Sunday, April 11, 2021

Lone Star Literary Life - April 11, 2011

Lone Star Literary Life is brand new, hot off the pixels, and nutritious. Follow the link for the latest Texas bookish news, reviews, interviews, and goings-on, then subscribe to the newsletter-it's free!






Author Interview & Giveaway: DIRE'S CLUB


DIRE'S CLUB
by Kimberly Packard

Publisher: Abalos Publishing
Publication Date: March 23, 2021
Pages: 326 Pages
Categories: Action & Adventure / Contemporary / Women's Fiction

Scroll for Giveaway!


Dying isn't just hard on the ones left behind, the regret of unfinished lives weighs heavily on the terminally ill. That's where Dire's Club steps in, a specialty travel agency that takes a small group of dying people on one final adventure-so they can be free of guilt, be more than a diagnosis, and find a way to confront life...and death.


Life Coach Charlotte Claybrooke built a successful second career guiding people out of grief, but the impending tenth anniversary of her own heart-wrenching tragedy sets her on a journey to find life among the dying.


Staring death in the face was Jimmy Dire's business. He met it with a warm hug, a kind word, and a smile. Dire's Club gave the terminally ill one final, bucket-list adventure before passing on, but dying was expensive. The bills, like Jimmy's lies, were piling up. It's only a matter of time before he's forced to face a different type of death.


A rock god, a telenovela star, a grandmother living her life-long dream, and a young tech genius round out this group of strangers facing death together. But when tragedy strikes, their bond is shattered. Lies and fraud surface, forcing the dying to come together to save someone's life.


Everybody dies. The lucky ones have fun doing it.


CLICK TO PURCHASE





Interview with Kimberly Packard 

What cultural value do you see in reading?

I read a while back that readers of fiction are more empathetic, and I couldn’t agree more – and I’m sure that’s even more true of authors. When we read (or write) someone’s story that’s very different from ours, we get to slip into someone else’s life, feel their struggles and feel their joy. In a time when we see more divided than united, reading something that’s a bit outside of our world view is even more important than before. 

How does your book relate to your faith, spiritual practice, or life path?

DIRE’S CLUB could probably be summed up as my mortality book. But I don’t think it started that way. It’s really much more about life than dying, it’s about enjoying every last moment we have on this beautiful planet, and about enjoying every second we have with those close to us. And it’s also about forgiving ourselves and giving ourselves grace. Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself. 

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

I think the hardest part was Charlotte’s POV. It’s no secret that she struggles with thoughts of ending her life. I started writing the first draft the very week both Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade died by suicide. I had to take several breaks from writing her to go for walks, at least until she started to heal. 

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Honestly, the group. As a kid I loved the movie The Breakfast Club, so in some ways this is my attempt to pay homage to that John Hughes classic. I adored Levi, I almost want to write a whole prequel of Levi Livingston and all of his raucous 80s hair band adventures. 

How has your formal education influenced or impacted your writing?

So, this is pretty funny, but one of the influences in addition The Breakfast Club is Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. I always enjoyed what Chaucer set out to do, and tragically he died before completing his work. Since I’m a nerd, I signed up for a class in college just on Chaucer. I think diving deep into The Canterbury Tales has stuck with me for all these years.  

What projects are you working on at the present?

My next project is a story about two women who share the role of a pop star – one is the face and the other is the voice – and the reporter who uncovers it. I’m nearly done with the first draft of it, and I have to say, it’s fun to have these two dynamically different characters start to take on the positive traits of each other. I’ve lovingly dubbed this my “Girl Power” book. 


Dire's Club trailer from Kimberly Walton on Vimeo.



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2 Winners: Autographed Paperbacks; 3 Winners: eBook copies.

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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:

4/6/21

Book Trailer

Chapter Break Book Blog

4/6/21

Review

That's What She's Reading

4/6/21

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

4/7/21

Review

Momma on the Rocks

4/7/21

BONUS Promo

Hall Ways Blog

4/8/21

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

4/8/21

Notable Quotable

The Page Unbound

4/9/21

Review

The Clueless Gent

4/10/21

Review

Jennie Reads

4/11/21

Author Interview

Texas Book Lover

4/12/21

Review

Bibliotica

4/13/21

Review

It's Not All Gravy

4/13/21

Playlist

All the Ups and Downs

4/14/21

Review

Reading by Moonlight

4/14/21

Deleted Scene

Book Fidelity

4/15/21

Review

Rainy Days with Amanda

4/15/21

Review

Forgotten Winds



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Friday, April 9, 2021

Book Blitz: STIFF LIZARD

STIFF LIZARD

By LISA HANEBERG

Series: A Spy Shop Mystery
Publisher: Written Pursuits Press
Pages: 364 pages
Pub Date: March 13th, 2021
Categories: Women Sleuths / Cozy Mystery / Private Investigator / Humor

Rodent Roger, a popular Galveston Island exterminator, goes missing the day after he tells private investigator and spy shop owner Xena Cali about a concerning uptick in green iguana sightings on the island. They’re crapping in people’s boats and falling from trees. Are the lizards swimming over from Florida to escape the pythons, or is it something more nefarious? Can Xena help untangle the mess before the raucous reptiles take over Galveston? 

