Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wacky Wednesday: BABY STETSON by Nikki Lynn Barrett Tasty Book Blog Tour + #Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the BABY STETSON by Nikki Lynn Barrett Tasty Book Blog Tour. Nikki is one of my Avon Addict sisters and has written and self-published two books – braver than me! BABY STETSON, book one of her Love and Music in Texas series is her second published work. Her first, THE SECRET SANTA WISHING WELL, came out at Christmas. I have not had an opportunity to read that work, so BABY STETSON was my introduction to Nikki’s talent. I hope you’ll enjoy an introduction to a new young writer, take in an excerpt, and stick around for a giveaway!

***ecopy provided by author in exchange for an honest and unscripted review. 


In small Texas towns, strangers come and go...
Left in a Stetson hat, on the steps of the local bed and breakfast, Avery Callimer came into the world on a wing and a prayer. Raised by loving adoptive parents, she's never lacked for love...only the knowledge of her past.
By day, she works the Inn, but by night...Avery comes alive as lead singer in a band. Life was good...stable, until new guests blew into town. 
Some strangers come with secrets and lies.
Lucas Bennett is one such stranger. Drifting from one mess to another has left him jaded. Doesn't matter the dramas are never his doing. Giving it one last shot to make a fresh start lands him Harmony's Echo, Texas and smack dab in front of the tantalizing Avery.
Despite his best efforts to ignore the burn Avery's ignited within, he's intent to keep his distance. Secrets have followed him. Secrets he doesn't want Avery to know. Each time they're near the other things heat up like a brushfire on a dry Texas prairie. But maybe, after the dust settles and the smoke clears, love can bloom with a fresh start.
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At only days old, Avery Callimer was left on the doorstep of the Callimers' bed and breakfast in a Stetson hat, but she never lacked for love from her adoptive parents. She grew up with questions in the back of her mind, but never wished to hurt her loving parents by asking those questions or pursuing her birth parents. One day, the question of searching for her parents came directly to her front door in the form of a letter – a letter from the father that claims he never knew about her until now. Avery’s life has always revolved around her family, their business, and her love of music. Just when she’s questioning everything in her life – the possibility of a singing career somewhere other than Harmony’s Echo, Texas, breaking things off with her boyfriend who is also her best friend and part of her band, and those nagging thoughts of her birth mother and father – her birth father wants to meet her.
Lucas Bennett has come to this small Texas town on a mission. He carries secrets with him. Secrets that he keeps close, because he owes a debt to the person who sent him to Harmony’s Echo. The woman he seeks has a voice like an angel, and tempts him like a devil, with her pretty face and sexy figure. He knows he should keep his distance but finds it difficult. He knows that the secret he holds will shatter any opportunity he might have with Avery Callimer, yet he’s unable to stay away from her.
When the truth comes out, it opens the door to more secrets, betrayal, and a danger that may cost Avery more than a broken heart.


Cool, crisp air greeted them as Avery and Lucas exited the inn.  Not too bad of a night weather wise.  Nearby, a twig snapped.  Avery jumped.  “What was that?”

“Probably an animal,” Lucas guessed.  “A little jumpy tonight?”

Avery’s mind went back to that text from earlier.  “Maybe a little bit.”  She wasn’t fully sure why.  A combination of stress and lack of sleep, maybe.

“I’ll protect you from the big bad wolf,” Lucas teased.

“Oh?  So what if you’re the big bad wolf?  Who’ll protect me from you?”

Lucas halted.  “You think I’m the wolf, eh?”

“Well, you haven’t proved that you aren’t yet,” Avery shot back.  God how he riled her.  She hated how much she enjoyed it sometimes.

“I’m guessing you like the wolves then, because you liked this before.”  Lucas reached for her, and his lips met hers.  Avery’s heart melted.  She wrapped herself into Lucas, leaning into his kisses.  He tasted sensational.  Each kiss drove her further over the edge.

“Lucas.”  Avery groaned.  She went in for another kiss, but a strange sound startled her, and she pulled away from him.  “Do you hear that?  If it’s an animal, it’s nearby.”

Lucas whipped his head to stare in the direction.  “I don’t know.  Maybe we’d better go, get away from whatever it is.”  Lucas put his arm around Avery and pulled her close.  They strolled to the house, his arm around her the entire time.

Once they got in front of the house, Avery wasn’t ready to let him go.  “Do you want to come in for awhile?”  It wasn’t just that she longed for Lucas.  The strange sensation that someone was near, watching, the fact that her parents weren’t home ... she just didn’t want to be alone.

“Is that such a good idea?” Lucas asked.

“I don’t want to be alone, Lucas,” Avery pleaded.

“Okay then.”  He squeezed her hand.  That must have been all the convincing he needed.

Avery fumbled with the keys and got the door unlocked.  Once inside, she felt a little safer.  She closed the door behind Lucas and flicked on the light.

“You’re so jumpy.  What’s going on, Avery?” Lucas asked gently, brushing back loose stands of her hair that had fallen over her left eye.

She swallowed.  “I just- I got a strange text earlier.  I keep feeling like I’m being watched.  Mom and Dad aren’t here.  I may be overreacting, but I’m afraid.”

Lucas frowned.  “A text?”

Avery pulled her phone from her purse, searched for the text and handed it to Lucas.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” he scowled, handing her the phone back.

