Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Odd Birds ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours BONUS Promo & Giveaway!


Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Texas Christian University Press
Date of Publication: September 24, 2019
Number of Pages: 278 pages 

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The year is 1961. Seventy-year-old Cosimo Infante Cano, a Cuban-born artist in need of inspiration, follows his lover to Texas in what was to be a temporary sabbatical from their life in France. Unexpectedly, he finds himself stranded in San Antonio, nearly penniless, with little more than the clothes on his back and an extraordinary pocket watch. His long hair and eccentric attire make him an odd sight in what he has been told is a conservative cultural backwater.

Cosimo’s French and Cuban passports put a cloud of suspicion over him as events elsewhere in the world play out. Algeria is in open revolt against France. Freedom Riders are being assaulted in Mississippi, and the Bay of Pigs debacle is front-page news. Cosimo confronts nightmares and waking terrors rooted in the horror he experienced during the Great War of 1914–1918. His friends—students, librarians, shopkeepers, laborers, lawyers, bankers, and even a parrot—coalesce around this elderly French artist as he attempts to return to what remains of his shattered life.

His new friends feel empathy for his impoverished condition, but his unconventional actions and uncompromising ethics confuse them. He creates charming drawings he refuses to sell and paints a house simply for the pleasure of making a difference. In the process he forever alters the lives of those who thought they were helping him.

“A pitch-perfect picaresque tale” –John Phillip Santos, Texas Monthly
“Judge this book by its cover. It’s a stunning… captivating read.” –Alice Embree, Rag Radio Blog

An “elegantly conceived tale–boasting a culturally and historically astute plot–that demands to be read.” –Kirkus Reviews

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The Traceverse Saga ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours BONUS Spotlight & Book Trailers!

The Shattered Gate &
The Two Gates

Categories: Science Fiction / Genetic Engineering
Publisher: Eric R. Swanson, LLC.
Date of Publication Book 1: March 22, 2020
Number of Pages: 394 pages 
Date of Publication Book 2: May 1, 2021
Number of Pages: 402 pages 
The Shattered Gate 
They selfishly pillaged Earth and made him a hybrid. Will his split nature spell the end of intergalactic abduction?

Half-human, half-Ceran, Micah Trace yearns for something more. Though the repetition and isolation of living as a body double for the King of Ceres is crushing, he’s grateful to be treated better than the other genetically engineered humans. But when he discovers the ailing plight of his ancestors, he heeds the calling and cleverly insinuates himself into a dangerous mission across the galaxy.
Fearing their plan to repair a failing transportation gate might lead to disaster, Micah uses his experience mimicking the king to steal the forbidden authority he’s assumed for so long. But with ulterior motives darkening the depths of space, he may not survive to see the centuries-old connection between the planets repaired.
Can the royal mimic win control of the ship before they’re lost to the vacuum’s void?
The Shattered Gate is the thought-provoking first tale in the science fiction Traceverse Saga. If you like character-driven action, high-tech military defense systems, and intriguing political powerplays, then you’ll love Eric R. Swanson’s interstellar adventure.

Watch the book trailer for The Shattered Gate

(Originally titled Micah Trace and the Shattered Gate)!

By Eric Swanson

The Shattered Gate, Book 1

Monday, March 21, 2022

The Baby with Three Families, Two Countries, and One Promise ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours Promo & Giveaway!

  The Baby with Three Families

An International Adoption Story
Illustrated by Saman Chinthaka Weersinghe

Genre: Children's Fiction / Picture Book / Adoption 
Publisher: Bayou City Press
Date of Publication: December 9, 2020
Number of Pages: 40 pages 
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The Baby with Three Families, Two Countries, and One Promise is a children’s book designed to be read by parents to a child adopted from a foreign country. The story is first recounted from the perspective of the parents in the USA, who are very sad not to be able to have a child. The perspective then switches to that of the biological mother, who realizes that she does not have the wherewithal to raise a child. She makes the difficult decision to give up her baby. Next readers learn about a foreign adoption agency, to which the biological mother surrenders her child. The adoption agency identifies foster parents to take care of the baby temporarily. The foster parents give the baby a temporary name.

The parents in the USA begin researching international adoption possibilities and connect with the foreign adoption agency. The parents begin the adoption process and have to go to a school to learn how to be adoptive parents. When the foreign adoption agency matches the USA parents with the baby, the USA parents fly to the foreign country, where they meet the baby and the foster parents at the adoption agency. They find out that the temporary name given to the baby by his foster parents is one of the names they have selected for the baby. Their last requirement in the foreign country is to secure a visa for the baby from the U.S. Embassy.

With the baby’s visa in hand, the parents and baby return to the United States, where they are joyously greeted by their dog, their friends, and the baby’s new grandparents. When the parents tuck their baby in at night, they tell him his story—that he has three families, two countries, and a promise for the future to visit the country of his birth when he is older.

