Blog Tour: Alfie Carter

BNR Alfie Carter

ALFIE CARTER
by
BJ Mayo
 
Published by Skyhorse Publishing Pages: 288 Published: January 19th, 2021 Categories: Southern Fiction / Rural Fiction / Mystery
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Cover Alfie Carter med res

The seemingly never-ending Cabinda War (1975—) has left multitudes dead in its wake and thousands of children homeless and orphaned. Jackaleena N’denga, a young Angolan girl, has become the sole survivor of one specifically brutal village massacre carried out by a band of guerrilla boy-soldiers. Jackaleena’s resilience leads her to an orphanage on the west coast of Africa, known as Benguela by the Sea, where she and other children are taken in and protected. Her brilliant mind and endless questions capture the heart of her mentor, Margaret, who ensures her that her survival thus far—especially being the survivor from her village—must mean she has big things ahead of her. When the opportunity arises, she must find her purpose. Not without a plan, Jackaleena stows away on a mercy ship that has made its yearly visit to the orphanage and is now preparing to return to America. Her journey takes her across the ocean, into the arms of New York City’s customs officials, and finally into placement in a temporary foster home in Texas. Enter Alfie Carter—a workaholic, small-town detective who is also battling memories of his past. His life is forever changed when he meets a young African girl looking for her higher purpose.

Purchase: Skyhorse Publishing

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BJ Mayo was born in an oil field town in Texas. He spent the first few years of his life living in a company field camp twenty-five miles from the closest town. His career in the energy industry took him to various points in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Louisiana, Bangladesh, Australia, and Angola West Africa. He and his wife were high school sweethearts and have been married for forty-six years with two grown children. They live on a working farm near San Angelo, Texas.
Visit BJ Mayo at his website: https://bjmayo.com/

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Review
Rating :★★★★★
Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of a finished 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 this review are advanced reader copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

Alfie Carter is a tale that takes you on a journey of one young girl’s resilience during one of the toughest moments in her life. Jakaleena, the main character, is faced with a life-altering moment in the beginning stages of her childhood. She is forced into a position to make decisions on how to care for herself and keep herself alive. Faced with daily adversity she rises above the occasion and sees the purpose in her life. Destined for greatness and opportunities, she takes a huge risk in an attempt for a better life in America. A chance encounter with a thoughtful Doctor propels her life into a direction that others could not fathom. Will she allow her past to define her or will she use it as a way to inspire her?

BJ Mayo takes an interesting approach in this historical fiction. His writing style allows for the reader to have a front-row seat to the retelling of the life of Jakaleena. The story begins with engaging first chapters that start with the present-day and transition to the past. The reader gets a full retelling of the story of Jakaleena and her beginning. The author does a wonderful job with the development of the main and supporting characters as well as the full storyline. The story has twists and turns but it is also filled with moments that will make you cry, be empathetic, and be grateful all in the same moments. The ending has you wanting to find out more about her story and why her past made a sudden appearance. This book highlights the effects of trauma, healing, and growing through the pain. There are some faith-based moments, biblical references, and minor profanity towards the beginning of the novel, which does not take-away from the overall storyline.

I highly recommend this book for adults interesting in historical fiction but be aware there are triggers. If you have experienced trauma associated with killing, death, sexual assault, or loss, I recommend treading slowly when reading this novel. There are quite a few moments that can be triggering. However, you will enjoy the honesty, biblical reference, and family dynamic. You will feel inspired after reading this book. Once you begin, you won’t want to put it down.


FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:

2/23/21

Review

Reading by Moonlight

2/23/21

BONUS Promo

All the Ups and Downs

2/23/21

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

2/24/21

Review

Missus Gonzo

2/24/21

Review

The Clueless Gent

2/25/21

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

2/25/21

BONUS Promo

Hall Ways Blog

2/26/21

Review

Jennie Reads

2/26/21

Review

Jennifer Silverwood

2/27/21

Review

Bibliotica

2/28/21

Review

Carpe Diem Chronicles

3/1/21

Review

Book Fidelity

3/1/21

Review

That’s What She’s Reading

3/2/21

Review

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

3/3/21

Review

Forgotten Winds

3/3/21

Review

Librariel Book Adventures

3/4/21

Review

It’s Not All Gravy

3/4/21

Review

The Plain-Spoken Pen

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Blog Tour: Network of Deceit

NETWORK OF DECEIT
An Amara Alvarez
Stand-Alone Novel
by
Tom Threadgill
Categories: Mystery / Suspense / Detective
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: February 2, 2021
Number of Pages: 384 pages
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She’s following her instincts. They’re following her every move. 
After her rescue of nearly fifty kidnapped children made international headlines, Amara Alvarez gets what she’s worked for: a transfer to San Antonio’s Homicide Division. But reality sets in quickly when her first case, the suspicious death of a teenager at a crowded local water park, plunges her life into chaos. 
As the investigation moves forward, Amara finds herself stalked online by cybercriminals who uncover her personal life in frightening detail. With few leads, she’s forced to resort to unconventional methods to find the killer and prevent her first murder investigation from ending up in the cold case files. 
Tom Threadgill is back with another riveting page-turner featuring the detective who is willing to put everything on the line to see justice served and lives protected.

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Tom Threadgill is a full-time author and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). The author of Collision of Lies, Tom lives with his wife near Dallas, Texas.
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Review

Rating :★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of a finished 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 this review are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

This book follows the life of a newly spotlighted detective Alvarez. A level-headed, strong willed, female detective trying to make a name for herself in a new town. She struggles with a new boss who is unwilling to give her more responsibility, a thorn in her side co-worker, and a potentially budding office romance. The story unfolds as she navigates a new case that seems to have more twists and turns than anticipated. All while trying to manage the fact that her office is a foldable table. Will Alvarez solve the case and provide some closure to the family or will she get caught in the mix of the case itself?

Network of Deceit is book two in the series. This is my first time reading a book by the author and it definitely won’t be my last time. This novel is told from the perspective of the main character which allows for you to feel like you’ve been transplanted into her mind. It actually helped me paint a better picture of the full story and feel more connected to each character. The simplistic writing style allows for a quick read and for the reader to not be distracted by complex terms but to be captivated by the story. The storyline flows well, and the book had my attention captured the whole time. I was thoroughly surprised by some of the twists and turns the novel took. Toward the end I was shocked by the plot twist and was on the edge of my seat during the epilogue. The author does a great job with character development of both main and supporting characters. I enjoyed the insertion of family history of the main character, the budding romance, and the work conflict. I like how the author shed some light on the challenges women face in often male dominated positions and the challenges of being a Rookie cop. This story will have you both laughing, gasping, and holding your breath the whole way through.

I highly recommend this book for teens or adults. The writing style is simple enough for others to grasp the concepts and not get lost in the complexity of terms. Once you begin, you won’t want to put it down. I am excited to see what the next installment in this series holds.

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Copies of both Collision of Lies
and Network of Deceit
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Giveaway ends Midnight, CST, February 27, 2021
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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:
2/17/21 Series Spotlight All the Ups and Downs
2/17/21 BONUS Promo Hall Ways Blog
2/18/21 BONUS Promo LSBBT Blog
2/18/21 Review The Adventures of a Travelers Wife
2/19/21 Review That’s What She’s Reading
2/20/21 Excerpt The Page Unbound
2/21/21 Excerpt Texas Book Lover
2/22/21 Author Interview StoreyBook Reviews
2/23/21 Review KayBee’s Book Shelf
2/24/21 Review Librariel Book Adventures
2/25/21 Character Interview The Clueless Gent
2/26/21 Review Tangled in Text
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Blog Tour: Stork Bite

STORK BITE

by
L.K. Simonds
Genre: Historical Fiction / Southern Fiction 
Date of Publication: November 30, 2020 
Number of Pages: 359 pages
 
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“Everything has to be reconciled eventually.” 

