Summer serves up sizzling new reads from your favorite Texas authors

 

School’s out and the sun is shining—time for some summer beach reads! Whether you’re looking for a searing thriller, a sparkling rom-com, sublime poetry, or stimulating nonfiction, Lone Star Lit has just the book for kicking off your summer.

 

 

A Chocolate is Announced: Bean to Bar Mysteries, Book Seven

Amber Royer

 

Felicity Koerber is finally getting her life together. She has a fiancé, her bean to bar chocolate shop on Galveston’s historic Strand has become a gathering spot for the community, and she is ready to embrace whatever the future holds.

 

She’s ready for another launch party – despite the disaster at her grand opening, when she’d first gotten involved with solving a murder. And this time she’s hosting a murder mystery weekend to celebrate the new Mystery Flavor line of craft chocolate bars.

 

She’s held a contest to choose the attendees, who will all stay at her aunt’s flip hotel and enjoy the island. It’s all supposed to be perfectly random – only, Felicity starts to uncover connections between her guests.

 

 

The Dalhart Girls 

Sandra Fox Murphy

 

In the early 1950s, in the Panhandle town of Dalhart, Texas, the church stands firm amidst community and gossip. But on a December Sunday, Curtye Lee Logan, a shapely young woman from Colorado, enters Victory Church on the arm of bull rider Willie Bob Preston. Curtye Lee's arrival sparks town gossip and draws the welcoming attention of ranch-wife Shelby Hauser and the pastor's wife, Jane Connor.

 

Shelby narrates the journey of these three women, revealing how they secretly gather to study mysticism in the back of Gene Crawford's store, unbeknownst to Pastor Henry Connor. As Dalhart recovers from the hardships and losses of the 1930s Dust Bowl, the shadows of those years still harbor secrets and pain for long-time residents.

 

 

Draw a Hard Line: An E.J. Kane Mystery 

Micheal E. Jimerson

 

A racist killer uses the resources of his Aryan gang to falsify an innocence claim, intending to use fraudulent evidence to gain his release from prison. Only the original trial team, cowboy detective E.J. Kane and his former prosecutor ex-wife Rebecca Johnson, refuse to surrender to injustice. An unrelated suicide holds the key to unraveling a massive conundrum of DNA evidence.

 

Meanwhile, their daughter faces the stark consequences of drug addiction and continued victimization from sex trafficking. E.J. will have to battle a corrupt sheriff, an army of white supremacist, the legendary Big Thicket National Preserve, and a startling revelation about his past dishonor.

 

Earthwhere 

Lindsay Illich

 

Earthwhere was written under the sign of disaster–a house fire, a global pandemic, the health crisis of a spouse, the stillbirth of my niece. In many of the poems, I address a “you,” a regular feature of lyric poetry, partly because it powerfully conjures a singular other, the “to whom” of address, our most precious loved ones. It made writing the poems feel like receiving the gift of their attention, like they were with me. Also, it made the act of writing an act of preservation, for poems enact and elicit emotion, connection. They’re all love letters, really.

 

 

If We Ever Get There: A Novel 

Laura Barrow

 

When her nineteen-year marriage ends, stay-at-home mom Effie Baker takes the first step into her new life with an extreme makeover. She assumes she’ll wake up with a renewed sense of confidence, not a vision of country music icon Patsy Cline telling her she needs to “set things right". Although the message is cryptic, Effie is certain it must have something to do with her grandmother, Lolly, who idolized the singer. While Lolly’s past may hold the key to her granddaughter’s future, it’s up to Effie to figure out what these connections mean on her own.

 

In the whirlwind of a new job, a mysterious stranger, and the ups and downs of everyday life, Effie will have to decide what relationships are worth saving and summon the courage to find her own voice.

 

 

A Killer in Christmas Cay: A Smiley and McBlythe Mystery

Bruce Hammack

 

Blind PI Steve Smiley and his partner are on the hunt for a corporate spy who’s selling company secrets. After an employee is left beaten and comatose, it becomes clear there's more at stake than corporate sabotage.

 

Under the guise of an elite leadership retreat, the duo hatch an elaborate plan to flush out the mole. When they get word the comatose employee has died, they realize they’re looking not just for a spy, but a cold-blooded killer. After two of the suspects are attacked on the island, and with no means of escape for anyone, Smiley’s in a race to unmask a killer before anymore blood spills across the sands of paradise.

 

 

Painted Melodies: Lost Creek, Texas Hill Country, Book Two

Alexa Aston

 

A divorced man seeking a new beginning. A woman driven by her art. A new beginning which brings them together.

