Review: WILDFLOWER WEDDING (The Sisters, Texas Book 8) by Becki Willis

 

 WILDFLOWER WEDDING:

WITH A KILLER RECEPTION

by

Becki Willis

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Romance / Women Sleuths
Publisher: Clear Creek Publishing
Date of Publication:  June 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 284

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It’s the most anticipated wedding of the year in The Sisters, when Madison Reynolds and Brash deCordova finally tie the knot!

Wedding preparations are underway, but the aisle to the altar gets rockier by the minute.


Their support is humbling, but the community’s enthusiasm soon threatens to hijack the wedding. Squeeze in a suspicious death during a Texas Independence Day celebration, the needy new widow Madison befriends, and an unscrupulous politician trying to unseat Brash as chief of police, and the path seems littered with obstacles. 

Madison will move mountains, however, to marry the man of her dreams. All they really need is each other, their children by their side, and a preacher to make it official. In an effort to please everyone, the couple opts for a private ceremony followed by a public celebration. It’s the perfect Wildflower Wedding, but who knew it would end in a killer reception?


Cantankerous Nigel Barrett hired In a Pinch Professional Services to find his estranged family, but it takes more than a home DNA test to locate his next of kin. Madison suspects he was searching for an heir, but when the wealthy rancher is killed at their reception, she’ll settle for finding someone to attend his funeral.

From the author of Forgotten Boxes, Plain Roots, and the Spirits of Texas Cozy Mysteries, enjoy book eight of the award-winning reader favorite The Sisters, Texas Series. 

$0.99 KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEAL!

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Becki Willis takes us on a wild ride in this eighth installment of her Mystery series, THE SISTERS, TEXAS.  And true to the heart of this series, there are colorful, dynamic characters, small town drama, and lots to warm you from the inside out. 
XTRA Bridal Shower
WILDFLOWER WEDDING begins with Madison planning her wedding to her long-time crush, Chief of Police Brash de Corodova.  But as is Maddy’s nature, she just can’t stay out of trouble too long.  While attempting to help an elderly client locate his long-lost family, she encounters one danger after another.  Then when her client drops dead at their wedding reception after gifting the couple very generously, the whole town grows suspicious of the newlyweds.   Maddy goes on a mission to find the person responsible and clear her new husband’s good name.  As usual, trouble finds her.  And unraveling the mystery nearly costs her everything.
The characters from the town appear in each of the stories, adding so much flavor to the Texas setting and small town charm.  The twists and turns of the story keep the reader on their toes, trying to guess what’s next. Willis tells a great story, peeling off the outer layers of the mystery while savoring the romance and relationships between the people of The Sisters. The setting plays such an integral part of the story, thickening the plot and moving it along because of its nature.
Prior to reading this installment, I had only read one other of the books in the series. Although, each book could be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading the rest of the series to get the true flavor of The Sister, Texas and its inhabitants.  Such a fun story, and I’m definitely going to go back to the beginning of the series to read them all.
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Becki Willis, best known for her popular The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series and Forgotten Boxes, always dreamed of being an author. In November of ’13, that dream became a reality.
Since that time, she has published numerous books, won first place honors for Best Mystery Series, Best Suspense Fiction, Best Women’s Detective Fiction, and Best Audio Book, won the 2018 RONE Award for Paranormal Fiction, and has introduced her imaginary friends to readers around the world.
An avid history buff, Becki likes to poke around in old places and learn about the past. Other addictions include reading, writing, junking, unraveling a good mystery, and coffee. She loves to travel but believes coming home to her family and her Texas ranch is the best part of any trip. Becki is a member of the Association of Texas Authors, Writer’s League of Texas, Sisters in Crime, the National Association of Professional Women, and the Brazos Writers organization. She attended Texas A&M University and majored in Journalism.
Connect with Becki below. She loves to hear from readers and encourages feedback!
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6/20/19
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Genny’s Ballad, #5
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Special Feature: Notable Quotable from THE EDGE OF OVER THERE by Shawn Smucker {giveaway}

 

 

THE EDGE
OF OVER THERE

The Day the Angels Fell, Book 2
by
SHAWN SMUCKER
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: July 3, 2018
Number of Pages: 384
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Cover Hi res Edge of Over There
The captivating sequel to the award-winning The Day the Angels Fell
Abra Miller carries a secret and a responsibility she never expected.
Before the Tree of Life, everything in Abra Miller’s life had been predictable. Safe. Normal. But after the Tree, everything has felt fragile . . . like holding a soap bubble in the palm of her hand. After years of fruitless searching for the next Tree, she begins to wonder if it was nothing more than a vivid dream.
Now sixteen, Abra finds a clue to the whereabouts of the next Tree of Life when an ominous woman—who looks exactly like a ghost from her past—compels her to travel to New Orleans where she’ll find one of seven gateways between this world and Over There. But she’s not the only one interested in finding the gateway. There’s also a young man searching for his father and sister, who escaped through it years before. As Abra enters the Edge of Over There and begins her pursuit of the Tree once more, she doesn’t know whom to fear or whom to trust.
She’s also starting to think that some doorways should never be opened.
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Praise for The Edge of Over There:
“Blending Biblical elements and urban myths, Smucker creates an enthralling story of supernatural battles between the forces of good and evil.” — Publishers Weekly


