Murder’s Legacy: Cover Reveal & Pre-Order Book Blitz

Murder’s Legacy

A Tori Winters Mystery, Book 2

By Anita Dickason

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!

Mystery / Women Sleuths

Publisher: Mystic Circle Books

Coming February 16, 2023

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Secrets that defy time!

An inconceivable disaster brings Tori Winters’s plans for the historic house she inherited to a traumatic standstill. A section of the escape tunnel built by her great-grandfather, a notorious Dallas gangster, has collapsed. Within the rubble, there is a gruesome discovery. A skeleton with a bullet hole in the skull.

The shocking cave-in triggers an ominous scheme to condemn her property as accusations arise that the tunnel is dangerous. Embattled, Tori soon discovers that more than the destruction of the house is on the line. It seems she can’t escape the past. It keeps clawing its way into her life with deadly consequences.

Who hides in the shadows with a motive for murder? And … is Tori the target?

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Award-winning Author Anita Dickason is a twenty-two-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department. She served as a patrol officer, undercover narcotics detective, advanced accident investigator, tactical officer, and first female sniper on the Dallas SWAT team.

Anita writes about what she knows, cops and crime. Her police background provides an unending source of inspiration for her plots and characters. Many incidents and characters portrayed in her books are based on personal experience. For her, the characters are the fun part of writing as she never knows where they will take her. There is always something out of the ordinary in her stories.

In Anita’s debut novel, Sentinels of the Night, she created an elite FBI Unit, the Trackers. Since then, she has added three more Tracker crime thrillers, Going Gone!, A u 7 9, and Operation Navajo, which are not a series and can be read in any order, and Deadly Business, a crime thriller.

As a Texas author, many of Anita’s books are based in Texas, or there is a link to Texas. When she stepped outside of the Tracker novels and wrote Not Dead and the Tori Winters Mysteries series, she set them in the small Texas communities of Meridian and Granbury, respectively.

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Find the Moon: Blitz and Giveaway

 

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

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.
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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: 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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Tapestry overnighter bag, sterling necklace (handmade in Greece), autographed copy of updated 2022 Stolen Obsession, $50 Amazon Gift Card
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Autographed copy of updated 2022 Stolen Obsession
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Joanne Easley Multi-Book Blitz and Giveaway

SWEET JANE, JUST ONE LOOK,
&
I’LL BE SEEING YOU
by
Joanne Kukanza Easley
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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
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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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Each receives an eBook of
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I’LL BE SEEING YOU
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Covey Jenks Audio Pop-up Tour: Blitz and Giveaway

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

Mystery / Amateur Sleuths / West Texas

Listening Length: 17hrs, 44 minutes

Publication Date: July 27, 2022

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Shelton Williams’s book The Covey Jencks Mysteries: Love and Murder Deep in the Heart of Texas is more than a collection of mysterious tales of murder and investigation. By bringing to life these characters, the author has highlighted the global issues of racism, drug abuse, political extremism, and women trafficking.
In the midst of it all is our protagonist, hell-bent on finding out what secrets he may find out if he stepped into the dark shadow of Odessa.
This omnibus edition of the Covey Jencks Mysteries includes newly edited versions of Covey Jencks, Covey and JayJay Get Educated, and The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts. It also includes a new preface from the author and foreword by Charles E. Morrison.
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Shelton L. Williams (Shelly) is founder and president of the Osgood Center for International Studies in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and he taught for nearly 40 years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He has served in the US Government on 4 occasions, and he has written books and articles on nuclear proliferation. In 2004 he began a new career of writing books on crime and society. Those books are Washed in the Blood, Summer of 66, and now the three books in the Covey Jencks series. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.
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Each receives an audiobook edition of THE COVEY JENCKS MYSTERIES:
LOVE AND MURDER DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS
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Liberty Bell and the Last American: Notable Quotes and Giveaway

 


LIBERTY BELL AND
THE LAST AMERICAN
by
James Stoddard

Alternative History / Science Fiction
Pages: 347 pages
Publication Date: April 4, 2021
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Americans love their Constitution. In seventeen-year-old Liberty Bell’s era it has become a myth.
Centuries after the Great Blackout obliterates the world’s digitized information, America’s history is forgotten. Only confused legends remain, written in The Americana, a book depicting a golden age where famous Americans from different eras lived and interacted with one another during the same time.
Raised on the stories and ideals from The Americana, Liberty Bell joins secret agent Antonio Ice on a quest for her country. But in the Old Forest, forgotten technologies are reawakening. Historic figures such as Albert Einstein, Harriet Tubman, and Thomas Jefferson are coming to life.
The source of their return, a mystery hidden since before the apocalypse, lies waiting for Liberty. Her knowledge of The Americana holds the key to unraveling the riddles of the past.
Will the American continent return to the freedom of Liberty’s forefathers? Or will it descend into a dark age of tyranny? The choices she makes will determine its fate. For, as The Americana says, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it—and forfeit all coupons, discounts, and travel miles.”
Filled with quotations from exceptional Americans, here is a humorous and poignant celebration of America and its Constitution.
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NOTABLE QUOTABLES from

LIBERTY BELL AND THE LAST AMERICAN 

By James Stoddard



In this book, the heroine, Liberty Bell, and her traveling companion, Antonio Ice, meet a number of characters from the past. Much of their dialogue includes their actual quotes. Here are a few of them, along with other quotes from the book. Those quotations which I invented are in italics.


