Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Promo: A GOOD GIRL by Johnnie Bernhard


A GOOD GIRL
by
JOHNNIE BERNHARD
  Genre: Southern Historical Fiction
Publisher: Texas Review Press
Website    Facebook
Date of Publication: March 7, 2017
Number of Pages: 288

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A Bible’s family tree and an embroidered handkerchief hold the key to understanding the past as six generation Texan, Gracey Reiter, prepares to say goodbye to her dying father, the last surviving member of the Walsh-Mueller family. The present holds the answer and the last opportunity for Gracey to understand her father’s anger, her mother’s guilt, and her siblings’ version of the truth.

The Walsh-Mueller family begins in Texas when Patricia Walsh leaves the famine of nineteenth century Ireland, losing her parents and siblings along the way.  She finds a home, love, and security with Emil Mueller in a German settlement near Indianola on the Texas Gulf Coast.  They begin their lives on a small cotton farm, raising six sons. From the coastal plains of Texas, five generations survive hurricanes, wars, The Great Depression, and life, itself.  

An all-encompassing novel that penetrates the core being of all who read it, A Good Girl pulls back the skin to reveal the raw actualities of life, love and relationships.  It is the ageless story of family. 

CHECK OUT THE BOOK TRAILER!



PRAISE FOR A GOOD GIRL:

*2017 Kindle Book Award Finalist*
*Over 50 5 Star Reviews*
One of 2017’s best will surely be A Good Girl by author Johnnie Bernhard, who as much as any writer since Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy, offers a breathtaking tour of the human heart in conflict with itself, desperately searching for grace and redemption in the face of unremitting loss.  Bernhard’s sentences are filled with the stuff of what blues and country music singers refer to as “soul” and “high lonesome.” 
--Jim Fraiser, The Sun Herald Newspaper

Relatable and real, A Good Girl speaks to the heart of what it means to be human and that generations come and go, but love binds us together.
--Kathleen M. Rodgers, author of The Final Salute, Johnnie Come Lately, & Seven Wings to Glory

A Good Girl is a raw, real, and relatable gift to the soul on every level. Ms. Bernhard’s writing is so descriptive, reading this book is truly a visceral experience. One cannot help but reflect on their own family legacy and life journey. Prepare to be riveted by this heartbreaking, yet healing story about family, self-discovery and learning how to love.  
--Eva Steortz, SVP, Brand Development, 20th Century Fox

A beautiful debut novel across oceans and time, with a clear, objective yet poignant Southern voice. A timeless voice much like Doctorow's Ragtime, A Good Girl is a true Southern American story. A story of one family spanning generations, dealing with love and loss, despair, and redemption, that leaves its readers with a timeless lesson.   
-Kathryn Brown Ramsperger, Author of The Shores of Our Souls and Moments on the Edge. 

I have found Johnnie Bernhard's book to touch a powerful chord in my heart.  Masterfully written with deep insight into the journey of family and forgiveness, I'm a better person for having read this book.
-Cynthia Garrett,  The London Sessions & The Mini Sessions (airing regularly on TBN Network),  Author of The Prodigal Daughter

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Sales benefit Port Lavaca, Texas! Much of the setting of A Good Girl, a six generation Texas saga, is set in Port Lavaca, Calhoun County. During the Lone Star Book Blog Tour, all author's royalties will be donated to the Calhoun County Museum of Port Lavaca in its recovery effort after Hurricane Harvey. Texas Proud! Port Lavaca Strong!

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Johnnie Bernhard, a former AP English teacher and journalist, is passionate about reading and writing. Her works have appeared in the following publications: University of Michigan Graduate Studies Publications, Heart of Ann Arbor Magazine, Houston Style Magazine, World Oil Magazine, The Suburban Reporter of Houston, The Mississippi Press, University of South Florida Area Health Education Magazine, the international Word Among Us, Southern Writers Magazine, Gulf Coast Writers Association Anthologies, The Texas Review, and the Cowbird-NPR production on small town America. Her entry, “The Last Mayberry,” received over 7,500 views, nationally and internationally.

