Review: KNIGHT ON THE TEXAS PLAINS by Linda Broday {giveaway}

BNR Knight on the Texas Plains JPG
KNIGHT ON THE 
TEXAS PLAINS
Texas Heroes Series
by
LINDA BRODAY
  Genre: Western / Historical / Romance
Date of Publication: August 1, 2017
Number of Pages: 352

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Duel McClain buries his wife and infant son, climbs in the saddle, and rides off. Locked in grief, he drifts from one Texas town to another as the months pass. He rides into a border town and gets in a card game in the saloon. On the last hand, the opponent across from him runs out of money. The man reaches down for a baby and plunks her in the center of the table. Whoever wins the pot, gets her too. After Duel wins with the Deadman’s Hand, he tries to give the baby back. But when the man tells him he’ll sell her, Duel keeps his prize.
On the way back to his home, he runs across a woman covered in blood. She only says her name is Jessie and the blood isn’t hers. The deep fear in her eyes touches Duel and he has to do something. He strikes a bargain—he’ll take her anywhere she wants to go in return for helping with the child.
Jessie sees honor, respect, and kindness in his eyes. And the moment she holds the baby in her arms, her heart melts. Once they reach Duel’s home, she confesses she killed her husband and tells him the law will come. Desperate to save her, he offers marriage and she accepts.

They settle in and love develops. But each day grows more tense. Lawmen are coming and they can’t stop them. Soon, she’ll face the hangman’s rope.

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———–
Praise for Knight on the Texas Plains:
“Broday (the Men of Legend series) has a knack for capturing the hesitations of both Duel and Jessie and unfurling a twisting plot without resorting to melodrama. Through carefully deployed flashbacks, she slowly exposes the horrors of Jessie’s marriage, culminating in a truly grisly image of depravity without overwhelming the tender love story. Fans of historical romances will be pleased.”  ~~ Publisher’s Weekly
“The instant a sweet baby girl, an abused woman, a stray dog, and a reluctant hero meet, readers are drawn into a tender and tough love story that touches many emotions and will have them believing in the healing power of love.”  ~~ Romantic Times 4 ½ Stars Top Pick!
“Broday’s latest is a tender romance to touch the heart.”  ~~ Bookpage
“This story is simply endearing, packed with powerful message of humanity and the true healing power of family and love!!” ~~ Addicted to Romance
“Throughout the well-paced story, there was suspense, tears, fear, revulsion, and no shortage of laughter and joy. I didn’t want the story to end.” ~~ Teresa on Goodreads
review

Traditional Western Romance with a TON of Heart.
Duel McLain has taken to wandering the Texas landscape since he lost everything, except his honor.  A winning hand of poker sets his life on a path he never expected.  And now he has a child to see to safety.
Jessie Foltry is running for her life.  Hungry and battered, she stumbles upon Duel’s campsite, and his honor compels him to bring her along to safety back home.  
Duel and Jessie find a way to put their tortured pasts behind them and find salvation in one another, while making a life and a place in their hearts for the little girl, Marley Rose.  But the past is never far behind, and they must trust in each other to get through the trials ahead.
Linda Broday is an exceptional storyteller.  The scenery comes to life around her characters as she weaves the story of Duel and Jessie on the page.  The characters are truly unforgettable and are guaranteed to stay with me for a long time.  I absolutely adored this story.  It was a delightful tale of loss and redemption, and honor.  I highly recommend KNIGHT ON THE TEXAS PLAINS to those who love historical western romances with a sweet romance and an ending that will leave you warm and fuzzy long after the last page.

Linda Broday, Historical Western Romance Author  I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 8 full length historical western romance novels, with another set to release 2017, and 10 short stories. Watching TV westerns during my youth fed my love of cowboys and the old West and they still do. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. At times, I can feel their ghosts lurking around every corner. Texas’ rich history is one reason I set all my stories here. I love research and looking for little known tidbits to add realism to my stories. When I’m not writing, I collect old coins and I confess to being a rock hound. I’ve been accused (and quite unfairly I might add) of making a nuisance of myself at museums, libraries, and historical places. I’m also a movie buff and love sitting in a dark theater, watching the magic on the screen. As long as I’m confessing…chocolate is my best friend. It just soothes my soul.

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  August 15-24, 2017 

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
8/15/17
Guest Post
8/16/17
Review
8/17/17
Character Interview
8/18/17
Review
8/19/17
Notable Quotable
8/20/17
Author Interview
8/21/17
Review
8/22/17
Scrapbook Page
8/23/17
Review
8/24/17
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Excerpt: COMFORT PLANS by Kimberly Fish

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COMFORT PLANS
by
KIMBERLY FISH
  Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Date of Publication: May 23, 2017
Number of Pages: 320
Scroll down for giveaway!
 

Colette Sheridan is being remodeled.

