FIND THE MOON by Beth Fehlbaum – Pre-order Book Blitz

 

FIND THE MOON
By Beth Fehlbaum

Young Adult / Social Issues / Family Issues
Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press
Pages: 298 pages
Expected Publication Date: January 10, 2023

For as long as she can remember, Kylie Briscoe’s been searching for the moon even though she has no idea why it soothes her. Placed in an impossible situation by her mother, Kylie cries for help. It brings rescuers and a new life, but it feels more like a death sentence when she is separated from her three-year-old sister Aliza, the only person Kylie’s ever really loved.

Now she’s in tiny Patience, Texas, with her eccentric potty-mouthed grandmother, ever-patient stargazing grandfather, an uncle who reminds her a lot of a cop who terrified her during a drug bust, a herd of Norwegian Dwarf goats, their “guard donkeys,” and three canine roommates occupying Kylie’s former nursery.
When the authorities make a mistake that could cost her everything, Kylie must decide whether to tell the truth–all of it–in order to save herself and her sister.
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Beth Fehlbaum is the author of the young adult novels Find the Moon, Big Fat Disaster (on the Spirit of Texas-High School Reading List, 2014-2015), Courage in Patience, Hope in Patience (A YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers), and Truth in Patience. With Dr. Matt E. Jaremko, Beth co-wrote the creative nonfiction book, Trauma Recovery: Sessions with Dr. Matt. She is a high school English teacher.

Authenticity, calling out hypocrisy, and finding one’s voice are frequent themes in Beth’s work, and they are absolutely essential themes in her life, as well. Beth has a B.A. in English, a minor in secondary education, and an M.Ed. in reading. Beth is in-demand as an author-panelist, having presented/appeared at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference, the American Library Association’s annual conference, YALSA, N.C.T.E./ALAN, and numerous YA book festivals. She’s a member of The Author’s Guild, SCBWI, Romance Writers of America, and the Texas Federation of Teachers.  She loves doing school visits and meeting teens, teachers, and librarians!
Beth lives in the woods of East Texas in a house on a slice of family acreage. The home was built by her family over one very hot humid summer, a task she wishes never to repeat again. This sanctuary-of-sorts is lined by pine trees, and the woods are inhabited by raccoons, possums, and feral cats. All of these creatures appear to consider Beth their cat-food-providing goddess. There is no place she would rather be.

AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY!

Pre-order a copy of Find the Moon and enter the author’s giveaway!
Three lucky winners will win a $50 Amazon Gift Card, a signed set of THE PATIENCE TRILOGY, and a signed copy of BIG FAT DISASTER. Ends 12/30/2022.
Visit Beth’s website for more information and to enter!

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FINDING MY DESTYNEE – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

FINDING MY DESTYNEE
Rafter O Ranch, Book 3
by
NATALIE CLINE BRIGHT & DENISE F. McALLISTER
Holiday Romance / Country Music Romance / Wholesome
Publisher: CKN Christian Publishing
Publication Date: October 18, 2022
Page Count: 245 pages

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True heart’s desire cannot be ignored.

Destynee Olsen has always done what her mother asked, but the road to stardom could mean leaving behind a piece of her heart.

Travis Olsen tries desperately to honor his vow to support his wife. Watching their son grow up without a mother is asking too much and his resentment builds. A marriage alone and single parenting is not what he signed up for.

The line has been drawn between a woman who has been told that her destiny to be a star is more important than she is and a cowboy who refuses to destroy his wife’s dream. Destynee and Travis have to decide what’s important. Can they discover the life they were meant to have at the risk of denying their own hearts?

PRAISE FROM AMAZON REVIEWERS:

“The dialog brings the story to life, and the stage scenes are intriguing and vivid as Destynee decides just how much fame is worth, and the cost to her heart and family.”

“…an emotional read about a young couple, each trying to survive their marriage. The storyline brings heartache, forgiveness, and reconciliation as God works to bring peace and contentment back to their marriage.”

“Another great read with excellent characters.”

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Review_preview

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Discerning God’s will is never easy. For young couple Destynee and Travis, following God’s plan becomes a struggle when separated by distance and ambition. That they’re miles apart during the holidays, having their faith–in God and in each other–shaken by doubts makes Finding My Destynee an affecting read.

