STIPULATIONS & COMPLICATIONS: Lone Star Book Blog Tour and Review

 STIPULATIONS &
  COMPLICATIONS
by
BECKI WILLIS
Genre: Cozy Mystery / Romance / Women Sleuths
Publisher: Clear Creek Publishing
Date of Publication: June 15, 2016
Number of Pages: 365

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S&C Book Cover

Life comes with stipulations.

If you want to fit into last year’s swimsuit, you can’t eat ice cream and a Gennydoodle cookie after every meal.

If you want to go to Heaven, you can’t raise Hell on Saturday night and show up in the church pew on Sunday morning, hungover and reeking of cheap perfume.

And if you want your hundred-year-old mansion completely updated and remodeled for free, you have to sacrifice.

Stipulations, my child.

–              Granny Bert Cessna

Now that Madison Reynolds has agreed to be part of a reality-television home remodeling show, she barely recognizes her own life. The show is an instant success, bringing cameras and reporters right to her doorstep, eager to chronicle her every move in the small Texas town.

With In a Pinch Temporary Services hovering on the thin line between prosperity and extinction, Madison takes on another quirky case, this one concerning a property dispute. Complications turn a simple mission into all-out danger, and once again Madison finds herself embroiled in an intriguing mystery.

Between her cantankerous grandmother, a moody teenage daughter, an ever-starving son, townspeople eager to grab their fifteen minutes of fame at her expense, and a mother-in-law appalled by her undignified foray into the public eye, Madison had her hands full, long before the skeleton was discovered. Now work is interrupted at the Big House, ghost stories abound, more secret passages have been unearthed, and someone is trying to scare her away from her new home.

What she needs is another session of Brash deCordova’s unique ‘river therapy’… not to mention the kiss that eludes them with frustrating regularity

What she gets is another round of stipulations and complications.

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Four Stars
     It takes a gifted writer to create characters, a setting, and a story line that spans eight novels, and keeps the reader invested in each new book in the series. Author Becki Willis has done just that!
     The third book in the Texas Series – The Sisters, STIPULATIONS and Complications, uses elements of romance, mystery, and even the paranormal to continue the story of Madison (Maddy) Reynolds and a cast of homegrown characters that live in The Sisters (the twin small towns of Juliet and Naomi, Texas.)
     Maddy’s arrangement to finance the renovation of a 100 year old mansion has turned her life completely upside down. “It is out of control, under a microscope, and scrutinized by everyone.” There’s the television crew, the townspeople, and even her own children, all affecting her ability to make the right decisions.
     Romantically, she is attracted to the star of the popular television show Home Again, Nick Vilardi, but her feelings for her teenage crush Brash deCordova go much deeper. However, it’s only been a few months since the death of her husband. Should she act on her feelings? And, if so, how will that be perceived by the public, or more importantly her daughter Bethani, who adored her late father? Believing Brash to be the perfect man for her, she proceeds cautiously. But she also knows that… “Perfect never lasts. Perfect’s not real.”
     To complicate matters, Brash is the chief of police, who must now solve the mystery of a decomposed body found in the Big House. Who is it and was foul play involved? There are rumors of ghosts and disgruntled spirits haunting the old mansion, and it is apparent that something or someone doesn’t want its secrets revealed. How far are they willing to go to prevent their discovery?
     Maddy also has ongoing sleuthing of her own unrelated to the Big House. In a Pinch Temporary Services, the company she founded, currently has two ongoing inquiries.  Lisa Redmond has hired Maddy to find out if her husband is having an affair, while simultaneously she also is looking into an acrimonious property dispute between the Wynn and Adams families. The property in question is unusable, so why is there a contentious fight over ownership of the land?
     All of these plots and many more play out in Becki Willis’ engaging and entertaining book. In fact, STIPULATIONS and Complications could easily describe the challenges of writing an entry into an ongoing series like The Sisters. Not every author can pull it off!
     In many ways the book reminds me of the cinema matinees of years gone bye. They were always cliff-hangers inviting you… no, compelling you to return to find out what happens next. I certainly recommend that you acquaint yourself with Madison Reynolds and don’t just pick up a copy of The Sisters, STIPULATIONS and Complications. Read the entire series. What better way to while away to the summer or relax at the beach!
Becki Willis, best known for her popular The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series and Forgotten Boxes, always dreamed of being an author. In November of ’13, that dream became a reality. 
 
