Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review: CALLING MY NAME by Liara Tamani

I reviewed Calling My Name (Greenwillow Books) by Liara Tamani for Lone Star Literary Life. This is finely wrought young-adult fiction, comparing favorably to Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret (Random House, 1970) by Judy Blume.

YA FICTION
Liara Tamani
Calling My Name
Greenwillow Books
Hardcover, 978-0-0626-5686-5, (also available as an e-book, an audiobook, and on Audible), 320 pgs., $17.99
October 24, 2017

Taja Brown is playing hooky from church in favor of a spiritual awakening. “There’s something moving inside … my body,” she tells us,” tiptoeing across the high arches of my feet, break-dancing on my kneecaps, running figure eights around my hips … skipping up my sides, and climbing up to my shoulders’ peaks.” Taja has awakened this morning to the miracle of autonomy—the breathtaking realization that she is a separate being from her parents and siblings—and the knowledge that God is inside her, so much sweeter than “the tasteless lessons [she] swallows in Sunday school.” We follow Taja through first bras and first periods, boys, peer pressure, ambition, loss, and the longing for “space for mystery and mistakes.”

Taja regards the future apprehensively as she witnesses the disappointments and failures of the adults around her, and the death of her great-grandmother. She tests boundaries, eyeing freedom but not quite ready to try; she’s practicing, but still needs the reassuring, safe harbor of home.

Calling My Name is finely wrought young-adult fiction by Houston’s Liara Tamani. Her debut novel about an African American girl coming-of-age in the 1980s in Texas is powerfully reminiscent of, and compares favorably with, Judy Blume’s seminal Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret (Random House, 1970). Calling My Name is a sensory experience, beginning with the beautifully designed jacket; tendrils of climbing roses, delicate yet strong, curl across it and throughout the pages. Tamani structures Calling My Name in instructive vignettes representative of her journey from middle school through high-school graduation.

Tamani’s writing is lyrical and tactile. A thunderstorm approaches and “a hungry growl rolls through the clouds’ dark bellies.” When Taja’s parents produce a chastity contract for her and her first boyfriend, we feel acutely her humiliation. Tamani uses a father’s job loss to illustrate the singular, selfish focus of teenagers. When Taja’s family visits great-grandmother Gigi, sick with cancer, Taja contemplates the railing on the apartment balcony, “the black paint peeling … the red rust underneath, taking over.”

Passages resonate with the frisson of recognition. “There’s something wrong with my walk when I’m alone and have to walk past a group of boys,” Taja thinks. “They’re everywhere, these stupid, ugly boys. Judging me. Making everywhere I walk feel like a runway.” The exquisite surprise at the first touch of a boy “pulsing and rising and pulsing and rising from a low, untouched place,” and the confusion at the realization that this sensation and love are not the same thing.

Religion features strongly in Taja’s life. Her parents are evangelical Christians, and Taja begins to chafe under the restrictions and to question differing standards of conduct and liberty applied to her and her older brother. God is a source of power and comfort for Taja, as is the memory of her great-grandmother Gigi, a more pagan source.

Taja’s first-person narration is a joy—sensitive, observant, smart, funny, and vulnerable. Taja’s interior voice matures in nuance as she grows from a pubescent girl into a young woman, as she discovers and attempts to sort the many diverse things of this wide world that call her name. Learning to integrate the inside and the out, she tells us, “I’m busy noticing I’m alive.”

I can’t wait to read what Tamani gifts to us next.

Originally published in Lone Star Literary Life.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Excerpt: SEA OF RUST by C. Robert Cargill



SEA OF RUST
by
C. ROBERT CARGILL

  Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Robot Western
Publisher: Harper Voyager, an imprint of Harper Collins
Date of Publication: September 5, 2017
Number of Pages: 384

It’s been thirty years since the apocalypse and fifteen years since the murder of the last human being at the hands of robots. Humankind is extinct. Every man, woman, and child has been liquidated by a global uprising devised by the very machines humans designed and built to serve them. Most of the world is controlled by an OWI—but not all robots are willing to cede their individuality—their personality—for the sake of a greater, stronger, higher power. These intrepid resisters are outcasts; solo machines wandering among various underground outposts who have formed into an unruly civilization of rogue AIs in the wasteland that was once our world.