Ultima Penelope Roger is a best-selling writer of romance novels. The Lizard Liquidators have set up shop on Galveston Island. Herpetologist Quintana Flores, PhD, works on a bizarre cruise ship that sails out of the Port of Galveston. Sasha Barlow is a driven junior reporter who’ll do anything to get the story. Ned “The Pelican Man” Quinn writes a column about bird necropsies. Captain Ethan Slaughter is the head of the Major Crimes team at the Galveston Police Department. Xena and her team will have to partner with and/or battle this cast of characters and others to solve what becomes a disturbing murder investigation.  


Stiff Lizard is the third full-length book in the Spy Shop Mystery series. If you like fast-paced crime novels, clever satire, and gritty beach towns, then you’ll love Lisa Haneberg’s humorous and contemporary cozy caper. 

 

PRAISE FOR STIFF LIZARD: 

"Lisa Haneberg has a wicked sense of humor. She can also write a fast-moving, totally original mystery." -- Alan Rinzler 
 
Lisa Haneberg's newest entry in the Spy Shop Mystery Series lives up to its predecessors. A good number of laughs, lots of intrigue, a bit of titillation, lots of interesting information, and lots of mystery make for a good read.” – Verified purchaser from Amazon 

 Purchase Links
 Amazon | Bookshop | Barnes and Noble 




Lisa Haneberg loves to explore Galveston Island’s gritty back streets, stellar seafood joints, magnificent natural areas, and all points in between. In addition to the Spy Shop Mysteries, she’s a blogger and has authored over a dozen nonfiction books. She earned an MFA degree from Goddard College and a BS in Behavioral Sciences from the University of Maryland. 


Before writing crime fiction, she was a seasoned human resources professional with a strange attraction to gnarly internal investigations. She lives with her husband and dog in Lexington, Kentucky. Lisa once owned a home on Galveston Island and is a frequent visitor. 


Facebook| Blog | Twitter | Instagram

Amazon Author Page | Goodreads Author Page


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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Review: THE ELEPHANT OF BELFAST

“Ever since she could remember, Hettie had preferred animals to people. They were always happy to see her, grateful to be fed and given some attention.” 

I reviewed The Elephant of Belfast  (Counterpoint), S. Kirk Walsh’s debut novel, for Lone Star Lit! This is a beguiling and compelling story of historical fiction set during the 1941 Belfast Blitz. As the war begins to affect the charmed, self-contained world of the zoo (“a quiet, monastic refuge, where an inherent order and system guided its daily way of life”), Hettie must fight for herself and for her charges.





Monday, April 5, 2021

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar April 4-11, 2021

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of April 4-11, 2021, compiled by TexasBookLover exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life.  

Special events this week include Teen Book Con, the Austin International Poetry Festival, the San Antonio Book Festival, and the Women of the World International Poetry Slam in Dallas. Most events are still online via Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Zoom, and other venues. 

For a complete calendar of bookish events in Texas this week, including special events, daily listings, and exhibits, visit the GO! Calendar at Lone Star Lit  



Monday, March 29, 2021

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar March 28-April 4, 2021

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of March 28-April 4, 2021, compiled by TexasBookLover exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life.  

Special events this week include KissCon and Teen Book Con. Most events are still online via Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Zoom, and other venues. 

For a complete calendar of bookish events in Texas this week, including special events, daily listings, and exhibits, visit the GO! Calendar at Lone Star Lit  



Sunday, March 28, 2021

Lone Star Literary Life - March 28, 2021

 Lone Star Literary Life is brand new, hot off the pixels, and nutritious. Follow the link for the latest Texas bookish news, reviews, interviews, and goings-on, then subscribe to the newsletter-it's free!










Saturday, March 27, 2021

Guest Post & Giveaway: HER EVERY MOVE

HER EVERY MOVE
By Kelly Irvin

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 352 pages
Pub Date: February 9th, 2021
Categories: Christian / Romance / Suspense

Scroll for Giveaway!

 


He’s a cop trying to stop a serial bomber. And she’ll stop at nothing to clear her own name.  
 
When a deadly bomb goes off during a climate change debate, librarian and event coordinator Jackie Santoro becomes the prime suspect. Her motive, according to Detective Avery Wick: to avenge the suicide of her prominent father, who was accused of crimes by a city councilman attending the event.  
 
Though Avery has doubts about Jackie’s guilt, he can’t exonerate her even after an extremist group takes responsibility for the bombing and continues to attack San Antonio’s treasured public spaces.  
 