 
Caddo Parish, 1913. On an October morning, a Klansman confronts seventeen-year-old David Walker at a hidden oxbow lake where he has gone to hunt. David accidentally kills the man and hides the crime. His determination to protect his family from reprisal drives him far from home and into manhood. 
 
Shreveport, 1927. Cargie (rhymes with Margie) Barre and Mae Compton are two vastly different young women, but both are defying convention to reach for their dreams. The men in Cargie’s and Mae’s lives help and hinder them in more ways than one. After years in hiding, David Walker finally resurfaces, and we discover the past is never as far from the present as it seems.

PRAISE FOR STORK BITE:

“Simonds is a wonderfully talented author and evokes the South in astonishing detail in Stork Bite, making us feel we’re sitting in on a long, sumptuous, serial film production. But don’t think it’s mere eye candy–like the best period dramas, there’s plenty of social commentary here. Highly recommended!” 

–Linore Rose Burkard, author of Regency Romance and Contemporary Suspense
 
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Review

Rating :★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of a finished 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 this review are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

The author begins this book with the main character David going for his usual walk in his small town during the early 1900s. This is during a time where segregation is still a prominent issue and black males are taught to protect themselves from white males. As the story unfolds, we watch as David’s biggest fear comes true. He has crossed paths with a white male who has his eyes set on demeaning David. Based during a time where being Black was considered a crime, David must decide whether to defend himself or take whatever is thrown at him. Realizing that both choices have great consequences.

The overall storyline focuses primarily on the main character and a series of events that follow one main event. David’s life takes many twists and turns throughout the novel until finally toward the end he comes to some sort of resting place. It really makes you think of a time in your life where you felt you were carrying shame and guilt from a past mistake. There is a bit of biblical based references in this book that tend to focus on forgiveness and letting go. The author allows you to take a step in the shoes of the main character as he works through his emotions and pushes past the shame and guilt he has been carrying his entire life. This all occurs until he comes to a resting place at the end of the novel where he is finally able to find peace and healing in self forgiveness.

The author works to try to capture the true essence of the language during the time period targeted in this book and the potential challenges faced by those of color. If you are interested in a pre-civil rights movement fictional read that focuses on fear and guilt, then this book is one you should pick up.


 

L. K. Simonds is a Fort Worth local whose debut novel, All In, was published in 2019.

 

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Plus $50 Visa Gift Card.
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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:
1/26/21 Review That’s What She’s Reading
1/26/21 Review The Adventures of a Travelers Wife
1/27/21 Review StoreyBook Reviews
1/28/21 Review The Page Unbound
1/28/21 Review KayBee’s Book Shelf
1/29/21 Review Momma on the Rocks
1/29/21 BONUS Promo Hall Ways Blog
1/30/21 Review Rainy Days with Amanda
1/31/21 Review Tangled in Text
2/1/21 Review Librariel Book Adventures
2/1/21 Review Jennifer Silverwood
2/2/21 Review The Clueless Gent
2/2/21 BONUS Promo All the Ups and Downs
2/3/21 Review Book Bustle
2/3/21 Review Forgotten Winds
2/4/21 Review It’s Not All Gravy
2/4/21 Review Reading by Moonlight
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Blog Tour : Ely Air Lines

   
ELY AIR LINES
Select Stories from 10 Years
of a Weekly Column,
Volumes 1 & 2
by
MIKE ELY
and
LINDA STREET-ELY
Genre: Nonfiction
Categories: Short Stories / Aviation / Adventure 
Date of Publication: January 29, 2020 
Number of Pages: Volume 1: 350 pages; Volume 2: 330 pages  
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Buckle up and fly with Mike and Linda Street-Ely to discover amazing people, interesting places, and the conquest of flight. Since 2007, readers have enjoyed engaging articles weekly in the newspaper column, “Ely Air Lines.” Now you can step aboard to enjoy a collection of stories that explore the vast realm of the flyer’s world.

