Saturday, October 20, 2018

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: The Whole Damn Cheese by Bill Wright (Biography)


Greetings Friends!
Today's feature is an INTERVIEW with author Bill Wright as part of the Lone Star Book Blog Tours for his biography.

THE WHOLE DAMN CHEESE
MAGGIE SMITH BORDER LEGEND
by
BILL WRIGHT

Genre: Biography / Texana
Publisher: Texas Christian University Press (Twitter / Facebook / Instagram)
Publication Date: October 12, 2018
Number of Pages: 160 pages with B&W photos






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.




CLICK TO PURCHASE
TAMU PRESS   ║   AMAZON   ║   BARNES AND NOBLE



How has Texas influenced your writing?
I’ve always been a fan of Texas history. And always a photographer whose favorite location in the world is the Big Bend area. Naturally, that helped determine my non-fiction subject areas.

Why did you choose to write non-fiction?
Writing non-fiction documentary-type books fits naturally with my photographic interests. They complement each other.

Where did your love of books come from?
The first book without pictures I owned and read was from the Tom Swift series. I progressed through that and the Hardy Boys. Because I was interested in science, I began to read books related to those subjects.

How long have you been writing?
My first published article was for the American School Board Journal in the 1970s. You can date my professional writing from that era.

What kind of writing do you do?
As a documentary photographer, I enjoy interviewing people and doing the research necessary for this type of book or article.

What was the hardest part of writing The Whole Damn Cheese?
Because my subject had passed away before I had the chance to know her personally, it was necessary to fill out her character through the observations of others.

What do you like to read in your free time?
Non-fiction: mostly politics and history

What projects are you working on at the present?

Presently, I am editing a journal written by an early settler in the Big Bend as well as creating a short history of the Cold War based on a trip to Russia in 1989 with my wife Alice.

What do your plans for future projects include?
A long-range project is a book based on the life of Estevanico.

What book do you wish you could have written?
Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley

Is there any person you credit for being your inspiration for reading and/or writing?
My mother stimulated my interest in reading and writing by reading to me as a child.

Do you have a mantra for writing and/or for life?
Kipling’s poem If




For thirty-five years Bill Wright owned and managed a wholesale and retail petroleum marketing company. In 1987 he sold his company to his employees and since then has carved out a remarkable career as an author, fine art photographer, and ethnologist. He has written or contributed to seven books, and his photographs appear in Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.




Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and Bill Wright! It was a pleasure hosting and getting to know more about you! Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

10/17/18
Excerpt
10/18/18
Character Interview
10/19/18
Character Interview
10/20/18
Author Interview
10/21/18
Review
10/22/18
Scrapbook Page
10/23/18
Review
10/24/18
Excerpt
10/25/18
Review
10/26/18
Review

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson (Contemporary Romance)


Greetings Friends!

Today's feature is a BOOK REVIEW as part of the Lone Star Book Blog Tours.

A SPARKLE OF SILVER
Georgia Coast Romance #1
by
LIZ JOHNSON
  
Genre: Contemporary / Romance Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: October 16, 2018
Number of Pages: 368


Scroll down for the giveaway!






Millie Sullivan plays a 1920s-era guest during tours of a palatial estate on the shore of St. Simons Island, Georgia, where her great-grandmother was a real guest ninety years ago. When Millie learns of a lost diary that may contain the location of a hidden treasure on the estate and reveal the identity of her great-grandfather, she sets out to find the truth of her heritage—and the fortune she desperately needs. But it won’t be easy. 

When security guard Ben Thornton discovers her snooping in the estate’s private library, he threatens to have her fired. Still, her story seems too ludicrous to be fiction, and her offer to split the treasure is too tempting to pass up. Get ready for a romantic escapade through dark halls and dusty corners that will have you holding your breath and sighing with delight.



