Pop-Up: The Covey Jencks Audiobook

THE COVEY JENCKS MYSTERIES:
LOVE AND MURDER DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS
by
Shelton L. Williams
Narrated by: Stephen E. Lookadoo Jr.

 

Mystery / Amateur Sleuths / West Texas

Listening Length: 17hrs, 44 minutes

Publication Date: July 27, 2022

 

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Shelton Williams’s book The Covey Jencks Mysteries: Love and Murder Deep in the Heart of Texas is more than a collection of mysterious tales of murder and investigation. By bringing to life these characters, the author has highlighted the global issues of racism, drug abuse, political extremism, and women trafficking.
In the midst of it all is our protagonist, hell-bent on finding out what secrets he may find out if he stepped into the dark shadow of Odessa.
This omnibus edition of the Covey Jencks Mysteries includes newly edited versions of Covey Jencks, Covey and JayJay Get Educated, and The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts. It also includes a new preface from the author and foreword by Charles E. Morrison.
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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 the three books in the Covey Jencks series. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.
 
 

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Rating :★★★★★

Disclaimer: This audiobook review is solely my opinion. I partnered with Lone Star Literary Life for this 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 collection of the Covey Jencks series is memorable. The author does a fantastic job with the selection of the audiobook for this collection of titles. Narrator Stephen Lookadoo has a voice that fits perfectly for the audio versions of these three titles. I can’t imagine how hard it is for an author to search for a narrator that has the ability to due the story justice and capture the attention of the reader the entire time. I am a huge fan of audiobooks. I also tend to transfer between reading the book and listening to it simultaneously.
The three books in this audiobook collection were Covey Jencks (book 1), Covey and JayJay Get Educated (book 2), and The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts (book 3).
Covey Jencks :This story is set the stage and the development of the beloved main character Covey. We get to see the full back story and development of Covey and his relationship with JayJay. Something from his past drew him back to his hometown and he intends to see it to the end. This book is a well-developed, fast paced, engaging novel with many twists and turns. This is definitely a page turner and one you would not want to put down.
Covey and JayJay Get Educated : 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. 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.
The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts : The story is filled with “ghosts” from the past coming back to “haunt” Covey and JayJay. This comical pair are a match made in partner heaven as they navigate an investigation with multiple loopholes. I did not expect this many twists and turns when I began diving into this novel and I was thoroughly surprised as the story continued to develop.
I highly recommend you check out this audiobook collection as you won’t be disappointed. You will enjoy this novel if you are looking for a thought-provoking adult mystery novel that focuses on social issues deep in the heart of Texas. This Texas-sized series will leaving wanting more from the author and wanting to finish the entire collection in one sitting.
Be sure to enter into the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of this title.


GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
THREE WINNERS:
Each receives an audiobook edition of THE COVEY JENCKS MYSTERIES:
LOVE AND MURDER DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 10/31/22.)
 
 
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Blog Tour: Beasts of the Earth

BEASTS OF THE EARTH

BY
JAMES WADE
Categories: Literary Fiction / Crime Fiction
Blackstone Facebook  Twitter   Instagram
Date of Publication: October 11, 2022
Number of Pages: 350 pages
 
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James Wade, whose first two novels were praised as “rhapsodic” and “haunting,” delivers his most powerful work to date—a chilling parable about the impossible demands of hate and love, trauma and goodness, vividly set in the landscapes of Texas and Louisiana.

Beasts of the Earth tells the story of Harlen LeBlanc, a dependable if quiet employee of the Carter Hills High School’s grounds department, whose carefully maintained routine is overthrown by an act of violence. As the town searches for answers, LeBlanc strikes out on his own to exonerate a friend, while drawing the eyes of the law to himself and fending off unwelcome voices that call for a sterner form of justice.

Twenty years earlier, young Michael Fischer dreads the return of his father from prison. He spends his days stealing from trap lines in the Louisiana bayou to feed his fanatically religious mother and his cherished younger sister, Doreen. When his father eventually returns, an evil arrives in Michael’s life that sends him running from everything he has ever known. He is rescued by a dying poet and his lover, who extract from him a promise: to be a good man, whatever that may require.

Beasts of the Earth deftly intertwines these stories, exploring themes of time, fate, and free will, to produce a revelatory conclusion that is both beautiful and heartbreaking.

