Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 2/26-3/4

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of February 26-March 4, 2018: 

Special Events:
Humanities Texas presents Texas Storytime: A Family Reading Program, Midland, February 8-March 15

FESTIBA 2018: Festival of International Books & Arts, Brownsville, February 26-March

11th Annual Johnson City Library Writers Conference, February 28

32nd Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Alpine, March 2-3

RGV Writers Conference, McAllen, March 3

Ongoing Exhibits:

Austin
BookPeople, AMY BLOOM speaking & signing White Houses, 7PM [ticketed event]

LBJ Library, Hulu series “The Looming Tower” Preview and Conversation with Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower, actor Michael Stuhlbarg, and former FBI Special Agent Ali Soufan, 6PM [a Friends event]

Malvern Books, Malvern’s Multi-Verse Reading Series meets I Scream Social Reading Series with Dr. Joe, Annar Veröld, and Schandra Madha, 7PM

Spiderhouse Ballroom, Austin Poetry Slam featuring UT Spitshine, 7:15PM

Dallas
Interabang Books, Kayleen Schaefer discussing and signing TEXT ME WHEN YOU GET HOME, 7PM

Lucky Dob Books - Casa Linda, Book Reading & Live Music with Emily Ann Peterson, 7PM

Denton
UNT, Visiting Writers Series presents a reading with Ruth Ellen Kocher, award-winning author of seven books of poetry, 8PM

Houston
Black Labrador, Houston Writers House meeting: Guest Speakers Leigh Owen and Julie Grob, coordinators for instruction at UH libraries, will present about the Rare Books Collections, 6:30PM

Murder By the Book, Steve Cavanagh will sign and discuss The Plea, 6:30PM

San Antonio
The Mix, Puroslam with DJ Donnie Dee, 9:30PM

Trinity University, The Stieren Arts Enrichment Series presents Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Egan, author of Manhattan Beach, 8PM

The Twig Book Shop, Elizabeth Crook reading and signing The Which Way Tree, 5PM

Seguin
Texas Lutheran University, Brown Distinguished Lecture: Award-winning actress Diane Guerrero, author of In The Country We Love: My Family Divided (book signing follows), 7:30PM

Southlake
B&N - Town Square, No es por vista: Solo la fe abre tus ojos book signing with Cash Luna, 6PM

Wednesday, February 28:
Austin
BookPeople, BONNIE SIEGLER speaking & signing Signs of Resistance [with featured panelists:  Alicia Weigel, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Deeds Not Words; Xochi Solis, artist and member of the Chulita Vinyl Club; and Rebecca McInroy host of KUT’s “News & Brews”(NPR), moderator], 7PM

Resistencia Books, Against the Deportation Terror: A Reading & Book Signing with Rachel Ida Bluff, 7:30PM

Terrazas Branch Library, Chicon Street Poets Presents Aural Literature, 7PM

Dallas
B&N - Lincoln Park, Rickey Pittman to read Cajun ABC and Rio Grande ABC, 7PM

Interabang Books, Chick Lit Luncheon Kick-Off Party: The Chick Lit Luncheon is Community Partners of Dallas’ largest fundraiser of the year, raising money to support the charity’s mission of ensuring safety, restoring dignity, and inspiring hope for the abused and neglected children served by Dallas County Child Protective Services, 6PM

SMU - Cox School of Business, Dr. Deirdre Nansen McCloskey discussing Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World, 2PM

Houston
BookPeople, MICHAEL NOLL speaking & signing The Writer's Field Guide to the Craft of Fiction (in conversation with Bret Anthony Johnston, Director of the Michener Center for Writers), 7PM

BookWoman, Dirt: A Reading with C. Prudence Arceneaux, 7PM

College Station
Texas A&M - Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, opening of the exhibition, The Angel in the Marble: Selections from the Berger-Cloonan Collection of Decorated Papers: notable paper marbler and artist Tom Leech will deliver a keynote lecture entitled, “Your Brain on Paper: Musings from a Papermaker’s Vat,” 6:30PM (live demonstration of several methods of paper decoration, including marbling, suminagashi, and paste paper, 2:30PM)

