Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 2/20-26

Bookish events in Texas for the week of February 20-26, 2017: 

Special Events:
Texas Medal of Arts Awards, Austin, February 21-22

Johnson City Library 9th Annual Writers Conference, February 22

Symposium: THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION OF 1917: A CENTENNIAL VIEW, Dallas, February 22-23

Estamos Aqui Hispanic Storytelling Festival, Midland, February 23-24

People's Poetry Festival, Corpus Christi, February 23-25

Wild Wicked Weekend, San Antonio, February 23-25

NACCS Tejas Foco 2017, Bryan, February 24

Artists Writings on Materials and Techniques: EODIAH Symposium, Dallas, February 24-25

31st Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Alpine, February 24-25

Poetry Out Loud Texas State Finals, Austin, February 25

2nd Annual Southwest Regional Slam, Austin, February 25

SCBWI Austin Book Marketing Boot Camp, Round Rock, February 25

Speer Memorial Library Book Festival, Mission, February 25

WordWyse 2nd Annual Marketing Workshop for Authors, Mount Vernon, February 25

One Day Jewish University, Dallas, February 26

Ongoing Exhibits:


BookPeople, ALEXANDRA BURT speaking & signing The Good Daughter, 7PM

Spider House BallroomAustin Poetry Slam hosted by Jomar Valentin, 8PM

College Station
George Bush Presidential Library & Museum, Presidents Day with Kate Andersen Brower, author of The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House and First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies, 7PM

GVEC boardroom, Mary O. Parker and Jeff Parker discuss Explore Texas: A Nature Travel Guide, 7PM

Crescent Club, DFW World Affairs Council presents Geneive Abdo, author of The New Sectarianism: The Arab Uprisings and the Rebirth of the Shi'a-Sunni Divide, 6:30PM

The Wild Detectives, Joe Lansdale reads and signs Rusty Puppy, and Kathleen Kent reads and signs The Dime, 7:30PM

El Paso
The Black Orchid Lounge, Barbed Wire Open Mic Series featuring Rachel Marie, 2016 Frontera Poetry Slam Champion, 8PM

Fort Worth


San Antonio
Rebar, Kinyo Poetry Live: "Spursless," 8:30PM

Thursday, February 23:


Texas Tech, Creative Writing Program Reading Series presents poet Bob Holman, 7:30PM

San Antonio
Carmens de la Calle, A Very Jazzy Gemini Ink Black History Month Celebration featuring readings by special guests with live music by The Rene Saenz Jazz Trio, 8PM

San Marcos
TSU - Alkek Library, The Wittliff Collections reading series presents Elisa Albert, 3:30PM

South Padre Island
South Padre Island Community Center, local author and historian Steve Hathcock discusses local history, 12PM

Friday, February 24:

Warwick Melrose Hotel, Elliot Ackerman discusses and signs Dark at the Crossing, 4:30PM


Brazos Bookstore, Krishna Dronamraju discusses and signs POPULARIZING SCIENCE, 7PM

Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, KAP reading series presents Elisa Albert, 7:30PM

Eldorado Country Club, Elliot Ackerman discusses and signs Dark at the Crossing, 11:45AM

Port Neches
Fleur Fine Books, Doneane Beckcom signs Eat, Drink and Be Merry through Menopause, 2PM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Meet the Author Series: Vijay Chopra discusses and signs Colors of Leaves, 1PM

Saturday, February 25:
B&N - Preston/Royal, Colin Cahoon signs The Man With the Black Box, 1PM

Dallas Museum of Art, Arts & Letters Live presents Jessi Klein, author of You'll Grow Out of It, 7:30PM

Half Price Books Mothership, New York Times bestselling author and Fox News Channel’s chief political anchor Bret Baier will sign copies of Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission, 2PM

The Wild Detectives, Elliot Ackerman discusses and signs Dark at the Crossing with Ben Fountain, 1PM

The Writer's Garret, Workshop: Flash Fiction, Postcard Essays, and Micro Prose: Exploring Short Forms with A. Kendra Greene, 1PM