As a San Antonio architect, she’d have vowed her career was to investigate the history and create new functions for the structures everyone else saw as eyesores. The old German farmhouse in Comfort, Texas, might be the screeching end of that dream job. The assignment seemed so ideal at the start; generous clients, a stunning location, and a pocketful of letters that were surely meant to explain the ranch’s story. All that goodness crashed louder than a pile of two-by-fours when her grandfather announced he’d lured Colette’s ex-husband back to San Antonio to take over the family architecture firm. Now, not only does Colette have to endure the challenges posed by Beau Jefferson, the client’s handpicked contractor, a house that resists efforts to be modernized, and letters that may hold the secret to buried treasure, but she also has to decide if she has the courage to fight for her future.
Set against the backdrop of the Texas Hill Country, Colette and Beau have to rely on plans neither of them constructed in order to navigate the changes of a house with a story to tell, and a future they couldn’t even imagine.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Kimberly Fish’s unique writing style snatched me out of my easy chair and plunked me down into the middle of her character’s life where I was loathe to leave when my real life called me back. Her descriptive visual writing drew me in on the first page. Can’t wait to read more stories by Mrs. Fish.”
–Vickie Phelps,Author of Moved, Left No Address

Excerpt

Excerpt, Chapter 1, Part 3

from Comfort Plans

Continued from the Lone Star Book Blog Tours 8/5/17 Stop

Scooping up a handful of chiffon, Colette scooted across the leather driver’s seat and wondered if her grandfather followed-through with a candidate, if a new president at Sheridan’s would gain much traction in the market. The boutique firm specialized in historical restoration and had a niche in South Texas. Since Nathan Sheridan was the guru of that style, she doubted anyone would ever replicate the success her grandfather had maintained in an industry that could change on the whims of the stock market.

Point number twelve for why he needed to groom a stronger replacement.

She backed out of the driveway but stole one last glance at the man who never went a day without Brylcreem. His custom-tailored shirt was rolled at the sleeves, and he was wearing his dress slacks on a Saturday night. The Big Ben of her world—he was classy, reliable, and just as unbending as any national monument London had ever produced.

He was flagging her to roll down her window.

Colette cranked the window below her nose. “Yes?”

“Aren’t you at all curious who I’ve finally selected to manage my empire?”

Empire was a bit of a leap. The last quarter-profits weren’t anything to get excited about. “Knowing that you would scour the face of the earth to find someone worthy of the Sheridan name and that it’s taken you years since the last serious candidate, I’m hopeful this man is capable of carrying your legacy forward.”

“That’s a lot of faith from the girl who questioned me about the wisdom of maintaining my breakfast ritual at Earl Abel’s.”

He did have a nasty habit of smothering all forms of nutrition with sausage gravy, which was another reason to force him into a doctor’s appointment.

“I’m looking out for your general health because I want you to hang around and torment me for years to come.” Which was true. She adored her resident curmudgeon and delighted in being one of the few people in the world who could make him laugh.

His lips turned down even more than usual. “I’m one of the short timers, which is why I want to know that you and my firm are going to be in good hands.”

She shivered. “Don’t talk like that. You know what Momma says about positive thinking.”

“Your mother is a flake.”

Colette sighed and knew she’d be even later to this wedding than was acceptable. “I can see you want to tell me who you’ve hired, so what’s his name? Or am I supposed to guess based on last month’s Architectural Digest article about the ‘it guy’ from Los Angeles?”

She’d seen her grandfather poring over those pages like they were printed in gold leaf. She hadn’t seen anything brilliant when she’d snatched the article from the breakfast table, but her inability to see modern trends was another excuse she’d offered as to why she’d make a lousy president of the firm.

Finish reading Chapter One on the Lone Star Book Blog Tours 8/13/17 Stop

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 2017, released the first novel in a series set during the World War II years in Longview, Texas – The Big Inch.
She lives with her family in East Texas.
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Books in the Garden
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8/4
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8/6
Playlist
8/7
Review
8/8
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8/10
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8/11
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Review
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Review
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Interview with Kena Sosa, author of KINDERTRANSPORT

What projects are you currently working on?

I am an extreme busybody, so I am always in the middle of a cornucopia of projects. Currently, I am promoting my latest release, Kindertransport-A Child’s Journey. This is my first middle grade chapter book, heavily influenced by interviews with actual Kindertransports, Jewish children who escaped to England just before the onset of WWII,  whom I was able to interview for oral histories at the University of Connecticut. Their generosity in sharing their experiences on the Kindertransport, coupled with the opportunity for trip with the Billie Levy Research and Travel grant, made this possible.  All of the interviewees shared a message of hope through the darkest times made this book a necessary and powerful story I couldn’t wait to write.

I am also awaiting the release of my third book, a new picture book called The Unhuggables, in early October. The Unhuggables is a fantastic action-packed tale about a boy named Oliver who doesn’t want to be hugged, and his mother who loves him through this wild, yet loving adventure. I look forward to sharing it with you soon!

I am also playing drums in a few local groups, specifically taiko for Dallas Kiyari Daiko, Goisagi Daiko and a fun, rockin’ cover band called Exactamundo.