Dallas
Interabang Books, Tayari Jones reading and signing AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE, Oprah's latest pick, 7PM

Houston
Brazos Bookstore, Scott Ziegler discussing and signing ZIEGLER COOPER: 40 YEARS OF DESIGN INSPIRATION, 7PM

Murder By the Book, Ausma Zehanat Khan will sign and discuss A Dangerous Crossing, 6:30PM

Lubbock
Texas Tech, Creative Writing Alumni Reading: poet Michael Shewmaker, award-winning author of Penumbra, and writer, translator, and former newspaper journalist Sarah Viren, award-winning author of Mine, 8PM

San Antonio
Artpace, Book Publication: FIRST FAMILIES OF BEXAR (an SA300 Tricentennial Event), 8:30AM

Hotel Emma, First Thursday Event: Bryce Milligan - singer, poet, publisher, 6PM

Love Shack Boutique, Unf#ck Your Brain Book Reading & Signing with Dr. Faith Harper, 7PM

Barshop Jewish Community Center, JCC Author & Speaker Series: Sarge presents Black Boychik, 7PM

Trinity University, MAS Alvarez Seminar: The Canción Cannibal Cabaret with Tejana poet and playwright Amalia Ortiz, 6PM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Book signing and discussion with poet PW Covington, author of The Motor Hotels of Central Avenue, 1PM

Sugar Land
Interabang Books, Jeffrey A. Engel discussing and signing WHEN THE WORLD SEEMED NEW, 7PM

Fort Worth
Monkey & Dog Books, Dr. Lisa Lewis discussing and signing Feed the Baby Hummus, 6PM

Houston
Blue Willow Bookshop, Dr. Seuss Bus Visit: Random House Children’s Books takes Dr. Seuss on the road, 5PM

Brazos Bookstore, Thomas Pierce reading and signing THE AFTERLIVES, 7PM

Discovery Green, Orbit Slam Series, 6PM

Inprint House, Inprint’s First Friday Poetry Reading Series presents Reyes Ramirez, 8:30PM

Marriott Marquis, High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Friends 12th annual Encore Luncheon: Pulitzer Prize-finalist and critically-acclaimed novelist Susan Choi will be honored as HSPVA’s 2018 Distinguished Alumna, 11:30AM
Murder By the Book, Walter Mosley will sign and discuss Down The River Unto the Sea, 6:30PM

Humble
Humble Civic Center, Space City Preliminary Slam: Houston poets, spoken word artists, and emcees, ages 13-19, compete for a spot on the Meta-Four Houston youth slam team, ranked #5 in the world, 6PM

Midland
B&N, Cristy Nickel signing Code Red Revolution, 4PM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Book signing and discussion with poet Vladimir Swirynsky, 1:30PM

El Paso
El Paso Public Library - Memorial Park, Tumblewords Project Workshop: "Ars Poetica—Poetry about Poetry and a Look at the Writing Life" with Annette Velasquez, 12:45PM

Fort Worth
BOLD Library, workshop: Bam! Pow! Zoom! Create Your Own Graphic Novel, 2PM

Houston
Brazos Bookstore, Paul Petronella discussing and signing PAULIE’S, 7PM


Jasper
UTSA - Downtown, Poetry to Provoke, 9AM

Sunday, March 4:
Abilene
National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature, the NCCIL welcomes Dr. Claudette S. McLinn, Coretta Scott King Book Awards Chair, 5:30PM [members only]

Austin

Half Price Books Mothership, local author Robert Lovelle Rooks will sell and sign his novel Filipina, and local author Francia Noble will sell and sign her book Doing Business God's Way: Devotions for the Entrepreneur, 1PM

El Paso
Blackbird Cantina, Xelena Gonzalez and Adriana M. Gomez perform their award-winning debut picture book, All Around Us, 5:30PM

Fort Worth
Central Library, workshop: Bam! Pow! Zoom! Create Your Own Graphic Novel, 3PM

Houston
Brazos Bookstore, S Shankar reading and signing GHOST IN THE TAMARIND, 5PM

Rudyard's Pub, Public Poetry presents "The Passion Series" featuring John Gorman and Kevin Prufer, 1PM

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

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Review: THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER - DISPATCHES FROM THE BORDER by Francisco Cantú

I reviewed The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border (Riverhead Books) by former Border Patrol agent Francisco Cantú for Lone Star Literary Life. This is a profoundly disturbing memoir, visceral and instructive. It left me unsettled, troubled. The southwestern border is basically a vast graveyard, according to a Texas sheriff.

