Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Watermelon Tattoo ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours Spotlight & Giveaway

Tony Burnett

Psychological Thriller / Suspense
Publisher: Watertower Press
Date of Publication: February 14, 2023
Number of Pages: 300 pages 

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Naïve but charismatic farm girl, Jacquelyn Benderman, has her life perfectly planned until her town blames her for the accidental death of the local high school's star running back. Feeling like a pariah, she flees to Austin, Texas where her luck seems to change. Her rapid rise to stardom as a blues diva is derailed when an anonymous stalker begins systematically murdering her associates, leaving the police to suspect her.

As Y2K approaches, she wrestles with the guilt of falling for her roommate, a Romanian folk singer who survives as a call-girl, while the show band she sings with rehearses for a national tour.

Can she protect her new lover from danger? Will the world end at midnight? Is there no hiding place when everyone knows who you are?


“Burnett has created an unconventional and magnetic character who makes a memorable first impression.” --Kirkus Reviews

“Bodies, wrecked and loved, Wiccan handfasting, sex work, guns, watermelons, and music—lots of music—light up this thrilling nail-biter.” --Lesley Bannatyne, author of Unaccustomed


Award-winning poet and songwriter Tony Burnett is the Executive Director of Kallisto Gaia Press. He served as President of the Writers’ League of Texas from 2013 to 2017. His poetry, short fiction, and environmentally focused nonfiction appear in over 70 publications. His previous books include the story collection, Southern Gentlemen and a full-length poetry collection, The Reckless Hope of Scoundrels. He resides in rural central Texas with his trophy wife and several rescue dogs who pay him no mind unless hungry. His hobbies include poking wasp nests with short sticks and wandering aimlessly about. He hopes you enjoy meeting his imaginary friends.


Signed copy of Watermelon Tattoo
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 6/9/23)

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The Puppy Adventures of Porter & Midge: Out and About~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours Book Trailer & Giveaway!

Jennie Chen and Giselle Nevada

Children’s Book / Pet Books / Pet Care
Publisher: Raise the Woof Press
Page Count: 38 pages
Publication Date: May 16, 2023

Scroll down for a giveaway!

Introducing The Puppy Adventures of Porter and Midge: Out and About – a quick introduction to early socialization and training for puppies that will make them outstanding canine citizens and wonderful family pets. 

Kids will love following along with the two puppies’ story set in Austin, Texas, as they learn about how to take care of their own puppy. This is the first book in a series of story books, journals, and activity books. 

“Gift this book to any new puppy owner you know!”-Lynn M. Hayner, Author at dogster

“Chen and Nevada write in an easy and enjoyable style…If you are a dog lover, this storybook is for you. Help your children become the best dog companion they can be.” -Philip Van Heusen, Reader’s Favorite

Purchase on Amazon

Jennie Chen is a homesick Austinite who founded Keep Austin Dog Friendly. Over the last 20 years, Jennie has owned Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs and Lowchen. She has earned numerous titles in conformation, competitive obedience, rally, herding, animal assisted therapy, and more. She is passionate about the relationship people build with their beloved canines, and she has been an advocate for people living with disabilities who need a service dog to live independently. She is active in various dog clubs and can be seen on AKC.TV from time to time.

Giselle Nevada has owned several mastiffs, acquired both from reputable breeders and via rescue. Fostering rescued mastiffs and helping them work through their issues led to a keen interest in socialization as a means of preventing future issues. She loves working with her dogs and has dabbled in carting, conformation, agility, rally, trick dog, nose work, and many other canine sports. Her puppy Porter is a testament to early socialization - he has achieved many performance dog titles and has done commercial work. He also has a role in a movie called Match Me If You Can directed by Marian Yeager.

Three winners receive a PAWtographed/autographed copy of
The Puppy Adventures of Porter & Midge: Out and About
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 6/9/23)


blog services provided by

Monday, May 15, 2023

Ghostly Bugles~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours Review & Giveaway!


Max L. Knight

Historical Fiction / Texas History
Publisher: Wild Lark Books
Date of Publication: February 23, 2023
Number of Pages: 210 pages 

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Do the souls of the dead reach out from beyond the grave? Do echoes of the past resound through the ages? Are such insights a privilege or a curse? An old man grapples with these questions and his own mortality as he re-examines one of the most famous battles in history - the Alamo.

The 1836 siege and battle as well as current efforts to restore Alamo Plaza to hallowed ground and create a world-class attraction unfold as the old man tries to make sense of his memories, dreams, and perceived outreach by the dead whose souls cry out to him for inclusion and recognition. Beyond the myth and the legend are their stories as well as his own.

Ghostly Bugles is a fictional re-creation of the Alamo story, rich in historical detail with a unique paranormal element. The narrative combines elements of the traditional storyline with contemporary efforts to "Re-imagine the Alamo". The dual timelines balance our understanding of this world- renowned event and provide new perspective and appreciation for the courage and sacrifice of everyone involved - Texian and Tejano defenders, and Mexican soldiers.


