The Bird Boys

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THE BIRD BOYS
A Delpha Wade and
Tom Phelan Mystery
by
LISA SANDLIN
Genre: Gentle Noir / Mystery / Women Sleuths
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
Date of Publication: August 20, 2019
Number of Pages: 306

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The new novel from award-winning author Lisa Sandlin catches up with the almost-murdered secretary Delpha Wade (The Do-Right, 2015, set in 1973) as she’s released from a hospital in order to be tucked into the back seat of a police cruiser. Her boss, P. I. Tom Phelan, sets out to spring her. He needs her back in his investigation business, where he’ll soon be chasing a skulking grand larcenist and plotting how to keep a ganjapreneur out of the grabby hands of a brand new agency, the D.E.A. Delpha digs through old records and knocks on strange doors to unravel the dangerous case of two brothers with beaucoup aliases—verifying that sometimes truth is not true, but murder is always murder.

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Chasing Hope

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CHASING HOPE
by
DANA WAYNE
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Book Liftoff
Date of Publication: June 10, 2019
Number of Pages: 295

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Max Logan longs for the joys of home and family he missed growing up in foster care. He fills that emotional void by becoming a kick-ass Marine, and for eighteen years, led his band of brothers from one hell-hole to another…until the one that nearly destroyed him. Sixteen months of therapy and rehab put his body back together, but some wounds can’t be seen. Some can’t be healed.

Skylar Ward dreams of a life that includes someone beside her. Someone to share her life with, to be a father to her young daughter. But if she learned anything from her failed marriage it was that you don’t rush into a relationship. Options in her small town are limited, and those who approach her lack appeal. Only Max Logan sparks her interest. But the handsome, brooding war hero remains aloof.

Intelligent and intuitive, seven-year-old Maddie overhears a neighbor tell her mother she needs a male companion, so she Google’s it to see what it means. Convinced her mom needs a boyfriend and Max needs a girlfriend, Maddie sets out to make it happen. He needs a family. They need him. If she can make them see that.

Can one precocious child be the catalyst that heals a wounded warrior’s soul and brings joy back into her mom’s heart?

Or will ashes of the past bury hope once and for all?

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When the Stars Fall

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WHEN THE STARS FALL
by
BECKI WILLIS
Genre: Cozy Mystery / Romance / Women Sleuths
Publisher: Clear Creek Publishing
Publication Date: August 11, 2015
Number of Pages: 318

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Named Best Mystery Series 2018  Texas Association of Authors

Madison Reynolds is rebuilding her life, one obstacle at a time.

But the building blocks aren’t standard issue: widowed at thirty-nine…betrayed by her late husband…mother of teenaged twins…finances in shambles…living with her eighty-year-old grandmother…still attracted to her teenage crush Brash deCordova, who just happens to be the Chief of Police in The Sisters…embroiled in yet another murder mystery… How will she ever get all the blocks assembled and stacked one upon another, in order to build a future for herself and her children?

Madison’s newest client at In a Pinch Temp Service is a suspicious wife, up against a formidable foe—the lovely Caress Ellingsworth, former soap opera queen. When the star is murdered and Madison is eyewitness to the deed, she wonders if the shadowed person she saw commit the crime might really be her client. Now Madison is torn between uncovering the truth and keeping her customer’s name off the suspect list.

Caress is not the only star in town these days. With a little help from Granny Bert and Madison’s best friend Genesis, the popular television show Home Again arrives, with some crazy notion about remodeling the Big House for Maddy and her twins. The problem is, Madison can’t afford to buy the house, much less pay to have it renovated. No matter how tempting the offer—or how tempting the show’s star, Nick Vilardi—Madison sees it as just another block that will not fit.

Even if she manages to stack the blocks in a semblance of order, even if she climbs her way up and reaches for the sky, what happens when the stars fall?

Book Two of The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series. Homegrown characters, mystery and romance.

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Chicken Scratch

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CHICKEN SCRATCH
by
BECKI WILLIS
Genre: Cozy Mystery / Romance / Women Sleuths
Publisher: Clear Creek Publishing
Publication Date: April 13, 2015
Number of Pages: 314

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Named Best Mystery Series 2018  Texas Association of Authors

When Madison Reynolds finds herself widowed and penniless before forty, she does the only thing she knows to do – she packs up her teenage twins and moves back home with her eighty-year-old grandmother. Life in The Sisters, Texas has not changed much since she’s been gone, but at least her best friend Genesis is there to soften the transition back into small-town life.

