Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Cowboy Joel and the Wild Wild West ~ Blog Tour Promo, Book Trailer, & Giveaway!

The Gagnon family is an atypical, hodgepodge mix of humanity. The entire family enjoyed writing this book, with each one contributing their own input. Every child in the family has their own special story, and every one faces their own unique challenges. Stacey, the mom of this bunch, also has a blog called Ransom for Israel. She presents an honest assessment of the orphan crisis and the desperate need for families willing to adopt. After the adoption of their youngest daughter, the Gagnons started a non-profit called Lost Sparrows. Lost Sparrows is dedicated to improving the lives of orphans and those with special needs through education, proper medical care, and adoption. Their current focus is in areas of Eastern Europe and Bulgaria.

Connect with the authors 
Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram 


 One hardback copy of Cowboy Joel and the Wild Wild West 
Ends September 7, 2019
(USA only)

Aug 12 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 12 - Hall Ways Blog – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 12 - I'm Into Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 13 – The Irresponsible Reader – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 14 – Reading is My Passion – book spotlight
Aug 15 - #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight /giveaway
Aug 16 - A Mama's Corner of the World – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 16 - Paulette's Papers – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 19 – FUONLYKNEW – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 20 – eBook Addicts – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 21 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 21 - The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 22 - Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 22 – b for bookreview – book spotlight
Aug 23 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 26 – Words And Peace – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 27 – Laura's Interests – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 27 - My Journey Back-The Journey Back – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 29 – My Devotional Thoughts – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 30 - Life as Leels – book spotlight

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Dragonfly ~ Lone Star Book Blogs Bonus Review, Promo, & Giveaway!

  Genre: Historical / WWII / Espionage
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 
Date of Publication: July 9, 2019
Number of Pages: 576

Scroll down for giveaway!

From the New York Times bestselling author of Roses comes a gripping new novel about five young spies embedded among the highest Nazi ranks in occupied Paris

At the height of World War II, a handful of idealistic young Americans receive a mysterious letter from the government, asking them if they are willing to fight for their country. The men and women from very different backgrounds-a Texan athlete with German roots, an upper-crust son of a French mother and a wealthy businessman, a dirt-poor Midwestern fly fisherman, an orphaned fashion designer, and a ravishingly beautiful female fencer-all answer the call of duty, but each for a secret reason of her or his own. They bond immediately, in a group code-named Dragonfly. 

Thus begins a dramatic cat-and-mouse game, as the group seeks to stay under the radar until a fatal misstep leads to the capture and the firing-squad execution of one of their team. But...is everything as it seems, or is this one more elaborate act of spycraft?


“Meacham’s impeccable pacing and razor-wire tension evoke the daily drama of life under a Reich whose French reign might have lasted little more than four years but felt like the thousand years that it threatened to endure.” ―Bookpage

"Meacham's nail-biting tale will please fans looking for an intricate story of spycraft and deception." ―Publishers Weekly

"Meacham ratchets the suspense ever tighter, while providing fascinating backstory on the intrepid five [American spies] as well as delivering a detail-rich portrait of Paris during the Occupation." ―Booklist

"Complex, epic, and rich in historical detail-an uplifting story of finding friendship behind enemy lines." ― Kirkus

Amazon ◆ Barnes & Noble   
  Indiebound     Walmart  ◆   


HALL WAYS REVIEW: Audio Book Review: I’ll cut to the chase: Dragonfly is extraordinary. Robust characters with fascinating backstories are placed in richly detailed settings where quickly, the reader is transported, immersed, and living on the edge, right along with the characters. Leila Meacham has blown my mind with Dragonfly.

For those who read with their eyes, the book opens with a handy “Cast of Characters” section broken down into “The Americans,” “The Germans,” and “The French,” where characters’ nationalities (but not necessarily allegiances), various names, code names, and roles are listed. (Additionally, there is also an “Explanation of German Military Organizations” list that serves as a great historical refresher.) For those reading with their ears, Dragonfly is performed by full cast narration that is pretty spectacular – more on that later. Since the story has so many main characters, and each of them has three different names, listening to one actor perform each part helped keep them straight. Regardless of the reading method used, readers get plenty of help from the author.  Meacham does an amazing job of first sketching, then filling-in the characters until each is fully fleshed-out, relatable, real.

“Secrecy would be their greatest protection against betrayal.”