MEMOIR/IMMIGRATION
Francisco Cantú
The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border
Riverhead Books
Hardcover, 978-0-7352-1771-3, (also available as an e-book, an audio book, and on Audible), 256 pgs., $26.00
February 6, 2018

They come from Michoacán and Guadalajara, from Oaxaca and El Salvador. Men, women, children, entire families. Some are heroin mules, “coyotes,” and cartel scouts; some are pregnant women, children escaping gangs, and fathers who want to feed their kids. One man offers to clean up around the station while he waits for the bus that will return him to Mexico. Sometimes the migrants’ backpacks are dumped on the desert floor, the water drained, the clothes and food burned. Other times, the migrants’ blistered feet are washed and bandaged. There are abandoned drug loads and abandoned people, extraordinary cruelty and ordinary kindness, paranoia and compromising situations, kidney failure and the comatose and the dead. The Southwestern desert is a vast graveyard. A Texas sheriff notes, “For every one we find, we’re probably missing five.”

The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border is the first book from Francisco Cantú, a former U.S. Border Patrol agent. His writing has appeared in Harper’s and Guernica, among other publications, and Cantú won a Pushcart Prize and the 2017 Whiting Award. The Line Becomes a River is a profoundly disturbing memoir of Cantú’s years in the Border Patrol during years of breathtaking violence, when Felipe Calderón was president of Mexico and challenged the cartels.

Cantú, whose family came from Mexico, spent time growing up in West Texas, his mother a park ranger. He left the desert for Washington, D.C., and earned a degree in international relations, studying the southern border. Seeking to add practical experience to his academic studies, Cantú entered the Border Patrol academy. “The government took my passion and bent it to its own purpose,” his mother warns him. “Stepping into a system doesn’t mean that the system becomes you,” he parries.

Divided into three parts, The Line Becomes a River is composed of a series of vignettes, sometimes approximating stream-of-consciousness. Cantú is conflicted and dreams of wolves and disintegrating teeth; Jungian psychology provides context. He alternates between the anecdotal and the empirical, fitting human faces to the facts and figures—all those numbers—and providing a history of the line—all those broken treaties. Cantú has read his Charles Bowden and Molly Molloy and Sara Uribe.

After Cantú left the agency to attend graduate school, he learns that a friend with whom he shared breakfast almost every morning, José, has been arrested re-entering the country after visiting his dying mother. It’s the first time Cantú visits anyone in detention, attends the court hearings, witnesses the slow-motion ripping apart of a family. The last part of The Line Becomes a River is related in José’s voice, a very effective technique, visceral and instructive: “The U.S. is making criminals out of those who could become its very best citizens.”

The Line Becomes a River seems an honest examination of conscious, a reckoning on Cantú’s part. Though he occasionally strays into melodrama, I admire Cantú’s writing and was moved by the stories he relates. Still, The Line Becomes a River leaves me unsettled, troubled by something I can’t quite put my finger on. Cantú wonders whether his shame can be redeemed, spiritual sickness healed. I wonder at the costs to human beings of what sometimes seems a personal experiment on the part of Cantú.

Originally published in Lone Star Literary Life.

Friday, February 23, 2018

2017 Lone Star Bloggers' Choice Awards: BEST FICTION BOOK



AWARDS SCHEDULE:
2/14: Awards Announcement
2/15: AWARDS: Best Hook & Best Creative Concept
2/16: AWARDS: Best Non-Fiction History, Best Biography/Memoir, & Best Western
2/17: AWARDS: Best Children’s/Juvenile/YA & Best Series
2/18: AWARDS: Best Literary Fiction & Best Religious/Inspirational/Spiritual
2/19: AWARDS: Best Mystery/Suspense, Best Romance, & Best Fantasy
2/20: AWARDS: Best Cover & Most Engaged Author
2/21: AWARD: Best Texas Book
2/22: AWARD: Best Non-Fiction Book
2/23: AWARD: Best Fiction Book


Thank you for following along!


