Thursday, February 22, 2024

The Knotted Ring: Book Blitz and Giveaway

THE KNOTTED RING
BY MYRA HARGRAVE MCILVAIN

Historical Fiction / Family Saga / Historical Romance
Publisher: Next Chapter
Page Count: 412
Publication Date: December 7, 2023

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Susannah Mobley, expecting a baby by her lover, a slave owned by her family, submits to an arranged marriage to Hezekiah James who is headed to Texas to claim a Spanish land grant. Caught in a series of lies about the origin of a beautiful ring woven from her red hair and the circumstances of her pregnancy, Susannah embarks on the harsh trip to Texas, grieving for her lost love and determined to control her destiny.

On the wagon train journey, Hezekiah is tested by his beliefs and strengths with his slaves and Native Americans, as well as a strange Mad Stone. His determination to build a plantation as fine as Susannah’s home place and to make the best decisions for Susannah fails. Susannah will have to decide if she can live with the consequences of her lies and open herself to this man who shows every form of contrition or if she will allow longing for what she cannot have to destroy her life.

The Knotted Ring is currently a semi-finalist status
in the Laramie Awards for Western and Americana Fiction.

"An often engrossing and well-handled story of the 19th century."
--Kirkus Reviews

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Myra Hargrave McIlvain, a sixth-generation Texan, is a storyteller who has written Texas historical markers (yes, real people write those things lining Texas highways), articles for newspapers and magazines such as Texas Highways, and six nonfiction books about famous and infamous Texas characters and places.

McIlvain found her real love when she wrote her first historical fiction. All her tales take place in Texas during major periods of its history. However, The Knotted Ring was inspired by an old family story, and in her search to understand what may have happened, she imagined their lives set in a time that she knew well––the establishment of the first Anglo colony.

McIlvain views history as the story of a people; the people she knows best have made Texas home.                                                                                                                                     


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THREE WINNERS
1st Prize: Autographed hardcover & tote bag; 2nd Prize: Autographed paperback + candle; 3rd Prize: Autographed paperback
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 02/29/24)


Monday, February 12, 2024

Amethyst, the Shallows: Blitz and Giveaway


AMETHYST, THE SHALLOWS
The Companion Novel to
The Aquamarine Surfboard
By KELLYE ABERNATHY

Young Adult / Magical Realism / Coming of Age
Atmosphere Press
296 pages
February 6, 2024

NEW RELEASE!



"This is a night for being brave."

In the aftermath of a devastating sickness that shatters their close-knit beach town, six lonely kids are drawn together during the unpredictable autumn equinox. Among them are fourteen-year-old Lorelei, who yearns to be an oceanographer, and her peculiar younger brother, Tad, who possesses an otherworldly curiosity.

When Lorelei has a strange and almost deadly encounter in a sea cave, her loyal boyfriend, Casey, cannot reconcile her fantastical experience with the rational world. Condi, Lorelei's best friend, understands ocean magic but isn't free to share what she knows. Kait, a girl from Ireland, regrets her impulsive move to America-all because of an odd occurrence involving her deceased boyfriend's lost surfboard. When tides turn and the moon shifts, Isaac, the new kid in town who despises the ocean, is forced to face the truth-a profound and powerful magic lives in the deep.

Guided by a wise surf master, mystical old women known as the Beachlings, and an open-hearted grandmother, six kids embark on transformative adventures that challenge their beliefs about possibilities and the intense nature of love.

Amethyst, The Shallows is the brand-new
companion novel to The Aquamarine Surfboard.

PRAISE FOR AMETHYST, THE SHALLOWS

Amethyst, The Shallows' sensitive and potent prose stirs the reader, leaving a lasting impression. Although this novel is the second installment in a series, it stands strong independently, welcoming newcomers and returning readers alike.” --Literary Titan

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Kellye Abernathy's passions are writing and serving trauma survivors as a yoga teacher and practical life skills advocate. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Kansas. Her home is in land-locked Plano, Texas—where she’s dreaming of her next trip to the sea!



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Friday, February 2, 2024

To Rescue a Witch: Blitz and Giveaway

 

TO RESCUE A WITCH
By LISA A. TRAUGOTT

Historical Fiction / Action & Adventure / Fantasy
Coming March 1, 2024


It’s 1739. An abused girl accused of witchcraft must be defended by a man married to an actual witch.

William MacLeod, a fierce Scottish lawyer with a kind heart, takes on a daunting task—rescue young Annaliese from the clutches of her tormentors in the untamed wilds of Virginia colony and deliver her safely to her aristocratic father in London. But lurking in the shadows are enemies eager to expose MacLeod’s own wife, Fiona, as a witch with a dark secret.