And of course, I am adventuring with my awesome sons, Ale and Lucca, who inspire, entertain me and make me smile more than I can handle. My heart and my schedule are jam-packed. 🙂

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The hardest part of writing Kindertransport – A Child’s Journey was hearing the heart-wrenching true experiences of the Kindertransports themselves. One broke down in tears as she told her story. I wanted to ensure they only told what they wanted to, knowing so many of the pieces of this would be unhappy for them. However, through it all, they persisted because overall, their experiences were ones of hope and they were grateful for the chance at life. They were fortunate, all three, in that they were reunited with their families after the war. I feared pushing them too much, making them relive sadness they didn’t want to remember, yet, surprisingly, they wanted to talk about it, even the saddest part. They wanted their stories told, and for that, I am forever grateful to all three: Rita Kaplan, Ivan Baeker, and especially Eva Greenwood, who attended my presentation in person at the end of the project. I had to honor them by telling their stories well and in the voice and eyes of a child. I think there are children who, although their experiences are very different, can identify with leaving home, or saying goodbye to a parent or loved one, or just living the unknown. This book brings a message of hope, that no matter how far away we are or who we are, we have the power to help others and in opening our hearts and doing so, we can impact lives. Each one of us wields this power, the question is whether or not we choose to reach out and use it.

What’s in a name?

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Would I refuse thy name? The answer is yes and no. Names are so reflective and meaningful when you think about it. That was

Shakespeare’s Juliet’s dilemma because if she had any other name, she could have her Romeo. Names can indicate culture, gender, even class or status. I like names that reflect the personality more than anything else. A name that fits that particular person.

Names are always a challenge. I don’t like names that are too common for characters, because I want to picture a character when I hear a name. I chose the name Helen for the girl in Kindertransport – A Child’s Journey. It was my grandmother’s name. I think it sounds stoic, feminine and strong. When I hear a name I like, I jot it down in my notebook so that I can use it when I find the right character to fit it. I save the name I like for when that particular character is born.

Despite the frustration growing up with a weird name, having so many people spell it wrong or pronounce it wrong, I’m glad my own name is unique and unassuming. It suits me. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

What book do you wish you had written?

Just like names, I think some books were meant to be written by certain authors. I do secretly wish I had written Alice in  Wonderland because that story is just so timeless and wonderful. Yet, the story just wouldn’t be the same in anyone else’s voice. The books I wish I had written are yet to come. I do wish, however, I had the skills of some of

my illustrators though. Kudos to the artistic talents of those who’ve worked on my books, Jessica McClure on Rey Antonio and Rey Feo; Jeanne Conway on Kindertransport-A Child’s Journey, and coming soon, Alexis Braud on The Unhuggables.

I do dream of one day joining the ranks of author/illustrators and doing both jobs for a future book. Someday maybe I will!

What superpower do you wish you had?

When I lived in Japan there was a cartoon character I adored called Doraemon, a weird little blue, catlike guy who had a “dokodemo doa,” basically a door he could enter that would take him anywhere, kind of reminiscent of all the doors in the movie Monster’s Inc. I wish I had a “dokodemo doa,” then my fear of flying wouldn’t stop me from being anywhere I wanted to be. I could just turn the doorknob and go there-free, fast, and take anyone I wanted to with me! Til then, I am waiting for someone to build a transatlantic bullet train. Just putting it out there….

What jobs have you had?

Well, I still work as a school librarian, in addition to being an author. I have also been a teacher both here and abroad. I was a cashier at HEB grocery story in college in San Antonio. My first job was as a Sandwich Artist at Subway, so much fun and so many memories sandwiched into my early years. The worst job ever, I hope no one holds this against me but I was young and it paid the bills. I was a telemarketer for a while- I sincerely apologize to the world for that. Please, forgive me and read my books anyway! I promise, it built character in me and the unfortunate souls the computer called at random! I write much better scripts now!

Have you ever allowed a game of Monopoly to ruin a friendship?

Well, I have not allowed the capitalism of Monopoly to ruin anything, but my mom and I are known to play Scrabble to the death. We can play for hours and are fiercely competitive, but it’s part of the fun! My friend Sara and I also used to play air hockey until our fingers got bloody. I still challenge anyone on that, at the risk of injury to both their hands and their pride ;).

Chocolate or vanilla?

Oh chocolate any day, but only dark chocolate. The rest might as well be vanilla, which I tease my son who loves it, as the flavor which is the absence of flavor.

Tea or coffee?

Well, considering I have more coffee flowing through my veins than blood, I have to say coffee. I might actually need coffee rehab. I am allowed one vice. Yet, if you offer me bitter Japanese green tea, I will toss some coffee away. It tastes like memories of a place I miss. And if you offer me some authentic chai, I will take that too. Everyone needs some

spice now and then. If you want the perfect mixture of anything though, Turkish coffee reigns supreme. Wow, now I’m thirsty.

