Cover Reveal and Pre-Order Opportunity: To Rescue a Witch by Lisa A. Traugott

BNR Teaser To Rescue a Witch Blitz

I’m so excited to be introducing the cover to Lisa A. Traugott’s forthcoming book, To Rescue a Witch,
which will be released on March 1 2024. It sounds like an excellent read, so don’t miss your chance to PREORDER THIS BOOK.

About the book, To Rescue a Witch COVER Tease To Rescue a Witch

  • Genre: Historical Fiction / Action & Adventure / Fantasy
  • Published: Coming March 1, 2024
  • Scroll down for the cover reveal

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.

Pre-Order this book:

CLICK TO PRE-ORDER

 


About the author, Lisa A. Traugott author photo Traugott

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.

Connect with Lisa:

Website | Blog | Instagram | FacebookAmazon | BookBub

 


And Now, Here’s the Cover!

COVER Traugott_RescueWitch_Ebook


Visit the Other Great Blogs on This Tour

Click to visit the Lone Star Literary Life Tour Page
for direct links to each blog participating in this tour.

LoneStarLitLife

blog tour services provided by:

LoneStarBookBlogTours sm

 

XTRA Ad Rescue a Witch 1

Book Excerpt: Spanish House Secrets by Susan Gray

Spanish House Secrets

 

About the Book, Spanish House Secrets Spanish House Secrets Cover

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ UK Book Publishing (February 8, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 335 pages
  • Scroll down for an excerpt from this book!

In 2019 Grace’s memories from childhood are stirred by the sound of a melody. Her home in 1950’s England was a Spanish House. A house with secrets.

1920’s England…loveable, likeable Simon receives a letter on the eve of his twenty-first birthday. A letter that will change the course of his life.

Dainty, demure Olivia has so much to be thankful for: a doting husband, a beautiful house and a thriving business…but a nagging doubt. In the last years of the Roaring Twenties this doubt is compounded by the discovery of a discarded item.

Elise has known many harsh blows in her young life. Returning to her home in Madrid in 1922, she knows she must pick herself up and move on. Can she continue to live in this Spanish House? The arrival of a visitor creates a new dimension for her.

Spanish House Secrets is a story of love, life, loss, jealousy and forgiveness set in the twentieth century.

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Goodreads


About the Author, Susan Gray Spanish Sussan Gray

Susan Gray lives with her husband in northeast England. She has a son and daughter, both married, two granddaughters and a grand dog. After a career in primary teaching, she embraced retirement fulfilling her ambition to travel, attend Wimbledon and write a novel. She enjoys reading, walking, crafting, doing puzzles, catching up with friends over a coffee and being a gran. She has written several novels – Spanish House Secrets is the first to be published.

Connect with Susan:

Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram


Read an Excerpt from Spanish House Secrets

Spanish House Secrets Excerpt

SIMON’S DOUBLE LIFE

Simon returns to his hometown in England, from his six weeks visit to Spain in 1922, where he has learned of his unexpected inheritance. His former sheltered life is now a thing of the past – but how much of his newly acquired wealth should he convey to his family?

 

Simon was never sure when his double-sided life began. He never set out to be secretive, but he just knew on that beautiful day in May, when he returned to Newcastle station, the Spanish side of his life must remain largely secret. Before taking the train to Loftam he needed to make some arrangements. So, he made his way to the premises of Hodgson, Smith and White where he had first learned of his legacy last autumn. The events of those months were mind blowing. His intention was to make an appointment with Mr Hodgson, but the lady behind the desk informed him Mr Hodgson was no longer with them, having retired due to ill health. His clients were being handled by another solicitor, new to the firm called Mr Adams. This information suited Simon, as he had found Mr Hodgson rather imposing. He made a future appointment with Mr Adams then took the train home to Loftam.

In the bubble that was Simon Guilder’s world, he expected a welcoming homecoming – a celebration meal and Serena jumping around eager to hear all his news. Instead, he entered an almost empty house – no father, no Serena, no cosy fire in the drawing room – only Mildred, in the kitchen finishing off the cold buffet for tonight’s evening meal.

“Oh, Mr Simon, it’s so good to see you, sit down – you seem to have been away for ages. I’ll get you a cuppa,” she said.

“Where is everybody?” Simon asked, grabbing a biscuit.

“Serena’s at the store, busy with her new venture, but I’ll not steal her thunder – she’ll be wanting to tell you all about it. Serena and Olivia have been in ecstasy – they’ve been like two busy bees – she only went home today.”