“The Edge of Over There is a mesmerizing, menacing fantasy. Shawn Smucker fuses New Orleans lore, Christian themes, and dystopian landscapes in a thorough exploration of love and its unintended results.” — Foreword Reviews (Starred Review) 

Notable Quotable
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Shawn Smucker is the author of The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There. He lives with his wife and six children in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You can find him on his website, where you can also sign up for his newsletter in order to find out when and where the Tree of Life will turn up next.

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2ND PRIZE: Both Books + Tree of Life Journal
3RD PRIZE: Both Books + $10 Starbucks Gift Card

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July 17-26, 2018
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7/17/18
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7/18/18
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7/19/18
Review
7/20/18
Review
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7/22/18
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Review: CINCO DE MURDER by Rebecca Adler {giveaway}

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CINCO DE MURDER

A Taste of Texas Mystery, #3

by

Rebecca Adler

Genre:  Texas Cozy Mystery

Date of Publication: April 3, 2018

Publisher: Berkley

Number of Pages: 304

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

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

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

 

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PRAISE FOR CINCO DE MURDER:

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

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

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Review

Josephina Callahan is back in this third installment of Berkley Prime Crime’s Taste of Texas Mysteries, by Rebecca Adler.  Preparation is underway for the small West Texas town of Broken Boot’s first ever International Chili Association sponsored Chili Cook-Off.  Josie’s Uncle Eddie is in charge of organizing the event, and he’s determined to impress his new colleagues on the town council. But things don’t go as planned as Josie discovers one of the contestants murdered in his tent the morning of the event.  She teams up again with Detective Quinton Lightfoot to try to get to the bottom of the crime and gets in over her head with her faithful long-haired Chihuahua companion, Lenny. Twists and turns complete this fun read with a satisfying and heartwarming ending.

I love a good cozy mystery, and this one fit the bill.  Josie is a honest likable character, and her sidekick, Lenny makes the story fun.  I enjoyed the complex relationship she has with her grandmother, Senora Mari, and their love and loyalty to family.  Josie’s curiosity keeps her knee-deep in the middle of the unfolding mystery, and as Lightfoot allows her more and more access to the investigation, their relationship grows.  The ending took me by surprise, as a good mystery should, but wrapped everything up nicely. I have to add that reading this book made me incredibly hungry for Tex-Mex, and I was thrilled to see the family recipes included at the end of the story.  Bravo! Though this is part of a series, and I’m sure the reading experience could have been enhanced by reading the two previous books, I read this one as a standalone and it was great. If you love cozy mysteries and small town Texas, you’ll love this one too. Highly recommended.

 

Author Pic Nelson.jpg

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 Tamale; The Good, the Bad, and the Guacamole; and 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 theater.

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JUNE 20-29, 2018

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Interview: Dr. Stuart Lemming, Colonel, U.S. Army Medical Corps, from HARMON GENERAL by Kimberly Fish

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HARMON GENERAL

Misfits and Millionaires #2 

by

KIMBERLY FISH

Genre: Historical Fiction / WWII / Spies

Publisher: Fish Tales, LLC 

Date of Publication: June 16, 2018

Number of Pages: 330

Scroll down for giveaway! 

In 1943, Lane Mercer and Emmie Tesco had nothing in common. Well, nothing stronger than a town neither of them chose and careers they couldn’t advertise as agents within the Office of Strategic Services. During the days of Longview, Texas’s Friendly Trek Homecoming Parade, Lane was gearing up for the grand opening of a bookshop that also disguised an espionage safe house, and Emmie was chasing a criminal with evil intent through the US Army’s new medical facility, Harmon General Hospital, treating diseased and amputated soldiers. Emmie ropes Lane into international threats at Harmon General, making it increasingly hard for the two spies to navigate the Junior Service League, church life, or anything else that might be considered normal for a town sizzling with oil boom wealth. A friend from Lane’s past arrives and pushes against the fiction she’s created to distance her spy history from the wedding bells ringing her future. Emmie flirts with the idea of finding a life outside of the OSS but justifies the danger as a way to make amends for those she’s betrayed. Connecting the two women, to their surprise, is a rogue agent who targets them for crimes he believes they created. For better, or worse, they have to put aside their differences to share responsibility for stopping “The Grasshopper” before he blows apart the Big Inch Pipeline project and Harmon General Hospital. The hope of malaria treatments for US soldiers depends on it, and justice of the heart demands it.

 

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

“Harmon General is a brilliant story for historical fiction readers! Set in World War II, the female spies, Army hospital setting, and drama amongst the Longview townsfolk kept me riveted and engaged until the very end.” – Jody T. Morse

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SPECIAL PROMOTION: FREE BOOK!

