Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Making It Home ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours BONUS Book Club Video & Giveaway!

MAKING IT HOME
By Teddy Jones

Publisher: MidTown Publishing
Pub Date: July 26, 2021
Series: Jackson's Pond, Texas Series
Stand Alone: YES
Pages: 275
Categories: Family Fiction / Racism / Ku Klux Klan / Texas Women's Fiction / Rural Fiction

Scroll for Giveaway!





In this third novel in the Jackson’s Pond, Texas series, fifty-five-year-old Melanie Jackson Banks encounters racism, intolerance, and violence both in her family’s distant past and in current day Jackson’s Pond. She leads family and community efforts to create reconciliation for past wrongs and also to demonstrate strength and defiance in the face of vandalism, cross-burning, domestic violence, threats to Jackson Ranch’s operation, and kidnapping. In the midst of this stormy period, she finds allies in her mother’s long-time companion, Robert Stanley; her mother, Willa Jackson; her daughter Claire Havlicek; and many others.




Praise for Making It Home

“Making It Home could not be a more timely book… We live in an imperfect world, but it is still possible to think, imagine and make things better. The cast of characters in this strong family affirms this through their hope, decency, and tenacity!” --Eleanor Morse, author of Margreete’s Harbor


“Jones' talent for creating indelible characters endures, as does her way with a compelling plot. … This is a timely page-turner.”  Robin Lippincott, author of Blue Territory: A Meditation on the Life and Art of Joan Mitchell

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon ~ IndieBound ~ Barnes and Noble



*****
EAVESDROP ON A ZOOM BOOK CLUB MEETING
with two readers who won a contest to have Making It Home characters named after them!

Click to view on Google Drive


Teddy Jones is the author of three published novels, Halfwide, Jackson’s Pond, Texas, and Well Tended, as well as a collection of short stories, Nowhere Near. Her short fiction received the Gold Medal First Prize in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition in 2015. Jackson’s Pond, Texas was a finalist for the 2014 Willa Award in contemporary fiction from Women Writing the West. Her as yet unpublished novel, Making It Home, was a finalist in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition in 2017 and A Good Family was named finalist in that contest in 2018.

Although her fiction tends to be set in West Texas, her characters’ lives embody issues not bounded by geography of any particular region. Families and loners; communities in flux; people struggling, others successful; some folks satisfied in solitude and others yearning for connection populate her work. And they all have in common that they are more human than otherwise.

Jones grew up in a small Texas town, Iowa Park. Earlier she worked as a nurse, a nurse educator, a nursing college administrator, and as a nurse practitioner in Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico. For the past twenty years, she and her husband have lived in the rural West Texas Panhandle where he farms and she writes.

Website | Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram | BookBub


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Deadly Business ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours Guest Post, Book Trailer, & Giveaway!


DEADLY BUSINESS
by Anita Dickason

Pages: 324 pages
Publication Date: July 4, 2021
Genre: Suspense / Thriller / Crime Thriller


Scroll for Giveaway!

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With You I Am

A Texas Multi-Billion Dollar Lure!

Following a tactical raid at an Oklahoma farm, a phone call sends U.S. Deputy Marshal Piper McKay rushing back to the East Texas cattle ranch where she grew up. Her grandmother, Jennie Layton, is near death from a crushed skull. When local authorities claim the cause of the injury was an accident, Piper isn’t convinced.

Who wants Jennie dead and why? Is the reason connected to a dubious contract Piper finds in Jennie’s desk?

Piper realizes her grandmother isn’t the only one in danger when she barely escapes a deadly attack. Thrust into the middle of a high-stakes, high-risk shell game, Piper’s become the target. The case takes a bizarre turn when Piper unknowingly crosses paths with a Special Ranger. If he can’t derail her investigation, it could cost him his life.

With millions of dollars on the line, nothing will stop a ring of cold-blooded killers, including the murders of a U.S. Marshal and a Special Ranger.


PURCHASE LINKS
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Deadly Business: It’s not the Old West.

Guest Post

by Anita Dickason

I’m always on the hunt for interesting topics for a book. About two years ago, I came across a news article in Florida. The article dealt with the conclusion of an extensive investigation into cattle rustling. The break in the case came from the DNA on file for one of the animals. This was something new, animal DNA. At the time, I thought, wow, this is high-tech stuff and would make a great story.

It wasn’t until late last year after I finished Operation Navajo, my fourth FBI Tracker novel, that my thoughts turned to what is next? The DNA story came to mind. So I started researching and was blown away by the magnitude of the problem.

