Monthly Archives: November 2017

Review & Giveaway: The Secret Room by John Alexander

THE SECRET ROOM
(Amber-Autumn Series, #4)

by
JOHN ALEXANDER
  Genre: Children’s Mystery / Chapter Book
Date of Publication: October 14, 2017
Number of Pages: 159

Scroll down for giveaway!
Amber and Autumn, elementary school sisters, don’t seek out problems to solve, but they often find themselves engaged in uncovering truths, solving mysteries, and helping others in the process. Autumn’s natural curiosity, combined with her boldness, leads her to push for answers to anything she does not understand. Amber, her older sister, more cautious and easily spooked, prefers to let Autumn drive ahead to solve mysteries which come their way, but her keen skills of observation often lead to the resolutions they seek.

In The Secret Room, the girls, during their stay at a  B&B, discover a long-forgotten room in the attic and uncover its secrets. The story takes place at the House of Seasons, a bed-and-breakfast in historic Jefferson, Texas. Their quest to uncover secrets takes the girls on a journey through Jefferson history including a cemetery, a river boat tour, and even an evening ghost walk.




PRAISE FOR THE SECRET ROOM:
“Great book, really enjoyed reading.  I’d guess a target audience would be 7 to 13-year-olds. Thank you for allowing me the honor to preview your book.  I look forward to purchasing your published work.” — Joseph (Teen Beta reader)

The Secret Room is a fun read. Not only is it a mystery; it also contains some of the history of Jefferson, Texas, and the surrounding area, as well as pictures of some special places there. Children and adults will enjoy reading it, just as I did.  — Carol (Adult Beta Reader)

“Overall I thought it was a great book. I would be excited to read the next book in the series.” –Madeline (4th grade Beta Reader)

 “The whole time I liked the suspense and the mystery side of it.” – Beta Reader

“I relate more to Amber because she doesn’t like a situation without light and she doesn’t like doing scary things first. She sends her little sister in to do it first and I do that. Amber is the older sister and so am I.” – Beta Reader

══════════║║║══════════

CLICK TO PURCHASE
300b2-review
At the risk of sounding ageist and/or sexist, I am impressed when authors can write from a completely different generation’s or opposite gender’s point of view. Alexander pulls it off effortlessly and tells a great mystery with some history woven in. Given the popularity of series such as American Girls and The Boxcar Children, I think he picked a great niche.
I don’t know if all of the books in the Amber-Autumn Series feature black and white photos like this one, but I love how they add more depth to the story and a bit of creepiness to it; much like the photographs in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. While the photos in the Ransom Riggs series are truly odd and creepy, I like how The Secret Room’s photos are just scenic but still somehow send a shiver down your spine.
I wonder if this series is similar to The Boxcar Children in that the first book is sort of the origin story and the following books just assume that you have read the first one. Either way, I found it interesting that this book doesn’t clue you in to what these girls look like, what their ethnicity might be. I don’t know if Alexander did this intentionally, but I could see how doing so would allow little girls to insert themselves into the story. The ambiguity distracts me as an adult, but as a kid I think I would appreciate it.
The writing style is clean and the characters are believable. I noticed that all of the main characters are women. As an adult, I can’t help but wonder if this was intentional and what it might be indicative of.
I recommend this book especially to kids who solve mysteries easily. I double dare them to guess the ending.

John writes chapter books that appeal to elementary school children to capture their imagination and help them discover the love of reading early in life. John lives in Frisco, Texas with his beautiful wife and his King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Charlie Brown.
John spent his childhood in a small town in east Texas. He attended college at the University of Texas earning a BS in Physics and a BA in Math (minor in Computer Science). His years in the high-tech industry, most of it on the “bleeding edge,” allowed him to develop new technology with software.
John had the privilege of co-authoring two editions of CallManager Fundamentals. The two books sold over 23,000 copies, exceeding the publisher’s goal of 8,000. Having discovered his love for writing while still working in high tech, he began writing fiction in his spare time and published The Enclave, a mystery / suspense novel, in 2010.
After leaving high-tech in 2014, he now spends full time pursuing his writing passion. He loves writing books that help children discover early in life that reading is a fun adventure. He recently released illustrated editions of the first three books in the Amber-Autumn mystery series: Christmas Garden Illustrated, Grandfather’s Blessing Illustrated, and Golden Campout Illustrated. The Secret Room is the fourth book in the series.
WEBSITE  FACEBOOK PINTEREST
   TWITTER  GOODREADS   
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

