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Out and In – Guest Post

OUT and IN
a mystery-thriller
MARIE DONOVAN MYSTERIES, #1
by
PAT DUNLAP EVANS
Genre: Fiction / Romantic Suspense
Publisher: A.M. Chai Literary
Date of Publication: April 27, 2016
Number of Pages: 316
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Stunning beauty and amateur cellist Marie Donovan finds herself in deep trouble after her pro-quarterback husband dives off a Dallas high rise—many say in shame after his shady investments go sour. Just months later, the grieving Marie faces capital murder charges for the death of a lecherous opera maestro. When hard evidence points squarely at her, only her best friend and defense lawyer believe her.
 
Marie is no stranger to struggle. During her six years as an NFL Football wife, she fends off groupies eager to take her man, all the while feeling lost in her husband’s macho culture. Studying the cello becomes Marie’s solace until her hard-drinking husband retires after an injury. Returning to Dallas, he plays with high society’s money in an investment scheme until winning at all costs leaves Marie and her twin sons on the hook for millions.
 
Scorned by society friends, charged with murder, Marie pins her hopes on hunky defense lawyer Ryan Ingles, one of Cole’s college football pals. After Ryan’s legal team discovers some of the maestro’s dark secrets, Marie and Ryan’s investigative troupe travel to exotic islands in search of clues Cole left behind. As the tropics weave a romantic spell, a corrupt offshore banker dashes Marie’s hopes. She wonders if she’ll ever be free of blame…and able to claim her own place in this world.


PRAISE FOR OUT AND IN

Out and In is the perfect mystery-thriller for the beach, a long flight, or to savor before bed…an exciting but heartfelt story about a beautiful woman who struggles to prove her innocence … As for the ending, I am still stunned.” — Lara Reznik, Amazon best-selling author of The Girl from Long Guyland and Bagels and Salsa.
 
“Could not put it down, once I started reading. Definitely a must-read. Look forward to reading more books from Pat Dunlap Evans. ” — five-star Amazon review by reader “Mimi”
 
“Awesome…flowed nicely … definitely kept you on your toes to who actually committed the murder. The lead character was a perfect blend of hard and soft. A great read.” — five-star Amazon review by reader “Tiffany”
 

 

Guest Post

Making a Boring Spectacle of Myself

Guest Post by Pat Dunlap Evans

 

I have scheduled a book promo for my mystery-thriller Out and In with Lone Star Literary Life, an e-newsletter for Texas writers and Texas readers. They want to use my “book trailer,” which is a short video like a preview for a Hollywood movie. I don’t have the cash to spend on such projects, so I thought I would make a simple “about the novel video,” using my trusty iMac and the Apple software iMovie.
All I can say is this stuff ain’t easy. Not only did I have to learn how to use the tricky iMovie software but also, I had to make myself and house look presentable. And the background music inspirational.

 
Remove All Traces of Dogs

First, I framed my computer camera so it would not record the dog toys, dog blanket on the sofa, and especially the dogs that populate my upstairs office.
Next, I donned a bright red top and applied as much makeup as my face could hold. I also put a lamp behind my computer for lighting. To my horror, my video camera revealed that I’m definitely not young. Or even close. Even the most makeup I could smear on my face cannot change that. So, I reminded myself that one of my favorite authors Joan Didion had a rather unflattering photo of herself in the back of The Year of Magical Thinking. She looked exhausted and devastated — and who would have blamed her?

A Bit Like Tricky Dicky

Next, I wrote a one-page script describing Out and In and did my best to memorize it. After about 10 takes, I realized I couldn’t memorize every word, so I taped the script to my iMac screen and glanced at it while I videoed myself for another 10 takes. Because my eyes kept glancing between the script and the green light on my computer camera, I looked like “Tricky Dicky,” which is what some used to call Richard Nixon.

Eventually, I decided to wing it without a script. After about 10 more takes — eyeglasses on, eyeglasses off — I settled on a version that was maybe sort of okay. But after I launched it on YouTube, I noticed that I had a bra strap showing! For gosh sakes, how have I missed that? In addition, I had used a clip from Rachmaninov’s Symphony Number 2, downloaded from iTunes, but YouTube warned me that was a copyright violation.

