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.
CLICK TO PURCHASE

 

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
TABATHA 0722 Notable Quotable

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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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

GRAND PRIZE: Both Books in the The Day the Angels Fell series + Color Changing Tree Mug + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
2ND PRIZE: Both Books + Tree of Life Journal
3RD PRIZE: Both Books + $10 Starbucks Gift Card

(US ONLY)
July 17-26, 2018
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
7/17/18
Author Interview
7/17/18
Book Trailer
7/18/18
Excerpt
7/19/18
Review
7/20/18
Review
7/21/18
Top 10 List
7/22/18
Notable Quotable
7/23/18
Author Interview
7/24/18
Review
7/25/18
Guest Post
7/26/18
Review
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Character Interview: Marley Rose McClain from Linda Broday’s TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR {giveaway}

BNR To Catch a Texas Star PNG

 

TO CATCH 

A TEXAS STAR

Texas Heroes, Book 3

by

LINDA BRODAY

  Genre: Western / Historical / Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

 

Date of Publication: July 3, 2018

Number of Pages: 352

Scroll down for Giveaway!

cover lo res catch a star
On her way to town early one morning, Marley Rose McClain finds a man unconscious and bleeding at the side of the road. She loads him in the wagon and takes him to her family ranch.

Drifter Roan Penny fights for his life, his one goal eating at him—to find the ones who murdered his best friend. As he recovers, he finds himself falling in love with Marley. She’s everything he wants and dreams of making her his wife even as he knows it’s impossible.

A terrifying stranger appears and a long-kept secret shakes Marley to the core. Roan helps her through very frightening times and they pledge their love for each other.

As Roan hunts down the hooded men who killed his friend and grows closer to learning the truth of the stranger’s identity, he finds both himself and Marley being stalked. Shocking events unfold, secrets come to light, and a love refuses to be denied in this cat and mouse game where danger lurks around every corner. Will Roan and Marley survive to see the future they plan?

 

CLICK TO PURCHASE

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Praise for To Catch a Texas Star:

“Fans of the previous books will enjoy returning to the McClain clan, and new readers will appreciate the story’s layered mysteries, emotional depth, and believable scenes of attraction.” — Publisher’s Weekly

“I loved the twists and turns that this story takes. It is pretty interesting seeing this romance blossom and how much their relationship strengthens as they face danger and the truth together.” — Addicted to Romance

“Marley Rose has one of the most gentle and winsome souls; her affection and compassion for others and delightful creativity pour off the pages and you can’t help but adore her.” — Michelle (Goodreads)

 

characterinterview
————  —— ———–

 

Today I’m with Marley Rose McClain from To Catch a Texas Star.

She’s a fascinating woman and I’m going to see if she will tell us a few things about the book. She strides into the room with confidence, a striking woman with dark hair and eyes. I see strength and pride in the way she carries herself and can’t wait to hear what she has to say.

Me: What did you think when you found Roan Penny lying half-dead beside the road?

Marley: I thought he was dead at first. Scared me when he moved. So I got him in the back of the wagon and drove back to the ranch. I think if he’d lain there much longer he would’ve died.

Me: I hear Roan stole your heart, and frankly he stole mine too.

Marley’s eyes sparkle: I tell you, that man makes me swoon. He’s sure handsome with dark brown hair and twinkling gray eyes. He’s quite the kisser too. When his lips meet mine, I get all hot and fluttery inside. He’s tall and lean too. I just love a man who makes me feel so protected and cherished and when he calls me his Texas star, I just melt.

Me: What was he like when he was dealing with that mob that murdered his friend?

Marley: Those gray eyes can sure turn to ice to match his voice when he’s angry. I found out Roan Penny can strike the fear of God in a man, but you know that’s what it took in the old west. More often than not, justice was only what men found for themselves. Criminals and bad men far outnumbered lawmen back then.

Me: Let’s talk about the secret Duel and Jessie kept from you. How did you feel?

Marley: I was deeply hurt, confused, and angry that they let me believe I was their child all these years. I couldn’t fathom being won in a poker game. Did I mean so little? But then I came to see that I meant so much. Duel saved me. If not for him, I wouldn’t be sitting here today. Even as hurt as I was, I couldn’t hate him. But for a while there, I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Me: Tell me about little Matthew and him calling you Mama Rose.

