Connecting Texas books and writers with those who most want to discover them
Triumph Books has published a 128-page full-color book recapping the Dallas Cowboys’ 2016 season, The Boys Are Back: Dak, Zeke, and a New Cowboys Era in Big D by Jean-Jacques Taylor ($15.95 paperback).
As the title indicates, the tribute book focuses on the dynamic rookie duo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, who led the Cowboys to a remarkable 13-3 record.
Cowboys fans might want to scoop it up as a souvenir edition. Chapters include “Why Zeke Made Sense,” “Dak’s Faith-Based Journey to QB,” “How Dak Won Over the Cowboys Locker Room,” and “Zeke’s Kettle Jump.”
Diane Kelly: The sixth book in Diane Kelly’s “Paw Enforcement” series is Enforcing the Paw (St. Martin’s, $7.99 paperback), again featuring Fort Worth police officer Megan Luz and her K-9 partner, Brigit. Kelly’s stories weave in some mystery, some humor, some romance, and some dogology as Megan and Brigit try to figure out which of two former lovers is stalking the other. They both point the finger at their ex, and it gets harder to sort out truth and lies as hostilities escalate.
She also is the author of the “Death and Taxes” series featuring female IRS agent Tara Holloway. The twelfth and final book of that series is due later this fall.
First novel: Sixth-generation Texan W. W. McNeal has written his first novel, Plum Creek (TCU Press, $22.95 paperback), set in Texas during Reconstruction in the late 1860s.
Billy McCulloch, almost 16, joins a former Texas Ranger captain (“the baddest white man that ever lived”) and a posse of relatives as they hunt for a notorious half-breed murderer who kidnapped the captain’s 14-year-old niece after slaughtering her family. On his sixteenth birthday, Billy gets a pistol as a present from his late father and soon has to use the business end of it. Billy finds he has a lot to learn about life, and about his mysterious family.
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Glenn Dromgoole’s latest book is West Texas Stories. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GRANBURY — The Sixth Annual Granbury Paranormal Expo will kick off the Halloween season on Sept. 30, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a street festival in the middle of Granbury’s historic downtown square. This festival is free to the public and will feature ghost hunters, psychics, horror, sci-fi, cosplay, fantasy, and much more.
This year’s celebrity guest will be Charlaine Harris (left), author of the novels that inspired HBO’s True Blood and the new hit NBC series, Midnight, Texas. >> READ MORE
AUSTIN — After an extensive national search, the Texas Library Association (TLA) has appointed Dana Braccia (left) as the new Executive Director starting Oct. 1, 2017. Braccia brings a diverse range of experience and expertise in innovative library and operational management as well as member relations and industry partnerships to the association.
Braccia has been an active leader in the library community since becoming a librarian in 2005. She is a past president of the Mountain Plains Library Association and mentor for their Leadership Institute, as well as a former American Library Association councilor. She received her MLS from the University of Arizona and will complete her MBA this fall from the W. P. Carey School of Business / Arizona State University with an emphasis in analytics and public policy. >> READ MORE
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LITERARY FICTION/ SPORTS
The Night of the Virgin: A Novel
Round Ball Media
Paperback, 978-0-6927-8103-6, (also available as an e-book), 298 pgs., $15.97
June 1, 2017
Emmanuel “Manny” Hernandez grew up in Brownsville, Texas, loving books—his mother dropped him off at the library during summers to avoid running expensive air conditioning—and soccer. Manny longs to escape South Texas but is constrained by his undocumented status—he’s a Dreamer, brought to Texas by his mother when he was a toddler. He refers to the Border Patrol checkpoint at Falfurrias as garrita (“claw”). In eighteen years, Manny hasn’t been further from Brownsville (“a prison and his sentence was ad infinitum”) than that checkpoint. But to follow his soccer dream Manny must brave the checkpoint, and so one day he does, with his sister, Maribel, and his best friend, Hector, and they make it through, all the way to San Antonio and a chance at more. >>READ MORE
Roaring Brook Press
Hardcover, 978-1-6267-2635-2, (also available as an e-book and on Audible), 336 pgs., $17.99
September 19, 2017
“Dutiful” Vivian is a junior at East Rockport High. She’s a “nice, normal” girl who tries to stay out of the spotlight, enduring another school year “like a long stretch of highway.” Vivian’s mom, Lisa, keeps a shoebox on the top shelf of her closet labeled “My Misspent Youth,” filled with old zines and photos of her Riot Grrrl days, punked-out in baby-doll dresses with combat boots, half her head shaved, “Riots not diets” inked down one arm. Lisa is a nurse now and wears lavender scrubs covered in butterflies, but when Vivian is upset, Lisa’s mementos of her youth comfort Vivian, even if she doesn’t yet understand why.
One day a boy interrupts a girl voicing her opinion in class one time too many with “Make me a sandwich” and something in Vivian ignites. She’s had enough of the humiliating dress code checks (while the boys wear T-shirts with “Great Legs—When Do They Open?” printed on them), the “bump ’n’ grab” in the hallways (the girls should take this assault and battery as “a compliment”). >>READ MORE
It’s true, Lone Star Literary Life was supposed to talk with award-winning legal historian Bill Neal of Abilene this week. We’ve been looking for the excuse to run an interview with the former lawyer, judge, and newspaperman, and had our chance with his upcoming appearance at the West Texas Book Festival later this month, and the publication of his new book.
But momentous events sometimes interfere with the best-laid plans. This week, Lone Star Lit completed the anticipated relocation of our headquarters from Lubbock to Spur, Texas, the Tiny House Capital of America. A few complications delayed our regular schedule, however.
Look forward to hearing from Bill Neal in next week’s issue, and in the meantime, we’ll tell you a bit more about Spur (and our first Paragraph Ranch Writing Weekend in Spur, slated for Dec. 1–3, with Tex Thompson!). >>READ MORE
FESTIVALS AND SPECIAL BOOK EVENTS IN TEXAS THIS WEEK Midland, Abilene, Austin, Addison, College Station
WACO Mon., Sept. 18 Guess Family Barbecue, Texas Sports Pub Day Party: Chad Conine discusses and signs Texas Sports: Unforgettable Stories For Every Day of the Year, 6PMGuess Family Barbecue, Texas Sports Pub Day Party: Chad Conine discusses and signs Texas Sports: Unforgettable Stories For Every Day of the Year, 6PMHOUSTON Tues., Sept. 19 Blue Willow Bookshop, Mac Barnett will discuss and sign his newest picture book, I LOVE YOU LIKE A PIG, 5PM, and Alexandra Bracken will discuss and sign her newest book, THE DREADFUL TALE OF PROSPER REDDING, 6:30PM
AUSTIN Thurs., Sept. 21 Blanton Museum of Art, Writers' League of Texas Third Thursday: "What Makes Books Sell?" with Brian Contine, Gillian Redfearn, Deanna Roy, and Julie Wernersbach, 7PMBlanton Museum of Art, Writers' League of Texas Third Thursday: "What Makes Books Sell?" with Brian Contine, Gillian Redfearn, Deanna Roy, and Julie Wernersbach, 7PMEDINBURG Thurs., Sept. 21 Museum of South Texas, Join Helen Kleberg Groves for cocktails and a book signing of Bob and Helen Kleberg of King Ranch, 6:30PMSAN ANTONIO Fri., Sept. 22 Viva Tacoland, Gemini Ink presents readings by Fernando Esteban Flores, Kinyo, and Gerard Robledo, 6:30PMAUSTIN Sat., Sept. 23 Malvern Books, celebrate the launch of Christopher Carmona’s new poetry collection, 140: Twitter Poems (bilingual edition translated by Gerald Padilla), 7PMAUSTIN Sat., Sept. 23 BookPeople, CAROLYN OSBORN speaking & signing Durations, 2PMBookish Texas event highlights 9.17.2017
>> GO this week Michelle Newby, Contributing Editor
AUSTIN — The Texas Book Festival (TBF) this week announced its full 2017 lineup filled with nationally and regionally renowned authors. The 2017 TBF weekend takes place on Nov. 4 and 5, is spread throughout the grounds of the Texas State Capitol and along Austin’s iconic Congress Avenue.
