Friday, July 31, 2015

Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours

by Cliff Hudder

Ne’er-do-well immigration attorney Harrison Bent can’t imagine why the wealthy and mysterious Maggie Leudecke wants him to solve her eminent domain problem.  If he didn’t have an angry wife to placate, an inscrutable stalker to identify, an obsessed girlfriend to escape, and a murder to solve, a successful outcome to the Leudecke case might revive his career, pay for his autistic son’s special school, and—most important of all—help convince his young paralegal, Chloe, that the afternoon she spent with him in a cheap motel wasn’t an error in judgment, but the beginning of something profound.

If only he had some clue as to what he was doing ...  


"I can think of no one writing today who has so beautifully put into vital relationship officious history and literary fiction with such provocative and thoroughly entertaining results. This is a stunning debut by a master storyteller."  — Wendell Mayo, author of Centaur of the North, In Lithuanian Wood, and B Horror and Other Stories

"I don't recall many historical novellas or novels abounding in comedy. Another distinctive technique is the pseudo-footnotes. They remind me of Nabokov's footnotes in Pale Fire." — Robert Phillips, author of Spinach Days, News About People You Know.

From the book: I know myself. That’s the good news. That’s also the bad news. For example, I knew I was not equipped to deal with the Leudecke case. I also knew I wouldn’t turn it down or hand it off to somebody better suited. But, seriously, what background did I have in eminent domain?  Or with Mexican drug dealers?  Or dead Mexican drug dealers?  None. And I knew it.

CLIFF HUDDER earned an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Houston. His work has received the Barthelme and Michener Awards, the Peden Prize, and the Short Story Award from the Texas Institute of Letters.  His novella, Splinterville, won the 2007 Texas Review Fiction Award.  He teaches English at Lone Star College-Montgomery and lives in Conroe, Texas.

Buy Links: 
Texas A&M Press
Texas Review Press Catalog

Author Website:

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

You Can Write 50,000 Words in Thirty Days by D.J. Mynatt

's review 
Jul 28, 15  ·  edit

bookshelves: to-read
Read from July 05 to 06, 2015

I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

As I began the book, I realized I knew nothing about what is involved in writing a book to get published. I learned what NANOWRIMO was and became very intrigued . National Novel Writing Month happens each November where people sign up to take the challenge of writing 50,000 words in thirty days. Sounds easy , doesn't it? Maybe for some it is, but for others it is a challenge to begin your first thought onto paper.

The author takes us on her own journey during that month and shares with us the frustration and extreme pressure of trying to write a very specific word count. It does sound intimidating , but with the tools the author gives you in her book, you can achieve that goal.

She gives us a daily glimpse into her day as she tries to reach her daily goals. For some this could be a real challenge if you are juggling a full time job and have other comittments . For those who are thinking of doing this challenge, I encourage you to have the authors book as your go to reference material. In the book is valuable resources,along with her personal journey and encouraging scriptures to help motivate and empower you. This is a must read for all new authors who need inspiration and encouragement to pursue their dream of writing their first novel.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

2015 Christy Award Winner

Lisa Wingate


Successful New York editor, Jen Gibbs, is at the top of her game with her new position at Vida House Publishing -- until a mysterious manuscript from an old slush pile appears on her desk. Turning the pages, Jen finds herself drawn into the life of Sarra, a mixed-race Melungeon girl trapped by dangerous men in the turn of the century Appalachia. A risky hunch may lead to The Story Keeper's hidden origins and its unknown author, but when the trail turns toward the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place Jen thought she'd left behind forever, the price of a blockbuster next book deal may be higher than she's willing to pay.

Amazon Buy Link for THE STORY KEEPER


Praise for Lisa Wingate

The Sea Keeper’s Daughters

“Readers will delight in this compelling saga that sweeps from past to present, coastline to mountains. Compassion and forgiveness pave the road to redemption in this gem of a book.  The Sea Keeper's Daughter is a keeper!”
Mary Alice Monroe, NY Times bestselling author of The Summer's End.   

