The Takeaway Men Blitz

 
THE TAKEAWAY MEN By Meryl Ain
 
Publisher: SparkPress
Pub Date: August 4th, 2020
Pages: 265 pages
Categories: Historical / Jewish Literature / Sibling Fiction / Holocaust

With the cloud of the Holocaust still looming over them, twin sisters Bronka and Johanna Lubinski and their parents arrive in the US from a Displaced Persons Camp. In the years after World War II, they experience the difficulties of adjusting to American culture as well as the burgeoning fear of the Cold War. Years later, the discovery of a former Nazi hiding in their community brings the Holocaust out of the shadows. As the girls get older, they start to wonder about their parents’ pasts, and they begin to demand answers. But it soon becomes clear that those memories will be more difficult and painful to uncover than they could have anticipated. Poignant and haunting, The Takeaway Men explores the impact of immigration, identity, prejudice, secrets, and lies on parents and children in mid-twentieth-century America.
PRAISE FOR THE TAKEAWAY MEN: “At a time when the darkness of the Holocaust is being whitewashed, Meryl Ain’s remarkable debut novel illuminates the postwar Jewish American landscape like a truth-seeking torch. An emotionally rich and lovingly told saga of survivors, with great sensitivity to what was lost, buried, and resurrected.” — Thane Rosenbaum, author of The Golems of Gotham, Second Hand Smoke, and Elijah Visible. “The author’s tale is sensitively composed, a thoughtful exploration into the perennially thorny issues of religious identity, assimilation, and the legacy of suffering.” — Kirkus Reviews

Purchase Links: 

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Meryl Ain’s articles and essays have appeared in Huffington Post, The New York Jewish Week, The New York Times, Newsday, and other publications. In 2014, she co-authored the award-winning book, The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last, and in 2016, wrote a companion workbook, My Living Memories Project Journal.  She is a sought-after speaker and has been interviewed on television, radio, and podcasts. She is a career educator and is proud to be both a teacher and student of history. She has also worked as a school administrator. The Takeaway Men is the result of her life-long quest to learn more about the Holocaust, a thirst that was first triggered by reading The Diary of Anne Frank in the sixth grade. While teaching high school history, she introduced her students to the study of the Holocaust. At the same time, she also developed an enduring fascination with teaching about and researching the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg case. An interview with Robert Meeropol, the younger son of the Rosenbergs, is featured in her book, The Living Memories Project. The book also includes an interview with Holocaust survivor, Boris Chartan, the founder of the Holocaust Museum and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, New York. Meryl holds a BA from Queens College, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an Ed.D. from Hofstra University. She is a lifetime member of Hadassah and an active supporter of UJA-Federation of New York.  She lives in New York with her husband, Stewart. They have three married sons and six grandchildren. This is her first novel.

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Stiff Lizard: Book Blitz

STIFF LIZARD by LISA HANEBERG

Series: A Spy Shop Mystery Publisher:
Written Pursuits Press Pages: 364 pages
Pub Date: March 13th, 2021
Categories: Women Sleuths / Cozy Mystery / Private Investigator / Humor



Rodent Roger, a popular Galveston Island exterminator, goes missing the day after he tells private investigator and spy shop owner Xena Cali about a concerning uptick in green iguana sightings on the island. They’re crapping in people’s boats and falling from trees. Are the lizards swimming over from Florida to escape the pythons, or is it something more nefarious? Can Xena help untangle the mess before the raucous reptiles take over Galveston? Ultima Penelope Roger is a best-selling writer of romance novels. The Lizard Liquidators have set up shop on Galveston Island. Herpetologist Quintana Flores, PhD, works on a bizarre cruise ship that sails out of the Port of Galveston. Sasha Barlow is a driven junior reporter who’ll do anything to get the story. Ned “The Pelican Man” Quinn writes a column about bird necropsies. Captain Ethan Slaughter is the head of the Major Crimes team at the Galveston Police Department. Xena and her team will have to partner with and/or battle this cast of characters and others to solve what becomes a disturbing murder investigation. Stiff Lizard is the third full-length book in the Spy Shop Mystery series. If you like fast-paced crime novels, clever satire, and gritty beach towns, then you’ll love Lisa Haneberg’s humorous and contemporary cozy caper.

 

PRAISE FOR STIFF LIZARD “Lisa Haneberg has a wicked sense of humor. She can also write a fast-moving, totally original mystery.” — Alan Rinzler Lisa Haneberg’s newest entry in the Spy Shop Mystery Series lives up to its predecessors. A good number of laughs, lots of intrigue, a bit of titillation, lots of interesting information, and lots of mystery make for a good read.” – Verified purchaser from Amazon 

 Purchase Links  Amazon | Bookshop | Barnes and Noble 
 
 
 

Lisa Haneberg loves to explore Galveston Island’s gritty back streets, stellar seafood joints, magnificent natural areas, and all points in between. In addition to the Spy Shop Mysteries, she’s a blogger and has authored over a dozen nonfiction books. She earned an MFA degree from Goddard College and a BS in Behavioral Sciences from the University of Maryland.

