Slide into summer reads brimming with action, romance, and thrills


Languorous days await. Find a fire ant-free patch of grass, sip some lemonade, and peruse our June Texas Books Preview, where you can take a journey back through time -- or through Texas, face the thrill of adventure, dive into a mystery, and of course, find romance. Lone Star Lit is here to help you ramp up your summer reading!


Chasing the Panther: Adventures & Misadventures of a Cinematic Life

Carolyn Pfeiffer


Chasing the Panther is the coming-of-age story of a young American woman who jets off to the passionate, turbulent world of 1960s Europe. There, she works with some of the era’s most influential artists, cinematographers, and tastemakers, experiencing a series of joyful, tragic, and ultimately life-defining events.



Dreams of Arcadia

Brian Porter


Veterinarian Nate Holub takes a job in his father’s Texas hometown, wondering if a city boy has what it takes to be a country vet. As he struggles to adapt, Nate reconnects with his family and discovers that his father’s accidental death thirty years earlier was much more complicated than he realized. Nate delves into the past, afraid of what he might find. He encounters a resentful cousin, a wary town patriarch, a reclusive uncle, a beguiling hidden garden, and a mysterious illness. Nate is drawn to the Holub family farm, where he seeks refuge in nature and tries desperately to reach Viola, his inscrutable grandmother. The farm is a place that haunts his memory, a place where dark family secrets dwell.



Frontiers: The Texas Panhandle and Plains

Stephanie and James Khattak


This fine art coffee table book is a visual journey that takes readers through the historically significant, culturally rich and naturally beautiful plains, canyons, mountains and deserts of West Texas. 



Her Only Wish

Shelley Shepard Gray


New York Times bestselling author delivers a sweet, enchanting Amish romance between a sheltered young woman eager for adventure and a young man who hopes she’s the adventure he’s been waiting for.



I Sat Alone by the Gate

Mary Efendi


Mary Efendi's first novel tells the story of Maryam, a young woman from Baku, Azerbaijan, who is thrown into the chaos of immigrant life when her mother decides to emigrate to the United States. ​ Efendi, with nostalgia and introspection, carries us through the highs and lows of her protagonists's early years and treats us to a world populated with real life characters from the streets of Chicago. Efendi skillfully paints a tender picture of home that will appeal to immigrants from many countries.



The Lies We Believe

Lisa Harris


Riley Bishop finds it impossible to know what is truth and what are lies as she is forced to question her own sanity while searching for her missing daughter. Apprehending fugitives as a part of the SOG team gives Tucker Shaw the purpose and drive he needs to fight the demons from his past. But when Sadie’s mother comes to him with credible evidence on who is behind her daughter’s disappearances, the situation quickly spirals out of control with a final twist that has Tucker questioning everything he knows to be true.



The Notorious Lord Knightly

Lorraine Heath


A scandalous book by an anonymous author takes London by storm, and everyone is convinced its villainous “Lord K” is the greatly admired Earl of Knightly. Heartbroken that he left her at the altar, Miss Regina Leyland impulsively sought revenge by revealing the true Knightly to the world but never expected the uproar to bring enemies to her door. To keep her identity hidden, she must trust the one man with the power to destroy her. Knightly and Regina pretend a reconciliation to salvage their reputations and throw the ton off their scent. But false friendship soon turns to powerful passion. When truths emerge, threatening all they hold dear, they must face their past if their story is ever to deserve its happily ever after.



Prophecy of Gods and Crows

C.D. Britt


Welcome to Ifreann, once known as Hell's Gate. Bryndis Kenneally is an anomaly, which is saying something when you live in a place once called Hell. Born into a family of healers, she is unable to follow in their footsteps since she has disturbing visions with almost every human touch. She keeps her head down until a freak sandstorm brings more than she bargained for—a man of shadows who seeks retribution, a crow that follows her everywhere, and two strangers with a message appear inside the locked gates of Ifreann. But will these strangers be her end or her salvation? Either way, she knows she can no longer pretend to be a normal woman among a town looking for witches to burn.



Rescuing Crockett

David Z. Pyke


A hero lost in battle. A shocking discovery. And a daring odyssey. 1838. Silas Grant prepares for a future with the girl of his dreams. The resourceful sixteen-year-old is learning the blacksmith trade from his father and frontier skills from Texas Revolution veterans. But when a portrait of David Crockett triggers hope that Crockett didn’t die two years earlier at the Alamo, Silas joins a quest for the truth. Exploring a world healing from the war, Silas and his companions investigate the accounts of Alamo survivors, follow the trail of the Mexican army’s retreat, and pursue a witness to the final moments inside the Alamo. Their journey turns lethal as layers of the last stand’s legend peel away to reveal an astonishing secret.



