The Black-Marketer’s Daughter: Scrapbook Page

 

THE BLACK-MARKETER’S DAUGHTER
by
Suman Mallick
Category: Contemporary / Literary Fiction / Multicultural
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Date of Publication: October 13, 2020
Number of Pages: 166 pages

Zuleikha arrives in the US from Lahore, Pakistan, by marriage, having trained as a pianist without ever owning a real piano. Now she finally has one-a wedding present from her husband-but nevertheless finds it difficult to get used to her new role of a suburban middle-class housewife who has an abundance of time to play it. 

Haunted by the imaginary worlds of the confiscated contraband books and movies that her father trafficked in to pay for her education and her dowry, and unable to reconcile them with the expectations of the real world of her present, she ends up as the central figure in a scandal that catapults her into the public eye and plays out in equal measures in the local news and in backroom deliberations, all fueled by winds of anti-Muslim hysteria. 

The Black-Marketer’s Daughter was a finalist for the Disquiet Open Borders Book Prize, and praised by the jury as a “complicated and compelling story” of our times, with two key cornerstones of the novel being the unsympathetic voice with which Mallick, almost objectively, relays catastrophic and deeply emotional events, and the unsparing eye with which he illuminates the different angles and conflicting interests at work in a complex situation. The cumulative effects, while deliberately unsettling to readers, nevertheless keeps them glued to the pages out of sheer curiosity about what will happen next.

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PRAISE FOR THE BLACK-MARKETER’S DAUGHTER

“Mallick offers an impressively realistic depiction of a woman caught between tradition, family, and her own sense of empowerment.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“The Black-Marketer’s Daughter is a key-hole look at a few things: a mismatched marriage, the plight of immigrants in the U.S., the emotional toll of culture shock, and the brutal way Muslim women are treated, especially by men within their own community. Titling it—defining the heroine by her relationship to a man rather than as a woman in her own right—suggests how deeply ingrained that inequality can be.” ~ IndieReader Reviews

“The Black-Marketer’s Daughter is the portrait of a woman who endures violence, intimidation, xenophobia and grief, and yet refuses to be called a victim. In this slender novel, Suman Mallick deftly navigates the funhouse maze of immigrant life in contemporary America—around each corner the possibility of a delight, a terror, or a distorted reflection of oneself.” ~ Matthew Valentine, Winner, Montana Prize for Fiction; Lecturer, University of Texas at Austin



Scrapbook Page: The Black-Marketer’s Daughter

1: Campion Trail, Irving, which makes several appearances on The Black-Marketer’s Daughter, on an ice-cold and rainy day.

2: Trinity overlook at Spring Trail Park

3: The author’s workspace in the MFA Lounge at Portland State University, where most of the novel was written.

4: The view outside on a lustrous spring afternoon.

5: The art studio overlooking a library lounge where a lot of writing and editing also took place

6: During a weekend trip to the Oregon coast, the view from a walk to clear the head after writing

7: Early summer morning, Sunriver, Oregon, on a trip to celebrate the completion of novel

8: A little poem (not author’s) on the board to keep him company part of the way.

9: 6YO Daughter’s design of the novel cover (working title – Apples and Knives)






Suman Mallick
received his MFA from Portland State University and is the assistant managing editor of the quarterly literary magazine Under the Gum Tree. He lives in Texas.

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

1/6/21

Promo

Hall Ways Blog

1/7/21

Review

The Clueless Gent

1/7/21

Guest Post

Momma on the Rocks

1/8/21

Review

Forgotten Winds

1/8/21

Author Interview

All the Ups and Downs

1/9/21

Review

Bibliotica

1/10/21

Excerpt

Texas Book Lover

1/11/21

Author Interview

That’s What She’s Reading

1/11/21

Review

It’s Not All Gravy

1/12/21

Playlist

Chapter Break Book Blog

1/13/21

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

1/13/21

Scrapbook Page

The Page Unbound

1/14/21

Author Interview

KayBee’s Book Shelf

1/15/21

Review

Reading by Moonlight

1/15/21

Review

Missus Gonzo




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Cleo Ties a Bow: A Rabbit and Fox Story

   
CLEO CAN TIE A BOW
A Rabbit and Fox Story
by
Sybrina Durant
Category: Children’s Activity Book / Picture Book
Date of Publication: September 25, 2020
Number of Pages: 39 pages

