Paper Targets #NewRelease @atmospherepress @LoneStarLit

PAPER TARGETS

by Patricia Watts

Suspense / Literary Fiction / Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Pages: 324 pages
Publication Date: May 3, 2022

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Everyone knew that Roanne never got angry­—until the night she killed her ex-husband and herself.

Roanne, a nice, suburban lady in her sixties who works at a Hallmark shop and volunteers at the Food Bank in Round Rock, Texas, calls her lifelong friend, Connie, confesses to murder, then puts the gun to her own head. Connie, spurred by Roanne’s last words about a lifetime of unspoken rage, sets aside her work as a cozy mystery writer and cupcake shop owner to confront the men who have stolen her dignity while she remained silent, including a bully brother, a rapist, and an ex-spouse.

On a journey to reclaim her inner power and to make peace with the loss of her treasured friend, Connie’s mission is to avoid the same tragic path as Roanne, but she takes along a gun, just in case.

With pathos and humor, Paper Targets, by Patricia Watts, calls us to speak our own narratives, even when it is uncomfortable or risky, and shows us the magnificence of a friendship that transcends time.

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Patricia Watts worked as a journalist for more than 20 years for newspapers in Texas, Hawaii, and Alaska. Following her news career, she tried her skill as a paralegal and then spent ten years investigating discrimination cases for the Alaska Human Rights Commission. Her novels include: Ghost Light and The Big Empty, crime mysteries co-written with Alaska author Stan Jones; The Frayer, suspense noir; and Watchdogs, a steamy thriller. Her home base is San Diego. She earned her B.A. in journalism at Humboldt State in California. She is the mother of a son and daughter and has eight grandchildren.

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TWO WINNERS:

First Prize:

Autographed copies of Paper Targets, The Frayer, and The Big Empty

Second Prize: Copy of Paper Targets

(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 8/5/22.)

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7/26/22

Excerpt

Bibliotica

7/26/22

BONUS Promo

Hall Ways Blog

7/27/22

Review

Forgotten Winds

7/28/22

Character Interviews

The Page Unbound

7/28/22

BONUS Promo

LSBBT Blog

7/29/22

Review

Writing and Music

7/30/22

Playlist

All the Ups and Downs

7/30/22

Bonus Review

StoreyBook Reviews

7/31/22

Author Video

Boys’ Mom Reads

8/1/22

Review

Jennie Reads

8/2/22

Notable Quotables

It’s Not All Gravy

8/3/22

Review

The Plain-Spoken Pen

8/4/22

Review

The Book’s Delight

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I love stories where one of the characters is an author. In this story, the main character, Connie, writes cozy mysteries and has had a bit of success that was relatable.

Connie and Roanne have been best friends for over fifty years. They’ve shared everything from heartaches to triumphs, even marrying men who were best friends.

Inseparable is the only word that describes these two women.

Until…

The story opens with a literal bang when Roanne calls Connie, then, while on the phone with her, kills her ex-husband, Johnny, and turns the gun on herself.

Connie is devastated and angry, again very relatable.

Now Connie is on a mission. She has to know what drove her friend to take such drastic and deadly action.

Roanne’s last words, “this is for every Tom, Dick, and Harry…” haunt Connie in waking hours but especially in dreams.

Once she figures it out, Connie embarks on a journey across the country to seek out every man who has ever belittled and disrespected her, starting with her twin brother, Joey. And she buys a gun, which ramps up the tension.

I have to admit I worried a little that she might get herself into serious trouble with that gun. The fact that she keeps it a secret from those closest to her reinforces that thought throughout the story.  

With each confrontation, her confidence grows. With each confrontation, the results differ. Some men actually show remorse while others jeer and even turn violent.

I don’t want to leave any spoilers in this review, but the climactic scene between Connie and her ex left me gasping!

The author did a fabulous job of showing the struggles women have had throughout history, with men being dominant. While we’ve come a long way toward equality, the truth is we’ve still got a long way to go. I don’t know that I’d ever be as brave as Connie, but reading the story gave me a boost of confidence.

Also, I love the relationship Connie has with her son and how supportive he is throughout the book. So, in a way, the author is showing the contrast between men and how their actions and attitudes vary.

Paper Targets is the first book I’ve read by this author, and it was a great introduction to her writing. If you love stories about strong women, this book is for you. It is well-written, the pacing is good, and the storyline is riveting.

30 thoughts on “Paper Targets #NewRelease @atmospherepress @LoneStarLit

  1. This book has such an eye-catching cover & hook — and your review makes me want to drop everything and read it now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

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