Category Archives: Guest Post

For the Record by Regina Jennings

FOR THE RECORD

 

by

 

Regina Jennings

 

  Genre: Historical Romance / Christian
Publisher: Bethany House
Date of Publication: December 6, 2015
Number of Pages: 336

 

Scroll down for Giveaway!

 

Rather Than Wait for a Hero, 
She Decided to Create One
Betsy Huckabee has big-city dreams, but nobody outside of tiny Pine Gap, Missouri, seems interested in the articles she writes for her uncle’s newspaper. Her hopes for independence may be crushed, until the best idea she’s ever had comes riding into town.
Deputy Joel Puckett didn’t want to leave Texas, but unfair circumstances have made moving to Pine Gap his only shot at keeping a badge. Worse, this small town has big problems, and masked marauders have become too comfortable taking justice into their own hands. He needs to make clear that he’s the law in this town–and that job is made more difficult with a nosy reporter who seems to follow him everywhere he goes.
The hero Betsy creates to be the star in a serial for the ladies’ pages is based on the dashing deputy, but he’s definitely fictional. And since the pieces run only in newspapers far away, no one will ever know. But the more time she spends with Deputy Puckett, the more she appreciates the real hero–and the more she realizes what her ambition could cost him.
***
PRAISE FOR FOR THE RECORD:

“Jennings creates a perfect blend of love, mystery, and wit in this 19th-century romance.” —Publishers Weekly starred review

 


“Jennings’ latest is a delightfully entertaining historical romance featuring charismatic humor, unpredictable thrills, and vigilante justice. The plot is tense and exciting, and the novel sparkles with the wit and charm of its spirited heroine. It is more romantic and less stuffy than your average inspirational, and Jennings uses classic western touches like six-shooters, spurs, and white Stetsons to land readers squarely in the Ozark Mountains of 1885.” —Booklist
“This is such a delightful read with an adorable romance and a fun and entertaining story line. . . The interactions and dialogue between the main characters are sheer perfection. The mystery and drama with the hero’s backstory and the masked marauders keep the momentum of the story going at a nice pace and allows for no dull moments. There is so much to love here in this little gem, it is easily one of Jennings’ best.” —RT Book Reviews
CLICK TO PURCHASE 
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AuthorInterview

Author Interview 1: Regina Jennings

Where did your love of books and storytelling come from?

Storytelling comes from both sides of my family. My dad’s family likes nothing more than gathering together and spinning yarns. We almost prefer hardships, mess-ups and mistakes because we know that they’ll make for hilarious telling when we’re all back together.

My mom’s family is less gregarious. They are more likely to swap books than tales, but they have a deep appreciation for the written word and a sly sense of humor. Both sides have contributed to my sense of humor and love of stories.

How long have you been writing?

I studied writing in college, but I didn’t have any information on the actual business side of it, so I didn’t know how to get started. Once my kids were old enough that I regained my sanity, I started writing skits and newsletter for my church but it wasn’t until 2010 that I attempted my first novel. That attempt turned into Sixty Acres and a Bride and the beginning of a three-book series.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

I write humorous historical romance, but not all times and situations throughout history are that funny. The reason that the Bald Knobber gang formed in the Ozarks in the 1880s was because of rampant violence and corrupt law enforcement. It was a challenge to be true to the times and yet keep the story light-hearted, but I had a great cast of characters to work with. It’s a good reminder that no matter how tough times are, people have always been able to find humor in the situation.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

When the main character, Betsy Huckabee realizes there’s no interesting heroes around to write about, she decides to create one. At first she’s inspired by the handsome new sheriff, but he’s forever frustrating her by not saying or doing the appropriate swoon-worthy things. Knowing that her readers would never find this real man appealing, she has to improve him in her stories.

Through this set-up, I enjoyed poking fun at our expectations for our romance heroes. There were several times in the story when, as a dedicated romance reader, I knew exactly what the hero should say, but instead I had him say something totally doltish. Of course, Betsy turns his bluntness into charm in her stories, so I didn’t have to. It’s a nod to all my readers who enjoy a hero who’s got some real-life grit to him. It’s also a reminder that the fake men in our stories can never compete with the real-life heroes we live with.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I don’t think I could ever call myself a full-time writer because I can’t imagine writing eight hours a day. I just couldn’t stay focused that long. Thankfully, I homeschool our kids so I don’t have to ever worry about having eight hours of uninterrupted writing time.