When She Comes Knocking

Dan McDowell


When She Comes Knocking is a gripping psychological thriller that tells the story of Ben Decker, a burned out pharmaceutical sales rep. Struggling with the scars of the past, he hopes moving to a new house will provide the fresh start he needs to leave his troubles behind. Things take a dark turn when Ben's new neighbor, Jean Jackson, comes knocking. Struggling to identify her unpredictable behaviors and motives, Ben finds himself working to unravel a complex mystery with his family quickly landing front and center. As tension and suspense build, Ben must confront his demons as he fights to protect his family from the descending suburban nightmare. Taut and suspenseful, readers will stay on the edge of their seats beginning to end. 



A Night of Screams (Anthology)

Edited by Richard Z. Santos


This riveting collection of horror stories—and four poems—contains a wide range of styles, themes and authors. Creepy creatures roam the pages, including La Llorona and the Chupacabras in fresh takes on Latin American lore, as well as ghosts, zombies and shadow selves. Migrants continue to pass through Rancho Altamira where Esteban’s family has lived for generations, but now there are two types: the living and the dead. A young man returns repeatedly to the scary portal down which his buddy disappeared. A woman is relieved to receive multiple calls from her cousin following Hurricane María in Puerto Rico, but she is stunned to later learn her prima died the first night of the storm! There’s plenty of blood and gore in some stories, while others are mysterious and suspenseful. Contributors include Ann Davila Cardinal, V. Castro, Ruben Degollado, Richie Narvaez, Lilliam Rivera and Ivelisse Rodriguez.



Black Cowboys and Early Cattle Drives

Nancy K. Williams


After the Civil War, emancipated slaves who didn't want to pick cotton or operate an elevator headed west to find work and a new life. Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving drove two thousand longhorns across southern Texas blazing a trail to Bosque Redondo in New Mexico. In 1866, the new Goodnight-Loving Trail was crowded with cattle headed for a government market. By the 1870s, twenty-five percent of the over thirty-five thousand cowboys in the West were black. They were part of trail crews that drove more than twenty-seven million cattle on the Goodnight-Loving Trail, Western Trail, Chisholm Trail and Shawnee Trail. They were paid equally, and their skill and ability brought them earned respect and prestige. Author Nancy Williams recounts their lasting legacy.



Boundless: Twenty Voices Celebrating Multicultural and Multiracial Identities (Anthology)

Edited by Ismée Williams and Rebecca Balcarcel


When identities cross boundaries, with love that knows no bounds. From platonic and romantic love to grief and heartbreak, these stories explore navigating life at the intersection of identities, and what it means to grow up surrounded by a multitude of traditions, languages, cultures, and interpersonal dynamics. Returning to a father’s homeland. Trying to fit in at chaotic weddings and lavish birthday parties where not all are welcome. Processing grief at family gatherings. Figuring out how to share the news of a new relationship with loved ones. This collection celebrates multicultural and multiracial characters at the helm of their own narratives, as they approach life with a renewed sense of hope and acceptance.



Fairest of Heart

Karen Witemeyer


Beauty has been nothing but a curse to Penelope Snow. When she becomes a personal maid for a famous actress whose troupe is leaving Chicago to tour the west, she hides her figure beneath shapeless dresses and keeps her head down. But she still manages to attract the wrong attention, leaving her prospects in tatters—and her jealous mistress plotting her demise. After his brother lost his life over a woman, Texas Ranger Titus Kingsley has learned to expect the worst from females and is rarely disappointed. So when a young woman found in suspicious circumstances takes up residence with the seven old drovers living at his grandfather’s ranch, Titus is determined to keep a close eye on her. With a promotion hanging in the balance, Titus investigates a robbery case tied to Penelope’s old acting troupe. The evidence points to her guilt, but Titus’s heart divines a different truth—one that might just get Penelope killed.



