Thursday, June 27, 2019

Lone Star Book Blogger Tour: WHEN THE MEN WERE GONE by Marjorie Herrera Lewis ***BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY***

WHEN THE MEN WERE GONE
by
MARJORIE HERRERA LEWIS
  Genre: Historical / Biographical / Sports Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow 
Date of Publication: 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.





PRAISE FOR WHEN THE MEN WERE GONE:
"Sublimely ties together the drama of high school football, gender politics, and the impact of war on a small town in Texas. – Best of Books, 2018, Sports Illustrated
“A beautiful story that stays in your heart long after you finish reading.” - Jodi Thomas, New York Times bestselling author “Based on a true story that most people probably don’t know, readers will find plenty to love in Herrera Lewis’ debut.” -- Kirkus Review





When the Men Were Gone by Marjorie Herrera Lewis is a remarkable story about a woman who against all odds, and practically everyone in her town, coached high school football for a city that lived and breathed the sport for generations.  Based on the true story of Tylene Wilson, the assistant principal of Brownwood High School in 1944, When the Men Were Gone is not only a story of strength amid great opposition, but one of incredible courage.  

War World II was a heartbreaking time for many families with young boys.  When so many were coming home in either a wheelchair or a casket, the loss and pain of the families were nearly palpable throughout the story.  Whenever Tylene heard an airplane fly overhead, knowing someone was coming home to be buried, you could feel the loss right alongside the grieving families. The tension between the men in the town and Tylene was almost shocking, but it is an accurate portrayal of gender roles during this time period.  I was actually surprised that her husband was so supportive of her coaching, and it goes to show what a loving and understanding husband Tylene had.  Their dynamic in the story was very heartwarming and beautiful.  I think he was a great source of her strength in getting through all the push-back she was receiving for wanting to coach a male-dominated sport.   

Lewis does an excellent job weaving Tylene's backstory on how she learned so much about football as a child.  She created such an authentic connection between the love of the game and the childhood memories she had with her father.  I literally couldn't put this book down! I just had to see what happened in the end.  I was blown away by the courage and perseverance of Tylene Wilson and I think everyone needs to know her story.   I wouldn't be surprised if they made a movie based on this book.  What an amazing read!

5 Hearts!
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Marjorie Herrera Lewis is an award-winning sportswriter, named the first female Dallas Cowboys beat writer when she was with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She later joined the SportsDay staff of The Dallas Morning News, where she continued to cover the NFL and professional tennis. She is currently a contributing sportswriter for PressBoxDFW.com. 
While writing When the Men Were Gone, she became inspired to try her hand at coaching football herself and was added to the Texas Wesleyan University football coaching staff in December 2016. Marjorie has degrees from Arizona State University, The University of Texas in Arlington, Southern New Hampshire University, and certificates from Southern Methodist University, and Cornell University. She is married and has two grown daughters and one son-in-law.
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THREE SIGNED COPIES OF WHEN THE MEN WERE GONE
June 18-28, 2019
(International)


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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
6/18/19
Author Video
6/18/19
Notable Quotable
6/19/19
Review
6/19/19
Review
6/20/19
Excerpt
6/21/19
Author Interview
6/21/19
Excerpt
6/22/19
Review
6/23/19
Review
6/23/19
Scrapbook Page
6/24/19
Playlist & BONUS Review
6/25/19
Review
6/25/19
Guest Post
6/26/19
Review
6/27/19
Review
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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Lone Star Book Blogger Tour: MAX ATTACKS by Kathi Appelt ***BOOK BLITZ GIVEAWAY***

MAX ... ATTACKS
by
KATHI APPELT
illustrated by Penelope Dullaghan
Children's Picture Book / Humor / Stories in Verse
Publisher: Atheneum / Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Date of Publication: June 11, 2019
Number of Pages: 40

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Fish and birds and lizards and socksis there anything Max won’t attack? 
Watch your ankles and find out in this clever, rhyming picture book about a very naughty kitty cat. Max is a cat. He attacks. From socks to strings to many a fish, attacking, for Max, is most de-lish. But how many of these things can he actually catch? Well, let’s just say it’s no even match.
Kathi Appelt is the author of the Newbery Honoree, National Book Award finalist, PEN USA Literary Award–winning, and bestselling The Underneath as well as the National Book Award finalist The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Maybe a Fox (with Alison McGhee), Keeper, and many picture books including Counting Crows and Max ... Attacks
She has two grown children and lives in College Station, Texas, with her husband and their six cats. She serves as a faculty member at Vermont College of Fine Arts in their MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program.
Penelope Dullaghan is an award-winning illustrator whose work includes illustrations for ad campaigns, book publishers, magazines, newspapers, products, videos and most recently, children. Max ... Attacks is her debut picture.
Penelope works from her home studio in Indianapolis, Indiana where she also home schools her daughter, plays in the river behind her house. and tends to her front-yard garden.
She is especially interested in collaborating with brands that support sustainability, simplicity and wellness. Connect with Penelope on her Website.
The real Max was neither blue, nor did he have a switchy tail. In fact, he didn’t have a tail at all. He was an American Bobtail, almost fire red, and in his prime he weighed in at over twenty pounds. For seventeen years, he served as best friend and roommate to the author’s oldest son Jacob Appelt, who adopted Max from the local animal shelter. Together they wrote music, traveled, entertained friends and family, and kept an eye on the neighborhood parrots. Even though Max was famous for attacking anything that moved, he was, and always will be, the biggest, sweetest cat ever! 
And many thanks to Jacob for the line: “a mighty nap attacked our Max.” Best line in the book!
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THREE SIGNED COPIES OF MAX ... ATTACKS
June 11-22, 2019
(U.S. Only)
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Sunday, June 9, 2019

