Monday, April 30, 2018

SPECIAL FEATURE SCRAPBOOK PAGE + GIVEAWAY: Searching for Pilar by Patricia Hunt Holmes (Contemporary Suspense/Thriller)



Greetings Friends!

Today, I have a special feature as part of the Lone Star Book Blog Tour for SEARCHING FOR PILAR by Patricia Hunt Holmes.  


SEARCHING FOR PILAR


by 
Patricia Hunt Holmes

Genre: Contemporary Suspense/Thriller
Publisher: River Grove Books
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Number of Pages: 320 pages








Pilar, an innocent young wife and mother, is abducted during a fake job interview in Mexico City and forced into sex slavery in Houston. Can she survive the horrors of a world—one which many good Americans don’t see or ignore—long enough for her brother Diego to find her? SEARCHING FOR PILAR breaks open the secretive and dangerous world of sex trafficking, while exploring human nature and our connections to each another. Diego’s guilt transforms him from a rudderless youth into a man of purpose and courage. While he searches, Pilar finds a strength that could save herself and a young girl who needs her. The themes of family, love, faith, and the law intertwine in this action-packed tale of the Bayou City.


Scroll down for giveaway!



and the law intertwine in this action-packed tale of the Bayou City.
PRAISE FOR SEARCHING FOR PILAR:

“Patricia Holmes fictionalizes the heartbreaking reality of cross-border sex trafficking in her novel, Searching for Pilar. This cautionary tale should be required reading for high school classes to foster awareness, understanding, and ultimately solutions to this horrific epidemic.” - Joanne F. Phillips, author of Revenge of the Cube Dweller.

“In Searching for Pilar, Patricia Hunt Holmes makes us aware of the terrible nature of sex trafficking in the context of a fast-paced, exciting Houston story that moves from affluence and glitz to barrio cantinas and the federal courthouse. The charitable, can-do nature of Houston is reflected in the wide cast of residents who help a young man on an extremely dangerous mission to find his kidnapped sister.  This book will be an added weapon in our fight against sex trafficking." - Sylvester Turner, Mayor, City of Houston


CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE ON AMAZON!







EAST HOUSTON LOCATIONS
  1. TELEPHONE ROAD CANTINA
  2. TACO TRUCK LIKE THE LOOKOUT TRUCK PARKED IN FRONT OF LOS ARBOLES
  3. EAST SIDE HOUSE
  4. PADRE ROBERTO’S CHURCH OF THE HOLY REDEEMER
  5. TELEPHONE ROAD TYPICAL MOTEL
  6. TYPE OF HOUSE USED TO PARK SMUGGLED PEOPLE AND DRUGS

    1. OTHER HOUSTON AND MEXICO LOCATIONS

  7. ANOTHER TYPICAL GALLERIA AREA MEN’S CLUB
  8. TYPE OF WOODLAND HEIGHTS HOUSE WHERE MARY WOULD LIVE
  9. MEXICO CITY LOCATION WHERE PILAR WAS KIDNAPPED
  10. A MEXICAN VILLAGE GIRL’S FIRST VIEW OF THE GALLERIA AREA
  11. TYPICAL GALLERIA AREA MEN’S CLUB
  12. TYPE OF HOUSE IN HOUSTON WHERE ESCOBAR WOULD LIVE
  13. COLONIA TABACALERA GRAFFITI




Patricia Hunt Holmes spent 30 years as a public finance attorney with the international law firm of Vinson & Elkins LLP.   She was consistently listed in Best Lawyers in America, Texas Super Lawyers, Top Lawyers in Houston, and awarded the highest degree by her peers in Martindale Hubbell. She was a frequent speaker at national public finance and healthcare conferences.  Patricia has also served on the faculty of the University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Tennessee, and University of Texas Health Science Center Houston. She has written and published in the fields of intellectual history and law.

Patricia has been a member and board member of social service organizations in Houston that focus on helping women, including the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast Women’s Initiative, Dress for Success Houston, and the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red.  She was a founding member and first board chair of Houston Justice for Our Neighbors, which provides free and low cost legal services to immigrants.  For the past five years, she has been taking writing workshops with Inprint, associated with the outstanding University of Houston Creative Writing Program.  She began to write SEARCHING FOR PILAR in a workshop after learning that Houston is one of the biggest hubs for sex trafficking in the country.

You can connect with her on:





GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

THREE WINNERS! 

1st & 2nd Prizes: Signed Copy of Searching for Pilar + Mexican Necklace
3rd Prize: Signed Copy of Searching for Pilar + $20 Amazon Gift Card
(U.S. Only)




a Rafflecopter giveaway

BEST OF LUCK!



VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR: 
4/25/18ExcerptTexas Book Lover
4/26/18ReviewMomma on the Rocks
4/27/18Author InterviewForgotten Winds
4/28/18ReviewTangled in Text
4/29/18Guest PostThe Page Unbound
4/30/18Scrapbook PageThat’s What She’s Reading
5/1/18ReviewBibliotica
5/2/18ExcerptStoreyBook Reviews
5/3/18Guest PostThe Librarian Talks
5/4/18ReviewMissus Gonzo


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Friday, April 27, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: The ABCs of Living Green by Theresa McKeown (Children's)


Greetings Friends!

Today, I am hosting a REVIEW for THE ABCs OF LIVING GREEN by Theresa A. McKeown.