What are some day jobs that you have held?  

If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.  While in high school I was the “cub reporter” at our local newspaper. Honestly, I did very little reporting, mostly proof-reading the legal notices and setting the classified ads. Still, the experience gave me some insight into Betsy’s job of gathering information for her uncle’s newspaper. While Betsy is getting reports on the price of cattle, she’s dreaming of writing something more interesting, and ends up turning her experiences into ladies’ fiction. Yes, I’d say I can see a correlation.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I read historical romance…surprise, surprise. Inspired by the Poldark series that’s showing on PBS, I started reading those books this fall. Note to self – before starting a series always check to see how many books there are! In this case there are 12 books with the first one written in 1945 and the last one in 2002. I can’t imagine writing a series over fifty years! It might take me that long to read them.


 

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of Sixty Acres and a Bride, Caught in the Middle, and At Love’s Bidding and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children.


  —————————————
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(US & INTERNATIONAL; INTERNATIONAL WINNER WINS $30 AMAZON CARD IN LIEU OF BOOKS)
December 1 – December 12, 2016

 

 

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

 

12/1
Excerpt 1
12/2
Review
12/3
Author Interview 1
12/4
Promo
12/5
Review
12/6
Guest Post
12/7
Author Interview 2
12/8
Review
12/9
Excerpt 2
12/10
Review

 

 

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Reawakened by Carrie Pulkinen

Title: Reawakened
Author: Carrie Pulkinen
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: November 18, 2016
 
About the Book:
Jules Hume
lives in a world where magic is a myth and supernatural creatures are
fiction—or so she thinks. As a strong, independent woman, a relationship is the
last thing she needs. Then she meets Ian Kincaid, a mysteriously sexy bachelor
with otherworldly charm. She’s instantly enamored of him, drawn by an
inexplicable magnetism. Ian awakens something magical inside her, opening her
mind to things she never thought possible. Things that shouldn’t be possible. But Ian has secrets Jules is better off not
knowing. The truth will tear her world apart, making her question everything
she once knew to be real.
 
“Who
is that?”
Beth
looked up to see who I was
talking about. “Oh. Umm…that’s just Ian. He owns the place…So, Mom. Have you
worked on any interesting cases at work?” She was trying to draw my attention
away from the gorgeous man.
“He’s beautiful.” I wasn’t interested in
talking about work. I wanted to know more about Ian. “Is he married?”
“No, but Mom. Seriously. Don’t waste your
time.”
“He doesn’t…date,” Cameron added.
“Is he gay?” I spared a glance for Cameron to
see his reaction but quickly fixed my gaze back on Ian.
“No. He’s definitely not gay.” Cameron
chuckled. “He’s just very…picky.”
“Picky. Hmm…”
And then it happened. Ian looked right at me.
Our eyes met, and something inside me burned. It started in my core, and a heat
pulsed out through me. My body ached to be close to him. I shivered, and he
smiled. I smiled back, then looked away; the intensity of the eye contact was
too much for me. If I believed in love at first sight, I would have said this
was it. But I didn’t…believe in love at first sight, that is.
“He’s coming over here,” I whispered to Beth.
“Uh-oh.” She looked at Cameron.
“Beth, Cameron, it is so good to see you,”
Ian said. He looked at each of them, and then his eyes focused on me as he
spoke. “You must introduce me to your friend, Beth.”
I felt electricity prickling my skin, and it
gave me goose bumps. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Even under the dress
shirt and tie, I could tell his body was exquisite. My fingers twitched with
the urge to touch him.
“This is my mom, Jules. Mom, this is Ian.”
She looked at him incredulously; then she looked at me and back at Ian again.
“May I join you?” Ian asked as he pulled out
the empty chair. He didn’t wait for an answer. “Is Jules short for another
name?”
“It’s Juliann, but everyone calls me Jules.”
“Juliann.” The syllables rolled off his
tongue like music. My heart melted when he said my name. “Cameron, will you
please go tell the kitchen to make two of whatever Juliann has ordered?”
“Of course,” Cameron said, and he hurried off
obediently.
“Beth, you did not tell me you had such a
beautiful mother. How could you keep such a secret from me?” He smiled
beautifully as he spoke, and I was enamored. Beth was shocked.
“Umm…Sorry?”
He laughed a deep, masculine laugh and
touched her shoulder. “Do not apologize, Beth. I’m only teasing you.” Then he
turned to me and took my hand. He raised it up to his mouth and gently kissed
it. “You are a vision of beauty, Juliann. I must get to know you better. Are
you free tomorrow night?”
I felt my eyes growing wide as I tried to
force myself to speak. I couldn’t get the words out; I was so flustered by the
magnificent man sitting next to me. Luckily, the waiter brought out our food,
so I had a little time to compose an answer…or at least to compose a coherent
sentence.
“Umm…Yeah, I think I’m available.”
“Wonderful,” he replied
with a dazzling smile.
 