Mike Ely has logged thousands of hours over more than forty years as a professional pilot. He holds an airline transport pilot certificate with multiple type ratings and a flight instructor certificate. Mike has taught people to fly in small single engine airplanes, gliders, turboprops, and corporate jets. As a freight pilot and an international corporate pilot, he has flown through all kinds of weather, to many places, both exotic and boring. His love for writing was instilled by his father at an early age.

Linda Street-Ely is an award-winning, multi-genre author and playwright. She also holds an airline transport pilot certificate, a commercial seaplane certificate and a tailwheel endorsement. She has air raced all over the U.S., including four times in the historic all-women’s transcontinental Air Race Classic. Besides flying, Linda has a keen appreciation for great storytelling. She loves to travel the world, meet people, and learn about other cultures because she believes great stories are everywhere.

Together, Linda and Mike are “Team Ely,” five-time National Champions of the Sport Air Racing League, racing their Grumman Cheetah, named the “Elyminator,” and dubbed “The Fastest Cheetah in the Known Universe.” They live in Liberty, Texas.

Review

Rating :★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of a finished 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 this review are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

The authors, Mike and Linda take a unique approach to compiling stories from their column into a collection of books and making them available for public consumption. I thoroughly enjoyed the flow of the book and it was easily understandable for someone with no prior knowledge of aviation. I found the short stories both entertaining and engaging. I definitely enjoyed being able to gather knowledge in regards to the flights and get a first-hand read of some of the challenges pilots face when performing.

One of my favorite short stories in the book was “Pitts and Pumpkins.” I enjoyed reading about their participation in the Pumkin Chuckin contest. I laughed out loud reading this and thought to myself, “could I chuck a pumpkin out of a plane and hit a target on the ground,” the answer was no. This is just one of many stories in volume 2 of the collection of stories. Each story is unique in a sense where you, as a reader, are able to be captivated by the telling of factual events. There are many tales such as this one that are informative, entertaining, and heartwarming.

The flow between writers in each story allows for the reader to continuously get a different perspective of the retelling. There were many of these short stories that had me on the edge of my seating wishing they didn’t end. Be prepared to have your search engine open on your computer, you are definitely going to want to look up more information about some of the aircrafts listed. If you are a native Houstonian or live in Texas, you will especially enjoy the stories that involve that focus on Texas pilots. You will truly get that “everything is bigger in Texas” vibe from those reads.

If you are someone who is interested in personable, factual, and enticing aviation stories then I highly recommend this read. This book continued to have me engaged from start to finish. The short stories and column writing style allows for the reader to easily transition from story to story. I promise, at the end of this book, you are going to feel like an aviation enthusiast.

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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:
1/19/21 Excerpt It’s Not All Gravy
1/20/21 Review V1 Jennie Reads
1/20/21 Review V2 Librariel Book Adventures
1/21/21 Guest Post Forgotten Winds
1/22/21 Review V1 StoreyBook Reviews
1/22/21 Review V2 Reading by Moonlight
1/23/21 Author Interview All the Ups and Downs
1/24/21 Author Interview The Adventures of a Travelers Wife
1/25/21 Review V1 Book Bustle
1/25/21 Review V2 Book Fidelity
1/26/21 Excerpt The Page Unbound
1/27/21 Character Interview Hall Ways Blog
1/27/21 Top Ten Momma on the Rocks
1/28/21 Review V1 The Clueless Gent
1/28/21 Review V2 Chapter Break Book Blog
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Blog Tour: Violence/Joy/Chaos

VIOLENCE / JOY / CHAOS
by
Jane Marshall Fleming
Essays / Poems
Publisher: Rhythm & Bones Press
On Twitter
Date of Publication: April 1, 2020
Number of Pages: 154

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This debut full-length hybrid collection of essays and poetry explores the moments of joy and chaotic hilarity that mingle with the experiences of trauma and trauma recovery.

Jane Marshall Fleming writes with boldness and shows the beauty in every moment amidst violent chaos, embracing joy just as much as darkness. Moving from a backdrop of a small Virginia town and eventually finding herself in the freedom and wilderness of the desert, readers will follow the author on her journey mapping her skin, sharing in her joys, grief, pain, loss, discovering love and self-growth, night-blooming like a desert flower.