 

For the first five days of the Lone Star Book Blog Tours promotion of Harmon General, the Kindle  e-book of The Big Inch is FREE!!  That’s right, from June 22-27, the e-book that started the whole Misfits and Millionaires adventure costs nada!

Click to download your copy!

 

 

 

characterinterview

 

Harmon General Character Interview:

Dr. Stuart Lemming, Colonel, U.S. Army Medical Corps

 

Setting: the lobby of the KFRO Radio Station in Longview, Texas. May, 1943

Dr. Lemming is sitting in a straight back chair, flipping through the pages of the Longview Morning News—not reading the headlines, just looking for something to do while he waits for the production assistant to take him back for his radio interview. The receptionist brings him a cup of coffee.

“I hope I got it right. Just a splash of milk?” the woman in a pink blouse asks as she wipes her hands on her brown skirt.

Stuart holds the cup close, letting the steam warm his cheeks. “You have a good memory.”

“It comes from having to remember all the yahoos who roll through the station week-after-week.” She smiled as if to imply a man in uniform didn’t qualify for the same treatment as those giving the farm reports and sports broadcasts. “You’re not from around here?”

“I’m stationed at Harmon General these days, but I call North Carolina home.” He sipped the dark roast. “Boone, actually. In the mountains.”

She smiled wistfully. “I’ve only ever seen mountains in the movies.”

“Where I’m from, they’re a little more tamed than the ones you see in the westerns.” He stood because the receptionist hadn’t moved on and his mother had taught him to stand when speaking to ladies.

“Well, what must you think of Longview then after being in the military and travelling all over the world?”

“I haven’t been allowed off our shores yet, but I’ve done most of my schooling and training on the east coast. Spent a lot of time in Washington, D. C. That’s a bit different from here.”

“We’re just country bumpkins compared to all the folks you’d meet in Washington.”

Stuart’s expression softened as if he was enjoying replaying the faces of people he’d met during his medical training and Army career. “I met Clark Gable once.”

She gasped. “I adore Clark Gable.”

“He was learning medical procedures for a movie role, and I actually explained to him how to read slides under a microscope.”

She fanned her face. “Did you get his autograph?”

Stuart didn’t have the heart to tell her the actor was rather grumpy and had bad breath. “I forgot to ask.”

The woman let her gaze take new inventory of Stuart’s beige uniform and military brass. “I know you’re here to do one of those “Heroes of Harmon” radio interviews that everyone is raving about, but if you’re not busy after—would you like to grab a sandwich together? We could walk down the street to Deb’s?”

He smiled. It had been a long while since someone—outside Harmon—had shown much interest in him, and now with Lane Mercer out of the picture it was time to get back out in the mix. “Sure. If the interview doesn’t go too long.”

The receptionist gestured to the thick door leading back to the production studios. “They’ve been whipping those soldiers in and out of here all week. It shouldn’t take more than half an hour for them to ask you about your work, how you got here, who you want to say hi to back home, and what’s your big heroic moment from the war.”

Stuart froze. He didn’t have a big heroic moment, short of what happened in the chapel—and that was more of a reflection on Lane than it was him. “I’m a pathologist, not a hero.”

She brushed away his humility. “Anyone who suits up for this war is a hero to me. Come on, I’ll take you back and show you the green room. Babe Ruth once ate a hot dog in there—he was here as a guest of our old baseball team, The Cannibals.”

Stuart followed the woman and worried about the notion of naming a local baseball team after a people-eating subset of humanity—but that’s how his brain worked. Where most folks took things at face value, he was always consumed by the details beneath.

 

 

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR:

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.

WEBSITE   INSTAGRAM  FACEBOOK  

to see book reviews and behind the scene peeks

at places that have inspired the novels! 

From kissing couples to fabulous fedoras,

inspiration behind Harmon General!

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Misfits & Millionaires, Book 1

 

Interview: Shelton L. Williams, author of COVEY JENCKS

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COVEY JENCKS

by

Shelton L. Williams

Genre: Mystery / Social Thriller

Publisher: Southern Owl Publications, LLC

Publication Date: February 10, 2018

Number of Pages: 229 pages

 

Cover med res Covey Jencks

 

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Covey Jencks is a murder mystery with a social conscience. Set in West Texas with a cast of colorful and humorous characters, it follows a young lawyer from Washington, DC back to his hometown of Odessa, Texas. He wants and needs to solve a murder case from 1979 in 1993. The problem is that the Odessa Police Department has already found its man, and no one wants to re-visit the case of a black prostitute whose life was seemingly of no consequence to anyone. But Freddie Mae Johnson’s death matters to Covey and eventually he discovers an old flame, JayJay Qualls, who also knew and loved Freddie. Together they undertake an investigation that uncovers not only the truth about Freddie but also the secrets of Odessa’s south side, Mexican gangs, a Boston mobster, and the fallacy of unexamined assumptions. Finding out who killed Freddie is one thing, but preventing their own demise is quite another! 

