TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR by Linda Broday Book Blog Tour – Review and Giveaway

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TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR

Texas Heroes, Book 3

by

LINDA BRODAY

Genre: Western / Historical / Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of Publication: July 3, 2018
Number of Pages: 352

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Synopsis

to catch a texas starOn her way to town early one morning, Marley Rose McClain finds a man unconscious and bleeding at the side of the road. She loads him in the wagon and takes him to her family ranch.
Drifter Roan Penny fights for his life, his one goal eating at him—to find the ones who murdered his best friend. As he recovers, he finds himself falling in love with Marley. She’s everything he wants and dreams of making her his wife even as he knows it’s impossible. A terrifying stranger appears and a long-kept secret shakes Marley to the core. Roan helps her through very frightening times and they pledge their love for each other. As Roan hunts down the hooded men who killed his friend and grows closer to learning the truth of the stranger’s identity, he finds both himself and Marley being stalked.Shocking events unfold, secrets come to light, and a love refuses to be denied in this cat and mouse game where danger lurks around every corner. Will Roan and Marley survive to see the future they plan?

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To Catch a Texas Star is the third book in the Texas Heroes series, but the first one I’ve read. It’s actually the first book by Linda Broday that I’ve ever read. I like it. I like her writing style. This book stands well on its own, but reading the two that came before it would probably enhance the enjoyment.

Texas Star is fast-paced and action-packed, featuring well-drawn characters you’d root for and the wild West as the exciting setting. At the center of everything is a sweet romance between Marley, a strong, caring young woman, and Roan, a determined, honorable drifter. Their story happens amidst grave danger and life-altering secrets.

This book captured my attention from the beginning with its dramatic first chapter. It kept getting better as the characters are introduced (Duel, Jessie, Matt, Granny Jack, etc.) and as the attraction between Marley and Roan grew. I liked that both of them have strengths and faults. I appreciate that they saved each other’s lives. Often in Westerns, the heroine is a damsel in distress, just waiting for the hero to rescue her. This one is not like that. Marley had her low moments, especially when she was scared for her family, but she had amazing highs like when she rescued herself and when she acted to make it easy for the good guys to win in the end.

This book follows in the classic Western formula of heroes being amazingly good (and seemingly indestructible) while the villains are incredibly bad. You can easily visualize this as a movie for Ms. Broday described the action and fight scenes well.

As a Texas resident, I like the feeling of being “at home” when I read a book set here. But, even those not from here will enjoy To Catch a Texas Star as it tackles universal themes of family, justice, loyalty, and deep-abiding love.

 

Praise for To Catch a Texas Star
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“Fans of the previous books will enjoy returning to the McClain clan, and new readers will appreciate the story’s layered mysteries, emotional depth, and believable scenes of attraction.” — Publisher’s Weekly

“I loved the twists and turns that this story takes. It is pretty interesting seeing this romance blossom and how much their relationship strengthens as they face danger and the truth together.”–Addicted to Romance

“Marley Rose has one of the most gentle and winsome souls; her affection and compassion for others and delightful creativity pour off the pages and you can’t help but adore her.”–Michelle (Goodreads)

AboutTheAuthor

linda brodayLinda is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of full length historical western romance novels and novellas. She’s published over twenty books and short stories and resides in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. On a quiet day, she can often hear their voices whispering in the wind. The love of this state and its people runs bone deep and she instills that into each book she writes. She sets all her stories in Texas because of the rich history and interesting people. A mother, grandmother, and soon to be a great grandmother, Linda finds research fascinating and always looks for little known tidbits to add realism to her stories. When she’s not writing, she collects old coins and confesses to being a rock hound in addition to making herself a nuisance at museums, libraries, and historical places which inspire her.