“In the days of the Founders, lightning destroyed whole cities; Pecos Bill the Stormchaser used to tame them, riding the winds on his winged stallion, Mobile.” —Liberty Bell

***


“Don’t hit a man at all if you can possibly avoid it, but if you do hit him, put him to sleep.” —Teddy Roosevelt

***


“We might see almost anything in the land of Lucy Anna: the Old Faithful One walked these woods, his breath blowing steam; the ancient mines, Carl’s Bad Caverns, are hidden here, long abandoned by Snow White and the 49ers. We might run across the White Sands of the Nuklars or the ruins of the Golden Arches.” —Liberty Bell

***


“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” —George Washington


***


“True patriotism is never misplaced, Miss Bell. It is the love of country tempered by an unswerving passion for justice.” —Jesse James (not the one you’re thinking of)

***


“If I could have convinced more slaves that they were slaves, I could have freed thousands more.”  —Harriet Tubman


***


“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” —Thomas Edison


***


“When we were kids, my dad used to tell us if we didn’t go to bed, Santa Claws would fly down from Canada and take us to the Twilight Zone.” —Antonio Ice




James Stoddard’s short fiction has appeared in science fiction publications such as “Amazing Stories” and “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.” “The Battle of York” was included in Eos Books’ Years Best SF 10, and “The First Editions” appeared in The Year’s Best Fantasy 9 from Tor Books. His novel, “The High House” won the Compton Crook Award for best fantasy by a new novelist and was nominated for several other awards. He lives with his wife in a winding canyon in West Texas.

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2 winners each receive a Signed Paperback copy of
LIBERTY BELL AND THE LAST AMERICAN
1 winner receives a $25 B&N eGift card
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10/25/22

Hall Ways Blog

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10/25/22

The Page Unbound

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10/26/22

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Review

10/26/22

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BONUS Promo

10/27/22

It’s Not All Gravy

Guest Post

10/27/22

Boys’ Mom Reads!

Review

10/28/22

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Excerpt

10/28/22

Reading by Moonlight

Review

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The Lost Melody: Deleted Scene

THE LOST MELODY
by
Joanna Davidson Politano
Historical Romance / Christian Fiction
Publisher: Revell
Pages: 384 pages
Publication Date: October 4, 2022
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When concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant’s father dies, he leaves to her the care of a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. Vivienne had no idea the woman existed, and yet her portrait is shockingly familiar. When the asylum claims she was never a patient there, Vivienne is compelled to discover what happened to the figure she remembers from childhood dreams.
The longer she lingers in the deep shadows and forgotten towers at Hurstwell, the fuzzier the line between sanity and madness becomes. She hears music no one else does, receives strange missives with rose petals between the pages, and untangles far more than is safe for her to know.
But can she uncover the truth about the mysterious woman she seeks? And is there anyone at Hurstwell she can trust with her suspicions?
Joanna Davidson Politano casts a delightful spell with this lyrical look into the nature of women’s independence and artistic expression during the Victorian era–and now.

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK: “Haunting. Riveting. Filled with hope. The Lost Melody is all these things and more. Author Joanna Davidson Politano delves into the dark world of Victorian mental health, and it’s the reader who comes out the winner after being enchanted by this tale of identity lost. After you read the last page, the characters will live on in your mind. Truly a fantastic read!” — Michelle Griep, author of Lost in Darkness “Joanna Davidson Politano’s stories go on my bookshelf as a favorite! The stories she pens entice my Gothic-loving senses, thrill my literary soul, and inspire the dark romantic inside my spirit. I cannot emphasize enough how strongly I adore each story from this vivid and insightful author, and how badly I wish for all readers to experience her tales!” — Jaime Jo Wright, author of The Souls of Lost Lake, and Christy Award-winning The House on Foster Hill
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THE LOST MELODY

Deleted Scene from

by Joanna Davidson Politano

Context: At the start of the story, Vivienne Mourdant, a concert pianist, has just lost her musician father and received a surprising inheritance. She isn’t sure what to do about it yet, until her manager slips in and tells her what she shouldn’t do. This was originally the second or third scene of the book, in the first chapter or two.