Roller coaster or Ferris wheel?

Hands down, put me on the Ferris wheel. I enjoy observing people and things around me. Not only will I not get bruises from the Ferris wheel but I can enjoy the scenery and the breeze and the slow happiness of it. It’s like running versus walking. I won’t run unless you chase me, but I will walk endlessly and relish what it brings to all the senses any day.

—   —   —

Thank you, Tabatha, for your thoughtful and delightful questions! I can’t wait to hear what you think about Kindertransport-A Child’s Journey and greatly look forward to sharing The Unhuggables with you soon. Readers can contact me directly through email or Facebook if they’d like a great deal on a personally signed copy mailed straight to them 🙂

 

abouttheauthor

37

A school librarian by day, and writer by night, Kena Sosa adores words. She also loves playing the drums. She earned her Bachelors degree from Our Lady of the Lake University and her Masters in Bilingual Education from SMU. She lived abroad in Japan and Mexico, experiences which instilled within her a love for culture and language, as reflected in her stories.
Her first children’s book, Rey Antonio and Rey Feo, was born of the celebration of her colorful childhood in San Antonio. Her second book, Kindertransport – A Child’s Journey is a middle grade chapter book about the hopeful escape of children on the Kindertransport train just before the outbreak of WWII. This book, The Unhuggables, is a fun story about love and the power of hugs. Sharing stories with her two sons and other eager readers has been her favorite adventure yet!

 

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Aboutthebook

KINDERTRANSPORT – A CHILD’S JOURNEY

written by Kena Sosa; art by Jeanne Conway

Audience/Genre: Middle Grade Chapter Book/Historical Fiction – Holocaust/WWII

Kindertransport - A Child's Journey - 9781940310596-Perfect.indd

 

Just before the outbreak of World War II, the Nazis pushed Jewish families to do something they never imagined they would. They sent their children away on a train to faraway places to live with strangers so that they would be safe until the danger passed. As she gets onboard the Kindertransport, a train to hope, ten-year-old Helen will never be the same.

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Author Interview: Lynette Eason (CHASING SECRETS) + {giveaway}

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CHASING SECRETS
Elite Guardians, Book 4
by
Lynette Eason
  Genre: Romantic Suspense / Christian
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: August 1, 2017
Number of Pages: 336
Scroll down for giveaway!
Intensity. Skill. Tenacity.
The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.
When a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan’s life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out of taking care of others. But after she has an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her—and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he’s not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.
In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories—and the depths of the heart—Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley’s past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won’t quit.
Praise for the Elite Guardians Series:
“A thrill ride from the first page until the last.”
—RT Book Reviews, top pick, 4½ stars for Always Watching
“Witty dialogue and a simmering attraction will have readers flying through this tension-laced thriller.”
—Family Fiction on Without Warning
“Fast, furious, and flirty, Lynette Eason’s relentless suspense barely gives her readers time to catch their breath.”
Relz Reviews on Moving Target
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AuthorInterview

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

Full time…sometimes that’s good, sometimes that’s not. When I wasn’t working full time as a writer, I had specific time that was mine for just writing. Now that I’m writing full time, it’s easier to procrastinate.

 
What are some day jobs that you have held?  Did any impact your writing?

I’ve worked in fast food, retail, and full-time teaching. I can’t say it’s really impacted my writing other than I’ve used the experiences to enhance it.

 
Why did you choose to write romantic suspense?

I’ve always love suspense stories and I’ve always loved a good romance, so choosing to write Romantic Suspense seemed like a logical step for me.

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

No, I’m pretty open to writing whatever is laid on my heart.

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

I think the most useful thing was just pieces of good advice. One of those was “Just write. Don’t worry if it’s good or bad, just get the words down. You can fix words, you can’t fix a blank page.” When I’m staring at a blank screen or the start of a new chapter, I just write. Then I go back and fix it. I think the most destructive thing—or a bad piece of advice is the phrase “finding time to write.” I’ll often hear pre-published writers say, “I just can’t find the time.” Well, no one can. We all have packed schedules. In my opinion, it’s not a matter of “finding time” it’s a matter of “making time.” Is your writing a priority? My morning looks like this most of the time when school is in session: Get up, fix my breakfast, sit at the kitchen table, have a quiet time, then open my laptop and work until my son comes down. So, before I even see my child in the morning, I’ve already written for about an hour or an hour and a half. Yes, I could have stayed in bed, but I chose to get up and make the time to write. That’s just one example. And everyone can do it. I don’t care what your hours are or whether you have one kid or six kids. So, I don’t accept the whining about not being able to find time to write. Because if you’re looking for it, you won’t find it. You have to carve out that time.

 

Readers have been devouring your Elite Guardians series. What makes Chasing Secrets, the final book of the series, different from the rest?  

