Nothing Short of Wondrous: Scrapbook Page and Giveaway


NOTHING SHORT OF WONDROUS
(American Wonders Collection, Book Two)
by
REGINA SCOTT
   
Genre: Historical Fiction / Christian Romance 
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: October 20, 2020
Number of Pages: 336

Scroll down for the giveaway!


In 1886, the U.S. government gave control of Yellowstone, the country’s first national park, to the cavalry to stop predation by poachers, hunters, and vandals. Mrs. Kate Tremaine is all for the change. The young widow and her late husband held the lease to operate one of the hotels in the park. She has raised her six-year-old son among God’s wonders and knows every inch of the mountainous park like the back of her hand. It is her home, and she has vowed to protect it.

Lieutenant William Prescott needs someone of Kate’s caliber more than he knows. Congress has appropriated funds for only one guide, who is required elsewhere in the park, and the cavalryman is having some trouble finding his way around much less tracking down the troublemakers. As Kate and her son help him, he doesn’t dare give in to the tender feelings she raises in him. A tragic mistake eight years ago nearly derailed his career and made him question his own abilities. Not even Kate’s encouragement or God’s forgiveness can blot out the stain on his conscience.

When Kate’s son disappears, Will and Kate must work together to rescue the boy and protect the park. In doing so, they may just find that two wounded hearts can lead to one powerful love when God is in control.
CLICK TO PURCHASE








Regina Scott’s Inspiration Scrapbook for Nothing Short of Wondrous




Click the image to enlarge


Regina Scott is the author of fifty works of warm, witty historical romance, including A Distance Too Grand. She was twice awarded the prestigious RT Book Reviews best book of the year in her category. A devotee of history, she has learned to fence, driven four-in-hand, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research. She and her husband of thirty years live south of Tacoma, Washington, on the way to Mt. Rainier.


WebsiteFacebook ⬥ Blog ⬥ Pinterest  



  ————————————
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
THREE WINNERS! FIRST PRIZE: Both books in the American Wonders collection, tote bag, book swag, and $25 B&N gift card; SECOND & THIRD PRIZES: Copy of Nothing Short of Wondrous and book swag. 
October 13-October 23, 2020
(U.S. Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:

10/13/20

Notable Quotables

Forgotten Winds

10/13/20

BONUS post

Hall Ways Blog

10/14/20

Excerpt

Chapter Break Book Blog

10/15/20

Review

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

10/16/20

Review

Book Bustle

10/17/20

Excerpt

Story Schmoozing Book Reviews

10/18/20

Scrapbook Page

The Page Unbound

10/19/20

Review

Momma on the Rocks

10/20/20

Review

It’s Not All Gravy

10/21/20

Series Spotlight

All the Ups and Downs

10/22/20

Review

StoreyBook Reviews



   blog tour services provided by

 

Low Water Crossing: Interview and Giveaway


LOW WATER CROSSING
Book Two of the Sulfur Gap Series
by
DANA GLOSSBRENNER

Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Saga 
Independently published
Date of Publication: July 19, 2020
Number of Pages: 476

  Scroll down for the giveaway!


Low Water Crossing is a tribute to those who endure heartache and nevertheless celebrate, to those who wait—and live full lives while waiting.

A backhoe unearths a human skeleton buried on Wayne Cheadham’s West Texas ranch. The investigation points a grisly finger at Wayne’s first wife. And so begins the wild ride through twenty-five years of love and heartbreak. 

Wayne’s a highly eligible bachelor who runs into trouble, first because he’s naïve, and next because, well, life is unpredictable. He’s a loveable guy with a peaceful outlook. Just about anyone wants the best for him, dang it. To cope with sadness, he arranges for an old steel-girded bridge to be placed in the dry pasture in front of his house. Says it helps him adjust his perspective. Others say it’s the world’s largest yard ornament. He takes in stray emus and abandoned horses and becomes a mentor to a loveable little boy without much family. He sits and ponders his plight at a low-water crossing over the creek.

A cast of characters from the fictional small West Texas town of Sulfur Gap
the staff of a high school burger shop hangout on the Interstate, coffee groups at the Navaho Café, hair stylists from the Wild Hare, a local sheriff and his deputies, and the band at the local honky-tonkknits together the community surrounding Wayne, and all bring their own quirks. People you’d find anywhere, some with thicker Texas twangs than others. 

