THE OUTLAW’S DAUGHTER by Margaret Brownley – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

 

THE OUTLAW’S DAUGHTER

HAYWIRE BRIDES, BOOK 3

by

MARGARET BROWNLEY

Western / Historical Fiction / Clean and Wholesome Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of Publication: May 26, 2020
Number of Pages: 384

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Synopsis

TOD book coverHe may be a Texas Ranger, but he only has eyes for the outlaw’s beautiful daughter . . . 

Texas Ranger Matt Taggert is on the trail of a wanted man. He has good reason to believe that Ellie-May’s late husband was involved in a stagecoach robbery, and he’s here to see justice done. But when he arrives in town, he discovers the thief has become a local hero . . . and his beautiful young widow isn’t too happy to see some lawman out to tarnish her family’s newly spotless reputation.

Ellie-May’s shaken by her encounter with the ranger. Having grown up an outlaw’s daughter, she’ll do anything to keep her children safe—and if that means hardening her heart against the handsome lawman’s smiles, then so be it. Because she knows Matt isn’t about to give up his search. He’s out to redeem himself and find proof that Ellie-May’s husband wasn’t the saint everyone claims . . . even if it means losing the love neither expected to discover along the way.

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Whenever I read a book by Margaret Brownley, it’s always exactly what I needed at the time. Cowboy Charm School provided a humorous break from the controversies in the fall of 2018. In 2020, when there is widespread distrust against those who work in law enforcement, The Outlaw’s Daughter allows the readers to visit a time when people in the profession were like Texas Ranger Matt Taggert — honest, honorable, determined to fulfill his sworn duty while caring deeply for the innocent family members whose lives will be affected adversely by the justice he seeks.

From the first chapter, the stakes were set high for Matt and Ellie-May. Matt was investigating her husband for a possible connection to a crime. Ellie-May was resolute in trying to keep her children’s father’s reputation sterling. She didn’t want them to suffer as she did from society’s ill-treatment because of who her father was.

The two main characters were at cross purposes for most of the book, I wasn’t sure how the author would bring about their happily ever after. Of course she did and it was a satisfactory resolution as far as I’m concerned. Such is Ms. Brownley’s writing prowess that my belief regarding Neal’s innocence closely matched Ellie-May’s in that there was a point that it wavered slightly.

There’s a lot to love in this book. The characters, including secondary ones like Lionel and Alicia, Anvil, and Jesse James, are sympathetic, the storytelling is topnotch, the romance is sweet and natural. If not for some repetitive elements that lengthened the story unnecessarily, a bit of an ineffectual villain, and parroting of oppressive gender roles  Ellie-May had to adhere to, I’d have given this the full marks.

Content advisory: six-year old child in peril and handled firearm, alcoholism, child neglect

4 out of 5 stars

AboutTheAuthor

Margaret Brownley

New York Times bestselling author Margaret Brownley has penned more than forty-six novels and novellas.

A two-time Romance Writers of American RITA® finalist, Margaret has also written for a TV soap and is a recipient of the Romantic Times Pioneer Award. Not bad for someone who flunked eighth-grade English. Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence.

 

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5/30/20 Review Book Fidelity
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6/2/20 Review Carpe Diem Chronicles
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THE FIRST EMMA By Camille Di Maio – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

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THE FIRST EMMA

by

Camille Di Maio

Historical Fiction / Historical Romance / Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing
Date of Publication: May 5, 2020
Number of Pages: 315

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Synopsis

TFE book cover

The First Emma is the true story of Emma Koehler, whose tycoon husband, Otto, was killed in a crime-of-the-century murder by one of his two mistresses—both also named Emma—and her unlikely rise as CEO of a brewing empire during Prohibition. When a chance to tell her story to a young teetotaler arises, a tale unfolds of love, war, beer, and the power of women.

PRAISE for The First Emma: 
“Di Maio’s take on a shocking American drama pleasantly blends romantic and historical fiction . . . a sweet memorialization of a real-life female business pioneer in San Antonio.” —Kirkus

“A beautifully crafted portrait of an intriguing woman. Mystery and romance are set against the backdrop of fascinating pieces of twentieth-century history, and a richly drawn setting leaves the reader feeling wholly immersed. Historical fiction fans will love this one!” —Chanel CleetonNYT bestselling author of Next Year in Havana

“Di Maio does a brilliant job of weaving together all the threads—from past to present—while unearthing a tale of blossoming love, the power of our chosen family, and the losses that make us whole again.” —Rochelle B. WeinsteinUSA Today bestselling author of This Is Not How It Ends

 

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Born out of Camille Di Maio’s creative imagination and impeccable research, The First Emma is a wonderful tribute to a remarkable woman whose historic contributions to San Antonio have not been much touted as she deserved. Seamlessly intertwining fact and fiction, dual timelines, details of the brewery business, and the intricacies of the lives of two women, Ms. Di Maio has created a novel that engages the emotions and captivates the intellect at the same time.