Thursday, February 22, 2018

"Keys to Honduras" Guest Post by Dirk Weisiger, author of LEAVE TOMORROW: MY RIDE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD

LEAVE TOMORROW:
My Ride to the 
Bottom of the World
by
Dirk Weisiger
  
Genre: Memoir / Travel / Inspiration
Date of Publication: October 27, 2017
Number of Pages: 232

Scroll down for the giveaway!



After building a successful business, Dirk Weisiger was ready for something new. But he wasn't sure what. Maybe a motorcycle adventure, I've never done that!

What followed was a fourteen-month, solo motorcycle journey from Austin, Texas to Ushuaia, Argentina, filled with unexpected adventures, surprises, and lessons about life and travel.

In this book, you'll not only enjoy Dirk's adventure and insights, but find inspiration for your own journey.

(A portion of proceeds from this book help sponsor children at the Colegio Bautista El Calvario private school in Managua, Nicaragua.)



PRAISE FOR LEAVE TOMORROW:


I may not ride a motorcycle to the bottom of the world, but my soul comes alive when I hear about people smashing fear and following their dreams. This book will truly inspire you.
--Abigail Irene Fisher, traveler and speaker

Leave Tomorrow is a fun, engaging, and thought-provoking read. If you are looking for a blend of humanity, culture, scary moments with a medicine man, military police, attempts at extortion, and unexpected challenges--along with insightful observations and humor, this book will definitely spark your imagination to "live your own movie." 
--Steve Scott, business coach and author of Wings to Fly

This inspiring and entertaining book is just the tonic needed to get you up out of your chair and ready to "Leave Tomorrow."
--Julie Mundy, Guidebook Author and Travel Blogger, Australia

For everyone thinking of a new adventure, a new life, or even a new venture: DO IT.
--Jim Rogers, bestselling author of Investment Biker and Street Smarts 

This is not the first book I've read on riding to Ushuaia, but it is probably the most enjoyable. Dirk writes about his experiences in an upbeat manner, taking each experience and each day in perspective. 
--Muriel Farrington, Ambassador, BMW Motorcycles of America


(A portion of proceeds from this book help sponsor children at the Colegio Bautista El Calvario private school in Managua, Nicaragua.) 


Keys to Honduras
Guest Post by Dirk Weisiger

AS I HEADED into the interior of Honduras, locals told me not to visit San Pedro Sula.
This town was notorious for MS-13 gangs, robbing, killing, and riding around in pickup trucks. I turned on the GoPro to share with folks back home a firsthand video account of any trouble.
Just keep your head down and let me do the talking,” I instructed my GoPro audience. So, right before San Pedro, I turned, headed south, and stopped in Villanueva for a bottle of water.
In case you’re wondering if my neck muscles were constantly sore from looking over my shoulder, you’re half right. Yes, the rumors of crime made me nervous and alert, but with each passing day, I became more comfortable with my surroundings.
So far no gangs—only friendly residents of planet earth. I pulled up and parked in front of a lonely roadside store and beer joint.
A single, battle-worn pickup truck was parked outside. There’s the famous pickup, I thought.
But I was thirsty.
It was the middle of the day, but strangely dark inside the old wooden building. A group of seven men sat around a long table, sipping beer. They stared at me but smiled as they turned to eye the Iron Horse, my trusty BMW motorcycle, parked outside.
And some of the famous gang, I mused.
I nodded in their general direction, bought a bottle of water, and walked slowly-but-quickly back to the motorcycle. As I was putting on my jacket, the front door burst open and a man ran toward me.
He was one of the sipping seven.
Startled, I took a step back as he shouted, Señor, señor, Olvidaste las llaves!
Which translates into, Sir, you forgot your keys.” I’d left my keychain on the counter, along with my pride.
I thanked him. And probably over-thanked him. He asked for a picture with the Iron Horse, which I was happy to snap. As we said goodbye, the man whispered, Ve rapido,”—go quickly.
Shaken and relieved, I headed on down the road. So much of our experience depends on our attitude. If you’re transmitting a fearful vibe, bad things can happen.
If you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, bad things can happen. I never stayed long in one place unless it was a larger city. It’s hard to blend in and easier to be a target in a small community. Passing from town to town, I moved so fast, I didn’t give bad people time to formulate a plan.
If I was in an area notorious for gangs, then I put myself in danger. A safe traveler is usually a smart traveler. 