The town, the ranch, and familiar Texas cities such as San Angelo, Abilene, and Austin provide a backdrop for universal themes of love, grief, and loyalty.
                          
CLICK TO PURCHASE



 

Interview with Dana Glossbrenner, author of Low Water Crossing

  

How has being a Texan influenced your writing?

Living in Texas all my life has made me acutely aware of speech patterns of Texas—the small-town accent versus the urban accent, the regional variations from the soft “r” of East Texas to the harder, flatter “r” of West Texas. I’ve known many people that stereotypes are based on: ranchers, oil-field workers, cowboys, bartenders. When I use these expected “stereotypes” as characters, I present them as unique individuals with their own souls, aspirations, and quirks.

 

How does your book relate to your faith?

Low Water Crossing brings faith to the table, but not blatantly. Faith, for me, is fluid and adaptable, not a rigid set of beliefs. Cynthia exemplifies the struggle with rigidity and moving beyond. Lucy is without faith, because of her upbringing, but develops a faith in herself, relying totally on herself (a former version of myself). Lou is a person of faith in that she prays, forgives, loves, and practices mindfulness (the way I try to). From a spiritual point of view, one can see the central character, Wayne, as having cultivated an accepting, noncombative attitude toward others and the events of life. He loves more deeply as he matures, and he grapples with the low points with a knowing that he’ll move on—a spiritual approach.

 

What made you decide to write a sequel?

Low Water Crossing is what I call a “spin-off” to The Lark. LWC is set in Sulfur Gap, Texas, with many of the same characters appearing as in Lark. Main character Wayne, Charley’s mentor from Lark, is the focal point. Readers expressed a desire to see more of Wayne—and Lou—so I decided to tell their story. It was already outlined for me! One scene in Lark had a mention of Wayne having two previous marriages—with one wife deserting, and the other being killed in a traffic mishap. Because of those few words, I had a broad outline but also a hurdle—I had to kill the second wife! I liked Cynthia, the Bible-thumping Southern belle. I tried to think of a way out, but there’s no way to say someone died in one book and have them escape that death in the next, unless you’re writing fantasy! The advantage of my liking Cynthia—admiring her parenting skills and commitment to family—was that I didn’t have to use a lot of imagination in describing the feelings of loss that came with her death.

 

Why did you decide to self-publish?

On my first novel, I had experienced working with a small publisher, but they closed down. In searching for another publisher, I didn’t find one that seemed to fit. I wrote queries to maybe thirty literary agents, which I know is not an exhaustive search. Learned a lot. Did lots of research. The first queries were so lame compared to later ones, which benefitted from reading online blogs and taking a class.

I know that the next thing I’m saying here could come back to bite, but it’s true for me. I learned, in looking at literary agents’ profiles and gauging their responses, that they, of course, wanted some or all of the following: a famous name, a massive social-media presence, trendy subject matter, and an author who has the potential to crank out ten books in the next five years. It was daunting as someone getting started and not getting a second book out for four years (because I was learning). Also, I was not the youngest of potential clients.

I felt moved to self-publish because I wanted to try it and see what happens (it’s a learning experience for sure!). I don’t rely on book sales as a livelihood, so self-publishing can be looked at as a luxury (even though I’d love to have the partnership of a bona fide publisher or agent).

 

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Balance. There’s a lot of pain in Low Water Crossing. And yet, someone told me it was a feel-good book. (I immediately went into my Amazon Sponsored Ad campaign and added that as a keyword: “feel-good.”) It nails what was hard in writing: Keeping away from the maudlin in tragic life events. Allowing humor into the story without insensitivity. Describing recovery from hard life events without being sappy.

 

Okay, the wedding at the end might be a little sappy, but I still think it’s realistic. I tried to humanize Wayne with his long-term animosity toward the sheriff, his running away from Lucy and returning three days later with red eyes and beard stubble, wanting a divorce, and so on. In short, the hard part was balance. What goes down, comes up, as reflected in the title.

 

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed playing with first-person POV. There are four narrators: Wayne, Lucy, Cynthia, and Lou. I enjoyed getting immersed in the mind and voice of each one.

 

Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured if your book?

Yes. A victim of child abuse whose cry for help wasn’t answered. A person with a serious mental illness left to her own devices. A ten-year-old boy who’s beginning to figure out he might be gay. A nerdy West Texas sheriff who tries to pull off a studly image and fails but is still a really good law officer. A Hispanic game warden married to a Minnesota beauty queen who looks like Michelle Pfeiffer (that reference fits with the time frame).