In this book, close-to-dying Emma Koehler narrates her life story to young Mabel Hartley, spanning from her and her husband’s beginnings in St. Louis through their move to Texas and until the end of the Prohibition. All the while, the titular Emma provides a new home for the lonely young woman, matchmakes her with Erik, a nephew, and inspires her in her future. As Mabel said in the book, “Mrs. Koehler’s story was interesting, yes. But more than that, it offered hope to girls who were beginning to see a world where opportunities were available to them that were never there before.”

Having lived in San Antonio, I delighted in being transported to its past. I’ve only seen Pearl as it is now, a tourist destination filled with chic shops and fancy restaurants. This book took me on a fascinating “tour” of how it was eighty years ago through detailed descriptions of the brewery, the theater, cars, and the war. I can only say the “trip” was awesome.

So many themes in this book resonated with me–female strength, found family, hope, and love. I highlighted several passages that spoke to me.

“… there is much in life that is out of our control. The answer is not to give up and crumble. The answer is to find a way around it, no matter the difficulty. No matter how impossible the obstacles.”

I related so much to this because I met cousins in San Antonio I didn’t know I have. “… what I can give them is the gift of each other. It’s not easy to come from a different country and make a life here. But if they have each other to lean on, they will have a far better foundation than most.”

Well-crafted and evocative, The First Emma is a novel I highly recommend for readers of historical fiction and historical romance, and maybe even those who like true crime.

Content advisory: On-page deaths, gun violence, alcoholism, war.

4 Four-half-stars

 

AboutTheAuthor

Camille Di MaioCamille Di Maio always dreamed of being a writer, though she took a winding path of waitressing, temping, politicking, and real estate to get there. It all came to fruition with the publication of her bestselling debut, The Memory of Us, followed by Before the Rain FallsThe Way of Beauty, and The Beautiful Strangers. In addition to writing, she loves farmers’ markets, unashamedly belts out Broadway tunes when the mood strikes, and regularly faces her fear of flying to indulge her passion for travel. Married for twenty-three years, she home-schools their four children. (Though the first two are off at college now!) She is happy to live in Virginia near a beach.

Newsletter ║  Website ║ Facebook  ║ YouTube
Instagram ║ Amazon Author Page ║ BookBub
Twitter ║ Goodreads

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5/23/20 Excerpt Part 1 All the Ups and Downs
5/24/20 Excerpt Part 2 Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
5/25/20 Review Carpe Diem Chronicles
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5/27/20 Review Chapter Break Book Blog
5/28/20 Review Momma on the Rocks

 

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OUT OF THE EMBERS by Amanda Cabot: Book Blog Tour – Author Interview

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OUT OF THE EMBERS

MESQUITE SPRINGS, BOOK ONE

by

Amanda Cabot

Genre: Historical Fiction / Christian Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: March 3, 2020
Number of Pages: 336

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Synopsis

OOTE cover photo

Ten years after her parents were killed, Evelyn Radcliffe is once more homeless. The orphanage that was her refuge and later her workplace has burned to the ground, and only she and a young orphan girl have escaped. Convinced this must be related to her parents’ murders, Evelyn flees with the girl to Mesquite Springs in the Texas Hill Country and finds refuge in the home of Wyatt Clark, a talented horse rancher whose plans don’t include a family of his own.

At first, Evelyn is a distraction. But when it becomes clear that trouble has followed her to Mesquite Springs, she becomes a full-blown disruption. Can Wyatt keep her safe from the man who wants her dead? And will his own plans become collateral damage?

Suspenseful and sweetly romantic, Out of the Embers is the first in a new series that invites you to the Texas Hill Country in the 1850s, when the West was wild, the men were noble, and the women were strong.

 

PRAISE FOR OUT OF THE EMBERS:

Out of the Embers is part prairie romance, part romantic suspense. I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a book more. Amanda Cabot has written an intriguing, chilling mystery and she winds it through the pages of a sweet romance in a way that made me keep turning the pages fast to see what was going to happen next. An absolutely excellent read. And now I’m hungry for oatmeal pecan pie!”

~ Mary Connealy, author of Aiming for Love, book #1 in the Brides of Hope Mountain series

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AboutTheAuthor

amanda cabot

 

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of the Cimarron Creek trilogy, as well as the Texas Crossroads series, the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards, the HOLT Medallion, and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming.

 

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INTERVIEW WITH AMANDA CABOT

What inspired the idea for your new book, Out of the Embers?

I’ve always been fascinated by the way that events of the past shape us, so I started brainstorming worst case scenarios. What if a young girl’s parents were murdered and she never knew why? What if she still felt as if someone was watching her and planning to kill her too, even though it’s been ten years? What if she narrowly missed being inside her new home when it was destroyed and everyone died? These were the seeds of Out of the Embers.