—————————————-
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
GRAND PRIZE: Signed copies of all four Amber-Autumn series books + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
TWO RUNNERS-UP: Signed copy of The Secret Room
November 27-December 6, 2017
(U.S. Only)

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

11/27/17
Book Trailer
11/27/17
Excerpt
11/28/17
Review
11/29/17
Author Interview
11/29/17
Guest Post
11/30/17
Review
12/1/17
Notable Quotable
12/1/17
Notable Quotable
12/2/17
Review
12/3/17
Review
12/4/17
Sneak Peek
12/4/17
Excerpt
12/5/17
Review
12/5/17
Author Interview
12/6/17
Review
   blog tour services provided by
  

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

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

Review & Giveaway: Death at Thorburn Hall by Julianna Deering

DEATH AT THORBURN HALL

A Drew Farthering Mystery, #6

by
JULIANNA DEERING
  Genre: Historical British Mystery / Suspense
Date of Publication: November 7, 2017
Number of Pages: 336

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Investigating a suspicious accident leads Drew on a path that points to international intrigue and ever-growing danger

Drew Farthering arrives in idyllic Scotland for the 1935 British Open at Muirfield, hoping for a relaxing holiday with his wife, Madeline, and friend Nick. But death meets him once again when Lord Rainsby, their host at Thorburn Hall, is killed in a suspicious riding accident–only days after confiding in Drew his fears that his business partner was embezzling funds.

Thorburn Hall is filled with guests, and as Drew continues to dig, he realizes that each appears to have dark motives for wanting Rainsby out of the way. Together with Madeline and Nick, he must sort through shady business dealings, international intrigue, and family tensions to find a killer who always seems to be one step ahead.



PRAISE FOR DEATH AT THORBURN HALL:

“Amateur sleuthing at its finest!”–Fresh Fiction Review

“Another great mystery headed by the charming Drew Farthering and his intelligent wife, Madeline. There is murder, mystery, intrigue and a little romance, which makes Death at Thorburn Hall a most enjoyable read . . . The plot has twists, turns and a few surprises throughout the story. Deering is at her best when penning Drew Farthering mysteries.”–RT Book Reviews
“This sixth series entry will delight Agatha Christie fans.”
Library Journal

CLICK TO PURCHASE
I don’t know what it is about this book that brings to mind authors like Evelyn Waugh and Bernard Malamud, but it reads instantly like a classic. I think I’m not the only one who thinks so since the cover art chosen is also very classic. The premise – bougie people spending the week in Scotland watching a golf tournament – super classic.
But don’t make the mistake in reading classic as boring or predictable. Deering does a masterful job of building this world of interesting characters. I especially like the relationship between Drew and Madeline. While we aren’t filled in too much about what has happened in the previous books, we can gather that the couple has been through the wringer together. I love that Madeline bravely stands by her husband and refuses to cower in fear. Nick and Carrie seem to have a hard time reconnecting because Carrie is still traumatized by past events. It is truly agonizing trying to will those two together.
There are a few more couples in the book but more than a few complicated storylines that tie everyone together. The first murder and each mishap that follows threatens to sever those lines, making the motive and the murderer more elusive than ever. My first hunch was off but my second hunch was validated when one character met their demise. I’m curious to see if any of you readers get it right from the first. Deering does an amazing job of spreading breadcrumbs all around in a uniform fashion. No bait and switch here. And I’m so glad because that is such a cheap trick in mystery novels.
I’m tempted to blather on but I would hate to ruin anything. Let me just end this review by saying that there’s a pleasant reveal at the end. I definitely didn’t see it coming and it was handled beautifully. Read this if you want to immerse yourself into a perfect mystery novel.
JULIANNA DEERING (also writing as DeAnna Julie Dodson) has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness, and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching, and watching NHL hockey. Her series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuted from Bethany House with Rules of Murder (2013) and is followed by Death by the Book and Murder at the Mikado (2014). Dressed for Death (2016), and Murder on the Moor and Death at Thorburn Hall (2017). She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books and Such Literary Agency.


