Heart on the Line: Excerpt and Giveaway

HEART ON THE LINE
Ladies of Harper’s Station #2
by
Karen Witemeyer
  Genre: Christian / Historical / Frontier Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Date of Publication: June 6, 2017
Number of Pages: 336
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Grace Mallory is tired of hiding. She hungers for a normal life, perhaps even a suitor like two of her friends in Harper’s Station have found. But when the man she believes responsible for her father’s death discovers her whereabouts, survival takes priority.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies
who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His fellow telegrapher, the mysterious Miss G, has been the ideal companion. For months, their friendship—dare he believe, courtship?—over the wire has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intends for him. However, when he intercepts an ominous message and discovers her life is in peril, Amos must shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

PRAISE FOR HEART ON THE LINE:
“Witemeyer blends history, suspense, and romance with touches of humor. Women will enjoy this story that proves heroes come in unexpected shapes and sizes and not always on a white charger.”Christian Market

“Online dating meets 1890s Texas in this charming, spiritually deep, laugh-out-loud funny romance!”—reader review on Goodreads
 PURCHASE LINKS:

Excerpt from Heart on the Line
by Karen Witemeyer

It was him. Mr. A. She’d recognize his quick touch at the key anywhere. So crisp and precise. A metronome couldn’t create spaces any more rhythmic. She’d long admired his deft hand at the key. Setting her tea on the table, Grace slid into her office chair, a giddy tickle in her stomach despite her best efforts to maintain a sense of detachment.

 Yes, Station Dn. I’m here.

 Excellent! I worried I had waited too long to call. Dinner at my sister’s took longer than expected.

 I hope you didn’t rush away on my account, Grace tapped.  

I was eager to escape. Believe me.

What dastardly plague did they set upon you? Grace grinned to herself as she tapped out the words. Mr. A always seemed to have a humorous story to tell about his family, his life so wonderfully normal that whenever she listened to him, she managed to forget all about danger and unseen foes. For a few blessed minutes, she was simply a girl talking to a young man, no worries in sight.

I dare not tell you, for fear of spreading the contagion. It seems to strike the women around me with alarming regularity.

Intrigued, Grace leaned forward. Surely the distance between us will serve as adequate protection.

My mother and sister have both been afflicted for some time, I’m sorry to say, but tonight their symptoms worsened.

That sounds dire, indeed. Did you call a physician?

No point. There is only one cure to their ailment. And apparently I am the one who must distribute the healing dose.

Then you should do so at once, Grace replied, grinning as she reached for her tea. Mr. A never failed to entertain.

I would, of course, he said, but I find the key ingredient in the required elixir to be frustratingly elusive. 

Can you not simply visit a druggist?

I’m afraid not. You see, the item I must find in order to cure this plague of interference is . . . a wife.

 The tea Grace had just sipped spewed from her mouth to splatter over the table in front of her. Coughs spasmed in her throat.

 A wife?

A strange fluttery sensation danced through her belly. So, he wasn’t married. Why did that particular piece of knowledge please her so well? Her hand trembled as she reached for the key. She had to make some kind of response to that. But what exactly should she say?

I’m sure they only have your best interests at heart.

They do. But a twenty-eight year-old man doesn’t really want his personal life dictated by his female relations.

Twenty-eight. A man in his prime. A man who was suddenly sharing more personal details with her than he ever had before. 

Grace dabbed at the spilled tea with a handkerchief fetched from her skirt pocket, her mind spinning. Was he fishing for details in return? She wanted to reciprocate. It was what a friend would do. Yet she couldn’t afford to say too much.

I can’t claim as many years of experience dealing with meddling relations as you can, but a couple friends of mine have recently decided that marriage is not without its advantages. Thankfully, they have as yet avoided seeing me as a matchmaking prospect.

Grace yanked her hand from the telegraph key and made a fist, her heart pumping in a wild rhythm. Details cloaked in vagueness. Would he understand what she’d just revealed? The wire remained silent for an eternally long moment.

Count your blessings, he finally sent, his usually metronome-like precision stuttering slightly. Perhaps we could meet sometime to commiserate. I would—

Clear the line, a brash staccato tapping interrupted. I need to break in. This is an emergency.

Grace nearly jumped from her chair at the pounding intrusion. It exploded across the wire like cannon fire in a still forest.

