Categories
Lone Star Book Blog Tour Posts

The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas – Lone Star Lit Blitz!

The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas
by

Jodi Thomas,

Sharla Lovelace, and Scarlett Dunn

Genre: Romance / Adventure / Anthology
Publisher: Kensington Books
Date of Publication: October 27, 2020
Number of Pages: 336 pages
Scroll down for Giveaway!
The Lone Star State doesn’t have to be lonely during Christmas time!
Legendary author Jodi Thomas headlines a new holiday-themed Western historical romance collection featuring three Texas-set stories of romance and adventure.
The Civil War is over, Christmas is coming—and it’s time for three rugged cowboys to hang-up their spurs and settle down. These authors combine their talents and excel at creating atmosphere and complex characters which infuse these stories with Texas history and evoke the grandeur of a bygone era and the indomitable pioneer spirit of the region.
Prepare to be swept off your feet by these heroic cowboys who will stop at nothing to make sure this Christmas is one to remember. Ideal for gift giving, The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas will be the fan-favorite collection of romance for the 2020 Christmas season!

PRAISE FOR THE COWBOY WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS:

“FATHER GOOSE is a warm, entertaining story, with Trapper and Emery starting with nothing, yet finding love and hoping for a future.” — Rose from Roses Are Blue
“It was a pitch-perfect reading experience that left my heart bursting with joy. This story has become an instant classic in my holiday reading canon.” — PJ Ausdenmore from The Romance Dish
“I love an anthology at this busy time of the year because I can read a complete story in a short time–this book hit the mark.”
Mary from Bookfan
CLICK TO PURCHASE
Jodi Thomas is a New York Times bestselling author and fifth-generation Texan who sets many of her award-winning stories in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A multi-RITA Award winner and member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame, she’s written over 50 novels with millions of copies in print. Her most recent releases are The Little Tea Shop on Main and the first book in her new Honey Creek series, Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café, which is out now.
WebsiteFacebookTwitter ║ ║ InstagramAmazon BookBub ║ ║ PinterestGoodreads
—————————————
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
One copy of THE COWBOY WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS
signed by Jodi Thomas
Giveaway Ends Midnight, CST, 11/30/2020
(US only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS BOOK BLITZ.
blog tour services provided by
Categories
Lone Star Book Blog Tour Posts

First Herd to Abilene – Bonus Post

FIRST HERD TO ABILENE
An H. H. Lomax Western, #5 by
PRESTON LEWIS
Genre: Historical Fiction / Western / Humor Publisher: Wolfpack Publishing Date of Publication: February 5, 2020
Number of Pages: 449
Scroll down for the giveaway!
HISTORICALLY SOUND AND HILARIOUSLY FUNNY! H.H. Lomax meets Wild Bill Hickok in Springfield, Missouri, and is responsible for Hickok’s legendary gunfight with Davis Tutt. Fearing Hickok will hold a grudge, Lomax escapes Springfield and agrees to promote Joseph G. McCoy’s dream of building Abilene, Kansas, into a cattle town, ultimately leading the first herd to Abilene from Texas. Along the way, he encounters Indians, rabid skunks, flash floods, a stampede, and the animosities of some fellow cowboys trying to steal profits from the drive. Lomax is saved by the timely arrival of now U.S. Marshal Hickok, but Lomax uses counterfeit wanted posters to convince Hickok his assailants are wanted felons with rewards on their heads. Lomax and Wild Bill go their separate ways until they run into each other a decade later in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, where Hickok vows to kill Lomax for getting him fired. First Herd to Abilene is an entertaining mix of historical and hysterical fiction.
CLICK TO PURCHASE Amazon    Barnes and Noble    Bookshop.org
A picture containing drawing

Description automatically generated

THE H.H. LOMAX SERIES
BY PRESTON LEWIS

Of the many characters Preston Lewis has created as a western and historical novelist, H.H. Lomax is the most endearing and enduring.  His droll wit, his irreverent perspective, and his colorful idioms combine to provide insightful and often humorous perspectives on the events and characters of the Old West as well as on life in general. 

Preston Lewis is the Spur Award-winning author of thirty novels. In addition to his two Western Writers of America Spurs, he received the 2018 Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Western Humor for Bluster’s Last Stand, the fourth volume in his comic western series, The Memoirs of H. H. Lomax. Two other books in that series were Spur finalists. His comic western The Fleecing of Fort Griffin received the Elmer Kelton Award from the West Texas Historical Association for best creative work on the region.
———————–
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
1ST PRIZE:  Signed Copies of First Herd to Abilene and Bluster’s Last Stand 2ND PRIZE:  Signed Copy of First Herd to Abilene
APRIL 28-MAY 8, 2020
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY
OR GO DIRECTLY TO THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
4/28/20
Excerpt
4/28/20
BONUS Post
4/29/20
Review
4/30/20
Author Interview
5/1/20
Review
5/2/20
Scrapbook Page
5/3/20
Excerpt
5/4/20
Review
5/5/20
Author Interview
5/6/20
BONUS Post
5/7/20
Review
5/7/20
Series Spotlight
5/8/20
BONUS Review
   blog tour services provided by
  
