The Encouragement Letters: Author Video

THE ENCOURAGEMENT
LETTERS
by
SHANNA SPENCE
Sub-genre: Middle Grade / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Book Liftoff
Date of Publication: November 22, 2017
Number of Pages: 180
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WILLIAM CROMWELL, at age eleven, knew what it was like living with new changes. In 1865, Manchester, England a new textile factory moved into town and after a tragedy that befell him and his mum, they struggled to live. With so many things going on in his young life he wanted to be the encouragement that his father was to him.
As everything changes along with terrible hardships, just maybe the hope he gives to the growing town will find its way to Will…
PRAISE FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT LETTERS: 
This was such an uplifting wholesome book! It was so nice to read something positive about a time when people were so willing to step in and help someone in need without expecting anything in return! I couldn’t put it down!– 5 Stars, Kindle verified purchase reviewer

Excellent read!! This story speaks to people in all walks of life. It is encouraging, sweet, and funny at the same time. I would recommend this book to anyone needing to see what it means to “treat others as you want to be treated.” — 5 Stars, Kindle verified purchase reviewer

A very inspiring book from a great new author! — 5 Stars, Kindle verified purchase reviewer

A charming tale of a simpler time. Yet, the message is ageless. I congratulate Ms. Spence on this her first effort and look forward to more entertaining reads from her in the future.— 5 Stars, Kindle reviewer

 

 

Author Deborah Chelette-Wilson interviews debut author Shanna Spence

Shanna Spence is a wife, mother, and registered nurse of over twenty years. She has written poetry since the age of thirteen and always dreamed of writing books. Raised in a small East Texas town, she pursued a career of nursing in Dallas, Texas but eventually went back to East Texas to settle down and raise a family.

Now she finally has found the time to fulfill her dream of writing stories that will hopefully bring out the imagination in others — as well as inspiration. She is currently living in Longview, Texas. 
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Character Interview
10/16/18
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Old Buildings in North Texas: Guest Post

OLD BUILDINGS
IN NORTH TEXAS
by
JEN WALDO
Sub-genre: Literary Fiction / Dramedy
Publisher: Arcadia Books
Date of Publication: April 1, 2018
Number of Pages: 213
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After rehab, Olivia, a 32-year-old cocaine addict, is required to move back in with her mother and pregnant sister. Having left a promising career in journalism in New York, she’s now working as a sales assistant for a family friend in her home town in North Texas.

Under pressure from her court-mandated counselor – an old high school friend – to take up a hobby, Olivia decides on “urbexing.” Soon she’s breaking into derelict homes, ex-prisons, and old drive-ins across North Texas, and it’s not long before she’s looting state property and making money off the possessions, fixtures, and fittings that have been left behind.

Old Buildings in North Texas is about a modern woman’s search for personal equilibrium and wild adventure — the attempt to find stability in existence without losing sight of what makes life worth living. Jen Waldo’s style modulates effortlessly from domestic nuance to taut adventure, tackling social and moral transgressions with incisive observation and vivid humor.

PRAISE FOR OLD BUILDINGS IN NORTH TEXAS

 

“A lot of Jen Waldo’s debut novel takes place out on the porch of Olivia’s mother’s house. […] With its casual, confidential tone, Old Buildings in North Texas puts the reader in one of those porch chairs, reclining on a warm evening with a cool drink.” — The Skinny
Old Buildings in North Texas is an amusingly written and well worked book” — Trip Fiction
“This novel is an absolute blast. There are serious moments of course, but Jen Waldo looks for the comedy in everything to create a memorable scenario that reminded me very much of the style of Six Feet Under.” — Shiny New Books

CLICK TO PURCHASE!

 

Why I Don’t Like Amarillo, but Write About it Anyway

By Jen Waldo

We had some brilliant minds in our Amarillo High School graduating class, young men and women who moved to distant places and made prodigious differences in the world. An astronaut, doctors, lawyers, Ivy League professors, artists, authors, entrepreneurs, and gifted musicians. I often think about the kids I went to high school with, and I’m amazed by how so many great and successful people came out of that arid windy town where ideas are aborted immediately after conception.

I know no one who lives there now.

Because my novel, Old Buildings in North Texas, has recently been released here in the US, I’m concentrating on publicizing it. This is progressing here in the same way it did when the book was released in the UK, which means a publicist has arranged guest postings on blogs and reviews to go in newspapers and magazines throughout the country.