El Paso
Memorial Park Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: Nancy Lorenza Green presents Inspirational Voices: Junot Diaz, 12:45PM

Fort Worth
Monkey & Dog Books, Rosalind Bunn will sign Thunder and a Lightning Bug Named Lou, 11AM

Hood County Library, Writers' League of Texas workshop: Texas Writes with Meg Gardiner and Susan Wittig Albert, 1PM

Harker Heights
B&N, Beyond the Quest to Become a Physician: Insightful and Inspirational Tales of Parenting, Perseverance, and Pediatrics book signing with Dr. Robert Burke, 1PM



B&N, Joseph A. Willis signs Teaching Lessons: Creating a Cultural Infrastructure for Great School, 11AM
San Antonio
South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Meet the Author Series: Sue Boggio discusses and signs Long Night Moon, 1PM

Sugar Land
Half Price Books, Darrellon Prince will sign Princess Grace and the Pincushion Gang, 1PM

Sunday, February 26:
B&N - Preston/Royal, Yvette Grove Reads and signs Lily's Deliciously Different Day, 1PM

Dallas Museum of Art, Arts & Letters Live presents Adam Gidwitz, author of The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, 3PM

Deep Vellum Books, Dark Moon Poetry, 7PM

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Lone Star Listens compilation available Aug. 1, for readers, fans, and writers everywhere

The present generation of Texas authors is the most diverse ever in gender, age, and ethnicity, and in subject matter as well.

Week in, week out, Lone Star Literary has interviewed a range of Texas-related authors with a cross-section of genre and geography. To capture this era in Texas letters, we're pleased to bring you

Lone Star Listens:
Texas Authors on Writing and Publishing
edited by Kay Ellington and Barbara Brannon; introduction by
Clay Reynolds
Available in trade paper, library hardcover, and ebook Fall 2017
360 pages, with b/w illustrations and index

Featuring novelists, poets, memoirists, editors, and publishers, including:
Rachel  Caine • Chris  Cander • Katherine  Center • Chad S. Conine • Sarah  Cortez • Elizabeth  Crook • Nan  Cuba • Carol  Dawson • Patrick  Dearen • Jim Donovan • Mac Engel • Sanderia  Faye • Carlos Nicolás Flores • Ben Fountain • Jeff  Guinn • Stephen  Harrigan • Cliff  Hudder • Stephen Graham Jones • Kathleen Kent • Joe R. Lansdale • Melissa Lenhardt • Attica Locke • Nikki  Loftin • Thomas  McNeely • Leila  Meacham • John  Pipkin • Joyce Gibson Roach • Antonio  Ruiz-Camacho • Lisa  Sandlin • Donna  Snyder • Mary Helen Specht • Jodi  Thomas • Amanda Eyre Ward • Ann  Weisgarber • Donald Mace Williams

As a collection of insights into the writing and publishing life, the book will be useful in creative writing classes (not just in Texas alone) and other teaching settings, as well as for solo reading and study—and a great Texas reference volume.

  • Lone Star Listens will be available for preorder May 1 and will ship around Aug. 1.
  • Examination and review copies will be available May 1 in watermarked pdf format.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 2/13-19

Bookish events in Texas for the week of February 13-19, 2017: 

Special Events:
Teen Bookfest By the Bay, Corpus Christi, February 18

Inprint Poets & Writers Ball, Houston, February 18

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Children's Book Fair, Austin, February 18-19

Ongoing Exhibits:

San Antonio
Jandro's Garden Patio, Wat Dat Mouf Do Erotic Poetry Slam, 8:30PM

Tuesday, February 14:
Austin Public Library - Windsor Park, Stephen Harrigan will discuss A Friend of Mr. Lincoln, 7PM

BookPeople, KATIE KITAMURA speaking & signing A Separation (In Conversation With Antonio Ruiz-Camacho), 7PM

Spider House BallroomAustin Poetry Slam featuring Kevin W. Burke, 8PM

Cedar Hill
Zula Bryant Wylie Library, "Romance 101: Adding Romance to Your Story": Dallas Area Writers Group meeting with Amanda Arista, 7PM

AT&T Performing Arts Center, #HearHere lecture series presents Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour, ?