A Good Girl received top ten finalist recognition in the 2015 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, as well as featured novel for panel discussion at the 2017 Mississippi and Louisiana Book Festivals. It is a finalist in the 2017 national Kindle Book Award for literary fiction and a nominee for the 2018 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize.

Her second novel, How We Came to Be, is set for publication in spring 2018. It is a finalist in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition.

Johnnie is the owner of Bernhard Editorial Services, LLC, where she writes book reviews for Southern Literary Review, as well as assists writers in honing their craft. Johnnie and her husband reside in a nineteenth century cottage surrounded by ancient oak trees and a salt water marsh near the Mississippi Sound. They share that delightful space with their dog, Lily, and cat, Poncho.
WEBSITE   GOODREADS
FACEBOOK   TWITTER   LINKEDIN

Johnnie will be on the road with A Good Girl at the following locations: 
October 26         Southern Bound Book Store, Biloxi, MS, 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., http://southernboundblog.net/index.html
October 27-28     Louisiana Book Festival, Baton Rouge, LA, state capitol, http://www.louisianabookfestival.org/
November 4      Peter Anderson Festival, Ocean Springs, MS, Poppy's on Porter, Washington Avenue, http://www.peterandersonfestival.com/
November 13     Live on KSHU Radio 1430 AM, Houston, Texas, 8 a.m. 
November 16     Calhoun County Historical Museum, Port Lavaca, Texas, 5 p.m. http://calhouncountymuseum.org/
November 18    River Oaks Book Store, Houston, Texas, 3 - 5 p.m., www.riveroaksbookstore.com
December 6 – 8    Words & Music Literary Feast, New Orleans, LA, www.wordsandmusic.org
December 10        Barnes & Noble, New Orleans, noon - 2 p.m.
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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
One lucky winner gets a signed copy!
October 26-November 4, 2017
(U.S. Only)
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
26-Oct
Excerpt 1
27-Oct
Review
28-Oct
Author Interview
29-Oct
Guest Post
30-Oct
Review
31-Oct
Notable Quotable
1-Nov
Review
2-Nov
Scrapbook Page
3-Nov
Excerpt 2
4-Nov
Review


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Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 10/30-11/5

Bookish events in Texas for the week of October 30-November 5, 2017: 

Special Events:
45th Annual Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Festival, Houston, October 28-Novovember 12

26th Annual San Antonio Express-News Book & Author Luncheon, October 30

ReadFest Houston 2017, November 2-4

World Fantasy 2017, San Antonio, November 2-5

7th annual Dobie Dichos: Campfires, Chili con Carne, and the Words of J. Frank Dobie, Oakville, November 3

George West Storyfest, November 3-5

First Fort Bend County Book Festival, Richmond, November 4

Frisco Book Fest, November 4

Noche de Letras, Latinx Book Fest, Austin, November 4

Lit Crawl Austin, November 4

Texas Book Festival, Austin, November 4-5

Ongoing Exhibits:
Dallas
Aaron Family Jewish Community Center, Mark Sullivan discusses and signs Beneath a Scarlet Sky, 7PM

Half Price Books Mothership, New York Times bestselling-author Maggie Stiefvater will discuss and sign her new fantasy book, All the Crooked Saints, 7:30PM [pass required]

Teatro Dallas, Arts & Letters Live presents An Evening Celebrating Two Giants: Juan Rulfo and Cardona Peña, 7:30PM

Frisco
B&N - Stonebriar, YA author event: Jessica Taylor signs A Map for Wrecked Girls, Julie Murphy signs Ramona Blue, and Samantha Mabry signs All the Wind in the World, 7PM

Houston
Brazos Bookstore, Slavs and Tatars discuss and sign MOLLA NASREDDIN, 7PM

Lawndale Art Center, 8th Annual MUSICAL AND LITERARY OFRENDA, 6PM

San Antonio
B&N - Northwoods, Blessed in the Darkness: How All Things Are Working for Your Good book signing with Joel Osteen, 7PM

Tuesday, October 31:
Austin
Bohemeo's, Glass Mountain fall reading series featuring Connor Bracken, Will Burns, and B.J. Love, 7PM

