Special Feature: THE HOPE OF AZURE SPRINGS by Rachel Fordham

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THE HOPE OF
AZURE SPRINGS
by
RACHEL FORDHAM
Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance 
Date of Publication: July 3, 2018
Publisher: Revell
Number of Pages: 336

ABOUT THE BOOK: 

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.
Welcome to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, where people care deeply for one another and, sometimes, even fall in love.

CLICK TO PURCHASE
 
 
PRAISE FOR THE HOPE OF AZURE SPRINGS: 
“In her promising first novel, Fordham assembles an endearing cast of characters in the rugged Midwest plains for a tale about surviving and thriving. . . .Fordham depicts heartbreaking emotional and physical suffering, while beautifully illustrating the power in simple acts of kindness to foster healing, hope, and happiness.”
—Booklist

 

EXCERPT: PROLOGUE
FROM THE HOPE OF AZURE SPRINGS

Iowa, 1881

     She dead?”
     Em heard a man’s voice from somewhere above her. A strange thumping pulsed through her with each word he spoke. Her throat burned, screaming for water, but she could not cry out.
     “There’s life in her. Not much of it though,” a second, raspier voice answered. She felt a hand press against her throat and then move over her body, gently probing. “She’s bleeding pretty bad.”
     “Gunshot?” the first voice asked.
     If only her eyes would open, and she could see them. Straining, she struggled to pull her heavy eyelids open. Finally, bits of light darted in front of her eyes, but she could not focus. The faces above her were fuzzy and indiscernible.
     Fear swept through her, suddenly waking her battered body. Afraid the men from before had returned, she opened her eyes wide, finding strength that only moments before she had lacked. With thrashing arms, she flailed at the men. Her arms flopped about but offered little defense—she was too weak from blood loss. And then they moved no longer, subdued by large, strong hands.
     “Easy, girl. We aren’t going to hurt you. We just want to help. Take you into town, that’s all. There’s a good doctor there.” The man’s deep voice sounded gentle, but still she did not trust him. Voices could be deceiving. Arms could hurt as well as help. She knew these things well.
     Soon she felt her body being raised above the ground, and moments later the hard planks of a wagon became the resting place for her injured frame. Too weak to move, she lay looking at the sky, wishing there were a way to end the agony, but knowing that for Lucy she would fight on.
     Once the wagon lurched forward, she lost track of everything again. The wheels bouncing over ruts made her pain so intense that everything closed around her and then faded to black.
_____________
_____________

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Rachel Fordham started writing when her children began begging her for stories at night. She’d pull a book from the shelf, but they’d insist she make one up. She hasn’t stopped since. She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.

 
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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
Scroll down for Giveaway!
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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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}

 BNR Tangible Spirits JPG
TANGIBLE SPIRITS 
by
BECKI WILLIS
Genre: Paranormal / Thriller / Suspense 
Publisher: Clear Creek Publishing
Date of Publication: May 13, 2017
Number of Pages: 316
Scroll down for giveaway!

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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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

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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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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

 

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

BNR Widow's Watcher JPG 

THE WIDOW’S WATCHER

by

ELIZA MAXWELL

Genre: Literary Fiction

Publisher: Lake Union Press

Date of Publication: March 29, 2018

Number of Pages: 286

Scroll down for the giveaway!

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

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

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

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

PRAISE FOR THE WIDOW’S WATCHER:

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

– Goodreads reviewer

 

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

— Amber Cowie, author of Rapid Falls

CLICK TO PURCHASE

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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.

Twitter ║ Facebook  ║ Instagram ║ Website

 

————————————-

 

 

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Three Winners! 1ST PRIZE: Signed Copy + $25 Amazon Gift Card
2ND PRIZE: Signed Copy + $10 Amazon Gift Card
3RD PRIZE: Signed Copy
MAY 22-31, 2018

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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

5/22/18

Book Trailer

5/22/18

Review

5/23/18

Guest Post

5/24/18

Review

5/24/18

Notable Quotable

5/25/18

Review

5/25/18

Author Interview

5/26/18

Review

5/26/18

Notable Quotable

5/27/18

Deleted Scene

5/28/18

Review

5/28/18

Excerpt

5/29/18

Top Five List

5/30/18

Review

5/31/18

BONUS Review

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Interview: Jan Reid, author of SINS OF THE YOUNGER SONS

BNR Sins of the Younger Sons JPG 

SINS OF THE

YOUNGER SONS

by

JAN REID

Genre: Literary Fiction / Romance / Spy / Thriller

Publisher: Texas Christian University Press 

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Publication Date: February 28, 2018