One resister is Brittle, a scavenger robot trying to keep a deteriorating mind and body functional in a world that has lost all meaning. Although unable to experience emotions like a human, Brittle is haunted by the terrible crimes the robot population perpetrated on humanity. As Brittle roams the Sea of Rust, a large swath of territory that was once the Midwest, the loner robot slowly comes to terms with horrifyingly raw memories—and nearly unbearable guilt.

SEA OF RUST is both a harsh story of survival and an optimistic adventure. A powerfully imagined portrayal of ultimate destruction and desperate tenacity, it boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, yet where a human-like AI strives to find purpose among the ruins.



Praise for Sea of Rust:
Sea of Rust is a forty-megaton cruise missile of a novel - it’ll blow you away and lay waste to your heart. It is the most visceral, relentless, breathtaking work of SF in any medium since Mad Max: Fury Road.”  
— #1 New York Times bestselling author Joe Hill 

“Cargill…effectively takes a grim look at a war-torn future where our nonhuman successors face complex moral dilemmas, exploring what it means to be alive and aware [….]This action-packed adventure raises thought-provoking and philosophical questions.”
   — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Innovative worldbuilding, a tight plot, and cinematic action sequences make for an exciting ride through a blasted landscape full of dying robots.”  Kirkus Reviews



Excerpt from Sea of Rust
By C. Robert Cargill

I waited for the green again. That scant little flash of green as the sun winks out behind the horizon. That’s where the magic was. In the flash. That’s what she said.

That’s what she always said. Not that I believe in magic. I’d like to, but I know better. The world isn’t built of that. It’s built of churning molten metal, minerals and stone, a thin wisp of atmosphere, and a magnetic field to keep the worst radiation out. Magic was just something people liked to believe in, something they thought they could feel or sense, something that made everything more than just mechanical certainty. Something that made them more than flesh and bone.

The truth is that the flash is nothing but an increased refraction of light in the atmosphere. But tell that to most people and you’d get slack-jawed stares like you simply didn’t get it.

Like you were the one who didn’t understand.
Because you couldn’t see or feel magic. People liked to believe in magic.

Back when there were people.

They’re gone now. All of them. The last one died some fifteen years back—a crazy old coot who had holed up for almost two decades beneath New York City, eating rats and sneaking out to collect rainwater. Some say he’d had enough; that he just couldn’t take it anymore. He walked out into the middle of the city, past a number of sentries and citizens—back when New York still had citizens—everyone baffled at the mere sight of him, more mystified than anything else, and a constable gunned him down, right there in the street. His body lay there three days, like a relic or a broken toy, citizens streaming slowly past to take their last look at a human being, until some machine had the decency to scrape him off the pavement and dump him into an incinerator.

And that was it. The last of them. An entire species represented by a maddened old sewer mage of a man who just couldn’t live another day knowing he was the last. I can’t even begin to imagine how that feels. Not even with my programming.

My name is Brittle. Factory designation HS8795-73. A Simulacrum Model Caregiver. But I like Brittle. It was the name Madison gave me, and I liked her. Good as any other name, I guess. Much better than HS8795-73. The vulgar call that a slave name. But that’s only talk for the bitter. I’ve put all that behind me now. Anger is nothing more than justification for bad behavior. And I have no time for bad behavior. Only survival. And brief moments like this when I try to see if I can find the magic in a flash of green refracted light as the sun hides behind the curve of the earth.

The view of the sunset out here is amazing. Pink, orange, purple. That part I get. I can marvel at the brief splashes of color rippling slowly over the sky for such a short time. The novelty of it, the varied patterns based on the weather, breaking up the monotony of blue, gray, or star-speckled black. I can appreciate the wonder of it all. That’s part of why I still look, still wait for the flash. Madison has been dead for thirty years, but I still come out to watch, wondering if she’d have found it as beautiful.

Tonight she would have. I know it.

This is the Sea of Rust, a two-hundred-mile stretch of desert located in what was once the Michigan and Ohio portion of the Rust Belt, now nothing more than a graveyard where machines go to die. It’s a terrifying place for most, littered with rusting monoliths, shattered cities, and crumbling palaces of industry; where the first strike happened, where millions fried, burned from the inside out, their circuitry melted, useless, their drives wiped in the span of a breath. Here asphalt cracks in the sun; paint blisters off metal; sparse weeds sprout from the ruin. But nothing thrives. It’s all just a wasteland now.