The Story Keeper

“Wingate is, quite simply, a master storyteller. Her story-within-a-story, penned with a fine, expressive style, will captivate writers and non-writers alike.”
 “Fans of contemporary and historical romance, women's fiction and
light literary romance will find plenty with which to fall in love in 
The Story Keeper.”
USA Today, Happily Ever After blog

“Wingate’s latest tale is beautifully crafted and has so many
layers to appeal to readers – history, a contemporary love story,
a bit of mystery and details about the book publishing industry.”
Romantic Times

“Fans of both historical and contemporary fiction will delight in Lisa Wingate’s latest tale.
The Story Keeper is a modern-day quest that beckons readers into the Appalachian lore of
yesteryear. Simply put, The Story Keeper is enchanting, inspiring, and beautifully told.”
Denise Hunter, bestselling author of Dancing with Fireflies

Not since To Kill a Mockingbird has a story impacted me like this.” 
Colleen Coble, USA Today bestselling author of Seagrass Pier

“For anyone who enjoys master storytellers such as Adriana Trigiani and Karen White. The Story Keeper . . . transports readers across time.”
Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Into the Free

The Story Keeper has to be the best book I've read in two years. It's heartwarming, a story within a story, love that blooms from within and without. A definite keeper and reread.”
Fresh Fiction

The Prayer Box
“With a careful eye to detail and a beautiful, lyrical style
reminiscent of those of Mary Alice Monroe and
Patti Callahan Henry.”
Starred Booklist
“Journeys begin with one single step . . .  in Wingate's masterful exploration of the road to redemption. Relatable characters and vivid portrayals of events both current and historical create an enchanting, memorable pilgrimage into the fullness of faith and love.”
Publishers Weekly
With a gift for crafting a story that digs into how a person's
past can shape their view of themselves and of hope itself,
Lisa Wingate never disappoints to deliver a first-class novel.”
USA Today
“Readers will delight in this gorgeously written, true gem of a
novel. . . . a saga of life, love and
rebuilding make for a treat.”
Romantic Times, top pick
“I am in awe of Lisa Wingate’s talent. She strikes the heart and
turns my gaze toward heaven’s door.
The Prayer Box is a masterpiece of story and skill.”
Debbie Macomber, New York Times bestselling author

The Prayer Box is Lisa Wingate’s best work so far! Tandi’s story is an enchanting take on
family ties, redemption, and allowing oneself to
be swept up into a river of grace regardless of one’s past.”
Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of The Time In Between

The Prayer Box is a beautiful, lyrical story of two women looking for peace, wholeness, and purpose. Wingate weaves hope and truth amid their brokenness and pain.”
Rachel Hauck, author of Once Upon and Prince and The Wedding Dress

“Tenderly woven. Skillfully threaded. A grab-your-heart story about faith, the healing power of love, and how both are often found in unlikely places.”
Charles Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Unwritten
“Lisa Wingate is a remarkably gifted storyteller. Her novels both captivate and cradle you, and The Prayer Box is Lisa at her finest. Tandi’s extraordinary journey of healing and hope on Hatteras Island is a mesmerizing thrill and a joy you’ll want to savor. However, beware—you will not be able to put this story down!”
Beth Webb Hart, Bestselling author of Moon Over Edisto
“A lively and inviting small-town atmosphere . . .  [The Prayer Box] captures the insecurities and inner fears we all struggle to keep hidden.”
CBA Retailer + Resources
Other novels by Lisa Wingate

“A rising star in the world of women's fiction.”
Romantic Times

“Lisa Wingate is a Glorious Storyteller!”
Adriana Trigiana, New York Times bestselling author

“Gripping… compassionate and lyrical… reminds us that it is love that changes our world.”
Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author

Q&A with Lisa Wingate

Your stories so often involve fascinating bits of history. Can you tell us about the inspiration for The Sea Keeper’s Daughters?

