Blog Tour: Covey and JayJay Get Educated

COVEY AND JAYJAY
GET EDUCATED
by
Shelton L. Williams
Genre: Murder Mystery / Social Thriller / Amateur Sleuth
Publication Date: September 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 209 pages

 

Scroll down for a giveaway!

Amateur detectives, Covey Jencks and JayJay Qualls, are drawn into a triple murder on the campus of Baker College in West Waverly in the Texas Hill Country. Both end up taking positions at the college: Covey as an adjunct instructor and JayJay as a visiting actor. 


Initially they believe that money is the motive for the murders, but over time they learn that the college is a cauldron of political and social intrigue. The college’s new president and his beautiful wife, various staff members, a prominent trustee, and parties not associated with the college have the motives, opportunities, and wacky agendas that might implicate them in the murders. It turns out that a white nationalist group may be using a college house for its nefarious activities, but are they more talk than action? 

The West Waverly police are little to no help in the investigation, and Covey himself has to depart the college to deal with his father’s death. JayJay takes over and makes a critical breakthrough. Upon Covey’s return, the couple must rely on deception, a bit of luck, and martial arts skills to solve the crimes and to try to prevent a high-profile assassination.


fullsizeoutput_211f

Rating :★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in those are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

This book can be read as a standalone but is the second book in the Covey Jencks mystery series. Covey and JayJay are two friends who serve as amateur detectives in this West Texas mystery novel. As they work to solve the unexpected murder of three individuals at Baker College and clear the name of a friend, they uncover more than just the suspect.

As they work to uncover the mystery behind the murders they uncover a white nationalist movement at the same time. The author does a phenomenal job diving into the social issues and discovering major discriminatory acts that occurred in the area. You can tell the author spent time conducting research and digging deep to understand the make up of the area during the time this fiction novel was set in.

I enjoyed the dialogue between the main characters and the way the writing flowed. The author spent a great deal of time working on the layout, writing style, and character development. The character interaction felt real and personal. I also enjoyed the uniqueness associated with the chapter style. I have not seen a novel written with the chapters from a main perspective and from a character specific perspective. It allowed for the novel to be conveyed using two methods and gave insight into the mind of the main character. This book is filled with twists, turns , and interrogations. There were numerous occasions where I gasped out loud while reading and laughed at the interactions between the main characters and supporting characters. How far will you go to prove your friend’s innocence? Throughout the whole novel I thought I had a pretty good idea of why the murders occurred until closer towards the end and I noticed there was a bigger issue at hand than the murders.

I highly recommend this novel if you are looking for a thought-provoking adult mystery novel that focuses on social issues written from two perspectives; one from a person of color and one from a narrative perspective. Click the link above to purchase this item or try your luck at the giveaway. Either way, get your hands on this book!


Shelton L. Williams (Shelly) is founder and president of the Osgood Center for International Studies in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and he taught for nearly 40 years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He has served in the US Government on 4 occasions and he has written books and articles on nuclear proliferation. In 2004 he began a new career of writing books on crime and society. Those books are Washed in the Blood, Summer of 66, and now Covey Jencks. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.
 
 Amazon Author Page  



————————————
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
FOUR WINNERS!GRAND PRIZE: signed copy of each of the author’s books
SECOND PRIZE: signed copy of both Covey Jencks and Covey and JayJay Get Educated
THIRD PRIZE: Audio book of Covey and JayJay Get Educated
FOURTH PRIZE: Kindle version of Covey and JayJay Get Educated
DECEMBER 10-20, 2019
(U.S. Only)
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

12/10/19
Notable Quotable
12/10/19
Notable Quotable
12/11/19
Review
12/12/19
Author Interview
12/13/19
Review
12/13/19
Playlist
12/14/19
Review
12/14/19
Excerpt Part I
12/15/19
Excerpt Part II
12/16/19
Review
12/16/19
Notable Quotable
12/17/19
Review
12/18/19
Scrapbook Page
12/19/19
Review
12/19/19
Review

 

   blog tour services provided by
  

 

BLOG TOUR: Why Stuff Matters

WHY STUFF MATTERS
by
JEN WALDO
Sub-genre: Literary Fiction / Humor
Publisher: Arcadia Books
Date of Publication: June 4, 2019 (US)
Number of Pages: 212

 
When Jessica, a grieving widow, inherits an antique mall from her mother she also inherits the stallholders, an elderly, amoral, acquisitive, and paranoid collection. 
 
When one of the vendors, a wily ex-con named Roxy, shoots her ex-husband, she calls on Jessica to help bury the body and soon Jessica is embroiled in cover-ups, lies, and misdirection. Into this mix comes Lizzie, Jessica’s late husband’s twelve-year-old daughter by his first marriage, who’s been dumped on Jessica’s doorstep by the child’s self-absorbed mother and it soon becomes apparent that Lizzie is as obsessed with material possessions as Jessica’s elderly tenants. 
 