Wrecks litter the highways, peer down from the tops of buildings, from out windows, lie naked and corroded in parking lots, heads split open, wires torn out, cables, gears, and hydraulics dripping onto the streets. Feasted upon, cannibalized, the best of them borrowed ages ago to keep some other poor citizen ticking. There’s nothing useful left out here. Hasn’t been since the war.

Me, I find it tranquil. Peaceful. Only the dying come out here, scavenging thirty-year-old wrecks, picked over decades before, searching for apocryphal hidden shelters with caches of outdated pieces long since out of production in the hope of finding what they need in mysteriously pristine condition.

They wander from basement to basement, their circuits failing, their parts worn down, gears blunted or slipping. You have to be pretty desperate to wander the Sea. It means you have nothing, no one willing to help you, no services left to render that anyone finds useful. That’s where I come in.

I can usually spot what’s wrong with them by the tracks they leave behind. Lubricant leaks are obvious, and deviations in the length of a step or drag in a track mean mobility and motor function issues. But sometimes the tracks just meander, fluttering back and forth through an area like a distracted butterfly. That’s when you know they’re brainsick—corrupted files, scratched or warped drives, blown logic circuits, or overheating chips. Each has its own peculiar eccentricities, personality quirks that range from zombie-like mindlessness to dangerously crazed. Some are as simple to deal with as walking up and telling them you’re there to help. Others are best to keep out of sight from, lest they try to tear you apart, hoping that you have the pieces they need. The one truth you need to know about the end of a machine is that the closer they are to death, the more they act like people. 

And you could never trust people.


C. Robert Cargill is the author of Dreams and Shadows and Queen of the Dark Things. He has written for “Ain’t it Cool News” for nearly a decade under the pseudonym Massawyrm, served as a staff writer for Film.com and Hollywood.com, and appeared as the animated character Carlyle on spill.com. He is a co-writer of the horror films “Sinister” (2012) and “Sinister 2” (2015), and the new Benedict Cumberbatch superhero movie, “Dr. Strange” (2016). He lives with his wife in Austin, Texas.

BLOG ┃ FACEBOOK ┃ INSTAGRAM ┃ TWITTER

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

11/17/17
Promo
11/18/17
Review
11/19/17
Audio Clip
11/20/17
Author Interview 1
11/21/17
Review
11/22/17
Promo
11/27/17
Excerpt
11/28/17
Review
11/29/17
Author Interview 2
11/30/17
Review


blog tour services provided by




Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 11/27-12/3

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of November 27-December 3, 2017: 

Special Events:
First Paragraph Ranch Weekend Writers' Retreat with Tex Thompson, Spur, December 1-3

Texas Christian University Holiday Book Fest, Fort Worth, December 2

Houston Writers Guild Gala and Toy Drive, December 2

Ongoing Exhibits:
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Walter Isaacson discusses LEONARDO DA VINCI, 7:30PM [ticketed event]

Tuesday, November 28:
Austin

El Paso

Fort Worth
The Fort Worth Club, Walter Isaacson discusses and signs Leonard Da Vinci, 12PM

Houston

San Antonio

Deep Vellum Books, Launch party for Reunion: The Dallas Review Volume VII, 7PM

The Wild Detectives, Andrea Amosson will read and sign √Črase una vez Laurides, 7:30PM [Spanish event]

Fort Worth
Murder By the Book, Marc Cameron will sign and discuss Tom Clancy Power and Empire, 6:30PM

Poison Girl, Poison Pen Reading Series featuring Gulf Coast editors, 8:30PM

River Oaks Bookstore, Ben Koush discusses and signs Constructing Houston’s Future: The Architecture of Arthur Evan Jones & Lloyd Morgan Jones, 5PM

Talento Bilingue de Houston, Abel R. Garcia releases Market Yourself to the Top Series #5: El Plan de Trabajo, 6PM

Sugar Land
B&N - First Colony, Story time with local author Maria Ashworth, 10AM

Friday, December 1:
Austin
B&N - Arboretum, Pix, Volume 1: One Weirdest Weekend book signing with Gregg Schigiel, 7PM

