Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Excerpt: UP NEAR DALLAS by Gina Hooten Popp

UP NEAR DALLAS
Winds of Change -- Book III
by
GINA HOOTEN POPP
  Genre:  Texas Historical Fiction / Romance
Date of Publication: November 12, 2017
Number of Pages: 307


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The year is 1934. Economic turbulence rocks the country. And record drought dries up crops, along with the spirits of every farmer south of the Mason-Dixon. Yet for sixteen-year-old Mick McLaren, life is good as he takes to the open road to chase his dream of being a musician. Riding boxcars, hitchhiking, walking and driving his way across Depression Era Texas, he finds not only himself, but the love of a girl from Dallas named Margaret. Along the way, they befriend Cowboy Larson, a Delta Blues guitarist. Together the three teens, from three very different worlds, come-of-age as their life-changing journey carries them through killer dust storms, extreme poverty, and the unprecedented gangster activity of the Dirty Thirties.






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Excerpt from Up Near Dallas
Winds of Change, III
By Gina Hooten Popp

The camp was down by the water’s edge in a grove of trees. We would’ve driven right past it if Woody hadn’t known how to find it. It certainly wasn’t visible from the road. But after we parked our auto in a clearing, we walked down a winding trail that had tents and more autos parked strategically throughout the heavily treed area. Mirrors, pots and pans and other necessities needed for cooking or grooming dangled from the tree limbs giving the woods an overall magical fairy-like feel. As we walked along, we saw small shacks tacked together with wood and metal scraps the owners had gathered to make their own unique shelter. I had to admit they did look sturdier than the ragtag tents some of the homeless had.

Nonchalantly, I tagged behind Woody’s solid footsteps. And I have to say, even though I didn’t see anyone, I felt eyes on us as we picked our way down to the water’s edge where the concert was going to be held. Lifting my head, I could smell rain in the air, but I knew from experience it didn’t always come. However, the gusts blowing off the water, and the animals rustling in the woods around us, told me it might just happen tonight. Hopefully, after we played our music.

Woody stopped on the trail. And I took a moment to really listen. And I have to tell you, there’s no other sound in the world like the sound of the wind blowing through oak trees before a thunderstorm. It was exhilarating. The others around us must have been listening too because there was very little noise except the sounds of Mother Nature.





A native Texan, Gina Hooten Popp was born in Greenville and now lives in Dallas with her husband and son. Along with writing novels, Gina has enjoyed a long career as a professional writer in advertising. Her debut novel THE STORM AFTER was a finalist in the 2014 RONE Awards, and her just-released book CHICO BOY: A NOVEL was a 2016 Medalist Winner in the New Apple Annual Book Awards. Recently, her novel LUCKY'S WAY, about a young fighter pilot from Houston, was endorsed by the United States World War One Centennial Commission. 




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