PRAISE FOR BEASTS OF THE EARTH

“Wade’s pitch-perfect, personality-driven dialogue sings in the voice of life, and his ability to meld existential thought, situational metaphor, and cinematic setting is a full-bodied experience…A soul-deep exploration of a wounded man in crisis, James Wade’s Beasts of the Earth…secures his position as an author of extraordinary merit.” —New York Journal of Books

“James Wade writes a terrific story, but that isn’t what makes him so good. Wade is a craftsman. His books should be read slowly, to luxuriate in his word choices, his sentence structure, his character revelation. That is why he is a joy to read.” —James L. Haley, Spur Award–winning author of the Bliven Putnam Naval Adventures

“I found myself rooting for the characters throughout their near-Biblical tribulations, and the storyline kept me turning the pages, desperate to find out what would happen next. Here we have a novel that blends realism with existentialist philosophy to redefine contemporary Southern fiction. Don’t miss this tour de force of modern literature.” —David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Spur and Anthony Award–winning author of Winter Counts

PURCHASE LINKS:
Beasts of the Earth is a beautiful gut-punch of a novel.” —Stacey Swann, author of Olympus, Texas

James Wade lives and writes in the Texas Hill Country with his wife and daughter. He is also the author of River, Sing Out and All Things Left Wild, a winner of the prestigious MPIBA Reading the West Award for Debut Fiction, and a recipient of the Spur Award for Best Historical Novel from the Western Writers of America.

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TWO WINNERS
Two winners each receive an autographed copy of Beasts of the Earth.
(US only. Ends midnight, CDT, October 21, 2022)

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—————————————
Review
Rating 5 out of 5 Stars
*Disclaimer: A digital copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review. Please note the opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of others.*

Beasts of the Earth takes the reader on two different journeys through the lives of 12-year-old Michael Fischer and High School groundskeeper, Harlen LeBlanc. Harlan is portrayed as a man invested in his trade with a troubled past looking for redemption. Harlan befriends a young worker at his job and steps in to help the new guy who still hasn’t come to terms with a recent breakup. After an accident occurs and his new friend is considered the prime suspect, Harlen steps in to do his own investigation. Michael Fischer is a young boy attempting to navigate life below the poverty line. Michael is developed as a character longing for more and for the protection of his family from his Father. Both men tied to a past they have tried to escape must face the truth. The question is, what will it cost them?

The author does an amazing job developing the complexity of each character. His writing style transported me into the lives of the characters forcing me to feel the same emotions the characters were feeling. I enjoyed the alternating chapters highlighting each character. The book is filled with edge-of-your-seat moments where you have no idea what will happen next. Throughout the story, I felt the emotions of each character and the sadness emanating from each page. I could not put down this book once I started. I related to Michael as he struggled with his relationship with his Father and Mother and wanted to be a protector of his sister. I related to Harlen purely due to his desire to want to be a savior to those who were lost. In a world where generational curses, crime, and pressure run rampant, it is hard to attempt to set your own path and do the right thing. This book does a wonderful job of highlighting some of the hauntings associated with your past and the struggle between past you and present you.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author but from the impact, this story had on me, it won’t be the last. I would highly recommend this book to adults interested in thrilling read. The book contains various twists and turns that leave your mouth gaped open at the end.

All I have to say is, well done James Wade, well done!

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

10/11/22

Review

That’s What She’s Reading

10/11/22

Review

Writing and Music

10/12/22

Audio Review

Hall Ways Blog

10/12/22

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

10/13/22

Review

The Book’s Delight

10/13/22

Review

Julia Picks 1

10/14/22

Audio Review

It’s Not All Gravy

10/14/22

Review

Librariel Book Adventures

10/15/22

Review

Book Fidelity

10/16/22

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

10/17/22

Review

The Plain-Spoken Pen

10/17/22

Review

The Clueless Gent

10/18/22

Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

10/19/22

Audio Review

Forgotten Winds

10/20/22

Review

Jennie Reads

10/20/22

Review

Reading by Moonlight

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Blog Tour: Fancy by Linda Broday

FANCY

Love Train Multi-Author Series, #10

by

LINDA BRODAY

 Western Romance /Sweet Romance/ American Historical Romance

Pages:          190 pages

Publisher:      Kindle Unlimited

Publication Date:     August 15, 2022

 

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A stolen baby
An orphan child
A bargain struck


Told her baby died in childbirth, Fancy Dalton grieves for her son. But in the midst of a raging storm, a shadowy figure appears and tells her that he’s alive and well! He was stolen! Now she has an address and a name. From despair comes hope.
One thought drives her—finding and getting him back. Selling everything she owns, Fancy buys a one-way train ticket to Denver. Nothing and no one will stop her. In a mad dash to board the train, she collides with Jack Coltrain. As fate would have it, the rugged cowboy, on a mission of his own, sits next to her. Experience has taught her to be wary of men. But when her bag is stolen, he gets it back and earns a small piece of her trust.
As the iron wheels roll, taking her closer to her two-year-old son, Fancy and Jack discover an orphan girl who needs their help and open their arms to her. Ten hours from their goal, Fancy and Jack strike a deal—her help for his. Desperate times for both call for creative solutions…but marriage, even in name only? However, nothing is off the table. She’ll do whatever she must to save the orphan and get her child back. Still, giving Jack her heart…that’s not part of the bargain.
Click to purchase!
 