I never know where my stories will come from. While working on my first Carolina book, set on the Outer Banks, I became fascinated with the mystery of the Lost Colonists of Roanoke Island. You can’t spend time on the Carolina Coast without realizing that theories abound as to the fate of the 117 people who vanished from Sir Walter Raleigh’s ill-­fated colony over thirty years before the Pilgrims would land on Plymouth Rock. While writing my second Carolina book, The Story Keeper, I delved into the mystery of what early explorers deemed to be “blue-eyed Indians,” who were found to have been living in the Appalachian mountains decades before other Europeans pressed in. I knew that the third Carolina book would somehow bring these two fascinating bits of history together. An interesting thing happened when The Story Keeper hit the bookstores. Because the novel is about the discovery of an untold story, readers began sharing their own family stories with me. One reader mentioned that she’d traveled through the mountains many times as a child and one day had noticed that there were doors in the mountainside. When she asked about the doors, her father told her that during the Depression, families who lost their farms or had no place to live would often move into a nearby cave. Many salvaged doors, windows, and furniture from their repossessed homes before leaving and used those to outfit their new cave houses. I couldn’t resist researching that tale, but I found very little about Americans living in caves during the Depression.  What I did come across were life history interviews written by participants in a little-known WPA program called the Federal Writers’ Project. The Project hired impoverished writers, academics, housewives, and reporters, then turned them into Field Interviewers whose jobs were to travel the hidden corners of America and record the stories of the common man. The adventures of these Federal Writers were equally as fascinating as the narratives and stories they discovered during their travels.

Selected among Booklist’s Top 10 for two consecutive years, Lisa Wingate skillfully weaves lyrical writing and unforgettable settings with elements of traditional Southern storytelling, history, and mystery to create novels that Publisher's Weekly calls "Masterful" and Library Journal refers to as "A good option for fans of Nicholas Sparks and Mary Alice Monroe." 

Lisa is a journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the author of twenty-five novels. She is a seven-time ACFW Carol Award nominee, a multiple Christy Award nominee, a twotime Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RT Booklovers Magazine Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner for mystery/suspense. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. Booklist summed up her work by saying, “Lisa Wingate is, quite simply, a master storyteller.” More information about her novels can be found at


More about Lisa can be found on her 

She can also be found online at:

Blog tour services provided by Lone Star Literary Life.


I received a copy of this book for an honest review

Jen is excited about her new job at Vida House Publishing. She is looking to make an impression and thinks she has found the next best seller. There is a room they call "Slush Mountain that has old seemingly unwanted manuscripts . She has been told never to go to that room. Surprisingly one day laying on the edge of her desk, is a story in an envelope which just appeared out of thin air. As Jen beings to read the story, she is mesmerized by the writing. It does have an eerie likeness to the place she left a long time ago. How did this story from "Slush Mountain" get on her desk? What mysteries will it reveal ?

Jen knows in her hands is a story that must be published. She has convinced the publishing company that she needs to find the author who wrote this amazing story and get his permission to publish it. She finds herself thinking back to when she lived not far from where the story takes place. Jen never thought she would ever return to Blue Ridge Mountain, but she must travel there to find the elusive author of this story that has captured her heart . The story that has intrigued Jen is about a young girl named Sarah. It shows the struggles in the 1800s and how people had to deal with hunger and poverty. She gives us a strong character in Sarah that is determined to overcome her circumstances. Jen is a determined woman who must face her past as she sees similarities in the story she wants to publish and her own life. What will happen to Sarah? Can Jen embrace her past? Who is the author behind this story?

