REVIEW -- The Big Inch, by Kimberly Fish, on Lonstar Book Blog Tours With GIVE AWAY

Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII
Date of Publication: January 19, 2017
Number of Pages: 344
Scroll down for Giveaway!


Kimberly Fish’s debut novel, The Big Inch, was released in February, 2017 and it reveals the lengths to which Texas oilmen, state, and federal governments would go to get Texas crude oil to the troops fighting their first mechanized war. With Nazi threats (and a steady stream of oil tankers sunk by German submarines) speed was necessary, as was OSS intelligence. The Office of Strategic Services was often staffed with female spies and Longview’s World War II efforts were critical for success. 

Lane Mercer, sent to Longview, Texas in July 1942, is part of a select group of women working undercover for the fledgling federal agency, the Office of Strategic Services. Assigned to protect the man carrying out President Roosevelt’s initiative to build the nation’s first overland pipeline to hurry East Texas crude to the troops, she discovers there’s more to Longview than the dossiers implied. There’s intrigue, mayhem, and danger. Shamed from a botched OSS mission in France, Lane struggles to fulfill her mission and keep from drowning in guilt. Getting involved in local life is out of the question. Between family, do-gooders, and Nazi threats, she’s knitted into a series of events that unravel all of her carefully constructed, plans, realizing that sometimes the life one has to save, is one’s own.
“With an eye for detail, Kimberly Fish weaves a compelling story of a war widow who finds herself in Longview, Texas in 1942. Reading Kimberly’s novel was a bit like going back to a cloak and dagger time, and I enjoyed the local references. Longview was an amazing place to be during WWII.”   -- Van Craddock, Longview News Journal, Columnist
"Kimberly Fish's unique writing style snatched me out of my easy chair and plunked me down into the middle of her character's life where I was loathe to leave when my real life called me back. Her descriptive visual writing drew me in on the first page. Can't wait to read more stories by Mrs. Fish." -- Vickie Phelps  Author of Moved, Left No Address

"Riding around in the sleeper car as dawn had broken through the scrappy limbs of pines between Arkansas and Texas, she'd lifted the blinds and wondered, yet again, why she'd let Colonel Theo Marks talk her into this assignment."

I'm not exactly sure where it happened when I was reading the review copy provided, but perhaps it was this paragraph, on the first page of Chapter One.  I knew I wanted to hold this book in my hand, so I quickly ordered my copy from Amazon.  It was worth it, as "The Big Inch" is my kind of brain candy and Kimberly Fish delivered.  I loved it and can't wait for the next one in the series. 
"The Big Inch" is one of the types of books that is a the reason I joined the Lone Star Book Blog.  I want more exposure to Texas Authors and Texas subjects.  Without such an effort, it is just about impossible to hear of these books from the Big 5 East Coast publishers who care mostly about Big Names, New York, Hollywood, and Big Deals, the rest of the country be damned.
In "The Big Inch," Lane Mercer is a female undercover agent during the WWII war effort.  Longview was evidently a bed of intrigue and center for the country's effort to get oil out of Texas and to the East Coast and our troops.  I hadn't ever heard of the actual Big Inch or Little Big Inch (the pipelines for this effort), or the effort to get them built, until reading this book.
Fish gives us a well fleshed out Longview, full of a diverse bevy of characters who may or may not cause Lane trouble in her effort to keep her "boss" safe while he is trying to carry out the country's vital mission.  Even better, Lane is fully alive, especially with her back story of a recent failed mission for the Resistance in France and with her recently passed husband, who evidently was perhaps a typical, unsaintly, soldier.  She's wounded, and burned, and complete unsure what she is doing on this mission.
Lucky for us, she meets plenty of characters to keep her doubting herself as events unfold.  There are a number of men keeping it fun, from the handsome, though married, older man she is trying to keep safe, to her East Coast privileged actual boss (who in  my mind sounded a bit like Kennedy might have had he been Chief of the OSS), and the pure Texan golfer-bad-boy who is much more than he appears (we don't know any guys like that, do we?). The women are just as intriguing, some quite Texan, some quite not, and not what they seem, but all very much products of the times, if you know your WWII women's history.  I am also glad to say that this book is not just about white folks.  That is important to me, and so I loved the side story of Sam and a number of his friends.
So what do you do with this?  First, I hope you'll mark that you want to read it, whether on Amazon or Goodreads.  Then come back and keep scrolling down.  Enter the giveaway (yes, I have seen my people win them!), and check out more on Fish and how you can connect with her.  Then, if you don't win, when you are looking for your next book go order this one.  Or just do it first, that is fine, too.  This would be a really fun book club book, too.  After all, we have an extremely close connection to this story, it is just so interesting to learn things about Texas you didn't know, especially East Texas, with all of our quirks.  
One more note for Kimberly herself.  Madame, get this book on audio. Pronto! I can just imagine how a narrator could really bring it alive.  In fact, if you put if up for audition, I just might audition myself, its that fun. You can publish it through Audible's program with or without any money down, so there is nothing to loose, so long as you pick a good narrator that delivers.

Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won a Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting. She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats, She lives with her family in East Texas.



One Winner wins a signed copy of The Big Inch
One Winner who purchases the book during the tour wins a bag of Johnny Cace's Cheese Croutons
March 8 - 22, 2017
 3/8  Review  Hall   Ways Blog

3/9  Author Interview  Reading By   Moonlight
3/10  ExcerptBooks   and Broomsticks
3/11  Review  Kara   The Redhead
3/12  Promo  Blogging   for the Love of Authors and Their Books

3/13  Character Interview  CGB Blog Tours
3/14  Review  Syd   Savvy
3/15  Guest Post  Chapter   Break Book Blog
3/16  Author Interview  Forgotten   Winds
3/17  Review  Books   in the Garden
3/18  Playlist  My   Book Fix Blog
3/19  Promo  Margie's   Must Reads
3/20  Review  StoreyBook   Reviews
3/21  Author Interview  The   Page Unbound
3/22  Review  Missus   Gonzo

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