21 January 2020

ENTER TO WIN! Road to Hope by Dena Jansen

ROAD TO HOPE
How One Woman Went from Doubting Her Path to Embracing Her Inner Journey
by
Dena Jansen
Genre: Memoir / Inspirational / Christian Life 
Publication Date: November 15, 2019
Number of Pages: 240 pages 

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Have you ever felt stuck? If so, you are not alone. As a 36-year-old wife, mother, and corporate executive, Dena Jansen’s life looked successful by society’s standards. But she found herself at an intersection—stranded at a real-life crossroads in her life.
Over a matter of years, darkness and doubt slowly crept in, leaving her unsure and unsettled in her life, marriage, and career. And after stalling out multiple times and nearly wrecking everything, she finally grabbed hold of a life-saving truth: She had a choice to make. She could stay stuck, or she could try and find new roads that would lead to the peace and joy she was looking for. With a glimmer of hope, Dena embraced the gifts of curiosity and grace and began a journey of self-discovery. And she chose to believe in a new truth: She was meant for more and could no longer settle. In Road to Hope, Dena invites you to join her as she wanders the roads she traveled and take anything you need from her story to help you in yours. She shares how she grew from a woman who doubted her path to one who is confident and ready for the next adventure. And she wants you to experience a similar shift. And more than that, she believes you can.








Dena Jansen, Founder and Voice of Dena Speaks, launched her new business surrounded by family, friends and colleagues. See what the night was all about...







Dena Jansen’s calling to lift others up is profoundly personal. She understands the fears and doubts that hold people back because she has them too. Her own path to fulfillment is a real-life journey that’s still very much in progress. As a CPA and retired partner from Austin-based CPA firm Maxwell Locke & Ritter, she launched Dena Speaks to inspire potential seeking individuals and businesses. Dena shares life and love with her husband, JP, and their two children, Trace, and Elizabeth in Buda, Texas. She loves romantic comedy movies, listening to podcasts, and spending time with her family and friends.
Website InstagramGoodreads║ 
LinkedIn ║ Facebook ║ Twitter 
Amazon Author Page  
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GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
ONE WINNER: Signed copy + $10 Starbucks Gift Card + Dena Speaks swag
TWO WINNERS: Signed paperback OR audio code + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
JANUARY 21-31, 2020
(U.S. Only)

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17 December 2019

*REVIEW & GIVEAWAY!* Santa Claus Bank Robbery by Tui Snider

SANTA CLAUS BANK ROBBERY A True-Crime Saga in Texas
by
TUI SNIDER
  Genre: Nonfiction / Texana / Texas History
Publisher: Castle Azle Press
Date of Publication: December 8, 2019
Number of Pages: 146 pages + black & white photos
Scroll down for Giveaway!


When Marshall Ratliff dressed like Santa Claus to pull a Christmas-time heist, he thought it would be easy. Unfortunately for him, when the citizens of Cisco heard Santa was robbing a bank, they came running - with loaded guns in hand! But can you blame them? In 1927, the only way to earn the $5000 Dead Bank Robber Reward was to kill a bandit while the crime was in progress.

This bungled bank robbery led to a wild shootout and a getaway with two little girls as hostages. And that is only the beginning! Tui Snider’s true-crime tale reads like a comedy of errors as the consequences of the Santa Claus Bank Robber’s actions escalate to include a botched car-jacking, one of the biggest manhunts in Texas history, and a jailbreak leading to a deadly conclusion. Meanwhile, it’s up to readers to decide whether or not a mysterious blonde helped these gangsters escape. And if so, did she get away with murder?

It’s a rare thing for me to pick up a Christmas themed book and give it a read. It’s not that I don’t like Christmas, because I seriously LURVE me some Yuletide. It’s just that I usually find Christmas themed books to be all syrupy and, well, quite frankly …. Bleh.

Y’all know how busy this time of year is, and I just didn’t have the time to read and review a book. I’ve got shopping to do and prezzies to wrap, cookies to bake and eat, so I can bake some more and eat them, dangit!

Enter Kristine, the ever-loving, brazen temptress of bloggers. She had the audacity to post up a call for reviewers for Tui Snider’s SANTA CLAUS BANK ROBBERY. My nostrils flared, my eyebrows turned into a V (sorta like Spock's, only sassier), as I clicked on the sign-up link.

Because she knew … oh, she knew good and well that I could not pass up reading and reviewing one of Tui’s books! “HOW DARE SHE ENTRAP ME LIKE THIS DURING THE HOLIDAYS!” I shouted whilst filling out the Google sign-up form. Then I started typing faster, for fear that someone else would get higher on the list (and boot me out of getting a review copy), faster and faster I typed until I looked like this:

I hope Kristine is happy!