HALL WAYS REVIEW: The structure and premise of Ghostly Bugles, written by San Antonio author Max L. Knight, are compelling. Readers are introduced to the main character, identified only as “the old man,” and are then immersed and held captive in his thoughts.

“The Alamo was and always would be personal for him.”

The old man has admittedly been fascinated with the Alamo since he was a young boy and has never lost interest, so his vast knowledge is believable and for this Texan, even enviable. Via the old man’s ruminations, we get not only a factual history of the site and restoration of the Alamo, but also a nostalgic history of San Antonio and its bygone days. However, it’s by way of the old man’s dreams that readers are transported into the stories of the people on either side of the walls of the Alamo.

“He intimately sensed the presence of the souls of the deceased; he envisioned the circumstances under which they lived and died, even felt their pain at the moment of their demise. Rather than dispel these ghosts, he reached out to them.”

With the old man’s visions sometimes having him “soaring over” events, the story is able to be told from an omniscient point of view. The chapters alternate between the here & now of the old man’s observations and the then & there of the days leading up to, through, and after the Battle of the Alamo. It’s established early on that whatever’s unfolding on the pages is known to the old man, be it from his book knowledge or from the voices of the dead. But there’s also a layer of added information that goes beyond the characters’ experiences. In Ghostly Bugles, it’s Knight’s next-level attention to detail that engrosses, fascinates, and chills the reader.

I have never professed to be a student of history, and even as a Texan, I only recall the big picture of the Alamo and minimal details learned in school, so many years ago. Reading Ghostly Bugles is eye-opening because it shares not only the stories of the Texians, but also of the Tejanos and Mexicans who fought. One of the things Knight does well is to provide a wider lens, and he puts the battle in a context I hadn’t thought of before: the soldiers of the Mexican Army were fighting for their homeland and trying to put down an insurrection within. *Texan mind blown by the obvious*

“It was cruel psychological warfare.”

The level of detail in Ghostly Bugles is mind-boggling, which is a nod to the author’s research and clear expertise in the subject of soldiering. Specifics of munitions are provided down to the finest detail, but so are the horrible consequences of the trek to the battle lines, living in unhealthy conditions, and of course, the gruesome deaths. To Knight’s credit: he doesn’t glamorize a thing, nor does he downplay the flaws of the leaders on both sides. Travis and Bowie are slave owners; David Crockett struggles with his alter-ego, Davy; Santa Anna is a sexual predator.

Once again, Max Knight educates and entertains his readers through historical fiction, and leaves us with much to consider, not only from the story pages but from his Afterword and even acknowledgments (thank you). Ghostly Bugles feels thoroughly authentic, and I’m glad I read it.

MAX L. KNIGHT was born in Panama and grew up in the Canal Zone and in San Antonio, Texas, where he and his wife reside. In addition to degrees from Texas A&M University and Campbell University, Max served twenty-four years in the United States Army (1973-1997), retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

He became the first Alamo Docent in 2004, but the tragic events of 9/11 compelled him to reactivate his security clearance and, when the approval finally came through, he returned to work in support of U.S. Counterintelligence operations. A stage IV throat cancer diagnosis in 2014 abruptly ended that phase of his life, and he turned to writing to help him get through the chemo, radiation, and surgeries. Max is currently cancer free.

His other works include Silver Taps, Palo Duro, and Tarnished Brass.


Signed copy of Ghostly Bugles
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 5/25/23)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Blue Running ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours Audiobook Review & Giveaway!

Lori Ann Stephens

Dystopian Fiction / Coming of Age / Suspense
Publisher: Moonflower Publishing
Date of Publication: November, 2022
Number of Pages: 334 pages 

Scroll down for Giveaway!

In the new Republic of Texas, guns are compulsory and nothing is forgiven. Blue Running is a gripping coming-of-age thriller set in post-secessionist Texas. A fast-paced, page-turning book, it looks unflinchingly at what the future could hold, and finds hope there.

Fourteen-year-old Bluebonnet Andrews is on the run across the Republic of Texas. An accident with a gun killed her best friend but everyone in the town of Blessing thinks it was murder. Even her father – the town’s drunken deputy – believes she did it. Now, she has no choice but to run. In Texas, murder is punishable by death.

On the road she meets Jet, a pregnant young woman of Latin American heritage. Jet is secretive about her past but she’s just as determined as Blue to get out of Texas before she’s caught and arrested. Together, the two form an unlikely kinship as they make their way past marauding motorcycle gangs, the ever-watchful Texas Rangers, and armed strangers intent on abducting them – or worse. When Blue and Jet finally reach the wall, will they be able to cross the border, or will they be shot down in cold blood like the thousands who have gone before them?

