Monthly Archives: January 2016

Copper Lake by Ann Swann

Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours
presents
 
COPPER LAKE

 

Book Three in the Stutter Creek Series 
 
by
Ann Swann

They call him the Killer Cartographer because he carves the map coordinates of each victim on the femur of the one before. Then he tattoos the information on his skin.  Can detective Kendra Dean bring him in or will she become his next tattoo?
BUY LINKS
    KOBO    iTUNES    SMASHWORDS
Ann Swann was born in the small West Texas town of Lamesa. She grew up much like Stevie-girl in The Phantom Pilot series, though she never got up the nerve to enter the haunted house. Ann has done everything from answering 911 Emergency calls to teaching elementary school. She lives in Texas with her husband, Dude, one rescue dog, two rescue cats, and a part-time box turtle named Piggy. When she’s not writing, Ann is reading. Her to-be-read list has grown so large it has taken on a life of its own. She calls it Herman.
Books by Ann Swann
2011 Stevie-girl and The Phantom Pilot – Cool Well Press
2012 Stevie-girl and The Phantom Student – Cool Well Press
2013 Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge – Createspace
2012 All For Love – 5 Prince Publishing
2013 Stutter Creek (Book One) – 5 Prince Publishing
2015 Lilac Lane (Book Two) – 5 Prince Publishing
2016 Copper Lake (Book Three) – 5 Prince Publishing
2016 Takers: Apocalypse in Eden – coming soon
Short Fiction
“Bamboozled” Alfred Hitchcock Magazine
“Aftermath” Binnacle Magazine
“The Gap” and “In Search of Water” The Rusty Nail (previously published in The Sandstorm)
“Soul Gardener” Timeless: Cool Well Press, Anthology
“The Fee” A World of Terror: Grey Mouse Publishing, (formerly titled The Warning)
“SleepAway Pounds” Seasonal, Sweet, and Suspenseful, Anthology

“Chems” Createspace

BLOG    FACEBOOK   
Review
I’ve been doing these tours for a few months now, and I’ve gotta say that they’re making me love suspense/mystery novels. Swann’s latest installment of the Stutter Creek series thrilled me in the way that The Lovely Bones did. If you read the blurb, you know that Ken is going to be the next victim, but the mind reels with how she will fall into his clutches.
Swann’s set up is pretty damn great too. You meet the killer in the first chapter and get a good picture of his twisted mind right away. But then she makes you wait for confirmation on who he is and a general idea of how he picks his victims. (You don’t meet too many male characters, and Swann doesn’t throw a bunch of false leads out there. So figuring out whodunnit was kind of easy.) The anticipation of waiting for our heroine to fall into the psycho’s clutches is probably comparable to his anticipation of getting found out. You know it’s going to happen and you’re excited/scared.
I like how Swann doesn’t let the romance between Ken and her partner muddle everything. There’s nothing I can’t stand more than delving into sex when the story is getting good. But there’s enough tension there to explain how they could possibly have a strong enough connection to achieve some incredible breakthroughs in this case. Intuition and mind reading (sorta) really win the day.
One nitpicky thing that got me: The killer’s wife never noticed his unusual scars (not to mention tattoos of coordinates…) between his legs. I’m not a Fifty Shades of Grey kind of girl, but you’re sex life is pretty vanilla if you don’t know nearly every inch of your lover. But that detail aside, I am crazy about this book and look forward to reading the other two I missed.
Check out all the great blog stops on the tour!

 

1/28       Books and BroomsticksAuthor Interview
1/29       bookishjessp — Promo
1/30       The Page Unbound — Promo
1/31       Missus GonzoReview
2/1         All for the Love of the WordAuthor Interview
2/2         My Book Fix Blog Review
2/3         Hall Ways — Promo
2/4         Because This is My Life Y’allReview
2/5         The Crazy BooksellersPromo
2/6         Texas Book-aholicReview
  blog tour services provided by
 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Lone Star Book Blog Tours

Pennies from Burger Heaven by Marcy McKay

 Pennies from Burger Heaven
by Marcy McKay
Genre: Literary Suspense
Publisher: SkipJack Publishing
Date of Publication: December 28, 2015
# of pages: 340

 

Eleven-year-old Copper Daniels is homeless and alone. She spends her nights sleeping beneath the cemetery’s Warrior Angel statue for protection, and her days battling the mean streets of Remington, Texas, hell-bent on discovering what happened the night her Mama disappeared. While Copper and her rag-tag group of friends find danger at every corner, two horrors are certain: her Mama’s really missing and someone’s after Copper, too. 

 

In the tradition of The Lovely Bones and Room, Pennies from Burger Heaven tells a dark story through the eyes of a child. With wit and wisdom, Copper Daniels will steal your heart, then break it in two.
 Awards for Pennies from Burger Heaven: 
*Winner – Writers’ League of Texas: Best Mainstream Novel 
*Winner – Frontiers in Writing: Best Mainstream Novel  
*Winner – Frontiers in Writing: Best of Show

 

Praise for Pennies from Burger Heaven
“Against the gritty backdrop of an inner-city ghetto rises the unforgettable voice of eleven-year-old Copper ‘Penny’ Daniels, offering poignant and heartbreaking insights into the horrors and trials of homeless life on the streets, finding heaven where you least expect it, and help in those you never thought to ask.”
 A.G. Howard, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Splintered Series
“At once disturbing and exhilarating, heartbreaking and heartwarming, Pennies is the story of an undying love between a mother and daughter. It grabs you by the heartstrings from the start and won’t let you go, even after you’ve read the last word.”
 Ken Oder, author of The Closing and Old Wounds to the Heart
“Debut novelist McKay infuses Pennies from Burger Heaven with wit, charm and moxie, so much so that the achingly beautifulness of Copper Daniels’ life sneaks up on you. All of this wrapped around a mystery that is fast-paced and rife with tension, with a satisfying series of twists. Can’t wait for the next Burger Heaven novel.”
 Pamela Fagan Hutchins, author of the Katie & Annalise mystery series
Review
I’m real big on writers writing what they know. And if I didn’t know better, I would think that McKay knows a whole lot about being homeless, gangs, and prostitution. And while I agree with all the praise given by the authors above, that last one makes me pause.
Beautifulness? Copper’s life is pretty much a nightmare. Her curly red hair is a beacon that thugs and dirty old men are drawn to. It seems like every turn she makes, Copper is narrowly avoiding death or rape. She’s literally limping around and getting stared at because she spends most of the time covered in bruises, scrapes, and blood. She acknowledges that trouble seems to find her, despite her lucky penny.
Even if you put the mystery aside of where the heck Copper’s mom is, the book reads like a good sleuth (chapters ending with one-liners that tell you nothing good is on the way) with a tough little 11-year-old on the beat. Although Copper’s mother taught her “you can’t trust anyone but yourself,” she’s wrong. Kinda. The kid finds out that the people she didn’t want to trust, are trustworthy after all, and vice versa.
I’m still sad about some outcomes. The characters were very real to me, so I’m attached like that. But to go back to picking on that one author up there, I didn’t get a feeling that there will be a sequel. And to be honest, I kind of hope that there isn’t one. I hope that Copper just gets to live her life as a normal, safe kid.

 

Marcy McKay knew she wanted to write stories the moment she read about Oompa Loompas in the fourth grade. She’s an award-winning short-story author and copywriter, as well as a freelance journalist. Her work has appeared in Writer’s Digest, Accent West, Roots & Wings, The Write Practice, Write to Done, and Positive Writer and Jane Friedman. Marcy lives in Texas with her husband and two teens, who all still like her…most of the time.  McKay is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas and the Texas High Plains Writers. 

3 WINNERS WILL WIN THEIR CHOICE OF AN eBOOK OR PRINT COPY OF PENNIES FROM BURGER HEAVEN. 
 blog tour services provided by
 Don’t forget to click the link below for a chance to win a copy of the book (your choice of print or eBook). Raffle ends at midnight on February 3. 

