Low Water Crossing: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Scrapbook Page

 
 
 
LOW WATER CROSSING
Book Two of the Sulfur Gap Series
by
DANA GLOSSBRENNER
 
Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Saga 
Independently published
Date of Publication: July 19, 2020
Number of Pages: 476
 
  Scroll down for the giveaway!

 
Low Water Crossing is a tribute to those who endure heartache and nevertheless celebrate, to those who wait—and live full lives while waiting.

A backhoe unearths a human skeleton buried on Wayne Cheadham’s West Texas ranch. The investigation points a grisly finger at Wayne’s first wife. And so begins the wild ride through twenty-five years of love and heartbreak. 
 
Wayne’s a highly eligible bachelor who runs into trouble, first because he’s naïve, and next because, well, life is unpredictable. He’s a loveable guy with a peaceful outlook. Just about anyone wants the best for him, dang it. To cope with sadness, he arranges for an old steel-girded bridge to be placed in the dry pasture in front of his house. Says it helps him adjust his perspective. Others say it’s the world’s largest yard ornament. He takes in stray emus and abandoned horses and becomes a mentor to a loveable little boy without much family. He sits and ponders his plight at a low-water crossing over the creek.

A cast of characters from the fictional small West Texas town of Sulfur Gap
the staff of a high school burger shop hangout on the Interstate, coffee groups at the Navaho Café, hair stylists from the Wild Hare, a local sheriff and his deputies, and the band at the local honky-tonkknits together the community surrounding Wayne, and all bring their own quirks. People you’d find anywhere, some with thicker Texas twangs than others. 

The town, the ranch, and familiar Texas cities such as San Angelo, Abilene, and Austin provide a backdrop for universal themes of love, grief, and loyalty.
                          
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Dana Glossbrenner’s Inspiration Scrapbook for Low Water Crossing

My husband, Jim, took all these shots in the last fifteen years or so. Each photo has been tucked into my memory bank and provided ideas for the story.

  1.  My aunt’s ranch is the site of an abandoned gravel pit mound, sprouting weeds. Production stopped for reasons unknown to me, but at the time I thought, “What a cool plot if a human skeleton were unearthed at a gravel pit.” The image fits with Wayne’s lament: “No oil wells. No wind turbines. Is it too much to ask to have a gravel pit without a skeleton?”
  2. My rancher cousin really did salvage an old bridge that was replaced on a county road. It became Wayne’s “World’s Largest Yard Ornament.” Ugly, but sentimental. In the book, it’s spruced up.
  3. My sweet Aunt Barbara inspired the character Katy Cheadham. Her ranch dogs became Rufus and Redneck in Low Water Crossing.
  4. A rescue horse like the ones Wayne adopted.
  5. The best dog I’ve ever known was Blue. I used his personality for Flo.
  6. An ordinary sight, a windmill, became a special place in both The Lark and Low Water Crossing. Long-recognized icons, over 80,000 windmills operate in Texas. San Angelo hosts the only windmill manufacturer and parts supplier in the United States. Aermotor, a company over a hundred years old, made all the windmills, some still operating.
  7. Big Bend vista. We fudged the geography a bit and used the image on the cover of The Lark.
  8. I kept my eyes peeled forever and finally found a suitable low-water crossing to use on the cover of the book. A bit of geographical cheating went on here, too, as this crossing is up the road from Fort McKavett State Historic Site, east of the desert vibe of West Texas.

 
Dana Glossbrenner has lived in West Texas all her life. She is the author of Women Behind Stained Glass: West Texas Pioneers (non-fiction) and The Lark: Book 1 of the Sulfur Gap Series.
 
 
 
 
 Facebook ║ Website   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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TWO WINNERS: 1st winner gets signed copies of both books in the Sulfur Gap Series; 2nd winner gets a signed copy of Low Water Crossing. 
 October 6-16 , 2020
(U.S. Only)
 
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:
 

10/6/20

Review

Reading by Moonlight

10/7/20

Excerpt

Texas Book Lover

10/7/20

BONUS Post

Hall Ways Blog

10/8/20

Playlist

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

10/9/20

Review

Bibliotica

10/10/20

Deleted Scene

All the Ups and Downs

10/11/20

Author Interview

The Page Unbound

10/12/20

Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

10/13/20

Scrapbook Page

Max Knight

10/14/20

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

10/15/20

Review

The Clueless Gent

 
  
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6 Feet Under Texas: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Review

 

 
SIX FEET UNDER TEXAS:
 Unique, Famous, & Historic Graves in the Lone Star State
(Cemetery Tales Book 1)
by
TUI SNIDER
  
Genre: Nonfiction / Texana / History / Texas Travel
Publisher: Castle Azle Press
Date of Publication: August 15, 2020
Number of Pages: 250 pages 
 
Scroll down for Giveaway!
 
 
 
 
Explore the cemeteries of Texas with Tui Snider as she reveals overlooked history in these fascinating open-air museums. 
 
Along the way, you’ll meet fascinating characters, including a whistleblower who died in suspicious circumstances, an oilman who added a phone line to his mausoleum, and the events that caused two “frenemies” to be chained together in death.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I have to admit that when I read Tui Snider’s latest book, 6 Feet Under Texas, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. When I received my advanced copy I devoured it in one sitting, which should definitely let loyal followers and prospective readers know that it takes no time to exhaust its 250 pages. It’s a quick, easy, and enjoyable read. That said, however, when I was done reading it, it really didn’t stay with me nor did it prompt me to want to necessarily travel to these cemeteries and gravesites.

OK… I’m admittedly the odd man out. Having grown up in Texas and calling San Antonio home for almost fifty-four years, I’m certainly aware that there are countless cemeteries scattered all across the Lone Star State containing the remains of the famous and the obscure, and that Tui has specialized in writing about these well-known and offbeat locations, the people buried there and their stories, building a readership through this release and similar publications like Paranormal Texas, Understanding Cemetery Symbols, and Graveyard Journal. There’s a quirky weirdness to these books that draws in the curious and those pursuing serious historical research, but it’s just not something that keeps my attention for long.

