Fall Reading Challenge: In the Heart of Texas by Ginger McKnight-Chavers (Melissa’s review)

 

In the Heart of Texas: A NovelIn the Heart of Texas
written by Ginger McKnight-Chavers
published by She Writes Press, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
It’s the best book I’ve read all year. The story is unique and the writing is amazing. I wish I could quote the entirety of chapter four for you, because WOW. Chapter Four. Seriously. Buy this book just for chapter four; it’s fantastic.

 

GOLDEN LINES

“So I’m back in Texas. Smack dab in the middle of the snorer and the beauty queen. Back in my old room with the ‘Midland Lee Rebels’ and Dallas Cowboys pennants over the bed and my wooden rackets leaning against the bookshelf with my tennis trophies and worn copies of Jane Eyre and Mrs. Dalloway. Eating iceberg lettuce instead of mesclun and rib eye instead of tuna rolls. Drinking DQ Blizzards instead of wheatgrass juice (OK, I never really bought into the wheatgrass thing, though I faked it). Not to mention Bud instead of Sauvignon Blanc. A lot of Bud, actually, sitting by the pool with my cousin, Memphis. Swatting flies while we wonder how inevitably hot the next day will be.”

Would I recommend it: Yes. Seriously. Yes.

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads:

Named a “Top Pick” by RT Book Reviews

Named a “Fall Must-Read” by RedbookMag.com * PopSugar * Parade Magazine * Brit + Co * SoulCycle
Hailed as a “Best Fiction Book by Women of Color” at Bustle.com
Pitched as “a poor man’s Halle Berry,” forty-one-year-old soap star Jo Randolph, has successfully avoided waiting tables since she left Midland, Texas at eighteen. But then, in the span of twenty-four hours, Jo manages to lose her job, burn her bridges in Hollywood, and accidentally burn down her lover/director’s beach house—after which she is shipped home to Texas by her agent to stay out of sight while she sorts out her situation.

The more Jo reluctantly reconnects with her Texas “roots” and the family and friends she left behind, the more she regains touch with herself as an artist and with what is meaningful in life beyond the limelight. The summer of 2007 is cathartic for Jo, whose career and lifestyle have allowed her to live like a child for forty years, but who now must transition to making grown-up decisions and taking on adult responsibilities. In the Heart of Texas is a wry, humorous commentary on the complexities of race, class, relationships, politics, popular culture, and celebrity in our current society.

 

 

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Fall Reading Challenge: Hindsight by Mindy Tarquini (spotlight)

 

HindsightHindsight
written by Mindy Tarquini
published by Sparkpress, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads:

“Tarquini’s innovative concept is paired with realistic characters and sparkling wit, making this enjoyable novel a keeper.”
–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Finalist, General Fiction — 2016 USA Best Book Awards

EUGENIA PANISPORCHI LIVES WITH HER MOTHER, TEACHES CHAUCER, AND REMEMBERS ALL HER PAST LIVES. SHE IS DESPERATE TO CHANGE HER FUTURE

Born this time around into a South Philadelphia Italian-American family so traditional, she and her siblings are expected to marry in birth order, Eugenia lives a simple life―no love connection, no controversy, no complications. Her hope is that the Blessed Virgin Mary (who oversees her soul’s progress) will grant her heart’s desire, the option to choose the circumstances of her next life. But when a student reveals he shares her ability, Eugenia suddenly finds herself setting up a Facebook page and sponsoring a support group for others like her, an oddball odyssey, during which she discovers she must confront her current shortcomings before she can break the cycle and finally live the life of her dreams.

A layered contemporary fable, Hindsight reminds us to live this life like it’s the only one we’ll have.

