Saturday, September 5, 2020

The Edge of Belonging: Interview and Giveaway

THE EDGE OF BELONGING
by AMANDA COX

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

Scroll down for the giveaway!


When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee her late grandmother's estate sale, she soon discovers that the woman left behind more than trinkets and photo framesshe provided a path to the truth behind Ivy's adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing. Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he's ever loved. In this dual-timeline story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truthboth the search for it and the desire to keep it from otherstakes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.







Interview with Amanda Cox,

author of The Edge of Belonging


Where did your love of books come from?

I can’t remember a time in which books were not a part of my life. My parents read to me before bed and took me to story time at the library. They weren’t the type to let me buy a new toy just because I wanted it, but they always said yes to books.


How long have you been writing?

I wrote my very first story for publication when I was seven. It didn’t end up getting published, but it wasn’t from a lack of effort on my part! My parents recently unearthed a copy of it from their archives of kid crafts, and I got to read it to my own kids. It was really fun, seeing similar ways my storyteller’s brain worked back then that still endures in my writing today. That writing dream went dormant for about twenty years. I picked that childhood dream back up about ten years ago.

 

How do you write? Any backstory to your choice?

My very first novel-length work I wrote entirely in longhand, in a series of journals. I don’t write that way anymore, but if there is a particularly emotional scene, I always write it longhand first. There is something about pen and paper that is more connected to my heart.

 

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The very first few drafts of this story were as a single-timeline novel. As time went on it became clear that something was missing, that the story was not quite complete in its original form. So, I went through the process of making some very tough decisions on the cutting-room floor, cutting out half of a story I loved in order to write and weave together a new timeline. It took several tries to create a new timeline that I was happy with. That was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done writing-wise. But in the end that hard work paid off, and this story became my first published work.

 

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The characters. This cast of characters felt so real to me from the very beginning. And though they are each broken in their own ways, it was really fun writing a redemptive, restorative path for them. I hope that comes through as people read this story.

 

How has your formal education influenced or impacted your writing?

My degree in counseling has made a huge impact on the way I develop characters and take them through an authentic change process. I really tap into that education to think about what events would change my characters, with their particular personality type, and how it would change them.

 

Do you have a favorite character in The Edge of Belonging and why?

Each of the characters has a special place in my heart, each for different reasons. But Harvey stood out to me from the first lines I wrote of his story. He’s a complex character with very simple desires in his life. Or so he thinks. His life has taught him that extreme independence is the same thing as safety and that love is something he can witness but never experience for himself. But the story quickly develops to show that, though he struggles to express himself and despite all he’s been through, Harvey has a huge capacity to love. There’s a tender nature beneath his rough exterior that I find so endearing, and I think readers will not be able to help loving him too.

 

What literary character is most like you?

I often tell people that I act a lot like Jane Bennet outwardly, but to those who are a part of my very close inner circle, they’d probably think I was a little more Elizabeth Bennet. Only in their presence does my playful, snarky wit emerge.



Amanda Cox is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story. 
She holds a bachelor's degree in Bible and theology and a master's degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers. 
Amanda lives in Tennessee with her husband and their three children.
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THREE WINNERS  1st: Copy of The Edge of Belonging + Fern Tote Bag  + $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card  2nd and 3rd: Copy of The Edge of Belonging + $10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card 
September 1-11, 2020
(U.S. Only)


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

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

   
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Saturday, May 9, 2020

Covey and JayJay Get Educated: Promo and Giveaway

COVEY AND JAYJAY
GET EDUCATED
Audio Book Tour By Shelton L. Williams
Narrated by Kathy James
Covey Jencks Mysteries, Book 2 Genre: Murder Mystery / Social Thriller / Amateur Sleuth Publisher: Audible Length: 5 hours, 40 minutes Publication Date: March 18, 2020
Scroll down for giveaway!