Marley grins big: That sweet, little boy has stolen my heart. He’s so sensitive and worries about everyone. The smallest things make him happy and the best part of my day is reading to him at bedtime.

Me: Speaking of that, I hear you write children’s stories and you read your own work to Matthew.

Marley: That’s correct. Writing stories that bring the children such enjoyment brings me great satisfaction and joy. The reward is seeing their faces light up.

Well, that’s all the time we had. I thanked Marley and left. She has an incredible story to tell in To Catch a Texas Star. It’s out now so grab a copy. I think you’ll like it.

Linda is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of full length historical western romance novels and novellas. She’s published over twenty books and short stories and resides in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. On a quiet day, she can often hear their voices whispering in the wind. 

The love of this state and its people runs bone deep and she instills that into each book she writes. She sets all her stories in Texas because of the rich history and interesting people.

A mother, grandmother, and soon to be a great grandmother, Linda finds research fascinating and always looks for little known tidbits to add realism to her stories. When she’s not writing, she collects old coins and confesses to being a rock hound in addition to making herself a nuisance at museums, libraries, and historical places which inspire her.

WEBSITE   FACEBOOK     PINTEREST

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Grand Prize: Signed Copies of Full Texas Heroes Series

Five Runners-Up: Signed Copies of To Catch a Texas Star

 

(US ONLY)

  July 3-12, 2018

 

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

7/3/18

Excerpt

7/3/18

Bonus Series Spotlight

7/4/18

Review

7/5/18

Guest Post

7/6/18

Review

7/7/18

Character Interview

7/8/18

Review

7/9/18

Playlist

7/10/18

Review

7/11/18

Author Interview

7/12/18

Review

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Review: TANGIBLE SPIRITS by Becki Willis {giveaway}

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TANGIBLE SPIRITS 
by
BECKI WILLIS
Genre: Paranormal / Thriller / Suspense 
Publisher: Clear Creek Publishing
Date of Publication: May 13, 2017
Number of Pages: 316
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Reporter Gera Stapleton has a difficult choice to make: write the story of a lifetime or save the legacy of a town and a man she has come to love. Assigned to a piece in Jerome, Arizona about a once-friendly ghost gone on a crime spree, Gera stumbles upon an amazing tale of greed, deception, and family honor and murder. When the killer targets her as the next victim, an unlikely savior comes to her rescue. Smart dialogue, plenty of action, and a touch of the supernatural make this a must-read novel.
“Becki Willis blends bits of history with bits of fancy and weaves a tantalizing tale you won’t soon forget.”
2018 Best Paranormal Fiction
by The Association of Texas Authors 
2018 RONE Award Finalist for Paranormal Long
Crowned Heart Recipient from InD’Tale Magazine

 

CLICK TO PURCHASE


CHECK OUT THE TRAILER!

Review
A fine blend of mystery, suspense and romance with a touch of the unknown.
Journalist Gera Stapleton becomes part of her story as she visits the infamous town of Jerome, Arizona to investigate its paranormal legacy.  Fluff story turns big time as she rolls into town on the heels of a murder.  What she uncovers is greed, power and a sick sense of family honor, but there is more to Jerome than just crooks.  Gera goes from skeptic to believer over the course of her stay all the while falling in love with her host and the history of this wonderful town.
TANGIBLE SPIRITS lives up to it’s awards!  Like a perfect recipe, it blends a bit of mystery and suspense, fabulous descriptive scenery, a pinch of history, vivid characters and a dash of romance.  The result is an excellent storytelling experience.
I was immediately drawn in by Gera’s voice as she arrived in Jerome and dove into her work.  The story kept its pace and the plot soon thickened.  I did guess the ending but that never stopped me from enjoying a really good read, which this was.  As a die-hard romance lover, I was THRILLED to see Gera get a happy ending, as a good cozy should be. I highly recommend this fun but suspenseful story, even if you aren’t a “ghost” person.  There’s plenty more to the story to keep you reading!
To the delight of readers around the world, Becki Willis writes memorable characters in believable situations. Best known for Forgotten Boxes and  The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series, Becki has won numerous awards, but says her biggest achievement is her family and her loyal reader base.