Ms. Bright and Ms. McAllister created realistic and sympathetic characters in Destynee and Travis, infusing them with both insecurities and resolve. I couldn’t help but feel for them, young and misguided though they were at the beginning. I appreciate how much they’ve grown at the end of the story. They were at times frustrating but I found myself rooting for them to overcome their problems, which happen to reflect real life.

The supporting characters, for the most part, were wonderful, especially Travis’s family. Baby Wyatt was a particular favorite of mine, having been described in the most adorable way possible by the authors. The one I had trouble with was Destynee’s mother Julee Rae. She was a villainess through and through with no redeeming qualities. I would have liked a stronger argument for Destynee following Julee Rae’s every demand if her mother was shown to really care about her daughter. Unfortunately, she was one-note heinous and that was disappointing.

Another aspect I consider lacking in the story was Romance. Destynee and Travis only had three scenes together. Four, if I count the phone call. In two of those scenes, they were fighting. That is not incredibly romantic. I wish more of their backstory were included here and I don’t have to read the first two books in the series to find out how they got together and fell in love.

What the co-authors got right most was in telling a seamless story.  Readers more familiar with their individual works might be able to distinguish which parts each wrote, but I couldn’t. That speaks very well of their talents.

Finding My Destynee invokes the spirit of Christmas and I am thankful to the authors for the gift of their story and to Lone Star Lit for including me in the blog tour.

Three-half-stars


Texas author Natalie Bright writes novels for kids and adults that combine her passion of the American West with a small-town vibe. She calls the wide-open land and endless sky of the Texas Panhandle home, which inspires her work. Her co-author is a Georgia writer and editor. Denise F. McAllister credits a love of horseback riding and 15 years in equestrian showmanship for her heartfelt connection to all things western.
Natalie’s Social Media & Author Pages
Denise’s Social Media & Author Pages
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Receives the full Rafter O Ranch eBook Series
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THE AQUAMARINE SURFBOARD by Kellye Abernathy – Pop-Up Blog-Hop

THE AQUAMARINE SURFBOARD

by

KELLYE ABERNATHY


Middle Grade / Magical Realism / Fantasy
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Page Count: 290 pages
Publication Date: November 22, 2021

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“Age never matters; these things are about bravery and heart.”

Thirteen-year-old Condi Bloom’s dream is to learn to surf, but her laid-back beach town isn’t what it used to be. Big resort owners are taking over the cove. Worse, someone’s harassing the Beachlings, the mysterious old women living in the cliffs off Windy Hollow, a lonely tower of rock that people say is haunted. When a new surfer boy named Trustin shows up in town and invites Condi to a forbidden surfing spot, she’s swept into an extraordinary underwater adventure, where a surprising encounter with Koan, the Riddlemaster of the Sea, changes her life. Along with Trustin, his quirky twin and a mystical aquamarine surfboard, Condi learns the untold stories of the Beachlings, uncovering the timeless secrets of Windy Hollow.

Ebbing and flowing between reality and magic, times past and present, The Aquamarine Surfboard by Kellye Abernathy is a riveting beach tale about opening up to mystery, building community when and where you can — and discovering the ocean is filled with magic—the really BIG kind—the kind that changes the world.

PURCHASE LINKS

Playlist
The Aquamarine Surfboard Playlist

PLAYLIST: On Spotify


Kellye Abernathy’s passions are writing and serving trauma survivors as a yoga teacher and practical life skills advocate. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Kansas. Her home is in land-locked Plano, Texas—where she’s dreaming of her next trip to the sea!

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STOLEN OBSESSION by Marlene M. Bell – Book Blitz and Giveaway

STOLEN OBSESSION
Annalisse Series, Book 1
Updated for 2022!
by
MARLENE M. BELL
Genre: Romantic Mystery
Publisher: Ewephoric Publishing
Date of Publication: March 20, 2018, Revised 2022
Number of Pages: 284

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PEOPLE DIE, BUT LEGENDS LIVE ON.
Manhattan antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury dreams of a quiet life on the family farm among the sheep she loves, when her best friend is murdered. The police assume robbery is the motive because her friend’s expensive bracelet is missing. But the 500-year-old artifact is rumored to carry an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family—and Annalisse believes her friend is the latest victim.
Weeks later, Annalisse sees a necklace matching the stolen bracelet at a gallery opening. Convinced the necklace is part of the deadly collection, Annalisse begs the gallery’s owner to destroy the piece, but her pleas are ignored— despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.
Desperate to keep the gallery owner safe, Annalisse reluctantly enlists the owner’s son to help—even though she’s afraid he’ll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse’s concerns—until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.
Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. As time lapses, the killer switches mode and closes in on the man who’s meant for Annalisse with the lifestyle she wants most.
But when it’s her turn as the hunted, will she choose to save Alec and his mother, or sacrifice everything to save herself?

