Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The Last Post

This is my last post to the blog. I began writing about books here in 2010, and it's been a good ride. I want to thank all of you who shared these books and bookish events with me. I will be forever grateful. 

Thursday, July 29, 2021


I reviewed Down Range (William Morrow) by sixth-generation Texan Taylor Moore for Lone Star Literary Life

"The first in a planned series starring former Green Beret Garrett Kohl, Down Range is a military-style thriller set where the American West begins in the dramatic, isolated badlands of Texas canyon country. Synthesizing Tom Clancy and Reavis Z. Wortham’s Sonny Hawke, Moore stomps the pedal to the metal with a lead foot that never eases off—even when there’s a ninety-degree turn just ahead."

Click here to read the entire review.

Thursday, July 1, 2021


Castro claims her ingredients from the fertile ground of South Texas Latinx cultures and conjures an original tale that insists upon the power of voices often ignored or silenced. The Queen of the Cicadas raises the tiny hairs on the back of your neck (“next time you hear that scratch or howl . . . it is not science in the room”) and inspires a restiveness I’m not sure I’m ready to name.

Follow this link to Lone Star Literary Life to read the entire review!

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Excerpt & Giveaway: EL PASO SUNRISE

by Louis Bodnar

Pub Date: September 24th, 2019 | January 5th, 2021
Pages: 292 | 238
Categories: Thriller / Terrorism / Conspiracy


El Paso Sunrise

From a Constitutional Republic to a Marxist Dictatorship led by a Muslim President in a Second American Civil War 

"Kill him," the gravelly voice said on the speaker to the cream of the Russian and Muslim terrorist assassination squad infiltrating America from Canada and on their way to El Paso to kill lawyer Steven Vandorol.  Steven was leading the Texas prosecution of Federal government corruption and with national implications before the fall presidential election.  

El Paso Sunrise is the first of two stand-alone novels that together tell a grand story of love, passion, intense hate, violence and horror all brought keenly alive against the intentional radical transformation of America in a Second American Civil War by progressives, Muslim radicals and the American Left from a Constitutional Republic.  It is also a portrayal of a future with the literal choking of Canada, Great Britain, Europe, the Middle East, particularly the sovereign State of Israel by Islamist radicals, ISIL, Hezbollah, Hamas and the spreading cancerous malignancy of a worldwide Muslim Caliphate.  

Steven Vandorol had it all but lost everything when he fell hard from grace in the ultra-rich Sunbelt.  Escaping to Washington, D.C., he found himself embroiled in evil, corruption, sexual obsession and addiction but, confronting his own demons, found peace and serenity in El Paso.  

Then stunning Vanessa Carson, Steven's attorney friend and confidant amid the evil of D.C. brings her sunshine smile back into his life in El Paso and together as one, face their worst nightmares or rape, kidnapping and murder during the ultimate crises of a second American civil war started by powerful forces and only Steven and Vanessa stand in their way . . .  

While El Paso Sunrise is a graphic story of evil in this world, it is also a timeless love story about goodness, faith, grace and friendship blossoming during a national emergency -- a clarion call to the world to remember what truly matters -- asking the question . . .  

Can Steven force his own country and government to face their own demons before it's too late?

Purchase: *LouisBodnar | Amazon | Barnes and Noble 




El Paso Sunset

Within El Paso Sunset, Steven and his friend, Vanessa Carson, face their worst nightmare of rape, kidnapping, and murder during the ultimate crisis of a Second American Civil War started by dark, sinister, and shadowy forces and only Steven and Vanessa stand in the way. El Paso Sunset is the second and continuation of two stand-alone novels that together make a story of love, passion, obsession, intense hate, pure evil, violence, and horror, all brought keenly alive against the panorama of the radical transformation of the great American Constitutional Republic. 