Out of the Embers is set in a fictional small town in the Texas Hill Country. What inspired you to create a place like Mesquite Springs?

By now, readers have probably figured out that I enjoy bringing small towns to life, particularly in the Texas Hill Country. The challenge for me is making each of my fictional towns different. After all, I wouldn’t want anyone to say “same old, same old” when reading one of my stories. What distinguishes Mesquite Springs from Ladreville and Cimarron Creek is that it’s experiencing a period of growth with new businesses and new people coming to town. Those people change the town’s dynamics—some in good ways, some in not-so-good ways—but they all make their mark on Mesquite Springs.

Two of the main characters in Out of the Embers, Evelyn and Polly, are joined together through a fire that destroys their home. But, that’s not the only thing the two have in common. Can you tell us a little more about their relationship?

Besides both being orphans, Evelyn and Polly share enough of a resemblance that when she flees after the orphanage is destroyed, Evelyn finds it easy to pretend that Polly is her younger sister. In truth, their relationship is more like mother and daughter than sisters, with Polly depending on Evelyn to make her fondest dream come true: finding her a new daddy.

Did anything surprise you as you were writing the novel?

Yes, as a matter of fact. Although I plot my books before I begin the actual writing process and rarely make major deviations from those plots, this time when I was about half through the first draft, I realized that what I had envisioned for Wyatt’s life after the book ended wasn’t the right one for him. He needed to stay in Mesquite Springs, and he needed a compelling reason to stay. The mayoral race was the result of those realizations.

Did you face any challenges in creating this story? What was the hardest scene to write?

The biggest challenge was not revealing too much about the two men who are secondary characters too soon but still giving readers enough reason to care about what was going to happen to them.

I wouldn’t say that any one scene was particularly difficult to write, but perhaps that’s because I tend to agonize over every scene, trying to make it as close to perfect as possible.

Do you see parts of yourself in any of your characters?

I’d like to claim that my characters are totally fictional, but the truth is that I, like all authors, bring parts of myself to each story. The fact that I’m the oldest of four children made Evelyn’s almost parental relationship with Polly an easy one for me to write.

What do you hope readers will gain from Out of the Embers?

As always, I hope they’ll finish the book with a smile on their faces, a renewed belief in the healing power of love, and the knowledge that God can—and does—answer prayers.

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Copy of Out of the Embers + Special Hill Country Sweets Cookbook
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3/10/20 Notable Quotable Forgotten Winds
3/10/20 Review Librariel Book Adventures
3/11/20 Review Jennifer Silverwood
3/11/20 BONUS Post Hall Ways Blog
3/12/20 Excerpt, Part 1 Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
3/12/20 Author Interview All the Ups and Downs
3/13/20 Character Spotlight The Clueless Gent
3/13/20 Review Reading by Moonlight
3/14/20 Guest Post Chapter Break Book Blog
3/15/20 Author Interview Carpe Diem Chronicles
3/16/20 Excerpt, Part 2 That’s What She’s Reading
3/16/20 Review StoreyBook Reviews
3/17/20 Review Missus Gonzo
3/18/20 Excerpt, Part 3 Max Knight
3/19/20 Review Momma on the Rocks
3/19/20 Review Book Fidelity

 

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THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE’S SECRET by Linda Broday – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

MOBS blog tour cover

THE MAIL ORDER
BRIDE’S SECRET
Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride,
Book Three

by

LINDA BRODAY

Genre: Historical Western Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Number of Pages: 352 pages

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Synopsis

MOBS book cover

When the West was wild and man’s law favored the few, these extraordinary women could be found…in the heart of an outlaw.

When three young children show up on outlaw Tait Trinity’s doorstep, he knows he can’t help them―a wanted man has no business raising kids. And yet he can’t bring himself to turn them away. At a loss, he sends for the mail order bride he’d been writing to, hoping the demure dressmaker will be the answer to his prayers.

Melanie Dunbar is nothing like the bride Tait was expecting. She’s rough and tumble … and hiding an ulterior motive. Dangerous men have taken her sister hostage, and if Melanie wants to see her alive, she’ll have to betray her new husband. There’s only one problem―the more time she spends with Tait, the more she comes to care for him. Yet as the noose begins to tighten, Melanie will have to make a terrible choice: save her sister … or the man she loves.

 

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Review_preview

MOBS bookstagramHeart-pounding action from the deadly beginning to the daring rescue in the end. With her justice-seeking outlaw hero Tait and brave mail-order bride heroine Melanie, Ms. Broday once again gave readers an exhilarating tale of romance, family (both blood and found), and community amidst the lawless landscape of the Old West.

“I want someone to share my life with–the sunshine, the storms, and the days when everything seems just about perfect.”