CLICK TO ORDER ON:
Rhythm & Bones Press ┃  


Review

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 this review are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

Have you ever had to make a challenging life choice? Held a secret from a family member? Have you ever been judged? Violence/ Joy/ Chaos is a collection of poetic writing that focuses on the life of the author. The author spends time diving into the most life-changing and challenging moments in her life. She takes you on the journey of love, loss, grief, self-discovery, pain, anger, and finally freedom. 

There aren’t too many words that I could use to fully describe how beautifully written this book of poetry is written. This book of poems flows wonderfully together as the author allows the reader to be transferred into her life. The highly descriptive writing style allows for the emotions of the author to be transferred onto the page. It is such a challenge to portray such raw emotions in such a way that not only captures the attention of the reader but also provides a connection between the reader and the storyline. There are moments during the reading that feel her anger, sadness, grief, love, pain, and finally freedom. You feel as though not only is she free from herself. Although her road to recovery and freedom was tumultuous it is truly enlightening to take on the journey to her discovering herself. The most beautiful part of this book is knowing that although she finally was able to find true love she still struggled daily with control. That is inspiring to know that it is okay to struggle even after you become free. Here dialogue with herself is powerful and shows the reader the true power of words. One of the most important conversations you will have is the one you have with yourself. 

I cried, I laughed, and I gasped while reading this book of poetry. There were a lot of instances where the author captures the essence of each moment being described. Throughout this collection of essays and poems, you find yourself crying when she cries, laughing when she laughs, and rejoicing in those moments of triumph. We are all transferred into her life as she takes us on a long-awaited journey through the years and we watch her find her voice and discover herself. There were a few moments where I essentially had to stop and process the information that was delivered. The following quote resonated with me the most. 

I had forgotten what brought me here. The loss, the pain. I left my

phone in the house while we walked. No buzzing, no texts, no pain.

No pain.

It encourages you to consider the times you have lost someone and have wandered from the path you were previously on. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a loss, it can be the end of a relationship, a traumatic event, or anything that has thrown your life for a loop. It reminds of those moments where you wander aimlessly hoping to find a place that has a solid ground or a place that will make you whole. I learned that wholeness for me didn’t come from a person but came from the Bible and building that relationship. Although you may find your freedom, it is okay to struggle but it is important to stay grounded and find your roots. 

I highly recommend this novel for any mature young adult. There are a few instances where they could be trigger warnings for those who have suffered abuse (sexual and domestic), struggled with suicide, and suffered a loss. I would take caution if you decide to read this book but overall the remaining context is appropriate for mature readers and adults. Special thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this book and thanks for writing it. It is an inspiring text. 

Click the link above to purchase this item or scroll towards the bottom of this review try your luck at the giveaway. Either way, get your hands on a copy of this book!


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Jane Marshall Fleming is an author and artist living in Austin, Texas. She currently works as an assistant instructor at the University of Texas at Austin and is also the author of the chapbook, Ocotillo Worship (Apep Publications, 2019). Violence/Joy/Chaos is her first full length collection.

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Autographed copy of Violence / Joy / Chaos 
March 31-April 10, 2020
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

3/31/20
Guest Post
3/31/20
BONUS Post
4/1/20
Review
4/2/20
Excerpt
4/3/20
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4/4/20
Top Five List
4/5/20
Collages
4/6/20
Review
4/7/20
Author Interview
4/8/20
Playlist
4/9/20
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Blog Tour: Finding Esme

FINDING ESME
by
SUZANNE CROWLEY
  
Genre: Middle Grade (3-7) / Magical Realism / Family & Loss
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Date of Publication: August 14, 2018
Number of Pages: 288

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After her grandfather died from a heart attack while driving his tractor on Solace Hill, twelve-year-old Esme’s been inextricably drawn to that spot, although her grandmother warns her to stay away. But when she follows her little brother, Bo, and her dog, Old Jack, up the hill while chasing fireflies, she makes an incredible discovery—dinosaur bones peeking out from underneath the abandoned tractor.