Review
Rating: 5 out of 5 STARS
*Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion and does not reflect the viewpoints of the author or publisher. A finished e-book copy of this book was provided for review.*
“Fancy” is book 10 of the Love Train series. Fancy Dalton is a woman born and raised in a small town in Nebraska. Her story begins with a traumatic and tragic birth story and the start of the tale of a desperate mother.
Fancy’s life is anything but perfect. However, she continues to try to keep her composure as life throws numerous curveballs in her direction in a short time. In an attempt to clear her conscience, the midwife who helped with the birth of the baby informs her that her child is not dead. In a brief moment, Fancy’s plans of continuing to work as a waitress are no more after a recent loss. She packs up her life and heads on a train to find her stolen baby. The journey to her new, unfamiliar destination comes with many twists and turns. First, her bag gets stolen while boarding the train. Then an unlikely hero is captivated by her presence and retrieves her bag.
Fancy is finally able to confide in her new friend Jack. The two build an unlikely bond and work together on a new mission. They see a young orphaned girl on the train and vow to help her. Fancy and Jack work to resolve issues from their past and create a future. You’ll have to read the book to find out if their future is together or separate.
Fancy’s character is built as someone kind and compassionate. Of course, I love a good book with drama and a semi-happy ending. This book is well written. It shows the author spent time developing each character and creating a heartwarming story that will leave any reader audibly sighing. There are parts of this book that can be triggering for anyone who has experienced loss and sexual assault, so I recommend proceeding with caution if you have experienced any of these things.
I recommend this book for readers interested in a romance novel with an edge. Although this book is a part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone novel. If you haven’t checked out the other books in the series, I highly recommend you do.


PRAISE FOR FANCY:

“I have loved every Linda Broday book I have read, but I must say this one touched my heart.” Cricket (Goodreads)

“Linda Broday waved her magic wand when her turn came and gave us one of her most profound heroines she’s ever written. Fancy wrapped her tragic story around my heart and transported me into the late 1800s.” Tonya (Goodreads)

“Linda Broday has always been able to weave her characters together like a mix-match patch quilt, but the end results are amazing.” Rose Ann (Goodreads)

“…Her ability to convey the goodness of their souls will leave the reader wanting more.” Sally (Goodreads
 



 
I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty historical western romance novels and short stories. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and early cowboys once roamed, and at times if the breeze is just right, I can hear their voices whispering in the wind. Texas’s rich history is one reason I set all my stories here where cowboys still remain caretakers of the land. I’m inspired every day by their immense dedication and love for the wide-open spaces. I combine those men with the love of family in all my stories and hope to continue to give readers books that entertain and fulfill.
 
 
 


 



Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway!

FOUR WINNERS!

One winner:
$25 Amazon gift card plus Kindle copy of Fancy
Three winners:
Kindle copies of Fancy
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 8/19/2022.)
 
 
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:
 

8/9/22

Excerpt

Forgotten Winds

8/9/22

BONUS Promo

Hall Ways

8/10/22

Review

Librariel Book Adventures

8/10/22

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

8/11/22

Character Spotlight

Chapter Break Book Blog

8/12/22

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

8/13/22

Notable Quotables

Shelf Life Blog

8/14/22

Character Interview

All the Ups and Downs

8/15/22

Review

Carpe Diem Chronicles

8/16/22

Sneak Peek

Stories Under Starlight

8/17/22

Review

Boys’ Mom Reads

8/18/22

Review

Writing and Music


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Blog Tour: The Sparrows of Montenegro

 
      

 

THE SPARROWS OF MONTENEGRO

 
by
BJ MAYO
 
 
Categories: Western / Historical Fiction / Texas
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Date of Publication: February 8, 2022
Number of Pages: 312 pages 
 
 
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Tree “Bigfoot” Smith and Cedar Jones first meet on the day they join the US Cavalry’s Fourth Cavalry Regiment based out of the Historic Fort Concho in what is now San Angelo,
Texas, in 1870.


Their journey takes them into the heart of the dangerous Llano Estacado region known as the Comancheria. The area is ruthlessly defended by a band of Quahadi Comanche and their stoic leader, Lonely Horse. The Troop encounters a large group of Comanches and the gun-running Comancheros at Mushaway Mountain, close to Gail, Texas. A quick battle ensues that leaves eight men dead.


Post Cavalry life finds Tree Smith and Cedar Jones as cowhand and cook on the large Rolling J cattle ranch in South Texas bordering the Rio Grande River. The ranch employs two Vaqueros from the village of Montenegro in Mexico, just across the river, whom Tree befriends.


The quiet life on the Rolling J ranch is brought to an abrupt halt when a local sheriff warns that a band led by the cold-blooded, sadistic killer known as Gato Montes has been preying on the ranches along the Rio Grande. After the sheriff is nearly killed by these men, Tree is tasked with tracking them down, only this time, he is traveling alone and the dangers are greatly multiplied. His epic journey takes him back into the Llano Estacado where he is captured by Lonely Horse and taken to Mushaway Mountain where the Comanche carry out their own form of frontier justice.