Proceed, came the answer from Mr. A. Immediate. Meticulous. All hint of personal vulnerability gone.

Grace replied in kind, though she feared her touch on the key had yet to reassert its professional tone.

Hs. Dv station has a message to relay. Are you on the wire?

A message from the Denver station? Grace shivered even as she lurched forward to answer. Yes. This is Hs station. G on the wire. Go ahead.

Message relayed from R as follows: He knows where you are. Coming for you. Sorry.

Everything in Grace stilled. Numbness spread from her mind to her limbs and finally to her heart. Her day of reckoning had arrived. Chaucer Haversham had found her.

 

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. 

 

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
6/23
Excerpt 1
6/24
Promo
6/25
Review
6/26
Guest Post 1
6/27
Review
6/28
Excerpt 2
6/29
Guest Post 2
6/30
Review
7/01
Promo
7/02
Review
   
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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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Swimming Hole’s of Texas: Review and Giveway

THE SWIMMING HOLES
OF TEXAS
by
Julie Wernersbach & Carolyn Tracy
  Genre: Travel / Outdoors / Swimming
Publisher: The University of Texas Press
Date of Publication: May 16, 2017
Number of Pages: 240, 100 color photos
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Nothing beats a natural swimming hole for cooling off on a scorching summer day in Texas. Cold, clear spring water, big old shade trees, and a quiet stretch of beach or lawn offer the perfect excuse to pack a cooler and head out with family and friends to the nearest natural oasis. Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or an unforgettable summer vacation, let The Swimming Holes of Texas be your guide. 


Julie Wernersbach and Carolyn Tracy highlight one hundred natural swimming spots across the entire state. The book is organized by geographic regions, so you can quickly find local places to swim—or plan a trip to a more distant spot you’d like to explore. Each swimming hole is illustrated with an inviting color photo and a description of what it’s like to swim there, as well as the site’s history, ecology, and conservation. The authors include all the pertinent info about admission fees and hours, parking, and on-site amenities such as showers and restrooms. They also offer tips for planning your trips and lists of the swimming holes that are most welcoming to families and pets.

So when the temperature tops 100 and there’s nothing but traffic in sight, take a detour down the backroads and swim, sunbathe, revel, and relax in the swimming holes of Texas.

I am not a native to Texas, so imagine my surprise when I went through this book and saw some real, beautiful gems in Texas. When I first moved to Texas, I figured all of Texas was brown unless it was Spring, then it’s this bright green color. I never really saw anything eye catching. But looking through this book, reading about these beautiful places, I’m ready to go for a trip and see these beauties first hand.
First thing I want to point out, is that I love how this book is organized. It’s organized by North, South, East, and West Texas.  There’s also a segment early on that states Planning Your Trip, followed by other helpful information such as swimming etiquette, rules for the parks, and the history behind everything. And if that wasn’t enough to convince you that you need this book, just look at all the amazing pictures taken in the different ares of Texas along with all the answers to the questions you may ask about that particular swimming hole.
Another thing I loved is the maps of each of the regions that shows you where the swimming holes are located. Then it lists the swimming holes and goes into details about them along with pictures of each of the swimming holes. It lists helpful information such as amenities, park rules, camping, the hours it’s opened, what the fees are. After reading through this book, I really want to visit Dinosaur Valley State Park. BEAUTIFUL. It’s made me realize how diverse Texas is and how much Texas has to offer concerning nature.
At the end of the book it lists Top 5, of which include Top 5 Kid Friendly places, Top 5 Dog Friendly places. Those are just a few examples, there’s quite a few more. This would be extremely helpful if you are planning a trip with a furry friend, or want to go some place that’s fun for the kids!

This book is a must guide for anyone planning to visit a Texas swimming hole. I cannot recommend it enough!



Julie Wernersbach, Austin, is the literary director of the Texas Book Festival and a former marketing director at BookPeople, Austin’s largest independent bookstore. Carolyn Tracy, Austin, is a freelance photographer who works for an animal welfare nonprofit. They are the authors of Vegan Survival Guide to Austin.