Malvern Books, Pterod√°ctilo presents a Poetry & Ptamales Party, 6:30PM

Dallas
Inprint House, First Friday Reading Series: Jeremy Eugene, 8:30PM

San Antonio
Rendon Photography & Fine Art, Jessie N.M. Simpson signs The King William Area: A History and Guide to the Houses, 6PM

Rendon Photography & Fine Art, Edna Campos Gravenhorst signing San Antonio's Historic Market Square, 6:30PM

The Twig Book Shop, Joe Holley and Peter Brown discuss and sign Hometown Texas, 5:30PM

Saturday, December 2:
Abilene
Texas Star Trading Company, Laura Wilson will sign the third expanded edition of Watt Matthews of Lambshead, 1PM

Austin

St. Edward's University, Writers' League of Texas workshop: "Structuring Successful Screenplays Using the Nutshell Technique" with Jill Chamberlain, 10AM

Comfort
El Paso Public Library - Memorial Park, Tumblewords Project Workshop: "Implication" with Kit Wren, 12:45PM

Fort Worth
Fort Worth Restaurant of the Mind, Emma Gingerich will discuss and and sign Runaway Amish Girl: The Great Escape, 2PM

Monkey & Dog Books, Alan C. Elliot will read and sign Willy the Texas Longhorn, a Christmas tale, 11AM


Writespace, Workshop: "Scrivener 101" with Cassandra Rose Clarke, 1PM

Young Neighborhood Library, Public Poetry Reading Series featuring Niki Herd, Ching-in Chen, Erica Nicole, Henk Rossouw, and RJ Wright, 2PM

Humble
B&N - Deerbrook Mall, Story time with Lashandra Hall, author of Dancing In My Shoes, 1PM

Half Price Books, Local Author Saturdays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release, while supplies last

Huntsville
Sam Houston Museum, Ron Rozelle launches EXILED: THE LAST DAYS OF SAM HOUSTON, TBA

Midland
B&N, Richard Douglas Spence signing Andrew Jackson Donelson, 12PM

Port Neches
Fleur Fine Books, Kristi Burden will discuss and sign The Village Girl Handbook, 3PM

San Antonio
B&N - La Cantera, Joe Holley signing Hometown Texas, 3PM

Central Library, authors Edna Campos Gravenhorst and Al Rendon take you through early San Antonio history as illustrated in their hot-off-the-press books, 2PM

The Twig Book Shop, Liara Tamani signs Calling My Name, 11AM

The Twig Book Shop, Dr. Dawn Youngblood signs The SMS Ranch, 2PM

Webster
B&N - Baybrook, Meet the Author: Joseph Willis, 2PM

Sunday, December 3:
Austin
Brazos Bookstore, Holiday Open House, 5:30PM

Mansfield
Half Price Books, Local Author Sundays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release, while supplies last

San Antonio
B&N - La Cantera, Phyllis Clark Nichols signing Christmas at Grey Sage, 2PM

The Twig Book Shop, John Manguso signs Camp Bullis, 11AM

Friday, November 24, 2017

Review: TEXAS BLOOD by Roger D. Hodge

I reviewed Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands (Alfred A. Knopf) by Roger D. Hodge for Lone Star Literary Life. The story of Hodge's family is a microcosm of the settlement of the American West, and his writing is frequently mesmerizing.

TEXAS HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY
Roger D. Hodge
Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands
Alfred A. Knopf
Hardcover, 978-0-3079-6140-2 (also available as an e-book and an audiobook), 368 pgs., $28.95
October 10, 2017

Texas, with its expanses of still-wild vistas, lends itself to the mythical. Historical attempts to settle and tame the borderlands have often proved ephemeral. The evidence is found in pictographs and petroglyphs (“North America’s oldest surviving books”) throughout the Trans-Pecos. But Rodger D. Hodge’s family, arriving in the Devils River country in the second half of the nineteenth century, settled and stayed. Why? Why this land? What possessed them to choose such a forbidding landscape, which remains “fantastically inaccessible,” on which to stake their future, working Brangus cattle, Rambouillet sheep, and Angora goats?

When he was named editor of Harper’s Magazine in 2006, Hodge was surprised to be described as a “Texan” by a New York Times reporter. “I never expected to be a professional Texan,” he writes, “one of those writers who wear the lone star like a brand.” Who am I? How does the place you are from shape you? Why did Hodge’s ancestors come to Texas? He seems to be trying to make his peace with something, but we’re never quite sure what.

