By Holly Kammier
(A Shelby Day Novel)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: January 5th 2020
Genres: Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
AN APPALLING ACT OF VIOLENCE AND AN UNSOLVED DOUBLE MURDER.
SMALL-TOWN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, SHELBY DAY, IS DETERMINED TO HUNT A KILLER.
As her search draws closer to uncovering the twisted truth, she begins receiving ominous warnings to stay quiet and drop the story. The young journalist is in danger. Her cameraman and best friend, a person with his own secret past, says he wants to protect her. But Shelby is headstrong and dodging anything that could lead to love. She can’t allow anyone to distract her as she fights for the two women who deserve justice.
She never expects along the way she’ll have to stop and save herself.
Ticktock… If Shelby doesn’t solve the crime soon, she’ll become the killer’s next victim.
“Lost Girl is a compulsive thrill-ride that reads as if it’s been pulled straight from the headlines. Kammier’s journalism background brings undeniable authenticity to a novel that has it all– a love story, a murder mystery, and a real-life introduction into the distinctive world of television news.”
-CAROLINE MITCHELL, New York Times best-selling author
This book is for anyone who loves:
Young Adult love stories
Books with journalism elements
Intended for a mature YA audience
Fans of Veronica Mars, In The Woods, and One Of Us Is Lying, will love this novel.
Lost Girl was an entertaining and relatively easy read to enjoy. I love a good mystery and Kammier’s morally grey characters kept me interested. Shelby, an investigative reporter, is determined to solve the local murders affecting the town. Although, her self-serving intentions and headstrong attitude cause trouble for her along the way. Especially when it comes to any romantic interest. I did personally think that the mystery in this book was more interesting than the romance. In this, I could connect with Shelby’s character and the challenges she faces in this mystery. Solving this murder becomes more than a chance to be recognized as a reporter to Shelby. Overall, I quite enjoyed the hints and foreshadowing that led us to discovering the killer.
Unfortunately the story, while engaging, could be a bit scattered at times. While you rooted for Shelby, she is a flawed character that I wished had more of an arch by the end. The romance as well could be quite tedious and immature for the characters. Mostly, I felt like Shelby’s feelings towards not being in a relationship should be resolved through her own growth internally instead of for someone. I felt it may have connected more for readers. Overall, the basis and journey of this can certainly appeal to readers interested in YA and NA.
About the Author
Co-owner of Acorn Publishing, the UCLA honors graduate is an accomplished content editor/writing coach (her authors have gone on to become USA Today best-sellers and a New York Times best-seller). With a background in journalism, Holly Kammier has worked everywhere from CNN in Washington, D.C. and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon.
She is the best-selling author of the novel, Kingston Court (Acorn Publishing 2015), and Could Have Been Hollywood, a memoir. Holly recently published her third book, Choosing Hope, a harrowing story of passion and deceit, and the things we do for love. Her next novel, the YA Romantic Suspense, Lost Girl, is scheduled for release in early 2020.
Holly resides in her hometown of San Diego, California, close to family and friends. An avid reader with a passion for timeless books and beautiful writing, she also enjoys long walks, romantic movies, and pink peonies.
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SANTA CLAUS BANK ROBBERY
A True-Crime Saga in Texas
By TUI SNIDER
Genre: Nonfiction / Texana / Texas History
Publisher: Castle Azle Press
Date of Publication: December 8, 2019
Number of Pages: 146 pages + black & white photos
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When Marshall Ratliff dressed like Santa Claus to pull a Christmas-time heist, he thought it would be easy. Unfortunately for him, when the citizens of Cisco heard Santa was robbing a bank, they came running – with loaded guns in hand!
But can you blame them? In 1927, the only way to earn the $5000 Dead Bank Robber Reward was to kill a bandit while the crime was in progress.
This bungled bank robbery led to a wild shootout and a getaway with two little girls as hostages. And that is only the beginning!
Tui Snider’s true-crime tale reads like a comedy of errors as the consequences of the Santa Claus Bank Robber’s actions escalate to include a botched car-jacking, one of the biggest manhunts in Texas history, and a jailbreak leading to a deadly conclusion.