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  June 8-June 22, 2017
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6/8
Book Trailer
6/9
Review
6/10
Sneak Peek 1
6/11
Promo
6/12
Review
6/13

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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  June 14-June 28, 2017

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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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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:

WEBSITE   FACEBOOK   TWITTER   INSTAGRAM

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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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#BabyLove My Toddler Life: Review and Giveaway

#BABYLOVE:
MY TODDLER LIFE
by
CORINE DEHGHANPISHEH
  Genre: Children’s Picture Book / Technology / Family
Publisher: My Art to Inspire
Date of Publication: September 20, 2016
Number of Pages: 40
Scroll down for Giveaway!

 


A curious toddler loves to play…especially with his mommy’s smartphone!

When Mommy finds him using her phone without permission, it’s the perfect teaching moment.  Mommy reminds her little one that what matters most in life is time together filled with love and attention.
Her simple reminder: Put down our phones.
Praise for #BabyLove: My Toddler Life:
“This poignant and entertaining tale about a playful toddler aimed at young lap readers works on a much deeper level for parents.” – Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) 
“This light-hearted reflection on social media habits is a great tool for starting discussions with young children.” — Forward Clarion Reviews (5 Stars)
“Dehghanpisheh’s illustrations and text are simple, colorful and charming, and many families will relate to the question of how, and how much, to integrate technology into their child’s day.  #BabyLove: My Toddler Life is a fun and timely picture book for 21st century preschoolers. — BlueInk Review 
 “I can’t wait to read this to my 2 year old grandson.  This book is his life curious, sweet and funny.  His mommy has a collection of his photography on her phone.  Priceless. — Kindle Verified Purchase

#BabyLove: My Toddler Life was my first children’s book I’ve written a review for. This book was light hearted and and sweet. The story follows a toddler as he sets out to do all things kids do, play. His mom takes pictures of them, and also takes pictures of the toddler as he plays. Of course, then mom has things to do, and the little boy does what toddlers do best, get into things they shouldn’t.

It’s neat to see a children’s book that incorporates technology. In fact, as a teacher, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a children’s book that was centered on a cell phone or iPad and I love seeing this used in a children’s story. Technology is such a huge part of our lives, and I think this story is something each child could relate to. I also enjoyed the rhyming quality this book had. It’s cute and the rhythm makes it catchy and easy to read.

Not only were the rhymes and story wonderful, but the illustrations were simple, yet creative and eye catching. I can see how reading this to my kids in a classroom, which are special needs students, would be a wonderful teaching tool for them to use. The illustrations have clear backgrounds, which is easier for my children to identify things if I ask them to point to something. The images are not busy, like some children’s books, which also helps my children find items I ask them too. It also clearly shows the emotions on the child’s face, another tool that would be helpful in teaching my children. There’s so many things I could use this book for in my classroom, teaching colors, emotions, and identifying objects, just to name a few targets. I don’t think I could recommend this book enough for using in the classroom, or enjoying the book at home with your child. There’s many different teaching strategies that could be used for this book, and at the same time for teaching these different targets, the book is entertaining, so while the students are learning, they are enjoying a good story in the process.

I also loved the stickers that came with the book, something else that I know children would love.

I would use this book in my classroom with my special needs students, but it’s also a book I would read with any child. The story is adorable, the illustrations are wonderful and cute, and the lyric like quality to the rhythm of the words makes this an enjoyable read for anyone. Be sure to grab a copy for your child or classroom! It’s perfect!

Corine Dehghanpisheh is an award-winning author, whose own family life serves as inspiration for her fun and engaging children’s books.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Arts Therapy & Creativity Development from Pratt Institute in New York City.
Ms. Dehghanpisheh currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her family.  There she continues to write the #BabyLove series, focused on the blending of modern technologies with classically familiar child raising situations.
The 2nd book in the series, #BabyLove: My Toddler Life is now available along with #BabyLove: My Social Life, which is a Next Generation Indie Book Awards winner.
Her debut children’s book Can We Play Again? is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient and a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist. Corine’s inspiration for this book came from her work as a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in NYC.
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The Adventures of Miss Vulpe: Excerpt and Giveaway

 
THE ADVENTURES OF
MISS VULPE
A Coming of Age Story for Adults
by
MARIA ELENA SANDOVICI
  Genre: Contemporary / Women’s Fiction / Coming of Age
Date of Publication: April 7, 2017
Number of Pages: 160

Ana Petrescu (aka Miss Vulpe) is a troubled teenager determined to solve the mystery of her parents’ double suicide. Escaping the scrutiny of her legal guardian and the unwanted interference of several therapists, she starts looking up people from her mother’s past. Her sleuthing requires her to lie about her identity, her age, and her lack of experience with men. While impersonating Miss Vulpe is more fun than going to school, there’s bound to be trouble and heartache when her web of lies unravels.