Categories
Lone Star Book Blog Tour Posts Weekly Reviews

The Caretakers by Eliza Maxwell – Review

THE CARETAKERS
by
ELIZA MAXWELL
Genre:  Psychological Thriller / Gothic Fiction / Sisters Fiction  Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: April 14, 2020
Number of Pages: 317 Scroll down for the giveaway!
In the isolated estate she’s found the perfect getaway. But there’s no escaping the past in this chilling novel from the bestselling author of The Unremembered Girl.
Filmmaker Tessa Shepherd helped free a man she believed was wrongly imprisoned for murder. When he kills again, Tessa’s life is upended. She’s reeling with guilt, her reputation destroyed. Worse, Tessa’s mother has unexpectedly passed away, and her sister, Margot, turns on her after tensions from their past escalate. Hounded by a bullying press, Tessa needs an escape. That’s when she learns of a strange inheritance bequeathed by her mother: a derelict and isolated estate known as Fallbrook. It seems like the perfect refuge. A crumbling monument to a gruesome history, the mansion has been abandoned by all but two elderly sisters retained as caretakers. They are also guardians of all its mysteries. As the house starts revealing its dark secrets, Tessa must face her fears and right the wrongs of her past to save herself and her relationship with Margot. But nothing and no one at Fallbrook are what they seem.  “Suspense fans will be satisfied.” —Publishers Weekly
CLICK TO PURCHASE
AMAZONINDIEBOUND
Eliza Maxwell has become an automatic-read-author for me. I jumped at the chance when I heard she was looking for reviewers for her newest novel, The Caretakers. This book did not disappoint my highest of expectations. Another 5 star rated psychological thriller from Maxwell had me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it. The mystery surrounding the Fallbrook manor make this story mostly psychological thriller, part mystery, with a little historical fiction thrown in with the back story. Sometimes you don’t know if you are dealing with ghosts, crazy people, murderers, or something else entirely.
Maxwell always writes her main character to be so empathetic to the reader of the story. Tessa, the main character of The Caretakers ,and I have almost nothing in common, but I felt myself relating to her in the ways that she was thinking and feeling throughout the entirety of the story. Something that was unique to this story was the complicated relationship between Tessa and Margoe and the parallel relationship between the older sisters, Kitty and Dierdre. I found these complicated, but strong relationships easy to relate to because of my own relationship with my sister. We are very different people, but we are always there for each other.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a thriller novel that they cannot guess the ending to. I always have a hard time reviewing Eliza Maxwell’s novels because I don’t want to give anything away that might spoil the ending of the books or any of the twists and turns throughout. This is a great thriller as well if you like historical fiction but haven’t delved into the world of thrillers yet. While this isn’t historical at all, the recounting of the past storyline might appeal to those who are normally historical fiction readers.
Eliza Maxwell is the author of The Shadow Writer, The Widow’s Watcher, The Unremembered Girl, The Grave Tender, and The Kinfolk. She writes fiction from her home in Texas, which she shares with her ever-patient husband, two impatient kids, a ridiculous English setter, and a bird named Sarah. An artist and writer, a dedicated introvert, and a British-cop-drama addict, she enjoys nothing more than sitting on the front porch with a good cup of coffee. For more information, visit www.elizamaxwell.net.
————————————-
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
THREE WINNERS!  ONE WINNER: Signed Copy + $25 Amazon Gift Card TWO WINNERS: Signed Copy 
APRIL 14-25, 2020
(U.S. Only)
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
4/14/20
Review
4/14/20
Review
4/15/20
Audio Review
4/16/20
Review
4/16/20
Review
4/17/20
Review
4/17/20
BONUS Post
4/18/20
Review
4/19/20
Review
4/20/20
Audio Review
4/20/20
Audio Review
4/21/20
Review
4/22/20
Review
4/23/20
Review
4/24/20
Review
4/24/20
Review
   blog tour services provided by
  
Categories
Children's Lit Lone Star Book Blog Tour Posts Middle Grade Reads

Finding Esme Review

FINDING ESME
by
SUZANNE CROWLEY
   Genre: Middle Grade (3-7) / Magical Realism / Family & Loss Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Date of Publication: August 14, 2018
Number of Pages: 288
Scroll down for the giveaway!
After her grandfather died from a heart attack while driving his tractor on Solace Hill, twelve-year-old Esme’s been inextricably drawn to that spot, although her grandmother warns her to stay away. But when she follows her little brother, Bo, and her dog, Old Jack, up the hill while chasing fireflies, she makes an incredible discovery—dinosaur bones peeking out from underneath the abandoned tractor. The bones must be a message from her grandfather, a connection from beyond the grave. But when word gets out that the farm is hiding something valuable, reporters, researchers, and neighbors arrive in droves. Esme struggles to understand who has her best interests at heart, especially as the memory of her grandfather begins to slip away. Full of friendship and adventure, and featuring a palpable Texas setting, Finding Esme is a moving and heartfelt story about family, friendship, and learning to deal with loss.
PRAISE & HONORS FOR FINDING ESME:
“Esme is a brave, appealing heroine with the odds stacked against her… Bad blood and layered family secrets drive this story to its ultimately optimistic and satisfying conclusion.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review) “Esme McCauley is a lonely but spirited 12-year-old who feels nothing ever happens to her the way it’s supposed to…A poignant tale for readers who enjoy character-driven realism.” — School Library Journal “Readers muddling through preteen changes or unstable family lives will identify with Esme’s struggles, but the thrill of discovery will appeal to most.” — Booklist
Texas Library Association 2019 Spirit of Texas (SPOT) reading program selection