 

Accountant Dax Tennyson moves to Lost Creek and opens a coffeehouse. Ivy Hart quits her art gallery job and returns home, managing her family’s wine tasting room. She volunteers to paint a mural for the town square and meets Dax, who arranges a live music and art fusion at his coffeehouse, and the two grow close as they slowly rebuild their lives.

 

Ivy is given a chance to pursue her art career beyond Lost Creek. Will she leave everything behind—including her budding romance with Dax—to pursue an art career beyond Lost Creek?

 

 

Sin City Treachery: An A.J. Docker and Banshee Thriller

Gary Gerlacher

 

Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world, hosts an F1 race, the largest event in he city’s history and a prime target for terrorism. With over a half million people descending in the Strip for the event, a bomb detonates days before the race. In the emergency room, Doc fights to save the lives of a pregnant doctor and her premature baby injured by the blast. Joined by his girlfriend Lana, his colleague Rick, and K9 companion Banshee he seeks justice for the victims. Their investigation leads them through iconic Las Vegas attractions as they uncover the surprising truth behind the crimes.

 

 

Stone of Fear: Stones of Iona Series, Book Two

Margaret Izard

 

She’d give everything to keep his love. He’d chase her through time to save her soul. Marie Murray, a spunky expert on spiritual buildings, jumps at the opportunity to renovate the chapel mosaic floor at Dunstaffnage Castle, where she falls hard for the dashing John MacArthur. From their first kiss, sparks fly.

 

Believing her religious renovation creates magic, a fanatical priest kidnaps Marie. Obsessed with obtaining a powerful magic Stone of Iona, he drags her to 15th-century Scotland.

 

With his love kidnapped, John must tackle his hereditary duty and locate a magic Fae stone while chasing his love across time. Her memories of their passion keep her sane. His fuel his will to find her. Will John get to Marie in time to save her soul?

 

 

This Time Around 

Kimberly Packard

 

Josie Gardner’s life revolves around her amazing children and her career. But, when her husband threatens to take her kids in their divorce, and the business she’s put most of her passion, time and money into building is at risk of failing, a panic attack shatters her grip on reality… and the present.

 

Josie wakes up in her teenage bedroom, thirty years in the past. She’s forced to relive her emotionally devastating senior year of high school — the year she cut her father out of her life, caused one of her best friends to sever ties, and turned away the boy she loved.

 

 

Chasing the Sun 

WM Gunn; illustrated by Sadia Shahid

 

Just as the sun moves from the East to the West, this is the story of adventurers following the trail of treasure from the Civil War in the East to the West Coast in the 1880s. Ride with them as they encounter Union soldiers searching for Confederate Gold, adventurers fighting Indians as they hunt for Maximillian’s Lost Treasure, and the dangerous discovery of a haunted cave of lost treasure and death.

 

Join the adventure.

 

 

Ghost Bones

Helen Currie Foster

 

Alice Greer is relishing life, love, and law practice in Coffee Creek in scenic Texas Hill Country when suddenly things turn hot -- maybe too hot to handle.

 

Retired judge Edwin Mahan hires Alice to supervise an archeology project and to help publish his controversial history of Coffee County. In it he describes murders on his land in 1847, with no murderer caught and no trial held. When a new victim dies, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to silence the dead and the living--including Alice.

 

Join Alice as she unearths clues from ancient bones to solve the old murders--and the new--in Ghost Bones, Book 9 in the Alice MacDonald Greer Mystery Series by award-winning author Helen Currie Foster.

 

 

Hallow: A Fractured Family Tale

M. R. Dimond

 

Family: What you don’t know can kill you.

 

It’s the holiday season—fall holidays, that is. Black Orchid Enterprises celebrates all of them from High Holy Days through Day of the Dead. Young Texas attorney JD Thompson struggles protect his clients, family, and home from encroaching evil from old secrets as blood drips down the wall.

 

Join JD and his ABBA tribute band in their fifth adventure.

 

 

Just Dying to Glamp 

April Nunn Coker

 

Who is killing women at the ladies’ campout?

 

Newly widowed Mamie West purchases the vintage camper of her dreams and joins Gals Gone Glamping. No sooner does she and her faithful Boston terrier Babs arrive and get set up than one of the ladies is found murdered at her own campsite. Then cryptic notes appear—first in the dead woman’s RV, then at Mamie’s own camper. Although handsome police officer Nick Vandegan is on the case, Mamie jumps in to help solve the murder. Will they be able to find out who is murdering Three Gees before someone else is killed? Is Mamie next on the killer’s list?