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July 3-12, 2018

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7/6/18		Review			Carpe Diem Chronicles
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THE WAY OF BEAUTY – Camille Di Maio Blog Tour/Giveaway/Guest Post

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THE WAY OF BEAUTY

by

Camille Di Maio

Genre: Historical Fiction / 20th Century / Literary

Publisher: Lake Union Press

Date of Publication: May 1, 2018

Number of Pages: 384

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Synopsis

cover HI RES The Way of Beauty_previewHearts and dreams evolve in the shadow of the once-magnificent Penn Station.
Vera Keller, the daughter of German immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York City, finds her life upended when the man she loves becomes engaged to another woman. But Angelo Bellavia has also inadvertently opened up Vera’s life to unexpected possibilities. Angelo’s new wife, Pearl, the wealthy daughter of a clothing manufacturer, has defied her family’s expectations by devoting herself to the suffrage movement. In Pearl, Vera finds an unexpected dear friend…and a stirring new cause of her own. But when Pearl’s selfless work pulls her farther from Angelo and their son, the life Vera craved is suddenly within her reach—if her conscience will allow her to take it. Her choice will define not only her future but also that of her daughter, Alice.

Vera and Alice—a generation and a world apart—are bound by the same passionate drive to fulfill their dreams. As first mother and then daughter come of age in a city that is changing as rapidly as its skyline, they’ll each discover that love is the only constant.

 

PRAISE FOR THE WAY OF BEAUTY:

“The Way of Beauty is a thing of beauty. The writing is gorgeous, the story is engaging, the characters are amazing. The amount of research that goes into historical fiction just astounds me. Add this to your TBR!”

“If you want to be swept away by a love story set in a fascinating and meticulously researched past, Camille Di Maio is the author for you. Don’t miss this one.”

“A captivating story of love and family that spans several generations.”

“The writing transports you to the time, not so long ago when women had to choose between love and their rights. Camille Di Maio’s dialogue, descriptions, and relationships create a complete picture of the era and struggles. Great book club book.”

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Inspiration for Writing The Way of Beauty
Guest Post by Author Camille Di Maio

It’s funny, for me at least, how a book starts and how it ends up.

The idea for The Way of Beauty came while I was sitting on my bed and my then-15yo daughter came to sit with me. She’s got a good creative head, so I asked her if she wanted to brainstorm with me.

We were all over the place. There was a secret diary, a father/daughter story thread, dual time periods, you name it.

But in the end, it was an image that came to my mind that became the foundation. I had this concept of a soldier kissing his girlfriend goodbye in a train station. He was in a WWII uniform and sunlight streamed through the cathedral-like windows making the dust look like sparkling diamonds.

The train station image stayed with me, so I began to do research. I knew I wanted to set it in New York, and as I was familiar with Penn Station, I started there.

I searched for pictures, and most of what came up was this beautiful, soaring structure. My first thought was, “I’ve been to Penn Station many times, but I must not have been upstairs. I’ve never seen this!”

What I did not know was this: it doesn’t exist anymore.

The gorgeous, marble, soaring, majestic train station I was seeing on the internet was torn down in the 1960s to build Madison Square Garden.

I dove into some research, my favorite part of writing historical fiction. And I learned that the station was the brainchild of Alexander Cassatt, the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. And coincidentally, the brother of Mary Cassatt, the famous painter.

In 1900, Cassatt was frustrated that all train travel toward New York ended in New Jersey, where travelers would then take a ferry over crowded waters to Manhattan. So he began a project to build tunnels underneath the East and Hudson Rivers. He traveled to London and Paris to study some of the world’s greatest train stations and endeavored to make his bigger and better.

I researched the sandhogs – the men who dug those tunnels at great peril, and I read about the strangers Cassatt hired to secretly buy up buildings in the Tenderloin so that they could demolish them and build the station.

Penn Station was magnificent when it was completed in 1910 and it was expected to last centuries. But in the 1950s, as air and car travel increased, railroad companies fell into financial trouble. And Penn Station was sold.

The arc of the station – its creation, heyday, and destruction was fascinating, and I knew that this would be the backbone of my story. I created the characters of Vera, Angelo, Pearl, Emmett, Alice, and William and how their lives and loves paralleled the story.