 

 

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Fall Reading Challenge: In the Heart of Texas by Ginger McKnight-Chavers (spotlight)

 

In the Heart of Texas

In the Heart of Texas
written by Ginger McKnight-Chavers
published by She Writes Press, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Named a Top Pick by RT Book Reviews Named a Fall Must-Read by RedbookMag.com * PopSugar * Parade Magazine * Brit + Co * SoulCycle

Hailed as a Best Fiction Book by Women of Color at Bustle.com

Pitched as a poor man s Halle Berry, forty-one-year-old soap star Jo Randolph, has successfully avoided waiting tables since she left Midland, Texas at eighteen. But then, in the span of twenty-four hours, Jo manages to lose her job, burn her bridges in Hollywood, and accidentally burn down her lover/director s beach house after which she is shipped home to Texas by her agent to stay out of sight while she sorts out her situation.

The more Jo reluctantly reconnects with her Texas roots and the family and friends she left behind, the more she regains touch with herself as an artist and with what is meaningful in life beyond the limelight. The summer of 2007 is cathartic for Jo, whose career and lifestyle have allowed her to live like a child for forty years, but who now must transition to making grown-up decisions and taking on adult responsibilities. In the Heart of Texas is a wry, humorous commentary on the complexities of race, class, relationships, politics, popular culture, and celebrity in our current society.”

 

 

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Fall Reading Challenge: Found by Emily Brett (spotlight)

 

FoundFound
written by Emily Brett
published by Sparkpress, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooks, TargetBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Twenty-seven-year-old ICU nurse Natalie Ulster has a desire to see the world, in case she dies young like her mother, and a need to heal, which is compensation for her own damaged heart. Armed with an independence and self-reliance that stems from her father s emotional abandonment and wanting to separate herself from a deranged nurse whose husband just died under suspicious circumstances on Natalie s watch Natalie grabs life by the globe and accepts successive assignments in Belize, Australia, and Arizona. When Natalie meets Dr. Joel Lansfield, a physician who is also familiar with grief, she finds that Joel sees her for the strong woman she is, and loves her for all she has yet to figure out but she s not sure she s ready to make room in her heart for love. Desperate to maintain her emotional distance with Joel, she continues to travel. In each country, however, she finds herself confronted with near-death accidents, from a poisoned drink to a severe food allergy to being thrown overboard in the Great Barrier Reef. Too many coincidences force her to ask herself a frightening question: Is someone trying to kill her?”

 

 

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Fall Reading Challenge: Size Matters by Cathryn Novak (Melissa’s review)

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Size MattersSize Matters
written by Cathryn Novak
published by She Writes Press, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazoniBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy the book: I did indeed. I read the whole thing during my daughter’s afternoon nap (and still had time for a quick catnap myself before she woke up). Novak’s prose is refreshingly lovely, and I’m impressed at her dedication to food-themed language. I stumbled a bit getting used to her tense choices, but I fault myself, not her. I’m still not sure whether Lexie and John Frederick’s relationship is meant to be romantic, but Love is Love, and they’re both clearly full of it. I can see this book on a required reading list in a creative writing class. Well done, Ms. Novak.

 

Golden Line 

“Well, he is a rather kind frog, and even amphibian friendship might not be such a bad thing, given the lack of other candidates.”

 


5 stars

 

Melissa

 

About the book – from Goodreads: John Frederick is a man of considerable substance, in every sense of the word. Rich, intelligent, reclusive, and very large, John Frederick lives to eat. His everyday needs are tended to by Mrs. Floyd, his house manager, and by a never-ending parade of personal chefs.
Enter Lexie Alexander, the latest applicant for that once-again vacant position. A young woman of magical sensibilities, fresh out of culinary school and still recovering from a recent personal tragedy, Lexie lives to cook. As time passes, a love of food, musical comedy, and tea begins to weave a connection between John Frederick and his new chef but then a major medical crisis completely turns life at Frederick House upside down, threatening the bond John Frederick and Lexie have forged.
Size Matters is the story of how people interact with each other and with the world, and what happens when the structure of a person s life, their self-image, and all their familiar coping mechanisms are shattered.”

 

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EFC Promotions Blog Tour Sign-Up: The Wolf Mirror by Caroline Healy

 

 

 

The Wolf Mirror
written by Caroline Healy
expected publication February, 2017

 

About the book: Changing places doesn’t always help you see things differently.