————————————-
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
One Winner Will Receive the Full Drew Farthering Mystery Series!
November 28-December 7, 2017
(U.S. Only)
Giveaway Image Death at Thorburn Hall

a Rafflecopter giveaway

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

11/28/17
Character Interview
11/29/17
Review
11/30/17
Excerpt
12/1/17
Review
12/2/17
Author Interview
12/3/17
Excerpt
12/4/17
Review
12/5/17
Top Ten List
12/6/17
Review
12/7/17
Series Sneak Peek
   blog tour services provided by
  

 

1 Comment

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

Excerpt: Lamar’s Folly by Jeffrey Stuart Kerr

LAMAR’S FOLLY

by
Jeffrey Stuart Kerr
  Genre: Texas Historical Fiction
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
on Twitter  ┃ on Facebook
Date of Publication: November 15, 2017
Number of Pages: 320
Mirabeau Lamar seeks nothing less than a Texas empire that will dominate the North American continent. Brave exploits at the Battle of San Jacinto bring him rank, power, and prestige, which by 1838 propel him to the presidency of the young Republic of Texas and put him in position to achieve his dream. Edward Fontaine, who works for and idolizes Lamar, vows to help his hero overcome all obstacles, including the substantial power of Sam Houston. Houston and Lamar are not only political, but personal enemies, and each man regards the other with contempt.

Edward’s slave Jacob likes and admires his master, but cannot share his hatred of Sam Houston. The loyalties of both Jacob and Edward are tested by President Lamar’s belief that a righteous cause justifies any means necessary to sustain it. Lamar becomes infatuated with a married woman who resembles his deceased wife. He sends the woman’s husband on the ill-fated Santa Fe Expedition, the failure of which humiliates Lamar and provokes a crisis in his relationship with Edward, who in turn jeopardizes the trust that Jacob has placed in him. Edward laments the waste of Lamar’s genius, while Jacob marvels at the hypocrisy of both men.
══════════║║║══════════


Excerpt from

Lamar’s Folly

By Jeffrey Stuart Kerr

Some say that if Mirabeau Lamar hadn’t shot the buffalo he wouldn’t have become president. Others maintain that the incident never happened. Both are nonsense: the one because a man of Lamar’s talents requires no parlor tricks to gain high position, the other because I was there and saw the thing for myself.

That day began so many years ago with the usual breakfast of cold beef and hot coffee. We sat crammed together on crude benches around what passed for a table in Jake Harrell’s cabin. Jake called it a table, but the rest of us recognized it as a salvaged wagon bed balanced upon a pair of saw horses. We dared not set our coffee mugs upon this weathered relic, so uneven had the numerous dents and gaps in the warped oak boards rendered its surface. “It’s a table as fine as any you’ll dine on out here in the wilderness,” insisted Jake. “Besides, how many woodshops did you pass on your way here?”

The answer to that question was none. Jake’s was one of only four or five houses in all of Waterloo, a meager unincorporated village squatting on the muddy north bank of the upper Colorado River. They really weren’t houses either, just the usual drab rectangular log pens thrown up by Texas settlers in those days. Jake had constructed two such pens side by side with a dogtrot in between. One pen provided sleeping quarters for him, his wife, Mary, and his passel of children; the other served as living room, dining room, kitchen, and, as Jake described it, “bawdy house.” “Me and Mary couldn’t hardly touch each other before I added that bedroom,” he said proudly. “Now we can squirrel ourselves away over there whenever we want. Yes, sir, the best thing I ever did was add that room.”

Nine of us crowded around the table as Mary hurried to keep our coffee fresh. Jake, Mirabeau, and I occupied one side. Willis Avery, James Rice, and two men whose names I have forgotten sat opposite us. Young Dan Hornsby and his brother Malcolm squeezed in at either end. A scent of sweat mixed with horse dung drifted through the air as we ate. Though the dawn had barely broken, damp warmth already permeated the room.

“Damn, it’s hot,” said Avery.

