Low Water Crossing: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Scrapbook Page

 
 
 
LOW WATER CROSSING
Book Two of the Sulfur Gap Series
by
DANA GLOSSBRENNER
 
Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Saga 
Independently published
Date of Publication: July 19, 2020
Number of Pages: 476
 
  Scroll down for the giveaway!

 
Low Water Crossing is a tribute to those who endure heartache and nevertheless celebrate, to those who wait—and live full lives while waiting.

A backhoe unearths a human skeleton buried on Wayne Cheadham’s West Texas ranch. The investigation points a grisly finger at Wayne’s first wife. And so begins the wild ride through twenty-five years of love and heartbreak. 
 
Wayne’s a highly eligible bachelor who runs into trouble, first because he’s naïve, and next because, well, life is unpredictable. He’s a loveable guy with a peaceful outlook. Just about anyone wants the best for him, dang it. To cope with sadness, he arranges for an old steel-girded bridge to be placed in the dry pasture in front of his house. Says it helps him adjust his perspective. Others say it’s the world’s largest yard ornament. He takes in stray emus and abandoned horses and becomes a mentor to a loveable little boy without much family. He sits and ponders his plight at a low-water crossing over the creek.

A cast of characters from the fictional small West Texas town of Sulfur Gap
the staff of a high school burger shop hangout on the Interstate, coffee groups at the Navaho Café, hair stylists from the Wild Hare, a local sheriff and his deputies, and the band at the local honky-tonkknits together the community surrounding Wayne, and all bring their own quirks. People you’d find anywhere, some with thicker Texas twangs than others. 

The town, the ranch, and familiar Texas cities such as San Angelo, Abilene, and Austin provide a backdrop for universal themes of love, grief, and loyalty.
                          
CLICK TO PURCHASE
 
 
Dana Glossbrenner’s Inspiration Scrapbook for Low Water Crossing

My husband, Jim, took all these shots in the last fifteen years or so. Each photo has been tucked into my memory bank and provided ideas for the story.

  1.  My aunt’s ranch is the site of an abandoned gravel pit mound, sprouting weeds. Production stopped for reasons unknown to me, but at the time I thought, “What a cool plot if a human skeleton were unearthed at a gravel pit.” The image fits with Wayne’s lament: “No oil wells. No wind turbines. Is it too much to ask to have a gravel pit without a skeleton?”
  2. My rancher cousin really did salvage an old bridge that was replaced on a county road. It became Wayne’s “World’s Largest Yard Ornament.” Ugly, but sentimental. In the book, it’s spruced up.
  3. My sweet Aunt Barbara inspired the character Katy Cheadham. Her ranch dogs became Rufus and Redneck in Low Water Crossing.
  4. A rescue horse like the ones Wayne adopted.
  5. The best dog I’ve ever known was Blue. I used his personality for Flo.
  6. An ordinary sight, a windmill, became a special place in both The Lark and Low Water Crossing. Long-recognized icons, over 80,000 windmills operate in Texas. San Angelo hosts the only windmill manufacturer and parts supplier in the United States. Aermotor, a company over a hundred years old, made all the windmills, some still operating.
  7. Big Bend vista. We fudged the geography a bit and used the image on the cover of The Lark.
  8. I kept my eyes peeled forever and finally found a suitable low-water crossing to use on the cover of the book. A bit of geographical cheating went on here, too, as this crossing is up the road from Fort McKavett State Historic Site, east of the desert vibe of West Texas.

 
Dana Glossbrenner has lived in West Texas all her life. She is the author of Women Behind Stained Glass: West Texas Pioneers (non-fiction) and The Lark: Book 1 of the Sulfur Gap Series.
 
 
 
 
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TWO WINNERS: 1st winner gets signed copies of both books in the Sulfur Gap Series; 2nd winner gets a signed copy of Low Water Crossing. 
 October 6-16 , 2020
(U.S. Only)
 
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:
 

10/6/20

Review

Reading by Moonlight

10/7/20

Excerpt

Texas Book Lover

10/7/20

BONUS Post

Hall Ways Blog

10/8/20

Playlist

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

10/9/20

Review

Bibliotica

10/10/20

Deleted Scene

All the Ups and Downs

10/11/20

Author Interview

The Page Unbound

10/12/20

Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

10/13/20

Scrapbook Page

Max Knight

10/14/20

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

10/15/20

Review

The Clueless Gent

 
  
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The Edge of Belonging: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Excerpt

 
 
 
THE EDGE OF BELONGING
by AMANDA COX
 
Genre: Christian Contemporary Fiction 
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: September 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 400
Scroll down for the giveaway!
 
 
When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee her late grandmother’s estate sale, she soon discovers that the woman left behind more than trinkets and photo framesshe provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing. Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he’s ever loved. In this dual-timeline story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truthboth the search for it and the desire to keep it from otherstakes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.
 
 
 
 
 

Excerpt from The Edge of Belonging, Chapter One

by Amanda Cox

 

September 8, 1994

People considered him homeless because he didn’t have an address of his own, but Harvey James would’ve been home­less even if he owned the turreted mansion off State Route 460. To have a home, you’d have to feel as though you belonged. The edge of the highway was the closest he’d ever been.

