Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hell to Pay ~ ~ Book Tour Promo*, Review, & Giveaway!

(What Doesn't Kill You, #7)
An Emily Romantic Mystery
Pamela Fagan Hutchins
Genre: Romantic Mystery  
Publisher: SkipJack Publishing
Date of Publication: March 26, 2016
# of pages: 383
Scroll down for Giveaway!

Big-haired paralegal and former rodeo queen Emily has her life back on track. Her adoption of Betsy seems like a done deal, her parents have reunited, and she’s engaged to her sexy boss Jack. Then client Phil Escalante’s childhood buddy Dennis drops dead, face first into a penis cake at the adult novelty store Phil owns with his fiancĂ©e Nadine, one of Emily’s best friends. The cops charge Phil with murder right on the heels of his acquittal in a trial for burglarizing the Mighty is His Word church offices. Emily’s nemesis ADA Melinda Stafford claims a witness overheard Phil fighting with Dennis over a woman. Before he can mount a defense, Phil falls into a diabetic coma, leaving Nadine shaken and terrified. Meanwhile Betsy’s ultra-religious foster parents apply to adopt her, and Jack starts acting weird and evasive. Emily feels like a calf out of a chute, pulled between the ropes of the header and the heeler, as she fights to help Phil and Nadine without losing Betsy and Jack.

HALL WAYS REVIEW:  From the sighting of the face of Jesus in a quesadilla to the endearing lingo of the characters, this book is a blast of Texas fun. I jumped in on this 7th book in author Pamela Fagan Hutchins's What Doesn't Kill You series, which is the 3rd book featuring protagonist Emily, without having read any of the others.  But oh, I will! It works fine as a stand-alone, but I want to know the backstories now.

The characters in Hell to Pay felt familiar, and it didn't take long for me to care about what was happening to them.  Like so many women, when Emily gets angry with someone, she redirects the anger to herself, chiding herself for being mean and giving the other person the benefit of the doubt -- even if that person doesn't merit it.  Readers will likely see themselves in how Emily reacts to situations where the reality is that a person wasn't courteous, but Emily's first assumptions are that there's been an accident or a medical issue or anything other than the possibility of flat-out rudeness. Readers are sure to get a chuckle out of Emily's vocabulary of substitute swear words and will find Emily infuriatingly reckless, which makes for a lot of discomfort when readers watch Emily make one bad choice after another.
". . . but the shame of my father's actions stuck with me like skunk spray, 
no matter how hard I tried to scrub it off." 

Pamela Fagan Hutchins uses fabulously descriptive writing so that readers are right in the thick of the story. Figurative language is used well and often with phrases really bringing scenes to life. I reviewed an ARC, so I assume the very few typos will be corrected. The story flows smoothly, page after page, where readers are treated to doses of humor, suspense, danger, tension, and romance. 

Thank you to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and SkipJack Publishing for providing me an eBook copy in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give.

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes overly long emails, best-selling, award-winning mysteries (WINNER USA Best Book Award, Fiction: Cross Genre, Finalist) and hilarious nonfiction. The Houston Press named her as one of Houston's Top 10 Authors (2014). She is a recovering attorney and investigator who resides deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and in the frozen north of Wyoming. Pamela has a passion for great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, traveling in the Bookmobile, and her Keurig. Download her mystery Saving Grace, free everywhere, and visit her  website or drop her a note pamela at pamelahutchins dot com. And if you would like her to visit your book club, women’s group, writer’s group, or library, all you have to do is ask.



April 11 - 21, 2016

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations to winners Christina R. and Patricia H.!
Check out these other great blog stops on the tour!

4/11     Margie's Must Reads                Review
4/13     The Page Unbound                   Author Interview #1
4/15     Because This is My Life Y'all       Guest Post #1
4/16     My Book Fix Blog                      Excerpt
4/17     It's a Jenn World                       Review
4/18     A Novel Reality                         Author Interview #2
4/19     Texas Book Lover                      Guest Post #2
4/20     Hall Ways Blog                          Review
4/21     All for the Love of the Word      Review

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Science Comics: Coral Reefs ~ ~ Blog Tour & Review

SYNOPSIS: Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic--dinosaurs, coral reefs, the solar system, volcanoes, bats, flying machines, and more. These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects. Whether you're a fourth grader doing a natural science unit at school or a thirty-year-old with a secret passion for airplanes, these books are for you!

This volume: in Coral Reefs, we learn all about these tiny, adorable sea animals! This absorbing look at ocean science covers the biology of coral reefs as well as their ecological importance. Nonfiction comics genius Maris Wicks brings to bear her signature combination of hardcore cuteness and in-depth science.


HALL WAYS REVIEW: Oh, how I wish a book like Coral Reefs had been around when I was in middle school. Narrated by a sassy little yellow prawn-goby fish, this colorful, fun, humorous, and wonderfully informative book takes readers on quite a tour.  Don't misjudge this as comic fluff; it is far from it. The book covers a lot of material without shying away from the scientific words and big concepts.   

As expected, coral reefs are defined and explained, but author Maris Wicks looks at the bigger picture of the ocean and how coral reefs play a global role. Each section introduces new concepts, and Wicks does a great job of summarizing and repeating key content.  The narrating goby fish provides witty asides, but is always clarifying what's true and what isn't so there is no confusion.  Climate change/global warming and being a good eco-citizen are all discussed, though I was very surprised that there was never a warning to readers about the importance of keeping a distance and not touching living coral.

The illustrations are wonderfully bright and interesting and along with the loads of information, Coral Reefs is a book to return to again and again. The Grammar Police did find a typo and a couple of errors, but I still highly recommend it to middle grade readers and adults alike (I learned a ton!).  This needs to be on the shelf in every school library and science classroom. 

Thank you to ReadWriteLove28 and First Second Books for providing me a gorgeous print copy in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Maris Wicks lives in sunny Somerville, Massachusetts. She is the author behind Human Body Theater, as well as the illustrator of New York Times-bestselling Primates, with Jim Ottaviani. When she's not making comics, Wicks works as a program educator at the New England Aquarium. She is quite fond of being in the water, whether it's swimming in ponds or scuba diving in the Atlantic Ocean.  Find out more about Maris and her work: 

Visit Other Great Blogs on The Tour:

Date of Post (April)