What began as an unwilling deception on Mellie’s part and helpless desperation on Tait’s developed into heated desire and a love so strong they’re both willing to lay down their lives for the other. I really liked the slow build-up of the relationship between these two main characters. There was an instant attraction but they didn’t act on it until they were already wed. I appreciate the choice to have Mellie confess her deception mid-way into the story. Had her false act gone on too long without Tait knowing would have disappointed me and made me enjoy the story less. Even more so if he found out before she told him. That speaks so well about Ms. Broday’s expertise in crafting an engaging tale.

“I’ve found out that love is like the flow of a river–constant, something that fills up all the aching, empty places.”

I think this book is well-balanced in that the heavy elements are lightened by funny bits especially from the antics of the twins Joe and Jesse and their adorable sister Becky. What a scene-stealer! I also liked seeing characters from previous books featured to move Tait and Mellie’s story along without overpowering them. I suspect (and hope) that a couple of the secondary characters will have their full-length stories made and I am looking forward to reading them.

While I enjoyed the majority of the book, there were a few things that had me knocking down some points in my overall rating. I had to suspend disbelief with the speed of the telegram system they have in place, the convenient coincidences, and the ease in which the rescue was accomplished. Also, the villains needed more dimension in their characterization.

Content advisory: There’s plenty of gun violence in this book. This is a historical western novel and new readers should be aware of the numerous on-page shooting and taking of life scenes.

4 out of 5 stars

 

MOBS meme

PRAISE FOR THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE’S SECRET:

“This is another page-turning period romance from Broday.” Publisher’s Weekly

“Broday does a fabulous job of telling a story filled with humor, angst and some candid truths just so we don’t romanticize this period in our history.” Fresh Fiction

“This book was absolutely mesmerizing with nonstop action, full of laughter, tears and just a downright good Old fashioned Wild West story as only Linda Broday can do.” Glenda (Goodreads reviewer)

 

AboutTheAuthor

tomob linda brodayI’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty historical western romance novels and short stories. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed, and at times if the breeze is just right, I can hear their voices whispering in the wind. Texas’ rich history is one reason I set all my stories here where cowboys are still caretakers of the land. I’m inspired every day by their immense dedication and love for the wide-open spaces.

When I’m not writing, I collect old coins and I’ve also been accused (quite unfairly I might add) of making a nuisance of myself at museums, libraries, and historical places. I’m also a movie buff and love sitting in a dark theater, watching the magic unfold on the screen. As long as I’m confessing…chocolate is my best friend. It just soothes my soul.

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1/28/20		BONUS Post 		Hall Ways Blog 
1/29/20		Excerpt			That's What She's Reading
1/30/20		Review 			Carpe Diem Chronicles
1/31/20 	Review 			Chapter Break Book Blog
2/1/20 		Character Interview 	It's Not All Gravy
2/2/20	 	Top Ten List		Storeybook Reviews
2/3/20 		Review	 		Books & Broomsticks
2/4/20 		Series Spotlight	Jennifer Silverwood
2/5/20 		Review		 	Missus Gonzo
2/6/20 		Review	 		Reading by Moonlight

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COMFORT SONGS by Kimberly Fish – Book Blog Tour Reviewapalooza: Review and Giveaway

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COMFORT SONGS

a companion novel to Comfort Plans
by

KIMBERLY FISH

Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Fish Tales, LLC
Date of Publication: September 19, 2019
Number of Pages: 348

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Synopsis

Comfort Songs book cover

Award-winning author of Comfort Plans, Kimberly Fish, delivers a novel about family, forgiveness, and the seeds of second chances.

Eight years ago, Autumn Joy Worthington, still reeling from the bitter divorce of her Grammy-Award-winning parents, endured the betrayal of a man who’d promised her a wedding. Running from pain seemed the logical response. Reinventing herself in Comfort, Texas, as a lavender grower, she creates a wildly successful gardening haven that draws in tourists and establishes an identity far removed from her parents’ fame. Her mother’s retirement from stardom inspires AJ to offer her refuge and nurse the dream that they could move past old hurts and the tarnish of the music industry … to find friendship. A grandmother in the early stages of dementia and the return of AJ’s father complicate the recovery, but nothing sets the fragile reality spinning like the arrival of Nashville music executive, Luke English.

As Alzheimer’s slowly knocks away the filters of their family, AJ comes to appreciate the true meanings of love and forgiveness — and that the power of redemption can generate from the most unlikely sources. When AJ uncovers the grit to make hard choices, she also discovers that the flowers that bloom the brightest can have the most tangled roots.

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With its familiar setting of Texas Hill Country and its compelling storyline that deals with the burgeoning of romance amidst the complications of family drama, Comfort Songs grabbed my attention and didn’t let go until I reached the incredibly satisfying end. Four hours later, I find myself sighing happily, having been thoroughly entertained by Ms. Fish’s fantastic prose. Not a bad way to spend four hours of a cold, wet autumn evening.