THE ABCs OF LIVING GREEN


by
Theresa A. McKeown

Publisher:  The ABCs of Living Green, LLC  
Pages:  56
Genre:  Picture/Poetry for Children and Tweens




THE ABCs OF LIVING GREEN completes the ABC trilogy of picture books focused on raising happy, healthy, conscious children in body, mind, and spirit. Written from the voice of Mother Earth, every letter of the alphabet and corresponding word gives readers a multitude of fun ways to be mindful not only of the planet we all share, but of the people with whom we share it. A book that focuses on the beauty and fulfillment of stepping up and doing our part in taking care of the environment and each other, THE ABCs OF LIVING GREEN is truly a book for the enlightened child of the 21st century.

CLICK TO ORDER YOUR COPY ON AMAZON



ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Theresa McKeown spent over two decades in the entertainment arena before embracing her true passion of writing children’s books. After producing hundreds of hours of television for a host of cable and network outlets, Theresa is now on the path of what she considers her highest calling.

Theresa and her sisters have created “The ABC’s of Everything, LLC”, a family endeavor solely focused on publishing several series of children’s books, digital content, and educational curriculums.  All will be written and produced with an awareness of the true possibilities that children of the 21st century can realize.  

As an author, Theresa is dedicated to estimating rather than underestimating the wisdom of children. Her philosophy is that kids are fully adept at understanding nuance and meaning and it’s not necessary to talk down to them.  She is dedicated to creating a new paradigm in the children's book world by introducing work that fully embraces the insightfulness, perception and unlimited intellectual potential of today’s youth.

Her books are meant to plant the seeds of education and awareness early in a child’s development, knowing full well that children will ultimately blossom into the best versions of who they are meant to be.

In her role as producer, Theresa traveled worldwide, filming from locations as diverse as the White House, NORAD, the Pentagon, FBI headquarters, maximum-security prisons and from the top of the World Trade Center.  Along the way she "tail-hooked" onto an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, yachted through South America with jet setters and chased bad guys with the LAPD in a helicopter. She survived both OJ Simpson trials, shot live from heart of the LA Riots and drove through a wall of flames during the Laguna fires.  Yet, with a background like this, building a community to celebrate children promises to be the most exciting adventure of all.

As George Elliot once said, “It’s never too late to become who you might have been”.

…Words this author has taken to heart.

You can connect with her on:




REVIEW




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

I can really appreciate the author's dedication to introducing such important concepts to young readers. As so much more than an alphabet book, each letter is represented by a word that encourages "green living" and provides a poem expounding on that idea; however, very few of the poems suggest any form of tangible or even actionable examples of how to practice a more sustainable life. Each poem is more of a thought-provoking reflection of looking within to build a better relationship with the world around us. While extremely praiseworthy and inspiring, I'm not sure the intended audience is written with them in mind. The rhyme scheme of ABAB reads for a much younger and more juvenile audience and actually becomes quite monotonous if read aloud from beginning to end, especially given the length of most of these poems. Reading a few at a time over the course of several days will definitely stimulate a more meditative response or even a family discussion towards positive approaches in our efforts to promote mindfulness.

The illustrations are quite diverse and work well with each poem, simultaneously expanding on the text while also remaining just understated enough to not draw attention away from the overall message.

Although I would have enjoyed and preferred more variety in the poetic style, I can see value in sharing these vital and timely themes.



Many thanks to Pump Up Your Book and Theresa McKeown. It was a pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! Be sure to check out the other blogs on the tour for more opinions and author extras!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Amos Faces His Bully by Cheryl Malandrinos (Children's)


Greetings Friends!

Today, I am hosting a REVIEW for AMOS FACES HIS BULLY by Cheryl Malandrinos.


AMOS FACES HIS BULLY

by
Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 20
Genre: Christian children's picture book




Amos is targeted by the town bully because he is so small. When word reaches Amos of his friend David's battle with Goliath, he thinks back to what David told him about putting his faith in God's protection. Perhaps the same God can help Amos face his bully too.


CLICK TO ORDER YOUR COPY ON




ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and the recently released, Amos Faces His Bully. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married.

You can connect with her on:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | BLOG



BOOK EXCERPT

Amos clutched his knees to his chest. Sitting in the dirt, he blinked to keep the tears from spilling down his cheeks. 

Nathaniel and the other neighborhood boys marched around, taunting him.
 

“Are you going to cry now, baby?” Nathaniel balled his hands into fists and pretended to rub his eyes.
 

“I’m not crying,” ten-year-old Amos said with a sniffle. He stood and brushed the dirt off his clothes.
 

“I bet you’re the biggest cry baby in all of Bethlehem,” said Nathaniel.
 

The boys pushed him back and forth chanting, “Cry baby, cry baby.”


You can also check out the book trailer!




REVIEW




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

I really enjoyed this poignant story of handling a very real problem for children using a classic Biblical tale, which creates a fantastic way in which to reinforce or introduce scripture to younger audiences. While the main message is learning to put your faith in God and that through Him anything is possible, I thoroughly appreciated the story's ability to communicate the idea that there will always be something in your life you must work to defeat, but taking each day as it comes and addressing the issue head on will make even the most insurmountable problem less of a burden. Amos discovers that despite standing up to the bullies, they will more than likely bother him again soon, but he now knows that he can be strong even in the face of great difficulty. Strength is multifaceted and largely harnessed by many of us through our relationship with God and faith. This book helps to convey that idea as a means of finding comfort as well as stressing the importance of resilience, which is definitely a quality anyone can benefit from. 

The illustrations are quite vibrant and will definitely appeal to young readers. While they aren't capturing the sense of awe and wonder that a story such as David and Goliath would have on a reader, the images will draw children in and keep them listening. 

Overall, this is certainly an effective selection to connect families and entertain younger and older readers alike!




Many thanks to Pump Up Your Book and Cheryl Malandrinos. It was a pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! Be sure to check out the other blogs on the tour for more opinions and author extras!

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