Sunday, February 18, 2018

2017 Lone Star Bloggers' Choice Awards: BEST LITERARY FICTION & BEST RELIGIOUS/INSPIRATIONAL/SPIRITUAL



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AWARDS SCHEDULE:
2/14: Awards Announcement
2/15: Best Hook & Best Creative Concept
2/16: Best Non-Fiction History, Best Biography/Memoir, 
& Best Western
2/17: Best Children’s/Juvenile/YA & Best Series
2/18: Best Literary Fiction & Best Religious/Inspirational/Spiritual
2/19: Best Mystery/Suspense, Best Romance, & Best Fantasy
2/20: Best Cover & Most Engaged Author
2/21: Best Texas Book
2/22: Best Non-Fiction Book
2/23: Best Fiction Book


 Come back tomorrow for the next award announcements!


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Guest Post: "Don't Tag Me" by Lincee Ray, author of WHY I HATE GREEN BEANS

WHY I HATE GREEN BEANS
and other confessions about relationships, reality tv, and how we see ourselves
by
LINCEE RAY
  
Genre: Humorous NonFiction / Memoir
Publisher: Revell
Facebook   ⎸ Twitter
Date of Publication: February 6, 2018
Number of Pages: 208

Scroll down for the giveaway!



Insecurity. As women, we all struggle with it. Our skinny jeans mock us. Our age-defying serums with flecks of gold refuse to erase our crow’s feet. Our social media feeds taunt us with everyone else’s picture-perfect lives. If you’ve ever felt uninteresting, unlovable, or unattractive, you’re ready for Lincee Ray’s particular brand of hilarious (and hard-hitting) self-reflection.

Like a trustworthy friend, she shows us that the fastest way to happiness is to embrace ourselves in all our imperfection and trust that God knew what He was doing when He made us. From maneuvering the muffin top to navigating the sketchy waters of singleness to walking the judgmental halls of the workplace, Lincee’s laugh-out-loud look at real life reveals many of the key truths she’s learned about her identity: Yoga pants are your friend, Jesus sees you, and green-bean diets are never the answer.


PRAISE FOR WHY I HATE GREEN BEANS:
“Lincee is a brilliant writer. She once described me as ‘smelling of worn leather, a vintage nine iron and swagger.’ She pretty much nailed it. She is definitely worthy of the final rose.” —Chris Harrison, host of ABC’s Bachelor franchise and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

"I found myself laughing out loud, wiping away a few tears, and cheering her on every step of the way. Lincee is the best friend you wish you had. Get ready to fall in love with her and her fabulous debut book!” —Melanie Shankle, author of the Big Mama blog

"By the end of this book, you’ll think of Lincee as a favorite friend: someone who shoots straight, finds the funny in every situation, and reminds you what matters most. You are in for a treat!” —Sophie Hudson, author of Giddy Up, Eunice and cohost of The Big Boo Cast podcast

>>CLICK TO PURCHASE<<




Don’t Tag Me
Guest Post by Lincee Ray

If I had a dollar for every person who suggested that I write a book, I could buy a nice pair of jeans at Nordstrom’s and have enough money left to treat myself to a double doozy at the Cookie Company in the Memorial City Mall food court. Truthfully, it never occurred to me to write an actual book until readers on my website planted the seed. Then it was all I could think about.

So I did it. I wrote a book. I holed myself up in my bedroom, my local library, and my neighborhood Target tapping away on my keyboard, pouring my heart out onto the pages.

That’s right. I wrote part of my book at Target. It’s not weird. My love for the red bulls eye runs deep. Plus, I’m not trendy or cool enough to work at Starbucks.

This is a convenient transition which will flow nicely into me introducing the topic of my book: insecurities. My friends would tell you, “Of course Lincee is cool enough to write a memoir at Starbucks,” but the truth is, I’m a big dork. I neither like coffee (please don’t look at me that way), nor do I enjoy vying for the one power outlet with the dude who is gaming in the comfortable leather chair snug in the corner.

My insecurities are a big part of me. Therefore, it’s up to me to make the decision to wake up every morning and face them head on. I figured I’m not the only one facing this challenge, so I decided to write about the times I feel inferior. My hope is that you don’t laugh at me, but with me.

One of the topics I cover in the book is my insecurity with my appearance. I’m not sure when my chin skin decided it no longer needed to cling to my actual chin. I keep waiting for the bags under my eyes to pack themselves up and leave. And when you have to hold your own eyelid up to read a book, you know you’ve finally hit your stride. It’s called being forty, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about the extra padding, the creaky back, or things that sag.

I call my friends, join in the camaraderie that they too are fighting gravity, and slather on every product my former co-workers are peddling on Facebook. In the words of the spirited kids in High School Musical, “We’re all in this together!”