Why Stuff Matters is a compelling ode to possession, why people like things and the curious lengths they will go to keep them. Returning to her fictional Caprock, Waldo turns her wry wit on the lives of those afraid to let go.
 
CLICK TO PURCHASE!

Screen Shot 2019-12-02 at 10.20.23 AM

 

Inspiration behind Why Stuff Matters

Guest Post by Jen Waldo

My second novel, Why Stuff Matters, is about a young widow who, after inheriting an antique mall, must deal with the petty antics and rebellions of the shifty elderly vendors who rent booths in her building.

This novel had two inspirations—one is the setting, based on an antique mall just north of I-10 in Houston; and the other inspiration is the dealers, who charge ten times what their old stuff is worth.

The antique mall in Houston is one of my favorite browsing places, full of tarnished spittoons, bedpans, lacy shawls that have gone yellow, and a whole lot of other stuff that absolutely nobody needs. It smells of mildew and there’s a layer of dust over everything. The lighting is poor and the prevailing color is gray. Caprock Antiques, the mall in the book, so closely reflects this location in Houston that I’ve received emails from readers telling me that they recognized it from their own excursions into the cavernous building.

And the overpricing by the vendors was inspired by a time when I went with a group of church ladies to help at a resale charity shop. Our job was to hang the clothes and place the items attractively on the shelves. The task given to the pair of ancient wheelchair-bound women in the back was to put price tags on the items; and they were pricing them way too high. Eight dollars for a ten-year-old stretched-out pair of sweatpants. Ten dollars for cracked mirror in a wooden frame. One of them put a five-dollar tag on a molded plastic bowl that I’d seen for a dollar at the dollar store. So it occurred to me that these ancient women were identifying with the items. The stuff was old, worn out, and useless, and this is the way the women felt. People over-identifying with material items is the inescapable theme of the book.

While certain writers, most obviously Anne Tyler and Richard Russo, have influenced my method of juxtaposing comedy and tragedy, the peripheral characters in Why Stuff Matters are loosely inspired by the quirky citizens of Stars Hollow in “Gilmore Girls.” Their eccentricities and compassion; the foolishness of schemers and self-servers, and the surly impatience—all are found in Why Stuff Matters. In “GG,” the busybody shopkeeper, the humorless mechanic, the irritable owner of the diner, and the salacious dance teacher are the lighthearted chorus behind Lorelei and Rory’s operatic drama; and it’s to serve this purpose that I created the vendors.

In Why Stuff Matters the issue of stubbornly never letting go and over-pricing items might be exaggerated, but it perfectly reflects how some people value inanimate objects more than they value other humans. The characters filch items from the booths of the recently deceased. One of the vendors bought an entire exhibition of embalmed freakish peculiarities (hairy tumors, seven rats sharing the same tail, a pig with a leg growing out of its back) and paid a monthly fee to store them indefinitely. At one point, the vendors participate in a vicious war over a collection of antique typewriters.

This ode to materialism prods readers to give thought to why we want the things we want and what lengths we’re willing to go to in order to keep what we have.

Why Stuff Matters is a partner book to my first published novel, Old Buildings in North Texas. The reason for this designation is that they are clearly located in the same town, Caprock, and they share a similar writing style—first person, present tense. Both depict a young woman working her way through a painful emotional period, one dealing with addiction, the other with grief. If you like one, you’ll like the other.


Jen Waldo lived in seven countries over a thirty-year period and has now settled, along with her husband, in Marble Falls, Texas. She first started writing over twenty years ago when, while living in Cairo, she had difficulty locating reading material and realized she’d have to make her own fun. She has since earned an MFA and written a number of novels. Her work has been published in The European and was shortlisted in a competition by Traveler magazine. Old Buildings in North Texas and Why Stuff Matters have been published in the UK by Arcadia Books. Jen’s fiction is set in Northwest Texas and she’s grateful to her hometown of Amarillo for providing colorful characters and a background of relentless whistling wind. 

◆  WEBSITE◆  TWITTER
◆  AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE  ◆  
◆  GOODREADS AUTHOR PAGE

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

12/3/19
Guest Post
12/3/19
Excerpt
12/4/19
Review
12/5/19
Author Interview
12/5/19
BONUS Post
12/6/19
Review
12/6/19
Guest Post
12/7/19
Review
12/8/19
Guest Post
12/9/19
Review
12/9/19
Author Interview
12/10/19
Guest Post
12/11/19
Review
12/11/19
Guest Post
12/12/19
Review
12/12/19
Review
blog tour services provided by

 

The Other Half of Happy Blog Tour

THE OTHER HALF

OF HAPPY
by

Rebecca Balcárcel

Contemporary / Middle Grade / Multi-cultural Family
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Date of Publication: August 20, 2019
Number of Pages: 332

Scroll down for giveaway!

Quijana is a girl in pieces. 
 
One-half Guatemalan, one-half American: When Quijana’s Guatemalan cousins move to town, her dad seems ashamed that she doesn’t know more about her family’s heritage. 
 
One-half crush, one-half buddy: When Quijana meets Zuri and Jayden, she knows she’s found true friends. But she can’t help the growing feelings she has for Jayden. 
 