Simon stopped munching his biscuit and asked, “Olivia?” sounding very puzzled.

Mildred replied, “Oh, you must remember her, Mr Simon – she stayed over after the funeral with her grandmother. She lives in York.”

Olivia…Olivia… thought Simon, trying to sift through the many, many, people he’d met in recent weeks, and then there she was in his mind’s eye…an attractive young lady, someone he thought was worth a second meeting, something about her eyes intrigued him, as he recalled.

“Well, that’s me done. I’ll be off now,” Mildred called, retrieving her coat and hat from the hall. Mildred’s words pulled Simon back from his faraway thoughts.

“Your bed is newly made up and I opened the window to let some air in this morning. Cheerio. Mr Simon…it’s so good to have you home,” she called, walking out the back door.

Simon climbed the stairs to his room. The sun was still shining, and the garden was bursting with life, as he looked out of the window.

Everything was normal for Loftam…but in the six weeks since he had gone off to Spain, Simon knew life would never be normal for him again. This is where I take off ‘Spanish Simon’ and put on ‘English Simon’, he thought. Then he went to take a bath and change for dinner.

That was how Simon’s secret Spanish life started. He was never deceitful – just careful with the truth.


Visit the Other Great Blogs on This Tour

Spanish House Secrets Full Tour Banner

Review: Arsenic at Ascot, by Kelly Oliver

Arsenic at Ascot

 

About the book, Arsenic at Ascot Arsenic at Ascot copy

  • Series: Fiona Figg and Kittty Lane (Book 4)
  • Publisher: ‎ Boldwood Books (November 28, 2023)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Paperback: 280 pages

Arsenic at Ascot (A Fiona Figg & Kitty Lane Mystery Book 4)

Saddle up for this first class historical mystery, perfect for fans of Helena Dixon and Verity Bright.

London, 1918

Fiona Figg finds herself back in Old Blighty saddled with shuffling papers for the war office. Then a mysterious card arrives, inviting her to a fancy house party at Mentmore Castle. This year’s Ascot-themed do will play host to a stable of animal defense advocates, and Fiona is tasked with infiltrating the activists and uncovering possible anti-war activity.

Disguised as the Lady Tabitha Kenworthy, Fiona is more than ready for the “mane” event, but the odds are against her when both her arch nemesis, dark-horse Fredrick Fredricks, and would-be fiancé Lieutenant Archie Somersby arrive unexpectedly and “stirrup” her plans. And when a horse doctor thuds to the floor in the next guest room, Fiona finds herself investigating a mysterious poisoning with some very hairy clues.

Can Fiona overcome the hurdles and solve both cases, or will she be pipped to the post and put out to pasture by the killer?

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Apple Books | Goodreads


About the author, Kelly Oliver Author Photo

Kelly Oliver is the award-winning, bestselling author of three mysteries series: The Jessica James Mysteries, The Pet Detective Mysteries, and the historical cozies The Fiona Figg Mysteries, set in WW1. She is also the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is bringing new titles in the Fiona Figg series to Boldwood, the first of which, Chaos in Carnegie Hall, will be published in November 2022.

Connect with Kelly:

Newsletter Sign-up | Bookbub | Facebook | X (Twitter)


My Thoughts MissMeliss - 2023

It’s a farce! It’s a period piece! It’s a mystery! It’s a romance! Actually, it’s all of the above, and you can find it in Kelly Oliver’s fourth installment in her Fiona Figg & Kitty Lane Mysteries, Arsenic at Ascot. This novel finds Fiona undercover as several different people from Lady Tabitha Kenworthy to a rear admiral, and she’s solving crime, thwarting international spies, and flirting with men – and danger – in a delightful romp through the English animal rights scene of 1918.

Kelly Oliver’s prowess is in her ability to make a period piece feel completely contemporary, while never compromising the setting. Fiona Figg’s costume and personality shifts as she moves between undercover guises are both fantastic and a little bit funny, and the author makes you want to jump into the pages and join the adventure. Her deft hand at pacing and plot only make the read even better, and I confess, she kept me guessing until the end of the story.

I also appreciated that this book, while fourth in a series, is perfectly readable as a standalone (though I’ll go back and read books 1-3 as time allows). While it would have been interesting to know more of the relationships at play, especially the history of Fiona, fellow agent Archie, and nemesis Fredrick Fredricks, not having their backstories in no way detracts from being able to follow the plot, through it’s many twists and turns.

