Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 5/29-6/4

Bookish events in Texas for the week of May 29-June 4, 2017: 

Special Events:
Deep Ellum Lit Hop II, Dallas, June 3

McKinney Square Book Festival, McKinney, June 3

Summer Jam, Houston, June 3

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

Sandra Cisneros: A House of Her Own Exhibition, San Marcos, February 15-July 1

Texas Writers Exhibition, Fredericksburg, May 1-31

Monday, May 29:
Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 30:

San Antonio
Austin
BookPeople, Meet & Greet + Photo Op: RYAN HIGA with Ryan Higa's How to Write Good, 7PM [VOUCHER REQUIRED]

Mr. Catfish & More, NeoSoul Poetry ATX, 8PM

Houston

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Suzi Weinert discusses and signs the Garage Sale Mysteries (coming soon to the Hallmark Channel), 5PM
B&N - Champions, Charlamagne Tha God discusses and signs Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It, 6PM
Austin
Houston
B&N - Champions, Iraqi War Veteran Colonel Michael Tarvin (RET) reads, discusses, and signs Light in the Midst of Darkness (Devotions from Combat), 1PM

Half Price Books - North Oaks, Local Author Saturdays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release!

William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art, The Texas Aesthetic XI: The Summer Soiree Series featuring River of Contrasts: The Texas Colorado and The Nueces River: Rio Escondido by Margie Crisp, 1PM


Port Neches
San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Nikki Folsom signs The Haunted Harlequin: Ghostly Experiences Behind the Scenes, 11AM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Meet the Author: Elliott Turner discusses and signs The Night of the Virgin, 1PM

Southlake
B&N - Town Square, Dorothy Young signing Owner's Guide to the Business Mind, 1PM

Sunday, June 4:

Friday, May 26, 2017

Promo & Giveaway: BLOOD OATH by Melissa Lenhardt


BLOOD OATH
A Laura Elliston Novel, Book 2
by
MELISSA LENHARDT
!!NEW RELEASE!!

  Genre: Historical / Western / Action-Adventure / Romance
Publisher: Redhook
Date of Publication: May 23, 2017
Number of Pages: 384

Outlander meets post-Civil War unrest in this action-packed follow up to Sawbones.
Laura Elliston and William Kindle are on the run -- from the Army and from every miscreant in the West eager to claim the $500 bounty for Laura's capture as their own. But the danger isn't just from those pursuing them. Laura and Kindle have demons of their own and a past that won't stay dead. Exhausted, scared, scarred and surrounded by enemies, neither realize the greatest danger is yet to come.



PURCHASE LINKS:



Watch Lone Star Book Blog Tours for the Badlands tour starting June 27th – with reviews of Blood Oath, Badlands, and Special Features with the inside scoop!



Melissa Lenhardt is the author the Jack McBride mystery series, as well as the Laura Elliston historical fiction series. Her debut mystery, STILLWATER, was a finalist for the 2014 Whidbey Writers’ MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest, and SAWBONES, her historical fiction debut, was hailed as a "thoroughly original, smart and satisfying hybrid, perhaps a new subgenre: the feminist Western" by Lone Star Literary Life. A lifelong Texan, she lives in the Dallas area with her husband and two sons.







GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! 
2 Audio Book Copies each of Sawbones & Blood Oath!
4 WINNERS
US ONLY



CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

5/23


5/23


5/24


5/24


5/25


5/25


5/26


5/26


5/27


5/27


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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review: HOUSE BUILT ON ASHES by José Antonio Rodríguez

I reviewed House Built on Ashes: A Memoir (University of Oklahoma Press) by South Texas's José Antonio Rodríguez for Lone Star Literary Life. This is an engaging memoir by a writer with a fine eye for detail. Rodríguez uses small details to create a large story.

MEMOIR
José Antonio Rodríguez
House Built on Ashes: A Memoir
University of Oklahoma Press
Paperback, 978-0-8061-5501-2, (also available as an e-book), 208 pgs., $19.95
February 16, 2017
“The lessons you’ve been taught about that golden land of promise called the United States sparkle before you like a glass of crystal cold water, and you marvel at your good fortune … becoming something mighty and tall with all that no one must ever doubt is right, becoming something you don’t know yet you hope will render you almost unrecognizable to who you are now, becoming one of them, becoming American.”
José Antonio Rodríguez grew up in McAllen, Texas, the youngest of ten children born to a homemaker and a citrus-farm field hand. On weekends, they crossed the river to visit family in the tiny Mexican village where Rodríguez was born. During the summers he worked Panhandle onion fields, as his mother told him to do well in school so he won’t have to pick onions when he is her age. Rodríguez excels and is placed in the Gifted and Talented Program in school. Eventually, he applies for naturalization because the scholarship he needs is only available to U.S. citizens. He’s conflicted when he swears the oath of loyalty, forsaking Mexico forever: “Up until this moment, that village over there across the river with its border guards and police dogs seemed like nothing but outhouses, sweat, and dirt,” Rodríguez writes. “Nothing to miss. Nothing at all.”