Hold on for a heart-thumping adventure through exotic lands in this fast moving, romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M Bell.

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Marlene M. Bell is an eclectic mystery writer, artist, photographer, and she raises sheep in beautiful East Texas with her husband, Gregg, three cats, and a flock of horned Dorset sheep.

The Annalisse series — mysteries with a touch of romance — has received numerous honors including the Independent Press Award for Best Mystery (Spent Identity) and FAPA (Florida Author’s President’s Gold Award) for two other installments, Stolen Obsession and Scattered Legacy. She also penned the first of her children’s picture books, Mia and Nattie: One Great Team! based on true events from the Bell’s ranch. The simple text and illustrations are a touching tribute of compassion and love between a little girl and her lamb.

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————————————-
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ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER:
Tapestry overnighter bag, sterling necklace (handmade in Greece), autographed copy of updated 2022 Stolen Obsession, $50 Amazon Gift Card
ONE RUNNER-UP:
Autographed copy of updated 2022 Stolen Obsession

(US only; ends midnight, CST, 12/15/22.)

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JOANNE EASLEY NOVELS: Multi-Book Blitz and Giveaway

SWEET JANE, JUST ONE LOOK,
&
I’LL BE SEEING YOU
by
Joanne Kukanza Easley
SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

SWEET JANE

2019 Wisdom-Faulkner Award finalist
2020 Adult Fiction winner Texas Author Project
2020 Sarton Award Finalist
2020 Eric Hoffer Award Short List

A drunken mother makes childhood ugly. Jane runs away at sixteen, determined to leave her fraught upbringing in the rearview. Vowing never to return, she hitchhikes to California, right on time for the Summer of Love. Seventeen years later, she looks good on paper: married, grad school, sober, but her carefully constructed life is crumbling. When Mama dies, Jane returns for the funeral, leaving her husband in the dark about her history. Seeing her childhood home and significant people from her youth catapults Jane back to the events that made her the woman she is. She faces down her past and the ghosts that shaped her family. A stunning discovery helps Jane see her problems through a new lens.

Family Saga / Women’s Fiction / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Red Boots Press
Pages: 279 pages
Publication Date: September 17, 2022

JUST ONE LOOK

May 2022 Pulpwood Queen Book Club Pick
2020 Shelf Unbound 2021 Notable 100 Best Indie Books
2020 Recommended by US Review of Books
In 1965 Chicago, thirteen-year-old Dani Marek declares she’s in love, and you best believe it. This is no crush, and for six blissful years she fills her hope chest with linens, dinnerware, and dreams of an idyllic future with John. When he is killed in action in Viet Nam, Dani’s world shatters. She launches a one-woman vendetta against the men she seeks out in Rush Street’s singles bars. Her goal: break as many hearts as she can. Dani’s ill-conceived vengeance leads her to a loveless marriage that ends in tragedy. At twenty-four, she’s left a widow with a baby, a small fortune, and a ghost—make that two. Set in the turbulent Sixties and Seventies, Just One Look explores one woman’s tumultuous journey through grief, denial, and letting go.
Family Saga / Women’s Fiction / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Red Boots Press
Pages: 293 pages
Publication Date: September 17, 2022
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I’LL BE SEEING YOU

The new release from Joanne Kukanza Easley, the multi-award-winning author of Sweet Jane and Just One Look

A saga spanning five decades, I’ll Be Seeing You, explores one woman’s life, with and without alcohol to numb the pain.

Young Lauren knows she doesn’t want to be a ranch wife in Palo Pinto County, Texas. After she’s discovered by a modeling scout at the 1940 Fort Worth Stock Show Parade, she moves to Manhattan to begin her glamourous career. A setback ends her dream, and she drifts into alcohol dependence and promiscuity. By twenty-four, she’s been widowed and divorced, and has developed a pattern of fleeing her problems with geographical cures. Lauren’s last escape lands her in Austin, where, after ten chaotic years, she achieves lasting sobriety and starts a successful business, but happiness eludes her.