 

Who are some of the authors you feel were influential in your work?

Paulette Jiles’s lyrical writing; Elmer Kelton, in describing the lives of Texans and physical reality of the land; Larry McMurtry with his sense of humor.

I’ve always read, from classics to best-sellers, so it’s hard to say what had the most influence. Certainly, the great Texas writers. James Michener inspired me to strive for a leaner style (he never left a detail out, it seems).




Dana Glossbrenner has lived in West Texas all her life. She is the author of Women Behind Stained Glass: West Texas Pioneers (non-fiction) and The Lark: Book 1 of the Sulfur Gap Series.




 Facebook ║ Website   







————————————-
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
TWO WINNERS: 1st winner gets signed copies of both books in the Sulfur Gap Series; 2nd winner gets a signed copy of Low Water Crossing. 
 October 6-16 , 2020
(U.S. Only)
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:

10/6/20

Review

Reading by Moonlight

10/7/20

Excerpt

Texas Book Lover

10/7/20

BONUS Post

Hall Ways Blog

10/8/20

Playlist

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

10/9/20

Review

Bibliotica

10/10/20

Deleted Scene

All the Ups and Downs

10/11/20

Author Interview

The Page Unbound

10/12/20

Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

10/13/20

Scrapbook Page

Max Knight

10/14/20

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

10/15/20

Review

The Clueless Gent



   
blog tour services provided by

  

Escape From Wheel: Review and Giveaway


ESCAPE FROM WHEEL
Conquest of the Veil, Book Two
by
MICHAEL SCOTT CLIFTON

Genre: YA / Fantasy / Magical Realism / Sword & Sorcery 
Publisher: Book Liftoff 
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Number of Pages: 302 pages

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY! 


New Life, New World, New Problems
Alexandria Duvalier’s new life on the magical world of Meredith takes a shattering twist when her father, the Duke of Wheel, pledges her hand in marriage to the cruel lord, Rodric Regret. Desperate to escape his clutches, Alex flees the city with the help of her friend, Tell Tollet, a handsome lieutenant in the city guard. But their freedom is short-lived when Rodric’s brutal brother, Stefan, joins in the pursuit.
Hotheaded Prince Tal, heir to the throne of Meredith, has but one goal: kill the Dark Queen and destroy the Veil, the enchanted barrier which has ensnared generations of his people. He discovers a breach in the magical wall and leads an army through, bent on completing his mission.
When an unusual and potent magic calls to him, he follows its trail back to Alex. Thrown together by circumstances and chased across the wilderness by the ruthless Lord Stefan, Tal and Alex are drawn to each other by the greatest magic of all—love. Now they just need to stay alive . . .

  


An arrange marriage to a wicked lord, Alex flees the city with her friend Tell Tollet. But Lord Rodric isn’t about to let her go. His brutal brother Stefan is on the hunt to find Alex and bring her back tot he dark lord. Her journey sets her in the path of the handsome but hot tempered Prince Tal of Meredith with the intent of killing the Dark Queen and bring down the veil. Escape from Wheel is a magical read that ensnares you from page one. 

The characters and their interactions with others was the heart of the story here. I really enjoyed reading from both Alex’s and Tal’s point of view. Perhaps my favorite thing in this whole entire book was the villain. Rodric Regret was so well written! He was witty and charming, and at times quite comical to me. I loved the dialogue he shared with others. And though he was a terrible person, I still couldn’t help but be charmed by him.  

Another thing I thoroughly enjoyed about Escape From Wheel was the magical creatures. There were flying horses and crazy combinations of different animals that were so vividly described that I loved reading and picture how they would look. 

One thing that I wasn’t expecting but quite surprised me in this book was the drawings. The detail is picturesque and helps to paint the picture of the wonderful story Clifton has created. I loved this contribution to the text. 

Though this book is book two of the series, I couldn’t help but fall into this magical world. The characters, the world building, the magic, adventure, and romance, was exactly the kind of book I have been looking for lately. I’m a huge fantasy fan and Escape From Wheel was fast pace, imaginative and purely enjoyable.