 

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PRAISE FOR COVEY JENCKS: 

 

I just love Covey Jencks and JayJay Qualls! They are a modern couple who remind me of Nick and Nora in West Texas. Characters, crimes, and social commentary leap off the page. Shelly can tell a story! Deborah Crombie, author of the award-winning mysteries of Gemma James/Duncan Kincaid

I loved the story, the writing, and the prospects for future Covey Jencks adventures, but what I love the most, as an African- American author and documenter of human experience, is the proof that this work presents of the inextricability of Black and White lives in America. Sharon T. Freeman, CEO of Gems of Wisdom Consulting, author of 24 books, and global development expert

A dead body and a miscarriage of justice? What is a West Texas boy to do? Well, Covey Jencks, an Odessa native who knows some secrets, spurns his job with a Washington, DC law firm, and heads back to his hometown to solve the crime. Prudence Mackintosh, Contributing Editor, Texas Monthly, author of Thundering Sneakers and more

“I have unfinished business in Odessa, by God, Texas.” And with that, we are off on a wild ride with Covey Jencks as he tries to find out who killed Freddie Mae Johnson, a black prostitute, when Covey was a junior in high school. If you like your detectives to be misfits who chafe at the social rules, idealists who try to find the order behind apparent chaos, attractors of a cast of characters as contradictory as the detective is, you will grab hold of Covey and hang on until the end of the ride. When you get there, you’ll know for sure that you’ve been somewhere. Carol Daeley, Professor Emerita of English, Austin College.

 

AuthorInterview

 

 

Where did the name “Covey Jencks” come from?

The name Covey Jencks has been with me for over 30 years. The original unpublished version of the book that became Washed in the Blood had Covey as a minor character. That book but not that name went away. Covey’s personal history is an amalgam of my family history, some aspects of some of my favorite students’ careers, and pure fiction. The focus on Freddie Mae’s death, that is the death of an older, black, sometime prostitute, came to me during the troubles of 2016. The Black Lives Matter movement vs. Blue Lives Matter set group against group and politicized death. Curiously, none other than Joseph Stalin said that “a million deaths is a statistic, but one death is a tragedy.” I wanted to show how one life, no matter the person’s color, could affect many people and also reveal social assumptions and maybe biases. Who better to solve the crime than a black and white duo who defied stereotypes? JayJay is a unique woman, but her sassy personality is familiar to me. I have lived with her for over fifty years. Yeah, I am an old dude. 
You teach in a grad school and run a busy non-profit? How do you have time to write a book? 

I write between 5:00 and 8:00 AM when the writing monster takes hold of me. Fortunately, the monster stays in the closet for years.
Really? It seems like you are setting up a series of mystery books based on Covey and JayJay?

Yes, that is correct. the monster is still roaming loose.
You have not lived in Texas for almost 15 years and not in Odessa for 55 years? Why write about Odessa, Texas?

Have you ever been to Odessa? It is unique, and it has real-life characters almost too big to be believable in mere fiction. In addition, when I wrote Washed in the Blood, and a guy from Simon and Schuster told me that it was well written but of no interest to anyone outside Texas. That frosted my mug! Every book has to have a sense of place and neither Brooklyn, nor Moscow, nor London, nor any other place has a monopoly on good stories. Of course, Friday Night Lights proved that, too. I re-visited Odessa countless times in researching and promoting Washed in the Blood; I still have family and friends there; and you can take the boy out of Texas, but…
You teach political science but your books aren’t overly political. Why not?

I think the politics are there, but not in-your-face. Buckminister Fuller, creator of the Geodesic Dome, once told me that politics is like physics. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It is better, he said, to make forces tangential rather than collide head on. I have never forgotten that.
Is that why there is so much humor in this book?

Perhaps, but then Covey and JayJay are inherently funny people. Covey had to learn how to navigate through bullies in middle school and high school and JayJay just tells it like it is; sometimes that comes out funny.
Are you trying to be trendy with so many gay and lesbian characters in your book?

Hardly, more like pay a penance. Growing up in the 50s, we were totally aware of LGBTQ folks. I was not particularly mean to them, but not until one of the most talented guys from my high school come out in the 70s (and later died of AIDS) did I stop to reflect on the systematic discrimination they faced. One of the characters in my book is still in the closet, and I hope I have conveyed how hard a life that is. It was a situation in which some folks chose death or imprisonment rather than public shame. 
So, you are crusader?

Nope, I simply like to tell stories. And I think I have a few more to tell.

 

Author Pic Shelley Williams

Shelton L. Williams (Shelly) is founder and president of the Osgood Center for International Studies in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and he taught for nearly 40 years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas.

He has served in the US Government on 4 occasions and he has written books and articles on nuclear proliferation. In 2004 he began a new career of writing books on crime and society. Those books are Washed in the Blood, Summer of 66, and now Covey Jencks. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.

