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
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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.
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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Monday, February 17, 2020

Finding Esme: Review and Giveaway


FINDING ESME
by
SUZANNE CROWLEY

   Genre: Middle Grade (3-7) / Magical Realism / Family & Loss Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Date of Publication: August 14, 2018
Number of Pages: 288

Scroll down for the giveaway!



After her grandfather died from a heart attack while driving his tractor on Solace Hill, twelve-year-old Esme's been inextricably drawn to that spot, although her grandmother warns her to stay away. But when she follows her little brother, Bo, and her dog, Old Jack, up the hill while chasing fireflies, she makes an incredible discovery—dinosaur bones peeking out from underneath the abandoned tractor. The bones must be a message from her grandfather, a connection from beyond the grave. But when word gets out that the farm is hiding something valuable, reporters, researchers, and neighbors arrive in droves. Esme struggles to understand who has her best interests at heart, especially as the memory of her grandfather begins to slip away. Full of friendship and adventure, and featuring a palpable Texas setting, Finding Esme is a moving and heartfelt story about family, friendship, and learning to deal with loss.
PRAISE & HONORS FOR FINDING ESME:
“Esme is a brave, appealing heroine with the odds stacked against her… Bad blood and layered family secrets drive this story to its ultimately optimistic and satisfying conclusion.” -- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review) “Esme McCauley is a lonely but spirited 12-year-old who feels nothing ever happens to her the way it’s supposed to...A poignant tale for readers who enjoy character-driven realism.” -- School Library Journal “Readers muddling through preteen changes or unstable family lives will identify with Esme’s struggles, but the thrill of discovery will appeal to most.” -- Booklist
Texas Library Association 2019 Spirit of Texas (SPOT) reading program selection

Rating: 5/5

"You ain't ever gonna conquer your fears unless you face them head-on." - Bee

Finding Esme is a perfect coming of age story. Esme is right in those awkward years, where boys become interesting and girl friends can become mean. Where being odd is frowned upon. Esme's tale is really about finding herself, finding where she fits in, and accepting what makes her stand apart from everyone else: her ability to find lost things, an inherited trait like her Grandma Bee. 

Esme is at a lost after the untimely death of her Grandfather Paps. She always seems to be searching, but for what she doesn't really know. Everyone in her home seems to be suffering just a little and in their own ways. June Rain (their mother) rarely talks, Bo acts out in his own way (hyper they call him at school) and Bee does her best to take care of everyone. With Esme's father missing, and Paps gone, Esme just isn't sure where she fits in anymore. She begins to notice things from her past that she had missed, her friends don't really seem like her friends anymore, and she seems to be at odds with her friend Finch. Soon she's on a path that leads her to bones, mystery, and history. And through her journey acceptance of who she is and forgiveness of those that hurt her. 

I think what really stood apart from this book was Esme's voice. This character swept me off my feet right from the beginning. She's imaginative and thought-provoking. I could hear the hint of a southern drawl as she narrated, and it was easy to fall into a gentle rhythm hearing her voice and falling into her story. 

Another character that I loved was Bee. She had such a level head about everything. She's a wonderful role model for Esme, and her words of wisdom were very insightful. She's is Esme's rock throughout the entire book, the one solid thing that doesn't sway. She was a priceless gem!

I simply loved the setting as well. I enjoyed Esme's interactions with everyone else in town, to be completely submerged in Esme's world. Esme is about fitting the pieces of broken hearts back together and accepting what makes you you!

"Bee always said life was about leavings and comings, but I think it's about those who stay."- Esme






Suzanne Crowley is the author of two acclaimed novels for young readers, The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous and The Stolen One. The author, who is also a miniaturist and dollhouse collector whose work has graced the covers of magazines worldwide, was born in a small town in Texas and lives in Southlake, Texas. When not hugging her dog or imbibing in chocolate, she can often be found taking a nap.
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TWO READERS EACH WIN A SIGNED COPY OF FINDING ESME, TWO CANDLES, BOOKMARKS, FUN FACT CARDS, AND A PEN! February 11-21, 2020
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
2/11/20
Review
2/11/20
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2/12/20
Audio Review
2/12/20
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2/13/20
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2/14/20
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2/14/20
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2/15/20
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2/16/20
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2/17/20
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2/17/20
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2/18/20
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2/19/20
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2/20/20
Review
2/20/20
Audio Review

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