His Accidental Cowboy

A.M. Arthur


Wyatt Gibson is in Texas looking for answers about his past. When he talks his way into a job at Woods Ranch, he never imagines that the hot cowboy he (almost) slept with the night before not only works there, but is the one showing him the ropes. As a rustler at the ranch, Jackson Summer handles all sorts of things: mucking, herding, grooming, riding—and minding his own damn business. A lifetime of hurt will do that to a guy. What he never imagines handling is the greenest cowboy to ever step foot in Weston, Texas. Jackson is determined to keep his heart safe—and falling for a hot young thing like Wyatt is definitely not safe. Especially because Jackson knows Wyatt is keeping a secret…one that he can’t quite put his finger on but that just might change life at Woods Ranch forever.



The Museum of Marriage

C.W. Smith


The Museum of Marriage showcases characters struggling with the demands and mysteries of the solitary life, romance, and marriage. The young men of "The Balcony Scene" and "Big Rig" worry over their futures with those exotic creatures of another sex; the women in "The Marriage Museum" and "Leave Me Be!" wrestle with their emotional turmoil about their relationships. The collection's most uplifting picture of these very knotty human dilemmas comes in "Suitors," where a young woman must choose between two equally worthy men. Having given her heart to a longtime but distant lover, she's unexpectedly attracted to another closer by. "That he could arouse her interest was a little thrilling but also frightening, promising in equal measures the rosy pleasures of infatuation and the torment of feeling unfaithful."




Rey Terciero


In this swoony and spooky teen summer romance graphic novel set on a Texas ranch, sixteen-year-old Cade Muñoz finds himself falling for the ranch owner’s mysterious and handsome son, only to discover that he may be harboring a dangerous secret.



Raising the Steaks: My Journey to Creating the Best Steakhouse in the World

Samir Dhurandhar


In a whirlwind culinary tour, taking readers from his chef origins in India to celebrated Manhattan eateries to the famed Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse in Dallas, Samir Dhurandhar tells a singular, savory American success story. The author overcame daunting challenges to land a partner role in the Phil Romano–created restaurant Nick & Sam’s, earning him the nickname “celebrity chef,” despite his humble persona. Find out why A-listers from George Clooney, Shaq, and Diddy to NBA megastar Luka Dončić just had to meet Samir―and become lifelong customers. 



We Hold Our Breath

Micah Fields


Fields depicts the history of Houston with reverence and lyrical certainty, investigating the conflicting facets of Texan identity that are as resilient as they are catastrophic, steeped in racial subjugation, environmental collapse, and capitalist greed. He writes of the development of the modern city in the wake of the destruction of Galveston in 1900; of the wealthy Menil family and self-taught abstract painter Forrest Bess, a queer artist and fisherman born in 1911 who hardly ever left the Gulf Coast; of the oil booms and busts that shaped the city; of the unchecked lust for growth that makes Houston so expressive of the American dream. We Hold Our Breath is a portrait of a city that exists despite it all, a city whose story has always been one of war waged relentlessly against water.



You, Me, We

Arun Gandhi & Bethany Hegedus


Where can we find peace? It shows in the way we walk, stand, or form a circle. It can be found when we play or dig in the garden, speak up or ask for help, or sit still and listen to the silence. Whether we’re learning, taking turns, or getting past hurt feelings and misunderstandings, peace is always there, as long as we look at one another, ready to discover. Drawing on the philosophies of Mahatma Gandhi and educator Maria Montessori, coauthors Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus offer an inviting primer brought to life through the warm, wondrous illustrations of Colombian artist Andrés Landazábal. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If we are to teach real peace in this world . . . we shall have to begin with children.” You, Me, We does just that, as it celebrates the peace that can be found in us all. 




There are so many Texas-connected books publishing this month that we couldn’t feature all of them. The following books also publish in June:



Adore by Morgan Rice

Bear Willis & Kit Carson: Texas Do or Die! by Peter Alan Turner

Camp Sylvania by Julie Murphy

The Fight for Midnight by Dan Solomon

Glitter Everywhere! by Chris Barton

Lupe Lopez: Reading Rock Star by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Pat Zietlow Miller

One Creepy Street - Tomorrow by Lee Jordan, Illustrated by Tiffiny McDowell

Secrets of the Moon Conch by David Bowles and Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Twisted Witchcraft by Sarah Noffke & Michael Anderle