 
     
About the Author:
Carrie
Pulkinen has always been fascinated with the paranormal. Of course, when you
grow up next door to a cemetery, the dead (and the undead) are hard to ignore.
Pair that with her passion for writing, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for
an exciting storyteller.
 
Carrie
spent the first part of her professional life as a high school journalism and
yearbook teacher. She loves red wine and chocolate, and in her free time, she
likes to read, take pictures, and play with her kids.
 
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Winter Song by Susan C. Muller

WINTER SONG
Book 1 of the SEASON PASS Series
 
by Susan C. Muller
 
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
 
I’m excited to announce Susan C. Muller’s new four book series: 
Seasons Pass: Murder is always in Season
Starting in November, and releasing one each month, enjoy Winter Song, Spring Shadow, Summer Storm, andAutumn Secrets.
 

 

Meet Homicide Detective Noah Daugherty and his partner, Conner Crawford. Follow them through four seasons worth of cases full of hit men, stalkers, vigilantes, and serial killers.

 

In Winter Song, homicide detective Noah Daugherty is on a mission: solve cases, lock up murderous scum, and get on with what’s left of his life. He’s on the clock, and his time is steadily ticking away. His path leads him to an icy Houston street, where a car has careened out-of-control and crashed, the driver, a beautiful young socialite, is dead. All the clues lead straight to her husband, but Noah’s intuition screams the case is more than meets the eye.
Not willing to give up until he solves this cold-blooded murder, he finds the unthinkable . . . a hitman no one saw coming, with a chilling personal agenda that now targets Noah.
 
Can he solve the case and save himself before winter is finished singing her song?
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susan C. Muller is a fourth generation Texan. She attended Stephen F. Austin State University where she studied business administration but took creative writing classes on the side. She started her first novel at age eleven, but it wasn’t until after she had worked many years and raised a family that she returned to her first love, writing. 
She enjoys speaking to book clubs and writer’s groups. Susan lives in Spring, Texas with her rescue dog, Maggie. She loves to travel and has been fortunate to see much of the world. Her favorite places include Kenya, New Zealand, and the Galapagos Islands.
When not writing, she can be found doing volunteer work at a local hospital. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, snorkeling and taking long walks.
Connect with the author online:
 

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Guest Post #1: Hurt by Catherine Musemeche

HURT
The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care
by
Catherine Musemeche, M.D.
Genre: Medicine / Medical History
Date of Publication: September 6, 2016
Publisher: ForeEdge
# of pages: 268

The heroic story of the invention of trauma care, from
battlefield triage to level 1 trauma centers
Trauma is a disease of epidemic proportions that preys on the young, killing more Americans up to age thirty-seven than all other afflictions combined. Every year an estimated 2.8 million people are hospitalized for injuries and more than 180,000 people die.
We take for granted that no matter how or where we are injured, someone will call 911 and trained first responders will show up to insert IVs, stop the bleeding, and swiftly deliver us to a hospital staffed by doctors and nurses with the expertise necessary to save our lives. None of this happened on its own.
Told through the eyes of a surgeon who has flown on rescue helicopters, resuscitated patients in trauma centers in Houston and Chicago, and operated on hundreds of trauma victims of all ages, Hurt takes us on a tour of the advancements in injury treatment from the battlefields of the Civil War to the state-of-the-art trauma centers of today.