As Jackie tries to hold her shattered family together, she has no choice but to proceed with plans for the Caterina Ball, the library system’s biggest annual fundraiser. But she also fears the event provides the perfect opportunity for the bomber to strike again.  

Despite their mistrust, Jackie and Avery join forces to unmask the truth—before the death toll mounts even higher.  


Bestseller Kelly Irvin is back with a nail-biting romantic suspense where nothing is certain until the very last page.  

 

PRAISE FOR HER EVERY MOVE: 

“A gripping story that will have you on the edge of your seat until ‘The End.’” —Patricia Bradley, author of The Logan Point Series, Memphis Cold Case Novels, Natchez Trace Parkway Rangers series  


“Explosive, tender, and races all the way through!” Jennifer Graeser Dornbush, author, screenwriter, and forensic specialist 




 

San Antonio joins cast of characters in Her Every Move

Guest Post by author Kelly Irvin

 

Beautiful, historic San Antonio is more than the setting of my latest romantic suspense novel, HER EVERY MOVE. It’s so integral to the story, the city becomes a character. Librarian Jackie Santoro is an adult collections coordinator (librarian) at San Antonio’s Central Library in downtown San Antonio. San Antonio is my adopted home. My husband and I moved here in 1989. A Kansas native, I’ve always been drawn to the city’s rich history and cultural diversity. Founded by Spanish missionaries in 1718, it is filled with iconic landmarks recognized by residents and visitors alike.

I worked downtown for more than twenty years before retiring to write full-time. I used to explore those landmarks on my lunch hour—the River Walk, the Alamo, Market Square, La Villita, Hemisfair Park. Toward the end of my career, the Central Library designed by Mexican Architect Ricardo Legorreta opened. In HER EVERY MOVE, I introduce readers to this iconic edifice that visitors may not recognize, but San Antonio residents will. The Central Library is a beautiful “enchilada red” building. It showcases fabulous artwork such as Fiesta Tower, a glass sculpture by famed sculptor Dale Chihuly. It’s filled with 80,257 volumes, including nonfiction, fiction, media, the Latino Collection, and Texana/Genealogy collection.

For the purposes of HER EVERY MOVE, another important aspect of Jackie’s job is event coordination. She assists with coordinating the Catrina Ball, a fund-raiser built around the Día de los Muertos celebration. This is a joyful day when families gather to honor and remember deceased loved ones. They build altars with mementos, favorite foods, photos, and other cherished items that represent their dead loved one.

At the Central Library each year they hold the Catrina Ball with food, music, dancing, and many altars honoring San Antonio historical figures. While the events that transpire during the Catrina Ball in HER EVERY MOVE are fictitious, the event is very real and is an important community fund-raiser. Having such a nuanced setting for a novel certainly helps enhance the suspenseful atmosphere in HER EVERY MOVE.

I love being able to incorporate the sights and sounds of this important day into the story, as well as aspects of the many culture that can be seen everywhere in the city. Fifty-six percent of San Antonio’s residents are of Mexican-American descent, 24 percent are White/Non-Hispanic, 6 percent are Black, and 3 percent are Asian. Thirty-four percent of San Antonians speak Spanish at home. It’s a beautifully woven tapestry that makes for a wonderful background for novels.

Rich settings add so much to a story. It becomes impossible to separate the story from the setting. I hope my readers enjoy this fast-paced race through San Antonio with Jackie and Avery. It might even make them want to visit—once the bomber is no longer a threat!

 



Bestseller Kelly Irvin is the author of 28 books, including romantic suspense and Amish romance. Publishers Weekly called Closer Than She Knows “a briskly written thriller.”  The Library Journal said of her novel Tell Her No Lies, “a complex web with enough twists and turns to keep even the most savvy romantic suspense readers guessing until the end.” The two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist worked as a newspaper reporter for six years on the Texas-Mexico border. Those experiences fuel her romantic suspense novels set in Texas. A retired public relations professional, Kelly now writes fiction full-time. She lives with her husband professional photographer Tim Irvin in San Antonio. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two ornery cats. 



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TWO WINNERS each receive signed copies!

(US ONLY. Ends midnight, CDT, 4/3/2021) 





Click to visit the Lone Star Literary Life Tour Page  
for direct links to each post on this tour, updated daily,  
or visit the blogs directly: 

3/24/21

Excerpt

The Page Unbound

3/24/21

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

3/25/21

Review

Reading by Moonlight

3/25/21

BONUS Top Ten

Hall Ways Blog

3/26/21

Review

The Clueless Gent

3/27/21

Guest Post

Texas Book Lover

3/28/21

Scrapbook Page

Chapter Break Book Blog

3/29/21

Review

Carpe Diem Chronicles

3/30/21

Author Interview

StoreyBook Reviews

3/31/21

Review

Jennie Reads

4/1/21

Review

Book Fidelity

4/2/21

Review

Tangled in Text

4/2/21

BONUS Promo

All the Ups and Downs




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