PRAISE FOR A SPARKLE OF SILVER: 

“A mystery, a treasure hunt, and a split-time romance—all set within a beautiful chateau. What more could we want?”—Katherine Reay, author of Dear Mr. Knightley and A Portrait of Emily Price

“A charming romance about real people triumphing over real problems. Add in a dash of mystery, a treasure hunt, and old family secrets, and you have a story that will warm every corner of your heart.”—Victoria Bylin, award-winning author of Together with You

“Lovers of history will enjoy this treasure-seeking adventure through a historic estate, and readers will appreciate a story that turns up riches of the lasting kind.”—Denise Hunter, bestselling author of Honeysuckle Dreams


CLICK TO PURCHASE




I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

This book instantly charmed me with its synopsis about discovering secrets in a library and I had to know more! And given that it was the first in a new series, I was even more intrigued. Now having spent a whirlwind adventure on the Georgia coast, I CANNOT wait to come back!

Generations collide in this heartwarming story of Millie attempting to learn the truth behind her great-grandmother's past, which may prove beneficial in solving the financial burdens she faces in trying to provide the means to support her grandmother's long term care with Alzheimer's in assisted living. Unfortunately, the weight of the world rests on Millie's shoulders and has been for quite some time. Despite her grandmother's condition, Millie makes a final leap of faith to find an elusive treasure that may belong to her family. There is so much for any reader to enjoy with this story filled with elements of mystery, suspense, romance, and history that blends into an incredible spiritual message about forgiveness. 

The relationship that develops between Millie and Ben is so believable and breathtaking. While we are only with them for a short time, their moments together never felt rushed. In fact, the pacing was done so incredibly well as to simultaneously build on the gradual attraction felt between them, while also showcasing that time is of the essence in the race to uncover secrets. They each have their own strong and relevant reasons for wanting to find this treasure and initially only need each other in order to gain that reward; however, as they gradually get to know one another and allow their walls to come down, they ultimately find love, the greatest prize of all. 

"Real love isn't love because it's easy or always feels good. It's love because you choose not to be self-serving."

It is always so refreshing to read about characters living beyond themselves and trying to make a difference in the world around them. Both Millie and Ben truly embodied that spirit, and it is through them and their connections with others, that Johnson took this light romance to an inspiring level.

Additionally, please humor me as I wax poetically about the important role books play throughout the story! Millie's penchant for reading so many romance books really set the bar high for any potential suitor. And let's just say that Ben was by far a truly worthy match in making her own fairy tale come true. While I'm not generally a fan of the epistolary format, I was won over by Johnson's writing style and looked forward to joining Millie in the reading of the diary to learn more right along with her. 

Overall, this was an incredibly heartwarming story that I do hope you will read! This book has been by far my favorite one this year and I couldn't wait to carve out some time each day to pick it up. A short sneak peak into the the next book at the end featuring a whole new cast of characters was only a tease! So for now, I'll be picking up some of Johnson's previous books as I wait for more!






Liz Johnson is the author of more than a dozen novels, including The Red Door InnWhere Two Hearts Meet, and On Love’s Gentle Shore, as well as a New York Times bestselling novella and a handful of short stories. A marketing manager for a Christian film company, she makes her home in Phoenix, Arizona.

You can connect with her on:
 ║ Website ║ Facebook  Twitter    InstagramGoodreads  ║ Pinterest 

-------------------------------------

GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

GRAND PRIZE: Print Copy of A Sparkle of Silver, a Tin of Georgia Peach Cookies, a Handmade Wooden Treasure Box; SECOND PRIZE: Print Copy + $25 B&N Gift Card; THIRD PRIZE: Print Copy + $10 Starbucks Gift Card OCTOBER 10-19, 2018
BEST OF LUCK!

Many thanks to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and Liz Johnson! It was an absolute pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:


10/16/18
Author Interview
10/16/18
Bonus Notable Quotable
10/17/18
Excerpt
10/18/18
Review
10/19/18
Character Interview
10/20/18
Review
10/21/18
Playlist
10/22/18
Review
10/23/18
Excerpt
10/24/18
Review
10/25/18
Review

   blog tour services provided by
  

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