San Antonio
The Korova, Puroslam with DJ Donnie Dee, 9:30PM

Trinity University, Trinity Review Halloween, 7PM

Trinity University Holt Center, Words Matter Series: Kenny Fries and Sheila Black will be speaking on "Writing the Body," 7PM

Wednesday, November 1:
Austin

Dallas
Austin Conference Center, Texas Conference for Women featuring Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In and Option B; Mary Jennings Hegar, author of Shoot Like a Girl; Tiffany Dufu, author of Drop the Ball; Sarah Robb O’Hagan, author of Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat; and Laura Vanderkam, author of I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time, 7:30AM

BookPeople, LISA FAIN (the Homesick Texan) speaking & signing Queso! (in partnership with Edible Austin for the eats), 7PM

CamibaArt, december magazine launch party and reading featuring Michael Anania, Harold Whit Williams, and Tim Krcmarik, 6:30PM

Malvern Books, An Evening with Manuel Gonzales, author of The Regional Office Is Under Attack!, and Owen Egerton, author of Hollow, 7PM

Resistencia Bookstore, Recuerdos y Letras: An Evening with Author Sarah Rafael García with a creative writing workshop, and a reading and signing of SanTana’s Fairy Tales, 6:30PM

UT - Avaya, The Michener Center for Writers hosts poet Marie Howe, 7:30PM

The Writing Barn, Workshop: "The Personal Essay: Writing the World" with Sarah Smarsh, 6:30PM

Canyon
West Texas A&M, Poetry reading by Denise Duhamel, 7PM

College Station
The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Center, Humorous Poetry by Poet Col. Wayne Edwards, The Family Poet, 10:30AM & 12:30PM

Dallas


B&N - First Colony, Story time with local author Maria Ashworth, 10AM

Friday, November 3:
Austin
Inprint House, First Friday Poetry Reading Series presents Michael Sofranko, 8:30PM

Murder By the Book, Ryan Gattis will sign and discuss Safe, 6:30PM

Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, Jeffrey Eugenides reads FRESH COMPLAINT, 7:30PM [ticketed event]

Rice University, 2017 Camden Series speaker: Professor Julian Yates, author of Of Sheep, Oranges, and Yeast: A Multispecies Impression, 4PM

University of Houston, Glass Mountain Write-a-Thon, 9AM

University of Houston - Cullen Performance Hall, The Moth GrandSLAM III: "Out on a Limb," 7:30PM

San Antonio

B&N - Lincoln Park, It Devours!: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel discussion and signing with Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, 5PM

Interabang Books, Doni Blair discusses and signs EVEN IF IT KILLS ME, 2PM

El Paso

Half Price Books - North Oaks, Local Author Saturdays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release!, while supplies last


Young Neighborhood Library, Public Poetry Reading Series featuring Michelle Burk, Christina Martinez, Glynn Irby, Chuck Wemple, 2PM
San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, William Darling signs Anahuac, 11AM

Sunday, November 5:
Austin

Interabang Books, Miriam Cooke & Bruce Lawrence discuss and sign Islam and the Middle East: Beyond Headlines, 3PM

The Mix Co-working Space, Writing Workshops Dallas Seminar: "SELF-EDITING SEMINAR: How to Self-Edit: 50 Essential Tips for Honing Every Manuscript" with Blake Atwood, 3PM

Houston
Brazos Bookstore, C. Morgan Babst reads and signs THE FLOATING WORLD, 5PM

Mansfield
Half Price Books, Local Author Sundays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release!, while supplies last

Red Oak
Oaks Fellowship Church, Candace Payne discusses Laugh It Up, 6PM


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Review: HIDDEN SEA by Miles Arceneaux

I reviewed Hidden Sea by Texas's own Miles Arceneaux for Lone Star Literary Life. This is the fifth installment in Arceneaux's (should there be an "s" there? calling all French grammarians!) Gulf Coast noir mystery series. It is a richly detailed adventure involving kidnapping, human trafficking, sea-slaves, cartels, corrupt public servants, dissolute musicians, poachers, repo-women, plutocrats, and pirates, though those last two are synonyms.