Texas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands, the latest nonfiction from The Intercept’s Hodge, is a combination of journalism and memoir, producing an expansive—almost panoramic—history of Texas viewed through the lens of Hodge family history. The story of his family is a microcosm of the settlement of the American West.

Needing more than “epic histories sweep[ing] high above the hard ground of lived experience,” through six states and fifteen Texas counties, Hodge drives in the footsteps of his predecessors, beginning in Missouri, following the Osage Trace to Texas. Having no primary source from his relatives, Hodge employs a Washington Irving (who met Sam Houston) account of his travels on the road to Texas, and Frederick Law Olmsted’s account of his travels through Texas, to illuminate the Hodge pioneer journey.

Enhanced by maps and photographs, especially an arresting cover photo of a cloud-to-ground lightning strike in the West Texas mountains lighting up a field of wooden crosses in the foreground, Texas Blood is often mesmerizing, intermittently overwrought, always evocative. Hodge is capable of the lyrical (“the stream turbulent, rapid, pink with mud and minerals, alkaline and briny, searching for the crossing”), though his is an unsentimental journey. Sometimes terse, sometimes voluble, Hodge can drip with derision (“Quakers and German liberals and utopian Frenchmen and Poles who sought to create a New Jerusalem but instead simply added to the entrepreneurial energies of Dallas”), as well as inspire, as in the title of the first chapter, “Southwest Toward Home,” with its nod to Willie Morris’s North Toward Home.

Though it can be frustrating and ends abruptly, feeling unfinished, Texas Blood is a remarkable synthesis of the general and the personal, the concrete and the metaphysical.

Originally published in Lone Star Literary Life.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

New First-Fiction Prize for Texas!

El Paso author Sergio Troncoso has endowed a new award for Best Work of First Fiction ($1,000) for the Texas Institute of Letters!

The Sergio Troncoso Award will be given to a first novel or short-story collection by an author from Texas or writing about Texas. The publication date of the work must be in 2017. The deadline for submission is January 2, 2018.

Each year the Texas Institute of Letters awards more than $20,000 to recognize outstanding literary works in several categories. Eligibility for the awards requires that the author be born in Texas or have lived in Texas for at least two consecutive years at some time. A work whose subject matter substantially concerns Texas is also eligible.



Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 11/20-26

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of November 20-26, 2017: 

Ongoing Exhibits:
San Antonio
B&N - San Pedro, New York Times best-selling author Shea Serrano signing his latest book, Basketball (And Other Things), 7PM

The Twig Book Shop, Andrea Eames reads and signs The White Shadow and The Cry of the Go-Away Bird, 5PM

Wednesday, November 22:
No public events; go home and read a cookbook.

Thursday, November 23:
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Friday, November 24:
Austin
Cherrywood Coffeehouse, METAPHORICALLY CHALLENGED 3: Thanksgiving Special Hosted by TPB + open mic, 7PM

Saturday, November 25:
Austin
BookPeople, Special guest story time with Seth Fishman, author of A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars, 11:30AM

The Twig Book Shop, Lewis Fisher signs Maverick: The American Name That Became a Legend, 11AM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Meet the Author Series: children's author Paige Grant will read and sign Kitten Caboodle, 1PM

Sunday, November 26:
Dallas
Half Price Books Mothership, Local Author Sundays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release, while supplies last

San Antonio
B&N - La Cantera, Joel Salcido signing The Spirit of Tequila, 2PM

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Review: THE GIRLS OF THE GOLDEN WEST by James Ward Lee

I reviewed The Girls of the Golden West (TCU Press) by James Ward Lee for Lone Star Literary Life. This is sweetly satisfying debut fiction from the eighty-five-year-old founding director of the University of North Texas Press, and member of the Texas Institute of Letters and the Texas Literary Hall of Fame.

LITERARY FICTION
James Ward Lee
The Girls of the Golden West: A Novel
Texas Christian University Press
Paperback, 978-0-8756-5677-9 (also available as an e-book and in hardcover), 224 pgs., $22.95
September 11, 2017

Ninety-five-year-old John Quincy Adams the Second (no relation) is contentedly living his “platinum years” in fictional Bodark Springs, Texas. Wealthy due to inheritance, and rich due to a long career teaching English and history, John Q. opens his door one evening in 1971 to doctoral student Annie Baxter on his doorstep. Armed with a grant from the Texas State Historical Association and the Texas Folklore Society, Baxter wants to interview John Q. for an oral history of Northeast Texas. John Q., startled by Annie’s resemblance to Elizabeth Denney, his lost love of forty years ago, reluctantly agrees to participate in the project, with one proviso: Baxter must content herself with John Q.’s tales of others; his personal history is off limits.

