Sunday, August 30, 2015

P-P-P-PROMOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Arctic Warriors



Arctic Warriorsa story about the struggle between the defenders of freedom and the forces of tyranny in America’s Northern most outpost.

The Bering Strait links the Arctic Ocean with the Bering Sea and separates the continents of Asia and North America. The U.S.-Russian boundary extends through the Strait. At the closest point 2.4 miles of open water separate the islands, thus the two greatest super powers on earth.

Arctic Warriors eimage.jpgThe importance as an invasion route is obvious. At the height of the cold war, the U.S. moved to block this invasion route by deploying naval, ground, and air defense commands throughout Alaska.

Eielson Air Force Base was a SAC facility located approximately 50 miles outside of Fairbanks, and some 200 miles from the U.S. border with the U.S.S.R. The fighters and B-52’s stationed there served to ‘check-mate’ those who would consider the Bering Strait as an invasion route.

The 562nd   Air Defense Artillery defended Eielson with a ring of five Nike Hercules sites. The missiles were armed with nuclear warheads.

These nuclear birds were a constant target for espionage. Military Police Officers, trained in special tactics designed for the defense of nuclear weapons, were charged with the protection of these sites, and the personnel assigned to them. Their focus was singular, protect those nuclear warheads, and their methods were aggressive.  Still, the chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

The Soviets recognized this and directed their efforts to breaking through the chain of defense. They flooded Fairbanks with spies, employing attractive women, who would prey on the lonely GI, gathering every scrap of information they could, in the effort to create a breach in the chain of security protecting our most effective weapons systems.

The author was a member of the Military Police Group that was assigned to the protection of the 562nd and it’s personnel. His novel, Arctic Warriors, is a fictional account of his experiences in this silent war between the world’s super-powers.  

The setting is Charlie Battery of the 562nd Air Defense Artillery, United States Army Alaska. The time is 1968-69.


J.B. opened his eyes as the slick slowed, banked left and began its descent. The doors and studded floor were covered in streaks of frost laid on by the ships dash through the frigid arctic air.

The nose of the Huey lifted a bit as the pilot flared the ship. The doors slammed back and they jumped into the night, landing on foreign soil. Scanning the tree line they waited. Nothing; the insertion was undetected.

J.B. thought, ‘their forest is no different than ours, just across the strip of water separating us, yet for me and mine this one is filled with danger.’ He gathered the squad as the Huey raced away across the Bearing.

Now they were alone. Trespassers, come to kill or retrieve a traitor.

Arctic Warriors full cover.jpg



Ken Bangs is a native Texan who grew up in the then small town of Plano. By the time he was ten years old he knew for a certainty that he wanted to spend his life as a police officer. Following high school graduation Ken joined the Dallas Police Department and was walking a beat in downtown Dallas at the age of 19.
Author - KBangs.jpgKen spent 35 years in law enforcement and public safety the last twenty five as the Director of Police and Security Services for the Plano ISD. After retirement Ken and his wife Trudy moved to a farm outside of New Boston Texas where they established a home for children who were in the care of the Texas Child Protective Services. For the next ten years they devoted their lives to these disadvantaged children. An ordained minister Ken also served as the Senior Pastor for Regions Christian Center in Texarkana.

A veteran of the United States Army Military Police Corps, Ken holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice, a M.S. in Human Relations and Business Management and a Doctorate of Ministry in Christian Counseling.

Ken and Trudy have been married 45 years and now live in McKinney, Texas.


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Friday, August 28, 2015

P-P-P-PROMOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Death on Paradise Creek


Death on Paradise Creek is a murder mystery seasoned with heartbreak, adventure, a little romance, and a touch of humor. It is the first in a planned three book series.

cover.jpgThe Paradise Creek Inn is open for business in rural Wilbarger County Texas. Business is slow except for the occasional parties for family or friends, until a prestigious actor becomes stranded on the property. Suddenly Lizzie Fletcher and her family are booking parties and events left and right – a dream come true.