Speaking of Facebook, the digital world makes me acutely aware of things I used to not even consider. For example: Remember the days when your mom busted out the Kodak disc camera and you called for your family to gather around as she shouted “1, 2, 3, SMILE!” and we all prayed that no one was blinking and that every hair was in place? And then you would run to Walgreens to have the film developed in an hour, grateful if you secured ONE PHOTO that was frame-worthy out of twenty-four?

That’s not a thing anymore. While standing in line at a theme park, I witnessed a group of girls take no less than twelve different photos in basically the same position because someone wasn’t happy. Their part was wrong. Again. Wonky lighting. Again. Stella was doing “duck face” and no one else was doing “duck face,” so Stella pulled focus. Again. Many threatened death to the other girls should they even think about posting and tagging one of the discarded photos on any social media outlet.

I would like to show those girls some of the pages in my yearbook. They would keel over and die.

My generation? We take the picture, hand the phone over to the youngest person in the group and say, “Filter that business.” Then we praise the good Lord that the word filter is both a noun and a verb. We all agree not to tag anyone and then inevitably we forget to post it. Good times.

Whether it’s your jiggly bits, greying hairs, or knobby knees, we all face a myriad of insecurities when we look in the mirror. But we have to remember that we are our worst enemy. God does not see what is outside, but what is inside. Knowing that you are beautiful in His eyes is all that matters.

I constantly remind myself that I am living my dream, my identity is found in Christ, and Target is just as cool, if not trendier, than hipster coffee joints. 



Lincee Ray is an accidental blogging superstar from Texas who now writes for EW.com and the Associated Press. An active speaker, she can be found at her popular website ihategreenbeans.com, where she makes it clear that she believes it’s important to tell your story—even if it makes you seem a little crazy.

Connect with Lincee!
 ║ Blog║ Facebook  Twitter   
Instagram Podcast 




-------------------------------------
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
FEBRUARY 13-22, 2018
GRAND PRIZE:

Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed book plate, $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card, and Lincee's Loves Basket which includes: Rave travel hairspray, Minnie Mouse ears, Vodka*, Heartbreakers Candy, Dr. Pepper, chocolate rose, and green jelly beans.
2nd PRIZE:
Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed book plate, $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
3rd PRIZE:
Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed book plate, $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
(U.S. Only; *proof of age required for vodka)

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
2/13/18
Notable Quotable
2/13/18
Notable Quotable
2/14/18
Review
2/15/18
Playlist
2/15/18
Author Interview
2/16/18
Review
2/17/18
Guest Post
2/17/18
Excerpt
2/18/18
Review
2/19/18
Notable Quotable
2/19/18
Notable Quotable
2/20/18
Review
2/21/18
Top Five
2/22/18
Review
2/22/18
Review



   blog tour services provided by

  

2017 Lone Star Bloggers' Choice Awards: BEST CHILDREN'S/JUVENILE/YA & BEST SERIES



Click to learn more about:



AWARDS SCHEDULE:
2/14: Awards Announcement
2/15: Best Hook & Best Creative Concept
2/16: Best Non-Fiction History, Best Biography/Memoir, & Best Western
2/17: Best Children’s/Juvenile/YA & Best Series
2/18: Best Literary Fiction & Best Religious/Inspirational/Spiritual
2/19: Best Mystery/Suspense, Best Romance, & Best Fantasy
2/20: Best Cover & Most Engaged Author
2/21: Best Texas Book
2/22: Best Non-Fiction Book
2/23: Best Fiction Book


Come back tomorrow for the next award announcements!

Friday, February 16, 2018

2017 Lone Star Bloggers' Choice Awards: BEST NONFICTION HISTORY, BEST BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR, & BEST WESTERN


Click to learn more about:



AWARDS SCHEDULE:
2/14: Awards Announcement
2/15: Best Hook & Best Creative Concept
2/16: Best Non-Fiction History, Best Biography/Memoir, & Best Western
2/17: Best Children’s/Juvenile/YA & Best Series
2/18: Best Literary Fiction & Best Religious/Inspirational/Spiritual
2/19: Best Mystery/Suspense, Best Romance, & Best Fantasy
2/20: Best Cover & Most Engaged Author
2/21: Best Texas Book
2/22: Best Non-Fiction Book
2/23: Best Fiction Book



Come back tomorrow for the next award announcements!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

2017 Lone Star Bloggers' Choice Awards: BEST HOOK & MOST CREATIVE CONCEPT



Click to learn more about:

Click to learn more about:




AWARDS SCHEDULE:
2/14: Awards Announcement
2/15: Best Hook & Best Creative Concept
2/16: Best Non-Fiction History, Best Biography/Memoir, & Best Western
2/17: Best Children’s/Juvenile/YA & Best Series
2/18: Best Literary Fiction & Best Religious/Inspirational/Spiritual
2/19: Best Mystery/Suspense, Best Romance, & Best Fantasy
2/20: Best Cover & Most Engaged Author
2/21: Best Texas Book
2/22: Best Non-Fiction Book
2/23: Best Fiction Book


Come back tomorrow for the next award announcements!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Review: ELEPHANT DREAMS by Martha Deeringer

I reviewed Elephant Dreams: A Novel (Melange Books, LLC) by Texas author Martha Deeringer for Lone Star Literary Life. The fun cover art promises a charming tale, and Deeringer delivers.

YA FICTION
Martha Deeringer
Elephant Dreams: A Novel
Melange Books
Paperback, 978-1-6804-6532-7, (also available as an e-book), 224 pgs., $13.95
September 2, 2017

Sixteen-year-old Fiona Finn is homeless on the nineteenth-century streets of New York City. After her mother’s death from consumption, her father’s drinking problem subsumed him. Fiona was scavenging for food when the family was evicted; when she returns to the apartment, her father and little brother, Frank, are gone. Fiona has been living in the basement of a condemned tenement, and finally seeks help and refuge in a church after almost being nabbed on the street by a pimp.

The Children’s Aid Society wants to send Fiona west on an orphan train, but her father refuses to sign the documents. He, too, thinks she can make money on street corners, enough to keep him insensately soused. So the society arranges for Fiona to work for them, helping on the trains with the orphans who do go west to new lives. When Fiona’s father stows away on the train, she escapes during a stop in Houston and finds her way to a circus—"The Mollie A. Bailey Show, A Texas Show for Texas People.” As luck would have it, the elephant girl has just run away to marry one of the clowns. Fiona dons the costume, thinking it the perfect disguise to elude the law and her father’s attempts to reclaim her.

Elephant Dreams: A Novel is new historical YA fiction from Texas author Martha Deeringer. The fun cover art promises a charming tale, and Deeringer delivers. Creative and well plotted, the action begins on page one and proceeds at a brisk pace with plenty of twists and surprises. Elephant Dreams is a fine adventure and held my attention until the last page.

Older readers may find her too good to be true, but I was immediately taken with Fiona. She is scrappy, smart, industrious, and brave. Her journal writing strikes me as more sophisticated than her limited education and circumstances would suggest, and her Irish accent and inflections come and go. Though not entirely realistic, as she possesses no discernible flaws, Fiona is an inspiring, entertaining character for middle-grade readers.

Deeringer is a talented, versatile writer. Fiona’s first meeting with Bolivar the Asian elephant is laugh-aloud funny; budding first love is sweet and tender; tension is tight. Deeringer skillfully weaves multiple societal issues and details of the period into the third-person narration, and provides a visceral sense of the orphan train, writing movingly of poverty and desperation. Deeringer’s characters are engaging and diverse, the circus family endearing. Mollie Bailey, whose character Deeringer borrows from real-life events, is an admirable woman, equally adept at business and kindness, a great role model for the virtues of independence, integrity, and gumption.

Fiona develops a taste for adventure, and Deeringer provides a hopeful, satisfying resolution, resisting the sentimental, too-easy ending. The show must go on, after all, and just this morning “the bareback rider announced that she’s going to marry the Turkish camel handler,” as word has it. “They’re headed for the Klondike to search for gold.”

Originally published in Lone Star Literary Life.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

2017 LONE STAR BLOGGERS' CHOICE AWARDS


The Lone Star Book Blog Tours team has voted, and the results are in!  From Best Fiction to Most Engaged Author, we have seventeen awards to hand out to the awesome Texas books and authors featured on Lone Star Book Blog Tours in 2017. 

From February 14-23, 2018, please join us as we hop around the LSBBT blogs and share the winners, runners-up, and shortlisted titles. Don’t miss it! 


AWARDS SCHEDULE:
2/14: Awards Announcement
2/15: AWARDS: Best Hook & Best Creative Concept
2/16: AWARDS: Best Non-Fiction History, Best Biography/Memoir, & Best Western
2/17: AWARDS: Best Children’s/Juvenile/YA & Best Series
2/18: AWARDS: Best Literary Fiction & Best Religious/Inspirational/Spiritual
2/19: AWARDS: Best Mystery/Suspense, Best Romance, & Best Fantasy
2/20: AWARDS: Best Cover & Most Engaged Author
2/21: AWARD: Best Texas Book
2/22: AWARD: Best Non-Fiction Book
2/23: AWARD: Best Fiction Book