Connecting Texas books and writers with those who most want to discover them

>> Books of Faith >> General Reading >> Books for Young Readers

Click each book cover to purchase or give via Amazon.com — or remember to purchase at your favorite local or online bookstore!

2017 Lone Star Lit Holiday Gift Guide • LITERATURE, FICTION, AND TEXAS TITLES

 

WESTERN FICTION

Preston Lewis

Bluster’s Last Stand: The Memoirs of H. H. Lomax

Wild Horse Press

Paperback, 978-1-68179-096-1, $19.95

 

Events on the Little Bighorn might have turned out better for George Armstrong Custer had he listened to H.H. Lomax rather than trying to kill him. To save his own skin--and scalp, Lomax must outwit Custer and his troopers as well as face the horde of Sioux warriors swarming Last Stand Hill.

 

At least that is how Lomax tells the story in his inimitable and humorous romp across Old West history. Lomax’s latest misadventures take him from the Battle of Adobe Walls to Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. In between, he's a bouncer in a Waco brothel, a prospector in the Black Hills, a bartender in a Dakota Territory saloon and a combatant in the worst defeat in the history of the frontier Army.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FICTION/MYSTERY

William D. Darling

Anahuac: A Texas Story

Canned Peas Productions

Paperback, 978-19746-4540-4 (also available as ebook), 278 pages, $14.99

 

The Anahuac of 1972 is more than just an isolated outpost on Texas’ Trinity Bay — it’s a place where greed and justice uncomfortably intermingle, where the evangelical fervor of charismatic preachers resonate, where blacks and whites navigate a fragile co-existence, and where a murder leads to even darker mysteries than murder.

 

Jim Ward, introduced in Morgan’s Point as a young, idealistic Houston prosecutor, returns in Anahuac as an older, more conflicted, more complicated man, coming to Anahuac to defend a man who appears guilty of a horrible crime. His discoveries lead to entanglements in the very nature of good and evil, in a town steeped in a history unexpectedly but definitively drawing Ward in its narrative web.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspirational Books for Sports Fans from Texas A&M University Press

Al Pickett

Mighty, Mighty Matadors: Estacado High School Integration, and a Championship Season

Texas A&M University Press
Hardcover, 978-1-62349-551-0, 160 pages, 8 color, 17 b&w photos, $24.95

 

Veteran sports journalist and author Al Pickett provides readers an inspiring, insider account of the Lubbock Estacado Matadors, who came together for love of a sport to become Texas State AAA High School football champions in their first year of eligibility.  It was the late 1960s, and it was a newly integrated school. The first head football coach, Jimmie Keeling, formed a team of young men who had never played together before. Pickett offers action-packed accounts of Estacado’s championship season, plus heartwarming glimpses of the lifelong friendships formed by the players and the pride and unity experienced in their hometown.

 

 

 

 

Dat Nguyen

Dat: Tackling Life and the NFL

Texas A&M University Press

Hardcover, 978-1-62349-654-8 (also available in paperback); 232 pages, 49 b&w photos, $24.95

 

Dat Nguyen, the leading tackler in Aggie history and former starting middle linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys, has added a new afterword to this commemorative edition of DAT, published this month in celebration of his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. His compelling story of survival, both on and off the football field, takes you through the locker room door, and includes humor and even some suspense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gary Blair, with Rusty Burson

A Coaching Life

Texas A&M University Press

28 color, 8 b&w photos.  $29.95 cloth

 

Texas A&M Coach Gary Blair offers readers a “freeze-frame” view of a storied career, including his account of the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship game. Blair was a marine who dreamed of being a baseball coach, but his first high school coaching job introduced him to a life spent doing what he loves most:  coaching and mentoring young women on the basketball court.  Blair serves up more than a few of his favorite memories with wit, grace, and humility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROMANCE/WESTERN/HOLIDAY/ANTHOLOGY

Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, Amy Sandas

Christmas In a Cowboy’s Arms

Sourcebooks Casablanca

Mass market paperback, 978-1-4926-5677-7, (also available as an e-book), 512 pgs., $7.99

October 3, 2017

 

The Beating Heart of Christmas . . . . In the wild and untamed West, it takes a cowboy’s embrace to see you through a long winter’s night. Stay toasty this holiday season with heart-warming tales from six bestselling Texas authors.

         Whether it's a lonely spinster finding passion at last...an infamous outlaw-turned-lawman reaffirming the love that keeps him whole...a lost and broken drifter discovering family in unlikely places...a Texas Ranger risking it all for one remarkable woman...two lovers bringing together a family ripped apart by prejudice...or reunited lovers given a second chance to correct past mistakes...a Christmas spent in a cowboy's arms is full of hope, laughter, and―most of all―love.