One of the things I love about Comfort Songs is its highly-developed sense of place. I’m certain that even those who are unfamiliar with the area described in the book would feel as if they’ve been transported to its location. The sights, sounds, smells, and feel of Comfort, Texas came alive through Ms. Fish’s vivid descriptions. It’s no hardship to imagine myself in the midst of AJ’s warm and fragrant lavender fields right now.

Speaking of AJ, I admire her character in the book. Responsible, nurturing, and mature, she bears the heavy burdens of managing her business, taking care of her slowly-deteriorating grandmother, and putting up with her warring parents remarkably well. All of these at the same time she is starting to trust again and allowing Luke into her heart.

There are so many scenes in this novel that moved me to laughter and tears, particularly when AJ finally received the love and attention she deserves from her parents. There are also many quotes that resonated with me, like this one:

“One had to remove the rocks and the weeds before they could till the soil …”

I appreciate those snippets from “Lessons from Lavender Hill” very much. I only wish they’re more consistent in that every chapter should have an epigraph of them. Other than that, I can’t find much to complain about in this book.

4 Four-half-stars

 

AboutTheAuthor

Kimberly Fish

Kimberly Fish is a professional writer with almost thirty years of media experience. She’s been telling stories far longer. She published her first novel, a WWII historical fiction novel, because of a true story in her adopted hometown that was too good to ignore. She quickly followed that success with a sequel. Since then, she’s continued writing fiction and added a contemporary second-chance romance series set in Comfort, Texas, to her list of fun, fast-paced novels. Kimberly lives with her family in East Texas.

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10/23/19 	Review 		Reading by Moonlight 
10/23/19 	Review 		KayBee's Book Shelf 
10/24/19 	Review 		Sybrina's Book Blog 
10/25/19 	Review 		Sydney Young, Stories 
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10/26/19 	Review 		That's What She's Reading 
10/27/19 	Review 		Book Fidelity 
10/28/19 	Review 		The Book Review 
10/28/19 	Review 		Missus Gonzo 
10/29/19 	Review 		Forgotten Winds 
10/30/19 	Review 		The Clueless Gent 
10/30/19 	Review 		StoreyBook Reviews 
10/31/19 	Review 		Hall Ways Blog 
10/31/19 	Review 		Carpe Diem Chronicles

 

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PARANORMAL TEXAS by Tui Snider – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

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PARANORMAL TEXAS

Your Travel Guide
to Haunted Places
Near Dallas & Fort Worth
2ND EDITION

by

TUI SNIDER

Genre: Travel / Haunted Places / Texas History
Publisher: Castle Azle Press
Date of Publication: September 19, 2019
Number of Pages: 210 with 100+ black & white images

 

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Synopsis

Paranormal Texas cover

More Haunted Places and True Ghost Stories!
Tui Snider’s popular travel guide to haunted places in North Texas is back with a fully updated 2nd Edition featuring more haunted places and true ghost stories!

What’s new in Paranormal Texas, 2nd Edition?
Just like the original travel guide, Paranormal Texas 2nd Edition gives readers haunted history and directions to sites where paranormal activity is reported in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex.

The 2nd edition now includes:
• Photos: Readers asked for photos of haunted places. Paranormal Texas, 2nd edition has over 50 photos of haunted towns, haunted hotels, and more.
• Ghost hunting tips: Tui Snider explains what she has learned since she began attending paranormal investigations with Texas ghost hunters.
• More haunted places: Several new venues (including a haunted doll museum!) with fascinating haunted history were added to Paranormal Texas, 2nd edition.
• Firsthand accounts: Readers asked for more true ghost stories and hauntings. (She even shares personal experiences with paranormal activity, including a strange encounter with her doppelganger at a haunted hotel!)

All the above, PLUS a paranormal activity evidence database:
See the paranormal activity for yourself: Readers can access an online database with links to EVPs, ghost photos, videos, and other evidence gathered by paranormal investigators who have visited the haunted sites in her book.
Continually updated: This database will be continually updated with EVPs, anomalous photos, videos, and other data gathered at haunted places featured in Paranormal Texas, 2nd edition.
Add your paranormal activity: Readers can contact the author if they have paranormal evidence to add!

Is Paranormal Texas, 2nd edition for YOU?
1. Ghost Hunters – If you want to plan a fun road trip to haunted places (with or without ghost hunting equipment) Paranormal Texas, 2nd edition can help.

2. Armchair Travelers – If you prefer reading about haunted history, Paranormal Texas, 2nd edition can take you on an exciting armchair tour through haunted towns of North Texas.

 

“Tui’s 2nd edition is spot on fun and thrilling for everyone to read as only Tui can tell it!” – Greg Stephens, Paranormal Investigator (RIP)

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Paranormal Texas bookstagram

Pack your bags, fill up the tank, and go on a road trip to places recommended in this book. This was the message I received from Tui Snider’s Paranormal Texas right after I read it. Written in a casually chatty, engaging, and knowledgeable manner, this book both informs and entertains. It’s unlike any travel guide I’ve ever read. Whether she’s recounting her own investigations, debunking urban legends, sharing other people’s personal experiences, or stating factual history, Ms. Snider proves her professional expertise and immense talent as a story-teller.