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Cleo loves bows. She wears her hair in a bow and decorates her room with bows. Cleo is bow crazy. Learning to tie a bow is very difficult for some people but Cleo remembers how to do it from a cute story she once heard. It is about a little rabbit with very long ears and a very helpful fox who shows her what to do to keep them clean. This is the story of how Cleo learns to tie a “bunny ear” bow. Exercises in manual dexterity build self-esteem in children. Knowing how to tie shoestrings, scarves and more into a bow is a useful and rewarding skill. Teach a child a useful skill. Build confidence and self-esteem that lasts a lifetime. Other books in the Learn To Tie With The Rabbit and the Fox series are the book with that name in English, Spanish, and Tagalog plus Nellie Knows How To Knot A Neck Scarf and Ned Knows How To Knot A Necktie.


CLICK TO PURCHASE!
 





Cleo Can Tie a Bow: A Rabbit and Fox Story is an adorable story about a little girl named Cleo that loves to tie bows. There are many bows, in her hair, in her room, she even sees butterflies that reminder her of bows. Cleo then shares a story about a rabbit with long ears and a fox that helps the rabbit tie their ears in a bow. In the story it shares the steps on how to tie a bow, which is a great learning tool for little ones. 

There’s so much to enjoy about Cleo Can Tie a Bow. As an educator myself, I could see how this book could be used as a great teaching tool. On each of the pages you can find and count the bows or butterflies. When you get to the steps on how to tie a bow, you can teach your child or student how to tie a bow. 

Another thing I loved about this book were the illustrations! They were so cute! I also really loved the story that Cleo shares about the rabbit and the fox. It was very adorable. 

I could see how this book could be set up as a series of Cleo books! I’m not sure if the author will be writing more Cleo books, but I sure would love it if she did! 

Rating: 4.5/5


 
   


Sybrina Durant is the author of some fanciful and some factual books. Her writings have inspired several online entrepreneurial ventures. Two of those are the Rabbit and Fox Bookstore and the Girls Love Bows Gift Shop. Spend some time browsing both for some interesting and surprising gift ideas for yourself and others.


 
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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:
 
12/7/2020 Book Trailer The Adventures of a Travelers Wife
12/7/2020 BONUS Promo Hall Ways Blog
12/8/2020 Review Chapter Break Book Blog
12/9/2020 Author Interview Jennie Reads
12/10/2020 Review Forgotten Winds
12/11/2020 Review Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
12/12/2020 Top Ten StoreyBook Reviews
12/13/2020 Guest Post Book Fidelity
12/14/2020 Review The Page Unbound
12/15/2020 Guest Post All the Ups and Downs
12/16/2020 Review Missus Gonzo
 
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Once Upon A Mail Order Bride: Guest Post and Giveaway

  


ONCE UPON A MAIL ORDER BRIDE
Outlaw Mail Order Brides, #4
by
Linda Broday
 
Categories: Western / Historical Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of Publication: November 24, 2020
Number of Pages: 352 pages
 
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Accused of crimes he didn’t commit, ex-preacher Ridge Steele is forced to give up everything he knew and make his home with outlaws. Desperate for someone to confide in, he strikes up correspondence with mail-order bride Adeline Jancy, finding in her the open heart he’s been searching for. Upon her arrival, Ridge discovers Addie only communicates through the written word, but he knows a little of what trauma can do to a person and vows to stand by her side.

Addie is eager to start a new life with the kind ex-preacher and the little boy she’s stolen away from her father―a zealot priest of a terrorized flock. As her small family settles into life at Hope’s Crossing, she even begins to find the voice, and confidence, she’d lost so long ago.

But danger is not far behind, and her father will not be denied. While Addie desperately fights the man who destroyed her childhood, a determined Ridge races to the rescue. The star-crossed lovers will need more than prayers to survive this final challenge…and find their way back to each other again.
  

PRAISE FOR ONCE UPON A MAIL ORDER BRIDE:

“An awesome culmination to a great western romance series!” 
~ Fresh Fiction 

“Broday concludes the Outlaw Mail Order Bride series with a sizzling finale that features a tantalizingly slow build to intimate trust that catapults into adrenaline packed ardor.” 
~ Booklist
 

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OUTLAW MAIL ORDER BRIDES: SERIES SPOTLIGHT

GUEST POST BY LINDA BRODAY



With the release of Once Upon a Mail Order Bride, this series has come to an end. It’s always such a sad moment for me to have to say goodbye. We’ve traveled many a dusty mile together, these characters and I, and somewhere along the way they became woven into my heart. I know how they think and how they act in any given situation. I love these men and women and respect them to the utmost.