Meanwhile, it’s up to readers to decide whether or not a mysterious blonde helped these gangsters escape. And if so, did she get away with murder?
I’m continually impressed with Tui Snider’s reporting skills. The more I read her books, I find the vibrant energy of her writing urging me to go out and discover my own mysteries and little known events in history. With bank robberies, it always seemed a bit larger than life or comical in a way. I suppose TV and movies have done that throughout the years. It doesn’t really seem real with the crazy plans that go off the rails. Even now, when hearing about recent robberies of armored cars near me, I questioned how that could even happen. It seems insane and it is!
The insanity of this robbery in history seemed to compound more and more as events unfolded. I literally was reading through this account, my eyebrows raised and jaw dropped, at how this robbery affected so many people. It truly astounds me how anyone thought running towards the bank robbery or even handing out guns to anyone in sight would help. The chaos of hundreds of bullets flying around and hitting innocent bystanders made this all the more tragic.
Along with Tui Snider’s own telling of this story is newspaper clippings and direct quotes from people at the time. I especially found this fascinating to hear directly in their own voice. Additionally, pictures and even maps were shown to give the reader a clear idea of the event. Even after reading the Santa Claus Bank Robbery, the bizarre events that took place seem like a chaotic tall tale.
Snider continues with the events that happened after this robbery as well. I don’t like to reveal many spoilers but I can say that I knew I made the right decision in reading this book! Along with researched accounts, more mysteries unfold as to who was involved and why the stories became so confusing. Other retellings and accounts, such as A.C. Greene’s book, are given as example to this and just how they deviated from fact. It speaks to Snider’s tenacity in writing, that beyond researching these books, she finds facts and documentation to prove what really happened.
To those that enjoy a good mystery, who are eager to read a conversational historical retelling, and maybe aren’t scandalized by Santa with a gun…I’d definitely recommend this book!
Tui Snider is an award-winning writer, speaker, photographer, and musician specializing in offbeat sites, overlooked history, cemetery symbolism, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction, but then I moved to Texas!”
Tui lectures frequently at universities, libraries, conferences, and bookstores.This fall, she will speak about the Great Airship Mystery of 1897 at this year’s UFO Congress and teach a course on Understanding Cemetery Symbols at Texas Christian University. She also shares weekly info-videos based on her research at her YouTube channel.
Snider’s writing and photography have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including WFAA TV, Coast to Coast AM, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and many more. She has several more books in progress.
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GRANDPRIZE (US only):
Signed Paperback +$10 Amazon Gift Card
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3RD PRIZE (International): Kindle eBook
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COVEY AND JAYJAY GET EDUCATED
By Shelton L. Williams
Genre: Murder Mystery / Social Thriller / Amateur Sleuth
Publication Date: September 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 209 pages
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Amateur detectives, Covey Jencks and JayJay Qualls, are drawn into a triple murder on the campus of Baker College in West Waverly in the Texas Hill Country. Both end up taking positions at the college: Covey as an adjunct instructor and JayJay as a visiting actor.
Initially they believe that money is the motive for the murders, but over time they learn that the college is a cauldron of political and social intrigue. The college’s new president and his beautiful wife, various staff members, a prominent trustee, and parties not associated with the college have the motives, opportunities, and wacky agendas that might implicate them in the murders. It turns out that a white nationalist group may be using a college house for its nefarious activities, but are they more talk than action?
The West Waverly police are little to no help in the investigation, and Covey himself has to depart the college to deal with his father’s death. JayJay takes over and makes a critical breakthrough. Upon Covey’s return, the couple must rely on deception, a bit of luck, and martial arts skills to solve the crimes and to try to prevent a high-profile assassination.
Author Shelton Williams is interviewed by a former student
Recently I was in Sherman, Texas, home of Austin College, where I taught for 38 years. A former student, Marc Parrish, interviewed me at an artsy place called Ideation Station, owned by another former student, Ruth Williamson. The audience, homecoming celebrants everyone, hardly knew me beyond my academic writings or my two memoirs that are really non-fiction novels. Marc is a writer himself (his first book is coming out in 2020 or 2021), so his questions helped the audience understand my new fiction and perhaps prompted me to explore my own writing journey. Here’s an edited version of Marc’s questions:
Marc: How does your 30 years of non-fiction writing affect your detective stories that are wholly fictional?