 

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4/10/18

Character Interview

4/11/18

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Excerpt: DAM NATION: Bonnie and Clyde Series, Book 2 by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

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*******

DAM NATION 

BOOK RELEASE BLITZ 

Bonnie and Clyde #2

by

CLARK HAYS AND KATHLEEN McFALL

 

Genre: Historical / Alternative History / Romance 

Publisher: Pumpjack Press

Date of Publication: March 24, 2018

Number of Pages: 266

 

CLICK TO PURCHASE

 

Bonnie and Clyde: Defending the working class from a river of greed.

The year is 1935 and the Great Depression has America in a death grip of poverty, unemployment and starvation. But the New Deal is rekindling hope, with federally funded infrastructure projects, like Hoover Dam, putting folks back to work. So, why is someone trying to blow it up? That’s what Bonnie and Clyde set out to uncover in the novel Dam Nation by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall, the second book in a provocative speculative fiction series that re-imagines the outlaws’ lives.

 

*******

“A rollicking good read!” — Midwest Book Review

 *******

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EXCERPT

 

WHAT IF?

The Texas Ranger looked up at Sal, a mixture of fear, respect and revulsion in his eyes. “Let’s pretend for a minute it wasn’t Bonnie and Clyde in that ambush,” he said. “Why? Why would it be different people in that car?”

“How would I know?” Sal asked. “I work for the government. I trust that the government has my best interests at heart. I follow orders. You didn’t.”

“I won’t be quiet about this unless you can tell me why anyone would try to save them outlaws.”

“If they were still alive, I would tell you that everyone has a purpose in life, and perhaps they are fulfilling theirs. And if they were still alive, I would tell you that you don’t use good dogs to guard the junkyard, you use the meanest goddamn dogs you can get a collar around.”

 

       **********

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: 

Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed. Dam Nation is their sixth co-authored book. 

 

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BONNIE AND CLYDE: DAM NATION

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Interview: Jenny Morton Potts, author of HIDING {giveaway}

Hiding

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Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

Another (very successful) author read my novel ‘Piano from a 4th Storey Window’. He admired my work and asked me to write a thriller with him. I had been writing non genre literature and wasn’t sure I could ‘do’ thrillers. But I loved it. LOVED it!

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

It’s something hardwired in me. Firstly, just a huge love of words and the magic of them. I didn’t come from a bookish background but once I found stuff like ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ and ‘The 39 Steps’ as a kid, I was off.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing plays at about nine. I directed them, produced them, cast them (myself in the leading role, obv).

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

I still write plays. I’m writing one now about a woman who is to be killed by the robot she has lived with for decades (her contractual time is up). Her son is sharing her last hours too.

Used to write lots of short fiction.

I’ve had quite a lot of poetry published and I still read a lot of poetry.

Mostly novels though.

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

Oh lordy, that’s an essay. Every art form is story telling whether it has words or not. Art brings us the world’s joy and pain and everything in between. Without it, what would we be?

How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?

I’m not sure what this means. I’m overwhelmed with the earth, its benevolence and its cruelty but I don’t think I’m spiritual in the sense I imagine the question implies.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Its voice.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Death. The death in my hands.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Spending time with the characters. I love them all; the very small to the very old. I care for them deeply.

Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book? If so, discuss them.

Not really ‘underrepresented’. We know about vulnerable people. We know that people are in difficulty around us but it is very difficult to resolve, or to even involve yourself. And of ourse suffering has a way of creating hell amongst the undeserving.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?

Solzhenitsyn, Tartt, Forster, Kate Millett, Colette, Smiley. I love comedy writers too. They are a huge influence in my life, so surely make their mark on the page.

The above have all had a huge imact on my mind, and they must affect my writing therefore, though quite in what specific way, I couldn’t say.

What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?

I learned to classify my thoughts, to answer (some) questions, to find a way of being (somewhat) understood.

The most destructive is the rejection and whilst one can always learn from that, the toll is hefty.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

Full time, till I drop.

What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

I’ve been mostly in sales and marketing. I lived in France for a long time running my own business. I had a job as a director in a marketing firm. The boss there was, um, a character. I wrote a story about it called, ‘The Wonderful World of Wankler (with a silent ‘l’)’ . I’ve never tried to publish it.

What do you like to read in your free time?

Mostly contemporary literature. Lots of poetry (so happy with all the new rappers and fab performance poets coming up now). But anything really, ‘as long as it’s brilliant,’ as French & Saunders used to say.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I have three more thrillers/domestic noirs written and need to edit them a little before publishing this year. Also, I am writing a book with another man which will be a bit triptychy, like The Hours: Anna Magdalena Bach (wife of), Pau Casals (the cellist) and a batshit crazy author lady with an autistic child.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Writing psych thrillers set in amazing locations (but always with one strand in Blighty). I’d love to travel to these places but can’t till my son is finished schooling.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.