One-half kid, one-half grown-up: Quijana spends her nights Skyping with her ailing grandma and trying to figure out what’s going on with her increasingly hard-to-reach brother. 
 
In the course of this immersive and beautifully written novel, Quijana must figure out which parts of herself are most important, and which pieces come together to make her whole. 
 
This lyrical debut from Rebecca Balcárcel is a heartfelt poetic portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong.

PRAISE FOR THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY:

 
“Seriously, I have never felt so seen in a book.” —Sophia Jimenez of @LatinxinPub
 

“Balcárcel’s well-rounded characters, complex friendships, and nuanced family dynamics will resonate with many readers. This is a title that will remain relevant long past its publication date. A must-have for all library collections.” — School Library Journal starred review

“With poetic, flowing prose that sometimes feels more like a song and characters so convincing that they seem real, Balcárcel’s stunning debut depicts the struggles of being raised with two cultures and the challenges of not being “authentic” enough—in this case, “not Guatemalan enough” or “not American enough.” A lovely, moving, and realistic view of the struggles and insecurities—as well as the beauty—that comes from being bicultural.” — Booklist starred review

“One of the best and most compassionate depictions of autism I have ever read in fiction.” — Latinas Leyendo

CLICK TO PURCHASE

fullsizeoutput_211f

Rating :★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in those are unfinished copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

The engaging and awe-inspiring novel transports you into the world of Quijana, a half Guatemalan and half American tween. Quijana faces continual adversities as she works to discover her true identity.

The novel begins with Quijana preparing for her first day of seventh grade in a new school. She is obsessing over the mistakes of her past, trying to wrangle the constant chaos of her household, and spending time with her family. Her first day of seventh grade does not go as plan and she must learn the dynamics of her new school. Quijana must learn to face obstacles that are beyond her years while trying to find her identity and her place in her family. She is navigating her new environment, dissecting a potential crush, focusing on her younger brother, and continue to connect her Abuelita. As her home life takes a more challenging turn will she be able to handle it all?

The Other Half of Happy tackles the challenge of creating a diverse novel that allows the reader to understand the dynamics of the culture that influenced it. The moment I opened this book I was completely entranced in the story. I was able to feel a personal connection with the main character and the challenges she faced with her family. This novel felt more like a middle grade coming of age story that focused on a common challenge faced by biracial youth. It is evident the author drew from personal experiences to write this novel or did extensive research. The author took the time to insert Spanish dialogue and highlight a common frustration and disconnect in multicultural households. This novel is engaging, informative, and powerful. The characters evolved from chapter to chapter as the storyline developed. I even cried toward the ending after the plot started to unfold.

I truly commend the author for taking the time to shed light on common obstacles faced by multilingual and multicultural households in America. Quinjana is developed as a character that is both relatable and responsible. The author provides scenes that share commonalities with the adversities faced by youth today. The author provides a first-hand look at the development of the main character as we experience her frustrations, worry, and grief.

If you’re in the mood for a realistic fiction novel then you’re in luck! This book fits soo many key character development points and has such an elaborate storyline that it would be a great read for upper elementary and middle grades. I highly recommend this novel as it provides an opportunity for youth to read about challenges similar to their own. You won’t want to put this one down until you finish it!


 
 

Rebecca is a bi-cultural Latina who loves her autistic sons, her kitty, and serving the students of Tarrant County College as Associate Professor of English. She holds an MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars, where she was awarded the Jane Kenton Poetry Prize. THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY is her debut novel.

 
WEBSITE  ⬞    INSTAGRAM  ⬞   FACEBOOK
————————————-
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
THREE WINNERS EACH RECEIVE:
SIGNED COPY OF THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY 
BOOKMARK & STICKER!
NOVEMBER 5-15, 2019
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
11/5/19
Author Video
11/5/19
BONUS Post
11/6/19
Review
11/7/19
Excerpt
11/8/19
Review
11/9/19
Notable Quotable
11/10/19
Guest Post
11/11/19
Review
11/12/19
Scrapbook Page
11/13/19
Review
11/14/19
Review

 

   blog tour services provided by
  

Blog Tour: Tarnished Brass by Max L. Knight

TARNISHED BRASS
by
MAX L. KNIGHT
  Genre: Historical Fiction / Novella / War 
Publisher: Page Publishing, Inc.
Date of Publication: September 20, 2019
Number of Pages: 114

Scroll down for the giveaway!
 

The war in El Salvador as seen through the eyes of a U.S. Army officer, a guerrilla leader, and a refugee turned gang member

Patrick Michael Moynihan finds himself returning to the small Central American country where, as a young impressionistic junior officer, he was thrust into the middle of a brutal civil war.
Miguel Alejandro Xenias, once a member of the ruling elite in El Salvador, recalls his change of heart, advancement within the guerrilla movement, and his new-found hope for the country now that the FMLN is in power.Antonio Cruz, seeking a new life in America, finds only a different kind of hatred and conflict, joins the street gang MS-13, and returns home bringing with him a new kind of warfare.These perspectives spotlight an ongoing struggle in El Salvador that continues to impact the immigration crisis on our southern border and the spread of gang violence throughout the United States.
 