Unending blasts of headlights and rushes of wind from passing cars on the bypass glanced off the brush he scoured for bits of other people’s lives. Things not missed. Some flung out of car windows in anger. Others, accidental losses from poorly secured luggage racks. He brushed his humidity-­damp mop back from his eyes, detaching the sprigs plastered to his forehead.

Straining to decipher shapes out of step with the wild tangle of weeds, Harvey walked the line—­the boundary between what the state groomed to maintain the road’s scenic status and the places left untouched and feral. He raised the flashlight he’d found last week. The beam cut through the descending darkness.

A suitcase lay on its side, scarred by road rash. He knelt and fumbled with the zipper. He groaned. More Hawaiian-­print shirts and swim trunks. It’d be nice if someone lost normal clothes for a change.

He grabbed the stack of shirts and three miniature bottles of hotel shampoo and crammed them into his bag.

A break in the swift-­moving traffic swathed the shoulder in an eerie silence. An odd sound reached his ears—­soft but jarring in its inconsistency with the road noise. Mewling. An abandoned kitten?

Harvey’s heart dropped three inches in his chest. In all his scavenging, nothing horrified him more than living things discarded.

He’d tried to keep an abandoned dog once. Poor old fella. Deaf and half blind he’d suspected. The dog didn’t last long. Highways were places for rush and madness. Not living things.

With a lingering sigh, he turned back toward his camp. It was an ugly truth, but the creature would be better off if he let nature take its course instead of nursing an animal along, only delaying the inevitable.

Three cars raced past, each vying to overtake the other. They torpedoed the silence with the harsh roar of their removed mufflers, sending a jolt down his spine.

As the sound trailed away, Harvey’s ears retained a ring. He massaged the hinge of his jaw to rub out the sound. The tiny cry sounded in the stillness. This time stronger, angry. Harvey froze.

Human.

Making a slow turn, Harvey raised his flashlight to scour the brush in search of the source.

Traffic resumed, and the rushes of wind threw sound. He opened his mouth to call out, to let the little thing know he was coming, but the ridiculousness of the impulse resealed his lips.

The flashlight in his trembling hand sent a jittering stream of light along the scrub. He walked on, straining his ears.

Finally, another break in traffic. In the silent interlude, the cry sounded, coming from deeper in the brush than he’d originally thought.

There. A trail tramped down where someone had gone before him. He slapped away the limbs hanging across his path, sweeping the flashlight from side to side. The pounding of his heart mirrored the urgency of the feeble wail.

Harvey stopped midstep. Five feet ahead, a bunch of fabric squirmed on the ground. He sucked in his breath and crept forward.

He knelt, and the undergrowth pricked his knees. A funny smell hung in the air, both sweet and sharp. Harvey laid the flashlight on the ground, aiming the light, then reached for a corner of the fabric to uncover this foreign being whose squall had receded to feeble grunts and whimpers.

He recoiled. The tiny thing with squinched-­tight eyes was covered in drying blood and a white cheesy substance. Taking the corner of the fabric, he wiped the baby’s face, crouching close as he inspected for injury. The baby stilled at his touch and gave a languid blink. Their gazes locked for a fleeting moment.

Everything faded. No sound of road noise. No buzz of mosquitos by his ear. A tiny fist raised. He brushed the baby’s palm, and it wound its pink fingers around Harvey’s thumb.

Warmth exploded in his chest, then traveled all the way through him. He swept the bundle into his arms and with a spare shirt rubbed until the child’s perfect pink skin was cleared of blood. An injury-free baby girl. Naked. Wrapped in a man’s flannel shirt.

Harvey stood and turned a slow circle, babe pressed close. Where had she come from? Who left her behind?

He undid the top two buttons of his large shirt and tucked the baby inside to share his heat. Would the wild pounding of his heart hurt her ears?

She had a full head of dark, downy hair. Now dried, it stood up in fuzzy curls that tickled his chest. He stroked her cheek, and she jerked her head toward his touch, searching. Faint grunts. She bobbed her open mouth against his skin. “Sorry, little one. I don’t have anything for you. Let’s get back to camp, and we’ll figure something out.” He had boxes of things stored for the day he found a use for them, but none contained bottles and infant formula.

Baby girl, finally convinced food wasn’t available, ceased her fretting, nuzzled, and fell asleep, lulled by the sway of his long stride. Harvey pressed his lips in a line.

Should he pack her in a basket and deposit her on the doorstep of a nice suburban home? A hospital? A shudder ran through him, and she squirmed against the movement. No. He wouldn’t leave her. He’d spent his own childhood tossed about at the whims of others, and he didn’t want that life for this little one, who was no more than a few hours old and had already been abandoned.

Please click here to continue reading chapter one from The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox.

 
 
Amanda Cox is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story. 
 
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology and a master’s degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers. 
 
Amanda lives in Tennessee with her husband and their three children.
 
 
 
 
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THREE WINNERS  1st: Copy of The Edge of Belonging + Fern Tote Bag  + $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card  2nd and 3rd: Copy of The Edge of Belonging + $10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card 
September 1-11, 2020
(U.S. Only)
 
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
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9/1/20
Author Interview
9/1/20
BONUS Promo
9/2/20
Excerpt
9/3/20
Review
9/4/20
Review
9/5/20
Playlist
9/6/20
Author Interview
9/7/20
Review
9/8/20
Top Five List
9/9/20
Review
9/9/20
BONUS Promo
9/10/20
Review
 
  
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Slanted Light: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Author Interview

SLANTED LIGHT
Jackson’s Pond Texas Series, Book 2
by
Teddy Jones
 
Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Saga / Western Women / Rural Fiction 
Publication Date: August 21, 2020
Number of Pages: 275
 
 Scroll down for the giveaway!
 