Cassie throws the first punch in a brawl at Winchester Abbey Girl’s School. Her subsequent suspension is a glitch in Cassie’s master plan; Finish School/Get Job/Leave Home (and never come back). As punishment her mother banishes her to Ludlow Park, their creepy ancestral home. In the dark of a stormy night Cassie finds herself transported to 1714, the beginning of the Georgian period.

With the help of a lady’s maid and an obnoxious gentleman, Mr Charles Stafford, Cassie must unravel the mysterious illness afflicting Lord Miller. If Lord Miller kicks the bucket the house goes to Reginald Huxley, the brainless cousin from London.

Cassie’s task is to figure out who is poisoning the Lord of Ludlow without exposing herself to the ridicule of her peers, getting herself committed to the asylum or worse, married off to the first man who will have her.

Cassie must learn to hold her tongue, keep her pride in check and reign in her rebellious nature – because the fate of her entire family, for generations, rests on her shoulders.

Meanwhile, Lady Cassandra Miller frantically searches for her smelling salts or her trusted governess Miss. Blythe, whose soothing advice she would dearly love. Instead Cassandra finds some woman and a boy squatting in the Ludlow mansion; her father, her lady’s maid and all the servants have magically disappeared.

Tell-a-vision, the In-her-net, horseless carriages and women wearing pantaloons; Cassandra is afraid that she might have inhaled fowl air causing her to temporarily lose her senses.

Only when both girls can get over their pride, societal prejudices and self-importance will they be able to return to their rightful century. Until then, they are free to wreak maximum damage on their respective centuries.

About the author: Caroline Healy is a writer and community arts facilitator. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University. She alternates her time between procrastination and making art.

In 2012 her award winning short story collection A Stitch in Time was published by Doire Press. Fiction and commentary has been featured in publications across Ireland, the U.K. and more recently in the U.S. Caroline’s work can be found in journals such as Wordlegs,The BohemythShort Story IrelandShort Stop U.K., Five Stop StoryProle, Literary Orphans and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice

Her debut Y.A. novel, Blood Entwines was published by Bloomsbury Spark in August 2014 and she is in the process of writing the second book in the series, Blood Betrayal, as well as a short story collection, The House of Water.

She has a fondness for dark chocolate, cups of tea and winter woollies.

(More details can be found on her website www.carolinehealy.com)

Find Ms. Healy here: www.carolinehealy.com, Facebook, Twitter, InstagramGoodreads

 

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If you would like to host more tours, please email efcpromotions@gmail.com.

 

 

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Fall Reading Challenge: Unexpected Love by Kristy Kryszczak (spotlight)

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Unexpected Love

Unexpected Love
written by Kristy Cryszczak
published by She Writes Press, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazoniBooks, Book Depository, WalmartGoodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: As a young woman living in the wondrous city of New York, Inez Champlain has always aspired to be like Carrie from Sex and the City, sans the tulle skirts and poor financial decisions, of course. Inez has it all: great friends, her dream job as a notable beauty writer, a studio loft on the Upper East Side, and no messy romantic drama to get in the way. But life takes a surprising turn when Inez catches the eye of the charming and handsome Jason Parkson, who fearlessly introduces himself the moment he sees her. Romance is the last thing on Inez’s mind, but there is something about Jason she can’t resist, and before long she’s hooked—that is, until she’s introduced to his brother, Jimmy, and the two share an instant connection she can’t quite understand. Inez tries to resist Jimmy, but there’s no denying the feelings growing between them. Her mind and heart are at odds—will she stay with the man she thinks she loves, or surrender to a more precarious yet alluring fate? When Inez is pulled away from New York, the balance of her life shifts yet again. Soon she is caught in a web of confusion and heartache while trying to do the right thing. Could the love Inez never set out to find cost her everything she cares about?

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EFC Promotions Blog Tour Wrap-Up: Watcher and Firebird by Orren Merton

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coverWatcher and Firebird
written by Orren Merton
published by Darkling Books, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksGoodreads, GooglePlay

 

About the book – from Goodreads: Firebird Alex didn’t know much about the Nephilim until they assassinated her friend in the United States government, kidnapped the man she considers her uncle, and tried to murder her—twice. Now she’s learned that they, and their leader “the Watcher,” will stop at nothing to kill her, everyone she loves, and every Seduman on Earth.