Things quickly change when the hired hand makes a gruesome discovery. Sheriff Wade Adams and his team are called to investigate. While evidence is being analyzed, another body is discovered. Long kept secrets revolving around these discoveries begin to unravel.

Death on Paradise Creek is a 60,929 word, 205 page murder mystery set in Wilbarger County Texas.

Paperbacks are $15.95 and ebooks are $6.99

It is available for purchase at: in paperback and for Kindle
Barnes and in paperback and for Nook
Black Rose Writing in paperback


Chapter 6
Lizzie woke Saturday morning to the smell of coffee brewing. She hadn’t realized how much she missed waking up to that smell. She always had coffee after she got to work. She went downstairs to find Ellen and Lois sitting at the kitchen table.

“Good morning, Mama. Good morning, Granny,” she said as she planted a kiss on each woman’s cheek. “Where’s Daddy?”

“He had to get started moving the cattle to the east pasture. He said he’d be missing a lot of work since we’ll be in town for Jan’s festivities later this week,” Ellen explained.

       “Lizzie, sit down; I want to talk to you about something,” Lois said.

“Okay. It sounds like something serious Granny.”

“Well, it is in a way. Is your job in Chicago the kind of job you always dreamed about?”

“No, it isn’t. It’s a work my way up the ladder and pay my dues kind of job.”

“Would you still like to run your own inn?”

“That has always been my dream, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.”

“Alright then. I have a proposition for you. I’m getting too old to live in that great big house all alone. You’re parents and I have been talking about this, and we want to see what you think. We’ll turn the house over to you. You can renovate it and make it into the inn you’ve always dreamed of owning.”

“But Granny…”

“Now, let me finish,” Granny interrupted.” I’ll move in here with James and Ellen. You’ll manage the inn. I’ll fund the renovations, within reason mind you. Your parents and I will help when you need it. The old place needs fixing up anyway, and I see no reason to fix it up only for one old lady. It will become a family business.” Granny paused for a moment, and then said, “Well what do you think?”

Lizzie didn’t know what to say. She wanted to jump at the chance to design and run her own inn.


Smithwick-Braden.jpgDianne Smithwick-Braden is a native Texan raised in rural Wilbarger County on the family farm. She is a graduate of Vernon High School and West Texas A & M University. She currently resides in Amarillo, Texas with her husband, Richard. She has been a high school science teacher in Amarillo since August of 1990.

Dianne is an avid reader of fiction but murder mysteries are by far her favorite genre. Death on Paradise Creek is her first novel. She has already begun work on a sequel.


Texas Association of Authors

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Life Rumblings

Since I haven't done a personal post in a few weeks, I am now tormenting my brain trying to remember basic html. It's HILARIOUS, y'all. I get so many "CODE BROKEN" alerts, I'm waiting for C.I.A. to come busting through the windows and arrest me for wasting their monitoring time with shitty interneting. I'M SO SORRRRRY. Speaking of hilarity, I went to the eye doctor a few weeks ago and updated my prescriptions. This led to me getting new glasses with a new prescription after wearing the same pair for 5 years. I am so wonky right now that everything keeps moving after I stop. I keep opening my eyes wider to adjust, so I look like I'm shocked all the time. Oy.

This is me, right now. Blonde pigtails and all.

Remember that one time I said that I was making banana bread and that I would post pictures of it afterwards? Of course you do! Well, I did take pictures of the process, and I did make banana bread, but that was as far as I got. But here's where I should've taken pictures and posted instead; we wrapped the bread (still in the pan) in foil to cover, and went to bed. We saw black spots on the foil the morning after, so I freaked, yanked off the foil, and examined the bread. Nothing was wrong, there were no spots or anything on the bread itself. I looked at the black spots on the foil, and they had teeny tiny holes in the middle. My conclusion: the bread had started EATING THE FOIL. WAT. I have never seen banana bread do that. Ever. So we put another piece of foil on top and left it alone. Same thing the next morning. Black spots with tiny holes. Maybe it didn't like the foil? Chemical reaction with the ingredients and the aluminum? I have no idea. Not a single one. Do you guys have any clue? I would greatly appreciate it if anyone would share!