MYSTERY
Miles Arceneaux
Hidden Sea: A Novel
Paperback, 978-0-9968-7974-3 (also available as an e-book), 216 pgs., $11.99
October 20, 2017

Nineteen is “sort of an itchy age, especially in a family whose motto was ‘Hold My Beer and Watch This.’” Juan Antonio Augustus “Augie” Sweetwater is nineteen, and has gone missing during a business trip to Mexico. Charlie, great uncle to Augie, quoting Gandhi, Thoreau, and John Lennon, philosophically feeling each of his sixty-eight years (“Lately he had begun to wonder if most of his dreams and adventures lay behind him, and if the whole of his life amounted to less than the sum of its parts”), heads to Veracruz to begin working his way up the coast. Raul, father of Augie, nephew of Charlie, crosses the border into Matamoros to begin working his way down the coast. Surely one of them will find Augie.

Old friends and business associates are behaving evasively, acting shady. Clues point in a gruesome direction: kidnapping, human trafficking, sea-slaves, cartels, corrupt public servants (“Plata o plomo, as they say. Silver or lead”), dissolute musicians, poachers, repo-women, plutocrats, and pirates, though those last two are synonyms.

Hidden Sea is the new novel by Miles Arceneaux (aka John T. Davis, James R. Dennis, and Brent Douglass), the fifth in his (their) Gulf Coast noir series of mysteries. Special mention is deserved by the design and cover teams; the layout and covers are consistently elegant in their bold simplicity—practically a brand. Inspired by Columbus, Cortés, and the New York Times, Arceneaux tosses us into the action in the first paragraph of Hidden Sea, and the mother of all plot twists lies in wait. Many seemingly disparate flavors gel, and we nod appreciatively as the pieces snap snugly into place. Multiple third-person narration offers a compelling view of those pieces.

Unlike previous installments in the series, Hidden Sea is a contemporary tale of the Sweetwater clan, and it seems darker, somehow sadder and heavier, than the previous volumes. Arceneaux seems unhappy with our times, and the darkness feels more immediate. Hidden Sea is lightened by local color and personalities, such as Ragnar the Younger, a Viking from Oklahoma, who is “crazy as a sprayed roach” with his giant runestone. Then there’s the “villainous one-eyed pirate terrorizing the Gulf . . . a pirate who serves a Santería deity and practices human sacrifice.”

The action moves up and down the Gulf of Mexico, from scrappy little Rockport, Texas, to the grand colonial cities and tiny fishing villages of coastal Mexico, to the pine and mango forests of Cuba. It helps to have a passing familiarity with Spanish, the ecology of the Gulf, ichthyology, and boat-ology. I learned about Cuba’s annual crab migration, bait balls of plankton that light up like the Fourth of July, and the mechanics of shrimp trawlers. These details are a hallmark of Arceneaux and lend verisimilitude to the adventure.

Arceneaux is frequently, cleverly funny. The dissolute musician has a yacht named The Miss Inclined; his breakthrough record was “a tear-jerking ballad about an aging rodeo cowboy who is run over by a semi-truck full of cows en route to a packing plant.” Poetic justice?

Hidden Sea is viscerally atmospheric, like Jimmy Buffett but a little mournful, with razor edges. Is it an elegy? An ode? A lamentation? Maybe, but Arceneaux still makes you want to don your shades and a funky hat, shove your toes in the sand, and while away the afternoon with a drink accessorized by a tiny umbrella.

Which is exactly how I read Hidden Sea, on the beaches of Dahab, South Sinai, Egypt. Highly recommended, y'all.