As my books are published internationally and set in fictional Caprock, which is based on Amarillo, you’d think people in my hometown would be interested or, at the very least, curious. But I contacted the editor of the Amarillo Globe News two weeks ago, attaching a press release to communicate that this is a legitimate book published by an award-winning literary publisher. I haven’t heard back from him. This excerpt from one of the posts I did for a British blog will explain why I’m not at all surprised:

Having lived in seven countries over a thirty-year period, I’m often asked why I place my novels in a stark dry town in Northwest Texas. It’s because it’s the location I know best. Though the ex-pat life is enlightening, I don’t have other cultures in my bones the way I do Amarillo. I’ll point out that I say bones rather than heart. I hardly love the place. But its vernacular is mine and I comprehend on an intrinsic level the mindset of the people, who are stubborn, religious, big-hearted, abhorrent toward change, and suspicious of success.

In Amarillo, liberals are appreciated in the same way children are; they’re expected to keep their volume down and not touch anything. And, while outwardly the city appreciates the arts, it’s understood that any artist will be out of favor if he or she steps too far outside conventional societal boundaries. Also, if some performer or scientist shows outstanding talent or ability, well, Amarillo as a whole wishes they’d take their genius elsewhere.

And though the population makes an effort to move forward, when it comes to cultural trends and economic development, they somehow manage to always be several years behind the rest of the country.

Reading this a year after I wrote it, I realize that this is a biased and negative view. For the most part, Amarillo is composed of good people going about their daily business. Mainly what I remember from my years there is that the hands of the clock never seemed to move and nothing ever changed.

Here’s another disparaging excerpt, this one in the voice of Olivia from OBiNT:

In Dallas I worked as the regulars’ editor for Dallas Flair, a local fashion magazine. It was my dream career, a grand life in the making.  Here in Caprock, with my background (and I am impressive—BA in English from Rice, MA in Journalism from Columbia, magna cum laude in both) I should’ve been able to get a job on the newspaper, the Caprock Chronicle, which, as far as I can tell, is none too choosy. And there’s a local magazine here, too, that I’m well-suited for. Called Caprock Comfort, it has more to do with home decorating than fashion, but still, it’s work I could do, a theme I could get behind. I like comfort as much as the next person.    

Oddly, the reason I’m not working for one of these publications isn’t because I’m an addict or that I’m unqualified. It’s because I left the area. 

“Tech not good enough for you?” asked Stanley Mason, editor of the Caprock Chronicle.  “Most of our staff went to Tech. Or Pan UT.”  Located two hours to the south, Texas Tech is as far as most people from Caprock go for their higher education. And Pan UT, the panhandle branch of the University of Texas system, is even closer—half an hour to the southwest, in Gorman. 

“Columbia? Isn’t that in New York?” asked Susan Riley, editor of Caprock Comfort. “Why’d you go way up there? That must have been horrible.”

As most ex-pats know, family and friends from home don’t want to hear about experiences from the outside world. They’re happy to see you, but they lack curiosity and are caught up in their own lives. This conversation between Olivia and her therapist offers another reason why someone from Amarillo might not want to read OBiNT:

“Tell me about living in New York.” Jane dons an interested expression. 

“It’s busy,” I say, happy to comply. “There’s always something to do.  You can take a short subway ride and end up in a completely different neighborhood where they speak Chinese or Russian or Arabic or Portuguese. And the way people dress is fascinating—all the cultures shown in fabrics and designs right there on their backs, and you can see how one style influences another. And everybody walks. People are out and moving, not getting from place to place in their solitary cars.”

Her eyes have glazed over, which makes me stop talking. The prospect of a world beyond Caprock has rendered her catatonic. It takes her a few seconds to realize I’ve gone silent.

My treatment of Amarillo in my novels is hardly kind. I suppose it’s understandable that no one at the Amarillo Globe News would care to read a book that denigrates the town and its people. On the other hand, why wouldn’t they want to read it? If there’s anything folks in Amarillo enjoy, it’s becoming indignant and holding a grudge.

My novels do offer some positive things about my hometown. At times I grow nostalgic when writing of the flat hard land and the shadows of the gnarled mesquite, the fierce wind and the blue, blue sky. Also the dialect has always pleased me—the fixin‘ tos and the ya’lls and the gunnawunnas (as in You’re gunnawunna take care of that).

And the people also possess two of my favorite qualities: a sense of humor and a lack of pretention; after all, it looks like they named their new baseball team the Sod Poodles. 