The outlaw Clay Colby, who I introduced back in the second book of the Men of Legend series, had a vision of making a town from a rough hideout. Friends Jack Bowdre and Ridge Steele joined forces with him and the three of them began to build. So that’s how the series was born.

But they knew the town would never grow with just men alone. To get wives and start families, they enlisted the help of Luke Legend (again from the Men of Legend series.) Luke had started a private mail order bride service for men and women living in the shadows who couldn’t do things the normal way. He stepped in and connected the men with possible brides.

Clay and Tally Shannon were the first to marry. She’d escaped an asylum where she’d been kept for two years. Her stepmother put her in there to get rid of her, not because she was crazy. Tally brought into the marriage a little blind girl in her care. Violet added so much depth to this series.

Next Jack Bowdre and Nora Kane tied the knot. Then I met an interesting character named Tait Trinity and slid him into the third spot. Ridge and Addie made number four.

Each couple seemed to pick up a few orphans along the way and by the end of this last and final book, the population of Hope’s Crossing had grown to ninety-five. They had fifteen businesses and an opera house. They welcomed the down and out, people needing a safe place to put down roots. All thrived in this town where no one judged because everyone there had done something to blacken their name.

I just loved how they all pulled together in good times and bad and often wished I could live in a place like this.

My outlaws filled my imagination with such rich depth and spilled over into these four books that are now in readers’ hands. I’m very proud of each story and can honestly say that I may never write another series with this level of “heart.”

But we’ll see. I’m starting a new series in April called Lone Star Legends. These are the children of my Men of Legend brothers, a new generation of heroes. However, first let Ridge and Addie into your heart. They need love. 



 

I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty historical western romance novels and short stories. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and early cowboys once roamed, and at times if the breeze is just right, I can hear their voices whispering in the wind. Texas’s rich history is one reason I set all my stories here where cowboys still remain caretakers of the land. I’m inspired every day by their immense dedication and love for the wide-open spaces. I combine those men with the love of family in all my stories and hope to continue to give readers books that entertain and fulfill.
 
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GRAND PRIZE
Full Autographed Set of the Mail Order Bride Series 
2ND and 3RD PRIZE:
Autographed copy of Once Upon a Mail Order Bride 
4TH PRIZE: $10 Amazon Gift Card 
US Only. Ends Midnight, CST, 12/11/2020


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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:
 
12/1/2020 Book Trailer StoreyBook Reviews
12/1/2020 BONUS Post Hall Ways Blog
12/2/2020 Excerpt Forgotten Winds
12/3/2020 Review Carpe Diem Chronicles
12/4/2020 Review Momma on the Rocks
12/5/2020 Character Interview All the Ups and Downs
12/6/2020 Excerpt The Clueless Gent
12/7/2020 Review Missus Gonzo
12/8/2020 Guest Post The Page Unbound
12/9/2020 Review Chapter Break Book Blog
12/10/2020 Review Reading by Moonlight
 

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The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas Blitz

The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas

by

Jodi Thomas,

Sharla Lovelace, and Scarlett Dunn

 

Genre: Romance / Adventure / Anthology
Publisher: Kensington Books
Date of Publication: October 27, 2020
Number of Pages: 336 pages

 

Scroll down for Giveaway!

 

The Lone Star State doesn’t have to be lonely during Christmas time! 


Legendary author Jodi Thomas headlines a new holiday-themed Western historical romance collection featuring three Texas-set stories of romance and adventure. 

The Civil War is over, Christmas is coming—and it’s time for three rugged cowboys to hang-up their spurs and settle down. These authors combine their talents and excel at creating atmosphere and complex characters which infuse these stories with Texas history and evoke the grandeur of a bygone era and the indomitable pioneer spirit of the region. 

Prepare to be swept off your feet by these heroic cowboys who will stop at nothing to make sure this Christmas is one to remember. Ideal for gift giving, The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas will be the fan-favorite collection of romance for the 2020 Christmas season!


 

 

PRAISE FOR THE COWBOY WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS:

“FATHER GOOSE is a warm, entertaining story, with Trapper and Emery starting with nothing, yet finding love and hoping for a future.” 