More than just a history of the war in El Salvador, a conflict that ended almost thirty years ago, Tarnished Brass gives voice to those who fought and those who only wanted to escape the violence.
fullsizeoutput_211f

Rating :★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in those are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

This historical novella focuses on El Salvador’s Civil War from 1980 to 1992 due to a disparity of wealth between the ruling oligarchy. The novella begins with Retired US Army Lieutenant Patrick Michael Moynihan thirty years after the end of the Civil War. Patrick is reflecting on his time and involvement in the El Salvador Civil War and the outcomes that arose because of it. He also reflects on the state of the small country currently, noting changes, constants, and the effects of the war that are still prominent. The small country occupants outside the royal family had been subjected to a lifestyle similar to indentured servitude where they did not have necessities such as clean water.

The author dives into the components of this war in a way that allows the reader to be captured from the beginning. He tells the story of the Civil War from the perspective of a retired Army Lieutenant, a guerrilla leader, and a refugee. Of all the perspectives the one that was the most impactful was the one of Antonio Cruz. Who immigrated to the US from El Salvador after the passing of his Father. He and his mother immigrated to the US assuming it would be better but their journey was anything but easy. Antonio’s life changed after moving to the US leading to the beginning of a prominent gang that is still popular today, MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha).

I was completely entranced from the moment I started reading this historical fiction novel. I greatly enjoyed the amount of detail and explanation used. I could tell the author did his research. Knight uses foreshadowing to explain key components of the war throughout this novella. He explains the constant social issues associated with a county in war with itself. I studied History during my undergraduate career and this book was both interesting and informative. The material flows well and the stories transition in a way that allows the reader to be involved. The author connects each character during the development process by continuing to build on the existing story.I highly recommend this novel for anyone interested in a quick historical novella.

CLICK TO PURCHASE:

Max Knight was born in Panama and grew up in the Canal Zone and in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in English. A Distinguished Military Graduate, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army and served twenty-four years in the Air Defense Artillery retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

In addition to assignments within his basic branch, Max also specialized as a Foreign Area Officer in both the European Theatre of Operations (Germany and Greece) and within USSOUTHCOM (Panama, Honduras, and El Salvador). He received the Defense Superior Service Medal for his service in El Salvador during that country’s civil war. Max earned his master’s degree in government from Campbell University, and retired from the Army in 1997.

Upon retirement Max was hired by RCI Technologies in San Antonio and became its Director of Internal Operations. He also was the first volunteer docent at the Alamo working within its Education Department. However, following the tragic events of 9/11, he became an Independent Contractor and spent the next ten years as a Counterintelligence Specialist in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Central America before cancer forced him to quit.

Max has since published a memoir, Silver Taps, and a novel of westward expansion, Palo Duro. He resides in San Antonio with his wife, Janet “Gray.” They have three surviving children; Lisa, Brian, and Sean, and three grandchildren; Tony, Nicholas, and Cecilia Marie.

║ BlogTwitterLinkedIn ║ Goodreads
 
————————————-
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
One Winner: Signed copy of Tarnished Brass + $25 Amazon Gift Card
OCTOBER 29-NOVEMBER 8, 2019
(U.S. Only)

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

10/29/19
Promo
10/29/19
Excerpt
10/30/19
Author Interview
10/30/19
Review
10/31/19
Scrapbook page
10/31/19
Review
11/1/19
Playlist
11/1/19
Review
11/2/19
Review
11/2/19
Review
   blog tour services provided by
  

 

Blog Tour: Journey of the Pale Bear

JOURNEY OF
THE PALE BEAR
by
SUSAN FLETCHER
Middle Grade / Medieval Historical Fiction
(grades 3-7)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Date of Publication: October 2, 2018
Paperback: October 1, 2019

Number of Pages: 302

Scroll down for the giveaway!


A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that’s being transported from Norway to London in this lyrical and timeless adventure story about freedom, captivity, and finding a family.
 

 

The polar bear is a royal bear, a gift from the King of Norway to the King of England. The first time Arthur encounters the bear, he is shoved in her cage as payback for stealing food. Restless and deadly, the bear terrifies him. Yet, strangely, she doesn’t harm him—though she has attacked anyone else who comes near. That makes Arthur valuable to the doctor in charge of getting the bear safely to London. So Arthur, who has run away from home, finds himself taking care of a polar bear on a ship to England.
 
Tasked with feeding and cleaning up after the bear, Arthur’s fears slowly lessen as he begins to feel a connection to this bear, who like him, has been cut off from her family. But the journey holds many dangers, and Arthur knows his own freedom—perhaps even his life—depends on keeping the bear from harm. When pirates attack and the ship founders, Arthur must make a choice—does he do everything he can to save himself, or does he help the bear to find freedom?
 