Since that time, she has published numerous books, won first place honors for Best Mystery Series, Best Suspense Fiction, Best Women’s Detective Fiction, and Best Audio Book, won the 2018 RONE Award for Paranormal Fiction, and has introduced her imaginary friends to readers around the world. 

An avid history buff, Becki likes to poke around in old places and learn about the past. Other addictions include reading, writing, junking, unraveling a good mystery, and coffee. She loves to travel but believes coming home to her family and her Texas ranch is the best part of any trip. Becki is a member of the Association of Texas Authors, Writer’s League of Texas, Sisters in Crime, the National Association of Professional Women, and the Brazos Writers organization. She attended Texas A&M University and majored in Journalism.

Connect with Becki below. She loves to hear from readers and encourages feedback!
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2nd Prize: $10 Amazon Gift Card

June 20-30, 2019

(U.S. Only)
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
6/20/19
Chicken Scratch, #1
6/20/19
When the Stars Fall, #2
6/21/19
Stipulations & Complications, #3
6/22/19
Home Again: Starting Over, #4
6/23/19
Genny’s Ballad, #5
6/24/19
Christmas in The Sisters, #6
6/25/19
The Lilac Code, #7
6/26/19
Wildflower Wedding, #8
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Wildflower Wedding, #8
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6/28/19
Wildflower Wedding, #8
6/28/19
Wildflower Wedding, #8
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Wildflower Wedding, #8
6/29/19
Wildflower Wedding, #8
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Covey Jencks: Guest Post

COVEY JENCKS
by
SHELTON L. WILLIAMS
Narrated by Kathy James
Genre: Mystery / Social Thriller
Publisher: Southern Owl Publications, LLC
Publication Date: February 10, 2018
Number of Pages: 229 pages
Audio Book Length: 6 hours, 38 minutesSCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY! 

Covey Jencks is a murder mystery with a social conscience. Set in West Texas with a cast of colorful and humorous characters, it follows a young lawyer from Washington, DC back to his hometown of Odessa, Texas. He wants and needs to solve a murder case from 1979 in 1993. The problem is that the Odessa Police Department has already found its man, and no one wants to re-visit the case of a black prostitute whose life was seemingly of no consequence to anyone. But Freddie Mae Johnson’s death matters to Covey, and eventually he discovers an old flame, JayJay Qualls, who also knew and loved Freddie. Together they undertake an investigation that uncovers not only the truth about Freddie but also the secrets of Odessa’s south side, Mexican gangs, a Boston mobster, and the fallacy of unexamined assumptions. Finding out who killed Freddie is one thing, but preventing their own demise is quite another! 
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PRAISE FOR COVEY JENCKS:
 
Williams seamlessly braids a murder mystery with a love story and a drama about the pervasiveness of racism in the South… The author’s prose is buoyantly eccentric, both insightful and self-effacingly humorous. And the clues Covey and JayJay track down are meted out to readers with impressive judiciousness: The author never prematurely surrenders so much information that the conclusion is rendered foregone while the tale’s swift pace prevents it from becoming tedious. An engrossing crime drama that’s both entertaining and provocative. — Kirkus Indie

 

GuestPost

BY SHELTON WILLIAMS

Covey Jencks has been with me a long time, but it took my grandchildren to bring him to life. Covey had been a character in a previous unpublished book, but I never forgot him. When my four grand kids started getting older, however, I told them “Deputy Dan Stories.” Deputy Dan was always as old as the child listening; he worked at his dad’s car wash; and he always solved a crime. After each case, Odessa’s sheriff awarded Deputy Dan a piece of wardrobe that made him more officially a crime solver: a cowboy hat, boots, a belt, and finally a star. The older they got, the more the stories related to current events. The confrontation at Charlottesville, VA., in 2017 prompted me to dust off Covey Jencks to help explain bias, why lives matter, and a bit of history. I thought that would be better than simply telling them: “It’s complicated.”