 

Jen Waldo lived in seven countries over a thirty-year period and has now settled, along with her husband, in Marble Falls, Texas. She first started writing over twenty years ago when, while living in Cairo, she had difficulty locating reading material and realized she’d have to make her own fun. She has since earned an MFA and written a number of novels. Her work has been published in The European and was shortlisted in a competition by Traveler magazine. Old Buildings in North Texas and Why Stuff Matters have been published in the UK by Arcadia Books. Jen’s fiction is set in Northwest Texas and she’s grateful to her hometown of Amarillo for providing colorful characters and a background of relentless whistling wind.

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100 Things to Do in DFW Before You Die: Guest Post

100 THINGS TO DO IN DALLAS FORT WORTH BEFORE YOU DIE

2ND EDITION

By Tui Snider

 Genre: Non-Fiction / Texas Travel

Publisher: Reedy Press   Twitter     Facebook

Date of Publication: September 15, 2018

Number of Pages: 160 with black & white images

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Have you ever drawn a blank when a friend or family member asks, “What do you want to do today?” Maybe you have visitors to show around the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex, or perhaps you’ve lived here for years but feel like you’re in a rut rather than experiencing anything new.

If so, Tui Snider’s new book is for you! If you live in, or are visiting, the DFW region, this list will inspire you to start exploring. If you’re hungry, flip through the Food & Drink section. Looking for entertainment or want to get outdoors? Dig into the Music & Entertainment or the Sports & Recreation sections. Want to barter for antiques or see a museum? Check out the Culture & History or the Shopping & Fashion sections.

This book is a playful bucket list of suggestions meant to spark ideas: everything from family outings, date nights, and solo excursions, to simply hanging out with friends on your day off.

North Texas Favorites? How about My Scarborough Renaissance Fair Wedding!

By Tui Snider

Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, TX (c) Tui Snider

Every time I write a travel book, readers inevitably ask which place is my favorite. It’s a fun question to consider but answering is never easy. However, when it comes to my latest book, 100 Things to Do in Dallas – Fort Worth Before You Die, I must admit that the Scarborough Renaissance Festival (SRF) has a special place in my heart. Why? Because I got married there in 2011!

The Scarborough Renaissance Festival takes place on 35 acres of beautifully wooded land about a half hour’s journey south of the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex on the outskirts of the town of Waxahachie.

Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, TX (c) Tui Snider

This lively Texas Renaissance festival has been a regional favorite since it first opened in 1981. Each weekend from early April through the end of May, the grounds come to life with a cast of costumed characters who have fun reenacting life in medieval times – the year 1533, to be precise.

Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII hold court, lead medieval dances, parades, and occasionally mingle with common folk like you and me. Special events occur each weekend, such as caber tossing, falconry, juggling, jousts and live music. 

Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, TX (c) Tui Snider

At the time we were planning our wedding, I was new to Texas and didn’t have any local friends to ask for advice. All my pals were thousands of miles away. Long story short: we got married at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, Texas and it was wonderful. I highly recommend it.

Planning the wedding was a breeze because in addition to supplying a certified officiant to conduct the ceremony, SRF offers a baker, a florist, food, and – best of all – after we were hitched, we goofed around for the rest of the day. No clean up necessary!

My wedding at Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, TX (c) Tui Snider

As you can see, I dressed as a purple fairy. I considered many traditional Medieval maiden outfits, but – this is Texas, y’all! The day we were married, it was in the 90’s and humid, so I’m glad I opted for lighter clothing! I made the headdress, and am especially fond of the little bird because I’m an avid amateur birder. 

I’m so glad we got married at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. Not only was it fun, but we now have a built-in anniversary party every spring!

To find out more about the Scarborough Renaissance Festival:

2511 FM 66, Waxahachie srfestival.com 


 

CLICK TO PURCHASE!

Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in hometown travel. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!” Snider’s work has been featured by a variety of outlets, including Coast to Coast AM, LifeHackeasyJet and Authentic Texas. Snider’s award-winning books include Unexpected Texas, Paranormal Texas, Understanding Cemetery Symbols, and more. Tui enjoys connecting with readers all over the globe through her WEBSITE.

  WEBSITE    FACEBOOK    TWITTER    AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE    INSTAGRAM  

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That One Moment: Character Interview

THAT ONE MOMENT

By PATTY WISEMAN

  Genre: Fiction / Romantic Suspense

Date of Publication: May 8, 2017

Number of Pages: 258

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Ricki Sheridan traveled a long way to seek refuge at Wolf Den’s Lodge high in the mountains after a devastating betrayal. Heartbroken, she signed up for a survivalist backpacking trip to live off the land and forget.

An injury on the first day puts her in the capable hands of the handsome trail boss, Kory Littleton. The attraction is instant, mutual, and terrifying. She trusted her emotions once and vowed never to make the same mistake again.