Number of Pages: 296 pages

Sins of the Younger Sons has received the Jesse H. Jones Award for Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters! Luke Burgoa is an ex-Marine on a solitary covert mission to infiltrate the Basque separatist organization ETA in Spain and help bring down its military commander, Peru Madariaga. Luke hails from a Basque ancestry that came with the Spanish empire to Cuba, Argentina, Mexico, and, seventy-five years ago, to a Texas ranch. Neighbors consider the Burgoas Mexican immigrants and exiles of that nation’s revolution, but the matriarch of the family speaks the ancient language Euskera and honors traditions of the old country. Luke’s orders are to sell guns to the ETA and lure Peru into a trap. Instead he falls in love with Peru’s estranged wife, Ysolina, who lives in Paris and pursues a doctorate about an Inquisition-driven witchcraft frenzy in her native land. From the day they cross the border into the Basque Pyrenees, their love affair on the run conveys the beauty, sensuality, exoticism, and violence of an ancient homeland cut in two by Spain and France. Their trajectory puts Luke, Ysolina, and Peru on a collision course with each other and the famed American architect Frank Gehry, whose construction of a Guggenheim art museum seeks to transform the Basque city of Bilbao, a decrepit industrial backwater haunted by the Spanish Civil War—and a hotbed of ETA extremism. Ranging from the Amazon rain forest to a deadly prison in Madrid, Sins of the Younger Sons is a love story exposed to dire risk at every turn.

 

PRAISE FOR SINS OF THE YOUNGER SONS:

“Reid’s story is a fascinating blend of page-turning thriller and vivid tableau of Basque culture and the movement that battled the Spanish establishment for many decades. A reader can’t ask for more—a book that’s engaging, entertaining, educative, and unique.”  —Thomas Zigal, author of Many Rivers to Cross and The White League

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

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

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

 

 

AuthorInterview

What kinds of writing do you do?

The first decades of my career were defined largely by wide-ranging magazine non-fiction, most of it for Texas Monthly. I’ve now written or collaborated on twelve nonfiction books and three novels. First with The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock, three of my nonfictions concern music and the lifestyle and craft of musicians. I’ve written much about football and boxing. I believe my best nonfiction books are Let the People In, a biography of Texas governor Ann Richards, and a memoir of friendship, love, personal crisis and challenge, and Mexico, The Bullet Meant for Me. I’m proudest of my novels Comanche Sundown, about their last war chief and a freed slave cowboy, and Sins of the Younger Sons, a love story and thriller set among the Basque separatist conflict in Spain.

What was the hardest part of writing Sins of the Younger Sons, and what did you most enjoy about it?

The hardest part was shelving a false start for twenty years. I loved the settings and the three major characters—a Basque separatist leader named Peru, his wife Ysolina, and Luke, a covert American intelligence agent who falls in love with her. But I didn’t have enough story to make the novel work, at least to my satisfaction. My greatest enjoyment on returning to the novel was a plot breakthrough that led me to fictionalize as supportive characters the celebrated American architect Frank Gehry and Spanish king Juan Carlos, who led his nation out of the darkness of their civil war and the long fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

Which character from your book is most like you?

The protagonist Luke Burgoa.  He’s an ex-Marine, a onetime boxer, and a Texan. He knows the rain forest of the Amazon and its tributaries. He knows horses and mules. And he comes to love el País Vasco, the Spanish-ruled Basque Country and its showpiece coastal city, San Sebastián.

What projects are you working on now?

Both draw on my past experience and in different ways are sequels. A nearly completed novel, The Song Leader, is narrated by an Austin-based rock and roll singer who changes his name to Haid Pecos to hide from his past: an aggravated assault conviction in a Marine court martial and a year of brutal infantry combat in Vietnam. Haid’s marriage to a lawyer has its extreme highs and lows. In his youth he was a gospel song leader in a small church in his hometown Deerinwater (the setting and title of my first novel) and then a state Golden Gloves boxing champion.  First as a sparring partner in the Marines, Haid overcomes the obstacles of his origins and American racial barricades and forms a long friendship with the black heavyweight champion of the 1970s, Ken Norton—and through Norton’s perspective, Haid gains an entertaining sense of Kenny’s great rivals, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Beyond that, involving two characters in Sins of the Younger Sons, I plan to start a novel pitting the separatist rebellion in Catalonia against the Madrid government’s military-style assault on the Catalans and their great city Barcelona.  An infant and little girl in the earlier novel, the protagonist Enara is now a 22-year-old woman. Her father, the ex-spook Luke, is scared to death about what she’s getting herself into.  

What book do you wish you had written?

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy.

What is something funny about you that most people don’t know about you?

Even in my old age people still tell me I look like Jimmy Carter.  I consider it a compliment. When he was president I first heard it while traveling in Mexico. “Jeemy!” people would yell. “Jeemy Carter!”        

Author Reid

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

 

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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

  

Scroll down for the giveaway!

 

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.

