Destiny’s Way: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Guest Post

DESTINY’S WAY
A Novel of the Big Bend
by
Ben H. English
Historical Fiction / Suspense
Publisher: Creative Texts Publishers
Date of Publication: January 18, 2020
Number of Pages: 363
 

Kate Blanchard woke up one morning in a dream home she could no longer afford, with a young son who needed a man’s influence, and not a friend among those who had claimed to be prior to her husband’s mysterious disappearance.

About all she had left was a ramshackle ranch along Terlingua Creek, sitting forlornly in the desolate reaches of the lower Big Bend. It was the only place left she could go. There she finds a home and a presence of something strange yet comforting that she can’t put her finger on or fully understand.

With that ethereal presence comes Solomon Zacatecas, a loner with his own past and a knowledge of her land near uncanny in nature. He helps her when no one else can and is honest when no one else will be, but she suspicions that he is not always completely so.

Yet her quiet, unassuming neighbor proves to be more than capable in whatever situation arises. That includes when standing alone against those who would take everything else that Kate had, including her life as well as her son’s.



PRAISE FOR DESTINY’S WAY:

“This is one of those rare books that you simply can’t put down. Ben English ‘s writing style is pure magic. He really brings this historical fiction book to life. Immediately, you are drawn to the main characters Kate and Solomon and feel as though you are right there next to them, experiencing what they are experiencing. Destiny’s Way is one that would do well on the Silver Screen.”
Catherine Eaves, published author“Ben does a superb job with this book! Excellent characters, true-to-life environment that is part and parcel of the story, twists and turns enough to make you wonder what is going on, and a slice of life down in Big Bend that rings true. That area has historically been full of ‘characters’ throughout its history, and Ben brings those characters into the book, raising the hair on the back of your neck. Highly recommended!”
J. L. Curtis, author of the Grey Man series“Ben, I love how your words and your memories reach out and connect the past with the present and touch so many people along the way. You are the connector! Bravo Zulu, my friend.”
Matt Walter, Museum of the Big Bend Curator

 

CLICK TO ORDER ON:
 Amazon  ┃  Barnes & Noble  
 Books-A-Million  ┃  IndieBound  ┃ Bookshop 
FOR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY: 
 ┃ Front Street Books ┃

GuestPost

Dreamers and Castaways of the Big Bend

Guest Post by Ben English

image001

“Surrounded by the northern reaches of the Chihuahuan Desert, it also marked the end of the line for the ancient, crumbling remains of the Ouachitas. Even mountains die, given enough time, and the Ouachitas were slowly dissolving away, decaying relics mastered by other ranges that rose up and reached for the heavens hundreds of millions of years later.

This collision with far younger mountains, as well as those of the Sierra Madre Oriental from Old Mexico, made for geological strata and anomalies not found anywhere else on the North American continent. They say that when God finished making the world, He took everything left over and deposited it in the Big Bend. When one took inventory of what was there, that whimsical adage took on a dimensionally larger meaning. For here lay mysteries upon mysteries compounded by time, nature, and human imagination.

Different? Yes, almost in a forbidding way. But this sphinxlike, timeworn place had called out to her with the bewitching song of a desert siren. At first, she had very much been a stranger in a strange land. But here she had stayed and found a temporary home, providing solace for broken dreams and near-broken hearts.”

These are the lines that help introduce the main female character in Destiny’s Way. Kate is a strong-willed woman who has faced a great deal of tragedy and disappointment in her life and coming to the lower Big Bend was her instinct when the world seemed set against her. Or worse, could have cared less.

This country can mend a heart or just as easily break one, some would say the latter comes easier. I have seen it go both ways repeatedly, and often a person has no real idea of their fate until the moment they see sunshine or shipwreck.

It is the land of broken dreams, dotted by the remnants of those dreams going back through the centuries.

And those desert sirens keep singing out, bringing both hope and doom to the castaway dreamers who seek them.