“Watch your mouth, Avery,” said Rice. “Jake’s wife is standing right there.”

“If Willis wants to run his damned mouth, it’s all right with me,” Mary said.

Everybody but Mirabeau laughed. And, since he was the nation’s vice president, his silence weighed heavier than the heat; the laughter quickly died.

The door to the cabin suddenly burst open. Several men spilled their coffee, while Dan Hornsby nearly fell off his stool. “God Almighty, son,” Jake hollered at the small boy standing in the doorway. “Is the devil on your heels?”

“Pa! Pa!” the boy shouted. “Buffalo! Thousands of ’em!”

We rushed outside to find that the boy spoke truthfully. Beyond the woods enclosing the settlement black splotches dotted the normally verdant grassland stretching toward the horizon. Clouds of dust rose as gray patches into the sky. A low, soft rumbling echoed against the distant hills as tens of thousands of the great beasts lumbered by. They splashed mindlessly across the Colorado, churning that stream into a sea of mud. A sudden breeze carrying their stench had me longing for the less offensive odor of the cabin interior.

“Come on, boys!” Rice said enthusiastically. “Grab your pistols and let’s have at ’em!”

“Pistols?” I asked in surprise.

“Yeah, pistols,” Dan Hornsby answered. “It’s more sporting than rifles.”

“I have no pistols,” I said. But no one cared about my armaments, so I ran to the pen and hastily readied my horse. I fetched my rifle from the house, checked its load, and leapt into the saddle. “Let’s go, Spirit,” I cried, and the wind whipped my face.

We raced away from the river up a muddy ravine into the nearest herd. Two or three men fired pistols, for everyone save me seemed to be so armed. A beast twitched but did not fall. Others already lay dead. When I squeezed the trigger on my rifle the blast almost knocked me from the saddle. As I slowed to regain my balance Mirabeau raced past, spraying me with grass and mud. He pulled a pistol from his belt.


Jeffrey Stuart Kerr is the author of several titles, including Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas, winner of the Summerfield G. Roberts Award and a True West Best Western Book.




CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

11/13/17
Promo
11/14/17
Review
11/15/17
Author Interview
11/16/17
promo
11/17/17
Review
11/18/17
Excerpt
11/19/17
Promo
11/20/17
Review
11/21/17
Author Interview
11/22/17
Review
   blog tour services provided by
  

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Post, Lone Star Book Blog Tours

Review: Chicano Soul by Ruben Molina

CHICANO SOUL
Recordings and History of an American Culture
(Anniversary Edition)

by
Ruben Molina
  Genre: Music / Chicano History
Date of Publication: September 15, 2017
Number of Pages: 160
In 2007, Ruben Molina published the first-ever history of Mexican-American soul and R&B music in his book, Chicano Soul: Recordings and History of an American Culture. Ten years later, Chicano Soul remains an important and oft-referenced study of this vital but often overlooked chapter of the greater American musical experience. Chicano soul music of the 1950s and 1960s still reverberates today, both within Chicano communities and throughout many musical genres. Molina tells the story of the roots of Chicano soul, its evolution, and its enduring cultural influence.
“Brown-eyed soul” music draws on 1950s era jazz, blues, jump blues, rock `n’ roll, Latin jazz, and traditional Mexican music such as ranchera, norteño, and conjunto music. With its rare and gorgeous photos, record scans, concert bills, and impressive discography (to say nothing of its rich oral histories/interviews), it is one of those rare works that speaks to both general and academic audiences.
As a teen in the 1960s, Ruben Molina used to take a bus to Hollywood to shop for records, and his passion for vinyl never waned. As a dedicated community historian, Molina interviewed dozens of the artists whose music he loves. Much of Chicano soul music’s recent recognition and renaissance can be traced directly to Molina. He has deejayed with the Southern Soul Spinners crew since 2010.