Most people envision small-town-Texas to be quaint, picturesque, full of sunsets, cowboys, and fields of golden grain. What they don’t envision is the grittiness of the people that live in the rural towns throughout the state. I know I didn’t until I worked in a small town. One of the best parts of Finding Esme is the author’s ability to just grasp the personalities that spring out of the normally, impoverished rural areas and their grittiness, warmth, and big personalities.

Esme is the child that everyone wishes they could be or could be friends with. She has a best friend who lives in some of the worst conditions. Between the two of them, the two kids have some seen things and heard things and experienced things they shouldn’t have. But, when Esme digs up dinosaur bones on the top of the hill where her grandfather died, she suddenly has a secret she doesn’t want to give up. I loved the slow and languishing way this story unfolded and how the details, at first, didn’t seem important, but after you got to the end, you realized just how important all the details were in weaving the plot together.

I ended up giving this 4 out of 5 stars. I over all really enjoyed this story, but when I was trying to think of a middle grade student who would enjoy it, I realized that the things I loved about the story, I loved because I was an adult who had lived in one of these towns. I almost wish this had been written with the characters older, so it could have been even grittier. I do recommend this book to fans of Raymie Nightingale by Kate Dicamillo and The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair by Amy Mackechnie and to middle graders who live in smaller rural areas who I think can relate to all the characters in Esme’s world.

Suzanne Crowley is the author of two acclaimed novels for young readers, The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous and The Stolen One. The author, who is also a miniaturist and dollhouse collector whose work has graced the covers of magazines worldwide, was born in a small town in Texas and lives in Southlake, Texas. When not hugging her dog or imbibing in chocolate, she can often be found taking a nap.
———————————–
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
TWO READERS EACH WIN A SIGNED COPY OF FINDING ESME, TWO CANDLES, BOOKMARKS, FUN FACT CARDS, AND A PEN! February 11-21, 2020
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
2/11/20
Review
2/11/20
Review
2/12/20
Audio Review
2/12/20
Review
2/13/20
Review
2/14/20
Review
2/14/20
Review
2/15/20
Review
2/16/20
Review
2/17/20
Review
2/17/20
Review
2/18/20
Review
2/19/20
Review
2/20/20
Review
2/20/20
Audio Review
   blog tour services provided by
 