Kory’s heart, trampled and bruised, is unprepared to ever love again, until his unexpected reaction to Ricki reveals some things are worth taking a chance on.

When evil finds its way back into Ricki’s world, their fragile bond is tested, forcing them to face their greatest fear: can a wounded heart ever trust anew?

Betrayal. Desire. Revenge. Which one prevails?

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Praise for That One Moment:

Patty Wiseman, as well as anyone and better than most, sure knows how to write the three basic ingredients of a page-turning and unforgettable novel: mystery, suspense, and romance. 

— Caleb & Linda Pirtle ~ Here Comes a Mystery

“It was pure perfection!” — Jessa, Amazon Reviewer

“Author Patty Wiseman does a good job of injecting so much action into just the first two pages that I had high expectations for this story. And That One Moment does not disappoint.” 

— Natasha Jackson for Readers’ Favorite

INTERVIEW WITH RICKI SHERIDAN

Main Character from THAT ONE MOMENT

By Patty Wiseman

From the written word, main character Ricki Sheridan has materialized in person to introduce herself and talk to us about her journey through the pages of That One Moment. Welcome Ricki!

Thank you! You can’t imagine how it feels to rise from the pages of a book and actually talk with you. I am very delighted to be here.

Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you live, what do you do for a living?

Dallas, Texas is my home and I make my living as a game warden. I’ve always wanted to work outdoors and I love animals, so it was a perfect fit for me.

Wow, a game warden. That’s pretty cool. So, tell me what is the first thing a person would notice about you?

That I wear a gun. Most people turn their attention to the weapon on my hip first, or my uniform. If I’m in civilian clothes, I’d say my short, curly hair.

What is your biggest vulnerability?

Trust is an issue with me. Since childhood, it seems betrayal follows me in every relationship. Especially men. I’ve suffered the worst betrayals imaginable. It tends to make you put up a wall, think the worst, you know, glass half empty.

Do you believe in true love?

Well, what is love anyway? Isn’t it opening your heart to someone, baring your soul, your very essence. Think about it. It’s kind of like open-heart surgery. The doctor exposes your pulsating heart. It’s out there, beating where everyone can see. To find true love, you must be willing to trust that person fully. I believe it can happen. My journey in That One Moment is about learning to trust again. It’s difficult. Love and trust. To me, they are the same thing.

The protagonist in That One Moment, is he the one who betrayed you?

Russ, yes. I spent two years of my life with blinders on. How naïve of me. I didn’t see the signs, wanted to believe I’d found the man I wanted to spend my life with. Boy, was I wrong. How can you live so close to pure evil and not see it? I beat myself up over my stupidity. I am in law enforcement. You’d think I could spot the kind of man he really was. The heart plays tricks on you. But for me—never again.

Are you telling us there is no happy ending in That One Moment?

If there is a happy ending it is hard fought. I ran. Ran from my broken heart to the Rocky Mountains. I thought I could clear my mind, set myself right, start over. But, evil followed me, and I was alone. Except for…well, I can’t tell you that, now can I? I will tell you there are two compatriots in That One Moment who I’ve grown very fond of. I can tell you about them. Wolf owns the mountain lodge and Martha is a long-lost love who comes back into his life. Talk about trust issues! Forty years worth. But I count them among my best friends now that this journey is over. They want me to tell their story. 

Ricki Sheridan, we’ve enjoyed talking with you and hearing your story. As we wave good-bye, we wish you well and are looking forward to discovering if you find your happy ending.

Award Winning Author Patty Wiseman is a native of the Seattle, Washington area and attended The Wesleyan College in Bartlesville Oklahoma. Northeast Texas is home now, along with her husband Ron.  She is the president of East Texas Writer’s Association, a Lifetime Member of the Worldwide Who’s Who for Professional Women (and named VIP for 2013), and a member of the Northeast Texas Writer’s Organization, East Texas Writer’s Guild, and Texas Association of Authors.

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8/22/18 Review Dressed to Read
8/23/18 Character Interview Carpe Diem Chronicles
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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

Scroll down for the giveaway!

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

CLICK TO PURCHASE:

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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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6/20/18 Author Interview Chapter Break Book Blog
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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

Scroll down for the giveaway!

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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5/24/18 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
5/26/18 Notable Quotable Missus Gonzo
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

CLICK TO BUY

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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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
5/23/18 Playlist The Clueless Gent
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

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5/12/18

Review

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5/13/18

Excerpt Part 1

The Page Unbound

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Review

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Books and Broomsticks

5/16/18

Author Interview

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5/17/18

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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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Forgotten Winds

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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.” 

CLICK TO ORDER

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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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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