I especially enjoyed seeing a feisty, independent woman leading the story in a period that isn’t given a lot of “air play” in literature, and it was interesting to observe both the similarities and the differences in the cultures of the past in the novel, and our own present.

I listened to the audiobook of this story as well as reading the text, and I can say that while the quick pacing makes it something that, I feel, works better in print, the narration by Willow Nash was spot on, and I’d happily listen to more of her work

Overall, this is a fabulous story with something for everyone: romance, intrigue, humor, danger… and horses. What’s not to love?

Goes well with: late-night whiskey in the library.


Visit the Other Great Blogs on This Tour

Arsenic at Ascot Full Tour Banner

 

 

Review: The Library Girls of the East End by Patricia McBride

The Library Girls of the East End

About the book, The Library Girls of the East End The_Library_Girls_Of_The_East_End_e-book

  • Publisher: Boldwood Books (November 27, 2023)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 248 pages

1940, London

When Cordelia accepts the post of head librarian in Silver Town Library, her mother is more than a little disapproving. The East End has high levels of poverty and illiteracy, and her mother says it’s no place for a woman of her status.

But Cordelia is determined to make a difference in these times of strife, and along with her colleagues, Jane and Mavis, she begins to help the local community, making sure everyone knows what the library can offer them.

And maybe even a romance will blossom, giving Cordelia the strength to make it through the chaos and destruction that constantly threatens their livelihood.

Against a background of war, air raids and rationing, it becomes clear the library is more than a building filled with books – it is the beating heart of a community refusing to be torn apart.

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Apple Books | Goodreads


About the author, Patricia McBride IMG_6301

Patricia McBride is the author of the very popular Lily Baker historical saga series. She is now writing a new WW2 series for Boldwood, based in the East End of London during the Blitz, the first title of which, The Library Girls of the East End, will be published in November 2023.

Connect with Patricia:

Newsletter Sign-up | Facebook | Instagram


My Thoughts MissMeliss - 2023

As a child, libraries were my sanctuary, so I was excited to read The Library Girls of the East End, the first book in a new series by Patricia McBride. Set in the war-torn London of the 1940’s this novel is about three young women, Cordelia, Mavis, and Jane who all discover their best selves while working in the library.

Filled with romance, family drama, and the resilience of humanity this book is a lovely glimpse of a time that is getting further and further away from us with every breath. I loved that each of the three main characters had a distinct story and personality, and I applaud the author’s deftness at braiding them into a coherent whole. I appreciated that class differences were addressed, but never used as an excuse, and I was impressed that in addition to wonderful traits, every character also had a flaw they had to overcome.

Of course the library regulars – the Readers – were integral parts of the story. Whether it was the grumpy man who grumbled over the daily newspaper, or the children learning that books could take them beyond any walls, the community members provided the reason for Cordelia, Mavis, and Jane’s being employed at all, but also provided the tapestry against which the rest of the scenes were played. Without readers, after all, what good is a library?

In addition to reading the text of this novel, I also listened to the audiobook of this novel, which really made me pay attention to McBride’s flair for dialogue. Every character had a distinct way of speaking, which was reflected in print, but really sang in audio. Kudos to the narrator, Julie Maisey, whose pronunciation of the word “ate” specifically really made me feel immersed in the period of this book.

Overall, this is a satisfying read with three strong female characters at its heart.

Goes well with: mushroom risotto and a nice merlot.


Visit the Other Great Blogs on This TourThe Library Girls Of The East End Full Tour Banner

 

The Brotherhood of Pandora, by David L. Nichols – Book Spotlight & Giveaway

BNR The Brotherhood of Pandora

Cover Med Res BrotherhoodAbout the book, The Brotherhood of Pandora

  • Genre: Historical Fiction / Nautical Fiction / Action & Adventure
  • Publisher: Moontower Press, November 14, 2022
  • Pages: 313
  • Scroll down for Giveaway!

To combat Napoleon’s increasing interest in the Caribbean and help pressure France to sell New Orleans to America, Vice-President Thomas Jefferson enlists the aid of friend and naval hero Captain Jacob May. He asks Captain May to wage a clandestine war against the French in the Caribbean not as part of the US Navy, but as pirates.