Teddy Jones’s earlier novel, Jackson’s Pond, Texas, began the saga of the Jackson family. Now, Slanted Light continues their tale. 

 
Claire Havlicek’s late night call brings her brother Chris Banks from his home in New Mexico back to the town that bears their family name, Jackson’s Pond. She’s collapsed under the weight of threats to her thirteen-year marriage that have undermined her confidence and her will. Her husband, J. D., responds to seduction by a woman in need; theft and the threat of a forced buyout jeopardize Claire’s two medical clinics; drought imperils their ranch and cattle business; a teenage daughter turns to bulimia. 
 
When Claire admits her limits, her grandmother, Willa Jackson, and the other members of her family help her learn that being human, weaknesses and all, can be a source of strength and joy.
 
 
 
 

Interview with Teddy Jones, author of Slanted Light

 What made you decide to write a sequel?

Many people who enjoyed Jackson’s Pond, Texas commented that they wondered what happened next. At first, I answered that I had no idea. But after some time, I realized I wondered that, too.

What if? That’s the fiction writer’s most important question and a prime motivator for me. So, I began making notes, thinking about Willa Jackson, who was the focal character in Jackson’s Pond, Texas; about her daughter, Melanie; and about Claire, wondering what happened next in their lives. Of course, it wasn’t possible to think about those women without asking the same question about other family members. The only way to know what happened to that family, it seemed, was to write. As I wrote, the things that happened, the possibilities that events created, came to me almost faster than I could get them on paper.

I was never stuck without something to write about next; there was so much the characters “told me” that I had to begin keeping up with events and people on a story board of sorts. In the more typical sense of that term, the story board is a planning aid, a graphic organizer for planning a story. But my organizer was not a plan but a way for me to keep track of what was happening with the members of Willa’s family—not an outline, but a map of discovery.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The hardest part of writing Slanted Light was overcoming my tendency to make the characters’ lives easy, happy, having everyone get along. One of my mentors pointed to that tendency in my writing early on. He said, “You love your characters and want their lives to be happy. But lives that are constantly happy don’t make good fiction.” I took that guidance to heart. My stories have conflict and tough situations and even some peril and death. But it’s not easy for me to do that to the characters I’ve come to know.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed a great deal of the background research for Slanted Light, and the process of seeing the whole come together from the parts is always invigorating. But to choose one thing I enjoyed most in writing Slanted Light, I would say it was seeing Claire develop as a professional and as a woman who, at thirty-four, has accomplished a great deal; watching her cope with the conflicts she encounters; and seeing her, with the help of her family, grow as a person. I admit it—I want her and her family to be happy.

Do you have a mantra for writing and/or life?

I do. Thanks for asking. It is this: Every day, the two most important things are to learn something and to do some good for others.

Teddy Jones is the author of three other published novels, Halfwide, Jackson’s Pond, Texas, and Well Tended, as well as a collection of short stories, Nowhere Near. Her short fiction received the Gold Medal First Prize in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition in 2015. Jackson’s Pond, Texas was a finalist for the 2014 Willa Award in contemporary fiction from Women Writing the West. Her as-yet-unpublished novel, Making It Home, was a finalist in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition in 2017 and “A Good Family” was named a finalist in that contest in 2018.
 
Jones grew up in Iowas Park, a small Texas town. She has worked as a nurse, a nurse educator, a nursing-college administrator, and as a nurse practitioner in Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico. For the past twenty years, she and her husband have lived in the rural West Texas Panhandle, where he farms and she writes.
———————————
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THREE WINNERS!  First Winner Signed copies of both Jackson’s Pond, Texas Series books + $25 Amazon gift card Second and Third Winners Signed copy of Slanted Light 
AUGUST 25-SEPTEMBER 4, 2020 
(US ONLY)
 
 
CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE 
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, 
or visit the blogs directly:

8/25/20
Sneak Peek
8/25/20
Book Trailer
8/26/20
Review
8/26/20
Bonus Post
8/27/20
Author Interview
8/28/20
Review
8/29/20
Excerpt
8/30/20
Guest Post
8/31/20
Review
9/1/20
Top Five List
9/2/20
Review
9/3/20
Review
 
 
 
 
 
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Airborne: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Author Video

AIRBORNE

by
DiANN MILLS

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense 
Date of Publication: September 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 400
Scroll down for the giveaway!

Heather Lawrence’s long-awaited vacation to Salzburg wasn’t supposed to go like this. Mere hours into the transatlantic flight, the Houston FBI agent is awakened when passengers begin exhibiting horrific symptoms of an unknown infection. As the virus quickly spreads and dozens of passengers fall ill, Heather fears she’s witnessing an epidemic similar to ones her estranged husband studies for a living—but this airborne contagion may have been deliberately released.

While Heather remains quarantined with other survivors, she works with her FBI colleagues to identify the person behind this attack. The prime suspect? Dr. Chad Lawrence, an expert in his field … and Heather’s husband. The Lawrences’ marriage has been on the rocks since Chad announced his career took precedence over his wife and future family and moved out.