Their perilous journey takes an unexpected turn when their ship wrecks, and Annaliese’s haunting nightmares and unexplained “Devil marks” trigger suspicion among the crew. Tension peaks when MacLeod must become Annaliese’s unwavering protector in a witch trial, where Fiona’s clairvoyance and a murder are unveiled.

To Rescue a Witch navigates themes of betrayal and redemption, in a spellbinding narrative that blends history, magic and the unyielding resilience of the human spirit.








Lisa A. Traugott is an award-winning author and World Championship public speaker semifinalist -- who also spoke five lines on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She lives in Austin with her husband, two kids and English bulldog, Bruno.


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Monday, December 18, 2023

Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being CG Fewston: Scrapbook Page and Giveaway

CONQUERGOOD & THE CENTER
OF THE INTELLIGIBLE
MYSTERY OF BEING
by
CG Fewston
Science Fiction / Dystopian / Steampunk
Date of Publication: October 17, 2023
Number of Pages: 381 pages
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One of resilience and transformation, Conquergood’s life-changing discovery explores the depths of family, memory, love, and the mysteries that lie at the heart of the universe.
In 2183, Jerome Conquergood is an outcast roaming the abandoned and crumbling skyscrapers of Old York City outside the Korporation’s seductive and dizzying headquarters, a post-apocalyptic security-city for the mega-rich. Despite his hatred for the techno-optimism and the Korporation, Conquergood is compelled to save his mysterious twin brother Vincent by joining the Korporation, a mega-corporate and governmental entity in a world oppressed to peace.











1.  I’m an otherwise simple man who enjoys wearing all Adidas because it’s simple, easy, and (for me) fashionable because the outfits can easily match. I don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about my appearance, and I choose comfort over vanity every time. 

2.  I enjoy spending my time with my wife, Axton, and we enjoy going to eat at fancy restaurants, going shopping, and traveling. I want to grow old with my wife and have our son Thor return home to us when he’s grown and has a family of his own — things I didn’t have as a young man and still don’t have now as an old man. I want my wife and son to be proud of me and my work as a novelist. This, for me, is the greatest accomplishment I could ever achieve as a writer. 

3 & 4. My son Thor and I enjoy building LEGOs together. Among the countless LEGOs we have built, we have built a LEGO Minecraft Village and Thor’s LEGO Hammer, Mjolnir, and he got me the LEGO Typewriter for my birthday, which we will build together once he is only holiday from school.

5.  For the productivity part of my writing — the printing of pages, etc. — I live in a Serviced Apartment in China, so it’s a lot like having a private assistant. I can be in my office and message them to print out an academic essay or some obscure research or several images or photos, and as I go back to my work, they will deliver to the outside door of my home, and they know not to disturb me. And when I’m ready, maybe hours later, I can collect the items at the foot of my door.  




Photo credit: Thor
The American novelist CG FEWSTON has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU, & he’s been a member of the Hemingway Society, Americans for the Arts, PEN America, Club Med, & the Royal Society of Literature. He’s also been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) based in London. He has a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Fiction. He was born in Texas in 1979.
Fewston is the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Father’s Son, The New America: Collection, The Mystic’s Smile ~ A Play in 3 Acts, Vanity of Vanities, A Time to Love in Tehran, Little Hometown, America, A Time to Forget in East Berlin, and Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being.
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SIX WINNERS:
1st: $100 Amazon card + eBook or paperback of Conquergood
2nd: $50 Amazon card + eBook or paperback
3rd: $25 Amazon card + eBook or paperback
4th: Book Lover's gift bundle + eBook or paperback
5th: Book Lover's blanket + eBook or paperback
6th: Book Lover's tote bag + eBook or paperback
(US Only; ends 12/21/23)

Friday, December 15, 2023

Porter and Midge: Book Blitz and Giveaway

PORTER & MIDGE:
PAWS AND PLAYTIME
by
Jennie Chen and Giselle Nevada


Children's Picture Book / Pet Care / Dog Training
Series: Porter and Midge series
Publisher: Raise the Woof Press LLC
Page Count: 32 pages
Publication date: December 12, 2023


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Discover the enchanting world of Porter and Midge: Paws and Playtime - a rhyming children's book that follows the heartwarming bond between two furry friends, Mastiff Porter and Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Midge, and their devoted companions, CJ and Lora.

On a sunny day, CJ's thoughtful idea sets the stage for a joyful exploration of new ways to make Porter and Midge's days even brighter.

Through rhythmic verses, follow their journey as they uncover imaginative games, canine enrichment activities, and thrilling dog sports, all while strengthening their unbreakable connection.





