Friday, July 31, 2015

Welcome Sri Lanka!

This morning it is my privilege to welcome readers in Sri Lanka to TexasBookLover. Two official languages - Sinhala and Tamil: Sadarayen piligannawa! Vaazhga!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

PRETTY ENOUGH FOR YOU by Cliff Hudder





Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours
presents

PRETTY ENOUGH FOR YOU
by Cliff Hudder










Ne’er-do-well immigration attorney Harrison Bent can’t imagine why the wealthy and mysterious Maggie Leudecke wants him to solve her eminent domain problem.  If he didn’t have an angry wife to placate, an inscrutable stalker to identify, an obsessed girlfriend to escape, and a murder to solve, a successful outcome to the Leudecke case might revive his career, pay for his autistic son’s special school, and—most important of all—help convince his young paralegal, Chloe, that the afternoon she spent with him in a cheap motel wasn’t an error in judgment, but the beginning of something profound.


If only he had some clue as to what he was doing ...  











From the book: I know myself. That’s the good news. That’s also the bad news. For example, I knew I was not equipped to deal with the Leudecke case. I also knew I wouldn’t turn it down or hand it off to somebody better suited. But, seriously, what background did I have in eminent domain?  Or with Mexican drug dealers?  Or dead Mexican drug dealers?  None. And I knew it.









CLIFF HUDDER earned an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Houston. His work has received the Barthelme and Michener Awards, the Peden Prize, and the Short Story Award from the Texas Institute of Letters.  His novella, Splinterville, won the 2007 Texas Review Fiction Award.  He teaches English at Lone Star College-Montgomery and lives in Conroe, Texas.







Buy Links: 

Amazon

Texas A&M Press

B&N

Texas Review Press Catalog


Author Website: www.cliffhudder.com





Brought to you by 








Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Roundup: July 27 - August 2

Bookish events in Texas for the week of July 27 - August 2, 2015: 


Monday, July 27:
Austin
BookPeople, Journalist & Bread Connoisseur SAMUEL FROMARTZ in conversation with Mother Jones Journalist TOM PHILPOTT about Fromartz's new book, In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker's Odyssey, 7PM

Richardson
Alamo Drafthouse, talk, Q&A and book signing of Ernest Cline’s new novel, Armada, 7PM [tickets required]

Tuesday, July 28:
Dallas
The Wild Detectives, Lee Robinson will read and sign Lawyer For the Dog, 7:30PM

Duncanville
Duncanville Public Library, Jenny Martin will discuss and sign her YA novel, Tracked, 7PM

Fort Worth
The Dock Bookshop, Fort Worth Poetry Slam, 8PM

Houston
Murder By the Book, Christie Golden will sign and discuss Star Wars: Dark Disciple, 6:30PM

Silverton
Austin
BookPeople, Debut Novelist ANDI TERAN speaking & signing Ana of California, 7PM

Dallas
B&N - Lincoln Park, book signing: Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica, 7PM

Thursday, July 30:
Irving Public Library - South Branch, Friday Night Library Express Yourself Edition with readings and a story walk, 7PM

Saturday, August 1:
Houston
Blue Willow Bookshop, Adan Medrano will discuss and sign his new cookbook, TRULY TEXAS MEXICAN, 2PM

Fruition Technology Lab, Local Inventor Vivian Elebiyo launches her children's book I Can Invent Things and the Kids Who Invent program, 11AM

Half Price Books - North Oaks, Vicki Smith will sell and sign her children’s travel book Jamaican Adventure with Tori and Paul, 1PM

Half Price Books - Westheimer/Montrose, Hank Moore will sell and sign his new book Houston Legends: History and Heritage of Dynamic Global Capitol, 1PM
B&N - Town Square, Kimberly Carlstrom Book Signing: Scrambled Letters, 11:30AM

Sugar Land
Half Price Books, Beth Newman will sell and sign her children’s books Become a First Style Fashionista! and Frannie Fashionista and the Great Cape Caper, 1PM

The Woodlands
B&N - Woodlands Mall, Victoria Martin signs Itty Bitty Wouldn't Budge, 2PM

Sunday, August 2:
Houston
Bohemeo’s Art House, WAT?! (Word Around Town) 10th Anniversary Poetry Tour, 8PM

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hail of Fire: A Man and His Family Face Natural Disaster

My review of Hail of Fire: A Man and His Family Face Natural Disaster (Trinity University Press) by Randy Fritz was published by Lone Star Literary Life!

