Friday, September 4, 2020

Book Blitz: A Vote is a Powerful Thing

 

A VOTE IS A 
POWERFUL THING
By CATHERINE STIER
Illustrated by Courtney Dawson
Children's Picture Book / American Historical Fiction / Elections and Voting 
Ages 4-7 
Date of Publication: September 1, 2020
Number of Pages: 32
Scroll down for the giveaway!





Callie knows there’s a presidential election coming up, and people will soon vote to decide the country’s leader. 
Her class is having an election too, about an issue that affects them all–the class field trip. Should they choose the cookie factory or the wilderness park? 
Join Callie as she campaigns for the wilderness park she loves and learns how people have organized, marched, and protested for the right to vote. And find out how a vote–even just one vote–can make a difference!
PRAISE FOR A VOTE IS A POWERFUL THING
"Gets the job done." ―Kirkus Reviews 
"A galvanizing read for children interested in politics or parents who hope to instill such interests." ―Publishers Weekly
CLICK TO PURCHASE







Catherine Stier is the author of several awarding-winning children’s books. Her titles include If I Were President, If I Ran for President, If I Were a Park Ranger, and the A Dog’s Day chapter-book series. In grade school, Catherine ran a class campaign for student council with handmade signs, and, although she didn’t win, she found the process exciting! She went on to earn an MA in reading and literacy from the University of Texas at San Antonio and has conducted children’s literature research. She now resides with her husband in San Antonio and volunteers at a local wilderness park.
Facebook ║ Twitter ║ Instagram ║ Amazon ║ Website
----------------------- 
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! 
ONE WINNER: Copies of each of the three election-series books; patriotic socks, button, and pencils; plus a $15 gift card to The Twig Book Shop. 
September 4-10, 2020 
(US ONLY)
CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR.
   blog tour services provided by
  

Monday, August 24, 2020

Book Review: Nacho's Nachos


           
NACHO'S NACHOS
The Story Behind the 
World's Favorite Snack
by
Sandra Nickel
Illustrated by 
Oliver Dominguez
Genre: Picture Book / Nonfiction / Food History / Latinx Interest  
Publisher: Lee & Low Books 
Publication Date: August 11, 2020 
Number of Pages: 32
 Scroll down for the giveaway!




NACHO’S NACHOS is the deliciously true story about how nachos were invented—about what happened when a regular customer asked Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya for something new, and there were no chefs in the kitchen. 
2020 is the eightieth anniversary of the invention, and Oliver Dominguez’s illustrations transport us back to the border of the Rio Grande in 1940, when Nacho’s quick thinking resulted in a snack now eaten everywhere from Texas to Paris to Hong Kong!
CLICK TO PURCHASE:
  Amazon ┃ Barnes & Noble  IndieBound ┃ Book Depository     
 
 
 

Let me ask you, did you ever wonder where the incredibly delicious and wonderful tasting nachos came from? I never did either, I just enjoyed eating them as an app or as my main meal. I never thought about where this popular dish came from until I read Nacho's Nachos
 
 
First and foremost, this is a book aimed at children. It's a great book to help your kids learn about (probably) one of their most favorite food groups, nachos! Nacho's Nachos will not only entertain your kid, it'll help them learn a little piece of history as well.  Not only will children love this book, adults will find it's charm as well.

I admired the illustration of this book. The way the pictures are drawn remind me of the pictures when I go to an established Mexican Restaurant. Being Hispanic, I appreciated this attention to detail and could tell the author and illustrator gave great thought to this book. I see a trend of children's books go more towards simple drawing designs. While simple design definitely has it's purpose, I think the way the illustrator went for this book brings out that Mexican charm and flavor.
 
Any nacho lover will also enjoy finding out the simplicity of nachos back then. In today's world, especially in Texas, you can pretty much have nachos any way you want them. I usually create a nacho supreme where I top mine off with refried beans, ground beef, cheese (lots of cheese), tomatoes, onions, lettuce jalapenos, guacamole and more cheese. Back then, nachos were simply the chips, cheese and jalapenos. Nothing more and nothing less and yet people went crazy for them. Nachos are kind of like the evolution of a car if you think about it.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, even as an adult. I do not have any children as of yet, but will keep this on the small children's book section of my shelf when the time comes. If you have little ones, they will love this one. The illustrations are wonderful, the words are not complicated and it's an easy story to follow along with. And if you're ever on Jeopardy and they ask you a question about the history of nachos, you'll know the answer. Until next time, Happy Reading!





Sandra Nickel writes books and poetry for young readers. In 2020 and 2021, she has three books coming out: Nacho’s Nachos: The Story Behind the World’s Favorite Snack (Lee & Low), The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin Discovered Most of the Universe (Abrams), and Breaking Through the Clouds: The Sometimes Turbulent Life of Meteorologist Joanne Simpson (Abrams). Sandra’s poetry can be found in SCOOP magazine. 
Sandra holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has presented workshops on writing for children and young adults throughout Europe and the United States. Sandra has twice won the Katherine Paterson Prize for picture books.
  Website Blog  Facebook Instagram Twitter  Amazon  Goodreads 
---------------------------------
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
FIVE WINNERS!  
3 Winners: Print Copy + Recipe Card; 2 Winners: Recipe Card. 
AUGUST 20-30, 2020 
(US ONLY)
CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE 
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, 
or visit the blogs directly:
8/20/20
Author Interview
8/20/20
Sneak Peek
8/21/20
Review
8/21/20
Guest Post
8/22/20
Review
8/23/20
Author Interview
8/24/20
Review
8/25/20
Review
8/25/20
Scrapbook Page
8/26/20
Guest Post
8/27/20
Review
8/28/20
Review
8/28/20
Top Ten
8/29/20
Review
8/29/20
Review
   blog tour services provided by
  

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Book Review: The Secret of You and Me

 

THE SECRET OF YOU AND ME
by
MELISSA LENHARDT
  • Genre: Women's Fiction / Romance  
  • Publisher:  Graydon House (Harlequin) 
  • Date of Publication: August 4, 2020 
  • Number of Pages: 352  
Scroll down for the giveaway!