My beautiful picture

“The more she went, the more that ranch and the old headquarters pulled at her heart and spoke to her innermost soul. The thick, stucco-covered adobe walls had seen a lot of days under the West Texas sky. They had sheltered past occupants from the blistering heat of summer, the cold winds of winter, and everything else in between. Now they protected Kate from the increasingly topsy-turvy world outside and gave respite to her loneliness and growing uncertainty.

The discolored tin roof covering those thick walls had done the same. It not only served to shield from the sun but also collected rainwater to supply the cistern out back. The dog-run, now screened in, provided a place for rest when the house itself was too warm for comfort. It was situated to catch the slightest summer breeze, and the wide porches with morning glories spiraling up goat-proof fencing further cooled the desert drafts.”

This excerpt is part of a discourse about an old adobe house that figures prominently in the plot for Destiny’s Way. People have started asking me about that place after reading the book, wanting to know more about it. Like most every other structure or terrain feature mentioned it exists even today, though in a substantially different form.

The photograph was taken by my mother circa 1967, my younger brother Lyndon and I are sitting on a couple of half-broke horses our grandfather gave us. Note the hackamores and the old Texas-style saddles that make up our gear.

This original headquarters, much like the ethereal presences that make up part of the novel, figures large into the background of both photograph and story. We lived in that house when we first came to the ranch and I got to know it well. Many of the incidents involving this place as described in the book actually occurred.

And yes, my entire family considered the house haunted, and for good reason. Yet like the presence described in Destiny’s Way, we also knew it never meant us any real harm.

Destiny’s Way is a work of fiction, but there are many past remembrances captured within its pages.

Ben H. English is an eighth-generation Texan who grew up in the Big Bend. At seventeen he joined the Marines, ultimately becoming a chief scout-sniper as well as a platoon sergeant. Later he worked counterintelligence and traveled to over thirty countries. 
 
At Angelo State University he graduated Magna Cum Laude along with other honors. Afterwards Ben had a career in the Texas Highway Patrol, holding several instructor billets involving firearms, driving, and defensive tactics.
 
His intimate knowledge of what he writes about lends credence and authenticity to his work. Ben knows how it feels to get hit and hit back, or being thirsty, cold, wet, hungry, alone, or exhausted beyond imagination. Finally, he knows of not only being the hunter but also the hunted.
 
Ben and his wife have two sons who both graduated from Annapolis. He still likes nothing better than grabbing a pack and some canteens and heading out to where few others venture.

 ║Website ║ Facebook ║ 

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

4/2/20
Guest Post
4/2/20
BONUS Post
4/3/20
Review
4/4/20
Excerpt
4/5/20
Top 15 List
4/6/20
Review
4/7/20
Playlist
The Page Unbound
4/8/20
Review
4/9/20
Author Interview
4/10/20
Review
4/11/20
Review
   blog tour services provided by
  

 

Iberian Ties: Lone Star Book Blog Tour Guest Post

IBERIAN TIES
by
Quintin Vargas


Genre: Crime Fiction / Mystery / Suspense
International Thriller 

Publisher: Vanguard Publishers
Date of Publication: May 13, 2019
Number of Pages: 405
Scroll down for giveaway!

Without a motive, how do you catch a killer? A gripping thriller in the vein of Harlan Coben, Paula Hawkins, and Lee Child.

A rising star psychiatrist, American Nate Shelley is in Spain’s Canary Islands, making his world debut at a convention. But after delivering his keynote address, he and his fiancée Miro are arrested for murder.

Nate knows he’s not guilty, but is his future wife involved in some way in the crime? Miro’s directly implicated when the murder victim is identified as her stalker.

Is Nate’s career ruined? Is he facing life imprisonment? Does the American couple stand a chance of convincing the Spanish authorities—and Interpol—that they’re innocent? Not in a post-Brexit, anti-Trump European environment.

Racing to clear their names, Nate and Miro will soon be embroiled in sham investigations, powerful cartels, and family secrets finally coming to light.

Full of intrigue, this gritty international crime novel is a thrilling ride.

