, Iris, Hazel, etc. Naming characters is one of my favorite parts of writing!

If you didn’t write, what work would you do?

I was a Realtor for many years, and although I was kept quite busy with it, it wasn’t my calling. If I wasn’t writing, though, and wanted to choose another career I loved, I would be a travel agent. I love love love the research that goes into planning a trip, getting good prices, finding great coffee shops. I have done this for friends several times, just for fun.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Yes! It happens all the time! Actually, I’d say that about 90% of the time I sit down to my laptop, I don’t know what I’m going to write. The key is to just DO it. Just get words on the page (or screen!) and things will flow. You can’t wait around for inspiration to strike.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

My first book, The Memory of Us, was inspired by the Beatles song, “Eleanor Rigby.” So, there are definitely some “Easter eggs” in there that only the most devoted Beatles fans would know. All of my books have details of something in my life. For example, there is a wedding ring in the book I’m writing now that is fashioned after the one my grandmother wore. And the house in that book is inspired by my other grandmother’s house. My family would be the only people who know these things!

What’s the best way to market your book?

I’m not terribly polished or technical, so I don’t have a newsletter or Pinterest account that I keep up with. But I love just being personal with my readers. I’m very active on Instagram and Facebook, getting to know my readers and letting them know me. I don’t know if that’s marketing, exactly, but it’s being a real person and forming connections.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Having that book professionally edited was the best writing education I could ever have gotten. Instead of working with concepts, the process of digging in to the intricacies of my writing helped me understand what works and what doesn’t, and I’ve definitely carried that over into my subsequent books.

Do you read your reviews? How do you feel about the good and bad ones?

Eek! Yes! I do read my Amazon reviews. Of course, all authors wish they had five stars across the board, but that’s not realistic. Not every book is going to speak to every person in the same way. I love fours and fives. I think threes are very reasonable – they are often well-thought-out, being honest about the things they didn’t connect with and supportive of the things they did. I somewhat discount the two and one-star reviews. Personally, if I’m reading a book that I would rate a one or two star, I’m not going to finish it in the first place, and I’m definitely not going to review it and hurt the author. But those reviews can sometimes be humorous, too. Sometimes, they’re for the totally wrong book. “There was too much sex in it!” (I have none in my books – I’m a close-the-door kind of writer.) Or one of my favorites – (I’m paraphrasing here) – “I liked the book until the main character drank chamomile tea. Only eccentric people drink chamomile tea. So I have to give it two stars.”)

~Romance Writers of America Honor Roll Inductee~

Camille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a full-time writer. Along with her husband of 19 years, she enjoys raising their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far) and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, 

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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

5/1 Notable Quotable Forgotten Winds
5/1 Notable Quotable Books and Broomsticks
5/1 Notable Quotable The Clueless Gent
5/2 Review Hall Ways Blog
5/3 Review Books in the Garden
5/4 Guest Post Carpe Diem Chronicles
5/4 Excerpt That’s What She’s Reading
5/5 Review Reading by Moonlight
5/5 Promo+ Chapter Break Book Blog
5/6 Review Momma on the Rocks
5/7 Author Interview The Page Unbound
5/7 Top Five Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
5/8 Review StoreyBook Reviews
5/9 Guest Post Missus Gonzo
5/9 Character Interview The Librarian Talks
5/10 Review Tangled in Text

 

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Searching for Pilar: Guest Post

SEARCHING FOR PILAR

By PATRICIA HUNT HOLMES

Genre: Contemporary Suspense / Thriller

Publisher: River Grove Books

Publication Date: April 10, 2018

Number of Pages: 320 pages

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Pilar, an innocent young wife and mother, is abducted during a fake job interview in Mexico City and forced into sex slavery in Houston. Can she survive the horrors of a world—one which many good Americans don’t see or ignore—long enough for her brother Diego to find her?

Searching for Pilar breaks open the secretive and dangerous world of sex trafficking, while exploring human nature and our connections to each another. Diego’s guilt transforms him from a rudderless youth into a man of purpose, and courage. While he searches, Pilar finds a strength that could save herself and a young girl who needs her. The themes of family, love, faith and the law intertwine in this action-packed tale of the Bayou City.

PRAISE FOR SEARCHING FOR PILAR:

“Patricia Holmes fictionalizes the heartbreaking reality of cross-border sex trafficking in her novel, Searching for Pilar. This cautionary tale should be required reading for high school classes to foster awareness, understanding, and ultimately solutions to this horrific epidemic.”  —Joanne F. Phillips, author of Revenge of the Cube Dweller.

“In Searching for Pilar, Patricia Hunt Holmes makes us aware of the terrible nature of sex trafficking in the context of a fast-paced, exciting Houston story that moves from affluence and glitz to barrio cantinas and the federal courthouse. The charitable, can-do nature of Houston is reflected in the wide cast of residents who help a young man on an extremely dangerous mission to find his kidnapped sister.  This book will be an added weapon in our fight against sex trafficking.” –Sylvester Turner, Mayor, City of Houston

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TIPS FOR MEN WHO STILL DON’T GET IT

Guest Post by Patricia Hunt Holmes

I was having lunch yesterday after a round of golf with three professional women friends.  We were discussing things that we experienced or saw during the good old days in the legal and business world that would be considered inappropriate today.  I am a retired big firm corporate law partner.