Pennies from Burger Heaven Rafflecopter giveaway

You can follow the rest of this tour:

1/28       The Librarian Talks                            Guest Post          

1/29       Belle Whittington on Tumblr      Author Interview

1/30       Book Crazy Gals                                   Promo

1/31       Secret Asian Girl                                  Review

2/1          Texas Book-aholic                              Review

 

4 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Lone Star Book Blog Tours

Carrying the Black Bag by Tom Hutton MD

Carrying the Black Bag: A Neurologist’s Bedside Tales
Author: Tom Hutton MD
 
Genre: memoir
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Date of Publication: December 7, 2015
# of pages: 240
 
In his thirty-plus years of practicing medicine, physician and neurologist Tom Hutton discovered that a doctor’s best teachers are often his patients. From these extraordinary individuals, Hutton gained a whole-hearted respect for the resourcefulness, courage, and resilience of the human spirit. Hutton’s patients—and the valuable lessons they taught—served as the inspiration for Carrying the Black Bag.
 
Carrying the Black Bag invites readers to experience what it’s like to be a doctor’s hands, eyes, and heart. Imagine the joy of witnessing a critically ill five-year-old who, against all odds, claws her way back from a coma and near certain death. Meet a lonely Texas widower with Parkinson’s disease who hosts elaborate pinochle parties for a pack of imaginary canines. Step into the surgical booties of the author when he attempts to deliver his own child amid heart-stopping obstetrical complications—during a paralyzing Minnesota blizzard.  
 
Through real-life patient narratives, Hutton shines light on ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges. Moreover, this captivating tale captures the drama of medicine—its mystery, pathos, heroism, sacrifice, and humor.
BUY LINKS
 
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
 
        Each story slipped into The Black Bag is a shining jewel, polished to perfection and written with empathy, sensitivity and humor. Hutton brings to life a doctor’s unflagging dedication to the human condition as a healer with utmost respect for each patient fortunate enough to be graced by his compassion and commitment. Every tale once begun, entrances.
        -Antoinette van Heughten, author of USA Bestseller Saving Max, and The Tulip Eaters
 
        Being a physician is a privilege, in no small part because of the powerful insight it provides into the human condition. Tom Hutton addresses themes of interest to all readers–love, loyalty, family, and mortality, and shows how he could affect a positive outcome, and how he, in turn, was changed by those for whom he cared.
        -William L. Henrich, MD, President, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
 
        How many doctors have you come across who can write this well, especially for the lay reader? He’s a natural, that’s for sure! Carrying The Black Bag is a must-read for anyone interested in following a wonderful doctor on his rounds.
        -Bartee Haile, newspaper columnist and author of Texas Depression-Era Desperadoes, and Murders Most Texan
 
        A wonderful journey through the training, practice, triumphs, and travails of a dedicated physician.
        -D. P. Lyle, MD, author of Dub Walker and Samantha Cody thriller series.
 