CLICK TO PURCHASE
PRAISE FOR IBERIAN TIES:
“Brilliant thriller! I totally loved and enjoyed this book!! Interesting twists and turns, well-developed characters and suspense all along the way. Definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. Can’t wait for the next book!” –Gaby M., Goodreads Review
“This was an education about cultures and history as well as an unpredictable mystery.” –Robert R., Amazon Review

GuestPost

The Personal Connections in Iberian Ties

Guest Post

By Quintin Vargas

My first international thriller, IBERIAN TIES, has several personal elements interspersed throughout. When I set out to write this book, I definitely conducted additional research on the Canary Islands, the main setting for the book, although I knew the archipelago from my travels and visits there. I also researched police practices and the Spanish legal system. I examined the inner workings of cartels, with attention paid to international crime. (However, I’ve not visited Lisbon and Marrakesh, which also play into the plot.)

There are several names throughout the book with personal significance as well. While I was developing one of the book’s early chapters, one of our grandchildren was born, and he was named “Scheffler,” a name which made it into the book. Although early on in my drafts of the manuscript, numerous characters were named after friends and family, most of those were eliminated for fear that some unintended associations would be made concerning the characters’ moral failings or misdeeds. However, the name of one of my best friends remained and is attached to a main character, although the name has been slightly veiled and translated into English. Another interesting tidbit is that I could not refrain from using my birth place to name my main heroine’s birthplace. However, to avoid complications, I kept all the letters of the original name and changed it to Dearlo Heights.

Author PicIberian Ties is the first work of fiction published by Quintin Vargas. In addition to being an author, he combined a career as professor and dean in various American universities with becoming owner of a firm that prepared new immigrants to enter the marketplace and international workforce. His work impacted leadership development for various domestic and international private industries, non-profit organizations, and higher education.

As an academic, he served as dean and provost at various universities, including DePaul University in Chicago, the University of Texas, San Antonio, and St. Edward’s University. His academic writings have been highlighted in various publications, including the Journal of Research and Development in Education, the National Commission on Testing and Public Policy, and the Journal of Thought.

He and his wife, Marty, have five children and thirteen grandchildren. They reside in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

—————————————–
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
Three Winners: Choice of Signed Print or eBook Copy
July 23-August 2, 2019

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

7/23/19
Notable Quotable
7/23/19
BONUS Post
7/24/19
Excerpt
7/25/19
Review
7/26/19
Guest Post
7/27/19
Author Interview
7/28/19
Review
7/29/19
Top 15 List
7/30/19
Scrapbook Page
7/31/19
Review
8/1/19
Review

 

   blog tour services provided by
  

 

Vortex: Lone Star Book Blog Tour Promo and Review

VORTEX
by
KIMBERLY PACKARD
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Psychological
Publisher: Abalos Publishing
Publication Date: January 31, 2019
Number of Pages: 308 pagesSCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY! 

Constant spinning, round and round and round, temperatures rise and fall from stifling heat to chilling cold, emotions run high in anticipation of what will happen next… there’s a fine line between surviving a tornado and falling in love.
A close encounter with a tornado, during the final months of her doctoral studies, jogs a lost memory to the surface. Desperate to relive the vision and find answers, storm chaser Elaina Adams continually puts her safety at risk by placing herself in the path of dangerous storms.
When betrayal strikes, Elaina is forced to pair up with Robert Tucker. “Tuck” owns a storm chasing tour group and only cares about two things: chasing tornadoes and making his next buck.
Seth Maddux was climbing his way to the top as the star meteorologist for the Forecast channel, but an embarrassing outburst on camera sent his career on a downward spiral. Hoping to reignite his career with a promising field assignment, he meets Elaina and a different kind of flame sparks.
Family secrets surface and passions explode in this twister of a tale.
Vortex is a story of family, love, identity and determination set against the thrilling backdrop of Tornado Alley. 