Rose from Roses Are Blue

  

“It was a pitch-perfect reading experience that left my heart bursting with joy. This story has become an instant classic in my holiday reading canon.” 
PJ Ausdenmore from The Romance Dish

  

“I love an anthology at this busy time of the year because I can read a complete story in a short time–this book hit the mark.” 
Mary from Bookfan

CLICK TO PURCHASE

 

 

 

 

Jodi Thomas is a New York Times bestselling author and fifth-generation Texan who sets many of her award-winning stories in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A multi-RITA Award winner and member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame, she’s written over 50 novels with millions of copies in print. Her most recent releases are The Little Tea Shop on Main and the first book in her new Honey Creek series, Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café, which is out now.

 

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One copy of THE COWBOY WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS 
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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

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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.
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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.


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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
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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



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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.

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OCTOBER 1-11, 2020
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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




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The Secret of You and Me: Guest Post and Giveaway

THE SECRET OF YOU AND ME
by
MELISSA LENHARDT
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Romance  Publisher:  Graydon House (Harlequin)
Date of Publication: August 4, 2020
Number of Pages: 352 Scroll down for the giveaway!
True love never fades—and old secrets never die . . . 
Nora hasn’t looked back. Not since she fled Texas to start a new life. Away from her father’s volatile temper and the ever-watchful gaze of her claustrophobically conservative small town, Nora has freed herself. She can live—and love—however she wants. The only problem is that she also left behind the one woman she can’t forget. Now tragedy calls her back home to confront her past—and reconcile her future. Sophie seems to have everything—a wonderful daughter, a successful husband, and a rewarding career. Yet underneath that perfection lies an explosive secret. She still yearns for Nora—her best friend and first love—despite all the years between them. Keeping her true self hidden hasn’t been easy, but it’s been necessary. So when Sophie finds out that Nora has returned, she hopes Nora’s stay is short. The life she has built depends on it. But they both find that first love doesn’t fade easily. Memories come to light, passion ignites, and old feelings resurface. As the forces of family and intolerance that once tore them apart begin to reemerge, they realize some things may never change—unless they demand it.
                          
PRAISE FOR THE SECRET OF YOU AND ME: “A compelling story of second chances and being true to yourself.” —Harper Bliss, bestselling author of Seasons of Love
“Lenhardt convinces in her portrayal of the conflict between desire and control.” —Publishers Weekly
CLICK TO PURCHASE
(Personalized/signed copies available through Interabang)
A portion of royalties are going to the It Gets Better Project (Click for more details.)

It Gets Better

by Melissa Lenhardt,

author of The Secret of You and Me

I have been trying to write a modern-day version of Persuasion for over a decade. When I had a break between contracted books at the beginning of 2016, I decided to tackle the project again. I would set it in Texas, naturally, and went about staring at walls and the tree outside my office window for character inspiration. When Nora and Charlie walked into my head, I tried to imagine who would have the outsized influence on Nora that Lady Russell had on Anne Elliott. If I stuck with the Persuasion outline, it would be a mother figure. Nothing about writing that scenario appealed to me. (I decided early on not to do a faithful scene for scene, character for character retelling, but more of an homage to Persuasion, like Bridget Jones’s Diary is to Pride and Prejudice.) Then Sophie Russell knocked on the door of my imagination and said, “Hi, I’m about to take over your book. Hope you don’t mind.”

 

As Nora, Sophie, and Charlie coalesced, I realized something; Sophie was in love with Nora, and the feeling was mutual.

 

As someone who didn’t identify with the LGBTQ community, I needed to ask for help, do my research, listen to feedback from lesbians and bisexual women, and admit, I’m ignorant; please help. I have a lovely friend, Kat, who encouraged me to write the story and offered to read it and help me with representation.

 

I expected this book to be challenging to write since it wasn’t my lived experience. But, falling in love is falling in love, and it was easy to imagine Nora and Sophie feeling the same as I did when I fell in love with my husband. I didn’t realize until I read the first draft that Sophie’s experiences and challenges mirrored the challenges I observed firsthand of a loved one of mine who’d been closeted in a small town. I thought about what they’d gone through and how it affected their happiness and success for years and determined to do what I could to help. Shutting up and listening and believing the experiences of marginalized communities is the first step to understanding. I wasn’t about to barrel my woke-white-lady way into a movement and try to take over or even ask the community to do the work for me by saying, I’m here to help. Tell me what to do.

 

I decided the best way to support the community, at present, is to donate a portion of my royalties to an LGBTQ youth charity, and the It Gets Better Project fits perfectly.

From the It Gets Better Project website:

 

The It Gets Better Project is a nonprofit organization with a mission to uplift, empower, and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth around the globe. Growing up isn’t easy, especially when you are trying to affirm and assert your sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It can be a challenging and isolating process—but, the good news is, no one has to do it alone.