True love never fades—and old secrets never die . . . 
Nora hasn’t looked back. Not since she fled Texas to start a new life. Away from her father’s volatile temper and the ever-watchful gaze of her claustrophobically conservative small town, Nora has freed herself. She can live—and love—however she wants. The only problem is that she also left behind the one woman she can’t forget. Now tragedy calls her back home to confront her past—and reconcile her future. Sophie seems to have everything—a wonderful daughter, a successful husband, and a rewarding career. Yet underneath that perfection lies an explosive secret. She still yearns for Nora—her best friend and first love—despite all the years between them. Keeping her true self hidden hasn’t been easy, but it’s been necessary. So when Sophie finds out that Nora has returned, she hopes Nora’s stay is short. The life she has built depends on it. But they both find that first love doesn’t fade easily. Memories come to light, passion ignites, and old feelings resurface. As the forces of family and intolerance that once tore them apart begin to reemerge, they realize some things may never change—unless they demand it.
                          
PRAISE FOR THE SECRET OF YOU AND ME: “A compelling story of second chances and being true to yourself.” —Harper Bliss, bestselling author of Seasons of Love
“Lenhardt convinces in her portrayal of the conflict between desire and control.” —Publishers Weekly
CLICK TO PURCHASE
(Personalized/signed copies available through Interabang)
A portion of royalties are going to the It Gets Better Project (Click for more details.)




I am starting this review off in a very positive note. This was probably one of my most favorite fiction books of 2020 so far. It was definitely a breath of fresh air from what I have been reading this year and I really enjoyed it the whole time.

The way the author created her characters was so well done. There are some characters that you grow to love in this 340 page novel, including our main characters Nora and Sophie. Then there are characters that you grow to completely disgust, such as Charlie and Brenda. All characters were relatable and everyone I could pinpoint someone that I know or knew, in real life, who was like each character or at least had similarities. All characters made you feel something, and that shows powerful writing.

I loved the story line and feel that it is very relevant in today's society. From just reading the synopsis, you'll come to find this is a story about Lesbian lovers that have sort of a Romeo and Juliet tone going on. They are not only Lesbians, but they are Lesbians in a small town in the middle of now where Texas. Your anticipation while reading through is like waiting for a balloon to pop in a room full of needles. So not only will the characters keep you engage, but the story line definitely will keep your attention.

"'It's different when it's someone you love, isn't it?'
    'Yeah.'"
 
 
Besides the main story line, there are also some great and heavy side stories and relationships that are just as relevant to anyone who reads this book. There's the relationship between Emmadean, Nora's caretaker growing up, and Nora. Then there's Nora and her sisters Mary's rocky relationship and Sophie and her daughter's up and down relationship. There's a good amount of other things to explore and discover that help our main characters navigate their world and how they deal with their emotions and their life.
 
Overall, I have become a new fan of Melissa Lenhardt and I think you will be too. The Secret of You and Me has a compelling plot, great characters, relatable and will keep you engaged until the very end. I give this a 5 out of 5 and will recommend this read to anyone. Until next time, Happy Reading!



Melissa Lenhardt is a women’s fiction, mystery, and historical fiction author. Her debut mystery, Stillwater, was a finalist for the 2014 Whidbey Writers’ MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest, and Sawbones, her historical-fiction debut, was hailed as a "thoroughly original, smart and satisfying hybrid, perhaps a new sub-genre: the feminist Western" by Lone Star Literary Life. The New York Times called her sixth novel, Heresy, “An all-out women-driven, queer, transgender, multiracial takeover of the Old West." The Secret of You and Me, her seventh novel and her first contemporary women’s fiction novel, was published on August 4, 2020. When Melissa isn’t writing, she’s thinking, “I really should be writing,” and eating Nutella or peanut butter straight out of the jar. A lifelong Texan, she lives in the Dallas area with her husband, two sons, and two Golden Retrievers.
Goodreads Amazon BookBubTwitter -------------------------------------
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
TWO WINNERS each get a signed hardcover copy of the book and their choice of either a FaceTime call or virtual book-club visit with the author.
 August 11-21, 2020
(U.S. Only)
 
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:
8/11/20
Author Interview
8/11/20
Review
8/12/20
Review
8/12/20
BONUS Post
8/13/20
Review
8/14/20
Top Six List
8/14/20
Review
8/15/20
Excerpt
8/16/20
Guest Post
8/17/20
Review
8/17/20
Review
8/18/20
Audio Spotlight
8/19/20
Review
8/19/20
Review
8/20/20
Review
8/20/20
Review
   blog tour services provided by