From Ana’s story

Next to an illegal GPS, the cabbie has a whole display of Greek Orthodox icons. Praying probably comes in handy since he drives like a maniac, the car is a piece of junk, and there are no seat belts in the back. She loves this last detail, especially since Rogers asks her to buckle up, and she can disobey through no fault of her own. The music blasting through shabby speakers is delightful. New music has come out since she’s been gone. New songs to form a soundtrack to her city. The trees are still in bloom, birds chirp, and there is a lyricism to everything that contrasts with the heavy traffic, the honking, and the swearing. Her city is a beautiful and complex universe, a labyrinth of the absurd and the delightful. She takes in the wide boulevards lined with trees, promenades, and stately mansions with the same delight with which she surveys the grey buildings, vestiges from hard times she hasn’t lived, the shop windows displaying new and colorful wares, the travel-weary commuters waiting at bus stops, and the occasional spiffy-dressed cyclist upon whom their pot-bellied driver finds it appropriate to bestow a whole litany of insults. Apparently hipsters on bicycles are destroying the city. Ana smiles. She’s been gone three years, and her city has a new energy to it. Her magical metropolis has even more zest for life than before, and whether the cab driver wants to accept this or not, both he and the pretty girls cycling in skirts on colorful bicycles are part of this, like a yin and yang. There’s so much old stuff she’s missed, and so much new stuff she wants to discover. Chic coffee shops and bookstores and boutiques, cobbled streets and renovated facades, old dusty shacks about to crumble, and through it all that penchant for both romance and anxiety that no other city in the world, she’s sure of it, can throw in your face with such self-deprecating humor.

Maria Elena Sandovici lives in Houston with her dog. She travels to Bucharest often and also to Spain, but her favorite trip remains 45 South to Galveston. She has an art studio at Hardy and Nance in the Warehouse District, open the third Saturday of every month, blogs daily at havewatercolorswilltravel.com, and writes poetry in the voice of her dog. She is also the author of three previous novels about women who are struggling with finding their place in the world.



CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
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5/20
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5/21
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5/22
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5/24
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5/24
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5/25
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5/26
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5/27
Review
5/27
Excerpt 3
5/28
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5/29
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Blood Oath: Showcase Tour

BLOOD OATH

A Laura Elliston Novel, Book 2

By MELISSA LENHARDT

!!NEW RELEASE!!

  Genre: Historical / Western / Action-Adventure / Romance

Publisher: Redhook

Date of Publication: May 23, 2017

Number of Pages: 384

Outlander meets post-Civil War unrest in this action-packed follow up to Sawbones.

Laura Elliston and William Kindle are on the run — from the Army and from every miscreant in the West eager to claim the $500 bounty for Laura’s capture as their own. But the danger isn’t just from those pursuing them. Laura and Kindle have demons of their own and a past that won’t stay dead. Exhausted, scared, scarred and surrounded by enemies, neither realize the greatest danger is yet to come.

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Watch Lone Star Book Blog Tours for the Badlands tour starting June 27th – with reviews of Blood Oath, Badlands, and Special Features with the inside scoop!

Melissa Lenhardt is the author the Jack McBride mystery series, as well as the Laura Elliston historical fiction series. Her debut mystery, STILLWATER, was a finalist for the 2014 Whidbey Writers’ MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest, and SAWBONES, her historical fiction debut, was hailed as a “thoroughly original, smart and satisfying hybrid, perhaps a new subgenre: the feminist Western” by Lone Star Literary Life.

A lifelong Texan, she lives in the Dallas area with her husband and two sons.

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5/24 5/23 CGB Blog Tours

5/23 Missus Gonzo

5/24 Reading By Moonlight

5/24 My Book Fix Blog

5/25 StoreyBook Reviews

5/25 Syd Savvy

5/26 Chapter Break Book Blog

5/26 Texas Book Lover

5/27 Books and Broomsticks

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Before the Rain Falls: Guest Post

BEFORE THE RAIN FALLS

By CAMILLE DI MAIO

  Genre: Women’s Fiction / Historical / Family

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Date of Publication: May 16, 2017

Number of Pages: 334 

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After serving seventy years in prison for the murder of her sister, Eula, Della Lee has finally returned home to the Texas town of Puerto Pesar. She’s free from confinement—and ready to tell her secrets before it’s too late.