 

PRAISE FOR HURT: THE INSPIRING, UNTOLD STORY OF TRAUMA CARE
 

“Musemeche’s fast-paced medical history mixes the gritty reality of treating life-threatening injuries—including her own heart-pounding experiences as surgeon—with an unfettered optimism about what trauma care can now promise: an assurance that most people will survive even a devastating injury.”

 

—Publishers Weekly

 

 

“Hurt is a fascinating journey through the history of trauma care in this country. Musemeche’s unique ability to weave moving, personal stories with intriguing facts takes this book well beyond a great read. It is an education in the human spirit.” —Paul Ruggieri, MD, author of Confessions of a Surgeon and The Cost of Cutting

 

 
CLICK TO PURCHASE:

*Book People* *IndieBound*

GuestPost 

Spinal Cord Injury: The Unplugged Power Main

Guest Post

By Catherine Musemeche, M.D.

 

About a month ago we got an early morning call that our friend Tim had broken his neck in a bike accident in LA. He was on a bike path, wearing a helmet and following all the rules when another bike came at him head on going the wrong direction. Tim was forced to veer off the path and into a fence. And that’s when it happened. His third cervical vertebrae, the shock absorber of the neck, couldn’t take the impact and snapped. Tim fell off his bike still clipped into his pedals and knew instantly that something was wrong because he couldn’t feel his hands or feet. Passerby came to his aid immediately but Tim was alert enough to tell them, “Don’t move me. I might have a neck injury.”

 

And that’s the way injury happens. It comes out of nowhere when we’re minding our own business on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon and totally disrupts our life. Injuries are a part of daily life that we will never escape. There is no vaccine we can take to prevent them. There is no medicine that will magically make them go away. Once we get hurt we’re going to have to find a way to heal, just like the rest of the 2.8 million people in this country who are hospitalized every year for traumatic injury.

 

The spinal cord is the power main of our bodies. When it gets bruised, broken or severed it’s like the cord’s been unplugged. Almost always we will suffer some degree of paralysis temporary or permanent. And it’s a long slow process to get the power up and running again. If we damage just a single nerve in our bodies it can takes weeks to months to regenerate. Think of the spinal cord as a bundle of hundreds of nerves. There’s a lot golng on in even a tiny sliver of it, hundreds of complicated nerve impulses crisscrossing in a tight space signaling when to move, to feel, to breathe.

 

Tim was in the ICU for a week and then started inpatient rehab where he’s been for three weeks. He was finally able to type his first email night before last. Yesterday he walked thirty steps with assistance. He still has a long way to go but the way things stand right now, Tim’s one of the lucky ones and he knows it.

 

More on spinal cord injury in HURT, Chapter 13 “The Road Back.”

 

            Dr. Catherine Musemeche is a pediatric surgeon, attorney and author who lives in Austin, Texas. She was born and raised in Orange, Texas and attended Lutcher Stark High School. She is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, The University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston, The Anderson School of Management in Albuquerque, New Mexico and The University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas. Dr. Musemeche is a former surgery professor at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, the MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute and the University of New Mexico where she was the Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Trauma. She currently works in the field of regulatory medicine.
             In addition to publishing extensively in the medical literature, Dr. Musemeche has been a guest contributor to the New York Times. Her writing has also been published on NPR.org, KevinMD.com, in the anthology At the End of Life: True Stories About How We Die and in the Journal of Creative Nonfiction.  Her first book, Small: Life and Death on the Front Lines of Pediatric Surgery was nominated for the Pen American/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Award and was awarded the Writer’s League of Texas Discovery Prize for nonfiction. Her second book, Hurt: The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care will be published in September of this year.

 

Check out the other great blogs on the tour! 