PRAISE FOR CHICANO SOUL:
“[Chicano Soul} is nada if not revelatory… Molina seeks acknowledgement of this under-the-radar genre. With this book, he’ll get it. By linking the trail of Chicano soul bands to the route of the Mexican-American migrant workers across the United States as well as the migration of south-of-the-border families into Texas after the Mexican Revolution, the author presents a compelling account of rock and roll heroes literally unsung. Molina makes a case for teenagers who took their parents’ musical traditions, the trappings of black R&B bands with pop sensibilities, and channeled them into a vibrant sound that helped define the culture it sprang from.” —Austin Chronicle

══════════║║║══════════


EXCERPT from the Foreword by Alex La Rotta, in Chicano Soul
Oldies are forever. It’s a mantra. A credo. A maxim for diehard sweet soul enthusiasts from Los Angeles to London, Toronto to Tokyo, and beyond. Ruben Molina’s The Old Barrio Guide to Low Rider Music (2002) and Chicano Soul: Recordings & History of an American Culture (2007) — its sacred texts. Not since Paul Oliver’s The Story of the Blues (1969) has a Book and author so distinctively revived a vintage and marginal American music culture from obscurity to widespread and cult-like revelry. What was once a niche collector’s category in the aughts and prior is a recognized subgenre in the twenty-tens: Chicano Soul. In the decade since its publication, Chicano Soul — like the long-lost recordings it so lovingly documents and historicizes — has itself become a collector’s item. Original copies highly-prized and sought after by record collectors, music aficionados, DJs, musicians, fans, and others. And, too, like much of the music in question: finally receiving its due reissuance. (Only this: a legitimate, not bootleg, reissuance.)
Its long-awaited return is timely. A brief review of the past ten years in popular music culture must surely include the massive reemergence of the vinyl music format (and its swift cooptation by the music industry); roots and vintage pop music revival (film/television soundtracks, documentaries, compilations, cultural histories, etc.); and the (ongoing) digital music revolution. Most notably, as it concerns the latter, one might also note the ascension of streaming media and video-sharing websites in democratizing and disseminating “rare groove” music of the analog past for broader audiences of the digital present. Further still, YouTube- and social media based soulero (sweet soul) DJs and record collector cliques build notoriety as prized possessors of rare Chicano Soul records to wide acclaim — much of which builds on Molina’s foundation. While the diffusion of music and cultural history in the past decade has broadened, the appreciation of this specific brand of soul music has expanded in tandem. You know it as the West Side Sound, the East Side Sound, Brown-Eyed Soul, Latin Soul, Lowrider Oldies, even rock en español — all components of the vast domain of mid-century Chicano Soul music culture principally documented in Molina’s work. And a book that remains today the only single monograph devoted to the subject.
            More importantly, Chicano Soul challenges the assumptions and stereotypes of what “Latin music” could or should be in both popular culture and preceding musical-historical analyses: tropical, exotic, and almost always, distinctly foreign. Unequivocally, this music is none. It is, as the subtitle denotes, an American culture. Molina’s meticulous documentation of over 400 Mexican-American musicians/rock-and-roll combos spanning the American Southwest (née Aztlán) — and their collective thousands of independent recordings — deserves recognition if just for its impressive magnitude. But it’s the paradigm shift that Chicano Soul, and other recent works from such scholars as Deborah Vargas, Roberto Avant-Mier, Anthony Macias, Josh Kun, and Deborah Pacini Hernández, among others, provides for the current discourse on racial identity, hybridity, and the origins of American popular music that warrant as much praise. In part, a response to the tired narrative surrounding America’s supposed black/white racial binary and the forging of a national culture. Yes: Chicanos made soul music. Lots of it. And it’s damn good, too.
300b2-review
To this day, I regret not taking that History of Rock and Roll class in college. But I feel like I got a great introduction by reading this book.
My knowledge of American rock and roll was pretty limited to begin with. So my knowledge of Chicano music was even more dismal. I grew up on Ritchie Valens music and watched La Bamba more times than I can count, but that was about all I knew. Molina caters well to people like me by setting a sturdy frame of well-known American rockstars and songs, then weaving the Chicano rockers and tunes throughout. I looked up some of the songs on YouTube, and that musical tapestry is quite beautiful.
Because the styles kept evolving and new musicians were constantly hitting the music scene, the sections of this book vary in length and depth. But the thread is never lost and makes for a complicated pattern in history. I felt one snag: Little Julian Herrera. I understand why Molina includes Herrera (aka Ron Gregory), but I find myself offended for Chicano musicians. While Johnny Valenzuela gave the guy a pass, I don’t. You can respectfully draw inspiration or shamelessly appropriate a style of music, but that doesn’t make you a member of that particular culture. And I certainly wouldn’t want someone outside of my culture taking the designation of first or founder of something important.
I like how scans of the actual records, album covers, handbills, and photographs create a colorful scrapbook. It is pretty amazing to see pictures from people’s personal archives (Molina included) that probably no one else in the world owns a copy of. Thank goodness that people took pride in their culture and history, and had the foresight to keep the mementos safe.
It would have been great to see a timeline (yup, like in history class) or even a map that showed the chronological movement of the music. Something like dashed lines that criss cross America, landing on cities with graphic representations of the person/group or particular style to originate there, along with the year.
I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in music or Chicano history. I hope that universities consider adding it to their rock history or Chicano history class syllabus.