Fast forward to 1985. With a history of burning bridges and never looking back, Lauren is stunned when Brett, her third husband, resurfaces, wanting to reconcile after thirty-three years. The losses and regrets of the past engulf her, and she seeks the counsel of Jane, a long-time friend from AA. In the end, the choice is Lauren’s. What will she decide?

Family Saga / Women’s Fiction / Addiction & Recovery / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Red Boots Press
Pages: 227 pages
Publication Date: August 28, 2022
CLICK TO PURCHASE!

Review_preview

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Spanning nearly five decades, I’ll Be Seeing You tells the incredibly riveting story of Ruby/Lauren Eaton. In this genre crossover between women’s fiction and historical fiction, Ms. Easley takes Lauren back and forth between Texas and New York from 1938 to 1985 – working, loving, winning, losing, learning, failing, and altogether living a fascinating life uniquely her own.

For all that this book covers forty-seven years of Lauren’s life, it was actually a quick read because it was so engaging. I found myself transported to the time periods and settings skillfully described in the story. Having just visited Pearl Harbor before reading this, I connected best with the scenes depicting events during World War II. Those showed excellent research and came across as lived experiences.

One of the things I liked most about this story is the constancy of the element of friendship in Lauren’s life. From Clare to Milly to Harold to Alice to Helen and to Jane, Lauren always had some kind of support system. It’s especially important because of her estrangement from her family and her lack of success in love.

Another aspect of this book I really liked is how diverse the mix of characters is in terms of ethnicity, gender identity, and political affiliation. It seems reflective of society even in the past.

Lauren’s struggle to overcome alcoholism was quite an effective plotline. It would resonate with many readers looking for main characters who are flawed yet still trying to become the best version of themselves.

Huge thanks to Lone Star Lit for including me in the blog tour and to Ms. Easley for providing me a copy of the book to review.
4 out of 5 stars

A retired registered nurse with experience in both the cold, clinical operating room and the emotionally fraught world of psychiatric hospitals, Joanne lives on a small ranch in the Texas Hill Country, where she writes fiction about complicated, twentieth-century women.

Her multi-award-winning debut, Sweet Jane, was named the adult fiction winner at the Texas Author Project and shortlisted for the Sarton Award and Eric Hoffer Award, among others. Just One Look, Joanne’s second novel was a May 2022 Pulpwood Queen Book Club Pick. I’ll BeSeeing You, her third novel, features characters from Sweet Jane. Her prize-winning short stories and poetry have appeared in several anthologies.
***
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THREE WINNERS!
Each receives an eBook of
SWEET JANE or
JUST ONE LOOK or
I’LL BE SEEING YOU
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CONCRETE EVIDENCE By DiAnn Mills – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

CONCRETE EVIDENCE
by
DiAnn Mills

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers

Pages: 416 pages

Publication Date: October 4, 2022

Categories: Christian Fiction / Mystery & Thrillers

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Bestselling and award-winning author DiAnn Mills delivers a heart-stopping story of a faulty construction job, the discovery of a dead body, and a sinister plot.

On the family’s Brazos River Ranch in Texas, Avery Elliott helps run her grandfather’s commercial construction business. Raised by Senator Elliott, Avery has never doubted her grandfather is the man of integrity and faith she’s always believed him to be …. until the day she finds him standing with a gun over the body of a dead man. To make matters worse, Avery’ just discovered a billing discrepancy for materials supposedly purchased for construction of the Lago de Cobre Dam.

Desperate for answers, Avery contacts FBI Special Agent Marc Wilkins for help. As Marc works to identify the dead man Avery saw, threats toward Avery create a fresh sense of urgency to pinpoint why someone wants to silence her. With a hurricane approaching the Texas coast and the structural integrity of the Lago de Cobre Dam called into question, time is running out to get to the bottom of a sinister plot that could be endangering the lives of not only Avery and her loved ones but the entire community.

Praise For CONCRETE EVIDENCE

“* VERDICT Mills . . . delivers another action-packed novel that offers intrigue and an adventurous ride. Recommend to fans of Dani Pettrey, Lynette Eason, and Carrie Stuart Parks.” – LIBRARY JOURNAL, Shondra Brown

“The confident plotting keeps the mysteries coming, and red herrings will have readers guessing the culprit through to the satisfying conclusion. Fans of Colleen Coble and Susan Sleeman will savor this thrilling standalone.” – PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY

PURCHASE LINKS ARE FOUND AT:

https://diannmills.com/books/concrete-evidence


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Review_preview

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Action, adventure, danger, excitement. Romance. Faith. Concrete Evidence has them all and so much more. Like the approaching hurricane in the story, the events in this book happen fast and furious with surges of violence and the occasional calm that only portends of more devastating crises to come. It wasn’t until the very end that my heartbeat settled into its normal pace.