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1st Prize: Signed Copy of Tangible Spirits + $20 Amazon Gift Card 

2nd Prize: Signed Copy of Tangible Spirits

JUNE 27-July 6, 2018

(U.S. Only) 
 
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
6/27/18
Book Trailer
6/28/18
Review
6/29/18
Review
6/30/18
Author Interview
7/1/18
Review
7/2/18
Author Video I
7/3/18
Review
7/4/18
Author Video II
7/5/18
Review
7/6/18
Review
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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

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.

 

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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

CLICK TO PURCHASE:

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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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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

Grand Prize: Signed Copies of the Full Taste of Texas Series + $10 Amazon Gift Card

Two Runners-Up: Signed Copies of Cinco de Murder

JUNE 20-29, 2018

(U.S. Only)

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

6/20/18

Author Interview

6/20/18

Guest Post

6/21/18

Review

6/22/18

Top 5 List

6/23/18

Excerpt

6/24/18

Review

6/25/18

Bonus Review

6/26/18

Character Guest Post

6/27/18

Review

6/28/18

Guest Post + Bonus Review

6/29/18

Review

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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

CLICK TO PURCHASE

║ AMAZON  ║ BARNES AND NOBLE  

 

 

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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TWO SIGNED COPIES OF HARMON GENERAL

JUNE 22-JULY 1, 2018

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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

6/22/18

Top Ten List

6/23/18

Review

6/23/18

Excerpt

6/24/18

Guest Post

6/25/18

Review

6/25/18

Character Interview

6/26/18

BONUS Review

6/27/18

Review

6/27/18

Top Ten List

6/28/18

Playlist

6/29/18

Review

6/29/18

Excerpt

6/30/18

Review

6/30/18

Guest Post

7/1/18

Review

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Misfits & Millionaires, Book 1

 

Interview: Vivienne Lorret, author of HOW TO FORGET A DUKE {giveaway}

interview (1)

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

I come from a long line of storytellers, all gathered around a huge harvest table at my grandparents’ house. On Sundays (when I was a child), my dad and uncles would tell story after story of all the mischief they got into when they were younger. As a young spy in training (my chosen profession at the time), I was a stealthy eavesdropper and found myself enthralled (and sometimes horrified) by their tales. Even so, I was hooked. A child story-addict. I guess I never outgrew it.  

What do you like to read in your free time?

Romantic comedies, mysteries, poetry, nutrition labels (I always have a good laugh over those), and the Starbucks menu.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m currently writing my 2019 release (book #3 in the Misadventures in Matchmaking series), tentatively titled THE ROGUE TO RUIN.

In addition, I’m putting together a proposal for a sub character in a previous book. I’ve received a slew of emails from readers, asking for Lord Holt’s book (he appeared in the novella, Just Another Viscount in Love). It’s such a wonderful blessing!

What do your plans for future projects include?

This December, TEN KISSES TO SCANDAL (book #2 of the Misadventures in Matchmaking series) will be available. And in October, I’ll be hosting a table at the Buns & Roses Tea for Literacy at the Hyatt in Richardson, Texas. So exciting! http://www.bunsandroses.org/

Fun Stuff…

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

Well, I don’t think it’s strange, but I typically wear a black sweater (my son calls it my “writing cloak”), and I start off my day with two big mugs of chai tea. I’ve also been known to partake in the sacrificial ritual of the scone, on occasion.

What is your go-to method for getting rid of hiccups?

Holding my breath while drinking water in a bent over position, from the opposite side of the glass. Works every time.

If I gave you a pencil and piece of paper and told you to draw something funny, what would you draw?

I’d probably write the words “something funny” next to a smiley face. : )

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

Thin mints, fresh or frozen.

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention What do you think cats dream about?

World domination.

This or That?

Tea or Coffee?  Tea, always.

Winter or Summer? Fall

TexMex or Italian? Italian

Chocolate or Vanilla?  There is only chocolate. What is this “vanilla” you mentioned?

Bond or Bourne? Bourne

Aboutthebook (1)

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All Jacinda Bourne wants is to find a bride for a handsome, enigmatic duke. There’s only one problem: she’s certain he’s hiding something. Determined to discover what it is, she travels to his crumbling cliffside estate. Yet, by the time she washes up on his beach, she can no longer remember who she is, or why the duke is so familiar to her. All she knows is that his kisses are unforgettable—and she intends to use every skill she can to discover what’s in his heart . . .