Categories
Lone Star Book Blog Tour Posts

Spent Identity Book Review

SPENT IDENTITY
Annalisse Series, Book 2
by
Marlene M. Bell
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Light Romance Publisher: Ewephoric Publishing Date of Publication: December 11, 2019
Number of Pages: 378
Scroll down for the giveaway!
A body, a disappearance, just another hot summer in upstate New York. It’s July when antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury reaches her family’s small-town farm to consult with the trusted aunt who raised her. She learns that her beloved homestead—the one she expects to inherit—is for sale. While Annalisse reels at the betrayal and her shattered dreams, the Walker Farm ranch manager discovers a corpse in the barn. Officials close the suspected murder scene, and Annalisse seeks refuge with her aunt at Alec Zavos’s rural estate in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Then Aunt Kate vanishes. Annalisse solicits the help of Greek tycoon, Alec Zavos, even though their rocky romance has dissolved into routine separation. What began as hope on Crete nine months ago has eaten away at Annalisse’s hope for a future with him. In Spent Identity, Annalisse and Alec come together for the second time and find themselves in the center of not one mystery, but several. Where is Kate, and why sell her farm now? Is the dead man a coincidence or a clue to the aunt’s disappearance? John Doe’s identity may hold needed answers to solve the puzzle before Kate’s unstable health issues make her rescue impossible. The clock ticks, and a vengeful murderer is in charge…
WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER FOR SPENT IDENTITY:
CLICK TO ORDER ON: AMAZON  ┃  BARNES AND NOBLE  ┃  SMASHWORDS   ┃  DRAFT2DIGITAL 
While mystery books usually aren’t on the top of my “To Be Read” list, when Spent Identity was pushed my way, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to read Marlene M. Bell’s latest novel following the adventure of Annalisse aka “Art Lady”. In this second installment of the series, Annalisse is discovering the mysteries of her own past as well as her Aunt Kate’s. This book is a PAGE TURNER. I couldn’t read it fast enough once I picked it up. First of all, I love Annalisse’s character. She is bright, happy, thoughtful, and caring. Marlene makes her a lovable character without focusing on things that a lot of adult female protagonists are focused on – body image, worth as a girlfriend, etc. Annalisse is her own person who cares about what females should care about. Is there an underlying love story? Yes. But it isn’t the focus, and Annalisse puts importance on it when she should without being obsessed with it. In fact at the beginning of this novel, she is thinking about cutting off her relationship altogether because she isn’t being treated right. I am here for the strong female lead! The ultimate story of this book is so full of twists and turns and you will not guess the ending of the novel and the secrets that are revealed with the hints that are given throughout the book. You really start to feel for the characters as terrible things continue to happen to them. The most surprising twist is revealed in the most dramatic way and you will just have to read the book to find out what it is. Overall, I adored this book. I gave it 5 stars, the first 5 star book of 2020 for me! I would recommend this to mystery and thriller fans as well as anyone looking for an adult novel with a strong female protagonist.
Marlene M. Bell is an acclaimed artist and photographer as well as a writer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of publications such as, Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living, and Sheep Industry News. Ewephoric, her mail order venture, began in 1985 out of a desire for realistic sheep stationery. A color catalog of non-fiction books and sheep-related gifts may be requested on her website or www.texassheep.com. Marlene and her husband, Gregg reside on a wooded ranch in beautiful East Texas with their dreadfully spoiled horned Dorset sheep, a large and lovable Maremma guard dog named Tia, and Hollywood, Leo, and Squeaks, the cats who believe they rule the household — and do.
 ║ Website║ Facebook Twitter  ║ LinkedIn ║ Goodreads  ║ Amazon Author Page  BookBub   Blog  ————————————-
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
$350 PRIZE PACK / ONE WINNER
Autographed copy of Spent Identity & companion notebook, Mary Poppins-style bag (18×13” tapestry carpet bag with leather trim, handmade in Israel), $100 Amazon gift card, and 18” freshwater pearl necklace. 
JANUARY 7-17, 2020
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
1/7/20
Review
1/7/20
Review
1/8/20
Review
1/8/20
Review
1/9/20
Review
1/10/20
Review
1/10/20
Review
1/11/20
Review
1/12/20
Review
1/13/20
Review
1/13/20
Review
1/14/20
Review
1/15/20
Review
1/16/20
Review
1/16/20
Review
   blog tour services provided by
  
Categories
Lone Star Book Blog Tour Posts

When the Men Were Gone Blog Tour – Review

WHEN THE MEN WERE GONE by MARJORIE HERRERA LEWIS

 Genre: Historical / Biographical / Sports Fiction

Publisher: William Morrow 

Date of Publication: October 2, 2018

Number of Pages: 240

Scroll down for giveaway!

A cross between Friday Night Lights and The Atomic City Girls, When The Men Were Gone is a debut historical novel based on the true story of Tylene Wilson, a woman in 1940s Texas who, in spite of extreme opposition, became a female football coach in order to keep her students from heading off to war.


Football is the heartbeat of Brownwood, Texas. Every Friday night for as long as assistant principal Tylene Wilson can remember, the entire town has gathered in the stands, cheering their boys on. Each September brings with it the hope of a good season and a sense of unity and optimism.

Now, the war has changed everything. Most of the Brownwood men over eighteen and under forty-five are off fighting, and in a small town the possibilities are limited. Could this mean a season without football? But no one counted on Tylene, who learned the game at her daddy’s knee. She knows more about it than most men, so she does the unthinkable, convincing the school to let her take on the job of coach.

Faced with extreme opposition by the press, the community, rival coaches, and referees — and even the players themselves — Tylene remains resolute. And when her boys rally around her, she leads the team — and the town — to a Friday night and a subsequent season they will never forget. 

Based on a true story, When the Men Were Gone is a powerful and vibrant novel of perseverance and personal courage.

PRAISE FOR WHEN THE MEN WERE GONE:

“Sublimely ties together the drama of high school football, gender politics, and the impact of war on a small town in Texas.” – Best of Books, 2018, Sports Illustrated

“A beautiful story that stays in your heart long after you finish reading.” – Jodi Thomas, New York Times bestselling author

“Based on a true story that most people probably don’t know, readers will find plenty to love in Herrera Lewis’ debut.” — Kirkus Review

CLICK TO PURCHASE

When the Men Were Gone is the perfect fall read for any Texas football fan. This book is jam packed with history, feminism, and football. As a young woman who grew up in Texas and was a fan of the Friday night lights at my own high school, this novel brought back so many good memories of the stands jammed pack with everyone from school, the black and gold uniforms from Plano East (where I graduated from) and the sounds of cheering, screaming, and dead silence at times.

The characters in this book are so well imagined that it almost seems as if I know them. Tylene is this strong woman who becomes the football coach in the 1940s. Something unheard of, especially in the conservative small towns in Texas. Even now, this is almost unheard of. But Tylene knows the game and is dedicated to the school where she is a vice principal. Based on a real life, you can feel Tylene’s up and down emotions throughout this book as she is threatened again and again by people she trusted and complete strangers.