To accomplish this, Captain May uses the cutting-edge technology of 1799: Girardoni air rifles, Fulton’s self-propelled torpedoes, a submarine, cannons with rifling, and Pandora, a specially modified ship. Pandora’s crew also holds a secret—two women masquerading as able-bodied seamen. Captain May molds his crew into the Brotherhood of Pandora and gives Jefferson chaos in the Caribbean.

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

Amazon | Moontower Press Goodreads


About the author, David L. Nichols Author Photo Nichols

David Nichols has published three books and a number of articles on building small wooden boats and traditional sails. He also taught wooden boat building at WoodenBoat School and Great Lakes Boatbuilding School. In addition, he wrote and directed an hour-long “how-to” video on wooden boat building and has written many scripts for industrial and commercial films. This background allows him to accurately portray the boats and ships of the late 18th century and weave a cohesive and compelling story. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas, Austin.

Connect with David:

Website  |  Moontower Press  |   YouTube  |  Goodreads 

 

XTRA Ad Brotherhood of Pandora


Giveaway

GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

 TWO WINNERS

Signed copy of THE BROTHERHOOD OF PANDORA
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 10/26/2023)

 

Giveaway Brotherhood of Pandora

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Visit the Other Great Blogs on This Tour

Click to visit the Lone Star Literary Life Tour Page for direct links to each blog on this tour.

LoneStarLitLife

blog tour services provided by

LoneStarBookBlogTours sm

Book Review: All Change at the Beach Hotel by Francesca Capaldi

All Change at the Beach Hotel

About the Book, All Change at the Beach Hotel ALL CHANGE BEACH HOTEL COVER

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Canelo Hera (20 July 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages

Can she choose between her duty and her heart?

While World War One changes the country beyond measure, with food becoming scarce and Britain’s young men being called up to foreign battlefields, it is harder than ever to keep the grand Beach Hotel in Littlehampton running smoothly.

Waitress Lili Probert, a young woman who escaped her demanding family in Wales in search of a new life in Sussex, has seen her hard work rewarded at the Beach Hotel, but hides heartbreak behind her sunny personality. Her sweetheart, Norman, is missing in action and has been presumed dead, but she cannot give up hope that he may be found.

But when she meets injured soldier Rhodri, a fellow Welshman now living near Littlehampton, she fights hard to ignore her growing attraction for him, torn between her feelings for him and her loyalty to the man she thought she’d spend her life with.

But her emotions run ever higher when she suddenly receives a call from home; her mother is gravely ill and Lili is needed for her care. Returning to Wales, Lili must make a difficult choice. Follow her dreams and make her own life, or return to the place she tried so hard to escape?

Torn between her duty and her heart, Lili faces her own battle far from the conflicts in Europe…

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (USA) | Apple | Kobo | Goodreads


About the Author, Francesca Capaldi All Change Francesca Capaldi

Francesca has enjoyed writing since she was a child. Born in Worthing and brought up in Littlehampton in Sussex, she was largely influenced by a Welsh mother who was brilliant at improvised story telling. A history graduate and qualified teacher, she decided to turn her writing hobby into something more in 2006, when she joined a writing class.​

Writing as both Francesca Capaldi and Francesca Burgess, she has had many short stories published in magazines in the UK and abroad, along with several pocket novels published by DC Thomson.

Her Welsh World War 1 sagas were inspired by the discovery of the war record of her great grandfather, a miner in South Wales. Her latest series, The Beach Hotel, is set in her own childhood town, where her Italian father had a café on the riverside.​

Francesca is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. She currently lives on the North Downs in Kent with her family and a cat called Lando Calrission.

Connect with Francesca:

Website | Facebook author page | Instagram | Tiktok | Twitter


My ThoughtsMissMeliss - 2023

So many period romance novels are set against the backdrop of World War II, that when a series like the Beach Hotel series by Francesca Capaldi, set against World War I, comes along, it feels refreshing and new, even though it’s technically historical. Still, the struggles of living under scarcity caused by war, the worries we have about our loved ones either deployed or waiting at home, and the dreams we have for love and a satisfying life are universal, and this author has captured them extremely well in this second novel in the series: All Change at the Beach Hotel.

Main character Lili is so well drawn, and so human, that she could be a young woman of any age – she’s left home to stand on her own and build a life on her own terms, but finds herself torn between her MIA boyfriend Norman, and the very present injured soldier Rhodri. It’s a scenario we experience today, when we go off to school or move for a job and leave our first loves behind, and I loved the way author Capaldi imbued this story with a sense of wistfulness.