Originally published in Lone Star Literary Life.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Playlist & Giveaway: DEATH IN D MINOR

DEATH IN D MINOR
by
ALEXIA GORDON
  Genre: Paranormal Mystery / African American Sleuth
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of Publication: July 11, 2017
Number of Pages: 236

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Gethsemane Brown, African-American musician and expatriate to an Irish village, solved a string of murders and got used to living with a snarky ghost. She can rest easy now. Right? Wrong. The ghost has disappeared, her landlord's about to sell to a developer, and her brother-in-law's come to visit. She scrambles to call her spectral roomie back from beyond and find a way to save the cottage from destruction. But real estate takes a backseat when her brother-in-law is accused of stealing a valuable antique. Gethsemane strikes a deal with an investigator to go undercover at a charity ball and snoop for evidence of a forgery/theft ring in exchange for the woman's help clearing him. At the party, she accidentally conjures the ghost of an eighteenth-century sea captain, then ends up the prime suspect in the party host’s murder. She races to untangle a web of phony art and stolen antiques to exonerate herself, then the killer targets her. Will she bring a murderer to justice, or will her encore investigation become her swan song?


PRAISE FOR DEATH IN D MINOR:
Gethsemane Brown is everything an amateur sleuth should be: smart, sassy, talented, and witty even when her back is against the wall. In her latest adventure, she's surrounded by a delightful cast, some of whom readers will remember from Gordon's award-winning debut and all of whom they won't forget. Gordon writes characters we want resurrected.
n  Cate Holahan, author of The Widower's
Wife and Lies She Told

Erstwhile ghost conjurer and gifted concert violinist Gethsemane Brown returns in this thoroughly enjoyable follow-up to last year’s Murder in G Major. Facing eviction from the historic seaside cottage she calls home, Gethsemane must clear her brother-in-law’s name - as well as her own - when a priceless artifact goes missing and the wealthy dowager to whom it belonged is “helped” over a high balcony railing.  With the help of a spectral sea captain she accidentally summoned, Gethsemane tries to unravel the mystery as the murderer places her squarely in the crosshairs.

n  Daniel J. Hale, Agatha Award-winning author

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CLICK TO PURCHASE




Author Alexia Gordon’s Research & Inspiration Playlist
For the Gethsemane Brown Mystery Series

I write about music. My novels are filled with music both real and fictional. But I seldom listen to music while I write. I get wrapped up in the songs and lose focus on my story. I end up singing or humming along (badly) instead of writing.

Despite background music not being a routine part of my writing process, I do use certain pieces as reference material or inspiration for works that appear in my novels. If I created a Gethsemane Brown Mystery Series playlist on Spotify:

          "Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'", Tchaikovsky
          "Danse macabre in G Minor, Op. 40", Saint-Saens
          "24 Caprices, Op. 1", Paganini
          "The Irish Rover"
          "Dicey Reilly"
          "Whiskey, You're the Devil"
          "I'll Tell Me Ma"
          "Hanging Johnny"
          "Silver Spear"
          "Tristan und Isolde, Act III: Mild und leise wie er lachelt", Wagner

What other music should I add?


A writer since childhood, I put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. Medical career established, I returned to writing fiction. I completed SMU's Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas. Henery Press published my first novel, Murder in G Major, book one of the Gethsemane Brown mysteries, in September 2016. Book two, Death in D Minor, releases July 11, 2017.

Murder in G Major won the Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best New Novel, and was selected one of Suspense Magazine's Best Debuts. I listen to classical music, drink whiskey, and blog at www.missdemeanors.com, voted one of Writers' Digest magazine's 101 best websites for writers, and featured on Femmes Fatales


WEBSITE   PINTEREST
FACEBOOK   TWITTER
GOOGLE+    INSTAGRAM   GOODREADS

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
GRAND PRIZE: Signed Copy of Death in D Minor + Whisky Field Guide, Sea Salt & Bay Rum soy candle, Notepad, $20 Starbucks Gift Card
2ND PRIZE: Signed Copy of Death in D Minor, Ceramic Skull Coffee Mug, $20 Amazon Gift Card 
October 25-November 3, 2017
(U.S. Only)
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:


25-Oct
Review
25-Oct
Notable Quotable
26-Oct
Top 5 List
27-Oct
Review
27-Oct
Playlist 1
28-Oct
Review
29-Oct
Excerpt
30-Oct
Author Interview
30-Oct
Review
31-Oct
Playlist 2
1-Nov
Review
1-Nov
Top 5 List
2-Nov
Notable Quotable
2-Nov
Notable Quotable
3-Nov
Review


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