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Guest Post & Giveaway: The Unremembered Girl by Eliza Maxwell


THE UNREMEMBERED GIRL

by
ELIZA MAXWELL
  Genre: Psychological Suspense / Mystery
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date of Publication: November 1, 2017
Number of Pages: 332
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In the deep woods of East Texas, Henry supports his family by selling bootleg liquor. It’s all he can do to keep his compassionate but ailing mother and his stepfather—a fanatical grassroots minister with a bruising rhetoric—from ruin. But they have no idea they’ve become the obsession of the girl in the woods.
Abandoned and nearly feral, Eve has been watching them, seduced by the notion of family—something she’s known only in the most brutal sense. Soon she can’t resist the temptation to get close. Where Henry’s mother sees a poor girl in need, his father sees only wickedness. When Henry forges an unexpected bond with Eve, he believes he might be able to save her. He doesn’t know how wrong he is.
Eve is about to take charge of her own destiny—and that of Henry’s family. As both their worlds spin violently out of control, Henry must make an impossible choice: protect the broken young woman who’s claimed a piece of his soul, or put everyone he loves at risk in order to do the right thing.


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Praise for The Grave Tender, Maxwell’s previous book:

“An emotional powerhouse of a story that will leave readers reeling from the beginning to the end.” —Christena Stephens, Forgotten Winds

“Beautiful and intoxicating.” —Chelsea Humphrey, The Suspense is Thrilling Me

“Haunting. Lyrical. Beautiful. Dark. At times, sickening.” —Julia Byers, Books in the Garden

“This is dark psychological suspense that skillfully inspires a slow-dawning dread. . .It will shred you.” — Michelle Newby, Lone Star Literary Life
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GuestPost

Building a Book

GUEST POST

By Author Eliza Maxwell

 

A few years ago, my parents decided to retire and buy their dream home.  In keeping with their life long tendency to go steadfastly in the opposite direction of sane people, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the sight.  I’m not exaggerating when I tell you, it was a shack.  Literally.  A shack on stilts, located dead center of nowhere, in a swamp where the alligators outnumbered the far-flung neighbors. By a lot.

“It has bars on the windows!”  I said.  “Why does it have bars on the windows?”

Mom shrugged.  “It has a hole in the floor, too.”

Imagine my face.

“A hole?  Was someone trying to get in… Or trying to get out?”

Aaaaand… she shrugged at me again.  

A master of the shrug, my mom.

“Oh, calm down,” she said.  “We’re not going to live here.  It’s just a staging area while we build a house.”

A small sigh of relief, but short-lived.  Said future home at that time consisted of nothing more than conceptual drawings sketched out in my dad’s familiar scrawl.  As I lie there that night, listening to the scratch of things best not named across the roof and the hoots and calls of the wildlife that had claimed this murky green place long before my parents, I fell asleep to the dance and sway of the old battered building stretching on its precarious perch.

I’ll admit, I’ve had better night’s sleep.  But in between the fits and starts of waking to “The Shack” inexplicably shifting from one side to another (No, I’m not joking. The place moved.) the seeds of Henry and Eve’s story were planted.

A love story, maybe.  But the darker side of love.  A love that’s nothing less than the worst thing that could ever happen.  A love you might not survive.  A love that could bury you.

Over the next few months, my dad built a house, and I built a book.

The shack is still there, waiting.

“What are you guys going to do with that thing?” I asked.

My mom just shrugged.

Eliza Maxwell lives in Texas with her ever patient husband and two kids. She’s an artist and writer, an introvert and a British cop drama addict. She loves nothing more than to hear from readers. You can find her at theelizamaxwell@gmail.com
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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
Grand Prize ($90 value): Autographed copy of The Unremembered Girl, 1.75 mL bottle of Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka, Jusalpha white porcelain decorative cake stand, recipe for “Caroline’s Coconut Cake” (featured in the book), $20 Amazon Gift Card.
2nd Prize: Autographed copy of The Unremembered Girl, $10 Amazon Gift Card
3rd Prize: Autographed copy of The Unremembered Girl
October 5-October 14, 2017
(U.S. Only; proof of age 21 or older required to receive vodka)
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On Lone Star Trail by Amanda Cabot

On Lone Star Trail
(Texas Crossroads Book 3)
by 
Amanda Cabot

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Revell, a division of Baker Group
Date of Publication: February 2, 2016
# of pages: 368


The Future Starts When You Let Go of the Past
“She wasn’t looking for love at Rainbow’s End, 
just a change of scenery and a chance to rest”
Sometimes our past tries desperately to navigate our future. But what if facing our fear and going against our protective impulses is the key to our future? In Amanda Cabot’s final book in her Texas Crossroads series, an unlikely couple discovers that their differences just might be what bring them together. 
Gillian Hodge was heading toward a fulfilling life as a concert pianist when her dreams and career were shattered by a motorcyclist. Now she once again faces an encounter with a motorcyclist whose bike crashes in front of her. 
 
TJ Benjamin, who has been wandering around the country on his motorcycle, is recovering from the death of his beloved wife and feeling lost in both his life and his faith. When he finds himself stranded with a busted bike and a reluctant rescuer, he has to wonder about God’s sense of humor. 
Can a woman with an uncertain future and a man running to forget his past find love at Rainbow’s End? Or are they too tied to the way life used to be? These vivid characters develop and grow while readers enjoy the beautiful Texas setting.
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Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, Christmas Roses, At Bluebonnet Lake, and In Firefly Valley. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers’ Best Awards. She lives in Wyoming.


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Review
 I read the occasional Christian Romance and, though I read more worldly romance novels as well, tend to hold these books to a different standard. I know it’s not fair, but something feels off when a “Christian” romance book’s protagonist engages in premarital sex and then doesn’t feel an ounce of remorse. I appreciated how the characters in this book were relatable and yet, still maintain their values. But what I admired even more is how Cabot eases you into the spiritual aspect slowly.
You could read the first half of this book and not even realize that this is a Christian book. It is a very well-written romance book that you can sort of guess who will get together, but you’re still excited to see how it comes about. That’s the type of approach that the characters TJ and Gillian have with some kids they help in the book. They don’t go at the kids trying to change them, but approach them as someone who just wants to get to know them, maybe help them, and end up being good influences.
The way that all of the characters gradually open up about their relationship with God is similar to the way that this novel unfolds itself as a Christian book. You get to know the novel on the surface level (ex-concert pianist and ex-teacher collide and find their way back to living a full, happy life), and only when you are truly invested do you get to know about their spiritual inclinations. I think that is the best way in real life, and it works in novels as well.
And though I struggle with suppressing my eye rolls at literary love triangles, I really like what Cabot did here. Mike isn’t a bad match for Gillian in any obvious way, and Cabot could have taken the easy way out and have the guy try to get physical with her or something to draw a definite line between the two men. Instead, you’re weighing Gillian’s choices along with her, not completely sure who to go with.
Again, the book is somewhat predictable, but the journey is still quite enjoyable. There were also some details along the way that were nice surprises. Overall, I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a nice, uplifting romance.
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