Blog Tour: Marva Cope

Jackson’s Pond, Texas Series #4
Rural Fiction / Small Town Texas / Literary Fiction
Publisher: MidTown Publishing
Date of Publication: February 5, 2023
Number of Pages: 281 pages
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A stranger comes to Jackson’s Pond and everything changes.

Marva Cope, the fourth novel in the Jackson’s Pond, Texas Series, brings new elements to the story of the small town in the Texas Panhandle. Marva arrives as the new postmaster in 2017. She brings with her a lifetime of hesitancy to open herself to others. It is here, while living with her elder Aunt Violet, that she comes to appreciate the value of true friendships. With new relationships, long walks, and conversations with herself, she comes to terms with her difficult past…the loss of a beloved teenaged brother in a tragic farm accident, her father’s death from a broken heart, and a distant mother who had no love for the young teenager. Troubled teenage years followed as a flawed young man lures her to New Mexico, then left her alone with their newborn daughter. With her newfound courage of trusting others as friends, she reconnects with her daughter and a college dorm-mate she had deserted in years past. In Jackson’s Pond, she finds the ability to consider what to do with the rest of her life.

There is so much to admire in this wise and luminous novel. Marva Cope is written with abiding tenderness and compassion. — John Dufresne, author of Storyville
The novel Marva Cope is a rarity— an artfully told “coming of age” story that morphs into a “getting on with life” saga that, in the end, celebrates the simple joys of human connection. — Martha Burns, author of Blind Eye
Teddy Jones is the author of five published novels, as well as a collection of short stories. Her short fiction received the Gold Medal First Prize in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition in 2015. Jackson’s Pond, Texas was a finalist for the 2014 Willa Award in contemporary fiction from Women Writing the West. Her novel, Making It Home, was a finalist in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition in 2017 and A Good Family (not yet unpublished) was named finalist in that contest in 2018. Although her fiction tends to be set in West Texas, her characters’ lives embody issues not bounded by geography of any particular region. Families and loners; communities in flux; people struggling, others successful; some folks satisfied in solitude and others yearning for connection populate her work. And they all have in common that they are more human than otherwise. Jones grew up in a small Texas town, Iowa Park. Earlier she worked as a nurse, a nurse educator, a nursing college administrator, and as a nurse practitioner in Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico. For the past twenty years, she and her husband have lived in the rural West Texas Panhandle where he farms and she writes.




Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from Lone Star Literary.

Marva Cope is the fourth novel in the Jackson’s Pond, Texas series. This book follows the remarkable life of Marva Cope, a newly employed Postmaster. Marva just moved in with her Aunt Violet after taking on her new role. Her Aunt Violet is an excellent SCRABBLE player and a breath of fresh air. During her time with her aunt, Marva truly learns the meaning of friendship and building lasting connections. She can recall the memories of her past and share a piece of herself with her aunt. Her aunt acts as a place of comfort and solace during a time in her life when she is finally able to give herself the space to heal. In this compelling novel, we get a chance to get to know the important people in Marva’s life. However, will she finally be able to cope with the secrets of her past?

What an amazing book to read. The author did a wonderful job with the storyline and the character development. I loved the caring, yet witty, no-nonsense Aunt Violet. I think she was an important part of the story and made the story feel warmer and more welcoming to read. I enjoyed the thoughtfulness put into Marva’s story and the mention of her friends. Marva had such a challenging past and it reminded me of my younger self when I chased after a boy and his dreams. I loved the relatability of the book and how there were many moments I could connect with the characters, especially Marva’s healing journey. The author provides many life lessons that are both relatable and practical. In the end, we learn that friendship has no timeline and that healing isn’t linear. Marva must learn to forgive herself for the choices she’s made in her past and learn to build trust with new friends.

This is the first book I have read in this series and the author did a great job with the beginning chapters. I felt great starting at book four in the series and was still able to understand the story. Overall, this was a wonderful read. I was a bit confused by the newspaper articles positioned at the end of each chapter, but I thought that may have been a connection I missed. I did enjoy the writing style and diary-style chapters with corresponding dates so I can keep up with the timeline of the story.

I recommend this book to any adult looking for a small-town fiction read.

A set of all 4 Jackson’s Pond, Texas books, a copy of Nowhere Near,
and a $25 Amazon gift card.
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 3/17/23)

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Continue reading Blog Tour: Marva Cope

Blog Tour: Covey and JayJay Get Educated

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


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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.


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  

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)

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