I am also in the process of figuring out how to label my personal, non-compensated book reviews. I'll probably end up calling it "Middy Done Read a Book, Y'all," or something along those lines and completely idiotic. Because, YOLO. I need a good rating system, too. Like, "This book gets 7 out of 10 Gremlins." It seems like a good plan, right? I recently finished one book called People I want to punch in the throat, which is based on the blog of the same name by Jen Mann and probably one of the greatest books to ever grace my life. If you ever get a chance to read it, you will see me in every single story. That woman is my spirit animal. The actual review will be coming soon.

In other book-related news, I am absolutely LOVING the Lone Star Book Blog Tour. For those you that have been following the blog the past few months, I am part of group that reviews/promotes/author q & a's books by Texas authors or books that have some sort of Texas theme. How does the blog tour work, you ask? Well, 10-15 blogger sign up to do one of the things mentioned above, and we have a specific date given to us. Then, we post about the book on our date, which in turn becomes part of the tour. It's really a great idea because it introduces you to different blogs with different personalities. I'm going to try to remember to post the other blogs that are taking part for each book tour, so if you're interested, you can check them out as well! I am being paid to do these tours, which is why they look so much fancier than my personal book reviews. I'M NOT FANCY, YOU ALREADY KNOWWW. I can also hold it down like I'm givin' lessons in physics. But I digress...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

P-P-P-PROMOOOOOO!!!!!! Roscoe Jack

In Rosco Jack of Gateway Farm author Ken Bangs chronicles the struggles of a castaway puppy abandoned at the gate of his farm in the piney woods of East Texas. The story celebrates the classic struggle of the less advantaged against the obstacles of life that challenge even those who are best prepared.

The story has its roots in Ken's experience in caring for disadvantaged and at risk children in the custody of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

After serving 35 years in law enforcement and public safety, the last 25 as the Director of Police, Security and Student Safety Services for the Plano ISD, Ken retired to Gateway Farm near New Boston and established a home for these children. Here he gave them a home, encouraged them to believe in themselves and their ability to make a life for themselves and worked to foster a hope for the future in each child.

Over the years, he watched success after success for those who caught the vision and refused to surrender to their life’s circumstances.

Then came Rosco. Dumped at the front gate in the middle of the night this three-pound runt evaded predators, outlasted the night and made his way to Ken’s house. His struggle was just beginning. Life was hard for the pup. But he refused to quit and eventually achieved his goal, a place alongside the big dogs of the Gateway Posse.

Rosco Jack is the perfect blend of fantasy, drama, humor and learning. It is a great read for the young, young at heart and for all those who love to root for the underdog.

Ken Bangs is a native Texan who grew up in the then small town of Plano. By the time he was ten years old he knew for a certainty that he wanted to spend his life as a police officer. Following high school graduation Ken joined the Dallas Police Department and was walking a beat in downtown Dallas at the age of 19.

Ken spent 35 years in law enforcement and public safety the last twenty five as the Director of Police and Security Services for the Plano ISD. After retirement Ken and his wife Trudy moved to a farm outside of New Boston Texas where they established a home for children who were in the care of the Texas Child Protective Services. For the next ten years they devoted their lives to these disadvantaged children. An ordained minister Ken also served as the Senior Pastor for Regions Christian Center in Texarkana.

A veteran of the United States Army Military Police Corps, Ken holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice, a M.S. in Human Relations and Business Management and a Doctorate of Ministry in Christian Counseling.

