Day Four: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Tarnished Brass

Corrected BNR Tarnished Brass

The tour continues today with a Playlist of songs that were popular during the period represented in the book and another blogger review.

The Clueless Gent showcases the Spotify Playlist. These songs and artists were taken from Billboard’s Top 100 lists for 1984-1986. All are characteristic of the era, and two of the songs are actually featured in the novella; Sade’s He’s a Smooth Operator, and Glen Frey’s The Heat is On from the hit movie Beverly Hills Cop

Today’s book review is from Forgotten Winds  who writes “Tarnished Brass is a good reminder that even the smallest of wars have their long-lasting impacts and should be remembered, written about, and most importantly read about to remind us of our collective history.”

My thanks go out to both of these bloggers for their contributions to the tour. Be sure to not only click on these links to read their full posts, but also consider following them for future comments on books and other topics.

Day Three: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Tarnished Brass

Corrected BNR Tarnished Brass

I apologize for the delay in posting to my blog today. It must be Halloween because the ghouls and goblins have definitely wreaked havoc with my site. There are still a few glitches that aren’t fixed but the spirits aren’t cooperating on All Hallows’ Eve, so bear with me!

Today is day three of the five-day book blog tour and features a Scrapbook Page and a second review of Tarnished Brass.

Missus Gonzo hosts the Scrapbook Page, a compilation of photos taken in El Salvador during my last trip in-country in 2013. These photos with captions relate to the various themes in my book; the influence of Catholicism and Liberation Theology, the predominant landscape in this Central American country, the former guerrilla faction and current political party – the FMLN, and the impoverished conditions that sparked this ten-year civil war.

NOTE: Oops… the captions on the first two photos somehow got reversed, but I’m working to get that corrected. Nothing you can’t transpose for yourselves in the meantime!

Librariel Book Adventures provides another take on Tarnished Brass pointing out that it should definitely resonate with anyone who appreciates historical fiction, especially a novella that can be read and enjoyed quickly.

I certainly appreciate the time spent reading and commenting on my book. Hopefully it will encourage readers to pick up a copy and find out for themselves what transpired over thirty years ago in a war few remember.

NOTE: The spelling error on the banner did get fixed. Did anyone catch that besides my fellow bloggers? Sometimes your mind lets you read what you think you wrote. Guess that’s why there are editors!

Happy Halloween everyone!

 

Day Two: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Tarnished Brass

Corrected BNR Tarnished Brass

Today That’s What She’s Reading is host to my author interview. Subjects covered in the interview include why I chose to write the book, the significance of the title, why I thought that a glossary was needed, the character that is most like me, why I  gave voice to all factions involved in the war, the hardest part of writing the book, and why I selected the Short Fiction format to tell the story.

Today also marks the first of several reviews during the five-day tour. Hall Ways Blog offers a very thorough and comprehensive analysis of the book that readers will find both informative and helpful in deciding whether to add Tarnished Brass to their reading list.

Be sure to click on the links to each of these bloggers and don’t forget to sign up for the Giveaway. Oh, and should you decide to pick up a copy of the book, there are also purchase links to several online retail sites.

I certainly hope that you do!

 

Day One: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Tarnished Brass

Corrected BNR Tarnished Brass

It’s happening! Today begins the five-day run by Lone Star Literary Life featuring my latest book, Tarnished Brass.

All the Ups and Downs hosts the Promo featuring a synopsis of the novella and links to the Giveaway – a $25.00 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book. In the days ahead look for blogger reviews, music associated with the historical period, photos from El Salvador representing the book’s three story lines (war, the desperation that lay behind the flight of families looking for a better life, and the rise of gang violence), and an author interview with insights into the book’s genesis.

Chapter Break Book Blog offers an excerpt from the book that deals with a mother’s plea for her son to avoid allegiance to the violent street gang MS-13, and his anguished rationale for rejecting her appeal.

Join the tour. Follow these great bloggers, be sure to provide your feedback, and don’t forget to sign up for the Giveaway!

 

Sunday Newsletter

For those of you who perhaps looked for my usual weekly post earlier this weekend, I’ve just returned from a much needed vacation with my wife to Ogunquit, Maine. What a glorious time to see the Fall colors which are noticeably absent here in Texas. If you’ve never been to New England this time of year, I highly recommend you make the trip. Beautiful scenery, lighthouses, and the nation’s early history await you.

The other reason I delayed my blog post until today is the release of Lone Star Literary Life’s Sunday newsletter which features my book Tarnished Brass. The book blog tour kicks off Tuesday, October 29th, and will include multiple reviews, an author interview, an excerpt from the book, as well as photos and music related to the story. I encourage readers to follow the tour at LSLL, on individual blogger platforms, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Pinterest, and to provide feedback as the tour progresses.

I look forward to your comments and hope to interact with you to make this tour a success. I also encourage you to sign up for the giveaway. The winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of my book.

Good luck!

The Big Inch: My Review

The Big Inch Book CoverAuthor Kimberly Fish has written an engaging novel set in Longview, Texas in 1942. The Allied offensive in Europe, dependent on the supply of fuel for its tanks, trucks, and planes, is threatened by German U-boat attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Mexico. In response, the largest pipeline construction project in the history of the United States is launched.

Longview is at the center of the joint government-private industry undertaking that becomes known as “The Big Inch.” Conceived to overcome the U-boat threat and provide uninterrupted flow of gasoline, diesel, heating oil, and kerosene from Texas to the Midwest and East Coast, both the project and the small East Texas town become the focus of domestic and international intrigue. Is there a real threat? The Office of Strategic Services, a wartime intelligence agency and precursor to today’s CIA, intends to find out.