 

 

Running From the Past: Danger in Destiny, Book Five

Melanie D. Snitker

 

She'll have to trust her ex-husband.

For Peyton Kennedy, her life begins to fall apart when her sister is murdered and Peyton is forced to flee with her infant niece. Unsure who she can trust, she goes to Destiny, Texas where her ex-husband lives. Regardless of how things ended between them, she knows he's the one person who can protect them and help her find justice for her sister.

He's determined to protect her … but from what?

As a general practitioner, Doctor Jay Baird is content with focusing on the care of his patients. And then his ex-wife walks through his door after not speaking to her for almost two years and changes everything. It's impossible to turn Peyton away when it's clear her life is in danger, especially when neither of them knows who is after her or what they want.

They must face their fears or risk losing everything.

The investigation leads them right back to the scene of the crime. If they have any hope of identifying the killers, they'll have to set aside their differences or risk facing their greatest fear: losing each other.

 

 

Sunset Ledge 

Darlene Deluca

 

Jack Armstrong lives like a recluse on his Texas ranch. In the difficult years after his wife’s death, he goes through the motions of life and wants to be left alone.

 

Caroline Tate, a widowed ecology professor, arrives at the ranch for a much-needed break and to take nature photos for her sabbatical project. But relaxing is a challenge when she finds herself at odds with the curmudgeonly cowboy who owns the place.

 

Jack generally steers clear of the guests, but this time, it’s not so easy. Vivacious Caroline doesn’t fade into the background. This city gal comes with pearls around her neck, a big red flower on her floppy hat, and way too many questions. Her self-assured, adventurous spirit gets under Jack’s skin, and she soon stirs feelings long dormant inside him.

 

 

Turtle on a Post: Memoir of Texas State Senator Carl Parker

by Carl Parker as told to Jim Sanderson

 

Turtle on a Post is a collection of memoirs that tells the story of the life and legacy of Senator Carl Parker as told to Jim Sanderson. Parker was a Texas State Senator and served in the House of Representatives. His long career in politics lasted from 1962 to 1995. In these pages, you will get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the interworking of the Texas political machine. You'll also get to know the man behind the legend-a father, husband, and world traveler who lived a full and fascinating life. This book is perfect for history buffs, political aficionados, and those who just want to read a well-told tale.

 

 

Unwritten in Death: The Cari Turnlyle Series, Book Five

Leslie A. Piggott

 

The city of Brenington is shocked to learn one of its residents is bestselling author Natasha Gillespie. Just days after announcing her retirement and revealing her identity to the world, Gayle Smith, a.k.a., Natasha Gillespie, is found dead in her home. Cari is not alone in suspecting foul play; Genevieve and Alex lead the police investigation after barbiturates are discovered in Smith's system. As they investigate her death, they discover writing thrillers was not the only thing mysterious in Smith’s life: no one knew the author well. Virtually estranged from her family, Smith was also largely without friends. Cari and Genevieve will both need to utilize all of their investigative skills in order to unearth the mystery behind the life and death of the infamous author.

 

 

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!

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:

 

CHILDREN'S, MIDDLE GRADE, & YOUNG ADULT BOOKS 

A is for Athlete by Bill Sampson

The ABCs of Derpetology by Jessica Lee Anderson

Apple Black: The Spectrum and the Spectre by Odunze Oguguo

Bibsy Cross and the Bad Apple by Liz Garton Scanlon

Bibsy Cross and the Bike-a-Thon by Liz Garton Scanlon

Brick Dust & Bones by M.R. Fournet

Cursed: The Legend of Chipita Rodriguez by Alcario Cary Cadena & Carlos Dragonne

Darkness and Demon Song by M.R. Fournet

Desert Song by Laekan Zea Kemp

A Garland of Henna by Varsha Bajaj

Girls Like Her by Melanie Sumrow

Hearts of Fire and Snow by David Bowles and Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Homeland Insecurity by Shawn M. Warner

Simone Biles (Little People, BIG DREAMS) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Smudges by Lauren Emerson

To Become A Brother by Lindy Bell

Would You Rather: Bible Water Adventures by Jerah Alvarado

The Wren in the Holly Library by K.A. Linde

 