Hyatt Regency Dallas, "Learning to Lead in the New Washington" with former Secretary of Defense Dr. Robert M. Gates, author of A Passion for Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform from Fifty Years of Public Service, 12PM

The Wild Detectives, Spiderweb Salon Love You: POETRY! MUSIC! ART! ZINES! BOOKS! COFFEE! BEER! LOVE!, 7PM

Fort Worth
San Antonio
The Korova, PuroSlam with DJ Donnie Dee, 10PM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Meet the Author Series: local author Susan LeMiles presents "Shenanigans on the Rio Grande," 1PM

Wednesday, February 15:


Lillie Russell Memorial Library, Writers' League of Texas workshop: Texas Writes with Jeramey Kraatz and Liz Garton Scanlon, 10AM

San Antonio
San Antonio Public Library - Central, Jan Jarboe Russell will discuss The Train to Crystal City, 6:30PM

Deep Vellum Books, Pandora's Box Poetry Group featuring Opalina Salas, Joaquín Zihuatanejo, and Gabe Mamola, 7PM

Heroes Lounge, WordSpaceDallas and Dallas Poetry Slam present Featured Reader Readers with Melania-luisa, 8PM

B&N, David Bryant Perkins discusses and signs Hitler's Astrologer, 5:30PM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Meet the Author Series: Mary “Norski” Gorball discusses and signs Where My Dolly Lives, 2PM

Saturday, February 18:

African American Museum, The Texas Writers' Workshop, ?

B&N - Preston/Royal, E.R. Bills signs Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers, 2PM

Margo Jones Theatre, Lyn Liric: A poet's tribute to Nina Simone, 8PM

El Paso
Memorial Park Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: Nancy Lorenza Green presents Inspirational Voices: Langston Hughes, 12:45PM

Half Price Books - Clear Lake, Local Author Saturdays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release!, all day

Murder By the Book, Charles Cumming will sign and discuss The Divided Spy, 5:30PM

University of St. Thomas, Duo La Note Bleue: Powers of Music, a lecture-recital with Marcelo Zigaran, author of Powers of Music, 7:30PM

Writespace, Workshop: Introduction to the Writing Life with Elizabeth White Olsen, 9:30AM

Susie's South (S/40) Forty Confections, Join Jaden and McKinley Evans at the book signing and reading of Jaden's books, The Rain and The Magical Block Tower, 10AM

Port Neches
Fleur Fine Books, Steven Brust Meet & Greet and Book Signing, 4PM

San Antonio

The Twig Book Shop, Sharon Falk reads and signs One Time I Went to Grammy's, 11AM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Meet the Author Series: Discussion and Book signing with Rodeo historian and author, Gail Woerner, 1PM

Sugar Land
Half Price Books, Rosalie King will sell and sign Deadly Transformation, 1PM

The Woodlands
B&N - Woodlands Mall, Zeola Jackson signs Lizzy The Bear Has Feelings Too!, 2PM

Sunday, February 19:

Austin History Center, discussion and book signing with the editors of Celebrating the Rag: Austin's Iconic Underground Newspaper, 2PM

Half Price Books - North Lamar, local author Heather Schwartz will sell and sign Darkness Falls, 1PM

Malvern Books, An Afternoon with poets Ginny Wiehardt, Julie Poole & Drea Brown, 2PM

B&N - Preston/Royal, Dr. Brian King signs The Laughing Cure, 1PM

Deep Vellum Books, Author Visit: Joel Berg discusses and signs America, We Need to Talk: A Self-Help Book for the Nation, 4:30PM

B&N - La Cantera, February Sunday Storytime: Guest Joy Fisher Hein, 12PM

The Twig Book Shop, Charles Parish discusses and signs The Groom Wore White Socks, 11AM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Meet the Author Series with Emmy Perez, author of With the River On Our Face, and Britt Haraway, author of Early Men, 2PM

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Review: THE DIME by Kathleen Kent

I reviewed The Dime (Mulholland Books) by Dallas's own Kathleen Kent for Lone Star Literary Life. This thriller is a successful departure for the best-selling writer of historical fiction. The fast pace and whiplash-inducing twists will keep you reading, and the complex, richly drawn characters will make you care what happens to them.