As more victims fall prey days after the initial outbreak, time’s running out to hunt down the killer, one who may be closer to the victims than anyone ever expected.

===
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
The story line for Airborne came to me three and a half years ago. All I had was a what-if: A virus unleashed on an international flight.

The search to find experts who were willing to give me accurate information took another year. Along the way, God placed the right people in my path: a woman and new friend whose doctorate is in microbiology and immunology, a man who trains flight attendants for the airline that I envisioned in my story, a pilot who not only flies for my designated airline but is also a suspense and thriller writer, the amazing people and resources of the CDC, and the wisdom and guidance of the FBI.

Tyndale House Publishers saw my passion for Airborne. This book was completed and edited before COVID-19 spread across our globe. My mission then and now is to show a story that weaves hope, reality, and the sacrificial work of first responders when a deadly virus spreads through innocent people.

My prayer is people will experience God’s presence during our current global crisis. Will you join me in that prayer?

 

DiAnn Mills, author of Airborne, shares answers to

frequently asked questions from readers.

 

 

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; director, alongside Edie Melson, of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and Mountainside Retreats; and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers.

DiAnn is passionate about helping other writers be successful and speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston. DiAnn is very active online and loves to connect with readers on social media and at diannmills.com

Blog PostsFacebookInstagramYoutube
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Each gets a signed, personalized hardcover edition of Airborne
choice of either $25 Amazon or $25 Barnes and Noble e-Gift Card
August 18-28, 2020
(U.S. Only)
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 

 

Or, visit the blogs directly:

8/18/20
Book Trailer
8/18/20
Review
8/19/20
Author Video
8/19/20
BONUS Post
8/20/20
Guest Post
8/20/20
Review
8/21/20
Review
8/22/20
Excerpt
8/23/20
Excerpt
8/24/20
Scrapbook
8/24/20
Review
8/25/20
Character Interview
8/26/20
Review
8/26/20
Author Video
8/27/20
Review
8/27/20
Review
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The Black Midnight: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Guest Post

THE BLACK MIDNIGHT
by
Kathleen Y’Barbo

Genre: Fiction / Historical Mystery / True Crime 
Publisher: Barbour Books
Publication Date: August 1, 2020
Number of Pages: 257
 Scroll down for the giveaway!

Two killers, two detectives, and a menace called The Black Midnight may be the death of both of them.
Three years before Jack the Ripper began his murderous spree on the streets of London, a killer struck fear into the hearts of the citizens of Austin, Texas. Some believe one man is responsible for both, while others lay the blame at the feet of someone close to the queen herself. With suspicion falling on Her Majesty’s family and Scotland Yard at a loss as to who the Ripper might be, Queen Victoria summons her great-granddaughter, Alice Anne von Wettin, a former Pinkerton agent who worked the unsolved Austin murders case, and orders her to discreetly form a team to look into the London matter. One man is essential to her team, and she doesn’t want to consider taking on this challenge without his expertise. Unfortunately, he’s back in Texas, with a bad attitude and a new profession. 

The prospect of a second chance at catching the man who terrorized Austin three years ago just might entice Isaiah Joplin out of his comfortable life as an Austin lawyer, even if it does mean working with the Queen’s great-granddaughter again. If his theories are right, they’ll find the Midnight Assassin and, by default, the Ripper. If they’re wrong, he and Annie are in a bigger mess than the one the lady detective left behind when she departed Austin under cover of darkness three years ago. 
 
Can the unlikely pair find the truth of who is behind the murders before they are drawn into the killer’s deadly game? From Texas to London, the story navigates the fine line between truth and fiction as Annie and Isaiah ultimately find the hunters have become the hunted.

PRAISE for The Black Midnight:
“Warning! Don’t read this historical romantic suspense at night!” DiAnn Mills, Expect an Adventure 
 
“Impeccably researched with sparkling dialogue and riveting history, Kathleen Y’Barbo’s The Black Midnight puts a pair of star-crossed Pinkerton detectives on the trail of a Texas killer who may also be the notorious Jack the Ripper. Very highly recommended and sure to keep you reading well past your bedtime!!” Colleen Thompson, RITA-nominated author of Deadly Texas Summer 
 
“You’re in for a wild ride as Kathleen Y’Barbo takes you on a story through some of America and Britain’s grisliest murders and somehow manages to weave in a delicious romance. From Texas to London, the ties that bind may be more linked than you previously believed. Settle in for a novel of suspense and romancejust be sure to look over your shoulder every now and then!” Jaime Jo Wright, 2018 Christy Award-winning author of The House on Foster Hill and 2020 Inspy Award-nominated The Curse of Misty Wayfair
 
 
CLICK TO PURCHASE:
 

 

GuestPost

The London-Austin Connections

Guest Post by Kathleen Y’Barbo,
author of The Black Midnight

I am a tenth-generation Texan, but London has held a place in my heart for over ten years. You see, I have a son who has lived there for more than a decade. Thanks to him and his family of three—my granddaughter was born there on New Year’s Eve 2019—the city will always be special to me.

The Black Midnight Image001There is absolutely nothing like walking those streets, with a thousand years of history close enough to touch. It was on a walk with my son through this great city that the stories of nineteenth-century London came alive.