From the review: “At least seventy thousand wildfires happen every year in America, and most regenerate healthy forests, culling underbrush, improving the soil, and unspooling the life resting inside pinecones….Some of them shed their better natures, mutating into something dangerous enough that heavy equipment and elite firefighters must be called in….Of those, only a few turn into criminals, taking lives and destroying homes. But in the modern era, there have been only two wildfires, both in California, more vicious and pitiless than the one that changed my life after nearly killing me.”

Check it out, please and thank you!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Dateline: Purgatory by Kathy Cruz

The content of this promo post was provided by Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours. If you're a Texas blogger interested in joining the ranks of Texas Book Blog Tours, contact Tabatha Pope.




Title: Dateline: Purgatory
Author: Kathy Cruz
Publisher: TCU Press
ISBN: 978-0-87565-610-6
Price: $22.96












Non-Fiction, True Crime



In the wake of more than 1,500 exonerations across the country (150 of which were for inmates on death row) and growing demands for reforms within the justice system, award-winning journalist Kathy Cruz uses a new lens to examine the controversial Darlie Routier case - and what may be a true Texas mystery.


Synopsis.jpg


In Dateline: Purgatory, Cruz enlists current day legal experts to weigh in on the shocking transgressions that resulted in one of the country's most troubling death penalty convictions. With the help of the infamous death row inmate and a former FBI Special Agent known as "Crimefighter," the veteran journalist would find that her journey through Purgatory was as much about herself as it was about the woman dubbed "Dallas' Susan Smith."



Darin_and_Darlie.jpgUnder a starry sky on the snowy slopes of Purgatory, Colo., Darlie Lynn Peck linked her destiny with that of an ambitious young man from Lubbock, Texas named Darin Routier. Ten years later, a horrific crime known as "6-6-6" would thrust the couple into the national spotlight.



Devon_and_Damon.jpgThe brutal murders of young Devon and Damon Routier in the early morning hours of June 6, 1996, would put their mother - Darlie Routier - at the heart of one of the most notorious murder cases in modern Texas history - despite her own throat having been slashed to within 2 millimeters of her carotid artery.
Darlie_Mug_Shot.jpg



The actions of a small town police department and Dallas County's justice system created a perfect storm that swept up the young mother and landed her on death row. There she has remained, in a 9-feet-by-6-feet cell, despite claims of her innocence by those who know her, findings about the alarming fallibility of bloodstain analysis - and her husband's admission that at the time of the murders he was soliciting help to stage a home burglary to commit insurance fraud.



What people are saying about Dateline: Purgatory


“Everybody knows the Texas criminal justice system doesn’t work, but few know why and how. Kathy Cruz does, and Dateline: Purgatory proves it. This richly detailed and well-narrated book affords a view of the Texas system rarely seen by the outside world. It shows how ambitious prosecutors, compliant judges, and naïve jurors can make for a lethal combination. It also shows the terrible human cost involved when justice becomes what it is in Texas: a team sport in a rigged game. Anyone who wants to understand the true nature of Texas injustice should read this book. Ms. Cruz has done the world a favor by writing it.” – Jeff Blackburn, founder and chief counsel, Innocence Project of Texas