Purchase: *Louis Bodnar | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

*Special Discount if you buy both books through Louis Bodnar's Website





Exactly twenty-six miles away, Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Trevor Collington and Constable Jack Ryan, both of the D Division-Manitoba, had just replaced the day shift of the Manitoba-United States border checkpoint that was on Canada Highway 83 South turning into US Interstate 83 (I-83 South), some 150 miles from Carrington, North Dakota.

Mountie Sergeant Collington was manning the glassed-in booth at the median while Constable Ryan slept inside the border checkpoint house to the right of the median booth. The entire checkpoint, the road just two lanes heading north and south, was brightly lit by numerous sodium-vapor lights to almost daylight. The border crossing checkpoint was located in a two-acre clearing in the dense forest among a tall canopy of Jack pine and blue spruce trees. A light snow was just starting to fall, the air cool and crisp. He would be relieved by Constable Ryan promptly at four am.

It was one fifty am, Thursday, September 3, 2015.

Snow is a little unusual for early September, thought Collington as he poured himself another cup of coffee from his multicolored thermos his daughter had given him last Christmas and said out loud, “Just love the Jack pine smell,” as it reminded him of Christmastime with his family. He had light classical music playing on his cell phone and was reading a David Morrell thriller. He was really looking forward to going home to be with his family as he had just been reassigned and promoted from border checkpoint duty to his all-time dream job of fully horse-mounted border patrol work at an over 100-square-mile area of horse trails in dense forest.

Tonight, and in honor of his promotion, he was wearing a full horse-mounted uniform rather than his usual boring everyday gray shirt and dark-blue tie. He glanced at his own reflection in the bulletproof glass and thought, I look rather smart this eve in my brand-new uniform! He admired his flat-brimmed Stetson hat with dark-brown leather band, red Serge tunic with epaulettes, and Sam Browne cross belts and gun belt with his Smith & Wesson Model 5946 service pistol with Hogue grip. He especially liked the rest of his riding outfit with dark-blue riding jodhpurs with yellow stripes down both legs after British cavalry tradition, completed by high riding boots and long-shank nickel spurs. He thought of his dear wife and said out loud, “She thinks I’m very handsome in my tunic and especially likes the epaulettes,” and smiled at his own reflection.

“Hello!” Sergeant Collington said, looking out into the night as he took a sip of his coffee. Bright headlights on the road coming from America about two miles away, he guessed. He looked at his cell: one thirty am. “What’s this?” It was most unusual for cars to come through this late at night in this very lightly traveled border checkpoint.

The headlights dimmed as the vehicle approached about a mile out and slowed to ease into the checkpoint lane yards away from his booth as Collington watched the car approaching.

It was a four-door white Honda Civic, Nevada license plate UZ 3242, which he jotted down in his day logbook, and had tinted windows so he couldn’t see the driver, or passengers, as it came into the brightly lit clearing and slowly rolled to his window.

Sergeant Collington raised his left side window to the outside just as the driver’s side window was lowering.

“May I help…er…you, ma’am,” Sergeant Collington stammered and thought, She is absolutely gorgeous, as he looked down to a woman driving.

She had long, shining blond hair, large blue eyes, long eyelashes, perfect eyebrows, and a very bright smile as she looked up at him. She was wearing a low-cut blouse, open at the neck revealing marvelous cleavage of ample breasts.

“I’m on the way to visit my mom in Melita,” she said, turning serious. “She’s really sick, and I’ve been driving from Las Vegas airport for the last twenty hours.” She was tearing up and shivered.

“Would you like some hot coffee, ma’am?” Sergeant Collington asked, staring at this gorgeous woman. “I’ll make some fresh if you would just park over by the house.” He pointed to the house on her right.

“Why, that’s so sweet of you, Officer…” She was smiling again.

“Sergeant Collington, ma’am,” he stammered again, smitten by this very beautiful creature.

“Okay,” she said and started in reverse. Sergeant Collington was looking down at her breasts smiling when, in a sudden flowing move, the woman pointed a 9mm silenced Beretta and—pop, pop—shot him in the face.

She calmly put the car in park, left the engine on, stepped through the glass booth’s door, and shot him in the back of his head again…stepped over Sergeant Collington’s body and pressed a button on the panel, ducked down, and waited.

