Blog Tour: The Uvalde Raider



A Templar Family Novel


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:

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


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.

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The Forgotten Headline by McCaid Paul

fullsizeoutput_150fGenre: Middle Grade Thriller/ Mystery
Pages: Print 187
Release Date: November 19, 2017
Author: McCaid Paul
Rating: ★★★★.5

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from the author 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 print copy.

Goodreads Synopsis 

NO ONE KNOWS what their last normal day will be like. For Mick Smith, the day that he goes hunting with his dad, turns out to be his. After a deer that his dad shoots runs on their neighbor’s property, he decides to retrieve it–without the neighbor, Mr. Welch, finding out.

But once they cross the property line, Mr. Welch fires shots at them, making them leave the deer behind. Mick’s dad warns him it’s too dangerous to go back and get the deer but Mick doesn’t listen. Later the same day, he finds himself crossing the neighbor’s property line once again. And what he finds there WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING.

Deciding not to tell his dad about his discovery, Mick makes up his mind to investigate on his own. Only with the help of his best friend Billie, will he set out to solve the mystery, unearthing secrets about his discovery, his family, and one shocking secret about himself that threatens to destroy everything he’s ever known.
Some secrets are dangerous, and should stay forgotten.

Final Thoughts

This middle grade fiction novel written by a young author takes you on a journey through secrets of one town. The books starts off with a thrilling set of events that made me not want to put it down. The beginning definitely set the tone for the rest of the book as the author worked to unravel components of each character and events. It is prevalent that the author spent time on developing each character in this book. I would have liked more development of Billie, Mick’s best friend, but her story may come out in the next book. As a librarian, I especially enjoyed the two friends interaction at the local library. I liked that the author added realistic pieces into the book and showcased a bit of the importance of the libraries. The library is seen in this story as motivation and the match that lit the fire of the investigation. It is also seen as a pathway to the past as the two discover secrets of their own and as their curiosity is fueled by what they have discovered.

Overall, this is a great read! I enjoyed the interaction between characters and the climax of the book. I felt the ending could have used a bit more pizazz but it definitely had me reaching for my wallet to purchase the next in this series. This is merely the first book and if you are interested in a thriller that focuses on family, secrets, and friendship, then pick this one up. Also, this book definitely takes you on an emotional rollercoaster toward the end as secrets start to unravel and both Billie and Mick find their voices. Imagine if you had to stand up to someone you trusted, do you think you would live to tell the tale?

This book is great for middle school aged and upper elementary students depending on the reading level. There are scenes that involve hunting and shooting in this book. It may be mature for younger ages.

To purchase your copy of this novel on Amazon, click this link  


Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

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ARC Review: Love & War

Love & War CoverTitle: Love & War: An Alex & Eliza Story
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary, Realistic
Pages: Print 366
Release Date: April 17, 2018
Rating: ★★★★.5

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


The thrilling romance of young Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler continues in the sizzling sequel to the New York Times bestselling Alex & Eliza: A Love Story
1781. Albany, New York.

As the war for American independence rages on, Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler begin their new life as a married couple. Still, Alex is as determined as ever to prove his mettle and secure his legacy . . . even if that means leaving his beloved Eliza behind to join the front lines at the Battle of Yorktown. But when the war unexpectedly arrives on Eliza’s doorstep, she must fight for a better future–for their fledgling country and for her marriage.

Yet even after the Revolution comes to its historic close, Alex and Eliza’s happily-ever-after is threatened. Eliza struggles to build a home in the hustle and bustle of New York City just as Alex’s burgeoning law practice brings him up against his greatest rival–the ambitious young lawyer Aaron Burr. And with Alex’s star on the rise, Eliza can’t help but feel neglected by a husband who seems to have time for everyone but her. Torn apart by new trials and temptations, can Alex and Eliza’s epic love survive life in the big city?

The battles are just beginning in the sumptuous sequel to Melissa de la Cruz’s New York Times bestselling Alex & Eliza: A Love Story.

Favorite Quotes:

“The say the pen is mightier than a sword, but that is not true in the battlefield.”

“and then there was no more time or desire for conversation, as the most articulate statesman in America found words paled in comparison to the sublime experience of being with his beloved.”