Chapter 9
AT THE FURROW’S END
Heavy double doors banged behind me. I located the unidentified woman responsible for my stat page. A glance revealed a small body eclipsed by monitors, a wheezing ventilator, and a virtual spaghetti bowl of wires and catheters.
Somewhere across the intensive care unit, a ventilator alarm shrieked, a telephone jingled, and infusion pumps thrummed. Nurses with intent facial expressions scurried about the unit on rubber-soled shoes, providing care for these, the very sickest of the hospital’s sick.
(Her husband arrives and provides a surprisingly poignant description, transforming his wife in my eyes)
“Doc, do everything you can.” His voice cracked and faltered before struggling on. He finally blurted out, “I…I love that old gal.”
After his description I no longer could think of Maggie Croft as a shriveled old woman with failing physiology. She had become an energetic harvester who had struggled through desperate decades tightly bonded to her husband. She had evoked the strongest display of public emotion of which I felt Ned Croft capable.
And struggle to save her life we did. We addressed her brain swelling to eke out precious millimeters of space within her skull to buy time for the blood clot to recede. We tried every management strategy to salvage the life of Maggie Croft—but in the end our efforts came to naught.
I recall Ned’s slow pace as he departed the intensive care unit. He pushed at the swinging doors, opening them a crack. Ned glanced back at his deceased wife’s body, his eyes vacant. Ned Croft with his tattered appearance and pained emotions was abruptly lost from view as the doors slammed shut behind him. The complexity of love has baffled the wisest sages. But for me, Ned’s simple utterance said it best. “Doc, I love that old gal.”
Excerpt from Carrying the Black Bag: A Neurologist’s Bedside Tales (Texas Tech University Press) by Tom Hutton, MD
Review
 If you follow my blog, you know that I reviewed another book written by a doctor recently. I am pleased to say that this book is completely different. Hutton has a style that borders on quirky mystery (makes sense as he confesses to reading mysteries growing up). And funny/beautiful descriptions aside, the doctors in this book are in their profession to save people and better lives, not fatten their pocketbooks. (Hutton keeps it real by making side cash with ambulance and hockey game gigs.) They go out on the limb and try risky, new procedures to do everything in their power to help a patient get better, rather than sit back and play it safe to prevent lawsuits.  After several family members went through the grueling schedule and schooling of med school, I thought that I already had a healthy dose of respect for doctors, but this book prescribed me even more.
Such an array of emotions we are privy to, from feeding off a family’s faith in a situation that seems hopeless and beyond medical/scientific ability, to being faced with having no choice but to care for an admitted family member, to playing detective to find out who is behind continuous arsenic poisoning. I’m glad that Hutton has chosen to share these incredible stories and insight with the world.
Tom Hutton, M. D., is an internationally-recognized clinical and research neurologist and educator. The past president of the Texas Neurological Society, Dr. Hutton served as professor and vice chairman of the Department of Medical and Surgical Neurology at the Texas Tech School of Medicine. He now lives on his cattle ranch near Fredericksburg, Texas.

 

 

blog tour services provided by
 

2 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Lone Star Book Blog Tours, Uncategorized

Racing Forward by Mica Mosbacher

Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours
presents
RACING FORWARD
by

Mica Mosbacher

 
Mica Mosbacher was barely hanging on. A single mother of a son, she worked in retail while she established a career as an award-winning writer. Feeling unlucky in romance after two failed marriages, she gave up on her dreams. In her early 40s, she met the love of her life, oilman mogul and 28th US Secretary of Commerce, Robert Mosbacher Sr. A modern day commoner who went on to meet and entertain heads of states and Royals, Mica turned out to be a kind of Houston Cinderella. Mica married her prince and soul mate only to lose him to pancreatic cancer leaving her heart broken. But instead of wallowing in pain, she decided to grieve forward. Her brother, a racecar driver, inspired her to learn to race a Ferrari. Testing her personal limits on the racetrack, she discovered her inner strength to move forward.Life brings losses on a regular basis. Whether it’s a garden variety loss or a life changing one―debilitating illness, divorce, death―it requires a resiliency, optimism and faith.
 
BUY LINKS
 

Excerpts from Chapter 8: Racing Ahead

We were intent on making a difference. My daughter-in-law often says that I like to make waves. So does Ellen [Cohen]! Together we united to create a tsunami. A vocal defender of sexual assault victims… (pg. 95)

It was a splendid ceremony, one that marked a middle-class “commoner” proving she was worthy of a prince. Letizia Ortiz represented the future of Spain in a progressive world. (pg.96)

I suppose that’s what reality is: a dream-like experience shattered with the clanging of an emergency. No wonder we lose ourselves in fairy tales. (pg. 97)

I recall being dropped off within walking distance amid a sea of protestors. I admit I was nervous—the protestors seemed very hostile—but I was also upset. While they may not have agreed with Reagan’s policies and actions as President, making a scene at his funeral was, more than anything, disrespectful. (pg. 97)

We [also] saluted our country, which we both held most dear. It was hard not to be affected, after having so recently said good-bye to an American President beloved by many. I remain impressed with Ronal Reagan to this day. He was able to connect with people and bridge differences. In this era of partisan bickering, our country could use someone like him. (pg. 99)