Children’s Picture Book First Place Winner, 2021 North Texas Book Festival Awards

"Clearly laying out some of the key reasons, factors, and steps in the emotionally complex process of overseas adoption, this book delicately explores the subject, making it a great launching point for conversations between parents and children." Self-Publishing Review

"International adoption is a complex topic, but under the dual, in-depth focus of author Julie Gianelloni Connor and illustrator Saman Chinthaka Weerasinghe, the story comes to life to teach all ages about the emotional and organizational process involved in joining a child to new parents." Donovan's Literary Services

Julie Gianelloni Connor is an award-winning author and retired senior Foreign Service Officer. Her first book, Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, not the Hike, garnered no. 1 status on Amazon in both the category for new books on hiking and walking and the category for Spain and Portugal. It subsequently went on to win a silver medal in the eLit national competition as well as being selected as a finalist by Self-Publishing Review (SPR). She released her second title, a children’s book, in 2021. It has just won first place in the children’s book category at the North Texas Book Festival. The Baby with Three Families, Two Countries, and One Promise tells an international adoption story. Her short stories have appeared in four anthologies. 

Julie is the owner and publisher of Bayou City Press (BCP) in Houston, Texas, which focuses on travel writing, Houston, history, and international affairs. Julie writes a weekly newsletter for BCP updating subscribers about activities. She founded BCP after spending 33 years as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, first with the U.S. Information Agency and later with the U.S. Department of State. She had nine overseas assignments in seven different countries: Israel (twice), Paraguay, Guatemala, Indonesia, Colombia (twice), Malaysia, and Chile. In Washington, DC, Julie worked on a variety of matters, ranging from nuclear non-proliferation to narcotics control to women’s issues. She has one son and two cats, Halloween and Charles Augustus V. 


(US only, ends midnight, CT, 3/28/2022)
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Thursday, March 17, 2022

Then Came the Thunder ~ Audio Book Blog Tour Review

Three Willows, Book One

Audio Book Length: 5 hours and 31 minutes
Producer: Audiobook Empire
Publisher: Rachael Huszar
Categories: Historical Thriller
Released: January 20, 2022


Monday, March 14, 2022

Grace Among Thieves ~ Book Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway!


Book Details:

Book Title:  Grace Among Thieves (A Grace Michelle Mystery) by Kari Bovee
Genre: Adult Fiction (18 +) 
Categories: Historical Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Pages:  315
Release date:   February 15, 2022
Content Rating:  PG. Some Mild Language
Book Description:

A priceless heirloom worth its weight in lives. Can she crack the case before she becomes a killer’s trophy?

Hollywood, 1924. Grace Michelle’s professional star has risen. Now a successful costumier for a major studio, the ambitious woman has just about everything she wants. But when the father she thought was dead reaches out to reconnect, the talented designer doesn’t know what to think… especially after his new wife is kidnapped.

Discovering her dad is mixed up with a stolen Russian artifact, Grace puts her sleuthing skills to work to rescue the abducted lady. But with a famous actress murdered in connection with the missing valuable and a man she put away stalking her for revenge, the frazzled amateur detective fears getting to the bottom of this crime will leave her six feet under.

Can she hunt down the treasure before it bankrupts the lives of everyone she loves?

Grace Among Thieves is the nail-biting third book in the Grace Michelle Mystery historical series. If you like bright-but-beset heroines, breathtaking twists and turns, and the glamor of a lost age, then you’ll adore Kari Bovée’s riveting tale. 
Check Out These Other Grace Michelle Mysteries:
Book Details:

Book Title:  Grace in the Wings - A Grace Michelle Mystery by Kari Bovee
CategoryAdult Fiction (18 +), 340
Historical Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   September 19, 2019
Content Rating PG + MBook has mature themes; adultery, murder, bigamy, but there is no bad language.
Book Description:

A ghost from her past. Her sister murdered. Can Grace slay her demons and find the killer before she ends up dead?

New York City, 1920. Grace Michelle has everything she wants: a home, a family, and a future career as a costume designer for famed showman Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.’s Ziegfeld Follies. Pretty good for a girl who once lived on the streets of New York City. But when her sister, Sophia, the star of the show, is murdered, Grace’s safe and protected life is shattered.

Battle-scarred by the war and emotionally scarred by his past, Chet Riker has made it a practice to keep his distance from others; love, after all, leads only to pain. But Chet has a problem—a big one: he’s become indebted to mob-boss Joe Marciano in an attempt to save his estranged mother’s life, and Marciano wants him to pay up or else. Desperate to get the money, he contacts former client Florenz Ziegfeld for work.