We need more books based on the plots of women pioneers, and this is one of those books. The stories of real women doing what they “shouldn’t” or “can’t” are so necessary to inspire young women and girls in this day and age when girls are making more headway as professionals in nearly every field. This book was inspiring and so fun. A wonderful and quick read for anyone interested in history and sports.

I ended up giving this book 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who has stood in a Texas football stadium and felt the rush of love towards the team you support and anyone who loves Texas history.

Marjorie Herrera Lewis is an award-winning sportswriter, named the first female Dallas Cowboys beat writer when she was with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She later joined the SportsDay staff of The Dallas Morning News, where she continued to cover the NFL and professional tennis. She is currently a contributing sportswriter for PressBoxDFW.com. 

While writing When the Men Were Gone, she became inspired to try her hand at coaching football herself and was added to the Texas Wesleyan University football coaching staff in December 2016. Marjorie has degrees from Arizona State University, The University of Texas in Arlington, Southern New Hampshire University, and certificates from Southern Methodist University, and Cornell University. She is married and has two grown daughters and one son-in-law.

WEBSITE    FACEBOOK   TWITTER 

INSTAGRAM   YOUTUBE

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE   BOOKBUB

—————————————–

GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

THREE SIGNED COPIES OF WHEN THE MEN WERE GONE

June 18-28, 2019

(International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

6/18/19 Author Video Hall Ways Blog
6/18/19 Notable Quotable StoreyBook Reviews
6/19/19 Review That’s What She’s Reading
6/19/19 Review Sydney Young, Stories
6/20/19 Excerpt Texas Book Lover
6/21/19 Author Interview Chapter Break Book Blog
6/21/19 Excerpt Momma on the Rocks
6/22/19 Review All the Ups and Downs
6/23/19 Review Tangled in Text
6/23/19 Scrapbook Page Rainy Days with Amanda
6/24/19 Playlist & BONUS Review Reading by Moonlight
6/25/19 Review #Bookish
6/25/19 Guest Post Missus Gonzo
6/26/19 Review The Clueless Gent
6/27/19 Review Story Schmoozing Book Reviews

   blog tour services provided by

Categories
Lone Star Book Blog Tour Posts

Captain Fin Tour – Review Post

CAPTAIN FIN by AMANDA M. THRASHER

based on a screenplay by Kevin James O’Neill

 Genre: Young Adult / Adventure / Family
Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press
Date of Publication: May 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 432

Scroll down for giveaway!

Hannah Gunner, once a carefree child, is faced with secrets, lies, and betrayal. A life-changing event during her adolescent years forces her to confront a past that she no longer recognizes. Now, questioning everything she thought she knew, Hannah struggles with the person she is supposed to be! With the help of her boyfriend and her closest friend, they discover several clues that may hold the missing links to her life.


A tattered box filled with worn-out letters holds some of the answers that she needs, but not all of them. With an assist from her aunt, and a visitor from her past, Hannah manages to track down the only person in the world who can answer her questions—the Captain! But why did those closest to her lie in the first place? Will Hannah ever find the answers that she needs to bring her peace? 

Suspenseful, engaging, and with twists and turns that make it impossible to put down, this is a book filled with surprises.

CLICK TO PURCHASE

Amazon   Barnes and Noble

Signed Copies   iBooks

Amanda M. Thrasher was born in England, moved to Texas, and resides there still. Amanda has authored picture books, middle-grade chapter books, early readers, young adult pieces, and a graphic novel written specifically for the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center. 

Amanda is a multiple Gold Recipient of The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) for YA, General Fiction, and early reader chapter books, a Readers’ Favorite International Book Award winner for YA Social Issues, an NTBF winner for YA and General Fiction, and she was awarded a New Apple Literary Award for YA and general fiction.


As Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, she assists other authors with their work and shares her writing process and publishing experience with them. Her latest release, CAPTAIN FIN, was based on a contract to adapt a screenplay into a novel for the director, actor, and producer Kevin James O’Neill. Her works-in-progress are the sequel to CAPTAIN FIN and the fourth installment of her Mischief Series.

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK   TWITTER  PINTEREST

INSTAGRAM   GOODREADS

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE   BOOKBUB


Captain Fin is a sweet contemporary story of a girl and her Dad, the Captain with a bit of a mystery weaved between the chapters. The book starts with a chapter where Hannah is a teenager who is very upset over something that happened to her mom and confusion over something about her father. Then the next 175 pages are so are from her childhood (age 5) to that moment in the first chapter. I love books that weave the past and present together and this was no exception although I do wish we had had more alternating chapters between past and present and not as much detail in the past. The “present” characters, her best friend Lindsey and boyfriend Cash, seemed a little rushed in their relationships with Hannah and her mother Gloria and these relationships prove to be very important in the overall plot of the novel.