Giselle Nevada has owned several mastiffs, acquired both from reputable breeders and via rescue. Fostering rescued mastiffs and helping them work through their issues led to a keen interest in socialization as a means of preventing future issues. She loves working with her dogs and has dabbled in carting, conformation, agility, rally, trick dog, nose work, and many other canine sports. Her puppy Porter is a testament to early socialization - he has achieved many performance dog titles and has done commercial work. He also has a role in a movie called Match Me If You Can directed by Marian Yeager.



Jennie Chen is a homesick Austinite who founded Keep Austin Dog Friendly. Over the last 20 years, Jennie has owned Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs and Lowchen. She has earned numerous titles in conformation, competitive obedience, rally, herding, animal assisted therapy, and more. She is passionate about the relationship people build with their beloved canines, and she has been an advocate for people living with disabilities who need a service dog to live independently. She is active in various dog clubs and can be seen on AKC.TV from time to time.

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ONE WINNER
Pawtographed hardcover copy of Porter and Midge: Paws for Safety
+ a series water bottle
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 12/21/2023)


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Thursday, November 16, 2023

The Oxygen Farmer: Review and Giveaway

 

THE OXYGEN FARMER
by
Colin Holmes

Science Fiction / Space Mystery
Publisher: CamCat Books
Date of Publication: December 5, 2023
Number of Pages: 338 pages 

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After 35 years of living on the Moon, cranky old oxygen farmer Millennium Harrison has stumbled onto a hidden facility in the shadows of the Slayton Ridge Exclusion Zone with a radiation leak and a deadly secret. Mil's discovery leads to the death of a young astronaut, sabotage, murder, and cover-ups that may go all the way to the Chief Administrator of the space agency. Unfortunately, she happens to be Mil's estranged daughter, busy trying to secure her own legacy—the first international mission to Mars.

With time ticking down to a limited launch window, enemies, friends, and even family may do anything to ensure the truth doesn't come out. Or will history finally catch up with a deadly scheme that has the potential to destroy the moon and eradicate all life on Earth? It seems the planet’s only hope is a cantankerous guy who never really liked those people in the first place.

PRAISE FOR THE OXYGEN FARMER:
“An action-packed thriller perfect for fans of Andy Weir and Jack McDevitt.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This space mystery is a page-turner rooted in its convincing and compelling protagonists and their well-written relationships . . . SF fans will enjoy this rich novel full of good world building, mysterious space intrigue, and dry humor.” —Booklist

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My Rating: 4/5

A science fiction story about a man living on the moon as an oxygen farmer? Yes please! I'm not normally a huge science fiction fan unless it's science fiction fantasy, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book! What was neat about it was all the history that was woven into the story. I thought this was clever and it kept me very engaged through out the story.

The novel follows Mil Harrison. I love how Mil is short for Millennium, the first person born in the year 2000! He's been an oxygen farmer on the moon for 35 years! He ends up finding something that could destroy the moon, and have drastic and fatal effects on the Earth. I loved learning about his life as an oxygen farmer, it was fascinating! I also love how he's a bit of a rule breaker, but it's because of this that is why he stumbles upon the radioactive hotbed in a crater and the whole mystery of the story begins.

I really enjoyed the pacing of this story, and how Holmes weaves so much to love into this science fiction story. I love the family dynamic between himself and his daughter and granddaughter. I loved the bit of history that was woven into it. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery of the story as it unfolded. I think Holmes created some loveable and memorable characters and their relationships with each other were such a great glue to the scientific foundation of this well crafted story! 

Family drama, mystery, science fiction, history.... Like I said, science fiction tends to be hit or miss for me, but I feel like Holmes told this story perfectly, it was just the right combination of each writing ingredient for it to grip me and pull me in. 

Definitely one to add to your TBR list!


Before the pandemic, Colin Holmes toiled in a beige cubical as a mid-level marketing and advertising manager for an international electronics firm. A recovering advertising creative director, he spent far too long at ad agencies and freelancing as a hired gun in the war for capitalism.

As an adman, Holmes has written newspaper classifieds, TV commercials, radio spots, trade journal articles and tweets. His ads have sold cowboy boots and cheeseburgers, 72-ounce steaks, and hazardous waste site clean-up services. He’s encountered fascinating characters at every turn.

Now he writes novels, short stories and screenplays in an effort to stay out of the way and not drive his far-too-patient wife completely crazy. He is an honors graduate of the UCLA Writers Program, a former board member of the DFW Writers Workshop and serves on the steering committee of the DFW Writers Conference. He’s a fan of baseball, barbeque, fine automobiles and unpretentious scotch.


CAMCAT BOOKS:

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THREE WINNERS:
Signed hardcover of THE OXYGEN FARMER
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 11/22/23)