Alex must stop their murderous plans even if it means compromising the heroine she’s become.

 

OrrenReillySpring2015About the author: Orren Merton started writing fantasy and science fiction at an embarrassingly young age. In high school, he picked up guitar and start playing up and down California in a few bands, culminating in his industrial rock band Ember After.  During that time, magazines, developers, and corporations began to pay him to write and edit music software related articles, manuals, and  books. Since then he has written the urban fantasy novel The Deviant and the science fiction novel Skye Entity before working on The Sedumen Chronicles, his current series of urban fantasy YA novels. He lives in Southern California with his family, pets, collection of sci-fi/fantasy memorabilia, and curiously large stuffed animal collection.

Find Mr. Merton here: web, Facebook, Twitter, InstagramGoodreads

 

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We would like to thank everyone who participated in the blog tour! You can see the bloggers’ posts below.

 

Tour Stops

Oct. 31 – Every Free Chance (kickoff review)

Nov. 1 – Deborah Jay Author (review)

Nov. 2 – A Page to Turn (spotlight/excerpt)

Nov. 3 – A Good Book Can Change Your View For Life (spotlight)

Nov. 4 – Romantic Escapes (spotlight)

Nov. 5 – WS Momma Readers Nook (spotlight )

Nov. 5 – Dalene’s Book Reviews (review)

Nov. 6 – 3 Partners in Shopping (spotlight)

Nov. 7 – Cover2Cover  (spotlight)

Nov. 8 – Sip, Read, Love (guest post)

Nov. 9 – Second Run Reviews (guest post)

Nov. 12 – Bound 2 Escape (spotlight)

Congratulations to Dalene at Dalene’s Book Reviews for winning our Host Incentive Reward!

 

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Blog Tour: Love and Fat-Free Cheese by Crissy Sharp (spotlight, giveaway)

love-and-fat-free-cheeseLove and Fat-Free Cheese
written by Crissy Sharp
published by Sweetwater Books, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, TargetBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Fat-free cheese is okay–unless you’ve tasted real cheese. Juliet Easton learns this about love too as she uncovers who truly loves her, and who is using her to get to the secret she knows about the disappearance of her sister’s fiance and the pharmaceutical conspiracy he plans to reveal. Can she protect her loved ones’ lives and her heart? You’ll be hooked from Asiago to Zamorano cheese in this suspenseful and hilarious romantic thriller.

 

 

 

About the author: Crissy Sharp is an author, runner, and sports lover. She has a special knack for avoiding cooking and cleaning so she can focus on her true love: writing. She is in awe of people who can do a one-legged king pigeon without pulling something and detests everything about fat-free cheese. Though she’ll always be a Montana girl at heart, she also loves Tennessee, where she currently lives with her husband and three children.

Find Ms. Sharp here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

 

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Fall Favorites Blog Tour: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard (spotlight)

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the-amateursThe Amateurs
written by Sara Shepard
published by Disney-Hyperion, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, TargetBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: I need some answers about my sister. Help…

Five years ago, high school senior Helena Kelly disappeared from her backyard in Dexby, Connecticut, never to be heard from again. Her family was left without any answers—without any idea who killed Helena, or why.

So when eighteen-year-old Seneca Frazier sees a desperate post on the Case Not Closed message board, she knows it’s time to change that. Helena’s high-profile disappearance is the one that originally got Seneca addicted to true crime. It’s the reason she’s a member of the site in the first place.

Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, she agrees to spend spring break in Connecticut working on the case with Maddy Wright, her best friend from Case Not Closed. However, the moment she steps off the train, things start to go wrong. Maddy’s nothing like she expected, and Helena’s sister, Aerin, doesn’t seem to want any help after all. Plus, Seneca has a secret of her own, one that could derail the investigation if she’s not careful.

Alongside Brett, another super-user from the site, they slowly begin to unravel the secrets Helena kept in the weeks before her disappearance. But the killer is watching…and determined to make sure the case stays cold.

 

 

 

 

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