I’m so thankful that readers have enjoyed the books! I must say, I’m truly sad to see this series come to an end. I’m thinking there might have to be a novella in the future to really wrap it all up. As for what makes Chasing Secrets different, I would say that it’s only different in that it’s a completely different story in and of itself. It takes you to Ireland and back to South Carolina. Haley, the heroine, learns who she really is when the past comes back to confront her. She has to work to protect herself as well as the client she’s taken under her wing. Not only is she chasing her own secrets and trying to find out about her family, but she also commits to raising two boys who need a home. This book is really all about family. Blood relatives or adoptives, we find out that it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is love.

 

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

Since I’m always putting a faith element in the story, I’m always looking up scripture that relates to the story. This keeps me in the word. And being a writer ALWAYS ensures my prayer life is active and consistent!

 

Many of the scenes in Chasing Secrets have readers racing to the next page. Were there any scenes that took you by surprise when writing?

What took me by surprise was the way the scenes all fit together. Finally! But, yes, there was one character I ended up killing off that took me by complete surprise. I didn’t expect this character to die, and when it happened, I was so sad!


Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, and Hidden Identity series, as well as Always Watching, Without Warning, and Moving Target in the Elite Guardians series.

She is the winner of two ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award. She lives in South Carolina.




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Review: BLOOD OATH by Melissa Lenhardt – Badlands Blog Tour

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BADLANDS
Sawbones, Book 3
by
MELISSA LENHARDT
!!NEW RELEASE!!
  Genre: Historical / Western / Action-Adventure / Romance
Publisher: Redhook
Date of Publication: June 27, 2017
Number of Pages: 416

Outlander meets post-Civil War unrest in the conclusion to Melissa Lenhardt’s fast-paced historical series.

Laura’s worst fears have been realized: Kindle has been taken into custody and she is once again on the run. The noose awaits her in New York, but Laura is realizing that there are some things worse than death. Finally running out of places to hide, it may be time for Dr. Catherine Bennett to face her past.
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review
I was eager to get my hands on this after having read the author’s first book in the series, SAWBONES.
I was not disappointed. Lenhardt’s writing is raw, gritty and doesn’t hold back.
As the story begins, Laura and Kindle are on the run again.  Their path has been wrought with death and violence, and they are running away from what has happened as much as the Army and bounty hunters.  Life in 1800’s frontier wasn’t easy and the author captures the sense of danger and desperation these characters faced and holds no punches.
Lenhardt really knows how to put her characters through the wringer!  Just about the time you think you’ve figured out what’s about to happen, she rips the story open and twists it in a whole new, white-knuckled direction.  So I guess I don’t need to tell you that I’ve already started BADLANDS, Book 3 in the series.  I’ve got to know how this all works out and if our hero and heroine get their day in the sun.
I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical mystery/thrillers and love the frontier setting.  Even though you don’t HAVE to read the first book, SAWBONES first, I recommend you do, or you’ll miss out on the tension and conflict at the beginning of the story.

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

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Review: Blood Oath
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Guest Post: Karen Witemeyer, author of Heart on the Line

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

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

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

“Online dating meets 1890s Texas in this charming, spiritually deep, laugh-out-loud funny romance!”—reader review on Goodreads
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Ten Fun Facts about Karen Witemeyer
  1. I live next door to my in-laws . . . and LOVE it! From built-in day care for the kids when they were smaller to easy family meals together, to shared grills and shared newspaper subscriptions, having my husband’s family move in next door a decade ago was an unexpected blessing.
  2. I once lost the diamond out of my wedding ring only to find it a week later (after searching everywhere at home and at work) when I pulled a tissue out of my bathroom tissue box. Somehow the stone had fallen into the box and when I pulled out a new tissue, I heard a tinkling sound and found the diamond on the Guest Post 2 Image 1counter. Never have I thanked God more for a runny nose!
  3. My oldest child (my only daughter) graduated from high school last year on my 45th birthday. No, I didn’t feel old or anything (OK, maybe a little). I was too proud listening to her valedictorian speech. Smart and sassy, just the way I like my heroines.
  4. I have a black thumb. Well, not literally. In respect to plants. I have a tendency to kill the majority of plants that have had the misfortune to come home with me. A few hearty ones have survived, like the aloe vera plant in the kitchen window that continues to survive despite my best efforts to do it in. And the roses on the side of the house have managed to pull through despite a run in with some sort of blight last year. I should post a sign on my back door that says, “If you contain chlorophyll, enter at your own risk.”
  5. My favorite animal is the hippopotamus. When I was in junior high, one of my friends and I decided we were going to have unique favorite animals. No cats or dogs for us. She selected the armadillo and I selected the hippo. When I was 16, I took a mission trip to Kenya, and was so excited to see my favorite animal in his natural habitat. I’ve been hooked ever since. This year for Christmas, my hubby got me a hippopotamus shirt and socks. Fun new outfit!Guest Post 2 Image 2
  6. I’ve ridden a mule in Bryce Canyon, swum with sea turtles in Maui, and when I was young and stupid, held a 13 pound boa constrictor around my neck. I recommend the first two but not the third.
  7. I was a band nerd all through junior high and high school but switched to choir in college because of the boy I was dating. Ended up marrying that fella, and now we have our own harmonizing quintet on the church pew every Sunday. Love it! (Though, I’m raising band nerds at the same time. My daughter plays my old flute, my older son plays the French horn, and my youngest plays the trumpet.)
  8. I don’t drink coffee. Ever. I know, I know. It’s shameful. Coffee’s supposed to be the elixir of life, right? Especially for writers. But I never developed a taste for it. I prefer a simple cup of Lipton hot tea sweetened with honey. Mmmmm.
  9. Whenever I have free time (a very RARE commodity), I love to cross stitch. Here’s a set of simple cameo silhouettes I made for my editors a couple years ago for Christmas.Guest Post 2 Image 3
  10. Even though I write historical romance, I hated history classes in school. Math was more my style. Maybe it was because my teachers always seemed to be coaches that got stuck in the history classroom, or maybe it was because all the textbooks emphasized wars and politics. Boring. Yet I loved historical novels. Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, THAT was the history I fell in love with. So when you read one of my novels today, you won’t find a plot that centers around war or political intrigue or even key historical events. No, my books are focused on people and the lesser known, yet meaningful aspects of life in 19th century that shaped their lives and their loves.
 
Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. 

 





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Sneak Peak: HITCHIN’ POST by Julie Barker

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HITCHIN’ POST
by
Julie Barker
 Genre: Children’s Picture Book / Rhyming / K-3
Publisher: LifeRich Publishing
Date of Publication: July 14, 2016
Number of Pages: 46
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Hard work and the cowboy life on the 6Bs Ranch is nothing new to old jackrabbit Hitchin’ Post.  Hitchin’ Post is a picture book written in rhyme describing old Hitch’s life on the 6Bs Ranch and his journey in finding what it truly means to be thankful.  His beloved ranch goes through a terrible drought, but Hitch decides that despite challenges, there is always something to be thankful for. He discovers that it is relationships with his friends and his beloved ranch that makes him feel rich.

 

 

PRAISE FOR HITCHIN’ POST:
**2017 North Texas Book Festival Honorable Mention award*
Wonderfully told with beautiful, rustic illustrations. — Emily-Jane Hills Orford, Readers’ Favorite 
I can’t wait to share this book with my granddaughters! –- Amy, Goodreads Review
Hitchin’ Post is the most adorable story with the best illustrations! We love, love, love it!!! Cory, Amazon Verified Customer
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Hitchin Post image
 
Julie Barker was born and raised in west Texas, and currently resides in Quanah, Texas, with her husband and three children.  She maintained her west Texas roots into college when she attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, receiving a degree in social work.  Julie has grown up surrounded by the ranching heritage, and felt drawn to share this way of life through the adventures of the little cowboy jackrabbit, Hitchin’ Post.  Hitchin’ Post marks Julie’s debut into the world of children’s literature.  She was fortunate to have her mother, artist Carolyn Altman, provide the cute, whimsical illustrations of old Hitch and the 6Bs, making this project extra special.
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Review: I JUST CAME HERE TO DANCE by Susan Mary Malone

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I JUST CAME HERE 
TO DANCE
by
Susan Mary Malone
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: White Bird Publications
Date of Publication: September 15, 2016
Number of Pages: 340

 

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Paula Anne Fairbanks understands all about the unexamined life. And she likes hers that way—until her world gets ripped smooth apart.
Running from reality, Paula falls under the mythological yarns being spun on Diana Maclean’s porch. Surely Paula’s own choices aren’t to blame for the summer of insanity she spends under the spells of Diana…who is, after all, known as the White Witch of Sociable,  Texas.
I JUST CAME HERE TO DANCE, a modern allegory, waltzes atop the line between the creative and the crazy, the sacred and the maligned. Through myths it weaves together the multi-layers of personal Self with that of the collective whole. And finally, Paula Anne and the townsfolk learn the simplest of truths: that the fire’s ashes produce wisdom and courage, just as the stories say.
PRAISE FOR I JUST CAME HERE TO DANCE:

     “Malone’s voice is one of the most charming I’ve read.  It brings the story and her characters to life.  I feel like I grew up with Paula right over the hill from the lively little town of Sociable, Texas.”  –New York Times bestselling author M. Leighton
“Susan Mary Malone pens well-crafted characters that are so vivid you can picture them in an award winning movie or television series.” –New York Times bestselling author Mary Honey B Morrison
“. . . a magical story about love ripped apart, a life examined, and then healed.  To be read slowly, to savor as one would a tall cool glass of lemonade, on a hot afternoon, watching the world become new.”  –Ginnie Siena Bivona, author of Ida Mae Tutweiler and the Traveling Tea Party, made into a Hallmark TV film, Bound by a Secret
review
Sociable, Texas.  We grow ’em big in Texas.  And this story is no exception.
Paula Ann Fairbanks’s life just changed.  After years of a shell of a marriage, she’s discovered her husband’s infidelity with a childhood friend (small towns are small…LOL).  Now she’s left a bit directionless,  but finds the friendship of the local eccentric, Diana, a great place to start her journey to self-discovery.  As she listens to the stories of the other characters on Diana’s porch, she learns about herself and her place in the world.
Small town, Texas.  Bigger than life characters.  Malone does it right here.  An excellent use of dialect to help her bring these women (and the men as well) to life on the page.
Growing up in Texas, and visiting family in small towns, I knew a few people who reminded me of some of these characters.  Malone has captured the true spirit of the just how BIG (and small) these small town folks truly are!  I recommend this book.