What She Missed by Liari Tamani

Where Wildflowers Grow by Ha Dinh



The Amulet by E.R. Bills

The Bet by Jay D. Rodgers

Camp Wolters: Mineral Wells & World War II by Stacy Croushorn

Capturing Skunk Alpha: A Barrio Sailor's Journey in Vietnam by Raúl Herrera

Duty to Serve, Duty to Conscience by James C. Kearney, William H Clamurro

Lone Stars Rising: The Fifty People Who Turned Texas Into the Fastest-Growing, Most Exciting, and, Sometimes, Most Exasperating State in the Country by Texas Monthly

The Mammals of Trans-Pecos Texas by Franklin D. Yancy, David J. Schmidly, Richard W. Manning, Stephen Kasper, & Chester O. Martin

Mundane Mentions by Cole Bauer

To Be A Woman by Katie J. McCoy

Words from the Silent Generation by Kenlea Barnes

Writing Nonfiction by Mike Cox



A Botanist's Guide to Flowers and Fatality by Kate Khavari

Cashmere Heretic by Cristian Cuevas

Chasing the Past by Mary Alford

Dial M for Mud Cake by Kaz Delaney

Family Matters: Lies Across Texas by M.R. Dimond

The Gap by Ninie Hammon

Ghostwriters and Gravediggers by Brittany E. Brinegar

The Gulf by Rachel Cochran

Hearing Her Cries by Calle J. Brookes

Honey, Hairballs, and Murder by Leanne Leeds

Men Lying Dead In A Field by Richard Schwindt

The Mule Ears by J J Rusz

Murder On The Guadalupe by Bruce Hammack

Please Don't Push Up the Daisies by Diane Vallere

The Roswell Lowdown by Philip Beck

Summer Vacation Murder by Rachel Woods

Three Confess by Luana Ehrlich

Too Late by Colleen Hoover

Witch Angel by Trana Mae Simmons



A Noble Inheritance by Kasey Stockton

A Rogue to Reform by Hildie McQueen

Aiming for His Heart by Julie Benson

Banshee's Lament by Darlene Tallman

Berserker: The Sköll Clan Shifters by Dallas Ryan

Black Velvet by Calliope Parrish

Bless Your Heart by Lyra Parish

Can't Let Her Go by Kianna Alexander

Chasing Cheyenne by Anna Brooks

Country and Clove by Violet Taylor

The Cowboy and His Sleeping Beauty by Kaci Rose

Designs on the Duke by Alexa Aston

Duncan by Kirsten Osbourne

Everything to Lose by Harlow James

Fake Fiancee for Hire by Laurie LeClair

Falling for the Cowboy Doc by Cari Lynn Webb

He's My Cowboy (Anthology) 

Honeymoon for Six by Chris Keniston

Judge by Elle James

Learning to Trust Again by Alexa Aston

Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

Mail Order Myth by Kirsten Osbourne

Make Me Yours, Cowboy by Dylann Crush

Mr. Alpha Undone by Kelsey Green

My Romantic Billionaire by Bokerah Brumley

Noah by Lori Wilde & Kristin Eckhardt

The Perfect Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman

The Pocket Pair by Emma St. Clair

Pride Not Prejudice (Anthology)

Ranger Justice by Lynn Shannon

The Reprobate by Silvia Violet

Rowan: Firebrand Cowboys by Barb Han

Savior Complex by Kelly Fox

Secrets of Lost Hope Canyon by Colleen Thompson

Snickerdoodle by Bokerah Brumley

The Summer Melt by Emily March

Targeted in Silver Creek by Delores Fossen

Texas Heart (Anthology)

The Trouble With a Small Town Cowboy by Debra Clopton

The Trouble With Darcy by Evie Snow

The Twelve Mile School by Judy McGonagill

Wolf on the Wild Side by Terry Spear



Daddy Boy by Emerson Whitney

Eden: A Glen Haven Tale by Michael Breakfield

The Engineer's Apprentice by J.R. Martin

Hostile Territory by William Johnstone & JA Johnstone

House Woman by Adorah Nworah

Into Enemy Territory by Michael Anderle

Ivan and Phoebe by Oksana Lutsyshyna

Juest Check Comics by Karen Kacy Jey Jacobs

Maeve Fly by C.J. Leede

Muley Cow Creek by Wes Gorman

Night Will Find You by Julia Heaberlin

Prince Liberator by Fred Hughes

Reap & Burn by Olivia Hardin

Return to Valetto by Dominic Smith

Run Baby Run by Melissa Lenhardt

Touched by J. Grace Pennington

Walking on Fire by Kathryn Crawley


Want to make sure your forthcoming Texas-connected titles are included in our feature? Email us at with the details!