Based on the real story of a polar bear that lived in the Tower of London, this timeless adventure story is also a touching account of the bond between a boy and a bear.

fullsizeoutput_211f

Rating :★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in those are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

This is an engaging novel that involves family, friendships, and heroics. This book will grab your attention from the moment you read the first page and hold your attention until the end.

This book follows the life of Arthur, a young boy trying to survive in medieval times. It starts off strong with Arthur involved in a chase that leads him in a confined situation. He must use his wits to get out of his current predicament and to get to a place he so desperately desires to visit. Before he can start his journey, he must first serve as a handler for a bear on a ship headed to London. During his time with the bear, he will develop an unlikely bond with this animal. The bear and Arthur have so much in common, they merely want to be free. Arthur faces pirates, bears, and royalty on his journey. He must learn to continue to fight to survive. Will Arthur and the bear finally get the freedom they so desperately desire?

Throughout this novel, I realized that Arthur just wanted to find a place where he felt he belong. He just wanted to be around people that wanted him. The author does an amazing job with the descriptive terms in this novel. So much so, that I felt the emotions of the main character as he described his family dynamics. The supporting characters are developed nicely and the action scenes are engaging. I was a bit skeptical at first about reading this mostly in part due to the setting and time period. In the end, this was one of my favorite novels I have read this year. I thoroughly enjoyed the character development, action scenes, plot, and ending. The author writes this novel in a way that allows the reader to feel a connection with the main character and the support characters. She does this by providing small backstories for the supporting characters that connect with the main character.

If you’re in the mood for a medieval historical fiction middle grade novel based in Europe, then you’re in luck. This book fits soo many key character development points and has such an elaborate storyline that it would be a great read for upper elementary and middle grades. I highly recommend this book for all! You won’t want to put this one down until you finish it completely!

CLICK TO PURCHASE
BRAZOS BOOKSTORE  ◆  BLUE WILLOW BOOKSHOP  ◆  BOOK PEOPLE
AMAZON  ◆  BARNES AND NOBLE  ◆  INDIEBOUND

*ACCOLADES AND PRAISE FOR*

JOURNEY OF THE PALE BEAR:
Honor Book, Golden Kite Awards, 2019

Vermont’s 2019-2020 Dorothy Canfield Fisher list
2020 Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award Children’s Masterlist
School Library Connection highly recommended book
Junior Library Guild Selection
50 Must-Read Historical Fiction Books for Kids, bookriot.com


“…a stupendous coming-of-age-tale stuffed with adventure and laced with deeper questions… A richly satisfying story saturated with color, adventure, and heart.” –Kirkus, starred review

“I simply adore this novel. It has it all: gorgeous prose, fascinating history, riveting adventure. But it’s the unlikely tender friendship between a lonely boy and a polar bear that makes this a story to cherish. A lovely little miracle of a book.”

–Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal-winning author of The One and Only Ivan

“I loved every single thing about this large-hearted and riveting medieval adventure.” —William Alexander, National Book Award-winning author of Goblin Secrets


 

Although Susan loves to write about long-ago and faraway places, she can’t bring those worlds to life without grounding them in the details of this one. To that end, she has explored lava tubes and sea caves; spent the night in a lighthouse; traveled along the Silk Road in Iran; ridden in a glider, on a camel, and on a donkey; and cut up (already dead!) baby chicks and mice for a gyrfalcon’s dinner. To research Journey of the Pale Bear, she explored the grounds of the Tower of London and went backstage at the Oregon Zoo, where, standing breathtakingly near, she watched polar bears Tasul and Conrad lip grapes from their keepers’ open palms.Journey of the Pale Bear is Susan’s 12th book, including the Dragon Chronicles series, Shadow Spinner, and Alphabet of Dreams. Collectively, her books have been translated into nine languages; accolades include a Golden Kite Honor Book, the American Library Association’s Notable Books and Best Books for Young Adults, BCCB Blue Ribbon Books, and School Library Journal’s Best Books.

Susan has an M.A. in English from the University of Michigan and taught for many years in the M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults program at Vermont College. She lives in Bryan, Texas with her husband, historian R.J.Q. Adams, and their dog, Neville.

————————————-
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
THREE AUTOGRAPHED COPIES OF JOURNEY OF THE PALE BEAR
OCTOBER 10-20, 2019
(U.S. Only)
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR

10/10/19
Excerpt
10/10/19
Excerpt
10/11/19
Review
10/12/19
Guest Post
10/12/19
Author Interview
10/13/19
Review
10/14/19
Review
10/15/19
Guest Post
10/15/19
Deleted Scene
10/16/19
Review
10/17/19
Review
10/18/19
Guest Post
10/18/19
Scrapbook
10/19/19
Review
10/19/19
Review
   blog tour services provided by
  

 

Blog Tour: War Girls

War GirlsGenre: Fantasy

Shelf Location: Young Adult

Rating: ★★★★

Release Date : October 15, 2019

This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Penguin Young Readers partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an advanced reader copy.  #partner #penguinrandomhouse #penguinteen 


AUTHOR BIO 

Tochi Onyebuchi is a writer based in Connecticut. He holds a BA from Yale, an MFA in screenwriting from Tisch, and a JD from Columbia Law School. Tochi is the author of Beasts Made of Night and Crown of Thunder.