 

I don’t want LGBTQ youth to have to go through the same struggles my loved one did, which is why I’m donating 10 percent of my royalties from The Secret of You and Me to the It Gets Better Project. Visit their website for more information or to donate directly.



Melissa Lenhardt is a women’s fiction, mystery, and historical fiction author. Her debut mystery, Stillwater, was a finalist for the 2014 Whidbey Writers’ MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest, and Sawbones, her historical-fiction debut, was hailed as a “thoroughly original, smart and satisfying hybrid, perhaps a new sub-genre: the feminist Western” by Lone Star Literary Life. The New York Times called her sixth novel, Heresy, “An all-out women-driven, queer, transgender, multiracial takeover of the Old West.” The Secret of You and Me, her seventh novel and her first contemporary women’s fiction novel, was published on August 4, 2020. When Melissa isn’t writing, she’s thinking, “I really should be writing,” and eating Nutella or peanut butter straight out of the jar. A lifelong Texan, she lives in the Dallas area with her husband, two sons, and two Golden Retrievers.
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TWO WINNERS each get a signed hardcover copy of the book and their choice of either a FaceTime call or virtual book-club visit with the author.
 August 11-21, 2020
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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:

8/11/20
Author Interview
8/11/20
Review
8/12/20
Review
8/12/20
BONUS Post
8/13/20
Review
8/14/20
Top Six List
8/14/20
Review
8/15/20
Excerpt
8/16/20
Guest Post
8/17/20
Review
8/17/20
Review
8/18/20
Audio Spotlight
8/19/20
Review
8/19/20
Review
8/20/20
Review
8/20/20
Review

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Thank You Garden Blitz

THANK YOU, GARDEN
By LIZ GARTON SCANLON
Illustrated by Simone Shin
Children’s Picture Book / Poetry / Environment / Ages 3-7 Publisher: Beach Lane Books / Simon & Schuster
Date of Publication: March 3, 2020
Number of Pages: 32
A community garden unites neighbors in this celebration of all the things that grow there, from flowers and fruits, to friendships!  This ode to working together for a better world will have young readers wanting to plant gardens of their own!
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Liz Garton Scanlon is the author of many beloved books for kids, including the brand new Thank You, Garden, as well as the Caldecott Honor book All the World and others, including several co-authored with her pal Audrey Vernick. Scanlon also wrote the middle grade novel The Great Good Summer and is published in numerous poetry anthologies. She serves on the faculty of the Vermont Faculty of Fine Arts and is a frequent and popular presenter at conferences and festivals. Find more about her life and work at www.LizGartonScanlon.com
Follow illustrator Simone Shin on Instagram!
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The Caretakers: Review and Giveaway

THE CARETAKERS
by
ELIZA MAXWELL
Genre:  Psychological Thriller / Gothic Fiction / Sisters Fiction  Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: April 14, 2020
Number of Pages: 317 Scroll down for the giveaway!
In the isolated estate she’s found the perfect getaway. But there’s no escaping the past in this chilling novel from the bestselling author of The Unremembered Girl.
Filmmaker Tessa Shepherd helped free a man she believed was wrongly imprisoned for murder. When he kills again, Tessa’s life is upended. She’s reeling with guilt, her reputation destroyed. Worse, Tessa’s mother has unexpectedly passed away, and her sister, Margot, turns on her after tensions from their past escalate. Hounded by a bullying press, Tessa needs an escape. That’s when she learns of a strange inheritance bequeathed by her mother: a derelict and isolated estate known as Fallbrook. It seems like the perfect refuge. A crumbling monument to a gruesome history, the mansion has been abandoned by all but two elderly sisters retained as caretakers. They are also guardians of all its mysteries. As the house starts revealing its dark secrets, Tessa must face her fears and right the wrongs of her past to save herself and her relationship with Margot. But nothing and no one at Fallbrook are what they seem.  “Suspense fans will be satisfied.” —Publishers Weekly
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The Caretakers was an intense and gripping read. The suspense/thriller takes you for quite a ride. The story follows two lovely ladies, one named Tessa, a young filmmaker, and Kitty, an elderly woman with bones in her closet (not literally in case you were wondering.) Tessa just helped free a man from jail that she believed was innocent from committing murder.  But then, not long after his release, he begins making videos for those of Bonham. The chilling videos are targeted towards the one that wrongfully put him in jail, indicating that he would soon go after the chief’s daughter. 