I did love Hannah’s character who is generally good with her own faults. Her voice as a five year old in the earlier chapters of the book was strong for a character as a child. I enjoyed reading about her pirate games with her father. Hannah as a teenager is a little self focused, but this felt real since most teenagers are this way. The dialogue between characters in the teenage chapters feels a little awkward in some instances which made me have to go back and reread paragraphs so I could understand what they were saying. There were a lot of paragraphs that explained feelings in the dialogue as well which could have been rewritten to have shown that emotion instead of telling that emotion. These paragraphs also felt a little awkward.

I did overall, love the plot of this story and cried at some parts, laughed at some parts, and was surprised by some of the twists and turns in this plot line. Overall I rated this book a 3.5, rounded to 4 stars,. I recommend this book to people who love contemporary novels in the YA or adult section.

GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

TWO WINNERS: Signed Copies of Captain Fin

+ $25 Starbucks Gift Cards

THREE WINNERS: Signed Copies of Captain Fin

June 4-14, 2019

(U.S. Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

/CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

6/4/19 Author Interview StoreyBook Reviews
6/4/19 Character Interview Hall Ways Blog
6/5/19 Review Momma on the Rocks
6/6/19 Guest Post Texas Book Lover
6/6/19 Deleted Scene The Clueless Gent
6/7/19 Excerpt All the Ups and Downs
6/8/19 Review #Bookish
6/8/19 Review That’s What She’s Reading
6/9/19 Review Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
6/10/19 Scrapbook Page Chapter Break Book Blog
6/10/19 Top Ten Sybrina’s Book Blog
6/11/19 Guest Post Forgotten Winds
6/12/19 Review Missus Gonzo
6/12/19 Review Reading by Moonlight
6/13/19 Review Book Fidelity

   blog tour services provided by

Categories
Lone Star Book Blog Tour Posts

The Open Portal by Michael Scott Clifton – Review

THE OPEN PORTAL
Conquest of the Veil #1
by
MICHAEL SCOTT CLIFTON
Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal / Magical Realism
Publisher: Book Liftoff
Publication Date: May 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 337 pages

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY! 

But with dreams, there can also be nightmares

Lonely and plain-featured, Mona Parker is just another faceless teenager at Spring Hill High School. One day she runs afoul of Lady Anne Golightly, a beautiful and arrogant classmate who turns Mona’s colorless life into a hellish existence. Bullied relentlessly and with nowhere to turn, Mona considers suicide. One night, Thaddeus Finkle, her guardian angel, appears. He offers her a way out—swap lives with another.


The choice seems easy, and Mona takes the angel up on his offer. She awakens on Meredith, a parallel world of Earth where magic has replaced technology. Mona discovers she is Alexandria, a woman of breathtaking beauty, and the daughter of a Duke complete with servants and riches.

Then she discovers the price of her bargain.

Trapped behind the Veil, an impenetrable curtain of magic, the Duchy of Wheel is the last major province still unconquered by Marlinda, the creator of the enchanted barrier. Known as the Dark Queen, Marlinda’s cruelty includes a singular fondness for melding men, women, and children, with animals…and she has special plans for Alexandria.

Tal, the Prince and Heir of the Empire of Meredith, burns with an intense hatred for Marlinda and her minions. The Dark Queen’s raiders regularly cross the Veil to prey upon the helpless citizens living near the magical boundary. Despite an elaborate system of Watch Towers along the enchanted barrier, it is impossible for the Empire to stop all the raids. Desperate to protect his people, Tal takes dangerous risks to prevent these attacks. Banished to a remote garrison for his reckless behavior, while on a routine patrol, Tal leads an elite unit that happens upon a group of raiders—one whose leader possesses the means for opening a way through the Veil.

Thus begins the conquest of the Veil.

 
“The Open Portal is packed full of action from the time it begins in our mundane world, to when it jumps to another. It has all the elements of a good fantasy: a cruel queen; a frustrated prince; and beautiful girl with a pure heart. There are brave boys, werewolves, white priests, and watchtowers. I can’t wait for the saga to continue.” — Abookanight

CLICK FOR PURCHASE OPTIONS:
Michael Scott Cliftona public educator for over thirty-eight years as a teacher, coach, and administrator, currently lives in Mount Pleasant, Texas with his wife, Melanie and family cat, Sadie. An avid gardener, reader, and movie junkie, he enjoys all kinds of book and movie genres. His books contain aspects of all the genres he enjoys…action, adventure, magic, fantasy, and romance. His fantasy novel, The Janus Witch, received a 5-Star review from the prestigious Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, and he has been a finalist in a number of short story contests with Edges of Gray winning first place in the Texas Authors Contest. Professional credits include articles published in the Texas Study of Secondary Education Magazine. Clifton’s latest book, The Open Portal, launches the fantasy book series, Conquest of the Veil. In addition, look for the YA novel, Edison Jones and the Anti-Grav Elevator, to be released soon. He is available public speaking.


I am a sucker for a good fantasy and The Open Portal did not disappoint. This first book in what seems to be a promising series introduces us to Mona – a character we can probably all relate to in some way or another. She is lonely, bullied, and a little plain. When an angel appears to her and offers for her to switch lives with someone she accepts and becomes Alexandria on the planet ‘Meredith’. Now she is the daughter of a duke trapped in an alternate reality.