 ║Website ║ Facebook ║ BookBub

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Guest Post and Cover Reveal: HARMON GENERAL by Kimberly Fish

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HARMON GENERAL

Misfits and Millionaires #2 

by

KIMBERLY FISH

Genre: Historical Fiction / WWII / Spies 

Expected Date of Publication: June 16, 2018

Number of Pages: 330

ABOUT THE BOOK: 

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

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

PRESENTING THE COVER 

OF HARMON GENERAL

 

 

PRAISE FOR HARMON GENERAL:

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

GuestPost

What’s real in the WWII historical fiction novel, Harmon General?

GUEST POST BY KIMBERLY FISH

Much like in the novel, The Big Inch, I researched the very real history of the U.S. Army’s hospital built south of Longview, Texas known as Harmon General. Not only was I stunned by the level of medical procedures invented and established into modern medical practices by the research done at Harmon General (like malaria treatment, prosthetics, and physical therapy) but also by the astounding number of 25,000 patients treated during the short tenure of this hospital (1942-47.) I was particularly impressed by how well received this hospital and its incoming 5000-member personnel were treated by the local Longview community. The local volunteer wing, known as The Gray Ladies, was serious business in Longview. I spent many hours at the Longview Public Library, reading old issues of Longview News Journal, researching old files in San Antonio at the U.S. Army’s Medical Museum at Ft. Sam Houston, but also in going through the archives at Gregg County Historical Museum listening to old audio tapes of interviews with those who were stationed at Harmon. All the context of the novel is real, the speaking characters in the novel are imaginary—some are compilations of actual historical figures, but as with TBI, I changed the names to protect their privacy.

To be fair, I’m not aware of actual intellectual property theft at Harmon General, nor is there any official documentation that the OSS or the FBI were ever called in to resolve issues on the campus. But then, there never is—is there?

 

ABOUT 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.

 

HARMON GENERAL

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Character Interview: Pearl Pilkington from THE WAY OF BEAUTY by Camille Di Maio {giveaway}

 BNR The Way of Beauty JPG

THE WAY OF BEAUTY

by

Camille Di Maio

Genre: Historical Fiction / 20th Century / Literary

Publisher: Lake Union Press; Date of Publication: May 1, 2018

Number of Pages: 384  

Scroll down for the giveaway!

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

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

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

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

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PRAISE FOR THE WAY OF BEAUTY:

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

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

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

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

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characterinterview

Interview with Pearl Pilkington, Character from The Way of Beauty

Where and when were you born?

I was born in 1890 and remember watching turn-of-the-century celebrations with my family. I’m glad I was old enough to witness that, as I won’t be around for the next one!

Where have you lived?

I have lived in New York City for all of my life.

Family members?

I am an only child. My father is a clothing magnate and my mother organizes many fundraisers for the needy. I did not see them very much growing up. I am widowed and have a son, William, from that marriage.

In what situation is your self esteem most at risk?

I pretend that I don’t care what my parents think about my work in the suffrage movement, but I’m afraid that I do. I wish that they supported it, and I am saddened that it is not something I can share with them since it is such an important part of my life.

What are you keeping a secret?

I don’t let on, but I miss my late husband terribly.

What are you lying to yourself about? To others?

I am lying if I say that I am a better mother than my own was. In fact, I am more like her than I care to admit. She was – and is – fiercely devoted to her causes, more so than she was to me as her daughter. And though I want to be a caring and devoted mother, I weigh the time I can spend for that one life versus all the good I can do for many lives, and it draws me away.

How do you decide of you can trust someone?

There are few people that I trust, but if I can determine that their motivations are pure, I will give them my whole heart.

When you walk into a room what do you notice first? Second?

That’s a good question. First, I notice who is serving and who is being served. Then, I look at how the served are treating the servants.

How would you change the world?  The things around you? The people around you?

I work for a world where all are equal, regardless of gender, race, or financial abilities. I am currently working on helping women gain the right to vote. Let me correct that – we already have the right to vote based on our dignity as human beings. But our government is suppressing that right.

How do you learn best?

I learn best by doing. I participate fully in anything I believe in.

What unusual hobbies or interests do you have?

I have little time for hobbies, though if I did, I’d quite like to read a lot more than I do. I believe reading is the best education, and I encourage more women to do it.

What are you most afraid of?

I am afraid of frogs. I know. A silly thing, but there it is.

What do you like best about yourself?

I like that I give myself fully to my causes.

What do you like least about yourself?

I dislike that I do it at the expense of those I love.

What do you think other people think of you?

I’m sure people find me to be quite intense, but I am much softer inside than I let on.

What’s your greatest source of joy?

My son, William. I see my late husband reflected in his face. He is often asleep by the time I get home, and I get great joy in looking at him, so innocent.

~Romance Writers of America Honor Roll Inductee~

Camille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a full-time writer. Along with her husband of 19 years, she enjoys raising their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far) and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She overdoses on goodies at farmer’s markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries) and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. The Memory of Us was Camille’s debut novel. Her second, Before the Rain Falls was released on May 16, 2017, and The Way of Beauty is her third novel.

 

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