In Texas, cattle rustling is big business for the crooks. If a thief breaks into a house and steals a TV, they can only get pennies on the dollar when they sell it. Steal a cow, and you can get the full value that can go upwards to over a couple of thousand bucks.

When I delved into the DNA research, it got even more interesting. The use of cattle DNA is an international, multi-billion dollar business.

I had the basis for a story. Not the Old West, but the New West, where the crime not only involves theft but has also turned into white-collar crimes of financial fraud.

My next decision was whether to make the book another FBI Tracker novel or use an entirely new cast of characters. It wasn’t a hard decision as my research had also discovered the Special Rangers.

I’ve been a cop in Texas for close to 27 years and never heard of a Special Ranger. Most people are very familiar with Texas Rangers. Special Rangers are on the same level. In fact, they are commissioned by the Texas Department of Public Safety, just the same as a Texas Ranger. The difference is who pays the salary. Texas Rangers are paid by the state. Special Rangers are paid by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. In several cases, they have an edge over the Texas Rangers. Special Rangers based along the Texas/Oklahoma border have a dual commission, Texas and Oklahoma. It means they have jurisdiction to investigate crimes in both states. What I learned about this truly unique group of officers made me wish I would have had the opportunity to have been one.  

In Deadly Business, I weaved my plot around a crime that extends across three states. In addition, I used DNA to add a unique twist. The cast of characters includes a Special Ranger and a U.S. Marshal who find themselves tripping over each other. U.S. Marshal Piper McKay is bent on finding out who tried to kill her grandmother and in the process becomes a target. Special Ranger Cade Tanner is trying to derail her investigation to keep from getting killed.

As one reviewer stated, “The plot is fast and furious.”

About the Author

Anita Dickason

Award-winning Author Anita Dickason is a twenty-two veteran of the Dallas Police Department. She served as a patrol officer, undercover narcotics detective, advanced accident investigator, tactical officer, and first female sniper on the Dallas SWAT team. 

Anita writes about what she knows, cops and crime. Her police background provides an unending source of inspiration for her plots and characters. Many incidents and characters portrayed in her books are based on personal experience. For her, the characters are the fun part of writing as she never knows where they will take her. There is always something out of the ordinary in her stories. 

In Anita’s debut novel, Sentinels of the Night, she created an elite FBI Unit, the Trackers. Since then, she has added three more Tracker crime thrillers, Going Gone!, A u 7 9, and Operation Navajo. The novels are not a series and can be read in any order. 

As a Texas author, many of Anita’s books are based in Texas, or there is a link to Texas. When she stepped outside of the Tracker novels and wrote, Not Dead, she selected Meridian, a small community in central Texas for the location.


GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! 

FOUR WINNERS:
1
st: Autographed hardcover copy + tote back, mousepad, pen, & bookmark;
2
nd: Tote bag, coaster, pen, & bookmark;
3
rd & 4th: eBook copy.

(US only; ends midnight, CDT, July 30, 2021) 

Deadly Business Giveaway


Click to visit the LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE 

for direct links to each tour stop, updated daily.
Or visit the blogs directly:

7/20/21

Review

Bibliotica

7/20/21

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

7/21/21

Notable Quotable

Missus Gonzo

7/22/21

Review

It's Not All Gravy

7/23/21

Author Interview

That's What She's Reading

7/24/21

Video Excerpt

StoreyBook Reviews

7/25/21

Video Excerpt

All the Ups and Downs

7/26/21

Review

Reading by Moonlight

7/27/21

BONUS Review

The Plain-Spoken Pen

7/27/21

Guest Post

Hall Ways Blog

7/28/21

Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

7/29/21

Review

Forgotten Winds

7/29/21

BONUS Review

Jennie Reads


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Book Touring Services Provided By:

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Friday, July 16, 2021

Bon Voyage to Murder ~ Audio Book Blog Tour Review & Giveaway!

Book Details:
Author: C.S. McDonald
Narrator: Maren Swenson Waxenberg
Category:  YA Fiction, 198 pages
Run Time: 6 hours, 52 minutes
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  McWriter Books
Release date:  Nov 5, 2019

Content Rating:  G (The Fiona Quinn Mysteries are for everyone--adults love the books and they are appropriate for teens and tweens too!)

Hooray! Fiona has finally convinced her boyfriend detective Nathan Landry to go on a romantic Caribbean cruise. Unfortunately, their fun on the high seas is interrupted by murder. It isn’t long before they discover a boatload of suspects, who have motives deeper than the ocean for wanting the victim out of their lives.