“I thought I knew all that there was to know about Darlie Routier – the woman at the center of the most talked about murder case in modern Texas history. Then I started reading Dateline: Purgatory. Kathy Cruz's book is not only a masterful piece of investigative reporting, it's a beautifully written narrative, filled with characters that seem to come straight out of fiction. Almost twenty years after Darlie's two sons were murdered, the twists and turns in this saga still remain utterly riveting. I promise you that after reading Dateline: Purgatory, you will not be able to stop wondering what really happened to Darlie and her family.” -- Skip Hollandsworth, executive editor, Texas Monthly


“With relentless research that rivals her provocative writing, veteran journalist Kathy Cruz makes a powerful argument for reopening the case of the Texas homemaker at the heart of one of the nation's most unsettling death penalty convictions. The reasons why we all should be suspicious of how this conviction was won, along with details of how Cruz's destiny crossed with that of Darlie Routier, make for a riveting read.” -- Mike Cochran, author, Texas vs. Davis: The Only Complete Account of the Bizarre Thomas Cullen Davis Murder Case


Dateline: Purgatory will make you feel. Then, it will make you think. And hopefully, after that, you will want to act. I did, because once an execution is carried out, there's no correcting it.”-- Michael Morton, author, Getting Life: An Innocent Man's 25-Year Journey from Prison to Peace





Q. Obviously your journalism background drew you to this story, as well as your working in the area at the time when this crime occurred. What is it about this story that made you want to dig deeper and write this book?

A. The story is absolutely fascinating and would make a great plot for a made-for-TV movie – except, as yet, there is no ending. Darlie has not been exonerated, she has not been executed, and she has not received a new trial. I wanted to dig deeper because of the concerns of my former husband, Howard Swindle, who died in 2004. At the time of the Routier crime, I had left my reporting job at the Dallas Morning News to raise our two young sons. Howard was projects editor at the DMN, which meant that he was in charge of all investigative projects. I recall him telling me that he was very concerned that the jury may have convicted Darlie on little more than character judgments. There were other things that worried him as well, such as the quality of the police investigation and other, more plausible possibilities about what happened that night.


Q. How long did you research this case before starting to write about it?

A. Not long, really. The book stemmed from a series of articles I wrote for the Texas Center for Community Journalism (TCCJ). The articles were made available to any community newspaper in Texas that wanted to publish them. A lot of people are fascinated with this high profile case, and there are a number of issues with the Routier case that tie in to the many changes taking place within our justice system. If Darlie is innocent, then what happened to her could happen to anyone who has the misfortune to be connected to a crime. The partnership with the TCCJ had never been done before. Writing one article at a time was fairly easy to do, even though I was working a fulltime job at the Hood County News. HCN Publisher Jerry Tidwell fully supported my efforts. It was Tommy Thomason, director of the TCCJ, who first realized that the work I was doing was good material for a new book about the case. There are four other books about the case (not counting one or two self-published, quickly thrown together works), but they were published shortly after Darlie’s conviction. Three of the authors were at the trial. Much has come to light since then, both in terms of this case and in terms of flaws in our justice system that have led to many wrongful convictions. More than 150 exonerations have been from death row.


Q. What was the one thing that really stood out about this case that made you think Darlie Routier was more than likely sentenced for a crime she did not commit?

A. The thing that really stood out for me was the absurdity of what the state claimed. The state’s timeline is extremely problematic, and there were contradictory things claimed by Dallas prosecutors that made little sense. For instance, they claimed that Darlie was obsessed with her looks, yet we are to believe that she defaced herself by slicing her own throat – without the aid of a mirror – in the staging of the crime scene. The scar on her throat is still visible today. The reality is, the knife missed her carotid artery by just two millimeters. The necklace she was wearing, which was found to contain two nicks, very likely saved her life. And then there were the blatantly sexist character judgments and the infamous Silly String tape. For most people, the footage of Darlie spraying Silly String on the shared grave of her sons is what first comes to mind when they recall this case. It is interesting that to this day, Darlie’s friends and family continue to adamantly defend her. And, unlike other mothers who have killed their children, she has never confessed, but rather continues to maintain her innocence.