Before writing crime fiction, she was a seasoned human resources professional with a strange attraction to gnarly internal investigations. She lives with her husband and dog in Lexington, Kentucky. Lisa once owned a home on Galveston Island and is a frequent visitor.

 

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Amazon Author Page | Goodreads Author Page

 

 

 

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Dire’s Club: Blog Tour Giveaway


DIRE’S CLUB
by Kimberly Packard

Publisher: Abalos Publishing
Publication Date: March 23, 2021
Pages: 326 Pages
Categories: Action & Adventure / Contemporary / Women’s Fiction

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Dying isn’t just hard on the ones left behind, the regret of unfinished lives weighs heavily on the terminally ill. That’s where Dire’s Club steps in, a specialty travel agency that takes a small group of dying people on one final adventure-so they can be free of guilt, be more than a diagnosis, and find a way to confront life…and death.


Life Coach Charlotte Claybrooke built a successful second career guiding people out of grief, but the impending tenth anniversary of her own heart-wrenching tragedy sets her on a journey to find life among the dying.


Staring death in the face was Jimmy Dire’s business. He met it with a warm hug, a kind word, and a smile. Dire’s Club gave the terminally ill one final, bucket-list adventure before passing on, but dying was expensive. The bills, like Jimmy’s lies, were piling up. It’s only a matter of time before he’s forced to face a different type of death.


A rock god, a telenovela star, a grandmother living her life-long dream, and a young tech genius round out this group of strangers facing death together. But when tragedy strikes, their bond is shattered. Lies and fraud surface, forcing the dying to come together to save someone’s life.

Everybody dies. The lucky ones have fun doing it.


CLICK TO PURCHASE




Dire’s Club trailer from Kimberly Walton on Vimeo.


From author Kimberly Packard: When this story idea came to me, I journaled this part out. These were the very first words of DIRE’S CLUB. I had no clue where it would go – and quite frankly, it’s been all over the manuscript, but it now lives with Jimmy’s first chapter and I see it as his philosophy on life.





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4/9/21

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Her Every Move: Excerpt and Giveaway

HER EVERY MOVE
By Kelly Irvin

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 352 pages
Pub Date: February 9th, 2021
Categories: Christian / Romance / Suspense

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He’s a cop trying to stop a serial bomber. And she’ll stop at nothing to clear her own name.  
 
When a deadly bomb goes off during a climate change debate, librarian and event coordinator Jackie Santoro becomes the prime suspect. Her motive, according to Detective Avery Wick: to avenge the suicide of her prominent father, who was accused of crimes by a city councilman attending the event.  
 
Though Avery has doubts about Jackie’s guilt, he can’t exonerate her even after an extremist group takes responsibility for the bombing and continues to attack San Antonio’s treasured public spaces.  
 
As Jackie tries to hold her shattered family together, she has no choice but to proceed with plans for the Caterina Ball, the library system’s biggest annual fundraiser. But she also fears the event provides the perfect opportunity for the bomber to strike again.  

Despite their mistrust, Jackie and Avery join forces to unmask the truth—before the death toll mounts even higher.  


Bestseller Kelly Irvin is back with a nail-biting romantic suspense where nothing is certain until the very last page.  

 

PRAISE FOR HER EVERY MOVE: 

“A gripping story that will have you on the edge of your seat until ‘The End.’” —Patricia Bradley, author of The Logan Point Series, Memphis Cold Case Novels, Natchez Trace Parkway Rangers series  


“Explosive, tender, and races all the way through!” Jennifer Graeser Dornbush, author, screenwriter, and forensic specialist 







Excerpt from Her Every Move

by Kelly Irvin

  

When Jackie and Avery meet for the first time:

Finding a cop was no problem. Getting him to stop long enough to listen proved more challenging. Jackie approached the uniformed officer standing guard outside the command center. He had his spiel down. “Wait. They’re interviewing everyone. They’ll get to you as soon as they can, ma’am.”

“I may have important information—”

“Everyone is anxious to get out of here, ma’am. Have a seat. They’ll get to you as soon as they can. They’ve got more than eight hundred witnesses to process. Have a cup of coffee. The Red Cross is bringing in sandwiches.”

He was trying so hard to be kind. Jackie stuffed a sock in her impatience. First responders and law enforcement saw the worst of the worst—just as she had this day.

She trudged toward the chairs again. A lanky, scruffy-looking man in street clothes and a Windbreaker emblazoned with SAPD across the back brushed past her, headed the same direction. “Excuse me, are you interviewing witnesses?”

He glanced back and stopped. The irritated expression faded. “If you’ve been triaged, ma’am, you can wait in the area set up by Victim Assistance. We’ll get to you as soon as we can.”

“I know that. Please listen to me.” Jackie fought to bring her voice down a notch. He didn’t need a hysterical witness right now. “I have information that might be important to give to you now rather than later.”

“Who are you?”

“Jackie Santoro, the adult collections coordinator at the Central Library. I helped plan this event.”

“You don’t look like a librarian.”