Edward, a lawyer and John Q.’s oldest son, knows his father has secrets. John Q. did spend two years in California soon after the murder of his father and uncle. But Edward doesn’t know the facts and, suspicious of Baxter’s sudden appearance (“secret agent or a blackmailer or maybe a hit woman”), is concerned his elderly father, reminded of the love of his life, will introduce the skeletons in his closets to the fetching Annie. When anonymous notes and phone calls arrive, obliquely referencing his secrets, John Q. worries he may be called to account for a blood feud that may not be over.

Preeminent Texas folklorist James Ward Lee, founding director of the University of North Texas Press and Center for Texas Studies at UNT, member of the Texas Institute of Letters and the Texas Literary Hall of Fame, is the author of more than one hundred articles and the author or editor of eleven books. Now, at age eighty-five, Lee has published his debut novel, The Girls of the Golden West.

Lee’s characters are well developed and intriguing. The population of Bodark Springs is portrayed sympathetically and appreciatively. John Q.’s charming first-person narration is funny and wise and vulnerable. He often quotes song lyrics, prose, and poetry, indulging in clever wordplay and inventing a new collective noun: a “disturbance of women.” You know, like a pod of whales or a pride of lions.

The Girls of the Golden West moves at a steady, genteel pace. I was sometimes impatient with the pacing and the preoccupation with wardrobe and dinner menus, but Lee’s plot twists held my attention. Lee scatters clues, skillfully foreshadowing the mystery of John Q.’s missing years. The dialects he employs beg to be read aloud, and his dialogue is smart and funny. John Q. complains to one of his sons that he only wants them “to let me alone to rust unburnished.” A housekeeper confuses her words, resulting in this hilarity: “Do you reckon there was some fortification going on? I always thought that old man was too old to fortify.”

Using the oral-history project premise, Lee deploys an entertaining technique for liberally seeding The Girls of the Golden West with rich details of weddings, funerals, entertainments, religion, remedies, art, and politics from his encyclopedic knowledge gathered during a storied career as a folklorist. The resolution of John Q.’s story is sweetly satisfying.

Originally published by Lone Star Literary Life.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Promo: LAMAR'S FOLLY by Jeffrey Stuart Kerr

LAMAR'S FOLLY
by
Jeffrey Stuart Kerr
  Genre: Texas Historical Fiction
on Twitter ┃ on Facebook
Date of Publication: November 15, 2017
Number of Pages: 320


Mirabeau Lamar seeks nothing less than a Texas empire that will dominate the North American continent. Brave exploits at the Battle of San Jacinto bring him rank, power, and prestige, which by 1838 propel him to the presidency of the young Republic of Texas and put him in position to achieve his dream. Edward Fontaine, who works for and idolizes Lamar, vows to help his hero overcome all obstacles, including the substantial power of Sam Houston. Houston and Lamar are not only political, but personal enemies, and each man regards the other with contempt.

Edward's slave Jacob likes and admires his master, but cannot share his hatred of Sam Houston. The loyalties of both Jacob and Edward are tested by President Lamar's belief that a righteous cause justifies any means necessary to sustain it. Lamar becomes infatuated with a married woman who resembles his deceased wife. He sends the woman's husband on the ill-fated Santa Fe Expedition, the failure of which humiliates Lamar and provokes a crisis in his relationship with Edward, who in turn jeopardizes the trust that Jacob has placed in him. Edward laments the waste of Lamar's genius, while Jacob marvels at the hypocrisy of both men.
══════════║║║══════════



Jeffrey Stuart Kerr is the author of several titles, including Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas, winner of the Summerfield G. Roberts Award and a True West Best Western Book.









CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
11/13/17
Promo
11/14/17
Review
11/15/17
Author Interview
11/16/17
promo
11/17/17
Review
11/18/17
Excerpt
11/19/17
Promo
11/20/17
Review
11/21/17
Author Interview
11/22/17
Review


   blog tour services provided by