Rating: 4.5/5

Multi-award-winning author Michael Scott Clifton was a longtime public educator as a teacher, coach, and administrator. Professional credits include articles published in the Texas Study of Secondary Education Magazine. He currently lives in Mount Pleasant, Texas, with his wife, Melanie, and family cat. An avid gardener, reader, and movie junkie, Michael enjoys all kinds of book and movie genres. His books contain aspects of all the genres he enjoys: action, adventure, magic, fantasy, and romance. 

His fantasy novels, The Janus Witch and The Open Portal, received five-star reviews from the prestigious Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, and he has been a finalist in a number of short-story contests, with “Edges of Gray” winning first place in the Texas Authors Contest. 

The Open Portal, winner of the Feathered Quill Book Finalist Award, launches the fantasy book series, Conquest of the Veil. Michael’s latest release, Escape From Wheel, is book two in this fantasy series. Visit Michael’s official websiteor google him @authormsclifton.

 Website  Facebook  Twitter ║ Instagram  YouTube
————————————
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
FOUR WINNERS!
One Winner:
signed paperback copy + $15 Amazon gift card
Three Winners: Kindle e-book copy
OCTOBER 1-11, 2020
(Print copy U.S. Only)
CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE 
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, 
or visit the blogs directly:

10/1/20

Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

10/1/20

BONUS Post

Hall Ways Blog

10/2/20

Review

Jennifer Silverwood

10/3/20

Review

Book Fidelity

10/4/20

BONUS Post

All the Ups and Downs

10/5/20

Review

The Book Review

10/6/20

Review

The Page Unbound

10/7/20

Review

Momma on the Rocks

10/8/20

Review

Forgotten Winds

10/9/20

Review

Missus Gonzo

10/10/20

Review

Reading by Moonlight

10/10/20

Review

The Clueless Gent




   blog tour services provided by

  

Resistor: Blitz

Resistor
C.E. Clayton
(An Eerden Novel (Eerden 1, Ellinor, 1))
Publication date: October 1st 2020
Genres: Cyberpunk, Fantasy, New Adult

Ellinor Rask has wanted one thing for the past eight years: vengeance. But when Ellinor is captured, she finds herself dragged back into the world she walked away from, entangled once more with friends she would rather forget.

As if that weren’t humiliating enough, Ellinor learns first hand that her magic can be stripped away by a piece of bio-tech—and her ex-boss is happy to leash her with the technology in order to get what he wants. If Ellinor behaves, the device will be removed. All she has to do is deliver a package. One containing a creature created from raw magical energy and discarded technology. Simple, right?

But when her goals start getting people murdered, Ellinor has to decide if the year’s planning, her honor, and even her own magic, are worth the lives it’s costing. Dodging ruthless gangsters, she finds herself on the run with a creature of immeasurable magical abilities alongside her one-time friends. Now, Ellinor must relearn to trust the people she once abandoned. She must put her faith in technology, and her life in the hands of independent contractors, all while racing to deliver the package before it gets taken by force, or worse, the creature decides to make an appearance itself.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

THIS WAS not the first time Ellinor Olysha Rask found herself bound and chained, and she very much doubted it would be her last. This was the longest she had ever been incarcerated, however.

Ellinor leaned back against the wall and closed her eyes, though it made no difference in the pitch black. She wiggled against the rough wall, never getting comfortable. The restraints clamped over her wrists chaffed at her skin. She lost count of the days she’d been locked in the rank cell, but she supposed it didn’t actually matter how long she’d been there, only how much longer she’d be staying.

She sighed loudly, her patience long gone. Not that she had been blessed with an abundance of composure to begin with, but her restraint had diminished considerably since Misho’s death.

Heaviness settled on her chest and shoulders as she imagined Misho’s disapproving tsk at her current predicament, and her chin started to quiver. Gritting her teeth, she knocked her head against the bumpy wall to focus her thoughts. She always lost control when she thought about Misho Shimizu, and she didn’t want to lose what little control she had left. She needed to conserve her energy.

For what? There’s no telling how long I’ve been here, or who took me. Time to stop waiting.

She hadn’t recognized who grabbed her, or how they had gotten the drop on her. She had been drinking, of course, but no more than usual. One minute, Ellinor was meeting with a contact who had information about the Ashlings she was hunting. Ashlings who needed to answer for what was done to Misho. The next? She couldn’t remember. The air—her own power!—had betrayed her. Everything went white and hazy, and a fog rolled over her memories.