Another universal theme is obligation to family, which in this case is Lili’s obligation to go home and care for her ailing mother. Even the best mother-daughter relationships can become strained by the role-reversal that comes when the child becomes caregiver to the parent, and in this book that relationship is explored with deft delicacy.

Lili’s fundamental question is which is more important: her obligations to her family, or her obligation to herself. This novel gives a satisfying, compelling look at a completely relatable situation, with dimensional characters, and a vivid sense of place.

I didn’t read the first book in the series (though I now want to) but I didn’t feel that my experience lacked anything. All Change at the Beach Hotel works very well as a standalone story.

Goes well with: fish and chips and a good craft-brewed ale.


Visit the Other Great Blogs on this Tour

All Change At The Beach Hotel Full Tour Banner

Book #Review and #Giveaway: Watermelon Tattoo by Tony Burnett

CBNR Watermelon Tattoo

 

About the book, Watermelon Tattoo Cover Watermelon Tattoo 1

  • Genre: Psychological Thriller / Suspense
  • Publisher: Watertower Press
  • Date of Publication: February 14, 2023
  • Number of Pages: 300 pages
  • Scroll down for Giveaway!

Naïve but charismatic farm girl, Jacquelyn Benderman, has her life perfectly planned until her town blames her for the accidental death of the local high school’s star running back. Feeling like a pariah, she flees to Austin, Texas where her luck seems to change. Her rapid rise to stardom as a blues diva is derailed when an anonymous stalker begins systematically murdering her associates, leaving the police to suspect her.

As Y2K approaches, she wrestles with the guilt of falling for her roommate, a Romanian folk singer who survives as a call-girl, while the show band she sings with rehearses for a national tour.

Can she protect her new lover from danger? Will the world end at midnight? Is there no hiding place when everyone knows who you are?

Praise for this book:

“Burnett has created an unconventional and magnetic character who makes a memorable first impression.” Kirkus Reviews

“Bodies, wrecked and loved, Wiccan handfasting, sex work, guns, watermelons, and music—lots of music—light up this thrilling nail-biter.” –Lesley Bannatyne, author of Unaccustomed

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

AmazonB&NBookshopWatertower Press | Goodreads


About the author, Tony Burnett Author Photo Burnett

Award-winning poet and songwriter Tony Burnett is the Executive Director of Kallisto Gaia Press. He served as President of the Writers’ League of Texas from 2013 to 2017. His poetry, short fiction, and environmentally focused nonfiction appear in over 70 publications. His previous books include the story collection, Southern Gentlemen and a full-length poetry collection, The Reckless Hope of Scoundrels. He resides in rural central Texas with his trophy wife and several rescue dogs who pay him no mind unless hungry. His hobbies include poking wasp nests with short sticks and wandering aimlessly about. He hopes you enjoy meeting his imaginary friends.

Connect with Tony:

Facebook | Instagram  | TwitterAmazon | Goodreads

 

 

XTRA Banner Ad Watermelon Tattoo


My Thoughts MissMeliss - 2023

Watermelon Tattoo, the new novel from award winning poet and songwriter Tony Burnett, is probably the most intense book I’ve read this year. It’s gritty. It’s earthy. It’s sex-positive and some of the humor is scatological. It’s set against Y2K so there’s no texting culture. It’s also poignant and engaging, and at times it’s even heart-warming. It’s the kind of novel only a musician could write, because it takes many seemingly discordant notes and combines them into a distinctly American – distinctly Texan – symphony.

This novel gives us a dynamo of a lead character in Jaqui Benderman. She’s the only daughter of a widower who is renowned for the Black Diamond watermelons he grows, and while she wants to be a dutiful daughter, she also wants to live her own dreams of being a singer, and I love that she took ownership of those dreams early in the story. Yes, there are times when she’s still a bit of a lost little girl, but she always has her vision.

Her childhood friend Langley provides the countermelody in the story, adding another perspective but never taking over the lead. He’s important to the plot and important to Jaqui and her growth as a person and an artist, but he’s definitely a supporting player, not the lead.

Then there’s Sarge – Jaqui’s father. He drinks too much and is still mourning her long-dead mother, but his heart is in the right place. When Jaqui eventually introduces him to her Romany girlfriend, Katrine, his acceptance of their relationship is beautifully written, resoundingly real, and a model for the way every parent should be when their child finds love.