 

PRAISE FOR VORTEX:

“Set in the heart of America’s Tornado Alley, Kimberly Packard’s latest psychological fiction swirls with discovery and betrayal. VORTEX may make you question who among those closest to you are really your friends.” — Addison Brae, author of Becker Circle
“Vortex is a fast-paced story with a strong woman at its center. Readers will be in for a wild ride full of secrets, the labyrinth of memory, and the spark of romance. Definitely one to add to your reading list.” — Christine Brodersen, author of Lip Gloss, Shame and Murdered Tomatoes

“Kimberly Packard is an accomplished author who writes strong women characters. She blew me away with her Phoenix series (three books you don’t want to miss) and now in Vortex, we meet Elaina Adams, who, like all of us, struggles with her past, her career, and her family secrets. Action, and emotion-packed, this page-turner is a different kind of love story.” — Vanessa Foster, author of More than Everything

Review

Five-Stars

Welcome to the world of Elaina Adams, doctoral candidate and storm chaser, where unpredictability and the unknown have fueled an intense need to understand and confront her fears. As she attempts to complete her thesis on tornado genesis, repressed memories surface that could completely alter her conception of who she really is. Does she really want to reveal the secrets to her past? Will their revelation destroy her along with everyone and everything that she loves including her beloved yellow Labrador Retriever?

Kimberly Packard has written a riveting book that is part mystery, part psychological thriller, and part romance aptly titled Vortex. As her world circles around her, Elaina is drawn into the vacuum and becomes subject to its destructive forces. She will not be the only one!

Heath Bryant is her research partner. As Elaina’s determination to unravel the mystery of her past causes her to take unnecessary risks, how far is he willing to go and at what cost?

Seth Maddux is a newscaster who needs to salvage his career after an on-air meltdown. He and Elaina are drawn to each other romantically, but neither Seth nor Elaina are sure they should pursue their mutual attraction. Seth has been hurt in a prior relationship while Elaina doesn’t need the distraction from her research. Will they give in to their feelings?

Robert Tucker is a sleazy storm chaser who conducts tours for thrill seekers. He’s strictly in it for the money, but he does have an instinctive ability to predict tornadoes. Tuck also has secrets that are linked to Elaina’s past. He’s a menacing presence in an already dangerous situation. Should Elaina trust him?

Dr. Tom Pierce is the foremost expert on tornadoes and Elaina’s university mentor and financial sponsor. Crippled in a car accident during a severe storm, he can no longer conduct field research. Is there a hidden agenda behind his decision to advance the timeline for Elaina to complete her thesis even at the risk of personal injury to her and her partner?

Psychiatrist Harrington Preston treats individuals with repressed memories. In some cases those memories have been deliberately blocked by the drug “Retentamine.” Was Elaina given the drug during her childhood?

The answers to these questions are revealed in a climactic ending that forces each of these characters to face his or her reality and the consequences of their actions.

Kudos to Kimberly Packard for writing a thoroughly entertaining story that will definitely appeal to women and even to guys like me that normally do not read romance novels!

I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my review.

Kimberly Packard is an award-winning author of edgy women’s fiction. She began visiting her spot on the shelves at libraries and bookstores at a young age, gazing between the Os and the Qs. When she isn’t writing, she can be found running, doing a poor imitation of yoga or curled up with a book. She resides in Texas with her husband Colby, a clever cat named Oliver and a yellow lab named Charlie.

Her debut novel, Phoenix, was awarded as Best General Fiction of 2013 by the Texas Association of Authors. She is also the author of a Christmas novella, The Crazy Yates, and the sequels to Phoenix, Pardon Falls and Prospera Pass.

————————————
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
FIRST PRIZE: Signed Copy  +  $5 Amazon gift card + Bookmark
SECOND PRIZE: Signed Copy + Bookmark
TWO WINNERS: eBook copies
FEBRUARY 19-28, 2019

(USA only)

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

2/19/19
Notable Quotable
2/19/19
Notable Quotable
2/19/19
BONUS post
2/20/19
Review
2/21/19
Review
2/22/19
Excerpt
2/22/19
Author Interview
2/23/19
Review
2/24/19
Review
2/25/19
Top Ten List
2/25/19
Deleted Scene
2/26/19
Review
2/27/19
Playlist
2/27/19
Scrapbook Page
2/28/19
Review
2/28/19
Review
   blog tour services provided by