With fog shrouding the rooftops of buildings that were hundreds of years old, and our footsteps echoing on the cobblestones, I could imagine a time when lack of electricity and CCTV would make this place less than charming on a dark night—less than safe. What reminded me of my favorite childhood movie, Mary Poppins, quickly became more reminiscent of Jack the Ripper. And then a story was born.

Only I just had half the story.

The other half came to me several years later when I stumbled across an article, in Texas Monthly magazine, about a serial killer who rampaged through Austin, Texas, in 1884 and 1885 and was never caught. Some surmised this madman, called “The Midnight Assassin” by some, might have been Jack the Ripper, honing his skills before he crossed the Atlantic to begin his famous crime spree in Great Britain.

But Austin?

The Black Midnight Image002Ironically, my other two sons lived in Austin. So while part of my heart was in London, two more parts of that same heart resided in the Texas capital. I thought I knew Austin inside out. Between one of my sons getting not one but two degrees from the University of Texas (This Aggie grad is still proud of him, in spite of what I jokingly call his “burnt orange rebellion.”), and my other son living there and managing a restaurant at the time (And who just graduated from Texas A&M Galveston in May!), I had spent many years in the city. And yet I had never heard of the Midnight Assassin.

Research turned up a tale that sounds so close to fiction I had to write about it. Discovering the theory that the Austin killer might also be the Ripper just added to my interest—neither had been caught. And I like to write about Pinkerton detectives.

From there the story unfolded. If you’ve read any of my historical romances, you know that I love incorporating actual history into my stories. As you’ll see when you read The Black Midnight, this book is no exception. While I will continue writing the historical romances I love to bring to you, I will confess that writing this book has me itching to research another one like it.

What’s next in my foray into true-crime novels? Maybe Houston. You see, I have a daughter who lives there . . .

In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy reading The Black Midnight as much as I enjoyed writing it!

 

Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and author of more than eighty books, with almost two million in print. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and several Top Picks by Romantic Times magazine.

Kathleen celebrated her fifteenth year as a published author by receiving the Romantic Times Inspirational Romance Book of the Year Award for Sadie’s Secret, a Secret Lives of Will Tucker novel. Her novels celebrate life, love, and the Lord—and whenever she can manage it, her home state of Texas. Recent releases include The Pirate Bride, River of Life, and My Heart Belongs in Galveston, Texas.


 
  Website Bookbub  Facebook Instagram ║ Amazon  Goodreads
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One Winner: Signed copy of The Black Midnight + $20 Amazon gift card
Four Winners: Signed copy of The Black Midnight
AUGUST 6-16, 2020
(US ONLY)
 
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, 
or visit the blogs directly:

8/6/20
Notable Quotable
8/6/20
BONUS Post
8/7/20
Author Interview
8/8/20
Review
8/9/20
Excerpt
8/10/20
Excerpt
8/11/20
Review
8/12/20
Guest Post
8/13/20
Review
8/14/20
Author Interview
8/15/20
Review
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Enemies of Doves: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Review

ENEMIES OF DOVES
by
Shanessa Gluhm

Genre: Historical Fiction / Mystery
Publisher: TouchPoint Press
Publication Date: March 20, 2020
Number of Pages: 324 pages

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Told in alternating timelines from World War II to 1992, debut author Shanessa Gluhm’s Enemies of Doves is a tale of family secrets, jealousy, and deception perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Katherine Webb.

On a summer night in 1932, twelve-year-old Joel Fitchett wanders into an East Texas diner badly beaten and carrying his unconscious brother, Clancy. Though both boys claim they have no memory of what happened, the horrific details are etched into their minds as deep as the scar left across Joel’s face.

Thirteen years later, both men still struggle with the aftershocks of that long-ago night and the pact they made to hide the truth. When they find themselves at the center of a murder investigation, they make a decision that will change everything. A second lie, a second pact, and, for a time, a second chance. In 1991 college student Garrison Stark travels to Texas chasing a rumor that Clancy Fitchett is his biological grandfather. Clancy has been missing since 1946, and Garrison hopes to find him and, in doing so, find a family. What he doesn’t expect to discover is a tangle of secrets spanning sixty years involving Clancy, Joel, and the woman they both loved, Lorraine.


PRAISE for Enemies of Doves:
Enemies of Doves weaves a timeline of events that makes for compelling reading. It’s an ecological system of interlocking decisions, discoveries, and circumstances that spans some sixty years of love, danger, and revelations.” —D. Donovan, senior reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“I’ve read some amazing thriller and suspense stories this year, but Enemies of Doves takes the mid-year prize. I’m not one for dual timelines, but this one was perfection with the fifty-year time-span moving forward in tandem. Garrison’s search will cause time to collide, unlocking a lifetime of secrets, and THE PLOT TWIST OF 2020!” —author Felicia Denise

“Shanessa Gluhm is a brilliant writer. I very seldom read a book that I cannot figure out how it will end, but this one literally blew me away!” —Lori Thomas Harrington, author of The Point

 
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Review
Four Stars

That night brought more memories. And if memories weren’t enough, in came the ghosts.

It isn’t often that a mystery can keep readers guessing until its conclusion but Enemies of Doves, the debut novel by author Shanessa Gluhm, not only maintains the suspense but does so with intersecting narratives and timelines, unexpected twists and turns, and a well concealed ending.