While there is a mystery (albeit not a terribly cryptic one) that runs through Watermelon Tattoo, of “who wants Jaqui dead,” the real draw – for me, at least – is just following Jaqui’s journey and seeing the behind-the-scenes parts of the Austin music industry. Even though Jaqui prefers torch songs (same, girl, same) to head-banging metal, this story has a strong sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll vibe.

If you haven’t grasped that this novel is absolutely meant for adults, let me make it plain that it is. There is a lot of alcohol use, both recreationally and as a form of self-medication for both Jaqui and her father. There is drug use. There is a lot of sex (m/f and f/f).  Another author may not have handled this much material so deftly, but Burnett has a coherent vision, and has composed a story that is so well-grounded in emotional truth that this ride, while wild, is worth every breathless second.

Goes well with: tequila-soaked watermelon cubes served with mint and lime.


Giveaway

THREE WINNERS:

Signed copy of Watermelon Tattoo

(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 6/9/23)

Giveaway Watermelon Tattoo

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Visit the Other Great Blogs on This Tour

Click to visit the Lone Star Literary Life Tour Page for Watermelon Tattoo, for links to each blog, updated daily, or visit each blog directly:

05/30/23 Boys’ Mom Reads Review
05/30/23 Hall Ways Blog Spotlight
05/31/23 StoreyBook Reviews Review
05/31/23 LSBBT Blog Spotlight
06/01/23 Reading by Moonlight Review
06/02/23 The Real World According to Sam Review
06/03/23 Jennie Reads Review
06/04/23 The Book’s Delight Spotlight
06/05/23 Forgotten Winds Review
06/06/23 Chapter Break Book Blog Spotlight
06/07/23 The Plain-Spoken Pen Review
06/08/23 The Clueless Gent Review
06/08/23 Bibliotica Review

 

 

 

LSBBT BOOK REVIEW

 

 

#Book #Review and #Giveaway: Ghostly Bugles by Max L. Knight

BNR Ghostly Bugles

 

About the Book, Ghostly Bugles Cover Ghostly Bugles

  • Genre: Historical Fiction / Texas History
  • Publisher: Wild Lark Books
  • Date of Publication: February 23, 2023
  • Number of Pages: 210 pages
  • Scroll down for Giveaway

Do the souls of the dead reach out from beyond the grave? Do echoes of the past resound through the ages? Are such insights a privilege or a curse? An old man grapples with these questions and his own mortality as he re-examines one of the most famous battles in history – the Alamo.

The 1836 siege and battle as well as current efforts to restore Alamo Plaza to hallowed ground and create a world-class attraction unfold as the old man tries to make sense of his memories, dreams, and perceived outreach by the dead whose souls cry out to him for inclusion and recognition. Beyond the myth and the legend are their stories as well as his own.

Ghostly Bugles is a fictional re-creation of the Alamo story, rich in historical detail with a unique paranormal element. The narrative combines elements of the traditional storyline with contemporary efforts to “Re-imagine the Alamo”. The dual timelines balance our understanding of this world- renowned event and provide new perspective and appreciation for the courage and sacrifice of everyone involved – Texian and Tejano defenders, and Mexican soldiers

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

AmazonWild Lark Books | Goodreads


About the Author, Max L. Knight

Author Photo Max Knight

MAX L. KNIGHT was born in Panama and grew up in the Canal Zone and in San Antonio, Texas, where he and his wife reside. In addition to degrees from Texas A&M University and Campbell University, Max served twenty-four years in the United States Army (1973-1997), retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

He became the first Alamo Docent in 2004, but the tragic events of 9/11 compelled him to reactivate his security clearance and, when the approval finally came through, he returned to work in support of U.S. Counterintelligence operations. A stage IV throat cancer diagnosis in 2014 abruptly ended that phase of his life, and he turned to writing to help him get through the chemo, radiation, and surgeries. Max is currently cancer free.

His other works include Silver Taps, Palo Duro, and Tarnished Brass.

Connect with Max:

WebsiteFacebook | LinkedIn | AmazonTwitter | Pinterest | GoodReads

XTRA Ad Ghostly Bugles


My Thoughts

MissMeliss

The first thing that struck me about Max L. Knight’s latest historical novel, Ghostly Bugles, was the language. It’s gorgeous. Every word feels like it was carefully chosen, and the overall effect is that the reader feels immersed in the story – even the grimmer bits, because, this is, after all, the story of the Battle of the Alamo, and there is no small amount of discussion of dead bodies and battle victims, though, it should be said, there is no glorification of death in this story.