To make ends meet, Madison opens In a Pinch Temporary Services. Her first real client is Ronny Gleason, but when she shows up for the first day of work at the Gleason Poultry Farm, Madison makes a gruesome discovery. The dead body she finds belongs to Mr. Gleason. When a local man is arrested for murder, Madison takes on the job of proving his innocence. Even though she is not a private investigator, both mothers are desperate: Lucy Ngyen to clear her son’s name, and Madison to pay her bills. But as she begins asking questions around town, her interference is not welcome.

With a daughter determined to go back to Dallas, a son settling into small town life, a feisty grandmother who knows all the town gossip, bill collectors calling, and now someone trying to keep her silent, Madison has no time for re-kindling her high school crush with police chief Brash deCordova. She has her hands full just trying to stay alive.

If she survives her amateur investigation, Maddy has a decision to make. Will she go back to her life in Dallas, or will she build a new life here in The Sisters?

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When the Men Were Gone

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WHEN THE MEN
WERE GONE
by
MARJORIE HERRERA LEWIS
Genre: Historical / Biographical / Sports Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Number of Pages: 240
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A cross between Friday Night Lights and The Atomic City Girls, When The Men Were Gone is a debut historical novel based on the true story of Tylene Wilson, a woman in 1940s Texas who, in spite of extreme opposition, became a female football coach in order to keep her students from heading off to war.

Football is the heartbeat of Brownwood, Texas. Every Friday night for as long as assistant principal Tylene Wilson can remember, the entire town has gathered in the stands, cheering their boys on. Each September brings with it the hope of a good season and a sense of unity and optimism.

Now, the war has changed everything. Most of the Brownwood men over eighteen and under forty-five are off fighting, and in a small town the possibilities are limited. Could this mean a season without football? But no one counted on Tylene, who learned the game at her daddy’s knee. She knows more about it than most men, so she does the unthinkable, convincing the school to let her take on the job of coach.

Faced with extreme opposition by the press, the community, rival coaches, and referees — and even the players themselves — Tylene remains resolute. And when her boys rally around her, she leads the team — and the town — to a Friday night and a subsequent season they will never forget.

Based on a true story, When the Men Were Gone is a powerful and vibrant novel of perseverance and personal courage.

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Christmas in The Sisters

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CHRISTMAS IN THE SISTERS
by
BECKI WILLIS
Genre: Cozy Mystery / Romance / Women Sleuths
Publisher: Clear Creek Publishing
Publication Date: November 1, 2017
Number of Pages: 251

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Named Best Mystery Series 2018  Texas Association of Authors

Madison Reynolds can’t wait for Christmas this year. Rebuilding her life as a single mom hasn’t been easy, but after a challenging twelve months, she’s excited about the holidays. She and her twins have settled quite nicely here in The Sisters, renovations on the house are complete, her business is slowly growing, and, best of all, Chief of Police Brash deCordova is in her life. Visions of the perfect Christmas dance in her head.

The tinsel begins to tangle when someone targets the community for a series of ‘Christmas Crimes.’ Homes are broken into and wrapped gifts are stolen from beneath trees. Even vehicles loaded with presents aren’t safe, particularly on a lone stretch of highway. Things like this just don’t happen in Naomi and Juliet. Torn between solving the rash of burglaries and shutting down the gambling ring that’s active in the area again, Brash does the only thing he can: he hires In a Pinch to help with the investigation.

Finding the common link between cases is like finding the bad bulb on a string of lights. Every lead is a short circuit. The frustration mounts when Madison and the Angel Tree she’s involved with fall victim to the crimes. Only the worst kind of Grinch steals from needy children!

Brash has plans of his own for the perfect Christmas. With the help of a new jewelry store, he thinks he’s found just the right gift for Madison, until the Grinch strikes again. This wasn’t the surprise he had in mind.

Ready or not, Christmas is on its way, and time is running out to create the holiday of their dreams.  As the house fills with unexpected guests, Madison and the twins honor favorite traditions from the past while creating a few new ones of their own.

Who has time for being kidnapped by men in Santa suits and bad beards?

This is one Christmas that no one in The Sisters will ever forget!

$0.99 KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEAL!
JUNE 23-29, 2019!