Reason for deletion: I ended up rewriting most of the book after the first draft and totally reordering the way the mystery unfolded and the timing of each piece of information being laid out. The beginning also stretched for far too long before she was onto her quest, so I deleted a lot of the lead-up scenes and got into the action a little quicker.

When the solicitor departed, shrugging into his shabby coat and top-hat, before I’d calmed my nerves, another knock sounded at the study door. “Come in.”

The peculiar and erratic Marcel Beauchene bowed low in the door, his dark curls falling over his face, then flying back as he popped up. “You’re holding up well, are you?” He eyed me as he said it, approaching the desk where I sat.

“Well enough to maintain my performances.” 

His expression melted into a broad smile. As my longtime manager, he was an honorary uncle of sorts but Marcel loved the way a scientist would. He went out of his way to keep me safe and flourishing, a machine he kept oiled and maintained, but he never descended into flowery shows of affection. It was always about music for him, and exposing the world to its beauty at any cost. It was not me but my musical talent he looked after with such care.

He slipped into the chair opposite me and set his hat on the desk. “Forgive the intrusion, but I happened to be standing outside, waiting on an audience with a most sought-after young lady, it would seem. Your father’s solicitor, I believe?”

I leveled my gaze at him. “You sneak.”

“Concerned party.” He threw his hands up, palms out. “A family friend looking out for a newly orphaned client.”

“I’ve always held my own.”

He exhaled. “Yes, but you needn’t. Not while I’m around.”

I eyed this man I’d known for so long. Perhaps he did care after all, just a tad under his passionate love for beautiful art.

“You won’t be concerning yourself with this ward of his, I hope, will you?”

My skin went cold. “You heard that part?”

“Because if you do, people will begin associating your name with an asylum. You know what that’ll do for your career, and I don’t want you becoming all tangled up in whatever mess your father has left behind.”

“Marcel, I wasn’t—”

“Now, don’t let’s argue about it. I know you’re a sensible girl who’ll keep clear of all these family secrets and odd goings-on now that your father is gone, so you can focus on your performances.” He sat back, watching me. “Night has gone and it is day now, isn’t it? Time for music at last. For beauty.”

“Yes.” I took a breath, but he spoke first.

“And time for a whole new beginning for you.” He patted my hand and rose, plopping his hat over his curls again. “Come next season, we’ll have you on the most glorious—”

“What about this season? It’s barely spring.” Awareness of those unpaid notes tightened my chest.

“Tsk, and your father barely in the ground. I’m your manager, my dear, and that extends to managing your reputation as well. How unseemly it would be, parading around the continent giving performances while you’re meant to be in mourning? Rest for the summer, enjoy the scent of flowers, and we’ll meet in a few months to discuss what comes next.”

“And until then?” Emptiness sliced through me. Not even one performance? “How will I make my living?”

“You’re a clever woman, Vivienne Mourdant. I’m positive you’ll manage something.” The Frenchman bowed low, dipping his hat then rising to pop it back on his head. “Well, then. You know where to find me if you need anything, yes?” His gaze searched my face. “He spoke fondly of you, that last time I saw him. He was quite aware of your immense talent, even if he wouldn’t say it to you.”

I clamped my hands into fists in my lap. “I think perhaps you misheard him.”

“I may be aging, but my hearing is impeccable. He always knew you had immense talent.” He offered a quick smile. “And I’m glad I can count on you to stay out of this mess with his ward. You’re nothing if not sensible, dear Vivienne, and I know you want nothing to do with this sort of thing.”

Few people actually knew me, as it turned out. I was a Chopin Nocturne—surprising, complex, and impossible to master. Many tried. I’m happy to report that they all failed.

Well, nearly.

Joanna Davidson Politano is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne Disappears, A Rumored Fortune, Finding Lady Enderly, The Love Note, and A Midnight Dance. She loves tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives and is eager to hear anyone’s story. She lives with her husband and their children in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan.
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A Time to Fly!: Review

A TIME TO FLY!
by
Diann Floyd Boehm
Illustrated by Nancy Hoover
Children’s Picture Book
Publisher: Texas Sisters Press
Pages: 28 pages
Publication Date: August 2, 2022
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This baby bluebird will capture your heart as he shares with his momma why he doesn’t want to leave the nest and join his siblings.
The momma listens to her baby bird and, with gentleness, helps him build the courage to fly and join the rest of his family.
So come along for the journey and become excited for the baby bird as he discovers he can fly and soar through the sky.
It is a heart-warming story and beautifully illustrated with a powerful message of “I Can Do It.”
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This story focuses on the last baby bluebird leaving the nest while it’s mother encourages them. I like the concept of the book. The example of gentle teaching and opportunity to think about a decision before acting quickly. Even though it’s siblings have readily left, this bluebird needs more time and that’s not seen in the negative.