Jackie got that a lot. She didn’t understand it. Librarians came in all shapes and sizes. “Sorry I don’t meet your expectations.”

“Don’t apologize. It’s been a day for everyone.”

His assessment of the day was spot-on, even if he didn’t catch her sarcasm. “Do you want to take my statement or not? Officer—”

“It’s detective. Detective Avery Wick. SAPD Homicide Unit. I’d be happy to take your statement.” He glanced around, then took her arm.

Surprise washed through Jackie, followed by sudden warmth. He had a steely grip—one a person could count on—and he hadn’t hesitated to reach out. It had been a long time since someone did that for her.

He guided her to the curb. “Someone who volunteers to share information is either innocent or trying to look that way.”

So much for warmth. Detective Avery’s prickly pear persona reasserted itself.

 Anger could be a tonic under the right circumstances. Jackie’s bubbled up. She tugged her arm free. “I was one of a team of people who planned this event. One of my best friends died in there.” She pointed to the Tobin Center. “What possible motive would I have to set off a bomb in the middle of my event?”

“Sit down, please.” Detective Wick’s assessing gaze ran over Jackie from head to toe and back. A shiver ran through her that had nothing to do with the cold. It felt as he could see through her. He smiled—a grim, sardonic half smile. “Give me a minute. I’m sure I can come up with a motive.”

Before Jackie could introduce herself, he walked away, leaving her with her mouth open and her entire body shaking.

He returned a minute later with a blanket and a cup of coffee. Jackie wrapped the blanket around her hunched shoulders automatically. It wouldn’t help, but his offer was so unexpected in light of his last words, she couldn’t refuse.

“Here, drink this.” He held out a Styrofoam cup filled with steaming liquid. “You look frozen.”

Did this man have multiple personalities? “Bless you.” Her words came out in a croak. She cleared her throat and tried again. “Thank you.”

Her hands shook so hard the hot liquid spilled over the edges, burning her fingers. “Ouch. Sorry.”

“Stop apologizing.” Detective Wick cupped his hands around hers and steadied them. Again, with the touch. “You’re in shock. Why weren’t you transported to Baptist or one of the other downtown hospitals?”

“I’m not hurt, not physically.” Her voice didn’t quiver. For that small victory she was grateful. “I refused to be transported. Or treated.”

She wasn’t leaving until Estrella did.

“Not smart.”

“Not hurt. They’re overwhelmed as it is.”

“We’re doing preliminary interviews . . .”

His big hands covered Jackie’s completely. She closed her eyes, concentrating on how real and firm they were. He had a callus on his thumb. His fingers were strong. Finally, the shaking stopped.

“You’re not going to pass out on me, are you?”

She opened her eyes to find him leaning so close his scent of cinnamon gum and citrusy aftershave filled her nose. After the stench of blood, excrement, and burned rubber, it was comforting. So was his angular face filled with a mixture of concern at war with barely tethered impatience.

Jackie leaned away from his space. “Absolutely not. I’ve got it—the coffee, I mean.”

His hands dropped. The warmth dissipated. She swallowed against sobs. No more tears. Estrella would not want tears. She would want action. She deserved action. “Did they find the remnants of the explosive device? Do they know how it was triggered?”

Detective Wick looked up from the narrow notebook he’d tugged from the hip pocket of his Dockers. “You said you had important information. Let’s start with that.”

Once she told him about the bag, her opportunity to get information from the detective would be gone. “Were there any unexploded devices found?”

Impatience spread across his face, his effort to muzzle it obvious. “The bomb squad cleared the hall before search and recovery began. Let me ask the questions, if you don’t mind.”

Everyone knew that. The other first responders wouldn’t have been allowed in otherwise. Search and recovery. “One of the victims is—was—my best friend Estrella Diaz.”

Detective Wick’s pale-blue eyes studied her so intently, he squinted. “I’m sorry about your friend. This has to be the worst day of your life. The faster we get all the facts, the faster we can track down the monster who did this. Okay?”

Another day came close, but Detective Wick didn’t need to know that. They were on the same page, even if he chose not to share information with her. “Won’t the ATF and the FBI have jurisdiction? How does SAPD figure in?”

“You ask a lot of questions.” The crow’s feet around his eyes and the lines around his mouth deepened. He sucked in a long breath and let it out. “Contrary to what you see on TV, the Feds don’t come in and take over. They assist. There’ll be a joint task force. But you can be sure we’ll be leading the charge with one of our own dead. Chief Little—”

“Chief of Police Little is dead?” Confirmation of the city manager’s words. Body bag number five. The chief, dressed in street clothes, had been sitting near the front with his wife—right behind the city manager and his spouse. The Littles had four kids, all still young enough to live at home. “I’m so sorry for your loss. Did his wife survive?”

“Yes, but she’s in critical condition. We want the monster who did this for the sakes of all the victims, but this one is personal.”

Estrella would be relegated to the also killed paragraph of every news story written about this incident. After the biographies and quotes collected from the peers of Councilman Sandoval, Chief Little, and Milton Schaeffer. That was fine if it meant law enforcement went after the killer with every resource available to them because of the intense public scrutiny that came with their lofty status in the community.

