2017 Lone Star Lit Holiday Gift Guide • BOOKS OF FAITH


Lori S. Kline, with illustrations by Susan Simon

Almost a Minyan

Sociosights Press

Hardcover, 978-0991632749 (also available as ebook), 40 pages; $17.99

Grade Level: 1–2

Almost a Minyan was just awarded the 2017 Literary Classics Seal of Approval. In their citation, Literary Classics called the book “a cultural gem that will connect with readers of all ages.”

How can our sacred institutions preserve tradition while retaining the flexibility to accommodate modern life? And how do you fold that theme into a lively kids’ book?

Almost a Minyan brings children into the world of a loving daughter and granddaughter whose family stays connected to each other and to the past through sacred ritual. The book is a multigenerational love story for Jewish traditions. In a story that will appeal equally to people familiar with its Yiddish phrases and Jewish traditions and those interested in increasing their cultural understanding, Almost a Minyan subtly handles some of the practices and controversies of modern Judaism. Can women and girls be part of the sacred minyan for public worship?  This spirited story, brought to life with touching and reverent illustrations, is a sure bet for young readers.


Debra L. Winegarten
There’s Jews in Texas?

Sociosights Press

Paperback, 978-0983641063, 36 pages; $10.00

Winner of the 2011 Poetica Magazine national contest

“Debra L. Winegarten writes frank, funny, poignant, punchy poems. This collection shines with radiant spirit." —Naomi Shihab Nye, Guggenheim Fellow

“Debra Winegarten's poems are sharp, sometimes funny, always on the mark when it comes to our difficult understanding of difference. Her poems move through those childhood lessons of identity and survival to the loss of her mother and the inevitable dislocation such loss may create, exploring always our instinctual hungers for family, ritual and tribe.” —Dr. Ed Madden, University of South Carolina

“Oy, Devoreh. A jewel in our shul. She writes from her heart, so that heaven takes notice. Her crafted words bring light to a crowded Ark, helping all of us find our way. Prayer on and off the page. And her challah? Very nice. Jews in Texas? Takke, in Austin. Where else?” —Rabbi Neil Blumofe, Congregation Agudas Achim, Austin, Texas


Debra L. Winegarten
Where Jewish Grandmothers Come From

Sociosights Press

Paperback978-0991632701, 60 pages; $14.95

From the winner of the 2011 Poetica Publishing Chapbook contest for There's Jews in Texas?, Debra Winegarten brings us her sequel, keeping the conversation of Jewish identity, practice, and family alive and thriving in the Diaspora.

“Debra Winegarten's poems are sweet slivers of homemade goodness, left to cool on the windowsill. Plainspoken and passionate, she reminds us of the centrality of family bonds, across generations, and the simple beauty of walking in the Jewish traditions. Wherever Jewish grandmothers do come from, they are made most welcome and bidden to stay for a spall, enchanted by her words.” —Rabbi Neil Blumofe, Congregation Agudas Achim, Austin, Texas


Ahuva Batya Scharff
Meeting God at Midnight

Sociosights Press

Paperback, 978-0991632725, 136 pages; $18.50

2014 Best Poetry book,

Texas Association of Authors

What does it mean to be a barren Jewish woman, unable to fulfill the mitzvah of bearing children? How can faith and connection to Jewish history and tradition underpin the process of healing from trauma? In Israel, where public worship is controlled by the ultra-Orthodox, what does it mean to be a Conservative Jewish woman? Meeting God at Midnight explores both the challenges of Judaism and its ability to act as lifeline and transformative faith.


DiAnn Mills

A Texas Legacy Christmas(Texas Legacy Series #4)

DM Publishing

E-book, B01M0ORQ5B, 234 pgs., $3.99

October 4, 2016

This Christian, historical romance by best-selling author DiAnn Mills is set in the early 1900s. In this fourth and last book of the Texas Legacy series, Zack Kahler heads back to Texas with two homeless eight-year-old twins in tow. But soon Zack finds his hands full as he tries to run a newspaper, recover from a lost love, and keep his unruly charges out of trouble. Boardinghouse worker and life-long outcast Chloe Weaver has had her fair share of hurt and rejection. When Zack and the twins show up on her doorstep, more than one wounded heart is stirred with love. Can the love of Christmas present a miracle to heal these Texan hearts?


Julianna Deering

Death at Thorburn Hall (Drew Farthering Mystery)

Bethany House Publishers

Hardcover, 978-0-7642-3116-2, (also available in paperback, and as an e-book), 336 pgs., $25.99

November 7, 2017

Drew Farthering finds a new mystery on his hands when he arrives at Thorburn Hall in Scotland for the 1935 British Open. His host, Lord Rainsby, asks Drew to investigate a suspected embezzler and then dies in a suspicious accident the next day. Thorburn Hall is full of guests with motives for the killing. Can Drew discover the killer among them?


Mary Connealy

Too Far Down (The Cimarron Legacy)

Bethany House Publishers

Hardcover, 978-0-7642-3114-8, (also available in paperback, as an e-book, and on Audible), 322 pgs., $25.99

October 3, 2017

When an explosion at the mine kills workers and damages the CR Company, the Boden family is plunged deep into the heart of trouble yet again. As they try to identify the forces against them once and for all, Cole Boden finds himself caught between missing his time back in the east, and all that New Mexico offers — namely, his family and cowgirl Melanie Blake.


Regina Jennings

Holding the Fort (Fort Reno Series)

Bethany House Publishers

Hardcover, 978-0-7642-3119-3, (also available in paperback, and as an e-book), 352 pgs., $25.99

December 5, 2017

When dance hall singer Louisa Bell visits Fort Reno to see her brother, she is mistaken for the governess that the harried Major Daniel Adams is waiting for. Between his rowdy troops and his two daughters, he has more responsibility than he can handle alone. Eager for the opportunity, Louisa sets out to show the widower that she is a perfect fit.

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