She sat up straighter against the wall, breathing deeply, ignoring the aches and pains of her cramped muscles. Whatever had happened, poisoning or a knock over the head, had left her weak. Concentrating had been a chore, let alone summoning her magic. She knew she wasn’t at full strength, but better to do something than continue to wait around for whoever had nabbed her to remember they had her locked away.

Ellinor had heard of humani, beings like her, who were strong enough in air magic to blow apart buildings, and who had the skill to dismantle the most intricate of machines without destroying any of the delicate parts. Ellinor had never been that strong, nor that finessed with her talents. She had enough of the talent to make her someone most would shy away from, and it had been more than enough for her job. Using the air, she could turn otherwise fatal blows from knives or projectiles away, and coupled with her own abilities for creating mayhem, her magic had served her well, or well enough, until Misho died.

Then her power turned her into someone, something, most didn’t want to talk about. Someone the remainder of her family distanced themselves from. She lived only to avenge Misho.

The seersha, though . . . now they would have no trouble using wind to blow apart this cell, no matter how far underground they’d have to pull the air. They’d be able to use that same current to wrap themselves in an impenetrable force field then simply sail away like some cocky bird.

That didn’t mean she couldn’t cause some trouble, though.

Author Bio:

C. E. Clayton was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area. After going the traditional career route and becoming restless, she went back to her first love–writing–and hasn’t stopped. She is the author of young adult fantasy series, “The Monster of Selkirk”, the creator of the cyberpunk Eerden Novels, and her horror short stories have appeared in anthologies across the country. When she’s not writing you can find her treating her fur-babies like humans, constantly drinking tea, and trying to convince her husband to go to more concerts. And reading. She does read quite a bit. More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, social media presence, and newsletter, can be found on her website: https://www.ceclayton.com/

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Newsletter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Last Pick: Review

Last Pick (Last Pick #1)

By Jason Walz

Genre: YA Graphic Novel

Release Date: October 2018

Macmillan/FirstSecond Books

 

Summary:
 
Three years ago, aliens invaded Earth and abducted everyone they deemed useful. The only ones spared were those too young, too old, or too “disabled” to be of value. Living on Earth under the aliens’ harsh authoritarian rule, humanity’s rejects do their best to survive. Their captors never considered them a threat—until now.

Twins Sam and Wyatt are ready to chuck their labels and start a revolution. It’s time for the kids last picked to step into the game.

In this first volume of Jason Walz’s dystopian graphic novel trilogy, the kids last picked are humanity’s last hope.
 

Purchase Links:

 

BOOK TRAILER:

 

Review

Last Pick centers on the journey of twins, Wyatt and Sam, alone after the aliens invade the planet and take everyone between 16 and 65. Both are determined to find out more about the aliens and why they took their parents. However, soon after turning 16 themselves, the aliens that took their parents return. Can they survive knowing that they might be taken this time?

I really enjoyed this graphic novel. I choose to review this because it had been way too long since I’ve read a graphic novel outside the usual Marvel comics. I was not disappointed. The art is bold and direct for the reader, easily pushing the story along. I liked the bits of humor throughout as well. Even with the rather grim plotline. The story really grabs you and allows you to notice things for yourself before setting more reveals later on.

I think this is great for young readers that like adventure and humor. Wyatt and Sam are twins but still very different. Additionally, it brings to focus the narrow-minded view of people unable to care for themselves if they’re young, older, or have a disability. These twins and the characters left behind will prove just the opposite.

Part Two of my review continues below!

Born to Run (Last Pick #2)
Release Date: October 2020
Summary:
Four years ago, aliens kidnapped most of mankind, leaving behind those they deemed unworthy—the “last picked.”
 
The future for Sam is bleak and unthinkable. A galaxy away from her twin brother, she is a pawn in the aliens’ bloody civil war. But with her new friend Mia, Sam has found a way to resist her captors and hold onto her humanity.
Back on Earth, Sam’s twin, Wyatt, is leading a resistance of his own. With a ragtag army of the old, the young, and the disabled, he has a plan to bring the fight to his alien captors. But to defeat the aliens, Wyatt may need to befriend one.

 

Purchase Links:

BOOK TRAILER:

Review

Last Pick left off on a bit of a cliffhanger, with Sam being taken by the aliens and Wyatt alone to run their resistance. Both of them are tested in this sequel with Wyatt leading and Sam finding news ways to fight back against the aliens.