 

9/28
Review
9/29
Guest Post #1
9/30
Excerpt #1
10/1
Review
10/2
Promo
10/3
Author Interview #1
10/4
Review
10/5
Guest Post #2
10/6
Excerpt #2
10/7
Review
10/8
Author Interview #2
10/9
Promo
10/10
Review
10/11
Guest Post #3
10/12
Review
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Special Feature: Texas in Her Own Words as told to Tweed Scott

TEXAS IN HER OWN WORDS
(Second Edition)

 

by

 

Tweed Scott
Genre: Texas / Texana / General Interest
Publisher: Tejas Publishing
Date of Publication: June 16, 2016
Number of Pages: 336
Scroll down for Giveaway!

 

Texas in Her Own Words is a peek into the Texas psyche. It explains why Texans are the way they are . . . where all that attitude comes from. This work is the result of a statewide search for what author Tweed Scott calls the “T-Chromosome.” Texans are different but why?  Scott went statewide to find the answers to three basic questions. 1) What makes Texas special? 2) Why is this place so different than anywhere else on the planet? 3) If and when it applied, what does it mean to you personally to BE a native Texan?

 

Scott shares some remarkable answers with you throughout the book. In the end, he learned that all Texans share four traits or attributes. When you finish this book, you will understand why Texans are the way they are. IF you are a native Texan, chances are you will find some of yourself between the covers of this book. It’s a fun read.

Praise for Texas in Her Own Words

“Searching for the soul of Texas, Tweed Scott has done a great service.  People and places and the cowboy poetry of the heart — Texas in Her Own Words is chockfull of all of these things.  It deserves a special place on your bookshelf. Say right between Larry McMurtry and J. Frank Dobie.” Kinky Friedman, author and entertainer
 
“It’s a Texas thing, you either have it, or you don’t.  Few people can define such an emotion, a feeling, a pride that is embedded so deep.  This book made me cry and smile at the same time.  Texas in Her Own Words helps to explain what ‘Lone Star state of mind’ is. . .” — TJ Greaney, Publisher, Countryline Magazine.
 
“I [Patricia Spork] very highly recommend Texas in Her Own Words (Second Edition) by Tweed Scott to Texas researchers and historians, to any hopeful “wannabe” Texan or to any yee hawin’ boastful Texan, like me (a transplanted didn’t-know-it “wannabe”).” 
Patricia Spork, freelance writer and artist
 
CLICK TO PURCHASE  
Amazon * Texas Trading Post * Tejas Publishing
Design

Tweed Scott is a laugh-out-loud funny motivational speaker and corporate entertainer. He retired from broadcasting after 31 years. His broadcasting accomplishments include operating the highest rated FM station in America and later the 5th highest rated AM station in America. Tweed is an award winning speaker and the author of the three-time national award-winning book, Texas in Her Own Words. His book is sold at the Alamo, the state capitol gifts shops in Austin, the San Jacinto Museum & Battleground, and the Sam Houston Statue & Visitor’s Center in Huntsville.

 

 

He is the past president of the board for the Writers’ League of Texas serving some 1,300 members. Tweed now writes for several magazines and has built his own writing and speaking company, Tejas Publishing, LLC.  He is a graduate of Lamar University and a US Navy veteran. He continues to write and spread what he calls, “The Gospel of Texas.”

 

 ————————————— 

 

ENTER TO WIN ONE OF THREE SIGNED COPIES! 
(US ONLY)
August 22 – September 5, 2016 

 

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

8/22
Guest Post 1
8/23
Review
8/24
Author Interview 1
8/25
Excerpt 1
8/26
Review
8/27
Guest Post 2
8/28
Promo
8/29
Review
8/30
Excerpt 2
8/31
Tweed’s Scrapbook
9/1
Review
9/2
Author Interview 2
9/3
Review
9/4
Promo
9/5
Review

 

 

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Guest Post: The Lark by Dana Glossbrenner

THE LARK
by
Dana Glossbrenner


Genre: Humorous Literary Fiction
Publisher: Boldface Books
Date of Publication: June 7, 2016
Number of Pages: 270

 

Scroll down for Giveaway!
You’re never too old to learn—or too young

 

Good-looking, good-hearted Charley Bristow’s the most sought-after hair stylist in five West Texas counties. He’s an expert on the dance floor and sharp at the pool tables, too—but when it comes to pick­ing cars, dogs, and women, luck hasn’t quite gone his way lately. And there’s the ever-present worry over his mother, whose own trailer-park plight he’d just as soon steer clear of. 