Q. Do you think the Texas Justice System as improved since the time of this trial?

A. Yes, but not enough. Changes to our justice system have been far too slow and there has been strong resistance in the Legislature. Things are changing, but not quickly enough. I am glad to see that the tide seems to be turning as it pertains to holding prosecutors accountable for unethical tactics and wrongful convictions. The Darlie Routier case is very similar in some ways to the Michael Morton case. Michael Morton’s exoneration a few years ago received a good deal of media attention. Thanks to the Innocence Project, that case was the first time a prosecutor (who went on to become a state district judge) was arrested and stripped of his law license for deliberately withholding exculpatory evidence.


Q. Do you think Mrs. Routier will ever be given a new trial?

A. Honestly, I don’t know. One of her appellate attorneys, Stephen Cooper of Dallas, has told me he believes that she will. But the question is, when? It is a travesty that Darlie Routier has been on death row for more than 18 years and has not been granted a new trial despite a court transcript that contained an unprecedented 33,000 errors. Forty to 50 percent of the errors were “substantial,” such as “yes” instead of “no,” “up” instead of “down,” etc. The court reporter also sent to the deliberating jury the wrong answer to a key question. The epically flawed transcript from the Darlie Routier case, which caused the court reporter to lose her license, literally changed the court reporting industry, yet the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals accepted it.


Q. When you write about crime, is it hard not to get drawn down into the dark nature of the subject? How do you keep yourself from letting the subject get to you?

A. It’s hard to answer that question, because getting drawn into “the dark nature of the subject” hasn’t really been an issue for me. But what has been an issue for me is the feeling that there very well may be an innocent woman on death row. For some reason, once I had a random thought about Darlie Routier on a Sunday afternoon in April 2012, I could not shake her after that. When I began researching the case, it disturbed my sleep – not because of the violence of the crime, but because of all the injustices. Looking back on it, I am amazed at the work I put in during evenings and on weekends. I remember that on New Year’s Eve 2013, I couldn’t wait for the HCN office to close early so that I could remain in my cubicle and work on “Dateline: Purgatory.” I didn’t go home that night until shortly before midnight. That may sound rather pathetic, but it was how I truly wanted to spend my New Year’s Eve.


Q. The world of investigation has come a long way in the last 15 years. Do you think if this crime took place now, instead of back then, the outcome of the investigation would have been different?

A. I’m not so sure, at least in terms of the police investigation. I do believe that police and investigators tend to get tunnel vision, and tunnel vision is a very dangerous thing. If investigators form a theory early on (which, in Darlie’s case, happened within minutes of crime scene investigator James Cron’s arrival on the scene), then it is very easy from that point forward to look only for things that fit that theory. Law enforcement also tends to focus on statistics. Statistically, most murdered children may be murdered by their own parents or caregivers, but that’s not always the case.


Q. How long did it take you, beginning of research to final product, to complete this book?

A. Between two and 2 1/2 years. Interestingly, a thought about Darlie popped into my head on an April afternoon in 2012 and, in April two years later, I submitted a rough draft of a manuscript to TCU Press. I told the staff that I would continue working on the manuscript while the rough draft went through the peer review process. I ended up adding three more chapters. In April three years after that random thought, I held a paperback copy of “Dateline: Purgatory” in my hand. Oddly enough, the reason Darlie agreed to meet with me, even though she had not done a media interview in more than four years, was because my JPay email to her had mentioned the month of April. The reason why that month is significant to her is detailed in the book.


Q. What is the most important thing you have to do as an author of nonfiction?

A. The most important thing as an author of nonfiction is to get it right, and that’s not always easy to do. I knew going into this project that there would be challenges. Memories are now almost 20 years old, and there were disagreements among the players on certain things. I just did the best I could, and I think everyone who spoke with me did the same.