 

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 40 years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He has served in the US Government on 4 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 Covey Jencks. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.
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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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
11/27/18
Review
11/27/18
Excerpt
11/28/18
Audio Review
11/29/18
Guest Post
11/29/18
Playlist
11/30/18
Audio Review
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Author Interview
12/1/18
Character Interview
12/2/18
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Scrapbook Page
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Audio Review
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12/6/18
Audio Review
12/6/18
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Old Buildings in North Texas: Excerpt

OLD BUILDINGS
IN NORTH TEXAS
by
JEN WALDO
  Sub-genre: Literary Fiction / Dramedy
Publisher: Arcadia Books
Date of Publication: April 1, 2018
Number of Pages: 213
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After rehab, Olivia, a 32-year-old cocaine addict, is required to move back in with her mother and pregnant sister. Having left a promising career in journalism in New York, she’s now working as a sales assistant for a family friend in her home town in North Texas. 
Under pressure from her court-mandated counselor – an old high school friend – to take up a hobby, Olivia decides on “urbexing.” Soon she’s breaking into derelict homes, ex-prisons, and old drive-ins across North Texas, and it’s not long before she’s looting state property and making money off the possessions, fixtures, and fittings that have been left behind.
 
Old Buildings in North Texas is about a modern woman’s search for personal equilibrium and wild adventure — the attempt to find stability in existence without losing sight of what makes life worth living. Jen Waldo’s style modulates effortlessly from domestic nuance to taut adventure, tackling social and moral transgressions with incisive observation and vivid humor.
PRAISE FOR OLD BUILDINGS IN NORTH TEXAS
“A lot of Jen Waldo’s debut novel takes place out on the porch of Olivia’s mother’s house. […] With its casual, confidential tone, Old Buildings in North Texas puts the reader in one of those porch chairs, reclining on a warm evening with a cool drink.” — The Skinny
Old Buildings in North Texas is an amusingly written and well worked book” — Trip Fiction
 
“This novel is an absolute blast. There are serious moments of course, but Jen Waldo looks for the comedy in everything to create a memorable scenario that reminded me very much of the style of Six Feet Under.” — Shiny New Books
 
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Excerpt

EXCERPT FROM

OLD BUILDINGS IN NORTH TEXAS

BY JEN WALDO

“What are the twelve steps?” my sister asks.

“Six steps. One, accept that you’re out of control; two, lean on a higher power; three, confide in a sponsor; four, make amends; five, replace the old life with a new one; and six, help others though their addiction recovery.”

“Are you doing all that stuff?” she asks.  “Is it working?”

An honest answer would disappoint her. The stripped-down truth is, I’m a broken-down truck in a country driveway. I doubt my sincerity as regards the recovery steps. I try to communicate with a higher power, but it seems hypocritical when I’m not even sure I believe in one. I’m in debt and I’m stashing secret money. I’m keeping secrets from my mother and my therapist. I’m disingenuous with my parole officer. I’m sneaking and stealing.

Am I making progress? Yes, in my recovery, I am; and it’s slow and it’s difficult.  But my goal is to get better, not to be better. Maybe in the future I’ll be wise, generous, and productive; but at this point, I am what I am—a self-absorbed addict with murky morals. Chloe was right when she said I’ve traded one addiction for another. Slipping into buildings, taking things and selling them, watching my bank account grow—these aren’t things a good person does. But they’re things I do.

Jen Waldo lived in seven countries over a thirty-year period and has now settled, along with her husband, in Marble Falls, Texas. She first started writing over twenty years ago when, while living in Cairo, she had difficulty locating reading material and realized she’d have to make her own fun. She has since earned an MFA and written a number of novels. Her work has been published in The European and was shortlisted in a competition by Traveler magazine. Old Buildings in North Texas and Why Stuff Matters have been published in the UK by Arcadia Books. Jen’s fiction is set in Northwest Texas and she’s grateful to her hometown of Amarillo for providing colorful characters and a background of relentless whistling wind. 

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Signed Copy of OBiNT + $10 Amazon Gift Card
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3rd Prize: eBook Copy of OBiNT
October 2-11, 2018
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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
10/2/18
Excerpt
10/2/18
Guest Post
10/3/18
Review
10/4/18
Author Interview
10/5/18
Review
10/5/18
Excerpt
10/6/18
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10/10/18
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10/11/18
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