This novel is far more than that, however. It’s a deep exploration into people that are just names in history books for most of us: Santa Anna, Bowie, Crockett, Travis, the thirteen-day siege that was a defining moment in Texas history, the 90-minute battle, the aftermath, and the way it all echoes into modern times, including current restoration and development efforts.

Fictionalizing a real event requires great knowledge and great craft, and in this book, author Knight displays both. He uses a contemporary character known only as The Old Man to ground the story in the here and now, and we are left wondering if he is dreaming or actually remembering the events of 187 years ago, and the people involved.

Aside from the brilliant use of language, what I really liked is that Knight turned these historical figures into dimensional people. I did NOT grow up in Texas (though I ultimately lived there longer than anywhere else) so I don’t recall a lot of time spent on the Alamo in my history classes, but it was certainly mentioned, especially in California, which also shares a border with Mexico. So it was only in this book that I learned of Bowie’s failing health, or that Crockett and Travis were at odds with each other, and had supporting factions who were equally so. I also hadn’t realized that Travis was known for his oration skills. It’s this humanization of legends that really made this story sing for me.

Or maybe it wasn’t singing, but the sound of the eponymous ghostly bugles. As someone who has a visceral reaction to the sound of “Taps,” the title evoked the realities of battle as much as the story it introduced.

Overall, this is a richly descriptive story, fictional, but based in truth. It’s a compelling read, but it also sent me on a hunt for non–fiction accounts that were deeper than what’s in a grade school or high school textbook. I love it when a novel provokes that sort of response in me, and I suspect other readers will, as well.

Goes well with: chicken quesadillas and Shiner bock.


Giveaway

TWO WINNERS:

Signed copy of Ghostly Bugles

(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 5/25/23)

Giveaway Ghostly Bugles

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Visit the Other Great Blogs on This Tour

Click to visit the Lone Star Literary Life Tour Page for this book, with links updated daily,  or follow the links below to visit each blog directly:

05/15/23 The Clueless Gent Review
05/15/23 Hall Ways Blog Review
05/15/23 StoreyBook Reviews BONUS Stop
05/16/23 Guatemala Paula Loves to Read Review
05/16/23 Writing and Music Review
05/16/23 LSBBT Blog BONUS Stop
05/17/23 Bibliotica Review
05/17/23 Book Fidelity Review
05/18/23 Shelf Life Blog Review
05/18/23 The Real World According to Sam Review
05/18/23 All the Ups and Downs BONUS Stop
05/19/23 Forgotten Winds Review
05/19/23 Reading by Moonlight Review

 

 

LoneStarLitLife

blog tour services provided by

LoneStarBookBlogTours sm

 

Book Review: A New Year for the Seaside Girls, by Tracy Baines

A New Year For The Seaside Girls

About the book, A New Year for the Seaside Girls

  • Publisher: ‎ Boldwood Books (April 14, 2023)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Paperback: ‎ 304 pages
  • Series: The Seaside Girls (Book 3 of 3)
A New Year for the Sea Side Girls

Cover: A New Year for the Seaside Girls

Can the Seaside Girls embrace the new year with courage…

Cleethorpes – 1940

As the new year dawns the show at the Empire comes to an end and it’s time for the girls to move on.

Years of struggle are over for Frances O’ Leary when Johnny Randolph returns to make things right for her and their daughter – do they have a chance of happiness? of being a family after so long?

But their good fortune is fraught with complications when sister Ruby Randolph decides to have her last hurrah, leaving a trail of devastation in her wake.

Jessie Delaney is afraid to follow her dreams and leave those she loves behind – can she really have it all?

All the seaside girls have their own battles to fight. And while they figure things out it’s time for them to do their bit for the war and keep Britain smiling.

A gritty and heart-warming saga perfect for readers of Elaine Everest, Nancy Revell and Pam Howes.

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Goodreads


About the author, Tracy Baines

Tracy Baines Author Photo

Tracy Baines

Tracy Baines is the bestselling saga writer of The Variety Girls series, originally published by Ebury, which Boldwood will continue with. She was born and brought up in Cleethorpes and spent her early years in the theatre world which inspired her writing. The first title of her new saga series for Boldwood – set amongst the fisherfolk of Grimsby – was published in October 2022.