BOOK DESCRIPTION

Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther-inspired Nigeria.

The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.

In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life.

Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together.

And they’re willing to fight an entire war to get there.

Acclaimed author, Tochi Onyebuchi, has written an immersive, action-packed, deeply personal novel perfect for fans of Nnedi Okorafor, Marie Lu, and Paolo Bacigalupi.


FINAL THOUGHTS

This book is great for those interested in a post apocalyptic world set in Nigeria. The author does an amazing job telling this story. You can tell he spent time working to develop his characters and the emotions between them. I loved the aspect of having two female leads as the main characters in this novel and the bond the two sisters shared. It is as if you feel their emotion seeping through the pages as you read it. The moment the two sisters were torn apart from each other after a raid of their camp truly showcased the impact the Nigerian Civil War had on the two. The beginning starts off a bit slow but it picks up toward the center with action, turmoil, and battle. The storyline continues to develop and has a little bit of a lull towards the end. Overall, it is still an enjoyable read. The author spends time creating the image of a post apocalyptic technology based world filled with humans with electronic limbs and a devastated climate.

If you’re interested in a fantasy novel based on the same concepts of Black Panther, then this is your next read. See below for purchasing links and don’t forget to share your thoughts online.


PURCHASING LINKS

CLICK HERE TO PREORDER YOUR COPY NOW!

THIS BOOK RELEASES ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15


Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com.

 

Blog Tour: Christmas in Winter Valley

CHRISTMAS 
IN WINTER VALLEY
Ransom Canyon, #8 
by
Jodi Thomas
Genre: Contemporary / Western / Holiday Romance
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Number of Pages: 288 pages

Scroll down for the giveaway!

 

Ransom Canyon welcomes you back for a Christmas that has everything you’re looking for: romance, family, and a whole lot of Texas.

Cooper Holloway would take nature over people any day—especially visiting relatives. That’s why he’s headed for a rustic cabin in remote Winter Valley, where he’ll care for a herd of wild mustangs. But Cooper’s plans are quickly thwarted by the arrival of two unexpected guests: one, a stranger in desperate need of his help, and the other, a very attractive young veterinarian.

Elliott is busy trying to keep Maverick Ranch running smoothly with Cooper gone, which is no easy task with family visiting. And when a long-lost love suddenly reappears in his life, Elliott knows he’ll have more than just books to balance this season.

With a big, chaotic family Christmas around the corner and love blooming in surprising ways, the Holloway men will have to make big choices about the future—just in time for the holidays.


PRAISE FOR CHRISTMAS IN WINTER VALLEY:

“This book has everything you would want. Laughter, drama. And tears both happy and sad. I highly recommend this book.” — Patty Champion (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)

” I could not put this book down once I started it and longed for more once I was done.” Melanie (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)

“I got lost in the world that she [Jodi Thomas] has created and enjoyed seeing her characters with their overlapping and interconnected stories find a happiness that none of them expected to ever find.” — B. (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)


fullsizeoutput_211f

Rating :★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in those are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

It’s never too early to indulge in a romantic holiday read. As we near this upcoming holiday I recommend you check out his novel. This novel follows the lives of four different relationships each at different stages.

Cooper, one of the main characters is looking for a moment of isolation as he leaves his farm to head to a cabin for reflection. Cooper has no idea that no only will he not spend his time alone at the cabin but he will encounter a few unexpected guests.

Elliot is left to handle all the business of his family ranch as Cooper decides to take a break from the Family Farm. Elliot must not only continue to manage the finances of the ranch, deal with the family visiting the farm. But also face someone from his past. Some wounds heal over time and some don’t. Can Elliot handle everything that gets’s thrown his way or will he have to deal with more than he handles?

The author provides an additional romantic encounter that you will have you saying “aww” out loud.

The author does an amazing building of realistic relationships and the development of the characters. Once you start this book, you won’t want to put it down. Although this is only the first book I have read by this author, I am excited to read more from her. The author has a writing style that captivates the reader. She provides a realistic approach to the telling of a romance novel by using descriptive vocabulary to engage the reader. From the moment you pick up this book, you feel a connection with the Holloway family and their ranch. Since this story involves the telling of multiple relationships the author tackles the challenge of creating something that flows well with multiple plots. It can be a bit confusing keeping up with the multiple character stories, each different from the next but if you enjoy a bit of a challenge then you will love this just as much as I did.

If you haven’t read this book yet, I would recommend you pick this one up. This standalone book in her Ransom Canyon series will have you wanting to pick up a copy of her other books. I would highly recommend this book for those interested in contemporary Texas-sized romance novel that leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling at the end.