Ken and Trudy have been married 45 years and now live in McKinney, Texas

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P-P-P-PROMOOOOOOOO!!! The Neptune Challenge

(sequel to the award-winning The Neptune Project)


Polly Holyoke


neptune-challenge-225 (1).jpgGenetically engineered to survive in the ocean, Nere and her friends are recovering from their long, treacherous journey to refuge and settling in at Safety Harbor. Despite its name, plenty of dangers still lurk just outside the colony's boundaries. When two among them are kidnapped, the remaining Neptune kids and their loyal dolphins must set out on a mission even more perilous than their first: infiltrate the kidnapper's fortress to save their friends and steal away a vital scientific secret that may save the world and its oceans. Fighting terrifying mutated creatures and teens, will the Neptune kids find a way to save their friends, themselves, and their underwater world? The stakes couldn't be higher in this thrilling sequel to the award-winning The Neptune Project.

Buy Links:


Our Safety Harbor inlet is calm this morning. Small swells lift and lower me gently. Already the sky overhead is starting to gray, and clouds along the horizon blush pink and red. I can just make out the hardy spruce trees that cling to sharp outcroppings along the shore. The morning is quiet except for the rush of the nearby surf and the cry of a gull winging its way across the dawn sky.

Mariah, the leader of my family’s dolphin pod, finds me bobbing on the swells. Her little calf, Tisi, swims a tight circle around me while her daughter Sokya rushes up and flips water in my face.

“What worries you this morning?” Mariah asks as she cranes her head out of the water so she can see me better. At forty, Mariah is a grandmother several times over. Her teeth are a little worn, and her right side is scarred by an old shark bite, but her eyes are still bright with intelligence. Mariah is also amazing at reading my moods.

“There’re so many people at Safety Harbor,” I try to explain while I rub Sokya’s favorite spot, in front of her dorsal. The slick, rubbery feel of her skin is familiar and comforting. “And they all think Dad’s awesome and great at running things. I’m afraid they expect me to be just like him. That Janni girl wants me to join her Sea Rangers and help fight the Marine Guard and sharks, but I just want to work with dolphins.”

“You led us safely here through many fights and many miles of sea,” Mariah reminds me.

I wince, remembering the dangerous journey my friends and I had to make from the southern sector to reach my father’s colony. I hadn’t really led everyone here safely. Two of our group died on our trip to Safety Harbor, and we lost sweet Pani, one of Mariah’s granddaughters, all killed by Marine Guard divers sent by the Western Collective to capture or eliminate us.

“We never would have made it here without your help,” I say to Mariah.

“I helped the most,” Sokya declares. She leaps out of the water and lands on her side, dousing me with a wave.


aboutmediveshot.JPGPolly Holyoke is a former teacher and loves reading, camping, skiing, scuba diving and hiking in the desert. She lives in Plano, TX with three rescue dogs, two spoiled cats and a nice husband who tolerates piles of books all over their house. Her debut middle-grade novel,The Neptune Project, was published by Disney/Hyperion and was selected to the 2014-15 Texas Bluebonnet Master List along with state reading lists in Maryland and Ohio. It was also named one of Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of 2014. Her second children’s book, The Neptune Challenge, was released May, 2015.


Here you can find a treasure box of information about the series, the sea, and writing. There is information for school/group visits, use in the classroom (including curriculum guides), and links for extended research.
You can contact Polly, and her publicist via the “contact” page.


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Monday, August 17, 2015

P-P-P-PROMOOOOOO!!! Diverted Heart

Texas summers are no doubt some of the hottest you'll find. The heat encountered during this summer is not at all what Taylor bargained for. She's at a crossroads between childhood and womanhood, rummaging through the emotions of first love versus passion. Two young men tangle a web of needs and desires in her heart. The summer before college begins, Taylor is thrust from her childhood home in Houston to an inherited family farm on the outskirts of Schulenburg, Texas. Eric, her first love, has gone states away to play college football. Low-spirited and merely trying to get through an expectantly boring summer, she is nearly run off the road by her new country neighbor, Maxwell. Ruggedly handsome, devilishly charming and everything Taylor seeks to avoid, Maxwell does something to her emotions she's struggling desperately to interpret, as they spend the summer filled with each other. Boundaries are tested and the scales of lust tip despite hesitations. A final decision must be made. Did she ever truly love Eric? Is Maxwell simply a lustful thought, or is there more to uncover beneath the surface? One thing is for certain, this summer will change Taylor in every possible way: mind, body and soul.