In a few minutes, the lights in the house went on and the door opened. “Hey, Trevor, it’s not four o’clock yet…what’s up?” said the man coming out.

The woman raised up, fired twice again—pop, pop—and hit him right in the forehead. He was dead before he crumpled to the ground.

She closed the window and locked it. Stepped over dead Sergeant Collington again, opened the door, flicked the lock, and slammed the door shut behind her. Calmly walked over to the dead man outside. Pop, pop…fired two more shots into his heart, put the gun in the back waist of her jeans, and with some effort dragged the dead man back into the house. Again locked the door from the inside, slamming the door behind her, and walked back to her car. Pulled out the Beretta again, aimed, and pop, pop, pop, pop…shot out all four camera monitors, emptying the gun. She backed the Civic out of the checkpoint, turned around, and went back to the United States, leaving a previously manned US-Canada border checkpoint completely unmanned.




Louis Bodnar is a retired attorney currently living in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, with his wife Joan.  As a naturalized American citizen, he was born in Vilshofen, Germany, immigrated to Brazil with his mother and brother, and came to America in 1958.   

He was educated in the United States in Oklahoma, receiving an undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, and was a candidate for an LLM in International and Comparative Law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.   

Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter

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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Book Trailer & Giveaway: RIVER, SING OUT


Categories: Contemporary / Literary Fiction
Rural Fiction / Crime Fiction / Coming-of-Age
Blackstone Facebook  Twitter   Instagram
Date of Publication: June 8, 2021
Number of Pages: 315 pages

“And through these ages untold, the river did act as the lifeblood of all those things alongside it.”

Jonah Hargrove is celebrating his thirteenth birthday by avoiding his abusive father, when a girl named River stumbles into his yard, injured and alone. The teenager has stolen thousands of dollars’ worth of meth from her murderous, drug-dealing boyfriend, but lost it somewhere in the Neches River bottoms during her escape. Jonah agrees to help her find and sell the drugs so she can flee East Texas.

Chasing after them is John Curtis, a local drug kingpin and dog fighter, as well as River’s boyfriend, the dangerous Dakota Cade.

Each person is keeping secrets from the others—deadly secrets that will be exposed in violent fashion as all are forced to come to terms with their choices, their circumstances, and their own definition of God.

With a colorful cast of supporting characters and an unflinching violence juxtaposed against lyrical prose, River, Sing Out dives deep into the sinister world of the East Texas river bottoms, where oppressive poverty is pitted against the need to believe in something greater than the self.


''With echoes of Jim Harrison, Cormac McCarthy (and perhaps a smidge of Flannery O'Connor), River, Sing Out is a beautiful, brutal meditation on survival and love in the face of nearly unspeakable violence and depravity in an East Texas community ravaged by the meth trade. Taut, lyrical, and precise, the prose soars in this important new novel by James Wade.'' --Elizabeth Wetmore, New York Times bestselling author of Valentine

''If you read one novel this year, make it this one. James Wade's River, Sing Out, is an instant classic filled with characters that will break your heart, lyrical prose as haunted as the river it evokes, and a Southern Noir undertow that wholly sucks you in and keeps you turning the pages until it's searing, masterful conclusion.'' --May Cobb, author of The Hunting Wives

''Wade, whose striking debut, All Things Left Wild (2020), traveled back a century in Texas history, uses an unlikely friendship to explore an equally wild present-day landscape...A haunting fable of an impossible relationship fueled by elemental need and despair.'' --Kirkus Reviews


James Wade lives and writes in the Texas Hill Country with his wife and daughter. He is the author of All Things Left Wild, which is a winner of the 2016 Writers' League of Texas Manuscript Contest, a winner of the 2021 Spur Award for Best Historical Fiction, and a winner of the 2021 Reading the West Award for Best Debut Novel. His fiction has appeared in various literary journals and magazines.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: DEADLY BUSINESS





Anticipated Publication Date: July 3rd, 2021
Pages: 324 pages
Categories: Suspense | Thriller | Crime Thriller

Deadly Business PB-5-3-21

A Texas Multi-Billion Dollar Lure!