How can your books be so serious, yet so hilarious, Jenny? How, how, HOW?

(and this is me) I don’t know. I’m just blessed (holding hand tenderly on heart).

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

Standing on my head? With my neck? No. I am always thinking of writing, including in the shower, but I don’t actually take a notebook and pen in with me. (I have written underwater though, with a diver’s notebook. Overrated.)

What book do you wish you could have written?

I’ve never had that response because a book is like a person. You can’t be another one.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

Well, when I started writing, I don’t know that I had read a book. Of course there are the authors mentioned above but I am also incredibly attentive to screenplay writers. Dare I say that I think screen dramatists are blazing the trail?

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Ha! Well, I used to have a theatre company, so I’d be bound to pick some of my old pals there, but of famous people, Dame Jude for ‘Primmy Anctillious Brown’, Sairse Ronan for ‘Rebecca’, Max Minghella for ‘Keller’, Derek Jacobi for ‘Ralph’, Helen McRory, Tom Hollander, Tom Hiddleston, Jennifer Garner etc etc.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

Very, very important. I spend a lot of time in this and I know when I have fallen upon the right one. I am always looking and analysing and judging names. On credits, lists, everywhere. Love names.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I can’t think of one.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

I don’t think I’ll have one but I would do the dishonourable thing and leave that for my partner to decide. Probably a Victoria Wood quote.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Invisibility, hands down.

If you were a superhero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

It would be Jenny Mouse, as I sign myself on many a card. And a mouse costume. A grey mouse costume.

What literary character is most like you?

Any female protagonist with a calm exterior whilst on the inside, her guts are being ripped out.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Patagonia.

If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?

I’d like to be a spider monkey, but more accurately, one of these meerkats peeking in and out of the burrow.

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

Securing the safety of my child (the most talented, happiest, painter boy on earth) who has a profound language handicap.

If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

I have a mild Scottish accent, which is ok. I’d stick with that.

 

Aboutthebook (1)

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Hiding

A gripping psychological thriller with chilling twists, from a unique new voice. 

Keller Baye and Rebecca Brown live on different sides of the Atlantic. Until she falls in love with him, Rebecca knows nothing of Keller. But he’s known about her for a very long time, and now he wants to destroy her.

This is the story of two families. One living under the threat of execution in North Carolina. The other caught up in a dark mystery in the Scottish Highlands. The families’ paths are destined to cross. But why? And can anything save them when that happens?

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abouttheauthor (1)

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Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer and playwright. After a series of ‘proper jobs’, she realised she was living someone else’s life and escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her socks off.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, settled with family.

She tries not to take herself too seriously.

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Spotlight: THE CURSE OF SACERDOZIO by Glen Aaron

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THE CURSE OF SACERDOZIO
a tale of judicial conspiracy
The Supremes, Book 1
by
GLEN AARON
  Genre: Thriller / Suspense / Mystery
Publisher: BookBaby
Date of Publication: June 1, 2017
Number of Pages: 275
Scroll down for giveaway!

In​ ​Supreme​ ​Court​ ​books,​ ​there​ ​is​ ​seldom​ ​the​ ​intrigue​ ​of​ ​murder​ ​and​ ​of​ ​crime​ ​and​ ​punishment within​ ​the​ ​chambers.​ ​The​ ​Curse​ ​of​ ​Sacerdozio​ ​takes​ ​the​ ​death​ ​of​ ​Justice​ ​Antonin​ ​Scalia​ ​on​ ​a fictional​ ​journey​ ​that​ ​keeps​ ​you​ ​turning​ ​pages.​ ​As​ ​President​ ​Trump​ ​takes​ ​power,​ ​this​ ​tale​ ​raises questions​ ​about​ ​what​ ​influences​ ​drive​ ​him​ ​in​ ​judicial​ ​appointments,​ ​while​ ​at​ ​the​ ​same​ ​time entertaining​ ​the​ ​reader​ ​in​ ​a​ ​political​ ​and​ ​legal​ ​thriller.

The​ ​issues​ ​of​ ​abortion, ​ ​marriage,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​conduct​ ​of​ ​Supreme​ ​Court​ ​Justices​ ​wrapped​ ​in judicial​ ​conspiracy​ ​to​ ​control​ ​the​ ​Court​ ​and​ ​Congress​ ​come​ ​into​ ​stark​ ​conflict.​ ​The​ ​power​ ​of​ ​the church​ ​and​ ​motivated​ ​thinking​ ​highly​ ​organized​ ​pressure​ ​groups​ ​like​ ​the​ ​Federalist​ ​Society​ ​and Opus​ ​Dei​ ​are​ ​revealed​ ​in​ ​this​ ​plot​ ​driven​ ​novel.

