Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Big Inch ~ Promo Tour, Review, & Giveaway!


  Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII
Date of Publication: January 19, 2017
Number of Pages: 344

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Kimberly Fish’s debut novel, The Big Inch, was released in February, 2017 and it reveals the lengths to which Texas oilmen, state, and federal governments would go to get Texas crude oil to the troops fighting their first mechanized war. With Nazi threats (and a steady stream of oil tankers sunk by German submarines) speed was necessary, as was OSS intelligence. The Office of Strategic Services was often staffed with female spies and Longview’s World War II efforts were critical for success. 

Lane Mercer, sent to Longview, Texas in July 1942, is part of a select group of women working undercover for the fledgling federal agency, the Office of Strategic Services. Assigned to protect the man carrying out President Roosevelt’s initiative to build the nation’s first overland pipeline to hurry East Texas crude to the troops, she discovers there’s more to Longview than the dossiers implied. There’s intrigue, mayhem, and danger. Shamed from a botched OSS mission in France, Lane struggles to fulfill her mission and keep from drowning in guilt. Getting involved in local life is out of the question. Between family, do-gooders, and Nazi threats, she’s knitted into a series of events that unravel all of her carefully constructed, plans, realizing that sometimes the life one has to save, is one’s own.



“With an eye for detail, Kimberly Fish weaves a compelling story of a war widow who finds herself in Longview, Texas in 1942. Reading Kimberly’s novel was a bit like going back to a cloak and dagger time, and I enjoyed the local references. Longview was an amazing place to be during WWII.”   -- Van Craddock, Longview News Journal, Columnist

"Kimberly Fish's unique writing style snatched me out of my easy chair and plunked me down into the middle of her character's life where I was loathe to leave when my real life called me back. Her descriptive visual writing drew me in on the first page. Can't wait to read more stories by Mrs. Fish." -- Vickie Phelps  Author of Moved, Left No Address


HALL WAYS REVIEW:  ✪✪✪✪✪ The Big Inch Pipeline was twenty-four inch tubing that stretched over 1200 miles to deliver East Texas crude oil to Illinois and Pennsylvania. Thousands of people were involved in the effort, and some historians would argue that getting the crude to American troops was "the single most contributing factor to the Allies winning WWII."

WHAAAAT?? How is it that I am a born-in, raised-in Texan and have never heard of this?  Author Kimberly Fish has done her research and weaves a delicious story around the building of The Big Inch, and finishing the book leaves me wanting more -- what's fact and fiction? Were there really operatives for both our government and our enemies' governments planted in Longview, Texas? I plan on hitting the books to find out more and think Fish's book should be in high school and college Texas history classrooms. I digress. . . about the story. . .

From the first paragraph, when fabulous character Lane pinches a grasshopper to death when it lands on her (instead of squealing and flicking it off like I would), we have an idea of her character. And in case the reader isn't sure, very shortly thereafter, there is this description of how Lane deals with a pick-pocket:
With a grip that had held grenades, Lane clutched the man’s testicles. 
He gasped like a belching sewer. 

I am in love with this book and with Kimberly Fish's writing style. Careful readers will catch lots of very subtle foreshadowing and some really beautiful figurative language ("windshield wipers whipping rain into a mist") that make her settings really pop to life.  And it's not just the realistic dialogue that works, but it's the small descriptions of gestures and body language that communicate so much about the characters' moods -- particularly Lane's PTSD, triggered by the most innocuous sounds and sights. 

Fish does an excellent job of dropping small one-liners that give away a world of information, and just when readers think they are catching sentimentality in Lane, they're hit with her practicality and career-mindedness. (That career! I want to BE Lane Mercer; well, minus the horrible parts from her childhood and younger adult years. Yeah, other than that.)

I hadn't expected there to be a side dish of romance, bordering on love triangle, with a dash of potential love square (probably because I didn't read the jacket first), but it was deliciously done.  Readers will definitely have a favorite fella for Lane long before Lane makes the realization. A little taste of Fish's descriptions of that (pun intended):

"His chuckle reminded her of syrup melting into biscuits. 
Lawdy, she had to stop associating this man with forbidden foods." 

Did I mention that I want to be Lane Mercer? I get this lady. 

The Big Inch has plenty of excitement, action, and intrigue that will keep the readers engaged -- I read it in one sitting. And ahh, nestled in the story (remember what I said about the subtle foreshadowing?) is Longview's bookshop, Between the Lines. Naturally, once discovered, it is our main character's happy place with stacks of books, tea brewing, and even a cuddly cat roaming the place. 

With echoes of modern times in people's racist, sexist, and America-centric attitudes, readers will find much to ponder in this smartly written historical fiction novel.  I am extremely impressed with the writing and expect that the final version will be cleanly edited and will remove all the typos.  (Anyone who knows me and how I am about editing should take note that the story was so engaging that the mistakes didn't bother me, which quite possibly is the highest compliment I can give a book.)

Texans must read this book, but it has wide appeal to anyone who loves a great story.  Highly recommend.  

Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won a Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting. She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats, She lives with her family in East Texas.


One Winner wins a signed copy of The Big Inch
One Winner who purchases the book during the tour wins a bag of Johnny Cace's Cheese Croutons
March 8 - 22, 2017

Author Interview
Character Interview
Guest Post
Author Interview
Author Interview

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  1. I recommend this book to all Texans. We love reading about our great state. But those in the other 49 states will enjoy it too.

    1. Couldn't agree more! Thanks for stopping by!