 

author-pic-malone
Texas native Susan Mary Malone has published two novels, co-authored four nonfiction books, and written many short stories. Her happiness is fiction, wine, and Labrador Retrievers, the latter of which she raises, trains, and shows. Literature is her love. In addition to writing, she edits; fifty-plus Malone-edited books have sold to traditional publishers, and one of them was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame film (while another is in production, set to be released in 2015). Her stories revolve around the passions and purpose, the myths and meaning of women’s lives. Which often involves wine. She does, however, try to keep the Labradors out of that.
  
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Interview: Catherine Musemeche, MD on HURT: The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care

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HURT
The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care
by
Catherine Musemeche, M.D.
Genre: Medicine / Medical History
Date of Publication: September 6, 2016
Publisher: ForeEdge
# of pages: 268

The heroic story of the invention of trauma care, from
battlefield triage to level 1 trauma centers
Trauma is a disease of epidemic proportions that preys on the young, killing more Americans up to age thirty-seven than all other afflictions combined. Every year an estimated 2.8 million people are hospitalized for injuries and more than 180,000 people die.
We take for granted that no matter how or where we are injured, someone will call 911 and trained first responders will show up to insert IVs, stop the bleeding, and swiftly deliver us to a hospital staffed by doctors and nurses with the expertise necessary to save our lives. None of this happened on its own.
Told through the eyes of a surgeon who has flown on rescue helicopters, resuscitated patients in trauma centers in Houston and Chicago, and operated on hundreds of trauma victims of all ages, Hurt takes us on a tour of the advancements in injury treatment from the battlefields of the Civil War to the state-of-the-art trauma centers of today.
PRAISE FOR HURT: THE INSPIRING, UNTOLD STORY OF TRAUMA CARE
“Musemeche’s fast-paced medical history mixes the gritty reality of treating life-threatening injuries—including her own heart-pounding experiences as surgeon—with an unfettered optimism about what trauma care can now promise: an assurance that most people will survive even a devastating injury.” —Publishers Weekly
“Hurt is a fascinating journey through the history of trauma care in this country. Musemeche’s unique ability to weave moving, personal stories with intriguing facts takes this book well beyond a great read. It is an education in the human spirit.” —Paul Ruggieri, MD, author of Confessions of a Surgeon and The Cost of Cutting
 
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AuthorInterview

How has being a Texan influenced your writing?

As a native Texan I have a free-ranging view of the world and what I’m capable of as a writer.

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

I started with fiction writing and I was terrible at it. When I started writing nonfiction based on my work as a surgeon the words came easier.

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

As a child of the 60’s who grew up in a small town, I looked forward to our  weekly trips to the Orange Public Library in Orange, Texas. Books opened the world to me and taught me that anything was possible.

How long have you been writing?

If you count the Catholic Daughter’s Poetry Contest in the eighth grade, I’ve been writing a long time but I’ve been writing nonfiction seriously for about a decade.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

I write medical nonfiction. I have written essays, blog posts and two books.

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

I see my job as a writer to take a complicated topic like operating on babies or trauma care and distill it down to concepts any reader can understand and also to illustrate the drama and high stakes involved in medical practice.

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

As a woman in medicine I have always felt like an underdog so I look for those underdog heroes throughout medical history, especially women and minorities and include their contributions.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Taking the reader inside the world of medicine for an up close and personal view of critical decisions and procedures.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Writing HURT required a lot of research into the history of trauma care, dating back to the Civil War. I spent a lot of time in The University of Texas libraries, an excellent resource for writers.