This books is told from three points of views which I admit was really confusing for awhile and hard to follow. I found myself rereading some of the chapters that were not told from Mona’s point of view because the foundation of this world building seemed to be a little shaky. Once I got into the plot of the story and the different points of view weaved together though, this book kept me captivated. The author has a huge imagination to be able to put all these points of view together the way he did and build the world the way he did with two different warring sides – one of peace, hope. and compassion and the other of evil, greed, and power.

This story was emotional, intriguing and adventurous and I was there for the ride. I honestly really liked this novel because of the idea of being able to switch lives with someone, and see the consequences of that action. The way Mona’s character grows and changes as she becomes Alexandria is really fascinating. I really think that the world Mr. Clifton set up in this novel will lead to some more epic plot lines in future novels.

The illustrations throughout the novel were a really nice touch and really gave you some insight into what the author was visualizing while reading this novel. I really enjoyed the picture of Mona in bed when her guardian angel first appears to her.

I recommend this book to readers of high fantasy  or YA fantasy. I think fans of Game of Thrones and fairy tale retellings of sorts would enjoy this novel. I gave it 4/5 stars.

————————————
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
FOUR WINNERS!
One Signed Copy Winner, Three
 eBook Copy Winners
MAY 14-24, 2019
(Print copy U.S. Only)
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

5/14/19
Guest Post
5/14/19
Character Interview
5/14/19
BONUS Post
5/15/19
Review
5/15/19
Review
5/16/19
Excerpt
5/17/19
Review
5/18/19
Scrapbook Page
5/19/19
Review
5/20/19
Review
5/20/19
Review
5/21/19
Excerpt
5/22/19
Review
5/22/19
Review
5/23/19
Review
5/23/19
Review
   blog tour services provided by
  
Categories
Lone Star Book Blog Tour Posts

The Little TeaShop on Main

THE LITTLE TEASHOP ON MAIN by Jodi Thomas

Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction / Coming of Age

Publisher: HQN

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Number of Pages: 336 pages


Scroll down for the giveaway!

A rainy-day ritual—a tea party between three little girls—becomes the framework of not only their friendship, but their lives.

Blonde, curly-haired Zoe is openhearted, kind and free-spirited, and dreams of becoming a famous actor in New York City. Shy Emily struggles with mental health but has the heart and soul of a writer. And Shannon—tall, athletic, strong—has a deep sense of loyalty that will serve her well when she heads off to military college.

As Zoe, Emily, and Shannon grow into women—forging careers, following dreams, and finding love—they’ll learn that life doesn’t always unfold the way they want it to, but through it all, the one constant is each other and their regular tea parties. And when the unthinkable happens, the girls must come together to face the greatest test of all.


A deeply moving novel about the family that raises us, the hearts that nurture us, and the great friendships that define our lives.


PRAISE FOR THE LITTLE TEASHOP ON MAIN:

“Heart-wrenching as well as heartwarming, the book reflects the experiences of these seven multifaceted and compelling characters as they journey through challenging years together.” — NY Journal of Books


“A comforting treasure for regular Thomas readers who enjoy the easy flow of her writing, a little steamy romance to spice things up, and the development of vulnerable, realistic characters.” — Booklist

CLICK TO BUY:

HARLEQUIN  AMAZON  BARNES&NOBLE

  GOOGLE BOOKS    


EXCERPT FROM THE LITTLE TEASHOP ON MAIN

by Jodi Thomas

Shannon Morell brought out her last suitcase as her dad loaded the car she’d gotten as a graduation present. Her long honey-blond curls had been cut and styled into a short bob since her last high school photos. The summer camp she’d attended in Colorado had honed her tall lean body into an athletic balance.

“You sure you don’t want me to go with you, baby? Five hundred miles is a long drive.”

“Dad, you’ve got to quit calling me that.”

Master Chief Morell shrugged. “I don’t see why. You’ll al­ways be my baby. Four years from now you’ll probably out­rank me, but you’ll still be my little girl.”

“Come on, Dad, I’m leaving for college, not dying. All right. We’ll make a pact. When I’m here in Laurel Springs, you can call me whatever you like, but when we’re at the Air Force Academy, you call me Shannon.” At five-eleven, she stood eye to eye with her father, but he’d always be a big man in her mind. He’d stayed. He’d raised her. He’d cared.

Her dad was over forty and tough as leather, but she knew the thought of his little girl being hundreds of miles away wore on him.

“Remember when you went to Iraq twice and I had to stay with Grandma? You promised you’d come back, and, even though I cried, I knew you’d keep your word.” She patted his cheek. “Well, I’m only going to Colorado Springs, but I promise I’ll be back.”

“You got that fancy new cell phone, your extra car keys, your Glock?”

“Yes.”

He worried his bottom lip. “You got that roll of quarters in the tray between the seats? Curl your fist around that and you can knock a guy cold with one punch.”