“You said you had something important to tell me.”

She held the coffee close, concentrating on its warmth. “There was a backpack left on the front row. I found it.”

Any hint of cordiality disappeared from his rugged face. “You found it? When?”

 




Bestseller Kelly Irvin is the author of 28 books, including romantic suspense and Amish romance. Publishers Weekly called Closer Than She Knows “a briskly written thriller.”  The Library Journal said of her novel Tell Her No Lies, “a complex web with enough twists and turns to keep even the most savvy romantic suspense readers guessing until the end.” The two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist worked as a newspaper reporter for six years on the Texas-Mexico border. Those experiences fuel her romantic suspense novels set in Texas. A retired public relations professional, Kelly now writes fiction full-time. She lives with her husband professional photographer Tim Irvin in San Antonio. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two ornery cats. 



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Scorched Earth: Review and Giveaway

SCORCHED EARTH
THE HALO TRILOGY, BOOK 2
by Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays

Publisher: Pumpjack Press
Pages: 318
Date of Publication: February 14th, 2021
Categories: Science Fiction / Hard Boiled Detective

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The year is 2188 and the Earth—long-ago abandoned for Mars by the plutocrats—is scorched by poverty, disease, and environmental collapse. What these wealthy elite don’t know is that on his last trip upuniverse, Detective Crucial Larsen stumbled onto a secret that could destroy them. But he doesn’t intend to use it. Fighting back against the ruling Five Families of Mars is a fool’s game destined for failure—or worse, he thinks. Plus, he never wants to set foot on that damn planet again. Then Melinda, his long-lost love and a staff scientist on Mars, begs for his help clearing her fiancée of a murder charge. Crucial jumps on the next q-rocket, hoping maybe this time he can patch things up with Mel. His investigation ultimately leads back to the radiation-blasted sunbelt, where cannibal lizard-people—a climate change mitigation genetic experiment gone terribly wrong—hold the key to a different future, if only Crucial can stay alive long enough to unlock it.


Praise for Scorched Earth:

“Others have attempted to blend the genres of an investigative detective piece with sci-fi, but few achieve such a seamless integration as do McFall and Hays … a compelling saga, edgy and different, thoroughly absorbing.” 

Midwest Book Review


Purchase: Amazon





Futuristic Science Fiction meets NCIS in this gripping murder mystery that takes place on the planet Mars. Crucial, a labor cop, is controlled by an advanced AI called Halo, as is everyone else on earth. Crucial does what he can to send secret messages to his team as they use nanonites to disrupt Halo’s abilities. He’s happy what he’s doing, fighting the good fight, helping his sister Essential whom is a leader in the resistance. But then he gets a call from his ex Melinda who needs his help to clear her fiance’s name whom has been charged with murder. Though Crucial never wanted to return to Mars, he will do it for Melinda. 


However, Mars is ruled by the Five Families, the wealthy elite. People that Crucial believes are futile to fight against. His investigation however leads him back to Earth, to a genetic experiment that has created lizard like cannibals. And Crucial will do what he can to find the truth, clear Melinda’s finances name, and stay alive, of course. 


I must say Scorched Earth was very intriguing. It took a little to get used to all the scientific names for things, as I’m not used to reading futurist science fiction books. There’s alot of terminology that I had to stop and think about to understand what it was Crucial was describing. Once I got used to the narration the story flowed more easily. I loved how detailed and complex Scroched Earth was, but at the root of it is this investigation that leads Crucial down a path that lets us really explore these two worlds. Especially with things happening now, with the Mars Mission that is going to happen in our lifetime, it was fun to envision a world where people lived on Mars. 


Crucial is such a wonderful character. He’s honorable and dependable. He doesn’t give up on people or himself. He’s definitely the “good cop” in this story, and you’re left rooting for him every step of the way. The depth of his character development had me flipping through each page. To be submerged in this world was unlike anything I have read before! And what Crucial ends up investigating was so beyond the stars, that I had to keep going to figure out how the story was going to unfold. It’s exciting, and a little horrifying, to be honest. But a little dark elements sure was the icing on the cake for me. 


Though Scorched is the second in the trilogy, I read it before reading any of the others and it did fine as a stand alone, though now I am interested in the other books in the series! 


Scorched is definitely a gripping read! It’s vivid and engrossing. A read for anyone that loves a good, dark, murder mystery, especially for those science fiction lovers out there! Be sure to check it out!


Rating: 4/5




Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed.  Scorched Earth is their ninth co-authored book. Pumpjack Press  ║  Pumpjack Press on Facebook Facebook ║ Instagram Connect with Kathleen Goodreads ║ Amazon ║ Facebook ║ Twitter Connect with Clark Goodreads ║ Amazon ║ Facebook ║ Twitter

Knock! Knock! Book Blitz

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KNOCK! KNOCK!
Lessons Learned and Stories Shared 
by DOUGLAS THOMPSON
Categories: Nonfiction / Motivational Stories / Positivity / Relationship Building / Integrity / Time Management / Entrepreneurship
Publisher: Lucid House Publishing
Date of Publication: January 8, 2021
Pages: 154
 
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Knock! Knock! is a fast-paced, fun-filled journey through the author’s career in sales that not only teaches you how to be better at selling but to also have a ton of fun while you are doing it.
 