Soon, Chet finds himself playing bodyguard for introverted Grace, who has reluctantly agreed to be Ziegfeld’s new leading lady—on the condition that Ziegfeld promises to find Sophia’s killer. Upon meeting Grace, Chet quickly finds his hardened theory that love equals pain tested. Grace, meanwhile, is swept up in a life she never wanted as the Follies’ star, and as the pawn in a series of publicity stunts during a transcontinental train trip to California that puts her life at risk. Who would want her and Sophia dead? Together, she and Chet must confront publicity-hungry Florenz Ziegfeld, power-driven Joe Marciano, and their own pasts to find Sophia’s killer—and let themselves love once again.
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Book Details:

Book Title:  Grace in Hollywood - A Grace Michelle Mystery by Kari Bovee
CategoryAdult Fiction (18 +), 336 
Historical Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   May 25, 2021
Content Rating PG + MBook has mature themes; adultery, murder, bigamy, but there is no bad language. 
Book Description:
All that glitters… is sometimes blood. With her golden ticket buried in the ground, can she save a wrongly accused teen from the gallows?

Hollywood, 1924. Promoted to lead costume designer of a star-studded film, Grace Michelle should be on top of the world. But between her husband’s debt, her sister’s recent death, and the troubled teenaged girl she’s fostering, she’s struggling to please everyone and still keep a smile on her face. And when a Tinseltown shindig turns deadly, Grace is horrified to discover her young charge unconscious alongside the director’s grisly corpse.

Determined to prove the girl’s innocence, Grace’s own haunted past fills her sleep with prophetic nightmares. And no sooner has she sought clarity from a medium than a second body lands the scared teenager in the slammer.

Can Grace turn the camera on the real culprit before another victim ends up on the cutting room floor?

Grace in Hollywood is the second book in the riveting A Grace Michelle Mystery historical series. If you like fiercely loyal heroines, thrilling whodunits, and the magic of old cinema, then you’ll love Kari Bovee’s enthralling tale. 

Add to Goodreads
Meet the Author:

When she’s not on a horse riding along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovée is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined in her historical mystery novels.

Kari Bovée writes the award-winning Annie Oakley mystery series and the Grace Michelle mystery series. In 2020 she was honored with First Place in category for the Chanticleer International Clue Awards for her book Folly at the Fair. In 2019 she was awarded the NM/AZ Book Awards Hillerman Award for her novel Girl with a Gun. The novel also received First Place in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards in the Mystery/Crime category, and won First in Category in the International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards. It was also a finalist in the 2019 Next Generation Indie Awards. Her novel Grace in the Wings won First in Category for the 2019 International Chanticleer Chatelaine Awards. Peccadillo at the Palace won Grand Prize in the 2019 Goethe Awards, and was a finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards Historical Fiction category.

Kari Bovée has worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant.

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

Enter the Giveaway:
Enter to win a $35 PayPal gift card,
autographed copy of GRACE AMONG THIEVES
and gift basket containing mouse pad, mug, and tote bag
courtesy of the author of the Grace Michelle Mysteries!
(one winner/USA only)
GRACE AMONG THIEVES (Grace Michelle Mysteries) Tour Giveaway

Tour Schedule:
Mar 1 - 
Mystery Review Crew – book series spotlight / giveaway
Mar 1 – Working Mommy Journal – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 1 – Bigreadersite – book review of GRACE IN THE WINGS / giveaway
Mar 2 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 2 – Kam's Place – book review of GRACE IN THE WINGS
Mar 3 - Casia's Corner – book review of GRACE IN THE WINGS / giveaway
Mar 3 – Bigreadersite – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 4 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of GRACE IN THE WINGS / giveaway
Mar 7 –Kam's Place – book review of GRACE IN HOLLYWOOD
Mar 7 - History from a Woman’s Perspective – book review of GRACE IN THE WINGS / giveaway
Mar 8 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – book series spotlight / giveaway
Mar 8 - Casia's Corner – book review of GRACE IN HOLLYWOOD / giveaway
Mar 9 - Pick a Good Book – book series spotlight / giveaway
Mar 9 – Kam's Place – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES
Mar 10 – Review Thick And Thin – book review of GRACE IN THE WINGS / giveaway
Mar 10 - Olio by Marilyn – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 11 - Buried Under Books – book series spotlight / giveaway
Mar 11 - Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of GRACE IN HOLLYWOOD / giveaway
Mar 14 – Hall Ways Blog – book series spotlight / giveaway
Mar 15 - My Reading Journeys – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 15 – @twilight_reader – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 16 - History from a Woman’s Perspective – book review of GRACE IN HOLLYWOOD / giveaway
Mar 16 - Casia's Corner – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 17 – Celticlady's Reviews – book series spotlight / giveaway
Mar 17 – Review Thick And Thin – book review of GRACE IN HOLLYWOOD / giveaway
Mar 18 - Baroness' Book Trove - book series spotlight / giveaway
Mar 18 – Brooke Blogs – book series spotlight / giveaway
Mar 18 - Books for Books – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 21 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 22 - Splashes of Joy – book review of GRACE IN THE WINGS / giveaway
Mar 22 - History from a Woman’s Perspective – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 23 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 23 - Older & Smarter? – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 24 - Sadie's Spotlight – book series spotlight / giveaway
Mar 24 - Splashes of Joy – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 24 – Review Thick And Thin – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 25 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book series spotlight / giveaway
Mar 28 - Cover To Cover Café – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway
Mar 28 – fundinmental – book series spotlight / giveaway
Mar 28 - Westveil Publishing – book review of GRACE AMONG THIEVES / giveaway


Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Science Makes It Work Series ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours BONUS Spotlight & Giveaway!

Secrets of the Snow Globe
The Wonder of Color

Categories:  Picture Book / Science / STEM (ages 4-8)
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co.
Date of Publication: March 1, 2022
Number of Pages: 32 pages 
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Secrets of the Snow Globe:
After starting to collect snow globes with the help of her grandmother, Lily has questions. She wants to know who invented them, what the snow is made of, and how the tiny scenes look so magical when she peers inside. As she researches and experiments, Lily learns about light waves, magnification, and density—all while gathering ingredients to make her own snow globe.


The Wonder Of Color:
When Ms. Vega announces a mural painting contest at school, James can’t wait to draw a picture to fill the library wall. But as he explores color, he has a lot of questions about where color comes from and how our eyes see it. As he experiments and reads, James learns about prisms, the color wheel, and light waves—all while working on his colorful contest entry.


HALL WAYS BLOG Mini-Review of The Wonder of ColorOkay, technically I didn't read the hardcover (read the digital ARC), but I can tell that having this colorful, informative, and well-written book in hand will make the 5-Stars rating double to 10.

The illustrations by Floss Pottage are warm and make learning how science works less intimidating -- and dare I say it - fun! Author Catherine Stier uses the correct terms, which I applaud even for such a young audience. The key, that she clearly gets, is explaining those terms in a way readers of all ages understand it.

The main character's curiosity is refreshing, and readers will enjoy the family dynamic and gentle lessons about kindness and sharing. There’s so much to love in this book, and I think it will become a classroom favorite for any teacher or librarian who shares it with students.

Catherine Stier is the author of more than twenty children's books including the SCIENCE MAKES IT WORK picture book series and the Kirkus star-reviewed A DOG’S DAY chapter book series. She holds a master’s degree in reading and literacy and has served as a magazine writer, newspaper columnist, and writing instructor. Stier resides in San Antonio, Texas.


Autographed copies of both books, pin (for adults), snow globe socks,
& a snow globe making kit.
(US only, ends midnight CST, 3/19/2022.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

The Spark of Love ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours BONUS Notable Quotable & Giveaway!


Categories: Fiction / Christian / Historical Romance
Series: Mesquite Springs Series, Book 3
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: March 1, 2022
Number of Pages: 352 pages 

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She's determined to start a new life in the West . . . if only the old one would leave her alone

When a spurned suitor threatens her, heiress Alexandra Tarkington flees New York for Mesquite Springs in the Texas Hill Country, where her father is building a hotel. But the happy reunion she envisions is not to be, as her father insists she return to New York. Instead, Alexandra carves out a niche for herself in town, teaching schoolchildren to paint and enjoying the company of Gabe Seymour, a delightful man she met on the stagecoach.

But all is not as it seems. Two men, each with his own agenda, have followed her to Mesquite Springs. And Gabe, an investigator, is searching for proof that her father is a swindler.
With so much to lose--and hide from one another--Alexandra and Gabe will have to come together if they are ever to discover whether the sparks they've felt from the beginning can kindle the fire of true love.

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of Out of the Embers and Dreams Rekindled, as well as the Cimarron Creek Trilogy and the Texas Crossroads, Texas Dreams, and Westward Winds series. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards, the HOLT Medallion, and the Booksellers' Best. She lives in Wyoming. Learn more at www.amandacabot.com



All Three Books in the Mesquite Springs Series +
Keychain & Reader Stickers

(US only, ends midnight CST, 3/18/2022.)
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or visit the blogs directly:


Notable Quotable

Chapter Break Book Blog



Hall Ways Blog



It's Not All Gravy





Guest Post

StoreyBook Reviews



Jennie Reads


Author Interview

Book Fidelity



All the Ups and Downs



Carpe Diem Chronicles


Bonus Scene

Rox Burkey Blog


BONUS Review

The Book's Delight



The Plain-Spoken Pen



Reading by Moonlight

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