While​ ​the​ ​story​ ​of​ ​the​ ​protagonist,​ ​Tommy​ ​Jon,​ ​is​ ​a​ ​success​ ​story​ ​within​ ​itself,​ ​as​ ​he​ ​is​ ​the​ ​first Jicarilla​ ​Apache​ ​to​ ​graduate​ ​from​ ​Harvard​ ​Law​ ​School​ ​and​ ​clerk​ ​for​ ​a​ ​Supreme​ ​Court​ ​Justice, his​ ​downfall​ ​is​ ​in​ ​contesting​ ​the​ ​judicial​ ​philosophy​ ​of​ ​Justice​ ​Sacerdozio.​ ​When​ ​the​ ​judge​ ​is found​ ​dead​ ​floating​ ​in​ ​a​ ​hot​ ​mineral​ ​pool​ ​on​ ​a​ ​ranch​ ​retreat​ ​in​ ​West​ ​Texas,​ ​Tommy​ ​Jon becomes​ ​a​ ​target​ ​of​ ​the​ ​FBI​ ​in​ ​suspicion​ ​of​ ​murder.​ ​The​ ​climax​ ​of​ ​the​ ​novel​ ​is​ ​his​ ​trial​ ​in​ ​the Federal​ ​District Court​ ​in​ ​El​ ​Paso.

Underlying​ ​the​ ​plot,​ ​the​ ​reader​ ​will​ ​realize​ ​a​ ​serious​ ​concern​ ​about​ ​just​ ​who​ ​President​ ​Trump really​ ​is.​ ​The​ ​political​ ​conspiracy​ ​that​ ​has​ ​brought​ ​the​ ​religious​ ​right​ ​and​ ​the​ ​judiciary​ ​together​ ​is unfolding​ ​and​ ​coming​ ​to​ ​fruition,​ ​now,​ ​in​ ​Washington.​ ​The​ ​Curse​ ​Of​ ​Sacerdozio​ ​is​ ​fictional​ ​in​ ​its tale​ ​but​ ​realistic​ ​in​ ​its​ ​revelations.
Praise for The Curse of Sacerdozio:
“The Curse of Sacerdozio: A Tale of Judicial Conspiracy rings through with originality, a story that will have readers gripped from beginning to end.” – Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite
“The characters are all wonderful, and some are more than what they seem.” – Jay Snook
“Aaron has done his research!” – Jenn Jilks, Cottage Country Reflections
“The novel entertains as it educates allowing the reader to be both intrigued and informed.” – The Nerdy Girl Express
“Aaron displays a knack for describing and creating emotion in any event.” — Sharon Kurack, StarryMag

CLICK TO PURCHASE:

Glen Aaron was born in Big Spring, Texas and raised in Midland. In 1962, while attending Baylor, he ran for State Representative from Midland at he age of 21. He lost that election in a runoff by 42 votes. Deciding politics was not for him, he graduated Baylor with a BA and moved on to the University of Texas law school. There, he won the Moot Court competition arguing before the Supreme Court of Texas sitting en banc. After acquiring his JD, Glen spent forty years in trial law and international business and banking. Today, he lives in Midland with his wife Jane Hellinghausen and two rottweilers. He enjoys writing and working with the Permian Basin Bookies. Author of: The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation — even crime; The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, the tale of America’s highest ranking military officer convicted of spying; The Prison Experience; The Prison People.

—————————————–
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Three Signed Copies of The Curse of Sacerdozio
September 6 – 15, 2017
(U.S. Only)

 


CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
6-Sep
Notable Quotable
6-Sep
Promo
7-Sep
Review
8-Sep
Press Release
8-Sep
Promo
9-Sep
Review
10-Sep
Promo
11-Sep
Review
11-Sep
Promo
12-Sep
Review
13-Sep
Excerpt
13-Sep
Promo
14-Sep
Review
15-Sep
Review
15-Sep
Promo
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Interview: Tonya Kuper, author of the YA New Release, ENIGMA

How long have you been teaching the Writing Young Adult Literature Writer’s Workshop?

I’ve taught WYAWW since spring of 2016 at a local university, so it is still relatively “new.”

What is your approach to teaching writing? How are your classes structured?

My writer’s workshop class is a little different than most offered on our campus. Instead of reading and writing short stories, my class focuses on reading current YA literature and students start writing a novel length YA manuscript. We start with defining YA lit, various methods for plot/or not plotting, and each week build on writing elements such as character development, setting, etc.

What are some special considerations for teaching how to write for a Young Adult audience?

The one thing I always remind my students of is that kids ALWAYS read up. Technically, YA is geared toward 12 years old and older. My son, like many students, was ready to start reading some YA novels in fourth and fifth grade because he needed longer books, a wider vocabulary, etc. BUT he was only 10, so he wasn’t ready for more mature content. I encourage my students to have their audience in mind when writing, younger YA versus upper YA, or even more specific than that.

Can you give us an example of YA literature that you use with your class to show good writing?

Well, students are required to about seven YA novels through a semester (and the list changes every semester), but I also use tons of examples from a plethora of authors because “good writing” looks different to everyone. One book I’ve used a couple times is A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, a younger YA story. I’ve also used An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and many, many more.