We all tend to read and react to books based on our own personal tastes, but when reviewing any book I try to put those prejudices and preferences aside. So, my first thought (upon reflection) was to just have fun with the book and enjoy it. It’s refreshing to read something informative and Tui’s storytelling style is like having a conversation with her, or perhaps more like listening to her actually narrate tidbits of information or anecdotal facts based on her personal travels.

She should definitely be credited for actually visiting these 28 cemeteries in North and East Texas and including their physical locations, directions to specific gravesites, and websites at the end of each chapter, but it’s her photos that truly bring these places and individuals to life, not just with words but with visual references.

With Halloween just around the corner, one might think the book’s release is timed to take advantage of All Hallows Eve. However, there is nothing ghoulish, spooky, or morbid about any of the entries in the book’s 50 chapters.

A second volume to 6 Feet Under Texas is apparently in the works, and there are certainly many more cemeteries and stories to be told. Thinking back on my opening comments, I think part of the reason that I wasn’t sure of my reaction is that the book ended very abruptly. That’s because each entry is self-contained, and there is no connection between them other than the occasional person or persons interred in the same Texas Town. In her introduction to the book where she mentions that she’ll be traveling and writing about cemeteries in South Texas, the author asks for suggestions about Volume II. Mine would simply be to tie it all together somehow to give the volumes context and closure.  

 
Tui Snider is an author, speaker, photographer, YouTuber, podcast host, and musician who researches historic cemeteries and symbolism, offbeat Texas travel, overlooked history, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction–but then I moved to Texas!” 
 
Snider’s best-selling books include Understanding Cemetery Symbols, 100 Things to Do in Dallas-Fort Worth Before You Die, Paranormal Texas, and many more. Snider has several books in progress and enjoys connecting with readers all over the globe through social media, her weekly newsletter, and website: TuiSnider.com.
 
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Paperback + $10 Amazon Gift Card + Thank You Postcard
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3RD PRIZE  (worldwide): e-book
  September 29-October 9, 2020
 
 
 

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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, 
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9/29/20

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

9/29/20

Review

Rainy Days with Amanda

9/30/20

Review

Momma on the Rocks

10/1/20

Review

Missus Gonzo

10/1/20

Review

The Clueless Gent

10/2/20

Review

Reading by Moonlight

10/2/20

Review

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

10/3/20

Review

Forgotten Winds

10/4/20

Review

That’s What She’s Reading

10/5/20

Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

10/6/20

Review

Hall Ways Blog

10/7/20

Review

Max Knight

10/7/20

Review

All the Ups and Downs

10/8/20

Review

It’s Not All Gravy

10/8/20

Review

Book Fidelity

 
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Grant: My Review

Soldier, Statesman, and the 18th President of the United States.

Recently the History Channel aired a three part mini-series on the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. One of the historians and commentators on that program was author Ron Chernow, whose biography of this American soldier and statesman was published in 2017. When I recommended the show to my son, Sean, I happened to comment that I would probably have to break down and get the book at some point even though the genre is not one that I normally read. In the fact, the only other ones that I’ve read in the past two years are Print the Legend – The Life and Times of John Ford and Alexander Hamilton, both of which were gifted to me by my son. Well, he did it again, sending Grant to me for Father’s Day! As you can see, it’s taken me some time to get through 1,074 pages, but Chernow has written yet another meticulously researched and definitive portrait of the man, his legacy, and period in which he lived.

Historians have sometimes overlooked Grant’s military genius arguing that the North won the Civil War because of its industrial base and manpower advantages versus the Confederate South, and they have also expressed mixed views on his presidency because of the rampant corruption within his administration during his two terms in office (1869-1877). Chernow disputes both, articulating Grant’s tactical and strategic brilliance as the commander of the Union forces and his accomplishments as President that, in his opinion, elevate him to the stature of Washington and Lincoln.

Chernow doesn’t skip or smooth over his faults and failures. He examines in great detail his battle with alcoholism, a disease that came very close to relegating Grant to obscurity as a disgraced military officer; he resigned his commission in 1854 rather than face a potential court martial over allegations of drunkenness while on duty. He was a failure as a businessman. His naivety, misguided loyalty, and ill-advised faith in many of the people he appointed to government positions certainly led to the scandals that tainted his tenure as President. However, Chernow lays out a clear picture of how Grant’s character and leadership overcame these deficiencies to accomplish not only the defeat of the Confederacy but the lifelong crusade for equality and civil rights of Native, African, and Jewish Americans.

For the Civil War buffs out there, Chernow goes into great deal about Grant’s success as a field commander on the Western front which would eventually elevate him to command of the Union Armies, the special trust and confidence bestowed upon him by President Lincoln, his relentless pursuit of Confederate forces wherever he encountered them (vice capturing cities or territory), his endorsement of a scorched earth/total war strategy in Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign and Sherman’s March to the Sea/Burning of Atlanta to bring home the realities of war to Southern civilians as well as soldiers, his incorporation of freed slaves into the military, and his knowledge/familiarity with Confederate officers, including Robert E. Lee, in his war planning and military campaigns. Chernow credits Grant with the ability to clearly see, coordinate, and employ forces across the entire spectrum of war, and in so doing forcing Lee to surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.

For those more interested in Grant’s presidency, Chernow tells us that he was a reluctant politician, never encouraging his nomination to the highest office in the land. Once elected, however, he did everything in his power to bring about Reconstruction and negate the rise of white supremist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan. He stabilized the post-war economy, settled diplomatic disputes with Britain over their support for the Confederacy, while also creating the Department of Justice, the first Civil Service Commission, and the National Parks system. He failed in his efforts to annex the Dominican Republic, had mixed results in his Native American policy, and was denied a third term principally due to federal corruption scandals, of which he had no complicity besides poor judgment and loyalty to friends.

Grant died of throat and tongue cancer in 1885, and Chernow gives us an agonizing look at his final days in which he struggled to complete his biography before his death. Grant suffered severe financial reversals after he left office, and was determined to provide for his family before he died. Fortunately with Mark Twain’s help, his memoirs proved to be both a critical and financial success.

There is so much detail in the book that it probably isn’t for everyone. I confess that I read several other novels while completing the biography, which is why it took me so long to finish. It is, however, a scholarly achievement that cannot and should not be overlooked. Historians will not find a more definitive biography on Ulysses S. Grant, and Ron Chernow deserves immense credit for giving us a better understanding of the man and his place in history.

The Diary of Asser Levy: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Author Interview

 
 

THE DIARY OF ASSER LEVY
First Jewish Citizen
of New York
by
DANIELA WEIL
 
Genre: Historical Fiction / Middle Grade / Jewish / Colonial America
Publisher: Pelican (Arcadia Publishing)
Date of Publication: March 9, 2020
Number of Pages: 128
 
  Scroll down for the giveaway!

 
For twenty-four years the Dutch colony of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil was a safe haven for Jews who had escaped the Inquisition in Europe. Recife, its capital, was known as “Colonial Jerusalem,” and it was from this religiously tolerant town that Asser Levy tells his story. When the Portuguese recaptured the territory in 1654, they brought the Inquisition and its torments with them, forcing Asser and his family and friends to flee to Holland. About fifteen ships arrive safely in Holland; Asser’s ship does not. 
 
Through imagined diary entries based on real events, Asser tells the harrowing story of the Jewish refugees who arrived on the island of Manhattan and of some of the first court battles fought to allow religious freedom in America.
                          
PRAISE FOR THE DIARY OF ASSER LEVY: 
“The book breathes life into a little-known yet important Jewish figure of early New Amsterdam and New York. Through a series of diary entries based on fact and the author’s creation, the author brings out the emotion, drama, and conflicts of Asser Levy’s turbulent journey to a new land in search of religious freedom. … The book will add color to classroom lessons on early US history and on Jewish immigration.” —Paul Kaplan, author of Jewish New York: A History and Guide to Neighborhoods, Synagogues, and Eateries 

“What an extraordinary amount of research went into it! And what a creative way of combining historical fiction and contemporary pictures. Kudos!” —Cynthia Levinson, author of The Youngest Marcher

“What a fine job [Daniela] did with this story! … The diary-style keeps the pace moving, and the adventures make it exciting. Lots of setting details bring the scenes alive, and the dialogue engages the reader in the plot. I can see how it will be easy for a young reader to identify with Asser, worrying about how (and if) he’ll succeed in his quest.” —Gail Jarrow, author of Fatal Fever
 
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Interview with Daniela Weil

 The Diary of Asser Levy: First Jewish Citizen of New York is a truly special book for your readers. I had a feeling that the “story behind the story” was going to be very interesting! I couldn’t wait to learn more about Daniel’s research and writing process. Tell me how you discovered the existence of Asser Levy and what drew you to write about him?

 I had not heard about Asser Levy, even though I was familiar with the story of the twenty-three Jews that arrived in New York from Brazil in 1654. I am Brazilian, and in Brazil, that history is so well known that it was even a theme of the carnaval parade in Rio a couple of years ago. It was only once I began more in-depth research that I learned about Asser Levy. He is perhaps our first Jewish-American “hero.”

In New York he is relatively well known, and there are several landmarks named after him. But outside of New York, most people, including Jews, have not really heard of him. He is a four-hundred-year-old version of the classic “American Dream” story. He arrived as an immigrant in a foreign land with nothing; faced hostility, religious persecution, and adversity; fought for his rights in court and won; worked hard; became a Jewish trailblazer (first Jewish citizen, first kosher butcher, first Jewish landowner), gathered substantial wealth; and made history.

Your story dates back to the 1600s. What were some of the challenges you faced doing research from so long ago? 

That is a great question. It is very hard to research primary sources from that long ago, especially if they are written in old Dutch. I read most, if not all, of the academic papers written by historians and went through their citations, always digging for the primary sources. Some sources I was able to find translated, but there is dispute among historians as to the accuracy of the translations, which leads to controversies in the story. Other documents I found with the help of a Dutch colleague in the online archives of the Dutch West India Company.

Some parts of the story are just not documented, and historians fill in the gaps with their best theories. I found that the most challenging part of my research was believing in a possible version of the story that differed from the current views of historians, based on the evidence I found. Since I am not a historian, I didn’t have much credibility amongst the scholars and was sometimes seen as a “historical heretic,” which is interesting because my heroes were all dealing with being heretics as well.

But I did ultimately find support from some people who are experts in New Netherland history, and they helped me to find confidence in my theory and move forward. Also, fictionalizing the story opens room for interpretation, but I’d love the readers to understand that much of what I wrote is based on history.

You do a lovely job of weaving historical facts with your story’s narrative. Can you share a bit about your writing process?

 I wrote many, many versions of the book before it became what it is. I started out writing a nonfiction picture book, which was well within my comfort area for writing. But I soon noticed that nonfiction was going to be hard to pull off while still being able to make the story appealing for youth.

I thought that I could focus on Asser Levy since he is such a classic protagonist and a named historical figure, and Stuyvesant is a fantastic antagonist (and so much more, really). So, I decided to write it from Asser Levy’s point of view, starting out with him as a young adult so that kids could identify with him, and have him narrate the history.

But I also did not want to lose all the nonfiction elements that I had so thoroughly gathered. In my mind’s eye, the book was a blend of nonfiction and fiction, a fusion. But this genre doesn’t really officially exist, and I struggled with its acceptance in the editorial world. I am very happy that Pelican allowed me to fulfill it in the vision that I had for it.

What are some interesting facts you learned about New York history that you didn’t include in your final draft?

Oh my God, I knew very little about the American Dutch Colonial period before my research, and I became a total New Amsterdam fanatic! There was really a lot more that I could have said about New Amsterdam. So many interesting stories there. Perhaps I will write them one day.

Did you know that it was through New Amsterdam that Santa Klaus arrived in the US? That Stuyvesant had a pear tree he planted which lived until relatively recently, and you can still visit that location? That a Black surgeon practiced medicine in New Amsterdam? The story of the slave Manuel de Gerrit the Reus and how he drew the short straw to be hung and was saved by divine intervention. The Flushing Remonstrance, the very first religious freedom uprising—I can go on and on!

The book design is very interesting—lots of graphic elements as well as the use of a font style that is helpful for readers with dyslexia. Did you have any input on the design? What was your reaction when you first saw the completed book?

Thank you for that compliment. I did have a vision for the design and offered to do the book layout myself, which Pelican accepted. I made the cover and collected and arranged all the visuals in the book. It was my editor (Nina Kooij’s) idea to have the book printed in OpenDyslexic; it would work well visually with the sort of diary-ish, handwritten look and accommodate a whole other reading audience who is often overlooked.

When I saw the book for the first time, I could not believe it actually existed. I spent the last six years working on it, and there were many more times that I believed it would never exist than that it would get printed one day. I was very pleased with how it looked. And yet, as a published author, you feel so vulnerable because now people will actually read it and you’re exposed to criticism and reviews and all of that. But so far, I think people are pleased with it, and I hope that many middle schoolers (and their parents) learn about this incredible story.

First posted at Jewish Books for Kids, May 3, 2020

Daniela Weil was born in Brazil. She attended the International School in São Paulo, where she was surrounded by people and cultures from around the world. It was also there that she developed a passion for nature, art, and writing. After earning a BA in biology from Brandeis University in Boston, Weil became a field research biologist. She participated in various whale projects, including illustrating the first field guide for whales and dolphins in Brazil.

Being a mother rekindled her desire to share her passion about the natural world. She joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and attended workshops on writing nonfiction and science for kids. After writing several articles on science and history, she ventured into books. Weil attended the Texas Library Association annual conference with her SCBWI group and met the folks from Pelican, who were intrigued by her middle-grade book idea. As the project developed, her research took her back to Brazil and across the world, chasing Asser’s experiences.

When not on the hunt for new experiences, Weil makes her home in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Erik, and daughter, Lucy.
 
 
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ONE WINNER gets a signed hardcover copy of the book.
 September 22-October 2, 2020
(U.S. Only)
 
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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:
 

9/22/20

Book Trailer

Chapter Break Book Blog

9/22/20

BONUS Post

Hall Ways Blog

9/23/20

Author Interview

Max Knight

9/24/20

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

9/25/20

Sneak Peek

Texas Book Lover

9/26/20

Review

Reading by Moonlight

9/27/20

Author Interview

Story Schmoozing Book Reviews

9/28/20

Top Ten

All the Ups and Downs

9/29/20

Review

Librariel Book Adventures

9/30/20

Scrapbook Page

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

10/1/20

Review

Book Bustle

 
 
   
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Something Worth Doing: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Excerpt

SOMETHING WORTH DOING
A Novel of an Early Suffragist
by
Jane Kirkpatrick
 
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction 
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: September 1, 2020 
Number of Pages: 336
 
 
 Scroll down for the giveaway!
 
 
Some things are worth doingeven when the cost is great In 1853, Abigail Scott was a nineteen-year-old schoolteacher in Oregon Territory when she married Ben Duniway. Marriage meant giving up on teaching, but Abigail always believed she was meant to be more than a good wife and mother. When Abigail becomes the primary breadwinner for her growing family, what she sees as a working woman appalls herand prompts her to devote her life to fighting for the rights of women, including the right to vote. 
Based on a true story, Something Worth Doing will resonate with modern women who still grapple with the pull between career and family, finding their place in the public sphere, and dealing with frustrations and prejudices when competing in male-dominated spaces.
 
PRAISE FOR SOMETHING WORTH DOING:
“I have long admired Jane Kirkpatrick’s rich historical fiction, and Something Worth Doing is well worth reading! Oregonian Abigail Duniway is a vibrant, fiercely passionate, and determined activist who fought for women’s suffrage. Women of today have cause to respect and admire heras well as the loving, patient, and supportive husband who encouraged her to continue ‘the silent hunt.'” Francine Rivers, author of Redeeming Love 
 
“On the trail to Oregon, young Jenny Scott lost her beloved mother and little brother and learned that no matter what, she must persist until she reaches her goal. Remembering her mother’s words‘a woman’s life is so hard’the young woman who became Abigail Scott Duniway came to understand through observation and experience that law and custom favored men. The author brings alive Abigail’s struggles as frontier wife and mother turned newspaper publisher, prolific writer, and activist in her lifelong battle to win the vote and other rights for women in Oregon and beyond. Jane Kirkpatrick’s story of this persistent, passionate, and bold Oregon icon is indeed Something Worth Doing!” Susan G. Butruille, author of Women’s Voices from the Oregon Trail, now in a 25th anniversary edition
CLICK TO PURCHASE
 
 

SOMETHING WORTH DOING

A Novel of an Early Suffragist

Jane Kirkpatrick

Prologue

June 1852

Her dreams of late had been of books with maps of unknown places. Jenny Scott wished she were dreaming now instead of sitting here beside the family wagon, a gushing stream to serenade them. They’d left Illinois two months previous—2 April 1852. She had written the date in the family journal she’d been assigned to keep as they crossed the continent. Since that first roll-­out of wagons toward the west, Jenny traveled without maps. She needed them to help her reduce the fear and anxiety of the unknown; but she did not have them. Though only seventeen, she’d already learned that living required coming to terms with uncertainty—­not that she did that well. She had lost another kind of map as well—­the map of her mother.

A different kind of pain awaited this June afternoon.

“The agony will be worth it.” Jenny spoke with conviction as she eyed the fat needle her new friend blackened in the flame. Then, “Won’t it?”

“It does have a sting,” Shirley Ellis said. “Fair warning.”

Jenny lifted the dark curls to hold them behind her ears. She thought of her hair as unruly with its thickness and natural twists that made morning brushing a chore. She envied her brothers who kept their hair short, curls under control.

Kate, Jenny’s twelve-­year-­old sister, patted Jenny’s shoulder while Shirley continued. “Shakespeare had this done and even biblical Jacob gave a pair to Rachel way back when. The pain has to come before the glory.”

“Ha,” Jenny said.

“I’m here to comfort you,” Kate said, “but I don’t understand why you want to hurt yourself for fashion.”

Ignoring her sister, Jenny took a deep breath. She sat on a three-­legged stool they used to milk the cow. The stool did double duty as a seat for medical ministrations. Jenny squeezed her eyes shut. “Go ahead. Do it.”

Kate pinched her sister’s earlobe as hard as she could, then said to Shirley, “Now.”

The pain of the needle seared. Her sister’s pinching simply wasn’t enough to dull the agony. But at least Jenny felt misery for something physical instead of the heartache she’d carried since the deaths. Did I know that physical pain could distract from emotional hurting?

She felt the blood trickle down her neck as Shirley pulled the needle out. “It’s a good thing I have a strong stomach,” Jenny said. Kate dabbed at Jenny’s bleeding earlobe. They’d have to soak the handkerchief to rid it of the red. “Are you certain that Jacob gave Rachel a pair of earrings? What chapter and verse?”

“I don’t really remember,” Shirley said. She had thick, naturally arched eyebrows that framed her blue eyes. “It’s too late for second thoughts, though if you don’t put the pin through, it’ll grow new flesh right over the hole.” Shirley dabbed at Jenny’s ear with a clean handkerchief, then wiped the needle, and now rolled it in the flame again until blackened.

“Ready,” Jenny said.

She straightened her back. Kate pinched the other ear and Jenny closed her eyes. The second piercing commenced. Her older sister Fanny, standing to the side, winced. It took a team.

“Finished. And you didn’t even faint,” Shirley said.

Kate dabbed at the blood on Jenny’s cheek, then held out the tourmaline-­studded gold rings. “I’ll put them in for you.”

Jenny felt the metal push into her ears, surprised again at the sting and pain.

“You’ll have to twirl them a few times a day until they heal,” Shirley warned. “You don’t want the skin to attach itself to the rings.” She eyed the earrings now adorning Jenny’s ears. “They’re really pretty with that one gold gem in the middle of the disc. A good size too. Won’t draw too much attraction.”

“Isn’t attraction the point though?” Kate said.

“The point,” Jenny corrected, “is not adornment but memorializing. Momma loved these. She got them from Grandma who received them from her mother, and she left them to me.”

“I thought one of the stones like those we covered Momma’s grave with was your memorial keepsake. You insisted to Papa that you had to put that rock in the wagon.” Fanny dabbed Jenny’s other ear with a bit of whiskey kept only for medicinal purposes.

“You can’t have too many mementos, I say.” Shirley wiped the needle with the liquor, then put it back into her fabric sewing kit attached to her bodice.

“It’s more than a memento. Earrings and rocks and a cut of hair, they’re all ephemera, items of the historical record that are neither documents nor maps,” Jenny said. She touched her ear and winced.

“I’m sorry.” Kate leaned in.

“What’s a little smarting in memory of our momma who endured so much bringing us into the world, and then had to leave it so prematurely? She didn’t want to leave Illinois, you know. I heard her tell Papa that they’d always lived on a frontier, and now civilization was catching up to them so couldn’t they stay and enjoy it. Papa said no.” Tears welled in her eyes while her stomach clenched with anger. It wasn’t fair, it just wasn’t.

“Will you take some item for . . . your friend too?” Fanny asked. Her voice was gentle. A boy Jenny had met on the trail had drowned not long after their mother’s death.

“One earring for Momma and the other for him. And then no more.” She took the mirror Shirley handed her, turned her head from side to side to admire the earrings. “No more sadness. I’ve had enough.” She stood and with conviction declared, “I will control it.”

Their brother Harvey sauntered by as Jenny made her declaration of sending grief away. Harvey, with his good looks and opinions, walked backward away from them then, saying, “You can’t control anything, you females. Not a thing. Lucky for you us men protect you.”

“Ha!” Jenny shouted after him as he turned his back to them, striding off as though he owned the land, the stream—­his future. “No one knows what they can accomplish until they undertake it.” Fanny, Shirley, and Kate nodded agreement.

And so Abigail Jane “Jenny” Scott set forth to do the best she could to prove her brother—­and all men—­wrong. Girls had power too. One day, she’d show them.

Click to read Chapter One

 
Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling and award-winning author of more than thirty books, including One More River to Cross, Everything She Didn’t Say, All Together in One Place, A Light in the Wilderness, The Memory Weaver, This Road We Traveled, and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. 
 
Her works have won the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and the 2016 Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award. Jane divides her time between Central Oregon and California with her husband, Jerry, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Caesar.
 
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Have You Forgotten?

Tomorrow marks the 19th anniversary of the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. The passage of time, however, has a way of mitigating our memories of horrific events. So the question “Have You Forgotten?” is as relevant and today as it was when the song was first recorded and released in 2003 by country music artist Daryl Worley.

2,996 people perished in the single deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil, forever changing the world as we knew it. It resulted in seemingly endless wars in the Middle East, as well as the establishment of the Homeland Security Department and the Transportation Security Administration.  Americans have wearied of these wars and protocols, yet the denial of safe haven to terrorist organizations and the measures implemented to safeguard the United States from further attacks of this magnitude have succeeded.

But what do we remember?

The Islamic extremist organization known as al Qaeda carried out the 9/11 suicide attacks using four hijacked planes. All four planes had been bound for California and were chosen by the nineteen terrorists involved for the amount of jet fuel needed for these transcontinental flights. The intent was to cause maximum damage and casualties upon impact with their intended targets.

The first plane struck the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York at 8:45 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, plowing into the 80th floor of the building. Americans watched live news coverage of the disaster that at first glance appeared to be a horrible accident. Not until the second Boeing 767 flew into the 60th floor of the south tower at 9:03 a.m. did the realization hit that this was a planned coordinated attack. Not long afterward at 9:45 a.m. a third plane crashed into the west side of the Pentagon complex in Washington, D.C.

Only a delayed takeoff of United Flight 93 out of Newark, New Jersey allowed those onboard to learn of these three previous attacks. Demonstrating amazing courage and resolve the passengers and crew attempted to stop their highjackers from completing their suicide mission. Their intervention resulted in the plane crashing into a rural field outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:10 a.m. The intended target remains unknown. There were no survivors.

The collapse of the two towers killed 2,763 people including those who worked at the World Trade Center, first responders (343 firefighters and 72 law enforcement officers died trying to rescue those trapped inside the burning buildings), and the crew and passengers from American Airlines Flight 11 and United Flight 175 (both flights originated from Logan Airport in Boston). The attack on the Pentagon resulted in 189 deaths (125 military personnel along with the crew and passengers from American Airlines Flight 77, which originated from Washington Dulles International Airport). The crash of United Flight 93 added another 44 casualties to the day’s total. Countless others were severely injured and lingering health issues over time have led to additional deaths (those numbers are not reflected in the 2,996 total).

The attacks were conceived by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who was captured March 1, 2003 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan and remains in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He is set to stand trial in 2021. The authorization to carry out the attacks was given by al Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden who was killed May 1, 2011 near Islamabad, Pakistan.

The photos at the top of this post are of the three memorials erected in memory of the 9/11 victims. On the first anniversary of 9/11 two columns of light were shot into the New York sky from the site of the collapsed twin towers. The official opening of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum took place in May 2014. The Pentagon memorial was dedicated September 11, 2008 and the Flight 93 National Memorial followed on September 10, 2011.

There will be official ceremonies at all three locations tomorrow attended by dignitaries, families of the deceased, and survivors of the deadly attacks. I wonder, however, how many Americans will pause to remember the horrors of this date in our history.

Have you forgotten?

The Edge of Belonging: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Excerpt

 
 
 
THE EDGE OF BELONGING
by AMANDA COX
 
Genre: Christian Contemporary Fiction 
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: September 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 400
Scroll down for the giveaway!
 
 
When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee her late grandmother’s estate sale, she soon discovers that the woman left behind more than trinkets and photo framesshe provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing. Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he’s ever loved. In this dual-timeline story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truthboth the search for it and the desire to keep it from otherstakes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.
 
 
 
 
 

Excerpt from The Edge of Belonging, Chapter One

by Amanda Cox

 

September 8, 1994

People considered him homeless because he didn’t have an address of his own, but Harvey James would’ve been home­less even if he owned the turreted mansion off State Route 460. To have a home, you’d have to feel as though you belonged. The edge of the highway was the closest he’d ever been.

Unending blasts of headlights and rushes of wind from passing cars on the bypass glanced off the brush he scoured for bits of other people’s lives. Things not missed. Some flung out of car windows in anger. Others, accidental losses from poorly secured luggage racks. He brushed his humidity-­damp mop back from his eyes, detaching the sprigs plastered to his forehead.

Straining to decipher shapes out of step with the wild tangle of weeds, Harvey walked the line—­the boundary between what the state groomed to maintain the road’s scenic status and the places left untouched and feral. He raised the flashlight he’d found last week. The beam cut through the descending darkness.

A suitcase lay on its side, scarred by road rash. He knelt and fumbled with the zipper. He groaned. More Hawaiian-­print shirts and swim trunks. It’d be nice if someone lost normal clothes for a change.

He grabbed the stack of shirts and three miniature bottles of hotel shampoo and crammed them into his bag.

A break in the swift-­moving traffic swathed the shoulder in an eerie silence. An odd sound reached his ears—­soft but jarring in its inconsistency with the road noise. Mewling. An abandoned kitten?

Harvey’s heart dropped three inches in his chest. In all his scavenging, nothing horrified him more than living things discarded.

He’d tried to keep an abandoned dog once. Poor old fella. Deaf and half blind he’d suspected. The dog didn’t last long. Highways were places for rush and madness. Not living things.

With a lingering sigh, he turned back toward his camp. It was an ugly truth, but the creature would be better off if he let nature take its course instead of nursing an animal along, only delaying the inevitable.

Three cars raced past, each vying to overtake the other. They torpedoed the silence with the harsh roar of their removed mufflers, sending a jolt down his spine.

As the sound trailed away, Harvey’s ears retained a ring. He massaged the hinge of his jaw to rub out the sound. The tiny cry sounded in the stillness. This time stronger, angry. Harvey froze.

Human.

Making a slow turn, Harvey raised his flashlight to scour the brush in search of the source.

Traffic resumed, and the rushes of wind threw sound. He opened his mouth to call out, to let the little thing know he was coming, but the ridiculousness of the impulse resealed his lips.

The flashlight in his trembling hand sent a jittering stream of light along the scrub. He walked on, straining his ears.

Finally, another break in traffic. In the silent interlude, the cry sounded, coming from deeper in the brush than he’d originally thought.

There. A trail tramped down where someone had gone before him. He slapped away the limbs hanging across his path, sweeping the flashlight from side to side. The pounding of his heart mirrored the urgency of the feeble wail.

Harvey stopped midstep. Five feet ahead, a bunch of fabric squirmed on the ground. He sucked in his breath and crept forward.

He knelt, and the undergrowth pricked his knees. A funny smell hung in the air, both sweet and sharp. Harvey laid the flashlight on the ground, aiming the light, then reached for a corner of the fabric to uncover this foreign being whose squall had receded to feeble grunts and whimpers.

He recoiled. The tiny thing with squinched-­tight eyes was covered in drying blood and a white cheesy substance. Taking the corner of the fabric, he wiped the baby’s face, crouching close as he inspected for injury. The baby stilled at his touch and gave a languid blink. Their gazes locked for a fleeting moment.

Everything faded. No sound of road noise. No buzz of mosquitos by his ear. A tiny fist raised. He brushed the baby’s palm, and it wound its pink fingers around Harvey’s thumb.

Warmth exploded in his chest, then traveled all the way through him. He swept the bundle into his arms and with a spare shirt rubbed until the child’s perfect pink skin was cleared of blood. An injury-free baby girl. Naked. Wrapped in a man’s flannel shirt.

Harvey stood and turned a slow circle, babe pressed close. Where had she come from? Who left her behind?

He undid the top two buttons of his large shirt and tucked the baby inside to share his heat. Would the wild pounding of his heart hurt her ears?

She had a full head of dark, downy hair. Now dried, it stood up in fuzzy curls that tickled his chest. He stroked her cheek, and she jerked her head toward his touch, searching. Faint grunts. She bobbed her open mouth against his skin. “Sorry, little one. I don’t have anything for you. Let’s get back to camp, and we’ll figure something out.” He had boxes of things stored for the day he found a use for them, but none contained bottles and infant formula.

Baby girl, finally convinced food wasn’t available, ceased her fretting, nuzzled, and fell asleep, lulled by the sway of his long stride. Harvey pressed his lips in a line.

Should he pack her in a basket and deposit her on the doorstep of a nice suburban home? A hospital? A shudder ran through him, and she squirmed against the movement. No. He wouldn’t leave her. He’d spent his own childhood tossed about at the whims of others, and he didn’t want that life for this little one, who was no more than a few hours old and had already been abandoned.

Please click here to continue reading chapter one from The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox.

 
 
Amanda Cox is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story. 
 
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology and a master’s degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers. 
 
Amanda lives in Tennessee with her husband and their three children.
 
 
 
 
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Slanted Light: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Author Interview

SLANTED LIGHT
Jackson’s Pond Texas Series, Book 2
by
Teddy Jones
 
Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Saga / Western Women / Rural Fiction 
Publication Date: August 21, 2020
Number of Pages: 275
 
 Scroll down for the giveaway!
 

Teddy Jones’s earlier novel, Jackson’s Pond, Texas, began the saga of the Jackson family. Now, Slanted Light continues their tale. 

 
Claire Havlicek’s late night call brings her brother Chris Banks from his home in New Mexico back to the town that bears their family name, Jackson’s Pond. She’s collapsed under the weight of threats to her thirteen-year marriage that have undermined her confidence and her will. Her husband, J. D., responds to seduction by a woman in need; theft and the threat of a forced buyout jeopardize Claire’s two medical clinics; drought imperils their ranch and cattle business; a teenage daughter turns to bulimia. 
 
When Claire admits her limits, her grandmother, Willa Jackson, and the other members of her family help her learn that being human, weaknesses and all, can be a source of strength and joy.
 
 
 
 

Interview with Teddy Jones, author of Slanted Light

 What made you decide to write a sequel?

Many people who enjoyed Jackson’s Pond, Texas commented that they wondered what happened next. At first, I answered that I had no idea. But after some time, I realized I wondered that, too.

What if? That’s the fiction writer’s most important question and a prime motivator for me. So, I began making notes, thinking about Willa Jackson, who was the focal character in Jackson’s Pond, Texas; about her daughter, Melanie; and about Claire, wondering what happened next in their lives. Of course, it wasn’t possible to think about those women without asking the same question about other family members. The only way to know what happened to that family, it seemed, was to write. As I wrote, the things that happened, the possibilities that events created, came to me almost faster than I could get them on paper.

I was never stuck without something to write about next; there was so much the characters “told me” that I had to begin keeping up with events and people on a story board of sorts. In the more typical sense of that term, the story board is a planning aid, a graphic organizer for planning a story. But my organizer was not a plan but a way for me to keep track of what was happening with the members of Willa’s family—not an outline, but a map of discovery.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The hardest part of writing Slanted Light was overcoming my tendency to make the characters’ lives easy, happy, having everyone get along. One of my mentors pointed to that tendency in my writing early on. He said, “You love your characters and want their lives to be happy. But lives that are constantly happy don’t make good fiction.” I took that guidance to heart. My stories have conflict and tough situations and even some peril and death. But it’s not easy for me to do that to the characters I’ve come to know.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed a great deal of the background research for Slanted Light, and the process of seeing the whole come together from the parts is always invigorating. But to choose one thing I enjoyed most in writing Slanted Light, I would say it was seeing Claire develop as a professional and as a woman who, at thirty-four, has accomplished a great deal; watching her cope with the conflicts she encounters; and seeing her, with the help of her family, grow as a person. I admit it—I want her and her family to be happy.

Do you have a mantra for writing and/or life?

I do. Thanks for asking. It is this: Every day, the two most important things are to learn something and to do some good for others.

Teddy Jones is the author of three other published novels, Halfwide, Jackson’s Pond, Texas, and Well Tended, as well as a collection of short stories, Nowhere Near. Her short fiction received the Gold Medal First Prize in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition in 2015. Jackson’s Pond, Texas was a finalist for the 2014 Willa Award in contemporary fiction from Women Writing the West. Her as-yet-unpublished novel, Making It Home, was a finalist in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition in 2017 and “A Good Family” was named a finalist in that contest in 2018.
 
Jones grew up in Iowas Park, a small Texas town. She has worked as a nurse, a nurse educator, a nursing-college administrator, and as a nurse practitioner in Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico. For the past twenty years, she and her husband have lived in the rural West Texas Panhandle, where he farms and she writes.
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Airborne: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Author Video

AIRBORNE

by
DiANN MILLS

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense 
Date of Publication: September 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 400
Scroll down for the giveaway!

Heather Lawrence’s long-awaited vacation to Salzburg wasn’t supposed to go like this. Mere hours into the transatlantic flight, the Houston FBI agent is awakened when passengers begin exhibiting horrific symptoms of an unknown infection. As the virus quickly spreads and dozens of passengers fall ill, Heather fears she’s witnessing an epidemic similar to ones her estranged husband studies for a living—but this airborne contagion may have been deliberately released.

While Heather remains quarantined with other survivors, she works with her FBI colleagues to identify the person behind this attack. The prime suspect? Dr. Chad Lawrence, an expert in his field … and Heather’s husband. The Lawrences’ marriage has been on the rocks since Chad announced his career took precedence over his wife and future family and moved out.


As more victims fall prey days after the initial outbreak, time’s running out to hunt down the killer, one who may be closer to the victims than anyone ever expected.

===
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
The story line for Airborne came to me three and a half years ago. All I had was a what-if: A virus unleashed on an international flight.

The search to find experts who were willing to give me accurate information took another year. Along the way, God placed the right people in my path: a woman and new friend whose doctorate is in microbiology and immunology, a man who trains flight attendants for the airline that I envisioned in my story, a pilot who not only flies for my designated airline but is also a suspense and thriller writer, the amazing people and resources of the CDC, and the wisdom and guidance of the FBI.

Tyndale House Publishers saw my passion for Airborne. This book was completed and edited before COVID-19 spread across our globe. My mission then and now is to show a story that weaves hope, reality, and the sacrificial work of first responders when a deadly virus spreads through innocent people.

My prayer is people will experience God’s presence during our current global crisis. Will you join me in that prayer?

 

DiAnn Mills, author of Airborne, shares answers to

frequently asked questions from readers.

 

 

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; director, alongside Edie Melson, of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and Mountainside Retreats; and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers.

DiAnn is passionate about helping other writers be successful and speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston. DiAnn is very active online and loves to connect with readers on social media and at diannmills.com

Blog PostsFacebookInstagramYoutube
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The Black Midnight: Lone Star Book Blog Tour – Guest Post

THE BLACK MIDNIGHT
by
Kathleen Y’Barbo

Genre: Fiction / Historical Mystery / True Crime 
Publisher: Barbour Books
Publication Date: August 1, 2020
Number of Pages: 257
 Scroll down for the giveaway!

Two killers, two detectives, and a menace called The Black Midnight may be the death of both of them.
Three years before Jack the Ripper began his murderous spree on the streets of London, a killer struck fear into the hearts of the citizens of Austin, Texas. Some believe one man is responsible for both, while others lay the blame at the feet of someone close to the queen herself. With suspicion falling on Her Majesty’s family and Scotland Yard at a loss as to who the Ripper might be, Queen Victoria summons her great-granddaughter, Alice Anne von Wettin, a former Pinkerton agent who worked the unsolved Austin murders case, and orders her to discreetly form a team to look into the London matter. One man is essential to her team, and she doesn’t want to consider taking on this challenge without his expertise. Unfortunately, he’s back in Texas, with a bad attitude and a new profession. 

The prospect of a second chance at catching the man who terrorized Austin three years ago just might entice Isaiah Joplin out of his comfortable life as an Austin lawyer, even if it does mean working with the Queen’s great-granddaughter again. If his theories are right, they’ll find the Midnight Assassin and, by default, the Ripper. If they’re wrong, he and Annie are in a bigger mess than the one the lady detective left behind when she departed Austin under cover of darkness three years ago. 
 
Can the unlikely pair find the truth of who is behind the murders before they are drawn into the killer’s deadly game? From Texas to London, the story navigates the fine line between truth and fiction as Annie and Isaiah ultimately find the hunters have become the hunted.

PRAISE for The Black Midnight:
“Warning! Don’t read this historical romantic suspense at night!” DiAnn Mills, Expect an Adventure 
 
“Impeccably researched with sparkling dialogue and riveting history, Kathleen Y’Barbo’s The Black Midnight puts a pair of star-crossed Pinkerton detectives on the trail of a Texas killer who may also be the notorious Jack the Ripper. Very highly recommended and sure to keep you reading well past your bedtime!!” Colleen Thompson, RITA-nominated author of Deadly Texas Summer 
 
“You’re in for a wild ride as Kathleen Y’Barbo takes you on a story through some of America and Britain’s grisliest murders and somehow manages to weave in a delicious romance. From Texas to London, the ties that bind may be more linked than you previously believed. Settle in for a novel of suspense and romancejust be sure to look over your shoulder every now and then!” Jaime Jo Wright, 2018 Christy Award-winning author of The House on Foster Hill and 2020 Inspy Award-nominated The Curse of Misty Wayfair
 
 
CLICK TO PURCHASE:
 

 

GuestPost

The London-Austin Connections

Guest Post by Kathleen Y’Barbo,
author of The Black Midnight

I am a tenth-generation Texan, but London has held a place in my heart for over ten years. You see, I have a son who has lived there for more than a decade. Thanks to him and his family of three—my granddaughter was born there on New Year’s Eve 2019—the city will always be special to me.

The Black Midnight Image001There is absolutely nothing like walking those streets, with a thousand years of history close enough to touch. It was on a walk with my son through this great city that the stories of nineteenth-century London came alive.

With fog shrouding the rooftops of buildings that were hundreds of years old, and our footsteps echoing on the cobblestones, I could imagine a time when lack of electricity and CCTV would make this place less than charming on a dark night—less than safe. What reminded me of my favorite childhood movie, Mary Poppins, quickly became more reminiscent of Jack the Ripper. And then a story was born.

Only I just had half the story.

The other half came to me several years later when I stumbled across an article, in Texas Monthly magazine, about a serial killer who rampaged through Austin, Texas, in 1884 and 1885 and was never caught. Some surmised this madman, called “The Midnight Assassin” by some, might have been Jack the Ripper, honing his skills before he crossed the Atlantic to begin his famous crime spree in Great Britain.

But Austin?

The Black Midnight Image002Ironically, my other two sons lived in Austin. So while part of my heart was in London, two more parts of that same heart resided in the Texas capital. I thought I knew Austin inside out. Between one of my sons getting not one but two degrees from the University of Texas (This Aggie grad is still proud of him, in spite of what I jokingly call his “burnt orange rebellion.”), and my other son living there and managing a restaurant at the time (And who just graduated from Texas A&M Galveston in May!), I had spent many years in the city. And yet I had never heard of the Midnight Assassin.

Research turned up a tale that sounds so close to fiction I had to write about it. Discovering the theory that the Austin killer might also be the Ripper just added to my interest—neither had been caught. And I like to write about Pinkerton detectives.

From there the story unfolded. If you’ve read any of my historical romances, you know that I love incorporating actual history into my stories. As you’ll see when you read The Black Midnight, this book is no exception. While I will continue writing the historical romances I love to bring to you, I will confess that writing this book has me itching to research another one like it.

What’s next in my foray into true-crime novels? Maybe Houston. You see, I have a daughter who lives there . . .

In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy reading The Black Midnight as much as I enjoyed writing it!

 

Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and author of more than eighty books, with almost two million in print. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and several Top Picks by Romantic Times magazine.

Kathleen celebrated her fifteenth year as a published author by receiving the Romantic Times Inspirational Romance Book of the Year Award for Sadie’s Secret, a Secret Lives of Will Tucker novel. Her novels celebrate life, love, and the Lord—and whenever she can manage it, her home state of Texas. Recent releases include The Pirate Bride, River of Life, and My Heart Belongs in Galveston, Texas.


 
  Website Bookbub  Facebook Instagram ║ Amazon  Goodreads
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