Q. What other projects are you working on?

A. I am hoping to find another justice-related, non-fiction idea, but, in the meantime, I am trying my hand at fiction writing. The plot involves an innocent man who is framed for the murders of his wife and son and is sent to death row. I am consulting on that project with Jeff Blackburn, founder and chief counsel of the Innocence Project of Texas, who I am making an actual character in the book. I intend to include in the book the role that Blackburn and IPTX have played in changing the Texas justice system.



AboutTheAuthor.jpg



Cruz_headshot.jpgKathy Cruz is a former reporter for The Dallas Morning News, now working as a staff writer at the Hood County News in Granbury, 35 miles southwest of Fort Worth. She has won numerous Journalist of the Year honors from Texas press associations, as well as many other awards from regional, state and national press associations. She is the co-author of You Might Want to Carry a Gun: Community Newspapers Expose Big Problems in Small Towns. Cruz is the recipient of five awards for excellence in legal reporting, including a Texas Gavel Award and four Stephen Philbin Awards from the Dallas Bar Association – two of which were grand prizes.



AuthorLinks.jpg









Books may be purchased by calling 1-800-826-8911, visiting www.prs.tcu.edu, or visiting your local bookstore.


smalllogo.jpg



Blog tour services provided by Lone Star Literary Life.






Monday Roundup: July 20 - 26

Bookish events in Texas for the week of July 20 - 26, 2015: 


Special Events:
Humanities Texas Special Exhibition: Shakespeare, Longview, May 15 - July 25

Writers' League of Texas Summer Writing Retreat, Alpine, July 19 - 23

Macondo Writers’ Workshop, San Antonio, July 22 - 26

DFW Writers Conference, Dallas, July 24 - 25

Monday, July 20:
Dallas
Magnolia Lounge - Fair Park, Pandora's Box Presents: Amos Hunt, Tamitha Curiel, and The Et Al. Players Performing "BreadCrumbs!", 8PM

The Wild Detectives, HARRISON SCOTT KEY reads and signs THE WORLD’S LARGEST MAN, 7:30PM

Greenville
W. Walworth Harrison Public Library, Author and Texas State Historian Bill O’Neal will speak and sign Texas Gunslingers, 6PM

Plano
Whole Foods, Shauna Martin will discuss Daily Greens: 4-Day Cleanse, 11AM

Tuesday, July 21:
Fort Worth

Houston

Houston
Brazos Bookstore, Dave Parsons reading and signing REACHING FOR LONGER WATER & Cliff Hudder reading and signing PRETTY ENOUGH FOR YOU, 7PM

Murder By the Book, Brad Parks will sign and discuss The Fraud, 6:30PM

Irving
Irving Public Library - Valley Ranch, Authors Visit and Launch Party: Rachel Caine presents Ink and Bone, Shanna Swendson presents Rebel Mechanics and P.N. Elrod presents The Hanged Man, 7PM

Friday, July 24:
B&N - Vanderbilt Square, George Arnold signs Fire and Ice: Beyond Alchemy, 4PM

Brazos Bookstore, Summer of Shakespeare: The Soliloquies with the Houston Shakespeare Festival, 7PM

Murder By the Book, Ace Atkins will sign and discuss The Redeemers, 6:30PM

San Antonio
Alpine
Galleria Sibley, meet and greet author Joe Patoski as part of Viva Big Bend, 1PM

Austin
BookPeople, Debut Author ALEXANDRA BURT speaking & signing Remember Mia, 4PM

Brave New Books, author Jim Marrs event, ?