She thought of listing all the classes in self-defense he’d made her take over the years, but it still probably wouldn’t be enough to calm his worries. “I’ll be ready if trouble comes, Dad. I promise.” At her height, she wasn’t likely to be tar­geted for mugging.

He followed her over to the driver’s door, asking questions. Did she have enough cash? Did she have her AAA card? Did she have a map in case the GPS didn’t work?

Hugging him one last time, Shannon answered, “If I get any more ready, they’ll just graduate me when I drive on campus.”

Her dad straightened into the soldier he’d been all her life. “You drive careful.”

She nodded. Dad never said he loved her; he didn’t have to. “Don’t start clocking my drive yet. I’m stopping over at Zoe’s for tea with the girls.”

“I know. Farewell Tea. You girls have been having those teas every time you’ve left for camps or vacations since you were five.”

Shannon shrugged. “They’re not as much fun as the Hello Teas, but it’s tradition.”

With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 45 novels and 14 short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.

In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.

Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Thomas enjoys interacting with students at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

When not working on a novel, or inspiring students to pursue writing careers, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating an historic home, and “checking up” on their grown sons and four grandchildren.

 ║ Website ║ Facebook ║ Twitter  ║
║ Instagram ║  Amazon  ║ BookBub ║
║ Pinterest  ║ Goodreads ║


GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

ONE PRINT COPY OF MORNINGS ON MAIN,

THE FIRST LAUREL SPRINGS BOOK

May 8-18, 2019

(US ONLY)

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

5/8/19 Notable Quotable Texas Book Lover
5/8/19 Notable Quotable Reading by Moonlight
5/9/19 Review Missus Gonzo
5/10/19 BONUS Stop Hall Ways Blog
5/10/19 Guest Post Chapter Break Book Blog
5/11/19 Review Momma on the Rocks
5/12/19 Review Book Fidelity
5/13/19 Excerpt StoreyBook Reviews
5/13/19 Author Interview Kelly Well Read
5/14/19 Review All the Ups and Downs
5/15/19 Excerpt Rainy Days with Amanda
5/15/19 Review Bibliotica
5/16/19 Excerpt #Bookish
5/16/19 Excerpt Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
5/17/19 Review That’s What She’s Reading
5/17/19 Promo Carpe Diem Chronicles

 

  blog tour services provided by

Categories
Lone Star Book Blog Tour Posts

The Shadow Writer by Eliza Maxwell – Review

THE SHADOW WRITER
by
ELIZA MAXWELL
Genre:  Psychological Suspense / Domestic Thriller
Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: May 1, 2019

Number of Pages: 348

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Every writer has a story. Some are deadlier than others. 
Aspiring author Graye Templeton will do anything to escape the horrific childhood crime that haunts her. After a life lived in shadows, she’s accepted a new job as protégé to Laura West, influential book blogger and wife of an acclaimed novelist. Laura’s connections could make Graye’s publishing dreams a reality. But there’s more to Laura than meets the eye. 
Behind the veneer of a charmed life, Laura’s marriage is collapsing. Her once-lauded husband is descending into alcoholism and ruin and bringing Laura nearer to the edge. 
As the two women form a bond that seems meant to be, long-buried secrets claw their way into the present, and the line between friendship and obsession begins to blur, forcing each to decide where her loyalties lie. Running from the past is a dangerous game, and the loser could end up dead.

CLICK TO PURCHASE

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.
————————————-
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
TWO WINNERS: Signed Copy + $25 Amazon Gift Card
ONE WINNER: Signed Copy 
APRIL 30-MAY 10, 2019
(U.S. Only)
Review
Eliza Maxwell is the most underrated writer of this decade. I am continuously blown away by her writing and her novels. This was by far one of the best thrillers I have ever read, and don’t think I am just saying this, I truly mean it.
The Shadow Writer is dark, twisted, mysterious and enthralling. I was completely captivated by the mystery in the book and trying to figure out what characters did what. For the first time since college, I stayed up way too late past my bedtime to finish this book with more than 100 pages left. And then I couldn’t sleep because I was still reeling from the twists and turns in every chapter all the way to the end.
I pre-ordered this book months ago after knowing how much I loved The Widow’s Watcher last year and The Shadow Writer did not disappoint. The characters are so real and you feel empathy and sympathy for the majority of the book for a character that may or may not deserve it. Eliza Maxwell gives us every emotion possible to throw at one particular character that I cannot reveal because I don’t want to give too much away. You just need to pick up this book and read it. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and recommend to any fans of thrillers.
The Shadow Writer Mood Board.png
The Shadow Writer Aesthetic Board
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

4/30/19
Audio Review
4/30/19
Review
5/1/19
Review
5/2/19
Review
5/2/19
Review
5/3/19
Review
5/3/19
BONUS Post
5/4/19
Review
5/4/19
Audio Review
5/5/19
Review
5/6/19
Review
5/7/19
Audio Review
5/7/19
Review
5/8/19
Review
5/9/19
Review
5/9/19
Review
   blog tour services provided by