Enter Lane Mercer, an agent trying to overcome grief and guilt associated with her husband’s death and a botched undercover assignment in France. Is she up to the job? Posing as the executive secretary to the pipeline project manager, she must overcome her own doubts and insecurities while ensuring that the project isn’t sabotaged.

Well drawn characters (many of whom aren’t who they profess to be,) excellent descriptions of landmarks in and around Longview that evoke time and place, multiple subplots involving small town attitudes, racial injustice, love interests, and finding inner peace are the hallmarks of this first book in a planned series by Kimberly Fish on “Misfits and Millionaires.”

The only detractors in Book 1 are the grammatical errors that should have been corrected prior to the book’s publication. Hopefully,  these won’t be repeated  in the sequel, “Harmon General,”  because I very much look forward to reading the continuing story.

 

 

The Captive Boy: Promo, Review, and Giveaway

THE CAPTIVE BOY
by
JULIA ROBB
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Date of Publication: December 20, 2015
Number of Pages: 170Scroll down for the giveaway!

Colonel Mac McKenna’s Fourth Cavalry recaptures white captive August Shiltz from the Comanche, only to find August is determined to return to the Indians. McKenna attempts to civilize August to nineteenth century American standards and becomes the boy’s foster father. But when August kills another boy in a fight, McKenna rejects him, and August escapes from Fort Richards (Texas). When war with the Comanche breaks out, McKenna discovers August is a war leader – and his greatest enemy.




PRAISE FOR THE CAPTIVE BOY:

“THE CAPTIVE BOY by Julia Robb is a story told in a unique way – through journal entries by several different characters, and a novel within the novel. Robb is masterful in her depiction of each character, bringing to life an intriguing tale of the Old West.”
 Writer’s Digest competition judge

“It will capture you and keep you engaged from the beginning all the way through the end and also give you insights into the difficulties faced by those who fought on both sides of the Indian Wars in Texas after the Civil War. Buy this book. You will not be disappointed.”
— Steve Mathisen

“Ms. Robb’s research is evident on every page. Without becoming bogged down in detail, she employs just enough of it to paint an accurate picture of a dangerous and unforgiving time.”

— Samuel L. Robinson

CLICK TO PURCHASE

CHECK OUT THE TRAILER!


Review
One of the many hardships endured by settlers along the Texas frontier was the abduction of their children by the Comanche. The Captive Boy by Julia Robb looks at the emotional toll and tragic consequences of these abductions in the story of one such captive.
The author uses the perspectives of different characters in the book to advance the plot. This approach is simultaneously the strength and lure of the story as well as a challenge to readers to funnel the multiple points of view into a cohesive body of work. Each of the character’s accounts is presented as either a memoir, a journal entry, or even a novel within the novel, which certainly adds to the story’s authenticity, however it also means that the writing styles vary from first to third person and the sequencing of events is not always chronological.
The fictional anthology alternates between the memoirs of Joseph Finley Grant, “With the Fourth Cavalry in Texas,” published as a serial in 1899, “On the Frontier with McKenna,” published in 1878 by Major Sam Brennan, the journal of Dr. Rufus Champ covering 1870-1874, and an Untitled Novel, discovered at West Point, author unknown.
Just as there are alternating viewpoints, there are multiple subplots – the violent confrontations between Native Americans, settlers and soldiers; acts of torture and brutality perpetrated by both sides; murder, suicide, and frontier justice; as well as the  hidden agendas, tested loyalties, and romantic relationships that threaten both friendships and military careers. At the heart of the the story, however, is the relationship between August Shiltz and Colonel Theodore McKenna.
Captured at age nine, August is adopted into the Comanche tribe as the son of a war chief and isn’t returned to white society until five years later. By this time he has accepted his new identity and lifestyle, but Colonel McKenna is determined to make him forget his former life as an Indian. He becomes a surrogate father to the boy and almost succeeds before fate intervenes. After another officer’s son bullies and even physically attacks August, he retaliates by killing his tormentor which leads McKenna to denounce August as a savage. The boy escapes and returns to the Comanche where he will become a warrior and enact his vengeance. The climactic ending plays out in the context of the Indian Wars.
As someone who has researched and written about this period in Texas history, I lobbied for the opportunity to read and review this book. I devoured it in a few nights, but confess to some trepidation writing this critique. Certainly the style is unique. It’s as if the reader is pouring through actual historical documents rather than reading a novel. Since each account is dissimilar in its presentation, the whole doesn’t come together until the very end.
Initially I found this style distracting, but credit Julia Robb with forging a detailed, historically accurate portrait of the Texas frontier, and a poignant tale of psychological trauma and self-discovery. 
Julia grew up on the lower Great Plains of Texas, eventually became a reporter, and lived in every corner of the Lone Star State, from the Rio Grande to the East Texas swamps. She couldn’t shake images and experiences and began writing them down.

A priest once disappeared on the Mexican border and that inspired parts of Saint of the Burning Heart. She discovered a hypnotic seducer, who she turned into Ray Cortez, the bad guy in Del Norte. Reading about child Comanche captives and their fates made her want to write about a cavalry colonel who attempts to heal a rescued boy, and that turned into The Captive Boy. Finally, what happens to a man who is in love with another man, in a time and place where the only answer is death? That became Scalp Mountain.
————————————-
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
Two Readers Each Win a Signed Copy

JUNE 19-28, 2018

(U.S. Only) 
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

6/19/18
Book Trailer
6/19/18
BONUS POST
6/20/18
Review
6/21/18
Author Interview
6/22/18
Guest Post
6/23/18
Review
6/24/18
Excerpt 1
6/25/18
Excerpt 2
6/26/18
Review
6/27/18
Top 8 List
6/28/18
Review
   blog tour services provided by