Tree’s return journey puts him on the same path as Marco, a Mexican goat herder, who rides with him to the Mexican Village of Montenegro, where Tree meets Julia, who changes his life forever after he becomes involved in and bears witness to the wonderful celebration of Dia de los Muertos.

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:

“I could not put this one down. Mayo has masterfully written a character-driven page-turner, a compelling tale for the reader who seeks something more than the stereotypical western novel.” —Ron Schwab, author of Goldsmith and the Law Wranglers series

“This mild-mannered west Texas rancher has woven a border tapestry using yarns made of unimaginable horror and sweet innocence.” —Tumbleweed Smith, author of Under the Chinaberry Tree

“A thoroughly enjoyable read—a cowboy’s trail you’ll want to follow, with a memorable cast of characters, renegades, soldiers, lawmen, and simple folks, and a hero that you’ll want more of.” —John J. Jacobson, author of All the Cowboys Ain’t Gone

 

 
 
 
 
 

Blog Tour: The Uvalde Raider

 

THE UVALDE RAIDER 

A Templar Family Novel

BY BEN H. ENGLISH

Publisher: Creative Texts Publishers
Publication Date: April 17, 2021
Pages: 229 Pages
Categories: Historical Fiction / Military / Texas
The time is the eve of the First Gulf War. The place an abandoned World War II emergency landing strip for heavy bombers, nestled amid the near countless miles upon miles of wide openness in West Texas. Here a climactic battle will be fought, while the rest of the world focuses on what would become known as Operation Desert Storm. But in some ways, the stakes here are even higher as men from other places and past conflicts gamble all that they are, and all they ever were, to prevent a catastrophic terrorist attack unthinkable before on an American city. One group seeks wholesale slaughter, the murder of helpless civilians on a massive scale. The other strives to stop this evil in any way possible, and by whatever means necessary. The key to either side’s success or failure? One old Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, an enduring symbol from another war and ensuing catastrophe of a different era. This relic of a not so distant past is named ‘The Uvalde Raider,’ and this is its story…

Purchase: Amazon | Front Street Books

Personalized Copies: http://thestablealpine.com

Ben H. English is an eighth-generation Texan who grew up in the Big Bend. At seventeen he joined the Marines, ultimately becoming a chief scout-sniper as well as an infantry platoon sergeant. Later he worked counterintelligence and traveled to over thirty countries on four continents.
At Angelo State University he graduated Magna Cum Laude along with other honors. Afterwards Ben had a career in the Texas Highway Patrol, holding several instructor billets involving firearms, driving, patrol procedures and defensive tactics.
After retirement he decided to try his hand at writing. His first effort, Yonderings, was accepted by a university press and garnered some awards. His second, Destiny’s Way, led to a long term, multi-book contract.  This was followed by Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend and now his second fictional work, The Uvalde Raider.
His intimate knowledge of what he writes about lends credence and authenticity to his work. Ben knows how it feels to get hit and hit back, or being thirsty, cold, wet, hungry, alone or exhausted beyond imagination. Finally, he knows of not only being the hunter, but also the hunted.
Ben and his wife have two sons who both graduated from Annapolis. He still likes nothing better than grabbing a pack and some canteens and heading out to where few others venture.
Just as he has done throughout most of his life…
Find out more about Ben English’s Adventures on Facebook,Amazon Author Page, or visit Ben on his Website


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 copy used in this review is a finished copy of the book. #partner #LSBBT

This action-packed military historical fiction focuses on one moment in history that shaped the overall way the world handled situations that followed. The author uses a narrator-style writing style to allow the reader to be taken on a journey through time and nostalgic moments. The main characters face hard times, challenges, and overcome some of their greatest obstacles all while seeking opportunities to see the truth in every situation. They encounter terrorists, government secrets, and learn to rely on each other in one of the most daring moments in their career. It seems the men have gotten themselves tied up in a sticky situation that they may or may not get out of. You’ll need to read the book to find out.

Overall, the book is filled with twists and turns and will have you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the next event to occur. The patrotism is evident as you continue to navigate your way through the detailed, engaging explanation of each scene. The author does a wonderful job with character development, terms used, and you can tell he did his research before completing this novel. If you’re a native Texan then this novel will make you proud to be a Texan.

I enjoyed the religious aspect of the novel and the moments of wholesomeness. I also enjoyed the moments of reflection. I love historical fiction novels. I studied history in college and have read quite a few books in this realm and this is one of my favorites. There is a moment after the rise of action moments where the book takes a slow pace, but overall I feel does not take away from the story and provides depth.

The question is, can you handle this type of novel and the surprising plot? I guess you will have to read it and find out. This is book one of this series and I am confident you will want more.

This book is suited for adults but can also be read by older teens interested in historical fiction.