When Miss Bourne can’t remember what brought her to his ancestral home, The Duke of Rydstrom intends to keep it that way. Yet as the days pass, his true challenge will be safeguarding his secret while resisting this woman who—confound it all—may well be his perfect match.

Praise for HOW TO FORGET A DUKE

“Lorret’s Misadventures in Matchmaking series starter and print debut sparkles with wit and passion. … A smart, fun charmer!” —RT Book Reviews

“…captivating, passionate, well-crafted … Simply divine!” — Romance Junkies

“This book is absolutely going on my top 10 of the year list.” — Book Besties

“Full of laughter, passion and some characters that fairly leap off the page in their need to be understood and cheered on – this new series from Lorret is sure to please many this summer.” — I Am, Indeed


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abouttheauthor (1)

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USA TODAY bestselling author Vivienne Lorret transforms copious amounts of tea into words. She is an Avon author of The Wallflower Wedding series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall series, The Season’s Original series, and the Misadventures in Matchmaking series. 

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Review: THE WIDOW’S WATCHER by Eliza Maxwell {giveaway}

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THE WIDOW’S WATCHER

by

ELIZA MAXWELL

Genre: Literary Fiction

Publisher: Lake Union Press

Date of Publication: March 29, 2018

Number of Pages: 286

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

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

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

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

PRAISE FOR THE WIDOW’S WATCHER:

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

– Goodreads reviewer

 

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

— Amber Cowie, author of Rapid Falls

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Review

Eliza Maxwell hits one out of the park with THE WIDOW’S WATCHER.

A tale of the bond formed when two lost souls find strength and redemption in one other.

 

Jenna Shaw has lost everything in one tragic moment.  Hopeless and defeated, she sets out across a frozen pond to meet the darkness.

Lars Jorgensen has spent half a lifetime in the shadows of an unsolved crime that took two of his children from him, and put his wife in a mental institution.  The curmudgeonly and reclusive Lars spots Jenna on the ice and stops her from ending her life, despite her determination to rid herself of guilt and grief.

Lars is undeterred by Jenna’s resentment for putting a halt to her plan, and the two form an unlikely friendship as she learns about his past and works to help solve the mystery of his missing children, all the while working through her own guilt and grief.

The twists and turns as Jenna begins to unfold the mystery of Lars Jorgensen’s missing children bring the story full circle and face to face with the truth, and learning forgiveness.  It is a roller coaster of emotions and satisfying tale of redemption.  Highly recommended to those who love a mystery with a lot of heart.

 

 

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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Interview: Kat Martin, author of BEYOND CONTROL {giveaway}

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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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AuthorInterview

Interview with Author Kat Martin

Part Two

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

I write full-time, two novels a year, and have almost from the start.  It’s a ton of work, but it’s helped me build my readership.

What are some day jobs that you have held?  Have any of them impacted your writing?

I had a lot of jobs before I started writing full-time.  Everything from a cleaning job in a convenience store, grocery checker, retail clerk at J.C. Penney’s (in the men’s department!), worked as a PR person in a real estate title company, then went into real estate in sales and finally as a broker.  I think every job I ever had helped me as a writer. Tons of material for stories!

How has your formal education influenced or impacted your writing?

I graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  Santa Barbara was a far different place from Bakersfield, California, the country town that was home to Buck Owens and Meryl Haggard.  Very sophisticated. I learned a lot about the lives of the wealthy, much of which pops up in my books. Beyond Reason, the first book in the Texas trilogy, centered around Lincoln Cain, a multi-millionaire from Dallas.  I’m comfortable writing people who live in those surroundings.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I’m known for fast-paced, high-action adventure novels with a deep and abiding love story.  I try to create a page-turner with lots of plot and romance.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?  

As with all of my books, Beyond Control was difficult start-to-finish.  There are sections that come together effortlessly, but they are rare.  I spend a lot of sleepless hours working on the storyline, the characters, the romance; but it’s very rewarding when the puzzle pieces all come together.   

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I like writing the action scenes and the dialog.  I like the hero and heroine and writing romantic sex scenes that bring them together.  Work but fun.

How do you decide if your main character will be male or female?