“I wish I knew.  It came out of nowhere.  It may even be a wrong number, but for some reason, it’s got me a bit freaked out.”

“I can understand that.  You’ve got a few new people in your life lately.”

“That includes you.”

“Do you trust me, Avery?” Lucas challenged.

“I think I do.  Sure, you have your secrets, but something about you makes me feel safer than I have in a long time.  I don’t know how to explain it.  Maybe the question I should be asking you is can I trust you, Lucas?”

He hesitated.  “You can trust me.”

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BABY STETSON by Nikki Lynn Barrett is a good story. It’s sweet, and it will snare you into wanting to know more. It will keep you reading on to discover the answers to the many questions that form in your imagination as you delve further into the mystery that surrounds the birth of Avery Callimer, and who Lucas Bennett actually is and why he’s in Harmony’s Echo. I had a little trouble getting into this story at first, not because it didn’t capture my attention but because I found the writing in much need of work, editing, and a more relaxed voice. Nikki has great potential. She’s a natural storyteller, but at times, the characters speak too formally, and too unnaturally, which detracts from the story. The first chapter threw me because I had no idea who 'he' was even though I quickly surmised it was Lucas. I found myself skimming more times than I would’ve liked, to get past filler that I found unnecessary, in order to get to the guts of the story. Keeping the person who sent Lucas a secret, worked well until he started having phone conversations with her. Had this been written in first person, the name could have remained secret, but to continue to refer to Avery’s birth mother as such long after she should’ve, just didn't work for me. Having known the woman’s name would not have pulled anything from the mystery that kept us entangled in the story. Knowing her name would have been merely an essential that kept the story intriguing, flowing, and something to which we could relate.

The mystery was good, the resolution complete, and the ending came together well after some tense moments. I liked that.
From a writer’s point of view, I have a hard time recommending BABY STETSON by Nikki Lynn Barrett simply because it was clumsy at times and caused me to backtrack to reread so that I knew who was doing what in relation to the story. From a reader’s point of view, I can heartily recommend BABY STETSON by Nikki Lynn Barrett because it is an intriguing story with a mystery that keeps you entangled in the life of Avery Callimer and the need to see a happily-ever-after for her and Lucas.
Happy Reading Everyone!

About the Author:

Nikki Lynn Barrett lives in Arizona with her husband and son. She's an avid reader, a dreamer, and loves everything about books. She runs a book blog, an online used bookstore, and writes various genres of romance. Nikki can also be found outside with her camera when a storm is near, snapping photo after photo. Her dreams of becoming a writer started when she was young, when she started writing books in one-subject notebooks by the fifth grade. The Secret Santa Wishing Well is her debut book. You can visit Nikki's website for more information. She is working on her next book. Nikki would love to hear from readers. Email her at
Feel free to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

In addition to the Rafflecopter Giveaway being sponsored through Tasty Book Tours, Unwrapping Romance will be giving away ONE DIGITAL COPY of BABY STETSON, a Love and Music in Texas novel by Nikki Lynn Barrett to one lucky commenter. So if you’d like to enter both giveaways, please do.

To enter for a chance at a digital copy of BABY STETSON by Nikki Lynn Barrett, please leave a comment about anything you read in this blog post. Any comment will do.  : )

In order for your comment to be eligible for entry, you must leave a VALID EMAIL ADDRESS as well. This Giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE. (void where prohibited)
Remember the MAGIC FORMULA for valid entry.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Thank you for playing.

This GIVEAWAY will run until 11:30PM EDT on Friday, May 24, 2013 at which time one lucky entry will be chosen by randomizer to receive a digital copy from their choice of vendor. The winner will be notified by email and announced in a special post on Saturday. Good Luck!
As for the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card – your comment left for one will make you eligible for the other by using the Rafflecopter. Feel free to enter both if you’d like.

BABY STETSON, a Love and Music in Texas novel by Nikki Lynn Barrett, self-published, available in ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.



Anonymous said...

I'm loving it! Tweeting to my followers :)

~Laurie Kozlowski

Anonymous said...

Ahh....forgot the magic formula ;)

~ Laurie Kozlowski

Amy Valentini said...

Thanks Laurie! Got your entry. : )

Cindy B. said...

Here's my comment.

Tasty Book Tours said...

Great Review! Thank you for hosting today! XOXO

Farmersbell said...

county boy!

erin said...

Good Ole' Boy Country Superstar :)

Congrats to Nikki on the new release! This sounds like a lot of fun :) Thanks for sharing!


Nikki said...

Thank you for being part of my tour and for your review!

Chrisbails said...

I love a good ole country boy. Love them in their sexy cowboy hat, boots, and sexy jeans. I do love a sexy rocker though. Love their tattoos and sexy ripped jeans. Okay I choose both. LOL.

bn100 said...

Cute title

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Kelly Powell said...

Good Ole' Boy Country Superstar

Sharlene said...

Thanks for the review & excerpt!

sharlenewegner at hotmail dot com

Shari said...

Love cowboy stories! Shari

Elizabeth H. said...

I'm not a huge country fan, but I'd take a Good ole' country boy superstar over a rock star any day!

ehaney578 at aol dot com

Tammy Sommervold said...

Thanks for the great excerpt. Adding to my TBR.

tsommervold at hotmail dot com

Soft Fuzzy Sweater said...

This book sounds so much fun and I can't wait to read it. Thank you for the giveaway.