The bones must be a message from her grandfather, a connection from beyond the grave. But when word gets out that the farm is hiding something valuable, reporters, researchers, and neighbors arrive in droves. Esme struggles to understand who has her best interests at heart, especially as the memory of her grandfather begins to slip away.

Full of friendship and adventure, and featuring a palpable Texas setting, Finding Esme is a moving and heartfelt story about family, friendship, and learning to deal with loss.

PRAISE & HONORS FOR FINDING ESME:

“Esme is a brave, appealing heroine with the odds stacked against her… Bad blood and layered family secrets drive this story to its ultimately optimistic and satisfying conclusion.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

“Esme McCauley is a lonely but spirited 12-year-old who feels nothing ever happens to her the way it’s supposed to…A poignant tale for readers who enjoy character-driven realism.” — School Library Journal

“Readers muddling through preteen changes or unstable family lives will identify with Esme’s struggles, but the thrill of discovery will appeal to most.” — Booklist

Texas Library Association 2019 Spirit of Texas (SPOT) reading program selection

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 this review are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

Have you ever experienced a loss? Have you ever felt the need to reconnect with someone you have lost? Finding Esme takes the reader on the journey through the mind of a young child and her family as they continue to deal with the aftermath of the loss of her grandfather. As the story continues to unfold the author allows the reader to gain a better understanding of Esme’s relationship with her grandfather. We are then able to dive into why she is struggling so hard with his loss. Esme wants so desperately to be a contributing member of her family, but she’s only twelve. There aren’t many things a twelve-year-old can do to make money. As she struggles to come to terms with how desperate family is to save their farm and her inability to help, she discovers something far more amazing. Her connection with her late grandfather runs deeper than she could have ever imagined. Esme and her grandfather share a similar gift. Some might call the gift magic!

This book is filled with numerous components that make it hard to focus on just one. There is a sense of adventure, self discovery, family, friendships, loss, mystery, and acceptance. The author does a phenomenal job of telling this story in a way that provides the reader with a chance to understanding the emotions of each character. This story transports you into the life and home of Eme and her family. Esme is far more mature for her age than other twelve-year-olds. I adore the uniqueness associated with each character and the detail provided. The development of the main and supporting characters allowed for a better baseline of the story and enhanced the plot. The realism and emotional influence in the authors writing style had me in tears as I got to know Esme, her best friend, and her mother. Esme’s life is far from perfect. She struggles with coming to terms with the loss of her grandfather, supporting her grandmother, and being there for her younger brother. However, we watch as Esme learns acceptance and embraces her gift that will lead to happiness and connection.

This coming of age story transports you into the life of Esme. A young girl whose knack for discovery leads her to the greatest treasure of all that could potentially save her family’s farm. This book is filled with grief, love, friendships, and childlike discovery. The ending of this book will have you shedding tears of joy as we watch the main character is able to use her “gift” in a unique way. This book reminded me a lot of my life growing up. I had an absent father, a mother who was gone, and I was raised by my grandmother. I remember as a young child having the similar thoughts as Esme and thanking God the same way she does in the novel.

If you are interested in a well written, relatable, thought provoking, explorative, coming of age elementary/middle-grade novel, then this book is for you! I recommend this book to all young readers looking to engage in a story that will encourage their sense of discovery and adventure. Special thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this remarkable tale.

Click the link above to purchase this item or scroll towards the bottom of this review try your luck at the giveaway. Either way, get your hands on a copy of this book!

Suzanne Crowley is the author of two acclaimed novels for young readers, The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous and The Stolen One. The author, who is also a miniaturist and dollhouse collector whose work has graced the covers of magazines worldwide, was born in a small town in Texas and lives in Southlake, Texas. When not hugging her dog or imbibing in chocolate, she can often be found taking a nap.
 

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February 11-21, 2020

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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

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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.

 
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THREE WINNERS EACH RECEIVE:
SIGNED COPY OF THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY 
BOOKMARK & STICKER!
NOVEMBER 5-15, 2019
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