She finds a willing audience in journalist Mick Anders, who is reeling after his suspension from a Boston newspaper and in town, reluctantly, to investigate a mysterious portrait of Eula that reportedly sheds tears. He crosses paths with Dr. Paloma Vega, who’s visiting Puerto Pesar with her own mission: to take care of her ailing grandmother and to rescue her rebellious younger sister before something terrible happens. Paloma and Mick have their reasons to be in the hot, parched border town whose name translates as “Port of Regret.” But they don’t anticipate how their lives will be changed forever.

Moving and engrossing, this dual story alternates between Della’s dark ordeals of the 1940s and Paloma and Mick’s present-day search for answers―about roots, family, love, and what is truly important in life.

Check out the book trailer!

Praise for Before the Rain Falls:

Still wiping away tears! Before the Rain Falls is simultaneously heartbreaking, hopeful, and joyous: a story of complex characters with varied pasts and bright futures. Loved it! – Jennifer B. on Goodreads

This novel takes readers on an emotional, fast-paced, ride through one sister’s journey to self, redemption, and the true meaning of “freedom.” – Nicole W. on Goodreads

There is romance, mystery, and secrets that are kept till the very end that will have you not wanting this beautifully written story to end. – Carol B. on Goodreads

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Inspiration for Before the Rain Falls

Guest Post by Camille DiMaio

A common question for an author is, “Where did you get your inspiration for your book?”

This was an easy one for my debut novel, The Memory of Us. It was inspired by the classic Beatles song, Eleanor Rigby. Immediately, people’s eyes would light up in recognition and it was a great starting point for conversation.

The answer for my second novel, Before the Rain Falls, is much more convoluted. Like the kind of dream where a red elephant tiptoes through a bed of nails blowing bubble gum.

Nothing there seems to be connected, but in your head, in your sleep, it all makes perfect sense.

So, how’s this:

A mysterious, possibly crying portrait.

A murder.

A grandmother who won’t let anyone buy her an air conditioner even though she swelters day by day in the Texas heat. (That was my grandmother. Wouldn’t let any of her ten children try to relieve this particular suffering.)

A journalist who is trying to resurrect his career after a scandal.

A doctor who is trying to find her purpose.

It did start with the portrait, however, and like the air conditioner, my grandmother was the inspiration. She was the sort who believe in every kind of Jesus-on-a-pancake apparition.

So, along with a documentary I caught on tv about whether or not various “miracles” were real or staged, the image of a portrait, reputed to be shedding tears, came to mind.

That begged the question:

Is it crying? Or is it a fake?

Which begs more questions, like one of those darned factor trees in middle school Math.

If it’s crying, why? How?

If it’s a fake, why did someone do that? What did they gain from it?

I mulled this over. And discovered that this seed of a story I had was not really about the portrait. The portrait was a launching point of something that I knew was bigger.

I do tell you, later in the book, about the tears. But, no spoilers will be had here.

Back to more questions, which I self-answer. This is how an author’s mind, or at least mine, works. We talk to ourselves.

Who is in the portrait?

Immediately, I thought of a beautiful young girl.

Why might she be crying?

She was murdered.

Why was she murdered?

Her sister did it.

Why did her sister do it?

Well, maybe she didn’t. She just went to jail for it.

Oh, new set of tangents.

If she did it, why?

If she didn’t do it, why didn’t she fight her sentence?

Ah! Now we have something.

(See? Conversations for one. An author would have no problem taking herself to dinner. The chatter is riveting.)

That last thread became the bones of my story, and I began to flesh it out.

If she did it, why?

If she didn’t, why didn’t she protest her imprisonment?

I thought on these questions. And thought. The ending came to me pretty quickly. Again, no spoilers. And early reviewers have told me that they didn’t see it coming.

It’s the how to get there that is fun.

And difficult.

And so my dual-timeline, triple-narrator story came into existence as I wove those unusual threads together into something that I hope will be a compelling read to you.