Click to visit the LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE for direct links to each stop on the tour, updated daily, or visit the blogs directly:

6/28/21

Review

6/28/21

Kick-off Promo

6/29/21

BONUS Promo

6/29/21

Author Interview

6/29/21

Excerpt

6/30/21

Review

6/30/21

Character Spotlight

7/1/21

Review

7/1/21

Guest Post

7/2/21

Review

7/2/21

Series Spotlight

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Blog Tour: River, Sing Out

   

RIVER, SING OUT

BY
JAMES WADE
Categories: Contemporary / Literary Fiction
Rural Fiction / Crime Fiction / Coming-of-Age
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Date of Publication: June 8, 2021
Number of Pages: 315 pages
“And through these ages untold, the river did act as the lifeblood of all those things alongside it.”
 

Jonah Hargrove is celebrating his thirteenth birthday by avoiding his abusive father, when a girl named River stumbles into his yard, injured and alone. The teenager has stolen thousands of dollars’ worth of meth from her murderous, drug-dealing boyfriend, but lost it somewhere in the Neches River bottoms during her escape. Jonah agrees to help her find and sell the drugs so she can flee East Texas.

Chasing after them is John Curtis, a local drug kingpin and dog fighter, as well as River’s boyfriend, the dangerous Dakota Cade.

Each person is keeping secrets from the others—deadly secrets that will be exposed in violent fashion as all are forced to come to terms with their choices, their circumstances, and their own definition of God.

With a colorful cast of supporting characters and an unflinching violence juxtaposed against lyrical prose, River, Sing Out dives deep into the sinister world of the East Texas river bottoms, where oppressive poverty is pitted against the need to believe in something greater than the self.

 

 

PRAISE FOR RIVER, SING OUT

”With echoes of Jim Harrison, Cormac McCarthy (and perhaps a smidge of Flannery O’Connor), River, Sing Out is a beautiful, brutal meditation on survival and love in the face of nearly unspeakable violence and depravity in an East Texas community ravaged by the meth trade. Taut, lyrical, and precise, the prose soars in this important new novel by James Wade.” —Elizabeth Wetmore, New York Times bestselling author of Valentine

”If you read one novel this year, make it this one. James Wade’s River, Sing Out, is an instant classic filled with characters that will break your heart, lyrical prose as haunted as the river it evokes, and a Southern Noir undertow that wholly sucks you in and keeps you turning the pages until it’s searing, masterful conclusion.” —May Cobb, author of The Hunting Wives

”Wade, whose striking debut, All Things Left Wild (2020), traveled back a century in Texas history, uses an unlikely friendship to explore an equally wild present-day landscape…A haunting fable of an impossible relationship fueled by elemental need and despair.” —Kirkus Reviews


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 copy used in this review is an advanced reader copy sent to me in exchange for my honest review. #partner #LSBBT

River, Sing Out is a recently published novel that takes you on a journey through drugs, poverty, abuse, and relationships. This high-stakes novel is based in East Texas River bottoms. The story begins with a thought-provoking epilogue before diving into the introduction of John Curtis and his act of redemption. We then are introduced to Jonah Hargrove and later Cade and River. We get a chance to get to know each character as their stories are written from their perspective. As the novel progresses, you feel as though you are transported into the mind of each character, noting that the narrators are the characters themselves. The story continues to unfold in a method that has you both feeling sad and sorry for the characters involved. We get to watch as each character’s lives start to entangle and secrets start to be revealed. Who will leave this situation unscathed and will they ever truly escape? You are left with many thoughts after reading this book.

The author’s writing style continuously allowed the reader to be encapsulated by the total storyline and engaged from page to page. The book gives off a gritty, motel 6, a drug deal gone bad vibe that has you hoping it gets adopted as a tv show. The twists and turns have you on the edge of your seat waiting to find out the outcome of the souls who were mixed up with the wrong crowd. Surprisingly, this book reminded me a bit of my childhood and the challenges that can arise when children get mixed up in Adult choices. My father was a drug addict and no one ever depicts the humanistic aspect of the addict itself and focuses on describing their characteristics. For me, this novel brought back a bit of nostalgia. The author does a great job with the descriptive text, writing style, transitional scenes, and character development. I highly encourage everyone to pick up this novel. You won’t regret it. One being, for every action there is a reaction and for every reaction, there is a potential consequence.

I highly encourage this fast-read novel for any adult interested in a gritty, Texas-sized, high-stakes, action-packed novel that will keep you both entertained and on the edge of your seat awaiting the next move. Due to the violent scenes, sexual content, and language, I recommend this book for Young Adults and up. This book may contain content that could potentially be triggering for those who have experienced drug abuse in their past.


   

James Wade lives and writes in the Texas Hill Country with his wife and daughter. He is the author of All Things Left Wild, which is a winner of the 2016 Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest, a winner of the 2021 Spur Award for Best Historical Fiction, and a winner of the 2021 Reading the West Award for Best Debut Novel. His fiction has appeared in various literary journals and magazines.