As a teen in the 1960s, Ruben Molina used to take a bus to Hollywood to shop for records, and his passion for vinyl never waned. As a dedicated community historian, Molina interviewed dozens of the artists whose music he loved. Much of Chicano soul music’s recent recognition and renaissance can be traced directly to Molina. He has deejayed with the Southern Soul Spinners crew since 2010.
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

11/09/17
Promo
11/10/17
Promo
11/11/17
Review
11/12/17
Promo
11/13/17
Review
11/14/17
Promo
11/15/17
Review
11/16/17
Promo
11/17/17
Promo
11/18/17
Review
   blog tour services provided by
  

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Lone Star Book Blog Tours

Showcase tour: Too Far Down by Mary Connealy


TOO FAR DOWN
Cimarron Legacy Book 3

by
MARY CONNEALY
  Genre: Western Historical Christian Romance
Date of Publication: October 3, 2017
Number of Pages: 322

With Danger Drawing Ever Closer, The Boden Clan Risk Losing Their Ranch Forever

Having returned home to the ranch, Cole Boden finds himself caught between missing his time back east and appreciating all that New Mexico Territory offers. Sure, he fights with his siblings now and then, but he does care for them. He enjoys his new job running the mine and, when he’s honest, he admits that Melanie Blake captures his interest in a way no other woman ever has.
Melanie has been a friend to the Bodens forever. A cowgirl who is more comfortable with horses and lassoes than people, she never expected to find herself falling for someone, particularly for refined Cole Boden, a Harvard graduate who can’t seem to make up his mind about staying in New Mexico.
When a deadly explosion damages the CR Mining Company, the Bodens realize their troubles are not behind them as they thought. Shadowy forces are still working against them. Melanie is determined to help Cole and the family finally put an end to the danger that’s threatened all of them. But will putting herself in harm’s way be more dangerous than anyone expected?



PRAISE FOR TOO FAR DOWN:

“Connealy crafts relatable characters who will inspire readers with their love, loyalty, and fortitude, and the mystery remains intriguing until the end.” Publishers Weekly 
“Recommended for those who enjoy a fast, smart historical-set suspense.” RT Book Reviews

CLICK TO PURCHASE

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE  SHOWCASE TOUR:

11/13/17
11/14/17
11/15/17
11/16/17
11/17/17


AND WATCH FOR THE SPECIAL FEATURES TOUR COMING NEXT:

11/27/17
Special Feature
11/27/17
Special Feature
11/28/17
Review
11/28/17
Special Feature
11/29/17
Review
11/29/17
Special Feature
11/30/17
Review
11/30/17
Special Feature
12/1/17
Review
12/1/17
Special Feature
   blog tour services provided by
  

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Post, Lone Star Book Blog Tours

Review & Giveaway: Bombshell by Pamela Fagan Hutchins


BOMBSHELL
(What Doesn’t Kill You, #9)
An Ava Romantic Mystery

by
PAMELA FAGAN HUTCHINS
  Genre: Romantic Mystery / R-Rated
Date of Publication: July 11, 2017
Number of Pages: 236

Scroll down for giveaway!
Temp worker by day, lounge singer by night, single mom Ava is having a hard time breaking up with her long-distance boyfriend and making it without the support of her parents on the island of St. Marcos. Things improve dramatically when she lands a too-good-to-be-true job at a virtual currency exchange, where she meets a seriously sexy man, and goes to work for a boss so incredible he sponsors her on a trip to New York to record a demo. But when Ava stumbles across the raped and murdered body of a young woman, she recognizes her from a shared trauma back in their school days. Ava is devastated and throws herself into avenging the girl’s death. From that moment on, it’s one bombshell after another, going off closer and closer to Ava and the people she cares about most.