Author Bio:

Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York TimesUSA TodayWall Street JournalLos Angeles Times, and Publishers Weekly internationally bestselling author of many critically acclaimed books for readers of all ages, including Alex & Eliza: A Love Story, Disney’s Descendants novels, the Blue Bloods series, and the Summer on East End series. Her books have sold over eight million copies, and the Witches of East End series became an hour-long television drama on the Lifetime network. Visit her at

Final Thoughts:

Love & War is part two of the Alex and Eliza love story. The author did a fantastic job developing both characters and continuing the storyline. In this book, we follow the life of Eliza Hamilton and Alexander Hamilton as both grow and flourish as a married couple. Alex has been tasked with the challenge of having to support his new wife and try to advance his career. Alex harbors the guilt of growing up as an orphan with no ties to a family. He had to fight for Eliza’s hand in marriage and the approval of her father; now he must fight to continue to prove he is worthy of her love. Alex feels as though the only way to establish himself as being more than just a clerk to General Washington, Alex must command his army. He wants command of the Yorktown brigade and feels he is contributing to the war by helping the fight against the British. Will his efforts lead to victory? Can he support Eliza after the war is complete? Alex must decide where he will reside once the war is over and how he will help his family. Will his new career turn out to be a success or a failure?

Overall this is a well written historical teen fiction. It showcases the struggles many women faced during the war. Women were meant to be seen and not heard. Women were the wives, caretakers, gardeners, seamstress, and midwives. While men spoke politics, fought in wars, and worked difficult positions. This book showcases the gender gap during wartime and the concepts instilled in women. I can also tell that the author did her research before writing this series. I enjoyed the notions of honor, the love between Alex and his new wife, and the importance of relationships. I recommend this book to any teen looking for an informative, realistic historical fiction.


Alex and Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz

eliza and alex
The following image is taken from

Title: Alex & Eliza: A Love Story
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Next Book in the Series: Love & War: An Alex and Eliza Story (Releases in April)
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Print: 368 pages
Rating: ★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I checked out a copy of this book from my local library. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher.

Goodreads Synopsis:

1777. Albany, New York.

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

Final Thoughts:

The story of Eliza and Alex marks my first time reading a book written by this author, and I adored the writing style used. This book is my second historical fiction read of this year, and the author did a great job portraying the story of Eliz and Alex. I listened to this book on audio but will read the print version of the next in the series. I wanted to read this one since I am a part of a blog tour for the next book in the series.

I enjoyed the historical references throughout this novel. I loved that the author did her research before writing this book. I have a BA in History, and it is hard to find historical fictions that have somewhat relevant information in them. The time frame of the war, the challenges women on the home front faced, and the problems of men enlisting in the war were portrayed excellently in this book. The love story between Eliza and Alex was one that was remarkable. The interaction between each character enhanced the overall storyline. There were a lot of moments in this book that had me laughing. I especially loved the first part of the novel when the Schuyler’s threw a party to marry of the three sisters. The eldest of the Schuyler sisters is a spunky, determined, level-headed, older sister who feels she must marry well. Each daughter must find a suitable mate that will not only enhance the already established family name but also financially support the daughter. Alex does not fit any of these requirements. He struggles to earn the trust of one Schuyler sister in particular while trying to help in the war efforts instead of just being General Washington’s clerk. Alex struggles to find his place in the world, struggles to fight for the one he loves, and struggles to know his worth. Is love worth more than power? Does love truly conquer all?

Overall, I thought the author did an excellent job with this novel. She focused on the struggles intellectual women faced during the time of American Independence. Women were meant to be seen but not heard. Eliza is an intelligent woman who wants to contribute to the war effort like her aunt. She wants to feel as though she is making a difference. She isn’t worried about clothing or class, but she struggles to follow her heart in a time where her parents make the final decision. Eliza and Alex both grow together in this novel, and the character development of each is impeccable. This story is filled with love, loss, bravery, honor, and strength. I recommend this book to anyone interested in a young adult historical fiction.

What is your favorite historical fiction?

Interested in me reviewing your book or have suggested reads? Email me at

Prodigy Prince by Natasha Sapienza

The following image was taken from :

Title: Prodigy Prince
Author: Natasha Sapienza
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: E-Book 328 Pages
Release Date: December 17, 2017
Rating: ★★★★.5

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. 

Goodreads Synopsis:

At seventeen, all Prince Nuelle had ever known was safety and peace while living in the Supreme Palace of Zephoris.

But one night, his older brother, Tane, defies their father by traveling to a cursed land. Now Nuelle holds the signet-ring and carries more responsibility than even Tane bore. Thrust from the palace and sent to a knight-building academy, Nuelle must discover his purpose for the entire kingdom’s sake.

From his place of banishment, Prince Antikai has been exacting revenge through fear and rebellions. Nuelle has the potential to defeat him, but he needs the help of a powerful book called the Acumen and six gifted youths.