Blog Tour: The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts

 

THE CHINESE MURDER
OF EDWARD WATTS
Covey Jencks Mystery, #3
By Shelton L. Williams

Publish Date: December 8th, 2020
Pages: 233 pages
Categories: Mystery / Humor

Scroll for Giveaway!
 

 

Covey and 
 
PURCHASE LINKS:
Amazon | Audible
 

  

  

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 four 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 areWashed in the Blood,Summer of 66, and now the three books in the Covey Jencks series. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart. 


Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

 


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 copy used in this review is an advanced reader copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

Based in Odessa, TX,  Covey and JayJay are back again for another politically thrilling adventure where the two find themselves in yet another sticky situation. The book begins with Covey explaining a deal he refused then receiving an ominous note taped to his car asking if he was looking for Edward Watts. The book begins to then take you on a twist and turn journey to uncover the real reason behind the death of Edward Watts. The goal was to figure out what involvement did the Chinese visit have in his death and what type of retribution his death paid. As the novel continues to unfold new developments start to arise from the real reason behind the connect between Edward Watts and the Chinese government. Could his death be a bad deal gone wrong or could the Chinese have uncovered his true intentions before having him murdered? Or is this all a cover up for a bigger story?

The author starts the novel by diving right in with Covey as the narrator, the storying being told from his perspective with interjections from JayJay throughout. Covey begins by revealing moments prior to the note he found on his car about Edward Watts. The author uses this style of writing to provide the reader with a more in-depth understanding and full backstory. This allowed me to actually have a base to stand on; when the plot occurred I wasn’t at all confused. Covey’s memory takes him back to a boardroom in China with a woman from his past now under a new identity. The story is filled with “ghosts” from the past coming back to “haunt” Covey and JayJay. This comical pair are a match made in partner heaven as they navigate an investigation with multiple loopholes. I did not expect this many twists and turns when I began diving into this novel and I was thoroughly surprised as the story continued to develop. The author does a great job keeping the reader both laughing and on the edge of their seat. I enjoyed the development of the main characters and the overall storyline. 

I highly encourage this fast read novel for any adult interested in a cross country, Texas-sized, comical mystery that will keep you both entertained and on the edge of your seat awaiting the next move. You do not need to read book one and two of this series prior to reading book three. You can dive right into this book and feel connected to the author and the storyline. However, after reading this book, I am sure you will want to rush to buy books one and two of this series.


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THREE WINNERS
First, signed copies of all three Covey books. 
Second, audio books of books 2 & 3. 
Third, Kindle copies of all three books.
(US Only. Ends midnight, CDT, May 21, 2021.) 
 
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CLICK TO VISIT THE LONESTAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH STOP ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
Or visit the Blogs directly:

5/11/21

Audio Review

That’s What She’s Reading

5/11/21

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

5/12/21

Review

Julia Picks 1

5/12/21

BONUS Promo

Hall Ways Blog

5/13/21

Excerpt

It’s Not All Gravy

5/14/21

Audio Review

Forgotten Winds

5/15/21

Audio Clip

StoreyBook Reviews

5/16/21

Scrapbook Page

All the Ups and Downs

5/17/21

Review

Librariel Book Adventures

5/18/21

Character Interview

Missus Gonzo

5/19/21

Audio Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

5/20/21

Review

The Clueless Gent


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Blog Tour: TO THE REPUBLIC

TO THE REPUBLIC
The Republic Series, Book One
BY BRUCE CLAVEY
Publication Date: October 26th, 2020
Pages: 394 pages
Categories: Hispanic American Fiction / Political Fiction

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A novel for our times. A saga for the ages.

On the eve of passing landmark immigration legislation, the entire Texas Senate and its native Tejano leader, Diego Reyes, vanish suddenly from Austin. When news of the disappearance hits West Texas, cowboy Del Woodward isn’t shocked. He knows exactly where the lawmakers are, but he’s not telling. Woody’s been down on his luck, and a shady bargain he’s made puts him tight in the squeeze of Marcos Cepeda, north Mexico’s ruthless drug lord. And Cepeda’s furious with this new stall in the bill. It’s got a loophole he can exploit to add another quarter million square miles of exclusive turf to his cartel—but that territory goes back up for grabs if leader Reyes can’t pass the bill before the Senate session expires in mere days. The brutal kingpin wants what he’s bought and compels Woody to step up. How the cowboy swings the vote isn’t important to Cepeda, but this sure is: if Woody breathes so much as a word of reluctance, it’ll be his last. The prize is Texas, nothing less. It’s real, and it’s on.
The Republic Series launches from true pages of the Lone Star frontera story into a hauntingly modern arena of trade, trafficking, and tradition on the Rio Grande in To the Republic: BOOK ONE.
An Amazon #1 New Release in History of U.S. Immigration
PURCHASE LINKS:

Bruce Clavey of Round Rock, Texas writes with a passion for exploring the Latin heritage tucked in cultural corners throughout Texas, Mexico, and Central America. In 2017, Clavey’s research into perspectives on state history led to his onsite rediscovery of the Mexico City dungeon where the colonial “Father of Texas” was imprisoned, documented in his book “The Inquisition of Stephen F. Austin.” His interest to illuminate compelling historic junctures brought the creation of several feature dramatizations for state museum in-exhibit performance. Clavey’s release of Book One of The Republic Series in 2020 begins the journey of Texas and Mexican characters who confront the pressure points at today’s vibrant river border, a land that has functioned for centuries as both international gateway and barrier.