All of this was planned out, the frailest of outlines laid out as a framework. But the joy of the writing – for me, at least – is putting meat on those bones.

The biggest surprise in my writing was how captivated I became by the suffrage movement. I vote in every election – midterms, local ones, presidential ones, you name it. So I wouldn’t say that I take the right for granted, and I appreciate those who’ve fought and died for that right. But that makes me think about the military. I hadn’t given significant thought to the women who championed that right a century ago. The character Pearl was a firecracker from the start, but her involvement in the suffrage movement became deeper and deeper and as I learned the extremities that some of the women went to – even going as far as having hunger strikes – and I knew that she needed to get that involved. Her storyline – initially meant to be somewhat secondary became much larger. A cornerstone of the story.

The book, then, evolved into the story of women and their emerging roles as the world changed around them. And I’m so happy that it did.

Life takes turns we don’t expect. And so does writing. But those surprises are often the sweetest bits. And I hope that as long as I have the privilege of doing this work, there will be many more discovers that wait to be illuminated.

 

AboutTheAuthor

~Romance Writers of America Honor Roll Inductee~

Camille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a fuAuthor Pic DiMaio_previewll-time writer. Along with her husband of 19 years, she enjoys raising their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far) and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She overdoses on goodies at farmer’s markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries) and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. The Memory of Us was Camille’s debut novel. Her second, Before the Rain Falls was released on May 16, 2017, and The Way of Beauty is her third novel.

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MORNINGS ON MAIN By Jodi Thomas Book Review

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MORNINGS ON MAIN:

A Small-Town Texas Novel

by

Jodi Thomas

Genre: Mainstream Romance

Publisher: HQN

Number of Pages: 320 pages

AVAILABLE APRIL 10, 2018!

 

Review_preview

MORNINGS ON MAIN by Jodi Thomas is a lovely read. It’s the perfect way to spend a cold spring day: curled up on your favorite reading nook with a cup of tea in one hand and a delightful book in another. Incredibly well-written, this book took me to a small town, introduced me to the people living there, and made me like them and care about them. There are plenty of characters, but the book always centered on Jillian, Connor, and Sunnie — the three whose points-of-view we rely on to tell the story. These are normal, real people with every day problems that everyone can relate to — growing up, growing old, leaving, staying, and taking risks to fall in love or continue drifting.

I appreciate Jillian and Connor’s sweet slow-burn fall into love. You can see how it developed throughout the length of the book. I also enjoyed Gram and Joe, the quilts, and the town’s coming-to-life side stories. MNotable Quotable 1 Mornings on Mainy favorite part of the book, though, is Sunnie. Her growth as a character from the sullen, resentful child in the beginning to the warm, lovable, funny teenager at the end brought a smile to my face.

I’m rating Mornings on Main four stars. Jillian’s storyline with her parents remained unresolved. I’d have liked for her to find a more definitive closure than what she got. Other than that, I found this book heartwarming and I’d recommend it to everyone who likes small town reads with a sweet romance.

 

Synopsis

Cover high res Mornings on Main

Jillian James has never had a place to call home. Desperate to make some quick cash before moving on again, she agrees to help an elderly woman close her beloved quilt shop. Connor Larady’s grandmother has owned the shop all her life, but lately she has struggled with Alzheimer’s. Connor’s seventeen-year-old daughter has spent her whole life in Laurel Springs, Texas, and she feels restless. When Jillian moves to town, she represents travel, adventure and excitement. Weaving together the story of three generations of women looking for a place to belong, Mornings on Main asks us to consider how we make our memories—what we remember, what we forget, what becomes part of our story—and remind us that it’s not where we live, but how we live that counts.

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AboutTheAuthor

With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas Author Pic Thomasis both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 45 novels and 14 short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.

In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.

Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Thomas enjoys interacting with students at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

When not working on a novel, or inspiring students to pursue writing careers, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating an historic home, and “checking up” on their grown sons and four grandchildren.

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