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Saving the Mail Order Bride

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SAVING THE
MAIL ORDER BRIDE
Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride,
Book Two
by
LINDA BRODAY
Genre: Historical Western Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Number of Pages: 384

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He may have a high price on his head, but all outlaw Jack Bowdre ever desired was a second chance. Now he’s been arrested and on his way to jail, completely unaware that his unexpected —and unexpectedly beautiful— traveling companion is none other than Nora Kane…his mail order bride.

It’s too bad Nora doesn’t know Jack is her groom-to-be. All she sees is a scoundrel. But when their stagecoach crashes, they’re suddenly handcuffed together and running for their lives with nothing but the clothes on their backs. A posse behind and unforgiving terrain ahead, how long can they survive? Hounded by desperate men bent on stopping them by any means necessary, Nora and Jack find the love they both desperately want. But the question remains: will they have a chance to claim it?

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The Water Lord

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THE WATER LORD
by
MATT MINOR
Genre: Political Suspense
Publisher: Dead Tree Publishing
Publication Date: April 2, 2018
Number of Pages: 249
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A town has gone dry, and the general manager of a water district is found dead, presumably a suicide. His crazed widow is in denial and recklessly loose-lipped. Texas House District 100 is again in turmoil, and the interests of the landed class against urban sprawl are at odds.

Enter John David Dothan (The Representative). The world’s hippest legislator is back, but he is a changed man. Post-stroke Dothan dons an eccentric cane and is married to his former chief of staff, Tryphena Taylor. The two lovers reside peacefully tucked away in a country cottage with their rescued cat. But they are swimming against the tide.

Caught between the past and the future, the rural and the urban, the representative is trapped in a no-win situation both politically and emotionally. When a constituent brings to his attention a mysterious ‘retention pond’ things grow increasingly murky. The waters turn completely dark when Dothan learns his forbidden first love, former State Senator Rachael Logan has been hospitalized.

Armed with only his cane and sidekick, Mason Dixon (The District Manager), who serves as his new Chief of Staff, Dothan sets aside the ambiguities of politics and love in search of clarity and righteousness. But the cost of doing the right thing might not just be his young marriage…but Tryphena’s life.

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Covey Jencks

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COVEY JENCKS
by
SHELTON L. WILLIAMS
Narrated by Kathy James
Genre: Mystery / Social Thriller
Publisher: Southern Owl Publications, LLC
Date of Publication: February 10, 2018

Number of Pages: 229
Audio Book Length: 6 hours, 38 minutes
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Covey Jencks is a murder mystery with a social conscience. Set in West Texas with a cast of colorful and humorous characters, it follows a young lawyer from Washington, DC back to his hometown of Odessa, Texas. He wants and needs to solve a murder case from 1979 in 1993. The problem is that the Odessa Police Department has already found its man, and no one wants to re-visit the case of a black prostitute whose life was seemingly of no consequence to anyone. But Freddie Mae Johnson’s death matters to Covey, and eventually he discovers an old flame, JayJay Qualls, who also knew and loved Freddie. Together they undertake an investigation that uncovers not only the truth about Freddie but also the secrets of Odessa’s south side, Mexican gangs, a Boston mobster, and the fallacy of unexamined assumptions. Finding out who killed Freddie is one thing, but preventing their own demise is quite another!

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The Whole Damn Cheese

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THE WHOLE
DAMN CHEESE
MAGGIE SMITH BORDER LEGEND
by
BILL WRIGHT
Genre: Biography / Texana
Publisher: Texas Christian University Press
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Number of Pages: 160 pages with B&W photos
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Anecdotes about Maggie Smith abound, but Bill Wright’s The Whole Damn Cheese is the first book devoted entirely to the woman whose life in Big Bend country has become the stuff of legend. For more than twenty years, Maggie Smith served folks on both sides of the border as doctor, lawyer, midwife, herbalist, banker, self-appointed justice of the peace, and coroner. As she put it, she was “the whole damn cheese” in Hot Springs, Texas. A beloved figure serving the needs of scores of people in Big Bend country, she was also an accomplished smuggler with a touch of romance as well as larceny in her heart. Maggie’s family history is a history of the Texas frontier, and her story outlines the beginnings and early development of Big Bend National Park. Her travels between Boquillas, San Vincente, Alpine, and Hot Springs define Maggie’s career and illustrate her unique relationships with the people of the border. Vividly capturing the rough individualism and warm character of Maggie Smith, author Bill Wright demonstrates why this remarkable frontier woman has become an indelible figure in the history of Texas.

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