Knock! Knock! invites you to join Doug on what salespeople call “a ride along,” which is where a senior salesperson shows a newbie the ropes. This book delivers a winning sales philosophy learned through years of experience and is illustrated by real-life stories that Doug shares — along with multiple Knock-Knock Moments (or lessons and revelations learned) that have fueled his career and that he believes will help yours.
 
Every one of us is in Sales. If you deal with people, you are in sales. Knock! Knock! teaches you how to get out of your Comfort Zone to believe in yourself and to believe in the product, services, or message you are trying to sell. But it also teaches you to have a great time while you are doing it.
 
 

Purchase: Amazon | Main Street Reads

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Douglas Thompson’s passion for improving the customer’s experience as well as the sales profession continues to drive him as he comes up with new ideas to answer this question: How can we make the sales process better? Starting out as an insurance agent going down the street selling accident insurance by knocking on doors, Doug quickly moved into the management side of the life and health insurance industry, hiring and training agents to be successful doing the same. His ability to build successful sales teams caught the eye of the corporate leadership of several major companies. Doug became the vice president of sales and marketing for Conseco and was recruited to do the same for Pacificare, UnitedHealthcare, American Republic, Tranzact, and Humana.
Currently, he is the marketing director for a large national insurance wholesaler that recruits and trains insurance agents and agencies in the senior marketplace across the country, and he continues to build his own general agency, which offers life and health products to the senior population. He is known nationally for his innovations in the sales industry and frequently speaks and trains on his favorite topic of sales.
Doug and his wife Shirley own a Bed & Breakfast in Jefferson, Texas.

Follow Douglas Thompson on: Facebook | Website | Goodreads


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At Close Range: Review and Giveaway

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AT CLOSE RANGE: A MEMOIR
OF TRAGEDY AND ADVOCACY
By Leesa Ross

Categories: Nonfiction / Memoir / Personal Transformation / Advocacy
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Pages: 192
Publication Date: April 15, 2020


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Leesa Ross did not expect to write a book. Neither did she expect the tragedy that her family endured, a horrific and sudden death that led her to write At Close Range. Her debut memoir is the story of what happened after her son Jon died in a freak gun accident at a party. Ross unsparingly shares the complexities of grief as it ripples through the generations of her family, then chronicles how the loss of Jon has sparked a new life for her as a prominent advocate for gun safety.  Before the accident, Ross never had a motivation to consider the role that guns played in her life. Now, she revisits ways in which guns became a part of everyday life for her three sons and their friends.

Ross’s attitude towards guns is thorny. She has collectors and hunters in her family. To balance her advocacy, she joined both Moms Demand Action and the NRA. Through At Close Range, the national conversation about gun control plays out in one family’s catalyzing moment and its aftermath. However, At Close Range ultimately shows one mother’s effort to create meaning from tragedy and find a universally reasonable position and focal point: gun safety and responsible ownership.

Purchase: Texas Tech University Press




At Close Range: A Memoir of Tragedy and Advocacy is a gripping account of a mother’s story and the loss of her child from a gunshot wound. Leesa Ross delves deep into her recount, her raw grief, how she picks up the pieces, and sets out on a path of safety advocacy. It was just one freak accident that completely changed her life. The painful details, how this affected her marriage and life. Her boy Jon was an adult when he had died. As a mother of a two and a half year old, this memoir really pulled me in it. What if that was me? I can’t even imagine that pain and heartache this woman had to go through, but reading her story pulled at the strings of my heart and really made me pause and listen. 


I grew up in a small country town. My father owned guns. I grew up around them and they have very much been a part of my life. But as an adult, and now that I have a child of my own, and reading this story, it really makes me ponder the pro and anti gun organizations. Where do I fall? I’m somewhere in the middle on the issue. But I appreciated and understood Leesa’s point of view on the topic. You completely understand why she journeys down the path that she does. And her voice, one filled with trepidation and pain, is a powerful voice that deserves to be heard. 


As for the writing, I really enjoyed getting lost in Leesa Ross’ story. Her experience is heartfelt and profound. The details and description she uses easily draws the reader in. Though a hard read from an emotional standpoint, her narrative pulls you in, easily. And once I started reading it, it was hard to put down. 


I feel like this book is a great perspective on a very important issue, especially in our country. Though I may not agree with some of her beliefs, I can and do appreciate hearing her side, seeing her story, reading about what had happened to her. It’s a book for discussing, for feeling, for considering. It’s thought provoking and heart wrenching. A non-fiction read unlike any I have read. It makes us think, gets us talking. And most importantly, it makes us feel.


 I hear you Leesa Ross. 


I hope others will too.


