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Audio Book Review & Giveaway: Covey Jencks by Shelton L. Williams

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

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

review

Welcome to my first ever audio book review! I’m really excited to share my thoughts on Covey Jencks. Within the first few seconds, I was laughing because I was pronouncing Covey with a long “O” sound. So you can see that I am someone who could definitely benefit from listening to audio books more often.

One thing I noticed several minutes into this audio book is that all the normal front of the book stuff (title page, publishing information, foreword, etc.) was treated as individual chapters. So when you looked at your listening device, chapter 7 was when chapter 1 of the book actually began. I wish the company that put together the audio book could or would have used some other naming convention so that the chapter numbers actually matched up.

Narrator: At first I was a little confused with the choice of Kathy James as narrator, but I feel like it might have had to do with what was discussed in the foreword. This book contains all types of characters and the diversity extends beyond the normal racial categories to include cisgender individuals as well. So I think that Williams wanted to liberate us of our assumption as to what Covey Jencks would sound like. James was a good choice for keeping us on neutral footing. She has a very soothing voice with very precise diction, sort of like Siri. It takes her about a chapter or two to hit her stride, but it feels satisfying to hear her personality shine through. And though I tried to break the confines of my bias on gender roles, I couldn’t help but smile every time that pretty voice cursed or talked about lewd behavior. Side note: I truly hope that Ms. James narrates some of those children’s books intended for adult audiences in the future. Lastly, kudos to anyone who can read AIM messages without me fast forwarding.

Story: I can’t praise this story enough. I was able to invest myself into every character, especially when it came to Covey and Freddie. I liked hearing about Covey’s upbringing and just appreciated his sense of humor all around. I have a feeling that Williams has a bit of Covey in him because that character just felt so natural. I liked the many layers of Ms. Freddie as well and was glad to get to know her through the various flashbacks. Odessa was sort of its own character for me also because who knew about the seedy underground during that time period? I have never been to Odessa but I had imagined a sleepy town where there’s one bar and one police officer to break up the occasional drunken brawl. But I guess that there would have to be more to a place for Covey to come back from a high power attorney position in Washington, D.C.

I had a good time listening to this book. It’s a good mystery that takes you on a wild ride that is very different from your typical whodunit. You can’t go wrong getting this in audio or print format.

Shelton L. Williams (Shelly) is founder and president of the Osgood Center for International Studies in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and he taught for nearly 40 years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He has served in the US Government on 4 occasions and he has written books and articles on nuclear proliferation. In 2004 he began a new career of writing books on crime and society. Those books are Washed in the Blood, Summer of 66, and now Covey Jencks. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.

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My first part time job while I was in high school was announcing at the local radio station, and I had fun being “on the air” and using my sarcastic sense of humor.  I worked in the radio business for more than twenty years. My favorite pastimes are teaching figure skating, getting lost in a great book, and watching movies.  I narrate and produce audio books in my home studio, and I truly enjoy bringing an author’s characters to life with an audio book. I currently reside in Minnesota with my slightly overweight cat and two childlike golden retrievers.  
 
 
————————————
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
FIVE WINNERS!
One Winner: Get One Signed, Print Copy & Give One to the Library of Your Choice
Two Winners: Audible Audio Book Copies
Two Winners: eBook CopiesNOVEMBER 27-DECEMBER 6, 2018
(U.S. Only)
 
 
 
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
11/27/18
Review
11/27/18
Excerpt
11/28/18
Audio Review
11/29/18
Guest Post
11/29/18
Playlist
11/30/18
Audio Review
12/1/18
Author Interview
12/1/18
Character Interview
12/2/18
Review
12/2/18
Scrapbook Page
12/3/18
Review
12/4/18
Audio Review
12/5/18
Excerpt
12/6/18
Audio Review
12/6/18
Review
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Covey Jencks by Shelton L. Williams

 
COVEY JENCKS
by
Shelton L. Williams
Genre: Mystery / Social Thriller
Publisher: Southern Owl Publications, LLC
Publication Date: February 10, 2018
Number of Pages: 229 pages
Covey Jencks is a murder mystery with a social conscience. Set in West Texas with a cast of colorful and humorous characters, it follows a young lawyer from Washington, DC back to his hometown of Odessa, Texas. He wants and needs to solve a murder case from 1979 in 1993. The problem is that the Odessa Police Department has already found its man, and no one wants to re-visit the case of a black prostitute whose life was seemingly of no consequence to anyone. But Freddie Mae Johnson’s death matters to Covey and eventually he discovers an old flame, JayJay Qualls, who also knew and loved Freddie. Together they undertake an investigation that uncovers not only the truth about Freddie but also the secrets of Odessa’s south side, Mexican gangs, a Boston mobster, and the fallacy of unexamined assumptions. Finding out who killed Freddie is one thing, but preventing their own demise is quite another! 
scrapbook page
LORILEI POST ONLY Scrapbook Covey Jencks JPG

PRAISE FOR COVEY JENCKS: 
I just love Covey Jencks and JayJay Qualls! They are a modern couple who remind me of Nick and Nora in West Texas. Characters, crimes, and social commentary leap off the page. Shelly can tell a story! Deborah Crombie, author of the award-winning mysteries of Gemma James/Duncan Kincaid

I loved the story, the writing, and the prospects for future Covey Jencks adventures, but what I love the most, as an African- American author and documenter of human experience, is the proof that this work presents of the inextricability of Black and White lives in America. Sharon T. Freeman, CEO of Gems of Wisdom Consulting, author of 24 books, and global development expert

A dead body and a miscarriage of justice? What is a West Texas boy to do? Well, Covey Jencks, an Odessa native who knows some secrets, spurns his job with a Washington, DC law firm, and heads back to his hometown to solve the crime. Prudence Mackintosh, Contributing Editor, Texas Monthly, author of Thundering Sneakers and more

“I have unfinished business in Odessa, by God, Texas.” And with that, we are off on a wild ride with Covey Jencks as he tries to find out who killed Freddie Mae Johnson, a black prostitute, when Covey was a junior in high school. If you like your detectives to be misfits who chafe at the social rules, idealists who try to find the order behind apparent chaos, attractors of a cast of characters as contradictory as the detective is, you will grab hold of Covey and hang on until the end of the ride. When you get there, you’ll know for sure that you’ve been somewhere. Carol Daeley, Professor Emerita of English, Austin College.

Shelton L. Williams (Shelly) is founder and president of the Osgood Center for International Studies in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and he taught for nearly 40 years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He has served in the US Government on 4 occasions and he has written books and articles on nuclear proliferation. In 2004 he began a new career of writing books on crime and society. Those books are Washed in the Blood, Summer of 66, and now Covey Jencks. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.

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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

4/10/18
Character Interview
4/11/18
Review
4/12/18
Excerpt
4/13/18
Review
4/14/18
Author Interview
4/15/18
Top 11 List
4/16/18
Review
4/17/18
Scrapbook Page
4/18/18
Notable Quotable
4/19/18
Review
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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. 
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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

 

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