1012 LORILEI NQ 2, 2 of 2 Christmas in Winter Valley
CLICK TO BUY:
HARLEQUIN┃  AMAZONBARNES&NOBLE
GOOGLE BOOKS


With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels and countless short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.
In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.
Thomas was honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas and served sixteen years as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.
 
When not working on a novel, or inspiring students to pursue writing careers, Thomas enjoys traveling with her family, renovating an historic home, and “checking up” on two grown sons and four grandchildren.

 ║ Website ║ Facebook ║ Twitter  
║ Instagram ║  Amazon  BookBub 
║ Pinterest  ║ Goodreads 

————————————-
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
WIN A PAPERBACK COPY OF CHRISTMAS IN WINTER VALLEY
October 3-13, 2019
(US ONLY)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

10/3/19
Notable Quotable
10/4/19
Review
10/4/19
BONUS Post
10/5/19
Author Video
10/6/19
Review
10/7/19
Excerpt
10/8/19
Review
10/9/19
Scrapbook Page
10/10/19
Review
10/11/19
Review
10/12/19
Notable Quotable

   blog tour services provided by
  

Happy National Roald Dahl Day!

img_3688Genre: Fantasy

Shelf Location: Children, Juvenile

Rating: ★★★★★

This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Penguin Young Readers partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in those are finalized copies sent to me in collaboration with Ronald Dahl Day. #partner #penguinkids #roalddahlday


AUTHOR BIO 

Roald Dahl was a spy, ace fighter-pilot, chocolate historian, and medical inventor. He was also the author of Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryMatildaThe BFG, and many more brilliant stories. He remains the World’s No.1 storyteller.


BOOK DESCRIPTIONS 

THE BFG

The BFGA beautiful, collectible hardcover edition of The BFG from the World’s No. 1 Storyteller!

The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants–rather than the BFG–she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

 The main character, Sophie, found a place where she can help. She’s surprised when she sees the giant and realizes he won’t eat her. She must work together with the BFG, the gentle beast, to put an end to the other giants. They must work together to try to make the world a safer place. This book is written in a way that captivates the reader and truly engages them throughout the entire novel.

Purchase a copy of this book here!

 

The Witches

The WitchesA beautiful, collectible hardcover edition of The Witches from the World’s No. 1 Storyteller!

This is not a fairy tale. This is a story about real witches. Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories–but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!

Purchase a copy of this book here!

 

Matilda: Be Outrageous

Matilda Be OutrageousAm I a phenomenon? It is quite possible that you are.

Reimagine Dahl’s beloved classic in this gorgeous, hand-lettered gift book perfect for Matilda fans of all ages! Featuring the best and brightest lines from Roald Dahl’s magical story, this book displays the iconic quotes in whimsical and artful calligraphy, while reminding readers to be, first and foremost, outrageous!

Highly illustrated, with quotes, lines, and passages from one of Roald Dahl’s most beloved books, this gift book presents a whole lot of big ideas from one precocious little girl. Each spread features the most memorable lines from Matilda, rendering them in gorgeous and whimsical calligraphy — making this a must-have for any Dahl collection!

This book is filled with empowering phrases that highlight important words of encouragement for young girls. It is written in a way that is easily understandable for the youth. I highly recommend this for young girls as a gift.

Purchase a copy of this book here!


Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com.

 

BLOG TOUR: The Bird Boys by Lisa Sandlin

THE BIRD BOYS
A Delpha Wade and
Tom Phelan Mystery

by
LISA SANDLIN
  Genre: Gentle Noir / Mystery / Women Sleuths
Date of Publication: August 20, 2019
Number of Pages: 306
Scroll down for giveaway!
 
The new novel from award-winning author Lisa Sandlin catches up with the almost-murdered secretary Delpha Wade (The Do-Right, 2015, set in 1973) as she’s released from a hospital in order to be tucked into the back seat of a police cruiser. Her boss, P. I. Tom Phelan, sets out to spring her. He needs her back in his investigation business, where he’ll soon be chasing a skulking grand larcenist and plotting how to keep a ganjapreneur out of the grabby hands of a brand new agency, the D.E.A. Delpha digs through old records and knocks on strange doors to unravel the dangerous case of two brothers with beaucoup aliases—verifying that sometimes truth is not true, but murder is always murder.
 
 
 
 
 
PRAISE FOR THE BIRD BOYS:
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“What makes this crime novel soar is the humanity and humility of its main characters. It is by turns exciting, tender, suspenseful, observant, and gently funny. Readers will eagerly await the next installment.” 
Booklist, Starred Review
“Sandlin’s sequel soars on the wings of its spot-on evocation of a time and place and its utterly compelling central characters… A first-rate series crying for word-of-mouth support.”
Kirkus, Starred Review
“Proving that anything old can be new in the right, talented hands, Sandlin has crafted an outstanding series that readers will want to follow and savor.”
Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle
“I confess that as a Beaumonster who remembers that city in the early seventies, the book has a special appeal; Sandlin gets so many details just right. But you don’t have to have lived there to be captivated by The Bird Boys. Its characters, wit, exquisite prose, and sense of redemption are so richly crafted that they’ll stick to most anyone like, well, a shirt to your skin on an August afternoon in Beaumont.”