I can see the depth of her research and her enthusiasm for the subject of paranormal activity in North Texas in every location she mentions. I like the variety of places that were included: hotels, bookstores, concert halls, and restaurants in addition to the usual cemeteries, bridges, and houses. I dog-eared a few of my favorites, usually the ones with the lengthy stories – Hotel Lawrence in Dallas, Emily Fowler Central Library,  and Granbury Opera House.

Haunted places organized alphabetically by city, with addresses, websites, and photographs, Paranormal Texas delivers on the travel guide part of its description. What elevates it from other books of its kind is the lively personality of its author which shines through despite the creepy, scary, and sometimes tragic tales she wrote. I’ll definitely read more of Ms. Snider’s work.

5 stars

. AboutTheAuthor

Tui Snider

Tui Snider is an award-winning writer, speaker, photographer, and musician specializing in offbeat sites, overlooked history, cemetery symbolism, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction, but then I moved to Texas!”

Tui lectures frequently at universities, libraries, conferences, and bookstores. This fall, she will speak about the Great Airship Mystery of 1897 at this year’s UFO Congress and teach a course on Understanding Cemetery Symbols at Texas Christian University. She also shares weekly info-videos based on her research on her YouTube channel.

Snider’s writing and photography have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including WFAA TV, Coast to Coast AM, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and many more. She has several more books in progress.

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THE LITTLE TEASHOP ON MAIN by Jodi Thomas – Book Blog Tour Giveaway

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THE LITTLE TEASHOP ON MAIN

by

Jodi Thomas

Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction / Coming of Age
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Number of Pages: 336 pages

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Synopsis

Little Teashop Book Cover

A rainy-day ritual—a tea party between three little girls—becomes the framework of not only their friendship, but their lives.
Blonde, curly-haired Zoe is openhearted, kind and free-spirited, and dreams of becoming a famous actor in New York City. Shy Emily struggles with mental health but has the heart and soul of a writer. And Shannon—tall, athletic, strong—has a deep sense of loyalty that will serve her well when she heads off to military college.
As Zoe, Emily, and Shannon grow into women—forging careers, following dreams, and finding love—they’ll learn that life doesn’t always unfold the way they want it to, but through it all, the one constant is each other and their regular tea parties. And when the unthinkable happens, the girls must come together to face the greatest test of all.

A deeply moving novel about the family that raises us, the hearts that nurture us, and the great friendships that define our lives.

 

PRAISE FOR THE LITTLE TEASHOP ON MAIN:

“Heart-wrenching as well as heartwarming, the book reflects the experiences of these seven multifaceted and compelling characters as they journey through challenging years together.” — NY Journal of Books

“A comforting treasure for regular Thomas readers who enjoy the easy flow of her writing, a little steamy romance to spice things up, and the development of vulnerable, realistic characters.” — Booklist

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AboutTheAuthor

Author Pic ThomasWith millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 45 novels and 14 short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.

In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.

Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Thomas enjoys interacting with students at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

When not working on a novel, or inspiring students to pursue writing careers, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating an historic home, and “checking up” on their grown sons and four grandchildren.

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5/10/19 	BONUS Stop 		Hall Ways Blog 
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5/11/19 	Review 			Momma on the Rocks 
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5/15/19 	Excerpt 		Rainy Days with Amanda 
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SAVING THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE by Linda Broday – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

STMOB Blog Tour

SAVING THE
MAIL ORDER BRIDE
Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride,
Book Two

by

LINDA BRODAY

Genre: Historical Western Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Number of Pages: 384 pages

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Synopsis

STMOB 3D

 

He may have a high price on his head, but all outlaw Jack Bowdre ever desired was a second chance. Now he’s been arrested and on his way to jail, completely unaware that his unexpected —and unexpectedly beautiful— traveling companion is none other than Nora Kane…his mail order bride.

It’s too bad Nora doesn’t know Jack is her groom-to-be. All she sees is a scoundrel. But when their stagecoach crashes, they’re suddenly handcuffed together and running for their lives with nothing but the clothes on their backs. A posse behind and unforgiving terrain ahead, how long can they survive? Hounded by desperate men bent on stopping them by any means necessary, Nora and Jack find the love they both desperately want. But the question remains: will they have a chance to claim it?

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Review_preview

20190409_195134947_iOS

Just when I thought I had Linda Broday pegged, she goes and reveals another wonderful facet of her amazing talent as a writer. While the first book in this series (The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride) had me almost in despair for Clay and Tally’s chances in making it through their challenges–spoiler alert: they did–Saving the Mail Order Bride assured me of Jack and Nora’s happy-ever-after right from the start of their action-packed escape adventure. That’s because Ms. Broday infused this book with light humor and boundless optimism rather than angst and incessant suffering.

