Connecting Texas books and writers with those who most want to discover them
Romantic mystery author Diane Kelly has expanded her entertaining Tara Holloway and Paw Enforcement series with two new titles. And, I’m happy to report, more are on the way.
Death, Taxes, and a Chocolate Cannoli (St. Martin’s, $7.99 paperback) is the ninth book featuring IRS special agent Holloway, and Kelly has signed on to write three more in the series.
In this novel, the Internal Revenue Service gets involved in trying to bring a brutal mobster to justice, and Holloway goes undercover as a waitress at the mobster’s wife’s Italian restaurant in Dallas to gather information that might help bring down Tino Fabrizio’s murderous empire.
Problem is, Holloway comes to like Fabrizio’s wife, Benedetta, and her two daughters, who also work at the restaurant. And, she especially likes Benedetta’s chocolate cannoli!
Tino and Benedetta and the daughters seem like a happy, close-knit family, but Holloway keeps reminding herself that Tino really is evil. She wonders how much Benedetta knows about his business. Before long, she will find out a lot more than she expected to.
Kelly’s second series, Paw Enforcement, features Fort Worth Police Officer Megan Luz and her canine patrol partner, Brigit.
The third book in the series, Laying Down the Paw (St. Martin’s, $7.99 paperback), has Luz and Brigit trying to protect the city against looters and a violent street gang after a tornado hits the city. Three more books in the Paw Enforcement series are scheduled.
Texas Bookshelf: Here are some other novels by Texas writers that have come across my desk in recent weeks. You can read more about them on line.
Beloved Wife by Norma Nation of Weatherford (Xlibris, $15.99) is based on a true story in a small Texas town and written, she says, “to show how domestic violence can destroy families.”
Bound to Texas by Sam Yocum Harper of Austin (Blue Ocotillo Publishing, $9.95) is a historical novel about the author’s great-great grandfather, Benjamin Ingram Harper, who was one of Texas’s first educators and who fought at San Jacinto.
Ron G. Robertson, also of Austin, is the author of a thriller, Hijacked Hitman (Enchanted Indie Press, $12.99) set in Manhattan, where he formerly lived.
Mayhem: Three Lives of a Woman by award-winning Austin writer Elizabeth Harris (Gival Press, $20) takes place in Central Texas in the first half of the twentieth century and is described by one reviewer as “gripping, haunting, elusive, extraordinary.”
Dr. Carlos R. Hamilton Jr. of Houston has written a historical novel, A Rose Blooms in Texas: Coming of Age in the Civil War Era (Bright Sky, $28 hardcover) based on his East Texas ancestors and augmented with actual letters, documents and photographs.
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Glenn Dromgoole, is co-author, with Carlton Stowers, of 101 Essential Texas Books. Contact him at email@example.com.
On Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, the 5th annual Dobie Dichos storytelling event will take place at the Historic Oakville Jailhouse Lodge in Oakville, Texas, from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. The cost of meal and performance is $15; admission for the performance only is $10. Tickets go on sale in September
Presented by George West Storyfest Association, Inc., this event honors Live Oak County’s most famous son, J. Frank Dobie, to celebrate Dobie’s works and contributions to literature, folklore, and storytelling. >>READ MORE
On Sunday, Oct. 18, during the 2015 Texas Book Festival, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) and the Library of Congress launched the relocation of the Texas Center for the Book to its new home at the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building in Austin.
Local author Sarah Bird, children’s author and illustrator Carmen Lomas Garza, and Pat Mora, founder of Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros (above, from left), helped celebrate the Center at the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library. (For more photos of the event, view our Texas Book Festival 2015 slide show.)
One of 50 state centers affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Texas Center for the Book was established by the Dallas Public Library in 1987 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and libraries and encourage the study of the written word. >>READ MORE
Published by Miles Arceneaux (October 22, 2015)
Paperback, 270 pages, ISBN 978-0996879712 (ebook also available)
The triumvirate that is Miles Arceneaux — Brent Douglass, John T. Davis, and James R. Dennis — are back with North Beach, the fourth story about the Sweetwater clan in their series of crime novels that have been christened Gulf Coast noir. North Beach is a coming-of-age story of the next generation of Sweetwaters.
With North Beach, set in the summer of 1962, Arceneaux again proves masterful at evoking atmosphere and recreating a particular time and place. We are immersed in that year: the Space Race, Cuban Embargo, fallout shelters, the Beach Boys, paranoia, and virulent racism. ˆ proves the truism that the more things change, the more they stay the same, as some of its historical elements remain relevant today.
Alfred A. Knopf
Hardcover, 978-0-385-35133-1 (also available as ebook and audiobook), 400 pgs., $28.95
October 6, 2015
“As I write this, I’m ending my sixth decade. A new cycle in my life is opening and old one is closing. I wish to look backward and forward all at once.”
A House of My Own: Stories from My Life by Sandra Cisneros is an autobiography of sorts, an assemblage of nonfiction pieces spanning the years 1984 through 2014. Cisneros has always written about borders: personal, political, cultural, sexual, spiritual, geographical; she has always written about identity; and she’s always been searching for her true home. “I’m gathering up my stray lambs…and herding them under one roof, not so much for the reader’s sake, but my own. Where are you, my little loves, and where have you gone? Who wrote these and why? I have a need to know, so that I can understand my life.”