Rating: 4/5


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Leesa Ross 
is a debut author who’s transformed a tragedy into a mission for safety. After losing a son to a shooting accident, she formed Lock Arms for Life, an educational organization teaching gun safety. A Texas mother of three, she leads Lock Arms, sits on the board of Texas Gun Sense, and belongs to the NRA.







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2/16/21

Review

Hall Ways Blog

2/16/21

Review

Reading by Moonlight

2/17/21

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LSBBT Blog

2/17/21

Review

Missus Gonzo

2/18/21

Review

The Clueless Gent

2/18/21

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The Plain-Spoken Pen

2/19/21

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

2/20/21

Review

Tangled in Text

2/21/21

Review

Jennie Reads

2/22/21

Review

Julia Picks 1

2/22/21

Review

Book Fidelity

2/23/21

Review

The Page Unbound

2/24/21

Review

It’s Not All Gravy

2/24/21

Review

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

2/25/21

Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

2/25/21

Review

Forgotten Winds


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Network of Deceit: Excerpt and Giveaway

 
NETWORK OF DECEIT
An Amara Alvarez
Stand-Alone Novel
by
Tom Threadgill

Categories: Mystery / Suspense / Detective
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: February 2, 2021
Number of Pages: 384 pages


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She’s following her instincts. They’re following her every move. 

After her rescue of nearly fifty kidnapped children made international headlines, Amara Alvarez gets what she’s worked for: a transfer to San Antonio’s Homicide Division. But reality sets in quickly when her first case, the suspicious death of a teenager at a crowded local water park, plunges her life into chaos. 

As the investigation moves forward, Amara finds herself stalked online by cybercriminals who uncover her personal life in frightening detail. With few leads, she’s forced to resort to unconventional methods to find the killer and prevent her first murder investigation from ending up in the cold case files. 

Tom Threadgill is back with another riveting page-turner featuring the detective who is willing to put everything on the line to see justice served and lives protected.


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Excerpt: Chapter One, Part One

of NETWORK OF DECEIT

by Tom Threadgill

 

How long could a human being scream?

Three times through the video so far and Amara’s appreciation for the woman’s lung capacity grew with each viewing. No sound on the recording, but there was no mistaking the outburst. The wide eyes, gaping mouth, and panicked attempt to be anywhere else other than there. Not that the shrieking had any relevance whatsoever. The woman’s reaction was entirely normal. People tended to scream when dead bodies appeared beside them.

On the monitor, an older teenage male, his chin against his chest and face hidden with a baseball cap, drifted on the water park’s lazy river. The deeply tanned boy floated on a huge yellow inner tube with each hand, palms up, tucked under one of the black handles. His knees were propped on top, allowing his feet to dangle in the water. During the seven-and-a-half-minute video clip, a series of rapids and a few collisions with other riders jostled him enough that his hands and feet moved, making it difficult to determine if the teen was dead or passed out. Either way, the other park visitors were too absorbed in their own day to notice. That would change.

A short way ahead, the not-yet-screaming woman and her three kids—two boys and a younger girl, all under ten or eleven by the looks of them—linked their floats together in an ovalish circle. Each member of the family held the foot of their neighbor as they meandered through the twists and turns of the attraction. The distance between the teenager and family narrowed, and Amara leaned closer to the monitor as her heartbeat accelerated. This was like one of those nature videos where a lioness stalks her victim. Creeping up on the unsuspecting wildebeest until . . . now.

The teen caught up to the family and his left leg bumped against the back of the young girl’s head. She jerked, turned to see who’d nudged her, mouthed something to him, and pushed his tube away. Barely a dozen clock-ticks later, he collided with her again, sending the mother into mom mode.

She grabbed his inner tube, pulled it to herself, then heaved it away with all the strength she could muster. Doing so flipped the boy’s head toward her and his ball cap fell into the water. His open, unmoving eyes were all it took. The woman screamed. And kept screaming. She paddled furiously for several seconds in a futile attempt to flee the corpse’s gaze. The adrenaline kicked in and—still shrieking—she rolled off her inner tube and pushed her three children aside as the corpse continued its slow, rambling journey.

“You can turn it off,” Amara said.

Dr. Douglas Pritchard, the medical examiner for Bexar County, clicked his mouse and the recording paused. “I requested the footage from the Cannonball Water Park after doing the young man’s autopsy. I trust it will be useful in your investigation, Detective Alvarez?”

Her investigation? Would Zachary Coleman be her first case? Not unless Dr. Pritchard could convince her there was something worth looking into. Truthfully, he wouldn’t have to show much. Her current routine, while interesting and necessary, wasn’t exactly stimulating.

After the Feds took control of the ongoing probe into the Cotulla aftermath, she’d been granted a transfer from the San Antonio PD’s Property Crimes Division to Homicide. Her first month in the new position had consisted of reviewing old files, shadowing other detectives as they worked, and keeping her mouth shut as much as possible.

When the LT had hollered her name an hour ago, she figured he had more files for her to review. She was wrong. Lieutenant Rico Segura was sitting behind his desk, an unlit cigar hanging from his mouth. Every morning the man pulled a new stogie from his drawer and planted it between his teeth. By the end of the day, most of the cigar would be gone, whether from absorption or chewing or swallowing or spitting or . . . She managed to restrain a shudder.