TBF showcases first-time novelists and established writers, introducing attendees to new literary talents and connecting them with their favorite authors. Award-winning authors are found throughout the TBF lineup, including Jennifer Egan, who will be presenting her new novel, Manhattan Beach. Egan has won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Granta, McSweeney's, and the New York Times Magazine. >> READ MORE
AUSTIN — The Texas Teen Book Festival has announced the full schedule for the 2017 edition, which will take place Sat., Oct. 7 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at St. Edward’s University. This year’s Festival features an exciting program with opening keynote speaker Marie Lu and closing keynote speaker Jason Reynolds; panels and sessions by award-winning authors, including Lizzie Velásquez, Tillie Walden, Jennifer Mathieu, I. W. Gregorio, Mackenzi Lee, and Julie Murphy; plus book signings, educational workshops, a costume contest sponsored by Epic Reads, and the first-ever iTent. >> READ MORE
Lubbock enters the book festival arena this fall with the all-day Lubbock Book Festival on Saturday, Oct. 28. More than three dozen best-selling authors and regional favorites have been confirmed to read, sign books, and greet fans at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, a cornerstone of the Lubbock Cultural District.
Keynoters include S. C. Gwynne, author of the nonfiction bestsellers Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches (2010) and Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson (2015). Most recently, Gwynne explores how throwing passes revolutionized Texas’ most popular sport in The Perfect Pass: American Genius and the Reinvention of Football (2016), including a nod to the innovations of Mike Leach, former Texas Tech University head coach.
More than 20 regional and national bestselling authors are scheduled to attend the Lubbock Book Festival, including Jodi Thomas, a member of the National Romance Writers Hall of Fame, and John R. Erickson, creator of the beloved Hank the Cowdog series for young readers. >> READ MORE
Texas Writes is a statewide program of the Writers’ League of Texas that brings accomplished authors to rural libraries for a half day of presentations and panel discussions. Each event is free and open to the public.
WLT has two Texas Writes events slated for September 2017, in locations as geographically diverse as Clifton (near Waco) and Shallowater (near Lubbock). >> READ MORE
The present generation of Texas authors is the most diverse ever in gender, age, and ethnicity, and in subject matter as well.
Week in, week out, Lone Star Literary has interviewed a range of Texas-related authors with a cross-section of genre and geography. To capture this era in Texas letters, we're pleased to bring you
Lone Star Listens:
Texas Authors on Writing and Publishing
edited by Kay Ellington and Barbara Brannon; introduction by
Available in trade paper, library hardcover, and ebook Fall 2017
360 pages, with b/w illustrations and index
Featuring novelists, poets, memoirists, editors, and publishers, including:
Rachel Caine • Chris Cander • Katherine Center • Chad S. Conine • Sarah Cortez • Elizabeth Crook • Nan Cuba • Carol Dawson • Patrick Dearen • Jim Donovan • Mac Engel • Sanderia Faye • Carlos Nicolás Flores • Ben Fountain • Jeff Guinn • Stephen Harrigan • Cliff Hudder • Stephen Graham Jones • Kathleen Kent • Joe R. Lansdale • Melissa Lenhardt • Attica Locke • Nikki Loftin • Thomas McNeely • Leila Meacham • John Pipkin • Joyce Gibson Roach • Antonio Ruiz-Camacho • Lisa Sandlin • Donna Snyder • Mary Helen Specht • Jodi Thomas • Amanda Eyre Ward • Ann Weisgarber • Donald Mace Williams
As a collection of insights into the writing and publishing life, the book will be useful in creative writing classes (not just in Texas alone) and other teaching settings, as well as for solo reading and study—and a great Texas reference volume.
>>READ MORE CLASSIFIED LISTINGS
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9/17 Character Interview The Page Unbound
9/18 Review Books and Broomsticks
9/19 Excerpt 1 Chapter Break Book Blog
9/20 Author Interview Texas Book Lover
9/21 Review A Page Before Bedtime
9/22 Excerpt 2 Texan Girl Reads
9/23 Review Forgotten Winds
9/24 Author Interview The Librarian Talks
9/25 Playlist StoreyBook Reviews
9/26 Review Tangled in Text
9/19 Author Interview 1 Books in the Garden
9/20 Review Reading By Moonlight
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9/22 Review Margie's Must Reads
9/23 Author Interview 2 Chapter Break Book Blog
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9/25 Review Missus Gonzo
9/26 Guest Post Texas Book Lover
9/27 Excerpt A Page Before Bedtime
9/28 Review Texan Girl Reads
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