Stephen Graham Jones has been called a master of horror writing. It seemed only appropriate that we interview the Greenwood, Texas, native the week before Halloween. After a stint at the Texas Book Festival we caught up with Jones via email, and he shared his insights on craft and publishing.
Stephen Graham Jones portrait by Gary Isaacs
LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE: Stephen, you grew up in a small Texas town, Stanton, between Big Spring and Midland. What wStephen Graham Jones portrait by Gary Isaacsas that like and how do you suppose that experience influenced your writing?
STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES: Stanton, clocking in at three thousand people, was actually the big town closest to us, out in Greenwood, which isn’t on the map as we never had a post office, or a town, any of that. Lots of farmland, though. Lots of houses and trailers out in the pastures. Lots of oil pumps. I grew up playing in and on all of it. Sneaking out to a friend’s house at night, it meant crossing a pasture for thirty minutes. I figure the way growing up out there like that impacted my writing was that I always had to imagine stuff. Like, some afternoons in elementary, I’d go out into the pasture with just a two-foot piece of pipe or something, then find some berm of sand, some overhang of a washout, and I’d spend hours just carving out places for people I’d dreamed to live, and have adventures. Writing novels, it’s not so different. >>READ MORE
AUSTIN Oct. 28–30 Gabriel García Márquez: His Life and Legacy Symposium, Austin
Gabriel García Márquez: His Life and Legacy Symposium, Austin, Oct. 28 – 30
AUSTIN Tues., Oct. 27 BookPeople, bestselling author RICHARD FORD speaking & signing Let Me Be Frank With You, 7PM
BookPeople, bestselling author RICHARD FORD speaking & signing Let Me Be Frank With You, 7PM
LUBBOCK Tues., Oct. 27, Mahon Library, Michelle Newby presents "How to Get Your Book Reviewed" to the Caprock Writers' Alliance, 7PM
Mahon Library, Michelle Newby presents "How to Get Your Book Reviewed" to the Caprock Writers' Alliance, 7PM
LUBBOCK Tues., Oct. 29, Texas Tech English Auditorium, Creative Writing Program Reading Series presents Merritt Tierce, 7:30PM
Texas Tech English Auditorium, Creative Writing Program Reading Series presents Merritt Tierce, 7:30PM
EL PASO Sat., Oct. 31, Memorial Park Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: Day of the Dead/ Día de los Muertos, 12:45PM
Memorial Park Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: Day of the Dead/ Día de los Muertos with Raquel Mejia, 12:45PM
AUSTIN Sun., Nov. 1, Resistencia Bookstore, Day of the Dead Reading and Fundraiser, 5PM
In an annual Texas Book Festival tradition, the Writers' League of Texas celebrated 2014 writing award winners with a toast at the WLT booth. Submissions for 2015 awards (for works published in 2015) are now open through Jan. 15, 2016. >>READ MORE
At an Oct. 17 ceremony in the capitol, Texas Book Festival executive director Lois Kim presented children's author Pat Mora the annual Texas Writer Award. Mora, founder of El día de los niños / El día de los libros, is a poet and author of books for adults, teens, and children. She was presented with a custom-made pair of boots.
That recurring dream of walking across the stage and accepting the National Book Award for the novel you wrote in just one month could actually happen, says Sachse Library manger Mignon Morse. “It’s possible,” she said. “There just may be that exceptional writer out there.”
The Sachse Public Library is participating in the National Novel Writing Month campaign, providing support, guidance, inspiration, and motivation to local writers and non-writers who participate in the unique program. The month-long campaign, known as NaNoWriMo, encourages would-be novelists to start writing their novel on Nov. 1 and complete their 50,000 words manuscript by midnight, Nov. 30. >>READ MORE
The Friends of the Highland Park Library, the Highland Park United Methodist Church, and the Friends of the SMU Libraries will host James Kaplan in an Authors LIVE! program 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29 at Wesley Hall at Dallas's HPUMC.
Kaplan’s new biography, Sinatra: The Chairman, will be signed and available for purchase before and after the program. The 7 p.m. program is free and open to the public. >>READ MORE
Lisa Wingate, bestselling author of 25 books, talks about her latest novel, The Sea Keeper’s Daughters, and publishing mainstream and Christian fiction. >> LISTEN NOW (mp3)
Alison Pittman, author of 13 Christian novels, three of which have been Christy nominees, talks about her latest novel, On Shifting Sand.
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VISIT WITH ELIZABETH OCT. 26—NOV. 5
VISIT WITH MILES OCT. 26—NOV. 9
Oct 25 My Book Fix promo
Oct 26 Texas Book-aholic review
Oct 27 Because It’s My Life Y’all review
Oct 28 Book Crazy Gals review
Oct 29 A Novel Reality Author Q&A
VISIT WITH JUDY THROUGH OCT. 29
Oct 25 All For the Love of the Word review
Oct 26 Belle Whittington - Author Q&A
Oct 27 Because It’s My Life Y’all review
Oct 28 Texas Book-aholic review
Oct 29 Book Crazy Gals promo
Oct. 25 - My Book Fix review
Oct. 26 - Book Crazy Gals review
Oct 25 Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books promo
Oct 26 Because It’s My Life Y’all review
Oct 27 My Book Fix Author Q&A
Oct 28 Book Crazy Gals review
Oct 29 All For the Love of the Word review
Oct 30 Hall Ways review
Oct 31 MissusGonzo review
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