House Built on Ashes: A Memoir by José Antonio Rodríguez is the twentieth volume in the University of Oklahoma Press’s “Chicana & Chicano Visions of the Américas” series, the editorial board of which boasts Rudolfo Anaya, Denise Chávez, and Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, among others. House Built on Ashes is Rodríguez’s account of a creative, sensitive, intelligent child growing up not quite here and not quite there; realizing he’s gay as he begins to question the logic of antiquated customs, chafing against a macho culture; learning that there’s no such thing as a small humiliation, and that dignity is essential but costly.

House Built on Ashes is structurally atypical. Loosely chronological, the story is told in lyrical yet spare prose, creating evocative sketches, like linked short stories. Rodríguez has a fine eye for small details that tell a large story and envelop you in a place and time. When his father leaves to find work in Texas, “One day the evening came, but he didn’t. One morning the rooster called but didn’t wake him.” On childhood tradeoffs: “Now we must wear shoes all the time. And the fence keeps people from stopping by to talk to Amá, the way they did on the other side.” On the jarring dislocation of moving to the United States, where his aunt’s house includes a garage: “Why would cars need a room?” Rodríguez is a master of the simile. At the border inspection, they “stare at our hands like we didn’t always have them”; his cousin’s bed is “tall and full like cakes from a bakery,” “her curls tight like her giggles.”

Packing for a Thanksgiving trip from Rodríguez’s upstate New York university to Texas to visit family serves as catalyst to excavate the past. “I think then of who we are before we are taught customs, flags, pledges of allegiance, names of nation-states, their margins on a map, and the armed men who guard them,” Rodríguez writes. “I think of what we lose when we win.”

Originally published in Lone Star Literary Life.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Excerpt: THE ADVENTURES OF MISS VULPE


THE ADVENTURES OF
MISS VULPE
A Coming of Age Story for Adults
by
MARIA ELENA SANDOVICI

  Genre: Contemporary / Women’s Fiction / Coming of Age
Date of Publication: April 7, 2017
Number of Pages: 160






Ana Petrescu (aka Miss Vulpe) is a troubled teenager determined to solve the mystery of her parents' double suicide. Escaping the scrutiny of her legal guardian and the unwanted interference of several therapists, she starts looking up people from her mother's past. Her sleuthing requires her to lie about her identity, her age, and her lack of experience with men. While impersonating Miss Vulpe is more fun than going to school, there's bound to be trouble and heartache when her web of lies unravels.









Excerpt from The Adventures of Miss Vulpe
By Maria Elena Sandovici

“Louisiana, 1982”

Rogers smiled at me. The bayou grew darker. Trees were sprouting out of the water, half green, half swallowed by rot. The insects grew louder. The old man still didn’t speak. The wooden construction with the shabby pier where we stopped didn’t strike me as a dwelling fit for living. Was it the old woman’s boat house? Rogers nodded at me, and I grabbed my backpack. I was trying to look through the trees to see the actual house, but all I saw was green wilderness. Rogers gave the man money. Not much. He gave him a fistful of bills, the largest of which was probably a ten. The money looked crumpled and sweaty and I then realized that Rogers was nervous too, even if he now seemed to me more grown up than his thirteen years. The man reached into a satchel I hadn’t noticed before, and handed Rogers something that looked like a dead animal. I thought I’d already caught malaria and was seeing things.

“It’s a squirrel,” Rogers explained. “Mawmaw will cook it for supper. It’s real good.”

At that the man in the boat smiled for the first time since we’d met him. We stepped onto the pier. I figured the boards might be rotten, but Rogers led the way carrying his squirrel, and if his boyish hand was sweating onto its matted fur, his smile didn’t waver. So I mimicked his confidence and followed.

The old woman was sitting in a rocker on the porch. I didn’t see her at first. She had her minou with her, that crazy black cat that was constantly watching us. She said something in French.

“English, Mawmaw,” Rogers said.

“So you the rich boy,” she said to me, taking the squirrel from Rogers. I half hoped he was joking about us eating that beast, though the other, more adventurous side of me was dying to taste it. The old woman clicked her tongue, and I wasn’t sure if it was at the dead squirrel or at me, the rich boy. Her eyes made me uncomfortable. Though she was white, she had the eyes of the people on the train.

“You eat squirrel before?” she asked, laughing.

I shook my head. “No, Ma’am.”

“You’ll like it,” she said and her eyes became kinder. She reached a bony hand to tousle my hair, and she winked at me as she opened the creaky door and went into the house. We grabbed our backpacks and we followed. Minou sat in the doorway and spat. The old woman scolded her in French and threatened her with a gnarly broom. Minou spat again, undeterred and refused to budge. The door stayed open letting in the wet heat of the bayou.




Maria Elena Sandovici lives in Houston with her dog. She travels to Bucharest often and also to Spain, but her favorite trip remains 45 South to Galveston. She has an art studio at Hardy and Nance in the Warehouse District, open the third Saturday of every month, blogs daily at havewatercolorswilltravel.com, and writes poetry in the voice of her dog. She is also the author of three previous novels about women who are struggling with finding their place in the world.




CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

5/20
Review
5/20
Excerpt 1
5/21
Sketchbook 1
5/22
Review
5/22
Promo
5/23
Excerpt 2
5/24
Review
5/24
Guest Post
5/25
Review
5/26
Sketchbook 2
5/27
Review
5/27
Excerpt 3
5/28
Promo
5/29
Review
5/29
Sketchbook 3


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Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 5/22-28

Bookish events in Texas for the week of May 22-28, 2017: 

Special Events:
Boldface: A Conference for Emerging Writers, Houston, May 22-26

Annual Meet the Authors: New Writers Event, San Antonio, May 27

Lubbock-Con 2017, May 27

plus fest: everything plus poetry festival, Houston, May 27


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

Sandra Cisneros: A House of Her Own Exhibition, San Marcos, February 15-July 1

Texas Writers Exhibition, Fredericksburg, May 1-31

Monday, May 22:
Murder By the Book, Dennis Lehane will sign and discuss Since We Fell, 6:30PM [line number required]

River Oaks Bookstore, Leroy Chiao discusses and signs One Orbit, 6PM

Richardson
BookPeople, STEVE HAMILTON public stock signing of Exit Strategy, 12PM

BookPeople, ASHLEY BLOM speaking & signing How to Eat a Lobster and Other Edible Enigmas Explained, 7PM

Malvern Books, Malvern’s Multi-Verse with poet Joe Brundidge, 7PM

Spiderhouse Ballroom, Austin Poetry Slam featuring Glori B. and hosted by Christopher Michael, 7PM

University of Texas Press offices, Stephen Harrigan discusses and signs They Came From the Sky, 6:30PM

The Writing Barn, Workshop: "Writing From Life: The Art of Fiction" with Bethany Ball, 6:30PM

Dallas
Dallas Museum of Art, Arts & Letters Live: Anne Bothwell from KERA's "Art&Seek" will moderate a conversation with Margo Jefferson, author of the NBCC-award winning Negroland: A Memoir, and Damon Tweedy, author of Black Man in a White Coat, 7:30PM

The Wild Detectives, Women Galore Literary Festival: Morgan Parker will read from her new collection of poetry, There Are More Beautiful Things than Beyoncé, plus readings from local poets courtney marie and Fatima-Ayan Malika Hirsi, 7:30PM

Fort Worth
The Dock Bookshop, Fort Worth Poetry Slam and open mic!, 8PM

Houston
Black Labrador, Houston Writers House meeting with Elizabeth White-Olsen of Writespace Houston, 6:30PM

Brazos Bookstore, Deb Olin Unferth reads and signs WAIT TILL YOU SEE ME DANCE, 7PM


Nacogdoches
The Korova, PuroSlam!, 10PM

Wednesday, May 24:
Deep Vellum Books, Dark Moon Poetry reading series, 7PM

The Wild Detectives, Women Galore Literary Festival: RonAmber will present poems from Hot Banana Pudding: Elevated Notions on Socio-political Situations in Motion, 7:30PM

Houston
Thursday, May 25:
Austin
BookPeople, CHRISTINE LENNON speaking & signing The Drifter, 7PM

Mr. Catfish & More, NeoSoul Poetry ATX, 8PM

Dallas
Deep Vellum Books, Nonfiction Authors Association DFW meeting featuring "The Art of Author Branding" with Mary DeMuth, Author of 30+ Books, 7PM

Half Price Books Mother Ship, Collectible Conversations: A Checkup with The Book Doctor, 6PM

South Dallas Cultural Center, author Sanderia Faye hosts African Diaspora: New Dialogues with poet Douglas Kearney (plus Candy and Dallas Poetry Slam), 7:30PM

Houston
Brazos Bookstore, Nathan Hill reads and signs THE NIX, 7PM

Leonel Castillo Community Center, Tintero Projects: Readings & Workshop Series presents Afro-Latinas in Tejas with Natasha Carrizosa, Ariana Brown, and Jasminne Mendez, 6PM
Heroes Lounge, Dallas Poetry Slam: Cards Against Humanity Night, 8PM

Houston

Lubbock
B&N, Lubbock-Con Event, 7PM

B&N, Why the Raven Calls the Canyon book signing with E. Dan Klepper, 7PM

Saturday, May 27:
Half Price Books - Clear Lake, Local Author Saturdays. Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release!

Katy Budge Books, Quarterly Book Talk: Beach Reads Edition, 4PM

River Oaks Bookstore, Jane Alvey Harris reads and signs Riven, 3PM

San Antonio
B&N - La Cantera, Guest Author Michael Kihntopf, 2PM

The Twig Book Shop, Michael Corcoran discusses and signs All Over the Map: True Heroes of Texas Music, 2PM

Southlake
B&N - Town Square, Jessika Fleck signing The Castaway Carnival, 1PM

Waco
B&N, When It Rains book signing with KJ Ten Eyck, 12PM