But I digress.

Y’all, it’s no secret that EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas. This story is no dadgum exception, with the exception that it’s a mere 140 pages long. Size doesn’t matter (in this instance), because the story that lies betwixt the covers of this book is the absolute most Texas-y (pronounced “Texasie” – I just made that word up) story I have ever read in my entire cotton-pickin’ life. 

SANTA CLAUS BANK ROBBERY by Tui Snider is the true story of the craziest bank heist I have ever heard of … and y’all … it includes a dude dressed up like Old Saint Nick! GAHHHH! This is the first time I have ever wanted to give spoilers in a book review, because this book is simply marv-to the-lous!  Look, I’m not going to give y’all any spin here. I’m gonna shoot straight from the hip. Y’all have simply got to read this book! I freaking devoured it.




This book has every single solitary thang (yes, I said “thang”) in a book that you could possibly want. There’s a Santa who’s officially on the naughty list for all eternity, there’s a group of dummies who had no business plotting a robbery, and there’s a reward that had just been instituted that promised to pay thousands to whomever managed to kill a bank robber. The latter, y’all … oh, my gosh … the latter added to the craziest mayhem I’ve ever heard about in my entire life, and I write science fiction!  

Tui starts the book out by telling the reader about a homey restaurant she and her husband came across during their travels in West Texas where she happened upon the most outlandish tale you’ll ever read. From there, it’s as if the reader is sitting at the table in the tightly packed cafĂ©, listening to Tui recount all the wildest, craziest events surrounding a Christmastime heist gone terribly wrong.

This author has quickly become one of my faves. Seriously. I’ve reviewed a couple of her books before, and I simply adore her talent for storytelling and for, quite frankly, her skill at researching and uncovering the truth … and that’s exactly what she’s done in this book. Tui even discovers that there was an unknown blonde headed woman involved in the whole crazy business on that fateful day, and the heifer got off scot-free!

Another thing that I totes geeked out over about this book was there are photos of the guilty and innocent who were involved in this crazy-arse story. She even added a diagram of where the witnesses and Santa (with his helpers) were located in the bank when the whole thing went down (in a very bad, wildly rabid, unbelievably cray-cray sorta way).

And, I’ll admit, y’all, to LOLing (out loud, waking the dog) like a madwoman during the part where Santa meets his demise. Not that I was happy about it, but because of the downright irony of where and how it happened. Seriously, it had to be more than a coinky-dink. There is no way in heck it was by accident! No stinking way! No way was it on purpose. It was one of those strangely cosmic events that adds to the outright oddity of this story.

Seriously, if someone would PLEASE take Snider’s book and turn it into a movie, it would be a dadgum blockbuster of a thing, and I will personally write her and ask to be included in the movie (even as an extra)!


One thing I want to make sure to mention is that prior to receiving my review copy of this book, Tui sent me a lovely postcard letting me know that the book was on the way and thanking me for reading and reviewing her book. It included a sweet picture of her kitty cat with her book. So, I shall forthwith return those sweet sentiments with this picture of Sascha Marie (who you can follow on Facebook by clicking here) with said marvelous book.



Tui Snider’s ability to take an actual historic event, with all its twists and turns, and compose it into a chronological tale is deliciously fabulous! I’m in love with her writing!

And that’s why I hereby grant

SANTA CLAUS BANK ROBBERY
By Tui Snider

5 GLORIOUSLY CHRISTMAS BROOMS





Tui Snider is an award-winning writer, speaker, photographer, and musician specializing in offbeat sites, overlooked history, cemetery symbolism, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction, but then I moved to Texas!” Tui lectures frequently at universities, libraries, conferences, and bookstores.This fall, she will speak about the Great Airship Mystery of 1897 at this year’s UFO Congress and teach a course on Understanding Cemetery Symbols at Texas Christian University. She also shares weekly info-videos based on her research at her YouTube channel. Snider’s writing and photography have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including WFAA TV, Coast to Coast AM, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and many more. She has several more books in progress.


◆  WEBSITE  ◆  FACEBOOK  ◆  TWITTER  
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◆  INSTAGRAM  ◆   YOUTUBE  ◆
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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
 GRAND PRIZE (US only) Signed Paperback +$10 Amazon Gift Card + Thank You Post Card
2ND PRIZE (US only)Signed Copy + Thank You Post Card
3RD PRIZE (International): Kindle eBook
  December 12-22, 2019



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