Kathleen Kent
The Dime: A Novel
Mulholland Books
Hardcover, 978-0-3163-1103-8 (also available as an e-book, an audio book, and on Audible), 352 pgs., $26.00
February 14, 2017

Elizabeth “Betty” Rhyzyk, a gutsy, smart, unconventional detective from a family of Brooklyn cops, moves to Dallas and joins the police department’s narcotics unit. The first investigation she runs in Dallas, involving Mexican drug cartels and East Texas meth cookers engaged in a turf war, spins out of control. As the bodies begin to stack up, Rhyzyk acquires a sadistic stalker, and the action takes a startlingly brutal turn.

The Dime, the first in a new mystery/suspense series, is also a change of genre for Kathleen Kent, best-selling author of historical fiction. Detective Rhyzyk‘s first-person narrative begins with a bang and doesn’t let up. Fast-paced and tightly plotted, The Dime serves up whiplash-inducing twists and an (unfortunately) politically timely white nationalist-supremacist element, with “Old Testament revelations … of such monstrous proportions that they would make even sleeping infants cry and feral dogs slink away in terror,” reminding me of Texas’s own David Lindsey.

Kent provides Rhyzyk a richly detailed backstory, and a refreshingly realistic relationship with Jackie, her girlfriend of eight years, a pediatric radiologist whose family disapproves of the couple’s “lifestyle” (“hom’sexiality”). The Dime’s cast of supporting characters is diverse and satisfyingly complex. Kent allows her characters and their relationships to each other the development they deserve, and makes us care about their lives and fates.

Dallas is a character in The Dime, and Texans will feel as if they’re on a ride-along with Rhyzyk. They’ll also appreciate a New Yorker attempting to adapt to “Texas … the only place in the known universe … that actually got hotter after the sun went down,” where a dog-walking suburban woman packs a “Beretta with a diamond-pavé grip” (a Valentine’s Day gift, natch). “Texans … will froth at the mouth when delayed thirty seconds at a red light,” Rhyzyk says, “but will wait an hour for three fried eggs and a minute steak.”

Kent is a multi-faceted and multi-talented writer. Her action scenes are exhilarating; her humor alternating between teasing (“never trust a short man with a tall list of grudges”), and sharp (“What’s the difference between yogurt and Texas? … Yogurt’s the one with the live culture”); her dialogue snappy (“Stop trying to make me feel better,” Rhyzyk tells her partner, “I’ve gotten worse ass-drubbings from my grandmother.” “She the one that was the nun?”). Kent’s style with the darker elements of The Dime is visceral, evoking chills and causing me to squirm in my chair.

The Dime isn’t all action and cleverness, though. These characters are also introspective. “If not for Jackie, my idea of emotional self-help would be half a bottle of Jameson,” Rhyzyk admits. “I’d be living out of a suitcase, all my T-shirts would be black, and I’d still be buying underwear in the boys’ section of Target.”

Benny, Rhyzyk’s late uncle and mentor, provides insight. “That’s the thing about cults,” Benny says. “They not only dig the ditch, they lie in it, cover themselves over with dirt, and then cry about how dark the world has gotten.”

Speaking of cults, the construction of the climax to The Dime is ingenious, the tension excruciating. The denouement nicely tees up the second installment, leaving one crucial question dangling. I await the next novel in this series happily, if impatiently.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 2/6-12!