As the story unravels, Tessa journeys to a place that was left in her granddad’s will. There she meets Kitty. Tessa is trying to get away from all that is happening in Bonham, never did she realize that by venturing to that house, that Kitty would eventually reveal secrets of her Tessa’s own family. 

It’s a heart wrenching, heart-pumping read. I finished it in a day because I simply couldn’t put it down. And the twist at the end is one I did not see coming. It’s clever. It’s exciting and cunning. And the power behind the broken love of two sisters and their path to mending was beautiful. 

My favorite character in this story besides Kitty and Tessa was Ben. He’s Tessa’s sister’s husband. I love how intricately connected Tessa, Ben, and Margot are. There’s alot of history among the three which is revealed throughout the story, but the three of them sure do make a formidable team. 

I really enjoyed the reveal of what had happened to Kitty and Dee. This was very shocking something I was not expecting which made me love it even more. 

And that ending! It’s definitely one I won’t forget anytime soon. 

This is a must read for any murder mystery and suspense thriller fans. Eliza Maxwell has this amazing way with doing the least expected in her stories. I have loved every book of hers that I have read, and this one was just wonderful! 

Definitely a 5/5!


Eliza Maxwell is the author of The Shadow Writer, The Widow’s Watcher, The Unremembered Girl, The Grave Tender, and The Kinfolk. She writes fiction from her home in Texas, which she shares with her ever-patient husband, two impatient kids, a ridiculous English setter, and a bird named Sarah. An artist and writer, a dedicated introvert, and a British-cop-drama addict, she enjoys nothing more than sitting on the front porch with a good cup of coffee. For more information, visit www.elizamaxwell.net.
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APRIL 14-25, 2020
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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
4/14/20
Review
4/14/20
Review
4/15/20
Audio Review
4/16/20
Review
4/16/20
Review
4/17/20
Review
4/17/20
BONUS Post
4/18/20
Review
4/19/20
Review
4/20/20
Audio Review
4/20/20
Audio Review
4/21/20
Review
4/22/20
Review
4/23/20
Review
4/24/20
Review
4/24/20
Review
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Bayou City Burning

BAYOU CITY BURNING
Harry & Dizzy Lark, Book 1
by
D.B. BORTON
Mystery / Detective / Humor / Historical Publisher: Boomerang Books
Date of Publication: May 30, 2019
Number of Pages: 390
Houston, 1961: comedy meets mystery and history. It’s hard to be hard-boiled when your biggest fan and worst critic is your twelve-year-old daughter, especially when she’s cracking your case for you and defending you from the bad guys, along with sidekicks human and feline. Houston is still a cowboy backwater, but Texas politicians dream big. P.I. Harry Lark is out to save the city for President Kennedy’s moon mission. Dizzy Lark is out to save Harry. Jani Brooks of Romance Reviews Today calls Bayou City Burning “a terrific mystery loaded with humor, lots of excitement, and fascinating, well written characters” and rates it “a Perfect 10 book.”
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Visit D.B. Borton’s website to read the Prologue, Chapter One, and Chapter Two of Bayou City Burning! 
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D. B. Borton is the author of two mystery series—the Cat Caliban series (Berkley, Hilliard and Harris) and the Gilda Liberty series (Fawcett)—as well as the recent novels Second Coming, Smoke, and Bayou City Burning (all from Boomerang Books). She is Professor Emeritus of English at Ohio Wesleyan University. A native Texan, Borton became an ardent admirer of Nancy Drew at a young age. At the age of fourteen, she acquired her own blue roadster, trained on the freeways of Houston and the broad stretches of oil-endowed Texas highway, and began her travels. She also began a lifetime of political activism, working only for political candidates who lost. She left Texas at about the time everyone else arrived. In graduate school, Borton converted a lifetime of passionate reading and late-night movie-watching into a doctorate in English. She discovered that people would pay her to discuss literature and writing, although not much. But because she found young people interesting and entertaining and challenging, she became a college teacher, and survived many generations of college students. Later, during a career crisis, she discovered that people would pay her to tell stories, although even less than they would pay her to discuss stories written by someone else. Borton has lived in the Southwest and Midwest, and on the West Coast, where she has planted roses and collected three degrees in English without relinquishing her affection for the ways in which actual speakers constantly reinvent the language to meet their needs. In her spare time, she gardens, practices aikido, studies languages other than English, and, of course, watches movies and reads.
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