…truth is first believed in the heart.”

Suspicious deaths brought construction business owner Avery Elliott and FBI Special Agent Marc Wilkins together in the most fraught of ways. Confused and afraid, Avery was on the run after seeing her beloved grandfather standing over a dead man’s body with a gun in his hand. Marc just buried the father who abandoned him when he was a child and was dealing with a mother who didn’t believe her former husband died of a heart attack as the autopsy declared. To top it all, he found out he has a teenage sister now under his guardianship.

Through explosions and shootings, sabotages and storms, these two somehow found themselves falling for each other. As a Romance reader, I approve and appreciate their decision to keep things slow and get to know each other better once the cases are resolved. As a Romance author, I’d have gone in a direction more in keeping with my Carpe Diem brand, but that would be a different story altogether. The choices Ms. Mills made here fit her particular subgenre of Christian fiction perfectly.

None of us have any control of when the good Lord takes us home. What we do control is how much we love and show our love.”

One of the things I love about this book is the fact that faith is observed and practiced, not merely paid lip service. Many of the characters’ actions are driven by their belief that a higher power will reveal truths and deliver them to safety. This gave them the courage to face dangers head-on. Some of their actions could be considered reckless which could potentially frustrate readers or have them chalk it up to adding suspense. I’m in the latter camp that found the intrepidity of the main characters acceptable.

What frustrated me is the ease with which I guessed who the main villain is. Ms. Mills provided plenty of red herrings and cast suspicions on several people but I zeroed in on the mastermind as soon as they were introduced in the story. I wanted to be proved wrong but I wasn’t, hence the slight disappointment. I recognize that it’s a ‘me problem’ and not an issue shared by the majority of readers. As they say, your mileage may vary.

In the note Ms. Mills wrote me, she said, “Expect an adventure.” I expected and she delivered spectacularly. Thanks, Ms. Mills and Tyndale Fiction, for providing me with a copy to review and enjoy. Thanks, Lone Star Lit, for including me in the blog tour.

4 out of 5 stars


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn believes every breath of life is someone’s story, so why not capture those moments and create a thrilling adventure?
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. You can download a list of her published titles by clicking here.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a former director of Blue Ridge Christian Writers, and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She shares her passion for helping other writers be successful by teaching writing workshops around the country.
DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

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Each receives a $25 eGift card to their choice of Amazon or B&N.
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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
OR VISIT THE PARTICIPATING BLOGS DIRECTLY:

10/18/22

Jennie Reads

Guest Post

10/18/22

Hall Ways Blog

BONUS Promo

10/19/22

Shelf Life Blog

Review

10/19/22

Rainy Days with Amanda

Guest Post

10/19/22

LSBBT Blog

BONUS Promo

10/20/22

The Book’s Delight

Review

10/20/22

Rox Burkey Blog

Guest Post

10/21/22

All the Ups and Downs

Guest Post

10/21/22

That’s What She’s Reading

Review

10/22/22

Reading by Moonlight

Review

10/23/22

It’s Not All Gravy

Guest Post

10/24/22

The Plain-Spoken Pen

Review

10/25/22

Stories Under Starlight

Guest Post

10/25/22

StoreyBook Reviews

Review

10/26/22

Forgotten Winds

Review

10/27/22

The Clueless Gent

Review

10/27/22

Carpe Diem Chronicles

Review

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CREATRIX RISING by Stephanie Raffelock–Audiobook Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

CREATRIX RISING
AUDIOBOOK
Written & Narrated by
STEPHANIE RAFFELOCK
Nonfiction / Self Help Memoir / Aging & Longevity
Publisher: Narrating Sound
Length: 4 hours, 43 minutes
Publication Date: February 22, 2022
SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

Ever since Eve was banned from the garden, women have endured the oftentimes painful and inaccurate definitions foisted upon them by the patriarchy. Maiden, mother, and crone, representing the three stages assigned to a woman’s life cycle, have been the limiting categories of both ancient and modern (neo-pagan) mythology. And one label, in particular, rankles: crone. The word conjures a wizened hag—useless for the most part, marginalized by appearance and ability.
None of us has ever truly fit the old-crone image, and for today’s midlife women, a new archetype is being birthed: the Creatrix.
In Creatrix Rising, Raffelock lays out—through personal stories and essays—the highlights of the past fifty years, in which women have gone from a quiet strength to a resounding voice. She invites us along on her own transformational journey by providing probing questions for reflection so that we can flesh out and bring to life this new archetype within ourselves. If what the Dalai Lama has predicted—that women will save the world—proves true, then the Creatrix will for certain be out front, leading the pack.
CLICK TO PURCHASE!