In my books, the male and female characters have equal parts in the story.  They learn to work together to solve the mystery and, as they are forced into danger, learn the strength and value of each other and come to realize they are perfectly suited to be together.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m very excited about my next project–a series of hardcover novels set in Dallas around the Maximum Security detective agency.  In Until Midnight, Chase Garrett is the owner, a private investigator, former military, very wealthy family, a high-action adventure set around Colombian cocaine smuggling.  The heroine, Harper Winston, also comes from money–unfortunately, her father is a criminal. A definite problem for Chase. It’s out in January. I’m really hoping readers will enjoy the book and the ones about Chase’s brothers and other men and women in the office.    

  

Till then, all the best and happy reading!

 

fa66f-abouttheauthor 

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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Guest Post: Patricia Hunt Holmes, author of SEARCHING FOR PILAR

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SEARCHING FOR PILAR

by

PATRICIA HUNT HOLMES

Genre: Contemporary Suspense / Thriller

Publisher: River Grove Books

Publication Date: April 10, 2018

Number of Pages: 320 pages

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cover hi res pilar

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

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

PRAISE FOR SEARCHING FOR PILAR:

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

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

 

 

GuestPost

The Lingerie Party

Guest Post by Patricia Hunt Holmes

During the past few weeks, the cable news stations and newspapers are filled with stories of women coming forward with accusations of sexual harassment or even rape by prominent entertainers and politicians.  Most of these events took place ten, twenty or more years ago. Defenders of the accused argue that these women should have come forth earlier if they were telling the truth about what happened. “Why didn’t they?” critics ask.  “Obviously these women must be lying now.”

Other defenders of the accused put forth the defense that, “It was a different time.  It was just the way business was done back then. The past is the past, and we should not persecute the perpetrators for conduct that was normal and customary at the time.  Even if there is a shred of truth in what the women claim, he doesn’t do those things anymore.”

I have also heard people excuse bad behavior with the phrase, “Boys will be boys after all.” That comment is usually accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders or a laugh, indicating there’s nothing you can do about human nature.  

Last night I was having dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant with a neighbor couple in their forties.  The woman said she wouldn’t go to a different Ethiopian restaurant because they had women in lingerie entertaining late at night.  That reminded me of something that I had completely forgotten happened in the late 1980s. Suddenly recalling the event now, in the context of today’s political/social topic du jour, I felt like a thunderbolt had hit me.  

As an associate attorney at a large, prestigious Houston law firm, I was assigned to work on the recruiting team for the local law school with other partner and associate alums. Since there were many more men than women lawyers at the firm, there were only one or two women on the team. The Head of the team was a male partner who was a lot of fun but also known for being a man who used foul language and slept around with women not his wife.  These things, in themselves, were not anything that hurt his career at the firm.

The recruiting team’s role was to interview students on campus and then invite the ones to whom we thought we might make a summer internship offer to parties at which the students and the lawyers could size-up one another.  We also organized events for the students who did clerk with us to parties during the summer, all with the goal of recruiting them to come to work for the firm. Since my firm was the largest law firm in Texas and paid the highest salaries and benefits, the ultimate goal of virtually every student intern was to secure a permanent job offer.

I don’t remember if the lingerie parties were held before or after the students came to work, but most likely it was during the summer clerkship.  The Head of the UH Recruiting Committee (let’s call him “Jim”) decided that we would have a party at a new, Texas themed bar downtown. It was after work and all the students were urged to attend.  As a dutiful team member, I was there.

Everyone was drinking and talking and having a good time.  At about 6:00 p.m., three or four very lovely young, female “models” entered the bar.  They were dressed in sexy lingerie and high heels and mingled among our group. Jim had ordered them as the “entertainment.”  At least half of the students were women, and I doubt any of them could afford to buy the lingerie being modeled. The models chatted with the crowd, especially the males, leaving most of the female students to talk with one another and me.  So much for the female students’ opportunity to make a good impression on the lawyers.

You are thinking that I must have been shocked and embarrassed by Jim’s choice of entertainment for prospective law students, right?