This sequel is even better than the first. There are small stylistic changes that I noticed and thought were great to move the plot along. The aliens, while gross, are really creative in their design. I really enjoyed the new characters introduced as well! It was great to see the inclusivity of the first graphic novel continue with Harper and other characters.
All in all, this sequel moves pretty fast and establishes more in the world building. The next installment, which is the conclusion, is coming out soon and I look forward to reading it!
Coming October 2020 – The final book in the Last Pick trilogy!
BOOK TRAILER:

About the Author
Jason Walz is comic and graphic novel creator living in Minneapolis. He is the author of several comics and graphic novels, including the LAST PICK trilogy and the Eisner nominated graphic novel HOMESICK.

A Dog’s Day: Scrapbook Page

I AM JAX, 
PROTECTOR OF THE RANCH 
and 
I AM AVA, 
SEEKER IN THE SNOW
A Dog’s Day Series, Books 1 and 2
By CATHERINE STIER
Illustrated by Francesca Rosa
 
Animals / Adventure / Farm Life / Ranch Life / Chapter Books 
Date of Publication: April 1, 2020
Number of Pages: 96
 
Scroll down for the giveaway!

Spend a day in the life of a livestock guardian dog! Jax the Great Pyrenees has a big job. After the Texas sun goes down, it’s up to him and two other LGDs to protect their ranch from predators. But when the lead dog gets hurt, Jax and a
young pup are the only ones left to protect the flock through the night. Told from the dog’s perspective, this story also includes back matter about the breed and role of the working dog.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Spend a day in the life of an avalanche rescue dog! Ava is a chocolate Labrador retriever with a big job. She and her handler have trained for years to be ready to help people at their ski resort if an unexpected avalanche hits. But Ava quickly finds out there’s much more to being an avy dog than daring rescues. Told from the dog’s perspective, this riveting story also includes back matter about the breed and the role of the working dog.
 

 

 

 

I Am Ava, Seeker in the Snow

Scrapbook Page by Catherine Stier

Catherine Stier, a former Midwesterner, now lives deep in the heart of Southwest Texas, on the edge of the beautiful Hill Country. Her children’s books have received honors and awards from the Society of School Librarians International, the International Reading Association, and the Bank Street College of Education.

Stier has served as a frequent contributor to Woman’s Day Magazine and as a newspaper columnist. Her work has also appeared in Highlights for Children, My Friend, Child Life, and several newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times and the San Antonio Express-News.

Stier’s lively and interactive Author’s Visit programs have entertained, educated, and inspired thousands of children. Visit Catherine Stier’s website at www.catherinestier.com for more information, activities, and free curriculum guides.

 
Facebook ║ Twitter ║ Instagram ║ Amazon ║ Website

———————– 

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! 
ONE WINNER: Hardcover copy of I Am Jax, Protector of the Ranch (Book 1), hardcover copy of I Am Ava, Seeker in the Snow (Book 2), $15 gift card to The Twig Book Shop, stuffed animal – adorable “Ava” Lab dog toy, dog stickers, dog socks.  
September 17-27, 2020 
(US ONLY)
 
CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, 

or visit the blogs directly:

9/17/20
BONUS Post
9/17/20
Review Jax
9/18/20
Character Interview
9/19/20
Review Ava + BONUS Jax Review
9/20/20
Jax Scrapbook
9/21/20
Ava Scrapbook
9/22/20
Review Jax
9/23/20
Review Ava
9/24/20
Sneak Peek Jax
9/25/20
Review Jax
9/26/20
Review Ava
 
   Blog Tour Services Provided By
  

The People We Meet Along the Way: Blitz

The People We Meet Along The Way
Beth Rinyu
Publication date: September 17th 2020
Genres: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Would you be able to grant the same forgiveness to someone else that you’re so desperately seeking yourself?

Jillian O’Rourke’s marriage died long before her husband’s tragic accident. Years of battling with infertility and demanding careers melted their once solid relationship. Bearing the burden of guilt over his death, Jillian gets lost in despair and a series of what ifs. But one chance encounter with a stranger, changes everything. Now being faced with newfound knowledge and a painful decision, Jillian must push past her anger, learn to forgive and open her heart in ways she never could’ve imagined. As she comes to grips with the devastation of her past, she learns to embrace the possibility of a future she never thought possible. A bittersweet story of love, forgiveness, and the unexpected destiny that is sometimes handed to us in life from the people we meet along the way.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“I just wish you didn’t hate me so much.” I concentrated on the coffee in my cup as I swirled the wooden stirrer round and round.