            Dr. Catherine Musemeche is a pediatric surgeon, attorney and author who lives in Austin, Texas. She was born and raised in Orange, Texas and attended Lutcher Stark High School. She is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, The University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston, The Anderson School of Management in Albuquerque, New Mexico and The University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas. Dr. Musemeche is a former surgery professor at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, the MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute and the University of New Mexico where she was the Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Trauma. She currently works in the field of regulatory medicine.
             In addition to publishing extensively in the medical literature, Dr. Musemeche has been a guest contributor to the New York Times. Her writing has also been published on NPR.org, KevinMD.com, in the anthology At the End of Life: True Stories About How We Die and in the Journal of Creative Nonfiction.  Her first book, Small: Life and Death on the Front Lines of Pediatric Surgery was nominated for the Pen American/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Award and was awarded the Writer’s League of Texas Discovery Prize for nonfiction. Her second book, Hurt: The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care will be published in September of this year.
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10/3
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Guest Post by Alexia Gordon, author of Murder in G Major

Murder in G Major
A Gethsemane Brown Mystery
by
Alexia Gordon

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Suspense / Paranormal
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of Publication: September 13, 2016
Number of Pages: 268

 

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GuestPost

Monkey mind—

According to Wikipedia, “a Buddhist term meaning unsettled, restless, capricious, whimsical, fanciful …” According to me, a term meaning the deluge of ideas for stories I could be writing that invades my brain when I sit down to write the story I should be writing.

My Gethsemane Brown series is set in a fictional modern-day Irish village and stars an African-American classical musician and the ghost of a murdered composer. So, of course, when I take pen in hand or set fingers to keyboard I think,

“Hey, I could write a story set in post-World War Two London about an American hotel guest who teams up with the hotel detective to solve a murder.”

Or,

“How about a story set in nineteen-thirties Paris about an American art collector who’s secretly helping Jews escape from the Nazis?”

Or even,

“I know; I’ll write about a woman who has an affair with her brother-in-law then has to prove her husband innocent of his murder.” (That last one’s definitely not a cozy.)

None of which have anything to do with the task at hand: finish the next Gethsemane Brown manuscript.

How do I fight monkey mind? I don’t. Fighting monkey mind makes me anxious to the point of inertia. In the words of the borg, “Resistance is futile.” I’ve learned through experience (and a tip from Chris Baty in No Plot, No Problem) monkey mind must be accommodated. Instead of trying to ignore the flood of brilliant ideas for the next runaway bestseller I scribble the ideas down. I keep several small notebooks and a variety of pens handy. Whenever an idea unrelated to my current manuscript pops into my head I jot the idea in a notebook, take a deep refocusing breath, and get back to work. Acknowledging the intrusion seems to sate whatever dark recess of my brain is playing tricks on me.

As a bonus I have a catalog in case anyone ever asks, “What else have you got?” I can flip to a page in a notebook and say, “I’ve got this great idea about a hotel detective …”

How do you tame monkey mind?

Stranded in Ireland after losing both a gig and her luggage, African-American classical musician Gethsemane Brown hopes to win her way back to the States by accepting a challenge: turn rowdy school boys into a champion orchestra. She’s offered lodging in a beautiful cliffside cottage once owned by her favorite composer. The catch? The composer’s ghost. He can’t rest in peace until he’s cleared of false charges of murder-suicide. Desperate after a quarter-century, he begs Gethsemane for help. A growing friendship with the charming ghost spurs Gethsemane to investigate. Her snooping provokes a long-dormant killer and she soon finds herself on the wrong sort of top ten hit list. Will Gethsemane uncover the truth as she races to prevent a murderous encore or will she star in her own farewell performance?

PRAISE FOR MURDER IN G MAJOR

 

“Gordon strikes a harmonious chord in this enchanting spellbinder of a mystery.” —Susan M. Boyer, USA Today Bestselling Author of Lowcountry Book Club
“Just when you think you’ve seen everything, here comes Gethsemane Brown, baton in one hand, bourbon in the other. Stranded in an Irish village where she know no one (but they all know her), she’s got just six weeks to turn a rabblesome orchestra into award-winners and solve a decades-old murder to boot. And only a grumpy ghost to help her. There’s charm to spare in this highly original debut.”  — Multi-award-winning author, Catriona McPherson
“Gordon has composed a masterful and magical debut. . .Murder in G Major captivated me from the first page to the last, transporting me to the windswept cliffs of Ireland.”  — Gigi Pandian, USA Today bestselling author of Michelangelo’s Ghost
“Alexia Gordon’s debut is delightful: an Irish village full of characters and secrets, whiskey and music – and a ghost! Gethsemene Brown is a fast-thinking, fast-talking dynamic sleuth (with a great wardrobe) who is more than a match for the unraveling murders and coverups, aided by her various –handsome – allies and her irascible ghost. Can’t wait to see what she uncovers next!” — J. Suzanne Frank, AKA Chloe Green, author of the Dallas O’Connor mysteries 
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A writer since childhood, I won my first (okay, so far, only) writing prize, a copy of Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends, in the 6th grade. I continued writing through college but put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. My medical career established, I returned to writing fiction.
Raised in the southeast and schooled in the northeast, I migrated to the southwest after a three-year stint in Alaska reminded me how much I needed sunlight and warm weather. I completed Southern Methodist University’s Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas then moved to El Paso, Texas where I currently practice medicine. If pushed, I will admit Texas brisket is as good as Carolina pulled pork. I enjoy classical music, art, travel, embroidery, and a good ghost story.
I am a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Writers’ League of Texas. I am represented by Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary Services, LLC and published by Henery Press.
  
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