Shelly: In a sense I had to get over the one to write the other. Writing books about nuclear politics, war and peace, and foreign policy was part of my career, and I studied at Johns Hopkins where serious writing is for serious people. I learned to do that, and I am proud of it, but very few people other than policy wonks read that stuff. I tried the same style initially in writing about the death of my cousin in Washed in the Blood. A friendly publisher saved the project by saying, “You know, this is partly your story as well. You can use the word ‘I’ in telling it.” That liberated me to find my true voice. I went back to my roots in Odessa to research and write about Betty, my murdered cousin. Eventually that town, the people I knew, and the politics of a changing America allowed me to use my new style to tell stories.
Marc: Your characters seem like real people, and I often feel like I know a person or recognize a place. For example, in Covey and JayJay Get Educated, Baker College is clearly Austin College and many of the faculty and staff are familiar.
Shelly: The look of Austin College informs the narrative, but so do other small liberal arts colleges I have visited in Michigan, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Many readers should feel at home even if they have never been to Sherman, Texas. The characters, especially the ones you like, from the students to the staff to the faculty, are inspired by Austin College folks, but their actions are wholly fictional, and they are in fact composite fictional characters. The bad guys have nothing to do with Austin College; the story arc is mine alone. The idea of murders on campus comes from the British TV series Morse or Endeavour based on the books by Colin Dexter.
Marc: Well, one thing we all did know about you back in the day was that you are a movie guy. You see more movies than anyone I know, and you review them on Facebook. Didn’t you write a couple of screenplays?
Shelly: I did, and they were not good enough. I wrote Washed in the Blood as a vehicle for a movie because Betty wanted to act. She died at 17, so it never happened. I wanted it for her. There is a TV docudrama called Bye, Bye Betty based on her story. I hope that soon there will also be a movie. I have been told many times that the Covey Jencks books would be a great mini-series. I have learned not to expect anything at all from my books. Writing them should be enough. JayJay, I mean actually my wife, Janell, on whose personality JayJay is based, says, “Be in the moment. Your story-telling will be better if you do so, and if anyone wants to do anything else with your books, that will be their moment and you can help, if asked.”
Marc: What is the greatest compliment you have received from your writing?
Shelly: Not long ago, my fourteen-year-old granddaughter, Clara, asked me, “Pops, I just wrote a story. Will you read it?”
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 Covey Jencks. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.
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FOUR WINNERS!GRAND PRIZE: signed copy of each of the author’s books
SECOND PRIZE: signed copy of both Covey Jencks and Covey and JayJay Get Educated
THIRD PRIZE: Audio book of Covey and JayJay Get Educated
FOURTH PRIZE: Kindle version of Covey and JayJay Get Educated
DECEMBER 10-20, 2019
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Carpe Diem Chronicles, #2
Contemporary Romance / Multicultural
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Maddie Duvall should be living it up at her challenging new job in glamorous Singapore. But two months after her wild weekend with Aidan Ryan, she’s still yearning for him. She craves the passion only he can ignite in her.
Aidan’s job takes him around the world, yet he can’t get Maddie out of his mind. When he returns to his assignment in Singapore, he seeks her out with a proposition she can’t turn down.
Intensely enamored with one another, their relationship takes off. But when Aidan’s mission exposes treachery by someone close to Maddie, lines blur and wires get crossed. Can their growing love survive the intrigue?
Singapore Fling is Book 2 of Carpe Diem Chronicles, a series of multicultural contemporary romance novels. The stories celebrate the rich cultures of exotic Southeast Asian islands through languages, food, and festivals.