“I don’t hate you,” I said, focusing my attention back to him. “I hate what we did. I hate that I let it define who I was for so long, and I hate that I hurt someone I cared about so much because of it. But I don’t hate you—you were just one of the many cracks in my life.”

He creased his forehead. “I don’t understand.”

I gazed at him long and hard, finally fearless of the shame the man staring back at me conjured up inside of me. He held no control over me, and he never had. I stood up and pushed my chair in as he sat there waiting for an explanation. “And I wouldn’t have expected you to. Goodbye, Jonathan.”

Author Bio:

Ever since I can remember, I have always enjoyed Creative Writing. There was always something about being able to travel to a different place or become a different person with just the stroke of a pen – or in today’s world a touch of the keyboard. I love creating deep characters who you will love or love to hate.

My life is not as interesting as my books or the characters in them, but then again whose life is? My happy place is a seat by the ocean with my feet in the sand or on the busy streets of New York City. You will more than likely find one of these places as the setting for most of my books.

Blog / Facebook / Instagram / Amazon / Bookbub

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Beginning’s End: Blitz

Beginning’s End
M. Dalto
(The Empire Saga #3)
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: September 8th 2020
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

Ever since her unexpected return to the Empire, all Queen Empress Alexstrayna wanted was to protect her family. Despite of the life-altering events that occurred within the Borderlands, her family – those that remained- were all she had left, and as Empress is was her predestined duty to protect the while ensuring the safety of the Empire.

But when the ever-threatening forces from the Borderlands challenge all she has worked towards to maintain that peace, she must search within herself to discover a new magic stronger than anything the Annals have foretold before.

Goodreads / Amazon

Previous books in the series:

EXCERPT:

The lords from the outlying territories began arriving a week later.

Alex and Reylor had made the decision together that the lords would be called to the palace as soon as Alex was well enough to receive them. Rumors spread since the incident within the Borderlands, with some even questioning the health and well-being of the Queen Empress. That Alex had returned was one thing—it was as if the lords flocked to them only to see her in the flesh, living and breathing, to decide if she was truly capable of leading them.

War was coming.

There was nothing Alex could do to stop it. She knew she needed lords on her side, to believe her position, and to listen to her when the Empire needed them the most.

She had taken up residence in the rooms that once belonged to Reylor. They were a few of the only rooms that hadn’t been affected by the library’s explosion, and therefore were not disturbed by the ongoing efforts to stabilize the palace and return it to its former glory. She had initially insisted Reylor have his own rooms back, but he refused to have her reside anywhere else, and instead he took up residence in the Council’s chambers; the proper place for the Lord Steward, he told her.

One benefit of her title Alex did not reinstitute were her Mistresses.

With two of them dead, and the third dismissed for her own safety before she left the Empire, she didn’t have it in her to petition any more innocents to wait on her when there was too much at stake being a member of her inner circle. She looked after herself—dressing herself, doing her own hair. It was no different than when she was on her own in Boston, and she appreciated the time alone when she had it.

She had just finished donning her dress—simple yet elegant enough the lords wouldn’t question her level of formality when she greeted them. Her jewelry and crown and all other frivolous items were lost when the palace collapsed and she was in no state to replace them.

Wartime was not a time for embellishment.

She assessed her reflection in the mirror in passing as she grabbed her hairbrush. Alex had lost weight—she had been bedridden for a week and never regained any of it back. She ate, but nowhere near enough; nothing satisfied her. Yet, by some magic of the Empire, she looked…beautiful. As if her perfect hair, bright eyes, and flawless skin was enough of a mask to hide the destruction beneath.

Alex was a mess, but the power of the Empire refused to show the truth behind the mask.

She hated it.

She wasn’t sure she would ever be how she was supposed to be. She knew Reylor tried to keep her mind from drifting—the constant stares, taunts, dinner invitations. Perhaps he thought it would keep her preoccupied, but it wasn’t working. Or it hadn’t been working. More recently, she found herself thinking about his invitations…for no other reason than she was lonely.

A mess.

A desperate mess.

Author Bio:

M. Dalto is a bestselling New Adult author of adventurous romantic fantasy stories, having won a Watty award for excellence in digital storytelling for her debut novel, Two Thousand Years, in 2016. She spends her days as a full-time residential real estate paralegal, using her evenings to pursue her literary agenda, and when she’s not writing, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

The Edge of Belonging: Top Five

THE EDGE OF BELONGING

by AMANDA COX 

Genre: Christian Contemporary Fiction 
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: September 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 400

Scroll down for the giveaway!