Get to the ME’s office ASAP, he said. Find out what Pritchard’s got. Suspicious death. See if it’s worth investigating.

After a quick yessir, she’d hurried over and caught the doctor between autopsies and meetings. Douglas Pritchard worked with her on Cotulla, and at the time he’d been dating Sara Colby, a Texas Ranger who’d also been involved in the inquiry. The two were no longer together, a fact Amara knew from her increasingly infrequent conversations with the woman.

The ME cleared his throat. “Detective?”

“Sorry.” She shifted in the red leather armchair. “Yes, the security video will be helpful if we move forward with an investigation. But there’s nothing on there that even hints at a crime. When the tox screenings come back, the department may take another look if warranted.”

He scanned his desktop. “How’s Sara? Do you two speak often?”

“Um, last I heard she was doing well.”

He shuffled through a stack of file folders. “So that’s a no?”

“We talk on occasion. She’s fine.”

“Give her my best, would you?” He looked up and stroked his goatee. “Now that’s an interesting saying, isn’t it? My best. My best what? Intentions? Makes no sense. Wishes? I suppose that might work under the right circumstances, but I—”

“You have more evidence to support your suspicions regarding the death?”

 

Read Part Two of the Excerpt on Texas Book Lover on 2/21/2021.

 

  

Tom Threadgill is a full-time author and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). The author of Collision of Lies, Tom lives with his wife near Dallas, Texas.
 


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Copies of both Collision of Lies
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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:

2/17/21 Series Spotlight All the Ups and Downs
2/17/21 BONUS Promo Hall Ways Blog
2/18/21 BONUS Promo LSBBT Blog
2/18/21 Review The Adventures of a Travelers Wife
2/19/21 Review That’s What She’s Reading
2/20/21 Excerpt The Page Unbound
2/21/21 Excerpt Texas Book Lover
2/22/21 Author Interview StoreyBook Reviews
2/23/21 Review KayBee’s Book Shelf
2/24/21 Review Librariel Book Adventures
2/25/21 Character Interview The Clueless Gent
2/26/21 Review Tangled in Text

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Stork Bite: Review and Giveaway

STORK BITE
by
L.K. Simonds

Genre: Historical Fiction / Southern Fiction 
Date of Publication: November 30, 2020 
Number of Pages: 359 pages

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“Everything has to be reconciled eventually.” 

Caddo Parish, 1913. On an October morning, a Klansman confronts seventeen-year-old David Walker at a hidden oxbow lake where he has gone to hunt. David accidentally kills the man and hides the crime. His determination to protect his family from reprisal drives him far from home and into manhood. 

Shreveport, 1927. Cargie (rhymes with Margie) Barre and Mae Compton are two vastly different young women, but both are defying convention to reach for their dreams. The men in Cargie’s and Mae’s lives help and hinder them in more ways than one. After years in hiding, David Walker finally resurfaces, and we discover the past is never as far from the present as it seems.
 

PRAISE FOR STORK BITE:
“Simonds is a wonderfully talented author and evokes the South in astonishing detail in Stork Bite, making us feel we’re sitting in on a long, sumptuous, serial film production. But don’t think it’s mere eye candy–like the best period dramas, there’s plenty of social commentary here. Highly recommended!” 
–Linore Rose Burkard, author of Regency Romance and Contemporary Suspense

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Stork Bite is a powerful and riveting story. Told in two parts, the first being David, the second told bye Mae and Cargie, L. K. Simonds delivers us a tale that is told over the years with complex characters and an enthralling story. The history, the detail, the layers, I devoured each page. 

From the beginning, we follow David’s story as he inadvertently kills a Texas Ranger. My heart was racing through this entire scene, as David not only loses his companion (his dog Huck), but in the commotion kills a man that was trying to arrest him for wanting to use a boat that was designated for whites only. David then does what he needs to, he hides the man’s car, takes his lifeless dog home, and tells his family. 

Reading David’s story, I couldn’t help but feel like I was right there with him, going through the emotions with him, the turmoil, the injustice. Stork Bite is raw and real and true Texas grit. From the first couple of pages, I knew I was hooked and had to figure out how David  was going to survive through this incident. 

One thing that I have to mention is how beautiful L. K. Simonds’ writing is. It’s descriptive and captivating and has quite the voice to the story. My favorite of the two stories is David’s story, and my only complaint was the switch between the two stories. However the story does have a really great ending. I really enjoyed seeing how the two stories come together.

The characters in Stork Bite are layered, complex characters, each with their own mistakes and mishaps. And the mystery in the story is what really drives this tale home for me. 

This story is one of redemption and one of reflection. It’s thought provoking and deep. A story that really makes you think. And I love that about it. It’s emotional and rich, and a story that will stick with me. I would definitely give this book a 4/5 and I look forward to reading future books by L.K. Simonds. 