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.
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 forty years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He has served in the US Government on four occasions, and he has written books and articles on nuclear proliferation. In 2004 he began a new career of writing books on crime and society. Those books are Washed in the Blood, Summer of 66, and now the Covey Jencks series. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.
 Amazon Author Page  


Kathy James. My first part time job while I was in high school was announcing at the local radio station, and I had fun being "on the air” and using my sarcastic sense of humor.  I worked in the radio business for more than twenty years. My favorite pastimes are teaching figure skating, getting lost in a great book, and watching movies.  I narrate and produce audio books in my home studio, and I truly enjoy bringing an author’s characters to life with an audio book. I currently reside in Minnesota with my slightly overweight cat and two childlike golden retrievers.  
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THREE WINNERS!  FIRST PRIZE: Audio books of Covey Jencks, Covey and JayJay Get Educated, and Washed In the Blood
SECOND PRIZE: Both Covey Jencks books in Kindle editions
THIRD PRIZE: Covey and JayJay Get Educated in Kindle edition
MAY 7-16, 2020
CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, OR VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR NOW:

5/7/20
Review
5/7/20
Promo
5/8/20
Review
5/8/20
Promo
5/9/20
Review
5/9/20
Promo
5/10/20
Review
5/10/20
Promo
5/11/20
Review
5/11/20
Promo

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Blue Skies: Top 10 List and Giveaway


BLUE SKIES
by
Anne Bustard

Middle Grade / Historical Fiction Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Date of Publication: March 17, 2020
Number of Pages: 224

Scroll down for the giveaway!



Ten-year-old Glory Bea Bennett believes in miracles. After all, her grandmother—the best matchmaker in the whole county—is responsible for thirty-nine of them so far. Now, Glory Bea wants a miracle of her own—her daddy’s return. The war ended three years ago, but Glory Bea’s father never returned from the front in France. She believes Daddy is still out there. When reports that the Texas boxcar from the Merci Train—a train filled with gifts of gratitude from the people of France—will be stopping in Gladiola, Glory Bea just knows Daddy will be its surprise cargo. But miracles, like people, are always changing, until at last they find their way home.
PRAISE FOR BLUE SKIES:
“I loved Blue Skies so much I couldn’t bear for it to end.” --Patricia Reilly Giff, Newbery Honor author of Lily’s Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods “A heart-warming (and occasionally heart-wrenching) delight of a book . . .” --Joy Preble, Brazos Bookstore "A tender story of grief and the gentle comfort of loved ones." -- Kirkus Reviews

CLICK TO ORDER ON: ┃  Amazon  ┃  BookPeople  ┃  IndieBound ┃





Anne Bustard’s TOP TEN Favorite Foods

Yes, my list is half desserts. I love them so. And it’s no coincidence that my main character, Glory Bea, and I share a bond with my favorite food group. For me, desserts are especially delicious because I associate them with family, friends, and places. I was born and raised (mostly) in Hawaii with a few years in California. I came to Texas for college and stayed—until two years ago when I moved to Canada because of love. I had reconnected with my college boyfriend and we married. Which was and is ever so sweet.

1.     Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
2.     Breakfast tacos
3.     Chicken and vegetables stir-fry
4.     Coconut cake made by my friend Kathleen
5.     Fried okra
6.     Gumbo
7.     Macadamia nut pie (think pecan pie with mac nuts)
8.     Pineapple Dole whip
9.     See’s Candies
10. Smoked turkey with coleslaw
  



Anne Bustard is the former co-owner of Toad Hall Children’s Bookstore in Austin, Texas, and an MFA graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of the middle grade novel, Anywhere But Paradise, as well as two picture books, RAD! and Buddy: The Story of Buddy Holly, which was an IRA Children’s Book Award Notable and a Bank Street Book of the Year. Hawaii-born, she divides her time between Texas and Canada.


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THREE WINNERS
Each receive a signed copy of Blue Skies 
March 17-March 27, 2020
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
3/17/20
Notable Quotable
3/17/20
BONUS Post
3/18/20
Review
3/19/20
Playlist
3/20/20
Author Interview
3/21/20
Review
3/22/20
Guest Post
3/23/20
Review
3/24/20
Review
3/25/20
Top Ten List
3/26/20
Review
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