20190406_162137383_iOS

I loved that Jack and Nora’s objective changed while on the run. Instead of getting away from enemies, it had become more about reaching a specific destination: Hope’s Crossing. Because in that place was community, support, and love.

I adore that during their journey, they managed to acquire an entire family. A family that’s formed from tragedy and abuse with a promise of a better future for the children.

I enjoyed how Jack and Nora always worked together to escape, evade, provide for one another, face their adversaries, and plan a course of action. I really appreciate how strongly the characters were drawn with admirable qualities and all-too-human weaknesses. Despite the title, it wasn’t only Jack who was saving the mail order bride, it was also Nora saving the outlaw.

20190416_195355501_iOSAt the beginning of the book, Linda Broday wrote a letter saying she hopes the readers are entertained by this story and that we’re left wanting to know more about the characters from Hope’s Crossing.

Well, this reader is happily entertained and is looking forward to reading more about these outlaws and the community they’re building from nothing. Bring on Ridge’s story please, Linda. I can’t wait for more.

 

PRAISE FOR SAVING THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE:

“Broday continues her Outlaw Mail Order Brides historical Western romance series with an interesting premise…” — Kirkus

“The adventure and dangers kept the pages turning – delivering quite a few surprises and heart-pounding moments. And generously balanced in were moments of peace and beauty.” — Sunshine Lake Reviews

“I loved every deep ravine-gun blazing-twist of this book.”
Glenda (Goodreads reviewer)

“Linda Broday has spun another great adventure that is full of surprises, has you rooting for the outlaws and people of Hope’s Crossing, and wanting some ‘lawmen,’ ‘businessmen,’ and other ‘questionable men’ to find their deaths. It’ll make you question who should be called an outlaw in this period of time.”
Stephanie (Goodreads reviewer)

 

STMOB Meme 1

 

AboutTheAuthor

tomob linda brodayI’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty historical western romance novels and short stories. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed, and at times if the breeze is just right, I can hear their voices whispering in the wind. Texas’ rich history is one reason I set all my stories here where cowboys are still caretakers of the land. I’m inspired every day by their immense dedication and love for the wide-open spaces.

When I’m not writing, I collect old coins and I’ve also been accused (quite unfairly I might add) of making a nuisance of myself at museums, libraries, and historical places. I’m also a movie buff and love sitting in a dark theater, watching the magic unfold on the screen. As long as I’m confessing…chocolate is my best friend. It just soothes my soul.

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5/10/19 	Review 			Carpe Diem Chronicles 
5/11/19 	Guest Post 		The Clueless Gent 
5/12/19 	Review 			Reading by Moonlight 
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A TENDER HOPE by Amanda Cabot: Book Blog Tour – Review and Giveaway

 

A Tender Hope blog cover

A TENDER HOPE

The Cimarron Creek Trilogy, Book 3

by

Amanda Cabot

Genre: Historical Romance / Inspirational
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: March 5, 2019
Number of Pages: 352

Scroll down for the giveaway!

 

Synopsis

A Tender Hope book cover

As far as Thea Michener is concerned, it’s time for a change. With her husband murdered and her much-anticipated baby stillborn, there is nothing left for her in Ladreville. Having accepted a position as Cimarron Creek’s midwife, she has no intention of remarrying and trying for another child. So when a handsome Texas Ranger appears on her doorstep with an abandoned baby, Thea isn’t sure her heart can take it.

Ranger Jackson Guthrie isn’t concerned only with the baby’s welfare. He’s been looking for Thea, convinced that her late husband was part of the gang that killed his brother. But it soon becomes clear that the situation is far more complicated than he anticipated–and he’ll need Thea’s help if he’s ever to find the justice he seeks.

Amanda Cabot invites readers back to Cimarron Creek for a tender story of loss, betrayal, and love in the majestic Texas Hill Country.

 

PRAISE FOR A TENDER HOPE:

“Such beautiful words flow from Amanda Cabot’s pen–words that lead characters from tattered situations to fresh beginnings and culminate in tender story endings that make a reader sigh in satisfaction. I’ve never been disappointed by a Cabot tale.” — Kim Vogel Sawyer, bestselling author of Bringing Maggie Home

 

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A Tender Hope meme 2

A Tender Hope, the final book in Amanda Cabot’s Cimarron Creek Trilogy, is probably my favorite of the three and that’s saying something because A Stolen Heart and A Borrowed Dream are fantastic novels in their own right.

It’s the fact that events came to a satisfactory conclusion here. It’s because everyone’s stories, especially the couples’ have hopeful endings/beginnings. And it’s definitely because it had me smiling when I closed the book after the final word.