Some things are worth dying for.

"Brilliant." --Heat Magazine

"A fast-paced story that races along, and stays with you long after you’ve finished it." -- The American

"An important and unforgettable read." -- Armadillo Magazine


HALL WAYS REVIEW: AUDIOBOOK REVIEW. There’s Texas, and then there’s America. Doesn’t sound dystopian, right? But in Blue Running, THIS Texas has finally seceded, walled itself in, and every citizen over fourteen is required to carry a gun. That still doesn’t sound dystopian as much as prescient, which makes reading Blue Running, by Texan Lori Ann Stephens, a real page-turner.

“We gotta trust in God and the law.”

This book is all about the setting. As Stephens starts the story, everything seems normal enough. We meet Blue (short for Bluebonnet, of course), who’s trying to navigate life at age fourteen. She’s embarrassed by her drunken father, embarrassed by her poverty, and just embarrassed – because fourteen. But readers soon learn that this is not the teenager’s life we know. For one, the kids have an armory at school where they check-in/out their guns each day before boarding their buses home. People aren’t stopped for carrying their guns in public places, they are stopped for not carrying. And anything that comes from America, not Texas – like orange juice, for example – has a heavy import tax so that only the wealthy can afford to have it. Cell phone and internet reach, naturally, are controlled for most Texans, because the leaders know best. Bless their hearts.

I swallowed down my own stupidity, but it

stuck in my throat refusing to dissolve.”

I love the words and phrases Stephens chose that immerse the reader even more in the story and setting. Blue “piddled around” or found herself “screwing up the courage,” and of course ordering a tea at a restaurant means it’s delivered as iced, sweet tea. The description of Blessing, Texas, is familiar with its lay-out that could easily be any small-town, suburban Texas city. Since I listened to the audiobook and didn’t read with my eyes, I don’t know if Stephens uses eye dialect, but narrator Ashley Rose Kaplan uses g-dropping to help convey the Texas accent. That touch, along with Kaplan’s slow, soft, and lyrical drawl, perfectly fits with Stephens’s evocative writing.

Stephens doesn’t miss including any of the hot button issues that are plaguing Texas (and beyond) right now. She spins a set of believable, what-if scenarios of how life could be in a terribly wrong, not-so-distant future. Blue Running is a different kind of horror story. It’s especially terrifying for me because I know there are readers that think it’s not dystopian, but utopian Texas.

Reading Blue Running is sometimes super-stressful: the suspense! The danger! But it’s also a massive social commentary on the fine line we are walking right now, and it forces thinking, which may be uncomfortable for some. Stephens wraps up the book with a BANG (literally & figuratively) and in the Epilogue, readers are told what we need to know to be satisfied as we close the cover. But be warned: it also requires us to envision our own ending. There’s that thinking thing again. 

Novelist, librettist, lecturer Lori Ann Stephens grew up in North Texas, where she developed an addiction to the arts. Her novels for children and adults include Novalee and the Spider Secret, Some Act of Vision, and Song of the Orange Moons, and her award-winning work has been noted by Glimmer Train Stories, The Chicago Tribune, and the English National Opera. She teaches Writing and Critical Reasoning undergraduate courses, as well as creative writing graduate courses, at Southern Methodist University. She lives in Texas and is a bit mad about her cat.



Paperback of Blue Running
with autographed bookplate mailed separately
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 5/19/23)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Call of the Wilde ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours Spotlight & Giveaway!

An H. H. Lomax Western, Book 8

Historical Fiction / Comic Western / Humor
Publisher: Wolfpack Publishing
Date of Publication: March 17, 2023
Number of Pages: 352 pages 

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Wild west hijinks continue in the eighth installment of the hysterical and historical adventures of an unlikely hero.

H.H. Lomax once again finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time when, wrongfully accused of robbing a bank, he’s arrested and jailed in a town vying for a stop on the approaching Texas & Pacific Railroad.

When local officials can’t afford to pay for a trial, a harebrained scheme is concocted to get rid of Lomax without spending a red cent. But Lomax avoids the hairy situation, pulling off an escape with the aid of an unlikely accomplice and exacting a bit of revenge in the process.

His wandering spirit—and neck—intact, Lomax lands among the Mormons in Salt Lake City, where he encounters a long-lost relative in need of assistance and makes the acquaintance of none other than Irish poet and aesthete Oscar Wilde. And from there, it’s all downhill, folks!

Jumping from one bad situation to another in non-stop hilarious action, H.H. Lomax’s adventures will tickle your funny bone with genuine humor while satisfying your craving for western action adventure.


Preston Lewis is the award-winning author of 46 novels and nonfiction works on the West. He is a past president of Western Writers of America.



First Prize:
Signed copies of Call of the Wilde & Outlaw West of the Pecos
Second Prize:
Signed copy of Call of the Wilde
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 5/12/23)