The tangled web of family secrets and lies plays out over the span of fifty years. At the core of the story is the bond between two brothers, Joel and Clancy Fitchett, whose suppressed memory of a violent act has left both of them emotionally scarred and one with a physical reminder of the incident. Their relationship is complex, with feelings of resentment, anger, jealousy, regret, and self-sacrifice affecting how they perceive and interact with one another. The two brothers struggle to not only maintain their pact of secrecy about the incident but their need for love, acceptance, and belonging. Complicating matters is their attraction to the same woman, Lorraine Applewhite, and the murder of their domineering and abusive father. Tom Fitchett’s murder will lead to  Joel’s imprisonment and the disappearance of Clancy and Lorraine.

Fast forward fifty years later. College student Garrison Stark experiences the painful loss of family when a terrible car accident claims the lives of his parents and his grandmother succumbs to the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. Before she passes away, however, she intimates that Clancy is his true biological grandfather. Longing for family, Garrison sets out to find him.

His search for the truth begins in the library archives where he is introduced to Molly Hamilton, another college student whose course curriculum has her researching the Fitchett murder. She is convinced that Joel is innocent of the crime. Due to their mutual interest in Joel and Clancy, the two agree to help one another.

To find Clancy Garrison will also interview Joel in prison. The initial meeting doesn’t end well, but Joel is just as interested in locating Lorraine as Garrison is in finding his brother, which leads to more meetings between the two and the disclosure that  someone has been putting money into Joel’s prison account over the years, and he is convinced that it is her.

Garrison’s obsession with unraveling the case and possibly locating the only remaining member of his family will destroy his engagement to his girlfriend Amber, ignite romantic feelings for Molly, and uncover hidden identities and familial relationships, the revelation of which could threaten her. Molly has no inkling of her linkage to the case beyond her academic pursuits and desire to free an innocent man, or the evil that exists within her own family.

Author Shanessa Gluhm, in her very first outing as a novelist, has written a multi-layered narrative of unrequited love, child abuse, dementia, murder, PTSD, secrets, lies, and regrets. Enemies of Doves not only seamlessly weaves all these elements together, but engages you from the very beginning, doesn’t come full circle until the very end, and leaves you thinking about it long after its completion.

I received an advanced copy of Enemies of Doves in exchange for my review.

 

Shanessa Gluhm works as a librarian at an elementary school in New Mexico, where she lives with her husband and children. It was during her own elementary days when a teacher encouraged Shanessa to write and share stories with the class. She hasn’t stopped writing since. Enemies of Doves is her debut novel. 

 

 

 

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8/3/20
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8/4/20
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ldren. It was during her own elementary days when a teacher encouraged Shanessa to write and share stories with the class. She hasn’t stopped writing since. Enemies of Doves is her debut novel. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Republic of Jack: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Author Interview

THE REPUBLIC OF JACK
by

Jeffrey Kerr

Political Satire / Texas Humor / Texas Fiction

Publisher: Independently published
Date of Publication: April 7, 2020
Number of Pages: 253

Scroll down for the giveaway!
 

 

Jack Cowherd will do anything to win the Texas governorship, even flirt with twenty-first-century secessionists in the Texas Patriot Party. Victory is achieved, but only at the cost of Texas being tossed out of the United States. The Republic of Texas lives again! And Jack is president. 
Friend and political advisor Tasha Longoria has long warned Jack of the dangers of his demagoguery. Now when he tries to halt the madness, the worst comes to pass: he is impeached, arrested, and charged with treason, the penalty for which is death.
 
Jack has but one chance to save his beloved Texas, not to mention his life. But success depends upon help from the one person least likely to give it . . . Tasha.


PRAISE for The Republic of Jack:

“Jeff Kerr’s Republic of Jack is a ribald, raucous farce of Texas politics that often exposes the self-serving cynicism boiling beneath the surface of public debate.”

—Texas political reporter R.G. Ratcliffe 


“Jeffrey Kerr’s ideal Texas politician—a man truly for these bitter times—bites off more than any enabler could ever chew in this romp of a new novel, The Republic of Jack! It’s time for readers to discover this writer’s range, intelligence, humor, and, ultimately, compassion. Or maybe you should just go and see his movie or read his catalog of nonfiction titles! In any case, it’s Jeff Kerr’s time.”

David Marion Wilkinson, author of Not Between Brothers and co-author of One Ranger
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AuthorInterview

Interview with Jeffrey Kerr

How has Texas—or being a Texan—influenced your writing?

My nonfiction books are about Texas because, living in Austin, I have ready access to Texas historical archives. My two novels are set in Texas and about Texans because, having lived here most of my life, I know and love the state and its people as well as anyone.

Where did your love of books and reading come from?

My parents. Dad never went anywhere without a book, while one of Mom’s favorite sayings is, “If you can read, you’ll never be bored.”

How long have you been writing?

I published my first book in 2004 and have been writing ever since.

What kinds of writing do you do?

My published works include nonfiction, historical fiction, and a satirical novel. At one time I kept a blog on my website, to which I posted regular history columns. I’ve also co-written the screenplay for a feature film and the narration for a documentary.

 Why did you decide to self-publish?