Oh No, Do the Whole Thing Over.

I tucked in the bra strap and started over, trying to speak more quickly. I have a new admiration for TV personalities. Although I spoke as fast as I could, it seems I pause one whole second between every word.
Figuring out background music took a lot of time because I had to learn how to make the clip play loudly at first, softer while I spoke, then full volume again at the end. This took numerous searches through iMovie Help.
For royalty-free music, I Googled a website where musicians upload works for use solely with attribution. Because my heroine is a cellist, I selected a cello piece called “Full of Stars,” composed by Philipp Weigl, of Munich, Germany. Thank you, Philipp!

A Two-Minute Snore

My resulting video is not what I would call exciting. It’s very basic and perhaps a bore, except to readers who actually enjoy hearing from an author about her work. I’m not promoting the video heavily because I’m a bit embarrassed by it. But if you would like to hear my overview of my mystery-thriller Out and In, please check out this link on YouTube.

Again, many thanks for following me, and especially for reading and rating my work! Those stars mean everything to authors, and we appreciate your taking the time to post them.

 

Pat Dunlap Evans was born in Michigan but “got to Texas as soon as I could,” she says. Her family lived in San Antonio and later Dallas, where she attended South Oak Cliff High School and Southern Methodist University. Pat eventually completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, with emphasis on creative writing. She also taught freshman writing courses as a part-time lecturer.

 

After a divorce, Pat stressed her way as a single mom through twenty-five years of high-stress advertising and marketing roles before retiring to write fiction and screenplays. She lives in the Lake Travis area with her second husband Dr. Bill Evans and enjoys travel, golf, volunteer work, sailing, and the chaos of the couple’s combined five adult children, five grandchildren, and two cockalier dogs.

Pat has published two novels, To Leave a Memory and Out and In, with a third novel Those Who Try due out soon.

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September 12-21, 2018

 

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Aransas Morning – Excerpt Part 2

 
ARANSAS MORNING
by
JEFF HAMPTON
  Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Life
Date of Publication: September 22, 2017
Number of Pages: 304

Scroll down for the giveaway!

When Sam Barnes’ high-flying life in Dallas falls apart, he flees to the coastal town of Port Aransas, Texas and fades into the life of a reclusive beach bum. But things start to change when he meets Dave, a young widower working through his own loss; Shelly, owner of the Dream Bean coffee shop; Bo, a crusty old shrimper; and Allie, Bo’s free-spirited daughter. Together they are tested and forced to confront their own issues. In doing so they discover family and community.


PRAISE FOR ARANSAS MORNING:
“Engrossing characters that keep doing unexpected things. Strong sense of place along the Texas coast and deep knowledge of the culture. This book is about relationships and how ‘family’ and ‘community’ might be redefined.”

“In this heartwarming book, Jeff Hampton took me to a place I’ve never been and captured me with his delightful characters, seaside landscape, and deft use of words to portray a small group of people who came together to create and run the Dream Bean cafe. Great summer reading.”

“I loved the characters, with their flaws and their graces. It is an honest and heart-warming story of redemption coming through community. I’m really glad I read it.”

“Really nice character development, articulating in a very comfortable and readable style the messy, complex, joyous and hopeful ways we build, break and nurture ‘community.’”
“Very quickly in the story, the characters became like friends. The book is engaging and held my interest.”


CLICK TO PURCHASE:
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64b37-excerpt

 

Allie & Bo

Excerpt, Part 2, from Aransas Morning

By Jeff Hampton

Click to read part one on Storeybook Reviews Blog

 

Allie now found herself in the odd position of having to speak for someone else, but as she thought about that she smiled because she knew what her mother would want her to say.

“She had a good life, but it wasn’t because you left her. She knows – I know – that you meant well, but she didn’t need anything different from you or from anyone else to make her life good. She had a good life because that’s who she was.”

Bo nodded. “She was good. There’s no doubting that. And that’s . . .” Bo hung his head for a moment, rubbing his dirty hands together as if that would change things.