The main characters’ stories unfold both separately and at times overlapping and weaving together. Each recruit is handpicked for his/her unique skills to serve the OSS, but also each has a personal reason to go to France. If one were to plot a chart, the visual would be a somewhat parallel series of lines that roll and spike up and down as our young spies navigate the dangerous world of Nazi-occupied Paris. The novel is long (eighteen hours on audio, just under 600 pages in print), but Meacham’s writing is brilliant, and she scatters scenes throughout that not only entertain but inform and summarize to help readers keep on track in a complex, multi-tiered plot.

“Sometimes the greater good requires casualties.”

The historical element of Dragonfly is outstanding. Meacham brings facts into the story, reminding (or informing) readers of the realities and complexities of war. In particular, the descriptions of Paris as it experienced Nazi occupation were poignant as Meacham contrasted the formerly vibrant, bright, flower-filled city with its dark, dreary, grim condition during the German occupation. It’s as if the life force of the city is slowly ebbing. Yet even here, where everyone is suspicious and suspect, there are flashes of hope, and splashes of the best in human nature in the midst of the worst.

ABOUT THE AUDIO: As mentioned, this full cast narration is excellent. Pacing was perfect – I never changed the speed of the audio, which is rare, and the volume was even, the sound crisp, and the production free of any technical glitches. The narrators handle not only the numerous American accents (A+ for Southern), but German and French, and French and Germans speaking English. My only complaint is that many of the French pronunciations were botched when the character speaking would have known better than to pronounce a word ending -s or -t, for example.

As Dragonfly winds its way down to the conclusion, the reader has information that the characters do not, with the result being a satisfying, emotional ending. As I listened to the final scenes, I was driving into the Texas Hill Country sunset, grinning from ear to ear, with tears were streaming down my face. Perfection.

Thank you to Lone Star Book Blog Tours, Grand Central Publishing, and most of all, Leila Meacham for sharing this spectacular story with me in audio and GORGEOUS print, with no strings attached. My review is my honest opinion – the only kind I give 

Leila Meacham is a writer and former teacher who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She is the author of the bestselling novels Roses, Tumbleweeds, Somerset, and Titans.

August 7-17, 2019
Guest Post
BONUS Audio Review
Audio Review
Author Interview
Guest Post
Audio Review
Guest Post

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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Matt's Swirly World ~ Book Blog Tour Promo & Giveaway!


Meet the Author:    

Aspiring contemporary ballerina, commercial poet, grateful wife and mother. Certified Life Coach, BA Finance, MA Statistics ( don't judge, I was young ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ), now IT Product Manager. When I was pregnant with my now 3 y/o boy, I was worried of how I can raise my child to cope in a world of bullying, peer pressure, substance abuse, screen time etc. My husband told me that if we want our son to thrive in this world, all we need to do is build his self-confidence and firm limits. So that's how I started reading parenting books and read a lot. I read tons of books on the latest research discoveries in interpersonal biology and brain development. I love anything that Daniel J Siegel ever wrote. I am also a fan of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

For "Matt's swirly world, I worked with a psychologist who specialized in child development and attachment parenting. That's because, I am above all, convinced of the immense potential every child has and their absolute innocence. I know from experience that raising kids can often feel quite differently, and challenging. I am convinced that the way to turn that potential into peaceful family lives and well balanced kids - is both intuition and science (and patience). Being emotionally available as a parent, being present for them and for yourself, to keep your own emotional highs and lows in check. Because they are good at triggering us, aren't they? When I was 8, I had no money to buy my mother gifts; I really wanted to create joy in her heart, so I started dedicating poems to her. That's what got me started writing.

Connect with the author:    Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram

Enter the Giveaway:

(Ends August 16, 2019)

July 29 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
July 29 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
July 29 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / giveaway
July 29 - Reading Authors Network – book spotlight / giveaway
July 30 - Laura's Interests – book spotlight / giveaway
July 30 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book spotlight / giveaway
July 31 – FUONLYKNEW – book spotlight / giveaway
Jul 31 – Life as Leels – book spotlight
Aug 2 – Debra Schoenberger – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 5 – b for bookreview – book spotlight
Aug 5 – Svetlana's reads and views – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 6 – I'm All About Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 6 - eBook Addicts – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 7 – My Journey Back – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 7 - Celticlady's Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 8 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 8 --  Hall Ways Blog – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 12 – Words and Peace – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 12 -   Cat’s Corner - book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 13 – Cheryl's Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 15 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 16 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway