(Above photos, starting top left, clockwise: 1. Michelle Newby Lancaster, Bess Whitby, Kristine Hall at UNT Press; 2. Kaitlynn Cassidy, Kathryn Lloyd, Michelle, Kristine at Commonplace Books Fort Worth; 3. Kristine at Recycled Books; 4. Michelle, Heather Cranmer, Kristine at Recycled Books; 5. Michelle at UNT's Willis Library; 6. Becca Allen, Kristine, Michelle at Los Vaqueros; 7. Kristine, Melinda Esco, Michelle, Molly Spain, Kathy Walton at TCU Press; 8. Michelle outside Commonplace Books; 9. Kristine and Kimberly Packard at Read Between the Wines event in Grapevine.
When Lone Star Literary Life's Kristine Hall and Michelle Newby Lancaster are in the same town at the same time, you can bet they're going to be out and about doing bookish things. With the heat index hitting 112 degrees this past week, the Lone Star Lit team was happy to spend time with some of the coolest bookish people and places around Tarrant and Denton counties. The original list of bookish destinations around DFW included more than double the five destinations, but time warps seem to happen when one crosses the threshhold of places with books, so more trips are in order.
First stop: Texas Christian University Press. What a treat it was for the LSLL pair to meet the TCU Press staff face-to-face after working with them for several years. It was like visiting friends. Marketing Coordinator Becca Allen showed the amazing The Art of Texas: 250 Years by Ron Tyler, and Michelle was rewarded with a copy to keep. Kristine wasn't the least bit jealous because she got a copy of Bobbie Wygant's Talking to the Stars. TCU Press (part of the Texas Book Consortium) has some excellent titles coming this fall. Lone Star's got its collective eyes on The Odd Birds by Severo Perez and the commemorative edition of Dan Jenkins's The Reunion at Herb's Cafe.
Second stop: Commonplace Books Fort Worth. Several weeks ago, Lone Star reported on the opening of Fort Worth's newest indie bookstore, and we all went nuts over it. It was just as welcoming and perfect as expected. As if the books and bookstore dog weren't enough, Texas A&M University Press's Kathryn Lloyd just happened to visit the store when Lone Star was there. Like the Lone Star gals, it was Lloyd's first visit and she's not local. What are the chances? Hugs and laughs happened, photos were taken, and after much perusing, two healthy stacks of books were purchased.
Third stop: The University of North Texas Press in Denton. A new day took the team to Denton and the Willis Library, where UNT Press (also part of the Texas Book Consortium) is housed. Again, being able to put a face with an email signature made book talking with Marketing Manager Bess Whitby even better. UNT Press's fall catalog has some fascinating titles including Orders of Protection by Jenn Hollmeyer (winner of the Katherine Ann Porter Prize in Short Fiction) and A Wyatt Earp Anthology. Bonus -- the beautiful book arch sculpture in front of the library (shown left).
Fourth stop: Recycled Books, Records, and CDs. No trip to Denton is complete without a visit to this treasure trove. The Lone Star Lit team had been browsing for two hours and never seen crossed paths. As they headed to the check-out, arms aching and loaded with books, who just happened to be in the bookstore, visiting for the first time (and not local) but one of the Lone Star book bloggers! What are the chances? Hugs and selfies followed, and as the amazed group still couldn't believe the coincidence, bookseller Cole wasn't surprised. His assessment? "Books bring people together." Simple as that.
Final stop: Read Between the Wines book signing event. Five fun Texas authors came together to share their book and wine pairings for a fun evening at Wine Fusion Winery in Grapevine. Lone Star Lit featured author Kimberly Packard was there with Vortex as well as her Phoenix trilogy (paired with a lovely red (or would it be "read") wine, and another Lone Star Lit blogger showed up for the fun. Plenty of intriguing titles from other authors as well ranging from steamy romance to a jaw-dropping memoir.