NONFICTION 

The Ahern Home of Texarkana by Doris Douglas Davis

The Ballad of Roy Benavidez by William Sturkey

A Centennial Perspective on Texas in the Great War by Stephen S. Cure

Chuco Punk by Tara Lopez

Eleven Days on the Colorado by James E. Brasher

Framing Oak Cliff by Richard Doherty

Fritos® Pie by Kaleta Doolin

Georgia O'Keeffe's Wartime Texas Letters by Amy Von Lintel

Invisibility and Influence by Regina Marie Mills

Juneteenth Rodeo by Sarah Bird

Leap by Brent Love

The Lost War for Texas by James Aalan Bernsen

Mindfulness in Texas Nature by Michael A. Smith

The Oil Fraternity in Texas by Edward W. Constant II

The Outsider Advantage: Because You Don't Need to Fit in to Win by Ciera Rodgers

Petra's Legacy by Jane Clements Monday and Frances Brannen Vick

Playing from the Rough by Jimmie James

Replenishing Our Hills by Brent Evans

Run for Your Lives! Gender and the Runaway Scrape by Linda English

Santa Anna's Army in the Texas Revolution, 1835 by Gregg J. Dimmick

Sea Change by Sylvia Earle

Shine the Light by Jim Matthews

Texas Cocktails by Nico Martini

We Were Illegal: Uncovering a Texas Family's Mythmaking and Migration by Jessica Goudeau

 

POETRY 

The Early Verse by Stewart Berg

LIMINAL by David Bowles

 

MYSTERY / HORROR

Big Apple Murder by Brittany E. Brinegar

A Botanist's Guide to Society and Secrets by Kate Khavari

Captives by Travis Tougaw

Clete by James Burke

Fatal Fiction by Karen MacInerney

Grim Root by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

Hidden in the Night by Elizabeth Goddard

The Iris Code by Anita Dickason

Perfectly Practical in Every Way by Katherine H. Brown

The Pinocchio Murder by Jo Cassie McRae

A Ruse of Shadows by Sherry Thomas

Shadowheart by Meg Gardinier

Trespass and Tortoise by Verena DeLuca

 

ROMANCE

Adopting with the Doctor by Patricia W. Fischer

Beachy Keen by Kasey Stockton

Bonds and Betrayal by Dallas Ryan

Broken Beginnings by Clio Evans

Butter You Up by Liz Alden

The Captain and the Duchess by Alexa Aston

Celebrating Fathers (Anthology)

Cloudy with a Chance of Harmony by Olivia Sands

The Cowboy's Untamed Heart by Jamie K. Schmidt

Dog Days of Summer by Teri Wilson

Forever Focused by Ginny Sterling

Fortune's Convenient Cinderella by Makenna Lee

A Gift for her Festive Firefighter by Ginny Sterling

A Gift For Her Grumpy Deputy by Jenna Brandt

Her Cowboy Savior by Janalyn Knight

Honey Be Mine by Sasha Summers

In Love with a Ranger by Ginny Sterling

Just a Mistake by Michelle Donn

Kracken's Release by Darlene Tallman

Last Dance with the Texas Bull Rider by Rebecca Crowley

Lone Star Protector by Delores Fossen

Love on the Line by Toni R. Draper

Love's True Home by Lori DeJong

Loving Against All Odds by Lyn Cote

Mail Order Mediocrity by Kirsten Osbourne

Mountain Man Officer by Natasha L. Black

My Royal Showmance by Lexi Blake

Not in Love by Ali Hazelwood

Phoenix: Ride With Me by Barb Shuler

Ride with Me by Barb Shuler

The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

Ronnie by Jennifer Lynn Cary

Rose-Colored Glasses by Cree Nations

Small Town Slice by Jenna Brandt

Spring Leaves by A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly

The Summer of Perfect Mistakes by Cynthia St. Aubin

Summer Suspicions (Anthology)

Suspicious Homicide by Elizabeth Goddard

Texas Ranch Cold Case by Virginia Vaughn

Tripp: Ride With Me by Barb Shuler

Wild Rose Summer by Jovie Grace

 

OTHER FICTION

The Angry Land by William W. Johnstone & J.A. Johnstone

Four Squares by Bobby Finger

The Grandest Garden by Gina L. Carroll

A Lamb to the Slaughter by William W. Johnstone & J.A. Johnstone

Leading them Home by L.J. Breedlove

Malas by Marcela Fuentes

The Nature of Darkness by A.M. Crafton

Seven Hours till Dawn by Carson McCloud

Shelterwood by Lisa Wingate

Siege of Jalisco by Skyler Ramirez

TexArcana: A Collection of Fantasy Short Stories (Anthology)

Treason Trail by Kit Hawthorne

Warmaster 3 by Melissa McShane

Whiskey Scars by Kristi Copeland

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

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