Bullock Museum, Texas Readers Theater Series: Camp Logan, 2PM

Half Price Books - Parmer Crossing, 43rd birthday party for Half Price Books, 12PM

Half Price Books - Parmer Crossing, Victoria McGuire will sell and sign her memoir It Should Not Hurt to be a Wife, 1PM

Half Price Books - Southpark Meadows, 43rd birthday party for Half Price Books, 1PM
Cedar Hill
B&N - Hillside Village, R. Jay Berry signs Sunday's Eternal Rose, 1PM

Dallas
The Wild Detectives, Christmas in July readings! (yep, solidarity with the southern hemisphere, apparently), 7PM

Houston
B&N - Vanderbilt Square, George Arnold signs Fire and Ice: Beyond Alchemy, 10AM

Blue Willow Bookshop, Hank Moore will discuss and sign his new book, HOUSTON LEGENDS, 2PM



B&N - Town Square, Rebecca May signing A Finely Crafted Novel, 3PM

Sugar Land
Half Price Books, local author Andrea Morris will sell and sign her children’s book, Caterpillar, 1PM

The Woodlands
B&N - Woodlands Mall, Janet Shawgo signs Look for Me, 2PM

Sunday, July 26:
Dallas
Dallas Public Library - Oak Lawn, Marion Moore Hill will discuss and sign her Scrappy Librarian and Deadly Past mysteries, 1:30PM

Houston
B&N - Vanderbilt Square, George Arnold signs Fire and Ice: Beyond Alchemy, 10AM

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate


The content of this promo post was provided by Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours. If you're a Texas blogger interested in joining the ranks of Lone Star Book Blog Tours, contact Tabatha Pope.



2015 Christy Award Winner


THE STORY KEEPER

by 

Lisa Wingate


Synopsis.jpg



Successful New York editor, Jen Gibbs, is at the top of her game with her new position at Vida House Publishing -- until a mysterious manuscript from an old slush pile appears on her desk. Turning the pages, Jen finds herself drawn into the life of Sarra, a mixed-race Melungeon girl trapped by dangerous men in the turn of the century Appalachia. A risky hunch may lead to The Story Keeper's hidden origins and its unknown author, but when the trail turns toward the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place Jen thought she'd left behind forever, the price of a blockbuster next book deal may be higher than she's willing to pay. 





Purchase
THE STORY KEEPER



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Praise for The Story Keeper:

"Not since To Kill a Mockingbird has a story impacted me like this." -- COLLEEN COBLE, USA Today bestselling author of Seagrass Pier

Wingate is, quite simply, a master storyteller. Her story-within-a-story, penned with a fine, expressive style, will captivate writers and non-writers alike. -- Booklist