Summoned by Antikai, shape-shifting beasts and other enemies hunt Nuelle and the Acumen. If either is destroyed, the faithful citizens in Zephoris will perish, and darkness will rule forever.

Favorite Quotes

“There are worse enemies than fear.”

“If you are not willing to give your life for a friend, then you’r not a true companion.”

Final Thoughts

Overall, I thought this book is well written. It started off a bit slow for me in the beginning but started to pick up the further along I read. I like the development of the main characters and enjoys the overall storyline. The plot twist was fascinating, and I assumed there would be a different outcome for the ending. The author did a fantastic job ensuring the novel grabbed the attention of the reader. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time wanting to find out the ending. However, I wanted to know more about each character and personally wanted to know more about Ave. I also found it interesting about Nu’s past and his brother; I expected Tane brother to be adopted. I also wanted to know about his mother, but I wasn’t entirely sure that the youth of this nation was born the human way. I was also a bit confused on the age of the King and how each person received their gifts. However, the story continued to progress with more action, love, fighting, loss, and characters finding themselves. Each character must learn who to trust and whether or not they are ready for the responsibility that awaits them.
I enjoyed reading about the overall message and the hint of family drama. There is also a lot of unique abilities displayed in this novel that I felt really contributed to the overall story. There are a lot of strange creatures that lurk in the shadows but the group of Sentiels must decide which one is real and which one is out to kill them!
I recommend this book to anyone interested in reading a fiction novel. It starts off a bit slow, but the story progressively gets more interesting. There are a few jokes in this story that made me laugh and want to read more.

Interested in me reviewing your book or have suggested reads? Email me at

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Disclaimer: This review is solely my honest opinion. I purchased this book on my own from iBooks and checked out the audiobook from my local library. Here is a link for you to buy the book from Amazon. The opinions in this review do not reflect the views of the author.

The beginning half of this review gives you a background of the main two characters and gives away information about how the story begins but not how it ends. Proceed with caution as there is information that is not in the synopsis of the book. 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is an adult historical fiction novel that follows the life of Vianne Mauriac and her sister Isabelle during World War II in France. This compelling book showcases acts of kindness, bravery, struggle, and the real meaning of family. These two ladies go through great hardships and showcase their strength by pushing themselves to the limit to do what is right and protect their families. The novel begins in America with Vianne, now old, in her home cleaning out her attic with her son as they prepare to move her to an assisted living home. She goes into her attic and finds a trunk with old items, and this is where we were taken back to France in 1939. We are transported back in time to V’s home in Carriveau with her husband Antoin and daughter Sophie. This is during the time in which we find out that Antoin has been drafted to go to serve in the war. V has never lived on her own and must learn to adjust to life without her husband. During this time we learn intimate details about V’s character, learning about her past, her relationship with her father, the location of her mother, and her relationship with her sister Isabelle. Vianne’s character is developed well in this story, and it is so heart wrenching to hear about her struggles to find a place she feels loved. The story then takes us to the point of view of Isabelle, who is a spunky eighteen years old stuck in a boarding school. She is continually trying to find her place, being shuffled from one boarding school to another. She is then expelled from her last one before she is sent to Paris to live with her father, a bookstore owner. The war is nearing France, as many hope for the end, but that is something we will soon find out is not shortly. It is after Isabelle has moved in with her father that they find out in 1940 that the Germans were coming into Paris. Isabelle’s father tells her to pack up her belongings and get ready for a journey out of Paris and head to stay with her sister. Isabelle will make a treacherous trip to Carriveau, meeting many people on the way. Throughout the rest of the story, we learn so much more about the challenges faced by many women during the war. The hardships of those who were born Jewish during the Nazi invasion of France. The women of the war made a huge impact and were underestimated by the Germans significantly. I do not want to give any more information away, but I hope the beginning of half of this review provides some background of the characters.