PRAISE FOR BOMBSHELL:
“Just when I think I couldn’t love another Pamela Fagan Hutchins novel more, along comes Ava. She’s smart and sassy, with a story full of juicy plot twists. I enjoyed Bombshell from cover to cover!” — Marcy McKay, author of Pennies from Burger Heaven 

“To finally get a whole book of Ava’s beautiful voice and attitude was so much fun. And then to see that her outer armor was mixed with the very real insecurities and struggles that we can all relate to was magical. She personifies bombshell in every sense of word and I can’t wait to have her voice in my head again in Stunner.” — Tara Scheyer, Grammy-nominated musician, Long-Distance Sisters Book Club
“Entertaining, complex, and thought-provoking.” — Ginger Copeland, power reader 

══════════║║║══════════

CLICK TO PURCHASE
Review
It took me a few pages to realize that the typesetter didn’t leave off letters or entire words, but that the dialect was islander – as in Virgin Islands islander. Once I got past that little bump, I immediately fell in with Ava and her crazy life. I’m a little older than her, but I can totally relate to having a small child and working thankless temporary jobs when all you want to do is be a singer.
Kudos to Hutchins for believability and clarity. I could feel the oppressive St. Marcos heat and humidity. I could see how all the colorful characters soaked in the lovely sight of the voluptuous siren Ava. I could smell Ava’s aluminum-free deodorant failing her (been there done that!). And I could feel the repulsion from slimy men’s fingers trying to cop a feel.
I am also impressed with the progression of events and how it all ended. I knew the book is a mystery, but I was so wrapped up in Ava’s present situation that I didn’t even bother to try to figure out who was killing the dancers and why. Hutchins had me fanning myself over sensuous descriptions one moment to clenching my jaw as Ava remembers childhood predators. It was difficult to pry myself away from the present to look that far ahead.
If I actually tried, would I have solved the mystery? Probably not. The baddie(s) were so off my radar because of the circus that Ava has spiraling around her. And I admired her strength and bravery so much throughout the novel.
The only time my admiration faltered was when she actively pursued her music career. Maybe I’m a little jealous of a fictional character? Or maybe I’m annoyed that she finally had a stable job with which to support her child and she was being reckless with it by pursuing a pipe dream. She already didn’t spend much time with her daughter (who might have a slight developmental delay), and a life in the limelight would mean she would spend even less time with her. Sorry, stuffy mom rant ends here.
I really liked the end and encourage you to read the previous books to know even more about Ava and the people in her life. I look forward to reading any other Ava books that come out in the future.
Grab yourself a glass of red and settle in for a loooong night of reading. 😉

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes overly long e-mails, award-winning and best-selling romantic mysteries, and hilarious nonfiction from deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and way up in the frozen north of Snowheresville, Wyoming. 

Her What Doesn’t Kill You romantic mystery series is Janet Evanovich meets Sandra Brown and a smidge of Alice Hoffman’s practical magic, featuring a revolving lineup of interrelated female amateur sleuths. She is passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, riding her gigantic horses, experimenting with her Keurig, and traveling in the Bookmobile.
WEBSITE   BLOG   PINTEREST
FACEBOOK   TWITTER
    INSTAGRAM   GOODREADS   AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

AWARDS

2017 WINNER Silver Falchion Award, Best Mystery

2016 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Cross Genre Fiction
2015 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Cross Genre Fiction
2014 USA Best Book Award Finalist, Cross Genre Fiction
2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-finalist, Romance
2013 USA Best Book Award Finalist, Business: Publishing
2012 Winner of the Houston Writers Guild Ghost Story Contest
2012 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Parenting: Divorce
2011 Winner of the Houston Writers Guild Novel Contest, Mainstream

 