Audible ~ Amazon

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Book Review:

HALL WAYS REVIEW: Audio Book Review: Bon Voyage to Murder is the first Fiona Quinn mystery I have read, but it’s just one of a dozen or so in the series.  There are clearly some established relationships and statuses (for example, a ghost in Fiona’s house), but the author writes it all in so that the book can stand alone. The personalities of the characters pop from the page (or when reading with your ears, from the speakers), and author C.S. McDonald gives enough information early so we know the personality types, too.

For those listening to the audio, I recommend having pen and paper handy because readers are thrown a ton of characters very quickly. It’s a lot to keep up with, especially for readers new to the series, like me. There were two characters, Julia the librarian and her husband, Rob, that really didn’t need to be in the story at all, so my guess is that perhaps they are regulars in the other books. (And the librarian in me might have had my hackles raised a few times with the librarian stereotyping, especially given it was coming from a kindergarten teacher, who would know what that’s like.) But what the cascade of characters does do is allows readers to understand that both Fiona and her detective boyfriend Nathan are keen observers. So we know there won’t be a lot that gets past them.

Where McDonald shines (just like in her Owl’s NestMysteries), is in her descriptions of people, warts and all. Bon Voyage to Murder is full of characters who are quirky and crusty,  fun and feisty, stiff and loosey-goosey. It’s very easy to visualize them all and feel like a fly on the wall to all of the goings-on. The setting on the cruise ship was perfect because the pacing of the story paralleled the journey, and as the cruise was coming to an end, the resolution was tying up, too -- just like an episode from the Love Boat, but with less love and more violence!

Speaking of love, my guess is that in the prior eight or so books, there’s been plenty of romance and sparks between Fiona and Nathan. In Bon Voyage to Murder, we see a little hint of Nathan’s playful side, and we hear Fiona’s adoration of Nathan in her thoughts, but there’s not much to show their attraction to each other, and this made one aspect of the plot a bit tedious for me because it lacked build-up. (To be fair, it will likely be thrilling for series fans who know this couple well.)  

Running in the background of the main murder mystery is a subplot, set back on land, and it includes a separate plethora of characters including Fiona’s brother, an eclectic/eccentric group of her brother’s friends, Fiona’s ghostly grandmother, all-too-living parents, all-too-missing dog, a mystic, and general shenanigans that provide some chaos and lots of comic relief from the seriousness of murderous intentions on the sea. There are a few things that happened that didn’t make sense, but it’s enough fun that readers won’t dwell on it.

ABOUT THE NARRATION: Maren Swenson Waxenberg does a great job of differentiating between the character voices, and her pacing was perfect, which allowed me to listen at regular speed – a rarity. It was in the voicing of the secondary characters that Waxenberg’s performance really complemented McDonald’s text and brought those characters to life. But I couldn’t ever get used to the voice of Fiona. She seemed annoying, and I don’t think that’s an accurate depiction of the character. I think I need to read earlier books with my eyes so I can get a good grip on Fiona’s personality.  

In Bon Voyage to Murder, there is plenty of action and story to keep any cozy mystery reader interested and entertained.  Based on jumping in late in a well-established series, my recommendation (that I’m going to take by checking out Murder on Pointe, book one of the Fiona Quinn Mysteries) is to start at the beginning and read with your eyes if you want to absorb the finer mystery details and really get to know the characters. Or, if you just like to listen to a fun story, then go with the audio. Win-win! 

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Also for Your Listening Pleasure, Enjoy These Cozy Mysteries:

Book Details:
Category:  YA Fiction, 184 pages
Run Time: 5 hours

Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  McWriter Books
Release date:  May 19, 2020
Content Rating:  G (The Fiona Quinn Mysteries are for everyone--adults love the books and they are appropriate for teens and tweens too!)

Mysterious notes are showing up in Fiona’s kindergarten classroom, claiming a suicide from 2005 was actually a homicide. Detective Landry maintains the messages are too vague, possess no integrity, and do not warrant a review of the old case.

Fiona’s not convinced. She’s determined to find the author of the enigmatic notes and uncover the truth about a man who had many secrets and countless enemies, including Fiona’s mother and former suspect Nancy Quinn!
Can Fiona crack this cold case, and what will it take to get Detective Landry involved? Don’t miss taking notes on this murder!

Audible ~ Amazon

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Book Details:
Book Title:  Maxed Out (The Owl's Nest Mysteries) 
Author:  C.S. McDonald
Genre:  Adult Fiction, 184 pages
Category:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  McWriter Books
Release date:  April 2021
Content Rating:  G. C.S. McDonald's books are appropriate for YA readers as well as adults--no bad language or sexual content.