I had an agent represent this book to numerous publishers. Several expressed admiration for the work but ultimately passed. I finally self-published because I’m as proud of this novel as anything I’ve written and believe there is a readership out there for it.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

As I wrote I imagined certain famous actors playing my characters. I found it quite entertaining to “hear” these actors running through the dialog I was writing.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I roam all over the literary landscape when choosing what to read, but I am particularly partial to historical fiction, crime novels, suspense novels, and well-written histories.

Who would you cast to play your characters in a movie version of your book?

Jack Cowherd – Chris Pratt

Nadine Cowherd – Anna Kendrick

Tasha Longoria – Tina Fey

Fred Halsey – As I wrote I imagined the late Rip Torn as Fred, but Jack Black would also be great.

Charlie Clutterbuck – Will Ferrell

How important are names to you in your books? How do you choose names?

Names are extremely important. They must be distinctive but feasible. For The Republic of Jack I also wanted them to convey a sense of Texas.

 

 

Jeffrey Kerr is the author of three nonfiction books on Texas history, a historical novel, and, most recently, The Republic of Jack, a satirical novel that imagines Texas as an independent country in the twenty-first century. His history of Austin’s founding, Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas, was named one of sixty essential books about Texas by Michael Barnes of the Austin American-Statesman. Kerr also co-wrote and co-produced the documentary film, The Last of the Moonlight Towers, and a feature film, the psychological thriller Writer’s Block. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and two dogs.

 

 

Website ║ Facebook  ║ Twitter  Instagram

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All Things Left Wild: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Review

ALL THINGS LEFT WILD
by
James Wade

Genre: Adventure / Rural Fiction / Coming of Age
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Number of Pages: 304 pages

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After an attempted horse theft goes tragically wrong, sixteen-year-old Caleb Bentley is on the run with his mean-spirited older brother across the American Southwest at the turn of the twentieth century. Caleb’s moral compass and inner courage will be tested as they travel the harsh terrain and encounter those who have carved out a life there, for good or ill. 

Wealthy and bookish Randall Dawson, out of place in this rugged and violent country, is begrudgingly chasing after the Bentley brothers. With little sense of how to survive, much less how to take his revenge, Randall meets Charlotte, a woman experienced in the deadly ways of life in the West. Together they navigate the murky values of vigilante justice.


Powerful and atmospheric, lyrical and fast-paced, All Things Left Wild is a coming-of-age for one man, a midlife odyssey for the other, and an illustration of the violence and corruption prevalent in our fast-expanding country. It artfully sketches the magnificence of the American West as mirrored in the human soul.

PRAISE for All Things Left Wild:
“A debut full of atmosphere and awe. Wade gives emotional depth to his dust-covered characters and creates an image of the American West that is harsh and unforgiving, but — like All Things Left Wild — not without hope.” — Texas Literary Hall of Fame member Sarah Bird, Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen

“James Wade has delivered a McCarthy-esque odyssey with an Elmore Leonard ear for dialogue. All Things Left Wild moves like a coyote across this cracked-earth landscape—relentlessly paced and ambitiously hungry.” — Edgar Award finalist David Joy, When These Mountains Burn

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Review
Five-Stars
     
     All Things Left Wild is a remarkable debut novel by a very gifted author. Written in a style reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy, it deals with issues of life and death in a world where people endure rather than prevail, where morality doesn’t exist, and where violent acts are so horrific that innocence is forever lost and salvation beyond reach.
     The story is set in Arizona, New Mexico, and on both sides of the Rio Grande in Mexico and Texas. It is a vast, rugged, treacherous, yet sublimely beautiful landscape. James Wade writes for visual impact and his descriptions of this part of the world conjure indelible breathtaking images of a pristine unchanging land corrupted only by the lawlessness and cruelty of man.
     There are but two natures, one is man’s – human nature – and the other is nature itself from which we have separated ourselves.
     Caleb Bentley and Randal Dawson are the two main characters in this exploration of men’s souls. Both are tragically linked by the death of Dawson’s twelve year old son. In a botched horse theft, Caleb accidentally kills the boy and now desperately seeks forgiveness and redemption as he flees across the American Southwest. If he can escape, he hopes to… never give another thought to all these things left wild.
     Randall is in pursuit, out for vengeance to somehow prove his manhood, but ill-prepared for the journey over unforgiving terrain or the lawlessness and violence that he encounters along the way that will change him into that which he loathes.
     He would become all things that he hated and thus grow to hate himself, and in that hate he would find the only solace left to him. He would let it fester and rot until every trace of his humanity became consumed by blackness. If the world was full of monsters, he would
become one.
     James Wade’s personal and direct style of writing, his passionate voice, elaborate dialogue, poetic language, and unapologetic graphic depictions of pure evil are hypnotic. There are passages with so much lyricism in them that I found myself reading and re-reading them over and over again.
     The novel doesn’t neatly fit into any particular genre or category. Though it takes place in the west, it is not your typical western. Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution, it is not your usual action-adventure. Describing the loss of innocence, it is not your normal coming of age book. It is at once a beautiful elegy to the land and a profound look into our existence and our mortality.
     The world is of itself and nothing else, and it will be as it is and as it always was. There is no changing for the world, only for the man.
     Deeply fatalistic; evil is an inexplicable reality and death is inescapable, All Things Left Wild belongs in a category all to itself. In a word, it is extraordinary!
     I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my review.

