Lone Star Lit was out and about at the Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend


(Shown above, L to R, starting top left: PQGW featured authors as lumberjacks; Texas author Denise Ditto and her Tooth Collector Fairies books; The Pulpwood Queens Celebrate 20 Years; author Johnnie Bernhard and LSLL owner Kristine Hall; Kristine and authors Reavis Wortham and Pamela Fagan Hutchins (dressed for the Dolly Parton look-alike contest); Texas authors Judithe Little and Anne Weisgarber with Kristine; Texas authors Marjorie Lewis and Julie Kibler with Pulpwood Queen founder Kathy Murphy, and Kristine; tDoug Marlette Award winner Jonathan Haupt and Kathy Murphy) 


The world's largest book club celebrated its twentieth anniversary, January16-18, 2020, in Jefferson, Texas, and Lone Star Literary Life's Kristine Hall was there to soak it in.  The Pulpwood Queen Book Club, started in 2000 by artist and author Kathy Murphy, has grown to over 780 chapters across the U.S. and fifteen other countries.  The annual Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend, is a chance for members to come together and not only meet and greet with many of the authors of the club's book selections, but to raise money for worthy causes including the Jefferson Lion's Club, the Jesse Allen Wise Garden Club of Jefferson, and the Pat Conroy Literary Center. 


The event began Thursday evening with a tribute to Tiajuana Anderson Neel, the former Executive Directof of the Pulpwood Queen Book Club, who died unexpectedly in April of 2019. Keynote speakers were authors Mark Green and Layng Martine, Jr., who were followed by the introduction of several of the Pulpwood Queen Tiajuana Anderson Neel Scholarship winners. The schedules for Friday and Saturday included a number of keynote speakers, including the event's co-host, bestselling author Reavis Wortham.  Additionally, there were eight panels filled with nearly forty celebrated authors -- many of them Texas authors. Sprinkled between the panels were opportunities for autographs and photos, or to shop from a variety of vendors and buy books from the on-site official bookstore vendor, Houston's Murder by the Book. Other activities included a Dolly Parton look-alike contest, a historical dress fashion show, the Authors' Dinner, where featured authors dressed as lumberjacks and waited attendees' tables, and the culminating event, the Great Big Ball of Hair "Take It To The Limit" Ball. (For the complete 2020 program, click here.)


The weekend revolves around the members' love of books and especially getting to know the books and authors who are included in the year's book club selections.  The 2020 Pulpwood Queen Book Club Selections are:


The Pulpwood Queens Celebrate 20 Years edited by Susan Cushman
Bonus Books of the Month:
Hawke's Target by Reavis Z. Wortham, of Sonny Hawke Thriller Series
What Would Dolly Do? by Lauren Marino
From Cinderella to CEO: How to Master the 10 Lessons of Fairy Tales To Transform Your Work Life by Cary J. Broussard
Permission to Fly by Layng Martine, Jr.


Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler
Bonus Books of the Month:
Beyond the Book Club by Ruthie Landis
Novel Woman by Between Friends Book Club by Kim Harwanto
Made to Win: Serial Entrepreneur Jim Markham's Secret Formula to Success by Jim Markham and Echo Garrett
Tiny Love: The Complete Stories of Larry Brown with Foreward by Jonathan Miles


The Ghosts of Eden Park by Karen Abbott
Bonus Books of the Month:
Live Wire by Pamela Fagan Hutchins
Chasing Cleopatra by Tina Sloan
The Small Crimes of Tiffany Templeton by Richard Fifield
Blackwood: A Novel by Michael Farris Smith


Friends of the Library by Susan Cushman
Bonus Books of the Month:
What We Set in Motion by Stephanie Austin Edwards
What Lies Ahead: A Fireside Texas Novel by Marci Henna


Queen of the Owls by Barbara Linn Probst

Bonus Books of the Month:
Walking The Wrong Way Home by Mandy Hayes
The Hollows: A Novel by Jess Montgomery
Stockade Bay and Killer of Cimarron Social Club by Jennifer Mueller


Tell Me a Story: My Life with Pat Conroy by Cassandra King Conroy
Bonus Books of the Month:
A Blessed Life: One World War II Seabee's Story by Tamra Bolton
Coconut Island, Volcano House, Hilina Pali by Janet Oakley of Hilo Bay Mystery Series
Husbands and Other Sharp Objects and Lift and Separate by Marilyn Simon Rothstein


Before and After: Orphans Who Surround the Tennessee Children's Home by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate

Bonus Books of the Month:
Falling Up in the City of Angels by Connor Judson Garrett
The True Story of the Murder and Crime that Wasn't by Edward Humes
Grand Slam Murders by R. J. Lee


Little Tea: A Novel by Claire Fullerton

Bonus Books of the Month:
Clover Blue and This I Know by Eldonna Edwards
The Gumbeaux Sistahs: A Novel by Jax Frey
My Sweet Vidalia by 
Deborah Mantella
Freedom Lessons: A Novel by Eileen Harrison Eileen Sanchez


Dragonfly by Leila Meacham

Bonus Books of the Month:
Sisters of the Undertow by Johnnie Bernhard
When Never Comes by Barbara Davis
Going to Solace by Amanda McTigue
Til Health Us Do Part by Julie 
Louise Rooney


American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Bonus Books of the Month:
Trouble the Water by Rebecca Dwight Bruff
A Veil Removed: A Henryetta Inspector Howell Novel Series by Michelle Cox
The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
Ether by Bobbie Rooney 

The Jade Academy by Scott Boyers


The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little
Bonus Books of the Month:
Max Attacks and Angel Thieves by Kathi Appelt
Back Home by Bev Marshall
Gardenia Duty: A Novel by Kathleen Varn
Grandparenting: Renew, Relive, Rejoice by Pam Seigel and Nancy Zeiberg
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson


Mamma Mia! Sinners, Saints & Escapades by Stephanie Chance
Bonus Books of the Month:
City of Peace: A Novel by Henry Briton
Louisiana Night Before Christmas by Rickey E. Pittman
Finding Deep and Wide by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson


For more information about the Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend or joining the Pulpwood Queen Book Club, visit the website: https://www.thepulpwoodqueens.com/


A note from Kristine Hall, owner of Lone Star Literary Life and first-time attendee of the PQGW: As a person of a certain age, I recognize that I can't remember details very well and must write down anything I will need to recall at a later time. Upon arriving at the PQGW, I purchased an adorable journal created from an upcycled Nancy Drew book (because 1. Nancy Drew, and 2. I forgot my notebook at home).  In the journal, I took meticulous notes during the author panels and keynotes. I wrote down my keen observations, took down some fabulous quotes, and made furious notes of new-to-me Texas connected books and authors. I have a journal full of GOLD. Naturally, I didn't write this article when ideas were fresh -- I was much too tired; the PQGW ain't for sissies. As I scrambled through the week and finally sat down to write, I realized that my fabulous Nancy Drew journal was sitting safely on my kitchen counter -- about 1200 miles away from my current location. I could say that the skimpy information in the resulting article is by design; after all, what happens at PQGW stays at PQGW, right? But my momma didn't raise a liar -- just a gal that is lucky if she remembers what she had for breakfast this morning.