“It’s amazing,” I said.  “Some men still don’t get it.”  I told them about how the marshal at Memorial recently paired my former law partner (let’s call her “Thelma”) and me with two men of our generation who were oblivious to the fact that old habits need to be re-examined.  They were pleasant, but when we did the customary self-introductions on the first tee, one of them addressed me as “honey” and Thelma as “doll.”  DOLL? I had visions of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin with their arms around buxom blonds in Las Vegas.

I looked at Thelma, a big time, scary litigator in her day, to see if she would slug the guy.    I was afraid that if we made a fuss, these guys would tell the marshal that we were pain in the neck females who shouldn’t be given tee times at prime times when men like to play.  Since we had never been paired with women in the year and a half we played there, I feared we might never tee off again.  Our golf careers would die right then and there!  Thelma was probably thinking the same thing, so we smiled and patiently endured being addressed as “sweetie” and “baby” for eleven holes.  Finally, we said, “Enough!” and adjourned to the grill and a glass of wine.

Then one of my other friends related something that had happened to her just the week before.  Her team at a large commercial real estate company had an event where prizes were awarded.  She didn’t win.  Her boss, who was hosting the office Christmas party the next night, where he awarded prizes, was standing beside her.  Making light conversation, she told him that she didn’t win anything but hoped she would win something the next day.  He looked her in the eyes and responded in a low voice, “It depends on what you are wearing.”  Was that a sexist innuendo, a bad joke or what?  Did he realize it?  Probably not.

So, for those men who still don’t get it, I put together a list of things you might consider not doing in this time of heightened consciousness of inappropriate behavior in male/female relationships:

First, it’s probably not a good idea to address any woman with terms that are used in talking to children.  For example, anyone over the age of puberty who is not your significant other should not be addressed as “honey,” “doll,” or “sweetie.”  “Baby” should be reserved for talking with actual babies.   Use the woman’s proper name.  If you don’t know it, say “Miss” or Ma’am, like nice Southern boys used to do.  It’s respectful.

Second, never respond to a simple conversational sentence with a suggestive or flirty response.  It kills what could be a pleasant conversation or even a fruitful exchange of ideas.  Unless she is looking for a hookup (possible, but unlikely), she will try to avoid you in the future.  You will miss out on making a friend or loyal employee.

Third, if you don’t want to allow a woman to enter an elevator first or open a door for her, don’t editorialize that “I would open the door for you, but then you would say I was a sexist pig.”   Don’t BE a sexist pig — just get on the elevator first or let her open her own door without comment.  We all realize manners and civility are dying anyway.  But you might just impress people if you did the respectful thing.  Everyone appreciates gentlemanly behavior.

Fourth, don’t habitually close your office door when meeting with a particular subordinate woman unless you need to speak in private.  Otherwise, the rest of the office might suspect that something is going on in there.  That could make the trapped woman nervous and other women in the office resentful of her. It lessens her ability to be seen as a competent professional.   Besides, if the woman is unscrupulous (it does happen, alas!) you may be setting yourself up for a situation where you are accused of something inappropriate that you didn’t really do.   If the door stays open for men in a similar situation, it should stay open for women. 

Last, although hugging and air kissing when meeting is common in many social and business settings, trying to kiss subordinate women or colleagues on the lips is not appropriate.  It reminds me of “copping a feel,” as the boys in my high school in Jersey used to say.  Hug or kiss a woman you know in greeting or goodbye on the cheek.  If you are greeting both a woman and male clients or colleagues, don’t shake hands with the man but kiss and/or hug the woman. Greet them both the same way.  If you are meeting a woman for the first time, or someone you don’t know well, a handshake is appropriate.  If the woman has a stronger grip than you expected, don’t comment about it. 

Old habits are hard to change and often we don’t realize the effect of things we do.  But “the times they are a changing” and I encourage all you guys who are good people to be more “mindful” (to use a trendy theme) of how what you say or do could get you in trouble or rob you of the ability to have meaningful relationships with women colleagues. Above all, don’t let the current hysteria cause you to avoid working with women.  Just keep your interaction respectful and professional, the same as you do with other men. 

Patricia Hunt Holmes, Ph.D., J.D.

Patricia is a retired partner with Vinson & Elkins LLP.  Her first fiction novel, “Searching for Pilar,” will be available April 10, 2017.

Patricia Hunt Holmes spent 30 years as a public finance attorney with the international law firm of Vinson & Elkins LLP.   She was consistently listed in Best Lawyers in America, Texas Super Lawyers, Top Lawyers in Houston, and awarded the highest degree by her peers in Martindale Hubbell. She was a frequent speaker at national public finance and healthcare conferences.  Patricia has also served on the faculty of the University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Tennessee, and University of Texas Health Science Center Houston. She has written and published in the fields of intellectual history and law.