When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee her late grandmother’s estate sale, she soon discovers that the woman left behind more than trinkets and photo framesshe provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.

Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he’s ever loved.
In this dual-timeline story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truthboth the search for it and the desire to keep it from otherstakes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.
 

My Top 5 Ingredients for Character Creation

by Amanda Cox, author of

The Edge of Belonging

Character creation is one of my favorite elements of writing. Characters often come to me before the plot. Once I know the character, I’m able to see what the plot needs to take a character from where they start at the beginning of the book to the character they grow to be at the end. I often tap into my experience as a counselor to make these story decisions. These are my top five things that make characters come alive for me.

1. The brokenness they enter the story with, or their backstory: We all have a story behind who we are and why we are motivated to make certain choices in life. If we all have a story of where we came from, my fiction characters need that too! I often know the character’s backstory before I know the plotline that appears on the page. Elements from the character backstory usually provide barriers between the character and their deepest desire (or even being able to name what that desire is). This was especially true for one of my point-of-view characters, Pearl, in The Edge of Belonging.

2. The people/events who shape my characters, for better and worse: All of my characters have both positive influences and negative influences that have shaped them. I need to understand who and what those influences are as a part of character creation. Those positive and negative people and circumstances build my characters’ strengths. After all, most weaknesses are strengths that are overly relied upon, placing the character in unhealthy behavior patterns. In The Edge of Belonging, Harvey’s staunch independence, resulting from his experiences in foster care, was necessary for his survival and resilience, but that same coping skill is the very thing that has kept him from a deep human need he can’t even bring himself to admit.

3. Deeply held values: I have to know what matters to my characters: values of family and connections, values related to safety and self-preservation, values of independence or the opposite of that. My characters’ deep-seated values will inform me of how they will react to the events of the plot. In creating Ivy, I thought a lot about what it would have been like to be raised by her family—this cast of characters who would never take family for granted because they each had to fight so hard to find it. Forsaking this deeply held value is part of why Ivy finds herself feeling quite lost at the beginning of The Edge of Belonging.

4. Identifying their deepest desire: I often identify my characters’ deepest desires by looking at their brokenness. When we are broken as people, there is something there that craves restoration and redemption of the thing lost. By digging around in that space, I find what my character truly wants, which shapes the way they move through the story. Identifying Harvey’s deepest desire was a tender process. It involved looking back into his painful past and feeling what he must have felt. Acknowledging the heartbreaking truth that Harvey believed he was incapable and unworthy of his childlike desire for love was such an important part of the process for developing his character.

5. Discovering the catalyst for change: Anytime someone, fictional or real, makes a true and lasting change in their life there has to be a catalyst for that change. Not just any event will do, and it must happen at the right moment in the story for the character to be ready for that change to happen. It also has to be something that will impact a character in a very specific way. It might be a big event or a subtle, slow burn that makes that impact. But there comes a point about midway through the story in which a character is like a caterpillar in their cocoon. They aren’t a butterfly yet and don’t exactly know how their transformation will complete itself, but they know there is no going back to the person they once were. They can’t return to their previous state. One such point for Harvey occurs when he realizes that he is angry at another character named Pearl, and this anger causes him to realize that something in him has shifted. He realizes that this anger means he has forged a human connection beyond the infant he has rescued. It leads him to wonder if there is more love accessible to him than he previously believed.

While there are many other important ingredients in character creation, these are my top five must-haves for every character before I start writing my plot.

Amanda Cox is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story. 

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology and a master’s degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers. 
 
Amanda lives in Tennessee with her husband and their three children.
————————————-
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
THREE WINNERS 
1st: Copy of The Edge of Belonging + Fern Tote Bag 
+ $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card 
2nd and 3rd: Copy of The Edge of Belonging
+ $10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card 
September 1-11, 2020
(U.S. Only)
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 

 

Or, visit the blogs directly:

9/1/20
Author Interview
9/1/20
BONUS Promo
9/2/20
Excerpt
9/3/20
Review
9/4/20
Review
9/5/20
Playlist
9/6/20
Author Interview
9/7/20
Review
9/8/20
Top Five List
9/9/20
Review
9/9/20
BONUS Promo
9/10/20
Review

   
blog tour services provided by