 

James Wade lives and writes in Austin, Texas, with his wife and daughter. He has had twenty short stories published in various literary magazines and journals. He is the winner of the Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest and a finalist of the Tethered by Letters Short Fiction Contest. All Things Left Wild is his debut novel.
  Website ║ Facebook Blog 
 Instagram ║  YouTube ║ Goodreads 




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6/18/20
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6/19/20
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6/21/20
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6/22/20
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6/23/20
Review
6/23/20
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6/24/20
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6/25/20
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6/26/20
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6/27/20
Review
6/27/20
Review
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The First Emma: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Author Video

THE FIRST EMMA
by
Camille Di Maio

Historical Fiction / Historical Romance / Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing
Date of Publication: May 5, 2020
Number of Pages: 315

Scroll down for the giveaway!
 

 

The First Emma is the true story of Emma Koehler. Whose tycoon husband Otto was killed in a crime-of-the-century murder by one of his two mistresses – both also named Emma – and her unlikely rise as CEO of a brewing empire during Prohibition. When a chance to tell her story to a young teetotaler arises, a tale unfolds of love, war, beer, and the power of women.

 

PRAISE for The First Emma

“Di Maio’s take on a shocking American drama pleasantly blends romantic and historical fiction . . . a sweet memorialization of a real-life female business pioneer in San Antonio.” —Kirkus

“A beautifully crafted portrait of an intriguing woman. Mystery and romance are set against the backdrop of fascinating pieces of twentieth-century history, and a richly drawn setting leaves the reader feeling wholly immersed. Historical fiction fans will love this one!” —Chanel Cleeton, NYT bestselling author of Next Year in Havana


“Di Maio does a brilliant job of weaving together all the threads—from past to present—while unearthing a tale of blossoming love, the power of our chosen family, and the losses that make us whole again.” —Rochelle B. Weinstein, USA Today bestselling author of This Is Not How It Ends

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Author Video

Camille Di Maio, author of bestselling historical fiction, loves to illuminate the stories of women from the past. From the challenges they overcome to the loves they embrace, her characters – both real and fictional – have something to teach us in the present.

Join Camille as she introduces her books and invites her readers to keep in touch.

The First Emma

CLICK TO VIEW VIDEO:

Camille Di Maio always dreamed of being a writer, though she took a winding path of waitressing, temping, politicking, and real estate to get there. It all came to fruition with the publication of her bestselling debut, The Memory of Us, followed by Before the Rain Falls, The Way of Beauty, and The Beautiful Strangers. In addition to writing, she loves farmers’ markets, unashamedly belts out Broadway tunes when the mood strikes, and regularly faces her fear of flying to indulge her passion for travel. Married for twenty-three years, she home-schools their four children. (Though the first two are off at college now!) She is happy to live in Virginia near a beach. 
 

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5/27/20
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Covey and Jay Jay Get Educated: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Promo

COVEY AND JAYJAY
GET EDUCATED
Audio Book Tour
By Shelton L. Williams
Narrated by Kathy James
Covey Jencks Mysteries, Book 2
Genre: Murder Mystery / Social Thriller / Amateur Sleuth
Publisher: Audible
Length: 5 hours, 40 minutes
Publication Date: March 18, 2020

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Amateur detectives Covey Jencks and JayJay Qualls are drawn into a triple murder on the campus of Baker College in West Waverly in the Texas Hill Country. Both end up taking positions at the college: Covey as an adjunct instructor and JayJay as a visiting actor. 

 

Initially they believe that money is the motive for the murders, but over time they learn that the college is a cauldron of political and social intrigue. The college’s new president and his beautiful wife, various staff members, a prominent trustee, and parties not associated with the college have the motives, opportunities, and wacky agendas that might implicate them in the murders. It turns out that a white nationalist group may be using a college house for its nefarious activities, but are they more talk than action? 
 
The West Waverly police are little to no help in the investigation, and Covey himself has to depart the college to deal with his father’s death. JayJay takes over and makes a critical breakthrough. Upon Covey’s return, the couple must rely on deception, a bit of luck, and martial arts skills to solve the crimes and to try to prevent a high-profile assassination.

Shelton L. Williams (Shelly) is founder and president of the Osgood Center for International Studies in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and he taught for nearly forty years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He has served in the US Government on four occasions, and he has written books and articles on nuclear proliferation. In 2004 he began a new career of writing books on crime and society. Those books are Washed in the Blood, Summer of 66, and now the Covey Jencks series. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.

 

Kathy James. My first part time job while I was in high school was announcing at the local radio station, and I had fun being “on the air” and using my sarcastic sense of humor.  I worked in the radio business for more than twenty years. My favorite pastimes are teaching figure skating, getting lost in a great book, and watching movies.  I narrate and produce audio books in my home studio, and I truly enjoy bringing an author’s characters to life with an audio book. I currently reside in Minnesota with my slightly overweight cat and two childlike golden retrievers.  


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FIRST PRIZE: Audio books of Covey Jencks, Covey and JayJay Get Educated, and Washed In the Blood
SECOND PRIZE: Both Covey Jencks books in Kindle editions
THIRD PRIZE: Covey and JayJay Get Educated in Kindle edition
MAY 7-16, 2020
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