L. K. Simonds is a Fort Worth local whose debut novel, All In, was published in 2019.


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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
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1/26/21 Review That’s What She’s Reading
1/26/21 Review The Adventures of a Travelers Wife
1/27/21 Review StoreyBook Reviews
1/28/21 Review The Page Unbound
1/28/21 Review KayBee’s Book Shelf
1/29/21 Review Momma on the Rocks
1/29/21 BONUS Promo Hall Ways Blog
1/30/21 Review Rainy Days with Amanda
1/31/21 Review Tangled in Text
2/1/21 Review Librariel Book Adventures
2/1/21 Review Jennifer Silverwood
2/2/21 Review The Clueless Gent
2/2/21 BONUS Promo All the Ups and Downs
2/3/21 Review Book Bustle
2/3/21 Review Forgotten Winds
2/4/21 Review It’s Not All Gravy
2/4/21 Review Reading by Moonlight


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Ely Air Lines: Excerpt and Giveaway

   
ELY AIR LINES
Select Stories from 10 Years
of a Weekly Column,
Volumes 1 & 2
by
MIKE ELY
and
LINDA STREET-ELY
Genre: Nonfiction
Categories: Short Stories / Aviation / Adventure 
Date of Publication: January 29, 2020 
Number of Pages: Volume 1: 350 pages; Volume 2: 330 pages  
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Buckle up and fly with Mike and Linda Street-Ely to discover amazing people, interesting places, and the conquest of flight. Since 2007, readers have enjoyed engaging articles weekly in the newspaper column, “Ely Air Lines.” Now you can step aboard to enjoy a collection of stories that explore the vast realm of the flyer’s world.

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Excerpt from

ELY AIR LINES: SELECT STORIES FROM

10 YEARS OF A WEEKLY COLUMN, VOLUME 2

 

“The Great Northwest”

Don called his ground roll about twenty-five seconds later. My insides felt like iron. I had the skill and experience. I got this.

We scanned the engine instruments. Cylinder head tem­peratures were good—not too hot. RPMs were higher than normal cruise flight, but that was intentional.

Keep it straight; he’s not far behind.

Mike called, “Race 55, turn one.” I snapped into a bank, our left wingtip pivoting on the turn point, and just as abruptly leveled the wings quickly coming out of the turn.

Straight on course.

We watched the seconds tick on our GPS, listening intently for Don’s turn one call.

“Race 30, turn one.” He hadn’t lost any ground.

By the second turn, there were fewer seconds separating us. Keeping my eyes on the course, I asked Mike, “Can you see him?”

“No, but he’s not far.”

At the third turn, I dipped our left wing in a purposed, calculated bank. My eyes scanned quickly to monitor my inputs, my human factor performance.

Sharp left bank. Look down the wing. Wingtip on the turn point.

Hold that bank.

Eyes up, check altitude. Steady. Don’t climb.

Lower the nose slightly to increase speed in the turn.

Eyes back to the turn point. Check the compass.

Don’t overshoot. Turn out on course.

Quick, level the wings. Don’t let the nose come up.

Mike made our third turn call.

Silence in the airplane as we waited for Don’s call. We must have done better on that turn. We gained a couple of seconds on him.



Mike Ely has logged thousands of hours over more than forty years as a professional pilot. He holds an airline transport pilot certificate with multiple type ratings and a flight instructor certificate. Mike has taught people to fly in small single engine airplanes, gliders, turboprops, and corporate jets. As a freight pilot and an international corporate pilot, he has flown through all kinds of weather, to many places, both exotic and boring. His love for writing was instilled by his father at an early age. Linda Street-Ely is an award-winning, multi-genre author and playwright. She also holds an airline transport pilot certificate, a commercial seaplane certificate and a tailwheel endorsement. She has air raced all over the U.S., including four times in the historic all-women’s transcontinental Air Race Classic. Besides flying, Linda has a keen appreciation for great storytelling. She loves to travel the world, meet people, and learn about other cultures because she believes great stories are everywhere. Together, Linda and Mike are “Team Ely,” five-time National Champions of the Sport Air Racing League, racing their Grumman Cheetah, named the “Elyminator,” and dubbed “The Fastest Cheetah in the Known Universe.” They live in Liberty, Texas.
 
 
 
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Each win an autographed, 2-volume set of ELY AIR LINES
Giveaway ends midnight, CST, January 29, 2021
 
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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
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1/19/21 Excerpt It’s Not All Gravy
1/20/21 Review V1 Jennie Reads
1/20/21 Review V2 Librariel Book Adventures
1/21/21 Guest Post Forgotten Winds
1/22/21 Review V1 StoreyBook Reviews
1/22/21 Review V2 Reading by Moonlight
1/23/21 Author Interview All the Ups and Downs
1/24/21 Author Interview The Adventures of a Travelers Wife
1/25/21 Review V1 Book Bustle
1/25/21 Review V2 Book Fidelity
1/26/21 Excerpt The Page Unbound
1/27/21 Character Interview Hall Ways Blog
1/27/21 Top Ten Momma on the Rocks
1/28/21 Review V1 The Clueless Gent
1/28/21 Review V2 Chapter Break Book Blog
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