Following a tactical raid at an Oklahoma farm, a phone call sends U.S. Deputy Marshal Piper McKay rushing back to the East Texas cattle ranch where she grew up.

Her grandmother, Jennie Layton, is near death from a crushed skull. When local authorities claim the cause of the injury was an accident, Piper isn’t convinced.

Who wants Jennie dead and why? Is the reason connected to a dubious contract Piper finds in Jennie’s desk?

Piper realizes her grandmother isn’t the only one in danger when she barely escapes a deadly attack. Thrust into the middle of a high-stakes, high-risk shell game, Piper’s become the target.

The case takes a bizarre turn when Piper unknowingly crosses paths with a Special Ranger. If he can’t derail her investigation, it could cost him his life.

With millions of dollars on the line, nothing will stop a ring of cold-blooded killers, including the murders of a U.S. Marshal and a Special Ranger.

PRE-ORDER on Amazon




Award-winning author Anita Dickason is a twenty-two veteran of the Dallas Police Department. She served as a patrol officer, undercover narcotics detective, advanced accident investigator, tactical officer and first female sniper on the Dallas SWAT team.

Anita writes about what she knows, cops and crime. Her police background provides an unending source of inspiration for her plots and characters. Many incidents and characters portrayed in her books are based on personal experience. For her, the characters are the fun part of writing as she never knows where they will take her. There is always something out of the ordinary in her stories.

In Anita’s debut novel, Sentinels of the Night, she created an elite FBI Unit, the Trackers. Since then, she has added three more Tracker crime thrillers, Going Gone!, A u 7 9, and Operation Navajo. The novels are not a series and can be read in any order.

As a Texas author, many of Anita’s books are based in Texas, or there is a link to Texas. When she stepped outside of the Tracker novels and wrote, Not Dead, she selected Meridian, a small community in central Texas for the location.

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LinkedIn | Vimeo | Amazon Author Page 

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Giveaway on Anita Dickason's Website!

Pre-order Deadly Business, and you could win one of three prize packages (value $40 each) containing a tote bag, mousepad, coaster, pen, & bookmarks!

Visit www.anitadickason.com/ for details!

(US only. Contest ends at midnight, CDT, July 2, 2021.)

Giveaway graphic Deadly Business Blitz




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Monday, May 24, 2021

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar for May 23-30, 2021

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of May 23-30, 2021, compiled by TexasBookLover exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life.  

Special events this week include the annual Boldface writers conference, Copperfield's Books's yearly local-author fair, and the Lone Star Book Festival in Seguin. Most events are still online via Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Zoom, and other venues.

For a complete calendar of bookish events in Texas this week, including special events, daily listings, and exhibits, visit the GO! Calendar at Lone Star Lit.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Lone Star Literary Life - May 23, 2021

Lone Star Literary Life is brand new, hot off the pixels, and nutritious. Follow the link for the latest Texas bookish news, reviews, interviews, and goings-on, then subscribe to the newsletter-it's free!

Monday, May 17, 2021

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar May 16-23, 2021

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of May 16-23, 2021, compiled by TexasBookLover exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life.  

Special events this week include Read Across Texas with the Texas Center for the Books and a manuscript auction at Heritage Dallas. Most events are still online via Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Zoom, and other venues.

For a complete calendar of bookish events in Texas this week, including special events, daily listings, and exhibits, visit the GO! Calendar at Lone Star Lit.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar May 9-16, 2021

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of May 9-16, 2021, compiled by TexasBookLover exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life.  

Special events this week include the first annual Southside Book Fair in San Antonio. Most events are still online via Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Zoom, and other venues.

For a complete calendar of bookish events in Texas this week, including special events, daily listings, and exhibits, visit the GO! Calendar at Lone Star Lit.