One more thing. I began writing it during a particularly hot and humid spell in a Texas July. So there’s a lot of heat, and I don’t meant the sexy kind. Because I was just too sweat-soaked and droopy to imagine any other kind of setting. All the reviewers who told me that they felt the heat, it’s because I was living it for you.

I took that bullet. If you need to warm up a bit in January, pick it up as a winter read and let it warm you up. Then, let me know what you think!

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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5/17 Promo Texas Book Lover

5/18 Review Momma On The Rocks

5/19 Excerpt 1 My Book Fix Blog

5/20 Review Books in the Garden

5/21 Promo Margie’s Must Reads

5/22 Author Interview Chapter Break Book Blog

5/23 Review Syd Savvy

5/24 Promo Books and Broomsticks

5/26 Review Reading By Moonlight

5/27 Excerpt 2 StoreyBook Reviews

5/28 Promo Missus Gonzo

5/29 Review Forgotten Winds

5/30 Deleted Scene CGB Blog Tours

5/31 Review The Librarian Talks

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The Heart of a Texas Cowboy: Author Interview

THE HEART OF A

TEXAS COWBOY

Men of Legend, Book 2

By LINDA BRODAY

  Genre: Western / Historical / Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Date of Publication: May 2, 2017

Number of Pages: 384

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Three Brothers. One Oath.

No Compromises.

The MEN of LEGEND

One bullet is all it takes to shatter Houston Legend’s world. He swore he’d never love again, but with the future of the Lone Star Ranch on the line, he finds himself at the altar promising to love and cherish a woman he’s never met—a woman whose vulnerable beauty touches his heart.

All Lara Boone wants is a name for her baby. The best she can hope for is kindness and acceptance. She never expected to fall in love with her own husband—or any man—after the heartache she’s endured.

In an effort to save the Lone Star Ranch, Houston decides to drive two thousand longhorns up the Great Western Trail to Dodge City. The day before he leaves, the cook quits. When he can’t find another on such short notice, Lara offers to go along and fill in. Over his best judgement, he lets her. Three days out, he notices riders trailing them. Things go from bad to worse and it’s an all-out fight to try to save themselves and the herd.

And when Lara’s troubled past catches up with them, Houston will move heaven and earth to protect his bride…and discover depths to a marriage of convenience neither realized could be theirs to claim.

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Praise for The Heart of a Texas Cowboy:

“Broday brilliantly captures Lara and Houston’s hesitations and growing love. The exciting plot, rich setting, and superb writing will delight fans of historical romances.” ~~Publisher’s Weekly *Starred Review

“This compassionate, poignant marriage-of-convenience love story demonstrates Broday’s ability to bring a wide range of emotions to her characters in a fast-paced plotline without losing a bit of the powerful love story. Add this to your Western romance collection!” ~~Romantic Times

“Ms. Broday’s conclusion of this phenomenal book is heart gripping, blood pounding drama at its finest. This one will keep readers revisiting again and again in years to come.” ~~ Tonya Lucas- Goodreads Review

“One of the best historical Western authors.” ~~ Fresh Fiction

“Broday will appeal to fans of such authors as Georgina Gentry, Leigh Greenwood, and Jodi Thomas.” ~~Booklist

Author Interview : Linda Broday

How has being a Texan influenced your writing?
Someone told me early on to write what I know. I know Texas. I know the plants, trees, landscape and more importantly—how we think. Texans are unique. Most scoff and say we’re nothing but braggers who talk big and carry a pistol on our hip. I beg to differ. We’re proud of our history. We know where we came from and we don’t mind sharing it. We’re all descendants of Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, William Travis, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett—all those early men who fought for the right to live free and independent. Texans carry the torch for the rest of the world in a lot of ways which isn’t a bad thing. I love our people’s determination to survive and make things better for everyone. Those are the characters in my books. They have this pride and determination embedded deep in their souls. My characters are these early settlers who paved the way for us. They don’t give up. They work until they achieve their goals.

I love Texas and I’m so proud to live here. In what other state do people proudly display their state flag and hang symbols of it on their walls? I have reminders of Texas all over my house. I want my stories to have people with the same type of pride, to know who they are, where they belong, and what matters most.