This relatively short story doesn’t lack in the emotion involved with leaving the nest (or experiencing new things). Change can be scary, maybe not as comfortable as a current place. However, with listening to each other and positive encouragement, this baby bird has good things in store.

The illustrations have a great sense of color and perspective that is perfect to keep a child entertained. One of the reasons I love to review these types of books are to see the different art styles and grow in my own art. Nancy Hoover did a great job at accompanying the story with a sense of motion and detail in her art. I loved the note about her grandchildren reading this book one day.

Overall, this is a great story to read to children in that bedtime routine!

Diann Floyd Boehm is an award-winning international author, community volunteer, humanitarian, and former classroom teacher. She is passionate about storytelling. She has nine published books for children and young adult historical fiction. Diann is the cohost of four shows on USA Global TV. She is married, a mother of three, and has one grandchild. She loves to help young and old to Embrace Imagination!
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Whiskers Abroad: Review

WHISKERS ABROAD
Ashi and Audrey’s Adventures in Japan
by CARRIE CARTER
Graphic Designer: Stacy Vickers
Fiction / Travelogue / Japan
Publisher: Bayou City Press
Pages: 170 pages
Publication Date: October 6, 2022
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Whiskers Abroad is a lively and charming travelogue featuring a trip to Japan shared by two main characters, Audrey and Ashi, who alternate recounting their versions of events. Audrey, having won the chance to write a magazine article about traveling in Japan, takes along her cat, Ashi. Over the course of a twelve-day trip, the pair visit Tokyo, Wakayama, Shirahama, Kyoto, and Miura Peninsula. Food is of great interest to both, as they sample typical Japanese dishes from ramen to sushi to tuna specialties. They also explore Japanese culture, including food markets, a family farm, temples, and Tokyo nightlife.

Adventures abound, from Audrey losing Ashi in the fish market to Ashi slipping out of the hotel at night to go to a cat café, where he meets an alluring feline. Audrey is still trying to find her place in the universe, while Ashi believes Audrey would sink beneath the waves were he not present to rescue her time and again. Audrey is a dedicated reader of her horoscope, and the prediction for each day offers tantalizing clues as to what’s in store for the pair.

Written by author Carrie Carter and beautifully designed by Stacy Vickers, Whiskers Abroad is both an amusing travel story with unforgettable characters but also a useful guide for tourists going to Japan about such basic travel issues as how to get from the airport to central Tokyo, how to purchase a rail pass, what to visit in Tokyo, and what to eat. Lavishly designed with full-color photographs and arresting page layouts, Whiskers Abroad will delight both your eyes and your sense of adventure.

PRAISE FOR WHISKERS ABROAD:

Whiskers Abroad is simply a delight, offering respite and reflections that bring readers into Japan from different perspectives, capturing a writer’s journey through new foods, a different culture, and a cat’s eyes. It’s very highly recommended for its ability to reach beyond the usual travelogue audiences to immerse all ages in its fun adventure.” The Midwest Book Review

Whiskers Abroad takes off with a woman in the ultimate moral dilemma. How can she possibly leave her cat behind for weeks?! Simple answer, she doesn’t. In fact, she takes it upon herself to travel to Japan with her cat in tow. Though, along the way, she and Ashi discover they are their best as a team.

First of all, this has to be one of the most energetic books I’ve read. It’s filled with creative storytelling on every page; horoscopes, candid photos, amazing views, and of course Ashi. It was honestly a work of art and you could see the feat that went into creating this book.

As a pet owner (dog mom), it’s always been in the back of my mind to take her on my trips. Whether that is across the country or just a few hours away. I’ve even researched camper vans with dog accommodations inside. Who knows…it may happen one day! Suffice to say, this book, while fiction, shows the opportunities possible. Pet passports are a thing!

The different purrspectives of this journey makes Whiskers Abroad an easy and quick read. The daily journal style and graphics create an easy pace and have you looking forward to the next experience. I enjoyed the down-to-earth way of traveling, history sprinkled in, and travel tips as well.

I’d love to see Carter write another adventure with Audrey and Ashi, or perhaps other amazing duos!

Carrie Carter has a profound love for Japan, cats, sumo, dioramas, and eating unusual foods. She has traveled with her husband Jim to Japan fourteen times, so her numerous holidays across her favorite country were the inspiration for her first book, Whiskers Abroad: Ashi and Audrey’s Adventures in Japan. Carrie has run multiple marathons including the Tokyo Marathon, and as expected, Carrie and Jim live with an adorable cat named Frenemy, who was unhappy at not being selected as the model for the book.
Carrie lives in Houston, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. At home, she loves to cook, design/create Halloween costumes, and daydream about meeting Jacques Pepin. She dislikes overly dramatic music used in reality TV shows. Currently, Carrie is working on her second book, a sequel to Whiskers Abroad, where Audrey and Ashi explore further into Japan and get themselves into even more interesting predicaments.