Well, you are wrong.  I was in my late 30s or early 40s, having spent ten years in graduate school getting a Ph.D. I was 36 years old when I graduated from law school and began work at the firm.  I had two young daughters in elementary school at the time. I considered myself a liberated woman, doing a “man’s job” in a large law firm and fighting quietly for equal treatment in my legal career.  So why didn’t I jump up and scream at Jim and the other men in the bar (all of whom seemed to be having a really good time) that this was inappropriate behavior and insulting to the female law students they were trying to recruit?

That is the question I have been asking myself since last night when I recalled the incident.  Actually, it was incidents, (plural) since the men thought that the party had been such a success that we did it again the next year.

So why didn’t I protest the objectification of women at the time?  Why didn’t I stand up for those female students? Several reasons:  I was a woman who needed her job and the money it paid to support my family.  If I had complained to the men on the team or to the Management Committee of the firm, the male partners (they were almost all male partners) would have labelled me as a troublemaker.   Good legal work would have ceased to come in my door. Eventually, when my billable hours tanked, I would be asked to leave. I couldn’t afford that.

The students didn’t protest or not come to the parties because they needed the job offer. Some of them had student loans to pay or really wanted a career at what they thought was the best firm in Houston when they chose to clerk there. They had no choice but to put up with being ignored while the male students bonded with the male lawyers over the models.

If I am honest, however, I don’t think I was all that offended or outraged.  In hindsight, it was in poor taste, if not outrageous. But it was the way things were done in those days. When I decided to be a lawyer, I accepted that I was going to have to ignore sexism and sexual harassment if I wanted to succeed. So, the fact that I didn’t speak up and complain about the impropriety of the lingerie party, or any other abuse of or objectification of women that I witnessed, doesn’t mean these things never happened. It just means women couldn’t economically afford to bear the consequences of speaking out about what happened in those days.  It was just how things were done and everyone said, “It’s just Jim,” and shrugged.

I am somewhat ambivalent about whether men should be punished today for something they did when “everyone was doing it.” I think you have to draw a fine line.  The lingerie party was wrong, but it didn’t permanently damage anyone (I don’t know about the models.). I can see not punishing a man for things he did or attitudes he expressed that were insensitive and ignorant if “everyone was doing it” and he is behaving himself and treating women with the proper respect today.  I think conducting wholesale witch hunts for no purpose other than to be mean or gain political advantage is wrong and dangerous.

But past incidents of rape, coercion of subordinates to participate in sexual relationships, derailing of a woman’s career because she didn’t play along, humiliating women and similar bad acts should not be so easily forgiven.  Especially if the perpetrator continues to carry on like this to the present, he should be exposed, vilified and made to suffer the legal and economic consequences of his crimes.

The “boys will be boys argument” deserves to die a miserable death.  It is an excuse for laziness and maintaining the status quo. It implies people can never change their attitudes and behavior. I had a nun in Catholic School who used to tell us that “Can’t means won’t!” If social ideas didn’t evolve, women and black Americans would not have the right to vote. The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights would not have been conceived and written, and we would all still be smoking Camel cigarettes.  Progress is made in human society when society arrives at a consensus that a certain abusive way of behaving towards a group of people is wrong and should no longer be tolerated.

I am hopeful that the large number of women who are coming forward and openly acknowledging that they were sexually abused or harassed in the past means that American society is nearing a consensus that men should not objectify, use or abuse women just because they can.  The legal and economic consequences of criminally harassing or abusing women may be the motivation that is needed to effect real change and equality in America.

 JPG - Holmes, Patricia 4L3C9801

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

 

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

 

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Featured Title: BLOOD AND REMEMBERANCE by Chris Manno {giveaway}

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BLOOD AND REMEMBRANCE

by

CHRIS MANNO

Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction

Publisher: Dark Horse Books

Publication Date: March 3, 2018

Number of Pages: 321 pages

 

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Blood and Remembrance is the prequel to the award-winning Texas novel, East Jesus. This new, stand-alone story rampages from the west Texas plains to Huntsville’s Death Row and back. Cowboys, ranchers, driven oilmen, desperate convicts and headstrong women grapple with truths of the heart, of life, and the coming of age in a dramatic struggle you’ll live yourself and never forget.

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Chris Manno of Fort Worth, Texas, earned a doctorate in English from Texas Christian University and teaches writing at Texas Wesleyan University. 

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

patriotism and violence, both domestic and in a far-off, unpopular war.

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

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

 

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