Sunset with gulls flying, the setting sun as a clock showing 2:00, and an hourglass half empty

Live and Love in Two Hours

How long is two hours?  Do you think you could live and love in two hours?  Probably not.  After all, what can you do in two hours?  You can watch four I Love Lucy reruns.  Or you can read a few chapters in a book.  You can drink several cups of coffee, and maybe even get rid of them, depending on your system.  Maybe you can make yourself a meal or a snack that you don’t really want, and eat it anyway, and then still feel empty afterwards.  After thinking about it, there’s really a good number of things you do in two hours.  But there is one thing that I never before thought about doing in two hours:  watching someone die. Continue reading Live and Love in Two Hours

Aransas Morning

Aransas Morning Book Cover Aransas Morning
Jeff Hampton
Family Life
Writer / JL Books and Creations
October 1, 2017
Paperback
304

When Sam Barnes’ high-flying life in Dallas falls apart, he flees to the coastal town of Port Aransas and fades into the life of a reclusive beach bum. But things start to change when he meets Dave, a young widower working through his own loss; Shelly, owner of the Dream Bean coffee shop; Bo, a crusty old shrimper; and Allie, Bo’s free-spirited daughter. Together they are tested and forced to confront their own issues. In doing so they discover family and community.

Clueless Gent’s Review

Aransas Morning will sneak up on you when you least expect it, lasso your heart, and then tug at it throughout the story! Reader beware!

When the story opens, we are taken to Mustang Island, just south of Port Aransas, Texas, and we meet Sam. Unsure how likable he would be, I immediately pictured him as a not-so-young beach bum – a drifter. The author really doesn’t give us a lot to go on. There’s no action, no conflict, no drama. But that’s because it’s only the calm before the storm. Continue reading Aransas Morning

Aransas Morning

ARANSAS MORNING
by
JEFF HAMPTON
  Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Life
Date of Publication: September 22, 2017
Number of Pages: 304

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When Sam Barnes’ high-flying life in Dallas falls apart, he flees to the coastal town of Port Aransas, Texas and fades into the life of a reclusive beach bum. But things start to change when he meets Dave, a young widower working through his own loss; Shelly, owner of the Dream Bean coffee shop; Bo, a crusty old shrimper; and Allie, Bo’s free-spirited daughter. Together they are tested and forced to confront their own issues. In doing so they discover family and community.


Continue reading Aransas Morning

Elephant Dreams

ELEPHANT DREAMS
by
MARTHA DEERINGER
  Genre: Young Adult / Historical Fiction / Sweet Romance
Publisher: Melange Books
Date of Publication: September 2, 2017
Number of Pages: 224

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Desperate to escape her squalid life on the streets of New York City, sixteen-year-old Fiona Finn seeks help at the magnificent Church of the Ascension where Charles Loring Brace, a social reformer horrified by the plight of New York City’s street children, arranges for her to go west aboard an Orphan Train.
Fiona’s homeless, alcoholic father has other plans, however.  He wants Fiona to “work” the streets to support his drinking and pursues her across the midwest until she is forced to abandon the train in Houston to avoid a sheriff bent on returning her to her father.
Alone in the dark on the Texas prairie, Fiona’s terrifying experience with a circus elephant, Bolivar, sets the stage for a future she could never have imagined.

Continue reading Elephant Dreams

Palo Duro

PALO DURO
by
MAX L. KNIGHT
  Genre: Historical Fiction / Western
Publisher: Page Publishing, Inc.
Date of Publication: September 2, 2017
Number of Pages: 226
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Westward expansion following the civil war ushered in an era of increased conflict between the Southern Plains Indians and white settlers. Peace treaties offered temporary suspension of hostilities, but more often than not resulted in broken promises as the two cultures clashed over land. The construction of frontier forts and towns, the decimation of the buffalo herds, the movement of cattle through Indian lands to burgeoning western markets, – all of these forces threatened a way of life that had existed for centuries.
The Comanche, the Southern Cheyenne, the Kiowa, the Apache all fought to protect their customs and homelands. The clashes were characterized by savagery on both sides – Indian and white. However, finite numbers and options would ensure the tribes’ defeat; they faced certain death or forced relocation and their days were numbered.

Continue reading Palo Duro

Anahuac

ANAHUAC
A Texas Story (Volume 2)
by
WILLIAM D. DARLING
  Genre: Historical Fiction / Thriller
Publisher: Canned Peas Productions
Date of Publication: October 3, 2017
Number of Pages: 244
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The Anahuac of 1972 is more than just an isolated outpost on Texas’s Trinity Bay – it’s a place where greed and justice uncomfortably intermingle, where the evangelical fervor of charismatic preachers resonate, where blacks and whites navigate a fragile co-existence, and where a murder leads to even darker mysteries than murder. 
Jim Ward, introduced in Morgan’s Point as a young, idealistic Houston prosecutor, returns in Anahuac as an older, more conflicted, more complicated man, coming to Anahuac to defend a man who appears guilty of a horrible crime. His discoveries lead to entanglements in the very nature of good and evil, in a town that is at once of its time and timeless, steeped in a history that is unexpectedly but definitively drawing Ward in its narrative web.