Bookish events in Texas for the week of February 6-12, 2017: 

Special Events:
ConDFW XVI, February 10-12

Black History Month Writer’s Showcase, Cedar Hill, February 11-12

Houston Authors Bash, February 11-12

Ongoing Exhibits:
Stories to Tell: Selections from the Harry Ransom Center, Austin, February 6-July 16

The Human Experience: From Texas to the World literacy initiative, Houston, January 18-May 18

The Lost Generation: World War I Poetry, Denton, January 17-May 11

Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites, Fort Worth, January 21-May 7

Monday, February 6:
Dallas Museum of Arts, Arts & Letters Live presents Texas Bound I: Fragments of Discovery: Constance Gold Parry reads Door and Puzzles by Fabiana Elisa Martínez, and Harriet Harris reads Sh’khol by Colum McCann, 7:30PM

Alley Theatre, Houston Public Library Quarterly Reading Series: Terry McMillan will discuss her latest novel I Almost Forgot About You, 7:30PM

Brazos Bookstore, Gulf Coast Journal and Bat City Review present a reading featuring Nick Flynn, Kurt Henzelman, Taisia Kitaiskaia, and Dan Chu, 7PM

Murder By the Book, Deborah Crombie will discuss her newest Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James book, Garden of Lamentations (pre-order your copy for personalized signing prior to the event), 6:30PM

Tracy Gee Community Center, SCBWI Houston workshop: Mentor Texts: Never Write Alone Again with Pat Miller, author of The Hole Story, 7PM

Sam Houston State, Keramet Reiter will discuss 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement, 9AM

Tuesday, February 7:
Fort Worth
The Korova, PuroSlam with DJ Donnie Dee, 10PM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Meet the Author Series: David Harry Tannenbaum discusses and signs Out of the Depths, 1PM

Wednesday, February 8:

MATCH Houston, Dr. Peter Marra will discuss and sign Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer, 7PM

Heroes Lounge, Dallas Poetry Slam present the GNO Show, 8PM

Lucky Dog Books - Oak Cliff, Poets on X+ hosted by Opalina Salas and Carlos Salas, 7PM

Fort Worth
The Library Cafe, Fort Worth Poetry Slam: Love Jonz Presents Love's Breeeze A Special Valentine's Dinner & Performance featuring Karolina Breeze, 8PM

Murder By the Book, MBTB Irregulars Open House, 5PM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Meet the Author Series: Audrey Ashline Svec reads and signs Venetian Sunset, 1PM

Saturday, February 11:

El Paso
Memorial Park Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: Nancy Lorenza Green presents Inspirational Voices: Audrey Lorde, 12:45PM

Fort Worth
Fort Worth Writer's Boot Camp, Write Fearlessly! with Rachel Pilcher, 1PM

Harker Heights
B&N, The Good Daughter book signing with Alexandra Burt, 3PM


Brazos Bookstore, Amor Towles reads and signs A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW, 7PM

Children's Museum of Houston, Author and former Houston Texans player Wade Smith will read and sign Smitty Hits the Books, 1PM

Express Children's Theatre, Space City Preliminary Slam, 2PM

Half Price Books - Clear Lake, Local Author Saturdays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release!, all day

Writespace, All About Love Open Mic, 7:30PM

San Antonio
B&N - Bandera Pointe, Jane Alvey Harris signs Riven, 2PM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Meet the Author Series: Barbara Lamar reads and signs True Families, 1PM

B&N - Town Square, Kathy Chamberlin reading and signing Ellie the Elephant and the Day She Remembers. 11AM

B&N, local author Joe Bates, MD, signs Making Your Brain Hum: 12 Weeks to a Smarter You, 2PM

B&N - Baybrook, Gulf Poets Society meeting featuring Stephen Gros, 10:30AM

The Storybook Garden, Author Meet & Greet - Rebecca Luna, 11AM

The Woodlands
B&N - Woodlands Mall, James Farrell signs Up, Up and Gone! My Forty-Seven Years in the Airline Industry, 2PM

Sunday, February 12:
B&N - Preston/Royal, M.J. Dougherty discusses and signs Life Lessons from a Total Failure, 3PM

Dallas Public Library - North Oak Cliff Branch, lecture with Dr. Kendall Brown, author of Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America (followed by a guided tour of the Japanese garden in Kidd Springs Park), 3PM