The Wonder Years of Story
I grew up during a shift in American culture. My earliest memories are of that Wonder Years generation, when life was a little slower, more innocent in some intangible way. In the back of my mind, I see neighborhoods of average one-story, three bedroom, one-income houses, where you came and went through back door, just like Ethel does on I Love Lucy. Every house had a mom in it, and if you were hungry she fed you, and if you were thirsty she gave you a drink. If it was summer, she probably made popsicles with an ice cube tray and toothpicks, or those old Tupperware popsicle makers–in which case, you had to be sure to bring back the stick, or you didn’t get any more popsicles at that house. Moms had saved up their Green Stamps for that Tupperware, after all. Remember Green Stamps?
So many things aren’t the way they were just a scant few decades ago. So many of the daily activities that once required face-to-face human conversation can now be accomplished with no interpersonal exchange whatsoever. Shopping is a case in point. When I was a kid, a trip to town was something to look forward to. Even stopping for gas was a thrill. 
We kids were always filled with giddy anticipation when we pulled into the corner Texaco. Bill the Texaco man knew every car and every kid within a twenty-mile radius. He was the first man I fell in love with, other than my daddy. Bill carried lollipops in his pocket, and at the time, that seemed like a reason to offer my everlasting affection. The man could tell a great story, too. When I was a kid, stories were everywhere, like fruit hanging on low-growing branches, ripe for the picking. People told them in passing at checkout counters, at gas stations while windshields were washed and oil was checked, in the carpool line while moms waited for kids to exit the school, and at the post office as packages were being mailed.
We heard stories, pretended stories, we imagined stories, we played stories. No one had to tell us kids how to make up a story. We simply did it naturally. The air around us seemed to be filled with stories.
Sometimes I wonder if the past was really as good as I remember it being, or if, like first loves and favorite days at Grandma’s house, those bygone days take on the pearlescent sheen of memory, seeming a little grander than they were. When I was young, we kids spent our time roaming the neighborhood, scaring up games of tag and touch football, and building fantabulous forts from scrap lumber. As long as we were home by the time the streetlights came on, no one worried about us. We had a kind of freedom kids don’t have today. We had space to be and to pretend, to create and to wander. We had no concept of private property rights. Any tree was ours to climb, and every field was crisscrossed with bike trails. Yards weren’t fenced with tall privacy fences. Most yards weren’t fenced at all. We had grand names for every patch of woods—titles like “Sherwood Forest,” and “Peaceful Forest,” and “The Hundred Acre Wood,” which was actually about three-quarters of an acre, I think. Every kid in the neighborhood knew which forest was which.
At least once a week, we’d pack a backpack and journey down the creek behind our house. It wasn’t much more than a muddy ditch, but in our minds, it was every river from the Nile to the Amazon. We built dugouts on the banks and bridges across our favorite swimming holes. We hauled our toys down to the sandbars to play. We were Indians, mermaids, Tarzan, Zorro, and Swiss Family Robinson… without the parents. When we went on our excursions, and we traveled for hours, until we were sure we were miles from home. We imagined countless stories. We lived them, journeying until all the familiar neighborhood sounds were gone, until we were far enough away that we worried about whether we’d ever find our way back before we starved to death or were eaten by lions, attacked by hostiles, captured by banditos. Then, we’d hear someone’s mother sending out the supper call, and we’d climb out of the creek banks, and realize we were still in a neighbor’s backyard.
I love thinking back to those days, remembering the things we looked forward to—little wonders like jars of lightning bugs in summer and testing out the ice on nearby farm ponds in winter to see if we could make our own ice skating rink. But, above all, we looked forward to the stories, both real and make-believe, both heard and told, both seen and imagined.
I worry that these days our stories are being lost, that in our rush to do more, move faster, communicate in sound bites, we’re losing the underlying fabric of who we are. Our stories matter. Our stories teach. Our stories entertain.
Most importantly, our stories connect us to one another.
We need those human connections – not cyber-connections, or text connections, or connections formed in a hundred characters or less… but connections with real characters--the human kind. If you know a few, gather up the young people in your life and go visit. If you don’t know any, take a little time to look around. You’ll still find some here and there, looking for listeners ready to drink in a good tale.  Sit long, listen much. A story is not only a gift, it’s a legacy.
An inheritance that gives, and gives, and gives each time it’s told and told again.
-- Lisa Wingate is the international bestselling author of over twenty novels. Her latest offering, The Story Keeper, follows the journey of a New York editor who discovers a mysterious untold story on an old slush pile of manuscripts. Through Lisa’s weblog, TheUntoldStory.Guru, untold stories, both personally discovered and submitted by others, are preserved for future generations. More about Lisa can be found at www.LisaWingate.com or at TheUntoldStory.Guru



Selected among Booklist’s Top 10 for two consecutive years, Lisa Wingate skillfully weaves lyrical writing and unforgettable settings with elements of traditional Southern storytelling, history, and mystery to create novels that Publisher's Weekly calls "Masterful" and Library Journal refers to as "A good option for fans of Nicholas Sparks and Mary Alice Monroe."

Lisa is a journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the author of twenty-five novels. She is a seven-time ACFW Carol Award nominee, a multiple Christy Award nominee, a twotime Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RT Booklovers Magazine Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner for mystery/suspense. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and
six others as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. Booklist summed up her work by saying, “Lisa Wingate is, quite simply, a master storyteller.” More information about her novels can be found at www.lisawingate.com.




AuthorLinks.jpg



More about Lisa can be found on her 

She can also be found online at:
www.southernbelleviewdaily.com
http://www.pinterest.com/lisawingatebook/
https://twitter.com/lisawingate