     Against the quiet that’s consumed the entire run, a loud rumble a short distance away instantly distracts me. Hearing the annoyingly loud noise quickly approach, I step to the roadside just as a large, lifted white pickup truck flies past, sending dust in every direction. What the hell? I cough as the dust lifts, ready to shoot a middle finger into the air and choose a few colorful words for whatever jackass has just passed, when the truck comes to a halt with lit lit-up brake lights. Oh hell. This isn’t good. Abduction comes to mind as the truck slowly backs up in my direction. Should I run? Would Judge attack if I needed him to? My heart is beating gigantic palpitations in my chest.

The truck slows to a stop so the tinted window of the driver’s side is even with me, then rolls down, emitting the sound of some twangy country song—Silver Wings I think—that’s playing on the radio. The driver is now visible, and I am startled by an unexpectedly good-looking guy, slightly older than me, by the looks of him. He has a wide, all-pristine-teeth grin, dark blonde, yet sun-kissed, hair cut short but a bit unruly, and rich, dark eyes with flecks of hazel in them.

“Hi there, pretty lady.” ,” The the stranger speaks with a rugged voice and a sultry drawl.

I don’t know whether to read him the riot act for his crazy, asinine driving, or stare in awe at his surprisingly handsome features. I decide on the smartass route.

“What the hell is your basic malfunction? You could’ve creamed me if I hadn’t heard you coming.” Judge sits calmly at my side, but perks up his ears with the sudden raise in my voice. “Whoa, sassy.” He lifts his hands above his head as if under arrest. “I apologize, young lady. It’s not everyday people decide to take a walk on these country back roads.”

He returns his hands to the steering wheel. I quickly glance over the vehicle, noticing a large, black, duffel-like bag in the back of the truck. It makes me nervous.

“What is that?” I point at the black bag peeking out of the bed of the truck.

“What?” He looks surprised. “Why don’t we just start with, Hi, my name is Maxwell Bara, Max to most. Yours?”

I feel slightly—slightly—bad for my ill manners, so I momentarily reciprocate. “Taylor.” I strive to give away no hint of emotion, feeling my lips struggle to hold a hard line and not shift into a smile.

“Oh, she has a name…Taylor. Beautiful name.” He grins, again revealing his salacious smile.

“Boy, you come on strong, don’t you, Maxwell?” I try hard to hold my ground.

“Like I said, most people call me Max, but Maxwell works, too.” He presses his lips together. I can see he’s not accustomed to his full name, and it beckons my devious side.

“Well, Maxwell, would you like to answer my question?” I point again to the back of the truck.

“Oh, the bag again.” He glances back at it and then to me, and offers a mischievous grin. “That’s where I hide the bodies.” ,” he half laughs, half acts serious.

“Huh?” I don’t know how to take his answer, shifting my attention once again to Judge. “Well, this is my dog, Judge. He’s very protective, so you may want to steer clear.” I, of course, announce this as Judge rolls over on the ground to have his belly rubbed. Lovely timing, Judge.

“Uh, huh….terrifying. But he’s a good-looking dog anyway.” Max props himself up slightly to see Judge out of the passenger window. After taking a gander at my dog’s antics, his eyes travel the length of my body before meeting mine.

Beth Ann is a wife, mother, blogger and book lover from Texas. Her passion is writing stories that draw a reader into a world where they can become the characters and experience a gamut of emotions. When she's not writing, she love's to be home with my family and two yellow labs. In addition she's a sucker for super sappy romance movies, loves trying out Texas wines, is an avid hot tea drinker and enjoys checking items off of her ever-growing bucket list.