Book Description:

The Owl’s Nest Couturier Shoppe is a huge success! Business is booming and Alexa Owl’s love life is heating up. Yet much to the seamstress’s dismay, Detective Bobby Starr is suddenly back again! Bobby isn’t your everyday gumshoe. Rather, he’s an angel who’s trying to earn a place in Saint Peter’s Guardian Angel Squad. He’s required to solve murders he had left unsettled from when he walked the earth in order to be accepted into this prestigious group. Of course, they will need to return to the time period in which the murder took place, and again, Alexa is a reluctant time traveler. Oh, and there’s one more little problem—this time, Bobby’s brought along a friend, Maxi Krogen, and she’s no angel!

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N
add to Goodreads

Meet the Author: 
For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries has nine books.

Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy!

Cindy resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook
 

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Enter the Giveaway:
Win a signed copy of Maxed Out & a tumbler!
(ends 7/23/2021)

MAXED OUT Book Tour Giveaway


Tour Schedule:
 
June 21 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
June 21 - Working Mommy Journal – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
June 21 - Locks, Hooks and Books - audiobook review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
June 22 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
June 22 - Bound 4 Escape – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
June 22 - Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
June 22 - Rajiv's Reviews – book review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
June 23 – Splashes of Joy – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
June 23 - Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
June 23 - Working Mommy Journal – book review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
June 23 - Rajiv's Reviews – book review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
June 24 - Buried Under Books - book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
June 24 - Rajiv's Reviews – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
June 24 - Locks, Hooks and Books - audiobook review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
June 24 - Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
June 24 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
June 25 - StoreyBook Reviews – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
June 25 - Olio by Marilyn - book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
June 25 – Rockin' Book Reviews – audiobook review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
June 28 - Books for Books - book review of Maxed Out
June 28 - Blooming with Books – audiobook review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
June 28 - Cover Lover Book Review – audiobook review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
June 29 - Literary Flits - book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
June 29 – Rockin' Book Reviews – audiobook review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
June 29 – Westveil Publishing – audiobook review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
June 30 – Splashes of Joy – audiobook review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
June 30 - Blooming with Books – audiobook review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
July 1 – Books Lattes & Tiaras – book review of Maxed Out
July 1 - I Read What You Write – book review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
July 1 - Literary Flits - book review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
July 2 - Olio by Marilyn - book review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
July 2 – Westveil Publishing – audiobook review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
July 2 - I Read What You Write – book review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
July 5 - Cover Lover Book Review – audiobook review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
July 5 - Books Lattes & Tiaras – book review of Bon Voyage to Murder
July 6 - Blooming with Books – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
July 6 - Buried Under Books - audiobook review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
July 6 – Bound 4 Escape – audiobook review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
July 6 - Literary Flits - book review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
July 7 - I Read What You Write – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
July 7 - Cheryl's Book Nook – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
July 7 - @twilight_reader – book review of Bon Voyage to Murder
July 7 – Bound 4 Escape – audiobook review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
July 8 – Bigreadersite – book review of Maxed Out
July 8 - Laura's Interests – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
July 8 - Books for Books - audiobook review of Bon Voyage to Murder
July 8 - @twilight_reader – book review of Taking Notes on Murder
July 9 – Hall Ways Blog – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
July 9 - Westveil Publishing – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
July 9 - @twilight_reader – book review of Maxed Out
July 9 - Books for Books - audiobook review of Taking Notes on Murder
July 12 - Chit Chat with Charity – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
July 12 – Bigreadersite – audiobook review of Bon Voyage to Murder
July 12 - Buried Under Books - audiobook review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
July 12 - Books Lattes & Tiaras – book review of Taking Notes on Murder
July 13 - The Momma Spot – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
July 13 - Cheryl's Book Nook – audiobook review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
July 13 – Bigreadersite – audiobook review of Taking Notes on Murder
July 14 - Gina Rae Mitchell – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
July 14 - Laura's Interests – audiobook review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
July 14 – Splashes of Joy – audiobook review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
July 15 - Locks, Hooks and Books - book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
July 15 – Chit Chat with Charity – audiobook review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
July 15 - Laura's Interests – audiobook review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
July 15 - Cheryl's Book Nook – audiobook review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
July 16 – Lisa's Reading – book review of Maxed Out / giveaway
July 16 - Hall Ways Blog – audiobook review of Bon Voyage to Murder / giveaway
July 16 - Olio by Marilyn - book review of Taking Notes on Murder / giveaway
 


 RELATED:

Click for Hall Ways Review