 

Just when he’s sworn off temptation of the female sort, an evening at the local honky-tonk drives two prime targets right into his path. Weighing the sudden wealth of options in his love life, while also searching for the right choice of wheels to suit his needs, Charley stumbles upon a long-hidden secret and an unforeseen road to re­demption. 

 

The colorful denizens of the Wild Hare Salon, Jarod’s Automotive, and Hopper’s nightclub, along with those of the Briargrove First Methodist Church and the Sulfur Gap Centennial Celebration, will two-step their way right into your heart, to music as familiar as Willie Nelson and Charley Pride. And you just might start to fall in love with an old Johnny Mercer tune, too, as Charley Bristow faces his past and embraces the challenge of his future.

 

Praise for The Lark
“Good-time Charley” Bristow is a popular twenty-something West Texas hairstylist who’s already dodged two bullets with two failed marriages (the second time, literally). . . . The Lark invites us to join Charley’s friends, the rural cosmopolitans of Sulfur Gap, and ride shotgun alongside this rogue with an honest heart . . . on a journey into his past.  Dana Glossbrenner has crafted a totally engaging quest for happiness, set it in a totally genuine contemporary Texas, and delivered up great characters for a great read.

 

Cliff Hudder, author of Splinterville and Pretty Enough for You

 

Charley Bristow takes some things seriously–work, dancing, pool-playing, and women, but maybe not in that order. He finds the true importance of friends and family.

 

— Rick Smith, San Angelo Standard Times
GuestPost

 

Where’d You Get Those Characters?

I began to hear the most frequently-asked question right away: “Are your characters based on anyone you know?” With my first published novel, The Lark, I gave advance reading copies to people whose opinion I value and, yes, to those who would post that valued opinion in an Amazon review when the book became available. They asked, “Where’d the characters come from?” Friends asked if they would recognize themselves in the book. And others inquired, “Where did you get the idea for Charley?”

When I first started writing short stories, I made up fictional names and told true stories. Truth is often better—and wilder—than fiction. There are remarkable situations when people say, “You can’t make this stuff up!” But I found myself working too hard to preserve the real story. The first time I wrote about a totally fictional character in a completely made-up story, my husband said, “Your writing is better when you’re not trying to fit things in to something you already know about.” I decided he was right.

Here’s how Charley, the main character in The Lark evolved. I knew a bunch of interesting ladies who work at the beauty salon I visit for haircuts and the occasional chair massage or manicure. I had written a couple of stories about women working in a salon. Someone observed, “Sounds like Steel Magnolias,” when I told her about my stories. Oh. Not too happy about my lack of originality, I decided to start a story with a young female hair stylist who marries an older man who is a drummer in a band. About thirty pages in, I began to bore myself. I was thinking, “How can I punch this up?”

I remembered a presentation by a local author at our writers’ club, in which he said, “If things feel too conventional, turn them upside down.” So Charlene became Charley, and the drummer, Lou, became an older lady. And then I decided to take off in a different direction from the plot I had in mind. The basic settings stayed the same—the nightclub (invented), the hair salon (adapted from my real one but different), and Sulfur Gap (a composite of small West Texas towns I know).

Once Charley appeared, he took on a life of his own. I knew him. Thomas Hardy said, “Character is destiny.” That’s true of real people as well as the characters writers create. Once I knew Charley, I knew what needed to happen within my world-view, which isn’t fantasy, sci-fi, or horror.

But characters don’t magically appear. When I’m formulating a story (a novel, a segment, or a short story), I start sketching. I write the character’s name in the center of a page, and then I jot down everything I know about that person and where he or she is headed in the arc of the plot. Sometimes I realize that the plot will need adjustments to fit the character, since a plot works best if it’s character-driven. Sometimes I change the character’s name.