Continue reading Anahuac

Missing Isaac

Missing Isaac Book Cover Missing Isaac
Valerie Fraser Luesse
Historical Fiction
Fleming H. Revell Company
January 2, 2018
Paperback
352
December 28, 2017

There was another South in the 1960s, one far removed from the marches and bombings and turmoil in the streets that were broadcast on the evening news. It was a place of inner turmoil, where ordinary people struggled to right themselves on a social landscape that was dramatically shifting beneath their feet. This is the world of Valerie Fraser Luesse's stunning debut, Missing Isaac.

It is 1965 when black field hand Isaac Reynolds goes missing from the tiny, unassuming town of Glory, Alabama. The townspeople's reactions range from concern to indifference, but one boy will stop at nothing to find out what happened to his unlikely friend. White, wealthy, and fatherless, young Pete McLean has nothing to gain and everything to lose in his relentless search for Isaac. In the process, he will discover much more than he bargained for. Before it's all over, Pete--and the people he loves most--will have to blur the hard lines of race, class, and religion. And what they discover about themselves may change some of them forever.

Clueless Gent’s Review

Missing Isaac swallowed me whole!  I was so taken with the story that it was hard to put down.  The last two nights, I was up until 4:00 a.m. turning pages because I didn’t want to stop.  That’s how much I enjoyed it!

What Makes Missing Isaac So Good?

I’ve struggled with putting my finger on what made this book so enjoyable to me.

Think of reading a story like driving a car.  Most times, when I get behind the wheel, I’m only interested in getting from point A to point B.  With Missing Isaac, I find myself driving down a country road, with so much contrasting beauty and disaster around me that I want to slow down, open the windows, and just savor the ride! Continue reading Missing Isaac

Missing Isaac

MISSING ISAAC
by
VALERIE FRASER LUESSE
  Genre: Southern Fiction / Christian / Coming of Age
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: January 2, 2018
Number of Pages: 352

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Isaac believed in luck. But from Pete’s point of view, Isaac’s luck had all run out.When Pete McLean loses his father in the summer of 1962, his friend Isaac is one of the few people he can lean on. Though their worlds are as different as black and white, friendship knows no color. So when Isaac suddenly goes missing, Pete is determined to find out what happened—no matter what it costs him. His quest will lead him into parts of town that he knows only through rumors and introduce him to a girl who will change his life. What they discover together will change the small Southern town of Glory, Alabama—forever. Continue reading Missing Isaac

Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road

Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road blog tour banner

BONNIE AND CLYDE:

Resurrection Road
Book One in a New Trilogy

by
CLARK HAYS AND KATHLEEN McFALL
  
Genre:  Alternative Historical Fiction / Thriller
Date of Publication: April 22, 2017
Pages: 308
Publisher: Pumpjack Press
on Facebook

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Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road book cover
In an alternate timeline, legendary lovers Bonnie and Clyde are given one last shot at redemption.
The story begins in 1984 when a reporter gets a tip to meet an old woman at a Texas cemetery. Cradling an antique rifle and standing over a freshly dug grave, the old woman claims to be Bonnie Parker. Turns out, she says, it wasn’t Bonnie and Clyde who were ambushed fifty years earlier. Instead, the outlaws were kidnapped, forced into a covert life and given a deadly mission—save President Roosevelt from an assassination plot financed by industrialists determined to sink the New Deal.
Thrust into a fight against greed they didn’t ask for, but now must win in order to save themselves and their families, will the notorious duo overcome their criminal pasts and put their “skills” to use fighting for justice for the working class?
Cutting back and forth between the modern era where the shocked reporter investigates the potential scoop-of-the-century, and the desperate undercover exploits of Bonnie and Clyde in 1934, Resurrection Road is a page-turning sleep-wrecker.
Bonnie and Clyde. Saving democracy, one bank robbery at a time. 

Continue reading Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road

Leaving Annalise

Leaving Annalise Book Cover Leaving Annalise
What Doesn't Kill You #2
Pamela Fagan Hutchins
Mystery
SkipJack Publishing
July 1, 2013
Kindle Edition
314
December 24, 2017

Multi-awardwinning, Bestselling Romantic Mystery Series
Leaving Annalise picks up the What Doesn't Kill You series with more romance, hilarity, and thrills.

One unexpected and hotly fought-over little boy, two dead bodies, and a series of home vandalisms throw Texas attorney turned island chanteuse Katie Connell into a tizzy. Juggling all of this, Bloody Mary cravings, baggage, and the bad guys too, she waffles between the jumbie house that brought her back from the brink and the man she believes is the love of her life.

See why this series won contest after contest.
2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, Romance, Quarter-finalist (Winner TBA 7-21-14)
2011 Winner of the Houston Writers Guild Mainstream Novel Contest
2010 Winner of the Writers League of Texas Romance Contest
2012 Winner of the Houston Writers Guild Ghost Story Contest

Clueless Gent’s Review

Leaving Annalise pretty much picked up where its predecessor, Saving Grace, left off.  I happen to enjoy that in a series.  But yet, this story can completely stand on its own.  It is not necessary to read its predecessor to enjoy this story.  But reading it is sort of like a bonus! Continue reading Leaving Annalise