Patricia has been a member and board member of social service organizations in Houston that focus on helping women, including the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast Women’s Initiative, Dress for Success Houston, and the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red.  She was a founding member and first board chair of Houston Justice for Our Neighbors, which provides free and low cost legal services to immigrants.  For the past five years, she has been taking writing workshops with Inprint, associated with the outstanding University of Houston Creative Writing Program.  She began to write Searching for Pilar in a workshop after learning that Houston is one of the biggest hubs for sex trafficking in the country.

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3rd Prize: Signed Copy of Searching for Pilar + $20 Amazon Gift Card

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Blood and Remembrance: Promo and Giveaway

BLOOD AND REMEMBRANCE
by
CHRIS MANNO
Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Publication Date: March 3, 2018
Number of Pages: 321 pages

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Blood and Remembrance is the prequel to the award-winning Texas novel, East JesusThis new, stand-alone story rampages from the west Texas plains to Huntsville’s Death Row and back. Cowboys, ranchers, driven oilmen, desperate convicts and headstrong women grapple with truths of the heart, of life, and the coming of age in a dramatic struggle you’ll live yourself and never forget.
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Chris Manno of Fort Worth, Texas, earned a doctorate in English from Texas Christian University and teaches writing at Texas Wesleyan University. 

East Jesus, his first novel, was named “finalist” (second place) for Best Fiction of 2017 by the North Texas Book Festival. The novel takes a close-up, visceral look at West Texas life in 1969 and the good folks who lived it, grappling with notions of family, patriotism and violence, both domestic and in a far-off, unpopular war. 

Blood and Remembrance is the prequel to East Jesus, tracing the roots of the main characters in both books, examining the harsh but classically All-American story of life in the Texas panhandle. 

Manno is also the author of a third novel, Voodoo Rush, winner for Best Fiction of 2018 by the North Texas Book Festival, and a collection of short stories titled Short Fiction for the Impatient Reader. Both books are available from White Bird Publications of Austin Texas. 


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4/20/18
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The El Paso Red Promo

THE EL PASO RED FLAME GAS STATION 

AND OTHER STORIES

By J. REEDER ARCHULETA

Genre: Fiction /Short Stories / Coming of Age

Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing, LLC

Date of Publication: December 8, 2017

Number of Pages: 132

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These short stories are about coming of age in rural far West Texas.  The stories are about the people who have come to stay in a remote part of Texas with a climate that can be harsh and unpredictable and that is demanding and unforgiving.  The stories are told through the eyes of Josh, a young boy, who finds himself alone in a small farm and ranch community and who realizes that he will have to make his own way in this place. 

Along the way he meets a group of characters with different takes on life.  Some try to help shield him from the chaos of the world, some try to add more chaos. But all of them, in their own distinct way, through jobs, advice, or actions, play a part in his life.

PRAISE FOR THE EL PASO RED FLAME GAS STATION:

“Punchy, plainspoken dialogue…colorful and charismatic characters…The result is an atmospheric Texas…reminiscent of Larry McMurtry’s “The Last Picture Show.” — Kirkus Reviews

“The universality of Josh’s journey gives it a timeless quality…a rich tapestry…The stories are conveyed in lean, elegant prose reminiscent of Annie Proulx and Cormac McCarthy” — Blue Ink Review

“Archuleta’s collection offers poignant and hopeful stories of determination in the face of need. Thoroughly engaging…narrated with passion and eloquence…” — The Clarion Review                       

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The author was raised in far West Texas and five generations of his family are in their final resting place there.  His great-grandfather is buried in Concordia Cemetery in El Paso within spitting distance of the grave of John Wesley Hardin.

Website ║ Amazon Author Page ║ 

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THE EL PASO RED FLAME GAS STATION +

A $5 STARBUCKS GIFT CARD

APRIL 17-26, 2018

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Promo

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Review

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Bibliotica

 

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A Borrowed Dream: Review and Giveaway

Rating:
A BORROWED DREAM
The Cimarron Creek Trilogy, Book 2
by
Amanda Cabot
Genre: Historical Romance / Inspirational
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: March 20, 2018
Number of Pages: 352
My Rating: 4/5
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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.

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PRAISE FOR A BORROWED DREAM:

“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 
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Baker Book House  ┃  Amazon  ┃  Barnes & Noble 
┃  Christianbook.com  ┃  Books-A-Million  ┃  Kobo  ┃


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. 

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THREE WINNERS
1ST: Copy of A Borrowed Dream, Novel Teas (25 count), Paddywax Library Collection Ralph Waldo Emerson Scented Soy Wax Candle, Cedar & Wild Fern (6.5oz) 

2ND: Copy of A Borrowed Dream + $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
3RD: Copy of A Borrowed Dream + $10 Starbucks Gift Card

APRIL 12-21, 2018

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