I focus on the character’s conflicts—what the person brings into the storyline—both the baggage and the laurels. Has he or she missed out on life because of an over-developed sense of self-sacrifice? Does the character harbor a guilty secret? Is the character trying to overcome a handicap, such as being a total nerd? Has the character been hurt deeply by someone or by a stroke of fate? Who or what does the character love most? From this comes focus on motivation, which then drives the plot.

Alongside this diagram, I begin to jot notes about how the character’s segment of life that I am portraying will play out within the setting and the basic plot line.

Another helpful approach is to write a character sketch—like the old high school English assignments–Write a character sketch of Lennie in Of Mice and Men. If characters don’t come into focus, I write a description of them—discover who they are. What I describe about that character is what I will show as the plot thickens. It’s a great tool to solidify a character in my thoughts.

So this is part of the very long answer to the question, “Where’d those characters come from?”

The short answer is “My head.”

 

Dana Glossbrenner’s debut novel, The Lark, features Charley Bristow, a successful young hair stylist in a small West Texas town. His misadventures provide humor, intrigue, and catharsis, as he discovers a lost family history. Women Behind Stained Glass: West Texas Pioneers, a historical work, recounts the lives of women who helped settle the area around San Angelo, Texas.Glossbrenner taught high school and university English classes and worked as a guidance counselor. She grew up in Snyder, Texas, earned degrees from Texas Tech, Angelo State University, and Texas State University. She now lives in San Angelo, Texas.

She cites Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy, and Elmer Kelton as major inspirations for writing about Texas.

 

 ————————————— 

 

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   July 25 – August 8, 2016
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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
7/25    StoreyBook ReviewsReview

 

7/26    The Librarian Talks – Author Interview #1

 

7/27    Texas Book Lover – Excerpt #1
7/28    Reading By Moonlight — Review
7/29    It’s a Jenn World – Author Interview #2
7/30    Country Girl BookaholicReview
7/31    The Crazy Booksellers — Promo
8/1       Missus GonzoGuest Post
8/2       Byers Editing Reviews & Blog – Excerpt #2
8/3       Kara The Redhead — Review
8/4       The Page UnboundAuthor Interview #3
8/5       Margie’s Must Reads — Review
8/6       Books and Broomsticks — Promo
8/7       Forgotten Winds – Excerpt #3

8/8       My Book Fix Blog – Review


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West Texas Middleweight by Frank Sikes

WEST TEXAS MIDDLEWEIGHT
The Story of LaVern Roach
(Sport in the American West Series)
by
Frank Sikes
Genre: Biography
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Date of Publication: June 30, 2016
Number of Pages: 288
Scroll down for Giveaway!
LaVern Roach, a skinny kid from the small town of Plainview, Texas, rose from obscurity to become one of boxing’s most popular figures during the 1940s. Roach’s rise to prominence occurred during an era when boxing shared the spotlight with baseball as the nation’s top two professional sports. As a result of Roach’s death—which marked the first nationally televised fight during which a boxer died from injuries received in the ring—the sport of boxing came under closer scrutiny by the general public than ever before.
West Texas Middleweight is the story of Roach’s all too brief journey from a West Texas amateur, to enlistment in the US Marines, where he captained the nation’s most successful military boxing team, to becoming a Madison Square Garden main eventer. He received the distinction of being named The Ring Magazine’s “Rookie of the Year” for 1947 and was considered a top ten contender for the middleweight championship of the world. This book chronicles Roach’s road to his final fight—and it explains why, as noted by legendary boxing trainer Angelo Dundee, “boxing changed because of LaVern Roach.”
PURCHASE FROM TEXAS TECH PRESS:
email: ttup@ttu.edu
phone: 800.742.2982
GuestPost
Sikes guest post pic 2

GUEST POST #2

By Frank Sikes

 

The Muhammad Ali-Angelo Dundee partnership created a boxing legend which lasted for over half a century. Ali, arguably the greatest boxer who ever lived, recently died on June 3, 2016 at the age of 74. His partner in fame, Angelo Dundee, arguably the best boxing trainer who ever lived, passed away on February 1, 2012 at the age of 90.

 

What does this have to do with West Texas Middleweight, the Story of LaVern Roach?