Last year, Creatrix Rising was one of my Top 21 Reads of 2021. After this re-read, it’s one of my favorites of 2022 as well. With nearly 4,000 unread books in my TBR mountain, I don’t often re-read. I made an exception for this book because I know my time and attention will be rewarded with invaluable pearls of wisdom, uplifting affirmations, and unparalleled inspiration.

These writings are meant to inspire you to tell your own story about how you are claiming your voice as a mature woman, and to recognize how truly powerful, remarkable, and noble that is.”

Read by Ms. Raffelock herself in her pleasingly melodious voice, the Creatrix Rising audiobook takes on a conversational tone. It is more informal, more intimate, and more personal than the written version.  If the listener takes the time to respond to the guide questions in the For Reflection, Activity, and Journaling section as I did, the audiobook becomes even more interactive. In this version, Ms. Raffelock’s role as mentor, friend, and confidante is magnified.

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Creatrix – a woman who makes things.”

When I reviewed this book for the first time, I immediately claimed to identify with the new archetype. Why not? I was a 48-year-old writer who had already published eight books. But the truth was I was merely being aspirational. By the time of my posting, I hadn’t written a new story in more than six months. I was a woman who hadn’t made anything. I wasn’t a creatrix in the truest sense of the word.

Now, I am.

She knows who she is and what she stands for, and where she belongs. She lives life as an artist, creatively and with passion.”

For my third new story of the year, for the first time in my career, I am writing a heroine who is turning fifty, who is experiencing the early stages of menopause, and who is enjoying a romance with a man ten years her junior. I’m writing about a creatrix and I would like to give credit to Ms. Raffelock and her book for the inspiration.

You’ve been passed a torch. Now you hold that light to help not only yourself, but other women as well. It’s time to name and claim your power.”

Impactful. A book that deserves space in the Keeper Shelf. I will re-read and re-listen to this every year.

To Lone Star Lit, She Writes Press, and Stephanie Raffelock, I appreciate being included in this blog tour. Thank you.

5 stars


Stephanie Raffelock is an author, speaker, and voiceover artist. She is the editor of the anthology, Art in the Time of Unbearable Crisis (2022). Stephanie is the author of Creatrix Rising, Unlocking the Power of Midlife Women (2021) and she penned the award-winning book, A Delightful Little Book on Aging (2020). She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and a goofy Labrador Retriever named Mickey.

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FOUR WINNERS
Each receives an audiobook + a print copy of
CREATRIX RISING
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LOVE AND THE DREAM COME TRUE by Tammy L. Gray– Book Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway

LOVE AND THE DREAM
COME TRUE
State of Grace Trilogy, Book 3
by
TAMMY L. GRAY
Contemporary Christian Fiction / Clean Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 368 pages
Publication Date: August 2, 2022
SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY

The Anticipated Series Finale to the 2021 Carol Award-Winning Novel, Love and a Little White Lie

Their faith will face its toughest test yet.

Four years after getting the biggest break of his life, Cameron Lee’s music career has taken a nosedive, leaving him two options: become a sellout or give up on his lifelong dream. He reluctantly returns home for his sister’s wedding, hoping to avoid his past and find his love for music again.
Single mom Lexie Walters has suffered her fair share of tragedies and setbacks, but she has finally scraped together the money to achieve her dream of going into business with her cousin as an interior designer. When Lexie’s life is at an all-time high, she runs into her teenage crush, Cameron Lee.
Lost in the emotional turmoil of failure, Cameron is immediately drawn to Lexie and her infectious smile and optimistic spirit. Moreover, he adores her mouthy, no-holds-barred daughter. But fantasies only last so long, and soon Lexie and Cameron must face the real world, the one fraught with heartbreak, disappointment, and questions that sometimes can only be answered by a leap of faith.