Review

I’m embarrassed to say that I went into this one not having a clue who either Mica Mosbacher or her husband were. Maybe if I watched the Simpsons (gotta read the book to know what I mean by that) growing up… I approach memoirs by people I don’t know with caution, but my visor came up within the first page. Mosbacher is a great writer and you can really tell she has a background in journalism (she puts in relevant pop culture tidbits here and there to keep you interested). I was impressed with her personal and professional drive, as well as her ability to keep me from thinking of her as a gold digger. I don’t know what the high society pages in Houston said about her, but I’m guessing it wasn’t always nice. Either way, you know she made it out alive and continues to thrive. I was thrown by the cover of this book because the racing bit takes up very little space. (I actually thought she was some famous race car driver that I never heard of. Hmm…) And to be honest, that little bit was what underwhelmed me the most. Older woman having a mid- to late-life crisis buys a Ferrari (she’s kinda loaded because of her late husband) and gets into racing made me pause (although the cause it supports is AWESOME). But I thought her greatest achievements were as a supportive wife to a terminally ill husband, a caring mother, and a political fundraiser.

Michele (Mica) Mosbacher, widow of the 28th U.S. Secretary of Commerce and oilman Robert Mosbacher, Sr., was commissioned as an Honorary Consul of Iceland, Houston and Central Texas, in 2010 by the Foreign Ministry of Iceland. She is an author, motivational speaker and proud sponsor of Godstone Ranch Motorsports, a family professional motorsports team that races for charitable causes.


She currently serves on the boards of the Houston Ballet, University of


Houston; and was appointed by Governor Perry to the steering committee of the Aga Khan Foundation. Mica previously served as a director of the American Hospital Foundation, receiving the board’s highest honor presented by Ambassador Howard Leach at the United States Embassy in Paris.

Focused on education, Mica previously served as on the University of Houston’s Board of Regents and the board of Strake Jesuit Prepartory School. Mica implemented Best Friends, a character education program and the Raol Wallenberg Heroes program in the Houston Independent School District in the late 90s.

Mica has chaired numerous charitable fundraisers including Houston Ballet

Ball, Woodrow Wilson Gala, Museum of Fine Arts Costume Institute and American Hospital of Paris Foundation. With her husband Bob, she co-chaired the M.D. Anderson Milestones and Miracles celebration, honoring President George H.W. Bush, that raised more than $10 million (a record at the time). M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s pastoral outreach group honored Mica, and she was named Pacesetter of the Year by the Cancer Assistance League.

In April of 2011, Houston Mayor Anise Parker honored her with “Mica Mosbacher Day” for her initiation of the prominent public art installation, “On Tolerance,” featuring sculptures by world-class sculptor, Jaume Plensa.

In 2013, Mica was appointed by Her Majesty the Queen to the Order of St. John; in 2012 she was awarded the Silver Good Citizenship Medal, the highest honor from the Texas Society, Sons of the American Revolution. She was named Philanthropist of the Year in 2007 by TAASA (Texas Association Against Sexual Assault). Mica was named Knight Commander of the Order of King Francis I.

In 2008, Mica was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame along with Barbara Bush and other prominent Houstonians. A journalist, she has received prestigious writing awards for feature articles. Her career began in 1972, when as an intern at KPRC-TV/NBC in Houston, she was among the first female reporters on camera and radio and while an intern, Mica acquired an exclusive interview during a famous murder trial. She later pursued a career in print journalism and freelance writing.

A longtime horse lover, Mica is a former champion in the American Saddleseat Amateur Walk-Trot Division. She won her first horse show at the Dallas State Fair riding J Miller and was trained by Charles Smith at Tri-Oaks Stables in Houston.

Active in political fundraising, Mica has served as a co-chair on many statewide and national campaigns.

Born in Gainesville, Florida, Mica resides in Houston and Austin.

 

 

 

blog tour services provided by


 


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized