Connecting Texas books and writers with those who most want to discover them
Texas author Linda Castillo writes fast-paced, best-selling mysteries set in the Amish country of northeastern Ohio and featuring Kate Burkholder, police chief in the small town of Painters Mill.
In her newest novel, After the Storm (Minotaur Books, $25.99 hardcover), a tornado rips through Painters Mill, and the police chief races to help with rescue efforts. Castillo dedicated the book to first responders “for being there when you are needed most.”
Burkholder’s attempt to rescue a baby trapped in a demolished home puts her in danger on the scene — and in even more danger later from the baby’s parents. After the storm, Boy Scouts helping with cleanup efforts discover a human skull and some other bones stuffed in a bag.
As Burkholder investigates, she reopens a thirty-year-old mystery into the disappearance of a young man who was about to wed an Amish girl against her family’s wishes because he was not Amish. The girl would go on to marry an Amish man and bear his children, but when the bones are discovered she begins to wonder if her whole life has been based on a lie.
This is the seventh book in Castillo’s Amish mystery series that began with Sworn to Silence. But if you haven’t read any of the other books in the series, don’t worry. After the Storm is a good stand-alone novel that will quickly put you in the middle of the action.
Castillo, who lives and writes and rides horses on a small ranch near Amarillo, will be featured at the West Texas Book Festival at noon Sept. 23 at the Abilene Public Library. For more on the festival, go to abilenetx.com/apl.
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Dan Rhodes Mystery: The latest Bill Crider mystery featuring longtime small-town Texas sheriff Dan Rhodes is Between the Living and the Dead (Minotaur Books, $24.99 hardcover).
This is the twenty-second novel in the long-running Dan Rhodes murder mystery series, making Clearview, Texas, a pretty dangerous small town in my way of thinking. Well, it’s fiction!
And always a good read. In this story, Rhodes finds the body of a meth dealer who has just gotten out of jail, and there are plenty of people who might have wanted him dead, including the nephew of the mayor of Clearview.
Meanwhile, Rhodes’s math professor pal Dr. C. P. “Seepy” Benton is embarking on a new summer line of work as a paranormal investigator — a ghost hunter. Can he really communicate with ghosts?
For more, check out the author’s website, www.billcrider.com.
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Glenn Dromgoole is co-author of 101 Essential Texas Books. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In conjunction with Da Capo Press's Aug. 11 publication of the 25th anniversary edition of Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream, author H. G. “Buzz” Bissinger returns to Texas for a series of events. The publisher announced the following schedule this week:
Buzz Bissinger Book Events, Fall 2015
Grand Central Publishing
978-1-4555-8116-0, hardcover, 410 pgs., $26.00
August 18, 2015
FRICTION is the latest thriller from the prolific Sandra Brown, who has more than 70 books to her name, 68 of which are New York Times best sellers. Friction follows the tried-and-true formula that is so well established. Set in deep East Texas, Friction has all of the patented Sandra Brown elements: political intrigue, family drama, romantic entanglement, numerous plot twists; Friction also has Texas Rangers, organized crime, and fracking.
Texas Ranger Crawford Hunt is in the witness box in Judge Holly Spencer’s courtroom for a custody hearing that will determine whether he regains custody of his daughter, Georgia, from her maternal grandparents, when a gunman bursts through the doors. Hunt throws himself atop the judge to protect her and then pursues the gunman when he flees the courtroom. Hunt confronts a man on the roof holding a gun, and SWAT takes him out. As the investigation proceeds, doubts about the identity and motivation of the suspect arise and Ranger Hunt’s past comes back to threaten him and those he loves in the present. >>READ MORE
978-0-89672-926-1, Texas Tech University Press, paperback, 136 pages, $24.95
June 15, 2015
The Land of Rain Shadow: Horned Toad, Texas is a collection of eight short stories by Joyce Gibson Roach, she of the impeccable c.v.: author, rancher, Fellow of Texas State Historical Association and Texas Folklore Society, member of Texas Institute of Letters and the Philosophical Society of Texas, past president of Horned Lizard Conservation Society, Honoree in the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and founder of the Center for Western Cross Timbers Studies.
The stories in Rain Shadow are linked by place, each set in the tiny, fictional town of Horned Toad. As these pieces reflect on the importance of the land, the characters and time periods change but the land abides. Roach quotes Tom Lea in her introduction: “Its richness is space, wide and deep and infinitely colored, visible to the jagged mountain rim of the world – huge and challenging space, to evoke huge and challenging freedom.” Roach and Lea are writing of West Texas, my home. >> READ MORE
If you have children, the likelihood is they’ve watched one of the TV shows that Jennifer Hamburg has written for —Doc McStuffins, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Super Why!, Little Einsteins, Blue’s Clues, and more — an impressive body of work. But what’s even more amazing is that Hamburg is a mom and wife and has juggled her TV writing as well as children’s books from her home in Austin. She took time from her obviously hectic schedule to tell us how she does it in Lone Star Listens.
LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE: Your career as a children’s television writer has led you to two Emmy Awards and work with Disney Junior, Nick Jr, PBS, and Amazon. How did you first get started in this field?
JENNIFER HAMBURG: In grad school, I studied educational psychology with a focus on children's media. After an internship at Sesame Street, I knew I wanted to work in kids' TV (I actually wanted to live on Sesame Street but that wasn't an option). My first job after graduation was as a research analyst for a spinoff of Blue's Clues, a job I absolutely loved. As I got to know the writing process on that show a bit more, I expressed an interest in writing myself, and when the timing was right they gave me a shot. I had my first writing credit! From there, I started writing for other children's shows, then eventually moved into story editing and head writing. >> READ MORE
AMARILLO Wed., Sept. 2 KAMR TV Studio 4, Jodi Thomas and Ransom Canyon, 4– 5 pm
KAMR TV Studio 4 Interview, Jodi Thomas Talks Ransom Canyon, Wed, September 2, 4– 5 pm
AUSTIN Wed., Sept. 3 World travel expert Russell Eric Dobda on 24 countries on a shoestring, 7PM
Soma Vida Health and Wellness Center, Author and world travel expert Russell Eric Dobda will share his travels to 24 countries on a shoestring budget, 7PM
AUSTIN Thurs., Sept. 4 BookPeople, Invisible Austin: Life and Labor in an American City, 7PM
BookPeople, University of Texas Professor JAVIER AUYERO and panelists speak about and sign Invisible Austin: Life and Labor in an American City, 7PM
HOUSTON Sept. 4–6 Amazing Houston Comic Con
HOUSTON Sept. 4–6 Amazing Houston Comic Con
Author Martha Louise Hunter (below, left) is the new co-host of "Writing on the Air," the radio program in Austin purely devoted to the art of writing and creativity. Writing on the Air is broadcast Wednesdays from 6- to 7 pm CDT on KOOP 91.7 FM (Austin), and streaming live at WritingOntheAir.com.
Soon after appearing as a guest to discuss her novel, Painting Juliana, Hunter was tapped by outgoing host Françcois Pointeau to become the program’s new co-host, interviewing authors, poets, journalists, screenwriters, historians, and songwriters.
Each year hundreds of veteran authors and those just learning the craft of Christian fiction come to ACFW. Lone Star Literary Life’s coverage of this national fiction convention in Dallas begins Sept. 6.
We’ll bring you:
AUSTIN—Acclaimed novelist Margaret Atwood (below, right); actor, Broadway star, and children’s book author Taye Diggs (center); and National Public Radio host and author Scott Simon (left) will be featured presenters at the Texas Book Festival’s First Edition Literary Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel Fri., Oct. 16, 2015. >>READ MORE
The Permian Basin Writers’ Workshop will be held September 18–19, 2015. Sponsored by the Midland Library Foundation, the workshop has been designed to offer two tracks that attendees may move between at their discretion. One track addresses elements of the writing process, and the other will focus on navigating the industry.
Venues will be Midland Centennial Library and Midland College, and registration cost is $35.
Presenters include Sara Cortez, Stephen Graham Jones, Seth Fishman, Kay Ellington, and Barbara Brannon.