“Cameron and Lexie’s chemistry is palpable, and readers will root for their happily ever after. This tender tale hits all the right notes.” Publishers Weekly

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Achingly poignant, uncomfortably true-to-life in many parts, and subtly spiritual, Love And The Dream Come True is a truly touching read.
Music is heart and soul and pain and loss.”
I came into this book not having read the two previous stories in the series and I think that worked for me. I was able to meet the characters, especially Cameron Lee, without forming expectations or opinions that may have affected my experience of reading about them.  When we meet Cameron at the beginning of the story, he is a mess. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He takes panic pills, hides from family and friends, and is overwhelmed with unexpressed feelings. His path to redemption, forgiveness, reconciliation with his faith and his estranged friends, and healing through love is wonderful to witness.
Don’t fear anything but chances not taken.”
In contrast to Cam’s grump, Lexie is sunshine. She’s a bit scattered but she is bright and optimistic despite taking on a huge home renovation project and dealing with the angst of her teenage daughter Morgan at the same time. Her light balances the heavy in Cam’s storyline. Not to say that she doesn’t have her dark moments, particularly when it comes to the subject of her sister Annie. But she handles those with maturity and a natural tendency to love generously.
There is no surviving hardships without faith.”
Another bright spot in the book is Morgan. Having a thirteen-year-old kid myself, I immediately took to her and related with Lexie on the intricacies of parenting her. It’s often difficult to portray children in books, but I think Ms. Gray succeeded in creating a real, multi-dimensional character in Morgan.
 … life is made up of a whole bunch of should’ves … My advice is to learn. Learn from every moment and hope that as you do, the should’ves get further and further apart.”
While the story and the characters engaged me thoroughly, there was an aspect of the writing that distracted me and, in many ways, disappointed me. It’s the casual and repeated use of ableist language. Words and phrases that reference physical disabilities and words and phrases based on neurodivergence are scattered throughout the book. Perhaps unknowingly as these are everyday words. However, they’re expressed in a negative manner and oftentimes could have been substituted with more appropriate language.

… be grateful for the little things in life. That when you add them all together, they are much grander than the big things we think we need.”

This book made me cry. It also made me laugh and sigh. Huge kudos to the author for invoking strong reactions from this reader and I’m sure from many other readers as well.
Thanks to Lone Star Lit for including me in this blog tour and to Bethany House for providing me with a copy to review.
Three-half-stars

Tammy L. Gray lives in the Dallas area with her family, and they love all things Texas. Her nine modern and true-to-life contemporary romances include the 2017 RITA Award-winning My Hope Next Door. When not taxiing her three kids to various events, Tammy can be spotted crunching numbers as the financial administrator at her hometown church.
Bethany House

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ONE WINNER:
Complete STATE OF GRACE SERIES in paperback!
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 9/2/22.)
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, OR VISIT THE PARTICIPATING BLOGS DIRECTLY:

8/23/2022

The Page Unbound

Guest Post

8/23/2022

Hall Ways Blog

BONUS Series Spotlight

8/24/2022

Book Fidelity

Review

8/24/2022

LSBBT Blog

BONUS Promo

8/25/2022

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

Notable Quotables

8/26/2022

Carpe Diem Chronicles

Review

8/27/2022

The Clueless Gent

Excerpt

8/28/2022

All the Ups and Downs

Excerpt

8/29/2022

Librariel Book Adventures

Review

8/30/2022

Rebecca R. Cahill, Author

Deleted Scene

8/31/2022

StoreyBook Reviews

Review

9/1/2022

Chapter Break Book Blog

Review

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FANCY by Linda Broday — Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

FANCY

Love Train Multi-Author Series, #10

by

LINDA BRODAY

Western Romance /Sweet Romance/ American Historical Romance
Pages:          190 pages
Publication Date:     August 15, 2022

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY!