 

 

ROMANCE FICTION

Jen Geigle Johnson

The Nobleman's Daughter

Covenant Communications, Inc

Paperback, 978-1524404291 (also available as ebook and audiobook), 272 pages, $16.99

November 1, 2017

 

England, 1819: While British high society primps and plays, the impoverished citizens of London languish. But there are those fighting for the freedom of common citizens—including two members of the aristocracy who secretly champion revolution. In the drawing rooms of the upper class, Lady Amanda and Lord Nathaniel flirt and tease with the best of them. But in truth, their flirtation is merely a façade designed to keep their clandestine actions hidden from the ton—and from each other.

 

While their crusade for London’s poor unites them more deeply than they could imagine, Amanda and Nathaniel struggle to trust one another with their true ideals and identities. But when the call to action leads Amanda into the path of danger, she can only hope that Nathaniel will see through her frivolous pretense. Because now, only the aid of the suitor she loves most—but trusts least—can save her.

 

 

MYSTERY/THRILLER/SUSPENSE

Glen Aaron

The Curse of Sacerdozio: A tale of judicial conspiracy (The Supremes)

BookBaby

Paperback, 978-1-4835-9826-0, (also available as an e-book), 284 pgs., $14.95

June 1, 2017

 

When Harvard Law School graduate Tommy Jon is chosen from a sea of applicants to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Anton Sacerdozio, he's honored and excited by the opportunity. Tommy is the first Jicarilla Apache to ever graduate from Harvard Law and the clerkship seems like a dream come true. But when he falls in love and impregnates another clerk and she chooses to get an abortion, Sacerdozio's dark side surfaces.

         Then, the justice is found dead - murdered and left floating in a hot mineral pool in Texas - and Tommy becomes the number one suspect. And so begins The Curse of Sacerdozio: A Tale of Judicial Conspiracy, the first exciting book in The Supremes series from author and trial attorney Glen Aaron.

 

 

 

 

TRAVEL/MEMOIR

Ben H. English

Yonderings: Trails and Memories of the Big Bend

Texas Christian University Press

Paperback, 978-0-8756-5668-7, 176 pgs., $22.95

December 8, 2017

 

It was a time before Terlingua Ranch and chili cook-offs, and you could drive a hundred miles without seeing another vehicle or another person. In 1961, it was a vast, empty land spotted by isolated ranch headquarters, a national park with few visitors, and the many ruins of a past shrouded in legend, lore, and improbable truths.

         Ben H. English came to the Big Bend at the age of two, the fifth of six generations of his family to call this enigmatic region home. With his family headquartered at the old Lajitas Trading Post, he attended the one-room schoolhouse at Terlingua, worked and lived on ranches now little more than forgotten dots on yellowing maps.

         Some fifty years later Ben separates fact from fiction and brings the reader into a world that few these days can ever imagine.

 

 

MYSTERY/PARANORMAL

Alexia Gordon

Death in D Minor (Gethsemane Brown Mystery)

Henery Press

Paperback, 978-1-6351-1231-3, (also available in hardcover, as an e-book, an audiobook, and on Audible), 236 pgs., $15.95

March 10, 2017

 

Gethsemane Brown, African-American musician and expatriate to an Irish village, solved a string of murders and got used to living with a snarky ghost. She can rest easy now. Right? Wrong. The ghost has disappeared, her landlord's about to sell to a developer, and her brother-in-law's come to visit. She scrambles to call her spectral roomie back from beyond and find a way to save the cottage from destruction. But real estate takes a backseat when her brother-in-law is accused of stealing a valuable antique. Gethsemane strikes a deal with an investigator to go undercover at a charity ball and snoop for evidence of a forgery/theft ring in exchange for the woman's help clearing him. At the party, she accidentally conjures the ghost of an eighteenth-century sea captain, then ends up the prime suspect in the party host’s murder. She races to untangle a web of phony art and stolen antiques to exonerate herself, then the killer targets her. Will she bring a murderer to justice, or will her encore investigation become her swan song?

 

MYSTERY

John Alexander

The Secret Room: Amber-Autumn Mystery (Volume 4)

CreateSpace

Paperback, 978-1-5432-5043-5, (also available as an e-book), 170 pgs., $9.99

October 14, 2017

 

In this, the fourth book of the Amber-Autumn mystery series, during their stay at a Bed and Breakfast in historic Jefferson, Texas, the girls discover a long forgotten room in the attic. Their quest to uncover its secrets takes the girls on a journey through Jefferson history, including a cemetery, a river boat tour, and an evening ghost walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROMANCE/HOLIDAY

Jodi Thomas

A Christmas Affair (Ransom Canyon)

Harlequin Books

E-book, B06ZZ1X6DQ, 90 pgs., $2.99

October 1, 2017

 

A shy soul and an adventurous heart. As the holidays approach, can they find happiness together?

        Maria Anne Davis was on her way to an exciting career as a chef in Dallas, until a terrible car accident left her blind. Ever resilient, Maria has reinvented her life on her own terms, starting a business out of her home kitchen, selling her jams and jellies to the local grocery.

         Wes can’t keep Maria’s wildly popular jam on his shelves—just like he can’t keep the fierce, beautiful Maria out of his thoughts. But how could a firecracker like Maria come to love a shy, nervous man like him? Maybe all they need is a grand affair. Wes needs to convince Maria that some affairs last forever, though—just in time for Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

HISTORICAL FICTION

Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road

Pumpjack Press

Paperback, 978-0-9974-1133-1, (also available as an e-book), 308 pgs., $15.95

April 22, 2017

 

The story begins in 1984 when a reporter gets a tip to meet an old woman at a Texas cemetery. Cradling an antique rifle and standing over a freshly dug grave, the woman claims to be Bonnie Parker, there to bury the love of her life, Clyde Barrow.

       Turns out, it wasn't Bonnie and Clyde who were ambushed and killed on that fateful day in 1934. Instead, the outlaw lovers were forced into a covert life and given a dangerous and desperate mission--save President Roosevelt from an assassination plot financed by industrialist fat cats determined to sink the New Deal policies.

       The story rockets along at a page-turning clip, cutting back and forth between the modern era where the shocked reporter begins to investigate the potential scoop-of-the-century, and the dangerous undercover exploits of Bonnie and Clyde, as they are forced into a fight to defend the working class against corporate greed during America's Great Depression.

 

ROMANCE/SUSPENSE

Sara Russell

Racing Storms: The Chasing Desire Trilogy

North Loop Books

Paperback, 978-1-6350-5379-1, (also available as an e-book), 198 pgs., $12.99

April 25, 2017

 

Decoursey dreads the upcoming weekend. A big NASCAR race is taking place at the speedway near her home--and her abusive, murder-threatening ex-husband is a member of a NASCAR pit crew. Determined not to let her ex-husband have an opportunity to make good on his threat, Decoursey puts an ad online, hoping to find some security in the form of a guy needing a place to crash.

       Enter Kennan, a storm chaser looking to get away for a few days. Fresh off a failed storm chase, Kennan doesn't make the best first impression. But that quickly changes as Decoursey gives Kennan a chance and finds the recently broken heart of a gentleman hidden beneath the surface. As sparks fly, so do hopes that they can dream of romance once again. But when their newfound trust is broken, will Decoursey and Kennan weather the storm to find a love that lasts?

 

 

LITERARY FICTION

Eliza Maxwell

The Unremembered Girl: A Novel

Lake Union Publishing

Paperback, 978-1-5420-4585-8, (also available as an e-book, an audiobook, and on Audible), 332 pgs., $14.95

November 1, 2017

 

In the deep woods of East Texas, Henry supports his family by selling bootleg liquor. It’s all he can do to keep his compassionate but ailing mother and his stepfather—a fanatical grassroots minister with a bruising rhetoric—from ruin. But they have no idea they’ve become the obsession of the girl in the woods.

       Abandoned and nearly feral, Eve has been watching them, seduced by the notion of family—something she’s known only in the most brutal sense. Soon she can’t resist the temptation to get close. Where Henry’s mother sees a poor girl in need, his father sees only wickedness. When Henry forges an unexpected bond with Eve, he believes he might be able to save her. He doesn’t know how wrong he is.

 

 

WESTERN/HISTORICAL

Max L. Knight

Palo Duro

Page Publishing, Inc.

Paperback, 978-1-6402-7848-6, (also available as an e-book, and in hardcover), $16.50

May 11, 2017

 

Westward expansion following the civil war ushered in an era of increased conflict between the Southern Plains Indians and white settlers. Peace treaties offered temporary suspension of hostilities, but resulted in broken promises as the two cultures clashed over land. The construction of frontier forts and towns, the decimation of the buffalo herds, the movement of cattle through Indian lands to burgeoning western markets, threatened a way of life that had existed for centuries.

 

While the Indian wars are the focus of "Palo Duro," the novel also pays homage to the great cattle drives from Texas into Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado and Montana, the cowboys, and the gunslingers. The famous and the infamous -icons of the "Old West" populate its pages and bring new life to a genre that is fading from public consciousness - the western.