Lone Star Book Bloggers Tour: CAPTAIN FIN by Amanda Thrasher ***REVIEW & GIVEAWAY***

CAPTAIN FIN
by
AMANDA M. THRASHER
based on a screenplay by Kevin James O'Neill
  Genre: Young Adult / Adventure / Family
Date of Publication: May 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 432

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Hannah Gunner, once a carefree child, is faced with secrets, lies, and betrayal. A life-changing event during her adolescent years forces her to confront a past that she no longer recognizes. Now, questioning everything she thought she knew, Hannah struggles with the person she is supposed to be! With the help of her boyfriend and her closest friend, they discover several clues that may hold the missing links to her life. A tattered box filled with worn-out letters holds some of the answers that she needs, but not all of them. With an assist from her aunt, and a visitor from her past, Hannah manages to track down the only person in the world who can answer her questions—the Captain! But why did those closest to her lie in the first place? Will Hannah ever find the answers that she needs to bring her peace? 
Suspenseful, engaging, and with twists and turns that make it impossible to put down, this is a book filled with surprises.


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In Captain Fin by Amanda Thrasher, Hannah Gunner carries the memories of her father, Hank, through the pirate role-playing they did when she was a small child. It's these memories that help her cope with her father's absence due to unfortunate circumstances. In this novel adaptation of Kevin James O'Neill's screenplay, Thrasher brings you into the life of a childhood lost due to lies, betrayal, and manipulation. Growing up without her father, whom she also calls "Captain Fin," Hannah and her mother move from town to town trying to have a better life. But, Hannah's mother Gloria has a secret she's been keeping, and it's something that will change the life of her daughter forever. 

Told through the eyes of all the characters, Captain Fin is an emotional roller-coaster! It's a story of betrayal, love, forgiveness, and redemption. This book will pull at your heartstrings! Thrasher does an excellent job of showing the reader the pain and suffering of losing someone you love and finding the strength to move on. The decisions made by Hannah's mother and father have a lifetime of consequences for themselves and Hannah. It's heartbreaking to see how Gloria handles the complex situation with her husband and the lifelong impact that had on her daughter's life. It makes the reader wonder what they would do if they were in her shoes, and how life for Hannah and her parents would have been different. Thrasher does a great job of bringing you into the story, especially since you get to see what is happening from different points of view. One of my favorite parts of the story was seeing the interaction between Hank and Hannah.  You can feel the love he has for his daughter and how horrible it must have been for him to be away from his family.  Hannah was a great character who loved with all her heart, and you can't help but feel sorry for her broken childhood. Captain Fin was definitely an emotional page-turner! A great start to a new series!

4 Hearts!
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Amanda M. Thrasher was born in England, moved to Texas, and resides there still. Amanda has authored picture books, middle-grade chapter books, early readers, young adult pieces, and a graphic novel written specifically for the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center. Amanda is a multiple Gold Recipient of The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) for YA, General Fiction, and early reader chapter books, a Readers’ Favorite International Book Award winner for YA Social Issues, an NTBF winner for YA and General Fiction, and she was awarded a New Apple Literary Award for YA and general fiction. As Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, she assists other authors with their work and shares her writing process and publishing experience with them. Her latest release, CAPTAIN FIN, was based on a contract to adapt a screenplay into a novel for the director, actor, and producer Kevin James O’Neill. Her works-in-progress are the sequel to CAPTAIN FIN and the fourth installment of her Mischief Series.
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TWO WINNERS: 
Signed Copies of Captain Fin
$25 Starbucks Gift Cards

THREE WINNERS: 
Signed Copies of Captain Fin
June 4-14, 2019
(U.S. Only)

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
6/4/19
Author Interview
6/4/19
Character Interview
6/5/19
Review
6/6/19
Guest Post
6/6/19
Deleted Scene
6/7/19
Excerpt
6/8/19
Review
6/8/19
Review
6/9/19
Review
6/10/19
Scrapbook Page
6/10/19
Top Ten
6/11/19
Guest Post
6/12/19
Review
6/12/19
Review
6/13/19
Review
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