 

 

 

Lisa Sandlin is the author of The Do-Right, winner of the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America and the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers. Her new mystery thriller The Bird Boys is set in 1973 in the same town she was born, Beaumont, Texas. Her previous books are The Famous Thing About Death and Message to the Nurse of Dreams, Cinco Puntos Press; In the River Province, SMU Press; and You Who Make the Sky Bend, Pinyon Publishing.

 

 

—————————————–
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
THREE WINNERS: Choice of eBook or Print Copies of THE BIRD BOYS
August 20-30, 2019
(International – eBooks only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

8/20/19
Playlist
8/21/19
Review
8/22/19
Excerpt
8/23/19
Review
8/24/19
Excerpt
8/25/19
Author Interview
8/26/19
Review
8/27/19
Excerpt
8/28/19
Review
8/29/19
Review
   blog tour services provided by
  

 

BLOG TOUR: My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi

CoverGenre: Science Fiction/ Realistic Fiction

Shelf Location: Middle Grade

Rating: ★★★★★

This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Penguin Young Readers partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an uncorrected copy from the publisher, some quotes may have been changed prior to publishing.


Book Synopsis 

In the summer of 1984, 12-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet makes the trip from Huntsville, Alabama, to Harlem, where she’ll spend a few weeks with her father while her mother deals with some trouble that’s arisen for Ebony-Grace’s beloved grandfather, Jeremiah. Jeremiah Norfleet is a bit of a celebrity in Huntsville, where he was one of the first black engineers to integrate NASA two decades earlier. And ever since his granddaughter came to live with him when she was little, he’s nurtured her love of all things outer space and science fiction–especially Star Wars and Star Trek, both of which she’s watched dozens of time on Grandaddady’s Betamax machine. So even as Ebony-Grace struggled to make friends among her peers, she could always rely on her grandfather and the imaginary worlds they created together. In Harlem, however, she faces a whole new challenge. Harlem in 1984 is an exciting and terrifying place for a sheltered girl from Hunstville, and her first instinct is to retreat into her imagination. But soon 126th Street begins to reveal that it has more in common with her beloved sci-fi adventures than she ever thought possible, and by summer’s end, Ebony-Grace discovers that gritty and graffitied Harlem has a place for a girl whose eyes are always on the stars.


Playlist

“Harlem Shuffle” by The Rolling Stone

“Welcome to New York” – Taylor Swift

“Hello Brooklyn”- Beastly Shuffle

“My Girl”- The Temptations

“Eye of the Tiger”- Survivor

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” – Cyndi Lauper

“Another One Bites the Dust”- Queen

“Never Gonna Give You Up”- Rick Astley

“Parents Just Don’t Understand “- Will Smith


Final Thoughts

Ebony is an imaginative twelve-year-old girl who is spending the summer away from her Grandfather. Her Grandfather is described as a person who started Ebony’s love for using imaginative space tales to handle situations she’s facing. Her Grandfather Jeremiah Norfleet is a famous African American who integrated NASA. Ebony must learn to adjust to the new culture associated with living in Harlem with her Father for the summer. Ebony’s imaginative personality has her friends in the area describing her as weird and quiet. Her once best friend, Bianca, is now a foreigner to her as they continue to argue over differences during her trip. Ebony’s fascination with space, her Grandfather, and Star Trek leave her labeled as an outcast. Will she learn to try to fit in for the summer, or will she continue to struggle with adjusting to the area? Will she break out of her shy shell for a bit to let someone other than her family?

This book is written in a way that combines the imaginative tales between a granddaughter and Grandfather. It showcases the special bond between the two. Jeremiah Norfleet facilitates an environment filled with an imagination that stays with Ebony even through her travels to New York City. I love the comic strips inserted into the novel. The images provide a visual view of the descriptive text. Ebony reminded me of myself when I was younger, but of course, growing up in the 90s was different than growing up in the 80s. However, I was raised by my grandmother, who was born in the 40s, which allowed for exposure to 80s culture. It is a challenge for someone to fit into an area where they feel they don’t belong regardless if members of their race live in that area. The more you read the novel, the more you understand the symbolism behind the title. I assume the ice cream sandwich is black on the outside but white on the inside. That is a standard description of the black community associated with someone who is deemed as being caucasian on the inside but looks black. The term is dubbed to anyone who doesn’t fit in, speak the same lingo, or like the same the music. I love that the author incorporates the challenges faced by African Americans in Harlem during that period and how she develops Julius, Ebony’s Father.

If you’re interested in reading a novel that highlights uniqueness, imagination, and focuses on an African American/Black family during the 80s in Harlem, then this is your book. I recommend this for all upper elementary and middle-grade youth.


Author Bio

bi Zoboi is the author of two novels for young adults, including Pride and American Street, a finalist for the National Book AwardShe holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely !


You pre-order  copies of this book from Penguin Random House

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com.