What are the main things you would like your students to take away from your class?

I want them to know Young Adult Literature is all about feelings, no matter if it’s high concept, a quiet story, a non-conventional novel, or whatever. It’s about letting young adults know that they are seen, heard, represented, not alone, loved, unique, and valuable. Craft-wise, I want them to remember GMC – Goal, Motivation, Conflict.

What two pieces of advice would you give to someone just starting out in writing for Young Adults?

Make sure you know the main conflict and make the reader feel.

Has teaching writing for YA affected your approach to writing YA?

Yes, I think I’ve become even more aware of how I write, what I caution my students about, what I encourage them to include. You know the saying, “practice what you preach?” Welp, that definitely fits. 😊

Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book?  If so, discuss them.

I try to mirror the world in my writing, so there is a diverse set of characters. The most underrepresented group/idea in Enigma is the occurrence of anxiety (anxiety attacks) in Josie. I wanted to show that even a sort of super-hero suffers from anxiety, that there doesn’t have to be stigma around mental health issues.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I fell in love with reading/books in second grade. Some of the first books I remember being addicted to was The Celery Stalks at Midnight, Bunnicula, and anything else by James Howe.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing my first manuscript the summer of 2009.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I loved all the “firsts” as a teenager and I love remembering them. Our teen years are so transformative, I was drawn to writing those characters. As far as scifi goes, I grew up reading and watching scifi and fantasy, so it’s just a part of me.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I think the fact that I write in a way that is approachable to anyone. The dialogue in my writing is pretty natural and relatable.

What do your plans for future projects include?

I’m starting to work on a secret YA manuscript this summer!

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Katherine McNamara, the star of Shadowhunters on Freeform, would play Josie – in fact, she was my inspiration for Josie way back in 2013 – and, though he’s a bit too old, Chase Crawford would be Reid.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? Ireland. (ME TOO)

 

Aboutthebook

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Worst. Road Trip. Ever.

Escaping with Reid Wentworth should have been fun, but how can I enjoy it when I just (accidentally) killed someone, my mom and brother are in danger, and the Consortium is trying to enslave humanity? (Yeah, they aren’t fooling around.) So feeling something for Reid Wentworth was not part of the plan. Trying to help unite the Resistance against the Consortium means I can’t be distracted by hot boys.

The Resistance secret hideout isn’t exactly the rebel base of my dreams. A traitor there wants me dead, but we have no idea who it is. And with both the Resistance and the Consortium trying to control me, the only one I can trust is Reid. If we’re going to have any chance of protecting my family, controlling my unstable powers, and surviving the clash between the Oculi factions, I’m going to have to catch this traitor. By using myself as bait.

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abouttheauthor

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Tonya Kuper writes young adult science fiction and contemporary novels. She first fell in love with reading in elementary school, which eventually lead to earning a BA in Elementary Education and a MS in Reading Education, but she never thought she’d write a novel, let alone several. When Tonya isn’t writing, she teaches Young Adult Literature Writing Workshop at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, laughs as much as possible, loves music, and nerds-out over Star Wars, Marvel, Sherlock, and all things pop-culture. She lives in Omaha, NE with her husband and two rad boys.

 

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Excerpt: GAIJIN COWGIRL: A Val Benson Thriller by Jame DiBiasio

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Aboutthebook

Working Tokyo nightclubs is easy money for beautiful and troubled American Val Benson – until a wealthy client with a dark past – reluctantly gives up a map to a stash of Japanese war loot and tempts his favourite girl into a dangerous treasure hunt.
But the Congressman’s daughter is not the only one interested in the map: Yakuza, bent cops, human traffickers, rogue CIA agents and her father are hot on her trail, snapping at her high heels.

So begins the dark, epic journey of a new anti-hero of Asian Noir, a protagonist both ambiguous and courageous, and utterly unreliable. From comfort women and tomb-raiding in Japanese-occupied Burma to the murderous echoes of the Vietnam War, long forgotten crimes come roaring back to life, as Val leaves a trail of destruction and chaos in her wake.

Together with her best friend, the equally unreliable nightclub hostess Suki, a British kickboxer and a washed up Australian treasure hunter, Val travels through Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok to the Thai-Burmese borderlands for a dramatic showdown with her pursuers. Finding the treasure before someone less deserving does is her only hope for survival, and perhaps redemption.

Gaijin Cowgirl by American writer Jame DiBiasio is a breathless page turner with a beautiful, dangerous heroine to match.

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Excerpt

Gaijin Cowgirl Chapter One

 

abouttheauthor

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Jame DiBiasio is the author of thrillers “Gaijin Cowgirl” (Crime Wave Press) and “Bloody Paradise” (Water Street Crime), as well as the non-ficiton “The Story of Angkor” (Silkworm Books). He is based in Hong Kong. Visit him at www.jamedibiasio.com.

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