 

LITERARY FICTION

Jeff Hampton

Aransas Morning

Paperback, 978-0-9966-4482-2, 304 pgs., $19.97

September 22, 2017

 

When Sam Barnes’ high-flying life in Dallas falls apart, he flees to the coastal town of Port Aransas and fades into the life of a reclusive beach bum. But things start to change when he meets Dave, a young widower working through his own loss; Shelly, owner of the Dream Bean coffee shop; Bo, a crusty old shrimper; and Allie, Bo’s free-spirited daughter. Together they are tested and forced to confront their own issues. In doing so they discover family and community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MYSTERY

Miles Arceneaux

Hidden Sea

Brent Douglass

Paperback, 978-0-9968-7974-3, (also available as an e-book), 216 pgs., $11.99

October 20, 2017

 

Charlie Sweetwater saw the Mexican Gulf Coast as a spiritual second home. But now a worrisome and potentially dangerous development has shown up on Charlie’s radar. Young Augustus Sweetwater, affectionately known as Augie, hasn’t reported in after completing a south-of-the-border sales trip for Sweetwater Marine. Raul, Augie’s father and Charlie’s nephew, is worried sick. Drug cartel violence in Mexico has reached epidemic proportions and Augie’s path took him through the heart of the narcotraficantes’ territory.

 

As Augie’s unexplained absence grows, Charlie and Raul become increasingly alarmed and set off for Mexico to bring their boy home. What they unearth is far more than the sum of their fears. The familiar and friendly Gulf of Mexico has turned into a hidden sea plagued by smugglers, human traffickers, crooked politicians and even pirates. And Augie is lost somewhere in the middle of it all.

 

FANTASY/WESTERN

Arianne “Tex” Thompson

One Night in Sixes (Children of the Drought)

Solaris

Mass market paperback, 978-1-7810-8238-6, (also available as an e-book), 464 pgs., $7.99

July 29, 2014

 

The border town called Sixes is quiet in the heat of the day. Still, Appaloosa Elim has heard the stories about what wakes at sunset: gunslingers and shapeshifters and ancient animal gods whose human faces never outlast the daylight.

         And the daylight is running out. Elim's so-called 'partner' — that lily-white lordling Sil Halfwick — has disappeared inside the old adobe walls, hell-bent on making a name for himself among Sixes' notorious black-market traders. Elim, whose worldly station is written in the bastard browns and whites of his cow-spotted face, doesn't dare show up home without him.

        If he ever wants to go home again, he'd better find his missing partner fast. But if he's caught out after dark, Elim risks succumbing to the old and sinister truth in his own flesh - and discovering just how far he'll go to survive the night.

 

 

Medicine for the Dead (Children of the Drought)

Solaris

Mass market paperback, 978-1-7810-8307-9, (also available as an e-book), 480 pgs., $7.99

March 24, 2015

 

Two years ago, the crow-god Marhuk sent his grandson to Sixes.

         Two nights ago, a stranger picked up his gun and shot him.

         Two hours ago, the funeral party set out for the holy city of Atali'Krah, braving the wastelands to bring home the body of Dulei Marhuk.

         Out in the wastes, one more corpse should hardly make a difference. But the blighted landscape has been ravaged by drought, twisted by violence, and warped by magic - and no-one is immune. Vuchak struggles to keep the party safe from monsters, marauders, and his own troubled mind. Weisei is being eaten alive by a strange illness. And fearful, guilt-wracked Elim hopes he's only imagining the sounds coming from Dulei's coffin.

         As their supplies dwindle and tensions mount, the desert exacts a terrible price from its pilgrims - one that will be paid with the blood of the living, and the peace of the dead.

 

 

Dreams of the Eaten (Children of the Drought)

Solaris

Mass market paperback, 978-1-7810-8488-5, (also available as an e-book), 384 pgs., $8.09

December 27, 2016

 

As the funeral cortege draws near, the crows begin to gather... the stunning conclusion of this extraordinary trilogy.

         After trials by fire and thirst, Appaloosa Elim's quest to bring home the body of the crow prince is finally nearing its end.

         But the coffin is missing, the funeral party is hopelessly scattered, and the fishmen are hell-bent on revenge. Worse yet, the pilgrimage has disturbed an ancient power – and the earth is crumbling in its grip.

         As the ground shakes and the crows gather, the final reckoning promises to unite the living and the dead in a battle for the land itself. One way or another, blood debts will come due, Elim will face his judgment, and the World That Is will be forever changed.

 

 

* * * * *

LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE   copyright © 2015–18 Paragraph Ranch LLC  •  All rights reserved  •  CONTACT US