This book was amazing. I know that it is historical fiction, but it is one of few that I can say I enjoyed. I have a BA in History, and the tale of the Nazi’s entering France is nothing like I have read in the past. Kristin Hannah does a fantastic job of capturing the attention of the reader and bringing awareness to the war efforts made by women. These two women are amazing. Isabelle does some very risky maneuvers in this story, risking her life and the lives of others to save many. She starts out as a rebellious character and continues with this mentality throughout the entire story. She stood up for what she believes in and continued to surprise me throughout the whole novel. I loved the development of both characters and the backstory provided. I could not have predicted that through so much tragedy there could be bonds formed. I could gush about this book for hours and talk about how it was outside my usual realm of Young Adult books, but I just wanted to tell you that you need to read this. It is so wonderfully written, captivating, emotional, and thrilling that you must go get this book.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in historical fiction books or anyone looking to read something outside of their comfort zone.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

IMG_1158*Rating:5 out of 5 stars*

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is a Young Adult Fantasy Fiction Novel. The story begins with Mare, a seventeen-year-old thief, who picks pockets to feed her family. She does not have an apprentice and expects to be sent to the war on her eighteenth birthday unless she gets a job. The novel begins with a battle in the arena against the Reds and the Silvers. The Silvers have unique abilities of the high court while the Reds are left to fill servants jobs and live in unlikely conditions. Victoria Aveyard did a fantastic job with novel and explained each classes abilities extensively. As we journey through the book and learn more about Mare and the King’s court, we grow to love Mare and find out she is more than what meets the eye. Mare is given a chance to work for the Kings court as a servant, not knowing how she received the job but suspecting a connection. She is shocked when she finds out who is behind her new employment. (I am not going to spoil this for you. There are a lot of plot twists in this novel.) Mare faces many challenges as she discovers who she is and what fight is worth fighting. She must decide how many lives must be sacrificed for a more significant cause and determine if someone is an ally or an enemy. The ending is one of the best ends in a book I have read so far. It makes you question the entire novel, and it is definitely worth it.

This book is fantastic! I did not think I would love a book that focuses on class, but I do. I love the clash between the different classes and how some classes have powers while others do not. The plot twist is my favorite part. I do not want to ruin the book for anyone who has not read it, but you should read it. It has this historical fiction vibe to it, and the teens who are the main characters are portrayed well. Imagine being so rare that you present a problem and a solution. Imagine if you realized your whole life was a lie and now you are confused. If you are intrigued by this, then you should read this novel. The more I read the novel, the more I understood the title and the heavy meaning behind it. Red Queen is the first installment in the Red Queen series, and I am planning on reading the next few novels.

I did not want to provide too much information because I want you to read this book and find out more about Mare and the Kings court on your own. Just know, there is a lot of betrayal, love, loss, and defiance exhibited in this novel. If this does not entice you to read it, then nothing else will.

I give this a 5 out of 5 stars. It left me on the edge of my seat wanting to choose between sleep or finishing this novel.

The Ivory Rite by Johanna Hartford

The image was taken from the following site:

**I was contacted by the author give an honest review of this book!** Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
The Ivory Rite by Johanna Hartford is a Young Adult Fantasy Fiction novel. It is a compelling novel that centers around the ceremony know as the Ivory Rite. The main character struggles with redefining a role she was forced into and in the process figuring out herself. She fights hard against the norms and traditions and challenges others who challenge her authority. She is an advocate for her rights and is diligent in ensuring her values are represented by the public accordingly. Diem focuses more on doing what is right versus doing what is required. I love the way Johanna portrayed Diem in this novel, and I liked how she focused on the strengths that women possess and the struggles women in power face. Margaret, Diem’s Aunt, focuses more on her becoming the person she needs to be instead of who she wants to be. Margaret despises Diem due to her skin color and hair color that is not of the Elite. She continually is showcasing her disdain for Diem every moment she can. -“Can’t you appear to be deserving of your crown for one night?”- These words and others resonate with Diem throughout the entire novel. She faces a long hard battle between love, family, birthright, and not losing her values in the process.

I do not want to give away too much information, but I do recommend you read this book. Johanna provides explanations for each act that occurs in this book. The connection between Diem and Adair, second in command of the guards, is a continually changing and it makes the novel even more interesting. I love the added romance in the book and the history of Diem. The explanations in this novel are well thought and concise with the story. There were a few plot twists that added to the overall suspense of certain aspects of the story. There is no better way for me to convince you to read this story or than telling you that is filled with exciting twists, turns, and moments of valor. Diem is a strong, witty, caring, and direct primary character who faces a great deal of turmoil the entire novel. She continues to prove her worth and stay active in her values which in turn makes her an excellent representation of women in power. It challenges the idea that women in high-ranking positions have to change their view to fit the aspects of society. She continues to forge her path with the guidance of only those she trusts the most. Diem faced many challenges, and this book is just the first. The story ends on an enticing cliffhanger that has me wondering when the next book will be released.

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars due to the explanations, portrayal of a female lead character, and the focus of the family. Just because it is your birthright does not mean it has to be your only right.

If you would like to learn more about the author, please visit her site at A link to purchase your copy of this book is located on her site. Thank you for reading!