Connect with Tracy:

BookBub

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Newsletter Signup

 


My Thoughts

MissMeliss

MissMeliss

I’m late to the party on the Seaside Girls trilogy, so before I say anything else, please know: while reading the first two books would likely be helpful, A New Year for the Seaside Girls works just fine as a stand-alone novel. There was enough backstory, both explicit and in context, that the continuing elements were easy to follow, the the events specific to this novel were interesting and well written.

As a former theater kid, I always love stories that are set backstage and in the wings of performance spaces, and this novel is a perfect example of that. Set in 1940, against the early days of World War II, this book looks at what happens to working performers when theaters go dark, but bills still have to be paid, and life must continue. While this is, at heart, a family story with a hearty splash of romance, author Tracy Baines did not shy away from the gritty reality that comes with the theatrical life. Sometimes, accommodations can be sketchy. Sometimes gigs can be slightly unsavory. This book doesn’t soft-pedal those things, but it also isn’t a tragedy, and it does soften the edges somewhat to serve the story.

Frances, former lover of Johnny (and mother of his unknown-to-him child) and Ruby, Johnny’s sister and stage-partner, are the real stars of this novel, and it is their stories we follow. Both women are strong, capable, and determined, but they handle challenges in different ways. Where Frances builds a network of other performers, including a dancer who took care of her daughter for a long while, Ruby is the type to retreat. She comes out of her emotional hibernation when necessary, but her first reaction is to shield herself, and there is nothing wrong with that. What I liked about both characters is that they are loving and giving, each in her way, and they are never pitted as adversaries, just different personalities with different needs.

Johnny is the male lead, and he’s forced to be “the man” of both the performing family he has with his sister, and their parents (who are off-stage in many ways) and of the family he has formed and is rediscovering with Frances. What I liked about him was that he didn’t rush into his lover’s life and dictate changes. Instead, he supported her choices, even when his own desires were delayed.

Author Baines handles all the characters deftly, letting us see what teach is thinking and feeling while balancing plot and exposition.

Overall, this novel is a satisfying conclusion to a series that was clearly written with both love and expertise. It’s an historical family saga that mixes drama, romance, filial love, and “that business we call show,” into a meaty, satisfying story that should entertain any reader.

Goes well with: hot chocolate spiked with a splash of rum.

A New Year For The Seaside Girls Full Tour Banner

 

Available Now: To Dream of Shadows, by Steve N. Lee

Launched yesterday; watch for my review later this week!

To-Dream-of-Shadows-926-1500-PS33

Cover: To Dream of Shadows

About the book, To Dream of Shadows

  • Publisher: Blue Zoo (April 10, 2023)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 354 pages

She will save hundreds of lives. But can she save her own?

Inspired by a previously untold true story.

1943. 18-year-old Czech, Inge is torn from her family and imprisoned in some godforsaken hellhole. There, she suffers month after month of torturous labor while praying for liberation by the Allies. But rescue never comes. And her dream of surviving the war dies.
Heinz, an SS Sergeant, has been force-fed the Reich’s poison since childhood, but nowadays, he covertly helps prisoners.

So when a random act of kindness thrusts Inge and Heinz together, they can’t resist being drawn to one another. Unable to deny their feelings, they dare to dream of a future, a life — together.

But their relationship does not go unnoticed. For Inge and Heinz, falling in love becomes a death sentence. And not just for them, but for all those they care about.

Unless…

Inge makes an unthinkable sacrifice.

Set during history’s darkest hour, To Dream Of Shadows is an epic tale of compassion, sacrifice, and the strength of the human spirit.

Discover one of the most heartwarming, heartbreaking, and heroic tales of the Holocaust. Discover To Dream Of Shadows.

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU) | Amazon (CA) | Amazon (UK) | Barnes and Noble | BookBub | iBooks | GooglePlay | Kobo | Goodreads


Web-Steve-N-Lee-Author-Photo-452-600-PS44

Steve N. Lee

About the author, Steve N. Lee

Apart from animals and writing, Steve’s passion is travel. He’s visited 60 countries and enjoyed some amazing experiences, including cage-diving with great white sharks, sparring with a monk at a Shaolin temple, and watching a turtle lay eggs on a moonlit beach. He’s explored Machu Picchu, Pompeii, and the Great Wall of China, yet for all that, he’s a man of simple tastes — give him an egg sandwich and the TV remote control, and he’ll be happy for hours!

He lives in the North of England with his partner, Ania, and two black cats who arrived in the garden one day and liked it so much, they stayed. Graciously, the cats allow Steve and Ania to stay in ‘their’ house.

Connect with Steve:

Website | Facebook | Twitter