2010 Winner of the Writers League of Texas Manuscript Contest, Romance
—————————————–
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
FIVE SIGNED COPIES OF BOMBSHELL
November 1-November 10, 2017
(U.S. Only)
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

1-Nov
Character Interview
1-Nov
Guest Post 1
2-Nov
Review
3-Nov
Video Interview
3-Nov
Guest Post 2
4-Nov
Review
5-Nov
Review
6-Nov
Excerpt
6-Nov
Guest Post 3
7-Nov
Review
8-Nov
Scrapbook Page
8-Nov
Scrapbook Page
9-Nov
Guest Post 4
10-Nov
Review
10-Nov
Review


   blog tour services provided by
  

 

2 Comments

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

Notable Quotable & Giveaway: Death in D Minor by Alexia Gordon

DEATH IN D MINOR

by
ALEXIA GORDON
  Genre: Paranormal Mystery / African American Sleuth
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of Publication: July 11, 2017
Number of Pages: 236
Scroll down for giveaway!
Gethsemane Brown, African-American musician and expatriate to an Irish village, solved a string of murders and got used to living with a snarky ghost. She can rest easy now. Right? Wrong. The ghost has disappeared, her landlord’s about to sell to a developer, and her brother-in-law’s come to visit. She scrambles to call her spectral roomie back from beyond and find a way to save the cottage from destruction. But real estate takes a backseat when her brother-in-law is accused of stealing a valuable antique. Gethsemane strikes a deal with an investigator to go undercover at a charity ball and snoop for evidence of a forgery/theft ring in exchange for the woman’s help clearing him. At the party, she accidentally conjures the ghost of an eighteenth-century sea captain, then ends up the prime suspect in the party host’s murder. She races to untangle a web of phony art and stolen antiques to exonerate herself, then the killer targets her. Will she bring a murderer to justice, or will her encore investigation become her swan song?


PRAISE FOR DEATH IN D MINOR:
Gethsemane Brown is everything an amateur sleuth should be: smart, sassy, talented, and witty even when her back is against the wall. In her latest adventure, she’s surrounded by a delightful cast, some of whom readers will remember from Gordon’s award-winning debut and all of whom they won’t forget. Gordon writes characters we want resurrected.
n  Cate Holahan, author of The Widower’s
Wife and Lies She Told
Erstwhile ghost conjurer and gifted concert violinist Gethsemane Brown returns in this thoroughly enjoyable follow-up to last year’s Murder in G Major. Facing eviction from the historic seaside cottage she calls home, Gethsemane must clear her brother-in-law’s name – as well as her own – when a priceless artifact goes missing and the wealthy dowager to whom it belonged is “helped” over a high balcony railing.  With the help of a spectral sea captain she accidentally summoned, Gethsemane tries to unravel the mystery as the murderer places her squarely in the crosshairs.
n  Daniel J. Hale, Agatha Award-winning author

══════════║║║══════════

CLICK TO PURCHASE
NotableQuotable
Dquote

A writer since childhood, I put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. Medical career established, I returned to writing fiction. I completed SMU’s Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas. Henery Press published my first novel, Murder in G Major, book one of the Gethsemane Brown mysteries, in September 2016. Book two, Death in D Minor, releases July 11, 2017.
Murder in G Major won the Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best New Novel, and was selected one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Debuts. I listen to classical music, drink whiskey, and blog at www.missdemeanors.com, voted one of Writers’ Digest magazine’s 101 best websites for writers, and featured on Femmes Fatales.            
—————————————–
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
Grand Prize: Copy of Death in D Minor + Swag Pack ($50 value)
2nd Prize: Copy of Death in D Minor 
October 25-November 3, 2017
(U.S. Only)
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

25-Oct
Review
25-Oct
Notable Quotable
26-Oct
Top 5 List
27-Oct
Review
27-Oct
Playlist 1
28-Oct
Review
29-Oct
Excerpt
30-Oct
Author Interview
30-Oct
Review
31-Oct
Playlist 2
1-Nov
Review
1-Nov
Top 5 List
2-Nov
Notable Quotable
2-Nov
Notable Quotable
3-Nov
Review


   blog tour services provided by
  

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Giveaway, Guest Post, Lone Star Book Blog Tours