The book is well written and filled with a great background of the Appalachian people. I loved how the author draws her readers in with an uncanny realism of the characters. It is a story that takes you on a journey of survival and dealing with past memories. The writing is a treasure similar to a present that is unwrapped slowly to reveal a breathtaking gift. Lisa has given readers a book that will be hard to forget.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Summer of Love: Six Christian Romance Novels

It is always refreshing to find books that are written with warmth, grace and God's love . This collection has that and so much more. The characters are fun, looking for their purpose or just simply trying to live life to the fullest. I loved how each author had their own unique writing style that fit so well in this engrossing collection.

The romance was clean and sweet and I found it enjoyable to read. Each book touches on different everyday issues that with capture your attention with a warm inviting story that flows with grace across the pages.

Will Bryce and Soohie find happiness with each other or is there something that will hold one of them back , and make them question if they can share their feelings.

What will happen when Claire a chef meets globe trotting handsome Noel? Is it possible to fall in love with someone that comes from a different background. Will it be hard for one of them to give up their roots in order to be together?

Serenity has come back to her hometown to start over. She has a relationship with her dad that she needs to work on. They were both hurt by something , but their love as father and daughter is deep and they strive to overcome the past. When Jackson Ross a psychiatrist , or Dr. Jack to his patients, discover why Serenity's life was shattered five years ago, he may risk losing her . Is he willing to take that chance in order to help her overcome what happened years ago? 

Can a marriage of convience work between Jared and Kate? As Kate longs for a real relationship with Jared , something from his past could destroy her hope of a lasting and loving marriage. Will his past be more than Kate can handle? Can a marriage of convience turn into a real marriage filled with love and devotion to each other?

Rock Anderson, a missionary has come to save Hope from a marriage she doesn't want. He has always found her to be a handful but hard to resist. What will happen when Hope's father disowns her? Can a rich girl overcome rejection and find happiness? Will she find peace,and her purpose in life.? 

Jaxton Anderson is sent to his grandfather's farm in Kansas to deal with some family business . He will find himself out of place in this rural area and meets Ami Martin. There is an immediate dislike for each other and Ami can't understand why he won't just go back where he came from. What is the reason God brought him to this place that he finds so uncomfortable? 

The stories in this collection have something for everyone. I loved each story and thought the authors did a wonderful job of developing the characters . They gave readers a collection that will warm their heart and stories that you will remember long after the last page is written. 

Who Killed my Church by R. James Shupp

's review 
Jul 18, 15  ·  edit

Read from July 15 to 17, 2015

Pete is the pastor of Green Street Baptist Church. He has noticed that his wife, Monica has become unhappy lately as she conveys her concern for the future of the church. Over the last several years the attendance has slowly decreased as well as the tithes for the church.

Pete is called to a meeting at the church with his financial advisors and leaders of the church. He felt like this was going to be the end of his pastoral service of Green Street Baptist Church. As he listens to the concerns of the group gathered in the room, he begins to pray for guidance, direction, or a word from God. He didn't want to leave this church and he didn't want to give up on the vision he had for the continuation of the church.

Pete remembers attending a growth conference several years ago when he heard Marcus Cunningham speak . He gives Marcus a call and arranges for them to meet. Thus begins a life changing experience for Pete, Monica and members of the church.

The author has written a very powerful story about a congregation that was willing to change and apply tools that Marcus shared with them to give life back to the church. The characters in this book are riveting and hungry for a church they once saw thriving . As you read the book you can visualize the struggles that the church was facing and how it could be related to any church in America. This may be a fiction book, but the ideas, plans and enthusiasm of a congregation to breathe new life into their church is so powerful and heartfelt that every member of a church should be required to read this book. I enjoyed the picture the author painted of a woman that had been at a church for years , to suddenly see it dying before her eyes. You could feel the pain she felt as she clicked the lights off for the last time.

The book will encourage you, bring you new vision and is a must read for Christians. It is a book that you will find yourself engrossed in as you feel the presence of a rebirth in yourself as well as insight for a thriving church and a closer relationship with God.

I was given a copy of this book from book for an honest revirew.