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.
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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)

From its heart-wrenching start to its sigh-worthy ending, Linda Broday’s Fancy takes the reader on a highly evocative ride.
The devastating prologue had me in tears, ensuring my emotional connection with Fancy Dalton right away. Her will to make a fresh start after her mother’s death and her determination to find her stolen son even with her meager resources also earned my admiration.  With Fancy, Ms. Broday created a title character who is easy to root for and wish for only good things to happen to her.
One of those good things is Jack Coltrain. The epitome of a Broday hero, Jack is bold, valiant, and kindhearted yet prepared to act with violence if necessary to defend those he promised to protect and care for. The speed of their getting together through a marriage of convenience is totally understandable, even necessary, considering the fraught circumstances they found themselves in. Their happy-ever-after is inevitable and well-deserved.
Fancy, life is a journey. Not one trip, but hundreds. We have to keep going and proceed with courage each and every day as long as we have breath.”
One of the signatures of Ms. Broday’s stories is found family and that theme is central in this story through Fancy and Jack’s care for Piper, an orphan girl whose sad plight stroke a familiar chord within Fancy’s heart. This little girl is another character who made me cry with her exceptional pluck and maturity beyond her years.
Fast-paced and eventful, Fancy is a fantastic read for those who are looking for something quick but with depth, has sympathetic characters, is well-written, and sweetly romantic.
Thanks to Lone Star Lit for including me in this blog tour and to Ms. Broday for the early digital copy of the book to review.

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.

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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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A SHOT IN THE 80% DARK By Amber Royer – Book Blitz and Giveaway

A SHOT IN THE 80% DARK
Bean to Bar Mysteries, Book 4

by
AMBER ROYER
Cozy Mystery / Culinary Mystery / Woman Sleuth
Publisher: Golden Tip Press
Date of Publication: July 15, 2022
Number of Pages: 285 pages
Scroll down for Giveaway!

Felicity Koerber’s bean to bar chocolate shop is thriving. Despite everything she’s been through with the murders she’s helped solve, Felicity is ready to take on new challenges. So when a local museum offers her a contract to create a chocolate replica of a gigantic sailing ship sculpture for a gala celebrating Galveston’s history, she jumps at the chance to combine chocolate-crafting with art.

The project is fun – right up until there’s not just one but two dead artists on the scene, and Felicity has to change gears back to detective. Logan, Felicity’s business partner and previous bodyguard, and Arlo, Felicity’s ex who is now the cop investigating the case, are split on which victim they think was actually the intended one. Felicity may have to take some chances, both emotionally and in luring out a killer, to determine the truth.

Can she find out how Galveston’s history relates to the murders, unmask a killer, and prepare 2,000 chocolate desserts for the gala all at the same time?

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Amber Royer writes the Chocoverse comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series and the Bean to Bar Mysteries. She is also the author of Story Like a Journalist: a Workbook for Novelists, which boils down her writing knowledge into an actionable plan involving over 100 worksheets to build a comprehensive story plan for your novel. She also teaches creative writing and is an author coach.

Amber and her husband live in the DFW Area, where you can often find them hiking or taking landscape/architecture/wildlife photographs. If you are very nice to Amber, she might make you cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes, of course! Amber blogs about creative writing technique and all things chocolate.

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With its increasingly diverse and representative cast of characters, absolutely amazing competence porn, exciting and fascinating whodunit cases, mouthwatering food descriptions, and excellent sense of place, Amber Royer’s Bean to Bar Mysteries is quickly becoming my favorite cozy mystery series to read of late.

There’s a lot going on in A Shot in the 80% Dark, all of them good.  Somehow, Ms. Royer is introducing the entire fifty thousand population of Galveston into her stories and she’s managing to make each of those characters distinct, memorable, real, and relatable. I especially admire her utilization of notoriously difficult side characters — pets and kids– to further the plot. Renoir, the museum’s cockatoo, is a scene-stealing star.

I am in awe of the displays of expertise and artistry in this series. From 3-D printing to Vietnamese coffee preparation, to SCUBA diving, and to sugar work using isomalt, I learn so many new things that I may be able to apply to practical use in the future. The author’s exhaustive research on various competencies and historical details leap off the pages of the book.

Naturally, I appreciate the procedural aspects of crime solving, but that is a basic requirement of the genre so I won’t dwell on that. What I really love to highlight is Ms. Royer’s deep knowledge of Galveston and how she completely transports the readers to the coastal resort city with her words. Traveling through books is never more true than in this story.

Life is too short to walk around waiting for relationships to solidify themselves.”

The only thing I’m not one hundred percent on board with is the love triangle between Felicity, Arlo, and Logan. It was handled well here and there seems to be forward progress so it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book.

Huge thanks to Lone Star Lit for the opportunity to be in the tour and to Ms. Royer for providing me with a digital copy of the book to read and review.

4 Four-half-stars


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Autographed copies of A SHOT IN THE 80% DARK
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