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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 copy used in this review is an advanced reader copy sent to me in exchange for my honest review. #partner #LSBBT

To the Republic is a thought-provoking, riveting, engaging, and real novel that takes you on a ride from start to finish. The book begins with a conversation between an unidentified subject and a report beginning the novel with you, the reader, already on the edge of your seat. Everything is bigger in Texas, including this informative Texas-sized novel that focuses on corruption, drug cartels, and immigration issues in the Lone Star state. After reading this novel you will be more informed in regards to some of the issues addressed. The author uses a unique but well-written approach to combine three different storylines. He does a wonderful job in this descriptive text allowing the reader to feel the emotional struggles and challenges of each character.

Corruption, lies, drugs, and so much more. This author uses a unique writing style to tell this story and convey the overall message in such a raw, brutally honest way that it forces you to stare each enemy directly in the eyes. I enjoyed the inserted dialogue between the subject and the reporter, as well as the foreshadowing and the narrator’s voice. The dialogue gives a realistic aspect to the novel and provides a bit of humor as the two interact with each other. The subject character is developed as a direct, brutally honest, take no prisoners kind of person and I love it. This type of novel isn’t normally in the realm of books I tend to engage in but I hope to be adding book two to my reading list because “wow” what an unsuspecting read. I found this book to not be a quick read but one that required me to focus on every aspect of the story to fully understand it and each transitional point in the text. I found it helpful to take breaks periodically to give myself a chance to process some of the information just read. Overall, I found this novel to be both well-written and engaging and not at all difficult to dive into. The author does an excellent job merging different storylines and allows for the reader to feel immersed in the text while not feeling intentionally overwhelmed. I am excited for book two and the chance to continue this story.

From the start, this verse captivated me and held my attention as I began the wild ride that was this novel: “What was true for the land was the truth for him. Ghosts didn’t die. And wars never truly ended.”

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in an in-depth look at the politics surrounding immigration issues and a complex story. This book can be viewed as a bit heavy but if you enjoy reading books that focus on informative issues and don’t “sugar coat” specific topics, then this read is for you. I recommend this book to adults.


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THREE WINNERS each receive a prize pack including: Autographed paperback copy of To the Republic; unisex tee with the “Texas Forever” design; baseball cap stitched with the “Texas Forever” design; ceramic lapel pin with the “Mano de Tejas” design; vinyl 5” decal with the “Mano deTejas” design.

US only. Giveaway ends midnight, CDT, May 7, 2021

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CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGEFOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH STOP ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, Or visit the blogs directly:

4/27/21

Promo

It’s Not All Gravy

4/27/21

Character Interview

Forgotten Winds

4/27/21

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

4/28/21

Author Video

Chapter Break Book Blog

4/29/21

Playlist

Hall Ways Blog

4/29/21

Review

The Clueless Gent

4/30/21

Review

Reading by Moonlight

5/1/21

Excerpt, Part 1

All the Ups and Downs

5/2/21

Excerpt, Part 2

StoreyBook Reviews

5/3/21

Review

Jennie Reads

5/3/21

Promo

Missus Gonzo

5/4/21

Series Spotlight

That’s What She’s Reading

5/5/21

Sneak Peek

Texas Book Lover

5/5/21

Review

Book Fidelity

5/6/21

Review

Librariel Book Adventures

5/6/21

Review

Momma on the Rocks

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Blog Tour : A Wall of Bright Dead Feathers

A WALL OF BRIGHT DEAD FEATHERS
By Babette Fraser Hale
 
 
Pages: 216
Pub Date: March 1st, 2021
Categories: Short Stories / Literary Fiction
 

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Most are newcomers to the scenic, rolling countryside of central Texas whose charms they romanticize, even as the troubles they hoped to leave behind persist. Twelve stories highlight “the book’s recurring theme of desire—for freedom, for clarity, for autonomy, and for personal fulfillment…When women are alone, unencumbered and unbeholden to anyone, they engage in intense internal reflection and show reverence for nature—and during these scenes, Hale’s language is luminescent” (Kirkus Reviews).
PRAISE FOR A WALL OF BRIGHT DEAD FEATHERS: 
“Hale shows a great respect for her characters and for the difficulty of their deceptively ordered existence, as well as for the problems they suffer because so much cannot be spoken.” — Francine Prose, on “Silences”

“A vivid set of tales about connection to other people and to the natural world…Hale’s lovely prose shows a keen eye for detail…” 

Kirkus Reviews

Purchase Links: 

Winedale PublishingBrazos Bookstore | Amazon

 

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Author Babette Fraser Hale discusses landscapes.

