Posted in 4 paws, Giveaway, mystery, Review, suspense, Thriller on July 9, 2016

Winning Texas Banner



by Nancy Stancill 

Genre: Mystery / Thriller / Suspense

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Date of Publication: April 26, 2016

# of pages: 230

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Winning TX lo res cover

When a female body is found floating in the Houston Ship Channel, Annie Price, an investigative journalist for a struggling Houston newspaper, is propelled into a dangerous web of intrigue. She must solve a complex mystery that includes a corrupt strip club empire, a ruthless human trafficking scheme, and deadly competition between two separatist groups seeking to impose their twisted visions on the Lone Star State. As two murders hit close to home, Annie and a fellow reporter risk death to expose the hidden secrets of a Texas ranch.




“Sex traffickers and guns-for-hire meet in a nefarious plot to see Texas secede and America shaken to its core. Witty, gritty and filled with brilliantly realized characters, this book is a pure delight for lovers of suspense as the ever-dogged Annie Price risks life and limb to uncover the truth.”  – Tony D’Souza, author of Mule

Winning Texas is a moody thriller, an ode to people with outsized dreams and the ones they prey on; to those who populate the city by day, and those who rule the night. In the wake of L.A.-noir and Florida glare, Nancy Stancill gives us Bayou City grime. In her pages, Houston seduces and leaves us breathless, begging for more.”  – Stefan Kiesbye, author of The Staked Plains

Nancy Stancill “captures a newsroom’s camaraderie and angst . . . while her descriptions of Houston and the whole of Texas make you feel the heat and see its beauty.”  — Mary Cornatzer, The News & Observer



Wow, what a surprising book! I have not read anything by this author and apparently this is the 2nd book in a series (the first being Saving Texas). I have this thing about reading a series in order but this book was well written and only a few references to things in the past that I am assuming are in the first book, but nothing that made me feel like I was missing out.

The book is set in Houston and while I am only slightly familiar with locations and such, I felt like I was there with the various descriptions and location mentions (including a reference to a restaurant called Ninfa’s that I remember eating at in the DFW area back in the 90’s and sadly is now closed)

Annie is an editor that is pulled back into reporting when a body is found in a Houston waterway and her main reporter that covers this beat is out of town. I don’t think she is expecting the tale that unfolds, I know I wasn’t! And if you want a sneak peek into the gentleman’s club scene, this book gives you a glimpse. It can be good and it can be bad, all depends on the owners and managers. There is also a glimpse into human trafficking, but not where women are kidnapped, but are brought into the US illegally to perform at strip clubs and do other things but are basically held hostage until they repay the cost to bring them here.

I found one of the underlying stories about groups wanting Texas to secede fascinating. Sure it has always been a joke here, but let’s face it, there would be so many things that would have to change that it may not be for the best (currency, trade, etc). But don’t let some of the characters in this book convince you otherwise.

There is a vast array of characters and just when you think that you like a character or two, they turn on you and they are not quite so likeable. I was very surprised at the changes in a few of the characters, did not expect the change in attitude/beliefs.

I was definitely surprised at how some events turned out including the big secret about “the ranch”. I was wondering if we would find out what was up with that location and what julianna was doing there, and you do find out but just FYI it isn’t until the end. Keeps the mystery going.

I also liked how the author addressed the newspaper industry and that printed papers are becoming a dying industry and that all of our news is gathered from online sources. It is the fate of the world due to advances in technology. Why wait on day old news when you can have the latest, most update news 24/7? Of course you hear all the bad news 24/7 and it can be a downer.

Overall, enjoyed the book and will be on the lookout for upcoming books from this author.  We give it 4 paws up!


about the author

Stancill Pic

Nancy Stancill spent more than 30 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before she began writing fiction full-time. She was an award-winning investigative reporter at the Houston Chronicle and the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer and worked as a reporter and editor at other newspapers in Texas, Virginia and California. Stancill is a journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and received her master’s in creative writing from the University of Tampa in Florida in 2015.  She and her husband lived in London for three years before moving back to the United States in 2012.  She has a son in Virginia and she lives in Charlotte, N.C. with her husband, Len Norman, and black cat, Spud. Saving Texas was her first novel. Winning Texas is her second.


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* Signed Copies of Winning Texas and Saving Texas *

* $15 Starbucks Gift Card * 


  June 30 – July 9, 2016

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Check out the other great blogs on the tour! 

6/30    Texas Book Lover  – Promo

7/1       The Librarian Talks – Review

7/2       Margie’s Must Reads – Excerpt

7/3       A Novel Reality — Promo

7/4       Country Girl Bookaholic  – Review

7/5       The Crazy Booksellers  – Promo

7/6       The Page Unbound  – Guest Post

7/7       Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books – Review

7/8       Forgotten Winds – Author Interview                    

7/9       StoreyBook Reviews  – Review

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