Being immersed in the Cimarron Creek series is like traveling in time to an era that is both gentler and harsher than the present. Ms. Cabot’s imagined world of apothecaries and mansions, of buggies and prams, of Rangers and outlaws, of midwives and stagecoaches, is a place I enjoy visiting. Being a foreign-born transplant to Texas, I appreciate this recreation of a past I know nothing about except for what I read in books.

20190223_221907722_iOSFrom the first scene, A Tender Hope literally and figuratively takes the reader on a journey. Thea and Jackson travel separately to Cimarron Creek carrying their physical and emotional baggage: Thea with her heartbreak from losing her husband and son; Jackson with his hunt for the outlaw who killed his brother. An abandoned child, along with their respective jobs, brings them together in a way that aided their growing attraction to each other and hastened their discovery of what they really want in life. Amidst the danger posed by a vicious gang, they realized that what they want is to build a family in Cimarron Creek, their found home.

A Tender Hope meme 1I love every aspect of Thea and Jackson’s romance: the constant desire to be in each other’s company, the honest conversations, their mutual respect, their belief in the other’s capabilities, and their support of each other’s careers. What had me swooning is their observance of proper courtship, something that is missing in contemporary romance and even in many historical romance these days. I enjoyed reading it here.

Another courtship I enjoyed is that of Aimee and Nate’s. These two brought some lightness and comic relief to balance the themes of the novel. Also ably supporting are Warner and Patience, Travis and Lydia, Grace, and other members of the small town. Their various subplots and the menace of the villains help enrich A Tender Hope’s overall storyline.

I’m really going to miss the wonderful people in this fictional community but I trust in Ms. Cabot and I’m sure her next series will be as fantastic as Cimarron Creek had been.

 

AboutTheAuthor

amanda cabot

 

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of the Cimarron Creek trilogy, as well as the Texas Crossroads series, the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming.

 

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3/11/19 	Review 			The Love of a Bibliophile 
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COWBOY CHARM SCHOOL by Margaret Brownley – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

CCS BBT Cover

COWBOY CHARM SCHOOL

HAYWIRE BRIDES, #1

by

MARGARET BROWNLEY

Sub-genre: Western Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of Publication: September 4, 2018
Number of Pages: 384

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Synopsis

CCS cover

When Texas Ranger Brett Tucker accidentally derails a wedding, he’s determined to bring the estranged couple back together…but he never dreamed he’d start falling for the bride!

Texas Ranger Brett Tucker hates to break up a wedding, but the groom—notorious criminal Frank Foster—is a danger to any woman. So he busts into the

church, guns blazing…only to find he has the wrong man.

STOP THAT WEDDING!

Bride-to-be Kate Denver is appalled by her fiancé’s over-the-top reaction to the innocent mistake and calls off the wedding—for good. Guilt-ridden, Brett’s desperate to get them back on track. But the more time he spends with Kate, the harder he falls…and the more he yearns to prove that he’s her true match in every way.

“Light and airy as cotton candy, this tale charms.”

~ Publishers Weekly

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Review_preview

CCS extra photoHilarious! This is my first historical western romantic comedy and I had so much fun reading Cowboy Charm School. It’s also my first book by Margaret Brownley, but will definitely not be the last.

From the first scene at the chapel to the Happily-Ever-After Epilogue, this book thoroughly entertains. With engaging characters from the small town of Haywire coming to life in the pages of the book, Cowboy Charm School is just the thing we need to take our minds off the harsh realities of life even for just a few hours. Frank is a bumbling hoot, Aunt Letty is a lovable meddler, Dusty just makes you want to hug him, and Ringo is a star.

The slow build-up of attraction between the hero Texas Ranger Brett Tucker and the heroine Kate Denver is as sweet as the candies she makes in her store. Kate is creative, kind, caring, and has a backbone of steel. Brett, with his earnest desire to seeing to Kate’s safety and happiness even if it means letting her go, is the perfect hero during these times when women are hurting and needing the assurance that there are still a lot of good guys out there. He’s why we read romance.

Original story with loads of humor, delectable candy concoctions, a little bit of mystery, and a whole lotta love – Cowboy Charm School is a five-star read for me. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

AboutTheAuthor

Margaret Brownley

New York Times bestselling author MARGARET BROWNLEY has penned more than forty-five novels and novellas. She’s a two-time Romance Writers of American RITA® finalist and has written for a TV soap. She is also a recipient of the Romantic Times Pioneer Award.

Her story, A Pony Express Christmas, will appear this fall in the Old West Christmas Brides collection, and book two of her Haywire Brides series will be published May 2019.

Not bad for someone who flunked eighth-grade English. Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence.

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9/24/18     Excerpt              Hall Ways Blog
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9/26/18     Top Ten List         Books in the Garden
9/27/18     Review               Momma on the Rocks
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9/28/18     Author Interview     Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
9/29/18     Review               StoreyBook Reviews
9/30/18     Guest Post           That's What She's Reading
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10/3/18     Review               Missus Gonzo

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