 

Angelo was a seasoned trainer, who had already produced his first world boxing champ in Carmen Basilio, when he first met 18 year old Cassius Marcellus Clay. The relationship got off to a rocky start. After Clay won his gold medal in the 1960 Olympics, all of the trainers were trying to sign him to a professional contract. All with the exception of Dundee, who didn’t want to take the time and trouble in helping turn an amateur into a professional fighter. Fate eventually brought the two together, forming boxing’s most successful boxer/trainer relationship and the rest is history.

 

Go back in time to 1945. World War II was over and the soldiers were coming home. Among them was twenty five year old Angelo Dundee, who in his own words, said “I had no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life.” His older brother Chris had put together one of the largest boxing teams in the country, called Dundee’s Dandies. He offered Angelo a job, which Angelo best described as a “gopher” – running errands and doing whatever Chris wanted done. Chris discovered that Angelo had a talent for writing and soon had him writing publicity material to send to the young boxer’s hometown newspapers.

 

There was one boxer that he was really impressed with and had no problem in producing sporting clips to send back home. His name was LaVern Roach. LaVern, a twenty year old Texan, had gotten out of the Marine Corps, where he won a national Golden Glove championship, the best fighter to come out of the Marines in World War II, and was named the Amateur Boxer of the Year by Look Magazine. Just like Clay years later, LaVern’s ambition was to become a world champion boxer. Instead of going back to Texas, he decided to stay in New York City, which was the heart of the boxing world. He soon became the star of the Dundee Dandees, forming a friendship with Angelo. In Angelo’s own words, “I had the pleasure and honor to meet LaVern Roach as a person and a human being – great on both accounts – He would have been a fistic star at ‘any time’ – championship material. Walked like a champ in and out of the ring.”

 

Angelo’s skills working with the young boxers were soon recognized by bother Chris, and his duties expanded to where Angie began his training in the boxing ring as a bucket-man, then a cut-man for LaVern and the other boxers.   So before there was an Angelo Dundee, there was a LaVern Roach.

 

Angelo Dundee reached the summit of boxing with Muhammad Ali but received some of his earliest training with LaVern Roach.

 

Angelo’s first words to me were “Boxing Changed because of LaVern Roach.” His parting words were “Good luck with the book. Boxing is in need of a good story.” Angelo died six month later, but not before he attended Ali’s 70th birthday party.

 

Angelo (age 90) and Ali were reunited for the last time at Ali’s 70th birthday party. Angelo Dundee died about two weeks later.

 

Frank Sikes, a third-generation West Texan, grew up in Plainview, where LaVern Roach, along with Jimmy Dean, were hometown heroes.  Sikes graduated from Texas Tech in 1967, then was a US Navy Officer proudly serving aboard the USS Little Rock stationed in Gaeta, Italy from 1968-1970.  He attended the University of Houston School of Business, from 1973 to 1975, and got his master’s degree in religion from Wayland Baptist University in 2011.

Frank and his wife Nancy have been married for 50 years and have two grown children out of the house, and two Boston Terriers, Molly and Maggie (or as some suggest Boston terrorists) who rule the house. Lubbock has been home for the past 30 years with stops in Newport, RI; San Francisco, CA; Gaeta, Italy; Houston, TX; and Albuquerque, NM.  West Texas Middleweight is his first book.
Connect with the author on FACEBOOK.

————————————— 
GIVEAWAYS! GIVEAWAYS! GIVEAWAYS!
3 WINNERS:
 Each Wins a Signed Copy of the Book 
plus
2 GRAND PRIZE WINNERS: 
Each Wins a Signed Copy of the Book PLUS a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

 

(US ONLY)
   June 1 – June 10, 2016
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
 

7/1       Country Girl Bookaholic  – Review


7/2       My Book Fix Blog – Author Interview #1

 

7/3       Forgotten Winds – Guest Post #1

 

7/4       Margie’s Must Reads Review

 

 

7/6       StoreyBook Reviews  – Author Interview #2

 

7/7       Book Chase Review

 

7/8       The Page Unbound Author Interview #3

 

7/9       Missus Gonzo  – Guest Post #2

 

7/10    It’s a Jenn World Review

 


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