“This second full-length volume in her Carpe Diem Chronicles is sexy, quick to read, and full of well-rounded, interesting characters. Family ties and female friendship add to the depth of the world and make you want more books.” ~ Catherine Stein, Award-winning Author of How to Seduce a Spy
“This book was great. Everything from the well-rounded characters to the interesting foods and exciting locale drew me in as a reader. I could clearly picture, hear, and smell/taste the story. The plot was perfect and the romance had just the right amount of intrigue and crisis. ~ Danielle Bellwood, Author of Daring (The Candomble Book 1)
“This book is a great deal of fun and the hero and heroine are both likable and realistic people. As usual, Malby’s writing shines best when writing about Singapore, particularly the culture and the FOOD!! ~ Gena Gilliam, Amazon Reviewer
For the dipping sauces:
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), San Antonio Romance Authors (SARA), Cultural, Interracial, Multicultural Special Interest Chapter of the Romance Writers of America (CIMRWA), and several romance book clubs. Her To-Be-Read Mountain and reviews of romance novels are featured on her website.
When not writing, reading, or reviewing books, Maida consults her husband on word selection, debates with her ten-year-old son regarding the Oxford comma, cooks the dishes she features in her stories, procrastibakes using Baileys as her secret yummy ingredient, and watches golf and food shows on TV.
|Click to visit this tour’s page on Lone Star Lit|
Two Thousand Lines
Publication date: November 21st 2019
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
Olivia Brooks has been able to keep her life in Sugar Mill, Louisiana held perfectly together, far away from the small town where she grew up. Even though her past still haunts her, she has found a perfect process of surviving, until a string of events brings Luke Plaisance to Sugar Mill and turns her organized life upside down.
While Olivia fights to hold on to the life she’s created, unraveling it may be exactly what it takes for her to truly survive. She must accept her past in order to live, or let it threaten the only future she’s ever wanted. Because some secrets can’t stay buried… and shouldn’t.
An inspiring and heartbreaking tale of abandonment, survival, and purpose. A harrowing journey of self-discovery and perseverance.
Luke saw her red face and swollen eyes.
“Whatever it is, I’m sorry.”
“No need. Besides, maybe I just cut an onion.”
“I’m not asking you why, Olivia, but also don’t feel like you have to lie to me. It’s none of my business and I know that. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.”
“Then why are you here?” she turned abruptly to face him, obviously angered.
“I like cinnamon rolls.”
“You also don’t have to lie either.”
“Mama Gigi,” Luke responded quietly.
“What?” Olivia bowed her head slightly.
“Mama Gigi. She said when I smell cinnamon and baking bread, if I look over here and your kitchen door is open, and I quote, ‘go to her and stay until she’s safe.’”
Olivia looked up with tears welling in her eyes again, “I’ll be sure to close my door next time.”
“No, you won’t. Mama Gigi said you will always have your door open when you make them. She thought whatever you were mourning was pretty strong, ‘cause it obviously made you feel suffocated.”
“I miss her. I miss her so much.”
Luke stood quickly and went to Olivia. He wanted to wrap his arms around her and hold her. But, as he got closer she stepped back, so he stopped.
“I can’t leave until you’re safe.”
“I’m never safe,” she whispered.
“You’ve been safe since I got here.”
About the Author
Michelle Jester lives in Greenwell Springs, Louisiana with her husband, high school sweetheart and retired Master Sergeant. Together they have a son and daughter. She is a hopeless romantic and has been writing poems and stories for as long as she can remember.
One of her prize possessions is a bracelet with only a yellow, Rubber Duckie charm on it; which she wears every day to remind her to enjoy the fun and happy things of life!
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ONE NIGHT AT THE ST. NICHOLAS by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jodi Thomas
BIRDIE’S FLIGHT by Celia Bonaduce
Seamstress Birdie Flanagan gets the surprise of her life when she receives a beautiful gown—and a sudden invitation—for the ball of the season! Birdie creates a stir from the moment she arrives, capturing the eye of the dashing Captain Douglas Fairbanks. But will a secret from her past keep her from her long-awaited happily-ever-after?
SPIRIT OF TEXAS by Rachael Miles
When lovely spinster Eugenie Charpentier makes a trip across the Texas frontier with former Texas Ranger Asher Graham, she dreams of an adventure, and the rough-and-tumble cowboy is happy to oblige. But both Eugenie and the rugged lawman are keeping secrets. Can they find each other—and love—on the dance floor at the Christmas ball?
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