“And that’s what?” Allie asked.

“That’s why I left. I thought as sweet and kind as she was, she could do better with someone else.”

There was silence for a moment. Bo straightened up and looked around, noticing that the pier was unusually quiet. “What day is it?”

“Sunday.”

“Oh, that explains why there’s nobody around. Your mother always went to church on Sundays. I’d sleep in, but she’d get up and go. Said it helped everything make sense to her. I never really understood that.”

“She never gave me that choice,” Allie said. “She’d take me kicking and screaming sometimes, but she said I was too young to decide for myself. When I got older, she let me do what I wanted.”

“What’d ya do?”

“I went with her. She was the light of my life.” Allie tossed her hair back, letting the sun bathe her face.

“Where was she going when the storm hit?” Bo asked.

“She was taking groceries to a lady from the church who couldn’t get out. I tried to talk her out of it but she wouldn’t listen. She said we needed ice cream anyway.”

Bo chuckled.

“What?” Allie asked.

“She was strong willed . . . and she always had to have her ice cream. I’m glad that didn’t change.”

“Yes, but it likely killed her.” Allie stood up and brushed off her pants.

“Maybe so, but she was just being who she was, and she wasn’t afraid of nothing.”

“And what were you afraid of, Mr. Savoy? Or should I call you . . . Dad?”

Bo stood up too and fumbled for his pockets. “Everything.”

“That doesn’t tell me anything.”

“Providing for her, being steady . . . and that, what you just called me . . . I just didn’t think I could be who she wanted me to be, or what you both would need. I mean . . . . look at me.” He stretched his arms out as if to enlarge his deficiencies.

“Honestly, did she ever ask you to be someone or something other than who you were?”

“Well no, but . . . .” He stopped. There was no explaining what even he didn’t understand.

“So . . . Bo . . . that’s what I’ll call you for now . . . what do we do?”

“I guess we work on getting you home.”

At the Dream Bean, Shelly, Sam and Dave were sitting at a table, making small talk about what might be happening just a short distance away when the door opened and Bo and Allie walked in. They all stood as if on cue and waited for some indication of what to do next.

“We need to get this girl home,” Bo said.

“I don’t want to go home, not just yet anyway.” Allie crossed her arms. She’d made her decision on the short walk over. The others all looked at each other.

“Well, you can’t stay with me. You’ve seen I got no room on the boat,” Bo said.

“I’ve just got the trailer,” Sam piped in.

“And I’m in a hotel room,” Dave added.

They all looked at Shelly, but Allie interjected. “I’m not asking for anything from any of you.” Everyone relaxed their posture a little. “I came here because I wanted to and I can get a motel room.”

There was a brief silence, and then Shelly spoke. “Nonsense. I have a spare room. You can have it as long as you like.”

“Well, then, that seems to be settled,” said Dave.

During a 35-year career in journalism and communications, Jeff Hampton has covered and written about topics ranging from business and finance to history and faith. His bylines have appeared in publications ranging from The Dallas Morning News to The New York Times.
He attended Baylor University where he majored in journalism and was editor of the Baylor Lariat campus newspaper. He began his professional career at the Waco Tribune-Herald and has written for newspapers, magazines, businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies.
Hampton has based his life and career in Texas where his interest in observing the people around him has led him to write essays, short stories, and novels that explore relationships and communities in their many forms.
Aransas Morning is his fifth book, following Grandpa Jack, When the Light Returned to Main Street, Jonah Prophet and The Snowman Uprising on Hickory Lane.
Watch for Aransas Evening, a sequel to Aransas Morning, in 2018. 
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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

1/23/18
Promo
1/23/18
Promo
1/24/18
Guest Post
1/24/18
Review
1/25/18
Excerpt Part 1
1/25/18
Excerpt Part 2
1/26/18
Review
1/27/18
Review
1/28/18
Author Interview
1/28/18
Playlist
1/29/18
Review
1/30/18
Promo
1/30/18
Scrapbook Page
1/31/18
Review
2/1/18
Review
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