 

I’ve been told that the landscape is a character in my stories. Certainly, the way each character responds to the landscape tells us something important about the person and their point of view.

Marta, in Motes, notices mainly the thorny, pain-inducing plants as she walks.

In Cicadas, Lily senses threat within the odd noontime silence along a country road.

The stunned countryside in Drouth can’t be separated from the apprehension Ro feels about Cam’s mental state.

The flow of the creek where Hattie fishes, in Fireflies, makes her “go all satiny” inside, giving her rare respite from a harsh life.

Eric’s flirtation with danger in Silences becomes far more real than the perils he imagines on a moonlit night in the woods.

And so on.

What occupies the hidden recesses of our minds influences what we see, in terms of landscape, and what we perceive about people, ourselves and others.

In A WALL OF BRIGHT DEAD FEATHERS, we observe the characters in each of the twelve stories as they react to their place, its land and people, across seasons.

I have lived in the area I’m writing about off and on for thirty years, watching the changes—and no doubt making some, mostly unintentional.

I’ve watched the effects of drouth and flood, the death of trees, the planting of other trees, the erasure of houses and the construction of other houses. Barns are moved into town where they become shops. A small high quality antique show years ago morphs into three weeks of antiques and “junque” along a ten mile stretch of roadway.

The characters in my stories who effect these changes and are changed by them bring this world to life. It is not an exact depiction by any means. It’s the place I live in and love, seen “slant”—through the eyes of invented people. The gift of fiction.


 
 
 

Babette Fraser Hale’s fiction has won the Meyerson Award from Southwest Review, a creative artist award from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston, and been recognized among the “other distinguished stories” in Best American Short Stories, 2015. Her story “Drouth” is part of the New York Public Library’s digital collection. Her nonfiction has appeared in Texas Monthly, Houston City, and the Houston Chronicle. She writes a personal essay column for the Fayette County Record.

 
 
 
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TWO WINNERS each receive a signed bookplate

+ $20 Brazos Bookstore Gift Card to buy the book

 (US only. Ends midnight, CDT, 4/2/2021.)

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Click to visit the Lone Star Literary Life Tour Page
for direct links to each post on this tour, updated daily, 
or visit the blogs directly:

3/23/21

Author Video

3/23/21

Excerpt

3/24/21

Review

3/24/21

BONUS Promo

3/25/21

Review

3/25/21

Author Interview

3/26/21

Review

3/26/21

BONUS Promo

3/27/21

Excerpt

3/28/21

Guest Post

3/29/21

Review

3/29/21

Author Interview

3/30/21

Review

3/31/21

Review

3/31/21

Guest Post

4/1/21

Review

4/1/21

Review

 
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Blog Tour: Scorched Earth

SCORCHED EARTH
THE HALO TRILOGY, BOOK 2
by Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays
 
Publisher: Pumpjack Press
Pages: 318
Date of Publication: February 14th, 2021
Categories: Science Fiction / Hard Boiled Detective

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The year is 2188 and the Earth—long-ago abandoned for Mars by the plutocrats—is scorched by poverty, disease, and environmental collapse. What these wealthy elite don’t know is that on his last trip upuniverse, Detective Crucial Larsen stumbled onto a secret that could destroy them. But he doesn’t intend to use it. Fighting back against the ruling Five Families of Mars is a fool’s game destined for failure—or worse, he thinks. Plus, he never wants to set foot on that damn planet again. Then Melinda, his long-lost love and a staff scientist on Mars, begs for his help clearing her fiancée of a murder charge. Crucial jumps on the next q-rocket, hoping maybe this time he can patch things up with Mel. His investigation ultimately leads back to the radiation-blasted sunbelt, where cannibal lizard-people—a climate change mitigation genetic experiment gone terribly wrong—hold the key to a different future, if only Crucial can stay alive long enough to unlock it.

Praise for Scorched Earth:

“Others have attempted to blend the genres of an investigative detective piece with sci-fi, but few achieve such a seamless integration as do McFall and Hays … a compelling saga, edgy and different, thoroughly absorbing.” 

Midwest Book Review

Purchase:Amazon

 

Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed.  Scorched Earth is their ninth co-authored book. Pumpjack Press  ║  Pumpjack Press on Facebook ║ Authors’ Facebook ║ Authors’ Instagram Connect with Kathleen Goodreads ║ Amazon ║ Facebook ║ Twitter Connect with Clark Goodreads ║ Amazon ║ Facebook ║ Twitter