What kind of writing do you do?
I write historical western romance. When I first started writing, I didn’t know where I fit. I tried various genres but they just didn’t feel right. Then I read several western romances and suddenly everything clicked. I immediately felt at home. And I’ve lived around cowboys most of my life, so it simply made sense to write about them.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
I’m a full-time writer, and I approach it as a job. Most mornings, you’ll find me at my desk by 9:00 am. I stop for lunch, then write until around 6:00 pm. And that’s six days a week. I find that keeping that constant connection with my characters and story makes for a top-quality book, and that’s what I always strive for. Also, staying at it allows me to publish two 100k novels a year. I couldn’t do that if I was a part-time writer.

What is your favorite quote?
“Never compare yourself to other writers. Someone will always be better than you, and you’ll always be better than someone else.” Jodi Thomas

I’ve found this to always be true. It’s a waste of time and energy comparing yourself to others. Just be you and worry about how to make your books better. Saves a lot of angst.

How important are names to you in your books? How do you choose names?
Names are so important to me, and I can never begin a story until I have the main character’s name right. In this second book of my Men of Legend series – The Heart of a Texas Cowboy – the protagonist is Houston Legend. I named him and his brother Sam after Sam Houston. And I named the brother who died Travis. Their father fought in the Texas War for Independence, and he idolized those larger-than-life leaders, so it simply made sense.

I always give my characters names that were used during the time period I’m writing in, but I also keep in mind their ancestry as well as nationality. My #1 book to go to when I can’t think of a good one is The Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilynn Kenyon. It’s an excellent Writer’s Digest publication.

A name has to fit the character’s personality in addition to everything else. Often it pops into my head with no thought, and other times I may go through a dozen or more before I decide.

If you could time travel, what time period would you first visit?
I think that would have to be Texas in the 1830s. That was such an interesting time. The fight for independence was going on and the country was changing. I’d love to have met Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Travis and other notable figures. And it was when the Texas Rangers was beginning to get organized. I’d like to have seen that.

After I visited there, I would go to 1700s Ireland, which is where my ancestors lived.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Cloning myself, most definitely. In this business, writers have to wear such an assortment of hats and are often stretched beyond what is humanly possible. If I could clone myself, I’d put one of me to work doing nothing but social media. Another would answer these darn emails that I never seem to have time for. And another would run errands—grocery shop, go to the post office, etc. Then I’d do nothing but write, which is the part I love. That would be pure heaven.

What’s something interesting, fun, or funny that most people don’t know about you?
I believe in ghosts. Maybe that’s because I’ve seen quite a few. I don’t necessarily seek them out but neither do I shy away from where a ghostly presence is suspected to be. None have frightened me—so far. In fact, I got the feeling they were as curious about me as I was about them. Some ghosts have actually comforted me, and that was pretty darn cool.

Also, I know this sounds silly but…I can’t stand for a plastic shower curtain to touch my bare legs. I simply hate it. I tell myself that’s illogical but I just can’t stand the feeling. For one thing, it’s usually ice cold (and feels like bony fingers) and it just gives me the heebie-jeebies. So when I travel and stay in hotels, I often put the curtain on the outside of the tub then mop up the water once I’m done. What can I say? I’m weird.

What would you want your tombstone to say?
She wrote stories that speak to the soul and made the world a better place.

Linda Broday, Historical Western Romance Author

I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 8 full length historical western romance novels, with another set to release 2017, and 10 short stories. Watching TV westerns during my youth fed my love of cowboys and the old West and they still do. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed.

At times, I can feel their ghosts lurking around every corner. Texas’ rich history is one reason I set all my stories here. I love research and looking for little known tidbits to add realism to my stories. When I’m not writing, I collect old coins and I confess to being a rock hound. I’ve been accused (and quite unfairly I might add) of making a nuisance of myself at museums, libraries, and historical places.

I’m also a movie buff and love sitting in a dark theater, watching the magic on the screen. As long as I’m confessing…chocolate is my best friend. It just soothes my soul.

 

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5/15 Guest Post 1 Hall Ways Blog

5/16 Review Chapter Break Book Blog

5/17 Character Interview Books in the Garden

5/18 Guest Post 2 Books and Broomsticks

5/19 Review Margie’s Must Reads

5/20 Excerpt Reading By Moonlight

5/22 Review CGB Blog Tours

5/23 Bonus Short StoreyBook Reviews

5/24 Review Missus Gonzo

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