The West Texas Book Festival, which will celebrate its 15th annual festival this year during the week of September 21-26 at the Abilene Public Library in Abilene, Texas, announced its lineup of authors this week.
The festival seeks to celebrate books, literacy, and reading, with a special emphasis on local and regional authors. The event is community driven and provides the public with the chance to interact with local authors on a more personal level. The festival includes a number of meet and greet sessions as well as readings and talks. For more information contact Janis Test at (325) 676-6017.
Clockwise from upper left: O'Neal, Bissinger, Castillo, Kent, Thomas, Dearen, Specht (photos from Amarillo Public Library website)
>> READ MORE/FULL LIST
Buzz Bissinger, author of the classic Friday Night Lights, returns to the Permian Basin in September and will be an active participant in many literary and literacy events in Midland and Odessa. Midland has a rich schedule of literary events in September including Project Literacy and the Permian Basin Writers Workshop. >> LISTEN NOW (mp3)
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VISIT WITH POLLY Continuing through SEPT. 8
Aug 30 - Bookishjessp - promo
Aug 31 - Feather Pens, Tartan Dreams - Promo Post + Author Q&A
Sept 1 - A Novel Reality - review
Sept 2 - Book Crazy Gals - Guest Post + promo
Sept 3 - The Crazy Bookseller - review
Sept 4 - Secret Asian Girl - review
Sept 5 - My Book Fix - review
Sept 6 - The Page Unbound - review
Sept 7 - Hall Ways - Author Q&A
VISIT WITH DIANE THROUGH SEPT. 3
Aug 30 - Hall Ways Review
Aug 31 - A Novel Reality Author Q&A
Sept 1 - Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books Review
Sept 2 - The Crazy Booksellers - review
Sept 4 - Books and Broomsticks promo
Sept 5 - The Crazy Booksellers promo
Sept 6 - TexasBookLover Author Q&A
Sept 7 - The Page Unbound promo
Sept 8 - Because This is My Life, Y’all promo
Sept 9 - Bookishjessp Author Q/A or guest post
Sept 10 - My Book Fix Review
Sept 11 - Texas Book-aholic Review
Sept 12 - Missus Gonzo Review
Sept 13 - Hall Ways Review
Sept 4 - Feather Pens, Tartan Dreams - promo
Sept 5 - Books and Broomsticks promo
Sept 6 - The Crazy Booksellers promo
Sept 7 - Because This is My Life, Y’all promo
Sept 8 - All For the Love of the Word promo
Sept 9 -
Sept 10 - Bookishjessp Author Q/A or guest post
Sept 11 - TexasBookLover Author Q&A or Guest Post
Sept 12 - Missus Gonzo Review
Sept 13 - My Book Fix Review
Sept 14 - The Page Unbound promo
Sept 15 - Texas Book-aholic Review
Sept 16 - Secret Asian Girl Review
Sept 17 - Hall Ways Review
Sept 18 - Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books Review
Sept 1 - TexasBookLover
Sept 2 - Feather Pens,Tartan Dreams
Sept 3 - Books and Broomsticks
Sept 4 - My Book Fix
Sept 5 - The Crazy Bookseller
Sept 6 - MissusGonzo
Sept 7 - Novel Reality
Sept 8 - Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books
Sept 9 - Texas Book-aholic
Sept 10 - Bookishjessp
Sept 11 -Hall Ways
Sept 12 - Because This is My Life, Y’all
Sept 13 - The Page Unbound
Sept 14 - All For Love of the Word
Sept 15 - Book Crazy Gals
VISIT WITH KEN THROUGH SEPT. 4
Aug 30 - Because This is My Life, Y’all
Aug 31 - Hall Ways
Sept 1 - Books and Broomsticks
Sept 2 - Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books
Sept 3 - Texas Book-aholic
Sept 4 - Book Crazy Gals Blog
VISIT WITH BETH THIS WEEK:
Aug 24 - Feather Pens, Tartan Dreams
Aug 25 - A Novel Reality
Aug 26 - Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books
VISIT WITH KEN THIS WEEK:
Aug 24 - Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books
Aug 25 - Because This is My Life, Y’all
Aug 26 - The Crazy Bookseller
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