Dirk Weisiger is a travel trekker, trick roper, and storyteller. He’s the author of the new book, Leave Tomorrow: My Ride to the Bottom of the World. Dirk has always enjoyed speaking to groups, spinning tales, ropes, and offering lessons he’s learned in adventures of life and business. He's traveled to five continents and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. Most of all Dirk loves people and believes that making new friends is the best part of travel.
 ║ Website║ Facebook 
Twitter   LinkedIn
Instagram 
║ Amazon Author Page 


-------------------------------------
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

Three Readers Each Win a Signed Copy + $5 Cash!
FEBRUARY 21-MARCH 2, 2018
(U.S. Only)



a Rafflecopter giveaway

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
2/21/18
Author Video
2/22/18
Guest Post 1
2/23/18
Review
2/24/18
Guest Post 2
2/25/18
Trip Pic
2/26/18
Review
2/27/18
Trip Pic
2/28/18
Guest Post 3
3/1/18
Review
3/2/18
Review



   blog tour services provided by

  

2017 Lone Star Bloggers' Choice Awards: BEST NONFICTION BOOK



AWARDS SCHEDULE:
2/14: Awards Announcement
2/15: AWARDS: Best Hook & Best Creative Concept
2/16: AWARDS: Best Non-Fiction History, Best Biography/Memoir, & Best Western
2/17: AWARDS: Best Children’s/Juvenile/YA & Best Series
2/18: AWARDS: Best Literary Fiction & Best Religious/Inspirational/Spiritual
2/19: AWARDS: Best Mystery/Suspense, Best Romance, & Best Fantasy
2/20: AWARDS: Best Cover & Most Engaged Author
2/21: AWARD: Best Texas Book
2/22: AWARD: Best Non-Fiction Book
2/23: AWARD: Best Fiction Book


 Come back tomorrow for the FINAL AWARD announcement!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

2017 Lone Star Bloggers' Choice Awards: BEST TEXAS BOOK





AWARDS SCHEDULE:
2/14: Awards Announcement
2/15: Best Hook & Best Creative Concept
2/16: Best Non-Fiction History, Best Biography/Memoir, 
& Best Western
2/17: Best Children’s/Juvenile/YA & Best Series
2/18: Best Literary Fiction & Best Religious/Inspirational/Spiritual
2/19: Best Mystery/Suspense, Best Romance, & Best Fantasy
2/20: Best Cover & Most Engaged Author
2/21: Best Texas Book
2/22: Best Non-Fiction Book
2/23: Best Fiction Book


 Come back tomorrow for the next award announcements!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

2017 Lone Star Bloggers' Choice Awards: BEST BOOK COVER & MOST ENGAGED AUTHOR



Click to learn more about:




Click to learn more about:
Linda Broday
DiAnn Mills
Ben English




AWARDS SCHEDULE:
2/14: Awards Announcement
2/15: Best Hook & Best Creative Concept
2/16: Best Non-Fiction History, Best Biography/Memoir, 
& Best Western
2/17: Best Children’s/Juvenile/YA & Best Series
2/18: Best Literary Fiction & Best Religious/Inspirational/Spiritual
2/19: Best Mystery/Suspense, Best Romance, & Best Fantasy / Alternate History
2/20: Best Cover & Most Engaged Author
2/21: Best Texas Book
2/22: Best Non-Fiction Book
2/23: Best Fiction Book


Come back tomorrow for the 
next award announcements!